Szpirs Blog: The Week in Szpirsview

Hey Geeks,

So, when we’re not making podcasts, what are the GwK up to? Here’s what Szpirs (me) has been doing but, be warned, some of it may…disturb you. It probably won’t disturb you. Sorry, I can’t bring myself to try click-baiting. I’m gonna write a bit about failing at rock-climbing, a great Dragonball Z parody on youtube, and some old comics I read. Enjoy! 

What Szpirs Watched:
Dragonball Z: Abridged by Team Four Star – A 50+ episode of South Park stitched together from the footage of Dragonball Z. Each episode is about 10 minutes long and makes hay by cutting out, cutting down, and rearranging DBZ episodes. It distills what’s great about the series while having a laugh at its’ expense – inventive visuals, escalating battles, and distinct, memorable characters. The voice cast is absolutely stellar. Their Vegita is pitch perfect, their Goku is even more innocent and earnest than the voice I remember from FUNimation’s port in the 90’s (no disrespect, both are incredible), and minor characters are distinct, funny, and self-referential. In distilling Dragonball’s plot, calling out the ridiculousness of certain elements (power levels, transformation sequences, fill arcs), and really pushing up the laughs, this fan-made parody may be more in-tune with Akira Toriyama’s vision than the more earnest, Superman-inspired official version. The momentum of the battle against Frieza (or Freza or Freezer, or whatever) is a continuous up-and-down ride. By minimizing the b-plots almost to non-existence, I found myself far more connected to the climactic fight than before…even with the parody of Goku’s memorable, “…hope of the universe” speech, there is more weight to this version…mostly because we don’t slow down so our brains don’t have a chance to analyse what we’re seeing until later. Good stuff, NSFW, and some homophobic-maybe-am-I-being-too-sensitive-I-don’t-know jokes.

Check out Episode 31 which truncated an entire filler arc into 10 minutes:

What Szpirs Read:

New X-Men: Ultimate Collection (Vol. 1 – collecting ‘E’ is for Extinction, Germ-Free Generation, and Imperial) – Grant Morrison’s X-opus in my favourite collected version. I come back to this one every so often, especially when I feel misused as an X-fan in the current MU. I always try to read with fresh, non-fanish eyes and maybe I’ll try a full review in that mode later…but in short, it’s inventive, daring, and ambitious in every way that matters. It’s not a perfect book; Igor Kordy’s art is the weak link of the run (I understand he was rushed, he did all the art himself, and some pages are actually pretty good…), some continuity/sequencing is problematic (X-men: 2001 should come after Xavier’s departure at the end of the first arc, lots and lots of coincidence at the end of Imperial) but, the redesigns of the X-men are cool and functional (except for Emma Frost but when Quietly draws her it seems more like a biting commentary than cheesecake…if only he had drawn all the issues…), the story moves the franchise out of Marvel brand superheroics and into the morally gray territory of literary science fiction, and the plotting and pacing are still revelatory. I know the aesthetic isn’t to everyone’s taste but give this book a chance. It still feels more current than most of the X-books on the shelf today.

What Szpirs Tried:

I tried rock climbing at Gravity Climbing Gym. I was never much of a climber when I was younger but always had a great time doing it. After taking my class there last week, I thought it might be the exercise fix that would fit my schedule and budget. Sadly, it fits neither but was still a good time. For $18, I bouldered for an hour…that’s climbing a low wall without a rope, I think…and managed to tear up my hands, overtax my lazy muscles, and shred my self-esteem as the cast of a Campus Crew ad spider-maned up the wall next to me. I’d go again.

http://www.gravityclimbinggym.com/

Well, that’s it for now.

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