Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Rants Galore Redux

- Aaaaannnnnddddd here we are again with more things to nitpick on. Honestly I was impressed with the number of pageviews that I got from  my first rant post-"Torpe Road" series that I felt that I should do another one again. And besides, everyday there are things that are done wrong or are just plain wrong that is quickly being criticized by people.  

- When I think about it, there's no limit to what people can rant these days, especially with the growing popularity of social networks. There are a lot these days, where you can share stories, pictures, cellphone numbers, vital stats, collections and mostly opinions.  

- I remember a comic strip called "DAVE" where the title character said "sometimes I don't know if I'm forming an opinion...or just BORROWING one!". It can be very true. 

- Speaking of social networks, I sometimes frown at blogs that has "followers" only because they're friends ever since highschool, or that they're just returning a favor. While I do have "followers" who I know personally, I appreciate more the people who just read your blog post because your topic was interesting to them. While there are a few people who actually makes a comment on a blog post, we do have pageviews so it can be validated. 

- I've read before on a newspaper of a very interesting topic. There was a Filipino chef who said that Filipino foods will still take about 5 years before it will be globally popular and be palced in menus on big restaurants. While there is news of actress Gwyneth Paltrow and "Datu Puti" (Check it here) it is still not worthy of our fine cuisines. The chef said that he blames it on politics (as always) and a question of WHEN was the last time that you REALLY enjoyed your favorite Filipino food at a restaurant? 

- There are a lot of restaurants today that uses preservatives or rations some ingredients on the cooking process so the experience of eating and enjoying your food is not the same like before indeed. If I have a chance on getting a foreigner interested in Filipino foods, I'd take him/her to a house. Because everyone knows how lutong bahay tastes from those big-time restaurants. And instead of the usual adobong manok, I'd offer them kare-kare, grilled liempo, bicol express, pinakbet and any kind of kakanin as long as it is not the usual suman. I figure these under-appreciated delicacies would give the Filipino food the break that we rightfully deserve. 

- And speaking of foods, while I admire the unpredictable food market trends here (you guys remember the shawarma, fried noodles, siomai, ice scramble, waffle and milk tea fad?) the "buko shake" is a big lie regarding their "healthy alternative" shtick. They say it's healthy because it has buko juice on it. But in reality it's mostly crushed ice, sweetener, milk and 15% buko on it. If you want pure buko juice, just go to your trusty magbubuko, provided you buy an actual buko and not from their pitcher. That one also has loads of sugar on it.

- So, pa-BJ ka naman...

- Dogs. While I am still in great fear of them and becoming famous these past few years because of this guy, 

- I am rather appalled with some dog owners just chaining or locking their dogs for most of the day (paging PETA). These animals deserve at least to be given space and freedom. I live in a subdivision where there are huge warehouses that have pitbulls or german shepherds just caged for all their animal life. The owners would just reason out with having a reliable security. Pffttt. Just go with CCTV instead, jerk. 

- And that's about it... If you feel like commenting something offensive or rebutting, then good for you, I made you voice out your own opinion. Cheers.

- "the king" 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Archie The Married Life Review Part 2 (with photos)


We are here again with another volume of Archie The Married Life. Once more readers will be treated to more trials and hardships as Archie and the gang grow out of their Highschool lifestyle that we are all familiar with and grow up in the harsh and cruel world. Paul Kupperberg writes one heck of a storyline filled with surprises and re-introduces familiar characters into the Archie world while creating new ones as well. Norm Breyfogle is accompanied by numerous pencillers and inkers like Tim Levins, Andrew Pepoy, Fernando Ruiz, Pat & Tim Kennedy, Joe Rubinstein, Dan Davis, Al Milgrom and Bob Smith. The long list means that the art would be inconsistent, which can hinder the reading experience. I've also learned that this is not a 24-part limited series but an ongoing one. So the "soap opera" might be a little longer than one expected.

The story is divided into 2 realities, where either Archie is married to Veronica and one where he is married to Betty. A lot has happened on the 2 realities. Two simultaneous weddings, a dear teacher passed away, a businessman is shown his "grit" around dealing what he wants, a restaurant is saved from being closed, a humble man is declared Mayor of Riverdale, a dear friend is being accused of a crime and more. It can still get confusing as to what happened to who and all, so I highly recommend that you read each "reality" first before jumping into the other "reality". It can save you the head-scratching. 

Once more I will be giving out some story bits and great moments while not giving everything away, with some images from the volume to make the reading worthwhile and may convince new readers. Man, I should be expecting a check from Archie Comics Publications in the future. 

First we go to "Earth-Veronica" (A DC Comics nod) Click to enlarge picture.

The covers to the "Earth-Veronica" are kinda foresighted.

Reggie was convicted for a crime that he didn't commit. 
The way he got bothered if he will be serving time kept on being bought 
up on the succeeding chapters that it can be tiresome.

Veronica's dilemma here is pretty difficult. How 
do you compensate two people that you care so deeply? 

These are one of Ethel's few appearances in the volume.
Never really thought that she would be this desirable...

The return of Pop Tate to Riverdale is a welcome story bit. 

Once again Reggie is bothered with his situation. 

Ms. Jobanpotra is one of the new characters, despite having a funny name, 
(She gave Reggie a job. Job=Jobanpotra *snicker*)  
It seems the writer created her just to deliver a dialogue in the second panel. 

Here we are treated how Reggie can be sincerely sweet. 

Just like in real life. Someone's always
raining on your parade, so to speak.

This is a great moment for me.
Someone standing up to Mr.  Lodge, 
and it is her only daughter. 

Another great moment. The way the 
panels were fixed are beautifully executed.

Long-time Archie fans would 
know who Polly is. 

Jason Blossom looks like his dad now, 
and has the makings of a villain in the storyline,
just like Mr. Lodge. 

This is always the problem 
with couples, really...

Another "Reggie bothered about serving time"
Oh brother. 

Archie, in this state, realizes that
he is just a boy-next-door who 
wants something simple.

The Moose really shined in this "Universe" 
as someone who is very smart despite what he 
thinks of himself. 

This is the first time that Dilton Doiley
is formally introduced in the story and
playing a as-of-now unknown role.

Just like in the last volume, Jughead seemed rather 
cowardly and selfish, so readers would feel 
alienated to him, and the last scene proved it.

This scene is too weird. 
Parallel Universe traveling? 
What's next? An Omnipresent being destroying the whole world? 

One of the surprises done by the writer.  

This is another great moment:
Mr. Lodge admitting his villainous actions.

Leave it to a girl to bring
Jughead's character even further down.

Fernando Ruiz's pencils is rather cartoony. 
But leave it to the writer to add some weight to it.
Parents can still give sound advice even
when they no longer take care of you. 

And now we go "Earth-Betty"

It was difficult finding a good cover, as some 
of them can be uninteresting. Plus, Jughead's canine Hot Dog
makes his first appearance, although he is not shown on the volume.  

Realizing that New York is not for them (among other factors)
Archie and Betty moved back to Riverdale.

One of the new characters introduced in the "Universe" 
where they would pose a challenge to Archie.

Another penciler making the overall look
cartoony. This is one of Jughead's few great moments.

The two succeeding pages are so detailed that I welcomed it...
only to see it appearing only on this issue. Further research tells me it is a work of 
an inker. As to who, I am unable to find that out yet.

This is a great moment. 
The student becomes the teacher.

Sure I would like to check out my old school if 
time would permit me, but I never saw 
someone like Archie's gang this excited.

You think that Mr. Lodge would rest after his "messing with Archie" bit?
Think again.  
Bella Beazly is another new character, where she 
resembles the hot redhead Cheryl Blossom. 

Once more Mr. Lodge being villainous. 

Betty as a teacher would have some challenges
thrown at her, and it would be in the form of 
outcast student Georgia Wolff. 

Reggie shines once more in this "Universe" , 
as a budding investigative reporter who
discovered Mr. Lodge's plan.

Leave it to someone like Archie to 
talk someone off flirting with him. 

.... And to cool off Betty's jealousy.  

This scene saves Jughead's character. 
Even I was impressed with what he said.
Chuck Clayton explains what a comic is to readers.
 But he is just jealous of his spouse's newfound success. 


In this scene we all sympathize with Chuck. 
We all know how he really wants to work in the comic book 
industry. It was a great moment. 

Mr. Weatherbee giving light to a 
tragedy. As to how the school was burned, 
I won't spoil that. 

Now as much as I don't want to spoil too much,
I wanted to show this scene. This is a major cliffhanger
and would make you anxiously wait for Volume 3. 

So there. Archie The Married Life Volume 2 offers all the rollercoaster ride what one would expect from a daytime soap opera. While this volumes suffers from inconsistent art, readers can still enjoy what Archie and the gang is going through. It is a good read especially to those who read Volume 1 and longtime Archie fans. Even though there are a lot of characters introduced in either of the "Universe" as well, they are there mostly for making an established character ( like Reggie, f'instance) build their personality.

I've also learned that Fernando Ruiz and Pat & Tim Kennedy would be drawing the series from now on, so readers who got used to Norm Breyfogle would be disappointed. More known characters would be introduced, like Jughead's baby sister Jellybean, so one would think if the obscure ones like Cricket or Jinx Malloy would be presented as well. And all of the time-traveling, reality-bending gibberish? (What's next? Geraldine Grundy: Rebirth story arc?) They would still be there, even getting worse in the later issues. You've been warned.

But comic reviewer Caroline Albanese once said " a series that works with the dual continuity as tongue-in-cheek writing. The story’s use of melodrama is still a great way to mature the Archie universe without affecting any major Archie continuity, and the issue’s pace allows readers to flip through leisurely. It’s almost a guilty pleasure ... [It's] like potato chips, you know it’s not the best thing for you, but once you take that first crunch of a chip you know it’s only a matter of minutes before you eat the entire bag." 

All images copyright Archie Comics Publications 2012

- "the king"