Friday, June 03, 2005

Feel The Love

Go give this guy some advice and support. His heart's in the right place, the poor sap...

One Year Later

So the internet is abuzz with Dan Didio's confirmation that all DC titles will skip ahead one year during Infinite Crisis. The honest truth? This would sound like a really cool, fun thing ...

If I had a single bit of faith in the architects of the project. It's like, "Audrey Tautou and Johnny Depp in a movie about magic soldiers fighting evil Frankensteins" but then you see "written by OJ Simpson and directed by Jerry Bruckheimer." You get HEY THAT SOUNDS NEAT for two seconds then you finish the sentence and think, "Aw, man!"

Who knows, maybe something fun will come out of it. Even Zero Hour produced a few good issues of Starman.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

This Am Not Bizarro Joe Post

I was all set to write an entire blog post in Bizarro speak. I had formed an early draft in my head on the way back from the train. But then I realized one of the reasons Superman/Batman was so awful was all the Bizarro speak. Take Loeb's over-played, over-obvious narration and then plug in his inept Bizarro speak and you get FUCKING ANNOYED. The art was pretty, but this was one stupid story. I don't know why I gave this book a chance to be anything but annoyingly dumb. Dumb can be fun. Johnny Ryan's stuff is hardly intellectual, but at least it's fun. This was just witless, unfunny retardity. Take a fun idea like Batzarro and then just flush it down the toilet. Thanks.

Four Robert Kirkman books in one week. What the hell? Walking Dead keeps pounding away relentlessly at the main--hell, at every character contained in the pages. I usually don't care for entertainment media so relentless in its torturing of its characters. Most television dramas seem only to be there in order to make everyone unhappier. And awful things happen in this book, in almost every issue. But by damn, if it's not compelling as all get out. We get a new character, another death, and both promise to shake things up quite a bit. Also, I love the new character's outfit. Ahem.

Invincible was also dope. We get an Allen the Alien story, with some rich background on a character you probably never expected to really care about. I like how hot alien chicks always are shaped like hot Earth chicks, except with some extra stuff added somewhere. Anyway, some bad goings-on in outer space just while some fun gettings-on are happening on Earth. This title hits the superhero notes perfectly, with the life and vigor of a musician who just likes to rock out. Kirkman's Marvel work usually hits those notes, too, but with more varied degress of passion. Marvel Team-Up was good superhero comics this month. It felt a little disjointed, but I think that was intentional. Still, the characters are varied, realized infividuals and there's definitely something going on. The Sleepwalker cameo was fun. A little nerdplay can go a LONG way if its handled in the proper way. Fantastic Four: Foes, of course, should have been an arc in an existing FF book, but I guess Marvel really wanted to cash in on the movie. It's still hitting the notes (who doesn't love it when Reed goes crazy and grows a beard?) and some of the odd things from earlier issues become plot points. It's not as strong as MTU and not even close to Kirkman's Image work, but it's actually pretty good.

What the hell is up with Son of Vulcan? It's like one of these new Marvel titles. New, young protagonist with ties to an older character. Youth-centered artwork. An honestly fun premise with good potential. And absolutely no marketing push at all. Just thrown to the legions like chum to the sharks. There's nothing inherently wrong with this comic. I could see it being a hit with kids. But, you know, you have to LET KIDS KNOW ABOUT IT. Or at least SOMEone. A failed 70s character revived for new kids in an age where fewer kids give a damn about comics. I fear this series will limp along to its grave. And that's a shame, because it's a decent little cape book.

Oddly enough, House of M has become the second-ever Bendis-written comic I've enjoyed (the first being the Ultimate Team-Up with Mahfood). It's a big superhero crossover, but there seems to be a plotted point to it other than sales and navel-gazing. The characters sound right and there are actually reasons to give a damn. I dunno, am I wrong? I feel surprised that I liked this. Superheroes annoy me these days, crossovers are awful, and I can't stand Bendis' work. Was I just in a really good mood or was this fun?

The last two titles were definitely the strongest of the week. Zatanna #1 was my least favorite Seven Soldiers issue. So much so that I didn't really like it at all, actually. But the new issue blew my fears and dreads away like eraser shavings on a nervous child's test. The art is beautiful, the Promethea-critique stuff is done, and it's full of fun ideas and action. New characters are presented as people about whom I'd like to read more. The Phantom Stranger is astonishingly interesting. The first two-part story is over and a new one is forshadowed. Hell, everyone in this comic is pretty cool. I know these comics are starting to get some backlash for not being more than "good superhero stuff." But I almost feel like Morrison's out there fighting in the trenches trying to keep superhero comics fun. Doing that doesn't really require deep artistic statements, and they might actually make things more difficult at this point in time. And, hell, you never know. He might be up to something.

Still, the comic I enjoyed the most this week, and the one I'd say most of you readers will most likely have passed over, was Super F*ckers by James Kochalka. This could be the most gleefully vulgar day-in-the-life superhero story of all time. The characters are foulmouthed like people I hang out with. But they're superheroes hanging out in their clubhouse. Honestly, I don't know how long Kochalka can keep this fun, but the debut issue was pretty awesome. This comic is really not for kids. There's drug use, sex talk, and more cussin' than a Mamet movie. But it just reeks of fun and love. Really, check it out folks. Funny stuff.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

A Haiku

Huh? Whoa, what the hell?
Wednesdays are always taken
What do I do now?

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Dear Other Bloggers

White text on dark blue or black backgrounds really hurts my eyes. Stop it!

Geek Talk

Hey, hope everyone had a good holiday weekend. Mine was light and breezy, filled with culinary delights. But I want to talk about one thing I did over the weekend. Lisa had some free movie passes and we had some free time, so before going shopping we decided to see Revenge of the Sith.

I'll surprise very few people by informing you that it was a bad film. The dialogue was atrocious, the acting unbelievable (in a bad way), the story convoluted, and deficient in all respects other than as a showreel for ILM.

I thought about doing my Geek Duty and doing a full-scale review of the movie and why I think it was even worse than Episode 2, but it occurred to me that my main problems with it mirrored my problems with a lot of the mainstream superhero work going on these days. The movie fails because, like these comics, it takes a concept inherently meant to be fun and silly and takes it SERIOUSLY with all capitals. Revenge of the Sith was a summer blockbuster action film that dealt a whole lot with back-room dealings and political machinations.

Jesus Christ, are you kidding me? Is there someone out there that watches big dumb space opera films to get insight into politics? Is there someone wanting to see Star Wars just to find out how exactly the Republic became The Empire? Fuck, no! People watch these things to see guys have space-ship battles and fight with fucking laser swords! OK, Anakin became Darth Vader because he fell in love and worried too much about her. That's worth a scene, I'll give you that. But where are the awesome things happening? Episodes 1 and 2, though still awful movies, each had at least one moment where a nerd could go "YEAH!" and just enjoy the silly awesomeness of it. But by Episode 3, the laser sword fight wad had been blown, so there was nothiing exciting there. The space dogfights were short and almost non-existent. And, aside from an occasional "witticism" from poor, lost Ewan as Obi-Wan, the only character with any charm was the almost-naked-blue chick, and her charm rests solely in the fact that she's hot!

Meanwhile, most of the big superhero books focus on similarly boring things. Politics, grand machinations and manipulations . . .it's the stuff of soap operas. Superhero comics have always had an element of soap to them, but they also had guys in costumes going out and doing crazy shit like discovering new worlds or battling living poems or something. Now all they do is talk about their goddam feelings like a bunch of pussies.

The point is, when your foundation is inherently silly, don't take yourself too seriously. Otherwise you get Hal Jordan and Batman having a bitch-off-not-talking-to-each-other tiff and scene upon scene of Jedis talking about doing stuff. When you work in a genre, find your strength first. Play around with it, take it seriously when you need to, but remember the limits. Unless you're Alan Moore or Dan Clowes, you're probably not writer enough to go contrary to the basic concept you're working with.