Nerdvana: Year of the Pig



You know what I like about the Chinese Zodiac? How it uses animals to represent each year.


Tiger, Goat (or Ram or Sheep), Snake, Monkey, Dog, Pig, Rat, Horse, Rabbit, Rooster, Ox and Dragon. And a partridge in a pear tree.


“Oh, wow. It’s another animal thing. Imagine my joy!”

Why? According to one legend, the Lord Buddha summoned all the animals to come to him before he departed from Earth. Only 12 animals came to bid him farewell. As a reward he named a year after each other one in the order that they arrived. First came the Rat, then the Ox, the Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Thus we have 12 signs today.

The More You Know

And this year is….The Year of the Pig!



“Now that is Some Pig!”


“Oh, yeah! That’s right! It’s my year! Shower me with praise and riches, and give me all of your Nudie Magazines!”


Pig Talisman

Fun Fact: In the cartoon series Jackie Chan Adventures, the Pig talisman possessed one of the cooler powers: heat beam eye blasts.

Those born in the year of the Pig possess all the most desirable traits of human nature — they are loving, trustworthy, loyal, gentle and faithful.


“Aw, g-g-g-gosh, fellas!”

Pigs are modest and unassuming, and so their excellent qualities may not be readily apparent on first acquaintance.


“You sayin’ I’m fat??”

They prefer a quiet life of comfort and financial security and while shy, they can be quite lively with close friends.



In romantic relationships they are very vulnerable and they become quite involved emotionally.


“Be gentle, I’m fragile!”

Their compatible signs are the Rabbit, the Ram (or Sheep) and of course, the Pig.


“Make it with a sheep? Ah, no. Buddy, I’m a perv, but even I’ve got standards!”

Year of the Pig

So here’s wishing everyone born in the Year of the Pig a happy and prosperous Lunar New Year. Celebrate by taking a pig out to lunch.


Just don’t order anything with bacon in it.


“Dude! Not cool!”

Nerdvana: Just Ducky!

We’re living in an interesting time right now. While some things are just plain awful, there are some things that are definitely cool. For one thing, last year Disney launched it’s reboot of DuckTales.


This reboot is an improvement over the original in several ways, not the least of which is that the reboot includes the return of this guy: Donald Duck.

Donald Duck

Not only is Donald part of the main cast (as he should have been from the get-go – Carl Barks’ original comics series has always focused on Scrooge, the nephews and Donald), but he’s back as his old slapstick-y self, engaging in the wacky cartoon hijinks that made him famous. Viz…

Donald Duck GIF

Yeah, now that’s the stuff, man!

Having Donald around as a main character fits in to the new DuckTales perfectly. I even have an easier time accepting supporting characters such as Launchpad McQuack and Fenton Crackshell (Gizmoduck) this time around, because here they’re not serving as stand-ins for Donald.

Then on the Warner Brothers side, we have New Looney Tunes (formerly known as Wabbit! here in the U.S.) with it’s new old take on Daffy.

Daffy Duck

Here. in the States, we have to watch the series on Boomerang’s online streaming service because Turner doesn’t air the show on Boomerang U.S. for some unfathomable reason. Anyway, in New Looney Tunes, Daffy is back to being certifiably insane rather than Bugs’ greedy, jealous rival. Take a look:

I don’t need to elaborate on this much, since Damon has already covered New Looney Tunes and it’s take on Daffy both here and here. So basically, I’m going to echo what he said (and not for the first time): While I like the selfish, greedy, egotistical version of Daffy OK for the most part, the above has always been the version of the little black duck that I’ve always preferred, and this version was long overdue for a return. I sincerely hope that crazy Daffy sticks around for a while for future Looney Tunes projects, as this version of Daffy has been sorely missed.

Yes, it’s definitely a good time to be a fan of cartoon ducks. Hit it!

Nerdvana: The Tech Factor

Back in August 2016, Nerdvana looked at Marvel’s Super Hero Squad Show.


Specifically, we celebrated the Animal Factor, one of the specific factors that each SHS member (aka the “Squaddies”) employed to make an ideal team. Today’s Nerdvana looks at another one of said factors, The Technology Factor, aka The Tech Factor.

For the uninformed, Tech Factor characters are in possession of amazing, futuristic high-tech, able to create everything from the latest advanced weaponry to the Egg Scrambler of Tomorrow and employing the most far-out gear, gadgets, gizmos and gigabytes into their daily lives.

Hmm, four Gs. That sounds familiar somehow.



Inspector Gadget

Where does he get those wonderful toys??

Chief Quimby

“One thing’s for sure: the package didn’t include a brain!”

So without further ado, here are some of my favorite Tech Factor characters.




Everybody’s favorite half-organic, half-cybernetic Teen Titan turned founding Justice League member. Though he actually made his TV debut on ABC’s Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, his most famous incarnation was in Glen Murakami’s Teen Titans: The Animated Series.


“BOOYAH! Registered Trademark, All Rights Reserved.”

He was cool there, but he was basically just the strong man on that show, with some tech-savvy on the side. Later on, he was retconned to his current version, where he is capable of flight and the ability to literally plug into electronic devices and interface with machines and computers. Cyborg’s adaptability enables him a vast array of robo-powers.

Cyborg Interface




“Everybody loves Big T!”

Yes, I know that there were actually 2 Mr. Terrifics in the DC Universe, but I’ll only be covering the 2nd Mr. Terrific, Michael Holt, as he’s the Mr. Terrific of “my” generation and the only one I really know about besides the name. Mr. Terrific’s super power by his own admission is learning. He’s one of THE smartest people in the DCU, as a kid he was mastering quantum physics while the other kids were struggling with Sesame Street. He’s also the inventor of the T-Spheres…


“We pity da fool!”

…Which can do a plethora of things:

-self-propelled flight
-form a laser grid between the spheres
-create holograms
-link to computers/data
-be used as a weapon by flying into things

Forget Siri, I gotta get me some of these!


Iron Man

“Yeah, I’m Awesome Sauce. That’s pretty much me.”

Perhaps the most famous Tech Factor hero of all, Mr. Stark has a suit or armor and a high-tech device for seemingly any occasion. Uni-Beam, Repulsor Blasts, Smart Bombs, Rocket Boots, a computerized A.I., you name it.


Having more money than the Mint doesn’t hurt, either.



“My hoverboard actually hovers! Suck it, toy companies!”

Static Shock’s sidekick, er, um, partner, received latent exposure to the Big Bang gas, accelerating his intellect tenfold. At least he didn’t just get a rash or something.

Gear with Backpack

In addition to possessing rocket shoes and the ability to project holograms, Gear is the inventor of Backpack, a high-tech assistant that Richie wears on his back (duh!) which constantly feeds him data that only a super-genius brain can keep up with. It also makes Julian Fries.



Say, did you know that Gizmoduck was originally going to be called Roboduck, hence why his original monogram resembles an ‘R’? Well, now you do.

A numerical savant accountant inside a suit of robo-armor invented by nutty chicken inventor Gyro Gearloose. In addition to possessing cool techno-powers and getting to zoom around on a single radial tire, I like how in the Disney Duck-Verse Gizmoduck has Superman status, being one of Duckburg and St. Canard’s most beloved heroes.

Gizmoduck 2017

Also, in the new DuckTales series, the duck inside the armor will be voiced by Lin Manuel Miranda, and at the actor’s request, will also be Latino.


“Diversity? I dig it!”



Digital Power! Yes, Word!

I gushed over Tecna before, and I’m doing it again here. She’s a fairy whose magical powers is technology, my kind of fairy. She’s a genius (obviously), she’s decked out in purple, one of my favorite colors…


…And she hails from a technologically advanced planet called Zenith. (It was called Techno Fairyland in the 4Kids dub, ’cause they didn’t want to get sued. Too late!)


Plus, one of her signature moves is the Digital Traingle. What’s so great about triangles? Just ask Pythagoras.



“I’m blinding you…with SCIENCE!

Is Dexter a superhero? No, but he is a Boy Genius, having registered the term.

Dexter Boy Genius

I wasn’t kidding.

Dexter at Work

This kid has his own insanely vast science laboratory hidden within the bowels of his ordinary suburban home, where he’s constantly tinkering away, creating all manner of Mad Science.

Dexter Super_Robot

He also possesses his own super robo-suit. ‘Nuff said.

Finally, we’ll wrap this up by providing something for the benefit of those who may opt to create their own robots: A brief run-through of Asimov’s 3 Laws of Robotics.

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its’ own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

“There’s a Fourth Law: A robot must kick ass and take names daily!”

Nerdvana: Milkshake it Up!

Yeah, I know; we’re about two-thirds of the way through the month and this is only the first blog post of September. We’re lagging behind, I realize, but it couldn’t be helped: we have other non-Twinsanity related creative projects that have been taking up our time, plus things are pretty crazy in real life right now; we keep getting distracted by stupid stuff. Bear in mind also that this is just a 2-man operation; we don’t have a staff we can assign things to, it’s just us doing everything, so we can only get these things out when we’re able to.

There are more major posts on the way: some more Cartoon Countries, a couple of Toon Adjacents, we’re going to finish up the current installments of Pop Dream and What The Funny and start the next entries of each, plus a Videots which I first teased back in March (!). If all goes according to plan, this upcoming crop of blog posts will be the last written blog entries before we make the transition to video production, which will hopefully begin in 2018, if there are no further distractions or delays. Thanks for sticking with us, and in the meantime, enjoy this bit o’ nonsense.

Today Nerdvana looks at one of my favorite subjects…milkshakes.



Specifically, we’ll be throwing the spotlight on some of the craziest milkshakes in the U.S., according to These insane concoctions are all on my bucket list; I plan to try each of these before I die (and with all that dairy and sugar, I’ll at least be guaranteed to go with a smile on my face):

PEANUT BUTTER CUP SHAKE, Volcano Shakes, Honolulu, Hawaii


This bad boy is is made with chocolate-peanut butter ice cream, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Reese’s Pieces. Hey, you’ve got chocolate in my peanut butter, peanut butter in my chocolate, both in my shake, and some on my shirt.

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE FRAPPE, Boston Burger Company, Somerville, Massechusets


This one’s got vanilla ice cream, shortcake, strawberry jam and, wait for it…Twizzlers!


“I’m having a delicigasm!”

THE FAT BOY BAM-BOOZLED SHAKE, Holsteins Shakes and Buns, Bam-Boozled Shakes, Las Vegas, Nevada


In addition to having one of THE most memorable names imaginable, this shake is made with UV Candy Bar vodka, Reese’s, pretzels, sprinkles, Cap’n Crunch, Oreos, and Butterfingers.

Heffer Wolfe

“I’ll take sixteen!”

SWEET N’ SALTY MILKSHAKE, Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer, New York, New York


Chocolate. M&Ms. Mini Reese’s Cup. Pretzels. This thing is a Beast. Mutant and Proud.

BIRTHDAY CAKE SHAKE, Burgatory, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Party like it’s muh birthday!

Sidebar: I love the name Burgatory. This one’s made with house-turned vanilla bean ice cream, yellow cake, and tons of rainbow sprinkles. You can never have too many sprinkles.

Princess Lolly


NUTELLA AND CHOCOLATE PRETZEL SHAKE, Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Addison, Texas


A combination of vanilla ice cream, chocolate-covered pretzels, and a Nutella swirl. I’ve had Nutella, I like Nutella (though I think Hershey’s and Reese’s chocolate spreads are a little better, just sayin’), but I’ve never had Nutella in a shake, so now I have a mission to accomplish: get thing down my gullet!

-So there you have it. Some of the liquid treats I’ve been grooving on lately.

With-It Watermelon

“Groovy, babuh!”


Nerdvana: The Future Still Rocks!

Last time on Nerdvana…


One fateful day in the 21st century, a band of wise and powerful but kinda aggressive and brutally frank alien emissaries arrived on Earth, planning to open a chain of spaceship fueling stations on our planet; if we put a stop to the constant wars, in-fighting, prejudice and environmental abuse, they promised to introduce Earth to the wonders of the universe. If we didn’t, they promised to fry us all like chicken. We wisely chose the first option.


Fast Forward 1000 years…

Happy Earth 2

By the 31st century, the planet Earth is a happy, peaceful Utopia. World Peace has been achieved, all of the world’s nations have merged into one, the planet has been opened up to the rest of the galaxy to the point where there are now numerous alien species, cultures and races living on Earth alongside humans, crime, poverty and pollution have been practically eliminated, humans diseases, handicaps and illnesses have been wiped out, race and gender discrimination are things of the past thanks to centuries of interracial cross-breeding and gene-splicing (nobody really knows what anybody is anymore, since everybody’s a mix of several things), thanks to modern medicine, people live longer; 75 is the new 35 and no one physically ages beyond 25, so everyone looks young and hot, the world economy has boomed to the point where people’s financial situations range from rich to mega-rich to stupid rich, ice cream has been replaced by a newer, better substance called Twice Cream, which comes in 731 flavors (and counting) and candy is good for your teeth.

Since all of Earth’s countries have merged, a new flag had to be created:


…And since Earth is now the galaxy’s melting pot, accommodating a slew of extraterrestrials as well as humans, the Olympics have become intergalactic, creating the need for its’ logo to also be restructured.

Future Olympic Rings


Nowhere is this NWWO (New Wonderful World Order) more evident than in Cyber City, a bright, shiny, colorful, bustling but blissful cosmopolis which is sort of like a world in microcosm. Cyber City is the melting pot of Earth, which itself is the melting pot of the galaxy, full of over 100 races, cultures and species, each pooling their knowledge, powers, skills, talents and resources in order to live the 31st century’s equivalent of the Good Life. Cyber City is so large in fact that it takes up an entire 1/6 of Earth’s surface.

Language is no longer a barrier thanks to Translator Microchips, which everyone in the galaxy has implanted in their ears shortly after birth.


Thanks to these puppies, whenever anyone speaks to you, you will hear your own native language, and when you talk to anyone else, they will hear their native tongue.


“So now foreign languages teachers are obsolete. Thanks, the future!”


Earth’s primary  population consists of Humans (or Native Earthicans), Space-Born Aliens (or New Earthicans), Wildlife (both Earth-born and alien) and Artificial Intelligence. Due to the diverse mix of beings who now live on Earth, the planet’s climate is now artificially and mystically controlled, with the temperature being kept at a balmy 73 degrees Fahrenheit. Cyber City is set for a variety of breathable atmospheres in order to be permeable to the mix of sentient beings living on Earth.


Cloud City

Future Cityscape

Cyber City’s Northern region consists of a posh community in the clouds.

Orbit City

Dee-luxe apartments in the sky-eye-eye…

Not only is this cloud-covered, sky high, high end, high maintenance area home to aerial based species, such as the Altheans, an all-female race of winged mystics (basically space fairies)…

Winx Fairies

johnny bravo

“Whoa, Mama! Sign me up for flyin’ lessons!”

…But it’s also home to Cyber City’s Alphas: the top tier genetically enhanced metahumans, the elite Visitors from Space, the world leaders, the most decorated military commanders, the powerful wizards and mages, the richest celebrities, the great artists, all the achievers and A-Listers.


“Yeah, we’re basically above it all.”



Future Port 2

The South Side of Cyber City is set up like a water park, more or less. (Well, more actually.) The entire area is surrounded by ocean and the land structures are built around it. It’s a lush and tropical landscape…


…And it also boasts an underwater living complex in order to accommodate the galaxy’s various water and liquid based beings and creatures. If you don’t swim, sail, surf or splash, then you’ve got no business in South Cyber City.


“Surf’s up, dude!”


“I was born a kelp farmer’s daughter…”

johnny bravo

“Whoa, baby! Lemme grab muh Speedoes!”



Cyber City’s Eastern region is the technological hub, boasting the greatest and most impressive devices (and for the future, that’s really saying something). It houses the main headquarters of Megacorp, THE  largest Techno-Cosmic Research and Innovation corporation/mega-conglomerate on the planet.

Megacorp was founded by tech trillionaire Mo Green…

J Moneymaker

“Cha-ching, baby!”

…in concert with his business partner, mad scientist Professor Lester Crazaloon.


“Actually, I just get slightly annoyed from time to time.”


This combination of corporate sharkery and Mad Science has made Megacorp gazillions of dollars. Megacorp’s money helped to fund Cyber City, its’ technology helped build it, and 2/3 of its’ citizenry work for Megacorp in some capacity or regularly use its’ many products and services daily, whether they know it or not.


“Spooky, huh?”

The galaxy’s top races of scientists, technicians, inventors, engineers, geniuses and techno-geeks flock to East Cyber City to handle Earth’s cybernetics, information technology, financial services and banking. It’s like Silicon Valley meets Wall Street…



Robot Love

Folks in Cyber City do love their robots…some in more ways than one.

Megacorp is responsible for the handheld devices that replaced smartphones, the 3 W’s: Wizrds, Wi-Tris and Wands.


Wizrds are nearly indestructible and its signal cannot be blocked by any metal or alloy. However, it does not work around pudding. Among its’ capabilities are:

  • Two Way Communication
  • Short Range Teleportation
  • Hyperspeed
  • Moleular Recomposition
  • Shrink Ray
  • Temporary stasis
  • Statufication (transforming something into a statue)
  • Hologram projection
  • X-ray vision
  • Liquification
  • Calculation
  • Research
  • Laser Beam
  • Tractor Beam
  • Cloning Objects
  • Voice Conversion
  • Wiz Track(tracking other wizard signals)

-Oh yeah, and you can also make calls with them.

Wi-Tri 3

Wi-Tris do all the same thing Wizrds do, but they’re entirely hard-light, no solid parts. Also, Wi-Tris are more expensive.


Wands are for mages, ‘Nuff said.




West Siii-eeed!

dr slump-1

Cyber City’s Western region is the most populated, as well as the most culturally diverse. It is where Cyber County (aka the Cyber Suburbs) are located…

Flying Car

White picket fences around every home and a flying car in every garage.

…And is home to a wide range of humans, humanoids and compatible races/species.

Dora and Friends 1

As mentioned previously, the dominant human race on the planet are the Polypalasians, a mixture of all of Earth’s races. This, combined with generations of inter-breeding and gene-splicing, have rendered all humans a mixture of something or other.


“So basically ya put hate comics outta work. Tanks, da future!”

West Cyber City also has the greatest concentration of Mutanimals.

Jet the Hawk

“I know I can fly, but hoverboards are cool!”

Beastly Kingdom

Native to Earth, the Mutanimals were created when a radioactive meteorite crashed into a national zoo, mutating its’ occupants and making the creatures there sapient and near-humanoid, living in a tribal society. Today, the Mutanimals make up about 12% of Earth’s sapient population.


“I’m an avid reader of Hemingway and Asimov, and yes, I do have a tire swing in my rec room. Wanna make something of it?”

And thanks to scientists noodling with nature and DNA, there are also dragons…


…And dinosaurs in Zooropa as well. Isn’t Mad Science great?


Olivia 4

Despite their relatively accelerated intellects, Mutanimals are still somewhat primitive, and several of them will gladly leave Zooropa in order to become pets (or ‘companions’, as some prefer) for human and humanoid Earthicans.


“Hey, you! LOVE ME!!”

Veenie and Marion

1st, 2nd and 3rd generation aliens (or “Space People”, as they prefer to be called) are also a common sight in Cyber City. Among the most frequently encountered Space People are Martians and Omatranians.


Martians are easily identified by their green skin and antennae. Mars is located very close to Earth, so it’s easy for Martians to get here. Mars is to Earth what Canada was to America in ancient times.


Omatranians hail from the advanced planet of Omatran, whose inhabitants possess twice the brain capacity of humans (quite literally, an Omatranian brain has 8 lobes as opposed to the 4 lobes possessed by a human’s brain). Since Omatranians are innately proficient in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, they are in great demand to fill tech positions on Earth. You’d be hard pressed to find an Earth tech company which doesn’t have at least 2 Omatranians on it’s payroll.

Omatranians come in 2 colors: blue…


…And there’s also a purple breed. What’s the difference between a blue Omantranian and a purple one?



Black Building

Due to the influx of aliens emigrating to Earth, Area 51 was converted to the Extraterrestrial Immigration Center. There Space People are registered to become legal Earthican citizens, providing they sign the necessary paperwork pledging to never try to conquer the planet or attempt to enslave its’ populace.


“My Khoros born wife was sworn in as an Earthican citizen today, so we had to go to the E.T.I.C. How long were we there, hon?”


“Three, maybe four minutes. Man, those lines are long!”

All of this is overseen by the President of Earth, former actress, comedienne, talk show host and superhero, Ebony Sable, seen here with Vice President Snowball.


She won by a landslide, securing the women vote, the African-Earthican vote, the metahuman vote and the hyper-intelligent gorilla vote!