Tuesday, October 31
Monday, October 30
Hi, how are you?
Two interesting DVD's you might want to check out:
The Devil and Daniel Johnston- musician and artist and manic depressive. Many of Daniel's drawings are comic characters, or take offs, like Silver Sufferer. I've always loved "folk art". His music and life story told authenticically through his own video and audio tapes. I love movies like this, Tarnation, Capturing the Friedmans: the digital age where people have cataloged their lives without being celebrity status.
Clean Heroin addict, fading rock star, son, Nick Nolte. Somewhat slow but well done.
and a book: The Keep
In this chilling follow-up -- a deft mix of psychological suspense, unconventional romance, and eerie allegory -- Egan hones the interlocking-tales device to razor-edged perfection.
and a few posts that I tweaked my interest recently---
Brother Dave at YACB posts of Too Many Comics
I heard somewhere that the average person takes in as much information in a single week as a person in medieval times did in their whole lives.
The Comic Treadmill writes about current day Marvel
'I've written before of my distaste for the current editorial attitude toward readership, which consists of flipping the figurative bird at anyone who doesn't like what is going on by dismissing him or her as an old fogy and proclaiming that Marvel Comics are for the hip younger crowd. To emphasize that Marvel is only for the new, cool kids, current Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada is going to great lengths to soil the appeal of the older generation of characters. The strategy? Today's Marvel heroes are unlikable but tres cool and that's what matters. Or so the thinking goes anyway.'
Comics Fairplay takes on the FOW Hot Artist List
'I have come to loathe those lists. How in the heck the staff pick these creators is beyond me. It has become the same old tired group of folks month after month. I am dying to see new blood on the lists!!'
Comic, but not comics: Hot Lines
JOHN MULANEY: “The White House never wants to explain what they’re doing in Iraq or why. It’s like they want us to look at the war as modern art. We’re not supposed to ‘get’ it, and we’d look pretty stupid for asking any questions. We’re like, ‘Hey, you just blew up a hospital!,’ and they’re like, ‘Please. It’s part of a larger piece.’”
Saturday, October 28
Harley Quinn, pleased to meet ya
Thursday, October 26
Paging Doctor Strange
Dr. Strange 1
"Unless we work quickly, he's going to be a handsome angel"
Let's start with my admission that I am completely unfamiliar with Doctor Strange. I walk past the Essential Dr. Strange at the library, but have not been compelled to read it, even after starting this series. This was a strength of writer purchase, purely on Brian K. Vaughan's name. There were hints of his usual pop culture references:
"He's deader than dial-up".
But overall, a near-death and back story. Wong, Dr. Strange's servant, is a near stereotype at this point in time, but his brain tumors are what propel Strange to look for a an elixir at any cost.
"If there's one thing I hate, it's incanting in Latin."
There were pages I did like, but the Marcus Martin interior art didn't seem to have the depth or emotion. Is it an homage to the original art? Strange (ha) because MM did the Batgirl: Year One art that is just spot-on.
Catwoman 59 and 60
Cheesecake Hughes covers aside, Will Pfiefer delivers with well drawn characters in Selina, Holly, Ted and the suspense of the cat-baby daddy, and now the action of the Film Freak recreating movie scenes-- getting a bomb a la Dr. Strangelove.
"I have a whole new set of responsiblities, but I still have the old ones too. We have to do something for Holly."
"The war on costumes is over. Gordon is back in charge."
Not sure of the exact quote, but Slott always gets an insider zinger in (and this one while praising librarians!)
"the head of our reference library, Mr. Cicero was practically irreplaceable. He knew everything about comics and continuity"
"The way comics are today, that shouldn't be a problem"
Picks of the last few weeks are the 25 cent Fables and the 50 cent Sandman preview issues. DMZ 12: New York Times is a "rough guide to the city" from Matty Roth, photojournalist. Of Bitter Souls has issue 2, the continued saga of Bourbon Street zombies (remember I was a zombie in OBS1).
Tuesday, October 24
There goes my Hiro
R sent me this link to Last Christmas - by Brian Posehn (the comic) and Rick Remender, who I think does Strange Girl. Be sure to zoom on the image to see just how wrong it is.
I've just played catch-up and joined the Heroes phenom. This is one good lookin' cast. I like Peter Perrelli - who was Jess on Gilmore Girls, and Alexis Bledel's real life boyfriend (and his brother Nathan-- he is married to lead Dixie Chick Natalie). Mohinder is very good, with that girl who was in Brick.
Always liked Greg Gunberg from Alias and Felicity, and the pilot eaten on Lost. Jeph Loeb exec produces, bringing a true comic professional behind the plot (think he exec-produces Lost also). And, like the rest of the world, love Hiro. The women are strong, but Claire wears that cheerleader outfit just too much-- our cheerleaders would only wear those on game day.
Now that Runway ended (and not to my liking), I am watching Prison Break, Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars, Lost, Desperate Housewives. The only new show other than Heroes I like is 30Rock.
Not feeling that well, but more reviews and thoughts soon. Read the 50 cent Sandman comic, hard to believe I've never read that series.
Sunday, October 22
Heroes, cops, vampires
Blogger has not let me add an image for a week! Sorry for the lack of visual content.
Ellis on the Nextwave cancellation I guess my indecision on Nextwave has resolved itself. At least we'll get the 'Mark Millar licks goats cover' to remember the series by.
Birds of Prey 98 Headhunt part 3
No I haven't read BOP 99, but BOP 98 helps Oracle uncover the "woeful loser that stole my name", a gray Tshirt, hiking boot Misfit. "You sweetie, are no Batgirl" "I am though Dinah. I was meant to be Batgirl."
Best line: "You haven't had a date since that thing with Dick. You guys have cobwebs in inappropriate areas"
52 21, 22, 23, 24
Still like the series, with the four distinct plot lines and many characters. It's like the ensemble drama of the comic world. Luthor's Infinity Inc. superheroes, "why shouldn't everyone have a choice to be a hero?" question (the flip side of the X-men "would you want to not be a mutant") -- boils down to once again that everything has a cost. This cost is that Luthor can turn off your powers to make your death good TV.
I want to know the follow-up to: "Good news, sir. Your son Kon-El did not die in Crisis after all."
We are up to 52 24. The Lexcorp Labs group includign Dynamole! Pole Dancer! Jack of all Trades! Immortal Bald Man! inserts itself into a fight. Super-Chief is targeted by Skeets, and
as I stated above "Reward without ordeal? This is the bottom line...Magic never comes without a price".
Bite Club 5
Is it me or did this series end very anti-climatically, and with a whimper? Vampire cop has lusty sex with Risa Del Toro, then quits the force, the girl, and walks down a beach to "find the right kind of life for myself." And goes to communion "acceptance is everything". Eh.
Cross Bronx 2 continues the gritty content of a police procedural with Mike Oeming's unique panel and page layouts, artwork bathed in purples and reds, and the "smell of magic and spirits" as they investigate the assault of a young girl.
"All I want to do...is to show this kid...just once..Something that fits the last pictures of that little girl"
Thursday, October 19
Took a 2.6 mile run at the college today. Great weather, and fall leaves around the lakes made for good scenery. Now at the library- came in to a full desk of graphic novels! Yes!
Yesterday, I read 2 of Gail Simone's comics. There were four redheads!
1. redhead writer Gail Simone
2. 30 foot naked redhead in The All-New Atom (holy humongous heffalumps!)
3 and 4. Redheads Knockout ("think again, pole dancer") and Savage in Secret Six
Someone wrote to Robert Kirkman in the last Invincible-
"What's the obsession you comic creators have with redheads?"
His response: I think it would be a colorists obsession. I prefer blonds myself (go Amber).
I'll bet his wife is blonde and he's just being nice-- clearly Samantha/Atom Eve is the much more interesting character than pretty but boring Beth (hello, Gwen and MJ all over again; the readers loved the redhead!)
Make sure you check outCBR's All Time Top 50 Artists
Hint: CBR is still revealing the list, so you have to check back as they are revealed.
and CBR's All Time Top 50 writers
Redhead Fangirl's current "top" lists (sure I forgot a few biggies!)
Alex Ross, David Finch, Rags Morales, Michael Oeming, Ryan Ottley (Invincible), Becky Coonan (American Virgin),Colleen Doran (Book of Lost Souls), James Jean (Fables), Takeshi Miyazawa (Spider-man loves Mary Jane), Jon Luna (Girls)
Gail Simone, Brian Wood, Geoff Johns, Sean McKeever, Chuck Satterlee, Brian K. Vaughan, Josh Luna (Girls), Bill Willingham (Jack of Fables), Robert Kirkman.
As usual, I'm about 2 weeks behind, but have a lot of reviews. Who is reading The Eternals? Or The All New Atom? Did you try the Vaughan Doctor Strange? Invincible? JLA of course. And 52. Jack of Fables? Umbra? Cross Bronx 2?
Monday, October 16
"A word to you feminist women"
Masters of American Comics: An interview
My take: I'd like to see the Newark Museum exhibit, the other part, and I'm glad I saw the part at the Jewish museum Bottom line, yes, I'd like to see at least one woman comic artist or writer represented. I would have liked to see Spiegelman's work (he pulled out of the exhibit).
From the Newsday review :
I marveled that no other art form in recent history has been so exclusionary, so limited to the concerns of one sex. It's not that women can't appreciate comic art; the masterpieces of the early 20th century address themselves to everyone.
But as the medium has became less popular and aspired to the status of fine art, it has focused on the gender that confers prestige, and has barely bothered with females. No wonder I knew so little about it.
R. Crumb's known hostilities toward women [touched on here with the 'A Word to you feminist women' page] is on display. His misogynism is blatant to me, and I have never enjoyed his art style. But his place for creating the auto-biographical and psychadelic pieces is why he is part of the exhibit.
Chris Ware is also critized for having anti-women sentiment in his work. This was new to me; his work is melacholy toward people in general (and the influence of his missing father). The painting of a young Jimmy Corrigan standing with a very, very distant Superman flying away touched my gut.
Even today, undercurrents of negativity toward women course through the depressive and quasi-autobiographical work of Chris Ware. When they appear at all, they are cold and/or sexually rapacious. Ware addresses his art to nerdy, solipsistic and vaguely pretentious men like himself
Exhibit included: First five pages of Contract with God. The Spirit, cover art, interior art, comic insert sections.
"Atmospheric backgrounds matched psychological state of the character"
"extremely complicated layouts and visual cues to suspense and mood"
1941 Captain America,
"grounding characters in real world and morally complex. Pacing and psychology"
Art: Thor, Boy Commandos, Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer
"Parodies and pop comics, funny, innovative, detailed"
Help! magazine, Mad Comics, Playboy
"underground, self-exploration, autobiographical and their own mental state"
"A word to you feminist women" 1971 ends with 'listen you dumb ass broads, I'll fuckin' draw what I want'.
Our library owns Jimbo in Purgatory. Many examples of his dark and exaggerated spastic work at the exhibit. Again, not my favorite style.
Draw Cartoons- Ruin your life!
Normal people do not read comic books.
Amazing to look at the detail on the Acme Novelty panels. A pop-up paper version of the Jimmy Corrigan houses. Books and figures from Jimmy Corrigan.
"Ware's abstractions, leaps of logical continuity. Jimmy is Ware's story, but uses common imagery- abandoned by father and met him briefly later in life- disconnection."
There was a room called Superheroes, with some original Action Comics! and more on the jewish immigrant influence on the start of comics. We lost a lot of artists in the 1990s from the early days of comics. Jerry Siegel's typewriter and some cover art. Captain America art with notes "Shield will now be round". Still, a very small sample of the possibilities.
Saturday, October 14
Masters of American Comics
A quick report on my trip to NYC to see one part of the Masters of American Comics. It wasn't a Met level sized exhibit, but starting with Will Eisner's panels for The Spirit, and ending with Chris Ware's obscenely detailed and striking work on Jimmy Corrigan, the 6 artists represented the 80 year span of American Comics. There was a Superheroes room, with Siegel and Shuster's Superman. (Siegel's typewriter! Sketch panels! Action Comics!). Jewish immigrants were responsible for the start of the comic genre, and the origin of their American story and comics dovetailed here.
I have a lot more to share about this. A camphone pic of the mini-comics at Jim Hanley's, thought of Dave at Yet Another Comics Blog, who always writes about minis.
And, for any Project Runway fans, the Macy's window with all the winning designs. Cracked me up when I was taking a photo and young German tourists were behind me yelling "Uli! Uli!"
Thursday, October 12
Feelin' like a Criminal
Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips
As sure as every Visa starts with the #4, and every Mastercard with #5, we can count on great crime fiction from Ed Brubaker. As a big fan of Sleeper, I have been awaiting Criminal 1 to arrive. [Previous post on Sleeper. It's cool that I have been comic blogging long enough now to see series start and end]. We've seen Ed Brubaker's star rise as he revitalized Captain America and Daredevil, and his roots doing Dark Horse, Alternative Comics, more.
Scared to die in prison, like his father, Leo is a criminal but a very careful one. A criminal who doesn't like violence and chooses to avoid it? Not usually the lead in a series.
"What seperates a professional from a punk/pimp/gangsta/lowerider with a gun. Those idiots are cannon-fodder for the system."
One big score, a dicey diamond job, a woman at his door-- Leo asks "and what diamonds are every easy picking" as he gets in deeper.
Monday, October 9
Faster than a speeding bullet
Have you seen Hollywoodland? It will soon be out of the theatre, but C and I went today. It focuses on George Reeve's death and the nature of typecasting-- it's such a shame that being Superman and having children (and adult) adoration was never enough for him. Actors now can only dream of getting a comic superhero part.
Quick thoughts on recent comics, and some comic related news-
Martian Manhunter 2 I think the art is too shaded, and the coloring too red, but the story kept me interested, leading to a MM lead standoff with his newly found martian friends. It's like they said at DC Nation- J'onn had been Martian-American, but is reevaluating his place.
DMZ 11 Zee, NYC
The origin story of Zee was well done, as par the course for Brian Wood. Being forced to choose sides while people are dying, the fear of dying for going outside, wondering about family- all laid out to show us Zee become a new person in the war. This title continues to score with me.
Moon Knight 5
Huston continues to build the Moon Knight story- sparse on words, but Finch's art is so undeniably great. Just look at the 2 page spreads- the vehicle garage, or the costume "vengeance" panels. Spector learns he is not "friendless and all alone".
Public Library hearing on Fun Home GN
Fun Home was one of my favorite works of the year, not just one of my favorite GNs. It's literary and thought provoking, sad and comic. Of course someone wants to remove it from the collection.
A few pages from director Richard Donner's new Superman comic:
Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man
I don't like this casting move, despite Downey's life experience and acting chops. Time will tell.
Cancer Vixen: A True Story to star Cate Blanchett
I need to read this GN; it's everywhere on the lit sites.
Sunday, October 8
beer, toe nails
A last minute decision led me to Wade's Comic Madness, for 24 comic day. MidJersey Comicon regulars Michael Oeming, Rob Reilly and Brian Quinn were set up for a few hours. I thought I'd say hello and browse the store- but when I came in they gave me a beer and let me sit at the table with them. We talked about upcoming projects: Omega Flight and the 2nd issue of Cross Bronx from Oeming...Brian Quinn is working on Wicked Samurai...and Reilly left his job to work on an autobiographical graphic novel.
This led to a discussion of remembering things in your past you'd rather leave behind. I coughed up to having a journal from when I was 12, and grading the days...ah, the mind of a 12 year old. Surprising I even function as an adult now.
We also discussed men and toe nail clipping. Oeming apparently can fling his cut toenails at a great velocity.
So it was a fun spur of the moment time. I left well before the planned wet dog food eating contest...
And having picked up my $60 in comics -- many to catch up on and review soon.
Thursday, October 5
Space-time world sheets
It's time again for the [edited] referral fun from September-- I was too busy to even get half the referrals, but it was a mixed up and creative list:
German researchers redheads
the society of redheaded men
"space dolphins" lobo
v for vendetta please allow me to introduce myself I'm a man of wealth and taste
are redheads trouble
"of bitter souls"
nothing left but me
redheads attract mexican
hitler intermarriage redheads
Batman "this is my town"
librarian long red hair
josh homme "men we love"
wakes up as an adult
Wolverine and redheads
new orleans axeman 1918-1919
"While the rest of the human race descended from monkeys, redheads derive from cats"
met my old lover in the grocery store song
restraining orders are for other girls
what does hooded eyes mean
black and white sketchy images of mermaids
One comic review from the plane:
Deadman 2 Bruce Jones, John Watkiss
The time and relationship jumps are hard to follow. Perhaps if I reread it, it will make more sense. The thick lines of the art make a bold and dark statement, and Brandon's dark lined eyes remind us of his multidimensional jumping. Credit is to be given for adding a physics discussion before a gunfight.
The nude bedroom/shower scene had me hiding the pages as I read them! I know the people in the row behind and next can be lookie-loos and I didn't want to offend. On a cool note, an older male flight attendant asked me about Manhunter as I was reading it. Wasn't sure if he was just being nice, but he had heard of the character and seemed to be a comic fan! We are everywhere, just waiting to talk about comics. In fact, at the wedding I met two friends of the bride-- Buccaneer Betty and Cowboy, and even there discussed She-Hulk.
Tuesday, October 3
Oh, here she comes, she's a....
Happy October fanboys and fangirls!
Back from the sometimes cold but very nice Saugatuck. It amazed me that there were dunes, waves, and even seagulls on Lake Michigan-- you could almost be at the ocean (almost). Saw Gordon was in Chicago airports too-- how cool it would have been to see him!
In the airport and on the flight, I got to catch up with my comic pile. I also finally read Manhunter: Street Justice, the trade of issues 1-5. Kate Spencer is a great character- flawed, smart, brave, and as Mark Andreyko says himself-- with real proportions! Her red fighting outfit is much more realistic than heels, thong bodysuit, and the standard unrealistic outfits of our superheroines. Plus, she has a demanding job as a prosecutor, and isn't the 'perfect' mother and lawyer and wife and housekeeper and friend. She has a sense of duty and justice, and with no superpowers (but some good weapons) tries to stop a deranged killer. Great art from Jesus Saiz and Palmiotti, from rooftops to sewers, courtrooms and villains.
The next trade is not out until Jan 2007, but I will continue to follow the character. Phillygirl has vented how hard it can be to "break in" to a longstanding series. It's always great to start on the ground floor, and seeing how this series is only at 26 issues, I can be a part of it. There have been many rumors of it's demise, but the series keeps crankin' thanks to fans like Heidi, who has promoted it for a long time on her blog.
Tonight- Yankees vs. Tigers (GO YANKEES!) and Veronica Mars Season 3 starts. Have to get some running and guitar in before plopping down at the TV.