Monday, December 28, 2009

This one got to me

Hi everybody, last week I was perusing the Huffington Post ‘s Impact section when I came across Lucia Duran’s story and it really struck a cord with me and so I decided to donate a few dollars to help her out. This charity drive is part of the 12 families, 12 cities, and 12 days that the Huffington Post is running to raise modest sums for various families in need this holiday season.

Lucia’s story of recovery from various periods of domestic violence and her will to strive for a better life for herself and her kids just broke my heart.

After reading the article last week on Christmas Eve, just couldn’t get her son’s picture out of my mind. He’s so young and yet he has already had to deal with such awful problems. I have to say that I have been, well, haunted by his intense, yet hopeful face, but why? I guess I saw both my son and myself together in his expression. This is something heavy that I haven’t quite worked out but it has knocked me for loop. So I sent a few bucks. It would be so great if the cycle of violence ended with Lucia’s son, Juan Pablo and her daughter, Fatima.

All the families that the Huffington Post is highlighting are very deserving, but I felt I just had to bring more attention to this one story. So if you have a few dollars to spare and still feel a little more holiday spirit, take the plunge and donate to a lady that is really trying to pick herself and her children up by the bootstraps.

I read the article, and I just wasn’t the same

The 12 families, 12 cities, and 12 days event ends on the 1st of January so there is only three days left. There is still time to a little that can make a big difference.

Lucia and her kids have received a lot help from the Homeless Prenatal Program and they're worth checking out too.


Happy New Year everyone


Geektastic Holidays Ahoy!

Wormer here.

Lots of geek stuff happening for me personally. In no particular order of importance---

Swiney lent me trades of the entire Preacher series because he loves it and probably because I'm such a fan of Garth Ennis' "Battlefields" series.

I've read through the first three and "Ancient History" which covers the backstory of some of the secondary characters and I have to say I love it. It's a weird combination of things that Ennis mixes into his tale but it happens to be stuff that's right up my alley: westerns, Catholic theology (I'm a reformed Catholic,) vampires and such. There's also a faint subtext of Douglas Adams in much of the dark humor mixed into the story. Great stuff.

I got rid of my comics box a couple of months ago but picked up a ton of comics for the kid's stockings as I do every year. One of the titles was "The Marvel Zombies Return."

The original Marvel Zombies is a darkly hysterical take on an alternative universe where an infected superhero comes to earth, quickly turns the Marvel Zombies into the undead and they, in turn, eat everybody on earth in a matter of hours. Unfortunately the mini-series that followed this brilliant debut didn't quite measure up in terms of creativity with the zombie Spiderman and company conquering their hunger, becoming vegetarians and essentially nerfing the harder edge that had made the title stand out.

MZR has the series back to form. The zombies have been cast to other alternative realities where they suddenly regain their hunger and go all all you can eat buffet again. The first title has Spiderman falling into his own storyline from the 70's and trying to be a hero but winding up eating each and every archvillain that ever faced him, ultimately causing the plague all over again.

In my own Christmas Stocking were copies of the Weird War 2 expansion for the Savage Worlds rpg, the "Temeraire" series of books which Peter Jackson is going to make into a television series and Left For Dead 2 for the PC which will suck up some of my time when I get a chance.

I've played video games since I was a kid with a penchant for computer games. This means I literally have decades of experience tweaking settings, loading floppies, updating drivers or whatever the hell I have to do to make a particular bit of gaming software work.

At the top of my son's Christmas list was a game called "Section 8." It's a 3-D shooter set in the future, sort of a mix of Battlefront and Halo. He was especially excited to unwrap the thing.

What followed was about three days of hell as I struggled to get this software running. It will come as no surprise that Microsoft is the publisher of this monstrosity. Much of the problem can be traced to Microsoft's DRM scheme. They require an internet connection to their Windows Live gaming network even if you're playing single player. Naturally this didn't work and the game would crash every time it tried to connect.

After searching the net I found that we weren't alone in facing this problem and that many, many people who had bought the game had struggled with the same issue. Complicating this was the fact there was no one solution but a mix of removing and reinstalling Games for Windows and removing and installing Section 8 seemed to be what resolved the problem for most people.

The only reason I can assume that this software was released in this poor of a state has to be that Microsoft really wants to kill computer gaming so everybody that games will buy an XBox. No other theory makes sense.

--Dean Wormer

Friday, December 18, 2009


Hi folks, I've been busy with the new place post move and work has been crazy but I wanted to let you know how I've been feeling. It's seems that Dean Wormer and I have come to the same conclusion at about the same time. See his excellent post here.

I didn't think we'd get all the progressive stuff we wanted, maybe 50% (and I would have taken even 25%), but to get absolutely NOTHING! It's simply just too much. All the political capital that has been wasted in the last year coddling conservatives, insurance lobbyists and the list goes on.

I'm done with 'em 'cause the Dems really don't give a crap about the folks in their own party. So maybe if I leave it they'll start paying attention. ...Yeah right.

All that hope... and now it's gone...


PS I'm also pissed because Dean is gonna post all his pop and entertainment news on his own blog now 'cause he can't bring himself to talk politics anymore. grrrrr

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Update On Swinebread

I just spoke to him on the phone.

No, he's not dead.

Nor has he suddenly been bitten by a radioactive insect, discovered his parents were actually gods or aliens, walked into the path of an atomic experiment or any other thing that would have bestowed him with superpowers. He can't have superpowers. For one thing he's not single. We all know only single people have superpowers.

Swinebread is not serving time in an intergalactic prison, banished to the Phantom Zone or trapped in a giant block of ice to be revived thousands of years in the future. Neither he nor the city he lives in have been shrunken down so they can sit on the mantle of some super schlub.

He's definitely not a zombie or any other form of undead.

On the other side of the coin he hasn't been trapped on Paradise Island to be fawned over by hundreds of 6-foot tall Amazonian women that look suspiciously like Lynda Carter. So he doesn't have that going for him.

He's simply without computer access since the move. He plans on continuing this blog and sends his love to y'all.

So Commisioner Gordon you can stop shining the Swinebread Spotlight into the sky to call him out of his Swine Cave. He'll be back to fight crime, talk comics and piss me off when he fails to agree that Joss Whedon is the second coming of Christ before you know it.

-Dean Wormer-

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


As you all have noticed, posts have become quite sparse here at old Atomic Romance. Part of that is do to being a Daddy now while another part is due to all kinds of craziness at work. But for October things get really insane because the Swinebread gang is moving. I will have no time at all for extras. So I guess I'm taking a short break to get through the next month.

take care


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Great Moments in Comic Book History

Cabaret or Suicide! Vance Astro was pretty depressed about life in the 31st century but luckily his Guardians of the Galaxy buddies whisked him off for adventures in deep space so he didn't end up offing himself.

Cabaret or Suicide... with a panel like that you just know this comic must have been written in the 1970s.

From Marvel Presents #3


Monday, September 14, 2009

Patrick Swayze has Died

We all knew it was coming but it's still very sad.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Here we are at the eight year anniversary for 911.

Hard to believe...


Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day

This "Joe Worker: The Story of Labor" comic sure could use a better cover but think it still might be worth reading.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Comic Book Meth

Cops bust a meth ring which used comic books to launder drug money. See here

The police seized half a million dollars works of comics.

I wonder if those plastic cover on those graded books would hold out the meth taint.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

Disney Buys Marvel 3... ...and Swinebread's Thoughts

Disney buys Marvel and the pop culture world shakes… Some folks are upset, some think it’s great, some are wait and see. Me? I’m feeling a little worried about it as Disney can be quite a hog when it comes to pop culture. Plus, the house of mouse has an image that doesn’t exactly appeal to the average male. On the other hand Marvel has been screwing up most of their characters lately so why not. Disney could sure use the help too because it’s all but tapped out when it comes to creativity. The idea of Marvel and Pixar working together gets the fanboy similes going regardless.

The weird thing about all this for me is that it completes a setup of the big 2 comic companies that I think is backwards. DC has been a part of Time/Warner for a while now but you know what? It never sat right with me. Superman and Batman don’t belong with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck imho. DC has always been the goodie two-shoes universe and so they belong with the goodie two-shoes Disney characters. I’ve always thought the nebulous morality of the LT cartoons lent them selves better to the angst ridden Marvel Universe. Warner has done some great things with the DC animated shows so my bias has been tamped way down but with the sale of Marvel to Disney it jumped back up to the forefront. Spiderman and the Hulk with Mickey and Donald? Yuck….!
And since Disney owns the Muppets too I just know they will come out with Muppet versions of the Marvel Supers too, although that’s not so bad.

Ultimately all this probably means nothing except that the Marvel Superheroes will eventually get overexposed and Marvel might get much more litigious.

I do have one caveat to all of this in that it was pretty cool when Duck Dodgers joined the Green Lantern Corps. Maybe will see Super Goof join the Guardians of the Galaxy?


Disney Buys Marvel 2

--Dean Wormer

Disney Buys Marvel

--Dean Wormer

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Random Comic Cover

I've always thought the best westerns had helicopters as part of the plot.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy

There is a lot of things to be said about Sentor Kennedy's life and death but I'll let others do that.
See here for a good one

I sure hope we can get a "good" health care reform bill passed.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Few Things

I’ve been watching SyFy’s (I F-ing hate the name change btw) new hit show Warehouse 13. Essentially it’s a show about that “secret government warehouse” you’ve been hearing about all these years. All kinds of supernatural relics or advanced artifacts are acquired and stored here so the general public is kept safe. Every episode usually revolves around the lead characters tracking down an object after some weird/supernatural occurrence happens. It’s not a perfect show as the investigations are laughable but it has a Buffy-esque charm that plays well. W13 could easily devolve into an artifact of the week akin to a monster of the week show but thankfully it’s mostly a character driven program with moments of humor. Probably the best things about the show (besides the excellent casting of Saul Rubinek) is that W13 is one of the best possible ways to do a “fantasy show” with a limited budget. It’s had a few hiccups but I feel it’s on good footing for a first season. It’s interesting to note that 50% of the audience for W13 is female which is a huge jump for the SyFy channel. The first season hasn’t even finished its run yet and a second season has already been green lit. On a comic book geek note CCH Pounder who plays the government agent Amanda Waller in Justice League Unlimited plays a similar role here as Warehouse 13’s Shadowy boss.

I’ve also been enjoying the BBC’s Being Human about a Vampire, Werewolf, and Ghost sharing a flat together. It sounds really corny and it kinda is but like Warehouse 13 I like that fact that there is almost no budget for the show consequently so much relies on the dialog and the personality of the characters. It rips off tons from the World of Darkness games (among other things) but BH has a certain charm. The first episode was confusing though because I felt that I had missed an episode and indeed I had. There was a pilot that had two of the three major characters cast with different actors and of course that pilot was not shown in the states. Check it out if you like “Thrift Store Horror.”

I tried to think of something fun to give my niece last month and for some reason Galaxy High School popped into my head. Why I thought a 23 year old Saturday morning cartoon would entertain a modern high schooler, I’ll never know. But my intuition was on the money as apparently she’s been watching the DVD set over and over like crazy. It’s too bad it only had one season.

I saw program about exoplanets over the weekend on the science channel. What the was really cool is that the show nicknamed planets that orbit pulsars as Zombie Planets because they are dead worlds created from the debris after the destruction of a whole system. Hmmm…


Thursday, August 20, 2009

I had an interesting foodie experience at Trader Joes last weekend. The wife was feeding a sample of gnocchi to Jr. and he was enjoying it so much that I decided to give it a try as well. I grabbed a cup and while I brought a spoonful of the gnocchi to my mouth I noticed that there was some sort of tomato sauce with zucchini on it. Not thinking much of it, I popped the food in my mouth. I noticed that it had a wonderful sweet-earthy taste and I actually thought to myself this sauce was real peasant food. Then I had the image of Anton Ego’s reaction to eating Remy’s Ratatouille dish. After savoring another bite I thought, “hmmmm Ratatouille must really taste similar to this.” I looked over at the sample stand to see what the sauce was and the sign read Ratatouille.

I’ve never had ratatouille in my life… and I had no idea what it looked like or the ingredients in it beyond the Disney film. It’s weird. Ratatouille is a great film but I never realized that it actually had the power to impart what something actually tastes like.

see here for a picture of Trader Joe's Ratatouille.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Is A Group Of Zombies Called A "Herd" Or A "Pack?"

This is going to sound really sexist but I get worried when Zoe Saldana states that she's going to fight to have Uhura wear pants. Apparently she just doesn't get the character. This is akin to Zachary Quinto arguing that Spock shouldn't have pointy ears or Shatner playing Kirk without a hair piece. It's just wrong.


This io9 article on the preponderance of zombies in comics really rubbed me the wrong way. For one thing it opens with this tripe:

First, DC Comics unleashed a legion of undead characters in its Blackest Night event. Now, Marvel has announced Necrosha, an upcoming X-Men storyline that will bring back lots of dead mutants. When did zombie superheroes become the hot new thing?

Serious fans of comics of which I don't include myself will immediately see the problem with that opening statement. Put that aside there's much more history to zombies and comics, especially surrounding the comics code, that the author appears oblivious to. Don't write about something you don't know.


Put me in the David Tennant for Bilbo crowd.


Here's an interview from Comic con with the great Hayao Miyasaki. My favorite bits- Miyasaki doesn't watch movies or television and still won't commit to retirement. He's going to make movies until he drops.


I just finished all the League of Extrodinary Gentlemen GNs including 1910. Wonderful, dense work as usual from Moore. The only criticism I might level is that the books suffer (especially 1910) from a preponderence of too many characters who often have nothing to actually DO. It's really a minor quibble with some fine work.


Me and the fam are plodding through season 5 of Buffy. That's the season where Buffy's sister Dawn is introduced. The first three episodes at least have incredibly clever/ funny dialog that's still light years ahead of most stuff on television. Great show.

-----Dean Wormer

Friday, July 24, 2009

It is good news and strange news that Marvel Comics now has the rights to Marvelman

It’s weird because I was thinking the other day “what ever happened to Marvel Comics' strong push to get the rights to Marvel Man (Miracle Man),” and now here we are. Honestly, from a comic book standpoint this is the biggest and most important news to come out of Comic Con. I just don’t see anything else as earthshaking being announced. (see here)

Marvel Man has a long history and it doesn’t behoove me to try to get through the whole thing here, so check the Wikipedia page out for more detail. The article is actually quite detailed. Simply put, one of the main reasons that Marvel Man is important is because it showcases work by Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman (and some great artists too). This is Moore before Swamp Thing, Watchmen, and V for Vendetta; and Gaiman before Sandman (sorta).

Marvelman was originally a British knockoff of Captain Marvel and essentially the UK’s first superhero. His adventures were good, silly fun in the tradition of the big red cheese. Marvelman had a nine-year run from 1954 to 1963.

Alan Moore reinvented the dormant character in the 1980s and all the notions of modern comics that we associate with Watchmen were actually first explored in Marvelman. The irony of ironies, is that Marvelman had to be renamed Miracleman in the US as Marvel Comics was not interested in buying this strange adult character (unlike what DC did with V for Vendetta) and was none to pleased that another comic company (Eclipse) could publish MM’s stories using their company’s name. It’s my understanding that the birth scene really freaked them out. It was a big missed opportunity by Marvel at the time, but obviously Marvel has come to realize how important MM is and that they really need more Alan Moore comics in their intellectual property inventory to make gads of cash like DC does.

Anyhoo, Gaiman picked MM after Moore was done but only got about one third of the way into his storyline before Eclipse went bankrupt and MM was abruptly cancelled. The rights were tangled up badly for almost two decades with everybody claming to own all or part of the character and it was beginning to look like Marvelman would never see the light of day again. But now we have Quesada’s announcement that MM is back and Marvel has him and what’s even better is that they have worked out the rights with the original creator, Mick Angelo too.

What this all means (hopefully) is that Alan Moore’s run on the title will be collected and published again; Neil Gaiman will finally be able to finish his MM storyline; and the original 1950s-1960s stories will be collected for the first time as well.

What is maybe not so good is that it sounds like Marvel will bring MM into regular Marvel continuity somehow. That might not work out so well but we’ll wait and see I guess. An alternate MM is kinda already a part of the Marvel Multiverse via Moore’s work on Captain Britain. That might possibly be the way to do it but I’m not holding my breath.

I could go on about how important the Marvelman is to me personally. I was a teen when MM was published by Eclipse Comics. It blew my mind. I had never read anything so adult and so deep in comic book form before and when it comes to supervillians I got two words for you, Kid Marvelman. Never has a bad guy done so much, to so many, in quite such a horrific way. It was so delicious that my folks thought I was engaged in some light kidde stuff when in reality I was exploring the dark side of the superhero soul. This is what could have and maybe what should have happened to characters like Superman and Captain Marvel but obviously will never happen.

If you are a fan of Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Atomic Age superheroes, or are interested in the development of the “modern” superhero,” Marvelman is one of the true blues that changed the comic industry forever. Once you read MM, you’ll see how it has been ripped off and imitated countless times since it was created. I’m looking at you Sentry!

Make Mine Marvelman.

PS. I’m not saying MM is perfect but I am saying it’s very important. Plus it’ll be very funny if MM does become a top tier, mainstream Marvel Comics character because a very British Superhero will now carry the Marvel identity… now that is ironic and random strange.

Oh and one last thing... if you like comics and superheroes and don't think this is an big deal then tah hell with ya! :)!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

He's 1!

I wish I had more time to jot something down, but I just wanted you all to know that Swinebread Jr. is One-year-old today!

We had a birthday party this last weekend. It was so much fun. It was just family but everyone had a wonderful time especially Swinebread Jr.

Of course the party's theme was spiderman... except for the cake which was Looney Tunes.

Junior's headband says Taisho, which means big boss.

I just can't believe it's been a whole year!

Happy Birthday Oh son of mine.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Computer Problems

I can't Log into my email anymore; I think it's been hacked. If you have received an email from "me" on July 5th or later. It wasn't really from me. Basically, I've lost most of my contact info for all my connections. I'm in the process of setting up a new email account. If you wondering why I haven't emailed you back... now you know why.

Also, my CPU is in the shop for a couple reasons one of which being that a CD is really stuck in the disk drive.... (and yes I did try everything)


Monday, July 13, 2009

Jr. No-No's

I'm thinking that playing Axis & Allies is NOT something that I should do in my household.

Little Swinebread would have to play Germany all the time so he wouldn't deveolop some sort of complex... and that, in and of itself, would make him absolutely develop one.

Can you imagine him creating an atomic bomb and using it in this game?! *shiver*

I guess I'll have to stick with Arkham Horror and Samurai Swords (formally known as Shogun).

I've had board games on the mind lately... not that I have the time or opportunity to play them...


Friday, July 10, 2009

Weevils Wobble...

We've been catching up on the BBC's Doctor Who spinoff series "Torchwood" and are currently about halfway through the second season. Here's some of my thoughts on the series in general as tempered by those of my wife and kids--

The family consensus: this show is frustrating. It's frustrating because it's difficult to think of another example of a television show that swings so wildly between episodes that are sublime to those that are just plain awful. This show is incredibly erratic.

Much of the blame for this falls on series creator Russell T Davies. A lot of Who fans dislike Davies and credit him with some of the worst episodes of that show. The most frequent criticism is that Davies has a tendency to sway into ham-fisted melodrama and the lack of science fiction in much of his science fiction.

While this is true to a degree, I find it hard to hold much of a grudge against Davies. More than anyone else he's responsible for the revival of Doctor Who, a show that occasionally borders on fantastic. To my way of thinking he's earned the right to toss a few lemons at us.

Where Davies really drops the ball in Torchwood is in his envisioning of the main character of Captain Jack Harkness played by John Barrowman. As the character was introduced in Doctor Who he is an immortal, omnisexual imp from some sort of future Time Police. In "Torchwood" Harkness is more of an angry, omnisexual curmudgeon. The character's humor has been largely exercised for dramatic reasons to make him more of a brooding hero slumping under the weight of some dark secret involving his brother.

Here are my two favorite episodes of the series and why I think they work--

Episode 1x5: "Small Worlds." - The team investigates "fairies" who are protecting a small child. I especially love the subplot in this which touches very deftly on Jack's immortality and it's consequences but the fairies were menacing as a force of nature not entirely good or evil.

Episode 1x6: "Countrycide." - The team investigates a series of disappearances in the woods. Naturally it turns out to be a local village who slaughter and eat travellers every 10 years. A big rip off of American horror films but scary just the same.

Probably the two biggest clunkers of episdodes in my estimation --

Episode 2x4: "Meat." The team rescues a giant, regenerating sentient alien being kept alive in a warehouse so that a meat company can cut off chunks and sell them. Ham-fisted message and the alien looked horrible even by BBC standards.

Episode 1x12: "Captain Jack Harkness." Jack and Tosh are thrown back in time to a dancehall in WW2 England. Jack falls for the real Air Force Captain Jack Harkness from which he had stolen his name. The episode ends with a groanworthy scene in which the two Jacks dance in front of a room full of WW2 servicemen culminating in a romantic kiss that made no sense under the bland dialog between the two characters leading up to that moment.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

When I see a picture like this, it reminds me that the sentiment that women don't like science fiction is total bullshit.

Image from this post at i09


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Name This Character

UPDATE: Randal Graves wins with Al Gorn!


Monday, July 6, 2009

My wife is so awesome. I've been working a lot of overtime and she felt kinda bad for me so Mrs. SB bought me a couple of books to sooth my doldrums.

The first book is Yokai Attack! It's a nice guide to traditional Japanese monsters. I've always enjoyed creature tomes but this is the best one I've come across. It has the more famous yokai like the the onibaba, the Kappa and the Tengu but also contains weirder stuff like the woman with a mouth in the back of her head, the hand washing demon and the tree with human faced peaches. My personal favorite is the slash-mouthed woman. Yokai Attack is presented as a survival guide, but what really makes this work so well is that it concisely describes the various monsters while putting them in a cultural context that's easy for a westerner to understand. The readability of the test is due to the biracial husband and wife team that wrote the book. It's worth noting that the art is wonderful too. It's a nice cross of modern manga styles and traditional wood block printing. Highly recommended to creature fans and folks interested in Japanese culture.

Here is a video about the writers of Yokai Attack! (and uh Halloween in Japan)

Yokai Attack also makes a nice companion volume for fans of Japanese horror films.

The 2nd book Mrs. Swinebread got for me was a volume of Oishinbo (the Japanese Cuisine story). Oishinbo is one of the most popular manga series of all time. I was quite surprised that portions of it are now being adapted into english because, well, Oishinbo is about food. It had a huge affect on Japanese culture so I guess, now that I think about, it was just a matter of time for Viz to publish it. Now when I tell folks that comics can really tell any kind of story I'll have an edition of Oishinbo to prove it. One of the guys I work with is a Gourmet, and he's salivating to to borrow my this book once i'm done with it. here's copy from VIZ website:
Each volume of Oishinbo follows Yamaoka and his colleagues through another adventure on their quest for the Ultimate Menu. Now, the highlights from the hundred-plus volume series have been selected and compiled into A la Carte editions: bite-sized chunks of story arranged by subject that add up to a full-course manga meal!

Japanese Cuisine introduces us to the fundamental ingredients--rice, sashimi, green tea, and dashi (cooking stock)--that constitute the soul of the Japanese kitchen. In each story we learn about the proper preparation and presentation of different dishes, as well as their history and cultural significance. The result is a moveable feast of a book, as informative as it is engaging.

Now those of you that love food but say you don't like comics no longer have any excuse.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July

Have a safe, happy holiday to my fellow Americans and to rest of the world... I hope for Freedom, Peace, and Justice.

Yeah, I know that's a tall order.

and now for those of you that need something a little more patriotic and stuff:


Friday, July 3, 2009

Karl Malden RIP

Karl Malden was real actor, not one of those lameos you get at the five and dime.

Don't Leave Home without 'em


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What's been going on in blurbs.

I’ve sworn off Marvel Comics… well, at least the pamphlet kind. I refuse to pay 4 bucks for a single comic book. Considering their new pricing model now, it seems like the best thing to do. I’ve found myself really tempted by Marvel’s 70th Anniversary titles and the Marvel Pets but I held firm and it feels good. On the other hand, I’m more open to picking up Marvel trades and Hardcovers. My comic shop had a big sale a while ago with either 50% off or a straight price of 10 bucks on hardcovers.

Because of this I picked up
Annihilation: Countdown Volumes One & Two. Great, well written cosmic adventures
Annihilation Classic. I just adore all these cosmic characters especially Rocket Raccoon
Marvel Monsters. A collection of old and new Kaiju-ish stories featuring creatures from Marvel’s age of monsters. The Devil Dinosaur and Fin Fang Four stories rocked.
Marvel Westerns. A collection of old and new stories featuring characters from Marvel’s Western line. The Hurricane story is probably the best Superhero,Weird Western I’ve ever read.
Marvel Visionaries: John Buscema. His early stuff, plus a random smattering of latter stories.

Speaking of cosmic characters, I really enjoyed the Annihilation stuff so much that I went out and bought Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy trades. I got most of them used at Powell’s. (My new goal is to buy mostly used and/or "on sale" comic trades as much as possible) Reading this new Nova series has been great. I’m fan of the original Nova series from way back in the 1970s, but I have been really disappointed with how he’s been depicted since. This current series finally achieves the cosmic potential that the Nova character has always had but was always ignored.

No More My New Comics?
I kinda figured what was the point since I’ve cut down to 0-2 titles a week. I guess I could do a monthly My New Comics but I’ve since fallen out of practice of doing it… It’s just not as much fun with the same few title every month.

The wife and I just watched Dororo. It’s a live-action Japanese adaptation of Osamu Tezuka’s manga of the same name. It’s pretty good with all kinds of traditional Japanese monsters and sengoku period swordplay. If you’re interested in fantasy samural stories check it out.

I did see Star Trek but never did a review. I enjoyed it quite a bit. I loved how the film brought back some of the humor of TOS. There were a few story problems especially a bunch of coinkydink stuff that I noticed after I left the theater, but all and all, a very fun film. The only thing I straight up just hated were the engine rooms… that stuff looked just like something out of MST3K. My fears for this film and the Star Trek Universe were unfounded. I’m glad I was wrong. Now Paramount, DO NOT PUT KHAN IN THE NEXT FILM. Try something new please.

Several months ago, YouTube pulled my Devo, Beautiful World, video. It lasted a little over a year.

I’ve been watching Showtime’s new show Nurse Jackie…. It’s very entertaining and Edie Falco’s character here is much more interesting than Carmella Soprano ever was. Some nurses have problems with the show but what’s getting me down is the tiredness I have for ER/hospital shows… couldn’t we have a program about park rangers or Travel agents or science fiction writers… basically the networks and cable stations are Lazy because it’s easy to find the drama in cop, law, and hospital shows.

I happened to see Vol 1 and 2 of the 1990s animated X-men show last month, so I snapped these DVDs right up. Despite the fact that we've got Gambit and Jubilee, instead of Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde) on the regular team, this is as close as we are ever gonna get to good adaptions of the comics. No extra features but that's OK because all the room on the disks went to ensuring the episodes are top quality.

But most of all I've been spending my time taking care of Swinebread Jr. Wow! It's been almost a year since he was born.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Two Jacksons

As we all know, the so-called King of Pop died. I certainly was never a fan and in fact was quite horrified by Michael Jackson. Regardless, his music was a significant part of my childhood. I was there for the whole music video transformation that Thriller started and I remember when a Michael Jackson video was an event not to be missed. I have to admit that he was a gifted singer and dancer, and he worked very hard to perfect his act.

Sure, I have lots of memories (just like most of you folks do) with his different his different songs and but what really gets me down is that I can't separate Jackson (his many surgeries, child abuse allegations, skin bleaching, and crazy behavior) from his music. Gone is the fun I had as a youngster being entertained by Jackson. It's like there were two of him. The memory of what he was and the grotesque parody he became.

I cringe everytime I hear his songs...

Well except Thriller... because Michael Jackson, it turns out, was a zombie after all. I guess he just needed his outsides to match his insides.

So maybe there really wasn't two Jacksons, and that's the saddest thing of all because now I realize that he was crazy the whole time.

here's the prisoner version of thriller:

On a comic book side-note (because I just gotta have one), of course we all remember the Thriller parody/homage in Dazzler #33 right?


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Miyazaki And Zombies and Scooby, Oh My!

Lots of geek stuff bouncing around my head today. Probably because I got to talk to Swinebread for a while yesterday and that always gets me thinking about this stuff.

The English language version of the trailer of Hayao Miyazaki's new film Ponyo surfaced yesterday. I had the pleasure of springing on my Miyazaki nut daughter leading to her watching the thing at least five times.

In the course of reading up on that flick she saw the rumor that Miyazaki may be making a rare public appearance at Comicon. Now I have her working on me to take a trip to San Diego. Sigh.

Even though I'm a fan of the Marvel Zombies (the first books were works of sick genius in my opinion) the stories have really petered out, predictably as the zombies got "cuddly." With that in mind the announcement that Marvel was bringing on some heavy duty zombie writers for the next iteration of the series raised my interest.

In particular David Wellington's "Monster" series of zombie books were all sorts of scary, so I can't wait to see what he does with the zombified Marvel heroes.

Even though I'm late to this party I have to say that Left 4 Dead is one of the best shooters I've ever played. I got the thing for Father's Day and it's bloody awesome. There's not a lot to the game other than trying to survive zombie attacks while you work your way through a city/ sewers/ base but what it does, it does really well.

Thanks to the library we're working our way through almost every animated version of Batman they have on hand. In the last week we've watched "Batman: Gotham Knight," "Batman: The Brave and the Bold Season One" and "Scooby Doo Meets Batman." Not surprisingly my kid's favorite was that last title. Even though they're older they do love them some Scooby.

I finished reading Brian K. Vaughan's "Pride of Baghdad" last week and you'll have to color me unimpressed. It's disappointing because I loved the concept of pride of lions escaping an Iraqi zoo during the initial U.S. attack in 2002.

I enjoyed the symbolism, heavy-handed as it might be but couldn't by into one of the book's central conceipts- Vaughan and his artist Niko Henrichon specifically riff off of the animation of Disney and the Disney practice of animorphism. Essentially they draw the lions very Disneyesque but then involve the characters in very adult situations. Call me a prude if you will but I found this off-putting.

--Dean Wormer

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Random Comic Cover

Princess Pantha Gets her Man.


Monday, June 22, 2009

News I Missed... A Jericho Comic!

Well, back in March Devil's Due Publishing announced that they had secured the rights to continue the Jericho story in comic book form. (See here). Obviously I missed that bit of pop news, proboably because i'm busy taking care of Swinebread Jr. As of yet, there is no mockup or cover to go from (it's due in October) but I'm cautiously optimistic despite the fact that the art for such projects can often be less than stellar.

Personally, I think a comic book is a great way to continue the story since Jericho was cancelled (Twice!). A comic gives one that visual connection to the characters that you just can't get with a novel. Plus, several other franchises have been succesfully continued in comic form. Some hardcore fans don't quite agree (see here) but for me it bodes well. I'm really interested in finding out more detail concerning the conspiracy to create the Allied States of America.

I do wonder though, if Dark Horse or Dynamite Entertainment might have been a better fit to publish a Jericho title as DDP are the same guys that are doing Barack the Barbarian.

There is a tiny rumble about a Jericho movie too, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

I so glad there is something wondeful to focus on this Sunday. Today is my first Father's Day! Little Swinebread Jr. is almost eleven months now and is absolutely into all kinds of mischief. Me and the misses have to watch him like a hawk.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Graphic video of a woman shot On the Streets of Turan

I'm Sorry for the graphic nature of this image but I feel it's important that we all really understand what is happening.

These people are dying for things we take for granted.

Update Her Name was Neda

and her friend wrote this poem in her honor:

I'm here to tell you my sister died while in her father's hands
I'm here to tell you my sister had big dreams...
I'm here to tell you my sister who died was a decent person... and like me yearned for a day when her hair would be swept by the wind... and like me read "Forough" [Forough Farrokhzad]... and longed to live free and equal... and she longed to hold her head up and announce, "I'm Iranian"... and she longed to one day fall in love to a man with a shaggy hair... and she longed for a daughter to braid her hair and sing lullaby by her crib...

my sister died from not having life... my sister died as injustice has no end... my sister died since she loved life too much... and my sister died since she lovingly cared for people...

my loving sister, I wish you had closed your eyes when your time had come... the very end of your last glance burns my soul....

sister have a short sleep. your last dream be sweet.
via Huffington post

Text from here
A young woman who was standing aside with her father watching the protests was shot by a basij member hiding on the rooftop of a civilian house.

He had clear shot at the girl and could not miss her. However, he aimed straight her heart. I am a doctor, so I rushed to try to save her.

But the impact of the gunshot was so fierce that the bullet had blasted inside the victim's chest, and she died in less than 2 minutes.

The protests were going on about 1 kilometers away in the main street and some of the protesting crowd were running from tear gass used among them, towards Salehi St.

The film is shot by my friend who was standing beside me.

Please let the world know.

Video at these link on the Huffington Post (note very disturbing)

scroll down to 2:37 PM ET

with much sadness