THE FLASH – SEASON 3 EP. 8 – “INVASION!”

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On this week’s episode of The Flash, it’s a superhero team-up for the ages! Savitar and Alchemy take a backseat for the CW’s giant all-star crossover. Barry and the S.T.A.R. Labs crew are joined by the Arrow team, the Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl! What threat could bring all these heroes together?

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Who Killed Kurt Cobain? Nicolas Otero owes us all apologies

This is the English translation of an originally French fictional retelling of Kurt Cobain’s real life story as told by his imaginary friend. Hell of a lede, that one.

 

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In February 1993, Kurt Cobain recorded a song called I Hate Myself And I Want To Die. It was meant to be a track on Nirvana’s third album, In Utero. Having finished Nicolas Otero’s “Who Killed Kurt Cobain?” it is hard not to empathize with this feeling. Reading this was a mistake.

The book follows Kurt Cobain’s imaginary friend, Boddah, through the major events of the doomed rock star’s life. Boddah is both Kurt’s conscience and enemy, spy and confidant. He is also an irredeemable fault with this story. Any fiction running a split personality thread is going to have to, by necessity, flip between first and third person in the narration. Some writers can pull this off so smoothly the reader doesn’t even notice they are switching viewpoints. Nic Otero is not one of these writers. This becomes especially problematic when the imaginary character inside Kurt’s head, Boddah, begins to have interactions outside of Kurt’s personal experience. The result is a narrative best described as a mess … and even better described as trying to follow two competing television signals on an analog antenna belonging to the last era of Cobain’s relevance.

The plot leads us through the Cobain legend that has become common knowledge, despite its lack of truth. Kurt was a tragic hero, a junkie with a heart, a genius tortured by his own fame. And Boddah watches all of this with the kind of concern you would expect from a worshipper at Cobain’s altar. We are treated to what amounts to a superhero story in which heroin and fame play the villain, with some shots taken at the media for spice. All of this, the entire book, is based on the fact that Cobain addressed his suicide note “To Boddah.” With a jumping off point like that, it really is no wonder this entire graphic novel makes no sense.

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This is not actually the worst example of Otero’s over the top portrayal of Kurt as a Christ figure. It is just the one that annoys me the most.

Alright, here’s the thing. I don’t know if the blame should go on Otero or the translator, Ivanka Hahnenberger, but the writing here deserves the kind of vicious public punishment we reserve for traitors, spies and Rebecca Black. He tries to get away with calling Kurt “surrealistically autistic” on page 18 and what follows are 130 pages of foolishness. We learn abut Kurt’s crossdressing – “the moment he posed in front of the mirror [in drag] he became his own groupie, one he would voluntarily fuck on the slippery slope of his own childhood” – and his drug use – “A manic depressive on smack floating in a warm deprivation tank, singing Leonard Cohen, masturbating watching golfers fish while dreaming of a stamp collection.” Otero describes Courtney with, “She was a riot grrl. An underground feminist hardcore punk challenging the power of the phallocratic system.” These are all the jabberings of a terribly lost writer trying to fill space.

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The beautiful cover and binding betray the hot mess lying hidden within.

Aesthetically, the book is quite pleasing. It comes hardbound with thick covers that sit sturdy on a shelf. The interior art, also provided by Otero, is quite pretty and done in varying shades of gray, save some colored spots to enhance certain scenes. The inks are done in a sloppy style that beautifully serves the tone of the story, and the lettering is perfect. Visually, this book is quite stunning as a graphic novel. Idea and Design Works put together a great product. I’m just not sure in this case they ever read it before sending it out to shops.

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There is no reason for this picture except that I wanted the Casual Geekery’s readers to be as surprised by seeing Kurt’s Cobenis as I was. We’re all in this together now.

Final Wisdom: The cover photo for this review features a picture of the band with the narration “Things were changing so he sought refuge in the past to reassure himself.” I cannot help but wonder if that is reflective of Nicolas Otero, a man born in 1981 and in the prime demographic to have nostalgic feelings for easily the most popular band of his early teenage years. This was clearly a passion project, as he both wrote and drew the entire book and has obviously spent a good deal of time imagining what went on in Kurt Cobain’s head. I just don’t feel any of his conclusions are interesting, valid, or even logical. Worse, his way of imparting this passion is through the most senseless prose I have ever read. The phrase “surrealistically autistic” is the stuff of nightmare and that is only one of dozens of examples. Avoid this book. Avoid it like we all should have avoided worshiping this nonsensical rock singer while so many of his cohorts outshined him. Avoid it like heroin.

This Week’s Comics – Nov. 30

We end November this year as a “fifth week” – months with five Wednesdays usually means the last one lacks some new content. Publishers used to counteract this with “Fifth Week Events” to shore up sales for this quarterly problem. Now, we’re seeing annuals released alongside some other specials.

Let’s take a look at this week’s offerings:

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It’s Just A Fantasy – My Favorite Final Fantasy Games

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On Tuesday, Square-Enix releases Final Fantasy XV, a game that’s been in development for about 10 years, when it was originally conceived as an off-shoot story for Final Fantasy XIII. The franchise has been a fan favorite since the first release in 1987. I’ve played a good chunk of the Final Fantasy games over the years (definitely not all of them, though), so let’s take a look at some of my favorites.

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FOR THE RECORD – Jherek Bischoff & Amanda Palmer: STRUNG OUT IN HEAVEN

For me, Black Friday is a day to stay indoors and relax. You won’t find me at a store, jumping over people to get a great sale. I only have one exception to this rule: Record Store Day. While the vinyl lovers’ holiday usually comes around in April, the Black Friday edition offers some great exclusives. One such release? Jherek Bischoff and Amanda Palmer’s tribute to two legends we lost this year: David Bowie and Prince.

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A Wii U-Logy: Games You Should Play on the Dying Nintendo Console

wii-uAs Wii U production ends and gamers eagerly await the release of its successor, the Switch, it can be easy to write off the Wii U as a failure to be forgotten about. While the Wii U was less powerful than its competitors, had fewer games and sold poorly, it still had some excellent games going for it. Rumors so far, have indicated that the Switch will not have backwards compatibility and won’t be able to play Wii U games. So, I put together a list of what I think are the best games that you should play on the Wii U while you can still get your hands on one. Continue reading “A Wii U-Logy: Games You Should Play on the Dying Nintendo Console”

A Day With the Gilmore Girls

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The long wait for the final chapter of Gilmore Girls finally dropped Friday morning, meaning that millions of fans had something to be thankful for the day after Thanksgiving. Or they were really tired on the East Coast, staying up til 3 am to see that Netflix had uploaded the 4-episode season…

It also meant that those fans spent most (or all) of Friday in Stars Hollow, the quirky little town in Connecticut that Lorelai and Rory Gilmore called home.

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THE FLASH – SEASON 3 EP. 7 – “KILLER FROST”

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When we last left our team on The Flash, Caitlin’s friends found out about her frost powers, Wally wound up cocooned by Alchemy’s magic and the “god of speed” Savitar had Barry on the ropes. Could this situation get any worse? Yes. Yes, it can.

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