Sex, drugs, and obscure pop culture references.

Friday, September 29, 2006
Bush condoms
Got this in the email today, and it made me laugh.

Maybe it'll make you laugh, too.

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Sunday, September 24, 2006
Best of the week: Comics bought 22 September
A really big week of comics for me, in stark contrast to the previous two weeks. Quite a lot of enjoyable stuff included in this lot, as well!

Previous weeks:

Quote of the week:

"You haven't had a date since that thing with Dick. You're worse than Helena. You guys have cobwebs in inappropriate areas"
- Black Canary, mocking Oracle's lack of a love life, Birds of Prey #98

Best of the week:

Astonishing X-Men #17
Marvel Comics
Written by Joss Whedon
Art by John Cassaday
Cover by John Cassaday

People seem to either love Joss Whedon's run on Astonishing X-Men, or they seem to hate it. I'm definitely in the former category, though I see where people have been coming from. That said, by the time many people who aren't enjoying the title get to the final page of the issue, they may just be convinced otherwise.

This issue continues the story of Emma's betrayal, and the Hellfire Club's infiltration into Xavier's mansion to take down the X-Men. Joss Whedon's characterisation is evident throughout the issue in spades, and the writer manages to fit in some nice action, as well. And then there's that last page... And a funky as hell (though admittedly weird) dream sequence.

Civil War #4
Marvel Comics
Written by Mark Millar
Art by Steve McNiven and Dexter Vines
Cover by Steve McNiven

There must be a thing with comics having awesome last pages this week. I mentioned Astonishing X-Men having a cool last page, but Civil War #4's final page just blew it away.

But a final page isn't what makes an issue. This issue has three big "holy shit" moments in it, all of which work. The ante's been upped, and the characterisation has been used to great effect. Even Tony Stark hasn't been presented as so much of a douche this issue.

I've had concerns about Civil War since the first issue, and haven't been that impressed... until now. The series is finally starting to realise it's potential!

Runaways #20
Marvel Comics
Written by Brian K Vaughan
Art by Mike Norton and Craig Yeung
Cover by Jo Chen

I've made no secret about my love of Runaways - it's simply one of the best series' on the market today. Brian K Vaughan is a master of storytelling, and this arc - Dead Means Dead - really brings the gravitas of death to the fold.

The issue features Chase still reeling from the death of Gertrude in #18, and his obsession with bringing her back from the dead. It's not a happy tale by any stretch of the imagination, and we really feel for Chase.

But the issue isn't completely doom and gloom. We see the rest of the team in battle, which lightens the proceedings somewhat. An excellent tale.

Wolverine #46
Marvel Comics
Written by Marc Gugenheim
Art by Humberto Ramos and Carlos Alberto Cruz Cuevas
Cover by Humberto Ramos

Much as I'd been disappointed by the previous issues of Civil War, I've been strongly disliking Wolverine's tie-in issues. While #45 wasn't too bad, this issue was going to be the decider as to whether I persevere or not.

And I am most definitely going to persevere.

The issue features the organisation known as Damage Control, and how they are profiteering from the events in Civil War. It's up to Wolverine - despite orders to the contrary - to take down the organisation by any means possible.

Humberto Ramos's pencils are as nice as always, but Marc Gugenheim's script is the star of the issue. The issue is fun, while maintains a bit of grabity within the Marvel universe, as well as being thought provoking.

I read the originals:
  • Batgirl: Destruction's Daughter collects the final issues of Batgirl. It's a surprising finale for the character, and the end doesn't sit perfectly with me. That said, the tale of how Batgirl reaches this particular point is worth the read.

  • Civil War: Spider-Man - Decisions collects Amazing Spider-Man #529-532, with the issues leading into Civil War. Not bad stuff, though it works more as background to Civil War, rather than being a Spider-Man story.

I didn't read the original:

Batman Chronicles Volume 2 collects Batman tales from Batman and Detective Comics from 1940. While it's impossible to critique Golden Age comics against current standards, it is an enjoyable read.

Other bits and pieces:
  • 52 was solid, with more amusing Lobo stuff
  • Ion was a great finale to the first arc of the maxiseries
  • Superman was the worst it's been One Year Later
  • I was expecting more from Wetworks
  • Nextwave was as funny as always
  • Army of Darkness is the funniest it's been in a while, but fairly empty
  • Tales of Leonardo: Blind Sight wrapped up nicely

I didn't get it this week:

Angel Scriptbook #7 didn't arrive for some reason. I'll end up with it at some point...

Everything I got this week:
  • 52 Week 20
  • Army of Darkness #10
  • Astonishing X-Men #17
  • Batman Chronicles volume 2
  • Birds of Prey #98
  • Catwoman #59
  • Checkmate #6
  • Civil War #4
  • Civil War: X-Men #4
  • Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #4
  • Ghost Rider #3
  • Ion #6
  • Looking Glass Wars: Hatter M #3
  • Nextwave: Agents of HATE #8
  • Occult Crimes Taskforce #2
  • Robin #154
  • Runaways #20
  • Shadowpact #6
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #8
  • Superman #656
  • Tales of Leonardo: Blind Sight #4
  • Wetworks #1
  • Wolverine #46
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More Photoshop shenanigans
On Friday, I posted some VS cards I did while stuffing around with Photoshop. Well, this is the second lot of my screwing around... This time, a Ninja Turtles theme, with a scary fifth card.

posted by Batmite 10:38 pm   0 comments
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Friday, September 22, 2006
Soliciting - Marvel in December
And the day after the DC solicitations hit, the Marvel ones did. A selection of covers below.

You pay a lot of money for a show like this!
Heroes for Hire #5

A comic that speaks for the fans!
Nextwave #11

"Now MJ's dead, who's gonna sew up my costume?"
Spider-Man: Reign #1

Gulliver's Travels has never been so erotic!
Thunderbolts #109
"Don't look at the freaks. Don't look at the freaks. Don't look at the freaks..."
Ultimate Spider-Man #103
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Soliciting - DC in December
DC's solicitations for December have been online for the best part of a week. So, as with every month, it's time for a look at a few covers!

Not only does Superman have super strength, he apparently has super balancing skills.
Infinite Christmas

DC's finally resorted to featuring nudity on their covers. With whips, no less!
Catwoman #62

"Whoa... My hand's like, glowing, man..."
Gen 13 #3

Note the dude without a shirt with his arms around two other dudes.
Justice Society of America #1

The scene Bryan Singer rejected
Superman #659
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Playing with Photoshop
Ages ago, I made a few cards as part of VSParadise's Fantasy Card competitions. Design a card based on the designated team or theme. I haven't entered these for ages, though I've recently designed a few for shits and giggles, while learning the ropes with Photoshop (as opposed to Paint Shop Pro).

I've done two lots of cards, and present the first random assortment here. The abilities, etc are kinda crappy, but it was more getting used to Photoshop. I think they ended up looking okay, though - far better than the ones I did with Paint Shop Pro.

I'll get the second lot up here at some other point in time.

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Monday, September 18, 2006
This afternoon's encounter
As mentioned in my last post, wacky encounters with crazy girls happen with more than a little regularity. And from this, it escapes me how anybody in this crazy world can meet a sane woman.

Okay, before I get into this, a bit of background info: I'm pretty fucking skinny.

After work today, I decide to take a detour into the city, and check out a couple of stores - as if I didn't spend enough money on Thursday. I'm having a bit of a wander and a browse when this chick comes up and asks me for the time.

Being the generous soul I am, I fumble through my pocket, pull out the phone, and give her the time. She's happy, because she has some time left (for what, I don't know). So we get chatting, and she seems nice enough. Sweet girl, and very very cute.

Somehow it comes up that she was born in the Year of the Rat, and I ask what year that was - 84. She's 22. Five years my junior, but I figure I can get past that. We chat some more, then...

"Can I tell you something weird?" she asks
"Sure", I answer.
"I have a fetish for thin guys".

I mean, WTF???

On one hand, she acknowledged it's a weird thing to come out with.

On the other hand, WTF???

So, I take it in my stride, and keep chatting. Hell, I've been known to come out with some fucked up stuff myself, and in a way, you have to give the girl points for being direct.

But then I notice my bus. I quickly say goodbye, and rush for it. I fail to get either her name, or number.

Which is probably for the best, just incase she's a serial killer or something.
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Last month's encounter
I had a wacky encounter today. And for some reason these types of things happen with an alarming regularity. To illustrate, before I get into today's wacky encounter, I'll mention something that happened just a short month ago...

One afternoon, I decided I need a new pair of pants. A sexy pair of jeans, so some cute chick can remove them from me; but more importantly this afforded me the opportunity to get the hell out of the office a little earlier.

So I wander the shops for a bit, looking what there is to buy. Not a great deal of decent pairs of jeans around at a decent price. So I figure I'll check out one particular store, even if I wasn't planning on paying their kinds of prices. The girls who work there are kind of hot, you see...

As I'm looking around, get chatting to the cute girl there as she helps me make a selection. They had some decent stuff on sale, so I also go for a shirt - because I wanted it, not because she was hot (not that I'm above buying things don't want because the girl at the shop's cute mind you...).

So, I grab the jeans and the shirt, and take them into the changeroom. I try on the shirt, it's a good fit. Then I go to try on the pants. So, I have my trousers off, and am about to try these jeans on. The chick comes up to the door (which is kinda low as it is), sticks her head over it and asks how it's all going! Furthermore, she actually looks down towards my crotch!

Ever so slightly unprofessional... I'd be kinda pissed off, except for the fact that she was hot.
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Best of the week: Comics bought 14 September
Another tiny lot of comics, but they were far more enjoyable than last week's lot.

And don't get used to seeing these weekly recaps earlier rather than later, because with a big week next week, it's gonna be another big one.

Previous weeks:

Quote of the week:

"A very warm welcome for Archbishop Lobo of the Celestial Church of the Triple Fish-God!"
Lobo: from mass murderer to Archbishop of a wacky religion, 52 Week 19.

Best of the week:

52 Week 19
DC Comics
Written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid
Art breakdowns by Keith Giffen
Back-up art by Brian Bolland
Cover by JG Jones

Not every issue of 52 is a classic, but the series is having more than it's fair share; especially considering the weekly schedule it needs to maintain. Week 19 is another of those fantastic issues.

The issue's focus is split between Starfire, Animal Man and Adam Strange's outerspace adventures with Lobo, who has an interesting outlook on life; and Skeets recruiting the late Booster Gold's descendent, Daniel. Along with these subplots is another appearance by the mysterious Supernova.

The issue is a fun read, but the majority of the coolness of the issue are the twists and turns. This is one Hell of a page turner!

Green Arrow #66
DC Comics
Written by Judd Winick
Art by Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens
Cover by Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens

Under Judd Winick's control, Green Arrow has been a thoroughly enjoyable read. Since the One Year Later jump, however, it's really upped the ante into a title that is consistantly a must-read.

This issue features a tale set between Green Arrow's encounter with Merlin and the One Year Later jump, as he, Connor and Mia recover on an island, and begin to train to become better warriors.

This issue starts to fill in the gap of the missing year quite nicely, and really adds to the character's current mythos appropriately. And as always, it's just plain fun.

One of the most consistantly cool titles out there right now.

I read the originals:
  • Strange Girl, Volume 2: Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now is the second trade paperback collecting the fantastic Strange Girl. Fast, funny, and irreverant, it is a collection that is definitely worth checking out. Highly recommended.
  • Transformers: Infiltration is reprinted as a trade paperback, and really, why waste your time? Die-hard Transformers fans may find something to enjoy, but to a casual fan such as myself, it really doesn't have much going for it. But at least it's better than the shocking Beast Wars miniseries...


Of the ten comics I would have picked up, I cancelled two of them. JLA Classified has been missing more than it hits lately, so I'll do without it. If any particular story grabs me, I'll pick up the trade paperback when it's released. The other title is New X-Men, which hasn't been great at all. X-23 isn't enough to keep me reading.

Other bits and pieces:
  • Green Lantern had some gravity, Green Lantern Corps had none. But both were very enjoyable.
  • Claws was far more enjoyable than the first issue, and I found myself disappointed there's only one issue left.
  • Stars Wars: Legacy picks up the pace, and adds some more mystery.

Everything I got this week:
  • 52 Week 19
  • Claws #2
  • Devi #3
  • Green Arrow #66
  • Green Lantern #13
  • Green Lantern Corps #4
  • Martian Manhunter #2
  • Star Wars: Legacy #3
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Zombie massacre!

In my last post, I mentioned a little bit about some stuff I had bought. One of which is the game for the Xbox 360, Dead Rising. I neglected to give much of a comment about this, because, well, I'd barely played it. But over the past few days I've had a bit more of a chance to have a bit of fun with it, so I'll give you my thoughts.

I'll get the bad out of the way first. The save system sucks. It's not at all intuitive, and it's all too easy to lose your saved game. This is particularly frustrating because the game is very fucking difficult.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, what do I think of the game? Well, it's
very fucking difficult. But I already mentioned that. It's also very fucking funny. I've read a few reviews of the game where they say that it's not funny. I get the feeling that these critics were expecting it to be more like Shaun of the Dead or something, but the game has a beautifully black sense of humour. It's very very violent, but it's also very very cool.

You take the role of a freelance photojournalist heading to a small town, because a hunch tells him that he'll find the story of his career. But he has absolutely no idea what's instore for him. Before long you find yourself trapped in a shopping mall full of zombies. Think it sounds like George A Romero's Dawn of the Dead? You'd be spot on. The cover features a disclaimer saying that it's not related, but you can see the inspiration's there.

The sound is amazing, and the graphics are nice (though designed for a big screen HDTV, which is a little disappointing - it's difficult to read the text on my 68cm TV). You run around, killing zombies over the course of three days, taking awesome photos, and going on missions. Or you can hide in a closet. But why would you do that when you have a virtually unlimited arsenal of weapons, from practical (guns, knifes), to the absurd (bowling balls, manequins)?

In a nutshell, the game is zombie massacring fun.

posted by Batmite 10:34 pm   0 comments
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Thursday, September 14, 2006
Today's geeky purchases
I'm not talking about my comics here, even though I did grab them today (there weren't many, and I should have something written up about them within the next few days). No, instead I'm referring to the $201 speant at JB Hi-Fi during my lunch break today.

I grabbed:
  • Dead Rising for the Xbox 360;
  • Entourage Seasons 1 and 2 on DVD; and
  • The Flash TV series on DVD
I gave Dead Rising a bit of a whirl today, and it's a fun game. It'll take a little getting used to, but I'll write up my thoughts when I've played the game some more.

I'm constantly singing the praises of Entourage, so it's basically a given that I'd be grabbing it on DVD as soon as possible. It's odd that they released both seasons at the same time, but I'm not complaining - looking forward to watching the show again.

And I really couldn't turn down The Flash. I haven't seen the show since I was a kid, so don't know how it'll stand up these days, but it should be fun. Looking forward to getting through the series, and seeing if I still enjoy it.

So in a nutshell, these will keep me relatively busy for a little while.
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Go Hoges!
I saw the following photo on the front page of The Sydney Morning Herald, and thought that another Australian icon had gone the way of Steve Irwin and Peter Brock. It turns out I was wrong, and instead the article is written by Hogan himself, in response to allegations of him defrauding the tax system.

Hogan's article manages to mock both the ATO, as well as the Australian media. And Crocodile Dundee himself has managed to do this in fine form. It's actually funnier than any of the movies he's worked on in years.

For your reading pleasure, I have included it below.

OJ, me and my mate the taxman, by Paul Hogan
The man otherwise known as Mick Dundee responds by letter to a series of Herald reports about his dealings with the tax office.

To whom it may concern,

According to The Sydney Morning Herald on August 24, 2006, I am in so much trouble with the ATO (notice how I just use their initials to protect their identity) that I have hired a "tax fraud specialist", a Washington lawyer named Scott Michel.

You got me. Almost. The last problem I had with the ATO was in 1972 when they claimed that I had "fudged" the overheads on my earnings from my pub "chook raffles". I did hire a lawyer then, my cousin "Shifty Joe" Hogan. He lost the case. He was disbarred in 1973. Since then my relationship with the ATO has been excellent. Probably because they were, by as far as you can throw your hat, the biggest beneficiaries of my movie endeavours.

In fact they even sent me Christmas cards every year … until I became a non-resident for tax purposes. I did write to them suggesting that, unlike me, my friends and our investors, they did not risk one cent, or one minute of their time, therefore it would only be fair to swap their share for ours. To date I have received no reply.

I do have a slight problem with "tax fraud specialist Scott Michel". I had never heard of him. Maybe one of my associates, "bankrupt" publican John "the Goanna" Cornell, or "colourful racing identity" accountant "Big Tony" Stewart, hired him. Not only had they never heard of him, he had never heard of us … until the SMH made the connection.

Here it is, pay attention, it's tricky. My tax returns are done by the reputable international accounting firm Ernst & Young.

About 18 months ago their Sydney office sought advice from their US office regarding my California state tax obligations. The US office then sought tax advice from another tax specialist, Michael Pfeifer. Michael Pfeifer works at the Washington law firm Caplin & Drysdale. Aha! Here's the link … Scott Michel works there too!! Of course you, the SMH, already know this information. It appears you know more about my business than I do. How come? Here's a headline for you even more honest than "Hogan hires tax fraud lawyer". I was once a client of CAA Talent Agency. So was O.J. Simpson. Hence "Hogan suspect in Nicole Simpson murder".

In closing, I would like to thank the SMH and The Australian for including a photo of me and referring to me in every second story about tax fraud, no matter who the story is about. As I am sure is your intent, the free publicity is a big help to me in any business ventures I try to develop in other countries.

A Grateful Reader

Paul Hogan

C/-Villa D'Skase, Spain.

PS A special note to all members of my large extended family. Please stop asking about your visa/debit cards. They must have been lost in the mail …

posted by Batmite 10:33 pm   0 comments
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Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Brokeback gets a sequel
In a surprise move, a poster has been released for Brokeback Mountain 2. And this time, it's aimed squarely at the male audience.

Okay, not really. But it did make me chuckle.
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Tuesday, September 12, 2006
John Byrne is a dick
Fifth and final post for the night.

All over the world, people are commenting on Steve Irwin's death.

Paul Dini wrote:

"Monday I awoke to the news about Steve Irwin's death. I had never met him though we were both profiled on the same page in an issue of Entertainment Weekly about seven years ago. I would have liked to have met him and told him of my adventures with Komodo dragons and thylacines, but it was not to be. I was sorry to hear he was gone, but a part of me thought it was fitting he went the way he lived. I had similar thoughts nine years ago when another friend of mine, a big game hunter also named Steve, was killed while hunting in New Zealand. He was very passionate about his sport, so I guess it was only right he went doing what he loved."

John Byrne, on the other hand, got straight to the point with this:

"I am GLAD this asshole is dead. Sorry for his wife and kids, but relieved they are in no further danger from his lunacy!"

Byrne's been known for being tactless. He's been known for being a grouchy bastard, and has copped a bit of flack for it. Now, I've never had a problem with Byrne. I've laughed at jokes about his demeanor, and I've made a few cracks about it myself.

But that quote, which I'll repeat for you:

"I am GLAD this asshole is dead. Sorry for his wife and kids, but relieved they are in no further danger from his lunacy!"

That is lunacy. You don't need to be a fan of Irwin, and I'm the first to admit that he did some stupid shit. But to announce to the world that you're glad someone's dead, just on the basis that he came across as foolish on occasion? That's fucking week.

People, spread the news about John Byrne and his dickery. Because, well, he's a dick.
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Random pics
I haven't chucked a post up of stupid pictures for a while, so here's a random assortment of stuff that admittedly made me laugh.

posted by Batmite 11:10 pm   0 comments
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Back in black
Let's face it: Iron Spidey was a crap idea.

And now, Marvel's changing his costume again... bringing back the black one!

It's a cool look and all, but is it really necessary to bring this look back again, rather than reverting to the "classic" Spidey blue and red? Apparently it is.

The funny thing is, Marvel's trying to deny that it's being done to coincide with the movie featuring the black costume. Uh huh. It's pure coincidence.
posted by Batmite 11:00 pm   0 comments
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Running away

A few days ago, Runaways creator and writer Brian K Vaughan announced that he will be leaving the series, come #24. As a fan of the series, this came as a shock and a disappointment. Runaways is consistantly one of the best comics on the shelves, and #24 would mark the 42nd issue written by Vaughan across two volumes.

So, I was left wondering who'd replace him, and who'd be a big enough name to keep the title going, following Vaughan - especially considering the series has never been a top seller.

And today it was announced that it would be none other than Joss Whedon.

Writer of Astonishing X-Men.

Director of the upcoming Wonder Woman movie.

Creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.

Creator of Firefly and writer/director of Serenity.

That Joss Whedon.

Holy fucking shit!

He's an amazing writer, and he has quite a name for himself! He'll manage to up the sales on the title, and write some great Runaways adventures! It's great to see that Marvel's giving the title the respect it so deserves, even though it was never a great seller.

So, I'll be sad to see Vaughan leave the book. But I'm also pleased to see that it will be left in Whedon's capable hands!

posted by Batmite 10:42 pm   0 comments
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Best of the week: Comics bought 8 September
This latest shipment was pretty fucking small, and to be honest, there weren't that many highlights. Still, some stuff was decent.

Next week's another small shipment, let's hope it's more pleasing than this one.

Previous weeks:

Quote of the week:

"Heaven is overrated, dear. My father - our people - our origins lie in Heaven... with God. Yes, it's a beautiful place - it's also unfortunately run by a complete asshole".
- Toma, lord of the blue demons, Strange Girl #10.

Best of the week:

Mystery in Space #1
Written by Jim Starlin
Art by Shane Davis and Matt "Batt" Banning; and Jim Starlin and Al Milgrom
Cover by Shane Davis

It's ironic that I almost didn't pick this comic up, and yet it turned out to be the best comic of the week. I'm a fan of Jim Starlin, the man who killed Jason Todd in Batman's A Death in the Family, and the man responsible for an "infinite" number of space operas, including Marvel's Infinity War, Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity Crusade and Infinity Abyss.

But in my crusade to cut down on my comics reading, I almost missed this title - and that would have been a shame. The first issue of this miniseries features the death and return of Captain Comet, and the mystery surrounding this. The story is intriguing, not to mention fun. Shane Davis provides art chores on the issue, and his work bares similarity to the amazing Neal Adams, who incidentally provides a variant cover for the issue.

The back-up story, also featuring art by Starlin, is a tale about the Weird, and his return to the DC Universe. For lack of a better term, the story's weird, but interesting. It could turn out to be a fun series.

I read the originals:
  • Batman: Face the Face reprints the One Year Later eight parter, which crossed over from Batman and Detective Comics. James Robinson has crafted a great tale here, bringing about the return of Two-Face.

  • Far less enjoyable, however, is Grimm Fairy Tales Volume 1. While a couple of issues verge on decent, any novelty this series could possibly have is worn out after the first few issues. The production values are crap, which is pretty poor considering the series' focus on style over substance.

I didn't read the originals:
  • At 552 pages, I haven't had a chance to read much of Showcase Presents: Batman Volume 1, but the bits and pieces I have read have been fun, as far as Silver Age comics are concerned. This volume reprints a plethora of Batman stories from the 60's, though in black and white, which is disappointing. Still, one can't argue with the price.

  • I did get through all of Gen 13: Who They Are and How They Came to Be, though. This trade collects the original Gen 13 miniseries, which has been unfairly lumped with the majority of crap Image comics in the 90's. This miniseries is a great deal of fun, though - the script isn't amazing, but it has a sense of energy that you don't see as much these days.

Other bits and pieces:
  • The Creeper #2 was a non event.
  • Detective Comics had a cool script, and the art wasn't bad. But the two seemed to go together like oil and water.
  • Beyond #3 was, well, boring.
  • X-Men: Phoenix - Warsong has potential, but it was left relatively untapped in #1.
  • Strange Girl was a fun read. Not the best the series has ever been, but still quite solid.

Everything I got this week:
  • 52 Week 18
  • Agents of ATLAS #2
  • The All-New Atom #3
  • Beyond #3
  • The Creeper #2
  • Detective Comics #823
  • Gen 13: Who They Are and How They Came to Be trade paperback
  • Mystery in Space #1
  • Nightwing #124
  • OMAC #3
  • Outsiders #40
  • Showcase Presents: Batman Volume 1 trade paperback
  • Strange Girl #10
  • X-Men: Phoenix - Warsong #1
posted by Batmite 10:01 pm   0 comments
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Saturday, September 09, 2006
A week of death
To anybody outside of Australia - Steve Irwin isn't the Aussie to have died this week. I'll write a bit about these people who have passed away, and I'll start with the Croc Hunter himself.

Steve Irwin - I've always had mixed feelings about this man. On one hand he was a clown, making a dick of himself on TV, and putting his kids in front of wild animals. On the other hand, he's responsible for more than bringing "Crikey!" back into the Australian vocabulary. Irwin was a passionate conservationalist, and used his public image to draw people's attention to the environment, rather than using the environment to push his career forward. So despite any mixed feelings I have about this man, he should be respected.

Colin Thiele - One of Australia's great authors, Colin Thiele passed away September 4 - the same day as Steve Irwin. And yet, it sadly slipped under the radar, overshadowed by Steve Irwin. Thiele is responsible for writing over 100 books throughout his long career, the most famous of which is Storm Boy, which was later adapted into a film of the same name. Thiele was recognised as a Companian of the Order of Australia, for not only his writing, but his work in education.

Peter Brock - Like Steve Irwin, Brockie died doing something he loved. In this case, professional racing. He lost control of his car during the Targa West Rally in Western Australia, on September 8. Still racing at 61 years of age, Brock still had the heart and determination that made him Australia's highest profile racer - and a hero to kids throughout the country.
posted by Batmite 11:24 pm   0 comments
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Something different...
Notice something different about this blog?

Can't quite put your finger on it?

I've gone and given it a complete and total overhaul. This was originally going to tie into the period of the blog's second anniversary/300th post, but, as you can see, I'm a little behind schedule.

That, and I'm still not convinced that the new look is any better. But it sure is different!

Along with the new look comes a tightened up blog description, an updated "about me" and some new links to blogs, sites, and now comics to read online.

So, welcome to my new-look place to rant and rave. There's no telling how long until I scrap it.
posted by Batmite 10:48 pm   0 comments
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Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Best of the week: Comics bought 1 September
Another great week. Not quite as ass kicking as last week, but there was still some cool stuff out.

Previous weeks:

Quote of the week:

"Janine, when did you start speakin' to that man like that? He works every hour God sends you so he can look after you. He feeds you, clothes you, sends you to school an' puts a roof over your head. You have no idea how lucky you are to have a bloke like him for a father, d'you know that? Your mum, on the other hand, is a stupid drunk slag who couldn't be trusted to wipe her own arse, never mind yours, I know, I was with your dad when he pulled you out of that shithole she had you in - an' you not even six months old. Sort yourself out, Janine. Stop dressing like a tart an' hangin' out with tossers. Do your homework. Don't bring up your cow of a mother. Now get back in there an' show your old dad some bloody respect...!"
- The Butcher lecturing his niece, The Boys #2.

Best of the week:

The American Way #2
DC Comics / Wildstorm
Written by John Ridley
Art by Georges Jeanty and Karl Story
Cover by Georges Jeanty and Karl Story

This miniseries really heats up with this penultimate issue, and that's not a pun on the cover. The New American is on the run after having killed psychotic serial killing villain Hellbent.

The problem? Hellbent's white; the New American's black. There's absolutely no question that Hellbent deserved to die; but he died at the hands of a black man. Set in the 60's, The American Way is a brilliant commentary on race issues in the time, many of which are prevalent in today's society. And this issue brings them to a head, in a beautiful, heartbreaking, and disturbing fashion.

And it has superheroes, too!

Solo #12
DC Comics
Written by Brendan McCarthy, with Jono Howard, Tom O'Connor, and Robbie Morrison
Art by Brendan McCarthy, with Steve Cook, Glammapuss, and Sir Trevor Goring
Cover by Brendan McCarthy

This final issue of Solo is one of the most strange, warped, nonsensical and just plain odd comic books I've ever read. This issue, focusing on Brendan McCarthy, who has worked in comics for over 20 years, along with TV and film, is an incredibly strange read.

The issue is an ode to comic books, featuring interesting takes on Batman, the Flash, and even artist Frank Quitely. The stories are bizarre, but it's the art in this issue that really shines through, and in particular the use of colours.

McCarthy mixes visual styles beautifully throughout the issue, to bring something rarely seen in comics, let alone mainstream works. A great read, though it definitely isn't suited to everyone's taste.

Trials of Shazam! #1
DC Comics
Written by Judd Winick
Art by Howard Porter
Cover by Howard Porter

The first issue of Judd Winick and Howard Porter's Trials of Shazam! has been receiving mixed reviews. Some people really hate it. Others love it, but hated Winick's Superman/Shazam: First Thunder. Having read these reviews, I was a little worried about this book, seing that I thoroughly enjoyed First Thunder.

And it turns out these worries were unfounded. Personally, I'm a fan of Winick's writing, and lap up just about anything the man writes. This issue sets the pace nicely, and gives us a mature take on Captain Marvel and his world.

Let's not forget Howard Porter's art. I've been a fan of his since first seeing his art on the Grant Morrison issues of JLA, but he outdoes himself here, tenfold. While one may assume that the art's painted, it's not. He's drawn the work, and coloured it with his PC, creating a beautiful look. This comic, in short, is amazing.

I read the originals:
  • The Decimation: The 198 trade paperback hits, and it's a decent take on minorities in the wake of House of M. It draws allusions to concentration camps, etc, but doesn't quite have the substance to back it up.

  • The issues reprinted in Nextwave: Agents of Hate Volume 1: This is What They Want is pure hilarity.


Nothing this week, but last week, I neglected to mention that I cancelled Transformers: Generations, reprinting issues of the old Marvel series. I'd never read these issues, and many people consider them "classics". I really don't see it.

Other bits and pieces:
  • Two fun Superman titles this week with All-Star Superman and Action Comics both hitting the right notes
  • Thank God Batman: Journey into Knight is almost done. Reading it has been painful!
  • 52 features Lobo in one of the funniest scenes I've read in a while
  • Usagi Yojimbo is yet again great

Extra-Curricular reading:

As loathe as I am to promote Wizard at all, #180 has some great content in it. It's the first time in years that I've been really impressed with the magazine. And no, I don't know why I continue to pick it up.

Rest in peace:

DC Comics

It was fun while it lasted. When DC first announced this title, I was surprised - an anthology series focusing on various artists, many of whom are from the indy press didn't sound like the most fiscally viable comic series for a major publisher.

And it looks like I was right, with it being cancelled as at issue 12. And it's a shame. Not only did the series feature great artists (though admittedly, not every issue was to my taste), we'll be missing on some great work by other artists now the series is over. Granted, it only ran for 12 issues, but it's absence leaves a void in mainstream comics.

To say goodbye to the series, let's take a quick look at the names who were featured on the title:
  • Tim Sale
  • Richard Corben
  • Paul Pope
  • Howard Chaykin
  • Darwyn Cooke
  • Jordi Bernet
  • Mike Allred
  • Teddy Kristiansen
  • Scott Hampton
  • Damion Scott
  • Sergio Aragones
  • Brendan McCarthy
And since Solo has gone before it's time, let's take a look at some of the artists who were scheduled to be featured, but we missed out on:
  • Brian Bolland
  • John Cassaday
  • Dave Gibbons
  • Adam Hughes
  • JG Jones
  • Kevin Nowlan
  • Bill Seinkiewicz
  • Walt Simonson
  • Jill Thompson
  • Brian Stelfreeze
  • Bruce Timm
  • John Van Fleet
  • Matt Wagner
It's a sad, sad day that this multi-Eisner Award winning series (Best Short Story - Teenage Sidekick, Paul Pope, #3; Best Single Issue - #3, Darwyn Cooke; Best Anthology) has been cancelled.

Everything I got this week:
  • 52 Week 17
  • Action Comics #842
  • All-Star Superman #5
  • The American Way #7
  • Batman: Journey Into Knight #11
  • The Boys #2
  • Civil War: New Avengers and Runaways #2
  • Fallen Angel #6
  • Jack Kirby's Galactic Bounty Hunters #2
  • JLA Classified #26
  • Man-Bat #5
  • Solo #12
  • Superman/Batman #29
  • Teen Titans #38
  • Trials of Shazam! #1
  • Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #2
  • Usagi Yojimbo #96
  • X-Men Fairy Tales #4
posted by Batmite 10:07 pm   0 comments
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Sunday, September 03, 2006
Exactly a week after the Sneak...
Michael from the Legion Omnicrom blog was kind enough to point me to his Legion VS coverage (here and here). It turns out that UDE has chucked a PDF online about the Legion of Super Heroes set (images posted above).

The PDF (which has been floating around since July) includes three more card previews, which I have included below with my thoughts for your viewing pleasure. Naturally, I've added my thoughts on them.

Need for Speed
This card will work beautifully with Teen Titans, which in DC Origins was all about readying attackers. Generally, this was for team attacks, which don't include breakthrough, so this is nice for the characters that attack singly. Better yet, they don't need to be Teen Titans!

Cosmic Boy, Rokk Krinn
One thing that I thought looked cool with the Heralds of Galactus set is the resurgence of Cosmic, and that a Cosmic themed deck could work. Well, Cosmic Boy here makes that look even more viable.

Dark Matter Drain
This card is a beautiful Darkseid's Elite card for getting rid of opponent's additional team-up cards. The Heralds of Galactus set gives bonuses for multiple team ups, so this is a nice way to screw that over!

In my post about Nyssa Raatko, I neglected to give my thoughts on the card, so I figure I may as well give them now. It works beautifully with the League of Assassin's location play, and recovery bonuses. The team could become quite viable, which is nice to see!
posted by Batmite 11:31 pm   0 comments
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