Thursday, 31 December 2009

Holy Spandex, Batman!

I'm not really worried about how many hits this blog gets - I do it for fun, pure and simple, much like the comics annotations sites. Since installing Google Analytics back in July, though, I have the ability to check various things like sites that send people my way (I just found out Darwyn Cooke's blog sent some visitors over at the start of December to check out this post which was nice) as well as the keywords they use to find my blog.

Not surprisingly, because of the whole annotations thing, most casual visitors come across Crisis on Earth-Prime looking for Blackest Night, Infinite Crisis or Final Crisis annotations so a large number of the individual posts that get looked at tend to deal with those.

The single post that gets the most direct hits, though, is an entry from Friday Night Fights back in October 2008. At that point still run by Bahlactus, the theme was Ladies Night - all the brawls had to feature women battling. Well over a year since I posted it, the entry called Friday Night Fights - My Spandex-Clad Butt featuring Wonder Woman, Big Barda, Huntress and Power Girl still gets hits - even a bunch in the last month! Apart from the main blog address, this post is the top landing page for the past year!

Now if only I could tell whether it was spandex or butt that was sending people this way . . .

Cocktail Of The Year 2009

Long time readers (yes, both of you) will know that back at the start of this year I revamped my look at the comics I get each week into a quick one or two lines about each one. Prior to that I'd attempted to either review just one issue or all of them - both approaches simply took too much time for me but this third version seems to be working. Since March I've managed to post a Cocktail post on almost every Sunday (missing a couple due to holidays, family get togethers and my wedding anniversary) giving a quick run down of what I liked or didn't about the issues plus the "Cocktail of the week" picture - picking out an instance in that week's books that, simply, made me smile.

As the year draws to a close, I thought I'd count through the Cocktail posts and work out whose work I've enjoyed the most throughout 2009, splitting it into two categories - writers and series. So without any further ado, may I present:

The Cocktail for Favourite Writer of 2009

Both Matthew Sturges and Gail Simone scored five Cocktail posts for their work on Final Crisis Aftermath: Run! (mostly) and Secret Six respectively but the award goes to Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray for their work on Power Girl and the Supergirl story in Wednesday Comics.

I've said it pretty much every time I mention Power Girl, but if you're not reading this series, you really should. It's fun, has dialogue that is superb and a tongue-in-cheek approach to Power Girl's appearance that is handled excellently. Plus it has the gorgeous artwork of Amanda Conner. Buy the forthcoming trade paperback and get the monthly ongoing series as well.

The Cocktail for Favourite Series of 2009

There were two stand outs this year for me, two series that were enjoyable pretty much month after month: Power Girl (no surprise there) and Secret Six.

Gail Simone's writing on Secret Six is a joy to read, as much as Palmiotti and Gray's on Power Girl. The stories in both series are taut and yet fun - as much as I enjoy a big event like Blackest Night or a violent pseudo-realistic title like The Punisher, it's the good, fun series that keep me reading comics. Plus I think it's kinda nice that Simone gets some recognition as it was her work on The All New Atom that actually gave me the phrase Who'd Like A Cocktail?

So there you go, a slightly self-indulgent way to wrap up 2009 in comics for me.

I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable New Year whatever you're doing and see you all soon.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Friday Night Fights - It's Back And It's Bad

Starting this Friday over at Spacebooger, the next round of Friday Night Fights begins. And the theme for this series?

The bad guys are taking centre stage this time round!

Each Friday, Spacebooger will post links to the contributing blogs - check them out and after deciding which one is your favourite, vote in the new look poll. Check out the Fights this Friday for more details (and props to Spacebooger for the cool logo above!)

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Green Lantern Corps #43 Notes Done

Over at the Annotated Blackest Night site I've just posted my notes for Green Lantern Corps #43

as well as updating the Character Map.


Power Girl: A New Beginning Trade Paperback

On sale April 14th - collects the first six issues of one of the best series out there.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #64

This is it, the last Cocktail post of 2009! My local comic shop will be getting another delivery next week but I'll be away for Christmas by that point so no more new comics till 2010.
  • The Brave And The Bold #30 - odd that I should enjoy the two page recap of Justice League International #7 almost more than the rest of the story. Still, nice seeing the original Dr. Fate once more.
  • Green Lantern Corps #43 - after the shock ending of last issue, it was kinda cool to see Kyle brought back and in such a way that it was believable (within the confines of the story at least.) With all the death that been hanging around the Blackest Night event, I did wonder whether Kyle was done for good.
  • Justice League of America #40 - did we really need to see Dr. Light lose her costume bit by bit? I don't know, it just seemed a little tacky and unnecessary to me.
  • Power Girl #7 - easily the best comic this week, Power Girl is consistently entertaining. With lines like "Fetch the seduction musk rifle", "You shot cologne at me?" and "Stop referring to yourself in the third person! It's annoying!" coupled with the art of Amanda Conner, this series is one every DC fan should be reading.
  • Project Superpowers: Chapter Two #5 - with a handy recap of recent events, this series is moving forward apace now.
And what made me smile this week:

There were so many potential moments from this issue, but Power Girl and Dr. Mid-Nite's exchange was great.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Key To The Character Map

I've just made a slight alteration to the Character Map page over at the Annotated Blackest Night.

You can subscribe (it's free!) to the site's RSS feed by clicking here and get notification of all the updates straight to your feed reader.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #1

Notes are up over at the Annotated Blackest Night for the first issue of Blackest Night: Wonder Woman.

Took a little longer due to a family Christmas get-together but they're up now!


Sunday, 13 December 2009

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #63

I'm off enjoying a family Christmas get together but managed to get this done before I left,
  • Booster Gold #27 - Booster lays Ted to rest and we finally get to catch up with Goldstar . . . and she is so in the wrong place at the wrong time!
  • DC Universe Holiday Special '09 #1 - as I've said before, the thing about anthologies is you can never tell what you're going to get. On the whole, though, these short stories were pretty good - particularly liked the Red Tornado one, myself.
  • Doom Patrol #5 - the Doom Patrol take on the Black Lanterns with everyone ending up going through a Boom Tube.
    • Metal Men second feature - "Giffen, Dematteis and Maguire? I didn't know those guys were still alive!"
  • Green Arrow/Black Canary #27 - so Dark Arrow's Everyman, yeah? Okay . . .
    • second feature - an origin story of Cupid which is actually interesting! Why did it take Kreisberg so long to come up with this?!
  • Magog #4 - that's Magog's mother?!
  • Punisher Max #2 - man, that Kingpin is one seriously messed up fella.
  • Secret Six #16 - yay! Black Alice - that mental teenager with the really short temper - is back and has joined our favourite band of villains.
And what made me smile this week:
Black Alice shows why she is just perfect for this team!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Notes For Blackest Night: The Flash #1

I've just published the notes for Blackest Night: The Flash #1 over at the Annotated Blackest Night.

Should have the notes done for Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #1 done tomorrow with a bit of luck - I need to as I'm away on the weekend again!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #62

My (usually) weekly round-up of what I've bought this week:
  • Blackest Night: Flash #1 - have to admit this didn't work for me as much as I thought it would. I like Geoff Johns's stuff, I like his and Scott Kolins's run on The Flash but this . . . this seemed a little lacking in substance, though Black Lantern Solovar was a nice touch. As the last but one page has Flash heading off directly into the pages of Blackest Night #4, I wonder if this is going to be more Blackest Night: The Rogues than anything else?
  • Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #1 - this was better: nice and straightforward rematch between Wonder Woman and Max Lord with some cracking dialogue and the gorgeous art of Nicola Scott. From the next issue box, it looks like this'll be dealing with the fallout of Blackest Night #5 next issue so can't wait.
  • The Boys #37 - oh, Garth Ennis, you old devil . . . The origin story of Frenchie was littered with (at the kindest) stereotyped or (at the worst) racist caricatures of the French, a nation Ennis has poked fun at on more than one occasion so could have been utterly dreadful. As it was, so much of it ("Ah-haw-hee-haw-hee-haw-hee-haw-hee-haw!"  "Croissant!!"  "Nnoooooooooooonnn!!!"  "Mon Daaaaaaaaaaaad!!") had me laughing my arse off I just thought I'd live with feeling guilty but amused!
  • The Dark Tower: Battle of Jericho Hill #1 - stunning art as always and, for possibly the first time in this series, a genuine laugh out loud moment!
  • JSA: All-Stars #1 - ahh, Matt Sturges and Freddie Williams II fresh off their run on . . . er . . . Final Crisis Aftermath: Run! start their new series . . . er . . . running. Lots of action, excellent dialogue, I like Williams's art, and the return of an old JSA villain. Only think that fouled it up was the misplaced dialogue balloons on page 19, panel 1 which, as they're shown, make no sense and really threw me out of the story. Other than that, cracking stuff.
  • Red Tornado #4 - probably the weakest issue of this series so far: nothing much resolved, plot moves on a little, everyone has a fight.
And what made me smile this week? Two things, actually:

Max Lord's bouncing, talking head from Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #1 and:

that laugh out loud moment I mentioned from The Dark Tower: Battle of Jericho Hill #1

Friday, 4 December 2009

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Blackest Night Annotations

Thanks for the kind words about my cat, guys - much appreciated.

The notes are up over at the Annotated Blackest Night for Green Lantern #48

and I've also updated the Character Map showing the main characters' movements up to and including Blackest Night #5.

Annotations for Blackest Night #5 should be up at the site in a day or two.


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