Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Is Ret-Conning Addictive?

So I checked out the New Avengers: The Illuminati #3 preview on Newsarama and there's a great splash page from Secret Wars (a favorite of mine) re-drawn by Jim Cheung (very well, I might add), but then I read the other pages....they've ret-conned the Beyonder into being an Inhuman. WTF??? Why did they do this? It's stupid, and really makes no sense. I'm not going to read this issue, I haven't read the other two, I think they came out in, like 2001 anyway. But it makes me think that they just can't stop ret-conning over at Marvel, they're not even trying to straighten out continuity glitches anymore, they just f---ing around to f--- around.

Do they need help? Is there a twelve-step group formed by the editors of the Clone Saga and Sins Past? Ug, I guess I should just take Spencer's tact and give up, but the stupidity of it all is just galling.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Memorial Day Rawk!

Well, no reviews this week, haven't made it to the shop yet, and frankly, there's really nothing waiting for me there that gets me too excited.

Hope everyone enjoys their Memorial Day weekend. Though July 4th is over a month away, I'm sure my neighbors will celebrate America (and the fine Men & Women of the Armed Forces)this weekend by blowing up a small part of it, so this song is for them:

Voxtrot - Firecracker


In honor of Memorial Day, here's a very beautiful strip by Chris Ware (from the New Yorker).

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Elvis & the Beasties?

How the hell did this happen without me knowing about it:

Well, despite not being one of my favorite bands, this just goes to prove that the Beastie Boys are some of the coolest guys around.

Here's a link that explains why this was particularly significant.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I am Ti-Red

Damn, after a weekend that included watching Pan's Labyrinth (good, but man, what a downer), going to a 4-year-old's birthday (not too bad), doing yardwork (boo!), seeing Sloan (yay!) and doing even more yardwork (double boo!) all while getting over a cold, I am f---ing exhausted. Good thing I'm at work today, finally I can rest.

I've been going through my CD's and I found one I really loved back when it came out in 95, here's an appropriate Monday-morning track:

Ride - Sunshine/Nowhere to Run

Couple quick notes on this week:
  • The Voxtrot album comes out on Tuesday, go get it. Then, send them an e-mail telling them to hit Chicago again on tour.
  • Go see Sloan if they're coming to your town. They really brought it, and they definitely need some new fans, I swear it was all the same people there as the first time I saw them in 1996.
  • Jake's back! Finally, my weekly dose of insane Lois Lane re-caps has returned. Good to have you back Jake.
  • Help try to save internet radio. A quick note to your Congressman isn't a lot of work, and if internet radio dies, a lot of new and indie artists will lose a way of getting their stuff to the masses.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Weekend Rawk!!!!!

So, another Friday is upon us. As a gift, I present to you 1 minute and 11 seconds of your weekend that is guaranteed to rawk!




Sloan - Fading into Obscurity

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What I Got 5.16.07

Howdy! Holy crap, I actually got to the shop on a Wednesday. The same Wednesday that both Ultimates AND ASBAR came out, so, after this post I'm going home to prepare for the coming apocalypse. Here's what I got:

Ultimates 2 #13
(In lieu of the cover, I've posted the center spread, it's prettier. Click here to embiggen.)

Let's face it, my views of this book are incredibly skewed by its chronic lateness and the fact that the writer (Mark Millar) has become one of the biggest dicks in comics. It's good, but I don't think it's at the same level as the rest of the series. I think it tries to be two issues in one (the big end-fight & the epilogue) and in doing so, give short-shrift to both stories. The art is fantastic, but the center 8-page gatefold spread is a little too much. I'd much rather have seen Hitch do something like Immonen did in NextWave #11 where he told a fight over several two-page spreads, the one in this issue is just too much for the eye to follow, and from a pure physical sense, it requires a really big table to open it all up.

So overall, it's good, but I don't think it's up to snuff, this weekend, I'm going to re-read the whole darn thing to see how it all comes together, so maybe I'll up my rating on this one.

X-Men: The First Class: Special #1

I haven't been reading Marvel's all-ages X-Men: First Class, but I've really liked Jeff Parker's work on Marvel Adventures: Avengers, so I decided to give this special a shot based upon that and the roll of artists they had lined up. The special is made up of three short stories with the murderers row artistic line-up of Kevin Nowland, Mike Allred & Paul Smith. On top of that, they're all punctuated by comic strips drawn by Colleen Coover, a very nice package (even at $4). All of the stories are fun, if a little light. The best is the last one, place during the classic Claremont run on Uncanny X-Men featuring Cyclops telling a then-young Kitty Pryde a story about his then-lost love Jean Grey. It's a very sweet story and it hits a lot of the right notes for those of us who were reading the book in those days.

Ex Machina #28

Dear Ex Machina,

I'm sorry, but it's me, not you. I just don't seem to care anymore, so I'm dumping your single issues for trades. I really think it's the fact that you've been so good for so long, I really haven't had a chance to miss your goodness. Oh well, we'll always have issues 1-28!



X-Factor #19

Didn't get a chance to read this yet, will update tonight.

So that's it, I'll probably throw some music up tomorrow. See you then.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Happy Brithday Studs

Stud Terkel, one of the greatest living Americans, turned 95 yesterday. He practically embodies everything that is and was America. He's also the living embodiment of Chicago. Read Roger Ebert's article about his birthday here. If you haven't read any of his books, here are a few good ones to start out with:

The Good War - His oral history of WWII is completely different from anything you were ever taught in school. It's one of those books that opened up my view of history to it being a living thing, with many, many points of view.

Will The Circle Be Unbroken? - A great selection of interviews dealing with the subject of death and life itself.

My American Century - A selection of interviews from many of his greatest oral histories, this is a great place to start.

Hmmmm....looks like I'm going to the bookstore.

Monday, May 14, 2007

What I Got: 5.9.07

Well, I've gotta say, with the rate of speed I'm getting reviews out, this may become a nostalgia blog before long. What the hell, let's face it, I'm mostly putting stuff up here so I don't have to talk to myself about it. Anyhoo, enjoy some late remarks on last week's books. Hopefully, I'll actually hit the shop on Wednesday this week, so there won't be as big of a delay.

Nova #2

I enjoyed this issue quite a bit, but it suffered from felling like 'half-a-story" since it's continued next month. Richard rider has come home for a quick breather after literally saving the universe. While home, he gets chewed out by his father for having the temerity to be a super-hero and he gets (figuratively) wined & dined by Tony Stark to join up with the government in hunting down his old buddies. Not exactly a vacation. I'll be happy when Nova dumps Earth to get back into space.

Immortal Iron Fist #5

Now this is how to tell a 6 issue story and still make each single issue filling. We get the conclusion of Danny and Orson's battle with Hydra in the subway, and man is it cool. Check out this page that Chris Sims scanned for an example. Wicked cool that is.

We also get a very good Luke Cage and Daughters of the Dragon cameo that'll bring some added drama (and ass-kicking).

The writers of this book are adding some great stuff to the whole Iron Fist mythology. For all of the origin ret-conning that's going on these days, this is a great example on how you can expand the world/history of a given character without hurting what came before.

Cover Girl #1

So I picked this up since I consider the writer an "internet friend". I enjoy his blog and belong to his forum, so I feel pretty bad that I didn't like this book. The premise is that a failing actor saves a mysterious woman on his way home from an audition and instantly becomes a star. Once that happens the men who were trying to kill the mysterious woman, come to kill him. Now his bosses want a bodyguard on him, but one that won't make him look like a wuss to the public (as they're selling him as an action hero) so, enter the title character, a hot-chick bodyguard that doubles as arm-candy.

I have two criticisms here:

1. It's obvious that they want to make fun of hollywood, specifically action movies, but this whole book reads as a pitch for the very type of hollywood action movie it would like to make fun of.

2. The whole idea that having a bodyguard would hurt the image of a star in our society is stupid. Hell, look at rappers, they are pretty much the definition of testosterone gone awry these days, and if they DIDN'T have thirty bodyguards surrounding them at all times, people would think they were less hard.

None of this is to say it's bad, it just wasn't compelling enough to justify $4 from me monthly. Sorry Kevin, I'll still read the next series you write (along with your webcomics), but this one's not working for me.

Comics I Didn't Buy

Countdown #51

I loved, loved 52, so I figured that another weekly from DC would be a prescription for happiness for me. I was wrong. I read the first full issue (and 10 pages of #2) on MySpace and wasn't sucked in. I think the biggest thing is that this series just doesn't have the same draw for me that 52 did. Since the main characters of 52 were some of my favorites, the book had me hooked from Week 1. The other problem with Countdown is that since we're no longer dealing with DC's "missing year", this book will cross-over into other books, and that's a bad thing. The book could very easily turn into a preview of what's happening in other DC books each week, with little or no context to clue people who are only reading Countdown in (see #2's pages with Batman and Karate Kid. If you didn't read JLA you'd be completely lost).

I'll keep checking it out on MySpace as long as they keep posting the issues, but unless there's some significant changes to the story, I'll sit this year out.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Human Giant is Funny

You know, when I saw Tapes N' Tapes at the Pitchfork Festival last summer, I wondered what was up with the intro (as I did not know who Aziz Ansari was). Now it all becomes clear:

Incidentally, Tapes N' Tapes is a very good band, probably not worth murdering over, maybe just maiming.

Also, saw Spidey 3 yesterday, good, not great. If you have slightly lowered expectations, and you liked the other two, you should be happy.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

What I Got: 5.2.07

Alright, let's all hope Cap Rider's done for now. Granted, it looks like we might be dealing with a Cap Clone some time in the near future, and that sucks, but hey, Marvel didn't get any of my money this week anyway, so they can suck it.

With that happy thought, let's move on to what I got:

52: Week 52

Great. Wonderful. Perfect. Pick your adjective, because they all pretty much fit. I'm sure if you're looking for it, you could find some fault with the last issue of this year-long weekly series, but I think it came out great. Enormous credit to all who worked on this series (and kudos to DC for giving Steven Wacker a shout-out even though he jumped to Marvel mid-way through). There's not much more to say. The central mystery of the new multi/mega-verse is brought to the fore and Booster Gold has to be the greatest hero never known. I really hope that there's a new Question series and a new series for the Dibney's launching out of this (along with the already announced Booster Gold series). High marks, I can't wait to read this all over again in one sitting.

Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil #3

Another great book, once again Jeff Smith brings us along on a great adventure for Captain Marvel. If there is one fault with this book, it's that I suspect it'll read even better when collected. But it still reads pretty darn near perfect right now.

Astonishing X-Men #21
[Note: This is not the cover I got]

Crap! Marvel did get their $2.99 outta me this week! Oh well, this book is of such great quality and story-telling, you forget the dunderheads at the House of Ideas are publishing it. Not much more to say hear. Great dialogue, some fun action and it all leads up to what I have a feeling will be a pretty great ending to Whedon & Cassaday's run. Too bad it's all over in 3 issues.

Hellboy: Darkness Calls #1

A good start to a new mini from Mignola with Duncan Fegredo on art. Though I'm disappointed that Mignola's moved to just the writer's role on this book (as it was his art that originally drew me to the character), I'm glad that he'll finally be able to get to all of the stories that he's wanted to tell. Fegredo's a good substitute on art as he seems to be a mix between Mignola's and (BPRD's) Guy Davis's styles. I'm glad I hung onto this after I cut BPRD loose.
The story is pretty much a cookie cutter Hellboy story, he hears weird voices in the woods, follows some weirdos into said woods, the weirdos turn out to me monsters, Hellboy says, "Son of a..." and punching commences, rinse, repeat. Let's hope they mix it up a little in the next issue.

Thanks for listening, and be sure to stay in your car while it's moving. We have enough problems with dead, cursed, flaming Captain Americas running around.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Cap Rider....Again

So, my photoshop-fu sucks, but Pachoob and Spencer kept going on about Liefield's Cap Rider, I had to see for myself.

I promise, this is it for this line of discussion. Unless Marvel picks up Spencer's pitch.

Cap's Ghost Ridin'

For Spencer & Pachoob:



Sorry, I'll try to make it better when I get home to photoshop, for right now, my poor flames courtesy of microsoft paint will have to suffice.