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What I bought – 3 October 2012

“Without the right sound, writing is worthless.” Laney gazed at the cream-colored wall. “He fired me, you know. One day there was an Italian novel and I couldn’t read Italian, so he let me go from the job of reading. Joyce fired me from the job for which I was not paid.” (Roger Kahn, from The Boys of Summer)

I knew Brian would pick this one! Everyone who wears a monocle is automatically EVIL!!!! How can that dude be evil?  He's just chillaxing with his pooch! That 'Jones' is J.G. Jones, by the way! Fact: Zack Giallongo is awesome I'm very keen to check out the 'erotically charged drawings' in this comic!

Avengers Academy #38 (“Crosstown Rivals”) by Christos Gage (writer), Tom Grummett (penciler), Cory Hamscher (inker), Rick Ketcham (inker), Chris Sotomayor (colorist), and Joe Caramagna (letterer). $2.99, 20 pgs, FC, Marvel.

Eins. I love that cover. I love it because unlike a lot of homages, which take the image, change it to fit the comic, but usually keep the tone of the cover, this one takes a deadly serious cover and completely upends it to make it light-hearted. Well done, Giuseppe Camuncoli!

Dos. Speaking of cover artists, Marvel has been doing this on AA for a while (but not necessarily on their other books) – putting the cover artists in the credits before the letterer. Way to piss all over Joe Caramagna’s contribution, Marvel!

Trzy. This is a phenomenal issue. You’ll recall (because I go on about it so fucking much) that I believe DC and Marvel comics should take a breath every once in a while, and lo and motherfucking behold, Gage gives us one after the tense drama of “Final Exam.” The cover promises a flag football game, and that’s exactly what we get. We don’t get a surprise attack by a villain, or a cliffhanger where Mettle reveals he’s really a Dire Wraith. It’s just an issue about a football game, although the game tends to get lost in the shuffle. And it’s fucking hilarious. I could have picked ten panels to feature as the “Airwolf” one, because Gage gets so many funny things into this issue. I have never used the Doop translator before, but I had to because the White Tiger said it was “obscene” (it wasn’t, but who knew that about Doop?). There’s just a lot of very funny exchanges in this book, and it’s perfectly in character – most of the characters are teenagers, who enjoy busting on each other, and the “grown-up” superheroes include Iceman and Hawkeye, who aren’t all that mature, and Wolverine, who enjoys beer (although I doubt he drinks Molson – have some self-respect, Logan!). Gage does manage to get some nice “serious” moments into the book, as when Kitty talks to Veil about her lack of powers or when Finesse comes clean with X-23 about what happened to Jeremy, and it’s that mix that makes the book so refreshing. I don’t know if people who haven’t been reading Avengers Academy would enjoy this comic, but if you’re looking for an issue that isn’t all doom-’n'-gloom (because Jeebus knows we’ve seen far too much of that from the Big Two recently), check this out. It’s excellent.

Pedwar. Good job scheduling, Marvel. This issue, of course, takes place after AvX ends, but AvX technically hasn’t ended yet in the “real” world. Well done! How a comic with 28 writers and 44 artists could be late (these numbers may be exaggerated) is beyond me. Marvel: It didn’t work going the “Let’s wait for Steve McNiven” route, it didn’t work going to the “Let’s hire every writer and artist we can think of so they can all work at the same time” route. And yet – I’m sure they’ll have another godawful crossover next summer! Whoo!

Cinco. It’s the Return of the Grammar Cop! I don’t expect a mouth-breather like Gambit to know any different, but he says “show her you take her serious.” Of course, it’s “seriously.” Adverbs are awesome!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

He forgot 'Wear a trench coat in the middle of summer, and be sure to pop your collar!'

Detective Comics #13 (“Duck and Cover”/”IQ Test”) by John Layman (writer), Jason Fabok (artist, “Duck”), Andy Clarke (artist, “Test”), Jeromy Cox (colorist, “Duck”), Blond (colorist, “Test”), Jared K. Fletcher (letterer, “Duck”), and Dezi Sienty (letterer, “Test”). $3.99, 28 pgs, FC, DC.

T’ááłá’í. I wasn’t planning on getting Layman’s run on Detective until it came out in trade, but I figured I’d check out the first issue. As I mentioned last week, I’ve heard quite a bit about this run, none of which I’m allowed to share. Layman has some cool ideas, though, and this a pretty good first issue. Layman does a nice job jumping back and forth in time to set up the plot, which involves the Penguin trying to kill Bruce Wayne. There’s also – wait for it – detective work in this comic, as Batman figures out what the bad guys are up to and why they’re doing it. I thought it was a single-issue story (one that nevertheless fits into a longer arc, much like what Layman has done often on Chew), but it ends on a decent cliffhanger, and I’m curious about how our hero will get out of the pickle he’s in. Layman writes the back-up story, too, and he gives us a quick eight-pager that ties into the first story nicely. There’s a lot to like about this issue.

Kaksi. Layman told me he’s writing this as an all-ages comic. That may sound strange, given the apparent directive from On High at DC that all their comics must use the “Grim-’n'-Gritty Wheel” (as the 3 Chicks call it) to determine story lines, but it’s interesting once you stop to check out this issue that it is indeed “all-ages” – well, maybe not for three-year-olds, but you get the idea. One character is shot dead, but all we see is the gun going off and then his (rather bloodless) corpse on the ground. There’s a little blood, but it comes from the mouths and noses of bad guys when Batman punches them, and there’s not a lot of it. One of the characters is wearing a red mask, so when Batman punches him, it looks like a lot of blood, but it’s his mask shattering. This is a very “old-school” kind of Batman comic, in that there’s plenty of punching but nothing all that horrific. It’s just a bad guy doing dastardly things and Batman trying to stop him. It’s remarkably refreshing. (Yes, I called two consecutive comics “refreshing.” When was the last time you could say that about two Big Two comics that came out in the same week?)

Tre. Jason Fabok is channeling Gary Frank in this issue, which isn’t a criticism. It’s fairly standard superhero art – it doesn’t elevate the story, but it doesn’t hurt it at all. There’s not a ton of interesting page layouts, and Fabok’s heavy inks and Cox’s thick brushes make up for Fabok’s biggest deficiency, which is facial expressions. He seems to have a fairly limited range of faces, most showing some kind of anger, which I guess is fine for a serious character like Batman, but I wonder how he’ll handle Poison Ivy and her seductiveness next issue. Will she be an angry vixen? Andy Clarke has a much better range of expressions in his short story than Fabok does. But I saw Fabok’s artwork on that annual he did earlier in the summer and wasn’t impressed, so I’m pleasantly surprised by his work here. I don’t love the monocle on the Penguin, though. It never looks right, because nobody – Fabok included – draws the Penguin using muscles to keep it in. It just floats there, in front of his eye. It’s oddly distracting.

ЧеTыре. Comic book creators aren’t unionized, are they? I wonder because Layman really likes lettering his own comics, but Jared K. Fletcher and Dezi Sienty, both “stable” letterers at DC, do this one. I forgot to ask Layman if he was lettering this and, if not, why not. Perhaps it’s a time constraint, as he already does letter two other books. But I wonder if DC even allowed him the option. This seems like a very “closed shop” kind of choice. I don’t have anything against Fletcher or Sienty, but it’s curious.

Lima. Grammar Cop! This is just a typo, but when Ogilvy is talking about his first job, his boss’ name is spelled “Peguin.” That’s some fine, fine editing by the folk at DC!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Take the shot!

Fatale #8 by Ed Brubaker (writer), Sean Phillips (artist), and Dave Stewart (colorist). $3.50, 24 pgs, FC, Image.

Egy. Fatale only took a month off, but it seems like longer, doesn’t it? Why is that? It’s not something that I’m champing at the bit to read – I enjoy it quite a bit, certainly, but it hasn’t grabbed me yet like certain other comics and made me want to read it NOW! But when it came out this week, I thought, “Where the heck has this been?” Then I checked, and issue #7 came out in the middle of August. Weird. Maybe I miss it more than I think I do!

To. I like how Brubaker pulls together the “present” sections and the “past” sections. I always like seeing the same scene from different perspectives, Rashomon-style, so that was neat. Plus, Brubaker reminds us that this isn’t just a noir tale, as we get some science-fictiony stuff in this issue. Mash-ups are the bomb, yo!

Hiru. Phillips kills it on this issue, as usual. I love the more “simplistic” style he employs when Nick is remembering his childhood, and I love how the woman turns into a monster when she’s about to pummel Nick, because it’s unclear if she’s really a monster or if he’s just imagining it. The sci-fi panel kicks much ass, too.

Foa. I didn’t see any grammar/spelling mistakes. I mean, I guess I’ve lost the battle of “damned” being the correct usage instead of “damn,” so I’m going to leave the “goddamn” alone. But I’ll be goddamned if I’m going to like it!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Attacking some dude with his own wooden leg? That's hard core!

Legends of the Dark Knight #1. “___ ______ ___ __” by Damon Lindelof (writer), Jeff Lemire (artist), José Villarrubia (colorist), and Saida Temofonte (letterer); “All of the Above” by Jonathan Larsen (writer), J.G. Jones (artist), Paul Mounts (colorist), and Saida Temofonte (letterer); “The Crime Never Committed” by Tom Taylor (writer), Nicola Scott (penciller), Wayne Faucher (inker), Allen Passalaqua (colorist), and Saida Temofonte (letterer). $3.99, 30 pgs, FC, DC.

Satu. This issue collects three digital issues seeing print for the first time. I have no idea where you could have read these originally – I’m so un-tech-savvy that my wife, who got an iPad a month ago, already knows how to do more with it than I know with the one I’ve had for well over a year. I have one (1) app on my iPad, and it’s only because I needed it for something to do with work. So I just wait until DC gets around to publishing shit on real paper, or I don’t read it. I just don’t like reading comics on a device! Well, yet. Maybe I’ll evolve.

Ni. This is another four-dollar book which I don’t feel too bad paying four dollars for, because it’s longer than 20 (or 22) pages. Plus, the talent is really good, so that’s something. I will still blanch at paying four bucks for a 20-page comic (I mean, come on!), but if DC (or Marvel) increases the page count and gives us good talent, why wouldn’t I buy something like this?

Niswi. The first story, the name of which I can’t reveal (it gives away the twist), is excellent. First of all, Lemire’s art is really good – I thought of Paul Pope when I saw that Airwolf panel, and even though Lemire’s unique character and face design is different from Pope’s, his costumed Batman is certainly reminiscent of it. Meanwhile, Lindelof gives us my favorite new character – Complete Asshole Batman! I mean, Batman is always a bit arrogant, but Lindelof goes nuts with it (this is early in his career, so it’s forgivable), and let me tell you, Complete Asshole Batman is funny as hell. I dare you not to laugh at his Hal Jordan burn. This is a seriously awesome Batman story, and it’s only 10 pages long.

Mbohapy. I don’t know if DC asked their writers to come up with variations on Complete Asshole Batman, because Larsen kind of gives us one in the second story. Obviously, the big draw for this 10-pager is Jones’ art, but Larsen gives us a nice Batman, too, one who’s not quite as much of an asshole as the first story Batman is, but still, one who has a grand old time taunting Amazo. The android attacks Batman, who’s alone on the JLA satellite, and Batman basically messes with him just so he can prove to his superpowered peers how fucking cool he is. I mean, we all know Batman is fucking cool, but it’s fun that some writers let him think that. It’s a clever story marred only by the use of Bat-Shark Repellant [sic]*. I mean, I like Bat-Shark Repellant as much as the next guy (the next guy being Cronin, of course), but that doesn’t mean it’s not stupid, and the “real” Batman – meaning every version EXCEPT the Adam West one – looks stupid carrying it around. But it’s still a fun story.

* Apparently you’re allowed to spell “repellent” with an “a” before the “nt.” I don’t like it, but I won’t count it against Larsen or letterer Temofonte.

Wŭ. Nicola Scott has the unenviable task of following Lemire and Jones, but she’s a good artist, so it’s not too bad. I don’t know if she did this quickly (I assume it’s old and not interfering with her current work), or if it’s because it’s digital (I don’t know how she usually works), or if it’s Faucher’s influence, but this looks slicker than her art usually looks. It’s certainly not bad, but it is a bit different. Meanwhile, Taylor eases back on Complete Asshole Batman and gives us Good Citizen Batman, the kind that doesn’t want people to commit crimes. It’s actually quite a good story, and it features … I assume that’s Tim Drake as Robin? It’s certainly not Damian, because this Robin isn’t a dick. I like how Robin (Tim?) does the talking, because even if Batman is being magnanimous in this story, BATMAN DOESN’T TALK TO PEONS! Much like Complete Asshole Batman, I really dig Good Citizen Batman – he’s just trying to look out for his peeps, man! Plus, I always like stories that reference his origin without being too obvious about it, and this one does (so does Lindelof’s, in a different way). We all know his origin, so let us make the connection, writers!

Sitta. What kind of weird shop is DiDio running over there at 1700 Broadway? DC claims they haven’t done a reboot, but then they completely rework their continuity so it’s clearly a reboot, even editing their trade paperbacks to make sure Tim Drake was never Robin (seriously, Double-you Tee Eff, DC?), but then they publish this sucker, which clearly contradicts whatever clusterfuck is going on in the “real” DCnU. I mean, unless that kid in the last story is Dick Grayson or Jason Todd, it’s clear that Tim Drake was Robin. I guess DC can get away with it because no one ever calls him by name, so I suppose it could be Dick. Meanwhile, in the second story, we see a Justice League that features a Superman wearing red shorts, contains Booster Gold, Martian Manhunter, and Power Girl. Plus, they’re on a satellite. Well done, DC! Sheesh.

Hefet. Grammar cop! First, someone at DC spelled José Villarrubia’s name wrong in the credits. They use only one “r.” Okay, they forgot the accent on the “e,” too, but the misspelling of his last name is really shoddy. Really, DC? I mean, how about you treat your creators with the common courtesy of spelling their names right. It can’t be that hard.

Meanwhile, on Page 1, we get “I’d lay in bed at night …” Look, it’s not that difficult to get the difference between “lie” and “lay” correct, yet people get it wrong all the time. Batman is not narrating in the past tense: “I lay in bed last night” – he’s using the conditional mood, meaning he’s saying “I would lay …” which is incorrect. Before you get all over me for being pedantic, what if Lindelof had had Batman thinking “I would runned along the rooftop …”? Would you be willing to forgive his ignorance? Of course not. “Lay” is WRONG. This isn’t a question of splitting an infinitive (which is idiotic in English – go ahead and split them!) or ending a clause with a preposition (another stupid rule) – this is using the wrong fucking word. If Lindelof had written “I’d chair in bed at night …”, would that be okay? No. Because that would be the wrong fucking word. Just because “lay” is the past tense of “lie” doesn’t excuse someone not taking 30 seconds to look up the difference. Especially people who get paid to write words.

Meanwhile (yes, another “meanwhile”!), Alfred correctly corrects Bruce when Bruce uses “infers” instead of “implies” (although Bruce ought to know better – he’s a smart dude), but when Bruce says “You and the grammar,” Alfred says, “The grammar and I, sir.” That’s an incorrect correction. “You and the grammar” is perfectly fine, because Bruce is talking about the second person – Alfred. If we took Alfred’s correction, Bruce would simply say, “The grammar and you.” So Alfred is dumb, too. Man.

Sheva. Man, Nicola Scott drew the crazy security guard as Matt Wagner. What does she have against Wagner?

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Nobody out-bad-asses Batman!

Broxo by Zack Giallongo (writer/artist), Braden Lamb (colorist), and Carly Monardo (colorist). $16.99, 239 pgs, FC, First Second Books.

A few years ago, Giallongo sent me some of his mini-comics, and they were quite good. I’m glad he has a chance to reach a larger audience with this book. Giallongo is a good artist, and his work looks even better with the high-end production values of a First Second comic.

Sailor Twain or The Mermaid in the Hudson by Mark Siegel (writer/artist). $24.99, 399 pgs, BW, First Second Books.

John Irving’s quote on the front of this book actually lauds its “erotically charged drawings.” Now, there are naked mermaids in this book, but I’ve flipped through it, and Siegel’s style is not what you think of when you think “erotically charged.” It’s good work, certainly, but it’s a bit cartoony. I’ll have to see if it’s really that erotic!

**********

So I guess there was a debate last night. I didn’t watch it. I haven’t even read anything about it yet. I will, though. Comics reviews are more important!!!!

I have never watched Doctor Who, but I know who Karen Gillan is. She’s leaving (left?) the show, and here are some .gifs to celebrate (mourn?).

Speaking of redheads, here are many more attractive ones. You’re welcome, Travis.

Wait, they’re making another Die Hard?

I’ve watched most of the new television shows I’m going to watch (I DVRed 666 Park Avenue, just for kicks, but haven’t watched it yet), and it seems like this year is pretty lame. I watched the first episode of Revolution and found it pretty bland and dumb. Yet it’s a huge hit. Ben and Kate is okay, but I don’t get the appeal of Nat Faxon. He seems like a doofus, which I guess is the point. Also, precocious kids make my teeth ache. The girl in the show is five years old, but the actor playing her is seven. I guess they thought she wasn’t precocious enough to play a seven-year-old, but she looks like a genius as a five-year-old! Vegas is perfectly fine – I like Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis, so I’ll give it some time to really take off (and good for networks to back off on trying to make Jason O’Mara a leading man – the dude has gone 0-for-2 in shows the last few years, so it’s nice that he can let Quaid and Chiklis carry the show and he can just hang around smoldering). I liked Elementary, but I had some issues with it. I can’t remember if it was Greg Hatcher on Facebook who complained that it was “just another cop show” – I think it was him, but it could have been someone else. Anyway, of course it’s just another cop show – I’m not sure what anyone expected. Jonny Lee Miller is fine, but I think they’re trying to humanize Holmes a bit too much, and Lucy Liu is okay, too, although I don’t think Watson would get bent out of shape as much as she does. My wife says it’s the first time she hasn’t been annoyed by Liu, so there’s that, I guess. I’ll watch it for a while and see if the characters get better, but it’s perfectly fine. I do wish they would try to use actual Conan Doyle cases with modern twists, like the British show. That would be neat. Last Resort is another ridiculous show, but unlike Revolution, it has Andre Braugher, so I like it more (Revolution has Giancarlo Esposito, but I hear that after the premiere, he hasn’t been in it enough). That’s about it for new shows that I’ve been interested in. I’m going to watch Nashville and I’ll probably check out Arrow (I mean, come on – look at those abs!) As for the shows I’m already watching … the one I might have to give up on is Bones. I’ve always liked it, but since Emily Deschanel had her kid the show has gone downhill. They’ve always made a big deal about what a horrible mother she would be, and suddenly she’s super-mom? Plus, the kid is in the mix too often. Hodgins and Angela had a kid and you hardly ever hear about it. That’s how it should be. I’ll still watch, but perhaps not for much longer.

Finally, here is the most 1980s photograph in history. The commentary about the picture is much better than the picture itself!

My iPod is back, so let’s check out the Ten Most Recent Songs it played:

1. “Anytime”Journey (1978) “Give me all of your sunshine, a spark is all I need”
2. “Be Aggressive”Faith No More (1992) “Reach down my throat you filthy bird that’s all I need”
3. “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”Neutral Milk Hotel (1998) “Now how I remember you, how I would push my fingers through your mouth to make those muscles move”
4. “The Boys of Summer”Don Henley (1984) “I never will forget those nights, I wonder if it was a dream”1
5. “Compliments of Your Waitress”Chumbawamba (2008) “The dignity of labour, it never rang true to me”
6. “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”They Might Be Giants (1990) “Why did Constantinople get the works? that’s nobody’s business but the Turks”
7. “Build a House and Burn it Down”Horse Flies (2008) “Touch the sun and let it go”
8. “Wonderous Stories”Yes (1977) “Drifting I turned on upstream bound for my forgiver”2
9. “Carry On”Fun. (2012) “Lay your clothes down on the floor, close the door, hold the phone, show me how no one’s ever gonna stop us now”3
10. “Institutionalized”Suicidal Tendencies (1983) “All I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi, and she wouldn’t give it to me”4

1 It’s a strange coincidence that the quote is from a book of the same name of the song that showed up on my iPod. Spoooooooky!

2 Hey, this song was where the Totally Random Lyrics were from two weeks ago! No one got it – come on, people, it’s Seventies Yes!!!!

3 Nate Ruess with the correct use of “lay”! Whoo-hoo!

4 Poor Mike!

How about some Totally Random Lyrics?

“Walking back to you
Is the hardest thing that I can do
That I can do for you … for you
I’ll be your plastic toy
I’ll be your plastic toy …
For you”

Another easy one, right? RIGHT?

Have a grand day, everyone! Will I buy more comics next week? NO MAN CAN SAY!

(Oh, and while I’m not writing too much about sports these days, this .gif from last week’s Eagles-Giants game is awesome.)

41 Comments

The Legand of the Dark Knight comics are available on comixology for $.99 a pop. Them come out 3 times a month, and then the 4th week has the print edition of the past months comics.

Also, the stories are purposefully not set in any continuity. They are comics where any one can come in and tell their short Batman story, sort of like what the ongoing Legends of the Dark Knight series was the in 90′s and 00′s.

AA would have been a good companion for Wolv and the X-Men last week, but you’ll get to it eventually.

I would totally read Hawkeye and Iceman being bros. It should actually be titled Hawkeye and Iceman Being Bros.

I’m not into my own personal nostalgia trip, but I still really like the late ’80s-early 90s Don Henley singles for some reason (“Dirty Laundry” was before my time fortunately).

Oh yeah, the Totally Random Lyric is from “Just Like Honey” from the Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Psychocandy”. Gotta admit that is my totally favorite album from them, but then again I adore reverb and feedback, preferably at the same time. :)

I’m excited for you to get to read Sailor Twain. It’s the most interesting comic I’ve read this year (though I’m like an eighth of the way through Ware’s Building Stories right now and it’s pretty wild—at least as an artifact—so that may change). I’m predisposed to like it because of its attention to lore, but I found it well-composed and in some ways challenging.

Yonatan: I figured they were at ComiXology, but I didn’t feel like checking. Thanks for the info, though!

Sure, I figured they were supposed to be like the old LotDK, but when the Higher-Ups at DC are claiming that nothing before last September ever happened (like claiming that everyone’s first appearance was last September), I thought they’d be a bit more controlling over this continuity as well. I’m not complaining, because I think their edict is silly, but it’s their edict, so I’m surprised.

jjc: They could take Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer from Franklin & Bash and just put costumes on them – they wouldn’t even need to change it all that much!

rob t: Psychocandy is quite good – it’s very Eighties, but also very good!

Seth: How the crap did you get Building Stories? It’s not out until next week here in little ol’ Arizona. Confound you!

you know serious can be an adverb too, right? there’s nothing ungrammatical about gambit’s sentence. you can prefer he use seriously but there no grammar “rule” saying he should.

I… I don’t know! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean it. I was meandering on Amazon and saw it had a release date of October 2. So I ordered it October first and it arrived yesterday. I thought it was a book, like his new Jimmy Corrigan or something. I was such a fool. This thing is crazy. And physically sprawling.

noob: Sorry, but you’re wrong. I can’t find anyplace, on-line or in my old-school printed dictionary, that says “serious” can be used as an adverb. As I noted, I don’t mind breaking archaic grammar rules, but that’s not archaic. You can’t use “serious” to modify “take” in that sentence. It’s wrong.

Seth: Oh, fine. I’m sure I could have gotten it that way, too. I ordered it through my comics shop, so I guess I’ll just have to wait! I heard it was, to use your term, “physically sprawling.” That’s why I’m looking forward to it!

Greg: Here’s one of my co-workers posing with my copy spread out a bit. We were both amazed at its proportions.

I kind of feel like a turncoat, no longer visiting the comics store of my youth, but my dwindling discretionary budget forced a choice between reading a tolerably fare amount of comics per year (aided by a good local library network) and supporting a business who supported me for years by being my only access to comics. I don’t feel super about my choice, but having comics to read eases my conscience quite a bit—or at least distracts me from it.

Meanwhile, on Page 1, we get “I’d lay in bed at night …” Look, it’s not that difficult to get the difference between “lie” and “lay” correct, yet people get it wrong all the time. Batman is not narrating in the past tense: “I lay in bed last night” – he’s using the conditional mood, meaning he’s saying “I would lay …” which is incorrect. Before you get all over me for being pedantic, what if Lindelof had had Batman thinking “I would runned along the rooftop …”? Would you be willing to forgive his ignorance? Of course not. “Lay” is WRONG. This isn’t a question of splitting an infinitive (which is idiotic in English – go ahead a split them!) or ending a clause with a preposition (another stupid rule) – this is using the wrong fucking word. If Lindelof had written “I’d chair in bed at night …”, would that be okay? No. Because that would be the wrong fucking word. Just because “lay” is the past tense of “lie” doesn’t excuse someone not taking 30 seconds to look up the difference. Especially people who get paid to write words.

You lie it on pretty thick, man.

you shouldn’t take your grammar rules so serious. go ahead and call it wrong if you like but that doesn’t make it ungrammatical from a linguistic point of view. it’s just “wrong” according to your rules that you and anyone else who agrees with you made up.

the phrase “i ain’t care” can be “wrong” to you. it also might not show up as “correct” in any reference you choose to cite, but it definitely isn’t “ungrammatical”.

Seth: That’s a very cool picture!

Ian: Ha!

noob: Yeah, I know that rules are just something that people made up. I take them seriously because in a society, we agree how to speak to each other. Any society makes up rules. I suppose next time you run a red light and a cop pulls you over, you can just argue that you were just “wrong” according the rule that the cop and anyone who agrees with him made up. We’ll see how far you get with that! :)

I don’t mean to be annoying about this, but while I understand that language changes and therefore a lot of grammatical rules change over the years, there are still standards. It seems like, according to you, nothing is ungrammatical from a linguistic point of view. Why do we even have definitions, then? Why do we scratch out little lines and say “This collection of lines signifies this object”? I think you’ll agree that that way lies madness!

am i worried about a slippery slope of descriptivism leading to the break down of civil society? no, i think we’ll manage. speaking of definitions, grammar has nothing to do with spelling. but we can let that slide. its not like i’m a cop writing you up for breaking some law. :)

I’ll watch any TV show starring Fat Nixon.

Tom Fitzpatrick

October 4, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Thanks for the redheads link.

Still, gotta love Karen Gillam, Christina Hendricks, ScarJo. ;-)

Goddammit, I really don’t want to add a third Batman ongoing to my pull-list, but Layman and Fabok and all these positive reviews sure are making it tempting.

noob: There will be chaos!!!!!

Sorry, Alex – I calls ‘em like I sees ‘em!

"O" the Humanatee!

October 4, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Legends of the Dark Knight was a lot of fun. Even more than the original LOTDK series, this reminded me of the Batman Chronicles. I’d be perfectly happy to get a regular book of short Batman stories like this – if they kept the quality up, which hasn’t always been the case for some of the multi-author, multi-artist Batman specials of recent years.

I too enjoyed Complete Asshole Batman; after initially resisting him, I thought, “Yeah, I could sort of buy this as an acceptable portrayal of _early_ Batman.” But I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone make _that_ particular mistake with infer/imply. People do often say things like “You’re inferring that I …” when they mean “imply,” but there the subject is a person. That confusion arises, I think, because people can both infer and imply; facts, however, can only imply. Would anyone really say, “Your silence [a fact] infers disapproval” rather than “Your silence implies disapproval” – especially someone well read like Bruce?

I was a bit bothered by Really Going Overboard with Teaching Someone a Lesson _______, as it seemed out of character, but what the hell, it was a good story, and it’s not in continuity.

The ending of the third story, with Good Citizen Batman, struck me as a little odd, because I’ve read numerous stories where [I GUESS SOME KIND OF SPOILER IS COMING UP HERE]

rather than telling some misguided soul in dire straits just to “work it out,” Batman makes sure, in his Bruce Wayne identity, to take care of that person’s problem. Of course, in “reality” (whatever that could possibly mean here), he wouldn’t be able to do that for everybody, so….

[END OF SPOILER-Y THING HERE]

If you really want to flip out about horrible misunderstandings of grammar, take a look at Perry White explaining active vs. passive to Clark Kent in Superman: Earth One. (I bought it for a dollar at a library sale, I swear!) Straczynski has no f*cking idea what he’s talking about.

noob: Ain’t what I not doesn’t care you think, but what was you count as ungrammatical? If you meant that having Gambit say “seriously” was grammatical within his dialect, you should have said so, not thrown the whole idea of grammaticality out the window. (You’re right about spelling vs. grammar, though.)

Greg: With “go ahead a split them!” I’m afraid you succumbed to Murphry’s Law.

"O" the Humanatee!

October 4, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Mudassir: The title of the story came at the end of the story. Or are you trying to make a joke?

Mudassir Chapra

October 5, 2012 at 12:11 am

Not for people who bought digital. http://imgur.com/f6NFq

@Greg : eroticaly charged and cartoon arent antinomic

Think Vaughan Bode ….

(and tell us what you think of sailor twain… )

WARNING: The following comment contains some off-topic discussion regarding the similarities between John Layman and Tim Burton, the tropes of Australian crime fiction and the matter of pacing in serial storytelling.

Man, it sure was a lean week for comics, I only bought Detective Comics #13 (because I like Chew) and Doctor Who #1 (because I like Doctor Who, duh) myself. All I can really say for DW is that I’m pleased that these story-arcs are only going to be two issues a piece because for whatever reason, whenever I have attempted to read IDW’s earlier Who comics, my interest would quickly wane during a longish arc (which also harms my ability to enjoy the old-Who TV series).

Now ‘Tec #13, and I must admit I enjoyed this issue a lot more than I thought I was going to. Tonally it felt closest to the 90′s Batman animated series (which of course is a complement of the highest order), with my only real complaint being that Fabok only manages to be a serviceable superhero artist. Now while on the topic of Layman’s work I have been meaning to ask if Mars Attacks is a book worth picking up? I mean I like John McCrea’s art well enough but, its just that the Tim Burton film left just such a bad taste in mouth, it kind of puts me off the franchise. Then again, I didn’t care for Burton’s Batman films either and I got over that. Hey do you think its possible that John Layman is a pen-name Burton uses to write comics that rectify all the mistakes he made in his films? You drink with him Greg, you can tell me.

And finally, Legends of the Dark Knight, I haven’t read this yet even though I told Tom Taylor I would (I know comic creators too, Greg) when I last saw him at All-Star Comics in Melbourne. I had actually asked him at the time if there was going to be anything distinctly Australian about the comic (since he and Nicola are both aussies) and he said no. I then suggested that next time he gets the opportunity to write Batman that he could do something along the lines of how we as a culture glorify outlaws (Ned Kelly is our biggest folk hero, Underbelly is the most popular thing on TV here etc).

Mudassir: Sorry, I deleted your first comment. I don’t think the point was to spoil it at all. If people want to follow your link, that’s fine (although unless it’s been changed, it doesn’t appear to spoil anything), but I think not knowing the title of the story makes it much more fun. I usually don’t go mind spoilers too much, but when it’s a recent book and it’s only ten pages long and relies on the hook, I think I should keep it secret as long as possible.

“O”: I remember the discussion of passive versus active voice in Superman: Earth One when it came out. That was hilarious.

Stupid typos! I hate when I do that. I have a lot more tolerance for typos, however, than obvious mistakes. The misspelling of “Peguin” in Detective annoys me more because several eyes probably saw that before it went to print, not because it’s an obvious typo.

ollieno: Sure, you’re completely right. It just struck me as odd that Irving would use that description, because just from flipping through it, the nudity doesn’t seem too erotic. Maybe I missed some because I went too fast!

Hank: Well, I like Mars Attacks quite a bit – it’s insane, and it’s definitely not as goofy as the movie, although it doesn’t take itself too seriously, either. Layman is actually trying to give the Martians some motivation for attacking Earth, and there are giant insects. And Aztecs. I very much doubt if Layman is Burton’s pen name – they look nothing alike! :)

Taylor is a pretty nice guy, and while I don’t read a lot of his stuff, he’s a pretty good writer. Writing a Batman comic as “Australian” would be interesting, so maybe he’ll do it if he gets a crack at the character again. He could do an “Elseworlds” with Batman at the Eureka Stockade!

Hey – some Neutral Milk Hotel on the Ipod! Now you’re talking!

jjc: I could also see the three of them teaming up with Johnny Storm, and opening a bar. Like Always Sunny, but with super powers.

re: Gambit and Grammar. It should perhaps be noted, by way of context, that during his appearance in this comic, Gambit asks X-32 why they “don’t talk no more,” and uses the word “ain’t” four times in two pages, among other grammar atrocities. What really struck me, though, was how nice it was to see someone follow up on the Gambit/Lara relationship from her cancelled series, and to offer Gambit’s own take on the end of his and Rogue’s relationship (Legacy, at the time, mostly featured the Rogue side of things)–and he does it all without mentioning the “R” word at all. Gage gets a lot of credit in my book for paying attention to the cohesion of Marvel continuity without drawing attention to that… paying… of attention… okay, that wasn’t the best phrasing, but I think the point stands.

Obligatory mention of comics: I’m looking forward to ‘Tec #13. This means I’ll be buying like four Bat-books. Damn you, DC!

666 Park Avenue was boring as hell. Vegas and Elementary are okay, not sure how long they’ll hold my attention. Ben & Kate is sweet, not very funny (but it’s okay, I don’t mind if my sitcoms don’t have jokes, because I enjoy emotional character moments more). Mindy Project is solid.

Last Resort is the best new show, but it’s doomed. Totally doomed.

*Complete Asshole Batman*! DC should sign you up forthwith, Greg because that sounds fantastic! Man, considering the ludicrous twaddle ol’ National Periodicals spews out with the Batman name on it, something that had y’know *a sense of humour* about the modern Bats’s often extreme jerkiness (sooo “realistic”…) would be refreshing. I expect to see Complete Asshole Batman tm very soon ;-) or there will be heck to pay. I’d also like to see more of Good Citizen Batman as mentioned by an amusing commentator above. Speaking of Good Citizen Batman, the LOTDK Airwolf panel above is very good and reminds me of a more serious and atmospheric version of the Caped Crusader running toward the “screen” in the ’60s tv Batman’s opening titles – fantastic! I’ve sen a few episodes of that recently and – at its best – it is hilarious and clever. Gee, I think you’d have to have no sense of humour not to enjoy it at least a little. I mean, Frank Gorshin as the Riddler? Vincent Price’s Egghead? Julie Newmar as Catwoman (Michelle’s my favourite tho’!)? Burgess’s Penguin (awk! Awk)? Roddy McDowell’s Bookworm? All great! Even Season 3 offers Yvonne Craig as Batgirl, so there are compensations. In recognition of the “Hot Redhead” theme I have to mention Jill St John – actually killed off in the pilot… So sad to use your catchphrase- and a red-bewigged, mature but sexy, Anne Baxter who both turned up in the show. I can’t stop myself from mentioning a lovely lady named “Nikki Rhodess” who used her red-haired beauty for a um “interesting career (ahem) and the most beautiful redhead there hs ever been – even if the actress dyed her hair – Gillian Anderson’s Dana Scully! Um, enough of that, I think…
Thanks for pointing out the print version of the revived LOTDK, not to mention the John Layman Bat-boik; both appear promissing. Well done on excoriating the use of shabby grammar and shoddy proofreading in professional works. Lazy-minded. As for the “anything goes” attitude? Bah! Not convincing. This reminds me of a David Foster Wallace essay on the subject that dealt with these issues brilliantly. I know some people dismiss any mention of the subject as snobbery but I find that a transparent attemp to shut down argument, after all no one likes to be an outsider. That in turn reminds me of the reaction that a lot of people have to any negative criticism of the flagrant illogicality, obvious manipulation, and smugly lazy writing on Modern Doctor Who… But *that’s* another story! *Thinking* about things and not accepting generally-held views (particularly when said viewd are promoted by a writer being criticized. Grrr) is a good thing, I think. Um, tangential rant ends! Nice work, Mr Burgas.

“Bat-boik”?! Urk!

Whenever I see you mention that you think big-two comics need a breather issue it always makes me think that the opposite criticism is usually directed at Bendis comics.

I do think it is reasonable to assert Gambit would say serious rather than seriously, so not a grammatical mistake by the writer/editor, but by the character.

Fatale was my only comic this week. Brubaker and Phillips have set the bar very high for themselves with all their great work, and I think Fatale is succeeding in meeting those expectations. I like Jo a lot, and am enjoying every issue I read, but (like you) the wait between issues is not too agonising. I thought it was just a week or two late.

I did feel this issue was a bit unfocussed and had too many characters and things going on without enough resolution. I’m sure as part of the overall story it will be great, but as a standalone issue it was a teeny bit unsatisfying.

Is Revolution the new TV show where technology has stopped working so everybody has bows and arrows? I saw a trailer and thought it looked interesting.

@ Seth – Building Stories looks cool! I want to start reading more graphic novels (by which I mean non-periodicals) as I read Asterios Polyp last month and loved it. This is going on my shortlist.

@Rolacka – If you need more recommendations for self-contained works, I highly recommend Greg’s own column here on CSBG, Review Time!. It’s fantastic and he’ll introduce you to a ton of books that may have flown under your radar (I find the column invaluable).

Alternatively, I review a lot of self-contained works as well on my own site.

With Building Stories, you’ll definitely be in for an adventure. I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s not quite as monolithically downbeat as Chris Ware’s prior monumental work Jimmy Corrigan was. And the fact that you’re able to start at any one of a number of narrative points and that the order in which you approach the “book’s” “chapters” is up to the individual means that it’s likely none of us will have the same narrative experience. Which is pretty wild. Building Stories doesn’t appear to be thematically advanced, but it’s certainly formally challenging. I hope you’ll enjoy it and would love to hear what you think about it.

I also bought the 2 Bat books you did. I thought Detective was quite good, really. The way the back up tied nicely into the main story, and the main story’s neat twist at the end. Good stuff. I think we’ve even seen those assassins before.

But all ages? I dunno. I suppose I’ll have to look at it again. I wouldn’t have thought the end of the back up story would count, but maybe I’m a prude.

But it definitely had a feel like ’90s Bat books, the Dixon and Moench stuff, to a degree. Me like.

LDK was pretty good. Lemire does do a Pope-ish Bats, doesn’t he? But that story…if you start thinking about it, you go, really? Would that turn of events happen without maybe revealing something about Batman that maybe shouldn’t be?

And if the title of the story wasn’t at the end online, I feel sorry for you online readers.

The second story, I dug for the “repellant” (bah, that “a” isn’t right!!!). And purty JGJ art.

The third story I liked, sort of. The end was a bit too dickish. I don’t know why you’d assume that was Tim Robin, when it came off more like Dick. Plus, there’s a neat easter egg that I wrote to Brian about. If he features it coming up, you’ll see what I mean, if you don’t figure it out before then on your own. If he doesn’t feature it, if he leaves things…unwritten…about it, I’ll send you an email.

I bought a whole bunch of other comics, but I think I’ll comment later. If I think of it.

Several random things:

1. LotDK has been my 2nd favorite Bat-book of late. It’s about 2/3 success rate, which is better than most superhero comics. And if you stick with it, there’s a Slam Bradley story to look forward to! Who doesn’t love Slam Bradley? (I have no idea, possibly everyone, I rarely hear him discussed, but I personally think he’s awesome) It reminds me a little bit of the Black and White things they used to do.
2. If a comic creator’s name doesn’t leave me nearly certain about that creator’s gender, my assumption is always wrong. I thought Val Staples and SIna Grace were women, and I thought Nicola Scott was a man, and I feel like I’m forgetting some, but it seems that I never guess right.
3. uproxx sucks for some reason and all your links to it are dead. I may spend the rest of the day googling for Karen Gillan gifs. I’ve never watched Doctor Who or seen her in anything, but she’s easily my 2nd favorite redhead ever.
4. Elementary bothered me because they gave Sherlock psychic powers. I know enough about baseball to say that no amount of observation in the world could let him predict the end of that game so specifically with any confidence.

Travis: Well, I think people can die and it still be “all-ages.” I noted that there’s absolutely nothing gory in this issue, which is a step up for most DC books!

I agree with you about the first story. It was so cool, though, that I can forgive it!

I didn’t notice the Easter egg, but I’ll have to look for it again.

Mecha-Shiva: I like Slam Bradley quite a bit. He’s probably not discussed because no one ever uses him!

Ever since I called Joann Sfar a woman, I’ve been really careful about assuming gender. I try very hard to find out beforehand.

Maybe uproxx was down temporarily? The links seem to work fine now.

The baseball scene was a bit annoying. However, Holmes had watched the whole game, and perhaps he noticed that certain batters hit fly balls and others hit ground balls, and he guessed. He did say “pop-up” for the first batter, and the ball almost left the park, so he was a bit off on that! But yeah – that was a bit tough to handle.

I just realized that Chris Ware put out Building Stories for the sole purpose of cock-blocking Scalped one last time for the number one spot on Brian’s best of the year list. You know it’s true!!!

Building Stories isn’t new, is it? I didn’t get it because I read it when it was being serialized. Is this something different than the serialized story?

I actually don’t know, but based on that picture Seth linked to above, I’d guess that even if you read it serialized, it’s different to a degree.

From what I remember, Building Stories was the first of the Funny Pages comics that were in the NYT Mag for several years. However, I thought even at that time, I’d read that Ware had done a different version of BS before that. And then I thought he’d done more since. So I dunno.

I just thought about how every year for the past few years, your best of list hasn’t had Scalped up top, and at least one of the years, a Ware book was the one that beat it out. And now, last time Scalped can be #1, Ware puts out this.

Somewhere Jason Aaron is crying….

Yeah, I read it in the New Yorker and in the Times (and one other place that I can’t recall at the moment). I just thought that this was a collection of those stories, like how George Sprott was a collection of Seth’s Times’ comics. If this is a new work, then yes, I must get it.

@ Seth – I have checked out your website. I haven’t looked at too much yet, but will certainly do so. Daytripper looks very interesting and you have ranked it highly – I’ve heard of it, but not really been aware of it if that makes sense. So I will read a few other reviews and add it to my list to investigate (which is getting way too long already).

I’ll probably buy one graphic novel/trade a month and I’ll have to read Jimmy Corrigan first I think, so it might be awhile before I get to Building Stories.

@ Travis – Scalped definitely deserves some accolades this year. I suspect it will get some top spots, now we can look at the series as a whole.

I can’t remember which issues of Scalped actually came out this year, but while I wouldn’t call them “weak”, per se, judged in the context of the series, they don’t rank quite as highly.

So it’s possible that Scalped might not make #1 yet again, as I trust that Brian’s high standards will not allow him to give it a “pass” just because it ended. If you understand what I’m getting at.

But Rolacka, you should definitely try Daytripper at some point. Excellent stuff. Ba and Moon knocked that one out of the park.

If you’ve got a decent local library, it’s quite possible that they’ve got Daytripper or some other GNs you’d like. That’s where I read Daytripper, and a ton of other comics too. Support your local libraries!!!

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