Thursday, August 25, 2005

Normal Galaxy Service Resumes Tomorrow -- Comic Book Galaxy Editor-in-Chief Chris Hunter had some technical issues that prevented us from having an update on the main site the past couple of days, but we should be back tomorrow at full power wih new BREAKDOWNS from Christopher Allen, LAST CALL from Johnny Bacardi, a couple of new reviews from li'l ol' me (Tricked and The Cute Manifesto, to be exact), as well as whatever other surprises the Galaxy Gang has whipped up over the past couple of days.

In the meantime, though, check out my summation of the week in comics over at The Comics Reporter, for my definitive look at this week's rank stupidity and wagon-circling on the comics internet.

Essential Reading -- As always, that's what Christopher's Butcher's Previews Reviews for October Releases amounts to. I agree with pretty much all of his choices, but pay careful attention to what he has to say about upcoming Fall releases from Drawn and Quarterly. It's almost surreal how many incredibly great graphic novels they've got on tap for you in the months ahead. Oh, yeah, and Fantagraphics has MOME Vol. 2, too. October is shaping up as one of the best months of the year for anyone who loves comics.


Dennis is Imminent -- There's a good article on the new Complete Dennis the Menace editions from Fantagraphics on the Seattle PI website. I haven't seen the first volume yet and don't know for sure how I'll take to the work, but nearly thirty years of finding my tastes simpatico with those of the Fantagraphics gang (if not as broad or well-educated) and the high quality of pretty much everything they do in general and the similar Peaunts project in particular has me very interested to see how Hank Ketcham's material holds up and affects me as a reader.

I do remember buying Dennis comics when I was in my earliest comics-buying years, say, 7-10 years old, and liking them, but decades later I don't even know if those comics had Ketcham directly involved in them, or even if they were any good. It's been a long time since I've spent any time at all with the mischievous little towhead, and I have to admit I'm psyched to renew our acquaintance after all these years and see how it goes.


Look at our powers and costumes! Why would you think we're superheroes? WISH IT INTO THE CORNFIELD, JIMMY!Psych Consult? -- Can anyone tell me why someone would be so emotionally invested in denying that CrossGen's superheroes were superheroes? Scroll down to the rather -- seething take on the question from James Meeley. The internerdiness of the kneejerk self-denial on display is really kind of weird.

Also weird: Franklin Harris's bizarre and patently ridiculous claim that Joe Sacco practices Gonzo Journalism. You know, because he's in his stories. I guess Woodward and Bernstein are retroactively shoved into the Good Doktor's backseat, too, on that long, hot journey through the '70s. Where's that salt-shaker?!?

Sheesh. I thought I had already seen every type of comics psychopathology on display on the comics interblogonerdawebothingy. Paging Dr. Crane, are you listening?


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Thank You, Johanna Draper Carlson -- Why? Because she gets it. End of message.


Mid-Week Music Meme -- Courtesy of Bill Sherman:

A) Go to
B) Enter the year you graduated from high school in the search function
C) Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you hate and underline your favorite.
D) Do nothing to the ones you don't remember (or don't care about).

From the Orwellian Year 1984:

1. When Doves Cry, Prince
2. What's Love Got To Do With It, Tina Turner
3. Say Say Say, Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson
4. Footloose, Kenny Loggins

5. Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now), Phil Collins
6. Jump, Van Halen
7. Hello, Lionel Richie
8. Owner Of A Lonely Heart, Yes
9. Ghostbusters, Ray Parker Jr.
10. Karma Chameleon, Culture Club
11. Missing You, John Waite
12. All Night Long (All Night), Lionel Richie
13. Let's Hear It For The Boy, Deniece Williams
14. Dancing In The Dark, Bruce Springsteen
15. Girls Just Want To Have Fun, Cyndi Lauper
16. The Reflex, Duran Duran
17. Time After Time, Cyndi Lauper

18. Jump (For My Love), Pointer Sisters
19. Talking In Your Sleep, Romantics
20. Self Control, Laura Branigan
21. Let's Go Crazy, Prince and The Revolution
22. Say It Isn't So, Daryl Hall and John Oates
23. Hold Me Now, Thompson Twins
24. Joanna, Kool and The Gang
25. I Just Called To Say I Love You, Stevie Wonder
26. Somebody's Watching Me, Rockwell
27. Break My Stride, Matthew Wilder
28. 99 Luftballons, Nena
29. I Can Dream About You, Dan Hartman
30. The Glamorous Life, Sheila E.
31. Oh Sherrie, Steve Perry
32. Stuck On You, Lionel Richie
33. I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues, Elton John
34. She Bop, Cyndi Lauper
35. Borderline, Madonna
36. Sunglasses At Night, Corey Hart
37. Eyes Without A Face, Billy Idol
38. Here Comes The Rain Again, Eurythmics
39. Uptown Girl, Billy Joel
40. Sister Christian, Night Ranger
41. Drive, Cars
42. Twist Of Fate, Olivia Newton-John
43. Union Of The Snake, Duran Duran
44. The Heart Of Rock 'N' Roll, Huey Lewis and The News
45. Hard Habit To Break, Chicago
46. The Warrior, Scandal
47. If Ever You're In My Arms Again, Peabo Bryson
48. Automatic, Pointer Sisters
49. Let The Music Play, Shannon
50. To All The Girls I've Loved Before, Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson
51. Caribbean Queen, Billy Ocean
52. That's All, Genesis
53. Running With The Night, Lionel Richie
54. Sad Songs (Say So Much), Elton John
55. I Want A New Drug, Huey Lewis and The News
56. Islands In The Stream, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton
57. Love Is A Battlefield, Pat Benatar
58. Infatuation, Rod Stewart
59. Almost Paradise, Mike Reno and Ann Wilson
60. Legs, ZZ Top
61. State Of Shock, Jacksons
62. Love Somebody, Rick Springfield
63. Miss Me Blind, Culture Club
64. If This Is It, Huey Lewis and The News
65. You Might Think, Cars
66. Lucky Star, Madonna
67. Cover Me, Bruce Springsteen
68. Cum On Feel The Noize, Quiet Riot
69. Breakdance, Irene Cara

70. Adult Education, Daryl Hall and John Oates
71. They Don't Know, Tracy Ullman
72. An Innocent Man, Billy Joel
73. Cruel Summer, Bananarama
74. Dance Hall Days, Wang Chung

75. Give It Up, K.C.
76. I'm So Excited, Pointer Sisters
77. I Still Can't Get Over Loving You, Ray Parker Jr.
78. Thriller, Michael Jackson
79. Holiday, Madonna
80. Breakin'... There's No Stopping Us, Ollie And Jerry
81. Nobody Told Me, John Lennon
82. Church Of The Poison Mind, Culture Club
83. Think Of Laura, Christopher Cross
84. Time Will Reveal, Debarge
85. Wrapped Around Your Finger, Police
86. Pink Houses, John Cougar Mellencamp
87. Round And Round, Ratt
88. Head Over Heels, Go-Gos
89. The Longest Time, Billy Joel
90. Tonight, Kool and The Gang
91. Got A Hold On Me, Christine McVie
92. Dancing In The Sheets, Shalamar
93. Undercover Of The Night, Rolling Stones
94. On The Dark Side, John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band
95. New Moon On Monday, Duran Duran
96. Major Tom (Coming Home), Peter Schilling
97. Magic, Cars
98. When You Close Your Eyes, Night Ranger
99. Rock Me Tonite, Billy Squier
100. Yah Mo B There, James Ingram and Michael McDonald

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Monday, August 22, 2005

Hooray for Boredom! -- You really have to thank Paul O'Brien for his recent Ninth Art column on how bored he is with the boring comics he has bought and written (usually much more interestingly than the comics themselves) about on his site. As dangerously nerdtastic as Paul's exasperation is (contrast it with the positive changes Randy Lander has initiated over at Fourth Rail after having a similar critical crisis), it has resulted in some wonderful summations of everything that has been right in comics this year.

Christopher Butcher: "Mini-comics, indies, art-comics, manga, they're all undergoing relative booms right now, in terms of quality and diversity of material. You ask the guy hitting the comic shop once a month to pick up some of the newer and more interesting 'art-comix' graphic novels, and he or she will probably tell you that, if anything, they've had to budget themselves because there's too much good material coming out. ART COMIX DILEMMA: TOO MANY GOOD BOOKS. Which is to say nothing of the manga fans getting 60 new graphic novels a month."

Thanks also to Christopher for both linking to and understanding why I started KOCHALKAHOLIC!, saying "Cheers to ADD for putting something uniformly positive and interesting onto the web this week."

And as if that weren't enough, Comics Reporter Tom Spurgeon has kicked off a new 8-week series on the fascinating stories going on right now during one of comics' best summers ever: "Luckily, there's a ton of stuff happening or about to happen that's way too interesting, fun, and enjoyable for anything less than our full attention."

Tom starts with a timely essay on the new Calvin and Hobbes collection.

Still more. Logan Polk, in the new Loose Staples column today at Comic Book Galaxy: "I just donít get it. I see it, I used to be one of those, but discovering how much is really out there has been probably the best adventure of my life so far." Seeing someone like Logan discover the richness of the comics artform (and I envy him reading some of the titles he mentions having in his reading stack), and sharing the joy that he takes in it, makes five years of ups and downs of this site well worthwhile.

Comics: You either love 'em right now, or you need to read different ones. Nuff said, true believer.

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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Great Expectations, Limited Visions -- I don't agree with everything in this "Harvey Jerkwater" essay on three landmark artcomix, but I agree with much of it*, particularly about Blankets and Buddy Bradley, and I heartily recommend giving it a read for no other reason than that someone is expressing negative thoughts about artcomix but actually reading and thinking about them first, and apparently he wasn't "bored" by even the most flawed of the three works.

* I particularly think "Harvey's" read of Jimmy Corrigan is a bit under-nuanced and unappreciative of the depth of despair in Jimmy's relationship to his father and the generational anxieties of the novel, but again, the mere fact that "Harvey" actually read the thing is a cause for celebration among those who discuss comics online.

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