Category Archives: Ramblings

Reading Rachel Rising

Who has two thumbs and loves Terry Moore’s Rachel Rising? Well, me…but so should you. As of this writing, I am 35 issues deep out of the 42 that have been published. This was one of those books that I regret not supporting when it was originally coming out (what with me not buying single issues anymore) because I’ve heard it had a shitty time staying in print due to low sales numbers.

Terry Moore is a national treasure, goddammit. He’s up there with cartoonists like Jeff Smith and Rob Schrab (who needs to do another fucking comic proto!) in my book. There are few comic creators who are as independent and consistently amazing as Moore. The man always has a vision and does whatever is in his power to see that vision through to the end, which is admirable.

I’m not gonna give Rachel Rising a score just yet. I still have a handful of issues to finish so for all I know the series might botch the ending. It’s doubtful, but you never know.

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The 25 Best Comics of 2017

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So no matter what some pretentious douche at Vice may say, 2017 was filled with great comics. Some of these came in the form of graphic novels, some were arcs withing ongoing series, while others were just a single issue. The work of the fine people who write, drawn, ink, letter, color, and publish comic books should be celebrated year round.

Since the Internet fucking loves lists (it’s like goddamn click catnip), I’ve complied a list of comics that are simply great. Now, keep in mind, this list could have easily doubled in size. And that is not hyperbole. Seriously, this has been a great year for comic books, both in the mainstream and in the indie market.

So without any further gabbing, here are my favorite 25 comic books of 2017 (in to particular order):

1. Moonshine by Brian Azzrello and Eduardo Risso
2. My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris
3. Mister Miracle by Tom King and Mitch Gerads
4. The Mighty Thor by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman
5. One More Year by Simon Hanselmann
6. Kill or be Killed by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
7. Southern Bastards by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour
8. Dark Knights: Metal by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
9. Black Hammer by Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston and Co.
10. Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky
11. Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro
12. Seven to Eternity by Rick Remender and Jerome Opena
13. Doomsday Clock by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank
14. Star Wars: Darth Vader by Charles Soule and Jim Cheung
15. Kim & Kim by Mags Visaggio and Eva Cabrera
16. Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang
17. Silver Surfer by Dan Slott and Mike Allred
18. Doom Patrol by Gerard Way and Mike Allred
19. Batman by Tim King and Mike Janin
20. Batman: White Knight by Sean Murphy
21. Aliens: Dead Orbit by James Stokoe
22. Saga by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
23. East of West by Jonathan Hickman and Nock Dragotta
24. Everything is Flammable by Gabrielle Bell
25. Spread by Justin Jordan and John Bivens and Felipe Sobreiro

So there you go. Did I miss anything? I’m sure I did. Maybe I just didn’t read it, or maybe you have shit taste in comics (shut up, internal comic snob voice!). But seriously, if there is something that didn’t make this list, let me know what it is. I’m always looking for new and interesting books to dive into.

Until next time: Kill your TV, read more comics.

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Happenings…

Sorry for the dead silence. I’ve been working on a few different projects.

Recently I’ve written for the fantastic horror website bloody-disgusting.com.  If that sounds like your jam, feel free to check out my shit here. Horror fiction is my other passion and it’s been a blast working with those guys. I have a few in the can with them that should be published soon.

Also, I have just been hired as a list-writer for CBR.com. My first list just dropped today. I feel like this is doubly important, what with it being about comic books.

As far as comic stuff. Here are some comic book related updates:

  • So I’ve been on a HUGE Batman kick. I’ve been going through Grant Morrison’s run and even though it’s completely fucking bonkers, it might be my favorite next to Scott Snyder’s (sorry, you can’t touch that dude’s batman). Right now, I’m chewing through Kevin Smith’s mini-series. More on that later.
  • Dark Knight Metal is fucking bananas. I’ve read both preludes and the first two issues, but none of the one shots. I’m not 100% sold on it so far, but Snyder is great, so I’ll stick with it.
  • So the mysterious Mr. Oz is actually…drum roll…REDACTED, which is kinda dumb. Look, I haven’t read the issue in which it was revealed, but I really wanted it to be Ozymandias. With The Watchmen Universe being meshed with the main DC continuity, it felt like a perfect entry point. But what the fuck do I know?
  • I liked Logan. I didn’t love it like the rest of the world, but it was the best Wolverine solo movie (I know, not a very high bar), but I had some issues with it.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on the other hand was super fun and probably better than the first one.
  • Wonder Woman ruled, but I do not have high hopes for Justice League. I want it to be good so bad, but I just don’t know.
  • Warner Bros. wants to make a Flashpoint live action film. Sure. Fuck it. Why not?
  • I read through all of Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force run while I was in the hospital after my son was born. It is amazing and it help me keep sane.
  • On a related note: the Marvel Unlimited app is awesome.
  • So I’m still working on a five page comic project. It’s been very slow coming. I’ve taken it upon myself to do the coloring and the lettering, both of which are a pain in the ass if you have no idea what you’re doing. I have one page left for colors and then it’s on to letters. The comic was written by me and drawn by the very talented Donal DeLay.

 

That’s about it for now. I do have some Batman pieces coming up that I’m working on. Hopefully this will get updated more. I do appreciate anyone who reads it and enjoys my work.

P.S. Here’s a random panel that makes me smile.

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(C) Marvel Comics or whatever…

 

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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…

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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?

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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.

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

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But, he had a good reason for-

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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.

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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.

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

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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:

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Is that  your…oh, never mind. 

 

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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.

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*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.

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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.

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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).

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Who’s Afraid of Alan Moore?

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

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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.

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*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.

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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).

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*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.

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*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.

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*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?

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