Archive for the ‘nerd the f’ out’ Category
I never got into the Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series as the show was a bit too campy for my tastes. Not that I had anything against it. I think it was a fun cartoon and certainly found an audience of fans both young and old. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.
However, by coincidence I caught this week’s episode, which just happened to be the series finale. And wow, what an amazing ending to a fun, wacky show! Titled “Mitefall,” it featured Batmite, the imp from the 5th dimension with an unhealthy obsession with Batman, trying to get the “goofy” show cancelled to make room for a darker, edgier, “more dramatic” Batman series. Fanboy stand-in, anyone?
Anyway, Batmite’s strategy is to alienate the show’s viewing audience by making it “jump the shark” (which he does both literally and figuratively). He gives Batman a precocious little daughter, a Scrapy-Doo like canine sidekick, switches Aquaman’s voice actor to Ted McGinley, and introduces several ridiculous Batman outfits based on the toy lines we’re all familiar with (things like arctic explorer Batman). Oh, and then there’s the aforementioned Neon Talking Super Street Bat Luge.
Series writer Paul Dini turned in a fantastically subversive, self-referential script, both acknowledging and ridiculing many of the real world entertainment and business aspects of a show like this. I’m talking about demographics, toy lines, ad executives, ratings, etc. The episode wasn’t just meta, it was hyper meta.
Oh, and it also featured Ambush Bug.
Anyway, whether you were a fan of the show or not, I’d highly recommend this episode, if only for the in-jokes and meta-commentary. And the faux new Batman CGI cartoon hinted at in the end.
Bonus for Craig: in the opening sequence, Batman teams up with Abraham Lincoln to defeat a steampunk John Wilkes Booth!
Did you catch the teaser trailer during the Green Lantern animated show for the “DC Nation” block of shows coming to the Cartoon Network in 2012? If not, check it out below:
They showed one of the Aardman claymation batman shorts, and it was charming. I’m digging the various animation styles featured in the trailer above, too. And there’s a Doom Patrol clip in there as well. Maybe it’ll be on the Young Justice show? or a short? Whatever the case may be, I’m excited for this thing.
PS. The Green Lantern show was pretty good, with solid writing and great action sequences. Too bad the CG animation style is a big turn off for me; they look like inflated plastic toys.
The Onion AV Club talked to Batman & Swamp Thing scribe Scott Snyder last week.
A couple of key quotes:
AVC: Do you adjust your script at all for different artists? I’m thinking primarily during Detective, when you’d have Jock and Francesco Francavilla split issues.
SS: I don’t change the story at all, per se. I do change the emphasis page-to-page. Part of it is trying to figure out the best way to get the story out there and expressed by the artist you’re working with. The thing is, when any run begins, for me, the reason that we’re working with any artist is because they fit the story material hands-down. So Francesco I thought would fit the James Jr. story really well because there’s such an interesting suspense and tension in everything he does. Whereas Jock I thought would be great at making Gotham look unsettling, but also be good for the more kinetic, heroic action sequences. You try and get people you think are going to drive on the street to begin with. I do change the style a little bit, page-to-page, given what I think the artist can bring most to the table, story-wise.
AVC: How closely coordinated are the Batman and Nightwing books?
SS: They’re closely coordinated. We really wanted them to be things that you could read independently and don’t really lean on each other at all. I don’t want people to get the idea that the story playing out in Nightwing is somehow answered in Batman, or visa versa.
He also talks a bit about trying to keep the book new-reader-friendly. It’s a shame this is considered a lost art, but good that they’re thinking about it these days.
Talented artist, friend-of-the-ferret, and PANEL founder Tim Fischer has a new business venture and has started a Kickstarter campaign to help finance it. Tim is planning a line of nerd-centric t-shirts under his new Hidden Base Designs banner. Check out the under construction website for a peek at some of the designs.
As of today, he’s more than halfway to his goal, with 23 days left. So drop on by his Kickstarter page and support his DIY, indie venture. You can back his goal for as little as $1.
And for more of Tim’s artwork, be sure to check out his site: Comix Mill.
Dark Horse is bringing teh awesome with 3 new issues of Geof Darrow’s creator-owned series, Shaolin Cowboy, coming in 2012. Previously published by Burlyman Entertainment (the comic imprint started by the Wachowski brothers) this insanely absurd and bizarre series exists for one thing and one thing only: to showcase Darrow’s OCD artwork.
When I buy comics, mainstream comics or otherwise, two things really have to sync up for me to buy: the writing and the art. So far the writing’s been great for what I picked up. Save Frankenstein, which I let myself build it up too much in my head. (Lemire should really drop Frankenstein and focus on Animal Man). Supergirl, Wonder Woman, and Superboy were fantastic. I never would have dreamed those words would pour out of me. The writing and concepts were great. Wonder Woman reads like a Xena episode. Love it. I can follow the bio-engineered Superboy plot without scratching my head. Animal Man wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. What was lackluster was the art (oy, the art) on Wonder Woman, Animal Man, and Superboy. What nearly ruined these three books was the piss-poor art. I guess you can’t book Rags Morales on every title. Chang is the last person I would book on a fantasy horror comic. I would swap out Guillem March from Catwoman to Wonder Woman in a heartbeat. The inks on Animal Man were absolute shit and the layouts at times were really bizarre. Like something Picturebox would slap together. Superboy was okay on the storytelling level but wow, it looks like a high school kid drew it. Figures are plastic and rubbery. One scene I swear the artist was drawing from a mego action figure.
Supergirl was solid all around. The costume is the best of the rebooted designs. My only complaint is the plot is too decompressed. Action Comics was great though I do dread how they eventually justify how Kal-El needs an armor looking suit. (I also dread the explanation of the ‘S’ tattoo in Titans) By far the easiest Halloween costume goes to Supes: the early years. A Superman tshirt from Hot Topic and a small red cape, buddy you are good to go. I might do that except for the no hair issue.
Definitely all are worthy of checking out once they hit the library. Which is exactly how I got through Bagley’s craptacular run on Ultimate Spiderman.
It was a week that nearly broke the comic book Internet in half, gave retailers a queasy feeling, and set rabid comic fans ranting and raving across the blogosphere. And when it was all said and done, DC Comics had announced their 52 new #1 titles for the big September relaunch.
Now, instead of adding to the chorus of opinion pages and rants, I’m just going to follow up on my earlier post (The great 21st century DC Comics reboot 52 title Guess-a-palooza) where I tried to guess what all the titles would be. As you recall, 11 of them had already been announced, and quite a few more were making the rounds on the rumor mill before I put my list together. Anyway, let’s see how I did. I’ll list the official list, with commentary on how I did next to it:
- JLA – the first 11 titles were already a “gimme”
- Wonder Woman
- Fury of Firestorm
- The Savage Hawkman
- Green Arrow
- Justice League Internationsl
- Mister Terrific
- Captain Atom
- DC Universe Presents
- Green Lantern – guessed it (the GL titles were rather obvious)
- Green Lantern Corps – guessed it
- Green Lantern: The New Guardians – guessed it (I called it “a Green Lantern spin-off with all the color lanterns”)
- Red Lanterns – guessed it
- Batman – guessed it
- Detective Comics – guessed it
- Batman & Robin – missed
- Batman: The Dark Knight – guessed it
- Birds of Prey – guessed it
- Catwoman – missed
- Batwoman – guessed it
- Batgirl – guessed it (lots of rumors around this one, but I didn’t think DC would go there)
- Nightwing – guessed it
- Red Hood and the Outlaws – missed
- Batwing – missed
- Swamp Thing – guessed it
- Animal Man – missed
- Justice League Dark – missed (I did guess Shade the Changing man, who’s in this book, but I won’t count it)
- Demon Knights – missed (my guess was Viking Prince or some “fantasy series” but I’m not going to count that)
- Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE – missed
- Resurrection Man – missed
- I, Vampire – missed
- Voodoo – missed
- Legion Lost – missed
- Legion of Superheroes – guessed it
- Teen Titans – guessed it
- Static Shock – guessed it
- Hawk & Dove – guessed it
- Stormwatch – missed (I guessed WildCATS instead)
- Blackhawks – missed
- Sgt. Rock & The Men of War – guessed it
- All-Star Western – guessed it (I guessed Jonah Hex, which is essentially this book, so I’m counting it)
- Deathstroke – guessed it
- Grifter – guessed it
- OMAC – guessed it
- Suicide Squad – missed
- Blue Beetle – guessed it
- Superman: The Man of Tomorrow – guessed it
- Superboy – guessed it
- Supergirl – missed
- Action Comics – guessed it
OK, so if my math is correct, with 36 correct titles, I scored a 69% (heh heh). If we exclude the 11 titles that were already announced, my score drops down to 60%.
Books I guessed that didn’t make the official list:
- Edge (a rumored book, but turned out to be the “banner” for a bunch of thematically-related books)
- Dark (see above)
- My Greatest Adventure (coming later in the year, but not a part of the official relaunch titles)
- Batman Inc. (see above)
- Ambush Bug
- Trinty: Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman (I guess with them being in JLA, this is rather redundant…not that that’s stopped the Big 2 before)
- Batman Beyond (I bet this will return later in the year)
- Dr. Fate
- Xombi (it was getting fantastic reviews, but alas the sales were terrible, so not a big surprise)
- The Question (I was certain the lesbian angle would make this a sure bet)
- Shade the Changing Man
- Viking Prince (hey, it was a wild ass guess…though i was right about them doing a fantasy series)
So there you have it.
Finally, some random thoughts:
- The absence of Steel surprised me. Seems like a missed opportunity, especially in light of their supposed strive towards more diversity in the line
- Swamp Thing was a no-brainer.
- I love what Scott Snyder has been doing with batman in Detective Comics. Moving him to Batman is fine, but I can’t stand Greg Capullo’s art. Ugh.
- Speaking of Batman, I’m a bit surprised by how Bat-heavy the Batman Family of titles are. 10 books in that line, compared to only 4 in Superman’s family.
- No JSA? Also surprising, unless it’s coming back later in the year.
- I, Vampire and Voodoo (especially the former) seem aimed at tweens and teens, maybe? If so, good for DC. Hope it works out for them.
- Meet the new Teen Titans, aka Image’s Cyberforce from the 90s. Ugh.
- 3 relaunched Wildstorm titles? Seems too much to me, but then again I never read any of those books, so clearly not my thing.
- Rob Liefeld? Really?
- It would have been nice to have seen another Milestone book on the list. Oh well.
In the interest of trying to say positive things, I’ll leave you with a selection of my favorite covers from the ones revealed so far:
While we’re on the subject of our favorite television shows: for those that might be interested but are as yet unaware (probably a grand total of six people, I imagine…) this weekend will see the arrival of Neil Gaiman’s contribution to my personal Best Show Ever, Doctor Who, on BBC America (or BBC On Demand on my Time Warner service) or wherever on the internet people find shows their cable provider doesn’t carry.
Interview excerpts here.
Sadly, they rejected my suggestion for the episode title (see above) and went with The Doctor’s Wife. Not familiar with the backstory of this 48-year old series? He’s an alien with a time machine, the last of his race. All you ever need to know.
One of my embarrassing guilty pleasures is signing off tomorrow night: Smallville. The irony is that I can’t watch any of the Chris Reeve Superman (which the show lifts a bit from) and the comic’s been unreadable to me since the Death of Superman plotline waaaay back in the speculator days. By all rights it should connect with me. I grew up in a small town/ farming community. Some of the caricatures do ring true in the show though I never knew anyone as righteous as Jonathan Kent.
I can say I didn’t watch it religiously. I skipped around a bit between the seasons of 3 and 7. Recently they reran the pilot episode. It was jarring to see an episode from season one and then watch an episode from season 10. Season 1 was so a mish-mash of X-Files meets Dawson’s Creek.
Some part of me was hell-bent on liking this show. It had a lot of flaws but I did enjoy it. Flaws like Chloe being the only likable romantic interest in Clark’s life. Seriously, I never got any chemistry from the actresses playing Lana and Lois. Lois?!? Long painful story arcs with Lana (blarg) and Lex. Some of the best episodes (before the later seasons) were the ones that barely featured Clark at all. The groan-worthy kryptonite plotlines (ooooh, Clark’s been exposed to red kryptonite, ‘watch out’) Watching the cast learn how to act.
Then the show got really good about the same time Heroes debuted. The series took on more of a superhero team. Maybe it was the fact that Lana and Lex were out of the picture, but the ensemble finally gelled for me. I didn’t even mind that Clark wasn’t flying still (by season 8). The Justice Society came out. Suicide Squad showed up (with Pam Greer as the leader). Legion showed up. It felt fresh again, like an entirely different show. One that I’ll miss now that it’s ending.
From the incredibly funny blog Dads Are The Original Hipsters:
Your Dad read comic books before you did. His Super hero’s weren’t pansies like your politically correct pussy push overs now. They were real heros, heros who saved the world and fucked the girl every 25 pages. It wasn’t just the heros that were better either, the illustrations were too. So much detail went into every page that you could practically see Lois Lane’s lady bush in every comic strip.
So hipster, next time you’re knuckling through the pages of your favorite comics with your dick beaters, remember…
you suck, everything you do sucks and you’re plagiarizing your dad’s swag.
P.S. Online comics don’t count as real comics, you can’t have a first edition of xkcd.
(I suppose I should preface this with Warning, Possible Spoilers Ahead)
Ok, that’s a misleading headline, but not too far off from the kind of crap that FOX News has run with for their coverage of this non-story. Anyway, if you hadn’t heard yet, in the current Action Comics #900 big anniversary issue, there’s a short backup story that’s causing some sweaty hand-wringing in ultra-conservative corners. I’ll let the Comics Alliance crew summarize it for you:
The key scene takes place in “The Incident,” a short story in Action Comics #900 written by David S. Goyer with art by Miguel Sepulveda. In it, Superman consults with the President’s national security advisor, who is incensed that Superman appeared in Tehran to non-violently support the protesters demonstrating against the Iranian regime, no doubt an analogue for the recent real-life protests in the Middle East. However, since Superman is viewed as an American icon in the DC Universe as well as our own, the Iranian government has construed his actions as the will of the American President, and indeed, an act of war. Superman replies that it was foolish to think that his actions would not reflect politically on the American government, and that he therefore plans to renounce his American citizenship at the United Nations the next day — and to continue working as a superhero from a more global than national perspective.
Now, if you’d like to read 10,000 word essays on why this particular story element is a realistic portrayal of the character or a spineless capitulation to liberal guilt, there are plenty of other blogs and news sites you can visit. All I want to proudly point out is that this momentous occasion in the life of The Man of Steel was brought about by a story set in my motherland.