Tuesday, August 31, 2004

A Book about Michaels

It's really what this should have been called. We've got Mike Mauser teaming up with Ms. (Michael) Tree, and a two pages spread every issue from Mike Grell paying tribute to Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer.

In stead the went with the much cooler:

The P.I.'s: Michael Mauser and Ms. Tree #1-3 $1.25 (Cover on each)

Creative Team: Max Collins, Joe Stanton, with inks by Terry Beatty, colors by Wendy Fiore, and letters by Ken Bruzenak

What's it about? After pissing a fewpeople off, Ms. Tree moves her agency to a temporary home, unfortunately it's directly below the office of one Michael Mauser. The two are visited by a fueding husband and wife team (Ms. Tree by the husband, Mauser by the wife.) who both believe the other is cheating. After relaying their tales to the detectives, both agree to take the job, neither knowing it would lead them to cross paths.

You see, Woody and Simone (the husband and wife) met ten years ago, oddly enough at a comic book shop, and immediately fell in love. They did what every comic book geek does and started a fanzine (or, today, a blog!) and eventually pledge their love for eachother. Once married they have trouble concieving and begin bickering about whether adoption is a better choice. Naturally they both grow distant, which leads them here, hiring detectives to follow the other around because of the belief that they're cheating. Whew, that was rather long winded, and it's not even the first issue.

Both Woody and Simone come up with a plan to retain an old piece of comic artwork in an attempt to win back eachother, but all hell breaks loose and the two are found literally holding the gun. It seems their local retailer, Kosmo Kasmic, has been dealing in forged artwork, and now the Kirby's are suspect number one.

The race is on for the dynamic team of Mauser and Tree to prove their clients innocence and catch the real culprit. The story leads them to the underbelly of the comic collecting community, Conventions! The end has a bit of a twist, that I won't spoil, but I do wanna add that each issues Mickey Spillane tribute is great, giving background on the character he created, Mike Hammer.

Why you should read it: Because entertaining detective comics are hard to come by. Because Mike Grell's tribute pages are fantastic. Because the dialogue and character interaction are witty, and very realistic. Because the art is pretty durned good. Because when Simone asks Woody does he love her, his response is: "More than a complete run of Tales From the Crypt."

There are plenty of reasons to like this book, and I think it's something that everyone can read and enjoy. It was published by First Comics, which has since ceased to be. Which is ashame, they had quite a diverse little library, and I've enjoyed every First book I've ever picked up. There's alot of great stuff in here, especially for "fans" of crime noir. It's not dark and moody, instead taking on a lighter tone, and taking loving jabs at the genre. It's not Elmore Leonard, but it's not trying to be.

Next time your quarter bin diving, look for this series, or any of the old First books, they're well worth the money, and are entertaining as hell.

Listy List List

Not much headed to the stores today, but here's some of the better DVD's you can pick up:

Invader Zim Volume 2: Progressive Stupidity

This one's actually been available at Best Buy for rwo weeks now. Still, it's quite an enjoyable cartoon, one for the whole family.

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (Special Edition)

To complete your Lion King Collection!

The Passion of The Christ

I didn't go see this because I knew how it ended. I might take a look at it on DVD, but I doubt I'll buy it. There's also a slew of other "Jesus" DVD's meant to capitalize on this release. Nothing shows faith better than money grubbing.

Rocky & Bullwinkle Volumes 1 & 2

I'm pretty sure you can buy Vol. 2 seperately as well, but I didn't find a listing for it.

South Park: The Passion of the Jew

Now, this is a good little DVD. I've seen the episodes within, and laughed my ass off. It seems to be a waste of money though, considering most fans will just buy the Season sets. Or, maybe Parker and Stone are just proving they can grub money just as well as Christians.

Star Trek The Original Series: Season One

The must really think consumers are idiots. "The Original Series?" No shit, man! Is that why I see William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy? Man, I thought this was "Star Trek: The Priceline Commercials."

Touched By An Angel: The Complete First Season

It was in a good way, I swear.

Toxic Crusaders: The Movie

A collection of the cartoon series, includes only a few episodes though.

Trekkies 2

Well, I guess maybe Star Trek fans are idiots, thus the labeling of their Holy Grail. This will just make you feel sorry for them.


Typical Ashley Judd film. Sam Jackson co-stars.

That about does it. I'll be back with a review or two. This time I promise.


Monday, August 30, 2004

Happy anniversary!

CBG is having a celebration, so do yourself a favor and stop by there. They've got a crap-load of merchandise to sell, which irritates me, since I have no money right now!!!! Still they've got tons of sets going for el cheapo prices, and some of them are ever worth it. (Insert smiley face here...stupid HTML).

ADD has a review of Morrison and Quitley's new mini, We3. Needless to say he hated it. No...wait, that's right, HE FRIGGIN' LOVED IT. And rightfully so, it's probably one of the eeriest books I'm likely to ever read.

Also, and this will probably be printed at CBG as well, here's a little something I had to say about the best damn website on the planet:

CBG and Me

I literally came upon Comic Book Galaxy by sheer accident, and it wasn't even the website, it was the old Delphi Forum. Here was agroup of people who not only read my fanboy books, but were also hip to some of the smartest books on the planet. They spouted out names like Kolchalka, Los Bros. Hernandez, Chris Ware, along with names I recognized, Alan Moore, Brian Bendis, Garth Ennis, and even the likes of Chris Claremont, Frank Miller, and many other old favorites.

While I often disagreed (at the time) with some of their views, I finally felt like I'd found a home on the web. Here were people that were interested in meaningful conversations about comics, and they read books that could literally change your life, and in the very next post they'd talk about the X-men, or Spider-Man.

For someone who's always felt out of place in the fanboy world, this was a dream come true. Still, this was before I'd become hooked on ADD's blog, and hung on the words of D. Emerson Eddy (who we definitely don't hear much from these days, which is extremely sad).

Once I found the reviews, blogs, recommendations, I was hooked for life. In the few years I've "known" Alan he's influenced my buying habits more than any other single force. Thanks to him I truly discovered how vast and far comics can reach.

Not to say my mind wasn't always curious, but like most things (be they good are bad), all one needs is a push, and Mr. Doane provided that push. It was like rediscovering comics all over again, like finding there was a whole new, unexplored world out there. Well, it's been a few years since then, and my tastes have changed, which I'll forever fault Alan for, and here we are, celebrating CBG's anniversary.

It's a testament to how wonderful everyone who's been involved with Comic Book Galaxy is, that it has made it through the toughest of times, and even been resurrected from the dead, which fits right into the Comic Book World. In comics dead is never dead, even if you see the headless body.

I'd like to thank everyone at the Galaxy, both past and present contributors, for the tremendous influence it's had on my life. Hopefully we'll see it last through another five years, and if not, I'm sure we're likely to see all the names associated with it in some from or fashion.

You just cannot keep the passion these people have for comics caged for very long.

Thanks guys, best wishes,

-Logan Polk

Be back in a few with some word on a very old miniseries.


Sunday, August 29, 2004

Alien 3

This is by far the most underrated of the Alien franchise, hell it might be one of the most underrated films of all time. For the doubter, I direct you to the recent Special Edition, which includes two versions of the movie. First is the standard release, which most people loathed, and for good enough reasons, but the recut version makes a decent film into a masterpiece.

First let's talk about the one thing everyone seems to hate, the death of Hicks and Newt. I'll assume I'm not going to spoil it for anyone. I know, especially at the time, it was seen as a sever slap in the face to James Cameron, which I just don't get. Cameron made his film as different as possible from Alien so that it would have its own identity, and no one faults him for that. Hell, it might be the best sequel ever put to film. Yet, Fincher gets blamed for everything that people dislike about Alien 3? First of all, he directed it, he didn't wrote the screenplay. The original draft (which was much cooler, maybe I'll get to that later) was written by Vincent Ward, and then further altered by David Giler and Walter Hill.

Fincher was a pretty big music video and commercial director by then, and he came onto the picture pretty late in the process. I think he was third choice, possibly even fourth, to direct, which doesn't bode well. When two or three people have walked away from the project before you, you know it's going to be troublesome.

(Side note: All the Alien movies, including the recent AvP have come into trouble once principle photography wrapped. Both Fincher and AvP director Paul W S Anderson walked before editing was done, Cameron had numerous troubles with his first DP, and the studio, and Alien almost never got off the ground to begin with, on top of the studio constantly tying things up for Scott.)

Still, the idea was to make the movie its own, not to make it a rehash of James Cameron's film. Good or bad, that's something alot of sequels don't attempt. Of course, Alien 3's lack of success could have alot to do with that fact.

Next, most people have a problem with the mood and character of the picture, claiming it was much darker in tone. Now this, I just don't get. I do get that every character outside of Ripley is infinitely flawed, but for me that's part of the picture's beauty. Now, as for the lack of character development, again, it all fell by the wayside during editing, after Fincher had walked. Hell, it was part of the reason he walked.

So, with no one left to fight for Fincher's original cut, the studio proceeded to butcher the film. There's still alot missing from the special edition, but you get a far better idea of where it was going, and who the characters are.

As for Ripley's death? When Aliens got greenlit Weaver stated she wanted to die in the film. Fortunately she didn't, but when Alien 3 began filming she wouldn't sign on unless she got killed. So, anyone seeking to blame Fincher or the screenwriter for that little idea, I just saved you some breath.

Back to the movie...I think alot of people just don't see the beauty of the film. The fact that these forgotten men are now fighting for their lives, in a way redeeming themselves. In the original script they were monks instead of prisoners, and they seemed to be fighting something they thought was the Devil, which made a bit more sense. For some reason the studio went with the prisoner route (which was put in place by David Twohy I believe, who's ideas for Alien 3 looked alot like his script for Pitch Black).

Bottom line, this is an underrated film, and the DVD proves it. Had Fincher been allowed to see his vision for the film through, and Fox not taken it upon themselves to shit all over the writers and the directors work, we'd have seen a much more impressive film. Still, considering the first three Alien films were (somewhat) debut's for their directors, this one should stand as high as the others. It's a film that captures the darkness of humanity, and delivers a fitting end to a franchise. Unfortunately it would be ruined by Resurrection, but that another story.


Even more trouble with the links, all should be well now though. Damn you Blogger!!! Today's lesson? Always preview before you finalize any HTML settings!

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Because one of you demanded it!

And someone else said "Why not?"

I just put up my first entry in my new Original Fiction Blog. The story is called "Last Stand," and as I said before, it's a western. I'm gonna try and make it into a serial type of thing, with maybe one small post a week, sometimes two if the mood strikes me right I suppose, or if people actually read it.

If you enjoy my blog at all, do me a favor and at least stop by. Comments would be greatly appreciated, be they good or bad.

I've got a ton of stuff percolating in my brain, including a few movies, and some old comics. Most especially, Alien 3, and The P.I.'s mini from First Comics. So, check back tomorrow for an actual post, and if you're bored, just click on the link to the right, the one that says "Last Stand."


Friday, August 27, 2004

And now, for something completely different...

Well, not really.

Superpatriot: War on Terror #1 $2.99

Creative Team: Robert Kirkman, E.J. Su, with colors by Dash Martin, and letters by Rus Wooton

What's it about? Simply, a day in the life of a superhero.

This issue: John (that's be the Superpatriot) takes care of some baddie while attempting to rent some movies, mourns the loss of his children, spends some "quality" time with his wife, takes care of Hitler's brain yet again. Oh, and the hilarious return of an old villian.

Why you should be reading it: Kirkman's script is great, mixing touching moments, action, and comedy without a hitch, and Su's art fits the character nicely. I've always been a huge fan of the Patriot's, but I haven't followed Savage Dragon in some time, so I occasionally miss out of what he's up to. Still, I've enjoyed these occasional mini's, especially these last two, both by Kirkman. It's standard superhero far for the most part, nothing new, but it's still good fun. So, if you're looking for something brilliant, keep looking, but for fans of things like Savage Dragon, Invincible, or Capes, give this a look.

Unfortunately that might be it for today folks, unless something catches my eye, and I just have to talk about it.

No time for reviews Dr. Jones!

Been a long day, so I'm gonna end it with a small review of a movie I watched last night.


Director/ Writer: Greg Pritikin

Cast: Adrien Brody, Milla Jovovich, Illeana Douglas, Vera Farmiga

What's it about? Brody plays a discontented "everyman" (read: dork), Steven, who still lives at home with his parents and sister, and decides to finally pursue his dream of ventriliquism after losing his current job. Jovovich plays his best friend, Fangora, and frontman (woman?) for a band looking for fame, while Douglas plays Heidi, his sister, who also is discontent with her life, planning weedings for others while she sits on the sidelines of love. Farmiga plays Lorena, Steven's unemployment counselor, and eventual love interest.

Why you should watch it: It's a story about following your dreams, even if they might not seem logical, and no matter how many people try and hold you back, including your family. Who can't relate to that? It's brilliant in every way, which really surprised me. A film about a man with a dummy can either turn out interesting, or just creepy as hell. I loved the fact that Pritikin avoided the "best friend" angle so many love stories use these days. Steven and Fangora are believable friends, and never once does any sexual attraction appear between them, and when Lorena is introduced you know where the story is headed, but the characters are so well developed you quite happily come along for the ride. It's a feel good movie, but one that has more character and heart than any film I've seen in quite some time.I seriously could not stop smiling, and if you knew me, you'd know how rare a thing that is.

The DVD Package: I didn't get around to any of the DVD material (which leaves me with something to discuss another time!), but it includes a picture in picture ventriloquist commentary by Jeff Dunham, trailers, deleted/altered scenes, a history of ventriloquism, Dummies 101: Learning the Ventriloquism Dream, ventriloquism lessons, and the "What Type of Dummy are You?" Game.

This one's well worht your money people. Support the Dummies!


Thursday, August 26, 2004

Review Type Things

First, let me say, I was skimming through my blog and found an old formula I used one time for my "reviews", so, this will be new to most of you, but it's a fun return to my old ways for me, and I added a few things to the formula as well.

WE3 #1 $2.95

Creative Team: Grant Morrison, Frank Quietly, with coloring and inking by Jamie Grant, lettering by Todd Klien

What's it about? Simply put, WE3 is the storyof three household pets (a dog, a cat, and a rabbit) that have been trained as intelligent Killing machines by the government. Unfortunately the project has just been decomissioned, and the fuzzy little animals are to be killed.

This issue: Considering this is the first issue, that's pretty much what happens. We get to see the pets in action for the first few pages, and it's a creepy-cool feeling seeing them work. We also get to see them vocally communicate, which is very creepy. When Senator Washington meets the trio for the first time he experiences something akin to what we should.

Why you should be reading it: Well, it's a Morrison/Quietly book, and if you need more reason than that, I can't help you. However, the dynamic duo inject the animals with a stunning sense of reality. They move and act like the pets we expect them too, and because of that the fact that the assassinate and primitavely communicate makes it that much creepier. Quitley manages to translate everything you need to know by way of pictures in the first few pages, and you really feel as if you're in there with these creatures. With Morrison it's always the little touches that I love. The rats building a jet engine, brilliant. This is looking to pass Seaguy with leaps and bounds, which means it will be one of the years best books.

X-Men: The End-Book 1: Dreamers and Deamons #2 $2.99

Creative Team: Chris Claremont, Sean Chen, with ink by Sandu florea, color by Ian hannin, and lettering by Dave Sharpe

What's it about? The Last Days of the X-Men.

This issue: Primarily, it deals with everyones reaction to the Phoenix's return. One interesting thing was Claremont's usage of alot of Grant Morrison's ideas, and just the fact that they were brought up shows that he doesn't want to destroy everything the man did. We get to see alot of the things Grant put in place (especially Scott and Emma) as they would be maybe fifteen years down the road, realistically. We get to see a different side to Logan, and the Stepford Cuckoos show up, along with Martha. Honestly there's so much happening in the book it's hard to tell what's going on.

Why you should be reading it: Well, this one's only for hardcore, long-time X-fans. Which i'm not. I've found it hard to follow a few things because I haven't read every x-book ever written, but, Claremont does a damn fine job overall. Gone is his overexplaination of everything, and instead we get great characters who don't speak like they're reading a novel, and who interact with eachother in a very real way. Fans of old-school Claremont should quite enjoy this, if they can follow it. So far that's been one of my only problems. Another is Sean chen's art. While it looks good, it doesn't reflect any real change in the characters, it looks as though he's drawing current versions, and not future versions. That should make sense to the uber-geeks out there, the rest of you may have to for yourself. heh.

Venom/Carnage #2 $2.99

Creative Team: Peter Milligan, Clayton Crain, with letters by Cory Petit

What's it about? Well, seems Carnage has given birth, and his "son" will be born inside of a police officer, Pat. Carnage is determined to kill the thing, and its host, while Venom is out to stop him.

This issue: Black Cat rescues Officer Pat From Carnage's wrath, and it seems Spidey has gotten his wife to the hospital without a hitch (it was a cliffhanger last issue). When Pat goes after Cat for a robbery he ends up running into Carnage (who's been tracking him, of course) and all hell breaks loose. Wich leads to a new symbiote.

Why you should be reading it: You shouldn't. I was mildly entertained by the last issue, but this issue made my head hurt. The art is weird, and the story reads like it was written by a fifteen year old. I know Milligan can do better, so this book is officially out of my reading list.

That's it for now, but I've got a few more books I'm getting to tonight, along with a movie, so look for another update late this evening.

Link Fest

I've been neglectful on my linkage lately, mostly due to having to constantly fix my blog. So, here's some interesting stuff happening around the web:

Mike Sterling had an interesting post on the 7 Deadly Harveys awhile back: http://progressiveruin.com/archives/

Aplogies for the long links folks, but I'm an HTML idiot.

Also, a big thank you to Mike for mentioning this blog and my review of Madbomb. Of course, he misspelled it, but hey, we've all been there.

Dorian always has a few interesting things to say, and you have to admire how blunt he is: http://www.postmodernbarney.com/

Current topics include New Comics Day, and Space Lincoln. Yes, Space Lincoln.

It just occurred nto me that I'm going to get some odd search hits with the word "blunt."

Check out http://www.cinescape.com/ for Tony Whitt's new Comicscape column, which includes the rest of his interview with the Elfquest team of Richard and Wendy Pini. Here's hoping their currrent union with DCdoes bring out that Elfquest movie.

Tony's also got a review of Carnet De Voyage by Blankets creator Craig Thompson. It's well worth a look.

Mr. Bacardi has an interesting pic of the uber-hot Milla Jovovich: http://johnnybacardi.blogspot.com/

It's not worksafe, and has been known to cause heart attacks, so beware.

And most importantly, the Comic Book Galaxy is looking to raise a quick buck by selling of a few great items:

LOT #1: NEW X-MEN TPB VOLUMES 1-7. This is the ENTIRE GRANT MORRISON RUN in seven unread trade paperbacks, with art by Frank Quitely, Phil Jiminez, and others.
Price INCLUDING SHIPPING: $85.00 (combined cover price about $97.00)

LOT #2: SIGNED GARY PANTER'S JIMBO IN PURGATORY HC. This is the hand-signed limited edition with a tipped-in plate #159 of 400. A beautiful, gigantic oversized hardcover. Courtesy of
Fantagraphics Books.
PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $80.00 (cover price about $100.00).

LOT #4: SMALL FAVORS #1-3 and 5-7. Coleen Coover's delightful girly porno comic.
PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $12.00 (combined cover price about $20.00)

LOT #5: FANTASTIC FOUR LOT. Recent Fantastic Four issues including Ultimate Fantastic Four #1-9 (Bendis/Millar/Ellis/Kubert), Fantastic Four #503-513 (Waid, Wieringo, Porter) and Fantastic Four Unstable Molecules #1-4 (Sturm/Davis).
PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $25.00 (combined cover price about $50.00)

LOT #6: WARREN ELLIS'S SCARS #1-6 PLUS. You get the SCARS PREVIEW, SCARS #1-6 (complete series) PLUS you get an extra SCARS #1 SIGNED BY ARTIST JACEN BURROWS.
PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING : $20.00 (combined cover price about $25.00)

LOT #7: ULTIMATE WAR LOT. You get Mark Millar's ULTIMATE WAR #1-4 (first meeting of The Ultimates and Ultimate X-Men) plus THE ULTIMATES #1 by Millar and Bryan Hitch.
PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $7.00 (combined cover price about $9.00).

LOT #9: DEAD @ 17 VOLUME ONE. The first collection of the horror series DEAD @ 17 by Josh Howard.
PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $11.00 (cover price $14.95)

LOT #10: THE FLASH BLITZ TPB. By Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins.
PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $11.00 (cover price $19.95).

LOT #12: IT DISAPPEARS TPB. Nate Powell's dreamy graphic novel, the latest by the creator of WALKIE TALKIE.
PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $8.00 (cover price $9.95).

LOT #13: THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN TPB. Come on, you know you miss the '90s. Dan Jurgens kills the Man of Steel.

LOT #15: UNTOLD TALES OF SPIDER-MAN TPB. Busiek and Oliffe's fun take on Spidey's early days.
PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $12.00 (cover price $16.99).

LOT #16: AQUAMAN TIME AND TIDE TPB. Peter David's acclaimed mini-series collected in TPB.
PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $8.00 (cover price $9.95).

LOT #17: ASTRONAUTS IN TROUBLE LIVE FROM THE MOON TPB. Larry Young, Matt Smith and Charlie Adlard's rollicking outer space adventure.
PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $10.00 (cover price $12.95).

LOT #19: THE LOSERS MEGA-LOT. You get the ANTE UP TPB collecting #1-6 plus issues #7-12. First year of the acclaimed action series by Diggle and Jock.
PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $21.00 (combined cover price about $28.00).

LOT #20: THE HULK GRAY #1-6. Loeb and Sale's neo-classic revisits the earliest days of The Hulk.
PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $18.00 (combined cover price about $21.00).

LOT #21: SHUCK #1-4. Rick Smith and Tania Menesse's unique, delightfully pagan alternative comic.
PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $10.00 (combined cover price about $12.00).

LOT #22: ULTIMATE X-MEN #15-25. Mark Millar's explosive final two story-arcs are collected in these issues.
PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $20.00 (combined cover price about $25.00).

LOT #24: BATTLE ROYALE VOLUMES 1-7. This is the first seven volumes of the ultra-violent, near-future manga pitting society against its teenagers.
Price INCLUDING SHIPPING: $45.00 (combined cover price about $70.00).

LOT #26: THE FIXER HARDCOVER. Joe Sacco's latest in a handsome hardcover edition.
PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $19.00 (cover price $24.95).

LOT #27: HULK LOT. (VG-NM, most VF) Hulk Vol. 1 #377, 380, 383, 384, 386, 393, 394, 395, 398, 407, 408, 409, 468, 469, 470, 471, 472, 473. Hulk Smash #1-2 (complete Ennis miniseries). Hulk 2099 #7, 8, 9, 10. Thing/She-Hulk One Shot (Bryan Hitch art). Captain Marvel #2-3 (Peter David; Hulk guest stars). Dazzler #6-7 (Hulk). Marvel Super Heroes (silver age reprints of Kirby, Trimpe, Severin etc) #32, 33, 34, 36, 49, 52, 79, 81, 82, 85.
PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $18.00 (cover price about $56.00)

LOT #28: AVENGERS LOT. (VG-NM, MOST VF-NM) VOL. 1 #88 (Harlan Ellison story; 1971), #100 (poor, cover detached, BWS art), #126 (Englehart), #270, 278, 279, 280, 283, 284, 285, 286, 290, 305, 308, 326, 328, 349, 353, 356, 375. Vol. 2 #4 (Liefeld/Loeb). Vol. 3 (Busiek/Perez) #5, 8, 10, 11, 14, 23, 28. #500 (Bendis), Official Marvel Universe Handbook Avengers 2004.
PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $20.00 (cover prive about $40.00)

LOT #29: BENDIS LOT. Daredevil #32, 35, 37, 38, 39. Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #2-3 (Spidey/Hulk, Hester art, complete arc). Secret War Comm. Ed. #1, Secret War #2.
PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $10.00 (cover price about $21.00).

LOT #30: THE AUTHORITY LOT. STORMWATCH Vol. 2 #6, 11 (Ellis/Hitch). Authority Vol. 1 #27 (Millar/Art Adams). Authority: Kev one-shot (Ennis). Authority: Scorched Earth one-shot. Authority Vol. 2 #0, 1-6, 10-13. Ministry of Space #3 (Ellis/Weston). PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $17.00 (cover price $51.00).

LOT #31: STARLIN LOT. Infinity Crusade #1-4. Infinity War #2, 4, 6. Captain Marvel #17, 18 (David/Starlin). Warlock and the Infinity Watch #1, 2, 8, 13, 19, 20.
PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $13.00 (cover price about $32.00).

LOT #32: X-MEN LOT. Astonishing X-Men #1 (Whedon/Cassaday). Onslaught: Marvel Universe #1. X-Men #55 (Onslaught by Waid and Kubert). Iceman #1 (of 4). Marvel Comics Presents Weapon X #72 (first BWS Weapon X issue). Nightcrawler #4 (Cockrum). Marvel Comics Presents Wolverine #9, 95. Excalibur #27, 28, 53.
PRICE INCLUDING SHIPPING: $11.00 (cover price about $21.00).

Top Shelf Productions, TWO signed and numbered Alan Moore books: Voice of the Fire AND The Mirror of Love. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own these two great books signed by Alan Moore.

There's alot of good stuff there. I've already picked up 40 bucks worth of books, and depending on how quick I get some extra cash, and what's left, I may pick up a few more. I'd love to have the Untold Tales trade, but I already have most of the seriesin floppies, so it seemed pretty pointless. however, it's a good read, so someone should buy it!

If I were a wealthy man I'd be buying those signed Moore books. You also can't go wrong with that FF lot, damn good stuff in there. And Losers looks to be a good buy as well, everyone seems to love it. I'll get around to reading mine eventually.

So, head on over to CBG: http://www.comicbookgalaxy.com/index.html and buy something.

Also, ADD posted a nifty little pic on his own blog: http://www.comicbookgalaxy.com/blog/

You have to scroll down aways, but just look for the Flag. Good stuff.

I'll be back later with some reviews.


Wednesday, August 25, 2004

And since I've got some time to kill....

I love writing my blog, and finding out that people actually read it just makes it that much more exciting.

Alot of people don't know that I also write fiction, none of which gets seen by, well, anyone, so, I had an idea. I've been contemplating it for well over a week now, and I figure it's either make or break time, so why not get someones opinion on it. I'm thinking about starting a fiction blog, meaning that a few times a week I'll post small bits of whatever story I'm working on (right now, it's a western), and if people read it, fine, if not, oh well.

Still, it would be interesting to know if people actually would read it. I'm not an artist, so there'd be no illustrations, but hopefully anyone who reads my blog isn't a "no pictures?! screw this!" type.

So, thoughts?

Even More Review Type Things

I'm on a roll today.

30 Days of Night: Return to Barrow #6 $3.99

Final issue of the series. I won't spoil the somewhat surprise ending for anyone. I'll just keep saying what I've said before. It's beautifully horrifying, and one of the best books currently occupying rack space.

Caper #11 $2.95

I've enjoyed this run, despite what just about everyone else is saying. I've found it funny and adventurous. sure it's not gonna change the world, but it's not supposed to. Very entertaining.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #10 $2.25

Ellis might write the best FF I've ever seen. That's not saying alot, because I've never read a ton of FF book, but still, I enjoy his take on the main four better than anyone's, including Waid. However, his Doom leaves me lacking, and that's where Waid wins out. Not just on Doom, but on the series as a whole. He seems to have a better story going on than Ellis does here. Still, Ellis writes Ben and Johnny like no one I've ever seen. I was laughing out loud at the fantasti-jokes.

Guardians #3 $2.99

Still not sure why this is so damned expensive, because it would make a great read for kids. The story feels a bit forced in this issue, and it surprised me that they are actually going into space. The character interaction is great, but the aline dialogue feels stiff (but, perhaps it is supposed to). A solid read, and hopefully we won't see it cancelled before it actually gains an audience. If you plan on picking it up, keep in mind it is a kids book, not super hero flashy costumed stuff, and it's a bit over dramatic, because kids are over dramatic.

More to read, including: Venom/Carnage #2, X-Men: The End #2, Superpatriot: War on Terror #1, and WE3 #1. Also, I just got my comics from Lonestar in (pretty quick!), so I can now reread a few old incomplete series, including: The P.I.'s (Mike Mauser and Ms. Tree), Aztek: The Ultimate Man (great stuff here, everyone needs this book), and Troublemakers (I loved this book!). So, yeah, on top of everything else I've put off reading, like say, The Losers, I now have more.

The Madbomb

Sounds a bit like some sort of slang, doesn't it? Yo, this is the mad bomb.

Captain America and the Falcon: Madbomb collects issue #'s 193-200 in a nifty little trade, with a sweet cover by the co-creator and writer/artist of the contained issues, Jack Kirby. Oh, and John Romita is along for the ride, at least on the cover.

Now, they don't call him Jack "King" Kirby for no reason. Anyone who's ever seen Kirby's work and has an ounce of sense will tell you he's the best thing that probably ever happened to the comic book industry. He's influenced 99% (gotta love those mad up statistics, still, it's likely true) of the artist working today, and it's probably fair to say that if not for Kirby there would be no comic industry.

Still, that's an argument/discussion for another time. What I'm here to discuss is Madbomb. For a story that was published about 25 years ago, it's got echoes of today all throughout the story line. It starts with Cap and Falcon arm wrestling inside a New York apartment when suddenly the two become infuriated with one another. Fortunately the duo come to their sense and eventually discover a tiny little gadget that's driving the neighborhood insane.

Turns out it was planted by a group of people calling themselves the Royalists Forces of America, who have a plan to used a giant madbomb to drive everyone in the country insane, and then take it over, thus killing democracy for good.

Of course what they don't count on is Cap and the Falcon infiltrating their hidden base, causing a panic, forcing the Royalists hand, and in the end (hope I'm not spoiling it for anyone, seeing as how the country is still somewhat under democractic rule) save the day.

Yes, there's tons of other little side adventures that make up the TPB, all of them involving the main plot though, which doesn't strike me as a common practice back then. Probably the most interesting tale is Cap falling in love with the daughter of one of the men they're after, the creator of the Madbomb. Of course it turns out that he was all but forced into the project, and thus not really a bad guy. Still, Kirby's use of emotion is always great.

Not that there aren't any faults to be found. Cap stepping out of an apartment window dressed in his gear seems a bit stupid on his part, the fact that there seemed to be the need to tie the villian in personally to Cap dumbfounded me, and the idiotic villians and their over the top ways just remind me of old James Bond films. Still, would you have it any other way? Nope, me either.

The book really shines during the action scenes, because no one does action like Kirby. The characters feel so much larger than life, and the villians seem so vile, even if they are over the top. The double page spread on pages 98-99 where SHIELD has finally take over the secret headquarters only to discover the evil mastermind gone was as classic as Kirby can get.

We have machines galore (nodody does machines like Kirby either) along with the Falcon in action, SHIELD agents rounding up what's left of the enemy, and Cap doing his best to point out the obvious. Sure, it's not a jam packed George Perez page, but it's probably my favorite page of comic art ever, or at least in the top five. Another good double spread is on 116-117, I'd swear Cap was about to roll off the page. Oh, and don't forget the action-packed Kill Derby issue.

The great things in the book far outweigh the goofyness of it. In fact, the goofiness is part of its charm I wasn't even around when these issues saw print, but it still made me feel like a kid again. That's not even mentioning the covers, which are so frantic that you start to feel like Cap's life is hanging in the balance if you don't read the issues.

This is a great buy for anyone who enjoys comics. It's written and drawn by someone considered to be the most talented man to ever work in the industry, it features an enjoyable story that still has relevence in today's society, and it's an all around nice package. It retails for about seventeen dollars, but over at Amazon.com they have it for a mere eleven bucks, which makes it an absolute steal.

This is definitely one that belongs in every readers library.

Review Type Things

Looks like the Madbomb TPB will have to wait until tomorrow, but here's the skinny on a few fliks I've watched recently:

Revengers Tragedy

Directed by the talented Alex Cox (he wrote the screenplay for Fear & Loathing, and wrote and directed Sid & Nancy), this flik is based on a 17th century play, written by Thomas Middleton, and is a dark comedy about a character on a revenge trip. The director and/or screenwriter went the Romeo + Juliet route, updating the setting, but not the dialogue, which makes it a bit hard to follow at times. I found turning on the subtitles actually helps, seeing as how their accents make it difficult for a Yank like me to understand them. Fortunately it's filmed so brilliantly that when you don't understand the words you can still follow the story. That may sound a bit "dumb" to a few folks, but I think it's a testament to the director's ability to tell a story without dialogue. The cast is great, heded up by the wonderful Eddie Izzard and Christopher Eccleston (28 Days Later...), and the supporting players do a terrific job. All in all a truly great film, recommended to anyone who's a theatre fan, or to anyone looking for something intelligent. Just keep in mind it is a dark comedy, so it's racy.


Still haven't made my through the entire set of special features, but the commetrak proved worth a listen, just for the cast members that pop up. Cameron's comments about Alien 3 miffed me a bit, seeing as how he wasn't exactly true to the first Alien film himself. Still, the DVD is loaded with more stuff than you ever needed to know, and it's probably the best sequel of all time.

Other ramblings...

Picked up the Marvel Legends Cable action figure this week, and was pleasently surprised by how articulated it is. Haven't been able track down the Deadpool, and given how much it seems to be in demand, I doubt I will. Stupid secondary market.

Also, I'm addicted to Mario Tennis on the N64. I'm afraid this might lead to an addiction to tennis overall. I'll have to watch myself.

Oh, and Dorian had some interesting things to say about the current "buy back my childhood" 80's trend that's going on. For his words check out PostModernBarney, to the right.

Now, I do want to address a few things, seeing as how I fall into that category, mostly because I don't really fit anywhere else. I do think there's quite a few valid points made, and overall I see the frustration, and if I worked where he does I would probably loose more customers than I could ever gain.

While I love most everything cartoon and toy based from my childhood, I'm fairly certain I can appreciate them for what they were, not what I made them up to be in my mind. I also loved the A-Team and Dukes of Hazzard, but I have no qualms about pointing out their stupidity. I do think he's wrong about Star Wars, but like most things it's a personal call. Just because you don't like something doesn't make it the dumbest thing in the world. Yes it's a kids film, and yes it's not the most intelligent film ever made, but there has to be something that makes it worth watching, otherwise it never would've made the amount of money it has. I refuse to believe that there was that big of a sci-fi fanbase when the movie hit.

Like most blockbusters it just appeals to a wide audience looking for entertainment for entertainments sake. The "prequels" have justproven how horrible a writer Lucas is to begin with, and that the man couldn't direct his way out of a paper bag. He's alot like Claremont, they've taken something the didn't really even create and somehow turned into the biggest pile of dogshit you can imagine. Still, the original films have entertainment value, and that's why people like them.

Some people just take it entirely too far, something I think I could be guilty of.

Back to the subject, I think he's right, it would be annoying as hell to listen to people talk about being true to the original when it comes to crap that was never even true to itself to begin with. I can watch any series of 80's toons and point out flaws left and right, but when I do watch them I choose not to, because that prettymuch ruins the entertainment.

Maybe it's just me, and it doesn't take alot to keep me entertained. Hell, I'm a DVD junkie with over 800 of 'em, you think all of them are A+ films? Hell no. One of my favorite films of all-time is the original TMNT movie. Why? It entertains me. It's that simple. Adventures of Ford Fairlane? It bombed, and rightfully so, but I love it. The trick is to appreciate things for what they really are, if it's crap, it's crap, you don't have to like it, but don't insult me for choosing to be entertained.

Not that I was being insulted. Dorian's got some valid points, like I said, some people just take things a bit too far, and unfortuantely he's in the wrong business to avoid that. So, if you're in his shop, do him a favor, save the Darth Maul vs. Darth Vader argument for outside the store, and don't ask him what his favorite Transformer was.

Oh, and according to Cobra Commander's biography he wanted to take over the world because he was a disgruntled used car slaseman who was tired of the system. Something like that. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

I always wondered what the other half was.


Tuesday, August 24, 2004

El Listo

Bad Boys 1 & 2

Depending on price, this isn't a bad combo. Both are enjoyable action fliks.

Beast Wars: Transformers - The Complete 3rd Season

Still can't really warm up to this show. I've heard it gets better in the later seasons though.

Boy Meets World: The Complete First Season

Here's an interesting show, despite not really following it, I've noticed that (in the reruns I HAVE watched) it actually progresses through the years, instead of constantly trying to recapture something that may have hooked people into watching it to begin with (see: Friends "Will they or won't they" saga that ran for a decade). The characters remain pretty much the same, yet their lives actually progress past a certain point. I'm going on waaaay too long about a show that isn't that great to begin with, but, hopefully you catch my meaning.

Ella Enchanted

Among other things, I'm a sucker for fairy tale-type movies, despite the fact that they all have to do with some sort of love story. I'm looking forward to checking this one out, despite a pile of reasons I could come up with to avoid it.

Formula 51 / Snatch

Now this is a pair of films worth owning.

Futurama Volume Four

I'm not sure if I've seen any of these episodes, which will be great once I buy the set.

The Girl Next Door

This is another release I'm hoping will exceed the limitations of its concept.

Harsh Realm: The Complete Series

Never got to watch this series, but it includes never before seen episodes for those that did.

The Munsters: The Complete First Season

Never a fan, but it's here for those that were.

Night Gallery: The Complete First Season

I've heard this was a good show, before my time I believe.

The Professional / The Big Hit

Another pair of good movies, the Professional being one of my favorites.

Purple Rain (Special Edition)

For the die-hard Prince fan. Gotta love that cheesy 80's sound.

I'll be back later with a few reviews.


Blogger-12, Logan-1

Haha, a semi-victory, as I managed to restore most of the lost links, and not screw things up. There's still a few missing, including a link to email me (which I cannot rememeber how to do, so any help there would be greatly appreciated), and a few other blogs which I know I'm forgetting. Still, I did add a few new links, and I'll add more when I can rmember them.

I've got a few things to get out of my head, the least of which is this weeks DVD List, so I shall be back later.

Well, that sucked

Somehow I managed to almost loose everything, so now I have to redo the links again. Grrrrr.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Links ahoy

They're not all there, but a majority of them are back. Still having a hard time tracking a few down, as I had them saved only here, also working on getting my email address back up, and remembering which site I used as a tracker. Stupid Blogger!!!!

Sigh...looks like that review of Madbomb will be coming tomorrow, and probably late at that. Sorry folks.

Oh, and if I had you linked, or would like me to link to you, drop me a line in the comments section, I'll be glad to do so.

"I've got good news!"

No, I'm not switching to Geico, but I did win something from Joe Rybandt over at CBG. Much thanks to Joe for the free swag. I do wanna say that getting free comics feels a bit like cheating to me. You're not attached to it, it just falls in your lap, and you're free to have your way with it...but then when it's friggin' fantastic you want more of it, then before you know it's costing you more money. Bah!

Still, it's free swag, and that's just cool.

Speaking of CBG, ADD has some pics up of the Kochalka party, including some of his family. For stalkers like me, it's great to get an insiders view, cuz, I'm a lazy stalker, you know. (Ummm...that's a joke people.)

Also, finished the Madbomb TPB, and will write a review up this evening, as well as fix the damn links on the right. Stupid blogger!!!!

I also watched the newest DBZ movie last nigh, Bojack Unbound. Sounds a bit S&M-ish to me, but still a damn good flik. Well, for a DBZ fan it was damn good. Everyone else might just be confused.


Sunday, August 22, 2004

Weekends Suck

I've come to dread them, for one reason or another. So, here's, at last, an update!

Watched a few movies, and still haven't managed to finish Madbomb.

First up we have 'Against the Ropes', the latest Meg Ryan film based on the life of the most successful female boxing promoter ever. It marks Charles S. Dutton's directorial debut, and he's always been one of my favorite actors. As for the movie, it's not fantastic, typical sports cliches, but I'm a softie for sports films, so I still enjoyed it alot. Omar Epps out acts Meg Ryan in every scene, and plays the part he's given with relative ease. There are times when Ryan is screaming "I'm still sexy!!!!" with her clothing, which leads me to believe that this and her other recent film were her setting out to prove just that. Still I've seen worse, much worse. Tony Shalob and Tim Daly were good, Tony playing against type, Tim playing into it.

The other film is a classic, 'Indiscreet', with Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. Now the two have been paired once before this film, another classic, Hitchcock's 'Notorious' (remade into M:I 2 for those who love trivia), and it's a brilliant film, with both comedy and intrigue. This, however, falls much more in the comedy/romance side of Grant's career. Not that that's bad. Cary Grant may have been the most versatile actor to ever grace the screen, and is definitely one of the most talented. For me his closest rival today would be Tom Hanks, someone who'sproven he can do just about anything. Still, I tend to shy away from the obvious films like this, meant as a "date" film, and not much else. However, a "date" film with these two is better than almost any other type of film you're likely to find. The comedy is certainly there, and Grant never shied away from making a fool of himself, which he does brilliantly in the last half of the film. Bergman is as stunning as ever (well, nothing beats her in Casablanca, but still...) even if she is well past what Hollywood considers prime. (Take notes Ms. Ryan...it is still Ms. Ryan, isn't it?) All in all, a wonderful film.

Next was the Alien DVD set, a.k.a. the first two discs in my Alien Quadrilogy set. Short of "freaking phenomenal" there aren't many words to describe it. Everyone should own this set just because of the extras. Not only do they give you the positive take on the movie, but you get all the negative things that went on behind the scenes, from the studios attempt to screw everyone invloved, to the actors bitchfest with the director, to the SFX guys bitchfest with the director, anything you wanted to know can likely be found here, including the work that inspired the film, paintings by H.R. Giger.

More tomorrow...as well as the fixed links.


Friday, August 20, 2004

Missing Links?

In other news, I've lost my links....don't know how that happened. Apologies to those who were on the list, I'll have them back up by tomorrow hopefully.
In last weeks Entertainment Weekly, Stephen King wrote a few words about summer movies, and their oft times mindless nature. His feelings on the subject all-but mirror my own.

He says "I sneer at people who sneer at summer movies." Which pretty accurately sums up my feelings, but he goes on to say (basically) that reviewers hand out great, four-star review these day far too easy. Now that is something I disagree with.

Yes, I do think reviewers hand out favorable review to almost anything these days, and yes some "four-star" films are barely even two stars. The thing is, as someone who loves movies (as does King, just listen, he'll tell you), any type of movie, I can make the distinction that there are different categories of "four-star films."

Personally, I'd never go on a four-star scale, but since that is the case I'm dealing with, it's what I'll use. Is Spider-Man 2 a four-star film? In my eyes, most certainly. It has it's faults, yes, but for a comic book junkie like myself, it's almost perfect. It's fun, it's action-packed, and it's even got something resembling a plot. Now, on the other hand, there's a film classic like Casablanca. A Four-Star Movie? Oh, you bet. It's the greatest movie ever made, and in my eyes is far superior to Citizen Kane (another four-starrer, heralded as the greatest movie of all time). Yet I can clearly make the distinction between the two, spider-Man and Casablanca that is.

To me movies are like songs. There's something to be appreciated in almost every one, even the mindless bubble gum pop you are bombarded with on the radio. There are songs that make me think about the meaning of life, and then there are songs that get my toes a-tappin'. Why shouldn't I equally love both of them, yet still make the distinction that one is infinitely more important than the other.

It's a small line to walk, yes, but I think it's one that alot of people don't even attempt to cross. Which is too bad, because the view over here is wonderful.

The bottom line, King is right, far too many people look down there noses at mindless summer fare, and like him, it disgusts me. I do not want every movie I see to give me the meaning of my existence, or to make me cry, sometimes I want to forget I'm alive and just be engulfed in this blow em up action flik. Yet I can still say Die Hard is a four-star movie, as well as Shashank Redemption, and realize that one is not the other, and they are to be loved equally, even if one of them will change the world while the other just offer entertainment for entertainment's sake.


Review Type Things

A bit later than I'd like, and still no Madbomb, but here's a few things to keep you busy.

Supreme Power #12 $2.99

JMS continues to "reimagine" a classic, and while he does do a damn fine job, I can't help but feel bored to tears at times. When this story is on, it's fantastic, but everything has been stretched out to a point where it almost makes this a fruitless effort. Still Gary Frank has become one of my very favorite artists, and probably is the only reason I continue to shell out the bucks. There isn't the exact same magic here as they had with Midnight Nation, but I got the feeling that the writing was stronger because it was a limited series, and JMS was actually working towards something. In this book it feels more like delaying the inevitable.

Doctor Spectrum #1 $2.99

Not sure who Sara Barnes is (another JMS protege?) but she has me interested. This book is supposed to (I assume) serve as an origin of the good Doctor, who I don't think is really a doctor. Which is a bit confusung. Still, much like the series it spun off from, I loved the art, by another name I don't recognize. Travel Foreman. Intersting name. It was apretty good start, even though it's marketed in a way that only those reading SS will pick it up, which is the point probably. They're just milking the cow. It is a pretty cow though.

Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster

Like I said, I was sure I'd love it, and I did. It's a bit scary for anyone under the age of five I think, but all in all, it's a great family film. The DVD has tons of things to add on the legend of Loch Ness, never quite debunking or proving the sightings completely. Sadly there's no commentrak to be found, as I enjoyed the last two. A surprise voice popped up in the film, John DiMaggio, otherwise known as Bender from Futurama. I recognized him almost immediately, even with a Scottish accent. Good flik, worth a rent if you have kids, or a buy if you're a Scoob-a-holic like me.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Vol.2

There's nothing I can really say besides this show is flippin' brilliant. The DVD is great, it includes the "origin" of the ATHF, along with a cool documentary type thing, and some character sketches. It's got an episode of Space Ghost where the ATHF made their first appearence so long ago, along wiht a few commentraks. Fantastic stuff here.


Wednesday, August 18, 2004

It's new comics day!

Which means spending money I don't have. But, I'm damned determined to spend it either way. So, here's a look at a few things I picked up:

Loki #3 $3.50

Why oh why does Rodi suck so bad on his other books? This book is not only beautiful, thanks to the uber-talented Essad Ribic, but it reads so smoothe that you'd swear Rodi must be plagerizing someone. Well, at least after you read his other books. Yes, I didn't have many complains about the latest Identity Disc, but that book is a straight rip off from The Usual Suspects, and still it reads like half-decent, mostly bad fanfic. Don't get me started on Rogue, which was worse than most Chuck Austen stuff. But this, it's lkke night and day folks. I can only hope that Marvel has the sense to collect this. My wish would be for atruly beautiful hardcover, but I'll settle for a standard TPB. You should be buying this for the art alone, the fantastic story and dialogue are just icing on the cake.

Fantastic Four #517 $2.99

According to Dorian, FF will now be three bucks an issue. Man does that ever piss me the hell off. Why? So kids will automatically pass this up no matter what? Despite the last storyline, Waid and 'Ringo's FF has been one of the most enjoyable books Marvel has published in years. Yes, yes, 'Ringo didn't do the last round of art chores, I know. Still, the two are tailor made for this book, and the fact that this issue is leaps and bounds over the last few issues just cements that fact. Not only do the Dynamic Duo fantastically tackle somewhat of a (probably mandatory) tie-in to the big "Avengers Dissassemble" crossover, but they manage to do it without making me feel like I need to read the other books to understand what's happening. This is one of the best books on the mainstream market, and the fact that they jumped the price by seventy-five cents just goes to show me that Marvel has little faith in their talent, and expects the Zombies to pay whatever price they ask. Despite that little rant, the book's good enough, and I've got enough disposable income (I really don't, but we'll pretend like I do, okay? Okay.) that I can afford to keep buying it. Still,for three bucks an issue, once the quality drops a little, I'm out of here. If we have another fiasco of a storyline like the last one, it's adios muchachos.

Cable & Deadpool #6 $2.99

This is much better than the previous issue, and the end intrigued me enough to actually want to come back for more. The storyline was obviously stretched for the six mandatory issues needed to fill a TPB, and so all the blame cannot fall on the writer. Fabe Nic's Deadpool is one of the best ever, and his Cable isn't half bad, but between him and Liefeld they've managed to bring there characters back to status quo...from ten years ago. Still, there were alot of things in this issue dealing with Cable's past that have me interested, and the fact that Wade is now eternally tied into Nate is an interesting concept. Sort of like Marvel's version of the Odd Couple.

I also picked up Doc. Spectrum and Supreme Power, but haven't read them yet. And, no, I haven't finished the Madbomb TPB, why do you ask?

Also on the "bought" list for today were a few DVD's via my local video store, Movie Gallery. The Buttefly Effect, which I still think was a good flik, despite what Tom the Dog believes. Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster, I think he owes Scoob and Shag three fifty (or, tree-fitty)! Seriously, I'm a Scoob-a-holic, so it was a no brainer. I've loved all the DTV Scooby movies so far, so hopefully this won't disappoint. Finally, Against the Ropes, Meg Ryan's boxing movie. It's sports, and based on a true story, so I'm there. I'm not sold on the stars, but the supporting cast includes some of my favorite lower tier actors: Tony Shaloub, Tim Daly, and Charles S. Dutton.

Oh, and if you're looking for something to keep you busy, head over to Cinescape.com and check out Tony Whitt's interview with the creative force behind Elfquest, it's a two parter, which means waiting a week for the second half, but it's pretty good stuff. You can find it under the Comicscape column.

Elsewhere on the web, Dorian has a hilarious little two-panel exchange between Supergirl and Superman. I've never read that before, and it cracked me up, much more so than the bit with the horse. Being from Georgia, one of those "states", I think it's one of the funniest things I've read in awhile.

Still contemplating on that "idea" I had earlier, possibly more on that tomorrow. And, yes, more review type-thingies (which shall become my new name for them).

A Good, Stiff Drink

You can never go wrong with Bacardi, so go get some.

The Johnny Bacardi Show is back from hiatus. So, welcome back. There's a huge update, which will hopefully keep you busy while I think of something to post about.

An idea has creeped into my brain, one which I'm sure to jinx by mentioning here, so I won't. Hopefull it won't up and die on me, and then I can discuss it. Well, nothign ever gets discussed, as I'm usually the one doing the talking.

Don't you love it when I ramble?


Tuesday, August 17, 2004

"Do you know why I like Liverpool Mr. Sutcliffe?"

As promised, a DVD review. This time? Backbeat, a film very close to my heart. Why? Honestly, I can't really say.

It's one of the very few films that I can distinctly remember watching for the very first time. That may sound weird, but it's like a song, one of those songs that everytime you hear it takes you back. You can remember everything from that little span of time, be it hours, minutes, days. It just moves you that much.

For me it was 1995, a Saturday night, during the summer. I can't tell you the exact date, but I remember it was late, probably after midnight. I was the only one awake, naturally, and I was laying on the coucj flipping channels. Now, I was only sixteen, but my love of movies had already set in, and the fact that we were getting a sneak preview of Showtime was pretty exciting. So, I flip it to see what's on, and catch the very beginning of Backbeat.

Now, apparently the movie got alot of press, but being so young and without access to tools almost everyone has today, I'd never heard of it. Digital cable didn't exist, so there was no finding out there either. No, all I knew was that it was rated R, and at fifteen that was usually enough for me.

The next hour and a fourty-one minutes I spent learning the history, the real history, of the greatest band in the history of rock music. Now, I knew who the Beatles were, in fact at fifteen I knew alot about them. My mother was a musician and if that gave me anything it was a diverse taste in music. Still, I didn't know about these Beatles. I didn't know about Stuart Sutcliffe.

For those that don't know, Backbeat is Stewart's story. It's about his friendship with John, his love affair with Astrid (forgive me, I'll butcher her last name, so it's omitted), and his decision to walk out of what would become the greatest phenomenon the world had ever seen.

As director Iain Softley puts it, until now these people were just a footnote in the history of the Beatles. This is their story.

Sadly, Stu died before John, Paul, Ringo, and George achieved their fame, in fact, died right before it happened, so he never got to see what became of his friends. He only knew them as dreamers. Stu was a painter, a damn good one, and it's believed by many that had he not died he would've been just as huge as the band he left behind.

The movie itself is a beutiful examination of a man's life, and the choices he makes. How those choices can lead you to the greatest moments in your life, and sink you into the depths of hell all at the same time. It's about friendship and loyalty, love and jealousy, art, music, freedom, and how those things play into the people we become.

The DVD is loaded with great features, including a directors commentary, with actors Ian Hart and Stephen Dorff. Two deleted scenes, an interview with Softly, an interview with Hart and Softly, and casting sessions. It also includes an essay written by the director of the film himself on the subject, and a photo gallery of behind the scenes pics.

No, it's not the most feature-laden disc you'll ever find, but it's more than enough to take you into what this talented group of people were attempting to create.

Even after almost ten years the movie still moves me, it takes me back to being fifteen, sitting on the couch, up past my bedtime probably, watching the untold history of the Beatles unfold before my eyes. The end is still as emotionally draining now as it was the first time I watched it. It never fails to bring tears.

As I said, the list is relatively small, Shawshank Redemption, Jurassic Park, Almost Famous, and Backbeat. All of them instantly send me back the exact point in time I first watched them. Backbeat remains and surely always will, one of the very best movies I've ever had the pleasure of watching, and it's definitely one of the most powerful.

Duhn Duhn Duhn

I know present you with Her Royal Majesty, The List:

Alf: Season One

Buyer Beware!!!! Some of the episodes are the syndiated versions, which means they've been shortened. Otherwise, knock yourself out.

Amityville Dollhouse

This just sounds funny to me. I have no idea what it is, but I'll assume it's Amityville, only with Barbie.

Candyman (Special Edition)

For those who can't get enough crappy horror films. Well, this one didn't really suck that bad.

Connie And Carla

I remember this getting some press. Can't remember if it was positive, or what the hell the film was about.

Dinner for Five: The Complete First Season

Isn't this Fav's show? I think so. If it is, I'll have to seek it out. I keep hearing how great is is (mostly from my local Comic Book Guy).

The Exorcist Trilogy

Ohhh, how convenient. The first one didn't really get to me, never seen the other two.

G.I. Joe: Season Two, Part 1

Haven't managed to buy the other two sets yet, or complete my Transformers set. I need a wealthy dead relative.


It's like the Sixth Sense, only the kid is the dead one. Nah, really, I haven't seen it.

Goodfellas (Widescreen Special Edition)

Best Mob Movie Ever. Don't believe me? Just look at the advetisements. It tells you so. Not a fan of Mob fliks, but it's still a good movie. If nothing else it eventually gave us the Pidgeons on Animaniacs.

Happy Days: The Complete First Season

Ey!!! I wonder how it wasspelled in the script? Both the Fonz and Homer might be the only characters in history to make one word so damned popular.

Lateline: The Complete Series

For all you Al Franken nuts out there. Personally, I hate the guy. I mean he created the worst damn character on SNL ever. And they made a movie about it. It's an unforgivable sin really.

Laverne & Shirley: The Complete First Season

Just in case Happy Days wasn't enough.

Mickey's The Three Musketeers

This might actually be good. I'll find out!

New York Minute

Eugene Levy. I'll watch it for him, because he's a funny man. Oh, and I need to support the Twins ongoing eating disorders, or are they cured now? Still he all but saved the American Pie films, so maybe he cann pull this one to at least an ok film.

Nick & Jessica Variety Hour

Hell on Earth, ladies and gentlemen, Hell on Earth.

Stir Of Echoes (Special Edition)

A much better film than anyone gives it credit for being. This, folks, is a good thriller.

The Sugarland Express

Spielberg'ssophmore effort, I believe. Also, Duel, his first flik came out as well. Must have missed it on the info list. Both are worth your time.

Taking Lives

I recall this getting so-so reviews. May be worth a rent.

Also not on the list was the new DBZ movie, I forget the name. I shall be renting that as well.

I'll be back later with a review of another biopic.


Too Much Information

Last night I dreamed I met both Courtney Love and Sheryl Crowe. Love was a bitch and Crow was the most beautiful woman in the world.

So, if they're reading this: Courtney Love, you're a bitch, and Sheryl Crow, you're the most beautiful woman in the world.

See, too much information...wasn't it?

Too Much Information

Last night I dreamed I met both Courtney Love and Sheryl Crowe. Love was a bitch and Crow was the most beautiful woman in the world.

So, if they're reading this: Courtney Love, you're a bitch, and Sheryl Crow, you're the most beautiful woman in the world.

See, too much information...wasn't it?


Monday, August 16, 2004

Where do the Days Go

Beats me. There's been alot happening lately, which is always my excuse, but it's true. Reading has been slow, the Madbomb TPB is still on my reading list along with alot of other things, but it's proving a daunting task to finish.

Along with myself there's been alot going on in this great Al Gore invention we call the internet.

CBG is in a bit of a bind, so the fine folks over there are asking for donations in some form or fashion. You can make donations directly or you can help them out by clicking the link to Lonestar Comics and buying some swag. I've already bought some stuff from the site, which proved to be really user friendly and they had a ton of stuff I was looking for.

I'm planning on donating directly, however I'm banned from Paypal (very long story, maybe I'll tell it one day) and so I'll have to get with alan directly. In fact, Alan, if you're reading this go ahead and email me so I don't forget. Lately it's been hardto remember where I live. (That's a joke folks.)

Alan also has Ten Essential Graphic Novels, which I found surprising. I easily guessed #1, but aside from the inclusion of Born Again the rest of the list was a surprise. He also has a past post on Masters and Masterworks which proved equally surprising, though having followed his "career" for such a long time, it was far morepredictable. Not that lists like this should be unpredictable.

Still, CBG is probably the most important Comic Book Site on the net, and it would most assuredly be ashame to see it fall again. Consider my thirty bucks donated...just don't forget to remind me to do it.

Don't believe me about how bad my memory has been? I've been off on Mondays for over a yeasr, which means sleeping in. I got up and got dressed for work today. Sigh...

Other stuff happening....

Mike has a look at a Richy Rich comic, something he's been doing alot lately. Still, the comparison to an issue of Watchmen has to be seen.

Another weird comparison was found over at Neilalien's blog, and you'll have to scroll down a bit. It's a Mutts comic strip panel compared to a Doc Strange panel. What else would you expect from Neil?

Cinescape has a few interesting articles, including a AvP review that's far better than mine. (Honestly my reviewing has been horrible lately, but time just hasn't been on my side.) There's also a rumor about Jude Law and Watchmen that has me excited.

Both Tom the Dog and Johnny Bacardi have been on hiatus, but Tom should be back Tuesday. It's a great little slice of Pop Culture blogging, and he's fast becoming one of my first stops of the day.

Buddy Patch is also on hiatus, but I'm probably the only one reading his blog...right?

Speaking of buddies, happy belated birthday to Dino, who's currently working on his first film. Can't wait to see it...and where are my Spider-Man VCD's?!?!?!?!? Oh, and the lucky bastard lives near Chicago, so guess who went to a convention?

On the DVD side of life...I'm still making my way thru my collection. This past week I finished off Auto Focus in its DVD entireity. I'm finding that alot of movies, when put into perspective by their creators, seem to become that much better. I liked this movie the first time I watched it, but after three more viewings (all with a commentary track) I'm beginning to think it's one of the most interesting looks at life and how it can get completely out of control. May not sound like much, but anyone who knows the story of Bob Crane will testify that his life was truly a roller coater of a ride. The DVD brings you further into it and makes no judgement calls about his murder or his lifestyle. Well worth your time, but not one for the whole family.

My Alien filmfest proved fruitful, especially Alien 3, where I discover the extended cut of the film for the first time. It made the most underrated film of the franchise that much better. I won't spoil it for anyone else, but it's something that needs to be seen, if you're a fan or if you're not.

As for TV, my watching has declined lately, with Adult Swim taking up the most time. The Venture Bros. has become a new favorite, and it's only a few episodesinto the series. For fans of old Jonny Quest toons it's a must see. I laughed for ten minutes...the whole length of the show.

There's plenty of other stuff keeping me occupied, but most of it is life. I'll post a DVD update tomorrow, and maybe have some reviews, hopefully I'll finish Madbomb soon.

Until then I leave you with this:

I stayed out of the Jack Black Green Lantern rumor mill/fanboy bitch fest that went on for a few months, but here's a thought I had, seeing as how Mr. Black has said he's not doing the flik...or not yet.

How about a John Stewart GL movie? Honestly. It's been said by plenty that GL isn't exactly a film that should be taken seriously, so why not? Will Smith fits the bill in almost every fashion for a role like this. He's done just about every type of film that would make him a prime candidate. He's certainly got drawing power. Unlike Batman, or Spidey, a GL movie won't sell on name alone, and with a studio like WB it's going to need star power to get audiences. Sorry, Warners, Halle doesn't really speak to the kids, but Smith would, and with a decent script and a half decent director, it could turn out to be huge.

So, yeah, that's my idea, and I think it's a damn good one.


Saturday, August 14, 2004


Who wins? Seems to be the question on the minds of most of the people interested in it...well, in short, no one. The humans, however, do most certainly lose. Well, mostly.

Surprisingly this film was really enjoyable, but mostly because of low expectations. It's not Catwoman, but it's also not Aliens either. It's a damn site better than Predator 2 or Alien: Resurrection, though. Most surprising? It blends the two franchises together almost seemlessly. What I thought would be the most difficult part of the fil turned out to be easy. The action is great, and the story serves its purpose, which is a double edged blade. Like most action/horror films it has its problems (first and foremost, assuming the audience is dumb), but it still manages to entertain you, and bridge the two franchises together.

All in all a good flik, well worth the money, and the best either of the two franchises has seen since the 80's. Sorry to keep it short folks, but it has be a looooong day.


Thursday, August 12, 2004


Apologiesfolks,life has just been weird lately, and quite busy, so I'm just flying by the seat of my pants! Not a pleasant image, is it?

It was all Marvel this week at the comics shop, so just call me Mr. Zombie:

Runaways $ 4.99

I'm not sure what this is, but I picked it up at Target. It was about five bucks and seems to somewhat collect the first six issues of B.K.'s series, randomly leaving out parts of it, I think. It was confusing, which gave me doubts about buying the real trade. Anyone know it it really is good or not?

The Fantastic Four: Unstable Molecules #1-4 $2.99 (a piece)

I paid two bucks for the whole set, and damn what a bargain. Anyone who's looking for quality comics, look here. I'm pretty sure there's a TPB out of the series, and if not, there should be. Art, story, even the research put into it (depending on how you look at it I guess) is friggin' phenomenal. Buy this book. Now.

Fantastic Four #516 $2.25

Speaking of the FF...Waid and Kesel wrap up their Frightful Four arc, and suprisingly it wasn't as bad as the rest of the arc. Still, wasn't good either. I hope the next arc doesn't suck.

The Punisher #10 $2.99

Speaking of sucking...this issue doesn't really. Again, not great, but maybe the previous issues have lowered my expectations enough for meto somewhat enjoy it. It still feels like three issues stretched into six. God Marvel is horrible.

District X #4 $2.99

And then they publish something like this, which makesme hope for the best. Good book, good art, solid storytelling, great characters. Still, they stretch the issues to fill in TPBs. They might just want to think about collecting issues for alower price tag, as opposed to drawing them out. Wouldn't it be the same? Three four issue TPBs as opposed to two six issue ones? Seems like more money to me. I'm way off subject. Good book tho.

Identity Disc #3 $2.99

Again, maybe lower expectations, but this wasn'tas bad as the previous issues. By a longshot. I even laughed a few times. Rodi needs to be doing an ongoing Deadpool book. Seriously.

And lastbut not least...

X-Force #1 $2.99

It's crap. You probably shouldn't buy it, and it probably should be cancelled swiftly. That said, it's horribly wonderful, much like a bad movie. It put a big old smile on my face, I felt like I was ten again. Maybe I'm the only one who can accept it for what it is and still admit it shouldn't exist, but I'm looking forward to more.

As for my movie watching? Nothing but Aliens and Predators until tomorrow. Saturday I'll have a rundown of AvP, with spoilers, but until then I doubt I'll get to post.


Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The Day After List

Since I missed it yesterday, and quite a few times in the last month or so, here's what made it to your local Wal-Mart:


This is a movie I've always wanted to see. I get a very creepy vibe from the description. It was banned for quite sometime, so it'll be good to have it available on DVD.

Johnson Family Vacation

This Vacation rip-off looks somewhat promising, but Cedric is no Chevy Chase.

Kill Bill: Vol. 2

Tarantino's two part epic finally sees its end....unless he decides to eventually make the sequel.

Also out, but I could find no details on the 'Net:

Predator: Special Edition

With a free AvP ticket no less. Already bought it!

The Lost Boys: Special Edition

Despite being directed by the man who ruined Batman, this is one of my favorite movies.

I think I may actually have a review or two up later!!!


Monday, August 09, 2004

Dog Day

Quick birthday wishes over to The Dog. Right now he's watching Futurama Vol. 3, and all I have to say to that is: Jeez, you just got it? Those not reading his blog, beat yourselves in the head. The links is over on the right!

I swear, I'm gonna review the Madbomb TPB whenever I finish reading it. I swear!


Sunday, August 08, 2004

DC: The New Frontier #5 #6.95

I was pissed when I found out this was going bi-monthly. I don't know the reasons why, and honestly, don't care. It's the best superhero book being published, and, dammit, I want it as often as possible! Yeah, it's selfish, but if you don't think the same, then you're probably not reading it. For those not reading it I don't really have anything to compare it to....you could call it MARVELS, the DC version, but that's not entirely accurate, and it's a damn site batter than MARVELS (which I did like). What Cooke is doing is reintroducing and reimagining (somewhat) unfamiliar (or hell, even familiar) readers to DC's Silver Age, and to say he's successful would be the understatement of the century.

I've found myself not only liking, but caring about characters I've never liked in my comic book reading lifetime. Sure, everyone has their favorite Superman or Batman stories, and I've always like Batman, but I've never really cared about either of them. As for Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, or the Flash, forget it. Outsideof brief origin descriptions and recognizing their characters, I know jack about them, and really never cared to learn more, or read their books, at least on a regular basis.

This book, though, changes all of that. Suddenly I find myself loving Wonder Woman, admiring Superman, thinking the Flash and GL are cool (yeah, it sounds childish, but thats what this book brings out), not to mention Lois Lane, who isn't even a super powered character. Cooke breathes the most life into her, in my opinion. She's someone that has always felt stale to me, yet here she is, putting her neck on the line to get the story. She's her own woman, and very three dimensional, and that's something you don't see enough of.

This issue is probably Cooke's best so far, you can feel him building up to the final issue, and by the end, everything is so tense I was literally on the edge of my seat reading it. Words honestly won't do it justice. There's so many great things here it's just breath taking.

Personal favorite moment? Martian Manhunter telling Supes how much he loved his animated adventures.

This is as classic as they come folks, and you're missing one of the best reads you'll ever see in the superhero world (and in the comics medium) if you're not picking it up.


Saturday, August 07, 2004

Reviews-The Movie Edition

Quite a few flicks watched over the last ten days or so, hopefully I'll remember them all....

50 First Dates

Formost people the movie will start off with three strikes against it. #1: it's an Adam Sandler movie. #2 With Drew Barrymore. #3: it's a romantic comedy. None of those things would warrant a great movie, and rest assured, we don't get one. What we do get is a good movie, that's a bit more touching, and less funny than I would have tought it would be. Everyone should remember the last Sandler/Barrymore outing, The Wedding Singer, which was pretty good, better than most Sandler films (I like the guy, but he isn't the funniest man on the planet.) This is along the lines of his last few films (not counting Little Nicky of course, which is horrible). It's a great date movie, and something the whole family can watch.


It's not the worst movie ever, and ranks with League of Extraoridinary Gentlemen as far as comics to film movies. My brother liked it better than Daredevil, and he hated Daredevil. Of course, we didn't pay to see it, so that enhances it a bit. Definitely not worth eight bucks.

The Great Escape

Wow. I hate war films. I do. But this, this is a great friggin' movie.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Growing up there was a cartoon based off of the films and it always struck me as oddly funny. Such a bizarre concept, yet it works. I watched the first film a few days ago, I actually bought the Special Anniversery Edition on DVD, and the bonus features are great, probably one of the best all around packages I've ever seen. I can see why it's gathered such a cult following over the years, like the cartoon, it's bizaare and brilliant, and pretty damned funny. I doubt the toon would stand out today, but this film does, and likely always will.

Sealab 2021 Volume 1

It's movies like Killer Tomatoes that paved the way for things like this. Yes I intentionally mentioned them together, simply because they're so "off the beaten path," yet there's something that just draws you in and once you start watching you find yourself laughing your ass off. This is one of the best written things (it's not really a show, and cartoon sounds too vague) on television. Yes, I know it's not a movie dammit.

The Princess Bride

For some stupid reason I do not own this movie. I don't know why. It easily makes the top ten list of greatest films ever. Fans should be happy to know that in an EW readers poll of Greatest Movie Lines Ever (something like that) Princess Bride had some of the most write in votes, actually garnering the #1 spot with "My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die." My personal favorite? "Have fun storming the castle." and "I'm not a witch, I'm your wife!" and "Liar! Liar!" hell, the whole damn movie is one long quote fest. "Inconcievable!"

A Fish Called Wanda

Another film favorite of mine. Kevin Kline at his best, and as a kid "Don't call me stupid!" ranked up there with "Have fun storming the castle!" for me. It's still a funny movie, but doesn't have the replay value of Princess Bride.


Ther more I watch the movie the better I like it. The DVD has got to be one of the best ever, Del Toro left no stone unturned, giving you the inside look at everything that's gone into it. It just makes you appreciate it so much more.

That about covers it I think. I'm in the midst of some comic reading, including the latest DC: The New Frontier, and the Captain America & the Falcon: Madbomb TPB. Hopefully I'll get to at least one of the tomorrow.


Friday, August 06, 2004

The Reviews!

See, I told ya.

That said, I really need a name for my review column...quick, someone suggest something!

Ah, well....

Guardians #2 $2.99

Wonderful. A bit slow moving, but if the cover price were lower, I'd have no problem with that. You just don't get enough action here for three bucks. For anyone looking to get older kids/younger teens into comics, I don't think you can go wrong with this book. The characters are supposed to be in their late teens/early twenties (I assume...) but they feel like 15 and 16 year olds to me. That's not really a complaint, and seeing as how twenty year olds play fifteen year olds nowadays, it's not really important. I'm greatly looking forward to seeing where this goes.

X-Men: The End #1 $2.99

Dorian's gripe with this book was that you needed to know the vast X-History to comprehend it. (See his blog.) Now, while that's pretty much true, I followed it well enough and I'm hardly an X-pert (haha, couldn't help myself). I do want to say this, it was my belief that these "End" books were pretty much for the longtime fans, so I don't think that ut's really a legitimate gripe to begin with (even though, as I said, it's true). The art was great, and for once I actually enjoyed a Claremont story, which surprised me. But, for those who aren't familiar with alot of X-history, beware.

Y, the Last Man #25 $2.95

You'd think a 25th issue would have more than this...oh wait, we get to see Yorick's girlfriend! This was a great stpryline, but I'm hoping the pace picks up soon. Still, one of the best damn books being published.

Scratch #3 $2.50

Huh? I'm so lost right now it's not even funny. But damn it's pretty.

Pride & Joy TPB $14.95

Holy crap this was good. Ennis weaves two stories together seamlessly, and Higgins art complements is nicely. Story one is about aman who's past has finally caught up with him, and now he may have to pay the ultimate price for his past transgressions. Story two is a basic father-son story, very emotional, and very touching. On their own each story stands firm, but by blending the two Ennis gives us one of his best works ever. This is right up there with Preacher for me folks.

A great adventure

Found this post in my Drafts history...apparently I forgot to publish it, so here it is:

Finally got the chance to see Peter Pan on DVD last night. The new, live action one that is. Man, if you get the chance to see this film, do so. It's the most faithful adaption of J.M. Barrie's original story ever put to film. The movie holds almost nothing back, portraying Neverland as the danger it should be, Hook and his pirates are ruthless, and aren't above killing anyone. The only drawback? Not enough of them. Anyone who loves the story will LOVE this film, it captures the spirit of Pan brilliantly. Rent it, buy it, doesn't matter, just watch it.


It is a damn good movie, one I've been meaning to buy for quite some time now. I'll remedy that this weekend I think.
The Last to Know

No one ever tells me anything. ADD is blogging again, to which I say: Thank God. Also, there's a new CBG Forum, seems I missed a bit in the week without a computer, always nice to come back and find new and exciting things. So, the new links have been added, and I must say it's an honor to be once more linked to from the greatest blog on the net.

Make of that what you will, but believe me, it's true.

Yeah, yeah, the reviews are comin'....


Thursday, August 05, 2004

7 Days later....

I'm back up and running....and boy does it feel good. Coming up is a few random things I wanna get out of my drafts page, then I'll be back tomorrow with some reviews, I hope!

More Small Gods

Here's some more on the very excellent Small Gods, courtesy of Newsarama:

by Benjamin Ong Pang Kean

Do people with psychic abilities exist among us?
For decades, we have been told that psychics only exist in movies… or comics. Jean Grey and co. get more company come June.

In Jason Rand and Juan E. Ferreyra’s ongoing Image series Small Gods, an estimated 1% of the world’s population possess psychic powers. However, these people are not your X-Men or your usual costumed superheroes. These psychics are just ordinary people, living ordinary lives. People with families, careers and dreams. They eat, sleep, live - and as with all living, breathing individuals – die.

“Small Gods is a lot of things, which I think is part of the appeal. At least, I hope so,” series writer Jason Rand told Newsarama. “At its heart it's a character-driven story, but the kind of story varies, as do the characters. For instance, I'd describe the first arc [“Killing Grin”] as a cop/crime/drama story, centering on Owen Young, a precognitive detective. That means he sees the future - but as he himself says in the second issue, that's not always a good thing. The arc revolves around a secret Owen's been keeping for years. When that secret is uncovered, Owen and his friends have to scramble to prevent it being publicly revealed. Owen also has to decide just how far he's prepared to go to preserve the secret.

“His partner is John Meyer. John's not a psi - he's just a very good detective with a strong dislike for criminals.

“Daniela de Angelis - Dani - is Owen's girlfriend. She's a resident at the DHMC - that's the Denver Health Medical Centre. “Jodi Asamori-Lane is another homicide detective, and a good friend of both Owen and John.

“Then there's Jerry Farrell. I'm not going to say much about him, because we won't really meet him until the second issue - but he's important to the story.

“On the other side of the coin, the main players in Small Gods are Juan E. Ferreyra, our artist, who does marvellous things with pens, inks and greyscales; Kristen Simon, our editor and mother hen (oh, she's going to kill me for that one); and our most recent addition, Jim Keplinger, our lettering guru. And me, of course.

”Image seems to be churning out one-shots and/or original graphic novels of late. However, as previously mentioned, Small Gods is an ongoing series. Future story arcs will revolve around different characters and will encompass different genres. “For instance, the second arc is a crazy mishmash of crime/action and a buddy/chase movie. The protagonist is a "tel-emp" (telepath-empath - someone who can read minds and sense and influence emotions) con artist. “The third arc is a spy/psychological thriller centered around two characters - a telepathic CIA handler and an insane empathic assassin. Some of the characters will be recurring, some will only appear for a single arc. The good thing is that each arc will be mostly independent of the others, Rand said. “There'll be some loose links between them which regular readers may enjoy spotting, but for the most part you'll be able to pick up at the start of any arc and read it without needing to know anything that's gone before.

“There is a thematic link between all the stories, though, which is where the title for the project came from. No matter how exceptional a person is, at the most basic level everyone is still only human. That's the theme at the core of Small Gods - even the extraordinary are subject to the same flaws, problems, sorrows and joys as the rest of us. As you've probably guessed, in the world of Small Gods, psychic abilities are real, and they go far beyond the abilities psychics in our world claim to possess. That's the "Gods" part. But that focus on human problems brings those exceptional people back to the rest of us. That's why they're "Small". After all, even a psychic needs a job to earn a living.”

Check out more at: http://comicbooks.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php%3Fs=%26threadid=11943

Sorry for the long link, still not great at the HTML stuff. But do check it out, and buy this book. If you don't like it I'll send you your money back. It's that damn good.