Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Okay, disclaimer, the title was to the tune of the theme from Team America: World Police, more on that below...

Tales From Netflix are DVD reviews, where I tell you if a DVD is worth putting in your Netflix rental queue, moving it to the top, burying it at the bottom, or not even bothering in the first place.

It was a holiday weekend, and we didn't make it out of town, so we got lots of Netflix viewing done...

Who knew learning the ins and outs of a Columbian drug mule could be so engrossing. This one sucks you in to the world of the titular character, and takes you along for her ride from teenage Columbian rose de-thorner, to drug swallowing customs dodging smuggler. Don't have soup, or food for that matter, while viewing, but otherwise move to the top of your queue...

The unrated, uncut, version of course. You gotta love it when the theme music, laden with cusswords, loads up with the DVD menu. Parker and Stone assault you with their trademark stupid, raunchy, and oftentimes musical humor. Sure, some of it's rather obvious, but you know what they say, it's all in the delivery, and quirky puppets makes for some fun times! Top of the queue is the only way for this DVD! Be prepared to have several crazy songs stuck in your head... and the sex scene...

After mistakenly moving Before Sunset to the top of the queue, and realizing upon receiving it, that I'd mixed up the titles, we got the right movie, and gave it a watch.
Pretty standard caper material here, but Brosnan, Hayek, and Harrelson were fun to watch, as was the locale/setting. Big plot holes aside, it was a decent flick. Mid queue should suffice...

Was afraid of it's length, and heavy subject matter, but once we finally turned this one on, I was captivated from opening to close. DiCaprio, who often underwhelms me, turned in perhaps his best performance, and the line of actresses playing his interests were top notch as well. The Aviator truly should soar to the top of your queue!

Four movies, and all recommended. Not bad.

Friday, May 27, 2005

I SAW IT ON TV: Lost goes out with a bang! Literally...

This past Wednesday evening saw the 2 hour season finale of the breakaway hit show of the year, LOST. According to the ABC LOST website, it'll be rerun this Saturday (the 28th) if for some reason you missed it (you didn't really watch the American Idol finale did you?!).

The show had some genuine surprises, and laughs, and did tie up some plot threads and side stories nicely, while leading to more drama and questions to explore next season. I love how the backstories for all the main players came together in the final episodes, and lead up to the fateful flight. But some of my favorite scenes were the explosive ones, the sweaty dynamite mishap, and the awesome scene where Sayid helps Charlie with his wound! All leading up to the blowing of the hatch, with Hurly screaming "bad numbers!!! Bad numbers!!" To cool.

So, the finale was great, incredible TV, but this season, and any other will be for naught if we don't eventually get some kind of resolution to the questions and mysteries. The producers must insure Lost doesn't become the new X-Files, and sacrifice story for stretched out ratings.

As for any guesses at to just what is playing out here... SPOILER WARNING... why are the "others" after children? Is it as they've hinted that Walt, the groups only child (aside from the newborn), has the ability to manifest things from his imagination (ala the polar bear from the comic book, even featured again on the plane in the last episode), and the "others" are aware of this and that's why they covet and steal children and babies?? And just what is up with that smoke and mirror, mechanical t-rex?? It's almost like they're on a theme park (Jurassic even) island, with the tree monster, and pirate ship...

So yeah, season one closed with style, and I'm very much looking forward to season two!


High profile that is.

In the latest issue of Previews comics catalog, it's hard to miss the hype for the relaunching of Lo-Fi Magazine. Lo-Fi is an awesome comics culture magazine that also covers other pop culture, including music, and is distributed to the mass market. In it's original incarnation, it was a smaller size, and had trouble penetrating the comic book direct market (where it would find most of it's readers). Now that looks to change as it's relaunched in a larger size, and with mad press coverage in the Previews catalog, the main tool with which to penetrate the direct market!

I came across Lo-Fi at last year's San Diego Comic Con, and it's a solid mag, that pimps hot artists on the covers, and small press and underground stuff in the pages. It's like the cool alternative to the mega-corporate Wizard comics magazine. Definitely worth your time.

Check out their website HERE
and sign up to check out the mag, or at least watch for it/ask for it in your local shops.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

INDUSTRY RANT: DC, and comics, get macro

Sure DC comics have always been the most corporate of the comics companies, being owned by Time/Warner for some time, and having long had their properties licensed in various media. Superman and Batman have been household names as far back as what the 50’s, or at least 60’s. Well DC have been making a lot of industry press lately with sweeping corporate changes, and it’s really no surprise to anyone that they’d been kind of lacking in that department. Coupled with Marvel’s increasingly more corporate positioning, through their movie production deal, and changes to their print business model and structure, comics are becoming more corporate than ever before, or at least than they’ve been in quite some time. This, is not a good thing.

Let me clarify. Corporate comics most certainly mean less creative comics. You simply can not take the risks strong creatively driven content demands in an increasingly corporate structure, this can only lead to a more homogenized product. For example, comics had been on a creative upswing since the late 80’s. Opening doors in creative areas they’d never considered before, and if you look at what drove that, what made comics more creatively aggressive, it was the weakened corporate presence. The books stopped being distributed to the mass market, by and large, and became specialty items, very un-corporate. Where the big publishers used to produce mass quantities of product to the mass market, they had become quite the opposite. Marvel even went bankrupt. Now the mass market for the publishers, is licensed properties in other media, and it’s up to the print divisions to fall in line in support of those goals.

That is not to say there aren’t potentially good things about more corporate comics. It should certainly bring a higher presence to the industry. With corporate initiatives chasing larger dollars, you’d certainly expect to see some serious inroads to establishing comics outside the niche market they currently exist in. Something the industry desperately needs.

So you have a trade off. You may loose some quality, but you gain some much needed strength of market. Hopefully there will still be room for vibrant, creative-driven books, and a market to support them. You can certainly expect to see less of that from Marvel and DC.

For Newsarama's insightful look at the "new DC" go HERE

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Hit the link
to see the complete list of comic swag arriving in your LCS tomorrow kiddies!

Highlights include:
PREVIEWS VOL XV #6 - preorders are your friends
DC SPECIAL THE RETURN OF DONNA TROY #1 - Hey look, it's the debut of the new, still lame DC logo!!
OMAC PROJECT #2 - Does that stand for "original mack"? Mac daddy Omac boyeee. Any who, Rucka spins a solid female covert operative story (where have I seen this before...) in the DCU.
GIRLS #1 - The Luna brothers return, I'll check em out this time...
ULTIMATE IRON MAN #2 - Didn't number one come out like, last year...
ULTIMATES #6 - Damn good book, like you didn't know...
DEAD AT 17 VOL 3 REVOLUTION TP - Josh Howard rocks!

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Wildsiderz previewy goodness!

Over on Newsarama, they just put up a 5 page preview of the August shipping Wildsiderz #1.
For those of you comic readers who live in a remote cave with no news feeds, print, web, or otherwise, Wildsiderz is the new J Scott Campbell series after many years outside regular art production (last seen on Danger Girl). There is an introductory #0 shipping next month, with a few pages of story and massive quantities of character and series production materials. The pages previewed here are from the actual first issue, that follows two months later, and they look fantastic!

I can't wait for this book. Simply can't wait. Not only is J Campbell one of the biggest, most stylish artists in the industry, his books are always served in a fun style only comics can truly deliver. He really utilizes the medium to its full potential. I'm sure this new series will find him back at the top of the industry.

Monday, May 23, 2005

I WATCH ANIME: Shirow's Appleseed sprouts CG movie

Masamune Shirow is a manga genius, in more ways than one. Not only is he a skilled artist, he also creates some of the most dense, deep thinking science fiction comics have ever seen. As a testament to this, most people are familiar to his work through their media adaptations. Most notably Ghost In the Shell, but more recently his Appleseed manga was the source for a new fully CG animated feature release, that even hit some screens here in the US (not too far on the heels of the second Ghost in the Shell film). And as of May 10th, the DVD release of Appleseed is available.

It's fitting that the animation in Appleseed is state of the art, since Shirow in renowned for his embrace of cutting edge technology in his work. Think Final Fantasy CG animation, but married to a cel-shaded, more anime approach (or very similar to the brief MTV Spider-Man animation). Here, the CG animation is much closer to being fluid, than ever before. That's not to say it doesn't still come across a bit stiff at times, but man, there are some scenes in this movie that are amazing.

Outside of the animation, the story of Appleseed is a bit of a challenge at first. They pull the ol trick of showing you plot elements that at first make no sense, until later getting the backstory, but I'm not sure it's really of any benefit. The story turns out solid enough, but feels a bit light when all is said and done, and doesn't deliver enough action, or punch I think. I really enjoyed it, but was expecting, or hoping for more (from what I'd heard). One of those situations where it's better not coming in with expectation, or perhaps low ones, so you can be pleasantly surprised.

If you like comics, manga, animation, or sci-fi you must see this film, just don't buy into all the hype going in.

Check out the movie site HERE

I SAW IT ON TV: Roll 'em up, move 'em out!

Yep, Deadwood's a wrap.
Season two that is.
Episode 24, the finale of the second season was a strong ending, with a densely intricate series of events capping off most of the plot threads from the season, and yet it felt a bit light. Strange. Perhaps it's because most of the events were staged so well, and played out so naturally, and without too much gunfire. That's the key. The season started in a blaze of gunfire, but the finale was more stealth. Creepin, an slittin. Hangin an stabbin.

If you still haven't seen Deadwood, give it a shot. It's filled to the brim with fascinating characters, great acting, and often fabulous writing. I thought the second season seemed a bit too polished, almost over-written, the characters all spoke so intricately as to be unbelievable at times, but it was still great television. Pick up the DVD or tune into HBO HERE

MEANWHILE AT THE MOVIES... Nooooooooooo!!!!

Quite possibly the funniest (and indeed lamest) thing to come from the Star Wars universe ever:

Now captured forever through the magic of the internet!

Yes, this is what we all waited 28 years and stood in line for all the prequels for. Darth Vader appears in the final 30 seconds of the movie and gives us the dumbest Star Wars scene ever, topping even the Ewoks. And if you thought Jar Jar Binks was a trainwreck...

Hey, wait a sec, memo to George... why didn't you have Anakin's fall to the dark side begin with:
"Annie, mee-sah gonna stop you." Jar Jar flings himself between Anakin and the Jedi younglings.
Anakin's lightsaber crackles to life, we see the look of terror on Jar Jar's face highlighted by the glow of Anakin's saber...
A swoosh...
Cut to a scene of Jar Jar's head rolling on the ground in front of the younglings, as they all cower in a corner in terror. With the slaying of his childhood friend, Anakin's transformation to the dark side is complete, and millions of fans scream out in joy!
Then he goes ahead and slaughters the children!

Now that's how you do it! "Bom-bad Jedi" indeed!

Anyway, I'm thinking all reviews of the film should just be pointed towards this site...

Saturday, May 21, 2005

MEANWHILE AT THE MOVIES... Well at least we know the next 3 episodes are good!

Update: Now with screen shots, and more reviews!

(Originally posted 5/19 AM) My midnight viewing of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith has come and gone, and with it the hopes that Lucas could redeem himself. It turns out he really was tapped out and had nothing left to offer. Episode III has all of the weaknesses of the first two episodes, the terrible dialogue, delivered impossibly flat, by actors capable of so much more. The only difference with this installment was that those glaring weaknesses seemed even more so. Yes, Samuel L Jackson is once again reduced to a fucking line reading robot. Further illustrating that the writer/director is fully to blame.

As much as Episodes I and II were panned by the critics and fans, I found both thoroughly enjoyable, for what they were. Both had moments of sheer fun and joy, similar to experiencing the original trilogy firsthand. I got not even a hint of that with this installment, except possibly during the middle of the opening scene, but even that was marred by a shaky start, and ludicrous finish. Here, we really were just going through the motions, with nothing new or exciting offered along the way. No great pod race sequence, or Genosian climax, no thrills from seeing Yoda in action for the first time, no beautifully executed lightsaber battle with an engrossing enemy. There were no clever resolutions offered, or interesting wrinkles. Instead we just got lame attempts at ham-fisting the events we all knew were coming into place. And worst yet, when Vader finally does come to life, mere minutes before the end of the prequel saga, it's in a blaze of cheesiness that defames the legendary villain, and reduces him to a laughable caricature of himself.

"Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Vader screams in anguish.

And so do we George, so do we.

I'll try and come back and add some links to other reviews when I get the chance, so you don't have to take my word for it. All that said, I did still enjoy the movie, it's just tough to distance myself from the expectations or hopes for it at this point, and it's quite possible, without the baggage of knowing what's to come in the series, the first trilogy is magical in it's own right.

Review Updates:

Friday, May 20, 2005

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Quesada turns on the spin cycle

Newsarama has been doing a weekly Q&A session with Marvel Comics EIC Joe Quesada, and among this weeks topics was the size of the X-Men line, to which Joe commented at one point:

Now, that’s not to say that we won’t tie them together from time to time, but if they all run independent, then what’s the reason behind the complaint except that people want to post, "Hey, Joe said that he was going to do this certain thing with publishing and now five years later he’s changed his mind." This isn’t morals. Political beliefs or religion, Matt, it’s business and we are allowed to be flexible aren’t we? And if we’re making it so you don’t have to read all of them, then why should you care that we have more than one or twenty for that matter?

Well, in answer to his question, why should we care?
The answer is because you’re confusing, or perhaps trying to confuse us, between the difference why you, Marvel Comics, should care, and why we the readers, industry, or competitors should care. Marvel Comics doesn’t need to care, it’s a business, and it’s their prerogative, or to their benefit to saturate the market with as much product as possible, but that is not to say that it’s not potentially detrimental to the industry, the market, and/or the fans. Marvel sucking up dollars from a watered down franchise is great for their bottom line, but has potential affects, or ramifications outside of that. We all want to see a healthy market, but publishing policies that glut the market, either through an avalanche of offerings from a popular franchise/property, or line wide stunt products, come at a cost. You end up with more people trying shitty books, designed to chase a dollar, that miss out on potential quality books with far less exposure, small press or otherwise. For example, critically solid Marvel offerings struggle (She Hulk, Runaways), while critically panned franchise titles move many more units, with the end result being lower quality of product offered to the market. So, yes, if you offer 10, 20, 40, 100, x-titles, we have good reason to care, on many levels. For you to tell us otherwise is pure spin.

That said, I like Quesada, and if he was intentially using spin there, that's alright, that's his job. The number of x-books may be astronomically high, but they are making the effort to offer something different with each one, and they are bound to miss the target at times in terms of quality, so I'm not really faulting them on that, just the mentality that we shouldn't care one way or the other.

You can find the full feature HERE

MEANWHILE AT THE MOVIES... Sin City sequel in the works

Newsarama and Reuters report that Sin City is officially a "go" for a sequel, and that production could start this year.

"...official word came yesterday at a luncheon that Bob and Harvey Weinstein’s new (i.e., divorced from Disney) company is planning a sequel to Sin City.
The confirmation from the Weinsteins confirms a report from Screen Daily which stated that Frank Miller is already scripting Sin City 2. Various rumors claim that Miller and co-director Robert Rodriguez will begin filming not one, but two sequels back to back, on green screen, next February."

Check out more info on Newsarama HERE
or Yahoo News HERE

Loved the movie and can't wait for more! That's the other great thing about Rodriquez, besides his never ending talent, he's also prolific, releasing up to 2 movies a year!

TALES FROM NETFLIX: Zissou, the great Jaguar Shark hunter
Be very afraid of the dark...

Tales From Netflix are DVD reviews, where I tell you if a DVD is worth putting in your Netflix rental queue, moving it to the top, burying it at the bottom, or not even bothering in the first place.

I got a little behind on my Netflix reviews, so here are a couple from last week...

The Life Aquatic is the latest movie from acclaimed director Wes Anderson, and he again teams with one of the Wilson brothers (in this case Owen), and Bill Murray (who was also in Rushmore). After finally seeing Bottle Rocket (a film I can't recommend highly enough) last year, I've come to really appreciate the film making sensibilities of Anderson, especially his penchant for off beat characters in a mish mash of strange heartfelt situations or set ups.

Going into The Life Aquatic, I'd heard generally lukewarm at best reviews, and I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised. I found the film to be utterly enchanting, and Bill Murray mesmerized, just as he did in Lost In Translation. The world Anderson creates for Team Zissou is incredibly dense and detailed, just the other side of reality, where giant Jaguar Sharks roam the seas, and pirates take accountants hostage.

Perhaps that's where problems come in for others, buying into this quirky world and it's characters. If that doesn't connect with you, the film won't either, but for me it did fabulously.

Put this one at the top of your rental queue

The only thing you need to know about Alone in the Dark, is that it stars Christian Slater, Tara Reid, and Stephen Dorf. If that wasn't enough for you, and like me you thought it'd still be watchable cause it's got like monsters and CG stuff, be afraid, be very afraid. Quite possibly the worst movie ever made.

Do not even think about adding this one to your rental queue!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

HEY DJ! - Gorillaz vs. Rolling Stone

RollingStone.com has a review up for next week's new release, Demon Days, from the cartoon band, The Gorillaz. I love The Gorillaz, both conceptually and musically, and can't wait for the new disc.

Check out the review HERE

They didn't love it as others have, so I'll wait and see...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


For the complete list of books available today, go HERE

Highlights include:
Seven Soldiers: Guardian #2 - Grant Morrison is arguably comics best writer, he's at least the best visionary we have
Hero Camp #1 - Image picked up what looks like might be one solid effort of a new book, looking forward to checking it out
Livewires #4 - Kids, trust me, Adam Warren is delightful, and this series is too. Shame on you if you haven't at least looked at it.
Young Avengers #4 - This title has impressed all around, in spite of what everyone thought, or because of?


Yes 'ol George Lucas is propping up Darth Vader one last time, starting at midnight...
That's less than twelve hours away for you East coasters!
Here on the cool coast, it means we've got just about 15 hours til our last Star Wars movies begin, and I'll admit, I'm going full geek on this one. I actually have midnight tickets (but I'm not wearing my Wookie suit!).

It wasn't really my intent, I'd be fine with going Thursday, but the wife is gonna be out of town, and she bought the tickets! So bring it on!!!
Maim Hayden!
Give Samuel L some righteous vengeance!
Show Natalie to the set of V for Vendetta!
Slap some gold platting on Threepio!
And while your at it, make it a fuckin' good movie!!!

Monday, May 16, 2005

MEANWHILE AT THE MOVIES... Cannes you believe it?!?

JoBlo.com has a nice gallery of film adverts found around Cannes.
Of comic book note, there's a killer new Fantastic Four promo, an unused Sin City Marv promo, and what's this?

Super Real friend Javier Hernandez's El Muerto, in an all new promo stand up display. With Wilmer in full Muerto gear no less! Very nice...

For the full rundown, go HERE

I SAW IT ON TV: Survivor Dominated!

Most dominating tribe ever.
Most dominating player ever.
Most dominating vote for winner.
Tom Westman was at the heart of all of those record breaking stats. It's safe to say that if Survivor was a sport, Tom would be a shoe in for the hall of fame.

But damn, what was it like 9:20, not even half way through the 3 hour finale when it was clear Tom was the winner? Kind of an anti-climatic finish to what was an otherwise reasonably good season of Survivor.

For more Survivor 10 wrap up, go HERE

MEANWHILE AT THE MOVIES... El Muerto is coming!

I can't say much about it, but Super Real friend Javier Hernandez's comic book El Muerto, continues it's path to full blown movie status. El Muerto is the small press, self published creation of Javier that's been a staple of California cons for years (including SDCC, where we met), and features LA resident Diego de la Muerte turned Aztec zombie El Muerto in a cruel turn of comic book events.

I am privy to this public spot on the web that does have some bare bones (no pun intended) info on the movie, currently in post production. Check that out HERE

And stay tuned for Javier's official El Muerto site launch HERE

Sunday, May 15, 2005

HEY DJ! - Trent talks (candidly) to the MTV

If you're a NIN fan, or have picked up With Teeth, check out a recent MTV.com interview/feature on the man behind the music, Trent Reznor. A great write up on the making of the album with candid insights into Trent's journey to this point.

"It was incredibly therapeutic because I could actually think again," he says. "And I liked myself again and was more enthused about working than I'd ever been. I felt like I'm not anchored to this black cloud that's going to descend on me. I was taking certain chances and allowing something to sound a certain way because I felt more confident than I had. I felt good about things for a change. I'm not saying it's a happy record, [because] it's exploring a lot of things about coming out of that cloud and trying to figure out who I am and what I am with a lot of fresh terrible experiences to think about."

He muses, on recovery from addiction and getting back into music.

Yes kids, this is the same Mr. Reznor, just perhaps stronger than he has been in a decade or so... As With Teeth proves.

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Super Real reviewed!

As mentioned before, the first double-sized issue of Super Real is complete, and work on distribution has now begun. In an effort to maximize the release, which is brutal on any publisher, especially a small press self-publisher such as myself, I've begun to send the book out to the comic industry review community, hopefully obtaining some good words to help the launch.

The latest review in on the first issue is from Troy Brownfield of Newsarama's Best Shots weekly review round up. Taken from the review:

Overall, Super Real is a fun read. The 44-page first issue looks primed to strike a chord with disenchanted MTV watchers or those in search of a kicky comedy. This certainly holds promise for at least a limited series; with so many books going to “Seasons” now (like Sleeper and Hard Time), it might be appropriate for Martin to do a whole string of minis, rotating casts and cities and powers each time. At any rate, this is a fine start.

To have a look at the full review, and add your own comments, just go HERE
Let the Newsarama community know what you think of Super Real!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

MEANWHILE AT THE MOVIES... The dark side is strong in this one

As I recently heard, the final Star Wars installment is indeed going to carry a PG-13 rating.

MSN is currently running a blurb about that HERE
With some comments from Lucas.

"We're getting a lot of flak from parents, a lot of people saying how can you do this? My children love these movies. Why can you not let them go see it?" Lucas told The Associated Press in a recent interview. "But I have to tell a story. I'm not making these, oddly enough, to be giant, successful blockbusters. I'm making them because I'm telling a story, and I have to tell the story I intended."

Good for him for sticking to the higher rating, regardless of whatever pressures might dictate otherwise. Not that the final dark chapter, even darkly titled, doesn't get some boost from a coincidently darker rating. Tricky Jedi mind tricks...

I SAW IT ON TV: Shown again, the Clone Wars have

It doesn't take a Jedi master to figure out that Genndy Tartakovsky's Star Wars Clone Wars cartoons are the sh!t.

The first Clone Wars mini epic was a huge success, and garnered much talk of it's more spirited renditions of the Star Wars universe. Recently Cartoon Network rolled out a second season of the Clone Wars cartoons, in slightly longer doses.

Both seasons were just broadcast in a 3 hour block, and since I've yet to pick up the season one DVD, or see season two, it meant I was in for a treat!

The second season picks up right where season one left off, and both play into the film releasing next week, using characters and situations that lead directly into, and enhance the movies. A neat touch. However, the second season was a bit different than the first. With season one, it was all action, 5 minute bursts of light sabers and laser fire, barely peppered with dialogue. Since Genndy is a master at animated mood and story, with a very subtle engaging touch, the result was fantastic. Season two has more story, and some of it, the inner self journey of Anakin, comes off as a bit made for TV, and not pure Star Wars. Definitely good, just not quite as meaninful, in relation to the films. Overall though, it's another great effort, and leaves you pumped for the movie!

Pick up the DVD for season one HERE
Or check out the Clone Wars site HERE

Thursday, May 12, 2005

I SAW IT ON TV: Lost and Survivor close in...

Both series are coming to their conclusion, or season finale.

On Lost, is it just me, or do all of the cast-aways have death on their hands? Dunno, it seems like most of them do, yet I either can't remember any connection for a few, or they don't. Which is weird. There's far too many of them with the death connection for it not to be a key to everything...
And is the kid, Walt, really at the heart of the island weirdness?
Where is this going?

On Survivor, we've now got our final four, and the car prize was the biggest one ever, a new Corvette! Damn! Now up til last time, the all stars, the curse was on the winner of the car, but didn't Rob or Amber win a car, and then claim the million dollar prize? Can't remember...

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Eyecatcher indeed!

In the "Oh my god, this looks fucking awesome!" department, we have an "Eyecatcher" feature on El Arsenal, upcoming from Arcana, HERE on BrokenFrontier.

You can also check out more on Arcana's site, HERE (have a look at those page previews kidz)
And if that's not enough for you, there's the El Arsenal homepage HERE

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Killer Stunts get the love...

Super Real friend Scott Kinney see his long awaited title, Killer Stunts hit comic shops today, and ComicBookResources has a nice preview and some words about the property from the creator.

Check that out HERE

Killer Stunts also gets the love on ThePulse, click HERE for another interview about the book.

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Aeon Flux is no Dark Horse
or is she?!

Taken from Dark Horse's press release for August highlights,

Aeon Flux #1
Written by Mike Kennedy, art by Timothy Green II.

Four hundred years in the future, the last of humanity will live behind the protective walls of Bregna, an idyllic utopia built to shelter them from the deadly jungle growing beyond. Life in Bregna is perfect, or as perfect as the government can make the people believe. But not everyone is fooled by their mood-altering propaganda--a small band of freedom fighters wish to see things change, and they just might manage to pull off this impossible dream with the help of their top secret agent, the sexy, deadly Aeon Flux.

As Bregnan authorities prepare a new weapon to use against the jungle pounding at their walls, Aeon prepares to turn their plans against them. But this time she is not alone--she has been instructed to train a new agent, a fiery young woman named Sithandra, who may not be all that she appears to be...

Reintroducing the cult-classic action heroine best known for her animated adventures on MTV, this series will pave the way for her big-screen debut in this fall's blockbuster, live-action adaptation starring Charlize Theron. This four-issue mini-series will lay the foundation for events in the film, with all of the fast-paced action and intriguing conceptual sci-fi of the original cartoon.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Aug. 24.

Yes, Aeon Flux is being turned into a live action movie.
Darn. Shoulda been a Peter Chung Anime!
Now it appears to also become a comic based on the movie.
Darn. Who owns the rights to the Peter Chung version? Let's get us some real Aeon Flux comics!
It's still a movie and comic based on Aeon Flux though.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


For the complete list of comics shipping to shops tomorrow vist Diamond HERE

Highlights include:
City of Heroes #1 - The video game ports over to Top Cow, but I wanna see the interiors, all of the promo has been cover art, not by the interior artist...
Astonishing X-Men #10 - Whedon + Cassaday = drool
Killer Stunts #1 - Not only is this book .75cents, but it's by Super Real friend Scott Kinney! Click HERE for a preview.
As well as the rest of the Alias Enterprises delayed comic launch...

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Lying in the comic gutters

The premier comic's gossip column, Rich Johnston's Lying In The Gutters, appears to be set to return to ComicBookResources in a month...

or does it?

I hope so, it's great stuff...

Sunday, May 08, 2005

I WATCH ANIME: No requiem, from the darkness

Requiem From The Darkness is a recent anime release, that I just caught the second volume of, episodes 5-7.

This is definitely a darker anime than most. Washed in color and sound, with distinctive character desingns, RFTD has plenty of mood, style, and twisted supernatural stories to draw you in. Each episode's formula pits the protaganist against a changing backdrop of supernatural evils to be thwarted by a mysterious trio he follows.

You can pick it up on AMAZON
Or rent it at NETFLIX
Or check out the site HERE

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Free Comic Book Day, a success?

One of Newsarama's regular columns is Mike San Giacomo's Journey Into Comics. Not one of my favorite columns, but this week Mike's topic was Free Comic Book Day. FCBD is interesting, it's intent is fabulous, the execution however, is a bit tricky. Although it's designed as an event to draw in new readers, or new customers, FCBD is often referred to as "customer appreciation day". As the event draws existing customers to shops to get free books. Which, is not the events intent. Sure, the books are there if the customers want them, but it's problematic.

The forum posts in response to FCBD kind of speak to the polarization that occurs, where you have those in favor of making the event an internal thing, as opposed to focusing on the broader purpose, drawing in new customers.

Here are my comments taken from the FCBD thread on Newsarama, that sum up my take:

If retailers, customers, and even publishers treat FCBD as an internal promotion, is anyone surprised the event isn’t growing by leaps and bounds?
I’m not saying small press publishers, or retailers shouldn’t do this, but to not even acknowledge that it is not the events intent?
The event is designed to bring in new readers, point blank.
That’s what it’s supposed to be about.
Sure, it can be other things, but it should always be first and foremost an event to bring in new readers, new customers. When it becomes about being something else, then it’s failed, at least in the spirit from which it was created.

It just feels like this is the case, and the event is being adapted more and more to cater to respective business needs, as opposed to the overall need of the industry for new customers. As long as the ultimate goal of bringing in new customers isn’t taking a back seat to improved sales from the existing market, things are fine, and it’s up to the FCBD committee, or non-partisan folks to determine that. Certainly no one can fault businesses for using the event as they see fit, that's up to the FCBD folks to drive.

I'm not trying to be all doom and gloom here, if the event takes on a life of it’s own (or perhaps already has), and still brings success to the industry, than that’s fine, as long as we try.

As I said, the event is tricky in many regards. Something I barely touched on above is the Publishers participation. I certainly can't fault small press publishers for trying to use the event to get attention from the existing market, but I do question the bigger publishers offerings. You see Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse generally cater their offerings to children. In itself, that's hard to fault. However, if you really look at it, that's a problem too. A big one. Because the market is not about kids, it hasn't been for years, almost decades, and if you continue to cater all of your outreach product to kids, you're just reinforcing false perceptions of the industry, and the medium, and doing more harm than good. I think. That's not to say there isn't kids material, or shouldn't be, but it's by far in the minority. Something that's too often neglected within the bigger comics promotions.

Friday, May 06, 2005

IN CASE U MISSED IT: The PSP comic love fest continues...

As you can read on THE PULSE and various other comic news sites, PSPcmx.com has launched, and they want the public to know it.

What's PSPcmx?

Well, it isn't DC's CMX manga line ported to the PSP, which is what the name led me to believe. Nope, it's an all new website dedicated to free comic book content that you can download to your PSP, that isn't manga. Imagine that...

claim to have material lined up beyond their launch, which includes titles like Legacy (the former DBpro Image title), and Barbarossa (from Kandora Publishing, the Crossgen lookalikes).

The website looks pretty spiffy.
Check it out HERE

Beloved readers of TSL know all too well that I'm frothing at the mouth with the idea of setting up Super Real for the PSP. Well, that is getting closer, but details are still hush hush.

HEY DJ! - Nine Inch Nails strikes back!

Just wondering?

Does anyone else think WITH TEETH is a return to form for Mr. Reznor?

On my fourth pass through the disc, it's now risen to euphoric levels on my brainwaves.
First time through I thought it was solid, but a little cold, as with THE FRAGILE, and not progressing too much from his earlier efforts in terms of creativeness.
Second time, it sounded better, good, great.
Third time, yep it's great, this is a grower.
Fourth, well, it's becoming clear this is a spectacular effort. Standouts include (besides the obvious radio track, The Hand That Feeds); Only, Sunspots, and Right Where It Belongs.

It may have been eleven years since Trent crafted a disc of this magnitude (with only The Fragile coming between this and The Downward Spiral), but I think it's on a level with his earlier works, at least in terms of quality.

Whereas with The Fragile, you had many great tracks, there was a certain impenetrable quality to it, that kept you at arms length, With Teeth is more intimate, the soundscapes more inviting. Also of note, the lyrics feel stronger here. I'd heard Trent approached this effort by writing lyrics first (as opposed to possibly a differnt aproach with the last effort I suppose), and it shows.

Dave Grohl on live percussion doesn't hurt anything either (I love the Foo, but it always irked me that such a great drummer stepped away from his kit).

Here's what some reviewers are saying:
Rolling Stone
Entertainment Weekly

Anyone out there have their takes on this?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

I SAW IT ON TV: Survivor, Bachelor no more

Well, whad'a'ya know, Survivor featured some outwitting for a change...
Tonight's episode had one half of the remaining cast of six wise up and realize they needed to shake things up, something that seems to sometimes escape our TV castaways. The remaining contestants, all of the same original tribe, were on cruise control, only really having "outlasted" in recent weeks, after completely "outplaying" the other tribe. Because of this, the dark horse, "power couple", that seemed as if they'd fly under the radar for the distance of the show, were broken up. GI-Gregg (anyone else think he looks like one of those 70's style G.I. Joe dolls?) did not receive a rose from Mr. Probst, he had his torch snuffed...

It looked to me like Gregg and Jen were going to sneak into the finish, now I'm not sure who it'll be. I guess this really helps Tom out with his chances, or Dolphin-boy...

Check out the latest Survivor info HERE

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Alias, caught behind enemy lines...

Alias Enterprises released a press release announcing the due date for it's first books, since the date was a little differnt than announced, and Newsarama provided them a chance to explain.
The bottom line is, the books are a bit behind, but due next week, because of numerous issues, mainly to do with overseas printing. The comments on the thread range from positive to negative, as expected. Then a link was thrown HERE, to a much more heated exchange...

Let me just say, as a potential self publisher, I fully understand the need to look far and wide for printing. Low run black and white, and especially color, comic printing is very costly. You can easily pay out more than you can recoup, or end up with next to no margin once Diamond gets their cut. It just happens that I, and most publishers from what I hear, am looking into using the same printer Alias uses, so I hate to hear they're having problems because of it. But the printer is overseas, and the leadtimes are longer, and more prone to bigger delays.

Hopefully this all gets worked out, I know there are a lot of creators who's efforts are tied to this launch, beyond the publishers.

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Galactica finds earth, comics

A press release reported on the news sites today, as seen HERE at Newsarama, details the announcement of Battlestar Galactica the comic book. Due out this fall from Dynamite Entertainment, the publishing branch of Dynamic Forces.

It's sure to have upwards of 10 covers per issue, but outside of that, not much is known. I hope they don't get a stale photo-refed artist...

The Sci-Fi TV show is great btw. Can't wait for it's return this July.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I SAW IT ON TV: Return to the land of the Lost

After a few week hiatus, Lost returns with a new episode, The Greater Good.

This time we get a further glimpse into the past of the resident Iraqi, Sayid. And in a somewhat contrived turn of events, we find out he was a one time terrorist, at the demand of the CIA, where he had to make hard choices regarding peoples lives, just as he's thrust into a similar situation on the island!

Some moments wear a little thin, but overall, you have to come back to see where everything's going, or not, because the big question is, will anything be resolved in a few weeks, come season finale time? Hopefully the show's creators can learn some lessons from The X-Files and Twin Peaks, and give us some kind of payoff.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

TALES FROM NETFLIX: You'll laugh, and then you'll sigh...

Okay, Tales From Netflix are DVD reviews, where I tell you if a DVD is worth putting in your Netflix rental queue, moving it to the top, burying it at the bottom, or not even bothering in the first place.
Today's movie is:

National Treasure was something I was looking forward to seeing, at home. No thoughts of theatre viewing here... a good popcorn flick I thought, but the idea of a treasure map and hunt involving the declaration of independence reeked of big budget H-town. That's pretty much how the movie plays out. Fun to watch, and actually funny and smart at times, while generally silly and stupid at others. All in all, a fun watch. Part of that is the casting, Nick Cage is a solid actor, and generally likeable, aside from the bad hair piece.

Will you believe the founding fathers hoarded the worlds largest treasure, with clues to it's whereabouts scattered, and lost, amongst historical US monuments and the like? No. Will you enjoy yourself over the course of the 2+ hours? Yes (if you can get over the hair plugs, and Brucken-stuff). But that does bring up another point, it ran a little too long, and suffered for it towards the end.

Go ahead and add this one to your Netflix queue... towards the middle.


Click on over to Diamond Comics website for the complete list of comics due in stores tomorrow.

Highlights include:
Villains United #1 - I'm not planning on picking this up but it's a hot one (and it's got JG coverage boyee)
NYC Mech: Beta Love #1 - as featured HERE, NYC Mech is one of my faves! Check this out if you haven't... at least a flip through...
Ultra TPB - Collecting the buzz Image book by the Luna Brothers. I skipped the floppies, but been meaning to have a closer look, perhaps this is the time...
Shana #4 - Finnaly, Cho on a title I can follow. This man can draw!
Darkham Vale TPB - Great series from UK rising talent Jack Lawrence (currently tearin' shit up on Image's Lions Tigers and Bears)

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Super Real reviewed!

As reported in the news section, some advance copies of the first issue of my creator-owned comic, Super Real, were sent out to comic book industry types, and a review went up today on MoviePoopShoot.com. Marc Mason of Should It Be A Movie? gives a favorable review, pop on over HERE to check it out for yourself.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, or at my forum.

Stay tuned for more Super Real reviews and news!

HEY DJ! - T-Minus zero minutes...

May 3rd has arrived, and with it, the new NINE INCH NAILS disc.

I'll be picking mine up later in the day, haven't heard any tracks off it yet cept THTF... hope it's good!! I mean, I know it'll be good, but I hope it's reaallly good!!

If you wanna check out the disc, you can listen and buy online at NIN.com HERE

Sunday, May 01, 2005

May is THE month!!

Okay, May, this month, should be huge for pop culture...

First of all, May 19th, a little movie called Star Wars Revenge of the Sith drops, I don't have to tell you how fucking huge the last chapter of the Star Wars saga is going to be, fan or no...

On the music front you've got Nine Inch Nails on the 3rd (YAY!), Trent's first album in SIX YEARS (after the Fragile, he'd even given up the notion of more efforts)...
Then The Gorillaz 2nd album (of entirely new recordings, they've released a couple remix albums since their debut, of which I can't recommend Gorillaz VS The Space Monkeys highly enough) on the 24th (YAYsquared!!)

TV brings us the conclusion of the three great shows that I currently watch:
and Deadwood.

Anime brings us the final installment to the first volume of the amazing, engrossing, deep-thinking, action, drama, sci-fi, police procedural - Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex.
And if you're hungry for more Shirow, the new Appleseed anime comes out on DVD this month too, May 10th!

Not to mention there's sure to be some great comics and manga due this month too!


COMICS REVIEW: X-Men Phoenix Endsong

Phoenix Endsong is well written, and well drawn. It plays out more like a regular X-Men title, featuging the core X-Men even more so than Phoenix. Perhaps that's why the books got the X-Men at the front of the title (and not just to sell gobs more product), but the prominice in which Phoenix is featured on the covers and in press, leads one to expect more of a book exclusivly about the Phoenix. Regardless, Phoenix, and the Phoenix force, are just the plot device of the story, which is akin to epic x-tales of yore. The Phoenix force comes to earth hungry for something, and the core X-Men must stop it.

Like I said the writing's solid. Pak has impressed and turned quite a few heads here. Also, like I mentioned, Greg Land's artwork is stunning. However, it almost seems even more photo-refrenced here than perhaps in past efforts, and I'm not sure if overall he was suited for this story. He can certainly draw Jean Grey in a Phoenix uniform, but his realistic approach detracts from some of the more sci-fi elements of the story. Like Nightcrawler riding on some kind of hover jet ski, it's beautifully rendered, but ultimately unplausible for it. A photo-realistic Storm, in her costume variation of the moment, just looks kind of silly summoning up the powers of the weather (which, come on, is a bit over the top to begin with). I can't help thinking that if this story had taken place in a regular x-title, with a more contemporary artist, it could have been considered one of the x-classics. The limited series, and artistic choice, seems to rob it of potential.

Overall though, it was a great read, despite the factors that I mentioned, and in spite of the nagging feeling that I'm praising it too highly. I'd really like to see Pak on one of the core x-titles, and without too much editorial hampering. He seems to really get the X-Men with this effort, so I'd like to see how he'd follow it up.

If you'd like to buy these for yourself, they're now on eBay, HERE