Inert, but Not Forgotten!

July 31, 2009 at 12:42 am (Comic Books)

Wednesday Comics #4

It’s already been four issues, hasn’t it? It seems like just yesterday this title was bursting with promise, and now it’s trying to actualize it. It could use a check-in.

(More reviews below the jump)

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I think I’m going to make this kind of a feature.

July 16, 2009 at 3:42 am (Comic Books)

Each week, I’ll review a comic that came out which inspired thoughts. Sounds like a great deal for visiting a comic blog, right?

After Wednesday Comics’ for the most part stutter step which may or may not deserve more mention, I instead turn to the impeccable but impeachable

Captain America #601

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Forum Rhetorical Strategies Before They Were Cool

July 15, 2009 at 3:20 am (1)

For the forum comics reader lamenting the raping of one’s childhood (who would probably be very far away from this blog), I present Alex Toth, 1991, who lamented the dirth of entertainment’s moralities both before it was cool to link it with the apocalypse, and to also provide a reasonable framework for the apocalypse (logically, he gives it a couple generations for Shadowhawk to turn into the Anti-Christ), and while he does imply that comics need to be changed, he spends more time in lament than imperative, a slyer move when one’s target is an industry instead of its itinerants.

Oy.

If only he drew this manic condemnation in minimal black and white style, an inferno creeping up with background images of children reading about Speedy shooting heroin turning into vicious mosnters. For an artist at once concerned with both storytelling detail, innovatingly dropping backgrounds out of his frames to intensify moments and plopping details into a comic’s setting to slow it down, all while obsessively focused on the formal aspects (just read through any of his Zorro comics and look for the lighting source in each comic. Characters walk around a room, shadows remain fixed, and proportions are scrupulously maintained). Which is to say that he abandons all of these conventions besides the usage of no verbs to make his adjectives more exciting and powerful, ironically inverted to his common dropping of the background’s nouns to foreground a story’s verbs, in this small prose piece. He instead becomes the grumpy old man (whose work) we all know and love telling Howard Chaykin his comic skillz are terrible, and the gentle fan humbled that he even got an insult from the man.

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Okay, my OTHER favorite type of superhero comic came out this week.

July 9, 2009 at 3:19 am (1)

I have definitely been getting back into comics lately these days, but mostly it has been like me finding a good price of those spiderman/Carnage/Silver Surfer issues on ebay instead of ones that are interesting to blog about. An exciting situation carries an artist well versed in costume designs but little else, my review would glumly say before scans and scans of pure, Cosmic Carnage, and any detached, critical thought evaporates from my gleeful eyes.

This trend, however, changes with this week’s comics in a big way. May I introduce the best idea for a 12 issue comic event since Solo or maybe even Big Numbers:

Wednesday Comics #1

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My absolutely favorite type of superhero comic came out this week,

July 2, 2009 at 4:00 pm (Comic Books)

and it’s pretty much the reason I still, more and more briefly these days, digest panels, and its related to the format’s work-for-hire aspects, a tremendously negative effect in every artistic way (“Now, who here wants to work without knowing who your collaborator is necessarily going to be, and you also better finish by the end of the month, m’kay?”, I imagine Jim Shooter announcing during annual Marvel recruiting sessions. The rest of the crowd shouts back, screaming, yes, gloriously yes, just let me draw Deathlok!). I speak not of the deadline crunching aspect (eww!), but the sheer creative industry involved in making comics. Out of the contemporary scene’s soup, an editor plucks enough creators available to draw this month’s issue of Batman, and the random fill-in guest star could astound. When Bill Sienkiewicz first drew an issue of New Mutants, or Frazer Irving drew a Civil War tie-in comic recalls finding a lost gem more than reading a storied classic. Read the rest of this entry »

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Two Potshots from Mozzle, pt. 1 (of 2)

June 4, 2009 at 1:57 pm (Comic Books, Morrison)

(note: scanner works: images in; post more comprehensible. Also, Pt 2 was a never finished ramble on Seaguy 2 as being intentionally boring and repetitive in order to reflect the current state of comics sequels and crossovers, but would end with the declaration that self consciousness of the current dissatisfying trends in comics does not save it from still propagating the system. No, it was Cameron Stewart’s art that saved it).

Man, I’m so glad no one (that I read regularly) has reviewed this, yet. All my comments will read like pristine nuggets of wisdom and insight plucked from a wonderfully intricate puzzle piece that simply appeared as a straight forward super hero action story!

I’m sure tomorrow won’t be so kind, but, without further introduction, the return of ME (oh, and Batman, and, and the two headed comics-creating behemoth Quitely-Mozzle).

Batman and Robin #1

First off, what a cover! The minimalist background with the cheesy yellow cover, the placement of Batman and Robin stressing the difference in height and eagerness of the two (Damian’s stepping forward from batman, closer to the camera” and still so short, both tied together into a single image, a misshapen U, by their shared vehicle, the Batmobile. This is visually compelling work. I only wish it did not have the shoddy logo and creator names forming the U into a lumpy O, framing unimportant yellowness instead of its clever composition. Yadda yadda Quitely even gets lighting on shiny Kevlar and shiny car right, making the former a bright pulses, the latter a huge splatter.

Hey, here’s something pretty close to the ideal cover:

Frank_Quitely_-_Batman__Robin_1

And onto content:

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March 22, 2009 at 2:27 pm (Comic Books, Music)

Azrael: Battle for the Cowl #1 is really, really amazing. It’s been a while since we’ve seen some Frazer Irving. March 08 had Gutsville #3 with full interiors, and July 08 saw X-Men: Divided We Stand #2 with a short penciled by him, but man I miss an entire story handled by Frazer, and it’s totally worth the wait.

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Another Reason why Target is twenty times cooler than Wal-Mart

March 2, 2009 at 10:33 pm (1)

Wal-Mart got AC/DC and Guns and Roses exclusive selling rights: Target gets frickin Prince! And charges $12 for two CD’s worth of Prince stuff! Plus a bonus disc of his own protege stuff. I’m just going to have to fight back all urges to actually buy music there.

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New Vid!

February 26, 2009 at 6:06 pm (Movies, Music)

This one from Hauschka’s consistently excellent and occasionally sublime record comes this video of “Friebad”. What starts as unimpressive animation (don’t worry, the director doesn’t spend nearly as much time to paint his anthropomorphic cartoons as profoundly sad!) soon becomes a swirl of texture very appropriate to the music.

Hauschka has spent a lot of his musical career imbuing melody and harmony with textures in the preparation of instruments, most notably the piano. The song retains this playfulness in textures, and when the visual signification of the music emerges from its humble, emotive beginnings, it again leaves its texture on the sightscape in an astounding melange of color and melody. Hauschka’s lush instrumentation receives proper praise after colors and animals swarm the two musicians.

And this doesn’t even talk about the prfound syncretism that harmony brings later when the giant bubbling mass beings to soar in the air! An astounding video with a clear sense of style and formalistic play.

The video can be found here: http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/download/149419-pitchforktv-hauschka-freibad-video-premiere

The entire trilogy’s available here: http://pitchfork.tv/special-presentation/the-hauschka-trilogy, and is worth checking out.

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New Music

February 12, 2009 at 12:53 am (Lilac Inferno, Music)

*I just realized how to turn off comment moderation, so now I won’t look like a stingy hermit about whatever anyone comment on my blog! Amazing!

Like a couple of you guys know, I moonlight (except during full moons when I become a werewolf and eat evildoers) as an electronic musician, and I have an mp3 from my band (Lilac Inferno) to show. It’s really out of place on anything we might do in the near future, and was a song we recorded right after we finished all the songs that found their way onto our first EP. (Sadly only available by me or one of my two compatriots physically handing you a copy right now, but we’re looking into making it available for digital download). (edit: now it’s available for download in wav or mp3 form! Check it out!).

It contains elements from the Beach Boys song “Had to Prove” so don’t tell Brian Wilson about it! But if anyone who owns the rights to that song objects to any of the sampled material, just email me at xyphap@gmail.com and I’ll either take down the song or remove the samples from it, promise! Jackson Floyd plays guitar, I (XyphaP) make with the laptop blips and bloops.

It can be downloaded here: http://www.mediafire.com/?mymvdgmnziw

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