Friday, 17 July 2015

10 Websites For Free Comics, 'Pay What You Want' Comics and Cheap Bundled Comics

Free and great value introductions to the world of comics...


With the current trend for successful Hollywood movies based on popular comic book characters, it's likely that a number of new readers will have been attracted to the comic book market in recent years.  If you're curious about comics yourself, but not sure where to start, then here are a few websites where you can download free digitial comics, 'pay what you want' comics, and cheap bundled comics...

Django/Zorro: One of over 200
comics in the Dynamite Mega Bundle.

Bundled Comics:


1) The Dynamite Mega Bundle


I'll start things off with an absolutely brilliant deal from Dynamite Entertainment and BitTorrent; The Dynamite Mega Bundle.  This comics bundle has two levels; the basic bundle is free and features 30 comics, or the complete bundle features over 200 comics and is available for a 'pay what you want' price, with a minimum of $6!  Personally, I would definitely recommend buying the full bundle, as at $6 for over 200 comics, that works out at under 3 cents per comic!

If you want to test the water first though, then the free bundle is also a great deal and features a wide range of comics, with my own personal favourites including Django/Zorro, Bob's Burgers, Ex-Con, Uncanny and The Twilight Zone.  Truthfully though, I'm still only a fraction of the way through reading the entire bundle, so I'll probably discover several more recommended comics before I finish reading the entire set of comics.
The Dynamite Mega Bundle!

Friday, 15 May 2015

Music: Five Chilled Out Summer Tunes

Mellow tunes for a lazy summer's day...


Garrett Borns
As summer approaches, this week I feature a round-up of five songs which are perfect for a lazy relaxing summer's afternoon...

1) B.O.R.N.S. - 10,000 Emerald Pools


Within about the first five seconds of 10,000 Emerald Pools, I realised that this is the sort of tune which transforms your mood completely and makes you feel totally happy with the world.  And as the song progresses it just gets better and better, and to me it somehow sounded nostalgic, yet also fresh and exciting.  Garrett Borns' dress sense has a hippie retro look, and the music also captures the feel of an era from days gone by.  You can purchase 10,000 Emerald Pools from iTunes or listen to it below on Soundcloud:



And if you love the tune, then it's also worth checking out an acoustic studio performance on Youtube:
10,000 Emerald Pools (Acoustic Version)

Friday, 3 April 2015

Website: Trustpilot.com

Trustpilot: Building trust between consumers and companies.


If you're buying goods or items on the internet, standards of customer service can vary from one website to another, so it's wise to base your purchase decision on more than just the cheapest price.

For example, I once booked a holiday only to find that when I clicked the final purchase button, the confirmation page had suddenly added an extra £80 onto the advertised price!  To make matters worse when I rang up to complain about being overcharged they then agreed as 'a gesture of goodwill' to refund me half of the overcharged amount!
Trustpilot: Making your shopping experience more transparent.

So let me get this straight...  You've incorrectly overcharged me by £80, but as a gesture of goodwill you'll keep half of the money!?  I don't think so!

Luckily, I had kept screen prints of every stage of the purchase, so when I threatened to take things further they eventually agreed to return the full overcharged amount which they had incorrectly taken from me.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Books: The Walking Man by Wright Forbucks

"The Walking Man is a unique book which deserves to be discovered by a much bigger audience."


The Walking Man by Wright Forbucks
The Walking Man tells the story of Francis 'Buddy' Morris, a selfish yet strangely likeable character who suffers from Myasthenia Gravis, an autoimmune disease which causes paralysis after muscle use, and right from the start it quickly becomes clear that this is a book which isn't afraid to pull any punches.  Likewise, author Wright Forbucks isn't a writer who will sugar coat his stories.

I was hooked right from the very start, and a combination of the unique story and the memorable characters meant that within a few chapters I was thoroughly engrossed.  It's the type of book where you say to yourself, 'I'll just read one more chapter,' and then two hours later you realise that 'one more chapter' has quickly become an extended reading session.

If you were a cynical person then you might possibly argue that certain elements of the plot are unrealistic, but as Wright Forbucks himself points out, the truth is often stranger than fiction.  Real life can also be incredibly unrealistic sometimes, and despite the non-conventional nature of the plot, the blurb describes The Walking Man as 'loosely based on a true story'.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Free Stuff!

Music, web shows, guide books, etc ... all for free!


This month's post is for the benefit of anyone who spent a little too much cash over Christmas and New Year.  All the items featured in this post are free!

1) Free web series:


Pioneer One was funded entirely through donations.
Pioneer One is a cool web series which was financed via crowdfunding and won the Best Drama Pilot at the 2010 New York Television Festival.  It's distributed with a creative commons licence, and each episode is available free (via torrents) from the VODO website:

This is the blurb:
"A mysterious spaceship has entered Earth's atmosphere. A US Department of Homeland Security investigation has uncovered a live human being in a Soviet space suit in an unstable condition. A note in Russian, found at the crash site, claims the man is the child of cosmonauts living at a base on Mars."

Friday, 14 November 2014

Movie: Frankenweenie

Frankenweenie: An excellent movie for kids of all ages.


Sparky, the reanimated star of Frankenweenie.
Frankenweenie tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a science obsessed school kid with no real friends other than his loveable dog, Sparky.  Victor and Sparky are residents of New Holland, a town which for some reason seems to get more than its fair share of lightning strikes and while the kids at school speculate as to the reasons behind all the lightning strikes, Victor instead follows a different train of thought.

During a science lesson from Mr Rzykruski, Victor learns that even after death, the muscles of a dead frog will still respond to electricity.  Given the title of the movie it’s safe to say that I won’t be giving too much away when I reveal that by this stage Victor’s dog Sparky has befallen the fate of many unfortunate animals in Disney movies, and when you throw in the already mentioned frequent lightning storms, you can probably guess how things develop.  I won’t say any more other than that the words of Mr Rzykruski prove to be very prophetic when he states that ‘science can be used for good or bad.’  Or in some cases, both…

Friday, 12 September 2014

TV: Bates Motel

Bates Motel: "Had me hooked from the first episode."


Bates Motel
Bates Motel is a TV prequel to Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, but with a modern day setting, and the show is based on the early life of main character, Norman Bates.  The show explores the loving but intense and occasionally creepy relationship between Norman and his mother Norma Bates, and also examines the psychology of this young Norman Bates and the events of his early life which will eventually lead to him becoming the psycho of Hitchcock's movie.

This early version of Norman Bates is a long way from becoming the ultimately unhinged Norman Bates from the Psycho movie though, and you don't have to be a fan of the original movie to enjoy Bates Motel.  The show does include some clever and interesting details which fans of the movie will recognise, however, such as the beginnings of Norman's interest in taxidermy, and of course his complex relationship with his mother, Norma Bates.

Perhaps the danger with doing a show about a character who goes on to become a psycho killer is that you could potentially alienate some viewers by having a main character who it's difficult to sympathise with.  However, at this stage in his life Norman, although already showing signs for concern with his mental state, is nevertheless a largely likeable character.  Actor Freddie Highmore is the perfect choice to play Norman, and helped by some talented writers he does a superb job or portraying the deep and complex nature of Norman Bates' character.  He also infuses the perfect balance of edginess and vulnerability into Norman, with the overall result being a character who you cheer for even when his psychological problems surface.