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Showing posts from February, 2009

Watchmen movie No Spoilers!

Last night here at the San Francisco Wondercon I was lucky to be able to attend the Watchmen Imax sneak screening (one week early) with the only real minus being that it started after twelve midnight so I didn't get back to the room until after 3am. While the movie didn't have the "Citizen Kane quality / scope" that Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons Watchmen has, it still was very ambitious and had several scenes / sequences that will give chills (the good kind) to readers of this seminal graphic novel.I thought the songs selected for the movie were great and used to great effect, especially a long sequence / chapter using a Phillip Glass composition.

Watchmen, the movie, doesn't feel rushed and although it's not as multi-layered as the Moore / Gibbons production, it does have a lot of nudge, nudge, wink, wink visual and character moments throughout. Artist Dave Gibbons introduced the movie so that was a special treat for the audience, but although on some level I …

Devil Dinosaur: Jack Kirby

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30 years ago (actually 31 years ago as this was done in 1978!!), Jack Kirby wrote and drew what was to be his last creation for Marvel, Devil Dinosaur and Moon-Boy. One of Marvel's best editors, Tom Brevoort, does the introduction and therein he puts this Kirby creation in an historical context. As Brevoort recounts, Kirby was asked to do a series similar to his DC series Kamandi, The Last Boy On Earth, as they had heard that the latter mentioned series was being looked at for television cartoon development so they wanted a series that would capitalize on that. Brevoort continues by stating that Kirby didn't like to repeat himself so instead of doing another series set in the future he set Devil Dinosaur in the far past. Kamandi sadly never happened as a cartoon, which is sad because it could have easily translated to that medium. Devil Dinosaur would make a great cartoon also and someday I'd bet that that will happen and as long as whoever is doing it does it in the Kirby…

Watchmen viral marketing

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The marketing for the upcoming Watchmen movie is at a crazy high fever pitch. Amongst the more amusing marketing being done are the short viral videos that are popping up online. Here's the link for the latest one (and my favorite): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCpl3MLVwUc

The photo here is from the London premiere, which I can't believe I wasn't invited to!

I'm not making this up...

Last night I was hanging out with some friends at Paddy's, a fine bar / pub, here in fabulous Las Vegas and I asked a couple of them if they were getting jazzed for the upcoming Watchmen movie. Just about everyone is, even people who haven't read the comic / graphic novel. Here's the sad, but true part of our conversation, that I repeat "I am not making up":

One of my lawyer friends told me that he's been representing a client who, after ingesting a lot of cocaine, gets in a car, and ends up hitting a guy on a motorcycle, which resulted in his death (the guy on the cycle). Anyway, the cocaine guy realized that he was totally guilty and was prepared to take whatever sentencing the judge was going to throw at him, but he was trying to get them to delay when he'd actually have to start serving his sentence so that he could see Watchmen on March 6th (this guy had waited almost all of his life to see Watchmen get to the big screen).

This story is sad on so many…

Delirium, Pluto, & 20th Century Boys

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Today's blog entry will be the first time I've written an entry while drinking a beer at the same time. I'm also writing this from my store and it's not even noon yet, so.... I rarely drink beer while I'm working, but every once in a great while I like to interact with my customers with a slight buzz going on (usually my work buzz of choice is caffeine via energy drinks).

The beer I'm drinking is one a friend (Rob Perez) brought over to our house on Christmas day and I'm just now drinking the last one. Said beer is called Delirium Tremens and is from Belgium. Delirium Tremens won the World Beer Championship in Chicago in 1998, I prefer the light Delirium to the dark Delirium even though I've found over the last year and a half that I generally like dark beers. The alcohol content is 8.5% so keep that in mind as you read this entry.
Pluto and 20th Century Boys are both by Naoki Urasawa, who also was the cartoonist that did the excellent manga, Monster, w…

Ghost World comic vs. movie

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If you read the Ghost World graphic novel you've won and if you watch the Ghost World movie you've won, but if you experience Ghost World in both mediums then you've won the lottery.

Ghost World was first serialized by Daniel Clowes in his Eightball comic in the late 1990's before being collected. I actually remembered Ghost World, the comic, being longer, but it's "only" eighty pages in length. Ghost World on one level is a coming of age story about two young teenage girls, Enid and Rebecca, who've just graduated from high school. But I think Ghost World is really about the "odd" people who populate this world. Enid and Rebecca revel in observing people and through their running commentaries on those people they encounter, make Ghost World ultimately a great ode to voyeurism. Ghost World is also beautifully drawn by Daniel Clowes (who employs a nice soft aqua duo tone color that greatly enhances the story he is telling).

The Ghost World movie…

Who Reads The Watchmen?

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Hurm.

No Spoilers following (for the two people out there that hasn't read this magnum opus by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons yet):

It's been a few years since I've re-read Watchmen, but I wanted to do so before the movie lands (twenty days away!). Of course it's still excellent, I think I like it better every time I read it (maybe that's because I understand it more each time). Watchmen is one of those graphic novels / comics / books that rewards the reader upon every visit as it is so multi-layered, with characters and ideas of many facets that populate a complex story which manages to unite all of the individual elements into what many have called the greatest achievement in this medium (Time magazine called it one of the top 100 novels - not "just" graphic novels - of all time). As I've said before, I still prefer V For Vendetta, but the writing and the scope of what Alan Moore is going for is more amazing in Watchmen.

While re-reading Watchmen I was th…

Prometha revisited pt. 32

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Sunday I completed my re-reading of the epic five volume (32 issues) Promethea series by Alan Moore and J.H. (Jim) Williams and it was the total immersive art and idea experience that I remembered it being. Promethea is not as heralded as other creations by Moore such as Watchmen, V For Vendetta, or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (except by people who've read the entirety of Promethea) and that's sad because it really is at least their equal in my estimation. I think one of the reasons Promethea hasn't to date found the audience that Moore's other great comic masterworks has is because even though Promethea starts as a somewhat conventional "science hero" creation, in short order everything about Promethea veers as far from conventional story-telling as has ever been done in this medium. A readers complete attention must be given to Promethea while reading said book as Moore and Williams, through this character and book, created a tour guide of how the ima…

The Big Skinny

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The Big Skinny How I Changed My Fattitude is a new autobiographical graphic novel memoir by Carol Lay (195 pages full color, published by Villard Books). Cartoonist Carol Lay, at age 50, had an epiphany that after spending most of her life struggling with a weight problem (most of her life she was 30 pounds overweight), she needed to make lifestyle changes so she carefully monitored her calorie intake and started exercising regularly which of course is essential to maintaining your ideal weight, not going on and off diets.

In The Big Skinny, Carol Lay shows how she changed her eating habits, how she counts calories almost obsessively, and how she incorporates working out into her day. She makes allowances for when she goes on trips, for special occasions, for holidays, and for days when you just feel out of whack, but she stresses the importance of getting back into a routine of carefully watching your calorie intake and the importance of regular exercise. The Big Skinny is filled wit…

Promethea Absolute forthcoming

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This is uber artist J.H. Williams III cover (uncolored presently as is probably obvious) for the Absolute Promethea Volume One that's coming out in September. J.H. (also known as Jim) told me that there looked to be a good chance that this was going to happen, so I was happy to see confirmation of this two weeks ago. There'll be three Absolute volumes collecting all thirty-two issues of Promethea.

As many people who know me or read my blog, Alan Moore is my favorite writer and I think Promethea is one of his very best creations (I wouldn't get a tattoo of just any character!). Promethea, besides being a great vehicle for Alan Moore's word, idea, and character wizardry, is as great as it is because Moore had the superlative artistry accompaniment of J.H. Williams III. Jim (J.H.) is one of those artists who always challenges himself to find new ways to interpret a page which made him the perfect artist for Promethea, because the very nature of Promethea is about changing…

Magneto Testament

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This week the concluding issue (#5) of X-Men: Magneto Testament arrived and it was the powerful ending I had expected of this powerful mini-series. Magneto Testament was written by Greg Pak and drawn by Carmine Di Giandomenico and really isn't an X-Men or Magneto story at all, rather it's a Holocaust story that takes place in the Auschwitz concentration camp. I thought it was established that Magneto had been in a concentration camp during WWII in the first X-Men movie, but Pak, in his afterward in this issue, gives credit to writer Chris Claremont, who had made Magneto a Holocaust survivor almost thirty years ago.

Magneto Testament doesn't trivialize the Holocaust at all by having any super powered activity going on which usually accompanies an X-Men story. A couple of aspects of the Holocaust that Pak touches upon in Magneto Testament are the Gypsy Jews and the Jewish people who reluctantly "helped" the Nazis at the camps, who were called Sonderkommando. I'…

Happy (post) Groundhog Day!

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I hope everyone had a great Groundhogs Day yesterday - I did! These Groundhogs Day flowers were from my very good friend, Cristina, who biked all the way to my store (with her brother, Frankie) and caught me just as I was locking up for the night.
After having some great Thai food with Kate at the King And I, we found this nice home for the Groundhog Days flowers on top of our statue display case.


Kate got me this yummy soy chocolate cheesecake from the Cheesecake and Crime book store (which is sadly closing soon). It hit all of my sweet tooth buttons - seriously you don't need dairy to have great desserts. The person who lettered this Groundhogs Day cake, spelled all the words wrong though (grin)!