Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Scarlet Traces: The Great Game

A while back, I found myself having some extra comics dollars, and asked for reader opinion on an series that interested me --- Ian Edgerington and D'Israeli's Scarlet Traces: The Great Game.

Well, last week I picked up the hardcover edition (very nicely produced, and cheap at $14.99).

If I had to pick one word to describe it, it would be "charming".

Set in an alternate England where the War of the Worlds is 40 years old and the English have taken the fight to Mars, it details the efforts of a brash female journalist to uncover a government conspiracy involving the Martians, and it reads like a pulpy potboiler straight out of Analog or somesuch.

The characters are likeable, the story moves quickly, and if D'Israeli's art is occasionally hard to follow in the action sequences, the overall tone and feel more than makes up for it.

It's a little bit V for Vendetta, a little bit H.G. Wells, and a little bit Tom Swift, and with very nice production values (good quality paper, if a little skimpy on the extras), it's a great deal for fifteen bucks. Well done, and I'll be seeking out its predecessor, Scarlet Traces, this week.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Frobozz Software Strikes Again

Another apology post, but my employers at Frobozz Software have decided that I didn't have enough work to do, so I'm doing it.

On the upside, I did read and enjoy World War Hulk, Birds of Prey (the second splash page gimmick had me laughing for 10 minutes), Thor, and Annihilation: Conquest Prologue. Oh, and X-Factor? Perfect. It's my favorite book on the stands right now.

Also picked up the hardcover Scarlet Traces: The Great Game, which I'll have an in-depth review of tomorrow morning.

Back to the salt mines, and all those confusing "1"s and "0"s.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Oh, For The Love Of...

Hey, DC? Stop it. Just stop it, already.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Comics Legend Unaware Of Actual Year

From the interview with Stan Lee at in re: the second season of Who Wants To Be A Superhero?:

Q: Is there something you have yet to achieve in your long and prosperous career that you would like to do in the near future?

Lee: I haven't starred in a movie yet. I haven't been threatening Sean Connery's career in any way.

And with that, Stan Lee joins the list of things that haven't been threatening Sean Connery's career, a list which includes:
  • the government
  • the eagerly-awaited script for The Rock 2: Alcatraz Mambo
  • the villain's role in the next James Bond movie
  • critical acclaim for any movie made after 1987
Lee was reportedly disturbed to find out that Connery hadn't been offered a spot on one of those crappy VH-1 retrospectives, saying, "It's a crime. How can you claim to be a barometer of popularity when such luminaries as Connery, Doris Day, Phyllis Diller, and James Brolin aren't even a part of the event?"

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Thor Hath Returneth

And I could not be happier.
MIA for over two years, it would appear that the Marvel U is long overdue for Mr. God of Thunder.
So, what did I think of the "relaunch" of Thor?

I tell ya what- I rather enjoyed it.
Was it slow? Sure. But I put up with the JLA for six issues, and I am still perusing tortoise-moving Moon Knight.
I was very pleased to see Don Blake. That is a great match. I was pleased to not see someone else "pairing" with Thor.

I also enjoyed the concepts discussed between Thor and Donald Blake. The whole "you are only dead if no one still believes in you" is sensible, and gives some credence for a Thor return.The lambs need tending. And yes, that is regular ol' citizens + the Marvel U heroes. Or are they all Skrulls now? (DUMB DUMB DUMB!!!!!!!!!)

Some may say that the issue was a bit melodramatic. I disagree. The discussion was needed, as Thor seems content to be whittling away his time in the Void. He doesn't need reasons to come back, he needs a purpose to come back.
He has that purpose.

As for the art, Coipel does a fantastic job. I'll say I'm not used to his art, but I love the ruggedness in which Thor is drawn, and damn does he have a great touch on "everyday" people. The hotel clerk is perfect!

The "armor"-- well, it may take some getting used to. Then again, when Thor wasn't in his full battle gear, girded for war, he never really looked...well...godlike? When Thor was sporting his full beard, really decked out in metal, he looked like a truly formidable opponent. The chain mail is just But once again, I"ll give it a chance.

Will I miss the Old English speak? Probably, as it doesn't seem Thorish without it, but I'm going to be fine with it. I can overcome!

I do think this is going to really pick up steam fast, unlike some of JMS's other works. (Spiderman anyone?) Thor is needed. He's going to hopefully get into the fray quickly.
I look forward to at least some of his cast of characters coming back. Sif and Baldur to name a couple. His "response" to Cap's death. And I think its going to take Thor to end the WWH saga. At least I hope it does, and that will mark a triumphant return, in saving the lambs and making people "believe" in him again.

Lets just avoid that whole "Asgard on Earth" thingy again. (Oops, I peeked at the #2 preview. Hrm....)

I added this to my pull list. I think JMS "got it". Coipel sure does.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

3 Questions About Superman I Probably Should Know The Answers To But I Don't

And yes, I could probably get answers to these by actually picking up a recent damn Superman comic, but that's not something I'm prepared to do just yet.

1) So, I get the whole super strength/invulnerability/freeze breath thing being due to the difference in Earth/the Sun and Krypton/Krypton's Sun, but what's the official junk science explanation for why he can fly?

2) Does his cape serve some sort of functional purpose, or does he rock the Red Riding Hood fo' da ladeez?

3) Is there a SuperKid yet? Somewhere? In one of the Multiverse thingys? Bueller? Bueller?

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Birthday, U.S.A.!

Hey, you don't look a day over 230 years old! Hope you like the gift card to Target I picked up at the last minute!

So, instead of looking for some 4th of July-themed cover, I figured I'd take this opportunity to share with you one of my absolute all-time favorite comic covers, one that I found some months ago and fell in love with (and immediately had someone Photoshop the hell out of, so I could make fun of my boss... long story).

Without further ado, the 34,577th piece of evidence for the "Comic book covers were 95 times cooler back in the day" theory (click for larger view):

Jorge Luis Garcia-Lopez? That is one sweeeeeeeeeeet cover, man.

Lighting the Bat-Family on fire and making them human candles tied to a birthday cake that the Joker made for himself and had his own face put on in an act of homicidal hubris?


Oh, and, er, happy birthday, America!


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

1 Guy's 8 Facts

Right, so having been tagged by both Calvin and Jake, I'm finally getting around to this here meme. Those of you looking for something comics-related should probably come back Wednesday, when I post one of the single best comic covers ever (and yes, you've probably seen it already, but dammit it's awesome).

Anyhoo, the rules:

- Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
- People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
- At the end of the post, I'm supposed to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

On with the sharing!

1) I have cried during exactly two movies. The first was during Saving Private Ryan, when the old man at the cemetary asks his wife to "Tell me I've lived a good life." The other? I shit you not, Savannah Smiles. The scene where Bootsie and Alvie are taken away by the Feds and Savannah begs them not to leave? Niagara Falls, baby. I am not ashamed by this.

2) I won the National Forensic League's national championship in Impromptu Speaking in 1994.
Go here, download the PDF, scan to page 24 and look for Chris Walker (which was my name back then). Yup, that's pretty much the last time I did anything notable.

(And no, the National Forensic League isn't some bizarre circus with events like Fingerprinting and Bobbing For Carpet Fibers and Pin The Tail On The Dead Hooker... although now that I think about it, there should probably be something like that somewhere.)

3) After counting just now, I have finished exactly 44 stories, 1 play and 1 comic miniseries that have yet to be published anywhere.

4) Just in case you didn't think I was dorky enough yet, I'm almost done writing my first piece of interactive fiction.

5) I once went completely batshit insane, got engaged for all the wrong reasons, left my fiance three months before the wedding, sold my PlayStation for $48, bought a one-way bus ticket to L.A., and tried to kill myself because I preferred death to breaking up with her. No, I'm not particularly proud of this.

(On second thought, we'll make that one count for numbers 5 and 6).

7) I have memorized the complete dialogue, musical cues, and sound effects from the movie Clue.

8) I saw Mike Scott pitch a no-hitter against the Giants in the Astrodome.

Since I'm late on this, I ain't tagging anyone --- but feel free to participate!


Monday, July 02, 2007

Random Monday Notes

Happy Monday, everyone! Thanks for the kind thoughts about my kid last week --- happy to report that all is back to normal(ish). Oh, and there's a "spoiler" in here, but A) it's worthless and B) you've probably already seen it anyway.

A few quick notes I got after trolling Newsarama for today, then tomorrow you get 8 facts because no meme goes unpunished around here.

1) My goodness, but Bill Rosemann's edition of "New Joe Fridays" last week at the 'Rama was entertaining. Maybe it's just the fact that I know it's not Quesada talking, but Rosemann seemed engaged, funny, goofy, and informational all at once... you know, pretty much the opposite of what Quesada's been like. Of course, he's fresh at this, and Joey Q's been doing it for a year and a half, so I suppose it was bound to feel different. And it certainly doesn't hurt that Rosemann's editing some of the Marvel titles I look forward to most, so there's that.

2) Yeah, so the big spoiler for Fallen Son: Iron Man this week? There's ... DUN -DUN -DUNNNN! A funeral! For Captain America! You know, the dead guy! I cannot for the life of me figure out why the AP/Marvel are making a big deal out of this, because as far as I know dead people get funerals pretty regularly around here (except in Georgia).

3) Giant-Size Marvel Adventures: Avengers, by Jeff Parker, featuring the Avengers teaming up with the Agents of Atlas. This completely slipped under my radar somehow. I cannot recommend this enough, and Newsarama's got the preview.

4) No, I didn't read Sinestro Corps #1. Can I be honest with y'all? I'm getting... how do you say... a little burned out on all things Oan. Look, I love the concept of the Space Cops With Alien Jewelry, but they're goddamn everywhere these days in DC, and I just... I need a break, okay? A small one. (And yes, I'll still keep buying Green Lantern Corps, because that's a good comic.)

Tomorrow: 8 facts you would have been just fine not knowing about me.