Monday, October 17, 2005

How about some random stuff from hither and yon...

Sayonara and domo arigato to Graeme McMillan's Fanboy Rampage, which has closed up shop after two years. It was one of the most entertaining reads out there, especially the comments...and I hope, in the best "nature abhorring" tradition, that someone steps into the vast breach left by its departure. But it will take some doing, that. Regardless, today is a dark day for whatever passes for the "Comics Blogosphere", whatever that is. I don't really know what to think about the recent commentaries vis-a-vis the End of the CB from Neilalien and ADD (friend me, damn your eyes, Alan!)- true, it does seem like things are in a certain state of flux right now- but I think the CB is like Marvel's Hydra: cut off one head and two more spring up to take its place. I guess I don't know what to say because I've been part of the problem. I just have my ups and downs and periods of apathy when it comes to writing, and I'm hopefully coming out of a particularly nasty one. I'm not going to give it up anytime soon, though, especially that I've got a 3 year anniversary coming up, gosh darn it!

DC's January solicits are up. I'll try to run down what has caught my eye ASAP, which these days could mean anywhere from a week to a month...!

In case you missed it, my LAST CALL column went up last Friday at CBG. I'm kind of in a transitional period, getting my last books from my LCS and getting the first ones from DCBS, so it's a little light- but hopefully of interest. Reviewed are the two Jill Thompson Death manga-esque novels of recent vintage, AT DEATH'S DOOR and THE DEAD BOY DETECTIVES; Slave Labor's wordy new series REX LIBRIS #1; THE SUPER SCARY MONSTER SHOW featuring LITTLE GLOOMY #2, and the somewhat disappointing finale in GOTHAM CENTRAL #36. And for future reference:


Also, Gordon McAlpin has an interesting interview with Smax and Top 10 (classic) artist Zander Cannon about many topics, including the recent GN Bone Sharps, Cowboys and Thunder Lizards, which looks great but me can no afford.

Bought Neil Young's latest, Prairie Wind, the other day after reading several positive reviews in several places which talked it up quite favorably. The days when I buy Neil Young albums as soon as they're released are long past, but something about this one, the cover perhaps, or the fact that it was Young's first since his recent health troubles made me curious. Well, I wish I could say it's a great album, but it isn't. In fact, despite one or two not-bad tunes, it's an inconsistent middling effort, with a throw-stuff-at-the-wall approach that recalls his notorious Geffen-era music. Some of the lyrics seem to be more personal than usual, once in a while even profound...but Young doesn't have the wit to pull off Chris Rock references or Elvis sendups, and something which used to be a Young strong point, the ability to come up with constantly great melodies, has apparently abandoned him. He even dusts off the This Note's For You-era blues horn approach, to incongrous effect, on a couple of tracks. It's possible that it could be a grower with me, but it will probably be a while before I revisit it.

Hey, how about those White Sox, huh! Never thought I'd live to see the day! Now that the Falcons have been to a Super Bowl in my lifetime, and the Sox are going to the Series, I am getting a little nervous.

Haven't been watching too many movies; I tried to view the Lon Chaney silent version of The Phantom of the Opera last night, but fell asleep before it was over. Most of the DVD's I've been getting from Netflix lately have been music documentaries and such- I viewed a documentary bio about Miles Davis today, two hours long and it still seemed superficial somewhat, that's how much the man accomplished. I also have recently viewed an odd and frustrating look at Roxy Music's early years, which had a ton of great TV footage of the band from 1972-1975, but was constantly being interruped with so-called experts pontificating on what we were seeing and hearing. Sometimes they had something interesting to say, but they should have let the performance clips play and then talked. They had one guitarist on there who showed me the chords to "A Song For Europe", and I'm grateful for that. I've also viewed a documentary/interview/performance clip collection of the Jefferson Airplane, and it was pretty interesting, providing a lot of looks at the group at a time which I didn't really see them all that much when I was a preteen. I'll try to hold forth more next time I get worked up for another installment of Heart Netflix.

Jingle Belle artist Jose Garibaldi has a MySpace blog! And it has scads of great art, all scanned real big-like so it takes forever to load with my pokey internet connection but the wait is well worth it! Also, Paul Dini has posted, on his LJ, a most excellent Jason Bone spread from the upcoming Jing one-shot, which will actually come out before Christmas this year. It also features Stephanie Gladden, whose work "gladdened" my heart last year.

I've been remiss in linking to some of the interesting content over at the Comic Foundry- the latest to come to my attention is an interview with Crisis on Infinite Earths, Spawn of Frankenstein (lest we forget!) and Tomb of Dracula writer Marv Wolfman. I think I may have been missing a lot of these heads-ups, because the email I received had a subject header and a sender marked "(None)", and Nine and one-half times out of ten I'll delete those as spam...

I was thinking about Lee/Kirby's Sgt. Fury, that duo and later Steranko's Nick Fury...S.H.I.E.L.D. stuff, and the eventual 70's jury rigged "explanation" of how Fury can be as young in 1976 as he was in 1944- you remember, the Starlin/Chaykin "Infinity Serum" (I think that was what it was called, right?), and now Fury's still kicking around in present day mainstream Marvel storylines...and I kinda wished that someone would retcon the whole mess and establish that the former what- 25? 30? year old WWII Sergeant could indeed have helmed S.H.I.E.L.D. in the 60s, and perhaps retired in the 70s, and turned it over to his son (you know they could come up with one), then his son, Fury's grandson, in, say, 1997 or so. Get rid of the serum junk, God love Starlin, but that was dumb. That way, we could still have the Nick Fury that couldn't stand that hippie music like that of the Five Million Megaton Explosion (remember them?) and preferred to listen to Miles or Coltrane, or Bird in one of the best post-Steranko stories. I don't know, I was just thinking.

OK, that's all I got for now. Almost time for football. More later, hopefully.

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