Comics

AICN COMICS REVIEWS: GRANT MORRISON - TALKING WITH GODS Documentary! CHAOS WAR! NEONOMICON! SCALPED! Millar's CLiNT! & MORE!

Published at: Oct. 13, 2010, 5:27 p.m. CST by ambush bug

#20 10/6/10 #9

The Pull List (Click title to go directly to the review) GRANT MORRISON: TALKING WITH GODS Documentary Two Reviews of NEONOMICON #2 BRIGHTEST DAY #11 CHAOS WAR #1 SCALPED #41 NANCY IN HELL #3 BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #49 CLiNT #2 SECRET SIX #26 Indie Jones presents…

GRANT MORRISON: TALKING WITH GODS Documentary (2010)

Director: Patrick Meaney Distributor: Halo-8 Find out more about this documentary here! Reviewer: Ambush Bug

So I had a chance to check out the new Grant Morrison documentary titled TALKING WITH GODS this past weekend at the New York Comic Con. The doc played to a packed theater and the director, many of the producers, and other people behind the film were in attendance along with quite a few creators who were there as well. The theater was also filled, obviously, with Morrison fans, exactly the type of audience this film is geared for.
I myself am not a die hard Morrison fan. Sure, I love quite a few of his projects but I rarely pass judgment over the entirety of projects coming from one creator. For the most part, a lot of Morrison’s stuff has left me with more questions than answers and often, instead of feeling satiated after reading a Morrison book, I’m left scratching my head.
But after seeing this documentary, I have to say that my interest in Morrison has been revitalized and the best compliment I can give the makers of this documentary is that is makes me want to seek out more of Morrison’s books or give some I have written off a second pass.
The documentary is actually an hour and a half interview with Morrison, the artists that have worked with him (Frank Quitely, J.H. Williams III, J.G. Jones, Cameron Stewart, Frazier Irving, and Phil Jimenez among others), fellow writers (Geoff Johns, Warren Ellis, Jill Thompson, Matt Fraction, Jason Aaron, and more), other industry types (Karen Berger, Dan Didio, and Bleeding Cool’s Rich Johnston), and tons of fans. For most comic book writers, the idea of making a 90 minute focus on one writer’s life seems to be a stretch. Let’s face it, the most interesting thing about most comic book writers are the stories they write, not the lives they lead. But everyone knows Morrison is not most comic book writers and this documentary does an amazing job of illustrating that.
From his early days as the son of a political protester to his first comic book attempts through his years trying to make it in a band and then on to his success as one of comics’ most groundbreaking writers, this documentary patiently shows it all. Each road stop along Morrison’s life path is punctuated with interviews with anecdotes from personal friends who were there at the time or illustrated in Morrison’s own words. Most fascinating was the segment talking about the clash between Morrison as a new writer and Alan Moore the elder writer involving the possibility of Morrison taking over MARVELMAN after Moore left the property. This segment revolved around an exchange of letters between the two writers that would make for an intriguing documentary in itself. In the documentary, Morrison is represented as the antithesis of Moore who rose to fame for deconstructing what it meant to be a super hero by casting Morrison as someone who is taking those deconstructed pieces and making something brilliant with them.
What I found most interesting as I watched this series is how honest Morrison has been in his mainstream comics writing and how the ups and downs of his own life are constantly present in his work. His father’s role as protester, family deaths, his own experiments in fetishes, drugs and alternative subculture, and issues with his own health are illustrated in the film and skillfully paired with chapters of his own most famous works in ANIMAL MAN, THE INVISIBLES, THE FILTH, FINAL CRISIS, and his recent Batman work. Seeing Morrison speak about coping with the death of his father and his pet cat around the same time gives new resonance to chapters of THE INVISIBLES and WE3. These issues dealt with similar heavy moments almost exactly how Morrison experienced them with the truth covered by a very thin veil of story.
The documentary is extremely well made and slickly produced, transitioning from one writer to Morrison then back again to an artist. Selected panels and a smattering of special effects take the viewer through some of Morrison’s more trippy rants. And though occasionally Morrison’s thick accent makes things kind of tough to understand, I hear the DVD will have subtitles in these areas. You’d think that a documentary featuring a ton of talking heads would make more than one audience member look at their watches, but it never happened in the theater I saw the film in. I could have sat an hour more with this film and still not be bored. And from the reaction of the applauding audience in the theater, I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. Meaney does a great job of keeping the pace moving, focusing on one aspect of Morrison’s history then quickly jaunting to another. Known for being out there in both his work and public appearances, I was surprised at how human this documentary portrayed Morrison. This documentary captures the writer not performing for a crowd, but just being himself, something harder to do than one would imagine.
This film could have easily veered into the territory of an ego project from an artist full of himself or a kneepad wearing-out knob-slob session by a starry eyed fanboy. This documentary is neither. It’s a bold, brave, and honest look at an artist whose life is worthy of this type of attention. Say what you will about Morrison’s work, but Patrick Meaney’s GRANT MORRISON: TALKING WITH GODS is a fascinating study of the man behind some of the most influential and controversial comics of the last 25 years. The film is playing in select theaters throughout the month and is available on DVD through their distributor, Halo-8 soon.
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/reviewer/co-editor of AICN Comics for over nine years. Support a Bug by checking out his comics! MUSCLES & FIGHTS VOL.3 & MUSCLES & FRIGHTS VOL.1. VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS: THE TINGLER #1-2 (interview, interview, preview, & review) VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS #20 WITCHFINDER GENERAL (preview, review, in stores now!) NANNY & HANK miniseries (interview, interview, interview, preview, & review, still available to order in Previews Order #JUN10 0824, in stores October 2010!) Zenescope’s upcoming WONDERLAND ANNUAL 2010 (in July Previews Order # JUL10 1200, in stores in October!) THE DEATHSPORT GAMES miniseries (in September Previews Order #SEP 100860, in stores in November 2010!)

Two Reviews of NEONOMICON #2

Writer: Alan Moore Artist: Jacen Burrows Published by: Avatar Press Reviewed by: BottleImp

Wow.
I came out of reading this issue with mingled feelings of disgust, loathing, and horror. There’s a fine line that separates art from pornography, and it’s a line that Alan Moore seems to enjoy skirting. LOST GIRLS, in particular, seems to take a long, looping walk to explore both sides of the line. In NEONOMICON, the innuendo and vague clues of bizarre sexual rituals that the FBI agents encountered in their investigations in the first issue are thrown aside for a clear view (almost) of that underground element that is at once graphic, shocking and disgusting.
But that feeling of disgust is, after all, the intended effect.
Anyone who is familiar with Lovecraft’s work knows that one of his recurrent themes is the melding of humankind with the dark creatures that populate his Mythos. In “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” the narrator discovers his heritage as a descendent of the fish-like people who were spawned from the union of men and the Deep Ones. “The Dunwich Horror” centers around the monstrous Wilbur Whately and his (even more monstrous) brother, birthed by a woman who had mated with the Elder God, Yog-Sothoth. This motif even made an earlier, and slightly less cosmic, appearance in HPL’s “Arthur Jermyn,” wherein the title character realizes that in his case, man’s descent from ape took place not millennia ago, but merely decades. When you get right down to it, a good deal of Lovecraft’s mythos revolves around monster-fucking…just not on the page. As Moore puts it (voiced by the character of FBI Agent Merril Brears): “[Lovecraft] was sort of asexual is my guess. There’s no women in any of his stories, no sex of any kind, not on the surface…it’s all just dark hints. Unnamable couplings, stuff like that.”
And Moore seems to reply, “I’ll show YOU unnamable couplings.”
The brilliant thing is that even with the amount of detail shown—and believe me, there’s a lot-strap-ons, ballsacks, bushes and cockshafts abound—I still think that Lovecraft would be proud of the way in which Moore and Burrows still keep the horror just out of sight. Out of sight for both the reader AND our protagonist, as Agent Brears is bereft of her contact lenses and is only able to see fuzzy shapes, and Burrows (or colorist Juanmar; I’m not sure who deserves the credit) renders those panels seen through Brears’ point of view with a blurring Photoshop effect. I’m not normally a fan of using the Photoshop filters—usually I find the special effects a detriment to the art rather than an enhancement—but in this case the tool is used for perfect effect.
Even though the pornographic elements end up working to sell the story, there still is a misogynistic element to the cliffhanger of this issue that nags at me. The difficulty here is that the horrors that Brears is forced to endure (and by the looks of things, she’ll have to endure a lot more when the next issue rolls around) are essential to both the narrative and the tone of the book. I’m back to that same argument of art vs. pornography, just substitute sadism for porn. I know this is a criticism that has been leveled at Moore’s work before in regard to such works as WATCHMEN (the Silk Spectre’s rape by the Comedian) and THE KILLING JOKE (the Joker shooting Barbara Gordon and then taking pictures of her naked, bleeding body), and to some extent, I can see his detractors’ points. It’s upsetting… but it’s meant to be upsetting, right? I guess the final question has to be: is it just violence and torture for their own sake, or do the disturbing elements serve as essential, integral parts of the story?
In this case, they do. NEONOMICON is disturbing, to be sure. Possibly upsetting. But effectively horrifying, and genuinely Lovecraftian…even though Lovecraft never wrote about women getting facials from spiny green johnsons.
When released from his Bottle, the Imp takes the form of Stephen Andrade, an artist/illustrator/pirate monkey painter from the Northeast. You can see some of his artwork here. He’s given up comics more times than he can remember. But every time he thinks he's out, they pull him back in.

And now for another view of NEONOMICON #2

NEONOMICON #2

Writer: Alan Moore Artists: Jacen Burrows Published by: Avatar Press Reviewed by: KletusCasady

I know, I know you’re afraid to open an Avatar book. I don’t blame you. Not because there’s a lack of story or good art, but because CROSSED has tainted your eyes and now the mere mention of an Avatar comic book send you into a flashback complete with cold sweats, violent outbursts, and crapped pants. I promise you this isn’t as intense as those…well…at least…not as gory. Alan Moore is a legend whether you like him or not, so pretty much any new project he’s putting out that I can get my hands on without going to Border’s and paying $100 for a fairy tale porno book, I‘ll check out. As with most Avatar books, this comic isn’t for everyone but the art is great and if you don’t mind a lot of exposition the pay off will be worth it. As my man Laserhead put it, “Alan Moore's doing something very, very fucked up.”
Basically the story (without spoiling anything) is about two cops investigating a strange set of murders that may or may not have a connection to H.P. Lovecraft. I will admit I know little to nothing about HPL except for he was one of the first horror writers…is that true? I don’t really care enough to wiki it but you can if feel so inclined. A lot of this book is SEEMINGLY meaningless dialog about the case and personal anecdotes about the two major characters’ lives. I think if you’re a fan of Alan Moore than you’ll at least let him take you through the entire issue before you make judgments but I can see a lot of readers getting bored.
The interesting thing about this book is that because I watch a good amount of horror movies, I recognized subtle things that happen where you say “That…is definitely leading to something bad down the road,” and most of the time it’s true. Much like many horror movies, the anticipation of bad things to come is a large part of the fun and this issue is very similar in that sense. The first issue has an ending that really fucked with me: the way it was set up, the way it was drawn was a fucking scary surprise which took me a second to understand but when I did it was pretty cool. This book seems like it’s going to require some patience to get through but I’m confident Alan Moore will deliver. The art in this book is handled by Jacen Burrows and his art is always solid. There’s always good detail, the page looks clean, and apparently he has no problem drawing a ***** being ****** by a man being ****** also a ******* being ****** off by a crazy ass ****. If that doesn’t entice you nothing will.
This book kind of affected me in a similar way that the show “The Wire” affected me. What I mean by this is that there’s a good amount of set up in the beginning but if you can get past that, what follows is a very rewarding experience. Some comics have no interest in setting an atmosphere because they don’t want to bore the reader. Well I’d argue that if it’s done correctly, it greatly helps the reader care more about the characters and it also puts the reader in the mindset the writer wants them to be in. So things that seem meaningless early on become very obviously relevant by the time you hit those last few pages and damn if you don’t get hit with a double whopper with cheese by the end of this.
The art is great as always, so don’t even worry about Burrows, he’s got your back. Seriously check this out if you have patience to sit through a lot of talking to get to some juicy holy shit comic book moments. Oh yeah, don’t read this at work…there’s definitely a chance you may catch a charge if someone from the opposite sex catches you. That’s it! That’s all I’m saying, now go read it!

BRIGHTEST DAY #11

Writer: Johns & Tomasi Artists: Reis, Clark, Gleason and Prado Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Optimous Douche

I’m confused…simply call me Obtuse Douche from here on out. Just when I think that I have everything figured out in BRIGHTEST DAY, Johns and Tomasi decide to start throwing faster curve balls than Randy Johnson on meth. Issue 11 opened up a hell of a lot of questions and not one card has been tipped yet on what the hell this is all about. Since we have a fairly erudite following of comic’s finest minds in the TalkBacks, perhaps if we act as a hive mind we can collectively start to answer some of the BRIGHTEST DAY mysteries.
Silly me to think that the Black Lanterns are no more; evil is never eradicated, merely washed clean for a time period before things start getting sullied again. Yes, the dead Firestorm has returned and has now dubbed himself Deathstorm. Cool, but what? Never mind…I’m just going to roll with it.
Then keeping in-line with the ADD scattershot snippets of stories that have defined this series, we move rapidly on to Aquaman and his personal Judas, Mera. Aquman is still battling for…well, I’m not quite sure. I mean he’s battling Black Manta to prevent a happy reunion between evil father and oblivious son, and I guess that’s enough when you are as virtuous as Aquaman. But seriously there are so many spinning wheels in this thing, I totally forgot why Aquaman is going after Manta or his kid in the first place. Aquaman, Baby Manta and the adoptive father of sea-evil end up getting picked up by a trucker.
Don’t get too comfortable, kids, because we are now flashed back to Deathstorm (am I the only one that thinks he sounds like the opening band at a RATT concert), which death has made more absorbent than Tampax®. Deathstorm sucks in Professor Stein and Jason Rusch’s father. Oh, now I see why this issue is named “Father’s Day”.
Wondering what happened to Aquaman and baby Black Manta? Fear not, we get a one pager with Aquaman placing the conch of destiny in Baby Manta’s hands and inside is…a treasure map. Oh ya, now I remember four issues ago when this was brought up. I didn’t expect a map that looked it was found on that back of a Cap N’ Crunch box, but uhmmm…OK that one mystery out of the four hundred mysteries is solved…sorta.
After we get through that hullabaloo we are treated to the fortune cookie lantern, I mean the White Lantern that speaks like a fortune cookie, telling Deathstorm that he should form an army, destroy the twelve and stop the savior from being reborn. And then we are treated to the infamous RISE and all 12 of the heroes that were resurrected at the end of BLACKEST NIGHT, and are still currently alive, appear behind Deathstorm in their rotted Black Lantern forms. Seriously, I like to think of myself as a semi-intelligent human being, but how are these fuckers dead, yet still alive. Between my love of comics and science fiction I have accepted some pretty large leaps of faith when it comes to logic, but this is just ponderous.
Wait though, we’re not done. Remember Deadman, and the Hawks, and Max Lord? Well they don’t show up, we’ll get back to their stories three issues from now. No, after everything is said and done the final splash page is a White Lantern emblem made of foliage set against the barren backdrop of Mars and we get a…MARS RISE call-out box! OK, that’s pretty cool. I would love to see a whole new planet opened up for human colonization, and since we don’t seem to have fuck-all chance of this happening in the real world, I’ll settle for it in a comic book.
In the end analysis, BRIGHTEST DAY is starting to wear thin on my patience. It’s a fine crafted story that I’m sure will read fantastic in trades, but as a monthly there’s just too much going on and too much lag between issues to keep it all straight. Plus, this whole mythos is getting long in tooth. “Sinestro Corps War” was amazing because it came out of nowhere and bitch slapped us all into remembering how cool the lanterns actually are…”Blackest night” was able to keep riding that wave and for the most part was very enjoyable and epic in scope. Now though…I’m beginning to seriously have doubts. I predicted a year ago that GREEN LANTERN would fall by the sidelines in 2010 into 2011 and The Bat would come back strong enough to trump the emerald light. Unless BRIGHTEST DAY starts to deliver some answers soon…I will stand firmly behind my prediction.
Optimous has successfully blackmailed fellow @$$Hole BottleImp into being his artist on Average Joe. Look for Imp's forced labor on Optimous brain child in mid-2011 from COM.X. Friend Optimous on FaceBook to get Average Joe updates and because ceiling cat says it's the right thing to do.

CHAOS WAR #1

Writer: Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente Art: 1st story - Khoi Pham (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks) 2nd story - Reilly Brown (pencils), Terry Pallot (inks) Publisher: Marvel Comics Reviewer: Henry Higgins is My Homeboy

An interesting and absolutely fantastic take on gods in a universe full of super heroics has come out of Marvel in the past few years. Most notably, the presence of Hercules as a major player in his own series has been a spectacular run for the character. But the question remains, does it warrant a big time event book? With CHAOS WAR, Hercules is placed front and center, and, for the most part, delivers. The opening issue is a great opening salvo, though it does falter about at times.
Writing (4/5): Pak and Van Lente have been writing one of my favorite runs of all time the past few years in THE INCREDIBLE HERCULES, and this is their chance to show it on a huge scale. And for the most part, they deliver. Hercules, having been bestowed with a new unchartable power level, has a whole new outlook on life, which is an interesting twist. While he's missing some of his usual charm and humor, it's nice to see a Hercules who is trying to live up to his new expectations. His attacks on the other gods and calling them out works well, exemplified by a worthwhile sequence that shows off his newfound lack of respect for the gods. The other major player of the Incredible Herc duo, Amadeus Cho, serves much more than a supporting role here as he has in the past. But after such an extended time with Cho in his PRINCE OF POWER miniseries, it's a nice change of a pace. The two writers keep Amadeus as interesting and enjoyable to read as they always have, while not letting him steal any of the spotlights from Herc. What the event is missing is the traditional humor and charm the two brought to Hercules when they took over the INCREDIBLE title. In many ways the humor was the best part of the book (and possibly Marvel right now); it is sorely missed. A back up feature by the two focusing on Hercules' time spent in exile brings back some of the humor, but it's still missing the charm from the previous series.
Art (3/5): With three artists on board, the comic, though an interesting looking book, feels very uneven. Some scenes, such as the reintroduction of the Chaos King, are fantastic. Others, such as the confrontation with the other gods, feel rushed and oddly paced. Overall, the book has good artwork, but the splintered bits are off-putting and take the reader out of the moment. The extra scene, done by Reilly Brown and Terry Pallot, is fun and reminiscent of the series proper.
Best Moment: The reintroduction of the Chaos King. It's a great set piece and lays out the tone for the rest of the book.
Worst Moment: The introduction of the rest of the heroes into his army feels forced, especially with the quick shot over to the Fantastic Four. Also, this is going to be fun to try to fit into current continuity.
Overall (4/5): A nice start to an event. The series should pick up with Hercules back on top game soon, and I couldn't be more excited.

SCALPED #41

Writer: Jason Aaron Artist: R.M. Guera Publisher: Vertigo/DC Comics Reviewed by Humphrey Lee

Sometimes life just gets in the way. Sometimes, just sometimes, in the span of a month you work almost two hundred hours, get married, write 10,000 words for your Masters program. And all this results in you not being able to write a comic book review for pretty much the same amount of time, really hurting your @$$hole cred. And then sometimes you go through the hell that Jason Aaron routinely drags his creations through each issue of SCALPED, and it makes real life problems seem a bit tame. Except for the abortion scare part or this; I call that Tuesday. But more on that later…
My favorite selling line on this book as it was really starting to flourish was to routinely compare it to “The Wire”, aka the greatest TV show to ever exist. As things have played out, I would like to say, for the record, I was two-thirds right. While SCALPED’s plot has not quite reached the level of build that piece of seminal television did – it has its moments but it does not quite interlock and overlap its threads, or weave as many to begin with as that show did – it has more than rivaled it in two other areas: the centerpiece that is the locale in the plot, and the aforementioned sheer hell, and occasional glory, that the characters are run through within its bounds.
As I said before, sometimes life just happens. Thanks to mine, it’s been hard to really sit down and appreciate this medium I love on a consistent basis. When I do, it’s nice to know that I can rely on a book like this to enthrall me as soon as I open it up. Or, in the case of this issue, fucking mortifies me. If SCALPED is anything besides just a good fucking comic, it’s also a kick in the balls, or in this case, two abortion attempts in three pages by a woman who has hit rock-goddamn-bottom. Meanwhile, our lead, Dashiell Bad Horse, has started to recover from his own trip to the dregs, only to awaken to the reemergence of his father, a figment he’d rather leave behind. Both these key moments hit like a hammer, both are rife with the best, most harrowing drama that fiction can provide, and both are a prime example of the range that comics can show and how their nature can really drive home these peak emotions.
According to the feed of our Mr. Aaron, SCALPED is not long for this world. The end is nigh, and given the nature of this book, that has deeper meaning for the characters that inhabit it. It will be a shame to see it go, but in a way it will also be for the best as there’s only so many emotional body blows you can lay into your characters and the reader through them before a work becomes a parody of itself. But as of now, when they hit, they still hit hard, as does pretty much everything SCALPED does. Thank you so much, Mr. Aaron, for being a right bastard with your creations and making my entertainment value and outlook on life all the better for it.
Humphrey Lee has been an avid comic book reader going on fifteen years now and a contributor to Ain't It Cool comics for quite a few as well. In fact, reading comics is about all he does in his free time and where all the money from his day job wages goes to - funding his comic book habit so he can talk about them to you, our loyal readers (lucky you). He's a bit of a social networking whore, so you can find him all over the Interwebs on sites like Twitter, The MySpaces, Facebookand a Blogger Account where he also mostly talks about comics with his free time because he hasn't the slightest semblance of a life. Sad but true, and he gladly encourages you to add, read, and comment as you will.

NANCY IN HELL #3

Writer: El Torres Artist: Malaka Studio/Antonio Vasquez Publisher: Image Comics Reviewer: Lyzard

I do not know why NANCY IN HELL keeps on disappointing me. It is not like my expectations are that high. I guess I am just hoping for one hell of a grand finale in the last book.
What readers will notice first, if they have been keeping up with the series, is the change in art. It is not drastic, but it is noticeable. The faces seem smoother, less intricate. I would go as far as to say that the artist even grows lazy in a few panels when it comes to character design. NANCY IN HELL #3’s artist goes off of what Juan Jose Ryp started, filling the panel with a lot of action. Like Ryp’s work, this leads to a cluttered look, but also makes the areas that are less detailed stand out more. Again, this change is mainly seen in the face of the characters, but also in the backgrounds. I still remember the waterfalls of blood and hordes of braindeads filling the pages. This new look is not necessarily a bad thing. I found the comic easier to follow and much easier to know what to focus on. It is just a matter of getting used to and accepting the change.
This book picks up right where NANCY IN HELL #2 left off, with no time lapse. Her decomposing “friends” are attacking Nancy Simmons while Lucifer is being tempted by a smoke demon. Though Lucifer fights off the temptation (ironic, usually he is the tempter) Nancy is saved by the demon Pytho. Lucifer finds Nancy and they continue their journey towards the gates of Hell, but not before they are stopped by at trio of furies.
Knowing my Greek mythology, I saw the references to the Virgilian erinyes aka furies. They have the same names, though not the same physical descriptions. Thanks to Wikipedia and my high school English teacher, I also know that Dante used the same three furies in his Inferno, one of the major sources of homage used in NANCY IN HELL.
This particular book did have some good character moments. Lucifer began to fight against fate and ordained rule, while Nancy too stood up for herself. But I’m still waiting for Lucifer’s inevitable turn towards evil. I’m all for pissing off the Catholic Church, and making Lucifer the hero would be highly sacrilegious, but I just don’t see that happening in this comic.
Maybe I was wrong to say I was disappointed in NANCY IN HELL #3. It merely did not blow me away. It did have some elements that I preferred to the second issue. But every time the characters did something I liked, they went and ruined it. This little romance between Nancy and Lucifer is hard to believe, especially because Nancy did have a boyfriend just before she died. Maybe she didn’t care about her beau, but to move on to the Prince of Darkness, to be blinded by the “morning star” when your soul is on the line, does not seem very smart in my book. Flaws in some characters aside, the furies were a nice touch and I can only wonder what El Torres will bring us in the final issue.
Lyzard is actually Lyz Reblin, a film student at Chapman University. Lyz’s love for comics stems from an internship at Dark Horse Entertainment as a freshman, which may explain why some of her favorite comic book writers are Gerard Way and Steve Niles. You can find her on Facebook, but only if you follow her band: Castle Town Convicts (possibly a Zelda reference?).

BATMAM CONFIDENTIAL #49

Writer: James Patrick Artist: Steve Scott Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: KletusCasady

Imagine being in the desert, with a sweater, black pants, and boots immediately after smoking a huge bowl of wee…uh…tobacco, you have no water, no food and a pocket full of money. Cotton mouth has now set in and you’ve been there for a good 4 hours wandering with nothing in sight and all of a sudden, appearing in the horizon…a bar…with food, water, beer, air conditioning, a pool party in full force and people hanging out for no apparent reason in the middle of the desert. Think of how soothing that would be…that is how I see this issue of BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL. Overly dramatic allegory? Hell yes but this is how refreshing this issue was to me. I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve read a straight forward Batman story that wasn’t connected to some larger thing that is going on. This is a pretty great single issue Batman story that highlights the things I love about Batman: detective work, spontaneity, ingenuity and it all takes place in one apartment building.
I don’t hate Grant Morrison. The guy has churned out, if nothing else, some pretty interesting Batman stories even if sometimes (as my boss repeatedly points out) that it seems like we’re missing a page or two from the narrative. The thing is that I’m sure when Morrison reads these stories back to himself, he’s fully confident that all the elements of the story are there and everything makes complete sense...to him. The problem with this is that those ideas, while being very cool and original, sometimes don’t translate to the reader the way I’d like them to.
The reason why this comic felt so refreshing to me is because I didn’t feel like a page was missing from my comic and all the information I needed to know was IN THIS COMIC. This issue demonstrates the contrast between someone who wants to put their personal stamp on Batman (not that there’s anything wrong with that) versus someone who wants to just write a comic book starring Batman. This issue is Batman at his best, completely within his element, but that doesn’t make his job easier. I love seeing Batman’s thought process as his mind is rapidly putting together possible theories and how those theories can evolve within a second as he discovers new clues. I really wish more comics showed this aspect of Batman; a lot of comics get caught up in the adventure side of Batman (not that there’s anything wrong with that) where he’s just saving the day whilst whooping ass but I like the slow moments where Bruce’s finely tuned noggin is processing shit as he goes, fuck the Bat-computer.…
SIDE NOTE- I just caught some kid stealing comics from the shop I work at after I ordered a bunch of statues for him, what a fucking asshole! Sorry; back to the review.
Damn I was on a roll before that shit happened…where was I? I love seeing Batman like this fully submerged in rapid thinking deductive/ inductive reasoning mode. The artwork is pretty awesome and does a great job of setting the dim atmosphere of the apartment building; the emotions in this issue are also really well done there’s no question as to what these characters are feeling. Honestly this issue could have been a “silent issue” and I think it would still have been an effective comic book. This is what Detective Comics should be (started out that way) with single issue crime stories with Batman doing what he does best.

Editor’s note: Check out an interview with James Patrick, the writer of BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL #49 by Elston Gunn here!


CLiNT #2

Writer: Mark Millar, Jonathan Ross, Frankie Boyle, Jim Muir, Mateus Santolouco Art: John Romita, Jr., Tommy Lee Edwards, Michael Dowling, Peter Gross, Steve McNiven, Mateus Santolouco Publisher: Titan Magazines Reviewer: Mr. Pasty

I remember hearing that Mark Millar was going to be rolling out a new magazine titled CLiNT, and I pretty much had the same reaction as I did when I heard that Keanu Reeves was going to be playing bass guitar in a band named DOGSTAR. The astute among us will remember that DOGSTAR’S original name was SMALL FECAL MATTER and well, I don’t think you’ll need to bother opening the Clue confidential file to uncover who’s getting the candlestick treatment in this review.
I don’t like magazines. Besides being booby-trapped with those annoying subscription inserts that come flying at you like some sort of 20 lb. dull matte throwing star, they’re littered with advertisements featuring cologne I’ll never afford, clothes I’ll never wear and models I’ll never bang. When you finally do reach the three pages of actual content, it’s a smorgasbord of useless gear, boring interviews and pompous editorials.
That brings me to CLiNT #2. Let me start by mentioning Chloe Moretz, who’s on the cover because she contributed a “Travel Diary” for this issue. What do you get from the diary of a 13-year-old girl? Well, she likes chocolate croissants, got a haircut and still uses LOL when she speaks. Don’t advertise her as Hit Girl (she’s never shown out of costume) if she’s going to break kayfabe and talk like Stephanie from LAZYTOWN. It bothers me because this is a book being marketed to adults and it just feels creepy. Case in point: One of the other guest appearances is by David Baddiel. Here’s a question from his interview: “Would you fuck your dad to save your mum?” Nice.
To its credit, CLiNT does use the medium to present a collection of entertaining comics, including KICK-ASS 2, AMERICAN JESUS, and NEMESIS. There are some solid offerings here and it’s a shame this wasn’t a magazine that featured the aforementioned books along with some behind-the-scenes stuff like storyboards, alternate drafts and commentary.
I know this is going to sound crazy, but just hear me out: I read comics because I like comic books. And while I’m not the type to get weak in the knees over every little thing Millar puts his name on, most of the time he produces high level stuff. I’m kinda over KICK-ASS, but NEMESIS is a great read. There’s also some interesting stuff from Jonathan Ross and Mateus Santolouco here as well. This is what I have such a hard time understanding. We’ve got a magazine that showcases some really great comics but insists on wasting valuable real estate by proving how clever it is. I don’t mind the ads, even the ones that shill for Millar, because I understand you gotta pay the bills (even though I think Zips should sue for royalties after seeing that carbon-copy Adidas ad).
What I do mind are these hammy “columns.” You can’t possibly read CLiNT and not get the impression they’re trying way too hard to be MAD Magazine. It’s all here, from the “Hey, we’re not only poking fun of you, we’re poking fun of ourselves!” shtick to the tired gags including “Make your own iPad,” which gives you a black border to cut from the page and hold up over live events to experience them in HD. You know, kind of like when Peter Griffin had no television and taped a cardboard rectangle to his head, inventing new channels as he walked the streets of Quahog. Funny, right? No? Well then maybe you’ll dig the “Stupid Baby Names” feature or “Armadillogeddon.”
Maybe it’s a UK thing, but I don’t like CLiNT the magazine. I do like CLiNT the comic book collection. And if I have to pay six bucks or whatever it is to keep up with TURF and REX ROYD then what choice do I have? I mean honestly, it’s not like this rag is an aberration or an insult to the industry. It just reeks of ego. Mark Millar is a great writer and a talented storyteller and he proves it deep inside the pages of CLiNT. It’s just a shame you have to wade through so much sludge to get close enough to see it.
Web heads who can’t get enough of Mr. Pasty’s word vomit are encouraged to watch him operate as Nostradumbass over at MMaMania.com here. Love, hate and Mafia Wars requests should be directed here.

SECRET SIX #26

Writer: Gail Simone Art: J. Calafiore Publisher: DC Comics Reviewer: Henry Higgins is My Homeboy

Manage Your Savage.
SECERT SIX has consistently been one of the best series DC has to offer. And with any other series, this issue would be a stand out success. But with the kind of track record SECRET SIX has, this issue feels quasi-disappointing. It's not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it doesn't live up to its predecessors.
Writing (4/5): Simone is on, as always, but a surprising amount of this issue falls flat. The fire-fast dialogue is missing for the most part, and much of the in-team snark this series has perfected is absent. Deadshot, as always, gets a number of great moments, usually playing off the government liaison Tremor. Some sequences are spectacularly written (Waller and Spy Smasher’s confrontation is utterly fantastic), but others just don't live up to the earlier highs. The evolution of Bane in this series has been great and it continues here, but other characters such as Catman and Scandal don't work as well as usual (Catman’s quiet rage isn't as pronounced and effective as last issue, and Scandal isn't her usual brilliant self).
Art (4/5): J. Calafiore has yet to do a bad issue of SECRET SIX, though this issue is less impressive then others. The designs and layout make Bane's opening attack a stand out moment. Unfortunately, the rest of the comic lacks the speed and insanity of that first scene. Most of the faces and small touches are marvelous, but moments such as the one with the lake monster seem forced and arbitrary. The final fight scene between the two teams isn't nearly as exciting as hoped for. It lacks any real substance, and quickly dissolves into your standard "the two teams meet" fight. The art here is amazing, though just not as good as it has been.
Best Moment: Bane’s opening attack.
Worst Moment: The lake monster seems out of place. It establishes how strange this new setting is, but that's already been achieved. It didn't need a few pages focusing on it.
Overall (4/5): That's how good SECRET SIX is. This review came out sounding much more negative then I normally would write for a 4/5 comic, but compared to some of the past issues, it's just not as good. But a mediocre issue of SECRET SIX is still better then 89% of super hero comics today.

Hey folks, Ambush Bug here, back from NYCC with a slew of new indie goodies to share. I’ll be peppering out my reviews of these indie treats through the next few weeks, but here are a few to start things off.

FEEDING GROUND #1 By Swifty Lang, Michael Lapinski, & Chris Mangun Archaia

One of the cooler books I picked up at this year’s NY Comic Con was this new offering from Archaia. FEEDING GROUND is unique in almost every way, from the gorgeous art which uses a limited palette in order to communicate the multitude of emotions of the characters within the pages to the concept of setting a werewolf story on the backdrop of the dangers and perils of crossing US/Mexican border illegally. This first issue offers a sympathetic stance toward those crossing the border illegally, but doesn’t lay on the political debate thickly at all. If anything, the story takes the role of reporter, showing the trials of the illegals and the coyote leading them to a new world with an unflinching eye. What I liked most about this first issue is the attention the makers of this book take toward small moments. Multiple panels showing miniscule moments embrace the reader and pull one into the scene. A drop of blood falling on the desert ground echoes off the page. The wind blowing shirts hanging on a clothes line fully paints the scene as the characters strive for something greater and make sacrifices to attain that goal. The limited color scheme makes the world all the more desolate and perilous. You’ll shiver as Flaca, a little girl who seems to be the heart of the story, is attacked by a growling beast in the fields surrounding a factory that is forcing the people to take the dangerous journey across the border. This issue is just beginning, but the first issue grabs you by the throat and will leave you gasping until the next issue drops. As an added bonus, this comic is printed in both English and Mexican language as a flipbook for no extra cost. I had a chance to interview the makers of this book at the con. Be sure to look for the interview in the coming weeks. In the meantime, take my word for it, seek out FEEDING GROUND. It works as a political commentary ripped from the headlines as well as a nail biting horror/thriller. Highly recommended.

PHILOSOPHER REX Vol.1 By Ian & Jason Miller (writers), Geraldo Borges, Rick Silver, Ricardo Soathman, & Adidia Wardina (pencils), Junior Capoeira, Estudio Haus, Cristiano Lopez De Sousa, Alex Silva, & Rick Silver (inks) Arcana Studios

Screw Doctor Strange, there’s a new mystic in town. The Brothers Miller (Ian & Jason) inject new life into the genre of sorcerers and modern magic in this trade paperback collecting the first five issues of PHILOSOPHER REX. Dr. Ishmael Stone is a traveling mystic and monster hunter whose cold demeanor houses enormous magical powers. Along with him is a cadre of characters: psychic con men, boy masters of mystic weapons, a half ghost/half witch (a ghost-wich?), and a blind monster detector, all of whom are both fun and powerful additions to a paranormal team supreme. Part DOCTOR STRANGE, part GHOST HUNTERS, part SCOOBY DOO, PHILOSOPHER REX is both fun and scary all at once. Much like X-FILES, the Doc and his team travel the country taking on one paranormal case after another. Be they evil possessed wolves or possessed townies who cannot die, the Doc and his crew seem ready for anything. The Miller Brothers write tightly woven stories and juggle the varied characters with ease. I especially liked the next to last story told from the diary of a young woman in peril that the doc and his crew come to the aid of. Though these five issues are drawn by various artists, the people behind this book are to be commended for making the art style consistent from one issue to the next. All of the artists mentioned above seem to have a firm grasp of drawing and inking both fantastical and mystic imagery and switches from one to the other without a beat. This is a strong effort from Arcana and worth checking out by anyone who longs for magic done right. I received PHILOSOPHER REX a while back, but with SDCC and other things, I didn’t have a chance until now to check the book out. Now I’m kicking myself for not reading it and passing the word on to you all sooner. Be sure to check out this graphic novel. It’s magically delicious!

DRAGON PUNCHER HC OGN By James Kochalka Top Shelf Productions

DRAGON PUNCHER is one of those gems you stumble upon and thank your lucky stars for your luck. While perusing the Top Shelf table at NYCC, I couldn’t help but notice the crude drawing of a lanky giant with a photo of a cat for a head running through a photograph of a grassy landscape after what looks to be a dragon. When I cracked the hardcover open, I found that kookiness of an equal caliber oozed from every page as artist/writer James Kochalka casts his cat and his son as the main characters in this incredibly cute and enthralling adventure. Armed with his lucky spoon, Spoony-E tries to befriend the famous puncher of dragons, Dragon Puncher. Though Dragon Puncher claims that he fights alone, he finds that a friend is not a bad thing to have when faced against a dragon wearing the photo-face of the artist/writer of the book. This is one of those endearing stories that you can share with kids and still enjoy for its clever simplicity. Looking for something to read your kids that doesn’t suck? This is it. At the end of the year, I usually name my pick for Best Childrens’ Book for the @$$ies. It’s going to be hard to find anything better. Though it’s a quick read, I found myself returning to this book over and over, laughing and marveling at how ludicrous and brilliant it is.

THE LITTLEST BITCH HC OGN By David Quinn & Michael Davis (writers) & Devon Devereaux (art) Sellers Publishing, Inc.

Here’s another one that falls under the category of child-like stories for grown kids. THE LITTLEST BITCH follows a snooty miniature CEO who continues to shrink the bitchier she acts. Drawn with a toe dangling into the artistic pool of Edward Gorey, Devon Devereaux does a great job of making the Littlest Bitch bitchy looking. This story doesn’t quite live up to the standard of the old BEAUTIFUL STORIES FOR UGLY CHILDREN books, but it comes close. Told with a definite dark flair, the story pulls very few punches and ends on a pretty black note. Upon further inspection, this one is from the twisted mind behind FAUST. Anyone who remembers that fantastically perverted and horrific series will be shocked to see David Quinn’s name on the cover, but once the tone of the book is understood, his involvement becomes more clear. The book lacks in both the amount of cuteness and uniqueness found in DRAGON PUNCHER. But in the end, it holds up as a decent cautionary tale to all who feel like acting bitchy is the way to go. This may be a good gift for that overbearing boss or cranky co-worker; just make sure it’s an anonymous gift or it may be your former boss or co-worker.

WEREWOLF HAIKU OGN By Ryan Mecum HOW Books

This is the third in a series of phenomenal books by the modern master of poetic macabre, Ryan Mecum. Much like his ZOMBIE HAIKU and VAMPIRE HAIKU books, Mecum shows his talent at stringing the five-seven-five word structured knows no bounds once set upon a backdrop of a specific brand of horror. In this story, a love-struck mailman who longs for the heart of a woman on his route is bitten by what he at first thinks is a rabid dog. The hound turns out to be a werewolf and the reader is taken through a poetic journey as the romantic postal worker turns from shy, sheepish sob to wicked, wolfish wild-man. Mecum has a gift for delivering humor with bite:
Unfortunately, “Man to wolfman” movie scenes… Painfully dead-on.
Despite the movies, I do not have the desire, To surf on van roofs.

But this book is not declawed in the gore department either as exemplified by poems like these:
His meaty dog thighs, Were like eating chicken legs, But with bloody hair.
Constant gag reflex, Thanks to new strands of long hair, Growing in my mouth.

The best thing about Mecum’s books is that he is able to really wear the flesh of the monsters in his haiku poems. His little details and observations make all of the difference in making this werewolf story better than most.
Both your eardrums pop, Then quickly grow back stronger, As your ears sprout up.
Like a hand massage, Clawing makes small vibrations, That help calm me down.
Every year, Mecum tops himself with this gorgeous poetry of the damned. This year it’s werewolves. Mecum never fails to deliver a powerful story in his poems through humorous observations, gory details, and the unnatural ability to string horrific words together ingeniously. I’ll leave you with my favorite:
The police siren, Was a song I had to join, And I howled again.

If you’re looking for that perfect gift for the horror hound who has everything, buy WEREWOLF HAIKU and Ryan Mecum’s other great monster poetry books.

Editing, compiling, imaging, coding, logos & cat-wrangling by Ambush Bug Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G


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Readers Talkback

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  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:15 a.m. CST

    FIRST

    by giannt

    first...

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Grant Morrison

    by giannt

    Best comic book writer of the last 15 years...

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:17 a.m. CST

    THIRD!!!

    by darthderp

    Just saying...

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Morrison

    by Autodidact

    I became a fan based off his New X-Men run of ten years ago. It's true his stories can sometimes leave you scratching your head... his final acts/endings are often not very satisfying. <p><em>The Filth</em> is one of the most fucked-up and ambitious comics I've ever read. I actually found it more approachable than Final Crisis, because to really understand Final Crisis you need to be a pretty well-read DC universe follower. I found I missed a lot of stuff in Final Crisis due to never having read New Gods and such. The Filth is very advanced reading as far as comic books go, but given that it is entirely self-contained, careful reading is all you need for a complete experience.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:57 a.m. CST

    I just recently read The Filth

    by rev_skarekroe

    Morrison is best when he's doing crazy stuff like that or The Invisibles.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Re: Neonomicon & Brightest Day

    by oaser

    Best reviews ever. Thanks, guys. Seriously -- I think you voiced my feelings towards both of those series right now. And Crossed is fucked up and brilliant.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Ugh... Crossed

    by Joenathan

    I just threw up in my mouth...

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Morrison

    by Joenathan

    I long held that Invisibles was his best work, but now it's a toss up between all star Superman and We3, I think.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 10:33 a.m. CST

    I'm assuming the stupid columns in CLiNT will stop...

    by Lone Fox

    Once the magazine establishes itself. However they were an improvement over the first issue. And I'd rather read Chloe Moretz's Hit-Girl diary than the retarded 'I am a celeb and I smoke weed' feature last issue. (Hardly 'creepy' when she's a character in an adult comicbook movie). I really hope people support the magazine, the UK needs an alternative to 2000fuckingAD.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Agreed, The Flth, Invisibles, Morrison's best work

    by kafka07

    I did enjoy Batman & Robin though. I like it when Morrison teams up with artist Frank Quitely.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 10:54 a.m. CST

    the latest Neonomic proves what i had already thought

    by KilliK

    of Alan Moore: that he is an pervert,dirty,old geek.hehe.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 10:54 a.m. CST

    We3. No contest.

    by Subtitles_Off

    Everything else is gimmicky crap.<P>You have to go back 15 years to find a Morrison-penned Batman comic that even remotely resembles something someone might want to bother reading.<P>Grant Morrison might have convinced you you're in love with his imagination, but, if you have any sense, you'll kick him out of bed, crackers or not.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 10:57 a.m. CST

    crossed was ground-breaking

    by mynamesdan

    not that this website ever wasted any fucking time telling people about it.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 10:59 a.m. CST

    arent they going to make WE3 a live action movie?

    by KilliK

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 11:01 a.m. CST

    I bother reading Batman and Robin

    by kungfuhustler84

    every damn time a new issue comes out.<p>And I agree that both We3 and All Star Superman are two of his best works.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Crossed is dismissed way too easily.

    by Mr. Anderson

    It's really pretty brilliant, and some of the best horror storytelling I've seen in years. Completely fucked up and depraved, but really good.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Good Reviews

    by Laserhead

    Glad to see the Neonomicon and Morrison stuff reviewed-- well-written analysis. I've got the Morrison DVD pre-ordered.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 11:18 a.m. CST

    The Filth might be a masterpiece

    by Laserhead

    It's pretty amazing. What an ending. And Seven Soldiers is a high-water mark of super-hero excellence-- if you read the entire 30 issue series back-to-back in the space of a couple of days (any longer and you'll start to forget certain plot points).

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Morrison from the last 15 years, well worth reading

    by Laserhead

    New X-Men<p> The Filth<p> The Invisibles<p> We3<p>Seven Soldiers<p>Batman<p>Batman and Robin<p>Final Crisis<p>All-Star Superman<p>...might have left a few out

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 11:40 a.m. CST

    Yeah, you left a few out....

    by brundlelfy

    Fantastic Four 1234 Marvel Boy Seaguy V1

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 11:44 a.m. CST

    My shop forgot to order me Neonomicon #2

    by Squashua

    Bastards. I just called them and it's in. Time for couplings.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 11:53 a.m. CST

    No love for Northlanders?

    by KidKaos73

    That comic is quietly kicking some major ass month after month. I just picked up the latest trade and read it in one sitting. It's really great -- as good as Scalped, even. Is no one talking about Northlanders because no one is reading it? Anyone? Anyone?

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Yeeeeeaaaahhhh!

    by THE_CHOPPAH_STRIKES_BACK

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Thanks for reviewing some DC comics this week

    by slayme

    i have to agree - GL is not as good as previous years and Batman is again their strongest character/comics.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 12:06 p.m. CST

    Also Morrisony

    by Gislef_crow

    The Doom Patrol.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 12:16 p.m. CST

    King Mob

    by Henry Fool

    I tried to change my talkback ID to King Mob but someone else already had it. Whoever does can lick me. I will always be the true King Mob in AICN talkback. But the real King Mob would think I was a total bitch for saying that.<br /> <br /> Oh, what's that you say? There's no real King Mob? Clearly you don't understand chaos magic. Nothing is sacred, everything is permitted. Fuck you, if you don't get it.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 12:17 p.m. CST

    mynamesdan

    by KletusCassidy

    We reviewed BOTH crossed titles about a month and a half ago...if you go to the search bar and type in "crossed" you'll probably find them.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Psynapse, is that you?

    by Thalya

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 12:34 p.m. CST

    I didn't dimiss Crossed

    by Joenathan

    I love dystopian post apocalyptic. so I tried it out. I read crossed and found it fucking retarded, it's mean and stupid at best, a haven for angry boys at worst and usually nothing more than a set-up for whatever masturbatory frat boy joke Ennis has running around in his head, often times, you'll find the exact same fucking stupid joke in the issue of Boys out about the same time, like he told it to one group and everyone went "eh" so he rushed off to try the next group. Lame. Crossed is the definition of a "dick and fart" book

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Northlanders

    by Series7

    Yeah I just read the first trade. Great viking stuff. Much better than Vikings.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 12:53 p.m. CST

    I think Crossed would've been more interesting

    by Series7

    If they just stuck with the POV from the crossed people, not the survivors. Since they didn't its just your run of the mill survivor story with dick and fart jokes thrown in for schock value. And since that same story is done much better in The Walking Dead there is nothing gained in the schock value. Its just like Hostel or something. Hey we've got a weak story with a simple premise, lets throw in some fucked up shit to get noticed! <P> Where as the Walking Dead, someone getting there foot bit by a zombie from under a car is more shocking because you care about that character and what it means to the whole family dynamic of the group now. With Crossed the survivors are just cannon fodder to getting raped. Also Crossed the survivors are all pretty basic set ups and characters. Nothing new are interesting like The Walking Dead. <P> I don't hate Crossed like some people, I find it funny on a pure basic stupid level, which I think is the point. I get that in one of the issues Ennis tried to make it seem like the book was more than just fucked up rape senarios by having nothing grizzly happen, but since i don't buy that book for story or plot I buy it to see fucked up shit I was pissed off.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 1:43 p.m. CST

    This just in: Tom Hardy cast in Batman 3

    by Thalya

    via Newsarama.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 1:50 p.m. CST

    That's just it...

    by Joenathan

    It's NOT shocking, it's predictable and lame. <br><Br>Shocking was when Lori and the baby were killed. A predictable cum eating joke while fucking some dude in the ass that was only around just long enough to do some cliched "dick" move before he died to try to make us feel like he got what he deserved is trite hackery. Yawn. A stupid book made by stupid people for stupid people. Here's a joke for you, Crossed fans, you'll love it: <br><br>Guy walks into a bar...<br><br>POOP! POOP! Huh! Huh! POOP!

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Return of Bruce Wayne #5

    by Laserhead

    LOTS of big reveals regarding Morrison's entire 5-year Bat-epic. Awesome.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 2:21 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by KletusCassidy

    It doesn't make someone stupid because they like something that you don't like...ok, you don't like Crossed. We get it...simple solution, DON'T READ IT. I don't like olives, i don't think people that like olives are stupid or lack an important part of their taste buds...they just like something different. Maybe you should take a deep breath and repeat "it's only a comic, it's only a comic, it's only a comic..."

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Kletus

    by Joenathan

    Guy walks into a bar...<br><br>POOP! POOP! PENIS AND POOP!

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Joenathan

    by KletusCassidy

    wait i thought the punchline was poop!poop!huhhuh poop! shit now i'm confused...laughing but confused. p.s. this doesn't help your argument too much.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Grant Morrison is the best thing to happen to Batman since Frank

    by loodabagel

    Seriously. Getting rid of Bruce Wayne was the best thing to happen to the DC Universe. We've got enough fucking dark and gritty Batman stories. We live in a Batman golden age.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 3:22 p.m. CST

    frank miller

    by loodabagel

    best thing since Frank Miller

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Kletus

    by Joenathan

    It was an alternative version

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 3:26 p.m. CST

    Also

    by Joenathan

    Olives are fucking good, man. What's wrong with you?

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 3:31 p.m. CST

    Green Arrow #4

    by SteadyUP

    http://tinyurl.com/29uctcb

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 3:45 p.m. CST

    yeah, opposition to crossed here is pretty hot

    by mynamesdan

    but you're right. i missed the review so i'll go back abnd check it out. <p> On a point of information, though, i picked up my first issue of Crossed almost two years ago- when the book really could have used the support of a forum like this. Trades seem to still turn a buck, but stories like this are designed to be read as a serial, (i'm *serial* you guys) and, in my humble, suffer as novels. There's just no anticipation. <p> Joenathan, hello again, so nice to see you once more. what a delight, as always. Here, take a deep breath, i'm going to school you. Crossed is much more than the sum of it's distasteful gags. It's a development of the zombie/survivor story. <p> Where zombie books, which we are ever so familiar with these days, remove the intelligence and humanity from human beings turning them into eating-machines, essentially. Zombie stories long ago ceased to be about hell being full up. Since the zombification was diagnosed a virus, we've scarcely seen the dead rising from their graves, or heard much discussion of demonic possession or the end of times. The term 'undead' has become almost obselete. <p> Where Crossed differs is conceptually, which is why i personally found it so gripping. The cross formed on the faces of the infected implies religious significance, something more deliberate than a pathogen. The behaviours of the crossed, similarly, are less to do with sustenance and more a discussion of what makes an intelligent beast 'human'. <p> Where zombies are innocent of their evils, the crossed are inhumane, and it is not their acute intelligence, but their morality that has become impared. They aren't vampires desperate for blood, they're demonic, childish adults hell bent on destroying boredom and without any sense of the value of life, even their own. <p> Crossed, necessarily is completely disgusting and I would assert that it dared not go far enough to describe how terrifying and disgusting humans can be. It remains for me one of the most intelligent premises of recent years for a comic series, horsecocks and all. I am very sorry that Garth Ennis has decided not to write it any more, and entirely unsurprised that he has already disavowed all responsibility for any of it's sequels. <p> I very much hope he will change his mind, but i wouldn't be surprised if his decision was not affected by almost universal lack of support for his book when it was initially released. <p> Also: olives are really very good. Please reconsider your opinion, sir.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Kletus...

    by loodabagel

    Your distaste for olives troubled me more than your distaste for Crossed. Seriously, I can't trust you as person anymore. I've only read the first issue, but Crossed seemed like a really shitty comic.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 4:13 p.m. CST

    Still no Supergod 5

    by NippleEffect

    I'm only buying ellis when the series are complete from now on

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Dan

    by Joenathan

    I too, think Olives are good... perhaps I won't gouge out your eyes should we ever meet... perhaps...

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Also

    by Joenathan

    You lend Crossed and Eniis WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too much credit

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 4:36 p.m. CST

    "implies religious significance"

    by Joenathan

    But never delivers. Therein lies the problem. The book is shallow. Surface. Who cares if "morality" is impaired if none of the characters stand out. Many of the same problems that plague Irredeemable plague Crossed... except, of course, that Crossed is stupid. The problem is with the gleeful celebration of child rape and incest and whatever else, but it is also with it's generally poor character development and lack of plot. Crossed is a gross failure of a comic.<br><br>That's cool if you like it though...

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 4:40 p.m. CST

    that's two year's or more's hard work...

    by mynamesdan

    they deserve the credit. <p> And my eyes are safe, we'll never meet. I'm an eighty year old woman. we don't mix in the same circles, probably.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 4:42 p.m. CST

    celebration of implied child-rape..

    by mynamesdan

    and if you read the disclaimer in the front of the issue, all the characters in the comic are depicted over eighteen, so they can't be children, can they? <p> That would be against the prudish North American sensibility, or illegal or something, surely?

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Dan

    by Joenathan

    Don't make that judgement about me. I'm 73 years old!

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Prudes

    by Joenathan

    Are against child rape

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 4:54 p.m. CST

    the coyote gospel

    by Eddie_Dane

    One of my fav comics of all time. That and the Doom Patrol where the gorilla and the brain confess their love for each other. God love Grant Morrison.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 4:56 p.m. CST

    prudes

    by mynamesdan

    Are against the implication of child rape. <p> Only a monster would endorse actual child rape, obviously.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 5:16 p.m. CST

    I Liked Crossed

    by Autodidact

    One Saturday last August I got a bunch of weed, beer and cider and sat outside reading Crossed and The Filth TPBs all afternoon. What a great day. Crossed was kinda depressing and I think I took a nap after reading it. But I found it entertaining and properly committed to its premise.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Crossed

    by KletusCassidy

    Calling something stupid is a bad way to argue. I think because you guys find Crossed so repulsive means that Ennis achieved what he wanted to, much like the Punisher where the villains in the book were so fucked up and evil, you wanted them to die. mynameisdan is dead on in his analysis. So you flipped through one issue and can somehow judge all 6 issues...puhleeease. also i like discussing comics, so no disrepect to anyone involved.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 5:21 p.m. CST

    also...

    by KletusCassidy

    i'm not arguing that Crossed was a completely wholesome family comic...IT WAS FUCKED UP!but there's more to it than the visual/ implied things you disagree with...and another thing OLIVES ARE GROSS!!!!

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 6:03 p.m. CST

    MARVEL BOY with JG Jones was great too

    by George Newman

    That may have been my first Morrison I read. kind of got that simultaneously with New X-Men, i think. Very cool, and very weird.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 6:08 p.m. CST

    I just read Marvel Boy yesterday

    by Autodidact

    I took the late afternoon off work and read Marvel Boy while I took an epic shit and drank a few beers. Thumbs up on that one.... great art, quirky story with Morrison's usual compliment of dimension-bending concepts.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 6:35 p.m. CST

    75 Days

    by Countdown_to_Vader

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Grant Morrison

    by rabidfnark

    I love the guy, he's responsible for some of my favorite comics (WE3, New X-men, his run on JLA, to name a few) and I like a lot of what he's done with Batman (I loved the issue early on with the man-bats and the "Bam" and "Pow" modern art in the background...brilliant) but he can be a little scatterbrained sometimes. Every once and a while it seems like he has too many ideas going all going at once, each one fighting for dominance.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:18 p.m. CST

    Kletus

    by Joenathan

    I didn't read one comic, I read the series (for free in the shop), that way I can say with authority that it is a shitty, purile, stupid ass comic. So, there... face.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:19 p.m. CST

    Also

    by Joenathan

    The Superman Apocalypse DVD was just alright, but the Green Arrow short? Rad. That's the only way to describe it, it was rad.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:30 p.m. CST

    Joenathan,

    by rabidfnark

    yep, rad is the word. but I've got a question (just a minor quibble) did you think the fight on the fight with the punk on the conveyor belt lasted a little too long? I mean, we are talking about Green Arrow here. I would've thought he'd dispatch that dude much quicker.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 8:32 p.m. CST

    I meant to say...

    by rabidfnark

    "the fight with the punk on the conveyor belt" sorry.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:20 p.m. CST

    Green Arrow

    by Joenathan

    I didn't thinkso, especially since they were drawing actual fighting styles, but I can see why you'd say that

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Haven't seen it yet...

    by loodabagel

    and I only have the most basic understanding of Green Arrow as a character, but I like to think that Mr Arrow's the kind of guy who talks with punks. He likes their anti-authority creed, he just wants them to chill the fuck out.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Grant Morrison's Batman...

    by loodabagel

    So far, so good. If you've got everything around, it's definitely a series that deserves to be re-read. Almost everything seems to fit and make sense the second time around. A lot of people will complain about the incomprehensibility of it, but I feel like I'm just getting my money's worth. Yes, it is confusing, that's why you re-read it. And then, you re-read it again two years later. It's like a good wine, or a puzzle, I guess. Could the narrative use some tightening? Sure, but I'm patient enough to put up with it.

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 9:51 p.m. CST

    So...

    by loodabagel

    Did anybody ELSE read Chaos War?

  • Oct. 13, 2010, 11:41 p.m. CST

    Fuck Morrison. Go Patrick

    by OutsideChance

    Patrick gave us a solid Batman story, involving actual detective work, not some stupid time travel fan wank

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 12:19 a.m. CST

    What Morrison's Doing with Batman

    by Autodidact

    I actually hate all that shit to death. Batman travelling through time, and Robin becoming Batman is a GD rape of what I like about Batman.

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 12:41 a.m. CST

    It just seems unfair to have Batman miss out on all the fun.

    by loodabagel

    He only gets to do absurd shit when the Justice League's involved, and then the fate of the universe is at stake or he has to fight a space-god barehanded or something. Fuck that.

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 6:39 a.m. CST

    74 Days

    by Countdown_to_Vader

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Yeah, Dick becoming Batman for 14 months

    by Laserhead

    is SO traumatic to the reader. How to ever get over this titanic ass-rape... 14 whole months, my God. It's like having your childhood felched by John Wayne Gacy.<p>On the other hand, if you actually read the comics, they have lots of actual detective work, and the 'time-travel' stuff is actually Batman's biggest case ever: Batman vs. History.

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 9:22 a.m. CST

    Batman vs History?

    by OutsideChance

    Yeah, I suppose there's some "detective work" involved in Batman's journey through the sci-fi milieu, up to even being the amnesiac detective on his own parent's murder. However, one could just as easily try defending all those 1950s "Batman fights aliens and travels through time" stories from silver age on the same theory. After all, Batman would do detective work while trying to figure out how the beastman from planet surg (or whatever) stole the giant robot typewriter. But that didn't make those stories good and Morrie's childish insistance on bringing all those sci-fi tropes that nearly killed the series back then isn't either.

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 9:29 a.m. CST

    Never mind Morrison, Alan Moore still rules

    by deathrecords

    Great reviews of Neonomicon. That comic amazed me with its pervasive sense of constantly increasing dread. Final five or six pages were terrifying! Horror fans should rejoice!

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Why is the urge a 'childish insistence'?

    by Laserhead

    It's not like Morrison's stories have BROUGHT BACK any of that goofy 1950s shit-- at most, it's only ever alluded to those events, and offered a way to explain them. You make it sound like Morrison is re-telling 50s stories, and that's nay right. Also-- do you check out Batman and Robin the monthly? Lots and lots and lots of detective work going on throughout.

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Also, also

    by Laserhead

    I don't think you can defend those 50s stories in the same way at all. Chiefly, because a layered character story involving deduction wasn't what those stories were doing. In ROBW, Batman is moving through his own family history while playing a crucial part in it-- establishing all the bat tropes that would recur around this property over the millenia. He's uncovering the evil at the root of his family's story, an essential corruption at the root of his ancestry that ultimately led to his parents' death, while also figuring out that he's being used as a weapon and finding a way to defeat Darkseid's plan. That all of this ties together the disparate threads of Batman's history is only icing on the cake. I don't think any of this is any more ridiculous than anything else our modern-age Batman has done, really. Once Batman's in the DC Universe, shit like a dark god sending you through the hole he left in time is bound to happen once in awhile.

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 1:37 p.m. CST

    I'd love the detective work in Batman and Robin

    by Autodidact

    If it wasn't "Robin and Batman's son". The fact that it's Batman's son makes me PUKE. I actually didn't realize that before committing to buy the hardcover of the first story arc.

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 1:41 p.m. CST

    It makes you puke?

    by Joenathan

    I bet the guys at the comic shop just LOVE you.

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Tracy Thomas for Michonne?

    by kungfuhustler84

    YES PLEASE

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 2:28 p.m. CST

    One question on Morrison's Batman

    by kungfuhustler84

    Is his encounter with Joe Chill in #673 canon or was that some kind of hypothetical situation?

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Brightest Day..

    by sonnyhooper

    i gotta respectfully disagree with the review of Brightest Day. i'm totally digging the "slow burn" of the story-lines being told. it's like Johns and company are building layers into a bunch of lower tiered characters that should give future writers fertile ground to work with for years to come. <p> i love that Boston Brand is back among the living, and the fact that he is less than thrilled about drawing breath again is a cool twist on the whole "back from the dead" idea imo. not to mention all the cool shit being done with the Hawks, Firestorm, J'onn, and yep..... even Affirmative-Action-Jackson-Aqua-boy. <p> while i do agree with you that the "trade-waiting" pace is a bit grinding at times, i have to submit that sometimes half the fun of the trip taken, is not found in the destination, but in the ride getting there. <p> and yeah, thats a tired old cliche. but come on man, in this day and age of instant gratification sometimes it's nice to read something that takes its time getting to where it's going, is it not?

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the answer

    by rabidfnark

    concerning the Green Arrow short, Joenathan. I didn't pick up on the fighting style's when I saw it, so I'll have to rewatch it. And I've gotta say, all the character shorts I've seen have been good (if not rad), even though the features have been hit or miss (Like you said: Superman/Batman 2 was okay at best).

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 2:43 p.m. CST

    And if I may interject,

    by rabidfnark

    One of my favorite Batman stories is the JLA arc 'Tower of Babel' by Mark Waid. It's the finest of the 'paranoid Batman' stories (before it got really out of hand), and proves that he really is dangerously intelligent. It's not perfect, but I enjoyed it more than any of the recent Crises. As for Grant Morrison's take...well, it's a bit crazy (maybe very crazy) but that's what I've come to expect from him so it's easier to take. People seem to love All-Star Superman (which I won't debate) but tell me that doesn't have some insanity to it.

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 3:05 p.m. CST

    DC features

    by Joenathan

    They have been hit or miss? Which is weird because I really like that they're making them and wish Marvel would do the same, but for the most part, the features have just been okay (with Red Hood and Wonder Woman actually being done best, I think). The shorts, however have all been pleasant surprises, at least.<br><br>So basically, check out the Green Arrow short, it's totally a good time.

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Agree on Red Hood and Wonder Woman

    by Laserhead

    Weird that a crappy Judd Winnick story and DC's least viable property have provided their best animated movies. Fingers crossed, All-Star Superman.

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 3:19 p.m. CST

    No kidding: Fingers crossed!

    by Joenathan

    How are they going to pull off All Star Superman? I'll admit it, I am not hopeful, but we'll see. <br><br>Man, Judd Winnick IS crappy, isn't he? He's no Leifeld or JMS, but man... crappy...<br><Br>The Wonder Woman movie let her be a bad ass, had no short jacket, din't rearrange her history AND it had Nathan Fillion, so it's a no brainer why it succeeded

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Well, hit or miss for me, anyway.

    by rabidfnark

    I'm with you on WW and Red Hood, but I'd add New Frontier (even if they had to cut it down a bit too much), and I'm really looking forward to All-Star Superman (though I fear that too, may suffer from over-cutting). I didn't care for Superman/Doomsday (Though I thought the voice work was solid). The only one I truly disliked was Green Lantern: First Flight (It felt hollow to me, and this is one of the few times the voices just didn't work for me). Superman/Batman 1 and Earth 2 (or whatever it was) were great for action and not much else. So maybe it's more like hit, miss, and meh. But I totally agree that Marvel should take a page from their handbook and give us some of the good stuff. I want an R-rated Weapon X animated feature (The Barry Windsor-Smith version, of course). And While I'm on the subject, an R-rated animated Killing Joke wouldn't be so bad, either (I'm looking at you now, WB/DC).

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Judd Winnick,

    by rabidfnark

    can write decent action, and tell okay stories when he's not on a soapbox of some kind... Which is almost never, so... forget it. But concerning Red Hood (feature): was I the only one bothered by the "Rubber Jason" (or whatever material it was) in the casket? Aside from that, great, A+, but that struck me as kind of silly. If someone was worried about the weight tipping Bats off, then why not use sandbags? And was the duplication really good enough to fool him before they put Jason in the ground (provided he looked). I know I'm nitpicking here, but the rest was so good i can't help it.

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Marvel animation

    by Joenathan

    I want Old Man Logan, Civil War, and the origin of the Avengers, but more like Casey's recent book meets Bendis's oral history kind of thing. I'd also want Secret Warriors, but I realize that;s mostly me...<br><br>Marvel did really good with the Hulk vs stuff, still ok-ish for kids, but not goofball like some of their upcoming nicktoon stuff. Basically, once again, I am lamenting the fact that Marvel doesn't have an adult animation line...

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Marvel animation

    by Joenathan

    I want Old Man Logan, Civil War, and the origin of the Avengers, but more like Casey's recent book meets Bendis's oral history kind of thing. I'd also want Secret Warriors, but I realize that;s mostly me...<br><br>Marvel did really good with the Hulk vs stuff, still ok-ish for kids, but not goofball like some of their upcoming nicktoon stuff. Basically, once again, I am lamenting the fact that Marvel doesn't have an adult animation line...

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 5:56 p.m. CST

    Double post!

    by Joenathan

    Ride it twice, bitches

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 5:57 p.m. CST

    Read... not ride.

    by Joenathan

    God damn lack of edit. Fucking 1991 around here...

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 6:10 p.m. CST

    I liked Wolverine and the X-men,

    by rabidfnark

    and enjoy Spectacular Spider-Man from time to time. Maybe I'm just juvenile (that could very well be... the kid in me refuses to go quietly, that much I know for sure). That whole "Iron Man's a teenager," thing though, that I could have done without... along with the most recent animated version of the fantastic four. I know the Disney channel's (or somebody like that) starting up a new Avenger's toon, but I know next to nothing about it. I'll probably give it a look, but I'm not champing at the bit for it.

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 6:13 p.m. CST

    And, yeah,

    by rabidfnark

    An adult line of animated features from Marvel would be ideal. Most of their stuff is pretty adult themed these days anyway (not complaining, just saying...).

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 10:14 p.m. CST

    World War Hulk was ai'ght.

    by loodabagel

    And Beta Ray Bill made for a great Silver Surfer replacement. The storytelling was rushed, but the animation looked good. Plus, there was a part where Hulk squeezed a guy till his head exploded. Goddamn.

  • Oct. 14, 2010, 10:44 p.m. CST

    I have nothing against Planet Hulk (or whatever)

    by rabidfnark

    I enjoyed it for what it was. The problem was that I've never had much invested in the Hulk as a character; he was never one of my favorites. I don't begrudge anyone one who loves the character or anything, I was just never that interested in him.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 8:40 a.m. CST

    I love the slow burn Sonny

    by optimous_douche

    And I think Johns did a great job with it in JSA.<p> My main issue is just how damn ADD the book is right now. Too many spinning plates -- I see several falling. I just hope they don't topple over the others when they do.

  • Oct. 15, 2010, 2:49 p.m. CST

    ah, i hear you optimous...

    by sonnyhooper

    .....it is kinda weird we have not seen max lord since .....what.. issue 2 maybe? unless thats being covered in JLI: generation lost? i dunno, i'm not reading that book. but it is kinda weird how some stories get more coverage than others in Brightest Dat. <p> but to me, thats why i'm loving the book so much, it's really cool to see all of those plates spinning at one time. i betting that johns can not only keep 'em all spinning, but maybe even get a couple of monkeys to ride around the stage on tricycles at the same time. <P> bonus points if all the monkeys are smoking cigars too.

  • Oct. 16, 2010, 8:20 p.m. CST

    Brightest Day...

    by loodabagel

    For the life of me, I can't enjoy or see the point of any of the stories. It's impressive that so much is going on, but the vast majority of it feels pointless. Hawk and Dove have got to be two of the most boringly simple characters around. Hawkworld is a ridiculous cliche. (Complete with Prophesies and Chosen Ones!) Aquaman should really just stay dead at this point. Just start from scrach, Geoff. Giving him dark-and-evil powers doesn't make him cool. This foolishness has gone far enough.

  • Oct. 18, 2010, 2:29 p.m. CST

    A little late, but if anyone's checking...

    by Joenathan

    I watched the Itunes previews for the Avengers cartoon and I think it might be alright. It's not serious, by any means, but it's definitely firmly rooted in the MArvel U. I enjoyed it and I think all you guys who worship the silver age will fucking love it.