Cal Arts Student Films

January 29, 2010

Cal Arts is a famous animation school in Valencia where many of the ‘big’ animators got their start. The goal of a semester at Cal Arts is to create an animated short, and these are labors of love in the purest sense. Some are more experimental than others, obviously. Here is one I just stumbled upon by Stevie-Wermers Skleton, who directs animated shorts for Disney. It’s called ‘Small Fry.’

Also, while we’re on the subject, I thought I would post one of my favorite Cal Arts student films ever, ‘The Whoopass Girls.’ It became the basis for Cartoon Network’s insanely popular ‘Powerpuff Girls,’ and despite the limited animation it’s really cool to see what Craig McCracken was thinking when he originally envisioned the series.

If you’d like to see more the school now has a YouTube Channel up to showcase all of their students work. Before we would only get to see some of these things if their creators went on to do something famous (which is actually the case with a lot of them.) Enjoy!

Rambling MEV Thoughts…

November 26, 2008

So the new set is out, and complete spoilers are literally everywhere. The team I’ve been wanting to play in VS since day one, Runaways, is out and more than competitive. Although getting the rares together might be a problem (isn’t it always?) I suspect that Nico Minoru and her pals are going to make an excellent showing in Hobby Leagues everywhere from now on.


Also, I have to thank and TBS and Mr. Zonos for letting me preview not one, but three amazing cards. It would have been nice to preview Runaways, but honestly I think Mystique and Nightcrawler are a little more my style. Marauders is definitely going to get some play from me, right after I can throw together some decent Runaways and Starjammers decks.

  • I LOVE STARJAMMERS! Even with only a handful of cards they are totally playable, and with the right team-up they will be very annoying.
  • We got a Beak card. We got a Fantomex and Stepford Cuckoos card. Life is good.
  • Having an uncommon tutor and all, I think Marauders are going to be the most played team in the set. There is a very potent deck to be made, even without all of the triple legend stuff.
  • Arkham Discard is really, really okay with 6-drop Gambit.
  • And I don’t know why people are complaining about the Gambit legend. Some of his cards are absurdly powerful, and you can always play 2-drop MVL Gambit over the MEV 2-drop.
  • I have read the Shift rules a million times and I still don’t quite get it. I’m glad I have so many copies of Empire’s End and Clandestine Operations.
  • Really simple (and effective!) utility cards like 2-drop Beast get me more excited than you’ll ever know. I may have to throw together an X-Babies deck for Random Punks.
  • 4-drop Cyclops will also likely show up in Nu X-Babies.
  • Vertigo is really, really powerful. Combat is basically dead in this game now.
  • The Cable legend looks like a lot of fun. I wish I weren’t poor.
  • The fact that I can’t build an OG X-Factor curve (Iceman, Jean, Cyke, Beast, Angel) without teaming up with X-Men really kind of bothers me.

And that’s mostly it! I  can’t wait to start playing with the new cards (I think a lot of pre-releases in the area are probably next week due to the holidays) but I’m already brainstorming on some clever uses for these cards. Excellent stuff.

Exclusive MEV Previews: Nightcrawler, Brimstone Cowboy and In Ze Munich Circus!

November 21, 2008

Apparently the set is out, the cards are spoiled, and the party is over… but I’ve never been on time for anything. Lasst uns gelganen die Feier aufgerustet


Pretty much since his creation Nightcrawler has been one of the most popular X-Men ever. A lot of that is owed to the distinctive look given to him by Dave Cockrum. But much moreso than other X-Men who look cool and generally lack in substance (I’m looking at you Psylocke) Nightcrawler has a rich history and a lot of interesting character bits to draw from.

Chief among those is his devout faith, and his generally pacifist nature. This, and the nature of his teleportation powers, have made him an invaluable supporting player within the group for years. How many times has Nightcrawler teleported someone out of harm’s way over the years? Answer: A lot.

Now we finally have not one, but two cards to show our furry blue friend doing what he does best!

Read the rest of this entry » Intentional?

November 18, 2008

I need to confess to a guilty pleasure of mine.

Every night before bed I log onto to check the headlines. More often than not the headlines are the same as on every other news website, but sometimes I get lucky and find pure gold. You see, despite how you feel about the network and their close political ties, Fox News maintains one of the most hilarious websites on the interweb.

The prime example of this, and the one that brings me the most joy, is the enormous image headline they maintain on their front page. No matter what crisis the country is currently, or how many people have died, always manages to display the poorest taste imaginable. I honestly can’t tell if it’s intentional or not, which makes it all the more wonderful.

‘Sensationalist’ doesn’t even begin to describe the situation. I mean, for the duration of the election their front page featured fear-mongering quotes by Sarah Palin, and an unhealthy obsession with international pirates. Here are a few of my favorite examples:






So are they are in on the joke or not? You decide!

Exclusive MEV Preview: Mystique, Raven

October 29, 2008

Oh Mystique! As the great Rodney Dangerfield put it best, you just can’t get no respect!

You see, our old pal TBS was discussing the suite of Legends for the Marauders this week and he let this little off-the-cuff remark slip:

“On the other hand, Mystique has a high recognition in the fame stakes (mainly due to the movies) while having a relatively low popularity…”

Low popularity? Low popularity!? While she might exactly not be Spider-Man Mystique is certainly no D-Lister. She’s been a major player in the X-Men comics for 30 years, and maintains a very respectable fan base. In fact, she had her very own series for a number of years. I mean, who doesn’t love a foxy blue shape shifting assassin? Nobody, that’s who.

Of course, I guess disrespect just comes with the territory for Mystique. She changes her loyalties almost as quickly as she does her appearance, leading everyone to wonder (and fear) what her true motivations might be. This was especially true during the Messiah Complex storyline, where she ended up working with Mr. Sinister’s Marauders and the X-Men, only to end up betraying both groups. Suckers!

But enough with the history lesson, Mystique’s shoddy reputation is going to change right now. I have in my possession one of the most powerful and versatile cards in the history of the game. Let’s check it out!

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October 13, 2008

After a decade of stories, and 130 issues of fun Spider-Girl is finally going to get canceled. This is definitely sad news, since Spider-Girl (and later, Amazing Spider-Girl) has been one of the most consistently entertaining books out there. Oh well. All good things must come to an end.

The good news is that we were treated to an awesome Spider-Girl card way back during Marvel Legends. It seems highly unlikely that we’d be so lucky, but seeing some MC2 love during a future Hobby League expansion might be extremely cool.

Besides, nobody is ever really dead in comics. Give it a few years and May Parker will probably end up on another Exiles reboot or something.

Starjammers Baby!

October 12, 2008

I must say, Kamiza’s excellent MEV Polaris preview has me excited for a variety of reasons. First of all, Lorna Dane is one of my favorite characters, and has been ever since she kicked Krakoa’s ass back in the early days of Uncanny. Secondly, and most importantly, she has the STARJAMMERS affiliations!

As a public service I’m going to try and answer all of your Starjammers-related questions, but mostly just one.

Who are the Starjammers?

If there was ever a team that so clearly defined ‘D-List’ it would be the Starjammers. They are best known for appearing in several X-Men/Shi’Ar stories, but have worked alongside others heroes in the past such as The Defenders.

The Starjammers are a ragtag group of space pirates/freedom fighters led by Cyclops’ long-lost father, Corsair. Whenever there is trouble with the Shi’Ar Empire it’s likely that Corsair and the Starjammers are somehow involved. They have fought for the good of the universe on several occasions, often joining forces with Empress Lilandra whenever she gets overthrown in a violent coup (which seem to happen quite often. Go figure.)

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9 Reasons I Already Love MEV

October 1, 2008

With preview season rolling around I thought it would be good to recap the reasons why I already love the new Marvel Evolutions set. I can’t believe it’s time for another set already.

1. Cyclops Legend: Regardless of how you feel about the character, Cyclops has always been a central figure in the X-Verse and he is long overdue for Legend status. I imagine it will have something to do with his leadership role on the team rather than his optic blasts, but either would be a lot of fun to see represented in card form.

Plus this clears the way for Storm, Beast and other longtime X-Men favorites to receive Legends treatment someday. I mean, we’re getting Blink and still don’t have Storm? Seriously?

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Silver Age: HL 10/1

September 30, 2008

I got my wisdom teeth pulled out yesterday, and thanks to the painkillers I have been high as a kite ever since! Whee! Anyway, tomorrow our posse will be playing Silver Age decks. With MEV’s upcoming release now is the time to try and break MUN before it’s too late.

The one deck I can’t seem to wrap my head around is the SHIELD/Crime Lords ‘Double Agent!’ build. The team-up is simply too awesome to ignore, but there isn’t a whole lot in common that the two teams share. My first instinct is to stall out like none other, and throw in some devastating late drops… hm.

We’ll see what my chemically imbalanced head comes up with. It should make for an interesting night. See you there!

Where have I been!?

September 24, 2008

Moving + Life = Less Blogging. Apologies! Fortunately things are settling into a nice groove again, and I should have time for regular updates on The Brave and the Blog! Look forward to new features, new writers and probably a whole bunch of obscure characters/formats… fun times…

My most significant VS. achievement recently has not even been my own. My amigos at Lost Hemisphere have been working tirelessly for their ‘Summer of Love’ event, and it has been a complete joy to read. I was asked to submit two decks of my own creation, and I’m pleased to report that one of them is still in the running!

Defying common sense at every turn, my own Birds of Prey/New Gods team-up(!) has managed to advance to the semi-finals. If I have to be known as “That blogger who loves New Gods,” so be it. Granny Goodness knows I’ll be playing my favorite deities in the new Bring Your Own Team-Up format.