Tuesday, March 30, 2010

2010 Zook Convention Piece by Ethan Van Sciver

I remember when Cyberfrog first came out, and fans thought it was going to be the next big thing. I was running a shop by that time, and tossing through the book, couldn't see it. I figured it for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles riff as drawn by a Todd McFarlane clone, and dismissed it. I took note of the name Ethan Van Sciver though, so when he turned up looking a lot more polished on DC's Impulse series, I was impressed by his development. I think I liked his stuff here and there, but it was really The Flash: Iron Heights prestige special that made me recognize this was indeed a superstar in the making. Van Sciver is now one of the biggest and best artists in comics, and certainly the top name at Comicpalooza 2010. He was the first artist I approached to do a head sketch, explaining that I regretted his not finishing his run on the Superman/Batman arc "Enemies Among Us." While he drew excellent classic and One Year Later Martian Manhunters (he's one of the best modern MM artists, after all,) what I regretted was his leaving the first appearance of J'onn's other-dimensional pet/sidekick in decades to replacement Matthew Clark. I was promised EVS, dang it, and I was here after his Zook!

Not only did Van Sciver remember Zook, but he expressed regret at not having gotten to draw him, and thought it was cool to get the chance now. I handed the man a couple of reference pages I'd scanned and something like $40 for a head shot. I was asked to return in about three hours, and doing so, found that I was still a few names down the list. Later still, my friends told me Van Sciver was working on Zook, so I walked over to check it out. Van Sciver had been discussing his history with the character for the benefit of onlookers, and upon my arrival one made sport of me by asking slightly sarcastic questions. I addressed his questions with sincerity, though in a somewhat defensive tone. What I didn't know was that a friend of mine had videotaped some of this on his digital camera, so hopefully I can get that from him and post it here down the line.

The lovingly detailed image takes up better than 3/4th of an 11" x 14" rigid, bright white sketch page provided by Van Sciver. It is a thing of beauty, and I'm very proud to share it with you, not to mention very pleased to finally get my promised Zook!

Ethan Van Sciver was a mighty nice guy who does obviously outstanding work, far more valuable than I was charged. In case you were wondering, a friend of mine leaned in and learned directly from the artist that it's pronounced "Sky-ver." Now you know (and I'll have to remember to stop saying "Psy-ver."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Linkydeux of 3.28.2010

John Henry gave his life against the Inky Poo to prove a man could overcome a machine. Frank Lee Delano fights a losing weekly battle against the internet, so that his sacrificed time might save your own.

I've got a fuckton to do this week on no time for shit. Here's a brief Linkydeux...


Art & Photograpy
Red Bull Can Art (Damn Cool Photography)

Where Are They Now: Disney Princesses (Ned Hardy)

Star Trek: The Sexed Generation

If the World Were Village of 100 (Damn Cool Photography)

Yipes! Dead Smurf!
Deathstroke from DCUC's Series three
2005 Spider-Man Classics Mysterio figure
Change You Can Believe In...
Series six Mr. Miracle
1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mutagen Man
MadBall Sick Skull Face
Warrior Nun Areala
Hawkman/Thanagarian warrior three pack
San Diego Comic Con 2010 Google header
GoBot Magazine's Premiere Issue
That's no moon... it's a Pez dispenser!
Cyborg DC Infinite Heroes Mallah's Revenge Walmart exclusive
Black Canary from DC Universe Classics wave 9
Masters of the Universe Classics Trap-Jaw
27 small plastic superheroes (DC & Marvel) from Argentine Jack chocolate candy
When Guardian throws his mighty shield...
Masters of the Universe Classics Moss Man
Gulliver Argentine DC Superheroes "Army Men"
Masters of the Universe Classics Moss Man
Mast-Erasers of the Universe
The Batman Hawkman
Target JLU "Legends of the League" six pack: Deadman, Crimson Fox, Commander Steel & Vibe, and B'wana Beast

Justified review by Seth Freilich (Pajiba)

The Devin's Advocate: Selma (CHUD)
Right Stuff, Wrong Sex: America's First Women in Space Program (CHUD)
Red State To Shoot in July (Pajiba)
The Runaways review by Brian Prisco (Pajiba)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid review by Agent Bedhead (Pajiba)
review by Steven Lloyd Wilson (Pajiba)
Diablo Cody Developing A 'Serious And Fucked Up' Female Anti-Hero Stalker Film, Still Adapting 'Sweet Valley High' (The Playlist)

Comic Books:
Logo Study: THE ATOM Part 1 (Todd Klein's Blog)
Logo Study: THE ATOM Part 2 (Todd Klein's Blog)
Logo Study: THE ATOM Part 3 (Todd Klein's Blog)

Comic Book Reviews:
A Look Back At The Introduction of Linda Danvers: The Girl of Steel (The Anti-Didio League of America)
Review: The Savage She-Hulk #1 (Comics Bronze Age)
Review: The Cat #1 (Comics Bronze Age)
Review: Amazing Spider-Man #194 (Comics Bronze Age)
Comic shop comics: Sunday, March 21, 2010 (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)
G3 Rewind: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? (Girls Gone Geek)

Comic Book Blogs:
Ray Lago watercolor (Amazon Princess)
Welcome To The Watchtower (NO NOT THE HALL OF JUSTICE) of the Anti-Didio League of America
A Look Back At The Introduction of Linda Danvers: The Girl of Steel (The Anti-Didio League of America)
Celebrating Ten Years of Batgirl: The Dark Knight Damsel Flys Solo (The Anti-Didio League of America)
Celebrating Ten Years of Batgirl: Robin 73 (The Anti-Didio League of America)
Celebrating Ten Years of Batgirl: Azrael 61 – Batgirl’s First Christmas (The Anti-Didio League of America)
Crisis On Earth-Blog: The DC Challenge – The Batgirl Opinion Challenge (The Anti-Didio League of America)
Nobody’s Favorites: Unlucky seven (Armagideon Time)
1962's Showcase #36: The "Disappearing Act" Robberies! (The Atom: Mighty Mite)
A Guide For Writing the Rebooted Martian Manhunter Part 8 (Comics Make Me Happy!)
Firestorm Major Player in Brightest Day, Toys, and Getting Drunk with the Nuclear Man (Firestorm Fan)
Amazing Heroes Preview Specials: Aquaman (1985-1986) (Justice League Detroit)
2010 Zatanna Commission by Rob Liefeld (Justice League Detroit)
Bringing Back Who's Who (Siskoid's Blog of Geekery)
Review: Superman 80-Page Giant (Supergirl Comic Box Commentary)

NUDITY (Not Safe For Work):
Kim Kardashian - Miami - 20.03.2010 x68 (DeepAtSea)
Grace Park - Bikini Candids on the set of Hawaii Five-0 x12 (DeepAtSea)
Tiffany Amber Thiessen - Gilles Gagnan Photoshoot x25 (DeepAtSea)
Molly Ringwald today (Drunken Stepfather)
Naomi Campbell by Sølve Sundsbø | Vogue Russia April 2010 (Fashion Goes Rogue)
Olga Kurylenko Unknown UHQ Lingerie Photo Shoot (Lanky Bastard)
Kelly Brooks Breaks Out Her Massive Bazongas For The April 2010 Issue Of "Maxim" (RU) HQ Scans (Lanky Bastard)
Tiiu Kiuk Nude MQ Photo Shoot For "Dansk" Magazine by Henrik Bulow (Nebula's Nude Celebs)
"Hello Cheeky" by Rankin "Esquire" (UK) April 2010 HQ Scans (Nebula's Nude Celeb)
Spring Training (The Scandy Factory)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wednesday Is Grimm For Aesop & I Don't Care #60

Human Target #1 (2010)
Legends: The Enchanted #0
Neverland #0
The Perhapanauts - Molly's Story

Human Target #1 (DC, 2010, $2.99)
Besides the Milligan stuff for Vertigo, I think the last DC mini-series to star Christopher Chase was a tie-in to the last time an attempt was made to turn this property into a TV series (starring soap opera actor/one-hit wonder Rick Springfield.) I've never seen the show, but I can spot the obviously referenced likenesses of its actors in the art, so I'm treating this like a licensing cash-in more than a "real" comic, which is to say "totally lowering my expectations." Curiously, it's split between a serialized lead feature and one-shot back-up by different creative teams, which works out for the best.

The main story is genetic enough to be from a crappy '80s TV show. As written by Len Wein, it reads like a Bronze Age dude trying to ape Garth Ennis, and its main characteristics are a total lack of credibility or forethought. For instance, Chase is a super-duper mercenary hired by the government to get an informant out of a compound so impregnable its snipers target ants crossing their perimeter. So Chase pulls the old "fake a heart attack and escape in an ambulance" routine, and the wagon gets away without an escort or anything. I guess these were the feds investigating WMDs in Iraq. Then there's a scene where the hardcore underground contact is about to torture a gangbanger with a blow torch, until something else comes up, so the thug just gets let go without a scratch. Oh, and don't get me started on Chase's "oh my god, that was so overused I thought Hollywood banned it" fighting technique. The art is typical licensed property blandery.

The back-up is a fun little diddy by Peter Johnson and Chris Sprouse. It's got humor and attitude, making uses of subtle references in place of exposition to help you figure out the mise-en-scène set-up as the story gallops toward a conclusion. I wouldn't say six good pages is worth the price of admission, but it takes the sting out of forking over money for the rest.

Legends: The Enchanted #0 (Radical, 2010, $1.00)
You want to write some retarded post-apocalyptic bullshit story like you read in Heavy Metal magazine while resting between jerk-off sessions involving you and Milo Manara (or a Royo cover in a pinch?) Shit won't sell. Find a way to work in fairy tale bullshit you should have left behind in grade school? Proceed to kiss Bill Willingham's jock and collect a check.

Once again, I'm reminded of Wally Wood's 1967 piece "Disneyland Memorial Orgy". That was a critique of a wholesome American entertainer who just happened to be a scumbag Nazi sympathizer. That meant something. Taking characters from mythology/fairy tales/etc. and turning them into immortal cyborgs with remote controlled scythes? What's the point? The original inspiration is buried under a ton of revisionist nonsense to the point of being nearly unrecognizable, so call Red Riding Hood "Burgundy Wolfsbane" or someshit, and instead of calling you a mongoloid I can just say you write tough guy sarcasm at a junior high level. I know this for a fact, as I wrote similar dialogue back then, and have the lined-paper "comics" to prove my insufficient maturity for professional work.

When you take very loose representations of characters from antiquity and just have them do a bunch of gory fighting in near black or "fiery" backgrounds used to mask artistic deficits/laziness, the only actual selling point is perversion, and I prefer my porno from Milo Manara over Simon Bisley.

Neverland #0 (Zenescope, 2010, $1.99)
I bet you're expecting me to shit on this, right? I mean, it's from fucking Zenescope, a line defined by all the crap I was just talking about. Well, see, while I disagree with the premise of mixing Peter Pan in with child serial killers in the urban jungle, the execution by writer Joe Brusha is surprisingly decent. A lot of exposition is handled well, and the requisite cryptic teases are intriguing. I don't care for this company's preview format, and the art by Jean-Paul Deshing is amateurish, but this is the best thing I've seen from them since 1001 Arabian Nights: The Adventures of Sinbad #0

The Perhapanauts - Molly's Story (Image, 2010, $3.50)
I've tried The Perhapanauts a couple times, but it didn't quite cut it. This is an origin special for a team member, written and drawn by fans instead of the regular creative team. I can't tell if the story needed more or less space, but either way, decent promise falls flat for lack of pay-off, and the "narrators" feel like nothing more than devices by story's end. It's okay, but not for $3.50

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Wrong Trousers (1993)

I had hoped to knock out a Wednesday review column tonight, but it got late, and I was tied up by, among other things, introducing my girlfriend to Feathers McGraw. While she was away on vacation, I brought my stuffed doll out of storage, and felt she deserved a proper acquaintance. Below is the excellent half-hour stop motion film The Wrong Trousers, winner of the 1993 Academy Award for Animated Short Film. It's a lovely bit of noir, but with a penguin and robotic pants. If you haven't seen this yet, it's about time you rectified the matter.

Monday, March 22, 2010

1983 Superman Peanut Butter Action Comics #1 Reprint Ad

I never had much luck with mail away items as a kid (Fuck you, thieving Get Along Gang!,) and I rarely saw Superman brand peanut butter on store shelves, so this is pretty much just a nice ad to me. I do still have a bit to shit copy of the Superman #1 Treasury Edition I bought at a Gemco around 1983. Now that was a badass Superman, before he haunted the local grocers with his bullshit off-brand PB!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Linkypeux of 3.21.2010

John Henry gave his life against the Inky Poo to prove a man could overcome a machine. Frank Lee Delano fights a losing weekly battle against the internet, so that his sacrificed time might save your own.

Last time, I offered a list of recommended bookmarks that lopped off all the A & B comic book blogs, including one of my own. Whoopsie.

Amazon Princess (Wonder Woman Art)
Armagideon Time
Atom: The Mighty Mite
Atomic Surgery (Old Comic Book Scans)
Being Carter Hall (Hawkman Blog)
Black SuperHero Blog
Blinded Me With Comics



Art & Photograpy
NSFW book covers of pulp fantasy fic. (Random Picture Day)
Time Out New York: Joan Jett (Rob Kelly Illustration)
Monster PSA: Lionel Atwill (Rob Kelly Illustration)
Lydia Hearst (This Photo Life)

Simple Maths to Make Ke$ha (Damn Cool Photography)

Obama on the brink of a health care reinvention (AP/Yahoo News)
Palinocalypse (Deus Ex Malcontent)
Top 5 lies about health care (PolitiFact)
Foxx blames recession on Democratic Congressional takeover (PolitiFact)

Television of the Weak: Another Gentleman With Poor Phone Etiquette (The Factual Opinion)

Dellamorte's Box Office Wrap Up 3/19/10 (CHUD)
Repo Men review by Devin Faraci (CHUD)
The Cove DVD review by Justin Clark (CHUD)
The Wraith DVD review by Joshua Miller (CHUD)
Too Many Movies Tuesdays: "I'm A Freak, Chico!" (The Factual Opinion)
Showgirls review by TK (Pajiba)
Repo Men review by Steven Lloyd Wilson (Pajiba)
15 Of The Worst Scifi Movies Ever (That You’ve Actually Heard Of) (Pop Crunch)
Where Are They Now? 8 Child Stars From Classic Horror Films (Unreality)

Celebrity Gossip:
Kate Winslet Is Single (I Don't Like You In That Way)
Sandra Bullock Might Be Single Soon, HIV Positive (I Don't Like You In That Way)

Comic Books:
Lying In The Gutters – March 15th 2010 (Bleeding Cool)
Dynamite President Teases Details on VAMPIRELLA Purchase (Newsarama)
Comic Book Legends Revealed #252(CBR)

Comic Book Reviews:
AICN Comic Reviews Shipping Week: 3/3/10 & 3/10/10 (AICN)
Power Man, Hip-Hop & Luke Cage Noir Style By Shawn Martinbrough (AllHipHop)
The Buy Pile 3/17/10 by Hannibal Tabu(CBR)
The Week In Ink: March 17, 2010 (Chris' Invincible Super-Blog)
Review: Marvel Team-Up #82 (Comics Bronze Age)
Review: Marvel Team-Up #83 (Comics Bronze Age)
Review: Marvel Team-Up #84 (Comics Bronze Age)
Review: Marvel Team-Up #85 (Comics Bronze Age)
Comics Of The Weak: You've Got To Put Your Faith In The Tech (The Factual Opinion)
Best Shots Reviews: LAST STAND OF NEW KRYPTON, Much More(Newsarama)
Best Shots Rapid Reviews: GHY1 #1, HULK, NOVA, More (Newsarama)

Comic Book Blogs:
Aquaman Original Art Gallery (The Aquaman Shrine)
More Fun Comics #101 - Jan. 1945 (The Aquaman Shrine)
Nobody’s Favorites: Jamm (Armagideon Time)
Showcase #36: Prisoner In A Test Tube! (The Atom: Mighty Mite)
Hawkman Turnaround Jose Luis Lopez-Garcia (Being Carter Hall)
Custom Black Lantern Hawkman (Being Carter Hall)
A Guide For Writing the Rebooted Martian Manhunter Part 6 (Comics Make Me Happy!)
A Guide For Writing the Rebooted Martian Manhunter Part 7 (Comics Make Me Happy!)
DC Comics Super Hero Collection #46 – Firestorm Lead Figure (Firestorm Fan)
52/WW III Part Four: United We Stand #1 (June, 2007) (The Idol-Head of Diabolu)
2010 The Martian Manhunter Archives Volume 6 Introduction by Tom Hartley (The Idol-Head of Diabolu)
The Brow & Michael Netzer: A Question from Tom Hartley (The Idol-Head of Diabolu)
39: Fantastic Four #12 (Marvel Genesis)
Captain Marvel, The Last Good Dead Superhero (Once Upon A Geek)
What If... Spider-Man Had Saved Gwen Stacy? (Siskoid's Blog of Geekery)
Superbaby Has Two Mommies (Slay, Monstrobot of the Deep!! )
Legion Of Alternate Batmen (Slay, Monstrobot of the Deep!! )
(Slay, Monstrobot of the Deep!!)
Back Issue Box: Action Comics #332 and #333 (Supergirl Comic Box Commentary)
Review: Supergirl #51 (Supergirl Comic Box Commentary)

NUDITY (Not Safe For Work):
Candice Boucher - PB Magazine - April 2010 x57 (DeepAtSea)
Kelly Monaco - Various PB Magazine Photoshoot x121 (DeepAtSea)
Alyssa Milano :: Nudography (DeepAtSea)
Michelle Buswel - Tank Magazine - Spr-Sum 2010 x12 (DeepAtSea)
Freja Beha Erichsen - Purple Magazine - Issue #13 of Spr-Sum 2010 x9 (DeepAtSea)
Francia Raisa is a beach rollergirl (I Don't Like You In That Way)
Vanessa Hudgens closing night ceremony of ShoWest 2010 (Popoholic)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wednesday Is Any Day For All I Care #59

R.E.B.E.L.S. #13 (2010)
Super Friends #24 (2010)
The Weird World of Jack Staff #1
Zero Killer #1 & 2 (2007)

In case you're wondering, I'm aware I suck for moving ...nurgh... to 999 Backburner Court. I'm working on a ton of stuff, but things will get better with time.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #13 (DC, 2010, $2.99)
Everything is coming together for the wrap-up of this Starro the Barbarian bullshit. The Omega Men side project bears fruit. Despero's role expands, with a nice nod to earlier stories and most especially that the poor son of a bitch for sure can get an erection after this resurrection. I always wondered if the fucker was always so pissed off for lack of cock, and there's still some question of quantity, but at least it f'sure exists. Maybe it's only me and Kevin Smith concerned about that sort of thing. I appreciate how relevant old school JLofA villains are to this story.

Looks like Bedard is setting up Lyrl Dox/Brainiac-3 as a running antagonist, and he's alright, but just not as interesting without the (literally infantile) satire of the old days. Instead, he's just helping Vril get older, a reminder neither of us need. St. Aubin & Hanna continue to make the book look well above its sales class.

Super Friends #24 (DC, 2010, $2.50)
I thought J. Bone was doing the interiors, and of course I wish all the obscurities at the mad scientist convention had more face time. Regardless, this was fun, with surprising in-jokes and just enough Professor Arnold Hugo moments to satisfy. Nice work from Fisch and Brizuela.

The Weird World of Jack Staff #1 (Image, 2010, $3.50)
I've tried to enjoy Paul Grist since following the early issues of Kane in the '90s, but it's never taken. Grist's simple art style lends itself to dense storytelling along the lines of Keith Giffen and Matt Wagner, as it should allow him to pack in the panels per page without weighing on the eye. Here, he sticks to six panels or less with lots of partial splashes, like Tim Sale without the oomph. When you're telling interconnecting three page serialized stories with a variety of protagonists, you either need to drop a serious info dump or be stylin' like a motherfucker, but Grist pulls off neither. Instead, we get what would be cryptic snippets, except since you figure it's all working toward another "lone hero staves off Armageddon with a mystical sword" battle, who gives a shit about the fine details?

Zero Killer #1-2 (Dark Horse, 2007, $2.99)
I used to do reviews of older books here, and I think I'll be getting back to that. If I'm going to cover books weeks to months late, why not years? I pulled these books out of a quarter bin shortly before hearing a trade paperback collection was finally rolling out 2 1/2 years from the mini-series' end date, and since I'd been interested, the timing was perfect. Shame the book wasn't.

Zero is your typical mysterious frontier hero: kicks ass, doesn't talk much, morally superior but distant. He picks up the slightly annoying girl sidekick exposition helper early on, who gets Zero entangled in the type of fucked-up post-apocalyptic bullshit that hasn't been big since the '80s. This variation has the Commies in control of the world after a nuclear exchange that submerges much of New York City, leaving gangs to congregate in politely/ridiculously tagged skyscraper headquarters in between boat-enabled rumbles. Arvid Nelson's script is competent, but intentionally obtuse, with each episode drowning in cliché. If you get hard for Mad Max/Warriors/Escape From New York kinda deals, this is your comfortingly familiar fanboy handjob. If you're not, the only points of recommendation are Dave Stewart's lovely colors and the gorgeous art of Matt Camp. Looking like early Mike McKone by way of John Cassaday with a bit of Gary Erskine, Camp is going to be huge one day. He likely needs to pick up the pace though, and lay off the super obvious Greg Land photo referencing. Playing "spot the character actor/model/R&B icon" drop kicks a fella right out of the story.

Monday, March 15, 2010

nurghophonic jukebox: "Maria" by Blondie

Written By: Jimmy Destri
Released: 1999
Album: No Exit
Single?: #1 in the UK, #82 on US Billboard Hot 100

Anecdote: I've decided I'd like to have more of my own personality on this blog, as opposed to the aloof vibe I once preferred. Blog buddy wiec? recently had a birthday, and he digs Debbie Harry, so it was this or a nudie scene from Videodrome to celebrate.

I've liked Blondie since an early age, but I've only ever followed them as a singles band. I caught them in concert as a treat for my visiting sister last year on a triple bill with the Donnas and Pat Benetar. If you're ever in-a Houston, try to catch a show at the Arena Theater. It's a comparatively intimate venue, and thanks to a 360 degree rotating stage, there isn't a bad seat in the house (unless you're in line with the speakers.) Anyway, when Harry came out, she was wearing chunky '80s sunglasses, a business jacket, and fishnet stockings. She came off as cold at first, awkwardly strutting, with stiff arthritic movements. After a song or two, her voice and joints seemed to loosen up, and her personality warmed. Her pipes were never 100%, but damned solid for a 63 year old new wave chick. Speaking of which, after she ditched the shades and jacket, I could see she was holding up pretty well physically, though in a curvier way than in her heroin chic heyday. The set was solid, with curve balls like a cover of Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough." I'm fond of the band's last big single, which fared poorly stateside, but "Maria" rocked live. I figured it was the most interesting track to offer here, given my surface-level fandom...

She walks like she dont care.
Smooth as silk, cool as air.
Ooh, it makes you wanna cry.

She doesnt know your name and your heart beats like a subway train.
Ooh, it makes you wanna die.

Ooh, dont you wanna take her?
Wanna make her all your own?

Youve gotta see her!
Go insane and out of your mind.
Ave maria.
A million and one candlelights.

Ive seen this thing before.
In my best friend and the boy next door.
Fool for love and fool of fire.

Wont come in from the rain.
Sees oceans running down the drain.
Blue as ice and desire.

Dont you wanna make her?
Ooh, dont you wanna take her home?

Youve gotta see her!
Go insane and out of your mind.
Ave maria.
A million and one candlelights.

Ooh, dont you wanna break her?
Ooh, dont you wanna take her home?

She walks like she dont care.
You wanna take her everywhere.
Ooh, it makes you wanna cry.

She walks like a she don't care.
Walking on imported air.
Ooh, it makes you wanna die.

Youve gotta see her!
Go insane and out of your mind.
Ave maria.
A million and one candlelights.

Youve gotta see her!
Go insane and out of your mind.
Ave maria.
A million and one candlelights.

Youve gotta see her!
Go insane and out of your mind.
Ave maria.
A million and one candlelights.

Youve gotta see her!
Go insane and out of your mind.
Ave maria.
A million and one candlelights.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Linkdone July 8th, 2009-March 14, 2010

I loves me some internet surfing, and thought I'd express that through a weekly filler linkpost. That swoll up to an unreasonable size, so I tried breaking it up into a twice weekly. All that did was provide even more space to grow. I figure if I spend two hours or so most days and closer to four+ on posting days feeding the Linkypeux/deux, that's about one waking day per week devoted to a time-wasting chore. I'm far more interested in generating content than relating it, and it's not like I ever got much reciprocity for promoting other people's sites/blogs, anyway. Welcome the the Night of the Long Knives at the Linkpeux, which effective immediately will become a far shorter and more irregular feature...

So it was foretold, the time would come for a War of the Links, and only the fittest would survive...

If you enjoy these pages and haven't already bookmarked them, now would be the time...




Not Safe For Work Blogs
So as not to leave ya'll behind, here's some up-to-date links. Now, you're on your own...


Academy Award Winning Movie Trailer

Fox News pumps up the 'Texas textbook war' (PolitiFact)

Lady Gaga & Beyonce's "Telephone" (NSFW! Women in Prison! Exploitation "Movie" Poster!)

Caesar: Rise of the Apes in development (CHUD)
Hugo Weaving cast as the Red Skull (Pajiba)
Green Zone review by William Goss (Pajiba)
She's Out of My League review by Steven Lloyd Wilson (Pajiba)

Comic Books:
Palmiotti, Gray & Conner off Power Girl with #12 (CBR)
HACK/SLASH Moves to Image, Leaves Devil's Due Behind (CBR)
Mjolnir Belongs to Fraction & Ferry with June's THOR #611 (Newsarama)
Son of Legendary Joe Simon Launches SHIELDMASTER (Newsarama)

Comic Book Reviews:
Review: Fantastic Four: The Master of Doom (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)
Review: Hulk Vol. 3: Hulk No More (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)
The MYSTIC HANDS of DOCTOR STRANGE- An In-Depth REVIEW.(Sanctum Sanctorum Comix)

Comic Book Blogs:
More Fun Comics #100 - Nov. 1944 (The Aquaman Shrine)
Adventure Comics #460 - Dec. 1978 (The Aquaman Shrine)
Crisis On Earth-Blog: The DC Challenge (Comics Make Me Happy!)
Men In Hats Part 1 (Comics Make Me Happy!)
The Fine Line Between Homage and "Just Plain Ripping Off" (Comics Make Me Happy!)
Adam Strange... is the nicest guy in the DC Universe. (Comics Make Me Happy!)
I Readed A Book! (Review of Huntress: Cry for Blood) (Comics Make Me Happy!)
Happy Valentine's Day...or something. (Comics Make Me Happy!)
The Purpose of Comics, or, Why Grant Morrison Doesn't Write Comics Part I (Comics Make Me Happy!)
Wait a Second...! (Human Target Shoots the Shark) (Comics Make Me Happy!)
Fashion Friday: Adam Strange (Comics Make Me Happy!)
Forward the Bromance! (Comics Make Me Happy!)
The Case for John Jones: Noir Comic Book Hero (Comics Make Me Happy!)
The Trouble With Telepathy? (Comics Make Me Happy!)
A Guide For Writing the Modern Martian Manhunter Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (Comics Make Me Happy!)
Public Domain Superhero-A-Day: THE HOOD Sketchcard! (flameape.)
(Girls Gone Geek)
Activity Page Friday (Gone & Forgotten)
Lighten Up, Val (Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!)
2010 Martian Manhunter Archives Vol. 6 Create-Your-Own Back Cover by Tom Hartley (The Idol-Head of Diabolu)
52/WW III Part Three: Hell Is For Heroes #1 (June, 2007) (The Idol-Head of Diabolu)
2004 Zatanna Convention Sketch by Steve Lightle (Justice League Detroit)
Flattop Jr. in Dick Tracy 4-parter (Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine)
"The Phantom of Marco's Villa" from St. John's Authentic Police Cases #5 (1948) (Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine)
What If... Aunt May Had Been Bitten by that Radioactive Spider? (Siskoid's Blog of Geekery)
You Mean They Put Heroes In Prison When They Commit Crimes?? (Slay, Monstrobot of the Deep!!)
Superbaby Am Smart From Listening To Super-Mozart!! (Slay, Monstrobot of the Deep!!)
new poll: the better Joker. (when is evil cool?)

NUDITY (Not Safe For Work):
Star Wars Burlesque Show Pictures (CBR)
Catherine Deneuve - Lui - January 1973 x8 (DeepAtSea)
Sophie Marceau - Lui - April 1990 x14 (DeepAtSea)
Bai Ling - Marc Baptiste Photoshoot x1 (DeepAtSea)
Alice Eve Nude Pictures are Out of Your League (Egotastic!)
Sarah Hyland Swimsuit Pictures (Hollywood Tuna)
Amanda Seyfried in Esquire (April 2010) (The Superficial)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Wednesday Is Any Day For All I Care #58

Anywhere 101
Devil #1 (2010)
Image United #0
Orc Stain #1

Anywhere 101 (Arcana, 2009, $1.00)
"Besides, this comic sucks..." -writer Tom Akel, who dedicated the book to his deceased father a paragraph earlier, possibly based on his repressed memories of a blue diamond that may kill him if he looks into it.

This comic was priced at one dollar. With my discount, I probably paid eighty cents or less. The few retailers who stocked up on a cheap book with "PUSSY" in big letters on the cover will end up lining their quarter boxes with it. It isn't worth a plug nickel. The book is stupid, unfunny and pointless. The art by Alan Quah looks like tattoo flash. The coloring is all muddy autumn tones. I can't even summon up enough interest to bash it further, and my apathy has had the book sitting around my apartment months after I read it without a review. Had I read a fourth book today, it still would be. Someone involved with this book had a lot of money to waste (from an inheritance?) on an unfortunate vanity project.

Devil #1 (Dark Horse, 2010, $3.50)
Last week I ripped into the fucking terrible Pilot Season: Demonic #1, which looks like The Dark Knight Returns compared to this crap. Editor Tim Ervin must have gotten liquored up with creator Torajiro Kishi or his representatives and woken up with his prick up the prolapsed rectum of the disemboweled corpse of a Thai ladyboy with camera flashes popping in his face to have overseen this garbage. Ervin must have been like one of those guys in a suspense thriller who's squirming to get out of an impossible situation, arranging to cover the completely inadequate art in Roger Corman style darkness, seeing to it the book prints nearly black pages you can barely make anything out of. The side effect is that all of the captions are oversized blobs of glaring white with smallish bunches of text floating like squarely centered islands in a marshmallow sea. It doesn't really matter, because all the dialogue is retarded cliche bullshit nobody should bother allowing to pass over their conscious minds for the slim minutes it takes to page through this "book." I take that back. The developmentally challenged should not be underestimated in their ability to convey greater depth, emotion, and progression in their literary endeavors than this.

The story is so simple, it could have been produced by a Commodore 64 computer program. Dirty Harry as a Blade Runner against vampires. If that sounds cool to you, remember that so did a war between vampires and werewolves, and that turned into the god forsaken Underworld series. In execution, this is closer to John Carpenter's Vampires as directed by Joel Schumacher on a budget. There are even ultra-glitter vampires-- like, Tron neon glowy vampires. It's just that wrong.

Devil is a perfect example of the absolute worst tendencies of manga, and I mean the really awful filler material that doesn't usually get reprinted outside of Japan. If you enjoy hentai, you won't even realize that you missed a rape sequence because it is so ineptly rendered. If you loathe hentai, the part where the rape victim swells and explodes from the infected sperm will make you want to vomit directly onto the comic, but again, the graphic representation is so poorly handled  that you'll have to use your finger. 

Mike Diana could write and draw a better comic than this. Frankly, I'm writing this review, and you're reading it, so the odds are in our favor of being able to combine forces and produce a better comic than this based simply on literacy. There's a couple of industry truisms: that the most talented creators are usually the least agreeable people, and that folks wanting to break into comics should compare their work to the field's best, not its worst. I recommend hopefuls track down Torajiro Kishi, who'll likely be such a gentile son of a bitch, he'll tell you everything you need to know in order to work in the business without your catastrophic lack of ability hindering you. I mean, Devil isn't fit to wipe your ass with. The glossy stock has no traction, so you'll just smear the shit across your ass cheeks. It serves no purpose beyond the destruction of trees and the misapplication of staples. Kishi must be doing something really right behind the scenes, or else the devil in the stupid title is meant to recall some Faustian bargain the fucker made.

Image United #0 (Image, 2010, $2.99)
I found Image United #1 to be an at best mediocre book with a good back-up. The exact same thing hold true here, but further in both directions. The lead story is inoffensive, and I think it's a reprint, but I don't care enough to check on it. Where the first issue was lame but had the novelty of allowing a bunch of Image partners to jam on one book, here we only get one character that remotely maters and art by Erik Larsen, Whilce Portacio and Ryan Ottley. It gives a little more background on Access, who doesn't reference his days in DC/Marvel intercompany crossovers, and now wears even more dated clothes. Well actually, the guy's name is Fortress until Marvel sues up a name change (theirs is in Avengers Academy,) and he's at heart The Greatest American Hero with less charm and an unforgivable absence of Connie Sellecca. It's 16 pages involving a Savage Dragon team-up and a weak villain created by writer Robert Kirkman. All three receive profile pages so slavishly recreating entries from The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, you'd think Marvel could also sue for the infringement on their intellectual property. Well, except the actual entries are rather sloppily written and skimpy on detail (Dragon's doesn't progress past a summation of his first issue.) Blessedly, Chris Giarrusso offers the four page parody Image Untied that's both genuinely funny and makes me think I need to pick up a G-Man trade. Finally, there's a four page preview Turf that should sway buyers to check out the full issue.

Orc Stain #1 (Image, 2010, $2.99)
This Vaughn Bode riff spends thirty-two pages going nowhere you need to visit. There's some alien world lore in the beginning, but it isn't to be taken seriously, and gives way to a thief's quest. The art is quite good for this sort of thing, but how can a book with full frontal orc nudity (both genders) and sparse dialogue still manage to be such a long dull read? Well, it's being about xeno-potheads probably plays into that.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Linkypeux for March 5-11th, 2010

John Henry gave his life against the Inky Poo to prove a man could overcome a machine. Frank Lee Delano fights a losing weekly battle against the internet, so that his sacrificed time might save your own.


North Korea - The Craziest Country in the World (Damn Cool Photography)
The Blogosphere We Call Home (Damn Cool Photography)

Art & Photograpy
What Happens When an Elephant Dies in Zimbabwe (Damn Cool Photography)
Retro Futuristic Illustrations by Kilian Eng (flameape.)
apes is the place. (Random Picture Day)
From The Vault: Moxie Grrrl #2 - 2005 (Rob Kelly Illustration)
Closed For The Season (Rob Kelly Illustration)
Time Out New York: Stanley Tucci (Rob Kelly Illustration)

Tales of the Unread (The Second Pass)

Honest Movie Titles: Oscars 2010 (College Humor)
How To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse (Ned Hardy)
Screenplaying: serious thought put into something ridiculous. (when is evil cool?)

Deadly Prey in under 3 minutes from Everything Is Terrible (NSFW language & violence)

REVIEW: Pepsi Max Cease Fire (The Impulse Buy)

Sarah Palin Admits Crossing Border for Canadian Health Care (Betty Confidential)
Milbank says Bush was 'least popular president in modern history' (PolitiFact)

The Female Orgasm: By The Numbers (Damn Cool Photography)

The 3rd Dimension: Madballs! (El Jacone's Comic Book Bunker)
‘Mad Men’ Dolls in a Barbie World, but the Cocktails Must Stay Behind (NY Times)


The 20 Worst Saturday Morning Cartoons (oh shit, Rickety Rocket!) (Heavy)

Jurassic Park review by Steven Lloyd Wilson (Pajiba)
Too Many Movies Tuesdays: A Lot More Than The Menu (The Factual Opinion)

The Devin's Advocate: Movies That Never Were
#1: Star Trek IV with Eddie Murphy; Sandman; Oliver Stone's Planet of the Apes (CHUD)
#2: The Marx Bros in A Day At the United Nations; Jaws 3, People 0; King Kong vs Frankenstein (CHUD)
#3: Phantasm's End; The Revenant; Night Skies (CHUD)
#4: John Boorman's Lord of the Rings; A Confederacy of Dunces; Bartholomew vs Neff. (CHUD)

Celebrity Gossip:
Children of Celebrities (Damn Cool Photography)
Reason #3792 That Bill Murray Is Awesome (Agent Bedhead)
Zoe Saldana Is Smart (I Don't Like You In That Way)

Comic Books:
Lying In The Gutters – March 8th 2009 (Bleeding Cool)
Comic Book Legends Revealed #251(CBR)

Comic Book Reviews:
The Buy Pile 3/10/10 by Hannibal Tabu(CBR)
CBR Reviews Last Week's New Comics (CBR)
The Week In Ink: March 10, 2010 (Chris' Invincible Super-Blog)
Best Shots Rapid Reviews: BATMAN & ROBIN 10, More(Newsarama)
Best Shots Advanced Reviews: HULK: BATTLE BEGIN, More (Newsarama)
Review: Teen Titans: Deathtrap (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)
Just some Random Thinking (Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!)
Spent Time Reading Siege Comics This Past Weekend (Once Upon A Geek)
Review: Superma:Last Stand Of New Krypton #1 (Supergirl Comic Box Commentary)

Comic Book Blogs:
Aquaman "Lame" T-Shirt (The Aquaman Shrine)
Aquaman Shrine Interview with Paul Kupperberg - 2010 (The Aquaman Shrine)
ECCC Hawkman Print by Phillip Tan (Being Carter Hall)
Canary Cry For Justice (Girls Gone Geek)
2010 The Martian Manhunter Archives Volume 6 Fan Mock-Up Cover by Tom Hartley (The Idol-Head of Diabolu)
52/WW III Part Two: The Valiant #2 (June, 2007) (The Idol-Head of Diabolu)
(Justice League Detroit)
36: Journey into Mystery #89 (Marvel Genesis)
37: Tales to Astonish #41 (Marvel Genesis)
A Yarn I Can't Understand (Siskoid's Blog of Geekery)
Tales From The Quarter Bin--Sybil Danning IS Black Diamond!! (Slay, Monstrobot of the Deep!!)
Speaking Of Female Action Heroes Debuting In Black Diamond #1... (Slay, Monstrobot of the Deep!!)
Tales From The Quarter Bin--I Just Love It When An Homage Comes Together (Slay, Monstrobot of the Deep!!)
Points On A Curve No 4: So Who Exactly Is This Aquaman Fellow Anyway? (Too Busy Thinking About My Comics)

NUDITY (Not Safe For Work):
Hayden Panettiere - Unknown Photoshoot x3 (DeepAtSea)
Amy Acker - Judson Baker Photoshoot x14 (DeepAtSea)
Kim Kardashian Bikini, Eva Amurri Cleavage, Summer Glau, Olivia Munn, and More! (Egotastic!)
Coco Naked in a Tanning Bed FTW (Egotastic!)
Cintia Dicker is a sexy ginger (Funtasticus)
Audrina Knows What's Up (I Don't Like You In That Way)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

X-Men Forever Vol.1: Picking Up Where We Left Off

My first X-Men comic was Uncanny #168, which introduced me to proxy girlfriend Kitty Pryde, the sublime art of Paul Smith, and the distinctive writing of Chris Claremont. I liked it, but didn't become a regular reader until the following year's release of the classic reprint/alternate ending special Phoenix: The Untold Story, coupled with a fantastic "Marvel heroes in the Hyborian Age" two-parter in the regular series. I bought Uncanny more or less continuously for the rest of the decade, marking it as the first title I collected devoutly over a long period of time. I loved the richness of the mutant world, the complexity of the characters and their relationships, and the sheer weight of it all. Between the strained history and rampant verbiage, Uncanny was a meaty read, and usually graced with the finest artists besides. Back when I still had to scrape up pocket change for each comic I bought, it was a no-brainer purchase.

Claremont was prone toward the long view, and began an enormous über-arc around #200 that ran, and ran, and ran for eighty issues and endless tie-ins until 1991. My patience wore out shy of the halfway point, but the departure of the disagreeable Marc Silvestri in favor of the ascendant Jim Lee and upward story momentum won me back. When a second adjectiveless X-Men series launched by that team, I bought a rare two copies (the first week of release plus the later high end edition) to do my part to get the debut's sales in the neighborhood of eight million copies. Although the arc in the first three issues did nothing for me, the previous two years worth of work earned the creative team a lot of leeway under my good graces. It was troubling then that after ongoing conflict with editor Bob Harras, Claremont left his babies after sixteen years of guidance in the hands of artists-turned-dilettante-writers and company hacks. I stuck it out until 1993 on the uneven Uncanny, abandoned the consistently terrible new X-Men a few months prior, but broadly dumped the X-titles and became a mutie hater after retarded crossover The X-Cutioner's Song. Aside from occasional and very brief backsliding dalliances, I've been x-free for nearly twenty years.

You may fail to see the relevance of my sharing my personal reading habits at length, but all will become clear. You see, for me and a good many other fans, Chris Claremont simply was the X-Men. Though he toyed with us by working on some peripheral books, and misguidedly tried to ape edgy British writers on an ill-fated return to Uncanny, Claremont remained the heart and hope of the franchise for us old school types. Finally, in a stroke of genius, Marvel greenlit an ongoing series set in a parallel continuity where Claremont could pick up exactly where he left off with X-Men #3 and go from there. Of course, Claremont had told plenty of people what his original plans were over the years, assuming he would never get the chance to tell his tales. Thus, we have X-Men Forever, in which Claremont mingles those plans that previously hadn't born fruit with new twists.

It was important for you to know all this, because this book is in no way intended for the uninitiated. Claremont does an alright job reminding everyone which stories were in development in 1991, but I can't imagine anyone without a prior emotional investment giving a good goddamn. The entire first issue is exposition, plus a left-field love affair between Wolverine and Jean Grey that exists because fans have long wanted it and it flies in the face of the domesticated Jean & Scott as married couple conceived after Claremont left. The first issue even ends on an awkward cliffhanger that leaves the major reveal for a few pages into the follow-up. The pace also picks up here, with hints of nasty developments and reminders that things vaguely touched upon nineteen years ago would now be thoroughly employed. You definitely get the sense of a long delayed "new world order" to the title, but again, you'd have to have been there the first time for any of it to matter.

The third issue gets deep enough into an ongoing conspiracy and "WTF?" moments that the tale finally kicks in at a more objective level. The fourth is problematic, as a tendency toward "off" characterization on Claremont's on terms really starts to nag. There's a lot of silliness (who didn't hate Jean's awful '90s costume, but to try out a new one in the midst of this chaos, and an unflattering one besides...) and telling-instead-of-showing, all of it amusingly heavy-handed verging on camp. The fifth and final issue in this collection teases a line-up changes that never occurs, complete with more new poorly designed outfits to not look forward to. As one would expect from Claremont, virtually nothing gets resolved, and instead a whole kettle of new revelations and complications closes out the volume.

X-Men Forever is a nostalgia exercise that tries so desperately to be bold and shocking, you want to pat its eager head and give it a hug and/or Ritalin. Everyone is trying so hard, especially '90s John Byrne acolyte Tom Grummett with his period flare for feathering, they at least deserve an "e" for effort. It's a hot mess if you missed this kind of storytelling from back in the day, and likely perplexing to anyone else.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Linkydeux 3.8.10

Whilst avoiding working on actual blog content and surfing the web, Frank Lee Delano struck upon the conception: what if I could surf the net in order to generate meaningless content? And so the Linkypeux was born, and it was good. Verily, 'twas too good, as its contents swelled, causing a strenuous effort to release. It was assured that a deuce must be dropped, a Linkydeux. There was sorrow amongst the land though, as genuine content suffered from the excess of deux accumulating in the bowels of the nurgh. So it was foretold, the time would come for a War of the Links, and only the fittest would survive...

Interactive Movie: Become Sweden's National Hero!

STDs in America (Damn Cool Photography)
5 things: from the Junk Drawer (the pressed for time batch) (when is evil cool?)

Art & Photograpy
National Geographic's BEST pictures of the year. (Copytaste)
keep being awesome. (Random Picture Day)
oh boy! what a picture. (Random Picture Day)
brute force and catlike reflexes. (Random Picture Day)
Monster PSA: Ray Milland (Rob Kelly Illustration)
From The Vault: Moxie Grrrl #1 - 2005 (Rob Kelly Illustration)

If Wonder Woman Comics Were More Honest (And Awesome) (Cracked)
Growing Up 2600: Score some action (Armagideon Time)



Television of the Weak: A Freak Show From Sunup To Sundown (The Factual Opinion)
227 Reunion on The Today Show. Thank You Santa Christ! (I'm Bringing Blogging Back!)

The 2010 Academy Award Winners (Pajiba)
Dellamorte's Box Office Wrap Up 3/5/10 (CHUD)
Alice in Wonderland review by Dustin Rowles (Pajiba)
Brooklyn's Finest review by Dustin Rowles (Pajiba)
The 2010 Razzie Award Winners (Pajiba)

Celebrity Gossip:
Mark Linkous 1962-2010 (This Photo Life)

Comic Books:
Gail Simone to Depart from Wonder Woman (CBR)
Straczynski Steps Up For "Superman" & "Wonder Woman" (CBR)
Golden Age AIRBOY Gets a 2nd Resurrection in Anthology (Newsarama)
Comic Book Legends Revealed #250(CBR)
Punctuating Comics: Breath Marks (Todd Klein's Blog)

Comic Book Reviews:
Review: Scorpion #1 (Comics Bronze Age)
What I Read This Week: Monday, March 8, 2010 (El Jacone's Comic Book Bunker)
Review: Kevin Smith's Green Hornet #1 (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)
Review: Legends of The Dark Knight #32-#34 (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)
G3 Review: First Wave #1 (Girls Gone Geek)
Review: Adventure Comics #8 (Supergirl Comic Box Commentary)
Review: Cry For Justice #7 (Supergirl Comic Box Commentary)

Comic Book Blogs:
Douglas Shuler's Wonder Woman (Amazon Princess)
Neal Pozner Blue Costume Sketch - 1984 (The Aquaman Shrine)
Aquaman (Vol.1) #63 - Sept. 1978 (The Aquaman Shrine)
More Fun Comics #99 - Sept. 1944 (The Aquaman Shrine)
Nobody’s Favorites: Toyboy (Armagideon Time)
Showcase #35 (The Atom: Mighty Mite)
Read: Hawkman v.4:no.15 (Being Carter Hall)
WAKE UP AND SMELL THE ‘90S! (Chris' Invincible Super-Blog)
Discussion question: If Girl Comics isn't a completely fantastic comic book, does it risk doing more harm than good? (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)
Some questions I have about Justice League: Cry for Justice, after having (Every Day Is Like Wednesday)
Elemental Firestorm Promotional Efforts – 1989 (Firestorm Fan)
Ebony White reborn as a girl? (Glyphs)
2010 Glyph Comics Awards nominees (Glyphs)
New Feature: Activity Page Friday (Gone & Forgotten)
52/WW III Part One: A Call To Arms #1 (June, 2007) (The Idol-Head of Diabolu)
35: Strange Tales #105 (Marvel Genesis)
Sandman comic book advertisement – 1988 (Once Upon A Geek)
Green Lantern Corps #45 (Reilly2040's Blog)
A Deep Breath Before the Plunge...-or-Gaze Into the Future (repurposed) (Sanctum Sanctorum Comix)
What if... The Hulk Had Become a Barbarian? (Siskoid's Blog of Geekery)
Back Issue Box: Superman Family #195 (Supergirl Comic Box Commentary)

NUDITY (Not Safe For Work):
Kelly Brook - Unknown Photoshoot x8 (DeepAtSea)
Keira Knightley - by Marc Hom for Esquire - October 2005 x3 (DeepAtSea)
Angelina Has Had Sex With Pretty Much Everyone (I Don't Like You In That Way)
Lindsay Lohan Smokin' Hot "Purple" Magazine #13 HQ Scans (Lanky Bastard)
Trish Goff Nude In "Purple" Magazine S/S 2010 by Olivier Zahm HQ Scans (Nebula's Nude Celebs)
Argentinian model Belen Rodriguez (The Superficial)
Alessandra Ambrosio stretching in a bikini (The Superficial)


Blog Archive


Surrender The Pink?
All books, titles, characters, character names, slogans, logos, and related indicia are trademarks and/or copyright of their respective rights holders.