Culture

Wed
20
Nov

Don’t Be a Cyberattack Victim This Holiday Season

Holiday Cybersecurity

By Alain Ghiai

CEO of GlobeX Data Ltd.

 

Not a day seems to go by without reading about the latest cyberattack.  With the holiday season upon us, the stakes grow higher as digital criminals exploit the increase of e-commerce activity from consumers.

Fri
01
Nov

A Cornucopia of Cosplay: Meet November Bombshell, Lady Ashe XII

Bombshell November 2019 Lady Ashe XII

Every month the staff at Critical Blast combs the cosplay community for up and coming cosplayers who deserve to have a broader audience for their work, taking into account not only costuming skills and spirit, but also how they use that ability in service to others. Through this, we've not only met some talented cosplayers, but also some fine human beings.

Just because Halloween has become a pile of empty chocolate bar wrappers on the kitchen table doesn't mean that dress-up time is over. As we move into a season of gratitude for all good things, we are thankful for all the Bombshells we have encountered this year, and none less than this month's versatile costumer  Ladies and gentlement, it is our distinct privilege to now present to you our...

 

Tue
01
Oct

No Tricks, All Treats: Meet our October 2019 Bombshell, NatileCosplay!

October 2019 Bombshell

 

Every month the staff at Critical Blast combs the cosplay community for up and coming cosplayers who deserve to have a broader audience for their work, taking into account not only costuming skills and spirit, but also how they use that ability in service to others. Through this, we've not only met some talented cosplayers, but also some fine human beings.

This month our quest carries us across the pond, to meet a cosplayer who's super -- and a little bit crazy! Displaying not only skills and talent, but also an outstanding attitude, our Bombshell of the Month has banded together with other cosplayers to be a part of a fun-filled charity group. Intrigued? Then read on, as we proudly present to you our...

 

Mon
23
Sep

The Wait vs The Worth -- CYBERFROG: BLOODHONEY

Cyberfrog: Bloodhoney

In all of comics history, there has perhaps not been a comic so divisive, so defended, and so derided as Ethan Van Sciver's CYBERFROG: BLOODHONEY. And all that before the book was even printed. Seen as one of the hallmark titles of the amorphous ComicsGate movement, the title and creator have taken heat over timeliness and finances. The book raised nearly a million dollars in pre-sales through multiple Indiegogo crowdfunding efforts, and arrived just shy of being one year late of its estimated release date.

This week, the book began arriving in the hands of those who had backed it, and almost immediately new rumors began to pop up: poor paper quality, water damage, digest-sized. None of that is true. CYBERFROG: BLOODHONEY is of standard dimensions, and over 80 pages. The cover is very sturdy, the paper is of better stock than your average floppy, and the ink is smear-resistant.

Tue
17
Sep

The First 60 Inspiring Years: Barbie Forever

Barbie Forever 60 Years

At first blush, Robin Gerber's BARBIE FOREVER: HER INSPIRATATION, HISTORY, AND LEGACY might appear to be another beautifully designed coffee table book, packaged to appeal to fans of the Mattel maven whose fashions and careers have delighted and motivated children for decades -- six of them, to be precise! My expectation was the cursory introduction, maybe four or five pages of text delivering a succinct history of the doll and her creator, and then a veritable book full of photographs of Barbie through the years.

Mon
09
Sep

Gamergate, Too: Zoe Quinn's Statements Undermined by...Zoe Quinn

Zoe Quinn vs Zoe Quinn

Zoe Quinn is no stranger to controversy. One might even argue her entire career has been built on the house-of-cards foundation of accusations of sexism and abuse, setting her up as a heroic overcomer in the male-dominated industries of video games and comic books.

But Internet controversy turned to real life consequences barely two weeks ago when Quinn took to Twitter to make public accusations against former fellow game designer, Alec Holowka, claiming sexual abuse and false imprisonment. The immediate fallout for Holowka -- the loss of his career and the shattered public perception -- drove a man who already suffered from emotional troubles to take his own life.

#MeToo had been successfully weaponized--and the weapon was deadly.

Mon
02
Sep

Murder by Media? How Cyberbullying Led to Game Designer's Suicide

Just short of two years ago, Zoe Quinn was being celebrated as having overcome online harassment to go on and become a game designer on a hotly aniticipated indy game project with Chuck Tingle. (Editor's Note: The crowdfunded game has yet to be delivered and is currently over two years late in fulfillment.) She was the model of the underdog who wouldn't give in to online trolls.

Six days ago, Quinn recalled sexual abuse details from an old relationship with fellow game designer, Alec Holowka. Instead of taking these details to the police for investigation, Quinn chose to air the accusations through her Twitter account, @UnburntWitch.

Thu
29
Aug

Block Chains and The Mary Sue’s Ethical Quagmire

Eyes Covered

ComicsGate and GamerGate. The boogeymen that allow the geek and nerd communities to partake in outrage culture continues to be the gift that keeps on giving in that regard, despite the fact that most of the world has forgotten what GamerGate was about (for which Zoe Quinn is no doubt grateful) and ComicsGate exists now largely as a hashtag to market the ideology behind the comics they produce and, yes, deliver.

Not that this stops Anthony Gramuglia, writer at large. In a recent piece for The Mary Sue, Gramuglia conducts “interviews” with a handful of people with axes to grind. The Spectre of Hate is raised more than once, and the fearmongering goes into high gear in order to gin up the clicks. He expands his reach from ComicsGate to the more recent AnimeGate, spun out of accusations against DragonballZ: Broly actor, Vic Mignogna, and the resulting defamation suit that followed.

Tue
13
Aug

5 Top Casino Games Based on Movies

5 Top Casino Games Based on Movies

Often on this site, you will find list for the top 10 movies or the top 5 moments from a particular flick, but we thought we would reverse it and have a look at the top 5 casino games that are based directly on movies. There is actually a huge number of casino games based on movies out there, and you would be surprised to see some of the movie titles that have been released as officially branded slot games. Dirty Dancing, for example, became a smash hit slot game for Playtech, and you wouldn’t necessarily think the Patrick Swayze hit would match up to the world of casino gaming.

Wed
24
Jul

The Muny Cuts Loose with Footloose

Footloose Muny 101

The 80s anthem, FOOTLOOSE, defined a generation that wanted--nay, needed!--to blow off steam through music and motion. It was a time when we wanted to get physical, to dance in the streets and dance in the sheets, and nothing was going to stop us now.

The classic show became a musical in 1998, and tonight the cast at The Muny delivered the penultimate performance of the show's St. Louis run.

The musical adaptation takes a few liberties with the script, of course, sometimes for time considerations, and sometimes for simplicity of stage direction. Instead of Ren McCormack (MASON REEVES) working at a grain mill, he waits tables at a burger joint. And preacher's daughter Ariel Moore (McKENZIE KURTZ) has her daredevil urges tamed down so that she's screaming at trains instead of in front of them.

Fri
19
Jul

Veronica Mars Returns for Fourth Season on Hulu

There's something about Veronica. Veronica Mars, that is. The Kristen Bell character won the hearts and minds of fans and marshmallows during the three-season run of the series -- so much, so, in fact, that when showrunner Rob Thomas pitched the idea for a motion picture if he could raise the funds, he set a record on Kickstarter almost overnight.

Now fans have a new reason to celebrate, as the news just broke out of San Diego Comic Con from Bell herself that all eight episodes of VERONICA MARS Season Four are now available for streaming on Hulu!

Here's the trailer as a convincer, in case you haven't already pounced on that link we just provided to begin the crime-fighting binging.

Thu
18
Jul

More Than Two Months Past Game of Thrones Finale: Are You Still Suffering from Withdrawal?

Game of Thrones Withdrawal

Symptoms include low energy, headaches and irritability. If you don’t think you’re suffering that last one, ask your family or friends. They may have an answer different than yours.

But here’s some news that may cure your ills: Filming of the GAME OF THRONES prequel has begun in Belfast. It won’t have Jon Snow or Arya Stark, but maybe you can be satisfied that you’re dealing with the same bloodline, albeit a bloodline that is thousands of years older.

Before you place any bets on the prequel, such as which of your favorite characters turned out to be chips off the (very) old block, read an Intertops review, one of SBR’s top rated sportsbooks for entertainment wagers.

And be warned, there will be speculation and spoilers in this article.

Tue
09
Jul

Cinderella a Political Idealist in Muny Production

Mikaela Bennett as Ella

Many years ago, I attended a viewing of CHESS when it came to St. Louis. I had enjoyed the soundtrack so much, I could not wait to see it performed. That was when I learned that scripts could be changed from the originals depending on the situation. In the post-Glasnost environment of the time, CHESS had been altered so that it was no longer the same story I had learned from the album.

That's not quite the case with RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN'S CINDERELLA, although the musical is surprisingly obscure enough to surprise and/or disappoint viewers who expect the more commonly known Disney version of the magical romance. Indeed, I overheard conversations in the parking lot afterward comparing the show to prior Disney-based musicals like BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and THE LITTLE MERMAID, stating how they had remained closer to the source, and there were a handful of young girls who had arrived to the show wearing their best pale blue gowns and tiaras.

Mon
01
Jul

Savannah Poison: More Than Just a Pretty Face

Savannah Poison - Bombshell July 2019

 

It's only the first of the month, but we've already started the fireworks display. And if ever a cosplay model has embodied the Transformer's motto, More Than Meets The Eye, this month's Bombshell does it in spades. Not only is she becoming a master of costuming craft, but she is also both mentally and physically advanced. Any further in both arenas and she'd graduate from cosplayer to full-blown superheroine.

As you get to know this month's Bombshell, we believe you, dear reader, will easily see the qualities that we saw, qualities that go beyond the costuming and right to the heart of the cosplayer.

So at this point, we are both proud and humbled to present to you our...

 

Sat
29
Jun

Not All Parody is Created Equal. Trump's Titans Volume One

Trumps Titans

"You want superheroes? I'm a superhero. People tell me all the time, 'President Trump, you're better than a superhero because you're real.' I should have a comic book. It would be the best selling comic book of all time, believe me."

    -- not an actual @realDonaldTrump tweet

Since the advent of mass printing and cartooning, Presidents have found themselves lampooned through the form of the comic. In more recent decades, presidents have found themselves appearing in the comic books, either devoted to them as biographies, doing guest appearances in a famous supehero's title, or being the questionable hero of a parody, such as Solson Publications's REAGAN'S RAIDERS, which saw the Reagan administration turned into super-soldiers to take down South American drug cartels.

Fri
28
Jun

Sina Grace Spills the Tea About Marvel's Handling of Gay Superheroes

Iceman and writer Sina Grace

Sina Grace has been a focal point controversy within the comics community. Not for unprofessional behavior or for unethical crowdfunding efforts, as is de rigeur for the troublemakers these days. No, the attention on Grace has been solely because he is a gay man, writing a gay character, who just happens to be one of Marvel Comics' oldest mutants: Bobby Drake, Iceman.

Mon
24
Jun

Macri and Zanotti's The Wall Well-Intended, But Problematic

The Wall A Timeless Tale

In a colorful kingdom, the king takes a walk with his advisor, and discovers there are many people in the land who do not look like him. Wishing not to see them, he orders them banished, and when that is not enough, he calls for a wall to be built.

But he has already sent away the wall builders. Finding he needs them, he has them called back to do the work.

And that is the first flaw in Giancarlo Macri and Carolina Zanotti's children's book, THE WALL: A TIMELESS TALE, illustrated by Mauro Sacco and elisa Vallarino.

The story sets out with the noblest of intentions--to instill in children the lesson that people who look different are still people, and that they have talents and skills to be appreciated. Teaching children not to exclude based on looks is something all decent human beings want for the next generation.

Mon
24
Jun

Top Films That Will Inspire you to Get Fit

Enough

While trying to maintain your health and fitness, it can be challenging to stay energetic and motivated throughout the year. Various circumstances, such as harsh weather conditions or simply not feeling up to it are some of the factors that can tempt you to abandon your goal of being healthier and fitter.

Fri
21
Jun

Chernobyl: The Incredible HBO Miniseries About a Real Life Tragedy

Chernobyl

Mario Petkovski

So GAME OF THRONES had ended, causing quite a riot among fans, and NFL preseason schedule ain’t really enough to keep you entertained through the summer. What about watching an amazing HBO miniseries that is being a success worldwide and will also teach you some history?

The mini-series CHERNOBYL came through a small door and won the hearts of the audience overnight. Since its release on May 6th, people went crazy about it, making it one of the most popular series today. CHERNOBYL became the highest rated series of all time with an IMDb rating of 9.5 surpassing BREAKING BAD and GAME OF THRONES. But everyone is wondering: Why it is so popular?

Wed
12
Jun

Set Phasers to Fail: Podcaster Redshirts after Shatner Death Twish

Shatner and LLAPawsper

There's a secret about Twitter that a surprising number of people haven't figured out yet. It's not just a leading social media tool, a great way to promote your brand, and a fun way to connect with people who share common (or uncommon) interests -- it's also public and "out loud" and whatever you say on it is seen by everyone and, if archived, lasts forever. Many have been the times an unwary person has spoken in anger, in jest, in drunken carelessness, only to find they've become an overnight sensation or a symbol of infamy.

Such seems to be the case when Star Trek fan, Heather Rae, took to Twitter with her "Hot Take."

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