Monday, November 28, 2005

It's late, I'm feeling a cold coming on, I'm tired. I shall soon lay me down to sleep. But first, I must indulge my overwhelming compulsion to tell you wonderful people out there WHAT NEW COMICS I'LL BE GETTING THIS WEEK, courtesy of the latest Diamond shipping list. The list, Don Pardo, if you please.

EXPATRIATE #4 (Never saw #3, damn it)

A hefty haul, no doubt about it. I'll also be hitting the comics shop Wednesday to score a copy of DOOM PATROL #18 for my pal Dave Puckett, and I'll probably read it to see how the naked girl gets out of the sharp glass prison she's in. Another publication you might want to check out if you spy it on the stands is the COLONIA VOL 2: ON INTO GREAT LANDS TP- I'll be honest, I haven't read it myself...though I got a review copy today and I'll read it ASAP. I recommend it solely on the basis that it's published by Unca Larry and AiT/PlanetLar, and they're a reliable source of sequential goodness.

Good night, lads and lassies.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Here's a handful of quickie looks at some titles I've received lately from the fine folks at Oni and Slave Labor.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usALISON DARE: LITTLE MISS ADVENTURES Vol. 2: I was a little confused by this one; I thought I had read all of the previous Alison stories, but the three shorts that open this collection were unfamiliar to me so it looks like I missed one. Oh well, not a problem now. Anyway, I've been enjoying the adventures of the plucky teen Miss Dare and her friends and family for several years now and always look forward to reading more. In the great tradition of plucky teen heroines, she's always getting into Indiana Jones-style scrapes, usually involving some sort of artifact or old adversary of her archeologist parents (her dad's a superhero called the "Blue Scarab" to boot), and they're presented with wit and panache in a Timm-and-DeCarloesque style by artist Jason Bone, a JBS favorite, and writer J. Torres, who's at his best here. Like Leave it to Chance, Electric Girl, Mutant, Texas, or any of several plucky young adventuress-type stories this can be read and enjoyed by all ages. Or at least middle-aged men with arrested adolescent tendencies. (Oni Press) A

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usLOVE AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE Vol. 4: Here's Torres again, this time with an OEL (and forgive this ignorant gaijin if I'm wrong about that) about a young man trying to adjust to living in Korea. It's all very Friends-like and not really terrible, but it would help if #1, I liked stories about the lovelorn misadventures of young twentysomethings; #2, was more of a fan of OEL manga (or manga, for that matter) in the first place; #3, it was better drawn- artist Eric Kim (would that it could have been Derek Kim...!) is still learning his craft, by the looks of it; and #4, had read the three previous volumes and had been able to perhaps develop an interest in any of these characters. Anyway, if this sort of thing is your bag, baby, then here you go. (Oni Press) C+

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usPENG (Martial Arts Encrusted Sports Fable) One-shot: As comics about Rollerball-inspired futuristic competitive kickball, aimed at the X-Games and video-game addict crowd go, this tries real hard to be fun- it's certainly energetic, but I got more of a chuckle from the peripheral, tossed-off stuff- asides, in-jokes, cameos (Scott Pilgrim) and ideas like the "advanced 3-revo recap" and the diagrammed "light pregame snack=pack + slo-moz brand process-altering pill" than the actual story itself, which was so frenetic and chaotic that I got real restless before the end. Just as with his previous Sharknife, Corey Lewis' haphazardly composed and indifferently inked manga stylings just don't lend themselves to coherent storytelling, and until that changes, I don't see me ever spending my hard-earned coin for his future work. (Oni Press) C+

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usLITTLE STAR #5: Most of you that have read me for any period of time are probably aware that I'm a big fan of Andi Watson's minimalistic, but always interesting, art. He's a darn good writer, too, as Love Fights, Geisha and the Skeleton Key books attest. But when this was first announced several months ago, I decided to wait for the trade- the subject matter didn't really get me all worked up but I did want to read it eventually. Oni kinda forced my hand by sending me the penultimate chapter, though. At its most basic level, it's an account of a young man named Simon Adams, who has just experienced fatherhood for the first time, and it's full of the idealized, gosh-wow my little baby is the most amazing precious miraculous etc. etc. etc. glory-and-miracle-of-childbirth stuff that could provide the Lifetime network with made-for-TV movies for a decade. But having already been through the experience, twice, and being less inclined to romanticize it (although I certainly do love both my kids, God help 'em), I found this quite tedious...and in the hands of a lesser artist it would be almost unbearable. Fortunately, Watson is no "lesser artist" and this is wonderfully illustrated throughout. Curiously, Watson's minimal expressionism doesn't quite lend itself to the titular infant; while everyone else's features are done with his typical aplomb, the baby's face is always rendered more realistically and it creates an odd disconnect. I'll most likely still get the trade, 'cause I'm a fan-but I don't really know who the audience for this is supposed to be, or who Oni expected it to appeal to (maybe the bookstore crowd might pick it up, if they notice it) your mileage may vary. (Oni) B

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usREX LIBRIS #2: I found the first issue of this almost too clever for its own good fantasy series waaaay too text-heavy and talky, but this one dials down the verbiage and lets the story breathe, and it's the better for it, managing to be kinda clever in places and occasionally amusing to boot. If you recall from last time, Rex is a sort of uber-dimensional Library Policeman, who deals with threats from within and without. It's all played for laughs, kinda like The Tick in its goofy anything-can-happen attitude. Rex gets a couple of supporting cast members this time out- a sexy-librarian type Spetsnatz-trained assistant, and a chatterbox bird. The stiff, angular, exaggerated art is still a problem- it looks like Fred Hembeck inked by Picasso, and while I like both of these guys separately together it just looks odd. Still, this is a step in the right direction. (Slave Labor) B+

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usLENORE #12: They may have a swingin' hipster monkey as a mascot, but Slave Labor's bread and butter is in that teenage gothkid, Addams Family-wannabe, Jhonen Vazquez-Gloom Cookie, Hot Topic-shopping demographic and here's a prime example of that. Unless I miss my guess, I'd bet that this is one of SLG's best-selling titles. Lenore, some sort of cynical zombie kid (like, presumably, most of her readers wish they could be), is faced with the threat of "Heck's Soldiers", a bunch of Nazi zombies who trap her and her friends in an old haunted house. Lotsa cutesy/snappy, smart-aleck dialogue, some really imaginative creatures (artist/writer Roman Dirge's designs remind me a lot of some of the demons Steve Bissette and John Totleben cooked up for Swamp Thing), and of course tons of Tim Burtonish attitude, look and feel. A little bit of that sort of thing goes a long way with me, and while I will say that this is readable and well-done in its way, I don't think I'll ever actively seek this out. (SLG) B+

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usCORPORATE NINJA #1: A parody of capitalism, advertising, and office politics with a mean misogynistic streak and one dismaying act of violence against a child. It wants to be Scurvy Dogs weird and funny, but despite the occasional chuckle becomes a labored farce before it's done. Maybe I'm just missing the point, I don't know. When it comes to parodies of capitalism, office politics, and so forth I liked Puppy Action! a lot more. (SLG) D+
Time now for the rest of JOHNNY B's FEARLESS NFL PIGSKIN PICKS! or prognostications. Or whatever.

On Thanksgiving Day I went 2-0, so now I stand at 106-57, .650.

Today's celebrity disclaimer is brought to you by the lovely HOLLY VALANCE, who makes a distinct impression as she shows us an interesting new way to don a bra in the trailer for the upcoming film DOA: Dead or Alive. Holly, if you please:


KANSAS CITY over New England
CAROLINA over Buffalo
CINCINNATI over Baltimore
HOUSTON over St. Louis
MINNESOTA over Cleveland
CHICAGO over Tampa Bay
SAN DIEGO over Washington
TENNESSEE over San Fransisco
ARIZONA over Jacksonville
OAKLAND over Miami
SEATTLE over the NY Giants
NEW ORLEANS over the NY Jets
INDIANAPOLIS over Pittsburgh

Hard week to pick! Most of these games could go either way...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

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Above is the coolest thing I've seen lately- from an entry posted in a recent All The Rage column over at, and it was brought to my attention via Stuart Immonen's LJ: a peek at art from what I understand is an upcoming Hellboy animated series!

Here's what Sean "Cheeks" Galloway posted at to accompany the pic:

Heya, gang! WHEW! NOW I can spill the beans. hahaha. Recently, I got selected as lead character designer for the Hellboy Animated cartoon. What you see here is the new look for the cartoon. Sorry to say, but it won't be based on Mignola's style. He wanted something other than his style. It's going to be 2 direct to DVD movies (70 minutes each). They'll be aired on Cartoon Network. The first one is scheduled for next October. I just wrapped up the designs for the first DVD?

I copied and pasted it because the link that Martell included was dead. The column also has some preview pages from Warren Ellis & Immonen's upcoming Nextwave.

But I think this retains enough of Mignola's style to be effective; it's the scripts that will make or break it. If they go for a dumbed-down approach, it will fail, simple as that. Also, Guy Davis' art doesn't look much like Mignola's at all, at least to my eyes, but the B.P.R.D. series have been mostly successful, artwise anyway.

This should be interesting!
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We thank you for the wind and rain
The sunshine and the flowers
We thank you for the moon and stars
The minutes and the hours
We live each day as best we can
And wake up with new friends
For when the nights have turned around
The days begin again.

Thank You by Blue Weaver and David Cousins, from Bursting at the Seams by Strawbs.

Happy Thanksgiving!
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Well, we're now 22 minutes into Thanksgiving, which for me has always been a favorite holiday because it celebrates two things I love: eating and NFL football. I know- just like with any holiday these days someone can find fault with it, but in my own self-centered, solipsistic worldview, Turkey Day's all right with me.

And sice I'm talking NFL, that means it's time for an abbreviated early edition of JOHNNY B'S FEARLESS NFL PIGSKIN PROGNOSTICATIONS!

I'll get the games on Sunday and Monday on Saturday, but there will be a couple of contests later today- and here's the way I see 'em:

ATLANTA over Detroit: The Falcons have looked unfocused and soft lately, especially on defense where their tackling has been abominable- and not coincidentally have fallen out of the playoff picture. I still believe in Jim Mora Jr., if not Mike Vick, so I think here's where they begin to right the ship against the toothless Lions. But with games remaining against division rivals Carolina and Tampa Bay, they better find a way to sustain it. As a 30-year plus Falcons fan, this is the first time, I'm pleased to report, that they've ever played on Thanksgiving. First Brian Wilson finishes and releases Smile, then the White Sox win the Series, and now the Atlanta Falcons play on the fourth Thursday in November. Yea verily, surely the end times be upon us.

DENVER over Dallas. I pick the Broncos until they give me reason not to. And that's hard for me, because I can't stand Shanahan and the Broncos.

Last week: 11-5. Year to date: 104-57, .646.

Fantasy, I lost both my games. Bah. I'm 2-9 in the money league now, last place in the standings but first in line for the #1 draft choice. Of course, I had the #1 last year too, and took Terrell Owens. It's a keeper league, by the way, otherwise I wouldn't have taken him for anything. That's just the way my luck's been there. I'm 8-2-1 in the free league, now in 3rd place by 1/2 game. Bah, i say.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I see (courtesy of Johanna) where Publishers Weekly has jumped the gun on everybody and released a best of 2005 list.

And it goes like this.

Epileptic by David B.
Haven't read it, and probably won't unless someone sends me a copy. The art style, from what I've seen, doesn't appeal to me nor am I particularly interested in the subject matter. Which is not to say that it's not worthy of consideration- it just shows how plebian my tastes are sometimes. And I'm always open to being proven wrong.

Ex-Machina: The First Hundred Days by Brian Vaughan and Tony Harris
I bought the first few issues of this before I had enough, and while I'll always be interested in Harris' impressive but sometimes too prissy art, the entire collected oeuvre of Brian K. Vaughan bores me to tears.

The Rabbi's Cat by Joann Sfar
I've read about this one here and there, and I'd like to check it out someday- but other than the lovely young woman on the cover, I've found little else in the previews I've seen that excite me. Lovely young women will be the death of me.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World by Bryan Lee O'Malley
Read and reviewed at CBG. Fun and consistently clever, and while it's perhaps a bit overrated it's still more enjoyable than 8 out of any 10 mainstream comics that you can name. O'Malley still owes me a watercolor.

Ghost in the Shell 2: Man-Machine Interface by Shirow Masamune
Kinda liked the first anime, haven't read the manga. Probably won't, either. I'm just philistine like that. Me, I like the cover, so I guess there are some other names you can call me as well.

WE3 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
Other than some overlookable quibbles with the narrative, I thought this was one of the best comics of '04, and it will probably make the '05 list, too.

Black Hole by Charles Burns
I like Burns' work, and I actually bought a single issue of this several years ago- but didn't really like it enough to go to the trouble of buying the back issues to get caught up or buy any subsequent numbers, either. Oh well. I'd like to get this collection someday, but I can say that about, oh, about 500 other collections as well. All things considered, though, I'd rather own a collection of Burns' El Borbah.

King by Ho Che Anderson
Anderson is an interesting creator, and I've liked his work before. And God knows I have reverence for Dr. King as well. But this looks so drearily earnest that my eyes just glaze over when I regard it. Again, I'd be happy to be proven wrong.

MBQ vol. 1 by Felipe Smith
The Genshiken vol. 1 by Kio Shimoku
I'll take their word for it. Don't look like my cup of gravy (with a hair in it).

Gemma Bovery by Posey Simmonds
Haven't read this either, but I remember a lot of positive buzz. The cover reminds me quite a bit of Dame Darcy...

Teenagers from Mars by Rick Spears and Rob G
Why Are You Doing This by Jason
Yotsuba&! by Akira Toriyama
Walt and Skeezix : Book One by Frank King
Y'know, maybe I should have read more of these before I started opining. Oh well, you should know better than to look for informed opinions here anyway. I do recall reading some Gasoline Alley strips as a young child, so I'd be interested in reading them again someday.

Salamander Dream by Hope Larsen
For my money, Larson is one of the most interesting artists out there right now, an inventive stylist with a graceful ink line, and this is full of typically lovely visuals. Storywise, I suppose it would help to be in her head while you read, but I'm not, so...hey- beautiful art, huh!

Tricked by Alex Robinson
Was a fascinating, involving read, even though I really couldn't buy the rock singer lead character. I also have absolutely no desire whatsoever to re-read it. Make of that what you will.

Night Fisher by R. Kikuo Johnson
He's (she's?) a "formidable" new talent, they say, which makes him/her sound like a wrestler...but that's a nice cover. Haven't had the opportunity to be exposed to the interior yet.

Dramacon by Svetlana Chmakova
The Russianophile in me just loves that name: "Svetlana". The subject matter doesn't sound too bad, so who knows, I might get this someday. Stranger things been known to happen.

Astonishing X-Men Volume 1: Gifted by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday
I bought the first issue of this for a Whedon-fan friend, and was absolutely underwhelmed despite the fine Cassaday art. Make no mistake, though, they're both slumming. Its presence on any sort of "Best of" list is ludicrous.

Street Angel by Jim Rugg and Brian Marucca
Overrated by many and underrated by others, this couldn't decide whether it wanted to be fish or fowl and so was really neither. But it was fun and hit a lot more than it missed.

And that's my take. Publishers Weekly is free to comment on my best of 2005 list when I post it later this year.
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Bits of Beatlebloggery:

With the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's murder fast approaching, let me direct your attention to this insightful Newsweek article on the post-murder "career" of John and Yoko, and gets in a few swipes at Sir Paulie as well. Ironically, I've been listening to a lot of Maccamusic lately, since recently acquiring his new Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, as well as the 25th anniversary edition of Band on the Run which came out back in 1999. I feel a goodly-proportioned Beatles post coming on, one of these days, after I've done some of the other myriad posts I've promised and failed to deliver. I haven't done a Vinyl-O in ages. I've also been mulling over doing a long McC post reviewing his solo albums. Who knows.

Back to the subject of Mike McGear's brother, here's a neat little McCartney quiz, courtesy of Reader's Digest, who has also printed an excerpt from the recently-released Beatles book written by Bob Spitz. It's all mostly familiar stuff about the early days of the band, but it at least doesn't come across as too-reverent.
Diamond's shipping list for this week got posted late, so hence my post of what I'll be getting from it is late too. Oh well, here goes nuttin.


And I'll most likely wander over to my LCS to pick up

DOWN #1 since it's by Ellis and Tony Harris, a pairing so inriguing that I'm surprised I didn't pre-order it. But I just know I'll have that Nilsson song (you know, "You gotta have soap/to wash your sins away/you gotta have hope/it's the price you got to pay/you gotta give love/or your love will wash away") in my head as I do.


PERHAPANAUTS #1: I think this is by Craig Rousseau, an artist whose work has graced this here blog on one or two occasions. If the ol' LCS gets a rack copy, I might just take it off their hands.

Also, GIANT MONSTER #2 is coming out; I kinda-sorta enjoyed the no-frills first issue and if you are tempted to get this make sure you get them both. Or wait for the trade, if one gets released.

Monday, November 21, 2005

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RIP Link Wray, the father of the power chord, who died in typically anonymous fashion November 5th.
Just a quick note while nobody's looking to hip you all to the fact that my latest with a capital L-A-T-E LAST CALL is up over at Comic Book Galaxy. Reviewed are DMZ #1, POLLY AND THE PIRATES #2, GOTHAM CENTRAL #37, KANE VOL. 5: THE UNTOUCHABLE RICO COSTAS etc., BANANA SUNDAY #4 and HERO SQUARED #3.

Go, read, and having thus read, comment either here or there. How will I know if I'm screwing up if nobody tells me?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

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This is an incredible two-page spread illo, done by school ruler JAMES JEAN, that appeared in the most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly, adorning a feature article on upcoming holiday-period films. I was standing at the register in Best Buy today (picked up that 25th anniversary release of McCartney's Band on the Run that came out a year or two ago, in case you were wondering) and noticed the magazine on the cash wrap where apparently the cashier had been reading it, thumbed through it, and it jumped right out at me. Not literally, silly. This sort of thing in the service of ordinary commerce eminds me of the days when the likes of Mucha and Parrish would do beautiful art for biscuit, tire and cigarette ads. Not that I was there to see it first hand, I'm not that old. You know what I mean.

Go HERE to see it bigger.

Hopefully that comics-related stuff I mentioned this morning will be up tomorrow.

Sorry, no time for a celebrity disclaimer spokesperson. Maybe later.


Last week, 8-6. Not quite 14-0, but I've done worse. Season to date: 93-51, .646.

ST. LOUIS over Arizona
DALLAS over Detroit
JACKSONVILLE over Tennessee
NEW ENGLAND over New Orleans
NY GIANTS over Philadelphia
CAROLINA over Chicago
CLEVELAND over Miami
WASHINGTON over Oakland
ATLANTA over Tampa Bay. But they better be more focused than in last week's embarrasing showing against the Packers. Is it sad that I'm rooting more for my perennially underacheiving Falcons to win 9 games than I am for them to go to the Super Bowl? They've never had back-to-back winning seasons, you know...
PITTSBURGH over Baltimore
SEATTLE over San Francisco
INDIANAPOLIS over Cincinnati. But I smell a possible upset here. Maybe I just need to take a shower.
DENVER over the NY Jets
SAN DIEGO over Buffalo. I thought these guys played already this season...
KANSAS CITY over Houston
MINNESOTA over Green Bay. Friggin' Packers...

Fantasy, money league, lost 26-25. Ouch, babe. No chance of a .500 season for me now. 2-8. dead last in a 4-team division.

Freebie yahoo league: Won, 70-48, 8-1-1, 1st in a 12-team league. But only by a half game, and I play the #2 guy this weekend. Yikes.
Damn. No posting all week. I suck. And on top of that, I didn't even get my Last Call done and in on time. Oh well, I'm hoping to get it to the Chrises in time to be up on Monday, so if you're distraught take heart. Football picks will be coming later, as will my usual look at DC/Marvel/Image/etc. solicits, this time February's, unless I'm mistaken. As you can tell, I really haven't taken a good long look at it yet- right now, it's work work work from 8 to 5 with very little time for internetting. I'm also thinking I'll do a post about a handful of comics from Oni, most of which were books that came out in months previous.

In other personal stuff, I snuck (sneaked?) in a couple of minutes at work to make my first iTunes song download purchase, because I'm now on an OS X system and can do so. I'm also going to get a cell phone today, if all goes according to plan. Haven't had one in several years.

My LCS got short-shipped on Wednesday, so I wound up going back on Thursday to see if the Kane trade came in...and they had this, the Jingle Belle ornament, put back for me as well! I suppose I signed up for it back when it was solicited, and forgot about it. Anyway, it's pretty kewl. I also did indeed get that Kane trade, and the last issue of Banana Sunday as well, and I'll include both in my tardy Last Call.

In the meantime, howzabout a couple of acts of random linkage?

Christgau's annual Turkey Shoot!. Nickel Creek fans be advised.

M.E. Russell is back with another CulturePulp!. This time, "Ravioli Day".

Monday, November 14, 2005

Posting is going to remain light for the time being, I'm afraid- this new job is kicking my ass, and when I get home I'm just mentally tired. It's like Colonel Sanderz and Dark Helmet have jumped into my life and ordered it to go at "ludicrous speed", and I'm just trying to keep up until I can (hopefully) find a comfort zone. Which shows how little I've really pushed myself the last few years, I guess.

But I still can summon up the cojones to post the latest chapter in that ongoing saga:



And the following, which I don't have coming in the mail and must have slipped between the cracks between my cancelling of my holds service and the beginning of my DCBS orders:

KANE VOL 5: UNTOUCHABLE RICO COSTAS & OTHER STORIES TP: I MUST have this. I'll check at the LCS in the unlikely event they got a rack copy. I completely missed the announcement of this one, the first which collects previously uncollected KANE stories.

BANANA SUNDAY #4: I pestered my LCS to get this, and for weeks and weeks they didn't/couldn't/wouldn't. Eventually Oni, God bless 'em, came to my rescue and chipped in with copies of #1 & 2, which I reviewed at CBG. Naturally, directly thereafter my LCS got #'s 1 & 2, which I had to decline because I already had 'em, and annoyed them no end, I'm sure. Then, My LCS got #3 on time, shock shock, and it was actually in my folder, so I bought it. Then Oni, God bless 'em, sent me another copy of #3 in a bundle of books last week, so now I have two copies. So when I made out my DCBS order for this month, I decided not to add it to the list in case Oni sends me #4...and if my luck holds true to form they won't get any since I cancelled my holds, and Oni will forget about me. Stay tuned.

Titles I can recommend, but probably won't buy:

COMPLETE OMAHA THE CAT DANCER TP: This is very soapopera-ish, but the creators believed in what they were doing and it shows. This, in turn, has the effect of causing the reader to get drawn into the melodramatics, which is an effect that conviction on the creators' part tends to have. And oh yeah, there's lotsa anthropomorphic sex, pretty explicit anthropomorphic sex at that. If you haven't experienced the trials and tribulations of the Cat Dancer and her friends, enemies and lovers, you could do a lot worse than drop $13 on this.

HERO SQUARED #3: Not because I don't like it, but because I got a copy from Boom! today. If you're not as fortunate, and you're down with the Giffen/DeMatteis ethos, you'll want it. I'll write more about it Friday.

BATMAN AND THE MONSTER MEN #1: I usually like Matt Wagner, but everything that I've been hearing about the direction the Bat-books have been going in, borne out by my less-than-impressed reading of a little more than half of David lapham's recent DETECTIVE run, has left me completely uninterested in the Batman titles, except the swimming-with-the-sharks GOTHAM CENTRAL. However, I'm mulling the trade because the covers have all looked nifty and there's something about that "Monster Men" title which reminds me of an old Doc Savage pulp tale. We will see.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Once more into the breach, dear friends, as it's now time for


Last week, a super-duper scintillating 14-0! Since I started picking games in 2003, I've never managed that feat. So will I quit while I'm ahead? NO! I'll continue to strive to be 14-0 every week! Season to date: 85-45, .654.


DETROIT over Arizona
NY GIANTS over Minnesota
CHICAGO over San Francisco
JACKSONVILLE over Baltimore
MIAMI over New England
KANSAS CITY over Buffalo
OAKLAND over Denver
CAROLINA over the NY Jets
ATLANTA over Green Bay
SEATTLE over St. Louis
WASHINGTON over Tampa Bay
PITTSBURGH over Cleveland
DALLAS over Philadelphia

Fantasy: Cut-throat league: Lost again, 20-16. 2-7, last in a 4-team division.
Yahoo league: Won 52-18, 7-1-1, 1st in a 12-team league by 1/2 game.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Hello! I'm typing this from a computer room of the art department of Middle Tennessee State University, where I'm attending a Adobe Creative Suite 2 seminar! Just wanted to let you know that my latest LAST CALL column is up an awaiting your reading pleasure. In it, I cast my jaundiced eye upon Superf*ckers #237, Conversation #2, the Day of Vengeance TPB, Jonah Hex #1, Winter Men #3, Haunted Mansion #1, and more. Go read, and by all means comment!

Gots ta go now, I think this thing is starting up again...!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Konbanwa! Finally feel like sitting down and typing a few lines, something which hasn't been the case lately. Anyway, thought I'd mention a few things as they occur to me. At left, courtesy those neato-keeno and informative Publishers Weekly email comics newsletters, is the cover for 676 Apparitions of Killoffer, by the French creator of the same name. Killoffer, not Apparitions. Anyway, even though the big buzz was (and still is) the latest Alan Moore anti-DC broadside, to which all I can say is "Go get 'em, tiger- rotsa ruck!", my eye was drawn to the bright red book cover at the right of the page. Making with the clicky click, I was blown away by this guy's gnarly, but intricate and extremely well laid out artwork. How about another sample? Click on the pic, below right, to see it all bigger n'stuff.

In other items of interest, once more The Comics Foundry has presented us with yet another interesting interview with a creator worth watching: Alex De Campi, who impressed the heck out of me with her Igor Kordey-illo'd and soon-to-be-collected Smoke. Comics Foundry is just relentless with these interview things!

Went to the comics shop today, out of habit more than anything and to tell them they could send back the copy of Superf*ckers #2 they ordered for me (despite me calling them the very next day and telling them not to, I was getting a comp after all)...and wound up browsing and buying the DAY OF VENGEANCE trade! Holy mother of God. I was gonna get the Manhunter trade, but someone beat me to the only copy they got in. I had a 20% off coupon, I've always liked DC's stable of supernatural characters, I wanted something to review for Last Call tomorrow bought it I did, may God have mercy on my soul. What will I say? You'll have to wait till Friday!

And speaking of Last Call, I sincerely hope with all my heart that all of you are visiting Comic Book Galaxy on a regular basis to partake of some of the best writing about comics this side of the Journal. I mean, my shit is by far the weakest link in that chain, and if you like what I write you'll love what Sterling, Rice, Doane, Jog, Logan, McAlpin and others serve up. Really. Have I ever lied to you before?

And now for something completely different: Lee "Budgie" Barnett has been soliciting readers and LJ friends to submit to him a four-word phrase and one other word, and he writes "fast fiction" based on this input. He's done dozens and dozens of them so far, and I finally broke down and sent him mine. You can go here to read it. He's such a showoff!

I seem to remember, distantly, a great comic called Hawaiian Dick. Fortunately, writer B. Clay Moore hasn't forgotten, and has posted a sweet Steven Griffe cover design on his LJ. Check it out.

OK, that's about it. I'm sure there was something else really kewl that I planned to mention, but the sole remaining brain cells in my swiss-cheese-like brain pan retains ideas like a collander retains water. Who the hell knows when I'll post again, but until then take it easy. Or any way you can get it.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Time once more for that weekly look at what I'll be getting on Friday according to the new Diamond shipping list. My first, unless I've overlooked something, that won't necessitate me going to my LCS...

100 BULLETS #66
DMZ #1

And that's it!

On the I won't buy, but I'm tempted list are

MANHUNTER VOL 1: STREET JUSTICE TP- I've managed to avoid this title so far, but they went and stuck it to me by incorporating Chase into the storyline, so now I'm debating whether or not to start picking it up. If D.C. Johnson were writing this book, I KNOW I would. But if he were writing this book, I'd have been buying it since issue 1. Anyway, it's possible that Cameron C isn't even in the stories collected here, but I don't know for sure. If DC is actually going to release this series in trade, though, it might be the best way for me to get these rather than try to pick up a run on eBay or something.

I also would love to get the JINGLE BELLE ORNAMENT, but I have bills to pay and stuff like that. Maybe one of these days if I run across one cheap...
Hello there- I know, I know, I promised reviews yesterday, and didn't deliver. But it's not entirely my fault! We had some rough weather in these parts early Sunday morning, and my internet was out yesterday afternoon, and was still out when I left work this morning. So I have an excuse, so there.

Anyway, I'm posting from work right now, so I probably won't get them done today. Hopefully tonight. But I would like to mention that if the Colts beat the Patriots tonight, I will be 14-0 on my predictions for the first time EVER.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

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Happy Bonfire Night, to all my U.K. and New Zealand friends.

It's funny how when you do a Google search now for Guy Fawkes, you also get links to V For Vendetta...

Which is my clumsy segue into telling you that I plan to have comics reviews here sometime tomorrow, in between football games. Ain't this time of year wonderful? Among the review-ed shall be Superf*kers #273, and the James Kolchalka/Jeffrey Brown team-up, Conversation. I'm also well into a rough draft of A Spirited Life, the Will Eisner bio. So far, very interesting.

Made out my DCBS order for January today, and was delighted to see that they not only solicited the latest printing of Bluesman, but the sequel as well...and I ordered them both. The Middle Man is also getting a trade collection, to coincide with the release of the second series. Middle Man, you will recall, and its apparent lack of availability (at least to them) was the straw that broke the camel's back in regards to me getting my comics via my local comics shop.

More later, I think- time for Teen Titans.

OK, I'm back, and I have the correct picture up top. Don't know what happened, just copied the wrong code, I guess. The latest Titans wasn't bad- now that we're into the third season, the writers are digging up all sorts of effluvia from the 60's Titans comics, and the latest beneficiares are Bob Haney & Nick Cardy's teenage caveman Gnaark and a character with whom I'm familar with by name only (and her small role as one of the offed in Crisis on Infinite Earths), Kole. Now that we've had the Doom Patrol, Bumblebee, and the Mad Mod, can Lilith or Mister Twister be far behind? Anyway, the most intriguing thing about this new season is how they're actually having an ongoing plot thread running in every episode in the personages of the Brotherhood of Evil, who have apparently recruited all the Titans' foes to aid them in their nefarious plan, which is still a little unclear. Gives some much-needed intrigue to the proceedings, for sure.

I bought the soundtrack CD for the Mike Leigh Gilbert & Sullivan film Topsy-Turvy yesterday at a used CD store for four bucks. I've written about that film, which I like a lot, many times before so I'll spare you...but I thought it would be neat to be able to listen to "The Criminal Cried As He Dropped Him Down" from The Mikado whenever I had the urge.

As you can tell from the dearth of updates this week, I've been hellaciously busy at my new job, of which I've finished week one, and I've had no time to post. It's another prepress artist/graphic design position, but with a bit wider and more diverse focus than my previous job. It also promises to be more demanding as well- it's a lot more hectic and intense for one thing; these people do a LOT of volume. Also, I'm going to have actual clients, and will be expected to interact with them even to the point of calling them up to discuss their projects, something which I haven't had to do in a long while and have never really been comfortable with, given my somewhat introverted personality. Still, gotta do what you gotta do and I've always been able to interact when necessary. I think once I get in the swing of things, I'll be fine. I've got three more weeks to train with the person I'm replacing; she's retiring the first of December, and then it will be sink or swim time for me. It will be a challenge, and I'm looking forward to it with anticipation and trepidation in equal measures- but perhaps a challenge is what I need in my life, which has become very complacent lately. I'm also getting the opportunity to work on Mac OSX for the first time, and on top of that I'm using two software programs, InDesign and OS 9 Pagemaker, which I've never used before for actual production work. It's great to be on a G5 with OSX and a high-definition monitor. I also get paid every week, instead of every two weeks, which I like. So far, so good.

Courtesy of Netflix, I've been viewing a lot of music-related DVDs lately. Among these have been Get It On: 70s Jukebox, a compilation of 1970's TV appearances by the likes of Alice Cooper circa 1971, singing a sloppy, rambling version of "I'm Eighteen"- obviously drunk and wearing a Wonder Woman tee shirt. All said, though, it's not a terrible version, Alice does some neat conductor-type hand gestures at the end, and works in some lyrics from "American Pie". It's always very cool to see the original Dunaway/Smith/Bruce/Buxton Group as well. T.Rex is also there, singing "Ride A White Swan" while competing with the terribly cheesy TV graphic effects; the Danny Kirwan-Bob Welch early 70's Fleetwood Mac is represented by "Dragonfly", a song with which I'm unfamiliar- but it's a nice one, probably on Then Play On. Roxy Music gets two showcases, with an Eno-era perf of "Do The Strand" and a perf of "If It Takes All Night" from a couple of years later. The Sweet, Status Quo, Rory Gallagher (a killer acoustic blues), Chuck Berry (Johnny B. Goode, from the 70's), and Muddy Waters are among the others represented. Also, Strawbs Live in Tokyo '75/Grave New World, some vintage video of one of my favorite 70's bands. The Tokyo show features my favorite era of the group performing several cuts from their then-recent Ghosts LP, which is, you guessed it, my favorite of their albums. They weren't exactly the most dynamic of performers, but I was fascinated just the same because I'd never seen them in concert in their heyday. The Grave New World segment is a video album of sorts, a collection of videos they apparently made- in 1971- of somgs from the album of the same name. Dated and a bit cheap-looking, but more imaginative than you'd think. There was also a neat short film of the Ghosts-era band taking a boat to a lighthouse and discussing the song "Grace Darling" from that album, which was apparently based on a true event involving lighthouses and sacrifice and so on. George Harrison: The Dark Horse Years 1976-1992 was a collection of interviews and videos from those years; I'd seen them all before but it's always great to see the Godley/Creme-filmed vid for "When We Was Fab", and there were some interview segments I hadn't seen before from the mid-70's. Neal & Jack & Me: Live 1982-84 was a collection of live performances from that incarnation of King Crimson, with Adrian Belew, Tony Levin, Bill Bruford, and of course Robert Fripp. I never warmed to that version as much as I did the earlier, more dissonant configurations, so it's kind of a mixed bag for me and Belew becomes a bit tiresome after a while with his hyperactive skipping around and animal noises on his guitar. But those are still some tight performances of some demanding material, and well worth checking out. Finally, this afternoon I watched Ian Hunter: Strings Attached, a concert DVD from 2002 or so which featured the former Mott the Hoople frontman with not only an anonymous backing band but a good-sized string section as well, hence the title. It was fine, but the strings didn't really add much except on the Mick Ronson tribute song "Michael Picasso" and Ian looks weird singing with only a mike and no guitar.

Oh well, I'm tired of typing. Comic reviews tomorrow, if at all humanly possible.
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usAt left here we have this year's Team That Drives Johnny B Nuts, the Detroit Lions. Whenever I pick against 'em, they win. When I pick 'em to win, they lose. They're not the only team, but they're the one I notice the most this year. Anyway, I wanted to post a picture to go along with my


And since the Lions never get any pub or hype, I thought why the funk not. Besides, I'm going to try and pick up perenially-injured WR Charles Rogers for my crappy team in the fantasy money league, and maybe this will bring me, and him, luck. I'm not superstitious, no, not me!

Anyways, the disclaimer:


CINCINNATI over Baltimore
CLEVELAND over Tennessee
KANSAS CITY over Oakland
ATLANTA over Miami
MINNESOTA over Detroit
SAN DIEGO over NY Jets
CAROLINA over Tampa Bay
SEATTLE over Arizona
CHICAGO over New Orleans
NY GIANTS over San Francisco
PITTSBURGH over Green Bay
WASHINGTON over Philadelphia
INDIANAPOLIS over New England

I'm taking too many road teams, and that's scary.

Last week, 9-5 again. Season to date: 71-45, .612.

Fantasy: Money league: Lost 54-31. 2-6. dead last in a 4-team division.
Freebie league: Won 60-49. 6-1-1, first place in a 12-team league!

Friday, November 04, 2005

New LAST CALL up over at Comic Book Galaxy, in which I pontificate about Sunset City, Zombie Tales: Oblivion, Powers and interestingly enough, Byrne's Doom Patrol, along with some slightly altered repeats from this here blog over the weekend.

I may not have much time to write here, but I can at least get that done!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


My haul this week according to the new Diamond shipping list.

* signifies LCS on Wednesday, all others DCBS on Friday.

I started my new job yesterday, and it doesn't look like I'll have too many opportunities to post during working hours. Looks like they're going to try and keep me busy or something. But you never know- I can still check the web during the day if I want to, so I may take a minute or two to post something trivial so don't give up on me yet!