Sunday, April 08, 2012

(links + misc)

Wow, where did the last few days go? Actually, scratch that—I know exactly where they went. They were eaten up by the day job and holiday related travel and holiday related visiting and feasting. Sorry for the lack of content, but hey, the content's free, so it's not like you're not getting your money's worth, right?

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More of my free time was eaten by the welcome, if earlier than expected, arrival of a box containing the following comics, many of which demanded my immediate attention:I hope to devote a little attention here on each of them in the very near future.

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Sharknife Double ZZ came out a Wednesday or two ago, but I didn't actually read it until last night, the night before Easter. It was pretty good timing, as Peeps appear prominently in a few panels:During Chieko's dream of Sharknife's origin, Ceasar Hallelujah must save her Peeps from a big, eel-like monster.

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Before this weekend got away from me, I was planning on reviewing the above book, Brooke A. Allen's A Home For Mr. Easter. Obviously, I didn't get around to it in time for it to be as timely as it would have been had I posted it last night, but nevertheless it is an extraordinarily fun comic, full of wonderful, inventive, energetic art devoted to telling a very fun story.

If you haven't yet, you should totally try to track it down and give it a read.

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In addition to the comics that arrived in my hands via the mail this week, I also borrowed the following from a library: The library I borrowed it from had all of the Green Lantern Corps graphic novels too, books I had been planning on catching up with in trade eventually, but it was weird seeing them all there and ready to read with no cost to me and not wanting to pick them up.

I suppose it may be down to the...decades? Has it been 20 years now?...during which DC Comics has conditioned me to believe that their universe and their continuity mattered, and those mediocre comics set in that setting matter more than those that are not, but now that they've rebooted their universe with "The New 52," I felt my interest in a lot of the DC comics published during the last five-to-ten years now has just been deflated.

I guess I have this deep-seated feeling that if DC Comics as an entity didn't feel that these stories were worth "keeping," if DC Comics as a publisher of comic books didn't think comics from that era were at all worthwhile, why should I?

I don't know, really. It was a strange feeling to have.

I picked up this volume, however, because it contains the comic that had this as a cover:I've giggled over that image so many times that I couldn't pass up the chance to see if the contents of that comic could match the ridiculously stupid power of that image. Perhaps it would be better not to ever read it though, so that the story beneath that cover can live on in a state of potential awesomeness forever in my imagination? Like, perhaps the actual stupidity of it cannot live up to the extraordinary level of stupidity that i t suggests to me.

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I wanted to include this link here so I'd know where to find it when I have a slow afternoon and decide I want to look up all of the comics covered in it and see how many I can find available through libraries. They all look at least worth a read.

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I've heard The Hunger Games referred to as The Running Man with a teenage girl playing Arnold Schwarzenegger's character (which makes it sound awesome; you could and should do all Arnold Schwarzeneggers with teenage girl protagonists and I think they'd be worth watching; certainly I'd rather see Jennifer Lawrence in a remake of Total Recall more than I'd like to see Colin Farrell in a remake of Total Recall).

I've heard The Hunger Games referred to as Battle Royale, only less awesome.

But until I read this piece by Chris Sims, I had never heard it compared to Achewood's "The Great Outdoor Fight."

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By the way, I thought Abhay's review of that movie was pretty funny.

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Tim O'Neil notes that the Avengers movie seems more greatly inspired by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch's The Ultimates than The Avengers that The Ultimates was a riff on, which anyone who's read any Ultimates and many Avengers comics will of course have already recognized, but O'Neil also notes some essential differences between the original Avengers and the Ultimates, in terms of concept and storytelling, and why Hollywood's embrace of the Ultimates paradigm over the other might make it easier to make a movie, but also to make a worse movie. It's a pretty great little piece.

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I link back to Tom Spurgeon's The Comics Repoter so often, or link to links that he had previously linked to, that I sometimes think I should enttile this weekly feature "Things I saw On The Comics Reporter Earlier In The Week." Well, here's an installment one of Tom's regular features, This Isn't a Library, in which he runs down some of the more interesting things that came out this past Wednesday (I totally forgot about that Supereme thing...I probably woulda made a trip to the shop this week if I remembered, but the only thing on my pull-list was Daredevil #10.1, and as that one is by Khoi Pham and has a decimal point in it, I figured I could wait seven more days to see it).

This week Spurgeon uses it as a springboard to ruminate on why people still go to comics shops, which I thought an interesting angle.

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Another person I always link to? Tucker Stone. Here he is reviewing Derf's My Friend Dahmer. One thing he gets to within the piece is the notion of the non-fiction crime genre, a quite popular-ish one in prose that, for whatever reason, isn't very well represented in comics. He cites two examples; I couldn't think of any until he did (Despite have read Torso, which is set in Cleveland and is by Cleveland author Brian Michael Bendis, who moved faraway to Cleveland to the Pacific Northwest after he quit drawing his own books and started scripting Marvels for a no doubt lucrative living).

I agree with Stone's assessment of the book, and was glad to see him tackle it at all—t's a hard book to read and review, and I actually kinda worry that it might have a hard time finding its audience.

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Here are two panels I scanned from My Friend Dahmer to use as examples in my review of the book, but I never actually found room for them.

The first is an image of Dahmer attending prom:Derf notes that he did not attend prom, but Jeffrey Dahmer did.

And later, from the epilogue of the book, comes this panel, in which Derf depicts his adult self being told that someone from his class has just been arrested and turned out to be a serial killer, and Dahmer wasn't even the first person he thought of:
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Chip Kidd cosplays Glee. At least, I think that's what's happening there.

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Aww, that toddler version of Admiral Ackbar in Brown's Halloween-themed cartoon is adorable! Is Darth Vader and Son the Star Wars Babies I never knew I wanted to exist until I saw drawings of Star Wars characters as little kids...?

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If actor Donald Glover talking about playing Spider-Man in a movie gave us Miles Morales, the new Ultimate Spider-Man, who knows what this might get us!

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Sure, I'd pay $10 to see that movie in a theater.

Also, this is awesome:

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For some reason, this strikes me as an even weirder sounding comic book than this.

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Did I already link to the news that James Stokoe was getting his own Godzilla book? I'm pretty sure I did last week.

Anyway, the above image is a panel from the preview of the book that was released along with news of its existence. I love the way he illustrates (more than letters) Godzilla's distinctive cry. I'm often quite put off with the way many comics creators choose to vary the lettering and or shape and colors of dialogue balloons in order to visually distinguish the "voice" of certain characters. I thought Todd Klein and company did a pretty great job of it in Sandman, but in the years since, I've seen it done so often and in so many lesser works that I often have trouble understanding what, precisely, the varied lettering and/or balloons are trying to convey by their variance from the standard balloons and lettering.

I think this is a great example of a deviation from the norm in order to convey a particular sound. Certainly it helps that we already know what Godzilla roar-screaming sounds like from the films, and therefore only have to see that sound reflected in Stokoe's drawing of Godzilla's dialogue.

I think what Stokoe draws above looks an awful lot like what Godzilla sounds like, and that is no mean feat to pull off.

I'm really looking forward to that book.

4 comments:

Akilles said...

I don`t find that Guy Gardner-cover to be funny at all, but then again, I don`t find lousy horror movies to be funny either.

That`s the best classic Godzilla I`ve ever seen.

Magic Brick said...

It's actually Admiral Ackbar, not General. Inane and pointless trivia, but I still felt compelled to correct you.

Caleb said...

I'm actually a little ashamed that I got that wrong, and so publicly exposed my ignorance of Star Wars...and that's one I've seen several million times too, so I don't have the same excuse I would if I called that robot guy with four arms "Lieutenant Corporal Greivous" or something...

Thanks though, I fixed it.

Magic Brick said...

Heh, "Lieutenant Corporal Greivous". Anyway, you admitted your mistake and modified your post. Thus, I forgive you!