Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Recommended Reading: X-Men Comics for People Who Don't Like X-Men Comics

So you caught X-Men: The Last Stand this weekend, loved it (or at least loved the fact that it wasn’t much worse than the first two X-Men films) and you’re a little bummed, seeing how this is the last installment of the franchise.

But then you remember that it’s based on a comic book series, and not just any comic book series, the most popular and best-selling comic book series of all time. Why, there are literally hundreds of X-Men adventures to be had on the printed page; more than enough to satiate your current feelings of affection for the mutants of the movies, right?

Eh, not exactly. Though the X-Men have been starring in comics for some 40 plus years now, most of those comics are…oh, what’s the word?…unreadable. But don’t worry; there are still plenty of Good X-Men Comics For People Who Don’t Like X-Men Comics. Or at least about a half-dozen.


Prolific storyteller Grant Morrison came onto the flagship X-Men title in 2001, renaming it New X-Menand radically reinventing the entire concept of the book.

No longer colorful superhero adventures with occasional undercurrents of P.C. social theory, the book itself mutated into a sci-fi pop treatise on the growing pains the world feels when the present becomes the future. It was as millennial in its tone and themes as the date on its covers.

Morrison rocketed through stories much faster than any of his artists could manage, and his original partner (and the new look’s designer) Frank Quitely gave way to Igor Kordey, Phil Jimenez, Chris Bachalo and Ethan Van Sciver (All are among the best in the business, though Bachalo and Kordey’s expressionistic styles clashed rather dramatically with the more representational aesthetic of the others).

Some of Morrison’s innovations were as obvious as they were innovative: If the mutants were always being likened to oppressed ethnic groups and minorities, then why not treat them like a real ethnic group, complete with mutant language, styles, culture and a “Mutant Town” in New York City?

Morrison also showed that mutation’s not always a good thing. The contradiction of the comics has always been that while the X-Men would piss and moan about being hated and feared, the reality of the situation was that 90-percent of mutants seemed to look just like really, really good looking human beings, with the added bonus of having superpowers. So in New X-Men, we began to see more freakish mutants: A child who looked like a senior citizen, a lumbering giant that resembled a mammoth fetus, a man with several faces, et cetera.

The Professor X/Magneto dynamic, addressed in the movies as if they were the Martin Luther King and Malcolm X of mutandom, respectively, became something far different. The professor was still a moderate, but also a cunning, manipulative master of modern, post-Nixon realpolitik, and Magneto, seemingly killed in a genocidal shock-and-awe attack against his home country, became an Osama bin Laden-like terrorist ultimately targeting New York City.

As for the X-Men themselves, the team is a small one, and hardly devoted to superhero-ing. Instead, their main role was that of teachers at Xavier’s school, and they served as elder statesmen to the new generation of mutants who, science is quite clear on, are destined to inherit the earth in just a few decades. They’re not superheroes or freaks so much as sneak previews of the people of the future.

Morrison’s take on the X-Men (which has since largely been undone by various Marvel writers and editors), has been collected into seven trade paperbacks. After Morrison left, the title New X-Men was continued, but shifted to focus on the students of Xavier’s.

Wolverine Watch: While Logan traditionally wears a spandex superhero costume that’s either blue and yellow or brown and gold and features a Batman-like mask the exact same shape as his hair, in New X-Men his “uniform” tends to be people clothes, with no mask. He rarely wears a shirt.


Not quite as heady as New X-Men, but much more reader-friendly was the first act of the Ultimate X-Men title, when it was still being written by Mark Millar. Anyone who enjoyed the movies and is looking to give the comic book X-Men a try should probably start here. In fact, the whole idea behind Marvel’s “Ultimate” line was to essentially start fresh with some of their more popular franchises, the very franchises that were being made into movies when the new line was launched.

Millar’s X-Men are like Morrison’s and the movies’ in that they don’t wear stupid costumes. And, like the movies, Millar essentially got to pick and choose what works and what doesn’t from the original comic books, using all of X-Men history as a laboratory, which he can cherry pick the best ideas from and remix them into something new and relevant.

Millar and artists Andy and Adam Kubert (Who drew a majority of Millar’s scripts) turned out a book that was essentially the paper, pen and ink equivalent of a blockbuster movie with an infinite budget and running time. No set piece that Millar could think of was too complicated in size or scope, seeing as how all it would take to create it is a dude drawing it, rather than millions in special effects.

Millar and the Kuberts’ run on Ultimate X-Men has been collected into six-volumes. The title is still ongoing today and sells well, but the quality went downhill quite quickly when Millar left.

Wolverine Watch: In this version of the X-Men story, Wolverine’s not just a badass, he’s a bad guy. Much older than the rest of the mutant teenagers who make up the team—this Logan fought in World War II with Captain America, though his memories of his past were wiped clean—he’s a contract killer in the employ of Magneto. While he begins to reform a bit, he’s still a little, um, psycho, banging Cyclops’ girlfriend Jean Grey and, later, leaving Cyke for dead in the middle of a mission (so he can bang her again). He doesn’t wear any sort of costume, and has the best hair of his career. On the downside, he also has a soul patch.


While Morrison’s version of the X-Men rocketed the comic to strange new heights, it was almost inevitable that stretching the original idea so far would only mean that it would eventually snap back and head in the opposite direction again.

The X-Men would return to their superhero roots, putting back on their goofy spandex costumes, saving random strangers from danger and fighting alien invaders and giant monsters. The storytelling even took on more standard superhero conventions, like characters long thought dead returning from the grave.

Luckily, Marvel found a writer who could sell all of this as something of a positive: Joss Whedon, a patron saint of geeks with a gift for dialogue. He even managed to explain the radical regression of the team from educators to superheroes rather elegantly. The world doesn’t like or trust anything that is weird, different and especially powerful—unless that something weird and different and powerful comes in the form of a superhero. So the X-Men would carry on their mission of educating mutant and humankind, with their superhero careers being Trojan Horses full of species relation-sermons.

Whedon played down the social aspects and paired down the focus on the school, shifting the worldview from the, um, world to the characters themselves and their soap opera-esque relationships.

Whedon was paired with artist John Cassady, probably the single best artist to ever draw the X-Men. His photorealistic style even made the colorful costumes look believable, and they were designed as a mixture of practical clothing (like the leathers of the films) and the team’s traditional hero uniforms.

Whedon and Cassady’s Astonishing X-Men has been collected into to trades so far. The title is still on-going under the pair, so there will likely be two more volumes in the next few years.

Wolverine Watch: Wolverine is finally forced to not only put his shirt back on, but also to year his old yellow and blue costume, now with tiger-stripes along the ribs. His name is “Wolverine,” so obviously he should dress like a…tiger? Whedon plays Logan for laughs pretty regularly, perhaps the most memorable example where we see each of the team members’ thoughts as they fight a giant monster, and Wolvie’s single thought cloud has a single word in it: Beer.


Perhaps the most controversial X-title ever, this series spun out of long-running title X-Force at the same time Morrison was reinventing the X-Men. Suffice it to say old X-Force were less than thrilled with the direction that writer Peter Milligan (known for his weird work for DC’s Vertigo line, like Shade The Changing Man, and The Enigma) and indie superstar artist Mike Allred (creator of Madman) took the title in.

Since Professor X failed to copyright the name, a software magnate snaps it up and attaches it to his own team of media-savvy mutants. They’re basically just mercenaries, but ones who are beloved by the public. An extended X-Men parody in the form of an X-Men comic, Milligan and Allred’sX-Force used mutantkind not as an allegory not for gays or blacks or fat, unpopular highschoolers, but for sports heroes and celebrities.

They had intentionally stupid names—U-Go-Girl, Phat, El Guapo, The Vivisector—and often quite stupid powers. And very, very short shelf lives. In fact, in the first issue, of Milligan and Allred’s tenure, 90% of the team is killed off.

Allred is the probably the perfect artist for a modern Marvel comic book, since his style, sense of design and the “acting” he does with his pencil to convey his characters’ emotions is so heavily informed by classic Marvel artists of the ‘60s and ‘70s, particularly Jack Kirby. Put simply, Allred’s books often look and feel like they’re the work of a bygone Marvel era, but with modern coloring and printing quality.

Their X-Force, which was later re-named X-Statix, was more than willing to go places other X-Men comics couldn’t or shouldn’t: Like when Tike Alicar, The Anarchist, complains about how hard it is being not only black, and not only a mutant, but a black mutant—it’s like being black when you’re already black, he says.

Unfortunately, what should have been a blaze of glory to go out on was changed late in the game, and the title ended up petering out.

Milligan planned on resurrecting Princess Diana, explaining that she was a mutant who’s power was to come back from the dead, and then have her join the team. Marvel and/or Milligan nixed the idea though, out of respect for Princess Di, and so instead the story arc ended up featuring a fictional British pop singer, Henrietta, which (obviously) didn’t feel quite so biting.

Milligan and Allred’s run has been collected into three volumes of X-Force, followed by four volume of X-Statix. Several of the main characters recently appeared in X-Statix Presents: Dead Girl, a five-part miniseries which just wrapped up and should be collected into a trade paperback shortly.

Wolverine Watch: While X-Force/X-Statix tended to occur in its own corner of the Marvel Universe, there were occasionally guest stars from more popular Marvel books, and no surprise that Wolverine was the first to, as he himself says on the cover, appear to boost sales. It’s revealed that Logan and mysterious X-Staix member Doop share a secret history together, and the two even teamed up in a two-part X-Statix spin-off miniseries, Wolverine/Doop, by Darwyn Cooke.


Not technically an X-Men tale, but still a story starring the most popular X-person. Mark Millar goes into budget-less blockbuster mode again here, and makes Logan into a sort of Hong Kong hero/superhero-sploitation/Samurai hybrid hero.

After a little boy is kidnapped and killed to lure Wolverine into a trap laid for him by an alliance of terror groups, he gets brainwashed into an unbeatable assassin they then sic on the rest of the Marvel Universe.

Millar pits Wolverine against the rest of Marvel’s franchises—The Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Daredevil, Elektra—like a little boy getting to smash his favorite action figures against one another. Oh, and in addition to fighting all of Marvel’s most popular heroes, Wolverine also fights a great white shark in one issue.

Once he finally gets his mind back, he realizes to win the day and avenge the little boy’s life, he’ll need to kill some 50,000 bad guys. He does. It’s big dumb fun, but its smartly done dumb fun.

The story ran through twelve issues of Wolverine’s solo title, and has since been collected into two volumes.

Wolverine Watch: This is Wolverine at his most Wolverine-iest.


When Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced a team of five mutant teenagers—Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Beast and Angel—and their wheelchair-bound mentor in 1963, the world did not exactly catch fire. After The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, The Might Thor, The Avengers, the Amazing Spider-Man, these new X-Men were something of also-rans. They failed to catch on, and the title would eventually be cancelled. The X-Men franchise would later be reborn under writer Chris Claremont, who introduced a new line-up featuring Storm, Nightcrawler and former Hulk-villain Wolverine.

Like most of Marvel’s Essential volumes, this is worth perusing for fans of the medium (At over 500 pages of comics for the price of a single graphic novel, it’s months of bathroom reading), but it can be a pretty tough slog if it’s your first try at reading old-school superhero comics. The art, presented in black and white, is still something of a treat though.

Wolverine Watch: You know why the X-Men failed to catch on way back in the early ‘60s, don’t you? That’s right—no Wolverine on the team.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Bad things (usually) come in threes

Well, X-Men: The Last Stand is the #1 movie in America, unsurprisingly. What is surprising is how much money it made while on it’s way to the top spot, however—an estimated $120 million plus on it’s opening weekend, the trades are reporting.

Critics have been fairly kind to the film, apparently because they were expecting it to suck much, much harder under the guidance of Brett Ratner (Every review I read, actually, took time to talk about how much everything Ratner’s ever been involved with has been abysmal and how it’s a miracle this didn’t suck just as badly). The Village Voice’s Dennis Lim went so far to say that not only is the franchise critic-proof, it “might even be director-proof.”

What I haven’t heard any critics point out was how great a film X-Men III was considering it was the third film in a comic book superhero movie franchise.

Were there too many characters and not enough time to focus on them? Sure. Was there a lot of decent action, but no really compelling set-pieces akin to those in the previous two films? Yes. Was Halle Berry still in it? Uh huh.

But, compare it to the only other comic book superhero franchises to make it all the way to part three, and it’s consistency of aesthetic, cast, integrity and story seems downright remarkable.

In Superman III , the actors playing both the hero’s love interest Lois Lane and villain Lex Luthor from the previous two installments essentially sat the movie out. Christopher Reeve was left to court second-choice flame Lana Lang and contend with Robert Vaughn’s “Ross Webster,” a new character who was, for all intents and purposes, simply an off-brand Luthor. Plus, in the franchise’s shark-jumping moment, Richard Pryor is introduced as first a foil and then an ally of the Man of Steel’s.

Other than Reeve’s “Evil Superman” act and fight with himself in the junkyard, is there anything in this film you wouldn’t rather have forgotten?

Then there’s Batman Forever , in which visionary Tim Burton handed the franchises’ reigns to the man whose very name makes comics fans avert their eyes, do the sign of the cross, and whisper a quick prayer: Joel Schumacher. Val Kilmer stepped in to fill Michael Keaton’s boots, cape and cowl. The playground goth sets and gray and black palette gave way to garish amusement park neons. Plus, Jim Carrey as a red-headed Riddler! Tommy Lee Jones chews scenery out of both sides of his mouth as Two-Face! And the introduction of Chris O’ Donnell’s Robin.

Compared to those two films, the third X-Men film is the Citizen Kane of third-installments.

Delayed Reaction: Apocalypse/Dracula #1

X-Men: Apocalypse Vs. Dracula #1(Marvel Comics), by Frank Tieri, Clayton Henry and Mark Morales

Why’d I Wait?: You mean, aside from the fact that the book is called X-Men: Apocalypse/Dracula? And the fact that it’s apparently about X-Men villain and mutant menace Apocalypse fighting Dracula?

Why Now?: It’s presence in a 50-cent box. A lot of comics one passes over for $2.99 suddenly seem a lot more readable when they’re only 50 cents.

Well?: I admit the bizarre core concept and the goofy-ass title, though kinda stupid-sounding, are definitely in the so-stupid-it’s-kind-of-cool category, and it certainly delivers on the big, dumb fun tip. Writer Frank Tieri’s campy story hopscotches through time—the two leads being more-or-less immortal—from the 15th Century to the 21st to the 19th.We see Vlad Tempes meeting En Sabah Nur on the battlefield and, later, Dracula stalking Nur’s descendents in London.

Tieri and penciller Clayton Henry borrow heavily from the film adaptation of From Hell and Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula for details and visuals, and there is a crazy three panel sequence that may constitute the craziest fucking thing I’ve seen in a Marvel comic since Erik Larsen’s Defenders was cancelled (It involves a man’s mouth growing large enough to bite off another man’s head).

While there’s relatively little to be admired in the work, it’s not without it’s merits. Dracula was once one of Marvel’s greatest villains and most compelling characters—even if his long-running Tomb of Dracula series was always off in a relatively lonely corner of the Marvel Universe—so it’s nice to see him interacting with a more mainstream character like Apocalypse here.

And the audacious weirdness of the pairing deserves some props: On the crazy-ass cross-over scale, this one falls somewhere between Red Sonja/Claw and The Punisher Meets Archie.

Would I travel back in time to buy the first issue off the rack?: Seems like sort of a waste of a time machine, doesn’t it?

Monday, May 29, 2006

"I learned it from you, Wolverine!"

I don't know, Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada, that looks pretty cool to me...

Monday, Monday! MONDAY!

Forget what Garfield may have to say on the matter; Mondays aren't so bad. After all, that's when the crew presents Best Shots at

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Delayed Reaction: Spider-Man/Human Torch

Spider-Man/Human Torch: I'm With Stupid (Marvel Comics), by Dan Slott and Ty Templeton

Why’d I Wait?: Both Spider-Man and the Human Torch can be incredibly fun characters in the right writer’s hands, and I’ve long admired the work of series artist Ty Templeton, but I had no idea who this Dan Slott character writing the thing was when it was originally released.

Why Now?: After hearing the ten thousandth person praise Slott’s work on The Thing, She-Hulk and G.L.A., I thought I’d check my local library for some of his trades, and all they had was the Spider-Man/Human Torch: I’m With Stupid digest.

Well? As soon as I got done reading the library’s copy of the trade, I set it down, went straight to my computer, and ordered a copy of my very own. Simply put, this was one of the most fun mainstream superhero comics I’ve read this year, and certainly one of the better Spider-Man books.

Slott takes us through various stages of Spidey and Torch’s rivalry/friendship by teaming them at different points in their continuity. Each issue of the original stories is a single story, but an overarching story about the heroes’ and their civilian identities’ mutual jealousy of one another, a theme that loops in and out of the episodic adventures.

So we get Johnny Storm and Crystal hanging out with the gang at the Bean during Spider-Man’s college years. Torch giving Spidey driving lessons in the Spider-Buggy between battles with the Red Ghost and his super-apes. Black Cat and Black Panther guest-starring during the time Johnny and Spidey both wore black. And even an appearance by Paste Pot Pete, and some talk of clones.

It’s mostly all about the fun and the funny, which Slott has become known for, but there’s also some surprisingly strong pathos here and there. I picked it up knowing I’d love the art and not sure what to expect from the writing; but when I set it down, it seemed clear that Slott was the star here. Not that Templeton’s off or anything, of course. In fact, while it doesn’t seem to be in his regular style, he does a great job of drawing to the era of comics the story is plucked from, imitating a series of Marvel house styles without ever losing himself in them. A pretty tough trick to pull off, really.

The digest format isn’t the best way to read the series, as it has the same problems as all of Marvel’s digests. I’m not really sure what they’re thinking is when it comes to digest collections—if they’re trying to trick young manga readers into picking it up thinking it’s manga, or if they’re simply seeking a cheap, kid-friendly format.

Either way, they’re off base. On the one hand, the dimensions of the art and letters are for standard comics, and thus seem too small on the digest pages (and don’t read one bit like manga, which is more than just an art style or set of dimensions, it’s a different type of storytelling with it’s very own visual language). And on the other hand, I doubt many kids will give a damn about the story it’s telling—if you don’t remember the decades worth of Marvel history Slott pull’s the details of each chapter from, half the charm of the book will be lost on you.

Would I travel back in time to buy the first issue off the rack?: Hell yes, the sanctity of the space-time continuum be damned.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Who the @#$% Was That?: "Professor Morrow" in 52 #2

In 52#2 , Doc Magnus, creator of the Metal Men, gives Booster Gold's malfunctioning robot sidekick Skeets a once over, and then mentions that he's due to pay a visit to someone at some place called "Haven." We see Magnus on the free side of a glass cage, talking to an angry man with a moustache who boasts, "I created the world's first artificial souls." Near the end of their conversation, Magnus refers to this pissed-off (if not quite mad) scientist as "Professor Morrow."

So, who the @#$% is he, exactly?

Why, it's Thomas Oscar Morrow, aka T.O. Morrow (Like, "Tomorrow"—get it? Ah, it was the '60s...). Morrow's been messing with the DC Universe's good guys since his first appearance in 1964, and is probably best known for creating the android Red Tornado, who was supposed to destroy the Justice Society, but ended up joining them instead. He also created a "fourth dimensional grappler" and other silly sounding weapons.

In recent DCU history, he collaborated with the deformed Professor Ivo (creator of the Amazo androids) to create Tommorrow Woman, who was supposed to be a Trojan horse weapon to destroy the JLA by joining the team and then stopping the heroes' hearts with an electromagnetic pulse (She ultimately pulled a Red Tornado). This occurred in JLA #5 by Grant Morrison, Howard Porter and John Dell, and has since been collected in JLA: American Dreams.

Since then, Morrow antagonized both the JLA and the Justice Society in two-part prestige format miniseries Two Thousand, a crpyto-sequel to DC One Million, by Tom Peyer, Val Semeiks and Prentis Rollins. In the year 2000, the modern-day Morrow smuggled state-of-the-art technology back in time to the 1940s, messing with the timestream, and leading the modern day JLA to follow him back in time, where they ran afoul of the JSA, who didn't like what they saw of the future. (It hasn't been collected into a trade, but is well worth tracking down for JLA or DC fans).

Delayed Reaction: MegaMorphs

MegaMorphs Digest (Marvel Comics), by Sean McKeever and Lou Kang

Why’d I Wait?: Good question. In general, I usually buy just about anything written by Sean McKeever, since he lives in the same city as me, shops at the same comic shop and is an all-around nice guy—the kind of guy who’s dreams of comic book writing you really want to support (He also tends to be at the shop on Wednesdays, so maybe I just feel like I have to buy his books or he’ll notice and feel bad).

And it’s not like buying Sean McKeever books is a chore or anything—McKeever’s name-making Waiting Place is a great series, and I’d recommend much of his Marvel work to anyone who likes simple, straightforward superheroics (Particularly Gravity, Mary Jane and Sentinel).

But MegaMorphs was a hard, hard sale, as it was based on a pretty stupid-sounding toy line: Marvel superheroes piloting giant mecha that look like them and have their powers, and can transform into vehicles. Plus, one of those superheroes was the Hulk. The Hulk…piloting a complicated robot vehicle? Who could wrap their heads around that?!

Why Now?:It was just this side of an accident. I was in a shop and wanted to buy a single $2.99 comic book, but all I had was a credit card, and it seems like a waste to use credit for such a measly sum, so I threw in McKeever’s “MegaMorphs.”

Well?:The opening chapters are culled from the little comic books that were included with every MegaMorph toy, which reminded me fondly of the little He-Man comics that introduced me to the medium when I was just a wee lad.

Unfortunately, the quality of the free MegaMorph comics are about the same of those inane He-Man comics were. Tony “Iron Man” Stark invented mechas powered by superpowers, and he sends a team of Marvel heroes after Dr. Octopus, who is using a similar giant robot, one at a time. They each get defeated until they team-up and overwhelm Dock Ock with superior numbers.

Things pick up considerably when the digest gets to collecting the issues of the tie-in series that Marvel published. Sure, it’s still sort of silly to see the Hulk in a robot shaped like the Hulk, but it’s silly fun. The line-up of the MegaMorph team is probably the best line-up of any Marvel team thus far—Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Wolverine, The Hulk and Ghost Rider—and while this may not be the “real” versions of the characters, McKeever writes them all as if they were. If you like Spider-Man’s quips, dumb Hulk’s dumb ranting or Wolverine’s bad-assed-ness, then you’ll like ‘em just as well here. The relationship between Spidey and the vengeance-obsessed Ghost Rider is pretty cute, too.

Lou Kang’s art is fine but not spectacular, and, like all Marvel digests, the presentation is pretty poor (the art and letters, created for full-size comics, is small and smooshed to fit the digest dimensions), but it’s a surprisingly fun read for Marvel fans (particularly considering the value—152 pages for $7.99)

Would I travel back in time to buy the original issues off the racks? Nah. The bulk of the book, the story culled from the Marvel miniseries rather than the toy story that serves as a prelude to it, is cheesy fun, but the lack of suspense of any kind means it works much better as one, continuous story instead of chapters read serially—If I had picked up MegaMorphs #1 off the racks the Wednesday it saw release, I doubt I would have picked up #2.

In the beginning...

In the beginning, there was the word. Well, words. These words, to be specific: "In the beginning." Those were the first words. Right there. See?

Welcome to my first, stumbling steps at this new-fangled "web-logging" things all the kids--with their baggy pants, and their myspace.coms, and their rock 'n' roll music--are doing these days. For a journalist and freelance writer, I understand it's just like publishing your own personal magazine or newspaper, only without any of those outrageous printing costs. That, and the fact that no one reads it.

A few notes on the name of the site and what will be done here:

It's called "Every Day Is Like Wednesday," sung to the tune of Morrissey's "Every Day is Like Sunday." That's because Wednesdays, as you're well aware, are when new comic books are released, and are hence the happiest of the seven days of the week for those of us who look forward to the site of a wall full of new comics, the sound of tape peeling off a mylar bag, the smell of freshly printed ink on paper, the feel of 22 pages of staple paper lying across our laps and the brief hours of escapism that comic books provide the way some people look forward to crawling into bed with their lover after a long day's work or being admitted to the Kingdom of Heaven for an eternity of paradise after a long life's living (What, is it just me?). Every day is, sadly, not like Wednesday (and I suppose Wednesday wouldn't even fell like Wednesday if every day were), of course, and thus the title of this page is simply wishful thinking. No, I'm afraid every day remains more like Sunday (slient and gray...I mean, "grey." He's British).

The site will be a repository for much of my comics writing that I can't find a home for because a) no official venue exists that it would fit at or b) no one wanted to pay me for it. In that regard, I guess that just makes this a dumping ground for my stories that no one else wanted to publish. Putting them here at least will make me feel like I wasn't completely wasting my time on them. The site will feature regular, rotating, um, features which will all be self-explanatory, but which I'll now go ahead and explain anyway.

Every Wednesday night I'll publish a "Weekly Haul," which will be a long (too long) list of mini-reviews of everything new that week. The rest of the week you can find "Delayed Reaction" reviews of books that have been out for near forever that I just never got around to reading previously; "Dream Trades," in which I do tradepaperback editors' jobs for them; "Recomended Reading" lists of timely suggestions (Coming soon: X-Men Comics For People Who Hate X-Men Comics; "Who The @#$% Was That?" offering explanations of the obscure characters popping up in DC and Marvel Universe cross-overs (which are all the rage these days) and more random things. Expect more in the way of interviews when I get my cyberspace legs, and more in the way of art and visuals when I figure out where to plug my pen into this confounded computing machine.