Monday, 30 March 2009

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #30

The cocktail post was delayed this week due to a drunken weekend away with some friends. Still, least there was more than last week.
  • Battlefields: Dear Billy #3 - Dear Garth Ennis. Thank you for this story; it showed a level of warmth and heart that proves you're not all about zombies and child killing.
  • Crossed #3 and #4 - Dear Garth Ennis. Thank you for this story; it showed that part of you is about zombies and child killing.
  • The Death Defying 'Devil #4 - oooooh, Bart's not Bart!
  • Justice League of America #31 - wait, why is Zatanna calling Wonder Woman "Dinah" on page 1? And why are we reading about the repercussions of something Hal Jordan's doing in a few months time?
  • Top Ten Season Special #1 - Judge Death, Dr Manhattan and the judge from Pink Floyd's The Wall all in the same comic!
  • Trinity #43 - delusions of grandeur from the big three.
And what made me chuckle last week:
One of the best court room dramas I've ever read.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Friday Night Fights - How To Use A Crowbar

Spacebooger demands One Panel of Pain for these fights, so that's what you get.

Twenty years seems like nothing in the world of comics; events that happened on a four colour page still seem fresh today to my mind. Browsing through some old trade paperbacks I came across something that I thought was worth putting into the FNF - the beating, and subsequent death of Jason Todd aka Robin:
Ah, that Joker - even when inflicting mortal wounds, he still can't help cracking wise.

Remember to head over to Spacebooger and vote for your favourite fight.

This piece of child brutality was taken from the Batman: A Death In The Family trade paperback, published in 1988, written by Jim Starlin with art by Jim Aparo and Mike DeCarlo.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Free Comics

That's right, folks - I'm going to give away some comics in a few days time.

Come by on 1st April (no, this isn't an April Fool joke) to see what's on offer and how you can win issues of a multi-award winning comic series by one of the best known writers in the industry.

No catch, no cost (except for postage) - enter the competition at the start of April and I will send you some free comics.

I'm too good to you people.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Final Crisis - 1986 Style - Redux

Over the last couple of months I posted scans of a cartoon by Johnny Lowe which I had found in a programme for a 1986 art show held in Birmingham in the UK. I liked the art and how it used then-current characters to gently take a pop at the recent (at that point) Crisis On Infinite Earths.

Before posting it, I searched on the net for a web-site or blog of Johnny's but had no luck.

A few days ago, I was pleased to have an e-mail from him wondering how I got hold of the scans - thankfully he had no problems with me having posted them here on the blog but did ask me to point out that they originally appeared (to quote Johnny's e-mail) in the

"Comics Buyer's Guide, a U.S. monthly magazine that discusses comics (though at the time I did the strips, CBG was a weekly tabloid), and they were all published in the February 28, 1986 issue."

You can see an example in the photo below that Johnny kindly supplied. Someone obviously saw them, photocopied them and pasted them into the programme.

Still, as I said, Johnny was gracious enough to allow me to leave them up on the blog so at least I'm in the clear!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Free Comics

Over the next couple of months, I'm going to give away some of my comics.

For free.

More details coming soon so stay tuned.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #29

A Cocktail? I'd like some comics this week if it's all the same to you. There was a paucity this week when I went to collect my comics, hence the ridiculously small list below:
  • Alan Moore's Light Of The Countenance - so God is a TV that talks with an overtly flowery vocabulary, uses portmanteau words and imagery to express hidden truths . . . but can't project that intelligence out to its worshippers? Hmmm, sounds like a God alright;
  • Trinity #42 - Luthor's outburst about using the power to reshape the world and turn it into a paradise; cue philosophical debate on the morals of that idea.
And the thing that made me laugh:
Ah, Plastic Man, the JLA is a poorer place without you.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Friday Night Fights - The Other Woman Fights Dirty

Spacebooger demands One Panel of Pain for these fights so that's what you're getting.

With Final Crisis now done and dusted, I had occasion to glance over Seven Soldiers from a few years back and cam across this little beauty:
Ouch! Sally Sonic breaking Bulleteer's arm - you just know that's gonna smart.

Head over to Spacebooger, check out the other fights and vote for your favourite by leaving a comment over there.

This elbow-cracking moment first appeared in Bulleteer #4, cover dated May 2006, written by Grant Morrison with art by Yanick Paquette and Michael Bair.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

What Nonsense Is This?

I've joined Twitter, finally catching up with the rest of the civilised world and will likely be blabbering on about lord knows what . . . just like the rest of the civilised world.

Want to follow me?  Check out the link in the sidebar.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #28

Another round up of what made me chuckle or cringe in this week's comics:
  • Batman: Cacophony #3 - so can someone tell me why the Joker's beard isn't green?
  • Black Terror #3 - red, white and blue beat the crap out of black;
  • Booster Gold #18 - hey, kids! Can you say "expositionary dialogue" with me?
  • Green Arrow And Black Canary #18 - while being no fan of Judd Winick's writing, he at least gave Ollie and Dinah a mature relationship; Andrew Kreisberg seems determined to ruin their marriage;
  • Marvels: Eye Of The Camera #4 - poor Phil;
  • Punisher #68 - "I will eat not one more spoonful of this maggoty rice!" - Walter Rose is like John Rambo but with funnier dialogue;
  • The Stand: American Nightmares #1 - why are Larry, Stu and Fran about to do the Batusi on the cover?
  • Top 10: Season Two #4 - poor old Joe Pi - that was a shock;
  • Trinity #41 - one man and his dog went to eat a planet.
And what made me smile the most this week:

You gotta love Alfred, haven't you?

Friday, 13 March 2009

Friday Night Fights - Dredd Vs Dog

Spacebooger demands One Panel of Pain for these fights so that's what you get.

Steering away from American superheroes this week, here's a shot featuring British icon Judge Dredd whaling on another 2000AD legend Johnny Alpha, aka Strontium Dog.

For some reason, they aren't getting on together:
Dredd must still be pissed by that Stallone movie.  I know I am.

Go check out the other fights at Spacebooger and remember to vote for your favourite.

This face into wall interface is from the Judge Dredd: Judgement Day graphic novel, written by John Wagner and Garth Ennis with art by Dean Ormston.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Final Crisis - 1986 Style - Part 7

Here it is, the final part of Johnny Lowe's Crisis Cross-Over which actually uses Final Crisis in the title, thus excusing me for using it all these weeks:
I really thought about having this delayed by a week like any good comic cross-over these days but, to be honest, thought you'd all suffered enough.

Okay, not the strongest end to a story but hey, it was a nicely put together montage of then-current (this was 1986 remember) comic strip characters for a comic expo programme. Things have certainly moved on but I think this still has a certain degree of charm and, as I said at the start, I hope Johnny Lowe, wherever he may be, doesn't mind me using the strip here.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #27

My infrequent reviews of the comics I pick up each week - the Cocktail posts - have gone through a couple of formats: concentrating solely on one comic at first, then trying to summarise everything I had.

Both of those approaches took way too much time (I have a life outside reading and occasionally annotating comics) so here's the third version - simple snapshots of something that made me think or laugh or wince and a favourite moment to round it all up.
  • Back To Brooklyn #4 - Garth Ennis really has got something against old ladies in wheelchairs;
  • The Boys #28 - only in this title are decapitated heads used as lethal weapons;
  • Secret Six #7 - wait a moment - when did Sonar II get his original costume back and lose all the metallic implants? Or am I confusing the guy second from left, page 15, panel 1 with someone else? And why am I worrying about this?
  • Strange Adventures #1 - Jim Starlin still has his eye on Hawkman but be warned, Starlin: the continuity people are watching;
  • Terror Titans #6 - So that's where she's been hiding all this time?
  • Trinity #40 - The big three are back but John Stewart's looked better.
And the thing that made me smile this week:


Saturday, 7 March 2009

I Have Watched The Watchmen

My wife and I went to see Watchmen last night and, once it had finished, talked about it in the car on the way to grab some food, in the takeout place as we waited for our food, and then in in the car as we drove home.

Is it the same as the book? Not exactly, but it's as close as you're going to get. It looks fantastic - Jackie Earle Haley and Jeffrey Dean Morgan are spot on as Rorschach and the Comedian respectively - are pretty much spot on.

Not only does it capture the look of the book but the film isn't afraid to be as complex either - not quite as complex as the book, admittedly, but more so than the ususal Hollywood films of late. It jumps around in time and just expects the viewer to work out what's happening and I applaud it for that.

The violence is brutal in places with bones popping out and a surprising use of an angle grinder and while the fighting is mostly slo-mo kung fu style nonsense, you kind of get used to it after a while.

There actually aren't many spoilers coming up - if you've read the book, you know what's going to happen. If you haven't then the following isn't going to make much difference to you. However, they do include the end of the film so highlight at your own risk. Spoilers on: the ending is changed slightly insofar as the teleported fake psychic alien is gone, replaced by multiple simultaneous explosions in the hearts of several major cities. These explosions are still caused by Ozymandias but are made to look as though Dr. Manhattan had caused them. While the method might have altered, the end result - the world stepping back from the threat of nuclear war - is the same. While purists might disagree with this change, it makes sense in the film - the whole sub-plot of the Black Freighter writer, the artists, scientists and psychics going missing is dropped so there's a need for a slightly tidier explanation of why the explosions happened and this works. Spoilers off.

It's never going to be the book which is still a sublime work of genius, but it's a damn good film nonetheless and I will definitely be getting it on DVD - hell, I've already ordered Tales of The Black Freighter!

Friday, 6 March 2009

Friday Night Fights - A Bow In The Hand . . .

. . . is worth a knee in the chest.

At least that's what these guys must be thinking as Green Arrow ignores the colourful emissions from their pistols and lands knees first into them.
There you have it folks, One Panel of Pain from back when Connor Hawke was a viable character rather than a Winick-induced coma and metagene victim.

Enough of my bitching - go see Spacebooger, check out the other fights and leave a comment over there to vote for your favourite.

The reckless endangerment of Green Arrow's crotch first appeared in Green Arrow #129, cover dated February 1998, written by Chuck Dixon with art by Will Rosado and Sal Buscema.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

No-One Watches, Apparently

I'm actually looking forward to the forthcoming Watchmen movie; I know it's not going to be as good as the book but from what I've seen so far it looks like it'll be okay. Not the most fantastic of endorsements I know, but if I go in with low expectations, I may not be too disappointed.

With that said, a friend pointed me to this picture which I have shamelessly stolen decided to share with everyone. Original at this blog.

Final Crisis - 1986 Style - Part 6

Here's the sixth and penultimate part of Johnny Lowe's Crisis Cross-Over featuring Bloom County characters.
Tune in next Tuesday for the final, universe shattering conclusion!

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Alan Scott - Jealousy Really Is Green (Lantern)

In this week's Justice Society of America #24 there's an Origins & Omens back-up written by the in-coming writer Matthew Sturges whose writing on Shadowpact and Blue Beetle I've really enjoyed.  There was one panel, though, that caught my eye:
That first line of Alan Scott's: "I wanted to meet with just the core members to discuss what's going on, out in the open."

"Core members" Alan? So who have you got? Wildcat and Flash, those two are no-brainers; Dr. Mid-Nite and Mr. Terrific, the two smart guys on the team; Stargirl and Jakeem Thunder representing the youth/legacy side of things; and Ma Hunkel is there as well . . . for some reason.

So that's the "core members" of the JSA is it, Alan?

What about Power Girl?!  You know, the chairman of the JSA?! Where's she?
That's right, sparring with Magog (and was it just me or is Fernando Pasarin's art in this section just a bit . . . poor?) who seems to be persuading her to leave the JSA.

Power Girl gets her own ongoing series and Alan Scott drops her from the "core members" list.

Jealous much, Alan?


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