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Syd Mead Aliens Sulaco illustration

Posted on August 29th, 2015 | By: Bert Ehrmann

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Meet a bloody end with Game of Thrones

Posted on August 21st, 2015 | By: Bert Ehrmann

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Last spring the TV series Game of Thrones ended its fifth season on HBO. While I’m usually a huge fan of the series I didn’t much care for last season. I think that’s partly because this season seemed to be building up to … something. Previous seasons of the show told a long, complex story whereas this season seemed to be leading to another season.

Stephen Dillane and Liam Cunningham

Stephen Dillane and Liam Cunningham

To be sure this year there were stories of characters consolidating power and others where they made plans but a lot of the story felt mostly static. I’m not one of those people who demands action and battles from series like Game of Thrones but I think there should be something interesting happening to keep the viewer’s interest. Which I think was sorely lacking most of this season.

I do wonder how much the creators of Game of Thrones series were hurt that they had to follow the Game of Thrones novels? What I mean is that if they weren’t following the story set by the novels I think this season would’ve gone in a different direction altogether. That rather on focusing on a lot of lead up and not a lot of payoff they could have instead told something else altogether.

I don’t think it helps matters that each episode of Game of Thrones tells stories of multiple characters. Since there were many different storylines and characters that were being followed meant that most characters only got a few minutes of screen time each episode. Meaning their season-stories probably only covered an hour or so of television at most per character.

And how can characters grow and change in just an hour each year?

Worst of all I don’t think it had to be this way. Looking back on the season it seemed that several storylines could’ve easily been cut. These stories had no value other than to take characters from A to B then back to A again without much happening. I get the sense that some of this were in place just to keep all of the actors working and having equal screen time but I think that really hurt the overall quality of the show.

Jack Gleeson and Natalie Dormer

Jack Gleeson and Natalie Dormer

All of which is bad, but what just might have turned me off to Game of Thrones for good was the cruelty on display this season.

To be sure Game of Thrones has always been a show that depicted humainty’s cruelty towards humanity. The series has never shied away from characters being killed, maimed and mutilated. In fact this has been one of the hallmarks of the show. But recently some of that cruelty seemed to be in place for shock value alone.

This season character of Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) was raped by her cruel and malevolent husband Ramsay (Iwan Rheon). Which was upsetting especially since we’ve known the character of Sansa since the actress was 15. And the creators of the show didn’t shy away from depicting the act on screen, later defending themselves by saying that these sorts of things happen in real life.

Which is true. Except that of all the acts of cruelty that happened OFF-screen over the years why was did one have to be ON-screen?

And then another character Shireen Baratheon (Kerry Ingram) whom we’ve known since the actress was 14 was taken by her father and burned alive at the stake this season. She screams for him to stop but he won’t since he’s seeking to be granted a favor from the gods. Ugh.

Jason Momoa and Emilia Clarke

Jason Momoa and Emilia Clarke

Which makes me think of a show like The Walking Dead. I used to like The Walking Dead just fine and was a big fan of the show up until a few seasons ago. That’s when I realized that it’d become little more than “bad things happening to good people” the TV series. If you like becoming invested in characters only to see them meet a brutal, gory end then The Walking Dead’s for you! It’s a series where characters are seemingly introduced one week in order to die screaming the next.

And that’s kind’a where I think Game of Thrones is right now. For some reason the creators of that show think that showing bad things happening to good characters makes for good TV, but it doesn’t. It’s a cheap way to get people talking about a series for all the wrong reasons.

I lost the stomach for this sort of thing with The Walking Dead and stopped watching it and feel like I’m starting to lose my stomach for it with Game of Thrones too.




Rembrandt Crying Man Brown – Cry Like A Man Music Video

Posted on August 19th, 2015 | By: Bert Ehrmann




Bernie Wrightson dinosaur original art

Posted on August 19th, 2015 | By: Bert Ehrmann

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Frank Miller Elektra Lives Again original art

Posted on August 19th, 2015 | By: Bert Ehrmann

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DC Firestar logo

Posted on August 18th, 2015 | By: Bert Ehrmann

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World War III (1982) TV Guide ad

Posted on August 13th, 2015 | By: Bert Ehrmann

(As I remember it) a TERRIBLE movie but a pretty nice ad.

World War III TV Guide Ad




Punisher War Zone logo

Posted on August 8th, 2015 | By: Bert Ehrmann

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Fear the Walking Dead numbers game

Posted on August 7th, 2015 | By: Bert Ehrmann

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The series The Walking Dead is one of the most popular shows on TV with up to 17 million people watching each episode. Over the last five seasons we’ve learned a lot about what happened after the zombies came to dominate the planet but not much of what lead to their takeover.

fear_the_walking_dead_ver3We do know that at some point between the time character Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) was shot and wounded on a seemingly normal day and awoke a few weeks/months later in an abandoned hospital is when society fell apart and the ghouls with a taste for people took over. And other than a few flashbacks in other episodes that’s it.

Now the new The Walking Dead spin-of series Fear the Walking Dead is set to go back and tell this missing history of how the zombies ate their way to world domination from the very first bite.

Which got me thinking; if what happened in The Walking Dead happened in real life how would it go down?

First, let’s assume that at some point at the same time all over the planet the virus in The Walking Dead that turns anyone who’s died for any reason into flesh eating zombies strikes. And from that point on anyone who dies will reanimate and come looking for lunch. Which would be bad news for us since 56 million people die each year which means at a minimum there’s be 56 million zombies on the planet!

Well, actually no.

Alycia Debnam Carey as Alicia, Frank Dillane as Nick, Kim Dickens as Madison, Cliff Curtis as Travis, Elizabeth Rodriguez as Liza, Lorenzo James Henrie as Chris, Ruben Blades as Daniel Salazar, Patricia Reyes Spíndola as Griselda Salazar and Mercedes Mason as Ofelia - Fear The Walking Dead _ Season 1, Gallery - Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

Alycia Debnam Carey as Alicia, Frank Dillane as Nick, Kim Dickens as Madison, Cliff Curtis as Travis, Elizabeth Rodriguez as Liza, Lorenzo James Henrie as Chris, Ruben Blades as Daniel Salazar, Patricia Reyes Spíndola as Griselda Salazar and Mercedes Mason as Ofelia – Fear The Walking Dead _ Season 1, Gallery – Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

It’s true that on average something like 56 million people die every year but that’s over the course of an entire year. In a month about 4.6 million people die, in a day around 153,000. Which again is a lot, until you look at the population as a whole.

Currently, there are more than 7 billion people on the planet. And that’s 7,000,000,000 people who’d be against 153,000 some zombies the first day. While the zombies might have surprise on their hands since I’m assuming that in the universe of The Walking Dead there’s no movies like Night of the Living Dead to prepare the populous on how to fight and destroy the beasts (“If you have a gun, shoot ’em in the head. That’s a sure way to kill ’em. If you don’t, get yourself a club or a torch. Beat ’em or burn ’em. They go up pretty easy.”), my guess is that 7 billion vs. 153 thousand would be able to take care of the zombie plague relatively quickly.

Especially since zombies aren’t smart or cunning. Once a zombie is created it doesn’t go around looking for other zombies to start building an army in secret, it goes out looking for regular people to bite. Regular people who probably don’t want to be bitten. Regular people who’d fight back.

fear_the_walking_dead_ver2_xlgAnd again, 153,000 might sound like a big number but that would be the total amount of zombies created world-wide on the first day + any people unlucky enough to be offed by them. To put that number into perspective, there are about 8.4 million people living in New York City where we’d see about 150 zombies created on the first day. Again, 8.4 million vs 150 is no match.

Looking at the numbers I just can’t see how the zombies took over in The Walking Dead? Maybe it was some crazed politician who outlawed killing zombies because he or she was afraid of losing votes? Or maybe people tried to ignore their dead friend’s pasty completion and penchant for cannibalism too long before the zombies started taking over?

I just don’t get it.

Realistically, I could only see something like in The Walking Dead happening if something else happened along side it. Like say a something like World War 2 where tens of thousands of people were dying every day in certain places where the population was already displaced and dislocated and not able to effectively fight the zombies. Or if something like the 1918 flu pandemic happened again that was bad enough that 25% of the population became sick, and in a zombie apocalypse wouldn’t be able to fight back, and tens of millions of extra people died as well.

Then we might be in trouble.

Otherwise, as long as we had enough heavy sticks to club the zombies with in the first weeks of an outbreak I think we’d be okay. Fear the Walking Dead is set to answer these questions on AMC Sunday, August 23.




Walt Simonson original Star Wars cover art

Posted on August 6th, 2015 | By: Bert Ehrmann

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