Monday, July 31, 2006

Internet Roadtrip #1

I'll admit that I don't read a lot of Marvel anymore. Lately it's pretty much been Astonishing X-Men, and Runaways. I was checking out their website today and it's a real mess. Check it out. It hurt me to look at it. And everything confused me. Marvel's website makes me feel old. It's what we in the media industry call "a design nightmare," or "trying too hard."

On imdb they have actually listed Heath Ledger as The Joker in 'Untitled Batman Begins Sequel'. They have 'rumoured' after his name, but still...and the other hot rumour is that Jake Gyllenhaal is going to be Harvey Dent. Um...this could be a Who's the casting director? Me?

Honestly, though...Heath Ledger? The Joker? I don't really think so. I liked the Paul Bettany rumour. I thought that was a step in the right direction.

That is a pretty stretchy smile he's got there. And he looks convincing holding that spraycan (which could contain a toxic gas of some sort).

Hey, imdb now has little pictures of the actors next to their names. I like that feature. It's cute.

Meanwhile, at Kryptonsite, they're covering the upcoming appearance of Green Arrow on Smallville. Oliver Queen is being played by the same guy who played Aquaman last season. He was supposed to have his own spin-off, but that got canned. I can't imagine that it would have been a good show. I'll be downloading that pilot. He will go down in history for uttering the gayest line ever said on Smallville:

Clark Kent: "Are you alright?"
Aquaman (shirtless): "Wet and ready, bro."

To utter the gayest line ever on Smallville is no small feat. There is a lot of competition.

It was a pretty gay episode. And by 'gay,' I mean 'homosexual.'

I don't like it when shows get the same actor to play two roles. And what happens if this turns into a super-lame JLA show? Then you've got one actor playing two guys on the same show at the same time. He'd be exhausted. Wonder Woman would be all "Hey, Aquaman, where's Green Arrow?" And Aquaman would sweat and say "He's...eating...lunch."

I can understand wanting to use this actor a lot, though. He has a crazy superhero body. He made Clark Kent look like Lou Reed by comparison in this episode.

The internet is awesome.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Supergirl #8

Oh come on now.

They're gonna blow!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

JLA: New World Order

New World Order collects the first 4 issues of JLA. It was released in 1997 and boasts Grant Morrison as the writer and Howard Porter as the artist. It's a good book, and these issues launched a good series, no question. There are two major things that bother me about Porter's art: the way he draws hair, and the way he draws women.

Let's look at Wonder Woman:
This doesn't even make sense. What she is wearing is basically an inverted triangle. If this weren't an all-ages comic, we would be looking at labia. Her breasts are just sort of resting on that breastplate. Wouldn't they be falling out all the time while she's fighting and running and jumping?

And there's something gross about the tip of that lasso. Or at least it's placement.

This is also a good example of the bad hair drawing I was talking about. There is such a thing as giving too much detail to hair. And while we're on it, the shadowing is kind of way overdone too. Look at The Flash! It's the little things that can really ruin a comic for me.

Here's our girl fighting a female-looking alien character by straddling it. Again, breasts and junk all over the place. Just unprofessional, Wonder Woman.

Here's something I always hate: when a woman's eyes are drawn to be larger than her waist. Look at these!
One eye is the size of her entire mouth! Can you imagine seeing someone like that in real life?! It would be terrifying.

All of the JLA men are basically wearing turtlenecks. They have every part of their skin covered except what they need to breathe through (except Aquaman...but he does his own thing). Here's Wonder Woman hanging out with the boys:

Catch what if they fall, Superman? Wonder Woman's jugs?! They are precariously balanced! Look. Batman can't even look at her. He's just embarrassed for her.
Or maybe he's embarrassed for Superman's hair. I know I am. It's 1997 and Superman is just getting into line dancing.

As for Wonder Woman's costume, it gets worse:

Whoomp! And that's not even a joke that Green Lantern is making. He really is just talking about the view of planet Earth. But look at Wonder Woman, hands on her hips, daring anyone to stare at her ass. Actually it looks more like she's begging. It's just a terrible outfit. Thumbs down.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Veronica in Canada

Few things are as exciting as being able to read about Veronica Lodge visiting your hometown.

This special edition comic was printed in February of 1991. I got my hands on a copy in university.

I am sad to say that Veronica's visit to my country is...problematic. There are some serious errors. I wouldn't say that it accurately portrays life in Canada.

Veronica is visiting her relative (cousin) Ginger Snap, who is from "the Canadian branch of the family."

The comic gets the best part over with first: The Maritimes. It flows east to west, and she visits every province and territory, which is impressive. They certainly chose some weird highlights, though.

First of all, is Canada known as the "Peaceable Kingdom?" So we see that Veronica has some ideas about Canada: mounties, geese, beavers and flags. Alberta and Newfoundland were able to spring for brochures with pictures on the cover. According to this comic, much of Canada looks just like Newfoundland in those lower panels: white terrain with various historic things standing alone. On to Nova Scotia! Represent!

The first panel: ouch. Ginger doesn't even defend Nova Scotia as not being a frozen wasteland. That hurts.

They only do one thing in Nova Scotia: go to the Fortress of Louisbourg. I've only done that once and it was a long time ago. If someone asked me to recommend one thing to do here, I don't know that that is what I would suggest.

That business about Hot Fungy is just plain false. I have never heard of Fungy. No one I know has heard of Fungy. I asked some Cape Bretoners about it to see if it's a regional thing. No dice. We usually call "deep dish blueberry pie" "deep dish blueberry pie." (Where did Ginger get that steaming piece of fungy anyway?From that startled fairy godmother character in pink? Is Nova Scotian currency a blank white piece of paper?)

Also, mushrooms are avant-garde cuisine, according to Veronica.

Later, on Prince Edward Island...

Shopping? On Prince Edward Island? On Sunday? In 1991? Good luck!

They continue their trip across Canada at a breakneck pace. They eat in a fine restaurant at the top of the CN Tower (which I am pretty sure doesn't exist. There's no restaurant there, is there? Anyone?). They do some dogsledding. They rock Carnaval in Quebec. They see some polar bears. Veronica gets hot for some mounties. I'm really not being biased in only showing panels from the Maritimes. The rest of the comic is boring. It becomes more and more generic the further west she goes.

Then there is this page, which is awesome:

It's not like I expected an Archie comic to be really good, and I guess you could learn a few boring facts from reading this. It's part of a larger series that has Veronica travelling to various countries. It's unlikely that you would see all of Canada in a few days, but there is a lot that is unlikey about Archie comics.

But that's for another day.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Superman: Time and Time Again

There is nothing more disappointing than seeing a character as timeless as Superman saying or doing something utterly trendy. I don't want to see Superman wearing Crocs, I don't want him to do the Macarena, and I certainly don't want to see what's in this panel.

Oh, Superman. No you didn't. That song was never cool enough to make this ok.

I don't even want Superman acknowledging that Crocs or the Macarena exist. I like my Superman to be completely oblivious to pop culture. That's the way he should be. He shouldn't have a favourite song or a favourite movie. You start messing with that shit and you get Smallville's Lifehouse-loving tool of a hero.

This panel is taken from 1994's Superman: Time and Time Again. It took three writers (Dan Jurgens, Roger Stern and Jerry Ordway) to bring us this time-traveling adventure (originally published as Action Comics 663-665, Adventures of Superman 476-478, and Superman 54, 55, 61 and 73). Despite the jarring embarrassment of Superman walking the dinosaur, this trade is actually a pretty good read. It's certainly very 90s, which only makes it into my top ten favourite decades for comics out of necessity, but it's entertaining. You get Booster Gold, who is having a little come-back now in 52. You get Superman being trapped in the old west/WWII/prehistoric times/the future. He joins the circus (in which he is an obvious smash hit).

And, you get Superman shaving himself and sitting, depressed, on a toilet.

In prehistoric times, Supes just gives up on shaving all together. Thus the mighty beard you see in the unfortunate dinosaur panel.

Lois has red hair in this book, which is certainly not ok. At least she's not blonde.

I give this book a thumbs up overall. You really do feel Superman's angst when he realizes how difficult, or potentially impossible, it will be to get back to red-headed Lois. Although the fact that all it takes to move from one time period to the next is a large or medium explosion makes the plot a little weak. It certainly eliminates a lot of the suspense. (How will he get out of World War II? Oh.).

Another problem is that one of the time periods he finds himself in is...Camelot. I'll buy traveling through time, but I will not buy traveling through fiction. That's just crazy.

Superman always keeps his cool, no matter how ridiculous the situation (see above where he turns being trapped in the Jurassic period into a playful musical romp). That's something I always admire about him. It may not technically be one of his superpowers, but no one can prove that it isn't.