Friday Night Linkblogging

March 25, 2011

A couple of maybes in the pre-ordering of comics:

  • If Michael Kaluta was drawing the entire series, I’d gobble up the Fearsome Foursome mini from Marvel despite having affinity for none of the characters.
  • And if Chris Giarrrusso was writing and illustrating all of Hulk-Sized Mini-Hulks, that’d be on the buy list.
  • I’m lacking details, but I’m pretty excited about a new Lois Lane title – Lois Lane and the Resistance.  Disappointed that its tied to the Flashpoint megacrossover from DC, I’ll take my Lois however I can get her.

I mentioned missing out on the first wave of Ryan Dunleavy’s Ten Buck Commissions, and I did again! Now waiting for wave three.

Last year I started out with my own version of an NCAA bracket of Superheroes and Villains.  It was a ton of work!  So this year, I’m leaving the heavy lifting to our friends at Comic Book Resources.

Very excited about the news of a new creative team for Daredevil – Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera, and Marcos Martin.  As Waid described it – this Daredevil won’t drive you to drink.  I’d buy anything done by Marcos and Waid is a top notch writer.  Rivera is always solid and has one of the best blogs about process out there –

Loving Colleen Coover’s classic and mod Wonder Women.

The Wire – Season 1

March 23, 2011

After much stalling and waiting, I’ve started to watch The Wire.  I consider Homicide: Life on the Streets the pinnacle of US television, so I have no idea why it took me so long to watch its creative and spiritual brother.  Why did I deprive myself?!

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways:

  1. The casting.  No big names to jar me from the characterization.  Omar is Omar, not Denzel.  Phelan is Phelan, not DeNiro.  And I appreciate the lack of whitewashing – the cast is dominated by African-Americans as it should be.
  2. The characters have multiple dimensions, so much so that I can enjoy watching a character without liking them.
  3. I love spotting the Homicide actor cameos.
  4. Nothing is tidy – not the city, the offices, their appearances, the money, the politics, or the storylines.
  5. Stringer and Avon are like Luther Mahoney (my favorite character from Homicide) but magnified tenfold.
  6. Wey-Bee has fish and he’s named them.
  7. I love Omar is the baddest man of all – and he doesn’t curse.  Or target innocents.  And just happens to be gay.
  8. My heart breaks watching Bubbs and his struggles.
  9. I’m startled and surprised by the plot developments – it’s not fait accompli.  I don’t know if the good guys win or if the redemption will be achieved.
  10. That said, there is a sense of American tragedy that permeates the storyline, at least through the first season that I’ve seen.  No matter what actions the characters take or plans they make, something unseen conspires against them.

You can find all sorts of cool insight and extras at HBO’s site but I’ve refrained from delving too deep.  Just like a favorite meal, I cannot wait for more of The Wire but ultimately I know it will end.  I want to savor it while I can.

Friday Night Linkblogging

March 11, 2011

Need another sign that comics is no longer fringe entertainment?  How about the March 6 Google logo on their search page celebrating Will Eisner’s birthday?

I’m angry with you.  Why didn’t you tell me how funny An Idiot Abroad was?  Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant send their reluctant podcast partner Karl Pilkington to explore the seven wonders of the world.  Awkward hilarity ensues.

I confess to being interested in Sucker Punch. Giant robots, samurai, dragons, zombies – what more do I need?  Of course, I’m also transfixed by what appears to be a thriving false eyelash black market in the asylum.

Shadow by Mike Hawthorne – wow!

And you can find a terrific Big Barda by Colleen Coover here.

And for your weekly Cliff Chiang update – you can bid on a custom tattoo drawn by Cliff and implemented (is that the right word? installed?) by Brian Stringer.  And 100% of the winning bid goes directly to support the Hero Initiative.

Friday Night Linkblogging

March 4, 2011

I don’t usually post eBay auctions, but I was so struck by this Wonder Woman commission by Art Adams.  I’m pretty sure this is what they mean by a badonkadonk.

A terrific interview with Kurt Busiek by colorist supreme Chris Sotomayor is up.  Smart and insightful into the comic industry – which isn’t surprising given the track record of these two.

I missed out on getting in on Ryan Dunleavy’s Ten Buck Commissions, but at least we can live vicariously through his Tumblr site.  Love the sense of fun and energy in even his most evil characters.

And if you haven’t been checking out ComicTwart routinely, you’ve been missing out on the addition of Dave Johnson and perhaps the best Twart yet – Plastic Man!

I don’t know much about Kevin Mellon, but he is clearly a talented man with discerning taste!  Love this Modesty Blaise sketch.

Does anyone else think the BK Stuffed Burger look like horrible and completely unappetizing.

I. will. buy. anything. by. Cliff. Chiang.  More of his genius can be seen here with his latest album cover homage.

Wish I was going to Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle.  Just a great line-up this weekend.

Rough Justice: The DC Comics Sketches of Alex Ross

February 28, 2011

As I grow older, superhero comics feel more and more stale, and I find myself more fascinated by the creative processes trying to rejuvenate and sustain the genre.  Combine that with Chip Kidd, and I’m buying your book.

I purchased  Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross by Alex Ross and Chip Kidd last year and enjoyed it far more than I expected.  While I already appreciated Alex Ross’s photorealistic style, my understanding and enjoyment of his art grew with Mythology.  Marvels was a revelation and Kingdom Come ranks among my favorites, and while Ross’s painting was something unique to me in those stories, I credited Busiek and Waid, respectively, for being the major reasons why those books were so powerful.  Mythology showed me just how much thought, time, and talent was involved in creating the vision.  In the hands of a slightly less skilled artist and those stories could have been Trinity or Irredeemable.

So I was eager to try Mythology’s companion volume, Rough Justice: The DC Comics Sketches of Alex Ross – so much so that I made it the anchor of my Amazon Binge.  All of the insight, tricks, and process that I enjoyed in Mythology weren’t there in Rough Justice.  It was a collection of recent sketches from the Justice series and rejected story pitches.  It reminded me more of Cover Run: The DC Comics Covers of Adam Hughes – lots of style and pretty pictures, but not much substance.  Maybe I’ve been spoiled by the Modern Masters from TwoMorrows where creators are interviewed at length and their art is presented with context.  The package is beautiful with Rough Justice, but I’ll take substance over packaging.  Although both together would be preferred!

Is it worth it at cover price? No
Is it worth it at Amazon pricing?  No
Is it worth it at used bookstore pricing?  Yes
Is it worth borrowing from the library? Yes
Is it worth kindling for the fireplace?  Yes

Friday Night Linkblogging

February 25, 2011

Have I mentioned you can follow me on Twitter at @HooperTriplett?

I think I’ve already mentioned my love of maps (something about the mix of words and pictures), and although it doesn’t exactly qualify I’m half tempted to buy Chris Sprouse’s layout of the Legion Meeting Room.

Speaking of Chris Sprouse, has anyone ever read Number of the Beast?

As an avowed online “window shopper” I love to browse through Amazon, but I also love to see what stuff I can find on Etsy.  I don’t typically seek out the odd, unsettling, and horrifying, so I’m grateful that the folks at Regretsy will take care of that for me.

I would buy *anything* drawn by Cliff Chiang.  Such a great sense of design and space.  Aquaman?  Yes.  Swamp Thing?  Yes.  Barbara Gordon reshelving library books?  Hell yes.

Scott Morse and Skottie Young have joined forces to create a new sketch blog – SkottieScott.  It’s just beginning but I have very high expectations.

Amazon Binge!!!

February 23, 2011

Hooper was apparently a very good boy this past holiday season, and received a mess of Amazon gift cards opposed to my usual selection of carbon-based fossil fuels.  Yea for generous family members who still can’t quite make sense of me yet!

So, this allowed me to actualize one of my simple dreams – binging at Amazon.  After weeks of comparison shopping, weighing relative availability, and driving the Missus crazy, I ended up ordering:

Each title is something I’ve been wanting to try and I know enough about the creators to minimize the risk of getting some unpolished turd.  But obviously didn’t know enough at the time of release to snatch them up when they came out.

So, dear readers – which should I start with?

(I also bought Jack Staff, Vol. 2 – Solidiers and Sleeper, Vol. 2 – All False Moves but I’ll save those for a longer review for them and previous volumes.)

What Have I Missed – Preacher

February 21, 2011

As an avid reader of ComicTwart, I’m reminded that I have never given Preacher a chance.  Preacher, a 70+ issue comic run from Veritgo, is among the most revered (pun inteneded) and critically acclaimed series that I haven’t tried.

From my understanding, Preacher is about Jesse Custer, who is on the run after killing his whole congregation.  Apparently, Custer is possessed by a supernatural force that rivals God itself.  Custer’s travels take him across the United States trying to find God to help him understand his new-found ability to make people obey his spoken word.

Is it because of the religious context that I haven’t tried it?  Is it the reputation of Ennis for producing some graphically vulgar stuff, even though I liked Hitman in small doses, also written by Ennis.  I’m certainly not prudish, but the plot and character description isn’t enough to convinced me to try it.

The most appealing part of the whole pitch is Custer’s relationships with former girlfriend Tulip O’Hare, who sounds like quite a bad-ass, and Cassidy a hard-drinking Irish vampire.  But can I really invest time in a series that features a story, and more importantly artwork, about a character called Arseface?

So, dear readers, tell me what have I missed?  Is Preacher worth reading?

Friday Night Linkblogging

February 18, 2011

And we’re back!

I love this photographic experiment by Irina Werning.  Genius and hysterical.  My favorite is Benn and Dan.

Could someone tell me how Mark Schultz’s Xenozoic is not one of the best collections of the past year?  His early stuff is a little rough, but later stuff is astonishing.  And fun to read.

If you haven’t already visited the Sequential Swap site, you’re missing out.  “We are an online community connecting people who are much more interested in reading these books than in sticking them in a closet somewhere and forgetting about them.”  And you can find some great stuff.

Sometimes I still go by Mike Wieringo’s site, and browse through his sketches.  I often wonder what treasures Mike Parobeck might have posted if he had his own website.

Terrific Wonder Woman by Jill Thompson (@TheJillThompson)

By far my favorite headline of Valentine’s Day – 20,000 Tons of Pubic Hair Trimmed in Preparation for Valentine’s Day.  God bless the Onion!

Downton Abbey

February 16, 2011

I am a happily married man which means that I have learned to balance my television habits.  It can’t be reruns of Knight Rider and Cop Rock every night apparently.

So in the spirit of fair and balanced television viewing, the Missus and I sat down to watch Downton Abbey.  Originally broadcast on Britain’s ITV and run on PBS in States, the miniseries had the potential of being another stuffy period piece where not much happens to much critical acclaim.

But that’s not true.  It was good.  Really good.  Interesting storyline but even better characters and secondary plot lines.  While I found myself concerned about the future of Downton Abbey (the family estate) and Lady Mary, I was much more interested in the hidden past of Mr. Bates, the career aspirations of Gwen, and pure nastiness of Thomas and O’Brien.  I’m a firmer believer that the hallmark of a good story is the depth and strength of the “supporting” characters.

Lady Sybil

I also harbor not-so-secret crushes on Jessica Brown-Findlay and the ever-charming Elizabeth McGovern.

So despite the overwhelming lack of car crashes, forensic sciences, and gratuitous nudity, it is possible for an American male to watch AND enjoy a British period piece miniseries.

If you want to discretely check it out without ruining your beer-swilling, pro-wrassling fan credentials, you can see more here.