The Curious Case of Twilight

Let’s get something out of the way right here and now; yes, Twilight is terrible and there are a lot of jokes I could make about it, but those jokes are like shooting a barrel in a barrel. I don’t want to ponder its popularity or denounce it is being trash or get angry about how students won’t read the classics, but they’ll read trashy vampire romance novels. I was raised in a household where reading was important and it didn’t matter that I read comics all the time – the important thing was that I was reading.

Instead, I think we should pause to ponder an incredibly important question: where are the fundamentalist Christians on this one?

Follow me for a second.  Continue reading

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Defending Identity Crisis

In the past week, not only has my hero Grant Morrison said some pretty strong opinions over Brad Meltzer’s Identity Crisis, but Newsarama has listed the crossover as being their number 1 moment worth forgetting after the relaunch (which happens TODAY).While Morrison’s comments at least make sense given that he is discussing his bookSupergods and responding the interviewer’s question regarding the series, Newsarama naming the crossover as being the biggest moment worth forgetting seems odd to me, and the article doesn’t even justify its inclusion of the title in the top spot so much as it simply restates the overall plot. Newsarama states:  Continue reading

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The Smiths vs. the Cure

 

VS

Based on looks alone, I know that I should pick the Smiths in terms of my favorite influencial 80′s bands (Sam describes Robert Smith of the Cure as “looking like a pan of unbaked muffins”), but when it comes down to the music itself, my gut goes with the Cure every single time.

Some may argue (and when I write “some” I really mean “Sam”) that these two bands are ultimately incomparable because they both serve two different functions. At their core, the Smiths sound like a pop band and one is almost surprised that they never utilized the harmonized “yeah, yeah, yeah” motif that the Beatles made popular. Yet, despite their clearly pop-influenced sensibilities, the Smiths cut to the core of sadness. Take “Ask” for instance- the line “if it’s not love, then it’s the bomb that will bring us together” is an incredibly well-written line that cuts to the heart of a forced peace created by fear. Alone, it is one of the saddest and most tragically beautiful lines I’ve ever read, but it is hidden beneath that “gee-whiz, life is grand” melody. It takes an incredible amount of talent to be both poppy and melancholy, but Morrissey makes it seem effortless. But, deep down, it’s disingenuous.

On the other hand, The Cure don’t just cut to the core of sadness – they embody it. They embrace it. They champion it as their rallying cry. If it weren’t for the Cure, emo never would have been born (good emo, like American Football, Mineral, the Appleseed Cast, and Sunny Day Real Estate). Of course, “Pictures of You” is the easiest example of this, but really if one were to listen to their album “Disintegration” from beginning to end, the influences on early emo are not only apparent, but it’s clear that they have been borderline stolen from.

While this debate probably comes down to personal preference more than anything else, I settle it like so:

When I compare the bands that have been influenced by the Cure to the bands that have been influenced by the Smiths (Death Cab for Cutie, the Decemberists, etc.), the Cure is far and away a superior band. They inspired emo and the Smiths helped shape indie rock and at the end of the day, I’m still an old school emo kid through and through.

 

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Justice League #1 Review

Though I typically skew toward hyperbole when I discuss anything, I will do my best to avoid such in this review so let’s get this out of the way right now: is Justice League the best comic book ever written? No. Is it horrible? Not at all. When it is read within the right context, it is a great book and absolutely worthy of kicking off the new DC Universe.

But remember that context is absolutely everything.  Continue reading

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Mark Millar’s the Ultimates pt. 5 – The Return

After Ultimates 2, Millar stepped away from the Ultimate universe for a couple of years. During his absence, Jeph Loeb took over for Ultimates 3 and while it was a more traditional super-hero story, it still had some elements of super-hero mistakes coming back to bite the team.

During Ultimate Power, the Supreme Power universe crossed over into the Ultimate Universe. Nick Fury had been partially responsible for unleashing a powerful alien organism that nearly wiped out their planet and he was sentenced to prison in that universe. It seems a little ridiculous that this mini-series about alternate dimensions exists given the gritty and real nature of the original series of The Ultimates was during Millar’s tenure.  Continue reading

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The day before the relaunch

I’m terribly excited for tomorrow that I can almost hardly wait. The last Flashpoint issue and the first Justice League have me chomping at the bit. I seriously cannot wait!

Then, Geoff Johns has to go and write this on DC’s Source Blog:

“While I was checking in for my flight yesterday from Los Angeles to New York I thought to myself, “Don’t check your bag.” I mean, it was pretty light and who checks their bag for a three-day trip? But I decided to anyway, almost embarrassed to tell the clerk who gave me a look as if to say, “You’re checking this?” I fumbled together a few words, thanking her and headed to the gate.

When the flight arrived at New York I was greeted by an airline worker who informed me my bag had been lost. But I didn’t panic (thankfully my notebooks and laptop full of the next several scripts of JUSTICE LEAGUE, GREEN LANTERN and AQUAMAN were in my backpack which was with me – the latest work being an outline on the second year of Justice League). My bag wasn’t that important. Being in New York was.

I’m in Manhattan to join everyone else tonight at midnight to celebrate the release of JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 at Midtown Comics. A very different JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 than I would’ve ever imagined writing.

I’m known for stories that build off the rich continuity that DC has. So when the idea of an entire line-wide relaunch was discussed, I knew it would stir controversy, which I’ve never been a big fan of. I knew it would change characters I was already comfortable with. And I knew I would have to completely re-think how I was going to approach everything I was writing. But I also knew it was a chance for every writer and artist to turn their focus on the one other thing that makes DC great: its characters.

This is new. And new is scary. For all of us. We’re entering into uncharted waters.

But we have Aquaman to brave those waters.

And Batman. And Superman. And Frankenstein, Justice League Dark, Grifter, Swamp Thing, Batgirl, the Flash, Suicide Squad, Action Comics, Batman & Robin and many, many more.

It’s a challenge and a thrill to work on a relaunch for JUSTICE LEAGUE that explores these characters in a different way, spin GREEN LANTERN into a new direction starring its greatest villain Sinestro as the ring bearer and finally tackling AQUAMAN to answer that question no one knew needed answering: Who Sank Atlantis?

My bag showed up at 4 a.m. this morning. I think it’s because I believe in a better tomorrow.

I learned that from Superman.”

Great. Now I really can’t wait. :/

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The Rublecon After Action Report 2011!

My big sister and me.

Springfield doesn’t get many real comic book conventions. Sure, we get the occasional trade show and that’s fine, but in terms of authentic comic book shows with guests, it just never happens.

And so, when I saw Rublecon on Facebook, I was a little skeptical. The only comic book shows I have been to in Springfield were at the Lamplighter Inn and they were sparsely attended with hardly any vendors worth spending money with. It wasn’t until I saw that my friend Jai Nitz was going to be there that I realized that it might be something more.

The moment that really got me, however, was when I came home Friday to find that my book Keeping the World Strange: A Planetary Guide had finally shipped to me. It was at that moment that I knew that not only would I be attending Rublecon, but I would also have to have a table there. Knowing that I couldn’t support a table myself , I asked the incomparable Ross Payton to share a table with me.

Considering this was the first year for Rublecon, it was really well attended and I had a lot of fun hanging out with Ross, Jai, B. Clay Moore, and all of my friends who came to visit. I’d like to thank everyone who stopped by my booth to talk for a few minutes and I’d further like to thank everyone who bought the book. I really hope you enjoy it.

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Why Greg Rucka rules

Greg Rucka has said something so concisely that I am jealous. Here it is and enjoy.  Continue reading

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Mark Millar’s the Ultimates pt 4 – The Endgame

After numerous issues of in-fighting and build up, all of the pieces are in place for Millar’s endgame and he takes the series to its only logical conclusion – America’s arms race backfires. It’s the culmination of his entire run as it shows that America’s worst enemy is itself. Maybe it’s a bit presumptuous by showing America as being attacked only after it had built up its super-hero fighting force suggesting that our enemies only hate us because we are war-mongering and have brought it upon ourselves, but it succeeds in giving the Ultimates some villains to hit.  Continue reading

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The Punisher (2004) Review

Of the three Punisher films that have been made, most would probably put this film as the best and while it is certainly . . . what’s the word for it . . . the most “movie-esque,” Tom Jane’s The Punisher is my least favorite of the three.

Yeah, I like Punisher: Warzone better, but we’ll talk about that movie next week.  Continue reading

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