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Topics - Manimal

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 10
1
Develop Your Story / Emerald Hill Comix
« on: October 31, 2019, 07:40:54 AM »
EMERALD HILL COMIX
A mundane story of normal people getting by in a small Canadian city of faltering glory. Ellie Jakomäki a freshly out of college officer worker grows interested in Warren Wasko, the new owner of downtown comic store Emerald Hill Comix. This is a story of the small worlds of two characters coming together and the little pieces that give the city it's character.


Chapter 1 : COMEBACK

Spoiler
NOTES : This is a very rough draft, I haven't edited it yet, I'm just writing to write again and worrying about making it nice later! Enjoy!

"Now Main Street's whitewashed windows and vacant stores
Seems like there ain't nobody wants to come down here no more
They're closing down the textile mill across the railroad tracks
Foreman says these jobs are going boys and they ain't coming back"

-Bruce Springsteen

       "I threw them all away, I didn't need them", Warren spoke softly, flipping through the pages of the latest X-Men comic. It was the same played out story, given in monthly installations.
       "Then what do you need?", Ellie Jaakimaki asked, leaning over the glass counter. Her brown purse hung down her back and she lightly stomped her black wedge sneaker against the carpeted floor.
       "Enough business to keep the lights on”, Warren replied. “Are you going to buy anything, or are you going to just question me all day?" Warren calmly slid the comic he was reading back into it's plastic board.
       Ellie pouted as Warren turned around to place it in a box on the other side of the counter. She pulled at the strings of her black hoodie and shifted her position. "I'm just curious,” Ellie said. “I've been interested in the kind of person who runs a shop like this.”
       Ellie stood up, looking around at the small but densely packed store. Comic books were neatly organized all along the walls, with newsstands full of new issues and racks of backlog. A section of graphic novels filled bookshelves that made up the back wall.A set of stairs lead to an even busier basement packed with comic boxes. One could spend all day in the shop and not even see every item in the store.
       "You must have nothing better to do with your time. There is nothing interesting about me, and there is certainly nothing I intend on telling you," Warren said as he adjusted his posture on the stool and went back to the computer. He typed furiously on the keyboard as he updated his online stock. Afterall, was a Thursday: the day after new comics were released.
 
       Typically every week he received a new shipment, of which he and a part time employee, paid half by store credit, distributed the issues into bags for all the people who had subscribed to the store. A customer could state the titles they were interested in and have them saved every week, for an extra 10% off. Hardcore collectors would specify which covers they wanted for each comic. In a small community such as Copper Lake, it was easy to get to know the customers and what they wanted.
       A tall old man strolled in through the open door and approached the desk. "What do you got for me this week?" Ellie shifted away, taking a good look at the man before walking towards the graphic novels. She kept an ear open for the ensuing conversation.
       "Let's see, Harold," Warren said,spinning around to the box and pulling out a bag filled with 15 comic books. "You amassed quite a bit. I didn't catch you last week."
       "Ah yes, the weather has been quite poor so I didn't feel like walking over. Otherwise I'd never miss my weekly trip," the old man said, standing with his hands behind his back. He wore an old jacket and dress pants. A beanie on his head stuck up. He was a unique fixture of the downtown area.
       Ellie peered at him through a comic rack, noting his appearance and mannerisms in her head. He took out a coin purse filled with dollar bills and slowly counted his money out.
       "Have you heard the news about that there new Batman movie? They say it's going to be real dark and gritty this time," Harold spoke, smacking his lips with each sentence.
       "They say that every time. I've been let down enough by these superhero movies. They aren't for people like us anyway," Warren spoke dismissively. Naturally the comic store owner was wearing his iconic Batman t-shirt. He could be seen on almost any day of the week wearing the old faded shirt.
       "Yeah but this director, the young fella, Anthony Orb, he seems to know his stuff quite well."
       "They all drop the same lines. Talking about how they took inspiration from the same graphic novels. The Killing Joke, The Long Halloween, Year One. They talk about how they strive for an accurate representation of the character in the modern age, and every single time it's the same disappointment. Batman using guns, Batman killing people, and so on.”
    "This time could be different though, I hear they are going for a more realistic approach with less gizmos and gadgets."
 
       "You're older than me Harold, I'm surprised they keep fooling you this way. It's the same cycle every time and the same movie every time. Haven't you grown tired of this?"
       Harold shook his head and grabbed his bag of newly purchased comics, "No Warren. I keep my imagination alive. My inner child is always excited."
       Ellie grimaced at the last sentence as she peered over from the manga she was pretending to flip through as Harold left the store. She found the conversation oddly interesting, and wished to know more about Warren's stance. She ran a hand through her jet-black dyed hair, fixing the messy bun on top of her head and neatly fixing her bangs which sat thinly over her forehead.
       She strolled back to the counter with a waltz to her step, "So, don't like superhero movies much, huh?"
       "No I don't. They haven't made a good one since Superman in 1978." Warren's eyes never left the computer screen as he hunched over, typing madly.
       Ellie leaned on the counter with her chin in hand, "You're talking like a bitter old man. I reckon you aren't much older than me."
       With a little bit of eye shadow and lipstick Ellie appeared to be more mature than she was, however the curious girl was only in her early twenties.
       "Irrelevant information, are you going to buy anything?", Warren gave her a brief glare before his eyes went back to the screen. He grabbed a bottle of Iced Tea nearby and tossed his head back, finishing it off in a few big gulps. For a guy of his age Warren seemed to adopt the habits of a middle aged man, despite being only 25.
       "No, I guess I'll be on my way. But I'll be back." Ellie strolled off casually, looking behind her to see if Warren's gaze walked her out. But the man was fixated on his work once more. Leaving Ellie all the more interested in the character and his business.

       In Copper Lake the downtown area was mostly run down with new businesses coming and going at a fast rate. There was an effort to try and bring life back to the area with trendy restaurants, clothes shops and record stores. The success rate however tended to be rather low and compared to an areas of higher population like Toronto and Winnipeg there was waning interest in such niche stores.
       However the comic shop still survived, carried on by Warren Wasko who purchased the business in the last days of its original owner Timmy Shustack. Emerald City Comix was the one business that stayed afloat among the ever changing and every degrading downtown.
       A person could seldom walk down the streets without being asked for change or cigarettes atleast once. Landowners held waterlogged run down buildings with no intentions of repurposing them, leaving many areas vacant, boarded up and left to rot. The efforts to revitalize the downtown where mostly fruitless, however many still tried.

       The bell on the door chimed as Ellie entered Speedy’s Records. She looked over to the man behind the desk and shot finger guns at him, “Hey Stebie!”
       “Eh kid what’s happening huh.” The older gentleman sat back in his chair, with his plump form fitting uncomfortably in a red bowling shirt and black pants belted up his waist. The Italian’s greasy hair was slicked back and he wore sunglasses and a golf cap to cover up his bald spot.
       “Not much, not much, just came to flip through.” Ellie magnetized to the new release section. Typically the only spot of the store a regular would bother to look at as the other areas where unchanging.
       Below her two younger boys where looking through the countless dollar bins on the floor. “This is bunk man, I ain’t see no Hip Hop.” One of them whined, pulling his black beanie down over his face.
       “They only stock real music here Terry”, the nerdy looking kid replied, carrying a stack of records under his arm. Ellie looked down with a grin, must have been two high schoolers on their lunch break given the time of day. She remembered being their age and getting into records for the first time and how exciting it was to build a collection.
       These days it was harder to find anything she wanted. She flipped with the hope that the next reveal would be a gem. Everytime she built herself up for disappointment. 
       “Vinyl is making a comeback eh?” the beanie wearing kid spoke.
       “It’s been making a comeback for a decade now, if there is to be a comeback it already happened”, the owner blurted out from behind the desk.
       The kid looked up with his mouth open for a second and then turned back to the records. “Sounds like my Grandpa,” he muttered.
       “Well it’s certainly become more popular since I started collecting, I’d say it’s on the rise.” Ellie chimed in on the discussion causing the high schoolers to look up at her.
       “They always say that, but where is it rising to? It will always be a niche market, it just happens to have become trendy like the cassette tape.” Stevie retorted speaking primarily with his hands.
 
       “What’s a casset tape?”, the dumbfounded high schooler asked to nobody.
       “It’s what all your Disney movies are on dooey!”, his friend fired back.
       “Uh noooo that’s VHS you idiot!” the other replied smugly. “So, you admit to having a collection?” his friend replied even more self-satisfied.
       “What’s wrong with that?”, Ellie titled her head looking at the high schoolers confused. 
       “Oh…I don’t know…nothing I guess”, feeling intimidated the boys turned their backs to Ellie and flipped through the rest of bin silently. 
       Ellie glanced over at the racks and turned to look at the rest of the small store. It was filled with racks and bins of records but nothing caught her eye.
       “Nothing this time, I’ll catch ya later Stebie”, Ellie finger gunned on her way out to which Steve put his hands up and pretended to fall back.
       “Ah, I am dead”, he slumped over prompting a small giggle from the girl as she strolled out.

Ellie walked back to her car, looking to the crisp afternoon sky. A sun that wasn’t blocked by construction. In the city the buildings never stood overly tall, upon observing the entirety of the land from a mountain one could only pick out the old paper mills by the lake and a few apartment buildings as sticking out from the rest. 
       She liked the coziness the city brought, even though the downtown was getting rougher. And yet, businesses still hung onto life and she enjoyed visiting every week. Especially Emerald Hill Comix, a place with a pull and interest she could not deny.

2
Comics and other Gallery / The Manimal Draws Again
« on: May 21, 2019, 09:23:01 AM »
Melodramatic intro 

I kinda of stopped drawing in 2016 when I started making music and I completely stopped drawing at the beginning of 2018 when I started at the Pawn Shop. But now I've quit and it's time to change some things in my life and take this movement I have and use it for the betterment of myself, as was my idea when quitting. The world is full of distractions and truly nothing is eviler than the pull of the Internet and all it's mindless nonsense. What a bunch of junk it all is, I've realized how it has numbed my mind in ways when I look at it too much, but yesterday I zoned in on drawing again, listened to some CD's and felt that feeling once more. I have found how much better I feel when I draw, make music, listen to great music, watch good movies, read good comics and play engaging games rather than aimless browsing and other nonsense I do too much.

I want to make comics again like I did from age 4 up to 2016 and I'm going to do it. I've reignited my love for comics when I read The Dark Knight Returns last month and now I've been addicted to Batman comics. I've never read the classic comics from Batman, Superman and all them, and now I've found it's an untapped resource of divine work for me to get into. The Long Halloween + Dark Victory, Hush, The Court Of Owls, Year One, and it goes on, and I keep reading them. I haven't even got to anyone but Batman yet because it's so good. It's made me feel something I have not felt in so long. 

So it's time to stop talking. I'm going to be posting in here as often as I draw, which I aim to make more often to rebuild my skills and make me better than I ever have in my own context. I need to balance my hobbies, not just make music, not just do one thing. This is not a gallery for finished works or anything fancy, I'm just doing this for me. I'm just posting words, I do that you guys know that. I got words I post 'em.

So I copy catted a bit of the Huntress in Hush and sketched from some Gigs magazines on BAND-MAID and Silent Siren. I'm rusty but in the last drawing I felt something move. I was like whoa, I can do this again.

Spoiler
   


3
Music / The Manimal's Spicy Spotify Playlists
« on: March 20, 2019, 03:57:54 PM »
As a way of killing time on the job, I mean filling up the music section with my endless junk, I mean sharing some music I love once more, I will share some of my Spotify playlists. I'm not a playlist guy, if anything I make quicklists, but I made these because I felt like it and it kills time. If you want something new to listen to or whatever, or if I'm just justifying my putting too much effort into sequencing these because I'm the master of the cassette mixtape, whatever. It's time.

The Manimal's Spicy Spotify Playlists 

A collection of my favorite artists who's discographies I know very well. Basically like my mixtapes but expanded. It's my Best Of compilations.

The Golden Playlist Series



BiSH  
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3RqfTT4qUR5tJZFWoEcFw5
Elvis Presley
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0HtVQRtG9ZrqvOtBaz2zcc
BAND-MAID
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4iaTj9bh7OKU2sgSlg5jPk
The Smiths 
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2JeQp7ThjpIm2RelXbjRD2
The Beatles
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3WoKKieTaXgxjxkWs1oJ0Z
KISS 
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/539PtSlpkVDaAG0emNNIka
Bruce Springsteen 
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/573xrJmuIv4tHnqFSzC9FH 
Seiko Oomori 
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6i8fGcukfaapi6R7zXKOrT
Utada Hikaru 
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5SlQ7zVzhLXlvZsLWoRTxj
Sonic Youth 
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4EJXiZ6gKSQ1ir8YbI2JBL   


Other 



Kanttila's J-Pop Playlist (My Favorite J-Pop Artists + Songs On Spotify)   
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6hqYYjAVSlLpVhAYuGT6H3
Best Ever Elvis Playlist (Mostly Slower + Obscure Songs)   
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0mkRVwmYTo1Fn9kKjE1tIB
Breaking New Gate (Rock + J-Pop) 
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5usBc6yjtna2oYcGrIWIf5
2019 (Update As Stuff Comes Out) 
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/02TwC9ukti8KoM5WdISY6X   
     

Yes, it goes on. 

                     
 

4
Music / 2019 In Music
« on: January 16, 2019, 07:27:13 AM »
2019 music, we talk about the music that comes out in this year.

BAND-MAID have two new singles out today, "Bubble" and "Glory".

"Bubble" is a little crafty, the verses are full of interplay and little grooves. Saiki keeps the melody while the rest of the band does random things. Quite like Misa's bass playing here, she fills things in nicely. The pre-chorus and bridge are great. The who-oh-oh in the chorus is uncreative and a little cheesy, but I'm not too bothered. A very tame solo by Kanami's standards! "Smile" is the most pop song the band have done since "Love, Passion, Matador". Acoustics and strings, which fit very well. I really like this song it has a great melody and a steady feel. Akane drives it along and Saiki sounds excellent. I like that BAND-MAID is going in a different direction, I just hope they keep the heaviness. This song is a very solid purely J-Pop style track. 

If you think they are softening than "Glory" proves otherwise. This song has been out for a few months and I absolutely love it. The riff is fantastic and jams hard, the drums are excellent, it's an urgent fast paced song with a super catchy chorus. The guitar interplay is great. This song just kicks it, I fricking love this track it's such a power song. It's too short! "The whooole wide-o world!". The b-side "Hide-And-Seek" is pretty awesome. It seems the band did one softer single and one heavier. This song slams, and the second pre-chorus is awesome. Great chorus and fast vocal. Again, Saiki is just the best.

I'm really curious what the next album will be. "Bubble" and "Start Over" where softer releases and "Glory" while great is a few pegs down from what the band was pulling off on World Domination and feels a little less meaty. I hope we get some album songs like "CLANG" on the next album. I don't mind the softer sounds, the band really make them work and I like their first mini-album a lot which is more melodic. So we'll see what they do. I still really like "Start Over" and the hard rocking b-side "Screaming".

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_PWQtc7zVw 

BiSH have a new song "Small Fish" for some Fist Of The North Star 35th Anniversary album because Wack can't stop making them do tie in songs. It's fast paced but honestly not very impressive on first listen. The melody is boring and the vocals are fine but really it's so standard as a song. I hope BiSH stop doing tie-in songs for a bit and just release another album so we can hear the non-single tracks. I think most BiSH listeners are getting sick of everything being for an anime, game or drama.   

5
MR Pub / Chit Chat 2019
« on: January 01, 2019, 11:14:10 AM »
A new year, a new Chit Chat thread. Let's chit, let's chat and let's make way more pages than last year's 32. 




6
MR Pub / Happy New Years 2019, Resolutions & Absolutions
« on: January 01, 2019, 11:11:21 AM »
Welcome to 2019, what will it be this year?

Post whatever, the classic resolutions or whatever else.

For me 2018 was a year of coasting, but it was a very simple year and overall I learnt a lot about myself and the world. I dropped out of college end of 2017 and got a job the beginning of 2018. From here I've really just kind of went about my day to day. But then Kansas happened, which I've talked about many times. The first week of July was the most important week of my life in such a long time. A lot was unearthed for me and in this major life experience I came back...with intense melancholy. At my highest moment in so long, it had felt like my working had paid off! But the day I came home I was hit with this grayness that didn't lift until the last week of December. It was honestly the only remarkable week of my 2018, which is fine, atleast I had one amazing week.

I realized that you can have these high points but you will just go back to normal life, this is a reality that is obvious but you need to experience it! My life has not quite felt the same since KC, I felt the last half of 2018 was super coasting! But from all my experiences at my job and stuff I've come to really realize the value of my friends and family and realize how lucky I am in so many ways. I really realized how important the relationships I have with other people are. 

I did a few things that scared me in 2018. It took me forever to get to the point where I said, yes I'm going to Kansas. Thanks to the amazing show A Place Further Than The Universe, I came to this resolution firmly. That show was very important to motivating me, it went into my top 10 anime for sure. I have a lot about myself that I need to change in order to meet my "dreams". I have a lot of hindering qualities and I have limited myself and for no reason prevented myself from going anywhere. I have held myself back for way too long.

In 2019 I want to finally form a fricking band or atleast find people to jam with. I want to make a ton more music as always, but I need to take it out of my basement! I want to strengthen some of my friendships and maybe make some new ones. I made some important new friends this year and it helped me come to a lot of realizations about myself and the world. I want to try to keep turning a new page in 2019 and write my story where I left off the day I came home from KC. I won't make big statements, I'll just see how it goes.

2018 was my great coasting year. This year I imagine I'll go back to school and who knows what else might happen? I'll just wait and see. I'm 22, now's the time to get the most out of life I can and not look back in regret, not for the things I did, but for the things I didn't do. I regret heavily chances and opportunities I missed since 2014, oh my God do I ever have big regrets for what I haven't done, but I will learn and I will try to not pass up on things so easily. Time to be a little less of a loser maybe.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzgtAn0ect0https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzgtAn0ect0

7
MR Pub / Merry Christmas MR
« on: December 24, 2018, 12:36:18 PM »
 :santa: The time has come to be merry. Merry Christmas to all ya's, have generally good times that you hope are generally good. Christmas snuck up on me this year, here before I knew it, but atleast I got some of my traditions in. As long as I listen to the Charlie Brown Christmas album atleast twice and watch a few of the same old things and have my cultural Christmas Eve Tims (sausage breakfast sandwich, timbits & double double of course) we're all good. :santa:   

Time to share one of my favorite new Christmas tunes/videos from PASSPO a few years ago. A perfect vibe for Christmas Eve which to me is as important as Christmas Day. Joulupukki be coming for you.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-iAluMVmcs

   

 

8
break Room / Happy Canada Day!
« on: July 01, 2018, 07:35:58 AM »


Eh bud, looks like it's time for a right good Canada 151 there. Let's celebrate our great campy country by getting Tims or Robins and like listening to Rush and Carly Rae all night. I was saddened, I went to Tims this morning, naturally had The Spirit Of Radio, Subdivisions & Distant Early Warning going from my Rush mixtape, but anyway I got my normal dark roast double double and a sausage breakfast sandwich on an English muffin, but they had no Canada Day donuts! Well frick bud, I just had to settle with the poppy seed loaf, a newer item, but I was crying.   

At the end of last year I went though a whole thought of, what does my nationality mean to me? and what does it mean to be Canadian? There is no deep answer, it's very clear to me, even though my armpit in Northern Ontario might not have the brightest prospects, there is still something to be found all around that makes me feel the spirit. What is the spirit? I can't say bud, you'd have to live here to understand.

This unexciting picture I took in a nearby township says it all for me.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiRuj2_czzw


9
Develop Your Story / Northern Nerds Exchange
« on: May 07, 2018, 08:44:07 AM »
I'm trying to write again but I'm hella rusty as I've found out. This is a simple tale of a small shopping plaza in a Northwestern Ontario armpit. I'm just going to write it and worry about making it good later, maybe I'll make it into something if I get motived? Either way I wanted to post this and see how it is, I'm very rusty and my writing isn't to the same quality as before.

I've written in a manner that is not quite like...novelish but not scriptish either. It's a simple way that I figure can turn to either and looks easier on the eyes then my old script format. So here, I'll see how this is. I need to write these characters a lot to really get them going anyway, I want to make a story that is about random characters in this plaza, more then just this one store. I want it to go somewhere as well, but I don't know what to do with it, so I figure it out as I go.

Chapter 1 : Battleyoads
Spoiler
Some Armpit In Northwestern Ontario

Bright blue skies, not a cloud to spoil the view. A chilly breeze flies by through an empty lot. In Dicker’s View Plaza we see a stretch of buildings that form an L shape. At the end of the space a small store with the name “Northern Nerds Exchange” hangs in a faded image.

“Instant cash for your geek goods” reads a cheesy sign from 2004, a washed out image of the Master Chief along with a poorly photoshopped PS2, Watchmen comics and an Elektra figure. The sign hangs on the small window below “Now accepting musical gear” with a small image of a chibi school girl ripping a Jazzmaster. 

Beside the small space is an empty lot with two windows, an entrance and a blank sign on top. A sign reads “For Lease”. Next door is Sassy Sally’s Steaming Salon, next to an Italian deli “Mussolini Meats” decked out in a tricolour explosion. i-Travel2000.com is next, a travel agency with it’s classic “CALL 1-866-WOW-DEAL AND GET AWAY FOR LESS” slogan in big letters below the sign. 

As the building forms it’s L shape we see an old Buck-Or-Two struggling to hang on. Next is a Little Cheasers, a big pig pizza that omits an awful greasy smell all day long. In the modest street the Dicker’s View Plaza sits next to many fast food joints, all assembled in little clusters.

It’s 8:59 AM, cars are moving along and people are stopping for gas or Tims. The parking lot for Dicker’s View is quiet, aside from a couple old wops waiting outside Mussolini Meats. The Canadian and Ontario flags mounted next to the plaza sign blow roughly in the breeze that runs across the sunny skies.

A car suddenly burns down the road, the song of jangly guitars and Kermit the Frog singing omits from the open car windows that dare to embrace the breeze. The old grey Impala turns into the plaza parking lots and stops promptly in front of Northern Nerds Exchange. The figure inside quickly turns the car off and grabs his backpack.

As he does a figure appears in the door. A somewhat tall girl with a lean form, light brown skin and long brown hair begins to turn the “Closed” sign around. Her brown eyes glare at the driver from under her thick black rimmed glasses. She slowly turns the sign as the driver grabs the door handle and roughly pushes it open.

“Safe!”, he calls out as the girl puts out her foot, tripping him to the floor. “How about showing up before we open next time?”, she smirks, officially opening the store. The driver looks up annoyed, “Right! I do this every time and it pisses me off! Like right before I have to go I get involved in something and boom! It’s 8:55!”. 

The employee stands tall with a skinny form. His shaggy dirty blonde hair moving as he speaks, his eyebrows a darker colour then his hair, and green eyes express every word, as he makes big motions with his hands. Kacey Karvala stands in clean new jeans and a collared black shirt.

Ami Desrosiers shakes her head, wearing the same type of clothes but with a necklace of USB sticks and assortment of rattling bracelets. Her long brown hair flows down her back roughly, in a manner that looks perfectly messed up, her bangs bushy and to her eyebrows. 

“When do you wake up?”, she asks grinning. “Oh 6:30 everyday!”, Kacey exclains proudly.

“What’s wrong with you dude!”, a loud voice calls out from behind the counter, a plump guy with a golf cap and brown beard walks into the scene. Medium height, wearing khaki pants too small for him, and old fashion loafers. He wears a long black top under his employee shirt.

“I like to be productive and get going! No time to waste sleeping I say!”, Kacey pounds his fist in his hand, making a proud statement as his backpack slips down his arm.

“You have so much time and yet you’re late everyday”, Walter Perogiski replies, hands on his chubby hips. “Don’t lecture me man”, Kacey becomes annoyed, “I’ll try to stop being late”, he speaks facing Ami as he walks behind the counter.   

“That guy eh, always late...unlike someone around here…”, Walter looks smug, straightening out his hat. Ami smiles, shaking her head. “Coming 20 minutes early to re-alphabetize the games won’t win you any favours, unless you can sell more of them”, she walks by, flicking Walter’s hat down his face, exposing his balding head.     

“And Kacey try to be on time alright”, Ami turns her back and walks towards the employee room, “I’m already going to be firing one flake this week”. Walter’s eye light up, “Jerry!”. Kacey shrugs.

The store is bigger inside than it appears but still modest in size. In one half is a counter with all kinds of games, figures, cards, and board games behind it. The exchanges are done here with a cash and computer behind the class cabinet containing used game systems. Along the wall are racks of video games, new and old, with the other wall containing a growing music section.

A couple cheap guitars hang from the wall, with practice amps, cords and pedals nearby. A keyboard sits in the box below, with a shelving unit holding assorted goods. Next to it are shelves of DVDs, Blu-Rays, VHS tapes, CDs, records, tapes and books. A small selection that is packed tight.

The walls are all packed, with a TV in the corner playing a curling game. The store radio lightly blares, rotating between classic rock, old & modern pop and bebop free-style avant jazz at any given day. 

There is another counter by the door for purchases, a small space leads to a washroom, employee room and closest of random cleaning and handy gear. In the center wall a door leads to the backroom.

Kacey walks in the employee room, throwing down his backpack, he tosses his water bottle in the freezer and straightens his collar. He turns around to see Ami holding up the doorway smiling. “You know what time it is?” she teases with a playful grin. “Coffee-a-clock already?”, Kacey grins back. Ami nods, holding a couple loonies out. “4x4, large, make sure it’s a roll up cup, I got ripped off last time!”.

“But Roll Up The Rim ended 2 months ago!”, Walter yells across the store. “I don’t care! I just want to finally win! Do you realize how maddening it is to lose every SINGLE TIME. I WON’T STOP UNTIL I-”, Ami rants as Kacey grabs the change and begins to walk off.

“I’ll be right back! Want anything Walter?”, Kacey askes as he nears the door. Walter thinks, “I could really go for a 1 milk 1 sugar iced latte with a strawberry danish. I need a little fuel in me!”, Walter straightens his cap as he cleans the glass cabinets. 

“You look like you’ve eaten too many danishes Walt”, Ami smirks from the corner. “What...oh, okay hold the food then, and make my coffee a medium”.

“Ya don’t want to get more fat eh!”, Kacey grins. “HEY! Workplace bullying!”, Walter throws down his paper towel in mock fit. “Ya but it’s okay when she makes fat jokes!”, Kacey replies annoyed. “She was just looking out for my health and well being!”, Walter looks back at Ami. She shakes her head, “Just go Kacey, hurry up today might get busy”.

“Might get busy...it’s never bu-”, as Kasey turns around a girl walks through the door. “Oh”. He quickly turns to the side and opens the other door, speed walking outside and promptly opening his car door before speeding off quickly.   

The girl looks confused, turning her gaze up to Walter and Ami. “Hello, my name is Ellie Mäkkeli and I am coming to apply at store”.

Ellie stands at a fair height, with her blonde hair in a tight bun, little pieces touching her face. Her blue eyes shine, with her brow tense as she holds out an essay sized resume. She wears a white sweater and black pants with grey fuzzy boots.

“Oh, you want to apply well let m-”, Walter begins before Ami walks up, grabbing the resume from Ellie’s gloved hands. “Kal-la-jocky, Finland?”, she tilts her head looking up from the paper to Ellie. “Kalajoki!”, she corrects Ami. “But this is a j...why are y-whatever, anyway I guess you saw the ad online?”.

“Yes. I am coming to Canada now, and I need work before I go school. I live nearby and am a great team player who works well with others or alone!”, Ellie smiles brightly. Ami shields her eyes, “Right, I’ve heard it all before...you have an impressive resume Ellie Maka-e-lie”.

“Mäkkeli!”, the blonde girl stomps her foot and looks up angry. “Holy *censored*, okay Ellie yes. I will keep your resume by my desk and get back to you!”, Ami nods motioning to the door. “Thank you, I’m hoping you consider me for placement. I am tidy, organized and above all punctuational.”, Ellie beams. “Yup…”, Ami opens the door as she leads Ellie out, the blonde girl waves bye to Walter and skips off.  Ami tosses the resume in the trash and walks to the employee room, “I need some coffee…”.

“I thought you sent Kacey to for that?”, Walter askes. “It’s for while I wait for that airhead”, Ami shouts back. Walter shrugs, humming and playing air guitar along to the Lynyrd Skynyrd song that fills the store. “And be a simple kind of man!”, he thrashes around dramatically beside a customer who looks over embarrassed for him.

5 minutes later Kacey shows up with a bunch of coffee in his arms and donut bag in his mouth. He struggles to open the door before spilling Ami’s coffee all over the sidewalk. He gets mad and throws it all down, kicking the cup along the sidewalk. As he opens the door Ami points back to his car, prompting him to sigh as he walks back to his car and drives off, leaving the Tims cups to sit on the concrete.   

An hour later a Tims cup lands in the garbage, staining Ellie’s resume. Kacey looks at 5 PS4 games still in plastic wrap. “Ya, so how did you get these…” 

“I had this like $75 gift card to Wal-Mart man so I like bought a bunch of games, just stupid things, and thought I’d sell them for some quick cash!”, the stoner kid stands, looking dazed as he tells his story, shaking around, wearing a baseball cap and baggy pants. 

“Oh so instead of buying I don’t know food and essentials, or selling the card you bought 5 games to sell to us for a lot less money then $75?”, Walter comes in from the side, looking angry. “Dude go away this is my sale! Ya I can do something on the games...let me see…”, Kacey replies.

Walter eyes up the customer angry, as Kacey looks up the games. “Do you have a problem?” the stoner askes angry. “Hey Walter, go back to what you were doing!”, Kacey replies annoyed. Walter backs up, looking at the guy in disgust as he walks back to the guitars and plays a Led Zeppelin riff poorly. 

Later the stoner walks out with $40, rolling up his sleeves, “Vein juice!” he smiles running off. Kacey sighs as he rubber bands the games together and throws them in a bin on the floor. “So happy to pay for someone’s trip”, he sighs. “Should’ve given him more money so he could overdose”, Walter chimes in. Kacey shakes his head, “Feh”.

The next morning. The skies are bright once more, Walter is inside reordering the games. Ami sits at her desk arms crossed as the open sign is flipped. On the schulde we see Kacey is off and Jerry is on 9-5, but nowhere to be seen.

“Today’s the day, if the prick shows up”, Ami mutters as she drinks from her Robins Donuts mug. Finally the door creaks open, an awkward bald guy with a big backpack and taped glasses stumbles in, he’s carrying a half finished pizza and 2L of Coke.

“Jerry, you’re late again”, Ami speaks plainly as the employee walks to the desk across from her. “Ah”, he speaks softly, sitting down as he opens the 2 liter. He begins to drink the coke and slowly pick at the pizza.

“Are you going to do any work today Jerry?”, Ami turns around in her chair as Jerry huddles up, picking only the pineapples off the pizza. “Dah”, he replies with a mouth full, taking another sip of pop. Walter shakes his head in the background and walks up, Ami signals him to stop as he approaches Jerry.

“We can’t do this anymore Jerry, it’s not working out. For 2 weeks since you’ve started all you’ve done is sit in the corner for 4 hours eating pizza and drinking pop, how can you explain yourself?”, Ami speaks firmly hands on her hips. Jerry looks up at the clock, noticing it’s 10:00.

“It’s apple-o-clock”, he speaks trying to get up. “Please get out of my way, I have to eat my 10 a clock apple”. Ami stands in front of him as he tries to leave the chair. “Jerry you’re fired”.

Outside the store a deadpan Jerry walks out eating an apple, pizza and 2L of Coke under his arm. “See if I care” he laughs to himself, choking on a piece of apple in the parking lot.

Ami sits inside with her head in her hands. “Great down another employee...what will I do…”. Ami looks over to the garbage can where Ellie’s resume sticks out. She shrugs, taking it out of the garbage covering in coffee and food stains.

“This girl seemed pretty useless, I think I may regret this one”, she speaks grabbing a phone.

The next day, Ellie shreds on a Jackson V. Everyone is in shock as the blond girl plays with technical and aggressive precision. She rips across the fretboard with a goofy smile, nodding her head back and forth and her fingers menace.

“The bridge is not set up good. I think I should adyust things a bit. Lot of the fret buzzings”, Ellie looks at the guitar as everyone picks themselves up. “Ellie, the guitar lass of Northern Nerds Exchange”, Walter speaks as he adjusts his hat. Kasey looks at Ami as she tries to hide her surprise. 

“Well Ellie you’re good at guitars, but what about games? What if someone asks for a recommendation or wants to sell some rare titles?”, Ami askes.

“I like to play video games, back in Finland we used to stay up all night me and my father, and we were playing the old Nintendo and the...what was it, cube of games?”.

“The Gamecube, my favorite system”, Walter finger guns. “Did you ever play the Momdroid Prime discs?”, Ellie askes. “Did I ever, wow. Sister, I played the HELL out of Momdroid Prime, it was my JAM!”.

“Remember the final level when Sam’s Mom is in day care and-”, Ellie looks excited, Walter backs up. “Oh it’s been a while I don’t remember too much...but uh, it was a classic!”.   

“Sounds good Ellie, but the only issue is your English. How will you interact with customers and tricky situations?”, Ami askes. Ellie grins, “I am master of English language in only four easy steps! Four long steps, but book says four easy steps!”, Ellie smiles smugly.

“Ya she’s hired right?”, Kacey whispers. Ami shakes her head, “I like the spirit, and it’d be nice to have someone around here that is good with guitars”. Kacey and Walter motion to themselves, “Ya I said good” she fires back.

“I have of one question however”, Ellie smiles. “Ya what’s that”, Ami braces.

“Have you a copy of Battleyoads?”. 

No one replies, the store is silent aside from the soft sounds of avant jazz that blare. Ami puts her hand on Ellies’ shoulder. “You'll be alright Ellie”.

10
Music / 2018 In Music
« on: February 14, 2018, 08:05:20 AM »
We had a thread in 2017 so now we have one in 2018 for music that comes out in the year of this one year right now.

Scandal, Honey 

On Valentine's Day Scandal are back with a 10 track album, full of rockin' and sweet elements. Their previous release Yellow took on many American styles and was a great step forward. Scandal are a band that evolves, they are past their old days while still keeping the spark alive, Honey continues to find new ground among the classic Scandal rocking. Right away on "Platform Syndrome" we hear a drum sound like the indie era, but with a much more refined tune. Rina's drums sound awesome here, and Mami is always ripping some new tones. Tomomi's basslines are popping especially on "Electric Girl", their are some crafty grooves like the verses of "Midnight City".

Haruna sings almost everything like on Yellow, but Mami gets a song with the energy filled "Oh! No!" and Rina does the verses of "Midnight City" an almost great song that is let down by the chorus. "Madwoaketara" is amazing, the best song on the album. It's a wonderful lovely R&B tune. Scandal take on the sound so well, it's great when they try new things, this track comes as quite the surprise and I instantly clicked with it. The same with "ShortShort". The album takes off in it's last half, with 5 really excellent songs. The old single "Take Me Out" is still great also and fits in well on the album. "Koisuru Universe" is mad fun also.

The group still rocks and by now they are much better at their craft, to my ears they are vastly improved from the beginning. The spirit of Scandal is high. Ever since Hello World they evolved into something of their own, Honey is another fine effort. With many fantastic new songs, it's less varied then Yellow but it's no problem as all 10 tracks do something interesting. In many ways it's a more consistent album. Good stuff!

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c24sCLSVg-E

Band-Maid, World Domination 

DAMN BAND-MAID STEPPING UP THE GAME! My God, their last release was good but they sound even more fired up with higher aims. Some of the riffs are pure 80's thrash, but in the same song it will explode into fast and hard rocking alt. rock goodness. "Domination" showcases this in the amazing lead into the chorus with some really great guitars. This is the kind of album where a song will start and I'll just raise my hands like, dude another awesome track. It just rocks, there is variety to and a mix of styles. The album takes a refreshing break near the end with the slower "Daydreaming" and the very great power ballad "Anemone".

The melodies and Saiki Atsumi's vocals are so good! On that song and on the whole album, Saiki is such a powerful rock vocalist but she shows range on this album. I love "Anemone"! It's my favorite on the album along with "Domination". Band-Maid take on J-Rock styling but add thrash, heavy metal and other elements of American rock music, mostly on the same song! It makes for a pretty great sound, and the band is much improved from before. This is their first great album. The group is a lot more then a gimmick. The gothic maids make for an interesting band dynamic, their music holds it's own very well. This album is cool.

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmxEuQXTHUU

Palm, Rock Island 

I don't know what's more surprising the music or the fact that a modern day indie album can actually be this shocking, interesting, creative and...new. The songs are just wild, build on a lot of looping glitchy sounds and uncertain progressions. This album is actually kind of alarming and it instantly is gripping and sounds like something I need to buy and listen to a lot. It's actually a new sound to my ears, and the style is just so perfectly strange in a way that is unexpected. As the album goes on it creates a tone of it's own, it's certainly a nice sounding record. I quite like the sounds and the world it creates, it's so unique and actually good to the ears. This is a very fascinating and compelling record.

   
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dnKnwamoKo

GARNiDELiA and fhana are also releasing new albums on the same day next month. I hope that GARNiDELiA make a better album then Violet Cry which was a bit of a letdown after how good Linkage Ring was. Some singles like "Error" have been fairly good. and fhana, well if they can have one song as great as "Relief" on the next album then it's fine. Normally their album songs are better then the singles it seems. 

The Idol Formerly Known As Ladybaby have split..they are releasing a full length of all the singles and a few new songs, I had to order it for the nice slipcase packaging and because it's their end! Utada has a new album coming as well, pretty cool. Her music is on Spotify now! Well aside from Fantome it seems. She's also doing a domestic tour! It's nice that she is really back in business. I can imagine Seiko Oomori will have something new, if it's a full length with draw(a)drow I can only imagine what else it may hold...I imagine BiSH will do an album at the end of the year unless they split as well.

11
Anime Talk / Winter Season 2018 : First Impression Reviews & Discussion
« on: January 04, 2018, 07:04:19 AM »


http://anichart.net/winter

It's the season of the White Album and...why am I doing this again!??! It's a habit now. But once more I will make this thread, and once more I will try to do First Impression reviews. Will I? Will my reviews actually be something again unlike last year? Hell if I know right, but I know who does know...no one! Yow, let's do it. As normal if you watch anything this season join in, and be like hey this show, it doesn't suck. Or it does suck! Who knows, you will. Ei.

The Yohane Rating
This time I shall rate with Fallen Angel's.

12
MR Pub / Chit Chat 2018
« on: January 02, 2018, 05:32:52 PM »
The same ol' Chitting and Chatting just in 2018. Let's do it.

   
 

13
Anime Talk / Your Top Anime of 2017
« on: December 27, 2017, 10:00:53 AM »


2017 has not been a great year in anime for me. There has been a real lack of interesting series for me, however the good ones have been remarkable. Last year was so much better with series I still think about today like Keijo, High School Fleet, Flying Witch, Flip Flappers, Amanchu, Konosuba and others. But regardless this year is ending so we need to do the lists of the anime shows.

Of course if you've watched some of this year's offerings post your own lists and favorites and all of that. Also I did not include Magus Bride as it ends next year and I intend to watch it in lots not week by week. But I would say the four episodes I saw where the best of anime this year. Anyway this is my list ei.

Spoiler
#1. Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid

  • Kyoto Ani hit gold once more with the most remarkable series of the year for me. Dragon Maid was cute, hilarious and a ton of fun. It has everything you'd want from a show of it's kind, the charcters are all great and there are plenty amusing antics they get up to, as well as good serious bits. The animation is most excellent with a perfect and remarkably fluid style, Kyoto Ani never mess around with their A shows. fhana's OP was perfect as well, it was just a great show man.
#2. Konosuba 2

  • The brilliant comedy strikes out again with another hilarious and extremely enjoyable 10 episode season of antics from our cast of lovable idiots. Things get taken to new extremes with everyone's quirks, Darkness gets a lot of great focus with more hilarious masochist moments. There is great detail in all the jokes and reoccurring themes, care is taken to ensure the running jokes find new ground and don't get stale. Konosuba is a series that could just go on and on...
#3. Scum's Wish 

  • When the director of White Album 2 makes another mature romance series you know it's going to be good. Scum's Wish was a great look into the deep intimate feelings of a group of high school students. We see all their angst and lust, it's a messy series with less romance and more of the pains of their age. It has a solid cast who all have their own little problems, and the relationships are great. I was very happy to see another show that like White Album 2 presented love and lust in this fashion. This is not a shiny romance, it's a scummy tale of a bunch of confused and unsure people, and it was great.
#4. Love Live Sunshine Season 2

  • I'm remarkably biased to Love Live, a series I have a lot invested in. The second generation had a bumpy first season, but now with the past and Muse cast off, Aqours had a chance to shine in their own right. What we get is another imperfect and cheesy season, but it's also has a lot of charm and personality. The characters are a bit one note and over defined, but anytime we have Yohane raging or Dia going buu buu on us it's just fun. Everyone has their moments, and there is a fantastic side story with Saint Snow which gave us the best song in the Sunshine series, "Awaken The Power". It's just more Love Live antics, cheesy but in a good way.

#5. Blend-S

  • Who ever thought a series about a cafe with cutesy girls would ever be this interesting? Blend-S is a super fun and hilarious series with a cast of quirky and well detailed characters. It has a lot of great jokes and scenes, with some good dynamics in the cast. Everyone is different enough and the series has the right tone to make things work. The jokes can be hit or miss, but when they hit...they hit. The series has all kinds of...surprises to throw at you as well as a ton of charm. It's just a great series.

I would also mention New Game 2, Gabriel DropOut, Sakura Quest, Akiba's Trip and Recovery Of An MMO Addict.

14
Music / R.I.P. Malcolm Young
« on: November 18, 2017, 12:11:29 PM »


Though he might not rank too high on every "best guitarists" list, there is no doubt he is #1 on mine. His style was more bare bones then bare bones, while Angus was the show and spark of Ac/Dc, Malcolm was the very foundation. His heavy handed and simple approach defines the very genre of "hard" rock. There was no nonsense to his playing in any regard, just a loud amp and a wrecking ball wrist. Everything about Ac/Dc, the entire vision and mission statement of the band was Malcolm's.

Malcolm is the guitarist that I learnt to play from, and the reason I have broken so many strings from just playing open chords. It was playing along to Ac/Dc songs like Shoot To Thrill, Walk All Over You, If You Want Blood, Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be, Shot Down In Flames, Gone Shootin' etc. that I learnt to play. I never touched Angus' parts, opting to miss the fills in Back In Black and enter half way into verse 1 of You Shook Me All Night Long because I simply wanted to be a powerful rhythm guitarist like Malcolm.

While I like to think I'm a little more then that now (gotta step up if yer a one man band) Malcolm was a vital influence for me, and his rhythm playing was never underrated. The answer of my favorite guitarist is a simple one. Below is a video of my favorite Malcolm moment, after Angus' noodling the bastard slams in at 0:46, mighty as ever. Chester's was the first celebrity death that effected me, and Malcolm's was the first of my rock n' roll heroes to fade. Rock on brilliant bastard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZuJSxE_twI&feature=youtu.be&t=46

Other great Malcolm rhythm moments

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bP6aVG6L1w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nnjh-zp6pP4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f77MshQoyP0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuUTtVGO10Y


15
Music / The Manimal's Halloween Rock Down
« on: October 24, 2017, 05:08:21 PM »
Time to do another gimmicky and silly Manimal thing! The Halloween week rock down 7 on 7, whatever name you wanna call it. I post 7 cool songs by a cool band that fit the season for the next 7 days. You don't really care, but I do it anyway for fun. Because we gotta get seasonal somehow, if it's Halloween then it's time to rock. But not...like death metal...no no, good stuff by Manimal's estimation.



Let's begin...

Day 1


My Last Words
  • By my estimation the most bad ass thrash song of all time is here. A full speed finale to Peace Sells, "My Last Words" does not let up once it gets started. Beginning with a very cool figure on the intro, things quickly get wild. Fast paced, hard rocking, the verses led by the bassline. Dave sings off a desperate game of Russian Roulette, a shot away from death. One to crank.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35-X8MiGkKM

Train Of Consequences
  • My favorite Megadeth song, Youthanasia is a great record with lots of catchy melodies and riffs. This chuggy song has a great groove and...well if you never warmed up to Dave's vocals his "loaf pitching" style on the chorus won't change your mind now, but this song is rad regardless! Listen to Marty's smooth solo! Megadeth where easily able to fit into the alt scene of the 90's, a lot better then Metallica would. It was in the 90's when Dave finally out did his old bandmates.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nBY40Bdan0

The Skull Beneath The Skin
  • Megadeth's debut sounds pretty poor but man do the songs rip. With a fierce technical style of riffing and an angry snarl, Dave was out for revenge. This song tells the bloody tale of Megadeth's mascot character Vic Rattlehead. Good stuff. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyUallIQ9po

The Conjuring
  • Dave is scared of this song. Lyrically a tale of black magic, which is something Dave takes very seriously. The track is riff heavy, with plenty of change-ups. The tap harmonics in the beginning are my favorite part, a great song for the season. Along with Good Mourning/Black Friday, this is one track you will never hear Megadeth play again.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arxmxwMWbM4

She-Wolf
  • The chorus of this song was my ringtone from 2014 to a few months ago when I changed it to the chorus of "Dirty Boots". By far the most catchy of Megadeth's songs, it rides a solid chugging rhythm with some cool leads all around. But it's all about that chorus...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwbBz59lIQo

Ashes In Your Mouth
  • Picking just one song to showcase from Countdown To Extinction is no easy game. But the all out finale, Ashes In Your Mouth stands as one remarkable jam. Another song with multiple sections of juicy riffs, and a brilliant harmony solo! Dave and Marty trade off until it suddenly breaks into this video game sounding lead out of nowhere, it's really the most stunning moment on the record. Awesome stuff.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayKYv1ERevU

Tornado Of Souls
  • If you ask me what the best metal solo of all time is...I would say Crazy Train...but next up would be Marty's stunning lead on Tornado Of Souls! The smoothness, the mastery, and the scale jumping combined with melodic brilliance. The rest of the song is one of the better put together on Rust In Peace, lots of great riffs and an overall cool structure that takes it easily to 5 minutes. But it's all build up to 3:09!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44iFZzV6y_o

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