Category Archives: Ramblings

Who will watch the Watchmen?

So news (or a rumor?) has recently emerged that Lost and The Leftovers co-creator/show-runner, Damon Lindelof has been tapped to adapt Alan Moore & David Gibbon’s iconic comic series, Watchmen into a television show for HBO, and…I have mixed feelings…

watchmen_comedian

Look, if you’ve read just about any entry in this blog or if you’ve broken into my house and seen my graphic novel collection (yes, I said, “graphic novel” because I am a fancy man and I like fancy things), or if you’ve talked to me for more than like, five minutes about comic books, you’ll know I’m a pretty big fan of Alan Moore, and while I don’t really have any issues with movie studios adapting his work to film as long as they’re good (shit, adapt anything as long as it’s good), I don’t know if we need another Watchmen adaptation. But then again, do we need any comic adaptation?

wonder-woman-gal-gadot-ultimate-edition-1024x681

Yes, yes we do.     

Real talk: I like Zack Snyder’s 2009 film quite a bit. I’ve watched the 4 hour director’s cut a few times and despite some issues I have with it (notably Ozymandias’ portrayal and that sex scene that really pumps the brakes on the whole film) I feel like it’s about as good of a Watchmen adaption I ever thought we’d get.

Ozymandias-watchmen-20830522-2000-1339

Oh you know, Adrian…he’s a very compl-

evil

But, he had a good reason for-

evil

Fine.

But can it be done better?

Maybe? I like most of Lindelof’s work. I loved Lost (even the ending, which I could write a 10 page dissertation about) and The Leftovers is amazing, so if anyone is going to tackle this property, he seems like the right guy to do it.

800px-jackdieswithvincent

Drink if Jack cries dies.

As long as he can bring in the more cerebral aspects of the book and refrains from boiling down the characters to their most palatable and bring forth their complexities in a mature manner, then I think it might outshine the movie.

Ozymandias-watchmen-20830522-2000-1339

Me again…so…are you sure we shouldn’t explore-

evil

Honestly, my biggest fear is that this might be a cash grab since now the Watchmen universe is starting to bleed over into the DC comic universe (a decision that has been met with mixed emotions from the comic community at large).

But as long as Lindelof and Co. treat the material with the respect it deserves, I’m sure it’ll be great. Is it necessary? Nah. But fuck it. It might be cool.

Also, I wouldn’t be terribly upset if they left out this guy:

Alienmonster

Is that  your…oh, never mind. 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Logan? Yes, please.

So the new trailer for 20th Century Fox’s third Wolverine solo movie, Logan dropped today and it made my comic geek heart sing.

Yes, I know that this trailer bears little resemblance to Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s absolutely stellar limited series Old Man Logan in regards to the players in the story or its primary conflict, but seeing Hugh Jackman all scarred up and grizzled and the overall look of what they showed in the trailer nailed the attitude of the comic.

old-man-logan-side-by-sidejpg-f47fa0_765w

*This ain’t your granddaddy’s Wolverine, bub. This is granddaddy Wolverine.*

Maybe I’m a sucker for comics where characters get the ol’ Dark Knight Returns treatment. Hell, I really loved Spider-Man: Reign and some of my fellow comic fans have shunned me because of it. But this movie looks like it might be something special.

…Or it could be a steaming pile of shit like X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Guess we’ll have to wait until March to find out. But my fingers are crossed. Honestly, the Wolverine solo films have nowhere else to go but up.

Tagged , , , , ,

Updates and Such

Sorry for being absent for so long. I didn’t know if I was going to stick to this thing when I first started it, and I kinda dropped the ball. In my defense, I’ve been working a few projects over the last month or so (one of them including a manuscript for a potentially ridiculous book).

Things don’t seem to be winding down anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean I can’t take a moment to praise over and bitch about comic-related news and whathaveyou.

So let’s do this bullet point style:

  • Fuck Suicide Squad. It wasn’t the garbage fire that BvS was, but it was insultingly bland and could have easily been the DC Expanded Universe’s chance to fix its bullshit.
  • Speaking of DCEU, that Wonder Woman trailer looks fucking rad.
  • JLA…not so much.
  • Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso are teaming up for a new comic series called Moonshine. This excites me very, very much.
  • I picked up Alan Moore’s new novel, Jerusalem. It’s heavy and could easily kill a toddler if you dropped it on said toddler’s head. I’ll be ready to get up in its guts once I finish a few other books ahead of it. The girth of this tome doesn’t really bother me too much. After all, I did read David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. But don’t expect any feedback anytime soon. That fucker’ll take some time.
  • Speaking of Alan Moore. He’s retiring from comics! What? I mean, I guess that’s fine. The man doesn’t really owe us anything else.
  • So Frank Miller’s TDK3: The Master Race is running 9 issues. Great. Guess I’ll have to wait longer to buy the trade.
  • Fuck that Watchmen hardback individual issue thing DC is releasing.
  • I’m finally getting around to reading Kell Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios’ Pretty Deadly and I love it to pieces. Sometimes it’s okay to show up late to the party because the pretty girl is there waiting for you no matter what.
  • I read Alan Moore’s Crossed + 100. I dug it. Not much more than that. There were some really cool ideas but Moore does horror best when his subject matter is rooted in the occult.
  • Luke Cage is coming! Get pumped!

I think that’s about it. I’m still contributing to http://www.boundingintocomics.com from time to time but not with the same frequency I once was. 

Until next time: Kill your TV. Read comics.

Tagged , , ,

Quick Rant

I try to avoid comments sections on pop culture sites like the fucking plague. Often times there seems to be disconnect between what people read and what the writer intended to convey to their audience. This causes chaos (sometimes racist, sexist chaos), and it does nothing to change someone’s opinion, which, if we’re being frank, doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Who gives a shit if an Internet blogger actually liked Batman V. Superman (I mean, they’re wrong, but whatevs)? Why would any intelligent reader get riled up by clickbait?

The answer is that…we’re human. We love the things we love and when someone is mean to those things, we often try to defend them, and sometimes taking up arms is a petty and fruitless endeavor.

I’m writing about this because I have recently fallen into the dark pit of comments. On a rather popular comic book site, I saw a thread that simply read “Alan Moore or Jack Kirby?” I chuckled at how silly this fragmented sentence was and immediately had to see what people were saying. I was actually sort of taken aback. There seemed to be no solid argument for either side. People were referencing comics by both creators and what they meant to the commenters, personally, and in some cases how much they impacted comics themselves.

I immediately wanted to write a post schooling these knuckleheads. I mean, there is a right answer here. And that answer is: Both. Moore has cited Kirby as one of his biggest influences, and both men have created important work that changed the comic landscape at different periods in time. I suppose you could say you there would be no Moore if there were no Kirby, but that’s a huge leap. Ultimately asking a question like it would be like asking, who is a better front man, James Brown or Mick Jagger? They both rule, but certainly one was influenced by the other.

But what do I know? I’m just another asshole on the Internet. I guess the moral of the story is just read more comics and don’t argue about who is the greatest creator of all time. Eventually we’ll get another Jack Kirby and another Alan Moore and another Stan Lee (j/k).

Tagged , ,

Who’s Afraid of Alan Moore?

Me. I mean the guy does scare me a little.

fromhell_cover_lg

Many years ago, I picked up Moore’s magnum opus about Jack the Ripper, From Hell, with the intentions to crush it like a brittle robin’s egg with my fierce comic-consuming eyes, but unlike my experience with some of his other work, this book bit back. Hard.

Now, I’m not saying I didn’t find any of Moore’s other work challenging (shit, you need a working knowledge of turn of the century Victorian pop culture to get half the references in most of it), but they were always rather easy to navigate. But From Hell fucked my world up. It was dense, horrifying, and exhausting to read, and I don’t mean that as an insult.

hawksmoor

*First date.*

I chewed my way through about 150 pages of the trade until I set it down for something else (I have a bad habit of that). I had all the best intentions to finish it up, but never did.

The book was eventually lent out to a co-worker who was talking about the shitty film adaptation with Johnny Depp when I said, “hey, did you know that movie was based on a comic?” I then launched into my whole “more people should read comics and stop wasting their time with shitty TV shows and bad movies.” Johnny-Depp-in-Frederick-Abberline-From-Hell-Movie-Wallpapers

*Fuck you, you beautiful idiot.*

In retrospect, pontificating about the glory of comic books to a non-reader should have never been punctuated with handing them a copy of From Hell. It was too much comic for them. Hell, it was too much for me.

Now, about six years later, I have purchased a new copy of From Hell and I am two issues (or chapters if you fancy) away from finishing it, and let me tell you: it might be the best thing Alan Moore has ever written.

I was going to wait until I was done with the book before I wrote anything about it, but unless this comic drops the ball in it’s final act, which I know it DOES NOT, this tome is one of the greats, not just in comics, but in historical fiction.

But it’s not just Moore’s writing the elevates this comic to the stratosphere: Eddie Campbell’s art is stellar, evoking the era via Victorian style newspaper cartoons. It’s amazing and renders the Whitechaple Murders in graphic detail.

I love Alan Moore, and I want so badly for all his work to be this good. This book is a reminder as to why I was so disappointed in Providence Act 1.

 

 

 

 

Tagged , , , ,

Bounding into Comics

Hey guys, I’ve been writing reviews for Bounding into Comics. Check them out here. Enjoy.

I’m currently reading From Hell and I wanted to know what you favorite Alan Moore comic is (and please don’t say Watchmen a bunch of times). Let me know in the comments.

Tagged ,

Preacher Episode 3

So while this episode sort of pumped the brakes on the batshit craziness, I still really enjoyed it. I felt like the tone from the first two episodes was pretty much consistent in this episode, and each character had some time to shine.

Jesse showing Cassidy how “The Word” works was inspired and made me laugh my ass off. It did a great job of making you believe that these two will eventually become best buds (then, of course, Cassidy says they are later, which felt a little unnecessary).

preacher_3

*Bros.*

Tulip getting out of the speeding ticket was also really enjoyable. The fact that her plan B was to shoot that fool in the face just goes to show you that she’s the most dangerous person on the show.

Jesse other demonstration of “The Word” on Mr. Fuckboy Supreme Donny  was great, too. I really wanted him to tell that prick to pull the trigger, but Jesse’s display of restraint made the whole scene a little more believable.

Derek-Wilson-in-Preacher-Season-1-Episode-3

*Fuck this guy.*

I was hoping they would continue with the little Saint of Killer openings. I feel like that would have been an amazing way to lead up to his introduction to the Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy. He’s such an important part of the Preacher mythos, and I just really want to see more of him. I don’t know how close they’ll follow his story from the comics in the show. I kind of doubt they’ll take it to the extreme, almost cartoonish levels the comic did.

But the big standout for me in this episode was the very brief cameo of Herr Starr.

f29b737aa436be4fc662875dfac36ded

*Yes, please.*

Holy shit, you guys. I hope they bring this character to the forefront in the show soon. Next to Cassidy, this guy is my favorite character (and definitely my favorite antagonist) from the comics.

So what did you guys things about episode 3?

Tagged , , , , , , ,

X-Men stuff.

Hey guys, check out this op-ed I wrote about the X-Men movies for http://www.boundingintocomics.com

I don’t say “fuck” in it, but I still think it’s pretty okay.

xmenapocalypseimax

 

Tagged , , , ,

Let’s Talk About Preacher Episodes 1 & 2

PREACHER_VERT.0.0

Wow.

I love Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s horror, black comedy, modern day acid western series so much it hurts. I came upon Preacher in my late teens. The comic series had just wrapped up and the final trade paperback was about to be released. A friend of mine and I took turns buying every other trade with the meager income we were afforded from working part time at a grocery store. We should have been using that money for anything else, but we didn’t. We needed more Jesse, Cassidy, and Tulip in our lives. And when that ninth trade finally hit the shelves, we took turns reading it and we both had the same emotional response: bittersweet catharsis.

I won’t get into the details of the comic here since I’m not sure how close the show will decide to follow them. I will say that thus far, AMC seems to be doing its own thing, which is a relief. Some fanboys will balk at the idea of a movie studio or TV station straying from their beloved property, which never made sense to me. The fact that AMC is making Preacher different should be celebrated. It should be exciting for fuck’s sake, especially when the tone of the comic and the fuck religion, fuck the establishment, punk rock sensibility that dripped from every page is still alive and well.

And that’s why AMC’s Preacher works. They may have given the story a makeover and made chop suey with its chronology, but they’ve kept its heart in tact. Not every comic adaptation can boast that (cough, cough, The Walking Dead).

Let’s get into the cast:

I wasn’t too worried about who they got to fill the shoes of Jesse Custer. AMC really just needed a dark, handsome man who could speak with a Texan twang and carried himself with all the confidence in the world…and that’s exactly what they came up with. Dominic Cooper does a fine job. And by the second episode, he seemed more comfortable in the character’s skin and embraced the lunacy of the premise.

seth-rogen-preacher-759

*Tall, dark, and punchy.*

I was however worried about the casting decision for Cassidy, who was my favorite character in the comic books (yes, I know he had some…let’s say dark moments, but at the end you still loved him). Luckily, Joseph Gilgun fucking kills it! Although the dialogue in the show has been scrubbed for network TV, this version of everyone’s favorite alcoholic Irish vampire is as rude and frantic as his comic counterpart.

Preacher_season_1_-_Cassidy_seamless

*Badass.*

The rest of the cast works well, too. The makeup for Arseface is amazing and really hard to look at. Even the supporting characters who either don’t make a big slash in the comics or aren’t even in it play their parts well. Everyone seems to be on board.

PREA_Arseface_WonderCon_Twitter_002_FM3-645x370

*Barf.*

But the true revelation in this cast is Ruth Negga as Tulip O’Hare. Ho. Ly. Shit. I love this woman. She has brought more attitude and gravitas to the character in two episodes than the comic ever did in its 66 issue run (which I’m not shitting on any of Ennis’ writing, but I feel like there was more interest in the male leads). She is astounding. Every time she’s not on the screen I miss her.

Ruth-Negga-as-Tulip-O-Hare-preacher-amc-39626966-595-446

*Bigger badass.*

The excellent cast is not the end of all the things that work in Preacher. Far from it, in fact: the writing it tight and the dialogue is snappy and funny; the cinematography is absolutely gorgeous; and other than a few little obvious budget restraints, the special effects are great.

I’m sorry I’m nerding out about this so much, but I’ve been waiting 15 years for this adaptation to come to life. And when I first heard AMC was doing it, I wasn’t exactly doing cartwheels in excitement. But all my fears and hesitations were squashed pretty damn quick. Now I can’t wait to see some of my other favorite characters come to life.

Watch this show. It’s so good, and, as cliched as it sounds, there’s nothing else like it on TV.

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Walking Dead RETROSPECT

Note: This retrospect covers the first 150 issues of The Walking Dead. I will not be giving up any explicit spoilers, but some of the links lead to them. So don’t get all click happy if you haven’t read the series yet.

twd01-1jpg-9b3f7a_765w

Unless you’ve been living in an underground fallout shelter in the middle of nowhere (Montana, maybe?), you know The Walking Dead has become a cultural phenomenon that has wormed its way into the cultural zeitgeist like a tick in a deer’s ass.

This is mostly due to the hugely popular AMC television adaptation. But (and yes, I’m about to sound like a comic geek hipster, so please don’t close this page just yet) some of us have adored the source material for the better part of a decade, long before that first episode aired on Halloween in 2010, which makes it hard to discuss the comic series without the shadow of the show looming over any opinion us elite comic dorks might have on the show’s roots like a doomsday eclipse (too much?).

I remember sometime in 2004, a buddy of mine told me about a cool little black and white zombie comic he was reading and passed along the first trade paperback. After reading it, I scooped up the current issues until I was up to date and continued to buy The Walking Dead on a monthly basis for nearly five years. I used to keep a stack of back issues on my toilet tank. Friends and family members would spend a copious amount of time in my bathroom reading through them, long after they conducted their business (that would be pooping, by the way).

The series was all the rage in my circle of friends and we felt like the cool kids (or at least as cool as a pack of comic nerds could be) among out uninitiated fellow comic readers.

“Oh, you haven’t read this?” we’d scoff as we slapped a stack of (hopefully poop-free) singles in front of them. “For shame!”

This went on for some time…until the comic began to spin its wheels. Shortly after the whole “Battle of Woodbury” story arc, I fell out of the series like an epileptic baby in a crib without guardrails.

It wasn’t until several trade paper backs later, that a co-worker of mine discovered the book and asked if it was any good. I told them it was, at least the first 50 some issues or so were, but I had no idea if the series picked itself up by the zombie skull-crushing boot straps. It turned out the series had. It got good again. Like really fucking good. And about twenty issues later, it began to lose steam…until it got good again.

And that’s the deal with The Walking Dead (and with most monthly comics). There are lulls, and at times they feel like bottomless pits of boredom that make you wonder why you ever enjoyed reading the title in the first place. But unlike most ongoing monthly books, the TWD has zero supplemental material to tide you over until your flagship book gets its shit together.

OCT090390_1._SX640_QL80_TTD_

**Guess I have to deal with this shit for a bit.**

I mean, you can read Detective Comics until it gets shitty, and then easily jump ship to one of the other ten Batman comics on the newsstands and find one that’s worth a damn. TWD doesn’t afford the same luxury. If the comic isn’t good, tough shit. You have to deal with it if you want to know what happens next. You have to deal with characters talking in circles and spitting monologues that are so tiresome you wonder if they weren’t the regurgitated rally cry of a long dead character from years before. You have to deal with the artwork becoming repetitive and the story beats growing benign and cheaply punctuated with character deaths.

There is nowhere to hide from The Walking Dead when things take a nosedive. Shit, even the TV show has Fear of The Walking Dead as a companion piece.

http _mashable.com_wp-content_uploads_2016_03_Ezekiel-and-Shiva

**There are no tigers in either show, though…so, I guess the comic still has the upper hand.**

There is good news, however. That aforementioned nosedive does not occur too frequently when you consume the series in large chunks. The trade paperbacks, which come out twice a year, do not have issue breaks and read like single chapters of a larger piece. This works to the series’ benefit. We’ve all read novels where things slow down for a chapter (or several chapters if you’re George R.R. Martin – Fuck A Feast for Crows) and most of us can power through until the next.

I’ve read the first 150 issues of TWD and two thirds of them have been in graphic novel form. I can’t image buying this book month-to-month (but honestly, I don’t buy any comics month-to-month outside of the occasional mini-series & Heavy Metal Magazine).

Now as far as story goes, it’s often difficult to tell where creators Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard (and I guess Tony Moore in the first six issues) are going with things, but they always find their way to something interesting and often times shocking. Now, these things don’t always work. In fact, there have been shocking twists and deaths that have left a bad taste in my mouth (ref: the death of REDACTED from issues 100). It’s not that I have a weak stomach for excessive violence. Hell, I think this may be the only book where I kind of chuckled when an infant gets blasted with a shotgun (I know, I know, but go look at that page again; you know you don’t have anything invested in that baby or the person holding it so get off your high horse).

Even with all its shortcoming The Walking Dead is never godawful, and it’s usually enjoyable and even occasionally brilliant.

Kirkman might be a genius for crafting this thing so well. He’s made a soapy drama about the zombie apocalypse and it sells well every month. I don’t know of any other comic book that sells trade paperbacks in Wal-Mart or Target. I’m sure most of that has to do with capitalizing on the success of the television show, but shit, man it works. Kirkman and Co. have television-watchers and comic-readers eating out of the palm of his hand and now those two factions are cross pollinating.

Look, go read The Walking Dead. You can actually buy compendiums that collect the series in 48 issue chunks. And trust me, that first chunk is awesome. The second, not so much, and the third gets back to form.

Feat-CoversNew

**Hey! New people!**

Many of the characters are likeable. Our hero of the book, Rick Grimes, gets put through the wringer so often, you wonder if the shred of humanity he still holds on to is even legit. The supporting cast is very hit or miss. There are some characters who seem like they get killed because Kirkman doesn’t know what to do with them, which is unfortunate. But there are other characters, who are snuffed out, that make the book devastating and actually add gravity to an already dire situation (I’m looking at you, REDACTED my sweet, sweet prince).

But when it comes to problems with characters, my biggest complaint might be with the villains. The series has really only produced three honest to god villains, and just one of them has been truly fascinating. Yes, I’m talking about Negan. And before anyone gets their panties in a twist, I like Alpha and the Governor just fine, but Negan is the closest thing we have to a filthy mirror version of Rick. Also, he’s super charismatic.

negan

**Ladies…**

According to the creators, we’re about halfway through this series. That’s both a relief and a disappointment. If they would have said we were 50 issues away from the end, I’d be doing back flips (I can’t do a back flip, BTW).

I don’t know what Kirkman has in store for us. He says there are tons of big things on the horizon, but he’s said that before and has delivered a mixed bag. But I’ll call his bluff. I’ll keep reading. And so should you.

Mid-term Grade: B

*Footnote: All images are property of Image Comics.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,