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CSBG Archive

What I bought – 31 August 2011

“Life is so embarrassing,” he said. “How I love it.” (Robert Boswell, from The Geography of Desire)

That doesn't seem like optimal killing-bad-guys clothing Does Kubrick know about this cover? He's double-fisting it! I think we need to give Campbell a break, because it's obvious he just can't help himself Jodhpurs! Vertiginous! No wonder everyone hated Lincoln - he shook with his left hand! Don't tell anyone that Wagner would be a better artist for this book! Fact: Nate Powell is awesome! It's BACK! The fact that Ditko is still alive and cranky makes me happy

Four men sit in a basement. Their names: Ardmore, Phil, No Balls Stevie, and The Dozer. This week they purchased comics and decided to discuss them. Luckily, the basement was bugged, mainly because Ardmore runs an illegal urine-smuggling ring out of the basement and the FBI got a warrant to bug and install tiny cameras in the basement. Let’s listen and watch what they have to say, shall we?

The Bodysnatchers #3 by Pasquale Pako Massimo (writer/artist), Peppe bBox Boccia (colorist), Raffaele de Angelis (coloring assistant), Andrea Plazzi (translator), Adam McGovern (translator), and Studio Blue (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, GG Studio.

The Dozer: That chick has her tits out for, like, the whole book.
Phil: Yes, well, it’s European. That’s how they roll. I hear in Paris you can look at naked hookers on the street.
No Balls Stevie: Awesome.
Ardmore: But, seriously, what the fuck is going on in this comic?
Phil: The woman is killing rich folk in this futuristic city, and the rich folk send her son, a cop, after her to bring her to their form of justice.
No Balls Stevie: That chick’s son is old enough to be a cop?
Phil: Yeah.
The Dozer: Yuck. She’s old, man. Nice tits, though.
Ardmore: What’s up with that other naked chick?
Phil: I’m not sure. It’s all very weird.
The Dozer: She totally kills a bunch of dudes. While her tits are out.
Ardmore: This comic is totally freaky.
Phil: Yes, yes it is.
No Balls Stevie: But she fucks shit up! Hells yeah! (high fives the Dozer)
Ardmore: So when are we going to Paris to see naked hookers?

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Yeeeessssss ...

Butcher Baker, the Righteous Maker #6 by Joe Casey (writer), Mike Huddleton (artist/colorist), and Rus Wooton (letterer). $2.99, 24 pgs, FC, Image.

No Balls Stevie: Dicks, man. I don’t like seeing dicks.
Phil: That’s because you have no balls, No Balls Stevie.
No Balls Stevie: Not, you know, really. Not …
Phil: ‘Literally’?
No Balls Stevie: Yeah, not literally! Jesus, you guys fucking suck. I’ll fucking kill you all.
Ardmore: Where would you get your weed, then?
No Balls Stevie: I could get it from my mom, you know. Or Pindar down at the laundromat. Or Crack Whore June over in Pietown. You guys aren’t the only place to get weed, you know.
Ardmore: But where would you get your Genny Light?
No Balls Stevie: Shit, yeah, you’re right. Fuck you guys.
Ardmore: And don’t we let you see naked pictures of The Dozer’s stepmom every so often?
The Dozer: Shit yeah!
No Balls Stevie: Fuck. Yeah. But I don’t like seeing dicks, man.
Phil: But there aren’t as many dicks in this issue as there have been in other issues, No Balls. I mean, in some issues, it’s been wall-to-wall dicks!
No Balls Stevie: I’m not gay, man!
Ardmore: Of course not, No Balls. Look, look at this page.
No Balls Stevie: Titties!
Phil: And here – it’s Jay Leno and Dick Cheney. Aren’t they funny villains?
No Balls Stevie: Yeah, they rock. And look at Butcher getting beaten up by that dude … wait a minute.
Ardmore: Uh-oh.
No Balls Stevie: Is that dude gay?
Phil: Yes, it appears he is. But Butcher likes the ladies, doesn’t he? And he’s the hero, right?
No Balls Stevie: Yeah. Fuck, yeah, he is.
Phil: And look at these pages, where Huddleston makes it seem like we’re reading an old comic book. Look at those colors! Look at that fight scene! Isn’t that nice?
No Balls Stevie: Yeah, that is nice. Man, this is a cool-looking book.
Ardmore: And I don’t think just seeing a dick will make you gay, No Balls. I don’t think that’s how it works.
No Balls Stevie: I … I guess, you guys. I don’t know, seeing dicks just – Arrrgggghhhh!!!!! (looks to his left, where The Dozer has moved behind him and placed his penis on No Balls Stevie’s shoulder) Fucking Christ, Dozer! What the fucking fuck is fucking wrong with you?!?!?!?
The Dozer: Bwah-ha-ha-ha!!!!! Dicks, man!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Lots o' smashing!

Flashpoint #5 (of 5) by Geoff Johns (writer), Andy Kubert (penciler), Sandra Hope (inker), Jesse Delperdang (inker), Alex Sinclair (colorist), and Nick J. Napolitano (letterer). $3.99, 32 pgs, FC, DC.

Ardmore: Look at that fucked-up cover. What the fuck, man? If the Flash’s outfit is skin tight, how does that Reverse Flash dude grab a handful? Goddamnit, that’s stupid. And don’t even get me started on this shitty issue.
Phil: I take it you didn’t like it?
The Dozer: No tits, man!
Phil: Well, it’s a DC superhero book, Dozer. That’s not surprising.
No Balls Stevie: Yeah, but that one bitch whose tits are always falling out, she’s twisting around a lot. Man, she’d totally fall out of her shirt, man.
Phil: I believe that’s called ‘Comics Code Physics.’ But why don’t you like the issue, Ardmore?
Ardmore: Ffffffffffffucccccckkkkkkkk. Seriously, what the fuck? So all this important shit happened in another issue before this series started, and no one bothered to tell us until now? And then we get some weird chick telling Flash that all this weird shit is going to happen, meaning this is all just fucking set-up? What the fuck? And Flash is a fucking hero, yet he’s the one who fucked this all up because he’s so fucking selfish? How many fucking times has he or somebody near him fucked with time and fucked shit up? Didn’t he fucking learn anything? And why are stories always about heroes acting like pussies these days? I mean, sure, that Reverse dude was the bad guy, but only because Flash was so fucking stupid. God, this comic pisses me right the fuck off. You know what it’s like? It’s like, you know, when you’re fucking some hot chick, and you’re having a really good time, but you both had a lot of fucking tequila and you maybe smoked some skunk weed so you’re not feeling real good, but you like fucking this bitch so much and then, right when you’re about to come, you both spew on each other and you’re covered with puke ‘n’ shit but you figure, fuck it, I might as well finish, so you’re shooting your load into her and she’s coming and you’re both covered in puke, am I right?
(Dead silence for ten seconds)
Ardmore: What? Like that’s never fucking happened with you?
Phil: O … kay. Did anyone like anything about this?
Ardmore: Hey, fuck you guys.
No Balls Stevie: I liked that evil bitch who was killing everyone and then got fucking stomped on by that flying dude. That was fucking hardcore!
The Dozer: The colors were pretty.
Phil: Yes, Dozer, yes they were.
No Balls Stevie: The end made me cry.
(Dead silence for ten seconds)
No Balls Stevie: Fuck, did I say that out loud?
Phil: Why do you think we call you ‘No Balls Stevie,’ Stevie?
No Balls Stevie: I least I don’t vomit on chicks I’m fucking.
Ardmore: It wouldn’t matter, because you can just wipe that shit off of plastic real easy.
No Balls Stevie: Fuck you, man!
Phil: Doesn’t anyone have anything nice to say about this issue?
Ardmore: It didn’t suck as much as that Justice League issue.
No Balls Stevie: Fuck yeah, man! (fist bumps Ardmore)
The Dozer: That thing where the dude thinks he’s won and then the other dude stabs in him the back was fucking cool.
Ardmore: Yeah, because we haven’t seen something like that in every other fucking action movie on the fucking planet. Motherfuck!
The Dozer: I’m still sad that there weren’t any tits.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Well, that's not very nice

Hero Comics 2011. “My Last Landlady” by Neil Gaiman (writer), Sam Kieth (artist), and Mike Dringenberg (artist); “This is My Story” by Christopher Ivy; “Chew: A View to a Pill” by John Layman (writer) and Rob Guillory (artist); “My Hero” by Jason Craig; “Once Upon a Time” by Sam Kieth (writer/artist); “Hero Initiative” by Ralph Reese; “Elephantmen: Old Soldiers” by Richard Starkings (writer), Doug Braithwaite (artist), and Ulises Arreola (colorist). $3.99, 31 pgs, FC, IDW.

No Balls Stevie: Look at that Goldilocks bitch on the cover! Yeah, that Campbell dude knows how to draw, man. He should do a porno comic. I’d lick that oatmeal right off that leg!
Phil: That one bear looks like he’s about to do just that. He’s thinking, ‘Man, I have to hump big fat furry bears all the time, and some dude gets to fuck that every fucking day.’ You know it’s driving him fucking crazy.
No Balls Stevie: And I bet that dude wouldn’t puke all over her, either.
Ardmore: Fuck off, you guys. Jesus.
(Ardmore’s girlfriend, Maddyssin, comes downstairs. All the men hoot.)
Ardmore: Hey, baby, come over here and check out this cover.
Maddyssin: Yeah, she’s hot. I’d totally do her.
No Balls Stevie: Fuck yeah! And you’d let us watch, right, Mad?
Maddyssin: Only in your fucking dreams, No Balls. You’d join in, wouldn’t you, baby?
Ardmore: Hell yeah I would.
Phil: Of course, he might puke all over both of you.
Ardmore: Fuck!
Maddyssin: What’s he talking about, baby?
Ardmore: Nothing, baby, nothing. He’s just being a bitch. You staying? Dozer had his dick out earlier.
Maddyssin: I hope it wasn’t next to his pinkie finger, because how could you tell the difference?
(All the men hoot at the burn.)
Ardmore: That cover is the best thing about this comic. I mean, it has some weird poem shit in it that has some weird art shit with it. You know who reads art comics? Pussies, that’s who.
Phil: That’s the original creative team of Sandman doing the story.
Ardmore: You know who reads Sandman? Goth pussies, that’s who.
Phil: What about the Chew story? That was cool.
Ardmore: Yeah, that was okay. It needed more of that dude chomping on weird-ass shit, though. You like that book, don’t you, baby?
Maddyssin: I like chomping on something, you know.
(All the men hoot at the innuendo.)
Ardmore: You stayin’, baby?
Maddyssin: Nah. I just came down to tell you I was heading out to the store and I need some cash.
Ardmore: Damn, bitch, you’re always taking my coin. What the fuck is up with that? Don’t you have a job?
Maddyssin: Yeah, but I got to pay the rent on this place, you know, asshole. You’re living here free, you know.
No Balls Stevie: Dude, you’re whipped.
Ardmore: Shut the fuck up, dude. All right, Mad, here you go. Bring me back some Funyons, ‘kay?
Maddyssin: You won’t be kissing me later if you eat up all those Funyons. That shit is nasty!
Ardmore: I don’t plan on doing much kissing later, if you know what I mean, bitch.
Maddyssin: Yeah, you just keep thinking like that.
(She leaves. The men watch her go.)
Phil: Damn, that woman has a fine ass.
No Balls Stevie: You bet. I’d be tapping that right now if she were my woman.
Ardmore: You’d have to find your dick first, No Balls.
No Balls Stevie: Fuck off, man. Hey, you ‘n’ her are all right, right? The bitch is all right.
Ardmore: Yeah, we’re all right. She’s a crazy bitch, all right. She’s really into felching. It’s kind of weird.
The Dozer: What’s ‘at?
(No Balls Stevie leans over and whispers in his ear. His eyes get wider and wider.)
The Dozer: Duuuuuuuude …

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Just another reason why Rob Guillory is awesome (and yes, I know it's not one panel - I don't care)

Rocketeer Adventures #4 (of 4). “A Day at the Beach” by Dave Gibbons (writer), Scott Hampton (artist), and Shawn Lee (letterer); “Waterlogged” by Joe Pruett (writer), Tony Harris (artist), JD Mettler (colorist), and Shawn Lee (letterer); “The Flight of the Aeronaut” by John Arcudi (writer), Brendan McCarthy (artist), Jamie Grant (colorist), and Shawn Lee (letterer). $3.99, 26 pgs, FC, IDW.

Ardmore: What the fuck is up with those pants?
Phil: They’re jodhpurs.
No Balls Stevie: What the fuck are jodhpurs?
Phil: Those pants.
No Balls Stevie: You’re real fucking funny, Phil. Why the fuck do they look like that?
Phil: Do I look like fucking Wikipedia? I don’t fucking know why they look like that, they just do. Go read a fucking book.
The Dozer: The girl in this book has nice tits.
Phil: Yes, Dozer, she does. That’s because she was drawn like a pin-up model from the 1940s. ‘Nice tits’ is the first thing photographers looked for back then.
Ardmore: Still do, am I right?
Phil: Well, sure.
No Balls Stevie: How ’bout that chick in the third story, with those stockings and the line running up the back? Man, that shit is hot. Too bad she puts on that armor. Except that’s hot too.
Phil: She’s a Nazi, No Balls.
No Balls: Yeah, that sucks. But I bet those Nazis like freaky shit in bed.
Phil: This comic is like the last one. It’s good, but it’s also for a good cause. Don’t we all feel better about buying these comics?
Ardmore: I’d feel better about having a three-way with that Nazi chick and that Betty chick. That’d be awesome.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

It's all PHYSICS!!!!!

Secret Avengers #16 (“Subland Empire”) by Warren Ellis (writer), Jamie McKelvie (artist), Matthew Wilson (colorist), and Dave Lanphear (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Marvel.

The Dozer: The chick in this has nice tits. And that other dude is totally crazy. That’s awesome.
No Balls Stevie: That Beast dude is kind of a dick, isn’t he? I mean, Moon Knight should have gone medieval on his fucking ass. Who the fuck are you, Beast dude? You’re just some blue furry dude who probably fucks bears or something.
Ardmore: And time machines are fucking stupid. You can’t fucking time travel, Mr. Warren Ellis. If you could, don’t you think people would just use it to go back and nail old-time hot chicks without worrying about AIDS and shit? That’s what the Secret Empire would do instead of trying to wipe out fucking Cincinnati. Why would anyone fucking wipe out Cincinnati? It’s not pissing anyone off.
The Dozer: They have good chili in Cincinnati. I went there once with my church youth group.
No Balls Stevie: Fuck me, really, Dozer? You went to church?
The Dozer: Yeah. We went to Cincinnati to paint houses for the poor people there. We stayed with people from a church there. One of the girls in the Cincinnati youth group gave me a hummer. She had nice tits.
No Balls Stevie: Those church girls are crazy freaky, man.
The Dozer: I saw a baseball game there.
Ardmore: So we have this stupid fucking time machine and these good guys have to turn it off. And Beast dude has to do it and he’s all upset because he thinks he’ll have to kill a bunch of people do save another bunch of people. You know who gets upset when he has to kill bad guys? Pussies, that’s who. He should just go full-on Stallone on them, motherfuckers!
No Balls Stevie: The fucking car is awesome, though.
Ardmore: Sure, the fucking car is awesome. The comic is okay, but time machine are fucking stupid.
Phil: The art is nice, too.
Ardmore: Shit, yeah. It’s all clean and shit, but it’s pretty fucking awesome.
Phil: I doubt if Moon Knight could crush a jeep just by landing on it, though.
Ardmore: Yeah, but you don’t fucking get it. He crushes it because he’s fucking crazy. His craziness makes him bad-ass, and he crushed the jeep just by using his fucking crazy brain, man!
No Balls Stevie: He’s fucking hardcore.
Ardmore: That’s why he should have gone fucking medieval on Beast. ‘Can you fucking crush a jeep with the power of your crazy mind, you Grover motherfucker? I don’t fucking think so!’
Phil: Dozer? You okay?
The Dozer: Yeah. I was just thinking about getting a hummer while eating Skyline chili at a baseball game.
No Balls Stevie: Sounds like a perfect fucking world, my friend.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

How do you like that, Mr. Smarty-Pants Rogers?

The Sixth Gun #14 (“Bound Part Three”) by Cullen Bunn (writer), Tyler Crook (artist), Bill Crabtree (colorist), and Douglas E. Sherwood (letterer). $3.99, 26 pgs, FC, Oni Press.

Phil: So this series has a “guest artist” and it’s entirely a flashback, I guess because it’s a “guest artist” so it won’t mess up the regular story too much.
Ardmore: Yeah, and it has the “secret origin” of that mummy dude, so we get to see him get shit on by everyone in the world except for one hot chick, because hot chicks always fall in love with ugly motherfuckers.
No Balls Stevie: Is that how you got Maddyssin?
Ardmore: Fuck off, No Balls. She digs my cock, you know. Just like you’d dig it too.
No Balls Stevie: Man, fuck off.
Ardmore: Come on, No Balls. You know you like the cock.
No Balls Stevie: You wanna fucking go right now, motherfucker?
The Dozer: Man, you dudes are too fucking wound up. This book sucks because it has no tits.
Phil: Yeah, but it does a have a shambling misshapen ugly dude who can see the future and gets ripped up by some old women. Isn’t that something?
No Balls Stevie: Yeah, he’s a tough motherfucker. He fucks people up.
Phil: Yeah, but he doesn’t save the girl. Did you cry at all when reading this, No Balls?
No Balls Stevie: Fuck off, man.
Ardmore: He didn’t cry because he was too busy thinking about cock!
Phil: Let’s move on.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

She seems awfully happy about splitting him open with an antler

Zorro Rides Again #2 (of 12) by Matt Wagner (writer), Esteve Polls (artist), Oscar Manuel Martin (colorist), and Simon Bowland (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Dynamite Entertainment.

No Balls Stevie: Zorro is the fucking man!
Ardmore: You just like him because he waves a giant penis around.
No Balls Stevie: I will fucking fuck you up, fucker!
The Dozer: I wish more comics had tits.
Phil: This has some sword fighting, Dozer.
The Dozer: I know. Fights are cool. Tits are better.
Ardmore: Zorro’s dad is a fucking pussy, though. Nut the fuck up and tell Zorro what’s fucking what, man. Why is everyone a pussy in comics?
Phil: Zorro’s not a pussy.
Ardmore: Yeah, but he’s surrounded by pussies and he still hasn’t beaten them all. That kind of makes him a pussy.
Phil: He’s only one man.
Ardmore: Yeah, but look at that dude with the scars. Zorro put some fucking ‘z’s on his face? What the fuck is up with that? Sly would have fucking gutted the dude. That would have sent a fucking message.
Phil: He’s trying to change everything, not just kill people. He needs to get people on his side, and killing the authorities won’t do that.
Ardmore: Yeah, because he’s surrounded by pussies.
No Balls Stevie: Zorro should have a three-way with that Lolita chick and the chick from the monastery. That’d be awesome.
Ardmore: You’d like it because you’d get to see his dick.
No Balls Stevie: All right, motherfucker, that’s it!

(At this point, the scene devolved into scuffling and rolling around on the floor, as Phil and The Dozer tried to separate No Balls Stevie and Ardmore. No more comics were discussed.)

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

This is a 'Teen +' book, so he should have said the clap or something like that

Man, that was weird, wasn’t it? What are the odds that those guys would have bought the same comics I did and then discussed them in alphabetical order, like I do, and even take time to rate them? And that the FBI would allow me access to their surveillance tapes? That’s pretty cool. Anyway, here’s the rest of what I got this week. I don’t know if those dudes also bought these.

Any Empire by Nate Powell (writer/artist). $19.95, 290 pgs, BW, Top Shelf.

Powell’s last comic, Swallow Me Whole, was phenomenal. This looks great, too.

Eden: It’s an Endless World! volume 13 by Hiroki Endo (writer/artist). $12.99, 222 pgs, BW, Dark Horse.

I’m certainly glad that Dark Horse brought this back, especially as there are only six volumes left, but now it seems that they’ve fallen way behind on The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. Damn it!

The Steve Ditko Omnibus volume one starring Shade, the Changing Man by lots of writers and Steve Ditko (artist). $59.99, 478 pgs, (mostly) FC, DC.

Lots of cool Ditko shit in this.

Before we see what songs were on my iPod, I want to remind you that there was one clear-cut saddest Friend:


(From here.)

Man, that’s funny stuff. All right, let’s keep moving with The Ten Most Recent Songs On My iPod (Which Is Always On Shuffle):

1. “Tumbledown”Fish (1999) “The needles begin to make their marks, you try to hide, you’re leaving tracks”
2. “Takin’ Care of Business”1Bachman-Turner Overdrive (1973) “Get a second-hand guitar, chances are you’ll go far if you get in with the right bunch of fellows”
3. “When Fine Society Sits Down to Dine”Chumbawamba (2004) “Where all the quiet submission is smeared in lipstick red, and every act is a crime of passion”
4. “Take this Bottle”Faith No More (1995) “I can hope the stormy weather, it passes on, it passes on”
5. “Andante, Andante”ABBA2 (1980) “Make your fingers soft and light, let your body be the velvet of the night”
6. “Do What You Like” – Foreigner (1979) “You won’t believe what you won’t see, the only one you’ll lose is me”
7. “Get on the Flaw”People in Planes (2008) “I want a red car, it’s only human nature”
8. “Baba O’Riley”The Who (1971) “I don’t need to fight to prove I’m right”3
9. “Unchained”Van Halen (1981) “Blue-eyed murder in a size five dress”
10. “Pour Some Sugar on Me”4Def Leppard (1987) “Demolition woman, can I be your man?”

1 If you prefer attractive women to bearded dudes, here’s a different video for the song, which is probably NSFW. And, of course, who can forget when BTO appeared on The Simpsons? Man, The Simpsons used to be awesome.

2 According to ABBA’s web site, there’s a new Wii game based on the band. If my Wii wasn’t currently out of commission, I’d be all over that.

3 I know someone who claims this is a perfect album. I like Who’s Next a lot, but I’m not sure if it’s perfect (“The Song is Over” and “Going Mobile” are kind of weak, in my humble opinion). But it’s an interesting idea – the “perfect album.” Even your favorite album EVER might have one or two clunkers on it. Does anyone have a perfect album, where they think every single song on the album is very good or great? My favorite album ever is Misplaced Childhood by Marillion, and I also think it’s perfect, as I honestly can’t think of anything I’d lose from that album (and that’s the only Marillion album about which I can say that). What’s yours? Can you have two or more? I can’t think of any other album where I love every single song on it, even albums I really love. But maybe you can!

4 This is the UK video, in which women actually destroy the house in which the band is singing. I’ve never seen it before, and now I absolutely love it. It’s so 1980s awesome.

Another movie quote went unanswered last week, this time from Jonathan Demme’s Something Wild, with Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffith, and Ray Liotta. It’s kind of a lost classic, and I think people don’t hold it in such high regard because of its very weird tone shift in the middle from road comedy to really dark thriller. It’s certainly a high point in the careers of its three stars, though! Here’s the next Totally Random Movie Quote!

“How odd that it should end this way for us after so many stimulating encounters. I almost regret it. Where shall I find a new adversary so close to my own level?”
“Try the local sewer.”

That’s not too difficult, is it? Anyway, it’s September, which means my daughter turned nine two days ago, football is almost upon us, the Phillies are in the stretch run, and perhaps the weather might get below 105 degrees every so often. I won’t hold my breath on that last one. And just in case Travis isn’t happy today, here’s some actress I’m sure he knows. Have a nice day, everyone!

64 Comments

I do not even know what just happened.

Hero Comics looks worth checking out. I’m curious about Ellis on Secret Avengers, but I’m dubious because I didn’t much care for the first arc, even though I usually love Brubaker’s work and almost every character in it is someone I love. (Well, not Moon Knight and Nova particularly, but I don’t dislike them either.)

I couldn’t bring myself to read anything even remotely related to Flashpoints. Once the trades hit the public library, maybe–that’s the only way I read any mega-crossover events.

I’m embarassed that I couldn’t identify the last two movie quotes even though I knew they were familiar, because River’s Edge and Something Wild are both movies I love. I love the movie this week’s totally random quote is from too. I would identify it, but no time for love. We’ve got company. (And yes, I know that’s from a different movie.)

Can someone name all the styles/homages in Rob Guillory’s panel up there? I spot Don Martin, Tex Avery, Bill Keane (I think) and generic Anime. But I assume all of them are meant to be in a specific artist’s style, right?

The Flashpoint discussion where they spew on each other was perfect.

There’s also Matt Groening/Simpsons, Pablo Picasso and Tony Moore/Walking Dead.

Regarding perfect albums:

-Odessey and Oracle (sic) by the Zombies
-Please Please Me and Revolver by the Beatles (Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road are damn close, but no cigar)
-#1 Record and Radio City by Big Star
-After the Gold Rush and Everybody Knows This is Nowhere by Neil Young
-Here Are the Sonics

And heck, I might even throw in Who’s Next.

I was torn on whether or not that was a Simpsons homage. The skin color is right but the upper lip didn’t seem to protrude enough. But looking again you’re probablty right.

This is kind of what I imagine a lot of comics fans conversations to be like. And also who I imagine some comics publishers are marketing to a lot of the time (cough – Aspen).

Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin

September 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm

@T.

“I spot Don Martin, Tex Avery, Bill Keane (I think) and generic Anime.”

I don’t think it’s generic. I see a lot of Akira Toriyama in that panel. Also, you probably meant “generic Manga”.

Perfect album? Stop Making Sense.

The Feds are probably trying to figure out how those guys embed hotlinks in their conversations…

Another vote for Stop Making Sense as the perfect album.

That was a truly horrible article. I cause it wad supposed to be, but any attempt at humor fell flat. If the was a deeper meaning, it was lost. Shame, while we have different tastes in comics, I enjoy this column. Maybe I missed the point.

man… Flashpoint… man

I have to say, politely, that this experiment in review format was a failure. Not even an interesting failure. I found it tedious to read. I gave up after the Flashpoint review and just read the Airwolf panels.

Bottom right is Jim Mahfood.

Burgas, this read like Mamet and O’Neill had a crackbaby.

Some perfect albums (off the top of my head, so certainly not a complete list):

Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run (The very definition of perfect album)
The Beatles – Rubber Soul
The Jayhawks – Hollywood Town Hall
U2 – Achtung Baby
The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main St. (Perfect in its totality even if not in its parts)
The Clash – London Calling (Ditto above)
The Strokes – Is This It
The Who – Live at Leeds (Recommended in its 14-track CD version)
Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense (Recommended in its 16-track CD version)
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Damn the Torpedoes
The White Stripes – Elephant
David Bowie – Low
The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
Radiohead – The Bends
Bruce Springsteen – Darkness on the Edge of Town
The Who – Who’s Next
The Rolling Stones – Beggars Banquet
Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Neil Young – After the Gold Rush

The way I’m defining a perfect album is an album for which I would literally change nothing about. Not one single thing. There are many other albums which are amongst my all-time favorites (Purple Rain, OK Computer, Are You Experienced, Appetite for Destruction, Pearl Jam – Ten, etc.), but there are complaints I can levy against them, no matter how minute. Not so for the above albums.

Hey screw those guys! That article was awesome. Normally, I only read the description/commentary on comics I’m buying/ know of. This made me read all of them! It was awesome. Don’t listen to the haters.

John Lewis and matthew: Sorry it didn’t work for you. I like to change things up every so often, and sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Such is life.

Ziah: Thanks. I had fun writing it.

As for perfect albums – man, I didn’t think people believed there were so many! Very interesting choices, people. I disagree with the ones I’ve actually heard all the way through (which aren’t many), but they’re still interesting choices.

daniel the demon cleaner

September 1, 2011 at 11:40 pm

“How odd that it should end this way for us after so many stimulating encounters. I almost regret it. Where shall I find a new adversary so close to my own level?”
“Try the local sewer.”

I think the quote is from Raiders of the Lost Ark, and if that’s true, then going easy on us aren’t ya?

I would have loved to have been present for the “eureka” moment where you had the idea to do this. I believe this was your magnum opus.

Yeah, the quote’s from Raiders. That Belloq was such a rascal.

RE that Chew page: Yeah, I enjoyed Roachmill too.

This was… pointless. I normally like this column.

daniel the demon cleaner

September 2, 2011 at 6:00 am

Perfect albums? Sure, I know some perfect albums

The Beatles – Revolver
Blondie – Parallel Lines
Afghan Whigs – Gentlemen
Guided By Voices – Bee Thousand
Built to Spill – There’s Nothing Wrong With Love
Modest Mouse – The Moon & Antarctica
The Mountain Goats – All Hail West Texas
Neil Young – After the Gold Rush
Bob Dylan – Bringing It All Back Home
Can – Tago Mago
Serge Gainsbourg – Histoire De Melody Nelson
Cassie – Cassie
Paris Hilton – Paris
My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
Uffie – Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans
Bowie – Low & Ziggy
Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation
Tom Waits – Bone Machine

@daniel the demon cleaner: I would love to hear a Paris Hilton/Tom Waits duet…

Perfect Albums?

Beck- Odelay
Barenaked Ladies- Stunt
U2- How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb

daniel the demon cleaner

September 2, 2011 at 7:56 am

@daniel the demon cleaner: I would love to hear a Paris Hilton/Tom Waits duet…

You mean Kylie Minogue/Nick Cave style? Interesting idea – don’t think it would work, but if Gainsbourg was still alive then Paris should go to Paris and let Serge work his magic.

The first thing that popped into my head for a perfect album — that dog’s “Retreat from the Sun”. Bet nobody would’ve picked that one! For more than a decade now (!), it’s been one of those CDs where I have to forcibly limit myself ’cause otherwise I’ll just listen to it over and over, and I don’t ever want it to feel stale.

There are some other albums that come very, very close, like XTC’s “English Settlement”, but something like “Melt the Guns” will sneak in and ruin it.

That puking during sex thing actually happened to me once. gross.

Barenaked Ladies- Stunt

I don’t know. If we’re going for the most perfect BNL album, I’d probably pick Maybe You Should Drive, but even then you could ditch the last track and it would actually improve the album thematically.

Not sure any comic, movie, album is perfect, and everyone’s qualifications are going to be different. But I have some time to kill and this seems like a fun exercise, so here are some that I have very few-to-no issues with:

…And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead – Source Tags & Codes
The Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique
The Beatles – Abbey Road
Black Star – Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star
Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison
John Coltrane – A Love Supreme
Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
Bob Dylan – Blonde on Blonde
Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies
Pearl Jam – No Code
Liz Phair – Exile in Guyville
The Pixies – Doolittle
Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
Radiohead – OK Computer
Lou Reed – New York
The Replacements – Let It Be
The Rolling Stones – Let It Bleed
Rush – Moving Pictures
Frank Sinatra at The Sands
Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska
Achtung Baby – U2
Lucinda Williams – Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
Warren Zevon – Excitable Boy

Seconds (or thirds) on:
The Afghan Whigs – Gentlemen
David Bowie – Low
Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense

I don’t really agree with the story of Flashpoint — and i do mean the story itself — because its basic logic is nonsense. The story seems premised on the idea that the Reverse-Flash going back in time to kill Barry’s mother and frame his father is somehow not pardoxical or damaging to time. However, Barry stopping a supervillain from killing one person and destroying the life of another somehow violates Universal Rules and Ruins Everything.

Somehow it’s a perfect Geoff Johns theory of time: the villain who performs a retcon to make everything grimmer and worser and bloodier is OK by the rules of the cosmos; the hero who tries to undo the harm and restore a better world is mucking up causality and existence. Taken as a metaphor, Johns seems to be saying that it’s good for Silver Age villains to commit gritty acts of carnage and murder, but heroes must not be allowed to save lives or set things right.

And hey, that’s Johns in a nutshell, isn’t it?

Omar, brilliant comment.

I assume you’re not counting “greatest hits” albums. My first choice would be “The Cars” by the Cars. Other possibilities:

“Parallel Lines”–Blondie
“New York London Paris Munich”–M
“Living in the Plastic Age”–Buggles
“Saturday Night Fever”–various

I’d like to say “ABBA” by ABBA, but it has a couple of weak tracks. Possibly “Arrival” or “Voulez-Vous.”

Why don’t Ardmore, The Dozer, No Balls Stevie, and Phil have their own comic? They’re more entertaining than anything I’ve read recently.

Quoting Omar: “The story seems premised on the idea that the Reverse-Flash going back in time to kill Barry’s mother and frame his father is somehow not pardoxical or damaging to time. However, Barry stopping a supervillain from killing one person and destroying the life of another somehow violates Universal Rules and Ruins Everything.”

I’m kind of ashamed that I’m defending Flashpoint here, but apparently the problem is that while Prof. Zoom went back in time with surgical precision to kill Barry’s mother, Barry steamrolled into the past to stop him. It wasn’t Barry’s act of saving his mother that ravaged the timeline; it was the path he took to get there. …or at least that’s how I read it.

@Adam:

That’s the in-story justification, I suppose, but quite why Barry — who’s been traveling through time with precision since the second story in Showcase #4 — suddenly wreaks havoc when he travels through time is a contrivance of the writer. That this contrivance applies to the hero who’s trying to save lives but not the villain who’s ending them merely underscores the point.

Greg why don’t you just stop buying stuff you don’t like? It’ll save me insulting you.

Ed (A Different One)

September 2, 2011 at 4:48 pm

I knew those guys in high school. In fact, I’m completely convinced that their still sitting in a basement today discussing comics and 80’s heavy metal.

Speaking of 80’s heavy metal, my 2 nominations for “perfect album” hail from that very genre.

Iron Maiden – Powerslave and Piece of Mind. Heck, back in those days, they only did 3 -4 songs per album side, and they all rocked.

Dio – Dream Evil. I know it’s not considered his best album, but all of the tracks just seemed to fit together thematically, and I can’t really say there was a clunker among them. You couldn’t change a thing about that album w/o taking away from the overall quality.

And you all can being merciessly making fun of my taste in music . . . NOW!!!

Ed (A Different One)

September 2, 2011 at 4:50 pm

-SIGH-

“being” should be “begin”.

No more posting for me after the Friday martini . . .

Dude: Thanks, sir. I’m not sure what inspired me. I was trying to think of a way to do something different, and I just kind came up with this.

Rusty: As I did before, I apologize. I like trying new things, and it won’t always please everyone.

SadforStatic: Why do you need insult anyone? That’s just silly. And I rarely buy stuff I don’t like. I liked every comic I bought this week with the exception of Flashpoint, which I was committed to buying because I wanted to check out Marvel and DC’s event comics this summer, and Justice League, which I bought because I decided to buy every DCnU comic. When I get something I don’t like that I usually like, I’m actually surprised. Even something like Zorro, which is not as good as the other stuff I got this week, is a solid, dependable comic. I don’t spend money on stuff I know I’m going to hate. Even the DCnU books I’m getting because I have a lot of credit at my store, or I would skip those I think I wouldn’t like.

Ed: Considering that I own three (3) Kelly Clarkson CDs, I’m the LAST person to make fun of someone else’s musical tastes!!! :)

You always say you don’t like time travel, but I think you did this week! What I mean is, I thought I heard that Secret Avengers was coming out next week, I missed Butcher Baker 6 (gotta email my LCS guy and make sure he got some), and I KNOW that Hero Comics 2011 has been out for awhile, since I saw it the LAST time I was at my LCS, which was…awhile ago, I know.

I’m hoping the cover of Hero Comics that you got is still at my LCS…

And thanks for all the purty links. That shit IS hot. Although I actually DON’T know that last actress…

I like this column so long as you only do it this one week. If you were to keep doing it…

I’m going to be pondering that comment of Omar’s about the philosophy of the Flashpoint reveal. And yeah, they definitely should have been clearer about the whole “Barry at his mother’s grave” bit WITHIN Flashpoint. Of course, it would help if ANYTHING FUCKING HAPPENED in Flashpoint, period!

Man, I’m getting ALL CAPS a lot today. sorry

Perfect albums:

Let me say I’d probably go with Who’s Next. Maybe Tommy or Quadrophenia, if we’re talking Who.

I’ll reflect a couple other commenters choices as well. Third Man said Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I think I’d add in A Ghost is Born, Sky Blue Sky, and Wilco the Album. At any rate, they’ve been on a tear, and I’m hoping the new one, coming soon, is cool.

Daniel said My Bloody Valentine Loveless. I’d say probably. He also said Sonic Youth Daydream Nation. I’ll go for that, maybe Sister, probably Goo.

Tori Amos– Boys for Pele. Maybe Under the Pink and Little Earthquakes. from the choirgirl hotel definitely grew on me, and Strange Little Girls is a great covers album.

Velvet Underground — VU&Nico, White Light/White Heat, the S/T. I’d probably put Loaded in there but I’ve been waiting (for my man) to get the 2 disc version.

Speaking of Lou, I’d agree with S1rude and put New York in there. That’s the album of Lou’s that made me a fan. I’d also put Set the Twilight Reeling and the Blue Mask in there, maybe Berlin if you’re feeling down. And Metal Machine Music. No, I’m not kidding.

And another VU related one — John Cale, Music for a New Generation (I think that’s the album title)

Hmm, not sure what Bowie album I’d go with, if any. Diamond Dogs, maybe? Low’s pretty good. Aladdin Sane? Ziggy?

The New Pornographers — Twin Cinema, Challengers, Together, Electric Version. Possibly Mass Romantic, but probably not quite.

The Queers — Love Songs for the Retarded

The Mr T Experience — Revenge is Sweet and So are You

The Lillingtons — Death By Television (check these guys out, they’re like the Ramones singing lyrics praising old SF and monster movies)

Frank Zappa — Broadway the Hard Way. Apostrophe. We’re Only in it for the Money. Lumpy Gravy. The posthumous (did I spell that right?) Lather.

I want to put Faith No More Angel Dust in, but mmm, I dunno. Dammit, I’m blanking on the name of the one before that, with Epic and Falling to Pieces on it. (The Real Thing, isn’t it?) That one might be “perfect”.

Kraftwerk Trans-Europe Express

The Soft Boys Underwater Moonlight.

OK, now I’m just naming off my album collection. Time to stop.

Whether people enjoyed it or not, I think you should be proud to be the first person to mention felching on a comics blog, Greg.

@Travis Pelkie: you know what Lou Reed says about people that like Metal Machine Music? :-)

Loving the Perfect Albums lists! (Column was a bit of a misfire – sorry, Greg)
There’s only one perfect album, in execution, intent, style and content and that’s the Ramones first album
(OK ‘Pink Flag’ by Wire as well)

I would have to say that the only “perfect” albums I know of is:

Neutral Milk Hotel-“In the Areoplane Over the Sea” (although, for whatever reason, Jeff Mangum left Oh, Sister off of the album…does the exclusion of an awesome track disqualify it from being perfect?)

Also, Greg, as a long suffering Rangers fan with an axe to grind against Cliff Lee, I am chomping at the bits for a Phillies vs. Rangers series. Nothing would make my sports pants go crazier than seeing Hambo or Nellie jack a 490 footer off of him.

EVERYTHING IS A METAPHOR FOR WHY OUR PET HATE FIGURE SUCKS

I do not even know what that means either. But yeah, I don’t get all the pet hate for Krypto the Superdog.

Travis: Yeah, Hero Comics came out a few weeks ago, but apparently my retailer either didn’t get it or got shorted, so I had to wait. No biggie. As for the other comics – I don’t know, they were here in Arizona and I know Secret Avengers came out in New York, as Kelly has been gushing about it over on her blog.

The last actress is Aubrey Plaza. I’ve never seen her in anything, but that’s only because I haven’t seen Scott Pilgrim yet and I don’t watch Parks and Recreation.

Dude: Felching should be mentioned once a week on EVERY comics blog, if you ask me.

Dustin: Yeah, I can see why you’d want a Rangers/Phillies WS. But Lee (and Halladay, and Hamels) will DOMINATE Texas!!!!!!

“Stop Making Sense” is a live album. You can make an argument that it’s the “best” live album (not going to get into whether it is or not, as that has nothing to do with my point), but a live album cannot be a perfect album, as far as I’m concerned. That doesn’t mean that live albums are “inferior” or anything, and it’s well within the bounds of personal taste to prefer a given live album to any studio effort, but, if anything, part of what makes a great live album great is its freedom from perfection.

daniel the demon cleaner

September 3, 2011 at 1:58 pm

And thanks for all the purty links. That shit IS hot. Although I actually DON’T know that last actress…

The last actress is Aubrey Plaza. I’ve never seen her in anything, but that’s only because I haven’t seen Scott Pilgrim yet and I don’t watch Parks and Recreation.

She was on the WTF podcast not long ago and she sure is wacky.

Interpol -Turn On The Bright Lights (but none of their subsequent albums – any better examples of a band releasing such a brilliant debut but failing by far to match it? PS: to qualify they must have released at least 2/3 more albums to eliminate ‘one CD bands’/ statisical quirks).
Comsat Angels – Sleep No More
* Can ‘capturing a certain mood/tone/musical style or statement’ count as a perfect album? The two above seem to be good examples of albums perfectly encapsulating a certain post-punk vibe.
Minutemen – Double Nickels on the Dime
Husker Du – New Day Rising
Fugazi – The Argument
Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
Frank Zappa – One Size Fits All; Hot Rats; You can’t Do That On Stage Anymore Vol2 (The Helsinki Concert)
Devo – Are We Not Men?…(maybe?) Great band, did they release an album that justified their talent? Live stuff’s much better.
IQ – Tales From the Lush Attic
Bob Mould – Workbook
Bowie- Ziggy; Aladdin; Low; Heroes
The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin.
Ditto on Neutral Milk Hotel’s …Aeroplane…
…and some great other albums listed, people! That’s why I loooove this blog…I’ll stop now.
P.

Dude, I think I know what Lou says, but I don’t care, because his week beats my year.

I have to agree with Blair on the first Ramones album, and with Dustin and Pete on NMH. Can’t believe I forgot that one, I just complimented Greg on listening to them last week or the week before!

OK, I haven’t seen Scott Pilgrim yet either, but she am purty.

I emailed my LCS guy to make sure I get Butcher Baker 6, so I don’t miss out on all the dicks. Uh, wait…

Is felching a metaphor for the comics industry? If so, yes, mention it every week. Then google santorum, too.

Pete Woodhouse: I think Kings of Leon are a perfect example of what you’re talking about. “Youth and Young Manhood” was an absoloute brilliant album. “Aha Shake Heartbreak,” while not bad, didn’t live up to the potential and then everything they’ve put out since is flat out terrible. I’m sure I have some others bouncing around in my head, but at the moment i’m a bit distracted by the Red Sox thrashing my Rangers :(

Perfect albums:

Beatles – Revolver
Bob Dylan – Bringing It All Back Home & Blood On the Tracks
Neil Young – Everybody Knows This is Nowhere
Massive Attack – Blue Line
P.J. Harvey – Rid of Me
Rolling Stones – Let It Bleed
Wu-Tang Clan – Enter the 36 Chambers

Hmm, I thought I’d have more. My two favorite albums, Clash’s London Calling & Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland, are close but no cigar. I think “Lovers Rock” is one of the Clash’s weakest songs, and there are 3 or 4 lesser tracks on EL.

I agree with Jack Norris; live albums shouldn’t count. They’re like concerts available to keep.

I know you’ve already apologized to the haters, and thanked the supporters. I also knew even before you said it that to do this week in and week out you need to mix it up for yourself to keep it interesting, but, personally, I made it through the first review before I had to stop and skip to the comments. I like reading your column Greg… please don’t make me hate reading it as much in the future as I did tonight.

I usually love these articles, but this was so freaking stupid, that after the fourth line on Flashpoint I gave up and just scrolled down to each airwolf panel.

Reading the comments, apparently I’m not the only one who had a problem with the style.

I do have to say though that SadforStatic’s comment doesn’t realize the irony of his entire post. If you don’t like what Greg routinely writes, then why would you read his reviews?

I read this article to find out what you think of Butcher Baker, and I’m not sure I really found out. So what DO you think of that series so far? I’m loving loving loving the art, but can’t seem to get into the story. I really really liked Casey before I started reading this book, but its been disappointing on the writing side, and I enjoyed his backmatter for awhile, but its starting to get really annoying. I mean Casey said this book is what superhero books should be but rarley are, I guess I just don’t get it. Vengeance is going far better IMHO. Crazy ideas and exciting plots win over extreme “adult” content in a comic book any day.

BitBiteOuch: So far, I’m liking the art more than the story, although it sounds like I enjoy it more than you do. I like the fact that he’s going completely nuts on the book, but I will admit that I can’t imagine this lasting more than 12 or so issues. I can see Casey burning out pretty quickly on this. I haven’t been reading Vengeance (I’ll get the trade), but I have heard good things about it, so I’m looking forward to it.

Re: live albums – for me, it’s harder to make a “perfect” live album than it is to make a studio one. I’m thinking that the % of imo great live albums vs total live albums I’ve heard is smaller than the corresponding studio album ratio. I get the criticism that they can be greatest hits collections. But for me it’s a separate experience from a concert. A great live album is a triumph of production and editing, it makes up for the loss of “I was there, dude”, contact highs and head-banging or dancing with the masses by trimming the fat (things you’ll never appreciate second hand, or without visuals) while still conveying the energy.

My “perfect” album list isn’t one where every song is a hit or masterpiece or even a song a love. They’re albums that I wouldn’t change – even misfires and non-musical tracks contribute to the vibe or energy to make the whole thing something uniquely meaningful.

Switching subjects, if you want to appreciate Aubrey Plaza’s beauty and comedic skills, and just see a funny-as-hell flick aimed pretty squarely at geeks like us, check out the movie Mystery Team.

Don’t apologize for the stylistic departure, sir! I like it when you shake things up. Like that time you wrote autobiographical stuff, or wrote a short story (did I imagine that?) or mused about immigration. Whatever keeps doing this column fun for you, I suppose.

By the way, I agree with most of your graphic novel reviews, but recently I felt like good ol’ fashioned superhero stuff and bought Avengers Academy on the strength of your suggestion. I really don’t know what you see in that comic. The art looks very swiped to me, dramatic poses without real context. Is that what people refer to the Marvel house style these days or is it more of a departure? Do Marvel and DC have overarching stylistic templates these days, respectively? Apart from that I really enjoy your column, so keep up the good work!

bombie: No, you didn’t imagine the short stories. I’ll continue to shake things up, and I don’t apologize for the way I wrote this column, but I do feel bad when people feel like they’ve wasted their time.

Speaking of apologizing, I’m sorry you didn’t like Avengers Academy. I think the art is a very good representation of what people call the “Marvel style,” and I would agree that the art, while serviceable, isn’t the best thing about the book. I like the writing on it a lot more, and as long as the art is decent (which I think it is), I can live with it. Thanks for the support, though!

…And Out Come the Wolves by Rancid is my perfect album.

@Bill Reed: I’m glad to see another Maybe You Should Drive fan, but removing “Great Provider”?! That song is second only to “Am I the Only One?” as the best song on the album! Stunt, however, is an album that stumps me. For some reason I REALLY don’t like it as an album (maybe because “One Week” got so big?), which is odd considering that I tend to love Ed songs over Steve songs and Stunt has a ton of Ed songs–all of which I like when considered individually. Oh well. I guess my tastes are just weird. For example, even though I’m not a “One Week” fan, I love “Pinch Me” and even the much-maligned “Another Postcard” . . .

Honestly, though, Born on a Pirate Ship and Everything to Everyone are probably my favorite BNL albums. I just think it’s strange how many people seem to hate MYSD.

Just for fun, here are some perfect albums (really more of a “favorite albums” list, but going with the “albums I wouldn’t change at all” definition given above):

Jimmy Eat World: Clarity
R.E.M.: Chronic Town (even if it is an EP–Lifes Rich Pageant if you want a full album)
U2: Joshua Tree (one of the few times a big hit album is actually my favorite, I know)
Toad the Wet Sprocket: Pale
Guster: Goldfly
Gin Blossoms: New Miserable Experience
Glen Phillips: Winter Pays for Summer
Poor Rich Folk: Love Is a Bullet
Nickel Creek: Nickel Creek & This Side are both so perfect I can’t decide if one is more perfect than the other
Jars of Clay: Jars of Clay
The Postal Service: Give Up
Weezer: Weezer (you know which one!)

The one time a greatest hits album seemed like a perfect, cohesive album to me:

Medeski Martin & Wood: Last Chance to Dance Trance (Perhaps)

And the “almost-but-not-quite-perfect” albums:

Cake: Motorcade of Generosity
Foo Fighters: Foo Fighters
Ben Folds Five: Ben Folds Five
Counting Crows: August and Everything After
Works Progress Administration: WPA

Strangely enough (and this wasn’t intentional), those are all first albums, many of which, while somewhat lacking in spit, polish, and production, still in many ways outshine later albums . . .

Also strangely enough, I couldn’t identify a perfect They Might Be Giants or Fountains of Wayne album–I guess when you’re that musically diverse, everyone’s going to have a song or two on each album that seems “less than perfect” to them.

Okay, enough music talk (especially when I’m this late to the party) . . .

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