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To Watch: Red vs. Blue

Hey... You ever wonder why we're here? Ten years ago, two soldiers stood on the top of a base in the middle of a canyon, wondering that exact thing. And they had a lot of time to spend thinking about it, because their army, the Reds, had only set up a base because their enemies, the Blues, had a base on the other side of the canyon. Trouble is, neither team is very good so they're pretty much at an eternal stalemate.

Thus begins the Best Show Ever. Of All Time.

Red vs. Blue is a web-series that has been running for ten years and is better than ever, with Season 10 currently underway this summer. Produced by Rooster Teeth and filmed using the video game series Halo, Red vs. Blue is a credit to machinima (using gaming engines to produce video). The first few seasons are pretty lighthearted, with more attention on the episode-to-episode jokes and funny one-liners than a heavy overall plot... and the lines are good. Seriously. The back of my office door is literally covered with quotes. They're even spilling onto the window frame, the walls, and the top wood frame that runs around my office light. It's actually very pretty, since I use a different color sticky note for each different character. Watch seasons 1-5 and expect to laugh way more than seems physically possible.

Then watch seasons 6-8 and be absolutely blown away by the upgrades Rooster Teeth put into their show. Enjoy the animation expertise of Monty Oum, the kick-ass graphics of Halo 3, and writing, acting, and filming that makes RvB Season 1 hide in shame a little bit. The story continues, new faces (err... helmets) are added, and awesomeness ensues. Don't forget things that happened in parody-land of seasons 1-5, because memory is the key.

Season 9 has parallel story lines, with one continuing in the present where Season 8 ended and one set many years in the past when Project Freelancer was still active. Meet the freelancers in all their glory and be prepared for the biggest package of bad-assery yet. Oh, and the worst gun ever. Of all time.

Season 10 is ongoing as of this post (July 25) but it is already living up to (and possibly surpassing) the RvB bar of greatness. Rooster Teeth has said that season 10 will wrap up the Project Freelancer storyline, but has not announced the end of RvB - for which I am grateful, because that means I don't have to scrape together the money to fly down to Texas and sit on RT's front step and beg until they air more episodes. Or maybe I'd just join the riot of thousands of other RvB fans who would already be on site, asking one another, "Did you know about this?" Possibly...

You can't escape the glory of Red vs. Blue. Others have tried, and every person I've recommended it to has watched it and loved it. No joke. Every single person. A few of my co-workers even borrowed my DVD sets so they could watch it in higher quality.

So get over to Rooster Teeth and watch the show already! It's amazing. And when you're done, come back and let me know your favorite character, quote, scene, whatever. I'd love to know!

My personal favorites:

Character - Caboose

Quote - (so many to choose from, but here's one that I love that is spoiler-free) Church's line, "You will fear my laser-face!"

Scene - Tex kicking serious ass in the sparring room. Or the episode called This One Goes to Eleven.

Song - tie between Bow Chicka Bow Wow and On Your Knees. (Thank you to Jeff Williams for your musical talents in RvB!)

Legal stuff: I don't own the above pictures; two are spruced-up designs for T-shirts sold at the RT store, and the last one I pulled from the RvB wiki. Halo belongs to Bungie. Red vs. Blue belongs to Rooster Teeth. The only thing I own in this post is my opinion. :)

Calling All Artists!

Yo! If any of you out there want to try your hand at drawing/painting/artifying one of my characters, or some prominent icon (like Kallizar's medallion), that would be sweet. All I ask is that you share what you have here and don't sell the ideas as your own. Posting on your own site is cool as long as you give a link back here so people know where the concept came from.

Thanks and happy art-ing!

S. G. Johnson , aka The Realmwalker

To Read: The Looking Glass Wars

I was on a plane trip recently - not very long, and I'd be busy once I got where I was headed - so I only packed one book: The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor. It was great! But I was sad when I was finished with the book and I still had another leg of the flight to go... If you don't know anything about Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, you will enjoy this book. (Series, actually, but I've only read the first one so far. Have to borrow the second from a friend tomorrow!)

If you don't particularly enjoy Alice in Wonderland, you'll probably enjoy this story even more. The tag on the front of the book reads, "Fantasy just declared war on reality." I mean, what more do you need?

Beware the card soldiers!

Well, here's a few more tidbits in case you remain unconvinced:

The Mad Hatter is actually a great warrior and staunch protector of the Queen of Wonderland. His name is Hatter Madigan (and he is fantastic).

Alyss is not insane or dreaming. Nor is she named Alice. But she does have a powerful imagination (and I've yet to meet a writer who isn't a sucker for that).

There is art in the book (center section). Very well done art.

There is a timeline that charts the events of Wonderland in correlation with the events in our world. Also fantastic.

The Cat.

Beg, borrow, or steal buy a copy and enjoy a light but engaging read in the real Wonderland.

And then come tell us what you thought. I'm excited to hear!