Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Comics Day

There were no books for me last week, but a few this week.

DC Universe 0
Teen Titans
Green Lantern
Star Wars Rebellion
New Avengers
Speed Racer: The Origins
Modern Masters: Mike Allred

Woo hoo, whoop-dee-doo, the DC Universe "advercomic" has a pretty strong allusion to a certain speedster returning in whatever Final Crisis ends up as.* Final Crisis might be a decent read if Morrison goes all cosmic on us, but just from events planned in other books, I expect there to be nothing "Final" about it. So, look, my guard is down. Can DC hit with something that will make me stand to attention?

I had to pick up New Avengers because sometimes art by Jim Cheung is impossible to pass up. His work on the Illuminati was nice, but he's really back at top form on this New Avengers Secret Invasion tie in.

Speed Racer: The Origins Collection reprints the most excellent WildStorm minis by Tommy Yune and Jo Chen, in a nifty new package by IDW. They must have gotten the Speed Racer license part and parcel, to get a reprint of something fairly recent... has it been 9 Years??? I note because I was the original editor on those books back in the day. It was a nice surprise to see a credit in the reprint from another publisher :-) Tho I think an uncredited Jeff Mariotte was the editor on a Racer X issue, 'cause I left WS before the last issue saw print. Anywho, I've mentioned it before, aside from my personal involvement this is a sweet book with a great story and awesome art, it's the best Speed Racer comics I've read.

* (or you can check out what is indeed comics' "Biggest Spoiler Ever." Warning: That link is a spoiler. Remember, I warned you.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

If Dreaming, Do Not Wake

The announcement of the new Power Girl series with art by none other than Amanda Conner is almost too good to be true. I guess DC wants me to stick around after Final Crisis.

Austin is Pretty

Was out over the weekend on a hike, took a bunch of pictures along the trail.

Austin Hills Gallery

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Logo Evolution

This awesome post over at Neetorama shows a slew of tech company logos and how they've evolved over the years. It's... design porn. Yes, that's what it is.

The Evolution of Tech Companies’ Logos

Oh, Nokia, bring back the fish!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Report Rappor

When you have a presidential candidate state that bears are indeed the number one threat to America, that is some serious cultural mojo.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New Hellboy Day

Helboy Library Edition Vol. 1

Oh man, this edition is nice. Clothbound, hardcover, oversized.... The art and color reproduction are primo. The price is $50, and well worth it.

And in case you weren't a follower, Hellboy is just a damn fine comic. Stories are built around adventure and discovery, framed by oddity, horror, and irreverent quirk. Beasties and demons play many a role (my favorite parts), and oftentimes the outcomes of the titular hero's adventure boils down to just another hard luck ending. The mythos is set up slowly but steadily, smartly extending from the base premise of Hellboy's origin and eventual employer: the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. Great supporting cast, too.

And Mignola's art? Yeah.

Soul Calibur IV Teaser, Fanboy Tentpole Edition

Looks like I'll be needing that PS3 by July 29th. Better start saving now!

Soul Calibur IV

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Iron Man VG looks HAWT

Man, the Iron Man game is looking sweet. Dig all these armors, I totally love the throwbacks. The catch is that Ultimate Iron Man is only in the PS3 version, while the mondo-cool Layton-esque Armor Wars model is only on the 360 version. I'm not a fan of that practice, but I understand it. As I [gasp] have no next gen systems at the moment (tho I play with others'), it's not much of a concern. But my breaking point is soon, and PS3 has the edge... we'll see. Either way I'd like to get my hands on a copy of Iron man, I hope it plays as cool as it looks.

Iron Man videogame trailer at Destructoid
Iron Man videogame suits review at CBR

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

New Comics Day

Not a bad bunch of books this week

Fantastic 4
Wonder Woman
Green Lantern Corps
Green Arrow Black Canary
Young Liars
Suburban Glamour

Green Lantern-ish activities infiltrate Wonder Woman, which is okay I guess. Wonder Woman goes great spans of time between being "okay" and completely uninteresting. I know I want to be a bigger Wonder Woman fan, but the book rarely delivers the must reads. The last time I was actually interested in what was going on in her world was --gasp!-- John Byrne's take on the book. Take of that what you will, but beneath the usual superheroics was a heavy slant on extending the mythology-- but of itself was an extension of classic mythology. I recall a fascinating take/explanation of the split between Roman and Greek pantheons that I hadn't come across in my own extensive readings on the subject. And hey, the current Wonder Girl came from that run, too.

Perez' run is considered definitive, and it is nice, dense material. However I don't know if that's the first thing I'd recommend to a new reader. Much ballyhoo was made of Phil Jimenez's run, and as someone who utterly adored the character and put his heart into making the book his, I'm afraid I never caught on to his passion between the pages. It was heavy in the wrong ways and occasionally tripped up by other DCU goings on. Messner-Loeb's run is also considered key WW reading, and I read and enjoyed many of those but mostly on accident... because of anyone were to ask me what the definitive WW comics were I can't really call out those issues, but I would certainly say it's accompanying covers have decidedly more impact. The run of Brian Bolland's Wonder Woman covers area thing to behold, just about every one is an iconic image associated with the character to this day. Hot on those heels would be Adam Hughes' WW cover gallery, which truly are the best representations Wonder Woman could hope to have as stand alone art. While I still give the edge to Bollands "this is a comic book cover" integration, no doubt any or all of Hughes' covers could be poster-sized displays of adoration. So why is it that WW's strongest impressions (to me) are on the covers and not the guts? Am I really that superficial? Well, okay, yeah, but that still reflects on the character.

WW never grabbed me as the "Big Three" character that DC makes her out to be, and honestly should be. Really that's something I want the character to have. Maybe she does and I think differently and am not aware of it in the larger sense of readership. But like I said it's rare the book itself really catches hold with me. Reading some of the WW Archives I notice some crazy, crazy shit going on that I think would extrapolate well in modern tellings. Not so much in the sense of perceived uber-feminism but moreso the ideas that just make for fun comics. There's no reason I see why WW can't be some Amazonian powerhouse as well having some plain 'ol comic book nuttiness. Comics these days compete with alot, and it's a crafty writer that can come up with situations not only suited to the medium, but excel in it. That can be said of alot of characters, but WW is forever ensconced into the lead female role of the DCU and deserves it as well as any of the guys. And in terms of the sexes, little has been shown to me that gender plays a role in the writing of compelling Wonder Woman books.

WW fares better in a supporting role more-so than not, It's always good to have her in the Justice League when the writer has chops. There are great Justice League stories with WW, but more so in the past. Giffen, DeMatties, Morrison, Waid and Busiek had good stories, in some she was a lead and in others a bit part. Doug Mahnke draws one of the best WWs ever on his JLA run. The current Justice League is off the mark in so many ways I won't even get into it (Meltzer -cough- Loeb -cough- Johns), as much as I'd like to see Ed Benes give the character proper due other than an ass shot. But the sexiness isn't the problem. I personally love all the classic WW bondage covers, which cover everything from fetish to hilarity. Yet inside those older tales my perception wasn't really that WW "always got tied up" but that of WW "will always break free." I won't sit here and deny the sex appeal of the character either, because any woman of regal stature with red boots and a rope is going to get my attention. But like I'm sure most mature readers agree, that doesn't necessarily define her as it does accompany her.

Holy crap, how long am I going to talk about Wonder Woman? Not much longer, but I'm adding a WW label to the blog! If the character has anything going for it is that it is readily open to reinvention. Usually this is art, and occasionally story. I've got some WW tales in my head, sure. Don't know if they are worth any more or any less, but I gotta wonder if I think they're cool, a few other people might. If the collective consciousness has anything to put to it, it's not impossible to see those concepts in one form or another.

I did notice DC's web site re-jiggered their image catalog. No more hot-linking those covers. I wonder if all my old posts are broken??? :-(

Monday, April 07, 2008

Get your stinking paws off me, you damn, dirty ape!

Arguably one of the best lines in movie history. A friend once told me about his experience seeing the actual first run theatrical release of Planet of the Apes back in '68, when all people knew of it was a crazy trailer and its bizarre premise. By the point in the film where Taylor is strung up about to be lynched by the apes, people were kind of freaked out by the striking and fearsome reality of the ape society. But upon delivery of that signature line, the crowd "went fucking nuts." The theater stood up and cheered as if it were a stadium event. In context, to that point in the film's fiction no human had ever spoken to an ape, which makes the line ten times more powerful. To witness that as a moviegoer in the theater for the first time, what an amazing show that must have been.

Heston's portrayal of a stalwart astronaut brought to a future never meant to be was one of his many, many roles that left an indelible mark on cinema-- and myself. Chuck had a very good run.

Charlton Heston Dies at 84

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Hill Haiku

Three sixty sweetheart
Your banter with silver fox
Makes news so pretty

Friday, April 04, 2008

Hellboy II

How great are these costumes? I need this image wallpaper size!!

... Selma Blair ZOMG HOT

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

New Comics Day

Secret Invasion
Young X-Men
Archibald Saves Easter

Secret Invasion. Really? Am I doing this? I guess I'm feeling a bit comicslutty, cause I can't resist checking in to see if something bat-shit crazy is gonna go down. There's a Skrull reveal by the end of this first issue-- I won't spoil but I will say it's a doctor. When you think about it, there's few more doctors in the Marvel U than you'd think, eh?

I love the art of Yanick Paquette, I am glad to see him back at work even if it's on an X-Men book. Dodson/Peterson covers are nice, sure, but really Paquette can hold his own. Hopefully he'll be getting his own covers soon. Anyone unfamiliar with his work would do well to pick up the trades for ABC's Terra Obscura, because that shit is primo.

No DC books for me this week, the shelves are awash in a dirth of books and events I just don't care about. Enough Countdown and its endless spinoffs! It's like the comics version of Babel-- "Is it over yet?" Final Crisis better come 'round soon, and it better be good.