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AICN COMICS REVIEWS: WATCHING THE WATCHMEN! ENDERS GAME! WALKING DEAD! & MORE!!!

#22 10/08/08 #7

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) WATCHING THE WATCHMEN An @$$Hole 2 in 1 Review: ENDERS GAME: BATTLE SCHOOL #1 THE WALKING DEAD #53 THE TWELVE #8 CROSSED #1 AVENGERS/INVADERS #5 Big Eyes For the Cape Guy presents MANGA SPOTLIGHT: OCTOPUS GIRL Vol. 1 Big Eyes For the Cape Guy presents WALKIN’ BUTTERFLY Vols 1-3 CHEAP SHOTS!

WATCHING THE WATCHMEN

Words and art by Dave Gibbons Design by Chip Kidd and Mike Essl Publisher: Titan Books Stones Throw watches WATCHING THE WATCHMEN

CBR had a recent poll asking fans and bemused Googlers how they’d feel about more WATCHMEN, the responses ranging from “only if DC are prepared for bloody fanboy jihad” to “yeah, what’s WATCHMEN anyway?”. I voted in what turned out to be the least popular field, “only if Dave Gibbons were involved”. What can I say? I’m all for tarnishing legacies, and WATCHMEN’s is about as sacred as they come. Plus Gibbons is probably my favorite comic book artist still working. Actually, this puts me in mind of another poll I clicked on, “how is the rising price of gas affecting your comic book purchases”. The most popular response was “not at all, I don’t own a car”, which made me think of a million Comic Book Guys finally feeling smug.
Anyway, my point is, I suppose, that so much has been said and written about WATCHMEN (which, on the record for a moment, I’m still gonna say is the best ever mainstream-produced comic book series), that unearthing buried gems about the series is a task even the world’s smartest man would furrow his brow over. Or that might make Dr. Manhattan clench his buttocks in exertion. However, this book’s saving grace is the fact that all the text (bar a short, insightful contribution from colorist John Higgins) is provided by artist and co-creator Dave Gibbons, who proves illuminating on the genesis of the series and the fallout after its release. Add the masterful design by Chip Kidd (whose books on the histories of Batman and Superman with Les Daniels are essential reads for any comic book fan) and you’ve got a book that’s a snug enough fit next to that copy of WATCHMEN.
The first seventy or so pages focus on the beginnings of WATCHMEN in amazingly comprehensive detail—everything’s there, from Moore and Gibbons’ virginal doodles, early character sketches and marketing ideas to photos of Moore’s proposal and first script. Of particular interest/curiosity: Rorschach’s original full body blot suit (looks a lot more like a creepy figure skater than the bane of the underworld), Gibbons’ note that the Comedian was modeled after Groucho Marx, the clown look having been taken by Batman’s Joker, and the revelation that Nite Owl was based on a superhero Gibbons created as a teenager (new to me). There’s also some pretty nice history of the artist’s early days at DC and run-ins with guys like Julie Schwartz and Dick Giordano. From there, the book moves into a pretty steady pattern of Gibbons’ pencil-and-marker-pen thumbnails (drawn for every page of each issue) set against the occasional finished page for comparison.
As I was flipping through I thought it slightly curious that there wasn’t more art at a more advanced stage. That’s explained in the penultimate chapter, though, entitled “But Then…”. Dave Gibbons doesn’t own any of the original 336 pages of WATCHMEN, having sold them all as the series was being published.
I reckon that warrants repeating: Dave Gibbons doesn’t own any of the WATCHMEN artwork. Man, that just about knocked me over. In one of the book’s wittiest lines, he comments that he knows “there’s no use crying over spilt milk, but then spilt milk doesn’t appreciate in value a hundred-fold in twenty years”.
It’s those kinds of details that make this book a truly worthwhile and interesting read. How about how, in the days before fax or even FedEx reached England, Alan Moore’s scripts had to be ferried by taxi cab the fifty or so miles to Dave Gibbons’ house? Or DC editor Mike Carlin’s hilarious re-dialoguing of Rorschach’s death scene? Or just one example of the astounding and never-equalled amounts of effort put into the book, Gibbons’ map of how Laurie’s “Nostalgia” perfume bottle falls across the background of stars visible on Mars—not something you’d notice in the panels spread out across #10, but the kind of detail that separates WATCHMEN from thousands of lesser books? Perhaps my favorite snapshot from Gibbons’ personal files was the note sent by then-DC design chief Richard Bruning after #1, congratulating Moore and Gibbons on “the finest comic book yet produced”.
Is it essential? Well, no, but then the only thing that’s truly essential is the original twelve issues, and even those are secondary to stuff like food and gas. What this is is a lavishly produced art book that managed to enhance my already-considerable appreciation of THE WATCHMEN and its artist Dave Gibbons, and a more than fair start to the WATCHMEN overload that’s sure to accompany Zack Snyder’s upcoming film.
And since no one asked, my most optimistic prediction for the movie is that it’ll at least be interesting to see the graphic novel on the screen.

An @$$HOLE 2 in 1 Review: ENDERS GAME: BATTLE SCHOOL # 1

Writers: Christopher Yost and Orson Scott Card Artist: Pasqual Ferry Color Artist: Frank D'Armata Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewers: Optimous Douche & BottleImp(The wordy dynamic duo)

OPTIMOUS DOUCHE (OD):Reading this comic adaption of Card’s first chapter in the Ender saga was like a condensed homecoming for me. The first time I peered into the tragic life of Andrew “Ender” Wiggen, acid wash jeans were king, my parents thought the cassette “License to Ill” would irreparably damage my soul, and girls had bangs so high that they could disrupt flight patterns coming out of Newark airport. It was 1986, I had bled the well of Isaac Asimov’s “future-history” novels dry and I desperately needed a Sci-Fi outlet during my summer break. The cyclops at my local book store recommended “Ender’s Game”, because as he put it, “This kid is pretty fucked up, kind of like you.” With that ringing endorsement how could I ignore this title? Naturally the allegorical woes of modern society that Card was trying to extrapolate into the future escaped me at the time, but it didn’t matter. The frightening future he painted of earth under siege by an alien species had enough Sci-Fi techno goodness to make me read the book three times that summer. It was also pretty damn terrifying to view an earth that was so desperate for battle fodder that children were being trained for battle while still in elementary school.
BOTTLE IMP(IMP):It’s funny; I have a completely different experience with the source material, having finished reading it for the first time just before I saw that this comic book was being released. Lately I’ve been on a vintage sci-fi kick and have been scouring used bookstores and flea markets for some of what the genre has to offer. I had heard of ENDER’S GAME but knew nothing else about it, though I had the preconception that it was more of a kid’s/young adult’s book (this came from a cover I had seen that was clearly geared towards a younger market—a cutesy, curly-haired Ender in a space suit in front of Atari-esque graphics). I was purged of this erroneous notion within the first few pages. ENDER’S GAME is brutal, visceral and unrelenting. I was concerned about how well this quality would translate to Marvel’s adaptation, but so far I’m impressed with how closely the comic book sticks to Card’s Hugo-winning novel, right down to dialogue in long speeches and quick exchanges alike. What do you think of the series so far?
OD:Based on the first issue, I’m hooked. My memory of the source material is a bit fuzzier than yours, Imp, but in this case it doesn’t matter. This is the type of story that just simply works as a comic book. You have a protagonist in Ender Wiggen with a mysterious destiny (a la Harry Potter), Machiavellian manipulation by the adults in the world driving him towards that destiny (a la Harry Potter), and an unwillingness to embrace that destiny and just be a loved normal boy (a la Harry Potter? You know what, I think Card needs to sue J.K.). It’s this simplicity that allows the story to transcend any medium (I’ve been hearing rumbling s about a movie), unlike say THE DARK TOWER where the story is simply too complex to truly get the material when taken out of a prose format.
IMP:You’ve hit the nail square on the head—when you get right down to it, the plot is simple yet profound. I’m looking forward to seeing how future issues handle Ender’s development at Battle School, though… so much of what Ender goes through is internal as well as physical. But we can both agree that so far the comic is working fine on the story level. But the artwork…
OD:Yeah, it felt very warm and hazy. Damn interesting tonality for the pages when Ender beats the crap out of the bullies. Valentine looked exactly as I had envisioned her from the book: gentle, soft, a living embodiment of Ender's warmth and compassion. Peter - I have to admit I envisioned Peter looking like a monster when I read the book as a kid, standing 12 feet tall and with fangs. Am I insane in thinking that Peter's wretchedness was far more intense in the book?
IMP:I don’t know about that; the comic book version still comes off pretty nasty to me. But yeah, the character designs are great, but I’m not so sure about the coloring. Frank D’Armata’s painted tones are exquisite, but a little TOO exquisite, if that makes any sense. His fully rendered figures and backgrounds make every panel feel like a perfect little jewel—which is great for the quieter moments, but I think the action sequences get sapped of some of their dynamism and sense of motion. All of those little highlights and shadows are a little TOO perfect, giving the sense of a frozen snapshot rather than a moment of movement. This is a problem that I’ve seen before in painted comics (Alex Ross tends to fall into that trap sometimes), and I wish that it wasn’t the case here. I almost wish that this series were colored in the more traditional way to let Pasqual Ferry’s great stylized designs carry the story without being covered up so much.
OD:OK, you caught me. I’m a painted picture whore. Like a toddler transfixed by a set of dangling keys, I drool and coo every time a brush stroked panel passes in front of my eyes. I see what you mean about the freeze-frame nature of this style, but it’s easy for me to bring panels to life in my head since I’m borderline schizophrenic.
In my final analysis, ENDERS GAME is a great story and Yost has done a faithful job adapting it into the comic medium. For those that have never read any of the books, you are in for an amazing read. If you are like me and have read all of the books in the Ender’s saga, you will appreciate the innocence of the opening pages and be slightly saddened to know what pain and suffering this young man will face over the next 3,000 years (No, Ender is not immortal; Card just takes a no bullshit approach to faster than light travel).
IMP: Since both of us are already familiar with Card's novel, I would love to hear what readers of this comic who are just coming fresh into this story think of the overall package. But even knowing how the story will turn out, I'm definitely going to stick with this series-- as long as Yost and Co. can keep faithful to the themes of Ender's story, it'll be a winner.

THE WALKING DEAD #53

Writer: Robert Kirkman Artist: Charlie Adlard Publisher: Image Comics Reviewer: Ambush Bug

Wait a minute. A WALKING DEAD issue that wasn't a five minute read? What's going on here!??!!
For the last few issues (and quite possible since the beginning of this series), THE WALKING DEAD has been notorious for being one of those books that occasionally seems to be overly-padded in order to squeeze out 22 pages. Gigantic double splash pages. Repeated panels. All the tricks used in order to make the page count. It's a good damn thing that the story is written so well, otherwise I would have beat feet away from this book long ago.
But this is one of the best written ongoing series out there. Despite some storylines that dragged ass (most recently with the multiple arcs that took place in the prison), the book is consistently well written and well drawn. Sure, the schedule is wonky. Fans of the series know that you could get three issues of WALKING DEAD one month, then none the next. But hell, that's the independent scene, folks. Again, because this is such a well written series, I am willing to forget all of that and just savor the book when it does come out.
The reason why I decided to review this book (a book that I think I've reviewed more than any other here at AICN throughout the years in either full or cheapie form), is that this was one of the most satisfyingly full issues of the series to date. In this issue, we get a lot of talky, but it's good talky. It's important conversations between cast members that definitely forward the plot and spend just enough time to flesh out some already well fleshed out characters. In this issue Rick, Michonne, and his son are reunited with other survivors of the prison arc who fled before the shit hit the fan in issue #49. The reunion is filled to the brim with mixed emotion as the group is happy to see the survivors, but others are heartbroken that they are the only survivors of the prison massacre. Kirkman handles the duality of this situation well and Adlard, as usual, deftly juggles the emotions on their faces to increase the drama. Of course, some new cast members show up just when the dust is starting to settle and Rick, who was just kicking himself for his adventurous side, is once again faced with a challenge whether to stay and keep what's left of his family safe, or go on a new quest to try to get to the bottom of all of this zombie business by following these new survivors to Washington DC.
This really is one of my favorite WALKING DEAD issues so far, and it has everything to do with the fact that it actually seemed like Kirkman wasn't trying to eke out an issue by using every old comic book stretching sequence he can imagine. Kirkman is a good writer, but WALKING DEAD has often been a source of frustration with me because he isn't afraid to fluff up an issue just to make it to the end. The reasoning behind the WALKING DEAD's penchant for snail-pacing and stretching? One can only speculate. I think the issue here is Kirkman's writing style. It would appear that Kirkman writes with specific beats in mind. Every writer does, but as exemplified by his use of cliffhangers, it appears Kirkman knows exactly how he wants an issue to end. It just seems hard to get there sometimes. And sometimes there is so little that happens between beats that splashes and silent/repeated panels are needed. I'm sure it's a common predicament for comic book writers. If it didn't happen so often, I wouldn't take so much issue with it.
The use of ten page letters pages doesn't help but make the content seem dinky either. I know it's quaint for Kirkman to take the time to publish and answer each and every mailing he receives and I'm sure it's satisfying for fans to see their stuff in print. But to me, especially in one of the aforementioned stretched issues, to get to the end only to see page after page of text, it's more than frustrating.
But the only reason I am mentioning all of this is because that type of stuff isn't present in this issue of WALKING DEAD. I hope this is a trend that continues after this one and this issue isn't a fluke. Maybe since Kirkman's extremely public exodus from Marvel occurred, he had more time to focus on THE WALKING DEAD. Whatever the reason, this was one of the best and most fulfilling WALKING DEAD issues to date. Keep it up, Kirkman. This issue made me fat and happy.
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, reviewer and co-editor of AICN Comics for over seven years. Check out a five page preview of his short story published in MUSCLES & FIGHTS 3 (AVAILABLE NOW at Muscles & Fights.com.) on his ComicSpace page. Bug was recently interviewed here and here at Cream City Comics about indie comics, his own artistic process, the comics industry, and other shades of bullsquat. Look for Bug’s follow-up this Fall in MUSCLES & FRIGHTS!

THE TWELVE #8 (of 12)

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski Artist: Chris Weston Published by: Marvel Comics Reviewed by: BottleImp

Please disregard my review for the previous issue of THE TWELVE.
Everything I wrote about the story getting boring and predictable—forget about all that. Because this issue is a page-turner through to the very end and left me angry that I’d have to wait at least another 30 days until the next one.
I think that THE TWELVE ran into a small case of what is known in the theatre as “Act II Problems.” All the characters had been introduced, the mystery was set up, and then…a lot of backstory. I’m as much to blame for the apparent lull in the story as JMS is, though. Each time one of the twelve superheroes’ stories was told, I pretty much assumed “well, that explains that one… on to the next.” Within this issue we see JMS begin to draw these separate character strands together and tie them onto the main thread of the murder mystery as we head into Act III. Ramping up the tension are glimpses of new riddles…case in point, the Fiery Mask. The Mask’s origin had been retold in an earlier issue, wherein he claimed to have gained his powers through the experiments of a mad scientist’s zombie-creation machine. At the time I thought that JMS was just showing how wacky those Golden Age comic scripts were, and took the Mask’s story at face value. I should have known better once I had read JMS’ take on the REAL origin of the Rockman…
What else to say? The plot is churning ahead once more, Weston’s artwork remains impeccable, the sense of tension that had ebbed has returned with even greater force—you probably know what I’m going to say next.
If you haven’t yet jumped on board this series, GO BUY IT. The earlier issues have been released in second printings and issues 1-6 have already been published as a hardcover trade, so you should have no trouble finding it at your local comic shop. I suppose you could just wait for the inevitable trade of the second half, but frankly, I can’t take stand the suspense. I recommend this series as required reading for any comic book fan—don’t miss out.
When released from his Bottle, the Imp takes the form of Stephen Andrade, an artist/illustrator/pirate monkey painter from the Northeast who's given up comics more times than he can remember. But every time he thinks he's out, they pull him back in.

CROSSED #1

Writer: Garth Ennis Artist: Jacen Burrows Publisher: Avatar Reviewer: Ambush Bug

Now, I know Garth Ennis has been pretty verbose in denying that CROSSED is a zombie book. And I guess, technically, he's right. It's not a zombie book in the sense that it doesn't appear that this is a book about people rising from the dead to eat other people.
But the genre that this book falls under is definitely survivalist fiction, like most zombie fiction. And whether or not it's zombies, nuclear war, vampires, viruses, or out of control girl scouts that cause the apocalypse, a lot of those stories are similar in that man is boiled down to his basic elements and all that we know it is utterly destroyed. Everything society uses and takes for granted comes back and slaps them in the face, be it our reliance on cell phones and computers or the convenience of having an all night bodega right around the corner whenever you need Dr. Pepper or Slim Jims. Take that all away, and you have an interesting story, as proven with THE WALKING DEAD, 28 DAYS LATER, I AM LEGEND, and here in CROSSED.
I have talked before about the schizophrenic nature of Ennis' writing. There's the reserved and serious storyteller and the guy who likes to tell ass-rape jokes in church just to get a rise out of people. Both personalities are interesting at times. Both can also be tedious. Here, Ennis doles out a little of both in CROSSED and after reading both the 0 issue and this first issue, I have to say, it's one of my favorite Ennis reads out there. The entire issue is somber and well written, peppered with enough nice moments of character to make us like this band of survivors. All in all, it's a tightly structured story that accentuates Ennis' best storytelling talents.
And then, for fans of the more crass nature of THE BOYS, Ennis doles out the money shot scene of a mother and father being raped by the violent hordes of whatever-they-are with their little daughter being chopped to bits in the background. Not a scene I'd show Great Auntie Ambush Bug during post-Thanksgiving discussion this holiday. A bit stomach churning. Definitely offensive. Most likely going to piss off some of you more sensitive types. Typical Ennis.
Don't get me wrong. I liked the book, but I can't recommend this book if you are sensitive to violence and horror. The book delivered on what it promised: a brutal tale of society's fall and man's attempt to survive. Just keep it away from kids and lovers of kitties and rainbows.
Jacen Burrows depiction of carnage is jaw-droppingly good. He's definitely a talented artist and not afraid to draw extreme and violent imagery. His work is finely detailed so every organ and blood splatter is depicted in high-def glee.
If you're looking for answers, there are none here in this issue. No one knows why normal people are bearing burnt crosses on their faces and killing and fucking (in no particular order) just about everything in sight. And I kind of like it without an explanation, too. Although it shies away from being called a zombie book, there's not a lot of difference between CROSSED and your typical zombie fare on the shelves save for two important facts: one, Ennis' steadfast stance that this isn't a zombie book and two, that fact that it is much better than 95% of the zombie books out there in the shelves.

AVENGERS/INVADERS #5

Writers: Alex Ross & Jim Krueger Pencils: Steve Sadowski & Patrick Berkenkotter Publishers: Marvel and Dynamite Reviewer: Jinxo

This issue is the definition of hit and miss. There are parts that really work for me and then others that are just off. Let me start with the off stuff so I can end on the positive. First of all, the art is really middling. What is going on? There is a fight panel toward the start that looks less like people actually fighting and more like figures posed as if fighting while really standing still. And don’t draw Wolverine with his claws crossed over his face if the result is it makes him look like a cross eyed weenie. Looking at that shot somehow I expect the next scene to be Wolverine running around in fast motion to the Benny Hill music. And there are weird character beats. For instance, Spider-Man seems to have gone a bit crazy, taking his joking a little too intensely seriously. Deaf heroine Echo makes a jokey comment about Spidey and he rushes her and slaps a hand over her eyes that seems a bit much and a creepy invasion of personal space. When Wolverine has to tell you “That’s enough” and pull you off a handicapped girl, the joking has gone seriously wrong. After that happens the rest of his patter just comes off a bit less fun.
On to the good. There are big arcs here spanning across decades dealing with serious stuff that really work. Iron Man having to face the man he killed/will kill (time travel is so confusing) Steve Rogers, Captain America. Cap has some good dialogue more cutting to Iron Man than he could ever realize. Then you have the new Captain America, Bucky Barnes, confronting the WWII Bucky Barnes with young Bucky really not understanding who he is talking to. Some of what the older Bucky tells his younger self could have interesting implications to the fabric of the Marvel universe if the writers don’t wuss out. And then you have the original android WWII era Human Torch, coming face to face with SHIELD’s android Life Model Decoys, denied the free will and rights he himself has. They add quite a dramatic emotional overtone to his origin and his power. Up until now I mostly thought of the original Torch as more of a heroic footnote. The Human Torch who wasn’t even really human from way back when. This issue gave me something real to connect with on this character.
On the whole, though, the good stuff in this issue for me is powerful enough to outweigh the bad and recommend this book. Spider-Man might be acting like a nut job, and the art might not be the greatest, but there’s big stuff going on here both emotionally and plot-wise.
Jinxo is Thom Holbrook, lifelong comic book reader, and the evil genius behind poobala.com. He may appear cute and cuddly but if encountered avoid eye contact and DO NOT attempt to feed.

MANGA SPOTLIGHT: OCTOPUS GIRL Vol. 1

By Toru Yamazaki Released by Dark Horse Reviewer: Scott Green

OCTOPUS GIRL is a peanut and chocolate meeting of Junji Ito (UZUMAKI) style grotesque and Usamaru Furuya (the cult, older audience strip manga SHORT CUTS) ugly social humor. Think of it as manga Troma through a series of almost stream of conscious connected stories. The results would be hilarious, if the subtext didn't drain the joy out of life. It is almost as if someone like Michael Haneke filtered the material, and though they didn't explicitly drain the humor, they instilled something very bleak below the surface. There's vomit, mucus and flayed skin but the social deadness has a soul sucking emptiness that's more disturbing than the cute teen who turns into a slimy cephalopod.
Takako or "Tako"/"Otopus" is a favorite target for brutal bullying because she's a "super-cute goody two-shoes". Local stress relieving activities include tying Tako up, gagging her, and jumping on her chest until her lunch comes out her nose. This was taken too far when Taka was force-fed her namesake, invoking an allergic response. The immediate reaction is profuse vomiting, but that night she dreams of an octopus creature... and the following day she wakes up a human head on an octopus body. Problematic, but less so after a bit of a skewed LITTLE MERMAID retelling (closer to Anderson's than Disney's) leaves her with the ability to assume a human body.
Yamazaki capitalizes on manga's flexible ability to shift emphasis. He utilizes small, tight panels and linework for the gag material, especially when playing off teen cuteness. These quickly establish the gags' setups and the vapid hammyness of the characters. As matters get twitchier and edge their way towards the grotesque, the panel sizes increase, the ink gets thicker and the lines wilder. The gorier the results, the more the narrative slows down to allow onlookers a full view of the nastiness.
Not everyone is going to love the manga's frozen examination of humans on meat hooks or with their chest cavities opened or centipede bite welts. For those who do get a charge out that sort of close eying of the unacceptable, the deeper bite comes from the series' view on society. What's most disturbing is that it will not acknowledge its cruelty. It paints a picture of an empty world where people rip each other for the slimmest amusement. Any sort of human attachment is depicted as a product of self interest or of naiveté, childish infatuation or blindly misreading a situation.
The violent turn-arounds of the gags are calculatingly disheartening. Other violent comics or animation have played with the idea of being trapped in a cycle of pointlessness. In OCTOPUS GIRL, it isn't so much as small cycle as it is the entire human experience. The stories are dominated by pointless cruelty where the sociopathic violence stems from pure capriciousness. There's a boredom and mundane indifference torture and evisceration. With her new amphibious life, Taka has vast freedom, but she seems trapped in an over insular world where everything turns to shit and she's continually stumbling on humanity's nastiest impulses. That she always smiling and thinking positively is almost more horrific.

WALKIN’ BUTTERFLY Vols 1-3

By Chihiro Tamaki Released by Aurora Reviewer: Scott Green

There is plenty that is disquieting about fashion modeling... there's the notion that the person, in some sense, becomes an object for displaying the clothing... There are the disorders that often accompany the profession. These extra-textual considerations are likely to shade a reading of WALKIN’ BUTTERFLY. Yet, while these reservations are going to apply to a manga in which an awkward tomboy metamorphoses into a runway model, gathering the courage and certainty to present oneself on a stage for the world to see proves to be a useful platform for WALKIN’ BUTTERFLY to tell the kind of human, relatable story that shines when told through josei manga.
As much respect as manga receives in North America for its mature content, specifically mature manga, written for upper teen or adult audiences, has faced difficulty penetrating the market. Some business manga has been published. Some alternative and gekiga have been cheery picked. Manga for late teen/older male, seinen audience (BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL, GANTZ, BERSERK) were some of the earlier manga published into the comic market, and the genre has maintained a presence. If any of these crack the shoujo (younger female) and shounen (younger male) dominated best seller lists, it tends to be seinen, with a BATTLE ROYALE sneaking in after the new NARUTO, BLEACH, DEATH NOTE, ect.
Then, there's the story of josei manga, or "ladies" titles, typically written for older teenage female readers or young women. Unlike shoujo, which generally depict young women in scholastic environments contending with the drama of maintaining their relationships, in josei, if the heroine is not attempting to juggle establishing the relationship that is expected to persist throughout their adult life with establishing a career, then the character is at least pressured in that direction.
Given its audience, subject matter and tone, josei manga has inspired comparisons to "chick lit." Unfortunately the success of chick lit prose has eluded josei, which has frequently not received much publisher support, sales support or fan support. A number of publishers, most notably Tokyopop (HAPPY MANIA, Erica Sakurazawa's works, TRAMPS LIKE US) have released josei titles, but pushes like Tokyopop's vapor-imprint "Manga After Hours" and inroads into the chick lit markets never really happened. (For talk on the fate of Manga After Hours, read this conversation )
Beyond the outreach efforts, josei has faced difficulty establishing itself as a brand among North American manga readers. On one hand, there has been confusion about what constitutes a shoujo manga title versus a josei title versus a seinen title, exacerbated by the prominence of titles that are difficult to pin down without looking at the anthology in which they were initially published (for example Honey and Clover or Nana). On the other, the genre was introduced to North America through some particularly divisive titles. Moyoco Anno's evil anti-rom-com HAPPY MANIA is one of my favorite manga series, but if you look at the user rating on Anime News Network, rarely will you see a title with feedback so evenly distributed between admiration, loathing and indifference.
While many North American manga publishers have taken a tentative approach towards josei, Aurora is by design an outlet for the genre. In fact, they are an affiliate of Ohzora Publishing, the home to Japanese anthologies HALEQUIN, MELLOW MELLOW, MIST MAGAZINE and RENAI REVOLUTION. From their mission statement "Aurora Publishing, Inc. is dedicated to creating manga of the highest artistic quality with the highest entertainment value for females of all ages...
Japanese manga originated as entertainment for children, and eventually developed into entertainment for youth. It has expanded to include such a wide array of diverse genres that it is now enjoyed by adults, young and old. One of the reasons why Japanese manga has been so successful is because it uniquely describes human emotions...”
Sex and romance have roles in WALKIN’ BUTTERFLY, but they are not quite as pronounced as they might be in other josei. However Chihiro Tamaki's manga is, in part, driven by the adult pressures of profession and relationships. As a child, as an adolescent, and now as a young adult Michiko felt ostracized by her exceptional height. The manga opens with Michiko working on the greasy undercarriage of a car while her mind wonders to being rejected as a "Gulliver" by a would-be high school boyfriend. This particular day doesn't prove to be a boost to her self confidence either. Pair of customers walk into the mechanic shop and start teasing Michiko about her pro-wrestling potential. Her temper flares and she sends the guys packing. This isn't exactly seen as appropriate employee behavior, and Michiko is given a brisk, unceremonious send-off. She storms home to her mother's beauty parlor/apartment, where her mother expresses exasperation over Michiko's fits, and puts in a few jab about selling Michiko to the circus.
After a bender of self destructive behavior and soul searching, Michiko takes a pizza delivery job out of sheer necessity. Following some harassment by a new co-worker who kids Michiko about her athletic potential, she takes the business' moped and zips off to take the pizza to a random auditorium. She arrives to find tall women bustling around, dressing in flashy clothes, and receiving make-up application. With everyone preparing for a fashion show, the organizers assume that Michiko's a late replacement, and get her outfitted and made-up with moments to spare. However, on her way out to the runway, the fashion designer whose work is being showcased, stops Michiko, accusing her of being an "ordinary amazon" rather than a model. After forcing her way onto the stage, Michiko proves the designer right. The sea of faces observing the runway transform into a horror movie field of specters, and Michiko bolts.
The runaway incident proves to be the final existential straw.. a final rejection that she can't abide by. In response, Michiko dedicates herself to earning a spot in the world of modeling, and a spot in one of the designer's future showcase. In a sense, this is the sort of "I'll be the best ..." that drives a hefty share of manga from shounen fighting tournaments to mahjong titles. And, WALKIN’ BUTTERFLY inherits many of the tropes of these stories, from an eccentric mentor to the Karate Kid random tasks.
As opposed to a manga in which the protagonist strives to beat an opponent, win a competition or achieve a prestigious post, WALKIN’ BUTTERFLY pegs its goal towards Michiko's personal acceptance and her relationship with the designer. These are soft targets. The flood walls could break at any arbitrary point, and some epiphany could bridge a divide in any stage of Michiko's journey to her goal. Author Chihiro Tamaki's challenge is to keep the progression a matter of natural evolution and not a journey defined by sudden obstacles and forced regressions.
While Michiko manages to achieve some mastery over her fate as a model, Tamaki still has her reacting to stimuli entirely outside her control. Ultimately, Tamaki succeeds in keeping the manga character driven rather than plot driven, but by necessity, this keeps WALKIN’ BUTTERFLY brief. By the end of the three volumes that were read for this review, it feels like time to put the pieces in place for a finale or risk straining credulity. And, Tamaki manages just that, ending WALKIN’ BUTTERFLY in volume four.
What makes WALKIN’ BUTTERFLY a compelling story is that though it's heroine is physically unusual, though she stumbles into rare opportunities, her struggles are universal. The manga's emphasis is not that Michiko is a diamond in the rough. It's that she has to get past herself. She has to stop blaming her height and ignorant reactions to that height for her counterproductive behavior and self-distain. You might not be interested in fashion or the particulars of Michiko's history, but, in practice, it's not a niche story, and it's told affectingly through the expressiveness of manga.
If there's one complaint about Aurora's otherwise admirable release of WALKIN’ BUTTERFLY, it's that the title could have benefited from the inclusion of cultural notes. Aurora does not seem adverse to producing supplemental material for the manga's North American release. Volume one features what appears to be an original interview with the manga's creator, but beyond that, the release does not explicitly bridge differences between its original audience and its North American one. By no means does the manga wash away its native cultural context, and the experience of the characters in WALKIN’ BUTTERFLY talk to the struggles of Japanese models on the international scene. The translation receives high marks for the natural quality to the dialog, but a noticeable element is that there are some minor bits, such as song lyrics, that emphasize the familiar rather than represent something more literal and explain it through foot notes or end notes. Since visual references can't be handled in this way, some might be lost in translation. While the chief traditional reference, an unfinished daruma, can be sussed out from the context, the significance of Michiko's allusion to classic shounen manga, such as FIST OF THE NORTH STAR and especially the boxing title ASHITA NO JOE, might be more allusive.
Scott Green has been writing for AICN ANIME for close to seven years. If you like what you see here and love anime & manga, be sure to check out his latest AICN ANIME column here.

FINAL CRISIS: REVELATIONS #3 DC Comics

I have to admit, I’m still a bit ambivalent on the main FINAL CRISIS book. It intrigues me even as it confuses the hell out of me. But FINAL CRISIS: REVELATIONS is really working for me. I might not understand the whys and wherefores but clearly it’s end of the world time, and not in the standard science fictiony way, but in old school Biblical Apocalypse style. To see a world thrown into darkness, where friends and heroes are robbed of free will, where those still with free will are forced to question their faith in a God who could let such madness run wild, to see evil that looks pretty damn evil… it’s unsettling. And in this case at least in the small scale I get what’s going on, I follow what is going on with the characters and really give a damn what will happen to them. I wish I could say the same for the main CRISIS book. - Jinxo

SECRET INVASION: INHUMANS #3 (of 4) Marvel Comics

Man, these SECRET INVASION titles are hit and miss. This one, though, seems to be a winner, possibly because the Inhumans are just always damn cool and partially because the story of Black Bolt's involvement in all of these past big Marvel events (WORLD WAR HULK, SILENT WAR, ILLUMINATI, and now SECRET INVASION) makes for an interesting springboard for a miniseries. Other than Triton succumbing to Aquaman syndrome by shuttling him off to a water-world simply to give him something to do, this series is good in that it highlights the intricate weirdness that goes along with being an Inhuman. I'm glad Marvel is keeping the caliber high when it comes to this royal family. - Bug

DCU: DECISIONS #2 (of 4) DC Comics

Trash, but in the best kind of way. There’s no way this series could fail to be worth a read. DC heroes trying to track down a (seemingly completely generic) serial killer gunning for the Presidential candidates while fighting amongst themselves over political alignments? At the very least it’s a cool historical anomaly. My only hope is that Winick and Willingham don’t rely too much on shock revelations of heroes’ political leanings and instead focus on the action adventure with the gloriously overblown subject matter they’ve got going for them. Could be a classic, but the Green Arrow/Green Lantern fight was a little lazy. - Stone

SPIDER-MAN LOVES MARY JANE #3 Marvel Comics

How can Terry Moore make the reality of RUNAWAYS feel so false and then make the reality of SPIDER-MAN LOVES MARY JANE feel so spot on authentic? This issue really just tells the story of a typical rainy high school day. That’s all. And yet it’s great stuff. As an adult I’ve mostly worked in buildings where you wouldn’t know if it was raining or sunny out. But I remember back to those Midwestern rainy school days, where whatever you were doing was underscored by the constant thrum of the rain and every once in awhile you jumped out of your seat and everything stopped for a second with a big crack of thunder… having to figure out how the hell to get home without getting thoroughly soaked. Meanwhile the teenage drama continues on around you. It’s all very small scale stuff compared to alien invasions but also stuff more easy to identify with if the writer really captures the reality of it, if he makes it ring true. Moore does that here. Equal props to Craig Rousseau’s drawings (I love that his credit is listed as “Drawings”). Where the Runaways characters look very rubbery and cartoony, the characters in SPIDER-MAN LOVES MARY JANE have an appealing simplicity of style. It gives you the feel of something Mary Jane herself might draw. It feels honest if that makes sense. - Jinxo

DETECTIVE COMICS #849 DC Comics

I don't think I have enjoyed one story featuring the villain Hush, until now. I guess the right writer can make any character interesting. And Paul Dini certainly shows he's the right man for the job here. Dini really doles out the thrills, pitting Bruce Wayne's childhood friend against Batman and Catwoman. Being one of the few villains who actually knows Batman's secret identity, Dini is able to make Hush truly formidable here, using an especially devious and interesting means to make Batman's life awful. The art by Dustin Nguyen helps a lot here. His lines seem scratched onto the paper, all ragged and sharp, which is fitting for the villainous doctor. All in all, a really great Batman tale is unfolding here. And bonus, unlike Morrison's jaunt into trippy-dippy land in BATMAN proper, you can actually follow the narrative here. – Bug

DEADPOOL #3 Marvel Comics

Ahhh. Another really enjoyable bit of SECRET INVASION. Oddly, though, this storyline didn’t merit the big SECRET INVASION cover banner. What’s up with that? Where is the love for mighty Marvel’s mercurial Merc? I mean this guy not only manages to do more hardcore damage to the Skrulls than most of the A-listers, he also at the same time manages to freak them out and make them look like idiots, all the while making me grin like an idiot. It won’t happen but the greatest ending to this whole invasion would be all the heroes in the Marvel universe being at a loss and then freaking Deadpool sends them all packing while making it look literally insanely easy. – Jinxo

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Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 15, 2008, 6:43 a.m. CST

    "secondary to stuff like food and gas"

    by TheNorthlander

    Not if you don't own a car.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 7:20 a.m. CST

    The Walking Dead...

    by Karl Childers

    needs to be an HBO original series.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 7:24 a.m. CST

    odd that walking dead feels padded

    by lex romero

    when kirkman's irrideemable ant-man was the opposite, giving us "16 box" pages and packing in as much story into each issue as possible. Each issue felt big.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 7:45 a.m. CST

    Final Crisis = yawnfest

    by Steve Rogers

    DC need to get away from this continuity porn approach. I suppose that was the point of the All Star line, but it doesn't seem to have quite worked out that way (great as AS Superman was).

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Agreed on FC Mr. Rogers...

    by Psynapse

    And I'm a DC bitch. HOw sad is that?

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 8:28 a.m. CST

    Watchmen...

    by GoodTimeBobby

    Moore gives DC Comics a drubbing any chance he gets..but i think they have been very respectful to his creation- they own the rights so they could've spewed out a million quick money grab titles for years no and they havent. I wouldnt mind seeing a few todays greatest minds at DC Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, etc...do a month of stories set in the Watchmen universe- like the original Tangent Comics event.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 8:32 a.m. CST

    Many thanks for the Watchmen review

    by Err

    I'm now definitely getting it.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 8:34 a.m. CST

    WATCHMEN BABIES! MAKE THIS HAPPEN DC!

    by Err

    Come on!

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 8:41 a.m. CST

    Blot The Dog !

    by GoodTimeBobby

    .. I read that interview too!

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 8:41 a.m. CST

    Battle School - A little help?

    by HoboCode

    I'm not a comics guy but love the book. Can I get this comic anywhere but a comic book store?

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Twelve

    by kungfuhustler84

    is probably my favorite book on the stands right now. It's just incredible.<p>And I just got into Walking Dead starting with issue 51, with plans to someday go back and read/buy all the rest. Does anybody know if there is an issue I should probably start with that will make it less confusing though? Like maybe the story arc for the current story starts at 48 or 49 and I don't know it.<p>Help?

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 9:39 a.m. CST

    Kung Fu

    by Joenathan

    try #1...

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 9:43 a.m. CST

    yeah no shit Joenathan

    by kungfuhustler84

    that's why I tried to make it clear that I wanted to start with the latest story arc. I was just wondering which issue it starts with because I know the whole series took a drastic change in story just recently, and I want to know where that happens.<p>So you are 0 help.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Ha ha, Watchmen Babies

    by Thrillho77

    Watch as Lil' Rorschach jams a crayon into the eye of the bully of his Kindergarten class.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Watchmen Babies

    by Thrillho77

    "Laurie and the Blue Kid sittin' in a tree...K-I-S-S-I-N-G" <p> Although Lil' Ozy's experiment transported a squid into the gymnasium and killed 50 bystanders, he runs away with 1st prize in the annual Jr. High Science Fair!

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Walking Dead, The Twelve, Crossed, Avengers/Invaders and

    by Joenathan

    Walking Dead: I love this series and I’ve been with it from the beginning and I agree with you that sometimes there are books that seem to take forever to come out and are then read in five minutes, but… sometimes Kirkman also has a tendency to be overly-expository. That bugs the hell out of me even more. Brubaker did the same thing in the last Daredevil. People don’t talk like that. Who here has ever in their life been chatting with someone and gone: “Of course, maybe that’s me, maybe I’m just crazy, ever since my parents died in that horrible accident… I’ve found myself looking inward way too often, almost as if seeking… solace… within the quiet of my own soul and yet… at the same time, petrified, not only by the world outside, but by what I might find within my own inner darkness… blah, blah, blah, blibitty-blah-blah…”<br><br> Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… Oh, oh sorry… Anyway, my point is, despite all the zombie fun and what not, Kirkman’s characters have a tendency to speechify too much and the aggravating part of this book is that its either one or the other. Will this be talky or picture-y? A series I am definitely a fan of and Kirkman’s best stuff, but I wish there was more of a balance.<br><br> The Twelve: I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I do. Has there ever been a character you’ve wanted to see killed more than the Blue Blade? Let’s hope JMS can end it as well as he’s started it.<br><br> Crossed: I am NOT someone who is turned off by gore or sensitive to meanness, but Crossed is Crap. More Garth Ennis crap. Survival Horror or simply a set up for the ass rape panel? Oh look, another shot of a kid being thrown out an airplane… The fact that he would use this “gag” twice so close together shows how craptastic he is. Much like Arseface and the burly buggerer and a litany of other tired jokes, Garth has a limited bag of “shocker” gags and he reuses them and reuses them and reuses them. Ennis is like an annoying five year old standing to on side of the grown-ups and repeating “penis” over and over again in a desperate plea for attention. Who wants to bet me that this ISN’T the last time we see the kid getting tossed out of the plane gag? What utter shit. <br><br> Avengers/Initiative: I don’t know about this title, I was getting pretty ambivalent until Bucky/Cap tried to warn Bucky about their shared past/future. Of course that was balanced out by the eye-rollingly heavy handed subplot with Torch deciding to liberate the LMDs. Snoozer. I’m excited for something to happen in this book… maybe it’ll be pretty cool.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Kung Fu

    by Joenathan

    Well, I could tell you #51 was the latest new arc or I could say, what? #41 started the last prison arc, but every arc carries heavy baggage with it from the previous arc, so each one would confuse you in turn and you'd just have to jump back in order to catch up. This is a heavy continuity series where the characters are shaped by the events around them.<br><br>You want to know where to start?<br><br>#1

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 10:17 a.m. CST

    joenathan

    by steverodgers

    how did you get that sweet bold font?

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Watchmen spin-off titles......

    by GoodTimeBobby

    Rorschach's Pal Bernie Bubastis The Super Lynx Hooded Justice & The Minutemen Moloch The Effeminate Master of Magic

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 10:20 a.m. CST

    tradewaiting 12

    by steverodgers

    that book looks great

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Yet more proof the Apocalypse is upon us...

    by Psynapse

    Joenathan, you and I are in complete agreement regarding Ennis. I mean, dude, it was like you were channeling me there, I got goosebumps and everything. (*_^)

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 10:32 a.m. CST

    And the always popular....

    by Thrillho77

    Watchmen II: Electric Boogaloo

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Steve

    by Joenathan

    ...I don't know...

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Psynapse

    by Joenathan

    Its just more proof how tired out Ennis is

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 10:44 a.m. CST

    joen

    by steverodgers

    better left a mystery i guess - no one should have that kind of power on the talkbacks... that was like AICN 2.0 for a second.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 10:49 a.m. CST

    But for a moment...

    by Joenathan

    I was a GOD!

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Watchmen 2 : The Legend of Curly's Gold

    by badboymason

    Coming soon... But seriously, the only new Watchmen material I think would be even possible is say a Moore & Gibbons Rorschach/Nite-Owl one-shot of an adventure back in the glory days. Any full-on sequel (or prequel) would only hurt the original, in the same way that Dark Knight Strikes Again took a big piss on DKR...

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 10:57 a.m. CST

    test

    by frozen01

    <b>test

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 10:58 a.m. CST

    test

    by frozen01

    <b>Grrrrrrr...</b>

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 10:58 a.m. CST

    damn

    by frozen01

    not working :(

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 11:04 a.m. CST

    AN AMERICAN WATCHMAN IN LONDON

    by ArcadianDS

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Stop that Joenathan!

    by Psynapse

    You're doing it again! (LOL)

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 11:10 a.m. CST

    Walking Dead

    by Darksider

    I liked the Walking Dead, but I only check it out occasionally at the shop. The first few issues were awesome, but it suffers from the same old tired Romero formula. People get together in some place, go nuts at each other and the zombie situation just becomes window dressing. I will check it out again when I go back but I'm tired of every zombie story out there being GENERAL HOSPITAL with zombies outside.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 11:19 a.m. CST

    I am dissapointed in fictional humanity...

    by loodabagel

    Zombies are just rotting corpses that walk very slowly. Any society that gets overrun by zombies is exceptionally lame, if you ask me. Maybe if they were wacky Dawn of the Dead remake zombies or Resident Evil Zombies with superpowers, but the run-of-the-mill Dead Somebody is just weak.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Walking Dead

    by vic twenty

    is just really fun. I love Zombie fiction and have been away from comics for a long time, but when I came across Book One I bought it and I'm hooked. <p> Are Books 2 and 3 just as good?

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 11:38 a.m. CST

    zombies

    by Joenathan

    Lood, I think you are underestimating the general laziness and stupidity of the world's general population, not too mention the speed of the desemination, and people's resulting acceptance of the information nessecary to deal with a zombie apocalypse. I don't think most people could shoot their wife/husband/father/mother/son/daughter in the head, despite what they "know" about the outbreak or have been told, at least, not at first. Also, can you imagine any politician having the guts to be the first one to go on TV and say: "Okay, so yeah... these are zombies, yes, I mean the living dead like in the movies, and as we all know... you can only kill them by shooting them in the head..." Its not so much that zombies are near unstoppable, group in large numbers,spread quickly and are generally terrifying, although thats part of it, its more that all the non-zombied folks wouldn't organize soon enough, if at all.<br><br>Darksider, without the "general hospital" moments, you have no story.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Vic

    by Joenathan

    Yes

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Give Watchmen to G Morrison and F Quietly

    by Spartacus Hughs

    Perfect

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Im already sick of Watchmen.

    by Redfive!

    The movie is gonna be a BIG disappointment unless its page for page the book,which it wont be.The movie already starts out with an action sequence,but thats Hollywood for ya. Walking Dead on the other hand im not tired of,I just hate that only 1 frekkkkken GN comes out a year.But when it does man im always blown away.G-Bless Robert Kirkman.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Walking Dead trades....

    by BangoSkank

    I stopped reading WD at issue #39, and have come to regret the decision... can anyone tell me what trade issue #40 would fall into?

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Loodabagel's right

    by rev_skarekroe

    I enjoy a zombie apocalypse story as much as the next guy, but realistically, such an event would probably be like Shaun of the Dead - after the initial freakout crisis, society would adjust accordingly.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Spoken like a person who has never worked retail

    by Joenathan

    I have and believe me, on average, people are waaaaaay too stupid to deal with even their day to day lives, let alone anything crazy. I mean, a dozen times a day easily, I was treated to the sight of people, of all walks of life, walking FACE FIRST (FACE FIRST! HANDS AT THEIR SIDES!) into a door CLEARLY MARKED as not an exit, then there is no way they could organize against a massive outbreak of the living dead.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Walking Dead should come to that sometime...

    by loodabagel

    Around Issue 80 or whatever, Rick should die and the story will pick up 30 years later with "Carl: Zombie Hunter!" Things will have mostly gotten back on track, at worst resembling Vampire Hunter D. Carl will roam the countryside in his Mad Max car, helping those in need for reasonable prices. Everyone else will live in post-apocalyptic torn apart cities controlled by motorcycle gangs. The post-zombie society will have a big focus on territory. Carl will emphasize his outsider status by roaming from town to town, doing what pleases him. Of course, the zombies will also be highly evolved by now and have super strength and speak in broken English, and travel in packs on horseback. Carl will have a wacky sidekick who resembles Steve Buscemi. Of course, he will also have a giant sword and be able to fly.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Don't forget his giant hat...

    by Joenathan

    and his leather duster... thats how you know he's super cool.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 12:19 p.m. CST

    The Watchmen will be dissapointing because it WILL be lifted exa

    by loodabagel

    Well I've already seen that movie. It was called Sin City. It was also called "A very boring adaptation of any Shakespeare play." The nerds made Snyder too nervous to take any artistic license. Granted, he is working from great source material, but the movie will be very by-the-books. The Harry Potter movies had the same problem. Those have got to be some of the most boring things I've ever seen. Of course, I could be wrong and it could be in the vein of Lord of the Rings...

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Well, I figured those were givens...

    by loodabagel

    Maybe I'll toss in a character with a bionic limb to be his rival.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 12:23 p.m. CST

    His Rival

    by Joenathan

    It should be a girl with ridiculously big boobs barely contained by her jumpsuit. She should be very, very sassy.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Never mind....

    by BangoSkank

    I found the trade breakdown on Wiki....

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Walking Dead

    by garcicr

    I totaly agree it should be an HBO series............I'd buy that for a dollar!!!

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 12:47 p.m. CST

    I think I get you now Joen

    by kungfuhustler84

    It's like a few weeks ago when I finally started Lost. If you don't start from Season 1, the characters won't make a lot of sense.<p>Or something like that right?<p>And don't worry, I am planning to read the other 50 issues pretty soon, probably right after I get paid.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Another stupid question

    by kungfuhustler84

    would it be dumb to wait for a big 50 issue omnibus thing to come out with the first 50 issues of walking dead? or are there already two books, each containing the first 25 or so? I remember reading Wizard like two years ago, and they were talking about one hardcover containing like the first 24. Is this correct?

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 12:56 p.m. CST

    My Problem with Walking Dead....

    by Psynapse

    I'm sorry but if the dead arose and started snacking on the living I wouldn't rest until I had some idea of HOW THE FUCK THIS HAPPENED. That the characters just adopt a siege settler mentality in the face of an armageddon event just stuns me.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Walking Dead

    by Bluejack

    Without being too spoilerific, it looks like explaining the undead is where the series is going.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Walking Dead II

    by Bluejack

    I'd love to see the characters become a bit more proactive. Figuring out what went wrong, wiping out the walking dead etc. Also, when is Rick going to get a chainsaw, hook, sword, or uzi for his stump? Heh.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 1:34 p.m. CST

    The explanation

    by Joenathan

    Why? What difference would knowing what had happened make? You'd still be in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. <br><br>"Oh my God! How did this happen?" <br><br>"It was a meteor. It had a space virus on it."<br><br>"Oh... well that sucks."<br><Br>"yep... "

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Wiping them out?

    by Joenathan

    How many bullets do you think they have? Since the book takes place somewhere near Atlanta, so lets start there and since this is the zombie apocalypse, lets say the virus has wiped out 95% of the World. This seems fair, right? Going by what we've seen in the book?<br><br>Okay then, Atlanta is the 9th most populous city in the U.S. In the book, it is wiped out. That is 5.25 million people<br><br>5 million people!<br><br>Wipe them out? Figure out what happened? Its time to run and hide, man! See Lood, right there, this is how the zombie virus spread so fast. <br><br>"Where are you idiots going?"<br><br>"I'm going to get to the bottom of this, gosh darn it!"<br><br>"And I'm going to kick ass!" (dramatically racks shotgun)<br><br>eaten.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Kung Fu

    by Joenathan

    Exactly, its like jumping on Lost midway through, sure you can catch on, but you miss a lot of the fun stuff.<br><br>To me, for the price of an omnibus, compared to wait and all that, its just easier to start picking up trades as you need them.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Gotta agree with Joenathan on WD....

    by BangoSkank

    It would be one thing if you ran into someone that actually had information on how it all began (Y-the last man)... but otherwise, what are you going to do? I would bunker-the-fuck-down, and focus on surviving as long as possible. I guess you could try heading to a Plague Center, but I don't see a cop and his kid, a farmer, a teacher, or a whatever, traveling cross country with the hope of finding an answer. An answer that could be anywhere (in the world filled with zombies), or not even exist in the first place.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 2:13 p.m. CST

    AND

    by Joenathan

    ultimately change nothing about your situation. No answer would be a "reset button"

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Does anyone know, perchance, what Watching the Watchmen costs?

    by Jackie Boy

    Not too too expensive, I hope.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Click on the link....

    by BangoSkank

    Or I'll do it for you. $26 bucks and you're eligible for free super-saving shipping!

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 2:29 p.m. CST

    The thing about zombies...

    by loodabagel

    As made clear back around the second trade-Is that they are rotting corpses. Logically, after a few years, most of the zombies would be skeletized by birds, bugs and bacteria. If everybody were to lock themselves inside with a billion cans of baked beans and peaches, the problem would correct itself. Large cities getting overrun does make sense, but what about small towns? In the town of 40,000 people I hail from, I'd say there were no more than 20 obituaries in the paper on any given day. So lets assume that there's then... even 200 bodies in the morgue and 20 dead bodies still in the hospital. 20 dead bodies at home. 240 dead people. Luckily, everyone and their mother is a hunter and they keep a rifle on the dinner table. In the Walking Dead universe, I imagine there are actually a lot of places in the deep south that are virtually zombie free. All of that heat and humidity, bugs everywhere, swamps washing away the zombie's body, and a bunch of crazy people from Deliverance who pack heat. Maybe that's what's on the cover of this latest issue. I wouldn't know, I wait for the trades.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Another thing...

    by loodabagel

    I have to hand it to Image for releasing those in such a timely manner.

  • Have you thought about looking at one of the, oh, I don't know, million online booksellers to check the price?

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Did you say logically?

    by Joenathan

    In the middle of a debate about reanimated corpses destroying the world? Lood...<br><br>Anyway, to trump your logic, some zombie "sources" put forth that the virus some how retards the decompisition process, kind of like how getting into zombie physiology specifics does to a message board. It'll rot away, but slower than usual... <br><br>Also, in your model of the small town outbreak with 240 corpses or so, you're forgetting to include the ease of infection and speed of turning. One bite and you're going to be one of them. And what about all the people who start to realize this, then get bitten and hide it? Classic.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 3:35 p.m. CST

    Watching the Watchmen= Superfluous Crap

    by ericthebeef

    Come on, just read the comic and be done with it. That book is a waste of time and money. Whats next... "Watching the Watchmen Movie" a guide to watching the movie based on the comic based on the book. CRAP!!

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 4:45 p.m. CST

    I thought Enders Game #1 was great, too.

    by odysseus

    Way better than I expected.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 5:51 p.m. CST

    A bold test

    by optimous_douche

    <b>Fail?

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Bold Test 2

    by optimous_douche

    <r>Fail?

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 5:57 p.m. CST

    Stupid Bold Text

    by optimous_douche

    <br>Hate it

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Jinxo

    by Reelheed

    Spot on reviews methinks.

  • Oct. 15, 2008, 8:37 p.m. CST

    Pff!

    by loodabagel

    So, I'll be the one in an armored RV with machine guns, chomping on a cigar and wearing an eyepatch. You can be the sucker who's still busy being freaked out and not wanting to kill anyone and getting eaten and whatnot. And my sources of nonexistent science said that the decay-retardation thing was just a bunch of hooey.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Now you're just talking nonsense

    by Joenathan

    You see, I've had a bunker ready for the zombie pocalypse for years and when your armored Winnebago (Stripes is awesome) breaks down and you want to come in, do you know what I'll do, Lood?<br><br>Do you know what I'll do?<br><br>I'm gonna taunt you over the intercom! HA!<br><br>Just give up Optimus, only I am capable of that kind of power and it was too much for even me.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 8:50 a.m. CST

    The Walking Dead III

    by Bluejack

    Just don't agree with Joenathan on this one. Most people would look to some authority to help figure things out. I'm a physician and I would wonder how the hell this all got started and how we could fix it. Science? Magic? etc. I can see bunkering down and gathering my forces, but eventually an army with flamethrowers and body armor would be in the future. Eventually corpses would run out, even with millions, and when new folks died you would cremate them rather than burry them whole. "The Walking Dust Bunnies" just doesn't have the same ring to it, though.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Hey, now...

    by BangoSkank

    I didn't say I'd be freaked out. Just bunkered down. Likely in the Mall of America, where I would make myself King and Lord of MoA Land. And I don't think you'd have to wait for decay, I think they'd all freeze during our first Northern winter. I'd send my people out to beat in the skulls of the Frozen Dead.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 9:31 a.m. CST

    More zombies

    by Joenathan

    BlueJack. I'm sure SOMEONE will try to figure out the answer, I'm saying the answer is a moot point. Fix what? Would it bring all those Dead people back to life? Even the guy with his intestines hanging out? Would it fix the World? No, so who cares, dealing with the immediate reality of the situation would strike me as much, much, much more important. <br><br>And yes, I do agree the army of flame throwers would lie in the future (although tactically unsound), I just think it would take most people a little while to get down with the idea that yes, I assure you, those girl scouts you just set on fire really were dead. <br><br>This goes to the question that sometimes comes up about the 2004 Dawn of the Dead. Why didn't they just kill the Fat Lady, when she was so obviously infected? The answer is: that until you are faced with absolutely no other choice, shooting someone in the head is not as easy as the movies make it seem. Most people wouldn't be able to do it and that basic human "good" is what would doom a very large portion of humanity. Lucky or mean, thats who the survivors would be: the lucky and the mean. <br><br>I'm sure the corpses would eventually rot away, the qquestion is: How long? Going by the movies, which I think we are, right? The answer seems to be years AND each new zombie resets that clock. I think you're over-estimating what a bunch of chubby guys with shotguns could do against a thousand walking dead.<br><br>Also, there's no way the Mall of America could be held during a zombie apocalypse, no way. There's like a million doors in that place. Its a beautiful dream, but its still just that: a dream. The Mall of America is a death trap now and it will be a death trap during the zombie apocalypse.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 9:49 a.m. CST

    So just do the same old thing again? No.

    by Darksider

    Why find out how it started? I don't know, because it might be interesting or possibly pay off later? Why bunker down in a tin can and try to avoid running out of water, supplies, ammo, electricity, sanity, or one of your new friends killing you off in your sleep? Because that is so much more interesting than getting out in the world and exploring, meeting characters, having crazy ass encounters all FALLOUT style.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Actually, they didn't kill the fat lady in DAWN

    by Darksider

    Because they didn't know that the infection was spread through bites until after she turned. There's when that "unnecessary" information might have been useful. The situation you describe didn't happen until after, and they realized the girl's father had been bitten. Then they had their moral dilemma.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 11:04 a.m. CST

    yeah, I know that, Darksider

    by Joenathan

    I was talking about the people who DON'T realize that, the ones that say: "That was so stupid, she was obviously infected." and I was bringing it up in reference to the idea that zombie killing squads would just form up immediately in every neighborhood. <br><br>And realizing how the virus is spread isn't unnessecary information. Its in fact, VERY nessecary, right? However, finding out where the virus came from is not. THAT is the unnessecary info.<br><br>as for your other post, if you are talking about writing a story, then sure going out and exploring would be cool (although I still don't understand how finding a cure would be anything but a dead end, even in a narrative sense, but maybe because I just find it a lame idea.) BUT if we are talking about an ACTUAL zombie apocalypse, as in, if it happened in real life, which I think we are, silly as that is, then going out and exploring is just about the dumbest idea ever.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Walking Dead IV

    by Bluejack

    We will just have to agree to disagree. But your thinking is German for whale's vagina, and mine is Saint Diego.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Why would it be dumb?

    by Darksider

    Would everyone have their zombie bunker, guns, electricity, fuel, and supplies ready to go in advance? There wouldn't be people fighting you for what you had? Is there even going to be people around to help or talk to the bunker guy in the first place? Ever read I AM LEGEND? I think it be more beneficial to be surrounded by people in a safe zone or city rather than be in bunker cut off from the world with some assholes or whatever surrounded by zombies with a months supply of Cheetos and bottled water. That and I just think I would be more entertaining to see new stuff.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 11:52 a.m. CST

    I could hold the MoA...

    by BangoSkank

    ...don't you tell me I couldn't. You have to understand that with my army of heavily armed naked women, I could take over whatever I want. <p> Can't hold the MoA? <p> Damn, you talk some foolish shit at times.

  • They would have to be naked women somewhere, right? That is, if my girlfriend didn't survive the initial outbreak.:)

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Bluejack

    by Joenathan

    uh... ok?

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 12:22 p.m. CST

    Darksider

    by Joenathan

    It would only be dumb if we're talking about real life, because, lets be honest, no one here is... well... fast... BUT if we're talking about a story/book/movie, then I'm with you. <br><br>I am also very intrigued with your mall of naked women thought, very intrigued.<br><br>And yes, my bunker is ready. As is my robot fighting suit.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 12:24 p.m. CST

    You didn't mention that...

    by Joenathan

    the Mall of AMerica would be full of naked, zombie fighting women, so any misunderstanding is YOUR fault for not be entirely clear, Bango, not mine.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 12:27 p.m. CST

    See here's the thing..

    by Psynapse

    Some of us can sometimes have trouble adapting to a situation that isn't understood in some way. I personally only forego understanding a situation when I realize I've exhausted every avenue to said understanding. Then and only then do I simply accept the situation. Transplanted to WD-Earth, I'd spend my life trying figure out why I was having to spend my days fending off hungry ambulatory corpses. Well, that and capping the asses of prick-spurts like the Governor.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Ahh...

    by Darksider

    You didn't mention the robot fighting suit. I probably wouldn't venture out then either unless that bad boy was also an ATV.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Well then...

    by Joenathan

    those of you with that particular malfunction in your fight or flight reflex will serve a very important purpose... slowing down the horde of zombies while I run away...

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Bottom line...

    by loodabagel

    Bunker or Turtle Van, I live, as do everyone in my immediate surroundings because I have read The Walking Dead and seen a few movies about zombies and know what to do. Can I outrun a zombie? Yes. Can I bash it's head in with a shovel? Yes. Can I build robot armor to help in maiming zombies? Don't have to.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 1:48 p.m. CST

    It has a Winnebago piece

    by Joenathan

    Thats what the left foot is made out of, like Voltron

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 1:50 p.m. CST

    But can you outrun FAST zombies?

    by Joenathan

    You don't have to if you have robot armor

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Plus...

    by loodabagel

    With all the time nerds spend arguing about zombies on the internet, tell me that there isn't at least one who actually went and built a bunker and bought some guns.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Are they extra fast?

    by loodabagel

    Or just as fast as a normal humans who happens to be dead and decaying? I can outrun the initial outbreak because it will mostly be old fat people. Not that I'd want to. Remember, I've got my own tribe to take care of. We use the Turtle Van to travel for guns and food.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 2:23 p.m. CST

    There is one, Lood

    by Joenathan

    And I already told you, you can't come in my bunker, so suck it!<br><br>They are extra fast because they are unencumbered by pain or fatigue. You and your turtle van are about to be F-ed in the A.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Haven't you heard?

    by loodabagel

    My tribe has an Olympic archer. She rides in a turret on top and shoots any zombies who get too close. And bunkers are for wimps and vampires. You can't grow much good produce without any sunlight. We've got a compound three city blocks wide.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Touche, Lood

    by Joenathan

    touche, however, I have seeded the road liberally with tacks and nails and bits of broken glas just to be a dick. Take that, Turtle Van! F-ed in the A.<br><br>Also, my bunker (which you aren't allowed in) has a hydroponics bay and a warehouse full of dry goods and porn, my friend, porn, every color of the rainbow and as far as the eye can see!

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 2:43 p.m. CST

    That's odd...

    by loodabagel

    I was going to mention my harem, but figured you'd have one too and wouldn't care. Oh well, have fun with your porn!

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Okay, so assuming all of the stupid people die...

    by loodabagel

    It looks like I will control the Northwest from my mining city compound, Bangoskank will rule the Great Lakes with his Amazon pirates and girl gangs, Psynapse will... be dead. (Sorry man) and Joenathan will become king of the mole people, or maybe king of the Fraggles.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 3:56 p.m. CST

    King of the Fraggles

    by Joenathan

    You bet your fucking asses I'll be dancing my cares away (clap, clap) with worries for another day. I'll let the music play (clap, clap) down in Fraggle Rock while the zombies are eating you stupid surface dwellers!<br><Br>At least my porn won't nag me, Lood, or throw away my porn...

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Hey...

    by Joenathan

    so... what was this Talkback originally about?

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Sorry I didn't

    by BangoSkank

    initially mention the naked, but well-armed army of zombie fighting women. It's just that in every post-apocalyptic scenario I come up with --zombie, or not-- I can't imagine NOT having an army of naked gun-toting hotties. It's just how my mind works. And because of my certainty that it would work out that way, I often forget to even bring in up.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 6:25 p.m. CST

    Strangely, I think this talkback was originally about Jesus

    by Jinxo

    And if he would qualify as a zombie.<br><br> Okay, now I'm going to hell for sure.

  • Oct. 16, 2008, 9:42 p.m. CST

    So...

    by loodabagel

    Does that mean that Catholics are being infected with zombie virus when they drink wine at communion? Yup, we are fucked. If nobody else is allowed in Fraggle-Rock, it looks like it's time to start repairing the orbital space mansion. At least they're not Mormon zombies.

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Jesus as a zombie

    by Joenathan

    Thats what always disappointed me the MOST about the bible and thats that zombie Jesus didn't bite a single person! After all that set up, after being so wronged that he risies from the grave for bloody revenge, what does he do? I don't know, vanishes or something. All I do know is: The Crow had a much better pay off.

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 10:35 a.m. CST

    X-Men

    by Homer Sexual

    Faction and Brubaker finally won me over with this weeks issue of Uncanny X-Men. I picked up 500 out of curiosity, and didn't much like it. Picked up the next one because the art looked good. This conclusion to the Pixie attacked storyline, which began weakly, was really very satisfying and well done. <p> Also, I agree on the Twelve. That sh!t is the bomb, and shows that even the dorkiest characters and lamest concept can somehow become great with the right creative team.

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 11:18 a.m. CST

    The Twelve...

    by loodabagel

    Is one helluva comic. I just wish I had jumped on the bandwagon sooner instead of having to track down the first few issues.

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 11:41 a.m. CST

    Now hold up....

    by Psynapse

    The desire to understand doesn't even remotely equate to fighting losing battles against overwhelming odds. Unless, y'know, you're speaking for yourself.....<p>Aaand considering my being from a gun-loving family (mom has 9 handguns ranging from the somewhat wimpy but very practical .22 to a full on Eastwood style .44 Magnum)coupled with the fact that I AM a crack shot with both handguns and rifles I'd say my survival odds are just a tad better than yours right out the gate.<p>And Jeez, learn your Bible history a little better, Jesus wasn't a zombie (divine avatars don't reincarnate into undead vessels, yo), Lazarus was.

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Plus....

    by Psynapse

    Like I implied earlier, in such an extreme environment I wouldn't hesitate to cap the ass of living douchebags along the way. Besides, do YOU know how to make a plethora of explosives and incendiaries from common household checmicals? 'Cuz I sure do and gassing an underground bunker would be a cinch (Ya gotta have a vent system remember).

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 11:51 a.m. CST

    For Example:

    by Psynapse

    (I realize this post may get deleted for literally inflammatory content) All you need to make a molotov that you don't actually have to light is a glass bottle, a rag, some gasoline and common pool chlorine tablets. I'll decline to explain further if you don't mind but hey, look it up if you don't believe me. (*_^)

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Oh and regarding Catholics...

    by Psynapse

    You are and always have been Witches didn't you know that?

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 12:23 p.m. CST

    See?

    by Joenathan

    All that preparing and I bet you just find yourself weighed down with a ridiculous amount of weapons, like Cable out of X-Force (and probably wearing a black duster) and backed into a corner and then you drop one of your many chemical bombs by accident...<br><br>eaten.<br><br><br><br>And Jesus was definately a zombie. <br><br>A. he rose from the dead. <br><br>B. the only way the romans were able to stop his rampage was with a bullet to the head.<br><br>zombie.<br><br>Also, my bunker doesn't have vents, we have an oxygenm producing reactor like in Total Recall. Open you mind, Mr. Psynapse.

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Oh...well then

    by Psynapse

    If YOU get the Oxygen Producing Reactor then I get the Tachyon spin generating battle suit that not only A) Lets me burn through literally millions of zombies like a red hot knife through butter but also B) lets me phase through matter and take all of the porn I want from you whenever I like. Besides, you really don't know your gunplay if you actually think more guns is the answer. It isnt, more BULLETS is. Also, you don't lug chembombs around, you set up a prep site and use them from it. When the site is compromised you then switch to firearms and relocate.<p> Also, the only dude retarded enough to wear a duster into actual battle is Harry Dresden.<p>Lastly, the Romans would have had to use a flaming spear as Jesus was bulletproof. Sheesh.

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Nope

    by Joenathan

    Sorry, but I just realigned my main sensor array to emit a sustained tachyon burst which caused your suit to reach critical mass. Boom.<br><br>You get eaten.<br><Br>Also you're forgetting the part where Legionaire Zombie Hunter Veranis is called in and faces down zombie Jesus with his six shooter loaded with bullets made from the melted down gladiuses of all the Roman soldiers Jesus had devoured. "Veni, vidi, vici, bitch." Ring any bells, John 3:17?<br><br>You know you want to wear a duster. You and your mom probably have matching ones from Wall Drug and plan on wearing double shoulder holsters AND a two gun belt. Definitely eaten.

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Zombies can't swim...

    by loodabagel

    So it's still safe to take to the high seas with my man Steve Zissou and battle the evil vampire Kev-Cos.

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Now see, ya gotta bring my Mom into it??

    by Psynapse

    1. A tachyon burst would merely bounce of a spin weapon, shows how little you actually know about Quantum Mechanics (FYI: "Critical mass" isn't even possible with tachyon spin). Though come to think of it, a spin suit would allow for Quantum Coordination so the phasing would appear to you as teleportation.Not only that but said spin would overload your sensor array (something that IS quite possible) by mere proximity.<p>2.John 3:17 is "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." So, umm, yeeeah. (and stuff!)<p> 3.And please, don't confuse my fashion magnificence (gay gene makes me automatically superior to you in this instance and you know it so suck it-nyah nyah)with your short bus sensibilities. Any feeb knows that shoulder holsters alone would do just fine (okay maybe not pacifist porn hoarding zombie chow like you)as again, plentiful AMMUNITION is key to surviving a zombie onslaught. Though I'd recommend a shotgun as back up.<p> 5. My mom and I both learned a while back that practical fashion rules the day when engaged in mass slaughter thank you very much.

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Wait, who am I kidding?

    by Psynapse

    You'd BE one of the Undead smeared under my bootheel longbefore it got this far. The Overweight librarian harem you tried to coerce into service would ritual suicide and partially eat you before I bothered to come pillaging for any of your grainy porn collection.

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Yo Looda!

    by Psynapse

    We've never established whether of not they can swim and you'd have to come ashore for supplies from time to time, just sayin'.....

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Even if they can swim...

    by loodabagel

    They'd have to be able to climb the slick surface of my boat's hull. And coming ashore now and then would be no problem for a guy like me who's used to fighting Kevin Costner's vampire clan. (The vampires all live at sea because the catholic zombies scared them off the land.) I've already established I've got Bill Murray on my side, but given the vampires, I also naturally have the assistance of Anthony Hopkins, Wesley Snipes, and Iggy Pop.

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Dude you forget....

    by Psynapse

    You'd have ME and my awesome tachyon spin suit and fierce gunplay to escort you to the porn and booze. As long as the weed is mine, we're good!

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 3:11 p.m. CST

    We've got a deal then!

    by loodabagel

    Loodabagel and Psynapse against a horde of bloodthirsty undead and the occasional Fraggle attack squad sent by their villainous cyborg rival Joenathan!

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Pfft...

    by Psynapse

    Steal his porn and he loses all his powers.

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 3:55 p.m. CST

    So he becomes less powerful with a higher sperm count?

    by loodabagel

    Ah gross, I bet he secretly reproduces by budding.

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Thats all gibberish, Psynapse

    by Joenathan

    Besides, its already been decided. Your suit blew up and you've been eaten. I'm sorry, its out of my hands. If I could change it, I would, but I can't. Sorry.<br><br>eaten<br><br>I do like chubby librarians, though... AND you could never steal my bunker's porn supply. Its endless, not to mention you'd probably trip on your duster trying to run off with an armload and then...<br><br>eaten<br><br>Man, This whole zombie apocalypse thing just ends badly for you at every turn, while I am safe down in Fraggle Rock (clap, clap) down in Fraggle Rock (clap, clap)<br><Br>Also, don't correct my bible knowledge, obviously you have an incorrect bible.<br><br>And Lood, zombies can't swim, but they can fight sharks.

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 4:58 p.m. CST

    Robot sharks?

    by loodabagel

    That's right bitch. With Bill Murray's extensive knowledge of ghost hunting, sea captain-ing and being a cartoon cat, he helped me build waterproof robot sharks powered by flux capacitors. One step ahead of you once again, Joen.

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Flux Capacitors?

    by Joenathan

    There will be no way your sharks can reach 88 mph once I freeze the ocean! HA!<br><br>eaten

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 7:27 p.m. CST

    Now you're just being silly...

    by loodabagel

    If you freeze the oceans life on Earth will cease to be, except for the zombies. Nice going, ya dick.

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Ya know what I like about this site?

    by loodabagel

    There's no "signature" option or avatars or shit, just words. Glorious words!

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 8:38 p.m. CST

    and

    by steverodgers

    no emoticons...i love that... leave your cute shit at the door.

  • Oct. 17, 2008, 9:17 p.m. CST

    Joenathan,Paynapse,Loodabagel..

    by KCViking

    I'm not a fan of zombies in movies or books,but,if you got together and wrote this out I'd most assuredly watch or buy it!

  • Oct. 18, 2008, 12:18 a.m. CST

    No emoticons!

    by loodabagel

    Yeah, fuck that. Hell, I sometimes long for the days when you couldn't make paragraph breaks and bold-faced type and whatnot. I still use them sparingly. Still, the AICN talkbacks are the interent forums for all of us street-wise tough kids who play by our own rules. (Removes pack of cigarettes from T-shirt sleeve.)

  • Oct. 20, 2008, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Emoticons are for pussies (mostly)..(*_^)

    by Psynapse

    (LOL)<p>1. Suit wouldn't blow-up, at worst I would be de-established within the continuum and merely decohere.<2>Quit being so bitter that about the fact that I will always dress better than you, even with zombiepocalypse raining down upon us. Well, down upon you anyway as we've already established that my SOOPA-KOO' Tachyon SpinSuit(tm) will have me dancing across the globe spraying bullets through rotting flesh with glee.

  • Oct. 20, 2008, 8:40 a.m. CST

    Besides.....

    by Psynapse

    Zombies carry Fraggle Plague didn't you know that?

  • Oct. 20, 2008, 11:14 a.m. CST

    more jibberish

    by Joenathan

    eaten

  • Oct. 20, 2008, 12:06 p.m. CST

    If wishes were horses....

    by Psynapse

    Joenathan would ride.<p>Pwned.

  • Oct. 20, 2008, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Oh and....

    by Psynapse

    It's "Gibberish". English language much?

  • Oct. 20, 2008, 1:09 p.m. CST

    Go Red Sox!

    by Psynapse

    Home, that is.

  • Oct. 20, 2008, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Fuckin Devil Rays...

    by loodabagel

    Man, that has got to be one of the worst names for a team ever. They should've just called themselves the African Boll Weevils.

  • Oct. 20, 2008, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Umm...It's just "The Rays"

    by Psynapse

    Haven't been "Devil Rays" in years.

  • Oct. 20, 2008, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Since Fall of '07 actually...

    by Psynapse

    Huh, it seemed longer in my head (that's what she said).

  • Oct. 20, 2008, 10:57 p.m. CST

    That's what HE said...

    by loodabagel

    Donchu lie to me boy! But I guess it's good they officially changed that. I thought people were just calling them that because "Devil Rays" sounded retarded. OMG LOL FMPD

  • Oct. 20, 2008, 10:58 p.m. CST

    A little Dr Octagon humor for ya...

    by loodabagel

    Only the cool kids got that one.