At this point, I am already aware that I am particularly inspired and entertained by the wierdest, gnarliest, and over-the-top efforts in crafting art, regardless of the medium. If it feels to familiar to something that I have already experienced, I may begin to lose interest before I have even finished indulging. Anyway, that was my thesis statement. There was an obligation to get that out of the way, because as a devout Jainist, I have to respect that the bacterial cathedrals between the etchings of my drywall who may be judging my approach to writing… – let’s cut to the chase here. Dat PCP is going to be a series of installments where the most fantastic, potentially-underground, and odd-as-numero-drei artistic endeavors will be praised and promoted by this fella’s half-bitten nails vigorously typing away.
Drug Warning: If you are unfamiliar with Phencyclidine (PCP), a brief tidbit of info will be promptly presented riiiiiiiiiiight NOW. PCP can be ingested by a number of different techniques to garner the same hallucinogenic effect. Therefore, it serves as a fantabulous metaphor for the way we chase our fix for entertainment. Whether we watch, read, or listen, we are counting on the result of being entertained. Now, with all of the introductory nonsense in plain view, let me begin to tell you about creative works that I have recently enjoyed, am currently in the middle of, or have been on my list for weeks, months, or years. I just can’t get enough, and it’s my pleasure to deal.
- Clapping for the Wrong Reasons and Because the Internet
Creators: Childish Gambino/Donald Glover and Credited Friends
Plenty of us are Donald Glover fans. Even if you don’t think you are, you might be. Donald Glover was once a co-writer for 30 Rock and was a key role on the cast of Community, among other appearances. So, he has definitely had an influence on contemporary media even before diving into the rap game. I have had dreams influenced by this dude. I have crowd-surfed to the opening of Freaks and Geeks during a Gambino concert at The Venue Scottsdale. I am a fan. However, it took me a long while to get to finally listening to Because the Internet (first listen last week), despite its release back in December 2013. Why did it take me so long? I was holding back. I wanted to wait until I had both the time, attentive ability, and the effort to make it through the album and the accompanying screenplay all in one go.
“Daaaaaaaaaaaaaang. A screenplay? What the frickenpotamus? I thought that ish was just a musical rap thang.”
Nah. It’s a whole lot more than just a rap thang.
Shortly after the album’s release, I saw a post on r/music on Reddit. It was a link to a PDF file of the screenplay that accompanies the album. Ever since that day I have had that file on the desktop of my laptop, unopened, until today…
I opened it, and it starts with a statement reading:
“THE PRELUDE TO THIS SCREENPLAY (“CLAPPING FOR THE WRONG REASONS”) IS AVAILABLE ON THE WEBSITE YOUTUBE FOR FREE CONSUMPTION. IT MAY OR MAY NOT GIVE CONTEXT TO THIS WORK YOU’RE READING.”
Add short film to the list of what this work is, besides being a rap album. When will I actually listen to the album. *plays short film*
Clapping for the Wrong Reasons:
Whoa. Some of those scenes were kind of reminiscent of living in my college house and the dialog also reminded me of the introspective statements by RZA in The Tao of Wu (great philosophical Wu Tang read for rap fans). There is so much to be said about what every cut in this short film means, but I’ll skip redundancy. Scroll down to the comments section on Youtube to see statements by user Chance the Wrapper (lol) for insight on how Donald Glover’s public reputation of being a spoiled rich kid upsets him and how he struggles with the anxiety of life’s many responsibilities while trying to optimize his influence on the current generation, just like everyone else. Everything in the video is a symbol. Onto the screenplay.
Because the Internet Screenplay:
Read it HERE
So, here’s some insight. The screenplay is 73 pages and it also queues when to play certain tracks of the album, intermittently, throughout the script. At this point, I’m just going to let you go on your own, because you should get the bulk of it by reading for yourself. However, I will tell you this. To me, this was an entirely different way to enjoy an album, and it was awesome to finally reserve the time to sit down and enjoy it like it was intended. It is a cool story that mocks some traditions and habits that society has ingrained in people which don’t necessarily serve a vital purpose or influence to the present and future of mankind. In a way, it’s stressing how the newsfeed of social media has began influencing what we do more than our own conscious thinking. For example, the reaction to a real-life event changes depending on if/where you see it published on the internet, as opposed to actually being there when it occurred. Context can have quite the influence on a viewer or reader.
Plenty of Donald/Gambino fans have likely not gone through the whole experience yet, but I strongly encourage it. You’ll be wondering what the deal is with Roscoe’s wetsuit (read to find out).
Creators: Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters
As adults, why should we care about a fantasy story that primarily features a bunch of girls at summer camp fighting off magical, shape-shifting monsters and vengeful camp directors of summers past? Wait – are you serious? That in itself is enough of a reason to reel me in.
Anyway, here’s a little more insight for ya on why this series is important to comic books and media today. When it comes to (ugh) still controversial, progressive topics of gender identity and sexual preference, this series hosts a pair of homosexual parents, same-sex youth romance, and gender fluidity as commonplace within a whimsical tale suitable for children to read. Therefore, instead of keeping these societal changes for the adult dramas and comedies, let’s embrace and applaud the fact that some artists and writers are willing to expose them to kids through a medium that they are more likely drawn to. Parents, pick this up for the littles, fasho. They’ll still appreciate the superheroes when they’re older. Supes, Bats, and Spidey can wait.
I read all of the issues offered on the Phoenix Library multimedia platform, Hoopla. If you have a membership to the library, you can download the app and read Lumberjanes wherever and whenever you please. Look into it! Personally, I can’t wait for the future adventures of the Lumberjanes!
Hoopla Info HERE
- One Punch Man
Creators: One, Yusuke Murata, Tomohiro Suzuki, and Others
Alright, so I’ll admit that I wasn’t a diehard fan of One Punch since the beginning. Nevertheless, I do respect the origin of how one of today’s craziest animes got its start, and I can tell you all about it.
It all spawned when a manga artist under the pseudonym, One, began the series as a webcomic online.
One Punch Man Web Series:
Because of how brilliant and ridiculous it was with respect to plot, artist Yusuke Murata decided to remake the series with some killer illustrations. Since then, Suzuki and Madhouse have booted up an anime series for the tale.
You don’t need to know much to get immediately hooked on the series premise. It starts off as the regular underdog uprising, where the soon-to-be hero is struggling with standing up for himself, since his strength is not superior to that of his villains’. Well, Saitama is no regular dude for long. He undergoes physical training so intense that he actually loses his hair from working out so severely. His strength then exceeds that of any man, monster, or demon. He can defeat any opponent in one punch (thus the title). *queue blood spattering* Well, what’s next? Depression. Since there is no worthy combatant for his skill, he starts to grow bored with any “threat” that comes his way. Events that follow, such as training a cyborg rookie, becoming a registered hero, and undergoing public hatred just make the story more infectious.
I recommend One Punch Man as a DEFINITE watch but also as a DEFINITE read. I have yet to view much of the original webcomic series, but I can attest to the Murata manga series as being integral concept art for the anime that is perpetually gaining fans. The resemblance between the two is unbelievable. There are GIF’s across the web that pair the panel art from the manga with clips from the show, and they are terrifically rad.
Season Two of the series just got delayed until 2017, but I will wait for another decade if I have to. I’ll let them have their time to make it how they please. Luckily, Madhouse has been nice enough to release some mini OVA episodes to hold over the obsessed until the time comes for Season 2. Most have already been released with the last one coming out in late May. Then, there will be famine.
*Note: I’m not sure where to see the Murata series online for free, but you should definitely consider paying to support this work and see how amazing it is.
- Shelter/Shelter 2/Paws
Developer: Might and Delight
The Shelter series almost instantly became one of my favorites, and it certainly put Might and Delight on the map, as a developer, for myself and many others. The first installment was released with a short synopsis and a tag that labeled it as a “badger simulator”. *Instant purchase*
Both Shelter and Shelter 2 play out similarly with you playing as the mother badger or lynx, respectively. In the first Shelter game, I named my badgers cubs, and together we battled the elements of nature. River waves, predators of the dark, forest fires, and swooping hawks – we carried onward to… (come on, just play it).
Shelter 2 was heavily hyped for me, and I was not disappointed. Instead of having a linear style of gameplay, it was open-world and hosted many collectibles for the treasure hunter players. They even give you the option to officially name the lynx cubs in this one!!! They knew me so well. Another additional feature is the sniffing sense, which is much like the detective mode from the Batman Arkham series. It mainly ensures that you don’t get lost in the open world area.
As I should have guessed, the running of the mother lynx was too quick of a frame rate for my laptop to handle at times, but I received the same extraordinary vibes that the first episode had presented me. A visually fantastic, playable ending sequence is awarded to the player upon completion.
Now, I find myself playing as a lynx cub in Paws. It turns the tables on the entire narrative that the first two games make you familiar with, and now you have to seek Shelter from your mother instead of seeking Shelter for your ‘lil animals. I’m in the middle of it still, but it is certainly gripping. If you didn’t already have a fear of horned geese, this game may make you a believer. Seriously, how cruel is it to require and promote players to steal and eat the goose eggs to survive? Those geese are faster than a landslide from a pointy peak.
This videogame is available on Steam, and is commonly on sale as a all-inclusive bundle with all games in the series.
The current plan is to release an issues of Dat PCP every other week. Additionally, readers can comment, ask questions, or even recommend media to be covered by commenting below. Please, support the artists who are producing vibrant masterpieces for their fellow creatures of Earth to enjoy!