Saturday, December 27, 2003

 
Fear Me -- Despite having succumbed to a cold in the last 24 hours and feeling like utter shit, I have finished work on a 3,500-word fill-in for one of the internet's most popular comics columns. If you spend anytime online on Sundays, you know where to look for me tomorrow. More on this once the column is up.

Friday, December 26, 2003

 
They Love Me Over There -- My thanks to Álvaro Pons for listing the ADD Blog on his website, which I swear I would read regularly if Google's page translator actually worked. From the little I've been able to translate, though, Álvaro has been extremely kind to me and my writing, and I'm grateful that he's the first to take me up on my request for links to this blog.




 
Boxing Day Ruminations -- It's not entirely easy being an anti-theist semi-pagan at this time of year. Yesterday, what I sometimes like to call "Boxing Day Eve," was particularly grueling this year.

I gave out my gifts on the Winter Solstice, which was last Monday. That included gifts to my wife and kids, who I suppose I had hoped would embrace my semi-paganism wholeheartedly. They were a bit game, it should be noted, giving me my gifts on the Solstice, but reserving their gifts for each other until, y'know, Boxing Day Eve.

Most of the day yesterday, then, was spent in varying degrees of cognitive dissonance. At one point, I decided to get out of the house, and made for the only place I knew was open, the local Hollywood Video store. I rented The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, hoping at best for a Lite version of the real thing (the Alan Moore/Kevin O'Neill graphic novel, but you knew what I meant, right?). Instead, I got a very badly plotted and scripted movie that didn't look all that great, either. Sean Connery could have been a great Allen Quatermain in a good adaptation of the Moore/O'Neill graphic novel, but this sure the hell wasn't that.

About the best thing in the movie was the way the FX crew managed to capture the body language of Mr. Hyde, which was probably as true in general to O'Neill's designs as technology could be expected to realistically simulate.

But overall, man, the movie gets a solid 2 out of 5 from me, and a warning to you that you don't need to see this movie. Trust me, it made a somewhat depressing day just a shade more grim.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

 
Tell Your Friends -- With the new year upon us celestially speaking and just a few days away for the hoi polloi, I would love to reach out to new readers in 2004. If you've got a blog or website and want to link to the ADD Blog, feel free to use this lovely little graphic:




Just copy the graphic to your website's image directory and link it to http://www.addblog.com. Let me know if you do and I'll plug your site here. Thanks, and happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

 
The Gift That Keeps on Giving -- John Byrne is offering up his delicious combination of paranoia and self-delusion for the holidays. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

 
Short And Sweet Best of 2003 -- Sean Collins hits you hard and fast with this unimpeachable list of his personal faves of 2003.

 
Blog of the Year! -- My sincere thanks to Jason Marcy for naming the ADD Blog the #1 comics blog of 2003. Thanks, Jay!

 
Book of the Week -- Make sure you pick up Belly Button Comics by Sophie Crumb. This release from Fantagraphics should be one of the most interesting debuts in years, and I can't wait to read it.

 
Thursday Reading on Tuesday -- Chris Allen has posted Part One of his massive, witty and insightful 2003 Year in Review. Also, Bryan Miller has posted the last New Comics Day of the year, well worth a look.

Update: Jim Henley offers up his year-end best-of. (Thanks to Dirk for the pointer).

Monday, December 22, 2003

 
Year-End Best-Ofs -- Couple more up now at House of the Ded and Jay's Daze.


 
Attention Comics Professionals -- If you're a professional in the comics industry, or a retailer, or other such person with discerning taste and intelligence who regularly reads the ADD Blog, I need to talk to you.

Please drop me an e-mail within the next day or so. I promise not to out you as an ADD reader. So if you've enjoyed the blog, return the favour and send me an e-mail. Thanks.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

 
Journey into Ignorance: Words vs. Words
by Phantom Jackoff


Writing is such a subjective thing, it's almost impossible to argue about it.

But it's fun.

My local bag lady and I go round and round all the time, neither one ever giving in. Those fucking soda cans are mine, you skanky old hag. But I digress.

I'm right, course, but she's entitled to her bags full of old newspapers.

Even if she's wrong about the cans.

We agree on one thing: Catwoman is one of DC's better written comics. The character is interesting, not two-dimensional like most of her counterparts, and Ed Brubaker's scripts are a sheer delight. Her recent switch to the side of "good," (granted it's her own definition of "good") was a brilliant move. I hope I can turn to the "good" side some day. Until then, I will remain the Champion of the "mediocre." And speaking of which...

I've hated the art of Catwoman almost since the beginning. There's something about simple, quality linework that successfully suggests a brilliant, pop noir environment that just makes me teeth hurt like I accidentally chewed up a ball of tinfoil. Well, maybe it wasn't an accident, but goddamnit, there's not enough popcorn in the average package of Jiffy-Pop, and no matter how much I e-mail the company's president, those bitches won't listen. "Suggested serving size" my pock-marked ass.

With Paul Gulacy coming on board in issue #25, and delivering shoddy, subpar work that instantly ruins the book for anyone with the slightest taste, we have the perfect combination of good writer (Ed Brubaker) and completely inappropriate, title-destroying artist. With all due respect to previous good, skillful, gifted artists like Darwyn Cooke, Javier Pulido and Cameron Stewart, fuck the fuck off. Take your cartoony cartoons and cartoon 'em right up your cartoony ass. In other words, the previous work was too cartoony for my tastes. If there's one thing I fucking hate, it's cartoons. I hope to Christ this is coming through some how. With all due respect, of course. (Cartoony fuckers!).

Sorry, Gilbert Hernandez, Alex Toth, and Jack Kirby, but I just can't take an action comic seriously when the characters look all "cartoony," like they stepped out of Archie or Little Lulu, and I'm secure enough in my manhood to admit I like Little Lulu and frequently find myself "pitching a tent" when reading her sexy, saucy adventures. Schwing!

But I would not like Lulu drawn by Gulacy, Sam-I-Am. I would not like Lulu drawn by Gulacy on a train, I would not like it, uh, on a train.

I believe that different styles of drawing have their place. I believe that every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings. I believe that children are the future. Treat them well and let them lead the way. A child could certainly have seen that Epic was going to go tits-up long before Phantom Jack ever saw the light of day. If only I listened to the goddamned, motherfucking children. Lead, you little bastards!

Anyway. I was explaining to you how Mike Oeming sucks.

For example, we have "regular" "talented" "gifted" hack artists on comics, and then we have "failures," artists on comics meant for kids like "Powers," "Love and Rockets," and of course, the utter failure of such cartoony cartoons as "Powerpuff Girls" and the Justice League and Batman books based on the cartoon shows, and very unpopular with anyone with pubes. Except Michael Jackson. I understand a Buttercup poster was seized in the raid on the Neverland Ranch. That Michael Jackson, I told him to be more careful. He gives NAMBLA a bad name, when really, we they are a fine organization dedicated to the simple, undeniable belief that every boy needs love, especially in his ass.

These cartoony failures are less detailed, feature exaggerated physical characteristics and are simply, simpler, you simps.

This is not a bad thing, just a different thing. A thing that demonstrates once and for all what a staggering sack of fecal matter I am. But in case there's any doubt:

I, Phantomm Jackoff, am saying that the art based on the cartoon shows is less than the "regular" work. I wish I was "regular," but I really hate eating all that fiber, and besides, who's to say one agonizing visit to the toilet per week isn't, somehow, superior? Think of all that time saved by eschewing smooth, daily bowel movements. A determined diet of cheese and salty snack-products has me "regular" in my own way -- each Thursday morning, just after arriving at my imaginary newspaper job, I sequester myself in the ladies room (remember, not afraid to admit I like Little Lulu!) and desperately try to exorcise the dry, defiant log of waste material that is my weekly bowel movement. It is, simply, simpler. And painful. And O, Lord, the smell.

So, if we agree that these cartoony comics based on cartoony cartoons are simpler (and more cartoony!), then we have established an art level. Up here, in "La la la, I Can't Hear You-Land," the "regular" artists are for more discerning readers like myself and down there, in "I Like Love and Rockets-Land," the animated stuff is for...others. Simpletons. I want to use the "C" word so bad. Darwyn Cooke fans, you know who you are.

That being said, I hope the Brubaker-Gulacy team stays around on Catwoman through the release of the Halle Berry Catwoman movie. I would prefer people who masturbate in the theater like I plan to enjoy the film picking up a copy of the Gulacy illustrated work so they can get a truer picture of what comics are all about. And I hope all of you reading this will repeatedly stab your pre-frontal lobes with a shrimp fork, so you can get a truer picture of how my mind works. When it does.

Along the same lines, since I can't talk about art I dislike and not mention Marvel, I might have enjoyed the recent Human Torch series if someone other than Skottie Young drew it. I'm sure Skottie would be fine on some projects, but it's jolting to have him draw a character like the Torch so differently that he'd hardly recognizable. What's with the triangular jaws anyway? I'm all jolted! And if anyone is still reading this, does it not take balls of steel to compare a piece of shit like the Tsunami Human Torch with the subtle, wondrous joy that was the pre-Gulacy Catwoman? Not to cry sour grapes here or nuthin' -- I'm sure the fact that Marvel utterly and completely dicked me over and made me look like a fucking idiot with my many months of ridiculous "Phantom Jackoff" columns has nothing to do with me bringing in this comparison completely out of left field. Also, I like the smell of my own feet after a long day at work bound up in my restricting footwear. That's the smell of freedom!

To close, I know I didn't change any minds. I'm sure that a large number of people agree with me and another large number thing I should be stabbed with the Torch's pointy chin. Or a shrimp fork. Luckily, the website that inexplicably thinks my worthless words are worth posting for all the world to see provides a forum in which I can be completely revealed as the specious hack I not only am, but always have been.

So read the comments below my original article, and watch the weather change.

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