Sunday, April 27, 2008

Justice League: The New Frontier - Commentary Track 1

I watched Justice League: The New Frontier again, this time with the first commentary track which features the creators of the movie: Bruce Timm, Andrea Romano and company. I enjoyed it more with the commentary track but it is still lacking.

One piece of information that I picked up (from a Word Balloon interview with voice director Andrea Romano, which I also listened to this weekend) is that quite a few of the voice actors recorded their parts independently of one another. Not only were they not in studio with one another, while recording, some of them weren't even in studio with the voice director. I don't know that much about the animation industry but I've got to imagine that this goes a long way towards explaining why I wasn't very impressed with the voice acting.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

CSBG Top 100 Runs - Golden, Silver, Bronze Age

Over at Comic Should Be Good they are winding down their countdown of the top 100 comic book runs of all time. Just 6 more to go. Its kind of disappointing how heavily-weighted the results are to more recent and current material. By my count only 14 (of the runs named so far) started before 1980. Grouped by era they are:

Golden Age

100. Jack Cole's Plasticman - I have to give this series a try some day.

46. Will Eisner's The Spirit - Technically I don't think this was originally a comic book, but a comic strip. It has been since collected in comic book form. Still it is something that I must read (at least in part) one of these days.

Silver Age

88. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's Dr. Strange - I'm interested in reading this but I think I would rather read their collaboration on the original run of Spider-Man first.

87. Roy Thomas' Avengers - I've read bits and pieces of this run. Do I wanna read more? Yes but not now.

84. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Thor/Tales of Asgard - Another run that I've read bits and pieces of but this one I am much more interested in going back to read. This and Lee and Ditko's Spider-Man are probably the two silver age Marvel runs I am most interested in reading, cover-to-cover.

34. Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.'s Spider-Man - Maybe after I've read the Lee and Ditko Spider-man. I know there are some classic stories in this run but it just doesn't appeal to me as much as its predecessor.

Bronze Age

99. Doug Moench's Master of Kung-Fu - I have much of this run, but I have only read a few issues of it.

86. Jim Starlin's Warlock - I would love to read this; unfortunately it has never been collected. I'm not about to go out and buy the individual comic books or pay big bucks for a collection of the run. Maybe some day Marvel will come to it's senses and reprint.

61. Bob Layton and David Michelinie's 1st run on Iron Man - Am I interested? Yes, but not overwhelmingly so. Maybe someday I'll get around to reading all/part of run. Only bits and pieces have been collected and reprinted.

59. Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams run on Green Lantern/Green Arrow - Possibly one of the best known runs (from DC Comics at least) from the 1970s. It didn't last all that long. It is collected. I should read it.

50. Jack Kirby's Fourth World - This is another must read for me. It looks like Kirby at his best and craziest.

49. Steve Englehart's Detective Comics - I recently listened to a very good Word Balloon interview with Steve Englehart. This run is short and is collected and sounds good but I don't know if when I'll actually get around to reading it. I get the impression that there is nothing spectacularly innovative about this run. It is just a damn good Batman story.

41. Steve Gerber's Howard the Duck - Meh, this one just doesn't appeal to me. I know it was cutting edge and different and all that but it just doesn't appeal me.

29. Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen's Legion of Superheroes - I've got the one collection from this run (that is still in print) and would happily buy more if they would reprint some more of it.

So, that's it for comic books from the roughly the first 40 years of comic books. I'm expecting that at least one more will make the list: Chris Claremont and John Byrne's Uncanny X-Men. My only other prediction for the top 6 spots is that Neil Gaiman's Sandman (a post Crisis series) will also make the list. I can think of other possible "winners" but those are the only two that seem like shoe-ins to me. I will truly be surprised if either of them is left out.

I've noticed some interesting trends in the selections when you break it down by era. I'll try to write more about that next time.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Invincible v6

* * * S P O I L E R S * * *




Invincible v6: A Different World - Not awful, but this arc felt like filler. Ok, not filler but like Kirkman was setting up stuff to be followed up on in future arcs. Mark travels to some far away planet where he is temporarily reunited with his father, fights Viltrumites (other than his father) for the first time, and meets his new half brother.

It is arcs like this that turn me off. I probably won't pick up v7 for a while.

Why do the insectoid females have breasts? Or at least look like they do? They don't look humanoid in any other manner.

How in the world did Mark's father have a child with an insect? The scene with him frenching his insectoid wife was gross enough.

The only parts that I really liked were the little interludes with the Mauler twins.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Powers v7: Forever

Powers v7 Forever - The ending was a bit anti-climactic but the arc (on the whole) was great. I especially love how the ending ties in a scene from the first Powers collection: Who Killed Retro Girl? and fills in much of the back story of Christian Walker. Not only does it tie into the scene from the first story arc it also gives it new meaning.

I went back and flipped through WKRG? after finishing off Forever. What struck me the most was how much the artwork changed in between the two story arcs.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Black Canary - JLI Era Costume

Call me stupid but I actually liked Black Canary's JLI era costume. I've got nothing against fishnet stockings but something just doesn't seem right about her wearing them given how rough and tumble she can get.

I'm only voicing my opinion on this costume because so many people seem to hate it.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Marvel Solicitations - Jul 2008

The Marvel solicitations for comic books being released in July are also available online now.

Sky Doll
# 3 - Looks like the art work on the (first) Soleil comic book imported and translated by Marvel has been altered. I went looking for the original at and found the same issue except her nipples are evident on the original cover. Makes me wonder about what alterations have been made to the interior art.

Punisher: Welcome Back, Frank Premiere HC - Collects the first 12 issues of Garth Ennis' run on the Punisher. I'm interested but not so interested as to get it right now. It can go on my wish list. [288 pp; $24.99]

Nova v2: Nowhere TPB - Includes the beginning of Paul Pelletier's penciling work on this title, although it is just the last two (of six) chapters that are drawn by him. Probably not worth getting just for the two issues. I've heard good things about the book but only from a couple people. I've also heard that the Nova Corps reads like an imitation of the Green Lantern Corps. Not sure if I should care about that since I don't read and Green Lantern books. [160 pp; $17.99]

Invaders Classic v2 TPB - Collects # 10 - 21, plus Annual # 1. If anything I should go back and order the first collection. I've got a few of the original comics but my collection is far from complete. Also, who knows when (if ever) the Dedicated Competition will ever reprint Roy Thomas other World War II era comic books. [240 pp; $29.99]

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

DC Solicits - Jul 2008

A few things catch my eye in the DC Solicitations for July 2008. Not sure if I will order any of them, but here goes:

Superman: Kryptonite HC - Finally they're completing and collecting Darwyn Cooke and Tim Sale's run on Superman Confidential. I'm not a huge fan of the Loeb/Sale works but I'll probably pick this up eventually based on the strength of how much I enjoyed Cooke's workd on DC:TNF. Also I'd really rather get this in softcover since it is just 160 pages. [Sept 10; 160 pp; $24.99]

All Star Superman v1 TP - Good to see that they have finally got around to releasing this in softcover. Everyone says it is great. Must give it a try. I wonder why didn't they hyphenate All Star? [Aug 20; 160 pp; $12.99]

The Spirit v2 HC - Which collects the second half of Darwyn Cooke's run on the book. I really want to read this but I think I will hold out for a single volume hardcover that collects all 13 issues. Who knows if/when it will be released but I've got plenty to keep me busy until then. [Sep 10; 176 pp; $24.99]

Gotham Central v1: In the Line of Fire HC - Written by Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka, drawn by Micheal Lark. Another book that I have heard a lot of good things about. This is a tempting purchase. [Sep 3; 240 pp; $29.99]

Storming Paradise #1 - Written by Chuck Dixon, drawn by Butch Guice. A six-issue World War II mini-series from Vertigo; my interest is piqued. I pre-ordered the Team Zero TP, another WWII story written by Chuck Dixon. Different artist this time around and its hard to tell what exactly the focus will be. I'll have to keep an eye out for creator interviews and preview art.

The Sandman Presents: Dead Boy Detectives TP - Written by Ed Brubaker, who writes crime fiction comic books about as good as anyone in the business these days. I'm curious. [Aug 13; 104 pp; $12.99]

That's it. More than I thought I would find. Some months there really isn't much of anything that catches my eye.

Looking back at the short list I have assembled the Gotham Central HC is the one I am most likely to pre-order.

Monday, April 14, 2008

borrowing ideas

I've been thinking about cutting back on my purchases of trades, hardbacks, omnibus editions, etc. by borrowing them from the library instead.

I was motivated to consider this option by a number of things:

1. There are must reads (Watchmen, Kingdom Come, etc.) out there that I must read but don't really want to buy.

2. I seem to have a large enough collection already which contains a fair number of books that I don't really want to keep.

3. It seems wasteful to buy so many books most of which are probably only going to be read once and then put on a shelf.

Taking all those reasons into consideration I went to the Montgomery County Library web site to see if I could find Watchmen. It turns out that they have a number of copies of it. Awesome. Not I just need to clear some time on my busy reading schedule and get my but over to the library and check it out.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Fruit Baskets Forever

Powers v7: Forever - Read chapter 5 (of 7) this morning. I thought Powers v6: collection was awesome. The epic scale of story blows the previous collection out of the water. It (volume 6) was prologue and epilogue to this story. The way that Bendis and Oeming have pulled elements together and gone back to touch on things that were touched on before and give them new meaning really impresses me.

Fruit Baskets v1 - I wasn't sure if I would ever pick this up again but now I have, primarily based on the fact that it was listed as one of the top 5 shoujo series by Danielle Leigh. Its the only series on the list that I have tried reading. Some of the other series sound interesting too.

First time reading Fruits Basket I thought it was good but it didn't feel like the right thing for me at the time. Now that I taking a break from Kare Kano and am thinking about taking a break from Hot Gimmick it seems like a good time to pick it up again. I don't expect to feel like it is the best thing since sliced bread but I am hoping that I will get more out of it than I did the last time.

My recollection is that I liked the main character (Tohru Honda) but wasn't as taken with the rest of the cast.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Top Runs

What a great idea! Comics Should Be Good has compiled a list of favorite comic book runs. Some of them are collected in trade format and some are not. Either way I've decided to copy the list and then see how much of the titles that interest me are available in trade or hardback format.

I'm also curious as how age affected the preferences of the voters. For that matter what was the average and median age of the voters. I doubt that they collected this sort of data. Still it would be interesting to compare a list of the preferences of younger and older comic book readers.