Monthly Archives: September 2007

This has nothing to do with comics

I was in a bookstore today, and was heading upstairs.  I walked towards the escalators, noticing that they were out of order.  I took a step, and almost fell on my face.  This process was repated for the next two steps before my brain realized the stairs weren’t moving themselves.

This whole episode enfuriated me, not because the escalator was broken, but because my fucking chimp brain couldn’t figure out that the stairs would not be moving when I stepped on them.  It wasn;t a surprise: I saw that they were stationary from a mile away.  But thousands and thousands of years of human evolution could not defeat the expectation that the stairs would move.  I felt unworthy to be human.

Twenty minutes later, I did it again on the down escalator.

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Great Caesar’s Ass!

I watched Superman: Doomsday yesterday, in a fog induced by the worst cold I’ve had in a while.  So my impressions of the movie are definitely clouded by headache, earache, eyeache, neckache, and faceache.  I should also mention that I took a three-hour nap in the middle of the Superman/Doomsday battle. All that notwithstanding, I liked it.

It was a little jarring seeing the classic Timm animation models voiced by such radically different actors, but the new crew does a pretty good job.  I have to say that as much as I love Adam Baldwin, he sounds a bit gruff for Big Blue.  Minor complaint, though.

I was also a bit surprised by the PG-13ness of the whole production.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but I suppose years of conditioning by the strictly PG Batman/Superman/Justice League series had prepared me for non-lethal violence and sugar-coated dialogue.  Not so.  Doomsday kills people.  No injuries here.  He flat out kills people.  And Perry White gets to say “ass”.  Twice!  Not once does he mention the spectral form of long-dead Roman leaders!  It a particularly creepy scene (sorta spoiler – well, yeah, it is a spoiler) Lex Luthor beats furiously on Superman with Kryptonite gloves in a red solar radiation room, finally murmuring “Who’s your Daddy?.  And not-so-oblique references to (another spoiler, sort of…) Superman and Lois Lane having sex are sprinkled throughout.

The story is a rather radical departure from the comic its based on, which, if you’ve ever read the comics, isn’t really that bad of a thing.  Death of Superman was pretty good (and the first trade paperback I ever owned.  Thanks Dad!) but World Without got kinda boring and Return of was weak.  Needless to say, Capizzi and Timm make up their own plot, borrowing some vague elements of the original.  At times I felt like I’d seen the story before, in one or another of the Superman Animated episodes, but that was probably my drug-addled brain.

All in all, I enjoyed it.  If nothing else, it will get you really geared up for the New Frontier adaptation due in February.

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It’s a good time to be a Garth Ennis fan

I went by my local shop today, and was surprised by the arrival of JLA Hitman #1 (of, sadly, only 2) on the stands. I suppose I knew this was coming, at some subconscious level (or, as my douchebagish new Prof would call it – while making reference to the textbook that he wrote and then made required reading for his class, which is mandatory – “nonconscious”. You’re right, that’s not a word.) but I had entirely forgotten.

As I have stated before, more than once, I love Garth Ennis. Not Garth Ennis The Man, although I’m sure there are perfectly good reasons to love him, too. I’m more interested in Garth Ennis The Write. That is, I have pretty much loved everything published with his name on the cover. I think Preacher should be required reading for any serious adult comic book fan. I think War Stories should be used in high school history classes. I think his Hellblazer makes all others seem like sad, pathetic imitations. I think his Punisher is the only readable take on the character. I think 303 is brilliant and incendiary, Kev is hilarious and heartfelt, and Hitman is just about the best thing the DCU has going for it.

And oh, how sweet it is to be able to use the present tense in reference to Hitman, if only for a couple of issues.

So yes, I loved JLA Hitman. Obviously, it’s great to see Tommy back in action again, but I also loved Ennis’ take on the JLA. I know he’ll be dragged across the coals for his representation of Flash and Green Lantern, but I, for one, prefer this to the “we’re all BFFs who get to hang out in this boss space station and beat up gorillas” that is the norm.  Really, Ennis is just extrapolating, or perhaps exagerrating, the character interplay that existed between West and Rayner in the first half of Morrison’s run on JLA.  His terse Wonder Woman is, for my money, better than most I’ve read, although to be fair I haven’t read very much Wonder Woman.  Flash and GL actually talking about how terrible the Bloodlines heroes were was refreshing.  The mention of GL giving a report after an incident in Tokyo rings true, but when was the last time you heard of a superhero filing a report?  It makes sense, especially in an organized group like the JLA, but it’s a detail that’s absent from most comics.

In short, Garth Ennis writes damn fine superhero comics,  even though he freely admits that he thinks superhero comics are ridiculous.

With The Boys rolling along, and Streets of Glory coming up, I’m a happy man.

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Standing out in a crowd

So we had a comicon here over the weekend.  Vancouver cons are a fairly subdued affair.  There are about a dozen dealer tables, and about the same number of creator tables.  You never see anyone terribly big at a Vancouver con, although I did have an engaging discussion with Jason Lutes once, about his brilliant Berlin: City of Stones.  All in all, they’re a good place to get some fair-to-middlin’ deals on trades and pick up some single issues to fill whatever collections you’re hoping to fill.

At a dinner with friends prior to the con, the following conversation took place:

“So,” I said, “There’s a con on Sunday.”

“A comicon?” asked a friend of mine eagerly.  She’s been trying to get into comics, recently borrowing a chunk of my library to acquaint herself with some of the finer works of the medium.

“Yeah.”

“Awesome!  Can I come?”

“Yeah, for sure.  Lawrence and I are heading down-”

“Oh! Can I get dressed up?”

“Dressed up?”

“Yeah!  Like, as Catwoman.  Or Wonder Woman!”

“Well, you could, but-”

“Yay!”

“But it’s really not that kind of con.”

“It would be fun.”

“Maybe, but honestly?  If you dressed up, you would be the only person there in costume.  Guaranteed.”

“But everybody gets dressed up on TV.”

“People get dressed up in San Diego, or Chicago.  This is Vancouver.  You do not dress up in Vancouver.”

“Aw…”

She was disappointed, but it needed to be said.  As it turns out, she didn’t make it out, having to stay home and polish spoons in anticipation for Rosh Hashanah.  Which may have been a clever excuse, now that I glance at my calendar and notice that doesn’t even begin until Wednesday, at sundown.

Oh, Aviva.  You’ve outsmarted me once again.

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Found Randomly on The Onion…

…the funniest goddamn site you will ever visit.

 

 

Clinton Goes Back In Time, Teams Up With Golden-Age Clinton

My dream is that we will one day live in a world where we can travel back in time to heroically join forces with our more brightly-coloured, purely-intentioned alternate selves.

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