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Basically a nerd, basically a film blog.


Catharsis is my favorite feeling.
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Charlie Day doppelganger: NBA player Josh McRoberts



Charlie Day doppelganger: NBA player Josh McRoberts

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This must-read article looks at the power of imagery and photography in the growing business of global voluntourism - a popular trend amongst youth from Western countries that involves young, and sometimes inexperienced, individuals paying large amounts of money to travel to ‘developing’ nations to do everything from teaching, to building schools and providing healthcare. 

Whilst intentions may be well-meaning, aside from the patronizing aspect of these projects that resemble colonial missionary missions, the very fact that volunteering has been turned into a for-profit business is of major concern. So why does voluntourism still continue to be popular? According to


In a photograph taken by a fellow voluntourist in Ghana (not shown), a child stands isolated with her bare feet digging in the dirt. Her hands pull up her shirt to expose an umbilical hernia, distended belly, and a pair of too-big underwear. Her face is uncertain and her scalp shows evidence of dermatological pathology or a nutritional deficiency—maybe both. Behind her, only weeds grow.

Anthropologists Arthur and Joan Kleinman note that images of distant, suffering women and children suggest there are communities incapable of or uninterested in caring for its own people. These photographs justify colonialist, paternalistic attitudes and policies, suggesting that the individual in the photograph …

… must be protected, as well as represented, by others. The image of the subaltern conjures up an almost neocolonial ideology of failure, inadequacy, passivity, fatalism, and inevitability. Something must be done, and it must be done soon, but from outside the local setting. The authorization of action through an appeal for foreign aid, even foreign intervention, begins with an evocation of indigenous absence, an erasure of local voices and acts.


Here we have a smiling young white girl with a French braid, medical scrubs, and a well-intentioned smile. This young lady is the centerpiece of the photo; she is its protagonist. Her scrubs suggest that she is doing important work among those who are so poor, so vulnerable, and so Other.

The girl is me. And the photograph was taken on my first trip to Ghana during a 10-day medical brigade. I’m beaming in the photograph, half towering and half hovering over these children. I do not know their names, they do not know my name, but I directed a friend to capture this moment with my own camera. Why?

This photograph is less about doing actual work and more about retrospectively appearing to have had a positive impact overseas. Photographs like these represent the overseas experience in accordance with what writer Teju Cole calls the “White Savior Industrial Complex.”

Moreover, in directing, capturing, and performing in photos such as these, voluntourists prevent themselves from actually engaging with the others in the photo. In On Photography, Susan Sontag reminds us:

Photography has become almost as widely practiced an amusement as sex and dancing – which means that…it is mainly a social rite, a defense against anxiety, and a tool of power.

On these trips, we hide behind the lens, consuming the world around us with our powerful gazes and the clicking of camera shutters. When I directed this photo opportunity and starred in it, I used my privilege to capture a photograph that made me feel as though I was engaging with the community. Only now do I realize that what I was actually doing was making myself the hero/star in a story about “suffering Africa.”


In his New York Times Op-Ed, that modern champion of the selfie James Franco wrote:

Selfies are avatars: Mini-Me’s that we send out to give others a sense of who we are…. In our age of social networking, the selfie is the new way to look someone right in the eye and say, “Hello, this is me.”

Although related to the Self-Directed Samaritan shot, there’s something extra-insidious about this type of super-close range photo. “Hello, this is me” takes on new meaning—there is only one subject in this photo, the white subject. Capturing this image and posting it on the Internet is to understand the Other not as a separate person who exists in the context of their own family or community. but rather as a prop, an extra, someone only intelligible in relation to the Western volunteer.

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Marlon Brando’s Rebel Without a Cause screen test. [x]

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Japanese child actress Mana Ashida (little Mako) was embarrassed that she couldn’t pronounce Guillermo Del Toro’s name so he gave her special permission to call him “Totoro-san” instead.
My Neighbor Guillermo Del Toro.

If I don’t reblog this, assume I’m dead.

I laughed.




Japanese child actress Mana Ashida (little Mako) was embarrassed that she couldn’t pronounce Guillermo Del Toro’s name so he gave her special permission to call him “Totoro-san” instead.

My Neighbor Guillermo Del Toro.

If I don’t reblog this, assume I’m dead.

I laughed.




I <3 William Shatner on Twitter

I love how they respond to him, as if he is actually a captain, even more.

Nasa confirmed for huge fucking nerds

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These tiny shrimp-like crustaceans called ostracods have an incredible defense mechanism: when eaten by a translucent cardinalfish they release bioluminescent chemicals in an attempt to ILLUMINATE THE FISH FROM THE INSIDE. Not wanting to be eaten by predators itself, the cardinalfish immediately spits out the ostracod. [VIDEO]




Ok incoming rant alert but i really need to throw down here. I’m actually getting really sick and tired of how on the one hand people are pushing for more diversity and better portrayals of racial and gender minorities in comics but are, at the same time, continuing to push the same canon of 1986 era proto-Vertigo comics like The Sandman and The Watchmen. Things really seriously are not going to change in the industry if you keep pushing the same nearly thirty year old comics as the high water mark. You’re literally agreeing with the executives and creators who you’ve been critiquing when you do that. We need a new canon and we need it fast.

Aside from being violently transmisogynist, The Sandman is really dated and leans too hard on prose literature to validate itself. A much better alternative that is also a magical realism comic about illuminating the transformative power of stories and imagination is Alan Moore and J.H. Williams III’s Promethea. It’s the template for next level trans inclusive queer feminist storytelling and is consistently touted as being one of the most beautifully and inventively illustrated comics ever. The flip side of Promethea is of course Grant Morrison’s wildly experimental The Invisibles saga which is low key the most influential comic of it’s time on film and television, exerting massive influence on The Matrix Trilogy, True Detective, and Gerard Way’s multi media Killjoys project. Warren Ellis and John Cassaday’s Planetary is really the gold standard for easily accessible and beautifully executed comics that explore genre conventions in pop culture spanning an entire century. To Be in England in the Spring also really just lays the late 80s proto-Vertigo era to rest in a way that we should all take to heart.

Just plain don’t tell people new to comics (as adults) to read The Watchmen. It’s a product of the darkest and most cynical period of Alan Moore’s career and basically just set out to bludgeon superhero fiction. The Watchmen is basically that shitty neighbour kid in Toy Story who got off on torturing toys, and you know superhero comics have never really gotten out of their Mrs Nesbitt phase as a result. You also kind of really need to know the Charleston characters that their Watchmen counterparts are based on to really understand the full impact of it. Naoki Urusawa’s Pluto is the first step in an alternative. Like Moore drawing from the Charleston characters to make The Watchmen, Urusawa (best known for  Uzumaki and Monster) adapted Pluto from an arc of Osamu Tezuka’s Astroboy. Instead of trying to break superheroes by turning them into violent psychopaths and impotent losers, Urusawa took the opportunity to meditate on deeper topics and interrogate consciousness itself rather than a specific genre trope. Moore’s own Swamp Thing is a far better sampling of that era of his career for something that is psychedelic, unnerving, and ultimately life affirming which is a very rare commodity in his work at DC. V for Vendetta is also really a far superior political allegory that examined the dangers of retreating into extreme doctrines of anarchy in response to fascism and also stands the test of time as the most daring and vitriolic interrogation of Margaret Thatcher’s reign of terror in English comics of the era. Especially as an example of a narrative about purely secular radicalization. Grant Morrison’s Animal Man run is also an indispensable reaction to late 80s cynicism in comics, deeply exploring the perceived need for creators to make their creations suffer while maintaining charm and wit throughout. The Coyote Bible is an early example of Morrison’s talent for being able to distill the key themes of his sprawling arcs into a single issue. The steam hasn’t cooled from Joe Keating and Ross Campbell’s Glory run yet, but it already stands as a serious milestone in post-1986 superhero comics exploring cycles of violence and attempting to grapple with just what the fuck Wonder Woman is or could be.

But you know really, we need to collectively get over the fear of canonizing conventional superhero stories and arcs. Making subversions and “deconstructions” the ideal will only keep mainstream comics in a state of deep fragmentation and arrested development.

John Rogers and Mark Waid’s Blue Beetle reboot that launched Jaime Reyes’ short career ought to be the absolute gold standard in teenage superhero storytelling. It’s fitting that they anchored the comic in a new generation of the heroes Alan Moore based The Watchmen on, because Blue Beetle was essentially a work of reconstruction to restore the joy and emotional resonance of good superhero comics. If that run came out now, alongside kamala khan it would be printing more issues than the mint spits out benjies, but alas.

Ed Brubacker’s Catwoman run spinning out of the Selina’s Big Score graphic novel contains over a dozen lessons in how to write, draw, and maybe even more critically, edit a contemporary superhero comic. It’s just pure top form street level shit on par with Brian Michael Bendis and Frank Miller’s tenures on Daredevil. Brubacker made Selina her own person in a way she’d never been before and brought Holly screaming back to life in a way she hadn’t been since her first appearance in Batman Year One. DC also really took great care to maintain consistency in the artists rotating on the book to keep the comic tonally on point, which has been a gigantic problem for the last twenty years (see Grant Morrison’s runs on X-Men and Batman for the worst examples).

John Ostrander and Kim Yale’s Suicide Squad is absolutely essential reading that gets buried under the hubris over the contemporaneous proto-Vertigo books. This was a comic that quietly shattered the rule of three convention about black characters in a single title, established Amanda Waller as one of the greatest forces in the DCU, and transformed Barbara Gordon into Oracle. Fans of Gail Simone’s Birds of Prey and Secret Six as well as anyone watching Arrow absolutely have to devote the time to these comics.

Peter Milligan’s X-Force/X-Statix saga, birthplace of doop, is effectively what made things like Matt Fraction’s FF and Wolverine & the X-Men possible. Breaking superhero comics by breaking your ribs with repeated spasms of laughter.

If you aren’t telling people to read All Star Superman, you may be beyond help.

But like, you’ve also got to be giving time to the innovators and trailblazers who tried to break comics in the sense of redefining what they could be and do, even if they didn’t always work. I have no problem saying that Nextwave: Agents of HATE is a contemporary classic with a straight face. I mean where are you ever going to laugh that hard again or see superheroes puking on aliens and beating up cops? Probably never. There’s currently only one volume in print of Robert Rodi’s Codename Knockout, a sexy spy romp about an awesome biracial spy and her legitimate gay best friend, which is absolutely criminal. Garth Ennis’ Midnighter solo book is a forgotten gem of the last days of Wildstorm. Those two titles put together are everything you’re currently loving about Grayson and more. Brian K Vaughan’s guest issue of Midnighter with Transmetropolitan co-creator Darrick Robertson is actually kind of rude in terms of how good it is. The unbelievable and unlikely team up of Bill Sienkiewicz and Frank Miller produced the most unique and addled Marvel comic in recent history in the form of Elektra: Assassin. It’s what happens when you just throw the rulebook out the window and go off

I think what pisses me off the most though is that there just is not enough talk about Will Eisner in general. American comics fandom is incredibly shitty at recognizing the true founders of the medium. Sure, you might talk a little shit about Bill Finger cause you heard Chris Sims talk about him or preface your jerking off to Stan Lee’s movie cameos with a tidbit about Jack Kirby, but where’s the love for Will Eisner? The dude wrote the holy fucking bible of how to do comics. He carved the stone tablets of American comics storytelling and practically invented the graphic novel. Anyone who’s serious about comics needs to own at least the Best of The Spirit collection. The story from the perspective of the toy gun is the pizza dog issue of like half a century ago.

all i can say is imma cry and i’ve been school’d yo.

OP is a glorious human being. 

Bless this entire goddamn post. 






Meet Cory Nieves. He’s a dapper, 10-year old CEO of Mr. Cory’s Cookies who started his own booming cookie business in an effort to help his mom buy a car after moving from NYC to New Jersey in 2009.

!!!!!! COOKIE CEO !!!!!!!

this is the best post on tumblr ever!!!

What the fuck

I will never be cooler than this guy.

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Jeremy Everett - No Exit (2014)

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I got to see some baby pandas this week!

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196,307 plays




I wasn’t able to draw at the time the Pacific Rim sequel was announced, so to compensate, I animated all the drift compatibles dancing horribly in celebration of the upcOMING ANIMATED SERIES 8V


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Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop (9.25.14): Protesters in Ferguson are back out tonight, demanding Police Chief Jackson’s resignation and the immediate arrest of Mike Brown’s killer, Darren Wilson. #staywoke #farfromover

(via ashleyeleigh)