The End of Tyler Tyfixman's House of Heroes in Loughborough

From the House of Heroes (a comic book store in Loughborough) forum:

"I wanted to let everyone know that I am leaving House of Heroes as of Sept. When I say leaving I mean that I will no longer be employed full time. I will never fully leave, the community, or the forums.

I started the shop 3 years ago and didn't have a clue what I was starting. I never owned a shop before, but I had a dream to offer Loughborough a comic book shop and game shop that was different to Games Workshop. I have to say there was a huge learning curve for me, but thanks to you guys we made it. I am so thankful to you the customers, the community, and my friends for making the dream a reality. You all have given me so much over the 3 years, that I can never repay you. Just to meet you all and to be a part of you lives has been a blessing for me.

Why am I leaving? Well, to be honest I found myself at a year and a half in the business and found myself asking "do I want to be doing this in 5 years time". The honest answer was no. Not because I didn't enjoy it, it was just I felt I wanted to become a teacher more. Through the shop I found out a lot of things about myself that I didn't know, and one of them was, that I am not a great businessman. I enjoyed being my own boss, but turning 60p into a £1 was not my strength. One thing I also learnt was that I really enjoyed being around young people and interacting with them. I started a youth group at my church at the time and found that I loved teaching in that setting. I started to talk to the young people in the shop and found that they had some really bad experiences with RE in school, and I thought this might be something that I could do better. This was the start of the new dream of becoming a RE teacher. Some of you have been along for the whole journey and I thank you for all of the hours of my talking and crazy rambling.

So what happens to the shop? I am looking to sell the shop. I have set the price of the shop very low. Low enough for me to close the books for the shop and allow somebody to take the dream of the shop to the next level. I really believe the shop needs to grow into a shop that allows gaming within the shop, with lots of gaming tables, and loads of different tournaments going on. What we have done on Friday nights at the church has been wonderful and another huge thank you to all of the community who have made the Friday Night Game Night enjoyable and successful. I see House of Heroes growing into a fun gaming store that has a great selection of comics, games, and geek toys. I see it becoming bigger and better than what I did. I want to see the shop not only survive but take the next step as it grows bigger and better. There are many things I would do differently and I would be nice to see, the dream of the shop live on. I have one crazy person who I have been working with to hand the shop over to, but nothing has been finalized yet. I'll let you know when it is a definite deal.

So as of Sept. 1st I will be working for a local school as a LSA and I hope to be starting my college course to gain my degree. I will still be around the shop as a consultant, and I hope to be doing some gaming on some nights as well. My hope is that you guys will continue to support the dream of the shop as it changes hands. I know that there might be a few adjustments that will need to be ironed out but I know that the next stage of the shop will be even better than what we have now, as long as we have your support.

In closing I just want to say thanks again for all of your support over the years. We have proved that Loughborough can support a comic and game store. I'm proud of what we have done together and I hope you join me in the dream as it takes the next step."

There are two things I wanna say to you right now, Tyler Fixman:

1. I'm sad that you'll be leaving us, your hardcore supporters and customers. It's been a great three long years getting to know such a friendly guy like you. Remember the time when I first came into your shop and bought 90% of your Heroclix figures? Good times eh? Man, if it wasn't for you and your shop, things would have been less bearable than it was when I was in Uni... Dealing with stupid shit such as condescending attitudes of the locals and being so far away from home.

2. I knew it... I should have emailed as early as possible. I promised you that I will do so the moment I touched down in Brunei, but things took over so fast that I kept putting it off until about half an hour ago. I wrote an email to you but it kept bouncing back, so I remembered the HoH website and tried looking up for your contact details. That's when I saw that you finally sold off the store to Nick Garver. I was actually bummed out that not only the shop I knew had changed management, but also the chance of trying to keep in touch with you. It's just like what happened to my other American friend, Mario Petrie... Damn it. Damn it to hell. I'm sorry bro, I should've emailed you sooner =(

Hope you'll Google yourself one day and find this blog. Miss you bro. Take care and good luck in your future endeavors. Hope to see you in another life.

Michael Jordan Inducted into HOF, Serena Williams Became the New John McEnroe

Michael Jordan has been inducted into the Hall of Fame this past Friday. I say the man deserved it for what he has done to basketball. Sure, people are now more smitten with Kobe Bryant and/or LeBron James' spectacular plays and athleticism, but don't you think who they were inspired to do so from?

Not only he changed the basketball landscape (the baggy shorts, the fiery willpower to carry the team no matter what, the advantage of athleticism in a supposed grounded game and so on and so forth), he also became a pop culture icon with the shoes, the epitome of being the all-time great in a sport and the major driving force of why basketball became global with his inclusion on the first Dream Team at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. Hell, even the Slam Dunk anime series was inspired by him. Everybody wanted to be like Mike in those days, and I can tell you those who really know basketball will say Mike's the man to look up especially if you factor out the flair of today's players.

Overall, thanks Mike. For everything. You deserved it.


Anybody saw Serena Williams pulling off a John McEnroe in her controversial loss to Kim Clijsters? Wow. You reckon she'll consider the WWE as a post-tennis gig once she's retired? You tell me. Great body, great temper, great threat.
Oh and she said,

“I swear to God I’m fucking taking this ball and shoving it down your fucking throat…”

Salvaged: How To Be A Poklen - "Asalkan Karas Yo" (2009)

In the UK they have chavs, in the USA they have white trash or trailer trash, in Singapore they have ah-bengs and we, Brunei, have our beloved poklens. Let's start by trying to define what a 'poklen' is.

Well, a poklen is "a human, who overtime, has devolved to a new type of species". They have their own dialect which is a mixture of broken English and ghetto (kampong) Malay. They usually congregate and loiter in areas such as bus stops, shopping centres, supermarkets, corner-shops and fast food restaurants.

First thing to work on is attire, obviously you cannot be a poklen without the proper image. So go out and buy plenty of baggy clothes, WWE (i.e. wrestling related) t-shirts and also plenty of t-shirts which have stupid comments like "SATISFACTION GUARANTEED". You might also need a NY baseball cap, preferably a red one. Although this is optional, it does amplify the "I'm a kick-ass kid, karas eh aku ani" image.

Now on to hairstyles. The more spikey, weird, crooked and colorful your hair is, the more karas you are. So go to your local tambi barber and say "antam saja asalkan KARAS usulnya".Now lets move on to speech. This is very important so listen very carefully. First of all, ensure all your sentences are short and straight to the point. So less rambling and more "ah" and "awu" grunts. Weird noises are also acceptable. Speak in a VERY LOUD TONE OF VOICE SO EVERYONE KNOWS YOU ARE AROUND and ensure topics are simple so that everyone in your poklen group can contribute. Suggested topics would be wrestling, chicks, football, hip hop, rock bands, and chicks.

Ensure you sound KARAS when you talk because semua poklen mesti KARAS.Last point, make sure you go out in big groups. There must always be one short guy in your group because he's usually the most KARAS. Your group must also have a leader. This leader must be wise, therefore he must be in his mid 20's, unemployed, living with his mom and owns a "tacky" or "cheap" modified car, usually decorated in a gaudy style with very loud speakers.

And there you have it, a rough idiot's guide to being a poklen. Not as easy as you thought it'd be huh? Don't worry, asalkan kau karas okeh tah kau tu.

Source: How to be a poklen - "asalkan karas yo", Accordingtosize.

Disney/Marvel - What's Next?

The day began with a pop culture bombshell... but where do things go from here? IGN looks at the landscape and discusses possibilities.

Normally, I'm fortunate enough to generally be aware of major announcements before they happen. It makes the job that much easier. Just a bit slow on the update to anybody dedicated enough to follow this pitiful blog. But I was just as surprised as the rest of the world to wake up this morning and hear what was easily one of the biggest comic-related announcements of the past decade. Today, Disney announced they'll be purchasing Marvel Comics in a deal worth approximately $4 billion. (This is all pending FTC and shareholder approval, of course.)

That's big news, especially considering the poor financial straits Marvel was in barely a decade ago when they filed for bankruptcy. These days, however, the company has seen a resurgence in popularity thanks to lucrative movie and videogame deals and a general focus on producing better comic books.

The one question we're all asking ourselves at the moment is "What happens now?" It's a simple question, but one that's hard to answer. Will Marvel suddenly be re-branded as Disney Comics? Will Mickey Mouse and Spider-Man be running down the streets and holding hands? Is Hannah Montana going to start taking fashion tips from Hulk?

A few things are clear up front. We know Marvel won't be changing its name. Disney CEO Robert A. Iger has already confirmed the company's desire to allow Marvel to remain a separate brand, much as it has been for the past 70 years. In terms of their relationship, it seems the current dynamic between Time-Warner and DC Comics will more or less apply. The DC editorial team is kept largely independent from the higher-ups at Time-Warner. Those worrying the Disney board of directors might start suddenly laying down mandates for what happens in Amazing Spider-Man or Uncanny X-Men can probably rest at ease.

One hope we have for this deal is that Disney will be able to give Marvel books a wider distribution. Though comics are sold in major bookstores and a handful of grocery chains, comic shops remain the only reliable place to pick up books on a weekly basis. With the full might of the Disney empire behind them, we'd hope to start seeing Marvel books in common spots like newsstands, convenience stores, and other places the average consumer might feel compelled to pick up a comic. One of the great challenges the industry as a whole faces is how to increase distribution and appeal to new readers, and this is one area Disney could help tremendously. Imagine if channels like ABC started airing commercials for Amazing Spider-Man comics during episodes of Lost. And it's probably a given characters like Walt will be reading Spider-Man in Spanish instead of Green Lantern.

In terms of actual changes to Marvel's output, we doubt fans will see any significant changes up front. One addition we anticipate seeing someday is Disney's small line-up of comics like Uncle Scrooge. These comics had previously been published by Gemstone, but we see no reason Disney wouldn't want to capitalize on the Marvel name and Marvel's much more stable development structure.

On the other hand, don't expect to see Boom! Studios' line of Pixar books immediately transition over to Marvel. A general theme so far seems to be that Disney doesn't wish to violate any pre-existing agreements on either end. We would guess that when the current Boom! arrangement expires, books like the Incredibles and Cars will move to Marvel, but for now expect business as usual.

And certainly, there are many untapped franchises in Disney's lineup that will be made available to Marvel now. We'll be running a feature later this week detailing which potential projects we'd most like to see, but expect anything from Pirates of the Caribbean to the TV series Lost to Disney's upcoming Prince of Persia film to be possible fodder.

And it's a safe bet that Marvel's traditional heroes will encounter Disney favorites like Mickey Mouse sooner or later. Given the past slate of guest stars in Amazing Spider-Man like Stephen Colbert and Barack Obama, we wouldn't be at all surprised to see Spidey and Mickey team up in a short adventure. However, we're more interested in seeing projects of a more ambitious nature. Is it possible that the Disney/Square-Enix collaboration could allow for Marvel characters within the Kingdom Hearts universe? Could Kingdom Hearts itself become a Marvel comic? The thought certainly has us salivating. The burning question, though, is whether Disney's relationships with other companies automatically permit Marvel to produce tie-in comics. For example, even though ABC is producing the upcoming Fables TV series, we somehow doubt DC Comics would allow Marvel to produce a Fables comic of their own.
But what about the realm of movies and television? Marvel now controls adaptations many of its characters through the umbrella of Marvel Studios. This includes films like Iron Man and Incredible Hulk as well as newer animated efforts like Wolverine and the X-Men. Presumably, Marvel Studios will simply become a part of the larger Disney machinery, functioning much like Pixar does. All new Marvel movie franchises will still be a part of Marvel Studios, and many new animated projects will be airing on Disney's XD network.

However, the situation is a little more tricky when it comes to franchises like Spider-Man and the X-Men. For instance Sony still holds the rights to the Spider-Man movies, and appear to have plans as far as Spider-Man 6. Again, Disney appears content to allow these arrangements to continue for the time being. As current agreements, across a variety of companies, come to a close, it would seem logical and likely that many franchises will fold back into Disney/Marvel.

As unexpected as this news was, I'd be lying if we said I wasn't incredibly excited at the possibilities. Unless it becomes clear that Disney intends on taking a heavy hand in the day-to-day operations of Marvel, we see no reason to assume this deal is anything but good news for Marvel fans.