Don’t Miss the Devastator’s Hilarious Story Bundle

Bundling is now as popular as it was in Colonial times—even if it meant something a bit different then. Anyway, nowadays it means putting together “bundles” of ebooks or videogames and letting you pay one price or even set your own price.*

The Devastator, the sly humorous anthology, has put together a StoryBundle that includes several comics and comics-like elements, including “Fantasy” a Devastator anthology which contains parodies of Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Final Fantasy and more, with contributions from Tony Millionaire, Zach Weiner and a cover by Dan Hipp. On the other side of the flip book is a Dungeons and Dragons take­off, Wizards of C*ckblock Forest.

Other books available in the bundle, which foes for a suggested $20, include Zack Weinersmith’s Trial of the Clone choose-your-own-adventure game and KC Greens’ Anime Club. So NOW what would you pay for all of this?.

But hurry! Because this sat in my tabs for weeks while my computer wrestled with a memory problem, you have only 10 hours to bundle up!

* In the olden days “bundling” meant the practice of two folks of the opposite sex, usually youngish, “bundling up” in a blanket and “spending quality time together” which may have meant talking or courting or something Twitter would be outraged by. It’s actually the basis of the core metaphor in the graphic novel Blankets by Craig Thompson.

Why Seth MacFarlane is not a great satirist

While it was nice to see the first ever RISD grad hosting the Academy Awards, Seth MacFarlane’s Oscar hosting turn was not really a triumph for humor. The woman-bashing element, in particular has come in for endless (and deserved) criticism. As I suggested earlier, of course it was no surprise that the creator of Family Guy would come out with tasteless, demeaning humor—that’s his schtick. The show had big ratings, particularly among younger audiences, proving that putting an edgy host under 40 in charge would draw a younger crowd. I can see the Hollywood suits analyzing it with wonder now: “The kids like kids!” Amazing.

And of course lots of people enjoyed it and laughed along. What does surprise me is many of his defenders claiming that MacFarlane was delivering clever satire. Here’s a typical note:

Anyone complaining in these comments ever heard of satire. I think MacFarlane’s humor is satire and is meant to provoke. Seems pretty effective to me.

Provoking, yes—like a blunt instrument. Satire is meant to take one thing and examine it through a humorous lens, usually in a critical way. MacFarlane’s humor often doesn’t have that object at all—it’s one-dimensional shock humor.

Let’s take the most obvious example: “We Saw Your Boobs.” The set up is William Shatner as Captain Kirk slingshotting back in time to warn MacFarlane not to do the horrible tasteless things he’s about to do and thus earn the label of worst Oscar host ever. To show what’s about to happen. Shatner cuts to a video of MacFarlane singing a song called “We Saw Your Boobs” where he names actresses and the films in which they appeared sans shirt.

Now, if the object of the humor was actually MacFarlane and his penchant for ribald attack humor, a simple 15-second cutaway—much like those on Family Guy—would have gotten across the point…and the humor. But no, it goes on for nearly two minutes—the point is to name and shame, say the word boobs and turn actresses into dehumanized objects yet again. I have a dream that someday women will be judged by the content of their character and not the content of their Maidenforms, but that day has not come for MacFarlane. In his world, if you’re a woman and doggedly track down the worst terrorist the world has ever known, you’re not a hero—you’re just another woman who’s mad at being stood up on a date.

Now of course, there is often pop culture satire on Family Guy, but the humor is as much aimed at the helpless as at targets that need to be taken down a peg. It’s the mocking humor of the powerful, not social critique. This is backed up by the show’s structure as a prototypical interaction of id, ego, and superego—Peter, Brian and Stewie—all voiced by MacFarlane, reinforcing the one-dimensional viewpoint.

And for those who say it’s all an act, well, in his New Yorker profile, MacFarlane was asked about his penchant for dating starlets, and he replies he isn’t looking for an intellectual equal, pointing to his own parents, saying his father wanted someone who was exciting. “My father and my mother were not…intellectual equals by any means.” Maybe his mum was a dimwit, but it takes a tough man to call her one in a national magazine.

I’m not a fan of MacFarlane’s humor, but I see why people laugh. And he has worked hard to go from a schlubby animator to a handsome song and dance man. (Looking at his unvarying smile, and smooth 39-year-old visage, one might guess some of the work included botox.) He’s the highest paid comedy writer in the world, has had a Grammy-nominated album of him singing classic songs, a #1 movie, and a lot of that success is admirable. But a great satirist? Nope, not this time.

The Dark Cat rises trailer

Speaking of the DARK KNIGHT RISES trailer, the folks at MovieCLIPS have just released the TrailerCats version of the Dark Knight trailer, and as much as we like Tom Hardy, darned if Bane doesn’t look just as scary when portrayed by a hairless cat. Plus, easier to understand.

Geek Girls: How quickly things change

Given all the talk of late about geek girls, this Onion story from 2004 seems pretty dated:

Osley attended the convention from Friday to Sunday, freely and confidently mingling with the 85 percent male crowd at the Hilton Burbank Airport and Convention Center.

“From the moment she walked in the door, Paulette was the object of admiring glances,” Martin said. “Everywhere she went, men were awkwardly trying to make conversation with her, flirting with her using Farscape dialogue, and inviting her to season-finale-watching parties in their hotel suites. Although she only came in 14th in the trivia contest, her adorable blush, her nervous giggle, and the fact that she was female earned her many admirers.”

Conan visits the home of DC Comics and Bruce Timm

If you wanted any more proof that the home of DC Comics is now beautiful downtown Burbank, look no further than this blurb that popped up on my Facebook page:

Since the WB lot is home DC Comics, Conan stops by and realizes his dream of becoming a superhero!

In the event Conan O’Brien crosses the street to the WB Animation Building to sit down with creative director Peter Girardi and artists Bruce Timm. In the first segment, Conan makes fun of characters like Captain Boomerang and even Green Lantern — “This sounds like whoever invented this one he was trying to get out early for the weekend.” In the Timm segment he gets his own animated model sheet for Captaiin C, complete with old man socks AND fishnets….and a bit of “back.”

In the Timm segment, they’re sitting in front of a Green Lantern poster we hadn’t seen before…but that’s probably just us.


[via Andy Khouri]