An Editorial From John Camarena
Well it’s been a nice hiatus brought to you by COVID-19, but life goes on and so must the creation of content. Continuing with my series of favorite Youtube channels, the next three are specific in that they are all intelligent, geeky ladies that create longer form videos. Chock-full of interesting information, ranging from topics about pop culture media and hot takes to deeper psychological and social issues, these creators never fail to have my attention.
Jenny is an acerbic young woman who is deeply steeped in the nerdy fandoms of Star Wars, Harry Potter and especially Disney. She’s a former Disneyland employee and admits she has a fascination with theme parks in general and Disney parks especially. Jenny’s style is to deep-dive into whatever she’s making a video of, whether it’s a movie, book, or even merchandise, all while providing a running commentary and generally tearing them apart in a loving fashion. The majority of her videos are filmed from her bedroom, with a few rare exceptions that have her out and about at a con or otherwise somewhere outdoors. While she is never mean-spirited, she does not mince words when calling out the ridiculousness of the plot holes or story decisions in the books or movies she’s discussing, and has sharp observations combined with a sweetly innocent and slightly monotone voice. While most of her videos are 20 minutes or longer, she also has a few shorter videos where she sarcastically pretends to pitch movies by solely highlighting the elements of that movie that arguably made it bad, or just presents a short video on a recent moment in pop culture. She’s also fascinated by Reylo (Rey and Kylo Ren) fan fiction, and reviews these stories as well as other questionable works of fiction in her dry style. She’s also collaborated with Screen Junkies/Fandom Entertainment for a series called Millennial Falcon, in which she would speak to guests about Star Wars-related topics, and while she obviously had a higher budget for the production of those videos, they lack the charm of her independent videos. Some of my favorite videos include “15 Very Dumb Things in Fantastic Beasts 2”, “Justice League Bad”, and “Tomorrowland Ruined My Life and Dreams”
Now, while Jenny is precociously sardonic and satirical, Lindsay is much more sharp and scathing. Previously known as Nostalgia Chick on Youtube’s Channel Awesome, she continues on her own channel where she post videos about pop culture observations, with a heavy emphasis on reviews of Disney movies, but also touches on other relevant releases. Lindsay’s content is approached with a more academic eye and really breaks down the tropes involving feminism and woke culture, or rather the way that some of the media tries to implement it and usually in the worst way possible. Lindsay also hosts the PBS Digital Studios series It’s Lit!, which focuses on literature, and is now an author herself, with her first novel, Axiom’s End, set to be released soonish. Some of my favorite videos she has created include “Woke Disney”, a dissection of the Dumbo remake and the problems it chooses to ignore; “The Hobbit” 3-part mini documentary; and “How Aladdin Changed Animation (by screwing over Robin Williams)”. Overall, Lindsay is not shy about taking a stance regarding the messages that pop culture media tries to, and often fails to depict.
Natalie Wynn is probably one of the most interesting and unique Youtubers I’ve come across in recent history. But unlike other controversial Youtubers like your Logan Pauls and your Jon Trons, she is an academic intellectual that earns her vitriol by challenging preconceived societal norms and surely antagonizing her detractors head-on by performing as a multitude of characters, each meant to mock a certain stereotype such as fascists, TERFs, and even herself. Found while searching for videos about the incel phenomenon, Natalie caught my eye thanks to her colorful and moody lighting and fancy wardrobe. She has in distinctive sense of humor, that when paired with her clearly brilliant analysis of important social topics, make for some long-form videos that are never boring. What is probably the most refreshing aspect of her video style is her willingness to explore her own psyche in relation to the subjects she discusses, and being very honest about her feelings from the perspective of a person transitioning into a woman. Natalie’s videos, when viewed chronologically, contain a meta-narrative as she becomes more accustomed to the changes she’s going through, both literal and metaphorical. Although her videos tend to be on the longer side, her style of humor peppered throughout very well written and filmed video essays keep you engaged. Besides the before-mentioned video on incels, I also highly recommend Beauty, which focuses on the preconceived notions of attraction and the lengths that some go through to achieve physical perfection, and Shame, in which she analyses her struggle to figure out dating and physical relationships during her transitioning.
I highly recommend checking them out, if only for a different perspective to what is a mostly male-dominated medium, but are strong enough to stand on their own.
Chris’ Comic Book Corner: Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia #5 Review: Follow The Turkeys And Don’t Trust The Egg Salad
A Review By Christopher Franey
We are back for the penultimate chapter of Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia and this issue takes a deep dive into the ego of “Rock N Roll” Rory; so clear the couch and be glad you’re not on the clock for this look inside. Last issue left us with a cliff hanger of Rory and his group all being captured somehow and things looking bleak. This issue starts with Dick Drasin making an offer to the captured Rory, but luckily Rory says no. This is nice because it isn’t as clear cut…maybe Rory had a change of heart or maybe he is backing away like he always does, great moments of a flawed hero. Plus it really shows that Dick Drasin does live up to his first name quite nicely.
The scene shifts from Rory and goes back to the strip club and we see that most of the group is being put in sleeper holds, but luckily the Wrestletopians forgot about Linda and does she save the day. Then like a domino effect one by one they get free and manage their escape. Again Kendall Goode delivers on the action; to be perfectly honest this issue really brings the action as we are treated to quite a few matches both physical and beyond. We also see that Rory manages to escape his trucker trap, so now all the heroes are free but they are not together.
When we go on Rory’s journey I like how at first there are some random turkeys but they are not just random; they wind up leading us to Jay Warcloud, who has been mentioned a lot in this series so he is a much welcomed character in this motley crew. The comedy really kicks into overdrive as Rory starts eating Warcloud’s food and intakes a lot of peyote. I have to laugh at the page where Rory begins his “trip” as those are some massive pupils and the leftover food on his chin paint Rory in quite a light.
Once we are inside Rory’s trip is it quite the mind screw as Rory is tossed into a five way smack down for the gold in EGOMANIA. I love the use of the other wrestlers being other forms of Rory; we are treated to “Mr. Number One,” “Testosterone Poisoning,” “Liquid Courage,” and the most heart breaking of all, “The Masked Menace.” I really love how Ed Kuehnel and Matt Entin use the Egomania as a device for Rory to face himself; what he does, his piss poor actions, and his past. Brilliant story device that goes deep in character yet also delivers on the comedy by being framed in a wrestling match. That moment when Rory takes on the Masked Menace and discovers who he is will hit you…in a good way.
This issue did a great job to set the stage by reuniting the group, having Rory face himself and getting himself together as best as he can, and the group is on the way but they wind up in quite the encounter with the Wrestletopians and this will have a major cliffhanger that will leaving you wondering about Don’s fate; which is a bummer because he and Rory just made nice together. Very much looking forward to that concluding issue from this creative crew.
Make sure to check out this miniseries as it is a fun independent comic read with great love for wrestling, comic books, and video games as this issue showed; this mini can be found digitally on Comixology. This mini-series was created written by Ed Kuehnel & Matt Entin of Suspicious Behavior Productions and can find their social medias here with these links: Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. You can find this issues artist, Kendall Goode, on twitter here. Geek out!
A Review From Hidai Moya
Ellie’s grown up now & in ‘The Last Of Us Part II’ has a murderous zeal more conniving than The Terminator & more bloodthirsty than the infected out to get her.
The first game became a hit because of how heartwarming the father daughter relationship was between its two leads & although its ok for a series to challenge players with new ideas if done well, I don’t think that any moment in Part II ever matched the emotional catharsis that was strongly present in the 1st game.
There were too many moments when the story’s momentum came to a halt, not enough moments of critical character exposition, & the way the story is structurally told I believe undermines the payoff that the writers intended.
I can appreciate its combat animations & gorgeous atmosphere of post apocalyptic Seattle but its story didn’t move me in an emotional or meaningful way that I had hoped it would.
A Review By Hidai Moya
This isn’t a cowboy simulator, but a straightforward callback to the Western arcade shooter.
In typical Ubisoft fashion it takes real historical events, real outlaws, & real stories & puts its own unique spin on them (if you learned a bunch of stuff playing Assassin’s Creed games this does the same thing).
You play as a gunslinger who encountered all of the legends of the Old West from Billy the Kid to Jesse James & is out for revenge against the man who murdered his brother.
The shooting galleries are a terrific variety of Western settings. Staying true to its roots the shooting mechanics themselves are simple & effective & make you feel as if you were standing right in front of the arcade machine putting quarters in.
If you think Red Dead is too slow or simply need an alternative Western game this is the one!
A Review By Hidai Moya
Advanced Warfare was so much fun, even after The MW Trilogy & the first 3 Black Ops titles, I thought I had seen it all but this game breathed a lot of new life into the series.
The first 2/3’s of this game is an unapologetic, over the top, bombastic, thrilling Michael Bay inspired roller coaster ride.
I know its a cliche to say something is “action packed” but this really was. There was definitely adrenaline pumping through my veins in a lot of the set pieces. You’re not quite a “space marine” in this game but you do have a cool exo suit & smart weapons that make combat more amusing.
The story is predictable as hell especially with Keven Spacey playing the head of the worlds largest Mercenary Army & they definitely phoned in the finale like they were running out of time but it was a blast up to that point.