Thursday, May 31, 2007

Quick Hits-May 31, 2007

Lousy day at the comic shop. So far I'm not feeling Countdown which is a shame because I do enjoy Paul Dini, Jimmy Olsen, Mary Marvel and some of the artists involved. However Donna Troy and Red Hood are a turn off, already reading Justice League so I skip the Karate Kid stuff, and the death of Lightray in the recent issue was pretty dull. Since it is weekly I will give it some more issues but right now it's going to the bottom of the stack for reads of the week.

Justice Society of America #6 was okay. Great art, some good dialogue, but the story doesn't seem to be advancing at all. One more issue to tie it all up? Okay... Also I'm not entirely sure what the appeal of the Legion of Super-Heroes is.

Green Lantern #20 was best of the week? Weird... as I have been considering dropping this book. Daniel Acuna's art is pretty but I don't much care for it. This quick two-part story has a weird ending to it. Especially with the Sinestro Corps stuff coming up. I'll probably be skipping this crossover as I do not want to buy GLC. Then again, I could just buy the special and skip GLC because I am intrigued by the idea and the Dave Gibbons drawn backups in GL have been entertaining.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Books...

So today I had to make some errands. Going to Borders Bookstore and the library who I stopped really going to when they kept forgetting I returned my books.

Novel that left a bit of an impression but for the life of me I can't remember the title(something with the word GAME and MOON in the title I believe). As I got older I started reading less for some reason. I would occasionally read popular sci-Anyway I love books but don't read too much prose anymore. When I was younger I'd pick up a ton of stuff from libraries. You know, young adult books. Most of which I can't remember but I was young and into Goosebumps when that was big. There was this some what depressing sci-fi books like the Hitchhikers trilogy, some Robert Heinlein, and various of the Shadowrun based novels amongst a few others. Most of the original line seems out of print and they just started a new line books. But outside the Harry Potter stuff and the occasional non-fiction books.

As I was in Border I spent most time in the manga section telling myself I should try something but I did skim through the sci-fi/fantasy section. Didn't really know what to look at. Doesn't help I never really followed writers. When I was at the library I had a specific goal. And I was slightly disappointed in the lack of books related to pirates but even more so on the fact I decided I wanted to try a Hienlein book but was sorely disappointed that largest library in this general vicinity had absolutely no Hienlein. Lame. Maybe when I get some time I'll dig out the Cat Who Walks Through Wall and try to finish it. I always liked the characters but since I'm not a big mystery guy I was sort of bored for the first third of the book.

Not much of an update but eh.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

This Past Week... 5/27/07

EDIT: Post 100! Yay!

Gambit Returns!
Boo. Gambit is one of my least favorite X-Men because he epitomizes a lot of the X-Men's problem. First off he was never really intended to be a long term character and set up as a future villain and Marvel never really followed through with that. Sort of negates all the work that was put into him. It's just a way to keep him as a cool "anti-hero." Plus gambits one of the reasons rogue got neutered as a bad ass female. There was a time when Rogue was one of the most dangerous women in the Marvel U but soon she became almost completely defined by this relationship with Gambit. Oh well... it's comics.

Rogue
This review of a recent X-Men comic will give you an idea of why I am angry at Marvel right now. Thanks for continuing to screw up one of my fav characters. hell, my favorite Marvel female. In short, her absorbtion powers are more likely to kill.

X-Men Event
So many events, so hard to jump in. I love the X-Men but I don't like what's going on. I might check out this one shot set up to see if I'll invest in the eventual trade. But really, I have very little faith. Incidentally, this looks to be the only title I'm buying in June from Marvel that's not a trade.

Millar & Hitch Preview
Don't know what it is. Liked Ultimates though so I might try it.

DC vs. Marvel
Marvel beat DC again in April. I'm sure many people are bickering about this. The Fallen Son stories and the CW trades definitely knocked DC back. But hey, there's still that 30% difference between the #2 and the #3 company. Guess that makes Dark Horse less the #3 and the top of the Indy's.

NY Times Runs Article On Comics Adopting TV Model
Interesting article.

Science Fiction Book Club Closing?
Apparently some recent dealings with Bookspan, as reported here, looks to lead into this long mail order book service to close. I admit I haven't taken to novels of the last few years but I use to use this service to get novels and graphic novels when I was younger. Kind of sucks to see it go, if it is true that is.

TV Season Comes to an End
I didn't like the Heroes season finale. For 20 odd episodes they made Sylar seem like such a bad ass. Then when the big battle comes... he turns out to be a serial killer and not a super villain. Just didn't feel right. I've had mixed feelings about the show but this ending makes me think i won't be watching it next season.

Veronica Mars finale felt more like a season finale and not a series finale. So unless she's coming back, that was some depressing finale.

Missed Ugly Betty's. Heard it was good.

Pirates 3
I liked it better then the second flick. More action, more fantasy, just larger in spectacle. I might be the only one from the review I heard. Well, no, my brother liked it. That's two of us.

Transformers Preview Looks Good... Finally


Now Lets Look At August Covers!!!

Love this pic, not feeling Countdown quite yet though I don't dislike it. I'm giving it about a dozen issues. Figure, for a slow moving weekly that should be enough. And I like weekly comics.

Love those AH! Catwoman covers. Don't read the book though.

I'm gonna give this book a try. Plus I like Dan Jurgan's art.

Creepy and wrong. 52 was good to me so I'll try this book too.

Part of some Outsiders thing. Just glad to see Joshua Middleton doing something. Great artist.

Love Sam Keith's art, not so much his writing. So I'm skipping this but damn, that's a crazy cool cover.

Like this cover. Tony Bedard's guesting on writing chores until McKeever comes on. He should do a good job. Same art team, excellent.

Second Checkmate trade comes out September(damn advance solicits). Pick it up. It's a very good series. Jeff Smith's Shazam mini and the first Spirit trade

I just like this Brave & the Bold cover.

So Aaron A. ditched Serenity Rose to start nailing out works for DC. I'm down to one SLG title and even that doesn't come out anymore. I'll probably pick this up though. in spite of Mike Carey' messing up X-Men.

I like this cover.

I just wanted to say I dislike Yanick Paquette as an X-Men artist. But Storm, there on the ground, looks good.

I don't follow Capt. America but that's a cool cover.

I don't like DD, but that's a cool cover.

Cover of the year!

Let the outrage begin! Apparently a female manga artist did this cover. As for me personally, I'd prefer female victims I never read in past titles unlike Wing and Knight who i do like. But whatever.

Skottie Young channels some Sam Keith and creates a cool cover.

Looking at what's happening, only two Marvel books and no trades on August solicits for me.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Why All the Manga/Anime Hate?

I just want to say, this is a stupid argument. Manga and American comics are, get this, comic books. Same as European comic books. Their all sequential story telling. So what's with all the negativity. Now, I have only heard bits and pieces of Manga fans reaction to American comics but have heard much anger amongst comic book fans over manga. Being an anime fan that sort of effects me as a lot of anime are true translations of the source material. So I'm going talk a bit about how American comic fans need to shut the hell up.

First off, there's the complaint that all manga looks the same. Hm...









There are similarities. That goes with out a doubt. But most manga artists are different. Some add more "lines" to their character detail, others don't. Some focus on a more slender look, others more rounded. I mean, take a step back and look at American comics. Do you think a non comic fan is going to really know the difference between Jim Lee, Marc Silvestri, and Rob Leifeld? No. The people who do are fans of the work. Or artists who can tell the differences. A lots of superhero comics have similarities. And the artists outside outside these styles usually are inspired by artists not just homegrown but European and Asian. This entire complaint American comic fans, especially fans of superheroes, have is one that others can apply tot he medium/genre they love.

Now, outside this simple complaint there hasn't been too many real solid explanations as to why their so much dislike for manga/anime amongst American comic fans. Well, its perverted but since most American comics have all their women looking like models and sporting skimpy get ups that's hypocritical. maybe manga takes it further but Kevin Eastmen, an American creator by the way, once said that once artists get good they like to draw naked women. I have heard comic fans talk about how they've tried it and don't like it. Understandable. I don't however agree with the notion that it's all bad because you saw Akira and hated it so now you think all anime is crap. But I have this notion that a lot of the dislike for manga/anime comes form its own success. This is rather foolish because you have to understand-this success is a long time coming. And besides, there are a lot of things manga has done right that American comics could learn from but won't. Let's talk about why manga and anime is so popular right now.

1-Creator control. All manga is creator owned. They start it, they end it, bam! Finite series. We have those here in the states too but the market is primarily superheroes. So most non-American comic fans probably won't know what to try. Where as with manga if we see an anime on TV we have an idea of where to start. Plus the readiness of it in bookstores.

2-Diversity in genres vs. a majority superhero comics. Manga provides so many different styles of stories and that appeals to readers. Superheroes don't appeal to everyone. If we pushed more diverse titles to the forefront I'm sure american comics would be as mainstream but we don't. we made superheroes mainstream and its hard for those to get new readers.

3-Manga appeals to women and kids. Now superhero comics could but seemingly don't. We treat a lot of the female characters with less respect then we do the male characters. Plus younger audiences won't be too interested in having to back track the continuity for a Spider-Man or Superman.

4-Translations of material. You love Batman Begins, go to the comic shop and you got tons of Bat comics. All with heaps of continuity and sometimes different characterizations. Like Yuyu Hakusho, there's on manga and it'll stay more or less true to the TV series you saw.

Also keep in mind how manga fans and anime fans seem to be able to get clubs started in schools and have a general connection. I new barely anyone in high school who read comics but knew a ton of people who watched anime. It's just easier to "pass it along" because that's primarily how anime and manga built its audience. My uncle use to talk about how you'd find the one guy at the comic con in the far corner selling bootlegs of anime. Compound this with the fact its been on TV in some form or another for years. Plus companies like Dark Horse and Viz willing to appeal to at one time a niche market by delivering some product int he comic shops which probably appealed to comic fans who may have been burnt out on American comics or had heard buzz about the book or just generally more curious to foreign works. It slowly crept into the American mainstream and because of the diversity in the medium was able to grab fans of different tastes. DBZ grabbed these fans, Evangellion(which I hate btw) grabbed these fans, and Tench grabbed these fans.

These hatred a lot of American comic fans seem to have towards anime and manga I believe has more to do with its success then its content. They write it off as "perverted" or "looks all the same" but are really just refusing to give it a valid try. You don' like it, fine. But all anime and manga bad? Bullshit.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Future of NIN-Trent Doing It On His Own?

NIN main man Trent Reznor has been causing a bit of waves in music the last few months. First with the 'leaks' of new songs and then the ARG promotional campaign he did to promote the album by himself, though he says his label is taking credit for it. Then a week or so back he talked about how UMG in Australia is overcharging for his album and DVDs because they say his fans will buy it. Well Trents grown quite disillusioned, more so actually, and in this interview talks about the possible future of NIN(here) once he finishes his label obligations.

Given all that, do you have any idea how to approach the release of your next album?

I've have one record left that I owe a major label, then I will never be seen in a situation like this again. If I could do what I want right now, I would put out my next album, you could download it from my site at as high a bit-rate as you want, pay $4 through PayPal. Come see the show and buy a T-shirt if you like it. I would put out a nicely packaged merchandise piece, if you want to own a physical thing. And it would come out the day that it's done in the studio, not this "Let's wait three months" bulls---.

Bravo Trent. Fight the mainstream! Rip the system!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Stuff...

Looking back at the week, here's somethings I want to say.

Allen Heinberg came out to speak about how the death of the Question in 52 was one reason he was disillusioned with comics right now. I find this a tad ironic since a lot of Wonder Woman fans were disillusioned with the character because DC put its faith in Heinberg. Me included. So when are we seeing the finale to the first arc? Do we even care anymore? I guess it just bugs me to see someone speak out against something while being completely ignorant of how they are doing something similar.

Austen Aries asked for his release from TNA wrestling. Aries was suspended in April for 90 days and since most TNA wrestlers are paid per show a lot work indy dates. With Ring of Honor, Aries second home, committing to PPV Aries along with others were pulled and prohibited to work ROH and two other popular feds in PWG and UWA-hardcore. Sure there are other indy promotions but very few on the level of ROH since most promotions are happy to break 100 people and may not be able to afford a bigger name wrestler. TNA has yet to allow Aries a release and have in the past refused to fire wrestlers who try to get fired to try and stop them from going tot he competition. What makes this frustrating is that Aries contract, which expires by the time his suspension ends, is designed in a way where TNA can keep him on board if they choose. In the big two(that's a stretch to say with TNA) morale issues aren't that big a deal.

ECW should just end. Sabu fired and RVD on his way out(if not already gone) they have no real drawing power. Let alone a sizable roster.

KENTA vs. Morishima in Japan for the Ring of Honor World Title. Its a short match, little over 10 minutes, and quite good. Definitely a shocker if you haven't seen wrestling other then the drivel on TV.

Here's the Match

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Quick Hits-May 17, 2007

Quick Reviews of What Comics I Got*
*Does not include trades or stuff I ordered online.

All Star Batman & Robin #5-"Walking sperm banks."-Wonder Woman

"It feels good to be the god damn Batman!"-Batman

How can a book so bad entertain me so much? If you're looking for a good Batman book, look away. if you're into the possibility of Adam West Batman on crack, right here baby!
Grade: C

Batman #665-I've been cold to this thus far. Some ideas I like(Ninja Man-Bats=Cool) and some I don't(Damian=lame). Some characterizations feel right(Batman/Bruce=cool) and some off(Diva Talia=wrong). But this issue is the best of the bunch and starts pulling it all together. Good action, interesting twists, and a very nice moment between Bats and Robin. Morrison also tips his hat to Batman Begins in one nice scene.
Grade: B

Coundtown #50-It's weekly and in it's first few issues so the "meh-ness" is going to be warranted. Still, Jimmy Olsen and Mary Marvel in a comic? Sweet. Not that big a fan of the art, Jim Califore right here, but it didn't really bother me. Thought it was weird how red Hood explained so much to Olsen but whatever. Good solid issue, great cliffhanger, some interesting developments and an excellent Andy Kubert cover.
Grade: B-

Justice League of America #9-
Melzter run is drawing closer to its end and we're right now mid way through a crossover with Justice Society. This issue feels like a middle. The two teams are still trying to round up the Legion members. Nice characterizations but not much else going on. Hopefully the next part will start delivering answers. Great Ed Benes art as usual.
Grade: C+

The Ultimates 2 #13-Finally, it's over. And I can just follow what will no doyubt be a much delayed run with Jeph Loeb and Joe Mad!(followed by Ed McGuinness). Anyway big action issue. Thors for real. Hawkeye gets some revenge. Plus other stuff I don't wish to spoil. great artwork. Bryan hitch is so impressive on this book. I doubt though I'll ever see him on a book that fits my interest unless those old rumors about him and Millar reuniting on Astonishing X-Men turn out to be true. nice dedication to Lee and Kirby. I really dug the issue but the wait between issues killed a lot of my enthusiasm.
Grade: B

Next week I will be picking up Birds of Prey, Countdown, and Wonder Woman. With 52 Vol. 1 and Spirit ordered and will show later. Not really an impressive week but I need to chill. I picked up Ult. X-Men vol. 16 and the reprint of Hard Boiled yesterday too.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Grant Morrison Books

In comics there are a few hot-button creators who seem to get comic fans worked up about their contributions to the industry. You know, a fan comes out and says they don't like whomever or that whomever is over-rated. Or talk down about a creators best selling/well praised title which leads to a debate on the creators work. This stuff is bound to happen in this digital age.

One creator that gets talked about a lot is Grant Morrison and his work. Some call him this ages Jack Kirby, some call him one of the most over-rated creators in the industry, and everything in between. I know, as well as many others do, Morrison is a legend currently in this industry. Morrison is my favorite writer and I'm going to sort of talk about what I have read of his work.

All Star Superman-I do think think this is the best series being published right now. It's just fun, full of energy, light and heart felt. It's grand scale work. I loved issue 1. In it's simplicity it was beautiful. Going back and catching things you may have not noticed the first time out. Issue 2 had such a strong story focusing on the relationship of Superman and Lois Lane. Issue 3 is my favorite. featuring Atlas and Samson competing with Superman for the affection of a super powered Lois lane. Plus Quitely provides one of my favorite Superman images with him and Lois in space on the moon kissing with the Earth in the background. Issue 4 with Jimmy Olsen is a great tip-of-the-hat to those silly old Olsen stories with a great twist on Doomsday. Issue 5 with Lex Luthor is just amazing in both the artistic detail and Morrison's portrayal of Luthor. issue 6, my second favorite, is just a beautifully done piece of work.

Animal Man-I finally read his much heralded Animal Man series and have to say, I like it quite a bit. I admit the first few issues I really didn't connect to the story. It's about as straight-forward with Morrison as one would get. It really felt like a more serious, "realistic" take on some of DCs third-tier characters like Buddy Baker and B'Wana Beast. However once you read the Coyote Gospel it really hits you why this series is as popular as it is. The story goes Morrison only planned a mini but DC wanted him to continue onto a series and Coyote Gospel was the first thing he wrote out of that. It's a very tragic story where Animal Man is subject to being smack dab in the middle of something very grand yet not able to understand what is going on. It lead down to Morrison's famed and sometimes criticized run. This is a comic of it's time, spinning out of a lot of the grim and gritty super-heroics but keeps elements of fantasy which builds and builds to the end. It gets to a dark place but at the end Morrison pulls the rug out and gives the kind of ending Buddy deserved. A lot of the critics probably hated Morrison(spoilers!) inserting himself into the story. Very egotistical? Sure but very gripping read. Animal man probably doesn't get as blasted by non-Morrison fans as most his work does. But that's because his critics will argue this is when Morrison could "still write a coherent narrative."

Arkham Asylum-I liked it. While I admit it isn't one of my favorite comics I do think the art work was beautiful and the whole Alice in Wonderland element is intriguing. This is the kind of book that I think worked well for it's time which is why its one of the best selling Graphic Novels of all time. Arkham is a book I know a lot of people disliked it(hell, Alan Moore did) but it's one of the best known books, especially with the Batman books, and you got to give Morrison credit for that.

Batman-Currently ongoing. I have mixed feelings. I thought Batman & Son had some fun moments but wasn't too particularly moved by it. The much controversial "prose" issue about the Joker I thought was interesting. I'll give it a while.

Doom Patrol-Count me as one of those who isn't a big fan of the Doom Patrol stuff. It's very interesting in it's weirdness which is essentially what Doom Patrol is suppose to be about. I don't dislike it, there are a lot of neat things, but in general I don't gravitate to it. But people talk about Morrison's crazy ideas and this one for me has the most.

Invisibles-I'd rank this as my second favorite Vertigo series right after Fables(if Fables ends on a high note). Now, Invisibles is the kind of book Morrison's critics would hate. It has a lot of big ideas and definitely needs rereading to pick up stuff you missed before but it's an entertaining book with a simple to follow central theme: anarchists battling a corrupt system. Add in lots of magic, alien technology, etc. and you got a definite "nothing else like it" title. I understand Morrison was abducted by aliens right before he started this, and adding to his own chaos magic beliefs, must have really effected his way of thinking. I do think this book proves Morrison is capable of writing really enriching characters and dialogue and is more than just an idea man. The cast is well thought out and each have a voice of their own. Now, the ending is like a song to me, because the way I interrupt it may not be how others do. I could be missing the point but that doesn't change the fact Invisibels is a top notch read if you are looking for a non-superhero title with excitement and great characters that's like nothing else around. However, this is definitely a series that may not be for every ones tastes. You have to have a bit of a counter-culture outlook. Like me, I live industrial music and this is industrial music put to paper.

New X-Men-New X-Men is definitive. Let's get this straight X-fans, a few of X-Titles are no better then great and most are mediocre. I love the X-Men but anyone whose read enough X-stories knows that the continuity and series' are pretty f'ed up. I mean, come on, Chris Claremont started crafting plots and throwing out ideas that he never ended or followed up on. Then other writers came in and either took these ideas in a direction that conflicts on some level with their original intent. I mean, take Mr. Sinister. The version you read about is not what Claremont had intended. Or how about Claremont said Sabretooth was Wolverines father, meant it, and editorial or other writers just ignored it or wrote it off. Lots of writers came in and while doing various levels of work most either introduced ideas that didn't fly(Maggot, Joseph, etc.), "rewrote" stories or utilized plot points already done(tons of stuff with Magneto), or just left plot points hanging for decades at a time(Gambit as a bad guy). Not to mention crossovers every few years, the best of which was Age of Apocalypse as far as I'm concerned. Or the fewtimes the writers got it right, their problems with editorial made them abandon ship(Joe Kelly and Steve Segeal anyone?). The point I'm making is this, Grant Morrison wrote an x-title that was inspired by what came before it but pushed the franchise forward. He expanded on the humans hatred of mutants by going from "a mutant can be living next door" to "mutants have a city to themselves in NYC." Or having mutant culture become counter culture amongst humans. Humans wanting to be mutants. He took the idea of humans eventual extinction and put it in the forefront. He was willing to take Magneto in a new direction. He explored the relationship between two characters who have grown so much since they got together and married that it honored their love but made a smart decision based on it. He re-established Cyclops as the bad ass and complex character that most writers forgot. Morrison added to the mythos and crafted a series that was actually a continuation of the X-world while continuing the status quo rather then a series that had pretty much floundered looking for a direction. You don't have to like New X-Men, but you should respect it for accomplishing something many x-writers could not do since Claremonts run. It accomplished being progressive.

Seaguy-I think I need to reread this one. It's a three issue story about a superhero, his floating fish friend, and a big conspiracy. I love the art but I was ultimately depressed with the ending. It's part of a planned trilogy so who knows. There's a rumor that DC will be allowing Morrison to follow up his first chapter.

Seven Soldiers of Victory-My favorite Morrison project because it hits all the right notes. It's escapist entertainment with so much stuff in it that you can analyze it or just enjoy it as is. Seven minis and two book ends are jigsaw pieces to a larger tale. With the exception of Mister Miracle, which I admit was okay, I like all the stories here. I love the characters he used. It's just... it's just such a wonderful comic book project. The last issue of Guardian is my favorite Morrison book ever. I get goosebumps every time I read it. I know a lot of people refuse to buy this because of the publication style but i wonder, if DC was to do seven trades, one for each mini, where would the bookends go? And even if they tossed that in, some people probably get interested enough to buy all the trades and then you spent more money on seven trades then on four. Besides all that, I love Seven Soldiers. Fantasy, science fiction, superheroes, action, drama, sword & sorcery, and so much love for the industry that it just makes you appreciate the comics medium.

Vimanarama-Hopefully I spelt that right. I know next to nothing about Indian culture and beliefs but this was a pretty entertaining mini about Ali, his arranged fiance, and a baby in his family opening up some portal and dooming the world. It's some funny fantasy stuff.

We3-About a squad of prototype animal weapons who escape a military facility to find their way home. Frank Quietly is just an amazing partner for Grant. The two produce a beautiful piece of work here. I really can't say much other than that this mini series is amongst one of my favorite stories ever.

I'm reading Authority and WildCATs as well but because those are barely out I won't talk about them. 52 was great but that was very much a collaborative effort. I plan on picking up the Filth soon. I hear Morrisons Gothic arc of Batman is being reprinting this year so thats good news. Eventually I'll hunt down his JLA.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Various

Well, lately I've been hunting OSTs(original soundtracks) to anime. I got the, majority of the Cowboy Bebop stuff minus the best of and things of the limited edition box set. But that's still three albums, one soundtrack to the movie, to EPs and a singles disc. I still need to listen to my Iria: Zerim the Animation OST I downloaded months back. Working on Dirty Pair right now. the good Dirty Pair not that Flash crap. Got the Project Eden soundtrack as well as Love Songs and Synthesizer Fantasy's. Working on TV and OVA soundtracks now. Just ordered Excel Saga however it would seem the Amazon, and merchant seller, confirmations haven't come in yet. Which worries me. But its Amazon, they are usually good about things and its under my order history finally. I need to get some Ranma 1/2 soundtracks next. Surprisingly torrents for such are hard to find.

Got both OSTs for Grindhouse and just worked out my own special tracklisting. Also got a new Death Proof wallet. Bit smaller then my last more bland one, but it's leather and has a chain.

Ultimates 2 313 and All Star Batman & Robin #5 come out this week. Truly the end times is near.

Speaking of End Times I caught the two Banned from the Bible shows from the History Channel. good stuff though I know little about the Bible in general. Didn't pay much attention in church. But History Channel is an awesome station.

My own writings been slow due to the fact I'm too cheap to get my modem fixed so I have to rely on a friend. I got 4 scripts of a new story sent back to me, have to do two more than i was going to condense it into 4-5 scripts. Need to hop on that though I'm seeing my friend a tad bit less so it's taking longer. Plus after 50 scripts of my other story, yeah-burnt out.

Ring of Honor filmed their PPV last night and had a show friday. Mixed on what I've read but I will support them by picking up the PPV.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

(Not So)Evil Music I Enjoy: MC Frontalot

Don't feel like writing too much. Basics is he's white guy, mid-thirties, raps about comics, card games, goth chicks, computers, and porn in a hip-hop subgenre he named back in 200o called nerdcore. Oh, and of course Star Wars. Very entertaining stuff. he has two albums out and if you hope over to his website you can download old demo tracks and various remixes. Yeah!

I discovered Frontalot when I discovered the genre of nerdcore. First with mc chris, thanks to one of his songs in the credits of a Sealab 2021 episode, and wikipedia explaining information on him. I ordered Frontalots first CD after I downloaded some tracks. His latest album, Secrets From the Future, is one of my two favorite records this year. Right along with former Sister Machine Gun alumni Chris Randall's solo blues album. Weird.


Nerdcore Rising Documentary Trailer


Which MC Is That? Vid(don't adjust set, it starts with the small box)


Goth Girls Live


Bizzaro Genius Baby Live

So...

I'm thinking of starting a column. Maybe every month I do a personal "Recommendation" thing. Where I recommend a comic, CD, movie, etc. Not that anyone cares.

I realize I need to do more spotlights on bands I like. I sort of stopped with TKK and did Mindless Self Indulgence and Ministry. Hmm... yeah, I'll probably do some more soon.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Top 10 for April 2007


Honorable Mention: Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus-Still working my way through this massive reprinting but I have to say... it reminds me why Spidey was a long time ago my favorite superhero. Smart, fun, and action packed.


10. Buffy Season 8 #2-While I'd prefer a TV series to a Buffy comic I am still enjoying the first arc of this series. Amy's back tyring to get a bit of revenge on Buffy. The opening few pages with the Slayer training and with Xander and Dawn were the highlights. I like Georges Jeanety on artwork. Good choice for the series.


9. Welcome to Tranquility #5-Things just seem to be getting worst in Tranquility. The mayors done something bad and is looking to cover it up, Mr. A's killer(s) is still on the loose, Leona's boyfriend and his crew trash the hospital tyring to get here. On the plus side max-Man gets his magical word back.


8. Justice League of America #7-Nice, calm issue with the team getting together officially and checking out the new HQ. Great moment with Green Arrow and Hal Jordan/GL explaining why Roys in the JLA and not Ollie himself. The issue ends with a little peak into the future crossover that happens right about...


7. Justice League of America #8-Here. This is where the JLA/JSA crossover which include a certain Legion of Super-Heroes era begins. I've been like JLA more and more and thought this was a fun issue with a few JSA members training with JLA members. All the while Batman and Black Lightning find out trident is actually the Legions Karate Kid. The two teams get together to track all this future heroes stuck in the past. Great two page spread with the teams interacting and I was happy with the splash of Black Canary and Power Girl. Mainly because two of the top DC females are the team leaders of the two biggest teams. nice fill-in art by Shane Davis.


6. Justice Society of America #5-The crossover continues. Batman, Starman(also of the Legion), Geo-Force and sandman go to Arkham while Superman, Cyclone, Star Girl and Red Tornado search for a Legion member at the Fortress of Solitude. nice fill in art on this issue.


5. 52 Week 50-WWIII. Yep, that's pretty much that. Justinano comes on and does a knock out job on art. The stuff with the Great 10 was good. The little Booster Gold piece was funny. The way they stopped Black Adam-genius. I love 52.


4. Detective Comics #831-Harley Quinn's looking to go on the straight and narrow. However her doctors don't think she's ready. Neither does Ventriloquist who springs her for a job. Very fun issue right here. Another top notch production of Paul Dini and Don Kramer.


3. Birds of Prey #105-Thank you Gail for bringing Ice back. The tension builds as Spy master and Manhunter try to exert control over the Birds while Secret Six is coming to rumble. This might be Simones blow off arc and if it is thank you Gail for another great BoP adventure.


2. 52 Week 49-I have a soft spot for this issue. I never read any Metal Men stories before this series and the final chapter in Will Magnus' story makes me hope DC follows up with a series. Will Magnus delivers great lines through out and shows how much of a genius and hero he is.


1. All Star Superman #7-Really, 'nuff said. Okay, I'll say just a tad bit more-I've seen many reviews that both claimed this to be the weakest of the series and still one of the best comics produced today. That's right, when you're weakest issue is still light years ahead of the competition that says something. Plus it has Bizarros.

Meme?

From Blindswandives LJ. Who swiped it elsewhere. Bold shows you've seen at least 3 episodes of, italics to ones you've seen most/all of. Add three shows. I added Mtvs Daria, Batman: the Animated Series, and Adult Swims Venture Bros.

24
7th Heaven
8 Simple Rules
Adam-12
As Time Goes By
Aeon Flux
ALF
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Alias
American Idol/Pop Idol/Canadian Idol/Australian Idol/etc.
America's Next Top Model/Germany's Next Top Model
Angel
Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Arrested Development
Babylon 5
Babylon 5: Crusade
Batman: the Animated Series
Battlestar Galactica (the old one)
Battlestar Galactica (the new one)
Baywatch
Beavis & Butthead
Beverly Hills 90210
Bonanza
Bones
Bosom Buddies
Boston Legal
Boston Public
Boy Meets World
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Bug Juice
Caitlin's Way
Chappelle's Show
Charlie's Angels
Charmed
Cheers
Clarissa Explains It All
Columbo
Commander in Chief
Coupling
Cowboy Bebop
Crossing Jordan
CSI
CSI: Miami
CSI: NY
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Dancing with the Stars
Danny Phantom
Daria
Dark Angel
Dark Skies
Davinci's Inquest
Dawson's Creek
Dead Like Me
Deadwood
Degrassi: The Next Generation
Designing Women
Desperate Housewives
Dharma & Greg
Different Strokes
Doctor Who (1963)
Doctor Who (2005)
Dragnet
Due South
Earth 2
Emergency!
Entourage
ER
Everwood
Everybody Loves Raymond
Facts of Life
Family Guy
Family Ties
Farscape
Father Ted
Fawlty Towers
Felicity
Firefly
Flash Forward
Frasier
Freaks and Geeks
Friends
Futurama
Get Smart
Gilligan's Island
Gilmore Girls
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
Green Wing
Grey's Anatomy
Growing Pains
Gunsmoke
Hannah Montana
Happy Days
Heroes
Hey Dude!
Hogan's Heroes
Home Improvement
Homicide: Life on the Street
House
I Dream of Jeannie
I Love Lucy
Instant Star
Inuyasha
Invader Zim
Invasion
Hell's Kitchen
JAG
Jackass
Joey
John Doe
Just Shoot Me!
LA Law
Laverne and Shirley
Law & Order
Lexx
Life With Derek
Little House on the Prairie
Lizzie McGuire
Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
Lost
Lost in Space
Love, American Style
M*A*S*H
MacGyver
Malcolm in the Middle
Married... With Children
Melrose Place
Miami Vice
Mission: Impossible
Monk
Mork & Mindy
Murphy Brown
My Life as a Dog
My So-Called Life
My Super Sweet 16
My Three Sons
My Two Dads
NCIS
Nip/Tuck
North Shore
Numb3rs
One Tree Hill
Oz
Perry Mason
Phil of the Future
Pokemon
Power Rangers
Prison Break
Profiler
Project Runway
Quantum Leap
Queer As Folk (US)
Queer as Folk (British)
Red Dwarf
ReGenesis
Remington Steele
Rescue Me
Road Rules
ROME
Roseanne
Roswell
Salute Your Shorts
Saved by the Bell
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
Scrubs
Seinfeld
Sex and the City
Six Feet Under
Skins
Sliders
Slings and Arrows
Smallville
So Weird
South Park
Spaced
Spongebob Squarepants
Star Trek
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Voyager
Star Trek: Enterprise
Stargate Atlantis
Stargate SG-1
Superman
Supernatural
Surface
Survivor
Taxi
Teen Titans
That 70's Show
That's So Raven
The 4400
The Addams Family
The Andy Griffith Show
The Apprentice
The A-Team
The Avengers
The Beverly Hillbillies
The Brady Bunch
The Cosby Show
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show
The Dead Zone
The Dick Van Dyke Show
The Famous Jet Jackson
The Flintstones
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
The Golden Girls
The Honeymooners
The Jeffersons
The Jetsons
The L Word
The Love Boat
The Lucille Ball Show
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
The Mighty Boosh
The Monkees
The Munsters
The Mythbusters
The O.C.
The Office (UK)
The Office (US)
The Pretender
The Real World
The Shield
The Simpsons
The Six Million Dollar Man
The Sopranos
The Suite Life of Zack and Cody
The Twilight Zone
The Waltons
The West Wing
The Wonder Years
The X-Files
Third Watch
Three's Company
Top Gear
Twin Peaks
Twitch City
Two and A Half Men
Ugly Betty
Venture Bros.
Veronica Mars
Whose Line is it Anyway? (US)
Whose Line is it Anyway? (UK)
Will and Grace
Wings
Without a Trace
WKRP in Cincinnati

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I'm Looking Forward Too in the Rest of 2007

In no real order.

DCs Countdown
I really enjoyed 52 and this seems like fun. Dini's entertaining and the preview art(skipped the read) by Jesus Saiz has me giddy. It'll be interesting to see how the other writers and artists fare on this new weekly series.

Gail Simone on Wonder Woman
It deserved to happen sooner. Seriously, I like about half of what Simone has done and feel confident she'll restore Diana to the greatness she's lost since Ruckas run.

Wet Moon 3
Might be the end of the year till this hits but damn it I want it. Volume 1 was interesting to me and I wasn't sure how i felt about it but volume 2 last year was so engaging and fun. Plus Ross Campbell is a great artist.

Water Baby
Ross Campbell's Minx title scheduled for October. I think it somehow relates to his wet moon title but either way I'm down.

Excel Saga Vol. 16
Because the last two volumes were two of the best in a sensational run. 15 left me shocked and wanting more. The 9 month wait doesn't help.

Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus'
I read the majority of these but in black and white and without the Jimmy Olsen stuff. So yeah, I'm pretty hyped.

Avatar: the Last Air Bender Season 3
Serious, whens its start Nickelodeon? Suppose to be this year sometime.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows
Last of the books. Hope it ends with a bang.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Movie
Didn't like the book but the movie looks good. As long as they cut to the meat of the story I'm happy. seems that JK Rowlings sometimes just adds too much to her stories.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End
Just for Jack Sparrow. Oh, and Chow Yun Fat.

There's probably more but it's like 100% out and I'm tired.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Understanding Your Future Masters: Excel Saga Overview Part 7

Table of Contents
Introduction & Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Excel Saga Wikipedia

Well, apparently volume 16(the summary I read spoiled a major surprise. But brings up more possibilities for this series to continue far longer than I thought it could. Of course it’s simple scenario seemed like a 5 book deal tops) comes out in September and I had the basic breakdowns for volume 14-15 done sense, well, since around the same time as my last update. Maybe I’ll just do volume 14... Nah… volume 15 too.

Anyway, as you can tell things have heated up a bit in the past volumes with Egalas introduction, the group relocating homes, and efforts by both the department and Across. Volume 14 is definitely where the **** hit’s the fan. But volume 15 brings a surprising new direction. Almost a new beginning. Well, **** hit’s the fan a few chapters into volume 15 but the lead up is brilliant.

Volume 14
Mission 1: Feeling disappointed in the aftermath of the failed abduction of Ropponmatsu I Excel leads Egala and Hyartt to a store for some supplies. Egala continues her complaining about buying bulk.

“Big box retailers in our neighborhood crushing traditional society through globalization! I like it!”-Excel

Egala causes Excel to lose her 100 yen coin and leads to a fight in a channel ditch between the two. Suniyoshi sees this on his way to work and relates it to his co-worker. Egala and Excel, as well as Hyatt, return. Egala and excel are looking to clean themselves off by the hot waters off. Hyatt has one of her deaths due to a methane leak. This cause their apartment to blow up. The three flee to a park where Excel tries toe xplain how they can clean themselves off with the public drinking fountain. Egala starts crying and they attract a crowd, including Ropponmatsu II. Since I and II are essentially the same robot with different bodies and personalities Roppon II recognizes the two.

Mission 2: Excel, concerned with the onlookers, says they can go to a bath house. Miwa Shiouji has Roppon II follow the girls. Prof. Shiouji finds out, after Miwa disappears(which begs to ask more questions about what Miwa’s personal plans are), and also recognizes the girls. Contacts Matsuya on an encrypted line and gives her a heads up about how Kabapu will no doubt employ the team to follow this up. Once there Matsuya and Roppon II go in first, much to the dismay of Iwata. Shiouji, working his own angle, puts the surveillance on 5 minute delay. He’s watching and altering some data.

Inside Excel is annoyed about how Egala wants to lounge all day inside. Until Excel spots the Daitenzin. She tries readying the others and soon finds herself sharing a brief conversation with Matsuya behind a door. Matsuya trying to gather more information about Across and Il palazzo as well as see if they know anything about Kabapu and Tenmangu Shiouji(Prof.s father if you’re just paying attention). Iwata however interrupts this talks by breaking down a wall. In the confusion the Across team splits up and runs. Excel and Egala pretty much naked fleeing while Watanabe encounters Hyatt, who he knows as Mrs. Ayasugi, and finding out she works for the enemy. He is ordered to arrest her.

Mission 3: Explosion at the bath house thanks to the elderly woman who works there lighting up while gas pipes were broken. Watanabe awakens and remembers what happed in the last few days as he is now living with Ayasugi/Hyatt. Nabe is her care taker as Ayasugi seemed to suffer severe amnesia. Nabe deals with personal questions at work while trying to work through his shyness regarding his feelings for her. Dr. Kabapu and his secretary Momochi discuss her amnesia and how Watanabe was the only non Across member to have regular contact with Ayasugi which is why she could only remember him during hypnotic interrogation. Nabe wants to resign and marry her but Kabapu isn’t going to allow that.

Mission 4: Iwata and Roppononmatsu II are fighting and we get a flashback about how they were chasing Excel and Egala a few days back during the situation at the bath house. They lost the two after Ropponmatsu II crashed into a wall. Excel and Egala are able to acquire clothes however are once again spotted by their pursuers. They escape due to Roppon II and Iwata’s constant fighting. Which of course leads to needless destruction of their immediate surroundings. Especially how he throws Roppon II as a missile in one scene. Her revenege involved pointing Iwata in their direction which was really setting him up to get hit by a subway train. Back to present and Nabe goes home happy and the physical violence between Roppon II and Iwata ends with him pinned under concrete. Luckily he’s a cyborg(sort of). Oh, and for you menchi fans, he escaped the blast and is found on the street by Excel and Egala in this story.

Mission 5: There’s a murder mystery at the hot springs lodge that Kabapu is staying at. No major plot points. The important aspects deal with excel and Egala returning to their a place of work by the beach from Vol. 12 Mission 1. They get adrift trying to fish and get picked up by Mrs. Manager and Mr. Owner in a battle ship. Mrs. Manager managed that noodle diner from Vol. 12 which is when she was last seen. Mr. Owner was last seen alongside Mrs. Manager back when Egala debut in volume 7.

Mission 6: Excel and Egala is awaken by battleships firing. Owner was doing some heavy fishing and speaks about how he planned to turn the battleship into a luxury liner. Egala and excel discover there’s a large crew on the ship that’s essentially un powered and floating right now. Kabapu is alerted to this ship but passes it along to someone else to handle. A sub attacks the ship after Owner fires on it thinking it was a whale. Owner goes down with the ship as the crew and Mrs. Manager escapes. The sub is not Japanese and Excel and Egala are captured by the Maritime Safety Agency.


Volume 15
Mission 1: Hard working Watanabe is trying to prepare a future for him and Ayasugi. Earning extra money, learning how to be a proper man, and finally popping the question. As they are starting to become intimate, with Kabapu and Momochi doing “surveillance”, Il Palazzo comes to retrieve Hyatt. Hyatts memories return and she not only leaves with him but stops Watanabe from attacking him. He is instantly crushed. Kabapu orders his men to follow as Iwata finds the worst possible time to show up and gets beat upside the head by Watanabe with a bat sending him face first into the ground in front of Matsuya and Sumiyoshi.

Mission 2: Kapabu’s men follow Il and Hyatt and occasionally confiscating things he touches or looks at it. Il and Hyatt appear to be on their way to the base. Small bits in the taxi and bus. They even stop for food. Kabapu leaves command center when he realizes they are close by. He sees the two in an alley teleporting.

“Long time no see… Zeex.”-Il Palazzo.

Excel and Egala are in prison, sharing a cell, and Excel comments: Free room and board. For those how had to struggle for these things, prison is not without it’s advantages.”

Mission 3: Excel and Egala are being moved to another prison. They try making an escape which involves fighting the jailers. They end up in sea and have to deal with the sharks. The captain of the ship says they’ll just write it off as being shot trying to escape. The two meet a fake priest on an abandoned island. Another man who was prison bound but escaped. He wants them to help him serve the lord but they don’t want to. Il Palazzo comes to retrieve the two but somehow excel gets left behind.

Mission 4: Prof. Shiouji is making amends to Ropponmatsu I per Kabapu’s requests. Momochi informs Kabapu that stocks are on the rise and several construction projects are underway in the city. Sumiyoshi talks about a new electronics store. Watanabe returns to work, this is about a few days or a few weeks later, in a happy mood. Excel is still on the island trying to fend off the evil priest. Oh, and Ropponmatsu I has disappeared.

Mission 5: Months past and Matsuya watches as her co-workers are getting into a new cheap electronics store. Apparently great items that are company brand and with great service. Not only Sumiyoshi but Iwata and Watanabe have been purchasing things there. Nabe indulging on the more hentai related stuff. The brand is ILL. Momochi and Kabapu talk. It’s been 112 days since Roppon I went missing. Prof. Miwa, Shiouji’s mother, is missing. Also a bid to update the city’s information system had been put in and finished ahead of schedule with 70% below budget. Shock to Kabapu. Momochi granted the bid but checked the schematics with Shiouji who said they were indeed good. She mentions that the company that sells her ILL brand laptop did the job. Matsuya checks out the store, after the game she was lent by Sumi who bought it from the store, and is shocked that it’s everything she’s heard. Buying more then expected. She tries going in a pseudo disguise but is recognized by her co-workers.

Egala and Hyatt are living the high life in a plus luxury apartment. With a fat menchi enjoying life. They enter a building and meet up with president Excel!

Mission 6: excel briefs her employees(thats Egala and Hyatt) on one of Il Palazzos plans. It seems Il is playing economics for his world domination goals and its starting to work. Excel is no longer the hyperactive, paranoid, prone to lack-of-confidence, and some times worrisome woman she once was. She is now a well spoken woman of class. Excel operates as second to command to Il Palazzo. Egala and Hyatt are the leg women. They do opts spying on the mayor and city council to dig up dirt. The city is indeed corrupt. Kabapu however is worried. His companies bid on a construction project fell through and his stocks aren’t doing that wel. He finds that the mayor he helped put in office is being accused of embezzlement. At an awards ceremony he meets ILL Corporations head honcho Il palazzo. Kabapu is stunned and the two trade inside jabs. One in which Il asks if he lost his dolls(reference to Ropponmatsu).

Ends with Umi finding a body in the rain. (this is where the next volume spoiled me. Oh well… December to September wait was killing me. I needed info!)

Continued

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Apperently...

I can't like Frank Miller and not like grim n' gritty. Though Millers work is far more stylized then most grim n' gritty comic fare to the point where its more escapist which is why I like it.

Also, telling Marvel fans you like older Marvel comics and not digging newer stuff makes them question your tastes. Why do some fans, both marvel and DCs, find they need to try and make a deal out of someone not liking their current books or characters? Especially when you're not bashing them, you just don't care for them.

So You've decided You Wanted to Become a Goth



Notes
KMFDM's new stuff does indeed suck and their old shit was indeed better. In fact, better than the best and harder then the rest. So take off that damned Attak shirt Thorn Evergoth!

Gothsicles rule.

Hanzyl Und Gretyl... er... um, they're okay.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

This Would be the Fourth Post Today But Since I Talk So Much About It

Ring of Honor comes to TV. PPV to be exact.

Stupid RIAA

Bullshit!

Here's a good one: The Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA) has decided that even if you create your own music you can't play it on your own website without paying them. They talked the US Copyright Office into designating their subsidiary Soundexchange the collector of Internet radio royalty payments for all music played on the Internet, not just music controlled by the RIAA. Why? Pretty much just so they can enforce their will on Internet radio. What this means is that if you compose your own symphony and want to podcast it, you have to pay Soundexchange the royalties that you owe yourself. Then Soundexchange will pay the royalties back to you, if you pay Soundexchange for the service. If you don't want to join Soundexchange - and if your music doesn't fall under RIAA jurisdiction, why would you? - they don't have any obligation to give you the money you're owed. Because, apparently, nonmembers simply aren't owed any, even though they're required to pay. It's basically racketeering, and like most such schemes various companies and organizations are now trying to impose on the Internet, I can't wait to see how they plan to enforce it, since the Internet is an international operation and it's only a US government agency that has authorized this thuggish stupidity. Not that it'll stop the RIAA from trying to operate like a pack of mobsters, but it'll be interesting to see what happens when someone decides to take them to court over this. It's hard to imagine courts will uphold the scheme for long though I expect some judge somewhere will think it's a wonderful idea, so arguing it in court doesn't seem in the RIAA's best interest, but if they back down on any threats of legal action they'll be backing down on all of them. Most likely they'll face any legal challenges with the standard corporate practice of driving up legal costs for the opposition and trying to keep the case from ever coming to trial.

Read that here.

In good news, got all my money back.

The Last Episode of Downtown...

Not much of an ending sadly. Guess it's that things just sort of continue on. Guess i was hoping Alex would hook up with Serena but in the end... though I guess he sort of took Jen's advice and decided just to try again by using her mocking pick up line on a random girl. Wonder if that worked out, can't say with how the last episode went down. Still... good series but feels so unfinished.

Comic Pants!

I just want to direct you to Comic Pants website. They're a review site. I'm sort of mixed on the reviews but I do like their round table podcasts. Specifically their look at DCs Trinity and Marvels X-Men property.

I also like their Top 5 Friday lists and their Down the Line column.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Downtown!




I'm watching bad rips of the short-lived Downtown series. An animated series that was nominated for an Emmy that Mtv didn't like enough to keep on a singular night and instead kept switching the times and nights. I use to watch it when I could-hell i taped six of the thirteen episodes when they did a marathon. being Mtv that meant 2 am to 5 am on a Saturday night because they didn't want people watching it. Stupid Mtv, give me a DVD! Same with Daria.

Anyway it's about a group of teens and young adults in NYC. The lead character is a college drop out named Alex whose a geek. His best friend Jen works at a collectibles. Plus Goat whose this weird, sleazy, and a bit paranoid. There's his sister Chaka, Chaka's friends Mecca, Fruity, and Matt. Plus Alex's fantasy girl, a goth chick named Serena. This series was hilarious with a lot of good geek references. Man... I miss this show.