Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ohhhhhhh Canada

Oh the posts I had planned for this week.

As you probably know by now, I hit the road tomorrow for five weeks with my band. Because this blog will be largely neglected during this time, I had planned to go out with a bang and throw down some of my biggest and best posts ever during the past few days.

Sadly, that was not in the stars for me. Instead, horrible stomach flu...or possibly food poisoning... was in the stars. Now, I haven't had a stomach flu since I was ten, and as far as I know I've never had food poisoning. While I appreciate that the timing wasn't bad compared to, say, having a stomach flu while touring, it still kinda sucked a lot. And thus, the blog goes unupdated as I head into the wilds of Canada.

In my absence, I turn to some of my real-life buddies to pick up the slack. All three have excellent comic blogs, know far more about comics than I do, and should be encouraged to post more.

My friend Jonathan Munroe, and his friend Paul, have a blog called Paul and John Review, which has, with time, pretty much turned into John Writes About the Legion of Super Heroes. It's great.

Dave Howlett, manager of Strange Adventures and all-around decent guy, just moved on over to Blogger from Livejournal with his blog, All This and Earth-2. You can get your weekly review fix there.

And my pal Ben Jeddrie, who also works at Strange Adventures with me and who makes those awesome Stolen Minks animated videos, writes Good Book Readin'. Particularly good if you are interested in Christian Archie comics. And who isn't?

So there are three solid up-and-coming comic bloggers that you can check out. And if you happen to be in any of the cities my band is playing on this tour, please come out and say hi! I'll be the one behind the keyboard! Probably wearing a t-shirt with a superhero on it.

Here's the amazing poster that Mike Holmes made for us with all the tour dates:

Any of those dates are subject to change. If there are any changes, we'll be posting them on our official tour blog.

I'll certainly be reading everyone else's blogs from the road. Especially since I won't have any new comics to read until I get back! Ack! I do have some Showcases that I'm bringing along, though. It's a good time to catch up on some reading.

Oh! And to everyone who mailed me CDs for the trip! Thank-you so much! I am making mix CDs for you, and had planned to mail them out before the tour, but my CD burner has crapped out on me. I assure you, my mix CD is awesome, and is worth the wait. Sorry about the delay, but your CDs are appreciated and I look forward to listening to them in...Manitoba. Or wherever.

Well, I guess that's it for me then. Stay out of trouble, everyone. I'll be back near the end of August. Maybe there will be the occasional post here before then. I hope so.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

If these aren't the two greatest panels of all time...

...then I don't know what are.

Well, she's taking it very well.

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. As I've mentioned before, I am leaving later this week for a tour of Canada with my band, so I am very busy. This blog is probably going to be pretty neglected for the rest of the summer, sadly. But please follow along with the band tour blog:

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bowling + Cupcakes + Rock Star = Perfect Birthday Party

I went bowling last night to celebrate my friend Paul's birthday, and Jack White was there! Check it out:

Yeah. At the Fairlanes Bowling Alley at the Halifax frigging Shopping Centre. That was unexpected.

Matt missed the whole thing because he was trying to buy socks in the mall.

I should make this about comics somehow...

Oh! If you aren't already, check out my favourite thing in the universe! Over at Every Day Is Like a Wednesday, Caleb is drawing a different JLA member eating ice cream every day in July! And they are amazingly awesome and cute:

I want these all made into a book. No! I want them all framed and on my wall so I can look at them all the time and never be sad again.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

This Week's Haul: Long Live Sean McKeever!

I read a lot of really good comics this week! Here's what I thought of some of them:

Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane #20

The squeeing hit inaudible decibels this week as I read this. I mean, look!:

They're gonna maybe hold hands!!! Eeeeeeee!!!

Firestar, I love ya, but get out the way! Harry, you suck and go die somewhere. Now all the excess baggage has been removed and MJ and Peter are totally gonna hook up! It's gonna happen! Any issue now!

Except! Ack! It's Sean McKeever's last issue! The letter at the back almost made me cry (it was really nice that he was able to mention his upcoming run on Teen Titans, though). Oh, Sean McKeever, thank-you so much for creating this series. Just yesterday a young girl in the comic shop shyly picked up the first Mary-Jane book, and I was like, "Ohmygod, that's my favourite comic. You should buy it. You'll love it. If you don't, I'll eat it." Because, although I don't normally eat comics, I have a feeling that this one would taste like ice-cream. I await Terry Moore's run with interest and, like most MJ fans, some amount of uncertainty. But I'm sure it will be great. The foundation is so solid, with such a great cast of characters, I think it will be awesome to the end. Everyone was sad when Miyazawa stopped doing the art, but David Hahn has been doing a great job.

Oh, and PS: I love having the Mini Marvels back-ups. Such a great idea.

Countdown Week 42

This was the surprise of the week. As you may recall, last week I said I wasn't going to buy this anymore because I just haven't really enjoyed more than a couple of pages of any issue. Plus, the overall arc is a confusing mess (someone in the store yesterday asked us what Countdown was about and we could not answer that question, except with laughter).

The point I am getting to in a roundabout way is that I enjoyed pretty much every page of this issue. From Trickster and Piper's cuffed-together Midnight Run-style adventures:

to Holly's conversation with Harley to Jimmy's decision to be a super hero to whatever Mary Marvel and the Riddler were doing. Plus, bonus Ryan Choi content, and an odd little scene between Batman and Karate Kid which TOTALLY sounds like a lover's spat:

"Sure. Go. Whatever. I don't know why you think I'll care."
"Fine. I just thought I'd say good-bye, but I don't know why I bothered wasting my time."
"Good then. Go."
"I will."
"Fine. Bye."
"See if I care."

So I was wondering why I was enjoying this issue so much, and then I check the writer and AH! Of course! It's Sean McKeever!

And Forerunner!

(Note: I can't even imagine how challenging it would be to be given Countdown as your first writing assignment at DC. Soooo confusing).

The New Avengers #32

And now Bendis Theatre presents: The Avengers as a Marvel Comics Message Board

Spider-Man: As a re-cap, Elektra is a Skrull. Let's talk about that.
Wolverine: Any one of us could be a Skrull, and I will now give detailed reasons as to why, based on recent events.
Dr Strange: Maybe you're a Skrull, Wolverine.
Wolverine: I certainly could be. And here's an amusing and surreal list of reasons why, including the fact that I am in every single comic on the stands right now.
Spider-Man: So what does this all mean?
Everyone: Shrug. War, maybe?
Spider-Woman: We should take this dead Skrull to Tony Stark.
Luke Cage: Tony Stark is totally a Skrull.
Hawkeye: Backed. Who else is a Skrull?
Spider-Woman: The president?
Everyone: Skrull, Skrull, Skrull
Everyone: Mercifully distracted by plane going down.
Iron Fist: Dr Strange, can you do some magic or something to save us?
Dr Strange: Nope!

And the plane crashed and they are probably all fine. Or Skrulls.

Sub-Mariner #2

I don't have much to say about this. I do want to mention that it falls into one of my favourite sub-categories of comics: Iron Man getting his ass handed to him.

I also want to say that I was totally following and enjoying this series until this moment:

Well...when I heard about this Sub-Mariner mini-series, I certainly never thought I'd see that guy in it.

Ehn. They're probably all Skrulls.

Justice Penis Society of America #7

Well, clearly some quick photo-shopping was done here to reduce Citizen Steel's controversial package. Here's the original:

So I guess I can also expect that Mary-Jane statue to be wearing a comfy sweat suit when it comes out and she'll be studying for the LSAT exam.

They can smudge out Citizen Steel's junk all they want and it still won't distract from the fact that the dude is HOT.

Power Girl knows what I'm talkin' about.

Yeaaaah. (I love how Eaglesham draws Powergirl. I really do).

I also love how Eaglesham drew the alternate cover for this issue, which is the one that I bought:

Hilarious! And even better is the subplot that it refers to: Superman and Starman chatting it up while scarfing sloppy joes and milk at the mental hospital cafeteria.

Oh man I love this comic.

Green Arrow Year One #1

I thought this was great. I'm a big Green Arrow fan and Andy Diggle and Jock do a nice job of updating his origin. It starts with Oliver as a cocky, thrill-seeking billionaire with a Robin Hood complex. By the end of this issue he's been double-crossed and thrown off a yacht in the Pacific, so we can expect to see him learning to survive on a deserted island in the next issue, honing his archery skills in the process.

I liked this little fun piece of foreshadowing:

As can be expected from these guys, it's a very macho comic and I expect we'll be seeing a lot of violence and action in the next three issues. And beautiful covers.

Superman #664

Continuing the very long Busiek story-arc about Arion' s bleak prophecy about Superman and the other aliens on Earth inadvertently destroying humanity while trying to save it. In this issue, which I really enjoyed, Arion magically takes control of Superman...but only for a second. Superman is able to overcome the spell using techniques learned from Zatanna. Unfortunately for Superman, no one else knows that, and he has to deal with wave after wave of emergency anti-Superman measures.

First comes the federal government's Squad-K, a tech-heavy bunch of soldiers and vehicles designed to take Superman down if necessary. Then comes Prankster with his own anti-Superman weapon:

A giant pie filled with lead and electric jolts. Well, that's something else!

Then the Justice League AND Justice Society show up:

(No one invited Geo-Force). Superman, awesomely, has to yell to get it through Hal's thick head that he isn't being magically controlled:

Hey, shouldn't Hal be kinda busy off in space with that forget it.

Superman takes a moment to wonder what Batman is doing:

In the end, Superman talks it out with the leader of Squad-K, throws Prankster in
jail, and vows to hunt down Arion and stop...whatever it is that Arion is doing. I honestly kinda forget. But I did like this issue. A lot.

Nexus #99

Hells yeah! New Nexus!

Nexus is a comic that I've only gotten into in the last year, which turned out to be excellent timing what with the new series just starting up after a ten year hiatus. If you've never read Nexus, I can't recommend it enough. It's just a really well-written and beautifully drawn comic with awesome characters. In space. I think a lot of people are intimidated by it for one reason or another, but it's very easy to follow. I really find that, as far as outer-space stories go, this one is very straight-forward. Green Lantern Corps is more confusing than this by far.

This is issue #99, but it could work as a jumping-on point. I'm sure they are hoping new fans use it as a jumping on point. I would recommend reading the three original black and white comics, which is collected in a small out-of-print but easy-to-track-down book called Original Nexus, then reading the single issue Nexus: The Origin, and then the Alien Justice three-part series. Seriously, you read those seven comics and you will be all set to enjoy the new series. Then you'll be able to read amazing pages like this and fully appreciate them:

Seriously, not as confusing as it looks.

As an aside, I think that women are better represented in Nexus comics than in any other comics anywhere. Ever. Actually, people are just generally better represented. And Nexus himself is an amazingly well-developed character.

My goal is to get more people into Nexus. As I keep stressing, I just got on board myself and it was really easy. Great superheroes exist outside DC and Marvel.

Green Lantern #21

I think the good thing about this issue is that it more or less brings people up to speed who may have missed the sold-out Sinestro Corps one-shot. And it does it in a non-boring way for people who have read it.

I am trying to think of things to say about this and I got nothing. It's good. Read it. Parallax is gonna pound on the Green Lantern Corp. You don't want to miss that.

Alright, that about wraps it up. I read other stuff, but I have nothing really to say about it. Oh! Except Superman Confidential, which I wrote a review for that will be posted on Comic Addiction shortly. I also have a copy of the new Minx book, Clubbing, which I haven't read yet, but I'll let you know what I think of it.

Today is my friend Paul Hammond's birthday. He's a talented artist and one half of local screenprinting superstars, YoRodeo. You should check out their stuff at their website. If you like cool art and stuff.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

New Stolen Minks Video!

Ben Jeddrie, talented animator, artist and writer about town, made my band an amazing new video! It just went up on YouTube last night. For whatever reason, YouTube isn't letting me post video directly to by blog today, so here's the link:

Totally Amazing Video!

Man, I love it so much.

There won't be a Super Hunk Rating post this week because I am driving up to Moncton to see the White Stripes today. Just watch the video over and over again in my absence.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Can't Sleep. Thing Will Eat Me.

I was doin' a little procrastinatin' today and found myself checking out the current line of Marvel heroes pre-school toys. Because, y'know, they are pretty cute, and...AAAAHHHHH!!! KILL IT!!!!


Ok, well that took years off my life. Let's see what else they've got.

What would a Spider-Man kids toy designed by Frank Miller look like?

Those are some big ol' feet.

Do you want to see something adorable? Get ready:

Awwwwwww. I can barely stand looking at it, it's so cute!

Underwater Spider-Man:

Just like in the comics.

Actually, confusing Spider-Man figures is a bit of a running theme:

Except this one. This one is just awesome:

Battlin' Peter Parker!

Who's got a bumper car?

The Thing's got a bumper car! Weird!

This one makes a lot more sense, in that I could actually see The Thing purchasing one of these:

What if Captain America and RoboCop had a kid? I think he'd look a little something, a-like this:

And, finally, Hulk Boat:

Aw, who's the little captain? Or should I say "lil' captain."

Well, that ate up some time. I've got to get me one of those adorable Iron Mans.

Friday, July 06, 2007

This Week's Haul: In Fabulous 3D!

This is late again, mostly because of the Independence Day delay, but also because I am depressed from going to the dentist yesterday and learning that I have FOUR FRIGGING CAVITIES! Like a PIRATE. I am grossed out by my own mouth. I haven't had a cavity since I was ten. I blame coffee.

On to the comics!

All-Star Superman #8

It's a great week for Superman fans. Not only did another fabulous issue of this come out, but Action Comics totally rocked the house (more on that in a minute).

Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely continued their awesome take on Bizarro Earth this week. This included some of the best Bizarro talking I'd ever read:

It probably is the best Bizarro talk I've ever read, actually. I love Superman saying "Look over there!"

Bizarro Justice League!:

Aaahhh!! Bizarro Batman was shot dead by his parents! I love it!

Another fantastic issue. I loved Zibarro, I loved all of it. I can't wait to see what's next, especially since there is no hint of what it will be on the preview page at the end.

Action Comics #851

I hope everyone got the 3D version of this, because it was definitely worth the extra dollar. Not only was it some really impressive 3D artwork, the 3D glasses are super cool-looking. And you get to assemble them yourself. I enjoy getting out my craft scissors from time to time.

It's really too bad that this story can't come out on any kind of schedule, because I really think it is one of the best ongoing Superman stories ever written. I look forward to when it is finally collected. I felt that this issue rivaled All-Star Superman this week. I enjoyed it at least as much. Everything in the Phantom Zone, with Mon-El, was really fun and great-looking. Plus, Mon-El was totally breaking my heart:

And the ending, with Lex Luthor, was awesome. This is the Lex Luthor that I want to see more of:
This story is going to be concluded in an annual that will come out...someday. Man, if this thing had come out on would have been one of the most talked-about series of the year. Instead it's more of a "Oh yeah, that thing" kind of series. I don't want to get into it right now, but it's just one example of a really big problem with the comic book industry right now. I don't even know if the publishers understand how bad it is having comics come out on wonky schedules like this. I understand that writers and artists can't always get a book out every month, especially since a lot of them are working on many, many books, but the industry needs to figure something out. It's insane how many customers ask "When does the next issue of [title] come out?" and we have to say "I have no idea. This year, maybe? It was supposed to come out three months ago, but then it got bumped to next month, and now it's been re-solicited for
the fall, but that might change again."

Anyway, I hate going off on that now because I really just want to stress how awesome this comic is.

The All-New Atom #13

I frigging love this comic soooo much.

I really hope everyone is reading this thing by now. Not only is it hilarious, it's one of those books that teaches you about the larger DCU as you read it. Ryan Choi is new to the superhero game, so he's meeting lots of characters, and visiting lots of places, for the first time. This one opens with him riding with Chronos (awesome) and ending up in Sword of the Atom land. This is all part of his journey to find Ray Palmer, who he's never actually met.

I absolutely loved the two warring religious groups: those who believed Ray Palmer to be a God, and those who believed him to be the Devil:

That illustration is amazing.

It ends with Ryan running into Donna, Jason and the Monitor, so it's moving along nicely. If the search for Ray Palmer is going to be one of the most important DCU events of the next year, then I am glad we have such an entertaining guide book.

Countdown Week 43

Guess what I stopped doing this week: buying this comic. I decided that, truly, I will never want to read these issues again, so there is no reason to own them. It's just a real mess and no amount of talented writing is going to fix it. I will continue to read and review it, but I have to say, I am getting really bored of reviewing it week after week because I don't know what's going on in it.

There was a funeral for Bart Allan. It was fine. Typical super hero funeral, of which there were two this week that I had to read. Piper and Trickster showed up, incognito, out of guilt. Then they got scared for their safety and fled, only to get taken out in the parking lot by some other villains:

Ok, please tell me that Piper and Trickster aren't dead. They were the only reason I cared about this thing at all.

Holly is chilling at the Amazon shelter/cult and runs into a popular DC lady:

I guess that's interesting. I dunno.

And some stuff with Forerunner happened.


Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America - Iron Man

Hot damn this was a beautiful-looking comic. I mean, just look at this:

So pretty.

So, Captain America's funeral. Iron Man attempts a few words, prompting a great reaction from The Thing:

Then Falcon gets up to talk, and shows off his Captain America trivia knowledge:

And a bunch of really well-drawn stuff happens, and Captain America's coffin eventually gets dumped into the Arctic Ocean. Frozen = coming back to life. Just sayin'.

Black Canary #1

Well, this was fun!

It starts off with a very cute flashback to the first time Canary and Green Arrow met (as told to Sin by Dinah):


I have a big crush on that version of Green Arrow. I love that costume/look. I made Matt dress like that for Halloween last year. Sort of:

Awwwww. (I was Black Canary).

So yeah, anyway, this was a really fun comic. I really loved Merlyn's crazy Green Arrow obsession room:

Especially the action figure (still in the package!).

I have a question about Black Canary. I think I missed something somewhere: is she blonde...all the time now? I can't remember the last time I saw her with her natural brown hair. Maybe I just missed an important part of her timeline.

Runaways #27

Another perfectly good issue of Runaways. Joss Whedon continues to not disappoint. I want to say something more profound, but, unlike the last issue, nothing super exciting happened in this issue. The gang is trapped in 1907, which is fun, but not punching-the-Punisher-in-the-stomach fun.

This was funny:

Aw, Chase. I love you.

Midnighter #9

One of three comics I read this week by Palmiotti and Gray. It's a one-shot issue of one of my favourite comics by one of my favourite writing teams, and they do a great job. The art, by Brian Stelfreeze, was really awesome too.

Once again, Midnighter finds himself in a really terrible place and has to brutally kill a bunch of people. This time it's an orbiting lab that develops viruses for the military. It's a really gross issue.

I laughed out loud at this, because it's after several panels of Midnighter making disgusted, and accurate, observations about the place:

That's it for one-shots for awhile. Keith Giffen takes over next issue and is planning on having Midnighter learn about his past, Wolverine-style. This could be good or bad...

Jonah Hex #21

Jonah Hex, how much do I love you? In this issue he scalps a guy (oddly, not the only scalping I saw in my comics this week). Then he rides into town, sees the saloon full of dead prostitutes and the sleeping guys that killed them. He wakes one of them up just to kick them in the face and knock them out, then burns the saloon to the ground. Any of the guys who run out get shot as soon as they exit. Fantastic.

Oh, and it's all drawn by Jordi Bernet, so it looks BEAUTIFUL:

Detective Comics #834

The second part of a pretty decent two-parter. One of the reasons why I enjoyed it was because it was a fun, crazy Joker story. The Joker doesn't get a lot of action these days, so it was cool. Plus, the detective work was insane. I loved it. Look at what Batman thinks of:

Ridiculous. I love it.

I mean, what else do you want? You have the Joker in disguise, being the showman that he loves to be, murdering his audience. You have Batman escaping from the Joker's trap while the Joker explains his whole diabolical scheme to him. You have Zatanna writing healing spells with blood. You have her turning the Joker's audience into vampire bats, which then attack the Joker. You have Bruce staying up all night at the bedside of his ailing friend. You have the Joker threatening to rip out Zatanna's tongue. You have Batman punching the Joker in the face. If you don't like this stuff, then you don't like comic books.

Plus you have a nice ending where all is forgiven between them. I'm very happy about this.

Alright, that's all I got to say about this week's comics. Oh, except you should buy Batman: Ego and Other Tails, the beautiful hardcover that collects Darwyn Cooke's Gotham stories. At the very least you should go to and download the beautiful promotional wallpaper:

And also Captain America: War & Remembrance was re-released as a trade, and that is definitely worth picking up.