Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rant-Reviews--What does it mean when I enjoyed the $2.99 comics more than the $3.99 and $4.99?

Alright, so I read Deadpool #39 and Mystery Men #2 which are $2.99 and enjoyed them a fair amount. Then Wolverine #11 is interesting and chock-full of allusions to other stories that would make a trivia geek go wild, but I just don't have as much fun as I would like--and it costs $3.99 for the standard 22 pages. Then I get the, "Double-Sized Special" of Thunderbolts #159 and other than the first story by the guy who normally writes the series, I'm left feeling pretty cold for my nearly-five-bucks. What does it mean when the cheaper comics are more fun than the comic that costs a dollar more but adds nothing, and a lot more enjoyable than the comic packed with substandard content? I guess it brings a new twist to the phrase, "Getting your money's worth." Let's break down why I feel how I do about these comics.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Sweet Tale--Empire State: A Love Story (Or Not)

Empire State: A Love Story (Or Not)
Having read both, "Bookhunter," by Jason Shiga and his crazy puzzle-masterpiece, "Meanwhile," this book is oddly straightforward in its somewhat autobiographical tale of Jimmy and the efforts he takes to follow a woman named Sara to New York City. Don't get me wrong though, by stripping away some of his crazier elements Shiga also creates a very fun and human tale...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Interview Time--Jonathan Maberry

 In March it was announced there would be a prequel to the series written by Jonathan Maberry, "Marvel Universe VS The Punisher," of which I was a big fan, titled, "Marvel Universe VS Wolverine". Having enjoyed the Punisher's tale so much I spoke with the author via email about it, I also asked if I could have the pleasure of interviewing him about this new series. He said yes and we conducted this interview toward the end of March. As we approach the release of "Marvel Universe VS Wolverine #1" tomorrow I thought this would be the perfect time to post the interview! Click after the cut for the interview.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Rant-Reviews--Most Of These Came Out Last Week

Most of these comics came out last week but I finally got around to reading them, so I'm going to review them anyways because it hasn't been a horribly long time like almost a month...except with Heroes For Hire #8. Daken: Dark Wolverine #10, Fear Itself: The Homefront #3, Hulk #35, and Invincible Iron Man #505 are all still kind of new though. I also feel extra cynical today so get ready for some dark humor!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Engaging and Interesting--Flashpoint: The Outsider #1

Flashpoint: The Outsider #1
I may only be getting the Batman comic for during the Flashpoint spin-off, but I can read others, and I heard enough good things about this comic, and was intrigued by the character of the Outsider in Flashpoint #1, so I gave this a readin' and will share my thoughts on the level of enjoyment I gleaned.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Weird Future-Tale--After Dark #0-3

After Dark #0-3
Created by Antoine Fuqua and Wesley Snipes with the writing done by Peter Milligan this tale of a dark dsytopian future starts out a bit slowly and formulaic, but over time gets more and more interesting, which I'll summarize.

I'm Proud Of My State Today.

Late yesterday night my state made the historic decision to ensure that equality was guaranteed to all who deserved it when it came to marriage. I am pleased that another step has been taken against the pointless oppression of others just because they are different from what is considered to be the normal ideals for a marriage according to some. I applaud the Democrats and Republicans who knew that they wanted to be on the right side of history because years from now when we look back the youth today who have no problem with equal marriage will be the ones in power, and all those politicans who voted "Nay" on this issue will look as bad as the people who voted for segregation back in the mid-1900s for fear that it was the popular opinion at the time.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Podcast Episode 9--More Than A Day Late But The Dollar Ain't Short

I return to talk about DC's re-launch and share my thoughts on it. Then, I discuss the video-games Duke Nukem Forever, LA Noire, and Arcanum. Lastly, I talk about 3 good comics in the form of Supreme Power #1 (the new version), New Mutants #25, and Flashpoint: Batman, Knight of Vengeance #1. My apologies for being gone so long and I hope this heaping portion of content makes up for my extended absence from your ear-drums.

Play it:

Or as always download it for later enjoyment:
Download this episode (right click and save)

Flashback Friday: Invincible Ultimate Collection Volume 1

Invincible Ultimate Collection Volume 1
This series has been going strong for some time and is quite good. I like this collection because it collects all the issues up to the explanation of the big twist that gets hinted at in earlier issues and sets up the new status quo that the later issues built from, so really, this is an "Ultimate" collection in that it provides the perfect introduction to the series for a reader like me who has never read Invincible. I know, it's weird considering all the junk I read, but I never picked this up until now. How was this? It was really good, but probably the most interesting, touching, and sad part was the relationship between Mark and his father.

Gene Colan Has Passed Away At Age 84

In news that saddened me greatly, a comic artist whose work I quite enjoyed, Gene Colan, has passed away at age 84. My favorite work by him probably would be the time he spent with Marv Wolfman doing Tomb of Dracula. It's stark stuff, and Wolfman's prose is pretty "purple" as people would say, but it just looks amazing and is a fun horror comic that Wolfman and Colan did together for an incredibly long time. It is probably the first of Colan's work I was exposed to when I stumbled upon some old Dracula comics and continues to also be my favorite of his work. Colan of course is known for a myriad of other accomplishments and will be missed by many. I have a book Marvel put out a year or so ago called, "The Invincible Gene Colan" that I've been enjoying reading and was going to eventually put a review up of. Now sadly, that review will have to be written in past-tense, with me saying Colan was an amazing artist, instead of being able to say is--as he continued doing art well into his elder years, illustrating a Captain America comic as recently as 2009! This is truly a loss of one of the great masters of the comic art.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Newest List Of iPad Apps I Recommend .

There are more snazzy iPad apps I've been messing around with, be they games or useful tools, and I thought it would be good to share what I think about them.
Also, to make things easier I'll link you to my first post about iPad apps here and my second post here.

I Swear I'll Get A Podcast Up.

I put up a post Tuesday in which I said how I was trying to get a podcast up by Wednesday at the latest, and it's clearly not looking too good for that as it is Thursday. I'm working at it, but in-between falling asleep super-early Tuesday and having killer head-ache from onions being in my four-cheese and vegetable pizza yesterday/Wednesday (Too Many Onions+Me=Head Pain) it just was too hard to finish up a podcast. Look for one Thursday or early-ish Friday. The other Thursday posts on apps I like and the comic mini-series "After Dark" should be getting posted today so don't worry too much about those at least.
UPDATE: A post on apps will be up late Thursday and expect a post on After Dark during Friday along with one of my Flashback Friday/Film Friday Posts and finally a podcast should be put up during Friday.

ANOTHER UPDATE: After Dark will be reviewed on Saturday.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Love This Game--Arcanum

So, I love this older game that came out in August of 2001 known as Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura. It is just incredibly fun and open-ended. Basically you may be the reincarnation of an ancient hero, and all these people want to kill you, but you get to wander through this world and do a variety of quests and complete them however you want. Want to be a magic-using, smooth-talker who is a good-guy? Go for it. Want to take advantage of the industrial revolution in the world and be a gun-slingin' steam-punk inspired villain who can't speak in more than simple sentences? That's open to you too. You can be a nice person, a complete and total jerk who just murders people, rob houses for fun and profit, amass a small group of friends who do your fighting for you, and essentially just have fun whilst wandering around doing what you like. You're probably thinking there is a catch, and there is. This game is from 2001, and is kind of tough-looking graphics-wise:
Also, the company that made it--Trokia--was known for making excellent games that were buggy as hell. This was a problem, but it has been mostly fixed by fan-patches you can download (these are unofficial patches that everyone uses because they are awesome). Yeah, graphics that are kind of ugly, bugs that can get on your nerves, and some of the dungeons can be a grind. But look past the problems and this thing is a masterpiece--a flawed masterpiece. Yes, it is one of my favorite games ever, and when I saw that had it available for purchase and download, you know I got on that right away. You really should play this, it starts a bit slowly but man is it amazing once you get going.

Screamland #1

Screamland #1
The first issue of the new ongoing coming out of the couple-of-years old mini-series. Is it good, can you understand it without having read the mini-series? Read my review and find out, why don't you?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Delightfully Twisted--The Cape (Comic, Not T.V. Show)

The Cape
Written by Joe Hill (known for the comic series Locke and Key along with some snazzy prose books) this is at first glance a tale about youthful hope and all sweet about a man discovering his powers and coming of age etc. etc. However, the incredibly dark twist at the end makes this really cool and has me interested in the upcoming mini-series spinning out of this starting in July.

Plans For The Blog (6/21/11-6/26/11)

Alright, here we are on Tuesday and I thought it might be fun to give a little peek into how I like to try and plan things out for the blog to a certain degree. I'll say what I am thinking of doing throughout the week and you can keep score at home of how well I do this or terribly mess it up.

  •  Get a review up of "The Cape" which was a comic that had nothing to do with the television show.
  • Record and edit podcast, either posting it today or tomorrow. Main subject, the variety of video-games I have played recently (in random order: Duke Nukem Forever, LA Noire, Arcanum). Ended up being posted very late Friday.
  • Post a review of the 1st issue of the Screamland ongoing.
  • Post a long-form writing about Arcanum and why an old game many may not know that I bought via (they are cool, as I've said) is so awesome and one of the best role-playing games ever.
  • Put up another small list of apps I've newly started enjoying, consider creating a master-list post in the future combining the top apps into one ultra-post. 
  • Post a review of issues #0-3 of "After Dark" the comic that was published by Radical Comics.Going up Saturday.
  • Film Friday or Flashback Friday post on a topic to be determined. Ended up being on Invincible Ultimate Collection Volume 1.
Saturday and Sunday
  • Who knows what I"ll be posting? Seriously, who? Tell me so I can figure out something. Maybe I'll bitch more about how most of today's popular music is terrible, that's always fun for me at least.
As always I could tack other things on, alter the order of posts, change everything suddenly, or whatever else is needed as the week calls for it. This is just a rough sketch of what I'm thinking that I thought, you, my readers, might be interested in. Maybe you aren't intrigued at all and I just bored you, in which case I'm sorry.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Rant Reviews--Wolverine, DC Universe Looks Hideous, X-Factor Reads Well, and Batman Fights An Ex-Robin

Do you ever wonder how the hell people come up with this stuff? I mean, for this edition of Rant-Reviews we have Wolverine #10 with a guy who launches rocks from his feet, DC Universe Online Legends #10 has art that is just monstrous to accompany Superman's powers going wacky from being attacked by a tiny robotic bug. Then, in X-Factor #221 keeps going with the weird supernatural stuff but has cool action to counter-balance it and Batman and Robin #24 has Jason Todd fighting creatures with animal heads and human bodies along with the titular heroes. See what I mean? Comics are weird.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Long Post About Two Great Anthology Comics--Dark Horse Presents #1 AND Strange Adventures #1

Dark Horse Presents #1 AND Strange Adventures #1
Two different anthology comics from two different publishers. Both are $7.99, and both have some really great tales and some so-so ones (which is how anthologies usually are). I'm intrigued these companies are doing this as apparently anthologies aren't the biggest sellers, but I'm also pleased as both of these comics definetely had some stories that were keepers. I am now going to go heavily in-depth about each book, jumping between them at will and otherwise confusing the hell out of you, my dear reader. Oh, I'm also going to be a wise-ass for the stories I don't like, so you might laugh too.

By The Way, Happy Father's Day.

I don't think I mentioned it, so Happy Father's Day! Recognize Dad by buying him something, the card companies demand it!

A Return To Form--Supreme Power #1

Supreme Power #1
Supreme Power is back, baby! Oh, and it doesn't suck anymore like when it was a non-Max title (excluding that good Hyperion VS Nighthawk mini-series)! Yup, this is back to its roots, focusing on the main characters without those Marvel-Universe analogues of Iron Man or Captain America, bringing in the political allegory, and not shying away from swearing or being "adult" in the sense of actually having complex conversations about identity and such. Yeah, I'm enjoying this.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Race & Gorilla Grodd In Flashpoint AKA David Brothers Says It Better Than I Ever Could

 Flashpoint has a comic about how Gorilla Grodd took over Africa. He has always wanted to do that, but when you make it a story about how stereotypical child soldiers fight him and a cliche "white man comes to save the day" event occurs (although the white dude apparently gets all smashed up), are we really doing anything but creating the most unflattering portrait of Africa and the residents of it as we possibly can? "Look at the black people in that country, they are miserable and need a white guy to come save them!" is basically what I'm getting from this comic based on what I've heard and skimmed.
Anyways, race in comics and how terrible a job many people do, David Brothers says it better than I can, probably because he is a better writer than I am.

There WILL Be More T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents After The DC Re-Launch (Thank God)!

At some event or another, it was mentioned by DC that there will be indeed be a return of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents comic this October during the whole "nu-DC" re-launch/supposedly-not-a-reboot. This has made me happy, assuming Nick Spencer will still be writing it--which I hope he is. Oh, and Batman Odyssey will be back, but that is just an utter mess so who really cares except people who like watching car-crashes?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Flashback Friday AND Mini-Run Review--Secret Avengers #1-5

Secret Avengers #1-5
It's the first five issues of the comic that was written by Ed Brubaker before some other folk were announced as coming on to write it recently. Yeah, it isn't that old, but let's just roll with it.

Rant-Reviews--Extreme Violence, Acrobartics, and Explosions.

Today we've got a a bunch of fancy-fighting on the rooftops in Black Panther #519,  Butcher Baker The Righteous Maker #3 has a high-speed car-chase/fight with everything blowing up, Caligula #2 is just gruesome, and Deadpool #38 has more buildings being destroyed than I know what to do with. So yeah, a pretty good batch of comics.

I've Played Some of Duke Nukem Forever--First Impressions

I've rented the Duke Nukem Forever video-game and a part of me still can't believe it actually came out. I thought I would share my early impressions. Mainly, I think people expected too much. It was in development for 12 years with them constantly stopping and starting over, and then it finally comes out and you want to say, "I waited 12 years for this?" but you didn't really, you waited a shorter amount of time for this game. That said, this is still pretty mediocre, if fun.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Solid Start--Mystery Men #1

Mystery Men #1
Marvel promoted this in a cagey-manner, using "classified" solicits and otherwise being secretive for what is pretty much just a neat little pulp-style romp set in the normal Marvel Universe before the era of heroes began. It's definitely worth reading, however.

Getting News-y With It.

Assorted News I have found interesting enough as of late to gather into one post.
     There we go!

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    Well That Was Subpar--Ghost Rider #0.1

    Ghost Rider #0.1
    Consider me disappointed. This starts out decent enough, with Johnny Blaze giving us a fun run-down of why he is not like any other heroes, has him mocking Fear Itself when he sees it on television, and otherwise seems like a good time, even if it isn't going to measure up to the amazing run Jason Aaron had which was just stellar right out the gate. However, it gets weaker and weaker.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    Green Arrow #12 And Iron Man 2.0 #5 AKA How NOT To Do Event Tie-In Comics

    Green Arrow #12 AND Iron Man 2.0 #5
    These comics are how you do not do event tie-in comics, and for different reasons that result in them being the same less-than-enjoyable level of quality. Let's be like MC Hammer and break it down. Now that is one dated reference.

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    I Break Down the New DC Books

    I'm going to list the new books DC has annouced by how interested I am from ones I am absolutely going to buy to those I won't be touching with a ten-foot pole. Some I'll just list other ones I'll have a little note to go along. This should be fun...

    This Is The Newest Rant--Reality As Glass

    This is The Newest Rant. Please don't step on the reality, it is fragile and can break.

    Sunday, June 12, 2011

    New Mutants #25 AKA NowThat's How You Start A New Storyline!

    New Mutants #25
    In this issue of New Mutants the team fights a futuristic robot-piece of equipment, talk about some plot points from a mini-series I didn't read and that Age of X event I should read, and some other deck-clearing occurs that I don't really care about because the interesting stuff happens in the last third of the book that I am now going to talk about. Why? Well, because that is when Cyclops makes a cool meta-point and Nate Grey shows up and kicks ass. Oh, and I'm going to swear more than usual and be silly because I love Nate Grey and he gets me excited.

    Good Ol Games AKA My New Favorite Website

    So, I've got a new company I love, and it's called Good Ol Games. They are a website that through deals with various game companies offer a wide variety of games for you to download and play. Good ones, some newer and some older. You get the game file, usually a pdf of the manual an extra stuff, and the best part? No DRM! What is DRM? It is basically this annoying copy-protection stuff that is actually an utter pain which makes moving your game file difficult or impossible, or can make it so you have to be online to enjoy your game, and other annoyances. GOG however knows to trust in players that once they buy the games they will behave properly, and at the low prices they offer, why wouldn't you?

    Thanks to GOG I got a game I loved as a teen called Arcanum (Full title, "Arcanum: Of Steamwork and Magick Obscura") for $5.99--that's less than lunch at a nice restaurant! I plan to do a big post about this game and how I love it sometime in the future so keep an eye out, but it's all thanks to GOG, so thank you Good Ol' Games!

    Oh, as always it goes without saying that I am not being paid by anyone to say this. GOG did not contact me in any way, I learned about their website through the internet and magazines like PC Gamer and I went there and paid for game like everyone else. I am going to tell them I said something positive about them, but there is absolutely no conflict-of-interest happening here--I genuinely love these guys. I know it just sounds odd to hear that considering how often I criticize stuff, but I do.

    Saturday, June 11, 2011

    Rant-Reviews--Mutant Teams, Tie-Ins, And New Avengers Barely Avoids Getting Cut From My Pull List

    Today we've got X-Factor #220 with a kind of lackluster issue, Uncanny X-Force #11 in an alternate universe, Thunderbolts #158 tying in to Fear Itself decently enough, and The New Avengers actually brings those two separate story-lines its had together finally in an issue that is surprisingly not that bad.

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Flashback Friday--The Winter Men

    The Winter Men
    A mini-series about Russian super-humans that actually doesn't really involve that much with super-folk, but has a lot of cool crime-stuff and interesting political intrigue.

    Let Me Get This Straight--Archie Comics Has The Most Well-Balanced Gay Character?

    Let me get this straight (no pun intended, I do this segment all the time), but Archie comics, the company that does pretty tame and I suppose you could say "conservative" comics is doing their four-issue spin-off mini-series about recently-introduced gay character, Kevin Keller, and he is more realistic and well-balanced than arguably any other gay character in comics? He isn't stereotypical or cliche? He isn't used just for jokes? They don't just use the fact that he is gay to do a lame story with a message about acceptance as many comics seem to do (although one of the stories is about how he came out in the first issue of this mini-series)? He's just a regular well-rounded guy who happens to be gay, and Archie comics are the people publishing this? I mean, he does have a schtick like all Archie characters do, with Reggie being a jerk, Veronica being a rich snooty pain-in-the-ass, Betty being a push-over, and such. Kevin is able to eat a lot of food just like Jughead and they often make it a competition, and this comic has a story about that. Still, Archie comics?

    Marvel and DC at times seem to have trouble trying to utilize characters that aren't white, straight, males. They've gotten a bit better with heroes who aren't males, sometime are better with those that are of color, but when it comes to anything but heterosexuality? Yeah, there are some issues. It seems so many of the heroes who are gay are defined by nothing more but their being gay; its boring, lame and the only time they are used is for when a story is needed about acceptance of being different. Yeah, its a shoddy way supposedly being more open about things while actually just ghettoizing your characters to certain stories and having only one defining characteristic. Things have gotten better, after initially botching her introduction during, "52," DC seems to have a Batwoman book finally on track after countless delays and she is a well-rounded individual who happens to be a lesbian, but there is still a long way to go. That is what makes it so interesting that the company that seemed to be stuck in the past is suddenly looking very forward-thinking with their comic focused on what is quite possibly the most realistic gay character ever. What makes him so realistic? Archie comics remembered that gay or straight the character is a human being.

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    Flashpoint: Batman, Knight Of Vengeance AKA The Only Tie-In Of The Countless I'm Getting

    Flashpoint: Batman, Knight of Vengeance #1
    This is the only Flashpoint tie-in of the numerous ones I am getting, and I am happy I made the exception of getting it because this is some really good stuff!

    My Thoughts On This Anthony Weiner Controversy

    Anthony Weiner lied about having an affair, no way around it. The thing is, David Vitter did the same thing and possibly solicited prostitutes AKA committed a crime, yet he stayed in office Republicans never loudly called for him to resign even though he talked about how he was big on family values which Weiner never did. Maybe it is because Vitter is a Republican--and in all fairness it was the Democrats who said he should have resigned back then, and think he still should now. Weiner was possibly unethical, but from what I can tell he did not commit a crime like John Ensign quite possibly did (which also is why he resigned before getting kicked out of Congress) or David Vitter may have. I don't know what Weiner should do, but if Republicans are going to say he needs to resign, then they better be prepared to back that up by saying ol' Vitter needs to finally get out of congress too. I'm just saying...

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011

    Odd Is The Best Word--Moon Knight #2

    Moon Knight #2
    This is...odd. Moon Knight isn't just hearing the voices of Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Captain America in his head. He likes to act like them too. So we get some pages of Moon Knight dressed as Spider-Man delivering purposely terrible (I think) one-liners and fighting some toughs. Then he pops some claws out of a contraption on his arm when he, "becomes," Wolverine. Okay?

    Rant-Reviews--Nothing Too Rancid AKA Why Call It SHIELD #1 If It 's Continuing The Last Arc?

    We've got Venom #3, Hulk #34, DC Universe Legends Online #9, and S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 even though it isn't really a first issue at all.

    Tuesday, June 7, 2011

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    I Was Worried DC Was Going To Screw Up Batman

    So, DC Announced they were going to have a general Batman book and Detective comics with just Bruce Wayne as Batman now. I was freaking out that this meant Batman Inc. was over with and killed off/written out of canon/whatever. Then, I hear the good news that there will in fact be a Batman Inc. comic with Grant Morrison at the helm and the calm feeling that washed over me was surprisingly strong for something as inconsequential in the greater scheme of things as a comic. I am a little sad that Dick Grayson is back to just being Nightwing, and can imagine a ton of people will be pissed about Barbara Gordon no longer being Oracle and becoming, "cured" of her being in a wheelchair since being shot in the spine by the Joker all those years ago. We don't have many heroes who have a disability, so way to go DC! You are getting rid of one of the few inspiring tales of someone who overcame adversity to not let a disability define her life and instead be a multifaceted individual. Whatever, at least I still get my Batman Inc.

    Knight And Squire #1-6 AKA I Don't Know Enough British Humor For A Good Pun Here

    Knight and Squire #1-6
    The Knight is essentially the British version of Batman, with the Squire serving as the Robin. Paul Cornell is a great British writer. This combination makes sense. When he was put on this mini-series he created something phenomenal and hilarious that also towards the end gets a bit meta-textual, and you know I love when comics do that. Read on to hear about a dynamite series.

    Movie Time--X-Men: First Class

    X-Men: First Class
    Wow, this was a really good movie. I mean, good show! It had drama, knew when to cut loose with some humor, some amazing acting on the part of folk like James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr, and Kevin Bacon as the wild Sebastian Shaw, and mind-blowing special effects to accompany the action. Yeah, I was impressed.

    Sunday, June 5, 2011

    Pulp-Style Goodness--Criminal: The Last Of The Innocent #1

    Criminal: The Last Of The Innocent #1
    Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips bring us more of their pulp-styled crime-comic, Criminal, and boy is it as fun as always. This time however, there is a great twist in  that some bits are illustrated like old Archie comics from the actual old era--so we get a weird mish-mash of new and modern noir with old and cartoony Yeah, this is always a great series.

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    I Was Wrong, This Doesn't Suck--Suicide Girls #1 & #2

     Yes this review is safe for work with no inappropriate art shown--although the actual comic does have topless bits, so you probably shouldn't have your kids reading it.
    Suicide Girls #1 & #2
    In one of my segments where I say what looks terrible in the comic-ordering magazine Previews I discussed the Suicide Girls comic. Then people on the internet tell me it is actually pretty entertaining and outright insane, plus David Hahn and Cameron Stewart are amazing artists who draw really hot-looking chicks who shoot guns and swing around swords. I figure it's the internet so I ignore it, then an employee at a comic shop tells me he thinks its pretty snazzy, but  I write it off as a random person. Then at another comic shop a different employee tells me she likes it because it has a good mixture of weird sci-fi concepts and the beautiful art bumps it up to a, "7 out of 10," in her opinion. At this point I figure the world is trying to convince me to just read the damn comic, so I buy the two issues that have come out and...actually kind of enjoy it. Shit, now I have to admit I was wrong.

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    Film Friday: Network

    We live in a world where people don't read books or newspapers, they get everything from the television (or internet, but forget that for a moment). A world that isn't really about nations such as the United States or China, but instead the united conglomerates of Microsoft and Exxon. Our news isn't about delivering objective facts anymore, its about getting good ratings with crazy people yelling things and trying to whip the public up into a frenzy of easy-to-shout slogans. This all is no big deal  to say now, but imagine how far-fetched this would have sounded back in 1976 when Network came out. That makes Network not only a really dark, clever comedy, but also an incredibly eerily accurate predictor of what was to come. Plus, it's just a great movie.

    Event Comic Showdown--Fear Itself #3 VS Flashpoint #2

    Fear Itself #3 and Flashpoint #2
    Perhaps you are a casual reader of comics. You've been picking up the main comics of Fear Itself and Flashpoint but aren't going to bother with all those countless tie-ins. This past Wednesday was the first time an issue of each came out on the same day, and maybe you haven't bought anything yet and are wondering just which event would be better to follow. Maybe you're going to get both no matter what but want to know which is more enjoyable. Well, I'll share my opinion about which I think is better based on what I've seen so far, and really, do you need the thoughts of anyone else besides me (yes, you do, but that's beside the point)?

    Rant-Reviews--Irredeemable And The Conlcusion Of Abyss and Halycon

    This edition of Rant-Reviews is all about the independent comics, at least independent in the sense that they aren't Marvel or DC--all of these are still about heroes, actually. Anyways, Irredeemable #26 impresses, Abyss #4 ends its arc nicely, and Halcyon #5 has a surprisingly disappointing ending.

    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    A Wonder Woman Book I Would Read--It Would Be Pretty Crazy

    DC has released some information about their creative teams for a few the upcoming new comics they are launching in September. I found some of them interesting, but the one that most caught my eye was Brian Azzarello writing Wonder Woman. I normally think of Azzarello as more of a crime or Noir writer, so I'd be interested to see his take on Wonder Woman. Hopefully it will go over better than Superman.

    What I would love, and which would not ever happen, is he takes some of his old concepts. Like, Wonder Woman stumbles across a suitcase with a gun and 100 untraceable bullets and a list of people who have wronged the Amazons and the comic then becomes about her hunting them down. Or, he could do something out of left-field like make Wonder Woman a private detective in one of the big DC cities and in her spare time she solves mysteries and uses the lasso of truth when shes trying to follow a lead in her cases to make sure informants tell the truth. She could have a special costume for her detective-type work that looks like a weird mixture of old private-dick trench-coat and modern special-ops suit. Oh, and even though he's from Marvel comics throw in the Kingpin, Wilson Fisk, because he's always involved in crime-type stuff. I'd read it.

    Clever Stuff--Ultimate Captain America (Hardcover of Issues #1-4)

    Ultimate Captain America (Hardcover of Issues #1-4 and some extra interview stuff and drawings)
    Jason Aaron knows how to spin a quality yarn, with this coming out during the time the Ultimate Universe has been in a weird limbo of post-Ultimatum not-really-doing-much, but pre-new-stuff by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Spencer. Yeah, these two-ish years that the Ultimate Universe was supposed to succeed after Ultimatum have been kind of tough, and it didn't help that Ultimatum was absolutely terrible. Anyways, this was one of the few Ultimate comics that have come out lately that I heard was worth giving a damn about, and upon reading it, I agree it is some quality material.

    My Comic Book Haul, June 1st, 2011

    It's that time again, where I look over my comic haul for the week because I randomly thought this was a good week to comment on the books I picked up ahead of time before I review them. Let's get into it...

    Good News About Coffee And My Drinking Of It

    In late April I discussed how I had temporarily stopped drinking coffee despite loving it due to getting severe heartburn whenever I drank it. It was rough because I had not been shy about expressing my love for coffee before on my blog. Well, after a good chunk of time spent just drinking tea instead, I am happy to say around 2 weeks ago I was able to slowly switch back to coffee and now can pretty much drink it as I regularly did! I can't go crazy as I maybe would have in the past, but I can at least go back to enjoying a nice cup in the morning or with lunch. The funny thing though is that I also do like tea a bit more now also--having liked it just fine in the past, but now being an even bigger fan. Therefore, sometimes I may purposely get tea instead of coffee just because I'm in a tea mood. I still love coffee more though, of course.

    This Is The Newest Rant--Rube Goldberg Inspired

    This is The Newest Rant, where we just open the shades by hand.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    That Was Actually Really Good? AKA Tarot: Witch of The Black Rose #68

    Tarot: Witch of The Black Rose #68
    I admit I read Tarot more as a guilty pleasure, having started reading it so it could be used during a college project on the portrayal of female sexuality in comic books (it was an example of the paradox of a T&A comic with a bunch of female readers), so imagine my surprise when this issue comes along that shows when Jim Balent stops drawing huge breasts for a moment he actually can draw something...well, something pretty good.


    Here are a bunch of news links and other stuff.
    • I discussed this in-depth earlier, but the biggest story lately has got to be that DC has announced they are pretty much re-launching everything and releasing all comics the same day digitally as they are on the comic-stands.
    • I like Vinyl records too, and in a weird twist they are now a hip thing sold at stores like Urban Outfitters or even Best Buy because Vinyl has come back with a strange cult following. Plus some records come with a code to get a free digital copy of the album, so you win doubly!
    • First they say cell phones might cause cancer, then it is decided they most likely do not. Now, it turns out that hey, maybe they do!
    • Part 2 of Comic Book Resources interview with Joe Casey can be found here.
    • An independently-made film starring an older Batman with an appearance by Wolverine, all in black-and-white and very noir-ish. You know its right up my alley. It is French with English subtitles that are essentially a direct translation so that is a bit choppy, but ignoring that issue the whole thing is incredibly awesome.
    • As someone who actually played and loved Metro 2033 despite its flaws, I am excited to hear about this sequel and the improvements being made.
    • I sometimes try to be funny in my reviews, but lord help me I will never be as good as Tucker Stone of The Factual Opinion when he does his stuff.

    Links To Topics Discussed In Podcast Episode 8

    The Newest Rant Podcast Episode 8, "Movies, Pricing Woes, and Batman Be Killing It!" discussed a lot so it makes sense to provide links here: