Friday, April 08, 2005

Late Home -- We left for Albany about 3:30 this afternoon, me intent on picking up the new Comics Journal at Earthworld; the great thing about the Journal, and this has always been true but never moreso than under the stewardship of former Managing Editor Milo George and his successor Dirk Deppey, the thing is just so frigging packed with great articles and interviews and reviews that one issue keeps me busy for at least three days. There's just so much to absorb. Can't wait to dig into it, probably in the morning.

Right now my kids are off to bed and my wife, who worked a double late last night and early this morning, has gone to bed. I am wired from our Albany trip, so, here I am.

What else did I get at the shop? Hmm. Picked up the first issue of Sea of Red out of loyalty to Revolver creator Salgood Sam. I confess I am not blown away by the vampire pirate premise, but Sam did a lot of the heavy lifting on the art from the looks of things, and Revolver was one of the nicest looking books of '04, so, I am looking forward to seeing how it turned out and whether the premise will win me over.

What the hell else did I get...oh, I guess Walking Dead and Zatanna are the books, after TCJ, that I am most looking forward to reading. Meant to look for the new Stray Bullets tenth anniversary TPB, but forgot. And now I can't find a website for El Capitan, Stray Bullets or David Lapham. Anyone know where they're hiding online, if anywhere?

Bought the new Moby CD at Target tonight -- actually, my wife bought it for me, thank you, honey -- and it includes a bonus disc of ambient stuff, which I am listening to as I type away here. I love most of Moby's instrumental stuff, and this disc seems like some of the best he's done in a while. There are some standout tracks on the Hotel disc proper, too, including "Beautiful," and the somewhat heartbreaking "Love Should."

All right, fatigue is setting in, and I think I'm gonna be the last Doane to stumble off to bed tonight. My daughter wants me to take her to some Japanese culture thing at her school in the morning, so, looks like a busy weekend right off the bat. Hope you enjoy yours, and I'll see you back here when I can.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Three French Hens Meme -- Nicked from the (trave)log of the asian sensation, a blog I landed on by hitting "next blog," something I never do.

TEN random things about me:

10. I hardly sleep at all, and even when I do get to sleep, it's not very deep.
9. I used to have an earring in my left ear. My (male) boss at the time told me "That doesn't do a thing for you," and I told him "I'd be worried if you thought it did."
8. I crashed my car the very first time I got drunk, age 19, depressed about a girl.
7. I have a keen sense of smell and hate being asked to "Smell this."
6. I spent years going to a private Baptist school in the Deep South.
5. I once interviewed Mike Farrell from M*A*S*H. He didn't want to talk about AfterM*A*S*H, then still on the air, because "Some of my friends are on it."
4. I once took a vacation with a girl who had broken up with me a few weeks earlier. It didn't go well, especially that last night in the hotel room...
3. I fucking hate spiders, centipedes, or pretty much anything with more legs than me that won't let me pet it on the head.
2. I read an issue of The Incredible Hulk while waiting to see the doctor the day I found out I have diabetes, back in 1998.
1. I have a mole behind my left ear. Almost lost it once during a haircut, so now I always mention it when someone new is cutting my hair.

NINE places I've visited:

9. Toronto/Oshawa (awesome house-stay at Jason and Kris Marcy's place, fantastic trip to The Beguiling)
8. Ohio (Doane family reunion when I was around 8, 9 years old)
7. Burlington, Vermont (a couple of times to interview James Kochalka or see him sing)
6. Boston (kids loved the Aquarium, I love Million Year Picnic across the river)
5. Northampton, Mass. (Maybe the coolest town I've ever been in)
4. White Plains, NY (weird comicon in 2000, huge stars of the industry, hardly anybody there to see 'em)
3. New York City (when I was about 6; all I remember are taxis everywhere)
2. Montreal (not speaking French was a bit of a problem; couldn't find even one comics shop. Pathetic, not-well-planned spontaneous visit)
1. Nova Scotia (I think I was 2; don't remember it at all, but, running out of places)

EIGHT things I want to achieve in life:

8. See my kids grow up happy
7. Move to Canada
6. Draw better
5. Write better
4. Be kinder
3. Write a book
2. Make my wife happy
1. Be a loyal friend

SEVEN ways to win my heart:

7. Turn me on to something new and exciting.
6. Surprise me.
5. Say something nice about my kids.
4. Buy me flowers.
3. Capture my imagination.
2. Tell me something I didn't know.
1. Swear in new and interesting ways.

SIX things I believe:

6. Society has a duty to take care of all its weakest before any of its strongest.
5. If you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
4. Those you cannot teach to fly, teach to fall faster.
3. No one is looking out for you better than you can for yourself.
2. Question authority. Then punch it in the fucking teeth.
1. The Daily Show is the last news broadcast in America.

FIVE things I'm afraid of:

5. My kids getting hurt.
4. Extremist leaders that are both informed by and feed off hatred and ignorance.
3. Pain
2. Losing my teeth
1. Being alone.

FOUR of my favorite things:

4. Pizza.
3. The Daily Show.
2. Great comics.
1. Message board posts by Abhay Khosla.

THREE things I do everyday:

3. Drink Diet Mountain Dew.
2. Shower.
1. Read comics blogs.

TWO things I'm not trying to do right now:

2. Sleep.
1. Write a review.

ONE person I want to see right now:

1. Anybody that owes me money and wants to pay up.

Let's pass this along to Graeme, because he never does memes, Jog, because he rocks, and Sean, because A) He's BACK, Baby! and B) His answers will be a boatload of fun.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Linking to Comic Book Galaxy -- I've just put up a page of Comic Book Galaxy banners you can grab and use on your site or blog to link back to Comic Book Galaxy. Please e-mail me if you use one, and let me know if you have a need for a custom size or shape that isn't on the page. Thanks!

Tuesday Morning -- Just watched The Office (US version); third episode was very funny. It's looking good for this series, and I find I am able to separate my perceptions of it from the original, brilliant incarnation. I don't know how they'll be able to explain Michael Scott keeping his job for more than a few more episodes, though. Loved when Jim threw the ice cream sandwich at Dwight, who was locked in his office. Give this one a chance, folks, it deserves it.

Watched The Shield this morning as well: David Acevada's character is going down a particularly disturbing road. There are moments on this series that are just so skeevy, it's amazing that it's on American TV.

Must have close to one hundred entries in the James Kochalka Super-F*cking Contest already. Awesome. Keep those e-mails coming: With ten prizes to hand out in this one, your chances of winning something are very, very good.

Permanent Damage -- Steven Grant has updated his Permanent Damage column at CBR, and I wanted to say thanks to him for linking to Comic Book Galaxy's Super-F*cking Contest (going on all month, enter today!). Grant's column is a must-read every week: Sin City and more of Grant's well-earned wisdom on how to create good comics are in the mix this week. Go read.

The Uh, It's Great, I Guess, Meme -- From Sean T. Collins: List five things that people in your circle of friends or peer group are wild about, but you can't really understand the fuss over. To use the words of Caesar (from History of the World Part I), "Nice. Nice. Not thrilling...but nice." So, here's my list:

1. Bill Sienkiewicz's Stray Toasters; see also, the art of Ashley Wood.

2. Spinal Tap, The Life of Brian, and most other revered comedies. I am hugely turned off by 95 percent of all comedy movies and TV shows. I just find them forced and artificial and exhausting. The TV comedy I like includes The Office (the original recipe, although the second episode of the US version was funny), Fawlty Towers, Shaun of the Dead and Spaced (the TV series that spawned Shaun). If I'm in the right frame of mind the whole Old School/Anchorman/Starsky and Hutch axis of comedy movies can get me to laugh, but I need a group to watch those with.

3. Marc Bell. Just don't get it.

4. Smallville. I get it, I just don't care.

5. Most music. In the past year, A Perfect Circle, The Chemical Brothers and Green Day have done CDs that I love and play often, but on the whole I have no idea what is going on in music, don't much care, and that Mars Volta CD that I actually bought because a friend told me it was good was just fucking awful. Rush on steroids. Ecch. So, yeah, chances are when you recommend music to me, I'm not gonna care. You really think I'm gonna love it if I just give it a chance, burn me a CD and I'll give it a spin, but I go into a record store maybe twice a year, and half that time I'm just looking for a sale on CD-ROMs, so, yeah. Don't get the whole music thing.

I'll hand this off now to Christopher Allen, Ed Cunard and Joe Rybandt.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Making Better Links -- Thanks to NeilAlien, truly one of the smartest blokes I know online, for linking to this page on how to make better links. The short version: "Click here" is useless, wake up and make the Internet work better.

The 24 Conversation -- Starring me and Christopher Allen. SPOILERS for last night's 24.

CA: Not such a great twist on 24, actually. I'm sure the Prez will be all right, and Jack will defeat Capt. Opie before he can finish the job.

ADD: I wrote a bit about how disappointed I was on the blog, including some of the truly stupid plot points.

CA: Good points. I didn't really even understand the thing with the fake outlet--seemed like too much trouble when you could just, I dunno, hide the drive in a couch cushion or something. Not as dramatic, I guess.

Man, the President is a bore. The crucial difference is that if Palmer was the one shot down, you'd care. This guy, you just feel bad that Jack and CTU screwed up. It is kind of funny when you think about it--Jack doesn't have any CTU affiliation anymore, but is the lead on everything, even terrorist negotiation.

Even Chloe was lousy in this one, and who cares if Michelle dated a guy while Tony was on the sauce. He just needs to get her in a dark CTU hallway and give her the Tony Al-mayonnaise! :)

ADD: Well, you can actually buy a fake outlet/safe, and I am sure that's
what they were referencing. Not as manly as bumpernuts, to be sure, but you can get 'em.

As far as the President being a bore, I think you are not the target audience. I think his blankness marks him as an intentional Bush avatar, as Palmer was a Clinton avatar ("First black president," blue dress, scheming wife, and all). I could easily see the red states getting misty over the demise of the steely old reptile, investing all their manly Bush-love in his vapid insipidity. Insipidness? Inspidy? HE'S FUCKING INSIPID!

And Jack's CTU affiliation, well, they're really playing fast and loose with reality on a weekly basis this time around. Which I can accept, but, the writing, direction and plot need to be exciting enough to cover, and last night it was not.

"Tony Al-mayonnaise?" BLARRRRRRRRRRRGH. But, you're right. Don't miss the point that she's still schtupping him, probably to introduce sexual/romantic conflict
since Jack and Audrey have clearly been All Goddamned Done since he
tortured her pansy ex right in front of her (GOOD MOVE, BAUER! MOLEST

Monday, April 04, 2005

New Contest and More! -- Get the lowdown on one of the biggest anthologies of the year with Comic Book Galaxy's PROJECT SUPERIOR Project, and enter our latest contest, The Super-F*cking Contest, with a chance to win original art by James Kochalka, an American Elf hardcover, copies of Super-F*ckers #1, and more, courtesy of Top Shelf Productions, James Kochalka and Comic Book Galaxy!

Tonight's 24 -- Just over a half-hour from now is supposed to be the biggest episode ever of 24. Usually I tape it and watch it the next morning (I really hate commercials), but my curiousity is getting the better of me and I think I will watch it live.

One thing's for sure, it's going to be better than Invasion Iowa. I accidentally forgot to tape the last hour of the final show, which is unfortunate as it seemed marginally more entertaining as it went along, but, it's no tragic loss, not seeing the end. If they do a low-cost DVD of it and it includes the actual film that was shot in Riverside (which is available on the Spike TV website, but bastard that I am I'm not going to link to them because they didn't bother re-running the whole show like they should have, as far as I can tell), so much the better.

In other news, big stuff is coming up this week on Comic Book Galaxy: A major, major contest, and tomorrow morning one of the longest and most interesting reviews/articles we've ever done. Be sure to check in and see what we have up our sleeves.


24 Update: Wow, that was not well written.

The FBI agent that goes up to the house of a suspect all alone and announces her intentions to the closed door before sauntering in to certain doom?

The President's sympathetic, decent, all-American son showing up on Air Force One? Gee, I wonder what will happen next!

Jack was clearly suspicious of "Agent Drake," yet gave her free rein to get as far as she did while he was dicking around in the closet?

And the actual Big Event at the end was handled so clumsily...maybe if the episode hadn't been hyped as something special and out of the ordinary, it wouldn't have grated so much, but it just seemed like the writing and pacing were way off on this one. Probably one of my least favourite episodes ever, but the series has a way of bouncing back quickly, so, onward and, erm, downward, Mr. President.

Monday Morning Reviews -- Head over to the reviews section for my look at a new hardcover art book called Silver Age: The Second Generation of Comic Book Artists, and Marc Sobel's look at Jessica Abel's La Perdida #1-5.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Here's Something I HATE -- All right, I'm not going to name names, because I love the blog I just saw this on.

I hate it when people give a web address in a blog post and they don't make it a link.


Go to -- I'm sorry, -- and search for the terms "HTML" and "Basics."


Now I'll even make it simpler!

Go here.

Or, copy and paste this: .

But you won't copy and paste it, you'll click the link, BECAUSE IT'S THE FUCKING INTERNET AND PEOPLE LIKE TO CLICK LINKS. THEY SAY FUCK YOU!!! TO COPYING AND PASTING YOUR LAZY ASS UNLINKED URL. Why even bother if you're not going to make it a link?

Come on, don't be lazy, and don't be stupid. Those are the only excuses for not creating links in your blog, and I know you're not lazy and stupid, because it's hard work and you need to be crafty just to make most goddamned blogging interfaces work in the first place. So fucking do it right.

Miller's Grist -- Tom Spurgeon once again proves himself the comics internet's MVP with an extensive and excellent rundown of Frank Miller online resources. My thanks to Tom for linking to a couple of my reviews, and I already sent him a suggestion to include my examination of Miller's Daredevil #191, which is my favourite piece of my own writing on Miller, but which might have flown under Tom's radar, being in the Galaxy's commentary section instead of in the reviews...

Sunday Morning in the Red Room -- Whoa, as Keanu would say. So the time change was last night? Let me know if I am wrong, but my computer updated while I was sleeping, so apparently last night was the whole "Spring forward," eh?

Well, this morning in the red room -- that's our living room, which my wife painted red when we moved in here last fall, and I just like calling it that -- this morning I can type away as loud as I like. No kids migrated to the living room futon, so bwah ha ha! LOOK AT ME, TYPING LOUD! CLACKITY CLACK CLACK.

Finished up a long review this morning, it'll go up on the site tomorrow. It's about a book I found myself deeply conflicted on, and I think that comes through in the review.

I mentioned yesterday that Chris Allen and I had a good phone conversation about Countdown to Infinite Crisis, and he gives some of his thoughts at the end of this post. Hey, Chris, The Shield just continues to get better, glad you checked it out.

Finally, Ian Brill delivers Part Two of his Grant Morrison Meltdown appearance report. Great stuff.

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