Heroes & Villains: Kickstart “Neon Spring #0: This Car Neutralizes Douchebags”

It’s (American) Thanksgiving Eve today and as I write this I am waiting for an electrician to show up. I was given the timeframe of “between noon and 4 PM” for the appointment and it is currently 3:35 PM. I supposed I’ll be thankful if they even show up at all at this point.

So…comics, right? I’m supposed to write about comics. Last week was a tricky one since my column posted a day early and all the big comics news was still unfolding. As you may well know by now, Diamond (the company that distributes most comics) was hit by a ransomware attack and most books did not ship in time for Wednesday’s new comic book day.

I got a few DC books last week since they famously bid adieu to Diamond as their distributor last year and started shipping their own books (with mixed results). There weren’t any Marvel books on my pull but they too have recently taken on their own distribution and I’m told it is varying degrees of awful. It’s my understanding that most shops were caught with their pants down, unable to offer a full week’s worth of comics to most of their customers which sucks for both the shops and the customers.

If you’ve been paying attention at least halfway recently you’ll know that cyberattacks are becoming amazingly frequent events I would have thought comic book distribution would have been pretty far down the list for hackers but here we are. Maybe it’s not a great idea to set your password to “comixrule42069”?

Kickstarter Alert!

Neon Spring #0: This Car Neutralizes Douchebags
Ian Cinco (W/A)

It’s been a spell since I’ve bumped a Kickstarter here and with a tile like this one I couldn’t pass it up.

Here’s the blurb:

Neon Spring, Issue #0: This Car Neutralizes Douchebags introduces the Skull Squad and Mother, a car fitted with a superintelligent A.I., lobotomizing and extracting brains, only to refit them with a device to control the entire body.

After a brain-picking mission goes astray, Skull Squad finds Zuzu, an apparent sexbot, to help lure their target into the car. Their attempt to salvage the mission is a success, but Zuzu is not what she seems and with her comes the specter of the Neon Spring.

It’s a twisted and epic journey of Master Skull, his daughter Araina, Baby Skull, her infatuation with the mighty robot Zuzu, and Mother’s rise to omnipotence of superintelligence.

As a genre cyberpunk seems to be one that’s pretty evergreen. Heck, this isn’t even the first cyberpunk-ish book I’ve covered this month. It’s becoming pretty apparent that as a society we’re teetering right on the edge of becoming a full-blown dystopia and books like Neon Spring could be considered somewhat prophetic. We just need the sexbots, cool Akira-like motorcycles, and every flat surface to be covered with neon, holograms, OR BOTH, to get there.

It probably says a lot about me that I’m so ready to buy into the cyberpunk future. Since I was raised on a pretty robust diet of sci-fi I’ve been ready to combat a rogue A.I. all my life. What I was not prepared for was the fact that I now cannot say or type “midcentury modern furniture” without every targeted ad on my Instagram showing me expensive Swedish chairs that I cannot afford on my current salary.

Neon Spring had a promising issue #0 and just in case you’re wondering it’s for adult audiences. I mean, if the inclusion of the word “sexbot” didn’t tip you off then I can’t help you. If this all sounds like your bag you can back the Kickstarter campaign here.

Notes & Other Nonsense

It’s now 4:30 PM, still no electrician. I called to ask what the holdup was and it was just that, the guy was stuck at a job that was taking longer than expected. This has been the le motif for my week (and perhaps longer) since I was supposed to have a haircut yesterday which got canceled and rescheduled. I’m due to go for my Covid booster shot in a couple hours from now and I would not be surprised if that gets canceled too. My mother canceling dinner on Thursday is also within the realm of possibility. If she does my family won’t have to be subjected to my grey roots…there’s that silver(fox) lining!

I am finding it increasingly difficult to be a fan of anything lately. I would much rather discuss politics with a racist member of my extended family than talk about Star Wars with another “fan.” It’s well trodden ground in this column but I absolutely abhor people that are so wrapped up in a particular fandom that when a new piece of media doesn’t conform to their expectations or ignores some obscure portion of the lore surrounding the property a holy war is declared upon the responsible parties.

The most recent target of impotent nerd rage was Netflix’s live action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop…which I quite liked and I’m not just saying so to be a contrarian! The original is one of a handful of anime that I’m a fan of. It’s most definitely a gateway anime for a lot of people and it’s as close to being perfect as a cartoon about space bounty hunters can be. Whether or not it should have been adapted is immaterial at this point. They did it and while it’s not perfect it’s pretty damn good. If it offends you to your bones that Netflix would be so arrogant to adapt it…don’t watch it. The live action show’s existence does not detract from the greatness of the cartoon. Things will be fine. Have a Hot Pocket and relax.

We’re getting close to the end of the year and I’m already thinking about how I’m going to wrap things up. This December promises to be less hectic than last year’s and that’s mostly due to the fact that I’m not moving or pre-writing half a dozen columns to be published while I was moving.

The concept of actually having a little time off is fairly intoxicating, if I’m honest. I’m trying to make sense of this year along with trying to figure out what’s next. I’m on track to hit 300 total published pieces to my name early next year and that seems like a nice round number. But where do I go from there?

Watch this space, I guess.

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