Saturday, July 30, 2005

Weekend Woes

If you don't know... I don't like company. I don't like visiting people. It's just like I am preparing myself to be torn down (either way). I had the start to a hell of a weekend. It was hustle and bustle to clean. And anyone who knows me, knows that I don't clean very quickly, and I certainly do not do it well. And I had indulged my internet chat time a bit too much, anyway.

There was a point, when I started that I thought I would only get the kitchen sorted. Because my son was in the living room, making a fast mess. On top of an already existing mess actually. So after tackling the kitchen (with a lazy but silly audience). I crossed that border from tile to carpet. And surprisingly was able to get quite alot done with the added distraction that my son could leave balls around to play with. And what a thankful distraction The Incredibles was. I am not sure what made me happier... that it was a distraction. Or that it is finally a movie we can watch together and enjoy.

I am hoping my Sunday is a lull in the monsoon of visiting relatives. Because at this point of being knackered and tired (it is alot). I just want to sit down with my copy of CBG, Promethea, and maybe a couple of my Gary Paulsen books (a favorite author since my preteen years).

At the very least (so far) no one has torn my cleaning job down... and that is a very good thing. Of course then again, they probably think Becky did it. *sigh*

Thursday, July 28, 2005

A Friend Indeed

I used to be a pretty popular guy, not like your jocks or anything. Just in that with the crutches or the wheelchair, I was hard to miss. Now, I am not saying that everyone liked me, try as I might to want that. And I am not saying some didn't avoid me. Something in the fact that going to school, having such a social routine, it forces even the most shelled individuals to put themselves out there.

And now, I don't have that. I mean living in my hometown, I see old friends, but I kind of hide myself. I certainly don't stay for conversation. Even if they seem happy to see me, in the back of my mind, I am judging myself harshly enough for them. I just can't invest like that, I even feel distanced from my best friend growing up. I have not said a word to him in months, and I have not seen him, since my wedding.

And really, I have always felt it was a void I could not fill, the friendship void. How can you be friends (even again) if you don't stay around for that first impression? And then you spend so much time... building yourself up... constructing a fortress. That when push comes to shove. Someone has to be really stubborn to try and set foot in that friend zone.

And I guess on day's like today, when I woke up so ill, that my body hurt. It was good to have a friend, even at 4 am. So, I think that void has been filled, it is a pretty good day when I can talk comics, and talk about all the stuff that I feel, and go away a better person. Even if only for a little while.

Keep your friends close...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Comics to Come

MARVEL PREVIEWS #24 AUGUST 2005- I am looking forward to this issue. As alot of great product is coming out in October. And I like the elaboration that this gives, it has a much better feel then scrolling down a webpage (even if I can find the information elswhere). And it is only 99 cents.

ASTRO CITY THE DARK AGE #2 (OF 16) $2.99- I was anticipating this series for quite sometime. The thing about Astro City, is that it takes such a pleasant and human view. That is not to say it does not pass out punches with the best of them. But this is kind of what it would be like if you had to be human in a world of capes and cowls. And at the heart of it all, the lives of two very different brothers, who are alot more alike then they think.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #522 $2.50- Ok, we are still in "Hail Hydra" "Avengers Assemble" mode, and I have to say I quite like it. Whether it was intentional Amazing has pulled away from the Gwen Stacy/ Norman Osborn catastrophe. I knew after it happened that I would not drop this title, first off because it does not bother. That doesn't mean it makes sense, or that it was not the dumbest thing I have ever read. But I knew if it did not bother me, there would be other stories to enjoy.

BLACK PANTHER #6 $2.99- Ok, this is the deciding issue for me. I think this is the end of the arc, I guess if I liked the series I would know. Although having said that Hudlin pulled me back into Marvel Knights Spider-Man. So maybe he can surprise me here as well.

DAREDEVIL VS PUNISHER #2 (OF 6) $2.99- Hopefully, Daredevil plays a bigger part throughout the series. I know he doesn't, I read an interview that very clearly stated otherwise. But I still hope.

PULSE #10 $2.99- This is the HoM crossover issue. I don't think Gaydos is back yet, but when he is... oh it will be good times. I think Pulse might even be pulled out of it's crossover stories, and making it's own big event, as Jessica pops a babe out of that belly.

PULSE HOUSE OF M SPECIAL ED #1 PI- This should be a great addition to all the HoM stuff. I have loved everything I am getting. HoM is good, and from what I hear getting better. The Secrets of HoM book has been an excellent reference. And I am really excited about the newspaper format.

RUNAWAYS #6 $2.99- Here it is folk's. The captured enemy/ally has found his real daddy. And also that he isn't even really human. And Will Smith though he had it bad. *note I would have used a Short Circuit reference, but I think even the I, Robot one was a bit much.

I might do a follow up to this blog about my "wish list", which is stuff that caught my eye on the shipping list, that I did not know about, and so probably won't be able to get.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Oh, Grow Up

So, I was sitting here at four in the morning... and I was pretty much wide awake. Being woken up will do that to me, I like to think it won't, and about half the time, I can get back to sleep, not lately. Nature called... and my stomach was bothering me anyway (but that is what I get for having Taco Bell after 7 pm. And I knew I couldn't ignore that... and I knew I could not go back to sleep.

And it has been like that, give or take, since Beck started her new job. On a good day, my son does not also get up. I have always had this... paranoia. Since I was a little kid. I don't think I could live in a house alone, I mean not for a long time. I would just be a frazzled mess. When I was a kid, going through our dark house at night and coming back from the bathroom or the kitchen after a drink of water. I was like lightning. Sometimes it was a noise, one of those bumps or thumps. More often then not, it was the wicked witch ... or Teen Wolf (my brother still gets a chuckle out of that)... or that episode of Unsolved Mysteries where they never found the serial killer... which was every episode. And I can remember... I always say it was Unsolved Mysteries but now that I think about it... it was so cornball it might have been Ripley's. Anyway, there was this episode... where they had this "real" werewolf... and they said he was crossing the Atlantic... coming to America. (I am sure they added something about coming for little boys... just for effect *a role now filled by Michael Jackson).

Anyway, I still have that kind of anxiety today. Which, kind of makes me feel like I am ten years old. This time it is mice or something silly like that. The bumps and thumps, I think sometimes I scare myself. I have moved beyond Teen Wolf - What? I have... Alright, the transformation in the bathroom is still a bit scary, but I am gold through the rest of it. I just, I have always admired my father, he was never scared of anything. And it just sits in my mind... ever prevalent from repeated early mornings. I at least want to be brave to my son.

Of course, it would not make me grown up... I mean there are still the comics... and toys... and all that, but I want to keep all that. It was also cool when I found out my dad read Archie... I mean, yeah it was Archie, but at least it was something that didn't involve the wilderness or John Wayne. It was three times as cool knowing my Grandma used to read all the Marvels when her and my grandfather were first married. Of course she lost most of that the minute she explained that right after reading... she threw them away.

Grown ups, honestly, wierd.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Eisners, Surprises, and Crossovers... Oh My

Ok, so I have decided to kind of jumble all my blog stuff together. And there is alot to talk about so bear with me. First off, I am pretty sure that I have not been doing any follow-ups to my Comics To Come. Which is fine I guess. But really, I should at least touch base if something caught my eye. Makes it better for when I want to complain again.

So, I just want to go on record as saying this was a really good week. Now, I will be the first to tell you, I love Kesel, I love Slott... I like some silly in my supers. I always figure I don't prefer the grim and gritty. But then, I have to factor in my favorites this week. I thought Ultimates was more blood then I was used to. But it was all good. I mean pulls at the primal instinct, I may not like grim and gritty, but I love the anti-hero. And I think it has the line where I find I don't like it, is drawn in one simply factor. I have to care. If a hero kills somebody, I have to care, I have to think that in similar circumstances.... given similar abilities. I would have handed my vengeance out too.

See, I don't like the Punisher. It is all excess to me. I know he got his families killers a loong time ago. And even if he hadn't... there is no chance of finding them now. I just don't care. He secludes himself, he is absorbed in the mission. I mean really to me, reading it is as boring as watching an account crack numbers all day. I get why he feels he has to do it, but I don't necessarily want to follow him to work.

But in Ultimates, I was there with Hawkeye. I watched his son die... and I wanted a reaction. Was it graphic ... yes. Was it brutal... yes. But I couldn't help but feel it was justified. I couldn't do it. But I would want to.

And Wolverine. He is up there with the Punisher at times, I like him, but I never thought I would be following his solo title. And he is bad-ass. But again it was personal... to an insane degree, but all the same... I may not want all the carnage I see. I have a feeling, that regardless of being brain-washed, if I hurt my friends... it wouldn't end in revenge. It would be a battle with myself.

Marvel Knights Spider-Man also redeemed it's mediocre standings with me. It is amazing how one issue ... nay one panel can change your perception. And sadly, I left HoM #4 ... at the shop. Forgotten. I am crossing my fingers it is there whenever I make it back. (This is my crossovers part of the title, by the way)

Eisner Award winners 2005 (Instead of taking up more space, I decided to make comments red)

The awards were made over the weekend at the Comic-Con International in San Diego:

Best Limited Series: DC: The New Frontier, by Darwyn Cooke (DC)- Watch out for this guy. Great stuff. I plan on becoming a serious fan when he writes the new Spirit series for DC.
Best Anthology: Michael Chabon Presents The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist- This is a pretty good grouping of talent, in fact my only gripe is in pricing. Oh, read Kavelier and Clay
Best Graphic Album—Reprint: Bone One Volume Edition, by Jeff Smith - This is a great book. An indy pushing it's way into schools. Great art, great writing, great price.
Best Writer: Brian K. Vaughan, Runaways (Marvel)- If you aren't reading Runaways, well you probably won't strart because of what I say, however, if he writes something you are remotely interested in, then get it. You will not be disappointed.
Best Lettering: Todd Klein, Promethea- I now have the first trade. And even in what little I have read of it. I will bet it is safe to say that Todd is very deserving of this award.
Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition: Sean McKeever (Gravity, Gravity, Gravity!(this was not listed ;))- This is the one win that I most agree with. Sean McKeever writes like I would hope to write. He is a little funny, he knows his history without the reader needing to swim in it. I really wish him all the best.
Best Comics-Related Book: Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book, by Gerard Jones- A friend of mine has this book, so it would have likely gone under my radar, so when her glowing recommendation is provided. I will purchase this... and my hands can stop twitching.
(Basic Books)Hall of Fame: Voters’ choices: Gene Colan- Nice to see Colan get recognition... for whatever the hell this is.
Promising Newcomer Award: Chris Bailey (Major Damage)- Ok, I strongly agree with this one too. I instantly fell in love with Major Damage, since my taste at Free Comic Book Day. Sadly his title is sitting on my "need to pick up" list.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Comics To Come

CONAN #18 (MR) $2.99- I wish I could tell you what is going on in this title, but to be quite honest, Conan has hardly ever held my interest. Kurt Busiek (writer) is accomplished, a favorite of mine for quite some time, and Cary Nord (co-artist) is one of my absolute hands down favorite artist. With Dave Stewart adding his usual spectacular colors, this comic has everything to offer, but very little of it appeals to me.

GROUNDED #1 (OF 6) $2.95- If I can find this I think it will be an excellent addition. It takes super-hero into the realm of child fantasy. And what one child does when he is confined to his room... grounded. The cover was enough to grab me, the premise was enough to keep me.

DAREDEVIL #75 $3.99- Double-sized finale, saliva-dripping, finger-twitching finale. Daredevil had a hell of year. Come to think of it, since the start of Volume 2 it has been a hell of alot of hell. This story-arc has the powerful build that it's classic title eludes to... and even if the pay-off dulls, this has been well worth it to me.

DEFENDERS #1 (OF 5) $2.99- Funny finds it's way to Marvel. And lately Marvel humor has just had me smiling from ear to ear. I hope this is in the same field as She-Hulk, Gravity, and New Warriors. This may be the escape needed that I spoke about earlier. Then again, it might not.

GLA #4 (OF 4) $2.99- Sadly the conclusion of this is going to have to wait. My comic shop missed out on issue 3. This is the team that time wants to forget... but the heart of the series is in the characters. Quirky and well meaning, mixed with the dark and gritty world that comics have been in.

HOUSE OF M #4 (OF 8) $2.99- Don't look now, but it's back. And the mystery of M continues in full force. Time to play name that cameo. We are halfway through, and I am still tingly thinking of the possibilities of what's to come. Oh that's right, issue 5 is only have to wait two weeks... this has to be my favorite event ever.

MARVEL KNIGHTS SPIDER-MAN #16 $2.99- I want to like this series. I want to like what Hudlin(writer) is building here. But this just doesn't have the pull that Millar's preceding run had before. I feel like I want the big twist as much as Hudlin wants to give it. There is something big here because if not... the upcoming Spidey crossover will be a cautious endeavor for me.

SECRETS OF THE HOUSE OF M #1 $3.99- They snagged me, not only do I want this, but I think I might need it. Just to pull together pieces of this miniseries that I have not figured out, but maybe should have. I hope Marvel has enough sense not to give too much away, a silly worry, but they have done it before.

SPIDER-MAN HOUSE OF M #2 (OF 5) $2.99- I like what the first issue had to offer. Peter Parker has everything he ever wanted. He has Gwen Stacy... he has Uncle Ben... fame and fortune. He just has to hide the fact that he is not a mutant. Because if anyone finds out... everything he holds so close... will be ripped apart. I would not mind having a front seat to the unraveling.

ULTIMATES 2 #7 $2.99- I have to have a Mark Millar story every month. And Ultimates is it. Every month it feels like the Ultimates world is your own. You realize that each of it's flawed heroes has come through so much. And it is nice to see it in such crisp clear vision. If Millar left this series, I have to think that I would to.

WOLVERINE #30 $2.50- Okay, so this is yet another Millar title, but it is also almost the end of his run. And with him leaves artist John Romita Jr., but unlike Ultimates, I will give this title the benefit of seeing what the next writer is going to do. It is a riveting story, of how one man can have his life torn apart, and the only tools he has to fix it, will help to kill everyone responsible.

So there, as I predicted Marvel piled it on this week. Which pretty much guarantees I will follow up on some of these titles after reading.

Monday, July 18, 2005

A Better Time And Place

I'm on a snowy street
somewhere in West Virginia
I hear her voice trail off,
"I didn't know you had it in ya"

When I find my way
somewhere beyond the tears
I'll discover she held me back
from the start that I've found here

I'm leaving lonely
but I'm leaving him with you
the writing's on the wall
there wasn't much that I could do

A twist of fate
no words exchanged
I'll fix my heartache
...on a warmer day.
For now it stays
in the memories
of a better time and place

Copyright ©2005 Justin Karguth

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Upside Outs of Inside Down

I never thought it would be odd to grow up when I was actually... growing up. I always kind of assumed it came to you, kind of had the nature show narrator guy running through my head, "And now the young annoyance has moved just beyond his teenage years, watch closely as the wife and family approach and the male can assimilate quickly into adulthood." It's really silly how much the childish things that you always strived for, like pleasing your family, will always come back around. Even when your world has become so much more than "your family".

I can literally see the branches stretching... people I had held so close, taking root elsewhere, and I am left struggling... blooming late I suppose. I have spent most of my life feeling this sort of inferiority, and I fight to chase it away. But instead, at any instance I shrink back, letting old habits live on, where once I wanted them to die (however difficultly). And as a result... life quite often takes me by surprise. It is surprising my brother wants to celebrate his birthday at his home, instead of here... where seemingly everyone is. He was the one to uproot... try as I might to do the same, life has a way of intervening. Anyway, at 26 years old, he has decided to make his day of birth ... his day? I would have never thought of that... tell everyone to come to me (not that I even want them here). It simply never would have occured to me.

And, while I fall behind in a sense of adulthood, I have always secluded parts of my life... my comics... my depression... my feeling of all around worthlessness. And in doing that, it adds a dimension to people I do share that with. In essence they become something to hide, and treasure. So, it makes it even harder when these "secret" friends want to branch out themselves. And who can blame them, I mean they can stay stagnant... keeping the same routines. Keeping closed off where I might fence them in. Is it any wonder that I continue to push everyone aside, I can't drag them down... not to where I always seem to end up.

~Please excuse the metaphors littered throughout this blog. The writer seems to deal with life better when mental imagery is involved~

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Something New

So, I have been chewing my lip about this for awhile now, and I have finally decided that I might start adding a new feature to my blog. I thought of this shortly after my friend started her sketch blog. I wanted to take my writing brain out and polish it off, and write whatever I had to say. Now the easiest way to do this aside from my already journal style blog, was (for me) poetry. So without further delay, here is the first installment of Justin's Poetry Corner.

Another Chapter

Take a moment
to waste my day
spin my wheels
and stop to say,
"This is the perfect late delay."

Now, it's back
to on my toes
a little boy
and a change of clothes
had to see how far that puddle goes

I hurry back
to the inside
I scramble eggs
for us to try
They're put inside his pants to hide

Now, it's back
to on my toes
a little boy
and a change of clothes
but this is how my story goes

Copyright ©2005 Justin Karguth

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Looking to Greatness

Today has only seemed to bring me reflection. I feel a deep sorrow for the people lost, but mostly for the enigma of it all. I don't want to know that when I wake up tomorrow, when my son wakes up, that terrorism will always be there. Maybe it is because when I was a child, it was strangers, or some other danger that a cartoon dog in a trenchcoat said to steer clear of. It was guns and drugs and predjudice that we were at war with. That kids were to be wary of.

Now, well maybe the world has finally opened up around me. Maybe the thing to do, is to prove to our kids that history should be acknowledged. This is not a simple danger, I can't call for some silly caped vigilantes or Norse gods. The villians are real, and ruthless... the solution is elusive, but above all, we must preserve the ideals. The goodwill.

My children won't live in fear. Live each day... if you are my friend all I want you to do, is live each day to the fullest. And praise the real heroes, because as elusive as this disgusting, barbaric terrorism is we have hope. We have hope.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Comics To Come

It figures, I start this up on an all Marvel week. And a small Marvel week, I think either I must have done some cutting of my list I made when July solicits came out. Or Marvel is going to hit me full force the last two weeks of the month.

DAREDEVIL VS PUNISHER #1 (OF 6) $2.99- I really, sincerly, immensily hope that Marvel can pull this mini off. If they do then I think people might finally start licking the wounds that are Daredevil Father and DD Target minis. It is a sad thing when I can say, "I don't really care if this is good. Could you just finish it?"

HOUSE OF M #3 (OF 8) $2.99- I am enjoying this series. It has a very crisp and completed feel. Issue 1 was the epilogue... explaining the events that led to the point that our heroes have come to. Issue 2 was the introductory chapter, well done, but it could have been written more accessibly. A big complaint I get from friends and relatives who don't know Marvel inside and out is, "Who is on this page? Why is this guy and this guy angry at each other?" Something like the shots done in Powerless would have been more effective I thought. Or with any luck when the Secret Files book (companion book) comes out, I can hand people that to help. Oh, and everybody keep in mind, Joe Quesada said this issue will "break the internet in half." So, let's see if this is the talk of Blogville come Friday.

MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #5 $2.50- I don't think this is Mckeever. That being the case, I will say what I said the last time I spoke of this title. It is a waiting game for me. I think I am waiting for issue 6 and the new writer. If I enjoy this issue, then that is a bonus.

MARVEL TEAM-UP #10 $2.99- K, this is a great title. Not for stellar writing... or great art. (Neither are lacking) But because it is a who's who of the Marvel Universe, and no characterization has been too far off. This issue it is yet again Daredevil, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Moon Knight, and whoever else decides to show up. I just find it the perfect title for someone who wants to dip their feet in the pool before they dive in.

And just as an add on, CBG comes out this week, and their main feature is the FF movie. Now I am going to say it whenever I bring this magazine up. But it is so so so much more than their feature. So there, you go, a small week, so hopefully when I make my trip to the bookstore to get CBG, I might pick up something extra.

Friday, July 01, 2005

It's Beyond Me

I made a pretty good impulse buy today. I was making my way through Wal-Mart, me and my wife reminding each other that our grocery list was to be followed. Not that we are health nuts ... far from it. Just that we seem to always shop hungry. Then I saw it... shuffled on the shelf with other items to cross-promote one icon. Batman.

On the whole the character never impresses me to much. It is one of those characters who I often struggle to like. A single aspect I could always get into, however, was that great 90s animated series. Great for the character... great for animation... great all around. In the company of several other DVDs, was Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker. Now I have seen this movie, it was on Cartoon Network once, back when I had access to that channel. So, I knew enough to have a few good memories. And I also knew that whoever made this movie... had enough sense to get Mark Hamill back. The man defines the Joker for me, and the amount of passion in his performances, well it was a thing of psychotic beauty.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Beyond treatment, let me give a little background. It takes place 50 years after the Gotham City of the animated series. And a new Batman has taken the mantle... literally. Along with a kick ass 21 century costume. Bruce Wayne (is still alive) and still maintains a level of welcome alliance being linked in communication with the new Batman via the Batcave.

The new Batman? A young ward (oops) ... Assistant, by the name of Terry McGinnis. Who takes over when Bruce Wayne has finally given up. He takes the suit and unleashes vigilante justice. Seeing potential, and realizing his city will always need Batman, Bruce takes Terry under his wing. And the rest is history... well, future... history.

One of the things that struck me about this movie, that escaped me at previous viewings (thank you commercial breaks : P ) Is the pure emotion driven sequence that was Batman and Joker's final battle in the past. Just some powerful work from everyone involved, truly a dark, horrific and sad event portrayed expertly. It made me wish ... that if the comic book series did get to this point. That might be the route to take.

Anyway, it was a pretty good exchange. Eight dollars to take me back to one of the few aspects of the Caped Crusader that I did enjoy. Though I picked up the uncut original version, as the package proudly displayed, and for the life of me, I cannot figure out what is different. Oh well, at least I got to see Batgirl... watch out for that puddle of fanboy drool on the way out of this here blog.

Looking For Xtra?

No, this is not a post about the X-Men (expect better from me folks). It seems to me that there has been a surge of late in the comics community to create places to go, havens of a technological form. Websites, message boards... and I am pleased to say that one of my recent favorite ink and paper mags has joined in full force. And I could not be happier.

While quite a few will be telling you about the latest Millarworld to rise from the ashes. I thought I would tell you about CBG's new site. I have been wanting a place to direct friends to about this great magazine, and CBG delivered. I will admit the site is somewhat confusing to me at the moment, as I am not sure what is Xtra. Needless to say though, I am excited.

CBG Extra has alot of razzle dazzle mixed into a conservative and clean appearance. Go check it out. I can guarantee you will find something to your liking. Or at the very least, I can guarantee that I will.