Tuesday, January 30, 2007

HEY DJ! - Winter catch-up

It's been a while since I talked tunes, not much just-released stuff in my world, but have picked up numerous older discs...(as always, just click the pics to explore discs further on Amazon.com)

1/07 FABRIC 32 - Luke Slater (dj/electronic) Having recently caught some Fabric mixes on Music Choice, I did some looking, and turns out Fabric is a UK club that puts out a monthly series of guest mixes, and they offer a club to get the discs, shipped worldwide for a decent price. Additionally you get access to archives of music online and some extras (like vip access to the club, for you know, when I'm in the UK)... This, my first disc, is solid, all straight electro, dark/prog/tech trance etc in the mix, non commercial, good stuff. Looking forward to more!
If you're into dj mix, underground, electronic culture, check out their site, they're the real deal, featuring pure music (no nasty club/dance crap)... HERE

7/06 CUT CHEMIST - The Audience's Listening (turntablist, hip hop, trip hop, electronic) Jurassic Five DJ Cut Chemist goes wild with this blistering, accomplished, fun, and quirky turntablist entry. Mixing the disc up with dj snippets and straight up inspired song production, Cut Chemist drops an instant classic. The closing track, The Audience Is Listening Theme Song, was in heavy rotation in recent Ipod ads.

4/06 THE PRESETS - Beams (electronic, electro, new wave) Cut from the same cloth as synth gods Depeche Mode, The Presets are the real deal, the fact their not on the radio speaks to the pureness of their tracks. While they're pure pop/dance gold, they're not commercial, and that's why they're so good. If you like current progressive dance acts like Fischerspooner, The Presets are for you!

4/06 ULTRA ELECTRO (electro, DJ dance, club) Okay, I'm a bit embarrassed to include this one, as the Ultra mix discs are mosly (all) cheesey club/commercial drek, but this one boasts a decent lineup of mainstream (electo-ish) stuff, and I copped it for like $2 plus shipping on Amazon. It's got Gorillaz, Depeche Mode, New Order, Royksopp, Ladytron, Daft Punk, Moby, Shiny Toy Guns, Goldfrapp, and more. One disc is the club tracks, the other is deeper club stuff, all in the mix. It's good, but just okay good, not great.

4/06 CARL COX - Second Sign (DJ mix, electronic, dance) Underground progressive tech house/trance DJ Carl Cox has settled into a viable career as original song producer, on I think his third original disc. The disc plays in the mix and touches several genres, from hard and deep instrumentals, to uplifting and blazing vocal anthems like standout track IF I FALL. Great disc.

2/05 LCD SOUNDSYSTEM - Self Titled (rock, electronic, electro) Somehow I missed this one when it came out, and been waiting for eons to pick it up... I don't know, it's so good, you almost feel stupid for coming so late to the party. LCD employ an NYC rock sensibility to party tracks, that I guess might most closely resemble The Rapture (except instead of 80's new wave, it's more 70's NYC rock). At times it's reminiscent of the best Talking Heads, or indie/rock staples gone by, but it's always funky, smart, and exploding with groove. One of my new favorite bands. Love it!

1/05 LEMON JELLY - '64-'95 (big beat, electronic, DJ mix) This is my first exposure to Lemon Jelly, who've it sounds, been around... and this disc is I guess a couple years old now. Their infectious and rocking COME DOWN ON ME sounds like the lovechild of Iron Butterfly and The Chemical Brothers, and the rest of the disc is inspired too. The whole effort is themed as each track being sampled from a different year, spanning 3 decades, and closes with the 1964 track GO, which samples the Shat man (yes William Shatner - Captain James T Kirk) in spoken word matched perfectly to the climaxing production. Fun, inventive, and musically diverse.

10/04 DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 - You're a Woman, I'm a Machine (rock, industrial, electronic) Having heard many remixes from this outfit, I had to see what all the fuss was about. DFA1979 combine an electronic production approach to hard driving guitar sound, that's any combination of punk, industrial, grunge? It's loud, fast, and cool, but most of all uniquely talented.
An you just have to love that cover art!

Monday, January 29, 2007

I WATCH ANIME: January roundup

With the slew of new shows on cable, in addition to what's already offered on-demand, and the occasional series I add to Netflix, I've Been more actively watching anime lately. Regardless of how many shows are offered on TV, or sought out, I only continue on if they're good, and there are a lot of really good shows right now.

Simply spectacular!The voice acting - it's mother fuckin Sam Jackson and Hollywood actors, not your run of the mil english translation done with the same overly sweet/goofy voice actors, who've done voices on countless other shows.
The music - it's scored by the RZA, the same former Wu-Tang Clan member who helped score the infamous Kill Bill soundtrack, and the music here is good.
The production - since AS is only 5 episodes (I think), essentially an OVA, the quality is not only high, it's 2 steps beyond, and throughout.
The design - from characters, to settings, and palates, AS has it all going on.
This is just plain stellar storytelling.
Mature animation, done right.
This is what I crave!

The buzz on this one was really good, in terms of concept, design, and production.
The first volume doesn't disappoint.EP is the story of a sci-fi future Earth where a completely controlled domed society utilizes robotic advancements, every citizen has an "entourage" - a cybernetic robot counterpart, that helps them with their daily tasks, and focuses on one special intelligence officer, granddaughter of the society's leader, as she follows the trail of an apparent monster running wild through the city.
The style here is fresh, and the detail is on par with the impressive Ghost In The Shell series, and should fill the void left by the ending of that great series.
View the trailer HERE

Two hated ninja tribes have their long ban on fighting lifted by their masters, as the next generation plans a marriage between young lovers on either side of the conflict. Filled with ancient superhuman ninja powers that are revealed only in showdowns as the tribes battle to claim 10 names from each side, and thus achieve victory.
The characters, the setup, and the outlandishly creative abilities all serve up one awesome visual treat that keeps you on edge.
Very good!

So far, I've only caught the first episode, as this one is on Anime Network on-demand, but what started out as a pleasing, solid, but not spectacular show, quickly turned into something really special by the end. Really looking forward to more of what looks to be great planet hopping sci-fi as multiple sides attempt to elude, capture or kill the other!
There also some imaginative ideas and characters at play here.
Check this one out!

So far GG has been very low key... long walks down quiet hallways, soft music, delicate voices, and not too much action. However, what makes the series work so far, are the themes at play within, underaged cybernetic girls who's only existence is that of trained killers who know nothing outside their world besides what their handlers tell them. It makes for an interesting setup that's fun to watch. Just don't expect non stop action (at least in the first 3 episodes).

Lots of good stuff out there!

While most of these shows are just underway (either on cable/on-demand, or DVD), AFRO SAMURAI is just about wrapped up on Spike. If you missed it the DVD is coming... I thought it was due in February, but a check on Amazon shows May, when both the edited and director's cut show available. So plan accordingly (looks like the Director's Cut has 15 minutes of extra footage)...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

IN CASE U MISSED IT: ride the Rocket

Out on newsstands now is the debut issue of the new "cool media" magazine ROCKET, from the people who bring you PLAY MAGAZINE.

Play, for those who aren't into video games, or haven't seen it, is a really cool magazine that covers not only video games (of all platforms), but also has sizeable coverage of anime, along with brief sections on manga, comics, and DVDs. Unlike other video game mags, Play really goes all out with visuals, filling the issues with oversized page photos of nearly everything that's covered. They also offer covers by folks associated with the comics industry. With a cool mix like this, it seems natural that they've started this new bi-monthly magazine, Rocket, using the same format: oversized, heavy paperstock, and bursting with large pics, but instead focusing on all things cool in media. From movies, to anime, manga, comics, and so much more.

The first issue offers sizeable coverage of comic culture films like Frank Miller's 300, Hellboy Animated, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Ghost Rider. There's also a section on the best 25 sci-fi movies of all time, scores of anime reviews and previews, and much much more. Anything related to genre/cutting edge media. Filled with coverage of items even the most active seekers of the next crazy thing (junkies), like myself, may otherwise have missed. Or at the very least, everything in movies, animation, comics, and the like that you're looking forward to, previewed and reviewed. It's awesome!

The website is still kind of beta, but it does have a decent walk through of the mag, and you can also go tool around the Play website for a more in depth feel of things.

Here are the links:

Give Rocket a look, with a subscription at $15 for 6 issues available online (and the one they offered in Play was even cheaper), that's a pretty good deal to have the best in pop culture media delivered to your door!

Friday, January 26, 2007

IN CASE U MISSED IT: comics go manga

Not one, but two established mainstream comic properties have press releases within 24 hours featuring manga versions of their characters...


Top Cow's been trumpeting their anime and manga adaptations of the Witchblade for some time, and I'm eager to check both out (particularly the anime).
The manga differs from the anime, but is written by the anime's head writer.

Top cow have decided on a two prong release, first an "Americanized" monthly, flipped, colorized version, then later, an original Japanese format traditional manga collection (from Bandai, their manga partner).

If you've visited the manga section of bookchains lately, you might have noticed other Top Cow/Bandai products, collected manga formats of Tomb Raider and Witchblade, mixed in with the standard manga offerings.

For more on the color version of the Witchblad Manga, check out this article from CBR



I've no idea what Spider-Man J is, aside from being a Japanese version of the character, there's no indication when it was created, or how it differs. Looking at the samples, it looks to be fun, detailed, and stylish. But there's also no indication how many pages it makes up in the Spider-Man anthology it's offered in, or whether Marvel has any plans or intentions of producing the manga further beyond this offering.

Since the rest of the Spider-Man Family issue is stuff I'm not too keen on, I'll try and check it out in the shops.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

COMIC PICK OF THE WEEK! 1/10-1/17/07

Well, I missed last week, so this time we'll do a double dose of the COMIC PICK OF THE WEEK (My weekly rundown of the comics I brought home from the shop the week prior, where I pick the best book of the bunch, and then invite everyone to join in and post their favorites in the comments!)

There are a metric ton of books I've read in the last two weeks, so lets get to it!

GEN13 #4 - As if the fill-in pages in the horrible issue 3 weren't enough, this issue is all fill-in, and continuing the terrible storyline... YUCK!

SUPERGIRL #12 & 13 - This title continues it's chaotic, jumbled existence... To make things even more wonky, issue 12 is out of continuity, by a different creative team...
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #95 & 96 - I pile up this title till an arc completes, and I'd mistakenly had these two with the neverending Clone Saga, so I pulled them out and read them... Probably the weakest two issues of this great series, I didn't need, or like, Ultimate vampires...
DMZ #6-12 - If you follow my weekly rundowns, you may get the idea I don't read much outside Marvel, superheroes, and Image... well, most of that "other" stuff makes for good reading in complete or longer arcs, so I don't regularly talk about fabulous books like DMZ. This is a great book, Wood's fully realized spin on American society gone wrong is made only better by the fabulous Riccardo Burchielli. This run contains a great arc, and two one-shots, #11's ZEE NYC reteams Wood with his excellent SuperMarket collaborator, Kristian Donaldson, but issue 12's infogasam is too much for me...
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA #4 & 5 - Still solid as we transition to a new arc. I like the writing, I like the art, and I like how the book takes some bolder more creative (at least creatively different from the show) turns...
GODLAND #14 & 15 - Continues to be the vibrant, bold, dripping in comic bookery cosmicness yarn that's fun to follow...
THE SPIRIT #1 & 2 - Picked these up because I'd seen so many good words online, and I love Darwyn Cookes work, I just have no affinity for The Spirit. I can appreciate that Eisner is a comics god, but I've never been exposed to his work, and outside his obvious master craft, there's nothing about his work that draws me in, it's all too days gone by for me... and this book has all of that offer, it's true to Eisner, but I gave in, and took a look. I'm glad I did, I'm not blown away, sure if I didn't know who Eisner or Cooke were, I'd easily be, but I expect it to be great comics, and it is. And while great comics are still great comics, there's not much about the character or the set ups that light my fire...

ULTIMATE X-MEN #78 - Decent conclusion to the best arc in a long while here, but a little loose of a wrap up...
X-MEN FIRST CLASS #5 - These throw away stories continue to be fun, mostly for the spot on characterization of Parker (and Cruz's art), but in the end, they're throw aways, and I'm ready for this to end with issue 6 (but it goes to 8). Let's hope the final issues do something bigger than what we've seen yet to justify the extra length...
THE CRYPTICS #2 - Picked this up on a whim because of the spiffy Ben Roman artwork, and I thought it was a number 1 (as the issue number is cleverly hidden, in plain sight, in the cover art)... despite my never having enjoyed anything from Steve Niles. It was good though. Fun, not great, but buoyed by Roman's sugary sweet art...
ZOMBIES VS ROBOTS #2 - Didn't realize this, yet another zombie book from IDW, had Ash Wood interiors, so I grabbed a copy from the shelf when I saw it... It's got great Wood-work (hunh, did I just create that?) and is a fun story (yes, indeed the theme of this section). Very light and breezy, but I've come to expect that from Wood, and am willing to shell out the dinero for his unique visuals. The sequel looks fun too!
DINOWARS #1 - Rod Espinosa does a lot of stuff for Antarctic Press, he's quite talented, and I always tell myself to check out more of it... Well this concept, Dinosaurs coming to reclaim Earth was just the FUN (see, it's fun, who'da thunk) concept to nab my duckets. Great comics here, action movie setup, mix media manga-style full color visuals...
THUNDERBOLTS #110 - I've enjoyed T-Bolts off and on, missed their debut years, but have quite a few later issues piled up and waiting to be read, they're good solid team superbooks. This, the new heavyweight villain roster by Ellis kicks off, and I'm back to give it a go. Solid start, a bit slow in developing, but I'm down for more...

STORMWATCH POST HUMAN DIVISION #3 - Gage and Mahnke continue the perfect balance established with issue 2 here, rich characterization, solid super powered themes, and wonderful scripting/plotting. This is one of the best books going...
SPIDER-MAN REIGN #2 - Queue up the LL (Momma Said Knock You Out, that is)... "Don't call it a comeback" is not only a perfect line and track for a soundtrack to this issue, but for Mr Andrews and this book on me as well. Issue 1, while accomplished, was too derivative for me, in every way, of Frank Miller and Dark Knight. Having choked down that hoarse of a pill, issue 2 goes down much easier... I no longer care how slavish the book is to DK, it doesn't matter, it still works, and has more than enough of it's own going on. If issue 3 and 4 continue this rise, we could be in for some truly DK-level comics too...


Even with all the books I covered this time, I still had to give Eve here the main pick, for a number of reasons, the least of which is that this is just such a damn pretty book to look at, and that starts with the beautiful cover. Josh's simple, clean art, lends itself so well to cover images. He uses an economy of lines, that when coupled with some strong graphic work, as it is here, makes for covers that just jump out at you. The enhanced paper stock only intensifies that here. Inside, the book is laid out nicely too, with a long intro akin to a novel or graphic novel, with titles and text intros... again simple, but only adding to and building on the cover. The interior pages, are of course, also nicely done.

But the real reason this book shines, and that I am most appreciative, is for it's ambition. Crafting a mix of biblical themes, grand fantasy, and large scale adventure for a comic book unlike anything before, or some time, at least in my recollection. Howard, a fan of the likes of Lewis and Tolkien, takes his cues from their works, and incorporates religious elements, without making the story about that, adding levels I'm sure, that different folks can draw from as the story goes on, while keeping it engaging and rewarding for all, and not at all preachy.

Of course, this is just the first issue, but what's presented here gives every indication Josh can pull it all off.

How about you, what's your pick this week???

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

IN CASE U MISSED IT: Grindhouse poster art

From AICN.com (the fine folks who gave us Silver Surfer's shiny nutsack), here's a Japanese artist's unofficial poster treatment...
I know there's a metric ton of cool people in this, but didn't realize till I saw this that Rosario Dawson is as well...
So hey, it's not just nice to look at, it's informative too.
This is out in March right?

Friday, January 19, 2007


Since the Portland area had 3 inches of snow on Monday AM, and below freezing temperatures through the middle of the week, the comic shop was late getting new books and I just picked mine up this morning. I was in for a nice surprise though when I checked the new issue of Comics Buyer's Guide for any Super Real reviews... turns out they made issue number 2 their INDY PICK OF THE MONTH!

To have the book not only receive a favorable review in a mainstream industry publication, but to also be singled out as the one not to miss (out of 25 indy reviews) is quite an honor!

The book received 3 and 1/2 out of 4 stars, coming in a bit better than the previously CBG reviewed issue 1 which rated 2 and 1/2 stars, still a decent grade. Considering CBG employs a large team of reviewers, and each issue was reviewed by a different reviewer, results may vary.

Anyway, it seems Wizard is the last frontier in terms of good comic media coverage, as Super Real has scored well across the web and now in print.

Be sure and pick up your copy of CBG#1627 in comic shops now, all you Super Real completists! ;)


I've been busy working behind the scenes and not really sharing much about the book of late. Since I got that spiffy new review, I went ahead and updated the website, which was a bit overdue (hadn't touched it for a 2 whole months!). Now the news section, review list, and issue info is up to date (for the time being).

As you know, the Super Real Special is due next month, and I'm pleased to report the book is off to the printer, which should make it the first issue since number 1 to ship on time. The only thing that would stop it is a top secret promotion with Diamond that's queuing up... more on that in a couple weeks.

The Special, for me was an experiment, in many ways. It was a format designed to be replicated if it was successful enough, and to hopefully bring more eyes to the book. Well, based on the initial orders, that didn't happen. It brought in just about the same number as issue 3, which with a new number 1 and a name artist attached is a bit of a let down. In retrospect, (don't you love hindsight?) I should've paid for some advertising in Previews, which I opted not too. I'd already spent the advertising amount on artwork, and going sans advertising on number 3 didn't show any loss in sales, so I didn't want to double down (plus there were some things that Diamond did that should've brought some more attention to it). I think a nice ad would've gotten word out though, as the basic listing didn't highlight Mr Mahfood's contribution too well. Oh well, who knows. I think it's not so much a reflection on the book, or it's push, but just the market in general. Things are really brutal with 52 and Civil War and the big guys making so much noise.

So, aside from the initial sales not improving, another aspect was a cost savings by switching to black and white. Well, turns out I'm using the same printer as issue 3, for the same cost. I didn't find a black and white printer that could beat their color price, so I could've printed a color book for the same amount of money. So, the only thing dropping color bought me was time, which is something. It would've taken quite a bit more effort to get all 29 pages colored up. At least there's that.

Now don't get me wrong, the book, if nothing else, is a smashing creative success, I feel. Obviously I need to get it out there for others to evaluate, but I'm really proud of it. Sure, it's my first comic book collaboration, I scripted the whole thing but only drew one section. It was a blast to play editor and work with cool artists I know who are coming up or working around the fringes in the industry, and they all turned in great pages. Also, as I've mentioned before, it was a thrill working with a pro artist in Mr Mahfood, and his pages are some of the most fun I've done! I can't wait for folks to get ahold of this one. But aside from being creatively different for me, it will be something different for the readers too, as the book takes a new angle than I've been able to in the regular series, highlighting the character enhancements the series only just set up, and going all out with action, something we've only seen in very limited amounts in the book to this point. It's awesome, but quite different!

So now it's time to focus on issue four, which I'm behind on, I haven't started, and had planned to by now. I do still have about 10 weeks and a clear schedule for most of it. However, I've got another commitment I've eluded to here previously, that I need to work up inbetween. I haven't revealed what that is yet, as I don't want to announce it until it's done, but it's a small contribution to themed anthology of sorts, for a known and popular creator due out around April. And as I've mentioned, would be my first non-selfpublished work. I should be able to reveal that within the next couple weeks too.

So, still lots happening, and much more to come!
I'll be sharing some of the artwork for the Special in the coming weeks as we close in on the release, so keep any eye open for that too (if you're so inclined).


Saturday, January 13, 2007

TALES FROM NETFLIX - monthly roundup

Haven't been keeping up the bloggin activity on a regular, so there've been a few primo discs I've been meaning to share in the last month...

First up...

DISTRICT B13 (2004) - Produced by Luc Beson (Transporter, Fifth Element) this decidedly French gangster epic is filled with imaginative, colorful, dense urban drama set in a near future Parisian ghetto. A visual treat, when B13 isn't twisting through a long painstakingly choreographed action sequence, it's popping with gunfire, hits, or wacky ideas like some Jackie Chan flick, inspired by Guy Ritchie and directed by Luc Beson (or in this case, one of his many proteges).

It's not perfect, but it's a wild, fun ride, taking you inside this closed off section of urban decay, through windows, doorways, stairwells, and rooftops at breakneck pace!

RECOMMENDATION: Don't miss it!

NATURAL CITY (2004) - A Korean Sci-Fi gem, Natural City thrusts you into a future world that's a cross between cyber punk staples such as Blade Runner and Fifth Element, and anime like Ghost In The Shell.

Gritty but dazzling effects and a complex plot center around an MP agent seemingly on the take, to save his soon to expire cyborg girlfriend. Even though it's live action, the future tech world is completely realized to the levels of sci-fi masters like Lucas' Star Wars. However, as good an escape as the visuals and themes provide, the movie itself never quite achieves the grandeur it aspires. A solid sci-fi effort!

Check out a clip from the movie HERE

RECOMMENDATION: A must for any fan of the genre!

CRANK - This is one of the most fun, in your face, nasty, violent movie mainlines ever. The always engrossing Jason Statham is pitch perfect as the adrenaline dependent syntheticaly laced time bomb killer for hire who must exact revenge before his heart seizes up.

Crafty and creative cinematography and editing, hilarious situations, and over the top visuals explode on this thrill ride of a movie. Effron Ramirez (Pedro) as a cross dressing ally and Amy Smart as his zany girlfriend are the icing on the cake here.

Look ma!!
It's like an underworld 24, on crack!
It lives up to it's name.

Waffle-iron action baby!!

Recommendation: VIVA CHEV CHELIOS!!

And finally...
CEMETERY MAN (1994) - From the Netflix summary:
Rupert Everett stars as an oddly unflappable cemetery watchman fighting off zombies in this droll send-up of 1950s drive-in horror flicks. With the dead on the rise, Francesco Dellamorte and his half-wit sidekick must be always at the ready to crack the corpses' skulls and send them back under. Featuring a pack of undead Boy Scouts and a severed-head love interest, Cemetery Man provides both chills and chuckles.

I got this one because it was a highly rated zombie flick, but it's much more a black comedy head trip, with lots of cartoon sex and violence. Apparently directed by a disciple of noted Italian shock/horror auteur Dario Argento, and in the style of Filini (two directors works I've not yet viewed myself, but are legends none the less), Dellamorte Dellamore (it's original Italian title) is a toure de force in twisted cinema. Nothing is played straight, be it the zombies, the plot, the cast, or the delightful camerawork. By films end everything is spun around to where the viewer is left unsure of what they've just taken in, a man battling the undead, turning insane, or some combination thereof, but I am sure it's damn good!

Turns out Cemetery Man is actually adapted from the popular European comics DYLAN DOG, yes, it's a comic book zombie movie!

Recommendation: Zombie Boyscouts?!? Oh yeah!

Honorable mentions:
THE DESCENT - This was a great horror/thriller, but I just had a hard time buying into underground cave dwellers...
SNAKES ON A PLANE - For whatever reason, the buzz on this died once it hit the box office, which is too bad, it really was a fun movie!
A SCANNER DARKLY - Great use of rotoscope animation for a heady drug like trip of a film.

And don't forget to check out these previous Tales From Netflix if you've missed any along the way:
Fall roundup
Sars Wars
House of 9
2001 Maniacs

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Time for another COMIC PICK OF THE WEEK, my weekly rundown of the comics I brought home from the shop the week prior, where I pick the best of the bunch, the numero uno. Then I invite everyone to join in and post their favorites for the week in the comments!

UNCANNY X-MEN #482 - The fun storyline and new creative arc continues...
JLA #5 - Great Benes art, and good Meltzer story has DC's big crew in fine form...
CIVIL WAR #6 - This is the major Marvel cross over event of all time?!? Maybe it's just me, but we really seem to be going through the motions here, very connect the dots issue. I love Millar, but he has a moment or two here is all...
X-23: TARGET X #2 - This issue, slow paced, and focused on a very suburban story shouldn't work, but between the gorgeous art and the spot on character scripting, this was a surprisingly great read (except Captain America looks like a muscle-bound little boy?? yikes!!)...
ULTIMATE VISION #2 - I'm enjoying the hell out of this one. Great script and amazing visuals from Brandon Peterson...
NEW UNIVERSAL #2 - Issue one was great, this is even better. I'm liking Larroca's likeness driven style here, Angelina Jolie, Sawyer from Lost, Bruce Willis, nice casting (except for Gandolfini as the sheriff). This is a good book!
IRON-MAN HYPERVELOCITY #1 - I've been dying for this since it was announced, I'm a huge Adam Warren fan, and he does the tech oh so well. I also love his pencils, but his layouts for Marvel still come through as distinctly his, Denham's finishes make it his own, except for Iron Man, that just screams Warren... So how was the book? Really good, great writing, visually stunning...


This was a great, moving, comic!!!

Morrison is simply the best, and he weaves magic here with the rich threads of the Superman mythos. Just a stunning, beautifully done-in-one comic book treasure.

When Superman is done right, he's the best comic book superhero bar none... Quitely, of course, provides the extra effort necessary to take All Star to the highest level.
And I just love the Superman Squad, Morrison never at a shortage for fabulous ideas, comes through in spades on Superman.

How about you, what's your pick this week???

Friday, January 05, 2007

I WATCH ANIME: IFC anime tonight

Ninja clan battle fest Basilisk, and gun toting girl killers Gunslinger Girl anime both debut on cable channel IFC tonight starting at 11pm!

I'd been tempted to pick up the Basilisk mangas, after seeing good reviews for those, but having also heard great things about the anime, I was instead thinking of going that route. Then hearing it will broadcast on IFC (the Independent Film Channel), settles any dilemma there...
A quick look at the expansive Basilisk website reveals that the production on it does look incredible - the character designs and animation are amazing!!
It could be the coolest thing since Ninja Scroll...

Gunslinger Girl looks interesting, if for no other reason than it's a more mature looking anime (not the cutesy mainstream kind)...

(Cute anime kids sure, but they're shredding people with semi-automatic weaponry!)

BTW, AFRO SAMURAI, which started last night on SpikeTV, was 10 kinds of cool!!!
(I haven't actually counted out 10 reasons why, but I'm sure there's at least that many and then some!!)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I WATCH ANIME: Get your 'fro on!

Don't forget, if you've got SpikeTV, tune into Sam Jackson as AFRO SAMURAI tonight at 11pm! (Or if you don't get Spike, the first ep is up for free on their site...)It looks good!!


Word up! comic kids, it's time for another COMIC PICK OF THE WEEK, my weekly rundown of the comics I brought home from the shop the week prior, and pick the best of the bunch, the pick of the litter, the cream of the crop. Then I invite everyone to join in and post their favorites for the week in the comments!

WHAT IF: X-MEN DEADLY GENESIS #1 - Last week's worst book was Wonder Man #1, where I had to stop reading a couple pages in, something I never find myself doing, but here I almost did again... Instead I skipped a few panels and picked it back up. I really liked Brubaker's idea of the lost X-Men team, and since this was a "what if they didn't die" story, I thought I'd enjoy it, but what we get here is an alternate history of Vulcan (the evil Summers brother currently on a cosmic tear in Uncanny) told through ham fisted TV special flashbacks. It's bad, really bad.
HEROES FOR HIRE #5 - keeps walking the tight rope of cancellation. Here again, I'm entertained just enough to give it another issue...
CYBER FORCE X-MEN #1 - I've never liked an issue of Cyber Force, and I'm not a big Marz fan, but it's X-Men and Pat Lee art. I know, I know, Pat Lee's a terrible person, building his career on the backs of other artists or what not, but I try to separate art from artist... This was a pretty cool book. 2 members from each team, Wolverine and Psylocke (one of my faves) along with their clones from Cyber Team Sucky Force. A decent crossover with nice art (love the Lee wrap-around cover).
X-MEN #194 - Another week chock full'o X-books, go figure (and I don't even get the majority of them)... This is the new arc from Carey, and it feels just like the last arc, but this time there's awesome, fantastic, really cool Humberto Ramos artwork. Emmmmm, Ramos...
AVENGERS NEXT #4 - I'm really digging this throwback future universe story, and the multitude of future Avengers. It's a real Avengers book (not that New Avengers crap-ola)...
IRON FIST #2 - Another book I thought of canceling after number 1, that turned me 180 with number 2. Great issue. It's still lacking a spark to keep me around sans great storytelling though...
ROKKIN #6 - The strong climax of this mini is complete. A solid finish, and again, love the Bradshaw art. The only thing this issue needed was more pages, to flesh out the scope of the events, it was a bit crammed...
OKKO #1 - Alright, this was a tough pick this week, there were 2 books I really wanted to pick, this being one of them. Okko is the latest from Archaia Studios, a publisher in the midst of a perfect storm... First they caught fire with Mouse Guard, then they continued to release stellar acquisitions from Europe, Okko being the latest. It's about time someone got the imported graphic album right, there are simply too many unbelievable books going untranslated/imported to deny. Archaia though, opts to release them as regular comics versus the odd format and terrible price point of the original graphic albums, making it much easier for traditional US buyers to sample! Kudos!
Okko by the way, is incredible. Hubs art, and of course story, are of the highest order. I can't recommend this enough!

I really should have given Okko the top spot, it's a book deserving of more attention, but I simply could not deny one of the funniest issues of comics in some time!

Ellis is accused of being on cruise control often these days, but Ellis on auto-pilot is still mad genius. Here he's amping up the series to 10 or 11 as we come towards the final 12th issue, and how does he do that? Besides giving us the first arc longer than two issues, or pointing our rogue HATE agents at their pursuer Dirk Anger? Well, by giving us a sequence of six consecutive, count them 6, double pages splashes!!!
Rokkin number 6, the final issue I just mentioned not being given enough space... this is the opposite, the glorious way to do things. Fuck 22 page format, serve the story, and when your story is big-dumb-crazy superheroes, you give us 3 issues of the fullest order. 12 straight pages of Nextwave facing off against every big, dumb, crazy idea you can throw out, and all skillfully drawn by the talented Mr. Immonen!!!

Ahhh, them's good comics!Yes indeed, those are Modok Elvi... in the words of those Guinness brothers commercials, "Brilliant!"

How about you, what's your pick this week???