Kurt Christenson ** Timothy Mucci ** Johnny Gatts ** Brian Bannen ** Rick Lacy ** YOU!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Write Club! "Digital Dilemma" V. 3, Ep. 2

Tim and Rick Lacy settle down to have a nice chat about Digital Comics, prompted by DC Comics boldly throwing their cowl into the new-media millennia. Tim & Rick are soon joined by the original digital barbarian himself, Phil Gelatt, and then things get interesting.

Digital comics, Independent film, Marvel Short movies, D&D with pornstars, and playing games in the world of H.P. Lovecraft. Nothing's off the table for Write Club!







Intro: "Chin Music" Future of the Left
Outro: "Write Club Theme" Scott St. Pierre

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tighty-Spidey Tuesdays

Continuing from a previous post...

It's really strange, I know, but seeing Peter Parker in those little white briefs brings me back to when I was a kid reading Spider-Man. I loved Spidey in the 80's, I was right there for Kraven's Last Hunt, and the Mad Dog Ward. I saw the rise and fall of the Hobgoblin, caught the tail end of the symbiote arc, and punched out right before Venom made the scene.

I was all-in as Spidey had fun adventures, frightening and weird adventures, and heartbreaking ones as well, but nothing brings that nostalgic feeling back more than seeing Peter Parker in his underwear! Maybe it's that, despite the fact that Pete can lift a bus over his head, move so fast he can't be hit, is super-smart and can crawl on walls, he's still a dude like me and you. He's still got to put on his underwear in the morning.

There comes a time in every man's life when he's got to choose whether he's a boxers or briefs guy, and it seems to me that Spider-Man has made his choice.

And so, it is here that I begin Write Club's newest feature, Tighty-Spidey Tuesdays! A series dedicated to exploring a certain superhero and his choice of underwear.


And yes...I am fully aware of how creepy this is.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Comic Reviews -- Week of June 16

MARVEL:



Amazing Spider-Man #634: So this is what all the fuss was about! For the past year, Spider-Man has been beaten and bloodied, worn down and tested. The purpose is revealed here: The Kravens are trying to resurrect their father. But to do so, they need to kill a few spiders. And seeing as how Peter Parker is no longer the only "Spider" person out there, a lot of people need to die. The writers tried to throw a little "Knightfall" action into this by making Peter suddenly have a cold, but it plays no major role in the story (yet), so I wonder if it will be dropped just as soon as it was introduced. But, one thing Joe Kelly has been able to do (that no one else seems to have been able to do) is capitalize on the whole "Clone Saga" story. Every Spider-Man fan (and pretty much every comic book fan) knows the debacle of the mid-90's that involved Spider-Man potentially being a clone. A laborious story was drawn out, and in the end, it was revealed that he wasn't. It has set the tone for epic story failures, so it's nice to see Kelly reference it in a way that puts an interesting (plot-wise) spin on it. I wonder if people who haven't followed Spider-Man that past year could get into this. It seems to be a gamble, especially when comics are always trying to recruit new readers. But if the "Grim Hunt" delivers on its set up, I think Marvel may have found a way to make up for the clone saga.


Ultimate X #3: I'm enjoying these vignettes. Jeph Loeb spends most of each issue of Ultimate X introducing us to one more mutant player of the Ultimate universe. This time, I think it's Archangel, but I'm not sure, having never read an issue of Ultimate X-Men, nor a 616 X-Men story. So while I can't speak to how Loeb alters the character, I can speak from the viewpoint of a fan who has no background with the X-Men's long history. Ultimate X adds one more player, then, and as the series moves forward, it's shaping up to be a great story. Wolverine's son turns out to be just like his father -- in that he's got the hots for Jean Grey. There's a great moment when Jimmy Hudson (Logan's son) wakes up with his head resting against Jean's chest. Arthur Adams gives us his viewpoint, and both Jimmy and Jean's reactions. It's a testament to the heart of the series. A good story is just that until it has interesting characters, and Loeb has really found a way to give these characters life. What's even nicer is that while Ultimate Avengers 2 and New Ultimates continue to stink up the shelves, Loeb is at least able to inject some soul into this series. For those of you disappointed with everything else the Ultimate Universe has to offer, you should read Ultimate X. It will fill that lonely space in your ultimate heart.

DC:



Brightest Day #4: This issue feels like it takes a break from the pressing mysteries it has introduced, and instead stalls, in some ways, at advancing the plot. One thing that's paid off, though, is that Geoff Johns said the character Dove would be extremely important. We get a bit more of that here, but not enough to really explain anything. As usual, the frustration is building because we're getting no answers for all of our questions. For the first time, however, I feel like Johns and Tomasi have laid out their plans for each issue: a few pages on Blackest Night character A, a few on Character B, and a few on Character C. It's a nifty formula, but it doesn't give the story enough time to develop, especially when the authors know their plans, and how much time they have to fulfill them. My concern with Brightest Day (which despite my gripes is an excellent series) is that they may lose readers if they don't give them a reason to hang on. Hopefully, as the first arc comes to a close, we'll be given at least a few nuggets to keep us sated for the long road ahead.

LEGO Games We Want To See


From the moment I first played the original LEGO Star Wars game, I was in love. How could such a silly idea be so good? And it
was good - so good, it almost made me forget how terrible the prequel trilogy is. Successive entries in the LEGO game franchise have been great as well, but I was a little disappointed to find out the next installment would be LEGO Harry Potter. I could list a TON of movies that would make great LEGO games - in fact, I'll do so right now!

MOVIES THAT WOULD MAKE GREAT LEGO GAMES:

LEGO Goonies (hands down the best idea I've ever had)
LEGO Back to the Future
LEGO Die Hard Trilogy
LEGO Kill Bill
LEGO TRON
LEGO Aliens
LEGO X-Men
LEGO Blade Runner
LEGO Complete Career of Arnold Schwarzenegger (yes, including LEGO Kindergarten Cop)


However, once I started that list I realized the real fun would be in imagining the
worst possible movies for a LEGO game. And so, without further ado:

MOVIES THAT WOULD BE TERRIBLE GAMES BUT REALLY FUNNY TO SEE AND/OR WERE FUN TO PUT THE WORD LEGO INTO THE TITLE:

The LEGO English Patient
Lost in LEGO Translation
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless LEGO
The Silence of the LEGOS
When LEGO Harry Met LEGO Sally
A Room with a View of LEGOs
Pride and Prejudice and LEGOS
LEGO Brokeback Mountain
LEGO Casablanca
What about Bob's LEGOS?
Gone with the Wind... and LEGO
To Kill a LEGO Mockingbird
Dumb and Dumber, LEGO and LEGO-ER!
Twelve Angry LEGO Men
LEGO Field of Dreams
The Ten LEGO Commandments ("PHAROAH, LET MY PEOPLE LEGGO!")


These are just the few that came to me off the top of my head. I'm sure there are plenty of others. What do you think? Leave your best or worst LEGO ideas in the comments and put my list to shame!

Superman #700

Whereas Batman #700 was one story by one writer that took place across three different time periods, Superman #700 was three stories by three writers from three different time periods, and the disconnection was pretty clear throughout. The first story served to wrap up Robinson's run on the title, and the story was mostly a heartfelt welcome home for Supes. There were several pages of Lois and Kal enjoying pillow talk and taking a fly around Metropolis, and on the whole, it didn't feel like any sort of milestone, and that's probably because Robinson is leaving, and not continuing on. The second story was "a story out of Superman's past" but was really "a story out of Robin's past," since the narrative point of view was that of the Boy Wonder. Bruce Wayne took a night off for some Wayne Enterprises event, and Robin had explicit instructions to do his Geometry homework. When some gun runners pop up on radar, Robin tries to stop them, but after he's captured, Superman saves the day. I was left thinking this story was very out of place, and that it was filler so they could jack the price up to $4.99. I would rather have had a poster gallery.

And then there's the J. Michael Straczynski prologue that sets up his run on the title, in which Superman is going to be like Kain from Kung-Fu and walk across America. Lots o' writers complain about writing for Superman, because it's tough to do something original with the character. I think JMS has a really cool idea that should yield some interesting plot lines. The story stems from Superman being out of touch with the world since having left for all of his New Krypton stuff. I'm really excited to see where this story goes, but since this was all setup, I feel like the whole issue was pretty unnecessary. All of the JMS stuff can be summed up on the title page of the next issue, and I didn't need the other two stories. So, while I was bored here, I will be back for the next one.

I really hope Superman walks through my hometown.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Comic Reviews -- Week of June 16th

IMAGE:


Shuddertown #3: So far, Shuddertown is a good enough crime comic about a drugged-out detective trying to solve a string of murders, murders that were seemingly perpetrated by dead people. While I like Shuddertown well enough, there's honestly not a lot to compel me to keep reading, and it's irregular release schedule is not helping. I’m not one to bitch too much about shipping schedules as it doesn't pertain to the quality of a comic, but when it comes to books that depend largely on a character-heavy mystery, a regular schedule does matter. It's hard to enjoy a story when you have to try and remember what happened a month or two ago before giving in and digging out the previous issues (Oni's Stumptown is plagued by this problem as well). When you can’t remember what happened in the last issue (or the one before that), you're less inclined to stick with a story. David Lynch movies aside, it's hard to be both confused and entertained at the same time. Unfortunately, I’m worried that by the time the next issue of Shuddertown hits the stands, I’ll no longer give a sh*t about the mystery, which is really the heart of the book. At least Adam Green's atmospheric art is pretty, although quite obviously modeled on specific people. If you buy Shuddertown #3, don't be surprised to find yourself staring James Gandolfini in the face.

MARVEL:



Amazing Spider-Man #633: In an what was an otherwise ho-hum week for comics, Amazing Spider-Man #633 was probably the only comic that really delivered on all levels. First off, Chris Bachalo is an incredible artist. He manages to strike a perfect balance between chaos and control, infusing a manic urgency into his otherwise characteristically cartoon style. The resulting pencil-work lies somewhere between Ralph Steadman and Genndy Tartakovsky. It’s perfect for Amazing Spider-Man, making any arc that Bachalo draws an instant favorite. In this final “Gauntlet” offshoot arc, “Shed,” the Lizard returns to prove once again that he is one of Spider-Man’s most dangerous enemies, and not just because he can murder a lot of people (his own son included); it’s clear that more than any other villain, the underlying conflict between the Lizard and Spider-Man stems from Spidey's unrelenting hope that he can rehabilitate the scaly scientist. After the events of "Shed," it's abundantly clear that even he can't save Curt Conners. The Lizard has always been a favorite villain of mine, and to see him come back in such a horrifically monstrous fashion is really what I was hoping to get out of his appearance in “the Gauntlet.” I’m not so sure about his new “Lizard-people-control” powers, but I’ll save that discussion for another day. All-in-all, something tells me that this shockingly bleak Lizard story will ultimately overshadow the long-hyped “Grim Hunt.”



New Avengers #1: Ok New Avengers. I came back. I came back to your party. I know, I know. I said I wouldn’t. But I’m here. Unshowered, unshaven, ready to give us another shot. So whaddya got for me?

A possessed Dr. Strange you say? Alright, so far I’m on board, that sounds fun...oh...oh wait, what’s that? Page upon page of superhero banter? The same banter we've been reading for years? Luke Cage/Danny Rand banter. Luke Cage/Wolverine banter. Luke Cage/the Thing banter. Luke Cage/Wolverine/Victoria Hand banter. What's Wolverine doing on this team again? Banter banter Hawkeye is back in his costummmzzzzzzz*snort*hmmmmegamancupcakesandicecreamvideogameszzzz*zzzzzzz....

Whahuh? Oh sorry. Passed out for a second there. Are they still bantering? Oh the bantering is over. Whew. Wait, now they're spelling out their motivations for us? As part of a conversation? Again? As if we hadn't been following them for years? Alright well, I'm gonna go now, but do me a favor and let me know when Remender's Doctor Voodoo comes back. Until then, hand me that bottle of tequila. I'm just gonna go stretch out under this blanket.

I see London, I see France

So, Marvel's been releasing bits and pieces of of art for the new Spider-Man storyline One Moment in Time, which seems like it'll bring the whole Brand New Day Storyline to a conclusion. Maybe? I don't know.

What I do know, in looking at the art that's been trickling out, is how much I've missed seeing Peter Parker in his tighty-whiteys!


I'm serious, growing up and reading Spider-Man in the 80's, it was almost a staple that you'd get a few panels of Pete walking along a wall in his apartment in his underwear.

I'll have to see if I can dig up some more images. Spidey-Whiteys could be a new meme!

Futurama Rebirth!



Following in the footsteps of the mighty animated television program Family Guy, the comeback kid that proved that fans can indeed resurrect their beloved shows, FUTURAMA is back on the air. Matt Groening's bastard stepchild of a show never came close to the success of The Simpsons, but it was a show that I enjoyed for all the science fiction tropes they spoofed, and after catching a lot of reruns on Cartoon Network, well I was eager to see this series come back to the future.

FuturamaThursdays 10pm / 9c
New Episodes on Comedy Central
www.comedycentral.com
Futurama New EpisodesFuturama New EpisodesUgly Americans


I was able to obtain a sneak preview of the first two episodes to review for you 'Clubbers out there. There's good news, and bad news. The good is it's all the same voice actors, the show looks and feels exactly the same, and all the ridiculous sci-fi cliches are there. The bad is that the humor isn't.

Well, I did laugh out loud a few times, but at the random lines. The 'jokes' just felt really forced and almost dumbed down considering the quality of punchline we usually get in The Simpsons or classic Futurama episodes. I can only assume it's because they're getting back into the swing of things after a seven year hiatus (not counting the four straight to DVD movies, which I can only assume were released to test the market's waters).

That said, I was entertained throughout. The first episode had some fun moments as a few in-jokes of their "rebirth" are tossed about, and we watch the entire cast reborn through SCIENCE! (you'll see what I mean) From there it jumps right into robot dopplegangers, the science of death, and the limits of love. (for real!) The second episode was a bit more groan worthy, but maybe that's because I don't love Zap Brannigan. It really did have its moments though.

Here's the first 90 seconds of the first new episode:

Preview - Interstellar Fugitives
www.comedycentral.com
Futurama New EpisodesUgly AmericansFunny TV Comedy Blog


Phew, that was not unlike traveling through time & space! So, another animated classic was revived after Cartoon Network re-aired the episodes. I think this sets a great precedent, that fans, or their money anyways, can make a difference in what stays on the air (after years and years of fanboys & girls trying desperately to save doomed shows, from
Millennium to Moonlight).

And really, it's good to have new episodes to look forward to with this gang. Fry has really grown on me, much like a fungus, and the humor will hopefully improve as they get a few more episodes in and get comfortable again...if Comedy Central doesn't kill it again before that.

If you've never seen Futurama before or you just want to catch up on what you missed during the five season the show ran, well Comedy Central has provided this hand Recap-O-Rama video for you.

FuturamaThursdays 10pm / 9c
Recap-O-Rama: 5 Seasons in 7 Minutes
www.comedycentral.com
Futurama New EpisodesFuturama New EpisodesUgly Americans


I kept this review spoiler free, but after you watch the episode, feel free to leave comments below on what YOU think the future holds for Futurama.

You can get a ton of more behind the scenes material over at Comedy Central Insider's
Countdown to Futurama blog posts.

Special extras:
Live action Futurama film? Futurama mini-figures from Kid Robot. Lego Planet Express.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Get some Class with Rick Lacy!

This Saturday, June 26th will be the start of Rick Lacy's Private Character Design Class hosted at Bergen Street Comics!


In this class Rick will be covering basic to advanced techniques for character design in animation, comics and video games. Plenty of drawing will be expected so come prepared! This is a great chance for aspiring artists to study outside the classroom with like-minded, local artists. Meet seasoned professionals and acquire new skills from their personal artistic arsenal. This class will meet every Saturday from 9am - 12pm and run for 8 weeks. We'll be meeting inside the illustrious halls of Bergen Street Comics, Brooklyn's latest asylum for the comic collector.

Rick Lacy has been a character designer and story artist for Adult Swim's the
Venture Bros, TMNT on FOX, Hellboy Animated and Star Wars: The Clone Wars with Dark Horse Comics. He also publishes his own title, called Labor Days with Oni Press. His most recent venture is with Gameloft NYC in the role of designer and animator. With this class you are guaranteed to get a full fledged education in the art of character design, meet professional artists working in the industry and create finished pieces for your portfolio. A great opportunity for everyone!

Space is limited, so please email Rick at ricklacy [at] Gmail [dot] com, or send a message over to
Write Club
, for enrollment details and to view the course syllabus. Or go in to Bergen Street comics and reserve your spot today!

Write Club Funnies - WE ARE WRITE CLUB!



More Write Club Funnies...

Comics and Drugs!

Strange objects granting their users powerful abilities is not out of place in the comics world; Steve Rogers took a serum to become the apex of human achievement known as Captain America, Rick Tyler crunched Miraclo pills which gave him the super-abilities he needed to become Hourman, even Batman popped a vein with some venom when necessary. In the comic world these methods are often the means to an end, in the real world it's known as drug use. And it's illegal.

Now, to be fair, Venom proved to be harmfully addictive and Batman went cold turkey. Miraclo, the "miraculous vitamin" also had its addictive properties so Tyler had to kick that habit, though later he resorted to a special black-light that would activate the residual traces of Miraclo in his system. Probably sweating and shaking in a back-alleyway somewhere.

While those are, generally the most popular, I thought it would be interesting to run through a few of the other, lesser-known comic book drugs:

In homage to Captain America we've got the Anabolus Serum, invented by Dr. Anabolus it was intended to create a legion of super soldiers. Anabolus tested it on a K-9 corps. puppy thereby creating Rex the Wonder Dog.


In usual fashion, Anabolus was killed soon after, and was therefore unable to replicate the serum. Crazy foreign doctors and their serum compound memorization skills.

Who could forget the Bio-Restorative Formula invented by everyone's favorite would-be plant-man, Alec Holland? Instead of being able to use his invention to turn deserts into forests, he got it all over himself and blew up. He then became the creepy monster-fighter Swamp-Thing.


At least until Alan Moore got his hooks into him and changed him into a...well...maybe I shouldn't spoil it for you!


We all love to be scared, but psychologist Jonathan Crane takes it to a whole new level with his Fear Gas. Oh, and also dressing up like a freaked out Scarecrow as well.


Crane uses his Fear Gas to terrorize the inhabitants of Gotham City, at least up until a man dressed as a freaked out bat hits him in the face.

Mutant Growth Hormone is a drug extracted from a genetic mutant in the Marvel Universe. It was invented by Dr. Hank McCoy, also known as The Beast, and is responsible for his azure hirsuteness. MGH has been recently making the rounds as it has become a popular street drug which gives the non-powered powers, and ramps up the abilities of already powered characters.

I couldn't find any pictures of characters using MGH, so here's a cool picture of Daredevil, who doesn't use drugs, but beats up people who do.


The Terrigen Mists are a time-honored and traditional part of the Inhuman's culture. Much like Ayahuasca is to the Peruvian Indians, except Terrigen causes the Inumans to randomly mutate and gain super-powers.


Non-powered humans that breathe in the mists gain abilities for a time, and depowered mutants regain their abilities for a little while.

Of all the crazy drugs in the Marvel Universe, ZAP takes the cake. Not so much for its effects, which seem to be psychotropic in nature, but where it comes from. ZAP stand for Zootoxic Acid Psychogalvanide, and it comes from the hypothalmic fluid of the extinct Madripoorian Spider Monkey. I mean...WHAT!?


It appeared in Wolverine #32, and apparently when further refined it becomes yet another power granting drug, this time called Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt causes death in one hour.

So, in the comic world taking drugs gives you incredible strength, speed and endurance, sometimes at the penalty of death, but most likely just uncomfortable addiction, or a profound change in morphology.

In real life taking certain drugs can give you the feeling of incredible strength, speed and endurance, sometimes at the penalty of death coupled with a prolonged and wasting addiction, or profound change in morphology.

In the morally simplistic realm of comics drug addiction always has an immediate and intense benefit, and is generally pretty easy to kick. Unless you're a bad guy. Then you probably O.D. and die.

Got any favorite comic book drugs that I missed? Chime in and let me know about them!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Marvel to Debut Short Character Films

Not films about Wolverine, or Puck or their other short statured characters, but short films that will debut before their big tent-pole features. Those scoopsters over at Latino Review have it on good information that Marvel might be introducing some of their lesser known characters to movie-goers in short film form, so I put the question to some of the Write Clubbers laying around the clubhouse today:

Who, out of the Marvel 2nd string stable, would you love to see on the big screen in this format?

Write Clubbers? GO!

***

Kurt:
I want to see Heroes for Hire and Dr. Strange. Over the top martial arts action, maybe do it up 70's style with a grindhouse feel. Dr. Strange should be quiet, understated, yet be a total mindf@#k. They really should experiment with tone with this, think outside the box.

Jon:
Kurt, did you see this?


Patrick Dempsey wants to play Dr. Strange. So...that's going on.

For my money, I'd love to see a Captain Britain and M1-13 short (big surprise right)? You wouldn't even need much of an intro, just show the team f*cking up monsters and Dracula. It could really be filmed as a horror/fantasy short. They could film the story around him finding Excalibur, and include fun team-based stuff like the Black Knight feeling tormented by the Ebony Blade's blood lust. Plus, the Mindless Ones would be really easy monsters to film. Anything with the John Lennon Skrull and Pete Wisdom would make me happy enough. There's a buddy-cop team for the ages.

I know that Vampires are overdone by this time, but that scene in "Vampire State" where Dracula launches vampires at Britain from the goddammed moon is just too good. Plus you could throw some Blade action in there as a tease for the planned Blade reboot. That being said, I really think the Mindless Ones would make for a creepier and more ambitious short.

Alan:
After the double debacle of X3 and X-Men Origins: Wolverine, I think ol' Hugh Jackman should be limited to ten minute shorts, and they should have no dialogue and be brutal, R-rated affairs. This, of course, will never happen, because Marvel/Disney will never make an R-rated anything.

These little films will only help the hype machine, but I think the best way for Marvel to handle them is to make them be crossovers with appearances by the big boys, like Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Edward Norton. Remember, not everyone who saw Iron Man has read the Armor Wars and knows why Tony is such a dick to Hawkeye sometimes, and seeing Robert Downey Jr. will help newbies understand that this is a big, shared universe, and I think that's the whole point. Get 'em in for Iron Man, get them to come back for Black Panther.

This project does raise a number of questions, like, since these are "secondary" characters, and they are limited to ten minutes each, what kind of actors will Marvel get for these characters? I imagine they'll be of higher caliber than a SyFy original movie, but who knows (Ben Affleck Matt Murdock, I'm lookin' at you).

Ugh, I'm still pissed about that one.

Tim:
I think this is actually a pretty great idea. If we get a nasty, violent little Moon Knight short out of it I'll be happy.


PLUS that huge Iron Man audience who would have never seen Khonshu's Avenger will be clued into one of the strangers characters in the MU. Also short films aren't restricted the way a huge 3 hour epic summer blockbuster is, you don't need character arcs, you don't need to pay off on plot threads, for the most part you just throw a bunch of provocative images and ideas at people and they're hooked.

I also don't think they should limit themselves to live action. Doctor Strange might come out kinda silly as a dude in a blue tunic and a porn-stache, but if it's a bad-ass animated short you can do a ton of mystical mind-blowing insanity that will make total sense (on drugs)!

Rick:
I certainly think that any movement into furthering this Marvel Movie Universe is a cool idea, I'm just not sold on this 10 minute mini-movie tacked on to the bigger film. After 20 minutes or so of trailers I don't wanna sit through another 10 minute film since I came to just see Thor.

I believe a better avenue would be a web series. Hosted on a new website, linked to youtube, twitter, FB and anywhere else. A sort of mini-movie universe that exists solely to promote the lesser knowns. It would be an easy catalogue to build and promote a fledgling audience. Then package it per series ender and sell on DVD! WHAK! Marketing! Hosting a web series website would also allow for additional material to help get the word out on these minor characters. Production photos, hero diaries, mini games, diggity do....

I don't really care who gets a 10 minute mini spot or not, though, I guess I would like to see the absurdity of fishscale briefs brought to the big screen (Namor).


I suppose an argument would be lack of big monetary gain. But this is Marvel/Disney. They have shit-load of money and would make a profit on DVD sales and advertising.

Matt:
My first thought was how much better comic books might be suited to short film anyway, since they tend to be episodic in nature. When most people read a comic book, they are starting the middle somewhere, enjoying a segment of a story without having to know what happened before or comes after. The short films should definitely not try to start at the beginning and cover origins or anything, just drop us in the action.

My second thought was that it also might be a fun way to explore the Marvel alternate universes that probably don't need a full length movie. A Marvel Noir short anybody?

***

Well, that's the chatter around the Clubhouse. What do you guys think? Who would you like to see star in their own 10-minute short film?

CBLDF 2010 Auction

The online comic retailer Things From Another World is teaming up once again with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund to raise money for the Fund by auctioning off sketches by some of the most amazing talents working in comics today.

The auction will take place at the upcoming San Diego Comic Con, and will feature work by such luminaries as:

Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth)

Patric Reynolds (Serenity: Float Out, Abe Sapien)

Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash, WildC.A.T.S., Loaded Bible)



Want to learn more about the CBLDF?

Meanwhile, in 2019...



This is probably the best thing to come out of the internet over the weekend. Last Friday, Youtube user Schokokontrol posted this awesome homage to Blade Runner. He composed the music using a Yamaha CS-80, the same synthesizer Vangelis used to create the film's legendary soundtrack. Not only does the music rule, but this video is also a slick way to get a nice four-minute Blade Runner fix.

Series Of My Dreams


Shouldn't Leela be Cyclops?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Greatest DD Image Ever


Shadowland preview image, in which it looks like Daredevil says, "Come on you assholes, I have ninjas now."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Comic Reviews -- Week of June 9th

DC:



Daytripper #7 (VERTIGO): While Daytripper never ceases to satisfy, I'm beginning to think the series might be suffering from a bit of thematic fatigue. This time around, the perennially doomed Brás De Olivia is finally the famous author he'd always dreamed he'd become; but things ain't all bananas and bikinis for Brás, as his long-missing best friend Jorge contacts Brás via a cryptic postcard, prompting Brás to track down his wayward amigo. I have to say that though this issue looked just as good as the previous six, something about this month's take on Brás' final days just didn't grip me quite like it has in the past. Like I said before, could just be a bit of fatigue on the series. Even though it though it lacked the profound impact of previous issues, it was still one of the best comics on the rack. Despite this minor misstep, I still believe that this series will be hailed as one of the best of the year. With only three issues left, I can't wait to see how Bá and Moon handle the rest of Brás' various fates.



Jonah Hex #56: This wasn't so much a new issue as it was a promotional piece for the Jonah Hex film, but it was nevertheless a good read. The two stories inside are meant to give new readers a sense of Hex's history both past and present: in "More Than Enough," Hex plays protector against land-hungry speculators, while in the follow-up story, "First True Love," we see Hex's youth as an Apache slave. The thought process here was probably "if you read these two stories you'll know enough about Hex to want to see the movie," and for what sounds like pure page-fodder it actually turned out alright. Granted, a fairly large chunk of the issue is devoted to an interview between the upcoming film's director Jimmy Hayward and regular Hex writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, so there is some pure film-bait in here (not to mention the issue came with a poster for the movie). Overall, I'd say this was entertaining, but I still don't know how much faith I have in the movie. Call me crazy, but the previews for Jonah Hex have been bringing back a lot of unwanted flashbacks from the Judge Dredd movie. Yeeesssh

IMAGE:


Chew #11: Another month of Chew, another great issue of the funniest gross-out comic to hit the stands in recent memory. In the first of the new "Just Desserts" arc, everybody's favorite FDA agent follows a lead on a club of debased diners, which convienently allows him to go on his first date with Amelia Mintz. Despite one exploding head, Chu finally gets...his...just desserts (I'm sorry, I had to!). Though the initial hype over this series might be dying down, it's still one the most purely enjoyable comics out right now.

MARVEL:



Daredevil #507: That Paolo Rivera cover deserves better than this. Look, I've stuck with Daredevil for awhile now, but this latest lead-in to "Shadowland" does nothing but further the impending sense of suck for Daredevil's future. First of all, the issue starts with back-to-back splash pages that actually hurt my brain to try and follow. Things go from bad to worse as one of my new favorite character's fates is decided, and Matt Murdock acts like an easily-led moron in red tights. Yeah, he fights off some ninjas. Great. Maybe Diggle is just planning on pulling a "Batman" out of the hat and plans to reveal that Murdock is surreptitiously aware of the Hand leadership's conspiracy, but I seriously doubt it. A more likely situation is that Diggle and his Daredevil are blindly (heh) flailing around, convienently stupifying Matt Murdock and his readers so that we can all be easily led into Shadowland. And if there was any doubt that this is issue is just last-minute filler until Shadowland, on the last page somebody actually says "In Shadowland the Tree of our ambition shall bear bitter fruit." Something tells me the "bitter fruit" part of this prediction will turn out to be spot on.



Prince of Power #2: Oh Prince of Power, you make me hope Hercules never returns. Wait, scratch that. As long as Pak and Van Lente's amazing work with Hercules and Amedeaus Cho continues to be this awesome even after Herc's inevitable return, I don't care. If the cover didn't tip you off, this month Cho faces off against Hercules' other "best friend," and the result is just as full of onomatopoetic effects as I'd hoped. Books like Prince of Power make me seriously question if any other Marvel ongoing titles are even worth reading. They just aren't nearly as fun.



PunisherMAX #8: Last week I said that I didn't know if I'd read anything as inconsistent as Electric Ant. Nevermind, because Jason Aaron went ahead and delivered his second damn good issue of PunisherMAX in a row, a first for his run on the series. His version of Bullseye redefines the psychopath as a much more mentally unhinged and less humorous character than his 616-continunity contemporary. In my opinion this is undoubtably the right way to go; PunisherMAX's Bullseye is much more disturbing, and I actually cringe when I think about the things he's doing. Aaron's strength really lies in writing character-driven stories about violent men grasping for control, and for that reason this Bullseye arc is turning out to be a more satisfying and complex read than the initial "Kingpin" arc. Hopefully from here on out it will be smooth sailing story-wise, and PunisherMAX will fulfill it's potential as the logical next step in Aaron's bloody takeover of Marvel's A-list anti-heroes.



Spider-Man Fever #3: This has been one of the most fun Spider-Man stories to come along this year, and that's saying a quite a bit as both Amazing Spider-Man and Ultimate Spider-Man have been pretty damn good (despite a few "American Son" and "New Ways to Die" missteps). For those who haven't been paying attention, Spider-Man: Fever is artist/writer Brandon McCarthy's icky sticky nightmare take on a Spider-Man/Dr. Strange team-up. If you're into that kind of thing, which I am, this comic rules. Even if you're not into that kind of thing this comic rules. The writing is good, but it's hard to pay attention to the words when the art is this vivid. The colorful world of Fever is playfuly psychadelic, shifting from the benignly bizarre to the outright horrific with the same disquieting ease one could expect from an honest-to-god hallucination. This is brainsick comics at their best. Marvel needs to take more risks like this. If you're in for an out-there Spider-Man story, I highly recommend picking up Fever.

GATTS BOOK OF THE WEEK:


CHEW #11 (IMAGE, John Layman, Rob Guillory): It was a close one between Fever, Prince of Power and Chew, but in the end I had to give it up for my favorite new series in the Image catalog. Chew managed to eek out the top spot for a very specific reason: Underneath all that irreverent humor and loose bodily fluids, Chew actually does touch on some serious subjects. The exticntion of animal species, an epidemic caused by a zoonotic disease, the pitfalls of genetically altered-food; all of these are very real issues that are only becoming more important as time progresses. Chew doesn't tackle these issues outright, but it at least makes you think about these things. Yet unlike other works of art with an animal/food rights message, Chew doesn't douse your furs in animal blood just to make a point; instead, it uses humor, satire, and damn good storytelling to keep it's audience interested enough to look beneath the surface of this endlessly enjoyable series. This issue is also an oddly timely one as well, given the recent passing of billionaire game hunter and all-around asshole Dan L. Duncan. Rich people acting outside the law, hunting (or in Chew's case, eating) endangered species? No, not in this world right? As Clay Davis says, "Sheeeeeiiiiiiiiiit."