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Friday, July 14, 2006

While all y'alls are too busy talking about Civil War or Hal Jordan hitting his head(nerds!), I decided to abstain from all that nonsense by rereading the first two MiracleMan trades.

Try not to be all jealous and stuff.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

And Spencer's unofficial "NON-SUPERHERO COMICS" WEEK that might possible turn into a MONTH, 2 MONTHS, 5 MONTHS and 3 WEEKS, or Heaven forbid, the rest of his LIFE, continues on. That's right. Its theme week slash month slash whatever here in Spencer D's neck of the woods and we're talking about the "100% AUTHENTIC MANGA" BLAME!, you round eye Douchy McDouchersens!

My original encounter with Nihei's BLAME! was from reading a Blade Of The Immortal fan site that had scanned some pages from a Japanese edition of a BLAME! manga. Super nerd Spencer kicked in and I bought the Japanese version a few many years ago. The art was pretty, I had to get it. Anyways, a trip to Borders one day and lo and behold, they finally released an English edition. Cool beans!

Set in the far flung future, BLAME! chronicles the adventure of "Killy" as he ventures in some kind of cyber dungeon that goes on for miles and miles and miles, searching for clean genetic material. Or something. Starting out, Killy is on the tail end of one of his missions, in which he disposes of techno-organic looking baddies that try and steal his unsoiled genetic loot. 20 some odd gun shot induced explosions later and Killy has secured the specimen and is waiting for someone to fetch it. Once he unloads the clean genes, he is sent on another mission for more untainted chromosomes.

And we're off!

This is how BLAME! does its thing. This is how we get the character in brutal fight scenes with bio-mechanical cyber sci-fi wank off robo fighters that try and step only to get blows upped. We only learn more about this dystopia dungeon world that Killy roams when he accidentally stumbles into the chaotics lives of random characters, providing our sullen lead(and us) with some answers with what the hell is going on. When the answers don't come so easy, we find that our curiosity is diverted with gun play and creepy robot machines. Killy's interaction with others is limited and short, leaving only enough time for these bit part cast members to explain either their dire situation for Killy to resolve or their contempt for Killy's presence. Regardless of their place in the story, they all end up cannon fodder in cyber dungeon's attempt to off Killy.

Good luck with that, mechanoid bitches! Killy's got a tiny gun that will blow you and the wall behind you to mother fucking BITZ! Yes, we all know Killy is a lame name. Let's move on, shall we?

Having finally read the English translated man years after my initial introduction to BLAME!, its somewhat of a let down. The most interesting premise of the story is the fact that my curiosity is being scratch like a cat on a lazy sunday. The art, which was my reason for liking BLAME! in the first place, is still amateurish in some spots. A good number of illustrations permeate the manga, but there are times, whether its action scene that doesn't flow well or a set up that's drawn in confuso-vision, Nihei still has some work to do. However, when its good, its good.

Will I buy the next volume? Of course. With my curiosity that had been hungering for WTF BLAME! was all about for so long, I gotta stay on board. At $9.99 a pop, that's a bargain that my mother would chew me out for passing up. This one's for you, Ma!
PS: There was going to be a picture of the book up in the top but Blogger sucks so boycott Google until they return my picture sharing ability. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

For today's post, we pick apart the new-ISH MOME anthology from Fantagraphics Books, MOME 3:Winter 2006. I know what you're already thinking, that you're all ready to start ranting and raving about how I need to finish my posting about the New Warriors and what not. I know. Don't worry, pretty soon we'll have New Warriors MONTH and this place will feel like the rest of the internet comic book blogosphere with all kinds of clever wit and delicious ironic-tinted nostalgia. Trust me, it'll happen. But TODAY. Today we talk artsy fartsy and its most likely not going to be pretty. Ready?

Yeah. Fucking MOME, bitches. Its a whole lot of indie for your buck. 15 bucks to be exact, unless you're lucky like me and you picked it up in the half off graphic novel bin at my LCS. Yes, that feeling in your heart is the emptiness you never knew you had until you heard the words "half off graphic novel bin at my LCS." Although not the glorious of bargain selection, it has offered up some pretty nice gems from time to time. If you want, I can snag you a copy of GI Joe: Ninja Classified Warfare Cobra Killers. Just call "dibbs," and its yours.

But yes, MOME. Call me a new fan of the format. I've read a few anthologies, the last ones being Sexy Chix and Four Letter Worlds from Image(or is it Four Letter Words? Thinking too hard about things like this make me dizzy and cause wrinkles.) and they are, for the most part, interesting. Entertaining some of the time, interesting the more of the time. Not my most favorite format when it comes to reading comics, however, you are all a smart bunch so I won't bore you with my obvious observations on the nature of anthologies when there's other things to bore you with, like....

Opening and closing the book is Martin Cendreda's Matthew And Buster. Think of your newspaper gag strip were the main character says something so funny and/or mean spirited to someone else, causing them to fall over, faint, have their head explode, or have clouds of squiggly lines to form above their head in frustration or anger or general upsetness. Take those 3 or 4 panels, stretch them out for about 8 or 9, and then have two dogs that smoke and swear making this comments that cause everyone else to, you know, bug out. In this case, be launched backwards from their seat or standing position in a 45 degree angle "zip." Oh, and make sure its not funny because this is indie comics.

Next is David B's Armed Garden. A little French comic that is seeing english translation for the first time so you're feeling a little special, yet a little bit of anger creeps in too because the French called us a bunch of jerks for trying to war up on the rest of the globe. Whatever, France. You're just pissed because your government is totally, completely failing at being a Western Power with big balls to tote around for all to see and stuff. PLUS, we got that whole Revolution thing over and done with THE FIRST FRAGGING TIME AROUND. Jealous, a little? Probably.

France rant out of the way, David B's Armed Garden is really good. Its got all kinds of religious war and naked people running around that you forget for a moment that you're a bigoted American and enjoy the brown hued world of medieval craziness that David B has conjured up. And the picture of the Pope John ^^III getting his murder/sodomy/simony on? My next tattoo.

Did I mention there's a goose in there? He acts as the guide for our protagonist Jan Zuska who is in charge of disposing the nakedly insane Rohan and his cadre of naked followers, leading Jan Zuska down the roads of Creation to Paradise. Without the Goose, Jan Zuska would have fallen victim to the fake Sun that Rohan becomes. And when Jan Zuska gets greedy and wants to take a look at the Origin of Creation, Goose is all "told you so, bitch" when Chaos forms in Jan Zuska's one good eye, causing him to be blind. I love me some ducks and gooses.

Then comes Anders Nilsen On Whaling. Two pages and your weak ass humor is lost on all of us. Sorry, bro, but this fish ain't biting.

J. Bennet's Roll of Film is decent, however I feel that I must be some kind of photograph taking artiste in order for me say "oh, man, I know this guy or girl that is totally like that, taking pictures of every mundane thing they see with the hopes of adding some level of importance to their miserable little lifes, unlike myself who only takes tasteful nudes." That or you're the person saying "Fuck you, J. Bennett, you hack" because he called you out. I'm really neither, but I get it enough to appreciate what he's getting at.

And then comes Cher Shimura from R. Kikuo Johnson(of Nightfisher infamy) which really is the best of the whole book. Six 4 to 5 panel strips detailing the non-existing love life of Cher Shimura as she nervously goes from hopelessly in love to heartbreak in the span of seconds, all unbeknownest to her object of desire. There's really not much to say about it other than its a very simple collection of strips that really made me laugh, especially when Cher mocks the object of desire's girlfriend.

"'I love Grapes.' -Ha ha!- Slut."

You have to read it, I guess.

Overpeck, part 3, by David Healey starts to go down the idiotic path of nonsense of Martin Cendreda's Matthew And Buster with two juvenile boys playing with their juvenile toys and what not. One of them eventually calls the other a "faggot" for crossing some kind of imaginary Maginot line of young boy masculinity and ho hum, boring. Only when the "faggot" is kidnapped by some old lady that can turn into a wolf, does the jewel of the story show itself. Thrown into the machinations of the old lady's mind, the history of her sexual abuse and subsequent perversion comes out as a means of justifying her reasons for kidnapping the little boy. It entertains in the way that Gummo entertains. Its scary because Healey's talking some real life messed up stuff. However, that ends very quickly and we're back to nonsense involving naked girls, weird crippled shut in boys, and, uh.....stuff. Its only part 3, so maybe we're getting somewhere that will help us make sense of the rest of this mess.

Odd Petal Out. Kurt Wolfgang captures that 15 year old burgeoning romance like zang. The art's good and the crack about older kids dissing on the younger kids' taste in music is standard issue experience in the life of little punk/indie rock kids growing up. No would-be elitist snob should be without it.

We'll also include Wolfgang's one page Toughskins '77 strip, which basically cements the fact that Wolfgang pretty much has that whole growing up thing nailed down. Kids crying about stuff can always be solved by blowing things up. Yep.

I haven't read the interview with Kurt Wolfgang, but I'm sure its good.

The rest of MOME 3: Winter 2006 just kind of ho hum's its way to finish. Capt. Ayres is historically comics for historical folks. Interesting. Mike's Cafe is excessive auto bio stuff that I'm ok without. And Jeffrey Brown? More of the same, just worst. Sorry, but that's how I feel.

And that's MOME 3: Winter 2006!

*round of applause*

Thursday, July 06, 2006

You should read yourself some Dragon Head. I know, you're saying something to yourself along the lines of why I'm blogging about comics and not blogging about the sand in my vagina. Don't worry, you're not too far off. This isn't comics. This is MANGA, which according to this guy, are NOT comics. They ain't even comics-lite.

However, that ain't the point, son. I'm talking about Dragon Head. What is Dragon Head? Considering this is Japanese manga and all the things that come to mind when you put the two words, "Dragon" and "Head" together, its safe to say that you're already going to click over to one of the other 6 Marvel blogs. But wait! We're not talking fantasy yaoi porn manga! We're talking Lord Of The Flies mania with a little bit of that good stuff that made us all feel like suckers when they dropped the second season of Lost. Yes, that's right. Mystery! Horror! Teenage kids fighting each other while wearing derivative face paint! A school trip that goes horribly wrong when the railway that their class is riding in just happens to be going through a tunnel when an earthquake hits! Was it just an earthquake....or something far more sinister? Having just finished the 3rd volume today, I'm giving you all the okay to buy it.

And buy me the DVD while you're at it. I was in blogging hibernation when the b-day dropped so I thought it would make sense for you guys to use this opportunity to make up for it.

Built To Spill was great last night. They didn't play "Reasons" but I forgave them because they started the show off with "Car" all guitarlapella. That's when the singer gets up there with a guitar and just sings by himself, basking in one light while the rest of band chills. You think to yourself, "ok, the band is going to come in when the chorus hits" only you find you're at the end of the song, the rest of the band was no where to be heard, and that tear going down your cheek has officially confirmed that you're a colossal size douche. Guitarlapella will get you everytime.

This goes to Mark Fossen over at Focused Totality. VintageComputing.com is a video game site that focuses on the games when they were simpler, and yes, sometimes better. Why do we still hold a torch for those days of 8 bit yore? Most have been the advertising. If I remember correctly, Mark's a video game nerd, so I thought of him when I came across this site recently. Then again, I may be totally wrong, so.....

Civil War Spoilerz!

That's not Thor, but a clone created using Thor's DNA, equipped with cybernetic parts and stuff.

That's all.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I am a horrible comic book fan. Yes, yes, I know you know this, but after spending the past 2 working days catching up on all my comic blog reading, I feel like I dropped the ball. No, that is an under statement. The coach won't even put me in.

Sure, I missed out on the new Batwoman's big reveal. There was plenty of "Bat-cave" jokes that could have been made, but we really don't need all that. Civil War EXPLODED in our faces, ripping off Spider-man's mask along the way. Considering that I had prior knowledge of that whole she-bang, the best I did with it was ruin a bunch of message boarders' lives when I spoiled it for them. The New Warriors DIED and I wasn't even there to spill a forty out for them. The third X-men movie came out and I couldn't even find the time to say yes, this is what I'm talking about, give me more cheesy good comic book movies like this. And I was unemployed for 2 months!

And now, as I bounce around to and fro, starting at 2 Guys Buying Comics and going all the way to Ye Olde Comic Booke Blogge, its been brought to my attention that this blog is missing something very, very, very, very important: A Superman Returns review. Its like buying comics and not bagging them, ie, sacrilege. I believe that such concepts as the capital punishment and losing your car keys were summoned into existence as a way of learning your lesson for such crimes against humanity. Believe you me, I had every chance to get a review and get it done right. I was invited to see the movie not on opening night, BUT THE NIGHT BEFORE! BY MY COMIC SHOP!!! SITTING IN THE SAME THEATER WITH MARK WAID!!!! I'm not even Newsarama-league material, either! Wednesday fucking morning when you're Fandango-ing your tickets, I, Spencer D. Carnage, could have one upped the whole lot of yous! I could have spoiled the whole damn thing! Or even better, I could have lied, lied, lied about what happens and you would have loved it because its me! Right?

"Wait a minute, Mr. Spencer. You mean......you didn't go see before opening night with Mark Waid?"

I didn't say I could have seen it WITH Mark Waid, just seen it in the same theater, which is technically the same thing. But yes, I didn't go. Why? Because I was studying. Did I at least see it opening weekend? Nope. Not even when my friends who did go and see it, told me how wicked awesome heart wrenching misty eyed inducingly great it was, I haven't gone yet.

I don't know what I'm getting at, really, but for some reason, I felt like I need to exhibit some kind of relevancy at this point, even if it is to spout off about how irrelevant I am. Sorry, my comic book loving friends. I let all of you down.

But Built To Spill? Tonight at the sold out show at the Troubadour? Wouldn't miss that shit for anything in the world, my friends.