Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Post Game Report

Texas Polygamist Ass Clowns

Here's a picture of these women from People magazine (not US Weekly) that are living their own rendition of "Little House on The Border". Congratulations on that. Here's a tip, ladies: when some jackhole wants you to dress like Laura Ingalls Wilder every day of your life, it's time to hit the "eject" button.

Why is that necessary to clarify in 2008? Look, if you want to juice things up once a month and do a little role-playing...have at it, I say. He can be a wandering midwestern hayseed, she can be Mary Ingals. Fine.

In fact, just take it right over the top and play the melodramtic Mary who was blind as a bat for the last couple of seasons, that sounds like some good kink. If that's what it takes to get the butter churned, who am I to argue?

But the world does not need some cat in Texas creating a collection of baby machines in period dress. One of the refreshing truths of this planet is that the closer humans get to retardation, the more they seem to want to snap children out of their pouches like Pez. That's great.

Market Spotlight!

One of the "problems" with an audio podcast is that you don't get to see a picture of the books you should be looking for. Here are the Volume 2 TPBs I talked about on this week's show:

Hack/Slash Volume 2: Death By Sequel
Don't make the mistake of thinking this is a "bad girl" retread. It's smarter than those books were. Definitley worth a spin, and definitely a money maker. Suggested retail on this book is $18.99. you can sell it for $50 in any decent condition.

Sojourn Volume 2: Dragon's Tale

Crossgen stuff is very polarizing: folks either seem to love it or hate it. It's the "love it" folks who are going to drive this stuff to the moon before it's all over. I think it's worth investigating a collection of all the CrossGen trades, particularly the new stuff that Checker is releasing in embarassingly small numbers.

This particular books retails for $15.95, and you can sell this for $50 and probably more at the moment. It's particularly scorching these days.

Fantastic Four Volume 2: Unthinkable

Mark Waid has the FF battle Dr. Doom, which is usually worth the price of admission. Why is this one doing so well when the rest of the run is flatlined? I don't know. I don't worry about that stuff. I just buy the book for $17.99 at my local comic shop and then sell it for $50 on Amazon.

Damon Lindelof


- Ryan

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Willow Creep? NOT!

I was really looking forward to this comic when I heard it was coming out. A story by Denny Williams and Christian Beranek and art by Josh Medors, this werewolf comic book was released April 16th, 2008. As you all recall on April 15th's show I marked it down as something to get and at the time I couldn't place my finger on why. Something about the title jumped up and grabbed me and now I know why. I have issue #0 which came out in February and I hadn't gotten around to reading it. So lets see what we see in issue #1.

The story of this comic is pretty simple. A New York City cop becomes the Sheriff of a small town in Northern California called Willow Creek. In the first few pages we see a woman who has picked up a hitchhiker and nearly raped by this scum bag and when she flees from her car to get away from the rapist she is slaughtered by something we can only assume is the werewolf. The new sheriff gets a call to investigate the murder of this woman and well things go on from there. I won't get into any more detail as I don't want to ruin this comic for you.

One thing to mention right away is this looks like a total "30 Days Of Night" rip off. The look of this book is nearly identical. From the covers, which there are multiples, to the interior panels.

Is this a bad thing? Well actually in the case of this book, no it's not. I like the art and creepiness of the whole thing. As you open this book you get an overall feeling of doom and gloom with each turn of the page. I have to say right now I think the look of this book is nearly perfect.

One thing you need in a scary book is to care about the people who are in danger. I need a sense of realism from the characters and this book lacks that. The dialog is juvenile and cliche across the board. One gets the impression this book was written around the artwork, or basically the artwork was first and they decided to write a lame as set of dialog around the sweet looking pictures. This is not to say the story idea is a bad one, because that was one thing that drew me to the book in the first place. I love the idea of a town using Bigfoot to cover up it's Werewolf crimes, that sounds very cool. I just can't get past the cheesy fourth grade dialog however. It took a lot away from the enjoyment of this book.

A book to compare this with would be "The Walking Dead". Now this book looks nothing like Willow Creek, it's got very basic art throughout the book, but the dialog and the realism of the characters makes you look past the art and see into the lives of these people in serious trouble. Artwork is important in a book for sure, but the dialog and story line are much more important in the long run. Some of the best books I have read recently have been lacking the art department, but have grabbed me by the verbal balls and not let me go until I was very satisfied.

This book drops the ball on the most important element a scary book needs. Good character development so I can be scared for the lives depicted in the book I'm reading. This fell quite short of that. The art is beautiful and creepy on it's own, but art can't carry a book. Die hard Werewolf fans, like my friend Turek, might enjoy this book for the look alone, but I highly doubt it. Do yourself a favor, if you want to be scared by a book, run out and get "The Walking Dead" TPB. You'll thank me later.

P.S. Josh Medors, artist and co-creator of this book, had an interesting health scare that delayed the book. Apparently Medors had a tumor near his spine and had to have surgery. They found out the tumor was benign, but he still had to have an 8 inch incision along his spine and go through weeks of therapy to learn to walk again. That still doesn't forgive the terrible dialog.

Medors Story

Artwork - 4.5 stars, nearly perfect in my mind. One bad thing is the books looks amazing like "30 days of night".

Story - 2 stars, great idea, poorly executed. I don't care about these people so my lack of interest in them means I never get scared for them. The Cliched dialog bites ass too.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

The $4 Anal Invasion

How can Marvel give us a "Summer Blockbuster" for $3.99? Well let me tell you how; because they know we'll bend over and take it in the ass for $4 and ask for 7 more issues. I think at this point it is besides the point if it's even any good. It could be the best fucking story ever written and still not be worth four goddamn dollars. Lets do the math on this one. 4 x 8 = $32 for the entire run as it comes out. Or if you're smart and you have some patience just wait for the trade sometime near the end of 2008.

So is it worth $4, well the short answer is HELL NO! No comic is worth $4 in my mind, but this one even falls short if it were $3. It's not even a high quality book for $4. The story is pretty simple. Iron Man starts off by saying that just about anybody could be a Skrull. Whoa stop the press, is that something new to us, not really, well actually even to this wheelchair comic book collector that was pretty obvious. We all know the basic story line and yet we seem to gobble this stuff up every time Marvel sets it out for us.

Are we whores for buying whatever crap they feed us? I don't think so actually. When we are given nothing else to read, we will scramble for whatever they give us. "One More Day" is terrible and not knowing what is going on in the DC universe I wouldn't know what I was missing over there.

I did read Civil War, however as a trade paperback, and I thought it was excellent except for the ending. I thought that it seemed rushed and was sort of a cop out at the end. Captain America suddenly realizing he was all wrong within the span of thirty seconds left me scratching my balls and wondering what Mark Miller was thinking. Lets hope that Brian Michael Bendis doesn't cheapen up the ending an piss off everyone who paid $4 an issue for the entire run.

I know it might seem like I am focusing on the price of the comic itself, but as a collector I think that is a major concern considering each time they raise the prices they should know we are still spending the same amount of money each week or month. What the majority of the collectors do is take their alloted funds and just buy fewer comics. Which in the long run will kill off the underselling books like "The Order" and keep the highly promoted garbage like "Secret Invasion" on the shelves.

All in all if you like the idea of Skrulls and the humdrum simple tension of who might be a Skrull, then this comic is for you. If you like good dialog and a great original story, then buy "Pax Romana" ($3.50 only a partial anal rape) or "The Boys" ($2.99 which is a high quality blowjob in comparison).

Artwork - 2.5 stars. Nothing special at all. At times it was hard for me to tell who was who and with Reed Richards I would think it would be easy to capture his image and make it obvious.
Storyline - 2 stars. We all know the whole story already basically, the only thing up in the air for the next 7 issues is; who's a fucking Skrull?

If you like spending $4 on a very sub par comic book then go out and get this. You should at least wait for the trade paperback. That way you can avoid 7 pages of advertisements per issue. Let's do the math on that 7 x 8 = 56, holy shit, 56 pages of ads, how can it be so expensive then? I'll tell you why, cause they know we'll pay for it.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Grant Morrison: Fruit Loop or Genius?

Say what you like about Grant Morrison, he's one of the most important comic book writers of our time. Top five, for sure. He writes some of the most challenging and ambitious material available, and he does it with his own off-beat style.

He can dazzle you with the subtle symbolism, blow your brain away with his metaphysics, and tell a fantastic action yarn to boot. This is not just the guy who made you scratch your head with Batman: Arkham Asylum, this is the cat that turned the JLA into must reading again.

Grant Morrison writes interesting characters, but the most unique character in comics might be Morrison himself. He's a card carrying chaos magician, philosopher, and drug ingester.

If you want to learn more about him, you'll need to read something other than comics. I know that sounds like blasphemy, folks, but just hang with me for a second. If Joyce's Ulysses isn't your cup of tea, well, I understand. It's a bit of a goddamn mess, frankly.

But I'm not asking you to to try and parse some stream-of-consciousness fiction - let's talk about reading some books about Grant Morrison!

Book # 1: Masters of the Medium Volume 1 - Grant Morrison: the early years

ISBN: 0615140874

Here Timothy Callahan carefully disects everything Morrison wrote between 1987-1992. He spends the most time and obviously has the most love for his Doom Patrol work. Also covered with some real insight are Zenith, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and Animal Man.

You'll have to use your noodle a bit to plow through this, and that's a good thing. It helps to have a familarity with close reading and literary terminology, of course. But if you've read and enjoyed these works, you'll absolutely get more out of them after reading the book regardless of your academic background.

I found the Animal Man section to be the most compelling. Morrison was just beginning to grow into his wings on that book, (and just beginning to experiment with drugs as well) and Callahan helped me appreciate just how unprecedented that run really was.

Callahan also conducts an interesting interview with Morrison himself, which makes for a nice segue into my second selection....

Book # 2: Disinformation - The Interviews

ISBN: 0971394210

Richard Metzger is a bit of nut job who actually got a TV show on the BBC for a bit so he could broadcast his most radical ideas to the most stodgy of Brits. And they actually let him do that...for awhile.

The show was supposed to be picked up by the Sci-Fi channel here in the states. Legend has it the brass watched two episodes and told Metzger he could keep his show. The episodes that were created are available on DVD, (currently available on Amazon for about $20) but they'll probably never be broadcast here.

What's this got to do with Grant Morrison? Well, Disinformation was about tackling mind expansion, and Metzger sought out Morrison for one of the show's episodes. And this book is basically just a transcript of the Disinformation TV interviews, uncut and uncensored.

And what a trip it is to read the Grant Morrison interview! I don't want to ruin too much for the curious reader, but topics covered included are his practice of magic, deeper insight into The Invisibles, how writing comics caused his face to be eaten by disease, and his abduction by being from the 5th dimension while travelling to India.

As a special bonus, there is another comic book writer with an interview in the book: Testament scribe Douglas Rushkoff. So...is Grant Morrison a fruit loop or a genius? Check out these books and decide for yourself.

Morrison Market Spotlight: Marvel Boy TPB

ISBN: 0785107819

You didn't think I was just going to get all pretentious on your ass and not show you how to make a sleazy dollar, did you? Get real, folks.

You may have noticed that there's this Skrull invasion happening in Marvel right now? Well, one of the featured players in that series is Marvel Boy, aka Noh-Varr of the Kree empire.

Grant Morrison did a Marvel Knights mini-series of the character back in 2000. You can still get the floppies for a reasonable price, but the TPB is long out of print and fairly scarce. Right now it's pretty impossible to grab it for less than $30 on the open market, but if it's sitting in your local comic shop you can get it for $15.95

As interest in Secret Invasion and Marvel Boy pick up, it isn't hard to imagine that this book sees $50 easy, and perhaps we even see an Astonishing X-Men: Deathwish situation where collectors really go crazy and push it up to $100 or more.

Happy Hunting!