Tag Archives: culture

Dog Feelings

Dogs, cats and babies are magical and amazing because they are alive and they feel. If they feel then they must also yearn. Why must that be? Because the word yearn exists and we might as well get some use out of it. So you yearn… I yearn, we all yearn for ice cream… And to do new and exciting things with our life.

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I am great with children because it’s fun to play like a kid. People tell me I would be a great dad, and I tell them it would kill me. On so many levels… Then I list them all. After 30 or 62 great reasons why I(just me doesn’t have to apply to everyone) shouldn’t have a kid of my own. They say, “but it would be different if it was yours”.
Yes! I know! I saw the episode of Friends when Ross’s monkey held his finger and then that other time when it was a baby… Oh and every other movie and real life occurrence that make childbirth wicked heart-warming.

Meanwhile in metaphors-land I also think nobody should have their own iron giant from space. It might go crazy and/or accidentally destroy everything. But if it was mine… Well! I would think very differently. Like Hogarth. Yes, he was doing a great job of turning his killing machine into a lovable buddy. I’m still not sure that’s an experience every kid needs to have. Probably not.
All babies are potential killing machines. I for one, don’t want to inadvertently be their secret origin catalyst that lead them to a life of murder. Or their victim. Eventually they do learn to talk and hate you, then never visit. Perfect. However, I can’t wait years and years for a kid to resent me and leave me alone. Like I said, I’m super fun with kids. But they’re not as great as me. I have to do all the work and they absorb all my energy. It’s fun… But I can’t do it all day and don’t yearn to do so.

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Dogs, Cats and Babies get bored. You can see it in their faces and if they are my responsibility… Then my job is to make those bored faces, happy.
I never had a baby and mostly lived with cats my whole lie. Yes I said “lived with” because you don’t own cats. They can leave any time they want. A cat is like a clever Jerry in that episode of Rick and Morty where they left Jerry at a daycare for Jerry’s. He could leave whenever he wanted, but it was up to him to decide which was better. Inside daycare service or outside freedom and the unknown.
Dogs, however, have more feelings than babies and cats combined. No I didn’t want a dog, and yes I knew I’d feel different if/when it was my own. Still, try to remember that everything alive is a potential killing machine that can get bored… Boredom leads to eating faces.

Dogs have little faces that are polluted with emotion. I hate that about my dog. He can look at me and have a very bored expression. He can sigh and rest his bored face on my leg like he learned it from a YouTube tutorial. That look destroys me. So I entertain him.
We just walk or find some trails where he can run free or play hide and seek or whatever. Who cares? I do! that’s who! Dammmit! Shiiiiit! When you try to learn how to make another living thing happy and it’s happiness matters to you. Well you’ve got a friend right there… Let’s go with buddy… Because that’s what I usually call my dog. Ma’ Buddy.
He lives in two separate places now. Either my place or Tara’s. Which is great because who wants to have a dog all the time? Nobody. My best friend just told me how much better life is just by sending her kids to day-care for just two days a week. Probably for just a few hours. It’s amazing how much of yourself can be absorbed by something with a face and it feels rude to ignore it for your own stupid reasons.

When I have the dog at my place, he will not stay in a room if I’m not in it. Clearly he’s built up a fear of me not coming home, as I don’t come “home” all week long. He even started hanging out in the barroom while I shower, which he never did before I moved. It can feel annoying being stared at by a bored little horse. It’s also great to talk to a bored little horse. His excitement for walks gets me excited for walks and his expressions are really fun. Yes, It’s different because he’s mine.

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This is a long way of saying I miss my stupid dog. It’s great to get a break and go for a walk without worrying about losing him under a truck. It’s still strange to go walking without him. Right now I’m at a place on the edge of a cliff that is also too close to the road. There’s no way I would be able to sit and type if he was here right now. I’m extremely grateful to know he gets attention no matter which home he is in, because I can’t stand feeling responsible for hurt feelings. I also can’t text him something funny to make sure he’s not stuck in a funk. I just have to hope he’s not.

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This… is actually an even longer way of saying there’s an apartment down the road where a woman sits out front. Her lawn strewn with kid’s toys and bikes. There seemed to be the remnants of three or for kids of varying ages. She held her forehead in her hand and her phone in the other. Just scrolling and not really reading or caring. Perhaps wishing she was enjoying the drunken fun that led to all these kids. A dog on a very short rope paced back and forth. Absorbing her disdain for life and all who inhabit her overwhelming hell hole. The dog had a small patch of lawn warn down to dirt… where it spent it’s life. As the lady had her mental state worn down in by her stupid life. I wanted to say, “Excuse me but, I’m sure you and your significant other are terrible parents… So what. Fuck your kids, they’re probably already Murderers and I hate them. But that’s your buddy there tied to a house. You invited him over… For his whole entire life. He just wants to go for a walk. Take him for a fucking walk please. You look like you need to walk away from this mess for 10 minutes yourself… and nobody knows you like your buddy. Not your stupid kids or your idiot husband. Only three beings know you well enough to know what you need: You, Your Buddy, and the Shadow… Because the shadow knows!!! Dammit! You’re acting like a piece of SHIT!” But I didn’t yell anything. I’m not super crazy.

I want to feel bad for this woman, I really do. But if you tie your buddy to a house, and leave them there… You’re a piece of shit. If I tied my best friend Amanda to a house, I would expect her to stab my face off while she called me a “real piece of shit”.
You don’t have to be the Shadow to look into the eye of an animal or through the eyes of Sarah McLachlan to see that there are so000 many dog feelings in there. Sure, it will feel different when it’s yours, it’s super true. So be careful not to ask for more giant robots than you can Handle. Just to keep wanting to scream some very basic ideas at a sad lady on her own front lawn.
Or
Just Walk your Effing Dog and don’t be a fuck about it. Please and/or thank you.

Last week I took Burke for a Walk, then we made a talk show. Then we played in a field.
Here’s the talkshow…

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Also Listen to the Podcast on iTunes. Plus we have books, art and more on our site.
www.NoSuchThingAsGrownups.Com

Want to Be my Facebook Friend?

Facebook is a nonstop Starwars-opening-text list of thoughts, opinions, lies, information and an update on when people are going to do their dishes(They’re not).

It can get crazy boring, crazy fast… but it can also just get crazy.My favorite Batman quote from Micheal Keaton is, “You wanna’ get nuts? …Let’s get nuts!” Surprisingly he’s not in costume and he’s not asking Alfred to go pick of crate of pistachios. The Joker is acting nuts and the only way for a poor Bruce to instill fear is to be crazier than the crazy guy. Often in Life, prison rules apply.

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(It says “Let’s get nuts” on the back of this trading card… I promise)

Sometimes I combine prison rules and clever word play to retaliate against posts that are not at all directed at me. I call it #FacebookJustice. It’s meaningless and it makes me look like a monster… but… I feel like I’m a good monster. Like Cookie Monster or Ludo.

Last night a friend posted an article and he had a funny comment/opinion on how ridiculous people can really be. I didn’t think he… got nuts enough. So I said, “Alfred! Get me the big bag of Pistachios!”

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There was more… but this it the part where I wish this other guy was my friend, just so I could have the satisfaction of being unfriended by him.

It’s not always intentionally subversive. Sometimes I get loud and crazy just to make people laugh with no intention of calling people a stupid racist. If somebody simply mentions Jurassic Park or a superhero or… doesn’t actually matter the topic. I’m always fighting myself not to get Facebook-Nuts.

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This is what happens when you’re my Facebook friend… Is this a warning or a promise? Well that is up to you. Now go to sleep.

Then Wake up And Watch My Show Every Friday! And Friend/Follow me/us for your chance to have me leave a big bucket of pistachio-nuts on your Facebook Doorstep.

www.Facebook.com/MorningEveryBody

Also Listen and Subscribe to our weekly audio Show No Such Thing As Grown ups!

This week was Episode 133: Tragically Harry Potter. It’s nuts x100.

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“So? You want be my Facebook friend? It’s more fun than scary. C’mon… Let’s get nuts. I’ll drive.

-Curtis

NO Such Thing as Blog Rants: Art Contests, more like shart contests by Tara Audibert

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I have always been enraged by art contests. I had a teacher named Carla Collette in animation school, who started a discussion about art contests, she gave us this speech about how illogical they were for any other profession, it makes no sense and it is quite demeaning.

Now if you want to enter a contest for fun, hey by all means, I have entered karaoke contests, potato sack races, and even a fork licking contest, for FUN! I would never stop fun, or say get rid of contests, I like winning!

BUT when companies EXPLOIT contests to be able to pick and choose from a pile of work done, this is utter and complete bullshit. I have seen it for logos, artwork, pitching animated shows!!!! How much free work are you able to squeeze out of artists who most likely would like to get paid for their work. This holds true for student work too. Students do not need YOUR contest exposure unless you are PIXAR. Oh you are not PIXAR, then bugger off, I’m going to pitch my idea to PIXAR, or ANY NUMBER OF STUDIOS AND NETWORKS accepting pitches right now. We live in a world where people are screaming for content MORE MORE MORE. There is no need for you to enter a contest, there is someone, somewhere, who will pay you for your idea. This is the truth. Because most people have no ideas, no clues, they have stopped using their imaginations long ago. Most people don’t take risks, or think outside the rules of society <– THIS is what artists get paid for.

Let’s say I have a carpenter contest, and get everyone to build me a house, then I go around and pick the house I want to live in and pay for, and the rest, sorry, you lose, all that work you did, for nothing, oh but I got you exposure and you get to keep the house you worked on, try to sell it to someone else. How about I have a contest for fill in any job here  and guess what, it is still ridiculous.

I entered an animation “contest” once,  well it wasn’t a contest, because EVERYONE got some software and a wacom tablet, and EVERYONE got their work put on TV together. I think this is a good way to do something fun and collaborative AND it benefited the programming by providing content. Everyone WINS!!!

What I am saying is, that when you are making a deal the terms need to be even. Contest holders are GETTING to CHOOSE something very valuable, and that a lot of work has gone into. Even if the work has taken a short time to create, it has taken that short amount of time because of experience the artist has gained.

What can I do about it Tara? Well I’m glad you asked artist friend! It all starts with you lucky bug! Don’t enter any contests where you are not explicitly benefitting from it an equal amount or greater than what you are putting in. DON’T DO WORK FOR FREE. If you are putting in a lot of effort with little reward, it’s not a good thing.

see the math is all here              z\leq x+y,

  • Z= Your Time & Energy
  • X=What you get, win or lose
  • Y=Fun you will have

So after having this big discussion about art contests in college, my teacher Carla, proceeded to tell us about this art contest that she was entering one of her works! HAHAHA but it was too late I was already a convert! Have I ever entered an art contest? damn straight I have, I’ve especially entered ones I’m sure I will win 🙂  Because winning is FUN too! HAHAHA


Tara Audibert is an artist, film maker, comic illustrator, consultant, and just a Jill of all Trades. She co-hosts the podcast No Such Thing as Grown Ups along with Curtis Carey and a bunch of other stuff too Animations, Finger Puppet Sitcoms, Prepping with Puppets,comics, poetry books, children’s books and so much more! www.nosuchthingasgrownups.com

 

Morning EveryBody! Time for A Show!

I’ve always wanted a job doing a show 4 days a week. Something I can spend all day working on and creating content for. I already have a job most days of the week. So I can’t spend all day living the life of a weird creative weirdo. I have to go to work. Where I work like a creative weirdo.

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So the only way left to have my own show 4 days a week like a fancy Jason Leyno. Is to decide that I have a show 4 days a week. Then make that show 4 times each week. No. that’s not really how TV works. But it is how the internet works. Which is why I would like to invite EVERYBODY to let me start their days, no matter what time of day that is.

Watch, Like, and Subscribe to Morning Everybody! A YouTube show full of topical topics, animation, game development secrets, puppets, a dog, music, and more! It’s only just begun. But I promise it will be fun All Week Long Tuesday to Friday! (Monday Is for NoSuchThingAsGrownUps)

Watch the first 2 episodes now!

Episode 1 – Tuesday, The First Morning

 

Episode 2 – the First Morning After

No Such Thing As Reviews #10: Nyobi Issue 1. Independent and Pop Culture Reviews

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s edition of No Such Thing As Reviews! Otherwise known as Next September They’re All Retired <– sheesh these are getting harder than I anticipated….

I’m Ryan Atkinson and every Tuesday here on No Such Thing As Reviews, we’ll be reviewing a plethora of pop culture and wonderful things! Most often will be independent comic books, but who knows, T.V., movies and many other things may show up. The reviews will consist of a brief overview of what we will be reviewing, a small summary of the content (SPOILER ALERT!!), my personal thoughts on the content including a rating out of 5 and whenever possible we will include an interview with the creators as well!
This week I’ll be reviewing the comic book Nyobi issue #1. Nyobi was created and is written by Larry Higgins with the cover artwork and interior shading done by Andre Boulard and the interior artwork done by David Coates.

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The main character of this story, Nyobi Lee, is a Japanese/American J-Pop star from the group “The Geisha Girls”. When she was 16 at a fan meet and greet, after being swarmed by a large group of fans was engulfed in a ring of bright light and vanished, reappearing at the back of the building she also finds out at a later date that she is able to use the same fields she teleports through for energy blasts.
Nyobi as a character was first thought up by Larry Higgins as an RPG character back nearly 20 years ago and has evolved into quite a heroine in her own right.
The story in issue #1 centers around Lucas Cassie, a teenager who is going through a bout of depression and is stumbled upon by a – for a lack of better words – shadowy demon that feeds off of the sadness, hate and despair of the world. This demon can sense how strong Lucas’ negative energy is and decides to jump on the opportunity to siphon off of Lucas and in the same instance increase his depression.
We follow Lucas through a typically rough school day for him, the only upside to the day is his crush says hello to him out of nowhere and brightens up his day. Until later in the day her boyfriend stops Lucas out in the school yard. Feeds him the “Stay away from my girl..” line and starts to beat him to a pulp until she comes in and seems to intervene. She gets the bully to stop just long enough for her to help him up, and give him a swift kick in the nuts.
This proves to be the last straw for Lucas and he decides, to the shadow demons delight, that he will commit suicide once he gets home to the high rise apartment he and his family live in.
He writes his note, and proceeds to jump from the balcony.
Meanwhile while this is happening, Nyobi is getting ready for a meeting and learns over social media that a fan of hers is planning on committing suicide and she finds out Lucas’ address and immediately teleports to his apartment and proceeds to catch him mid-air.
The book ends on a cliffhanger, once the ordeal is over, Nyobi is speaking with her agent and she mentions that her nose is bleeding. And ends with Nyobi looking frightened as old hell.
Overall I really liked this book. I’ve had some troubles with depression myself over the years and this story is a refreshing take on the superhero(ine) mythos.

Larry has assured the fans of his book that some questions that were left unanswered (including the bleeding nose and the shadow demon) are addressed in future issues and in issue 2 we will meet Nyobi’s first true villain, Avani.
I’m a huge fan of David Coates’ artwork, both in this book and in general and Andre Boulard did an amazing job on the cover and shading.

My rating for this book is:
Artwork- 4/5
Story-4/5

I would for sure recommend this book to anyone keeping in mind that this book does contain coarse language and mature themes, so parental discretion is advised.
Unfortunately this week there is no interview, womp womp. But that is only because issue #2 is right around the corner and we’ll be interviewing Larry Higgins for that issue!

 

Thank you all for reading! If you’re an independent  creator and would like to have your work reviewed please contact me directly at atkinsonryang@gmail.com and I’ll get back to you asap!

If you have any suggestions for next weeks alternate acronym (N.S.T.A.R.) leave a comment below!

I’ve been Ryan The Spectacular and remember, there’s no such thing as reviews!

I am a 22 year old Non-Grown Up

Hey there everybody! My name is Ryan Atkinson and I’m a Non-Grown Up.

So what is a Grown Up? Well obviously if you’re here, you’ve at least heard that there’s really no such thing. Grown up is a made up concept concocted by the man to keep people down. Maybe it wasn’t intended as that but that’s what has happened.

I’ve done some looking around through a handful of websites searching just what makes a person a Grown Up and here are a few very common examples of what I’ve found (paraphrased of course):

Get a job

Listen to all older adults

Worry about future you, to hell with you right now

Don’t follow your emotions

A surprising amount of “Accept you will die” (Not all that bad I suppose but still surprising to see it so frequently)

Quit having expectations.

Be an all around dickhead to everyone all the time.

There are tons more these are just common ones I’ve found on more than one site.

To be a Non-Grown Up is pretty simple. Just be you. Want to write about people with super powers or draw pictures of dragons and fairies? Want to make industrial furniture? Maybe you want to open a zoo. Want to be a firefighter? Friggin do it. Do what makes you happy as often as you can. Do it SO much that you get damn good at it and make your living with it. Don’t let yourself get stuck at some bullshit job you hate that’s making you miserable just because someone else who is pretending to be a grown up told you that you have to do it to be successful.

You might not get rich in the wallet and hell, you friggin well might. But you’ll for sure be rich in spirit. You know what successful really is? It’s not going to the bank and having a million dollars waiting there for you. It’s not having a 12 bedroom house and a guest house and 5 cars and a cottage and a boat. All successful is, is being happy. When you put your head down at the end of the day even if you’re in a small studio apartment with a leaky faucet and you’ve got a smile on your face, you’re successful.

And not to say a 12 bedroom house and a million bucks just sitting there in your bank account wouldn’t be bad ass. It’s just not necessary.

Happiness is the most important thing in the world and don’t let anyone tell you any different. Now understandably we all have bills. Some of which we shouldn’t have (but I’ll save that for another day) but bills nonetheless. Jobs are one thing. If you flip burgers, flip the literal shit out of those burgers. Scoop popcorn like me? You damn well better scoop the hell out of it. Make the best of it and when you aren’t doing the grind to make sure the power stays on, hone your craft and then jump into it feet first. AND DREAM DAMMIT, DREAM. Don’t let anyone tell you that your dream is stupid. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Unless it’s something like.. “I want to walk barefoot on that lava and not get burnt”. Well.. Sorry but you can’t do that. I mean.. You probably can DO it but you’ll get burnt before your foot touches down. I think you need a nap.

But it’s not always that easy is it? So many people have fallen into the guise of needing to “Act your age” that people have forgotten about happiness. We grow up in a society where from the day we get pooped out we’re told what to do and what not to do. What we can and what we can’t. What we should and what we shouldn’t.

To be fair, there are some things that we should and shouldn’t do. Do be nice to people, it costs you nothing. Don’t murder or rape people, that’s bad. Do feed your dog, he can’t open the can on his own.

But unfortunately it’s not that simple. Instead of just the common sense things that deep down most people know to do or not to do, we’re told ridiculous things. Don’t daydream. Don’t colour that zebra yellow. Don’t waste your time writing that story. Get off the counter.

One of my favourite book series in high school was the Cirque Du Freak series by Darren Shan. Its about a young half vampire (Named Darren Shan.. Good one Darren) and the shenanigans that ensue. It’s geared for young adults but it’s young adult horror, not young adult romance. Its more what vampires should be. But I’m getting off track, the reason I brought it up is because they made a very okay movie out of the first three books in the series called Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant and they paraphrased some dialogue in the book for the movie and it fits the Grown Up mentality to a T.

Darren got into some trouble in school with his best friend Steve for throwing some rocks and putting out a light. He obviously gets suspended for it (Now to be fair, Darren busted school property, he should have gotten suspended. That’s one of those common sense things. Don’t break other people’s shit) . He goes home and his old man is furious. Darren’s dad screams some stuff about what a disappointment he is being and that he won’t amount to anything being like that and says to him

“College, job, family. COLLEGE, JOB, FAMILY!! IT’S NOT THAT HARD!!”

Sound familiar? Maybe not those three exact things. Maybe not your dad, maybe it was your mom, your grandfather, a school teacher, your soccer coach. Chances are a good chunk of people have heard something along those lines from someone in their life.

And I know for a fact that some people haven’t and that is so amazing. If I ever have kids one thing I’ll never do is tell them that their dream is stupid.

Take me for example. I’m in the process of putting out my first comic book. Someone in my life, that one would hope would be encouraging, has told me from day one and pretty much once a week since that I’m wasting my time. The reason they keep saying that? I won’t make much money, so it’s a waste of time. That’s correct in one aspect I suppose. I don’t expect to make any money on it. I’ll most likely lose some money on it.

But let’s break this down, shall we?

I thought up an idea one day. I wrote that idea down. I re-wrote it again and again until I decided that the idea was up to par. I showed it to some people and they gave some tips and pointers on what they think would make it better. A friend I knew from high school who probably had better things to do took the time to do up some quick concept artwork for me free of charge. I then opened a Twitter account for my book with JUST that concept artwork to show and quickly gained hundreds of followers. Then I decided because of that amount of followers to see if some people would be interested in doing some pinup artwork for me to just be featured in the book, I had no money to pay for anything and I made that clear to anyone who wanted to submit before they did any work but I found some amazing artists who were just happy to contribute. And things just took off from there. The plan is to have everything released for next year’s East Coast Comic Expo. I met some really good friends because of this thing, people I would have never met otherwise. I get to write reviews and articles for this very website because of my stupid idea. Tara approached me at last years ECCE and got me to do a Day In The Life Of An Artist article and we kept in touch very slightly on Facebook and one day I mentioned that I’d be interested in something like this and it happened almost that same day. I get to see something I thought up in my head made REAL and that’s worth every cent I put into this, every hour I spend on it a billion times over.

Now that all being said. I understand Grown Ups. We get brought up thinking we’re supposed to be something and when we don’t quite get there, we seemingly become the failures we’ve been warned against being since forever.

Grown Ups might not be real but Grown Up problems are.

I’ve had my fair share of shitty days. I’ve got a pretty bad anxiety problem too.

It’s so bad that I’ve made sure my dad has a special code ring for my door bell so I know when it’s him when he comes over and not to ignore the ringing. I stand at my apartment door listening for anyone in the hallway before I leave so I don’t have to speak to anyone in my building. I always use the self checkouts at stores when they have them and unless it’s something I just HAVE to have, if I find something that’s 50% off that I kinda want I’ll just leave it there on the shelf if the want or need to have it is outweighed by the fear of having to call over the self checkout attendant so they can ring it in.

These articles and reviews? Man I’m surprised I was able to do the first Day In The Life article. All these people reading stuff that I wrote that isn’t fiction, it’s my thoughts and feelings about a particular piece of work that is completely arguable and only my personal opinion. What if my personal opinion offends the creators? I’ve been fortunate enough that most of the creators that have reached out for me to review their stuff have had things that I really enjoy, but there’s one that I am hesitant to do a review for because the creator is a super nice guy from our emails anyway, what if I hurt his feelings because I don’t like his book? Sheesh..

OH!

And the WORST as of late is my building is getting Bell FiberOp put in. I didn’t sign up for it but my landlord is getting the cables installed in the whole building so I recieved a letter of notice slipped under my door that either on on November 5th or November 6th between 9am-5pm on either day a technician would be in to install the cables. Being told they were coming was bad enough but to be so vague? Sheesh.. So that Wednesday night I stayed up all night to make sure I was awake for 9 and didn’t oversleep to make sure that I actually let them in, so that they didn’t knock and me be asleep and not answer so they just walk right in. They didn’t show up on the 5th. So I went to sleep at about 6pm Thursday the 5th and woke up at about 2am Friday the 6th. They showed up around 3pm-ish. They were only here for about 10 minutes so I didn’t scream in my head for very long at least but the kicker? “All right we’ll be back next week to finish up”.

Next week?!

What happened to between 9-5 on either the 5th or 6th?

Why couldn’t you put on the wall plate today instead of just pulling the wire through the wall? Will it be you or will another technician be working then? Why did you take your boots off, I put towels down for you.

So I got another notice slipped under my door a couple days ago that they’ll be back either on Tuesday the 10th or Thursday the 12th, between 9-5 both days. The gap because the Wednesday in there is Rememberance Day so they don’t have to work. So I repeated the staying up all night Monday so I know I’ll be awake on time Tuesday, staying home all day instead of going out at all to make sure they don’t come in when I’m not home and they didn’t even show up. So now with the gap in between I’ll be up all night tonight (It’s Wednesday as I’m writing this) to make sure that I’m around tomorrow when they show up.

Another thing that I do is ignore or avoid people that I really have no reason to. Tara and Curtis run this website. I only speak to Tara. I’ve met Tara in person and I’ve spoke to only her about anything at all to do with articles or approvals or anything at all. No reason why I don’t speak with Curtis other than he’s sort of new. I’m sure I would enjoy speaking with him as much as I do with Tara. But new people? No fanks.

Oh! And the extent of my online dating “game” is messaging first with a “Hey There! :)”. So if that peaks your interest… Ladies 😉

Jeez I’m a mess.

Sorry about that  hahahaha

My point is though, I have those stupid problems. Listening through my door? Ridiculous. But I’m being me.

Don’t be a Grown Up because Grown Ups don’t really exist. Adults do, you should be an adult (once you’re an adult). But just be you. Live your life how you want it, let everyone else live the lives that they want. If listening through your apartment door so you don’t have to talk to Linda (even though she’s a very nice old lady who even gives you free Russel Stover mini boxes of chocolate every now and then) makes your life easier, go for it. Do whatever makes you, you (as long as it doesn’t hurt others of course).

Be as silly as you want to be. Get all those tattoos, cut your hair how you want, dress up in costumes. Matching socks? Who has time for that nonsense? Just be your version of you, not the version people want you to be.

I’m fat, I like comic books, good movies, bad movies and Doctor Who. I like to stay by myself all the time except when I don’t want to be. I talk like cartoon characters to myself, I write stories. I work at a movie theater and I have probably way too many posters on my living room wall. I’ve got a bunch of tattoos, my eyes are blue, I write reviews for No Such Thing As Grown Ups. I like punk music and I like the blues. Jazz and others are also good too. I hate doing my dishes. Heights scare me but not as much as people. I look like an idiot in my high school grad photo.

I’m Ryan.

I’m an adult.

I’m a Non-Grown Up.

No Such Thing As Reviews #9: Warsick’s Self titled Album! Independent Comic and Pop Culture reviews.

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s edition of No Such Thing As Reviews! Otherwise known as Never Steal a Tardis And Run. I’m Ryan Atkinson and every week here on No Such Thing As Reviews, we’ll be reviewing a plethora of pop culture and wonderful things! Independent comic books, T.V., movies and more! The reviews will consist of a brief overview of what we will be reviewing, a summary of the content (spoiler alert!!), my personal thoughts on the content including a rating out of 5 and whenever possible we will include an interview with the creators!

Over the last couple weeks we’ve been taking a step away from comic books to review some other pieces of indie pop culture and this week is no different! Next week we’ll get back to comics, I promise! But this week? It’s going to be WAY different. I’m sure it can be argued that music isn’t necessarily pop culture. I would argue that you’re wrong and also you’re a weenie.

This week on No Such Thing As Reviews I’ll be reviewing Moncton New Brunswick local punk band Warsick’s debut self titled album. Warsick is made up of members Metal Mat on vocals, Ragin’ James on bass, Rob on drums and Mitchie Dagger on Guitar.

warsick image

Warsick is a fast, crusty, loud punk band, plain and simple and they do it well. They’ve played tons of shows around town, had a small tour of Quebec and Ontario this past spring and recently opened for Cancer Bats when they came to Moncton last month.

The track list is as follows:

1: Human Filth
2: Buried Alive
3: End Of Days
4: Enough Is Enough
5: Decapitated (Broken Bones Cover)
6: Wasteland
7: Violence

Clocking in at just over 14 minutes long they stick around long enough to punch your ear holes in the face and then take off before they know what hit them.

While I really enjoy this whole album, my favourite track has got to be the closing track, violence.

I would recommend this band to anyone who likes their music fast, loud and angry. Even if you don’t still give them a shot! You never know what you’ll like until you try!

I had the pleasure of speaking with Mitchie Dagger, the guitarist of Warsick about his creative process and some other topics and you can find that interview below!

What part do you play in the creative process?

“Well I’m not 100% percent sure what you mean haha. But I play both rhythm and lead guitar. We all write songs for the band. Like let’s say ill write a whole song sometimes. The guitar & bass riffs, and the lyrics. But I’m not a drummer so I Ieave that to Rob. But sometimes I’ll go into a jam and we just randomly come up with a new riff, and beat. Then Mat throws down some disgusting awesome lyrics and BAM we have a new song.”

How did the band come together?

“The band was originally “Rabid Reaction” but their guitar player quit shortly after this awesome show at The Caveau. I think part of him leaving was because the singer Mat kicked me in the chest during that set and knocked me down so hard I smacked my head off the concrete floor. They were known to kick people during sets so I didn’t really care too much. I was drunk, and I loved Rabid Reaction. So then after months go by I was approached by Mat at a show my old band I was in “Fear Agent” played (I was the singer) and he asked me if I’d be the new guitar player for Rabid Reaction. But he wanted to maybe change the name and style of the music, make a new band basically. So I replied with “Fuck yeah” and I just had to wait a few months for my shoulder to heal from getting surgery.”

Where has been your favourite place to play a show so far?

” I’d say my favourite place to play so far would totally be House Of Targ in Ottawa, Ontario. The people who run that place are super nice, and their Perogies kick ass! They have so many pinball, and arcade machines you feel like you’re a kid again. The night we played there was at a festival called “Bleak Life 2” and we actually played the 2nd night of that festival, we played with BLANKS 77. The crowd response for us was insane and awesome (considering we played on the pogo night and not the crusty street punk night). I would play there again in a heartbeat.”

Have you written any songs that you loved when you wrote them but hate to play now?

“No way, I write songs and will never bring them to the guys if I’m not 100% sure this song is wicked. But when the day comes of a song I hate to play I’ll let you know! Haha.”

What has been the biggest challenge as a band so far?

“The biggest challenge?… I honestly cant think of a big challenge we had. Maybe when we went on tour in the end of April this year we were just outside of Fredericton, and our tire almost blew, we lost air in it and it was leaking fast. So we were stuck on the side of the highway for about 2 hours or more. We couldn’t figure out how to get the spare tire off under the vehicle. It was rusted and seized on like a mother fucker. But we finally got it off, and then had to stop at a random garage to get the tire filled and put back on the suburban. We made it to Sherbrooke, Quebec like RIGHT on time for the first night of our tour.”

If you could only give one piece of advice for aspiring creators (Be it music, writing or any other means) what would it be? 

“Don’t give up on it, that’s the stupidest thing anyone can do when trying to accomplish anything. Work hard at it and if it still won’t work, drink a beer and go at it again.”

Where can people access your music?

“If anyone wants to hear us we have a bandcamp page with our first ever recordings on there Warsick.bandcamp.com . Plus we have a one sided 7” Flexi titled “Wasteland” and you can pick that up from our singer Mat O’Blenis directly from his distro “ROTTING HEAD RECORDS” or come to one of our shows and we would gladly sell you one, only five bones!”

What is your dream lineup for a show including Warsick? 

“Dream line up would be with Discharge, Broken Bones, and Wolfbrigade. But that’s just me haha. That’ll most likely NEVER happen. So I’m pretty pumped to play with anyone really. I love performing. Playing with local bands is wicked!

When can we expect the next Warsick album?

“We’re going to write over the winter months and play way less shows. So maybe by mid-end spring of 2016. We’ve been slack lately for writing tunes, We’re playing a lot haha..”

What are your personal favourite bands?

” My favourite bands hmmm I’ll give you a list of 5 not in any order. Circle Jerks, Discharge, Broken Bones, WolfBrigade, and my all time favourite local band, HARD CHARGER. These guys blow me away every time I fucking see them. They’re off the hook! I’d suggest anyone who’s into fast music to give these guys a listen they rule. hardcharger.bandcamp.com ”

I’d like to thank Mitchie for taking part in this week’s interview! You can find Warsick on Facebook by following this link!

I’ll be reviewing their other album Wasteland at another time and hopefully I’ll get to speak with another member of the band!

Thank you all for reading! If you’re an independent  creator and would like to have your work reviewed please contact me directly at atkinsonryang@gmail.com and I’ll get back to you asap!

If you have any suggestions for next weeks alternate acronym (N.S.T.A.R.) leave a comment below!

I’ve been Ryan Atkinson and remember, there’s no such thing as reviews!

101: People having Desires and Passions NO SUCH THING AS GROWN UPS PODCAST

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Real Grownups always say no. Why are you bringing Jesus into this? People have Desires and Passions. Chasing your dreams and drinking responsibly. Teaching How to make money with Art. Learning how to make money with Art. Perpetual underdog Sean Astin. How to get a job in comics. See us at HalCon Comic Con Saturday! No Such Thing as Grownup Teachers with Mr. Caines!
Ryan Atkinson loves comic books for you! Check out his new weekly Indie Comic & Pop Culture Reviews “No Such Thing as Reviews” on the NSTAGU Wordpress. Subscribe!

Listen now… and subscribe below.

Watch Garage Sale Tales and Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Music by Brad Sucks

No Such Thing As Reviews #7: Spirit of the Staircase! Independent Comic And Pop Culture Reviews!

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s edition of No Such Thing As Reviews! Otherwise known as Neptune’s Servants Think About Retiring. I’m Ryan Atkinson and every Tuesday here on No Such Thing As Reviews, we’ll be reviewing a plethora of pop culture and wonderful things! Independent comic books, T.V., movies and more! The reviews will consist of a brief overview of what we will be reviewing, a summary of the content (spoiler alert!!), my personal thoughts on the content including a rating out of 5 and whenever possible we will include an interview with the creators!

This week we’ll be doing something a little bit different. For the last 7 reviews I’ve done independent comic books, this week I’ll be reviewing… Well still a comic. But it’s a comic strip!

I’ll be reviewing Spirit Of The Staircase written, drawn and created by Matthew Foltz-Gray.

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Bear in mind that although I am laying out a summary of the plot below, this is broken into individual strips! 🙂

The strip follows a little furry creature named Mumford on his day to day adventures with a man named Matt.

The first strip is where we are introduced to both Matt and Mumford. Mumford is sitting on a tree branch surveying a crow on which he prefers: Hot dogs or corn dogs. The crow caws and he interprets this as a vote for corn dogs. The crow then flies away and Mumford reaches after him which causes the branch to break. He falls down landing next to Matt on a park bench which causes Matt to drop the hot dog he is eating on the ground. The crow then flies over to it and begins pecking at it. Mumford scolds him like the fibber he is.

Matt asks Mumford what he is, and Mumford replies “A Mumford, what are you?” Matt tells him he is a human and even though Mumford is excited that he is a human, he believes Matt is a grasshopper that just thinks it is a human, and writes exactly that in his journal.

Matt brings Mumford back to his apartment. Or possibly Mumford just followed him. Matt an I seem to have a lot in common. A small messy apartment, clothes and junk everywhere, past due bills laying about. I might be Matt. Mumford thinks his apartment is actually a village and Matt’s clothes that are everywhere are what’s left from a baboon attack on Matt’s whole village, leaving only Matt alive. He lets Matt know how brave he is for coming back to the place of such tragedy.

He then asks Matt if where he lives is a “normal human fort”. Matt explains for a guy like him living paycheck to paycheck, it’s pretty normal. Mumford likens this to living corn dog to corn dog.

Mumford thinks human villages are amazing:

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Matt asks Mumford if he is the first human to ever see him and Mumford tells him that children can see him all the time. Adults are also able to see him but they never notice him. They’re too busy playing with their toys (cell phones etc). Matt looks up from his cell, grunts and continues doing his thing.

Matt tells Mumford that he needs to go to the grocery store because all of his food has disappeared out of nowhere. Mumford is sitting at the table innocently eating a cookie. Mumford explains how he has always wanted to go to the mythical land of the grocery store and that he can’t wait to interact with the villagers and have all the food within his grasp. And just like me again Matt explains that he goes in as fast as he can so that he won’t run in to anybody. Matt says Mumford can come along as long as he just acts like a normal person. When they get to the store Mumford proceeds to yell, whine and complain about needing his gluten free seaweed crackers, grass fed tomatoes and more common pretentious things he must think is normal because of the amount of people who are like that.

Matt an Mumford go throughout the store, Matt picks up what he needs and Mumford picks up everything that he is fascinated with. Which is everything.

The next strip is pretty much Matt as me as well, jeez my life is a mess.. :

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Once they are alone Mumford comments on how the pretty girl was totally staring at his gross pants and Matt says the grocery store should be a place of no judgement where you can just go and be yourself and get whatever kind of junk food in whatever kind of clothing you want to. Mumford points out a cart full of junk food and Matt proceeds to judge them.

We now go outside the grocery store where Mumford has discovered the elusive cookie troop during its annual cookie vending mission. They are currently i spring, which is the cookie harvest season and the “Chief Mother” has brought out the young-lings to peddle their wears. Mumford has come to the conclusion that Americans (as natural grazers) find cookies an irresistible and easy prey to go after.He wants some cookies but has no money, so he tries a different method: Hugs. He hugs the troop leader and asks for a cookie and she obviously refuses which he can’t understand because all of the research he has conducted has led him to believe otherwise.

Walking home, Mumford finds a fresh patch of marked territory. Matt explains that it it actually just gum and that gum s a form of candy (Mumford had no idea). Mumford then decides to eat the free candy. Matt stops him though.

Matt explains to Mumford that you can’t just eat stuff off of the ground because that’s gross and germs. Mumford of course has done this his entire life and can’t see these “germ” Matt speaks of. Matt then freaks out because they’re everywhere and he can feel them all over him now that he’s thinking about it. Matt then runs off in a fit of fear. Mumford just says hello to his microscopic friends.

Mumford heads out to search for Matt. He comes across his old friend the crow. He doesn’t have a recent photo to show the crow but he has a recent sketch! He gets the crow to help search for Matt.

The crow flies off, Mumford in tow, to the local farmers market because a screaming human ran off that way. Mumford tried farming once, he tried to plant corn, bubblegum and chicken wing plants but nothing seemed to grow..

He spots Matt and ejects from his feathered air transport. On his way down he explains how stress has been ingrained into the human mind as far back as prehistoric times when dinosaurs were as feared as debt collectors today and then eventually lions came that thought humans were pretty damn tasty. He says in those days stress was pretty straight forward. Something coming at you could be avoided by running and if you see a big shadow coming your way, look up. Apparently modern debt collectors are much nicer according to Mumford. He uses this knowledge to get the drop on Matt by sneaking up and taking his phone to call the collector.

Mumford asks Matt what things he gets stressed about. Matt says there is a whole lost of things but the one that’s bothering him the most is that there seems to be a crow following them. Mumford tells him not to worry because that’s just his friend Jed. Mumford invites Jed back to Matt’s place because it is a stress free zone in part by having a magic faucet that shoots water at you and by simply tapping on the walls the walls tap back at you.

They get back to Matt’s building. Mumford and Jed are putting up flyers for a Wine Tap Water and Pudding Tuna Fish Party.He invites insects, a cranky lady, a vampire, a child, some neighbors and his two raccoon friends Cynthia and Douglas having a well intended but unnecessary reason why each should attend.

Mumford then asks Matt to come to the party and Matt explains how awkward he is at parties. He starts off by repeating himself way too much, then he gets lightheaded, then he hides in the bathroom and then hopefully by that point he’s too drunk to worry about being awkward or around people. And we re-enter the trend of me pretty much being Matt.

Mumford lays a huge guilt trip on Matt. How could he possibly have a party without guests. What if the party has a soul and by having no guests what if it’s pretty much like sending the parties soul to hell? Matt gives in and says he will go.

Then it’s a cut to later that day. Mumford is welcoming all of his guests to the first annual Tap Water and Tuna party. We see the vampire, the raccoons, the crow and a child that Matt is concerned about because he has no idea who’s child it is.

There is no music on but Mumford doesn’t realize that usually people require it to dance. He is very sad no one is dancing so he starts by himself. Matt feels bad for him so he gets his boom box and then everyone starts dancing.

Matt introduces himself to the vampire and he begins to repeat himself so the vampire flies away.

Matt then tells a scary story:

sotspage

Matt thanks Mumford for the good time and was glad to meet his friends. He is especially thankful that they didn’t give him rabies or turn him into a vampire, however he needs to go home because he has seen too many weird things for one day.

Later, Mumford writes a letter to the inhabitants of Keplar 1152 B (Which I assume is the moon because the moon is a focal point in this strip) asking them about various things like their preference between hot dogs and corn dogs, Starbucks and a couple other silly things. At the end his P.S. is about questions that Jed (the crow) has about their concerns about a runaway greenhouse effect or some such crap. He puts it in a bottle and throws it into the sky expecting it to float off to the recipients. It obviously falls to the ground and he asks Jed how far he can fly.

Mumford and Jed then get in a tree and Mumford thanks him for letting him roost with him. We see the tree is just outside Matt’s place and Mumford shouts to Matt asking if he wants to come roost with them. Matt says no and tells them to go roost somewhere else.

We then see inside the dream Matt is currently having. It is a nightmare about some sick version of a game show.

Cut to the next morning Matt (Drawn as a walrus) who is scarfing down a cup of coffee making a mess. Next panel shows Matt drawn normally with coffee all over himself, He tells Mumford that coordination comes with the second cup.

And that’s the end of the strips (So far!)!

I really like this strip. It is drawn very well and it is really silly. I found myself with a smile on my face the whole tome reading it. It is easy to relate to Matt and Mumford is just friggin silly.

I would recommend this strip to anyone! There’s really nothing that warrants a discretion warning or anything at all.

The strip alternates between colour and black and white but when it IS black and white, it still looks good! It isn’t the black and white that you know I hate.

My ratings for the strip are as follows:

Artwork: 4/5
Story: 4/5

I had the pleasure of speaking with Matthew Foltz-Gray about his process and you can find the interview below!

 What got you started in comics?

“I went to the Academy of Art College in San Francisco hoping to become an animator. Once I got there I realized that the process of animation was too specific for someone of my poor attention span. I wanted to quickly tell the whole story instead of spending hours making a character’s foot move correctly. I decided to focus on storyboarding and illustration, and fell in love with the process of using storytelling images to tell a story. I felt at home.”

 

How did you come up with the idea for this story?

“Well, I suffered a mild concussion while in school and I’ve always loved the magical realism genre. There IS a specific story that started the process for, ‘Spirit of the Staircase,’ but it will give some plot away, so I’ll stop my explanation there.”

Do you use an outline or a plot, or do you just follow an idea and see where you end up?

“It depends. Much of the time I do enjoy letting the characters take me where THEY want to go. I’ve always been fascinated with the process of creating characters and watching them develop a life of their own. Occasionally, I’ll nudge them in a certain direction, but often the characters will take the reigns and I’m just there to show them in the best light.”

 

What inspires you to create?

“I love the creative process, and I love when I come across a story or moment that I could have never found without the hard work and time spent getting there. I have to create, it’s not an option. Outside of drawing and telling stories, I’m useless and I enjoy the world from a storyteller’s eyes. Inspiration is everywhere and it makes life fun.”

 Do you ever get writers block? And if so, how do you overcome it?

“Yes, everyday. I’ve spent hours trying to think of one sentence and it can be torture. I had a writing teacher that told me to just sit at my desk, even if you have nothing to write. I cherish that advice because I don’t think there IS a quick fix to writer’s block. You have to work through it and stay active in pursuit of the idea. Ideas are so fickle and often I’ll spend all day working and stressing about a story issue only to have the solution pop up when I’m laying in bed that night. It’s all part of the process though.”

If you could choose an actor/actress to star in a movie based on your book, who would it be?

“Clint Eastwood (Matt) and Danny DeVito(Mumford). That would be wild!”

 What were you like in school?

“Neither seen, nor heard.”

What is your favourite motivational quote or phrase?

‘The harder you work, the luckier you get.’

Where can we buy or read your comic?

“Well, if you live in the Knoxville area you can find the latest and greatest strips in the Knoxville Mercury, ​an independent and locally owned newspaper. They allowed me a huge platform to tell these stories and I’m so grateful. If you are outside of Knoxville, you can visit the official Spirit of the Staircase website ( http://www.thespiritofthestaircase.com )”

If you could only give one piece of advice to aspiring creators, what would it be?

“Keep at it, and follow your heart.”

And finally, the question on everyone’s mind: If you could be any animal at all, what animal would you be?

“I’ve always considered my spirit animal to be the little birds at the beach that run from waves. I’d love to be a blue whale or a lion, but I’ll most likely be that bird.”

I’d like to thank Matthew for taking part in our interview! If you are a creator and would like to see your book reviewed you can email me at atkinsonryang@gmail.com and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!

And thank you all for reading! If anyone has any suggestions for next week’s alternate acronym (N.S.T.A.R.) please comment your suggestion below 🙂

I’ve been Ryan Atkinson and I’ll see you next week and remember.. There’s No Such Thing As Reviews!

100: Bringing Things to Life with Guns! NO SUCH THING AS GROW UPS PODCAST

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Getting caught drinking in the basement. Kids with guns and candy. Extra imProvs! Controlling your dog’s brain and winning at online tests. The Rocky Horror Picture Show For the first time. A Rocky Horror Show Picture Show Art Book! Nerds Flooding the Streets! Live Show at Halcon Oct. 30! Girls road-trip! The Sacred Rules of CostCo! Adventures of Drunk Teacher Power Point! Zombies and Gun Safety!
Ryan Atkinson loves comic books for you! Check out his new weekly Indie Comic & Pop Culture Reviews “No Such Thing as Reviews” on the NSTAGU Wordpress. Subscribe!

Listen now… and subscribe below.

Watch Garage Sale Tales and Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Music by Brad Sucks