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Monday, April 30, 2007

Fallen Short

Don't know if you guys heard, but Captain America died. Oops! I forgot my spoiler tags, didn't I! Yeah, well, he's dead, bro. Sorry. And now we get see how the Marvel U. grieves. As of this date we are currently going through the first 2 stages of some snoody professor something or other's 5 Stages Of Grief.

Stage 1, homey! Denial!

That's where Wolverine comes in and gets all "nuh uh, bitches!" and starts his poking around. That's right, Wolvie! Ain't nobody should believe that Cap's dead unless you, Canadian Mutie Ultimate Killing Cigar Smoking Machine, confirms. Before he does, he tries to get Cap's old shower-grab-ass buddy, Bucky, in on it. Bucky's all vague and stupid, so Wolvie ditches his lame-o ass and gets DD on the case. After some sneaking around and what not, sho' nuff, it turns that Captain America is really dead. And that's Denial for you. Next time I'm in the midst of Grief Attack, I will turn to my good friend, Wolverine, for some proper guidance on how to deal with Denial. It ain't just a river in Egypt!

Next, we have Stage 2!

The main boss at the end of this level is Anger, with Whiny Spider-man and Pissy Pants Namor as the mini-bosses. Pass this level and you get to upgrade to BARGAINING with Captain America....? Wait a second. With Captain America? Isn't he dead? Now, here is where I would talk about what happens in Fallen Soldier: Avengers, but its really just a bunch of heroes getting all mad and upset and whiny, which just plays out as bad as it sounds. What I want to know is what happens in Fallen Soldier: Bargaining if Captain America is dead?

Does that mean we get to see Steve Rogers in hell(cuz you know that's where he belongs!) bargaining with Mephisto for his soul? Let's hope so. If we're lucky, we'll get ourselves a Ghost Riding Captain America. Wouldn't that be effin' suh-WEET?! Hells to yeah, my friends. Someone get Brevoort and Quesada to green light my Ghost Riding Captain America proposal ASAP! I'm talking flaming Shields and a penance stare that chills you to the bone 'cuz you're being un-patriotic! I can say with the upmost honesty that Flaming Skull Captain America who rides across the U S of A on a motorcycle with fire for wheels with a flag flying from the back of it is probably the most American Thing you would ever see.

If you just teared up while reading that last sentence, pat yourself on the back for being a proud citizen of the greatest nation on Earth. You're one of the good ones, my friend.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The end of your rope is a noose

I have not purchased a real SUPERHERO comic in weeks. It shows, as you can see. The frequency of blogging around here drops significantly when I'm not pissed at Marvel Comics. And its not like they are doing something right over there, I just ain't buying it. You know what, son? It feels goooooooooooooood.

But if I refrain from trash talking the latest issue of X-men, how am I going to update this blog on the daily, weekly or monthly basis? I can't! That's like trying to make Gambit cool! Not in MY house! Without Marvel Comics to hate on, there is nothing worth blogging about! Its true! I am almost at the point of pulling every crappy Post-Civil War comic just so I will have some fodder for this unwieldly blog of mine.

I could always just do Get Your World War Hulk On. If there ever was a reason to buy Marvel Comics right now, doing a remixed version of someone else's webcomic could be just that reason. Is that what blogging has come to for me? Buying crappy comics just so I have something entertaining for all 5 of you to read?

Quick! Somebody convince me otherwise before I start thinking of ways to come up with gladiator sex jokes involving Hulk and the Brood!

Serious Literature

From Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed To Thrizzle # 1

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

SF: APE Sketches

Lockheed & Lockjaw Team-Up by Jason Turner:

Lockjaw by Anders Nilson:

Pretty birdy by Anders Nilson:

I didn't get that many sketches. I did not even think about sketches until I saw "Will Sketch Anything for $1" sign at Jason Turner's table. Then I saw Anders Nilson and asked him to hook me up with another Lockheed & Lockjaw Team-Up. After he did Lockjaw, he decided he had had enough and did that nice little bird. Its fun getting independent comic artists to draw semi-obscure characters from the Big Two. The look of confusion that crosses their face when you say "Lockjaw from the Inhumans" that slowly melts away into understanding after you explain that Lockjaw is that teleporting dog with the fork on his head is worth it alone. Plus, you get a kick ass sketch out of it. Admit it, Anders. You would totally work on some Spider-man if given the chance!

SF: Comics, Booze and a bearded guy named Sparky

A friend and I drove up to San Francisco last weekend so we could attend the Alternative Press Expo. How was it? It was great.

We drove up from Los Angeles friday night only to arrive at Pachoob's house at the wee hours of the night. Upon our arrival, we started drinking and watching Delta Force II. While my friend Sparky started to mess around with a Wii so he could check his myspace, Pachoob and I discussed our mutual disdain towards Warren Ellis's more recent, non-Authority/Planetary/Transmetropolitan work. After some more Wii action, we all passed out, with Sparky having the last word in regards to Pachoob drunk, annoying female roommate. Sparky is only in SF for the girls and Angela didn't make the cut.

Saturday morning comes and Pachoob's friends started to make their way over. Sparky cracks open the first beer at 11:30 AM much to the surprise of everyone. "I'm on the Vay Kay, dudes!" After a little bit of lollygagging, we make our way to the convention. As we enter, we discover a bar to our right. Sparky and a few others quickly make their way over. A half-hour later, I myself am walking around the floor with some Whiskey & Coke, apologizing to all the booths for not having any cash on me to buy their stuff. After some effort, I manage to get directions to an ATM and make a withdrawal.

The Alternative Press Expo is my first comic convention. Thank God. If half the things they say about San Diego and the WizardWorld are true, I think I may stick with the indie crowd. No bad BO, no idiot fanboys, lots of cute girls, and a bar. Everyone I talked to was really friendly. I could have easily spent a whole paycheck on comics if I wanted to. Its hard to approach a booth and not find something you like. I got my hands on a number of mini-comics this way. I met Nate Powell, whose work I have read in the Meathaus 8: Headgames anthology. Anders Nilsen did a couple sketches for me(which I will post later.) I also got a really cool sketch from Jason Turner as well. I did miss Bryan Lee O'Malley and Kevin Huizenga unfortunately. I saw Art Spiegelman talk for a bit. Ran into a kid I know from LA. Sparky had a nice Stranger Than Fiction moment when some cute girl came up to him and told him that he looked just like a character from her comic brought to life. It was a great time. I wish I would have taken more pictures, but I simply forget in the face of so many great comic books. Everyone that came with us to the show walked away with something they liked. Even the non-comic book reading fans such as Sparky enjoyed it.

After the show, we ate and rested. Watching Charm School we found ourselves enamored with the ramblings of Buckwild, occasionally invoking her sage-like wisdom several times through out the day. Night time came and we headed to the bars. We did shots of fernet and danced to 80's music. Sparky, being the Dodger fan that he is, accosted the Giants fans in our group. At some point we made our way home and passed out. We had ourselves some brunch the next day, said our goodbyes to our gracious hosts, and headed back down to LA with a hang over.

I had an awesome time. Pachoob and all his friends were really cool and I look forward to hanging out with them again soon. Sparky himself was as entertaining as ever, whether it was on the dance floor trying to get with chicks or on the car ride home, divulging all sorts of stories about his idiot self. I ran into some old friends that I have not seen in a while. To top it all off, I have a crap load of new comics that I will be making my way through for the next couple of weeks. If you ever get the chance to go to APE, do so. Its a great show with lots of great comics and good people. You can even stay with Pachoob! That dude's got himself a Wii!

Monday, April 23, 2007

SF: The Return

Dear Reader(s),

I made it back from San Francisco in one piece. APE was awesome and Pachoob & Co. are hella bitchin' folks to hang with. I am currently in recovery mode right now. Hang tight and I should have a full report in the next day or two. Take care and talk to you soon.


Spencer D. Carnage

Friday, April 20, 2007

Happy Earth Day!

In celebration of this fine Earth that we live on, I bring you this:

The Flash getting beat up by hippies.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Random stuff

I finally finished Kavalier & Clay. What a great book. It took forever and a day because of these dang funny books I be wrasslin' with. If you haven't read it, DO SO NOW.

I also recently read Ander Nilson's Don't Go Where I can't Follow and The End. As the years pass by in this life of mine, I come ever closer to the realization that I am a colossal wuss. At one point, I was reading The End and I choked back a sob. At work. Powerful, intense, and raw. And different. These ain't no super hero books.

Going through some stuff last night, I came across a letter that I had written in the 9th grade ('94) which was to be opened at the end of 12th grade. ('97.) My goals included owning every Image Comic and owning a bass. Needless to say, I do not own every Image Comic. I do own and play a guitar though which in the context of the first goal, is like owning every Image, Ultraverse AND Valiant Comic combined. Take that, failed guitarists!

Also, I came up with a pretty decent pitch for a Cloak & Dagger mini-series. I know, its weird that I would even type that sentence, but it hit me on the 170 freeway awhile back. Like my friend Tony says, it could use a little more high concept to it, but when you have "super heroes gain powers from using drugs", I can't imagine you going more high concept than that. Do I really need to invoke the power of communist samurais that drug traffick in Brazil to sell this thing? No. All I need now is a job in Hollywood and that writing gig is mine.

Last, but not least, APE is two days away. Tomorrow night I am on the midnight train to SF, where the new guitarist and I will be taking up residence on fellow semi-blogger Pachoob's floor. Pachoob, I apologize in advance for the short, bearded guy that will be coming up with me. He's a pistol, but an all around great guy. If you so feel the need to smack him, please do so. He loves that kind of stuff.

Until next time, my comic book loving internet friends..

Monday, April 16, 2007

What I read last week

Army @ Love # 1

I had high hopes for this. I have enjoyed most of the stuff I have read from Rick Vietch and was looking forward to a Vertigo book that seemed as if it would capture some of the 90's Vertigo spirit. Where I am a fan of Veitch's sophisticated work on Swamp Thing and Question, I find myself a little put off by the over-the-top gratituitous nature of his Maximortal and Bratpack. Unfortunately, that is the category that Army @ Love falls into. Soldiers fighting a pointless battle that leads to a pointless sex scene that is being sold as an attempt to advance the plot. Since the plot is a bit weak, it only comes off as empty shock value. And not that shock value for the sake of just being shocking is bad, I was expecting a little bit more. Its only the first issue, so things can definitely turn around. Until it does, I will leave it up to others to figure it out and let me know accordingly.

Dark Tower: Gunslinger Born # 3

On the third issue, Dark Tower: Gunslinger Born has paid off very well. Jae Lee does a fantastic job as always with Richard Isanove complimenting his style perfectly on colors. The script is solid, too. I am a bit of a sucker for that whole post-apocalyptic low tech future setting thanks to quite a few years sitting at a table, rolling dice, and consuming large amounts of Coca-Cola in my teenage years. My friend, who is a huge Dark Tower fan loved the first two issues that I gave to him to read. Myself, I stayed away from Stephen King, due to a series of horrendous straight-to-TV movies that were spat out back in the 90's. I know, its dumb, but that's how do sometimes. But you put a Stephen King book into comic form and sure enough, I will pick it up and read it. That's the power of comics for ya! When this is done, I will probably borrow my friend's books to see what the hoohah is all about.

Iron Fist # 4

Best damn superhero/kung fu book on the shelf. If you are not reading this, you are killing comics. Fraction and Bru are doing a bang up job, with Aja kicking ass on art. And the guest artists are awesome. Whoever thought a dude wearing ballet slippers could be so cool?

Madman Atomic Comics # 1

This is the first Madman comic I have ever read and I want to apologize for that. When I was reading X-men comics, I was sleeping on what is such a fun book. Mike Allred can draw something fierce and his wife does such a great job of polishing it all up for all of us to enjoy. Now I just need to find a way to scrounge up $175 just so I can buy that huge book that's coming out soon. This book is all catch up, which is fine for me because I am totally in the dark about the world of Madman and found myself quite surprised on what has been going on in his neck of the woods. Solid stuff, my friends. Get it!

Brownsville TPB

Jewish gangsters set in 1930's New York. I love the crime genre, but this one takes a lot of the conventions associated with your typical mafia story and replace the italians with jews. And the art. Its not bad, but I could never tell anyone apart from each other. Being in black & white definitely did not help. If you are big on the mobster scene, this might do something for you. If you're smart, you will heed my sage-like advice and pass it up for something with a little more substance and originality.

Ode To Kirihito TPB

This blew me away. An 800 page medical/horror drama from the Godfather of Manga himself, Osamu Tezuka. I read it in two days. The visual tricks alone that Tezuka employs are worth the book alone. The book's style stay well within his classical early Disney influenced style as seen by most in Astro Boy, but breaks away into a more detailed form that jumps closer to photo-realism at just the right moment. This carries a real huge emotional impact at times as issues of racism, fear, and treachery run rampant through out the book. A young doctor goes to investigate a rural japanese village where some of the denizens are mysteriously turning into dog-like humanoids that eventually die. Once he gets there, the adventure and intrigue start up and it keeps going from there. Doctors squabble about the right away to cure the condition while victims confront the world that does not understand them. Things get pretty weird in this book. It suffers slightly from using rape as a motivater for the male protagonists which is the only short-coming of the book. Other than that, its a brilliant piece of work that has got me interested in reading some of Tezuka's other work.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Enlist or Die!

BeaucoupKevin has this new forum and in that forum, he has started The Comic Book Club. What is The Comic Book Club? Its a place where we pick a comic book and discuss it. Pretty nifty, huh. Right now we got the first six issues of Watchmen set up to be dissected and discussed. I think I am out of the running on that one because someone bored my trade and never gave it back! There's a poll on the next book we are going to talk about with DMZ currently in the lead. I am not a big fan of DMZ, BUT it should be an interesting discussion that will hopefully not degenerate into me calling everyone else tasteless monkey rapers. Of Course, Yeah! favorite Jason has signed up. Why don't you?

Monday, April 09, 2007

by Johnny Hart

A little known fact is that the "comic strip" is one of three art forms that our infant nation has offered to the world. The second, I am told, is "jazz." The third escapes me, although I suspect that it is "rebellion."

As far back as I care to remember, I drew funny pictures, which got me in or out of trouble depending on the circumstances. A certain amount of prominence and popularity resulted, which, I guess, is what I was after all the time.

My formal education ended abruptly when I graduated from Union-Endicott High School. School was different in those days; they taught softly but carried a big strap. Nowadays you can bad-mouth the teachers. In my day you resorted to placing reptiles in their drawers, which was pretty risky because sometimes they were wearing them.

Soon after I had reached the age of nineteen, a young cartoonist named Brant Parker became a prime influence in my life. In one quick evening we met, became great friends, and began a relationship which would one day culminate in a joint effort called The Wizard of Id. Brant imparted to me, with remarkable insight and perception, the essence of all that he had absorbed from the practical application and study of his craft.

To this point in my life I had never really considered cartooning as a profession, but in the years to follow, it became a driving force, seemingly etched in my subconscious from that meeting with Brant Parker.

My application for enrollment in the fraternity of comic heroes arrived in April, 1954, on a small farm in Georgia, when my wife, Bobby, came screaming from the mailbox with a sale from the Saturday Evening Post. We danced and sang and gorged ourselves on a chocolate cake which Bobby's mother whomped up for the occasion. Many magazine sales followed, but not with the frequency which is essential to sustain life. Two years in the art department with General Electric returned Bobby and me to a more substantial diet.

I continued my submssions to the magazines, utilizing those quiet hours when normal people slumber. Caveman gags, for reasons which I still cannot explain, were an obsession of mine in those days, although I must reluctantly confess that I have not sold a caveman gag to a magazine to this date.

During my two years with GE, I began to read with astonishment a comic strip called Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. His sense of humor and my own seemed remarkably similar, which inspired me to attempt a comic strip, "I shall repair to my domicile this evening a create a nationally famous comic strip." I announced to my cronies. "Why don't you make a caveman strip?" said one wag. "You can't seem to sell them anywhere else!"

So I did.

B.C. was rejected by five major syndicates before it was accepted. Two years after B.C. began, I created The Wizard of ID, which lay dormant for several years thereafter. I mentioned it to Brant Parkers and asked him if he would be willing to take on the job of illustrating it. To my delight he consented. Brant and I threw the Wizard together during three wild days and nights in a small, dank New York hotel room, taping the finished drawings to the walls as we completed them. When the walls were filled, we called the syndicate and asked them if they would like to see a new strip. They said they would. The men from the syndicate arrived earlier than we had anticipated, finding Brant barefoot and shirtless and me in my shorts shaving off a three-day beard. Ignorning us, they edged their way around the walls and scrutinized our efforts, scuffing away an occasional beer bottle as they went.

When they had finished, they seated themselves about the room amidst the rubble and eyed us carefully. "We think you're disgusting, but the strip is great," they said. "We'll take it!"

Ideas are commonplace. We all have them. What do with them is another thing. I had trouble for many years trying to come up with them because I needed them for my work. Then one day it occurred to me that it is impossible to run out of ideas...and...I...*GAD*...

- Johnny Hart, The Comics: An Illustrated History of Comic Strip Art, 1974

Rest In Peace, Johnny.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Super huh?

Its been, what, a week? Sorry, mis amis.....been straying away from the super hero funny books, trying to get up on the smarty arty tip! You heard correct! I'ma talking about Original Graphic Novellas! Capeless genre excursions! Dirty, ugly crime noir and French Science Fictions! Even Manga! Books with bare boobs in 'em!


Its a breathe of fresh air. Let me tell YOU. Right now, I could give two shakes of a lamb's tail about the death of the Living Legend, Captain America. I'll pour my footy out for ya, dawg, but I don't need to pay you no nevermind just because Marvel wants to sell some books!

I have traveled to a world where teenage sex can rearrange your DNA! I stood next to private dick, Jacob Marlowe, while he beat goons up and spit mysognistic game on dames! I was there to witness some drama on the cliff, German stylee!! Like some sick, fetishistic voyeur, I watched Anders Nilson's life fall completely apart!! I traded blows with the Itto Ryu!!!!

I can't tell you how much more I have enjoyed my comic book reading experience when it doesn't involve allusions to Captain America not really being dead or neo-fascoheroism. I think its safe to say that it has affected my blogging a little bit, especially when you stop to consider that I am only good at blogging when it involves some facet of the Marvel U. that I dislike.

Don't worry, though. I'll still be hating! What's the point of being 1 of 6 Marvel bloggers if you ain't gonna complain about it!? Just bear with me, Fearless Readers! I may have been busy lately, but I still be around. I still gotta show you all how the Beyonder parties!

Stay tuned!