Thursday, May 31, 2007


Formerly the Bacardi Show New Comics Revue, (hey, I briefly used that title before the fine folks at PopCultureShock decided they didn't need my services, and nobody else is using it, so that's why I'm changing) is the venue by which I take the opportunity, unsolicited, to opine in regards to various works of sequential fiction I have perused in the interval since the last time I inflicted said opinions upon one and all, or to be specific, the period from approximately 11 to 22 May, some of which may even still be on sale at finer comics selling establishments worldwide if you're lucky. Or not, as the case may be...

** Newer Reviews.

100 BULLETS 83
S: Brian Azzarello; A: Ed Risso. (DC/Vertigo, $2.99)

The Standard Review: Another well-done issue what will engage the already engaged, baffle the uninitiated, and even baffle the initiated upon occasion. I think I'll just cut and paste this review for the next 17 issues. "Boomped" up a notch for satisfying, honest-to-QT understandable resolutions to the convoluted art theft plot and the somewhat nostalgic Agent Shepherd backstory, as well as a surprisingly sexy scene towards the end. I'm so easy to entertain sometimes. A-

S: Neal Shaffer; A: Joe Infurnari. (Oni Press, $5.95)

Continuation of last year's account of a writer who disappears into the Bermuda Triangle, and reappears in some sort of weird alternate world, similar to ours but different and populated by others who have had the same experience. In this issue, he begins to get acclimated to his situation, and meets someone who may be able to provide him with some answers. Good enough concept, if a bit reminiscent of Lost and that sort of TV type thing...but the protagonist is sympathetic enough, and his plight is portrayed convincingly enough to maintain our interest. Infurnari's art is kinda sloppy and grubby, but his anatomy and layout skills are fine, and he enhances rather than distracts. And for once, all the gray tones actually add to the mood rather than hinder readability. Not bad. B+

S: John Arcudi, Mike Mignola; A: Guy Davis. (Dark Horse, $2.99)

Since this remains a kaleidoscope of plot threads that steadfastly refuse to cohere even as they float there, all twinkly and distant (and for a change I am patiently enjoying watching them gradually play out), just let me once more state my extreme admiration for the art of Guy Davis; how he can juxtapose the mundane and the extraordinary and make it all look so off-kilter, and yet so correct. If anyone was born to illustrate an Avengers (no, not them- Steed and Peel) graphic novel, it's our Guy. So yeah, I'm enjoying this series, pretty much as I have previous installments. But I'm a fan of Mignola's cast. Those who aren't afflicted with this malady might get a little impatient. A-

S: Will Pfiefer; A: David Lopez, Alvaro Lopez. (DC, $2.99)

Not a whole lot of subtlety in this one, pretty much non-stop action as those slow-arriving (honestly, it seems like they've been on the way for ten issues now) brother-and-sister Soviet super-bad-person duo, Hammer and Sickle, arrive looking to kick Selina's leather-clad boo-tay for her perceived betrayal back when she was playing super-criminal. Pretty much status quo; good characterization and dialogue, solid-if-still-stiff art by the companeros Lopez. One negative: the "badguy of the month threatens Selina's baby" plot is getting a little worn from constant use- still, not a deal breaker just yet. For those that likes, here's more of what you're looking for. Just wish there were more of us. A-

S: Gary Whitta; A: Ted Naifeh. (Image, $4.99)

So cheerfully and cleverly written, and so wonderfully illustrated by Naifeh, that it takes a while to realize that this story's plot foundation is almost exactly the same as the last mini-series': Jr. gets his Dad in serious trouble, involving some figure from his past, and with help from raccoon-eyed buddy Pandora manages to straighten everything out in the final chapter. Only the particulars change. Not that this isn't as fun as the last one, far from it- it's a familiar song but Whitta and Naifeh play it well. I just hope that next time, if there is a next time, perhaps we can do something just a little different. A-

DMZ 19
S: Brian Wood; A: Riccardo Burchielli, Nathan Fox, Viktor Kalvachev. (DC/Vertigo, $2.99)

Well, what do you know. Rashomon, with Wood's Weird War as the setting! Interesting so far, but it's hard to tell which direction he's going in right now. Last time I said I wanted to see more Nathan Fox art, and I got my wish- his Pope-lite style looks as good as it did last time. The gimmick is, apparently, that with each testimony we get a different artist, and this issue's officer's account is done by Kalvachev, whose work is unknown to me...but it does plow the same field as Fox's, and is good in its own way. So far, this is shaping up as a good arc. B+

S: Bill Willingham; A: Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha. (DC/Vertigo, $2.99)

Here's another title that simply does what it does, and more often as not does it very well. We're into the beginning of a major story arc, and we're moving along with baby steps as Willingham advances the plot slowly, trying to give the principals plenty of camera time. Buckingham and Leialoha, the regular team, are back in the saddle as well, and while I never had my doubts about Leialoha's abilities as an illustrator, I am being slowly won over by Buckingham's less facile but ever-more-assured and always cleverly designed layouts and pencils, to the point where by now I'm quite content to have them draw the book as long as they choose to. In fact, I'm beginning to be of the opinion that they deserve every bit of the identification and praise (not a lot from me in the past, sorry to say) with this project that they've garnered, and have certainly earned. B+

S: Mike Mignola; A: Duncan Fregredo. (Dark Horse, $2.99)

Hellboy's back in deep doo-doo, as he so often is, with evil witches in service of Hecate (in the form of Ilsa Hauptman, last seen getting fitted for an iron maiden by Rasputin in Wake the Devil) and lizard-arsed wannabe sorcerer Igor Bromhead (from Box Full of Evil)'s old home week in HellboyWorld! Typically Mignolaesque script, terse and minimal; it's the addition of the outstanding Fregredo that makes this really interesting. For his part, Fregredo reins in his normal style, all angles and Hitchcockian perspectives and scratchy lines, to work in a fashion that retains his stamp but also plays to Mignola's strengths- much of what makes Hellboy as fascinating as it is has to do with Mignola's deadpan and placid layout style- often he has single panels with characters' heads staring at a point which is just to the readers' right or left, and uttering plainspoken dialogue, and Fregredo tries to keep this vibe in play, along with the ever present oppressive blackspotting. That he does a bang-up job just speaks to how good he is. Once in a while he indulges himself; page nine, middle panel is a good example- that's a camera angle that Mignola would never attempt. Same with pgs. 22 and 23, the perspectives are more extreme, and the figures are a lot more fluid, and it creates an interesting contrast to how the normal Mignola Hellboy cliffhanger climax works. I don't know if any of this means jack to the casual reader; for them, I say it's as good as any rank-and-file Hellboy story to date, and promises to be great...but then again, I'm a fan of all concerned. Others may not be. Guess we'll see what happens. A

S: Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis; A: Joe Abraham. (Boom! Studios, $3.99)

So we're supposed to be getting the real story this time- the story of how sweet Stephie came to be the evil Caliginous and slacker Milo came to be Captain Valor, and why they hate each other so. But since we get it from each self-interested party, we still don't know if it's the truth, so in reality we've learned nothing. Way to pad out a maxiseries, fellas! Still, it's fun to read just the same, as G & DeM's work so often is. More interesting to me is Abraham's art; he's style-morphing right before our eyes. Early issues had him employing a scratchy, thin-lined inking style, but slowly ever since he's been growing in assurance and now is delineating with a fatter inkline, as if he changed brushes a few months ago, or perhaps inked with a pen early on...who knows. Regardless, I'm liking his art and look forward to seeing how far he can go. B+

S: Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction; A: David Aja, Travel Foreman, Derek Fridolfs. (Marvel, $2.99)

Old Fist and New(er) Fist get to know each other better, when they're not fighting ninjas. Fast moving and entertaining chapter in the ongoing story, still one of the best, if not THE best, Fist tale in over 30 years. A

S: Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti. A: Phil Noto. (DC, $2.99)

Hex takes a missing persons job, runs afoul of a murderous madam. This series has been very up-and-down so far; this one's an up. Good dialogue, and the plot doesn't go in predictable directions, always welcome. For his part, Noto's usually stiff art is more loose and expressive- reminds me a bit of Chaykin in places. Not a bad direction for him to go if he's going to remain on the book. What will next issue be? Peak, or valley? Ya got me. B+

S: Brian Wood; A: Ryan Kelly. (Oni Press, $2.99)

This time out, Megan deals with the news of the death of her mother- and while a story about the death of a parent will always elicit at least a little sympathy from me, having dealt with it myself several years ago, Wood has squandered whatever sympathy I can evoke for a character that he's bent over backwards to portray as mercurial, dishonest, and downright the emotional impact is most definitely stunted with me. Kelly is as sharp as always, and works very hard to evoke the proper mood of melancholy. Local hasn't always worked for me, especiaqlly the last few issues, but there's something that keeps me coming back. I'm sure I'll figure out what it is one of these days. C+

S: Cecil Castellucci; A: Jim Rugg. (DC/Minx, $9.99)

The flagship offering from DC's somewhat controversial attempt to reach out to that coveted-by-people-who-wish-comics-were-more-popular demographic, teenage girls, succeeds on one level, at least: As an account of a young lady who has to cope with personal tragedy and the special hell of a new school, and finds a very successful way to do so, this can certainly serve as an example to those who may be dealing with similar situations. As a story in general, and a work of sequential fiction, however, it doesn't work quite as well. It's very episodic and is hamstrung by the decision to write the titular Janes and the other kids in their orbit as one-dimensional "types"; more attributes than fully formed characters. One is a plus-size theatre devotee (like my daughter, come to think of it- too bad she's in her twenties now or I'd solicit her input), one is a tall jock, one is a big's like the Newsboy Legion, except with teenage girls. The adults don't fare much better; the main Jane's mom is shown with very little dimension other than her constant paranoia; her Dad comes across as a sympathetic, if somewhat ineffective figure...but it's his little father-daughter talk at the end which give this story one of its few genuine emotional moments. Rugg does a fine job on art, overall, but there's a niggling inconsistency with the way he draws each character that distracts me quite a bit- compare the cartoonish way token gay kid James is drawn to the more expressively rendered main Jane or Cindy. Hardly a deal breaker, but it took me out of the story a lot. Not having been a teenage girl (I swear!), ad being over thirty years out of high school, perhaps I'm missing something, can't say for sure. Despite the flaws, this is a sincere work, and it succeeds in spite of itself- and I think it's a fine start for this imprint. Didn't blow me away...but if it had, maybe that wouldn't have been such a good thing, either! B

S/A: Jeff Smith. (DC, $5.99)

I'm not sold on Sivana as Albert Gonzalez, but everything else works wonderfully as Smith continues to give us one of the smartest and sharpest updates of a Golden Age character in recent memory. Not much else to say about it! Perhaps I'll wax more effusive next time. A

S: Ian Shaughnessy; A: Mike Holmes. (Oni, $14.95)

Boy meets girl, girl has tutoring gig which keeps them apart nights, boy gets jealous and cooks up a scheme that has him impersonating an Irish IRA fugitive in order to find out if his jealous suspicions are founded. I liked the first issue of Shaughnessy's MIA Strangetown, but this leaves no cliche unturned as it progresses- and it progresses way too slowly- and by the time the Mrs. Doubtfire-inspired mistaken identity climax, capped by that time-honored favorite the sincere, tender confessional, unfolds you feel like you've sat through a retrospective on the entire film careers of Hugh Grant and John Cusack (without Grosse Point Blank, of course). The characters are likeable, but one thinks that if these two just sat down and talked to each other, and made things clear, then their problems would be lessened, if not solved. I know, I know, of such things are date-movie comedies not made. Happens to the best of 'em, and who knows- someone more attuned to this sort of thing might find this enjoyable and charming. One thing I did like a lot is Holmes' art- he has a nice, clean, lively style that reminds me a lot of Les (Middle Man) McClaine. He especially has a talent for facial expressions; though he too often appears to be trying a bit too hard to provide them for every single panel, at least he's trying and that counts for a lot. This didn't exactly rock my socks, but I did like the art and just ask Mrs. B- I don't tend to like this sort of movie either, so keep that in mind when you give this a cursory glance on the comics store rack. B-

S: Christos Gage; A: Doug Mahnke. (DC/WildStorm, $2.99)

Pretty much follows the standard template: Team gets taken down by ruthless, seemingly more powerful adversaries, and has no prayer of coming out on top. Then, they get a break, turn the tables, and prevail. Ho hum. You've seen it in the original Ellis/Millar Stormwatch and Authority, and Morrison's JLA. Worthwhile, as usual, for Mahnke's always-outstanding art. What's that? This is Mahnke's last issue? Oh, my. C+

S: David Lapham, Brian Azzarello; A: Eric Battle, Prentiss Rollins, Cliff Chiang. (DC, $3.99)

The best thing about the Spectre story is that it's over. I fully expect future Spectre tales to feature the Goateed Ghost forcing some heinous murdering psycho to read the entire 8 issues of Lapham's career-reputation-killing run. Divine retribution, indeed! The best thing about the Doc Thirteen backup is Chiang's art, of course, but the Flex Mentallo-lite plot resonates in these troubled times. And for those who were smart enough to wait for the Architecture and Morality trade, I hate you with the white-hot fire of a thousand suns. A&M: A-. Spectre: D. Total: B-.

S: Mark Millar; A: Bryan Hitch, Paul Neary. (Marvel, $3.99)

I don't think this is a complete failure- after the long wait, it does come across as a bit of a disappointment, no doubt, but I doubt that there's any way that they could have met the expectations that were built up by the seemingly-endless duration between #12 and this issue. And while it's scattershot and seems rushed, like they had 8 days instead of 8 months (and significantly more pages) to get it finished, everything does get resolved for the most part, and some of these resolutions work pretty well from where I sit: Hawkeye's revenge against the Black Widow, for example, or Thor finally proving that he isn't a nutjob...and I even liked the little quiet-time interlude with Tony Stark towards the end. The tacked-on finale with Cap, not so much. Hitch and Neary turn in a fine art job, as well; as unnecessary as the big 8-page battle centerfold may be, it's still a remarkably detailed piece of comics art and the whole thing seems to be on a par with what they've done in issues past. Long past. Yeah, not a failure, but not exactly a high note to exit on either, and the childhood Giant-Man fan in me feels it necessary to dock Millar a notch for taking the easy way and making Hank Pym an asshole yet again. B

New comics coming in this weekend, so my take on Homeless Channel will be coming next week sometime. In other words, I haven't had the chance to read it yet...but I'm hearing good things about it, for what that's worth. And so...

DOG OF THE WEEK(S): TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED #8, I suppose. But it's not Azzarello and Chiang's fault.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I'm sure you've seen it everywhere else by now, but since I'm all about the "me too" here's the all-new, all-healthy, non-Mary Kate Olsen-based Supergirl! And that sound you're hearing? It's the collective moans, sighs, and head scratching of all the fanboys who prefer last year's model. I gotta say for the record, though, that if I was gonna buy a Supergirl comic, (or heck, any kind of comic) then it would be one illustrated by this artist, the previously-unknown-to-me Renato Guedes. A little selective Googling has revealed unto me that Guedes does have a website, and it's right here. Try to remember you saw it here first, when you see it at other, more popular, websites like the Beat and Journalista. For more of these excellent SG sketches, here's the Pulse article where I saw them last night.

But. And like Pee-Wee Herman says in the deathless classic Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, "Everybody I know has got a big "but"." As good and as correct as this approach is, do I think this new take will be a success? I wish I could say "yes"...but there must have been a reason why the previous one did as well as it did, and please don't give me the rampant misogyny rationale. I just don't see the Fanboy Legion out there, all jacked up on Shonen Jump and Mountain Dew, embracing this girl-next-door SG. As presented here, she's not edgy, not exciting, not "kewl", unless of course you've been hoping that DC would scrap that lowbrow approach. Guess we'll see what we will see! Perhaps that most coveted of demographics, young female girl-type persons, will now be willing to pick up an issue or two, since they've obviously been frightened away all this time by Miss Anorexia Kryptonia. Kudos to DC for at least giving it a shot.

Before I sign this thing off, and apropos of absolutely nothing, here's a great 1983 Killraven illustration (from the Marvel Graphic Novel) by Craig Russell, which I found over at I just wanted to share. Ta for now.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I meant to post this earlier, but got sidetracked, so now it's a day late since I'm writing it at 12:17 AM on Saturday the 26th. Oh well. Story of my life, I suppose.

Anyway, happy 30th anniversary to the little space movie that could, Star Wars.

The above image is, more or less (I looked for quite a while online for a pic of the actual poster itself, but alas came up empty), the first Star Wars thing I ever saw. When the film premiered, I was 17, and working at the local Pizza Hut. Pizza Hut, not Pizza THE Hut mind you, was giving away these posters, with art by Greg Hildebrandt, to promote the film and naturally I took one home. Not long after (or perhaps slightly before- as with so many things in my teenage years, I'm a little fuzzy on the details for some reason), I saw the Marvel Comics adaptation with art by Howard Chaykin and snapped that right up as well, since I was firmly a Chaykin fan even back then.

Yep, that's the cover, right there above. Funny how they took Bat Lash's tagline there, isn't it? I picked up the first 7 or 8 issues, sticking around long enough to realize that Chaykin was only going to be on board for the first few, and even then he was heavily inked by several people, many of which just didn't mesh well with his pencils at all. Besides, I have this peculiar psychological predilection to be disinterested at best and disappointed at worst by damn near every comic book adaptation of a film or TV vehicle, which continues to this day (I'm not buying Buffy, can't ya tell) that was pretty much it for my SW comics collecting experience.

Anyways, I was fully primed for Star Wars by this time, and one Saturday afternoon, when my folks went shopping in Bowling Green, I asked them to let me off at the twin cinemas in the (soon-to-be obsolete, even though we didn't know it then) town Mall, where I could screen this phenomenon for myself. And yeah, I liked it a lot...I could tell that it was going to change a lot of the rules in the future. The thing I remember being most impressed by, and I know this seems like the most trivial thing here 30 years later, was the scene in which the Rebel fighters were being prepped to fly into battle against the Death Star, and they (and us, the audience as well) viewed a computer-generated diagram of the orbiting spherical warship, which turned and twisted hologramically right there in front of all of us...and that really struck me in that way which only previously-unimagined-of visual input can strike. It was far from the most important special effect in the film, but it made the deepest impression on me.

So looking back now, as a theoretical adult, I can see just how simplistic the basic idea Lucas and his people had was...and I think that's the beauty of it. Sometimes the most direct and unencumbered ideas ring the truest. It wasn't until subsequent years, when he larded his vision with cutesy-poo tribal alien teddy bears and finally went up his own ass, twenty plus years later, with (ironically) the same CGI that the earlier debriefing scene helped usher in, that he watered down and diffused his saga almost to the point of ruining it...and even then, the simple homage-to-the-old-movie-serials concept provided a strong enough skeleton to support whatever dubious material he wished to hang on it. So, even though I was hot-and-cold on the most recent prequels, I believe overall the whole SW shebang was a qualified success.

That said, I think it's time for Lucas to either rest on his laurels, or make a movie about something else (which he's strangely never showed an inclination to do) and please stay far, far away from this particular galaxy for a while.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Happy 2nd blogaversary, Bully!

We asked Teddy Roosevelt what he thought, and he said "Bully!"

David Bowie? "Bully for you...chilly for me..."

All right, I'll stop now. Aheh.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Y'know, I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to defend Fate or not. 6 issues in, and those are some pretty bad comics, in that way that only mid-90's comics could be.

That said, if I recall correctly, I actually started buying this title off the rack with issue #14, then picked up the back issues for cheap when I could. I went ahead to #14, and although I didn't reread it, it seems a heck of a lot better than the first half dozen did for sure. Artists Anthony Williams and Andy Lanning had grown into their style by then, which started out as a real awkward Image-style endeavor, all gritting jaws and impossibly long legs, and the underrated Len Kaminski had settled into a groove.

Say, did you know that none other than Steven Grant co-wrote a handful of issues with Kaminski? I probably noticed at the time, but that was years before I came to "know" him via the Internet and his Permanent Damage column.

I've also been pecking away at reviews, so hopefully I'll have more stuff later on.

Right Effing On. I've been saying this for years.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I'll bet that this is Michael Turner's favorite comic book cover right now; at least I'd bet he's hoping that potential point-makers will start posting this one whenever they want to discuss gratuitous fanboy-pandering art and dodgy anatomy instead of that notorious Power Girl cover.

Previous covers in this series, with their equally-as-dodgy anatomy-wise Tucci wannabe cheesecake renderings, have flirted with this sort of thing- but new cover artist Sana Takeda kicks it up a notch with implied tentacle porn (can't call it full-on tentacle porn without some clothes being pulled off or some penetration somewhere), basketball-size boobs, and Misty Knight's improbable hairdo, continuing the broader and cruder direction this title's been going in since it was spun off from the Daughters of the Dragon miniseries.

That mini was everything that the Heroes for Hire ongoing hasn't been, or at least in the six issues I read of it- fun, witty, cheeky, fast-paced and yes, sexy without being crass and dumb. It brought the funk. But DotD didn't sell for squat; so I'd bet that original writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray were "asked" to write it for a lower common denominator. I don't have a clue who the writer is now, but from the few pages I've seen here and there, they're progressing in that direction. Sad thing is, sales are still anemic.

Guess I'm just saying that this isn't really terribly surprising to me; it's just the desperate next step to get fickle fanboy attention. Takeda is a very good artist, as one look at her website will show- she's just doing work made for hire, meant to satisfy the writer of the check.

Poor taste? Sure. Surprising? No. Seen worse? Yep- but I've seen much better, too.

Attention, all Buckaroo Banzai, Highlander, and Carnivale fans-

Clancy Brown, who starred in those films and many others, has offered up over 100 items in a charity auction- including autographed scripts, pictures, and even the opportunity to receive a telephone call from the man who played Rawhide, the Kurgan, Brother Justin, and many other roles. Many of the opening bids are reasonable for this sort of thing.

From the website:

All proceeds from The Official Clancy Brown Fan Club Charity Auction will go to benefit The Beth Brown Memorial Foundation.

The Beth Brown Memorial Foundation was formed by Clancy's parents in honor of his older sister who died of juvenile leukemia in 1964.

Bidding will begin Wednesday, May 16th, 2007 at Noon Eastern Standard Time. The auction will end Wednesday, May 30th, 2007 at 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.

All Bids will be updated by 6:00 pm Eastern Standard Time each evening.

Go here to check it out. I'd bid on that Banzai script, but at $200 it's already out of my league...

While I'm passing out Public Service Announcements, here's something I should have posted a couple of weeks ago-the information about how you can help out the family of the late onetime DC artist Tom Artis. You've probably already seen this at all the cooler comics blogs, but just in case you haven't, and you're in a position to help out, then it's worth it.

And of course, donations are always welcome to the Johnny Bacardi Charitable Foundation, dedicated to helping in the fight to enable JB to pay his monthly expenses. Just email me for details!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Like many among us, I have a MySpace page, which I use mostly for friends flypaper and to keep up with some musicians and blogposts by many interesting folks like Fred Hembeck, Michael Avon Oeming, Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark and others.. Sometimes, though, pages pop up which are just plain cool, like Forgotten Flintstones, which features a mastodon's worth of old clips and commercials featuring Fred and Barney & Co..

Just got finished viewing an amazing 1967 25-minute episode which was specially created (after the original series had ended production) at the behest of Anheuser-Busch, and serves as a promotional/instructional video for their Busch beer brand distributors and others. It truly has to be seen to be believed- Fred and Barney and even Mr. Slate drink brew after brew. There are also some 1967 vintage Busch commercials included. And it's not just an extended commercial; there's an actual storyline, albeit a familiar one, where Fred and Barney screw up at work, quit before Slate can fire them, lie to Wilma and Betty about losing their jobs, then have to come up with some scheme to get them back. In the meantime huge quantities of beerage are consumed.

This particular clip is located here; if you don't already have a MySpace account you'll have to join up, I'm sorry to say. If you do have one, you'll need to friend them...but it's worth it if you like the Flintstones.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Since this Mary Jane Watson "comiquette" thing refuses to die, and since very few, if any, people care what I have to say about anything anyway (just ask Dirk Deppey!), I can't help but wonder if anyone's taken the time to consider that since Marvel and Sideshow Collectibles aren't backing down on this issue, that all that this brouhaha has accomplished is REAMS of publicity for a product that otherwise few people would have paid attention to otherwise (I'm mostly referring to people who would never be caught dead in a comics shop) and even fewer would have actually purchased. I gotta believe that this overpriced little trinket would have been issued and forgotten about three months later, movie or no movie, if not for all the attention. It's like Alice Cooper's management used to say- you can't BUY this kind of publicity ANYWHERE!

I'm not trying provoke anybody or make anybody mad, or decry the choice some made to protest. We all have our windmills to tilt against and oxes to gore. If this has been brought up and discussed to death somewhere, it hasn't been brought up and discussed to death anywhere where I've read about it (and I just don't have the time or patience to troll though all the When Fangirls Attack links, sorry). I just bring it up, that's all.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have laundry to do. I kid you not.

Friday, May 18, 2007

100 BULLETS #83
DMZ #19

Sitting here on a Friday afternoon, waiting for the DHL guy to show up with my DCBS shipment, which will contain (hopefully) the above titles.

I wanted to post something, and not having anything in particular to write about at present, I thought I'd put the list out there.

There are a couple of WAY overdue books in this list, for sure- Ultimates 2 (I think I've had two jobs since #12 came out!), Death, Jr....of course, you know my stand on this sort of thing; I'm perfectly content to wait for the creators to get their stuff done. Better than fill-ins, spoken as someone who remembers some of the dire fill-ins Marvel and DC gave us in the 1970's!

Also looking forward to that Hellboy book, which features work by one of my favorite artists, Duncan Fregredo. His vertiginous (the medical condition, not the imprint), hyperactive art should be interesting on the normally placid Mignola scripts. Immortal Iron Fist (coming soon: the Max imprint version, the IMMORAL Iron Fist) is another I'm anticipating eagerly, and of course the final installment of Azzarello and Chiang's Doc Thirteen opus in Unexpected.

He should be here any minute now...any minute...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

As I sit here and read Fate, here's a video for you:

"Boys Keep Swinging" a memorable vid from David Bowie's outstanding 1979 LP Lodger, one of a veritable plethora (El Guapo) of DB videos assembled over at, a site which apparently devotes itself to retrospective looks at artists' filmed ouevres. Many I've seen, but there were several I hadn't, but the dissertation is (mostly) solid, and the subject is rarely ever less than interesting.

Here's part one.

Here's part two. Warning: Bowie and Mick Jagger's horrific "Dancing in the Streets" video is one of the clips included in this part...

Part three is now online, with vids for "The Heart's Filthy Lesson", "Black Tie White Noise", and others.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Oh, for the love of...

Diamond won't distribute Tim Leong's Comics Foundry magazine.

Please drop Tim Huckelbery at Diamond a line and tell him there must be room on the shelves for an intelligent comics magazine such as this, even in these less enlightened and fiscally dire times. They deserve a chance to find an audience, anyway.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


The BSNCR is the venue by which I take the opportunity, unsolicited, to opine in regards to various works of sequential fiction I have perused in the interval since the last time I inflicted said opinions upon one and all, or to be specific, the period from approximately 28 April to 10 May, some of which may even still be on sale at finer comics selling establishments worldwide if you're lucky. Or not, as the case may be...

**- newer reviews

S: Kurt Busiek; A: Brent Anderson. (DC/Wildstorm, $2.99)

One of the ugliest covers in recent memory is wrapped around another fair to middling chapter of Busiek's pastiche universe. He writes it with such a serious tone that I'm impressed with his sincerity and am prompted to follow along, even as I yawn at plot developments and character archetypes that I grew tired of in the early 1980's. As for Anderson, he is called upon to illustrate a man with the physical characteristics of a duck-billed platypus, which turns out to look like practically every other character he draws. Dark age indeed. C+

Words: Marc Sobel; Art: Leontine Greenberg. (Autopsy Press, $4.95)

Kevin Church isn't the only blogger-turned-writer here in the 'verse, it seems- my former Comic Book Galaxy compadre Sobel published this collection of poems and prose last August. He sent me a copy along with a gift of a George Harrison bootleg CD, and I'm glad he did; it's a well-written effort for sure. Not that I'm any great judge of poetry, mind you, but I think he manages to conjure up some effective imagery with his words, and that's half the battle as far as I'm concerned. I especially liked "The Gathering Clouds", an evocative reminisce. While there's an occasional tendency towards negativity and melodrama, it's not excessive. Not quite as successful is the short story, from whence the title comes; it's an oddball tale of an arsonist who is assisted in his/her crimes by a pigeon, who she/he rides in the course of his/her efforts. Of course, it's most likely this person is just narrating a fever dream from the nuthatch; much of the tale's early scenes are set in one. Anyway, it has a lot of manic energy and certainly isn't dull, even though I'm still not sure what the point was exactly. A huge positive in this collection is Greenberg's spot illustrations; she has a loose, imaginative style which suits the writing to a tee. Click on the link above to score yourself a copy. A-

S: Wil Pfiefer; A: David Lopez, Alvaro Lopez. (DC, $2.99)

Poor junior Catwoman Holly has a rough encounter with a new villainess named "Blitzkrieg", who sports a uniform that reminds me of a St. Pauli Girl by way of Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS, straight out of some Garth Ennis smirkfest. Meanwhile, senior Catwoman finishes the deal with the Calculator, just in time to face the menace which has been arriving for what seems like six months now. Again marred by unnecessary-seeming violence; as in Amazons Attack, decapitations and beatings seem to be included just so we won't forget that this is SERIOUS BUSINESS, DC-style, and belying the otherwise light tone. Anyway, even though I'm beginning to worry about our Wil and the recent nasty streak in his writing as of late, this is still a solid and fast-moving chapter, nicely illustrated by the Lopezes. B+

S: Ed Brubaker; A: Mike Lark, Steven Gaudiano. (Marvel, $2.99)

Ho hum. Another month, another outstanding Brubaker/Lark Daredevil outing. I don't know what's up with Melvin Potter aka the Gladiator, but wouldn't it be cool if the Purple Man was behind it? And wouldn't it be cool if more than a few of you out there knew who the Purple Man was? A-

S/A: David Yurkovich. (Top Shelf, $14.95)

I managed to miss Yurkovich's previous efforts, including Less Than Heroes, so this is my first exposure to his work. His writing style, in itself, isn't particularly clever or noteworthy, but his matter-of-fact tone that helps get his stories over in fine fashion. Sometimes the most outlandish ideas are utterly convincing if they're presented with a straight face, as Grant Morrison would surely agree. Artwise, Yurkovich's figure drawings are often stuff and crude but he has an angular, expressionistic storytelling style that meshes very well with the subject matter, giving it an almost hallucinatory vibe. Well worth further investigation. If comics were drive-in movies, and this was the 1950's, Death By Chocolate would make a dandy double feature with The Last Sane Cowboy... B+

DMZ 18
S: Brian Wood; A: Riccardo Burchielli, Nathan Fox. (DC/Vertigo, $2.99)

Most notable thing about this opening chapter is the flashback scene illustrated by newcomer (well, new to me, anyway) Fox- he has a loose, expressionistic Paul Pope-esque style which steals the show from stolid-by-comparison regular artist Burchielli. More, please. Storywise, an interesting beginning, as we get Kent State-style soldier vs. civilian type violence in Wood's new New York, through the eyes of one of the soldiers, an interviewee of protagonist Matt. Another solid chapter of this ongoing. B+

S: Mike Carey; A: John Bolton. (DC/Vertigo, $19.99)

Geez, when Hollywood has a stinker this big, they don't show it in advance to critics. DC apparently hasn't learned this lesson, though, so I suppose this is fair game. This isn't hackwork; Carey is a very talented writer as shown on his long Lucifer and Hellblazer runs, and Bolton is a skilled illustrator who has done some fine work in the past, even as far back as his long-ago Harold Foster-styled Marada the She Wolf for Epic/Marvel and the graphic novel Menz Insana, where he began to mix and match styles in a hamfisted manner. But on this the pair leave no cliché unturned as they give us a no-surprises fairy story set in the modern world, and it pretty much follows the standard Gaiman template as it does so- perhaps this might have flown higher back in 1990, but now it's definitely a case of seen-that been-there. Carey can do so much better than this (and via his adaptation of Gaiman's Neverwhere, has proven that he can do Neil's voice very well) that it makes me wonder exactly how old this script is- one of Bolton's pages is signed 2005, and he's never shown signs of being a fast worker previously. That might explain the secondhanded feel of this story- perhaps an early-career inventory script dusted off and assigned to Bolton to try to grab some more of Sandman, or perhaps even Harry Potter fanbucks. That's still no excuse for Carey to indulge himself in a such a heavy-handed cautionary drug parable, asking us as well to accept a thoroughly unlikeable young protagonist and her by-the-numbers fairy-story quest, and failing to surprise, enlighten, or even entertain every single time. Bolton, for his part, doesn't help at all; he's a talented illustrator who seems to be unable to make one single decent storytelling choice these days. He apparently strives to be stylistically diverse as he skips from Maxwell Parrish-style realism to Gerald Scarfe-esque charicature but winds up just being chaotic and scattershot. It's a handsome hardcover package, but believe you me, you've read this all before, and in much better fashion. C-

S: Andy Diggle; A: Leo Manco. (DC/Vertigo, $2.99)

Well, this is part two, but I'm not so sure that a second part was all that necessary after last issue's climax. Oh well, this is still a good as finale as one could want, and proves that Diggle has the stuff to write ol Conjob's exploits for as long as he feels like it. A-

S/A: Los Bros. Hernandez. (Fantagraphics, $4.50)

As usual, my main interest in this book is Jaime's contribution and it doesn't disappoint, delivering another solid chapter in the Ray/Vivian/Sid and Maggie from a distance storyline- great stuff once again. He also keeps streamlining his art style, and unlike some illustrators keeps getting better and better; there's a one panel shot of a nude Viv diving into a swimming pool that is a small masterpiece of seductive linework. Gilbert, for his part, winds up his ongoing "Julio's Day" storyline- at least I think so, because it stopped making sense to me a long time ago. Perhaps it will read better collected, can't say. He also contributes an odd, violent, wordless piece which deals with murder and mayhem among weird creatures with bird beaks, wings, and so on. It doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense either, but it's short and quite striking, and stays with you. A-

S: Mark Andreyko; A: Javier Pina, Diego Olmos, "Cafu", Robin Riggs, Art Thibert. (DC, $2.99)

Last issue before another cancellation false-alarm imposed hiatus, and it ties up the ongoing plot threads to date, at least the major ones. The protracted and convoluted storyline in which Kate Spencer defends Wonder Woman over the killing of Max Lord just meandered and stopped and started along, and never really cohered. I was under the impression that they had established that Wondy had been acquitted by a world court anyway, so I'm still not sure the whole trial thing was even necessary except to inject some DCU superstar cameos into this perpetually sales-strapped title. Oh well. The best thing as far as I'm concerned was the subplot that had Cameron Chase and new boyfriend/Manhunter-Boy-Friday Dylan saving Chase's sister from an old adversary of her dad's- Andreyko did a really good job of capturing a lot of the feel that D.C. Johnson brought to her late, lamented solo title, and surprised me a lot in the process, something I felt was lacking in his previous handling of the character. The art, once more, was bland, a little awkward proportion-wise, and as anonymous-looking as a lot of DC art tends to be these days even though no less than five people were involved in its creation. Anyway, I'm glad that this title will contiunue; Kate Spencer is an interesting character, the supporting cast (especially, yeah, Chase, and Obsidian as well) is top-notch, and if Andreyko can manage to recapture the pizazz he gave her early on, perhaps it will stick around at least another five issues. B+

S: Brian Michael Bendis; A: Michael Avon Oeming. (Marvel/Icon, $2.95)

Bendis is stll dragging this out something awful- but this issue resolves a lot of the dangling plot threads, and is a step up for it. There were times in the last couple of issues that Oeming's art devolved into chaos and confusion, but this time out everything's a lot tighter and more linear. Glacial pace aside, this is still a compelling storyline...of course, others might not be as patient as I. A-

S: Peter Johnson, Geoff Johns; A: Matthew Dow Smith, Phil Hester. (DC/Wildstorm, $2.99)

Unlike many of my reviewing contempraries, I actually can say that I am not at a disadvantage when it comes to familiarity with the TV show this is based on and serves as a prequel to- my wife is a big fan and never misses it, and so I wind up watching it with her. It's a passable hour of supernatural-based action-thriller type stuff; the two leads have chemistry together and the writers manage to keep things moving along at a lively clip. The two stories in this comic book tie-in take place when the two leads were kids; one of the ongoing plot threads deals with the boys' fractious relationship with their father, who became obsessed with finding the demon that murdered their mother and spent most of his life tracking it down. Here, we get a tale of the Dad in the first 3/4, and a downbeat back feature which demonstrates the bond the two kids had, and still have in the present. It presumes a lot of familiarity on the readers' part; I have it so I had no problem. Others who don't know the show might not find it so easy to absorb. I'm a little puzzled by the art credit in the lead story; the artist is identified as "Matthew Dow Smith", a name I've never seen before, but his art looks a lot like the Matt Smith that drew the early issues of Astronauts in Trouble, DC's Day of Judgment, and the recent IDW adaptation of The Keep. I think it's the same guy- that faux-Mignola style is hard to mistake- but the new middle name is confusing. Oh well. As with the Buffy, Xena, and X-Files comics adaptations, fans of the TV show might find this useful, if they find out about it at all. All others, not so much. B

S: Antony Johnston; A: Christopher Mitten. (Oni Press, $11.95)

There's not a single note that's hit in Johnston's post-Apocalyptic saga that you haven't heard at some point or another before, unless you count the substitution of "goat" for "bitch" and/or "bull" and "sun" for "God" in the characters' oaths as startlingly original. Fortunately, in this case, it's not so much the tale as the telling of it- and that means that this is more involving that it probably should be by any standards. It's no mean feat to take over-familiar elements and whip them up into a palatable souffle, but in this case the writer is up to the task. Artist Mitten doesn't help much but doesn't hurt either; even though he constantly draws all of his people, men, women, and bloodthirsty sand people the same way- like their chins are permanently bonded to their upper chest area- he knows how to pace and lay out a story for efficient readability and his scratchy ink line adds a lot to the sandblown and windburned atmosphere. When I reviewed issue #1, I thought this had potential, but I declined to buy. Now, I'm interested enough to look for the next trade collection when it comes out. There's some progress for ya. B+

S: Darwyn Cooke; A: Cooke, Jason Bone. (DC, $2.99)

Although I have my doubts about how the ad campaign for the Spirit pork 'n' beans would go over in the real world, this is another solid effort. I liked Cooke and Bone's updated Mr. Carrion, stylish and even a little cool in a Tim Burtonish way (one of the best things Darwyn's done so far is give the Spirit some likable foils, a la Hussein from issues previous) and one of the few reoccurring rogues that the Spirit faced in his glory days, even though I could do without the squicky bestiality angle that was no doubt far funnier when Cooke was conceiving it than when he actually set it to paper. Unless I'm mistaken, this issue's Cossack also was another classic character. Anyway, even though I'm enjoying this book quite a lot, especially visually, I would like to remind Mr. Cooke the writer than even though it was often a great part of the charm of Eisner & Co.'s stories, having the Spirit sometimes become little more than a supporting character in his own comic, he just as often let Denny Colt do heroic things from time to time as well. So far we've had plenty of the former and not a lot of the latter, and perhaps the balance should shift back to the other side for a while. A-

Whew! Done once more. Just in time for a new box on Friday! I'll also review Oni's new Shenanigans graphic novel, when I finish reading it...

BEST IN SHOW: Nothing this period really blew me away, but I'll have to give it up for LOVE AND ROCKETS 19, because the Jaime story was so damn good.

DOG OF THE WEEK(S): Most definitely the uninspired GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Like the Creeper, everybody seems to love Doctor Fate...but nobody seems to know what to do with him. Other than the 1975 Walt Simonson/Martin Pasko First Issue Special one-shot, it is my carefully considered opinion that the Doctor has never really had the creative team to maximize his potential and make him an interesting character in his own title. Yeah, I know that DeMatteis and a few others did about eleventy million issues in the 80s and early 90s, but even though you'd think that sort of metaphysical folderol would be his bread and butter, the handful of issues I read laid on the odd but were never compelling about it- oddness for oddness' sake, if you will. I admit something novel needed to be done with the character, but I'm not sure all the gender-switching and infantilism was the way to go. William Messner-Loebs continued his run of anonymous-scanning stories for DC after DeMatteis bailed, to minimal interest from me. JMD was done in more often as not by the rubber-limbed ersatz Wrightsonisms of Shawn McManus, whose work has never yanked my crank. Likewise Chas Truog and Peter Gross, the artists who did the bulk of that run. His appearances in the first JSA run were OK, but he was only one of many characters and despite at least one featured spotlight story arc, nothing happened to him that really impressed me much.In fact, to this day, my favorite Fate tales remain the original Golden Age stories by Howard Sherman and Gardner Fox, which had a stiff, dry, formal creepy weirdness that made the tales remarkable and established a definite mood.

But really, this isn't intended to be a post about why I've been left cold by DC's modern Doctor Fate tales. I have loftier goals, and I'm sure you're wondering why I posted the above cover. First, though, I wish to direct your attention to what got me thinking about the subject in the first place: as I'm sure you're probably aware, because I'm equally sure that all of you read it whenever possible anyway, over at Steve Gerber's blog he's been keeping us posted on the status of his previously-announced Doctor Fate revival, which (unless I'm mistaken) was originally scheduled to get its own book, but will now apparently appear in an anthology title like the recent Tales of the Unexpected, along with an as-yet-unnamed co-feature. He has also posted a Doc fate sketch by artist "Justiniano", whose hyperkinetic work has been spotlighted in a lot of recent DC titles. If you go to the link, you'll see where I made an uncharacteristically (for me) snarky comment about Doc's cape as done by the one-named wonderboy. All things considered, though, if anybody could make the good Doctor interesting once more, I believe Gerber could be the man. We shall see. Justiniano's art is not my cup of tea, even though in the past I've tolerated its wannabe Greg Capullo-ish stylings in order to read titles I've been interested in, like the Day of Vengeance trade to name but one example.

The second thing, and the real reason I have taken laptop in hand to write, is akin, I think, to introducing oneself as a leper, telling that hot girl you want to pick up at the bar you have genital herpes, or shouting the "N" word in a LA nightclub. But undaunted, I will stand up and make the following statement which will no doubt cost me what little reputation I have left as an arbiter of what is good and what isn't when it comes to four-color funnybooks:

I liked the 1994-1996 Jared Stevens Fate title.

That's right, you heard me. I not only bought, but actually looked forward to reading the exploits of the mullet-haired, shoulder-padded and trench-coated Doc-come-lately, who was all grim and gritty and had a costume that only Rob Liefeld could love and whose run came towards the end of DC's superhero dark ages. I think it's safe to say that this series is universally reviled by all who remember it, especially Kent Nelson/Doctor Fate fans. "But HOW, Johnny B, How did this come to be?" I can hear you saying, anguish in your voices. And I will explain- but later. I want to re-read these books before I opine on them, to see if I still can get the same vibe from them that I had over a decade ago. And know that I was not a fan of mullet-haired, trenchcoated and shoulderpadded heroes with swords and knives and big square guns in those days- that there was something which kept me buying this comic. And as soon as I dig this run out of the Vast Bacardi Archives (not located in my house, just so's ya know, and not in my Mother's basement either. Actually, they're in one of her closets.) I will do the sequel post, perhaps even with scans, and make my case.

Stay tuned, this should be interesting.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Placing my neck firmly on the chopping block, and reminding the executioner that I am no fan of DC's current take on the character, I would like to state for the record that at least this rendition is at least more anatomically realistic, better-proportioned if you will, that practically any of the pages I've seen from the comic or this awful thing:

Can I get a "Well, sure..." at least?

Now, it's the Mary Jane washes Spidey's uni statue that's got folks bent out of shape, even more so than MJ's somewhat uncomfortable looking stance as shown. Now don't get me wrong, I certainly understand the dismay that many have expressed at the sight of this statue/maquette/whateveryacallit. But honestly, I've seen worse- this is cloying and cutesy, adolescently smirky and pandering, but as someone who has been known to enjoy what the cavemen referred to as "good girl art", it just doesn't seem worth getting worked up about somehow when there are more egregious targets out there. Frankly, I worry more about the people who greenlight this sort of thing, and the presumed audience for it, than any long-term effect on the perception of women in the world of comics. For what it's worth, here's one of the most rational con- arguments I've run across so far. And here's one of the funniest.

I finally found a link to the original Adam Hughes sketch that this is based on (shoulda known that Dean Trippe would be on the ball with that one...), and,'s not exactly one of Hughes' finest moments. I have always had a lot of love for Adam's work, and still consider him a favorite, but that pose is every bit as contorted as the statue turned out. The sketch fares better in the facial expression department, but that is, again, an awfully cutesy and smirky concept in the first place, and by now Hughes should know better than this. But we all know that money talks and bullshit designs objectionable collectibles.

A question: yeah, she's barefoot. As in "...and pregnant." But, honestly, don't any of you who are outraged by this trinket go barefoot in your own homes and apartments, without fear of someone thinking you are demeaning yourself? Sure, there is much to object about with this thing, but I think getting upset because she is handwashing laundry sans shoes really comes across as a stretch.

But then again, I have been known to be wrong before.

Oh, and I have been remiss: the "Delusion" image above is one of three and was ganked from the LJ of Lisa Jonte. Apologies all around for my oversight, and gracias to Lea for bringing it to my attention.

Edited in the wee hours of Sunday, May 13.

Anybody remember VOID INDIGO?

It was an extremely short-lived series, another offbeat Marvel/Epic line title that went a grand total of three issues (one, its debut, was a Marvel Graphic Novel) before it was unceremoniously shitcanned. Seems that 1983's retailers and readers were so repulsed by its apparently controversial subject matter (violence! sex!) that they raised such a hue and cry that Marvel and even the great Archie Goodwin, God rest his soul, decided to abort the title rather than listen to more complaints.

Me, I wasn't complaining. I guess I must have been a pervert even then, because I found it another challenging and fascinating Gerber concept- and was looking forward to reading more. Too bad, Dave!

Anyway, it seems that someone has posted Gerber's plot summary to what would have been #'s 3 thru 6 right here, and it was great to see what he had in mind. Great, and frustrating. Only a few years later, we had much worse in mainstream DC and Marvel books. Wonder if Steve has ever considered reworking it for the Aughts and pitching it again?

Oh well, thought I'd share, since I hadn't posted anything since Sunday. I've almost got the next BSNCR done, so there's that to look forward to, or dread, depending on your point of view...

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Everyone should drop what they're doing, right now, and go check out Jess Fink's Roller Derby She-Hulk drawings.

GO! You'll thank me later.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

So today was Free Comic Book Day, and I've been reading here and there and other places about the positive experiences many had.

Mine wasn't quite so positive.

Oh, don't get me wrong, it wasn't terrible- nobody was injured or ripped off or no other chaotic event took place, but if you'd like to know what my FCBD haul was, well, I'll show you.

That's it!

Of course, I was going to Bowling Green today anyway, to take the radio station's Macbook and iMac to be repaired (long story there, and no, it's not my fault), so it's not like I drove 80 miles for nothing. And naturally, I figured while I was in BG, where I used to work until a month ago, I would check out my former LCS and see what I could get. They were also having a sidewalk sale and 20% off inside, and there was a book or two that I hadn't gotten from DCBS that I thought I'd pick up, most notably Brave and the Bold #3.

So I go in at about 11:30 AM, and rather than having shortboxes full of the free comics out where people could look through them and get what they wanted, or even having them displayed on an accessible table like they did in 2004 (If you click the link, sorry, I've never relinked those pictures. Someday, maybe) and 2005 (I didn't go last year), there were only 3 small shortboxes, which contained the DC and Marvel offerings, a couple of other publishers (the comic on the front of the box was the Sonic the Hedgehog book)...and that's it. They were placed on a table behind the counter, where only the store employees could look through them. I thought of asking if I could go back there and look through them, but thought better of it since if they let me, then they'd have to let everybody, and I knew they had been placed back there for a reason. Anyway, I asked if they had anything else besides what I could see, and the fellow who waited on me said that that was pretty much it- was there anything I had in mind in particular? Unfortunately, I hadn't quite done my FCBD homework, since I've been kinda out of the comics news loop lately, so the only thing I could think of offhand was the Fantagraphics Peanuts comic, which I really wanted to see. Nope, sorry, he thought they had a couple but they're gone. "Owly, or any other indies?" I said- and he did have a copy of Owly. So that, kids, is my FCBD haul. Kinda sad, huh.

Well, the trip wasn't a total waste; They were sold out of B&B, nor did they have copies of Two Guns #1 and Planetary Brigade: Origins #3, but I did pick up the issue of Batman and the Monster Men, #3, that I had neglected to buy before and that they had kept put back in my folder for about two months, plus I got some $2 CDs outside: The Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang, Richard Thompson's Mirror Blue, Prince's Musicology, and Who Killed the Zutons? by...well, the Zutons. Plus, I got to have a short talk with Matt, who is the store manager (but not about the FCBD issue), and that's always cool. I also went to and downloaded 3 free PDFs of their wonderful, but way-too-expensive-for-me-to-buy-on-a-regular-basis (ladies and gentlemen, we now have a new world record for hyphens in a sentence!) magazines. But compared to years past, I came away quite disappointed, and there were several of those offerings I would have liked to have sampled. Oh well, c'est la vie- I'm still behind on my reading anyway. But I'm just sayin, know whatumsayin?

No, this doesn't have anything to do with the fact that I haven't posted anything in almost a week here. Thursday was MARY HOPKIN's 57th birthday, and I just wanted to send out a belated Bacardi Show Birthday Greeting, much like a desert island castaway throws a message in a bottle out into the vast, uncaring ocean.