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Monday, March 31, 2008
Getting My Hopes Up
From The Topper Book of 1977
Ooo-er, missus! This should be a good 'un!
Oh...that's not the kind of "tranny" I thought you meant...
(Why would a radio make things grow? What the hell is wrong with the British?)
Barba the Slaver, 1978, Dael Forest It took some work, but I think I finally found something that out-Gors Gor. As near as I can tell, this is also the only book in the series that features as much man-flesh on display as woman-flesh.
Ultimate Spider-Man #123 begins a storyline that ties into a Spider-Man video game. If ever a title had what the kids call a "jumping off point" a video-game tie-in issue is probably it.
Ultimate X-Men #95 tentatively interests me. First, the new writer can't possibly be any worse on the book than the last few have been, and this:
Is that Ultimate Beak? Okay, yeah, I can hang with that.
I mentioned the other day that I like Todd Nauck's art, and the next couple of issues of American Dream are solicited. I kinda like the "Spider-Girl" family of titles. They're not ground-breaking, oh no, but they have their charm. If nothing else, they're frequently the only Marvel titles where the marquee characters aren't acting like colossal dicks.
While I'm on subject: Avengers/Invaders #2 is drawn by Steve Sadowski, and I can't get him drawing more comics with Wildcat in them, I'll settle for this. I just hope it avoids the "let's do a serious and grim version of Super Friends!" thing that bogged down Justice.
I find the optimism in starting a third ongoing Hulk series to be touching. And a bit touched.
I'm genuinely surprised at how disinterested I am in Secret Invasion. So, it's a soft reboot of various characters, that creates an even more potentially nightmarish mess of keeping continuity straight? And the major heroes are still acting like assholes? Yeah, I'm really not interested. At least World War Hulk had a very easy to understand through-line, even if they botched the ending by removing culpability from the people who sent Hulk out into space in the first place. I mean come on! *ahem* Anyway, I was all set to ignore the series and settle back to watch other people wring their hair over it (and honestly, trying to hype it by having Patton Oswalt talk up all the "kewl deaths" just makes it worse! The guy's good, but he's been terribly over-hyped by nerds seeking validation, as if his success was somehow because of his nerdy obsessions, not in spite of them and...) *cough* So, as I was saying, I was going to pass, but then I spotted this:
SECRET INVASION: RUNAWAYS/YOUNG AVENGERS #1 (of 3) Written by CHRISTOPHER YOST Penciled by TAKESHI MIYAZAWA Cover by MICHAEL RYAN The Skrulls are invading and the Runaways and the Young Avengers both have a Skrull on their team. Coincidence? We think not. You two favorite teen teams come together again as the Marvel U is pushed to the brink. 32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99
Well, it's only a three issue tie-in series. I can live with that.
It's been awhile since we had one, but here's Marvel's Beefcake Of The Month:
Trinity is probably going to be the book to watch. Yeah, DC has shown that they can do a weekly series, but a weekly series with the same writer and artist? Yeah, that's going to be a neat trick.
I see there's a Robin/Spoiler special coming out. Man, I hope they kill her off again soon. No, I'm serious. Complaining about Spoiler gave the crazy people something to keep themselves occupied, so that the rest of us could go on with our lives. I mean, just imagine what kind of damage would be wrought on the world if the "scans_daily" crowd took that complaining about Spoiler energy and directed it towards health care reform...we'd all be dead of some vile new plague... (A plague, by the way, they would somehow still manage to blame on Dan Didio...)
The Brave and the Bold is a book that's perennially on the bubble with me. I'm not sure in which direction having Scott Kollins on art will push me: drop or keep.
Manhunter is back! Manhunter is back! Yeah, that gets me a little excited. Hmm...that good news may require a bit of...special treatment...in the near future.
I want to put up a picture of the cover to the final JSA Classified, as it's Wildcat, but it's also Dough Mahnke, and his work just does nothing for me. On the plus side, I remain blindly optimistic that the book got cancelled because DC plans a Wildcat & Son ongoing. Hey, if Hulk can have two, and one for his son, even though historically the character's sales barely justify one, I can hold out hope...
I'm also stupidly excited about the JLA hard-cover reprinting the Grant Morrison run, as now I can re-read those stories as often as I want without wrecking my existing comics. Plus, both Marvel and DC put some intensely stupid things out in hard-cover, it's nice to see something that deserves a nice treatment get one.
More Diana Prince: Wonder Woman is on the way, and no, the stories still aren't any damn good, but I will be buying this because I want the series to last long enough to reprint the Delany stories, dammit!
This is a fantastic cover:
I would also encourage anyone who was upset by my earlier comments about Spoiler and "scans_daily" to read Super Friends. No conflict, nothing bad happens to anyone, and everything gets reset at the end. It's the perfect comic for some of the fans out there...
A Chuck comic? Really? That's as left-field, coming-out-of as a Lost Boys 2 comic. But with Huan and Noto on art, it will at least look good.
I had to scroll down quite a bit to find something appropriate for the DC's Beefcake of the Month
Too bad the solicitation rather gives away a plot point. Not one anyone hadn't already guessed, but still.
As sad as I am to see the passing of The Exterminators, I'm slightly mollified to see a new Matt Wagner book, Madame Xanadu coming out.
Speaking of World of Warcraft, sort of, a third batch of action figures is coming out. And there's still no Tauren. But we get yet another pissy little Blood Elf...come on guys, get on the ball...
Just when I thought we had finally put that nonsense behind us once and for all, Crotch Fear rears it's ugly head once again. Unsurprisingly, this time it's another Alex Ross cover that has led fanboys to the uncomfortable realization that men have external genitalia.
Here's the cover, so that we have an idea of what the hell they're going on about.
And here's what they had to say about it, in a thread titled "What's the deal with Alex Ross, JSA and penises?:"
Why are you looking?
Of course Ross will throw in some pantyless snatch from time-to-time, so it all evens out
Maybe he is teh ghey.
I think Alex Ross is repressing something.
That's some lovely gay-baiting, innit?
To be fair, unlike the last time this nonsense reared it's head, most people acknowledge that it's not a big deal that Alan Scott isn't a Ken doll, but there's still that element of shock that some people seem to get at the merest suggestion of a penis in a picture. I know a lot of straight men labor under this belief that their penis is the only one in the world, and that's why everyone wants it, and the suggestion that there are other ones out there sends them into an existential panic, but come on...this is what people think an erect penis looks like?
That is not an erect penis; that's an intense, soft light shining on reflective material. Ross if far from one of my favorite artists, but technically he's very good, and all he's done there is a very slight suggestion of an absolutely normal pants bulge on a man. It's nothing to be excited about.
Here, this is what an erect penis looks like:
You'll notice they appear to be pointing in one direction. If Alan Scott is pointing with that tiny bulge, and comic fans think that's a big penis, then the significant others of comic fans must be very disappointed.
I really can't decide if I want to write up anything more about Wizard World, especially since Mike pretty well covered it. The dealer's area alternately depressed, angered and overwhelmed me, and I think in future I'm just going to have to stay in the Artist's Alley type areas, because as confusing as that was, at least I got to briefly chat with Amanda Connor, Jimmy Palmiotti and Todd Nauck and his wife Dawn, which was nice. I also meant to find Matt Maxwell again and give him some money for Strangeways, but I couldn't remember where in all that chaos he had been sitting.
So, I'll just share a couple of the good shots.
Here's a man beating a woman with a dead pig, from Ken Shannon #3. Forget all those new comics that are either too expensive or too cheap; just point me in the direction of coverless Golden and Silver age books at the next con and I'll be happy.
A trio of costume shots...I have NO IDEA how that last one ended up on my camera. Honest. I think Pete took it.
And finally, my first ever convention sketch, by Todd Nauck, which I'm absolutely thrilled with.
Nauck is drawing the upcoming American Dream series for Marvel and his creator-owned book Wildguard is returning to Image soon. I really like Nauck's work and he's not an artist I usually get to bring up here, so go out and buy those books and encourage more work from him.
Dorian: You know, for some reason, I had the Mego Lt. Uhura doll when I was a kid. Mike: Really? Dorian: Yeah. Though eventually she ended up wearing Spider-Man's costume. Mike: So at one point you had a naked Uhura. Dorian: Only briefly. More importantly, I had a naked Spider-Man. Mike: So when you were a kid, you picked out clothes for women and kept naked men around you? Dorian: Yeah. Some things really shouldn't have come as a surprise to my parents.
Now, this mornings post aside, I don't really have any strong feelings about the Watchmen film. I just thought the pose and costume looked a bit silly in that picture. I personally doubt there was any pressing need for a Watchmen film, and think that it would be largely impossible to do a faithful adaptation of the comic into another medium, as part of the strength of the work is its masterful exploitation of the comic format. But I'm not the one who makes these decisions, and I've never seen any of Zack Snyder's other films so I don't feel qualified in guessing how this film will turn out. Let's say that I'm skeptical, but open to being persuaded.
By the same token, though, I'm not going to argue against people having a strong negative reaction to these early publicity stills. And so I find this needlessly defensive comment by Peter David more than a bit off-putting:
Y'know...maybe it's just me. Maybe it's the fact that when I was growing up, superheroes were represented by the Adam West Batman, and the ghastly live action Justice League. And yeah, there were the occasion bright spots (Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman), but then came the Reb Brown Captain America, and the Matt Salinger Captain America with the rubber ears and the Italian Red Skull, and the Spider-Man TV series miscast from top to bottom, with the clunky web belt and bracelets (to facilitate wirework, presumably) and the TV movie Daredevil with the black costume, the blindfold and the lack of horns because no one wanted to risk offending the religious right, and then Thor who was demoted from Thunder God to big ass Viking warrior...
I guess what I'm saying is that anyone who nitpicks this incarnation of "Watchman" with the obvious adoration of, and fealty to, the vision of the original book, simply doesn't appreciate the care lavished upon superheroes these days.
So, because the publicity photos for the film don't look as bad as the costumes in twenty, thirty and forty year old television productions, no one should be expressing skepticism about the look of the movie?
Sorry, but I can't buy that line of reasoning. Just because the self-loathing fanboys still feel the need to "live down" the Adam West Batman series, that doesn't make it the bench-mark against which we should measure all super-hero themed film and television productions. It is absolutely fair to compare these stills to both the comic and current super-hero films, and most of the negative responses I've seen have been fairly spot-on in their criticisms. And when the positive responses are as breathlessly out of proportion as this sort of thing, well...Let's just say that I'm more than happy to stay on the skeptical side.
It's two whole months in a row where there was enough amazing/horrifying things in Previews to warrant a post.
Let's start with Dark Horse
That is easily the evilest cat I've ever seen.
But that's okay, between Indiana Jones Adventures, The Complete K Chronicles and Wondermark: Beards of our Forefathers the publisher easily makes up scaring a year or two off my life-span with horrifying Japanese cats.
It's not directly relevant to the issue of Buffy solicited here, but I do want to note that straight guys congratulating themselves for their commitment to diversity by putting hawt lesbo sex into their films, comics and tv shows really aren't fooling anyone at this point. Of course, I'm sure someone will pop along any minute now to lecture me about how Buffy having sex with another woman for the titillation of her male fanbase is empowering to women...somehow...
There are actually quite a number of things coming out from DC that are interesting, but they're interesting in that "I've been reading super-hero comics for 25+ years and this looks like an entertaining example of the genre." Which is a rather select value of "interesting" but there you go.
Image has a new issue of Tod Nauck's under-rated Wildguard comic...and another beefcake-ish figure from McFarlane Toys...that's two months in a row. Weird.
Avengers/Invaders is drawn by Steve Sadowski, so that'll look good...and, yeah...that's about as nice as I can be to Marvel this month.
All I'm willing to say in public about Dave Sim's Judenhass at this time: yeah, something tells me this isn't going to end well.
This is awfully random merchandising:
I know others have mentioned it, but this “zombie variant cover” shit has got to stop:
At this rate I fully expect Archie to get in on the action.
Gemstone brings us the third collection of Carl Barks Duck stories paired with a sequel by Don Rosa. This is a very good thing.
Knockabout Comics has an adaptation of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Hunt Emerson. This is going to be one of those very good, very worthwhile comics that almost no one will talk about.
Grant Morrison’s Doctor Who story “The World Shapers” is collected by Panini. Doctor Who. By Grant Morrison. It pretty much goes without saying that you should be buying it.
Platinum Studios has something called I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space. For ninety-nine cents. From Platinum Studios. Only $ 0.99. Platinum Studios... I’m genuinely torn...
Radical Comics seems to have slipped under my radar, but I see they have a Free Comic Book Day sampler coming out, and a very potentially beefcake-tastic Hercules comic, as well as a Western retelling of Arthurian legends. Both these ideas are interesting to me, even if the samples in Previews look a bit heavily Photo-shopped for my tastes, coloring wise. I’m cautiously curious.
There is what appears to be a fumetti version of the live-action Asterix film Asterix at the Olympic Games coming out from Sterling Publishing. I’d really rather know when a Region 1 release of the live-action films can be expected.
Viz is re-releasing Rumiko Takahashi’s One Pound Gospel, which surprises me, as I seemed to recall it not selling well during its inital release. At all. Like, below Urusei Yatsura levels, which Ranma 1/2 and Inu-Yasha fans seemed to reject in droves. I’ll probably pick it up this time. Though I would really like to see the return of Urusei Yatsura... They’ve also got the Kazuo Umezu series Cat Eyed Boy, which feels pricey for manga at $25 a volume, but look at this:
Yeah, I’m there.
Okay, so I know I was just praising the idea of Indiana Jones Adventures, but an Indiana Jones Magazine just seems like over-kill. We’re going to be sick to death of Indy by the time the movie comes out, aren’t we. It’s going to be The Phantom Menace all over again.
Of course, a magazine isn’t as much overkill as a "fake leather" $75 hard-cover...
Previews also has John Barrowman’s auto-biography, Anything Goes, solicited for sale...that’s a little surprising. It’s mostly about his career in theater.
"Say Mr. Comics Retailer, I wish to purchase a t-shirt that advertises to the world my devotion to the lowest lows of pop-culture ephemera." "Well, young lady, how do you feel about a shirt featuring a pedophile with erectile dysfunction that is allegedly a Star Wars parody?"
I suppose it was only a matter of time before we started to get Song of Fire and Ice merchandise of this nature but still I was surprised to see this:
Eddard and Sandor look fairly book-accurate, but something about Daenarys feels really off to me. Maybe I’m just uncomfortable with a somewhat sexualized statue of a fifteen year old girl...
Dear Japan, A cloak and knee-boots are not acceptable winter wear;
A page and a half of Sweeney Todd merchandise...at last, the real motive for making the film is revealed; giving Hot Topic something to sell the nine months out of the year no one gives a fuck about Nightmare Before Christmas.