Friday, December 31, 2010

Top 10 Songs of 2010

I mentioned earlier that I wasn't planning to do any Best Of posting for the year. Well, never mind. Not only will I have my list of Top 10 Comics of 2010 up on Robot 6 later, but I've been listening to my favorite music from this year all day and it's got me in the mood to share.

10. "Don't Shoot (I'm a Man") by Devo
9. "The Sound of Sunshine" by Michael Franti & Spearhead
8. "Heart to Tell" by The Love Language
7. "The Hundred in the Hands" by Pigeons
6. "Fixed" by Stars
5. "Long Hard Times to Come (From Justified)" by Gangstagrass
4. "AM/FM" by !!!
3. "Pala Tute" by Gogol Bordello
2. "F**k You" by Cee Lo Green

And easily my #1 pick for its unfailing ability to make me crank it up, sing along, and boogie whenever it's on:


V V Brown - Shark in the Water
Uploaded by UniversalMusicGroup. - See the latest featured music videos.

You know, it's kind of been a really excellent year for music.

Out with the old...



As I said last year, 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.

I'm having a hard time feeling it this year though. I suspect that's because it's been such a strange year, full of challenges, but also victories. On a personal level, my family and I are glad to put 2010 behind us. I was unemployed for seven months (except for writing, but that doesn't pay any bills) and my wife's mom was diagnosed with cancer around the 4th of July. She was gone by the end of the summer.

On a creative level though, Jason and I finally got Kill All Monsters! out (or started anyway) and that's something that we've been working toward for a long time. There's still a lot of work to be done on it, but I'll leave that for tomorrow's post.

Looking back on my goals for 2010, I didn't achieve a lot of them. Looking for work took a lot of time (or at least I'll blame it on that) and there were a couple of comics that I wanted to start writing and never got around to. But launching Kill All Monsters! easily makes up for that. My dream for it is that as the story unfolds, it'll eventually come to mean half as much to readers as it now does to Jason and I. And where those other projects are concerned, I have done some thinking about them and have a better idea not only about what they'll be, but how quickly I can realistically write them. More on that tomorrow too, I suppose.

Robot 6 has also gone well this year. I started contributing to the weekly Food or Comics? feature and that's been a lot of fun while forcing me to stay on top of which comics are hitting stores every week. And this blog continues to be successful. By which I mean that I love doing it and interacting with you guys over pirates and jungle girls.

I also finally figured out how to use Twitter and Facebook in ways that complement this blog. Not that I'm doing it perfectly (or even well, necessarily), but at least I have a basic understanding now of the strengths and weaknesses of those communities and how they're different from a blog. That was a huge light bulb moment for me this year. I can be kind of slow sometimes.

That's enough reminiscing, I think. Tomorrow I'll talk about plans and goals for 2011, but until then have a Happy (and Safe) New Year's Eve.

Sexually Normal Men Hate Cephalopods

At least, that appears to be the implication of this cover.



[Pulp of the Day]

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Awesome List: What do Captain Hook and Albus Dumbledore have in common?

Schooner or later...



Gary and Elaine at Catalog Living have a room that's too nautical for even me.

The Secret History of Captain Hook



Brian Till uncovers a speech by JM Barrie that further explores Cpt. Jas. Hook's connection to Eton, "the world's most esteemed high school" and makes a comparison to JK Rowling's outing of Dumbledore. It's an interesting study of how the lives of fictional characters extend beyond the printed page. Thanks to Tom Spurgeon for pointing it out.

Digital pirate comics



Red 5 (the company who brought us Atomic Robo) has started a new line of digital-debut comic series through Comixology, iVerse, and other digital comics platforms. The first of them is a steampunk pirate comic about a young woman who seeks to come out of the shadow of her famous pirate dad by finding the one treasure he could never get his hands on.



Meanwhile, Scott Christian Sava's (The Dreamland Chronicles) pirate comic is free for any Facebook users willing to click the Like button on Wowio's page. [Thanks to my Robot 6 colleague Brigid Alverson for that news.]

Commander X Adventures



Here's another online sea comic. It's not about pirates, but Commander X, the time-traveling hero from Nemo's The Undersea Adventures of Cap'n Eli. I'll have a review of the Cap'n Eli comic (and it's Sea Ghost spin-off) soonish, but in the meantime enjoy the Commander's adventure as he teams with the Sea Raider to stop the evil Baron Hydro. Fun stuff.

Nemo's also created a Mego-style action figure of Commander X as "The Undersea Knight" that you can get for a special price if you order today or tomorrow.

What the Helmet?



My pal Ken from That F'ing Monkey sent me a link to this Super Friends animation cel that - free of its context, especially - is too awesome for words.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pass the Comics: Son of Sinbad

Ransom of Shipwreck Shoals



Joe Kubert draws this story about the Son of Sinbad (who doesn't seem to have any other name than that) who goes after some lost treasure of his dad's in order to rescue a gorgeous slave girl. [Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine]

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Buy My Stuff: Savage Beauty #1

Hey! What's that on page 282 of this month's Previews catalog?



I don't mean to be misleading with the title of this post. I didn't write the story in this issue, but I did write a back-up article for it about the history of the jungle girl genre and why it's cool. Even if I hadn't though, I'd be looking forward to this issue. The real writer is Mike Bullock who's fresh off his long run with Moonstone's Phantom comics and has an interesting take on the concept that I'm very curious to read.

The Awesome List: We would feed the hungry beasts 'til they couldn't eat no more

Claudette Colbert, Jungle Girl



Cavegirls in Fur Bikinis has several stills featuring Claudette Colbert as a jungle girl in Cecil B DeMille's Four Frightened People.

Supernature



Also from Cavegirls in Fur Bikinis, a '70s video in which trashy, robotic scientists transform themselves into trashy, dancing jungle girls with a giant banana.

Tyrannosaurus Rex: The Comic



Writer Mark Kidwell is a pal of mine and an extremely inventive horror writer. His co-writer on this is Jay Fotos, the mastermind behind those cool Frazetta comics from a few years back, who cites his inspirations for the one-shot as Ray Harryhausen, Raquel Welch, and Looney Tunes.

Super Dinosaur



There's more than one dinosaur comic in the works from Image. The guys behind The Astounding Wolf-Man are working on a series about a young boy and his intelligent T-Rex pal who have to protect the Hollow Earth from evil scientists and whatnot.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!



Image from this T-shirt that you can order all for your very own..

Taking today and tomorrow off to hang with the family. Hope you're having a great holiday season.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pass the Comics: The Jungle. Here I was born.

The Six Million Dollar Man fights a giant crocodile



Bully has the good parts (including sound effects!).

Tarzan of the Apes



Not the whole thing, but Grantbridge Street and Other Misadventures has a nice sampling of pages from Burne Hogarth's gorgeous adaptation.

Rulah avoids Death's Grim Reflection



Another awesome Rulah story by Matt Baker. In this uncharacteristically graphically violent one, Rulah takes on an evil prognosticator, his beautiful henchwoman, and her army of wild animals. [The Comic Book Catacombs]

Tiger Girl vs. the Blood-Hate Devil-Doctor



More Matt Baker. Like Rulah, Tiger Girl also has to fight an evil witchdoctor. [The Comic Book Catacombs]

Turok faces Two Kinds of Terror



Sort of a Turok meets Gulliver's Travels story. [Gold Key Comics!]

Outside-In



Scientists discover the Savage Land...with a scifi twist. [Golden Age Comic Book Stories]

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Art Show: On my own like Tarzan Boy

Tarzan



By Pascal Campion.

The Beastman Stalks!



By Frank Frazetta. [Golden Age Comic Book Stories]

Sheena



By Jessica Hickman.

Exciting!



By Alex Schomburg. [Golden Age Comic Book Stories

Jungla



By Pierre Alary

The Glob.



By Walt Kelly. [Golden Age Comic Book Stories]

Hulkasaurus Rex



By David Resto. [Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs]

Not So Abominable



By Enosh Bar-Tur. [Art Jumble]

Alien Jungle Girl



By Craig Rousseau.

Gorilla Warriors



By Tim Hamilton. [Drawbridge]

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Charm of Aquaman: Limitations?



Art by Evan Shaner. Click the image to visit his blog and see the whole thing.

As you may have noticed, Aquaman's reputation is something that I spend time thinking about. He's a character who should be one of the coolest DC has, but the widespread conventional wisdom is that he's lame. I mostly blame Super Friends, but DC hasn't exactly known what to do with him either. There's evidence that they're trying to correct that through Brightest Day, but not everyone agrees about the success of that either.

On Brian Bendis' message board, one user complains about making Aquaman too powerful and self-sufficient. Power and the ability to take care of himself are traits that I'd think Aquaman should have in order to be a respected hero, but this person disagrees:
It seems to me that if you make him too powerful, he doesn't need the fish. And if he doesn't need the fish, or if he's full of too much gravitas to speak to them openly, then aren't you losing a lot of the charm of Aquaman?
I'm not going to make too much of one person's opinion, but it's a great illustration of how you can't please everyone. A major trait that people cite for Aquaman's lameness is that his only power is talking to fish. I agree with Peter David that that's not exactly a sucky power, but it's certainly limiting if that's all he's got going for him. Yet, here's a fan who enjoys that limitation and craves more of it to the point that he thinks the character is broken if it's not that way.

Which raises the question: how limited do superheroes need to be? In the Silver Age, everyone had a fatal weakness. Superman had kryptonite, Martian Manhunter had fire, Green Lantern had the color yellow, and Aquaman couldn't be out of the water for more than an hour or he'd die. As Snell once pointed out to me, even one hour and one second was supposed to be fatal. That strikes me as ridiculous, but that's the Silver Age for you.

It was full of ridiculous stuff, which may be what this Bendis board user misses. In the face of so much decadence in today's superhero comics, a lot of readers are longing for more innocent times. Or at least superhero comics that are more fun. I'm one of them; I just don't agree that strictly adhering to Silver Age versions of the characters is the answer.

But what about you guys? I don't believe there's a right or wrong answer here, but I'm curious to know if others feel the same way as the person on the Bendis board. Should Aquaman only be able to talk to fish? Should he die after an hour out of the water? Was it a mistake for Green Lantern to lose his weakness to yellow?

Pirates of the Caribbean 4 Stuff



There's enough Pirates of the Caribbean 4 stuff floating around that it needs its own post to collect it all. In addition to the poster and a bunch of stills from the film...



...there's also the new trailer...



...and rumors that Disney's already thinking about Pirates 5 and 6.

There. Now I think we're caught up.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Awesome List: Stop that Ocean-Monster!

The One Piece Restaurant



There's a theme restaurant inspired by the popular pirate manga/anime One Piece. Unfortunately, it's only in Japan. Topless Robot has the lament.

David Fincher confirmed for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea



It's old news that Disney and David Fincher have been developing a 20,000 Leagues movie together, but the update is that it's now official.

Liquid Air Diving Suit



Remember the Fluid Breathing System that Ed Harris used in The Abyss? It's real.

Super-Merman



Siskoid can tell you all about it.

Aquaman's not doing his rep any favors



Is there any wonder that Super Friends single-handedly started the Aquaman Sucks meme? [Blog into Mystery]

Other People's Art Shows



Shad's got a nice gallery of mermaid comic book covers.



Never Sea Land has one dedicated to outrigger canoes...



...and another chock full of oceany goodness from pirates to tall ships to sea life to...well, shark cars.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Picture From One Of The Greatest Days Of My Life

Still working on Calvin's List.



Went back and forth on this one. Wedding Day? Birth of David?

Ultimately decided on Birth of David because the three of us went through it together. Me a little less so than the other two, but I was there. Life hasn't been the same since and that's a very awesome thing.

Oh, and re: the hat: Yes, we had party hats and birthday cake with a little "0" candle on top. And we sang "Happy Birthday." Buncha saps.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Elsewhere... the Kill Team introduced themselves

Kill All Monsters! | Meet the Kill Team



All this week at the Kill All Monsters! blog we ran character profiles for the three members of the Kill Team and the organization they work for. They've also been handily collected for your convenience at Review 2 A Kill.

And, of course, three more pages of the comic went up yesterday while two of the monsters went down.

Gorillas Riding Dinosaurs | FX2: The Lost Land



I reviewed a comic that gets closer to the title of my column than any comic I've ever covered there. No gorillas ride any dinosaurs in The Lost Land, but a cowboy does (or a prehistoric reptile anyway). It's a fun story with great art. Don't let its being a sequel keep you away from it. I haven't read the first FX and I never felt...um....lost.

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