Category Archives: Ramblings

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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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

 

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Let’s Talk About Preacher Episodes 1 & 2

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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.

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*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.

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*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.

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*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.

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*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.

 

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