Saturday, January 08, 2005

Street Angel Wallpaper -- Here's some Street Angel Wallpaper that I worked up in Photoshop tonight; drop-dead gorgeous art (the black and white stuff I started with, not trying to compliment my own amateur colouring) from issue #4 by Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca, and Copyright (C) 2005 by Rugg and Maruca. God, I can't wait for #5 to get here already. Anyway, enjoy the wallpaper.

Saturday Notes -- Last night I did something I virtually never do, had a night out with the boys. In this case it was with Marshall and Brian, the two pals that not coincidentally make up the triumverate of evil that first conceived this here website. We went out for a bite to eat and some minor (and ultimately aggravating) hi-tech shopping, then picked up some alcohol and retreated to Brian's to watch Shaun of the Dead.

I don't often get evangelical with my friends about movies, but last night makes at least the sixth time I've watched the film, and I'm still A) Getting new things out of it and B) Laughing my ass off at it. The film's writers seem to share a sensibility with the folks who created The Office, and fans of one are guaranteed to enjoy the other.

So far everyone I've gotten to watch the movie (including a fourth member of our party, Pete, who arrived just in time to watch Shaun last night) has enjoyed the hell out of it, and it's rare that I am so successful in turning folks on to movies, so, yeah. Shaun of the Dead is just a great funking movie.*

After staying long enough to sober up watch a few episodes of Comedy Central's Drawn Together (also seriously fucked-up funny shit), I headed home early this morning, and despite being the person who stayed up the latest Friday night/Saturday morning and having just a bit of a hangover, I was still awake before my wife and kids, ready to take on the day. Wrote a review of the year's first major graphic novel (it'll be up on the site Monday), and had hoped to get out to the comics shop for the week's books (all four of 'em) until it started raining snow and ice on our town and I said "Screw it, I'm staying home and watching the new Matrix box set." So, yeah, off to do that now. "There are two people here, Mister Anderson..."

* Bit of a larf for those who've watched the Shaun special features.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Same Bat Guano -- Here's a response I received to the question I asked yesterday about the inexplicable excitement over All-Over-Rated-Star-Creators-Batman:

A lot of people were turned onto
"mature" superheros by the original Dark Knight, and don't give a fuck about
DK2 because they never read it, but just see "Miller Batman" as the holy
fucking Grail. Many of these people work for Wizard. On the opposite end,
you have guys who were 12 when Jim Lee was hot, and never changed their
minds on what good comic art is supposed to be since. Many of THESE people
don't understand why Venom and Carnage aren't in the Spider-Man Films,
because they are the best villains ever. I know both these types. You will
never win against sheer ignorance.

I bow to the absolute logic presented by the writer. Nothing more need be said.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Son of a Bitch! -- Not that I didn't love New Frontier -- it was great fucking superhero comics, and I did -- but this (at Christopher Butcher's blog) really should be all you need to answer the stupid question "Why are creator-owned comics better?"

Why is it that corporate comics companies almost never know quality when they see it, and even when they do, they don't know what the fuck to do with it? Why is that?

Oh, and on the other news of the day -- why would a team up of the writer of one of the worst Batman stories ever, with the artist of one of the other worst Batman stories ever, make anyone sane at all excited about the possibilities? Get fucking over it, fanboys. The possibilities are shit.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

New BWS Discussion Group -- I've just signed up to as new Yahoo Discussion Group dedicated to Barry Windsor-Smith.

I've been a fan of Barry's work for decades, and friends with the man since I interviewed him for the radio station literally in the waning hours of 1999. There's not as much discussion online of his work as there should be -- probably because in recent years he has dedicated himself to lavish, painstaking hardcover works like Opus 1 and 2, Young GODS and Friends and the forthcoming Freebooters, works that take time and loving care to put together. Hopefully this new discussion group will take off and fans of Barry's work can have a central place to talk about their common interest. I hope if you appreciate Barry's work, you'll come join us.

Remembering Will Eisner -- Tom Spurgeon is reporting the death of one of the creators of the American comics artform and a true giant of the field, Will Eisner.

His presence was so vital in comics throughout the entirety of my life that I never for a moment have ever even thought to consider what a world without him would be like. So, while I would like to provide cogent commentary on his passing, I honestly am struck speechless by his unexpected passing. All that truly needs to be said is in the link to Tom Spurgeon's site, anyway.

Thank you for The Spirit, Mr. Eisner, and thank you for all that you gave everyone who loves comics. We'll miss you forever.

Monday, January 03, 2005

The Phenomenon of the Graphic Novel -- Yeah, I dread the dry, uninformed approach such a title suggests -- but damn if Kevin Melrose hasn't pointed us to one of the most interesting articles on the subject I've seen maybe ever. Writer (and overall non-comics reader, until lately) Rick Kleffel explains the cascading manner in which he came to be immersed in the current building interest in graphic novels.

It's so easy as "insiders" to completely divorce ourselves from what the artform looks like from the outside, that Kleffel's piece should be required reading for anyone who wants to talk about how comics and graphic novels are infiltrating mainstream culture. And no surprise at all that voices like Pekar and Gaiman are the ones leading the charge for non-comics readers. After all, they're two comics writers who can actually write. How many in the Wizard Top Ten can you actually say that about?

So go read it and be sure to click on to Kleffel's own graphic review of Harvey Pekar's Our Movie Year.

Then, finally, come back here for Abhay Khosla's appreciation of Naoki Urasawa. It's one of the longest and most insightful pieces ever to run at Comic Book Galaxy, and you're bound to come away from it both enlightened and entertained by Abhay's uniquely crafted essay.

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