J.C. Ciesielski, Fanbase Press Contributor

J.C. Ciesielski, Fanbase Press Contributor


Charlie ChristmasArrested Development. It's not just the name of a TV show involving people saying, "I've made a huge mistake," or a '90s hip-hop band that sang about a man named Mr. Wendel who was apparently from Tennessee. It's actually the name of a condition where someone becomes psychologically and/or emotionally stunted. I'm not sure which came first, but I know that the latter applies to the main character in the film The Unusual (Calling of) Charlie Christmas.


The Final Plague 2Meanwhile, back on the ranch . . . When we last left off, a farmer and his family were having a smidge of a rodent problem. City folk react quite drastically when one makes an appearance in the home, but country folk know it's part and parcel of living in God's country. It's always an annoyance when the shine of their blood red eyes hastens your heartbeat for a moment or two. It's when they won't stay dead that it becomes more of a nuisance.


Facebook logo*Please note that this article is an opinion-editorial.

On a Facebook Wall: "How do you think he would like it if I sat him between X and Y at our event? Ha!" 3 months later: "Hey guys, I can only private message and not post on my Wall because I've been banned from Facebook for the next 12 hours." It appears that if enough people disagree with your comments or opinion, all they need is enough people they can convince to report you, and the power trip can begin.

Strangled by StrangulationHave you ever been in a situation where someone is speaking a foreign language and, even though you can't understand the words, you get the basic gist of it from the manner in which it's conveyed? Wait, strike that, reverse it. That's what listening to Strangled by Strangulation is like. The manner is one thing, the context a complete other.


PandemicMany hands make light work. A saying that goes back a long way, but not nearly as long as sickness, I'm sure. Disease has always been the bane of mankind, striking fear into those that know the symptoms and not the cure. There must have been a caveman that correlated a cough with sickness. A caveman that paved the way for science to discover vaccines and treatments to battle the plagues that ravaged mankind. Of course, he probably took a more direct route to eliminate the spread of disease by clubbing the one that coughed to death. Cough drops wouldn't be invented for thousands of years, and an itchy throat is a real drag. But, getting the cougher backed into a corner and taking them down by oneself can be difficult. That's why many hands make light work. Fast forward a bit, and you get a game based on the history of illness, virus, and plague. You get Pandemic.


Night of the 80s undeadDude. DUDE! This party is going to be gnarly to the max! Like, totally tubular, like, no groady D-bags to C-block us, just, like, bodacious bods wall to wall up in our facials! So radical! I'm psyched!

In the years of my youth, this would not be an uncommon sentence to hear, especially if you were hanging out at the coolest place ever, the symbol of Reaganomics that was totally righteous, The Mall. Drop a few quarters at the arcade, cruise on some chicks at the food court, and, since you're already there, grab a burger served up in that most convenient of containers, styrofoam, sold by someone forced to wear a 6-inch large hat emblazoned with the establishment's logo. Rev up your Camero, it's time to roll. Just scrape the zombie brains off the car, bra, and take a chill pill. Frankie sez relax.


Tekkoshocon X2Is it just me or are Otaku constantly getting younger? When it comes to an online presence, the young'uns are always gonna have a step up on everyone else, because besides school, homework, and maybe an after-school job, they have an insane amount of free time. I remember those carefree days, hitting up the video store (yes video a.k.a. VHS. Wiki that if you have no idea what I'm jabbering about.), wandering over to a friend's house, popping in the latest hard-to-find anime and sitting back chillaxin' when those kanji credits rolled. Afterwards, we'd talk about it while playing some street hockey and then getting on an AOL chatroom to further that discussion with dorks from other states. If you have to ask what a chatroom is, then Wiki that, too. The point is hardcore Otaku talk used to be few and far between for many. That is, until we could convince Mom to let us go to a con. We wouldn't know anyone other than who we came with, but soon made friends over common interests like what we were watching, how we figured out how to make a cosplay outfit from stuff we found at a thrift shop, and what bands from overseas we got a bootleg of at the last anime club meeting. Thank goodness for cons.


The Final Plague 1You'd remember it if you'd ever heard it. Skrt skrt skrt. Kunk. Sutk. Shkrt skrt . . . Then silence all at once. A possible echo of the sound moments later in another bit of the wall, a bit you've never seen. Nooks and hidey holes, a maze of up and downs, ins, outs, left and rights coursing through the veins that inhabit the skeleton of a home. Inside those veins, an occasional sickness occurs. Many reasons can be speculated for the cause, but even at its most benign, the virus still causes immediate concern and treatment. The veins must be flushed before the virus can spread and become something worse. Something that breaks the skeleton down from the inside, that creates rot where once was vitality and purpose. The virus feeds on everything the host has to offer and feeds more on what would be refused. That virus? Rats.


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*Please note that this article is an opinion-editorial.

Geekdom has become a double-edged sword. Once, we lived in fear of the sunlight and "normies." We fled to the sanctuary of our basements, especially on Wednesdays, to gather and discuss our newly procured treasures, roll 20-sided dice, and avoid the throngs of folks lined with pitchforks and torches prepared to lay down mob judgment. We banded together, watching each other's backs and to a greater extent the cache of comics and Magic: The Gathering cards strategically hidden throughout schools, homes, and churches. Nuns lay down the law worse than all others. Then came the internet.


GinkgopolisWhen's the last time you read the instructions of a board game and felt like you were at a feminist rally of gamers? As they picket the headquarters of a gaming company demanding equality and burning pink game pieces in effigy? When? When? When?! If your answer is more than zero, then you are probably in the 1% section of gamers and most likely have a restraining order against you. But, why does it have to be "Parker Bros," when it was the Parker sister's idea, probably? When will we get our day in the sun, ladies? As we sit in a basement or coffee shop rolling 12-sided dice, daydreaming of being wooed by Klaus Teuber or Leslie Scott, and having them create a RPG where the goal is to garner our attention and approval. It's time for a bit of recognition and kudos for being the minority in a culture saturated by mouth-breathing breeders.

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