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CSBG Archive

Random Thoughts! (March 13, 2012)

Random Thought! It’s getting hot again. I hate that. It’s Random Thoughts time! Get excited!

Link Thought! GraphiContent for comics. butterbeatleblog for popculture. 411mania for wrestling reviews and the occasional CD review.

Random Thought! If you missed it, last week was my final week as a reviewer for CBR and I capped things off on my blog with two posts: 50 Things I Learned in My Three Years and Four Months as a Reviewer for Comic Book Resources and a brief ‘thank you’ post. Check them out, especially the ’50 Things…’ post since people seem to love that. I’ve never gotten so many hits in a single day for a single post before.

Random Thought! Jean Giraud aka Moebius passed away this weekend. Unfortunately, I’ve only been able to obtain a few of his works to date, my favourite being L’Incal. I admired his work and cannot begin to understand the effect he’s had. Sean Witzke wrote about him better than I ever could.

Random Thought! Oddly, Avengers vs. X-Men seemed aimed at me (or people like me). Of the various tie-in books, I’m buying them all already aside from Avengers Academy and X-Men Legacy. As such, I plan to write about the event extensively. I’m not entirely set on an approach yet, but I do know that I will be talking about that Versus comic differently. It’s a fight comic, so I’m going to approach it with a similar mindset that I bring to reviewing/talking about wrestling. Maybe that won’t work, but we’ll see…

Random Thought! Apparently, the trade collecting Brian Michael Bendis’s “Oral History of the Avengers” material that’s coming out tomorrow has new material. I was already toying with buying it for ease of having the material in one place rather than spread out over two dozen comics, but… now, well, I guess I have to get it. Because I am a blind buyer of Bendis Avengers stuff at this point — and I find that entire project fascinating. (Also: Avengers Assemble #1! Shame about the art, though…)

Random Thought! I have zero interest in all of those extra tech things Marvel announced for their comics this weekend. I guess reading commentaries on comics online over the past few years has taught me something: nothing of value is ever said. Okay, not ever, but rarely. 99% of the time, all that’s said is a combination of retelling what the scene is about or admiring the art. I can do that all by myself. I know, I’m an asshole. But what do you want? For me to pretend to care about something that I genuinely could not care less about?

Random Thought! I won’t make a final judgment until I hear the creative team, but more Punishermax…? My first instinct is a quiet yet firm “No.” If only because I’m not sure what can be added to the fantastic work of Garth Ennis and Jason Aaron at this point. What is left to say with that character?

Random Thought! Something about Fatale hasn’t hooked me in yet. I reread the first two issues before reading issue three and it’s… fine…? It’s a little all over the place… Sean Phillips’s line work is more gorgeous than it’s ever been, but the story and characters have yet to make me engage.

Random Thought! I will not be buying Saga #1, because Tim told me not to bother. I don’t know what his reasons for that are entirely. Part of it no doubt comes from me not enjoying a Brian K. Vaughan comic enough to ever buy the next one. But there could be more. Still: Tim is wise and has never led me astray.

Random Thought! If you missed it, Bret Easton Ellis spent Saturday morning on Twitter brainstorming ideas for a sequel to American Psycho

Random Thought! It’s possible that my contribution to 411’s top five songs about alcohol reveals my feelings about drinking with little subtlety. (Also, “Fasionable People” by Joel Plaskett Emergency is off the excellent Ashtray Rock, one of my favourite albums. Doing that list got me listening to it again and, despite some minor interruptions, I keep coming back to it.)

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Random Thought! So, King City. It’s good. It didn’t quite grab me as hard as it’s grab the people who talked it up so much that I had to buy it. But I really enjoyed it. I think a reread of it will be more rewarding since all of that pesky plot business it out of the way.

Random Thought! Lines cut from my review of Uncanny X-Men #8 in the paragraph where I address Greg Land’s art: “It’s like watching a cast of completely lifeless models trying to act out a smart, well written one act play. You sit there and daydream of what it would be like if the writing were given the proper presentation, instead of falling flat a third of the time through no fault of its own.”

Random Thought! Last Tuesday, I watched the entire first season of Durham County and am, currently, halfway through the second season (seasons are only six episodes). It’s a Canadian police drama and it’s incredibly disturbing. It definitely brings a horror approach to the subject matter — psychological horror. There’s a constant tension running through every episode, those buried secrets that can pop up at any moment… It’s fucked up. No other way to say it: FUCKED UP. And very, very good. I managed to get all three seasons at Wal-Mart packaged together for $40 (the third season came out a few weeks back).

Random Thought! Pointing out the Bill Hicks allusion in Defenders #4 bugged me. Just let it land.

Random Thought! As far as I can tell, Lex Luthor has no memorable features or anything to make his face stand out. He’s a blank white blob. Great art… ha.

Random Thought! Last night, I finally watched the Colons vs. John Morrison & the Miz tag title unification match that got bumped from WrestleMania XXV proper to dark match status. When that happened, it bummed me out hard, because that was one of the matches I was looking forward to seeing the most. Two incredibly talented tag teams fighting for both titles in a feud that was better than 90% of the rest of the card? Hell yes. Instead, it got shunted to the pre-show and the tag division started to die its slow, horrible death. I don’t think that the WWE cared about tag team wrestling before that too much, but that’s always struck me as the moment where that apathy became public. And it’s a shame because those teams were great. The Miz and Morrison in particular could have gone down as one of the great tag teams if they’d been given a longer, better run together. They pretty much made tag team wrestling in the WWE in 2008.

Random Thought! Like many others, I love the cover to the final issue of Scalped.

Random Thought! I am looking forward to tomorrow’s extra-sized The Unwritten #35. It’s the end of the “The War of Words” and it should be big.

Random Thought! I just got a haircut after writing the above Random Thought. Gone is the scruffy, sloppy look; back is the short, awesome look. I am beautiful.

Random Thought! Sunday’s episode of Celebrity Apprentice was incredibly frustrating to watch. I swear… does Trump know how dumb he looks on this show? Like what a complete idiot of a businessman he comes off as? Does no one tell him? Still: Penn Jillette is going to win.

Random Thought! Action Comics disappoints me to a degree. It seems like the premise or, I guess, where it began, quickly got shunted off to the side in favour of something more akin of All-Star Superman Year One. Which is fine. It is. It’s just… it’s not exactly what the series was sold as. Also, Mr. Morrison, I’m still waiting for it to blow me away with storytelling techniques I haven’t seen for the 21st century comic book…

Random Thought! I really hope the Phoenix arrives, swoops right past Hope to Quentin Quire… Morrison already spoiled that one, folks.

Random Thought! Four hundred thousand copies of Justice League #1 sold across a variety of media and none to me.

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Random Thought! When it starts to get warmer, I can’t help but put the Tragically Hip on. They’re spring/summer music.

Random Thought! This week, I begin once again buying comics for the sole reason that I want to read them. Lovely.

Random Thought! Sometimes, I wonder how desperate people are for a competent comic when I see consistently good (not great) comics praised like they’re the second coming of comic greatness. Like not delivering a completely illegible, shit-smeared abortion of a comic is an accomplishment…


Random Joe Casey Question! Last week, you gave us an update on Gødland and, in The Manhattan Projects #1 there was a Butcher Baker, the Righteous Maker teaser parodying the Obama ‘change’ poster with the word ‘patience,’ clearly sending a message of sorts about the book’s absence as of late. What’s the status of Butcher Baker right now and when should we be expecting new issues?

Random Joe Casey Answer! I think the “Patience” piece kind of says it all, as does your use of the words “absence” and “late” in your question. I wish I could say more — and I’m sure I will at some point — but we put that art piece out there for three simple reasons: 1) Because it’s a beautiful piece of pop art, 2) so I could avoid directly confronting the current situation for as long as possible, and please take this final reason in the spirit it’s intended, 3) because I can and Fuck You. The whole vibe of BUTCHER BAKER, THE RIGHTEOUS MAKER is that it’s all performance art, from conception to execution to collective memory violation. And, as it stands, we’re still smack in the middle of it. But I guarantee, what’s coming up in regards to this series is pretty fuckin’ cool. At least, to me, it is.


Random Comments! Because it just isn’t a Random Thoughts return until I mock you all to your face…

cich said: I think King City trade is coming in two weeks, not tomorrow?

Last week in comics shops… later in bookstores and Amazon and places like that.

That Random Joe Casey Question made me want to read Godland. I don’t think I read anything by Casey, but you always praise him and he’s friends with Morrison. He seems like a pretty awesome person. What is a good place to start reading Casey? Wildcats 3.0 or Godland? I was waiting for the Butcher Baker trade, but it still hasn’t been solicited, I think. (And I can’t really hunt single issues, because I’m not from the US, so it’s trades or nothing for me.)

It depends on what you’re looking for. Gødland is a pretty easy place to start because you don’t need to know anything. Wildcats requires a little bit of knowledge of the Wildstorm Universe — and you would want to start with Vicious Circles, the first of three trades collecting Casey’s work with Sean Phillips on Wildcats volume two, which led into Wildcats 3.0. Marvel just released a big collection of his two Earth’s Mightiest Heroes mini-series that explore the early days of the Avengers and those are good. Unfortunately, some of his best work is either not collected or not in print.

Travis Pelkie said: Will we be able to request Joe Casey questions in the future?


Any chance of a “favorite reviews” for next week’s RT?


buttler said: When you watch X-Men: First Class, just remember that for all the good things people, including myself, said about that movie, no one ever said anything positive about January Jones’s performance in it. No one. Ever.

I knew that. And good thing, because, otherwise, we might have to have words…

Kevin Hellions said: What is better – heavy weeks or light weeks? Between work and comics and wrestling etc some weeks are tougher to keep up on everything than others. Would you rather have a big week and a lot of new media to digest or a light week so you can have a life and get other things done?

Big weeks. They’re more exciting. I would rather have too much than not enough.

Riley said: I too am looking forward to the King City trade. Trouble is, I ordered it on Amazon along with the new Flex Mentallo collection, which has now been delayed… AGAIN!

Maybe you’ll get lucky and they’ll ship King City on its own ahead of Flex Mentallo‘s release.

comicbookreader said: Also, to Chad: New Mark Leyner novel comes out March 26! Get excited!

It’s on my desk right now.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading. Later.


“Sometimes, I wonder how desperate people are for a competent comic when I see consistently good (not great) comics praised like they’re the second coming of comic greatness. Like not delivering a completely illegible, shit-smeared abortion of a comic is an accomplishment…”

I agree. They hype leveled on Supurbia made me think it was the second coming…It was okay. But The Secret History of DB Cooper…Now THAT’S the shit tight there! That is what comics should be!

That’s interesting about Saga. I’m getting it, and I hope it will be good, but Tim’s reaction is interesting, mainly because on their podcast, Kelly and Sue were acting like it was, indeed, the second coming of comics greatness. I know Tim is a bitter, old man, but I love seeing extremely opposite reactions to anything in entertainment, really.

I haven’t liked any BKV comics either, but I mean c’mon…44 pages for $2.99? How bad could it be, right? All the initial reviews can’t be THAT off from y taste, can they?

Gillen’s Uncanny X-men just depresses me. He’s one of the best and brightest writers at Marvel, and he’s such a great character writer, which is what the superhero soap opera UXM is built on. He’s so good at getting into the nuances of these decades-old characters, and subtly building themes throughout the narrative. But he’s unfortunately shackled by an artist who knows NOTHING of subtlety or nuance, and characters look like vapid wallpaper. Just imagine how much better this book would be with…well, damn near anybody. I think it would be right up there with WATXM. Sadly, it’s not to be.

Did you know this September they’re collecting Bendis New Avengers? 1200 pages of decompressed stories with the Avengers fighting Xorneto and tie-in to crossovers. I know that for whatever reason you are a big Bendis fan, so maybe something you’re interested in if you’re tired of those TPBs you already have?

Avengers vs X-men has slowly warmed up on me as time has gone on. From a creative standpoint, Bendis aside I love all the talent involved in the main book, and I’m already buying all the X-men books that tie-into it. And that Versus book sounds like a stupid fun book, and I can always use another one of those. I would love to see a wrestling perspective to this thing like you proposed, sneak it into a 411mania article in the future.

Speaking of wrestling, how do you feel about the upcoming Wrestlemania? Honestly, just looking at the card, it SHOULD be fantastic, but you never know with the WWE these days. Either way, I’ll be there. Gotta see Jericho beat CM Punk with a beer bottle or whatever.

And a request as someone’s been following your writing for years: don’t stop writing. IDC if its for CBR, CSBG, 411, GC 2.0, whatever. Just keep doing it.

1200 pages? I guess Bendis could manage to tell a single story with that much space. Maybe.

Agree with Jeremy. I’ll continue to follow you where ever you write, as long as you keep writing.

Question now that you’re excited about comics again. Does this excitement transcend into your other interests now as well? Are you now also more excited for certain books, comics, DVDs, etc?
I ask because I am suddenly excited for wrestling again and it is spreading into a renewed excitement for comics, novels and a ton of new DVDs I just picked up.

Shot down like *SNAP* that. That’s why I like Chad, he’s the reality check whenever I think things are going good. :)

It’s been a good week, though.

Yeah, I’m not surprised at all about Action Comics being disappointing. The problem is that Morrison doesn’t know when to shut the fuck up and let his work speak for him. He’s been doing this at least since the pre-hype of the Resurrection of Ra’s al-Ghul, which was supremely disappointing. The end of RIP was supposed to be so fucking amazing, and instead it just petered out to be continued over several other comics. And now this stuff about how Action would be the new way of telling stories, except he’s saddled with Rags Morales (oh no I did-int!). I really like Morrison’s stuff, but the way he hypes it beforehand makes you start wondering if maybe he’s not as good as we think, or that he’s for some odd reason not content to let the stories speak for themselves.

I’ll never stop. I’ll take breaks and stop writing at specific places, sure. But I’ll never stop forever.

On Bendis: Back in the day when he wrote Ultimate Spider-Man, his decompression of Peter Parker’s first story was refreshing. Now that he’s been doing pretty much the same thing in his other books, it has all the kick of a 90-year old chorus girl.

Alcohol by the Barenaked Ladies will always be my number 1 alcohol song. I love when Tyler sings it live. The Barenaked Ladies are so great. This just reminded to me to check their summer tour dates. And I have now purchased my tickets. Thank you.

Tom Fitzpatrick

March 14, 2012 at 5:23 am

I’ve seen all seasons of Durham County, with excellent acting from Hugh Dillon (Flashpoint).

To say that it’s “FUCKED UP” is an understatement at the very least. Wait until you’ve watched season 3.
Holy Mary Mother of God!!!

Carolla was hosed.

When Bendis first started on Avengers, I was so grateful that it was the opposite of Kurt Busiek’s work that I think I loved it more than it deserved. However even at his worst he’s still competent. I can at least read him, which I was unable to do with Busiek, who is a good writer on other work but just lapses into pathological fanwanking when writing the Avengers.

Choosing between Bendis’ samey, questioning, annoying dialog or Kurt Busiek’s poor man’s Roy Thomas impersonation on the Avengers. Is this really what that franchise has come down to?

We’ll always have Dan Slott Mighty Avengers/Avengers Initiative, I suppose.

Thanks for suggestions, Chad!
I’m not really afraid of Wildstorm continuity, but the volume 2 trades seem to be out of print.
I think I’ll start with Godland (I would love to do that crossed ‘o’ too if I knew how :D).
Though, that fat Avengers tpb looks pretty interesting too.

Man, I wasn’t aware that they were even going to be collecting his run of Fat Avengers.

The fact that I just read about Joel Plaskett on CSBG makes me happy. As cool a project as Three was, Ashtray Rock is all killer no filler. And don’t you dare complain about this warm weather, you should be out celebrating the way every other Canadian does, by wearing shorts and a t-shirt and pretending nothing can bother you.

Who all was on Fat Avengers? Luke Cage can be kinda chunky at times, and we know Bendis has the man crush. D-Man’s kinda fat.

And of course, as Doom said, Ms Marvel was on there too.

No, wait, that’s Fat Cow Avengers, right?

Jake Earlewine

March 14, 2012 at 6:30 pm

The most exciting, hopeful news I’ve heard this year is that Bendis will be ending his Avengers run.

Random Thought! Sometimes, I wonder how desperate people are for a competent comic when I see consistently good (not great) comics praised like they’re the second coming of comic greatness. Like not delivering a completely illegible, shit-smeared abortion of a comic is an accomplishment…

This is pretty much what I think when reading 90% of CBR’s reviews.

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