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What I bought – 8 August 2012

“People who claim that they’re evil are usually no worse than the rest of us.” He sighed. “It’s people who claim that they’re good, or anyway better than the rest of us, that you have to be wary of.” (Gregory Maguire, from Wicked)

Everyone likes an adult beverage now and then! This cover references absolutely nothing in the comic! Well, it's about time The 'eyes' have it! STOKOE!!!!! Take that, pirate! I got nothin'Still nothin' So sad! Two-fisted adventure! Dang Damned dirty Russkies!

Atomic Robo and the Flying She-Devils of the Pacific #2 (of 5) by Brian Clevinger (writer), Scott Wegener (artist), Nick Filardi (colorist), and Jeff Powell (letterer). $3.50, 22 pgs, FC, Red 5 Comics.

The one thing that’s striking an odd note with this mini-series is the way Robo reacts to things. It’s 1951, so that means he’s already been through his training with that vigilante dude and he’s fought in a world war. It seems like he should be well on his way to being the unflappable Robo we know and love, yet he seems distinctly … flappable, I guess (which is very different from fappable, let me tell you that much!). He freaks out a bit too much by some of the things that are happening, and it just seems weird. I liked it when he was training with that vigilante dude, but that was when he was “young.” In 1951 it seems like he’d be able to deal with weird shit a bit more calmly. It’s a minor complaint, sure, but part of the humor of Atomic Robo comics is that he’s so calm and collected when the world goes to shit around him. In this series, that role is being taken by the She-Devils, and while that’s fine, it’s also a bit strange to read Robo like this. It’s certainly not going to make me dislike the book, but it’s bugging me a bit.

Anyway, there’s a bar like Rick’s in Casablanca, things explode, and the end presents our hero and heroines with a dire situation. Filardi’s colors make Wegener’s line work look a bit lusher, I suppose, and it’s a bit odd. I have to get used to it, but Wegener is still doing his usual excellent job, so it ain’t no thing. It’s another fine issue of your favorite robotic adventure funnybook!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Yes, but WHAT are you measuring, young lady????

Atomic Robo: Real Science Adventures #5 by Brian Clevinger (writer), Matt Speroni (colorist), Jeff Powell (letterer), Ryan Cody (artist, “To Kill a Sparrow Part 5″), Paul Maybury (artist, “Bloop”), Jin Clark (artist, “Once Upon a Time in China”), John Broglia (artist, “Leaping Metal Dragon Part 5″), James Nguyen (artist, “An Appointment in Madrid”), and Adam Stoak (colorist, “An Appointment in Madrid”). $2.75, 20 pgs, FC, Red 5 Comics.

Even though both of the serials reach “part 5 of 6″ in this issue, the Sparrow one remains more interesting because stuff is actually happening. In the Bruce Lee one, things are happening, too, but Clevinger unfortunately decides to bring in an evil black dude named Tao Jones to battle Bruce, and the whole “1970s kung fu blaxploitation pastiche” isn’t really my thing, especially because it’s been done so very, very often. “Bloop” is a clever little story about Robo’s search for a giant undersea creature, while “Once Upon a Time in China” is a nice tale about Robo crashing in China in 1942 and helping the villagers near his crash and inspiring a young boy. As we’ve seen throughout this series, there are some interesting stories here, and despite the quality of last issue, I really do wish Clevinger would limit the number of stories in the book. We probably didn’t need the reprint of “An Appointment in Madrid” at the back if Clevinger could have added maybe a page or two to the Bruce Lee story, because it ends rather abruptly. But that’s nit-picking, I guess. This is still an enjoyable is lesser Atomic Robo comic. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Isn't that just like the damned Frogs?

Blue Estate #12 (“Serenity”) by Viktor Kalvachev (story/artist/colorist), Kosta Yanev (story), Andrew Osborne (scripter), Toby Cypress (artist), Nathan Fox (artist), and Peter Nguyen (artist). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, Image.

Kalvachev writes a letter in the back of this book from Roy Devine, Jr., the hapless private detective of Blue Estate, apologizing for this issue’s lateness, which is awfully nice of him. The book isn’t that late – issue #11 came out in May – but it’s still nice of Kalvachev to apologize. It’s a shame, because whenever a book like this is late, I do wonder if a lot of people simply forgot about it. Well, the trades should catch everyone up.

What’s fascinating about this series is that it’s really a detective story, even if Roy is an idiot. He was on a case, even if it went in weird and wild places, so Kalvachev can get rid of any characters he wants to except for Roy and it doesn’t matter. So he clears the decks a bit in this issue, but cleverly – some characters die, sure, but others get away – and we’re ready for the next case! I’m not the biggest fan of this finale, actually, because I’m always wary of stories where everyone happens to show up at the same place and then everyone starts shooting (it can be done well, certainly, but you have to be careful with it), and that’s kind of what happens here. It does, however, point out the humor of the book – Roy does very little, but at the end of the issue, he’s the hot private dick in town, simply because he survived and could tell any version of the story he wanted to. That’s a nice touch by Kalvachev and Osborne.

I don’t know when Blue Estate will fire up again, but this first “volume” is quite good, and I encourage you to check out the trades if you haven’t gotten on board yet. It’s packed full of clichés, sure, but Kalvachev, Osborne, and the stable of artists have such a blast creating this comic that they can get away with it. Go check it out!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

It's funny because it's not me

Daredevil Annual #1 (“A Tourist in Hell”) by Alan Davis (writer/penciler), Mark Farmer (inker), Javier Rodriguez (colorist), and Clayton Cowles (letterer). $4.99, 38 pgs, FC, Marvel.

The second of the three summer annuals that Davis is doing so he can feature the Destine family hits stores, and once again, Doctor Strange is a major player in the drama (Marvel should just give him an annual even though he doesn’t have an ongoing; is it any dumber than releasing “.1″ issues of Spectacular Spider-Man or releasing Wolverine’s issues out of order?). The story still focuses on Vincent, the rogue Destine, who this time around inhabits the shell of a Plastoid, which then goes on a rampage. Cuckoo, one of the Destine children, telepathically pushes Daredevil to find the Plastoid, and he also comes across Dominic, the hyper-sensitive Destine. Davis does something clever – Dominic actually knows that Daredevil is using his radar senses because Dominic is so tuned to everything, and this also gives him an advantage in fighting DD … except for one problem that allows Matt to take him down.

As with the Fantastic Four Annual (which, according to the first page, takes place around the same time as this book), this is an excuse for Davis to tell a story with his characters, and even if you don’t know anything about the Clan Destine, you can still read this as an old-fashioned superhero battle with stunning Davis art. That’s not a bad way to spend your hard-earned ducats!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

I could stare at Davis' art all freaking day

Godzilla: The Half-Century War #1 (of 5) by James Stokoe (writer/artist) and Heather Breckel (color assistant). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, IDW.

“James Stokoe drawing Godzilla?” James Stokoe drew. “JAMES STOKOE DRAWING GODZILLA!” drew James Stokoe. “GODZILLA DRAWN BY JAMES STOKOE!!!!!”

Godzilla drawn by James Stokoe and James Stokoe drawing Godzilla. Stokoe, James drawing Godzilla. Godzilla, Godzilla, and Godzilla, drawn by James Stokoe. James Stokoe drawing Godzilla. STOKOE DRAWS GODZILLA! Mr. Stokoe drawing Mr. Godzilla. Monsieur Stokoe, James to his friends, drawing Godzilla. Godzilla allowing James Stokoe to draw Godzilla. And then, James Stokoe draws Godzilla. Later, Godzilla gets drawn by James Stokoe. STOKOE + GODZILLA = GODZILLA DRAWN BY STOKOE! Godzilla – Stokoe = Godzilla not drawn by Stokoe :(

In summation: James. Stokoe. Draws. Godzilla.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

GODZILLA, bitches!

The Massive #3 (Landfall Part Three of Three: Unalaska”) by Brian Wood (writer), Kristian Donaldson (artist), Dave Stewart (colorist), and Jared K. Fletcher (letterer). $3.50, 25 pgs, FC, Dark Horse.

Three issues in, and The Massive is just not clicking with me. I’m going to stick with it for a while, but for some reason it’s just not wowing me this early in. Wood continues with the exposition about how the world got the way it is, and I didn’t like it in issue #1, and I still don’t like it. Perhaps now that the initial arc is over, he’ll give that up and focus on the present and, if he wants to continue to exposit, try to work it into the story a little better. These pages where we get interrupted so that we can read three or four panels about weird environmental shit happening isn’t very dramatic. It’s just not allowing me to get into the story very much. Plus, the story itself is pretty flimsy. The Kapital gets attacked by pirates and the crew (well, Mag) repels them very easily. Mary disappears but Callum finds her easily. It feels like this comic so far is about three-quarters exposition, and while we do need to know about the world in which the comic occurs, that’s a bit too much right out of the gate. This feels weirdly inert, both with the background information, the fact that we’re learning a lot about the characters through omniscient caption boxes, and the fact that the action in the first arc was so unimportant, ultimately. Wood doesn’t always write like this, of course, so the fact that he’s doing it now is somewhat disappointing.

Furthermore, Donaldson’s art hasn’t gotten better. He’s taking a break after this issue, so we’ll see what the new artist brings to the table, but Donaldson just wasn’t on his game for these first three issues. The fumetti-esque backgrounds have gotten worse, to the extent that I shook my head sadly when the helicopter is flying over the ice shelf halfway through the issue. It never looks great when mixed with pencilled art, but over the course of these three issues, Donaldson seems to rely on it more and more, and the book’s look just suffers for it. I guess Wood liked it, but I wish he had taken his issues of Forsaken that he has close at hand (we all have our issues of Forsaken close at hand, don’t we?) and showed them to Donaldson and said, “Draw like this!” Or at least his issues of Supermarket. Donaldson is a very good artist, but this just looks lazy, and I absolutely hate thinking that, because I’m terribly lazy and I’m fairly certain Donaldson is not.

I’ll check out The Massive for the next arc and consider what I’m going to do with it. I really like Wood as a writer, so it bugs me that I don’t like this more, but we’ll see. Sigh.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Like you'd react any differently!

Mouse Guard: The Black Axe #5 (of 6) by David Petersen (writer/artist). $3.50, 23 pgs, FC, Archaia.

Mouse Guard is so slow in coming out and so much a big story chopped into six parts that it’s kind of pointless to review this, isn’t it? In this issue, Celanawe and Conrad bury their friend Em, spend some time on Ferret Island (after working out that the Ferret King is contrite that his advisor killed Em), then sail home. Celanawe discovers that something horrible has happened while he’s been away, and presumably the final issue will deal with the fallout of that event. Other than that, it’s Mouse Guard. It’s beautiful, it’s slow-moving, it’s elegaic even, and it’s much better to read in one sitting. Petersen promises that the final issue will be out in October. I’m not holding my breath!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Dang, that's a nice coloring job

Wasteland #39 (“Lovesong For a Dead Child”) by Antony Johnston (writer), Sandy Jarrell (artist), and Douglas E. Sherwood (letterer). $3.99, 23 pgs, BW, Oni Press.

Jarrell steps in for one of the one-off tales that Johnston likes to tell between arcs, and he does a pretty good job. Unlike the previous arc, no one is doing gray tones, and so the book has a much rougher, desert-y look, like it had when Mitten was drawing it. As you might recall, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Justin Greenwood, the previous artist, and part of that was the gray tones, which gave the art too much of a sheen. Wasteland should look rough, and Jarrell does a nice job with that. He’s also quite good at drawing characters who look like they’ve spent too much time in the desert – Marcus, Mary, and Michael (and the bad dudes they come upon) look generally famished, which is a good way to convey the terrible lives they lead. The biggest problem with Jarrell’s art is that the backgrounds are almost non-existent, especially in some of the smaller panels – the characters look like they’re in a void. This isn’t terrible when your comic is colored, as we’ve seen throughout the years, because colorists can make the backgrounds different groovy colors, but when it’s black and white, it really stands out. Jarrell does some nice panels with backgrounds, but the lack in so many of them bothers me. Yes, I get annoyed by weird things. Deal with it.

Johnston flashes back to when Marcus, Michael, and Mary were kids, trying to survive in the desert. Marcus has visions of the future, Michael somehow knows things intuitively, and Mary is able to make people do what she wants just by talking to them. The whole situation screams “love triangle,” and Johnston goes that way, but he’s able to make it dramatic even though we can see what’s coming. That’s not the point, though – we kind of already knew what happened based on earlier issues – because Johnston wants to show how Michael once knew Marcus and Mary, because that has to be important in upcoming stories, if not the next one. So we get a nice little standalone story that fills in some blanks.

Next issue we get a new artist, so we’ll see how that works out. Meanwhile, Wasteland continues to regain its momentum nicely. Yay!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Ya think?

Doctor Atlantis volume 1 by Ian Ally-Seals (writer) and Carl Mefferd (artist). $9.99, 90 pgs, BW, Rare Earth Comics.

This looks fun. Lots of action and adventure on the high seas, with monsters and mysterious islanders and such things you would expect to find in this kind of book. Mefferd’s art reminds me of someone’s, but I can’t figure out whose. It’s quite good, though.

Grendel Omnibus volume 1: Hunter Rose by Matt Wagner (writer/artist) and a whole bunch of artists. $24.99, 596 pgs, BWR, Dark Horse.

This is finally out, and holy crap it’s amazing. We have the original Devil by the Deed, the two Hunter Rose anthology mini-series, Behold the Devil, and some other odds and ends. They’re all colored in black, white, and red, and the original looks pretty cool that way. Dark Horse is planning on three more of these, and I don’t know if they’ll change the color scheme for every issue. I think the only place the original color would look a lot better is the initial 12-issue Christine Spar story, because the colors were so vibrant and interesting. Everything else, I think, even the Eppy Thatcher story, could probably work in b-w-and-r. It does not appear, however, that Dark Horse has any plans to do a fifth Omnibus with all the Grendel Tales collected. They really should. Make it happen, Mike Richardson!

Nevsky: A Hero of the People by Ben McCool (writer), Mario Guevara (artist), David Baron (colorist), Allen Passalaqua (colorist), Peter Pantazis (colorist), and Shawn Lee (letterer). $24.99, 124 pgs, FC, IDW.

In typical Ben McCool fashion, this is late (how’s that final issue of Memoir going?). But it looks pretty keen. It’s not actually based on the historical Alexander Nevsky, but on Sergei Eisenstein’s movie about Nevsky, which should be interesting. I do like the back cover, which says that Nevsky and his “people’s army” fight the “evil Teutonic Knights.” Boy, I wonder if this is going to be biased at all?

**********

I still haven’t gotten into the Olympics, but some of it has filtered into my consciousness. I tried to watch the entire Canada/United States women’s soccer game, but when you have a kid clamoring to watch her stuff on television (and you only have one television), it’s not going to happen. Therefore I missed the big controversy plus the beautiful goal by Alex Morgan to win it (although I did see the second Megan Rapinoe goal, which was brilliant). I still haven’t seen any network show the entire “goalie holding the ball too long” play with a clock in the corner, showing whether she hold it too long or not. I’m sure someone has done that, but I haven’t seen it. It doesn’t seem that hard to do. As for whether it should have been called … well, it’s a rule, and didn’t the ref warn her once? I mean, yes, maybe it doesn’t get called very often, but if you’re warned about it, maybe you should be aware that the refs are looking at you. The hand ball sucks, sure, but it looks like it hit two Canadians in the arms, so I don’t know how sympathetic I am. I get the “ball coming too fast at you to get out of the way” defense, but after it bounces off one person, I think that defense goes out the window. Anyway, the Canadians had leads three times, and if any of their players beside Christine Sinclair had bothered to show up, we probably would be congratulating them for winning the gold medal instead of congratulating the U.S. team (who won the gold today, in case you didn’t know).

Meanwhile, McKayla Maroney fell on the dismount of the vault, costing her the gold in the event that she dominates. Sucks for her, but it did give us this superb picture of her reaction to the silver medal. This, of course, became a meme. It’s pretty awesome.

And then there’s Henrik Rummel. Poor Henrik Rummel. His team won the bronze in rowing, and on the medal stand, he looked a bit … excited. We’ll let McKayla show you (he’s second from the left, in case you can’t figure it out):

When memes collide!

Rummel has been a good sport about it, doing interviews where he swears it wasn’t erect (and if not, I say to his girlfriend … good catch, young lady). People are making a lot of fun about him being a bit too excited over winning the bronze, but here’s the point (I’m going to talk about penises, so our more genteel readers might want to skip ahead): That area is a huge bundle of nerves that respond to stimuli. It doesn’t always have to do with sexual excitement. Frankly, with those pants, I’m surprised more men aren’t a bit more … you know … when they’re standing around. Guys know what I mean, and girls ought to if they’ve ever spent any time with a guy. Those tight pants don’t allow for much wiggle room, so to speak, so any rubbing against the … object in question, and you’re going to get a situation. I challenge you to find any guy who hasn’t had something like this happen to him. And why is the rowing team wearing those kind of pants anyway? It’s not like they’re swimming, where they want to pants to be as close to skin as possible. It’s not that the wind will slow them down if they’re wearing more loose-fitting pants, because the last time I checked, rowers sit down. So I’m not sure what the heck is going on with those pants anyway.

In case you missed in all the Olympics hoopla, TLC brought civilization a bit closer to the brink on Wednesday night with the premiere of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. If you don’t know who Honey Boo Boo is, count yourself very lucky and curse me for bringing her to your attention. She’s a child from Georgia whose mother puts her in those kid beauty pageants (which ought to automatically disqualify the parents from actually raising the kids, if you ask me), and she’s a holy terror. So of course TLC, home of the worst television programs in the history of mankind (I’m sure you all watched My Teen Is Pregnant And So Am I), gave her and her family their own show. You can see a few promos at the link up there, but it doesn’t give you the full, sheer horror of the series. For that, check out this extended promo. I couldn’t resist watching about five minutes of the premiere, and it was as eye-bleedingly bad as you think. Dear Lord, I can’t understand conservatives trying with all their might to keep gays from getting married when shit like this exists. If conservatives are so family-friendly, shouldn’t they be horrified by this family, where the woman got pregnant at 15, had four daughters, curses in front of them, and gives her 6-year-old daughter a Mountain Dew and Red Bull mixture to get her amped up for a pageant. Really, conservatives? Fucking really?

Sigh. I guess it’s time for The Ten Most Recent Songs On My iPod (Which Is Always On Shuffle):

1. “When All Is Said And Done”ABBA (1981) “Clear-headed and open-eyed, with nothing left untried”
2. “A Message”Coldplay (2005) “And it’s so hard to see you clearly”
3. “Right Here, Right Now”Jesus Jones (1991) “A woman on the radio talks about revolution when it’s already passed her by”
4. “We Are Young”Fun. (2012) “My seat’s been taken by some sunglasses asking ’bout a scar”
5. “Crash”James (1999) “Someone got hurt, someone got high, some of them left the rest behind”
6. “Tumbledown”Fish (1999) “Everything changes, forever never lasts, there’s no such thing as always, it’s all too soon the past”
7. “What About Livingstone” – ABBA (1974) “What about all those men who have sacrificed their lives to lead the way”
8. “Tie Dye On The Highway”Robert Plant (1990) “If you’re going my way, come along”
9. “The Field” – Fish (2003) “They will bury your empty coffin; they will raise for you a stone; they will know you fell in glory”
10. “On eBay”Chumbawamba (2004) “There’s stuff dressed up as truth and then there’s stuff dressed up as lies”

No one guessed the Totally Random Lyrics last week – they were from the song “Kiev” by Renaissance. Of course! Here are some more:

“But the Bedouin they brought out
The electric camel drum
The local guitar picker
Got his guitar picking thumb
As soon as the Sharia
Had cleared the square
They began to wail”

Have a nice weekend, everyone! School started this week, so I’m back to being kid-free for large amounts of the day. Good times! I hope your August is slightly less warm than it is here. I’m a bit frightened to go outside these days!

31 Comments

I read none of these!

Rock the Casbah.

Oh, please, that’s hardly the worst Olympic sport for these issues; I mean, men’s doubles luge all by itself is a Westboro Baptist protest waiting to happen…

Think about it — one young trim muscular man in a skintight suit lies face up on a thin sled barely off the ground… then another hot body in a skintight suit lies face up a ON TOP OF HIM .. They then go sliding down a bumpy twisty track to the finish — where they are always smiling and shown only form the waist up …

I remember a few years back they went about recruiting football players from Georgia and Florida to be bobsledders because of the speed they would add to the start — don’t know if they went to Halsted Street or Castro Street for lugers, but it makes sense, right?

“There’s the American team — they turned in a very slow run, Dick, but they seem so happy with their effort!” “Well, Trey, there’s all kinds of achievement in sport, you know… sometime the greatest reward is just taking a part, right? I mean, taking part.”"

So Honey Boo Boo’s mother is a terrible human being, so that means gays should be able to get married.

Oooookay.

I don’t care about gay marriage either way, and I agree that her mother is awful, but what does one have to do with the other?

Where did you get that? I just wonder why certain people rant about things that are pretty benign (like two people they don’t know and will never meet getting married), but they think they say nothing about someone like this, because their family is “traditional.” These people ruin children far more than two gay people getting married.

The Grendel book has Devil By The Deed & the B,W,R anthologies?
SOLD!

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Tom Fitzpatrick

August 9, 2012 at 6:30 pm

You HAD to talk about the Olympic penises. You just HAD to, didn’t you?
At least, the Canadian women won the bronze in soccer! Did anyone rip off their shirts?!? ;-)

Stokoe drawing Godzilla, looks pretty impressive, but how long will it take him to finish the series, I wonder?
Yes, I HAD to say it! I just HAD to comment on his lateness of another series, didn’t I?

I’m picking up that Grendel Omnibus next week, and I JUST cannot wait! 9 days feels like 9 months, years, decades!
I second what you said on the Grendel Tales. I surely DO!

I could look at Alan Davis’ art for 10 minutes, but I have things to do. ;-)

Mouse Guard still comes out? I honestly hadn’t noticed. It is slow enough that I tend to forget that the book exists.

I bought the first trade of Blue Estate, but despite some neato art found it kind of boring. I mean it had its moments and the characters seem to have potential, but it danced around a story it never found time to tell. Seeing as its hit #12, does it get any better than the first 4 issues or can I expect more of the same (ie, you seem to like the series, does the story ramp up in the 2nd trade)?

Tom: Olympic penises ARE the best in the world, after all!

I imagine that for a book like this, where he’s actually paid by the publisher, Stokoe actually got far ahead of the game. At least I hope so!

Billy: Yeah, that’s why I hate when these books get behind. I don’t think it does sales any good.

BitBiteOuch: I liked it from the start, but it did take a while to get going, mainly because Kalvachev and Osborne tried to introduce so many characters and plot threads. They did quite a good job pulling everything together as the series went along, in my opinion. You may disagree!

Why wouldn’t the guy get excited? I get excited playing Fight Night Champion and NHL for the PS3–the discharge of aggression on an imagined enemy is awesome. Anyway, Gold medal, good looking guy who has now advertised his “junk” worldwide–his penis is going to be very busy for the next while.

No offense, but did you get Chris Sims to write your Godzilla review? I love James Stokoe, but c’mon!

I actually couldn’t figure out which athlete you were talking about in the picture, all of them seem to have boners.

The “goalie holding the ball too long” rule is bullshit. I don’t even watch football/soccer that much, but I can’t remember a time when the goalie got fouled for that.

It’s weird you’re not liking The Massive as much as me. I’ve had issues with almost every Brian Wood series I’ve read, like DMZ and Northlanders, but I’m loving The Massive so far. In my opinion, it might be the best thing he’s written.

Pedro: You don’t like Chris Sims? :) I was just having some fun! It’s a pretty standard story – guys in a tank try to distract Godzilla from killing civilians during his first rampage through Tokyo, and because they survive, they are tasked to be on a monster-hunting team. But it’s so, so beautiful to look at. I’ll be more normal next issue!

That’s why I identified Rummel in the photo. Those shorts don’t leave much to the imagination!

I got called for holding the ball too long in intramural soccer once! I don’t really think it’s a bad rule because of the delay of game aspect, but it is stupid that it’s not called more if it’s a rule. If she was warned, though, she should have been aware of it. It’s happened in basketball, too, where the refs warn a player about something – using traveling or palming the ball – and then they call them for it, even though palming, for instance, hardly EVER gets called.

Yeah, I don’t know why I’m not feeling The Massive. I’m glad you’re enjoying it, though!

At the youngest levels of soccer they begin to teach you to keep your arms down when making a wall. And still one of those Canadians threw her arms up and the other made a chicken wing. The calls may have been questionable but that’s just dumb soccer.

The Massive AND Olympic penises in the same week? How hard up are you guys for content?

hee hee huh huh hee hee hee hee

OK.

But yeah, ev’ybody took off this week but you and Brian. Thank goodness you’re here!

Atomic Robo is totally fappable, btw ;)

I think your Godzilla review was about the sum of it. Beyond Stokoe drawing Godzilla, there wasn’t much to it. Somehow it reminded me of the Manga Punx one shot, though.

I needs get me that Grendel omni. I don’t have enough Grendel.

What else did I get that was interesting? Creator Owned Heroes is decent, as is Hoax Hunters.

Oh! I read X-Treme XMen 1. Yeah, that Dazzler impersonator threw me off. Ugh. But it seemed decent enough, I’m not sure why there was no love for the book (other than our pal Ben).

I bought Space:Punisher 2 but have not yet read it. I loves me some Tex art!

And while it’s a few weeks old, and I still haven’t read it, Batman Incorporated 3 was in my pull box when I picked up that week’s stuff, and another store in town has copies on the rack. Anyone want a copy?

This year has been really good for comics, man.

I still strongly prefer the original colors of Devil by the Deed.

So am I correct in believing that the omnibus leaves out the Hunter Rose stories in 16-19? I can’t imagine them being anything other than eye-gougingly awful if decolorized to BWR. For that matter, very few of the other comico/image stories would be otherwise. Maybe 13-15 would work, but I’m not even sure of that.

Looking forward to volume three and 20-22 finally getting into a collection…

“We have the original Devil by the Deed, the two Hunter Rose anthology mini-series, Behold the Devil, and some other odds and ends.”

Can you be more specific about this? I have the Devil By The Deed hardcover, the Black White and Red TPB, the Red White and Black TPB, and the Behold The Devil HC. I also read that this includes the one Wagner didn’t write, “Devil Child” I think it’s called. Does this new omnibus have other exclusive content? That would annoy me a bit.

“Dark Horse is planning on three more of these, and I don’t know if they’ll change the color scheme for every issue. I think the only place the original color would look a lot better is the initial 12-issue Christine Spar story, because the colors were so vibrant and interesting.”

I’d be surprised if they went to all the trouble of finally collecting Grendel and then completely changed Wagner’s preferred color scheme. Black-and-white-and-red is specific to Hunter Rose Grendel (all but ‘Devil By The Deed’ were initially published that way, and ‘Devil By The Deed’ was re-colored once in the ’90′s and then re-colored again to the matching black-and-white-and-red because Wagner wanted it that way.

“It does not appear, however, that Dark Horse has any plans to do a fifth Omnibus with all the Grendel Tales collected.”

That is too bad, though I think it would take more than one.

Still, we should be glad that they’re finally going to put 20-22 in a trade.

I don’t know the guy in real life, but as far as his online presence goes, it’s fair to say I don’t like Chris Sims.

And I hope you’re right about Stokoe. The Godzilla comic looks amazing, but I wouldn’t want Orc Stain to suffer because of it.

Oh, and rest assured I will curse you for bringing Honey Boo Boo to my attention! :-)

Travis: I know Kelly is taking August off because of her book and trying to get that together. Chad mentioned something about taking this week off, but I can’t remember why. I never take time off – if I did, I might have to spend time with my children or talk to my wife! YUCK!

Jeff: The Omnibus does leave out the Hunter Rose stuff from issues #16-19. That will be in the next one. I think they probably left it out because it’s Wiggins (that’s his name, right?) telling the stories, and his fate is part of the bigger story.

sean: Sure. According to the indicia, this includes all that stuff above, plus “material that originally appeared on MySpace; stories from the Comico Collection, Decade: A Dark Horse Short Story Collection, issues 49 and 50 of Dark Horse Extra, Dark Horse Maverick 2001, and Liberty Annual 2011.” I’ve flipped through it, but I’m not sure what that stuff is. It doesn’t appear anything is new for this collection, but obviously, some of the stuff is rare. Devil Child is going to be in the next Omnibus.

I looked in Previews, where the next omnibus is offered, and it does say it’s “FC,” and I think this one was offered as black and white and red. So I suppose that does mean that Dark Horse won’t mess with the color scheme. Let’s hope!

Based on the Previews, it appears Volume 2 will collect issues #1-19, so you’ll have to wait for #20-22 in the third volume!

Pedro: I get that. Sims can write good reviews, but he does tend to stick to his schtick. He’s a very jovial guy in real life, and although I only chatted with him briefly, he seems like a very nice dude.

On Stokoe’s blog, he’s constantly showing new pages of Orc Stain, so I assume it’s just money that’s keeping him from publishing more issues. I do hope this helps him alleviate that a bit.

Sorry about Honey Boo Boo! It’s why America is NUMBER ONE!!!!! U! S! A!

What’s the point of buying any other comics in a double Atomic Robo week? Surely anything else is a letdown :-P

I noticed Robo’s over-reaction in She-devils last issue, but not this issue at all. I haven’t reread yet so can’t exactly think when you mean (which is good as I was absorbed by the story). In the first issue it didn’t bother me exactly, but I definitely noticed and it took me out of the story briefly, so I get where you’re coming from though.

On Real Science Adventures we need the reprints of the backups Burgas! They are not collected as far as I know (certainly not in the digital trades). Don’t you go denying us people who caught up on Robo late anything featuring him!

Also, should I be reading Mouse Guard? My pull list has a hole in it that I think needs a fantasy book to fill (ideally wit a consistent artist). I was thinking of the Okko series, but maybe Mouse Guard would fit the bill.

I hate it in football when people hold the ball too long. I am English and really want England to win, but in the Euros earlier in the year I was yelling at the ref to give us some cards for how long we were holding the ball on throw-ins.

i would argue your point about conservatives not being disgusted by parents who whore their kids out [figuratively], but i don’t think that you would have an open enough mind to participate.

Suffice it to say that i just came back from a confernece about sex trafficking attended by conservative Christians who are determined to eradicate this from the earth. Sorry to get in the way of your opinion.

Rolacka: Yeah, okay, the reprints are for you guys. Sorry!

Mouse Guard is very good, but it’s also very slow. There are two trades so far (this would be the third), and if you want to start anywhere, you should start there. I think they’re better than Okko, although Okko is pretty good. Okko is more action-oriented, I will say that, so if that’s your thing, feel free.

danjack: Wow, thanks for not giving me the benefit of the doubt in any way. I am well aware that many conservatives are involved in stopping stuff like sex trafficking, which is great. I honestly wish that we would hear more about stuff like this on the news, but all I hear are conservatives bitching about gay people getting married. Whenever I read about examples of Christians (and there’s a big difference between “conservatives” and “Christians,” even if the media doesn’t portray it that way) who are trying to make the world better by stopping actual evil things rather than meddling in the affairs of two people who love each other, I wonder why both sides of the media – Fox News included – doesn’t cover this more. My point was that if you ask the conservative talking heads what they think of gay marriage, they think it’s the most horrible thing in the world. If you ask them about people like this, they’d probably say (I write this with no proof whatsoever, just my gut feeling) that it’s just folks being folks and having a good time.

But hey, thanks for not presenting your side because you think I’m completely close-minded. I’m pretty sure you’ve read enough of my stuff to know that I try very hard to be objective. I’m not sure why you’re so angry, or how sex trafficking came into this. But I suppose you don’t have an open enough mind to participate either.

Sonia is going to be sad that you didn’t notice that she didn’t post this week either :(

I believe that in that Grendel book, the Devil’s Week story was the one in A Decade of Dark Horse. Which is a 15 year old book, damn! But anyway, it’s pretty good. I think that was one of the things I had Wagner sign for me when I met him at a con.

I think/hope what Greg means is that “conservative” “Christians” who wail and moan about shit like, say, Ellen DeGeneres being hired as a spokesperson for JC Penney miss shit like this psycho pageant stuff that’s wayyyyyy weirder than anything Ellen’s ever done. (Except of course for Anne Heche…couldn’t resist!) I too am glad that there are good decent people who are trying to eradicate sex trafficking — it’s one of the reasons I think RA Dickey is a cool dude (besides the name and him winning games for the Mets, who I still have a residual love for). As Greg says, the media should cover things like a conference to eradicate sex trafficking and STOP covering shit like this crazy pageant people stuff. Really, if we can’t all agree that sex trafficking should be stopped and other things of that nature are horrible, we can’t get ANYTHING done.

Travis: Whoops! You’re right, I did forget that Sonia didn’t do a column this week. Man, what IS up with everyone? I will chalk it up to the fact that it’s the doggiest of the dog days, and everyone is too hot to bother. Not me, man – from early June through September I NEVER GO OUTSIDE, and therefore the weather (it was 115 here today!) doesn’t affect me, man!

You are spot on, sir. To me, there’s nothing wrong with two people getting married. There is a problem with these crazy pageant people. But that’s just my opinion, I guess. And yes, I think we can agree that sex trafficking is evil. I mean, come on!

“plus “material that originally appeared on MySpace; stories from the Comico Collection, Decade: A Dark Horse Short Story Collection, issues 49 and 50 of Dark Horse Extra, Dark Horse Maverick 2001, and Liberty Annual 2011.””

Thanks! Four of those were in Red, White, and Black, but the Liberty Annual story is new. I think the Myspace story might be a part of Behold The Devil. I’ll probably just try to track down the Liberty Annual story separately, because I like having all the separate trades.

sean: Honestly, the Liberty Annual story isn’t really worth it. It’s a very short PSA using the “It gets better” slogan that’s supposed to comfort gay teenagers when they’re getting beat up (I never quite understood the idea behind that). It’s fine in the middle of the larger book, but nothing that you need to go out of your way to find.

As one of the few (well, I’m assuming) competitive rowers that read this site, I got a bit excited to see it featured (and thanks for not making fun of the sport too much!). Rowers wear spandex to help keep the muscles in place/compressed while they take strokes (the major muscles used are in the butt, hip, thighs and back, hence no need to keep lower legs or arms wrapped up), and because of the fact that they DO sit down on sliding seats, you don’t want loose folds of clothing jamming up the wheel tracks. And yes, there are plenty of instances of rowers having podium boners if you dare a google search.

J: Thanks for the information. I figured there was SOME reason for the spandex, and I had forgotten that the seats slide (which I did know, even though I forgot). And as someone who sits on his ass and blogs all day, I would never make fun of something that requires people to be in shape! :)

Greg, I gotta echo cool arrow and danjack in questioning your correlation between Honey Boo Boo and the gay marriage issue. I’m not gonna write you off like danjack did, because I do indeed think you do a pretty good job of being fair and objective in your views. I really enjoy your column, both the comics stuff and the rest, even though I’m usually a few yards to the right of your political opinions. It’s still interesting to see what you have to say about a given issue.

In this case, though, I’m really not seeing any connection at all, and it comes off as a desperate and random attempt to throw another jab at the Evil Conservatives. I mean, if some right-wing pundit had actually said something supportive for the awful parents who put their daughters in child pageants, and then turned around and said that gay marriage was the harbinger of the apocalypse, I could see. But I don’t think that’s happened, and you connection of the two was just kind of baffling. I think it’s probably just an unfair assumption, and you usually do much better than that.

I still love your column, and I’ve discovered quite a few titles through it. Keep up the good work.

Rosselli: No, it hasn’t happened. I guess I just don’t understand the condemnation of certain things and the silence on others, which is true across the spectrum. I get that people have issues that they hammer home, but if we’re talking about cultural and societal changes, there’s more to the “decline of culture” than gay people getting married. I’m not saying that conservatives laud this kind of behavior, but if they condemn the decline of American culture and blame it solely on gay people (and, in a larger context, liberals), then they’re missing the point. I get bummed when people stand up and say we need to get back “traditional marriage” as if that’s a balm for all of society’s ills. These people have a “traditional marriage,” and they’re horrible. So why aren’t they condemned? I’m certainly not trying to single out conservatives, because liberals do it too. I’ve often pointed out that liberals don’t dare condemn labor unions even when it’s obvious that a union is busy accruing power to itself rather than serving its members. Liberals are terrified to offend unions, so they don’t say anything.

I’m sorry if everyone thinks I’m picking on conservatives. I’m not pointing out that they laud this kind of family, just that they don’t condemn it. I try very hard to see all sides of an argument (which is why liberals often get pissed off at me as well!), and while perhaps I didn’t make a very good analogy, I just don’t see how this kind of family is “better” than one that’s not “traditional.” I would certainly like to live next door to a quiet gay married couple rather than Honey Boo Boo’s family.

Greg: I totally get your point, and I even agree with it. I think it was just the presentation that was off, and like I said I usually find your political commentary to be balanced even when we disagree, so I wanted to point out that this was an uncharacteristic slip-up.

I’m just glad I don’t even have a TV let alone watch reality shows. My 30-inch monitor and whatever shows I buy (digitally or Blu-Ray) are good enough for me!

Roselli: Yeah, fair enough. Sometimes my typing fingers get in front of my brain!!!!!

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