Sunday, February 28, 2010

Time flies

Hey, I just realized I completely missed my four-year blogging anniversary! Truthfully, I didn't really start gearing up until March 2006, but still — four years. Holy crap.

I know! I'm shocked, too!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I am a hunter, and comics are my prey

So I've been a bad blogger lately, but believe me, it hasn't been on purpose (c'mon, baby — you know I love you). And it certainly doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about comics.

As you might guess, I'm thinking about comics almost constantly and I'm always on the look out for books new and old, as well as comic-related stuff (you'd think it would've happened by now, but if I ever come across a spinner rack for sale I'm buying that sucker). This is all just a way of explaining how I've managed to wrap myself in a sort of comic-cocoon (minus Wilford Brimley) that floats around me like a perfume that's equal parts used bookstore and fresh ink.

Aah. Let's bask in it for a moment.

A little more.

OK, that's enough. Now here's some of the things that have been added to the stacks lately:

Afrodisiac by Jim Rugg

This collection came out a few weeks ago, and I've been eager to get my mitts on it for even longer than that. Rugg has put together two of my favorite things — the look of 70s Marvel comics and the blaxploitation genre —to create something that is at once familiar and unique. I haven't been able to sit down and read the whole thing yet, but what I've seen is clearly smart, funny and — if you're paying attention — insightful and incisive satire.

It also doesn't hurt that it's just a very attractively produced book. The printing holds up well to all the different styles the art reproduces, not to mention Afrodisiac is designed with a cool sensibility that sets the tone for the character himself. And at a $14.95 cover price this slim hardcover is a bargain.

This book has been recommended to me by just about everyone, and now I'm recommending it to you.

Best of DC #8 — Digest

I used to love these as a kid, and my always-awesome LCS has a small collection of them I have to resist flipping through when I'm in the shop. Because when I do ... well, this is what happens. If you ever want to mainline some pure, unadulterated Bronze Age nuttiness, pick up one of these the next time you see one.


Miracleman #17

Neil Gaiman's first issue as writer on the notoriously embattled series (the rights to which Marvel recently acquired) — believe me, I was surprised to find it in the mostly ignored longboxes of a Gruene, Texas, antique store. Pawing through boxes in stores like that usually means mostly finding a bunch of 90s X-TREME! comics someone's trying to unload, so this was a pleasant and welcome change of pace.

And finally, something you can't get in stores.

(Sorry about the photo quality — I really need to get a light box.)

As I've mentioned a few hundred times, it was my birthday a couple of weeks ago. Larry and Erica, some good friends I'm very fortunate to have, went out of their way to make this card to mark the occasion. Larry sketched out the design, Erica did the crafting and I did the squealing and high-fiving. The Flash was always a favorite of mine, and this card makes me smile just like I did while reading those comics back in the early days.

Monday, February 22, 2010


I'm sorry about the recent lack of posting, Internet Pals, but things have just been really busy lately. Er ... including today. Which is why you get Wonder Woman lassoing a banana.

No, thank you!

*ganked from somewhere I don't remember

Monday, February 15, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Why isn't the earth aflame?

Today marks my 40th of your "Earth years," and I'm pretty hyped about it. A big, meaty meal and The Wolfman are on the horizon, and the coming year (and years following that) promise to be full of Adventure and Interesting Things. I know middle-age is supposed to be some sort of soul-crushing mill stone rather than milestone, but I'm excited about the promise the Big 4-Oh will bring.

It's also possible I've finally snapped.

Either way, I'm glad I was around and more or less paying attention when the intoxicating scent of the Silver/Bronze Age gumbo was a-bubblin', because, brother, if that doesn't make you a comic book fan, nothing will.

I mean, check out what was on the stands in 1970:

Young Love!

All-Star Western!

Mutha-f'n Conan the Barbarian!

Astonishing Tales!

And of course, probably a personal favorite also debuted that year — witness the birth of:

Jack Kirby's Fourth World!

You know what that means? That's right; me and this guy are the same age:

Truly, the voice of a generation.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Pull List (2-10-10): What I'm not getting this week

Suddenly, it's late in the day and I've got to assume most people have either picked up their comics or have already decided what titles they'll be getting this week. So instead of telling you what I'm planning to get once I make it to my LCS, here's a few comics I WON'T be getting:

Green Arrow/Black Canary #29: I actually really want to get this, as much as I want to really enjoy a Green Arrow comic again. But I'm afraid neither one will be happening today, as tempted as I am by art that's been finished by Bill Sienkiewicz. The recent storyline — something about an obsessed Arrow fan who suddenly can hold her own in a superhero fight or something? — has left me cold, and a constantly brooding Ollie gets old really fast. And while this is the last issue in the current storyline, the promos for the upcoming one trumpeting "spinning out of Justice League: Cry for Justice" don't exactly fill me with hope.

Human Target #1: Look, I love the Human Target, both it's Silver Age version and the excellent reimagining by Peter Milligan. And I was initially excited to see one of Christopher Chance's creators, Len Wein, would be writing a six-issue mini-series starring the master-of-disguise, deep-undercover bodyguard. Except, that's not what Wein will be doing. Instead, the series will more closely follow the recently kicked-off TV series, which has done away completely with everything that made Human Target interesting — namely the disguise angle, and all the questions about identity and Chance's eroding sense of self that went with it. Why is this called Human Target, again?

Hit-Monkey #1: No. No, no, no, no, no. I refuse to slip into Marvel's latest meme-trap. I gave up on the zombies, and I managed to completely ignore the monkeys the first time, so I will not fall for an obviously silly story about an ape with a gun and ... and ...

... monnnkeeeeys ...

(Oh, OK — and here's what I will be getting this week:)

Anchor #5

Batman and Robin #8

Booster Gold #29

Daytripper #3

Muppet King Arthur #1

Muppet Show #2

Preview: Green Arrow/Black Canary #29
Preview: Human Target #1
Preview: Hit-Monkey #1

Monday, February 8, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

Adventures in Sound: Part 16

I normally like to let these sound effect posts stand on their own, but I just had to point out some things about this panel that just knock me out. Taken from an issue of Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen, the illustration shows a line of marching robot sentries being taken out by a rock flung by Superman. It not only has that unique Jack Kirby style, but what could have been a throw-away panel takes on a life of its own.

First, Mike Royer's sound effects are all different from each other, but every one also reflects the sentries' robotic nature — there aren't any squishy, organic sounds here. The layout is also something a little different, taking advantage of a landscape view to showcase the trip Superman's missile takes through his opponents. But my favorite part is the way Kirby took the time to put every sentry in a different pose, varying the way their individual bodies react to the sudden trauma of a rock through the melon. It's really a study in body language and posture, and it's fantastic how it works with the sound effects to give the reader a hinting look at the moment just before all those robots go crashing to the ground.

Panel from Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus, Volume Three
Letterer: Mike Royer

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ms. Marvel as you've never seen her before

The month of February began earlier this week, and with each passing day I've become more and more frustrated. Mostly because I haven't been able to mark the passing of each day.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've been using a 2010 Marvel calendar that was given away as a free promotional item at comic book stores. It's a pretty neat calendar, with decent art depicting superheroes in their original costumes and a small line noting when the character first appeared.

But man, that Ms. Marvel picture.

I've been using the calendar in my office, and the illustration of Ms. Marvel used for February is just ... just ... well, let's just say it probably wouldn't be appreciated by my co-workers, particularly my female co-workers. But, dammit, I wanted to use my calendar! And every time I looked up to check a date, there was January staring me in the face, mocking me with its Januariness and total lack of February.

There has to be a solution, I thought. If only the character was a little more covered up. And why is she in that pose? She looks like she just woke up; hell, she looks like she just woke up from hibernation and ...


And that's when I got an idea: Why don't I make some new clothes for Ms. Marvel? (Little did I know Dom would have the same idea, linking to his own solution in the comments of the original post and beating me by a couple of days.) But it wouldn't be just any clothes; it would be something reflecting her drowsy expression and literally laid-back posture, and possibly her desire for a pick-a-nic basket. With that in mind, I give you:

Ms. Marvel in

bear-suit pajamas

Yeah, I don't know either. But if you've got an idea of what else Carol Danvers could be wearing instead of her painfully awkward original uniform this month, I'd love to see it. Make your own alternate clothing choice, post it on your blog and send the results to me, either in the comments or shoot me an e-mail. Don't have the calendar? Here's a full-size copy of the image you can use as a template:

February's almost as short as Ms. Marvel's pants, so get crackin'! I'll post links to your fashionable suggestions below.


a poodle skirt (Dom)

Monday, February 1, 2010