Monday, December 31, 2007

Presented without comment. (Mostly.)
OK, I know what it looks like, but what is actually going on here?
From a Panini Thundercats sticker, circa 1986, that I found, loose and unstuck, in a quarterbox copy of Mister Miracle #25. I like finding little things like cards, notes, little improvised bookmarks in my comics. Proof that someone else read this particular issue once.

Anyway, later on we'll take more of a look at the comic itself, especially since I wasn't sure if I had known Mr. Miracle had ever gotten past 25 issues of a series, but also because it had two well-known creators, and I hadn't known either of them had worked on it. But, that'll keep until later, I'm afraid: the Wife's rented a few movies (including Balls of Fury and the new Halloween, which I'm quite looking forward to.) and we've got sushi and a bottle of Moet from our wedding that we're finally going to drink.

Of course, I'm told champagne doesn't age the same way wine does, so our very expensive champagne could now be a bottle of duck piss. Well, I'll let you know. Have a happy and safe New Years, and coming soon: my 2007 toy list! A new homemade comic! More inane rambling! See you then. Read more!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Deadpool vs. Black Knight
Click through to all sizes to bigify.
Panel from Deadpool #2, "Operation: That Wacky Doctor's Game!" Written by Joe Kelly, pencils by Ed McGuinness, inks by Nathan Massengill. Like Wade points out, Taskmaster would be glaringly different the next couple times he shows up: first in Priest's run, as part of a try-out for the Frightful Four, then as more of a rival/partner under Gail Simone at the end of the book and in Agent X.

Does the Ebony Blade just cut through other swords?  I can't remember.
In the last panel, Deadpool's riding the Black Knight's flying horse thing, that he used a few times in Avengers, apparently when his regular winged horse was either loaned out to Valkyrie or in the shop. Hawkeye and Taskmaster both got those with their figures, and I had the damnedest time trying to get the Knight on one. Hell, even Deadpool was a tough fit there. Weird. Read more!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I wish solving my computer problems had been this dramatic.
Either the most determined, or the stupidest, recyclers ever.
Wouldn't hearing your operating system be really annoying? Like hearing your nose whistle or something.
And just like that, we're back! a time when most of the blogosphere has gone into hibernation. I know the feeling.

While I feel like I should be grinding away on the posts (and I do have a batch saved up) I also have a frigging ream of comics to read--a ton of old Marvel horror reprints, a boxload from a friend, some of last week's comics I didn't pick up yet. I got Haruki Murakami's Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman for Christmas from the Wife: twenty-four stories in that one, and I haven't even had time to read one yet. I also got King's second-to-last Dark Tower book, which I missed somehow and read the last chapter already.

I have a couple of gift cards, that I'm hoping to put towards some clearanced figures. To that end:
I swear, coincidence; but I did buy Jade for like one joke, and am glad to get more use for her.
The Captain's likeness is based on a young, young William Shatner, and I haven't watched that episode in a while to compare it. Still a little disappointed he didn't come with a phaser, communicator, rifle, or anything. (To be fair, he wouldn't necessarily need them on the bridge in his chair, but still.) And the soft piece of the shirt doesn't seem to connect to the shoulders quite right, and can make him look like he's wearing a vest.

Man, I have a lot of the Kingdom Come figures. The Superman and Batman ones I bought at full price the first time around, but I think I got pretty good sales on the others I have. The Deadman in particular was pretty, now I know I saw KC Hawkman and the Spectre/Alex Ross' dad two-pack marked down on separate locations, but I didn't pick them up. And did I get the armored Blue Beetle? Shoot.

Anyhow, usual, she gets a bit robbed, this time by getting a figure as a marginal character that only appeared in a few panels and one cover, and a much older woman at that. I kind of liked her as a Green Lantern, actually, but I don't know if that ended well. As usual for the Kingdom Come figures, she's slightly more poseable than a McFarlane figure.

I wanted to look for some more toys today, but it's been really snowy and icy here lately, and a bit of a pain to pack up the kids and get them around. Maybe tomorrow.

Panels from the underrated Ghost Rider 2099 #7, "Been Caught Stealing" Written by Len Kaminski, art by Kyle Hotz. I think at the time, I preferred Hotz to Ashley Wood, who did the last few issues of the book in what seemed like a very Sienkiewicz style. I may have to go back over those last issues and see how they aged. Read more!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

This may be the only Christmas present forthcoming from around here.

09-06-2006 10;09;43PM
Originally uploaded by googum
Well, hell. I'm having some computer trouble at home, so my regular posts are locked up for the time being. I may be out until after Christmas, to be honest.

I may still be online at work, though, and I am going to build up a little more of a backlog. Currently, aside from "The Indefensible Technique of the Black Knight," I have two more homemade comics ready...and not scanned onto Flickr where I could use them. We'll see how many I can get done before I'm back.

Since I might not get another chance, a quick Merry Whatever to everyone who's stopped by here over the last year or so. And an especially big thanks to everyone who's left a comment. This isn't a big discussion blog, since I pretty much post something to the effect of "Wasn't that cool?" or "Didn't that suck?" or probably more often "Isn't that weird?" and leave it at that; but I do appreciate the feedback. So, I'll be back when I can...although I'm still around, if you get what I'm saying.

From Detective Comics #572, "The Doomsday Book" Written by Mike W. Barr, art by Alan Davis (this section). First comic I ever saw Slam Bradley in, and he shouldn't have had to wait so long for a comeback. Also, I don't know why the bad guys are wearing sunglasses, at night, in a snowstorm.
Read more!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A day late, but coming soon.
I personally think Wade would clobber Dane, but...
Later this week: "The Nigh-Indefensible technique of the Black Knight!"

Do you remember that run of Avengers when the Black Knight was a regular member, and he used a lightsaber kind of thing instead of his Ebony Blade, and wore a leather jacket, and didn't shave or wear his helmet? Very, very 90's. More tomorrow! Read more!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Not the best headshots I've ever seen.
That top one especially looks like Dane has just seen something he can't unsee, yeah.
Went out to start my Christmas shopping tonight, although the only one I have left to shop for is the Wife. The Youngest and I didn't get a lot done, but I did pick up the Black Knight...for myself, obviously. I liked the figure, although he's got the mostly unneccessary shoulder pads and shield he had in the 90's Heroes for Hire book.

Dane's uncle, Marvel's first Black Knight, had the old-style bucket helmet; but Dane's always had a thinner one that was like a mask. I have no idea how much protection it would offer, or if it sounds like a gong every time he's hit in the head; but it does fall under the proud tradition at Marvel of heavy iron or chainmail being just as tight as spandex. While predating spandex, oddly enough.

Pretty sure the art there was Jim Calafiore, although I don't know if it was done specifically for the package, or from Exiles or something. I didn't like this Black Knight piece, but I've liked his stuff on Aquaman and other books. But, probably Black Knight pictures tomorrow, if you're curious. Read more!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

As usual, when Guy Gardner's making the most sense of anyone there, things aren't going well.
If you can recognize Guy without the Moe haircut, power ring, insufferable attitude...

From Zero Hour #3, story and art by Dan Jurgens, finishes by Jerry Ordway.

I liked Zero Hour, and several of the accompanying zero issues, when they first came out. Everyone remembers Starman as the best thing to come out of it, and, well, they're right. Unless the upcoming Booster Gold #0 really brings it.

But this sequence jumped out at me the last time I flipped through it: why is Atom hanging out with Guy Gardner? Ray was in the Justice League for years and years, standing on the shoulders of Hawkman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Barry Allen; why is he there? The only interaction I can recall of Ray and Guy was a Power of the Atom issue where Ray declines an invitation to the 'Bwah-ha-ha' League; when Guy mocks they don't need a guy that gets small, Ray flips him onto his ass. (I don't have the issue handy, but the cover tells the story pretty well.)

So, the Atom and Warrior just happened to be standing by each other when they get the news of the past Hal Jordan's death in the future from Waverider, yet another sentence that makes me love comics again. Or...was Ray planning on keeping an eye on Guy, knowing that he would be tempted to take any opportunity to change recent history? Or, was Guy intentionally bringing Atom into his plan, knowing he had experience with time travel--those old stories with the time pool might not be common knowledge, but it's not inconceivable Guy would've heard about it. Or, again, they were the two characters in panel for a bit of dialog setting up a subplot that was either a red herring or a dead end.

By the way, the former Teen Titans all seem like big crybabies over the loss of Wally. And Roy/Speedy/Arsenal's costume is capital-T terrible. Worse than Donna's Darkstar phase.

Just a short one today, hopefully to build up to bigger posts. Got another pile of quarter books today, and it's time to get to reading. Read more!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Career advice from Booster Gold. C'mon, he's from the future! How bad could it be?

I figure different versions of the Legion show up at Booster's house weekly, and egging it is a common Legion initiation.
We miss you, Jenny Sparks.
Booster's probably still drunk, so if he's making sense, that's why.

EDIT: The fourth page was on flickr, so you can click it to check other stuff, or read it here.

I saw Blue Beetle on sale the other day, and didn't buy him. Then I got the idea for these pages, and had to run back to pick him up. From that wave of First Appearance figures, I previously paid full price for the Warlord (although, it is a pretty great figure) and this store had the rest marked down: the new Atom, Martian Manhunter (with Skrull chin!) and (really terrible looking) Aquaman.

I hear good things about both the Atom and Blue Beetle, but again, haven't read them yet. The new Atom figure was a little underwhelming, since I don't think it came with a tiny version; the previous Ray Palmer figure had come with two.

Another confession: I've read All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, but I sure as hell haven't paid for it. I don't know. I'm a big fan of lying, completely straightfaced, when I'm not being serious at all; but I'm not sure if that's what Miller's up to or not. You think he's joking, but you're not quite positive if you should laugh or not...

I was going to say I miss the Authority, but it would be more accurate to say, I miss when the Authority was good. This is going to sound crazy, but I'm going to equate the Authority with the Ultimates...and Watchmen. Hear me out now: each series was imitated heavily by those that came after it, each one raised the bar for superhero stories, and each one of them should've ended and been left alone. Would doing more Watchmen stories have improved that original work at all? Ultimates 3 seems like a pretty good argument for wrapping up that series with the last issue of volume 2, and Authority...ugh. I hated the Ed Brubaker series--it started really strong, but the last pages of the last issue seemed a lot like Brubaker admitting he had to put the toys back in the box in recognizable shape. Which is probably true, but it's like explaining the magic trick after you do it. And the Grant Morrison version...I didn't read, because it seemed kinda obvious it wasn't going to come out in a timely fashion, which turned out to be at all.

As far as Booster goes, I only read his original solo title a couple of times, but I was a huge fan of the Blue and the Gold in Justice League. So while I'm pretty sure his characterization was different between the two, the League version is what I'm used to. The old Beetle was in the same boat. Anyway, Skeets came with a thin clear plastic rod to 'fly' on, but my Youngest broke it. And I'm pretty sure there's a new issue of Booster Gold this week. I may have to pick it up, since I've given him so much grief...
Read more!

Monday, December 10, 2007

If the strike goes on long enough, I'm guessing...Mondays at 8:00 PM.

While I haven't read it much in recent years, I always thought Judge Dredd was a bit ahead of its time. After all, Dredd fought a clone dinosaur in 1978 (Satanus, in the classic "The Cursed Earth") well before Jurassic Park was published in 1990. Yesterday, I found the 'spirit trap' accessory that had came with the first Judge Death, and realized Dredd had been trapping ghosts years before Ghostbusters. And the issue we're looking at today even had a reprint of "Diary of a Mad Citizen," a personal favorite that I always thought the movie Falling Down swiped a bit from. Maybe. (It reminded me of that, certainly.)

So, with the writers' strike in full effect (good luck, guys, and if you come back and 24 isn't awesome, I'll be ever so pissed) and networks resorting to psychological warfare (that lie detector show from Fox) or the much ballyhooed return of American Gladiators, I could totally see the theft of the idea of this little Dredd story: "Block-Out" Written by John Wagner, art by John Byrne.
Only about a million times more entertaining than watching models open suitcases. Just saying.
Put simply, the game of Block-Out would be akin to the old College Bowl-style of quiz programs, except with football players that get to hit the contestants during the game, instead of on their way home afterwards. It does seem like a game that both rewards and punishes book smarts, yeah; but that just makes it more appealing for American TV.
The only way this game could be more American would be with cheerleaders, gambling, and point-shaving.
Three teams play, with their panelists arranged high above a checkerboard style playing field. The gamemaster asks a team a question (instead of having them buzz in, although if answered incorrectly, the next team can steal it) and each correct answer, within a set time, gets a move on the board. The board pieces are either 'Pigs,' defenders; or 'Wallys,' who try to reach the center of the ring. From the ring, the Wally gets a shot at a jump at the panelists, using a variety of probably unsafe methods. If he makes it, the Wally can eliminate one panelist, by throwing them off. (Jet-packing "Netmen" are there to catch falling players, but that doesn't seem all that safe either...)
Is it wrong to think Americans would love this?
Drokk, that looks like fun. And if you thought something like Jeopardy was a lot of pressure, imagine answering questions while sweating the idea of getting bounced off a fifty-foot drop if you miss too many. Add the tactical gameplay of the board, and the excitement of the jumps, and you've got a surefire ratings smash. Once you get past, um, liability issues. Lots and lots of liability issues. Picture the stunts on Fear Factor, only with no safety handlers and the crowd booing you.
Yeah, you don't need me to tell you that won't end well.
Since this is a Dredd story (even without any Dredd scans), most of it revolves around crime, in this case crowd control. Admittedly, even that's more fun than it sounds. The teams are based out of the city-sized Blocks, and the rivalry is pretty fierce, owing to a large population with nothing better to do. Imagine if New York, Dallas, and Detroit played each other at the same time; and all their fans lived close enough to come fight at the stadium.

I don't think he did a ton of Dredd stories, but Byrne is in fine form here. Nothing wrong there.

Anyway, I do prefer my scripted entertainment, but if the writers hold out long enough, the networks might as well steal this: it's not like America's come up with a game show they didn't steal from Europe in the last decade or so...From Judge Dredd's Crime File #1, Eagle Comics circa 1985. Read more!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Marvel had so much success in the 80’s with toy tie-ins (Transformers and G.I. Joe as prime examples, but books like ROM and Micronauts as well) that it’s easy to forget they had a lot of dogs in there as well. Sectaurs, Air Raiders, Inhumanoids (with early Mark Bagley art, and I thought that one had potential, but it seemed a little too horrific for kids and not enough for anyone older), I don’t remember He-Man taking off for Marvel…Put politely, Marvel’s licensing policy seemed to be, run it up the flagpole and see who salutes.

Actually, dogs may be too harsh: these books weren’t as successful as G.I. Joe was back in the day, but what was? Some of these books were also based on toys that are long forgotten to the general public: I doubt we’ll see a Starriors revival anytime real soon. Which might almost be a shame. It started with an impressive pedigree: Louise Simonson writing, Bill Sienkiewicz covers. (I'd have a link, but GBD wasn't up, but you can find it yourself!)

The book does have a friendlier apocalypse than the usual nuclear nightmare so prevalent at the time: solar flares make earth’s surface uninhabitable for humans, so before settling in for hibernation underground, they build a bunch of robots for upkeep (the Protectors, which is a nice, positive sounding name) and to defend against aliens or mutants or what have you—the Destructors, which is just asking for them to go evil. Seems like kind of a vague mandate to me as well: “You guys, keep my house clean while I’m gone; and you, shoot anyone who messes with my stuff, ‘kay?”

Mankind is gone long enough to become only a vague legend to the robots, which probably means a geological age, but I like to think the Destructors went bad twenty minutes after the last human went into coldsleep. Apparently without much else to do, they enslaved the Protectors and put them to work. Work they were probably already doing, but it’s not as much fun when you’re forced to do it. Wait, they were probably ‘forced’ by their programming from the humans…man, being a Protector sounds rough.

So Starriors is a standard robot rumble, the classic “lets him and you fight” you’ve seen a million times before and since, right? Well, kind of. There are little oddities and interesting bits scattered in, like bits of candy strewn in vanilla ice cream:
As the only two with first and last names, Auntie and Slaughter had a special bond.1. I don’t know if this was Simonson’s doing, or some corporate toy-naming committee, or perhaps a translating issue; but while most of the individual Starriors had pretty standard fighting robot names like Hotshot or Gouge, there were a couple strange ones. “Auntie Tank” is probably my favorite, and would logically follow as a bastardization of ‘Anti-tank,’ except…she’s basically a tank. But the evil leader’s name was Slaughter Steelgrave, which again seems like asking for trouble. And like the Transformers, there are inexplicably male and female robots, although with the Starriors they don’t usually look the part, as it were.

If this was an Image comic, Slaughter's chisel would be mounted lower than his chest...2. For the toys, many were the same model but colored blue and white for Protectors or mostly red for Destructors. (It’s a fairly clever way for toymakers to get two characters out of a single mold.) Hotshot and Slaughter are basically the same robot, but oddly, Hotshot has ‘construction lasers,’ which seem like they would be effective as an offensive weapon. Slaughter has a ‘vibro-chisel.’ Yes, the feared, mightiest of the Destructors…reams his opponents to death. Hmm. Seems like an odd design choice, but if he’s hard enough to go into battle against other giant robots, with a chisel, and come out on top, I guess that just proves he’s hardcore.
By this rationale, the inside of my skull looks like...God?
3. I never even saw the toys for this. I would have been thirteen when this came out, and was on the verge of the dark period in my life when I gave a rat’s ass what people thought and wasn’t buying toys.¹ But an oddity in the Starriors design was that their ‘control circuits,’ were shaped like small humans, in chairs like drivers. I always suspected that was kind of a workaround: the toys were probably originally intended to be larger, and piloted, robots, like Robotech, not intelligent and autonomous. Great speech, but didn't I have a house?  What the hell have you guys been doing? So, I was surprised and disappointed in the last issue, where Hotshot is revealed to be about the same size as a normal human. There was no reason for me to think he was bigger, in fact there were lots of establishing shots that should’ve made it obvious that he’s not, but it still bugged me.

4. Like I said, a lot of the series is pretty standard: Robot on robot violence, check. Robots fighting their programming in order to do what they know is right, check. Robots leaving a traitor smashed and immobile but still aware, in a desert to suffer until he rusts…wait, that’s new. And from the good guys.
The metaphor ‘snitches get stitches’ doesn’t translate well for robots, but it still applies.
The art in all four issues was pencilled by Michael Chen and inked by Akin and Garvey, and it does a pretty good job for having a ton of characters with no facial expressions to work with. And we could make a snarky joke here about how Marvel used to be able put out a four issue limited series on time, with the same artist all the way through it. But, let's take the high road, eh?

5. So I had this as a kid, but lost or sold it at some point. The quarter box provides, though, and the new copies were bagged with three of the mini-comics that had come with the toys. Bonus, although it had the unintentional side effect of pissing me off that every toy doesn’t come with a comic. Giving a blind robot the biggest gun seems like another design flaw, Man. Cricket and Deadeye are an interesting pairing: Deadeye was the blind dinosaur robot with the Demolishors, the heavy cannon, and Cricket was his deaf guide. In fact, Cricket was made deaf by the Demolishors, but was addicted to the feeling of the sound. Pretty heady for a toy tie-in.

I think Sectaurs or C.O.P.S. get more love than Starriors.  Let's fix that. Enough. Time to hit up eBay, and see if they have a Starrior or two for me... Read more!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Comic Book Shop has had a batch of sales lately, and while I replaced my lost Green Lantern #200 and Thor #356? (the Hercules issue, I might be wrong on the number, but moving on!), I've been spoiled on the quarter books. I read a ton of new Catwoman issues, and they were very good. I got the new Warlord and Man-Bat issues, and they were so terrible they stained the old issues I liked. (I've harshed on Bruce Jones' Warlord before, and I probably will again.) I got some books I had as a kid, with an added bonus this time, that we'll look at tomorrow. And, I got a complete run of Hex! That and a few issues of the new series ("The Ballad of Tallulah Black" among others) for under six bucks. Awesome.
Stop, drop, and roll isn't just for fires anymore.
(Panel from Hex #8, "The Shooting Gallery" Written by Fleisher, art by Wagner and Garzon.)

I'm not going to get all in depth, Dwayne at Matching Dragoons will take care of that (and his writeup of the Jonah Hex Spectacular was especially great!) For the price, I really enjoyed the series, in particular the last issue (#18, I had thought it was #20), which I had read on the racks when it came out and still think is one of the saddest single issues ever; but I have to admit I don't know that I would've loved it at full price, month to month.

Since I mentioned it the other day, let's look at the post-apocalyptic future poor Jonah found himself stuck in: it's very Road Warrior with just enough science-fiction touches, like the time-travel Macguffin that brings Hex to the future or the anti-radiation pills that keep enough of the populace alive to shoot at Hex. Towards the end of the series, the time-travel is tied to a scientist fighting an alien invasion in the even further future, which doesn't work great with Hex's usual milieu.

But, and this was probably more a sign of the times than anything, Hex and it's apocalypse was set in the DC Universe proper. Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes have a cameo in Hex #10, and a future Batman appears in #11. Both could be merely attempts to hype up sales, but they give the impression of utter doom; that no matter what Superman or Batman or whoever does, millions are going to die and civilization is going to collapse and fashion is going to be really shoddy for about a millennium or so. And this is like the third post-apocalypse future in DC that I can think of: there was another great one with time travel in the old, good issues of Warlord (post-Grell but before Fleisher, who wasn't great there) and then the Great Disaster of Kamandi.

I know I'm misremembering, but it's like the idea of a nuclear holocaust was a given, bound to happen. As a kid, I was horrified about the possibility of nuclear war for years, until eventually I accepted the idea that I may or may not be nuked or irradiated at any moment, and if I didn't die, I could get a crappy haircut and drive around the wasteland screaming a lot. Just like Hex!

One thing that I don't think Jonah's old book had was a lot of supporting cast, with the exception of his wife towards the end of the book. Still, I'm not sure Fleisher either knew what do to with them, or perhaps hadn't expected any to get popular enough to return.This Stiletta was actually a robot, which makes sense issues later, but is WTF territory when it happens.
Then again, others get a ton of page time, and:
Escaping from deathtraps should've been the first thing a Batman learns, yeah.
The future Batman never returns, but I'm not sure if that's because of the cancellation, or if editorial realized what was going on.
Giffen art, which I like but I'm not sure was right for this book.
And this guy looked like he was going to be a big bad, but his end foreshadows the last issue. (Texiera art on the other two panels.)

Depressing. Anyway, tomorrow we'll look at another apocalypse, maybe just as bleak, but shinier! That's something, right? Read more!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I like her, but this is more or less why I bought She-Hulk, yeah.

Oh, Wade has got to be a better date than the bachelors. Just not bring home to mom material. Although, he might suggest that.
Really, really looking forward to Incredible Herc now, and really not looking forward to the end of Cable & Deadpool. Even if it hasn't been firing on all cylinders the last issue or two, I like it a lot better without Cable. Deadpool is gonna need another job, and game show host wouldn't be a bad fit for him.

I re-read "Trial of the Juggernaut," or whatever the hell those issues of Uncanny X-Men were, where Cain and Jen sleep together. Hmm, on further thought, I'm pretty sure I only made it through one of those, which is just as well since they've been retconned out. Anyway, I like Juggernaut as a villain, but not the main villain, since he's a one-dimensional clod the best of times.

I haven't read She-Hulk's book regularly since her first series, oddly enough: when I was little and had a subscription to Star Wars, my sister got a sub to various Marvel books that got cancelled, like Spider-Woman and She-Hulk. Would it be too broad to say She-Hulk has a bad reputation as being, um, promiscuous? And yet, there is no way she was moreso than Herc or Iron Man. Hooray double standards!

Iron Man's 'cell' is the remote control to the Happy Helmet, and came with Ren. The desk and card are from Space Ghost, and you had best have one, it's still a classic. Jen's chair is from the Norman Osborn figure from the first Spider-Man movie line. You can't tell from the pics, but Herc and Iron Man have folding chairs from some cheapo wrestling figures, Juggernaut's on the Space Ghost stool, and Wade has a chair from the Strange Brew toys--man, ton of accessories from that one. And the background behind Wade is from the Playmates Simpsons line...Sideshow Bob? Hmm. Read more!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Man, the archive for November 2007 is looking mighty thin.
The only time I'm going to say this: Yay me!
I had started Novemember with the idea that I could knock out a 50,000 word novel (more of a rough draft. A rough rough draft, but that's kind of the point.) and still blog more or less regularly here. Best laid plans and all that. In fact, I still have to finish my conclusion before I'm 'done.'

Previously, possibly further down on the blog today, I said blogging regularly has helping my writing work ethic, which was probably true. But the workload of a 1,666 daily average wordcount was a helluva lot harder than bagging out a few scans and my complaints. I don't know if it was more fun, though. A different fun, sure. But I'll be back to weekday posting, and I'm really looking forward to getting back to normal around here.
I swear, this will make sense in context later.  And not in an uncomfortable way, either!

Such as it is. Have a good week, and coming up: not one, but two apocalyptic futures! Um...yay?

Oh, and today's my sister's birthday: Happy Birthday, Tesa! Read more!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I guarantee someone else comes up with this joke too. Or steals it, either or.

So the other day I was watching cartoons, and the ad for the Golden Compass game was on. A lot.

I'm not really interested, but I made the comment to my wife, "I heard the last boss is really hard." She got a horrible look on her face, not because of the reference, but I think she was more embarrassed to get that...

Regular blogging resumes soon! Read more!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

This Thanksgiving, give thanks for your family and friends.
I am like 90% sure I've had this conversation.
Or not.

36504 words down. Be back soon, and Happy Thanksgiving! Read more!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Click through to all sizes to Booster-size!
I saw Booster at the Comic Book Shop last week, and hadn't bought one yet; but didn't buy him until I had this idea for a strip. Similarly, I'm looking for a She-Hulk now, and I'm hoping no bright ideas jump out at me for Masterpiece Starscream or Ronan the Accuser or something.

Booster and Beetle, like the rest of the toys in this one, are from the DC Direct line, and were nowhere near as poseable as Marvel Legends. And they didn't seem to be as good of actors as the smaller Total Justice/JLA figures, either. Weird.

The Canary's the oldest DC Direct figure in this one, and a bit preposed for them. The Alex Ross Justice one looked nice, but geez, if you get one, you're in for the lot. The Identity Crisis Black Canary...not to my taste, let's leave it at that.

For a while, that Martian Manhunter was one of the more expensive DC Direct figures, since he was a fan-favorite that hadn't been redone. Now there's several, and mine has a toothpick for a knee pin, since the Oldest broke J'onn's leg when he took him for show-and-tell.

I swear, Booster has this Rainn Wilson smirk.  Or my wife leaves those office DVD's running too much.

The paper's from a Tom Tomorrow strip. Captain Atom's from the Superman/Batman line, based on Ed McGuiness art; and with really stubby arms. And I'm still about 20,000 words from the end of Nanowrimo, so maybe another post next week, if I get ahead. Have a good Thanksgiving! Read more!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sigh. I actually had an entry all ready to go the other day, then I ended up in the ER. Passed out a couple times, including after the Cowboys game. Weird. They were really sure what caused it, although I got dizzy there for a second and they couldn't find my pulse, but it hasn't happened since, so I appear to be OK. I mention it just so if it happens again, I can see when it was.

Today's page is my shout-out for pack-in smaller figures, like Howard the Duck or a tiny Ant-man or Atom; versus build-a-figures, where you end up with three Annihilus parts held hostage against other figures you don't want.

Nanowrimo was going pretty good before this, now I'm down about 3200 words. My word count and everything are here, and I have to get back to work.
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Saturday, November 03, 2007

Out of office. Maybe.
Maybe magnetic eyes and mouth, like a Mr. Toaster-Head? I'd buy that.

From the back cover of Stray Toasters #3, art by Bill Sienkiewicz. One of my favorites of his work, I had a toaster for a number of years with little cardstock eyes and growly mouth, which was probably a fire hazard no matter how much I loved it or had to explain why my toaster was so angry.

Anyhoo...out of office, yesterday, which was pretty much just because I was watching movies (Hostel 2, then I let the Oldest watch the last half of Death Proof, which he thought was "Awesome!") but the posting is going to be spotty for a while.

I'm finally doing Nanowrimo, National Novel Writing Month, this year. It's something I've had in the back of my head since I started this blog, and I think I've improved my writing work ethic here: almost daily, even if it's shite, just to get something going. The point of the Nanowrimo is more quantity than obsessing over quality, and that's what I need to do to get the ball rolling. I think I have a pretty good idea, and the rudiments of a plot, so I just need to grind out at least a rough draft, to see if it goes anywhere.

So, I'm not going to be here every day for at least a month. I'll probably do some more toy comics, because I do enjoy making those; and even though I say I'll be out, I'll cave and have to do a post about Starriors or some damn thing. Thanks for coming by, and I'll see you soon.

Oh, and the novel? Survival action-horror. And, I say this as a challenge, it would be completely unfilmable as a movie. Couldn't be done. At least, not in America. Gotta go, though: I need about 2000 words to stay on pace... Read more!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Nightmare After Halloween
Angel told Morbius to get a 'wingman,' but he completely missed the point of that story.
I had to work like hell to get the weapons out of that coffin (it came with a McFarlane Terminator figure, and was a bit small even there) and then Dracula didn't even have the decency to fit in it. Undead bastard.

Getting hammered and being disappointed who you wake up with, well, that can be a learning experience. (Note I didn't say 'sobering' there.)

Waking up with someone with a friggin' face on their hand? Yeah, it would take a while to work through that one.

Also, I was dead positive that I had more vampire action figures, until I started looking. For some unknown reason, "sea monsters" outnumbered "vampires" almost two-to-one, and they only slightly beat both "Frankensteins" and "werewolves." About halfway through the pictures, I wished I had Cassidy from Preacher, then I remembered winning him on eBay and never getting him. Damn eBay.

Tomorrow: some news, both good and bad.
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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Out for Halloween, taking the kids out. Be back tomorrow! Read more!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

An example of what was wrong with Morrison's JLA...from Mark Waid.
Yeah, except Green Lantern was the one that mentioned that before, not Flash.
From JLA #18, "Synchronicity" Written by Mark Waid, pencils by Howard Porter, inks by John Dell.

When I proclaim, "This is what was wrong with Grant Morrison's work on JLA," it's a bit of a misnomer on several ways. Case in point: Morrison's Batman. Like I mentioned yesterday, Morrison played up Batman's planning skills, making him the League's tactical genius. A perfectly fine direction to take the character, except then the next writer takes that a step further; and sometimes that expands the character, sometimes it makes a copy of a copy.

In Batman's case, it was Waid again, in "Tower of Babel," where R'as Al Ghul steals Batman's contingency plans for taking down the rest of the Justice League. That was a pretty good storyline too, but it was a quantum leap forward in regards to Batman's dickery. A couple more generations removed, and you have Batman's plans used against him again in "War Games." A few more, and you get Batman creating OMAC's and then losing control of them. So, it's not necessarily Morrison at fault, but he loaded the gun.
This is just like every story I've ever told my wife, except replace Batman disappearing with my wife getting bored and wandering off.
Likewise, it followed that the rest of the Justice League became more and more dependent on Batman's plans, if not his leadership. In this issue, it's not a big step to imagine Green Lantern and Flash freaking out a lot here. Read more!

Monday, October 29, 2007

"The Problem with Grant Morrison's JLA"

Now updated with hopefully easier to read pictures: the old ones are below, and if you click 'em you can go through to other old homemade posts on Flickr.

The Problem with Grant Morrison's JLA

I wrote this about two years ago or so, but didn't have the software for word balloons, so a big thanks again to PlanetWide Games.

Upon further thought, and this could be very open to discussion, a lot of the points I jokingly blame Grant Morrison for, were instead the product of later writers, but Grant opened the door. Among other things, in his JLA, he focused less on the detective aspects of Batman and made him more of a tactician or general.
On the other hand, the penultimate chapter of "Rock of Ages" is my favorite JLA comic, and might be my favorite New Gods thing as well. If I can, I might re-read some of Morrison's (and some later writers) this week, to see if I have any real examples.

The toys today are, with the exception of the DC Heroes Superman, from the Total Justice/JLA line of a few years back. (Well, actually, I guess the Batman is from some duh, Batman line or another. He came with a very baroque electric yellow helmet, among other insane accessories.) Wonder Woman in particular was kind of rare--I remember my old boss wanted her, and that was not gonna happen. But they were really muscular sculpts, with not a lot of articulation; and that Flash seems just ugly now. They were perfect for this, though, give them a hand.

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