Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Contest: That other Batman movie

So, as I've been hinting at here and there, the blog will be going quiet for a few days as I visit family in Veracruz this week (according to my niece, the forecast calls for mostly humid with a 99 percent chance of mosquitos). I'm hoping to get my hands on plenty of classic Spanish-language comics while I'm there, but getting to a computer for any real amount of time before next week looks doubtful.

So how about a contest?

There's been a lot of talk about that guy-who-dresses-like-a-giant-bat movie that came out a couple of weeks ago, but true connoisseurs know the really tasty cheese can be found in 1966's Batman: The Movie.

Yup, we're talking Adam West as the Caped Crusader, Burt Ward as the Boy Wonder and a cast of really very good actors as the bad guys who terrorize Gotham by chewing all the scenery. I've seen more than one review of The Dark Knight that compares Heath Ledger's Joker to Cesar Romero's as a definitive interpretation of the Clown Prince of Crime, and there's a good reason why — Cesar Romero. Is. Awesome.

If you've never seen it, B:TM also stars everyone from the television series, including Romero, Frank Gorshin as The Riddler, Lee Meriwether as Catwoman, and Burgess Meredith as The Penguin (though I keep expecting him to tell Gorshin that he's going to "eat lightnin' and crap thunder.") More specifically, it's the one with the notorious "Bat-shark repellent" scene and a master plan that hinges on a dehydration weapon (hmmm ... sounds familiar ...).

Thanks to the folks over at Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (geez, that's a mouthful), I've got a copy of the recently released special edition, Blu-Ray disc Batman: The Movie, and I want you to have it. The rules are simple: Comment on this post, and in a week I'll take the names of everyone listed and pick one at random, and we'll have our winner. Anonymous posters won't be counted, but everyone else will have a chance.

And just so you know what's so special about the special edition, here are some of the disc's bonus features:

• Commentary by actors Adam West and Burt Ward
• Commentary by screenwriter Lorenzo Semple, Jr.
• All-new high-definition featurettes:
Batman: A Dynamic Legacy
Caped Crusaders: A Heroes Tribute
Gotham City’s Most Wanted
• 2001 35th Anniversary Piece Featuring Interviews with Adam West and Burt Ward
• The Batmobile Revealed with George Barris
• Pop-Up trivia track
• Original Teaser and Theatrical Trailers
• Galleries

So get crackin', and I'll see you next week!

Friday Night Fights: The things that matter

Yeah, I know that, as this is being posted, it's still only Tuesday, but since I'll be cooling my heels in an airport lobby in a few hours this will be my only chance to get my shots in for Bahlactus' Friday Night Fights: Ladies Night!

As a long renowned ladies man myself (ahem), I've come to appreciate certain qualities in a woman, not least of which include character, intelligence, kindness, wit and — obviously — a whole lot of patience.

Mostly though, I dig a woman who likes dogs and will punch a dragon in the face.

Click to Balsaad-size!

Strangely enough, my wife told me something similar on our second date — how could I not marry her?!

Following a link? Read more Great Caesar's Post here.

Panels from Rose Vol. 1
Jeff Smith, writer; Charles Vess, artist

Friday, July 25, 2008

Favorite Panel Friday never misses the hamper

The next round of Friday Night Fights doesn't start for another week, so it seems like a good time to revive an old, neglected feature here at Great Caesar's Post — Favorite Panel Friday!

OK, so you might not be familiar with Favorite Panel Friday (I wasn't kidding when I said it's been a while). Basically, it's my favorite panel from the stack of comics I bought this week ... not necessarily a panel from the best comic of the week, just the one that stuck with me most.

So what was it this week? Something highlighting the excessive pinkness of Atlas in Superman #678? (Because seriously, dude is pink.) A riveting scene of people talking in an office from Daredevil #109? Not this time, fans of watching people order take-out!

No, this week belongs to Ambush Bug.

A fan from way back, I've been waiting for Ambush Bug: Year None #1 ever since it was announced. Surreal, absurd and an antidote to comics taking themselves too seriously, the character is one of my favorites, and after his appearance in 52 I was happy to hear he would be getting some solo attention (not as dirty as it sounds, though I am hoping for a happy ending).

So far, it's not quite the book I was expecting: The ha-has are fast and frequent, but most of them are very insidery and I had to hit Google more than once just to get the joke. I can only imagine how frustrating (or worse, unfunny) it would be to someone who hasn't been reading comics for years. And seeing Ambush Bug playing the straight man was a little jarring and, for me at least, out of character.

But! All of that is forgiven because this book also gives us the return of Ambush Bug's greatest nemesis, Argh!Yle!, an irradiated, deformed and maniacal sock that believes he was long ago abandoned by the Bug. And of course, where Argh!Yle! goes, his evil army of socks is sure to follow.

Behold — the dreaded peoplepult of Argh!Yle!

So damn evil ... and yet, so darn adorable.

Panel from Ambush Bug: Year None #1
Keith Giffen, plot and pencils; Robert Loren Fleming, dialogue

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hey, check out my briefs

Between trips out of town and the resulting backlog at work, posting here at GCP has been even spottier than usual — but that doesn't mean I haven't been around! Here are some of the things that have been in the back of my mind recently:

No, I haven't seen it yet. I know, I know — but it hasn't been because of a lack of desire, that's for sure (especially after I saw Church's and Sims' spoiler-free reviews). I tried to see it yesterday, but tickets had already sold out for the next two showings so I'm planning to try again this afternoon. But you know what's the worst part, worse than the anticipation or trying to avoid the inevitable spoilers? Here it is: My mom has already seen The Dark Knight.

My mom.

Speaking of lame, what's up with Christian Bale? It's never right to assault anybody, but your mother and sister?! I'm hoping — probably foolishly — that the allegations somehow turn out to be false, but we'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, my selfish fanboy soul hopes this doesn't end up reflecting badly on the movie. Stupid Christian Bale.

Edit to Add: Thankfully, the whole thing doesn't seem to be as bad as the media reports first made it sound. Bale denies the allegations, the cops don't seem too stressed about it, and even his mother and sister seem to be downplaying the so-called incident. It's also important to note the definition of "assault" is different in England and in this case basically seems to mean he angrily hollered at people. Under that definition, I'd be considered a repeat offender. All in all, it seems to be no big deal — just the sort of thing that happens within families every Thanksgiving. It actually bothers me more that Fox seems to be the only ones following up on this story.

Speaking of movies, after seeing the trailer for the Watchmen movie, I'm getting more and more (cautiously) optimistic about the final product. I'm still a little worried about what's going to go into the movie and what's going to have to come out, but as long as the core concepts are included I think it'll turn out alright. So far it looks pretty good, and while Nite Owl is a little more buff than I expected, Dr. Manhattan is damn near perfect.

Also, this picture of the original Minutemen is pretty fantastic:

That's kind of what you would expect costumes in the 40s to look like, right? Sorta homemade and goofy looking. I appreciate that someone is paying attention to little details like that, instead of just going for wall-to-wall "WaTChmEn RUleZ!!"

So, I haven't read any Spider-Man books regularly for a while now (the clones did it to me), but I might have to pick this one up when it comes out in August just for the Adi Granov cover alone:

Positive reviews keep floating around, so this may be what gets me to finally give the post-Brand New Day Spidey a chance. Or not. We'll have to wait to see if Amazing Spider-Man Family #1 is any good or just a bunch of crap wrapped in a really beautiful cover.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this ramble, I've been out of town a lot lately and I'll be traveling again late next week (helloooo, Veracruz! Home of some of the best coffee ever as well as soul-crushing humidity).

Of course, that's also the same time the mighty Bahlactus will be hosting the first round of his latest Friday Night Fights bout, so I'm either going to be really, really early with my entry or I'm going to be experimenting with the scheduling function on Blogger. Either way, prepare for potential weirdness! I've been a longtime FNF participant and I've always appreciated how much work Bahlactus obviously puts into it, so I'm not about to miss one now — especially since the Big B hints that this might be the final fight.

If that's the case, I hope you'll join me in a proper salute.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fiduciary Friday: Nickel and dimed

OK, this isn't really going to become a regular feature, but it is a topic I'll probably come back to once in a while because, just as it does with everything else, money makes the comic book world go 'round.

A few months ago I asked the question, "How is the slipping U.S. economy affecting the way you buy comics?" Most of the respondents (as I remember it — I know I saved it, but for the life of me I can't find my copy of the poll results) said that, so far at least, the economy hadn't had any affect on the amount of money they regularly spent on comics.

When the final results were in, I was a little surprised until I realized my buying habits hadn't really changed either. Sure, I was more aware of how much money I was spending, and there were occasions when I would cut a comic from my weekly pile, but for the most part I tended to spend the same amount of money week after week. Things were just beginning to look shaky on the national economic front, but it wasn't enough to have any real, personal daily impact.

That, as they say, was then. Luckily for my wife and I, our lifestyle hasn't changed dramatically, but it has changed a bit. And if we were aware of expenditures before, brother you better believe we're really aware of them now. Aware enough that I found myself wondering last week, "Hm ... does it make sense to spend this money every week when I could save a little cash by buying trades of the stuff I really, really want instead? Am I just wasting my money?" (You'll notice I didn't consider not buying comics at all — what are you, crazy?) I also know I drop titles that I'm iffy about more quickly now, and I've also cut titles to make room for new ones I'm interested in so I can stay within my spending range.

Like of lot of the poll respondents I've got a weekly budget, and at $15 to $20 I think mine is fairly modest (especially compared to some of the buy-lists I've seen on other blogs that regularly have a couple of dozen books listed, as well as trades, hardcover collections and omnibuses). I also know that if the cover price of a comic was to rise in any significant way (which I think could be a distinct possibility), it would definitely mean less comics would be coming home with me.

And that brings me to my question: How much money do you spend on comics every week? How would a price increase your buying habits? And I'd also like to know how you'd answer a familiar question — has the worsening U.S. economy affected how you buy your comics?

There is a caveat (ain't there always?): I know many of you work in comic book shops or subscribe to a pull, so I'd like to know how much you spend with and without the discount because even a small cut in price can make the difference between picking up a particular comic or not. There will be a couple of polls over on the right, and I'd really like to hear your opinions in the comments.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why Galactus hates Earth

Because like any other tourist in New York, he just can't get any respect from the locals.

Tomorrow — content! (Or something like it.)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Night Fights: Hey, pal, it's your Viking funeral

Even though I came out before the bell last week, I'm still ready to go for another round in this mighty black-and-white match-up overseen by our cosmic ring master, Bahlactus!

But as I was preparing for another brutal bout (running up stairs, working the heavy bag, chasing chickens), I wondered: Is the KFC still open? And then I thought, what would be the best way to end this match? Who could I bring in that could bring the pain? What could reach the right level of awesome?

And then I realized: I started with Boyd and Yount, I'd end with Boyd and Yount. With that in mind, I give you ...


OK, maybe it's not the most menacing phrase in a pirate's vocabulary, but still. And the best part about using Scurvy Dogs? Even if I didn't use the Vikings, I still could've gone with the monkey fight or the battle against the Portuguese lepers; if I've learned anything from pirates, it's that it's nice to have choices.

Following a link? Read more Great Caesar's Post here!

Panels from Scurvy Dogs Vol. 1: Rags to Riches
Andrew Boyd and Ryan Yount, writers; Ryan Yount, artist

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Pull List (7-10-08): Diana Prince should change her name to Molly Hatchet

Seriously, doesn't the cover to Wonder Woman #22 instantly make "Immigrant Song" start playing in your head? Let's crank it, throw the horns and go ... to the list!

Getting ...

Booster Gold #1000000: But seriously, can we stop being cute with the numbering?

Guardians of the Galaxy #3: Some decently mysterious goings-on, high concepts and deep space action all come together in what's become my favorite team book.

Justice Society of America #17: This should really be under the "Maybe" heading. Geoff Johns' revisiting of the Kingdom Come concept is getting tiresome, but since I still enjoy the book it'll probably become a title I pick up in trade instead.

Wonder Woman #22: Gail Simone continues to quietly reinvent the character and shows why it's worth remembering that Wonder Woman is essentially a creature of magic.

Maybe ...

BPRD: The Warning #1 (of 5): Actually an almost definite sure-thing, probably taking the place of Justice Society of America. Don't be fooled by the first-issue numbering, though. This story has been building (brilliantly) in other BPRD minis for a while now, and while you can most likely pick it up without having read the other stories first, you'll really just be cheating yourself out of the growing tension as pieces fall into place.

I Kill Giants #1 (of 7): This sounds like an interesting story about that fragile time known as childhood, and how we cope with our monsters as best we can. The art also looks as if it will be well-suited to the tone of the story, so I'll be sure to give this a look in the shop.

Trading up ...
(Titles I either am, or will be, picking up in trade)

Criminal Vol. 3: Dead and Dying

Recommended ...

Comic Foundry Magazine #3: Whether you're a serious comics fan or you're just starting to give them a try, this is the best magazine about comic books on the stands. Thoughtful, informative, fun and generally a good mix of the dense and airy, Comic Foundry does an excellent job of delivering on the message that comics are for everyone. Read it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

All that important galactic info

Not too long ago, being a comic book nerd was the sort of thing you kept to yourself — unless you were a fan of the atomic wedgie or the dreaded purple nurple. Thankfully we're moving past those dark days, and even writing letters to city newspapers to proudly show off just what huge geeks we are.

Take hero to the cause Russ Forbus of Buda, Texas, who was recently published in the Austin-American Statesman:

I might quibble with Russ' description of the Lantern's "magic" ring, but I give him big thumbs up for pointing out the difference between a pulp, crime-busting hero and a corps of space cops patrolling the universe. ESPECIALLY since the mayor was totally wearing a Green Lantern T-shirt. (I have no idea why the paper's Web site didn't include it, particularly since it was in the print edition.)

The headline on the letter seems to be a pretty obvious crack, but I'd like to think Russ Forbus doesn't care, having long since become invulnerable to melvins and wet willies.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Human Bomb doesn't believe in three-day weekends

So the holiday weekend is over but my mind is still on vacation, so anything resembling actual content will have to wait until tomorrow. I hope that's OK with you, Human Bomb ...

Man — never gives an inch, that guy.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Friday Night Fights: The flying forearm of freedom!

Like a lot of Americans, I plan to celebrate this country's Independence Day by taking a short road trip and then sitting on my butt for the next three days, preferably near an ice chest. But while thinking about a life of luxury and all the Gulf shrimp I can handle, I also thought about the importance of this day.

The Fourth of July is more than fireworks and hot dogs — it's the founding of one of the greatest countries in modern history, a nation with a reputation as a source of endless opportunity. More than a seat of government, the United States serves as an ideal and it's hard not to think in terms of the icons that proudly proclaim, "This is America."

Y'know ... like a mythical Mexican wrestler fighting a pack of chupacabras in a Costa Rican cave.

Brings a patriotic tear to your eye, doesn't it? Viva America!

If you really want to see fireworks, trying messing with Bahlactus.

Following a link? You can read more Great Caesar's Post here!

Panels from "The Devil's Zapatos," published in The Amazing Joy Buzzards Vol. 2
Mark Andrew Smith, writer; Jim Pezzetti, artist

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

WTF Wednesday: Superman settles disputes the old-fashioned way

Apparently, creators aren't the only ones with contract problems ...

It's the Kryptonian! Or ... is it? Who wants to take a guess at what's really going on here?

By the way, "You're gonna hafta take a seat, Koko," has just entered my daily vocabulary — you've been warned.

Panel from DC Comics Presents #81
Keith Giffen, plotter and penciler; Robert Loren Fleming, dialogue; Bob Oksner, inker

(Seriously, who else could it be?)