Thursday, February 17, 2011

Turning 29 But Looking 23

Turning 29 is a lot scarier than hitting 30, starting today my entire year is a race to do all the things I said I would do before I hit the milestone. Thankfully having kids or being married was not on that list. To be honest I can't remember everything that was on that list, either mad cow disease or early senile is kicking in. I'm pretty sure either Karate or swimming were on that list, we'll see. A year ago, I wrote one of these blogs with a small hope that I'd meet my final reward at same the age Heath Ledger and Brandon Lee tragically died.

Today it's a different story, life seems like a challenge worth doing again. It's amazing how much you can get done when you don't hate your life. However if my number does come up within the next 365 days, I'll only be joining one famous person to die at the age of 29. That person being legendary pioneer and founder of real country music Hank Williams. No, not the guy who asked us if we were ready for some football? This Hank Williams was the creator of legendary songs like " Your Cheatin Heart" and "Jambalaya". So let's all wish Paris Hilton a happy 30th birthday and eat some alligator in honor of the guy who didn't sing about the football commentary skill of Al Michaels and Frank Gifford.

- David N.


[Editor's Note: Happy Birthay, David! May your disillusioned thoughts about how young you look carry you into next year.]

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Vote for Abraham by George Acevedo

Shameless plug time. IEC contributor David has asked all of you to vote for his cousin's submission, Abraham, to the Create A Superhero For Stan Lee Foundation. Click here to vote.

Here's the description: Abraham is the sole survivor of an alien race comparable to humans. Mechanical body has replaced most of the tissue that was damaged due to disease. Has the power of psycho kinesis and telepathy. He cannot speak nor hear. His chest emblem originates from a West African Adinkra symbol, Siamese crocodiles, which stands for democracy and unity.

And, because this post is comic book related, here is the 'Reception' portion listed on Wikipedia for the movie Steel:


Steel was received negatively by American critics on its original release. The film ranking website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 13% of critics had given the film positive reviews, based upon a sample of 23.[2] Leonard Kladly of Variety wrote that the film is "too broad and episodic to attract anything other than the most undemanding crowd".[8] Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle described it as a "tolerable stinker of a film" that "plays like a Saturday morning cartoon".[9] Lawrence Van Gelder of The New York Times stated that the film is "slow to gather momentum and generates little excitement or tension".[10]

Despite negative reception of the film, critics praised Annabeth Gish in the role of the wheelchair-using Susan Sparks. The New York Times called Gish's role a "strong performance".[10] The San Francisco Chronicle noted that she "becomes the first woman-in-wheelchair action hero in a Hollywood movie, too. Gotta give Steel some credit for that."


Goodnight everyone!

Unemployment Fun Zone: The Return (Double Whammy Edition)

Much like a movie you didn't want a sequel to, I'm back. For the three people that wondered what happened to my column, let's just say my editor doesn't expect much from me.

Where have I been? When I wasn't at the drawing board doing cards and portfolio sketches, I was scouring the globe of course for the best food trucks around and running into fellow IEC contributor Abel L. I fully expect a new post from him about the Frysmith and The Grilled Cheese Truck, no doubt he's coming up with new synonyms for the word delicious; perhaps something like scrulumptious.

Don't think for one second I've abandoned my search for all things free and cheap in fact, this Tuesday I'll bring you a review of Liam Neeson's Unknown. This April we'll be bringing you UFZ: Anahiem comic con Volunteer Edition where I see how many professional artist give me art to sell on Ebay.

For now in honor of my birthday in four days, I'll be giving you tips on who still let's you eat like a king on your special day. Tonight I took a trip to the mecca of the 605 freeway, the Cerritos mall so I could dine at the Red Robin. If you've never had Red Robin, you either are dating the wrong person or you live in a city where good taste is forbidden. If you sign up for their free Red Royal rewards club you get a free burger on your birthday. You might be saying to yourself, " I still have to pay for fries and a drink though!" That is only a half truth my friend, tonight yours truly walked in, sat at the bar, gave the bartender my printed email; then like magic a bacon burger with unlimited steak fries was laid before me. After $2.62 cents for my root beer, my full meal was devoured and there was no room for anymore. I'm giving this deal a 5 out of 5.

Other free things you can still get within the two weeks that encompass your birthday include, Fuddruckers free burger, $10 towards food at Roadhouse (no purchase necessary), and Ben and Jerry's Ice cream. Check their respective websites for all the details.

Now for the double whammy! Like a black video game salesperson's wet dream, I made $80 dollars today playing an unreleased video game for 2 hrs and stating all the things I hated about it. When I first answered this ad, I was skeptical of being raped or having to give up my credit card. Turned out to be a legitimate marketing company hired to conduct this kind for research. This beats jury duty hands down for the simple reason that even if you aren't selected for a panel you still get $50 just for showing up and your on your way home. In jury duty the judge just calls you racist, gives you a lecture one why you should want to be part of jury duty and sends you back to the waiting room. Because I signed a non disclosure agreement, I can not talk too much detail, but I will say it was an exclusive for a game system that has a blu-ray player built in and the name of the game rhymes with Fisted Yental. What am I going to do with my 80 bucks? Yep you guessed it, lottery tickets.

We'll be back in 4 days for my " 29, I think I'm turning 29, I really think so" blog. In 30 days we'll be back with last minute tax tips, including how I got $4,250.00 back and so can you. Plus coming soon for any birthdays after may, IEC will be hosting my "you name it, I draw it" blog where one person will get an actual Image comics bristol board sketch by me, of the most off the wall thing they can think of.

As always it's been your pleasure (or total waste of time),

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ebay Is Addictive, The Superbowl, And Gambling

Happy post-Superbowl, everyone. Hope you all had enough time to digest that mountain of quepapas and Bud Light. With just 5 posts it's safe to say that January was a slow month for IEC so I'm pointing blame in the following directions:

1. David went back to school (I think?), remembered how to smile, and has been drawing up a storm according to all 1,3o4,244 of his Facebook updates.
2. Abel is closely monitoring the Lakers and pulling for an Artest/Ariza trade.
3. Daniel's empty promises continue to remain just that.
4. Yours truly celebrated a birthday, drank a boot of beer at a surprise party, served jury duty, sold a ton of shit on ebay, passed Dead Money on Fallout: New Vegas, and worked a billion hours as usual.

Either way, no excuses. Our collective writer's block is over and it's back to business. Or maybe not, who the hell knows.

Back to the Superbowl. Plenty of bad decisions were made on the field but the real mistakes were made in the kitchen. Watching the game gives us all an excuse to gorge once more before winter is over and pretend that words like "calories", "sodium", and "trans fat" don't exist. Shotgunning cupcakes (the act of stuffing an entire iced cupcake in your mouth and attempting to eat it quickly) imbetween eating foods like buffalo wing flavored Ruffles, turkey chili, subway 6" sandwhiches, and chicken wings is not recommended at any other time of the year. With Pepto Misol in hand, I finished off what was left in the bottle and prayed those nachos I tacked on for desert at 12:14am Monday morning would stay down.

I didn't get to watch the Superbowl last year and pig out, but the year prior I was in Las Vegas gambling away my tax return and going all in with a pair of 9s. I didn't lose a crazy amount of money, but since then I haven't gambled heavily. Last March I was in Vegas for St. Patrick's day and won $500 from a slot machine, the most I've ever won since visiting there. But playing a few hands of poker or taking a shot at the slots just doesn't match up to the fun of betting on sports, especially baseball. I'm already a fan of the game, but when you start trying to pick five winners for the same ticket for some crazy amount of money it's that much more fun. Why else would you be interested in the pitching match-up for the Pirates-Brewers game? I've been good, though. I've stayed away from old habits despite the fact that the advent of the smart phone is making matters worse. All this access to live scores and highlights wherever I go makes it easier to watch the results for instant jubilation (or humiliation).

Luckily there is eBay. It was fun watching all these auctions end while trying to find out how much someone will spend on a three-year old electric guitar (Note: It costs $90 to ship a guitar to Virginia. Not $50. Ninety fucking dollars via FedEx). Everything sold, from old video games to a GPS that became obsolete courtesy of my Droid Incredible. Throwing your old junk on eBay is a fun gamble since you never know how desperate someone is and you keep waiting to see if you might get back what you originally paid for it. There are tons of bargains too, like this Todd Marinovich signed 1992 Upper Deck All Rookie Team football card for just $12: (

eBay is a decent enough gambling-like substitute that I can live with right now so wish me luck and I'll see you all next time.

- Mike O.