Saturday, July 09, 2005

I Still Yet Live

I have not posted in a while.

Opening a new comic shop is taking up most of my time and brain energies. So not only do I have no time to type, the only thing I have on my mind is Drawn and Quarterly Invoices, wondering if have enough copies of books for upcoming signings, worrying about window displays, sweating dollars, and trying to navigate the labyrinthine world of ordering comics.

So I have no snarky opinions of late visa vi recent comics.

But I still exist, and will be back soon...

Friday, July 08, 2005

Links for beauty

Peter Pagge has a new article/questionnaire at Vice Magazine.

Holy awesomeness . . .Eric Powell, Keith Giffen and others tackle the Marvel Monsters. That's fucking hot. Hell, I might even buy a book with Peter David's name on it. (I'll hide it in a paper bag like a porno, though.)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Blogging Riddle

Q: What do you call someone who thinks Loeb, Rucka, and Johns are great superhero writers but doesn't like Morrison or Kirby?

A: An idiot.

Long Drinking Coincidence Comic Day

Being a public school teacher, one of life's great rewards is the summer vacation. And one of summer vacation's great rewards is the All-Day-Drink-Fest. All-Day-Drink-Fest '05 started today around eleven o'clock and it was one of those days. You know those kickass days where things fall right into place? I don't know about you, but about 80% of my life is lived by luck and coincidence and this day was a prime example.

Soon after breakfast at Absolute Bagel (best bagels in Manhattan, bar none, and that's not counting the cutie little indie rocker behind the counter), I began my drinking day. On bar number 2, Yogi's, I sat with a PBR in one hand and a Maker's in the other. (Don't worry, this eventually gets to comics.) So I'm sitting there, enjoying myself when a fella comes from the back and talks to the bartender. "Holy shit, that looks like Roger," I say to myself. Then it sounds like him, too. I ask the girl and, yes, it's Roger.

Roger, you see, is one of those folks that have taken on mythical significance in my life. He ran a bar called 9C, best goddam bar I've ever known. Bluegrass jams every Sunday, cowpunk and gospel otherwise. Great place, cheap drinks, and the best goddam Bloody Mary's known to man. Well, for a while I was seeing a girl that didn't like me drinking, so I didn't. (Never do that, it's dumb.) Well, by the time that shit was over, I went and took a big group of my friends there and POOF it was closed. Never thought I'd see Roger again but I did today. We shot the shit and talked about how 9C wouldn't be able to be what it was these days, with all the well-meaning think-they're-leftists-but-are-actually-rule-loving-rightists fucking everything up in NY.

Good stuff, I can already tell this'll be a good day. So I go about my business, drink in a few more bars, eat dinner, drink, and head to a comic shop. I get some comics that I'll tell you about in a bit. Run into random Mousy Introvert from college, don't remember her name. Give drunk train guy advice to incoming art school students. And then, as I'm reading Battle Pope, these two black guys start talking to me about Hellboy and shit before singing for change on the train.

The best goddam part is the one guy saying, "You know who I liked? Orion, the New God." That's some obscure shit for random train dudes. "There was this baby trade, right? He and this other guy traded places. He was a good guy, but he was crazy. When he'd start fighting, all his friends even would step back, cause they knew he was crazy. He wasn't as big as the Hulk, but he could really fight."

That right there is fucking awesome. I love you, New York.

As for Battle Pope? Honestly, I love Kirkman's stuff. But this seemed a little tired. Perhaps it's the Christian in me, but I think it's a little too easy to make fun of Christianity for it to be very funny. There were good parts, don't get me wrong. But this was no Invincible or Walking Dead. As humor comics go, it was pretty good. Hell, it brought me an awesome encounter on the train, so maybe you should all read it, too.

Justice League Unlimited continued to be What Superhero Comics Would Be if Grown-Up Nerds Didn't Want Superporn. Nothing groundbreaking, but a good 3 act structure, where folks take turns rescuing each other and the plot and characters make sense and are likeable. Devon over and Seven Hells! was posting about how he wished DC had a comic that was like the JLU cartoon. Um, well, they do. It's just that it doesn't have enough murder or tits for comic nerds to care.

Speaking of which, Marvel Team Up is basically the "JLU cartoon" concept set in the Marvel Universe. Rather, it's "Robert Kirkman, here's the Marvel Universe. Do what you want." Consequently, it's fun stuff. Heroes run into each other, their interactions make sense, and generally fun things happen. The art . . .I'm not Kolins fan, but it doesn't get in the way of the fun. Come on, how can you not like a book with lines like, "Friggin' DAREDEVIL? Do you have a villain-getting-the-upper-hand sense or what?!" or "I swear, if you tell me it was the Vulture I will punch you in the face." Fun, folks. There's not that much around in the big two, so enjoy it.

Daredevil and Punisher both show up in MTU, but they also show up (surprisingly) in David Lapham's Daredevil Vs. Punisher. Stray Bullets this isn't (so far). Ennis' Punisher, this isn't (so far). But there are strong building blocks here for a tight story. That's really all I have to say about it right now.

Speaking of not having much to say about something, there's nothing wrong with Son of Vulcan other than creepy Bigboob Woman. Actually MARKETING the book towards kids that might give a shit would be a nice step, though.

And Nat Turner reminds you that as funny as Kyle Baker is, he's first and foremost a top-shelf cartoonist. Mostly "silent" but always expressive and meaningful, this is good comics. As much as I like Plastic Man (WHICH IS A LOT), this is his real work. Enjoy it, think about it.

And enjoy your coindicences, folks. Follow them when you can. Talk to the familiar face and drink that one more beer. Ya never know.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


You may, if you're nerdily astute, have noticed that recently our #1 referrer has become the comic weblog thingie, taking the place of Comics Should Be Good. Those of you following the history of this site with rapt interest will note that Alex and I co-founded that blog and left when we saw it becoming "not what we envisioned." I like to think that this means we have finally gotten out from under Brian Cronin's jackboot dictatorship, and it's time to start some shit.

The Rann/Thanagar war thing is played. The comic is bad and the outcome tied to more bad comics to come. It's time to step it up a notch. It's time for the Listen To Us, We're Right/Comics Should Be Good War. As I type this I am in contact with some of the current and former contributors to that blog. I will be poaching them, just you wait. They will be ours. I will drain the last ounces of quality from that dying site and CRUSH IT BENEATH MY BLACK NEW BALANCE SNEAKERS!!!

Friend Alex, having posted for a while though dead (suicide by way of Geoff Johns badcomics), is posting no more until the afterlife gets a new computer. Brant is too busy being a high-falooting writer guy now. That leaves it to me and those I can recruit for this war.


(Or least interesting, most metablogposting crap ever, we'll see.)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Post-Independence Links and Stuff

I hope everyone had a happy America Day, or, as my fiancee's dog thinks of it, THE SCARIEST DAY OF THE YEAR. He's terrified of fireworks. We're pretty sure he thinks they are giant bears coming to get him. I'd suggest that all of you, the world over, celebrate yesterday's Independence Day by buying one more independent comic than you usually would. And, no, Dark Horse and Image don't count. Just give one a shot, it won't hurt, I promise.

Yesterday also saw a new Make-Believe War column at the New Comic Book Galaxy. Check it out. Oh, and I suppose you could check out the other things like Miller's excellent look at Seven Soldiers, Mike Sterling's column, etc. Good things abound.

Brant just emailed me a cool link and I'm going to poach and post it before he can. It's a website devoted to ads found in 80s comics. It's sad that advertising can bring such memories back.

Frequent commenter Bill Reed has his blog back in production. So go check out The Lithium Age. You'll be glad you did. (Anything with panels from Kill Your Boyfriend has to be pretty good.) I like his take on "the new mainstream." It needn't be a codeword for "action stories without superheroes." Appeal to EVERYONE (at different times) and more people will start reading.

Anyway, I'm off. THINGS to do in this vakay-time of my life. Enjoy yourselves, workaday stiffs!