Sunday, July 31, 2005

Did You Get That Thing I Sent You?

Adult Swim has started airing new Harvey Birdman episodes intheir Sunday night line-up, anyone who stays up past 11 pm, I recommend you check them out, it's one of the funniest shows on TV. Oh, and Brak is Back, so's Space Ghost! YES!

Speaking of TV, has anyone else seen the "new" trailer for The Skeleton Key? When a studio hijacks a trailer to personally hype a movie before it comes out, well, it doesn't really bode well for the movie does it? I loved Kate Hudson after Almost Famous but she really took her career in the wrong direction. The movie looksawful by the way.

Saw a few more trailers in the last few days as well, among them Barnyard, The Chumscrubber, Mirrormask, Waiting, Pretty Persuasion, and Broken Flowers. All of them look enjoyable for one reason or another, but Mirrormask directed by illustrator Dave McKean has me psyched. I love his art and I can only imagine how fantastically bizaare a film by him is going to be. Waiting looks to be a funny, Clerks-ish movie, and I really enjoy anything with Ryan Reynolds, and Broken Flowers is another Bill Murray/Jim Jaramusch movie, so that should be great. Chumscrubber just looks interesting, and well, I'm a straight guy, so my interest in Pretty Persuasion should be obvious after you watch the preview...

There's a 10th planet? If it took this long to find it must be hella-far away.

Do you know the ratings system? I agree that a system that works is/was desperately needed, but what this ultimately seems to be is Wertham's attacks on comic all over again. Did you know that since the GTA games started coming out violent crime is down? No, kids shouldn't be playing GTA, but where the hell does a kid get $50 to buy it to begin with? Why can't parents start, I dunno, PARENTING their kids?

Wizard World ATL may be a no-go. That really freaking sucks. I'm glad Heroescon won't get shafted, but I'm getting shafted. I can't afford to go to Heroescon, but I CAN afford the two hour drive to ATL. Dammit.

Larry Young knows what happens in Spidey 3.

Vampire comic Damn Nation has been optioned for a film.

Season 2 of Scrubs will hit in November. This is excellent news!

Also coming soon: The Electric Company, Gallagher, The Legend of Zelda.

Kevin Spacey definitely LOOKS the part of Luthor.

This looks interesting. Bout time we got a book with bugs in it.

Best Marvel Cover Ever.

The Comics Reporter remembers Jim Aparo.

Re-live the week of Kobra! (AKA Kobra Week) Kobra does rule.

Added some stuff to the sidebar, mainly Roger Green's blog. Check it out.

Finally, Neil Simon's brother, Danny has passed away. He was 87. My thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.


Thursday, July 28, 2005

Links from the Ded

Here's some stuff to keep you busy at work:

Check out the latest update at the Galaxy, which includes my next Loose Staples column, Shawn Hoke's Size Matters, Ian Brill's AEIOU review (I'm a poet and I didn't know it!) and my review of Superf*ckers #1. All excellent, all the time.

Here's ADD's rundown of the Spin 100, I should have posted that yesterday, apologies. Also, he reported a few days ago that there will be a delay with Bluesman #2 in the US (and I can only assume #3 as well) since Absence of Ink has closed up shop. This also means no Castaways I guess, unless you find a retailer who has some copies, though I'm sure Rob (Vollmar, the writer) has some stashed for sale at his shop. I have nothing to say other than this flat out blows. Good luck to Rob and Pablo with finding another publisher, I know they have their work cut out for them, but the comics reading world is all the better for their efforts.

I meant to wish Laura good luck before she left, and now she's back. I hate that I couldn't donate to help her with her funds, but I'm glad that everything worked out in the end. So, welcome back Laura!

Here's a look at the Invincible Hardcover. I really, really want this.

The return of 70's horror mags? Sounds sweet.

This is creepy, yet delicious. (Under July 27th)

Found at the Great Curve: Richard Kelly, writet/director of Donnie Darko, will pen some graphic novels. Theyll serve as prequels to his next movie, Southland Tales. Kevon Smith will be involved with both the c omics and the movie. Sounds awesome to me.

Neilalien presents: Blackjack #1! I want more!

Home Movies Season 3 news. YAY!

Am I the only one who think dinosaur new kicks ass? Check this out.

The Moby/Eminem fued over? Don't tell Em that, he'll screw with you just for the hell of it.

Just When I think I'm out...

As usual, the follower and not the leader. Everyone else has done this, I got some time to kill, so why not:

Spin magazine published their top 100 of the last 20 years, here's what I've got out of the list, some thoughts on others and some additions. The whole list is here.

100. The Strokes, Is This It (RCA, 2001)

I've been told I'd like the strokes, but I've never listened to them, maybe I should fix that.

93. Pearl Jam, Ten (Epic, 1991)

Jeremy alone makes this one of the best albums ever, sadly this is probably PJ's most solid album, but my favorite is still Vitology, weirdness abounds.

85. R.E.M, Automatic for the People (Warner Bros., 1992)

Georgia representin'. I like the boys from R.E.M. okay, and I like this album, not sure if it belongs on this list, but it's not my list.

84. Soundgarden, Superunknown (A&M, 1994)

This band is hit and miss with me, I do have this album tho, Black Hole Sun rocks, and Fell On Black Days kicks my ass.

81. Beck, Mellow Gold (Geffen, 1994)

I'm a newcomer to Beck, hopping on on his last album. I plan on going back to his earlier stuff, but I can't see myself liking it more than the present stuff.

79. Moby, Everything Is Wrong (Elektra, 1995)

I want to like Moby, and I don't dislike him, just never felt like my cup of tea.

77. Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch, 2002)

Didn't like it, at all. I tried, and I want to, but I just don't. Give me Son Volt any day.

72. Raekwon, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx (Loud/RCA, 1995)

I need this.

70. Jay-Z, The Blueprint (Roc-A-Fella, 2001)

Personally I would've picked another album, maybe Life and Times, Vol 3, but it's nicce to at least have J on the list (pssst-he should be higher!)

67. Slayer, Reign in Blood (American, 1986)

Slayer? You're freaskin' kidding me? No Crue? But Slayer? Whatever...

66. Outkast, Aquemini (LaFace, 1995)

Can't argue here. Outkast is the greatest duo rap has ever known, they've had more breakthrough success than probably anyone, and the fact that they make "booty" music somewhat respectable, well, that just means they kick that much more ass.

64. Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP (Interscope, 2000)

This is on here simply because it was his first release, The Eminem Show is a much better album, and stands as one of the greatest works of musical artistry I've ever heard.

61. Weezer, Pinkerton (Geffen, 1996)

I want to like these guys too, I should give their latest a shot.

59. Modest Mouse, The Lonesome Crowded West (Up, 1997)


58. Metallica, Master of Puppets (Elektra, 1986)

What the band has become has ruined any credibility they once held. FUCK Metallica.

57. The White Stripes, White Blood Cells (Sympathy For The Record Industry, 2001)

There's no arguing here, but this is really the only Stripes album that I've adored.

53. Rage Against the Machine, The Battle of Los Angeles (Epic, 1999)

Awww, yeah, turn that shit up.

52. Beastie Boys, Licensed to Ill (Def Jam, 1986)

The original honkies of rap at their earliest and perhaps finest.

51. Nirvana, In Utero (DGC, 1993)

I'm gonna take the unpopular opinion and say that if Cobain hadn't offed himself Nirvana would not be the influence they continue to be. They're still great, but I can't see them as a continual influence if their career hadn't come to a screeching halt.

(For some reason their list ends at 51? I dunno, I cribbed the rest from ADD)

49. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill Lauryn Hill 1998

No friggin' thanks.

45. College Dropout Kanye West 2004

Oh hell yes. One of the best albums I've ever bought.

44. Dookie Green Day 1994

I dunno, this isn't my favorite Green Day, again, it was a breakthru album, I think that's why it's here.

40. Raising Hell Run DMC 1986

They are the kings of rock.

35. The Chronic Dr Dre 1992

Not a fan of solo Dre, his "team-ups" are always excellent though, and this is definitely some classic rap.

33. AmeriKKKas Most Wanted Ice Cube 1990

Not a fan of the gangsta, but I like Ice Cube okay, his earlier stuff more than his later.

28. Definitely Maybe Oasis 1994

Man I think these guys just lost it, they could've been consistently great.

25. The Downward Spiral Nine Inch Nails 1994

Definitely the best of the NIN

23. Stankonia Outkast 2000

If anyone deserves to be on the list twice, it's probably them. Most influental group in the last ten years.

20. Enter the Wu Tang Clan (36 Chambers) Wu-Tang Clan 1993

This should be in the top 10 at least, possibly #1. This album brough about a whole new movement in hip-hop and let loose some of the greatest performers the world of music has ever seen.

19. Live Through This Hole 1994

This album's success rests solely on Cobain.

18. Appetite for Destruction Guns n Roses 1987

Best album EVER. My favorite band, period.

17. Illmatic Nas 1994

I need to pick up some Nas, seriously.

16. Odelay Beck 1996

I'll get to this one eventually.

12. Paul's Boutique Beastie Boys 1989

The Boys rock all.

11. Achtung Baby U2 1991

U2 just doesn't do it for me, particularly this album.

10. Straight Outta Compton NWA 1988

Yeah, not gonna arcue with that one.

3. Nevermind Nirvana 1991

Ummm, yeah I love this, but what I said still applies.

2. It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back Public Enemy 1988

I should have this, but I don't.

Radiohead is the #1 album, I don't get into Radiohead, sorry.


Counting Crows-Agust and Everything After

One of the best albums ever concieved, and one of the most important CD's I've ever purchased.

Bubba Sparxxx-Deliverance

This list really needs more southern rap, it's becoming the fastest growing segment of the genre and this is the finest example of what it has to offer.

Alice in Chains- just pick an album!

I'm severely disappointed by the fact that the Chains weren't included.

Everclear-Songs from an American Movie Vol. 1

I pick this because it's my favorite, but any Everclear would have bbeen nice. This album showed so much more growth for the band, both personally and instrumentally, one of my favorite CDs

Other thoughts: No Chili Peppers? No Pantera? I'm surprised there's no Alanis, and I think Sheryl Crow deserves to be on the list.

But, that's just me.


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Quickies-07/27/05: The Movie Edition

The Chronicle of Riddick

I tried to like this, and it has a few good idea going for it, but it's just too much in the end. Pitch Black worked because of it's simplicity, there isn't a single thing about Riddick that is simple. Well, except maybe the dialogue, which mostly reads like it was written by a five year old. Twohy and company try too hard to make Riddick out to be some important character in the universe, rather than just the accidental hero he was in Pitch Black. It becomes a story that's too huge to tell, trying to tie the previous film in with the current arc, tying the Necromongers (the worst name in the history of stupid names) in with Riddick's origin, it just ends up convoluting the entire movie. And Dench ends up being wasted talent. Maybe not the worst movie I've ever seen, but it's definitely one of the most disappointing.

Fantastic Four

So, I went and saw this again, then I read some early Lee/Kirby FF stuff and I really appreciated it more. I recommend reading some older, goofier FF stuff before you go see it, it makes it a better movie for sure. Still, Doom was a waste, I decided that what he really needed was some kind of mouth, like Bender has on Futurama, not a real mouth, but a series of lines that allow him to have some sort of expression, maybe like Kitt on Knight Rider. I can hear William Daniels saying "Richaaaaaards!!!!!!" That would have ruled.

Finding Neverland

Did I already talk about this? I'm not sure. Man, this is one swell movie. There's a tad too much tugging on the ol heart strings towards the end, but other than that it's brilliant. Depp is as good as he ever is (which means he's brilliant) and Winslett has probably the best performance of her career here, but I've gotta say the kids are the movies real attractions. The scenes which feature them are hands down the best in the movie and I'm sure Depp's work with Freddie Highmore here led to his casting in Charlie. I highly recommend everyone checking this out, it's an excellent film for young and old.

In Good Company

What do you think this movie is about? Because, I thought it was about a man's younger boss falling for his daughter. Well, it's not. It's Dennis Quaid's movie through and through, giving us a glimpse at the struggle of an aging man making a living in a modern world. It's a wonderful movie in that aspect, seeing things us of a younger generation pretty much hold as concrete law viewed through the eyes of a man who's been there since the beginning. Topher Grace is typical, he always seems to play the same character, and Scarlett is as gorgeous as ever. This probably won't be an enjoyable view for the teens looking for a date film, but for anyone who feels like the world's passing them by, I definitely suggest picking it up.

Crooked Lines

Not a great movie, but the performances by Ben Stiller pals like Colin Quinn and Jim Bruer (also by Quinn buddies Mario Cantone and Burt Young, and a few of his Mickey Blue Eyes cohorts show up as well) makes it an enjoyable watch regardless. The production is as low budget as these movies get, and the story is sort of been-there-done-that (crooks take on a job, turn out to be idiots, bungle the job, things turn out okay in the end), and the dialogue is jumpy, but the laughs are there. If you're a fan of any of those guys I'd say check this out, but if not, might not be your cup of tea.

Lady Death

Don't ask me why I have this, I honestly couldn't tell you. It's better than the comics that spawned it, and prettier looking too, but there's plenty of T&A to be had. It's done anime style by ADV films and I guess it's no worse than any of the other crapanime movies that make it to shelves (as opposed to actual good ones, like Steamboy, or so I've heard), but it's still a crap movie. So, avoid at all costs.

I think that's all I've checked out lately.


Monday, July 25, 2005

Not Another DVD List

Since I've ignored you guys over the weekend, here's an early look at what's hitting shelves this week. As for my DVD purchases lately, well, for $25 I got the special editions of Million Dollar Baby, Seven and Magnolia. An unbelievable deal if you ask me, I might dive into Baby this weekend. I've watched a few films lately, but I'll talk more about that tomorrow.

The Brady Bunch - The Complete Second Season

It's always about Marsh! Marsha, Marsha, Marsha! Seriously, I can't believe people like this show.

Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman - The Complete Season Six

This show made it to six seasons? I do like Jane Seymore on Smallville, well, liked, I guess she won't be back.

Gilligan's Island - The Complete Third Season

The Doc makes it to six, Gilligan got three, there's no justice in this world.

The Jerk (26th Anniversary Edition)

He's shooting at the cans! He hates these cans!

The Mary Tyler Moore Show - The Complete Second Season

Hey, it only took 'em four years to get this out. Good Lord, if the fans were holding their breath, well, they're certainly all dead now.

Not Another Teen Movie - Unrated Extended Director's Cut

Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan, this pisses me off like nothing else.

Remington Steele - Season 1

What James Bond SHOULD have been.

Silk Stalkings - The Complete Third Season

Psuedo-sexy late night crime drama. My grandmother used to love this show, i'll have to give it a rent eventually, I barely remember it.

Star Trek Enterprise - The Complete Second Season

Boldly going where no one wanted it to go.

Steamboy - Director's Cut (DVD Gift Set)

I've heard great things, anyone seen it? I'll have to add it to my rental queu on Netflix.

The Upside of Anger

Costner is hit or miss for me, but I love Joan Allen.

XXX - State of the Union (Widescreen Edition)

The fact that there's no Vin automatically makes it a better movie.

Not much coming out this week, if I decide to drop some dough on anything it will be for The Jerk. That's a classic. But I've already got more movies to watch than I knopw what to do with. Damn these used DVD deals.


Friday, July 22, 2005


Here's a look at some books I've read in the last week or so.

Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #10

Featuring Spidey anf Man-thing, sort of. This is really the Lizard's story and Bendis does a good job of updating it. Having John Totleben on art made me laugh (see he's widely known for his work on DCs Swamp Thing) and while it wasn't up to some of his previous stuff, it was pretty good. Not a bad issue considering I spent two quarters on it, and I've liked all the Ultimate Team-Up books I've come across, eventually I'll have the whole darn set.I keep wondering if they'll ever address thew Spidey/FF issue int the current Ult. FF book, but since it doesn't really jibe with what their doing there I doubt it. B

Cable & Deadpool #17

The inevitable House of M tie-in, this issue the 'Poolman (Deadpool) and his buddies (Siryn and Cannonball) must rescue a baby Nathan (that's Cable) from Mr. Sinister (Mr. Sinister), who isn't quite the evil bastard the mutant-followjng comic readers know him to be. He's still evil, just not so much. The book's as funny as ever and it's nice to know I won't have to follow that incessant crossover to get what's going on. I'm really digging Zurcher'sa art. B+

Tales of the TMNT #12

A Raph solo issue, our favorite green hot-head follows Shado to Paris where they take on a pair of serial killers withthe help of a ghost. Good art by Dario Brizuela and the story is a nice change of pace from the more serious, darker previous issues. It's nice to see a solo Raph too as he was always an interesting character to explore. Tales has really been one of the most enjoyable books I've been reading and it's nice to know I can pick up the issues without having to remember what's been going on. A

Y the Last Man #36

The fill-in art of Gorin Sudzuka has been wonderful, I kind of hate to see it go, but I am looking forward to Guerra's return. Next ish will be stand-alone and we'll finally get to see what's been going on with Beth. This issue wrapped up the Girl on Girl arc excellently, and as I predicted we'll get to see Yorick and company make it to Australia after all (not that it was a hard prediction) and Vaughan even managed to throw some twist into the mix at the end. How this book is able to maintain such consistent quality in all it's 35 issues is mind-blowing, even my beloved Preacher had a misstep or two in that span of time. Continually one of the best books out there. A

All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #1

Despite winning the prize for "Worst named Batman book ever", this issue does nothing for me. all kinds of excuses have been made for it but I just couldn't get into it. Ian Brill's notation that the writing and art are disconnected is probably the most accurate reason it doesn't work, but Miller just seems to be phoning it in. Clearly he could write Batman crap in his sleep (DK2 anyone?) so why put a huge amount of effort into it? And Lee's work here is pretty much crap, worse that his Hush stuff. I may be back for issue #2 just to see if it gets better, but I doubt it. C

Wonderlanders #1

Oktomica Entertainment put out three titles in its short history, Virtex lasted four issues, Wisp lasted one, this book ran for two. I cam across it in a, you guessed it, fifty cent bin and decided to get in based on the Kaare Andrews artwork, turns out it was one of his earliest works, in fact I think it was his first published art, I could be wrong though. The art is nice, but my God the story is HARD to follow. It's kind of Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe crossed with Wizard of Oz (As if they weren't slose enough already), but with a modern type of appeal. If you see this, avoid it, unless you're a completist. D


Thursday, July 21, 2005

On my planet this is hilarious

Cartoon Network is airing a Titans marathin right now. I only get to watch the show sporadically, but man I wish I caught more episodes. You people and your TIVOs make me jealous. I'm assuming this was the season finale, Raven has brought Trigun to Earth, dying in the process and Robin and company have to stop him with Slade's help. Seeing Slade and Robin team-up was cool in that geeky way, and seeing Slade sans mask was uber-creepy. Not sure why they think that's acceptable, but calling him Deathstroke isn't...but, yeah, this show rocks.

This week at the LCS I picked up Bone Vol. 2 (the color edition) as well as the new Cable & Deadpool and a book called Grounded (issue #1 btw). Been awhile since I wrote a full on review for CBG and I think Grounded warrants one (so does Bone, of course, but I'm not so certain about reviewing it right on the heels of my Vol 1 review...I should ask Alan about that) so as soon as I finish the next LOOSE STAPLES, which will hopefully be tonight.

Elsewhere on the web:

Yesterday at Comic Book Galaxy Rob Vollmar's latest International Geographic went up. I'm enjoying the hell out of this new column and having Rob writing anything on a regular basis is just plain sweet. While you're there check out Sobel's Crack Shots and Rice's Make-Believe War!

Ever wonder what it's like at Geek Heaven, well, these people made it there and came back to tell us about it.

Also, via the Spurg: Wizard World Atlanta. This has me majorly excited, it's about time ATL got a show of its own, and the south needed something in genral. Guess where I'll be next year?

According to DavidDVD, we're getting Elektra: The Director's Cut. I liked the movie, so that's kind of cool.

Grand Theft Auto will be removed from retail shelves. All because parents are too flippin lazy to make sure their kids don't get a hold of it. It's already a 17 or older game, now it's adults only...what the hell is the difference? This pisses me off more than anything else, ever, and I don't even play the game. My gas station can carry porn but Wal-Mart can't carry GTA...Jesus this country is dumb.

I'd also like to add my voice to the wishes of condolences to the families of Jim Aparo and James Doohan. I'm not overly familiar with Aparo's art, nor was I a big Trekkie, but I was saddened by the news regardless. My prayers to the family and friends of the two.

The D'oh list

In all the hubub I forgot about posting this week's list. Here's what hit DVD shelves yesterday:

Armageddon (UMD Mini For PSP)

The DVD equivalent of a port-a-potty. Nah, I kid, it's not an excellent movie by any means but it's good, dumb fun.

Constantine (2-Disc Deluxe Edition with Comic Book)

Also available in a regualr (read: cheaper) edition. Really, it's a decent movie as long as you don't read the comic, then it'll just piss you off I'm sure.

The Crow - Wicked Prayer

I'm interested in seeing this. I'm sure it won't be good, but I'd like to see it.

Dead Like Me - The Complete Second Season

I really need to see this show. But, since it got cancelled I'm not in a huge rush.

Ice Princess (Widescreen Edition)

Good God no, and I like sports movies. What? ice skating is a sport! Kinda...

Lost in Space - Season 3, Vol. 2

Too bad the movie kinda sucked, it's such a decent concept. Someone should do this as a comic.

Man of the House

Poor, poor Tommy, first Batman Forever, now this...

A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Vol. 1
A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Vol. 2


Saved By the Bell - Season Five

Ready for some depressingly sad info: I know the lyrics to the theme song. Wanna hear me sing it?

Sliders - Third Season

They're also rereleasing the firsrt season at about half the price of the original release. Good concept, too bad Quantum Leap did it better.

Wild Cats - The Complete Series (Collector's Edition)

Hey, they spelled it wrong!

Man that's an incredibly lackluster list. If you HAVE to buy something, I recommend Constatine, at least you get a free comic! I didn't mention Cleopatra 2525 or Earth 2 for, well, obvious reasons. Actually, I never saw Earth 2. Augie says it sucks, but what does he know, he hates Starship Troopers, the greatest movie ever made!!!!

I'm kidding about that last part...really.


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Taking the High Road...Kinda

You know, my gut reaction, would be to rip into Steve's argument about my argument, but really, what's the point? The fact that it apparently took him five days to see my post is kind of funny, sad for me, but still kinda funny.

I do, however, want to address some of his comments, and I'm going to try my damndest to not look so juvenile, because the bottom line is, how one conducts himself online, particularly on their blog, is apparently representative of how they interact in real life situations, or, say, a work environment.

Damn, sorry, that was a cheap shot.

Stevie, Stevie, Stevie...

Man, I hate to break it to you, but I WAS talking to Rose, not sure why you got up on your high horse. In fact...I think we were all pretty much talking to Rose. If you're trying to be noble and "defend her honor" so to speak, well throwing more wood onto the fire really isn't the right way to go about it.

I don't think I ever said I wasn't part of the fact I'm damn positive at various points in my online history I've fully admitted to being part of the problem. I'll agree with you there, we're pretty much ALL part of the problem. That's where we part ways, which sucks because you really could have made some valid observations about me and the comics weblog-o-whateverthefuckwe'recallingitthesedays.

Blogging about comics is the nerd equivelant of the Monday Morning Quarterback. It's easy (well not THAT easy) to sit here and criticize the works of comic creators (and other bloggers even), but in the larger picture, unless you're discussing actual, imoprtant comics (like, say, Ice Haven) or blogs (likes The Comics Reporter), it's pretty much an idiotic quest. You calling it a wankfest pretty much sums it up accurately. There's A LOT to talk about when it comes to all of that, and with a title like "An Open Letter to the Comics Internet" I'd hoped for the best.

Do you think I'm the comics internet? Solely me? Wow man, I appreciate that kind of leap, but I'm barely even PART of the comics internet! I spend most of my time blogging about movies and TV and media, with the occasional comic thrown in. For future reference these guys are the comics internet...the best part of it, anyway.

I don't like the fact that you "don't worry about the forward momentum of the artform". Seriously, that bothers the hell out of me. Even if you ONLY read superhero comics, you should be worried about that. You, me, us, we all have a vested interest in where comics are going, we like reading comics and the mainstream is really circling the drainpipe, so I think we should ALL be worried about where the artform is going. If you don't, well then...why the hell are you blogging about comics? Or even still reading them?

For comparison, let's look at the movie industry: like comics, sales are down from the heyday of the medium, and analysts have plenty of theories about it, but I think the most accurate (on both comics and movies) is that people are really tired of seeing the same movie. Action movies, for a time, were the bread and butter of the movie industry, much like superheroes for comics, so that's a majority of what we got. Eventually people just said screw it and stopped going (or, for comics, reading), and sales started gradually slipping. But, the industry still thinks it can lure them back with their popcorn fliks, but it's not gonna work. Audiences are getting smarter, and if you don't give them something other than the crap you's shoveled down their throats for the last twenty years, well, they'll eventuially stop coming at all.

Fortunately for both movies and comics there are those out there who do care and still believe in the artform. People like Wes Anderson, The Coens, etc. etc. In comics it's people like Seth, James Kochalka, Dan get my point. Those people don't see a failing artform, they see an oportunity to tell great stories, and we, as readers, should be concerned about where the artform is going for no other reason than that, those guys need to succeed in their chosen profession because they get it right everytime, and if we are all just content to sit back and see what happens, well, they'll probably either starve or justr quit publishing (my guess would be starve because their passion is just too great to quite). So, Steven, please, BE concerned about where comics are going, you have a right to be.

"I think we can all agree that the final sentence of Rose’s post was ill-advised. A very bad idea."

Actually, I liked Rose's final sentence, it was everything in the paragraph that preceded it that I didn't care for. I just think her attack on Chris Allen was uncalled for, and in my opinion he deserves an apology, but I said my peace about that, and it's between Chris and Rose now, not between us, so I suggest we stay the hell out of it, agreed? Good.

All that stuff about Rose accusing ADD of whatever, written by me at least, was said/written in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, but no matter, her tone was clearly visible, and even though she claims otherwise, it just reads like so much accusation...wait, no, no it doesn't. Clearly my point there was that her stance doesn't feel accusatory, but rather "I want to taked a dump on the he-man club and I really have no other ammo...". In fact...I said as much. You obviously need to work on your reading comprehension skills there Stevie.

For the record, I don't think anyone was badly behaved in that incredibly hard to read comments thread, Chris maybe reacted harshly at first, but he apologized (something neither you nor Rose has done for him) and ADD was, as he said, startlingly civil. I honestly expected one of two things from him- complete silence or absolute rage. The fact that he handled it the way he did, well, bravo. You can't attack his baby and expect him not to defend. You and Rose seem to think that saying things like "Open Letter to the Comics Internet" and "Someone's finally asked about the existence of women comic bloggers" and then personally attacking particular sites makes it okay. It doesn't, that was one of my points.

If you're going to adress the issue, address the damn issue, don't turn it into "let's beat up on this site".

The question why we are protesting so much is laughable. You're joking right? Rose sets out to attack CBG for whatever reason and we protest, and somehow we're in the wrong...I don't get it.

Again, she didn't makes ONE ill-advised final sentence. It was a few, and they weren't here final sentence, I actually LIKED her final sentence. Apparently it is you who didn't read Rose's post. You do know you can bring up multiple windows and read them as you write a resaponse, right? I mean, I'm doing it right now, it's really not hard.

I think it's hilarious that you are "getting over it" by telling me and my "friends" to get over it.

:::runs and grabs his baseball bat:::

Hey, I'm perfectly content to beat this dead fucker into the pavement, you start at the head and I'll start at the tail. What can I say, I've always been an ass man. Or, just and ass, man.


P.S. Rose's only mention of race in her post (not the comments...the actual POST)- "lots of writing from lots of white guys"...that's not exactly addressing the issue is it? Did you bother to reread her post before you started beating off? I mean beating the horse...

PPS: Again with the WE stuff? Man, are you and Rose the same person? Cuz a schizophrenic hermaphradite would definitely be a cool person to have on the staff. I could probably get Alan to agree to it!

Monday, July 18, 2005

All Hail the Hypno-Toad!

Man I loved me some Futurama. Good news, the movie is pretty much a go. I liked Family Guy but I don't see why it deserved renewal over this, Futurama rules everything.

Even more good news, Clone High is coming out as well!!!

Your summer reading list, courtesy of Joe Rice and Comic Book Galaxy. I'm actually going to try and get these...well, except for Flex Mentallo. Only because it would cost me more than $50 to get em though.

Javier Hernandez GN El Muerto is now a movie. Apparently everyone but me knew this already, but there ya go. It's stars Fez (Why is it Fez? It should be Fes- Foreign Exchange Student) from That 70's Show. Aztec zombies, huh? Sounds like Zombie Tom's kinda thing, maybe mine too.

Via the always wonderful Mike Sterling: The Watcher. I'm thinking I'll make the Watcher movie he suggested with my stop motion video camera, them send it to him.

Dave's back from Diego, go say hey.

I spent most of the day watching.recording episodes of The Tick. Man that's a funny ass show. This week will be spent primarily rebuilding my comics list, not a hard thing, but a pain in the ass nonetheless.

Sunday/Monday Links

Well, the convention was kind of a bust (mainly because my list of comics--which I'd also been milling through to sort out the one I no longer need/want--is pretty much gone, the disc it was on is corrupt, and my backup is so out of date it's not funny), I did get a few good things though, but mostly just 50-cent bin diving (which is only fun for like an hour) and trying to stay out other fanboys way, cuz man do they get pissed when you look too slow.

The best find? Cerebus Book 1 for $4. $4!!!!!!!

I'll be writing a bit more about the trip in the next LOOSE STAPLES, I'll keep you posted!

So, I figured I throw some links out there then get some reading done.

First, make sure you stop by Roger Green's blog. His Jeopardy pieces are excellent! I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for the next one.

Happy (belated) anniversery to Laura! Careful, she's got some Harry Potter spoilers lurking about, but no news on who died, since I don't read the books I guess I'll find out when the film eventually gets made!

Ian is audioblogging San Diego, I'm debating on if I want to hear them, but only because no one ever sounds like I think they might.

The Spurg interviews The Superstar. Good stuff.

Leave it to Fred Hembeck to have me doubting my thoughts on the FF film. I'll have to give it another look now!

This looks promising as hell. DJ Danger Mouse did one hell of a job with the unreleased Grey Album, I loved it, I know nothing of MF Doom though, but I'll be checking it (and him) out.

Check Shane out, love those old letters pages!

So, this is what that new Potter book is about? Sweet!

Tom competantly sums up JLU, I didn't know it was the finale, but damn was it ever good!

Despite the fact that he's plain WRONG about Starship Troopers, Augie has lead me to two kick ass sites lately, here and here, so I forgive him.

And finally, Mick Martin bids us farewell. That makes this a bittersweet day at best. I certainly wish Mick the best of luck, and while his blog hasn't been a frequently updated site, it's been one of the most enjoyable ones. I really enjoyed his retro reviews. His Star Trek/Star Wars piece was one of the funniest things I've EVER read, and while I ultimitely enjoyed Episode III, his take was both accurate and funny. His blog archives are well worth perusing, so I recommend everyone go over to Mick's place and check out one of the best and funniest writers the blog-o-whatever has had. Mick, you're a helluva guy, you'll be missed, hope you come back soon!


Friday, July 15, 2005

Blogging about Blogging

There's a debate going on that I've intentionally stayed out of, but I've decided to add my two cents, and just for the hell of it I'm posting it here instead of that incredibly hard to deal with comments thread. (See, when you respond to someone's comments you should always start the response off with at least their name, only a few people seem to get that...So instead of having to constantly read every other response to see if it responds to mine, well this makes it easier...of course I realize no one reads this, why do you ask?)

So, Rose decided that there was a lack of female representation at Comic Book Galaxy, and on the comics internet in general. She even called out Laura for not recognizing more female bloggers/writers. You'll notice that Laura is the ONLY female blogger on my sidebar, just like CBG has only one female contributor. Is that because we have something against women? Surely it is.

No, it's not. But, while CBG's contributors (male or female) can be summed up simply as "what we got", Laura is the only female blogger on my sidebar because she's what I like. She's funny, she's informative, she's obsessive, she's never hostile (I know, I know, a guy who is hostile claiming he doesn't like hostility), and she doesn't complain about things she could ultimately change (she always buys Aquaman, she usually doesn't like it, but never continually rants about it). Are there more women bloggers out there like this? Probably, but I've always been a "stick with what's working" kind of guy. Laura works for me on a regular basis, and whenever I find someone else I like enough to want to read about everyday, well, they'll be on the sidebar.

You'll also notice Dorian is the only gay man on my linksbar too, and for partially the same reasons. Only I like, no LOVE to hear Dorian be combative and hostile because he can do it in a way that always makes me laugh. When I find another gay comics blogger that I like this much, guess what, I'll add them to the damn sidebar.

The key word there is FIND. See, you can throw an internet rock and hit a white guy blogging about comics (or hell, ANYTHING), but finding female and gay bloggers, especially ones that are GOOD, is not always the easiest thing.

My question here though is why be so destructive about CBG and its shortcomings? Could it use more minorities on the staff? The short answer is: YES. And I'm pretty damn positive that ADD sought out people in those areas that are qualified (which begs the question, if I'm qualified, what exactly are the qualifications? Heh.), but odds are good they passed, for whatever reason. You need look no further than that dreaded comments section to find at least one that falls into two of those categories.

Here's another question: Why stop there Rose? Surely there are other minority groups we don't have on staff. Why concern yourself with just females? Surely Alan is as much a racist as he is a misogynist, why not attack him on that front? If you honestly hoped to have any weight to your complaint you'd have attacked CBG on its lack of almost any minority groups, not just females, so instantly your argument falls apart, at least for me. It just makes it read like you deciding to take a big dump on our clubhouse and you needed something other than "the site looks ugly".

Simply put, there aren't more because there aren't more. I could hand some comics to anyone and ask them to write about them, but is that something you'd want to read? I could go to work today, give them to everyone I know and ask them to write 500 words about what they read, I guarantee less than half of them would even be remotely enjoyable. Why? Because comics readers, especially ones who can understand and intelligently comment about the medium, are hard to come by. I think CBG has done a damn fine job of gathering a group of people (I got grandfathered in! YAY!) that can talk at length about comics with intelligence. Is it revolutionary? Nope, but it's there, and people are enjoying it, or at the very least reading it.

Here's something else I'd like to address: Her comments on Chris Allen's personal life. Honestly, what the hell does that have to do with how he acts professionally? I could go home every night and jerk off to lesbian porn, but does that mean I don't know how to act around women in a more professional environment? Umm, no. Just because Chris runs his site as sort of a journal about his life in general that does not mean he isn't respectful of women. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that women that read comics could get a date far easier than men that read comics. I applaud Chris' efforts to "get back on the horse" so to speak. I saw what divorce did to my father, seeing Chris handle it completely differently has been interesting. Dating is hard, and I think it's infinitely harder for men, especially us geeks, so if blogging about it helps Chris get through the day (or whatever the reasons, it's his life afterall), well who the hell are you to judge him?

She does have a few somewhat valid points, all of them about the look and/or navigation of the sitre. But, you know what, I'm not even qualified to comment on that. If you can't be part of the solution, DON'T be part of the problem, that what Grandma always said. I know enough HTML to run this blog half-assed, so I'm not going to say "Hey, Alan, you know it would be great if you busted your ass even more and made the site look like a shiny new nickel!". On his blog Alan admits to doing as much as he can, and from what I've seen that's entirely true. So, instead of bitching about the sites look and leaving it at that, why not offer some tips? Why just be destructive in your criticism? If you know of specific ways to fix things why not email Alan and ask him if he'd like your help.

But, you make it clear that you want nothing to do with CBG early on don't you? Apologies, I forgot. By the way, that statement reads like it was written by a kid in the sixth grade: "Hey, I didn't get invited, but screw them I didn't want to go anyway!" Is that really necessary? It also subtracts from the validity of your argument.

So, what this boils down to is the exact thing that's wrong with mainstream comics? People continually bitching about a product they'll buy no matter what. If you're going to read CBG everyday then complain about it, it kind of makes your points invalid, especially since you're not trying to be part of the solution. Personally attacking one of the editors (it WAS a personal attack, it reads like one, it's there, you can't deny it) certainly isn't going to win you any favor with the staff either. Chris and I likely disagree on TONS of stuff, but I've always been one to stand firm with friends and family, and CBG is a family, a growing one. If you don't enjoy it, well, you don't have to read, but it will still be there, and eventually it will be the best it can be.

Sigh...then there's the debate in your comments section about links. Has it occurred to anyone other than me that somewhere somebody might just stumble upon something? Why does it matter if some sight gets double linked? Why does it matter if nine people link to the same article? I do NOT!!!!! write my blog or my column for the people on my sidebar, if I see something there that I want to link to, I will. I write for the people who don't know me, that's who I write for. That Batman column was not for the people ALREADY reading comics, it was for the people who don't. A comics commentator commenting on comics commentary that comments on something they've read somewhere else is kind of idiotic. Yes, you did read that somewhere else, but I didn't write it for YOU, I wrote it for the guy who hasn't picked up a Batman comic in fifteen years, or the parent who's looking for a good Batman book their kid can enjoy. I could have certainly done it better, everything can always be better, but I at least tried. I didn't stand around bitching that no one writes about good entry level books for people to pick up. Well, I tried, that's at least a step in the right direction.

So, to cut it short, not just Rose, but everyone out there content to sit around bitching that things aren't what they should be, but never lending a hand to make it better: STOP BEING PART OF THE PROBLEM!

I think that's what "Pushing Comix Forward" is all about.


Thursday, July 14, 2005

And the Blog goes on

So, yesterday was new comics day, I speant a measly 10 bucks and got three books, one that I actually enjoyed, one I have yet to read, and one that just did nothing for me. None of those are in the following list!

Common Foe #1

This is a WWII book in which some American soldiers and some German ones have to band together to take down an ancient evil. It sounds slightly more interesting that it actually is. Seeing Giffen's name on the cover convinced me to pick it up, and the art is decent enough (by Jean-Jacques Dzialowski), but the plot is just too static for me to make much sense out of what is going on. I won't be back for #2, and I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. D

Strange Girl #1

This is almost the same case, only the art made my head hurt and the plot felt too rushed as did the characters. I'm not the biggest fan od decompressed storytelling, but this story could've moved a little slower to make it easier to swallow. Says the man who's favorite book is about four giant turtles. D+


This is phenomenal. Garth Ennis is always recognized for his over-the-top violence and outrageous plots, but few ever stand up and praise him for the heart he can add to his stories. Heartland is the tale of a family living in Belfast (circa 1994) and both the personal and political problems they face on a daily basis. It's one of the best things Ennis has ever written, it's self-contained, and it's beautifully illustrated by Steve Dillon. It lacks most of what people associate with Ennis, and that makes it even more enjoyable. This feels like a story very close to his heart and one that needed to be told. It was published in '97 and I'm not sure how available it is at the moment, but if you can find this, buy it it's one of the greatest stories I've ever read, comic or not. A+

Cable & Deadpool #16

While exploring alternate realities (and Cables) is kind of cool, and I love me some Siryn and Cannonball (for different reasons...I swear), this just feels like too much. It's funny, but only if you know why it's funny. Here's hoping it wraps up next issue. B

Intimates #8

More summer fun with Punchy. #9 is already out, so I'm very untimely with this review, so that's pretty much all I have to say about it. Even more good stuff from Casey and excellent art by Giuseppe. This is the best superhero book that isn't about superheroes on the stands. A

Palookaville #5&8

Man I wish I'd been reading this. Seth's work is so great that even the story of him obsessively trying to track down a cartoonist is compelling. Hopefully I'll be able to find some more issues of this soon, maybe at the con I'm going to Sunday (I wish it was San Diego!), but it's hard to find people who have copies that are willing to part with them. A

The Crusades: Urban Decree

Not sure if I've talked about this one before...I may have. I reread it recently and I really want to track down the series now. It's really good, it has a Quxotic feel to it, if Qixote had been more like Manson I guess. Solid story, solid art, I think I'll cruise eBay and see if I can find a set of the series. B+

D'o! I forgot to link to Permanent Damage yesterday! Go, read!


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

All Kinds of Crap

Most of my posts lately have just been men rambling. This one won't be any different.

First things first: Fantastic Four!

The big question is, Does it suck?

No. It doesn't blow me away, but it doesn't suck The biggest problem in the movie lies with two characters: Reed and Sue. It's obvious after that no one got what makes their relationship interesting, Warren Ellis gets it, just go read Ultimate Fantastic Four, he'll knock your damn socks off. But, Hollywood doesn't get it. The Reed that we know would have never stopped to go walking (or whatever it is they go do) with Sue, nor would he have (at least at this age) made so many mistakes, but to make the film convenient and accesible (read: dumbed down), things were changed. But, they did get Johnny and Ben...mostly. Maybe it's the actors who got them rather than the writers/director/studio, but whatever it was, it worked, like I said, mostly. Like the two summer fliks before it (Batman Begins and War of the Worlds), FF is too damn covenient for me. I understand that things need to happen to advance the plot, but do you have to make them so easy? Was it really necessary for Doom to gain superpowers? He's supposed to be brilliant for Christ's sake, the simple fact that Reed scarred him and took Sue would have been enough drive to make him seek the destruction of the Four. But, Doom (at least in his more human state) does come across far better than Sue and Reed. Alba is okay as Sue, but honestly you never buy her scientist act, I never thought of Sue as a drop-dead sexy woman, though she can be, I always envisioned her as the mom from Growing Pains (and Alan Thicke would have been flippin brilliant as fact, that whole cast might well have been good as the FF, and there was once a female version of Thing...there's even a little kid to play Franklin, jeez that works so well it's frightening!!!!), kinda cute in that really smart way, but maybe thats just me. Plus, it's not really Alba's looks that are to blame (she is mighty damn fine, John Byrne be damned), it's her acting, she just doesn't have the depth, and seems to be coasting. I really can't say anything about Evans as the Torch, other than PERFECT, and Chiklis almost nails Ben Grimm, the voice just didn't feel right, why would his voice change that much? I just didn't really go for that. All the powers look and feel as good as they possibly can in a live action format, and it is uber-cool to see Johnny lighting up and soaring in the skies, but everything else is just same-ol-same-ol. Hulk did a better job with the "brute" aspects in my opinion, but Chiklis brings heart to the character that CGI wouldn't have. Reed's powers are always laughable, and I don't think they can be played seriously, it's just a flat-out oddball thing to be able to do, even in a world of unbelievability, and, well, being invisible onscreen is hardly something to praise. Only the Torch has that "holy crap, we haven't seen that before" thing going for it, the rest of them just can't compete (yes, because we already saw it in The Incredibles). It's a decent family-popcorn flik, it's better than War of the Word's for certain, and I liked it as much as I liked Batman Begins, which could be seen as damning since I wasn't thrilled with that movie either. There are a lot of problems, mostly with the plot and the obvious studio interference. Not the worst, but not the best, a definite matinee movie. As a side-note, if they were going to make a movie full of holes and cardboard acting, I'd have liked to see them stay truer to the origins of the FF, and make it sort of an obviously bad-50's-sci-fi-film kinda thing, and have lots of monsters, at least a giant monster underground (which War of the World's had...).

I have a new review up, Bone Vol. 1 The Color Edition, so go over to the Galaxy and check it out. Shan hoke has a new Size Matters up as well, always good reading. In fact, go ahead and read anything you see there, even if you've already read it! Don't worry, I'll be here when you get back. (PSST...Rob Vollmar's International Geographic kicks ass... really sexy ass)

He-Man didn't suck as much as I feared it would. It's an idiotic trip into my mostly forgotten childhood, and a slightly homo-erotic one at that, but not a sucky one. Now, where's my She-Ra dammit!

I saw Finding Neverland. If you haven't seen it, stop reading this and go freaking rent it! Geez!

That reminds me of the gayest conversation I've ever been a part of, at work at least (abridged):

MY BROTHER: National Treasure is good, it's Bruckheimer, it's fun, and Nicholas Cage is great.

ME: Is it better than Pirates?


ME: No way, Pirates has Depp, Depp trumps Cage.

MY BROTHER: You're crazy, Cage is waaaay better than Depp!!

ME: Give me Depp anyday.

DANIEL (a listener until this point): :::laughs::: So you're into Johnny Depp?

ME: Well, he's definitely better looking than Nic Cage.

MY BROTHER: No way, Cage is better looking, Depp is kind of creepy.

DANIEL: I don't know, if I had to stick my penis in one of them, it would definitely be Johnny Depp.

It gets worse from there, and eventually devolves into a comparison of films, in which Depp reigns supreme, despite Cry Baby.

Did you see my DVD list?

So, there's this big convention this weekend (San Diego Comicon), and being the broke-ass (though it's my own fault, admittedly) geek that I am, I can't afford to go. I don't think I'd want to anyway, just too much geek. But, there's a small convention in Atlanta this weekend though, so I'll drive up there and check it out. Plus, a museum up there has a superhero exhibit, I'll be investigating that and writing it up in a future column!

Let's blame the video games.

If they don't stop I'll get a gun and go on a killing spree. You've all been warned.

George Lucas is from another planet.

See, the three suns fried his brain...

Maybe DC and Marvel can sue these guys too.

Surely it's violating some law that they just made up.

There are lots of times when I wonder what the hell I'm doing blogging about stupid ass geek culture when real-world things are so much bigger. Does it really matter what I thought about anything when today 12 children in Iraq were killed by a suicide bomber? No, no it doesn't.

I don't get into politics, especially here, but I honestly wish the guy that did this hadn't died. Death was certainly too good for him, at least a death he believed in, one that he likely thought would get him a pass to whatever heaven he has envisioned. In what kind of religion or belief, fanatical or not, can the slaughter of children be condoned.

None, be it Christian, Muslim, Jewish, whatever. The things we were doing hundreds of years ago, the things Hitler did decades ago, and the things that are happening now, they all baffle me.


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

By the Power of the List!


Heh. Guess what came out today?

The Best of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (10 Episode Collector's Edition)

That's right, the most homo-erotic cartoon EVER! Season sets are on the way, but I picked this up to see if I would still enjoy the show at all.

Bill & Ted's Most Excellent Collection

This might be a re-release, but it's still noteworthy. Both films are actually pretty funny, especially Bill Sadler as the Reaper.

Cry Baby Director's Cut

...this is the worst movie ever, and they made it longer.

Dodgeball - A True Underdog Story (Unrated Edition)

God, I wish I could find the people who think this is a good idea and kick the everloving shit out of them.

Hunter - The Complete Second Season

I used to have a crush on his partner.

Million Dollar Baby (3 Disc Deluxe Edition Including CD Soundtrack)

I still haven't seen this. What is wrong with me?!

The Nanny - The Complete First Season

Why? Dear God why?

Sealab 2021 - Season 3

I found out recently that Harry Goz passed away quite sometime ago, and the news apparently never found its way to my eyes. I was deeply saddened by that. The man did excellent work on this show, and soon we can see his appearences on Ned & Stacy, as it will be released latewr this year.

Tales from the Crypt - The First Season

Man, I REALLY want this.

Titus Season 1 & 2

And this too DAMMIT!!!!!

Gah, there's too much stuff!!!!

Sigh...time for He-Man!

My List

I saw Fantastic Four today, more on that tomorrow probably.

Check out The New Comic Book Galaxy for all the latest updates, including my new Loose Staples column. Everything there is must read, so spend a few hours peruusing the site!

And, for those who have always wondered what DVDs I own, well, look no further than the link bar (under Movies/DVD). I now have my full library of DVDs for you to peruse and shake your head at. Yes, if you bought the crap ass movies I have you'd have well over 600 DVDs too! Look for the My DVD Collection link, and they've been divided into categories to make for slightly easier viewing. Enjoy!


Sunday, July 10, 2005

And by Saturday I Meant Sunday

I hope everyone in Florida is doing well enough after that hurricane, it didn't seem to hit with the force everyone was expecting, and I haven't heard any large reports or a death toll, regardless my thoughts and prayers are with you guys.

So, here are a few links that I've been promising:

This month in comics: Making Tea

This is so cool.

So is this.

A new comics company to be on the look out for: E-Ville.

The Greatest Video Games of All Time! - Hands down, The Legend of Zelda, the first one, or hell, any of them.

I frogot to link to Permanent Damage earlier this week, so here it is!

Mission Hill DVD news

And that does it for today.


Friday, July 08, 2005


Just got back from an afternoon movie and spending spree...kind of.

War of the Worlds

It's not as bad as I expected, but that doesn't make it a good movie.It's weird how the movie is set in this post-9/11 world and the way people react to what's going on. It's also weird how well it works as a commentary on today's society, but by no means does any of that take percedence over it's popcorn-munching status as a summer film. I can still say I've never seen a bad Spielberg film, but I've also never seen A.I. Worth and afternoon view, and infinitely more fun if you have a few friends to go with, and even better if no one else is in the theatre so you can comment on how plausible (or not) the situations are.

After that I went by the local EB Games and picked up the following for less than sixty bucks:

A Film Trilogy by Ingmar Burgman: Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, The Silence and Ingmar Makes a Movie-The Criterion Collection

John Cassavetes- Five Films" Shadows, Faces, A Woman Under the Influence, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, Opening Night, A Constant Forge- The Criterion Collection

Nip/Tuck: The Complete First Season

Not bad, eh? I didn't really have the sixty, but how the hell can you pass up a deal like that?

Last night I watched a movie that had possibly the greatest opening credits (or at least the most inventive) ever, unfortunately the film pretty much blew-

American Crime

It's a film that wants to be a reality TV show, and it succeeds, only it's the worst reality show I've ever seen. The cast (especially Cary Elwes and Rachel Leigh Cook) are wasted in a pointless story full of plot twists that have more holes than, wel, something that's full of holes. It's ridiculous and I hate that I wasted my money. But I do so love Rachel Leigh Cook.

Also, yesterday I bought an iPod mini off a co-worker ($100, again, didn't have it, but it seemed to good to pass up). She doesn't have the USB cable to connect it to my comp (which made me suspicious, but she assured me it was legit) so I have to track one down. Hopefull Best Buy will have one. Anyone know if I can register this thing with Apple since I bought it used off of someone? Or if I can even sign up for iTunes and stuff like that? I haven't investigated it yet, maybe this weekend.

As for comics, well, I'm now broke, but fortunately pretty much everyday is payday for me! Hopefully I'll make some dough tonight and get to the LCS tomorrow.

I did read one comic though-

Batman: Legends of the Dark KJnight #181

Which sees Barb Gordong become Batgirl once gain, only this time in a digital world. Think City of Heroes. Not bad, but not great either. It's nice to see someone drawing a traditional Batgirl as opposed to the S&M version we have now, but the story seemed a bit dumb, and kind of a rip off of Who Killed Retro Girl? fron Bendi's Powers book.

So, yeah, off to work for me! Have a great weekend, I'll be back Saturday with some links, in the meantime, hit the sidebar and go cruisin!


Wednesday, July 06, 2005


God, the year is already more than half over! I've decided to implement a grading system, I'm gonna steal a page from good ol Johnny B and use letters.

Vimanarama #3

Very lack-luster ending to what started out a an excellent story. There was some kind of delay in the shipping of the book and I'd actually forgotten all about it. It could be that Morrison is so preoccupied with his new meg-series (Seven Soldiers) and his new creative duties at DC (heh, I said dooty) that he just didn't devote as much as he could have to see this book end more spectaculalry. Or it could be that it just wasn't meant to end spectacularly. Bond's artwork is fabulous though. B+

I, Joker

A DC Elseworlds tale by Bob Hall sounds like a good thing, but it turns out to be slightly above so-so. Thise sees the Batman/Joker dynamic played out as some sort of bizarre Running Man-like event, where the Joker must flee from Bats if he wants to live. It looks okay, but the plot just seems too unfocused. There' no real explination of the events going on, which makes it pretty confusing. I picked this up intending to include it in my Batman column at CBG, but I had enough Batman/Joker stuff to discuss, and it just wasn't good enough to make me drop any of the others. C-

Batman: The Man Who Laughs

I don't like it when they explain away mysteries. One of the best things about the Joker is the mystery behind him. But, if you're going to try and give him a definite back story, calling in Ed Brubaker to write it is a smart move, add in Dough Mahnke on art and it's almost an instant classic. This is another that was picked up with the intent to use in the column, but I just had too much Joker already. It's good, really good, especially Mahnke's art, his Joker is straight-up evil, but it just gives too much away I think. For better Brubaker Bat-work, I recommend Gotham Noir, an Elseworld's tale I'll be reviewing in my next column. A

Shaun of the Dead #1

A bought this last week not knowing it was and adaptation instead of a continuation. I was severely disappointed, but not because of the quality of the work. Ryall does a good job adapting the script and Zach Howard's art is beautiful, but none of the jokes are as funny on paper, part of the charm of the movie is it's Brtish-ness and the timing of the actors, that's just not something that translates well to paper. If you haven't seen the movie you might enjoy this, but if you have, skip it and go buy the DVD. B/C (Two grades, the first for the work, the second because it just wan't enjoyable simply because I've seen the film a dozen times, which is hardly their fault.)

Superman and Batman: World's Funnest

Where do I start...well, for one, this is fucking brilliant. Evan Dorkin's script is hilarious, and the fact that he was able to get the talent (Brian Bolland, Dave Gibbons, Mike Allred, Shelly Moldoff, Stuart Immonen and Joe Giella. Frank Cho, Jaime Hernandez, Scott Shaw, Stephen DeStefano, Jim Woodring, David Mazzucchelli, Jay Stephens, Glen Murikami and Bruce Timm, Frank Miller, Doug Mahnke and Norm Rapmund, Phil Jimenez, Ty Templeton and Alex Ross) to come and do this is just amazing. This is a book probably best avoided by anyone not familiar with DC’s extensive history...and occasionally it’s future. Through two of comic’s most beloved/despised characters, Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk, Evan Dorkin explores, pokes fun at and deconstructs DC’s most well known alternate universes. The artistic talent is certainly huge, but fortunately each artist is perfectly suited to their specific storyline (example: Frank Miller draws the mischievous imps in the pages that mock his classic The Dark Knight Returns; Alex Ross- Kingdom Come; Phil Jiminez-Crisis on Infinite Earths, etc.). It’s and interesting look into the worlds of DC Comics, downright hilarious, and just plain old fun, especially the Julius Scwartz tribute. A

After the Sunset

This is a movie. Specifically a Brett Ratner movie. I watched in hoping I'd find whatever Fox sees in him. I didn't find it. This is a movie we've all seen a dozen times, the best of which was To Catch a Thief. Retired jewel thief comes out of retirement one last time, and things aren't what they seem. Why Fox thinks this guy will make an excellent director for the X-franchise is beyond me, he has not made a movie that didn't ape someone else's style. However, if the intention was to get him to ape Bryan Singer's style, then well, maybe it could work. But, given everything he's said about the film, I don't see that. Plus, it seems he's now taking credit for the Joe Casey created Stacy X, lets hope he can at least give credit where credit is due. As for After the Sunset, it's at best a decent time waster. C+


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Listing the Fantastic

Celebrating Orgasm: Women's Private Self Loving

I find this extremely interesting. You'll never see a male version of this, because I suppose men somehow have the means to this in their DNA (actualy, no supposing we DO), but women, I can only assume, do not. I find it very weird, in a funny kind of way

Fantastic Four - The Complete Animated Series

This is the newer of the series'. I guess we can thank God that it's not the HERBIE series.

Hide and Seek (Widescreen Edition)

Here, let me save you the trouble, HE DID IT. There, now you don't have to see it. Yes, I'm an ass, I know.

Major League Baseball - MLB Superstars Show You Their Game

Why would anyone buy a DVD that demonstrated how to inject steroids?

Mermaid Forest - Quest for Death (Vol. 1)

...isn't that, like, impossible?

Mindful Masturbation for Men

Well, looks like I was wrong. Are there guys out there that need this? Geez...

Monk - Season Three

Monk rules.

Roughnecks - The Starship Troopers Chronicles - The Complete Campaigns

I really wouldn't mind having this.

Well, that was a short list. If I could get my hands on 70 bucks I'd have the FF and STC DVDs!


Monday, July 04, 2005


This was in my search referrals:

Will Brett Ratner kill the X-Men 3 Franchise by adding the mutant hooker

No. I assure you, the mutant hooker will not be the thing that kills the franchise.

What I did for the 4th

Well, I spent a majority of the last three days sick. I've been sick a lot this year. I must start taking better care of myself.

Since I was sick I'm now behind on my next column, which was already mostly done to begin with. I had planned to mail it in today, looks like it may now be tomorrow night.

I re-re-re-rewatched Ladykillers. The more I watch it the more I love it. I went out and bought the soundtrack. It's amazing, and I've never been big on gospel music (I do, however, love Nappy Roots who have a few songs on the disc.)

I cancelled my order. Going on two months and it still wasn't ready? Ridiculous.

I signed up for the DCBS. For $80 I got a crapload of stuff. If anyone has any books they'd like to recommend that are coming out, please do so.

I watched/read a lot of Batman stuff in the last week. Mask of the Phantasm is the best Bat film ever. Well, maybe Return of the Joker...

I picked up Darwyne Cook's issue of SOLO. Wow. I had thought I would have to postpone a review of it for CBG, or just talk about it here, but Cooke squeezed in an EXCELLENT Batman story, so I'm throwing it in with the Bat-reviews for the next column.

Watched lots of TV, of course.

Picked up a few movies to add to the list of "films I bought and haven't watched yet". Just for laughs, here's the whole list:

Criterion Collection

M.Holt's Holiday
Divorce-Italian Style
Stray Dog
Knife in the Water
The Lady Eve


The Phantom of the Opera (Dorian liked it)
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (ADD liked it)
In Good Company
National Treasure
Hotel Rwanda
Finding Neverland
After the Sunset
American Crime
Black Hawk Down
The Chronicles of Riddick (also the animated short film Dark Fury)
The Commitments
Confessions of an American Girl
Cube Zero
A Day Without a Mexican
Fat Albert
Hollywood North
A Home at the End of the World
In America
Just the Ticket
Lion King 2
Lost in La Mancha
Matchstick Men
National Lampoon's Black Ball
Once Upon a Time in the Midlands
Pauley Shore is Dead
Punch Drunk Love
Raising Victor Vargas
Renegade (AKA Blueberry-actually, I've seen most of this)
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Stark Raving Mad
The Station Agent
Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Son of the Mask
Without a Paddle
Hard Ground
Team America World Police
The Aviator
Gatchaman Set 1
Xena: Warrior Princess-The Complete First Season

Then there's ashorter list of movies I've seen, then bought, but haven't watched again yet:

South Park
The LOTR Trilogy (The extended editions, all three for $40!!!)
Conan: The Complete Quest
Hidden Fortress
Seven Samurai

When the hell am I ever gonna have time to watch all these? If you question a title, odds are damn good I either 1) Got it for free, or 2) paid less that $7 for it. My local rental places have constant deals on used discs, either buy 2 get one (sometimes 2!) free, or things like 3 for $20, and the movies are always under $15.

The grand DVD total is approaching 800 (700 if you don't count my burned discs and promo DVDs)

I bought the original Metroid for my GBA today. $7.99, it was a steal. Too bad I can't remember how to friggin play the game...

Read more books that aren't Bat related. More on them tomorrow probably.

I've totally slacked on my City of Heroes play (sorry Shane!!) but hopefully this weekend I'll get a game in. I'll see what server I'm on (I always forget) and post it here so anyone who wants to can stop over and say hi.

Punk'd is on. This is the worst show ever.

Now, I have a column to finish!


Friday, July 01, 2005

Going to Town

Well, this week certainly was the week of Ice Have, at least it was at The Galaxy. Marc Sobel started out the week with his Crack Shots column sigularly devoted to Clowes book, then there was my look at the title, and now we have Chris Allen examining it as well.While Marc's wasn't a review (actually, none of the Ice Haven pieces qualify as "reviews", I think, and as well they shouldn't) but an examination of what it means to be a comic book critic that had me questioning everything I've ever written, and Chris', well, there's a reason he's one of the best. Chris' look at Ice Haven is, in my opinion the best thing he's ever written, but I'm certain I've not read everything he's written either. Mine, I think, is slightly more straightforward, resulting in a distance I often feel when reading my own work (is it just me, or does everyone feel it?), than either Marc's or Chris', which, in hindsight, I regret. Am I now examinig the examinations? Yeah, I suppose I am.

Part of trying to be a critic or reviewer, or whatever you choose to call it, is learning to see thing you might otherwise ignore. There are always parts to the whole, there is never just the whole. You need to be able to identify what works, what doesnt and why. It's fascinating for me to see how other people see something and how it can really change the way I look at that same thing.

I thought little of Clowes' Harry Naybors character when reading and re-reading (many times might I add) Ice Haven. Certainly there is an importance to him, but he never had the impact some of the other characters had for me. But, seeing him through Marc Sobel's eyes brought certain things to light that I'd either not noticed before or perhaps (and more likely) I'd chosen to ignore.

The same can be said of Chris Allen's look. Only, instead of Naybors it was Vida. I'd never thought of the obvious comparison to Clowes when looking at Violet, for some reason it just never struck me. Certainly I'd picked up Clowes' thinly-veild attack (that is probably the wrong word) on Hollywood and those who "sell-out", but never once did I relate that to Clowes own feelings on adapting his work for the big screen.

Does any of that make me a bad critic? Hell if I know. To be honest I feel like a kid wildly out of his element when looking at my reviews compared to others at the Galaxy, and that's exactly what I am. But, you can't make a horse jump a fence unless you first get on the horse. I'm on the horse. I might kick him too hard sometimes, and I probably look awkward sitting there to some, but I'm on the damn horse and eventually I'll jump the fence.

So, since we're already talking Ice Haven, let's talk some more.

In his piece Chris takes issue with Clowes including the Leopold & Loeb story, and while I see his point, I thought the inclusion of the Leopold and Loeb story was very informative. I'd certainly never read anything on the caes. I do remember reading/hearing about it, but never at length, likely because it's an 80-year-old murder case. I couldn't help but notic the similarities between Carmichael and Charles and Leopold and Loeb. Not just the name alliteration, but Carmichael's desire to impress Charles either through his words or actions and there are undercurrents of something more than friendship, at least the want of something more than friendship, between the two (the crime of Leopold and Loeb is said to have been one of passion, not for the boy, but to please the other, Leopold admits to killing only because Loeb wanted it, and it's said that they were "involved"). Carmichael has sporadic mood changes, very much like Loeb had, according to Leopold, and then there is Carmichaels sudden change of heart, which mirrors Leopold's change while in prison. Like Carmichael, Leopold learned that helping and loving others is far more fulfilling than being cold and calculating. Then there's the revelation that Carmichael did not kidnap nor kill the young boy in Ice Haven, just as some believe that Leopold and Loeb were framed for the kidnapping and murder of Bobby Franks (of course, this flies in the face of what Leopold himself wrote in his book Life Plus 99 Years).

I guess I've rambled on about this long enough. You can read the Ice Haven pieces here, here, and here, and you can read about Leopold and Loeb here and here. It's well worth investigating, and if you haven't read Ice Haven yet, well, what are you waiting for?