Sunday, 7 August 2016

Marvel Unlimited, Scribd and Comixology Unlimited: A Comparison.

For any comic fans wanting to read hundreds of comics without breaking the bank, there are now several options available.  One option is sites like HumbleBundle and Groupees which occasionally offer bundles of digital comics for incredibly cheap prices.  Another way is with a monthly subscription to Marvel Unlimited, Scribd, or Comixology Unlimited, which you could loosely describe as kind of like 'Netflix for comics'.

Here's a summary of each of the services...

Marvel Unlimited

Marvel Unlimited
1) The Marvel Unlimited library includes over 17,000 comics!

2) You can save up to 12 comics to your device for offline reading.

3) The Marvel Unlimited app is available for Android and iOS, and subscribers can also read comics on the Marvel website.

4) A monthly subscription costs only $9.99, or an annual subscription is even better value at $69.  Look out also for special introductory offers from time to time, such as your first month free, etc.

5) The Marvel Unlimited library is fairly comprehensive from 2000 onwards.

6) New comics are added every week with recent titles added after a six month delay.  The exact number of new additions varies from week to week, but 25-40 per week is fairly typical.  As well as recent (six month old) comics being added, each week you'll generally see a few comics from years-gone-by added as well.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

TV: Mr. Robot

"Put simply, Mr. Robot is essential viewing."

Rami Malek plays hacker Elliot Alderson in Mr Robot.
There are some TV shows which build up slowly and perhaps by the end of the first season or later you realise you love the show.  Then there are other shows which capture your interest fairly quickly and by the end of the first episode you're a fan.  And then there are shows which firmly grab your attention right from the opening scene.  Mr. Robot falls into this final category, and within the first few minutes I was already confident I was going to love this show.

To outline the basic plot, Mr. Robot is a 'hactivist' (played by Christian Slater) who assembles a team of underground hackers known as fsociety to go after and bring down E Corp, one of the world's biggest corporations.  The story is told from the perspective of Elliot Alderson, a cyber-security programmer and talented hacker whose father was killed by E Corp's policy of putting corporate greed over human life, so E Corp are therefore appropriately referred to as Evil Corp throughout the series.

There are some clever twists along the way; some unexpected and also one big twist that most viewers will probably work out for themselves in advance of the big 'reveal'.  But with Mr. Robot, the foreseeable 'twist' is told with such brilliant story-telling that even though you expect it coming, it still adds to the overall intrigue.  And when it's finally revealed, although you're not surprised, it adds layers to the story and you're excited for how things will now progress.

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 legally 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


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."