Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Well it's official;

I'm retiring this blog. Blogspot has been good to me, but I'm moving over to Wordpress for better search optimization and themes. You can still find me over at Violent Blue and at the new Argo City blog at Wordpress!

Monday, May 2, 2011

I picked up Action Comics 900 last weekend. In it there's a short story (not even the main feature for Christ's sake!) where Superman goes to Iran to participate in a peacful protest. He just lands and stands with the crowd for 24 hours then leaves. I thought that was just so cool to see. Great story. Sure the Iranian government got pissed and complained, then the US goverment felt the need to talk to Superman. Same as usual. I've seen this before, "Secret Identity" handled it really well. We saw some of that in "Salvation Run" too. Then Superman stated to the government agent that he was going to the UN to renounce his citizenship.
I felt like someone had just punched me in the face.
Those of you who know me - really know me, know how big a deal Superman is to me. It's fairly visible, The floor mats in my car, the stickers and the steering wheel cover. The constant parades of shirts. The Money clip my Wife found for me. The stacks and stacks of comics, not to mention the drawings of my own. But it's the character that fascinates me. The character that uplifts and gives us something to aspire to. This isn't it.
Don't get me wrong. You can have a global worldview, but that doesn't mean sacrificing your personal culture, and Superman's cultural heritage is far more American that alien. Who he is fundamentally is grounded in Pa Kent - and that's nothing but American. "Superman : Peace on Earth" tackled these issues of mistrust as well, and what is notable was the realization that Clark Kent (in this case helping people reclaim farmland and plant crops) can sometimes be more effective than Superman. Clark the human, Clark the American. That's at the core of my profound disappointment here. The action of renouncing his citizenship is antithetical to the character.
I have to question the motives at DC on this. I mean, it smacks of cosmopolitan Intellectualism, of people with such open minds that their brains have leaked out. This isn't revolutionary, it's not creative, this decision is cowardly. It says, "Lets try to appease the rest of the world by showing how ashamed we are of our homeland." . America isn't perfect. But it is a special place, a remarkable place. This is an experiment in liberty that most people 200 years ago never expected to succeed, and certainly never expected the US to become as influential as it has been. It deserves better than this.
You know what? So do I. Perhaps it's time for me to renounce my citizenship in the DC Universe and immigrate over to Marvel.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Sandman and companion

I've been reading through The Sandman again. I came across a copy of the Sandman Companion at Half Price books and it's been a fascinating excuse to revisit the series. However, I remember why I kind of trailed off it. I really loved the series before it became popular. Even though the quality didn't drop off when the series got hot, the fact that everyone else now liked it just sucked some of the fun out of it.
THe COmpanion really sheds some light on the source material. I though I was well read, but this is uncovering homages and sources that I've enver noticed before. It's also really fun to hear about how much Neil Gaimen loved Roger Zelazny...also one of my favorite authors.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Green Hornet

I didn't hate the Green Hornet. This means something considering I'm a lifelong fan of the character. You can find pictures of the characters in my sketchbooks all the way back to 7th grade.There's a good story somewhere in this movie, however, it's buried under Seth rogan acting like a jerk and trying to be funny during parts of the movie where it really isn't appropriate.A bit more character development and a bit less humor (You don't need to throw out all of it. Justtrim by about 15-20%)and this could have been a really great adaption. I'd like that beacasue it could have brought much greater exposure to a character I really love.

The problem really is that there isn't a really good vesion on screen. The TV show introduced a lot of what we take for granted in the character...the gadgets in the car, Kato being a martial artist... even the very look. The serials are fun, but a bit too campy...like a bad gangster movie from the 40's. Kevin Smiths comics really didn't GET the character, though that series has gotten a bit better with each issue, especially now that Smith's off the book. Matt Wagner's classic Green Hornet (being published right now by the same company) however is really good. I was a big fan of the 90's series published by NOW comics too.

It's a pity this movie won't make enough to justify a sequal. I'd like to see another go at this with the actors settled in thier roles, and the characters beginning to mature.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas niceness

Let's face it. If you know me you know I don't cast any illusions about my feelings towards Christmas. If I didn't have a family I'd probably sit it out altogether in outright protest.

Dispite my disdain, a couple of things have happened this week to keep me in a good enough mood to keep from going out and begining a christmassacre.

I got a Christmas card today from Magician Lance Burton! Seriously, that's a nice surprise. It was fun last year to get a letter from him responding to my own, and a Christmas card around the same time. I figured That would be it, but apparentl I'm on his Christmas card list. I think that's kind of nice.

It also seems that some people have noticed me listing to my normal Christmas fare - "A Santa Cause - a Punk Rock Christmas" Reliant K "Let it snow, let it reindeer" and "Punk Goes Jolly" because I was recently handed "Twisted Christmas". I didn't know Twisted Sister ever did a Christmas album....

Oh my GOD it's so good.

Seriously. I don't usually listen to Twisted Sister - It's not really a like or dislike issue, It just never occurred to me to seek out any of their music. I threw this on the iPod just for a lark. I figured there would be some intentional comedy in it...but man, this is REALLY good. I can't believe how much I like this album. Hearing Dee Snyder do "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" gives me flashes of listening to Michael Sweet do "Oh Holy Night". Seriously, why do we feel like we HAVE to listen to christmas carols as sung by Pat Boone? I don't listen to Neil Diamond during the rest of the year and I resent being told I have to listen to him all December and most of freaking November just because it's Christmas music. I live in the 2010 and I'd really prefer to listen to 21st century music!

And also some Twisted Sister now.....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Sometimes I'm wrong.
Usually when I look at something and think "I have no intrest in this" I'm dead on. Months, years later, I'll be with some one else and end up watching the movie or reading the comic and I'm usually right.
I felt like this about "The Walking Dead". I don't get why the rest of the world currently thinks zombies are the coolest thing ever, but they don't really intrest me. I like them, but I wouldn't go out of my way to watch a zombie movie over a vampire movie. For this reason I've been giving "The Walking Dead" a pass. I've gotten other horror comics, freddy, jason, Army of Darkness, but Walking dead just seemed like another zombie title. Even despite the really rave reviews, I just chalked it up to the current zombie fad.
Recently someone dumped a stack of about 20 issues in my lap and I decided to give it a shot. 10-20 minuets out of my life to confirm what I already believed.
I'm surprised. i was wrong.
It's not just t hat Walking Dead is good, it's REALLY good. The human drama is surprisingly well done. I'd underestimated it because of the subject matter, but there are moments that really make you feel, and strong insghts that are conveyed, not preachy, not gory...you could have told this same story a hundred other ways. That perhaps is why it's better than I expected. In any event, I'll probably be going through this series on Thanksgiving. Who needs turky when you have BRAINS......

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ghostbusters musings

If you didn't get around to picking up Ghosbusters "What in Samhain just happened?" I highly suggest you run down to the comic shop right now. I imagine it's still on hte shelves buried behind some trash like "Batman inc".
I used to really like Peter David. I'm not sure why I dropped off him, except that after Imzadi, his novels seemed to decline in quality, and increase in unnessary sex (Plot device, fine. I object when it's just gratutious). His name was on the cover though so I definately wanted to read it.
The Ghostbuster comics have really been hit or miss. I kinda like the faux manga, and I did enjoy the Gangster / hell one . Displaced agression however went a little too far ove rthe line in to cartoony territory....cartoonier than the cartoon used to be! The latest issue is a nice return to form. Peter is once again the money grubbing opprutunist we see in the movies, and Janine has a nice chance to shine.
In other news, Toys R us is probably sold out of the Ghostbuster 4 pack exclusive they got. i saw ONE left when we visited the store for Lydia's birthday and I was bumming we couldn't afford the $50 price tag. It's actually cheap considering the cost to get them off of Matty collector.com ....assuming you can even do so. Things sell out witin minuets up there and that's if you don't have any technical issues with teh website...which most people do! So far I haven't been able to buy a single thing off there and it makes me livid that I have to go to the scalpers ot get my He-Man figures.
Sorry. I promised myself I wouldn't rant about the suck that is matty collector.com. Anyhow, Ghostbusters : good. Go find the comic