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Top 10 Horror Movies of the 2000s: Part 2

I was originally just going to do a “Top 10 Horror Films of the Past Decade” list. However, once I started getting into it, I changed my mind. Instead of a list that would have focused on only a couple of strong years, I decided to pick the best horror movie from EACH year. Then I realized that there were way more BAD movies, so I figured I should list the best AND the worst from each year.

Although I stand behind this list 100%, I have to begin with a disclaimer: I haven’t seen every horror film from the past decade. This list will obviously include only those movies which I’ve seen. If you think this list is missing some important films (or if you just disagree with the picks) please let me know!
Other notes: Movies were categorized by the U.S. release date. And if the movie was labeled as “Horror” by IMDB, then it was included for consideration. If the movie was released straight to video, it was considered and reminisced about, but was not allowed to take a top spot.

Let’s go!!

Check out Part 1: 2000-2004

2005 BEST:


This is the fourth of George Romero’s “dead series”. I was afraid it was going to be bad, but I was wrong. If you like zombies and stuff, you should watch it.

2005 WORST:


Once again, Uwe Boll saves Rob Zombie from winning the number one slot. I really wanted to put The Devil’s Rejects here, but Jesus… it might take a genius to make a worse film than Alone in the Dark.

Other movies being considered:
Sasquatch Hunters: a direct to video bag of sewage.
Feast: the film made during Project Greenlight 3. Very run of the mill.
Constantine: Awful. If you ever want to be upset, just pop this in.
The Gingerdead Man: Well… it’s obviously bad!
The Amityville Horror: Man… I don’t really care for the original, but this one is quite a bit worse.
High Tension: Lots of people love this one, but I thought it kind of fell flat.
White Noise: Michael Keaton listening to EVP recordings. Not awful.
The Ring Two: Yes… it’s not worth watching.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose: This film is not bad. Probably one of the better movies involving demonic possession.

2006 BEST:


This year sucked. It took me a long time to come to a decision on this, and although The Descent is not a movie I would describe as “a great horror film”, overall, it’s a better film than any of the others that I could think of from 2006.

2006 WORST:


I was sure that See No Evil was going to win. I mean, what can be worse than a generic horror film made be the WWE and starring Kane?! Well… The Last Winter can! At least See No Evil was entertaining…

More movies from 2006:
Dracula’s Curse: “there was a sweet scene where john harker was driving to romania in his little red convertible, while 80’s hair metal was playing.”
The Hills Have Eyes: The original is fun. This one is not fun.
The Omen: Another remake made for no good reason.
Silent Hill: I enjoyed this. Sure, it’s a stupid video game based film, but it has its moments.
Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead: A troma film. What else do you need to know?
Final Destination 3: This one strays a bit from the story of the other two Final Destination movies, but still maintains the dumb fun of the series.

2007 BEST:


Crazy people getting CRAZY!! I think this movie deserves more respect than it gets. Give it a shot if you like getting crazy!

2007 WORST:


GODDAMMIT ROMERO! WHAT HAPPENED?! You’ve let us all down.

If you don’t believe me, here’s what Matt had to say:

“I think Scott is really wrong in his appraisal of Diary of the Dead by George Herbert Walker Romero. He makes it seem like it’s pretty bad. He claims the actors seem to have been chosen by ‘lottery’. Whatever. Don’t believe him. The truth is that Diary of the Dead is the


Other movies that were considered:
Grindhouse: Both of these movies were a lot of fun. I would recommend them.
I Am Legend: This movie… ugh. fuck you!
Hostel: Part 2: I challenge anyone to make a bigger waste of time.
Hair Extensions: This is a fun Japanese horror film about killer hair extensions.
28 Weeks Later: I liked this one, but it’s nothing like 28 Days Later. Beware!
[rec]: They remade this and called it Quarantine. Don’t watch that one. Watch this one.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Another fun movie. I guess this year wasn’t too bad?!

2008 BEST:

THE ORPHANAGE (aka el orfanato)

Another Spanish orphanage ghost story, and another winner. No big scary monsters or crazy effects, just effective storytelling.

2008 WORST:


Oh bother. Remakes are always bad. Remakes of classics are especially bad. Remakes that just use the name of an old movie to capitalize, and then put a completely different film underneath, well… they have a special place in hell.

The only other film in the running:
The Happening: this film fits perfectly in the slot between good and bad.

2009 BEST:


Sam Raimi’s return to horror. And what a great return! I was nervous, but this is a really well done film.

2009 WORST:


I didn’t hate this film, however it was obviously a lower budget film, and I tend to give these a lot more leeway. Friday the 13th was also in the running, but was more entertaining overall.

The only other movie I saw this year (sorry):
Let the Right One In: I enjoyed this, but I also had some problems with it. It’s good, though!

Sorry about these last couple of years being so low on contenders. If you know of some really good films that I should watch, please let me know!

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Least Viewed Posts

we have a little widget on the side of the page over there that is constantly updating itself with the most popular blog posts of the day. it’s pretty fun to see what kind of articles people are reading, but for me it’s just as fun to see what nobody bothered to read. thanks to the wordpress stats, i can do just that! and did!

here’s a list of the least viewed posts since we started the blog:

matt argos: sports fashion police
christmas carolz
movie party 1
europe trip: chapter 15 (getting a good deal done)
season’s greetings!
movie party: the rocky series
the urgency tour, days 4/5/6
bionic commando: rearmed
vote for beati paoli!
beati paoli w/ everthus the deadbeats: june 25th

sure… some of these, i understand the low view count, but there are also some decent posts in this list!


Best selling SEGA Genesis & Super Nintendo games

These numbers are courtesy of

GENESIS (in millions)
sega genesis guitar
10. Sonic CD (1.5 – for the SEGA CD add-on)
9. Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition (1.7)
8. Sonic 3 (1.8)
7. Sonic & Knuckles (1.8)
6. NBA Jam (2.1)
5. Mortal Kombat II (2.4)
4. Streets of Rage (2.6)
3. Mortal Kombat (2.7)
2. Sonic the Hedgehog (4.3)*
1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (6.0)*

Super NES
super nintendo babe
10. Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble (3.5)
9. Street Fighter II Turbo (4.1)
8. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (4.1)
7. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (4.6)
6. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest (5.1)
5. Street Fighter II (6.3)
4. Super Mario Kart (8.8)
3. Donkey Kong Country (9.3)
2. Super Mario All-Stars (10.6)
1. Super Mario World (20.6)*

* = included as pack-in with some or all units of console


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the “games i’ve beaten” list. for matt, mostly.

okay. matt recently made a post asking for lists of completed video games. i’ve played exactly 1,000,582 games in my lifetime, so the idea of making a complete list of every game i’ve beaten made me feel a bit FAINT. (also… i have a really bad memory for stuff like this) instead, i’ve decided to make a list of completed games IN MY COLLECTION.

let’s go!!!


the adventures of link: i only just beat this game a few months back. i remember hating it as a child. i think mostly because it wasn’t much like the legend of zelda. however, upon revisiting it in my old age, i’ve decided that this game is really really good, and i wish that nintendo would make another zelda game in this same style. it won’t happen, but i would play it if it did.

bionic commando: one of my all time favorite games. it’s just great. they’re remaking this for xbox 360. check it out/watch the trailer.

castlevania II: simon’s quest: i didn’t remember beating this one, but after seeing ryan beat last month, i feel like i actually had beat it back in the day.

contra: such a fun game. i’ve beat it quite a few times.

deja vu: i’ve beat this one a few times as well. i used to love these old adventure games.

jackal: the classic drive-around-in-a-jeep-and-shoot-things game. very few can compete.

the legend of zelda: beat this one FOREVER ago. either late 80s or early 90s. i want to pick it up again sometime soon

maniac mansion: oh boy! i think i’ve beaten this game every way possible.

metroid: i beat this game back when i was really devoted. also, i didn’t have the internet. i drew my own maps throughout the game. i may still have them laying around somewhere.

nintendo world cup: does this count? do sports games count?

shadowgate: i’ve beaten this one a few times too, but always with many years in between each conquest. the latest was just this year, and i had forgotten almost everything about it. that’s the beauty of a poor memory, i guess… it makes old things new again!

spy vs spy: this is probably more fun as a two player game, but when you’re young and only have a handful of games, you take what you can get.

super c: like contra, this game is great for picking up whenever, and it really doesn’t take much to beat it.

super mario bros. 2: this was one of the favorites as a child. and then mario 3 came out…

super mario bros. 3: probably THE BEST game ever made for the nes. i’m sure there are people who will debate this, but for me, growing up when i did, super mario bros. 3 was so fucking great that all other games pale in comparison. the guide that i got through nintendo power was read to death. i remember taking it everywhere. at the end, it was being held together with a million pieces of tape.

tmnt 2: the arcade game: this is another game that is way more fun with 2 players. playing it now bores me. jump kick, jump kick, jump kick, etc., but back when it came out, this game was the bee’s knees.

tmnt 3: the manhatten project: basically a continuation of tnmt2, but with some special moves. blah blah blah.

uninvited: another kemco/seika adventure ported from the macventure collection. not as good as deja vu or shadowgate, but still quite fun.


some nes games i’m pretty sure i’ve beaten, or at least got very close to beating:

castlevania III: dracula’s curse: i like this game.

double dragon: i think i may have only beaten it on the sega master system, but… maybe…

mega man 2: i’m pretty sure i beat this one, as well as a couple others, but they all run together in my head.

mike tyson’s punch-out: i know i’ve GOTTEN to old iron mike, but i honestly can’t tell you if i’ve beaten him myself.

ninja gaiden: dunno. just dunno.

ninja gaiden II: i’m pretty sure i beat this…

wwf wrestlemania: i don’t even remember if there is a definitive end to this game, but if there is, i can gaurantee i’ve made it.



secret of evermore: i remember really enjoying this game, but at the same i time, i remember parts of it being rather time consuming and tedius. i probably will never try to beat it again, but if you have time and patience, please give it a try.

final fantasy II: this was one of those “summer vacaction games”. we didn’t have strict bedtimes during summer breaks, and by this time i had an old tv in my room, so i would stay up all night playing rpgs while a cool summer breeze blew in through the open windows. because of when i played it, i don’t remember this game having any music.

actraiser: i always liked the mixing of genres in this game. it’s a pretty quick game, so give it a shot.

super castlevania IV: this was one of the first games we had for the snes. that being said, you can imagine that i’ve beaten it quite a few times.

contra III: the alien wars: contra games are good!!!

disney’s goof troop: a very short puzzle/action game. i got this a couple years ago because it was on sale for zero bucks or something. it’s quick and easy, but it is fun. i think allison would like it at least.

donkey kong country: when it came out, this was THE GAME to have. so we got it. and i beat every aspect of it. but i never really got into the sequels. maybe i burnt myself out.

judge dredd: i liked the comics, and i found it on sale. not the best game, but it’s fun. probably wouldn’t play it too much these days.

killer instinct: another “GAME YOU NEED TO GET” when it came out. and we got it. i think i’ve played this game more than any other fighting game ever. not cuz it’s the best or anything, but cuz it was the only fighting game we had at the time.

lester the unlikely: this was a game that i’m guessing didn’t sell very well. i got it at KAY-BEE toys on sale. it’s one of those action/adventure games like prince of persia or flashback or whatever. the one thing i really liked about it was that as you progress through the game, your character turns from a weak, dorky guy into a rather fit, capable guy. the end.

ranma 1/2: hard battle: i really liked anime back in middle school/early high school. especially ranma 1/2. that’s probably the only reason i played this game so much…

shadowrun: this was another “summer vacation game”, but this one was a different year, and the tv was in the basement. i spent a lot of hot summer afternoons playing this while listening to “maximum perversion” by the mephiskapheles and hellcat records’s “give ’em the boot vol. 1”.

super bomberman: great game. it’s bomberman. so… it’s like most of the other bomberman games

super bomberman 2: another great game. etc.

super mario world: OH LORD!!! i talked about a couple other games being “THE GAME TO HAVE”, but none of them compared to this one. i’ve beaten this game quite a few times, and it’s a game that i wouldn’t mind beating again. it’s just great.

super mario all stars: meaning, the lost levels. i like it better than super mario bros., i think.

super metroid: oh wow! i love this game so much. seriously. everyone needs to play it. it’s beautiful.

street fighter II: i don’t think i necessarily beat THIS version of street fighter II. i think it was turbo or super, but regardless, i’ve beaten it with multiple fighters, etc.

tmnt IV: turtles in time: more arcade style fighting. this is a VERY short game, and one i probably won’t care about playing again, unless i’ve got an excited buddy to play with.

zombies ate my neighbors: i really like this game. but it’s another game that is more fun with 2 players. give it a shot.

the legend of zelda: a link to the past: quite possibly my all time favorite snes game. i don’t think there’s anything about this game that i DON’T like. it’s just so very good. ryan meier doesn’t know shit.


some snes games i’m pretty sure i’ve beaten, or at least got very close to beating:

flashback: the quest for identity: i know i got pretty far, but i’m not sure i beat it. this was all during one weekend when we rented it. i haven’t played it since then.

ken griffey jr. presents major league baseball: dunno if you can “beat” this game, but i remember playing it a lot. doing the seasons and stuff. blah blah.

the legend of the mystical ninja: i really doubt that i BEAT this, but i know that we got pretty far, and i remember really enjoying it. give it a shot.

nba jam: can you beat nba jam?

super adventure island: pretty sure i beat this. it’s not a hard or long game.

starfox: i don’t think i beat this every possible way. i know i beat it at LEAST one way.

wwf royal rumble: not sure you can “beat” this game either…



super mario 64: my all time favorite n64 game. fuck you if you don’t like this game.

shadowgate 64: yeah… not sure why i beat this. it’s really not worth the trouble.


some n64 games i’m pretty sure i’ve beaten, or at least got very close to beating:

starfox 64: who knows?

star wars: shadows of the empire: i remember playing this a lot at friends’ houses and renting it, but i can’t remember actually BEATING it.

mischeif makers: pretty sure i beat it. coulda just got distracted near the end, though.



contra hard corps: i have only beaten this one way, and that isn’t the “complete every level” way. so i don’t know if this counts?


some genesis games i’m pretty sure i’ve beaten, or at least got very close to beating:

mega bomberman: i think so! it has animals you can ride!

revenge of shinobi: pretty sure. the game’s tight cuz you fight spiderman, batman, and a cross between the hulk and the terminator



bushido blade: if this game has an ending, i can gaurantee i got to it.

fear effect: i remember enjoying this game. it’s an action/adventure sorta like a resident evil or something. probably won’t bother playing it again anytime soon. and if i do, i doubt i’ll bother trying to beat it again. HOWEVER… you could play it if you want to.

rival schools: united by fate: i beat this quite a few times with different characters. does that count?

super puzzle fighter 2 turbo: this is one of my favorite playstation games. it’s also my favorite puzzle game.


some playstation games i’m pretty sure i’ve beaten, or at least got very close to beating:

brave fencer musashi: i can’t remember the ending of this game, so that makes me think i didn’t beat it, but i know i spent a lot of time on it.

castlevania: symphony of the night: i think i beat it, but not COMPLETELY beat it. like… no inverted castle…

echo night: i don’t remember an ending.

front mission 3: i don’t remember an ending for this either. makes me think i probably didn’t end up finishing it.



metal slug 4/5: this is one of those games where you just have to hit continue a lot. so… it’s not a really great accomplishment or anything, but i like metal slug games.

katamari damacy: natalie and i just beat this a couple weeks ago. very fun game. very addictive. also very unique. A+



Top 5 BBC News Articles 7/8/08

1.  Britain and Russia: All is still not well:  In 2006, Russian Alexander Litvinenko, a “fierce critic of former Russian President Vladimir Putin,” was poisoned by an assumed state-sanctioned hitman while living in a self-imposed exile in the UK.  This article mostly deals with whether the UK will formally accuse Russia of this and similar actions.  I understand these are very strong accusations for a country to make, but it appears many prominent British figures believe it to be the truth, so I think that waiting on the accusation only slows progression and gives the impression that this is okay or, at least, that people can get away with such actions. Further reading: Obituary: Alexander Litvinenko.

2.  Male Biological Clock Ticks Too:  The BBC is obsessed with reporting on fertility lately.  I don’t have a particular interest in it, but maybe there’s a reason why fertility is so popular.  Further reading: Accupuncture ‘no help for IVF,’  Coffee ‘worsens poor fertility’, Cancer patients’ fertility hope

3. Six Burned Bodies in Mexico:  Three Mexican drug lords are fighting for prime smuggling routes to the US.  This leads to increased fighting and is an example as to why I think marijuana should be legalized.

4.  G8 to move against Mugabe allies:  I didn’t know the G8 (+5) existed until I started reading the news regularly this year.  The idea of 8 powerful nations forming a club that takes turn hosting/setting the agenda is pretty interesting.  This articles talks about how they are planning to aide Zimbabwe.  Further reading: G8 urged to do more for climate, G8 urged to act over oil prices

5.  More time to quiz murder suspect:  It’s always interesting to see what murder cases become mainstream media, though, I’m not sure if papers outside of the UK and France are reporting on this case regularly.  The case:  two students were stabbed a total of 240 times and then set on fire in one of the students’ apartment.  There have been no arrests, but this article states a burn victim that was recently treated is a suspect.  Police have also not realeased why these two were targeted for such brutalities.  I suspect a hate crime combined with insanity, clinically or drug-induced, or just insanity.


-AM- LucasArts adventure games

In the 1980s, the adventure genre was dominated by Sierra On-Line. In 1986 they earned a competitor: LucasArts. Forget what you know about the current company that is LucasArts – there was a time when they were actually a very innovative and respected developer. Unlike Sierra, which cranked out adventure games by the dozens on a series/franchise basis, LucasArts averaged about one a year. maintains a “Top 20 Adventure Games” list and 8 of them are by LucasArts.  That’s pretty dominant considering they only made 15 of them.  I’m just getting into these games myself so I’m not an expert at all but here they are!

Part 1: The Labyrinth Era (1986)
LucasArts, then known as Lucasfilm Games, entered the adventure gaming market with an adaptation of the Jim Henson film, Labyrinth. In a Wizard of Oz move, the game begins strictly as a text-based game but when the main character enters the labyrinth it becomes a graphical adventure.

Part 2: The SCUMM Era (1987-1997)
This era makes up most of LucasArts’ adventuring career. SCUMM was the name of a very flexible game engine that allowed for other engines: audio, graphical, text, etc. to be inserted. LucasArts would use this engine for a decade. This era comprised a few short series and several stand-alone games.  It began with Maniac Mansion and was soon followed by Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders.  These games established the LucasArts style of using quirky characters and cheesy (bad?) humor.  Mansion was followed years later by Maniac Mansion: Day of the TentacleSam and Max Hit the Road, based on the comic of the same name by LucasArts artist Steve Purcell, continued in this vein in the early 90s.

LucasArts made more serious games, as well, starting with Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, a very well-received game that closely follows the plot of the movie.  A few years later it was followed by Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis.  An original game, Loom, used an apocalyptic, fantasy setting and used music for all of its commands.  In the mid-90s, The Dig feature a pan-planetary sci-fi adventure.  Full Throttle featured MOTORCYCLEZ.

In 1990, the company released their biggest hit and the beginning of their only long-running adventure series with The Secret of Monkey Island, followed only a year later by Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge.  Several years later, the SCUMM engine was retired with the 3rd game, The Curse of Monkey Island.

Part 3: The GrimE Era (1998-2000)
In 1998, LucasArts decided to modernize and created a brand new, 3D engine, debuting with Grim Fandango, which has gone on to become perhaps the most critically acclaimed adventure game from LucasArts.  It featured the “humor” they were best known for and dealth with themes of the AFTERLIFE.  The imagery is heavily inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead.  The entire adventuring journey came to an end with the release of Escape From Monkey Island.  After that LucasArts began a new Sam and Max game but eventually cancelled it and fired all their employees and took a bath in Star Wars money.

Part 4: Legacy
Several LucasArts adventure developers eventually started a new company, Telltale Games. They have had surprising success, utilizing online distribution. Unfortunately, all of their games have used licenses, a couple of which are HORRIBLE licenses. For example, they have made two CSI games and have an upcoming Strongbad game in the works.  Thankfully, they’ve also worked with a genuinely cool license: Jeff Smith’s Bone.  They made games based on the first two books but have decided their current focus is on “episodic” content, which Bone is apparently not compatible with.  In other words, they’re sellouts.  Yes, I hope someone searches in Google for “Telltale are sellouts” or “Telltale Games are sellouts” so they can see this and cry over the horrid truth.  Telltale is best known for their current revival of the Sam and Max series, which is released in “episodes”.  Jeez.

LucasArts stalwart Tim Schaeffer went on to create the lauded and beloved platformer Psychonauts and he has a very cool-looking new game in the works featuring bikers and roadies, much like the LucasArts game Full Throttle.


-AO- Mirage Classics Part I: TMNT Comics by Eastman & Laird 1 of 2

So, these are the CLASSIC issues of TMNT that were created primarily by Eastman and/or Laird. You may or may not be surprised by how few isues they actually did, considering how famous they are for it.  The criteria for this list is, “Can I recommend this to other people?”

1984 TMNT #1 story and art by Kevin Eastman & Peter Laird
First issue evarrrrrr, so naturally it introduces the TMNT and Splinter, who tells them to go kill this guy Shredder. They fight a bunch of Foot Clan ninja and then fight Shredder on a rooftop. This whole sequence was adapted for the end of the first TMNT movie, but in the comic the Turtles are able to kill shredder without any help from Splinter.

1984 TMNT #2 story and art by Eastman & Laird
Introduces April O’Neil, Baxter Stockman, and the Mousers (never seen again in the comics).  In the comics, April is a computer programmer, not a reporter.  When the Turtles return home to tell Splinter about their adventure with the mousers, they find that he’s been kidnapped omg! The whole “Splinter is missing” thing also made it into the first movie.

1985 TMNT #3 story and art by Eastman and Laird
Introduces jack shit. The Turtles drive around with April looking for splinter until they’re all mistaken for some armed robbers and drive around like wussies instead of killin’ cops!

1985 Raphael #1 story and art by Eastman and Laird
Raph gets antsy and leaves the sewer to search for Splinter. If you’ve seen the first movie, you’ll be familiar with the following sequence: Raph interferes with a dangerous, hockey mask-wearing vigilante named Casey Jones, resulting in a vicious street fight.

1985/1986 TMNT #4, 5, 6, 7 and Fugitoid #1 story and art by Eastman and Laird
Apparently, way back in 1986, some people felt the series jumped the shark at this point.  These issues combine to tell a rather epic story that begins with a run-in with remnants of the Foot Clan, which results in a chance spotting of the building owned by TCRI, the same company whose logo appears on the cannister that mutated the Toitles.  They infiltrate the building and find that it’s filled with Utroms, the alien race that inspired the villain Krang on the kids TV show.  There’s a melee and the Turtles are teleported far, far away.  They meet up with a fugitive robot, the Fugitoid, who possesses valuable information that the Triceraton aliens want.  They’re captured and there’s a really sweet gladiatorial sequence during which the Turtles kill some badasses.  Then they fight their way out, get back to earth, learn that the Utroms are friendly and have Splinter (they rescued him from the Mousers) and all ends well.  Yay.

1985 Michaelangelo #1 story and art by Eastman and Laird
Yay, a Christmas issue!  As an old man, these are the kinds of stories that I really like, as they show the Turtles doing fairly normal things and not just fighting werewolves or aliens or whatever.  Basically, some thieves steal a truck full of the latest must-have Christmas toy.  Michaelangelo chases them down and then delivers the toys to an orphanage.

1986 Donatello #1 story and art by Eastman and Laird
The all-out homage to Jack Kirby.  Donatello discovers that April’s new tenant (she rents out a room, apparently), a dude named Kirby, just HAPPENS to have a magical crystal that he attaches to his pencil that makes his drawings come to life. 

1986 TMNT #8 story and art by Eastman, Laird and Dave Sim
The TMNT team up for the first time, this time with Dave Sim’s Cerebus.  They meet a time lord chick named Renet, go back in time, meet Cerebus, fight a goat guy named Savanti Romero and then end up in April’s shower.  Eventually, Dave Sim informed Mirage that the issue had been reprinted too many times and denied them permission to ever reprint it.  Mirage also offered to produce a Cerebus action figure as part of the TMNT toy line but he said nope!

related posts:

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Your guide to: Indo-European Language Family – Romance Languages

There is a common misunderstanding regarding romance languages. Most English speakers think the name refers to something regarding love but it actually goes back to the older, truer definition of romantic, which is “anything having to do with the Romans”. So the romancs languages are so named because of their strong connections to Latin, which is why the romantic cultures of France, Spain, Italy and Portugal are referred to as Latin. While there are many romance languages that are basically on life support, there are 7 that are still spoken by at least several million people. Here they are, in order of usage . . .

Spoken by about 400 million people as a native language and perhaps another 100 million as a secondary language, primarily in Spain and throughout the Americas. There are many, many different dialects and accents throughout these regions. It originated in Spain but, interestingly, only about 75% of Spain’s population speaks Spanish as its first language.

The total number of French speakers is actually about the same as Spanish but “only” 160 million speak it as a first language. A very impressive 340 million speak it as a secondary language, meaning it’s definitely a practical language for world travelling, as it’s very widespread, even if not highly condensed in many regions. About 72 million of the native speakers live in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada. Most of the remaining live in Africa.

Portuguese has approximately 210 million native speakers, significantly more than French, but very few secondary speakers, around 20 million. Most Portuguese-speakers live in Brazil, Portugal and Angola. There are extreme variations in regional dialectics.

A pretty famous language considering only about 63 million people speak it, primarily in Italy and Switzerland. Considering that Latin was born in the region that we now know as Italy, it makes sense that the Italian vocabulary is closest to Latin out of the 4 big romance languages.

Romanian is unique among the Romance languages in that it contains many Slavic influences, particularly in pronunciation and vocabulary. In spite of that, it is the modern romance language that is structurally MOST similar to Latin. Spoken by about 28 million people, mostly in Romania and Moldova.

The youngest language on the list, it descended from French but has a unique vocabulary and spelling system. There are around 11 million native speakers, mostly in Haiti.

Don’t be sad if you’ve never heard of the rest of the languages on this list. Catalan is spoken by 9 million people in the Spanish autonomous region of Catalunya, plus surrounding areas. This region is home to the city of Barcelona.

As the name indicates, Galician contains many Gaelic elements but closely resembles Portuguese. There is debate as to whether it’s truly an independent language or a dialect of Portuguese. It’s spoken by about 4 million people in Northern Spain (but can be understood to a high degree by residents of Northern Portugal).

Spoken by about 3 million people in Sardinia (Italy) and surrounding areas. Its primary distinction is that it is closer to Latin phonetically than the other modern Romance languages.


-AM- Video game genres: Adventure vs Action-Adventure vs Action

I’m gonna write an article on the adventure game genre and this article serves as an introduction and prologue for all you gentle folks.

This genre was pretty big in the 1980s but is now pretty minor, although making a slight comeback. This genre is really old and began in the late 70s. For the first 10 years, all adventure games were text-only, which gives you an idea of how non-action-oriented they are. These games focus on conversation, exploring and logic. After graphics were introduced to the genre beautiful but somewhat static images became a staple.

Notable examples:
King’s Quest by Sierra On-Line
Monkey Island by LucasArts
Myst by Cyan

This is a really generic genre and a huge one. You could argue that other major genres like platformers, scrolling shooters, first-person shooters, etc. are all part of this genre. Who can say, really? Most of them feature lots of ACTION and not a great deal of thinking.

Notable examples:
Contra by Konami
Super Mario by Nintendo
pre-1997 Castlevania by Konami

You may not be surprised to learn that this genre fuses action and adventure elements into ONE! The adventure genre is on life support but this one is doing very well. These games have reflex-testing action combined with puzzles, item management, exploration, etc.

Notable examples:
The Legend of Zelda by Nintendo
Metroid by Nintendo
Prince of Persia by Broderbund
Resident Evil by Capcom