Sunday, January 22, 2012

Jason Conquers America

Picked this up a couple of weeks ago & it's totally worth the $4.99 price tag.  Cool interviews and sweet strips.  If you're not familiar with Jason's stuff, check him out here

If you want a peek inside Jason Conquers America, look below.  Those are not my hands.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

“Still #Whatever.” Really?

So several titles advertised in Marvel Previews this month bear a “Still #Whatever” blurb on the cover solicit. 

This is in response to DC’s upcoming 52-title relaunch, yes? 


By my count, Avengers #17, New Avengers #16, Invincible Iron Man #508, Journey Into Mystery #627-628, Uncanny X-Men #543, Amazing Spider-Man #669, Captain America and Bucky #622, Hulk #41, Thunderbolts #163, X-Factor #225, X-Men Legacy #255-256, and Deadpool #43 all carry the “Still” marker.

I’m pretty sure every single title here is either a new/relatively new series, or a relaunching/renumbering of a pre-existing series.  I mean, if the tables were turned and Marvel had hit the reset button first, I could see DC coming back with Action Comics: Still #900 or whatever, that might have had some kind of impact.  But as it stands, this is just kinda silly & petty, Marvel fucks around with title names and numbers all the time.

And I’m pretty pumped for DC’s relaunch, so pfff!

Monday, May 16, 2011


So I went away for a week awhile back and somehow I fell behind by like a month and a half.  I mean I mostly kept up with my reading, just haven't posted.  Sucks to me.  Anyways, time to play catch up.  Lemme ease my way back into this with a half-assed list post.  Here's what I'm pulling from the Wednesday comics crowd.  I try to ingest a regular dose of uppity snazz, too, but for now I'm still shambling through my birthday booty.

BOOM! Studios
• Insurrection v3.6
• Malignant Man

• Action Comics
• Detective Comics
• Jonah Hex
• Tiny Titans

Dark Horse
• Dark Horse Presents

• Rocketeer Adventures

• Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors
• Halcyon
• Infinite Vacation
• Orc Stain
• Nonplayer
• Madman
• Super Dinosaur
• Undying Love

• Alpha Flight
• Amazing Spider-Man
• Avengers
• Captain America
• Daredevil
• Deadpool MAX
• FF
• Ghost Rider
• Hulk
• Incredible Hulk
• Mighty Thor
• Moon Knight
• New Avengers
• Punisher
• Uncanny X-Force

• Hellblazer
• Northlanders
• Strange Adventures
• Sweet Tooth
• Vertigo Resurrected

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I Went to Belgium!

And this is what I have to show for it. 

Sweet Smuf love at the Belgian Comic Strip Center

Well looky here

I think this was ASM #76 or 77, Buscema pencils -- kinda random, everything else was Frenchie & Dutchie

Same Buscema ASM page, 4th panel

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Powr Mastrs: Volume 1

by C.F.
published by Picture Box Inc. 2007

The 1996 Bartlett’s Roget’s Thesaurus supplies forty-seven interjections of wonder.  Allow me mentally to insert them all here.  Annnnd done.

This is really fucking great.

And I think I’m a pervert now. 

I mean I just read Johnny Ryan’s Prison Pit, in which a fuckface sucks himself off with his own slorge arm, and I thought dude I would totally suck myself off if I too had a slorge arm, and then I read C.F.’s Powr Mastrs and a gigantor jellyfish DPs a lady and boffs all over her loins and I totally almost got a boner. 

So it’s pretty remarkable how wondrously adept C.F. is at both writing and drawing.  His pictures are worth a thousand thousand words & this wee 120 page tome feels as dense as any three inch thick epic.  Matt Seneca writes with virtuoso technical acumen about C.F.’s art here (I’m waiting until after I write this post to read Seneca’s interview with C.F. at the Hooded Utilitarian), and I think I totally agree with this excerpt from Sean T. Collins’ 2008 post:

For all that characters like Subra Ptareo may be on a quest and Mosfet Warlock may be a mad scientist, their interlocking stories (so far) don't read like the genre narratives of my youth beyond their fantastic trappings at all. Instead, they're stories about buying things and selling things, about twentysomethings (or at least twentysomething analogues) meeting new people and flirting with them, about getting stoned, about fucking and deceiving the people you fuck, about being moved to tears by the realization that you're actually good at what you've chosen to do with your life.

And in my cognitively deficient parsing, Mosfet Warlock is the crux of the comic.  He first appears on page forty-seven in “Disfigured Leak” looking like a young nosferatu.  And he waves at us.  Hi, C.F.  Then while he catches a nap, the ink from a painting snatches his mobile suit, which is a normal naked human guy shell.  Mosfet wakes, sucks the inky stuff from the suit’s butt, splurts it out into a wacky bottle receptacle, packs it up into his briefcase, and goes for a stroll. We meet up again on page seventy-nine in “Tarkey Transfer.”  Mosfet traps the “disaster of [his] blood” in a crate to keep it “stable and cold.”

So far I’m thinking this could be analogous to the artist struggling with his art over control of his humanity, sorta the art/madness shtick.  Mosfet imprisons ink in a picture to keep if from infecting his mind.  Or something.

On page 103 Pico Farad tells us the story of “Mosfet Warlock and the Mechlin Men.”  This happens in Mosfet’s “early days” & his workroom is immediately interesting because it looks mostly like an in-real-life present-day house as opposed to the stark spartanism of chronologically current New China homes, and in contrast to the meticulous construction and appearance of the other structures in this book, it’s disorderly and dilapidated.  Also I’m pretty sure it’s the first building in the book that has plants in it.  Up until now, there’s been a clear delineation between the order/disorder of the inside/outside.  With all the cracks and bugs and plants, it’s like Mosfet’s lab is being overrun.

Lemme quote some lines in full from Pico’s story, pages 105-107:

Mosfet labored endlessly in his magical laboratory.  It was a place where the assumptions of the outside world were brought to task and annihilated.  He was so consumed with weird power that he would not rest until he realized his imagination’s ultimate hopeless impossibility: to force the transmutation of dead flesh into a living metal.  A warlock like Mosfet is always interested in doing the impossible, even at the cost of becoming deeply perverse.  He could not help but become attracted to the depraved idea of death-reversal.  When Mosfet had gone as far as he could in the lab, he would go outside and wander.

I’m not all that clear on exactly how the process works in C.F.’s pictures, but it seems like Mosfet collects goo from an (bee/wasp?) insect/chrysanthemum interaction, passes it through his gadgets, and squirts out some intestiney sausage-linky stuff.  Then he does the wander thing.  Then he meditates or whatever staring at the sun, morphs into an intestine sausage-linky thing with arms and a Mosfet head (I think it’s just a meditative dream, but maybe he actually does physically mutate, doesn’t matter), contemplates the night sky (this day/night could either relate to the inside/outside/order/disorder thing, or maybe just signify the passage of time), then spits out & embraces Tarkey, the inky stuff that will later slither out of a painting & try to steal Mosfet’s mobile suit (you know, from before).  Tarkey’s face looks just like a Rorschach inkblot.

Mosfet & Tarkey return to the lab, Tarkey touches the chrysanthemums, they turn into gas, Mosfet funnels the gas into the container with the decaying corpses (I didn’t mention them yet -- they popped up earlier during the “transmutation of dead flesh into a living metal” part), the corpses transmogrify into spools that look like transformer bobbins, Mosfet plants them in the ground, they grow into Mechtembre (the Mechlin Men from the title of Pico’s story), Mosfet “overflow[s] with wonder at his success,” and the Mechlin Men drag another corpse to the lab so Mosfet can do it all again.


So Tarkey/creativity is born of the natural world, but when it contacts/comments on that world, it changes/perverts/enhances it. This is a kind of id/ego/super-ego fuckfest, right? Wikipedia tells me this about the psychic apparatus: "The id is the set of uncoordinated instinctual trends; the ego is the organised, realistic part; and the super-ego plays the critical and moralising role." That could make C.F.’s outside the id, the inside the ego, and Mosfet the super-ego? Or Tarkey is the id, Mosfet is the ego, and we the readers are the super-ego?

Or I’m full of shit?  Even if am (let's just assume I am) laughably off-base, whatever, it’s totally fun to consider.  And I haven't thought this hard about a comic in forever.  Ever. 

And okay fine I got a boner.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spider-Man: Fever

Brendan McCarthy – story & art
Steve Cook & Brendan McCarthy – colors & digital FX
Steve Cook – letters
Tom Brennan – assistant editor
Stephen Wacker – editor
Publisher: Marvel Comics (Marvel Knights) 2010

I’m confused! 

There’s some enthusiastic hullabaloo about Fever, right?  Lots of people like it a lot? What the fuck did I miss?  I want to read it again to find out, but I don’t want to read it again ‘cause it’s kinda pappy crap.

McCarthy’s art is absolutely sporadically dazzling.  The coloring is trippy.  He draws nice spider webs.  Part Two is the prettiest – it sports the most vibrant colors, the most technical line work, and the most stunning layouts.  I feel like Parts One and Three are too laden with black ink, and coupled with the black panel borders, the compositions are generally muddled.  Maybe that’s an intentional sense of claustrophobia?  I dunno.

The script is schlocky, isn’t it?  Seems like a generic Sorcerer Supreme gobbledygook trip through a random abyss.  Nothing subtextually interesting going on, which is no big thing, but nothing actually interesting going on, either. 

Fuck it, I’m not reading it again.

Prison Pit: Book One

by Johnny Ryan
Published by Fantagraphics Books, 2009

So many firsts for me!  First Johnny Ryan book.  First splooge monster.  First splash page thorny alien erection.  And the last page – first…wow, awesome.

Prison Pit is what you would’ve unleashed in seventh grade if you were wickedly funny and twisted and a good drawer.  But you weren’t!  Fortunately, Johnny Ryan was.  Although I think he’s like forty.  Pff.

So some nameless alien authority figures toss our nameless alien protagonist -- let’s call him Fuckface, ‘cause that’s the first thing they call him -- down a chute to a blasted desert outback – the prison pit!  Then Fuckface just starts fucking fighting shit nonstop.  One of the authority figures who got shoved down with him, a Nazi ogre skull crusher & his ill-fated cronies, the aforementioned splooge monster – Fuckface fights ‘em all.

And that’s it, really.  And it’s glorious.  

Ryan’s art style is sorta angry gonzo middle-school reject – it’s blocky and irregular and has an etchy sketchy feel to it, and it’s also tight and refined, which is maybe a contradictory description, but that’s what I got for you.  The full color cover looks righteous & the interior is black and white, which is cool with me because I don’t wanna know the color of the splooge monster’s rocket sauce.

The final panels of prosthetic fellatio I suppose acknowledge that Prison Pit is ostensibly creative masturbation -- Johnny Ryan’s hundred twenty page opus of balls out mayhem and depravity.  Or maybe all that combative mutilation just makes a guy thirsty for a slorge beej.  Whatever, gimme Book Two.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

FF #1

Jonathan Hickman – writer
Steve Epting – penciler
Steve Epting & Rick Maygar – inkers
Paul Mounts – colorer
Rus Wooton – letterer
Lauren Sankovitch – associate editor
Tom Brevoort – editor
Marvel Comics - publisher

I rode the Hickman bandwagon hard in the beginning of his run on Fantastic Four, then sort of crashed and burned toward the tail end.  His handling of the Human Torch’s death was so forgettable that I think I don’t even care that the Human Torch is dead.  But I bought FF #1 anyway because I’m a giant tool.

And I like parts of it!

But just a couple parts. 

Mostly I don’t like anything. 

I kinda dig the cover design.  Not the art, just the design.  The bloated white FF looks cool.  And the credits page -- that’s cool, too, what with the FF imposed over the blue/white outer space.

I swear I used to like Epting’s art when he was on Captain America, but something’s gone terribly awry, this is just no good.  His faces look like they were scorched into balsa with a soldering iron.

Hickman’s script is pretty wooden.  It’s like he’s assembled some set pieces of what the grieving process typically entails (typical as far as superhero comics go).  Johnny leaves a motivational goodbye video encouraging the team to move on -- make the world better.  Ben slams the door on poor Petey -- he blames himself.  Spidey fucks with the seating arrangement -- Johnny always sat there.

I'm a catty cunt.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Egg Story

By J. Marc Schmidt
Published by SLG (my printing is 2010, but the original is indeterminately older)

Well fuck my cock, Egg Story is the sweetest most adorable thing ever. In sixty-one itsy-bitsy pages, Schmidt encapsulates all the tumult, tragedy, impulsivity, exuberance, and raw emotion of adolescence (human and egg).  I guess that doesn’t sound entirely sweet and adorable.  So okay fine, Egg Story has its moments of bitter heartbreak.  And loss and death and suicide and madness and murder and disappointment.  But in a sweet and adorable way.  And there’s a ninja egg!

So first comes the chicken who lays a few eggs – sister Five-spots, brother Wonky, and brother Feather.  Then one of them fucking dies.  Remaining two get packaged with Bumply, Cloud, Shelly, and Connor, and the half-dozen get bought by a woman and stuck in her fridge.  Then one of them fucking dies.  Remaining five get up to some righteous pre-teen hijinks.  Then two more eggs fucking die!  Lots more shit happens. You should check it out yourself.

Schmidt’s perfectly complementary spidery lines are as delicate and brittle as the shells they depict & create a thick sense of tension -- fucking be careful, you could break at any time!!  And Schmidt evokes a whole lotta emotion with those skinny little strokes.  It’s pretty amazing how immediately his endearing eggs can be.  I mean, I eat eggs.  But I wouldn’t eat these ones.

Also I totally appreciate how Schmidt veers away from schmaltz.  His script is cute but cutting.  There aren’t many human characters, but they’re all adult, and they’re almost all kinda awful.  The farmer’s cruel mostly because we feel bad for the egglings, but the woman and her dude, they’re just nasty.  Our eggs at least are searching for some sort of meaning in their fragile existences.   Not the he and she -- all they fucking do is insult each other, callous fucks!  I dunno what that means.  Adults are bad?  That’s not it.  But kids are good.

And so is this!

P.S. It took ridiculous restraint for me to eggsclude constant Egghead puns in this post.