April 2015 Round-up (Other)

Yes, it it almost the end of May. Once again, my bad:

Comics

Okay, so Mark Waid’s run on Daredevil: I started reading vol. 4 (a.k.a. the 2014 run a.k.a. the one that starts with Matt in San Francisco after getting disbarred in New York) a few months ago and it was okay, but I wasn’t super attached to it and kind of stopped following it after seven or so issues. BUT THEN Netflix’s Daredevil happened and I needed more Matt Murdock in my life, so I got caught up with vol. 4 and went back to the beginning of Waid’s run (vol. 3 a.k.a. the 2011-2014 run) and it was fantastic.

I obviously can’t speak with any authority on how the previous comics handle the character, but I get the sense that they tend to fully commit to the ~dark and gritty~ in a very expected way, both in terms of the writing (like, fridging all of the girlfriends) and art style (subdued colors, intense shading, etc.). Waid’s Daredevil run tends to be more fun and light, and the art (mostly by Chris Samnee) certainly helps to convey that with its bright colors and more cartoonish1 style. But it never feels too silly and there’s still a fair amount of emotional depth; the whole thing with Matt’s new, carefree attitude is that it’s mostly just a facade because he has been through so much shit and we get some good moments of Foggy being like, “dude, this is not a healthy way to deal with your shit” and it is great because I love my protagonists slightly manic and on the edge of mental breakdowns. Although also Matt Murdock is legit just a cocky bastard in a super charming way, and we get a good amount of humor out of that.

Anyway, here are some of the more excellent panels:

Daredevil 024-008

Daredevil, vol. 3, issue 24

Daredevil 030-014

Daredevil, vol. 3, issue 30

Daredevil (2014-) 011-003

Daredevil, vol. 4, issue 11

And this entire scene which is like the greatest treatment of the whole superhero-dating-normal-person thing that I have ever seen:

Daredevil 024-010

Daredevil, vol. 3, issue 24


Podcasts

Grading ~140 undergrad statistics assignments is super boring, so I listen to podcasts. They need to be engaging enough to make the work slightly less tedious, but not so engaging that they slow me down. So, celebrity interview-type podcasts tend to strike that balance, even though I’m trying to break free from this sort of ingrained notion that famous people are automatically interesting and deserving of worship. In any case, my April grading podcasts were:

  • Nerdist Podcast: Michael Sheen with some commentary by Sarah Silverman, since they are dating and their dynamic is kind of fascinating. Sheen seems like he might be a typical Serious Actor interview subject who just talks about his Craft or whatever, but nope, actually pretty funny and abnormally into Stephen King.
  • Nerdist Podcast: Eliza Coupe—Coupe has probably been one of my favorite sitcom actresses since she played one of the interns in the terrible (although she elevated it) 8th season of Scrubs, and she is, as one would expect, a super funny interview subject. And I guess it’s not super shocking how neurotic and type-A she apparently is in real life, given her Happy Endings and Benched characters, but she’s very honest about it and that is also fascinating; like, it’s probably interesting to hear anyone discuss their weird tics and obsessive behaviors with this sort of level of self-awareness, but I guess this is an instance where knowing that this is a successful, famous person adds another layer to that.

Chris Hardwick gets a lot of shit on the internet, and I don’t really follow his career, so I’m not totally sure why; I think it may have something to do with “hardcore” nerds hating him for capitalizing on/contributing to the mainstreaming of nerd culture. There may or may not be some legitimacy to that complaint, but that’s not really relevant to this podcast, which he hosts pretty competently. At least from these two episodes, I’d say that Hardwick does a good job of humanizing his guests by getting them to talk about what esoteric shit they’re into, instead of focusing on like the Art of Acting and the Path to Enlightenment (although a bit of that may trickle in, because actors can’t seem to help themselves). He facilitates a casual conversation without, say2, making everything about his own experiences and seizing every opportunity for a self-indulgent bit.


This playlist:


Also I bought this shirt:

2015_04_asos_shirt

No regrets so far. This is now my fourth shirt from The Furies, and right, I kind of want to say something vaguely insightful about adulthood and brand loyalty? Without pretending that this is Super Meaningful or anything, let’s just say: it seems like a step towards…something…to achieve the level of self-knowledge to be like, “Okay, this is what I like, this is what looks good on me, and this is the image I want to project. And it is ultimately going to be more satisfying to curate a wardrobe with these somewhat unique and (unfortunately) expensive pieces than to keep going for the more generic and cheap fast fashion.” Do I currently really have the disposable income to think this way, though? Ehhhh. Which should be strong enough motivation to just get over my fear of the whole 9-to-5 thing and find a high-paying software industry job.


Speaking of the software industry:

I re-learned C for an assignment3, and boy, I had a lot of feelings about C. I’ll save those for the May Round-up, though. Just know: there will be programming feels.


1. Okay, so I sort of lack the vocabulary to describe art styles. Other recent examples of “cartoonish” comic book art: David Aja’s work on Hawkeye, Javier Pulido’s work on She-Hulk (and also Hawkeye, I guess), Mike Allred’s work on Silver SurferAll of these artists draw people with fairly realistic bodily proportions, but their art clearly isn’t supposed to be, like, portraiture, you know? There’s not that sort of lovingly intricate detailing of the hero’s musculature that we see on the opposite end of the spectrum—heroes with ridiculous bodily proportions rendered in a “realistic” way in terms of shading and coloring. I kind of tend to avoid those books, so I don’t really have any good examples; Steve Epting’s work on Captain America, maybe? ^
2. We are talking about Pete Holmes here. More specifically, You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes, but honestly, fucking everything Pete Holmes touches. Ugh, Pete Holmes. ^
3. It involved generating up to 10^8 self-avoiding random walks using a 10 x 10 grid, which…is not something one wants to do in R, although apparently people did and waited like 12 hours for their code to run. ^

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