Wednesday, September 30, 2009

New Comics Day

Green Lantern
Power Girl
Umbrella Academy: Dallas
Hellboy Library Edition v3

Blackest Night marches on, and I gotta say it remains far more interesting in just the Green Lantern titles (which are having the habit of Green Lantern himself being suspiciously absent). But I do like it when Sinestro kicks up the dust. The Blackest Night book itself is lackluster by comparison. Tsk, tsk, DC, you don’t really have to milk everything, you know.

For library growers, another most excellent, oversized, clothbound volume of Hellboy has arrived. It is really hard not to get these. I'm not sure of their print run but my store-- which is a fairly large supplier of specialty items-- only ever gets a few of them and I'm compelled to steal one away whenever it appears. And it's soooo worth it!

On the "good reading" front, the trade edition of the latest Umbrella Academy chapter has arrived, "Dallas." Umbrella academy too has released glorious oversized hardcover editions of both its chapters, and would certainly be worth having around. But for now I'm content with aging through the trade, thoroughly enjoying it along the way.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hey, I made a shirt

Ladies, this one's just for you! And guys, don't let that stop you from ordering a shirt for that special girlie in your life!

I paid extra close attention to the throughout the production of this shirt, from screens to inks to registration. The printer switched over to retensionable frames on this job for an extra tight screen that really shows in the crispness of the print. The shirt itself is 100% ring spun cotton for that extra soft feel. The quality of this shirt is A-list all the way.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Comics Day

Blackest Night

The thing about Blackest Night turning into a "non-event" in record time is perplexing if not unexpected. What has become apparent is that Death in the DCU is so often troped and recycled that I find most all of the revelations of Black Lanterns anti-climactic. The basic premise is "the dead shall rise" pretty much implies that dead characters will show up and become a Black lantern. The only real shocks the plots allow are instances where living characters are killed, to instantly become Black Lanterns. And in that respect there are the usual safe routes of which characters succumb, still only to have their deaths reverted within panels of the supposed demise.

This third issue does introduce the Indigo Lanterns in official capacity, but at the expense of any insight into the master plan of the Black Lantern agenda. How this story plans to expand into the general DCU beyond Green Lantern escapes me -- so far it's just an excuse to ressurect as many dead characters as possible and put them into black costumes.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

On this Day of Nines: The Tale of My 9's

So when was the last time you changed something about yourself? Not like a haircut or a makeover, not even like quitting smoking or drinking. Have you ever modified your own personal doctrine, something that while perhaps minor, has some effect on your day to day life?

I was taught diligent and precise lettering in my younger years by way of a Mechanical Drawing class (not to date myself, but CAD was only just hitting stride back then). A '9' was done in two strokes and that was pretty much it-- top bowl and vertical stem. Over the years my penmanship was always a source of pride, tho general attrition saw some devolving attention to a few characters, and '9' was always one of them. If left to slop a nine barely looked like a nine at all, and in worst cases could be mistaken for a '4.' In the back of my head something I always wanted to do was to change my nine to something more roman, basically the inverse '6.'

At the start of the year, being 2009, I decided now was as good a time as any. Figuring I'd have to write '2009' or '09' frequently it seemed as an extra incentive. Little did I realize how ingrained my existing writing style was. I knew it would take alot of practice so I basically started writing nines as much as possible to retrain my brain.

That's exactly what I had to do-- I had to erase old knowledge and retrain my brain in what to accept as a proper nine. Over and over again. In addition to just repeating nines I tried to train myself in using them in context with other numbers. I've gone through pages and pages of crappy nines, occasionally giving myself some mental positive reinforcement whenever I struck upon a pen stroke that hit the chord of what I wanted my nines to look like. My goal is nothing short of an effortless '9' that has the ease and readability of my '6."

With most of a year into the new nine regime, I am finally finding comfort with the general motion (which took quite a bit to get used to- for the curious I've taken to the center origin counterclockwise motion). It's not the most beautiful thing in the world, but at least I've killed the reflex of starting the old version. With the reflex in place, it's only a matter of time for my lovely little nines to be second nature.

Monday, September 07, 2009

New Label Alert: Office Depot

Looks like Office Depot is going thru a branding change... Such a shift to solid color and bold callouts is likely to get a quicker recognition among other brands.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Last Comic Day: Young Liars

The absolute best comic of this year and last is, without a doubt, Young Liars. As an artist, creator David Lapham delivers pages as only a veteran of the form could, with a transparent ease of telling a story with pictures. From its large cast and ever-increasing plot expansion ludicrousy, its all there on the page. As a writer, Lapham has raised the bar to a level I didn't think was still around in comics. Young Liars takes a relatively simple premise and eclectic cast and completely fucks you over when you least expect it. Not since the early days of Y The Last Man was I so enraptured with plot twists and cliffhangers. But with Young Liars it's not just the twists, it’s the out-of-nowhere destruction of the book's core foundations that not only entertain immensely but make you wonder how anyone comes up with this shit. I've had occasion to fare well with storytelling and the written word myself, but reading Young Liars makes me wish I was that good.

Alas, Young Liars has come to an end with issue #18. Lapham notes this was well ahead of schedule, hinting sales could just not support the book's continuation. This is very sad considering the competition. I think we should consider ourselves lucky he got us this far, and a few trade collections were warranted. As a package Young Liars is still an incredible read, I would recommend it to any (adult) reader. I'll remain grateful to Vertigo and Lapham for what we did get to read, as it will be marked as one of my all time favorites. If there's anyone to be upset with it's all the people who didn't pick up the book.

Seeing as how Young Liars was actually a finite story (also noted by Lapham), perhaps the only real loss in ending pre-maturely is "what could have been." What crazy-ass shit was Lapham going for? How could he have possibly turned the whole series on its ear yet again? He had already done so at twice (maybe thrice depending how you look at the master narrative), so that questions what in fact is the true fiction of the Young Liars world presuming there was at least one more twist in store.

Maybe you stumbled upon this post having not read Young Liars. Please do-- go pick up the first two trades (and hopefully the last third soon enough). Enjoy it. Revel in it. And by all means look forward to what Lapham has up his sleeve for next time.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Breakfast at The Breakfast Klub

Now one wouldn't think to drive two hours just for breakfast, but if you've already done so for burgers, keep that gravy train running with a stopover at Houston's famous Breakfast Klub. Home cooking that always puts a line out the door, the wait is well worth it for the good eats.

Ah, yes, the Kroissant.

And of course Wings and Waffles. Classic.