Friday, July 29, 2005

Skin Trade Triumverate

I can almost make daily posts linking to Sugarbank.

Today's post ranks dating Pornstars as Operating Systems. Give that man a cee-gar.

Ms. Windows, "Sometimes start means start, sometimes start means stop. She expects you to know the difference."

Ms. Mac, "You find it hard to believe anyone this hot can be so insecure."

Ms. Linux, "Though she’s not glamorous, the more you see of her the better she looks, but if you mention her appearance she’ll accuse you of being superficial. "

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

New Comics Day

It's a Crisis week!

Wonder Woman
JLA Classified
Silent Dragon

When they said Superman's "Sacrifice" 4-parter tied into Crisis, they weren't kidding. The conclusion in Wonder Woman #219 leads right into OMAC #4... not to be too spoilerish but somebody dies. Correction: somebody is murdered. The death in question was not entirely out of left field but it sure came waaaaay sooner than I was expecting. Looks like (writer) Rucka is not fucking around. Over in OMAC he certainly made up for what I felt was a lack of story-forwarding events last ish, as plenty goes down this week and another character is killed. Maybe two. The bodies are piling up!

Joe Casey and Tom Scioli's Gødland plays the Kirby riff about as far as it can go. What I got from flipping thru it was that if there was a scene on TV where a person needed to be reading a "comic book," Gødland should be that comic because it sure as hell looks like one.

Comics Recap: Batman + Robin #1

Still not exactly sure what the All Star line means for Batman. After reading the first issue it would seem to be not a retool of Batman in the "Ultimate" vein, but that of a re-introduction of Robin into the mythos. All fine and dandy. The Robin sequences are good, the notable exception to "what has gone before" being Dick Grayson's witnessing of his parents being shot in the head in front of the circus crowd-- in classic continuity they fell to their deaths from a highwire per sabotage, but even that detail gets a little murky depending on which decade the story was retold.

I'm going to stray into an examination more fitting of a post on Suspension of Disbelief, concerning the feasibility of a couple story segments. The first would be Dick's slip and fall from the trapeze. Before falling to his own death (or at least severely crippling injury), Dick is able to remove a grapple from his costume, wing it up to a support and save himself. Let's say a circus tent averages about 5 stories... close to around 60 feet as far as google research and loose math can take me: One note I found was for The Circus Chimera, reported to have the world's tallest circus tent at 60 feet. However not so loose math tells us that free-falling objects fall at 32ft/second. Whoa. For the sake of comic argument, we'll suppose that the Gotham Circus tent sets a world's record at 96 feet tall. The top third of that is reserved for the trapeze rigging, tentpole pinnacles and the like. If Dick fell from that height, say hanging from the trapeze at 64 feet, he would have 2 seconds before he hit the ground. In some areas of life, perhaps maybe falling from a trapeze, 2 seconds could be considered an eternity. In that time Dick was able to: realize he fell (important!), remove a grapple from somewhere on his person, take the grapple and create enough swing to launch it upward -- at least 32-50 feet-- have the grapple catch and wrap the trapeze and pull taught to stop his fall while still several feet above ground. I can believe Robin is a quick thinker and has above average agility, and I know jack about physics and less about trapeze, but damn.

The second point is relatively minor but still something I noticed. The Graysons' assassin was shown to be a pretty schlubby looking sort while fleeing from the scene. There was no explicit depiction of his gun, it's little detail shows only that it was a pistol that by it's markings could range anywhere from a .22 to a .38 to a .45-- but he was able to hit two targets square in the head from an unknown distance. This had to be at least the distance from the crowd to center ring. So this dude described as "big as an ox and twice as smart" had to be a rather efficient marksman-- with a pistol no less, as rifle would have been far better for the job. Jocko-boy Vanzetti, to me, did not evoke the image of someone so skilled as a killer.

These details, yeah, it's picky. I call them out because this is "All-Star," baby. This is supposed to be the crem de la crem of superhero comics. But basically I think Frank Miller is looking to create a pulpy, fast moving action piece. At that he succeeds. What I hope improves over subsequent issues is the role of Vicki Vale. There ain't nothing wrong her introduction (depending who you ask), four pages of Vicki in her underwear drawn by Jim Lee. Smallville, The OC, they all do the same thing. It's supposed to be sexy, it's geared to a market that would appreciate that. It does unfortunately set her up as somewhat objectified as far as the author presents it. But again it's Miller, so we can't be too surprised by this point. Later on I was kind of disappointed that she gets knocked around by the cops if only to set up that "Gotham cops are bad." She does take a pro-active role in hijacking Alfred to follow the cops as they leave with distraught Dick Grayson, so we'll see where it leads.

All Star Batman + Robin will need a couple issues to see if it gets anywhere beyond a Miller/Lee showcase outside of DCU's current Crisis continuity. Lee had a decent attack at all of the major bat villains during Loeb's "Hush" run so it will be interesting to see if Miller's take is fresh enough to make it worthwhile.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Comics Recap

Red Sonja #1
Red Sonja #0 was only a quarter, and I liked what I saw. Issue #1 seemed like a worthy pickup. Clearly it is meant for the same crowd that follows the new Conan series from Dark Horse, I wonder why Dark Horse either a) didn't bother with it or b) couldn't snag the license. Such are the ways of modern tales, the license holders determine the fate of fiction. The book is put out by Dynamite, Nick Barucci's/Dynamic Forces imprint, and aside from my general distaste of DF's stock and trade they managed to put out a nice book. It's drawn like Conan, it reads like Conan, it's set in the same world as Conan, except there's no Conan. There is Red Sonja, and she's looking alright. I'm not a gigantic Conan fan, but I do like picking up the occasional issue or arc, and it looks to be the same with Red Sonja. My strongest draw is the art, it's very well drawn by Nel Rubi. The book could have easily fallen into some horrible early-Image style, over-colored, hyper-rendered babe book, thankfully it looks to have taken the high-road while maintaining the inherent sexiness of Sonja's character. And as for writers, Michael Avon Oeming and Mike Carey are a hell of a team. I expect Oeming to bring a wide-ranged story to the table ala Hammer of the Gods, with Carey pulling back-up and nailing out the minutiae of history-heavy Cimmeria.

JSA Classified #1
As previously mentioned I was really looking forward to this book. It was alot of fun, setting up some heavy questions for the lead while at the same time not taking itself too seriously. Judging by upcoming cover solicitations and hints in the current issue, Power Girl is going for quite a ride on the way to the "final" answer in regards to her origin. Fantastic art by Conner, I think she's finally getting her due.

New Warriors #2
This was a real surprise! Not only was the awesome artwork by Skottie Young a great change of pace from standard fare, but the story was smart and funny. I don't know much of (writer) Zeb Wells work, but this sure caught my attention. The premise of the books seems a little forced into -- that of the New Warriors being the subject of a reality show-- but it's pulled off without being insulting. I think this is an example of how you can successfully repackage older material for a new audience. I mean we're talking Speedball and Night Thrasher, folks, not exactly A-list. I never understood why Marvel just didn't let them die on the vine (tho I have to admit I did purchase Speedball's solo debut oh so many years ago). Yet here they are along with Namorita and Nova, infused with new and likable potential. And the art, DAMN, the art! That is some high quality cartooning right there, folks.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

What the blog is going on with my blog?

New look!

Not too new... Blogger's template is pretty close to what I'd do myself, I just thought I'd personalize things a bit. Of course I can only tell what it looks like on my two machines... If it looks funky out there (especially in the dire hell of PC's and Explorer) clue me in, yeah?

New Links!!

I've added some handy links in the sidebar to some of my favored sites and fellow bloggers. (You can thank me for your increased traffic with coke and whores.)

Thanks to NJP for cluing me in on how to bust out some linkage in the sidebar.... apparently I was too obtuse to prowl through Blogger's own Help files on my own. John Layman, as usual, deserves no thanks at all.

Entertain Us

Not long ago, Information Overload's Kim P. linked to an mp3: Paul Anka's cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." It is awesome.

Not only do I dig eclectic covers, and not only to I genuinely like Paul Anka (a more cornerstone songwriter you'll be hard pressed to find), but it turns out he's got a whole damn album of this stuff, Rock Swings. Check these tracks:

1. It's My Life
2. True
3. Eye of the Tiger
4. Everybody Hurts
5. Wonderwall
6. Blackhole Sun
7. It's a Sin
8. Jump
9. Smells Like Teen Spirit
10. Hello
11. Eyes Without a Face
12. Lovecats
13. Way You Make Me Feel
14. Tears in Heaven

It's all so... Lounge Against the Machine. Anka just ads a level of polish and class that I find particularly pleasing. I happened to catch him on the tail end of Nightline pimping the album, which it would appear he put a considerable amount of thought into. And in his own words, "A good song is a good song."

Thursday, July 21, 2005

My Eye Problems Are Actually Genetic

From the oft visited and ever fascinating Sugarbank, comes "9 Anti-Porn Myths Debunked." Some arguments of note include:

#3. Porn is Immoral

They’ll tell you that observing speed limits near schools, not over-eating and helping people in need are moral, but only behave that way when it’s convenient for them.

#6. Porn is for Perverts
With 800 million videos being sold and rented in North America each year either porn is loved by everyone, or everyone’s a pervert. Paul Fishbein (founder of AVN magazine) said that anti-porn protestors want us to believe that the porn industry serves 800 guys who each rent a million movies a year.

#9. Porn Undermines Society
...unlike churches which also take in billions of dollars a year, pornographers pay taxes.

It's definitely an editorial stance, but it makes some intriguing points and unconventional comparisons. Ah, porn, you fickle bitch.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

New Comics Day

Defenders (Maguire!)
Astonishing X-Men
Kitty Pryde (Paul Smith!)
Day of Vengeance
JSA Classified
Red Sonja
Authority: Revolution
The Ultimates

It's sure nice to have the Superbuddies hanging around, re: Defenders. I'm a faithful fan of the Giffen/DeMatteis formula but damn if I don't like 22 pages of Kevin Maguire.

I have no idea what Kitty Pryde is going to be but damn if I don't like 22 pages of Paul Smith.

And then there's Hitchy goodness in Ultimates and that bastard Cassaday in Astonishing.

It's hard not to be a sucker for Power Girl, the subject of JSA Classified's inauguration. Especially if you opted for the Adam Hughes cover. It was a tough choice-- the alternate was by the interior artist, Amanda Conner, whom I've admired for quite some time. Way back in the day she drew Barbie for Marvel, and I took alot of my early artistic cues from her semi-unintentionally sexy anatomy and cute-as-a-button faces. So 22 pages of Amanda Conner and this week is shaping up all right.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Comics Recap

Rann-Thanagar War #3

Reis and Campos are drawing the hell out of this book. Dave Gibbons is writing the hell out of this book. They are also coloring the hell out of it, and to some degree lettering it thru purgatory on the way to hell's outer circle. And it's only issue three!

We've got Durlans, Colulans, Dominators, Khund, Tamaraneans, and freakin' Captain Comet. It's like a DC sci-fi reunion-- I fully expect the Daxamites show up at this pace. Now that I think of it, alot of this ties back to the "Invasion!" crossover from way back when. I recall really digging that, I'll have to see if I still have some hanging around in the long boxes. This time around (with considerably less superheroes) it's even better, and if you've never heard of any of these races I have to imagine it's just damn cool to see all these new elements introduced smack in the middle of a planetary war. What a fantastic rocketship ride book where everything is done on a galactic scale. This book rocks!!!

JLA #116

Couple months ago in Green Lantern:Rebirth, Hal Jordan/Green Lantern decked Batman cold. This has a bit of history behind it and has its share of irony as well. See, waaaaaay back in the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League book, Batman rather famously punched out Green lantern, which at the time was Guy Gadrner. Green Lantern: Rebirth is tied to Infinite Crisis (I am asuming), as is Batman (OMAC) and the current JLA storyline. Depending who you believe, Infinite Crisis is rubbing it's foot into most of the Giffen/DeMatteis established Justice League canon. But like I said, it depends on who you believe... several accounts from DC and Giffen himself are documented saying everything's going according to plan, there's no nose turning in the least.

The only thing that has to do with JLA is dudes punching each other. In this case, Batman punching Hawkman, as seen on the cover, and a full page spread inside. The cover is great, it's a very -ahem- 'striking' image that would surely get one to pick up the book. The exact punch is once again denoted, full page, from a different angle, tho I wonder if it's a bit redundant at that scale. I'm sure interior artist Batista wanted his take recorded, with Rags Morales holding onto the cover glory. Either way both pieces will fetch a pretty penny on the art sale market.

The art is damn good, as I mentioned in my blurb about last issue. The story proceeds as it will, I can only wonder what kinds of conclusions will be drawn by JLA members, if any, before Infinite Crisis begins in ernest.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

New Avengers Just Got Interesting

"This is Paul Jenkins, he's a comic book writer."


Thursday, July 14, 2005

Joyce Overrated, Faulkner Close Second

By way of Galleycat, a link to a handy dandy handicapper for the literary works hewn from so-called greatness:

You can fugger with this thing for quite a bit... Adding categories is fun, too. Neat to see which books always rank towards the top (and bottom).

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

New Comics Day

Niiiice week of books...

Zombie King (!)
Gun Candy (!)
New Warriors
All Star Batman + Robin (?)
Rann-Thanagar War
New Avengers

I'll admit I'm curious to read All Star Batman, tho I'm really looking forward to All Star Superman (and it's still a ways off). New Warriors caught my eye for not only having one of the coolest covers of the season but also for the interior art of Skottie Young. Matador actually shipped last week and I missed it, but it would appear with Gun Candy there is a double dose of Stelfreeze in store which is almost too good to be true!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Bible Study Chicks Are F*ing Hot!

Sad, but true, part 1:
I was doing a google image search for a particular Kelly Clarkson pic, and clicked away on one of the earlier finds...

Sad, but true, part 2:
The picture lead me to Jerica's Favorite Things where a particular line of text caught my eye amidst an almost illegal usage of pink:

"Deciding to accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior was the best decision of my life. There is no decision that I will ever make that will be more important or more life changing."

I can think of a few. Some involving alcohol and that nice boy a few doors down who just wants to "fool around a little." I hope you feel the same way when you look back on how a blind devotion to mythology in your teenage years set the course for a lifetime of fallaciously biased decisions. Or not, hey, whatever works.

Tho if you take a look at some of Jerica's Bible Study gal pals... I didn't realize that many white girls were allowed in the same room together without a Canon XL-1 and a stack of age verification statements.

"We have so much fun learning about Jesus, studying the Bible and just hanging out and having awesome girl time!"

Would you like me to run with this one or just condemn me to hell and be done with it? Thought so.

Oh, and the actual KC pic I was searching for was this one:

Of Infinite Uses

Here the Post-It makes use as the testing ground for new pens. Stream of consciousness at the time of writing... pretty strange looking and oddly poetic after the fact.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Free Baby

The unbelievable things that take place. I was at Panda Express, waiting for a new tray of Orange Chicken, I noticed a woman at one of the tables with a baby in a carriage. Then the woman left her baby on the table to go up and order. The place wasn't that crowded and the only people doing aything were at or behind the counter. I was near a door and only a few feet from the carriage. The layout was such that even from the counter there was a display-thing separating the dining area that shielded the baby from view, preoccupied with the choice of fried rice or chow mein the mother was not even in the line of sight of her child. That's when I thought to myself, "Hey, free baby."

The novelty of absconding with a stolen baby is soon overwhelmed with logistics. I could have taken the whole carrying device by the handle and been out the door with little fanfare, but there is no doubt a woman is going to eventually notice a missing child and cry bloody murder. The area where I was would not need me to stay on the main streets, I could have easily stayed behind buildings and made my way under the 101 to another area of town where I would just be some dude with a kid. Disappearing is slightly more imaginable than what one would actually do with live goods. I recall reading babies on the black market go for around ten large, however since I am not an individual who deals with stolen babies I seriously doubt I could fence one properly. The baby in this dark, fictional scenario has become a liability, as now any proffering of "hey, you need a baby?" in the wake of a public kidnapping is bound to be met with some suspicion.

These are just the random, albeit questionable, thoughts while waiting for Orange Chicken. Since I'd prefer not to have the FBI investigating me I would like to once again point out that I am not an individual who deals with stolen babies. I just happen to notice tears in scociety's fabric. Indeed it would be nice to live in a world where anyone could leave a newborn child unattended at any public space, let alone while still on one's person. In any case I think the real point here is, Mom, please, don't leave your baby on the table.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Art Junkie

Today I spent $45 on pens. A handful of Sakura Microns of varying weights, my weapon of choice for many artistic endeavors. I took a walk over to World Supply at Universal City, tho if I had any patience I would have ordered through trusty
Dick Blick.

Forty five bucks equals many things:
-- Lunch for five at Good Neighbor
-- Two or three average weeks worth of comics
-- Two full tanks of gas
-- A decent night of drinking
-- Eleven orders at Starbucks
-- one videogame
-- Three or so books at Amazon
-- Cell phone bill
-- Two lap dances, plus tip

Comment Challenge! What is something you spend money on that if not for your fetish would be best spent elsewhere?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

New Comics Day

Fourth of July pushed off the books for a day, it was a light week but a good one.

Y the Last Man
Shanna the She Devil
Uncanny X Men
Villains United

I'm a total sucker for the Claremont/Davis/Farmer formula, especially anything related to the old Excalibur days. I haven't picked up an issue of X-Men in quite some time, so I'm sure I have no idea what's going on. I just like to see Alan Davis draw Saturnyne every once in a while. It strikes me that the non-x-men cast being featured in and x-men book might have had much more of an impact if there weren't already a dozen other x-titles. Sheesh, remember what a huge deal it was when they launched the second X-Men title? Even in those days, shit had to happen all the time, cause there were only so many issues a year to get your stories in. Sure they dragged out meaningless subplots like Gambit/Bishop/Wolverine nonsense but I also recall there being an actual interest in those subplots.

I'm too jaded now, I haven't read X-Men regularly for like a decade. I figure my generation's "X-Men" has long moved on, 'cause outside a contribution from a particular artist I enjoy, I sure as hell don't care what happens to them now. The only exception to that were the Morrison issues, especially with Quitely (which unfortunately he couldn't sustain-- had he been able to that would have left an unmistakable watermark on the New X-Men saga). I heard about what was going on after a few issues had already been out when a friend told me 1. Scott Summers and Emma Frost were having an affair. The old X-Men reader in me was shocked at such a soap opera development, back in the day which X was dating which was quite the soapdish. 2. But only in their minds. That sounded really, really cool in a can't-believe-no-one-thought-of-that-before kind of way. There were still alot of X hurdles in the Morrison run (I guess there always are), but it did have some high points. I understand now that most of it has already been written out, as such things are bound to happen.

Hmm, of course now I remember that I read Astonishing X-Men on a regular basis. Damn you Cassaday and your siren song. I guess the appeal of Astonishing is that it is very loosely connected to the other books, so much of the continuity burden is lifted. Also as far as I can put together it hangs onto the more interesting relationships formed in the Morrison run. I guess my generation hasn't moved on that much after all.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Off the Nightstand: Life of Pi

I read alot. I usually deduce where most modern novels poach their ideas from and have catalogued common and obscure plot origins in the recesses of my brain. Life of Pi has created its own category in my sometimes-overwhelming library as a rare story I haven't encountered before, one that will not soon leave my thoughts.

Life of Pi covers alot of ground, but the early and late life events of the main character bookend an extraordinary, almost unfathomable journey: A teenage Indian boy named Pi is the lone human survivor of a shipwreck in the Pacific ocean. "Human" is notable, because stranded with him on the lifeboat is a wounded zebra, an orangoutang, a hyena, and a Bengal tiger. The course of events soon whittles down the lifeboat's occupants to just Pi and the tiger, and the description of the incredible 200+ day strand from shipwreck to rescue, while seemingly ludicrous, is one of the most honest and true to life chronicles I've had the pleasure of reading.

There is so much more to the book than the insanity and desperation of open sea survival-- with a tiger-- that the addictive narrative of the events sometimes obscures the deeper meanings and metaphors. But they are there, and it is left to the reader to decide which were paramount to both the characters and oneself.

Life of Pi at Amazon.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Oh, Love

I saw a promo for a new CBS show, Ghost Whisperer, by the end I was laughing out loud. I guess NBC's Medium and Fox's Tru Calling couldn't corner the market on lame vehichle series that focus on female leads who can talk to the dead.

JL, sweetie, I know it's impersonal to bring this up over a blog, but maybe you and I should cool it for a while. Sure you buy me candy and yeah the freaky sex is a nice diversion from, well, everything, but if you continue to make bad career moves despite advice to the contrary... Baby, that affects my Q rating, too.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Comics Recap

OMAC #3: Okay, okay. Can someone please tell me, did anything actually happen in this issue? This decompression bullshit has reached it's apex.

GREEN LANTERN #2: (note the color change for the cover, shipping version actually has a blue background and different render FX-- which was a good call, while stil generic it's much nicer). A little less decompression, but not much... the first splash page of the busted Manhunter really wasn't neccesary, it kind of killed the effect of the last page. I like the introduction of the femaile pilot, I hope they expand her role.

SHINING KNIGHT #3: I'll admit half the time I don't know what the hell Grant Morrison is talking about, but that's also half the fun. Bianchi's art is sure nice to look at.

JLA CLASSIFIED #9: I'm just sorry to see it go. The team really packed it in for every chapter, and it was a riot the whole way. It's still weird considering that two of the main characters are dead in the current Crisis continuity, but the whole thing is a nice vacation to when the Justice League could be as entertaining as it was "Justice League."

ZOMBIE TALES: Great collection of zomibie stories with some really good art. I guess Zombies are all the rage, I can't seem to escape them lately, even at work! A friend of mine tells me this is just to prepare us for the inevitable Zombie Apocolypse.

Planetary #23

Anyone think Elijah Snow on the cover bears a resemblance to a certain image of Bruce Willis? I was mulling over if Jakita or Chase was anyone in particular...

Sure it's hip with the kids to render a comic hero as a celeb to attract hollywood attention and lawsuits. Altho Cassaday has a history of being handy with the "reference," glorious artistic bastard that he is.