Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Have a safe and happy New Year's Celebration!


Monday, December 29, 2008

Great Moments in Comic Book History

Nazi scientist, Frieda Ratsel (soon to be the Axis Supervillain Warrior Woman), tortures an American soldier by beating him with a comic book.

From Invaders #17


Miller Craps On Will Eisner

Frank Miller has created a Stink Fest of Epic proportions. According to movie critics, we are in Ishtar territory here and the general public seems to agree as The Sprit has tanked and tanked badly.

What's so sad about this is that Eisner was a revolutionary storyteller and now his most famous and innovative, Noir character, The Sprit, will be forever besmirched by Frank Miller's stunningly bad film.

There is a lot that can be said about this movie but I think this quote from MaryAnn Johanson's review says it the best
The Spirit does not believe in itself. It thinks comics are a joke -- and it appears to thinks that movies are a joke, too.

A sad sad time for comic book movies... and just when they were starting to get some respect.

Thanks Frank for f-ing up a legacy...

Let me add, in all fairness, that I have not seen The Spirit but I'm sure I will at some point to verify what is being said about the film. But this I do know, it was not necessary to shoot The Spirit in the same manner as 300 and Sin City.

I feel these two images sum this whole thing up.
Frank Miller's version of the Spirit on the left and an original Eisner Spirit cover on the right.

I'd much rather see a movie about that character on the right side.

UPDATE: I was talking to a guy at work last-night and he said he wanted to see the Spirit because he liked the first one...

I said "what first one?"

He replied "Sin City..."

Of course I politely corrected him that The Spirit was not a sequel


Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Sorta New Comics... Again

Here's the comics from two weeks ago. The comics from last week won't be at the shop until this week because of both the winter storm and Christmas.

Whatever week’s best cover is The Walking Dead #56.

Terminator: Revolution #1, Dynamite Entertainment.

Star Trek The Next Generation: The Last Generation #2, IDW. This is basically a "What If" for Star Trek. Part of the Myriad Universe line.

The Walking Dead #56, Image. Five Years!

Cthulhu Tales #9, Boom Studios.

The Age of the Sentry #4, Marvel Comics.

Conan the Cimmerian #6, Dark Horse Comics.

Trade Paperbacks:
Invaders Classic Vol 2 Marvel Comics. I was feeling a little blue about my friend Josh so I picked this up. There’s just something life affirming about Captain America and crew kicking Nazi butt.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Never-Ending Story

One time, before my wife and I were married, I puffed up my upperlip with air to make a funny face. I thought it might make her laugh a little.

When Mrs. Swinebread saw me, she screamed "FALCOR!"

...And the rest was history.

I found out she REALLY liked The NeverEnding Story when she was a kid.

So I guess looking like a Dragon makes you attractive to women... who knew?


Thursday, December 25, 2008

RIP Eartha Kitt

On Christmas... of all the ironies :(

clip from Batman


Non Sequitur Comic Panel: Christmas Edition

Caption from New Defenders #147

Not So Random Image Word: Santa


Merry Christmas Everybody

Have a wonderful, and wacky holiday... but mostly just give a big hug to your loved ones.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Supers for the Tree

There wasn't a lot of new christmas ornaments for our tree, but here's two that were hung for the first time this year.

You just gotta love Space Ghost and here he is hanging on the Swinebread family tree.

I bought this dark suit Spidey at an after Christmas sale last year so he's making his first appearance this time around.

I hope your Christmas eve is happy and safe.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Marvel House Ad: Christmas 1978

If you look closely, you can see How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way in there.


Movie of the Week: Star Wars Holiday Special

What better way to celibrate the Christmas Season than by paying homage to this infamous bit of the Star Wars Universe. Guess What? This year is the Star Wars Holiday Special's 30th Anniversary!

I actually watched this as a kid but I didn't really remember much of it other than that the cartoon portion had Boba Fett.

I do recall, even as a young-in, that I felt something was really off with the show. Well now with youtube you can see how bad it really was. After watching these clips, I'm now glad I couldn't remember the Star Wars Holiday Special.

Intro and outakes

Here's the Cartoon. This was pretty fun actually.

Cooking with an alien Harvey Korman

Bea Arthur sings at the cantina

Hologram acrobatics!

Leia Sings... Heard she was really high when when they shot this.

Happy Life Day everybody!


Monday, December 22, 2008

We've Got a Winter Wonderland Here

Needless to say... I'm walking to work today.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Josh's Memorial Video

This video was shown at the end of Josh's remembrance ceremony.

A few precious pieces of my friend's life that end much, much too soon.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Non Sequitur Comic Panel

Caption from Deathlok #2

Random Image Word from Dictionary: Maldives


Random Comic Panel

From Crystar #2


Friday, December 19, 2008

My Sorta New Comics

This is just a formality at this point.

Last week’s best cover is Action Comics #872. You Gotta’ Love the Return of the Creature Commandos.

Marvel Apes #0, Marvel Comics.

Army of Darkness #15, Dynamite Entertainment.

Action Comics #872, DC Comics.

Ambush Bug: Year None #5, DC Comics.

The Man with No Name #6, Dynamite Entertainment.

Secret Six #4, DC Comics.

Fall of Cthulhu: GodWar #4, Boom Studios.

Doctor Who Classics Series 2 #1, IDW.

Trade Paperbacks:
I also picked a trade of the first Marvel Zombies.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, The Voice of Star Trek, Has Died

Majel Barrett-Roddenberry has passed away. see here. I always liked Majel in all her incarnations with Star Trek. I do wonder whatever happened to Number One though...

Funny how news of her death isn't being carried by the Major New organizations


Movie of the Week: Say Uncle

Josh had a role in this film as the Crunchy Man


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

There's No Business Like Josh Business

How can I do another post on Atomic Romance after my friend Josh died? It just seems pointless and extremely crass. Also, the sadness is just unbearable.

But I’ve been thinking a lot about Josh’s worldview since he passed and about what a considerate guy he was. Would Josh really want me to stop doing something others and I enjoy… …of course not. He would absolutely want me to continue with Atomic Romance. He was an actor after all (among other things) and the “show must go on” would actually be something he would tell me about this. Plus, Josh loved comic books and superheroes. I’ve realized that I’d be letting him down by not continuing.

How do I restart the wacky narrative that is Atomic Romance? How do I push passed the death of one the most important people in the world to me when all I want to do is keeping talking about him forever? I don’t want Josh Westhaver to be just a guest star or a couple of posts here on Atomic Romance. Well, that’s why I started the Memories of Joshua Westhaver. I want the discussion about how great he was to go on forever and it will. There are just too many memories from too many lives to let Josh go silently into the night.

On another note several people thanked me at the Remembrance Ceremony for my posts about Josh here on Atomic Romance and for starting the Memories of Joshua Westhaver blog. That warmed my heart. All I can say back is thank you for caring about Josh so much.

To get things restarted here with a little bit of joy, I thought I’d share something with you that many have been waiting for. I’ve been kinda weird about posting pictures of Swinebread Jr. on the net but I thought now was a good time for you all to see how much I’m truly blessed and what it is that has been keeping me and the wife going during these very sad days. I give you my son.

What a beautiful bundle of joy huh?

So it is with much tears for what we have all lost and with much hope from the children in our lives that Atomic Romance returns to it’s regularly scheduled blogging… only now it has a sister site dedicated to a great human being that I’ll miss for as long as I live.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

I wanted to make sure folks heard about Josh's remembrance event. Just in case you haven't received the word.

Brian Westhaver left a comment with the info that I'm reposting here.

This is Josh's brother. I wanted to thank you for your kind words. I know how special Josh was to me and it's obvious that he touched the lives of many.

I'm trying to get word out that there will be a remembrance for Josh this coming Monday the 15th, 5:00pm at Portland Center Stage's Gerding theater. Please come if you would like and pass along to anyone who knew him.

Thank you

Also make sure you stop by the memories of Joshua Westhaver blog too

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My oldest and dearest friend Josh Westhaver died this morning. He’d been on life support for the last couple of days because of extreme complications caused by a massive asthma attack that resulted in cardiac arrest. I visited him last night after work and I thought I’d get a chance to see him one more time today… but it was not to be. He was 36 years old.

Josh was such a peaceful and kind person and on top of that was very creative. We went to college together and shared many a dramatic moment on stage back in my acting days. He was that fantastic guy that you felt you already knew your whole life the first time you met him. He was also a strong environmentalist too and actually walked the walk, so to speak, and I always felt he was the prototypical Portlander. His essential goodness, simply put, made this planet a better place…. and I can’t even begin to imagine the rest of my life without him.

Here's Josh in a mini-documentary I did about him and his cat in 2003.

UPDATE: I've started a new blog about Josh here


Betty Paige Dead at 85

Bettie Page, the 1950s secretary-turned-model whose controversial photographs in skimpy attire or none at all helped set the stage for the 1960s sexual revolution, died Thursday.

from the AP here


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Movie of the Week: The Neanderthal Man

"The story concerns a deranged scientist (Shayne) who develops a formula which will cause animals to regress to the form of their primitive ancestors, and tries it on himself with disastrous results." from wikipedia

couldn't find a video


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Secret Persuasion

Guess what? Secret Invasion sucked! What a surprise, but hey, we knew it would so why the hell did some of you drink the cool-aid and buy this steaming pile of a crossover? More spandex signifying nothing.

By the end of Secret Invasion, all $400-or-so of it, nothing of note has really changed (One character died, yes, but another one was revealed to have never died at all, so even that's a wash). The status quo has been successfully maintained, as has the continuity of fans' collections the world over. And, most importantly for Marvel, a lot of comics have been sold by successfully baiting and switching readers with the possibility that everything they know is wrong... Nah, only joking.
from here

How can some folks keep falling for this stuff? It must be new readers or something...

I mean seriously, anybody that bought this crossover should be ashamed... It had the word Secret right there in the title... if that doesn't broadcast to you how gawd awful it was going be then frankly you're hopeless.

stop supporting crap

and Marvel? The economy is in the toilet with a scariness that's approaching the Great Depression.... stop selling crap...
"I'm losing my house, but boy, I sure can't wait to spend my hard earned bucks on Secret Invasion Hardcovers! "


I didn't even read it and I feel cheated...


Monday, December 8, 2008

Great Moments in Comic Book History

Canada's greatest super-team has an underwater 'meet and greet' with the Avengers before they attack Atlantis.

From Alpha Filght #39.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Can The Punisher Franchise Finally Die Now?

Punisher: War Zone Bombed and Bombed big-time. See Here

Box Office Mojo reports that the film's opening take was 4 million... ouch. (EDIT: It did say 8 million when I first typed this up at on sunday night)

I never really liked the Punisher Character. He's just a guy that goes around shooting people. We've got plenty of that nonsense in the real world. Do we really need another film like this?

The bigger problem with the Punisher is that in essence he's really a villain, but I guess he just looked so cool that Marvel just had to migrate him over to the hero column, but to me he's just a cold-blooded killer and nothing more.

Additionally, the Punisher has a brand problem in that he's really a straight-up crime comic star in-disguise as a superhero comic star. This makes for all kinds of confusion for folks outside of comic book fandom. There weren't any crime comics being published (thanks to the CCA) back when the Punisher debuted so tame crime adventures had to appear in superhero adventures. Crime comics are back nowadays, as Sin City proves, but the Punisher appeared too early and so he will always be one of those guys in spandex... but a guy in spandex that shoots and kills folks... but he's a good guy... huh?!

Besides all that, it's not really a great time for action films either, and that's just another tide that War Zone is fighting against. Plus the reviews chewed up War Zone and spat it out.

Sadly, Frank Castle simply has too much comic book baggage. Yeah, Yeah I know some fun stuff was done with him in the comics these last few years but it's too little to late for a Franchise.

The failure of the latest Punisher is just another reason to hate the Comic Code Authority, among other things, IMO....

Ray Stevenson does look like the Frank Castle character though, so if this is really the end of the Punisher film forever then it goes out looking fantastic... unlike the previous Punisher films.



Random Comic Panel


Friday, December 5, 2008

May the Force Be With You Monkey Boy!

I came across this fun image while doing a web search on Planet of the Apes. Because I'm such a pop culture geek, this just makes way too much sense.

It reminds me that I'd love to see the PotA guys in all manner of films and projects. I'm not just geeky... I'm old school geeky.

This Star Wars/Planet of the Apes pic came from an article about skeptiscim of other forms of Intelligent life in the universe. See here.


My New Comics

This week’s best cover is Marvel Zombies 3 #3. Love the Evil Dead tribute

She-Hulk: the Cosmic Collision #3, Marvel Comics.

Crossed #2, Avatar.

Jonah Hex #38, DC Comics.

Necronomicon #3, Boom Studios.

Marvel Zombies 3 #3, Marvel.

The Astounding Wolf-Man #10, Image Comics.

SGT Rock: The Lost Battalion #2, DC Comics.

Kull #2, Dark Horse Comics.

Solomon Kane #3, Dark Horse Comics.

Jungle Girl: Season 2 #2, Dynamite Entertainment.

Hulk Family #1, Marvel Comics.

Trade Paperbacks:
Wasteland Book 3: Black Steel in the Hour of chaos Oni Press.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Non Sequitur Comic Panel

Caption from Green Lantern #1

Random Image Word from Dictionary: Discourage

It sure is weird how these turn out...


Movie of the Week: Carry On Cleo


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I sure wish they had THIS cartoon when I was a kid!


Monday, December 1, 2008

Did Some Gaming

I got a chance to play Call of Cthulhu over this last holiday weekend with family and friends. Man… I can’t even remember that last time I had a chance to play… Overdroid was in town and so he had the Gamemaster responsibilities. This one-off session was alotta’ fun especially because we had some newbies. I own most of the Lovecraft County books that Chaosium has put out, so Overdroid opted for an adventure out of Secrets of Los Angeles. I went temporarily insane but survived so it was all-good.

My Wife is so cool, because she looked after our son while the rest of played...


Friday, November 28, 2008

My New Comics

This week’s best cover is The Man With No Name #5.

The Walking Dead #55, Image.

The Man with No Name #5, Dynamite Entertainment.

Hulk #8, Marvel Comics.

She-Hulk #35, Marvel Comics.

Northlanders #12, DC Comics/Vertigo.

The War that Time Forgot #7, DC Comics.

Trade Paperbacks:
The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics Running Press. My Store had a great Black Friday sale and I got a good deal on this book.


The Stand: Captain Trips, I read the book and watched the Miniseries so it’s hard to justify reading this when I already know the story… that art is good though…

Zorro, It’s well done but I realized I’m just not as interested as I thought I would be.

Gigantic Not my bag of chips…


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Lots of gloom and doom going on right now but there's always time to hug your loved ones and be happy for what you have. I'm sure thankful for each and every smile I get from Swinebread Jr.

I'm also thankful to all of you for your continued support of Atomic Romance. I haven't been very good about visiting other blogs and leaving comments lately, so I really do appreciate the fact that you still visit me here.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Non Sequitur Comic Panel

Caption from Guardians of the Galaxy #2

Random Image Word(s) from Dictionary: Private School

I just had to do another Non Sequitur Comic Panel since y'all didn't believe me that this was easy... and quick!


Movie of the Week: Friendly Persuasion

They always showed this at Thanksgiving time as part of the SFM Holiday Network when I was a kid.

I watched Friendly Persuasion year after year until I realized... hey, that's that guy from Psycho!



Time Has Come Today

Every time I think about Obama's win I think about this song by the Chambers Brothers

Time Has Come Today... ...and it's about time!


Random Comic Cover

EC comics published this!?


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Non Sequitur Comic Panel

I'm starting a new feature at here at Atomic Romance called Non Sequitur Comic Panel. I came up with this as a way of providing interesting and/or fun content quickly as my time is limited because of my new role as Daddy!

Here are the rules.

I pick the text from a comic panel that tickled me for some reason (the text will usually include all the captions, dialog and thought balloons). Then I'll choose a random word by arbitrarily flipping to a page in a book while closing my eyes. I will then let my finger land on some random word. That word will then be typed into a search engine under the images function. I will roll a D20 and the number come up will decide which image I choose from those displayed on the search engine. Slap the text from the perviously picked comic panel on the new image and.. voilà... a new Non Sequitur Comic Panel is born!

These comic panels are not intend to make sense but if they do by accident so much the better!

Today's text comes from a panel in Our Army At War #92, and the random image word is ruins.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

My New Comics

This week’s best cover is Back Issue #31. Howard's barbarian look kinda reminds me of Runequest.

Ambush Bug #3, DC Comics.

Red Sonja #39, Dynamite Entertainment.

Conan the Cimmerian #5, Dark Horse.

The Age of the Sentry #1, Marvel.

Back Issue #31 TwoMorrows Publishing. The Steve Gerber tribute issue. Great articles on Howard the Duck, Omega the Unknown, Man-Thing, Destroyer Duck, and Thundarr (yeah!).


Movie of the Week: The Dark Crystal


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nonsense made Sensible


New Star Trek Trailer: Ahahahahahahaha!

It seems to me like this is some sort of reality reboot for the Star Trek Franchise. Regardless, it looks awful but at least Paramount is not pretending that this thing is gonna be any good. So we have fair warning unlike Indiana jones 4.

see trailer here


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fat Necks and Skin Suits

I saw this ad in one of my DC comics and I was just floored. I just hate this style of drawing. I’ll never understand why this is so popular. Look at Supes and Icon. They both have huge monstrous necks with hyper-detailed steroid muscles that impossibly show through their costumes. This is just plain ugly. When I started reading comics, these body types would have been a joke or a parody but now they are often the standard look.

I dunno, maybe folks illustrate like this to disguise the fact that they don’t really know how to draw in the first place… …like Rob Liefeld, the godfather of crap illustration. Here’s my advice, look at the body shapes of Navy Seals and Delta Force guys. That is what someone looks like who is really in shape.