by Shawn Starr
I once wrote for another site, they didn't like me that much, so i don't anymore.
I'm here now. (Thanks Alec and Joey)
My name's Shawn, and these are my delusions of grandeur:
Wolverine and the X-Men #17 (Marvel)
by Jason Aaron, Mike Allred, Laura Allred
Seeing Howard the Duck in this issue kind of killed it for me, the whole story up to that point was fun and Allred's art was as always a perfect manifestation of "pop" comics; but then you flip that page and see one of the symbols of a creator getting fucked and it just felt like someone dragged Mr. Rogers into the street and beat him to death with a baseball bat screaming.
Neal Adam's Thrill Kill: Artist's Edition Portfolio (IDW)
by Neal Adams, Jim Stenstrum
I think these "portfolio" editions were designed to get people who are not completely sold on the Artist Editions to dabble in the format but a mediocre story drawn by Neal Adams that costs $30 isn't going to do that. It's insane to think anyone who would pay $30 for this would have a problem paying $100 for a 200+ page collection of Mazzucchelli art. I just don't know what the point of this book was.
New York Drawings (Drawn + Quarterly)
by Adrian Tomine
This is a book full of beautiful drawings.
Uncanny X-Force #31 (Marvel)
by Rick Remender, Phil Noto, Dean White, Frank Martin Jr.
Actively watching a comic that was once the best thing being published by Marvel, and DC (hell maybe in all of comics circa 2010-11) slowly die is a sad sight. Remender announced his departure from the book recently to conclude at the end of this arc, but it is ultimately 20 issues too late. If Remender had dropped this book after 'The Dark Angel Saga' and stuck with Opena for the whole run it would have become a revered run, as opposed to now where it's just some book that tread water trying to make 18 issues worth of story stretch to 40.
Also having Dean White color the first five pages, then replacing him with someone else just highlights how that other guy isn't Dean White.
FF #22 (Marvel)
by Jonathan Hickman, André Araújo, Cris Peter
I've noticed that artists can in no way draw age appropriate characters. Val is supposedly three but she looks eight, a similar thing happens in 'Animal Man' where Buddy Baker's well-spoken-non-genius kid is only four. I wish they would just age these kids up so their actions and rendering made any sense at all, because i get she's a genius and all, but she's three and I'm doubtful she has the motor skills to fly a jet powered toy horse across the ocean.
Lose #4 (Koyama Press)
by Michael DeForge
Lose #4 is the best single issue of the year.
Avengers vs. X-Men #12 (Marvel)
by Jason Aaron, Adam Kubert, John Dell III, Mark Morales, Laura Martin, Justin Ponsor (far too many people)
And to think, all they ever had to do was wish it away!
Buddy Does Seattle: The Complete Buddy Bradley Stories from "Hate" Comics, Vol. I, 1990-94 (Fantagraphics)
by Peter Bagge
This is the first volume in Fantagraphics' collections of Peter Bagge's 'Hate' comics and as a comprehensive collection it may be the best example on the comics market. Collections always seem more difficult than they should be for publishers, many are prohibitively priced (i.e. The Complete Milo Manara) which remove any chance of sampling, even if you're a fan of the work, while others edit/leave out material that would be expected to be included (Locas v1-2), and then there's simply shitty collections. These usually include no introductions, shitty paper stock, low-res scans, etc. (DC, Marvel, Checker Books, etc). 'Buddy Does Seattle' commits none of these sins (although it does reduce the dimensions of the art, but Bagge's art doesn't suffer too much from the compression), plus the collection is reasonably priced (~$15), has an informative introduction (although if you're going to spoil things in the intro I'd wish you would either label it as doing such, or place it as an afterward) (but I may be in the minority of people who read introductions before the main text) and it also has the added benefit of being a great comic.
War is Hell: The First Flight of the Phantom Eagle (Marvel)
by Garth Ennis, Howard Chaykin, Brian Reber
This is a Chaykin/Ennis joint, who you would think would collaborate more often than they do since Chaykin is essentially a more manly version of Steve Dillon, but the world is full of disappointments.
This book was done when Chaykin was hacking out work for Marvel in the late 2000's, but luckily Chaykin half-assing it with photoshopped backgrounds and 3-D models is more visually interesting than just about everything Marvel publishes so it works.
The story itself is a pretty straightforward Ennis war comic, a naive recruit realizes the horrors of war and the incompetence of leadership as he struggles to save himself and his friends. Ennis has been using this basic plot outline on just about every one of his war comics for the past twenty years, and yet it still works.
-------"You know, sooner or later every woman's bound to find out - the only thing a man's got below his belt is clay feet." ------
Bring down the Lincoln Logs of Etch-a-Sketchalism!
That Kyle Baker fella sure is funny, doing Bendis-speak ten years before Bendis broke into comics. I got his number!
The "Art of Rap: Something From Nothing" was a failure as a documentary. The problem it ran into is that it never found a narrative or theme in it's nearly 2 hour runtime, which doesn't stop it from being an interesting string of interviews (although they were limited to three to five minute chunks) but it fails to do anything grander with them.
The season finale of 'Louie' was a perfect manifestation of the series, it was both intimate and expansive, and decidedly dark and yet still the funniest show on TV.
Tom Hardy pulls off the mustache in "Bronson" so hard i don't know why he doesn't have it in every film.
The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival published their lineup for 2012. I don't know who half those people are, but i assume that's a fault of mine not theirs.
I've finally figured out why i don't identify with any awards show, it breaks down like this: the Emmy's are based on what your mother likes, the Grammy's are what your little sister listens too, and the Oscars are all about what your pretentious uncle defines as "serious".
"The Master" was a beautiful failure. Phoenix will win an Oscar, but the story fell apart from a thin script and poor editing. It drifted from scene to scene without purpose, and seemed to try and find a point towards the end but ended up nowhere.
I find that a large swath of criticism is based around justifying ones childhood.
The new Mountain Goats album came out this week, but I'm all out of whiskey so i haven't had a chance to listen to it yet.
Artist Editions id like to see (but probably still wouldn't buy): Howard Chaykin's 'Black Kiss'; Milo Manara's 'Indian Summer', anything by Moebius.
I'm having trouble figuring out my feelings on 'Dal Tokyo', it is essentially two different comics, the first segment (originally published in the US) has a firm narrative and rotating cast of characters for 70 odd installments, when the strip moves to Japan several years later though the narrative is dropped almost immediately (it has vague hints in the beginning but they're not followed up on) and falls into a mixture of abstract art pieces and "poetic" prose over non-sequential images. I wasn't even sure i was reading it in the right direction at certain points. Its one of those books that cant be consumed all at once, but rather piecemeal over several days, and even then it's difficult to digest. Carter Scholz has the best review you're going to find for it over at The Comics Journal, but I'm still left at odds with the work. Maybe next year.
The Chemical Box's own Joey Aulisio talks about the "Space Jam" soundtrack for twenty minutes on some other podcast this week.
If only Marvel hadn't "misplaced" all of Jack Kirby's artwork, those would make for some nice Artist Editions.
I want to buy every page of 'Black Kiss' art. If someone knows how to contact Mr. Chaykin or his art dealer, I'd appreciate it.
'Freaks and Geeks' is on Netflix Streaming now, that's one of those shows that the more removed you are from high school the harder it is to watch. I remember seeing it for the first time my senior year of high school with my brother and loving every second of it, now i watch it and cringe over how awkward and terrible everything was. Its a show that somehow becomes more personal the farther removed you are from it.
I like that that site i don't write for anymore rediscovered all the comics i was talking about six months ago. Good for them. (Can i have my non-paying job back?)
You know what, if you block quote 20% of another persons article; along with large chunks of other people articles, you really should be forced to have the article credited to "some asshole".
Fuck dude, even when Rich Johnson steals someone else's piece he adds a bunch of terribly naive and silly political commentary to it for padding. Its called journalistic ethics!
------To play us out, here's Dave Sim - comics greatest martyr-----
"On the Feminist side, well, no I’m not a feminist per Se. But, I think that pointing out that 50% of the world’s population is responsible for 100% of the world’s births and that that fact represents a structural flaw to feminism is just pointing out a structural flaw to a political movement. It doesn’t mean I hate women. The replacement birth rate has dropped for five successive years and that means society is on a collision course with oblivion. There is some yet-to-be-determined percentage of the female population that needs to be primarily engaged in giving birth to and rearing children in order to move the replacement birth rate back up to a point where we are actually replacing instead of exponentially losing population. I’m pretty sure it’s one of the driving forces behind the economy collapsing. Population drives the economy in a real way. If your population is collapsing so is your economy. I don’t pretend to know WHAT percentage of the female population needs to be so engaged to move us back in a more sensible direction, but I think we are way PAST whatever percentage that is, in the wrong direction. Nor am I (pace Margaret Atwood’s HANDMAID’S TALE) suggesting we need to pass laws forcing women to give birth. No, it would have to be completely voluntary and I don’t see any sign of it even becoming a topic of conversation although I think it’s a conversation we are long overdue for having as a society. If that makes me the “Adolf Hitler of Graphic Novelists” then it’s just something I’ll have to accept as the price of being in the situation to bring up subjects that I think need to be looked at that no one else is willing to discuss. Winston Churchill took a lot of flack for warning that Germany rearming in the 1930s was no small thing, but he was eventually proved right. It was no small thing. 90% of women being out in the workforce, in my view, is no small thing."
- Dave Sim, a man the New York Times don't want none of.