Sunday, October 30, 2005

At the risk of being redundant:

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Have a safe and happy one. Me, I'll be watching movies and attempting to contain our menagerie (2 dogs, 1 cat, 1 snake) while trick-or-treaters do their thing.

Comics reviews in the post below, by the way...
And now, Johnny Bacardi brings you...COMICS!

Thought I'd write some short reviews of books I've received since I submitted Friday's LAST CALL column over at CBG. You see, since I started getting books via DCBS and not from my local comics shop on Wednesday, I've been receiving most of my comics on Friday, too late to add to the column so I have to wait a whole week to review them. I'm thinking it might be a good idea to write about them here, then if needs must expand on these capsules for the column. So here goes nothing. Beware of spoilers.

B.P.R.D.: THE BLACK FLAME 3
Finally, signs of life! After two issues which just seemed off somehow, we get a series of events which bodes well for the remaining two. Beginning with an effectively imagined dream sequence with Liz Sherman, to the striking Nevermen-ish bad guy who seems to be doing his darndest to exacerbate the frog-creaure problem, to an explosive finale, Arcudi finally begins to hit some correct scripting notes- but all would be for naught if not for Guy Davis. I can't think of an artist who's doing better work right now than him. I wish he would hook up with Alan Moore on something right now. A

CATWOMAN 48
This was a good read, with Selina interacting with all sorts of characters including (of course) Batman as she attempts to run a scam on the band of supervillains who have invaded her beloved East Side of Gotham, and elegantly illustrated by Pete Woods. And it boasts a sudden finale which involved our heroine getting a plastic 90 degree angle stuck in her forehead. Ouch. But c'mon, Will- nobody thinks for a minute that Selina's gonna actually be dead, and it's kinda offputting that you'd try to make us think so, not to mention all the annoying contrivance you're gonna have to indulge in to keep the licensed property functional. B+

DAREDEVIL 78
Pretty much standard-issue Bendis/Maleev DD, as we revisit all that "Matt Murdock's secret identity outed" jazz yet again. Bendis has written some 50-odd issues of this, and he's never really seemed to be able to move beyond it, admittedly a good idea and well-handled the first time...but geez. Pretty much saved by some lively dialogue between Elektra, the Black Widow, the new White Tiger, and DD as well as an interesting interlude with Foggy Nelson. But even then, Bendis can't resist sticking Iron Fist and Luke Cage in. It may get better, but so far for me this storyline is like eating last night's pizza for supper. Tastes good, but not as good as last night and boy, did I want something besides pizza. B

DEFENDERS 4
Bit of a changeup, as we are given a Star Trek: Mirror Mirror-style premise in which Dormammu has recreated our world with evil opposites of the Marvel superhero community, and sics 'em on Namor and Doc Strange. Lots and lots and lots of talk, as usual, (Giffen & DeMatteis, the letterer's best friend and patron) but also a lot more engaging and enjoyable than last issue, which pointed towards the fizz going out of the pop. And the last page with the Silver Surfer made me laugh out loud. A-

LOVELESS 1
This wasn't terrible, but for some reason I expected more than a rehash of The Outlaw Josey Wales with contemporary comic-book slang- "fucksticks" indeed. And when compared to the hightoned Shakespearean discourse of Deadwood, apples and oranges, I know, but don't think for a minute that this is anything but an attempt to capitalize on the Deadwood-inspired renewed interest in the Western, it's abysmal. This sort of stuff works well in the here-and-now world of 100 Bullets, but not here. Another outstanding art job by Marcelo Frusin, who I miss on Hellblazer, but the coloring is so murky and dank that it was hard to parse sometimes. Still, it's early, and if nothing else Azzarello is a good plotter so I'll hold out hope that it will get better. C+

LEGION OF SUPER HEROES 11
The extended "darkest hour before the dawn" continues, as the apparently defeated Legion continues to struggle against the menace which has killed (or so we're led to believe, anyway) one team member and has stranded the splintered team in several places acorss the galaxy. This wasn't as muddled, narrative-wise, as the last couple of issues have been, and several interesting ideas are presented to good effect. Even Barry Kitson seemed to be alert and awake. Then Waid goes and shoots himself in the foot with a coda that scolds the very fanboys and the collector mentality that 2005 DC seems to be bending over backwards to cater to. Mixed messages, biting feeding hands, et cetera. B

JSA CLASSIFIED 4
God, what a gyp. This is gonna resolve the whole Power Girl origin mess, trust us, they said- and they deliver, sort of, except they don't really because everything's gotta be tied into all the Identity Bullshit. Bah. The saving grace for this whole series was Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti's expressive art. C-

LOSERS 29
Losers, on the other hand, rarely disappoints, and this issue is no exception. Really just a stage setting chapter in the final story arc, but still full of great characterization and dialogue, and the welcome return of Jock to the art chores. A

SILENT DRAGON 4
This, too, is a bit livelier than the last couple of issues, as our hero Reizo consolidates his plans and finds someone who can tell him what's what with his new armored body. Leinil Yu's art is pretty, but for some reason (which I can't quite put my finger on) it absolutely embalms Diggle's scripts, sucks the life right out. B-

SOLO 7
What's puzzling about this is why they had to remove the Adam West Batman from the cover when a pretty good facsimile appears on the back cover and one of the stories inside. Oh well, the replacement illo isn't bad, with Wonder Girl "shaking a pretty mean cape" instead. Yes, it's Mike Allred's turn in the spotlight, and he gives us pretty much what you'd expect- amusing, if slight, takes on DC's Gold-and-Silver Age characters with a plethora of well-known, as well as obscure and forgotten, characters- everyone from Superman and Batman to the Mad Mod and the Fox/Sekowsky Robin of Earth-2. We get an amusing Hourman story, chaotic but likeable 60's Doom Patrol/Teen Titans team-up of sorts, fun New Gods 2-pager...but he darn near squanders whatever good will he's evoked with an overlong and hamfisted plea (actually written by his older brother Lee) which uses a sort of amalgamation of today's and the 60's Batman for a return to the lighthearted and noble DC of yore or at least that of his childhood. Their hearts are in the right place, and I can't say I disagree that there's precious little fun to be had at DC these days to its detriment, but fellas, there's a reason why they stopped making comics like that, and that particular genie won't go back into the bottle no matter how much we might wish it were so. And it's best to lead by example, rather than come across didactic as you do here. I mean jeez- I loved Scooter, the Inferior Five, Metamorpho and Super-Hip as much as anybody who grew up in the '60s, but there's no way in hell that trying to inhabit that long-gone mindset once more on a regular basis is going to save anything or anybody. A-

Don't be surprised if you see a couple of these again...
Time once more for the latest installment of the ongoing saga of

JOHNNY B'S 25 FAVORITE ALBUM COVERS!

Number 9:

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WAS (NOT WAS): BORN TO LAUGH AT TORNADOES (1983)


Hey, look! Another '80s album! I like the bright colors and the encyclopedia-borrowed graphics, a very attention-getting way of making a connection with the quirky title.

If you haven't heard this one, I strongly recommend seeking out a copy- where else can you find a synth/pop/rock/R&B album with guest vocals by Marshall Crenshaw, Doug Fieger of the Knack, Mitch Ryder, Ozzy freaking Osbourne (kinda/sorta rapping, no less) and Mel Torme? The Bros. Was were David Weiss (Dave Was) and Don Ferguson (Don Was), and they employed a rotating cast of musicians with "Sweet Pea" Atkinson and Sir Harry Bowens as the primary lead vocalists. This record came out to almost complete indifference, although it did trouble the lower reaches of the charts, but five years later they resurfaced with What Up, Dog? and the hits "Spy in the House of Love" and "Walk the Dinosaur", and rode high for a while, even releasing a follow-up titled Are You Okay? in 1990, but it stiffed and the Bros. broke up the band thanks to disagreements between the two. Don Was went on to become one of the hottest record producers of the 90's, with huge successes with slickly produced efforts by Bonnie Raitt and the Rolling Stones, as well as working with Brian Wilson and many others.

For my money, though, this was the best thing any of them were ever involved in.

Finally, here's a pic of the Bros. with regular vocalists Sweet Pea and Harry at Detroit's Comerica Stadium!

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Saturday, October 29, 2005

Time once more for JOHNNY B'S FEARLESS WEEK 8 NFL PROGNOSTICATIONS!

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usAnd now, give it up for the standard disclaimer, as performed by Latina singing sensation SHAKIRA!!!

THESE PICKS ARE FOR (his own, and presumably your) AMUSEMENT PURPOSES ONLY! DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT TAKE THESE PREDICTIONS AND BET YOUR HARD-EARNED OR SOFT-EARNED MONEY ON THEM, BECAUSE JB DOESN'T KNOW ANY MORE ABOUT THE NFL THAN THE AVERAGE FAN, AND HAS BEEN KNOWN TO BE INCORRECT QUITE FREQUENTLY! AND YOU DON'T KNOW HIM- HE MIGHT BE CRAZY, OR F*CKING WITH YOU!

Thank you, Shakira.

NY GIANTS over Washington
DALLAS over Arizona
HOUSTON over Cleveland
JACKSONVILLE over St. Louis
CAROLINA over Minnesota
DETROIT over Chicago
CINCINNATI over Green Bay
TENNESSEE over Oakland
NEW ORLEANS over Miami
SAN DIEGO over Kansas City
DENVER over Philadelphia
TAMPA BAY over San Francisco
NEW ENGLAND over Buffalo
PITTSBURGH over Baltimore

Last week: 9-5. Season so far: 62-40, .608.

Fantasy: Cut-Throat money league, lost 37-26. 2-5, dead last in a 4 team division but still only 2 games out of first.

Yahoo freebie league: Won 61-41. 5-1-1, first place in a 12-team league.

Friday, October 28, 2005

New LAST CALL is up over at CBG! In it, I make a lot of typos and take a look at Oni's OFF ROAD GN, SCOTT PILGRIM VERSUS THE WORLD VOL.2, SEVEN SOLDIERS: KLARION 4, THE SURROGATES 2, STRANGE GIRL 4, and JOHN CONSTANTINE: HELLBLAZER 213.

Hopefully I can get the mistakes corrected, but don't let that stop you from reading it anyway. And by all means, comment, either here or on the CBG forum!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

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SOX WIN! SOX WIN!!

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This one's for you, Shoeless Joe Jackson!

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And Buck Weaver...

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And Bill Veeck...

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Britt Burns...

...and all these guys!

Crossposted from the LJ, by the way.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usRIP Rosa Parks.

Sister Rosa Parks was tired one day
after a hard day on her job.
When all she wanted was a well deserved rest
Not a scene from an angry mob.
A bus driver said, "Lady, you got to get up
cuz a white person wants that seat."
But Miss Rosa said, "No, not no more.
I'm gonna sit here and rest my feet."

Chorus
Thank you Miss Rosa, you are the spark,
You started our freedom movement
Thank you Sister Rosa Parks.
Thank you Miss Rosa you are the spark,
You started our freedom movement
Thank you Sister Rosa Parks.

Now, the police came without fail
And took Sister Rosa off to jail.
And 14 dollars was her fine,
Brother Martin Luther King
knew it was our time.
The people of Montgomery sit down to talk
It was decided all God's children should walk
Until segregation was brought to its knees
And we obtain freedom and equality, yeah

Chorus
Thank you Miss Rosa, you are the spark,
You started our freedom movement
Thank you Sister Rosa Parks.
We'll sing it again
Thank you Miss Rosa, you are the spark,
You started our freedom movement
Thank you Sister Rosa Parks.

So we dedicate this song to thee
for being the symbol of our dignity.
Thank you Sister Rosa Parks.
Chorus 2x

Sister Rosa Parks
by The Neville Brothers
D. Johnson, C. Moore, C. Neville, C. Neville, Jr., J. Neville
L. Neville Irving Music, Inc. obo Neville Music, Inc.
Johnson Music; Wm. Claffey & Associates
(p) 1989 A&M Records
Courtesy of A&M Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises

Monday, October 24, 2005

I know, you think I've forgotten about it...but not so! Here's...

JOHNNY B'S 25 FAVORITE ALBUM COVERS, NUMBER 8

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SALLY CAN'T DANCE-LOU REED (1974, RCA)


This, kids, was the first Lou Reed album I ever owned. Yeah, I could try and be all cool and tell you that I was into the Velvets in the late '60s (when I was 9, in Kentucky, yeah right) or picked up Transformer at age 12...but no. I had, however, started reading CREEM magazine in 1973, and believe you me, Uncle Lou got namechecked every single fricking issue. So when I spied this sitting on the record rack at the town drug store, and was immediately smitten with the vivid colors and vaguely disreputable look of the cover, I had to have it, especially after reading a Circus magazine review which made it sound even more intriguing. Another example of my tendency to get sucked in by cover graphics, and forming an immediate bond with the musician represented. I loved the (I'm assuming) color-pencil illos of Reed, at the height of his bleach-blond phase, and his then-significant other along with the typography, a mix of the fonts Souvenir (same as CREEM used!) and Windsor. Why the artist chose to hand-letter Lou's name at top is a mystery. But this was one striking cover, at least to 14-year-old me.

This was kind of an odd album for Lou- RCA was putting some pressure on him to follow up the successful live album Rock 'n' Roll Animal, which had the label thinking he was about to hit the big time after the huge flop of 1972's Berlin, an ambitious, but depressing and often turgid song cycle. So naturally Lou couldn't be arsed, and reportedly spent most of his time drugged and drunk, contributing songs and his typical singspeak vocals while producer and former Blood, Sweat and Tears guitarist Steven Katz did everything else, and it turned out to be a different, more R&B/soul sound than Reed had used with the VU and with Bowie and Bob Ezrin, described by Robert Christgau as a "grotesque hodgepodge of soul horns, flash guitar, deadpan songspeech, and indifferent rhymes". Reed never really acted like he cared much for the record at all, because he had participated so little in its making, but there are several first-rate cuts on it, and he reunited with John Cale's VU replacement Doug Yule on one of the best cuts, a longish acoustic guitar/sax/bass rumination called "Billy". In fact, this remains the highest-charting album of his career to date, actually denting the top 10, which is no doubt why it was placed by the rack-jobber on my local drugstore's record rack for me to purchase, and to make a Lou Reed fan of me for life.

Instant karma, baby.
Time once more to delve into the new Diamond shipping list and viddy what I'll be getting before this time next week. ** signifies that I should get them via DCBS, whom I've been very pleased with so far, sometimes getting my new books on Friday afternoon! Too late to review in Last Call, but better than waiting till Monday! OK, here goes:

**BPRD THE BLACK FLAME #3
**CATWOMAN #48
**JSA CLASSIFIED #4
**LEGION OF SUPER HEROES #11
**LOSERS #29
**LOVELESS #1
**SILENT DRAGON #4
**SOLO #7
STRANGE GIRL #4
**DAREDEVIL #78
**DEFENDERS #4

Whew! Some haul, huh!

Also, I 'll keep an eye out for SUPERF*CKERS #2, which I didn't pre-order because I thought I might get a review copy from Top Shelf, like I did #1. So far, that hasn't been the case, so I can safely assume that I won't.

MIA: THE EXPATRIATE #3.

Other noteworthies coming out this week but most likely unbought by me are

MAD NIGHT FEATURING JUDY DROOD, GIRL DETECTIVE TP which is the collected "Reflections in a Glass Scorpion" story by Richard Sala from Evil Eye, which I've been buying in single format so I'm not especially moved to pick it up. It meanders and rambles, but it's typical fun/creepy Sala stuff, and if you like his work, you'll like this. I really need to score a copy of PECULIA AND THE GROON GROVE VAMPIRES one of these days. Speaking of Sala, I bought a set of his Halloween greeting cards Saturday.

PARIS #1 is scripted by Andi Watson, with bizarre, fluid art by Simon Gane. I was going to pick this up in singles, but i think I'll wait on the trade instead, same as with Watson's LITTLE STAR, the penultimate issue (#5) of which comes out this week as well.

And that's that!
Well, with this, I started the ball rolling three years ago today, and hopefully it has a ways to roll before it's done.

In plain English, today is my third blogaversary. Huzzah!

I didn't really have time to come up with a snazzy graphic, hope you'll forgive.

I didn't really know what to expect when I started this thing, only that it might be interesting and kinda fun. Cue the voice of Walter Parks Thatcher in Citizen Kane: "I think it would be fun to run a newspaper." Anyway, I've made a lot of friends, garnered a tiny bit of attention, and learned a lot in the process, and I thank each and every one of you who deigns to take some time out of your busy lives to read what I've posted, from the Google searchers looking for Kim Possible porn to the comics professionals and publishers who link to the reviews I write. And in turn, as always, all I can do is promise that I will always strive not to suck.

OK, that's all, back to your regularly scheduled lives.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

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Y'know, the fact that Joaquin Phoenix only slightly resembles Johnny Cash more than costar Reese Witherspoon does isn't exactly causing me to shiver in antici....pation over the upcoming Cash biopic Walk The Line...but this is one hella-sweet piece of poster artwork. I'd hang this on my wall in a heartbeat.
Right, then.

JOHNNY B'S FEARLESS NFL PIGSKIN PICKS, PART TWO!

ARIZONA over Tennessee
CINCINNATI over Pittsburgh
CLEVELAND over Detroit
INDIANAPOLIS over Houston (if you bet, though, take the Texans and the points)
GREEN BAY over Minnesota
PHILADELPHIA over San Diego
NEW ORLEANS over St. Louis
WASHINGTON over San Francisco
SEATTLE over Dallas
NY GIANTS over Denver
BUFFALO over Oakland
CHICAGO over Baltimore
ATLANTA over NY Jets

Very, very difficult slate of games to pick- half of these could go either way. But after last night I'm 1-0, so I won't go 0-14...

Oh and lest I forget, WHITE SOX in 7. Go Sox!

The Hero of Canton.







Now HERE'S an online resource for ya...a Firefly website with screencaps of every episode!

Friday, October 21, 2005

The cover art for the new KATE BUSH album, Aerial, which is due out in the US on 8 November. I thought I'd keep the authentic British flavor of the announcement, hence the date before the month. Anyway, by clicking on Kate's name in the previous sentence, it will take you to katebush.com, where you can hear an excerpt from the first single "King of the Mountain", and even see the video unless you're like me and are forced to make do with the prehistoric Mac OS9 and its outdated Flash plugin.

What I could hear of the single sounds OK; it kinda crashes and bashes along and at least has a melody that you can remember after you've heard it once or twice, unlike about 75% of her last album, The Red Shoes, which kinda dampened, hell, threw a bucket of ice water on the burning coals of my enthusiasm for her music. I will remain guardedly optimistic.

Click on the pic below for another Kate news site, with some snazzy retro animation on the front page which makes you think it's going to be a Bill Nelson video...

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Oh yeah- new LAST CALL over at Comic Book Galaxy. In it, I impose my opinions upon you in regards to ARMEGEDDON & SON, GIANT MONSTER 1, 100 BULLETS 65, FABLES 42, TOP 10: BEYOND THE FARTHEST PRECINCT 3 (I accidentally bought two copies of this one, darn it), BANANA SUNDAY 3, F.PAUL WILSON'S THE KEEP 1, SHAOLIN COWBOY 4, JACK STAFF 9, and ASTRO CITY: THE DARK AGE 4.

I've also opened the floor for questions and comments for me to answer, which shall become future column fodder. Please send as many as you like, but keep 'em comics related, 'mkay?

Also, Chris Allen at Large has a new Breakdowns column up over there, and that's ALWAYS worth checking out.
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OK, thanks to Hurricane Wilma (does anybody else hear Fred Flinstone's voice on the end credits of the old cartoon shouting "WILLLLMAAAAA!!"?) there's gonna be an NFL game tonight, and since I decided to move my FEARLESS NFL PROGNOSTICATIONS back over here at the main site, I guess I should go ahead and pick a winner.

But first, the disclaimer.

THESE PICKS ARE FOR (my own, and presumably your) AMUSEMENT PURPOSES ONLY! DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT TAKE THESE PREDICTIONS AND BET YOUR HARD-EARNED OR SOFT-EARNED MONEY ON THEM, BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW ANY MORE ABOUT THE NFL THAN THE AVERAGE FAN, AND I HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO BE INCORRECT QUITE FREQUENTLY! AND YOU DON'T KNOW ME- I MIGHT BE CRAZY, OR FUCKING WITH YOU!

So, without any further ado:

KANSAS CITY over Miami.

Record last week: a scintillating 11-3! Guess being back at the Show agrees with my chimerical luck. Season to date: 53-35, .602.

Fantasy: Money league, lost 42-30, I'm 2-4 and last in a 4-team division. Freebie league, won 72-66 and moved into 1st in a 12-team league with a 4-1-1 record. Injuries are killing me in that league, though- I've got Randy Moss and Julius Jones both on the bench and not much to replace them.

I'll do the rest tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

DC, Marvel, and Image have all released their January solicits, so like any semi-comics blogger worth his salt, I shall wade into the fray and bring out the covers and info-packets that are of some interest to me, along with comments various and sundry. Click on the little-bitty covers to make 'em all big for your perusal.

DC first, just because.

Hey look! I'm starting off with a Superman title! Actually, this nice Kalman Andrasofszky heralds the introduction of the Superman: The Animated Series baddie Live Wire (voiced by the Tank Girl, Lori Petty). I won't be buying, but I always liked that character. This is from ACTION COMICS #835.








Another book I won't be buying is DETECTIVE COMICS #815, although it is the first in a run of stories illo'd by Cliff Chiang, whose work has steadily grown on me over the last couple of years.










CATWOMAN #51 features another striking Adam Hughes cover, but unfortunately the interiors will be tied in with the ongoing Identity Whatnot. Still, I trust Pfiefer and Woods to give me something I can read and still respect myself in the morning. Really.

Same goes for GOTHAM CENTRAL #39. I hope that the Jim Corrigan thing is as close to all that stuff as we get.





If you've ever wanted to see Walt Simonson channeling Mike Kaluta, well, look no further than this cover to DAY OF VENGEANCE: INFINITE CRISIS SPECIAL. You'd think if I was going to stick my toe in the foetid Infinite waters, it would be with this series...but despite my affection for all of DC's supernatural roster, I passed. I might be tempted to pick up a collection one of these days...








As I keep saying, James Jean rules the school. From GREEN ARROW #58. Love the raining arrows and cherry blossom branches, which make no sense to the reader, like myself, who doesn't know what's going on in the title, but are very interesting design elements.








DC UNIVERSE: THE STORIES OF ALAN MOORE TP should be some fine readin'. I've read and owned several of these, still do some of 'em, but there are a few that even I haven't read. However, even with the DCBS discount, it's a bit too rich for my blood. Maybe someday. Snazzy Brian Bolland cover, huh!








Bat Lash returns in JONAH HEX #3; while I'll always love the character as he appeared in those eight 1960's issues by Sergio Aragones, Denny O'Neil and Nick Cardy, almost every revival attempt and guest appearance has been flat and bland. Guess it's just too much to expect writers today to channel that James Garner-Maverick vibe...still, hope springs eternal, and I'll be getting this comic for at least six issues.



It's Atom Girl, aka Shrinking Violet, on the cover of LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #14. She also has a torso like a tree trunk. Did Mike Mignola lay this out, or is this yet another example of Kitson's inconsistency? Methinks the latter.











Nice Doug Mahnke cover for SEVEN SOLDIERS: FRANKENSTEIN #2, featuring my old buddy Spawny, all reimagined for these dark and gloomy times.











Fans of old DC war comics are surely salivating over SGT. ROCK: THE PROPHECY #1, as it features the whole Kubert clan, mostly Dad Joe, on art. Me, I've always been lukewarm about them, even the ones drawn by personal art heroes Jerry Grandenetti and Russ Heath, so I think I'll pass. Can't buy everything!

Ladies and germs, I give you the final issue of the title voted most likely to defy all expectations of longevity, PLASTIC MAN #20. I flirted with this title a while ago, but after an admittedly clever issue or two, mostly involving Kyle Baker having some fun with DC's superhero community, I got tired of the slapdash art and recycled Tom & Jerry plots, and bailed. Judging by this cover and its hurried-convention-sketch look, nothing much changed.





Here's Michael Golden imitating Jason Pearson imitating Baker on the cover of VIGILANTE #5. Aw, I know that it's probably more like Pearson's style is very similar (influenced by, in other words) to Golden's these days, but I can't help but think back on how his style has changed since I was first blown away by it in the pages of Batman Family back in the 70's. I still think that Golden drew the best version of the Demon waaay back then, and no one's topped it since.





Hel-lo, Nurse! I turned my back, no pun intended, on the smirky, sophomoric, FHM magazine-level spy hijinx of Danger Girl a long time ago, and I won't be buying the comeback mini DANGER GIRL: BACK IN BLACK, but this cover image for issue #3 certainly appeals to my love of cheesecake pinup art.







Rumor has it that PLANETARY #24 will be coming out this month, however, this has yet to be officially confirmed. Most in the know say to wait until January and see.

Aw, man. This is the last issue of THE LOSERS, #32. Hope it goes out as well as it came in.













TESTAMENT #2 is on the list; I haven't had an opportunity to write about it yet, but I was kinda impressed with the preview which appeared in the latest issue of Fables, so I'll be picking this up for a while, it appears.

And that's it for DC. Now, Marvel. Four books have piqued my interest:

Looks like Milligan and Allred are being given another shot with their smarter-than-the-norm take on Marvel's X-population with X-STATIX PRESENTS: DEAD GIRL #1 (of 5). I bought X-Statix for a good long time, but there was just a perceived-by-me disconnect between Milligan's scripts and Allred's art that made the books dull and static (as opposed to "statix", I suppose) more often as not, so I bailed long before the Princess Di flap. This looks fun, with lotsa dead superheroes coming back as zombies or something, but it will be a game time decision in regards to whether I'll buy.



DAUGHTERS OF THE DRAGON #1 (of 6) gives us a long-overdue spotlight on two supporting characters that used to appear in Claremont and Byrne's 70's issues of Iron Fist, back before they became major annoyances. Claremont and Byrne, that is, not DotD's Colleen Wing and Misty Knight. I don't know what, if anything, has been done with them since then (I know they had some 70's kung-fu magazine backups and appeared in Power Man/Iron Fist) but this triggers the nostalgic response in my head so I'll be buying.







NEXTWAVE #1 (of 12) looks like it could be fun, and I like the samples I've seen so far. "Fun" isn't natural to Ellis, though, so I could be disappointed but I'll sample it anyway.











MARVEL VISIONARIES: ROY THOMAS HC: In the 60's, I really loved Roy Thomas' scripting. His character's patter was snappy, he knew how to give a tense situation the proper amount of desperation and edge, and he threw in all kinds of cool pop culture references of the day that even I, as a somewhat more-than-the-norm-perceptive preteen, recognized. Thomas, unfortunately, got lazy writing Conan for about 50 years, lost his mojo, and lapsed into overwrought, needlessly convoluted nostalgia-pandering...and on top of that, the very same snappy patter and hipster vibe that was fresh when Thomas did it in 1966-1969 inspired the worst excesses of a host of writers that followed in his wake and gave us over two decades' worth of cringe. In my opinion. Anyway, this is a hardcover collection of some of the Rascally One's good stuff, and although I wish there was more of his Neal Adams collaborations on X-Men, my favorite of all his work then, there's plenty of good readin' here nonetheless. The one X-Men story represented here is inexplicably the Don Heck/Tom Palmer illo'd origin of Sunfire, and while I kinda liked the character, the art just didn't cut it. The Avengers stories contained here are top-notch, with the origin of the Vision and the Barry Smith-drawn #100, which featured every character that (at the time) had ever been an Avenger.


Now, last but not least, IMAGE:

Probably the most noteworthy release is, to me, Jason Pearson's return to all-new Body Bags adventures in the BODY BAGS: ONE SHOT, er, one-shot. BB was bloody and excessive, but it was bloody well-drawn and often amusing, and I liked it.








GØDLAND, VOL. 1: HELLO, COSMIC! TP collects the series of which I've read the first issue, because I got it free, and liked it but not enough to buy it with my own dime. I figured it would be collected soon enough, and by golly, I was right! It's a fun and skillfully done Post-DC 70's Kirby pastiche. GØDLAND #7 will also come out in the same month, enabling slackers like me to get caught up fast if we so desire.




I'm wondering if the FLAMING CARROT SPECIAL is the fumetti which Bob Burden mentioned last issue. Oh well, I'll most likely pick it up regardless- I love me some Carrot.

In the text of the solicit for MICHAEL GOLDEN?S MONSTERS PORTFOLIO they describe him as "The elusive artist...", which evokes images of the Image guys dressed in pith helmets and jungle gear, stalking Golden with tranquilizer darts.

Arthur Suydam has had his moments in the past, and he's a fine artist overall, but his ORIGINAL ADVENTURES OF CHOLLY & FLYTRAP always struck me as poor man's Vaughn Bode. I'll leave the final decision up to you.

THE ATHEIST #4: Atheist seems to be coming out under the Planetary release system. Just saying.

EXPATRIATE #6 is solicited; I haven't seen #3 yet.

FELL #5: I've been wracking my brain to come up with a clever song tie-in to this book's title, but all can think of are "If I Fell" and "Fooled Around and Fell in Love"...and those don't work. Oh well, I'm still gonna get this anyway.



And that's all I got! Thanks for sticking with me till the end!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

From Publishers Weekly comes some interesting news- Fantagraphics, of all people, will be reprinting Linda Medley's Castle Waiting, a fantasy series that I bought regularly when Medley was publishing it with Olio books, but bailed about three issues in after she started releasing it through Jeff Smith's Cartoon Books imprint. Why I did this escapes me now- perhaps I was just tired of fantasy stuff, no matter how cleverly it's imagined and illustrated, and that's what this one certainly was. I got hooked after reading the short story that appeared in one of those Trilogy Tour one-shot annuals released by Sirius, I believe. Something about snickerdoodles, you know, cookies- a twee touch which is usually cringeworthy but she deftly worked the conceit into an excellent discourse about religion and faith, and grabbed me hard. I'm wishing now I'd stayed the course. But now, unless I misread, here's my chance to catch up without buying a bunch of singles as Fantagraphics will release a collected edition, including a final unpublished chapter, and will then proceed to publish the ongoing series.
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usBSBdG's go out today to the great CHUCK BERRY, 79 years young today. The thing that impresses me the most about Berry's classic music is not his rascally stage presence with its duckwalk, not the chunka-chunka rhythm that he popularized, and not the incalculable influence it has had on luminaries like the Beatles, especially John Lennon, and Keith Richards...it's the lyrics. He was writing cheeky, cleverly crafted words at a time when many of his peers were barely beyond moon and June. To wit:

Brown Eyed Handsome Man

Arrested on charges of unemployment,
he was sitting in the witness stand
The judge's wife called up the district attorney
Said you free that brown eyed man
You want your job you better free that brown eyed man

Flying across the desert in a TWA,
I saw a woman walking across the sand
She been a walkin' thirty miles en route to Bombay
To get a brown eyed handsome man
Her destination was a brown eyed handsome man

Way back in history three thousand years
In fact every since the world began
There's been a whole lot of good women sheddin' tears
For a brown eyed handsome man
It's a lot of trouble was brown eyed handsome man

Beautiful daughter couldn't make up her mind
Between a doctor and a lawyer man
Her mother told her darlin' go out and find yourself
A brown eyed handsome man
Just like your daddy, he's a brown eyed handsome man

Milo Venus was a beautiful lass
She had the world in the palm of her hand
But she lost both her arms in a wrestling match
To get brown eyed handsome man
She fought and won herself a brown eyed handsome man

Two, three count with nobody on
He hit a high fly into the stand
Rounding third he was headed for home
It was a brown eyed handsome man
That won the game; it was a brown eyed handsome man


and

You Never Can Tell

It was a teenage wedding,
and the old folks wished them well
You could see that Pierre
did truly love the mademoiselle
And now the young monsieur
and madame have rung the chapel bell,
"C'est la vie", say the old folks,
it goes to show you never can tell

They furnished off an apartment
with a two room Roebuck sale
The coolerator was crammed
with TV dinners and ginger ale,
But when Pierre found work,
the little money comin' worked out well
"C'est la vie", say the old folks,
it goes to show you never can tell

They had a hi-fi phono, boy, did they let it blast
Seven hundred little records,
all rock, rhythm and jazz
But when the sun went down,
the rapid tempo of the music fell
"C'est la vie", say the old folks,
it goes to show you never can tell

They bought a souped-up jitney,
'twas a cherry red '53,
They drove it down New Orleans
to celebrate their anniversary
It was there that Pierre was married
to the lovely mademoiselle
"C'est la vie", say the old folks,
it goes to show you never can tell


Sure, Johnnie Johnson shaped the melodies and the accompaniment, but it took Berry's verve to make it special.

Essential listening: The Great Twenty-Eight.
More random acts of bloggery.

Several times over the weekend I saw a commercial for one of those ubitiquous forensic investigation/military/urban crime shows, don't remember which one, where at one point we're shown someone's abdomen wiggling around like there was something in it, then a few seconds later we see a COBRA burst out! A COBRA! Snakes on a plane indeed!

And every single effing time I burst out laughing.

Maybe it was because it looked like an obvious puppet, maybe it was the timing of the belly-buster, maybe it was that it made me think of the chestbuster parody from Spaceballs- and has there ever been a film that's so much fun to talk about and quote, but such a grind to actually sit through?- but it cracked me up.

I'm a sick individual sometimes.

Also, there seems to be a Harry Nilsson documentary in the works! I must see this!

Van Morrison's contractual obligation album! From the blogpage that has the links:

In order to fulfill his obligation to his early solo label Bang Records,Van Morrison sat down in 1967 or so and cranked out 31 songs on the spot, on topics ranging from ringworm to wanting a danish, to hating his record label and a guy named George.

These are a hoot- give 'em a listen! And WFMU: Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music wasn't a contractual obligation album- that would be Take No Prisoners. Thanks to Mike Carey, my fellow Stupid Llama, for the heads-up. Mike relly should have his own blog.

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:

REX LIBRIS 1: B
SUPER SCARY MONSTER SHOW 2: A-
GOTHAM CENTRAL 36: B+

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.
New Diamond shipping list up, so that means I'll post the list of what I should be recieving this week, either there or in the mail. ** means through DCBS.

ASTRO CITY: THE DARK AGE #4
HELLBLAZER #213**
LUCIFER #67**
SEVEN SOLDIERS: KLARION THE WITCH BOY #4**
TOP TEN: BEYOND THE FARTHEST PRECINCT #3**
SHAOLIN COWBOY #4 (If they get it at the LCS)
SURROGATES #2 (ditto)
BANANA SUNDAY #3 (likewise)

Also on the MIA list: THE KEEP #1, JACK STAFF #9 and THE EXPATRIATE #3.

Won't be buying but I recommend highly:

ALISON DARE LITTLE MISS ADVENTURES TP #1
ALISON DARE LITTLE MISS ADVENTURES VOL 2

Fun, with outstanding Jason Bone art.

Also won't be buying, but am beginning to get curious:

MANHUNTER #15

You see, I love Chase. Cameron Chase, from the much-missed late 90s series that DC continues to milk for guest appearances- and if I read correctly, Chase is now a regular character in this book, which I declined to buy from the beginning for its bland art, and my interest hasn't been especially piqued due to always reading about how the courtroom scenes have been mishandled. But it's CHASE; I want to keep up with what she's doing, and what they're doing with her. Guess I should be happy that she hasn't been sodomized by Doctor Phosphorus or somesuch. Maybe if there's a trade with her in it, I could go that route...but despite some nice Jae Lee covers, the art bores me silly.
The fine folks at TOP SHELF sent me an email informing me that they are having a GIANT WEB SALE! So if you are currently suffering from undersized, cramped, uncomfortable webs, now is your chance to upgrade! Just in time fo Halloween!

Huh?

Oh. Heh heh. Sorry.

Anyway, go over there and take advantage of their foolish desperation, I mean generosity! It will continue until the 25th, or they run out of books, whichever comes first. They's some mighty fine deals there, as they say here in SoKY.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usLove those unis. They're the coolest in the NFL, and the Chargers are idiots for not wearing them regularly.

Well, it's not like there's a whole lot of comics, music, and movie-related stuff here lately that this will interfere with, so join with me now as I welcome the return of JOHNNY B'S FEARLESS NFL PIGSKIN PROGNOSTICATIONS to the Show!

The disclaimer, if you please:

THESE PICKS ARE FOR (my own, and presumably your) AMUSEMENT PURPOSES ONLY! DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT TAKE THESE PREDICTIONS AND BET YOUR HARD-EARNED OR SOFT-EARNED MONEY ON THEM, BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW ANY MORE ABOUT THE NFL THAN THE AVERAGE FAN, AND I HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO BE INCORRECT QUITE FREQUENTLY! AND YOU DON'T KNOW ME- I MIGHT BE CRAZY, OR FUCKING WITH YOU!

Last week, a disappointing 7-7. Overall, 42-32, .568.

CLEVELAND over Baltimore
CHICAGO over the Ship of Fools, I mean Minnesota
DALLAS over the NY Giants
DETROIT over Carolina
KANSAS CITY over Washington
ATLANTA over New Orleans
PITTSBURGH over Jacksonville
TAMPA BAY over Miami
CINCINNATI over Tennessee
BUFFALO over the NY Jets
DENVER over New England
SAN DIEGO over Oakland
SEATTLE over Houston
INDIANAPOLIS over St. Louis

Fantasy: Cut-Throat money league, WON 41-33. 2-3, tied for 3rd in a 4-team division.
Yahoo freebie league: WON 52-47. 3-1-1, 2nd place in a 12-team league, 1/2 game out of 1st.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

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Hi there. Yeah, I know, long time no bloggy stuff.

Until I can get back in the saddle, here's a picture of Sweet GENE VINCENT with a couple of the members of the Quarrymen, a Liverpool beat combo that was making a splash back then. Wonder whatever happened to them. Yesterday, by the way, was the 24th anniversary of Vincent's death.

See ya when I see ya!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Time once more to delve into the depths of my fanboyishness, as I give you all the straight dope, the skinny, the 4-1-1 on what I'll be getting eventually as per the new Diamond shipping list!

* indicates a title that will be coming to me via the auspices of DCBS. Which reminds me, I need to make out my order for December.

*100 BULLETS #65
*FABLES #42
THE KEEP #1

Looks like a mighty light week, doesn't it! Especially considering that I won't get my DCBS books till Monday (I just got GOTHAM CENTRAL #36 today!). I still am holding out hope that I'll get JACK STAFF #9, and THE EXPATRIATE #3 is still MIA as well. Also I'll look for THE SUPER SCARY MONSTER SHOW #2; I forgot to look for it last week.
I did this a week or so ago at the LJ, thought it was fun, so I'm a-doin it again.

1. Open a music player.
2. Go to 'all music'/'library'.
3. Hit shuffle/repeat/randomise.
4. Find photos of the first 10 artists/bands that come up [no repeats and no cheating].
5. Have people guess who the artists/bands are.


Go here.

I'm doing these big-picture quizzes at the LJ because of its nifty LJ-cut feature, which cuts down on the space they take up. In case you were wondering. Anyway, go look and guess! This one's easier than the last one.


I've also just done another MOVIE STILL QUIZ- go play!

Guess it's easier to post images and bullshit than it is to write anything substantial about comics or music...
And now, another scintillating entry in what I like to call

JOHNNY B'S 25 FAVORITE ALBUM COVERS!

Number seven.

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NICE. by PUFFY AMIYUMI


Here's one for those of you who thought that I'd never cite a post-1980 release. I've praised this 2003 release quite often here at this site, so I won't go down that road- I think perhaps it was just so good to hear Andy (Jellyfish) Sturmer ply his popsong trade again that I couldn't help but gush. I am also, however, very amused by this cover, a sendup slash homage to this late '60s event:

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John & Yoko's famous/infamous "bed-in for peace".

More as I think of them...and I'm bending over backwards to try and find an '80s-'90s cover or two to include. I think the problem for me is that covers from those decades are just so slavishly imitative of not only the cut-and-paste razor-and-skinny tie Punk/New Wave ethos, which I've never warmed to, or the MTV music video influence, along with the smaller canvas on which to work and the lazy, safe "picture of artist with name-and-title in mix-and-match font" approach, that they just don't push the right buttons in my head. Still, I'm trying.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

It's Johnny's Birthday.



As you may or may not be aware, today would have been the 65th birthday of JOHN Winston O'Boogie Ono LENNON.

And, in keeping with the Beatle birthday tradition I started this year, here's a list of my 25 favorite solo Lennon songs. I'd do Beatle songs, but that would make the list at least twice as long!

MONEY from Live Peace in Toronto
COLD TURKEY (non-album single, also available on any number of compilations)
INSTANT KARMA (We All Shine On) (non-album single, also available on any number of compilations)
I FOUND OUT from Plastic Ono Band
WORKING CLASS HERO from Plastic Ono Band
ISOLATION from Plastic Ono Band
GOD from Plastic Ono Band
IMAGINE from Imagine (obvious, I know, but it's a great song, even though I'm sick of it)
GIVE ME SOME TRUTH from Imagine
OH MY LOVE from Imagine
NEW YORK CITY from Some Time in New York City
MIND GAMES from Mind Games
I KNOW (I KNOW) from Mind Games
YOU ARE HERE from Mind Games
GOING DOWN ON LOVE from Walls and Bridges
SURPRISE, SURPRISE (Sweet Bird of Paradox) from Walls and Bridges
BE-BOP A LULA from Rock 'n' Roll
STAND BY ME from Rock 'n' Roll
READY TEDDY/RIP IT UP from Rock 'n' Roll
AIN'T THAT A SHAME from Rock 'n' Roll
BEAUTIFUL BOY from Double Fantasy
I'M STEPPING OUT from Milk and Honey
NOBODY TOLD ME from Milk and Honey
GROW OLD WITH ME from Lennon Anthology
I'M LOSING YOU (with Cheap Trick) from Lennon Anthology

Friday, October 07, 2005

God, Thursdays and Fridays are pretty much lost for me these days in regards to blogging...between the CBG column and the workflow at the Daily Snooze, I don't get much time to post shorties, let alone anything substantial.

Which is, in a roundabout way, my segue into letting you know that the new LAST CALL is up over at CBG. Questions/comments/observations/tips are welcomed and encouraged. This being a catch-up post, I look at no less than eleven books this time out, including FELL #2, THE WINTER MEN #2 (FINALLY!), LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #10, SMOKE #3 (ALSO, FINALLY!), and DEFENDERS #3.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

JOHNNY B'S 25 FAVORITE ALBUM COVERS!

Number 6:

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AEROSMITH-DRAW THE LINE (1977)


As I'm sure you all know by now, I'm a huge fan of the Line King, the late great Al Hirschfeld...and so it's a no-brainer that I love this wonderful cover from Tyler, Perry and company. The album itself is pretty darn good, too- not as strong as Get Your Wings or Rocks, but it still features several sloppy, gnarly rockers and quite possibly Joe Perry's finest moment, the Ramones-ish 2-minute workout "Bright Light Fright". Of course, it also features the alarmingly bad Styx-like "Kings and Queens", but it was the drugs to blame. Yeah, that's right, the drugs.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Two things I meant to link to yesterday but forgotted:

The latest from Lea Hernandez: Texas Steampunk III: Ironclad Petal over at Girlomatic.com. Described thusly: Galvan Petal is a strange girl who's building an automaton friend who will understand her, and a robot to hide herself from the world. But will she be thwarted by Thomas Edison's hunger for the perfect mechanical woman?

Poor Edison. Between this and Warren Ellis, he doesn't get a break.

Also, it's October and Michael's Movie Palace is once more focusing on vintage horror and fantasy films, with reviews written in his inimitable style.

Oh, and lest I forget: GO WHITE SOX!

Monday, October 03, 2005

As promised, here's a look at what I'll be buying at my LCS and/or getting via DCBS, from the new Diamond shipping list. I'll identify the ones supposedly coming from DCBS with an *.

GOTHAM CENTRAL #36*
FELL #2
JACK STAFF #9
POWERS #13

Aaaand that's it!

Wild cards include THE EXPATRIATE #3, which is the only book besides the first two issues of THE MIDDLE MAN (which I have decided to pick up in trade format) that are MIA since I got SMOKE #3 and WINTER MEN #2. I also don't know how it works when I order something like SCOTT PILGRIM VOL. 2 from DCBS, which I did and has already been out for several weeks, so you'd think it could easily be included in the first shipment! We will see.

Since this is looking like a light week (and it wouldn't surprise me if my LCS doesn't get either JACK or FELL), I might keep an eye out for THE SUPER SCARY MONSTER SHOW #2, which I wasn't looking for until I recently read #1. Other books well worth your time, but probably going unbought by me, are TRUE STORY, SWEAR TO GOD #15 (I wait for the trades with this excellent series); the BONE SHARPS COWBOYS & THUNDER LIZARDS GN (can't afford it, but I might try and get it from DCBS if it's still available); and I'd love to pick up the SHOWCASE PRESENTS: METAMORPHO VOL 1 TP...but I didn't pre-order it from DCBS, and I just can't pay $17 from my LCS even though I'm sure it's a ton of fun- and I know, because I read most of them as a young kid back in the '60s!
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I see, via Mark Evanier, that HAMILTON CAMP has passed on.

Now this ties in to my love for the recorded output of Warner Bros. Records and its subsidiary label Reprise in the late '60s-early/mid '70s- for years and years the only thing I knew about Camp was that he was one of the artists that appeared on one of the two Warner/Reprise Loss Leaders that I owned, represented by a great (unreleased elsewhere, as far as I know) song called "Star-Spangled Bus", which is a catchy,gospel/folk-tinged song that appeared on side 3 of The 1969 Warner-Reprise Record Show. The bio reads:

HAMILTON CAMP measures fifty-eight inches from the tip of his oversize cowboy boots to the uppermost curl of his sandy neo-Hendrixian hair. Which is just fine with us, on account of Ham is a gas in concert with his self-effacing Smothers Brothersish rapier-like and unabashedly exhuberant wit.

"Star Spangled Bus", which we found in the can, is the sort of thing you get when you cross a slightly PaulSimonish tune with a busy poppish arrangement and the joyous crooning of a small but very talented man.

In his distant past, Ham recorded
Here's To You (Warner album 1737) and Welcome to Hamilton Camp (1753) for us.

When I first played the tune as a teenager, it didn't make much of an impression. Strangely enough, neither did the cuts that it shared the side with, such as Van Dyke Parks' "Music For Ice Capades TV Commercials", Sweetwater's "Day Song", Randy Newman's "Yellow Man", and Pearls Before Swine's "These Things Too". I figured I had probably seen Camp in some movie or TV show, but didn't remember any offhand, 1967's He and She being a dim and distant memory, not to mention 1969's notorious one-episode Laugh-In ripoff, Turn-On; which I actually watched on the one night that it had aired (my parents probably didn't know it-it was pretty racy for the time). I had probably seen him in episodes of The Rat Patrol, The Monkees, or The Good Guys (six degrees of Bob Denver!). Then, at least 25 years later, I happened to dig out that record and play it again, and was blown away by that particular side. Curious, and also in keeping with my longtime WB/R collecting obsession, I went to eBay and found a copy of Here's To You,which I won and listened to a few times. I didn't get that same "Star Spangled Bus" rush, but it was a solid album just the same.

I had recently seen him in an episode or two of Desperate Housewives,so it seemed like he was in demand as a performer until the end. Here's hoping he's on that Star Spangled Bus to a happy destination.
While I'm thinking about it, I believe I'll post some random stuff as it occurs to me.

First, I've posted another picture quiz over at the LJ, this time consisting of pics of musicians that came up with my iTunes (prehistoric OS9 version, of course) set on "shuffle". Go check it out and see how many you can guess!

I'm sure you're aware that my Last Call column was a no-show last week; personal issues kept me from imposing my opinions on all of you out there. I'm not sure exactly what this week's comics purchases will bring; in anticipation of my first shipment from DCBS, I cancelled most of my holds from my LCS, and I'm not certain when my initial book shipment will arrive at Casa Bacardi. I'll still be stopping in at the ol' LCS just to see what may have slipped in between the cracks, and I suppose I'll still post the Diamond shipping list later today, since you've all come to love it so much. I also have neglected to post my letter grades for the books I've bought in the last two weeks, and this will include the ones I should have reviewed last week and will most likely include in this week's Last Call. I do this to help me with my year-end best-of, which is speedily approaching, along with my 3rd blogiversary.

THE SUPER SCARY MONSTER SHOW: A-
ULTIMATES 2 8: A-
TOP 10: BEYOND THE FARTHEST PRECINCT 2: B-
SEVEN SOLDIERS: MISTER MIRACLE 1: B+
VAISTRON 1: C
JSA CLASSIFIED 3: A-
LUCIFER 66: A-
JOHN CONSTANTINE: HELLBLAZER 212: B+

From last week:

SILENT DRAGON 3: B-
WINTERMEN 2: B+
CATWOMAN 47: B+
B.P.R.D.: THE BLACK FLAME 2: B
DEFENDERS 3: B+
LOSERS 28: A-
SMOKE 3: A- Entire series: A-
DAREDEVIL 77: B
NEIL GAIMAN'S NEVERWHERE 4: A
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #10: B
POLLY AND THE PIRATES 1: A

Got an email from Chris (Evening Shift) Gumprich a while ago- he's got a new minicomic coming out called Round Four, and it's online for your perusal right here. Although the story features another of those ambiguous endings that you all know I love, sarcasm intended, I think he's found a talented collaborator in artist Dennis Culver, whose work gives me a teeny bit of a Xaime Hernandez buzz.

Moving on to TV, Justice League Unlimited and Teen Titans have certainly come out of the box strongly, haven't they? The ongoing Legion of Doom stuff will provide interesting story fodder in the latter, I'm sure, even though I don't get the nostalgia buzz that some do from the old 70's Super Friends-era swampland hideout. And hats off the the JLU crew for making the Warlord interesting- I never ever developed a taste for Mike Grell's work, and that goes double for his lame Burroughs knockoff which has a fervent cult following among many comics geeks. The big news from the Titans premiere was the return of the Drake/Premiani-era Doom Patrol, cleverly worked in to the downright odd framework of the whole animated Titans backstory- or what there is of it, anyway. The lack of presence of their adult counterparts has always bugged me, and it was equal parts frustrating and interesting to be confronted with Beast Boy's "parents". Great to see the Murikami/Timm style Madame Rouge, too...but y'know, I don't think I'll ever be able to read or watch a story involving the Brain and Monsieur Mallah without thinking of what Grant Morrison did with them. That was funny as hell. Also, I don't recall Mento being such a leader-figure. And did the Chief, Niles Caulder, make an appearance? I don't remember seeing him. Anyway, the final scene, with the Brain assembling his own "Legion of Doom" to bedevil the Titans, was pretty impressive. And I saw Mad Mod in their ranks!

OK, the clock on the wall is telling me that I should be doing something else right now, so I'll wind this up. More later, hopefully.
JOHNNY B's 25 FAVORITE ALBUM COVERS

continues with #5:

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FOR YOUR PLEASURE-THE SECOND ROXY MUSIC ALBUM (1972)


Roxy had several fine covers on their early albums, but this is the one summed up their flashy-trashy-classy ethos the best in my opinion. Cover girl Amanda Lear elegantly struts her stuff as she walks her panther under the watchful eye of her chauffeur. And who should the appreciative driver be but

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Why, singer Bryan Ferry!

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Also of note is the smashing center spread, featuring the band as it was at the time (including Brian Eno, far left) striking campy poses in their finest glam rock ensembles.


More later. And I promise I'll write more about comics sometime soon.