Thursday, December 31, 2009

Out with the old...

I agree with Kelly Sue DeConnick. I love the week between Christmas and New Year. I love the quiet and the time to reflect on the past while planning for what's next. As Kelly Sue says, "It’s the closest thing to that back-to-school feeling that I get as a grown up. Fresh start! New calendars! New attitude! New resolutions! New lists! New! New! New! New! New!"

2008 was a disappointing year for me, creatively. I had a big (for me) project fall through and not a lot of movement on some others. So, I decided for 2009 that I wouldn't keep banging my head against that rock. I decided to give comics writing a rest and focus more on blogging. And if we also got a Cownt comic published, then that would be swell too.

And of course we did get a Cownt comic published. Not exactly in the way I'd envisioned it, but we did it and people seem to enjoy it. I get questions all the time about when the next issue's coming out, so I guess that's a success.

And the focus on blogging seems to have done what I hoped it would. This blog's been getting more visitors than it ever has before and I've been thrilled to meet people at conventions and signings who tell me that they read this thing. And some of you guys are even clicking on ads, which made the Adventureblog profitable for the first time in its history. Thank you all so much for reading. Sincerely.

Robot 6 has also been extremely well-received and I completed a personal goal (resolution?) to turn in 52 weekly columns on time this year. Whether it was messed up priorites or what - I don't know - I'd never done that before. Robot 6 is a great little Internet family and I'm so happy to be a part of them.

So, I think I've met my rather modest goals for 2009. There's some other stuff that I would've loved to have seen done that didn't come through, but mostly I intended this as a year to regroup and I'm completely satisfied that it's been exactly that.

Tomorrow I'll try to get up a post about plans for 2010. Thanks again for reading.

And Happy New Year!

Welcome to Monster Isle

The publisher Immedium, Inc. sent me a link to a cool picture book by Oliver Chin and Jeff Miracola. It's called Welcome to Monster Isle and they describe it as "Gilligan's Island meeting Godzilla."
A family's vacation goes bananas when a perfect storm tosses their skipper's tiny boat off course. Now seven castaways are stranded on an uncharted desert island!

Finnegan, his sister, parents and dog Howl venture into the wild and encounter a menagerie of colorful monsters. Can these hardy survivors befriend seven beasts straight from their wildest imaginations?

Whimsical and lushly layered illustrations invigorate a zootopia of mythical creatures like the Yowie and Ogopogo. Adventurous readers will take a trip they'll never forget, since being lost was never so fantastic!
Val Stevenson of Fortean Times calls it "a charming introduction to crytozoology for very young children." Introducing toddlers to giant monsters is a mission that I fully endorse.

Learn more on the Monster Isle website.

More Jungle Girl (and Dinosaur and Space Girl) Comics

Continuing to catch up on the great adventure comics that have been popping up lately...

Camilla and the Festival of B'Togi

One of the best things about Camilla is that they chose some amazing artists to draw her. This one's by Matt Baker. [The Comic Book Catacombs]

Camilla and the Blue Juju

And this one's by Fran Hopper. According to Pappy, Camilla was originally based on H. Rider Haggard's Ayesha from She, but eventually turned into a standard jungle girl. [Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine]

Nimba and the Mountain of Doom

Nimba's not the star of the story (that would be Safari Cary), but she steals the show. She and this next story are in the same link, so let's move on to...

Tangi and the Merchants of Murder

Illustrated by Jack Kamen. [Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine]

The Origin of Princess Pantha

Another gorgeously illustrated story, this one by Art Saaf. [The Comic Book Catacombs]

Princess Pantha and the Jungle of Despair

This one's also by Art Saaf. I think Pantha's right behind Jann in my list of favorite jungle heroes. [Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine]

Tiger Girl

Another one by Matt Baker. Man, that guy could draw. [The Comic Book Catacombs]

Fantomah, Mystery Woman of the Jungle

Fantomah's in a class of jungle girl all by herself. Not only does she fly, but she also turns into this weird, blue, skull-faced creature. Blame Fletcher Hanks. [The Comic Book Catacombs]

Fantomah, Daughter of the Pharaohs

Later on, like Camilla, she settled into a standard jungle-girl role. Except she fought mummies (or at least kept tabs on them until her panther Fury and her pal Captain Horus could fight them). [Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine]

The Land Unknown

Still in the jungle, but replacing scantily clad women with even more scantily clad dinosaurs. This adaptation of the 1957 B-movie The Land Unknown is by the great Alex Toth. [Hairy Green Eyeball 2]

Futura vs. Yrina, the Corsair Queen

Last, but certainly not least, the story of Futura continues as she meets a space pirate different from herself (as Sleestak puts it) "only by the choices they made and the paths taken." [Lady, That's My Skull]

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Welcome Back, TV!

It's almost January, which means that TV is coming back after the holiday dry-spell. Here are the good shows (ie, the ones I watch) and when they're returning.

Wednesday, Jan. 6
Modern Family (ABC), 9 PM
Cougar Town* (ABC), 9:30 PM

Sunday, Jan. 10
Chuck premiere (NBC), 9 PM

Monday, Jan. 11
Chuck regular time (NBC), 8 pm
House (FOX), 8 pm
The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 9:30 PM
Castle (ABC), 10 pm

Thursday, Jan. 14
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 9 PM
Private Practice (ABC), 10 PM
The Mentalist (CBS), 10 PM

Tuesday, Jan. 19
White Collar (USA), 10 PM

Thursday, Jan. 21
The Office (NBC), 9 PM
Burn Notice (USA), 10 PM

Wednesday, Jan. 27
Psych (USA), 10 PM

Tuesday, Feb. 2
Lost (ABC), 9 PM

Friday, Feb 5
Smallville: Absolute Justice** (CW), 8 PM

Tuesday, April 13
Glee*** (FOX), 9 PM

Thanks to the Ever-Useful Michael Ausiello for the info.

*I've gotten sucked into Cougar Town. I didn't expect to like it, but as a few of my friends told me, it's not entirely about Courtney Cox's trying to make it with guys in their 20s. In fact, it's really not about that at all. Some of that occasionally goes on, but the theme of the show is about adjusting to middle-age. There are several characters - of both genders and of various ages - that help explore that from various angles. It's quite well done and very funny in the process.

**Not a Smallville fan anymore, but the costumes for the Justice Society characters in this look fantastic and amazingly faithful to the comics versions. I'm curious to see how this works.

***I'm very on-the-fence about Glee, but haven't completely given up on it yet. The ludicrous storylines are offset by Jane Lynch and some of the other characters (Kurt, Puck, and - surprisingly - Quinn).

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Graphic Novel Day: December 30

Diamond Distribution is taking this week off, which means no new comics tomorrow (except for Blackest Night #6 and Siege #0, which were shipped last week and embargoed until now). That severely cuts down on the number of new graphic novels that comics stores will have available.

Some stores have figured out a way around that though. As I mentioned some weeks ago, Jess Hickman and I will be appearing at Source Comics and Games as part of their Mini Indy-Con tomorrow night from 5:00 - 9:00 pm. A bunch of other local creators will be there too and the Source's new comics rack will be full of independent books.

One of the ones I'm most looking forward to getting is Mike Bullock and Michael Metcalf's Timothy and the Transgalactic Towel. I mentioned it on Robot 6 as a book I was looking forward to (a kid has a Hawaiian beach towel that takes him to outer space and gets him involved in an intergalactic war), but I've never gotten around to picking it up. I'm planning to use this off-week to correct that, especially since Mike Bullock will be one of the people attending the Indy-Con event.

Here are some more details, including the complete guest list and a ton of the indy comics that'll be available that day (for some reason, Cownt Tales didn't make it onto the list, but it'll definitely be there). If you live in the Twin Cities, I hope you'll come by, say hello, and pick up something new and cool.


We're going to have a really interesting mix of highly talented Comic Book Creators in the store (see list below) for the first annual Source Mini Indy Con. A great opportunity to interface and meet and greet! It's going to be a short four hours & it's gonna burn white hot! A few specifics and mild suggestions...
  • This is an INFORMAL, FUN & FREE event!
  • Most of them will be doing sketches. Bring a Pad
  • If you have a portfolio, bring it!
  • FREE Soda Pop!
  • FREE Snacks!
  • Prize Drawings!
  • If you're an Artist or an aspiring Artist Come on By! You're welcome to hang out!
  • Unannounced mayhem will be delivered!
  • Michael May - Cownt Tales; Lancelot; Robot 6
  • Carl Borg - The Cardinal
  • Mike Bullock - Timothy & the Transgalactic Towel
  • Athena Currier - Action Athena
  • Scott Dillion - Johnny Recon
  • Tim Erickson - Death's Whisper
  • Mike Frigon - The Good, the Bad & The Unknown
  • Mitch Gerads - Johnny Recon
  • Becky Grutzik - Peep & Peep Lite
  • Jess Hickman - Cownt Tales; Space Quint; LucasFilm artist
  • Danno Klonowski - Manly Tales of Cowardice & Staple Genius
  • Bob Lipski - Uptown Girl
  • Brent Schoonover - Horrorwood/Astronaut Dad/Toy Story
  • Barbara Schulz - Imperfect
  • Matt Wendt - Great Big Pissed Off Bear
  • Anthony Hary - Carbon Hallway
Something for Everyone & Everyone Welcome!

Listed alphabetically as they appear on the new comics rack!
  • Abe the Aborted Fetus - Thomas, Tan, Santosh, Matheny, Carlos
  • Adventures in Paying Rent Vol 1 - Chris Lyons
  • Adventures of Alex Ze Pirate - Andrew Dobson
  • Adventures of Nikki Harris - Carter Allen
  • Alice in Wonderland - Martin Powell
  • Allusions & Imperfect - Barbara Schulz
  • Amanojaku - Sean Lynch
  • Anchor - Phil Hester & Brian Churilla
  • And Then One Day - Autobiographical Conversations - Ryan Claytor
  • And Then One Day - Vol 2 - Ryan Claytor
  • And Then One Day - Sketchbook - Ryan Claytor
  • Angora Napkin - Troy Little
  • Animal Explosions - Sean Lynch
  • Armageddonquest Book One - Ronald Russell Roach
  • Arthur the Legend Continues - Martin T. Pierro
  • Astronaut Dad - Brent Schoonover
  • Asylum of Horrors #1 & 2 - Asylum Press
  • Attitude - Featuring Andy Singer
  • Ballad of the Intrepideers Vol 1 - Krantz & Von Schlosser
  • Beyond the Wall - Gordon Purcell
  • Blackest Night #6 - DC Comics
  • Booty - Abigail Washburn
  • Brain Food - Special #1 - Mike Toft
  • Burnt Out Comix - Cousin Joey - Brenden Herrick
  • BuzzPop - Matt Chicorel
  • Cartoons - Andy Singer, Randy Ghent & Jane Holtz Kay
  • Catharsis DEFGI - E. Nelson
  • Chestacake Sketchbook - Various
  • Deadly Are the Naked - Jim Smith
  • Case Files TPB - Batton Lash & Jackie Estrada
  • Cool Kids - Sigrid Ellis
  • Cool Kids TPB - Sigrid Ellis
  • Cornered - Slightly Askew - David Steinlicht
  • Dames, Dollars and Daniels -Cottle & Peruzzo
  • Dead Man Holiday # 1 - Colin Panetta
  • Death's Whisper Decimare - Tim Erickson
  • Distance Between - Ray Kaselau
  • Dog Days of Sumo - Chandra Reyer
  • Doofus 2 Death #1 & #2 - Wiley, Sward & Pica
  • Drake Bacula Monstar - Brandon Terrell & Elizabeth Hurley
  • Dusk One Shot Special - Doub & Houser
  • Dusk Trade Paperback - Doub
  • Dynamite Pilot - Spanky Cermak
  • Echoes of Dawn - ZM Thomas & Cliff Ricahrds
  • El Largo Tren Oscuro - Samuel Hiti
  • Ex Occultus Badge of Langavat - Russell, Lanz & McDonley
  • Faction - Hendricks, Gordon & Nelson
  • Fate's Cruel Trick - E. Nelson
  • Fearless Dawn #1 - Asylum Press
  • Field's Collectible Comix - Brenden Herrick
  • Fomera Vol 1 & 2 TPB - Andrew Dobson
  • Ghost of Christmas Future Comics - Jeremy Olson
  • Ghoulash - Samuel Hiti
  • Ghoulash2 - Samuel Hiti
  • Giant Size Tragic Relief - Colleen Frakes
  • Gimoles:Secret of the Seasons - Mike Bullock
  • God of Rock - Paul Milligan
  • Gordy's Groovy Brain Hut #3 - Gordon
  • Great Big Pissed Off Bear #2 - Matt Wendt & Becky Grutzik
  • Green Monk - Brandon Dayton
  • Greyduck TPB - Mr. Dang.
  • Groundhog's Day - Barbara Schulz
  • Harry #1 - Mike Kitchen
  • Horrorwood - Schoonover & Terrell
  • How Dear to Me is Sleep - EJ Barnes
  • The House that Hack Built - Jennifer Menken
  • If You Can Read This You're Dead - Johnson & Burris
  • Indestructible Universe Quarterly 1/09 & 6/09 - Morgan Pielli
  • The Iron Sea: Shipwrecked! - William F Schar
  • Jazz: Cool Birth - Gary Scott Beatty
  • Jim Keefe: Sketches & Drawings - Jim Keefe
  • Johnny Recon #1 - Dillon & Gerards
  • Journey to Genos Chapter One - Ray Kaselau
  • King of Pain #2 - West & Rodriguez
  • Kirby's Treehouse #2, #3, #4 & #5 - Sam Leveille
  • Life With Friends #1 - Wilson & Kay
  • L'il Buddha Loves You - Ryan Dow
  • Ling Master #1 & #2 - Barnes & Ackerman
  • Lions, Tigers and Bears Vol 1 - Mike Bullock
  • Lord Harold - Lance Ward
  • Lordamus - Johnson & Burris
  • Love & Capes Vol 1 TPB - Thom Zahler
  • Love & Capes #11, #11.5 & #12 - Thom Zahler
  • Machinist - Ryan Claytor
  • Manly Tales of Cowardice Six - Danno Klonowski
  • Manly Tales of Cowardice - Danno Klonowski & All Star List
  • Mimi's Doughnut Zine #12, #14, #16, #17, #18 -Marek Bennett
  • Mix-Tape - William F Schar
  • Monster Mash - Jesse Haller
  • Moot - Becky Grutzik & Matt Wendt
  • Mr. Negativity TPB - Batton Lash & Jackie Estrada
  • Muscle Frights TPB - Bud Burgy/Various
  • Muscles & Fights III TPB - Bud Burgy/Various
  • My Holy Three - Jesse Haller
  • Paradise Road #1 - Glushkin & Ratliff
  • People, Planes & Things - Sean Lynch
  • Pop Culture's Kids #1, #2 & #3 - Mark Stacy
  • Poser - Radical Warren
  • The Possum #1 & #2 - Blair Kitchen
  • Psyop Wars - Erik Nelson
  • R13 #1 & #2 - Hall & Bradford
  • Ramses Diary Comic Journal - Ramses Anderson
  • Red Zone The Lost Children - Cassel & Jungeman
  • Retail Sunshine - Phil Machi
  • Rival Angels TPB - Alan Evans
  • Sa-Bom Jim #7, #8 & #9 #10 - Jon D. Sloan
  • Sandez Rey VS Reality - Sandez Rey
  • Scwonkey Dog - Jonathan Switzer
  • Seductions - Gary Scott Beatty
  • Seeds Anthology Various
  • Seige #0 - Marvel Comics
  • Senryu - Matthew Warlick
  • Shelter Anthology - Various
  • Skip Tracers - Jason Danzeisen
  • Socks & Violence - Chandra Reyer
  • Sonofawitch TPB - Batton Lash & Jackie Estrada
  • Space Sheriff #10 - Spanky Cermak
  • Spatterbrains - Lupi
  • Sprocket - Various
  • Spy Guy #1 - Mike Kitchen
  • Square Dance - Colin Tedford
  • Starship Down #2 - Lance Ward
  • Steampunk Mice on the Moon - Jennifer Menken
  • Stormy Nights - Barbara Schulz
  • Super Maxi Pad Girl - Olson & Niehaus
  • Super Babes Exquisite Corpse Book - Jennifer Menken
  • Supernatural Law #45 - Batton Lash & Jackie Estrada
  • Tales of Supernatural Law - Batton Lash & Jackie Estrada
  • Tales of Tralodren TPB - Chad Corrie
  • Tastes Like Good Powerlines - Various
  • The Bomb - Various
  • The Cardinal - K.J. Kolka
  • The Good Catholic - Matthew Young
  • The Intrepideers and the Brothers of Blood - Tim Sievert
  • The Mighty Invincible Bear - Chandra Reyer
  • The Oswald Chronicles Fallen Gods - JD Calderon
  • The Sodyssey - Batton Lash & Jackie Estrada
  • Tommy Chicago #3 - Bastian & Klonowski
  • Turbulence - Chris Garrett
  • Undead Evil - Various
  • Unstoppable Force - Rob Payne
  • Uptown Girl Meets the Mummy - Bob Lipski
  • Valkkadia - Godwin & Hoveke
  • Vampire Brat - Batton Lash & Jackie Estrada
  • Vampires: Dracula + Undead Legions - Martin Powell
  • Vent #1 - Michael Nelson
  • Visible Rooster Jack - Adam Hansen
  • Walkabout #1 - Erik Nelson
  • Weird Illustrated #1 - Steven Stwalley
  • What Planet is This? #1 - Mike Hankins
  • Wolves of Odin - Grant Gould
  • World Wide News - Strode & Mohr
  • Zed Reckoning #1, #2 & #3 - Matt Munn
  • Zine Supreme - Sean Lynch
  • Zoo Force - Various
  • Adventures in Paying Rent - Chris Lyons
  • Arsenic Lullaby TPB's - Doug Paszkiewicz
  • Banana Republic - Kirk Anderson
  • Everyday Gods - Daniel Mohr
  • Transylvania Television Season One DVD
EDIT: I originally pasted links to all those creators and comics from the newsletter where the lists came from, but unfortunately the links did strange things in Firefox and made this post about 800 times as long as it should be, so I had to take them out.

Sea, Jungle, and Space Comics

Manga Jaws

[Patrick Macias by way of Robot 6]

Captain O. U. Kidd

Pirates and mermaids! Very silly pirates and mermaids, but oh well. [Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine]

Burne Hogarth's Tarzan

[10c Dreams]

Kara the Jungle Princess

Kara's friend Kit does all the butt-kicking, but that doesn't take away from its being a cool jungle city story. As much as I dig Girls of Action, I'm not opposed to the dudes getting to throw some punches too. [The Comic Book Catacombs]

Jann of the Jungle and the Jackal's Lair

Jann continues to be my favorite jungle girl. Crocobats... Awesome. [Pappy's Golen Age Comics Blogzine]

Jann Cries Danger

[The Comic Book Catacombs]

Judy of the Jungle and the Lords of Memnon

[The Comic Book Catacombs]

Sheena, Jungle Queen in Harem Shackles

[Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine]

Sheena, Queen of the Jungle and the Skull-Wearer of A'wando Grotto

[The Comic Book Catacombs]

Tygra and the Phalanx of Fear

[The Comic Book Catacombs]

Mysta of the Moon

Switching from jungles to space, Sleestak took a short break from Futura to bring us a different space girl story.


But he didn't leave us hanging for long. After some goofy issues with a magic sword, Futura's back in gorgeously illustrated, butt-kicking action.

Walt Disney World (or, "I'm too EXCITED to blog!")

I apologize for the lack of a post yesterday. I got caught up in planning a trip to Disney World. If you don't mind a self-indulgent post about those plans, read on. Otherwise, skip this and I'll post some more links to jungle comics in a few minutes. I don't blame you.

We've been talking about going back to Disney World for a few years now and David's at just the right age to really enjoy it. He was just about to hit his first birthday last time we were there and while it was an incredibly fun and memorable trip, there are challenges to seeing Disney World with a baby. As easy as the parks make it on parents, there's still a need to make time for naps and diaper changes and they still won't let infants ride Space Mountain, so you've got to figure all that out. This time should be a lot easier.

What made it awesome last time was The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids. I practically memorized that thing and we certainly made our plans based on its recommendations. What could have been an extremely stressful, chaotic visit was simple and organized. We were able to concentrate on having fun and being in the moment instead of being anxious about the length of lines or being in certain places at certain times.

We haven't figured out exactly when we're going yet (need to work out vacation-time and some other details), but to get started last night I picked up the current editions of both the UGtWDWwK and the larger, basic Unofficial Guide to WDW (aka, "the Big Book"). I spent all evening catching up on the new stuff.

One of the things we're doing differently this time is staying on a WDW resort. I've always stayed with friends or at nearby hotels in the past (though last time we used a timeshare owned by Diane's parents, which was awesome), but I've always wanted to try the on-property hotels. The deluxe ones are out of our budget for this trip, but Disney has some nice, moderately-priced hotels, so we'll pick one of those. A lot of my reading last night was comparing those and I've got it narrowed down to two or three.

The Caribbean Beach Resort is tempting because of its theme. Apparently they even have pirate-themed rooms, which is a huge draw for me. Unfortunately, the layout of the resort is very spread out and the pirate rooms seem to be furthest away from resort's central facilities including its restaurants (no room service) and the bus stop to the parks. I'd happily walk ten minutes to that stuff in order to stay in a pirate room, but this isn't just my vacation. Need to talk that over with the other two first.

The other resort I'm considering is the Port Orleans Resort, which is actually divided into two smaller resorts, the French Quarter (pretty self-explanatory, the theme of that one) and the Riverside (which is inspired by the bayous and antebellum mansions of rural Louisiana). The layouts of these make the facilities much more centrally located and the amenities are apparently nicer, but it's tough to pick between the two. The pool at the French Quarter looks amazing, for instance, and its rooms are supposed to be almost as nice as those in the deluxe resorts. But the only sit-down restaurant between the two is over at the Riverside and the bayou-themed rooms for that location are surrounded by trees and gardens, which is very tempting. Right now, I'm leaning towards the French Quarter, but this also needs to be discussed.

Other details to figure out are whether we want to use Disney's Dining Plan and whether or not to rent a car while we're there. A friend of ours raved about the Dining Plan, but The Unofficial Guide has made me cautious about it. Others who've used it report that you have to use all of it in order to justify the expense, and doing that tends to make the trip all about the food. We're much more used to eating as we go between rides when it's convenient, not scheduling rides around dinner reservations. Also, kids are apparently limited to ordering off the children's menus, which some guests report are restricted to mac-and-cheese and chicken fingers at many restaurants. As much as David loves chicken fingers, I'm thinking he may get tired of that after a week. Apparently there are ways around that restriction, but again, I don't know that I want to make meal times a long, stressful time of negotiation. In order to keep things flexible, I'm leaning away from the Dining Plan, but want to talk to my friend first and get his input on my concerns.

As for the car, The Disney Blog has been reporting some recession-motivated cutbacks at WDW that have begun to affect guest experiences, particularly in the area of transportation. The Unofficial Guide backs this up by sharing complaints from guests about long wait times for buses that make multiple stops before arriving at their destinations. However, the Guide has also done some research and actually measured door-to-door travel times (which includes waiting for the bus) from each hotel to each park. The hotels we're considering all have travel times around 30-45 minutes. Which, yeah, is a lot of time to travel from one part of the World to another, but it's easily planned for. I'm hesititant to give up the freedom a rental car would allow, but I'm not seeing how I can justify the expense. We're not planning on seeing other Orlando attractions or eat in offsite restaurants (a big part of this trip for me is experiencing WDW completely onsite), so I think we can get up early enough to plan around the bus system.

Next step though is to figure out when we're going.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday Matinee: Ataque de Pánico!

Takes a bit to get going, but stay with it. Very cool by the end (in a purely horrifying kind of way).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Quotes of the Month: I want Iron Man and Captain America to finally kiss.

I’ve gotta say, that’s one low f***ing bar. Set expectations for vaguely competent, Mr. Sulu! Today we’re going for multiple genres!
--Dirk Deppey, on a headline title implying that publishing non-superhero comics is somehow new and revolutionary.

...why is there a Storm Trooper in this photo, and why isn't he shooting and shooting and shooting until there's nothing left but his memories of what he'd seen, and then he starts shooting them too.
--Paul Tobin, presenting the only question a sane person can possibly ask after viewing this.

Or at least his epidermis is steel, I dunno what happens to sweetum's internals and guts and all that when he goes for the ball, or a brick, or a fluffy kitty. And I don't want to know, nobody should give a rat's ass about stuff like that, especially because if you make enough of a fanboy stink (insert joke here) some Marvel nitwit will write a story explaining it and that's a large part of what f***ed superhero comics up in the first place.
--Evan Dorkin, using the Absorbing Man to simultaneously pinpoint everything that is both right and wrong with modern superhero comics.

At some point, it's hard to backseat drive folks that set out to make millions of dollars and then succeed in doing so, even when you feel they're playing audience Jenga.
--Tom Spurgeon, on second-guessing what's wrong with modern superhero comics.

In the end, geeks love a thing -- any thing -- enough to immerse themselves in its most minute detail, to discuss it and dissect it and construct charmingly elaborate theories/tiresomely belligerent opinions about it. What that thing happens to be? That matters much less, if at all.
--Glen Weldon, supporting my long-held opinion that sports fans are giant nerds too.

Let me tell you that's there's only one Robin Hood movie that matters, and I'm not talking about the Kevin Costner one (although it does have a place in my heart as the first movie I saw on a date): Ooh-de-lally ooh-de-lally, motherf***ers. All the other Robin Hoods can f*** off.
--Topless Robot's Rob Bricken, who may be over-reacting to the trailers for Ridley Scott's Robin Hood, but still has excellent taste in Robin Hood films.

This is what I am truly hoping for with Girl Comics: I want the comics to be ridiculous enough to match the ridiculous title. I want it to be silly and fun and gratuitous and shamelessly girly. I want the male superheroes exploited. I want a shirtless Daredevil centrefold. I want a soft focus every time Winter Soldier appears. I want a round table "Who would you do?" discussion between all of the women on that cover (especially Sue Storm, because you know it would make her uncomfortable at first). I want Namor to appear in this series for whatever reason. I want a bunch of ladies to pull a prank on Tony Stark because he deserves it. I want to see dating and drinking and shopping punctuated by the occasional ass-kicking. I want Iron Man and Captain America to finally kiss.
--Rachelle Goguen, proving that she should write every single story in Marvel's upcoming Girl Comics anthology. [By way of Robot 6]

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Night Before Christmas...

Christmas is keeping me busy (found a few minutes here while my German Chocolate cake's in the oven), so in case I don't have time to post for the next couple of days: hope you get everything you want in your stocking tonight.

Art courtesy of Golden Age Comic Book Stories.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Flash Gordon Meets Bono (and Other Stories)

I feel kind of bad that I haven't had any Christmas-related stuff on the blog this year. My original idea for an Adventureblog Christmas became Plump Sister and I never got around to a solid plan for replacing it. Ironically, Christmas busyness got in the way, but I do hope everyone's having happy holidays if you celebrate them.

Captain Splint's Hairy Helper

The other day we got pirates and a jungle girl. This time 10c Dreams brings us pirates and a gorilla. Oh, if only someone could combine all three into one marvelous tale...

Princess of the Sea

It's not often we see mermaid comics, but the mermaid experts at Never Sea Land have come through.

Know what would be cooler than a pirate-jungle girl-gorilla comic? A pirate-jungle girl-gorilla comic with mermaids in it. Good thing Jess and I are working on one.

Rulah vs the Ape Women of Antilla

The keepers of all things Rulah at the Comic Book Catacombs have the whole story.

Rulah and the Whispering Wires of Death

This one too.

Steps of Doom

Maybe Flash doesn't meet quite as cool a Bono as he could have, but it's still a nifty story. [Comic Book Catacombs again]

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bedtime Stories for Dragons

My seven-year-old is into the giant reptiles. Most of the time that means dinosaurs; lately he's been all about the Godzilla, but it also includes dragons.

A few months ago he came home from some book fair or other with a free copy of Eragon. We started reading a chapter a night at bedtime and made it a little past page 300, but he seems to have lost interest now. He's not even anxious to finish the movie, which he's had from Netflix since the beginning of November.

To be fair, I'm starting to enjoy the novel 300 pages in. Had it been just me reading it, it wouldn't have passed the 100-Page Rule, but it's starting to get good and I'd call it a better-than-average fantasy novel. A bit over-written in spots, but it's got some nice mysteries that I'm curious about and I've actually come to like the meandering way in which Christopher Paolini explores the plot. I'll probably finish it on my own sometime in the future.

For now though, David's moved on to something else.

I got review copies of the first two volumes in Scholastic's Hiro's Quest series and David was immediately interested in them. They're the story of a young ninja-in-training named Hiro who's trying to measure up to the legacy of his ninja parents and ninja older-brothers. Ninjas also have the power to transform into their spirit animal, but Hiro's having a hard time discovering what his is.

We're only two chapters in, but David's completely hooked. Any book with the phrase "karate rabbit" is good for some giggles, but what's really got him is the way author Tracey West ends each chapter on a cliff-hanger. Such a simple thing, but it's driving David crazy and he's begging for more each night. Eragon, on the other hand, typically ends chapters with everyone going to sleep. Again, such a simple thing. But so important in keeping readers interested, however old they are.


I'm going to keep this short and not spoil anything. Partly because I try not to post spoilers anyway, but also because I believe that a large part of my enjoyment of Avatar came from my avoiding all the pre-release hype about it. I watched the trailers, but ran away from all the interviews and extended clips and whatnot. So, if you've managed that too and still haven't seen it yet, I wouldn't want to ruin that for you.

Yes, the plot is predictable. You've seen it before in a billion different movies. But it's not about the plot. Or rather, the plot isn't what makes it great. As you know, there are a limited number of plots in the world anyway. What makes them suck or works of genius is execution. And James Cameron executes the hell out of this thing.

I was totally sucked into the world of Pandora. It's a real place, as far as I'm concerned, and it is wonderful. I never for a second thought about the special effects or what the filmmakers must have done behind-the-scenes to create it.

I also loved all the characters I was supposed to love and hated all the characters I was supposed to hate. In spite of knowing what was going to happen to them, I became deeply invested in the good guys. In fact, knowing what was going to happen to them kept me going on occasion when things looked especially dark.

I guess it's a lot like Titanic that way. My wife Diane is currently watching her way through Kate Winslet's filmography and I'm along for the ride. We just finished Titanic and in spite of my reluctance to see it again, I remembered by the end that I really, truly enjoy that movie. It has its flaws (Winslet certainly did not deserve a Best Actress nomination for it), but even though you know the main story before the opening credits begin, Cameron keeps it interesting and totally sells the ending. He does exactly the same thing with Avatar.

Stephen Spielberg's been quoted as saying about Avatar, "The last time I came out of a movie feeling that way it was the first time I saw Star Wars." I think I agree with him. I want more. I want to go back to Pandora. If nothing else, I at least want a field guide about the place.

Five out of five Amazon cat-women.

New Graphic Novel Day

I'm usually not very good with any kind of feature that has to be out on a regular schedule, but I've been wanting to try posting the promising new graphic novels that are coming out each week. This is based on Diamond Distribution's weekly list, so the caveat will be that these are books going into comics specialty shops on Wednesday. I'm not sure what kind of schedule mainstream bookstore distributors follow.

This week there are six that caught my attention:

Criminal Macabre: Cell Block 666 - The further adventures of Cal McDonald, one of my favorite paranormal investigators.

Dark Reign: Young Avengers - I like the teenage-girl version of Hawkeye. Not sure if she figures heavily into this or not, so I'll need to flip through it before I buy.

Incredible Hercules: Dark Reign - I've dearly missed Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente's awesomeness on this series since I stopped buying single issues.

Marvel Masterworks: Uncanny X-Men, Volume 3 - A great way to move one of the greatest runs of any comic ever from my storage boxes to my bookshelf.


Usually I try to limit myself to one new book a week (with the rest going on my Wish List that I'm steadily working through), but I can't make a decision this week. Gonna have to get two:

Agenst of Atlas: Dark Reign

There are only two comics series that I still buy in single-issue form. I don't read them, but I buy them to show my support because they epitomize everything that's awesome about comics and I want more like them. Agents of Atlas is one of those (not that it did any good since Marvel cancelled it anyway), so it'll be nice to finally read the stories.

Atomic Robo, Volume 3: Atomic Robo and the Shadow from Beyond Time

This, coincidentally, is the other one.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Jungle Girls in Space!

I'm sorry about the brazenly misleading title of this post. It's just that the last couple of months have been full of jungle and space pulp comics on various blogs. I kept thinking I'd wait until they started to dwindle and then do a huge post linking to everything, but they're still going strong and collecting all the links is a single post would be very unwieldy. So I'll break these into several posts instead.

The usual warnings about racism in Golden Age jungle comics apply.

Cave Girl and the Mau Mau Killers

[Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine]

Alani the South Seas Girl and the Bloody Axe

A jungle girl and pirates! [Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine]

Tarzan: Lord of the Jungle

Roy Thomas and John Buscema's version of the origin story. [Diversions of the Groovy Kind]


If space girls are more your interest, Sleestak posted a couple of more Futura stories.

Part One.

Part Two.


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