Wednesday, April 26, 2006

New Comics Day

Here we go again.

IC: Villains United
Solo: Damion Scott

DC is on a thin rope, pushing its limits with Villains United and Ion. With Kyle Rayner being featured in Ion as... well I don't exactly know yet, I can only assume that therein lies the potential for something good. I could hope, as I always do, that Ion will embrace its science fiction setting and yet I know deep down that it will not. A friend told me recently (on a subject far more lacerating than comics) that "hope" is just a definition for something you don't currently have. I found some truth in that, albeit slightly depressed at the notion.

Ion is only a comic, and it's a DC comic. With the subtitle of "Guardian of the Universe" I find myself doubting the house style ever living up to that title and what it means. Breaking rules of comic storytelling and concepts is not a business practice we see often in the form, even when we are seemingly given a book that could ascribe to just that. Ion's future is an unknown, at least as a character-- DC's site labels it as a 12-issue series. I would think that is the ideal place for risk, where I want to embrace the book and its characters and sternly ask, "Can you blow my mind?" We shall see.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Man's Folly

As the demolishment phase of the building across the street came to a close, I watched out my kitchen window as they attempted to remove the monstrous excavator from the site onto a flatbed trailer. With an interest harkening back to all young boy's fascination with construction vehicles, imagine my astonishment when the damn thing slid off!

This quickly drew a crowd as the drivers pondered the dilemma. The solution was somewhat ingenious, the excavator operator used the shovel to push up the machine and level itself while it gingerly was maneuvered into a safer position to roll off the truckbed. Which it did with an eventual, less-than-graceful crash, but mission accomplished.

Oddly, the next action was to get the excavator back onto the truck, albeit from the street. It's amazing they did that at all, with the truckbed clearly not wide enough for its cargo. But they did it anyway and chained it all up, the excavator balancing precariously with treads hanging over a good two feet on either side.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

DRAW! #12

Draw! is just one of the best publications for artists around, and I wanted to bring some attention to the latest issue.

The feature is an interview with Kyle Baker, an artist who is at times louded (rightly) and others taken for granted. The body of his work is varied and vast, and some of his original stories are favorites in my library, notably You Are Here and I Die at Midnight. To call a Draw interview "in depth" is like calling our national budget a "trivial accounting task." Everything is covered from project history to work materials to (most interesting) Baker's embrace of digital media.

That's not all! Draw regularly features fantastic digital illustration techniques by the unmistakable Alberto Ruiz. Also regularly featured are tutorials by Artistic Engine of Justice Bret Blevins, hands down one of the most inspiring artists around. With his rich history and dynamic, life-infused work, Blevins never ceases to awe me and I'm always geared up to draw after reading his articles. The prolific Mike Manley is a jack of all trades, conducting interviews and articles on the mechanics and process of it all. To boot, Manley is a drawing machine.

The bonus treat, the feature that sets this issue apart is an interview with Chris McCulloch, the creator of Cartoon Network's The Venture Bros., arguably the best cartoon ever made. (That is if you're a 30-something guy who watches cartoons). As with the rest of the mag, the article features tons of great artwork from those involved.

Every issue of Draw! is jam-packed, but I'd like to point out that last issue, #11, is equally notable by featuring Steve Rude!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Hot Foot

So you may or may not have seen Silent Hill the movie (or played Silent Hill the game), but I found one aspect pretty interesting, that of the featured town being built over a perpetual underground coal fire. It turns out this is based on a real town in Pennsylvania, Centralia.

Check out the story of the doomed town at Damn Interesting.

You know what else is damned interesting? I'd never been to that site until a couple days ago when Pozner linked to this article on strange coincidences. I read a few articles and figured I'd never end up there again... lo and behold poking around for Centralia points me right to it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Gallery 1988

Last night I went to a new show opening at Gallery 1988, an artsy-fartsy LA gallery where the art focus is on re-imaginings of videogame classics. The show was for the web site and new book, "I am 8-bit," a title of suspect to one such as myself who actually creates 8-bit art for a living. There was some nice stuff to be sure, but alot of it looked like a bunch of Juxtapose Magazine rejects. Supposedly they were showcasing "name" artists, although the only name I recognized was Steve Purcell, a personal art deity of mine who honestly has little need to be in such company.

Almost everything on display was marked as sold, and I didn't see a piece for less than three hundred bucks, and that was for like a 4x6 "painting." What a freakin' racket.

New Comics Day: The Return

Trying to get back in the swing.

Power Pack/Avengers
Red Sonja
JLA Classified

I think Red Sonja is a quality comic, if I don't always agree with Dynamite's marketing and production. There's always multiple covers per issues, this ish I picked up the Mike Perkins cover which I think is fantastic. The interior art by Mel Rubi is always nice and the colors are always tops. There is some fill in by another artist these last couple issues for a flashback sequence which isn't as nice as Rubi, but usable in the style of the book.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Wrath of Man

So they are tearing down the building across the street from mine. While this may look cool, when they begin at 7:30 AM it certainly doesn't sound cool.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Luke, I am Your Father

Boot Camp.

I... just...

As someone who has to use both Windows and OSX on a daily basis, I have grown to absolutely loathe Windows as an operating system. I appreciate Apple's desire to win over as many users as possible, if not to the OS then to just the hardware. That's good business sense.

But the thought of infecting my beloved Mac with even one line of Windows code makes me shiver as my skin can be seen turning a pale shade of green. My own computational cups currently runneth over, so I'm sure I can wait until a G6 hits the market before I need to give Boot Camp a go, if ever.

Free Comics Day

They weren't really free, I just happened to trade in a couple hundred books and got some store credit. The store will probably keep the good stuff (and there was some good stuff), but most of them were for the actual Free Comic Book Day, May 6th. Some lucky kid is going to finally get his hands on the complete run of Silver Sable and the Wild Pack.

Anyways... CRISIS!!!!

Infinite Crisis
Tomorrow Stories Special
Street Fighter II

So about this Crisis #6 (um, Spoilers...). I figure here it is. Here is where the shit goes down. It half goes down, I guess, as all the multiple earths are are finally collided into one. I thought the death toll would be alot higher than it was, I was expecting a slaughter the likes of which will never be forgotten. Eh. The book was expectedly full of Geoff Jones touchy-feeley crap, and for added measure a little bit of arrogance and over the top violence. In a "hilarious" commentary on how poorly the male gender has been treated in comics, the newly summoned Spectre singles out Star Sapphire for her "hatred for men" and obliterates her toot-sweet. -sigh- On one of those alternate Earths, perhaps IC was executed well enough for that to actually be funny instead of... embarrassingly sad.

What else, what else... oh yeah, Black Adam pokes his fingers through Psycho Pirate's eyes--- and then completely through his head. That's gotta hurt. And Superboy (Conner Kent, Earth 1) bites it. It's not even a cool way to go. Add to that fact that we already know he dies because all the One Year Later books shipped before this issue and allude to that very fact. Man, IC sucks. The current ish is once again a hodge-podge of artists struggling to make up lost time. Although I have to say Ivan Reis' pages are noticeably superior, I wish he was on from the start. It may have been a little more bearable.

Since there is only one issue left, DC has me suckered in and I have to see how this train wreck ends. As of yet they still have not given any indication why Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman become so at odds, something the title has been hawing at from the beginning. I see the future... and it has alot of word balloons...