Monday, September 20, 2010

Nolan Ryan


This level of PSA Hell brings us the celebrity cameo... and a lot of pointlessness.


Mountain King said...

Just one question then; what the hell does baseball have to do with anything? Does the twisted world of… wherever the heck this is supposed to be set, revolve solely around hitting a small ball with a stick?
Is there nothing else in life? Is there no art, music or beauty. Well given the bland and featureless style, art and beauty seems to be a dead loss. What about any number of other sports, like basketball, American football, British football( AKA Soccer, but I won't call it that), athletics, skiing, rugby (all the various versions of that), hockey, ice hockey, curling, ice skate speed racing, even Cricket and however many others exist?
That's not including all the other human endeavours, useful things like science, medicine, comparative history, economics or even global politics?
How about the less useful, but still necessary, works to produce a balanced and well adjusted culture; creative and speculative fiction, comedy and social dramas? Now I get that Baseball was supposed to be a metaphor for all of these, but it was so pathetic and worthless I honestly don't credit the writer with the wit to know what a metaphor is.
My god this comic was bad, but I don't think sucks was accurate. Some comics do indeed suck, others just misfire and others are so horrendous that their existence are a blight upon the world. This isn't any of those. Quite simply it doesn't register, it has no impact beyond beyond an irrelevant and outdated sports star and a cartoon tiger selling it's product. The "Message" is so common outside of PSA comics (how often do we come across a bumbling kid that becomes a hero in fiction?) that it is meaningless. Most damming of all it looks as if the team behind it were churning it out for a pay check.
Some PSA comics have a degree of wit behind them. Writers and creative staff that enjoy irony and love to throw in a few tweaks of genuine humour and drama, masked under the auspices of public service. Laughing at the system that buys them lunch just as much as showing a "lesson" and delivering a "message"
This didn't even try, as such it didn't reach the level of "Suck" and if I'm honest I doubt it deserved a review. It is so limp and uninspired that it doesn't deserve to be acknowledged.

AKA Mountain King

PS:- This almost touches upon my biggest irritation in American culture (that is spilling over here in England). The idea that children are stupid and should be treated as such. They aren't thick, just inexperienced. Talking down to them and trying to shelter young people from the world around keeps them inexperienced. Keeps them docile. When they are finally exposed to the darker side of humanity's nature they aren't ready, falling all to quickly into attitudes and situations they haven't been prepared for.
I got the overall impression that Nolan Ryan (whoever the hell that is) was talking down to Paul. The inclusion of Tony the Tiger was not only pointless but felt as if the writer was dangling something shiny in front of a baby's face to get their attention. The bland and pointless content here has just drove me up the fricking wall…

NickG said...

Wow I'm the first commenter. . . Well lets keep with tradition "FIRST" there. now to the real comment. Keep it up Linkara you make me proud to be a Minnesotan.

SynjoDeonecros said...

Oh, oh no, no, Tony, babe, we love you, you're sexy-awesome, but seriously, this wasn't the best choice for you. Go back to being Aslan in Breakfast of the Gods and stop hanging out with Nolan Ryan and emo sports-obsessed future suicide cases.

Brian said...

I thought that the cover looked familiar. This is actually one of the comics I owned as a kid and still have sitting around in a dresser somewhere. In fact, I had forgotten all about it until just now. I thank you for that, Linkara, since now I'm forced to remember just how much in sucked. I bet this is one of the reasons I never got into comics. When one of the first comics you own is a PSA featuring Nolan Ryan and Tony the Tiger...yeah, it doesn't exactly attract interest.

Andrew said...

Wow... This was weird. But you made it enjoyable, if not Laugh Out Loud funny. But that's okay Linkara, it's just nice to see another episode of yours. So, keep up the good work all right?

I for one though, am looking forward to you resuming your reviews of All Star Batman and Robin. That kind of trash needs to burn, preferably to a cinder. And just out of curiosity, do you have any comics involving Cassandra Cain coming up?

TheUberNerdyKid said...

Wow. Nolan Ryan's a freakin ninja. He appears everywhere. (Insert Nolan Ryan sees you in your nightmares joke here) So, no one questions the fact that there's a giant anthropomorphic tiger wearing a bandanna and baseball cap following a kid around? ...Is this a regular occurrence or something? Does everyone have there own deadly feline following them around? I mean, jeez.

Celey said...

I don't know if I really see a problem with that warning. For one... America is a sue-happy country. (I think I heard something recently about someone suing McDonalds for putting toys in their Happy Meal).

For another, it is true that you should check with a doctor before you try any new exercise routine or sports activity. Even in schools, kids get physical exams before they're allowed to try out for sports. There are a lot of different health conditions that can be aggravated by certain activities.

Anyway... This comic was pretty boring, so props to you for making your review entertaining. I'm sure if ya had more to work with, it'd be as funny as your other reviews usually are. But for what you had, you did a good job.

I agree that the message this PSA was trying to get across was... confusing. Maybe the moral of the story is... "Buy Frosted Flakes! It will make all your problems go away!"

corey said...

that kids kept being such a whiny bitch that his dialog shoudve been done in the super boy prime voice.

Anonymous said...

What advise would the kid get about hitting from Nolan Ryan? That would have been liking getting pitching tips from Jose Canseco.

Sam said...

This comic, ssssssssuuuuuucks! (ha-ha, ha. ugh... it hurts my soul)

Terrific review of an awful comic. But, credit where credit is due, it does teach a valuable lesson. That lesson of course being that nothing on Earth is more important than baseball and that the key to success is sweet, sugary flakes of pure mana.

This may very well be the worst PSA ever. I mean at least other PSAs have a clear message that I can agree or disagree with, but I'm honestly not sure what to get out of this one.

Also, that thing after the credits reminds of a terrible comic that my school district gave out to us in Middle School about education with some lame superhero. On the back was a mask of the guys face, but because there weren't ads or anything, and they clearly didn't know how a comic is formatted, there was also a page of the comic on the inside of the back cover. So to cut it out, you'd lose your ending. I was looking for this to send to you recently, but couldn't find it.

Keep up the good work.

Grunty said...

@Mountain King.
TvTropes has a nice word for that "Serious Business" when in a fictional world everything revolves around something otherwise meaningless or unimportant thing.

Good examples are many anime shows like Yugioh or that one with the spinning tops combat. Totaly meaningless in our world, but in those worlds they are so important that governments create genetical altered super soldiers to win those competitions.

Anyway this comic reminded me to that Mikey Mantle Comic.

Dunno if this translates to baseball, but back in school, everytime when we played football (that means soccer for the americans), nobody wanted to be goalkeeper because that meant not being in the field and having the ball, so the weakest in class, who were also the last ones to get chosen were constantly put in the goals.

Resulting in the defenders being the only ones capable of preventing a goal, unlike in professional football were the goalkeeper is not only the last defense but also one of the most important x factors.

Fun came when one team decided to put someone with skills into the goal resulting in the games becomming one sided.

Anyway maybe the "only this role is real fun" thing was the writers explanation on why every kid wanted to be a batter.
Stupid explanation but at least an explanation neverless.

By the way what's the problem with the Death Star Plans having been on Geonosis?

There was a lot of stupid stuff in the prequels but that one didn't bothered me so much that it looked like something to break a mind about?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"By the way what's the problem with the Death Star Plans having been on Geonosis?

There was a lot of stupid stuff in the prequels but that one didn't bothered me so much that it looked like something to break a mind about?"

According to Liz there's a ton of expanded universe stuff about the Death Star construction and plans that was totally eradicated by the Geonosis stuff. You'd have to ask her more specifically, but I figured it was a geeky non-baseball related thing to work in. XD

Talsin said...

It's interesting seeing someone trying something other than the time tested way to build kids self esteem in sports. Not that the old ways need replacing. We've gotten plenty of good results just by having coaches scream at kids who fail. In all seriousness, this reminded me of that old belief that sports builds the self esteem of children. Never really figured out how that's supposed to help kids who are not good at physical activity.
One question I have to ask is what the target age group for this comic is. I know by the age I was old enough to read it (6 or so) I was trying to act "grown up" so seeing tony the tiger stand beside a person I've never seen before wouldn't have gotten me to read it.
Also, I have to point this out. Isn't baseball kinda boring? When my parents and grandparents took me to games, no matter my age, it was torture for my young self. I'd have rather been playing video games, reading a book or watching movies. Then again, I had the same problem with football (american style) so maybe I was just an odd kid.

Grunty said...

@Lewis Lovhaug

Ah thanks, i allready thought it had something to do with the infamous star wars EU stuff.

I try not to get too much into them, the only EU source i've ever followed was the one related to the games and even those seem to constantly make hardcore fans rage.

Star wars canon seems to be the opposite of DC and Marvel canon. While in DC and Marvel everything can be re-explained, ignored and changed from canon. Like for example a "KIZZ meet the Incredible Hulk" comic, where it's revealed that Bruce Banner got his powers from the power of rock, thanks to visiting a Kizz concert before the day of the explosion (with the gamma bomb just not killing him).

In Star Wars everything has to be cannon in a way it seems.
Heck they even made he events of the Holiday Special and Chewies family names official part of the universe.

Which makes me think that you most likely hope to never have to review a Star Wars comic or your contiuity alarm might reach critical mass.

Anyway, yeah with that explanation your joke works just fine.

Marc Reyes said...

I couldn't be the only one who smiled upon seeing the box of Frosted Flakes just sitting on the table at times, without any explanation of sorts. (I might've missed some forced endorsements about Frosties, but, still.)

Radar said...

"Is Youngblood's Disease spreading to baseball players?" From what I've seen of the past few years Link, yes! The suckiest PSA comic I own is "Capt. America Goes to War on Drugs" or something like that. It opens with aliens, depicted like the Octopus, Dr. Claw or Number One of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Just hands. And they add NOTHING to the story! The drug dealers are humans with no connection to the aliens at all!

SchweitzerMan said...

I really want some Frosted Flakes right now...BUT I DON'T KNOW WHY!!!

Fieryone said...

Two things.

First, In the review before you say "Tony magically picked up the can" or something to that effect, there is a panel on the page showing Tony with the can in his hand, and the can is back on the fence post.

Second, There is an EU Novel on the Deathstar (aptly titled Star Wars: Death Star) that does a fine job of working in the plans being found on Geonosis with the original EU Material for the Death Star.

Jannet_Jazz said...

I was a softball girl myself, but even so why the hell would you make a PSA so boring that
nobody-whether jock or comic geek or the rare jock-geek hybrid--would sit through it?

Oh one more thing:


"This almost touches upon my biggest irritation in American culture (that is spilling over here in England). The idea that children are stupid and should be treated as such. They aren't thick, just inexperienced."

Wait just one minute there, Rum Cake. You can't blame this one on us. You guys were doing the same crap long before we did (and still are). Personally? I think it's part of the zeitgeist now prevalent in Anglo culture.

Yogurt said...

What was the point? Seriously, why was this thing written? To instruct kids in baseball? To talk about self-esteem?

Maybe just to provide material for reviewer of bad comics in the future?

MattV said...

I was kind of hoping the theme from the 100th episode would be the new theme. thinking of using that one every now and then?

71 The Roman said...

Truly, these baseball serials (see what I did there? ;D) are some of the blandest things in existence. Thank you for your continued research into showing just how bland sports comics (or a lack thereof) can be.

Also, from a technical standpoint, noticed you kept looking to the left of the camera at the very beginning and very end. Don't remember that happening in the past. Have you just not figured out the best setup for the filming equipment over at the new place?

Jok said...

So, I guess this kid is like that guy who always want to be the lead singer of a band, no matter how horrible his voices is. Because you know, only dorks want to play the drums or the bass.

And is it me or American PSAs absolutely WORSHIP sports (specially baseball)? Couldn't Nolan Ryan tell the kid to try painting, writing, cooking or maybe computer programming? And really, Tony the Tiger? I would only be really impressed if Darth Vader or Mr. T told me that I was good at something.

Oracle said...

Ah. I went to Cooperstown when I was younger. Was pretty excited, but it was not to last. First I saw the corner, CORNER, devoted to the Women's League. Then I saw the great honking ROOM devoted to Babe Ruth. Argasfargaraaaah.
Don't hear those little girls whining about how they'll never get into the Major Leagues, do ya Paul? Huh.

Oh dear, I've let myself go off again. At any rate, this was a fun one, Linkara!

Anonymous said...

Just a little fanboy thing, but the way you say the word leprechaun (lip movements and all) is AWESOME.

MintWhelp said...

A more important questions is: Does Nolan Ryan live in the same house as Tony the Tiger?

Or did they rent a home while they stalked the kid around? And then they just kept on using it, because, well, might as well live the full month you already paid for?

Or maybe Nolan went visit Tony to his house? Does that make Tony a subversive tiger, unwilling to live in caves, and eat gazelles?

Man, this comic is deeper than it looks.

Also, and by the by, Nice episode Linkara! Keep 'em up and coming!

wootsman said...

Dammit i want frosted flakes now

Jaebird said...

I almost spat up my food while laughing when you had that clip of Batman's targeting reticle.

Kudos on the review. =)

And I forgot ask last time, but did you get a new camera, or is there just better lighting where you are now?

Unknown said...

This kid needs to be beat down like Robin Ventura.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this comic looked really...boring. It just felt so pointless, I don't think you should have even wasted your time with it.

By the way, I'm blowing off my psychology homework to watch this video, so if I fail the class, IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT! xD

Tanner Vogelgesang said...

Well honestly I think the actual "How To Play" parts were a good idea. Self Esteem is great, but it's nothing if you don't have some technique t go with it. Believe in yourself all you want, you can't make a cake without reading the recipe.

The rest of the comic was stupid, though. And everybody knows that Tony plays soccer, not baseball!

Literate Dead said...

Now, now, we all know the truth about that expression at around 9:15... Nolan Ryan is in the beginning of either a stroke or an epileptic fit. While the kid is imagining what inspiring words the man might have said in the panel, the reality is that the only thing out of his mouth is "WHLALARBLEGHNARMNARM!". Quick, Tony, stuff a tin can under his tongue!

Unknown said...

Nice Thurl Ravencroft impression there, Mr. Linkara.

Sad to see that even my childhood idol, Nolan Ryan, was not immune to pointless now his career stats should read:

Over 5000 Ks
7 No-hitters
1 crappy PSA comic

And his original arm injury that he tells Paul about was from when he was with the Mets near the beginning of his career, if I remember correctly. (I had his autobiography.)

jdude907 said...

If Tony the Tiger really did go to the bathroom, then I'd hate to be the guy using the urinal next to him. Anything you say or do in that situation can go badly...

Theresa Mesmeriser said... does it make sense for the plans to be on Geonosis but still work in the ACTUAL history of the Death Star? Don't leave me hanging!

PontifexPrimus said...

So the comic is basically saying: "Hey kids, here are pages and pages of instructions on how to play baseball... BUT DON'T YOU DARE TRY THEM OUT!"

Nice review, those condescending PSAs have always bothered me when they misuse their position of authority to do stuff like, say, peddle incredibly unhealthy sugary cereal and pretend it's essential to becoming a top athlete.

Psionvisionary said...

Is it me or does that Paul kid look like a skinny Fat Albert? I mean it's the EXACT same outfit and a similar hairstyle.......

Inigo Montoya said...

sub·se·quent   /ˈsʌbsɪkwənt/

1. occurring or coming later or after (often fol. by to ): subsequent events; Subsequent to their arrival in Chicago, they bought a new car.
2. following in order or succession; succeeding: a subsequent section in a treaty.

You keep on getting this one wrong, man!

BillC83 said...

"And his original arm injury that he tells Paul about was from when he was with the Mets near the beginning of his career, if I remember correctly. (I had his autobiography.)

Nolan Ryan's original arm injury was mith the Mets.

Ironically (and I'm somewhat surprised the comic didn't mention this), when Nolan Ryan was initially moved up to the Major Leagues, he had a less than stellar first season, failing to crack into the regular pitching rotation. He was even sent back to the minor leagues! His fastball was well-respected, but he had serious issues with ball control early in his career.

Great review as always, Linkara!

Jessica said...

silly Linkara, Nolan Ryan wasn't suffering from Youngbloods disease, his eyes were rolling up into the back of his head, he was just having a stroke

Jessica said...

@Literate Dead GMTA, I was thinking the exact same thing, the drooping lip didn't exactly help dissuade that image

Rushing Beat said...

" does it make sense for the plans to be on Geonosis but still work in the ACTUAL history of the Death Star?"

I may have an idea: the Geonosis Death Star designs were taken by Palpatine after the Imperial takeover and he had his designers begin construction of it (correcting many of the flaws in the original design).

...oh wait, that's still stupid and pisses all over continuity. Damn you Lucas!

MFlorian said...

"Doing new thing is for losers..."?

Considering how many jokes were about mistakes in the writing, I want to think that was intentional. =P

Tyr Germanic said...

good news,have you seen steve rogers from the movie yet?
dont care ya ya ya,well here it is:


that guys not skinny ya now he just a little too brunette.
but where the fuck are red skull pics at?

Ruiner said...

I have to assume either Nolan is a friends with a furry or more likely he, and Paul were bat-$#!+ insane for having Tony the Tiger following them around. from experience I can say that not even LSD or shrooms do that(so you will be able to confidently identify someone lying about tripping if they claim to have seen pink elephants or anything else along those lines.), unless Nolan has access to some Gov. made super hallucinogen.

Sijo said...

First, I'm glad to see that the old Theme Song is back! The one from episode 1000 was good, but this one feels more appropriate. :)

As for the comic... no offense, Linkara, but with so many bad comics to review, why are you focusing on children's comics like this one? Most of us ignore them because, well, they are for kids! There's no need for realism or complex continuity in it like in say, Star Trek. Do you pull titles out of a hat or something?

Although I must say, even as a kid I would have been bored with this comic. No superheroes, no action, not even a *real* baseball game! It was just a puff piece for Mr. Ryan (and Kellogg's.)In fact, the story and art are so bland it feels like DC just did it on commission and even the people working on it were just phoning it in.

Say, for the sake of argument: have you ever seen a PSA done WELL?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"As for the comic... no offense, Linkara, but with so many bad comics to review, why are you focusing on children's comics like this one? Most of us ignore them because, well, they are for kids! There's no need for realism or complex continuity in it like in say, Star Trek. Do you pull titles out of a hat or something?"

Thought the Tony the Tiger thing would make it interesting.

As for why kids comics? Material made for kids does NOT have to be fluff or bad or lack complex continuity. Look at Power Rangers or Batman: the animated series or Mighty Max or Gargoyles or etc., etc. Writers don't exist in a vacuum - they can take relatively simple premises and actually create something worthwile and good out of it. They don't have to make it boring, nonsensical, or stupid.

Adaliah said...

Bad comic, good review.

As for the Death star thing, in the expanded universe (can't remember the name of the specific novels offhand) it was revealed that the death star was designed by a group of scientists in a top secret base surrounded by a cluster of black holes (the cluster was named "The Maw"). And of course, the death star can't have been designed on Geonosis if it was designed by the scientists of "The Maw", and vice-versa. (Granted, a copy of the blueprints could have ended up on Geonosis, though the top secret nature of the project would make that highly unlikely)

Anonymous said...

Hey linkara how are things?
anyway I found a really stupid comic it's called scratch(dc version) the plot just jumps around they never explane why batman is there for only two panels and the art looks like it was drawn by the dude that did the max(image) I would love to see you review it some time.

banjo tooie

Sijo said...

Linkara: Allow me to clear up my comment above: it isn't that I believe cartoons or comics aimed at children cannot be written well or contain material appealing to older audiences (in fact, I'm a long-life animation fan) rather it's that I feel the comics you've reviewed recently don't deserve your wrath as much as others. The worst thing that can be said about the Nolan Ryan comic is that it was boring. But something like RISE OF ARSENAL deserves only to be torn apart and set on fire page by page. At least THAT way we'll get SOME enjoyment out of it! :D That's what I meant by my "out of a hat" comment. Seriously, how do you decide what to review and in what order?

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Seriously, how do you decide what to review and in what order?"

I usually skip through comics I don't know to get an idea about whether or not it'll make a good review. Sometimes it works really well (like the old Sinnamon review) and sometimes it falls kind of flat (baseball comics seem to do horribly among my audience. XD). The order is Marvel-Indy-DC-Indy-Marvel-Indy-etc., with excceptions made for special occasions and multi-parters.

Anonymous said...

hey linkara i liked this review and i hoped you will do more psa comics even if they are baseball related

Jesse Herndon said...

Whoa, wait a minute, are Tony & Nolan still living at Paul's house at the end?!

Unknown said...

"Hey, Billy! You wanna play ball?"
"Sure, just let me consult my physician."