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


It's Offical... The Iranian Government Is A Dictatorship

The killing and repression are well underway. The protesters have the numbers but the goverement thugs have the guns.

How can they shoot their own people?


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The World Holds It's Breath For Iran

What ever happens with the outcome of the Iranian protests, one thing is for sure, the Iranian populace will never be the same. I hope for a positive and just outcome for these people yearning and struggling to be free.

We are in uncharted territory now things can go in so many different directions...


Monday, June 15, 2009

Wilma, Rogers, and Bears OH MY!

Dynamite Entertainment has built up quite a successful reputation reviving dormant franchises and characters so it came as no surprise that they secured the rights to publish a new take on Buck Rogers. DE's Buck comic looked interesting from the press releases but I have been cutting down on the new titles (that's part of the reason you haven't seen a "My New Comics" in awhile) and so I wasn't so sure I really want to pick up a another monthly. But after stopping by the comics shop this last weekend and flipping though Buck Rogers #1, I came across this Panel:

Needless to say, they had me at this image of a ferocious cyborg Bear. A flashback to Gamma World maybe? Anyhoo, I enjoyed reading this comic so if the next issue is as fun as this one, I'll add Buck Rogers to my box. Seeing as how I've totally bailed on marvel this won't hit my pocket too hard.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dave Simons Passed Away

Comic Artist and Animation designer Dave Simons died last week. RIP

See a great tribute here.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stumptown '09 Very Late and Fairly Short

I realized that I'm never going to have the time to do that extended post on the fest that I wanted, so I'll simply post what had written far back in in April and leave it at that. So here is a few words about my little excursion to this year's Stumptown Comics Fest.

Some of the many kids that came to this years comics fest.

The building was decorated with window art in honor of Jeff Smith and his creation Bone.

I had a good time at the fest this year although I had to cut it short due to personal stuff. The first thing I noticed right off the bat was the amount of kids that were present. This was due to this year’s honored guest Jeff Smith. I knew he had a following with the kids but this was something else… …and you know what? I liked it. It felt great to have youngsters around. I also felt a slight twinge, as little Swinbread Jr. is too young to attend something like this for a while. I can’t wait to discover what his comic interests will be. Anyhoo, The first thing I did was to make a b-line for Gail Simone’s Table. I handed her my first five issues of The Secret Six to sign and we exchanged pleasantries. I additionally thanked her for making such well-rounded characters. Apparently Gail has been at the Fest before but this was the first time that she was a recognized guest. She told me that likes Portland a lot. What was even better was that Gail had her own panel. Which was quite a treat.

Gail Simone was a hair dresser for 15 years when she decided that she really needed to make a change and started the You'll All Be Sorry! column. That eventually led to work with Bongo Comics, (the guys that do the Simpsons stuff). It’s funny because she said that at the time she didn’t really know how pitch a story or write a script. So she had to be kinda sly in getting info from Bongo and she also enlisted her friends in industry for help. She worked her way up to Marvel and DC from there.

Gail said she couldn’t remember the first comic book she read but she was always attracted to the medium going as far back as Carl Barks’ Donald Duck. What really clicked for her though was when she read the Justice League of America for the first time. She just loved how the JSA worked together as a team. See, her home life was “dysfunctional” and the camaraderie and solidarity between the characters was something she longed for. Wonder Woman had a big impact on her too. Gail’s wasn’t a real fan of Fairly Tales because she never saw a Knight coming to sweep her off her feet so she could live happily ever after. Wonder Woman was a princess she could relate to. WW is someone that had to make her own way in the world and was strong and beautiful doing it. (Incidentally Gail said the Wonder Woman animated movie, which she co wrote, was really fantastic) The Barbara Gordon batgirl is also important to Gail as she because she was bullied because of her red hair and she took a lot of inspiration from the character’s strength.

Many questions were asked but I just had to ask her to talk about women in refrigerators. She mentioned that it has moved beyond what she had started. All kinds of folks were looking into the issue of the treatment of female characters in various forms of fiction but it all goes back to her observations in in the mid 1990s.

Note this is where I left off in April, so that's it.

Jeff Smith was very interesting but all these months later what sticks with me the most is that he didn't originally write Bone for kids, it just turned out that children really responded to it and librarians loved it. Some of its appeal is probably due to the fact that the bone characters are patterned after the classic cartoon trio as best exemplified by Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. Also, Jeff always saw all the comics as one whole story which is very apparent if you read the collected addition as I did.

Another fact that came out about Bone was that Art Spiegelman was really the one to push Jeff Smith to get Bone colored. Apparently he kept bugging Jeff about it. Jeff responded to him with "well Maus is in Black and White."
and Art said "Maus is about the holocaust... Bone is about life. It should be in color." Needless to say, Jeff agreed to the get his cartoon labor of love colored after that. The colored Bone is not just one trade paperback like the collected black and white version but several shorter vloumes. The last Bone volume with color was just published earlier this year.

Here is Ryan Dunlavey the artist on Action Philosophers and Comic Books Comics.

One of the folks from The Center for Cartoon Studies was at Stumptown this year. These guys need start a branch of this school here in Portland damit!

Well this sure would have been more interesting if I had posted it back when the fest happened oh well!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Friday, June 5, 2009

David Carradine December 8, 1936 – June 3, 2009

I like him best in Death Race 2000 as the fake, cyborg racer Frankenstein.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mine is the The "Tank Man" What's Yours?

I've been thinking about the Tiananmen Square Massacre as this sad 20th anniversary occurs. Looking again at the powerful image of the lone man standing in front of a column tanks I realized, that for me, this is the most powerful image taken during my lifetime. There are others that come close but nothing has quite surpassed the Tank Man. I still get choked up about it these 2 decades later.

Here's part one of the Tank Man doc posted in youtube:

link to the playlist for the whole doc here

I was talking to a buddy at work and asked him what he felt was the most important image taken during his lifetime. Since he's older than me, he said the photo of the earth shot from the moon. Interesting!

What image taken during your lifetime is the most important to you?