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CSBG Archive

What I bought – 29 August 2012

“I need to know secrets and have secrets and keep secrets. I need to be confided in. Each time you come alone and you don’t tell anybody, that’s a sexual secret. The event has taken place and only you know about it and you have ministered to yourself in exactly the way you wanted to and thought of exactly what you wanted to think about. And each of these thousands of times you have come alone constitutes a perfectly unique moment, with precisely this order of images and that fold of yourself being moved by your middle finger in just that way and that biting of lower lip with exactly that degree of force, all entirely private.” (Nicholson Baker, from Vox)

How does she run up the cover like that?!?!? This should be called Man With Shotgun! 'Oh no, Chelsea - you got a nostril ring?  Why, dear God, WHY?!?!?!?' Now Spencer is just fucking with us I will not apologize for my love of Looker! Well, dang, that's a cool cover So much potential! The wait is over! So charming and evil! Take your time, gentlemen - no hurry! The onslaught begins! It's a shame the dimensions are smaller, but it's still a great comic!

Comics let me down this week a little, so I’m a bit cranky. I apologize in advance!

Debris #2 (of 4) by Kurtis J. Wiebe (writer), Riley Rossmo (artist), Owen Gieni (colorist), and Ed Brisson (letterer). $3.50, 22 pgs, FC, Image/Shadowline.

The Good: Rossmo’s art and Gieni’s coloring are stellar. It’s unusual to see a post-Apocalyptic world this brightly colored, but there’s no reason for it not to be. The design of the mechanical monsters are really nice. Wiebe’s high concept is still fine even though it’s not terribly original. Maya finds an exile who had a connection with her mentor, the now-dead Calista, but he refuses to tell her about it. He goes with her to find water, though, so I’m sure the true story will come out. Like I said, it’s not terribly original, but it’s perfectly fine.

The Bad: I am becoming more snobby about the actual writing in comics, because I can’t believe that writers actually think “I’ll write these words next to each other, because they sound so cool.” When Maya is getting attacked by the strange upright mechanical dogs, she actually says “Come at me!” I mean, really? There’s also a lot of talking around things by Kessel, the exile Maya finds. She knows he’s connected to Calista, he obviously has things to get off his chest, yet he yammers on about nothing instead of getting to the point. It’s supposed to be “realistic,” I suppose, because he doesn’t want to confront his feelings, especially with someone he’s just met, but it still feels artificial. It’s a delaying tactic, because we know he’s going to tell all eventually. Perhaps that’s a nitpick, but it bugged me.

Plus, even though I don’t have a problem with the high concept, it really is not terribly original. Hence, I put it in both categories!

So, yeah. When this happens to the dramatic phrase you use in the middle of your comic, perhaps you should reconsider it:

The Ugly: This dog.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Olde-tymey Victorian dude is right - kids are dumb!

Foster #1 by Brian Buccellato (writer/colorist), Noel Tuazon (artist), and Troy Peteri (letterer). $3.99, 23 pgs, FC, Dog Year Entertainment.

The Good: Foster is a nice, gritty supernatural crime drama. Buccellato sets it in “Bridgetown,” which is NOT in Barbados (the front cover claims the city is both “nameless” and called “Vintage City,” but the text calls it Bridgetown), and introduces us to Ed Foster, a alcoholic Vietnam vet (the book is set in the early 1970s) who lives down the hall from a woman named Trina, with whom he apparently had a relationship. Her son, Ben, is left alone often, and Foster wants nothing to do with him but feels somehow responsible for him. The city is inhabited by strange creatures called Dwellers who have some interest in Ben. Foster is far more capable with a gun than he appears, and when the Dwellers come for Ben, he takes care of many of them. He also discovers that Ben has a secret, which is presumably why the Dwellers want him. Tuazon is a good artist for this gritty kind of story, as his rough pencil work gives us a good sense of the ugliness of Bridgetown and the fringe of society on which Foster lives. Buccellato’s grimy color scheme completes the picture. It’s a decent start to the series. The book has been done for a while – you can buy it at Buccellato’s web site, and he had copies of it at the Phoenix Con in May. In fact, I got a second printing of the issue even though this is the first time it’s been offered through Diamond. Strange.

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The Bad: I mentioned with regard to Hawkeye a few weeks ago that far too many comics are grounded in the ethos of the 1970s, when a lot of current comics writers grew up (Buccellato is about my age, so he certainly grew up in the Seventies). Well, Foster wallows in that. Here’s the thing, though – I wouldn’t mind it if we simply got the story that happens to be set in the early 1970s (to be honest, I don’t know when it’s set – Foster has a flashback that certainly looks more Vietnam than Iraq/Afghanistan, but Buccellato could just be setting it in a present that has had no technological advances in the past 40 years), but Buccellato bashes us over the head with it. He proudly writes that this is a world “before internet, Starbucks and cell phones.” It’s a city filled with “working stiffs scurrying out of the streetcars in fitted suits and porkpie hats,” “a stylized technicolor world that Harry Callahan, Popeye Doyle and Doc McCoy could call home …” The problem I have with this is that if you’re going to set the book in a specific time period, there should be a reason. And that reasons shouldn’t be “because the writer thinks it’s cool.” I don’t have a problem with Foster being set in the early 1970s, but I wonder why it’s set during that time. In this issue, Buccellato doesn’t give us a reason. That doesn’t mean the book is bad, of course, but I do hope it’s not set during this time because Buccellato has fond memories of watching Police Woman (I wouldn’t blame him, of course, but still).

Also, Foster is kind of a non-entity so far. Again, I know it’s only one issue, but he’s very much a stereotype: The loner who everyone thinks is a loser but is really noble underneath all the grime. I really hope he has more layers than that. But I’m willing to wait!

The Ugly: Seriously, what the fuck is up with this car?

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

He's having a rough day

Higher Earth #4 by Sam Humphries (writer), Francesco Biagini (artist), Andrew Crossley (colorist), and Ed Dukeshire (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Boom! Studios.

The Good: Biagini continues to do nice work on the art. In this issue, he does a Hickman-esque diagram of the Higher Earth system which helps explain what’s going on in this universe, and the scenes with the queen are very well done, with nice designs and clothing (cribbed a bit from Star Wars, true, but still nice) (and you tend to forget how gorgeous Natalie Portman is until you do a Google Image search for her, don’t you?). Plus, there’s the bear with the giant robot arms and claws, so that’s nice. Humphries moves the story along briskly, and this remains a fun read.

The Bad: Now that we’ve established that alternate realities exist, it’s hard for Humphries to drop bombshells on us. Yet he does it twice in this issue, but we can see both coming a mile away. So why does he do it? It gets back to Wiebe writing “Come at me!” with no irony whatsoever. Oh, and a few pages after Rex tells Heidi that Nazrin can’t hear her, Nazrin responds directly to a question that Heidi asks. So can she hear Heidi or not? Yes, I’m nitpicking. I don’t care.

The Ugly: Dang.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:


Morning Glories #21 by Nick Spencer (writer), Joe Eisma (artist), Alex Sollazzo (colorist), and Johnny Lowe (letterer). $2.99, 36 pgs, FC, Image.

The Good: On the one hand, Spencer does a good thing. He introduces a bunch of new students to act as nemeses to the ones we’ve already met, mainly because he’s been splitting them up and doing nasty things to them. So the cover is a parody/homage of issue #1, and we meet Irina, Ian, Guillaume (okay, we’ve already met him), Vanessa, Fortunato, and Akiko. Hisao also shows up again (or is it Jun?), and Spencer packs in as much character development for the new characters as he can (luckily he has the Eisma-Bot 3000x drawing for him, and the Eisma-Bot needs no sustenance or human interaction so it can crank out 36 pages with stunning speed!), while dovetailing into what happens after the ending of, what, issue #19? I didn’t think the book was getting stale, but I did wonder if Spencer was ever going to show other students and what happened to them. Lo and behold, so he does. Eisma, of course, continues to do a nice job – as this isn’t a superhero book, he still doesn’t have to do too much action, but he’s gotten really good at the characters’ facial expressions, and he works well with Spencer to give us a lot of non-verbal communication. Plus, check out how bad-ass Irina looks in that panel.

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The Bad: On the other hand, this is a lot of new characters, and as much as Spencer tries to give them distinguishing characteristics, they’re very similar to the students we already know. I know that they’re teenagers who have been accepted to a very exclusive prep school that probably takes “Type A personalities”, but they still seem very familiar. According to our intrepid commenter Travis Pelkie (I think it was Travis; he can correct me if I’m wrong), Spencer plans to write Morning Glories until the sun goes nova, so I hope he doesn’t just keep introducing new characters who are similar to the ones we’ve already seen just so he can kill off the old ones. Obviously, I really like this comic, so I’m going to stick with it and see what happens with these characters, but while I appreciate that he brought them in, I hope he tries harder to make them interesting people rather than just enemies of the original group. We’ll see.

The Ugly: Really, Seattle?

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Oh, Irina - no wonder all the boys dig you!

National Comics: Looker #1 by Ian Edginton (writer), Mike S. Miller (artist), Rex Lokus (colorist), Antonio Fabela (colorist), and Carlos M. Mangual (letterer). $3.99, 32 pgs, FC, DC.

The Good: Um, Looker is awesome? I mean, check out that awesome costume!

The Bad: Man, where do I start? Look, I like Ian Edginton. I think he’s a pretty good writer, which is why I picked this up. But this is a terrible comic book. With this whole “reboot-not-reboot” thing that DC has been doing, there’s some freedom to muck around with these Z-list characters that they have in their stable. So why does Edginton keep the worst thing that has been done to Emily Briggs in her entire existence and retain her vampire-ness? It’s idiotic that she’s still a vampire. It’s even worse that the guy who created her, Mike Barr, turned her into one. I don’t know why he did it – she was turned in the early 1990s, which was early on in both the recent vampire craze and the extreme-ification of characters, so maybe he thought it was a good idea. Sorry, Mr. Barr – it wasn’t. Now there’s been a reboot, and instead of actually re-inventing Looker or getting her back to her roots, Edginton just goes with the vampire thing. And it’s stupid. Wait, she’s a vampire avenger now? Oooh, how edgy. Jeebus.

The story is pretty dumb, too. The sole interesting aspect Edginton adds to her story is that she now owns a modeling agency because obviously she can’t model. But anything else interesting about the character is gone – she’s a hard-ass with a heart of gold (how shocking!); she has no superpowers; she isn’t married; she has apparently no “mousy” side, which made her first incarnation so unusual. This Looker is just a hot chick kicking ass. Yes, we all like hot chicks kicking ass, but doesn’t it get a bit boring after a while? Oh, and of course there’s a sensitive ex-cop who happens to be blind who digs Emily but, of course, appears to be at least 10-15 years older than she is. And of course there’s an evil monster that Looker has to fight. Yawn. It’s just an amazingly dull comic with absolutely nothing to recommend it. Oh, and Mike Miller is a standard superhero artist, meaning everyone is pretty and Looker’s boobs look amazing and the backgrounds are dull and bland. Miller is the conservative artist who, so the urban legend goes (I think Our Dread Lord and Master should look into it!), was blacklisted because of his political leanings. Whether that makes you more or less inclined to buy this comic, I don’t know, but it shouldn’t matter. Boycott this comic because it’s lousy, not because a conservative drew it!

The Ugly: She’s “movie ugly,” which means all she needs is a slutty outfit (she already has that!), Freddie Prinze, Jr., and contact lenses, and she’ll be ready to go! Rachel Leigh Cook knows what I’m talking about!

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Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Well, she'd know

The Sixth Gun #24 (“Winter Wolves Part One”) by Cullen Bunn (writer), Brian Hurtt (artist), Bill Crabtree (colorist), and Douglas E. Sherwood (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Oni Press.

The Good: First, that cover. Dang, it’s good. Moving on, though, Bunn and Hurtt continue to do a nice job – this has quickly rebounded to once again be one of the best books out there. We get an update on the general, who speaks cryptically (well, sort of – he has to be talking about Becky, I would reckon), and Gord Cantrell makes an appearance, as he’s searching for Drake and Becky, but mainly this issue follows out two main characters as they try to find a tracker. That goes sideways very quickly, and Drake is forced to fight a bunch of nasty wolves. Even when he reaches their destination (he sent Becky ahead to reach the fort), he discovers what Becky did – no one is going to be much help. Oh dear. The weather and the wolves and the fort give this a real “Assault on Precinct 13″ kind of vibe – will Drake and Becky be forced to stay in the fort and fight off whatever horrible stuff is out in the woods? Plus, Hurtt is awesome. That’s not really a surprise, but it’s worth noting.

The Bad: Nothing, really, except the Knights of Solomon, who are guarding the general’s body, are still kind of dull. Even Brother Roberto, who’s the most developed of the Knights, is kind of dull. Oh well.

The Ugly: Gadzooks, I say.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

The worst thing is, he's out of treats!

Steed and Mrs. Peel #0 by Mark Waid (writer), Steve Bryant (artist), Ron Riley (colorist), and Steve Wands (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Boom! Studios.

The Good: Mark Waid does a decent job with the arch dialogue in this comic, and the plot is suitably ridiculous. The Hellfire Club is apparently kidnapping British agents, knocking them out, putting some kind of aging make-up on them, and telling them it’s the year 2000 (the book is set in 1966). They then tell the agents that their archives are woefully incomplete and that the agents need to tell them crucial information. Why any British agent would believe this cockamamie story is beyond me, but The Avengers, from what I remember of it, had a lot of goofy plots like this, so whatever. Waid does a bit better with Mrs. Peel than Steed in terms of dialogue, but it’s not bad. Bryant does a nice job with the silly sci-fi aspect of “the future,” with flying cars and ray guns.

The Bad: It’s very hard to capture the rhythm and timing of television shows in comics, and Waid doesn’t really do it here. While some of the quips are nice, the fact that we’re not hearing the dialogue in Patrick Macnee’s wry British drawl or Diana Rigg’s somewhat haughty tones weakens it a bit. Comics are better than television and movies in a lot of things, but great actors can really take dialogue and make it sing, and they obviously can’t do that here. It’s not that Waid’s dialogue is terrible, it’s just that it doesn’t feel as inspired on the page, and I imagine it would sound better if it was spoken. The story, too, is almost too ridiculous, and while I don’t mind too much, I hope that Waid will get a bit more serious. Boom! created this series because they acquired the rights to the old Grant Morrison/Ian Gibson “Steed and Mrs. Peel” series and reprinted it recently, and even though Morrison’s plots were weird, there was an element of danger to them as well. Yes, one British agent dies in this book, but it never feels very serious. I’m also not sure how the bad guys turned Steed old and how he suddenly reverted back to a younger man. His “re-youthening” takes place, quite literally, between panels, so I had no idea what was happening.

Bryant isn’t a bad artist, but this is not his best work. I’m not sure why he’s so sketchy in this book, but it helps highlight his biggest flaw – a problem with action. He’s good at characters and misc-en-scene, but he’s not great at action, and the book requires that. He also tries too hard to make Steed and Mrs. Peel look like Macnee and Rigg, (not a terrible idea at all), but because he does, there are some odd poses that make it appear he was using images that don’t really fit the scene. And if he couldn’t find photo references, the characters don’t look like Macnee and Rigg at all. So the book has a very inconsistent look to it. Bryant has never been anything but nice to me when I’ve met him, so I hope he doesn’t hunt me down like a dog for saying this, but I know he can do much better than this.

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I’m going to get a few more issues of this series, but this isn’t the greatest way to kick it off, unfortunately. Dang. I really wanted to love this.

The Ugly: Come on, no one wants to see that. Some people probably just ate!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Diana Rigg cuts through the bullshit!

Changing Ways Book 2 by Justin Randall (writer/artist) and Nathan Martella (letterer). $17.99, 106 pgs, FC, Gestalt Comics.

This has taken a bit longer to come out than I thought it would, but I’m still glad it showed up. The first volume was very good, and I’m looking forward to this one!

Courtney Crumrin volume 2: The Cover of Mystics by Ted Naifeh (writer/artist) and Warren Wucinich (colorist). $24.99, 130 pgs, FC, Oni Press.

That little noseless kid is just so darned cute!

Guarding the Globe volume 1: Under Siege by Robert Kirkman (writer), Benito Cereno (writer), Ransom Getty (penciler/inker), Kris Anka (penciler/inker), Cliff Rathburn (inker), Jonathan Glapion (inker), Russell Jackson (inker), Fco Plascencia (colorist), Ron Riley (colorist), Thomas Mason (colorist), Rex Stabbs (color assistant), and Rus Wooton (letterer). $16.99, 125 pgs, FC, Image/Skybound.

This trade was originally solicited in March … 2011, for a late May release. Yeah, that worked out well. Hey, Mr. Kirkman, how’s Image United coming along?

Journey into Mystery volume 1: Fear Itself by Kieron Gillen (writer), Doug Braithwaite (penciler), Ulises Arreola (colorist), Andy Troy (colorist), and Clayton Cowles (letterer). $15.99, 104 pgs, FC, Marvel.

And so it begins … the first of four straight months that Marvel will release a Gillen Journey into Mystery trade paperback. I’m sure it’s good stuff – it’s Gillen without Greg Land, after all – but why did Marvel wait so long? I know that Bill Reed is skipping these because he doesn’t want to pony up 16 bucks every month for four months, and I wonder if anyone else who was curious about this title is going to do the same thing. Well done, Marvel. (I should point out that Bill Reed is amazingly cheap – the dude likes to pee in a glass, add a lemon, and call it “Hefeweizen” – but the point still stands.)

Rex Mundi Omnibus volume 1 by Arvid Nelson (writer), EricJ (artist), Jim Di Bartolo (artist/colorist), Juan Ferreyra (artist/colorist), Brian Churilla (artist), Jeromy Cox (colorist), and Jason Millet (colorist). $24.99, 582 pgs, FC, Dark Horse.

I think I’ve said about all I can about this series, in case you’re wondering. Yes, the dimensions are smaller than a “regular” comic book, which is a bit frustrating, but it includes the Brother Matthew on-line stuff, which I’ve never read. Everyone wins!


Before I get into anything else, I should point out that today is my older daughter’s tenth birthday. Yay, Mia! Considering we weren’t sure she’d see her first one, this is pretty cool. It’s certainly been an interesting ten years, and we always hope that every day will be better than this last one.

You cannot resist her cuteness!

Moving on, apparently you better watch Jersey Shore now, because this season will be its last. I watched about 30 minutes of the hour-long first episode and could not stand it, and I haven’t watched since (not even for this). I’m not terribly surprised that the cast has become such big stars. This is the way the world works. That first link, by the way, contains the “Snooki punch” that even I can’t condone. I mean, Snooki seems like a horrible person, but really, dude who punches her? Really?

Apparently, Bic came out with pens “For Her,” and Amazon reviewers have been having a field day.

In political news, we have a tempest in a tea pot: Republicans want the FCC to regulate cable channels as well as networks. It’s never going to happen, but it does seem interesting that the party of tiny government wants to regulate these kinds of things but not, I don’t know, pollution.

On Facebook, Greg Hatcher and John Layman, two dyed-in-the-wool liberals, linked to this article about Paul Ryan’s speech at the convention. As both Greg and Layman allude to, it’s a bit hard to believe this is on Fox News’ web site. Good for you, Fox News! Here’s the thing I don’t understand about the media, though: If they know Paul Ryan lied (or, to be fair, Obama, or any other politician), why don’t they confront that person instead of just writing about it on a web site? I assume someone will interview Paul Ryan between now and the election. I will bet that person won’t say, “So, in your speech you said ______, and I can prove to you that you lied. What do you say?” Our media has no balls whatsoever. Sure, they’ll say politicians lie, but when they sit down with those politicians, they throw them softballs. Sack up, media!

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Every year, I get a little bit less interested in football, but it is starting up this weekend (tonight, in fact), and with the Penn State thing this past year, I’m very interested to see what happens with my alma mater. Is anyone watching any particular game this weekend? I really haven’t been paying attention to other teams, because I’m sure ESPN will manipulate things so that an SEC team and probably USC will play for the MNC. That’s what they want, and that’s what they’ll get. I’m also a bit excited for pro football, because I think the Eagles will have a better team than last year. Michael Vick will apparently wear a military-grade vest to protect his ribs, so maybe he can play the entire season! Yeah, I wouldn’t bet on it. Still, I’ll probably get sucked into the football vortex, even though I always try to escape!!!!

My iPod is out of commission this week (actually, the cord to plug into the car is out of commission, and the iPod got reset once again, so I figured I’d give it a rest for now), so it’s back to Top Ten Lists. This time I thought I’d list my ten favorite songs about dancing. Listen, I don’t dance. Well, I can do some ballroom dances, but as for dancing like those cool people at the clubs … no. But I love songs about dancing. Not necessarily just songs with a good beat, but songs about getting up and dancing. Why do I love said songs? NO MAN CAN SAY! I just do. So here are my favorites, in chronological order:

1. “Burn This Disco Out” by Michael Jackson (1979). Off The Wall is a really good album, and it’s bookended by two superb songs, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” and this song. The title says it all, but that’s okay. I’m sure we’ve all burned a disco or two out in our time!

2. “Come Dancing” by The Kinks (1982). My wife loathes this song. Loathes it with every fiber of her being!!!!! So of course whenever it comes on my iPod and she’s in the car, I turn it up! (Just like Freedom Rock.) I’m kind of a sucker for nostalgia, and the idea of a girl going out to the dance hall and having a good time and then growing up while the dance hall gets turned into a parking lot makes me wistful. And I didn’t even grow up in the 1950s!

3. “The Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats (1983). Oh, of course it’s ridiculous. But remember: you CAN dance it you want to, but you’ll have to leave your friends behind!

4. “And We Danced” by The Hooters (1985). There was something oddly innocent about some dance music in the 1980s, and this song exemplified that. It’s a peppy, joyous song about having fun, even though there’s a slight sexual undercurrent running through it. Rob Hyman’s vocals are perfectly suited for the first verse’s lightness, while Eric Bazilian adds just the slightest roughness to the second verse’s more sexual tone. Plus, mandolins!

5. “Get Up! (Before The Night Is Over)” by Technotronic (1989). I suppose most people like “Pump Up The Jam” more, but I was always partial to this one. Dare you ignore Ya Kid K.’s directive? I think not!

6. “Bust A Move” by Young MC (1989). If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that you shouldn’t stand on the wall like you was Poindexter. You never know when a chick is going to walk by and you wish you could sex her.

7. “The Humpty Dance” by Digital Underground (1990). Don’t fight it! “I’ll eat up all your crackers and your licorice”!

8. “Last Call” by The Popes (2000). The Popes were Shane MacGowan’s backing band after he left the Pogues, and then they went off on their own. “Last Call” is a rollicking tune about having a last dance and a last drink before the bar closes. Good times!

9. “Pull Shapes” by The Pipettes (2006). I don’t know why it’s called “Pull Shapes,” but I bet Kieron Gillen does. I know The Pipettes are simply channeling 1960s girl groups, and this song is a light as gossamer, but I love it. Clap your hands if you want some more!

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10. “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing” by Scissor Sisters (2006). Yes, it’s a slightly sad love song, but dancing is a metaphor, man! I mean, he knows he’s changed, but his lover hasn’t, and is willing to lose his love? Oh, the conundrum!

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some, but those are the ones I can think of. Feel free to chime in! And hey, there’s always time for Totally Random Lyrics!

“I’m the one without a soul, I’m the one with this big fucking hole
No new tale to tell, twenty-six years on my way to hell
Gotta listen to your big time, hard line, bad luck, fist fuck
Don’t think you’re having all the fun, you know me – I hate everyone”

I know – that’s too easy, but I just love the bleakness of it all after listing those mostly fun tunes!

Have a nice day, everyone, and be sure that you give your loved ones a big hug today. You should do that every day, of course, but maybe you’ve forgotten!


It’s true that I’m incredibly cheap, but I don’t skimp on beer, man. Gotta draw the line somewhere.

Your review makes the Steed and Peel comic sound just like the show, which did get very silly and very awesome in the Emma Peel years. Why is this a #0, though? Why not just #1? I thought this was to be an “adaptation” of the original Hellfire Club episode, but apparently not.

I wish that show was in print and affordable on DVD!

Bill: Yeah, I know you like your good beer. It just came to me, though – I had to use it!

I have no idea why this was a zero issue. It’s very mystifying.

I think the mistake you’re making, when you wonder why they kept Looker a vampire and ditched everything else about her, is thinking they set out to make a Looker comic in the first place. They wanted to make a vampire comic and asked “what other heroic vampires are there in the DCU? Preferably female since we’ve already got a male one?”

It’s like if DC announced a Kamandi series (or Marvel a Kilraven series) where he was forced to compete against a bunch of other young people in a televised death match; it wouldn’t be because someone thought that was a good plot for Kamandi (or Kilraven), it would be because someone got tasked with doing a Hunger Games knockoff and said “do we have any young people who fight with primitive weapons in a dystopian future that I can use for this?”

ZZZ: Yeah, good point. That’s still amazingly stupid, but it’s probably what they were thinking.

I’m sure I’ll be watching many CFB games this weekend but the only one I’ll be paying 100% attention to is Monday’s Georgia Tech (alma mater) vs Virginia Tech match up.

I am NOT ready for football season. I AM ready for the fall however.

I’m annoyed at Looker being a vampire. She’s supposed to be the plainest of Janes who was neither hot nor fug, who found out she was the queen of a subterranean kingdom and got smokin’ hot AND superpowers out of the deal. I’ve seen a few stories from Outsiders, including one that starts with her looking in the mirror, looking two seconds away from pawing herself into a coma. I try to cut DC slack, but they tend to drop balls, and this is one of ‘em.

Tom Fitzpatrick

August 30, 2012 at 7:44 pm

You know, I bought nothing on your list this week. So I can’t agree to disagree with your assessment.
Not sure if that’s an entirely good thing or not. Only time will tell.

I will say that about the Steed and Mrs. Peel, is that I read the original 3 issue mini-series years ago and prefer the original artist, Ian Gibson than to Steve Bryant (why, o why must they mess with perfection?)

“Kids are dumb!”? : Careful, that your own kids isn’t reading this blog! ;-)

You’re just trying to drag me in to commenting by mentioning Scissor Sisters again aren’t you…

Oz: You COULD comment about other things, you know …

Those lyrics would have to be that of NIN’s Wish. Now that’s a song that can get things amped up!!

More reviews should have links to pictures of Rachael Leigh Cook (although it should be illegal for her to go blonde). Also, I haven’t heard The Hooters in like 10 years.

Here’s the thing I don’t understand about the media, though: If they know Paul Ryan lied (or, to be fair, Obama, or any other politician), why don’t they confront that person instead of just writing about it on a web site? I assume someone will interview Paul Ryan between now and the election. I will bet that person won’t say, “So, in your speech you said ______, and I can prove to you that you lied. What do you say?”

I ask that question every goddam day. I mean, these press guys have LIBRARIES FULL OF VIDEO. I can’t understand why none of them ever say something like, “Really, senator? Because that’s not what you said ten days ago in Iowa. Let’s go to the tape.” If losing the audience is their worry, they should quit worrying. That kind of thing is great for ratings, those are the clips that instantly go viral. Look at the thing with Soledad O’brien a few days ago. She corrected a guy and he went ballistic and started shouting.

The standard answer the media guys give is, “Well, if we push them too hard we lose our access, they won’t talk to us.” What I want to know is, why is it better if they talk to you when you just let them lie? How is that an improvement? or even news? I’d rather have truth at a distance than liars in person. I don’t care if it’s the right or the left; if you can’t defend what you’re doing on the merits, with actual facts, then you should shut the hell up and let grownups get some work done. I don’t think that’s a particularly liberal point of view; once upon a time, that was called ‘governing.’

I haven’t received the Looker comic (I get my comics shipped out). But this is the third review I’ve read that hasn’t been positive. And I am totally bummed out by it. I really wanted this to be a good book.

Looker is a great character with so much potential. An ugly duckling turned into a stunner. And with psionic powers, and a smart arse attitude. She could be DC’s Emma Frost!

And I LOVE that Alan Davis cover! I would kill for a Looker figure in that costume! :)

Are you waiting for the trade with Prophet? If there’s a comic that deserves to be read in singles, it’s that one. Give it a shot! Prophet and Sixth Gun are my favorite comics right now. Oh, and Atomic Robo. Relax, Bill Reed :-)

Happy birthday to your daughter!

I would comment on comics, but they are just leaving me so cold at the moment.

I can point out a great example of the media actually bringing up untruths stated by a politician, some glorious work from Australia a few weeks ago.


If your friends don’t dance then they’re no friends of mine.

Aaron C: Indeed they do!

Mecha-Shiva: Sorry – I just thought that was a nice picture of her!

Greg: Krys and I think Soledad O’Brien has been watching Jeff Daniels on The Newsroom – she suddenly remembered that she’s allowed to challenge guests!

Pedro: Yeah, I wasn’t totally sure about Prophet when it started, so I decided to wait for the trade. The review should be up today or tomorrow. I agree that it’s very good!

Oz: I love how that interview begins – “You were pretty loose with the truth today.” BAM! Right out of the box!


Maybe you should trust the media less… they got the Ryan thing wrong and he had it right.


The point he was making is that our current President promises the Moon and the Stars and delivers slightly less than that.

Anon: So I believe one fact-checker and you believe another? That’s fine. I don’t think Obama promised the moon and the stars, but if he did, so does every politician. My point is that if a politician – whether it’s Ryan or Romney or Boehner or Obama or Pelosi or Reid – says something idiotic, it’s not enough to rant about it on a web site. Reid claimed that Romney didn’t pay any taxes and everyone bashed him. Has any interviewer sat down with Reid and asked him if he can prove it, and if he can’t, he should shut up about it? I haven’t heard it. It’s the same thing – if you don’t think Ryan lied, fine. If someone else thinks he lied, don’t just rant about it, sit down with him and hash it out. Nobody does that, no matter who the politician is.


You don’t have to get so defensive. The reason no one calls Harry Reid on his crap is that the people asking are not interested in the truth (or in the higher callings of journalism). The reason that much of the media picked up the fact-check lie and we will never see a follow-up with Ryan is that the people asking are not interested in the truth (or the higher callings of journalism). In both cases their “needs” are served by not demanding the truth from our representatives or allowing themselves to rebut without proper evidence (which you personally accepted without question).

Our needs aren’t served though because our “filters” are damaged beyond repair.

Anon: Sorry – I thought you were picking on me because I’m a silly liberal. I agree, I don’t think the media – on either side – is interested in the truth. Once ratings get into the mix, that’s all that matters. News shows care only about ratings, and I don’t think trying to figure out which politicians are telling the truth factors into that.

The thing is — I would watch the news more regularly IF the media DID do things like challenge Paul Ryan on some of his lies, but they don’t.

Case in point — Diane Sawyer has a very brief sit-down with Ryan last night — this was actually the interplay:

Sawyer: “You talked about your father quite a bit last night. (Ryan’s father died when he was 16, if you didn’t know.) Do you still think of him quite often?”

Ryan: “I do, quite a bit. He taught me about ethics and honesty and how to deal with people.”

Now, I can guarantee you I would have a lot more respect for ABC if Sawyer’s next question had been: “What do you think he would say about you blaming Obama for a plant closure in your district that occurred before he was even elected, much less inaugurated?”

The Reid example would also work: “Senator Reid, you’ve leveled quite a serious charge at Mr. Romney. Do you think that’s fair or ethical to just say something like that without evidence?”

Instead, we got about 5 minutes of cross-promotion of GMA disguised as reporting on Robin Roberts. And this isn’t only ABC, but it happened to be on while I was making dinner. The decline of network news mirrors that of a lot of media, including the one that we are talking about on this blog. A lot of flash and spectacle, very little substance.

Don’t know the song but gotta be a Trent Reznor lyric. Has he written “I hate myself & I want to die!” If not, why not?!!

Nirvana beat him to it.

When it comes to news programs failing to directly call out politicians, someone at CBS Evening News once responded that they were news reporters, not news investigators, and made a distinction between the evening news and shows like 60 Minutes.

Of course that explanation ignored that the CBS Evening News sometimes does “investigative reporting”. Even after the evening news devolved into an advertisement for their “investigative” shows, they’d still pull off some investigative bits.

The dirty not-really-secret thing though is the risk of losing access. Also, they don’t want to be seen as biased (regardless of actual bias, or lack thereof). If you ask pointed questions of one politician, people will call you out for not doing the same of another, *even if you do the same to the other*. Heck, Sarah Palin showed that they had to be careful even lobbing softballs. The infamous Couric/Palin interview would have been a generic puff piece, but Palin so dramatically failed on even the simplest stuff that CBS managed to portray Couric as hard-hitting afterwards, and supporters of Palin complained about how Palin was treated.

And, of course, it probably doesn’t matter in the long run anyway. I used to watch Meet the Press with Tim Russert. It was extremely common that he’d ask a question, the guest would dodge it or even lie, Russert would call them out on the dodge or lie, and they’d dodge again (with or without more twisted reality). You could often see when Russert realized he wasn’t going to get the issue addressed, and he gives up because the interview would otherwise be him repeatedly asking the same question and the guest just constantly avoiding it.

So I got comics this week. some of the same ones you did. Have not yet read Higher Earth 4, or MG 21. I did flip through MG, though, and I think it’s a mistake to include a whole batch of characters that are kinda like the characters we’re already interested in. There seems to be too much of a grand plan to the series and we aren’t seeing enough of what that is, and I’m starting to lose interest. Wrap up an occasional plot thread before you give me 100 more.

And as much as I would like to say I told you Spencer’s in this for the long haul, it wasn’t me. I’d heard that as well, but it was either our pal Tom (in the comments from when you bought 19), or possibly FGJ.

I got the Looker issue, and was disappointed with how dull it was. I have read some Outsiders (that ’90s version from around the time of Zero Hour, and that series was, btw, absolutely awful. It hurt when I read a few issues last year when I was reading my ZH stuff. Sexy Paul Pelletier art, tho.) with her as a vampire, but I didn’t know much of her back story. THIS book gives us the typical modeling cliches, a weird outburst for no apparent reason (why is she bitching about how stupid the missing girl is?), and it’s all dull set up for no good reason — does anyone think they’ll do a regular series of Looker? That said, the image of the bad guy was awesome.

I saw in your review and another one about the cop guy she digs being blind, but I TOTALLY didn’t pick up on that. I’ll have to flip through again.

And given all the hottie links you do for me, you know I loved that cover. Actually, besides being a nice bit of cheesecake, it actually does tell us a lot of story — she can’t be photographed, she’s got the trickle of blood there, she presumably uses double sided tape….

Steed and Mrs Peel was decent, although I am unfamiliar with the show. I don’t know why it was a zero issue either. Bryant’s art was definitely inconsistent, yes. I believe the bit about the aging was that the group DID figure out a temporary way to age the agents, so they felt old and would be tricked into giving up secrets, but the formula would wear off, so they killed the agents before it did and they’d realize that they’d been tricked. Mrs Peel saved Steed before they could kill him, so the formula wore off for him. IIRC.

Before I rant and rave about a couple other comics, I just want to mention I finally bought a car, yay! And I got to get to the NY State Fair, and saw the Happy Together tour with the Buckinghams, Grass Roots, Gary Puckett, Micky Dolenz and the Turtles. It’s more music my mom wanted to see, but I enjoyed it as well. I dug the Turtles most because of their humor, and they worked with Zappa back in the day (even did a bit of “Peaches En Regalia”!!!). Fun (not really) comics related fact is that the Turtles had a hit with Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me, Babe”, which was also used as the title of an underground comix. IIRC. Anyway, good stuff. It was their last show of the tour, but if they’re doing it again next year and they’re in your area, and you dig any of that stuff, it’s worth seeing.

Plus, there was a booth at the fair with DVDs, and I THOUGHT they were bootlegs. I KNEW they were when I saw the Batman TV show there, since that’s not officially on DVD yet.

NYS: Copyright infringement is a-ok!

One rant, one rave on comics:

If the comics you got disappointed you, just be glad you didn’t get Phantom Lady #1. So awful. Totally unlikeable characters that become more so once you realize how fucking stupid they are (duhhh, a gangster can trace calls? And doesn’t keep the deal he made?), cliched plot elements (revenge for parent’s death), and just overall dull. Plus, just 19 pages (yes, yes, “and the portions are too small”, I know the joke), which since I’m complaining seems dumb to point out until I mention that at at least one point, I think I missed something, so either trying to cram everything into 19 pages didn’t work, or else somewhere in production, a page went missing before this went to print. The art is ok, it’s just the story is awful, and coming from Gray and Palmiotti, it’s extremely disappointing. I hope this is funding Creator Owned Heroes, because THAT I’m digging, and THAT’s where my money’s going next week. Plus, PL had a caption “six month’s earlier”. Man that pisse’s me off!

Rave of the week: I picked up a cool book called Scam #1, from Comix Tribe. http://www.comixtribe.com/comics/scam/ For the site of the book. Joe Mulvey is the creator, and while I haven’t seen anything by him before, he does a nice job with this book. It’s got some cliches, certainly, but it’s an interesting book about a team of superpowered people on a heist who get double crossed by one of their own, and they get together to get revenge. In summation like that, it doesn’t sound that great, I know, but the characterization is nice and it’s a compelling story. I actually didn’t quite pick up on the super power bit at first (cuz I’m dumb), but that just shows that it’s not the main thrust of the book, so far. Art is pretty good, sorta kinda like Eisma on MG, but not completely. I can’t really think of who else it looks like, which is good in a way. There are a few layout issues on a couple pages where the page flow isn’t the best, but overall I was quite impressed with the book. Plus, it’s 42 pages for 3.99, which is essentially a double size issue these days. If you find it in your local shop, pick it up. I emailed my LCS guy to ask him to add the rest of the mini (5 issues) to my pull list, and I may look for a website to email Mulvey to praise the book. Unless he comments here and saves me the trouble :)

Damn, I type a lot. This is why Chad doesn’t have comments on RT anymore! (Although I was stunned when I saw a comment there, until I saw that it was Brian. Oh, sure, HE can comment! It’s like he owns the damn place!)

Travis: I flipped through Scam at my store but didn’t buy it. Maybe I’ll have to give it a second look!

I didn’t pick up that the dude in Looker was blind the first time I read it. Perhaps I was already angry at it for not being good. It’s pretty obvious the second time through, though!

Oh, speaking of weird female ’80s characters that you have a bizarre crush on, Greg, it’s a good thing you didn’t pick up X-Treme X-Men 2 like I did, because they turned Dazzler into a fucking moron.


Yes, a fucking moron, who just repeated the last word anyone around her spoke.


Yes, spoke, dammit! What the hell is wrong with you, all that disco mess up your hearing?



“Athabasca” isn’t a legend, it’s a group of Native peoples, cultures, and languages centered in Alaska and northwestern Canada.



Rob: Man, that’s weird. Wiebe had to know that, unless he happened to put random letters together and it just happened to come up in the same sequence. I wonder why he did that, unless it’s going to be pertinent to the story in some way.

Sometimes writers hear an Indian word and use it for something totally unrelated. But since you say “Foster” is a supernatural thriller, it may have something to do with the Dwellers. Perhaps they’re people cursed by an Native shaman, an all-too-common plot gimmick.

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