The works of Award winning author, Rick Pipito, and more

Latest

On the 3rd Day of Christmas…

ON THE THIRD DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME, 3 WEREWOLVES…

What If? (Dan Pipito)

2 vampires, and zombies in a story.

One of the hardest novels I had to write was BONES AT BREAKFAST.  There’s only so much lore to lycans that leave little ground for creative freedom and uniqueness.  Thankfully, I managed to pull it off once I got past the little obstacles.  The novel and its spinoff IN CASE OF WEREWOLF are perfect gifts for the holidays and beyond.  The picture at the left was done by Dan Pipito for the graphic novel version of the spinoff.

Order a copy for yourself or a friend.  If you want personalized copies then shoot me an email (Rickpipito@hotmail.com), otherwise they can be purchased in print or digital at Lulu.com or on Amazon.

Advertisements

On the 2nd Day of Christmas…

ON THE SECOND DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME, 2 VAMPIRES…

Samson And Delilah - art by Dan Pipito

…and zombies in a story.

Cain and Lilith are just the beginning of the vampire lineage in BLOOD, THE SECOND HELPING.  This novel and its spinoff LEGENDS OF VAMPIRE are the perfect gift for any fan of the lore and historical events.  Artwork shown at the right was done by Dan Pipito for the graphic novel version of the spinoff.

There’s still time to order a copy of one of my books for yourself or a friend for the holidays.  If you want personalized copies then shoot me an email (Rickpipito@hotmail.com), otherwise they can be purchased in print or digital at Lulu.com or on Amazon.

On the 1st day of Christmas…

ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME ZOMBIES IN A STORY…

Just Another Freak (art by Dan Pipito)

And a perfect novel with plenty of zombie madness is FLESH AND LEFTOVERS.  Shown is artwork that my brother Dan Pipito did for the graphic novel spinoff ZOMBIE INCIDENTS a few years back.

I’m just nostalgic I guess and love the old Christmas classic tunes.  So, in going with that theme I’ve come up with my own 12 Days of Christmas.  Of course this can be applied to any holiday of the season, but works with the song of the same name.

There’s still time to order a copy of one of my books for yourself or a friend for the holidays.  If you want personalized copies then shoot me an email (Rickpipito@hotmail.com), otherwise they can be purchased in print or digital at Lulu.com or on Amazon.

Review: Crisis on Earth X (TV crossover)

supergirl-crisis-on-earth-x-cover-imageWhen watching any of the CW DC comics shows you have to keep in mind the network that they are on.  The writers are targeting a single market, and alienating others.  People who have been fans of the comics and these characters for years (myself included) will often cringe at some of the decisions made by the writers.  Children that should be able to watch a comic book show just simply can’t because they are all too adult oriented.  And if you’ve got a political view that isn’t what the writers want to push, then you’ll be dissatisfied as well.  These are shows aimed at millennials, and I’m not using that in a negative term towards that generation.  I get a network wanting to appeal to a certain audience, but as a man who went to school for learning how to gain an audience, I know it isn’t a wise decision to exclude any others.  If I were making a show I’d want it to reach as many people as possible (especially the long time fans and the next generation of youth).  Sadly, this isn’t the case with Supergirl, Arrow, Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow.

Anyone who has been following me for a while knows that I follow and watch these shows each week.  Do I do it because they are great?  No.  But there is a small element that gives me hope I will eventually see what I know the DC comics shows could be.  After this crossover it could go either way.

Stay with me a moment while I explain.  When Supergirl was in its freshman season it was lacking a budget, but the stories were told well.  Then it was moved to the CW, and it became something entirely different.  It got rid of good characters and changed the sexuality of another.  It went from focusing on Kara Zor-El of Krypton to focusing on love lives.  This wouldn’t be a bad thing if it was done right, but the problem is none of the dialogue in the relationships is realistic, and the scenarios feel forced if not acted out.

I preface with that because that is EXACTLY what we got in this crossover.  Now, I’m not entirely hating because there were good things about it.  For example:  The Nazi Earth storyline, the death of beloved character Martin Stein, the return of Red Tornado, Barry and Iris finally getting married, and some pretty fun action scenes to watch with all the shows’ characters coming together in a Justice League B-Team sort of way.

But that is about it.  The rest is riddled with plot holes that make no sense, corny moments, ridiculous relationship moments, and a forced political message.  Let’s skip the corny moments because they can be forgiven, and talk about the plot holes…

Plot hole 1, 2, and 3: If Nazis won World War II and ruled another Earth, then why is the sky Red there?  It’s still Earth right?  And to add to that history would have been entirely changed.  There’s a good chance that Oliver Queen wouldn’t even exist.  Even IF that was possible how would he have become the Fuhrer?  Is he a descendant of some high ranking German officer?  That wouldn’t make sense either considering his family’s legacy.  Not to mention that all existing character dopplegangers should have looked much different, whether it be facial hair, lipstick or whatever.  Something would be different.

Plot hole 4: The Nazis have a wave rider.  Why wouldn’t they use it to travel back in time on Earth One and change things?  Instead they use it to attack civilians running in panic.  It’s instead portrayed as less a doomsday weapon that Overgirl was.

Plot hole 5: Overgirl or Nazi Supergirl exploding also made no sense.  The yellow sun powers her and Supergirl.  Why would flying close to it irradiate her heart and cause her to be dying?  Is this a lost plotline from Superman IV: The Quest For Peace?  Even that movie had less plot holes.

Plot hole 6: How did this Nazi army do anything to stay in power.  It seems that they aren’t very loyal to taking commands.  When their Fuhrer says, “Kill them,” multiple times, they just march forward.  They have automatic weapons in their hands.  All they had to do to listen to orders was to aim and fire.  Sure, there would have been some bullet proof people or those who could avoid the barrage of projectiles, but the Nazis would have at least tried.  And they would have succeeded in killing a few.  Instead we get a group fist fight with little to no guns being used, but lots of superpowers.

Plot hole 7: If Earth One is the Ray’s real home and Earth X is Citizen Cold’s real home, then why would Cold stay on One, and Ray return to X?  Relationship aside, this makes no sense whatsoever.

Plot hole 8: Why is Thawne on Earth X?  And to top it off, why is he even taking orders?  He could easily kill evil Oliver, and outrun Supergirl to other worlds.  This just seems stupid.

Plot hole 9, 10 & 11: These are less plot holes and more of unanswered issues, but who was the girl holding the drinks at the wedding?  She acted like she knew Barry and is obviously someone from the future, but who?  This doesn’t fit in a crossover episode, but should have been in a Flash episode.  We have no answer at the conclusion of this arc though and are left wondering.  Red Tornado’s return was much better than he appeared before, but are him and Metallo now dead?  They both exploded as if they were just henchmen, and I’m still left wanting more of both for Supergirl or whatever show they fit in.  Martin Stein’s death leaves another unanswered thing in his wake.  Will Jax be useless from now on?  My guess is that Stein’s daughter will be able to bond with Jax because of genetic code, and I’d be fine with that.  There is a down side to this… it will become yet another relationship to watch on these shows.

That takes us to the relationship part of all of this… Straight or gay it doesn’t matter… the way they were written in felt forced and didn’t make anyone care at all for them.  In fact, the only relationship that anyone should care about in this crossover is disrespected.

Relationship 1: Nazi Oliver and Nazi Supergirl – I actually enjoyed this one.  It was as much a shock as it was to see Tommy Merlin appear as Prometheus, and it was executed quite well.  The only down side is that this chemistry feels off for a so called dictator and a goddess of another world.  It weakens their status and while they can and should love each other no matter how evil, it is something that would be done in private, not in public.

Relationship 2: Alex and White Canary – Let’s take the whiniest indecisive character (Alex) and focus more on her fake love life.  They spent a season of Supergirl making me hate this character and it wasn’t because she was gay, but because her love life didn’t seem authentic.  Everything with her and Maggie was forced from bad dialogue to interactions.  So it’s not a surprise when it carries over to hear, and even the characters feel funny about it in the show.  Then they put her with White Canary, who at this point must have every STD in the history of mankind.  How many women has she slept with throughout history and NOT affected the time line?  It’s been way too many to count or make sense.  This was my final straw for both these characters, especially Alex.  They need to kill her off already because she brings nothing to the show.  White Canary is fine when she is acting like a leader, but how disrespectful can you be at a friend’s wedding rehearsal to just ignore the bride and groom because you want a one night stand?  ugh.

Relationship 3: Barry and Iris –  Poor Barry and Iris.  This is one relationship I really care about.  I want to see them together, and when they get their chance at a wedding it is all about everyone else and not them (including the point where they get married finally).  Thankfully they had their moment, but the writers royally screwed them in the process.  It’s a slap in the face to the actors and characters.

Relationship 4: Oliver and Felicity – WTF?!  Any respect I had for Felicity is gone after that crap she pulled.  Some best friends you are if you can’t even respect their wedding.  But no… instead of Green Arrow and Black Canary we get Ollicity… a forced and unsteady relationship that just shows why many marriages end up in divorce.  They have no respect for what should matter (the wedding of their friends).

Relationship 5: The Ray and Citizen Cold – I get that the Ray is a gay character.  I get that the actor playing Captain Cold is gay as well.  What I don’t get is why we had to see this portrayed so forcibly.  Put all the sexuality aside and it really doesn’t make sense.  Two people in love supposedly, but the one is in prison camp.  The other finally shows up to help out?  How long did that take?  Then they kiss, and there is a drastic change in the mannerisms of Citizen Cold.  He goes from being cool and badass to almost acted out like he’s prancing around and smiling all the time.  I mean they quite literally stereotyped him right there and changed the character mid scene.  Then the end comes and they just decide that they aren’t going to be together on the same Earth?  WTF?

This brings me to my final point.  The CW is trying very hard to get across a few political messages.  Whether you love or hate what is going on in the world, the last place I want to see politics is on a show I want to see.  Television is supposed to be a relief from the corruption and political bullcrap that is our current real society.  The constant push to make comments like “Make America Aryan again” just doesn’t bring anything to the show.  And the primary focus to be on relationships that seem way more forced than natural (gay or straight) comes off as more a message than anything else.

Extra questions I’m left with are “Where is the Hall of Justice introduced in last season’s crossover Invasion?” and “If this world was such a threat then why didn’t they recruit Martian Manhunter and Superman into it, not to mention the rest of the Time Bureau?”

We will see how the rest of the individual shows work out when I do my review at the end of the seasons, but for this crossover it is one you can easily skip.  I’ll give it 2 out of 5 sCrypt ratings, and that really comes down to a good concept and cool characters being screwed by poor writing and nonsense.

What did you think of Crisis on Earth X?  I’d love to hear if I’m the only one who felt this way or you agree.

Review: Inhumans TV series

marvel-inhumansI won’t spend much time on this because it has already sucked the life out of me.  I watched every episode hoping for some pay off, but to no avail.  Here’s the basic gist…

  • Heroic characters who can’t use their abilities (Medusa gets her hair cut off and Blackbolt is too powerful to show his powers more than three times.)
  • Other heroic characters who are not well developed (Lockjaw the dog with horrible CGI, Crystal the teenage girl who could have stopped the problem on her own, but didn’t for some reason, Gorgon the man who you never actually see his hooved legs clearly, and Triton who dies and then is suddenly not dead because of a plan that no one really knows about even when it is revealed.)
  • A villain who is basically more hero than the heroes (Maximus is portrayed in just that way, so at the end it almost feels as if the bad guys have won, even though it shouldn’t)
  • Karnak was enjoyable to watch, but every scene he was in felt like it brought his character down.
  • Atillan, the city on the moon, was the best thing about the show and even that gets destroyed at the end.
  • And the Inhumans are now on Earth, so will they cameo in Agents of SHIELD or will we forget about them entirely?  If they do cameo, then I hope its done in a way to completely not refer to this show at all because I’m trying hard to forget.

I hate to be the bringer of bad news.  I’m not one of those comic nerds who sit in their basement and act like keyboard warriors hating all things done.  If anything I’m the opposite.  I’m a fan who grew up reading this stuff and am happy to see it on screen, and most of the time forgive the “problems” others have with it all.  This was the exception.  It was just boring from start to finish, and had no climax at all.

This officially marks the lowest score I’ve ever given to a show or movie, and I feel a pang of guilt for doing it, but I have to be honest.  I give this show a 0.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings, and that’s only because a zero would mean I hadn’t watched it.

What did you think?  Have you seen Marvel’s Inhumans?  Am I being too harsh?  Chime in with your comments.

Review: Marvel’s Punisher

mtpunsdf-700x400The Marvel and Netflix combo hit again with their newest series The Punisher.  My expectations were very high for this show, because I was an avid reader of the gratuitously violent anti-hero vigilante.  There was something about the character that went beyond just the gore and killing.  He was a decent human being that lost his family.  He wasn’t just a murdering psychopath.

We already got a taste of Frank Castle during Daredevil season 2, so going into this I was worried that the audience wouldn’t be able to connect with him.  With all the violence in today’s society it is hard to find a reason to see him as a hero, but this show was done perfectly to exude that feeling.

While some may complain that it was way too slow, I think most will agree that the paced narrative was necessary to make the audience cheer for the main character and feel for him.  He’s not out for revenge.  He’s out for justice.  It may not be what the government deems as just, but for the people he’s taking out, it is what he feels needs to be done.

There is a suspension of disbelief seeing him get tortured, beaten, and shot beyond a level suitable for any one human to take, but isn’t that how any show like this would go?  There were some references to the comics that were done tastefully.  The final three episodes go from story telling to hard core (at some moments almost unwatchable combat).  Yes, there was more than one moment where I had a difficult time seeing what was on screen, but it held my attention because at that point in the story the villains really needed to have that done to them.

SPOILER ALERT:  The final battle with Billy Russo and Punisher was my favorite scene.  I got worried at one point that they’d kill off the big bad.  I knew that in the comics he becomes Jigsaw (basically the antithesis to Frank Castle with a horribly scarred face.  At one point he even wore a costume similar to Punisher’s).  Thankfully, Frank had reason to let him live, and with all the foreshadowing done throughout the episodes, how could he not?

Will we see The Punisher and Daredevil team up again to take down a Kingpin/Jigsaw/Bullseye combo?  Who knows, but it’s something that I hope happens at some point.  END SPOILERS

At the end of the day it comes down to this… The Punisher season 1 is a well told story.  It is a tragic story.  It is a love story.  It is a story about corruption and justice.  It is a story about political agendas and dealing with PTSD.  Throw in some really action packed scenes to live up to the name Frank Castle bears, and you end up with something completely new for Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.  I give it a 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.  It went beyond my expectations for a good story, and appeased the comic book fan in me.

What did you think of Punisher season 1?  Comment with your thoughts and predictions of where they may take the character(s) after this.

 

Review: Justice League

justice-league-posterI’ll give you a heads up now.  There will be some spoilers in this review, but I will try to keep it to a minimum.  If you’d like my rating of the movie without all the intricacies you can scroll down to the final paragraph.

Justice League has finally happened, but the reception is once again split down the middle.  DC and Warner Brothers are having a rough streak at keeping the audiences happy overall.  I could get into why, but perhaps that’s another article.  Here’s what I can say…

This movie will make longtime fans of the characters happy.  For those who look at plot and effects, well that may be a different story.  Here’s a brief character breakdown:

Batman: Affleck looks tired in the role.  Perhaps part of what the negativity is comes from him.  I still think he’s a great batman and Bruce Wayne, but there’s no passion in the actor’s eyes.  That being said, Batman was very enjoyable and seems to have been set up to eventually phase into either an Alfred like role for the team or being replaced by perhaps Dick Grayson at some point under the cowl.

Wonder Woman: Gal Gadot rocks the role again, and she really is the glue to this whole team.  I feel they could have used her more in the film, but there’s only so much you can do with this many characters in a two hour movie.

The Flash: I was very skeptical about the casting of Ezra Miller in this part.  He doesn’t look like the Barry Allen that fans have come to know, and the one on TV has been prominent in everyone’s minds.  From the second he took to the screen however, I was pleasantly surprised.  I hate his suit with a passion.  For a character that can run at super speeds, you’d think it’d be more aerodynamic and uniform.  This looks like a machine more than something a hero would wear.  Other than that, I think he is portrayed quite well in the movie as an up and coming hero.

Cyborg: If it weren’t for the horrible CGI on him, I really think he’d have been great.  Unfortunately because he is hard to look at at times, and there is not much about him learning each of his upgrades, it’s difficult to enjoy the time he’s on screen.

Aquaman: This is another casting that I thought was strange, but am completely on board with now.  He is easily one of the best things about the movie.  Like Wonder Woman, he has limited screen time, but I think he was presented well as far as quickly learning back story.  He brings quite a bit of humor and badassery to the plot.  I also like how they mention it isn’t the fish he talks to, but the water itself.  This actually makes a lot more sense.

Superman: Finally, we get a Superman that is closer to what he is in the comics.  He has a brighter costume, and less brooding persona.  That may not be the case when he is first brought back from the dead, but what we do get is a very cool few scenes.  The moment when he is brought back and faces the League is my favorite part of the whole movie.  I could watch it over and over and never get bored.  It made the comic book geek in me happy that Joss Whedon took over to give it what fans have wanted.  If I had to offer one complaint it would be that I really hoped we’d have seen him in his black and silver suit with a slight mullet.  In all reality hair does continue to grow after death for a bit, so him being clean cut made no sense.

Steppenwolf: I was surprised to hear he was going to be the main villain, but excited as well.  He was one of my favorite villains when I was a kid, and seeing a proper interpretation of him got me stoked.  While the Parademons really worked, however, he wasn’t as memorable.  The back story we got felt like it was missing quite a bit, but that could have been forgiven if we’d had something visually fun to look at.  The biggest problem I had with the movie was him.  The CGI was absolutely horrible.  When you are given movies like Star Wars and Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk, and you have these visually stunning fake people, why would computer graphics that look like they belong in the early 2000s be involved.  All I could see while watching him was the way Hulk looked way back when Eric Bana played him.  It was very very hard to watch him speak or see any close up of his face.

The small roles and cameos of a Green Lantern from ages ago, plus Zeus, Lois, Commisioner Gordon, Marc McClure’s appearance, and the post credits with Lex Luthor and Deathstroke were all welcome additions to enhance the story.

A side note… Whoever markets the toylines for these movies should be shot.  All my son wants for Christmas is a Steppenwolf action figure to face off against his League.  In order to get one, I’d have to buy all the heroes he currently owns.  Needless to say I’m not doing that and ebay will hold the answers for me as I get an older version of the character with no stupid CGI barf face.

All the problems with CGI aside, I really found the movie to be a fun time.  Would I say see it in the theater?  No.  I’d say wait to rent it, but don’t miss out.  People who enjoyed Batman vs Superman should enjoy what it has evolved into here.  People who hated Batman vs Superman should feel happy that it’s evolved into something better.  It is not better than Wonder Woman, but I’ll place it above BvS, Man Of Steel, and that God awful Suicide Squad movie.  I give it 3 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.  It would have had another star from me if the effects were done right, and another if they’d managed the story better, but I don’t think it deserves some of the hate it is getting.  If this is what the DC extended universe is going to start to shape up to be with its characters, then I’m all for it.  What did you think of Justice League?

Think, Sip, Write: ep 44 – Thanksgiving

We talk briefly about the history of the Thanksgiving holiday, some fun facts, and traditions they have in this latest episode of #thinksipwrite.  What’s your favorite side dish or Thanksgiving tradition?

Review: The Emoji Movie

The_Emoji_Movie_film_posterLess than enthusiastic is how I’d rate my reaction when I heard this movie was coming out.  Why would anyone make a film about stupid texting icons?  Then my kids wanted to make it part of our family movie night this past Friday.  I had no choice but to see it, and it really hits the “Don’t judge a book by its cover” note.

It’s an animation geared towards young audiences, but has a very classic Disney movie quality, despite it not being a Disney film at all.  What I mean is that it is heartwarming, fun, and has an underlying love story that prevails in the end.

I found myself at times smiling and even laughing at the well played jokes and scenarios.  It felt familiar in a “Wreck-It-Ralph” sense.  In fact I could even see this and that movie occurring in the same universe.  That won’t happen of course, but it has the same sort of feel.

I don’t think I’ll ever see it again, so it’s not something that I personally would tell you to “go see,” but it is a fun movie with the kids, or just if you enjoy this genre.  I was pleasantly surprised, and didn’t feel as though I’d wasted time watching it.  I give it 2.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.  What did you think of the Emoji Movie?

Bensalem Library appearance

me

Saturday I was delighted to appear at the Bensalem Library in Pennsylvania for a book signing and chatting about life as an author.  It was a pleasant experience where I met some other writers and amazing readers.  If you’re in Doylestown this weekend (11/11/17) I’ll be at their library too.  For anyone not in the area, hopefully I’ll be your way soon.  Otherwise, feel free to contact me through email if you want to say hi or have questions about my books or the writing process.

Thanks again to the Bucks County Free Library system for setting this up