Follow by Email

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Coming Back To Me... SeanGeek

When it comes to playing music, I have a fair amount of insecurity. It still feels like a fallacy when I say that I am a musician. I see musicians as true royalty. They create emotions and feelings, or more properly, turn our own emotions and feelings on. They concisely shape stories, crafted in small dense time capsules of 2½ to 5 minutes long. Each of these songs have the ability to take you back in time, to key moments in our lives, awakening all our senses in pure recollection: your first crush, your first rebellion, your first adult moment, your first win, your first loss. The pure craft of creating all of those moving parts and making them fit together into that perfect song that can purely capture a single moment in your life, is pure genius and pure madness. Am I a musician? I sure hope so, but those are lofty heights.

(And please don’t get this confused with the other “musicians” out there that are created, packaged, produced and put out there, that have all of their parts scripted for them. I am talking about the real musicians that master their instruments AND craft their own music, creating masterpieces with their own two hands.) 

A few years ago, I made a conscious change. Although I had played a variety of different musical styles I had yet to play heavier music as a frontman. Although I began as a drummer, and I did front another couple of projects, I had more often been the drummer and singer in bands I was in. I found a heavier band to audition for and decided to take a break from drumming. I was going all in.

During that time I played on my kit less and less and gave it up altogether. I could always come back to it later. I rocked out, learned some new skills, played a lot of shows. Hell, the band did very well for itself, too. We actually got up to some good up there.

Now it was time for another change. The band had finished what it had set out to do. Now it was time to get back behind a drumkit again. Logistically it was still an issue. I picked up an electronic kit despite an initial strong aversion to it. It would allow me to play and not blow my kids and wife out of the house
.
I was nervous and afraid to try this out. I likely had accumulated a lot of rust. Before I had taken my hiatus from the drumkit, I had finally been comfortable enough to say that I was a darn good drummer. Now I would be back to square one.

I stared at the new kit, butterflies fluttering in my stomach. I took a deep breath, stepped behind the kit and then sat down. I held the sticks in my hand, popped in my earbuds, queued my music player, and turned the kit on. Here we go. 

The first few minutes were a little awkward but soon the magic took over. I was able to handle the standard beats and then some more complicated stuff. About twenty minutes in I found my groove and began playing instinctively.

I played for an hour. I wasn’t tired. I was wired. I was awake. I was alive.

I was back.

~SeanGeek


Saturday, 16 June 2018

Introductions to Music Part Two - SeanGeek



During the year 1983 something was happening. This guitar player named Eddie Van Halen had been making headlines all over the world with his band Van Halen. However, in our neck of the woods, stuck with AM radio, we’d never heard of Van Halen. Glen Campbell, Anne Murray, and Gordon Lightfoot were all the radio would give us.

When Van Halen’s 1984 came out, it revolutionized the music industry. Seriously. In our neck of the woods, the album broke open what we could listen to the radio. I mean Kiss never got radio play. But Van Halen was getting a lot of radio airplay. And a lot of other bands were getting airplay too. All of a sudden, hard rock was now being made available to the masses. Music with searing guitars, monster drums, pounding bass, and wailing vocals was now on the radio and I couldn’t be happier. Kiss had been my only island amidst all that AOR (Adult Oriented Rock) that saturated the airwaves. Now I could take my pick.

It was my brother who glomed on Van Halen first. He had heard a song or two and went out and picked up their album. And it played incessantly. I could hear it through our walls in our home. Todd was playing guitar and trying and trying to figure out what Eddie Van Halen was playing. He would play and pause rewind and play again, until he would learn the parts.

The music was alien and different. While Kiss had served up everything I could ever want in a band at that tender age, Van Halen was about growing up musically for me. This music was technical, complicated, yet still catchy as heck. This was technical ability and songwriting all in one. My brother really went to school when he heard 1984, and I was worshipping my brother’s emergence as the most influential guitarist in my life.
He picked up Van Halen I and Van Halen II, and then slowly he had all of their music. I would steal the music from his room when he wasn’t home and play these albums to death, imitating David Lee Roth’s gruff and growl, air drumming to Alex Van Halen, and prancing around like the frontman I wish I could be.

Todd eventually mastered all of Van Halen’s songs. He would rip on Eruption from Van Halen’s debut, pluck around on Spanish Fly Instrumental from Van Halen II, smooth through the knob effect of Cathedral… Todd could do it all. He was as good as Eddie in my book.

~SeanGeek

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Looking for a place to happen...

“I’ve got a job, I explore
I follow every little whiff
And I want my life to smell like this”

I remember listening to the radio when that song, “Looking for a Place to Happen” by the Tragically Hip came on. As I listened I realized that it summed up everything I’ve ever wanted for and from the Geeks.

For me Meet the Geeks has been a journey towards the savage heart of my dream: The idea of one day becoming a cartoonist of note, joining the ranks of the likes of Berkley Breathed, Jim Davis, Bill Watterson and the new crop of web cartoonists such as Jennie Breeden and Lar DeSousa. The thought of traveling down an unknown road and finding fortune at its end. Exploration and discovery.

The two works I come back to on a regular basis during this journey is that song, sung to perfection by the late and great Gord Downey, held with reverence in my heart, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson. That book/comic/movie explores the search for the American Dream, found in Las Vegas, the dream of making it big and ultimately shown to be a “lame fuckaround, a waste of time”.

But it isn’t that lesson that I took away. Preserverance and a little bit of madness will take you through to your goals.

It also helps to have a travelling companion.

I won’t lie. The greatest obstacle towards the success of Meet the Geek’s has always been me. It’s not a fear of failure, I’m an old hand at that: It’s been a fear of success. I’m afraid of getting that momentum up and then having to keep it up. Let’s face it, if you’re working for yourself you have to stay hungry and never stop moving.

It sometimes seems easier to just sit back and embrace the status quo. Work for the man. Take home your paycheck. Do the least amount of work you can get away with.

But sometimes on your journey you acquire a traveling companion, or maybe they were there all along, and you let their enthusiasm infect you.

That’s what’s happened here Geeks.

Sean, my stalwart companion - he’s been there from the git-go - and I are off on this savage journey to the heart of the fannish dream, exploring new avenues, making friends, seeking companions and moving forward. Ours is an older journey, not in a bright red Chevy convertible seeking through the glitz and chintz, finding the big win in Las Vegas, the easy out. No, ours is a journey in the old wood ships of the explorers of yore. Get on a pile of canvas and timber and set out on the raging seas looking for a new land. A Place to Happen.

And maybe, just maybe, with a little work we can find a place to call our own.

"...Jacques Cartier, right this way,
I'll put your coat up on the bed
Hey man you've got the real bum's eye for clothes
And come on in, sit right down,
no you're not the first to show
We've all been here since, God, who knows?"

~CoreyGeek

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Season 5, Episode 5 – The reunion of Meet The Geeks


Very strong language. Sorry about that gang. SeanGeek, CoreyGeek and ToddFastFretFingers assemble! With special guests Clayton T Stewart and Mary, and James Remnant himself El Tigre, and Veronica.
-          Meet The Geeks – history and where it is going – what happened to Matt and who is Thomas
-          Clayton T Stewart’s Star Wars The Evil Within and the alumni panel at Keycon
-          Shill, shill, shill for seanmcginity.ca, Kraken Rum, Rum Powered Reviews (10:22)
-          Shane’s arrival (Sorry for the weak audio)
-          CoreyGeek’s cancer scare and the real truths of depression
-          The definition of Geek and our Largod (http://www.lartist.com) and his little comic with Sohmergod The Least I Could Do (www.licd.com).
-          The future of Meet The Geeks

Introductions to Music Part One - SeanGeek


Imagine this: Ronnie and Jeanne's house, some time in the 70's. A bunch of the cousins are playing along in the main area. The adults are chatting in the kitchen, having tea and coffee. The half-and-half French/English hybrid sing-song (and loud) chatter in the kitchen of the adults. The older cousin Randy was rarely seen. He would be in his bedroom, door closed. Kids are playing, laughing, playing, and carrying on. Then, a low rumble from Randy's room, slowly building, and then the music. Despite the door being closed, and all of the noise in the house, that sound cut through everything to me.


What was it? What was that sound.


I had been raised on a hell of a lot of Beatles and Ventures thanks to dad. Dad had an old tube amp record player stereo. He would plug in his bass to it and play along to those records for hours on end. I love the Beatles still to this day, and in later years would jam out more than my share of Ventures music.


But this sound--- I recognized the rumble of the bass, but the difference was this bass permeated. I could feel it in my toes and my calves. But mostly in my gut. It lived in the walls. And when the guitar came through and the drums. And the vocal. This was not the Beatles.


I had no idea what Randy was listening to, but I was definitely tuned in.


I was one of the younger cousins, so talking to Randy, who felt so much older than me was out of the question. I bid my time and waited for the perfect opportunity.


Randy was gone, out doing whatever older cousins did. Probably just being cool I imagined. I mean he did have his own stereo. There was enough distraction in the house that I went into his room and closed the door behind me. There it was: a stereo! I rummaged around and found his record collection. What could he have been listening to that had made those sounds so alien, so different? I looked at each of the record covers. I stopped at one, one I was sure had to be what he was listening to: Kiss Alive II. I flipped the album over. Oh. My. God. It had to be this. They looked aliens--- no, superheroes. And the blood dripping from that one's face--- I tried to figure out how to listen to it. I can't remember exactly how old I was, but not even close enough to figuring out how to make that black plastic thing play on that large imposing stereo.


I had eventually been lucky enough to be allowed into Randy's room and he played the record for me. Quite a few times.


Skip ahead to about 11 years old. I knew Kiss now. In fact I had even spent some allowance money and owned Kiss Dynasty now, which I bought at a flea market. I would eventually own Kiss Alive before eventually my folks would spring for that far less superior new technology called a cassette player stereo.


I was happy. I had my own Beatles now in Kiss. And dad seemed pretty happy I had found my band. Mom was less impressed. But at least it wasn't Anne Murray.


At the end of 1983 a little album was released that would take me one step closer to my musical emergence.

~SeanGeek

Deadpool 2 review by CoreyGeek

Colour me excited Geeks! I finally got out to see Deadpool 2 last night with the WifeGeek!


Here lies my somewhat biased review of the film.

A lot of reviews have complained that Deadpool 2 is simply more of the same which, while true, isn't really a bad thing. Yes it's more jokey than the first movie and breaks the fourth wall a lot more: "so dark... You're sure you're not from the DC universe?" our hero groans while fighting the time traveling cyborg soldier Cable, played to perfection by Josh Brolin. And yes they do make a Goonies joke.

The movie contains everything else the first movie leads you to expect. It's a love story. It touches on family, both genetic and the family you choose. It has an uncomfortably awkward regeneration scene. It also has a big bad that I didn't know was going to be in there. I won't spoil it for you. It's not this characters first appearance in the MCU films but the character is finally getting it's due.

The movie also touches on how violence begets violence in our society and how reaching out to those who find themselves marginalized, an act of kindness however ill advised, may turn the tide and bring the train of someones life back on the rails. The movie has a surprisingly deep philosophical message that, while not perfect, is welcome in a movie that relishes in bad behavior, poor decisions and excessive violence.

Colossus has a larger role and is a driving force behind the film. He gets a lot more to do in the final act of the film and engages in some decidedly un-Colossus like shenanigans in the final cringe inducing fight seen with the previously mentioned big-bad.

The standout performance was from Zazie Beetz playing Domino. She stole pretty much any scene she was in and swaggered throughout the rest of the movie like she knew it was about her all along. I'm pretty sure the WifeGeek might have popped a lady-boner for Ms. Beetz. Her performance was that good.

Look out ScarJo, there's a new lady ass-kicker in the MCU who's going to give you some competition.

Come to think of it I don't think I want to fuck with any of the MCU women.

The other standout performance is from plus-sized teenage badass Julian Dennison as Firefist and the central character to the plot of Deadpool 2. I'm really hoping the kid is featured in more films in the MCU. He's got a great sense of comedic timing and I think his character has a lot of potential with him behind it.

Of course Negasonic Teenage Warhead returns with new character Yukio who is unfortunately caught up in the controversy of Asian women and Hollywood hair who also appears as Negasonic's girlfriend.

And then of course there is Josh Brolin as Cable. I'll admit I was on Team Perlman when the casting call was put out. But Brolin's stony faced glare was perfect for the part and left me wanting to see more with him as Cable in the future and how he could fit into the MCU as a whole.

Will we see a Cable stand alone feature? I wouldn't doubt it.

And of course let's not forget  Dopinder whose transformation into a Kirsten Dunst quoting, full fledged psychopath continues unabaited.

And then there's this guy.


Overall I would call Deadpool 2 an overall worthy entry into the saga, building on the already firm foundation of the first film. It'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry, it'll make you cringe uncomfortably...in short all the things you would expect from a Deadpool film.

And stick around for the extra scenes where Deadpool... you know what just go! Go see the movie!






Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Hot Blooded


Of the Comic Con strips this one probably ranks as my favorite, and not just because it features me.

The Duras sisters, recurring villains from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Generations,  played by the talented and beautiful Gwyneth Walsh and Barbara March as B'Etor and Lursa respectively, were two of the celebrities featured at that convention.


They were kind. They were receptive and they took the time to look at the comic I drew and pose for a picture with me. 

In the comic I imagined my alter ego going to their table and reading poetry to them in Klingon and Gwyneth trying to fend him off not realizing that she was only encouraging him in the Klingon mating ritual. 

The Klingon love poem that Corey is reading was found online by a Klingon poet named Ke'reth. I wish I knew more about the author and if anybody has information about him, I've long since lost the link, please send me an e-mail.

~CoreyGeek



Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Have Trades Killed Comic Collecting?

How things have changed.

When I started collecting comics as a very young wee lad, part of the joy of it was re-reading my collection. There was this glee to searching through the long boxes and pulling out an entire series and diving back into it. After a while, as the collection grew larger and larger, finding a particular run became more difficult. I started cataloging my collection, keeping like-minded series in the same longbox until that series grew too large and I would need to rejig the storage of what series was kept where.

I have a complex coding system to finding my comics, estimating their value and keeping track of my collection.

Trades changed that. As sales of trades (collected editions of story arc in paperbook or hardcover format) grew, so did the number of them being put out. At a certain point, most of my favorite runs I had collected were being represented in tradebook format.

And here is where collecting comics changed for me. In the old days, I would simply delve through my collection, find the run I wanted to re-read and read it again. Now I just pick up the trade and read it there--- leaving my collection untouched for years. 

Yeah, I still have the collection but it's growth has slowed over the last few years. I don't feel that need to go back and pull issues out to look over the artwork and revisit my favorite storylines. Additionally, I can keep my collection almost untouched so they keep their value. My trade collection on the other hand just keeps growing.

Have trades hurt the industry? Are sales down on the individual monthly issues and made up for on the sale of trades? I really wonder as I hop online and see what other trades I can pick up.

But just for old times' sake, I went and pulled the issues of Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity War to spark that old feel of going through the longboxes. Maybe it's not too late to go back.

~SeanGeek

This post originally appeared on May 28th, 2018 @ seanmcginity.ca

Shared with permission