Monday, July 26, 2010

The REAL World's Finest

I haven't had a chance to talk about the various webcomics I peruse online, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to mention two of my favorites. Now, if you're reading this blog, there's a good possibility that you already know about the two in question. Still, I'm gonna go ahead and talk about them anyway.

Dr. McNinja: Dr. McNinja is a doctor and a ninja. He fights all manner of ne'er-do-wells and such. He also treats bizarre medical conditions; in that regard, he's not unlike House M.D., except I'm not bored to tears when reading Dr. McNinja.

He has a gorilla for a receptionist, a 12-year old Mexican Bandito for a sidekick, and a hysterically messed up family. The average storyline of Dr. McNinja is filled with more awesome than should be legally allowed. For example:

Michael Bay WISHES he could come up with something this cool.

Also, Dr. McNinja is chock full of advice and pearls of wisdom...

Dr. McNinja is fun, action-packed, and chock full of smart comic-book style. There was one storyline entitled "Punch Dracula", which is exactly what it sounds like; at one point, our hero has to punch Dracula in the face. Said story also featured one of the most brilliant portrayals of Dracula EVER.

Axe Cop: Axe Cop tells the story of a police man who finds a fireman's axe and uses it to fight crime. I've told folks about the comic with just that statement, and their reaction is often "You've sold me with that one sentence". And it only gets better from there. Axe Cop is filled with absolute manic genius. And here's the kicker: it's written by a 6-year old boy.

Yes, much like those youtube videos of tykes rocking out to Guitar Hero on Expert, Malachi Nicolle's invention fills me with feelings of inadequacy I barely thought possible. By comparison, when I was Malachi's age, the best story I came up with involved the mysterious disappearances of ALF and Pee-Wee Herman and the Superfriends had to solve the case.

With art by his older brother, Malachi's comic is absolutely hysterical, filled with ridiculous amounts of violence and grotesquery, but with a certain innocence as well. And that's just the regular adventures. There's also a feature called "Ask Axe Cop" in which readers email questions for Axe Cop to answer, the results of which are often incredibly bizarre.

So, why I am mentioning these two comics? Because, starting this week, they're teaming up. I'm surprised that the pairing of two characters as awesome as Dr. McNinja and Axe Cop hasn't created a Singularity of Amazing, thereby causing reality to get sucked into a Black Hole of Radical, but then my grasp of Awesome Physics is lacking.

Leading physicists theorize that this may be the Manliest image ever, emitting Mantrinos at the rate of three McQueens per Macho Man on the Teddy Roosevelt Scale of Ass-Kicking.

Also, it should be noted that everyone says that police, firemen, and doctors are the real heroes, and this team-up features ALL of them. Ninjas, too.

The first part starts right here, continuing all this week on Axe Cop. The story concludes next week on Dr. McNinja.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Would you like to take a survey?

I like blogging. I also like the fact that I can make a small supplementary income from blogging. As of right now, I've made a relative fortune, allowing me to life the highlife.
Fancy cuisine for an internet tycoon.

Still, it strikes me that I can do even better. Not just for myself, mind you, but for you- the fans of my blog. So, at great personal cost to myself, I consulted with a former marketing executive who once worked for DC; he's the man that cooked up this...

Said executive suggested I do the same, so we compiled a survey for you the readers! Simply answer the following questions, and I shall endeavor to make changes reflecting the results of the survey.
And then, Step 3: PROFIT!

Hey Kids! Let's jam! A'ight?
Here's a chance to tell me what you think about my blog, if you smell what I'm cooking. You zany cats and dolls can talk about yourselves and I can write blogs that you think are hip and happening, fo' shizzle!

Answer all the questions so that I know who you are and what you think is the bees' knees! To show you how much I appreciate the moxie of you youngsters, I'll hold a drawing of the surveyed readers; one lucky winner will recieve a top of the line 8-TRACK PLAYER*! Far out!

Question 1: I found this blog because of... (Check one)
A) Random web browsing
B) A friend/ family member/ colleague/ streetwalker sent me a link.
C) You, ya moron! You shill your damn blog at every opportunity!!!

Question 2: How do you spend the majority of your time online?
A) Reconnecting with family and friends on social networking sites.
B) Reading various news articles online.
C) Writing Two and a Half Men fanfiction.
D) Looking at porn. Duh.

Question 3: How interested are you in reading blog entries about... (Choose very, moderately, or not at all):
A) Popular comic book characters
B) Comic news
C) Beans and/or George Wendt
D) Profiles on noted comic artists and writers
E) Specific genre trends
F) Orientals

Question 4: What is your favorite at breakfast?
A) Hot cereal
B) Cold cereal
C) Bacon
D) Waffles/ Pancakes
E) Scotch
F) Why do you want to know about breakfast? Are you... Are you coming on to me?!?

Question 5: What is the last kind of music album that you bought?
A) Rock and/ or Roll
B) Country and/ or Western
C) Hip and/ or Hop
D) Polka and/ or Gregorian Chant
E) It's 2010! Who the hell buys albums anymore???

Question 6: What type of comic book villain is your favorite?
A) Mad Scientists
B) Aliens
C) Robots
D) Vampires
E) Sparkly Vampires
F) Costumed supervillains
G) Rob Liefeld
H) Immigrants

Question 7: Magnets- How the @#$% do they work?
A)... What?!?

Question 8: How would you rate my blog?
A) Awesome
B) So awesome

Thanks for the taking the survey! Shine on, you crazy diamonds! Bootylicious!

*8-Track player may not actually exist.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Gargoyles: Season 2, Volume 2?

Thinking about the proposed Faux-Gargoyles movie, it occurred to me that there might be a benefit to this. Mainly, that Disney might put out REAL Gargoyles stuff in an attempt to cash in. Ideally, this would result in the release of Gargoyles Season 2 Volume 2 on DVD. Here's what I'd hope would be on it.

  1. Monsters
  2. Golem
  3. Sanctuary
  4. M.I.A.
  5. Grief
  6. The Hound of Ulster
  7. Walkabout
  8. Mark of the Panther
  9. Pendragon
  10. Eye of the Storm
  11. The New Olympians
  12. The Green
  13. Sentinel
  14. Bushido
  15. Cloud Fathers
  16. Ill Met By Moonlight
  17. Future Tense
  18. The Gathering, Part I
  19. The Gathering, Part II
  20. Vendettas
  21. Turf
  22. The Reckoning
  23. Possession
  24. Hunter's Moon, Part I
  25. Hunter's Moon, Part II
  26. Hunter's Moon, Part III
Special Features
Audio Commentary on selected episodes- Greg Weisman, some other production staff, and maybe one of the series voice actors, the only question is which episode or episodes. I'd suggest the two multi-parters, and maybe one or two others.

Meet the Bad Guys- A featurette focusing on the characters that would form the cast of this spin-off, culminating in a showing of the Bad Guys Leica Reel and a preview of the SLG comic.

And maybe one or two other features.

It's a longshot, to be sure, but as I stated before, I never thought the company that produced Johnny the Homicidal Maniac would go on to publish Disney comics.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

There's also a bridge in Brooklyn you might be interested in...

I've mentioned before how much I love Disney's Gargoyles. However, it's not easy being a Gargoyles fan, since Disney seems to delight in tormenting us. They replay reruns of the show on their Disney XD network, which is good, but those reruns are on at 4am EST, which is bad. In 2004, to commemorate the series tenth anniversary, they started releasing DVDs, which was good, but they stopped production with the first half of Season 2, which was bad. They licensed SLG to make comics, which was good, but the comics are currently on hiatus because Disney decided to raise their licensing fees, which is bad. In fact, Disney's actions seem less like corporate management of a popular intellectual property than acts of outright villainy, designed to forment anguish in the hearts of the fans.
That dapper looking fellow in the purple suit is the Disney Executive in charge of handling the Gargoyles IP.

However, I felt a twinge of joy when I heard that Disney was going to be making a LIVE-ACTION GARGOYLES FEATURE FILM!!!

However, my hopes were quickly dashed when I learned that the film will "have zero ties to the popular 1990's Disney cartoon."

In fact, with Disney's spotty track record over the past decade, this live action Farcegoyles will probably wind up being a PG-rated action comedy, possibly starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
Seriously, Rock, you used to be cool, what with your talk of "poontang pie" and "candy-asses"... What the heck happenend?!?

It could be worse; they could make a movie utilizing the Gargoyles mythos without the input of series co-creator and Garg Grand Poobah Greg Weisman. After all, that's what they did with the third season, known as Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles, which, with the exception of approximately three episodes, was awful.

Still, it's more of the typical Disney bait and switch for Gargoyles fans. When Disney announces a Gargoyles films, it is naturally going to evoke certain expectations. Those expectations include a level of sheer awesomeness that this film cannot possibly live up to.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

100% True?

In the early to mid 90s, DC was getting hammered. Marvel, thanks to their ridiculously popular X-Men franchise, was running roughshod over the sales charts. As if that weren't bad enough, Image (when they managed to put books out on time) were snatching up more readers, with their innovative blend of popular artists and nonsensical, adolescent-fueled writing. This put DC in a unique position as they were allowed to experiment.

In 1989, DC started Piranha Press, an imprint designed to publish alternative comics. In 1993, DC started Vertigo, a mature-themed line primarily for fantasy and horror titles, which showcased the works of the so-called "British Invasion", with UK and European talents such as Grant Morrison, Neil Gaiman, and Garth Ennis being featured.

In 1994, Piranha Press was tweaked into Paradox Press, where our story really begins. Paradox Press would have three mini-imprints: Paradox Mystery, Paradox Whatever (the name of the second escapes me now) and Factoid. While Paradox didn't have many hits, odds are you've heard of some of their successes like Road to Perdition. The most successful, from a longevity standpoint, was Factoid's Big Book series.

Originally intended to be six books, DC released seventeen Big Books between 1994 and 2000. The debut in the series, The Big Book of Urban Legends, enjoyed both commercial and critical success. This would follow for most of the books in the series.

The success of the Big Book series is somewhat amazing. First, every Big Book was oversized and black and white. Second, they followed an anthology format, with many different stories and pieces, each by a different artist. Finally, each book was non-fiction (with the arguable exception of The Big Book of Grimm, which reprinted many of the Grimm Fairy Tales); the Factoid/ Big Book slogan was "100% True". Of course, they had to put some careful spin on that slogan; for example, The Big Book of Conspiracies had a disclaimer that stated the "100% True" tag applied insofar as all the theories had actually been espoused at one time or another by conspiracy afficionados.

Each book featured a ton of artists, some recruited from the cream of the independent comic scene crop, while other artists were legends in the field. Some of the artists who worked on various Big Books include Sergio Aragones, Dick Giordano, Russ Heath, Joe Orlando, Frank Quitely, Phil Jimenez, and more.

Sadly, the line ended in 2000. However, DC apparently had at least 3 more planned; in fact, some wags claim that one of the proposed titles, The Big Book of Wild Women (focusing on unconventional women who helped change society), is pretty much done but DC won't release it.

I've had a fond spot in my heart for this series for some time now. The stories are told in an engaging and humorous manner that makes learning fun. Also, I've managed to you some of these as sources for collegiate papers when I'm struggling to come up with the required number of bibliography items. Of the 17 Big Books, I have 13 of them, and I've enjoyed them all. What follows are my thoughts on the ones I have read, starting with my favorites.

The Big Book of Grimm

A retelling of several Grimm Fairy Tales, this book revels in the spirit of the original folklore. There's lots of blood and violence, just like there was before Disney and other film companies started watering them down. Furthermore, this book features many of the more obscure stories, such as "Sweetheart Roland" and "The Sun Will Bring It To Light".

The Big Book of Conspiracies/ The Big Book of the Unexplained
I've lumped these two together as they share both an author and a overall worldview, for lack of a better term. The latter was the first Big Book I had bought which was back, if memory serves, in the summer of 1997. I was a fan of the X-Files back then, before Chris Carter allowed it to devolve into self-parody and awfulness (seriously, why on Earth would you think it a good idea to put KATHY GRIFFIN in your sci-fi/ horror series? WHY?!?) The former has basically every bit of paranoid screed that was available to 1995 (so, none of the OK City Bombing theories, and only a very little bit about Waco). The latter contains Fortean phenomena, strange cases, UFO sightings, hauntings and cryptozoology.

The Big Book of Losers
This one is all about failure. From those who can't seem to do anything BUT fail, to those who had it made up until one fateful screw up, this book is a testament to the old saw "There but for the grace of God go I." Also, this book has the tale of Ulrich von Lichtenstein, which might be the single awesomest thing to ever see print.

The Big Book of Hoaxes
This one runs the gamut from huge scams (such as the Hitler Diaries), to lifelong scammers and pranksters (like the inventor of the Ponzi scheme), to quick cons and scams. Fun stuff.

 The Big Book of the Weird Wild West
I bought this one when I was on my Deadlands: The Weird West kick. This book covers pretty much all the bizarre things associated with that nebulous period/place known as the American Frontier. This book holds a special place in my heart as one of the Big Books I used most often in college. I referenced it a lot in discussions for a class on the American Frontier, and I also used a brief portion for a report on Alfred Kinsey for my Feminist Theory class.

These are the ones that stand out in my mind, though I've high opinions of the others that I've read. Reviews might come for those later. Eventually, I'll complete my collection and pick up the other four I've yet to read.


As I mentioned before, Green Ronin is releasing a DC Comics rpg through their Mutants and Masterminds system. Anyway, today they released a preview of their forthcoming sourcebook, starring Aquaman!

"I'll call this one 'The Time I Starred in a Preview of Mutants and Masterminds Forthcoming DC Comics Sourcebook!'"

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The most bizarre cameo I've ever seen...

So, I was watching The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (don't ask). As the film progresses, who should I happen to see but Stan "The Man" Lee in a cameo. I've now come to the conclusion that there needs to be a moratorium on Stan Lee appearances in movies.

Now, don't get me wrong- I love Stan Lee. Stan Lee is to comic book fandom what the Pope is to Catholicism. There's a lot to criticise about past decisions and positions, but the man deserves respect nonetheless.

See, the problem is that his first couple of cameos in films were original, fun nods to the source material. Now, it's like they're just throwing him in for the sake of doing so. With the Princess Diaries cameo, it's become an absurd parody. And now that Disney has bought Marvel, this trend may continue into further nonsense. Do we need a Stan Lee cameo in Air Buddies Origins: Flight From Puppyhawk? To quote a God of Thunder, I say thee nay!

That's not to say there should be a total media blackout on Smilin' Stan. Heavens, no! His rich, sonorous tones should still grace cartoons and video games, which takes me back to my childhood as he narrated episodes of Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends. But please, no more cameos in live-action films. I just can't take it anymore.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Devil's Haircut

So, apparently Iran has banned the mullet. Now, you'll see Iran point to guidelines in the Quran as to why the mullet is Satan's Coif, but the actuality behind the decree is quite simple. You see, Batman protege' Nightwing has often sported a mullet in his crimefighting career.
I was really hoping to find a decent Nightwing pic that featured both the mullet AND the disco-tastic outfit with the high collar. Alas, it was not to be.

Nightwing has often run afoul of Iran's ambassador...
Suffice to say, you could get away with a lot more in Reagan's America.

And that's why mullets are illegal in Iran now.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day Blow-Out Finale!!!

Cap has some awesome villains- Red Skull, Crossbones, Batroc, and the Serpent Society to name a few. Cap also has his fair share of stupid villains, like Trump the evil stage magician or The Tumbler the evil... tumbler. With his amazing ROOSTER powers, I'm guessing the Battling Bantam falls in the latter category.

I'm 99% positive that Blistik is a cold sore remedy.

Free Spirit got her powers when she was experimented on by the evil feminist Superia; a side effect of the experiment made Spirit attracted to men and that's how she became a superheroine. When I type it out like that, it doesn't sound offensive at all!

You can tell this is from the 1990's because EVERYONE in the '90's but on a goofy suit of armor at one point or another.

Very stirring. Of course, it was more stirring when the same motif was used for Superman #75 a few years earlier, but whatever.

Ah, Rob Liefeld. First, notice how everyone's positioned so he doesn't have to draw feet. Second, he's blocked the scene carefully so he only has to draw half as many hands as there are characters depicted.

You know, I never noticed before, but Crossbones is a perfect stand-in for nWo era Hulk Hogan. Look at his posture in the background- I can almost hear Hendrix's "Voodoo Chile" in the air.

This is how Glen Beck sees Obama.

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Independence Day Blow-Out Part 3!

I'm no weapons expert, but even my rudimentary knowledge of physics and anatomy tells me that's the wrong way to throw a shield.

Ah, yes, 1993. I was just a freshman when the floating heads and laser-toting cyborgs came... Wait,what?

Do supervillains still use giant typewriters anymore?

Ignoring the fact that another man is spraying Cap with a gooey white substance, why is Cap grabbing his own ass?

... Captain America is a dick.

It's taken me twenty years to realize that Paladin there was a homage to the old western TV series "Have Gun, Will Travel". Considering Paladin debuted in the early '90s, twenty years after the show was cancelled but before the rise of the internet, and that the target audience back then were still children, I honestly wonder who they thought would get the reference.

Fun continuity fact: That lady there is Hank Pym's ex-wife! The one he didn't smack around.

... Right. "Dough". I'm sure that's what it is.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Independence Day Blow-Out Part 2!!!

"Take that, New York Times!"

In fairness, it was the late Sixties, and the CIA was doping everyone with LSD; it's only natural they'd get around to Cap eventually....

A yeti with lipstick? Now I know where the got the idea for Chewbacca's wife in the Star Wars Holiday Special...

Given Cap's track record with movies, I'm kinda rooting for the bad guy on this one.
Team America? Oh, I hope this is a musical issue...

A giant, murderous Lincoln? Okay, this cinches it- Trey Parker and Matt Stone have a stack of Captain America comics somewhere...

Uh, Cap? Do you really want Daredevil flying the plane? Why not put Tony Stark in charge of the liquor cabinet while you're at it?
He did pretty well in the polls until the news about Bucky broke; the press had a field day.

Independence Day Blow-Out Part 1!

This weekend, when we should be celebrating our liberation from the hated, awful British,, we as a country have to deal with some bad news- they cast some filthy scone-eating limey as Spider-Man, and that's something I'm pretty sure I warned you about. To help improve national morale following this crushing blow, here are some covers depicting that paragon of Americana- Captain America!

If you're going to have an evil hotel, you may as well go all out and have an evil registry and assorted evil paperwork.

I should note that this cover is from 1942, when fighting Nazis was not only appreciated but expected. I have absolutely no idea why Cap is fighting evil hill folk; maybe they're brewing Nazi moonshine?

... There's way too much going on in this cover for me to come up with a funny comment.

Oh, c'mon Cap, leave the guy be! He's just trying to get into the Guiness Book of World Records or something!

The title of this story- "Cap goes to Lilliput and gets raped by a mysterious hand"

I've seen enough Roadrunner cartoons to know that this won't end well for that guy with the hostage....

And here Cap is... nowhere to be found. What the- ?!?