Tuesday, June 28, 2005
His computer art technique is second to none right now, and I am super excited to see his work on Ennis's script.
We were fortunate enough that back in October, Clayton came to our local comic book store and was featured guest at the Halloween Comic Book Appreciation Night. He was nice as can be, and showed samples of his work. We are really rooting for him as local readers, and as fans of his work.
If you have an extra bit to spare in September, give Ghost Rider a try. Between Clayton's fantastic art and Ennis' writing, this should be a one-two punch of crazy goodness.
Monday, June 27, 2005
Here is my list of new stuff for this week!
Albion #1 (of 6)
Green Lantern #2
JLA Classified #9 -final story in this arc, see picture for cover
Omac Project #3 (of 6)
Seven Soldiers Shining Knight #3 (of 4)
Wonder Woman #217 -ask and ye shall receive!
Pact #3 (of 4)
Amazing Spider-Man #521
Fantastic Four #528
New X-Men Hellions #2 (of 4)
Young Avengers #5- watch for a letter from my hubby here again!
10th Muse Vol 2 #2
Legend of Isis #1 (of 4)
Whew, should be a busy week! Take care all!
Sunday, June 26, 2005
I give up. You win. I will probably buy the damn thing, but would really prefer to just have a copy of Gail's script those two issues.
Oh fate, how you mock me, making me have to even consider this. I am now going back to my coach to put a blanket over my head and hope it goes away somehow.
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Writer: Rob Dunlop
Artist: Peter Lumby
80 pages, full color
Price: $8.95 US
Rating: 3 ½ stars
Tozzer is a book that could only have been produced by someone with huge balls, and I mean that in a most complementary, sincere way. From page one up to the last panel, Tozzer and his pals must negotiate their way through the ludicrous world of celebrity while learning the Hollywood way. Filled with satire and incredibly graphic depictions, Tozzer is the must read book of the summer.
Tozzer wants to be a world-class illusionist, and though his dim existence in Shit Creek seems at first to be a tall barrier, he finds his way into the gilded city and Boarboils Academy. There he encounters characters that are uncomfortably like the celebrities we grow sick of reading about in US Weekly. Not exactly glamorous in their portrayal, the Tozzer creative team lays bare any illusion that Famous people are cooler then us.
Writer Rob Dunlop has his pop culture knowledge down to a fine science. Each page is filled with both obscure references, and in-your-face set downs. I found myself trying to see how he could top himself next with each situation. Extremely hilarious was the portrayal of a certain white rapper and his gift for making the wrong decisions. All that was missing was the soundtrack to 8 Mile.
Artist Peter Lumby uses a cartoony approach to push the limits of sex, drugs, and violence being portrayed, and it works effectively. His characterizations are dead-on, and elevate Dunlop’s scripting to the next level. I found his work to be so crystal sharp that I would have to sometimes look twice to make sure I was seeing what I thought was in front of me for fear of having my eyes burn off!
If you are looking for a new slant on sarcasm and adult humor, Tozzer is the book for you. As Tozzer makes his way in life, the situations he encounters and the end results are full of shocking twists and turns. Full of pop culture references, and ripe for the pickings, Tozzer is not to be missed. Order it at your local comic book shop today, or try Amazon.com for even greater instant gratification!
Thursday, June 23, 2005
I know it must be year-end because last night I absolutely could not concentrate on reading any of the comic books I picked up! I sat blankly and watched "Beauty and the Geek" and "The Real Gillgan's Island". It just felt right.
Pardon my lack of blogging in the meantime! Take care!
Monday, June 20, 2005
Astro City The Dark Age #1
Legion of Super Heroes #7
Teen Titans #25
Noble Causes #11
The Gift #12
Black Panther #5
Captain America #7
House of M #2
New Avengers #6
New X-Men #15
Spider-man House of M #1
Supreme Power #17
Ultimate Fantastic Four #20
Ultimate X-Men #60
Have a great week! Happy Belated Father's Day to Carl!
It is now June 22, and Wonder Woman 217 is not showing on this week's or next week's shipping lists. It makes me wonder what will become of issue 218, which was supposed to ship June 29. Further worrying me is that issue 219 is the big brawl between her and Superman and it has been solicited for July 27. What will the lateness of the issues before do to shipping then?
With DC attempting such a major crossover event, it is stuff like this that gives me pause. I absolutely hate it when product ships out of order. It ruins the surprise and messes up continuity for the reader.
Anyone heard any word on this yet? I checked Newsarama for their updated list and didn't see it anywhere.
The busts will evidently be based on Adam Hughes' sexy designs so I can hardly wait to see what they come up with next!
Friday, June 17, 2005
I am very lucky because Jim and I share so many common interests. We both love comic books, movies, and my nephews, but not neccesarily in that order! We can talk for hours about our favorite titles and debate the characterization of our favorite heroes and heroines. We also love to spend time together just relaxing. There is nothing better then sleeping in and just putting my head on his shoulder.
I also celebrate our differences. I love to work out and obsess about what I eat; he knows when he is full and stays slendor by walking every day. His favorite movie genres are horror and 60's exploitation; mine are raunchy comedies and chick flicks. I live to multi-task; he likes to do a perfect job on each task he performs.
Marriage is a common thing, but to find the person who is your soul mate is rare. I have found that in Jim and I like to think he has found it in me. I feel like a whole person when I am with him, and I feel like I can conquer the world. The peace of mind and completeness he gives me is the greatest gift I can ever receive.
Jim, I want you to know I love you and I appreciate you. I am the number one fan of your writing, and am constantly amazed at how creative you are. I think your blog is informative and entertaining, and I can hardly wait to read it. I especially love knowing that at night I get to go with you to our home- our special space.
For all you guys out there who may not be dads, here is a shout-out to all of you, but especially to my wonderful, handsome husband Jim. Our fifth wedding anniversary is coming up and I can hardly wait!
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
The show stars Jerry Hall, top supermodel and ex-wife to Mick Jagger. Jerry has always been a favorite of mine for her bluntness and charm, so I figured the show would work well. I can hardly believe how perfect she is as the gorgeous older woman who will select the man to be kept.
The male candidates are a sight to behold as well. From the vain pretty boys Ricardo and Slavco to class clown John, the men here run the gamet. A personal favorite of mine right out of the gate is Austen, an incredibly handsome guy with a great, surprisingly humble attitude.
Each week the men must master a new gentlemanly skill. The first episode found them having to swim the Thames River and shop for a gift for Jerry. The first guy eliminated tanks for giving Jerry a book with an old picture of her and Mick pasted inside of it! I don't know what his logic was, but it definitely didn't work.
The second episode was all about grooming and a fashion show, which featured designs by cutting edge designer Vivienne Westwood and others. Talk about high camp! The last outfit the fellows had to model were underwear, which gave Jerry and the audience a great deal of excitement, and unfortunately for a few of the guys, a lot of laughs.
Last week was all about art and how to carry yourself. The men had to draw, paint, model, and face their fears about nudity. When the episode was all over, poor Frank had to go home.
This Thursday at 9 p.m. is a new episode in which Jerry takes the contestants to a lovely country home and one of the guys makes a terrible error in judgement.
Kept is a charming, irreverent show. It is fun for a hard-working woman like myself to be able to enjoy the paces Jerry puts the men through, and to see their reactions and intentions come to light.
If you get a chance, give Kept a look. It has the total package!
Monday, June 13, 2005
Batman Begins comes to Pacific Science Center's Boeing IMAX Theater; DC® artists come along for the ride!
WHAT: Opening at midnight, Wednesday, June 15, Warner Brother's Batman Begins: The IMAX Experience promises excitement for new and longtime comic fans. IMAX has taken the newest in the Batman film pantheon and has reformatted it, giving you the ultimate Batman experience! The Boeing IMAX Theater is the perfect place to celebrate this long-awaited film. Featuring over 400 stadium seats, our IMAX Theater includes a 60x80 foot screen, and 12,000 watts of digital sound!
To continue the celebration, Saturday, June 18 Pacific Science Center is pleased to bring you a comic weekend like no other. Batman activities will be taking place from Noon to 6 p.m. as part of Pacific Science Center’s Day for Dad event.
WHO: On Saturday, June 18, meet artist Tim Sale (Batman: Long Halloween, Batman: Dark Victory, Catwoman: When In Rome) and Greg Rucka (Batman: No Man's Land, DC: Countdown, The Omac Project) as they sign, chat, and discuss Batman. In addition, Jay Faerber (Noble Causes, Venture, The Pact) will be on hand to talk about how he brings his comic book visions to paper and the industry.
WHEN: Midnight, Wednesday, June 15, Warner Brother's Batman Begins: The IMAX Experience opens to the public.Saturday, June 18, Pacific Science Center is pleased to bring you a comic weekend like no other. Batman Begins: The IMAX Experience will show all weekend and activities will be taking place Noon to 6 p.m., as part of Pacific Science Center’s Day for Dad event.
WHERE: Pacific Science Center is located under the arches near the Space Needle.HOW: Tickets and more information are available at www.pacsci.org, by calling 206-443-IMAX, or e-mailing Philip_Cosand@pacsci.org. Prices for Batman Begins: The IMAX Experience are $10 for adults, $8 for juniors 3-12, $9 for seniors 65 and up, and $7 for PSC members.
Jim and I live about two and a half hours away and I am super bummed about not finding out about this sooner. We would have gotten a hotel and made a fun weekend of it. Oh well, I guess we will just have to dream.
If you get a chance to attend, let us know how it goes!
Conan & the Jewels of Gwahlur #3
Adventures of Superman #641
Authority Revolution #9 (of 12)
Batman Gotham Knights #66
Birds of Prey #83
Day of Vengeance #3 (of 6)
Hawkman #41 - did Hawkman really bite it? Find out here!
JLA Classified #8
Mnemovore #3 - freaky Vertigo mini series
Seven Soldiers Klarion the Witch Boy #2 (of 4)
Vimanarama #3 (of 3) - clever Grant Morrison tale
Cable Deadpool #16
GLA #3 (of 4)
Hercules #3 (of 6)
Marvel Knights 4 #19
Power Pack #4 (of 4)
Powers #11 - late shipping but finally here!
Uncanny X-Men #461 - I am praying it is not Uncanny crap!
Strangers in Paradise #74- always a wonderful palette cleanser!
Next week brings a whole bunch of Marvel issues, including the delayed New Avengers #6. It should be interesting to see if the books from Marvel and DC can keep up with their much hyped universal Summer events. Let's wait and see with much amusement and irritation, shall we?
Saturday, June 11, 2005
I wanted to praise Marshall Rogers for the incredible sketch of Big Barda he did for me at the Seattle Comicard Show on May 22, 2005. What a pleasure to have. I have put this sketch with my other DC Heroine sketches.
I don't know how people can go to cons and get sketches and be able to part with them on ebay. When I get a sketch, it is personal and had value to me.
How cool is this sketch?
There are 24 episodes and bonus commentary and a special round table discussion, making for a lot of DVD for a great value.
I had previously picked up the first two seasons and have enjoyed them immensely. It reminds me of back in the day when I would lay on my tummy in front of our big old oak paneled television and watch each episode with rapt attention. Things absolutely have not changed, and it is like I am back in watching it with my family- still thrilled and excited that my favorite heroine has been brought to life!
Give it a look if you have a chance. This is the good stuff, Folks!
Thursday, June 09, 2005
I go to other blogs, and the people that have them post dang near every day. They sift through news, other blogs, or just have things to say in general. There is a much greater consistency.
That being said, here is my question:
HOW DO YOU DO IT?
Why did you want to have a blog? What is your focus?
More personally, are you self-employed or able to blog from work? I work 10 hours a day and internet accessibility is there, but it is frowned upon to do non-work activities. I am a shareholder, but don't want to break the rule when others are not supposed to. I don't see how an active blogger could do it from work unless there is a more lax policy or they bend the rules. Let me know, I won't tell on you!
How many minutes/hours do you spend a day on your blog?
I am curious to know this as I would like to improve my blog, but am not sure how to go about it. I don't want to report news, as I think other sites do an admirable job. All I have are my opinions or gut instinct to go on, and I wonder if it bores people.
I really want to hear your thoughts.
Monday, June 06, 2005
Action Comics #828
Fables #38- who is the adversary storyline continues
Gotham Central #32
Green Arrow #51
JLA #115- the start of the "Crisis of Conscience" story arc
Justice League #12 (of 12)
Lex Luthor Man of Steel #4 (of 5) - excellent art!
Rann Thanagar War #2 (of 6)
Age of Bronze #20
District X #14
New Thunderbolts #9
Pulse #9 - finally!
Punisher #22 - I am loving this current story arc- it is harsh and gritty but strangely mesmerizing!
Ultimate Fantastic Four #19
Ultimate Spider-Man #78
X-Men The End Heroes and Martyrs #4 (of 6)
It is a little lighter week then usual, but that is alright because the last two weeks have been HUGE. Take care all, and have a great week!
Sunday, June 05, 2005
So that you know I am not blowing smoke, here is a picture of the real, un-edited, un-airbrushed me.
Not a super model, but not a social pariah either! This was taken at a business meeting and I use it for business purposes for the most part.
I figure if I'm going to put it out there, I have to be able to back it up.
Why am I babbling about Mars and Venus, you might ask? Men and Women in comics are divided. All weekend there has been a buzz around the internet over an article in the Times Online UK called Comic Contempt. (To read this piece of information go to: http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,14931-1636789,00.html)
As a piece that literally was created to pan Sin City the movie, the examples used in this article have angered comic book fans. The most vivid example is the quote from comic book creator Trina Robbins. The passage goes like this:
“Women just don’t go into comic-book stores,” explains Trina Robbins, the author of The Great Women Cartoonists, speaking recently to the New York City Comic Book Museum. “A woman gets as far as the door, and after the cardboard life-size cut-out of a babe with giant breasts in a little thong bikini and spike-heel boots, the next thing that hits her is the smell. It smells like unwashed teenage boys, and it has this real porn-store atmosphere.”
This and the depiction of repeated failure to bring women into comic books through the romance genre are cited as prime examples of why comic books are male dominated pieces of degradation. Author Kevin Maher is obviously not a comic book reader, and what he has seen of comics, he doesn’t like. That is his opinion, and it has male comic book creators and fans outraged.
Admirably, comic readers and creators over at Millarworld, an active comic book and community forum, were up for the challenge. (http://www.millarworld.net/index.php?showtopic=49851&st=0) Much to the dismay of the men there, the women in general, including Gail Simone and Lea Hernandez, were not too worried about Maher’s depiction, and took it in stride. This was not the reaction that the gentlemen were looking for, and at last look, it was being politely debated.
Men have been the cornerstone of the industry for a long time, in the fact that they have been the writers, artists, and business men driving the machine. The names Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Paul Levitz, Roy Thomas, and Jim Shooter are bandied around with an astounding frequency, and it is with merit.
There have been great women who have stepped in and did the job with the same skill and acumen as men, there just hasn’t been the scope of recognition. At the end of 1972, writer Linda Fife and artist Marie Severin brought The Cat to Marvel Comics. Unfortunately, her series only lasted five issues, but Greer Garson has been a recurring character, and an Avenger. Louise Simonson and Barbara Kesel also come to mind as women in the industry ahead of their time. Both are great editors and writers, and have a hand in bringing comics to a higher level of quality and maturity. Roy Thomas has long given his wife Dann credit for helping him write and brain storm with him, and she got credit along with him on several occasions.
Today there are even more women in comics. Simone, Hernandez, and Kesel are all actively involved. There are several female bloggers in the comic book community that are well respected and bring a great perspective to the industry. Heidi MacDonald’s “The Beat” comes to mind, as does Laura “Tegan” Gjovaag, at her blog (http://realtegan.blogspot.com/ . She is one of the biggest Aquaman fans around, and a longtime letter writer who has been published in several comic book letters pages.
The facts being what they are, and knowing that there are more female contributors and readers then ever, Maher has took the politically correct road and missed the boat.
So why has there been such a divided reaction between men and women? And why are we allowing an article to split the comic’s community apart? Obviously we aren’t as united as we think. From the pseudo-intellectuals who put up with the “unwashed masses” to the regular Joe who hates sharing his message board with above said intellectual, there is a huge chasm in general in readers. It can be seen every day on the general forums, as there are flames abounding. What this tells me is that comic book readers are not a group that can be pigeon holed, let alone portrayed by gender.
I have been a comic book reader since 1974 when my Uncle Jack so generously passed on his weekly stash of comics to me. I remember reading Wonder Woman, Justice League of America, Batman, Shazam Family, and Worlds Finest with a gleam in my eye. Comic books were a world I could escape to. I could put on my bracelets and deflect bullets while having a cool job as a UN Interpreter on the side. I could go help Batman foil the Joker’s latest scheme. If I was feeling particularly ambitious, I could go fly with Superman. Comic books took away the limits I felt while living on the family farm and trying to deal with feeding baby calves, going to school, and trying to fit in as a human being.
At the age of 38, I still don’t want to lose that feeling. I am a successful business woman with a happy marriage that we work hard at. I care about my appearance and health and go the gym on a regular basis. I am also a practical, logical person who can hardly wait until Wednesdays so I can get my fantasy fix.
How do I feel comics portray women? Let me qualify that I am the little girl who thought Wonder Woman was pretty in her costume, and still think so today. I love how Black Canary looks like a princess and still kicks the crap out of criminals. I also enjoy that Oracle, a handicapped woman like my grandmother, is the JLA’s secret weapon. To me these women weren’t sexual objects; they were heroines who were working towards the greater good.
I see articles where comic book creators are belittled and called on the carpet for their depiction of women, but I also know that I can vote with my dollars on how I choose to spend my money. I have read Vampirella on and off for years, without apology. When the story merits, I don’t even think about her outfit. I think about how much I just enjoyed reading about her. I also read issue one of The Ultimates even though it showed Captain America with a much bigger “package” then I was used to seeing on male super heroes.
That brings up another point in that male super heroes are wearing super tight spandex, and from time to time, it has come to my attention that some are more blessed then others. Issue six of Identity Crisis depicts Batman on the cover, and he appears to be wearing a low slung, sexy piece of Bruce’s secret underpants over his tights. I can choose to let this put me off or I can enjoy the story telling inside the covers.
Another opinion put forth in Maher’s article I must address is Robbin’s assertion that comic book stores smell like porn shops. For one, let me just say I have been in a porn shop and they smell either like naughty love juices or like “sensual” incense. Never have I smelled that at a comic book shop that I am aware of. This is where I want to spend a moment breaking down stereotypes.
I have been frequenting comic book shops for over twenty years, since I couldn’t seem to find my comics at the grocery store anymore. I have had good experiences and bad ones. It is like any other business on earth, there are good days and bad days. The one thing that is perpetually brought up is the unwashed male. Unfortunately, there is always one or two of these guys that don’t get the concept of hygiene, but I don’t find it to be an absolute. It is sad that this stereotype gets so much hype, because there are several other businesses I go into that have smelly humans, and they don’t get nearly the publicity that comic shops do.
Guys, here is what you do to start breaking up this notion. If your buddy stinks like body odor on a consistent basis, tell him. Say “Dude, you need some soap stat” or something to that effect. I promise I will work on the girls if you work on the guys. It all starts with us, and only we can police our own hygiene.
Another stereotype is that all women that read comics must be ugly and/or fat. Sorry, not true. Once again, a judgment is made on a few bad apples. I went to the Emerald City Comicon and there was a plethora of females there. Some of the ladies were quite lovely, and they weren’t even super hero models (insert sarcasm here). At the creator Q&A’s a good 1/3 of the crowd were women, and from my point of view, there was a good cross section of the female population, from the young and fresh-faced to the older, more mature types.
The movie that started the article by Maher is a mature movie, with mature themes. I had read the graphic novels well before seeing the movie, and was quite pleased with how it turned out. I knew what I was in for, and therefore not offended when I saw breasts on the screen. The way I see it, the movie is rated “R” and if I go to http://www.imbd.com/ to see why it tells me “Rated R for sustained strong stylized violence, nudity and sexual content including dialogue.” If I know that nudity offends me, I probably shouldn’t go. It is all about choices.
The bottom line is that the comic book community is a diverse one, and that because of that diversity, there is the opportunity for us to find what we desire in any of the genre’s contained herein. If manga is what you like, there is a huge selection of it. If super heroes are more your style, look no further then the latest Previews. Our colleagues in the RPG and card industries are a diverse group as well.
It is ironic to me that because what I enjoy in my spare time isn’t hip or hot that society thinks I should be ashamed. I love to look at Vogue and workout, so I am supposed to focus on that and keep comics my dirty secret? No way, Buster! I choose with my dollar how I spend my time, and if it isn’t cool to the general society, maybe they need to quit spending so much time judging me and spend more time worrying about how the next generation is going to grow up rather then be obsessed with me and my proclivity for fantasy. It’s not like I’m an alcoholic who ran over the kid next door; I am a taxpayer, an adult, and a wife and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
So Men and Women of the comic book community, it is okay that you don’t agree about Maher’s article, but I think it is fair to say that we need to understand each other’s point of view. Ladies, we know that back in the day it was a little unnerving to go into a comic shop alone, but we also know that guys are really trying to make it more inviting for us. Maybe we could give the owners our input while we are spending our money. If there are women there with ownership positions, let them know too.
Gentlemen, listen to us and take us at face value. If we feel comfortable, maybe we will come around more. Also, can we have an event where wives are welcome? I had a barbecue party one time, and got to know the wives and girlfriends of my husband’s fellow readers and we hit it off pretty well. It gave the ladies a better point of view and now I see them around the shop more often. We have comic book discussions, but we also have discussions where we talk about our men and the guys can blow off steam about us and why we had to buy the $230 dress instead of the $25 one.
Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, but as long as we know that and give a little, we can make life better for each other. Let’s make an attempt to look at each other’s point of view and be more sensitive to it. God knows it may improve our image as comic book readers, if we can stand united as a group while cherishing our differences. Are you ready to give it a try?
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
1. Stroke My Ego blog: This is the person who wants to get all the free stuff they can, and along with it have creators and industry types calling upon them for an opinion. They also tend to have Ego-like friends who like to bask in each other's glory. As this blogger stands upon their own Mount Olympus, the rest of us must only hope to be so cool some day. I usually try to avoid these blogs, at they sometimes infuriate me.
2. Rip It All Apart blog: This is the blogger who just has to bitch about the state of the industry and the industry types who keep messing it up for the rest of their readers. From sarcastic comments on recent events to flat out attacks on fellow readers, these bloggers think their opinion is the one that counts. What is even worse is that their buddies hop on board and try to turn it up a notch. I usually avoid these blogs at all costs, as once again, I get irritated.
3. The Why Bother blog: If the blog gets updated a couple of times a month it is an event. The person obviously wants a blog but doesn't have the time or passion to make it happen. As I struggle with this myself at times, I can sympathize, but I wonder what made them think they could maintain it?
4. The News blog: This is the blogger who scours other sites for news and takes it to their site to further publicize said information. I think that this is helpful for the most part, but am usually more interested in why the article would catch their eye then the news itself. When I find pieces of information, I like to pass it on, so I can see the angle.
5. The Love Comics blog: This blogger just loves comics period. From bringing out the older issues in their collection to reviewing the new stuff, this person wants you to know about the comics they like. Some blogs also focus on comics they don't like and have a more review type of feel, but there is a definite love there.
6. The Specialty blog: A blog with a focus on a type of comic book or creator. That being said, several creators have their own blogs now, and some are quite compelling. Some time I will pull down my favorite sites and link them here.
7. My blog: I am just a woman who wants to talk about comic books and life in a non-judgemental environment I can control. I love to do reviews for 4 Color, but it has been wonderful to be able to "talk" about pop culture and comic book issues without the fear of being flamed on a message board. I try to be nice, and sometimes I fail, but my intent is to be positive and fair minded.
I am sure there are more varieties of blogs out there, and someday I hope to have the opportunity to go to them. To all you fellow bloggers out there, I raise my glass to you. It is hard work, and sometimes it comes with repercussions that are unexpected or unfriendly. Keep up the good work, whatever type of blogger you are, and enjoy the freedom of speech we have.