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Games
GamelogoBy Australian Ninja

Remnants & Relics. Buttonhole *Special* Feature

Welcome dear reader to Remnants & Relics, the first in an ongoing series of features looking back at various aspects of yesterday's video games. This series is one that I'd hoped to kick off many months ago, but I just haven't had the time to do it justice, until now. So consider this your opportunity to put on your best pair or rose-tinted glasses, open up a luke-warm can of clichés and prepare to hop aboard the way-back-machine.... It came from beyond two dimensions! -A Look Back at Isometric Gaming-

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Toons
ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

ACMI Day Tripper

Welcome Buttonhole readers to another feature that is so choc-full of goodness that I've divided it into several sections. The top half is about the Indy video games showcased at ACMI. The bottom half is about the Pixar exhibit. It's ridiculously long and all terribly interesting to read, so you may as well read it in two halves, or just the parts that interest you. After reading about the ACMI exhibits on their website and getting more than a little excited, I decided to make the perilous trek to inner Melbourne. With time on my side and money stuffed in my pocket I ventured forth to the train station. Once on board I passed the time by staring out the window, reading a volume of Dark Horse's Concrete and snacking on tasty fruit. Arriving at Flinders St, I wandered around until inevitably finding my way out of the rat-maze like station.

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Toons
ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

Classic Comic-book Review. Kraven's Last Hunt

"Here lies Spider-Man - Slain by the Hunter" So reads the grave of one of histories greatest superheros. "But he's not dead, is he? What happened to everyone's favourite web-slinger? Spidey seems to be alive and well now, what with his three movie deal and a string of monthly Marvel comic-book titles to his name, so why was he buried six feet under? The year is 1987. The company is Marvel. The character is Sergei Kravinov also known as 'Kraven the Hunter.' Back in the 60's Stan and Steve (Lee and Ditko, respectively) churned out a heap of cool villains for the title "Amazing Spider-Man." Doctor Octopus, The Cham

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ECW_Book_Cover The Rise and Fall of ECW. Book Review

Extremely Crap Wrestling? Think again punk!

Publisher: Simon & Schuster / WWE Entertainment

Sat, 24 February 2007

Aussie_N6 by: Australian Ninja

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ECW! ECW! ECW! ECW!
Like a bat out of hell ECW burst onto the wrestling scene in the 90's with its bloody, chaotic style and shook up the place like nobodies business.
ECW! ECW! ECW! ECW!

As luck would have it I stumbled across this tome of ECW lore at my local library. It was on the new book stand and I found it by accident while waiting in line to be served.

So I took it home to fondle its shiny, glossy hard black cover. To say that it was entertaining and engrossing would be an understatement. I read over 100 pages within hours of bringing it home. I even put off playing video-games in favour of reading more of the book.

When I watched my favourite TV show, I read more of the book in the ad breaks. It basically didn't leave my side, and the next day I read it while on the bus. The magnetic power of this book held me in its thrall, refusing to let me do anything other than read it.

Basically it tells a very candid story about the humble beginnings of ECW focusing mainly on Paul Heyman. Paul was one of the cornerstones of ECW, integral to its short but exciting success. Little did I realise it was a companion piece to the DVD set of the same name. A brief phone call later to the good Sammy - I was enlightened somewhat on ECW goodness, and found out about the DVD of the same name.

The book features extensive conversations, interview segments etc from numerous ECW promos, parts of interviews and detail on the behind the scenes everyday dramas of ECW. If you want more specific detail, check out The Gimmick's excellent DVD review of The Rise and Fall of ECW Hell, read it anyway - it's one of my favourite Buttonhole reviews, so go enjoy it so that I don't have to bust you up with a few DDT's after piledriving you through a flaming table.
Remember people, nothing else gets results quite like threatened physical violence.

ECW_Book_Screen1
I just couldn't resist putting this pic of a hot girl in a bikini here. God bless wrestling!
The author of this lip-smackingly good book, Thom Loverro - interviewed numerous people [but not limited to] the likes of Paul Heyman, Tazz, Al Snow, Chris Jericho, Joey Styles, Spike Dudley, D-Von Dudley and others.

Their thoughts and comments are sown throughout the book which runs roughly in a chronological order, and details all their major events, good times, behind the scenes fuck ups and their struggle to get more coverage through TV networks and very determined persistent efforts to get on Pay-Per-view.

Considering I've never actually seen ECW, and I'm only a casual wrestling fan at the best of times - it leaves me wondering why I bothered to write about this book.
Basically the book impressed me so much, that I thought people who were into wrestling [regardless of what faction, or when you were into it] would seriously dig this book.

I mean I've never seen the show, but I have heard about it over the years. I've watched enough of the old WWF and WCW that I get the basics of it. I know the people etc.
Learning about the early spotlight on the careers of wrestlers such as Rey Mysterio Jnr, Cactus Jack, Eddie Guerrero, Raven, Steve Austin and others who later moved on to WCW and WWF/ WWE was fascinating and insightful.
The ECW elite of Sandman, Sabu, Tommy Dreamer, Terry Funk, and the many others are all well covered too.

More interesting than any particular wrestler though is the influence ECW had on the other franchises such as WCW Nitro and WWF RAW. From the early table matches, hardcore matches, introducing hot women wrestlers in pivotal roles [rather than just being trophy bimbos], allowing creative freedom for the wrestler in how they cut their promos and developed their characters, marketing wrestling to a more adult audience and more, ECW was a major influence on show wrestling then and later the future of the sport, and pulled off one innovation after another at every chance they got.

ECW_Book_Screen2
Don't worry dude, I can totally get that corn out of your teeth, now hold still. ~Crunch~ Aaahhh, sweet jesus, why!
It seems like they pissed off a lot of people along the way, breaking rules, spitting on the belts of other franchises and basically encouraging chaos and anarchy at their events.
But whatever people may say about ECW, for a while they had 'it.' People were talking about them; many wanted ECW banned or just plain gone.
People loved them, people hated them, but whatever they thought - people were talking about and watching ECW.
Once they established themselves there was always the threat of having talent poached over to WCW and WWF. Although at the end of the day, a wrestler needs to earn money - something ECW sorely lacked.

What they lacked in dollars, they made up for in raw enthusiasm and passion. Many of the wrestlers considered ECW to be like a family. While people left, often - they did so [mostly] with Paul Heyman's blessing.

Another integral part of ECW was Terry Funk. The old timer 'made' a lot of the fresh young ECW [then unknown] talent. With such a well known and respected veteran of the sport on their team, it brought instant credibility to the name ECW.

So, the DVD is great stuff and this companion book is pretty damn good as well.
If you already have the DVD, then the book is pretty much the same thing in another format. I've really only given you a glimpse of what is on offer in this book, or the DVD. As far as books on wrestling go, this is easily one of the best. Check it out!


by: Australian Ninja

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More articles by Australian Ninja




A fantastic read that I literally could not put down for several days.

Overall:
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More Wrestling


Ric Flair and The Four Horsemen. Wrestling DVD Review
Mick Foley: Hits & Misses - The Hardcore Edition. DVD Review
Sammy's Wrestling DVD Double Review Bonanza!
Born to Controversy: The Roddy Piper Story. DVD Review
The History of the WWE Championship. Wrestling DVD Review


What is the main reason you watch wrestling?
Hoping to see good quality matches
The crazy storylines and/or characters
Blood and violence
The sexy women or men
A combination of any of the above





Toons
ToonlogoBy Borgieman

Manifest '07 Report

Ninja's note: Once again, it's time for another Buttonhole report on the Melbourne Anime Festival, otherwise known as Manifest 2007. If you missed Ichibod's feature on a previous Manifest, check it out here. This Manifest coverage comes to you courtesy of forum regular and newest Buttonhole contributor Borgieman, a cool guy who knows his Anime and has been known to play a video game or two. So read on true believers! A Day at Manifest 2007

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Toons
ToonlogoBy Australian Ninja

Only Yesterday. Anime Review

The problem with having favourite films is that every time I watch another Studio Ghibli film it becomes my new favourite. It kind of renders the word 'favourite' meaningless when every Studio Ghibli film takes my breath away. Still, I can't complain about being thoroughly entertained by this whimsical and insightful film, "Only Yesterday". This gem was directed by Isao Takahata, well known for his anime film Grave of the Fireflies. Although Only Yesterday is a light hearted film that ambles along at a leisurely pace, it still manages to explore themes such as love, work, family relationship struggles, following your dreams and country versus city living. In the film, the main character Taeko decides to take a working vacation in the country, getting away from her office bound job and unexpectedly starts t

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Toons
ToonlogoBy Jason

Speed Grapher V1. Anime Review

Well, "I don't like it" was my initial feeling when viewing this Anime for the first time. Subsequent viewings haven't changed my views a great deal. Nothing really stands out as being absolute shit but it seems that this series tries too hard. It's almost like they were more interested in creating something 'edgy' and confronting but sadly forgot to include an even remotely palatable story. The hero of this particular piece is a bloke called Tatsumi Saiga. Tatsumi is a photographer and a veteran war journalist for whom taking photos has become somewhat of a fetish. Although he seems to have become jaded - nothing is worth wasting his film on - that is, at least until he stumbles across an exclusive club for the mega rich

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