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Showing posts from October, 2007

Daft Punk blows up Vegoose!

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This past weekend Kate and myself went to Vegoose 2007 (here in Vegas of course) and it was Daft Punktastic! I've liked Daft Punk since I first saw their video Around The World on MTV's 120 Minutes years ago when MTV still played music videos (reality shows killed the music video stars as the Buggles would sing). Well nothing prepared me for how awesome Daft Punk would be live and as they got on stage, I was as the kids say, "out of my mind" when the first electronic note and visual onslaught began!

Daft Punk is a two man French techno band (Guy-Manuel de Homen-Christo and Thomas Bangalter), in the fine spirit of the German pioneer techno band, Kraftwerk. They've been recording since 1993 and 2003 saw Daft Punk in an excellent anime called Interstella 5555, which used the music from their 2001 release, Discovery (actually the whole movie is just anime and Daft Punk music - no talking). They'll release a live album called Alive, November 19th of this year. One…

Doktor Sleepless

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Doktor Sleepless is my favorite book that Warren Ellis is currently writing (art by Ivan Rodriguez). The closest comparison I can make as to what Doktor Sleepless is like is Ellis' Transmetropolitan (I like Doktor Sleepless a lot more though). Actually I'm not here to tell you what Doktor sleepless is about, just wanted to share the following passages from this week's issue (#3):

"Sometimes, the rain makes no sound. I wear a glove made of your skin. It's the colour of your skin. It's the colour of rain, soft and grey. It makes no sound, now as I flex my fingers inside it."

"I want to touch myself and pretend it's your hand. Love as leather. But I know I'm too far gone even for that now. I'm just a human bin filled with prescription pills, rinsed down with rainwater mixed with stolen medical alcohol and served in old vegetable tins."

..."The me you used to kiss thrashes like a cat in a sack, somewhere in the back of my head. ...You…

Christos Gage signing

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Last night I was happy to host Christos Gage for a signing here at my store and a great time was had by all! Thanks to everyone who came out and big thanks to Christos Gage for stopping by!

Christos Gage's first comic gig was the Deadshot mini series for DC a few years ago and since then he's written series for Marvel, DC (and Wildstorm), including Union Jack, Stormwatch PHD, World War Hulk: X-Men, X-Men: Endangered Species, Batman Legends of the Dark Knight, and Annihilation Conquest: Quasar. Presently and upcoming Gage is writing Authority Prime, Wildstorm Armageddon, What If? Civil War, and House of M: Avengers. He's also written episodes of Law and Order: SVU and Numb3ers (with his wife) and his experiences writing them were interesting to hear.

Christos Gage is a fairly young guy, which surprises me because from reading his comics, anyone who has read comics for a long time knows that Gage has done his research. I talked to Christos about this and he said he started re…

Whisper of the Heart

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Whisper of the Heart is not just one of my favorte animated movies (or anime as the Japanese call animated features), it's one of my favorite movies ever. Whisper of the Heart is a Studio Ghibli production, but wasn't directed by the master, Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki did write the screenplay though as well as doing some of the storyboards and serving as the general producer. Whisper of the Heart was the only film directed by Yoshifumi Kondo, who was maybe poised to be a protege of Miyazaki, but sadly he died in 1998 of an aneurysm. Whisper of the Heart very much looks and feels like a Miyazaki film, with its strong female lead character and doesn't need any good guys or bad guys to drive the story.

Whisper of the Heart is a coming of age / young love story. Shizuku is the main character of Whisper of the Heart - she loves to read, has a great imagination, but is unsure what lies ahead for her in the future until she meets Seiji, an aspiring violin maker, who inspires her to …

more great comics!

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This week had a higher than usual ratio of good to bad superhero comics and the following are amongst my favorites:
This month's Catwoman and last month's written my Will Pfeier and drawn by David Lopex and Alivaro Lopex were especially good issues for a title that's fairly consistant. Having heard about a new direction for Catwoman from some future issue solicitations, I was worried that they were going to go to a dumb place with Selina's daughter, but I was happy with how this issue was resolved.

Birds of Prey is another constistantly entertaining superhero book (even post Gail Simone). Tony Bedard has written the last couple and Sean McKeever is coming on board soon so it should remain solid. Most issues are drawn by Nicola Scott (and she knocked Gail Simone's last issue #108 out of the ball park!), but other artists have also been good on this title. This week's Birds of Prey #111, focused on Oracle who had a meeting of sorts with the Calculator (a villain) …

great week for comics!

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This week had some especially good releases. My pick of the week goes to Umbrella Academy #2 by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba (with The Sword #1 almost taking the top spot). Umbrella Academy is written by Gerard Way, the lead singer of My Chemical Romance (and I know for some people mentioning that would be considered a minus, but I like the songs I've heard and I think people who wouldn't try Umbrella Academy because of that fact are missing out) and this definitely continues all of the intrique and quirky elements of the first issue and expands on what exactly is going on. I love the title of this issue "We Only See Each Other At Weddings And Funerals." And with a new villainous group calling themselves the Orchestra Verdammten, how can you not like this book!? This isn't just a weird for weird sakes book though and has nice Mignolaesque art by Gabriel Ba (Casanova).

Ex Machina, like Brian Vaughan's other creator owned title, Y The Last Man, is just about alway…

The Sword

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Yesterday The Sword #1 came out by the Luna Brothers and Image. The Luna Brothers are Joshua Luna, writer, and Jonathan Luna, artist. The Sword is their third creator owned project from Image and like their previous series, Ultra, and Girls, The Sword opens really strongly and I'm going to guess that anyone who picks up the first issue will definitely be back for more. Both of the Luna Brothers previous series have been collected so there's no reason to think that The Sword won't be collected, but the Luna Brothers are amongst the exceptions of creators who do innovative exciting work and also do it monthly, so there won't be any crazy waits between issues. In the first three fourths of the first issue of The Sword we're introduced to Dara Brighton and some of her friends and family and it's a nice look into what appears to be just a regular day in the suburbs, until halfway through dinner some people come looking for a sword. I'd be okay if the Luna Broth…

Sequential Tart on comics journalism

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Today on Sequential Tart, www.sequentialtart.com, Kate has an excellent editorial on what is comic book journalism, specifically investigative comics journalism, and who benefits from this kind of journalism within the comics community / industry.

As many of you know, Kate is my wife, but that's not why I'm recommending that people read this week's editorial (Sequential Tart has new content every Monday). This is a topic that's been floating around on the internet for a couple of weeks and Kate's editorial is a response to those who are stating that there isn't much in the way of investigative comics journalism and implying that said type of journalism is the only valid type of journalism. As Kate states in her piece, the comic industry is really small in comparison to other mediums and everyone seems to know each others business. I've always been very interested in the behind the scenes aspects of the comic book community, but really for the most part a lot…

Across The Universe

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I went to a late night showing of Across The Universe and it was absolutely Beatletastic! Across The Universe is director Julie Taymore's musical / love story of Jude (Jim Sturgess)and Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood) told over the tumultuous decade that was the 1960's.

The following are my spoiler free impressions (like most of the comics, books, movies, etc. that I talk about on my blog) of Across The Universe:

The best thing about Spider-Man 3 (actually the only good thing about seeing that movie, other then Kate and myself getting to MST3K the movie as there was only one other person in the theater) was seeing the trailer for Across The Universe. Before seeing the trailer, I hadn't heard of this movie, but they had me at the title (my favorite Beatles song) and the fact that it was a musical using Beatle songs - how could you go wrong!? Actually reviews for this movie are coming in right down the middle, with critics / people who've seen it either loving it or hating it. So…

John Lennon

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Today John Lennon would have been 67 years old.

I first started listening to the Beatles in 1975 and instantly became a rapid fan. While I've always liked all of the members of the Beatles and a lot of their solo work, I'd say my favorite Beatle was John Lennon because his songs seemed more intospective and intelligent.

My favorite Beatles song is Across the Universe, just look at this first verse:

Words are flying out like
endless rain into a paper cup
They slither while they pass
They slip across the universe
Pools of sorrow waves of joy
are drifting thorough my open mind
Possessing and caressing me

My favorite song of all time is John Lennon's Imagine, here's the first two verses:

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

I was a senior in high school (San …

36 days - Black Dossier!

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Well it's only thirteen months late, but League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Black Dossier is arriving in stores Wednesday, November 14th. Black Dossier will be a 208 page hardcover (all new story, not serialized like the previous two Leagues). Alan Moore has said that Black Dossier isn't the third League book (that's next years Century, being told in three graphic albums taking place over the course of a century), but rather a look at the various other characters that were in different Leagues throughout history with Mina Murray and Allan Quartermain acting as our tour guides. Alan Moore has said that Black Dossier started as a sourcebook, but since all sourcebooks are crap, Black Dossier will actually have a narrative structure (but I'm going to guess a not very conventional narrative structure). In a Wizard interview Moore gave about a year ago, he stated that: "The Black Dossier isn't the best comic I've ever written, not the best comic ever, it's t…

kids love Eastern Promises!

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Kate and myself went to see David Cronenberg's new movie Eastern Promises yesterday and loved everything about it especially the smart story and the cast led by Viggo Mortenson, Naomi Watts, and Vincent Cassell.

Sitting behind us was a mother and her ten year old son. I told Kate that they'd probably last 20 minutes tops before they left. Well they didn't leave and although the son and mother made some gasps of shock at some of what was going on in Eastern Promises, actually they weren't as annoying as I thought they'd be. Still, you'd think that anyone with half a brain would know not to bring a kid (under twelve at least, but I realize that some kids are more advanced then others) to a Cronenberg movie (and in this day and age it's quite easy to do a search on an R rated movie to get a sense of whether it's a good idea to bring a ten year old to - again who knows, maybe she did do this). I'm actually surprised that this movie didn't get an NC…

Pushing Daisies

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Pushing Daisies is a new ABC show that just started last Wednesday and is my new favorite show (I actually don't watch a lot of tv, not to be a tv snob, rather watching tv requires too much commitment and it gets in the way of my comic reading, anime watching, and trying to solve quadratic equations).

Basically Pushing Daisies is about Ned, who has this ability to make dead things (people, animals, plants, etc.) come back to life by touching them. If he touches them again, they'll stay dead and if he reanimates someone who was dead for more then one minute then someone else will die in their place. Like my friend Joel commented when he was first told me about Pushing Daisies, it really seems like a Showtime or HBO show and not something the networks would do. It's probably the best reviewed show of the season so far but it does seem to be one of those dividing shows that you'll either love or hate (if you don't like the first episode I'm going to guess that you …

Eww, Robin was a girl

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So about a couple of years ago or so, DC had Stephanie Brown, aka Spoiler (Tim Drake / Robin's flame) become Robin - how dare they!? Actually, this move wasn't met with much disapproval from the fan base that I can recall and everyone knew that Tim Drake would be back as Robin at some point. What people didn't expect was that Stephanie would just be Robin for such a short time, that her stint as Robin wouldn't really be explored, and that she'd end up having a stupid death and get no tribute in the Batcave as Jason Todd did (the second Robin).

It was Bill Willingham's (Fables) idea to have Stephanie become Robin as he was writing the title at the time. Due to circumstances beyond his control, Robin and all of the Bat titles around that same time were involved in a dumb crossover and it appeared that Willingham had to scrap his original plans with where he was going with Stephanie as Robin, to fit this new editorially driven storyline.

One of the reasons compani…

Invincible - the comic!

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Invincible was created by Robert Kirkman (Walking Dead, Marvel Zombies) and Cory Walker. Cory Walker was the artist on the first seven issues, but is still involved with the title on a design / consultant basis, with Ryan Ottley joining Kirkman as the Invincible artist since issue #8 (the title is on issue #42 presently). Ryan Ottley hasn't missed a beat since he became the Invincible artist and his style was an easy transition from Cory Walker's. There's eight trade paperbacks collecting Invincible with each volume titled after tv shows from yesteryear, such as Three's Company, Perfect Strangers, and Head of the Class.

I just finished reading Invincible volume 5 The Facts of Life and this is a refreshing super hero book, with great characters, humor (although when it gets dark, it's fairly dark, but without leaving a tone to the series that is just grim and gritty), and actual plot and character progressions. There's quite a twist that happens, but I'm not …

Doctor 13

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Doctor 13 Architecture & Mortality, written by Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets) and drawn by Cliff Chiang (Human Target, Beware the Creeper), published by DC Comics, collects the eight part series from Tales of the Unexpected. Doctor 13 is the world's biggest skeptic who investigates things of paranormal origin and in this volume he runs into other old DC B or C list characters such as I...Vampire, Anthro, Haunted Tank, and Infectious Lass. No prior knowledge of these characters is required to enjoy Doctor 13. If you like comic books that have that nudge, nudge, wink, wink quality written by a writer unafraid to in essence bite the hand that feeds him (including not so thinly veiled shots at four prominent DC writers and jabs at "event" storytelling), well Doctor 13 is the book for you.

Actually, Doctor 13 isn't really mean-spirited because a love of the wacky fun that only comics can do (especially DC Comics from the 1950's and 1960's) is evident as is Doct…