Good Omens – Book Review

Content Warning: Racism, Homomisia

I have a fondness for a certain character type that is man, or mannish, and has black-feathered wings (hence my obsession with Devil Jin from the Tekken franchise) and given my fondness for David Tennant as well, seeing an image of him with black-feathered wings portraying a snake-eyed demon as promotional material for a Good Omens series premiering next year on Amazon piqued my interest.

The person who originally tweeted the image that passed along my TL and was then quote-tweeted by me expressed surprise at my not having read the book. Good Omens is a novel by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I have read two novels by Neil Gaiman: Stardust, because I liked the movie, and American Gods because at least one, though perhaps more, of my friends seemed to really like it. I used to follow Neil Gaiman on both Tumblr and Twitter and enjoyed his tweets and posts. I don’t want to get into why I stopped following him because I also re-follow people and there can be multiple reasons, not all of which I’d remember.

Anyway, back to the books: I didn’t exactly hate these books, but Stardust falls into one of the few cases where I would say the movie was better than the book, because it was kind of bland in comparison, and American Gods was a little boring and took me a long time to finish, so after that, I haven’t really been in any hurry to read more from Neil Gaiman. I have been meaning to read Terry Pratchett eventually, so I guess I started here with Good Omens.

If you are unfamiliar with the premise, it’s about a cast of characters preparing for the end of the world, including an angel and demon who like the world well enough to not see it end. Other characters include witches, witchfinders, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, some kids, and more. Thankfully, there is a cast list near the beginning that was a helpful reference. Segments jump from place to place, character to character, so one can easily be lost when starting out on a first read.

Most of the Good Omens novel wasn’t boring though there was a part with witchfinders I found dull enough to take a break from reading and going back to coloring my web comic page before getting back to the story. It did break away from the characters I was more interested in, Aziraphale and Crowley (mainly Crowley), more than I would have liked.

This book was published in 1990, but racism should be called out in any age, so as a non-black light-skinned Mexican Native person trying to understand and do better in the ongoing, long fight against oppression in many forms, I’m going to point out some excerpts that sent alarms off in my head.

Most of the members of the convent were old-fashioned Satanists, like their grandparents and parents before them. They’d been brought up to it, and weren’t, when you got right down to it, particularly evil. Human beings mostly aren’t. They just get carried away by new ideas, dressing up in jackboots and shooting people, or dressing up in white sheets and lynching people, or dressing up in tie-dye jeans and playing guitars at people. Offer people a new creed with a costume and their hearts and minds will follow.

See, this book is supposed to be funny, and so the above is supposed to be a joke but “jackboots,” to me at least, is intended to conjure up images of Nazis who killed millions of people, very specifically Jewish people and “lynching” is literally hanging Black people to kill them because they stepped out of line. Lynchings still go on in the U.S. today. For an example I recall in the past several years, read the story about Lennon Lacy. I am pointing out the severity of this violence because while there is some research on the relevance of the fashion to these systematic killings, the specificity of their purpose, the intended power dynamic of outright genocide, is extremely important and should not be glossed over for a joke. Also, I’d say those people can be called really evil quite obviously. It’s a frightening time to see how many really evil people we all live with every day.

Here’s another excerpt that, intended to be funny or serious, certainly leaves me uncomfortable and questioning its purpose.

As soon as the car had stopped he had the back door open and was bowing like an aged retainer welcoming the young massa back to the old plantation.

These words call to the time of chattel slavery, which was an extremely violent atrocity whose effects are still felt today and so calling it to in this fashion as a simile for opening a door feels tremendously inappropriate.

One of the characters, Shadwell, is very clearly racist, even using the word “darkie” at some point with special expressed suspicion toward a Mr. Rajit while the narrative then brushes off this racism as tolerated because Shadwell hates everybody. I don’t think I’ve outright pointed out that both Gaiman and Pratchett are/were White, so I’ll do that now because I think these examples of diversion to the true power investment and dynamic of whiteness toward anti-blackness are a noteworthy and significant problem.

Now, for another obviously racist character is Madame Tracey, which is a real shame because I liked her aside from this point, but it’s kind of a big, flashing, awful, point. She does a seance as part of her services and during a major plot point, the reader learns the following in between her using a stereotypical “how” talking to her clients:

She had always understood that Red Indian spirit guides were an essential prop, and she rather liked the name.

The name referenced above is “Geronimo”. Soon follows a mention of another character figuring out how she doesn’t know who he was and that character not having the heart to tell her. I will try now to have the heart to tell any reader that if you find yourself in a position to put one of your characters saying and doing racist things without confronting that, challenging it, and working to be better, don’t.

I didn’t really care for the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, which really just made me want to re-watch that X-Men animated series, the one from the 90s, with the early Apocalypse episodes that had the Four Horsemen where Angel becomes Archangel (Death). It started about Rogue wanting to give up her powers and deciding to keep them. I liked those episodes, and I think perhaps those four will always be THE Four in my heart, not that War, Pestilence, and Famine were particularly interesting or developed in those X-Men episodes, they weren’t, it’s just the effect of a first impression and nostalgia. Maybe the colors too. Here is a screenshot of them from the episode Come the Apocalypse in season 1, for reference:

The character Crowley almost seems written for David Tennant, as I could easily picture him delivering much of the dialogue. I look forward to seeing at least that if nothing else when the series premieres in Amazon. If I do watch it, it really will be because of him and hopefully the rest will be done well enough to keep me interested. My other concern is that it might be gross. I do not like gross, and this story definitely has some gross parts. I don’t think I’ve watched an original Amazon series yet, but I have watched all of Jessica Jones on Netflix, which also featured David Tennant and part of why I watched that too. In my Jessica Jones review, I mentioned that it got really violent and gross, more than I could stand really, in the later part of the season but by then I was so invested, I finished it anyway.

Some kind of content or trigger warning would have been nice. I was really taken off guard by the extremely casual use of having a child using the anti-gay slur that rhymes with “maggot” and then later a guard taking pleasure at the thought of burning several such people. That particular word has always offended me a great deal. People really do die from this oppression in brutal ways. It hurts.

Good Omens was moderately entertaining, and I’ll be glad to have a reference if I watch the Amazon series. I would recommend it if you think it will have specifically something of interest to you, such as the authorial style of Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett or a broad cast for an end of the world, or religion-based fantasy. Crowley’s wings weren’t around or described much though, I’ll admit.

Menu Update

I have re-worked the menu here, removing Contact and Art because most contact form efforts are spam and art because most of my recent art is actually in a separate project, a Tekken web comic based on an old fanfiction of mine, The Jin Saga, the comic being called The Jin Saga CV2, since I am in the second effort of making the story into a web comic. I have also added a link to my Patreon in the menu. I have been focused more on these two things so figured it was time to note them on this website as I am preparing to publish page 3 of the comic soon. I didn’t want to post page 3 here without any reference at all.

Convenient links within this post as well:
The Jin Saga CV2

Patreon September 2018 Newsletter


Tekken 7 Anna costume commentary:

Flash Fiction: We Wanted to be Robots

Webcomic (digital art and writing)

EXCLUSIVE: Page 2 Final Draft and Progression Log (Patron Only)

Chapter 1: Your Father (Page 2)

Animated GIFs

Iori playing guitar in the last episode of KOF Destiny. I am eager for the next season to hopefully see a lot more of my favorite KOF character!

Tumblr post:

I made a batch of GIFs from a Kingdom Hearts 2: Final Mix cut scene shortly before the 1000 Heartless Challenge since the scene featured a lot of Final Fantasy characters.

Tumblr post:

Twitter thread (includes bonuses):


Tekken 7 at Evo 2018

In this Moment, over the course of Evo, I went over who played against who and won during the stream, when my time allowed, some commentary in between, and bracket updates for the Finals.

My favorite player, being that he is the best Devil Jin player in the world, placed 2nd, so congrats to Qudans.


I have returned to gaming! You might be wondering what I mean since I clearly have been playing Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix with my strategy guide videos and GIFs this month so what I really mean by that is I’ve been playing LittleBIGPlanet and foregoing certain other things at more times of the week than a Saturday or Sunday morning as I have with KH2FM. This could mean less from my creative endeavors, then again, maybe not because I see I still made time do some stuff over the month.

In between all that, my kid started kindergarten, which puts me in a position of maybe more time, maybe not. It’s hard to explain.

I’ve put off a certain thing in the works and realized said thing could take months or years if it ever comes to fruition at all. In any case, I set up a schedule for myself on my webcomic to try and release a final draft on the 7th of every month and am on schedule for that so expect page 3 within the week. So, for September, the main plan is that webcomic page. We’ll see how much more LBP playtime disrupts the other stuff.

How to Use Row_Number in SQL Server

This function is extremely useful. As of late, I use it mainly to help me manage a loop within a loop, which we will save for another time because I need to release said recent work to other users who are not me. However, I want to document this information somewhere for quick and easy reference of my own.

Here is a scenario. I want to create a temporary table of records, and I need to iterate through each row, and I need to a do it in a specific order. I need the row number to act like a record number for just this temporary table, like so:

Declare @tblExample table (idRecord int, idLocation int, dtDate datetime)

Insert into @tblExample

Select Row_Number() Over (order by dtDate) as idRecord, idLocation, dtDate
From tblTask a
	join tblLocation b
		on a.idLocation = b.idLocation
Where 1 = 1
and dtDate >= getdate()

Sometimes I end up removing items from a temporary table and need to reset the idRecord column so that it updates to new row numbers. I can do that with the following code:

Here is how to do that:

Update a
Set idRecord = a.idRecordNew
		Select Row_Number() Over (Order by idRecord, idLocation, dtDate) as idRecordNew
		From @tblExample
	) a

That is all for this post.

Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix Hyenas Strategy Guide


Hi everyone. In this video, we’re going to cover the battle with the hyenas at the Pride Lands. We’re going to watch a cut scene before-hand and then the one after is pretty short, but we’ll do that, both ends leading into the hyenas and what happens directly afterwards.

[Cut scene start]

Simba: Oh!

Timon: Wait a minute. We’re going to fight your uncle for THIS?

Simba: Yes, Timon. This is my home.

*Scene shifts to sleeping lionesses at Pride Rock*

*Scar looks up to see Simba*

Scar: Simba! You’re…alive!

Simba: This kingdom doesn’t belong to you.

Naala: Simba’s the rightful king.

Simba: The choice is yours, Scar. Either step down or fight.

Scar: Must this all end in violence? I’d hate to be responsible for the death of a family member, Simba…

Simba: I’ve put the past behind me.

Scar: But what about your faithful subjects? Have they?

Naala: Simba, what’s he talking about?

Scar: Go on. Tell them who’s responsible for Mufasa’s death!

Simba: I am.

Scar: He admits it! Murderer! If it weren’t for you, Mufasa would still be alive. Do you deny it?

Simba: No! But it was an accident!

Scar: You’re in trouble again. But this time, Daddy isn’t here to save you. And now everyone knows why! Now this looks familiar. I think I’ve seen this before. Oh yes! I remember. This is just the way your father looked….before he died. And here’s my little secret…I killed Mufasa.

Simba: Murderer! Tell them the truth!

Scar: All right. All right! I did it.

Simba: Louder!
Scar: I…killed…Mufasa!

*Hyenas run into scene and push SImba off Scar*

Sora: Simba! You get Scar: We’ll handle these guys!

Timon: ‘Scuse me! Pardon me! Comin’ through!

*Hyenas, Timon, Pumba, Sora, Donald, and Goofy run into cave*

[Cut scene end]

A lot of that scene was based on the movie, in case you haven’t seen it. So, I’m going to make a quick cut because I take the time to go and save but before I do that, I’m going to let you know I think I’m at level 28 and the recommended level here is 26, so I am slightly over-leveled for this battle, in case it looks easier than whatever you may be dealing with if that’s why you’re here, watching the video.

Fight the hyenas while protecting Pumbaa and Timon!

Alright, so we have three hyenas that we are dealing with, and Timon and Pumbaa are moving around quite a bit, but sometimes you get a reaction command to call them over, in case you want them nearby while you’re trying to protect them. During most of this battle, I focused on being aggressive and attacking the hyenas. You want to take them out as soon as possible. And if I saw the opportunity to call Timon and Pumbaa over, I would, not to really attack the hyenas so much as just to have them nearby since the goal is to protect them. And we do pretty well here. So, it’s just whatever is hyena nearby, preferably the one with the lower health bar. Okay, I see we have one out, and even though it looks like we’re just fighting one, the other one must be attacking Timon and Pumbaa or something’ cause there, there, now we have both of them. So, but this one is almost out.

Alright, good. Now we have two down, last hyena to go. And we’re pretty close. And, there we have it, very straight-forward.

[Cut scene start]

*Hyenas run away*

Sora: Where’s Simba?

Naala: He went up there.

[Cut scene end]

I am going to make mention of the fact that the narrative in both the movie, The Lion King, and the Kingdom Hearts play-through for Pride Lands, that Naala is established as a strong lioness, and yet she is sidelined to basically just watch all of the guy characters do things, and she does not get to do much, except be there, and I really wish that she were given a more active role all-around.

So, that said, that’s pretty much the battle with the hyenas, and we will cover the battle with Scar in a separate video. Thanks for your time.

Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix Oogie Boogie Strategy Guide

Hi everyone, welcome to my guide on the Oogie Boogie battle in Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix. We’re going to watch the scene before, and I’m going to show the battle, and then we’ll see the short cut scene afterwards. Let’s get started.

[Cut scene start]

Oogie Boogie: *laughing, approaches and surprises Sally*

Sally: Oh!

Oogie Boogie: *seems to shove her out of the way* Jack Skellington!

Jack: Oogie!

Oogie: *laughs* You and I have a score to settle, Jack! Same goes for your little sidekicks.

Jack: What are you planning to do with Sandy Claws?

Oogie: Who? Sandy Claws? I don’t know what you’re talking about! And why is this roly-poly red guy here? Time to go, grandpa! *forces Santa Claus to stand while still tied up and starts laughing*

Sally: *throws her detached leg to distract Oogie*

Oogie: Eh?

Santa Claus: *escapes and goes to Sally’s direction while still tied up*

Sally: Mr. Santa Claus!

Oogie: *growls*

*Sora, Jack, Donald and Goofy stand in front of him*

Oogie: Why, you… *walks way and into glass box, laughs*

Donald: Stop! *walks into panel on center walkway, ends up on the left walkway* Huh? *goes back and arrives on center walkway* Not again?

[Cut scene ends]

Okay, so that little part there explains the conveyor belt system to us, we won’t need it just yet. We need to hit these presents over up to Oogie Boogie and try not get hit by the hand. I actually get hit by it quite a bit even though I’m trying not to. Anyway, keep hitting the presents over to Oogie, and if you’re not angled right, you could miss so be careful about that. Just continue onward, try not to get so far back that the spikes hit you. I didn’t have that problem that often. So, more presents to hit up towards him in the glass. Keep going. We’ll get there. Almost there, for at least dropping him down the first time-there we go.

So, have at it. Keep going, but you’re not going to do it in one go. At least I didn’t. And went ahead and took the opportunity to heal. And I think I am going to have to start switching soon. Now the belts are flashing with the blues and the pinks. He’s still in the center, so I’m going to stay on the center belt for now and trying to get to those presents. And I’m trying my best to ignore the enemies and hope that Donald and Goofy can handle them, so that I can focus on hitting those presents up towards him.

Now I see that he has moved to the left so now it’s time to try and get an opportunity to move. There we go. Alright, and back to hitting the presents up towards the glass control box. We are almost there. And it’s about here that it occurs to me that my drive is maxed out, so I could be in Valor Form. And so that’s what I’m getting ready to do very shortly. There we go. And then after I’m in Valor Form, I’m like, “Well, maybe I should not be in Valor Form because what if I need to heal and use magic?” But whatever, I was just going to hit him as much as I could first, and then I reverted since Valor Form isn’t going to do me a whole lotta good until he comes down again. And the drive would be used up by then.

So, off I go, move to the center and running around. Now there are lasers. I just run around the lasers. Oh, got hit. And more hitting presents back to Oogie, trying not to get hit by the spikes, trying to jump over the hand. I actually jumped over it that time and did not get hit by it. In fact, that might have been the first and only time that happened. So, more lasers, still trying to avoid them, actually hit presents up near them at that point. Oh, time to move left again, so off I go, got hit by the hand. Move Left.

Alright, still avoiding the lasers, still hitting presents up, getting hit by lasers. Present. There’s the hand again. Got hit by it again. And, hit those presents up. And oh, he moved again. I healed my team real quick before I head on over and now I have to try and move right while avoiding the hand and the enemies. And here we go. Alright, right conveyor belt, avoid the lasers, hit the presents, avoid lasers, hit presents, hit presents. Try not to be squashed by the hand. Oh okay, so that’s twice that I managed to not get hit by the hand.

Alright. Come on team! We’ve almost got him, I’m really, at this point, I’m really, really hoping that this is it because I don’t want to have to do this another time. And we did it! Alright, way to go team! Yay! So let’s see the scene afterwards.

[Cut scene starts]

*Oogie Boogie has bugs coming out one of his seams, he stops it, they start coming out on the other side*

*Donald squashes bug with his foot*

*Sora breathes sigh of relief*

[Cut scene ends]

Oh, yuck. Alright, well, that’s a wrap, so thank you for your time.