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fireweed @lemmy.world
Posts 290
Comments 491
Rule (Penance 20/100)
  • Rearrange the photos so that upper left is lower right, upper right is lower left, lower left is upper left, and lower right is upper right, and you've got yourself a political compass meme.

  • Hundreds of racist plant names will change after historic vote by botanists
  • I'd never heard it either, but Wikipedia has a full entry on it:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaffir_(racial_term)

    I wasn't sure if it was the same as the taxonomic term (since they're spelled differently), but one of the trees in question is included in the "see also" section and the descriptions of the words in question seem to match, so I guess it is.

    According to Wikipedia it's referred to as the "k-word" in South Africa, so I assume it's a pretty strong slur there.

  • Biden to call for 5% cap on annual rent increases, as he tries to show plans to tame inflation
  • No, property tax is basically the only direct motivation in place for home owners to vote for politicians and policies that will keep housing affordable for future generations and people who don't already own a home. Otherwise why wouldn't home owners want to see housing prices skyrocket in value if there's no financial downside for them (and a giant payout when they do sell)? As mentioned in other comments, some states have tried property tax caps, and the result is creating a system of haves and have nots based entirely around who was lucky enough to buy into the market before it shot to the moon.

  • Lupine seed formation follow-up
  • Bluebonnets are so magnificent!

    Our bloom season is May-June. I kind of wish our lupine bloomed sooner, as there aren't a lot of flowers for the pollinators in March-April, mostly just dandelions. I've read fruit tree blossoms are supposed to be a primary food source for bees in early spring, but I saw bees out and about earlier than the blossoms opened this year. Plus fruit trees aren't exactly native or wild plants, so I'm unclear as to what the native pollinators ate in early spring prior to human agriculture and the introduction of non-native species!

  • Review: Lore Olympus (webcomic)
  • I was caught a bit off guard by the time jump, but I think it was a good call. Too many stories try to shove character development into too short a time frame, making it feel forced and plot-driven rather than a natural change; the development that needed to happen for the characters of LO (especially re: Persephone) was the kind that takes years, so I'm glad the story gave it years. Plus to all but the youngest gods, what's a decade, really? The biggest thing for me was it resolved the Persephone/Hades age gap to be way less icky, and demonstrated that the two were truly in love and not just caught up in a momentary infatuation.

  • Review: Lore Olympus (webcomic)

    www.webtoons.com Lore Olympus

    Witness what the gods do…after dark. The friendships and the lies, the gossip and the wild parties, and of course, forbidden love. Because it turns out, the gods aren’t so different from us after all, especially when it comes to their problems. Stylish and immersive, this is one of mythology’s great...

    Lore Olympus

    Cross-posted from: [email protected]

    Original post: https://lemmy.world/post/17403730

    -------------------------------------

    Title: Lore Olympus

    Type: Webcomic

    Year: 2018-2024

    Country: New Zealand

    Genre: Drama/romance/fantasy

    Status: Completed

    Platform: Webtoon (read here)

    Appropriate for 30+?: Yes

    My rating: 4.5/5 stars

    (Rating scale: 5/5 = masterpiece, 4/5 = quite good, 3/5 = mostly good, 2/5 = bleh, 1/5 = I regret ever being exposed to this series, 0/5 = affront to humanity)

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Lore Olympus is one of the best-known and popular Webtoons, and it 100% deserves that distinction. There's so much that's fresh and unique about the series while also having a lot of classic elements. For the uninitiated, Lore Olympus is a retelling of ancient Greek myths in a hybrid 21st century/ancient Greek setting. Webtoons bills it as a romance, however I call it a drama because there is so much going on beyond the romance plot: action, political scheming, revenge, trauma recovery, familial relationships, independence and interdependence...

    The art style is bold, stylish, unique, and very aesthetically pleasing. The characters are fresh and interesting, drawing heavily from ancient myth mixed with more contemporary traits and personalities. The overall fusion of ancient and contemporary is fantastic; the entire series is full of little details pulled from old myths, right up to the end. The plot is engaging, and the pacing is mostly consistent. The main cast is huge, the supporting cast even bigger, and they all get fleshed-out personalities and storylines, and most undergo significant character development. Even though much of what happens in Lore Olympus was composed thousands of years ago, I didn't feel like the plot directed the characters, rather the characters drive the plot. For how much happens in this series, it's all surprisingly well organized and balanced. Yet a surreal, dreamy tone persists through the series, beautifully complementing the serious plot elements. This webcomic really utilizes its medium well.

    I think Lore Olympus gathered some hate during its third season that I completely chalk up to the weekly release format. Readers complained that the plot wasn't moving as quickly as they wanted, which I attribute to readers' expecting the exciting pace from the previous arc's climax to continue (which would be bad storytelling) as well as frustration from fast-pass readers that they weren't "getting our money's worth" out of each chapter. I binged the series instead of reading it weekly, and thought the pacing perhaps got a tad slower than it should have during season three, but the story was clearly progressing and at a fairly consistent pace and wrapped up well. There are plenty of Webtoons where the story pace grinds to a halt or starts flailing as the author runs out of ideas while their editors push them to artificially extend their golden goose, but Lore Olympus isn't one of them.

    I've also seen some hate around how some of the characters and/or relationships are handled, which I think a full read of the series combined with researching the original myths would generally dispel. In my opinion, Lore Olympus does a fantastic job maneuvering around the elements of Greek mythology we'd consider especially tasteless today (such as the incest), and given that the original myth is literally called "the rape of Persephone," I think the author's renditions of myth to better appeal to 21st century tastes is brilliant (from non-consensual encounters to giant age gaps). Mild spoiler:

    spoiler

    Persephone herself grows tremendously as a character, from an example of the immature, "born sexy yesterday" trope to an empowered woman. Her early-season naivete is fully explained by her upbringing and relationship with her mother, who herself has reasonable if somewhat misguided reasons for her parenting style. Season 3 is all about girl power, and I really enjoyed the subversion of typically male-centric mythology.

    The characters span a wide range of ages, but generally look and act like young adults and middle-aged adults. The characters express both maturity and immaturity, and overall I think this is a series that older readers will greatly enjoy, especially as the older characters are introduced and take more prominence in the plot.

    Lore Olympus is a truly unique and well-made series that I would unreservedly recommend any fan of comics at least give a try.

    -----------------------------------

    As with all my reviews, the above is nothing more than my personal opinion. Have you read this series? What did you think? Post in the comments!

    0
    Animation (and Comics) after 30 @lemmy.world fireweed @lemmy.world

    Review: Lore Olympus (webcomic)

    www.webtoons.com Lore Olympus

    Witness what the gods do…after dark. The friendships and the lies, the gossip and the wild parties, and of course, forbidden love. Because it turns out, the gods aren’t so different from us after all, especially when it comes to their problems. Stylish and immersive, this is one of mythology’s great...

    Lore Olympus

    Title: Lore Olympus

    Type: Webcomic

    Year: 2018-2024

    Country: New Zealand

    Genre: Drama/romance/fantasy

    Status: Completed

    Platform: Webtoon (read here)

    Appropriate for 30+?: Yes

    My rating: 4.5/5 stars

    (Rating scale: 5/5 = masterpiece, 4/5 = quite good, 3/5 = mostly good, 2/5 = bleh, 1/5 = I regret ever being exposed to this series, 0/5 = affront to humanity)

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Lore Olympus is one of the best-known and popular Webtoons, and it 100% deserves that distinction. There's so much that's fresh and unique about the series while also having a lot of classic elements. For the uninitiated, Lore Olympus is a retelling of ancient Greek myths in a hybrid 21st century/ancient Greek setting. Webtoons bills it as a romance, however I call it a drama because there is so much going on beyond the romance plot: action, political scheming, revenge, trauma recovery, familial relationships, independence and interdependence...

    The art style is bold, stylish, unique, and very aesthetically pleasing. The characters are fresh and interesting, drawing heavily from ancient myth mixed with more contemporary traits and personalities. The overall fusion of ancient and contemporary is fantastic; the entire series is full of little details pulled from old myths, right up to the end. The plot is engaging, and the pacing is mostly consistent. The main cast is huge, the supporting cast even bigger, and they all get fleshed-out personalities and storylines, and most undergo significant character development. Even though much of what happens in Lore Olympus was composed thousands of years ago, I didn't feel like the plot directed the characters, rather the characters drive the plot. For how much happens in this series, it's all surprisingly well organized and balanced. Yet a surreal, dreamy tone persists through the series, beautifully complementing the serious plot elements. This webcomic really utilizes its medium well.

    I think Lore Olympus gathered some hate during its third season that I completely chalk up to the weekly release format. Readers complained that the plot wasn't moving as quickly as they wanted, which I attribute to readers' expecting the exciting pace from the previous arc's climax to continue (which would be bad storytelling) as well as frustration from fast-pass readers that they weren't "getting our money's worth" out of each chapter. I binged the series instead of reading it weekly, and thought the pacing perhaps got a tad slower than it should have during season three, but the story was clearly progressing and at a fairly consistent pace and wrapped up well. There are plenty of Webtoons where the story pace grinds to a halt or starts flailing as the author runs out of ideas while their editors push them to artificially extend their golden goose, but Lore Olympus isn't one of them.

    I've also seen some hate around how some of the characters and/or relationships are handled, which I think a full read of the series combined with researching the original myths would generally dispel. In my opinion, Lore Olympus does a fantastic job maneuvering around the elements of Greek mythology we'd consider especially tasteless today (such as the incest), and given that the original myth is literally called "the rape of Persephone," I think the author's renditions of myth to better appeal to 21st century tastes is brilliant (from non-consensual encounters to giant age gaps). Mild spoiler:

    spoiler

    Persephone herself grows tremendously as a character, from an example of the immature, "born sexy yesterday" trope to an empowered woman. Her early-season naivete is fully explained by her upbringing and relationship with her mother, who herself has reasonable if somewhat misguided reasons for her parenting style. Season 3 is all about girl power, and I really enjoyed the subversion of typically male-centric mythology.

    The characters span a wide range of ages, but generally look and act like young adults and middle-aged adults. The characters express both maturity and immaturity, and overall I think this is a series that older readers will greatly enjoy, especially as the older characters are introduced and take more prominence in the plot.

    Lore Olympus is a truly unique and well-made series that I would unreservedly recommend any fan of comics at least give a try.

    -----------------------------------

    As with all my reviews, the above is nothing more than my personal opinion. Have you read this series? What did you think? Post in the comments!

    2

    Synthwave/vaporwave in pop music

    I was listening to the radio the other day and did an audio double-take as I could swear I heard vaporwave coming from my speakers. Turns out it was the intro to Espresso by Sabrina Carpenter, one of the hottest songs of the summer. Another popular song that seems like it might have some subtle vaporwave influences is Saturn by SZA.

    What do you think, is this just a coincidence or has the niche phenomenon of vaporwave influenced pop music? What mainstream songs give you synthwave/vaporwave vibes?

    3

    Lupine seed formation follow-up

    There was a conversation about lupine seed collection in the comment section of a post a little while back, and now that my lupine is going to seed I thought I'd follow up on what that looks like.

    From left to right, we have immature seed pods (still green, still developing), maturing seed pods (brown, with black seeds inside), pods just about to pop (you can see them starting to split open with the round black seeds poking through), old pods most of which have popped open and dispelled their seeds, and finally a branch with all four stages present (generally seed pods develop from the bottom up, however this can be affected by variables like sun exposure).

    The seed pods are apparently heat-activated; we've been getting a major heat wave here in the Pacific Northwest and the pods have been exploding open like crazy during midday when the sun hits them and the ambient temperature is at its peak. The seeds are propelled out when the pods burst open, and I've witnessed them fly well over ten feet.

    If you want to harvest lupine seeds, the key is to grab them when they're mature but not yet expelled; you can do this by harvesting the pods by hand as they mature, but usually I prune the branches off the lupine once the pods on the branch start opening and put the entire branch in a bucket to break open at their leisure. While this pruning is generally unnecessary if you're not interested in seed saving, it does prevent thousands of volunteer lupine from popping up all over the garden (it's nearly impossible to keep all the seeds from spreading so I usually get a few dozen every fall and spring, but it's super easy to remove any that aren't wanted). One year I pruned the spent flowers before seeds could develop, and while that did produce a small second round of blooming I think it overly stressed the plant. Many lupine species are fairly short-lived perennials (with a few annuals sprinkled in), so it may be worth stressing them for more blooms if it's likely to die soon after anyway.

    Some general disclaimers about lupine: due to their prolific seed generation and speedy life cycles, lupine are highly invasive outside their native range. There are also many species of lupine out there, so before planting make sure to source species from your area! There are some more "domesticated" ornamental species out there, but I'd really recommend sourcing a native variety if you can. They are really wonderful plants that require little care once established, have unique and showy foliage, and native bumblebees absolutely adore their gorgeous flowers.

    I hope this was informative!

    5
    Review: Train to the End of the World
  • Ten or fifteen years ago I almost certainly would not have found the girls as bland and annoying as I do watching this today. I think a combination of having read/watched dozens of series with similar characters, as well as aging out of the teenage/young adult demographic, made me completely uninterested in these characters... to the point that watching TEW felt like I was unironically "watching it for the plot": I'm just here for the trains, bizarre setting, and surreal vibe!

    This is entirely a matter of opinion, of course. However of the people I know aged 30 and up who watch anime, I don't think most of them would particularly enjoy the girls, and most likely would shy away from the series specifically because of their presence. That's generally the type of audience I write reviews for; these reviews are posted to the "Animation and Comics after 30" community first and cross-posted here when relevant. Once upon a time I was into "cute girls find cute things series" (I re-watched Lucky Star at least once), but tastes change as you age, and while some older viewers may still enjoy these characters, I definitely did not.

    One series I am really interested in this season is Dead Dead Demon’s Dededededestruction, in part because the teenage girl cast don't look or act like stereotypical anime girls. Compared to most anime girls, it's almost as if the manga author pulled an Alien and wrote the characters to be gender neutral, since they often act more how I'd expect teenage boys in anime to act. Watching this series reminds me of watching the live action series Derry Girls: here's a cast that compared to most media feels like a real-life group of teenagers, awkward and weird. I don't think the manga quite translates to the animated format, but that's a topic for a separate review.

  • Review: Train to the End of the World (anime)
  • Do you mean a list of series (anime series?) that I would consider to be four out of five stars or better? That's generally the purpose of my reviews: any time I finish a series I write a review from the perspective of an older viewer/reader, for the sake of other older viewers/readers.

    I do have a running list of series I've enjoyed, but the problem is it's a long list spanning decades, and my opinions have almost certainly changed from when I was a teenager, plus some series that were amazing when they came out are only just okay nowadays. In other words, I don't think my running list is that accurate anymore, especially for any pre-2014 titles. I do try to go back and rewatch and re-rate series, but the nostalgia factor makes that difficult to do objectively. Given that MyAnimeList and other rating sites exist, my explicit goal here is to rate series specifically as an older, somewhat jaded fan that's losing interest in animation/comics but still enjoys the medium and wants to help other fans "sift through the garbage" as you put it. So I don't think my old opinions of shows I haven't seen in years are very valuable for that purpose.

    If there's community interest, at some point I might make a running list of everything I've reviewed and the score for each, but at the moment the community is pretty small and there aren't that many of my reviews to sift through. Plus I'm a tough rater, so while I'd generally recommend anything 4+ stars to most anybody, there's a lot of good 3+ series that I think are still enjoyable for audiences willing to overlook some flaws (like I describe in this review of TEW).

  • Review: Train to the End of the World
  • I'll add in that Kino's Journey was originally a light novel series, キノの旅 (Kino no Tabi). I never actually saw the anime, but really enjoyed the light novels (I read them in Japanese; hopefully the English translation is equally good).

    I think Kino is a great series for anyone who enjoys dystopias and social commentary. It's a bit like The Twilight Zone or Black Mirror with its episodic premise of "imagine if there were a society that functioned like [concept of the week]; wouldn't that be interesting/weird/fucked up?" Definitely not your standard anime/light novel! And yes, the tone of TEW and Kino is completely different; as mentioned in another comment, the similarity is in the setting/premise of exploring different isolated communities that each have some bizarre unique feature.

  • Review: Train to the End of the World
  • For sure, the tone of TEW is nothing like Kino (I only read the light novels, but I'm assuming the anime is similarly dark). However I thought the setting hit similar notes: visiting isolated city-state-like communities separated by vast, unpopulated expanses, each dramatically different from the others in some strange, unfortunate manner. I loved this world-building premise in Kino, and was happy to see it again but with a different twist in TEW.

  • Review: Train to the End of the World

    Cross-posted from: [email protected]

    Original post: https://lemmy.world/post/17367342

    -----------------

    Title: Train to the End of the World (English); 終末トレインどこへいく?(Japanese)

    Type: Anime

    Year: 2024

    Country: Japan

    Genre: Surreal

    Status: Completed

    Platform: Crunchyroll (watch here)

    Appropriate for 30+?: No, but I (mostly) enjoyed it anyway

    My rating: 3.5/5 stars

    (Rating scale: 5/5 = masterpiece, 4/5 = quite good, 3/5 = mostly good, 2/5 = bleh, 1/5 = I regret ever being exposed to this series, 0/5 = affront to humanity)

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Train to the End of the World (TEW) is perhaps one of the worst "cute girls doing cute things" series I've ever watched, and yet it's probably the series I've enjoyed the most this year so far.

    Much like Girls' Last Tour, this is an entry into the "cute girls doing cute things, but in a dystopian setting" sub-sub genre that in theory hinges upon the bizarre juxtaposition of two seemingly incongruent elements. However unlike Girls' Last Tour, (or the currently-airing Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction), TEW probably would have benefited greatly from having literally any other cast of main characters. I thought the girls were really cliche, annoying, and forgettable, with painfully uninspired dialogue, and were regrettably-yet-unsurprisingly subject to a level of sexualization that would probably make most older audiences uncomfortable (nothing extraordinary, just the anime standard treatment of high school girls). Honestly I zoned out during most of the scenes involving the girls chatting amongst themselves, and I doubt I missed much plot at a result.

    Despite all this, the premise/setting/world building of TEW makes up for its flaws. Once the girls STFU, the show gets to show off its weird, fun, creepy side. This is a series that makes you go ah, this is what the animated medium is for: surreal nonsense that would require a buttload of fake-ass CGI to even attempt to portray in live action. I really like the tone of the series, which is generally upbeat but with an uneasy aftertaste that puts you on edge while never actually venturing into tragedy (as can happen with surreal/dystopian series, looking at you Kaiba). There's a good balance of exploration and action, with some decent comedy tossed in on occasion.

    Maybe I'm biased because my first trip to Japan, I spent a few weeks living at a guest house in Oizumi-Gakuen along the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line featured in this anime, and I'm a complete sucker for series that utilize real places (and TEW has a whole train line of them). Regardless I absolutely loved the premise of riding a train through a vast, unknown land of magic and horror, stopping at each station to learn what became of various previously-sleepy commuter towns in bizarro-Tokyo, intensity growing the closer you get to the city-within-a-city of Ikebukuro. TEW is a bit like Kino's Journey, but with socio-political commentary replaced with the train scene in Spirited Away albeit with more menacing vibes.

    In summary, TEW is weird and atmospheric and I am here for it, despite the obnoxious (and occasionally uncomfortably-portrayed) main cast of cliche anime high school girls. Perhaps the creators didn't quite nail what they set out to do, but I couldn't help but really appreciate the attempt.

    -----------------------------------

    As with all my reviews, the above is nothing more than my personal opinion. Have you read this series? What did you think? Post in the comments!

    8
    Animation (and Comics) after 30 @lemmy.world fireweed @lemmy.world

    Review: Train to the End of the World (anime)

    Title: Train to the End of the World (English); 終末トレインどこへいく?(Japanese)

    Type: Anime

    Year: 2024

    Country: Japan

    Genre: Surreal

    Status: Completed

    Platform: Crunchyroll (watch here)

    Appropriate for 30+?: No, but I (mostly) enjoyed it anyway

    My rating: 3.5/5 stars

    (Rating scale: 5/5 = masterpiece, 4/5 = quite good, 3/5 = mostly good, 2/5 = bleh, 1/5 = I regret ever being exposed to this series, 0/5 = affront to humanity)

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Train to the End of the World (TEW) is perhaps one of the worst "cute girls doing cute things" series I've ever watched, and yet it's probably the series I've enjoyed the most this year so far.

    Much like Girls' Last Tour, this is an entry into the "cute girls doing cute things, but in a dystopian setting" sub-sub genre that in theory hinges upon the bizarre juxtaposition of two seemingly incongruent elements. However unlike Girls' Last Tour, (or the currently-airing Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction), TEW probably would have benefited greatly from having literally any other cast of main characters. I thought the girls were really cliche, annoying, and forgettable, with painfully uninspired dialogue, and were regrettably-yet-unsurprisingly subject to a level of sexualization that would probably make most older audiences uncomfortable (nothing extraordinary, just the anime standard treatment of high school girls). Honestly I zoned out during most of the scenes involving the girls chatting amongst themselves, and I doubt I missed much plot at a result.

    Despite all this, the premise/setting/world building of TEW makes up for its flaws. Once the girls STFU, the show gets to show off its weird, fun, creepy side. This is a series that makes you go ah, this is what the animated medium is for: surreal nonsense that would require a buttload of fake-ass CGI to even attempt to portray in live action. I really like the tone of the series, which is generally upbeat but with an uneasy aftertaste that puts you on edge while never actually venturing into tragedy (as can happen with surreal/dystopian series, looking at you Kaiba). There's a good balance of exploration and action, with some decent comedy tossed in on occasion.

    Maybe I'm biased because my first trip to Japan, I spent a few weeks living at a guest house in Oizumi-Gakuen along the Seibu-Ikebukuro Line featured in this anime, and I'm a complete sucker for series that utilize real places (and TEW has a whole train line of them). Regardless I absolutely loved the premise of riding a train through a vast, unknown land of magic and horror, stopping at each station to learn what became of various previously-sleepy commuter towns in bizarro-Tokyo, intensity growing the closer you get to the city-within-a-city of Ikebukuro. TEW is a bit like Kino's Journey, but with socio-political commentary replaced with the train scene in Spirited Away albeit with more menacing vibes.

    In summary, TEW is weird and atmospheric and I am here for it, despite the obnoxious (and occasionally uncomfortably-portrayed) main cast of cliche anime high school girls. Perhaps the creators didn't quite nail what they set out to do, but I couldn't help but really appreciate the attempt.

    -----------------------------------

    As with all my reviews, the above is nothing more than my personal opinion. Have you read this series? What did you think? Post in the comments!

    2
    Review: Nonesuch (webcomic)
  • Hey all, I noticed this community is a bit dead at the moment, but hopefully this is an appropriate place to cross-post this content?

    If you enjoyed my review, head over to [email protected], a community geared for older fans of animation/comics, where I've posted numerous other reviews of various Webtoons series.

  • Review: Nonesuch (webcomic)

    www.webtoons.com Nonesuch

    Welcome to the town of Nonesuch. The rules are simple: You can not escape unless you leave with the person you came in with, but as Connor and Bridget discover, finding your partner is not so easy when there are dozens of copies of them wandering the old western grounds of Nonesuch… Itching to becom...

    Nonesuch

    Cross-posted from: [email protected]

    Original thread: https://lemmy.world/post/17364938

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Title: Nonesuch

    Type: Webcomic

    Year: 2022-2024

    Country: United States (?)

    Genre: Thriller

    Status: Completed

    Platform: Webtoon (read here)

    Appropriate for 30+?: Yes

    My rating: 3.5/5 stars

    (Rating scale: 5/5 = masterpiece, 4/5 = quite good, 3/5 = mostly good, 2/5 = bleh, 1/5 = I regret ever being exposed to this series, 0/5 = affront to humanity)

    -------------------------------------------------------

    If you're like me with decades of comic reading under your belt, you're likely on the hunt for series that have something a little different to offer, and Nonesuch delivers. While a bit rough in spots, Nonesuch is a solid series, with good pacing, an engaging plot, and quite a bit of novelty, plus it's short enough that you could complete it in one or two sittings.

    First, the novelty: this series is set in rural Appalachia and that''s not just an aesthetic; the characters are gun-toting, Christ-loving, red-blooded Americans. To each point: I know jack-all about guns, however my impression is that the series portrays them accurately. In the creator notes at the end, the author mentions that her intent was to create a "Christian" series, which I think is quite interesting given that I spent most of the series wondering if the Christian elements were supposed to be dismissive of the religion or not (in other words there's nothing preachy about Nonesuch, and the inclusion of Christianity definitely adds quite a bit of realism to a series set in the Bible Belt). Overall I really felt the setting in this series, which is a huge breath of fresh air not only in the world of comics, but American media overall (which are very California/NYC-centric).

    Further bits of novelty: the art style, while not my favorite, is bold and distinctive. The plot/premise share vibes with various horror/thriller/mystery series (strong zombie and X-Files notes), but regarding the specifics I can't think of any examples that are similar. Probably my favorite aspect of the series is that one of the main characters not only has a disability, but it's a rare (yet real) condition that most readers probably haven't heard of, and it's an invisible disability, and it's integral to both the plot and character development. I'm assuming the author has personal experience with the condition, because it's handled with significantly more understanding and gravitas than nearly all depictions of disability/non-lethal health conditions in media.

    The rough edges: while distinctive, the art style feels a bit clunky at times, with occasional bad anatomy and a limited range of facial expressions (I get that none of the characters are having a good time, but does "grimace" have to be everyone's default expression?). The series also does the thing where the characters often make reckless decisions that, while perhaps justified by the situation they are in, are nonetheless frustrating for the audience to witness (and indeed, often lead to completely preventable bad things happening). I think one other misstep happens when the characters discover what's causing the supernatural situation they're in (minor spoiler):

    spoiler

    I found the explanation given for the clones, the mint, and the trapped space unconvincing and unsatisfying. It's a really hard line to walk in series like this, between explaining the supernatural happenings and leaving some things dangling. There's a bit of a midi-chlorian phenomenon going on, where knowing exactly how the magic works kills the suspension of disbelief, especially when you try to use hard science to explain something blatantly supernatural. In the case of Nonesuch, the explanation tried to be highly scientific, but came off as total bullshit (at least to me and my personal level of scientific understanding; maybe a subject matter expert would differ).

    Of the three main characters, two are in their mid-twenties and the third is middle-aged. Everyone acts their ages, for better or worse (the younger two can be a little grating with their inexperience/immaturity in various things, including their relationship with each other). Other than this, there's nothing in the series that would turn off an older reader.

    -----------------------------------

    As with all my reviews, the above is nothing more than my personal opinion. Have you read this series? What did you think? Post in the comments!

    1
    Animation (and Comics) after 30 @lemmy.world fireweed @lemmy.world

    Review: Nonesuch (webcomic)

    www.webtoons.com Nonesuch

    Welcome to the town of Nonesuch. The rules are simple: You can not escape unless you leave with the person you came in with, but as Connor and Bridget discover, finding your partner is not so easy when there are dozens of copies of them wandering the old western grounds of Nonesuch… Itching to becom...

    Nonesuch

    Title: Nonesuch

    Type: Webcomic

    Year: 2022-2024

    Country: United States (?)

    Genre: Thriller

    Status: Completed

    Platform: Webtoon (read here)

    Appropriate for 30+?: Yes

    My rating: 3.5/5 stars

    (Rating scale: 5/5 = masterpiece, 4/5 = quite good, 3/5 = mostly good, 2/5 = bleh, 1/5 = I regret ever being exposed to this series, 0/5 = affront to humanity)

    -------------------------------------------------------

    If you're like me with decades of comic reading under your belt, you're likely on the hunt for series that have something a little different to offer, and Nonesuch delivers. While a bit rough in spots, Nonesuch is a solid series, with good pacing, an engaging plot, and quite a bit of novelty, plus it's short enough that you could complete it in one or two sittings.

    First, the novelty: this series is set in rural Appalachia and that''s not just an aesthetic; the characters are gun-toting, Christ-loving, red-blooded Americans. To each point: I know jack-all about guns, however my impression is that the series portrays them accurately. In the creator notes at the end, the author mentions that her intent was to create a "Christian" series, which I think is quite interesting given that I spent most of the series wondering if the Christian elements were supposed to be dismissive of the religion or not (in other words there's nothing preachy about Nonesuch, and the inclusion of Christianity definitely adds quite a bit of realism to a series set in the Bible Belt). Overall I really felt the setting in this series, which is a huge breath of fresh air not only in the world of comics, but American media overall (which are very California/NYC-centric).

    Further bits of novelty: the art style, while not my favorite, is bold and distinctive. The plot/premise share vibes with various horror/thriller/mystery series (strong zombie and X-Files notes), but regarding the specifics I can't think of any examples that are similar. Probably my favorite aspect of the series is that one of the main characters not only has a disability, but it's a rare (yet real) condition that most readers probably haven't heard of, and it's an invisible disability, and it's integral to both the plot and character development. I'm assuming the author has personal experience with the condition, because it's handled with significantly more understanding and gravitas than nearly all depictions of disability/non-lethal health conditions in media.

    The rough edges: while distinctive, the art style feels a bit clunky at times, with occasional bad anatomy and a limited range of facial expressions (I get that none of the characters are having a good time, but does "grimace" have to be everyone's default expression?). The series also does the thing where the characters often make reckless decisions that, while perhaps justified by the situation they are in, are nonetheless frustrating for the audience to witness (and indeed, often lead to completely preventable bad things happening). I think one other misstep happens when the characters discover what's causing the supernatural situation they're in (minor spoiler):

    spoiler

    I found the explanation given for the clones, the mint, and the trapped space unconvincing and unsatisfying. It's a really hard line to walk in series like this, between explaining the supernatural happenings and leaving some things dangling. There's a bit of a midi-chlorian phenomenon going on, where knowing exactly how the magic works kills the suspension of disbelief, especially when you try to use hard science to explain something blatantly supernatural. In the case of Nonesuch, the explanation tried to be highly scientific, but came off as total bullshit (at least to me and my personal level of scientific understanding; maybe a subject matter expert would differ).

    Of the three main characters, two are in their mid-twenties and the third is middle-aged. Everyone acts their ages, for better or worse (the younger two can be a little grating with their inexperience/immaturity in various things, including their relationship with each other). Other than this, there's nothing in the series that would turn off an older reader.

    -----------------------------------

    As with all my reviews, the above is nothing more than my personal opinion. Have you read this series? What did you think? Post in the comments!

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    Papal arch enemy Archbishop Vigano found guilty of schism and excommunicated
  • Vigano referred to the pope only by his surname, "Bergoglio", and accused him of representing an "inclusive, immigrationist, eco-sustainable, and gay-friendly" Church

    First time I've ever heard the words "inclusive" and "eco-sustainable" used with the intent of condemnation.

  • Considering the Heavy involvement of CGI in today's action films, shouldn't we consider them to be just hyper realistic cartoon films ?
  • This is actually discussed on the live-action animated film Wikipedia page.

    Since the late 1990s, some films have included large amounts of photorealistic computer animation alongside live-action filmmaking, such as the Star Wars prequels, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Avatar franchise. These films are generally not considered animated due to the realism of the animation and the use of motion-capture performances, which are extensively based on live-action performances by implementing actors' movements and facial expressions into their characters. Roger Ebert said that "in my mind, it isn't animation, unless it looks like animation."

    Related note: I'm quite nostalgic for the mid-20th century live-action animation trend (even more so than the late-20th century puppet trend). If the characters are going to look fake regardless, the animated ones are way more expressive and, well, animated.

  • Let us count the "waves"...

    One of my favorite aspects of "wave music" is that it's spun off so many various sub-genres and niche aesthetics. We've got:

    Synthwave, Chillwave, Vaporwave, Retrowave, Darkwave

    as some of the main players, but what else is out there? What other "waves" have you come across?

    4

    New Community: "Wave Music"

    lemmy.world "Wave" Music - Lemmy.World

    All things “wave” music: synthwave chillwave vaporwave retrowave cyberwave darkwave dreamwave…

    "Wave" Music - Lemmy.World

    Hello fellow synthwave fans! I created a new community for all the "wave" genres: synth, vapor, chill, retro, dark, cyber, etc. Please come check it out!

    [email protected]

    0

    Introducing "Wave Music," for all things synthwave, chillwave, vaporwave, retrowave, darkwave...

    For fans of '80s-inspired contemporary beats. Share artists, albums, compilations, -wave channels, and vibe art.

    [email protected]

    11

    Listen to This: Droid Bishop

    Droid Bishop (real name: James Bowen) is a one-man synthwave artist who's put out multiple banger albums over the last decade-ish. Each album feels like the soundtrack to an introspective 80s drama/action film. Beyond the Blue is probably my favorite road-trip album of all time; it makes driving through the empty expanses of I-80 through Wyoming feel like a grand, meaningful adventure.

    As far as I can tell he doesn't have an official YouTube presence, but this channel seems to have all his works: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYb8MJseDAimJBFCJQ8Hfvg

    1

    Listen to This: INEXED

    INEXED is one of my favorite channels for background music. If I wanted to introduce someone to synthwave, this might be where I direct them.

    Videos are consistently high-quality, and the compilations are long (1hr to 2hr+) without repetition. There's perhaps not a lot of variety in vibe: some videos label themselves and vaporwave, chillwave, retrowave, etc, but I'd consider those to be more the flavor of synthwave being featured than actual examples of those genres. Most compilations are calming but energetic, with a bit of a surreal touch.

    It's frustrating that INEXED only has about 37k subscribers when the quality is so much better than a lot of other synthwave/chillwave channels out there. Please check them out!

    https://www.youtube.com/@INEXED

    2

    Listen to This: NewRetroWave

    NewRetroWave is the GOAT.

    They've posted over 3000 retrowave and synthwave songs and albums since 2011, and more keep coming. With over a million subscribers, they're one of the biggest players in the YouTube synthwave scene, and for good reason: in an era of low-effort compilations repeating the same tired tracks over and over, NewRetroWave somehow keeps finding quality fresh material for us listeners. Most of their posts are single songs (3-6 minutes), but there's a few longer (hour-ish) compilations mixed in.

    This feels less like a YouTube channel and more like a library. Definitely check it out!

    https://www.youtube.com/@NewRetroWave

    3

    Listen to This: dreamingr0b0ts

    Dreamingr0b0ts is a fantastic house/trance YouTube channel with a mere 123 subscribers. (It may not technically be synthwave, but it's synthwave-adjacent)

    Some of the very oldest videos are a bit rough around the edges, but they quickly improve in quality. I like this channel because it has more of an old-school vibe than most synthwave; it reminds me a lot of early-2000s electronica, back in the days of Armin van Buuren. Vocals are present more often than not, and the vibe is more "dance" than "chillax." Great music to stay awake during a long road trip, or to stay motivated during a big house clean-up. A lot of synthwave videos rehash the same songs over and over, but as far as I can tell these are quite fresh.

    Check out their "The Daily Dose" series, each of which are albums of about 20 minutes each.

    https://www.youtube.com/@dreamingr0b0ts

    3

    Let's share recommendations for the easiest native plants to grow from seed!

    Inspired by a comment reply I made in another thread, I thought it would be fun to share what plants native to your region you've had easy success with growing from seed, either in pots or direct-sowing. Please mention your country/region when commenting!

    1

    Want to grow a native pollinator garden but are uncertain where to begin? The Xerces Society has you covered!

    Cross-posted from [email protected] original post: https://lemmy.world/post/16458535

    The Xerces Society is an insect conservation nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon. They engage in a variety of work to protect native insects, including publishing resources for the general public.

    One such resource are their Native Plants for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects guides, which are curated illustrated lists of plants broken down by geographic region. The lists include basic growing conditions info for each species, as well as some info on how the plants benefit insects. They even have separate lists specifically for supporting the endangered monarch butterfly.

    If you're a native plant fanatic like me you can cross-reference their lists with the USDA Plants Database (I wrote about that other great resource in this post here) to verify if the Xerces-recommended plants are native to your county, however the Xerces lists are broken up into relatively small regions so you're unlikely to cause damage or introduce problematic species even if it's not technically native to your specific county.

    I hope y'all find these lists as useful/inspiring as I have!

    1

    Want to grow a native pollinator garden but are uncertain where to begin? The Xerces Society has you covered!

    Disclaimer: data only available for the lower 48 United States, although Southern Canada and Northern Mexico should be able to extrapolate

    The Xerces Society is an insect conservation nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon. They engage in a variety of work to protect native insects, including publishing resources for the general public.

    One such resource are their Native Plants for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects guides, which are curated illustrated lists of plants broken down by geographic region. The lists include basic growing conditions info for each species, as well as some info on how the plants benefit insects. They even have separate lists specifically for supporting the endangered monarch butterfly.

    If you're a native plant fanatic like me you can cross-reference their lists with the USDA Plants Database (I wrote about that other great resource in this post here) to verify if the Xerces-recommended plants are native to your county, however the Xerces lists are broken up into relatively small regions so you're unlikely to cause damage or introduce problematic species even if it's not technically native to your specific county.

    I hope y'all find these lists as useful/inspiring as I have!

    6
    Animation (and Comics) after 30 @lemmy.world fireweed @lemmy.world

    Review: 1HP Club (webcomic)

    www.webtoons.com 1HP Club

    A comic about the daily life of dungeon boys. Slaying the city, saving the dragons... or something like that.

    1HP Club

    Title: 1HP Club

    Type: Webcomic

    Year: 2022-?

    Country: Unknown (comic published in English)

    Genre: Dungeons & Dragons (fantasy/action/adventure/slice-of-life/comedy)

    Status: Ongoing (review as of chapter 130)

    Platform: Webtoon (read here)

    Appropriate for 30+?: Yes

    My rating: 4/5 stars

    (Rating scale: 5/5 = masterpiece, 4/5 = quite good, 3/5 = mostly good, 2/5 = bleh, 1/5 = I regret ever being exposed to this series, 0/5 = affront to humanity)

    -------------------------------------------------------

    1HP Club is a webcomic series about a group of adults playing Dungeons & Dragons. That's it, that's the premise. However due to a combination of eye-candy art, rapid pacing, engaging action scenes, and interesting characters, 1HP Club actually manages to be a surprisingly fun and easy read.

    There are a number of works out there that take place in the D&D (or similar) universe, ranging from the live-action Dungeons & Dragons: Honor among Thieves, the animated The Legend of Vox Machina, and webcomics like The Weekly Role. However 1HP Club takes the approach of primarily taking place in the D&D universe but occasionally pulling back to a (also fictional) table-top setting. In my opinion this dual-setting is handled quite well and overcomes the issues frequently inherent to D&D fiction that primarily focus on one or the other: bouncing between table-top and in-game action helps facilitate good pacing and avoids "downtime" in both settings, helps ease the issue of "suspension of disbelief" (because not only is it "just a story," it's "just a story within a story"), and adds padding to character development (because every character also has a character playing them).

    Do you need prior knowledge of D&D for this series to make sense? Not necessarily, but without at least some basic knowledge of game mechanics and/or general tabletop gaming experience readers are likely to miss at least a few references, plot points, or jokes; the series isn't quite a parody, but it does assume prior D&D knowledge. However even the completely uninitiated may still find the action/adventure plot and eye-candy art to be more than sufficient to enjoy the series. On the topic of art, I really like how it's handled: both the table-top and in-game settings done in a colorful and aesthetically-pleasing style, but the table-top characters look more like normal people while the in-game characters are more attractive with some occasional mild cheesecake (interestingly of the male characters only, which is strangely refreshing given that nearly all non-romance fantasy series are more about sexualizing their female characters).

    Ages of the table-top characters and in-game characters aren't mentioned, but they act and look to be in the 20s-30s range. There's no content "objectionable" to older readers, and while zany antics abound, they're thankfully of the standard D&D/role-playing variety. It shouldn't take more than the first ten chapters or so to figure out if this is a series you'll enjoy or not, and with each chapter being about a one-minute read, why not give 1HP Club a try?

    -----------------------------------

    As with all my reviews, the above is nothing more than my personal opinion. Have you read this series? What did you think? Post in the comments!

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    Animation (and Comics) after 30 @lemmy.world fireweed @lemmy.world

    It's Pride Month! What are your favorite examples of LGBTQIA+ representation in pre-2000s comics and animation?

    Featured: Revolutionary Girl Utena (Shoujo Kakumei Utena / 少女革命ウテナ), a manga and anime series from the 1990s with a bisexual, gender-queer protagonist and an equally 🏳️‍🌈 colorful 🏳️‍🌈 cast of supporting characters.

    5