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CSBG Archive

What I bought – 24 November 2010

“I write in blood, and the best truth is a bloody truth.” (Irvin D. Yalom, from When Nietzsche Wept)

Batman needs some gum work done! Not surprisingly, it's a stunning cover! How is she standing up? If that dude is so invincible, why does he need a vest? Not surprisingly, it's a stunning cover! You mean it doesn't end well for the humans?  What a shock! Sheriff Badd-Asss sure loves his penis substitute! Another great Cheung cover! I can't believe that's not Fin Fang Foom For an anniversary issue ...... this is a pretty cool cover There's just never enough killing in this series! The French love them some prostitutes!

Batman and Robin #17 (“The Sum of Her Parts Part 1 of 3″) by Paul Cornell (writer), Scott McDaniel (penciller), Rob Hunter (inker), Alex Sinclair (colorist), and Patrick Brosseau (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, DC.

This and Astonishing Thor got the most votes for what you wanted me to buy, so I basically flipped a mental coin – I just like Batman more than Thor, so that’s that. I will say to Mr. Bill Reed, who wanted me to get Tarot: You were, of course, the only one who voted for it, and this was the issue about merfolk dying in an oil spill, which means Balent wanted to be serious. I flipped through the issue, and there’s absolutely no nudity. Which kind of defeats the purpose of a Tarot issue, if you ask me.

Anyway, I don’t have my old issue of Previews, but I had no idea that Cornell and McDaniel were doing an arc before Tomasi and Gleason came onto this series. Was this planned in advance? I could have sworn Tomasi and Gleason were taking over with issue #17, and I wonder if one or the other or both needed more time, and DC asked Cornell and McDaniel to throw something together quickly. Is McDaniel a fast artist? I don’t know – the last time I read a book on which he was the regular artist was Daredevil, and that was almost 20 years ago. I don’t have anything against McDaniel, I just don’t read the books he’s working on.

The biggest problem I always have with McDaniel’s art is the way he draws figures, not in the actual technical work, but the fact that their ages are strange. Batman is slightly taller than Robin in this book, but in many scenes they have together, they both look like teenagers. When they have their masks off it’s better, and in a few scenes Dick definitely looks like an adult, but in most of their scenes together, they both look about the same age. It’s not just them, either – Una Nemo looks awfully young when she’s on the boat, and even later, she doesn’t look too old. Perhaps Bruce just likes ‘em young (and given his perpetual 29ness, she probably fulfills the “half the age + eight” rule), but she looks weirdly jailbait-ish. This seems to be a continuing problem with McDaniel. Other than that, he does his usual yeomanlike work. I don’t love his art, but I don’t hate it either.

Cornell’s story zips along cleverly – I love when any Batman has to actually, you know, do some detecting – even though the reveal was pretty obvious (although the final shot is surprising, because … well, I can’t tell you, but it’s weird). He does a nice job with the relationship between Dick and Damian – even better than Morrison did? – as they fight the bad guys, with both wanting to come up with one-liners and Damian wondering why Dick might think beating on bad guys is fun. Cornell missteps at the end, when the man they’re protecting falls into the hands of the bad guy – Damian says, “He’s vanished into them! Several of them will have been injured when he landed.” First of all, the first sentence is unnecessary, making the second sentence unnecessary as well, but that second sentence is really poorly constructed. Cornell should have said it aloud after he typed it, because there’s no way anyone talks like that. It was odd, because it really jumped out at me.

But that’s a minor point, because what we get in this issue is a nice mystery and a nice way to kick off the new Batman dynamic, as Dick and Damian show they’re a pretty good team. Of course, they have been for a while, but as Damian points out, now that Bruce is back, Dick can go back to being … more Dick-like, I suppose.

I’m still curious as to why this brief story exists, but it’s not a bad story at all. Thanks for the recommendation, people!

One totally Airwolf panel:

You can't fool Batman and Robin!

Batwoman #0 (“Beyond a Shadow”) by J. H. Williams III (writer/artist), W. Haden Blackman (writer), Amy Reeder (penciller), Richard Friend (inker), Dave Stewart (colorist), and Todd Klein (letterer). $2.99, 16 pgs, FC, DC.

There’s not much to this zero issue to judge Williams’s writing skills, because it’s just Bruce shadowing Batwoman/Kate Kane to prove that those two are one and the same! But it’s a nice little re-introduction to the character, and it gives both Williams and Reeder to show off their work. Williams is far superior, of course, and I’m not sure I can really say anything about him at this point. He’s breathtaking, and it’s so nice to see, unlike so many other great artists who have abandoned interior art, that Williams is still willing to do it, because we get a chance to see his sequential storytelling instead of just his static pin-ups. Reeder is an interesting choice for the counter-artist, mainly because she’s so new to the game. When I heard she was the off-artist for the book, I was unsure how that would work. Her work on Madame Xanadu was pleasant enough, but I wasn’t sure if she could handle the more gritty nature of this book. But her art is much stronger here than it was on Madame Xanadu (you can get the final issue of that series, which came out this week as well, to compare), and I thought she might be inking herself. She’s not, though, and Friend was inking her on Madame Xanadu, so either her style is evolving nicely or Dave Stewart is just that good (unless Stewart colored Madame Xanadu – I can’t find the credits – in which case her art is just evolving nicely). She doesn’t have the same way with laying out a page that Williams does – nobody working in comics does, really – but her line is stronger and more mature than it has been, and Kate Kane looks more mature than Madame Xanadu did – one of the problems I’ve had with Reeder’s art is the pixie-ish nature of most of the characters, which is odd because Reeder herself is slightly pixie-ish. So I’m feeling better about Reeder doing the art when Williams isn’t.

Seriously, though – Williams is one of the few artists whose books I will buy no matter what, and you should really pick this up (I should make a list of artists like that – it would be short, I’d reckon). You might balk at the price tag for 16 pages of recap and introduction, but the two artists really blend their work seamlessly, and Williams, at least, is worth the price of admission.

One totally Airwolf panel:

It's hard to find a panel in Williams' art because of the way he lays out a page, so I thought I'd feature this, which is Reeder on the top and Williams on the bottom - it's a good mix!

Black Widow #8 (“Kiss or Kill Part 3 of 3″) by Duane Swierczynski (writer), Manuel Garcia (penciler), Lorenzo Ruggiero (inker), Jim Charalampidis (colorist), and Nate Piekos (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, Marvel.

Swierczynski “ends” his “first” “arc” on Black Widow, and it’s … to be continued. Yes, this arc leads right into the Hawkeye/Black Widow mini-series that’s coming out in a few weeks, which makes absolutely no sense to me. I’m sure the marketing geniuses at Marvel have some reason for doing this, but why on earth would they cancel the ongoing, if that’s indeed what they’ve done (Swierczynski writes on his blog that it’s the end of his first arc, which surely implies a second one, doesn’t it? – unless he means the new mini-series is his second, which is probable) and finish the story in a mini-series? I can’t imagine the readership is going to increase too much – and if it does, won’t those new people be a bit peeved that they’re getting a continued story? And if the readership remains the same because the same people want to read about Natasha, why kill the ongoing? I’d be happy to hear from someone at Marvel about the logic of this, because until I do, I’m going to assume that business decisions are the company are made by throwing darts at a big board in Joey Q’s office.

The issue isn’t bad, despite it being the middle of a story. Widow and Fatale – Kate – team up because Fatale never got paid for ruining Senator Crane’s life, so she wants some payback. Garcia still has problems with faces, but his action sequence in the beginning when Natasha fights Crimson Dynamo is well done. I like his art quite a bit, but he needs to work on his expressions more, because too often his people look like slack-jawed yokels when they need to be expressing deeper emotions. But the issue, taken as a discrete unit, is okay, but when we consider it as the final issue of an ongoing and leading into a new mini-series, it’s kind of annoying.

Of course, I’m sure you all caught where Natasha and Kate end up in their search for the Russian contact:

Damn straight!

I’ve long been amused by the existence of Burgas, Bulgaria (anyone with the last name of “Burgas” knows that the town exists). “Burgas” is, from what I know, a somewhat common Lithuanian surname, and I’m not sure how a Slavic town shares a name with it, as Lithuanians are not Slavic. I assume it’s something in the translation and they’re not really the same word, just close enough for English purposes. Swierczynski, of course, writes that it’s “favored by former Soviet intelligence and European slave traders.” Now that’s a tourist slogan!

One totally Airwolf panel:

Fret not - it's all in her head!

Damaged #0/Hollow Point #0 by Michael Schwarz and John Schwarz (creators, “Damaged”), Ron L. Brinkerhoff (creator, “Hollow Point”), David Lapham (writer, “Damaged”), David Hine (writer, “Hollow Point”), Dennis Calero (artist, “Damaged”), Elia Bonetti (artist, “Hollow Point”), and Ong Chew Peng (painter, “Hollow Point”). $1.00, 24 pgs (12 pgs each), FC, Radical.

The good people at Radical sent this over to me, which is always nice of them. This is a teaser issue for two new series, although one isn’t coming out until June, so I’m not sure if people will still remember this when it comes out, but it’s still neat to that they do this sort of thing.

I’m always a bit leery about comics like this, where the “creators” don’t actually write it, probably because they’re developing these things for Hollywood and don’t know how to actually write a comic. There’s nothing really wrong with doing this, and at least they hired Lapham and Hine, two guys who know what they’re doing, but the ghettoization of comics into places where you can write a screenplay without actually writing a screenplay bugs me a bit. It’s probably not a surprise that the best Radical books – Hotwire, The Last Days of American Crime, even Time Bomb – weren’t created as movie properties (although they could easily be filmed) but as comics, and it would be nice that, if Radical wanted to create movies out of their books, they would actually create the comics and then try to sell them instead of creating the comics as movie pitches. If it works for them, I guess it works for them!

As for the comics, Damaged is slightly better. Lapham gives us a story of a cop named Lincoln who is called in to investigate a massacre of a Russian mobster and his cadre. He instantly realizes that it’s the work of one man (as difficult that is for others to believe), which is later confirmed by the only witness (whom nobody believes). Lincoln knows it’s one man because he knows the man – another cop he knew 35 years earlier when this cop, apparently, decided to start killing bad guys. So Lincoln realizes he’s going to have to track this guy down. Lapham does a nice job building tension throughout, and it’s an intriguing set-up. Calero is hit-or-miss for me, and he’s definitely miss on this one. His action sequences look far too stiff, and his faces don’t show much emotion at all. I don’t know how Calero creates his art – a lot on the computer, probably – but for some stuff, it works pretty well. It might work for this project on a bigger scale, but for these few pages, it’s not working very well.

Hollow Point is a bit weaker, mainly because Hine doesn’t begin at the beginning. In a text recap on the inside front cover, we learn that an unnamed assassin was shot, and the bullet “opened a third eye into the spirit realm.” Now, “tortured by his own bloodsoaked legacy,” he wanders around “avenging the ghosts of victims past” – it doesn’t seem like it’s his victims, but I suppose it could be. This odd set-up might appear in the first issue of this series, and I hope it does, because Hine decides to just show our killer on a job, and without much background, his philosophical narration doesn’t work very well. We shall see if the “origin” of the character is actually in the comic. Anyway, in this section he goes to Mexico to track down a pedophile priest. Unfortunately, he starts talking to the priest and for some reason changes his mind about killing him. Then he changes it back, but the priest tells him something that might just have an impact on the future of the series (see below). So there’s that. Bonetti’s art is more organic than Calero’s, but while there’s nothing horribly egregious about it, there’s nothing really memorable about it either. It does the job, I guess.

This is only an issue, like the other Radical teaser issues. It’s a nice way to get a sense of their upcoming projects, so I hope they keep putting them out. It’s a neat way to advertise!

One totally Airwolf panel:

I'm sure this won't come back to haunt him!

Detective Comics #871 (“The Black Mirror Part One of Three”/”Skeleton Cases Part One of Three”) by Scott Snyder (writer), Jock (artist, “The Black Mirror”), Francesco Francavilla (artist/colorist, “Skeleton Cases”), David Baron (colorist, “The Black Mirror”), and Jared K. Fletcher (letterer). $3.99, 30 pgs, FC, DC.

Snyder’s “back-to-basics” approach on Detective begins with … Killer Croc, the Mad Hatter, and Poison Ivy. Some basics! Actually, it is somewhat basic – there’s a new bad guy in town, who is dealing “villain” stuff that recreates the properties of those Bat-baddies, and presumably others. So a kid suddenly turns into a Croc-like villain. A woman has a Mad Hatter stamp sewn into her neck and she goes crazy. Plants suddenly burst out of a man’s mouth. It’s all very horrific and creepy.

Snyder does a nice job with Dick and Gordon, who have an uneasy relationship in this book, both when Dick is Dick and when he’s Batman. Gordon’s relationship with Batman is better than his one with Dick, actually, which is kind of neat (Gordon still sees Dick as the boy who took Barbara to the prom, and who knows what business those kids got up to that night!). Snyder also has a nice call-back to Gotham Central, which was a great series, and the whole book does feel like a “classic” Batman story. I do hope Snyder resists using the traditional Bat-villains in this book (despite the way this “dealer” gets his kicks) because they are quite played out. I don’t know if he has the clout, like the God of All Comics (who resisted a bit), to create new villains and not re-use old ones, but this is a fine start. We shall see.

The back-up story is odd because a few minutes earlier, when I was reading the main story, I wondered about the person who shows up in it. Of course, I thought of it again on the first page of the back-up story because Snyder and Francavilla directed our attention to it, but I had already thought of it. I’m very intrigued, and Francavilla backing up Jock on this book is a very nice mix – for as long as it lasts, of course. It’s kind of neat that Francavilla is not only a very good artist, he’s a fabulous colorist. Check out the way that back-up story looks!

A good start on both stories for Snyder. I’m looking forward to seeing where he goes with this.

One totally Airwolf panel:

Thus always to snitches!

Dracula: The Company of Monsters #4 by Kurt Busiek (storier), Daryl Gregory (writer), Scott Godlewski (artist), Stephen Downer (colorist), and Johnny Lowe (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Boom! Studios.

I wrote last time that I wasn’t sure if I was getting this past issue #4 (the end of the first arc), and now that #4 is out, I can make up my mind. I do like the series, but I think I might switch to trade-waiting, because four bucks for each issue isn’t worth it, especially with the way the book is going. As we’ve seen over the course of the series so far, Conrad, the old man in charge, wants to become a vampire and wants Dracula to turn him. He takes extreme caution in making sure Dracula doesn’t kill him, but of course things go really, really badly for him. Evan, Conrad’s protégé, thinks getting Dracula to turn Conrad is a wildly bad idea, but of course Conrad doesn’t listen. Man, you just don’t want to fuck with Dracula, people! I do like that on the first page, Conrad says to Evan, “You’re asking me to believe in the devil?” Yeah, because believing in vampires is so rational. So at the end of the book, Dracula is free. That’s all I will say, because I don’t want to spoil it.

But I don’t like the way the series is going. When it began, I thought it would be a series about Dracula taking modern business practices and applying them ruthlessly to take over society. It might still go that way, but the solicitations have made it sound like Dracula will simply gather an army and take over. Yawn. A good writer will make that work, of course, but I’m just not sure if I’m all that interested in it. So I’ll start waiting for the trades and check them out so see if Busiek and Gregory are doing anything at all different with the vampire story. We’ll see. Sorry, Chip!

One totally Airwolf panel:

You never want to see Dracula looking at you like that

Scalped #43 (“A Come-to-Jesus”) by Jason Aaron (writer), Jason Latour (artist), Giulia Brusco (colorist), and Steve Wands (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, DC/Vertigo.

Aaron tells a one-off story of the sheriff of White Haven, Nebraska, the town just south of the rez, who’s a big blustery fellow who tells the locals stories about his time in ‘Nam to impress them. One day a U.S. Marshal shows up chasing a fugitive, and Sheriff Karnow’s world is upset a bit. The marshal, it turns out, was also in ‘Nam, but he doesn’t want to talk about the glory days – he just has a job to do. So Karnow gets a bit pissy with him and decides to find the fugitive himself. Mayhem ensues.

What’s really cool about these single issues is not only do we get to see some different artists – Latour has a bit more of a brutal style than Guéra, and his messiness works in favor of him when we get to the stand-off with the fugitive, which is a jumble of weird images – but because Aaron can spotlight characters from around the rez who may or may not play roles in the grander story. Based on the end of this issue, Karnow will play a larger role, which is keen. Plus, Aaron does a nice job showing how Karnow changes throughout the issue, and even though the story is short, we still buy his transformation. What he does with his new attitude is unknown for now, but it’s a nice development in the greater series. I haven’t gone back and looked, but I assume Karnow has shown up before, and it’s interesting to see the focus on him instead of the major players.

I probably didn’t need to write any of this. I could have written “It’s Scalped,” and that would have been enough, but it’s still nice that Aaron continues to push the series in nice directions. I am, of course, always looking forward to the next issue!

One totally Airwolf panel:

Someone should say this to Brett Favre

Secret Warriors #22 (“Night Part Three”) by Jonathan Hickman (writer), Alessandro Vitti (artist), Imaginary Friends Studio (colorist), and Dave Lanphear (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, Marvel.

I really do wish that, if Cheung is going to draw Daisy with such short hair, someone would tell the interior artists to do the same. Or vice versa. It’s not that hard to get a look consistent, people!

Hickman wraps up the short arc with a devastating issue, as things continue to spiral right out of control. This is why Marvel and DC should allow series to end – Hickman can kill whomever he wants without worrying that they’ll come back (of course, they still can, as they’re corporate characters, but the deaths in this series feel far more final than in others), which gives the series a lot of its power. This is a really good issue, not just because people die, but because it feels more important than, say, someone dying in Hickman’s Fantastic Four (which I don’t read anymore, but it’s the FF – do we really think any of them are going to die?). As the series hurtles toward the end, I keep looking forward to seeing how Hickman will wrap it up. I also like Hydra’s table. How do they eat off of that thing?

Of course, all I really needed to write about this issue is that Nick Fury is MOTHERFUCKING BAD-ASSSSSSS!!!!!! But you already knew that.

One totally Airwolf panel:

Even his shirt!

Thor: The Mighty Avenger #6 (“Thursday Night”) by Roger Langridge (writer), Chris Samnee (artist), Matthew Wilson (colorist), and Rus Wooton (letterer). $2.99, 23 pgs, FC, Marvel.

Back when this was solicited, I made some point or another about Fin Fang Foom not being that small. Unfortunately for all concerned, that’s NOT Fin Fang Foom. Oh well. It’s Heimdall, guarding the Rainbow Bridge to Asgard, who can turn into a motherfucking dragon. So, you know, just as cool.

I suppose it matters not what I write about this charming comic, because it’s getting the axe in a few issues, although it continues to be a delightful read, full of wonder and action and great characterization and amazing Samnee art. We still don’t know everything about why Thor is stuck on Earth, but at least his relationship with Jane moves forward, and he’s just so cute trying to get her approval! I will miss this book, but at least they wrung eight issues out of it.

I don’t have the energy to speculate about why the book failed (although the glut of Thor comics might have something to do with it, and based on the fact that Chad Nevett, the biggest Thor fan on the planet, hates the latest Thor offering, how soon did many, many other people give up on buying all the Thor crap?), but it’s interesting that Langridge writes on his blog that he had a 12-issue grand plot worked up and now it won’t get done. I mentioned this when S.W.O.R.D. bit the dust – as nice as it is to be ambitious, writers really ought to think about how to wrap up their series in 4, 5, or 6 issues, because that’s how long these kinds of books last. McKeever managed it with Young Allies, and I worry that this series will really feel unfinished when it ends because of Langridge’s bigger plans. It might not – Langridge has made sure that each issue has been enjoyable as a single unit – but it’s annoying to know that his grand plan won’t see fruition. If he pitched it that way and Marvel knew about it, couldn’t they commit to twelve issues? I guess not. Oh well.

Langridge and Samnee are encouraging people to buy the trade, and so will I. I can’t blame trade-waiters for this book’s failure, because it’s a measure of how fucked up the way comics are sold is that Marvel has no idea how many people would buy this in a different format and they’re already killing it. But, again, that’s a post for another day!

One totally Airwolf panel:

You know, when I say that, people laugh at me ... probably because I don't turn into fire at the same time

Ultimate Spider-Man #150 by Brian Michael Bendis (writer), (wait for it!) David LaFuente (artist), Sara Pichelli (artist), Joëlle Jones (artist), Jamie McKelvie (artist), Skottie Young (artist), Alex Maleev (artist), Dan Brereton (artist), John Romita, Sr. (penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Frank Cho (artist), Jim Mahfood (artist), Scott Morse (artist), Craig Thompson (artist), Michael Avon Oeming (artist), Jason Pearson (artist), Sean Phillips (artist), Mark Bagley (penciler), Rodney Ramos (inker), Art Thibert (inker), Bill Sienkiewicz (artist), P. Craig Russell (artist), Jacen Burrows (penciler), Walden Song (inker), Leonard Kirk (penciler), Terry Pallot (inker), Dave Gibbons (artist), Michael Gaydos (artist), James Kochalka (artist), David Mack (artist), Brett Weldele (artist), Ashley Wood (artist), Justin Ponsor (colorist), Imaginary Friends Studio (colorist), Matthew Wilson (colorist), Jean-Francois Beaulieu (colorist), Transparency Digital and Digital Chameleon (colorist), Cory Petit (letterer), and Chris Eliopoulos (letterer). $5.99, 40 pgs (main story) + 63 pgs (back-up story), FC, Marvel.

I usually buy Ultimate Spider-Man in trades, and I still haven’t decided to keep up with it after it switched to “Ultimate Comics Spider-Man,” but I thought I’d give this monster a try. With all those artists, it’s tough to pass up. The main story involves the new direction of the title, as Carol Danvers tries to figure out what to do about Peter Parker and his abilities, which often cause a lot of property damage. She asks Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor to share their views, and they each tell a story about when the encountered Spider-Man. Iron Man thinks he’s groovy, Cap thinks he’s a punk, and Thor thinks he’s a noble warrior. What’s neat is that Bendis makes their reaction perfectly reasonable within the context of the Ultimate Universe, at least as I remember it – Tony is a young techno-punk, so Peter’s knowledge of tech impresses him; Cap is an old fogey, so Peter’s snottiness rubs him the wrong way; Thor is a god, so Peter’s nobility impresses him. Carol decides … it’s time for superhero school! He needs to be trained, after all.

The second story is odd, because I wonder how old it is. It centers around a school project where the kids need to come dressed as a superhero, which I swear took place in an early issue of Ultimate Spider-Man. Right? Some of the artists just contribute pin-ups (nice ones, to be sure) and those with dates on them are marked “2002.” So have we seen this thing before? Or is it just that Bendis had some pin-ups lying around and wanted to fit them into a story somehow? Did this take eight years to complete because of getting pages from all the different artists? None of the artists are out of date to the point where it’s obvious this is really old, so I’m just wondering what’s going on.

Either way, the line-up is impressive. Jones draws the Iron Man story, and it’s fantastic. McKelvie, who can’t get a regular gig, apparently (I hope it’s by choice – even though I doubt that – because that would suck if it weren’t), gives us a really nice and almost wordless Captain America section. The choice of Young to draw the Thor part is inspired, mainly because there’s a big monster that he just nails. Pichelli is a really nice artist with some Stuart Immonen in her work, which is keen. And, of course, the back-up story has all kinds of amazing art, even if some of it’s only a page or two.

So that’s issue #150 of Ultimate Spider-Man. I have no idea how much of it will be reprinted (especially the back-up story), so if you like to see a lot of very good artists doing their thing, it’s totally worth the six bucks. The stories are just okay, but that’s okay – Bendis just gets out of the way and lets everyone do their thing. It’s a lot of fun.

One totally Airwolf panel:

Oh, Cap, you kindly mentor, you!

Gantz volume 14 by Hiroya Oku. $12.99, 217 pgs, BW, Dark Horse.

I appreciate that Dark Horse cranks these out rather quickly, but I’d also like Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service to come out more often. Or, you know, Eden to come out at all.

Miss Don’t Touch Me volume 2 by Hubert (writer/colorist) and Kerascoët* (artist). $14.99, 92 pgs, FC, NBM.

I had forgotten (until it was solicited) that there was going to be a volume 2. That’s kind of cool. The first volume was quite good, and I’m looking forward to the next one!

* Yes, two artists with umlauts over the “e” in their names. That’s why you read my posts – for stuff like this! Kerascoët, in case you didn’t know, is two different artists – Marie Pommepuy and Sébastian Cosset.

So my daughter is continuing with her drawing class, and this past week, she came up with this:

This is, of course, a MONSTER TRUCK! Okay, it’s not too obvious, mainly because she screwed up the tires, but how cool-looking is that? I’m expecting DC to call any day to offer her Teen Titans. She’d KICK ASS on that book!

And lo! it’s The Ten Most Recent Songs Played On My iPod (Which Is Always On Shuffle):

1. “Do You Recall”Journey (1979) “After stormy weather, does the sun shine every day?”
2. “Hollyann”Boston (1986) “I still hear guitars in the air as we sat in the sand”
3. “The Maestro”Beastie Boys (1992) “I feel like Rufus Thomas, the crown prince of dance”
4. “Breakdown”Guns N’ Roses (1991) “Just because you’re winnin’ don’t mean you’re the lucky one”1
5. “The Train”King’s X (1996) “You leave us all behind, you start to feel the pain”
6. “Right Here, Right Now”Jesus Jones (1990) “A woman on the radio talks about revolution when it’s already passed her by”
7. “Learning to Fly”Pink Floyd (1987) “Across the clouds I see my shadow fly, out of the corner of my watering eye”
8. “We” – Neil Diamond (2005) “Love is not about young or old, touches everybody in a special way”
9. “Lights” – Journey (1978) “So you think you’re lonely, well my friend, I’m lonely too”2
10. “Beautiful Girls”Van Halen (1979) “She had a drink in her hand, she had her toes in the sand”3

1 I like about six Guns N’ Roses songs, and this is one of them. It’s odd, because I really like those Guns N’ Roses songs, yet I can’t stand the rest of their catalog – I’m not even indifferent to it, I actively hate them. Weird. Also, if you check out that video, you see Stephanie Seymour. Does Stephanie Seymour ever sit around and think, “I let Axl Rose touch me” and then shiver? I wonder. Also, I have never heard anything from Chinese Democracy, nor did I hear any real news about it except that it came out. Is it just so bad that no one wants to comment? Or has the music world really passed Axl by?
2 Man, you need to check out the hair and the clothes on the boys in that video. The Seventies ruled, man!
3 Two Journey songs, Boston, Floyd, and Van Halen – this playlist wouldn’t look out of place on my favorite radio station when I was growing up, 93.3 WMMR, in 1987 or so. Did anyone (or, hell, does anyone) still listen to WMMR? (Bill Reed, I’m looking at you.) I know classic rock stations are all over the dial all over the country, but MMR was fun because of Pierre Robert (rhymes with “Colbert”), who’s still a DJ there, man! Two things stand out about Robert’s shows – he always ended them with “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” from Monty Python, and he played “Alice’s Restaurant” every Thanksgiving. He’s still playing it, apparently. Pierre Motherfuckin’ Robert.

How about we check out some totally random lyrics?

“Met an Indian boy in Ottawa
He laid me down on a bed of straw
Said don’t waste your breath
Don’t waste your heart
Don’t blister your heels
Running in the dark”

Chew on that with your Thanksgiving dinner/leftovers! I hope everyone had a good day if they celebrated the Pilgrims coming over here to spread religious intolerance and kill any indigenous person they found. And if you didn’t celebrate … well, you’re obviously an un-American Commie (or worse yet, a not-even-American Commie!), but I still hope you had a good day!

21 Comments

I am so jazzed for the return of Batwoman, and I totally agree with you about William’ art. Unique and utterly masterful. However, as a huge fan of Reeder’s art and the Madame Xanadu series, I have to say I am just as excited that she will be handling the off arcs. While it’s very different than Williams’ if you look back at her work throughout Madame Xanadu, you’ll notice that like Williams, she has an amazing way with layouts that shatters conventions of the comic book panel. And while I agree, many of her characters had that pixie-ish quality, it’s good to see that Kate has more maturity in her look. And that panel you chose to highlight from the issue? It blows my mind. What a great pairing.

Happy Thanksgiving!

From your description and the list of artists, it sounds like Ultimate Spider-Man 150 reprinted the Ultimate Marvel Team-Up Special that finished off the Ultimate Marvel Team-Up series. Does the Kolchalka page have Iceman? If so, it’s definitely a reprint of that issue.

Chinese Democracy sounded overproduced and dated the moment it came out. A friend burned me a copy, and I had to force myself to listen to it twice through. The songs sound generic, and the “wall of sound” approach doesn’t help. One of Axl’s strengths is his range. Multi-tracked vocals kills it. Avoid.

I grew up listening to the local classic rock station (100.7 WZLX in Boston), but stopped when the softer songs of the seventies were put into heavier rotation. This was about 15 years ago. I like Hendrix, Dylan, Beatles, and the Who. I don’t like Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Boston (sorry), or Billy Joel. There was plenty of good music in the ’70s, but most of the singer/songwriters, disco, and arena rock does nothing for me. To each his or her own.

Your daughter’s monster truck is awesome, especially the eyes & teeth.

For the record, WMMR is, has been, and always will be the #1 pre-set on my car radio. And you can’t beat Pierre Robert. Granted, just about every other DJ who used to be on MMR is now on WMGK, which is a great classic rock station in its own right now, but they don’t have Pierre. (By the way, though, it was John DeBella’s Morning Zoo that used to end with “The Bright Side of Life.” Pierre had the show right after the Zoo, though, so he was usually there for the handoff.)

For the record, I’m NOT the biggest Thor fan on the planet. I’m a fan, but there are bigger ones, in physical size and in genuine love for the character.

And good call on not getting Astonishing Thor #1. Sorry for suggesting that one…

Oh, and, Greg? No promotion for you appearance on the podcast this week? For shame!

Mike Loughlin nailed it. It’s a reprint of the Ultimate Spider-Man Super Special #1, and has already been collected in several Ultimate Team-Up trades.

There are actually radio shows called “morning zoo”? I guess thats why whenever someone jokes about cheesey morning DJs they name the show morning zoo. Funny.

Power Man #4 was hard to read, I might just be too hung over though.

But were they sexy mermen?

funkygreenjerusalem

November 25, 2010 at 9:28 pm

I could have sworn Tomasi and Gleason were taking over with issue #17, and I wonder if one or the other or both needed more time, and DC asked Cornell and McDaniel to throw something together quickly

That’s exactly what happened.

DC were actually upfront about it as well!

Tomasi and Gleason needed more time due to Brightest Day.

The only thing that startled me was that the announcement was only 2-4weeks ago, I think, which really makes you wonder how short of a lead time they have – last months books were advertising Tomasi and Gleason as taking over.

That said, I loves me some Paul Cornell, so I was pretty stoked with it.

Okay, it’s definitely the reprint. Still, I had never seen it, so it was pretty danged cool.

Brian: Thanks for reminding me that DeBella was ending and Robert was coming in. I knew Robert was always there, and forgot that it was the beginning of his show and the end of the morning one. It’s been 20 years since I listened to the station, so I tend to forget some of the details!

Chad: Since we haven’t actually done it yet, I figured I’d wait until it was posted to promote it. But there will be promotion!!! And I’m shocked to hear you admit that you’re not the biggest Thor fan. My world is shattered! I didn’t hate Mike Choi’s art, though, and I see that you did. Too bad the comic sucks!

Trey: Good call. I should listen to some more Emmylou Harris, because I love that song.

Bill: Well, yes, but Balent pulled the old “cover the breasts with foreign objects” thing that the Big Two do. I thought he had more integrity than that, man!

FGJ: Thanks for the info.

Loved Batwoman #0. Like you Greg, I’m a long time J.H. Williams III fan. Can’t wait for Feb.

You are really underselling Reeder there. First of all, her Madame Xanadu art was great. Her sense of pace, her balance of lights and darks, her curvilinears, and her more ambitious layouts put most of DC to shame, and that was her second major published work as far as I know. Name me any other DC artist who could not just fill in for Williams, but hold their own in a book with their art lined up, and not only that but also have a conversation with him in the art? I don’t know if Williams did all the rough layouts or not but Reeder definitely brought her voice to her half of the book and that set up a great dynamic between Kate’s two lives. In fact as awesome as Williams preview art was, I found myself wanting for more of the two artists working together because the two of them work so damn well as a team and I cannot wait to see Reeder’s solo issues.

I hope that Batman doesn’t factor into the comic too much. I like her independence from all that baggage and her independence in general. Did you give up on Strange Tales?:(

Black Widow is ending? Is this because Spider-Girl has started? I’m starting to suspect that Marvel has a policy of publishing only one ongoing series at a time about a female character.

Honestly Chinese Democracy got excellent reviews, hit the net. I personally have listened to it about 2 times, it just isn’t GNR. I agree with Steve Adler (ex-GNR drummer) that the band should be called W.A.R. (W Axl Rose) and not GNR.

Amy Reeder is a brilliant artist. She is one of the most talented artists currently seeing print… though JH Williams is THE best, in my opinion.

Batwoman is going to be awesome.

Julian: I haven’t given up on Strange Tales, sir! I asked the guy at my shoppe to re-order issue #2, but it hasn’t arrived yet. I’ll get issue #3 when it comes out, but I may have to do some hunting for issue #2 if they don’t get it for me.

I apologize for underselling Reeder. I only have the first Madame Xanadu trade (although I bought the arcs without her on art), and while I liked her art, I don’t recall her doing anything all that different with the way pages are laid out and other nifty things. I flipped through the final issue of Madame Xanadu and it still seemed like it was good but not innovative. I suppose I didn’t look at it closely enough, but on first glance, it just looked like good draughtsmanship and not really anything else. I thought her art in this book was a huge step forward, but maybe she’s been doing stuff like this for a while. Even so, my fears about her drawing the book when Williams isn’t have been mostly allayed, so I’m happy about that!

Interesting to hear Mike and Jax’s comments about Chinese Democracy. I really did hear nothing about it!

Mary: Well, they are publishing She-Hulk! I have no idea what’s going on with Black Widow. The ongoing hasn’t been solicited recently, the new mini-series has been, so I just assume the ongoing has been axed. I don’t know what they’re going to do after the mini-series concludes … launch a new ongoing? This is why I don’t understand their business practices!

I stopped buying Ultimate Spider-man after the Ultimatum story and, though I have picked a few recent issues up cheap, I haven’t read them yet. Returning to original numbering already is a pretty weird move though. Did sales drop off by a lot or something?

As for the facny dress thing, I’m pretty sure it was mentioned early but took place in the team up one shot special. Another multi artist job.

“Honestly Chinese Democracy got excellent reviews”

I’m not going to call anyone’s musical opinions wrong, personal taste and all that, but no, it really didn’t.

There were a few, but by no means a majority; in fact NO position on the Axl Rose Solo Album was really a majority, the reviews were scattered across the spectrum, from raves to pans and all points between (from “disappointing” to “not as bad as expected”).

You might want to go back and buy Action Comics #895 after all, Greg. Not that it’ll be really necessary to your future enjoyment, but it sets up an appearance by the Secret Six.

I gave up on the entire Ultimate line when Ultimatum came out. It was the perfect jumping off point. I’ve been staying away from all the Ultimate Comics mostly out of spite, which is starting to wear off. Is Ultimate Comics Spider-Man worth picking up? I have the entire run of Ultimate Spider-Man, so is there anything I’m missing by ignoring Ultimate Comics Spider-Man?

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