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Monthly Archives: August 2006

>300

>
Rating: 4.5 foreskins (out of 5)

Writer and primary artist: Frank Miller (Sin City series, Dark Knight Returns, Batman Year One)
Colors: Lynn Varley

Note: A preview of the first several pages of this book are available by visiting the page linked to in the title of this post.

Alright. You are either already familiar with Frank Miller and therefore this work or you are a fan of history, specifically Greek, and want to see a dramatic retelling of one of the most fabled battles of Sparta. If you fall into either category, read this. Otherwise go bake some brownies or something.

This collection is presented in a beautiful landscape hardcover edition that has already become one of the prizes of my library.

*This book was also an indirect gift from the Pepin who is half aqua green.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2006 in Uncategorized

 

>Captain America: Winter Soldier

>
Rating: 3.5 Stars (out of 5)

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Steve Epting

Note: A preview of the first several pages of this book are available by visiting the page linked to in the title of this post.

I can’t believe it either: I not only read a Captain America book but I’m not hiding that fact either. Ed Brubaker’s excellent Sleeper from 2004 made me a fan and I’m always curious when an adored writer of mine takes over a mainstream superhero icon led me to this point.

My favorite part of this story is really the first couple of issues with the Red Skull. I had never read any stories with him in it, especially since I don’t read too much Captain America period. Ed Brubaker portrays him here as a very likeable freakish villain. Brubaker handles the Cosmic Cube excellently only allowing the characters and reader a murky understanding wherein somehow it feeds off of misery.

The major problem coming to a book like this after it’s been out for a while is how it’s very difficult to not already know who the subtitle refers to. Since this first book, collecting the first 7 issues, is a buildup to that revelation you’re robbed of some excitement and the final reveal, presumably in the next volume, will also most likely fall flat. However the concept of Cap’s former child sidekick growing up with a twisted psyche from all the deranged shit he was exposed to in WWII is good enough and nicely depicted by Brubaker and his more than capable artistic sidekick Steve Epting.

Another big issue I have with the book is how Epting depicts so many characters with constantly scowling faces, especially on the gorgeous Agent 13 (yes, I find females in comics attractive, just like some people find Jessica Rabbit sexy). I don’t like it when superhero books don’t take themselves seriously at all (à la Warren Ellis’ Authority) but they also don’t need to be so serious they always look like they’re “pinching a break” as a former colleague would observe.

Those two things aside, I like this one and will be looking to pick up volume 2: Captain tosses his shield at S.H.I.E.L.D. tossers. I hope that Bucky is one sick fuck now and that someone that has a major hard-on for sticking it to the U.S. government for the horrible crap they made him grow up with; mostly because I *hate* that the former marketing ploy of introducing adolescent superhero sidekicks still isn’t blotted from the collective memory. At least Brubaker gives the whole concept a good kick in the teeth.

*Matty Pepin generously provided this book indirectly through a birthday gift. My hat’s off to you, where ever you are, lost in Dolphins pre-season football land. Keep on cheering you crazy fin fan.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2006 in Uncategorized

 

>Upcoming Films of Note

>

Just a quick list of some flicks I am looking forward to seeing:

1. Long River 7: a sci fi movie from the guy behind the
fan-fucking-tastic Kung Fu Hustle involving dinosaurs and aliens sounds
interesting enough. And apparentky there’s a sequel to KFH coming after
that.

2. Severance: a zombie flick with dark humor and grisly violence, could
be good.

3. Children of Men: in the future women are infertile. Michael Caine
and Julianne Moore star along with Clive Owen. Somewhat interesting.

4. Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie, straight to DVD. How will an 11
minute/episode show work at feature length?

5. The Nightmare Before Christmas digital 3D version.
O…M…..G….October?

6. Unaccompanied Minors: a film from Paul Feig who was in some way
involved in a little show called Freaks and Geeks ;)

Wow, that’s a lot. Where’s a girl to find the time for all these
things?

Update:

Pan’s Labyrinth, a fairy tale from director Guillermo del Toro who also “did” Devil’s
Backbone, which I have an interest in catching up with as well.
(thanks to Marshal for the recommendation)

Beerfest is another. Its getting the same horrible reviews from the
critics that Super Troopers did so it’s got a head-start chance on being
good. Its amazing to me that ST received such horrible write-ups since
it was such a good film. And rarely is there a disconnect of such wide
margin between myself and the overall scores at Metacritic and Rotten
Tomatoes.

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2006 in Uncategorized

 

>The Shortlist: Upcoming and Recent Comics

>

1. The Boys by Garth Ennis. First 60 issue series since Preacher for
Ennis that I can think of. It’s the usually interesting tale of
regulars dealing with the more unsavory results of superheroics
(innocent lives lost during super battles for one).

2. Mighty Marvel Westerns series of one-shots. Steve Engleheart wrote a
fantastic character study in “It’s a Bird” last year which doesn’t
necessarily translate into good pulp westerns but it was my first
exposure to his writing and I’ve been wondering where to go from there
ever since. Been coming out all summer apparently. Didn’t even know
it.

3. Psycho. A 15 yr old series gets collected again by Image (originally
DC). Never heard of the writer, Hudnell? But I dig Dan Brereton’s art
and the story sounds good: alternate history where we have superheroes
instead of nucleur bombs. The book takes the dark and pessimistic
approach to “what would the world be like if they were real?”

4. Death Comes to Dilinger: …literally in this other western comic.
This one is about Death riding into a town to claim the life of a little
girl and her father’s attempt to stop him. Painted art compliments a
short story heavy with potential.

I wonder if at some point I will have read such a wide cross-section of
comics that there will cease to be so many books I haven’t read or heard
of. Becuase I’ve been reading a healthy amount in the last 3 years
since I re-discovered them and there doesn’t seem to be an end in
sight. There’s just so many and I am always feverishly seeking out
those needles in the haystack that prove to be transcendental
experiences like Sandman, Miracleman or League of Extraordinaru
Gentlement (judge not by the movie) and even Preacher. When will the
madness end?
eriK

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2006 in Uncategorized

 

>Iron West

>
Rating: 4 Tin Cans (out of 5)

Note: A preview of the first several pages of this book are available by visiting the page linked to in the title of this post.

This won’t be long since it’s a TenNapel book (EDIT: nevermind). Doug TenNapel created Earthworm Jim, Catscratch and a bunch of other awesome stuff including the fantastic graphic novel Creature Tech. I pretty follow anything he does; you might say I’m a bit gay for the TenNapel.

Iron West is another in a line of solid graphic novels. In this one there is an old west town tormented by self-aware robots. I will not reveal any more than that because the back cover does and I STRONGLY CAUTION AGAINST READING IT since it partially ruined things for me. Some of the different characters that show up would have provided a much bigger “gee-whiz” factor for me had the idiot from Ain’t It Cool News (aren’t there many of them? I kid but seriously those guys have questionable tastes) not listed them all on the back of the book. Kinda like how some movie trailers these days show WAY too much (LotR, X2, etc…).

It was still a very enjoyable read. There is really only one criticism that I could level against the book and that is the lack of depth/backstory for the main character. Creature Tech and Earthboy Jacobus both featured such fully fleshed out protagonists that it added invaluably to the depth and impact of the story. Iron West‘s protagonist is only shown as a child twice if I’m not mistaken and just jumps right into the conflict, moving along at a healthy clip. Both of the afore-mentioned other works of TenNapel do so at times as well but are also peppered with slower and more revealing moments where the reader gets to really get absorbed into the story more. My guess is that this is perhaps either the result of criticism previously applied to the author’s methods and/or something TenNapel has strived to achieve for this story in the interest of brevity. I can only say that I miss the old style.

If you are reading all of these reviews (my guess is most are not, so don’t think I’m conceited here) you will notice this as a continual complaint of mine since I tend ot opt for what I like to refer to as more deliberate, or considered storytelling. I like something with some deep dramatic meat to it and not just a bunch of quick and shallow entertainment when it comes to comics, well for the most part.

Overall Iron West is a book I am very glad to have read and look forward to the next output of this man’s brain.

*This book was another gift from Marshal Blessing for the rememberance day of my birth 26 years ago. Google him and be amazed at his resume which includes building tentacle robots.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2006 in Uncategorized

 

>The Horror of Collier County

>
Rating: 3.5 Zombified Retirees (out of 5)

Note: A preview of the first several pages of this book are available by visiting the page linked to in the title of this post.

Art: Nice work by Rich Tommaso. This is a black and white comic rendered in a what could be described as a more cartoony Charles Burns. It is appealing especially if you dig that whole aesthetic that Fantagraphics faves like Daniel Clowes draw in.

Concept: Kinda neat. Without giving up the ending (in the very off chance that someone reading this review will actually go out and get the book) the author tries to setup a creeping suspicion of everyone in the sleepy Florida town who ultimately end up zombified retirees. In fact the town that the story is based is near Naples, FL off of 41. Having lived in Port Charlotte, another town based around Highway 41 in southwest Florida, the book’s premise interested me even more so. I dig Tommaso’s idea here.

Execution: You essentially get a well-told little horror/suspense/drama story that reads very much like a short story. Although the main character’s behavior, although plausible, did much to hamper the maturity of the story and the character as a mother. And for those of us who still believe in the suspension of disbelief it hurts things overall.

Summary: Worth a read, glad I did. I am now interested in seeing some of the other’s other work such as Clover Honey but especially Perverso. Self-contained stories allow me the freedom from devoting a lot of resources to only one title. And for a medium like comics where things can be more heavily serialized than in any other medium that’s a welcomed relief.

Recommended

*This book was generously provided by the amazing Marshal Blessing. Google him and know the beginnings of his awesome intelligence.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2006 in Uncategorized

 

>Sea of Red Volume 1

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Rating: 3 pints of blood (out of 5)

Note: A preview of the first several pages of this book are available by visiting the page linked to in the title of this post.

The concept of this comic intrigued me: a centuries old vampire is found tied to the mast of a sunken ship during an ocean floor excavation. He is, obviously, still alive. And the beginning of the book didn’t disappoint the concept. We get a nice internal monologue from the vampire, who turns out to have been a pirate previously. ‘Vampirate’ is a title coined by one of the book’s other characters. And it seems a bit goofy. And it is, like the last half of the book.

The first half where the aquatic nosferatu is “rescued” (he is not freed out of a humanitarian desire but a monetary one by some hack film director) and poses a real threat to the crew of the excavation vessel works alright. But in the end it becomes a “romp.” And by romp I mean light-hearted and goofy to a bad effect. Everything becomes extremely fast-moving in contrast to the considered pacing the story began with. For this story I feel that a slow burn would throughout would suit it much more; reflecting the speed at which things move underwater, impeded by the liquid everything must contend with. Ramping up the speed and adding random monsters (like in the cave) sadly devalue it as standard action-adventure fair.

I guess I am expecting too much from mainstream authors that aren’t Alan Moore but I was lead initially to believe that this book would have some real depth of character, not just for the main one. But I should have heeded the warning signs of illogical motivations driving the characters’ actions.

What was consisently enjoyable throughout the book was the use of a thicker, rougher paper stock and the brown lense everything was viewed through.

Although I am still interested in seeing if the early potential of this story returns, I most likely won’t be actively seeking out the next volume in the series.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2006 in Uncategorized

 

>The Future of Music is Bright

>from Wired.

-bands can be invested and traded in like stock, becoming their own corporations (sounds bad, actually could be very good)
-the traditional model is flattened: all-in-one manager/label/marketing houses
-bands keep significant amount of sales from ALL sources, not just CD’s and own the rights to their work

So far Nettwerk in Canada, Dimensional Associates in the U.S. (own eMusic, which btw is the 2nd largest online music service next to iTunes; it’s good to know the good guys are winning for a change), and Warner’s Cordless Music division are pioneering the future of the music industry.

Working in Business Development for an online advertising firm for the last year-and-a-half has really made me hungry to learn the business models of the things i love: music, movies and comic books. i’d love to learn them well enough to start fucking around with new and improved models for each. perhaps someday i will get a job with one of these more revolutionary firms.

Anyways, it’s a great read (as usual) from Wired.

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2006 in Uncategorized

 

>As Smart As You Are, I Bet You Didn’t Know

>…some of these interesting facts.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2006 in Uncategorized

 

>Daily Show 6.27.2006 Clip
http://youtube.com/v/LqP17T-RL8M

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2006 in Uncategorized

 
 
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