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Monday, January 09, 2006

The Best And Worst Of 2005

2006 is here and with it comes the chance to not only look forward, but an opportunity to stop for a moment and look back at 2005. This would have come sooner, but Blogger has been a pain in the ass with me posting pictures, forcing me to almost give up comic blogging forever. Then I realized that my lameness would be missed much like we all miss Thor. We don't really like him, but it just doesn't feel right when he's gone. Oh, and Earth-2 Leigh's comments about moi not posting forced my hand. Without further introduction, I give you...

Spencer Carnage's Best And Worst Of 2005

...and some other weird awards I made up as well.

Best On-going Series : Gotham Central

Whoever thought a cop drama set in Gotham City, written by Ed Brubaker & Greg Rucka, with art by Michael Lark, Kano, and some other people whose names I can't remember right now, would be so good? Not me, that's for damn sure. But damn, it won me over. Picked up the first two graphic novels last spring and I was in L-O-V-E, love. Its a shame that Bru & Lark left and its turning into the Streetwalkers Of Gotham or something, because this comic was really so much better than anything DC was putting out. Sniff, sniff. That's a tear of sorrow. If I had a forty, I'd pour it out 'n shit.

Best Single Issue : Seven Soldiers # 0

Sheer brilliance. If Grant Morrison and J. H. Williams could do a monthly comic, I just might run out of crappy things to say about comics.

Best Original Graphic Novel : TOP TEN: The 49ers

Taking the best of all genres and throwing it together in the city of Necropolis, Alan Moore not only delivers a tale of retired WWII heroes turned law enforcement fighting Vampires, Nazis, and American soldiers gone rogue, but a very heartfelt love story as well. Gene Ha's painted work definitely makes this book a top notch tale. This book was everything that is right with comics.

Best Mini-Series that started in '05 but won't end until '06 : Wintermen

Only three issues into it and I'm hooked. Wintermen is post-superhero/military at volume eleven. And stuff. Filled to the gills with all kinds of dirty dialogue and pretty, pretty art. This came along at just the right time when comics were being all kinds of dumb towards me with their lackluster stories that took 11,038,195,873,200 issues to tell. Thank you, Winterman. Here's to fucking shit pig success in 2006!

Worst Trend at Marvel Comics : "New"

First the New Avengers, followed by the New Thunderbolts. Then came New Excalibur. Granted, New Thunderbolts and New Avengers started in 2004(...er, I think..?), it wasn't until Excalibur became New Excalibur that it became nauseating. What's next? The New Universe. Or would that be the New NEW Universe? I don't know, I'm confused and a little too bored to really care anymore.

Worst Trend at DC Comics : Over use of dramatic dialogue

Ok, so that's not what they really said, but that's all I hear when I read it. DC is trying to hit us hard with some next level dramatic shit by bringing a Crisis to the DCU, and well.......it probably the most forced, contrived, pathetic attempt at instilling a sense of "seriousness" into comics. Then again, they are just comics, so I'm pretty sure its supposed to come off as forced, contrived, pathetic drivel. DC's just doing the best at it right now.

Biggest Let Down : House Of M

If I was an X-men writer, I'd punch Bendis in his balls at the next San Diego Comic-con. I could go off about this one, but its nothing you haven't heard before, no?

Fall From Grace Award : Brian Michael Bendis

Warren Ellis brought me back to comics, and Brian Michael Bendis made sure I stayed. His staunch use of stilted dialogue was interesting and his love for all things noir hit all the right buttons. His Daredevil read strong in trade up until I caught up and started buying the book monthly. Waiting 4 months for something to happened started to wear. Alias was good until it turned into the Pulse and the Secret War cross over was just a bunch of scenes of Jessica running around crying. Secret War itself was a new thing on his part, but slowly declined into a boring story that took too long to come out. Waiting months for the last issue only to have some Angelina Jolie looking character take out the bad guy before Wolverine, Spider-man, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Captain America, and the Fantastic Four could was just poor judgement on his part. New Avengers showed some promise with the motley cast of characters, unfortunately much like what happened with Secret War, they never finish their fights themselves. And House Of M?

I rest my case.

On The Bubble Award : Ed Brubaker

Sleeper kicked my ass nice and slow, that I didn't even know bad I was getting beat until it was over. With Gotham Central, he brought that wuss Rucka over to hold my arms while he punched me in the chest. Captain America made feel like I was in the 3rd grade and I was getting beat up by a six grade bully. And now with X-Men: Deadly Genesis and The Books Of Doom are up in my face, threatening me with gang violence. And now there's talk of Bru taking over Uncanny? Fuck. Makes me want to start taking karate and take my mis-directed revenge out on some OTHER unsuspecting bully ten years from now. I must say, Brubaker is a bad ass and he can beat you at arm wrestling. Were he fine ass nubian babe, I'd get bitch slapped when I told her about my Ebony-Ivory fantasy. Kudos to you, Mr. Bru.

Best Issue of Solo : Paul Pope

If Paul Pope can make me like Robin with only a few panels, just imagine what he could do if he drew and wrote something like....the X-men? Yes, that would be fucking great and awesome all at the same time.

Best Beating Of A Dead Horse : Warren Ellis's Cell phone diatribe in Iron Man

I am so glad that Warren Ellis loves his cell phone. Hell, I love mine. I just got a new one not so long ago that takes pictures and plays the "Final Countdown" when someone calls. How cool is that? Now, I'm sure you're sitting there asking yourself, "Me...what's the opposite of Spencer Carnage's cool cell phone?" The answer is Warren Ellis's need to ruin good super hero comics for the umpteenth time with his cell phone rants. If I was T-Mobile, I'd fucking hire that Brit and put him on every billboard, magazine ad, and television commercial I made. Imagine a very angry Warren Ellis telling you how you need to buy the latest model of the T-Mobile SJ1260 that allows you to artificially inseminate despondent women in Thailand for only 25 cents a call or else he will personally *insert classic Warren Ellis graphic punishment involving dogs fucking knife wounds*. Then maybe T-Mobile can expand into comics and Warren Ellis can do his rants there. Until then, please stop. Cell phones rock. We get it already. Now write me something that was as good as the Authority and Transmetropolitan.

Best Comic book related Christmas Present : Spider-man in Black Costume bust

Once again, my friend Ryan delivered on Christmas day. In 2004, it was the Doom bust, which started a nice little trend amongest our nerdy friends of purchasing busts and statues or giving them away as gifts. Before they were these cool little things that sat on the shelves in the comic shop that for some reason weren't quite on our radar. After Christmas of '04, you weren't loved as much as you thought you were if someone didn't get you a snazzy bust for your birthday. Sure enough, Ryan keeps up the love with the Spider-man In Black Costume bust which is chillaxing next to Doom on the computer desk, making sure his Latverian ass is keeping his shit clean. Thanks, Ryan!

Best Semi-Comics Christmas Related Present That I Bought For Myself With A Giftcard : Cromartie High Volume DVD Set w/ Manga

Quit wasting your time reading this blog and go buy/rent/borrow/perform fellatio so you can see/steal this DVD. Its funny done right. If you're a fan of Adult Swim, this is definitely for you.

Better Late Than Never : Starman

I can not believe I did not pick up when this came out. I could try and explain away the stupidity, but it was the 90s and as I've said before, the 90s were lame and so was I. Let's move on.

2005 was the year of the Vertigo back catalogue. I read all of Swamp Thing, half of the Sandman, and the first trade of Animal Man. You know, all the good stuff I missed out on while growing up. After enjoying those, I decided to pick up some Starman. It wasn't Vertigo, but it was on the radar and gave me the impression that I was going to have my pleasure centers massaged by reading it. The first trade was good, but didn't really sink in. After waiting a few months, I picked up the 2nd trade, followed by the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th. I believe I have 3 or 4 more to go and I simply can not wait to finish them. Its a shame that James Robinson left comics to make movies for so long. Sure, we get him back in a few months, but damn. Just imagine how good Infinite Crisis would be if he was writing it.

Worst Comic Shop Experience : Having a copy of the Rob Liefeld Teen Titans secretly snuck into my bag by Earth-2 Comics alum Darren.

I almost gave this award to the time that I accidentally bought an issue of Batgirl, but decided that Rob Liefeld's crappy pencils trumps all.

Best New Way To Ridicule Your Friends Crappy Comics : Read their crappy comics to them out loud!

On the car ride home, pick out the crappiest comic from your friends bag(ie, Nightwing) and read it out loud. Make sure to explain what's going on in the comic. Nothing is more shameful then having to openly admit to buying a comic where a Devin Grayson written Nightwing fights mafia goons on crutches. "Ok, he's all jumping around on this crutch, then- SHIT! he's crutch fighting! Nightwing fucking rules, Ryan..."

Guilty Pleasure : Vs.

Yes, I'm a nerd. And so's my best friend and co-worker Tony. There was only so many conversations we could have about comics before we tired ourselves out and sought new ways to assauge our boredom at work. We contemplated starting up a game of the Marvel Super Heroes RPG, but we needed another person. Then Tony suggested Vs. About a month later and we're saying things like "Archangel is a sick ass drop 5", "I was PRAYING that you didn't have that Avengers Disassembled in your hand", and "Even though I'm kind of tapped on on the Avengers, Marvel Knights, and Web Of Spiderman booster backs, I just don't feel comfortable spending on my money on a JLA pack." The funny thing is, its Magic: The Gathering but with super heroes so I'm the nerd. And this is coming from people who buy comics on the weekly basis. You're all just scared because the Avengers/Thunderbolts deck is mighty and fierce.

I just don't get it Award : Walking Dead

Sorry, but I just don't get it. I tried for 4 long trades, but eventually gave up when I had to sit there and read through weird awkward prison BJ moments and people fighting each other for the most horrific melodramatic moments that a writer could ever think of. Having the main character say "We're the walking dead!" in the last trade almost made me vomit. Thanks but no thanks.

Best Comeback I Could Care Less About : Hal Jordan

Sorry, but I don't see what's so great about this. Tried the first issue and then realized that something that a group like H.E.A.T was excited about is not something that I myself could ever endorse. Nothing is more nauseating then reading interviews with Johns and having to read him say things like "Hal's a man's man." Yeah, its comics, dude. Chillax.

Why ADD and I Would Never Get Along : Superf*ckers = Supersucky.

As much as I love a good dick joke, this one went right over my head. It got to the point to where the number of fag insults made me feel a little ashamed to actually own a copy of this comic. The premise here is really promising, but didn't do jack shit for this super hero fan.

Worst Attempt At Getting New Readers : Lying In The Gutters

Shame on you, Rich. Shame, shame, shame. Glad to you have you back, though. Shit. Those were some tough six weeks back there.

and last but no least...

Best "Goddamn Batman" Joke : Earth-2 Leigh's Goddamn Flatman

Pure comedy genius.

That wraps it up. If you made it this far its because you're a bad employee and you should get back to work.


Earth-2 Leigh said...

Aw, shucks. Thanks.

I just got a new one not so long ago that takes pictures and plays the "Final Countdown" when someone calls.

Awesome. I want a cell phone just so I can use that ringtone. And friends, so I could hear that ringtone.

Spencer Carnage said...

I hear you can pay F-list hollywood actors like Rick Schroeder's mom on Silver Spoons to call you and say hello. That sure would make ME feel important and loved.

thekelvingreen said...

The thing about New Excalibur is that it's more like the old Excalibur than the new Excalibur was before they cancelled it to make way for New Excalibur. So they should call it New New Excalibur or perhaps New Old Excalibur. Or something.

Worst Trend at DC Comics: Geoff Johns.

And in brief:
"Final Countdown' mobile ringtones are cool. The Black Spidey bust is cool. Cromartie is the funniest comic in years, and the anime is kinda fun too, and ironically it's not on Adult Swim, but on G4-Tech or whatever it's called these days. Never read Starman beyond the DC 1,000,000 issue. I quite like The Walking Dead, but not as much as everyone else, and I think the "We are the walking dead" bit should have been left in the letters pages, and are the trade collections up to that point already because that was just a couple of months ago wasn't it? Don't understand the Hal Jordan love either, but Geoff Johns' word is law. Sadly Geoff Johns' word tends to be "poop".

Spencer Carnage said...

The 4th trade ended with that "we are the walking dead" issue. The final nail was when the two guys were fighting, right after they found out that girl tried to commit suicide. Just didn't make sense that they would be fighting instead of checking on her.

And yes, you should check out starman. Its great.

Oh, and thanks for the tip about cromartie high on G4. I was unawares.