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What I bought – 24 October 2012

“We start our lives in chaos, in babble. As we surge up into the world, we try to devise a shape, a plan. There is dignity in this. Your whole life is a plot, a scheme, a diagram. It is a failed scheme but that’s not the point. To plot is to affirm life, to seek shape and control. Even after death, most particularly after death, the search continues. Burial rites are an attempt to complete the scheme, in ritual. Picture a state funeral, Jack. It is all precision, detail, order, design. The nation holds its breath. The efforts of a huge and powerful government are brought to bear on a ceremony that will shed the last trace of chaos. If all goes well, if they bring it off, some natural law of perfection is obeyed. The nation is delivered from anxiety, the deceased’s life is redeemed, life itself is strengthened, reaffirmed.”

“Are you sure?” I said.

“To plot, to take aim at something, to shape time and space. This is how we advance the art of human consciousness.” (Don DeLillo, from White Noise)

They're more than meets the eye! Smoking?  On the cover?  I'm going to get the vapors! Ultron?  Is that you? I'll have whatever she's on! What the fuck, Alex Ross? Oh, Gantz - you're so crazy! Ostrander FTW! Yes, yes - it's great blah blah blah

It’s a small week, and I’m a bit bored. That’s a dangerous combination!!!!! So I apologize in advance for the doggerel beneath. Or you might like it. NO MAN CAN SAY!!!!

Batman, Incorporated #4 (“Kill Box”) by Grant “I think DiDio may have mentioned a reboot at some point, but that bloke blathers about a lot of shit” Morrison (writer), Chris Burnham (artist), Nathan Fairbairn (colorist), and Dave Sharpe (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, DC.

There are no ads in this book.
The Batman Corps, they kick some ass.
Maybe you should take a look.

That Merlyn, he’s a nasty crook –
His weird hair style means he has no class.
There are no ads in this book.

Who is the Wingman? – Ah, that’s the hook;
He has to deal with Redbird’s sass.
Maybe you should take a look.

Matches Malone sure is a schnook;
His cheesy ‘stache gives him no pass.
There are no ads in this book.

From Damian, Leviathan took
His youthful “innocence” en masse.
Maybe you should take a look.

Batman, Inc. lacks a Canuck
But G-Mozz and Burnham still kick ass –
There are no ads in this book;
Maybe you should take a look.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

OW!

Dark Horse Presents #17. “Finder: Third World Chapter 15″ by Carla Speed McNeil (writer/artist/letterer), Jenn Manley Lee (colorist), and Bill Mudron (colorist); “Crime Does Not Pay Presents City of Roses Chapter 2″ by Phil Stanford (writer), Patric Reynolds (artist), Bill Farmer (colorist), and Nate Piekos (letterer); “The Girl With the Keyhole Eyes Chapter 3″ by David Chelsea (writer/artist); “Aliens: Inhuman Condition Chapter 6″ by John Layman (writer/letterer), Sam Kieth (artist/colorist), and John Kalisz (colorist); “Deep Sea Chapter 2″ by Jimmy Palmiotti (writer), Justin Gray (writer), Tony Akins (artist), Paul Mounts (colorist), and Bill Tortolini (letterer); “Edgar Allan Poe’s The Sleeper” by Richard Corben (adapter/artist) and Nate Piekos (letterer); “The Sacrifice” by Michael Avon Oeming (writer) and Victor Santos (artist/letterer); “Concrete Park Book 1: You Send Me Chapter 7″ by Erika Alexander (writer) and Tony Puryear (writer/artist/letterer); “UXB Chapter 2″ by Colin Lorimer (writer/artist); “Mr. Monster: Back From the Dead!!!” by Michael T. Gilbert (writer/artist), Kevin Horn (colorist), and Ken Bruzenak (letterer). $7.99, 80 pgs, FC, Dark Horse.

In Finder Jaeger gets scooped up by girls;
McNeil’s world continues to expand.
Through Rose City a lonely stripper twirls;
While Corben at more Poe tries his hand.

The Girl With Keyhole Eyes is still so weird
And does it really end with Stewart, J.?
The final Aliens is now right here
And Munden’s Bar shows up; gets blown away.

While Oeming’s story might just blow your mind*,
The Puryear tale is still a kind of mess.
But Palmiotti, Gray, and Akins shine
Their story is by far the best.

Dark Horse Presents – it’s full of awesome stuff!
So go and find it – it should not be tough!

* Probably not, but I had to find a rhyme, damn it! It’s still pretty neat.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Man, that can't be good

Debris #4 (of 4) by Kurtis J. Wiebe (writer), Riley Rossmo (breakdowner), Owen Gieni (finisher/colorist), and Ed Brisson (letterer). $3.50, 28 pgs, FC, Image/Shadowline.

Why would women be
So much better running things?
See: Margaret Thatcher.

Raven is right –
People always screw things up!
Maya should shut it.

Not a bad ending
A bit quick; maybe five parts
Would have been better.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

This won't end well

Mind MGMT #6 by Matt Kindt (writer/artist). $3.99, 26 pgs, FC, Dark Horse.

And so Matt Kindt brings us right back around
To issue one, where all this shit began;
The explanation for it we have found.

Who knows what Meru, returned to life, can
Do once she breaks the walls that hold her in.
I guess it’s up to Henry Lyme, the man

Who’s trying to repent for all his sin,
To make sure Meru lives her life so well,
And never hears the world above the din.

The art and writing in this book is swell,
The coloring is truly beautiful,
If you don’t buy it, I say “What the hell?”

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

That's one way to be active!

The Shadow #6 (“The Fire of Creation: Conclusion”) by Garth Ennis (writer), Aaron Campbell (artist), Carlos Lopez (colorist), and Rob Steen (letterer). $3.99, 26 pgs, FC, Dynamite Entertainment.

I once read a book with the Shadow,
Which certainly wasn’t real mellow,
Garth Ennis likes gore
So he gave us some more
Which stopped when the Shadow said “Hello!”

The book began with a beheading,
Which shows you where Ennis was sledding,
Betrayals and worse,
Show up in this verse,
And Kondo receives a just shredding.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

One totally Airwolf panel:

Testify, Lamont!

Gantz volume 25 by Hiroya Oku (writer/artist). $12.99, 201 pgs, BW, Dark Horse.

I don’t even know what to say about Gantz. I mean, it’s Gantz. There are horrific and weirdly sexual monsters, lots and lots (and LOTS) of violence, and by the end, we finally find out Gantz’s purpose. Sort of. Oh, Gantz.

Star Wars: Agent of the Empire volume 1: Iron Eclipse by John Ostrander (writer), Stéphane Roux (artist), Stéphane Créty (artist), Julien Hugonnard-Bert (inker), Wes Dzioba (colorist), and Michael Heisler (letterer). $18.99, 115 pgs, FC, Dark Horse.

I read some of Ostrander’s Star Wars: Legacy and liked it, but not enough to keep reading it. (My nephew, with whom I hung out this summer in New York, got into it when I bought him the first two trades, and then he came up against the fact that – out of 11 volumes – Volume Six is out of print. I called Dark Horse customer service and they have no plans to bring it back into print. Wha-huh? That seems odd. My best guess is that they’re waiting for all the volumes to go out of print and then re-issue them with fancy new covers or something, but they can’t leave Star Wars comics – especially one in the middle of a bunch – out of print, can they?) Anyway, I figured I’d give this sucker a shot. I don’t know why Roux didn’t do the whole thing, but the inker and the colorist keep the look pretty consistent.

Wolverine and the X-Men volume 1 by Jason Aaron (writer), Chris Bachalo (penciler/colorist), Nick Bradshaw (artist), Duncan Rouleau (artist), Matteo Scalera (artist), Tim Townsend (inker), Jaime Mendoza (inker), Al Vey (inker), Mark Irwin (inker), Victor Olazaba (inker), Jason Keith (colorist), Justin Ponsor (colorist), and Rob Steen (letterer). $14.99, 88 pgs, FC, Marvel.

I wasn’t going to get this because of the price (for four issues, mind you), but I figured that if I had bought it in singles, it would have been 16 dollars, so a dollar less is pretty good. I still think Marvel (and DC, but this is about Marvel!) is gouging their customers, but if we lap it up, why wouldn’t they?

**********

I don’t really have a lot to write about this week – I didn’t watch the debates, so I can’t really say too much about those, although I was extremely impressed that Michelle Malkin – MICHELLE MALKIN – called out Ann Coulter for calling the president a “retard” – you’ll recall my feelings about that word, I hope, and I was very glad that someone on the conservative side (and boy howdy, is Malkin in the tank for ultra-conservatives) said that Ann Coulter had gone too far. Yes, Michelle Malkin said someone tweeting about liberals had gone too far. Now I jsut have to sit down and vote – my ballot is sitting on the counter, demanding to be filled out. VOTE-BY-MAIL FTMFW!!!!!

Last weekend I participated in the Devil Dash mud run out at Camelback Ranch, which is where the White Sox and Dodgers have spring training. It was pretty fun, but there were some problems. The mud section of the run was at the end, presumably because mud is really, really heavy and they didn’t want to weigh us down too early on in the run. The obstacles were a lot of fun, but they were spread out too much. As someone who absolutely hates to run (you can tell by my physique; see below), I don’t know why they didn’t shorten the course (it was 3 miles) to 1-2 miles and put the obstacles closer together, because then getting us muddy earlier in the run (not at the beginning, but perhaps halfway through) wouldn’t matter, because the course wouldn’t be so long. As we had to run around the baseball fields, the course was a bit twisty and haphazard, too. But it was a nice day (the temperature is finally starting to drop here, so it probably didn’t get much higher than 85 while we were “running” – we started at 10 in the morning and were done around 11) and I had a good time. And a few people took pictures, so if you just ignore the rotund man in the photographs, they should give you a nice idea of what we were dealing with:

Fun!

Kind of hard to move in mud

We had to slide down this almost into a water-filled pit, but you could stop pretty easily. I'm at the top, standing and waiting for the woman in front of me to go

This is the pit at the end of the slide. Then we had to climb up that ridge.

After the ridge were three rows of deep holes - they called them 'graves' - filled with water that we had to climb into and out of.

Good times!

At the end, there was a dumpster through which we had to wade. Theoretically to clean us up.

Here we are, nice and muddy

Here we are crossing the finish line. Pretty anti-climactic, since it's not really a race!

Shoes fared poorly (although mine did survive after a cycle in the washer)

So that was my Saturday. How was yours?

Moving on, let’s check out the Ten Most Recent Songs on my iPod (Which Is Always on Shuffle):

1. “You Said Something”PJ Harvey (2000) “How did we get here, to this point of living?”
2. “Let it Die”Foo Fighters (2007) “Do you ever think of me? you’re so considerate”1
3. “Happiness in Slavery”Nine Inch Nails (1992) “Don’t open your eyes you won’t like what you see”
4. “Following You”Chumbawamba (2004) “We make it up as we go along, sometimes it turns into a song, this song”
5. “The Sun and the Moon”Pogues (1995) “And all of your fake tears will come whirling down the years”
6. “The Desperate Kingdom of Love” – PJ Harvey (2004) “At the end of this burning world you’ll stand proud, face upheld”2
7. “Rusty Cage”Soundgarden (1991) “You wired me awake and hit me with a hand of broken nails” 3
8. “Low Road”Grace Potter and the Nocturnals4 (2010) “I held on so dearly to the wrong things in my life”
9. “Song to the Siren” – This Mortal Coil (1983) “Should I stand amid the breakers? Or shall I lie with death my bride?”
10. “Politik”Coldplay (2002) “Give me piece of mind and trust don’t forget the rest of us”

1 Both my kids like singing along to this song. Dave and the boys have a lot of good songs with repetitive choruses (chori?), so my older daughter likes that, because eventually she figures out the words!

2 Uh Huh Her is a decent album, but this song is by far the best song on it. BY FAR!!!!

3 “Rusty Cage” is one of the best opening songs of an album, and these lyrics are some of the best to begin a song. That means these lyrics are some of the best opening lines of an album EVER! I think that’s the Transitive Property of Awesomeness at work there.

4 I’ll review the new album by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, soon, but here’s a quick tip: It’s really, really good. Just so you know!

I forgot some Totally Random Lyrics last week, but that’s why they’re random! Let’s fire them up!

“There’s a shit storm a’coming
Somebody’s claiming some I.O.U.s
Because the animal’s back
With the man intact
They had a gun at my head
And a knife at my back
Don’t wind me up too tight
I’ve been had by the balls all my life
I’m in no mood now
To stop dead and talk it over”

Good stuff, right? Anyone out there know these? Let me know!

I hope everyone has a nice weekend. And I hope you enjoyed another one of my experimental posts. Let me tell you, I hate iambic pentameter, at least when I’m writing it. It sounds so ponderous! Stupid Shakespeare and his stupid fame!

23 Comments

Barack Obama is not a retard.

Now Joe Biden, on the other hand…

There once was a guy wrote a poem
he knew little of meter or form
or which words might rhyme
or would fit in the line
he wasted my time and his own

I’m kidding, Greg. That was fun.

Mutt: I thought you might be kidding around, but I never can tell. I know the poems aren’t very good, but that’s what happens when you try to review comics in poem form! :(

I might rag on you guys about your opinions sometimes, but never about your efforts.

This site is a treat that I enjoy daily and I am truly grateful for the work you guys put into it.

Yeah, I had no problem with you putting out something like this in poetry form but DAMN does it bug me when people have more time to contemplate the form and still get it wrong. Most recent offender I’ve come across were the chaps at Penny Arcade
http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2012/10/17
http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2012/10/19
http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2012/10/22
They had DAYS between each verse to work on them and yet we get absolutely no consistent syllabic count, acknowledgment of any existing meter, and only some half-assed imperfect rhymes.

I promise you won’t regret buying Wolverine & the X-Men. Promise. Best Big 2 book out right now. And also the best first issue I’ve read in a while. Just allow yourself to enjoy the hell out of it.

Tom Fitzpatrick

October 26, 2012 at 6:04 am

You know what they say,
That crime doesn’t pay,
Remember that next time,
While you’re in prison doin’ yo’ dime!

More rap than poetry, but at least it rhymes. ;-)

Speaking of GANTZ, the end is apparently in sight,
As BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL is also nearing its night.

No ads in Batman Inc? What’s the story there?

I second Wolverine & The X-Men. I hear where you’re coming from on the price, but the opening arc lives up to the buzz, and it’s still managed to be a pretty great book even with all the AvX crossover garbage.

Congrats on doing the Devil’s Dash! That is really awesome. I started running this summer, just 5k’s and 10k’s so far, but next summer I want to do a mud run. One of my coworkers is trying to convince me to do a zombie dash too. Completing a race is always a great reason to sit on my ass and catch up with reading and tv for the rest of a weekend.

The only way I would of picked up Wolverine and the X-Men volume 1 is if it was $9.99. If Image and DC/Vertigo can do it (hell, even Boom! and IDW do it!!!) – why the fuck can’t Marvel? I’m sick of their over inflated prices. They try and gouge you at every turn.

Batman inc – You wrote 22pgs in with the title, but then go on to say ‘no adds’ several times. 22 or 32??

joshschr: I don’t know what’s going on with Batman, Inc. I went back and looked at Batwoman, and that didn’t have any ads, either. I don’t know if Morrison and Williams have any say in it, or if the big preview they have for Superman in the back of the comic had something to do with it, but it’s kind of refreshing!

Thanks for the nice words. I’m much more impressed with people running – actually running, and not jogging/walking, which is what I did! – a 5 or 10k, so good job! But mud runs are really fun – you should try one!

James: I don’t understand the pricing of the books, either. Marvel was charging MORE for a first issue for a while, then lowering the price, which made no sense whatsoever, and for a first trade, I do like that the other companies do it for their first trades, too, even if they raise the price from there on out. I’m sure it has something to do with paying the talent, but I don’t know why Marvel and DC don’t try it and see what happens.

I always and only count story pages, unlike the solicitations, which count every page. So the Batman, Inc. was probably 32 pages if you counted the ad at the back and the Superman preview, but I only count story pages. And it was 22 consecutive pages of story!

The Mutt is right about metre, but the rhyme schemes and structures are good. I could instantly recognise the villanelle, sonnet, haiku and limericks. The only one I’m not sure about is Mind MGMT – I thought maybe an ode, or a sonnet that carelessly misplaced its last two lines.

I love Soundgarden but Badmotorfinger, Superunknown, and Down On the Upside are really all I needed to hear from them.

Sky Shadow: The Mind MGMT one is terza rima. Rhyme scheme of ABA, BCB, CDC, DED, etc. It can be any length and doesn’t necessarily follow a set meter, although it’s usually iambic pentameter. As I noted, I hate iambic pentameter because it seems so plodding – although that’s probably because I’m terrible at it! I apologize for the poor meter – it’s mostly because I just knocked these out quickly!

jjc: I don’t own Superunknown partly because I hate Black Hole Sun so very much, but if you only have those albums, you miss Big Dumb Sex AND Hands All Over! :)

That I don’t own Louder Than Love is really a mystery. When I was in my teens I would always seek out bands’ first albums. Off to iTunes to spend $2.

Greg:

Star Wars Legacy vol. 6 was actually part of the Vector crossover. The story is contained in the Star Wars: Vector vol. 2 trade paperback, which I believe is still in print. The story then continues in Star Wars: Legacy vol. 7. Confusing, I know. I hope that helps your nephew.

I just read the first volume of Wolverine and the X-Men last week. Checked it out from my library. I haven’t followed the X books for about 15 years, but I liked it. Not enough to pay $4.00 an issue or $15.00 for a 4 issue trade, but I liked it. Just got a bunch of Uncanny X-Force trades from the library, so I’m looking forward to those.

I was in your neck of the woods last weekend. Coming from Minneapolis, the weather in Phoenix was absolutely gorgeous. Went hiking in the South Mountain Park for a few hours one day and it was one of the cooler hikes I’ve been on.

Derek_B: Thanks, sir. I will let my sister know.

Jazzbo: South Mountain is nice hike. Our biggest problem is with my daughter’s wheelchair, and it has one of the few paved trail system in the area. We were out there years ago, but we really ought to go back.

Yeah, the weather is nice here now. Don’t come back in July, though, or you’ll be singing a different tune!

I think the reason Marvel and DC superhero trades aren’t cheaper for volume 1 is because they’re not actually courting a new audience, they’re continuing to milk the same group of superhero fans.

Image can totally expect this thought process from a customer: “Saga? What’s Saga? Well it is only $10, so I might as well give it a shot.” It’s unfamiliar, and they’re betting that if they sell this on the cheap, it gets into the hands of a few extra people, they like it, and end up buying the whole series.

If someone sees Wolverine and the X-Men and doesn’t know basically what that means, I can’t imagine them enjoying it. Even someone who knows the movies would be confused. What’s a Brood? What’s Doop? Who’s Rachel Summers? In the movies, Iceman was all into Rogue, where is she? Where are the other X-Men from the movies like Cyclops? What did Quentin Quire do to make everyone so mad? Isn’t Toad a bad guy? What’s a Shi’ar?

So their target audience is “the type of person who’d by an X-Men trade,” not “the person who’d try something new for the right price.”

I found I could check on my phone
websites I prefer to look at alone
But I also did seek
What I Bought this week
Couldn’t comment though, stupid phone!

OK, that sucked. Cool stuff, I actually did read it on my crappy little phone. Can barely see some of the images, but that’s ok.

I did want to mention that since most big 2 ads are in house ads anyway, a preview really is just an ad. So there are ads, but just not any that get bought by non-comics advertisers. So the people who buy advertising at DC and Marvel might as well not be there.

Weren’t you getting Prophet in singles, too? 30 came out this week. Haven’t read it yet myself because I’m way behind on that stuff, but I’ll get to it.

Alan Robert’s Killogy 1 wasn’t too bad, because Marky fuckin’ Ramone! Revival 4 is interesting — perhaps you’ll like the trade, especially if it’s cheap. The latest DC National Comics was Madame X, and while it wasn’t too hard to be better than Looker or Rose and Thorn, it was nice that it WAS better. Just. Kinda bland dumb storyline (setting is New Orleans — of COURSE voodoo plays a role!), and Madame X is apparently an update more of the Seven Soldiers Zatanna, sorta. But the art is pretty good by Hairsine (although there is a VERY annoying element of the story — there’s a zombie [of course] who’s missing his entire left arm, but on several occasions it is referred to as missing the arm BELOW the elbow. NO! Look at the fucking art, editors! Either tell Hairsine to redraw it, or STOP SAYING IT IS MISSING BELOW THE ELBOW!!! CHANGE THE DAMN DIALOGUE!!! ok, better now.)

I also was hoping to pick up Multiple Warheads 1, but I didn’t get to my shops until Saturday. That’s ok, cuz I got 20% off at one store’s Halloween sale.

I’m also pondering the Wolverine and the XMen trade. 15 bucks for 4 issues seems too steep, though.

Travis: Whoops, I never did respond to you. I suck!

No, I’m getting Prophet in trade. It’s good.

I haven’t heard of Killogy, or it simply didn’t make much an impression on me. And Revival just didn’t sound too good.

I always enjoy your rants!

Multiple Warheads – much like King City, I’ll be waiting for the trade on it.

Sorry for the time lapse!

Huh, I swore you were getting both Glory and Prophet in singles, like I am. I’m dumb!

Yeah, I don’t know that you’d go for Killogy. More zombie stuff, although a neat little twist or 2. The notion of someone drawing the likeness of Marky Ramone in the book got me to buy it.

Revival…hmm. It’s interesting, but I’m not sure how good it is yet, y’know? I’ll give it probably another issue or 2. Mike Norton’s art is pretty cool. I’ll ramble on about it some more when issue 5 comes out.

Travis: Just Glory. I knew I’d like that right out of the gate, but I wasn’t sure about Prophet. Plus, having just read King City, I thought reading something by Graham would be much better in trade than in single issues. That’s why I’m not getting Multiple Warheads in singles!

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