Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Comicbook Pregame: week of 4/28/10



Join me once again, as I peruse this week's shipping list and comment on things of interest.

Conan The Cimmerian #20, $2.99

If you are a guy and you don't like Conan comics we can not be friends. That's very sad for you because I am super fun to hang out with.

Flash Rebirth HC, $19.99

I strongly recommend not buying this comic as it was very bad.

Northlanders #27, $2.99

The disease, the cold, the famine, but the true plague is the wickedness of man.

Green Hornet #3, $3.99

This has 10 different covers. Ten. shakes head in disbelief

Last Unicorn #1 (of 6), $3.99

Can anyone tell me if I should read the novel?

Star Trek The Official Movie Adaptation #3 (of 6), $3.99

I think you might have missed your window of opportunity on this one IDW.

Green Lantern #29 (New Printing), $1.00
Image Firsts Invincible #1, $1.00
Image Firsts Proof #1, $1.00
Civil War #1 (Marvels Greatest Comics), $1.00


One dollar comics make me happy.

Captain America Reborn Finale By Bryan Hitch Poster, $8.99


So you can also remember how much better you hoped Captain America Reborn would be.

Fantastic Four #578, $2.99

Hickman killed it on S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 hopefully in translates into improved FF stories as well.

Incredible Hercules The Mighty Thorcules TP, $14.99

This may be my favorite Herc story, which is saying quite a lot.

Invincible Iron Man #25, $3.99

The exciting premier of the new armor as well as a proposed jumping on point for the Iron Man 2 movie crowd. Wait a second, doesn't this take place after Siege #4? Spoliers?

Punisher #16, $2.99

The conclusion to one of the most unlikely and incredibly fun Punisher stories in history.

Secret Warriors #15, $2.99
Siege Secret Warriors #1, $2.99


Triple dose of Hickman this week.

Thor #609, $2.99

The best Siege tie-in.

X-Force #26, $2.99

More Second Coming.

Truth Of Buffy Essays On Fiction Illuminating Reality SC (New Printing), $35.00

Yes I'm still watching Buffy. Made it about halfway through season 2 thus far. It comes as no surprise that Whedon knows what hes doing especially in terms of character, dialog, and long term plotting. Individual episodes still kind of suck though.

Wasteland #28, $3.50

What happened to this. It was humming along pretty well for the first 2 years and know it rarely ships. I still enjoy it, I just wish it would actually come out on some sort of schedule, say something like once a month.

Avatar Blu-Ray, AR
Avatar DVD Widescreen, AR


Every time the ad for this comes on I think to my self "oh, pretty, I should really see Avatar again". Then the people start talking and I'm reminded of the plot. My desire to see the film again quickly passes.

What are you looking forward to? Comment below.

-egs

Apparently Avatar sold more copies DVD/Blue-Ray copies in it's first week then any film in history. Do people not realize that within a year or two a dozen films will have special effects just as impressive and at least half will be better written, better directed, and better acted? At that point why even watch Avatar?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Comicbook Postgame: week of 04/21/10



Wow, what a great week of comics. If I were a more cynical man I'd say that they were just making up for last weeks suck-fest but I'm nothing but positive on this here blog. The same way I'm positive that your mom enjoyed last night...in bed, with me...I'm talking about my penis violating her.

Captain America: Who Won't Wield The Shield #1

This was pretty damn hilarious. I actually had a hard time deciding what panel/page to post, hell, even in the (awesome) Fraction/McCarthy story (pic above) there were several great moments. Jason Aaron writes an extremely funny story that bookends the comic which includes the Red Skull writing a check on pinup-style Hitler checks and playfully pokes fun at many writers and editors at Marvel. Any fan that has seen interviews with these guys or follows them on twitter will get a kick out of Aaron's portrayal of Bendis, Brubaker, Fraction, Wacker, Quesada and company. Great fun. Best part might be Jason Aaron writing a comic entitled "Wolverine kills all the kittens in the world" which just might be the greatest name for a comic ever.



Doomwar #3

This comic is issue 3 of a 5 part mini. It spends five pages recapping the first two issues. This is a waste of 5 pages and would normally earn my disdain. This comic also features a section in which Doom stares down the panther god and owns. Totally worth it.



X-Men: Legacy #235

You know it's a good week in comics when even a Greg Land issue is completely readable. I mean, the still not very good but it didn't piss me off and make me want to shout "LLAAANNNDDDD!!!" as is my nature to do when reading his tracing. Is it possible that he's actually listened to his critics and is trying harder? Possibly but it could just be that I've been suckered in by this event. Also Ariel died, I guess that answered that question, and people thought it would be someone important. Actually I doubt we've seen our last death this event and I have no idea who will die next. I do know that one fan somewhere in the world is writing an angry letter to Marvel demanding they bring back Ariel and that that person is very strange.



Sif #1

How great is Fraction's love for Thor that his wife writes kick-ass Thor stories. Maybe that's completely wrong, maybe Kelly Sue Deconnick is the one who is the air apparent to Walt Simonson and Fraction's cool Thor stories were through knowing her. Either way they're the best husband/wife writers of Thor I've seen in at least forever. Also Deconnick tweeted while giving birth to their kid so it may just be that she's so hardcore that she inherently gets a bad-ass chick like Sif. This is an almost perfect spin-off/one-shot, it plays off of the history of the character while being clear enough for new readers. It's action packed, well paced, and has great dialog and narration. Honestly I was very impressed. I know she's writing a Pepper Potts one-shot latter this year and if Sif #1 is any indication of her abilities Marvel should be sending a lot more work her way.



Her-Oes #1

I still think this is absolutely one of the worst titles of any comic ever, however, it was pretty good. Also I love that robot with the big mustache, is that from something? Anyways, I like what Marvel is doing here incorporating their characters in a type of story completely unlike your typical superhero story. Basically we have a typical high school drama with a touch of Marvel style. Janet "The Wasp" Van Dyne stars as the protagonist with Jennifer "She-Hulk" Walters as her nerdy best friend and Namora as the bitchy antagonist. Apparently other Marvel super-ladies will be joining the cast. I was surprised at first that the object of the girls' affection was not one of the main Marvel men but in retrospect it was probably a good idea to seperate the story from the largly male dominated Marvel U. For people who love high school dramas this appears to be a good time but I'm not sure that there is enough there to justify me following it regularly.



Joe the Barbarian #4

Morrison continues his cleaver, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, fantasy epic and Murphy continues to kill it on art. Another cleaver piece of scripting gleefully snickering a t typical fantasy conventions with their vow of cowardice as only a chosen few will have the courage and fortitude to face evil in times of need. It also leads to completely un-ironic moments of cool like when Zyxy forsakes the vow and bravely joins our heroes on their quest. Which then leads to cool and similtaously funny moments like this:



This is going to make one hell of a great trade.



Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #9


Bendis should rightly receive a lot of credit for writing the crap out of these 9 issues but it's Lafuente who seems to have rejuvenated this series. Whether it's doing engaging action layouts, teenage drama, or charming comedy Lafuente delivers. Check out the two page spread above, that is awesome stuff and you combine that with his skill with character 'acting' and Lafuente is quickly rising through the ranks as a must read superhero artist. It seems Bendis has been reinvigorated by Lafuente's arrival writing his best stories in years. This issue sees some extremely funny stuff such as the start of a romance between Johnny Storm and (Peter's female clone) Spider-Woman and the combined forces of the women in Peter's life organizing in order to give him a haircut. Even with all the comedy and a fair amount of action it manages to end on some very serous dramatic beats as government agents come to forcibly expel Kitty from school since she's a mutant. Honestly this comic combined with Siege gives me a lot of hope in Bendis' Avengers relaunch.

That's all for now, sorry it was a bit short this week but your mom won't please herself. Comment below.

-egs

that's what we call a bookend boys and girls

Monday, April 19, 2010

Comicbook Pregame: week of 04/21/10



Join me once again, as I peruse this week's shipping list and comment on things of interest.

Okko Cycle Of Air #1 (of 4), $3.95

I bought the first mini in a collected hardcover. Story was fairly average but hot damn was it beautiful. Well worth owning.

Joe The Barbarian #4 (of 8), $2.99

Morrison, Murphay, you know the drill. (the drill being that it is good)

Power Girl #11, $2.99

Another great book that you will totally, love...unless your a Nazi. Are you saying you're a Nazi?

Spirit #1, $3.99

Again DC? What happened to the last Spirit series?

Genshiken Return Of The Otaku Novel TP, $9.99

I really enjoyed both the Manga and Anime, they're nerdcentric but then, I'm a nerd. Actually even putting aside all the otaku stuff, Kio Shimoku did a great job of making the characters 'real'. A bit suspicious of a novel by a new writer but I'm genuinely interested in spending more time with these people.

SheBucaneer Origins #1 (of 3), $3.99

First off, that is a terrible name. I love how the solicit mentions Ann Bonney and Mary Read thinking, well there you have it, woman pirates. Never mind that they were famous precisely because the were the only ones people had ever seen or heard of.

Image Firsts Girls #1, $1.00
Image Firsts Witchblade #1, $1.00
New Avengers #1 (Marvels Greatest Comics), $1.00


I will always list dollar comics in the pregame because, fuck yes, dollar comics.

Magdalena #1, $3.99

Ryan Sook, there you are. Are you drawing a Top Cow book now? Oh, only the covers, ok then. Phew, for a minute there I thought I'd have to buy a Top Cow book.

Amazing Spider-Man #628, $3.99

See the words for Power Girl, duplicate them here.

Captain America Who Won't Wield The Shield #1 (One Shot), $3.99

I always get the impression that Marvel doesn't take its self quite as seriously as DC. Could be part of the reason for their success.

Firestar #1, $3.99

You know at least one person will be buying this.

Hercules Fall Of An Avenger #2, $3.99

We should start a betting pool on how many terrible photoshoped background Olivette uses in this issue. My money's on 11.

Marvel Her-Oes #1, $2.99

The idea of Marvel heroes re-imagined as high school kids has a lot of potential but that title is so bad it makes SheBucaneer sound good...actually SheBucaneer still sounds like crap none-the-less, bad title.

Sif #1, $3.99

Travel Foreman has some experience drawing kick-ass Marvel mythology. This is also written by Matt Fraction's wife, so that's cool.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #9, $3.99

This issue sees the return of David Lafuente and Spider-Woman who, according to the solicits is totally going to make out with one of the main characters. Seeing as she's a clone of Peter that's going to be awkward no matter who it is.

What If Secret Invasion TP, $19.99

...had been good? Had to do it Marvel, you set yourself up.

X-Factor #204 (X-Men Second Coming Tie-In), $2.99
X-Men Legacy #235 (X-Men Second Coming Tie-In), $2.99


Two issues of Second Coming which sound increasingly more sexual every time I say it.

WWE Heroes #2, $3.99

Ha ha, wrestling comics. When will people learn?

and on that note, comment below with your thoughts on this weeks releases.

-egs

despite the fact I said releases, try and keep it clean, or not, I don't really care, it's not like kids read comics.

Comicbook postgame: week of 04/14/2010



Hey everybody, I dragged myself away from reading things (like Empowered volume 1 and Lovelock) to talk about things (like last week's comics). Spoilers and stuff ahead (Spoiler, there were not many good comics last week).

Daredevil #506

I just wanted to post the picture above because I thought it was a pretty awesome way to start a comic. This issue also featured a beautiful cover by Pablo Rivera. The book itself was another solid issue of ninja politics, which contains only slightly less killing then normal politics. They're doing a nice job of balancing martial art melee with the intrigue and betrayal of the fractured Hand organization all while slowing Murdock slipping ever further towards the edge. The real question is how far is Marvel willing to go. Would they dare to make Daredevil a full on villain? I kind of doubt it. The way I see it you got two possibilities. One, Daredevil becomes an extreme antihero in the vain of The Punisher, or two, this is all part of some master plan and DD will be back to normal once he's finished his endgame, this is far more likely. Thinking about it though for all the villains that have turned good how many heroes have turned, and this is the catch, stayed evil? A few have had temporary stints but I can't think of any that have become long lasting major villains.



The Savage Sword of Ares #1

It's kind of weird that my favorite piece of art from the issue was from the text story. Truthfully I thought the text story was the best story in the book as well. Written by Duane Swierczynski with illustrations by Leonardo Manco, Wojina (the text piece) is a great little pulp style story with a fantastic, quasi-twist ending as Ares transforms a 15-year-old coward into the greatest hero his village had ever seen. The other three stories are also quite enjoyable. Staying true to the pulp feel the stories are all bloody and violent often reading like Conan meets the Twilight Zone as the stories provide twist endings that try and leave you thinking about the nature of betrayal, war, and warriors. The cover (which looks sweet) also reads, "Skull-Spliting Metal Mayhem featuring Marvel's God of War", which is a pretty great thing to have on the cover of your comic, provided you'd like it to sell many issues. I will say that the 'Bob Ares Greek God Body Building' bit was pretty weak. After what Grant Morrision did with Flex Mentallo no other parody of Charles Atlas can compare.



Siege: Loki #1

This was surprisingly awesome. I guess I shouldn't be surprised given the creative team but I just don't expect much from one shots or minis tying in to big events as usually they are a complete waste of time and money (see Siege: Captain America). This one shot though not only matters in Siege but moving forward seems to leave big repercussions for Thor and the rest of the Marvel U. It's also a lot of fun. McKelvie's art is as fantastic as always and Gillen continues to impress the shit out of my with his Thor work. I was super excited to hear Fraction would be writing Thor after I'd read his Age of Thunder series but now I'm kind of sad to see Gillen go (not that I still don't think Fraction's Thor will be amazing, because I do and it better........or I will be sad). This issue is all about Loki living up to his reputation as the master manipulator as he plays Osborn, Mephisto, the Disir, and Hela as well as sacrificing some pawns. There is also a great moment that showcases that he has might as well as cunning, as he beats the Disir single handed. One of the great joys of fiction is seeing a plan come together, even when it's an evil plan...perhaps especially when it's an evil plan.




Hellcyon #1

Such a disappointment. The cover features some guys on an sweet looking future-bike escaping from a mech so I immediately thought of all kinds of cool Anime like Akira, Gundam, and Code Geass. This is not of that caliber. It does feature a pretty good chase scene as depicted on the cover but the pacing and dialog are so off that the story never engages you. At the end of the first issue I knew virtually nothing about the characters and while I knew the basic political set up I had no understanding of the reason or rhyme. The idea itself, political activist students get caught up in a futuristic civil war between a federation and a would be independent planet, is a good idea. We've seen similar before but done well sci-fi rebel stories can be a blast. Considering that those stories already exist and are much, much better then this, there's no reason to buy this comic.




Batgirl #9

This was a very enjoyable comic but I'm going to bitch about it anyways. My big problem is that I was expecting this to be the conclusion of the crossover with Red Robin which would make sense, this being the next issue and the crossover being, you know, a crossover between two comics. I guess I was ridiculous to expect this crossover to be formated like every other crossover ever. Also doesn't it kind of kill the suspense of the next issue of Red Robin (which I guess will be the conclusion of the crossover) to have this issue come out first? Once I got over that it was a good issue although I still have a problem with Stephanie Brown. Not her personality because she's very likable, but the concept of her as a superhero character. They've basically created her to be the Batversion of the hapless, semi-incompetent hero that only in the business because it's the right thing to do and only gets by on determination and a little luck. This works fine for characters with superpowers, we can believe that Blue Beetle can take out 10 dudes, because he has got magic powers. The whole Batfamily stretches believability but we as readers buy into it because they're suppose to be the best of the best, the smartest, fastest, strongest, most highly trained, and highly funded group of "normal" humans on the planet. Stephanie is none of those things. It makes her unique, and the book itself has been good, but I just can't buy into the concept.



PunisherMax #6

"Oh good," you think "a Jason Aaron book, he won't bitch about that." Wrong! The first eight pages of this are a waste...well kind of. I understand exactly why Aaron wrote them, he's establishing Bullseye for anyone who doesn't know who he is. That's all well and good but he does it based largely around bathroom humor (another Garth Ennis staple that I guess Aaron wants to keep)which I've never been a big fan of. My personal tastes aside it's still a problematic scene, it's predictable. You know from page one, panel one exactly what's going to happen which I might have been okay with if I found the execution funny instead of gross and boring. Bitching aside this bit:



actually did make me laugh out loud. Dillon's art is still great and Aaron's take on Frank (as seen in that first page) is still spectacular. Like his Wolverine Aaron's Punisher speaks exactly the way you'd expect, behaves exactly the way you'd expect, and, largely thanks to Dillon, looks exactly the way you'd expect.



Unwritten #12

This is the best issue of the Unwritten yet, considering how much I've loved the first eleven and considering it was nominated for 3 Eisner awards, that is saying quite a lot about just how fucking good this issue is. I've heard some other people talk about these one-offs as pleasant diversions that fill out the world of the story but as someone who has read Carey and Gross' phenomenal Lucifer series I can almost guarantee that each of these stories will tie in to the saga of Tom Taylor. That being said this issue is a stand alone story and is so funny, smart, and gorgeous to look at that you'd be a fool not to give it a chance.

...and you know what they say about fools, they should get an education lest they be pitied by large black men wearing copious amounts of gold chains.

That's it for this week, nice to leave on a good note after all my nerd-rage. Comment below.

-egs

Are people excited for the A-Team movie?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Comicbook Pregame: week of 4/14/10



Join me once again, as I peruse this week's shipping list and comment on things of interest.

Mercury HC (by Hope Larson), $19.99
Mercury GN (by Hope Larson), $9.99


Pretty looking indie cartoons from Eisner Award-winner Hope Larson, check it out.

Wolfskin Hundredth Dream #1 (of 6), $3.99

Brutal barbarian brutality from Warren Ellis, it's brutal.

Hellcyon #1 (of 4), $3.50

Sci-fi civil war. Art looks pretty and it's only 4 issues, seems like a good risk to take.

Brightest Day #0, $3.99

3.99 for a biweekly book. You really think that's a good idea DC?

Daytripper #5 (of 10), $2.99

This has been fantastic. Each issue is stand alone so if you missed the first four you should still pick this up.

Ex Machina #1 (New Printing), $1.00
Image Firsts Age Of Bronze #1, $1.00
Image Firsts Savage Dragon #1, $1.00
Hulk #1 (Marvels Greatest Comics), $1.00


More dollar issues, yay.

Flash #1, $3.99

Manapul's art is excellent but Rebirth sucked so much that I have no interest in this.

Unwritten #12, $2.99

The thrice Eisner nominated comic you should be reading.

Women Of The DC Universe Series 3 Batgirl Bust, $60.00

These Amanda Conner designed busts are adorable. If I collected such things these would be at the top of my list.


Art Of Tony Harris Art & Skullduggery HC, $49.99
Art Of Tony Harris Art & Skullduggery HC (Signed & Numbered Edition)(per IDW), $79.99


Too rich for my wallet but it should be very pretty.

Kill Shakespeare #1, $3.99
Pantheon #1 (of 5), $3.99
Pilgrim #1, $3.99
Wire Hangers #1, $3.99


A bunch of #1s from IDW none of which sound any good. Pantheon is a movie pitch for Michael Chiklis and Pilgrim is written by the dude who did the Transformers movies. The others might be readable....maybe.

Black Widow #1, $3.99

3.99 for an ongoing Black Widow comic. You really think that's a good idea Marvel? Still, that is a great cover:



Iron Man Legacy #1, $3.99

3.99 is a bit much but Van Lente writing and Kurth drawing makes this hard to resist.

New Mutants #12, $2.99

The next chapter in the Second Coming, dig it.

PunisherMAX #6, $3.99

Jason Aaron, Steve Dillon. The first story arc was phenomenal, I expect nothing less from this issue.

Savage Axe Of Ares #1, $3.99

I've been loving this old school black and white anthologies that Marvel's been doing. This one features Ares, a character I've enjoyed immensely since the dynamite Oeming/Foreman mini.

Siege Captain America #1, $2.99
Siege Loki #1, $2.99


Siege tie ins. Most likely they'll be completely skip-able but solid.

Spider-Man Died In Your Arms Tonight TP, $19.99
Spider-Man The Gauntlet Volume 2 Rhino & Mysterio HC (Premiere Edition), $19.99


One of the best superhero comics on the stands, if you haven't been reading Spider-Man here's your chance to catch up.

Teen Aged Dope Slaves And Reform School Girls TP, $20.00


Best title of the week.

Inu Yasha Volume 47 TP, $9.99

47 volumes?!? Maybe you should drag it out some more, I'm sure it hasn't gotten old at all.

Yotsuba & ! Volume 8 GN, $10.99

This is an extremely lovable comic. Really great stuff, highly recommended.

There is also a whole horde of books coming out from IndyPlanet. Don't know if they're any good but it's worth browsing the website. Always on the lookout for cool new creators.

That's all for this week, join us next time when I totally talk shit about something you love.

-egs

Favorite BatCharacter that is not Batman? Comment below.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Comicbook Postgame: week of 4/7/10



Every week I take a look back at the comics that deserve discussion, damnation, and/or praise. I spoil, I curse, I have sex with your mom...like, all the time.

S.H.E.I.L.D. #1


This is Hickman's best work for Marvel, by far. Reshaping the history of the Marvel Universe is a big undertaking and one that could easily go awry. First you have to navigate through decades of stories and even if you manage to do that without contradicting other works, the fans could still hate the changes you make. Fear not boys and girls, Hickman and Weaver have deftly constructed a tale that simultaneously adds depth and intrigue while flowing seamlessly with our understanding of Marvel history. It also delivers cool geek-out moments like that above wherein Imhotep fights an invasion by the Brood alongside characters like Apocalypse (pre-celestial tech) and the original Egyptian Moon Knight. Or when Galileo beats back Glactus in 1582. Or when Leonardo DaVinci built a steam punk rocket pack(?) and flew to the sun to save the world. Behold:



It goes without saying that the art is quite good. Hickman has always had a wealth of cool and interesting ideas but he hasn't always been able to present them as a coherent story, not so here as, despite all the big concepts, the book is driven by the story. Hickman does enough with the main character, Leonid, and his situation to hook the reader into his experience. The small things like Leonid's reaction to his father or the Immortal City, it's not much, but it's enough to make him real. Hickman also smartly avoids relying too much on fanboy knowledge. Not every flashback is necessarily connected to superheroes or villains and even the ones that are don't count on you knowing it. The fathers of Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic are a part of S.H.E.I.L.D. but even if you didn't recognize them it's not crucial to the story, it's just a nice detail for the hardcore. It's a great start and a meaty read I highly recommend picking up this issue.



Wolverine: Weapon X #12

Okay so I know it was established in the fondly remembered Age of Apocalypse that Logan could totally loose a hand but it's always really bugged me. Dude has a healing factor! Even if your saying that somehow the whole adamantium bones thing didn't prevent limb loss it would grow back. (I know that gets into a whole other pseudoscience argument about joints and tendons and the inability to move if they were covered by an unbreakable metal.) I'm disappointed in you Aaron and that's what really hurts. That aside this was another good issue I just felt like nerd bitching.



Uncanny X-Men #523

Relief, the Dodsons are back, this is a good thing. The Second Coming got off to a pretty good start last week and Fraction and the Dodsons continue that goodness here delivering a bit of everything. They've managed to smartly separate the various teams and pace out the action sequences so the event should hum along. I really liked that Fraction found the time to add a some human touches with Hope and Cable. The scene where she jumps ecstatically on the hotel bed and the one in which Cable gives her the hair/beauty supplies adds so much impact to scenes like the one above where shit is blowing up. Hope hasn't been around long but scenes like that, especially when drawn by talented artists, really help endear a character to the audience.



Thor and the Warriors Four #1

I picked the page above because I thought in encapsulated a lot of the reasons why this was good. There's the obvious humor with The Pet Avengers failing to introduce themselves, some serous drama with the older kids trying to convince Frog Thor to help them save their Grandma, and some great detail/comedy work in the background as the younger kids goof around. I'm not sure how much of the is writer Alex Zalben and how much is Girihuru but both did a stand up job on this. As always Girihuru delivers a fun, dynamic comic with clear layouts and expressive characters. Zalben equals his artist with a funny, surprisingly heartfelt, issue. Zalben seems to understand that just because it's a kids story doesn't mean you can't talk about real things. People die, life is sometimes scary, bad things happen, no matter how hard parents or writers try and hide it these things are true, denying them won't make them go away and kids have to face them just like adults do. It also shows ample talent to balance the somber bits of the story with the humor and fun of the rest of the issue without feeling forced and unnatural so kudos all around. Then to top it off you get a back up story by Coleen Coover...



...that also excels. I love the expression that the Power Pack kids have as they listen to Herc's story. Not as much as I love the lion's expression however, as that shit is priceless. I haven't laughed as much at a funny animal expression since Frank Castle punched a polar bear.



Star Wars: Purge: The Hidden Blade #1

That is entirely too many colons. Anyways, in this issue Darth Vader fights not one, but two Jedi. He also slaughters a bunch of rebels. You should know by now if you want to buy this comic.



Turf #1

The first thing you'll notice about Turf #1 is that it's beautiful. The second thing you'll notice about Turf #1 is that it's beautiful. By the third time though you might notice that it's actually a pretty good story too. It's a mash up of a prohibition-era gangster story with vampires and even more surprisingly, aliens. Somehow it actually works together. Part of this is because Tommy Lee Edwards absolutely kills it blending the 30s style crime look with just enough gothic horror so the vampires feel right at home even the alien stuff blends while still looking alien and otherworldly. That's not to lessen Jonathan Ross's script as it does a capital job of thematically tying in themes of addiction, power, corruption, and greed that spans all three stories connecting them as one. If there's one critique I have of the script is that he harps on his themes a bit too much without the subtlety that a seasoned comics writer might have. Overwriting is a common problem with writers that have never, or don't often, work in comics and Ross does suffer somewhat from it, but the plot, characters, and dialog are all strong enough to overcome any redundancies in the narration.

It's an exciting week when you have four #1s and all deliver.


That's all for now, we've had one winner in the Comment Challenge 2010 contest, will you be next? Comment below.

-egs


I'd talk about Batman and Robin but at this point you should know enough just to buy it.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Answering the age-old question




What comic do I give to a n00b to get them interested in comic books? There is simultaneously no answer and a million answers to this question.

By the time I left my last job I had no less then 8 people reading comics and they were all reading a mixture of different things that I selected for them.

Two were pretty easy, both had read Marvel and DC as kids/teenagers, both were artists, all I had to do was find quality superhero books with good art and they latched on. One, as a matter a fact, is now buying even more comics then I am. In their cases I used books like The Immortal Iron Fist, The Ultimates, and New Avengers.

Another coworker was a long time Star Wars fan as well as a big fan of crime/gangster movies/novels. For him I prescribed Dark Horse's Star Wars comics and a large helping of Brubaker and Phillips, largely Criminal.

Two more were fans of fairy tales and fantasy novels, for them Gaiman, Carey, and Willingham. Even the one who looked at me like I was a crazy man for giving her a comic admitted to loving Gaiman's work afterwards.

Two more had been swept up in the excitement connected with the plethora of comic related movies. Wolverine (Claremont/Miller), Watchman, Punisher: Welcome Back Frank, and Essential X-Men had them reading comics on a nightly basis even when their significant other made fun of them for it.

Another was interested in comics for her kids. Outside of the kid friendly stuff she even ended up reading more adult stuff like Umbrella Academy.

Pretty much everyone damn near cried with WE3, laughed out load at Kick-Ass, and loved Scott Pilgrim.

The fact is there is no 1 answer to this question. For every reader there is a comic. They might not know about it, but a comic exists that they will love, it's just a matter of finding it. If there is a person or people in your life that you want to share the joy of comics with ask questions, find out what they like, and then choose appropriately. Remember you are an ambassador of a strange, largely unknown land, don't insist and don't be a jerk if they disagree. Try giving them a couple different things and let them find their own groove.

So go forth champions of comicbookdom and spread the word, and that word is variety.

-egs

Three posts in one night, so much for needing a social life.

This is old news but...



Since hitting the interwebs 2 months ago I've watched this trailer at least a half a dozen times, I really like it. Spider-Man is, of course, one of the greatest superheroes ever created and Wes Anderson is one of my all-time favorite filmmakers. I realize that this is a joke and that the two styles clash immensely but damn if I don't want to see a full out Wes Anderson Spider-Man. Wes, if you're reading this, you're not but if you are, I will give you all the money in my bank account, that is like 20 whole dollars, if you make Spider-Man. Think about it.

-egs

Of course I give you like 20 whole dollars every time you make a movie but still.

Friday, April 9, 2010

2010 Eisner Nominations



Eisner award nominations came out yesterday, I figured I'd weigh in. The list below is the nominations, my comments will be in bold.

The 2010 Will Eisner
Comic Industry Award Nominees

Best Short Story

* "Because I Love You So Much," by Nikoline Werdelin, in From Wonderland with Love: Danish Comics in the 3rd Millennium (Fantagraphics/Aben maler)
* "Gentleman John," by Nathan Greno, in What Is Torch Tiger? (Torch Tiger)
* "How and Why to Bale Hay," by Nick Bertozzi, in Syncopated (Villard)
* "Hurricane," interpreted by Gradimir Smudja, in Bob Dylan Revisited (Norton)
* "Urgent Request," by Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim, in The Eternal Smile (First Second)

In what will be a fairly common thing, I haven't read any of these. I was a big fan of American Born Chinese so i guess I'd lean towards Yang and Kim's story.

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)

* Brave & the Bold #28: "Blackhawk and the Flash: Firing Line," by J. Michael Straczynski and Jesus Saiz (DC)
* Captain America #601: "Red, White, and Blue-Blood," by Ed Brubaker and Gene Colan (Marvel)
* Ganges #3, by Kevin Huizenga (Fantagraphics)
* The Unwritten #5: "How the Whale Became," by Mike Carey and Peter Gross (Vertigo/DC)
* Usagi Yojimbo #123: "The Death of Lord Hikiji" by Stan Sakai (Dark Horse)

Not a bad list, my favorite single issue of 09, Northlander 17, isn't listed so I guess I'll go Unwritten #5 which was very good.

Best Continuing Series

* Fables, by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Andrew Pepoy et al. (Vertigo/DC)
* Irredeemable, by Mark Waid and Peter Krause (BOOM!)
* Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)
* The Unwritten, by Mike Carey and Peter Gross (Vertigo/DC)
* The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman and Charles Adlard (Image)

I actually stopped reading Fables early last year so that's out (not that it was bad, but it really lost steam lately and it reads so much better in trade). The Unwritten is the only I'm reading regularly but I wouldn't be at all surprised to see 20th Century Boys win with Urasawa being awesome and all the good word of mouth it's getting. No Scalped? Really?

Best Limited Series or Story Arc

* Blackest Night, by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, and Oclair Albert (DC)
* Incognito, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Marvel Icon)
* Pluto: Urasawa X Tezuka, by Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki (VIZ Media)
* Wolverine #66-72 and Wolverine Giant-Size Special: "Old Man Logan," by Mark Millar, Steve McNiven, and Dexter Vines (Marvel)
* The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young (Marvel)

If Blackest Night or Old Man Logan wins someone needs to be shot in the face. Both are okay but neither compare to the other nominations. It's a coin toss between Pluto and Incognito for me.

Best New Series

* Chew, by John Layman and Rob Guillory (Image)
* Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick, art by Tony Parker (BOOM!)
* Ireedeemable, by Mark Waid and Peter Krause (BOOM!)
* Sweet Tooth, by Jeff Lemire (Vertigo/DC)
* The Unwritten, by Mike Carey and Peter Gross (Vertigo/DC)

My pick is The Unwritten but Chew was the talk of the town.

Best Publication for Kids

* Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute, by Jarrett J. Krosoczeka (Knopf)
* The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook, by Eleanor Davis (Bloomsbury)
* Tiny Tyrant vol. 1: The Ethelbertosaurus, by Lewis Trondheim and Fabrice Parme (First Second)
* The TOON Treasury of Classic Children's Comics, edited by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly (Abrams ComicArts/Toon)
* The Wonderful Wizard of Oz hc, by L. Frank Baum, Eric Shanower, and Skottie Young (Marvel)

I have not read any of these. In fairness I am not a kid...legally.

Best Publication for Teens

* Angora Napkin, by Troy Little (IDW)
* Beasts of Burden, by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson (Dark Horse)
* A Family Secret, by Eric Heuvel (Farrar Straus Giroux/Anne Frank House)
* Far Arden, by Kevin Cannon (Top Shelf)
* I Kill Giants tpb, by Joe Kelly and JM Ken Niimura (Image)

I only read I Kill Giants, but it was very good.

Best Humor Publication

* Drinky Crow's Maakies Treasury, by Tony Millionaire (Fantagraphics)
* Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me, And Other Astute Observations, by Peter Bagge (Fantagraphics)
* Little Lulu, vols. 19-21, by John Stanley and Irving Tripp (Dark Horse Books)
* The Muppet Show Comic Book: Meet the Muppets, by Roger Langridge (BOOM Kids!)
* Scott Pilgrim vol. 5: Scott Pilgrm vs. the Universe, by Brian Lee O'Malley (Oni)

Scott Pilgrim should win every year it comes out. hell, it should probably win even on years it skips

Best Anthology

* Abstract Comics, edited by Andrei Molotiu (Fantagraphics)
* Bob Dylan Revisited, edited by Bob Weill (Norton)
* Flight 6, edited by Kazu Kibuishi (Villard)
* Popgun vol. 3, edited by Mark Andrew Smith, D. J. Kirkbride, and Joe Keatinge (Image)
* Syncopated: An Anthology of Nonfiction Picto-Essays, edited by Brendan Burford (Villard)
* What Is Torch Tiger? edited by Paul Briggs (Torch Tiger)

Flight is always great...I haven't read of any these.


Best Digital Comic

* Abominable Charles Christopher, by Karl Kerschl,
www.abominable.cc
* Bayou, by Jeremy Love,
http://zudacomics.com/bayou
* The Guns of Shadow Valley, by David Wachter and James Andrew Clark,
www.gunsofshadowvalley.com
* Power Out, by Nathan Schreiber,
www.act-i-vate.com/67.comic
* Sin Titulo, by Cameron Stewart,
www.sintitulocomic.com/

I haven't read any of these either. Finding out that Kerschl and Stewart have webcomics means I have new webcomics to read.

Best Reality-Based Work

* A Drifting Life, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Footnotes in Gaza, by Joe Sacco (Metropolitan/Holt)
* The Impostor's Daughter, by Laurie Sandell (Little, Brown)
* Monsters, by Ken Dahl (Secret Acres)
* The Photographer, by Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefèvre, and Frédéric Lemerier (First Second)
* Stitches, by David Small (Norton)

All of these sound very good. Does anyone want to send me one or more of them for free? From what I hear, A Drifting Life should win

Best Adaptation from Another Work

* The Book of Genesis Illustrated, by R. Crumb (Norton)
* Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species: A Graphic Adaptation, adapted by Michael Keller and Nicolle Rager Fuller (Rodale)
* Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, adapted by Tim Hamilton (Hill & Wang)
* Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)
* West Coast Blues, by Jean-Patrick Manchette, adapted by Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics)

Only read The Hunter and it was great. It will almost definitely win although I can see some votes for Crumb.

Best Graphic Album-New

* Asterios Polyp, by David Mazzuccheilli (Pantheon)
* A Distant Neighborhood (2 vols.), by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
* The Book of Genesis Illustrated, by R. Crumb (Norton)
* My mommy is in America and she met Buffalo Bill, by Jean Regnaud and émile Bravo (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
* The Photographer, by Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefèvre, and Frédéric Lemerier (First Second)
* Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)

Almost every blog and comics website says that Asterios Polyp was the best comic of '09 so I'd be really surprised if it didn't win.

Best Graphic Album-Reprint

* Absolute Justice, by Alex Ross, Jim Krueger, and Doug Braithewaite (DC)
* A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge, by Josh Neufeld (Pantheon)
* Alec: The Years Have Pants, by Eddie Campbell (Top Shelf)
* Essex County Collected, by Jeff Lemire (Top Shelf)
* Map of My Heart: The Best of King-Cat Comics & Stories, 1996-2002, by John Porcellino (Drawn & Quarterly)

Essex County is really fucking good. The idea that Justice is nominated in the same breath is kind of ridiculous.

Best Archival Collection/Project-Strips

* Bloom County: The Complete Library, vol. 1, by Berkeley Breathed, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
* Bringing Up Father, vol. 1: From Sea to Shining Sea, by George McManus and Zeke Zekley, edited by Dean Mullaney (IDW)
* The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons 1913-1940, edited by Trina Robbins (Fantagraphics)
* Gahan Wilson: 50 Years of Playboy Cartoons, by Gahan Wilson, edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)
* Prince Valiant, vol. 1: 1937-1938, by Hal Foster, edited by Kim Thompson (Fantagraphics)
* Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, Walt McDougall, and W. W. Denslow (Sunday Press)

Apparently I don't read enough comics.

Best Archival Collection/Project-Comic Books

* The Best of Simon & Kirby, by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, edited by Steve Saffel (Titan Books)
* Blazing Combat, by Archie Goodwin et al., edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)
* Humbug, by Harvey Kurtzman et al., edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)
* The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures deluxe edition, by Dave Stevens, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
* The TOON Treasury of Classic Children's Comics, edited by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly (Abrams ComicArts/Toon)

Look at those names, whoever win deserves it.

Best U.S. Edition of International Material

* My mommy is in America and she met Buffalo Bill, by Jean Regnaud and Émile Bravo (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
* The Photographer, by Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefèvre, and Frédéric Lemerier (First Second)
* Tiny Tyrant vol. 1: The Ethelbertosaurus, by Lewis Trondheim and Fabrice Parme (First Second)
* West Coast Blues, by Jean-Patrick Manchette, adapted by Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics)
* Years of the Elephant, by Willy Linthout (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)

??? So someone really should send me some free comics.


Best U.S. Edition of International Material-Asia

* The Color Trilogy, by Kim Dong Haw (First Second)
* A Distant Neighborhood (2 vols.), by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
* A Drifting Life, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly)
* Oishinbo a la Carte, written by Tetsu Kariya and illustrated by Akira Hanasaki (VIZ Media)
* Pluto: Urasawa X Tezuka, by Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki (VIZ Media)
* Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)

2 nominations for Urasawa, he is a master. I wonder if he won't spit the vote resulting in a win by Tatsumi.

Best Writer

* Ed Brubaker, Captain America, Daredevil, Marvels Project (Marvel) Criminal, Incognito (Marvel Icon)
* Geoff Johns, Adventure Comics, Blackest Night, The Flash: Rebirth, Superman: Secret Origin (DC)
* James Robinson, Justice League: Cry for Justice (DC)
* Mark Waid, Irredeemable, The Incredibles (BOOM!)
* Bill Willingham, Fables (Vertigo/DC)

Out of this list, Brubaker. Even in a so-so year he is better then anyone else on this list. But really, no Aaron, no Morrison, no Ellis, no Fraction, no Gillen, no Kelly, no Urasawa while Johns and Robinson get nods. That is crazy town. Waid and Willingham are quality dudes so I can't argue them but Robinson was second only to Loeb in most mocked writer in the industry and Johns is the very definition of pedestrian. Though it's hard not to vote for Morrison every year, I'd have voted for Aaron.

Best Writer/Artist

* Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter (IDW)
* R. Crumb, The Book of Genesis Illustrated (Norton)
* David Mazzuccheilli, Asterios Polyp (Pantheon)
* Terry Moore, Echo (Abstract Books)
* Naoki Urasawa, Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys, Pluto: Urasawa X Tezuka (VIZ Media)

This is a loaded category, all of these people are worthy of accolades. It'll probably be Mazzuccheilli this year. As I said Asterios Polyp was the most celebrated book and traditionally the Eisners have not favored manga.

Best Writer/Artist-Nonfiction

* Reinhard Kleist, Johnny Cash: I See a Darkness (Abrams ComicArts)
* Willy Linthout, Years of the Elephant (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
* Joe Sacco, Footnotes in Gaza (Metropolitan/Holt)
* David Small, Stitches (Norton)
* Carol Tyler, You'll Never Know: A Good and Decent Man (Fantagraphics)

Damn it, I really need to read more comics. My vote, having never read any of these, goes to Kleist cause he did a comic book about Johnny fucking Cash.

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team

* Michael Kaluta, Madame Xanadu #11-15: "Exodus Noir" (Vertigo/DC)
* Steve McNiven/Dexter Vines, Wolverine: Old Man Logan (Marvel)
* Fiona Staples, North 40 (WildStorm)
* J. H. Williams III, Detective Comics (DC)
* Danijel Zezelj, Luna Park (Vertigo/DC)

McNiven and Vines killed it on Old Man Logan but I can't see anyone but J.H. wining this year.

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)

* É Bravo, My mommy is in America and she met Buffalo Bill (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
* Mauro Cascioli, Justice League: Cry for Justice (DC)
* Nicolle Rager Fuller, Charles Darwin on the Origin of Species: A Graphic Adaptation (Rodale Books)
* Jill Thompson, Beasts of Burden (Dark Horse); Magic Trixie and the Dragon (HarperCollins Children's Books)
* Carol Tyler, You'll Never Know: A Good and Decent Man (Fantagraphics)

I'll say Jill Thompson just because I'm familiar with her work and she didn't draw Cry for Justice.

Best Cover Artist

* John Cassaday, Irredeemable (BOOM!); Lone Ranger (Dynamite)
* Salvador Larocca, Invincible Iron Man (Marvel)
* Sean Phillips, Criminal, Incognito (Marvel Icon); 28 Days Later (BOOM!)
* Alex Ross, Astro City: The Dark Age (WildStorm/DC); Project Superpowers (Dynamite)
* J. H. Williams III, Detective Comics (DC)

A lot of really talented people, Cassaday and Phillips are two of my absolute favorites and Ross and Larocca certainly aren't slouches themselves. Still, this has been the year of J.H. Williams the Third (Now I really want to see Williams III draw Lupin III).

Best Coloring

* Steve Hamaker, Bone: Crown of Thorns (Scholastic); Little Mouse Gets Ready (Toon)
* Laura Martin, The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures (IDW); Thor, The Stand: American Nightmares (Marvel)
* David Mazzuccheilli, Asterios Polyp (Pantheon)
* Alex Sinclair, Blackest Night, Batman and Robin (DC)
* Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien, BPRD, The Goon, Hellboy, Solomon Kane, Umbrella Academy, Zero Killer (Dark Horse); Detective Comics (DC); Luna Park (Vertigo)

Again, talented people all around but it's Dave Stewart. There's a reason he does so much work, he's the best.

Best Lettering

* Brian Fies, Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? (Abrams ComicArts)
* David Mazzuccheilli, Asterios Polyp (Pantheon)
* Tom Orzechowski, Savage Dragon (Image); X-Men Forever (Marvel)
* Richard Sala, Cat Burglar Black (First Second); Delphine (Fantagraphics)
* Adrian Tomine, A Drifting Life (Drawn & Quarterly)

Errr...the key to good lettering is to flow seamlessly and avoid notice. I did not notice any of these people so I guess they all did a good job.

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism

* Alter Ego, edited by Roy Thomas (TwoMorrows)
* ComicsAlliance, edited by Laura Hudson www.comicsalliance.com
* Comics Comics, edited by Timothy Hodler and Dan Nadel
(www.comicscomicsmag.com) (PictureBox)
* The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth, Michael Dean, and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)
* The Comics Reporter, produced by Tom Spurgeon
(www.comicsreporter.com)

ComicsAlliance is my choice. It's updated constantly by a staff of funny intelligent writers and reports on everything that matters. They should really think about adding a separate blog category, not just so I have a shot at an Eisner but because there are some great comics blogs out there that really enhance the comic reading experience (mine is probably a bad example).

Best Comics-Related Book

* Alan Moore: Comics as Performance, Fiction as Scalpel, by Annalisa Di Liddo (University Press of Mississippi)
* The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Genius of Comics, by Denis Kitchen and Paul Buhle (Abrams ComicArts)
* The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga, by Helen McCarthy (Abrams ComicArts)
* Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theater, by Eric P. Nash (Abrams ComicArts)
* Will Eisner and PS Magazine, by Paul E. Fitzgerald (Fitzworld.US)

Not only do I not read enough comics, I don't read enough comics-related books either.

Best Publication Design

* Absolute Justice, designed by Curtis King and Josh Beatman (DC)
* The Brinkley Girls, designed by Adam Grano (Fantagraphics)
* Gahan Wilson: 50 Years of Playboy Cartoons, designed by Jacob Covey (Fantagraphics)
* Life and Times of Martha Washington, designed by David Nestelle (Dark Horse Books)
* Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz, designed by Philippe Ghielmetti (Sunday Press)
* Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? designed by Neil Egan and Brian Fies (Abrams ComicArts)

All of these are nice. The Brinkley Girls looks especially pretty.


And that's it. A pretty diverse list this year. That makes me happy. Outside of the glaring 0 nominations for Scalped and the lack of a nomination for Yatsuba& not a bad line up. There was so much great art last year I feel bad for people like Marcos Martin, Amanda Conner, Peter Gross, JRjr, Chris Bachalo, and the many more who didn't get recognized. Please know that you are appreciated.

...Also send me free comics.

-egs

Seriously, free comics, I will review them, I can be bought.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mixed Bag



Going to be trying some new things here on the blog including these "mixed bag" posts. The basic idea is that i have a few things to talk about but not in depth enough to justify having their own posts.

Greg Rucka is leaving DC.

So what? No really, cause people are freaking about this and I don't think it's a big deal. No mistake Rucka's a good writer but it was made pretty these last few months that without J.H. Williams III his Detective Comics were mediocre, and I'm sure DC can find plenty of people to write mediocre Batwoman and Question stories (it just so happens that I can write mediocre Batstories and am available). Really fans of Rucka should be glad that he can make money doing his creator-owned stuff. As for fans of Batwoman, J.H. Williams III still works for DC. Which is good news for any DC fan whether they give a crap about Kate Kane or not.

I'm really excited for Scott Pilgrim

Mainly for July 20, 2010 which is when the sixth and final volume of the comic phenomenon comes out. Oh, I guess there's also a movie too:



Okay so that actually does look pretty fucking awesome. I think I'm coming to terms with the fact that the movies going to be it's own thing and I'll try and judge it accordingly rather then constantly think of the stuff they don't include. It won't be easy since my love for the comics is as deep and true as Batman's love for perching on gargoyles.

Speaking of things I have an unreasonably high quantity of love for...



Sylvester Stallone alone is enough to get me to see almost any movie, add in Jason Statham, Jet Li, and a cameo from almost every big action star of the 80s (Segal was suppose to be in it but turned it down at the last minute due to some drama with one of the producers) and that is box office gold. Well not really but I'm excited. Before you scratch your head too hard, Sly's last two movies, Rocky Balboa and Rambo (4), were fantastic. Both were the best entries into their respective franchises since the first films and both were written and directed by Stallone, just like The Expendables.

So... I never got around to those reviews.

So yeah, I'm sorry about that. I know I said I write up some full reviews of Up in the Air and Planet Hulk (the movie) and then I totally didn't. Now it's been awhile and the details are beginning to get a little fuzzy so I'm just going to do some quick reviews.

Up in the Air

This is a really, really good movie. Clooney has been on an absolute tear lately and the last two movie of his I saw, this and The Fantastic Mr. Fox, were fucking great. This movie marks the high point in the carrier of Jason Reitman by being better then the much celebrated Juno or the darker, lesser known, Thank You For Smoking. There's also brief appearances from Jason Bateman, J.K. Simmons, Zach Galifianakis, and Sam Elliott who are all cool dudes. Clooney plays a man with a job that requires him to travel almost year round solely to fire people. He lives out of a single piece of luggage, going from airport to hotel room and back unburdened by possessions, guilt, family, friends, or love. So yes it has some drama mixed in their but it's also really funny. It's probably the best film I've seen in at least a year (although The Fantastic Mr. Fox was great) so if you haven't seen it, see it.

Planet Hulk (movie)

I really like the comic this film was based on so, as we touched on earlier, it's hard for me not to compare the two. The real lacking of the movie, even if I didn't know the more fleshed out comic, is that it's way too short. It's 81 minutes long, not even a full hour and a half. That's fine for some stories but this is an epic tale of slaves, messiahs, aliens, gladiators, wars, and rebellions. It's just too much tale for 81 minutes. That being said, it's still pretty enjoyable. The core story is still there and it's still good as the enslaved Hulk fights his way to freedom only to find himself serving as a religious and political leader in a revolt against a tyrant king. A story made even better by the additions of various monsters, aliens, and robots. Most things could be made better with such additions. The one thing that does really elevate the movie is the soundtrack, which is sweet. The voice acting is good and the music is epic. Guy Michelmore scored the film and hats off to the dude because it was just about perfect. It's one thing that the comic, by the very nature of being a comic and, you know, not having a soundtrack, can't match. Would still recommend you read the book but if that's not your thing the movies not a bad way to kill 81 minutes.

I'm giving Buffy the Vampire slayer one last try.

I mentioned before that despite loving Firefly, Dr. Horrible, and Whedon's X-Men I just could get into Buffy. My attempts before basically consisted of catching a few episodes on FX and being unable to forgive it for being about vampires and not featuring Alucard (Hellsing), or D (Vampire Hunter D), or even Blade (Blade). Well I recently discovered that Netflix had season one streaming so I thought what the hell, I'll give it one last go. Last night I watched a couple episodes and live twitted my thoughts. If your interested I'm @egseitz, link. It has it's moments but I'm really not sure I can make through 7 seasons of this.

I'm watching Naruto again.

I had stopped because of filler. Once I catch back up I'll probably start posting weekly reviews. Likewise I stopped watching Bleach last time they went into filler mode so if anyone would be so kind as to alert me when real episodes start again that'd be great.

Speaking of letting me know things...

2010 Comments Contest!

So I got a comment on my last post from comic writer/reviewer Alex Zelban largely, I think, because I said he was a cool dude. So I have decreed that the next four people to comment on the blog (any post, new or old) will receive official 'cool dude' status from me, your humble blogger. That's right, I will publicly acknowledge you as a cool dude or dudette. Enter today!

...by commenting.

-egs

Named as an official cool dude or dudette, think of how jealous your friends will be...if you had friends.