Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Shopping Time

Well, it's Christmas shopping time. And I guess the other holidays too. Whatever.

Funny sidebar story . . .my friends and I, in high school, saw "Kwanzaa" listed on the big calendar in the front office. It's a calendar made elsewhere, obviously, because at the time Ashland was about as racially diverse as a kung fu movie. So we, educated, top of what that school had to offer academically, had never heard of this strange holiday. We wondered what it could be.

We eventually decided it was when all the Brians and Bryans of the world got together and made more Brians and Bryans. Safe to say, we knew a lot of guys with that name. It was a sacred time.


I love holiday shopping. I love it. I love finding the pefect gift. It has to be perfectly FOR the receiver and perfectly FROM me. Every year I try to have one out-of-the-ballpark gift. One year I got my mom a set of bagpipes. Last year I got my dad an Atari 5200 (pure awesomeness). This year . . .dunno. Lisa gave me the idea for a certificate for a personally tailored shirt at a nice Manhattan place for dad. That could be cool.

The thing I hate most is when people ask me what I want. For whatever reason, my particular brand of uberleftist Christianity gives me a huge helping of class guilt. It's not helped by the fact that I have all these darling children I teach who are among the poorest inhabitants of NY. So I have a hard time wanting things, you know? It rarely feels right. (Of course some things are always right, cough cough, Frank Quitely Marvel Family sketch, cough cough.)

So I was working on my amazon wish list and basically started adding a bunch of stuff for my class. I guess that's a good compromise.

I also hate telling people what I want because I get off on being surprised. Surprise is hot. Opening the package you know is whatever is not.

Unless it's a Frank Quitely Marvel Family sketch. Or painting.

That is perfect at any point in time.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


I'm usually pretty successful in being indifferent to what others think of me. Like me, dislike me, want me desperately, it makes little difference to me. I'm helped a great deal by my religion with this.

But I really don't like being hated. It really bothers me. I get angry, I get upset . . .and, this may be a surprise to some folks, but it's pretty damn rare, like a handful of times. And it's almost always on the internet.

People get mad at me. They say I'm being a jerk, but all I can see me doing is talking very poorly about a comic book. People say I think my opinion is more important or all important, that I look down on people who disagree with me . . .neither are true.

People are insecure. I don't agree 100% with ANYbody. Shit, Lisa doesn't even care for New Frontier and I let her see me naked sometimes!

So I'm working on it bothering me less. I think some of the bother is a nagging suspicion that maybe I did something awful and didn't realize it. Call it protestant pseudo-guilt. I don't want to hurt anyone, and that's why being hated hurts.

Turkey turkey turkey

I'll be taking a blogging break starting tomorrow. I'll be spending the holidays with my fiancee and renewing our annual cycle of eating and sleeping and eating and sleeping and eating and sleeping. We become like retarded bears or something during this holiday, constantly groggy and only awake long enough to re-triptophanify ourselves.

In that light, I have decided to compile some thankfulness lists. However, since those are boring as shit, I have opted to alter them a bit. So they will be divided into different categories, starting with:

Things for which I would be thankful were I a program in the movie Tron

1. Lightcycles
2. As a devout Flynnian, I'm thankful that my Lord and Savior made himself a program in our world in order to save us from the MCP
3. I look fucking awesome ALL THE TIME.
4. Hot deleted love scenes
5. Lightcycles (goddam they are so cool)

Janet Van Dyne's Thanksgiving List

1. Brad Meltzer does not work for Marvel

Teddy (Lisa and Helen's dog) is thankful for:

1. Peeing
2. Sleeping
3. Making poodies
4. Beer
5. Cookies
7. Green squeaky thing
8. The decline of Western civilization

Classified Thanksgiving List by Snake-Eyes

1. GI Joe cartoon off the air.
2. I can nap in my mask and no one would know.
3. Duke gets no play
4. Being a ninja commando badass
5. Dogs
6. Arrested Development, that show is hilarious!
7. Seven Soldiers of Victory is going to whip serious ass.
8. Tim's Dio-Stories

From the desk of President Bartlett

1. I'm real, Bush is not.
2. No one knows about my kill-spree in the badlands of the midwest as a young lad or my time as a special-ops assassin in 'Nam.
3. My show is a bit better than last year, which was real bad.
4. My awesome hair
5. Lightcycles

Monday, November 22, 2004

Captain Marvel is better, I've always told you.

From New Scientist, by way of collisiondetection.net:

Superman is too good a role model. Fans of the man from Krypton unwittingly compare themselves to the superhero, and realise they do not measure up. And as a result, they are less likely to help other people.

Researchers made the discovery whilst examining how people’s decision-making can be influenced by surreptitiously placed ideas, usually via seemingly unrelated questionnaires or word puzzles. For example, one study has shown that people primed with helpful words were more likely to help a friend pick up spilt pens.

Such effects usually last only up to a couple of weeks, but Leif Nelson at New York University and Michael Norton at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology wanted to see if it could last longer.

They asked students to list the characteristics of Superman, or alternatively superheroes in general, as part of a larger questionnaire. Later on, subjects were given the opportunity to volunteer for a fictitious community programme.

Students who thought of Superman volunteered much less of their time than those who thought about other superheroes. Furthermore, Superman-primed subjects were significantly less likely to show up at a meeting for volunteers held three months after they were initially asked to participate.

The reason, believes Nelson, is that asking people to compare themselves to an exceptional individual makes them realise their shortcomings. Whereas thinking about a general category encourages people to identify the strengths they have in common.

Fuck you, alien!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Crossover Reviews

It's an exciting time here at the Joe Rice Media Review. Finally, the name is re-earned. For too long it has been a review of almost only two things: good comics and terrible comics. Now there will be music! And movies! And deep emotion!

Once again, in reverse order of how I read them, let's start with comics.

The Wildstorm Winter Special was much better than it had any right to be. It's just a few short stories in a one-off anthology . . .the kind of thing they usually give to shit talent in need of new shoes. But this had a Bruce Jones/Josh Middleton story that was BEAUTIFUL, of course, and well-written, of course; it had a Tom Peyer/Cary Nord bit that was also pretty kickass (damn, Nord can draw); a Pfeifer/Iwahas bit that was inconsequential but pretty; and a lame Warner/D'Anda "Deathblow" (heehee) story. Pick it up, the first two are well worth it.

Well, things finally happen in the new issue of JLA. But it's just kind of hard to tell because everything is obscured by all the damn dialogue balloons. Holy CRAP people talk a lot in this comic. This should have been a kickass action piece about the CSA beating things up but it looked like the comic strip Cathy with the gigantic damn speech baloons. Busiek would have had a fun story here were it not for all that.

So Alex pulls Superman/Batman for me and I'm all like "Wha?" and he's all like, "S'cool," and then I'm like, "The fu--?" and he's like, "s'dumb but fun." So the art is nice as hell. Pacheco's great. The narrative captions are ANNOYING AND UNNEEDED. Show, don't tell! That's what you learn in day one of writing in high school, for shit's sake! And I'm nerdy enough that the identity of the "parents" was clear from page one, so that "shocker" failed. A lot of the other stuff was super forced and annoying, too. But, I'll grant that Diana and Sam at the end was pretty damn neat. I'll give it another issue.

Ex Machina is still great. It's probably Vaughn's best work . . .better than Runaways and maybe even Y. The Harris art just keeps getting better . . .but the gigantoboobs were a bit much this issue. More time hopping in the story as new and old things are revealed at once. We get the sci-fi action elements and the political stuff. And public education issues get a brief mention! Yay!

She-Hulk had one of the worst covers not drawn by Michael Turner I've ever seen. It's a creepy grinning She-Hulk flexing one arm and feeling it with her other hand. This isn't even T&A idiocy. It's just a person kind of doing something and looking creepy. And we're surprised this book doesn't sell? As the previous issues, this is fun, light superhero fare the way it used to be done. But that COVER! Ugh!

I want to marry Garth Ennis' Nick Fury. I will give up Lisa, my job, my sexual orientation, everything. Goddam he's the coolest guy ever. I think I'd rather this be "Nick Fury" than The Punisher. But I'll take what I can get. Winding plot that I can't quite outguess yet. Damn, I love this Nick Fury. Sam Jackson can go crap on his money for all I care.

Some of the best parts of The Walking Dead are the casualness with which the characters have come to deal with the undead. It's not played for laughs, it's just a world where this has been going on for a while. So you don't panic when you see one. You know you're faster and you bash its head in. The character work continues to be top notch, better even, perhaps, than in Invincible. Strong work and it's even more fun when it comes out two weeks in a row!

Where will the Lunas go next? Ultra seems to be one of those come-out-of-nowhere breakout books. It's funny, smart, VERY well-drawn, and different. Will the big two bring them in for something fun? Will the big two ruin them? Or will they be a part of this growing awesomeness that is Image these days? Seriously, look at the stuff coming out of this company: original, fun, and free (from big company bullshit). Personal superheroics that can be individual but opening. Ultra's part of this, and you're missing out if you're not reading it.

Terra Obscura is fun comics. What else is there to say, really? I can't wait for next issue: I really love alternate-realities-converging stuff. Alan Moore does it so well, too. Hm. Been a lot of alternate reality stuff this week. Something to watch out for. Could be something coming through the creative sphere.

Ed Brubaker rarely, if ever, disappoints. His Captain America is no exception. The art's not my thing, but it tells the story (not surprised to hear this guy was at CrossGen). But the story . . .I was all ready for one thing and we're going to get another. I like what we're going to get, too. The villain seems less cartoonish and maybe even, horrors, interesting! With a plausible motive!! ZEEBA ZOOBA! The deaths don't bother me, as they seem more incidental and the man IS allowed to be angry sometimes. Good start.

So The Donnas have a new album, Gold Medal. It's been fun watching/hearing them develop as musicians. I was a big fan of their early punky stuff, but they've really come along to be more like the bands they love. In short, they rock damn hard. The album cover is by awesome comics cover artist James Jean and it's really striking. The songs show another growth in maturity as songwriters and musicians in the girls. There's even some other instrumentation in there! The first listen almost disappointed me, but the rocking is still there, even when it's a bit more subtle. And is it just me, or did the girls listen to some Liz Phair and decide to make it actually rock?

I signed up for Netflix finally. And as I was looking at it I totally froze. The selection was too vast. I could not think of anything to rent. So I did a CBR nod and rented Quatermass and the Pit, a movie recommended to me by Mr. P. Teel. It's a 60s British Sci-Fi horror film done by the Hammer folks. Some legitimately creepy stuff. Weird prehistoric skeletons are found during subway construction, and that leads to some sort of spaceship discovery. It's a slow, creeping terror with a Brit stiff upper lip. Fun, recommended to fans of genre stuff. By no means amazing, though.

Over the weekend Lisa and I left her sister's Lord of the Rings marathon in order to catch The Incredibles. It's not new to call it super fun, but it is true to say it. The animation quality was just fantastic . . .the clothing and hair in particular. Great voice acting, great story, great score . . .about the only ungreat things were the nutjob kids sitting behind us calling out every few minutes. We were both surprised, but not upset, by the amount of implied death. No stupid GI Joe parachuting when the stuff blows up (really, what a fucking terrible cartoon that was). You've probably already seen it. If not, you're a dooderhead or a foreigner which is basically the same thing.

Not yet reviewed: The Complete Peanuts Vol. 2, Dan Dare, Nashville, and the Seven Samarai.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Some days, on this job, you just learn things you didn't want to learn. The shit that happens in this world that we want to ignore or fictionalize. The shit that turns your stomach and not even a shithead like me can joke about it. All you can do is support the people, keep the authorities appraised, and pray. Dammit to hell.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Jesse Stuart

So Sunday I got up early and went on my way to church. Usually Lisa comes with me, but it was her sister's birthday weekend and said sister wanted to go to evening "jazzy" (shiver) service. I had evening plans already (D&D WOO!) so I went ahead to the morning service. Went to Neil's Coffee across the street from church and enjoyed a good breakfast. An older fellow sitting beside me on the counter said something like, "Well, winter is officially here." Now, I hate talking about the weather but I chat with him a bit. Eventually, he asks me where I'm from and I say "Kentucky."

"Anywhere near Greenup?"

"Actually, right next to it."

"There was a writer I used to read a lot . . ."

He didn't even have to finish. "Jesse Stuart. He's actually a friend of the family." Jesse Stuart was a writer from my area that got some attention, mostly during the pre and post WWII era. I like his stuff . . .kind of like what you want Hemmingway to be: simple, tough, but poetic (without all that closeted and suicidal bunk). He was friends with my Gran and Grandad. In fact, they were all in a movie together . . .and Edward G. Robinson. It was for the American Heart Association. My aunt was born with congenital heart problems and so she and my mom's family were the focus of one of the AHA's films, hosted by Robinson. Jesse Stuart wrote part of it and played the part of the narrator/interviewer. It was neat seeing a VHS version a few years back. Seeing my mom in a movie as a little girl certainly was odd.

Anyway, we chatted for a while and it was very cool. Served in WWII in San Diego, graduate of Indiana University ("Year One,"), affable fellow. I had to go on to church, but that brightened my morning. I was a little sad that he was obviously pretty lonely, but hopefully the talk brightened his day as well.

One thing he said . . ."You're probably a writer, too, right?" Made me think. Am I? I was, once. Now I'm a teacher. Can I be both?

I just started a play that I'm writing for my kids' Puerto Rican Heritage Celebration. Baby steps, I suppose.

Check out some Jesse Stuart. You might like it and you'll be able to out-obscure all your pretentious friends.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Reviews: Quick and Dirty like a Handjob in the Movie theater

Let's do this in reverse order of how I read it. Some of these will be exceptionally short . . .there's just not much to say about them.

Angeltown is neoblaxploitation noir. I guess that's a new genre for Vertigo, but it's not one for fiction in general. There's nothing here of note, really. Beautiful lesbians, studly private dick on a mission, smart white girl with her nose in things . . .zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Pass on this.

Green Arrow gets its much-hyped "HIV" issue. Um . . .it's crappy. A lot of talking, of course. And Green Arrow hides his rage but beats up some dummies! Some cheap psychobabble, an after school special message . . .and we're done.

Wildgirl was . . .different. I'm on for a while, at least. The storytelling is not something I'm very used to, honestly. It's quiet and non-verbal, for the most part, and I think that could be a good thing. There's a dreamlike, trance quality to the book and that could really work. The art is nice. Leah Moore and the dude she does apparently write comics better than most of the folks working for the Big 2.

Avengers Finale is a bunch of artists drawing terrible dialogue and then some nice pin-ups. Why is Bendis popular again? Is comic writing so bad that this seems good by comparison?

I don't like the computer art in Iron Man. It's better than Chuck Austen's art was. But it's still stiff and lifeless. The story is likewise. Warren Ellis . . .all the anti-superhero invective and sentiment in the world will make you anything other than a fairly talented superhero writer. Though I have to say the exchange with the documentarian at the end was nice.

Bullseye: Greatest Hits is dumb action comics. But Steve Dillon draws it so beautifully . . .I just can't resist. This is probably against cannon or whatever, but I've never read any Bullseye stuff before so it doesn't bug me. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone other than Steve Dillon fans, though.

So Marvel's very high on this Greg Pak guy. After three issues of Warlock I think I see why. His dialogue is natural but clever. His characters are well delineated. And the plot is interesting. I know all the Starlin nerds probably think this book is an abomination before Jim, but I frankly never liked his soul-less work. I'll take this any day.

District X is still going strong. I could do without the marital tension, though. I dunno, I've always found that a cliched and boring plotline. It's, if anything, uncomfortable. It provides no satisfaction or release. It's just . . .watching people be upset for petty reasons. I like the rest of this book, just not that.

I'm less sold on Nightcrawler. The art is probably Robertson's best, in my mind. The writing . . .it's working, but it's not like Aguirre-Sacasa The Wrath of God's work on 4. I prefer the latter, which seems to be explaining the financial crisis more in line with Reed's actual history. Both these comics are nice, more personal looks at superheroes, and I'll stay with both.

Now for another author two-fer. I make no bones about being a big Robert Kirkman fan, and it's only partially because he's from Kentucky. His comics kick ass. Walking Dead pretty much single-handedly converted me to zombie-fandom. The engaging characters are the draw here, not wall-to-wall gore. (I soon discovered, that's what zombie movies generally are about, when they're good.) Some good psychological stuff and the ending gives me a real bad feeling (in a good way). Marvel Team-Up is much lighter fare, but superhero comics need that from time to time. I've never been a fan of Kolins' work, and I'm still not. It's not as bad as that awful work in the Hulk/Wolverine mini. But it's not too appealing to me. It almost is . . .but somehow it just falls short of working for me. Spidey's jokes are funny, Wolverine is in character (even if he's in that stupid costume) and I can't wait to see what geeky stops Kirkman pulls out for this.

I hate to say it, but Gotham Central was a terrible disappointment this month. Sure, I don't expect as much from the Rucka solo arcs. And, sure, crossovers are going to make things worse . . .but a whole issue about taking the Bat signal down? Even if I thought that was a neat idea, editorially, it's not what this book is about. More of the Rene and Friends show. Ugh. Without Lark's art, this issue would be totally worthless.

At least we can rely on Scott Morse to fill in on Plastic Man well. This is two he's done and they're both welcome. That's saying something, considering how amazing Baker's work on the title is regularly. I'll be sad to see this go, but it's inevitable, isn't it? DC doesn't put books like this out. They put out books where Atom is a multiple murderer. Assholes.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Aha! I've got it!

Hey, people. Recommend me some movies. I just signed up on Netflix and am too overwhelmed to choose anything.

So what the hell is this thing for, anyway?

A few posts into this blog thingee and I'm already questioning its existence. What exactly is my purpose with this thing? Am I to be reviewing stuff all the time? Or can this be like some little girl's diary? Dear Diary, I had the shits today! (I didn't. Not today.) I dunno. I guess we'll be seeing as time goes on.

Oh, http://forums.comicbookresources.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9618

That's a link to a picture of me being all bad and shit. And soon to be very sore.

Finished Locas tonight. By FUCK that is good comics. I came into Love and Rockets with the most recent volume, having previously only read The Death of Speedy. I just really fucking love it, some of the best stuff the genre has ever offered. And it's not easy finding folks that are into it. What the fuck? Batman sells a shit ton of copies even when it's retarded, but people stay away from one of the longest-running masterpieces of any form of media? It makes me want to smell my own taint. And not in the good way.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Meetings are awesome!

Who was a cranky ass teacher today? It was Mr. Rice. Do I know why? No. Will I continue asking a question then answering it? Maybe. Do I remember why exactly I signed online? Not at all. I'm pretty sure there was something. Oh, yeah. I was supposed to scan in the photo of all of us at paintball then email it. WHAT'S THAT? THIS DOES NOT MAKE FOR A FASCINATING BLOG ENTRY? Go eat a crap!

Hey, here's something I hate: moving. I hate looking for a new place, I hate deciding on a new place, I hate packing, I hate moving the stuff, and I hate unpacking. Arranging the furniture is kind of cool, though. But I'm going to do it soon. I'm starting to really hate my apartment. Rats. Stinks. Heat problems. I'm allergic to something. And my fiancee doesn't like coming near it. It would be nice to see her from time to time on the week days. So keep your ears to the ground for a one bedroom or so, either in Brooklyn or Manhattan. Close to the L or a train that goes to it.

Not that anyone reading this probably has any idea about NY real estate . . .

Sunday, November 07, 2004

From the "wish I said it" file

Paul McEnery says a lot of things I wish I said. His comics analysis is kind of like my taste + love of Ellis + extremely erudite explanations. Case in point, his JLA: Classified message:

Gorilla Grodd is rabid islamic extremism. Note the reference to beheadings, hostage taking, and desire to destroy westen civilization (er, I mean the entire human race).The Ultramarines are militaristic western response: big tech, big guns, charge in blazing without considering the ground situation first. Now they're quagmired.The JLA is off in another galaxy, paying no attention to the ground situation either, much to Batman's disgust. They're the UN.In the background, you've got Nebulon (bit of a reference to The Defenders there?) playing a very dark game, intending to leave a pile of skulls for his Queen, and extend the control of the Vampire Sun.So Nebulon is Grant's latest reference to Yog-Sothoth/Sublime, the ultimate Satanic evil, manipulating a situation to create lots of death and destruction, utilizing an aggressive bad guy and the short-sightedness of an overconfident, and overaggressive bunch of good guys.Mind, I reckon he'll find a few twists in the set-up once we're on to see the JLA in action in what very much looks like Nebulon's patch.

Love that Paul McEnery.


Back from paintballing in Pennsylvania. Ouch. Got shot on the inner thigh, on my spine, on my chin, and, worst of all, I received a headshot from behind AFTER I was out of paintballs.

I originally just typed "painballs." Accurate, I guess.

But, yeah, I typically won't be updating this too much over the weekend. I usually go to my fiancee's place to see her for the weekend. So, over the weekends I recommend that you simply re-read the entries I've already made. Perhaps you can make a game of memorizing them. You and your friends can hold contests to see who knows them best. And if someone gets them wrong, you punch their damn face.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

When it comes down to it . . .

Remember that list of unread comics from yesterday? It's still sitting on my desk. The reason is, if I have the choice, I'd rather continue reading Locas by Jaime Hernandez. Holy crap it's so good. The art, the story, the humor, the character work . . .it's all dead on perfect. Jaime is a genius. And NOBODY draws better women. Nobody. Screw those T&A hacks like Turner, Lisner, and Benes. Screw even those talented T&A guys like Hughs, Maguire, ore Paquette. Jaime is the man. He draws the only drawings to whom I've ever been attracted. And I'm attracted to almost all of them.

Oh, man. What a nerdy topic of conversation.

Tomorrow I'm off to Jersey. From thence shall I travel to Pennsylvania. There I will shoot things and people all the live-long day. Watch your back, friends and acquaintances and friends of friends. I just broke out my black poncho.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Post Electoral Depression Cheer-Up Review

I haven't read everything yet, but what I have read has gone a ways into clearing up the morbid dread that's been hovering over me since last night. And get this! This is the nerdiest bad effect of the election yet! For the past few weeks, my pals and I have gone old school and played some D&D. But our DM is quite the leftist activist and is going into "fight of flight" mode and is making travel plans. May or may not leave the country. What will ever become of Chok Malloo, Private Investigator?

Sigh. Moving along. Justice League Unlimited is straight-up old school (there's that phrase again) one-off superhero stories that work. Does anyone do those anywhere other than in the DC animated line anymore? The Atom, Firestorm, Wonder Woman, and Ice make up the JLA team that SOMEONE PROBABLY KIND OF DEMANDED ONCE! But I kid. There are some cute jokes about shrinking's effects on the body and Ice pukes a lot. This won't wow anyone, but the industry could do worse than having this kind of journeyman quality with decent 3 act structures.

So Marvel cancelled Jubilee before issue 3 even comes out. I hope the trades get out in the right place. Jubilee's a good book. It's cute, it's funny, and it works on its own level and way. The girls in my class have recently become obsessed with the 4 issues of Mary Jane Marvel released then shit-canned. I can imagine they'd do likewise. I mean, they sit and talk about the goings-on in lunch! I see girls sitting in Barnes and Noble reading Manga trades all day. CASH IN ON THIS, MORONS!

Hawaiian Dick: The Last Resort is good for many reasons. The art is sweet, unique, and improving with every issue. The characters are charming and have individual feel. And it is chock-full of making fun of the Irish and the Italians. There are few things I love more than chiding micks and wops and this book lets me do both. This is like having whiskey and spaghetti all at the same time! Yay! (I seriously do love this book.)

What exactly is the point of Hulk/Thing? I mean, really? There's some fun one-liners and the art is beyoot, but . . .what's going on? We've had three issues of two guys remembering things and occasionally punching each other for a few seconds. Bruce Jones' Hulk was great at one point. And now it's . . .I have no idea what it is. Ah, well. Bring PAD back. The fans are clamoring, I bet. All twenty of them!

The Punisher is fun stuff. I'm like the one person in the world that LOVED Ennis' Fury. And we get to see him again now. AND HE DRINKS BOOKER'S BOURBON! If you don't know, Bookers is a REALLY good top-shelf bourbon that's got an AVERAGE proofage of 127 or so. Average. They don't know the exact proofage of each bottle. It's great tasting and your first drink feels like a lit match moving down your body. AND NICK FURY DRINKS IT! I love you, Garth Ennis. Unfortunately, the artist shows a bottle of JD. Goddam Tennessee swill! Do your research! And when the character says "neat" don't draw ice cubes! ANYway, the issue was really good. Stupid Jack Daniels.

Nice flashback issue of Sleeper. We get the background of Tao and Lynch's mutual despisement. Despisery? NOT LIKING EACH OTHER REAL HARD. This was hardly the strongest issue of the series, so I wouldn't recommend it as a jumping-on point, but it was neat for a fan to read what went on before.

Wow. The Question looks GREAT! Has Edwards' art always been like this? Shit, I really love it. He's rising way up there very quickly. The story was . . .fine. Good, in fact. An intro with some plot and some new developments in a character that's had nowhere to go for a while. Sad that the best the Question could do since Watchmen was imitate the character that imitated him at one point. The city shaman thing is a bit weird, but I can do weird. And it LOOKS SO DAMN GREAT! Yum.

I somehow missed Jack Staff last week. Changed that this week. There's even a card game for free inside made by Grist! As usual, Grist's story takes place in various time frames, but we know this will eventually all tie together. Are you not reading Jack Staff? If you aren't, then you are a bad person and not even your dad likes you anymore. He told me so, you non Jack Staff reading crap head.

How was Majestic selling? It's already got a ongoing coming off of it. And it's really good. Majestic becomes more than "Mean Superman." And, hell, so does Eradicator, for that matter! Thank you, Abnett and Lanning. And Kerschl, even though I do not trust your vowel-rich name. Straight superheroics. Only a day after I bitch about how DC doesn't do that anymore . . .
JLA: Classified . . .happyshake. Sogood. Sogood. Batman written as . . .HOLY CRAP A CHARACTER WITH MORE THAN ONE ASPECT! "Break out the sci-fi closet." Oh, man. Morrison's Batman is funner than ever. I'd give up BJs for more of this, like, one per issue or something. The Quantum Keyboard is awesome. Goraiko is awesome. Knight and Jack are awesome. Squire is awesome. 4-D is awesome. Everyone is awesome. This book is awesome. McGuinness' cartoony style works like crazy here. The scary stuff is made scarier but more palatable at the same time. And the fun stuff makes me feel like the book is caressing my insides and soothing everying. All the sudden, Bush didn't win . . .Howard Dean did. No, Jesus did. Take me, Jesus. But please let me bring Grant Morrison.

Ah, and BPRD was strong, of course, but weakened a bit by the fact that it's been so long since the last mini. But I sure am in. And I like Captain Zombie. Heh.
And not yet read and reviewed: Or Else, Amazing Fantasy, Little Endless, Mr. X, and The Golden Plates.

letter from a student

I teach third grade in Brooklyn. Today, spontaneously, one of my kids wrote the following letter. The kids at my school were even more upset than me. Look to the bottom of the economic ladder for people really affected by this election:

Dear, News
Bush wanted people to pick on him he said if you pick on me I will do anything. I pick for Kerry because Bush did all the fiting could you pleasue change it to Kerry all of us was talking about it at school that Bush made them pick on him.
P.S. I will like you to send me a letter.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

What the internet is for:

I once said that an internet comic nerd loves nothing more than a new excuse to bitch. I usually try to avoid this sort of stuff, but lately it's seemed like the crap has been flying with alarming speed and abandon. I've found myself more frustrated than usual of late; this isn't really that amazing . . .I'm usually pretty unfrustrated with comics. I think, overall, we're in a good time here and there's LOTS of great stuff being done.

THAT BEING SAID . . .there's something I really have to get off my chest. This is me at my most fanboyish, my most . . .negative (?) I suppose. But what the fuck is going on with the mainstream DCU? Holy shit! Now, people that have read me before know that I don't care for the middling journeyman work that has dominated that company for years now. The work of guys like Johns, Loeb, and Winnick is about as interesting to me as the medical history of the crazy guard at my school, which is to say, not at all. I guess I understand why they've been given so many assignments: they turn in their work on time and they use certain devices that blow fan minds for no apparent reason (extraneous mentions of continuity, linking everything together compulsively, retelling the same old stories). But lately . . .I dunno.

First Identity Crisis comes out. And in issue two we have an on-panel graphic rape scene. In an unlabeled comic. I find that, frankly, to be indefensible. It's gross. The rest of the book is pretty shitty in my mind, too, but that I was used to from DC. It's as if someone rediscovered Watchmen and DKR and MISSED THE POINT AGAIN! So now we have a new crop of "dark" and "adult" capes and tights books that read like adolescent anti-fantasies. "Dude, supervillains would totally be much eviller! They'd, like, rape girls and kill people and shit!" Whatever. That's not mature. It's just a different kind of immature.

So, this new post-IC DCU, supposedly centered around that awful crossover, has this GL: Rebirth piece of crap. Total fanboy pandering junk. Does the world need expository dialogue explaining who Mia is? Or a reminder of Guy Guardner: WARRIOR? Or Crazy Spectre Hal crippling villains? It's just so . . .gratuitous. It's everything I hate about recent DC: superheroes simultaneously made "mature" and being sucked off by the writer and the cast; anal retentive OCD continuity mentions and "fixes;" stiff, uninteresting art; and, despite all the pretenses, just a big old "status quo."

And now Judd Winnick is going to write a Captain Marvel miniseries. I loves me some Captain Marvel, I really do. My students loves them some Captain Marvel. But now the guy who made wacky Sivana a cold-blooded murderer and brought Sabbacc and Cap, Jr. into his dark, "mature" Outsiders is getting a major shot with the Big Red Cheese. It's almost enough to make a man give up.

But I refuse to give up. Plastic Man is too good. Adam Strange is firing on all cylinders. Wildstorm and ABC and Vertigo have some great stuff, as per usual. They'll keep me hanging on.

And there's always Grant Morrison. He's coming back to the DCU and it's going to make my weiner get all hard. In the meantime, excuse me while I dry hump my issues of We3.

The Most Historic Blog Post of ALL TIME


It is true.

I have come to make your lives better. Or worse. Or perhaps leave them unchanged, but take up a few minutes of your time every day. Or whenever I think to post something new. Crap. This start was supposed to be much better. Let's start over.

Hi. How are you doing? That's cool. Yeah. I'm fine. Yeah. Good. Uh-huh.

Double crap, that sucked even worse.

I'll just introduce myself. My name is Joe Rice. I'm a public school teacher in my late 20s. I live in Brooklyn, but was born and raised in Eastern Kentucky. I like rock and roll music, great movies, comic books, and all sorts of cuisine. I just voted and am trying not to be nervous as hell about the election. Part of that trying is finally caving in to starting a blog. You can thank that aromatic beacon of comic reviewing taste, Ed Cunard, for convincing me to actually do this. All those injured by reading what I write should aim their lawsuits at him.

Most of my time online is spent talking about comic books, so I predict this blog will follow that pattern. I have people in real life I can talk to about other crap. The two comic fans at my school have taste in comics that make me want to eat my own arm and crap it on my leg. But it won't all be comics. I'll probably spew forth all sorts of vitriol and idiocy as my fingers type away without concern for rhyme, reason, rhetorical merit, or assholery.

So this is my introduction and first post. I hope you enjoy what I write. Otherwise, shit, what a pointless waste of time this is.