Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Comics To Come

ASTRO CITY THE DARK AGE #3 (OF 16) $2.99- I would highly recommend any of the Astro City TPBs, found (albeit not easily) at your local library. This is a new take on the legacy of Astro City, and it follows the title. This is the grim and gritty of Astro City. For those unfamiliar with this comic book, and it's strong back story. Astro City is it's own Marvel or DC Universe, and as such it has unique superhero characters. The most enduring characteristic however, has to be the everyday citizens, and how this strange world effects each and everyone of them. This series is a love letter to comics of all types.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #523 $2.50- The fits hit the shan for Spidey gang. Last issue he was found out by a group of Hydra hero clones, and he is feeling pretty wonky from some sort of drug. Hang tight and hop on for the finale of this run.

DAREDEVIL FATHER #2 (OF 5) $2.99- If I like this issue... I think the end of the world just might be upon us. I guess I can take some satisfaction that since I most likely won't get comics this week, my retailer can conveniently forget this issue.

NEW AVENGERS #9 $2.50- I wish the Sentry arc was over. I am ready for the spotlight to shine on Spider-Woman, readers will note that she was my favorite part of last month's issue. I really hate Paul Jenkins.

POWERS #12 (MR) $3.95- If memory serves, this was supposed to be the Bendis drawn and Oeming written issue. However some complications arose, and I believe roles were reversed, so this will just be a double-sized issue. If any Bendis fans want to see his art, there will be a variant cover which will be drawn by him at least.

RUNAWAYS #7 $2.99- Has there been a delay between issues? I am trying to recall exactly what happened. I think the Runaways ended up getting off safely by the skin of their teeth (such an odd saying). The leader of Excelsior, which is a band of former kid superheroes trying to catch the Runaways, was found out to be Rick Jones, a powerless jack of all trades of the MU. This is a jumping on point, and I can't recommend this book enough, one of my favorite titles every month.

WHA HUH (RES) $3.99- Well this is resolicited. I was never quite sure what the reason was for not getting this out with the What If issues, however I have already read one poor review, and at $4 with such a delay, the last thing fans are going to be glad they did... is paid for this. Color me worried.

YOUNG AVENGERS #6 $2.99- This is right up there with Runaways, and let me tell you if my review of that sounded confusing, it is because these two comics pack so much in. We are about to see the results of what happens when an evil man... comes back through time for his younger, and not yet evil self. And what happens when the younger self kills the evil man. See what I mean? If you were reading it, simple as subtraction. And that is just one of the great characters in this book!

Saturday, August 27, 2005


There is something to be revealed I guess, the daily blog has worn me down. Someone said to me today, that they would not be able to do this... a blog a day. Well, honestly, I can't do it either. And this is a guy with all the time in the world. I am kind of hoping that after 31 days of blogging, fate might see fit to push that job my way. And in that case, I can just conveniently say that I knew I would not have time to blog soon.

I found it amusing that two of my favorite comic writers can rely on various tricks of the trade to stay interesting. Revealing never before seen pitches, or insider stories... which while may make for short entries, have also left me smiling. So, maybe, after this some less frequent but still fun blogs are in order.

One of these writers has an column in this month's CBG completely devoted to keeping deadlines. You can see his website at www.peterdavid.net. I want to thank anyone who stuck through this little experiment. And with some relief I think I can say I might be back tomorrow.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Truth Comes Out

So, I have been holding off on this entry for quite some time. I don't like to think about things that drag me down about the comics industry. For me, the positives far outweigh the bad, but this needs to be said. I hate Manga. Hate it.

Now, I suppose that statement can, and will be taken the wrong way, but stick with me. When I was a kid... comics could be found in your local grocery store, even one bigger department style store had a rather large assortment. I never stepped foot in a comic shop. I would go to the local Green Hills and pick up an issue of Marvel Tales (not aware at the time that this series was all reprints, only that it was the cheapest and most entertaining to me) and I would be regaled as it rarely, if ever, failed to not have it's touted guest-star Spider-Man.

Then I was taken in by a small event called Maximum Carnage, in sporadic doses, because one would be hard pressed to convince quite logical and money concious parents that every part was necessary in this 13 issue crossover. Quite suddenly, it was all over, seemingly overnight, nobody was carrying comics. I think I cried.

So, a few years went by where the comics I had bought were being reread, along with the occasional presents from family, and my brother's borrowed comics. I was still in love but my demand didn't have a supply. It was a Dark Age, where one had to find their favorites tucked away in dark places known as Specialty shops. I am not sure what was the bigger disappointment, the enviroment, or the prices. For the most part I was still just as stuck, even though there was a place to go.

Go even further in time, and out comes Blade, and X-Men, and Spider-Man, and Hellboy, and suddenly comics I had never heard of were in abundance in bookstores... going through several hands... getting tattered from being flipped through. It's a beautiful sight to behold, compared to the owner with a stick in his butt, and a bag on every comic. Add to that, the collected volumes that were popping up... growing from the immense interest. I suppose it is a bit hard to believe now, but tradepaperbacks and graphic novels used to be a rare occurance.

But all good things... I suppose I should have seen it coming. I mean I saw all the sugar-addled elementary kids jawing on and on about Power Rangers or Pok'emon, I even had a younger sister and brother to show me the proof. Anime and Manga... they were about to kick it into high gear.

And now? Well, now I can go into a bookstore, and if I am lucky find single issues, on occasion a modest selection of trades, on a rarity a fab selection. And for Manga... shelves and shelves and shelves along side and across from the traditional comics. I suppose some might think I am overreacting, but at some point I might post pictures. It is not as if I dislike Manga in a close-minded fashion, I dabble in it when a concept interests me. But this is not just some new kid taking the attention of the public. This is an infestation. And the only thing I can think to reassure myself, just as what happened with traditional comics (several times).

This too shall pass.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Panel To Panel Reviews

CONAN #19 (MR) $2.99-This was a fine story, I quite enjoy the tales that fall somewhere just beyond illusion. This title is still not as great to me as it should be considering the immense talent that builds the issues each month. Still I stick by Conan, there are plenty of good aspects for any fan to appreciate

DAREDEVIL #76 $2.99- This was my best of the week. I suppose for some who know my collecting habits and the bulk of my collection, then that statement would come as no surprise. However, while this title has come close to being my favorite overall, for many of the preceding issues that was just not going to happen. Maybe it was seeing Daredevil accomplish something worthwhile. Maybe it was seeing him smile again. Still all good things must come to an end, that being said, however, this is the most exciting issue of DD in months. Jump on now. This is the perfect time.

DAREDEVIL VS PUNISHER #3 (OF 6) (MR) $2.99- I will give this series credit, it has built up a fine amount of tension for the Punisher to want to go after Daredevil. After three issues of having DD be an otherwise pain in the ass, Punisher has had enough. With three issues left I can't see the fight really coming to fruition next month. But I will be here to see what does happen.

DEFENDERS #2(OF 5) $2.99- I like the team-up on this book. And no I am not talking about the actual Defenders, but rather the creative team. There is alot going on beneath the book's silliness. If you want to see a book that embraces Marvel mayhem in a whole new way. Pick up the Defenders.

MARVEL KNIGHTS SPIDER-MAN #17 $2.99- It seems that some of the writer's best ideas need a few issues to come to a fine boil. From the inventive results of a new designer drug, to the results of our arc's villian. The only thing stil left to be desired is some better defined art, every issue since #12 has felt like a fill-in.

SPIDER-MAN: HoM #3(OF 5) $2.99- This series is a strong one, and serves well as my only tie-in series to House of M. This issue in particular had some strong themes that have always resonated nicely in any Spider-Man series. The bigotry that comes from the assumption that Spider-Man is probably a mutant, and the hatred that follows. The theme is reversed, mutants are praised and placed highly in this HoM world, and it has just been found out that Peter Parker is only a human with powers. The struggles are strong still. The only thing I found off-putting was the ending, but I have no doubt that Mark Waid (writer) has a good explanation. The art of Salvador Larocca has been great as well.

WOLVERINE #31 (MR) $2.50- I will be the first to admit, this finale left me less than impressed. Mark Millar has built such a fitting epic in the last several issues, I expected this one to believably follow suit. It is a fine finale issue... everything is placed neatly where it can be, and other mysteries are left to solve at another time. I can't fault this issue very much, it did what it was designed to do, it concluded an amazing run, I just wonder why I did not enjoy it more.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


I follow you down to the trenches
hands dance fast between park benches
chasing butterflies and beetles
to their homes

A super hero on cloud nine
A tight rope walker on the line
the laughter burst from deep inside
tickles your nose

You might think I'm much too old
can't be the Watson to your Holmes
(or whoever sidekicks are for kids these days)
but I can watch you chasing dreams
making sure the world is as it seems
so off you go to explore now
but you're not alone

I keep you deep inside my heart
and on every smile that always starts
when you tell that same old joke
about the chicken and the road,
and the punchline always ends up
"I don't know"

Friends will come and play
lots of problems to face each day
if you need me along the way
you're welcome here to stay
I just hope you always know
I love you so

Copyright ©2005 Justin Karguth

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

You've got a Fan in me

I think I mentioned this several times, that when I like a creator, I will embrace their work. I don't think it is all too different out there for alot of us. I have a brother who is very selective in his comic books, and is not what one would call a mainstream reader. Well, except that I suppose most manga is becoming main stream.

One might never know when the chance opens up to have a fan, it could simply be from giving him/her a look at the creative process. It could be that you are of like minds, or that just the right words are said. It could even be wanting to find a creative outlet to emulate. For instance, I like Maggie Thompson and her recent interview on WTR (archive to come), I am told was very informative, and light-hearted, and just fun. The same words I would use to describe CBG. And I have held strong to CBG, and I am likely to through whatever lies ahead.

I think like follows like... with any cultural entertainment. Be it comic books, or TV, or even websites. As human beings we are instantly at conflict... part of you wants to treasure your finds, and the other part wants the world to love Pet Rocks as much as you do. Did I say Pet Rocks? Well, whatever you like.

Sometimes the best part of finding something you enjoy, is watching someone else find it equally as great. So tell me what your faves are?

Monday, August 22, 2005

News, Reviews, and Things I Can Use

Alright, it is a pretty big day here. So let's get the big stuff out of the way.

ITEM #1Fox has officially announced the direct-to-DVD title "Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story Unrated". The DVD will be released on September 27, will retail for $29.98 US.

ITEM #2 In a recent interview over at Manga Life, manga creator, M. Alice LeGrow (Bizenghast) dropped this interesting tidbit:
…I'm currently discussing a project with Peter David to do a science-fiction graphic novel series… it's not even certain that we'll pick up the project, but it's based on a television show and I'm really excited about the prospect of TOKYOPOP giving it the go-ahead. I'm a big fan of the show.

And in other Peter David related news, there’s word that he’s finished his book on writing comics and is now actively seeking permission to publish the images he wants to use…

ITEM #3 You can find an interview with Peter David about his upcoming X-Factor series here

These last two go under the "things I can use" category.

Over on his website, Greg Weisman has announced that Gargoyles Season 2 Volume 1 will be coming out this year, more specifically on December 06 with the first 26 episodes from the second season.

Weisman also gave a brief update on the Gargoyles comic from Slave Labor Graphics:
A lot is still up in the air, but we're all now fully committed to getting this book out in the first half of 2006 -- i.e. sometime between January and June. I know that's a pretty big window, but we'll keep you posted as we begin to nail things down.

To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the theatrical release of Mallrats, View Askew decided to release a jam-packed 10th anniversary DVD featuring an all-new recut Extended Edition of the movie. This is a pre-order item which will ship on it's release date of September 20th.This will retail for $34.99

Now for the Pre-Reviews:

CONAN #19 (MR) $2.99- Cary Nord returns! A new chapter in the classic story of Conan unfolds. If you were ever a fan of Conan, this is definetly a series that embraces all the strongest elements, and faithfully unfolds a story of great proportions.

DAREDEVIL #76 $2.99- The end of an era begins here. The final arc of Bendis/ Maleev Daredevil is upon us, and it promises the best that this team has to offer. The Kingpin has the upper hand, and has finally decided the worst has to be done to Daredevil, to save himself. Jump on board for what promises to be the best DD story in years.

DAREDEVIL VS PUNISHER #3 (OF 6) (MR) $2.99- Wha? This one is here this week... did I read last month? Hmmm... well, if you like Punisher, this is probably a better book for you.

MARVEL KNIGHTS SPIDER-MAN #17 $2.99- The reveal of last month's issue has me on pins and needles. What is Spider-Man going to do when an alien Superman comes to kill? The crossover between DC and Marvel that can no longer happen... happens. Shhh... don't tell DC.

WOLVERINE #31 (MR) $2.50- The spectacular Mark Millar/ John Romita Jr. run also reaches it's conclusion. Wolverine has alot to answer for, but first he has to kill everybody who has screwed with him. This one should end just as it started, with me on the edge of my seat waiting for that last body to be mutilated.

Well, that's all for today, finally.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A Day of Rest

It is quite a lazy day here. I am currently sorting through comic and trade lists, figuring out what I need to get that I missed. If anyone knows of a good online shop, please give me a link, I have found an excellent one for subscriptions with 35% off, and free shipping after spending $30 dollars, but I feel really loyal to my local shop. So even a great deal like that is not quite what I am looking for.

Also starting on another CD for my brother, which he will no doubt want by tomorrow. He won't get it, but he will still ask for it then. This will be the last one I do for awhile. His unique taste in music makes for impossibly long waits for download, which makes for an impossibly slow computer.

I just saw Blade: Trinity. And I think I will have to buy it at some point. It is the only movie in the trilogy that I have ever wanted to own. The character of Hannibal King fascinated me, quite a bit. Plus, he was really funny. I doubt Marvel did a movie TPB, but if they did, I will see if I can get that too. I hope there will be a Nightstalkers movie, like is rumored, and like the alternate ending hinted at.

I will be back tomorrow for, Comics to Come.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Catching Up

I found this link to Spoilt!

A blog dedicated to giving away the plots of mainstream comics.

Their guerilla manifesto:
Nothin' but plot. Wanna know what's going on without shelling out big bucks? We post spoilers for DC and Marvel superhero comic books.

Why? Because we disagree with the growing emphasis on superhero "universes" and event-driven writing and marketing.
Because comics are too expensive to buy just because a crossover tells you you should.
Because fans who only care about shock plotting and what happens next hurt the industry.
Because it costs too much to follow characters you love through ten titles a month.

So, if any of you are wanting to back into a title from one of the big two, want to know just how the heck Wolverine got a clone? Or which one of Spidey's exes slept with the Green Goblin? Who the heck was Hush? Or how many licks it takes to get to that tootsie roll center? Just follow the highlighted link. Follow the -- follow the--- follow the highlighted link.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Fanfic 2099

Well, it's a day late, and a century short... er... no that doesn't really work. I wrote this story awhile back, after reading that the makers of this site wanted people to write for some of their titles. I originally wrote up a short DD 2099 proposal, and the editors really helped me settle in. Then I finished up this story for their anthology series.

They did a much better job describing it, then reading the story itself, read on in this letter:

~2099UGR Unlimited # 5 featuring Wylder 2099 by Justin Karguth:

The privileged class of New York flaunt their wealth and status to the world. And from the arrogance of these so-called "Uptowners" comes jealousy from the have-nots that stir below in the forgotten deaths of the futuristic New York City. For you see, desperation abounds in the pit of squalor that is Downtown. Desperation, that can sometimes spill over into the hallowed heights of Uptown...

Now one man must make a choice. A choice that not only may affect the rest of his life, but the lives of his family as well.

But he'd better make it quick. The wall-crawler is watching....

Check it out at:

Also, check out the main page at: http://members.tripod.com/wyzeguy79/2099ugr.html

Jason McDonald; Asst. Editor, 2099 Underground Revised

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Take this Unemployment...

And shove it.

That's right, you are now reading the blog of a working man (well in about two weeks). I suppose I could go on and on with cliches, and moral sayings that I have given myself over the year. But I am mostly happy that I will have money for comics.

I planned to link to a fanfic I did online. If it gets put up today I will update it into this blog. Oh, and Happy Birthday to my friend Shana who turns twenty today. You still can't go out drinking... hahaha.

Well, it is going to have to be short today, I decided to save my comics for next week. See ya tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Holiday Headaches

Well, judging by the November solicits for the major comic companies. I might have to brace myself for December. I know it comes every year. A bit of a holiday glut. I suppose it hits me hardest on the holiday months, mostly because I am not giving to my fellow man, I would rather sit fat and happy on a big pile of comics.

And the strange thing is, I am going to wake up one day, and the comics really are going to mean very little, I will be like the weekly soap opera watcher. Complaining that I like very little of something that used to be a huge part of my life. I won't love comics. I know that now, but I cannot detach myself enough to say, "Maybe you don't need that Karl Kesel issue of the FF Wedding Anniversary." The examples are limitless... you could drop Conan... or not get Supergirl... why are you getting so and so Avengers, you didn't get them before.

I wonder if I will ever learn to deal with the fact that I am going to need to start living accordingly? Because my collection is most certainly not going to put anyone through college.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Not Quite In The Zone

Tuesday nights have become rather ritualistic with me. And it is nice that I get to share one aspect of that with a friend. Today I listened into the Comic Zone. I have finally allowed myself not to get frantic when it stalls (which it usually does) or all around completely messes up, as it did today.

My friend and I sat... miles apart, listening to the Superman theme... for almost six minutes. All the while laughing because we knew technical difficulties were to come. And then it came, the words I never thought I would hear, Maggie Thompson from Comic Buyer's Guide will be on the show! I don't get star struck very often (all the time), but this was something special. Maggie Thompson is a fountain of comics knowledge. And you all know how much I love CBG (both of you do), so I don't even have to point to the countless blogs (what? 3?) Stop that. (sorry)

Well, the host pulled a bait and switch, and put an artist on... an artist! What do they know? Ok, he wasn't really all that bad, but I was seriously disappointed. So, I will have to spend the majority of the week trying to think of some great questions to ask. Any help would be appreciated (from both of you... oop... one now) *sigh*

As an added bonus here are the Marvel Solicitations for November, plan ahead... buy something. I might put my Christmas wish list up.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Comics To Come

Shipping This Week: August 17, 2005

DAREDEVIL VOL 4 HC $29.99- This one is going to have to wait, I am not sure how long. I am not worried though, Marvel has been really good about keeping their Hard Covers in stock. I just need to keep reminding myself of that. This was a good run of issues... from DD dealing with his outing, to his own placement as the new Kingpin, a secret marriage, and some hot shots of that Russian Redhead, The Black Widow. Plus all the extras that Marvel loves to toss in there.

DEFENDERS #2 (OF 5) $2.99- This is right up there with my usual list of slightly humor comics. Such as New Warriors or GLA. And so far it is reading quite nicely. Marvel sold out of these, which really means very little. I don't like any of the team members individually, but together, the dynamic and the tension is just great. If you get the chance... see what all the fuss is about.

SPIDER-MAN HOUSE OF M #3 (OF 5) $2.99- The only tie-in that I am getting is shaping up rather nicely. Peter Parker has alot to answer for, his whole life is a lie... and I guess that could be literal to... So, it is a lie within a lie? Anyway, it is a really strong story, and any Spidey fans will not be disappointed.

JUGHEADS DOUBLE DIGEST #115 $3.59- It is a short comic week, normally, I leave my Jughead purchases by the wayside. There is not much I can say, this is probably one of my favorite purchases to make on a monthly basis... it let's me remember that it is possible to get more than you pay for. And I can totally relate to Jughead.... well except... I love the ladies. And he is skinny, but can eat all he wants. Bastard.

Wow, next week is not much better as far as comics are concerned. Oh well. It's easy on my wallet at least.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Stranger Things

So, today was pretty eventful as far as my days are concerned. The morning came with me out of bed by 9, a welcome change if there ever was one. And then of course I got on to check e-mail, not many surprises there, but it has to be done. Then it was off to the family reunion, a rocky start I suppose in that Becky was unsure where exactly the park for the festivities was located.

Nevertheless, she made it, and well I didn't see the "family", so we circled two or three times, all the while Matthew was screaming for the park. Just within his little grasp and yet so far away, get used to it son... get used to it. It turns out that another family had taken the reserved area, so after they were moved along, with all the kindness my family manages to muster, we sat down and enjoyed each others company.

Well, it is never exactly like that, I suppose it never will be. I don't reunite well... truth be told I forget alot of people, but this time it mostly family I am closer to, so I was not completely hopeless. There was a conversation with my Grandpa, about our sleep apnea, and the machines involved, and should he go get checked again. His sleep is good, but not as great as it was when he first started. I know the feeling... advised him that when I got rechecked there had been changes. Then we talked about how we both used to fall asleep at the wheel. And the urgency of hourly bathroom breaks at night had been eliminated. And my older brother looked at me. My only pleasant conversation... was about bladder control. I... I feel old.

After that I watched my son, and made note that he needs an uncle to teach him how to walk properly, it is quite dainty right now. He spent more time attached to that swing... definetly a favorite for him. Lots of babies are coming.... lots of babies. Come Christmas I will have some blog stories.

Anyway, all in all, not a bad time was had, and I am glad I did not take a book, like I planned. Matthew was pretty ticked we could not stay, but he is napping now. Becky was a real peach and got me the second SiP book on the way home. So, I expect to have finished that by midweek. I really wanted to remember more than this, I was intent on having all sorts of details from today's event, but alas, I suppose I am not meant for that.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Panel-To-Panel Reviews

House of M #5- Everything really comes together here. The heroes all know their roles, even if the world is different. And both Bendis and the artist picked a great character to convey the crushing brutality of having your life pulled out from under you. It even drives said character to a "out of character" moment, but at that point, anyone would want what he wants. If you are missing this miniseries you are missing the chance to watch something unique unfold. This issue really brings the urgency and danger of everything to the forefront.

Supergirl #0- This issue was a Batman/Superman issue where Supergirl guest stars. It was fun all the same though, as it appears to not have the same muddle that made me drop the title. And it is a great (re)introduction to the character. Right off through Batman and Superman's back and forth narratives, you can see how great she is, and how bad she might one day become. In fact if this issue has anything going wrong for it to me, it is the cover. Something perspectively off-putting about it.

Supergirl #1- I was disappointed at first, thinking that the subplot in #0 would had to have been left behind. It was nice to have a proper telling of Supergirl's origin, or at the very least, what she thinks it is. Right away we are introduced to the JSA, which looked alot like DC's version of The Defenders, this scene was clunky at best because a few members were being called iconic names. Such as, someone who looks nothing like the Flash, being called Flash, same with a Green Lantern resembling character. It is of little importance though, as the team was set up to meet Power Girl, who has an origin and relation to Superman that is very similar to our star's. This led to a very strange meeting/battle. And an unidentified (to me) member of the team concluding that when Supergirl and Powergirl got to close... it put their powers in overdrive. So, after resolution, they meet a few days later, and Power Girl advises Supergirl to keep her distance for the time being. With the issue ending with a heated meeting between Superboy and Supergirl. Wow, even I can't believe I am going to be back next month. It is not as confusing as it sounds, I think.

Ultimates 2 Annual #1- I am sad that this run will be the last time Mark Millar writes the Ultimates for awhile. This issue... was just genius. I don't even particularly like the art. However, Millar pulled it above and beyond, in spite of that. And shows you the most dangerous man in the world. It is kind of like a story I wanted to tell, but he told it so much better. Highly recommended.

Gravity #3- Another strong issue by McKeever and Norton. I really want to see this become an ongoing series. McKeever draws on so many things, cliche battle moments, teen angst, emotions and failure. Norton's subtle yet professional style only enhances the story, nothing is muddled or confusing. And I have to say, the perfect ending. Greg has so much more will power then a fanboy.

New Warriors #3- The team has a flat tire... but the book still cruises along. It is the subtleties in this book that I love. A "Got Villians" bumper sticker on their RV. To the hilarious (yet few) nods to previous series. We get more personal insight into the characters thanks to their TV show pitch being presented by their producer. And Nova gets hauled off for picking up hookers. Don't worry, they call them hookers off panel.

Well, that looks to be it this week, I have not read Marvel Nemesis #4 ... want to find 2 and 3 first. And as far as David Mack's Kabuki: Reflections, it is going to be in tatters. This is a gorgeous... gorgeous... gorgeous book. Built like a trade... looks like a trade... quality like a trade. Priced like a digest. Pick it up, pages and pages of kick ass art. Even some unpublished stuff I think.


Friday, August 12, 2005

Finally Friday

And I finally feel rested. Early to bed, and up at 6 am. I went over to my father's for dinner last night, and it might explain why I had what I can only call the shadows of a dream. I woke up thinking my father was dead. And so for roughly a half an hour, I was doing all I could to convince myself this was my imagination.

After all, I just saw him last night, and he looked fine. Wait, isn't that what people on TV always say. I started thinking about all the things I thought he was to me, and what he is and will always be. When I was a kid... I didn't have the trials and tribulations, the only thing that seemed to put a kink in my days of fun, was a father who knew to keep me on my toes. A John Wayne determination would be there to keep me moving forward. It agrivated me to no end, to push me to do more, and be more.... the nerve.

And what he is now, and always was, the most patient and understanding man alive. I have never done more or been more, but I think he is okay with that, as long as I don't forget to try. It was a drastic change. Going from a person I had to love, to a person who will always share my love (even if it was in that John Wayne fashion). Scariest of all, was that we had only gotten to that stage in what felt like such a recent time. And I thought I lost that... thought I lost him.

After I gathered my thoughts, which seemed to go everywhere. I checked the answering machine, hoping that a tell-tale message had not found it's way there. And I went down the hall... sat on the edge of my son's bed... and hugged him tight... kissed his hair. And he frowned. Just as I would have. Then I just whispered my love to him. And he smiled in his sleep.

Thanks for last night, Dad. You make a great steak. I love you.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

No Rest for the Wicked

I think I drew the short end of the stick today, or the long end depending on how you look at it. If you were my wife you would, with a great deal of certainty state that because I did not work, and shared the same lack of sleep schedule, I should stay up. I would be inclined to agree, if I felt I could actually do that.

Then if you are my little brother, who stayed up through the night playing video games, again you would state, that my sleep, however miniscule... is far more than he recieved. That one is definetly more of a stretch, as I remember 16, and the independence in one's decisions, dictates the old saying, "No one's fault but your own."

Now if you are my son, who is being watched by me, then you feel you have the short end of the stick. Simply because the only adult who is giving Matthew time... is me. And that is a sad state of affairs indeed. Constantly being shushed so that his, by far, more favorable company can just... lay there. Yes indeed, one might call the Twilight Zone in such a situation.

And me, well I am still dealing with more than a few things... and since I was a kid the best way to sort my problems was to write. It's not working. There is good news... Becky is getting a raise, and she gets an "extra" paycheck tomorrow. And a new manager (which she has been clamoring for) so all appears to be coming together slowly in Karguth County.

At the very least, on paper.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Legal Matters

So, last night marked the return of Boston Legal. A return that I thought.... was new. Now, I know, at my age and with my level of TV exposure. If a show does not specifically state it's newness, it is a rerun. Sometimes I just wish it was the other way around. It wasn't a bad show (partial nudity aside) and it was "new" to me.

My brother is coming over today, so Scrubs will get cracked open, again. And we will all watch and laugh... for hours. Becky might rent some things for this rather impromptu visit. But mostly, there will be much Scrubs watching. Oh, and Becky said she might get comics. Those of you who can actually get comics at a reasonably early time on Wednesday, consider yourselves lucky.

There is a family reunion coming on Sunday, so I plan to have all my grumbles and ughs out later that day. Oh, and my employment advisor reminded me yet again that we have been meeting for a little over a year... and no job. So, nice to know that I am, if not persistent... then predictable.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Kick Me, I am Down

So, I don't know... somebody kicked my Tuesday right out from under me. I don't want to talk about comics today. I don't really want to talk about anything today, but this is my only outlet. Honestly, I thought I was feeling better, but this consuming shadow of thought that in the two hours I have been awake, I may have upset one person, and seriously damaged ties with another. It is vomit-inducing.

I am going on... three and a half hours of sleep. Going to the same links in my favorites list. I don't know why I don't just pull myself away from the computer. In some silly way, I hope that both these people will get on, which for one (whom I can say without any hesitation, I don't know) would be near impossible, and the other ... she does not get on until much later.

Part of me is saying that as far as the second problem is concerned, I am better off. As that friendship was always dangerously unbalanced, and really for the most part non-existant. How can you have a friendship that is based heavily on one syllable conversations. (I would say monosyllabic, but that gets far too much PR) The weird thing is, I screwed up, and I have not even talked to her today!

I did have an interesting time, trying to find that first person, through blogs... nothing harder, let me tell you.

And I came across this line in Shannon's bloggy thingy:

I remember a bit of a conversation from earlier in the dream. Someone asks, [Do you know the relative strength of spider web?] My answer, [It's equivalent to steel cable, isn't it?]

I am not sure if it was a Spider-Man issue that brought that answer to her, but it would have been my reason for saying that. So Shannon, if you are reading that, thanks for giving me a big smile this morning.

Now off to find ways to waste time. :^(

Monday, August 08, 2005

Comics To Come

SUPERGIRL #0 $2.99- This issue is a reprint of a Batman/Superman (Superman/Batman) issue. It was Supergirl's last appearance in that series. I stopped getting S/B awhile back. So this will be new for me. I suppose some others might have reason to gripe.

SUPERGIRL #1 $2.99- This issue is by Jeph Loeb, while I was less then taken by his Batman/Superman book, I was taken with his rendition of Supergirl. As such I have very high hopes for this series. Of all the books this week, my opinion could be drastically changed upon seeing this issue.

GRAVITY #3 (OF 5) $2.99- I know, pretty much since the beginning, I have done nothing but rave about this book. Devoting blogs to it even. I think it is because it has so many of the aspects that I loved about Spider-Man. The Marvel Universe flies around our young and naive hero (from Wisconsin), and it would be safe to say, that both the hero and the readers are in for a wild ride. If you want something both fresh and nostalgic, unique and old school, go ask your comic guy to grab back issues and then bring yourself up to date. It's only five issues.

HOUSE OF M #5 (OF 8) $2.99- One of the best things about this "event" is that it flies by, every two weeks a new issue. And despite what some will say, this is 98% self-contained, if you are wondering about the FF or Spidey, pick up their tie-ins. Otherwise just assume they are going out of their minds too. This is by far the easiest event I have had the pleasure of partaking in.

KABUKI REFLECTIONS BOOK #5 $5.99- Does anyone know what this is? No... Anyone? Oh, well I can tell you, it is a must have. A constant negative that I hear made against David Mack is, "Oh, I love the art, but it takes an hour to read a story." Well, now you can just focus on the art, on the craft, on the pure magic this man brings to his work. If you haven't read Mack... this is the one book to seek out and buy. Trust me, others will either follow or they won't, but you won't walk away disappointed.

MARVEL NEMESIS IMPERFECTS #4 (OF 6) $2.99- I am getting this again (I stopped after issue one) for the Daredevil appearance. I am a completist, and it is easier to get the issues now then scramble for them later. "But Justin," you say, "it is a video game tie-in, and thus out of continuity. You don't have to get it." And you would be right, but I gave up on being logical with myself a long time ago.

NEW WARRIORS #3 (OF 6) $2.99- While not as polished as Gravity, this is a very fun and funny book. A group of heroes travel around the midwest solving the problems that plague you and I, all while the cameras are rolling. I read in an early review that this is the best Skottie Young's (artist) work has ever been. I can't wait to see what kooky adventure comes with the middle of this mini.

ULTIMATES ANNUAL #1 (MR) $3.99- Yeah, the annuals are back. And this would be the only one for the Ultimate universe that I am getting. I am really beginning to hate paying an extra dollar for a cardstock cover. Let's hope this annual packs bang for the buck. Wait, every issue of Ultimates is cardstock cover, maybe I am paying for extra pages!! Nah...

STAN LEE COMIC BOOK GREATS VOL 1 MADMEN OF COMICS DVD PI- I have no idea what this is about, but guaranteed if I can find it to rent (or... buy) then a review on this blog will follow, I love comic-related films, but most of all I love those with passion and historical reference.

THUNDERCATS SEASON 1 VOL 1 DVD SET- Ok, the really sad admission. I know nostalgia has colored my perception of this show. I also know that the fact that I named my first grade reading group, "The Thundercats", only affirms my delusion. But I will also try to rent (*sigh* or buy) this. Okay, I know, it mostly sucked, but that tomato toss was uncalled for.

There you go another week of expectations ... scribbled all over the web. Check back Thursday to see me curse at the reality that I purchase alot of crap.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

A Place to Hang Your Horns

So, being the comic guy that I am, I thought I might steer you to a new place to discuss my favorite character, Daredevil. Sometimes being in this hobby can bring feelings of isolation. And even in other places one can find discussion, but true respect and shared interest? That is an aspect that can be rather fleeting.

Fans Without Fear is a unique and quickly growing fan site. Unique in that both fans new and old seem eager to learn from each other. Add to that, so many other topics are brought to light. From the now cancelled drama Blind Justice, to the rarely seen and often-wished forgotten, Trial of the Incredible Hulk.

As Comics moderator of this site, I would like to extend a formal invitation. Anything is up for discussion, as long as it is civil then no topic is turned away. So really, comics fans, stop by and let your feet up for awhile, and relax with some fellow fans.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Chasing Inspiration

So, today, for the whole day, I have been having fleeting ideas. I would start a poem in my head, which would turn to a song. And then, without much time passing that would vanish. A story idea ending with much the same result. I am crossing my fingers that with Sunday comes just a little time for reflection. I feel creatively cut off at the knees.

Oh well, writing will never be quite like it was when I had loads of teen angst.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Panel-To-Panel Reviews

JUSTICE #1 (OF 12) $2.99- This was a baffling first issue. A wordy representation of the end of the DC Universe. Strategic explosions all over the world. And the heroes are truly more human than I have seen in the DC Universe, since Identity Crisis. Oh, except for one thing, it's all a dream, well a dream shared by several people. And those people, are quite a few (if not all of the villians) of the DCU. So, while the beginning is confusing with commentary seeming to come from Superman (seemingly the last survivor of Earth also) but after the dream is revealed, we are taken through to one villian imparticular. Lex Luthor. And he's got a plan, to save the world... from the heroes. Add that cool twist with the Alex Ross art, and you got a book that is hard not to like, at least a bit.

ARANA HEART OF THE SPIDER #6 $2.99- Well, I have to say, though, I haven't finished this book, I can finally say something has me interested. A young girl (our hero) stops a shooting and saves her enemy. It doesn't surprise me, and it really should not surprise me that this makes a chink in the villian's armor, but it did. I will really wish I had more to hold with this title, but this is the last issue.

DAREDEVIL FATHER DIRECTORS CUT #1 $2.99- Wow, this... this ticked me off as much as I thought. Yeah, it was a dollar less than originally, with a half sketch cover, and 4 or 5 extra sketch pages. But see, I was stupid enough to pay $1 more for it the first time... a long time ago! I mean I just supported an issue that I was completely against. I feel... so dirty.

DAREDEVIL REDEMPTION #6 (OF 6) (MR) $2.99- Alright, this was the best of the week. David Hines just earned that spot for best mini-series in the last year. And the Gaydos art evoked all the emotion. It took twists the whole series I never saw coming, this finale was no exception. This is a must read, again and again.

MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #6 $2.50- I love when a comic takes a different route than the classic hero/ villian clash. Sean McKeever pulls no punches here. The hero goes in over his head, and the audience knows it... as his butt is quickly handed to him. We see a sad side of Sandman. And while the hero and villian won't be going out for coffee. I think this comic teaches more than a few important lessons. Money can't buy happiness. Life is valued above all else. And Aunt May is pretty smart. Bring us the rest of the supporting cast McKeever. I am ready to see your Mary Jane again.

MARVEL TEAM-UP #11 $2.99- This was my runner-up for best of the week. Kirkman pops me hard on the funny bone. So, I won't hold it against him that he took inspiration from my fan fic. Seriously, this series just came so close. It was just so great. If you like funny, and you like someone knowing your favorite characters... or introducing you to a few more. Take a ride on Team-Up.

NEW AVENGERS #8 $2.50- Tainted by Jenkins. Yet, I really liked this issue, Spider-Woman totally rocked the casba. She's a bad mamma-jamma. Woah, flashback to bad slang. Oh and the last splash page is worth the visit alone. Oh, and can anyone tell me what Wolverine has stuck to his head when he lands?

All in all, it was not a bad week. In fact, the only bad part being I had to deal with my family staring at me while I chuckled at Team-Up. Oh, also, has anyone read the 1602: The New World is worth $3.50?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Follow the Creator

Dan Slott mentioned in his radio interview(now archived) that he was an avid follower of John Byrne. And one can see alot of that in the syle of a few of his books, I think that the sort of bond that occurs is a rare one indeed. The true test for me, is would I follow so and so, to another company. Some folks make it easy, like Peter David. And others you are a bit surprised to tell yourself that you might not, like Bendis! (I hate indulging that). And still others have such an effect on you, that you keep wishing there was more to get.

Karl Kesel is in that third category, he properly snagged me as my first continous writer. Before that I would get any Spider-Man and not notice the writer credits. I noticed Karl Kesel, noticed him enough to be able to monologue his thought boxes (the thought balloons were well into being on the way out). I was stealing his one-liners, I might even tweak a compelling bit in my speech class. It is not hard to see the profound effect he has on my writing, or my silliness in general.

Which makes it hard, since the initial DD run I have maybe a handful of Kesel books, a few of them he had written. Alot of that, I suppose, could be attributed to the fact, that I just didn't have the knowledge of product that I do now. Even still, the man is just not out there enough. Well, I am hoping that an upcoming two-parter will flesh out into either a series, or at the very least, a shot at another book entirely.

The two-parter is called Vegas, and it will soon be found in a series called Amazing Fantasy. Vegas is an ambitious project. It is a western, which might push away those of us addicted to capes and tights. It is a modern western, which will push away western fans. I sometimes wonder if it knows what it wants to be, but Kesel seems to have a strong focus for his goal plot-wise. And the art looks gorgeous.

Here is an interview Newsarama posted this morning with Karl Kesel. The preview art alone is worth a look. It is just such a shame, that I can watch a recent favorite like Dan Slott, exceed everyone's expectations, and Kesel remains a huge talent with the words: Marvel should give him more work... doomed to follow him.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Comics To Come

Shipping This Week: August 3, 2005 (This might just be introduction enough LOL)

JUSTICE #1 (OF 12) $2.99- I was surprised to add this title this week, I did not see it when I looked last week. It is Alex Ross, and quite honestly, I will read anything that man is involved in. So even though, this is DC... alot of DC. I think it will be one that I am talking about for awhile. On another note, did anyone read Earth X or Paradise X, I never got to those, pricing was rather high if I recall. Anyway, any info would be appreciated.

ARANA HEART OF THE SPIDER #6 $2.99- Ok, no hate mail, but my minority comics, seem to be hanging on only because there minority comics. You got a Latin-American Spider-Girl, I can totally support that. If you write so I just don't care, then really I am cheating myself. I mean yeah, Gravity may be just another white blonde haired, blue-eyed hero, but damn it if it is not a great series.

DAREDEVIL FATHER DIRECTORS CUT #1 $2.99- Bwahaha... if I ever support this sorry excuse to line Quesada's pockets with dollar bills, it will not be for Quesada, but for my LCS who seems to look out for my DD craze. I bought this so long ago... that you may as well be selling sulfer. The lack of follow-up product left a very bitter taste.

DAREDEVIL REDEMPTION #6 (OF 6) (MR) $2.99- Now this is a DD mini. I mean, write it down, because it is the absolute way to go. First, you got... on time. Then you got... a compelling story that hasn't had time for me to go back and tear it down. And the kicker... and this is is important. Gaydos draws Daredevil (I will say it slowly so if Quesada is reading he knows I am serious) like ... ... ... D-a-r-e-d-e-v-i-l. Pick this up, and then pick up more for your friends

MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #6 $2.50- McKeever is on a roll, I am so glad they got someone of his caliber to handle this book. I can finally hand these off to Matthew in a few years (ha) and he might not roll his eyes too much. If you got the kiddos... and you want to sedate them until Spidey 3 I cannot recommend this enough.

MARVEL TEAM-UP #11 $2.99- Oh yay! MTU... which thank got they changed the logo. I am going to get giddy. I thought next week was my giddy comic week. But I mean Dan Slott... and MTU and DD:Redemption.... I got to give some love to this week. Anyway, for whatever reason I don't remember quite what happened... it was fun. DD, Moon Knight, and being shot from cannons. Oh that's right... Cap amd Wolvie... and that finger. So, Punisher too. I am having flashes of Decalogue... because like Dec. this has had some pretty good stand alone arcs... a snore here and there, but all in all satisfactory, but this back story has built up so long, it can't possibly compare. Prove me wrong, Kirkman. You still owe my ass for recomending DD 2099.

NEW AVENGERS #8 $2.50- The last of the bunch. Probably the most disappointing thing for me, is that the appearance of Paul Jenkins, was not a hologram. But really him... so now, you know... I have to hear him and see him. And to be quite honest, I did not want to do either. And this really shoots my hopes of him going exclusive to DC. There's your chink in the armor, Bendis...

If you can't tell, I am in very good spirits. Comics are back to the forefront, as well they should be. And I just want to send a thank you out, to friends, they make you realize that sometimes an extra dimension to the day to day, might just be all you need.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Talking Marvel's Top Slott

Dan Slott get's interviewed on the World Talk Radio, one of my favorite Marvel writers, Dan Slott, gets to discuss projects of the past, and those upcoming. While most likely categorized as a light-hearted and funny storyteller. I find him to be a versatile writer, and his work resonates with me, on several levels.

Dan Slott got his start working with Fabian Nicienza at Marvel Comics. From there, the scribe landed gigs on Ren and Stimpy and a few other projects. He was previously one of the writers on the animated Batman comic series, Batman Adventures. Slott has also worked on a limited series with Ryan Sook featuring the criminally insane element of Gotham City in Arkham Asylum Living Hell. Besides working in the Bat Universe, Slott's had his share of other cartoon characters with gigs on Powerpuff Girls, Scooby Doo, Looney Tunes, and Ren and Stimpy. The jump to Marvel would come only a little while later when he came to tackle Marvel Comics' Gamma girl, She-Hulk. It was quite obvious to those reading that Slott could handle the Marvel Universe with a humble mastery. Since then he has tackled the titans of team-up, the powerhouses of pranks and puns, Spider-Man and the Human Torch. Now hot on Slott's heels are his upcoming return to She-Hulk, an ongoing Thing series. And a number of other projects no doubt.

The show should begin somewhere close to 4 o'clock (CST). In honor of this show, I have compiled a list of internet interviews that have been conducted.

SBC Interview

CBR Interview

Pulse Interview

Another SBC Interview

Short One with Ugo

ComixFan Interview

411 Interview


Thought Balloons Q&A

My only regret (you are still here right?). Is that I will not be able to call during the show, not that I know quite what I would say or ask. But I have found a site with his e-mail, so I might e-mail him after just to say what a great job he did. There might be a follow up to this later.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Hero Worship?

Great, just what I needed, another reason to regret leaving Wichita. This is a fascinating, and actually rather surprising article on the religious themes that can be found through out comic book culture. Scroll a bit father down DD Fans, you just might smile at who makes a special guest appearance.

I have to admit that Wichita really was a place that I kind of set the bar for now. A great comic shop. A rather nice microism of the world. I was alone but not stranded. Great restaurants and entertainment. Nice community. I suppose I had quite a few opportunities to settle in, and in the end, I never did.

Now, that I know they had a church this cool, well, I might have found just the inspiration I needed. Not really, but it sounded good.