WWE simply doesn’t get it, and Jim Ross “retires” as a result

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World Wrestling Entertainment.  Entertainment!  Do you know what I found the WWE 2K14 symposium to be, above all else (most notably above most other WWE content)?  Entertaining.  The wrestlers on the panel were laughing and smiling, and everyone seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves.  I know I was.  But since that fateful event?  Nothing but rumors of the suits in control of WWE being upset with people.  Upset with Ric Flair for his behavior (ironic, since Flair put over the company big time when talking about how he was given another Hall of Fame ring by the company after he buried his son with his, and how they are the best people to work for in the world).  Upset with Jim Ross for not controlling the situation.  And now, Jim Ross “retires“.  There is a lot of speculation that this retirement was forced upon Ross for his inability to handle Flair, which sounds ridiculous, and therefore completely within the realm of possibility (if not probability) as far as WWE is concerned.

I can only shake my head when I think about it.  The WWE is an embarrassment, and I continue to be embarrassed to be a fan of it.  As a fan, I cling to the small bits of good I am delivered (Daniel Bryan) but I really have no excuse for why I keep putting up with this garbage.  They have all the talent and resources in the world and get by on producing the bare minimum quality because they have no competition.  They are the New York Knicks of wrestling promotions.

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I’m on the fence about Assassin’s Creed IV, but not parkour

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Evidently, I’ve been missing out on a robust Youtube scene of Assassin’s Creed parkour videos.  Thanks to Fashionably Geek, I am missing out no longer.

I especially appreciate the behind the scenes video, because I always like to have at least some idea of how things are made, especially when such volatile elements as traffic and crowds are involved.

Also, I now know the difference between free-running and parkour.

Simpsons did it

This is what happens when I use old Simpsons episodes as background noise for a week and then browse GAF:

The beginning of ACIII is like the bus ride to the fireworks factory only to realize your field trip is to the box factory and the bus ride was actually the interesting part.

And I couldn’t be more proud.

Noticing patterns, everyone has a type.

When searching for images to use as the feature image for my Shin Megami Tensei IV post, I initially went with:

smt4Which makes sense, since I previously used this for Ni no Kuni:

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This for Tales of Vesperia:

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And this for Tales of Graces f:

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I also found this for SMT IV:

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And now I can never use something like this ever again.

How to start reading comic books: My path down the rabbit hole.

If you are anything like most people, there was probably a point in your life where you watched something based on a comic book and liked it.  Maybe you liked it enough to want to more stories with those characters or that world.  Then the realization sets in that the story you enjoyed so much is just a drop in the ocean of stories that have been told and retold for decades, and like many other things in life, you struggle with how to begin.  There are many simple and effective solutions to that problem that I’m going to assume you’ve tried and either didn’t work or didn’t stick.  Up until recently, I would read only the most highly recommended story arcs and events, which is a good way to experience the best the medium has to offer (which also serves as a good indicator for whether or not comics are even for you), but a less than ideal way to follow continuity and develop a connection to the monthly books.  Here is the process that (for better or worse) led to me reading several ongoing monthly books.

Pick a recent event with its own numbering and follow it through its aftermath

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For me, a breakthrough occurred after I finished reading the recent Avengers vs. X-Men crossover event.  The 13 issues of the event were interesting enough to keep me reading, even if nothing about the books themselves blew me away.  What interested me far more was what happens next.  In the interest of selling more books, there will always be a page at the end telling readers where to go next, so from there, I tracked down All-New X-Men and fell head over heels in love with it.  Picking something recent makes getting caught up easy, since there are fewer issues to read and they’re all available digitally.  I also find that more recent comics are easier on the eyes from both an art direction and lettering standpoint, which helps in easing yourself into the medium.  Of course, picking something recent and starting there creates its own problems.

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Pick another event that leads into your current even and fill in the blanks

The biggest problem with starting from any point but the beginning is running into things that aren’t explained.  This is especially a problem when starting with something with as many characters and converging story lines as Avengers vs. X-Men.  This is where the simplest solution really is using a wiki, which unfortunately isn’t a great solution.  I like to use Comic Vine, search a character or event, and read the headers.  The silver lining to this method is that it points you to the events that lead into the one you’re currently reading.  After finishing AvX, I was very interested in reading the story of Cable and Hope Summers.  Reading just the headers of the major arcs section of her character page is more or less a road map from her introduction to Avengers vs. X-Men.  I went on to read Messiah Complex, Cable 1-25, Messiah War, Second Coming, Uncanny X-Men 526-529 (the Five Lights), and X-Men: Schism.  From Schism, I developed interest in reading the resulting Uncanny X-Men and Wolverine & the X-Men volumes, which lead directly into Avengers vs. X-Men.  From this set of books, the highlights for me were the Cable books, Second Coming, and to my surprise, Wolverine & the X-Men.  I could not get enough of the Hope and Cable relationship, and by the end of Second Coming, it became my absolute favorite relationship in comics.  Wolverine & the X-Men surprised me since I had always rolled my eyes at the title of the series, feeling like Wolverine is overexposed and that this was a cheap attempt to use his popularity as a character to sell another X-Men book.  After Schism, though, I wanted to see how his school turned out, and the humor of the first few issues absolutely hooked me.  It also developed several new characters that I grew very attached to, which kept me reading the books even when they dipped in quality.

The New 52

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Other than Batman, I’ve had very, very little interest in reading anything DC related until the New 52 relaunch, after which point, I suddenly became interested in reading just about every thing.  Of course, all I’ve gotten around to at this point has been Batman and Catwoman, but I plan on remedying that sooner rather than later, while the New 52 titles are still new enough that I can get caught up in a couple of days.  That is the thing about the comic book rabbit hole.  It branches quickly and frequently, and the only real limits to what you can read are time and money.  Ultimately, pick something that sounds interesting and looks pretty to you, and give it a shot.