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Since people seem to be in a mood to analyse Marvel lately: the only "mainstream" Marvel U "post Civil War" comics I was getting were New New Warriors and New Order (which is a cheap and easy joke, but hey, so's your Mom). And I'm not getting them anymore. They're perfectly serviceable comics, but I'm just not interested in this "going nowhere slowly" between crossovers approach so many of Marvel's titles seem to have. Now there's nothing wrong with going nowhere slowly, but it's so much better to be going nowhere fast, you know?
I'm also not particularly interested in the current state of the Marvel universe. DC, for all it's flaws, has managed to hold my interest, and that's partly because the heroes still act like good guys and the villains are clearly identifiable as bad guys. You can't quite make those distinctions at Marvel anymore. And it doesn't help that the consequences of Marvel's big events don't really get dealt with because the stage has to be cleared for the next big event. Say what you will about Countdown and its cross-overs, but you can't really argue that DC isn't thoroughly exploring the consequences of the last few event titles in those books. At Marvel they almost seem to be burying the problems created by their events under the weight of new events. "Oh, we made Iron Man a fascist, but we can't deal with that now, the Hulk's attacking. Ooops, we made the Hulk a mass-murderer, but we can't deal with that now, the Skrulls are invading. Ah, we've established that Wolverine is actually a hyper-evolved stoat and not a mutant, but we can't deal with that now because Namor has the Serpent Crown and is trying to flood the surface world..."
Say you're an American publisher. And say you have the rights to publish, in America, newer and older licensed comics that are successful outside the US, but haven't really sold well in the US for a couple of decades. And say that, about ten to fifteen years ago, there was an animated series based on the comics you have a license to. An animated series that did several loose adaptations of some of the better known comics in the series. And let's say that the animated series in question was very successful and is largely credited with revitalizing an area of the animation industry that had become moribund. It would seem like a no-brainer to do a book collecting the best stories that inspired the series, and to slap the logo of the series all over the book, right? So why would you go and put an introduction in the book that spends a good deal of time blasting the quality of the show?
Which is what Gemstone did with their Carl Barks' Greatest Ducktales Stories books. Oh, comics industry...you so stupid...
Stephen Sadowski's pencils for Superpowers #0 are very nice, but with him only drawing the preview book, I'm not sure I'm interested. I REALLY did not like Justice, and the "nostalgia for grandpa's childhood" vibe is strong on this project. Which means I'm probably holding out for Avengers/Invaders. YES! I'm a hypocrite! I complain about Marvel than look forward to one of their projects!
You know what's fun? Video games.
It's like a virtual pet, only it's Daffy Duck, and the idea is to torture him as much as possible.
It's an old-school "point and click" puzzle game, only on your console. And since it's on the Wii, you have to mime out using the object with the remote. It makes you look like a complete tool, so I recommend playing with the blinds drawn.
Lars and the Real Girl was an excellent, excellent film, very sweet and heartfelt, with just enough sadness and darkness underneath it to give it some real emotional heft.
I was going to make a post about how little J.K. Rowling "outing" Dumbledore matters, but Kalinara beat me to the punch and said just about everything I was inclined to say anyway. This was not a "brave" move on her part. Waiting until after the character has been killed off, and after the book series is complete, to throw out, as an after-thought, "oh yeah, and Dumbledore was gay" is actually kind of craven. It suggests to me that, mindful of the occasional "why are there no gay characters in the Harry Potter books" complaints she gets, she decided to throw the queers a bone and let them have Dumbledore. So, let's not rush to congratulate Rowling for her bravery or her commitment to diversity. She had seven books in which to make the barest suggestion that Dumbledore was gay, and couldn't be bothered to.
Notice the gleeful looks on her friend's faces. They're taking joy in both the anticipation of Paula getting what's coming to her and in her cruel dismissal of genetically inferior suitors.
Paula is also a bit of a tease, showing off her athletic prowess for men she intends to reject.
"Adolph?" In 1969? Let's assume no meaning is intended in that, shall we?
Paula travels to the big city in search of more men to humiliate. Where she runs into trouble...
"I dunno whether I'd want him or the truck to hit me!" Oh, him definitely. I mean, the worst that happens is you fall, get your outfit dirty, maybe a skinned knee...as opposed to being brutally mangled and killed if the truck hits you. Christ, seriously, some people...
Paula admires brute force.
Paula has peculiar fantasies.
Paula invites her hunky, red-haired football player over for a quiet evening of sitting around her living room not looking at each other.
You can just feel the sexual tension oozing off them, can't you?
Paula's father indulges in a bit of gay-baiting.
Paula discovers a love for seeing men beat the crap out of each other.
INCREDIBLE XXXX #113 (Note: Not Actual Title) Written by Greg Pak & FRED VAN LENTE Penciled by Khoi Pham Cover by Art Adams CLASSIFIED 32 PGS./Rated A …$2.99 Order Using This Code: OCT072102 FOC – 12/27/2007, On-Sale – 1/16/2008
So, they expect retailers to place orders without knowing the contents or the actual title. All to keep "spoilers" from being leaked onto the internet. Not working in comics retail anymore, I really wish this sort of nonsense wouldn't annoy me anymore, and yet it does.
Also, what's the best way for a comic publisher to make me go from "somewhat interested" to "not at all interested" in an upcoming title? Replace decent writer Tony Bedard with hack typist Chuck Dixon. That Dixon is a right-wing crank and homophobe is just icing on the cake, really. So, bets on Grace and Thunder? I've got "quietly written out of the book" at 5/2 against "suddenly hetero."
Stuff I Will Buy, Won't Buy, And Wonder Why Anyone Buys This Week
APPLESEED HYPERNOTES TP: Really? Shirow still has an audience? CAPTAIN CARROT AND THE FINAL ARK #1 (OF 3): I bought the most recent issue of Alter Ego to read more about the history and creation of the original series...not to see Roy Thomas bitterly complaining about not being asked to write this new series. Which, honestly, is why I rarely buy Alter Ego... PRESENTS VOL 1 (MR): I used to not really care for this old-school horror manga style, but it's grown on me. The sheer bizarreness of the cartoony artwork somehow makes the end result in more horrific. AMAZING SPIDER-GIRL ZOMBIE VAR #13: *sigh* GRIMM FAIRY TALES #17 (MR) GRIMM FAIRY TALES ANNUAL #1 (MR) GRIMM FAIRY TALES VOL 2 TP (MR): I need to stop looking at T&A comics and thinking to myself "that'll never last. No one's taste is that bad." I know better... MUHYO ROJIS BUREAU SUPER INVEST VOL 1 TP: I'm buying this blind because the concept sounded like the kind of "messed up" I dig in manga. PS238 #26: Pete will be happy. REBORN VOL 5 GN: I'll be happy. GREYS ANATOMY MAGAZINE #5: Fandom must be stopped...
The topic of the impact of movie versions on comic sales came up in conversation again today. I know Mike is curious/dreading to see if the trend evidenced by Hellboy, Sin City, 300, From Hell, Constantine, V for Vendetta, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, etc. holds true for Watchmen. And I got to thinking of Alan Moore and his desire to distance himself from the film versions of his comic work. It occured to me, that honestly, Moore should be getting out there and championing the creation of a Watchmen movie. Because a huge bomb of a film that kills utterly sales of the trade collection could be the only thing that convinces DC to let the book finally go out of print so that the rights revert...
Speaking of striking while the iron is hot, wouldn't now be the ideal time to release Grendel Grendel Grendel on DVD, before this new Beowulf film kills popular interest in the story for ever and all time?
How has my life lead me to the point where I can see this:
On the same day...more or less at the same place...and not realize that this day was in any way unusual until later?
One of the points raised the other day in my post about Sweeney Todd was that the play is actually very funny, something not on display in the trailer. So, to get the Cult of Burton off my back (like the Cult of Joss, only with better clothes), I'll make you a deal. If Depp and Bonham Carter can pull off this scene, I'll be charitably inclined towards the film.
This brief snippet of Sweeney Todd pretty much confirms many of my misgivings. Talk-singing? Helena Bonham Carter looking woefully miscast as Mrs. Lovett? A more ridiculous wig on Johnny Depp than he's ever worn before? A seeming reluctance to let the audience know it's a musical? Oh, dear...
By request, more of the Zatanna story "The Boy Who Never Smiled", from Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane # 132...also featuring the introduction of "Melba."
First, the little bastard precocious skeptic:
Okay kid, even if it WERE physically possible for seeds to grow that fast...or to sprout on skin...she's still holding up a friggin' tree with her head...that's pretty impressive.
That's, uh, that's NOT how hallucinogenic gasses work, kid.
That's NOT how trick mirrors work, kid.
Actual satanic powers being used to his benefit doesn't impress him, but a woman falling on her ass does. This kid's not sick, he's a sadistic little sociopath! Clearly Zatanna has wandered into the psych ward by mistake. Get out now Zat, before he adds you to his "collection of pretty things!"