Monday, February 25, 2013

diary of a guttersnipe 02/25/2013: a woman is a woman

by Shawn Starr

Welcome back! I took a week off but to make up for it, i bring you JENNIFER LAWRENCE OSCAR GIF'S!!!!


Batman #13-17 (DC)
by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jonathan Glapion, Fco Plascencia

I like that the function of these issues is to walk through all of DC's currently in print Joker stories. It's difficult to reference issues or collections that are out of print because then some people can't buy them, and then they won't get how awesome your references are, and then DC won't get a spike in trade sales. Unlike that jackass Grant Morrison and his bat-mite bullshit, Scott Snyder knows which Joker books you need to read. The ones you can find at your local Barnes and Nobles, not the ones you find in your local shop's back issue bins or eBay. Because fuck back issues bins! Scott Snyder is a real fan! He knows what's legit, and back issue bins are definitely not bat-certified legit.

Justice League of America #1 (DC)
by Geoff Johns, David Finch, Jeromy Cox, Sonia Oback

Exposition: The Comic!

(Also i’m not sure if Finch drew the characters this way, or if it was the colorist, but every other character looks like a terrible 3-D model that got photo-shopped onto the page)

Appleseed, Book One (Dark Horse)
by Masamune Shirow

I like that this book just drops you in the middle of a world, it does not feel the need to spend five pages dumping exposition, it just kind of parcels out information when it feels like it. This technique works well for the majority of the book, except at around the 2/3rd mark when a conspiracy starts to unfold. This conspiracy is a secret at the heart of the utopia our heroes find themselves living in (following a post-global war), that gets kind of confusing and convoluted very fast in comparison to everything else in the story. The art, and in particular the action scenes and backgrounds in this book are pretty breathtaking though, so the conspiracy thing is not that big a deal, i also feel like it’ll make more sense as the series progresses.

FF #3 (Marvel)
by Matt Fraction, Mike Allred, Laura Allred

'FF' is the first instance of a book that i have been a reader of that has been inadvertently harmed by Marvel's insistence on putting books out on a bi-weekly schedule.

But, 'FF' is not bi-weekly! You will say, and you would be correct.

'FF' is indeed not bi-weekly, it’s regular old monthly, but every other major Marvel book is (and to make matters worse, 'Avengers' is near weekly). This creates a problem where after prolonged exposure (almost a year and a half or more), every book which comes out from Marvel on a “regular” schedule seems incredibly late. 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' was bi-monthly and felt like it, 'FF' is monthly and now because of Marvel's insane shipping habits, feels like it’s bi-monthly.

This lead me to completely forget that this comic existed until i moved a stack of comics and found it underneath a stray issue of '2001: A Space Odyssey'. It’s not that this book is bad, it has Mike Allred art and better than normal Matt Fraction writing (not 'Casanova', but not 'Invincible Iron Man'), I just keep forgetting it exists.

I swear, this bi-weekly shit is a cancer eating away at every facet of their line.

Captain America #4 (Marvel) 
by Rick Remender, John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson, Dean White, Lee Loughride

This is a weird fucking comic. 
Stray thoughts on 'Holy Terror'

Holy Terror (Legendary)
by Frank Miller

. It has been about a year and a half since 'Holy Terror' was released to what I'd call less than stellar reviews. It was labeled racist, xenophobic, revisionist wish fulfillment, etc. Those thoughts weren't helped by Miller's press statements calling the work "a piece of propaganda...bound to offend just about everybody". I don't buy this line of  thought though, even from Miller this description rings hollow. Removed from his     media campaign, and Miller's own form of press propaganda 'Holy Terror' reads like a man attempting to actualize a facebook rant, but constantly adding footnotes and asides that ultimately deflate his argument, it is ineffectual by design.  

. What i still can't grasp while reading 'Holy Terror' is how to read it, it is one of those works which you could easily find in a issue of 'RAW' or a Klan magazine, and it would work well enough in both context's.  
. Nothing in 'Holy Terror' is more offensive than Miller's previous work '300'.  
. '300' is a xenophobic retelling of how a fascist warrior society beat back the hordes of Persia while the gays in Athens got lubed up. While the basic story is true to some extent, Miller chooses to highlight the most extreme and simple minded aspects of each player to glorify (in the case of the Spartans) or demonize (Persians) while adding in revisionist flare (which is a pervasive problem with historical writing, and not     unique to Miller).  
. While 'Holy Terror' also deals with similar elements, a fascist hero, a "Persians" type of enemy, and     historical revisionism, the difference is that 'Holy Terror' is a failure as pure propaganda, it was released well past the backlash on Neo-Conservatism was in full effect, and the patriotism 9-11 sparked had dissipated. No one read 'Holy Terror' and thought we should invade Qatar, unlike the lingering effects of '300' and the "Spartan" mystique which has proved effective in both promoting general masculinity and also serving as a figurehead for the Greek fascist movement (similar to what Moore/Lloyd's 'V For Vendetta' did for leftist movements).

. Miller is (at least in the last decade of his career) a satirist first and foremost. It does not always work, but 'Holy Terror' has to be recognized in this context.  

. 'Holy Terror' is a failure as pure propaganda because of Miller's inability to make one identify with The Fixer or his tactics, there is no moment when the reader cheers or their hearts swell with pride, the only real character Miller humanizes in the book is a young female suicide bomber. A simple swig of beer and a wish for paradise leave you cursing the institution which raised her, not thinking The Fixer is right (unless that wasn't the point).  

. The Irish Catholic who builds an upside down bomb strikes me as Miller (who is of Irish Catholic     heritage) acknowledging his own ineffectualness. He's still going to set that bomb off, it's just not going to do the damage as he wanted, it was directed the wrong way.

. 'Holy Terror' is one of the best looking books of the decade.
Suehiro Maruo showcase

In between making me sick to my stomach (SO MUCH EYEBALL LICKING!), Suehiro Maruo does some beautiful collage work. 

images are from 'DDT' which can be purchased here


I have now seen every "Death Race" movie, so i got that going for me (The remake/sequels -  notwithstanding their agitating post-Michael Bay ‘we have to have a cut every 2 seconds during every action scene no matter what’ shooting style that every director decided was how you shoot action scenes - are actually strangely watchable films. Or at least watchable between the hours of 2am-4am while i’m trying to fall asleep.).

Fantagraphics put up a video preview of 'The Adventures of Jodelle'. That is one handsome looking book, especially for an artist making his first “major” US debut.

The Steve Bissette interview on Inkstuds was very interesting. Part One. Part Two.

“New” publisher Ryan Sands announced the first issue of his curated series 'Frontier' will feature work by Uno Moralez. If you’re not familiar with Uno Moralez’ work (/ know who he is and why this is a big deal) here’s an interview he did with Sean Collins and a link to a comic/gif/something he did. Moralez is one of those artists, even more so than Negron, that has taken the structure of Tumblr and Internet culture and ran with it into a niche that it can’t really be removed from. I’m intrigued how he, and Sands, approach print.
Speaking of Negron, someone should buy me this.

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