Staff Picks of the Week – July 7th, 2017
It is Friday! I am back from “gallivanting” as Amelia put it. I want to thank her for helping me out last week, I know I can always count on her! So yes, it is time for the Staff Picks of the Week. You know how it works, we have staff, they have picks. But first, let me catch you up on what is new this week at Rogues Portal!
We have comic book reviews for The Death of Stalin, Kim and Kim: Love is a Battlefield #1, Beautiful Canvas #1, Fantasy Sports #3, and our own Sunny and Owl Girl! Canada Day was earlier this week, Josh Rose shares his Must Read Indie Comics: Canada Day Edition. Amelia reflects on the original Tomb Raider in her Gaming Retrospective. In TV and movies Samantha breaks down the latest episode of Sense8, Christoph pens a personal letter to Gotham, and Insha tells how she Stopped Worrying and Embraced Being a Hufflepuff. Take a listen to all the latest episodes of our podcasts, including Comicsbound, Scooby Dos or Don’ts, and The Comics Agenda. Now ladies and gentlemen, it is time for the Staff Picks of the Week!
Amelia’s Pick of the Week – My staff pick of the week is Adventure Time! I’ve been a fan of Adventure Time since it first came out. The crazy storylines, the bright, fun visuals, the ridiculously repeatable catchphrases! I use the expression ‘what the lump?’ to this day and will probably use it until the day I die. You know what? Just go ahead and scrawl that on my tombstone! While I don’t have any specific reason to tell you to go watch Adventure Time, I did recently go back to re-watch it all and it’s given my life a happy shine. It’s just the right amount of absurdist distraction to make a long day a little better. BTW, if you’ve never made Jake’s bacon pancakes, you’re seriously missing out. Do those babies up! And now, because of course this is how I was going to end this staff pick: what time is it?!
Hafsa’s Pick of the Week – My pick this week is And Then There Were None. Remember Agatha Christie? That cool British author that wrote amazing mystery and thriller novels? Well, BBC decided that her stories are too good not to create mini-series from her books. Honestly, BBC’s mini-series are gifts to humanity because they are able to tell a self-contained story without the need to elongate it. They serve a purpose and end. Usually BBC chooses awesome classical novels and then give it a new life for a different audience. The BBC’s portrayal of And Then There Were None is honestly just as intriguing, bewildering, and exciting as the book, if not more. The three episodes explore the different intricacies of the novel in a beautiful cinematic setting that blows the viewer’s mind in its beauty and eerie environment. I recommend this show because of the beautiful acting, setting, and directing, pulling the viewer into the narrative without giving them a chance to object. It is a beautiful masterpiece of how novels can be translated into the visual world, without oversimplifying or erasing parts of the plot.
Christoph’s Pick of the Week – Netflix recently released a new series called The Standups. I think this is is the first show Netflix does in this kind of way. They organised a venue in Los Angeles and on one evening six comedians could present their jokes, anecdotes and stories. The comedians are: Nate Bargatze, Fortune Feimster, Deon Cole, Nikki Glaser, Beth Stelling, and Dan Soder. So far I watched the first four and I am very intrigued by them. They are funny, diverse, own the stage and interact with their audience in a way, that is not awkward. To be honest I never heard of a single one of them before, but now I am into them. I am hoping to find more of them on YouTube or something like that.
Nate comes off as this normal white dude, who doesn’t seem to do much, but the stories he tells feel fresh. Deon Cole, an African-American who just wants to check some jokes on the audience does something very clever. But no one is as good as Fortune Feimster. Netflix describes her piece as: “(She) riffs on her life as a Southern-born, fried chicken-loving ‘gold star’ lesbian— and her epic first plunge into edible marijuana”. It sounds awesome, weird, and special at the same time. After those three I watched Nikki Glaser. I especially like her openness and how she talks about sex and masturbation.
I am looking forward to watching the last two and hope Netflix is continuing the show with new talents and more of the old ones. Since this can be filmed on one evening, the costs to produce The Standups doesn’t seem to be that much or even time consuming. There is one thing though: I really want to know how they filmed it, because some members of the audience change from one cut to the next. And I just do not get it. Did they do a bunch of takes or filmed it on two evenings? Are aliens involved? If you have theories please let me know in the comments below. But besides of that, its an awesome show and I cannot wait for more!
Greg’s Pick of the Week – My picks are Batman #25 and #26. I’m going to start by saying that the entire Tom King run since the rebirth initiative has been brilliant. He is humanizing Batman in a way that very few writers have been able to do successfully. All that being said the first two issues of The War of Jokes and Riddles doesn’t focus on Batman at all. Instead King is telling the story of two of Batman’s greatest villains, The Joker and The Riddler. If this was some campy version of Batman then the two villains would team up to try and defeat The Bat, but it’s not so instead we get two people who know they can only be happy if they are the one who destroys Batman once and for all. So instead of a team up between the two bat-foes, we instead find them amassing their armies of other villains in order to claim dominance and earn the right to end Batman. This is our first look at Kings version of both Joker and Riddler, and I love what I have seen so far. Riddler is not just about his puzzles and clues, but also has a mean streak that many writers leave out, a point that King drives home in his version of The Riddler.
Meanwhile the Joker is portrayed as someone who loves chaos but with a purpose. The interaction between the two is down right creepy and intense at times. That intensity it seems is going to do nothing but amp up before the storyline reaches its conclusion. If you have not been reading Batman this is a great jumping on point as it is a flashback story so many of the pieces that King has in play do not apply here, however reading this arch will help you to determine if you like Kings writing and want to go back and catch up on the other issues.