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#17 9/8/05 #4

The Pull List
(Click title to go directly to the review)

HOUSE OF M #6
SERENITY #1-3
Y: THE LAST MAN #37
NIGHTHAWK #1
FELL #1
VILLAINS UNITED #5
Indie Jones presents: WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? #1
CHEAP SHOTS!
Q & @ with Cellar Door Publishing’s Jade Dodge

HOUSE OF M #6 (of 8)

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist:
Publisher: Marvel
Reviewers: Vroom Socko



Am I the only one who finds it hilarious that this issue features the heroes proclaiming that this fight must be one without any restraint? Does this mean there was restraint when the X-Men fought Dark Phoenix, or the Age of Apocalypse? That the Avengers were restrained when Kang took over the planet recently, or when the Masters of Evil destroyed the mansion? That both groups were holding back against Onslaught?

Also, am I the only one amused that these guys are going in to attack Magneto right in his lair, when even they admit that they don't know what they're doing? Hell, they don't even know that Magneto is the one responsible for all this, or that he even remembers if he is.

I know I'm not the only one who had a laugh about She-Hulk's impression of Janet Jackson.

I really have to laugh at one character, (the one Marvel character I loathe over all others…yes, even more than Gambit) who's the only one to actually say that, y'know, we're better off here. Do we really need to change things back? Of course that's not going to happen, since Marvel doesn't have THAT kind of balls. But wouldn't it be much more interesting if things did stay this way?

I want to like this series, I really do. It gave us Hawkeye back, after all. But at this point, it just feels so forced, so... phoney. If this is the foundation for the next few years of Marvel stories, I'm not exactly looking forward to them.


SERENITY #1-3 (of 3)

Writers: Joss Whedon & Brett Matthews
Artist: Will Conrad
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Reviewed by Dave Farabee



We've had some calls to review the just-completed SERENITY miniseries, but for the life of me I can't figure why. If you’re a newbie to SERENITY (which is to say, if you missed the TV show, FIREFLY, that inspired it), the mini makes for a pretty poor primer and there’s not a whole lot to sink your teeth into. And if you're even remotely a fan of FIREFLY…you're already buying the mini. In fact, you might even be buying multiple copies, what with each issue sporting multiple covers of fave characters.

Now: I should spend a paragraph or two bitching out the return of the multi-cover phenom, which is in fact innately lowdown and vile, but I have to admit: I'm grudgingly impressed with the array of talent Dark Horse has arranged here, from Bryan Hitch to J.G. Jones to John Cassaday to Jo Chen (you'll remember Chen from all those fine covers she served up for Marvel's RUNAWAYS. Her cover rendering of my fave series-babe, Kaylee, captures the character to a T).

Oh yes, I'm a fan of the show. Looking at the failed space western objectively (cancelled at eleven episodes) I can see its flaws, even see why it didn't click for some. But I definitely count myself among those who were able to plug into its vibe - who liked the Chinese slang interspersed between the “I reckon’s” and “y’all’s”, who enjoyed a lead who embodied the idea of the principled ex-Confederate soldier, who thought Jayne was the funniest lowlife this side of Shane on THE SHIELD, and who fell for stealth-hottie Jewel Staite as surely as they’d fallen for stealth-hottie Alyson Hannigan on BUFFY. And if you could do that…man, it was just ridiculously fun. I was even devotee enough to ask funnybook writer Brian Vaughan about rumors of his own FIREFLY love when I interviewed him a ways back. Check it - Vaughan nerded out big-time:
"I think FIREFLY is the best thing Joss ever did. Not only am I interested in the movie, I'm such a geek for that show, I'll probably be waiting in line overnight in a homemade browncoat costume. Come throw eggs."
I bet he bought multiple covers. I know someone is buying 'em, anyway, 'cause Dark Horse has gone through multiple printings and done absolutely gangbuster sales on the mini. But is it any damn good?

Yes. Yes, but too damn short and insubstantial, so it loses a star or two. Let's start with the good news, though: First off, the dialogue is just spot-on perfect for the characters. And why shouldn't it be? FIREFLY headman Joss Whedon penned the story alongside one of the series' writers, Brett Matthews, and Matthews did the scripting. They absolutely deliver on the SILVERADO-meets-BUFFY repartee which you can see a sampling of in the snazzy Mexican stand-off that opens the series (previewed here). My one and only scripting gripe is that the Chinese slang is a flop in comic form, where it’s actually written as indecipherable Chinese symbols and so loses contextual impact for roundeyes like m’self.

But that preview also showcases the series’ second bit of good news: the art. Will Conrad's new to me, but he's as strong with capturing likenesses as any comic artist I've seen, and even manages to avoid the trap of the art going all stiff from photo-referencing. He nails Mal’s low-key anger and his occasional hang-dog look, Jayne’s constant pissed-offedness, Wash’s dopiness…all of it. And he brings a bit of budget even the relatively high budget TV series couldn’t afford, as when Shepherd Book stages a getaway in…well, I think it’s the giant moon buggy from the old Moon Patrol arcade game. Anyway, it looks rockin’ cool. Nice change from that li’l ATV they were always tooling around in in the series.

So if you’ve been missing the whole crew of loveable smugglers, yes, the series delivers. It’s like meeting old friends, and hey, they’re even well-drawn and terrifically in-character!

Beyond that…it’s a bit lightweight. The first issue could almost be a slightly extended teaser sequence from a given episode. A good teaser, opening on a deal gone bad and following the ensuing gunplay and chase, but a teaser nonetheless. After that, there’s some business with the crew’s likeably skeevy old employer, Badger, even as they’re unknowingly pursued by a vengeful old foe backed by the mysterious Blue Hands. I’d forgotten about the Blue Hands and their pursuit of Simon and River, but clearly they’re going to play a role in the movie (I’m avoiding spoilers, so don’t kick my ass for being the last to know). Their arc remains unresolved, all but wrapping with a “to be continued in SERENITY: THE MOVIE!”, and that can’t help but put a damper on things. Even going into this book knowing it was a bridge between TV and film, I wanted an ending that felt like an ending and not like a set-up.

We do get a resolution to the vengeance plot, though, and some surprise shake-ups in the crew that I presume sets up the movie’s casting. Particularly enjoyed the unrequited-love stammerings between Mal and Inara, a scene that actually managed to tug at the heartstrings, same as the show at its best. Not to say the series gets too soft. Fans of the Mal who kicked a guy into his ship’s engines and who wouldn’t stop poking his foe after their sword duel will still get some memorably roguish moments.

Long story short: yes, fans should absolutely pick up this mini or put their hands on the trade when it hit. And if you needed me to tell you that, you probably aren’t a fan. For such folks, I recommend some space opera that’s a little more self-contained: maybe Stan Sakai’s SPACE USAGI or the recent indie breakout, RUNNERS (reviewed here).

Seeya at SERENITY’s premiere on the 30th, and if you were one of those lucky bums who caught an early screening, just keep it to yourself. I hate you.


Y: THE LAST MAN #37

Writer: Brian K Vaughan
Penciller: Pia Guerra
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo
Reviewed by Humphrey Lee



So... you wanna know what this latest issue of Y: THE LAST MAN is about? Well, I'll give you a hint...

PENIS!!! MAN-MEAT!!! SCHLONG!!! TEH LOVE SAUSAGE!!! EVERYBODY WANG-CHUNG TONIGHT!!!



*cough*

Well okay then...

So finally, after three years (both in our time and the time passage in this book) Yorick and company have finally set foot in Australia to search for Yorick's girlfriend Beth. But despite Yorick's desire to get out and start searching for her immediately there's a snag: Ampersand is still out there, kidnapped, and the priorities of the crew need to be shifted towards getting to Japan and finding him, or else hope of using whatever it is that kept him and Yorick alive to bring about a new generation of males. And all at the same time, we're introduced to one Paloma West, a reporter dead set on still finding any traces of the fabled "Last Man" who looks like she may have just gotten her wish...

So now the breakdown. This issue brings more of the same that we have come to expect from this book month in and month out. Vaughan takes some time to get our new antagonist introduced, and while doing so gives us some more tidbits on the daily lives of those on the planet without men. Stuff like a discussion on how the gossip rags are still thriving, how the skyline is clearer because of less pollution via so many factories being shut down, and less trees being used. It's little details like that that makes this book much more vivid, in my opinion, and makes it all so much more of a richer read. We also get a bit of a fallout conversation between Dr. Mann and 355 involving the events between them in the last arc, and how it may be affecting 355's state of mind involving how she handles Yorick and his impulsiveness. Basically she starts taking the "kids gloves" approach as she is willing to let Yorick roam around Sydney for a few hours and check out a lead on Beth's whereabouts while the ship they plan to ride to Japan to look for Ampersand takes some time to restock. Obviously though, Australia's a big place, and the hopes of finding Beth just like that are one in a million, but the lead Yorick and 355 originally follow does turn up some new info as to Beth's whereabouts, giving us something to hold onto while the events that follow this revelation transpire... those being Paloma West's discovery of Yorick, and the sausage fest that ensues.

I have to admit the final page is about as big a cliffhanger as you get, even coming from Vaughan who has shown himself to be the master of them. At the very least the events in that last panel will make the rest of the arc very intense as I assume the whole purpose of it will be to get back and destroy the evidence. And if they fail, well then what we got here is pretty much the grounds for anarchy given the state of the world in this book. Lots of potential here indeed. And while it's always excellent, Guerra's art this issue is particularly stunning. I'm not sure what's changed, maybe it's sharper colors, but everything here just seems so much more... solid or something. I dunno what exactly, but it's fantastic.

So yea, anyway, another great issue, blah blah blah. If you're not reading this already go out and buy it now, blah blah blah. There's naked penis in it so if you're into that then, well, there ya go and so on and so forth.


NIGHTHAWK #1

Writer: Daniel Way
Artist: Steve Dillon
Publisher: Marvel MAX
Reviewer: Ambush Bug



I have to admit, I shuddered when I heard that while SUPREME POWER is taking a breather and being de-loused of all of those swears and boobs, we were going to be treated with a pair of miniseries focusing on two of the main characters in the vast tapestry J. Michael Straczynski has woven, namely Nighthawk and Hyperion. I mean, the last miniseries to spin out of the stellar Marvel MAX series was DOCTOR SPECTRUM which was an exercise in awfulness all around. In that mini, Doc Spectrum lies comatose for six solid issues while battling demons in his head. To top it all off, this was a story set in the past of the ongoing SUPREME POWER series, so any danger Doc Spec had to face in the miniseries wasn’t very much of a threat because the reader knew that it wouldn’t be long before he was out of the coma and bumping mackerels with the fish-girl in the ongoing series. The one thing these miniseries has going for them is that they seem to be occurring within the current continuity of the SUPREME POWER series somewhere in the break between SUPREME POWER Marvel MAX-stylee and the more all audience-friendly Marvel Knights relaunch of the series set to hit the stands in a few months.

NIGHTHAWK is the first miniseries out of the gates and it’s off to a great start. Although I know Daniel Way has been around for a short while, this is the first book I’ve read by the guy, and if this book is any indication of this guy’s talent, I will be checking out more stuff from him in the future (especially since he’s due to take over the HULK writing chores when Peter “I’m the only man who writes HULK right” David leaves the book).

Credit has to be given to J. Michael Straczynski first and foremost for creating (or reimagining, I guess is more accurate) the Nighthawk character. As I stated in last week’s CASTING COUCH feature, I always thought Nighthawk was a douche. He’s a wannabe Batman with moronic Wolverine claws and nipples on top of his wings. He even wore a bird on his head. Sure, my fellow @$$Hole and close bud, Buzz Maverik, went out of his way to make Nighthawk into a cool sounding character last week in the TBs with an elaborate tale of intrigue and tragedy, but to me, he’ll always be a Douchey McDouche, the Wannabe Batman. So for JMS to actually make me give a fig about this character is an achievement all its own.

SUPREME POWERS’ Nighthawk is still a non-powered protector of the streets and still a Batman knockoff, much like the rest of the cast of this series is a re-imagining of Marvel’s original team of DC knock-offs, Squadron Supreme. But this Nighthawk is an African American millionaire who focuses on crimes that are race related. This is an interesting angle to pursue because the idea of a race-focused hero is a difficult one to pull off. Handled too lightly and the character could come off as one-note and trite. Handled too seriously and he could come off as preachy. Race is such a touchy subject for anyone to delve into anyway. Many writers choose not to walk that tight rope and ignore it altogether. But JMS has proven with SUPREME POWER that he isn’t one of those writers and neither apparently is Daniel Way.

Now, I don’t know if Daniel Way is white, black, or polka dotted, but this guy knows how to write a pretty heavy story focusing on race without making it sound like an all-day seminar on race relations. My main problem with BLACK PANTHER (Marvel’s other book focusing on an African American character) is that writer Reginald Hudlin seems to be writing from a pulpit. After a few issues of that series, I found myself inundated and drowning with one factoid after another about how powerful the nation of Wakanda and its heroes are. Hell, by the way Hudlin put it, the Panther would have no problem handing the Beyonder, Galactus, and all of the Elders of the Universe their asses in a vibranium ashtray. That coupled with the fact that he wrote many of the white characters as caricaturally and stereotypically racist turned me off of the book completely.

Daniel Way handles these same issues with a lighter hand without making the story a fluff piece. Not once did I feel as if I was being lectured on racism. Way wisely chooses to show racist actions without outright telling you about them and he makes you think and doesn’t give easy answers to boot (something of a sacrilege these days). Issue one of this miniseries focuses on a man named Steven Binst, a pharmacist who, on his free time, developed a poison with no antidote. He started out testing on mice, then moved up to larger animals, and finally decided to test it out on one of his customers at the pharmacy. That customer was a black woman and because of Steven Binst’s actions, that woman and her family died. Did Binst, a white man, choose to test his poison on this woman because she was black? Binst isn’t saying anything, leaving the reader and all of the characters around him to formulate their own opinions as to his motivations. Writer Way could’ve easily written this character as a bed sheet brandishing bigot, pissed of at a certain group of people because of the color of their skin, but he doesn’t (at least he doesn’t in this issue), and I hope he doesn’t stoop to that level as this series proceeds.

In this issue, Way tells a smarter tale than that. He’s got a villain who may or may not be a racist and a hero who’s focus in his war on crime is race related. I know I’m side-barring a lot in this review, but when I was first introduced to Freudian theory in college I went around pointing out the phallic or vaginal significance in everything from STAR WARS to Charlie Brown. It took a long time to realize that sometimes, a cucumber is just a cucumber and a Sarlacc Pit…well, c’mon, we all know a Sarlacc Pit is a pussy with teeth, now, don’t we. But my point is that it was an awakening for me to recognize that there may be something to Freudian theory, but later I came to the much wiser realization that Freudian theory isn’t the end-all be-all in understanding things. Same goes for those who put the only focus on race like our hero Nighthawk.

It could be that I’m giving this miniseries and writer Daniel Way too much credit. The character of Steven Binst (who looks to be becoming Nighthawk’s own version of the Joker) could turn out to be a completely stereotypical racist. But maybe he isn’t. Maybe it’s not race related and the killing was completely at random. Wouldn’t that be one hell of a story to have a hero going after a criminal for one reason and only to find out that the reason in question wasn’t a factor in the crime? And wouldn’t that be one hell of an eye opener for our hero that everything isn’t so black and white? This is a level of sophisticated storytelling that has been abundant in SUPREME POWER and maybe it’s what I’m hoping to see in this miniseries too. So far, so good.

I found the first issue of NIGHTHAWK to be entertaining, smart, subtle, and full of potential. I have no idea if Way is going to take the high or low road with this one, but with him writing and the phenomenal Steve Dillon on the art chores (I could write a whole review focusing on the talent of this guy, but I’ve ranted long enough), I’ll be sure to stick around to find out.


FELL. #1

Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Ben Templesmith
Publisher: Image Comics
Reviewer: Sleazy G



Buy it.

No, really.

There are a lot of great writers in the industry right now—writers who tell high-quality stories with the characters we all know and love. What the industry has very few of, though, is writers who are willing to take risks and experiment with the form. Warren Ellis is one of the few in mainstream Western comics writers willing to take those kinds of chances, and he deserves a lot of respect for it. The new series FELL. is his current experiment, and it’s one well worth checking out. Ellis has caught a lot of flack over that whole “decompression” thing from people who think it’s the only trick he’s got, but that’s not even close to being the case. The truth is it was an exercise, an attempt to introduce new ideas and approaches to storytelling into Western comics. It works sometimes and falls flat others, but the important thing was to try something new and use it to tell a story in a way we haven’t seen before. FELL. is exactly the same sort of thing. The concept is a simple one: make an affordable comic—one that costs a buck less than everything else on the stands—and make sure each issue tells a complete story. No drawn-out arcs, no “Part Five of Seven”. Get in, tell the story, get out, do it cheap.

So is it successful? You betcha. One of the ways Ellis is able to bring the series in at only $1.99 an issue is that it’s got less art than the average comic—the whole story is told in only 16 pages. There is also an additional four pages of supplemental text in the back, where Ellis can add backstory, share his thoughts or fill us in on the real-life stories that he’s using as the basis for a lot of the issues. This means Ellis has really picked up the pace in the main story, cramming a lot of information into each of those pages. It’s a dense read, and Ben Templesmith’s art really helps communicate everything you need to know. Some of Templesmith’s art in the past has leaned towards the impressionistic side, so his work here surprised me a bit. It’s clearer and more detailed than I’ve seen in the past, and that’s crucial when you have a limited amount of space to tell your story. He ably communicates people’s attitudes, postures and emotions. Templesmith makes some interesting choices when it comes to the angle of the reader’s POV that I really dug—in particular the way the final panel on page 15 echoes the second panel on page 3 and what it tells us about the characters in those panels.

I’m sure by now you’re starting to wonder what FELL. is actually about, so here’s the rundown: Detective Richard Fell has just transferred to a new precinct. It’s a shithole precinct by the name of Snowtown, and it’s the kind of place that’s been pretty much written off by everybody as unsalvageable. Fell is cast in the Sherlock Holmes mold: a sharp observational eye leads him to quickly make pronouncements that make him seem borderline psychic, but he then goes on to explain everything he has seen that led him to his conclusion. Sure, it’s a conceit that only works in fiction because in real life there are too many possible factors to really be certain, but it’s an entertaining fictional conceit that works well here. Fell accidentally walks into his first case in his new precinct when he rents an apartment only to find his neighbor’s dead body being hauled out. In short order Fell meets his new boss (cantankerous old bastard who cares about nothing), his new friend (emotionally scarred, potentially crazy-dangerous chick bartender) and solves the murder of the guy who lived next door (let’s just say there’s only one way you should consume alcohol, and it doesn’t involve tubes or colons). There’s also a lot to suggest that as Fell solves each issue’s mystery he’ll be uncovering more and more clues as to just what the hell is wrong with Snowtown.

Sure, some of Ellis’ hallmarks are here. There are cranky, snarky characters. There’s a very dark streak. There’s gonna be some ugliness, so keep it the hell away from your kids, as if you didn’t already know that. Some of his other hallmarks are here too, though. It’s smart, quick writing with emotionally honest moments at the most unexpected times. There’s dreamlike imagery followed by something that brings you crashing back to earth. Most importantly, though, there’s a risk, and it’s one I’m glad to see Ellis take. I mean, come on: a top-notch writer/artist team who’ve decided to stick their necks out like this? A densely packed, 16-page done-in-one series with a text backup piece? Give it a shot. It’s cheap, it’s good, and it’s a little different from everything else you’re buying.

So buy it. Really.


VILLAINS UNITED #5 (of 6)

Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Dale Eaglesham (pencils)/Wade von Grawbadger (inker)
Publisher: DC Comics
Reviewer: Prof. Challenger



VILLAINS UNITED is one of those series that to really be able to enjoy requires the reader to (1) check his or her brain at the door, and (2) either ignore past continuity, or (3) be blissfully ignorant of said continuity. When I read a comic like this one, I’m grateful for the current en vogue disuse of thought balloons. I mean, can you imagine what this comic would look like with Simone’s voluminously overwritten dialogue balloons everywhere fighting for space with Stan Lee-style thought balloons?

What I mean by checking one’s brain at the door has to do with the utter absurdity of this entire comic book. The degree of reality suspension required to accept that the “Secret Six” here could actually still be alive is completely off the scale. Now that I think about it, “absurd” is the word du jour for the second most enjoyable INFINITE CRISIS mini-series prelude.

The opening fight with Monsieur Mallah is absurd on so many levels. Mallah has never been a ranting man-eating giant ape before. He was a simple French-speaking gorilla with a penchant for firearms and a pal named “Brain.” Here he’s suddenly the size of Gorilla Grodd and superstrong – enough to survive with practically no ill effect two huge knives plunged right into his lungs. If nothing else he should have collapsed along with those lungs. Then there’s the absurd comment that the Secret Six need only one of the Madmen alive. What the hell for? That’s never explained that I caught.

Then there’s, oh my gawd, the Fearsome Five – all four of them! Geez I hate when characters pop up like this that make me realize I don’t know what the hell’s happened. Mammoth is standing around with some sort of Viking hairdo and beard thing going. His sister now looks like a hooker. I thought Psimon got his brains blown away 20 years ago and then there’s some nameless bald black lady wearing practically nothing. Not very fearsome. Oh, and Lex Luthor is dressed in a gay-looking pull-over. Put the man in a suit or green and purple armor. And the jokey bit about Vandal Savage inventing cannibalism – groan. Rag Doll and the revelation that he’s had his naughty bits removed – groan.

But here’s the good thing about this series: Catman, Deadshot, and Scandal (even though she also dresses like a hooker). These three characters are what keep me coming back to this book and they don’t disappoint this issue. Unfortunately I hate Cheshire, Ragdoll, and Parademon. Parademon because he’s a non-character. Ragdoll because he an unsettling freak. Cheshire because she’s just such an utterly irredeemable slutrag. The Catman and Deadshot alpha-male preening hits a high point in this penultimate issue once Catman realizes it was Deadshot who slaughtered Catman’s pride back in the first issue. Yeh, Deadshot’s a total bastard, but he’s an appealing bastard and Catman’s heroic transformation has just hit all the right notes through the whole series.

Back onto the monkey though, I doubt most readers even know who Monsieur Mallah is, so the fact that this characterization bears no resemblance to his original characterization probably doesn’t bother anyone but me. Unfortunately, it also sparks one of those annoying DC frustration ticks since the Doom Patrol “never existed” before Byrne’s recent reboot means Monsieur Mallah basically has no reason for existence here. What stories of any consequence has he even appeared in that are not Doom Patrol-related? And he’s not the only one to get a wholesale character rewrite. This Parademon guy. Parademons are personality-less. They don’t have characters. They are mindless grunts for Darkseid. Take one away from Apokolips and he’s basically useless. The fact that this guy has any thoughts going through his head aggravates me. It started in ID CRISIS, but The Calculator is essentially an entirely different character than he was originally. A much better character, in my opinion, but he’s still completely different and there doesn’t seem that as much effort was put into explaining the logical and believable evolution of his character as, say, the change in Catman from lame to great. Deathstroke seems somewhat out of character to me as well simply by his involvement with the Society. I honestly cannot imagine him conceding leadership to Luthor at all. Maybe that means Deathstroke is really Mockingbird. Nah.

Now, just to irritate the talkbackers, I got questions: Why’s Capt. Nazi bald? Why’s JoeyDaQ included in the double-page spread of super-villains? Who’s that evil version of Mr. Terrific with “Foul Play” on his jacket? Who’s the green guy whose head looks like a Velociraptor’s toenail? Why does Scandal call Tweedledee an “aberration”? Howcum Talia looks like some American college girl gone wild instead of the exotic leather hot-suit Talia I remember? Why the hell does anyone care about Lady Quark? Why does The Corpse Bride ad creep me out?

By issue’s end, we don’t know who Mockingbird is (though I suspect it’s probably just Lex playing both sides) but we do know who the traitor in the bunch is and the Six are faced with a whole double-page spread full of villains bearing down on them with blood in their eyes. Next issue will surely be a grand free-for-all. Looking forward to it. So far, it’s about the only thing written by Simone that I have any fondness at all for. However, I don’t want to give it too much thought.


WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? #1

Remixed by Keith Giffen and Mike Leib
Art by Wally Wood and Bill Molno
Publihsed by BOOM! Studios
Reviewed by Ambush Bug



The premise of this book will be the selling point alone here. It’s one of those ideas that make you giggle at the sheer absurdity of its inception. Apparently, Keith Giffen happened upon an old Wally Wood war comic at a flea market and thought it’d be a hoot to restructure the thing into a spoof war comic using the original artwork. Like the flawed, but fun movie KUNG PAO: ENTER THE FIST, this comic takes old material and makes it enjoyable all over again.

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? #1 is a fast and fun read. It’s the kind of lighthearted take that you don’t see too much these days…but enough about DC comics (I kid, I kid). Like many books with a comedic tone, there are a few groaners interspersed among the guffaws, but for the most part I had a great time reading this issue. The first story, “The Combat Crazy Cuties of Coyote Ugly Company” features a pretty effective visual gag in casting the male lead character as a women. This shift in gender changes the whole perspective on the way this story unfolds. “Hearts and Minds” makes some sly comments on American ethnocentricity with its racist hero arriving to “save” an island of “savages” caught in the middle of the war. And the funniest bit has to be “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and its stars Very Easy Company which comments on homosexuals in the military. It’s lighthearted. It pokes fun at military traditions without being acerbic or anti or pro war. Basically, this book touches on some issues that many take pretty seriously, then gives the reader a slap and says “C’mon. Unclench, buckaroo. This is a comic book yer readin’ after all.” which is just the type of snap back to reality we all need in this day and age.

I doubt I’ll ever be able to comment on a new Wally Wood comic again, so I’ll do it here. Wood provides some stunning visuals, all frame worthy. His characters strike heroic and memorable poses and his attention to detail and placement in the panel is top notch. If the word balloons weren’t so funny, it’d almost be a sacrilege to remaster this artwork in such a way. But Giffen has done all of us a favor by bringing attention to one of the great classic comic book artists

When this Wally Wood comic was first published, I’ll bet it brought a lot of enjoyment to the kids who forked over a shekel to read it. Many years later, in a time when war is constantly in our faces, Keith Giffen and Mike Leib have done the same thing. Here’s hoping Giffen stumbles upon a few more old comics that he can remaster in the future.

Remember, if you have an Indie book you’d like one of the @$$holes to take a look at, click on your favorite reviewer’s link and drop us an email.


THE BAKERS #1

Kyle Baker’s not just the best cartoony cartoonist since Sergio Aragones, but he always writes kick-ass solicits for his work. For his bio comic of Nat Turner: “It’s like GLORY, except if Morgan Freeman got hanged and skinned in the end.” For the decidedly more light-hearted family humor of THE BAKERS: “Lil, Ike, Jackie and Mom try their best to collect Dad’s life insurance, but he just won’t die!”

Now I’m not a family man, but man did I love this book. And I didn’t mention Sergio Aragones just to name drop; Baker’s stuff distinctly calls to mind Aragones’ “no dialogue” comics, like his strips for MAD and his ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS for Dark Horse. With an animator’s sense of timing, Baker exposes the pains of fatherhood, from being booted off the couch to make room for the kids to trying to keep a leash on all his rugrats when he goes shopping. Not every humorous comic needs to be ARSENIC LULLABY or JOHNNY THE HOMICIDAL MANIAC, and I really enjoyed seeing something a little warmer and grounded in the familiar (but still packed with plenty of paternal suffering). Fun links: Model sheets for the Baker family: Jackie, Mom, Dad, Ike, and Lil. Animated version of one of the strips. A li’l cartoon that gives the book’s flavor. Much goodness! - Dave

GOTHAM CENTRAL #35

Part three of "Dead Robin" here and things are somehow getting even more intense. Last issue brought us the great twist of a second dead body being found dressed in a Robin suit, and that brings us to this issue and the chaos that is ensuing from it. The event has been leaked to the press almost as soon as the body is found, and a positive ID on the victim has given Crispus and Montoya a lead towards how the killer is scouting his prey, and exactly what ties it has into the early-press angle that we have been approached with. And we also have the real Robin making an appearance that you would think would be emotionally charged, but is pleasantly off-beat. The pacing of it all stays great pushing its sense of urgency but also pulling back at times to let us take a breather and get some character moments in. The unfolding of the mystery is very intriguing to watch, and the art team seems to finally have hit their stride and gives the book a great visual match towards the crime-drama atmosphere. All in all this is about as good as you get for a setup to the final issue of the arc. - Humphrey

X-MEN: COLOSSUS BLOODLINE #1

Surely I didn’t read that right. I couldn’t have. There’s just no way a writer could be so desperate for stories that he’d intimate that…Colossus is secretly related to the mad monk of Russia, Rasputin!

Besides, didn’t Hellboy already kill Rasputin? - Dave

SEVEN SOLDIERS: GUARDIAN #4

I’ve been tight lipped about Grant Morrison’s ambitious SEVEN SOLDIERS project so far, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been impressed. GUARDIAN may not have been my favorite SEVEN SOLDIRS mini (that distinction is reserved for SHINING KNIGHT and KLARION), but it was an interesting read. Out of all of the miniseries so far, this one has been the most grounded in reality. Morrison’s usual loo-loo-koo-koo logic is still there, but in this mini the Guardian provides the much needed voice of the everyman (a voice that isn’t always present in the lion’s share of Morrison’s books). GUARDIAN is the most readable of all of these series and even when the wonkiness explodes in this issue, Guardian is there to tell us how nuts this whole thing is. Pretty insightful of Morrison to recognize this about the creations that hatch from that noodle of his. - Bug

OZ: THE MANGA #3

I finally got my Kalidahs! Yes, when I reviewed the first issue of OZ: THE MANGA a few months back, those half-tiger/half-bear monsters were among the weirder, scarier elements of Frank Baum’s original WIZARD OF OZ book that I was most looking forward to seeing in comic form. And writer/artist David Hutchison comes through quite nicely with realistic tiger heads and bear bodies that are inked almost pure black. Swanky. Much more the Fairuza Balk Oz than the Judy Garland Oz.

The issue also features one cat beheading and the Tin Woodman’s limb-hewing origin, again straight from the book. Gotta love old-school fairy tales, eh? But don’t sweat the seeming goriness – it’s all appropriately restrained in presentation. Now bring on the winged monkeys, dammit! There’s a new generation of punk kids out there in desperate need of being scarred for life! - Dave

INCREDIBLE HULK #86

Rumor has it that Peter David became jaded and uninterested in his previous classic run on the HULK due to the fact that editorial mandate made him compromise his storyline in order to make room for Marvel Universe spanning crossovers. This resulted in some of the weakest HULK issues David ever wrote and eventually lead him to leave the book. Now that David is back on the title, what do the ad wizards at Marvel do? They tie David’s story in with some useless crossover once again. Thanks Marvel, for fucking up Peter David’s HULK once again. This is the first time I’ve been interested in the Hulk in years and now for the last few issues of David’s current run on the series, there has to be the taint of the HOUSE OF EHH all over it. - Bug

GHOST RIDER #1

Memo to Garth Ennis: the angel shit is played out, bro. I first saw comics portraying Heaven as not-so-nice, Hell as not-so-bad, back in the early Jamie Delano issues of HELLBLAZER, and he might’ve cribbed it from Moore’s SWAMP THING. It was pretty interesting then…back in 1987. Now, nearly 20 years later, and the Heaven/Hell stuff has been done to death a hundred times over in various Vertigo titles, not the least of ‘em being your own PREACHER. So just quit that shit. Some stoner kid puts down three bucks for a Ghost Rider comic, he damn well wants to see Ghost Rider in it, not 18 pages of angels and demons and a page or three of the latest iteration of Garth Ennis’s love affair with grotesqueries: Arseface/Fuckface/Pee-Pee-Hole-Face…we’re running out of orifices here, Garth!

Long story short: this new GHOST RIDER is probably about as good as the movie’s going to be. - Dave




With Vroom Socko


Some of you may remember my review a few weeks back of SHOCKING GUN TALES, the new anthology from Cellar Door Publishing. Well, thanks to a delay or two, the book was finally made available this past Thursday. Since this is the first book that Cellar Door has released into the wild, I thought it might be interesting to have a chat with the publisher, the lovely Jade Dodge.

Vroom Socko: What's an attractive woman like you doing in a business like this?


Jade Dodge: That could very well be the most flattering start to any interview in the history of interviews…well, I began writing “seriously” at the age of seven. Initially, I wrote plays, which were heavily influenced by “The Twilight Zone”, and then added stories and comic strips shortly thereafter. And before you ask, no, you cannot see my elementary school era comic strips. I’m just going to pretend I lost them long, long ago… since the age of seven, I’ve been interested in writing for just about every creative medium under the sun, but when it was all said and done, comic books were the best fit for the types of stories I wanted to write.

The extremely talented Matt Camp and I created a series called SHADOWS. Our first choice for a publisher was Image. So, we put together our submission package, sent it off to Image, they accepted it, and the rest is history.

Do you have any plans to write comics for Cellar Door, possibly including more SHADOWS?

I would LOVE to write for Cellar Door, and other publishers, as well. It’s just a matter of getting Cellar Door to a place where it doesn’t need the constant attention of a newer company. I have committed to a couple of short stories for anthologies. As far as anything more substantial than that, all I can say is, soon… ish… soon-ish…

How did Cellar Door Publishing come to be? Also, is the name meant to be a Donnie Darko reference, or a Bendis/Ultimate Goblin reference?

Cellar Door, first and foremost, came out of my love for comic books and publishing. Also, discovering new books that are like nothing I’ve ever seen before, or creators with a passion and enthusiasm that rivals my own, is extremely exciting for me. This is also directly related to what Cellar Door is referencing. Our slogan is “What’s in the Cellar?” My vision of the cellar is this dark place where all of the brilliant books are hidden from the world. The cellar holds the books that perhaps aren’t mainstream enough, or are perhaps too controversial, or any other various reasons why an otherwise wonderful piece of graphic literature may have a difficult time being published. Small publishers can afford to take risks that big publishers cannot. And that’s not a slight against big publishers; it’s just the way of business. If a big business, in any industry, takes a huge risk and fails, it could quite literally bankrupt them. If a small business takes a huge risk and fails, times will be tight, but they will recover.

So, I feel it’s my duty, as a small publisher, to open the figurative cellar door and provide a venue for the books within the cellar.

What are the books you currently have lined up?

Currently, we have SHOCKING GUN TALES, CHANCE OF A LIFETIME, HEADCASE, the WEST MEMPHIS THREE benefit anthology, and the American McGee properties. The Cellar Door site features descriptions of the books, as well as previews and animated trailers for both SHOCKING GUN TALES and CHANCE OF A LIFETIME.

Where did the concept for SHOCKING GUN TALES come from?

SHOCKING GUN TALES is actually a Chimaera Studios creation. It was one of the first projects pitched to Cellar Door. The cover alone summed up both the high quality and willingness to take risks that are key elements of this company. So, I felt it was a perfect fit.

Will the Cellar be the official home of more work from Chimera Studios?

Chimaera Studios has projects at several different publishing companies. So, we are but one member of their extended family.

What can you tell us about the projects you're developing with American McGee? And just how did you wrangle THAT deal?

We’ve signed a deal to publish graphic novels based on the American McGee properties BAD DAY LA, AMERICAN MCGEE’S OZ, and AMERICAN MCGEE’S GRIMM. BAD DAY LA is a tongue in cheek look at a day where everything that could go wrong does: zombies, terrorists, natural disasters, with a little political commentary thrown in for good measure… As far as the other two projects, all I have to say is, what American McGee did for “Alice in Wonderland”, he’ll be doing for the land of Oz and your favorite fairy tales, as well.

Like many people, I felt American McGee’s Alice was brilliant and absolutely gorgeous. Due to the quality of his storytelling and art design, I felt his projects were perfect for this medium. So, I asked him if this was something he had considered, which he actually had for quite some time. He and his company, The Mauritania Import Export Company, simply hadn’t found a publisher who shared their goals and vision. It became pretty apparent in our early conversations that we were on the same page.

What sort of creative talent do you have in mind for these books?

We’ve had quite a bit of interest from several creators who would like to be involved with these projects. Really, the most difficult part is going to be finding artists appropriate for these projects. There’s a definite style people associate with American’s properties. And I feel it’s important to keep the style of the graphic novels consistent with the style of his other projects.

It seems like dozens of comic publishers have been crawling out of the woodwork lately. How do you intend to distinguish Cellar Door from the rest of the crowd?

If you look at the smaller publishers who have experienced longevity, they’ve all done a wonderful job with developing a brand. When you think of Image, you get a specific idea in your head of the books you can expect from them. The same can be said for Slave Labor, IDW, Top Shelf, and so on. They don’t just throw out a bunch of whatever. They spend time picking specific books that fit the brand they’ve established. And considering the fact literary publishers are entering the comic book market, the smaller publishers who have not taken the time to carve out their unique niche are going to have a tough time competing.

Branding is important in every line of business. American McGee has done a wonderful job of this. You think of American McGee and you get a definite idea of what you can expect.

I believe the Cellar Door “brand” will become more apparent as more titles are released. But as far as basics are concerned; first, the covers need to be eye catching and artistically appealing. I think this is very important. Definitely not the most important thing, but I feel the quality of the cover gives people an impression of the quality they can expect on the inside.

Second, I’m looking for original or unique material. Stories that make my heart skip a beat. A great example of this is CHANCE OF A LIFETIME. I swore I would never publish a superhero book, simply because Marvel and DC have carved out that niche already. But then I looked at CHANCE OF A LIFETIME. It was such a unique take on the superhero genre I absolutely had to publish it.

Third, they must be of high quality. And I realize that term is so vague, which is one of the reasons I said it would become apparent as more titles are released. But basically, I have to be head over heals(sic) in love with a book in order to publish it. For me to think a book is good isn’t good enough. It has to blow me away. It has to meet the standards I’ve set for Cellar Door books. I want people to come to expect a certain level of writing and art from Cellar Door titles. That’s why I’m very choosey with the books I select. And I think that’s good business, really. If the publisher isn’t as passionate about the project as the creative team, how’re they going to convince the rest of the world to be?

Where do you see this company in the next five years?

The question which the superstitious hate to answer… I’ll be sure to knock on wood or rub a rabbit’s foot after this one… In five years, I envision Cellar Door to have expanded its library quite a bit. In five years, people will have a better idea of what they can expect from Cellar Door. Because of the fact that SO many publishers come and go, I know people can be apprehensive when a new company comes along. And this is totally understandable. But I’m doing what I can to instill trust in our potential readers, so I can assure them we WILL be around in five years. One of the top reasons publishing companies fail (and this is true of comic book and literary publishers) is that they grow too quickly. And it’s very tempting to do. Companies that grow quickly give the illusion of success. But I do want Cellar Door to be around for years to come. So, we’ll be the tortoise, if it means I’ll be speaking with you in five years about where Cellar Door will be on its 10th anniversary.


I’d like to thank Ms. Dodge for her time, as well as her answers. SHOCKING GUN TALES is available in comic shops everywhere. For more information on Cellar Door, check out their website.

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 14, 2005, 1:54 p.m. CST

    smooch my cog hos

    by Shigeru

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 2:05 p.m. CST

    NOOOOO!!

    by Gus Nukem

    I am not first. NOOOOO!!!! /falls into a volcano

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 2:17 p.m. CST

    "What's an attractive woman like you doing in a business lik

    by Gus Nukem

    A very good way to start a conversation. True, however.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 2:17 p.m. CST

    /laughs and poops in the volcano

    by Shigeru

    hahaha I rule! Oh and uh some good reviews guys. I commend the Nighthawk one...well thought out and even deep!

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 2:23 p.m. CST

    from hell's heart I stab at thee

    by Gus Nukem

    /gurgles with lava, shit and an unholy, blistering hatred

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 2:23 p.m. CST

    The reviewer is wrong about GHOST RIDER.

    by Mr. Anderson

    That was a great first issue of what should be a great mini-series. Marvel really can churn out some fantastic stuff when they put their minds to it, and this looks like an example of one of those times. So what if Garth wrote another story with d-bag angels and horribly deformed sidekicks? One of Ennis' greatest talents is his ability to tell good stories in several different styles. There's the poignant WAR STORY Ennis, the juvenile-but-still-hilarious THE PRO/RIFLE BRIGADE Ennis, the gratuitously-violent PUNISHER/FURY Ennis, and the religiously-themed PREACHER/HELLBLAZER Ennis. The one writing GHOST RIDER is the latter of those. Deal with it, and enjoy it for what it is: Ennis going back to tell another PREACHER-esque story about a guy with his head on fire who suffers from nightly demon rape.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Farabee's Serenity review is pretty much dead on...

    by MasterWhedon

    It did feel a bit light, like it really should've been a six-issue mini. Hell, the one thing the fans wanted was to spend more time with the characters, so why short change us? Anyway, there's nothing really novel in this series other than you finally get discussion about Inara and Book leaving. We knew it was going to happen, this is where they openly say it. There are still some cool moments in there, but you feel cheated, like they all should've been fleshed out more. Regardless, Serenity is coming. "We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty."

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Christ, some reviews would be nice.

    by kiddae

    I haven't read any of the House of M stuff (actually, I flicked through the first issue in the store the other day, and it wasn't half bad), but that "review" was ridiculous. "WAAAH WAAH IT'S TERRIBLE!". Okay, try and be a bit more lucid in telling us *why*.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 2:41 p.m. CST

    El Vale, I reckon you 'd be interested in this...

    by Gus Nukem

    http://tinyurl.com/dy7mr

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 2:46 p.m. CST

    House of M Sucks

    by like2achoas

    i really dont get it, i guess it's trying to say if you were given the perfect life would you give it up if you knew it was a lie? wasn't that done in like the matrix,Superman w/ mongol nad a batman cartoon?

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Well there you go

    by El Vale

    Nice week all things considered. Gail Simone wasn't given oral sex, that was sort of surprising to me. Did anyone check the IC preview? I'm not sure i'm the one to talk here but i thought it was crap. Here's the link http://tinyurl.com/8c882

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Thanks Gus, but...

    by El Vale

    I'm not that big on Jessica Alba. I mean, of course she's hot and absolutely doable, but she's just not my type. I don't like latin looking women who dye their hair blonde, doesn't work for me. Plus what the hell's up with her panties? Those are fart-catchers, yes they are! Now give me a picture of Evangeline Lilly or Lauren Graham in their underwear and i'm a happy boy. Has anyone invented anything better than dark hair and blue eyes?

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 3:34 p.m. CST

    If you thought the HOUSE OF M review was too short, the fault li

    by Ambush Bug

    Vroom originally intended the piece to be a Cheap Shot, but it was a little too long to be a Cheapie, so I made the decision to post it with the Long reivews at the top. So if the review isn't as consise as you'd like, don't blame Vroom, he meant for it to be a Cheap Shot, which is usually a shorter and to the point review (a dine and dash sort of review, if you will). That still doesn't make up for the fact that HOM sucks all kinds of cannonballs through garden hoses.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 3:42 p.m. CST

    Ghost Rider was a weak setup

    by dwam0

    You just can't put Johnny Blaze in hell and not explain why he's there AFTER he was freed of the Ghost Rider curse. The dialouge between the Angels was confusing and uninspired. I didn't find the fat killer or the female killer to be exciting/ fearsome characters in their appearances. I left this book on the subway for someone who might appreciate it. I won't be picking up issue 2, despite the good art work.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 3:54 p.m. CST

    The Black Panther House of M was freakin' awesome what an en

    by Beaker316

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Jayne = Shane?

    by Strabo

    No way in hell...Jayne is much cooler than Shane, and hell, I love The Shield. Sorry, Jayne would wipe the floor with Shane.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 4:07 p.m. CST

    by MindsongTroupe

    dwam0, little kid, pay attention next time. Mr. Anderson (as much as I hate to give credit to a Matrix-insped. name) and IsTalkCheap are right for the most part. The Ghost Rider character is too cool and if any character deserves a good Heaven/Hell story its him. I haven't bought a Rider ish in years because the crappy, cartoony art is such a turn off and I haven't been able to enjoy an Ennis punisher because, even though it's better than other incarnations, his Frank Castle is still more of a puss than he should be. This Ghost Rider comic gives me good art that is finally deserving of the character and I'm sorry but I think it's ubercool that two battle-hardened Angels are hanging out telling scary stories about our this character who deserves such an existence. Ennis could disappoint me in future issues but for now I'm lovin' it.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 4:13 p.m. CST

    Good reviews @$$holes

    by The Heathen

    Especially of Serenity, Fell, Nighthawk, and HoM. I'm digging Villains United though and can't wait for the last issue. HoM is just so pointless feeling isn't it? But it's supposed to be important right? Ah, fuck it. *** Here you go Vale *** http://tinyurl.com/a65nq *** http://tinyurl.com/c25ro *** ENJOY!!!

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Simone and Villains United

    by xsi kal

    Well, I'm enjoying the hell out of VU so far, but disagree with the reviewer on pretty much every subjective opinion. Ragdoll creepy? Hell yeah... that's part of his charm! Cheshire a slutbag? Where have you been, man? That's part of HER charm...! :P And while VU has been fun, it's hardly the only thing Simone has written that I've enjoyed, dating all the way back to when she shrank the Rhino and had Deadpool wear him on a chain around his neck...

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 4:25 p.m. CST

    HoM

    by ShadowSorkin07

    House of M is actually good. I picked it up because you guys hated it so much, and am seriously digging it. I think you guys have just been in your basements a little too long, reading a few to many issues of... everything.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 4:33 p.m. CST

    Man, is Catman's costume a total rip-off of Batman's, or

    by Gus Nukem

    If I were Batman, I 'd press charges. The 'indecent rip-off' ones. **** Vale, I thought a few months back it was you who was looking for the holy grail of a pic of Alba on her knees and elbows. Or was it you who supplied the 'balm' to the tormented soul (who was searching...) ? Or, I could be wrong.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 4:41 p.m. CST

    RE: Catman's costume

    by Bron Oakenhawk

    Or what.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 4:55 p.m. CST

    Gus

    by El Vale

    Yes i remember hungering for the pics but that's just cause...i think it was Darth...he mentioned seeing a pic of Alba in all fours pointing her shit dispenser right at the camera. Now that's something i want to see, even if i don't like her as much as i do others. But thanks, really.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Glad I'm not the only one who was "Eh...." about the final i

    by RenoNevada2000

    The whole miniseries seemed to merely be an excerise in getting the characters, especially Inara and Book, to where they needed to be. And did the Blue Hands did why Wash gunned the engines? It was a little unclear for me. If so, then what a clunker end to that portion of the storyline.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 5:13 p.m. CST

    HOM blows

    by verge

    I keep reading HOM just to see if something interesting is EVER going to happen, and it doesn't. The whole thing feels like Marvel was worried about DC's Infinite Crisis and decided to crap out this nothing storyline under a huge banner and promotion to undermine them. Very sad. Good to see positive review for Villains United, which isn't the best comic out there, but still the one I've been looking forward to the most the past few months.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 5:20 p.m. CST

    House of M

    by holidill

    This is why I don't like House of M. Marvel was building it up to be the greatest story ever told in Marvel History. But it is just another alternate reality like the age of apocalypse. Then with the return of Hawkeye and Bendis saying the internet will be broken, I figured he would be back because it is an alternate reality where everyone is happy. There is still 2 issues left, then Decimation and all these wild new changes to Marvel and it's been done before. It is uninteresting to me. If they weren't building it up to be the greatest story ever, it would be just an interesting diversion.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 5:23 p.m. CST

    Yes!

    by kintar0

    There's a new issue of All Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder out this week for you haters to try and rip on. Unlike most of you all, I'm a real comic fan and I get new comics DAY OF come hell or highwater.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 5:31 p.m. CST

    "House of M" is okay

    by Ribbons

    It's a disappointment and it does seem kind of forced, but in my opinion it certainly doesn't "suck all kinds of bowling balls through garden hoses." But it certainly looks like one of those things I could have gone without purchasing. Unless, of course, the entire Marvel U. for the next two years is contingent upon it.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 6:36 p.m. CST

    All-Star Batman!

    by Cheapskate

    What did y'all think of All-Star Batman? I think Frank Miller did a complete 180. Batman: tight-ass, smart-ass, bad-ass, pissy, unhinged, childish, gleefully committing atrocious acts of violence, AND YET unsure of himself and how to relate to people. Even Frank Miller hasn't written a Batman this cool before. The weird chemistry between him and Dick, as he's trying to figure out how to act like a teacher and a psycho at the same time ... I was really entertained. Even though Miller kept repeating lines he used in Sin City. Jim Lee's new rendition of Batman totally blows away the Hush version ... he's so unkempt, arrogant, and oozing with uber-machismo. I loved it. We'll see if they can keep up the steam next issue.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 6:42 p.m. CST

    Bron Oakenhawk, both the Dark Knight detective and I will be pre

    by Gus Nukem

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 6:47 p.m. CST

    'I am a vagina!!!'

    by Gus Nukem

    A perverted version of Mr. Mxyzpltk says that in 'the Authority: the Magnificent Kevin #1'. Is that a reference to something ? Can anyone explain it ? - my *hit* comment from last week's column. Shigeru, I thank you in advance. **** I know the use of 'after all' in my previous must have been erroneous, as I wanted to use something synonymous to 'finally'.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 6:48 p.m. CST

    read: previous *post*

    by Gus Nukem

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 6:50 p.m. CST

    This Just In -- COMICS AREN'T JUST FOR KIDS ANYMORE!

    by ZombieSolutions

    who knew? (seriously, remember when that was the rallying cry back in the 80s? i just love saying it.)

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 7:23 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the Lilly pics Heathen

    by El Vale

    I wuv you

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 7:23 p.m. CST

    huh?

    by blackthought

    there's a MARVEL U?

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 7:32 p.m. CST

    thanks gus`

    by Darth Kal-El

    yea it was me with the link to albas pooper. good pics tho! and those canadian chicks wow!i love getting boners at work!

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 7:35 p.m. CST

    great reviews guys

    by Darth Kal-El

    now i really cant wait to get my hands on the serenity books! agree with the house of m review.man this series is underwhelming!im still diggin the covers a lot tho. ghost rider-yeah i was pretty lost.i feel like i came in to the movie in the middle.the art is really nice but at times its hard to get a real clear image of the ghost rider himself.im gonna wait for trade on this one. a book that i also picked up which wasnt reviewd for some reason is the very cool superman/shazam first thunder.back with my thoughts on that later

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 7:38 p.m. CST

    I remember that 80s rallying cry

    by sideshowbob

    Nowadays the rallying cry would be: COMICS AREN'T FOR KIDS AT ALL ANYMORE!

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 7:40 p.m. CST

    In Hudlin's defense

    by -=Shin=-

    He does write several people in a certain steroetypical manner - to me though, it appeared that he wrote Americans that way - not white people. Sure, it might come across as uncle whitey barging in, but the first story arc has the usual political angle and depicts the liberal view of the U.S. where rich white guys go to war against small countries for resources. Condi's in there as are some other different races, (heel, Batroc and Radioactive man float around - that's a frenchie and an asian radiation reactor. That's got to count for something.) presented with the same said attitude. The fact that most people in power in the states are white and Wakanda is a nation of Africans can lend itself to the preception of white vs. black, but I'd argue it's a result of the story, not the purpose. And to be fair, Priest set up Panther as being able to take out anyone. This following his original appearance in FF, when Panther took out their entire team and revealed to them the most technologically advanced nation on the earth.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 7:52 p.m. CST

    "The weird chemistry between him and Dick"

    by Darth Kal-El

    he sure does love dick! lives for it!

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 7:59 p.m. CST

    House of M isn't bad

    by sideshowbob

    I'm enjoying it just fine, actually. Not reading any of the side projects, but the main story has been consistently entertaining to me. *** I'm looking to rent Firefly sometime this week. Time to see what all the fuss is about over this movie with the incredibly stupid trailer.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 8:02 p.m. CST

    you were right about Fell

    by sideshowbob

    It wasn't perfect, but reading the book then the text got me more excited about comics than I've actually been in some time. I hope it's hugely successful.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 9:16 p.m. CST

    "Even Frank Miller hasn't written a Batman this cool before.

    by Voice O. Reason

    WTF are you talking about? Batman didn't even show up until the last panel. That comic should have been called "No-Star Vickie Vale and Robin".

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 9:40 p.m. CST

    Prof. Challenger: re: Calculator

    by Thalya

    And I thought I was the only one who was having problems.. VU&#39;s writing and art seem like they&#39;re taking the character elsewhere from even his initial revamp point in Identity Crisis (could just be my crush talking, but his specs are now full eye-covering glasses, his hair is doing wacky things, and where on earth are his suspenders?! At least get his new &#39;costume&#39; right.. He&#39;s been drawn much more close to form in Countdown, Manhunter, JSA, and S/B (though the characterization seemed to be off in the latter..)). Did anyone else cringe at "shrinking shivers"? The guy&#39;s an info specialist and yet he&#39;s a dope when it comes to Vandal Savage? I mean, granted he was a Z-lister, but even then.. </rant>

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 9:47 p.m. CST

    And oi..

    by Thalya

    Some of you guys, like you&#39;re really encouraging a lack of insecurity in how the few geek girls around here perceive themselves..

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 9:51 p.m. CST

    YEAH!

    by blackthought

    no more objectificating of the fine women folk dammit...by the way those lilly pics were sweeeeeeeeeet...ahem.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Duh, Voice O...

    by kintar0

    All Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder is a bi-monthly title. Hence, new issues will, and have, like today for instance, come out. Durrrrrr. #2 is out today. See what I mean about REAL comic book fans? Sheesh.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 10:58 p.m. CST

    So much for thinking..

    by Thalya

    ..that any of you might be dateable. And here I thought it was because of the whole living-in-the-parents&#39;-basement thing..

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 11:16 p.m. CST

    Thalya

    by Prof C

    Thanks for the support there. :) Inconsistency in characterization just irks me even when I&#39;m enjoying the whole "over the top" theater of the absurd that is VILLAINS UNITED. LOL. "Shrinking shivers" WTF? There were a lot of those groaners in this comic. But dangit, I can&#39;t help but like Catman, Deadshot, and Scandal -- and they make the book interesting. Spin &#39;em off as the Terrible Trio or somethin&#39;. Keep reading and keep commenting.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Whatever, Thalya...

    by kintar0

    I read all of Love & Rockets and Tankgirl...

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 11:20 p.m. CST

    Thalya!

    by El Vale

    Everyone...behave. Please. To be fair, Thalya, you&#39;re like the first girl/woman i&#39;ve seen round these parts so we kinda got used to the lack of estrogen in the air and started talking about um...female backsides. Also, i advice against checking out past talkbacks unless you want to read about anal sex in the X Mansion. From a fanboy&#39;s perspective. But welcome! :D

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 11:26 p.m. CST

    Y;review too juvenile

    by Homer Sexual

    BFD they show his dick in one panel. That is so junior high,all focusing on it. Whatever. At least Humphrey agrees that this is an excellent comic series. I find it interesting to read such a backhanded compliment of a review to Villains United, but at least it was well written. And yes, House of M 6 was more of the same b.s. Emperor? Clothes? Not that it&#39;s the worst things ever, but its not all that. There are some good moments, but many lame plot developments. And how is Jessica Drew Spider-Woman the worst Marvel character ever. No Way! Love Her!

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 11:31 p.m. CST

    The mere notion of a "setup issue"...

    by JonQuixote

    ...is so fucking retarded that anybody who defends the practice needs to have "bitch" tattooed on their forehead in Impact Font, just so the non Marketers in the world can also see how easy they bend over and give it up. The practice is absurd - in no other medium do you ever get anything like that passed off as saleable fiction, because in no other medium is the customer base composed of such spineless masochists, limp noodled wusses who can barely pop their industry favorites&#39; cocks out of their mouths to mumble "thank you sir can I have another" before it&#39;s time for another round of fuck-them-over. My God, stand up for yourselves. There&#39;s absolutely no foundation in fiction - any fiction, any medium - to justify an entire "story" or "episode" devoted entirely to setting up another story or episode. And in film or television or literature, anybody who tried to pass off that weak ass shit would...well, get drummed into comics I guess. Because it&#39;s asinine. It&#39;s a practice devoid of skill and understanding of medium. The people who support it quietly - I feel sorry for them, having standards that low that they throw their money month in and month out at amateurish stuff so disrespectful to the audience&#39;s investement. But the people who actually try to defend it - they&#39;re fucking hilarious. The best part is that the guy doing it here fancies himself some sort of tough talker, a crusader, a rebel. But really, he&#39;s just an industry bitch. A yapping chihuahua who thinks his spiked collar offsets the fact that he&#39;s got somebody&#39;s finger up his ass and in his wallet.

  • Sept. 14, 2005, 11:58 p.m. CST

    Sudden Shift

    by Fantomex

    Maybe it was just a weird week, but I ended up buying most of the comics you actually ended up reviewing. Most weeks I don&#39;t come anywhere near 50%. I was hoping you guys would review Ex Machina so I could rant about how I finally realized why I can&#39;t stand the book. And JonQuixote, you couldn&#39;t be more wrong. The real "industry bitch" is the guy buying all 27 DC titles that somehow tie into the previous crisis we just read or the crisis we&#39;re about to, not the guy who buys one setup issue that is built upon over a 6 issue arc. And if you don&#39;t think television has "setup" episodes, you need to plug in your TV. You&#39;ll see a LOT of them in the next few weeks (and all will suck). Besides, this is the age of trade pacing!! Think of it as a first chapter. Bwa ha ha.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 12:50 a.m. CST

    hmmmm....

    by blackthought

    pacing.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 1:05 a.m. CST

    Fantomex...

    by JonQuixote

    You are right - the industry certainly does not lack for variety in its bitches. But it&#39;s very rare you see a "setup" issue on TV. In fact, I&#39;ll venture a moderate "never". Even a pilot will have an arc, tell a separate and distinct story (even if it&#39;s a teeny piece of a gigantic one). You&#39;re exactly right in thinking of it as a chapter, an aimless exposition laden chapter that&#39;s a lot easier to forgive when it&#39;s surrounded by a complete story and glaringly, pathetically awkward when standing on the shelf all alone. But again, you&#39;re (though not who I was referring to it earlier) defending the practice, a completely unnecessary practice. Why? Why do such a thing? Don&#39;t you deserve better? We&#39;ve all read plenty of thrilling, stunning, jaw-dropping, dense, shocking, enthralling first issues in our lives. Why not demand something like that, instead of a by-the-numbers tour of an empty house that invites you to imagine how things might look once you get actual stuff in there? You gain absolutely nothing with the "setup issue" approach. Nothing.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 1:19 a.m. CST

    What can I say, Homer?

    by vroom socko

    I fucking hate Jessica Drew. I&#39;ve hated her all my life. Hate her powers, hate her character, hate her costume, hate her origin, hate everything about her. It&#39;s not that I hate the IDEA of there being a Spider-Woman; I actually quite like the Julia Carpenter version introduced in Secret Wars. I just can&#39;t stand Jessica Drew.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 1:49 a.m. CST

    Jon

    by Ribbons

    It also depends on how you define a "set-up issue." If you just mean a "shitty issue" or if you mean one where there&#39;s not a lot of whiz-bang (which I guess is conversance with "the medium?") then I don&#39;t know. There are more "limp-wristed noodles" because comics are also probably the only medium where shit is supposed to go down each and every week. And you and I can argue the necessity of this until the concepts are so abstract that we both want to kill ourselves, but suffice it to say: if you define "set-up" as a balance of action and dialogue, then EVERY medium besides for movies (and them, too, if you count individual scenes) have "set-ups," be they episodes, chapters, you name it. Unless the competence of the work takes a holiday as well -- which is the case with a fair share of comic book issues (and TV episodes) -- then I can understand your outrage over a lack of outrage. As it is, it was a helluva post, but I don&#39;t agree with it. Which I&#39;m sure you&#39;ll rip into me for as you try to keep the words "Joe Quesada" from spilling out of your mouth, so to speak.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 3:34 a.m. CST

    interesting coments all around

    by Darth Kal-El

    let me second vale in welcoming thalya.we can certainly use a womans perspective sometimes.and hey im pretty sure i started the anal sex at the x-mansion thing but still had i known we were being visited by the oposite sex i probably would have shown more restraint(its funny how i noted erik larsen and probably other industry pros were reading us but i only mention restraint if a woman comes in)yeah sometimes its a clubhouse in here.see my previous spilling my guts about my ex and jail and all that nonsense.but nonetheless thalya welcome.oh and on a related note-because it is like a clubhouse in here and because i want to hang out at a place i feel comfortable,really darth jesus leave the "AICN TALKBACK" attitude out. this is not like the movie talkbacks were people go on homophobic,racists rants and call each other names.we all treat each other with respect(except that one time shigeru told me to smooch his cog and called me a ho)and have semi inteligent conversations about an art form we love.nuff said.im seriously done with AS Batman until i hear good feedback on the trades.i dont remember that particular battle cry but i distinctly remember the tagline from the fall of the mutants(?) i think where it would show pictures of kids and say something like "Its 1989,do you know WHAT your children are?" was it fall of the mutants or should i go have a miscarriage?

  • Just sayin&#39; they were two of my fave funny-as-hell sleazeballs from TV land. But if it came down to it, I have to agree: Jayne would drop Shane posthaste. And then Mackey would drop Jayne =D

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 4:31 a.m. CST

    SERENITY *does* have a pretty weak trailer, Sideshow...

    by Dave_F

    It earns a few extra points if you know all the characters, &#39;cause like the comic, there&#39;s that feel of meeting old friends, but overall...didn&#39;t really capture what was unique about the TV show. Didn&#39;t have the Western flavor (I&#39;ve heard it&#39;s been toned-down anyway, dammit) and the character repartee flopped in quick cuts (needs more back-and-forthing). Anyway, I&#39;ll be curious to hear what you think about FIREFLY. Might&#39;ve been overhyped at this point, and like I mentioned in the review...it&#39;s far from perfect. But so was BUFFY, which had its own formulas, overused schticks and whatnot between all the keen stuff. I figure if you were ever the type to enjoy BUFFY or genre shows like it...decent chance you&#39;ll have some fun with FIREFLY. Let us know after you&#39;ve seen a few eps.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 4:40 a.m. CST

    You can keep your Wheedon comics...

    by Brit Pop

    ...but the Indie Jones book looks fantastic - I&#39;m off to my local BO smelling comic book store to squeeze through the grebo&#39;s, the crusty&#39;s and the goth&#39;s to find a copy... What was I thinking??

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 4:51 a.m. CST

    Prof United

    by Dave_F

    I think yer a little hard on the latest VILLAINS UNITED (me, I like the denseness of Gail&#39;s dialogue), but there&#39;re some legit criticisms in there. On the topic of Monsieur Mallah...I&#39;ve got to think Gail just got mixed up and meant to use Grodd instead - it seems the only possible explanation, especially since "Mallah" wasn&#39;t even sporting his trademark guns and ammo bandoliers. I only know the guy from a beat-up old TEEN TITANS I came across as a kid, but he seemed really cool to me at the time, probably 90% for his visual. This was the issue where he and the rest of the Brotherhood of Evil had to team with the Teen Titans to take on...was it H.I.V.E.? I think it might&#39;ve been H.I.V.E., and Mallah and company got to just kick the crap out of the baddies while Robin and his crew went the more genteel sock-to-the-chin route. I think Madame Rouge got cacked in the issue, though. Here&#39;s my related question: is Mallah still supposed to be in pseudo-gay love with The Brain as per Morrison&#39;s trippy DOOM PATROL run? I seem to recall it being referenced in a JSA or some other Geoff Johns comic, and was a little surprised it had made it to DC&#39;s mainstream. Can Morrison&#39;s Sex Men be far behind? ***** As for the Parademon with the personality, truth is truly stranger than fiction! Behold: http://tinyurl.com/b6dpf And no, Gail&#39;s not off the hook just because there&#39;s an explanation for the Parademon. It&#39;s obviously obscure as hell and it was a big goof to&#39;ve failed to explain it. Even a single throwaway line could&#39;ve done it. Where&#39;re the editors for these kinds of things and the Monsieur Mallah kinds of things? Regarding Lex: I think they&#39;re going more for "metrosexual" than gay, but Gail does tend to bring to her male characters some of the eye candy traditionally associated with the ladies o&#39; comics. I mean, Catman is clearly the new hunk du jour. And really, to balance out Power Girl&#39;s mammaries alone, you&#39;ve got to cut Gail some slack.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 4:55 a.m. CST

    Re: FELL

    by Dave_F

    I&#39;ll probably give this a read sometime soon, but in regards to its apparently Sherlockian lead...didn&#39;t Ellis just do a Sherlock Holmes riff in that one Apparat title? Was it FRANK IRONWINE? I think that&#39;s the one. Is the Holmes archetype just a favorite of his or what?

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 4:57 a.m. CST

    Turn left at the junction please Mike.

    by Brit Pop

    Hopefully all parademons can talk - or else how would they pass the theory part of the rocket cruiser driving test?

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 5:04 a.m. CST

    Re: "Comics Aren&#39;t Just For Kids Anymore!"

    by Dave_F

    See, the DC slogan I want to return is another from the &#39;80s: "The new DC - there&#39;s no stopping us now!" And I think it should be accompanied by images of Sue Dibney&#39;s rape, Spoiler&#39;s torture, Blue Beetle&#39;s execution, Leslie Thompkins&#39; betrayal, and oh, what the hell, the murder-by-hanging of Black Lightning&#39;s niece (editors take note: misogyny&#39;s pulling in BIG numbers these days!). "No stopping us now" indeed.

  • Interesting. A good chunk of why I was so down with Ellis&#39;s Apparat was the insightful text pieces on pulp fiction that accompanied each story. Seems Ellis has found a mixture of sequential material and a prose addendum that clicks quite nicely.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 5:22 a.m. CST

    Wait, you actually *hate* Jessica Drew?

    by Dave_F

    Isn&#39;t *hate* a bit of a strong word? I mean, what&#39;d she ever do to you except have the misfortune to&#39;ve been passed through the hands of too many numbnuts writers who couldn&#39;t figure out what to do with her? I say reserve the hate for a Fantomex or a Geldoff or, I dunno, that one dude in the Metal Men who stutters. Ah, but I kid - the Metal Men are cool as hell and they need a cheap black-and-white reprinting in DC SHOWCASE, stat! Anyone ever read the Walt Simonson issues of METAL MEN? I only know &#39;em on account of that very sweet ART OF WALT SIMONSON trade from the late 80s or early 90s. Manic goodness from beginning to end, especially when the team fought their evil counterparts, one of which was composed of that cruelest of all metals...Tungsten! Take a peek: http://tinyurl.com/8lpxg Now What were we talking about again? Oh, right: Spider-Woman should team up with the Metal Men. Most definitely.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 7:32 a.m. CST

    FELL

    by blackthought

    sounds pretty cool, haven&#39;t had a chance to read...but i&#39;m torn though...as much as i like new material from ellis i just wish he&#39;d bang out tons of planetary instead cuz i need my elijah snow.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 7:38 a.m. CST

    Thalya, I am totally not dateable...

    by Shigeru

    But that&#39;s only cause I am getting married in 3 days. HOLY SHIT what am I doing posting on here I got tons of crap to do! Wish me luck, @$$&#39;s and Cog&#39;s, I will be MIA for a week or so!

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 8:25 a.m. CST

    I thumbed through "All Star Batman & Robin" #2 yesterday.

    by rev_skarekroe

    It was amusing to see internal self-doubt in Batman - and Robin giving him lip was funny as well. I may end up picking up the trade after all.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 9:08 a.m. CST

    "I&#39;m off to my local BO smelling comic book store"

    by ZombieSolutions

    and this, my friends, is precisely why comic books remain a villified and often-mocked fringe phenomenon. THE PEOPLE WHO RUN THE STORES DON"T BATHE. clearly comics and the genre tropes they champion are extremely popular now -- SPIDERMAN, BATMAN, etal films are pretty much guaranteed blockbusters. HOWEVER, after the movie ends, and the happy couple is strolling down the local street thinking, "hey, here&#39;s a lark, why don&#39;t we go check that comic book store? we really liked that movie with the high flying action and deeply felt human pathos! lets see what the print version looks like." then the hapless couple enter the store and are assailed by THE STENCH. holding their noses, they try to find something interesting. but the organization, it&#39;s like a goddamn maze! so, giving up hope, they ask the store owner who, covered in hoagie bits from 3 days ago, snorts dismissively at their lack of byzantine knowledge of the latest crossovr superwar that&#39;s going to "change the face of comics forever." and so, the couple, crestfallen, head back into the street secure in the stereotype of comic books as something reserved for smelly, obese, inexplicably condescending, middle aged virgins covered in crusty pizza goo left over from the Magic The Gather tournament 3 or 4 weeks ago. in short, comci book stores of the world -- 1. bathe at least once a day. 2. make the stores inviting and welcoming for outsiders -- that&#39;s how you get customers. 3. did i mention bathing? 4. follow the Borders model in terms of like a little coffee shop or something; make it so it&#39;s a place that&#39;s pleasent and welcoming to be in for "normals." next you know, holy shit! i can actually pay my rent this month!. you&#39;re welcome.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Very droll Zombie, but not truthful

    by cookylamoo

    There are plenty of well run, well organized comic stores in the US. Midtown Comics in Manhattan, Golden Apple Comics in LA, Great Escape in Louisville to name three. I think you spend too much time watching The Simpsons.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 9:42 a.m. CST

    fell&#39;s textpiece and the serenity trailer

    by sideshowbob

    Fell&#39;s textpiece is not actually a bit of fiction in this issue. It&#39;s Ellis pretty much talking candidly about the idea behind Fell, the true life inspiration for the first story, working with Templesmith (who I never liked but is so on in this issue), and the industry in general. I like warm Ellis much better than cold Ellis, but I suspect to stay vital as a writer in this industry you need to be a bit of both. *** The Serenity trailer just looks fairly derivative to the uninitiated. I respect Whedon enough to know it&#39;ll likely be quality, but I&#39;ve been in theaters full of people who have openly laughed at the trailer (and not in a good way). Then again, I remember people openly laughing at the Matrix trailer too. I don&#39;t really feel that the marketing stradegy has been good...by showing the film to so many die-hard fans already they&#39;re kind of solidifying the "in-crowd" aspect of the film. Which is fine if you&#39;re Star Trek or X-Files, but for a show that was canned after a dozen or so episodes, it&#39;s a risky venture. *** I&#39;m getting Firefly disc one on Saturday, but I&#39;m going to an Al Green concert that night so I won&#39;t watch it until next week. Basically, I just wanted to say I&#39;m going to an Al Green concert.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Actually it is pretty truthful.

    by Shigeru

    Take your average run of the mill, NON-BIG CITY comic shop and what zombie described pretty much fits the bill. Extremely successful comic book stores like Midtown Comics are few and far between. In your rural environment, most comic stores and struggling to get by, are poorly laid out due to the massive flood of product and inhabited by social deviants of some sort. Not to say that I don&#39;t love my poorly laid out local store run by a kinda weird dude! And for the record, my local GameStop has like 10x the amount of B.O. that the comic shop has.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 9:53 a.m. CST

    The comic shop I go to is well lit, clean, well stocked, and has

    by rev_skarekroe

    Meanwhile, two or three miles down the street is the shop Zombie is describing. I have no idea how that place stays in business. Maybe they&#39;re selling meth on the side.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Congrats Shigeru!

    by The Heathen

    Hey, I found that theater in Maine I&#39;ve been looking for. Check out last weeks tb for my post. Or if your too busy getting married and all go to www.criteriontheater.com *** Zombie, why are you going to a BO shop if you live in a place where you can go to another one w/in a few miles? I HAVE to drive 30 miles to go to my shop. And btw way, my shop as I&#39;ve stated before has nice people running it in a rural town. Last week they were explaining to a kid on his first trip to the shop the difference between anime and manga. They treated this lil (annoying) guy like a normal customer. That&#39;s cool, and besides they cover up any BO w/ incents. Duh. : )

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 10:53 a.m. CST

    In answer to the questions posed in the VU #5 review...

    by Fans United

    The individual with the nazi symbol on his chest may not be Captain Nazi, but the original

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Thalya re: Calculator

    by The Heathen

    to me I think of him as a character like Luthor that can just be in a suit or suspenders, etc. as long as he&#39;s doing what he&#39;s doing ya know? Of course, it&#39;s always cooler when Lex is in his finest suit or purple and green battle armor and when the Calculator has his suspenders, widow peaked hair, and glasses, but I don&#39;t think it&#39;s completely neccessary for the latter in particular.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 11:09 a.m. CST

    I&#39;ve been in stores like the one Zombie described

    by cookylamoo

    But as comic stores have been forced to exapand into (shudder) gaming, action figures and video, they&#39;ve been forced to open up out of the fetid closets they once were. The only smell I&#39;ve gotten is the divine odor of old comic books taken out of plastic. My wife hates this smell, but to me, it is the delicate bouquet of a fine cabernet. What really ruins a comic store for me are a bunch of nerds sitting around loudly playing "Magic, the Gathering" some other role playing nonsense. "My Vorpal Sword has triumphed, vutting through your puny protection spell with 200 extra elf points" God, shoot them now.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Another answer emanating from the VU #5 review...

    by Fans United

    Oh, and "the nameless bald, black lady" seen with the Fearsome Five is actually Jinx. Unlike her pasty-faced, pink-haired, animated counterpart, this Jinx has an appearance befitting her foreign heritage. Hence the dark skin tone and lack of hair.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 12:07 p.m. CST

    The Setup

    by Fantomex

    I&#39;m not (necesarily) defending it. But the guy who picks up a really bad setup issue which is followed by 5 good issues probably isn&#39;t going to loose sleep over the $2.99 he spent. Meanwhile DC has basically submerged its entire product in Crisis. Want to read the Omac miniseries (which is already bloated itself), you need to go read an entirely different comic which isn&#39;t even remotely related. And then the writer apologizes, as if the way it turned out was a complete shock to him! What does that say? Setup issues are poor form, but they aren&#39;t even in the top 10 list of things wrong with comics today.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Card games

    by The Heathen

    Can&#39;t say I ever could get into them. No disrespect to anybody who has, but my shop used to have games every weekend that brought out the backpacks and heavy bo. Fortunately/unfortunately the shop was reduced to half it&#39;s size (still kept all the comics) but got rid of all the tables for the card games. Yesss. And I too love the smell of old comics, plastic bags, cardboard boxes, all mixed w/ the smell of incents. : )

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Okay ENOUGH with the social ignorance and retardedly rampant PC

    by Psynapse

    Dave_F: Stop, just stop. Apparently quite a few of you missed the entire point of Indentity Crisis: That things weren&#39;t so silver back in the silver age. Just because something violent happens to a female in a story does not automatically make it an example of misigyny. In case you haven&#39;t been paying attention bad things happen to women ALL the time. Ignoring that by omission is just as bad as endorsing it without restraint. The reason Sue was the victim was to show just how high the cost of heriosm can be for those even associated with heroes. Furthermore, IC is actually quite socially relevant in that regard. Disregarding comics magic &#39;time-stretching&#39;, we all know that the past events in Ic take place in either the late 70&#39;s or early 80&#39;s. This was a time, when crimes of this sort against women went largely covered up more than anything else. Oh and Thalya? Are you ever going to just accept that boys will be boys and stop with the putting people down because they might enjoy being juvenile from time to time? (You KNOW who I am and you had better know how much I care for ya, despite my year long vanishing act)Oh yeah, one last shot: Say what will about it&#39;s weaknesses, Villains United is HANDS DOWN the most naughty fun book out right now. These are VILLAINS people, they enjoy the suffering of others and are thoroughly twisted. DC is attempting to actually make a relevant social statement with where they&#39;re driving their universe right now. We do not live in a black & white world and never have. The distinction between a hero and an outlaw is actually quite relative. Case in point: A woman in a bikini is a criminal in several countries of the world. Lighten up folks, there&#39;s only 7 more years to the end of the world anyway. (*_^)

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 12:56 p.m. CST

    House of M

    by nemler

    I like House of M. It takes alot of heat around here, but I like it. Sure, it isn&#39;t breaking new ground, but alternate universes are cool so it doesn&#39;t matter. House of M isn&#39;t the first of those stories and it won&#39;t be the last. I just don&#39;t see why it is taking such a beating. No, wait, I do. See, the problem is that Marvel and DC are victims of their own success. The fan base is large (no matter what people say about comic sales) and the fact is that that fan base doesn&#39;t know what they want. They say they want new and earth shattering stories, but when those stories are told the fan base complains that the characters have strayed from who they are supposed to be. And if the company does ho-hum stories that just flow along with the already established history, then fans complain that the stories are unoriginal and that the publishers/writers have no balls. So Marvel and DC can&#39;t win, because comic fans are bitches who whine on and on...and always think they have been short changed out of a good story (which they seem to have all scripted up, if someone would just ask them!). So, now I&#39;ve said it...I called out a mass group as whiners...but I&#39;ve been reading comics for 20 years so I can have my say...

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 1:45 p.m. CST

    my comic shop

    by blackthought

    is pristine, clean, lit fantastically, awesome music in the background and supremely well organized shelfs...i love the place.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 1:47 p.m. CST

    congrats shigeru

    by Darth Kal-El

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 1:49 p.m. CST

    nemler: HoM and IC

    by The Heathen

    Have you been keeping up w/ the big 2? At heart I love them both, but HoM has just been sooo bad. I wanted it to be good and I like Bendis depending on what week it is, but here are my reasons for dislike. A) Yet ANOTHER alternate reality story

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Won&#39;tbies

    by The Heathen

    Jesus, that was creative.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 1:55 p.m. CST

    on the comic shop thing

    by Darth Kal-El

    i can honestly say that i havs seen both examples. its sad that the negative example is always the one that is brought out and then used as the generalization for all comic shops.the place i currently shop is about 5 minutes from my house and is well lit and has a nice selection of books.they also have friendly knowledgeable staff and go out of their way to prominently display books that may appeal to your casual reader just browsing for some of what they just saw on the big screen.it doesnt hurt that the place is right near the local movie theater but for the most part its always a pleasant experience to go there. for the most part. like all places u will have your people which to me i can just call socially inept.for example sometimes theres a guy there who wears a huge backpack and will plant himself in front of the racks and read.ive heard many people say excuse me to try to reach their books and this guy just mumbles without even looking up or moving.people just navigate around him or browse other racks till he moves.and of course your people that dont bathe are fairly common.but all in all a good place to shop

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 1:56 p.m. CST

    comic shop music

    by The Heathen

    Yeah, my shop plays a bit of everything. One day it&#39;s Bob Marley, then William Shatner, the next it&#39;s Death Cab For Cutie, then it&#39;s some other craazzyyy thing I&#39;ve never heard of, then maybe some old Outkast or Biggie. I&#39;m usually entertained by whatever&#39;s playing.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 2:02 p.m. CST

    comic shop location

    by The Heathen

    This is vital. My shop is across from the mall in a college town located in a plaza w/ a small, but decent movie theater. It&#39;s 40 miles from my house and it now costs me $18 for a round trip, but it&#39;s well worth not going to the only other comic shop w/in 100 miles. The other place is only 3-4 miles away, but the guy is old and wierd, has cats on his books, is located in a shitty part of town, and has a horrible selection and a crabby personality to boot.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 2:17 p.m. CST

    i agree its all about location

    by Darth Kal-El

    but the unecesarily condesending attitude described above really knows no borders.i used to shop at a place near the university of new mexico called "Addicted to Comics".now this is in a pretty hip area of town near downtown and all the clubs and students all over the place.this guy that owned the place had such a horrible attitude and was such a cock that me and my friends referred to the place as "A Dickhead Sells Comics". what its better than wontbies

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Good Comic Shoppes vs. Fetid Pits Of Nerd Hell Comic Holes

    by ZombieSolutions

    hey, i&#39;m well aware of the good shoppes. back when i lived in NYC, i loved Jim Hanley&#39;s, Fantastic Planet, and Midtown. but these are in NYC -- the goddamn capital of US comics. they pretty much have to be good. BUT, aside from these glowing examples, most comic shops i have been in are appalling. probably the best one in the Philly area is that one out on the Mainline (for those of you in the Philly area). it&#39;s very "user friendly", laid out well and organized well, no funny smells, and i have noticed more often than not that the owners are very kind to the "newbie" customers. this is the kind of place that will shine if they keep it up. most of THE STENCH places close within a few years, but they keep coming back. even STENCHIER and more repulsive than before (or maybe i&#39;m just old). _____ but, anyhow, imagine a comic shoppe laid out like a Borders store, which is not only clean and well kept, it&#39;s organized well, and is a pleasent place to chat. in addition -- both men and women go there! wow! do you think comics would still get the bad rep they have? i doubt it. _____ anyways, contrast the pitiful state of most comic stores you run across in the US with the glorious palaces you see in Japan and it&#39;s heart breaking. then again, in Japan comics are an accepted and loved medium. here, not so much. i believe that this could change if the frame of reference that surrounds them -- the shoppe -- grabbed the holy grail of the hipness and intelligence that is lying right there beneath the surface. because clearly people love the ideas in comics, they love the stories and the characters, it&#39;s just the places where you can find them are more often than not, absolutely abysmal.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 2:32 p.m. CST

    "The opening minutes of a movie"

    by JonQuixote

    Our resident Peter Proud makes an excellent comment here, though it&#39;s gonna undermine his point. This "set-up" issue is EXACTLY like the opening minutes of a movie, usually the opening five or ten. That&#39;s actually the template these days for five, six issue arcs/trades - Issue #1 is Act #1, or sometimes just the exposition parts of it. But note how movies don&#39;t charge you for those opening ten minutes and then tell you to come back next week. It just isn&#39;t done. The reference to tv pilots doesn&#39;t hold water - I can&#39;t think of a one that only gave me the tour. For a pretty recent and geekily suitable example, take the pilot episode of LOST. And I&#39;m not talking about the in medias res opening, but rather the arc - the Jack Arc (and I believe a charlie Arc in part 2). It&#39;s a good example because the flashback technique makes the structure really easy to identify - there&#39;s an individual story going on in each episode, even though it&#39;s all part of a huge, complex major storyline. But LOST isn&#39;t the only tv show that does it - they all do it, not just the Law & Order type procedurals that you can watch in any order. FRIENDS did it. BUFFY did it. 24 is another excellent example - each episode presents a problem that is solved by the end of the episode (often creating a new problem that furthers the story line). You can summarize each installment in terms of the *action*, in terms of what happened (not just what was shown). In this episode, Jack must break into the Pentagon. By the end of the episode, he&#39;s either in the Pentagon or he&#39;s failed. Of course, maybe the next episode is devoted to him doing whatever he needs to do in the Pentagon and it&#39;s all really just a continuation of the major storyline. But each episode is arc&#39;d all on its own. As opposed to the opening minutes of a movie which are only part of an arc and worthless without the rest. They don&#39;t sell you opening minutes of a movie - it would be stupid. But in comics, bend over kids. *** It&#39;s not six separate stories in a six issue series that we&#39;re looking for. What we&#39;re looking for is six distinct and worthshile arcs, even if they are part of one storyline. A great example (highly recommended) is Dan Slott&#39;s ARKHAM ASYLUM. One story - White Collar Criminal fakes insanity and gets sent to Arkham, and what happens to him there - but each issue advances the storyline while maintaining an independent value. And that&#39;s what you and we deserve - to buy something of independent value. It&#39;s not necessarily fast pace we&#39;re looking for - SUPREME POWER (well, I stopped reading a while ago, at about issue 10 so maybe it changed) was very leisurely. But it is still an example of what I&#39;m talking about. Each issue has independent value and weight. Since, at the comic shop, you&#39;re placing value on each independent issue, it would be nice if the writers, artists, and publishers did as well.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 2:40 p.m. CST

    various responses..

    by Thalya

    First of all, to those who say welcome, thanks! Save for the random smattering of anal sex references this has to easily be the most high-minded of areas on AICN, and that&#39;s saying something. Plus, I really don&#39;t hold ill will and I tend to think comics fans in general, when not being fanboys/girls, are some of the nicest people around. I&#39;ve been hiding around in Buffy/Angel TBs for years already, so I would&#39;ve left by now if I was really that offended. *** Prof C: Catman and Deadshot rule, and Scandal&#39;s getting rather interesting too. *** Shigeru: Good luck, and congrats! *** The Heathen: I agree with you for the most part, though the white workshirt with the cuffs rolled up and the khakis just oozes a particular kind of style, and, well, the half-moon specs and suspenders are just so darn _sexy_, y&#39;know? ***** OMG RON! I thought you fell off the edge of the earth! How are you? And dude, if I accept that boys will be boys I might as well put a bullet through my eyes because I am whisker-close to writing Noah Kuttler fanfic (albeit it would be _good_ fanfic, with minor details like Psycho Pirate getting revenge on Grant Morisson by making him afraid of air and the Titans abandoning a rescue mission and tiptoeing away all embarrassed, Beast Boy going "She skipped Stockholm and went straight to China!", but I digress). That said, VU is the best of the four minis and I have to thank you for educating me to the wonders of the DCU. :D

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 2:41 p.m. CST

    I know the comic shopw Brit pop speaks of....

    by The True Priapic

    ...and it is reknown in Leicester for its upstairs stench of b.o.Trust me,it&#39;s been like that sice...wel..at least the early &#39;90&#39;s.I&#39;m wondering whether its good form to name it??Hmm.....Personally,it&#39;s the fucking lack of attenrion in the shop from the people behind the tills...the amount of times I&#39;ve stood in a queue where no-one is being served(or complaining) while the till kids fuck about with rubber masks and play talk together.I usually put the shit back and walk.I&#39;m afraid its not a very good shop for choice.Theres no back issues,loads of fucking toys,loads of Anne Rice books and their ilk,loads of postcards of dud celebs.I&#39;m afraid Leicester is piss poor....years ago there were others that died a death quickly.....Although,I must admit to not being overly impressed with some London shops.Forbidden Planet is okay but again...fucking obsessed with toys and figures.And why is it that the till kids(if you do get to be served)always try to sell you the shit on offer that is clearly c.r.a.p.??I once went to Forbidden Planet circa &#39;99 when the first toys from Phantom Menace went on sale,my mates and I were still absolutely shit-faced on drink and bong abuse.I agred to buy al the stuff we wanted(all crap,I may add) on the credit card and it was then I saw the fucking BBc filming me with arms full of shit as an anouncer said something like "Hard core fans like the one behind me have been waiting a lifetime...etc" and I just balked...the fuckin&#39; embarrassment...I dumped the stuff and walked with a face like mud while my mates played light saber battles for the BBC.Only when we sobered up we thought "oooooooohhhhhh NNNNNOOOOOOO!!!!!"Luckily they didn&#39;t use us...presumably because we were rubbing our noses in odd ways and had the skunky studo look that shouldn&#39;t be shown on telly....

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 2:48 p.m. CST

    As you know Kal-El there&#39;s a big difference between

    by The Heathen

    Cock and Cog!!! Hey, I actually laughed about "A Dickhead Sells Comics" but wont&#39;bies is still definetly lame. *** Zombie, I&#39;m reminded of a place called "Cup &#39;O Kryptonite" I read about in the letters pages of Walking Dead. This place is a coffee shop that sells comics. Really cool idea I think. A place that&#39;s laid back and has some comfy chairs as well as the latest issue of The Walking Dead. Ahh, zombies and coffee!!!

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Also saw the Serenity movie advert last night....

    by The True Priapic

    ...god,almighty.If ever a film screamed "TV" it was that.The fucking lines in it."I want to deal with this in a gentlemanly fashion.I have no gun." , "GOOD!<bang>" aw,come ON.Fuck oooooorrrfff.Smashing to see special effects have come on since Babylon 5,eh.Good good,whats going on?oh...and just in case the ad didn&#39;t express the Buffy connection.....a litle girl kicking ass!!!...........then again,look at LIon,Witch and Wardrobe advert.....begins with little people and an old curmudgeon on a horse pulled carriage???? "from the BELOVED CLASSIC LITERATURE CLASSIC OF A BELOVED CLASICAL LITERARY CLASSIC THATS BELOVED BY LITERALLY BILLIONS.....OF BILLIONS..."awwwww......FUUUUUUCK OOOOOFFFFFF!!Sorry I&#39;m moaning but one good thing........BRIT POP.......cannonball Run is fre in that oily tabloid the sun this saturday....."cannonball.....CANNNONBALL!!!It aint whatcha dooo its how ya dooo iiiitt....its just a matter of tiiiiiimmeeee,,move it on....from sea ta shining seeeeeeeaaaaa---eeeeeeAAAAAA......CANNONBALLL.....<whhhhheeeeiiiiiiiiiieeee>"

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 2:52 p.m. CST

    "Cup &#39;O Kryptonite...This place is a coffee shop that sells

    by ZombieSolutions

    see? doesn&#39;t that sound cool? where fore art that comics shoppe? i must investigate! to the Snarkmobile! vroooom... caffeine and comics -- a winning combination

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Back in the day, I used to go to a certain comic store

    by cookylamoo

    where the guy would always whip out some dog eared copy of some obscure book like "Treasure Chest". He would then challenge me to a guessing game of "How much to you think this book is worth?" Rather than saying something impolite like, "Who gives a fuck?" or "Nothing, because it looks like you crapped on it" I would guess something like $50. The store owner would then draw himself back with supreme indignation and say $50 BUCKS!!! Are you joking? This comic book is worth TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS!!! So, yeah, there were a lot of these places once, but like the weird tailor shop where they try to sell you porno, most of these guys have been forced out of business by bigger and more customer oriented entrepeneurs.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Good points Thalya

    by The Heathen

    The half-moon specs are pretty cool (snff, Dumbledore) and I agree that Villians United is the all around best of the countdown mini&#39;s. I think the best art is in Rann-Thanagar and I find it hard to believe that I even give a crap about Day of Vengeance

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Dunnn DUNNN DAAAAAA,Captain Chaos to the rescue....

    by The True Priapic

    ..may I mention decent comic shop Nostalgia and comics which was cool in the eighties and now still comic based.I always wondered what itd be like to runa comic shop...I think you&#39;ve got a good idea there with the coffee but may encounter shits buying coffee then reading your entire rack and putting them back.........not that I have ever done that........strangely..and I swear this is true...I&#39;ve seen more &#39;comics&#39;(i.e.comedians) in comic shops than any other celebs!!Although I do wish I had the nerve to go to the Speaced sp.ed DVD signing op at F.Planet a year ago....how cool...

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 3:06 p.m. CST

    ZombieSolutions re: location of Cup &#39;O Kryptonite

    by The Heathen

    Iowa. Yeah, it&#39;s way out there. I found the website. *** www.cupokryptonite.com *** I wish it was designed a little bit cooler, but at least there trying right?

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Thanks Heathen, Darth... and Thalya!

    by Shigeru

    A Cog Smooch with girl parts?? Could it be?!?

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Cooky......

    by The True Priapic

    ...I went in a porno shop in Amsterdam years ago and some of the titles on the shelf made my jaw drop but a girl walked in and went straight to the man at the till and without a word exchanged took a brown paper bag off him with a video box inside,paid cash and walked...........what on god&#39;s fucking earth was ON THAT!It was at that point I thought perhaps I&#39;d leave without buying Blonde Chick Love Black Guys Pearly White CUm Vol.2 and go and read my Furry Freak Brothers comic while getting doped.........

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Shigeru

    by Thalya

    A whodahuh?

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 3:21 p.m. CST

    I went to my drycheaner once to pick up so shirts.

    by cookylamoo

    The old chinese man invites me into the back room where he shows me a extensive collection of GAY PORNO TAPES. "I know. This is what you like" he says with confidence, "I sell you cheap." At least this never happened to me in a comic store.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Hold on Shigeru

    by The Heathen

    we have to see if Ms. Thalya stay&#39;s around All Week first. Only then could we have the first All Week Cog Smooch lady. Stranger things have happened

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 3:28 p.m. CST

    All Week Cog Smooch lady?!

    by Thalya

    *runs away!* (though I have been lurking on these @$$hole TBs for weeks now..)

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Thayla re: All Week Cog Smooch

    by The Heathen

    Started the week before the @$$holes reviewed All Star Batman if I remember correctly. It&#39;s pretty simple: you hang out all week in this comics talkback until the next one arrives, and repeat. We got the name partly due to thinking what mangeled slang Bendis would use next like, "the hell" and "da fug" and we optioned "cog smooch." And sense then the 5 or 6 of us have been known as the All Week Cog Smooches. (i think that&#39;s right. Kal-El, Vale, Shigeru, any other Cog want to fill in any more details?)

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 3:35 p.m. CST

    And for your induction into our awesome little club:

    by Shigeru

    you only have to smooch El Vale&#39;s cog 3 times, eat 4 boisonberries... and then comes the honey monkeys....yes... the monkeys covered in honey..... oh the pain!

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Thalya - sorry about the the spelling of your name

    by The Heathen

    and isn&#39;t Schleppy a honey monkey now Shigeru?

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 3:40 p.m. CST

    SHHH, Heathen!

    by Shigeru

    we don&#39;t want to give it all away now do we!

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Heathen

    by Thalya

    S&#39;ok. Weird thing is alot of people type it like that, like it triggers a minor mental glitch or something. Few, though, notice the error. I may just have to stick around now..

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Fav-O-rite Muse O&#39;mine...

    by Psynapse

    I did in fact fall off the earth my Lady K. The world actually IS flat and if it tilts far enough you do go sliding into the void. There be dragons unseen beyond the edge of the world but knowledge aplenty as well. one thing I&#39;ve learned concretely though: True tolerance means tolerating all the things you may not agree with not just telling people they have to be politically correct. That said, in one sentence you made me laugh and think all at the same time reminding me why I love you so much. (And yes, tell the kids the bad dad is on his way back.)

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Stinky Comic shops

    by nemler

    I used to run a stinky comic shop...but it wasn&#39;t my fault. There was this Indian restaurant next to us so the smell of curry and lord knows what else used to saturate or place. I got used to it after awhile, but obviously the customers did not. Oh, and one of the other owners kinda stunk, too. I doubt he showered much, so that probably added to overall funkometer. Still, I had fun operating the place, but we were killed by the larger shops and big box stores. I had A LOT of freak customers....so for those that are hoping for comics to gain a different image in the future...GOOD LUCK WITH THAT. Also, a good percentage for the people would come in and go on and on to me about what comics/toys they had...and then they would leave without buying anything. Neat. But, like I said,despite the freaks and the stink, I some how had fun. Working with Marvel wasn&#39;t great though...they really make it hard for the small guy to carry their products.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Darth Jesus: Another graduate of the Carlos Mencia School of Com

    by Voice O. Reason

    "Duh" and "Durrrr"? Apparently "REAL fans" are 4th graders.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 6:05 p.m. CST

    i am not afiliated with darth jesus AT ALL

    by Darth Kal-El

    i can see where youd be confused-Hes the son of God im the last son of krypton.honest mistake it can happen to anyone.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 6:07 p.m. CST

    nice summary of the smooches heathen

    by Darth Kal-El

    seems like u covered everything.oh and thayla the anal sex thing was just out of sheer boredom while the new column went up so dont hold that too much against ust

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 6:41 p.m. CST

    I love Al Green.

    by Dave_F

    Seriously, guy&#39;s easily in my top ten of favorite voices along with cats like Tom Waits and Willie Nelson and Bowie. I&#39;m big into the R&B, funk, and soul of the &#39;70s, a landscape o&#39;er which Green walks as a god. I&#39;ve never seen him in concert, though, which is kind of lame of me. Secretly I&#39;m afraid he might&#39;ve gotten too Jesus-y in recent years. True? Completely false?

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Psynapse

    by Dave_F

    A throw around a loaded word like &#39;misogyny&#39; because DC&#39;s teetered perilously goddamn close to it lately, and the fact that I don&#39;t believe for a second it&#39;s part of some overeaching conspiracy doesn&#39;t make the net result any less egregious. I&#39;ve always liked that Gail Simone kept a level head when she started the whole "Women in Refrigerators" thing, recognizing that much of this stuff was subconscious, but she was right as fucking rain in noting that women tend to go out in nastier ways than men in superhero comics. Guys tend to go down fighting - women tend to be victims, tend to get tortured, tend to get raped. And in the year (maybe a span of two years) that has all the BS with Sue Dibney, Jean "I want my MAN!" Loring, Black Lightning&#39;s niece, Zatanna the pawn, Leslie Thompkins, and Spoiler, maybe it&#39;s time to fucking take notice. I&#39;m sick of it. So you&#39;re telling me Sue&#39;s rape gets a pass because, what, it broaches a tough subject? Isn&#39;t the audience pretty much entirely 20-year-olds and up these days, and they need a lesson that rape is bad?! And here&#39;s a question: did IC really look at the crime of rape in any meaningful way? Has it provoked meaningful discussions among you and yours, or was it perhaps, just perhaps, a bit of shock-tactic badness simply there to make the villainy that much more heinous? Did the story even ONCE attempt to look at the event from Sue&#39;s point of view? No. It was simply a lurid event, devoid of insight. And if it occured to me that DC would entertain even for a moment the idea of perpetrating such a crime on one of its *male* heroes...well, it actually wouldn&#39;t make me any happier, but it would mean I&#39;d be more likely to see the fates of Sue, Spoiler, et al. as mere depravity and not depravity with misogynistic overtones. And folks wonder why manga is steamrolling comics when it comes to bringing in women...

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 7:27 p.m. CST

    All-Star Batman and Robin #2

    by Joey P. Brenner

    made batman look like an idiot and a psychopath. And kinda like a creepy pedophile too. And, most importantly, why did batman go from being clean-shaven to having, like, 2 days growth of beard from one issue to the next?

  • My favorite line from Miller&#39;s Batman was, "Are you retarded or something?" A brilliant new low for Miller, who&#39;s now officially been categorized in the same place as Chris Claremont for me: infinite respect for his past, little to no interest in his future.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 7:43 p.m. CST

    i still cant see that cover

    by Darth Kal-El

    without thinking of vale saying he has his cock out off panel and just laughing. i swear i passed the joke on to everyone i know! gracias vale

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 7:47 p.m. CST

    "then again, in Japan comics are an accepted and loved medium."

    by Dave_F

    Just for a little contextual balance: yes comics are accepted in Japan, but that doesn&#39;t mean they&#39;re completely free of stigma. Our word "fanboy" is pretty much their word "otaku", which carries similarly negative connotations.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 7:58 p.m. CST

    "Noah Kuttler fanfic"

    by Dave_F

    This is such a bizarre phrase for me to see, &#39;cause, well, I know the *real* Noah Kuttler. He&#39;s a nice guy who used to go to the same comic shop as me, and he just happens to be pals with Brad Meltzer and some other industry types. I guess Meltzer ended up using his name for The Calculator in IDENTITY CRISIS (was the Calc&#39;s original name dropped or what?), and now it&#39;s just this weird-ass insta-disconnect whenever I see it in print. One of the arch-villains of the DCU is...the dude at my comic shop?! And folks are writing fanfic about him?!! So, yeah: funky.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 8:34 p.m. CST

    Yeah, but Psy..

    by Thalya

    I wasn&#39;t going for political correctness so much as being honest. For one such as myself who right now considers the fanboy type of guy as comprising the majority of her dating pool, if they&#39;re in any way representative of the general population I just wanna go hang my head and hide myself away. Why do you think I&#39;ve got a crush on a comic book character who&#39;s closer to twice my age than my own (and if you&#39;re doing fanfic about comic book characters, do you write as if it were a comic script or just straight prose?)? As for the kids, if you mean the Senior Partners, well, I haven&#39;t been to the White Room in about 9 months, so I probably couldn&#39;t deliver the message..

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 8:53 p.m. CST

    Manga not free of stigma?

    by sideshowbob

    You could get lost in the porno sections of manga stores in Tokyo. But yeah, those stores still pretty much put ours to shame.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 8:57 p.m. CST

    What&#39;s a cog smooch?

    by sideshowbob

    And why don&#39;t I want to know? And why is everyone acting weird since a girl is here? And why are people defensive about comics being misogynistic? Jesus, American comics and misogyny pretty much go hand in hand, with few exceptions. It&#39;s just that now it&#39;s harder to shock. DC has been so misogynstic lately I&#39;m surprised they haven&#39;t announced the JMS exclusive contract yet.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 8:58 p.m. CST

    Al Green

    by sideshowbob

    Second only to Sam Cooke for (male) singers for me. He&#39;s been a Reverend for ages now, but he&#39;ll bust out all the old hits in concert and knock them out of the park.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 9:04 p.m. CST

    *eyes bug out*

    by Thalya

    Dave_F, he wouldn&#39;t happen to be single, would he? </crush> And yeah, I noticed that Meltzer likes the name alot. He also used it in a Jack & Bobby script and some wires must&#39;ve gotten crossed because Judd Winnick used the name for a S.T.A.R. Labs employee in the same Green Arrow issue that had Ollie fighting an in-costume Calculator for a panel.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 11:18 p.m. CST

    otaku / thalya / cog smooch ??

    by Gus Nukem

    Otaku means residence (when referring to someone else&#39;s house). Otaku refers to a fanboy, in the sense that he&#39;s obsessed with sth. that makes him stay inside his home all day, like reading manga or watching anime --> "which carries similarly negative connotations". **** "Why do you think I&#39;ve got a crush on a comic book character who&#39;s closer to twice my age than my own?" -- And who would that be ? **** cog smooch: Can someone give us the etymology of this phrase? And what does it mean, again?

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 11:37 p.m. CST

    "Our word "fanboy" is pretty much their word "otaku", which carr

    by ZombieSolutions

    sure, but that only goes for obsessive fans whose lives revolve around manga/anime to the exclusion of healthy social interaction and grooming. this, however, is a relatively small number of people compared to the masses of people who read comics everyday. i mean, shit, when i was commuting to work, at least half the people on the train were reading comics. the newsstands were crammed with comics. and the comic book stores were crammed with people -- both men and women! browsing, reading, and buying thousands and thousands of comics. i&#39;m serious, it&#39;s almost the direct opposite of the US in terms of their popularity / cultural acceptance. of course, people who live solely for manga are ridiculed, but just about everyone i met read comics on a daily basis -- like reading the newspaper, or reading novels. it&#39;s a completely integrated, accepted and loved medium there.

  • Sept. 15, 2005, 11:51 p.m. CST

    "Manga not free of stigma?"

    by ZombieSolutions

    right, right, of course the hentai material is stigmatized, but that stigma is analgous to the stigmatization that regular porn has here, right? it&#39;s not like guys who buy porn in the US and are like, "hey honey, im home! i got the latest edition of Anal Tearing Teen Screamers Choking On Cum vol 892! Wanna watch it with me?" so that stigma is a universal. (yet, curiously, it&#39;s the worlds most lucrative form of entertainment... hmmm...). oh, but then theres the whole doujinishi thing there were fans draw their favorite characters in various sexual excapades and self publish their work. and do you know what the most popular expression of that dubious artform is? COMICS DRAWN BY TEENAGE GIRLS featuring their favorite guy heros engaged in gay sex. seriously! it&#39;s kinda hilarious and disturbing at the same time... and the market for all this material is HUGE in Japan. from the good stuff, to the distrubing hentai stuff; it pretty much all sells.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 12:21 a.m. CST

    let&#39;s see

    by blackthought

    you have your forfathers of lastings...a one gus nukem and i...then you have the apprentice in vale...then the few and the proud posted through the week until a new TB went up...those would be me, vale, darth kal-el, heathen, gus when his comp is operable...and the origin of the name ou can refer to heathen&#39;s previous statement for it seems apt. anyway, i thought VU was fun and i love catman...not as much as i love crack though, it&#39;s just in my ppl&#39;s blood. thayla we are not always degenerate with our sexual talky talk...that&#39;s only about 96.4 percent of the time...the rest is filled with comic book glory and the occasional f*cked up weeks that darth goes through due to evil woman...how you holding up buddy? and who do i have to talk to to get a planetary movie/mini-series...or heaven forbid...actually comis...where are you mr. ellis? please heed my call. and this manga stuff...when will bendis decompress that? jk...or am i? ugh, just had a terrible vision...bendis...manga...HOM...put it all together...magical girl bishonen x-men tie-in&#39;s...anyone read that thor comic...i forgets the name...sighs...too much school.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 1:09 a.m. CST

    I&#39;m so ronery

    by El Vale

    Various thoughts: *I saw the Serenity trailer...thought it was crap. And there was this line that made me think the whole thing might be overwritten...guy says "How bad is it?" other guy says "Oh god oh god we&#39;re gonna die?". Oooo clever back and forth between characters! *My thoughts on misogyny in superhero comics: Creepy guy destroying the entire three state area with one fart...super villain. Creepy guy raping and murdering a woman...why am i reading this? *Darth, don&#39;t thank me, thank Frank Miller. Still, happy to be of service. :D *Cog smooch is the expression for "fanboy" in spanish.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 1:27 a.m. CST

    Set Ups Are For Writers Who Can&#39;t Write & Fans Without Criti

    by Buzz Maverik

    The apologist fan thought is that if set ups are too slow for you, you&#39;re too dumb to appreciate their nuance and pacing and depth. Pretentious bullshit, natch. What you&#39;re getting is workman like drudge created by how-to books and computer programs. Robert McKee&#39;s STORY is bad for storytelling because how to tell a story should be a mystery reserved only for those with the imagination and the gift. The guy who taught me screenwriting always called Syd Field "Syd-fucking-Field" as in, "Maverik, you putz, throw out your Syd Fucking Field. Structure? You bore the shit out of me! Flush your Syd Fucking Field first act, second act with midpoint, third act down the crapper with the rest of the shit. The start of your third act? Make it the end of your first act and then you&#39;ll see some exciting shit! Yeah, my movie might be some B-Grade horror sequel piece of shit, but I got my movie made. Where&#39;s your fucking movie?" And I&#39;d say, "Mom, you know I don&#39;t have a movie." Storytelling comes from heart and balls. They&#39;d better be able to engage me with enough complexity right away because I&#39;m not just dropping on my knees for &#39;em because they&#39;ve published the damned comic. Same thing with a movie. You see THE FANTASTIC FOUR? A modest hit. How embarassing. I&#39;d be prouder of a total flop than a modest hit. How safe. How weak. How precious. Did any of you just really dig the beejeesus outta the FANTASTIC FOUR movie? You would have if Avi had ponied up the million, custom Purdy and the H2 solid with Cuban cigars for old Buzz. Well, and if they&#39;d had a single decent actor besides Chicklis. Why? Because in bad movies, I start watching the audience. In what McfuckingKee or Syd Fucking Field or a screenwriting program would call the 3rd act, we get "FLAME ON" and Johnny Human Torch blazing through the sky. That&#39;s the first time the audience I was in showed any sign of life. That didn&#39;t have to be in the 3rd act. They didn&#39;t need all that endless set up. You put the five of &#39;em in space. Cosmic storm. Doom takes off in one shuttle and our friends struggle to reach another. Both shuttles emerge from the storm crash landing in a field near a US nuclear power plant. As two guys in 1962 knew, the transformations could have happened immediately with Doom drawn to the power plant to absorb its&#39; energy and the Four following to stop him. They drive him off the way Tobey Maguire did Willem Dafoe in their first encounter, there&#39;s witnesses, you got instant heroes. Money shots of the Torch blazing through the Manhattan skyline, Doom fortifying to strike again, etc. If you say budget, you die because Avi could have said, "We did X-MEN and X-2. We&#39;ve done SPIDER-MAN." Didja see THE HULK? Are any of you so slow witted that you couldn&#39;t have followed a 20 minute segment of a scientist getting dosed and turning into a monster? I think it would have been clear enough for me but I&#39;m one of those intellectual types. My brother, outlaw racer Crash Maverik, is the world&#39;s most astute movie critic. He should run a fucking studio. I didn&#39;t see the movie myself but Crash saw THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE. His take: "You sit through endless build up going JUST GET TO THE DEVIL SHIT!" That should be branded on the backs of every comic writers&#39; hands: JUST GET TO THE DEVIL SHIT.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 2:08 a.m. CST

    Hey, Buzz!

    by Dave_F

    Speaking of set-ups, have you seen the preview scans of Grant Morrison&#39;s upcoming ALL-STAR SUPERMAN series? The first page is a special kind of beautiful. Has four panels, eight words, and in that space provides all the set-up you need to get cracking. Check it out: http://tinyurl.com/bgtgu I was talking about it with one&#39;a the guys in the TalkBacks last week, and while I&#39;ve got some reservations about other stuff in that preview, that first page if nothing else deserves a special award. Is there an Eisner for single pages in comics? "Best Moment?"

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 2:11 a.m. CST

    Buzz

    by El Vale

    "The apologist fan thought is that if set ups are too slow for you, you&#39;re too dumb to appreciate their nuance and pacing and depth. Pretentious bullshit, natch." What? Ok so...if i just happen to think a "set up" is well written and i appreciate its nuance and pacing and depth...then i&#39;m an apologist and i&#39;m full of shit? I&#39;m not trying to defend any comic or creator here, but, hypothetically speaking, i like something you consider to be slow and boring, then all of a sudden i&#39;m a pretentious prick? What if i like my build up leading up to the devil shit, if i find said build up fascinating and well written? While it may be true that you hold the formula to make things work the way you want them to work for you, i don&#39;t think it&#39;s wise to believe you know how everything has to work. And trust me, i fucking love te devil shit. I just wonder what would happen if The Exorcist (since i haven&#39;t seen Emily Rose) blew its wad too early, being utterly concerned to cater to people like your brother. Underwhelming setups mean bad writing. I don&#39;t like bad writing. I&#39;m not taking it up the ass if it&#39;s poorly crafted, nor is anyone i know. Suddenly comic book readers are the stupidest people on earth.

  • Perfectly handsome man - no boils, peg legs, vestigial tails or anything - but he&#39;s got no particular resemblance to his comic book namesake. Reminds me of the fact that there&#39;s a real-life "Kitty Pryde" out there - just someone John Byrne knew back in the day.

  • I actually don&#39;t think that&#39;s true, Sideshow. The superhero biz might doll its ladies up with more sexualized visuals than its male characters, but at least since the &#39;70s, I think many creators have been making a concerted effort to write strong female characters. Do the visuals completely undermine that? Maybe, depends on your philosophy. But Claremont certainly wrote strong women -- sometimes to the detriment of his male cast. Byrne remade Invisible Girl into a viable character in the early &#39;80s. Books like LEGION O&#39; SUPERHEROES followed TREK-like ideals for balancing out gender inequality. Now, granted, plenty of times equality in superhero books amounts to "Look, she can stomp supervillain ass just like HE can! And LOOK BETTER doing it!" But in a male-dominated industry, that balance between equality and self-serving fantasy seems relatively benign. Or if not benign...maybe no worse than naive and insular? In any case, I wouldn&#39;t describe most American comics as being actively misogynistc. It&#39;s just a fun thing to do *lately*. You know, same as torture? Gotta love the Abu Ghraib meme, eh?

  • So I&#39;ve read a few books on manga, but just off the top of my head there&#39;s something about the Japanese gayboy phenomenon I can&#39;t recall: are the more explicit outings analagous to hetero porn in their "intent"? That is, are girls creating these gay fantasies to get off on? I know there&#39;s tons of the romance/angst stuff where that&#39;s clearly not the case, but surely the drive to create more explicit material is pretty much the path to self-pleasure, right?

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 3:02 a.m. CST

    im surviving balckthought thanks for asking

    by Darth Kal-El

    there is incredibly interesting coneversation going on all around and i want to comment,i really do!im just exhausted from work and school.today was incredebly busy being that it was the 15th and the last day for people to make their mortgage payments without late fees.will u fuckers pay on time like your suposed to so i can be on the comics message board?!!anyways keep those thoughts fresh ill be back for more later today.oh and vale no seriously that image has been in my head since last week and it keeps making me laugh.maybe im at a short supply of smiles and good thoughts lately. but the idea that this series-i had so much hope for but turned out to be shite-has a second issue were the cover depicts a screaming,bloody(all jammed up)robin while batman has his cock out off panel has kept me in high spirits all week long.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 3:05 a.m. CST

    hasta ma

    by Darth Kal-El

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 3:18 a.m. CST

    Darth, in the tradition of that Batman cover...

    by Dave_F

    Who can forget *this* all-time classic? http://tinyurl.com/9h2aw

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 8:21 a.m. CST

    HULK LIKE SPIDER-POOPER!!

    by Shigeru

    and Dave, as I recall, most yaori (i believe that&#39;s the right term... man on man japanese fan comics) is just lotsa cuddling and blushing and barely touching, no real explicit, so I doubt it&#39;s for um...self-pleasure. Not that I would read said comics.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 8:46 a.m. CST

    "That is, are girls creating these gay fantasies to get off on?"

    by ZombieSolutions

    yes, but not necessarily in the way you think. it seems like it&#39;s more about making the boys softer and prettier than explicitly about sex, even though the doujinishi stuff typically did feature explicit sex as well as the kissing and such. like the "geting off" element is there, but i think it&#39;s less about having orgasms, then it is emotional mastubation for swooning puposes. you know what i mean? for instance: the hentai stuff is usually various takes on misogynost rape fantasies for men, and is very hardcore. the doujinishi stuff seems more like a harder version CLAMP stuff -- like the boys are pretty and they look into each others eyes and kiss and make love. it&#39;s still explicit, but not as *mean* and violent as the hentai stuff. the girls who read them do masturbate to it as well (like guys masturbate to hetero-idealized "lesbian" porn), but i think it&#39;s more about the sweeping romance, the "kawaii" and the giggles than the frigging. althought it serves both purposes, i think it&#39;s more meant as kind of emotional masturbation than physical masturbation.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 9:13 a.m. CST

    women in comics

    by sideshowbob

    Yeah, much of the "Strong Women" is actually what you said, Dave. Women who look good standng over a defeated villain with their costume giving them a wedgie. And as good as Claremont was with his women, there&#39;s also plenty of stuff to point to, which could have been rape fantasies abstract enough to titilate the reader as opposed to repulse him: the Brood, Mastermind taking over Jean, the White Queen possessing Storm then getting down and dirty, the Shadow King possessing Karma then making all the New Mutants (and Storm) her sex slaves, that egg-shaped dude making Storm into a child and then the Shadow King chasing her around for purposes I&#39;m unsure of. In conclusion, Claremont loved messing with Storm, his strongest woman. Of course he also gave her a lesbian affair with a Japanese woman that resulted in her getting a mohawk and leather getup (hey, you read it your way and I&#39;ll read it mine).

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 9:14 a.m. CST

    blackthought has said it all

    by Gus Nukem

    not much else to say, but LAS...VEGAS

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Pacing and setup

    by sideshowbob

    I&#39;m 100 pages into the new Harry Potter book right now, nothing has happened, and I&#39;m about ready to strangle that whining little twat...and yet fans are bitching about House of M while throwing laurels at JK Rowling.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Gus Nukem

    by Thalya

    To answer your question, I want Noah Kuttler/Calculator to be my sugar daddy.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 9:46 a.m. CST

    "And I&#39;d say, "Mom, you know I don&#39;t have a movie." / JU

    by ZombieSolutions

    ah Buzz, that&#39;s the funniest thing i read in days. where you been? _____ btw, i&#39;m one of teh few people on earth who acutally liked the HULK, but you are dead on right -- JUST GET TO THE DEVIL SHIT. that&#39;s what killed the POINT PLEASENT show too. if it was sexy, blonde, wideeyed devil girl goes on apocalyptic rampage from day one, it would have been a hit. that&#39;s all i wanted to see -- demon chick tearing shit up. and what did we get? the fucking OC. and we never got to see mass devilgirl destruction, blood in the streets, howls of the damned. hence, CANCELED. Marti Noxon should be hanged (by proxy) for killing BUFFY and blowing her second chance.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Why do I get the feeling some of you guys don&#39;t appreciate f

    by rev_skarekroe

    "Wouldn&#39;t it be easier to just get straight to the fucking?"

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 10:04 a.m. CST

    hey I&#39;m all about the foreplay.

    by Shigeru

    How much more effective is the ACTION in any given story if you know what the characters motivation, emotions and thoughts are going into said action. Sure Return of the King could have started straight off with Pelenor Fields, but that would have blown compared to where it was placed (LATE in the film). By the time you see those horses line up and prepare to charge, you KNOW what this battle means to each and every one of them. You feel the gravity of the situation and empathize with the characters. Why? All cause of "set up". You guys reviling "set up" are really just pissed at BAD or POORLY WRITTEN set up. Great set up draws you in as much as the action. Oh and for the record, fuck McKee and Syd Field.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Why do I get the feeling you don&#39;t know much about foreplay?

    by JonQuixote

    Ah, foreplay. The nice thing about it is that you can have what we call "foreplay" without sex, foreplay all by itself, and it&#39;s awesome. And you can have sex without foreplay. And it&#39;s usually better. And it&#39;s not that you can&#39;t have foreplay THEN sex, it&#39;s when you ALWAYS have foreplay, the same foreplay followed by SEX then it&#39;s mechanical and dull - okay, three minutes on the titty massage, two over the clothes one under, necking for a good five, heavy petting lube seems good, maybe some oral...yeah, I&#39;d usually rather just jerk off. The analogy slides over nicely - okay we&#39;ve got 22 pages to give you the premise and the first plot point, then we&#39;re gonna explore something else, issue three maybe a quick action scene set up some conflict, work on internal conflic in issue four, we&#39;ll climax in issue five and then issue six the cuddly denouement. Sex, like writing, should be explosive and impulsive, not mechanical and safe.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 11:06 a.m. CST

    "Great set up draws you in as much as the action"

    by JonQuixote

    Great set-up only happens to set up - it does so while doing other important things. Thus you don&#39;t primarily refer to it as "set-up". Thus we don&#39;t have to distinguish between "bad set-up" and "good set-up", but rather good and bad storytelling which is what we&#39;re doing. And again, a scene in a movie or book can be subordinate to another scene, be it twenty seconds or twenty minutes, twenty sentences or twenty pages later. I mean...d&#39;uh. We&#39;re not talking about Sergio Leone, we&#39;re not talking about a hero&#39;s journey where oh no hopelessness hopelessness hopelessness to give the BUT WAIT moment some heft. We&#39;re talking about buying a ticket to see THE MATRIX, getting Lawrence Fishburne explaining the Matrix and the Prophecy to Keanu...and then cue credits and come back next month with your money &#39;cause we promise you that that&#39;s when there&#39;s gonna be some good stuff (or possibly the month after that because we also have to set up a romance subplot that we didn&#39;t get to).

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 11:08 a.m. CST

    JonQuixote

    by Shigeru

    you have issues

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Foreplay Is Necessary At First, But Once You&#39;re Finished Try

    by ZombieSolutions

    of course, she still has to, cause at that point she&#39;s desperately trying to keep you, while you&#39;re trying to get away from her. wait, what were we talking about again? misogyny in US comics? yep.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 11:10 a.m. CST

    about the sex thing, I mean.

    by Shigeru

    okay really I am going to get married in 2 days i am out

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 11:18 a.m. CST

    "I am going to get married in 2 days"

    by ZombieSolutions

    poor guy. hope you got yer pre-nup!

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 11:21 a.m. CST

    if I were you, I would invest in all kinds of human, thanagarian

    by Gus Nukem

    seeing that they now ... remember. None of us, nor our loved ones is (are?) safe these days.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Sex shouldn&#39;t be mechanical?

    by TempusFugitive

    Someone tell that to the vibrator industry!

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 11:28 a.m. CST

    ...

    by Thalya

    *puts her chin in her hand and just listens..* mmm...

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 11:29 a.m. CST

    oops, I meant Apokolipsian technology

    by Gus Nukem

    but really, this is not the time to get married. A precog friend of mine (I will not reveal his/her name) said that a crisis of some sort is approaching. And the villains I know, seem a bit different - more nasty, you know? The Mrs. would be a bit more endangered - be warned! -- Anyway, I wish you the best.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Married? In 2 days?

    by TempusFugitive

    Well then this must be a REAL fun time right now, with all the festive brou-ha-ha coming to a head, unwanted family members starting to arrive in town, stress building for both of you. (All assuming you&#39;re having a traditional end-of-days wedding.) Hopefully you have good, fun plans for your honeymoon... you&#39;ll need it. The only thing that got me through my wedding ceremony was the promise of a cruise at the end of it, away from all those people.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 11:42 a.m. CST

    /apologizes to Ms. Thalya on behalf of the crass male posters

    by Gus Nukem

    forgive us, Miss. **** Guys, mind your language in the presence of a lady (who might be a mischievous fellow, as -sadly- is the case with all the webpage talkbacks)

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Actually...

    by Thalya

    I was kinda wondering if JonQuixote could go into more detail..like Blade 2 review type detail..

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 11:55 a.m. CST

    How intelligence can class up a joint:

    by mortsleam

    Instead of saying "I&#39;ll bet Batman has his cock out just outside the frame." Say "I&#39;ll bet Batman has his *Batarang* out just outside the frame." This is why Seinfeld is funnier than Curb Your Enthusiasm. Seinfeld had to write around phrases like "jacking off" and "eating a woman out" and came up with comedic gems like "master of his domain" and "expanding my repertoire", while Curb just tells it like it is and hopes the shock value will overpower the dearth of creativity. In short: what are you guys, twelve? If I had a vagina, I wouldn&#39;t let it within fiddy paces of this place.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 11:57 a.m. CST

    In other news:

    by mortsleam

    Who knew that Scott Lobdell and Joe Madureira knew how to do an alternate reality arc better than Bendis?

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Finalmente

    by mortsleam

    Thank god I had one good comic shop, clean, organized, with cool staffers and a minimum of mouth breathing occasional bathers, back when I still visited comic shops on a weekly basis. Sadly, it went away a few years ago. The one I visit every so often now (when I&#39;m not at, gasp, Borders) is smaller and crampes but gets a lot of foot traffic from teenagers and not so much from middle aged Simpsons characters. But I still miss the old place.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Oh, and Gus...

    by Thalya

    FYI, Psynapse can vouch for me being a girl as he&#39;s seen pics of me following through on the losing end of a Buffy HotPocket bet (which, actually, I still have up online)..

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 12:11 p.m. CST

    The real deal w/Claremont&#39;s women, Sideshow:

    by SleazyG.

    All that stuff with possessions and sex slaves and forced this-and-that wasn&#39;t really "rape fantasy" type stuff. The honest to god truth, and no I&#39;m not kidding here, is that Claremont is big into S&M. He was taking his experiences and fantasies tied to BDSM and translating them into storylines. Hence cute but strong women, ice queens, sex slaves, etc. It&#39;s one of those things that leaked out on teh intarweb a few years back, and if you do the right research you&#39;ll find the same info I did to back it up. I say what a guy does in his free time is nobody&#39;s business but his own...unless he brings it into his work, of course, at which point it&#39;s kinda fair game.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 12:23 p.m. CST

    Shigeru, here&#39;s why your ROTK comparison is off- base.

    by SleazyG.

    ROTK had set-up, a gradual build, then action...ALL IN THE SAME STORY. Did the first two movies "build up" to the Big Rock Ending of the third? Absolutely. But the each also had an individual, coherent arc to them. This is why people like Buzz, JQ and I hate first issues where nothing happens. What many comic book writers today have never learned is that each and every single issue MUST BE just like reading a complete book or watching an episode of a TV show or movie in one way: it must have a beginning, middle and end. It can be part one of three, just like the first "Star Wars" movie, and that&#39;s just fine. If that first movie had just been us meeting Luke, Han and Leia in three different places, gradually building up, lots of blah-dee-blah, and then the movie ended with a giant close-up of the star cruiser that Leia was trapped in, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO SECOND MOVIE. Why? BECAUSE NOTHING HAPPENED. That&#39;s the whole problem: all these wannabe writers have read McKee&#39;s STORY, but the don&#39;t UNDERSTAND it. When McKee describes his three-act structure, it is meant to apply directly to EVERY SINGLE THING YOU EVER WRITE. EVERYTHING. If you take McKee seriously, which Bendis claims to, here&#39;s what you MUST do: write your first issue of a new story and include ALL THREE ACTS. Then write the second issue and do the same, and so on, until all six or 12 or 48 issues are done. You don&#39;t get to do what BMB actually does--three issues for the first act, two for the second act, one for the third--and then act like you were following the three-act structure. Just as every "Star Wars" or LOTR or "Smokey and the Bandit" movie tells a complete story...just as every episode or "Battlestar Galactica" or "Everybody Loves Raymond" or "Walker, Texas Ranger" tells a complete story...SO MUST EVERY ISSUE OF A COMIC BOOK. It can be a small story,a part of a much greater whole which gradually plants the seeds for a much bigger picture, but it must also serve some purpose in and of itself. If it doesn&#39;t, it&#39;s a waste of 22 pages.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Hey, Thalya, about that Hot Pocket thing...

    by SleazyG.

    ...as the guy who started that way back before we even started our column here, I gotta tellya, it warms my heart to hear it stuck for a while. Hell, I think I&#39;ve still got photos somewhere of our very own Vroom Socko wearing Spider Jerusalem shades and eating one for a bet about "BTVS" he lost...

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 12:36 p.m. CST

    thanks for the cover dave-team up indeed

    by Darth Kal-El

    wow i guess i shouldnt have gone to sleep! i pop in here and the discussion is lively as usual!

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 12:37 p.m. CST

    a buffy hotpocket bet?!

    by Darth Kal-El

    i gotta know!

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Lemme Ax You This About Set Ups...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...how often would you actually miss them? One of the most blatant set ups I can recall in recent comics was ULTIMATE NIGHTMARE # 1-2. The art was great but that talent could have been put to better use. There were a moment here, a moment there but essentially it was two issues to go through a door. What did you, as a reader, gain from that? I say, open with them going through the door. Comics can play with time. They don&#39;t have to be sequential. You&#39;re paying for padding. You&#39;re paying for the a box of donut holes and not getting those delicious little balls of lard and sugar but the air in the center of the donut. What flavor is the inside of your Lifesaver? Cut out the first two issues of ULTIMATE NIGHTMARE and Warren, who is not your friend but who will take your money, will actually have to go to work. And if he can&#39;t cut it, I&#39;m sure that many of you can and would willingly step into his place and accept that paycheck. Cut out all that isn&#39;t truly necessary. Anybody read Bendis&#39; superlative masterwork FORTUNE & GLORY. There&#39;s a great segment that illustrates Mr. Bendis&#39; self-deprecating sense of humor perfectly. He writes the screenplay for JINX. He&#39;s a serious professional. He knows his craft. A man of the then-20th century, he&#39;s media savvy, understands the needs of screenwriting. He knows it&#39;s gotta be sparse, lean, to the point. Turns in something like a 240 page script to his producer. That&#39;s a page equalling a minute on screen. He has to go back to work, this time he&#39;s gonna cut it to the bare basics. 175 pages or something. Finally, his producer, a cool and savvy guy helps him get it down to 115 pages. Anybody see the new STAR WARS trilogy? That&#39;s something that the fanboy consensus is against so you are allowed to say bad things about that. Didja see EPISODE 1? Why was there an EPISODE 1? Was there anything in EPISODE 1 that was necessary for EPISODE 3? Lucas himself has admitted to padding. Here&#39;s how Episode 1 should have emerged: that movie didn&#39;t need to exist and in the opening crawl for a better version of ATTACK O&#39; THE CLONES (written by Buzz Maverik for the modest sum of one million dollars, a custom Purdy shotgun and a new H2 packed with Cuban cigars) it would say: "Beseiged by sinister forces, Queen Amidala of Naboo is protected by Jedi apprentice Anakin Skywalker." There&#39;s yer EPISODE 1! The mere fact that we are discussing set ups shows how artificial the creative process has become. But the whole idea of reviews of comic books is part of the artificiality. That&#39;s not John Updike reimagining GIANT SIZE MAN-THANG there. It&#39;s a guy whose work doesn&#39;t need to be analyzed and really doesn&#39;t stand up to the most benign analysis, but the publisher needs to hype it and fans need to convince themselves that what they&#39;re reading really doesn&#39;t have more to do with Jolly Rancher Fire Stix and Slurpees than great works of art. Set ups and pay offs happen all the time in storytelling. But a whole segment that is defined only by being a set up, that exists only to set up is poor, lazy writing. And no, El, comic fans aren&#39;t the stupidest people on Earth. You, yourself, seem quite intelligent, mi amigo loco! But, having been a comic critic for a few years until recently being fired for impregnating everyone else&#39;s girfriends (even the imaginary ones), and having gotten tons of private e-mails from people who share our passion for graphic storytelling, I can tell ya, this li&#39;l hobby of ours isn&#39;t overloaded with geniuses. "You flip flopper! You hated X-MEN # 41 written by Stan&#39;s cousin Morty and drawn by the Marvel receptionist who kept swearing, "But, Mr. Lee, I can&#39;t draw" but you loved THE DARK PHOENIX saga. Guess you jumped on the band wagon, you flip flopping bandwagon jumper." Sorry, but there&#39;s an ocean load of fans who like it because it&#39;s a comic book. If they&#39;d been outta diapers in 1990, they&#39;d fight you if you suggested that Rob Liefeld was God because to them he&#39;d be greater than God. If comic books were fast paced, they&#39;d hate slow paced comics. And no, the opposite isn&#39;t true. End of personal aside to El...This is for others, not El, who is too smart for this argument, but one of the most childish things I see posted here is "You want comics made just for you." Yeah, it&#39;s called thinking. The great thing about thinking is that it is in short supply which is why we get leaders who can&#39;t help disaster victims and who engorge us in wars that only they want with the goal of creating future wars. This is why people follow the reproductive dictates of an institution in which the hierarchy is supposedly forbidden to fuck. You bet I want comics just for me. You should want them just for you, and no, whatever you&#39;re handed isn&#39;t just for you.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 1:06 p.m. CST

    All You Have To Do To Be An Expert On Comics...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...is read a lot of comics and have the capacity to think. While most people in the field clearly have the latter, more and more they don&#39;t have the former. And while a lot of fans have the former, they don&#39;t have the latter...because buying a lot of comics isn&#39;t the same thing.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Thalya is indeed all girl all the time & always has been

    by Psynapse

    Dave_F: We apparently simply see this issue from different sidea dn that&#39;s just the way it&#39;s gonna be. For my part, I am opposed to political correctness of any form simply because my understanding of tolerance is just that, tolerance. Thalya: Expand your dating pool somehow or get used to the odds. I know personally how smart, special, & beautiful (if a bit too critical of others at times :)you truly are but fandom is what fandom is and it aint gonna change anytime soon. Final shot on PC in comics: If you don&#39;t like what you&#39;re reading then make it known in the only way that is actually effective, stop spending your cash on it. That is the only thing that any publisher has ever or will ever take note of from their fans. ( and just occasionally try to recognize that not everyone sees things the way you do. Peace to all, I&#39;m done Cog smooching until the next column. (*_^)

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 1:28 p.m. CST

    "If building character, conflict, and suspense is too much to ta

    by JonQuixote

    My reincarnated friend, the problem is that you seem to have no idea that you don&#39;t need your hand held and be walked through the motions in order to get these things. That they don&#39;t necessarily take issues and issues worth of time and explanation. That&#39;s such a limp argument anyway "D&#39;uh, you just don like the smart stuff". If that was my position - that dammit I want wham bam shallow action - I&#39;d just buy issue #5 of every Bendis penned arc and be as happy as an oft-banned troll with an isp masker on a message board. Now if you&#39;ll excuse me, since I&#39;m on the internet anyways...I think I will go jerk off. You&#39;d be amazed at the time you have to kill online when you&#39;re not coming up with new identities here.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Cog Smooching Buffy HotPockets

    by TempusFugitive

    What more need be said?

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Geez, even I remember Ye Olde Hotpockets bets

    by Dave_F

    I had to eventually bail on the BUFFY TalkBacks because I no like&#39;a the spoilers, but there was some fun stuff there when the show was peaking and everyone just had to know: what&#39;s next?

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Zombie

    by Dave_F

    Your manga observations have the ring of truth.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 2:29 p.m. CST

    "JUST GET TO THE DEVIL SHIT!"

    by Dave_F

    I gotta say, that would make a delightful t-shirt for devotees of the approach. It&#39;s hip, it&#39;s profane, and it&#39;s esoteric enough that folks would be compelled to ask: "Wha-huh?" In short, I like it.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Even Starting To Talk About The STAR WARS Prequels Makes My Head

    by ZombieSolutions

    and yet i am compelled. 1) TPM, as pretty as it was visually, was an unmititgated disaster. not because it was "light" (all of Star Wars is meant "for kids of all ages") but becuse it had NO BEARING ON THE MAIN STORY WHATSOEVER. it may as well have been a completely separate film from the STAR WARS universe. in short: a totally uneccessary movie from start to finish. note to Lucas (who is no doubt off making his "art films" now) -- just because you own your own production company doesn&#39;t give you the right to start shooting a film when you only have a rough first draft of the script. also, lay off the cough syrup! 2) AOTC was marginally better, but only because it had maybe 10-15 minutes worth of story that connected to the original movies -- mostly information which could have been condensed into the opening crawl of ROTS, basically. 3) ROTS was pretty much dead-on target, and i loved it, but even that 11th hour franchise-saver had padding. for example -- wookiee planet? chewbacca and yoda were friends? uh... why? (we all know why, but... why?) ____ i think the prequels are pretty much the ultimate example of TOO MUCH SET UP. even worse, it was REALLY BAD TOO MUCH SET UP. i mean, did the clones have to be all Boba Fett&#39;s dad? i mean, seriously. did Boba fett even have to come into it at all? no! he was side character. oh man, i better stop before i have to take my medicine. otherwise i&#39;m gonna wind up blowing up things with my mind like last time.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 2:51 p.m. CST

    "that would make a delightful t-shirt for devotees of the approa

    by ZombieSolutions

    i gotta agree. i think it crosses over into all kinds of stuff too, not just as a critique of poor (or just needlessly drawn out) writing. basically anytime your feeling impatient and ansty -- "for fucks sake, can we just get to the devil shit?!"

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Change "He Could Use The Midichlorians To Create Life" To "He Co

    by ZombieSolutions

    oh no... i can&#39;t stop... Buzz, why? WHY DID YOU HAVE TO BRING UP STAR WARS?!?!?!?!

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Someone tell me about HITMAN (widout no spoilers)

    by Dave_F

    Been a slow last few weeks for me, comic-wise, so I&#39;ve been re-reading Morrison&#39;s NEW X-MEN and having a lot of fun doing it. Also borrowed a random HITMAN volume from a friend just to see if it clicked for this only-occasional Garth Ennis fan (see GHOST RIDER review above). As it turns out, I&#39;m really enjoying the trade ("Who Dares Wins"). So what I want to know is whether the series maintains its quality enough for me to consider tracking it down. I gather DC started a trade program, then petered out on it, so at least some of the stuff I&#39;d have to land on eBay and whatnot. HITMAN - yay or nay?

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Actually...

    by JonQuixote

    I&#39;m equating your need to have everything laid out for you Sesame Street style with being led down the garden path. And I wouldn&#39;t have you banned - you&#39;re too much fun and *way* too good for the ego. You just come back again anyway, because you&#39;re one of *those*. Y&#39;know what I&#39;m talking about - the sort of guy who fancies himself a rebel and a crusader, in much the same way he fancies the mechanically rote crap he reads and defends to be essential to complex literature. It needs suspense, it&#39;s needs build up you keep crying, oblivous to the fact that we&#39;re talking about failures of structure that don&#39;t preclude any of those things. That&#39;s the nice thing about this side of the debate - all I have to do is throw out something like SLEEPER #1 to prove my point and expose yours for the shallow understanding that it is. Why? Because SLEEPER, and many other *effective* first issues somehow manage to do everything you whine about...AND MORE (everything I&#39;m talking about). Wow. That&#39;s the difference between you and me, SeeThroughTalkCheap. You just keep putting up with the same mediocre shit with a &#39;thank you sir may I have another&#39;, where I flip the bird and move on to good stuff. You keep signing up here, showing off your limitations, freak out, get banned, and then repeat. I come by here, laugh at you, take a few shots and then it&#39;s off to TheHun.com for some naked nubiles while you&#39;re firing up GhostSurfr, whimpering about oppression and figuring out how best to next come here and continue your noble defense of mediocrity. Keep up the good work though - I&#39;m off for round 2.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 3:17 p.m. CST

    I can&#39;t believe some of the stuff you read in the talkbacks

    by El Vale

    I mean, maybe i&#39;m reading this wrong, but is someone actually saying Bendis is a wannabe comics writer? I&#39;m sorry but i would have to see your credentials first, to see if you really are qualified to point that out. Mainly, it&#39;s insulting to people who&#39;ve enjoyed Bendis&#39; writing over the years...you know, cause he&#39;s not a real writer. Just a Wannabe. AICN comics is a great place to find honest reviews and good conversation, but i&#39;ve learned over time not to trust the site when it comes to comics where "nothing happened". I think it&#39;s clear there has to be action in a comic in order to make it valuable to the @$$holes, and a comic in which all people do is sit and talk constitutes a failure. But i disagree completely. I&#39;m not saying i&#39;m smarter because i like the slow stuff, i&#39;m not saying i don&#39;t find (good) action entertaining, i&#39;m not pointing out who&#39;s right and who&#39;s wrong. No one is. Our opinions vary. I remember a reviewer mentioning my favorite movie of the year in a review and calling it a "debacle". Ok so he disliked it, that&#39;s perfectly fine...but it also means our tastes are very different and so i may not be able to trust his reviews fully. But calling an accomplished and successful writer a wannabe, just because his writing doesn&#39;t happen to appeal to you...that i find stupid. Another thing that kinda pisses me off is comparing comics to movies. Know what the difference between Average comic book # whatever and The Matrix is? About 100+ pages of screenplay length. Sure, you can do the same thing every sitcom does. A complete story in 30 minutes, a complete story in 22 pages. But it&#39;s been pretty much proven that if you want to tell a large story in comics...the story arc works. It&#39;s worked wonders for some of the most acclaimed comics we&#39;ve seen in the last decade or so. It&#39;s done wonders for the Preachers and the Fables and the Y: the last mans we&#39;ve seen recently. Maybe bad writers can&#39;t make it work in Superman. Maybe it doesn&#39;t translate well to superhero comics. I wouldn&#39;t know. But let&#39;s not pretend we know everything there is to know about storytelling just because we&#39;ve read many a comic in our lives and that Random comic book writer is a hack and a bad writer just because he does things different from what we like. It&#39;s not healthy.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Darth Plagiarism... the shit.

    by Brit Pop

    I watched Sith at the cinema and felt fucking awful when I realised that the film was nearing the end and nothing of any interest or importance had actually happened. You gotta be some kind of director to ruin films you made years ago with new ones. Third part character introductions... Jabba - Good, Grevious - Bad.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Can&#39;t we just get to the devil shit?

    by rev_skarekroe

    We should apply that to other movies, too. "Wicker Man"? What&#39;s with all the singing? Just get to the pagan sacrifice shit! "Wizard of Oz"? Kansas is boring! Just get to the color shit! "Close Encounters"? Just get to the alien shit! etc. etc. Look, sometimes long setups are because the writer is lazy (Ellis&#39; "Ultimate Nightmare") or they&#39;re pacing for the trade ("Ultimate Spider-Man"). But sometimes a slow burn is neccessary to tell the story and is much more effective than just a napalm shot.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 3:32 p.m. CST

    War Of The Worlds...

    by Brit Pop

    .. classic example of the slowburn - few sub-standard setpieces and shedloads of dialogue and emotional turmoil... building up to... THE END CREDITS?!? did I miss something?

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 3:38 p.m. CST

    slow burn

    by Darth Kal-El

    i always prefer the slow burn approach IF the payoff is worth it. if the payoff is mediocre or worse then the slow burn preceding it becomes garbage in my mind. an example of this for me was The Village. Those are 2 hours and 9.50 M. Night owes me back.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 3:39 p.m. CST

    Same thing with &#39;Sighns&#39;

    by Brit Pop

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Well that was weird.

    by JonQuixote

    I hate it when the cat walks in and starts watching you. Anyway. *** "and a comic in which all people do is sit and talk constitutes a failure". As a retired @$$hole, I would disagree with that, and after reading your other examples I would say that you&#39;re not really grasping what we&#39;re saying. Maybe that&#39;s my/our fault. See I love stuff like PREACHER and Y THE LAST MAN. But yeah, the difference between the MATRIX and the average comic *is* the medium. And if the medium is 22 page stories, you have to tell them in 22 page stories. And you can still tell big stories - just structure them in 22 page episodes. JUST LIKE PREACHER DID. Or Y THE LAST MAN (mostly, it can get a little muddled in the middle of the arcs). Or SLEEPER. Or SUPREME POWER. Or WATCHMEN. Or BORN AGAIN. Want a sit-com example? I shudder to mention it but FRIENDS did the trick. Soap Opera. Big story lines. Told in 22 minute episodes. They didn&#39;t script a two hour Ross & Rachel movie and just snap it into six parts. *** See, we&#39;ve found common ground here El Vale. We recognize that comics and movies are *different*. Therefore the demands of the medium dictate that the stories be told (structured) in different ways. You can&#39;t take the first act of a movie or a chapter in a novel and call it a comic - that&#39;s bad writing. If you don&#39;t understand your medium, it&#39;s bad writing. When Stephen King decided to tell GREEN MILE serially, he didn&#39;t just write the GREEN MILE and bust it up into parts. Each part was a SERIAL STORY. Distinct and independant. The first wasn&#39;t just introducing the guards and having John Coffey show up and then maybe he does something weird by way of an artificial cliffhanger. It had a beginning, middle, and end. Problem - conflict - resolution. And you can still end with plenty of conflicts engaged, problems yet to be resolved - you just structure your story around one that is. It makes each installment important all on its very own. And that&#39;s what you should be demanding.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 3:54 p.m. CST

    buy the trade

    by Fantomex

    if you really hate paying for that setup issue so much, just buy the trade, then you can pay for the whole thing at once!!! While this is no different than just buying the issues, you&#39;ll feel better about yourself (I guess). Comicbooks aren&#39;t regulated to sitcoms or even hourlong dramas. The setup issue is here to stay and the medium is better for it. You can still have your big breasted 22 page fight scenes, bendis can&#39;t write everything. Really, I hate to defend trade pacing. It drives me NUTS when an amazing story that is clearly worthy of 4 issues gets stretched to 6 because the trade is already being planned (*cough* astonishing x-men *cough*). And other times I wish we could just skip the issues and go straight to the graphic novel, but the industry can&#39;t support that yet. So we&#39;re stuck in a state of limbo. I&#39;m not trying to get down on single issues, some stories are made for issues, others for the trade. Sometimes its both, and sometimes a series can go back and forth (100 bullets). The fact that you can&#39;t deny is we&#39;re better off than we were 5 or 10 years ago, and the trades are a big part of that.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 3:58 p.m. CST

    Bug&#39;s right about Hulk!

    by captaincosmos

    Dude, I was so psyched when David came back, and the artist on that initial Tempest story was perfect! I won&#39;t be picking it back up until this House of Hohum shite has run its pathetic course.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Brit Pop and War of the Worlds

    by El Vale

    I&#39;m not gonna tell you that you&#39;re wrong and didn&#39;t get the movie or whatever, cause that&#39;d be stupid, but i couldn&#39;t disagree with you more. Same thing with Signs.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 4:10 p.m. CST

    HITMAN is Ennis&#39; single greatest Big Two accomplishment, Dav

    by SleazyG.

    In fact, it trumps PREACHER, as far as I&#39;m concerned. Thing is, it&#39;s got a lot of what people love from Ennis: over-the-top violence, macho dudes with a sensitive streak, romances doomed to fail, snarky humor, two best buds to the end of the world, a big rock ending, etc. The great thing about the series, though, is that it *wasn&#39;t* Vertigo or MAX. Ennis had certain editorial constraints re: language and theme that forced him to be more creative than he would have been otherwise. I&#39;ll take Dogwelder (a hero who *welds dogs onto his opponents*, for god&#39;s sake!) over a fatassed cardinal or Fuckface any day of the week, and having an oily, smarmy bastard whose utteration of "Bueno!" strike fear in the hears of his enemies was far funnier than the Sex Detectives. It&#39;s also great because it starts out somewhat lighthearted and gradually becomes more and more grim as time passes. How can you not love a comic book with an arc about killing an entire zombified zoo of animals, including baby seals? Or a gun-toting asian nemesis named Ringo? And yet by the end it still delivers on Ennis&#39; patented modern-day macho John Wayne-isms, the ones about having your buddies&#39; backs and protecting women and those who can&#39;t protect themselves. It&#39;s easily the best thing I&#39;ve read by Ennis, and it&#39;s a big part of the reason I still long for the day he finally finishes that creator-owned thing he&#39;s been working on for over a decade. There&#39;s nobody who does "two guys hang out, drink beers, and wish they could be better men" conversations better than Ennis, and HITMAN is loaded with that stuff, too. Check out the first few trades and see what you think, but honestly, I loved that book--and so did Bug. Besides, don&#39;tch wonder why it was the only successful project to spin outta BLOODLINES? God, ANIMA sucked...

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Just Buy The Trade

    by JonQuixote

    Well, that&#39;s the rub, isn&#39;t it? But I like serial storytelling and the trade rarely fulfils that. I come to comics for a reason, y&#39;know? Besides, don&#39;t you find it a lot easier to justify plunking down $4 for a comic book story than $25? *** I reject the notion that we&#39;re better off because of the set-up issue. The issue we&#39;re talking about doesn&#39;t really impact trades, save for the fact that it&#39;s easier for the writer. That&#39;s all. It&#39;s easier to write a single arc&#39;d story than it is to break down the structure yet another level. Episodically arc&#39;d stories - from WATCHMEN to BORN AGAIN to SUPREME POWER to JSA - tpb just as well. &#39;Tis true. We&#39;re better off than we were 10 years ago for different reasons. And we&#39;re not as good as we were 20 years ago. *** By the way, Fantomex,what&#39;s with this: "You can still have your big breasted 22 page fight scenes"? Way to show that you&#39;re not thinking at all about what either you or I are saying. When we&#39;re talking about story structure and episodic value, wouldn&#39;t a 22 page fight scene be (or risk being) just as worthless as the "set-up" issue? Yup, and I&#39;ve said as much earlier. So why are you still playing that card, that silly card that tells me that you can&#39;t even form an argument based on the conversation at hand? That you&#39;re just going to reflexively fall back on your talking points? Am I wasting my time talking to you? Is this conversation as useless as all of SeeThruThis&#39;s posts?

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 4:25 p.m. CST

    Buy the trade AND LOVE IT

    by Fantomex

    I reject the notion that simply pasting together 6 issues is going to give you a good graphic novel. I didn&#39;t find the She Hulk trade a very good read and would have enjoyed it more on a month to month basis. Same goes for the Sale/Loeb Batman works. Reading a huge play by play of what I JUST read comes off as really silly (granted, thats been mostly phased out these days) Doing a 6-ish long arc is not any easier than doing 6 individual issues. I expect a completely different expierence when I fork over that $25. And it isn&#39;t easy, certainly not easier then doing 6 individual issues. In fact if the current state of the industry is any indication, its much much harder. You&#39;re locked into your idea of comics based on what you grew up on. Think of comics as television. The individual issues are like the sitcoms or hour longs. Loosely tied together plot threads with the same characters. And thats good, thats what most good TV is. But we also have tv movies, and we have large tv mini-series. Following that line of thought, imagine if EVERYTHING on tv had to be aired in 30 minute weekly episodes. Might the first 30 minutes of that 6-hour historical mini series be a bit boring? The huge battle doesn&#39;t happen until 90 minutes in after all. And yet, do you honestly think that 6-hour mini was easier to write then your average episode of friends? Of course not. But, like I said, the industry is in a weird place, and every story, regardless of how it should be presented, is broken up into issues. And part of that is our fault, because we buy the issues instead of waiting for the trade. But don&#39;t regulate the media into your very very narrow view of what a comic should and shouldn&#39;t be, or we&#39;ll never see the comic-equilivant of the 6 hours miniseries, and that would be bad bad bad.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Battle Of El-AlaVale.

    by Brit Pop

    I got the movies... I&#39;m not stupid you know. I just don&#39;t like my sci-fi and my drama mixed... just like I don&#39;t like my porn and my non-porn mixed - see 9 Songs, a truly sad venture.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Ennis&#39;s crown achievement is 303 from Avatar

    by Gus Nukem

    fuck the big two, fuck elaborate storytelling (origins, interactions, friendships, *complex human* relationships). He asks for 6 issues to tell a limited time spanning (my english fails me, sorry) story and he lets &#39;er rip. Those who &#39;ve seen even a glimmer of brilliance in Ennis&#39;s stories, I whole-heartedly recommend it to you (again). Excellent art by Jacen Burrows. #5 of 6 just came out. Guys, check it out. **** And this comes from a cheeseburger connoisseur. /winks

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Trades good for industry

    by Fantomex

    How can you possible say that trades aren&#39;t incredibly good for the industry. Do you think Vertigo could do half of the stuff they do if there wasn&#39;t a solid trade market? The more people who buy comics, the more freedom publishers have to publish stuff that isn&#39;t targeted towards tradtionaly fans (the ones who like 22 pages of big breasted fight scenes)

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 4:50 p.m. CST

    "simply pasting together 6 issues is going to give you a good gr

    by JonQuixote

    That&#39;s because you&#39;re locked into your notion of a graphic novel. Sometimes it&#39;s going to be four issues, sometimes it&#39;s going to be five, eight or twelve. And sometimes it&#39;s going to be like a collection of short stories - hmm, remember those? *** It&#39;s you, Fantomex, that needs to start thinking of comics like tv, because you just undermined the heck out of yourself. Can you recognize that the 6 hour mini series is written *differently* if it&#39;s going to be told in two 3 hour blocks over two nights, or twelve 30 minute blocks over a few months? Because they&#39;re going to write to their medium, they&#39;re going to write with presentation in mind. *** But I tell you right now, the first thirty minutes better not be boring no matter how it&#39;s presented, but ESPECIALLY if we only get thirty minutes at once. Somehow, someway they had better make it FUCKING interesting because people aren&#39;t going to sit around for thirty minutes being bored. They&#39;re going to find something else to watch. And they&#39;re going to be long gone before the "good stuff" shows up, whether it be two weeks or two hours later. *** I mean, isn&#39;t the comic equivalent of the 6 hour miniseries something like THE WATCHMEN, which I just praised and held up as a prime example of what I&#39;m talking about? Can you tell me why the WATCHMEN isn&#39;t this 6 hour miniseries analogy you were talking about? Can you give us another example that&#39;s better than WATCHMEN but manages to throw episodic structure out the window? *** And I don&#39;t know why you think telling 6 stories that piece together into 1 big one is easier or just as difficult as telling 1 story, with only 1 structure. One structure as opposed to 7 + the need for interlacing? I mean, of course it&#39;s really hard to quantify the difficulty of writing, but I&#39;m reasonably certain it&#39;s easier when your structure is laid out for you, and you only have to come up with 2 stories per title per year.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 4:51 p.m. CST

    Let&#39;s do battle

    by El Vale

    Brit Pop...perhaps you misunderstood my post. I never called you stupid or even tried suggesting you were. I&#39;m pretty sure you got the movies, what&#39;s not to get? Why did is disagree? Because i just don&#39;t feel those two movies are examples of bad storytelling. Your point was you don&#39;t like your genres mixed. I do. When watching those movies i had no intent of sitting through Independence day 2. An alien invasion movie as seen from the perspective of this one family? Sounds very interesting to me, maybe it doesn&#39;t to you. Since they wre both successes to me i don&#39;t think it can be argued that they were overall failures just because, like i said before, they didn&#39;t happen to cater to your tastes specifically. ***Dogwelder?! Jesus, i want me some Hitman now!!! City lights, the project both Ennis and Dillon say are too afraid to even start developing is the project i&#39;m looking forward the most. If you want an example of why Ennis can be the absolute best when he tries can be found in Punisher: The end. The all-father served a bigger purpose than just being a fat bullimic fuck. Here&#39;s a man who has the fate of the world in his hands (humperdido!)...and yet, look at him. Absolutely decadent and disgusting and cunning and as evil as it gets. And he&#39;s covered in vomit. Fucking genius. Thus ends my stram of consciousness rant on all things Ennis.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 4:54 p.m. CST

    I don&#39;t think you were talking to me...

    by JonQuixote

    ...but I&#39;ll agree that trades are good for the industry. But you don&#39;t need the set-up issue for them. The technique is just passable. Ultimately you&#39;re still starting your story with a lot of exposition - sort of like a first date where you go to her parents&#39; house and get walked through a slide show of her life, yay fun - and there are probably better ways to grab you, but at least you&#39;re still getting a complete story. Hopefully, I mean. Considering the money you paid.

  • Let it be known that I usually find myself closer to what Fantomex is saying, and Jonny Q and I have back-and-forthed on this topic several times in the past. We&#39;re in a weird middle-ground era where the industry seems to want to wholly embrace trades, but no one quite wants to let go of singles. And I can dig it. Because if we go exclusively to original graphic novels, will anyone really be doing the 22-page featurettes that have traditionally been the medium&#39;s analogue to short stories? They&#39;d be a lot more infrequent, I suspect, and that&#39;d be a shame. At the same time, because both trades and singles ARE produced concurrently as a result of industry indecision, I think that readers have very reasonable choices in front of them: follow singles for those series which you think makes good use of them, follow trades those that don&#39;t. Long story short, I&#39;m a "whatever works" kind of guy. When I think Bendis was at his superhero best in early issues of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, I was pretty much finding every issue to be satisfying, regardless of whether it moved the story forward notably. But Bendis, like nearly all writers, has become a victim of his own success. He&#39;s given so much freedom that he gets sloppy sometimes, self-indulgent. It makes me long for a whip-cracking editor standing over him (note: not a sex thing). Those times, and ANY time writers veer into excessive length without payoff...I find Buzz&#39;s maxim running through my head: "JUST GET TO THE DEVIL SHIT!" But I&#39;m much more flexible on the topic than Buzz or Jon. Hell, I even argued the merits of ULTIMATE SECRET once - at least in principle - and wasn&#39;t even into that series (&#39;cept the creepy "end times" suicides and other freaky shit that heralded Galactus&#39;s coming). As for GHOST RIDER - in a longer review and for a better-written comic, I might&#39;ve gone into my ambivalence about pacing, whether Ghost Rider should&#39;ve played an actual *role* in the first issue, and other such stuff. But for a capsule review of a crap opener of Garth regurgiting his Evil Angels vaudeville schtick as rendered in the style of Elvis-on-black-velvet? Sorry, I&#39;m gonna mock it. ****** In other Ennis news, HITMAN sounds pretty keen. I&#39;m gonna look into it.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 5:07 p.m. CST

    I&#39;m way ahead of you

    by Fantomex

    I&#39;m not sure what you mean that I&#39;m locked into my view of graphic novels. Putting 6 random issues in one collection is not a graphic novel. I&#39;m not even sure you have a clue what you were saying with that first part. And yes, television is written differently depending on the length of the story, thank you for grasping my very basic point! If the guy wrote twelve 30 minute episodes and it was aired over two nights, it would really suck (have you ever watched a 24 marathon? It comes off much worse than when aired weekly.) Likewise, the 6 hour mini would suck over the period of weeks. Imagine having to break the 45 minute fight scenes from LOTR into 30 minute episodes. The problem is in comics the writer is asked to write for BOTH of these at the same time. You&#39;re judging the comic based on only one of them. Thats not your fault, all you have to go by is the first issue. But you&#39;re really not serving any real purpose. You yourself admit you&#39;re only reviewing what amounts to the first chapter of a book or the first 30 minutes of a movie. Thats not to say that, after reviewing the whole story, you can&#39;t say something like "This should NEVER have been released in single issues" or "There is only enough material here for 4 issues", but if you aren&#39;t going to review the story for what is it, why do you even bother?

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 5:10 p.m. CST

    One more thing

    by Fantomex

    Among criticisms you can level upon reading the entire story, "This started really really slow." Maybe this is the case for Ghost Rider.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 5:15 p.m. CST

    "When I think Bendis was at his superhero best in early issues o

    by rev_skarekroe

    Really? I&#39;ve been more-or-less defending set-up issues here (by using two or three snarky posts as opposed to well thought out comments, but still) and I thought those early Ult. Spidey issues were the worst example of set-up ever. I mean it was what, 5 issues of set-up? Even with the trade I&#39;m just thinking "When the hell is he going to turn into Spider-Man already?" Or, to use my foreplay analogy, my tongue had gone numb and I was really ready to move on to the main course.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 5:22 p.m. CST

    "Jabba - Good, Grevious - Bad"

    by ZombieSolutions

    really? i loved Grievous. i thought he was really funny. like this decrepit old robo puppet-dictator.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 5:23 p.m. CST

    Baltimore Comic Con this week

    by holidill

    Just a word to the Mid Atlantic states, the Baltimore Comic Con is going on all this weekend 9/17-9/18 at the Baltimore Convention Center. Hope to see you there.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 5:46 p.m. CST

    "thank you for grasping my very basic point!"

    by JonQuixote

    Actually, I don&#39;t think you&#39;ve even grasped your point. You say Television is written differently based on the length of the story - and that&#39;s only sometimes true. But it&#39;s ALWAYS written differently based on the length of the episodes. Take your assertation about breaking up the 45 minute fight scenes in LOTR- it just wouldn&#39;t be done. In adapting it to television in, say, hour long incriments, they&#39;d make different choices, adopt a different structure. Maybe it&#39;d be a shorter fight scene, maybe it&#39;d take place over two episodes with two different dramatic thrusts relating to the military battle driving each one. And yet, ultimately, HBO&#39;s 12 part LORD OF THE RINGS would be just as long as the 3 part theatrical version, wouldn&#39;t it? But it would be written considerably different. And I know it&#39;s not the point you wanted to make, but that is the point you are making. Because a 6 hour mini wouldn&#39;t necessarily suck over a period of weeks. You&#39;d write it so it didn&#39;t - each week one FUCKING AWESOME hour (or half hour or two hours, however it&#39;s being released). WHAM! Come back next week. WHAM! Come back next week! Now, it might suck if we&#39;re talking about a 6 hour movie arbitrarily broken up into 6 pieces. Right? Because when somebody made that movie originally, they took into account that you&#39;d be watching the whole thing all at once. *** I do admit that I&#39;m "reviewing" what amounts to chapter one of a novel. But that&#39;s what they&#39;re selling! It&#39;s retarded. Nobody else works like that, and for good reason. Why the hell should you have to wait six months before making a judgement on something you bought, paid for, and are trying to enjoy right now? Thank you for grasping my very basic point - if you hang around for half a year, regularly handing over your money for the promise of something good (it&#39;s almost here it&#39;s almost here, three more months it&#39;s almost here), you&#39;re their bitch. *** The problem is *not* that they&#39;re being asked to write for both at the same time, Fantomex. The problem is that so many of them just don&#39;t really bother trying. The list of writers who have proven they can write for both effectively - deliver effective monthly installments that also make for a cohesive longer tradeable story - is actually pretty significant. Most writers have proven they can if they choose to - hey, you like Bendis, look at the DECALOGUE. A great example I just read is Dan Slott&#39;s GLA. Issue #1 opens with Mr. I holding a gun to his head. That trigger doesn&#39;t get pulled until the end of Issue #4. In between, four distinct arcs that piece together into one larger arc. But you can pick up one and read it: beginning, middle, end. Problem, conflict, resolution. And look at that, he still managed to create suspense and tension (who&#39;s gonna die next? what&#39;s with the gun to the head?), emotion (Dinah!), and blah blah blah whatever else the standard argument says about the purpose of the set-up issue. Demand that, or be their bitch and keep giving them money each month on the promise that eventually you&#39;re gonna get something good. *** PS - 24 sucks in marathon because the real time gimmick makes you antsy. SOPRANOS, LOST, SIX FEET UNDER, SCRUBS, CHEERS, ALIAS (these are recent tv shows I&#39;ve watched in clumps) all work just fine.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 5:48 p.m. CST

    Early Ult. Spidey

    by Dave_F

    You might be right about that first arc, Rev. I remember just being very taken with the idea of a return to "core values" for Spidey (first time powers, being a teen again, no marriage, etc), but in thinking back, that first arc lacked some intertia. No, it was more the immediate follow-ups where I think Bendis&#39;s craft started kicking in: The Kingpin and Doc Ock storylines, the early Gwen Stacy stuff.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Speaking of excess...

    by Dave_F

    Now here&#39;s a series that&#39;s even more sluggish than HOUSE OF M: Bendis&#39;s SECRET WAR. And did anyone see the shipping adjustments posted today? Final issue delayed from October 12th to...December 14th. "What if they threw a war and nobody came?"

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 6:03 p.m. CST

    secret war

    by Darth Kal-El

    and on top of the delays it doesnt even feel like the story has started yet!

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Anyone Remember SECRET WARS 2?

    by ZombieSolutions

    now that sucked. sooo the Beyonder looks like Donny Osmond? lame. i think that was the first of the Major Crossover Event / Marketing Scams wasn&#39;t it?

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 6:08 p.m. CST

    Yes yes yes!!

    by Fantomex

    Exactly!! You can&#39;t take a 45 minute fight scene and cram it into 30 minute episodes. But, shortening that fight scene would hurt the story in movie form. That is EXACTLY the point I&#39;m making. It would be written considerably different. Now imagine telling Peter Jackson "Okay, we&#39;re going to release this puppy in theatres, then a few months from now split it up in 60 minute chunks for television, so um, try and keep that in mind, while editing.", or you can go the other way "We need this in 30 minute episodes, but we&#39;ll air it all at once on HBO." That IS what comic writers are asked to do. Do you honestly think the Ghost Rider tpb isn&#39;t already planned? Do you think it isn&#39;t scheduled to be released to acheive maximum cross promotion with the movie? And which of these do you think are more important, quality wise? Do you honestly think its a coincidence that Whedon&#39;s run on Astonishing happens to consist of 2 six issue arcs, the perfect size for a tpb? I&#39;m not trying to get down on tpb&#39;s as collections of issues. I have absolute Planetary, but i wouldn&#39;t recommend anyone sit down and read the thing in one sitting. And I&#39;m not saying writers can&#39;t write for both, because as you said, so many of them do; and, I SUPPOSE, if they&#39;re being forced to write for both, they should try harder to support the issue-by-issue structure of the story. But you&#39;d be standing on the throat of a huge creative part of this medium. Its silly to force someone to take an amazing 6-issue-long story and cut it up into 6 issues. Like I said, its our fault for buying the issues as they come out instead of waiting for the trade. So why don&#39;t you wait for the trade and then review it? At least then we could actually use the review to make an educated buying decision, instead of simply dismissing it. And, if you were to do that... well I think you&#39;d find that your opinion of the story depended FAR less on that first 1/6th of the story. It&#39;d probably be more like reading a book or seeing a movie, much of your opinion would be based on the ending. Why, then maybe everyone would see your devine wisdom and stop buying the issues, and they would release the story as graphic novels the first time!?!?!

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 6:24 p.m. CST

    i wish they did release them as trades all at once

    by Darth Kal-El

    i vastly prefer the trade format to single issues. for one, im an impatient bastard and want to get the full story NOW! antoher thing for me is that dont get me wrong, i love comics,i do,but i dont have the time available to hit the store every single week as much as id like to. for me a trade is perfect because maybe i missed an issue of something that i was enjoying.no big deal,trade will be out soon. example-i pciked up the first issue of mnevore(on @$$hole recomnedation natch)and loved it.then life was hectic for a while and i couldnt make it into the store for a few months. well next time i went in issue 3 was on the shelves and 2 was sold out.i was unable to tarack down a #2 at all the stores in my area so i havent been reading it.im going to wait for the trade. yet another selling point of the trade format for me is the space factor. i have 6 long boxes full(overfull would be better)of single issues and single issues all over my apartment and i have seriously cut down on buying singles and waiting for the trade simply because i have no room for them.so i love the trade format because it fits my lifestyle perfectly.in my idea of a perfect world the companies would put out the single issues like they do now but then on the same day that the last issue of an arc or mini ships the trade would also ship. id be buying so many trades it almost would be like monthlies!

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 6:47 p.m. CST

    i "tarack" things down with my "warnagler"

    by Darth Kal-El

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 6:53 p.m. CST

    set-up issue, no set-up issue...

    by sideshowbob

    Just make it fucking good and I&#39;ll be there. Honestly, from reading comic book forums you&#39;d think people have in their head ONE way that all comic books HAVE to be. And I know y&#39;all are smarter/more open-minded than that.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 7:38 p.m. CST

    I Remember SW2

    by Homer Sexual

    Secret Wars was good, and had some impact (End of Colossus/Kitty romance,black Spidey suit, She-Hulk joins FF as Ben stays behind. That was all good. Then the very-80&#39;s, meaningless, not even fun SW2. He loved the Dazzler. HE dressed like Michael Jackson/Eddie Murphy. Whatever. Perhaps first episode of "what happens when a good writer gets a leeetle to much praise and it goes to his head and ruins him." Also goes to show that in any given time period, there are good event (and sleeper) comics and crappy "event" comics.

  • Sept. 16, 2005, 11:26 p.m. CST

    I Agree With Darth Kal-El & Why Waiting For The Trades Doesn&#39

    by Buzz Maverik

    Joe Quesada has also said that comics should be like CDs, where a work comes out every year and you know the release date and you buy it around that time. At least with some comics, I&#39;m sure Mr. Q. still favors monthlies too. But...you guys know a trade is just a way to package the same stuff. It&#39;s the same medium. If it&#39;s all together, what&#39;s the difference. If there&#39;s air and fat stuffed into it, the air and fat needs to be removed. If it was slow and meaningless in a monthly, it&#39;s still slow and meaningless in a trade. You see a bloated movie, it becomes a bloated DVD. Took Mrs. Buzz to see HOWARD&#39;S END many years back. It was like, 90 hours long, admirable only from technical standpoints, and if you just skipped to the Devil shit, it boiled down to Helena Bonham Carter putting out for a loser in a row boat nearing the end (and not in an interesting, twisted Marla Singer way), getting knocked up and some side character son of Sir Tony dumping a bookcase on the lucky stiff and killing him. It couldn&#39;t have gotten any better on DVD. And of course you can compare comics with movies and TV. That&#39;s what the writers think they&#39;re doing. There&#39;s a whole generation of comic writers that really want to be doing TV and film and are trying to do it in comics. That&#39;s why many are devoted to STORY, a screenwriting primer which is even worse for comics than it is for movies. Many of the writers are failed or fading TV writers. The publishers are purposely seeking out these guys. Sometimes it works with some of the Stanhattan guys like Brian K. Vaughn. For me, I&#39;d rather read a great comic than see a good movie these days. Like I said, THE FANTASTIC FOUR is a good example of Marvel trying to use their current, poor storytelling style on film and failing or succeeding weakly (which I feel is worse than failing. I&#39;d rather make PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE than FANTASTIC FOUR any day). Slow pacing about a human rock, a guy on fire, an invisible babe and a rubber scientist against a metal maniac. Yeah, you gotta have the build up for that. A strong director like Sam Raimi would have said, "No, I&#39;m doing classic Spidey." Even the DAREDEVIL guy who can&#39;t direct had more stones than the FANTASTIC FOUR guy. Ang Lee didn&#39;t have a clue and there&#39;s a little bit of Nu Marvel in the Hulk because you gotta drag out a story about a scientist turning into a monster hero. It should have been BAM: here&#39;s the rocket! BAM! Here&#39;s the 4 and Doom. BAM! Space! BAM! Radiation! BAM! Transformation! BAM! Conflict between good and evil! BAM! Fantasy montage of flight and power! BAM! BAM! BAM! Even in trades, they need to Just Get To The Devil Shit! And no, the Devil Shit doesn&#39;t have to be Jim Lee babes in John Romita Sr. fights. The Devil shit can be a conversation but it has to be a conversation that accomplishes something, that gets us somewhere. Best example of getting to the Devil Shit in a comic we all know. Marv boinks Goldie. He wakes up and Goldie is dead. Sin City PD on their way. That&#39;s right into the heart of The Devil Shit, bay-bee, whether in a trade or magazine.

  • Sept. 17, 2005, 1:44 a.m. CST

    trades

    by blackthought

    i buy em cuz they look better on my shelf and oh so much easier to organize...oh, the mention of planetary increases my desire to kidnap ellis and cassady and make them write planetary till it&#39;s bi-weekly...then again, i&#39;d miss desolation jones and others...sighs...good to see you are still kicking darth...and i feel dirtier seeing how star wars penetrated this talkbacks wonderful anti-lucas sequelprequelsequelsomethingwithmorel&#39;ssss...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz......oh look a pod race....zzzzz....

  • Sept. 17, 2005, 2:59 a.m. CST

    Why trades work for me and other such nonsense

    by El Vale

    Growing up i never read a full story. Ever. I mean if you were lucky to find an issue of your favorite comic one month, there was no fucking guarantee you&#39;d find it the next. That was the way it worked for me and it didn&#39;t mean so much to me because...fuck it, i just love comics...even if i bought like a crappy X-Men comic that was like part 5 of 16 and never got the rest of the story i just loved having the comic and reading it even if it made no sense at all. Then i discovered the trade; i didn&#39;t look back. Looks good, it&#39;s practical, it&#39;s cheap, it&#39;s got everything i need. I will admit, tho&#39;, that there are some comics i feel would work wonders in serial form as well. Y is on top of that list. I downloaded the whole thing recently and every time an issue ended with a great cliffhanger i&#39;d think "how cool would it be to have to wait one month to see where this is going?". I don&#39;t know if that makes sense. On the other hand i have a seriously hard time believing someone like Joss Whedon would pad his stories just to please editorial and marketing. This is Joss Fucking Whedon. Do you think that guy gets any editorial shit? Marvel had to go out and ask him to please write their comic and then they&#39;re gonna tell him "no, you can&#39;t make this storyline 4 issues long. 6. That&#39;s it, no more no less"? And he&#39;s gonna say "ok"? I&#39;d say 132 pages would make perfect sense to a guy coming in from hourlongs on tv and movies. I haven&#39;t read Astonishing, i mean maybe it really is padded out and shit. But i have a hard time buying it.

  • Sept. 17, 2005, 3:09 a.m. CST

    "But you&#39;d be standing on the throat of a huge creative part

    by JonQuixote

    Why? I call &#39;fallacy&#39;. You say that, I say here&#39;s a guy who doesn&#39;t know what he&#39;s talking about. Because he&#39;s somehow stuck on the notion of structure being limiting. What&#39;s that Robert Frost quote about free verse again?

  • Sept. 17, 2005, 9:29 a.m. CST

    hey Bug, nice review

    by Gus Nukem

    and indeed, Dillon doing superheroics without making (so much) fun of them is a rare treat. **** Vale, I understand you appreciate Ennis. Did you get around to read 303 (legally, or... ;-) )? I just read #5 and it&#39;s great. If you have, tell me what you think.

  • Sept. 17, 2005, 9:48 a.m. CST

    SIN CITY Is ALL About The Devil Shit / Trade Paperbacks = The Fu

    by ZombieSolutions

    re: SIN CITY -- a great/fun comic, and easily my favorite movie this year. talk about bringing The Devil Shit! that movie was nothing but The Devil Shit from start to finish. yes, even moreso than OLDBOY which also brought the Devil Shit in buckets (but, cool as it was, and as much as i loved it, took itself just a little too seriously. c&#39;mon, admit it. and the incest thing was simultaneously predictable and needlessly manipulative.) _________ re: TPBs -- i honestly think that the market is going to move towards a Trade Paperbacks *only* format in the near future -- releasing complete stories, maybe one or two TPBs a year. i love comics too, but i don&#39;t even buy single issues anymore for most of the reasons that have already been stated. maybe i&#39;ll pick up one or two here and there, and if i like it, make a mental note to buy the TPB later that year. i also think that market shift could help the comics medium in general as far as breaking into the bookstores, with new arrivals being placed on the New Hardcover / New Paperback displays instead of instantly being stuffed between "Incredible Cutaways: Detailed Wookiee Supermarket Schematics" -or- "STAR TREK: More Time Space Anomalies Vol 12" and the bathroom. ______ TPBs are actually a better value all around. they cost about the same as if you had bought the individual issues, but the paper stock is better, the bindings are better, they fit nicely on bookshleves, and there are no advertisements. plus its the WHOLE DAMN STORY. i believe that TPBs, in essence, as a format, are much more conducive to the ritual bringing of thee Devil Shit...

  • Sept. 17, 2005, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Its simple

    by Fantomex

    In Graphic Novel format, the author doesn&#39;t have to worry about writing a complete story with an action sequence and everything in the first 1/6th of his story to please people like you. When you sit down to read a graphic novel, that first 1/6th goes by much faster. You don&#39;t spend a month thinking about the first chapter. The structure of issue-by-issue is incredibly limiting. As is the structure of 30 minute episodes. Go write a Law and Order episode that lasts 22 minutes. Or go edit the LOTR triology so its in 22 minute chunks. You pretty much admited this above, amd really its just common sense. Structure is always a limit on the creative process. The graphic novel format is a HUGE creative part of this medium, and its a part that just doesn&#39;t work when you break it up into 6 monthly issues. Its not simply a repackaging of issue-by-issue material (despite what the big 2 are doing). You just don&#39;t see anything beyond what you know, which is the single issue structure, and thats fine, but it no longer represents the entire comic medium. Its just a part (and becoming smaller). Thats a Good Thing.

  • Sept. 17, 2005, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Besides

    by Fantomex

    Ignoring the huge creative aspect, there is also a huge economical aspect to this. There is a huge potential fan base that simply won&#39;t go to the comic store every Wed. I don&#39;t know about you, but I live in So Cal (not exactly rural) and I have exactly 2 comic stores fairly close to me. If you were to go to BOTH of them and try to piece together the last 6 issues of Wolverine you&#39;d come back disappointed. In fact, one of those shops is basically pull-list only, so if you get there after work Wed you&#39;re SOL. But they always restock TPBs. And bookstores carry them pretty much exclusivly. The accessibility aspect of TPB format is frankly a force of nature in this industry. Even if you could argue that the creative aspect was suffering, it wouldn&#39;t make any difference in the direction the industry is going. Honestly, I&#39;m grateful we still have so many well written monthlys. Looking back 5 years from now we&#39;ll miss these days.

  • Sept. 17, 2005, 1:10 p.m. CST

    just happy

    by blackthought

    there are comics to begin with.

  • Sept. 17, 2005, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Gus

    by El Vale

    These days, with no money to order stuff overseas, the only reading i do is illegal. So sadly, the only reading i do is what i can find in the place i download from, and there&#39;s still no 303, no Runaways, no Ex Machina, no Sleeper. They are stocking up on Morrison comics which is awesome. But trust me as soon as i can i&#39;ll be all over 303 and i&#39;ll share my thoughts with you kind persons.

  • Sept. 17, 2005, 2:48 p.m. CST

    That&#39;s it, I&#39;m getting the hose.

    by vroom socko

    I personally don&#39;t mind a set-up issue, but only as long as it&#39;s written well. GHOST RIDER was not written well. Isn&#39;t one of the main maximsof good storytelling "show, don&#39;t tell?" For example, GR has these two angels standing around giving this nuanced and detailed history of Johnny Blaze. Unnessesary and boring. Now take a look at, oh... let&#39;s say WATCHMEN. There we have a similar situation where these two homicide detectives are going on about supers in general and Rorschach in particular. The difference here being that the conversation only lasts about four pages, leading into us seeing Rorschach himself in action. **** In other news; good comics is good comics, no matter the format. This is my nice way of saying, "Is Fantomex completly and utterly mad?" He&#39;d have to be to say that it&#39;s limiting to think of comics in any other form beyond the six-issue arc/TPB. I physically cringed when I read him say that "I reject the notion that simply pasting together 6 issues is going to give you a good graphic novel. I didn&#39;t find the She Hulk trade a very good read and would have enjoyed it more on a month to month basis." Yes, because nobody in theri right mind is going to want to read a collection of short stories. Oh, wait... Come on, man! Not every story needs to be six issues. that can be too much. Sometimes it can even be too little! Or do you really think that Bendis has written a dozen six-issue-arcs on Daredevil? Please: he&#39;s written ONE fifty-issue-plus-arc on DD. And as much as I&#39;ve had some misgivings about some parts of it, I certanly think it&#39;s been a worthwile effort. Besides, look at his "set-up" issue: two assasination attempts, one on DD, one on the Kingpin, and both from the same source. That&#39;s how you generate interest, not with 22 pages of exposition. (not that Bendis hasn&#39;t done that himself now and then...) For more examples, look to Millar&#39;s Spider-Man, (told in three TPBs, each one completly servicable on their own,) or Moore&#39;s Top Ten, (told in two TPB&#39;s that each manage to tell something like three stories apice!) In any case, the point should be that no matter the end result, (TPB,) if your initial storytelling mode is in monthlies, and you&#39;re not writing to the strengths of that form of storytelling, you&#39;ve failed. It won&#39;t matter if the story reads well as a TPB, or even if the conclusion is the most amazing, groundbreaking achievement ever if the first issue is so goddamn boring that I don&#39;t care what follows.

  • Sept. 17, 2005, 3:04 p.m. CST

    "Structure is always a limit on the creative process."

    by Thalya

    I seriously disagree Fantomex, and I&#39;m speaking from personal experience. I think the serial/episodic structure found in tv/comics is immensely useful and inspiring from a writer&#39;s perspective, plus encourages a richness and internal variety of story that surely won&#39;t go lost on the audience. Just speaking from personal experience, I&#39;ve got this one story in my head at the moment and I&#39;ve got a strong beginning and a killer ending in mind, but the matter of getting from point A to point B is what&#39;s giving me trouble. In terms of the large story, yeah I could make a few broad strokes here and there to get there, but to me that just wouldn&#39;t very interesting to read (and you know the adage about how the best writing usually happens when the writer&#39;s doing it for himself/herself). So the broad strokes take wasn&#39;t working, so I asked myself "What if..I made it more episodic?", and suddenly with all the little point As and point Bs I find I can advance the story in more believable/constructable/digestable bits, I can better support more character threads, and the weight of the story that accumulates then just makes that much more of an impact when the ending comes. Now granted, some stories just work better all at once and would only be padded with extraneous elements, therefore would flounder under an episodic structure; it&#39;s all a matter of choosing the correct medium for the story in the first place. And personally, I also love the serial structure of comics because of the community it seems to engender. I love getting an issue of something like Villains United and going online and dissecting it with others and zeroing in on the aspects we know will be important in episodes to come and seeing what the payoff will be. I&#39;m an old Buffy geek and I wouldn&#39;t just watch the episodes for the goodness alone, I&#39;d be watching in anticipation of all the juicy details I&#39;d be sure to geek over with others immediately after the ep aired. It wouldn&#39;t be the same if we were given a full new marathon one night or one week because episodes aired over the course of a regular network season are allowed room to breathe, if you will. It boils down to a basic principle: time adds value. You&#39;re given the trees bit by bit and the forest emerges through them, rather than "SPLAT! Here&#39;s the forest. Now you can forget about it in two weeks because it didn&#39;t become something of an experience you yourself lived through for a time." That&#39;s why there will always be monthlies. (also it&#39;s why the movie box office had such a slump this summer: there was nothing worth going and having a collective experience over, something increasingly valuable when everything keeps getting more and more indiviualized)

  • Obviously a theory with merit, but as is always fun: can we apply it to the most successful comic book distribution system in the world? Can we apply it to...*dramatic pause*...manga? Because here, stateside, pretty much *all* we ever see are the trades, and it&#39;s obviously a formula that works. But over in actual Japan, they&#39;ve got those massive weekly anthologies before they collect their stuff, and while a given installment in those things might run between 20 and 40 pages (in a volume of several *100* pages), I can say with a good deal of conviction: with few exceptions, they have less storytelling structure than an American 22-pager. And anyone who ever read American serializations of manga in 22-page format (before the straight-to-trade thing took off) will be able to confirm this. You can blow through an average chapter of manga in a few minutes or less. SO...have the Japanese failed to play to the strengths of the medium? Is said failure mitigated by the weekly schedule or the fact that the anthologies provide so much bang for inexpensive prices. I think it&#39;s an interesting question. Obviously we&#39;ve got pretty major different cultural standards as to what&#39;s "good storytelling", but I sure do find it hard to dismiss the mega-success of the manga marketplace. And yet it flies in the face of the argument for wholly discrete chapters. Hmm...

  • Sept. 17, 2005, 8:55 p.m. CST

    On Nighthawk

    by Dave_F

    Well GoatZ, pretty much every character Marvel ever created still "exists," even if they&#39;re not headlining a book. Thing with the Nighthawk from the comic Bug reviewed is that he&#39;s not the one from the Defenders, but a sort of re-imagining of the character for Marvel&#39;s increasingly marginalized "mature readers" line. Short version: he&#39;s the "black Batman", and quite the badass. I&#39;ve only been following his parent title, SUPREME POWER, casually, but JMS has done good stuff with his character and I was pretty impressed with the first issue of the NIGHTHAWK mini as well. I like the Flash analogue best, though, even though I can&#39;t remember his name.

  • Sept. 17, 2005, 11:05 p.m. CST

    on trades

    by Darth Kal-El

    for me as stated above it boils down to convenience. i find myself buying more and more trades now a days instead of buying monthlies because its more convenient that way for me. in truth i may not be buying mnvore or villians united as monthlies because im waiting for the trade. but i am picking up other trades that i missed out on as monthlies before. my pull list is down to about 6 books that i honestly enjoy evry month but im buying trades like they are going out of style. yeah i might not be able to come in here and comment on the latest hapenings on the current hot comic but in a few months ill get the trade for it and think &#39;this is what they were talking about&#39;.im ok witht that.in fract this works better for me than buying a huge quantity of monthlies and maybe not all of them are so hot. another side benefit for me of the trades is that they are far more easily resaleble. if i buy single issues and i get to the 5th or 6th or whatever chapter in the arc and i realize i hated it as a whole it is a lot harder to resale than a trade which literaly takes me all of 2 minutes to list on amazon.yeah i know i should keep them for my kids or whatever but i guess thats what my playboys are for

  • Sept. 17, 2005, 11:38 p.m. CST

    dave...

    by blackthought

    the Flash analogue...aka BLACKFLASH...is named Blur...he&#39;s a pretty dope character, then again the whole book is.

  • Sept. 18, 2005, 12:21 a.m. CST

    on Nighthawk

    by Gus Nukem

    actually, what I wanted was Dillon giving us Batman. This book delivers. (a pathetic attempt at a kewl post). I remember the announcement of him doing the art on Brubaker&#39;s &#39;The Man who Laughs&#39;. - That would have been awesome. **** I don&#39;t see why DC doesn&#39;t sue. Everything is an utter ripoff. The result however is very fun and judging from this issue, good. (my english is so inept, it amuses me -- sorry guys, I am really tired) Replacing Batman&#39;s (vague concept of) war on crime with war mainly on racist crime can make for some very interesting tales. And having Dillon provide the art on a superhero story is awesome. (again sorry, dead tired) Logging out.

  • Sept. 18, 2005, 1:10 a.m. CST

    sleep well gus

    by blackthought

  • Sept. 18, 2005, 4:55 p.m. CST

    by Fantomex

    I never said "it&#39;s limiting to think of comics in any other form beyond the six-issue arc/TPB". My point is the exact opposite of that statment. Its limiting to pick any single structure (monthlies) and say that everything in the medium must be shaped to fit into that structure. Nor did I say anything like "every story needs to be six issues." Again, the opposite is my view. I make room in the medium for a story of any length and any structure. And I also never said the serial/episodic structure found in tv/comics isn&#39;t "immensely useful and inspiring from a writer&#39;s perspective." Again, the opposite is my view. I love the serial/episodic format, but its not the only structure in comics today. And vroom, can you honestly pretend with a straight face that a TBP with a "story that reads well as a TPB" and a "most amazing, groundbreaking achievement ever" would be failure if the first issue wasn&#39;t good? Thats simply laughable. No one reading the trade would care. Actually, no one reading the trade would even notice. Thats a good argument for never releasing the issues in the first place, but it doesn&#39;t make an argument for bad writing. And finally, anyone who claims structure isn&#39;t a limit on the creative process, why isn&#39;t all television in 30 minute episodes? Why, if the structure isn&#39;t in any way limiting, isn&#39;t every thing the same? Because, of course, it IS limiting. Some stories work better in a 6 hour mini, and some are going to work better as one hour dramas. I don&#39;t know why you&#39;re so shocked that the same is true for comics. If you don&#39;t like reading monthlies for stories that are clearly written for the trade, then read the trade and tell us what you actually think about the writing.

  • Sept. 18, 2005, 6:05 p.m. CST

    I need some advice...

    by Thalya

    And hopefully this might generate much enjoyably geeky chatter from which a still-kinda-newb like me can learn much.. Say you were to play evil mastermind (DC Universe) for a moment: if you were to put together a crack team of mainly 2nd or 3rd tier muscle/power villain types who were to keep a small handful of civilians in line, any favorites (other than Weather Wizard and Merlyn), also a magic villain who can curse as well as pull a flying airplane between alternate dimensions? Plus, any favorite 1.5-tier villains known to suffer much abuse at the hands of heroes and are visually interesting from a creator&#39;s perspective?

  • Sept. 18, 2005, 8:13 p.m. CST

    is this?

    by blackthought

    for some fanfiction of yours thalya? and is lionel luthor considered any tier?

  • Sept. 18, 2005, 8:19 p.m. CST

    Yeah, it is, actually, blackthought..

    by Thalya

    Lionel Luthor? I wouldn&#39;t know, actually. I&#39;ve heard how people mention that he&#39;s still alive and everyone&#39;s just waiting for Lex to off him on Smallville, but I took that as an implication he&#39;s dead and buried by now in comics continuity.

  • Sept. 18, 2005, 8:24 p.m. CST

    mainly..

    by Thalya

    I&#39;m just fishing for some interesting background guys that would serve as sufficient heavies/possible wedding guests..

  • Sept. 18, 2005, 9:02 p.m. CST

    weddings?

    by blackthought

    what oviolations against ocninuity are you up to?

  • Sept. 18, 2005, 9:03 p.m. CST

    jeez...no spellchecker in TB&#39;s

    by blackthought

    anyway just wondering what violations against "dc continuity" that you are up to.

  • Sept. 18, 2005, 9:17 p.m. CST

    hehe...

    by Thalya

    Well if I do this right, it could just be a minor chapter that gets glossed over, or it could go on (and be a whole series even! Right now I&#39;m thinking mini, scriptwise), but it&#39;d be a minor detail (and even then, like writing it during the later build up to Infinite Crisis when there&#39;s that and One Year Later left to come, like that&#39;ll help. Though with all that, there&#39;ll probably be alternate dimensions that open up, so I can play with one of those).. But you kinda gotta figure, what with Roulette&#39;s House being in Vegas and catering to the supervillain crowd, there&#39;s probably some kind of chapel on the premises... The villain community still has alot of unexplored territory as it is.. And if you want more details, well for starters, check out the parenthetical aside in my post "various responses" up above. Bwa ha ha..

  • Sept. 18, 2005, 10:29 p.m. CST

    "If you don&#39;t like reading monthlies for stories that are cl

    by vroom socko

    Yea gods... "And vroom, can you honestly pretend with a straight face that a TBP with a &#39;story that reads well as a TPB&#39; and a &#39;most amazing, groundbreaking achievement ever&#39; would be failure if the first issue wasn&#39;t good?" If it was a series that I was reading as a monthly, then yes, it would be a failure. I&#39;m not exactly sure just what the hell you&#39;re arguing here. You seem to be saying that it&#39;s wrong to force stories into a single structure style, yet you&#39;re also saying that it&#39;s okay for a story to suck as long as it reads okay in this same single structure style. I don&#39;t give a shit if a story reads good as a TPB; if it&#39;s being released initially as a monthly it better be written to the strengths of a monthly, or else it&#39;s going to suck. This may suprise you, but I don&#39;t buy a whole lot of TPBs. Writing a story for the Trade, then publishing it as a monthly is bad writing, pure and simple. If a company wants to release a story one chapter at a time, I can only review what they&#39;ve made available. If the #1 issue of a new book is the one that sets the sales and story pace for what&#39;s to follow, why the fuck should I wait until it&#39;s over to venture my opinion on it? That&#39;s the most asinine thing I&#39;ve ever heard.

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 12:37 a.m. CST

    The Fact That You Know It&#39;s A Set Up Means It&#39;s Being Do

    by Buzz Maverik

    Movies are easier to use than comics because most of us have seen the same movies. People have mentioned THE EXORCIST and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS in support of set up, but if you look at those films, the devil and the aliens are there in the opening minutes. A good example of set up where you&#39;re not aware it&#39;s set up on first, unspoiled viewing is TAXI DRIVER. Except for one scene with Albert Brooks and Cybil Shepherd, every scene and every line in TAXI DRIVER moves the story and character to it&#39;s shattering conclusion, yet if you don&#39;t already know, it seems to be random and episodic...The writing for trade thing is just wannabeeism at its&#39; worst. Somebody wants to be doing TV or movies but they don&#39;t know how those mediums work so they go in the opposite direction. It&#39;s not just Bendis, there have been a lot of them that think they&#39;re aping Mamet because anybody who wanted to learn to write dialog in the late 80s read Mamet&#39;s plays. But for all their mannerisms, Mamet&#39;s stuff is vital and confrontational. Mamet doesn&#39;t fuck around. They are also imitating early Tarantino without realizing even Tarantino doesn&#39;t do that any more, or that a lot of that was to be different and get noticed and because he&#39;d never directed before and had limited budget. Editorial? Don&#39;t know about Whedon, but although I won&#39;t tell ya who, we @$$holes correspond with some of these writers. Editorial has made them pad their stories and they do it because they are professional, are thinking of the future and care about their careers...One of the best reasons for keeping trades and monthlies as separate entities is NEW FRONTIER. Unlike what a lot of you are calling graphic novels (a prolonged story that ran over several months packaged in a book because fans are now old and have money), NF was a graphic novel that was split apart. It is a well loved series but I reviewed the first issue and hated it for unforgivable stupidity. A fighter pilot kills or he is killed. Supposedly, that was part of a bigger scheme but I never sought it out because the initial stupidity lost me.

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 12:38 a.m. CST

    thalya

    by blackthought

    how bout mirror master and the red mask and the veil and um....er....aquaman&#39;s evil brother...freshwater bob?

  • Ultimately, my feeling is this: if comics that were paced for the trade would put a big "paced for the trade" sign on their covers, we&#39;d be arguing about all this shit a lot less. I can&#39;t find it in my heart to condemn such books myself, &#39;cause fuck, it&#39;s an economic NECESSITY that no series garners a trade unless it&#39;s already been given at least some show of confidence in singles - same way manga works in Japan. Original graphic novels are a nice idea for stories paced as such, but for an industry as marginalized as comics is now, would enough readers risk their fifteen or twenty bucks on these outings to make &#39;em worth producing for the publishers? Or would we, more likely, just find the "sure bets" being produced? Original Spider-Man graphic novels, original X-Men graphic novels, original JLA graphic novel, etc. Would Y: THE LAST MAN, featuring then-unknown writer Brian Vaughan and somewhat pedestrian art by Pia Guerra, have made it as an OGN? Or BONE? Or a risky black-and-white zombie comic called WALKING DEAD? Companies like Oni and Image are struggling with original graphic novels right now, and having some minor success, but I don&#39;t think the industry&#39;s yet ready to let go of a decades-long tradition of "serialization first." Not this year...maybe not ever. &#39;Least not in America. And if that&#39;s the case, then to me it&#39;s really just one more quirk to accept in an already quirky niche medium: that some serialized comics will be paced-for-the-trade, some won&#39;t. Caveat emptor. And no, I don&#39;t love it, but I like the "one size fits all" approach to pacing comics even less. If some kick-ass comic writer needs to seralize his masterwork to get a trade in gear, and said serialization means that the first issue might be all talking heads or all silent images that don&#39;t mean much until issue 2 or all images of a sword being blacksmithed...then so be it. It&#39;s not an ideal situation; it is, however, realistic for the market, and an approach that is distinctly more artistically freeing. I have to get behind that. I can&#39;t NOT get behind that. And I think the business side finds its own equilibrium when such an organic approach is used. If a writer fails to garner interest with a paced-for-the-trade book, his series gets cancelled and he gets no trade! Runs like Bruce Jones&#39; INCREDIBLE HULK, with its long build-ups and bad payoff, end up creating enough ill will that they become cautionary tales. And good paced-for-the-trade stuff like, say, Bendis&#39;s early DAREDEVIL work...that makes it to the trade and stays in print. The market self-corrects. And this approach isn&#39;t an indictment of those stories that *are* paced for serialization. Structured stories can break creative ground too, no arguement there. But I won&#39;t accept it as the *only* way, even if it makes for a crazy kind of industry and puts reviewers in a position of having to decide whether ideal to review a series based on a single issue or several issues. In a way, I think that&#39;s just our cross to bear in a medium that&#39;s in mid-evolution. Poorly-paced titles are not to be exonerated, but for my own part, I think reviewers need approach pacing criticisms with an increasing thoughtfulness. At least in serial form. And that&#39;s why I&#39;d pay good money for Quesada and Didio to pony up with paced-for-the-trade cover labels where relevant. Be a BIG help.

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 2:18 a.m. CST

    Paced for the trade

    by El Vale

    Here i go: My feelings are, even if it&#39;s written for the trade, every issue has to be good. If it doesn&#39;t satisfy completely it&#39;s just not well-written. An "episode" that does nothing to move the story along and lacks any sort of significance to the larger story is simply not a good episode in my opinion. Even if the people behind it call it slow pacing that services the overall story, you just know that if it doesn&#39;t satisfy you it&#39;s no good. In the trade, it will read something like "Oh yeah...it&#39;s that one part of the story that&#39;s kinda boring".

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 2:22 a.m. CST

    Agreed, Vale.

    by Dave_F

    But if someone can construct the 22-page equivalent of the "Dawn of Man" opening of 2001...as long as it&#39;s as dramatically compelling by whatever devices the creators use, I don&#39;t give a hoot if I don&#39;t know precisely *why* the scene exists until subsequent issues.

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 2:39 a.m. CST

    HITMAN

    by Dave_F

    By the by, I picked up the first two trades for this (couldn&#39;t find the third) and had a right good time. And recognized that it&#39;s a series that&#39;ll probably get noticably better as issues go on and we spend more time with Tommy and his pals. What I&#39;m now debating is this: I&#39;m sure I can put my hands on volume three and the remaining trades with a little lookin&#39;, but do I then seek out individual issues or do I hope that DC will miraculously re-dedicate themselves to HITMAN trades when Ennis does his "lost" HITMAN story in an upcoming JLA: CLASSIFIED?

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 2:39 a.m. CST

    yes, as long as the comic is not *aping* the style of Kubrick&#3

    by Gus Nukem

    the 90s Marvel character

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 3:45 a.m. CST

    Thalya...that is one crazy-ass specific set of requests.

    by Dave_F

    2nd-Tier Villains to keep civilians in line: Parasite (creepy looking, absorbs lifeforce of rowdy, would-be escapees) / Shrapnel (intimidating looks and he can fire metal crap out of his own body) / Count Vertigo (if you can coerce nobility like him into playing ball, he could keep crowds off their feet) / Poison Ivy (local flora keeps everyone entangled) ****** Magic villains who can curse and teleport airplanes? Umm...not my best area. And I get the plane thing, but for that other part, do you mean a magic-type who can produce magical curses or do you just mean a villain not afraid to drop the F-bomb? Anyway, all&#39;s I&#39;ve got is the Enchantress. I think she&#39;s working on the side of the angels in DAY OF VENGEANCE, but she&#39;s a mercurial type. Back in her &#39;80s SUICIDE SQAUD days she was one bad momma. Oh, and Morgan Le Fe could pull it off too. Anyone with a Boom Tube device could at least handle the teleportation. ****** 1.5-tier villains who suffer hero abuse and look neat? I guess I&#39;m not sure what you mean by abuse. Most villains have had their asses handed to &#39;em many a time. Are you looking for the guys who&#39;re kinda considered losers even among bad guys (Riddler, Sportsmaster, Punch & Jewelee) or who&#39;re particularly susceptible to loss in their defeats (Mr. Freeze, Clayface), or...?

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 4:26 a.m. CST

    Dave

    by El Vale

    I can do nothing but agree with you when you start talking about my favorite movie. I think i have a fondness for the type of comic that has a first issue that reads like inconsistent crap but which turns into awesomery (let&#39;s pretend that&#39;s a word) when you read the following issues. Does that make sense? Like you hate the first issue but then when the story reaches the climax you *have* to go back and rediscover that first issue and you realize it was great and you just didn&#39;t know it yet. Again, does that make sense? I say i have a fondness for that type of story and yet i don&#39;t think i&#39;ve ever encountered one. Maybe i&#39;ll just have to write it myself. Or maybe you know of one i could find? Don&#39;t hold this post against me, it&#39;s 4 am. Another thing i wanted to ask you was this: I don&#39;t know if you read the world renown Devin Grayson interview yet, but there&#39;s a part when she&#39;s discussing something along the lines of what we&#39;ve been discussing around here. She says she couldn&#39;t believe this one reviewer who gave her a bad review because the characters in the comic were behaving in a way that didn&#39;t feel right for him or something. She explains that was the point of the story, a character arc...people going through some issues and having to resolve them by the end. Or coming to an understanding or whatever. She felt discouraged because the book was being judged for an unresolved thread, halfway through an arc. This, i thought, might be a great example of what you talked about when saying comics written for the trade (my expression would be written for the arc, since publishers will never admit to padding) should say so on the cover, hence making it easier to judge. In this case, had the reviewer known this (pretty sure he should have since arcs always state the "4 of 5" thing) he would&#39;ve waited for the story to conclude to reach *his* conclusions about the character arcs and themes the writer was exploring. So...thoughts?

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 9:36 a.m. CST

    I don&#39;t know where this discussion currently stands

    by mortsleam

    Or even if this has already been said, but someone up there mentoined that you can&#39;t compare movies to comics because of the extra length, and if anything, comics could be compared to sitcoms. Yes, this is true. It&#39;s laso true that really good sitcoms, such as the aforementioned "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and I&#39;ll add "The Office" and "Arrested Development" tell concise, episode-contained stories with a beginning, middle and end (sometimes even while juggling three separate b-stories) and they STILL managed to support a larger, season long story arc. F&#39;rinstance: Season four of Seinfeld: the Pilot. Evry episode was self-contained, and fucking hilarious. The Virgin, the Pez Dispenser, the Bet, etc. And yet, every episode advanced the plot of the Pilot. Just as every episode of Arrested is a single story, yet advances the plot of the development scam. It&#39;s called good writing, it&#39;s possible to accomplish in comics (take a look at those Essential X-Men trades) and yet it hasn&#39;t been seen a lot lately. Instead, as good as Whedon&#39;s first arc on Astonishing was, it was exactly two issues too long. And "Daner" was exactly three issues too long. We should be getting three story arc out of this guy a year. It&#39;s that simple. If he were writing the book as a TV show, he would&#39;ve condensed them down to two-parters. 88 minutes total. 44 minutes an episode, which almost perfectly works out to two comic books worth of material an episode. Padding is like filling a meatloaf with cornflakes and breadcrumbs. Or in Bendis&#39;s case, sawdust.

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 9:48 a.m. CST

    "Writing a story for the Trade, then publishing it as a monthly

    by Fantomex

    The way you put it, its bad publishing not bad writing. Thats a fair criticism. "If it was a series that I was reading as a monthly, then yes, it would be a failure." My point exactly, if you read it as a graphic novel, it wouldn&#39;t be a failure. And yet, you&#39;d probably never know the difference. But you shouldn&#39;t put suprised when a lot of people do. And when you guys use the word "setup issue" I know you mean "really boring setup issue" or else it wouldn&#39;t really make any sense. Could anyone not tell Identity Crisis #1 was a setup issue? Does that mean it was done poorly? I also distinguish between say, the first story of an arc thats been running for 50+ issues, and the very first issue of a series (I haven&#39;t even read ghost rider yet). I guess my perfect example is 100 bullets, where more than a few arcs start off with boring setup issue where nothing happens and talking heads blabber away mysteriously so you have no earthly idea what they&#39;re talking about or even why they&#39;re even talking to each other. Hell, half the books in this series could be described like that. And I&#39;ll admit, more than a few issues were frustrating, but they almost always delivered in the end and I&#39;ve never felt regret buying the book.

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 12:44 p.m. CST

    LOL - The idiots at DC got most of Zatanna&#39;s dialogue all me

    by Gus Nukem

    At JLA (v. 3) #118&#39;s cover. Heads must roll. What kind of schmucks do they hire to do the lettering ? ** It must be one of the writers fault (Geoff Johns/Allan Heinberg), or Rob Leigh&#39;s (the letterer). IMO it&#39;s an editorial fuck-up, since the same thing happened in the 7SoV Zatanna book. Can you believe it - messing the protagonist&#39;s lines ?

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 2:49 p.m. CST

    the SCANDAL reveal in Villains United

    by jinX

    Vandal Savage is her FATHER and this is discovered because she has a photo of him on her desk!?! What? Was it in a "World&#39;s Best Dad" frame? He doesnt seem like a bouncing the baby on my knee type of guy. Everything else I can go along with but that plot point made me go "Huh?" Ties in the canibalism note on Savage given that Scandal ate Fatality&#39;s ear a couple of issues ago. and why isnt this book called SECRET SIX or better yet SUICIDE SQUAD :-) Probably because it combines the SSSV and the S6 with a real SS tone.

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 3:39 p.m. CST

    Arrested development...

    by El Vale

    Is the best thing i&#39;ve seen on tv since Seinfeld ended in terms of comedy. It just blew me away when it revealed there was an actual storyline throughout the season. Consistently funny and supposedly random stuff that ended up connecting in the end with the whole Iraq thing. Jesus christ that&#39;s good writing.

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Always good to hear Arrested love Vale

    by mortsleam

    The second season isn&#39;t quite as smart, but in many ways it&#39;s actually funnier. Maybe because they were so sure they&#39;d be cancelled that they completely went for broke and did things to the characters (and their appendages) that they couldn&#39;t undo or take back. Now they have another season and they have to find a way to make the changes work. Should be very interesting. *** Also, just so you all know, it is entirely possible to plit the entire Lord of The Rings trilogy into individual 44-minute episodes. I know. I&#39;ve done it. Hey--What the fuck else was I supposed to do? My leg was broken and I had six weeks of paid disability! Anyhoo, yes, not only can it broken up, but--GET THIS--every 44 minute segment has a beginning, middle and end and at least one small character arc (even if it&#39;s as small as Aragorn falling off a cliff and flashing back to breaking up with the elf chick). And even though the two major battles each take up one entire 44 minute "episode", there are lulls, and crosscutting to separate stories, and characterization, and arcs within the battles. In short: it&#39;s just a great fucking writing job, and it&#39;s sad that these writers aren&#39;t trying harder. Or maybe they&#39;d like to, but the companies they work for won&#39;t let &#39;em. I buy trades because I&#39;m far too busy lately to be able to make it to a comic store with anything approaching regularity. And I fucking hate it when the first 22 pages go nowhere and do nothing and I realize I spent 24 bucks for maybe 16 bucks worth of actual story.

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Hmm..

    by Thalya

    blackthought: Mirror Master&#39;s a possibility, though I don&#39;t necessarily want to ape that one hangout scene from IDC (with hima nd Merlyn) too much, as good a scene as it was to see villains drinking beer and playing Risk.. ** Dave_F: I plan on only getting crazier. Mm..is Parasite a guy in a suit or does he look that way naturally? I&#39;m looking mainly for guys who wouldn&#39;t look very obstrusive in our own world. As for the magic guy, magical curses, as I&#39;m going more for DC and not Vertigo. Do you think Felix Faust or the Wizard would be too upper level? Boom tubes can do dimensions? What all can they cover? And about the 1.5-tier, come to think of it, I think I mischaracterized because that wouldn&#39;t seem to create the right motivation I need. I think what I need is a villain who wouldn&#39;t be accustomed to abuse/defeat especially under absurd situations, so when it happens, he&#39;d/she&#39;d want to seek out the perpetrator..

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 4:16 p.m. CST

    speaking of arrested dev.

    by blackthought

    season three starts tonight...if you can, do watch...the show deserves the support...or at least gob does...tobias, not so much.

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Sadly for me

    by El Vale

    They stopped airing Arrested development in Latin america...mainly because El Vale was the only person watching. The show aired the first time and got cancelled. Then it won a bunch of awards and they brought it back...and still no one was watching so they pulled the plug again. Mainly to give more room for more 24 marathons or something shitty like that. I do suffer! i guess i&#39;ll have to wait till i have money to buy the Arrested development season DVDs. I&#39;m glad that&#39;s a possibility.

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 5:18 p.m. CST

    The Thing About What Devin Grayson Said...

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...probably shows her failure and her editor&#39;s failure rather than the reviewers. I say, "Probably" because I haven&#39;t read the interview or review in question. It could very likely illustrate a lot of what I feel is wrong with modern comics and the talent working in them. If Ms. Grayson is writing her own characters, created by her, then I would have to agree with her 100%. However, if she is writing established characters, well known characters rather than the 7 SOLDIERS route which takes a lot of semi-forgotten characters and Morrisonates them, then there is a problem. In order for her approach to work, she&#39;d need to do some heavy acknowledgement of how the character has been established and how the character is behaving differently. Hell, I may even have been the reviewer because I hated the first issue of GHOST RIDER: HAMMER LANE simply because Johnny Blaze would have never had a cubicle job to begin with. His name is Johnny Blaze, not Bob Parr. And yeah, to me, my concept of the character which is based on every portrayal of the character I&#39;ve experienced is more valid to me than some new writer&#39;s. They shouldn&#39;t be writing character arcs, they should be writing characters. They shouldn&#39;t be writing story arcs, they should be writing stories. Let&#39;s see, motorcycle stuntrider who sold his soul to the devil and became the Spirit O&#39; Vengance. Yeah, that&#39;s cubicle material. Peter Parker could fail his way into a cubicle, but if Johnny Blaze fell from grace, he&#39;d end up pumping gas or working at Qwik-E-Lube. And no, I wasn&#39;t going to buy every crap issue to discover the whole thing was crap. Why should these new clowns be immune of the long history of comic consumerism and the short, pointless history of comic criticism? If you want me to buy the second issue or the issues to follow, the first one had better be good. If you want a good review on the first issue, write a good first issue. Because a good review is going to help sell the whole series and get the writer more assignments. If you don&#39;t understand or know the character, don&#39;t assume that your readers share your ignorance. If you want to recreate an established character, you could look at how Alan Moore did it with SWAMP THANG. He didn&#39;t pretend that the character had not been established a certain way. He didn&#39;t ignore the stories that had come before. He embraced them and started making his own changes over the course of his long run. Bendis did the same thing with Matt Murdock (although I would argue that he didn&#39;t succeed as well with Daredevil himself). It&#39;s funny, now the accepted and encouraged term for people who write and/or draw comics is "creator". But they aren&#39;t actually creating many of the characters they&#39;re working with. In some cases, such as the last SILVER SURFER series, which for me, may go down as the comic series I&#39;ve hated the most (and I&#39;ve been reading comics off and on since I was 3 years old)the "creators" apparently have no knowledge of the character and seem assured that their audience is equally in the dark. Who is this mysterious abductor? Well, he&#39;s the shiney guy on the surfboard that appeared over Manhattan in a storm of rocks and fire. He fought the Hulk in front of dozens of police officers. He&#39;s the guy who rescued the astronaut and deposited him on the deck on an aircraft carrier on international TV. Need more? Check out the few hundred Silver Surfer stories that have been published since the mid-1960s. The failure is on the part of the writer, the editor and the publishers. The medium is the message, kids. You don&#39;t do a SPONGEBOB cartoon and save the wacky cartoon gags for the next cartoon and wonder why no one thought your cartoon was funny. "They didn&#39;t wait for the laughs." Movies and television don&#39;t really work this way, although people in the comics field seem to think they do.

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Buzz

    by El Vale

    I recommend you read the interview: http://tinyurl.com/dbmsg it&#39;s great stuff about what it&#39;s like to work for the big two when you&#39;re not Bendis/Johns. A very interesting inside look. I loved the interview and i haven&#39;t read a single Devin Grayson comic.

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 5:39 p.m. CST

    I Will Check Out The Interview.

    by Buzz Maverik

    And I recommend Devin Grayson&#39;s THE MATADOR, the first issue of which I gave an overwhelmingly positive review.

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 5:48 p.m. CST

    "If you read it as a graphic novel, it wouldn&#39;t be a failure

    by vroom socko

    We&#39;re moving into an area beyond simple form here. Starting a TPB with 22 pages of exposition, even if it&#39;s an original TPB and not a reprint collection, is still bad storytelling. If I don&#39;t enjoy a story&#39;s first issue, then what incentive do I have to read it as a TPB? What reason is there for me to read an entire story if the first installment sucks? Hell, my dad is worse than I am in this; he brings a stopwatch to movies with him. If 15 minutes have passed and he&#39;s not enjoying himself, he walks out. I&#39;ve tried countless times to get him to watch The Lord of the Rings now that the whole series is out on DVD, and he keeps saying no, that he has no reason to watch a movie that can&#39;t get to the point in 15 minutes. I don&#39;t doubt that this means that I&#39;m missing out on some stories that DO work in TPB, but if the intro is the same one I read and disliked six months ago it&#39;s doubtful that I&#39;ll be giving it a try.

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 6:04 p.m. CST

    Your Dad Is Generous, Vroom.

    by Buzz Maverik

    Anybody ever write a screenplay? Ever get it to a reader. Here&#39;s what you need to know about production company readers: they don&#39;t want to be production company readers. They have to read tons of crap and recommending something that flops could destroy their careers. Before they get to anything fun, before they get to do anything to advance themselves, they have to read and provide coverage to a heap of screenplays. So you&#39;d better engage them on the very first page, which would be the first minute of film, because if you don&#39;t, they aren&#39;t going to the second page.

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Trades and villains for Thalya

    by Homer Sexual

    Thalya, I was thinking that the old Suicide Squad series would be the best resource for villains you are looking for. Bolt, Shrapnel, Count Vertigo, Plastique, Bronze Tiger, Enchantress--all good choices. The last arc of SS had 3 or 4 other members, all of whom would be good, but I can&#39;t remember their names. As far as Trades: I bought all the individual issues of Ultimates and I didn&#39;t really like the series. Then, after it was over, I read all the issues at once and guess what? I really liked it! So I learned my lesson and just last week I bought the Ultimates 2 TP. This TP had the first 6 issues of Ultimates 2, and it was like one comic worth of story. So, trades definitely better. Yet I enjoyed each individual issue of Supreme Power, which was equally slow but more "self-contained." And I guess I buy some books (like Y) to support them since I know the trades are dependent on decent sales of individual issues.

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 7:04 p.m. CST

    If you read 100 BULLETS, DO NOT READ DC&#39;s new solicitations

    by SleazyG.

    There&#39;s a big, fat, ugly spoiler in it. Seriously, this isn&#39;t me playing with reverse psychology. I read spoilers all the time, but reading this is one I wish I hadn&#39;t seen.

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 7:18 p.m. CST

    i agree

    by blackthought

    with alot of what buzz&#39; has said...also got to take in the $$$ issue...if i pay 3 bucks for 22 pages of nothing that doesn&#39;t hook me with that first issue, then my desire to continue to shell out 3 bucks for a promise that it will hook me later is a waste a money...thus i tend to wait on trades for alot of series that might not grab ya first issue but might improve...anyway...you guys reviewing goon #14 this week? cuz i love that book.

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 8:05 p.m. CST

    I just read that Devin Grayson interview.

    by Dave_F

    It&#39;s very, very good and surprisingly candid. And not turn on her too harshly, but I think I like her more as an interview subject than as a comic writer. Anyway, here&#39;s the relevant passage from the interview, though you need to read a little ways into it before it intersects with this TalkBack&#39;s discussion: QUESTION - WHAT IF THE READER DOESN&#39;T PICK UP ON THE THEME? Then they probably will say something like

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 9:15 p.m. CST

    After the <...> of <...>, <...> and <...> continue their <...>.

    by Gus Nukem

    NO-SPOILERS, gentlemen. This is the solicitation to &#39;100 Bullets: #67&#39;.

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 9:47 p.m. CST

    100 Bullets

    by El Vale

    Didn&#39;t the event spoiled in the solicitations happen a few months back? Like...before the Miami arc, meaning about 4 or 5 months ago? I got the Xorn/Magneto reveal spoiled for me like 1 month after it happened, while waiting for the trade. People just assumed everyone on the face of the planet had already read the fucking comic. I hate that shit.

  • Sept. 19, 2005, 10:30 p.m. CST

    spoilers

    by Gus Nukem

    my worst experiences with spoilers. *** 1) reading a greek edition of the DKR. It contained the first 2 issues and an intro with various trivia on the Batman mythos and the DKR universe. *Fortunately*, right before reading the material, they had included a *very thorough* plot synopsis. What an ass I was to read that. I couldn&#39;t expect this to happen. It was a short breakdown of the story, with comments and a *literary* criticism for the idiots who couldn&#39;t understand the story. When I finally got the original, I knew he &#39;d later on face the Joker, how he would dispose of him, the deal with the mutants and Superman. **** 2) Reading a Wizard ballot about some awards. One of them was about choosing the comics&#39; moment of the year and it said: &#39;the Saint of Killers kills God&#39;. Bravo, guys. I hadn&#39;t even started reading the series, but as soon as I did, I couldn&#39;t get that out of my mind. What was it - in the last issue, right ?

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 12:36 a.m. CST

    got to love them solicitations

    by blackthought

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 2:17 a.m. CST

    Some help

    by El Vale

    Do you guys know of any online interviews that are worth reading, like the Devin Grayson one, or the Morrison someone posted last week? I&#39;ve read some awesome Alan Moore interviews that have taken me days to read they&#39;re so lengthy and full of substance, and at the risk of kissing @$$, the AICN comics interviews have been pretty awesome and honest. So, can you point me in the direction of some that fit those characteristics? Interviews that discuss craft, business, art and such at length. Thanks, that&#39;d be awesome.

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 10:26 a.m. CST

    Wow

    by The Heathen

    What&#39;s up Cogs and @$$es? I think Kal-El had a good point about displaying trades being easier than ugly boxes. Thalya had another good point about having good &#39;ol discussions in tb&#39;s like this from issue to issue. It&#39;s pretty fun. I know when I was reading All Star Psycho-Pedophile & The Boy Toy Snot #2 that I couldn&#39;t wait to talk to everyone here about that single issue. My girl told me last night that she prefers trades because she&#39;s too impatient, but she likes single issues because of the nostalgia, the ads at the time, the smell, etc. (she&#39;s a keeper - SHAZAM!) I find myself to prefer both. I collect far too many monthly titles at the moment, but recently have gotten the Supreme Power, Invincible, and Runaways hard covers. I also get Y: The Last Man and Walking Dead religiously in trade format to lend out to the non-believers who only read novels. I guess that sums up that. *** Arrested Development was pretty good last night. My TV schedule is open on Mondays so I can watch this every week now. I didn&#39;t catch any of last season, but I&#39;m halfway through the first on DVD. Speaking of Tv on DVD, the girl and I have been on a Lost marathon. The DVD is in widescreen and Dolby 5.1 which confuses me because it isn&#39;t when shown on TV, but whatever

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 11:17 a.m. CST

    Nighthawk doesn&#39;t care about white people.

    by Immortal_Fish

    Once, just once, can&#39;t the wronged person in a hate crime be white?

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Immortal..

    by Homer Sexual

    Sue Dibney! Actually, the wronged person in a hate crime is frequently white. But not just white, also gay, female or Jewish.

  • Sept. 20, 2005, noon CST

    hey guys, why don&#39;t we continue this...

    by Gus Nukem

    online. Such as in a AIM chat room, or in a Hydra virtual war room, or even in a DC++ comics server chat? Whaddaya say? If so, I &#39;d be glad to provide you with my screen name. Also, this matter should be discussed here and not in the next week &#39;s column - effectively blocking the non-true believers, from ways to contact us. **** Homer, can you explain how Sue Dibney was killed ? I remember that Jean Loring was the villain, right? How was mixed in all this? Did he actually rape and kill her? And how was Loring involved in all this?

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 12:01 p.m. CST

    * How was Dr. Light mixed in all this ?

    by Gus Nukem

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 1:01 p.m. CST

    shes a definite keeper heathen

    by Darth Kal-El

    does she have any sisters? yeah i hate the way long boxes look lying around even if your neat with them it looks like your freaking moving. but i agree with your girl about the smell.ahhh...nostalgia...i have never seen arrested development but its in my que at blockbuster online.im waiting for lost right now.i hadnt gotten any new discs in the mail because i was still holding on to the last 3 firefly discs to rewatch them for the movie.that show is like gorram crack! i still havent found the comics altho admitedly i havent looked too hard since ive been getting my morena and jewel fix on tv.incidentaly none of my friends are even remotely interested in firefly even tho i have been trying like crazy to get new people interested in it so it looks like im going to serenity by myself.is there any firefly geeks here in the southern cali area specifically san bernardino that want to get together or let me tag along to see serenity?i can see it by myself no prob but part of the fun is sharing with others

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Gus re: * How was Dr. Light mixed in all this ?

    by The Heathen

    Dr. Light raped Sue Dibney on the Watchtower, then was beaten by the JLA and then *mind-wiped* along w/ Batman. Years later **SPOILER (from a year ago?)*** Jean Loring was trying to scare Sue so the League would be more concerned w/ their significant others and she thought that the Atom would take her back because he was worried about her. Turns out that she scared Sue a little too much and killed her. She then torched her body to make it look like Dr. Light had finally gotten his revenge. And that is how Light was mixed into all of this. Loring was sent off to Arkym Asylum, the Atom shrank away into nothing, and Eclipso took over Loring&#39;s body which can currently be seen in Day Of Vengeance. Hope that helps.

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 1:16 p.m. CST

    ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT -- Talk About Getting To The Devil Shit! T

    by Buzz Maverik

    Watched my first episode last night based on your recommendations here and the Emmy (we usually read for entertainment). Talk about how to tell a serialized story! Mind you, I&#39;d never seen the show before but within seconds, without exposition, I understood who everyone was. The thing bopped along at an insane pace with the cabin, illegitimate sons, horny cousins, incarcerated twins, the Blue Man Group, Fonzie hustling in Reno, Mom off medication (Mom&#39;s brother was one of my screenwriting profs!)all in about 22 minutes and part of a continuing serial. More proof that comic book style set ups are for writers who can&#39;t write -- and don&#39;t tell me comics are different. I&#39;ve read more comics than most of you and I can vouch that this style would work even better in a comic and has until about 1999.

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 1:19 p.m. CST

    thanks Kal

    by The Heathen

    and sadly, the only sister my latin lover has is a step-sister who is in high school and even whiter than me. FUNNY STORY completely unrelated to anything here (besides the hate crime thing i guess???), but about her step-sister. When she was 10, she wore a horse t-shirt that said, "SPOOKED!" and her dad made her change it because he thought it would offend African Americans. Well, I thought it was funny. : ) Yeah, I find it hard to get people into Firefly w/out explaining EVERYTHING about the gorram show!!! I guess there a bunch of dare I say, "wontbies." Damn, that&#39;s the dumbest freakin play on words I&#39;ve seen or heard in a looong time. Ooh, speaking of Jewel, I saw her on that show Electric Playground on G4. She&#39;s slimmed up just a bit and is even cuter/sexier than ever. The host was totally crushing on her too. *** Lost in 5.1 is awesome. great extras on the set too. My girl missed most of the eps due to work, but she&#39;s catching up for season 2. Wer&#39;e going to finish up tonight (innuendo implied)

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Along The Lines of Getting To The Devil Shit, My Brother Crash..

    by Buzz Maverik

    ...went with me to see THE THIN RED LINE. Now, except for genre geeks, all wannabe filmmakers worship Terence Malick, a man incapable of getting to the devil shit. I don&#39;t know why we do, but we do. BADLANDS, DAYS OF HEAVEN...uh, THE THIN RED LINE. He ain&#39;t prolific but everything looks so pretty. Anyway, we&#39;re about halfway through THE THIN RED LINE, or what would be halfway in a normal movie, and Crash screams,"Why the fuck does your he-ro keep showing all the birds in the goddam trees? Is this a war movie or a bird movie?" Just get to the Devil Shit! And is this a war movie or a bird movie?

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 1:27 p.m. CST

    too bad

    by Darth Kal-El

    but either way u live kind of far from me so it wouldnt matter. thats funny about the t-shirt.isnt that term very out of date tho?***your right about how hard it is to get people into firefly.i guess until u see it the concept sounds kind of stupid. but wow i love that show now! jewel was on g4?i would have love to have seen that! is there any links to pics or maybe some vid? yeah i cant wait to get into lost because i keep hearing so much about it but arrested development is on the list too.i saw supernatural and surface recently and they hit me as pretty decent pilots. any thoughts?

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 1:43 p.m. CST

    i&#39;m just a click away Cog $mooch!!!I

    by The Heathen

    I actually liked Supernatural enough to check out the second episode tonight. I thought it had a good creepy atmosphere about it. It&#39;d be cool to have a ghost/horror type show every week to check out and have a complete story every show thaat was part of the bigger season arc i.e. finding their dad. Hope tonight&#39;s episode is good. *** Yeah the spook(ed) thing is out of date, that&#39;s part of what made me think it was so funny about five years ago. I was like, "I don&#39;t think anyone is going to get in a fight over a horsey shirt a ten year old is wearing." but he was still freaked about it. *** G4 link? Let me look into it, but I&#39;m pretty sure if there are any episodes of Electric Playground on today before 11pm it&#39;s the one w/ Jewel.

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 1:48 p.m. CST

    cool deal heathen ill call someone and have them tivo some elect

    by Darth Kal-El

    hey by the way i missed the begining part of supernatural so im not really sure what the deal is with the dad. whats the story?

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Re Issue: Some help

    by El Vale

    Do you guys know of any online interviews that are worth reading, like the Devin Grayson one, or the Morrison someone posted last week? I&#39;ve read some awesome Alan Moore interviews that have taken me days to read they&#39;re so lengthy and full of substance, and at the risk of kissing @$$, the AICN comics interviews have been pretty awesome and honest. So, can you point me in the direction of some that fit those characteristics? Interviews that discuss craft, business, art and such at length. Thanks, that&#39;d be awesome.

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Oh and i got a favor to ask

    by El Vale

    I was wondering if you guys can hold back on the Lost season 2 spoilers seeing as it airs tomorrow in the US. OR you know if you feel like discussing it use gigantic spoiler warnings. It doesn&#39;t air till november here in Latin America and i wanna keep fresh. Please? Thanks, that&#39;d be awesome.

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Beginnning of Supernatural

    by The Heathen

    in the beginning the brothers mom woke up from bed to hear her baby crying. She saw a figure standing in front of the baby

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 2:25 p.m. CST

    you got it Vale

    by The Heathen

    No discussing Lost seaon 2 unless accompanied by ***SPOILER**** i can&#39;t find any cool interviews as of yet. : ( sorry bud.

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 2:48 p.m. CST

    hey, Heathen

    by Gus Nukem

    You said: she scared Sue too much and killed her. How did that happen? Also, how did she fake Dr. Light&#39;s involvement? I mean him killing somebody, would not be something easily faked. **** About Dr. Light: how did he regain his memories? Does he know he was wrongfully accused of the murder of Sue Dibny?

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 2:57 p.m. CST

    thanks heathen and no worries vale

    by Darth Kal-El

    no interviews but the erik larsen column called &#39;one fan&#39;s opinion&#39; over at comic book resources is consitently good. check it out!

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Gus

    by The Heathen

    I think (if i remember correctly) Jean Loring used The Atoms belt to shrink down and she walked on something she shouldn&#39;t have inside of Sue&#39;s head and it she accidently killed her. So I might not have worded it as properly as i should have, but i believe Lorings goal was to only scare Sue, but she f&#39;ed that up to high hell. So in a panic, Jean scorched Sues body w/ a flame thrower to indicate Dr. Light. People like Sues hubby Ralph thought immediately of Dr. Light because of him raping Sue before. As far as Light regaining his memories, I&#39;m a little fuzzy about that, but I know he&#39;s super pissed about having them taken from him.

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Hey Kal-El, didn&#39;t you say that somebody from one of our tb&

    by The Heathen

    I think you did, but i can&#39;t remember, but if he did, which one was it?

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Well, it looks like House of M didn&#39;t "break the internet in

    by Heywood Jablowme

    And to Frank Miller: Stop writing Batman before you screw up the cool shit you accomplished almost 20 years ago. First you churn out Dark Knight Strikes Again and now this All-Star turd. For all that&#39;s holy, stop, man.

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 3:33 p.m. CST

    i dont remember exactly who said it

    by Darth Kal-El

    but it was a comment about 90s art. here ill go find it

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Larsen Said:

    by Darth Kal-El

    "There are those who explain the attraction to many of the hot artists of the late &#39;80s and early &#39;90s as, "guys that drew the way fans would draw if they could draw." It was the ultimate fan art. Many Jane Watson had more hair, more lashes, bigger jugs, and wore less clothing than anybody thought possible in a book approved by the Comics Code. Characters had an impossible array of pads, pockets and weapons and nobody cared if things changed from one panel to the next or if there were two moons in the sky-- it was fan art and fan art was crude and crazy and busy as all hell. "***** i only read comic related material there and here so i could have sworn this was a coment made by someone either on the boards or the reviews. can any of the @$$holes help?

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Devil Shit pacing and I think it was somebody here that said wha

    by The Heathen

    Arrested Development, Seinfeld, and Curb Your Enthusiasm are all great examples. Entourage aint bad either, but that feels like a different breed, but still awesome. Let&#39;s hug it out bitch! Hasta manana Cogs and @$$holes. Thanks for that Larsen column clarification, oh here Kal-El *** http://tinyurl.com/9b52r *** http://tinyurl.com/7gw4r ***

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 3:52 p.m. CST

    your generosity knows no bounds heathen

    by Darth Kal-El

    have a great night finishin lost and then whatever comes to mind with the latin godess!

  • It fits, since Larsen&#39;s referenced Byrne several times in his column (Byrne was almost certainly the "old pro" who Larsen sniped at for only having "one running pose for Flash", which ties into comments Byrne has definitely made). In short: Larsen&#39;s both agreed and disagreed with Byrne. I might&#39;ve missed a column in there, but to the best of my knowledge he&#39;s never referenced AICN or the TalkBacks. For which he sux0rs.

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Vale, I can&#39;t help ya on interviews.

    by Dave_F

    I&#39;ve read some good ones, but I&#39;m a "fire and forget" kind of guy. I read &#39;em, go "wow!", and never bookmark &#39;em or anything. I&#39;ll keep my eyes peeled, though.

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 4:02 p.m. CST

    "The new issue of The Pulse sucked btw"

    by Dave_F

    Heh heh. Heathen, I&#39;m going to go out on a limb and guess that you and I will have something to discuss come the new column. ****** And I see you mentioned the non-parochuting Gotham cops - what were they thinking? Why didn&#39;t they eject to safety?! COBRAAAAA!!!

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 4:09 p.m. CST

    i thought it might have been you actually dave

    by Darth Kal-El

    the reason is because like i mentioned i get all my comic related reading done on aicn exclusively and have only recently started checking out CBR.i remeber the quote but it might have been you or someone on the talkbacks saying &#39;byrne has said this about 90s art&#39;ahh now its going to bug me all day like the word you get stuck on the tip of your tongue!oh well thanks for clarifying nonetheless and yes he sux0rs a lot if hes not a fan of this column.

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 4:25 p.m. CST

    also

    by Darth Kal-El

    "what are you retarded? i can cause im the godamn batman thats why!"

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 6:05 p.m. CST

    worst.batman.dialogue.EVER!

    by Darth Kal-El

    frank miller why have you forsaken me!!

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 8:54 p.m. CST

    Well isn&#39;t the question..

    by Thalya

    ..&#39;how old were you when you read Dark Knight Returns?&#39;

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 9 p.m. CST

    i was 12 or 13 i dont really remember

    by Darth Kal-El

    but i have gone back and reread it many times and have passed it on to others who have loved it. id be embarrased to recomend AS Batman right now. maybe when the trade hits it will all flow smoothly but from what i saw just flipping through issue 2 at the store im not holding my breath

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 9:14 p.m. CST

    that batman dialogue

    by blackthought

    reminds me of the "great" diolague featured in the sean connery epic ZARDOZ...and i too recall that qoute by larsen. also that episode of arrested developement was fantactic...oh meibe...what is george michael to do? tomorrow vale you might want to keep your eyes peeled for alot of *****SPOILERS**** warnings with the debut of LOST&#39;s second season...i seriously cannot wait...anyway check out that show Bones? and i must say i do love the show HOUSE...hugh laurie is the bomb...he seriously should be in a comic book movie...question is what character would he be perfect to play?

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 9:53 p.m. CST

    Hugh Laurie=Perry White...almost.

    by SleazyG.

    Bryan Singer hired him for the gig. Then "House" took off and Hugh couldn&#39;t get the time away, so they gave the job to Frank Langella (most recently Pino on "Kitchen Confidential" last night on FOX, but also the acting teacher on HBO&#39;s "Unscripted" last season).

  • Sept. 20, 2005, 10:01 p.m. CST

    Hugh Laurie...

    by vroom socko

    Is Prince George first and foremost in my mind. And yet, someone on the Bendis board suggested him for a particular role based on his House work, and I can find no fault in this casting idea: shave him down and Hugh Laurie would be great as Spider Jerusalem.

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 12:21 a.m. CST

    i&#39;m aware...

    by blackthought

    of that whole supes casting with laurie...i just personally think his talent would be wasted on such a minor role as perry white...i wanna see him in as a major player...hmmmm.....spider jerusalem...me ponders.

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 2:32 a.m. CST

    I don&#39;t like Hugh Laurie as Spider

    by El Vale

    Spider should be played by Depp since he already played him once and did a kickass job doing it.

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 9 a.m. CST

    j.depp

    by blackthought

    as b&#39;wana beast

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 10:01 a.m. CST

    "Terence Malick, a man incapable of getting to the devil shit...

    by ZombieSolutions

    BADLANDS got to the Devil Shit quick enough. it opens with loser garbage man, he sees girl, falls in love, kills her father, the couple lives a life on the run and moves into a wonderful and economical pre-housing-bubble tree house, kills some more people, goes to prison in a post-modernist nod to crime-fame progenitors Bonnie and Clyde, the end. oh, and, as you noted, it&#39;s really pretty. (especially the &#39;torching the house" scene.) (btw, i liked THIN BLUE LINE. bit meandering there in the middles, i agree, but, as you noted, purty. and kinda meaningful... bleary eyed world weary soldiers, etc. kinda meanderng, maybe, but noice.) anyways, i think BADLANDS moves along nicely, and it&#39;s only 90 minutes. i think it can fit into the devil shit continuum.

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 11:47 a.m. CST

    S.J.

    by Thalya

    ..isn&#39;t that a Warren Ellis character? And if so, that&#39;s about all I know. And I think a new high may have been reached with &#39;devil shit continuum&#39;.

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Spider Jerusalem is the star of TRANSMETROPOLITAN.

    by SleazyG.

    It&#39;s a really good Vertigo series Ellis did. Spider is partially based on Hunter Thompson, but with a few other gonzo journalists thrown in. Spider also has a much more violent and proactive approach to his reporting. It&#39;s set in a future where there&#39;s one huge city that sprawls across most of the continental U.S. Entertaining little series with some really great art. Well worth grabbing a trade or two to see what you think.

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 12:41 p.m. CST

    BTW, Anyone See Those "Viral Marketing" Spots For SERENITY?

    by ZombieSolutions

    previously i was totally uninterested in the movie, but after watching these spots, now i&#39;m interested. it features River doing her best Sadako / Samara impersonation (that&#39;s the girl-ghost-demon from RING) in what appears to be a therapy / brainwashing / shake-down session with some shadowy scientist jerk. it&#39;s pretty cool. i hope the movie lives up to it...

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Didn&#39;t Geoff Darrow Do Some Of The TRANSMETROPOLITAN Artwork

    by ZombieSolutions

    this is one of those series that i somehow kept passing by. what would you consider to be the best TPBs?

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 1:39 p.m. CST

    yes, I think so

    by Gus Nukem

    Try the first three. Setup and fleshing out of the characters and the universe. Some very good stories. I haven&#39;t bought other tpbs than those. If Darrow provided art (I believe so), it would be some pinups to be found along some of other industry greats (such as Quitely) in a tpb collection later than the first three.

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 2 p.m. CST

    All-Star Batman #2

    by docfalken

    Man, I thought that issue rocked. Great setup. Rough and tough dialogue too. And Alfred quietly contemplating "putting the wood" to an unconscious Ms. Vale. Even butlers need some groupie tail every once in a while. Hook a brother up Bats.

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 2:15 p.m. CST

    darrow

    by blackthought

    i think that man is pretty dope.

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Darrow on Transmet

    by El Vale

    Darrow did about 4 or so Transmet covers if memory serves. So did Cassaday and Moebius by the way. On what trades to recommend, i&#39;d say yeah pick up the first ones to get an idea of what the thing&#39;s like, but my favorite stories are in the last half, when Ellis finally grew up and realized that yeah, he&#39;d already told us a million times that the future was very weird, and he got to do human stories and really delve into his characters.

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 3:14 p.m. CST

    All Star B&R

    by Guldorak

    I haven&#39;t seen or read All Star Batman and Robin number 2 since we get our new releases one to two weeks after the US does but judging by how much shit the first issue got here. Compared to how much I enjoyed it I suspect issue 2 is also pretty good. I understand some of you seem to think Batman is to focused on his mission to eradicate crime and lacked a bit of judgment in drafting Dick Grayson at the end of the book. Considering that Graysons parents were just killed you might have an argument but to me good or bad Batman has always been about a single minded obsessive individual who fights crime. All of his actions and thought are dedicated to this and are distorted by it. He only seems to understand actions and emotions that to fighting crime and all other emotions are irrelevant. I always thought he had to be dysfunctional to do this, and no I didn&#39;t need the Killing Joke to spell it out for me, but then again most of you probably know this. So I don&#39;t understand slagging him for actions that are totally in character. I just read Young Avengers 6 based on a prior review form this site. Quite enjoyable and easy to follow considering this was the last issue of a story arc. I quite enjoyed the art on this. Also read Villains United 5. This is a lot more enjoyable than it ought to be considering the unlikely premise on which its based. The writing makes this since the pencils are good but not great. Read FF 530 which I enjoyed but was somewhat lacking story wise. Nice pencils though and a promising cliffhanger increased the enjoyment level.

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Oops, I Meant THIN RED LINE

    by ZombieSolutions

    duh

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Darrow Fans -- Anyone Seen SHAOLIN COWBOY?

    by ZombieSolutions

    as you&#39;d expect, the artwork is outstanding, but the story is only so-so. kind of an absurdist meta-western thang. HARD BOILED is the shiznit, however. i&#39;d love to see Darrow do an animated film. never happen, but i&#39;d love to see it.

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 4 p.m. CST

    yes, it kicks unholy ass / some questions about the Joker

    by Gus Nukem

    1) Is/Was he a member of the Injustice Gang, or of the Legion of Doom, or of both? 2) Why is it that the noted Superfriends fan Alex Ross will include him in the 21st century line-up of the Legion of Doom, if the Joker hasn&#39;t ever been a member of it? 3) Does the Joker play any part in the Infinite Crisis, or its prologue? How? 4) Does he appear in the Villains United? If so, does he/will he be affiliated with any of the villain alliances? With whom, and why? >>PHEW<< Fellow geeks, I implore for your knowledge

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 5 p.m. CST

    So i take it there&#39;s no new column today

    by El Vale

    Is it becoming a Thursday thing now?

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 6:07 p.m. CST

    seems that way vale

    by Darth Kal-El

    only vale will be able to appreciate this-when i was younger me and my friends would always ask unsuspecting(and usually younger and more gullible)friends on wednesdays -"Que dia es ma

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 6:18 p.m. CST

    a piece of me died seeing han solo this way

    by Darth Kal-El

    http://tinyurl.com/bha2e

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 6:46 p.m. CST

    Jesus H. Christ

    by Gus Nukem

    I just found out that the reason Batman couldn&#39;t touch or bring in the Joker on the murder of Jason Todd is that Ayatollah Khomeini himself had offered him the position of the Ambassador of Iran to the U.N. - and all that happened back in 1988!!

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Jesus christ, what the hell happened to Harrison Ford?

    by El Vale

    That pic reminds me of that scene in Land of the dead where everyone&#39;s having their picture taken with chained zombies, and having a blast. And Darth: Hehe :P

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 6:59 p.m. CST

    that coment was hilarious and sad but true vale

    by Darth Kal-El

    another classic is after someone comes back from a trip or being out u go to the guy who didnt get to go and say &#39;Oye te mandaron saludos&#39; when the unsuspecting rube replies &#39;quien?&#39; you yell out "mis huevos peludos!!".ok that was the last one

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 7:01 p.m. CST

    bored...need...new.....column.....harison....what...happened

    by Darth Kal-El

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 7:27 p.m. CST

    how was the wedding shigeru?

    by Darth Kal-El

    hope everything went well

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 9:36 p.m. CST

    jewish spiderman?

    by blackthought

    you mean irving spiederman right? oh and as the joker&#39;s conspicious absence in this crisis thingy...i dunno...maybe he&#39;s mockingbird? maybe he just found out he&#39;s the long lost brother of bruce wayne? or perhaps he&#39;s lex luthor&#39;s third cousin or something...but he&#39;s a rather big cog not to be taking advantage of this crisis at DC...and boys i&#39;m glad to have Lost back, nice nice opening episode...besides missing a few minutes due to a rather wonderous thunderstorm/tornado stuff knocking everything out...fun times...and shouldn&#39;t shigeru be on a honeymoon?

  • Sept. 21, 2005, 10:55 p.m. CST

    Darth: Te mandaron saludos!

    by El Vale

    OWNED! Shigeru? Where&#39;s Shigeru? I didn&#39;t see no Shigeru. If he&#39;s here, the wedding didn&#39;t go too well.

  • Sept. 22, 2005, 12:06 a.m. CST

    Gus Nukem re: Joker

    by Thalya

    As far as Infinite Crisis is concerned, I remember DiDio getting questioned about it at Chicago con this summer and whether he&#39;d pop up in Villains United and he replied something to the effect of "Stay tuned", which, if you parse it, most cynically means "Keep buying" and at best means "He&#39;s Mockingbird". Though at the same time I remember at a Philly con a couple months earlier and he said that Joker and Darkseid were being given a rest because of all the play they&#39;ve gotten lately. There&#39;s genuine speculation that he could be Mockingbird, but I doubt it. It&#39;s most likely Lex or an alternate universe Lex, though my money&#39;s on Calculator (big surprise), and I actually have a highly-nuanced reading of the text that would explain it, but I&#39;d only bore. *** As far as Lost goes, sweet opener, even sweeter teaser, but does anyone else worry that&#39;ll get, er, lost amongst all the quasi-supernatural ripoffs coming out? It was good last season because Angel had just gone off the air and it was mostly alone on the networks for genre stuff and it really felt like this was a show people _needed_ to happen. This year, I&#39;m just watching and not bothering to tape. eh.

  • Sept. 22, 2005, 12:35 a.m. CST

    Where&#39;s the column?

    by vroom socko

    Don&#39;t look at us. I know we sent it in. It&#39;s up to Harry and co. just WHEN it goes up. If you want to email Harry, Mori, Quint, and the webmaster, asking why the comics column isn&#39;t up on Wednsday like it should be, that&#39;s up to you... Not that I&#39;m endorsing spamming them or anything. ;)

  • Sept. 22, 2005, 1:47 a.m. CST

    vale PWNED me!

    by Darth Kal-El

    true words im glad shigeru hanst posted.ide be worried if he had.

  • Sept. 22, 2005, 2:04 a.m. CST

    vroom

    by Darth Kal-El

    ide been watching the site in teh morning while i was at work waiting for the new column to go up. i didnt know it was out of you guys control. wow and its not like it was a busy news day either. BIG BOLD TEXT GUZMAN!!!! for a webtalk i missed by four hours?! aint it lame!

  • Sept. 22, 2005, 2:04 a.m. CST

    New column up at 1:55 Bogota time

    by El Vale

    Jeez, took a while! Someone email the webmaster or something? "Oh shit! I didn&#39;t post it?!"

  • Sept. 22, 2005, 9:08 a.m. CST

    "what the hell happened to Harrison Ford?"

    by ZombieSolutions

    time happened. "behold the ravages of age! and alchoholism!"

  • Sept. 22, 2005, 10:44 a.m. CST

    whoa

    by blackthought

    harrison ford can age? how human of him...and thayla...hmmmm...calculator as mockingbird? where is braniac?

  • Sept. 22, 2005, 11:03 a.m. CST

    I don&#39;t think you&#39;d bore me Thalya. PLEASE explain.

    by The Heathen

    Oh

  • Sept. 22, 2005, 1:09 p.m. CST

    new column indeed

    by blackthought

  • Sept. 22, 2005, 4:54 p.m. CST

    and hereby I declare the race for this talkback&#39;s LAST post

    by Gus Nukem

    Atomic batteries to power. Turbines to speed. Roger. Let &#39;er move out. ****** LAST!

  • Sept. 22, 2005, 7:26 p.m. CST

    last

    by Darth Kal-El

    smooch my cog hoes!

  • Sept. 22, 2005, 10:34 p.m. CST

    why race?

    by blackthought

    when victory is always mine? masachists you be...but i love you all anyway...oh, and LAST.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 11:17 a.m. CST

    it&#39;s a race all right

    by Gus Nukem

    seeing that one laughs the best, if he laughs LAST.

  • Sept. 23, 2005, 6:31 p.m. CST

    um...

    by blackthought

    LAST!

  • Sept. 26, 2005, 8:38 a.m. CST

    ...er...

    by Gus Nukem

    LAST!

  • Sept. 26, 2005, 3:52 p.m. CST

    ......mm...

    by blackthought

    LAST!

  • Sept. 28, 2005, 6:27 p.m. CST

    *HURM*

    by Gus Nukem

    what the hell was that? What? A paper that says...LAST?!

  • Sept. 29, 2005, 12:57 p.m. CST

    you....

    by blackthought

    might want to have a doctor look at that...sounds gruesome...and oh LAST.

  • Sept. 29, 2005, 3:31 p.m. CST

    I am in pefect condition

    by Gus Nukem

    and LAST!

  • Sept. 30, 2005, 5:39 p.m. CST

    i&#39;m in...

    by blackthought

    a LAST condition...oh LAST!

  • Sept. 30, 2005, 5:50 p.m. CST

    we &#39;ll make it...

    by Gus Nukem

    ...LAST all night. LAST!

  • Oct. 1, 2005, 2:59 p.m. CST

    so bad we are

    by blackthought

    LAST my friend :)

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 7:17 p.m. CST

    no regrets

    by Gus Nukem

    LAST! Once more.

  • Oct. 8, 2005, 11:18 p.m. CST

    NOT ANYMORE

    by blackthought

    for i am...LAST!

  • Oct. 20, 2005, 9:27 a.m. CST

    not anymore

    by Gus Nukem

    for I kill your LAST status and start my own.