Friday, June 29, 2012

Rant-Reviews--The Quality Decreases With Each Comic

Out The Gate
Let's review some comics, starting and the best and going to the least enjoyable: Fatale #6, Venom #19, Justice League#10, Justice League International #10.

Fatale #6
As we start our 2nd arc of the story things get even weirder, with a washed-up actor, a mysterious film, and that strange woman who continues to stay young and hold a magic sway over men. Also we get more of the story in the, "present," and see that whatever evil plagued the past hasn't stopped yet. Brubaker is juggling so many plot points and mysteries its amazing he is able to keep things going smoothly and everything hasn't just collapsed into an utter mess.

 Then again, Brubaker does some of his best work with collaborator Sean Philips, who makes art that causes me to want to cry--but in a good way. I cry because it looks so good, and many mainstream comics these days resemble something hideous and hastily-drawn to a point where you can barley tell what is supposed to be going on. In this case Brubaker mentions in the backmatter how Philips got a little extra time to do the issue and damn it, you don't rush something this nice. Criminal may not have gotten huge yet, and Incognito is a bit popular (both published under the creator-owned subprint of Marvel, Icon, and interestingly Fatale is from Dark Horse), but I'm pleased Fatale is becoming a huge hit for these two as they work hard and deserve something for sheer beauty.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Venom #19
Remender is going to be handing the reins of this book over to Cullen Bunn and they are working together on this issue. I'm not sure who put in more work, but it is clear metaphorical decks are being cleared for something fresh after Cullen takes over the book solo. People are getting killed off (it appears), long-simmering plot-lines are crashing to the fore and man is it dark (to think that villain used his acid saliva to eat an old woman is just...yeesh).

This book has always been quirky, but right now its just dark and twisted...and it kind of works. I'm interested to see where Bunn goes once Remender is done with Venom completely, but right now as everything comes to a close in a way that is really not good for our hero I'm thinking perhaps we will have a comic without the requisite happy-ending--if Remender keeps things going the way they are. I'd like his run to end on a downer with Venom uttery defeated and Bunn building him back up. It beats the, "hero comes back at the last minute," schlock that stops being surprising after the 50th time it looks like Superman is down for the count but somehow finds the energy to win the day.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

Justice League #10
A guy who wrote a book about the league is fighting them, there is lots of talking, it's kind of dull but looks pretty with Jim Lee's art. In the end its still dull even if it looks nice. This all is disappointing as this arc started out in a way that looked somewhat promising with the Justice League as heroes who the government didn't trust but were too powerful to do anything about--a kind of "The Authority" vibe, really. There was also some hinted intrigue with the Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow, and all these other little plots that seem to have been dropped for some supposed-to-be-imposing-looking-bad-guy, who in order to convince us he is a the real deal writer Geoff Johns let's him take out the whole league without breaking a sweat. Trying to make us think your character is badass by having them beat up a bunch of heroes is just played out, kind of like having a villain talk about how they are going to not just kill a hero but kill their family too...which our new villain did in issue #9 as I recall. Yeah.
2 out of 5 stars.

Justice League International #10
A villain who looks like Spawn but breaks things down at the molecular level and his fellow baddies spout off vaguely occupy-wall-street/tea party jargon about taking the country back (it seems more to make the liberals look bad with its comment about CEOS, you know how much liberals apparently hate CEOS and business). The Justice League International fights them, and spouts off corny dialogue, but appears defeated at the issue's end. Before that we get attempts at heart-touching moments in a hospital with various hurt heroes but it all falls flat.

There, I just summed up the comic for you and now you don't have to read it. I guess the message is if you don't like big business and CEOS you might as well join terrorist super-villains to destroy America, because you're already hurting our nation by not supporting big oil, big tobacco, and big-whatever.
1.5 out of 5 stars.

Crashing Into The Finish
There we go, from noir-ish horror to ham-fisted politics. Comics can run the gamut in quality and we sure ran that wheel of life today.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

For A Book About A Great Movie, It's Lacking--BFI: Citizen Kane

I've enjoyed viewing Citizen Kane at various times in my life, and have reviewed it as well on my blog. I also really enjoy the BFI Film Classics books. Therefore, it would make sense this book should be wonderful, right? Well, color me surprised that I found this to be just average. Perhaps the problem is how the book tries to approach Citizen Kane from a feminist perspective which while interesting may not be the best idea for a flick all about a man. Yes, we get lots of Freud-ish stuff about Kane and his relationship with his mother, etc. etc. but the book doesn't focus on the majestic nature of the movie that is standing right there, instead focusing-in on odd points of psychoanalysis.

I think of Citizen Kane as being at its heart a story about a man who was horribly broken, and no matter how hard he tried to impress people--be it his friends or the nation--he never realized that to fix himself he had to look inside, not outward to the approval of others. I think this book misses that and instead injects a different viewpoint into Kane that while somewhat interesting just isn't what one would expect from the BFI books that give an overall sort of look at the movies. Eh, they can't all be stellar.
2.5 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Unfinished Desolation Jones

Desolation Jones--Warren Ellis' Unfinished and Very Strange Comic
Back in 2005 Warren Ellis started a comic that came out every 2 months called Desolation Jones. The first six issues were illustrated gorgeously by JH Williams III, and then the 2nd arc had completely different art before suddenly ending with the eighth issue. That's right, the ninth just never came out. That was 2007 and now we're in 2012 and with no more Desolation Jones in sight so one might wonder why I read this and/or how I got the seventh and eighth issue that aren't in any trade (clearly). 

Well, one of the malls in my area has a big annual book sale in their parking garage and there was a section with some comics in long boxes. Besides oddly enough having almost every single issues of the Seven Soldier of Victory mini-series besides the Frankenstein one for some reason, there were also all eight issues of Desolation Jones neatly together, for a dollar each. Why so cheap? Well, Desolation Jones wasn't one of Ellis' most popular series it would seem as I've heard a mixture of praise and negativity for the comic. Anyways, I picked up the comics for cheap and read them, and Desolation Jones is indeed a very odd little comic with gorgeous art for the first six issues but a story that isn't always amazing.

Desolation Jones is about a former British Agent who now lives in Los Angeles in a form of open-prison. He is legally invisible in LA and can do various odd-jobs but if he tries to leave the area he will be considered a rogue agent. Along with various other individuals who are labeled as such due to their odd abilities or past government work, Jones does what he can to get by. He's a sickly looking man but he hides a lot of power deep within him. Whatever the Desolation Program did to him that made it so he was the sole survivor definitely created many problems but also gave birth to someone quite dangerous.

 Jones is hired by a man to find a missing reel of Adolph Hitler's pornography. I'm serious. Other former government agents--from the USA--have taken it from this man--and Jones is on the case. There is of course a lot more to the story and we touch upon Ellis' pet subjects like government conspiracies and the like. It's a somewhat interesting story but it feels all over the place with various digressions such as Jones learning about pornography. Again, I'm serious. These is a whole issue where he interviews someone who works for the men who stole the tape who are adult-film directors and she tells Jones all kinds of things about pornography and sex, the human condition, etc. It's almost a little reminiscent of the pervasive sexuality of Grant Morrison's, "The Filth," which is one of my favorite comics (I'm not alone in this, I talked with a fellow comic fan who felt the resemblance too)--but in, "The Filth," the idea of humanity's sexual desire being a primal urge that causes our downfalls is the point (arguably) whereas here I think Ellis just sort of went off on a tangent.
Jones learns about sex in movies.
The thing that keeps all of this from becoming too stale or odd with its trailing off for various bits would have to be JH Williams III incredible art. With a mixture of a realistic painterly-style, abstract scratches, and panel break-downs that boggle the mind, it's just incredible.

In the start of one issue where Jones is flashing-back to how he first became as messed up as he is at the start of the program the art is this incredibly sickening shiny style with a dizzying surreal curve to all the art. We can feel Jones panic as things start to go wrong and he realizes he is in far over his head, and when he snaps back to reality in a cold room and the art style is the opposite with a harsh penciled look the shift is jarring intentionally and highly effective. There is another scene where Jones shoves someone into traffic and its gorgeously rendered with sparse color, black-and-white to show an absence of life, and a healthy dose of red for symbolizing blood. That's just two examples of many.

JH Williams III has my heart.
You don't realize how much of this comic is being carried by the art until you start up with issue #7 and find things don't seem as exciting or fun. Yes, Ellis is still doing his own clever thing with some new plot about a spy and science-fiction books but it still just doesn't seem to have that zing of the first six issues. Perhaps it's the mixture of violence, seriousness, sex, and absurdity that just don't quite mesh well together thematically but a reader could forgive this when looking at JH Williams III's art. Maybe its that Ellis was trying to do too much with his character of Jones and created an odd hodge-podge of interesting ideas that couldn't quite make for a fully fascinating story. It could be having loved so much of Ellis' work it makes sense there is something I think of as a bit off-kilter from his usual supreme output in terms of both quality and tone. Still, this is an interesting comic for all the ways it doesn't work as much the ways that it does. The last issue that came out ended with Jones remarking he wondered what death was like, if it was peaceful, and then passing out for a nap on a couch. It's a fittingly strange end for such an odd little series.

Issues #1-6: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Issues #7-8: 2.5 out of 5 stars (without the amazing art it just dips in quality).

Monday, June 18, 2012

1-800 Mice, Predators Anthology, The Good the Bad And The Godawful

An Absurdist Comic, Predators Anthology, and a Book of Countless Movie Reviews.
Today I've got the strangest assortment of stuff, with graphic novel 1-800 Mice, that is one of the odder  comics I've read in some time, one of the themed anthologies that Accent UK puts out, this one about Predators (in general, not the alien) and a book titled, The Good The Bad And The Godawful, where Kurt Loder does a ton of movie reviews

Utterly Insane...But Weirdly Fascinating
1-800 Mice
I stumbled upon this purely by accident, without knowing that The Comics Journal gave it a positive review which I have now read. No, I was in a bookstore and saw this odd-looking book with its aqua green cover and almost juvenile-yet-refined art style and decided against getting it. Then I thought about it and decided the book just seemed so interestingly weird so when I returned to the same bookstore some weeks later and the book was still there I bought it.

This tells the story of...well, a lot of stuff. It's about a town with trees that control its lava flow, an evil flying entity that plays the banjo, a death-cult, super-skilled sushi chiefs who are also assassins, a telegram-delivery agency of sorts called 1-800 Mice, and much more that all sounds quite insane when you try to explain it. Writer and artist Matthew Thurber must take a lot of hallucination-causing drugs.

When you're reading the story it at first will seem completely unintelligible, but then all of the sudden a strange thing will happen--you start to actually sort of understand what's going on. Yes, it's still sheer insanity, but it is insanity with a very complex world and plot. There is psychological intrigue, suspense, and a good amount of humor. Suddenly this morphs from a cute and silly absurdist tale into something resembling a thriller as the city of Volcano park falls into hysteria from various events and a mystery is solved that could stop the madness, but it's too late and the book ends on a surprising downer.

The drawing also hides a surprising amount of skill at times. Some illustrations look simple and childish, but other times something amazingly intricate and detailed appears showing Thurber knows what he's doing. The complex ideas of self, society, and what exactly it means to have order are these amazingly deep ruminations that develop out of what at first seems like just the silliest comic imaginable.
The dark undertone that seeps into this at-first-glance-adorable story is very neat indeed, as I love the disconnect between what starts out as good-natured fun but develops into something twisted and a little bit evil. Plus, the thing stays crazy the whole time. Yeah, I really enjoyed this even if at the start I found myself infuriated while reading it because things weren't making any sense. It all clicked into place though and I now realize a crazy and creative book is in my hands. It's worth giving a look, even if at first you find it to be like a pile of gibberish--it should start making sense, don't worry. Plus, once it makes sense it sure is cool.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Some Good, Some Bad, But Overall It Was Enjoyable
Predators Anthology
Accent UK has a thing where they put out themed anthologies--and as with any themed anthology this particular edition has some stories that are real winners and others that could definitely be junked. It's a bit interesting to see what qualifies as a, "Predator," and how they work that idea into certain stories, even if sometimes it is really ham-fisted (Really, story about a pilot who flies planes so well he's called a, "predator?"). Yes, the book has some lame stories, but some quality ones too.

The tales run the gamut of genres from humor to horror, action, adventure, and...well, not really any romance. There are vampires, wild animals, metaphorical predators, and of course stories that point out the most dangerous predator of all could very well (DUN DUN DUN)! I enjoyed this as I do all the Accent UK anthologies, which tend to be reliably good.
3 out of 5 stars.

Movies Can Be Really Good and Brain-Searing Terrible
The Good The Bad And The Godawful: 21st Century Movie Reviews
Kurt Loder may be known by a variety of you for his work on MTV some years ago. The man also is a pretty good movie reviewer, writing about flicks in a way that is both insightful and funny. He talks about blockbuster movies, scary flicks, comedy movies that aren't funny, sci-fi films, and dedicates a section of his book to movies based off of comic books. It's a huge read at over 500 pages and I read it off-and-on over a period of months, dipping into a few pages of reviews here and there when I felt like enjoying Loder's interesting takes on what was once showing at the cineplex but now can be rented (his reviews go up to about early or mid 2011).

I can't say I always agreed with what he thought about every movie (He actually liked the extremely sub-par, "Orphan," really?) but reading Loder's words always gave me some entertainment in the process of going through this book of opinions as varied as the genres reviewed. This is worth picking up.
4 out of 5 stars.

To Conclude
There is some reading material to tide you over for a wee bit. It's all pretty good stuff if you're into absurdity, comic collections, or movies.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Social and Political Differences Between the America of Frank Miller's "Batman: Year One" and "Holy Terror"

Another Of Those Rare Fully-Serious Posts.
Yeah, I'm actually going to do it again, I'm going to make one of my essay-type posts where I look at a subject seriously and discuss it. Today I'm going to talk about Frank Miller and how he seems to view America. Miller has made some amazing comic works but lately hasn't been that popular with some folk after saying some really nasty things about Occupy Wall Street--which if we are honest started out as a good idea that has now become one big mess that is mostly being ignored anyway. The thing is, the Frank Miller of today is so much different from the Frank Miller of 1987, and I think they view America in vastly different ways--ways best illustrated by two of his works.

Batman: Year One OR A Man Dressed As a Bat Fights The Rich
Nowadays Frank Miller calls people protesting America via Occupy Wall Street louts who need to join the military and fight extremist Islam (his words, not mine). However, in 1987 Frank Miller painted a picture of an America through the famous Gotham city that was ruled by a cold elite who had Batman to fight them. Batman: Year One doesn't really have any super-villains, it has Batman taking on the city of Gotham's rich and politically powerful who try to get him killed for challenging their rule.

The only other decent person is a police officer named Jim Gordon who has been transferred to Gotham. He's middle-lower-class, dealing with a corrupt Commissioner, and miserable. The world of Batman: Year One is not pleasant. It's full of crime, its grimy, its a hard place to make a living. This is the kind of world that Occupy Wall Street probably fears America is destined for.
This Gotham City is representative of an America Jim Gordon is terrified for his son to be born into, because it's so vile and terrible. This is an America where Batman isn't fighting the Joker or Clayface, he's fighting those in power because through his working for the helpless he inadvertently is making the so-called 1% very nervous at the idea they won't maintain an iron grip on everything. It's very telling that in the few scenes where Batman has to be, "Bruce Wayne: Playboy," so as to create the illusion he is one of these rich and uncaring few, he acts out as if a caricature of the people he is fighting against--because that is how Batman/Bruce Wayne really views those cold, rich people who are keeping the poor men and women down in his mind.

The book doesn't end with any big victory either, it just sort of concludes with the year coming to a close with Batman helping Gordon rescue his son from some of the elite's kidnappers. There is still evil in the world and a lot has to be done. After all, you expect the world to change in just one year of a Batman? It's very anti-climatic, it shows you can't just "win". Miller did a complete 180 degrees on all of this with Holy Terror.

Holy Terror AKA The Sorta-Batman Kills A Lot of Terrorists
Frank Miller recently made a book called Holy Terror which is about a man named the Fixer protecting his city of...look, let's be honest here folks. This is a Batman story. Frank Miller started writing this book as, "Holy Terror, Batman," but at some point it became too extreme for DC comics, so he changed a few things and made it a story about a man named the Fixer who is pretty much Batman, teaming up with a cat burglar named Natalie Stack who is essentially Catwoman, as his home of Empire City (pretty much Gotham) is attacked by Muslim terrorists and they fight them off.

Unlike Batman: Year One, this is both written and illustrated by Miller, resulting in his interesting art style and odd habit of doing black-and-white with color occasionally dashed in (sometimes for no apparent reason). Here, the bad guy is not anyone wealthy, no, it's a lot of Islamic terrorists. This is a world where America is so great, a young Islamic girl can't help but drink some beer before blowing herself up and having nails rain down on the city, whilst other terrorists fly jets into Empire City's statue of liberty analogue. This is an America where you can go to an underground base, blow up the bad guys, and you've solved terrorism. Yes, this is an America where once you catch one of those dirty Muslims (who is a terrorist of course, but they probably all are so you know, its all good) its fine to joke about how his name is probably Mohammed and then torture him until he tells you what you want, because here in America torture is now apparently okay.
In this new America Frank Miller lives in there are no flaws, its a shining jewel, and we need to look out for those people who don't believe in Jesus (although Jews are okay because Israel keeps those radical Muslims in place). This is a strange book, and if you handed me both this and Batman: Year One, I would have thought Holy Terror came early in this man's career and Batman: Year One came later, because Holy Terror is just not that well-written (and this is looking at it objectively, with no political slant). It's simplistic in how its little more than a simple revenge fantasy--some bad people hate us, we will kill them, and everything will be alright. Quality aside, it is just so striking how differently this Miller thinks than the Miller of the past.

And So Here We Are
From 1987 when Batman: Year One first came out as individual comics to the first printing of Holy Terror in September 2011--which it stresses to point out was in September, as it wants you to be aware of how its 10 years after when we were attacked by terrorists in real-life--Frank Miller has changed a a lot. From just looking at these two books you see a Miller who has gone from a young and perhaps liberal view to an older and highly conservative outlook. Also, Batman: Year One is much better than Holy Terror, but that isn't due to politics so much as how it just has a lot more care put in its craft.
Frank Miller circa 1982, shortly before some of his huge works.
 Miller had a view that almost mirrored that of Occupy Wall Street, writing about corrupt rich people and a vigilante fighting against them, and then Miller changed and it became about how our nation was perfect and it was those outside of it who wanted to tear it down, so shut up with those protests because it's America, "Love it or leave it." Batman Year: One also ends without any easy answers, whereas Holy Terror wipes the bad guys from the map. Perhaps the Miller of today thinks the decisive torture-and-kill methods of The Fixer are better than Batman's pledge to never kill someone too.
Frank Miller in what I believe to be a picture from 2012
Some people on the internet who are mad at Miller for his statements about Occupy Wall Street say he's gone crazy and is obsessed with fighting all forms of Islam, not just extremism, and that it's all he thinks about. I don't know if that's true because I lack the ability to go into Miller's mind. I don't think he's crazy so much as his views just radically shifted, however. The sad thing is, when your views shift so much and you want to show people about it, you really need a better book than Holy Terror to do so. People who reviewed it objectively putting aside politics still weren't that big on it other than liking some of the art.

What's the lesson in all this? I'm not sure there is one besides the fact that people's views change, at times dramatically. Also, the way Miller's views changed, people who once identified with him now hate him and others who found him annoying in the 1980s when he was doing the "Strip AIDS" fundraiser and other then-highly liberal things probably now love him and would invite him to a Tea Party rally. Things just really change with time, I suppose.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Project Comic-Con Day 2 Overview

The Start
I wasn't at Project Comic-Con as much today (it'll be yesterday when I get this post up) as I needed to sleep in after all the time I spent at it the day before and even then still felt a bit tired. However the time I did spend there was fun, meeting some more people and walking about. Below I present how things went, this time in no particular order.

My Day
I met Clayton Henry, who has done a lot of stuff but my favorite work of his would have to be Exiles. I've read so much of that series and it was really fun. He said he had a fun time working on it too, so it's good he has fond memories of such an awesome comic. His site is here.

I also met JP Roth who has a comic titled, "Ancient Dreams." The plot sounds interesting with the idea of ancient rituals and such, plus I like the tagline, "Fairy tales are just for children, in the adult version everyone dies." However, it was the art for the comic that really caught my eye before I even read it. It is beautifully drawn and compliments everything quite well. Sometimes independent comics don't have the best art, but this looks better than a lot of the art in some mainstream comics. Another issue comes out soon to coincide with San Diego Comic Con and should be fun. The Facebook for Ancient Dreams is here.

I met the creator of Pangaea, Kevin Wolf. It's a humor comic on the web, and I bought one of his collections as I do enjoy humor strips. He was very nice and eager to talk about the series. The series can be found here
Artist Eric Basaldua was there, he is well known for his drawings of attractive ladies. While I have been hard on a particular artist in the past who also draws scantily-clad women *Cough* Ed Benes *Cough* his don't look that great and he can't do anything else. Basaldua does draw some male characters and those actually look really cool too, I loved his Wolverine. So in this case I won't hate, even if I'm still not a fan of making money off female super-heroes in sexual poses. His facebook is here.
I also met artist Mayonnaise And Bread who had a very neat style. He used red and blue with black and white to create very interesting-looking images. His site is here.

The End
So went my Project Comic-Con Experience. It was a really fun time and I'm ready to sleep quite a bit to regain all the energy I spent. Seeing fellow comic fans was also fun as comic reading is itself a solitary activity, but sharing your love of comics is something people always love to do as a big group. As I said in the last post, thanks is owed to Steve of Newcastle comics and Jeff for getting the convention started and putting the whole thing on. I look forward to next year!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Project Comic-Con Day 1 Mega-Overview

I'm back from Project Comic-Con after spending many hours of the day there! I had quite the fun time, meeting many nice creators, vendors, and other assorted folk.Yes, even little ol' me with my often sarcastic and cynical outlook had a really good time, probably the most fun I've had in awhile. Let's do a big overview of a chunk of the stuff I did and the interesting people I met--some with helpful images from the Project Comic-Con website to tell you more about them! This isn't in perfect order of how I did stuff, but it's pretty close.

It Begins
I arrived to Comic-Con at around 9:50 AM or so, and even though it didn't officially start until 10 AM everyone was already being let inside--so yah for not having to wait! Upon going in I spoke with the pleasant Jim Valentino. He is one of the founders of Image comics and the guy behind the brand within it, Shadowline. We and some other fans chatted about comics, he showed some upcoming Image stuff, and I complimented how with all the hubub about creator's right at the moment (you know, with the Before Watchmen business) Image has been getting a bit more attention for how it lets people have their own intellectual property and such. He said from the start they've been about creators rights, that's one of the reasons behind Image's founding and he believes in it. A cool guy. Here is the Shadowline Website.
I stopped by the table of Kenneth Rocafort who some may know for his current artwork on, "Red Hood and the Outlaws." Yes, it did have some controversy at the start with the character Starfire and her behavior, but that was the writer, and regardless of that the book has and currently does look pretty darn good, with Rocafort's kinetic-action style of drawing. Plus, the guy couldn't be nicer. I told him how I enjoyed the way he drew Jason Todd and he said it was fun character to draw. Also, a young girl whom had drawn Iron Man with crayons was at his table and traded it with him for a very snazzy-looking drawing of X-23 he made for her. While the Iron Man drawing was cute, I think getting fully inked and colored drawing was a pretty sweet deal, showing how nice Rocafort is. Here is his site.
I spoke a bit with Micke Mckone,  whose work on Avengers Academy I've enjoyed, he was busy so we didn't talk too much, but he was nice just as everyone else was at the event. Here is his Facebook.
I also ran into a man who was probably one of the friendliest guys at the show, eager to hear about my blog and everything else I do. Plus he looks like a clown (literally) and made a great series known as the Oblongs. Yup, I ran into the famous (infamous?) Angus Oblong. I have proof I survived our encounter:
He was very funny and a joy to chat with. Anyone reading this who hasn't seen the Oblongs ought to, it is both depressing and funny. Depressing because if you think about it the main plot is that of social disparities between wealthy people at the top of the hill and deformed poor people at the bottom. Funny because Oblong has a twisted sense of humor that takes that premise and makes absurdly hilarious situations out of it. Here is a link to his site.

I also spoke with Joshua Dysart, who has done a lot of stuff, but I've most enjoyed his run on Unknown Soldier for Vertigo. It's worth checking out. It discusses the conflict in the Sudan in a way that is both tasteful while still making fora great story. His website is here.
I of course talked to the famous Denny O'Neil. I told him how much I loved his work on The Question--which he told me was one of the favorite things he wrote! His wife was with him too and she was very sweet. I went to a panel where he spoke about comics, and his thoughts about how continuity can useful when used logically but can't weigh you down ring especially true as writers try to explain everything and take every past event in a heroes life into account instead of just having fun with a tale. As of now I couldn't find an official website for him to share, but I do have this picture of us:
His wife was nice enough to snap it, the reason he has that look on his face is not because I am suddenly just popping up behind him and snapping a pic, but we were having issues getting my phone to take the picture and he was worried if it would work. On picture three it did!

Also in the morning I met the creators of the webcomic Nextuus and plan to check it out as they told me it is sci-fi and I do enjoy that topic. Here is a link.

At this point I took a late lunch
After all these creators and some booth-shopping at this point I took lunch. I went out of the event center and had a buffalo burger as readers of my blog will know with my beef allergy I can't eat cow. Yes, cow. I know I'm a horribly weird person. Anyways, after lunch I returned to the event center...


I had a lot of fun talking with Steve Lightle. I talked with him about his past Doom Patrol work and how to make comic characters interesting without making them seem too "different". We also talked about how characters get relaunched in ways that aren't always familiar and how that can work out well and not so well. He was working on a sketch for someone and they came by to see how it was going and I think they were a bit dismayed I had been taking up so much of Steve's time talking to him for quite awhile about comics!

On my way to meet Cullen Bunn I met one of the individuals behind the Comic Book Showdown. I tried Podcasting on my blog some time ago but it just didn't seem to be getting many listeners and all that editing and recording can take a bit of time, so I admire anyone who puts in all that work. Why not give them a listen? Just follow this link.
I then met Cullen Bunn and he was a fun guy. We chatted a bit about his new work on Wolverine, and I told him I had heard lots of great stuff about The Sixth Gun and had been meaning to check it out. He's also going to be writing Venom soon, so he's doing all kinds of new projects for people to start reading. He can be found online here.
Readers of the blog know I am a fan of alt-culture magazines, and at the convention I met Caesar Crawford, the owner/creator of The Dead Timez. He was fun to talk to; we discussed tattoos and how while I think they can look neat I am terrified of getting that many needles repeatedly shot into me (so yeah, I'm never getting one). It's a magazine about, "Local & Independent Art, Music, Film, and Entertainment." I picked up two back-issues and look forward to checking them out! Here is a link to them.
I met Robert Atkins and we discussed how I enjoyed his work on Heroes For Hire. He is doing a neat thing where he makes a sketch a day for all 366 days this year. I told him with it being a leap year he should have taken a day off and just done 365, but the man is dedicated. Here is his site where you can see all those sketches and more.
I met the creator of those Mini-Marvels comics I love and the popular G-Man series, Chris Giarrusso. He was kind enough to give me his card which he joked can be used as a bookmark. You can find his stuff here.
I met some guys behind an independent comic, I've got the first issue and the next one will be the 99th. You heard me. In a clever twist the first issue tells how the main character was born and the next will be about his death. That's a fun idea, and the comic is pretty wacky fun from what I've flipped through so far. You can learn more about them here.

I met the creators of  the webcomic Camden Bottoms. The art style for it is very snazzy and worth a look. Here is the link.
I stopped by the table of Dennis Hopeless and told him how I enjoyed Legion of Monsters, which he thanked me for. Link, here, you know the drill.

I met a neat artist with a cool style named Neil Fitzpatrick. The characters are adorable and the huge black eyes are both cute and creepy (in a good way). Find more of him here.

There was a table with a writer and artist who have a comic about a Gargoyle by Moonlight. It looked fun and the whole issue was a big self-contained tale. They gave me a link but when I go to it it currently says it is under construction. That may change soon. Here it is.

I also met a webcomicker behind Frik'In Hell. A tale of a medieval warrior who works in Fast Food. It's a comedy comic. Here is a link to the first episode.

The Day Ends
As the convention started to close up at 6:00 PM I put the bits of stuff I bought in my car and went back for the after-party. I was tired and needed to get a late dinner so I didn't stay too long. I had a really fun day and plan to be there again tomorrow. I will be getting there a bit later because lord knows I need some sleep after all the stuff I did today! As always, we owe thanks to the 2 guys behind this, Steve of the great Newcastle Comics and Jeff.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I'm At Project Comic-Con This Weekend

This weekend I will be attending St. Louis' very own Project Comic-Con. I will have my writing tools and recording devices with me so as to bring you footage of fun times at the event, and possibly some video-interviews with the various guests in attendance should they be interested in speaking with me for the blog. I will of course write down my thoughts about how things went and should you be attending I encourage you to say hello to me if we bump into each other. It shall be quite the fun time and if you haven't bought your tickets yet and are in the area, you can always do so at the door or in advance. See you there!

Monday, June 4, 2012

I've Been Moving

I've been moving, hence a lack of posts. I haven't moved far, just around the Missouri area, but moving all of one's stuff still takes forever. There should be things soon as I have opinions. I always have opinions.