Month: August 2009

Inciteful commentary on Disney buying Marvel

Disney buys Marvel for $4 billion. Something… something… outrage… disgust…

(OK, I don’t really have too much to add to this but thought I should acknowledge it in some way. If this brings wider exposure to comic books, then yay. But I cynically have to point out that it didn’t really change anything when Time Warner bought DC Comics. Doesn’t mean this new deal won’t be done right, but it’s worth mentioning.)

Want my old comics?

I’m trying to free up some space around here (and also try to get a little money back for it), so I’m putting the majority of my comic book collection up for sale at Amazon.com. I set up a modest store front right here.

I’m making my way through my collection. So far I’ve got everything up through Amazing Spider-Man listed. Take a look!

I’ll keep adding stuff here and there. If you’re looking for something in particular, or would like to make me an offer for something I have listed, email me. I’m sure we can work something out.

New to Comics? New Comics for You! 8/26/09

It’s the All-Ages Edition! Gather the kids! It’ll be fun!

Never read a graphic novel before? Haven’t read a comic book in years?

Here’s some brand new stuff that comes out this week that I think is worth a look-see for someone with little to no history with comics. That means you should be able to pick any of these up cold without having read anything else. So take a look and see if something doesn’t grab your fancy. If so, follow the publisher links or Amazon.com links to buy yourself a copy. Or, head to your local friendly comic book shop.

Disclaimer: For the most part, I have not read these yet, so I can’t vouch for their quality. But, from what I’ve heard and seen, odds are good they just might appeal to you.

The Muppet Show: Meet the Muppets – $9.99
By Roger Langridge
112 pages; published by Boom! Studios; available at Amazon.com

This hilarious trade collects the first four issues of THE MUPPET SHOW, written and drawn by the incomparable Roger Langridge! Packed full of madcap skits and gags, The Muppet Show is certain to please old and new fans alike! If you have a favorite Muppet, chances are it’s featured in this show-stopping collection!

I’ve recommend a single issue here and there of this series. Now here’s the entire first mini-series all in one place for a great price. Maybe people who didn’t grow up on this show won’t or don’t care. But I’d like to think anyone who can handle singing, dancing and joking bears, chickens and whatevers would get a kick out of this.

Toy Story: The Mysterious Stranger – $9.99
By Dan Jolley & Chris Moreno
112 pages; published by Boom! Studios; available at Amazon.com

This action-packed trade collects all four issues of TOY STORY: THE MYSTERIOUS STRANGER. Woody, Buzz and the gang encounter a mysterious egg-shaped toy… They crash Andy’s science fair in a heroic attempt to repair his broken exhibit… The toys must make peace with the family’s new dog, Buster… And finally, Mr. Potato Head decides that he’s tired of just being an inanimate toy. He’s going to reveal his walking-and-talking nature to Andy! Can Woody stop him before it’s too late?

Again, I think everyone has imagined their toys coming to life when they weren’t around, so my gut tells me this is accessible enough to most even if you haven’t seen the Pixar movies. Good fun for the whole family!

Yeah, that’s it. Not all that much coming out this week.

Reminder: Magic Meathands show Thursday night

Don’t forget! We’d be lonely without you!

I’m a featured performer for this week’s Thursday night Magic Meathands show.

Tickets: $5.
Time: 8:00 PM.
Location: The Spot Café & Lounge: 4455 Overland Ave., Culver City, CA 90230 (Google Maps link)

The Birth of Me in Comics

The Comic Book Database, a great resource site, has a cool new feature where you can search comic books by cover date. So, naturally I had to search for comics dated for my birth month and year: February, 1976. Play along at home!

Look out! That Assassin guy is right behind you doing exactly what you thought was impossible!

I can’t imagine it gets much awesomer than this British comic. I wish I was as tough as your boots. (Wait, did you say “Actual size”?!)

I’m not sure what’s more shocking. The Jaws double’s terribly chapped lips? Or Ghost Rider’s flaming skull and the ocean ignoring each other.

OK, I’m detecting a certain aquatic theme, possibly inspired by a certain pop culture-defining film (see: coat tail riders).

Well certainly Batman is too cool to be that lame.

Oh Batman. Really? The Olympics? Sigh…

Surely Marvel is above this kind of cheap pandering.

What in the — ?!

OK, why is Spider-Man dragging a poor innocent girl into this implausibly ridiculous yet dangerous game? Unless the little girl is subbing for the football in this demented version of Not-Soccer. You’d think something this EXTREME would bring in at least a few spectators but it looks like they couldn’t give tickets away to this game.

Later: “Eh, let’s go back to playing regular football.”

So, was it possibly football season when this issue came out?

Oh-ho! It’s funny because it’s sexist!

Oh ho! It’s funny because they have eating disorders.

Come on Captain America, help me out.

Watch out for the phallic-helmeted Trojan Horde! Let’s face it, no one can resist cataclysmic Kirby action.

To be fair, this was from a time when superheroes had to announce their ethnicity in their name. But only if they weren’t white.

Oh. My. God. I have no idea what’s happening or why, but I must have this.

If this issue doesn’t include lyrics and sheet music, I’m writing an angry letter.

Watch the hands, pal.

I understand this was the inspiration for Bill Murray’s Scrooged.

Don’t… look… behind… you. You might need more American flags printed on large sheets of cardboard paper.

Wow, this is crazy!

I think we all see what’s coming.

Dodging is so WILD!

What jerks. Worst friends ever.

Every twin I know has this exact same problem.

Stay back! It looks like someone might actually read this. We don’t stand a chance!

I love it!

This would never get published today. For several reasons.

So… Spider-Man and Storm (from the X-Men) are now thieves who steal from helpless old men? Uh… great.

And finally…

But.. but… I thought they were the same person! OK I admit it. I’m actually intrigued.

And that’s my birth month in comics! Here’s the full list, if you haven’t had enough.

(One thing to note that you may have noticed: Comics have traditionally been dated about 2-3 months in advance of their actual release date in an attempt to lengthen their shelf life, so most of these had probably been released in November or December, 1975. Still, it’s much easier go by cover date than try to determine when each individual comic actually hit stands.)

New to Comics? New Comics for You! 8/19/09

Never read a graphic novel before? Haven’t read a comic book in years?

Here’s some brand new stuff that came out last week that I think is worth a look-see for someone with little to no history with comics. That means you should be able to pick any of these up cold without having read anything else. So take a look and see if something doesn’t grab your fancy. If so, follow the publisher links or Amazon.com links to buy yourself a copy. Or, head to your local friendly comic book shop.

Disclaimer: For the most part, I have not read these yet, so I can’t vouch for their quality. But, from what I’ve heard and seen, odds are good they just might appeal to you.

Hexed – $19.99
By Michael Alan Nelson & Emma Rios
112 pages; published by Boom! Studios; available at Amazon.com

Blood. Theft. Sex. Magic. The critically acclaimed fan-favorite is finally collected in one horrifying volume! It’s said there’s no honor amongst thieves. Add to that a thief operating in the occult underground, and it’s a whole different kind of nasty! Luci Jennifer Inagcio Das Neves, Lucifer for short, takes a new job that will expose her to the macabre underbelly of the city, and a secret that she’d rather nobody know. By Michael Alan Nelson, the critically acclaimed author of FALL OF CTHULHU, and hot new art talent Emma Rios and colorist Cris Peters. Special cover by Paul Pope!

The next Buffy? Only one way to find out. Read it for yourself. Here’s a 10-page preview (although the first 4 pages are taken up with images of the cover, title page, and other kind of boring stuff like that. But the second story page has a nice twist from the set-up on the first page. In fact, if that twist wasn’t there, I probably would’ve pulled it from my recommendation list.)

Filthy Rich – $19.99
By Brian Azzarello & Victor Santos
200 pages; published by DC Comics’ Vertigo Crime; available at Amazon.com

Richard “Junk” Junkin has always lived on the wrong side of trouble. A former pro football star whose career was cut short by injury (and a nasty gambling problem), Junk now spends his time dreaming of what might have been, selling cars in Jersey and lusting after the boss’s unbelievably spoiled, unbelievably sexy and unbelievably rich daughter, Victoria. So when the boss asks him to be Victoria’s personal bodyguard while she tears up the New York City club scene, Junk leaps at the chance. But before long, he’s finds that Victoria wants a lapdog and not a chaperone, someone who’s going to do all of her dirty work—all of it—someone who wants to get filthy rich… 

From Brian Azzarello, the multiple Eisner Award-winning writer of Vertigo’s long-running crime series 100 BULLETS and the smash-hit graphic novel, JOKER, and artist Victor Santos, the creator/writer/artist of the hit French series Young Ronin.

Some crime noir from a great writer. The artist is clearly not too shabby either. The cover is kind of weird (looks like she’s spitting up jewels), but the interior pages look great. Here’s a 12-page preview in PDF form.

A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge – $24.95
By Josh Neufeld
208 pages; published by Pantheon Books; available at Amazon.com

A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge is a masterful portrait of a city under siege. Cartoonist Josh Neufeld depicts seven extraordinary true stories of survival in the days leading up to and following Hurricane Katrina. 

Here we meet Denise, a counselor and social worker, and a sixth-generation New Orleanian; “The Doctor,” a proud fixture of the French Quarter; Abbas and Darnell, two friends who face the storm from Abbas’s family-run market; Kwame, a pastor’s son just entering his senior year of high school; and the young couple Leo and Michelle, who both grew up in the city. Each is forced to confront the same wrenching decision–whether to stay or to flee. 

As beautiful as it is poignant, A.D. presents a city in chaos and shines a bright, profoundly human light on the tragedies and triumphs that took place within it.

Yes, believe it or not, this sort of thing is still extremely relevant. This was originally released as a web-comic posted online here by SMITH Magazine, which has a lot of bonus material including a behind-the-scenes video on the making of A.D.. The Amazon.com link above also has an interview with the artist/writer and some preview pages.

Essex County – $29.95
By Jeff Lemire
512 pages; published by Top Shelf Productions; available at Amazon.com

Where does a young boy turn when his whole world suddenly disappears? What could change two brothers from an unstoppable team into a pair of bitterly estranged loners? How does the work of one middle-aged nurse reveal the scars of an entire community, and can anything heal the wounds caused by a century of deception?

Critically-acclaimed cartoonist Jeff Lemire pays tribute to his roots with Essex County, an award-winning trilogy of graphic novels set in an imaginary version of the Ontario county where he was born. In Essex County, Lemire crafts an intimate study of one community through the years, and a tender meditation on family, memory, grief, secrets, and reconciliation. With the lush, expressive inking of a young artist at the height of his powers, Lemire draws us in and sets us free.

This new edition collects the complete Essex County trilogy (Tales from the FarmGhost Stories, and The Country Nurse) in one deluxe volume! Also included are over 50 pages of previously unpublished material, including sketches, promotional art, and two new stories. — Softcover Graphic Novel with French Flaps, 512 pages, 6 1/2″ x 9″

This has won and been nominated for a good handful of awards and has won lots of praise. Here’s an extremely generous 41-page preview. Expressive yet with impressive restraint, contemplative, beautiful.

Me & the Magic Meathands – August 27

You can catch me performing with the Magic Meathands nearly every Thursday night at The Spot Café & Lounge in Culver City. On Thursday, August 27 (next week), I will be a featured player. That means more of me! So come on out! Give suggestions, come join us on-stage, and enjoy great food while we make fools of ourselves!

Tickets: $5. Time: 8:00 PM.

Location: 4455 Overland Ave., Culver City, CA 90230 (Google Maps link)