Art and thoughts of Joe Higgins
See for my main blog.

Sunday afternoon chilling
Somebody played too much fetch today
Last one! Hellboy rules. #Hellboy #darkhorsecomics #darkhorse #mikemignola
Another photo for no reason except Hellboy is awesome.
Happy Birthday Hellboy!
Celebrating Hellboy day with some Dark Horse treats :D #Hellboy #DarkHorse #DarkHorseComics #MikeMignola
Went to put the bins out and found this little scamp!

sparrowsabre7 asked: Top 3 videogames, if you play =)



1. Silent Hill 2 - Of the whole franchise, they have never improved upon the story in this game. The style, the atmosphere and the Lynchian dialogue and characters set this one apart from all the others. It also the has the best creature design of the series, avoiding conventions of horror in gaming completely and focusing instead on what is really messed up. I have played this game so much I can (and have) given walkthroughs over the phone based on only snippets of information.

2. Fallout 3 - I got this with no idea what I was in for. I love the retro, ray gun-noir design, the do-as-you-will method of play and most of all, the awesome post-apocalyptic sci-fi setting. I’ve created countless characters and played in so many different ways that I feel like I’m playing a new game every time.  

3. Metal Gear Solid - I had to pick the first Playstation game, because it had everything I love in the entire series. The cutscenes weren’t too bloated and the story was really intriguing to me. Over the years (with the exception of MGR - Revengeance) the method of play hasn’t changed so much has grown up and become more logical, but all of the elements they perfected with this game pretty much exist in all recent titles in the franchise. I love the plot, the character design, the easter eggs, the humour, the villains and Solid fucking Snake. 

And yeah, I play. If there was enough time in the world, my entire life would be equal parts videogames, movies, comics and books. 

Good answers, though personally I could not get into SH2. I wanted to and I enjoyed the atmosphere, but the gameplay was a huge turn off. I’ve played all the “Resident Evil” games so I’m no stranger to iffy controls, but I just didn’t enjoy the actual playing at all. I know some more post-modern games are kind of designed that way (“Pathologic” and “Spec Ops” spring to mind) but I don’t feel like that was the intent with SH2.

"Fallout 3" has long been on my list of "must play" games and I will get round to it some day I’m sure.

For MGS, “Snake Eater” is my favourite, though it’s a close call between all of the ones I’ve played (“Twin Snakes”, “Sons of Liberty”, “Snake Eater”, “Peace Walker”). I just enjoyed the more predatory nature and less sophisticated tech. Not that the other games were easy, but the challenge felt more palpable in 3, though I think 1/TTS has the standout boss fights.

Call it an age thing with Silent Hill 2. My generation thought the first Resident Evil was the height of graphics and gameplay. I genuinely remember telling a friend that it was like playing a movie (Yes, the first Resident Evil). I know the actual gameplay is tough to enjoy, but I just got drawn deeply into the world with that game. It’s very reminiscent of one of my favourite movies, “Jacob’s Ladder” and combines elements from lots of horror that I enjoy.

"Snake Eater" would be my second choice for MGS games, for all the reasons that you said. The villain design was stunning and I still crack up at the doofus that Ocelot was. However the story was a little too much for me. I love how much thought has been put into each game, but sometimes I just want the characters to shut up so I can actually play the goddamn thing.








“The Lego Movie”

Despite being a collector of Lego (a joint passion that my partner and I have shared for years) I was apprehensive about “The Lego Movie”. The worst case scenario was that it would be a crude advertisement for Lego products with bad voice acting and humour that falls flat,…

I agree with most points but a couple of comments:

More of a clarification: only the end credits version of “Everything is Awesome” was performed by Tegan and Sarah, the one you hear during the opening montage is by Jo Li, who also helped write it. The album is highly misleading by listing the T+S version as track one, as I bought it and noted almost instantly that it wasn’t quite like the one heard in the main part of the film.

My main point of contention is over Wildstyle, as I think she is much more than a generic love interest. Her backstory very much gives a sense of someone wanting to be special and to stand out, which mirror’s Emmet’s desire to be liked and to fit in. These two characters are at odds with each other and yet manage to establish a believable chemistry by the film’s end. Not to mention it’s Wildstyle who does the majority of the brick-kicking and people-saving, which is no small deal for a family film, nor any film for that matter.

I can sort of see why you would see her as a generic character, as there is a lot of “seen it before” as with other aspects of the film, but I think that’s less due to lack of imagination and more to playing up the archetypes. In spite of all the things that make it unique, it is very much a film built on classic tropes and plot threads like “The Hero’s Journey” and that’s in no way a bad thing.

I had to cut it down quite a bit, I had more to say on Wyldstyle originally. What I meant was that the love interest approach is fairly generic, but like I said, there are more than enough stand-out moments for her. I loved the character… in fact I love all the characters in it. I think I’m very pro-Pacific Rim in my feelings of love interests. It’s so obvious that they’re into each other, that sometimes it’s better to just leave it in the subtext. But it’s great, she’s great and in a family movie, generic is not always a bad quality in supporting characters. Archetypes are fantastic anchors, especially for a movie that goes off the rails as often as The Lego Movie.

As for “Everything is awesome”, again I didn’t want to go into too much detail and honestly, I’m a little biased because I’ve been a Tegan & Sara fan for years. 

You make great points though, but it took me a lot of effort to trim down what I originally wrote and there’s still probably a little bit too much there.

Thanks for the input though :)

Ah fair enough, ha ha. I agree RE Pacific Rim style love interests, I very much liked that they only held hands at the end. It feels less cliché and less obviously exploitative of your feelings and telling you that “this is romantic, you should invest in these characters’ relationship, do you buy that they love each other? You should, they’re kissing!”

I wonder if that was in part because it’s a family film though and some young kids still have that “eww, kissing” reaction. And also because what would Lego minifigs kissing even look like, just two blocks mashing together with kissy noises?

But yes, that’s one of the reasons I appreciate a lot of anime films/ shows. Yes, of course there is the endless list of shojo anime which culminate in a kiss, but I like that in non-romance shows, for the most part, it seems like there isn’t really that kind of “they have to kiss”. “Ouran High School Host Club” is one of my favourite examples, being that it’s a parody of shojo and completely dodges the cliché final kiss to the point where, if you interpret it that way, you can read the female lead’s feelings for the male lead as platonic if you so wish.

It’s one of the things I wish “Man of Steel” had done better, rather than forcing that kiss in with Lois and Supes (not to mention that cringeworthy exchange after, which surely is actually insulting Lois :P). I would’ve preferred the “Iron Man 1” approach where they built the relationship slowly and much is inferred and nodded at, rather than made explicit.

Sorry, that kind of derailed there; keep up the good work, I look forward to reading more =)

I agree about the Man of Steel kiss, although it wasn’t the kiss so much as the line after that bothered me.

Agreed wholeheartedly. Also the “I think he’s kinda hot” line. Mostly I accept some silliness in comic book films but I wanted to cry with embarrassment from both of those lines. I can’t help but feel Nolan’s hand in them. I like his work, but, bless him, some of his attempts at humour are, in the words of Morgan Freeman “just the worst”.

HA! Yes! I love Nolan, but his movies (whether by his hand or not) do not always have the strongest dialogue. 
For example -

"No more dead cops!" Fuckin’ NOOOOOO… REALLY? Shit, we was just about to kill all the cops up in this bitch.


"You either die the hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain." Man, that’s deep…. that’s just… wait… what?

what. does. that. actually. mean.

I get what they were getting at, but it really only makes sense in the context of Harvey Dent and his development. 

Honestly, a lot of the things said in Nolan’s movies probably sounded great in someone’s head, or looked great on the page, but once delivered, they all fall sort of flat. Not all the time, of course, but too often. Especially the awkward attempts at humour in The Dark Knight Rises.