Thursday, September 29, 2005

Jon-o-thon - Justice and Godland as "retro"

There's something up with my image uploader. As soon as I can I'll add some visual stimuation to this post.

Has it actually been over a week since I posted last? Crap. I didn't mean for it to take so long. It's like work went from busy, to crisis mode, to flaming napalm attack in the last week. So instead of me writing about how much I enjoyed JLA, JLA Classified, Young Avengers and last weeks Wolverine I'm giving you all a meaty post. I figured since Jim Roeg at Double Articulation is taking a break I'll pick up a bit of the slack. And since Justice recently surprised a few of us on it's success I decided to look at Justice and Gødland to find out why they seem "retro" and what does "retro" even mean. And by the way, if any comic shop owners in Ottawa are reading what's up with not stocking Gødland #3? I'm not happy.

I know that for a while there has been this retro movement going on but I never thought about it much until now. At first the best description I could come up with is that it’s the recycling movement converting into cultural spaces. Once we all accept that recycling materials is a good thing, we start to think of other things we can recycle – including cultural creations. But that’s not really it, is it? Not completely anyway. People in the nineties started to dress in second hand clothing or looking to old school music like sixties rock, seventies punk or big band swing music. There was a general consensus that nothing new could be created. That, culturally speaking, we’ve hit critical mass. We stopped looking to the future and started looking to the “good” past. Then people realized that going back wasn’t really enough. Sure old stuff can be fun but it is made for a different time and addresses a different cultural milieu. It is addressing different concerns that just aren’t necessarily our concerns. Now, the idea of an idyllic past isn’t a new one, there’s an entire scholarly theory about the pastoral – looking at an idyllic past that never existed. Although that idea is mostly connected to space and land but I think it plays a huge part in our culture today – especially in the comics I’m looking at here.

Today “retro,” I think, is the invocation of a previous time through a contemporary lens. So buying a Jack Kirby reprint isn’t retro while buying Gødland is. Another example is my girlfriend has a CBC sweatshirt from the late seventies but it is just an old sweatshirt. That isn’t retro. CBC is currently selling retro t-shirts. The use older logos but present them in a contemporary manner on new shirts. They are new but created to look like they belong in the past as we think we remember it. Confused yet?

Retro isn’t homage. Homage can be found in almost anything in almost any time. Homage doesn't necessarily connect to the past.

So how does this affect comics? Well I’ll talk about Gødland and Justice because I think these two bring up what retro is in comic book form. I’m sure there are others out there but I haven’t read JSA so I don’t know if that fits in with what I’m saying. To me, simply updating classic characters into a contemporary setting doesn’t qualify as retro. I think there is more to it than that.

Both these comics (Gødland/Justice) do one particular thing in common. They both evoke the past through a contemporary lens for a contemporary audience. In Justice they are using “classic” characters in a “classic” story although this isn’t a remake of any one story in particular. This isn’t Gus van Sant’s shot for shot remake of Psycho. Justice is Alex Ross writing using the characters as he remembers them and as he likes to remember them being presented out of continuity to a contemporary audience. How is that retro you ask? Simple, it is a modern version made to look like it is something from the past. It isn’t a contemporary remake or update but more of an invocation of shared memory. It reminds us of the past without being directly from the past. This isn’t an homage to one specific story or character but an homage to the memory of what those characters meant to the creator. That statement isn’t meant to sound flippant. I don’t see this as yet another story that is trying to make us deal with these characters as if they are serious characters. Yes, these characters can be serious but I know I don’t personally like to only read silver age hi-jinx or dialogue. This is a story for a more mature audience. So there is an innocent past interpreted for a mature audience.

By more mature I mean not only older but more educated, more familiar with a continuity and history of these characters than when that continuity and history was being created the first time around. This isn’t the evolution of the characters into dark brooding heroes as seems to be happening in the DC universe. It is simply a mature, although perceived as a slightly darker, story created for an informed and mature audience. It deals with our current culture that has ironically absorbed these characters into itself. Our current pop culture recognizes the pop-cultural nature of super heroes. More than anything that is what I see happening in Justice. They are re-examining a time when these characters didn’t have 30 plus years of continuity weighing them down. We claim those older stories are better because the characters were still trying to fit in to their reality. Their reality was essentially being created for the characters and for the audience reading the books. The characters weren’t established but they are now and this is a story that tries to write the characters as they are remembered “back then” or “when they were good” as some say. Justice is for an audience that can’t help but be aware of the long, sometimes convoluted, history of these characters. Being aware of that history allows the creators to boil it down to their perception of what the “essence” of these characters is and tell a story from there. I think that being aware of this history and going to the heart of it is what helps make this story seem “retro.”

There is an innocence being presented because the heroes are acting heroic in the face of huge odds. The darker tone of the story is just how we now view these characters in our current culture. We are living in very depressing times and so see someone acting heroic and being uncompromising about it just doesn’t jive with how we relate to the world as a shared community. We’re too cynical because there is just so much to be cynical about and to think our heroes wouldn’t be affected by these cultural forces is a bit naive. The way our society is so connected to everything else there is basically no way an audience will accept a blindly heroic character. We think we will but that won’t last – at least for me but I have a feeling others would get bored with that too.

The Justice series seems to come from a memory of the innocence of the genre but with an awareness of the current state of affairs. Sure, it appears to be another retelling of the same old story but I got news for you – so is every other single story out there. Every story that has a hero is indebted to some extent to the first ever record of a heroic story. Being aware of this fact doesn’t take away from the story as far as I see it. I can come to it with a free mind and a fresh set of eyes precisely because this story isn’t weighed down by a past but is aware of what the cultural past of these heroic characters and their tropes are, as well as the generic tropes present in all heroic epics.

Now Gødland is slightly different. It seems that everywhere you turn it is either loved or dismissed as a Kirby clone. If you read anything by artist Tom Scioli you’ll see that it fits in with what I’m trying to say about retro. This book evokes a certain time but it does it for a contemporary audience. Okay, I won’t repeat that sentence again. I think you get it. Scioli claims that he is not ripping off Kirby that he is simply following in a tradition that has been somewhat abandoned. I completely agree. Not only is the art reminiscent of a time gone by Casey uses a lot of other “fallen out of grace” aspects to Gødland – he’s written about this over at his CBR discussion column The Basement Tapes. The unbelievably bright colours and thought balloons (not that this is the only comic out there with bright colours). I can’t wait for the omniscient narrator to come back if it is done right. Don’t ask me to define what I mean by “done right” – that’s quite subjective and I’m aware of it. This comic doesn’t reintroduce old characters or deal with anything necessarily old yet I think it is a great example of a retro comic. It tells a current story but it makes you feel like it belongs in another time. It’s a modern version of an older form/format.

One major difference is that Gødland is not quite as dark as Justice. And I don’t mean just in the colouring. There is cynicism and sarcasm in Gødland because this is still a story being presented to a modern audience and we appreciate cynicism and sarcasm. If you don’t then you probably won’t ever want to meet me because I exist off cynicism and sarcasm the way barnacles cling to boats and whales.

How many “classic villains” would kidnap an alien dog-monster just to get high? I think it’s cool that there is a very self-centered villain that typifies the self-centered undercurrents of modern pop-culture. Basil Cronus isn’t trying to take over the world, he’s just going to destroy it so he can get the ultimate buzz. I feel like I’m writing about Point Break. There are aspects of the classic villain and hero in Gødland but they are not quite the same. Cronus shares in the egotistical aspects and the self-centered portions of classic villains but he is completely self-absorbed. He isn’t trying to force his will on others because he is convinced he’s right or more knowledgeable than the average human, he’s crushing everyone so he can reach a higher consciousness. He is not hiding any self-interest it’s all out in the open and is his only reason for existing.

He’s a fun bad guy because he is the amplification of our more self-destructive side. Don’t think you’re driven by similar forces, then why did you buy a Swiffer? Basil Cronus is a consumer. A blatant consumer in a quest that isn’t outside of our experience as an audience. We consume products presented to us that are made to allow us to escape into imagination or free up time so we can seek that pleasure of escape. This sounds like a great subject for another long post. I’m filing it in my memory safe. Plus, he’s a frickin’ floating skull. Not since Doctor Doom and Mysterio do I remember such a cool visual. The characters are fun because they seem to arc back to connect to a history the creators are aware of and are presented as a part of that history through the art but also through the storytelling. The storytelling and the art are really connected here to present something that feels “retro.”

The art in Justice manages to do something slightly unique. The painting inside the covers instantly makes the story feel like it is somehow older than it actually is. The use of paint makes it feel like it is historic. Like it comes from a time gone by and is plugged into a larger art history than just comic book history. The muted and faded colours just feel old. Painting with water colours (I’m guessing here) is a very old art form that this series is tapping into. That visual yet subliminal connection to a history is what amplifies the retro feeling of this work.

These stories are told with the audience in mind. There is an intention to make these stories bring a reaction out of the audience that these stories are somehow connected to a shared past. Either character specific or medium specific (comics in general as opposed to JLA comics or Super-Friends). That to me is what retro is. We all share in certain cultural experiences and these stories examine that zeitgeist completely aware of the role comics play in creating this shared cultural experience. Yes, superhero comics are pulpy and follow specific genre rules but that doesn’t mean they should be dismissed. I don’t think the works I’m talking about here are trying to be considered more than what they are. I think they are celebrating what they are and doing it not just for the creators but for the audience. I think the creators are completely aware of the audience for these books and are just simply creating works that the creators want to read because they too are fans of superhero comics.

I think these are good comics so far. I can’t make any final pronouncements on them yet because they are both ongoing but so far so good I say. Whatever happens to the actual plot, I can’t pronounce judgment on that. You’ll either like it or hate it, that’s up to you. But I think I see what some of the intent in the presentation is. What do you think? What’s your history with these characters/past epochs and how do you feel about what’s being created here? Sit back and think about it. If you like it or hate it, why? I don’t want to know until you do.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Wednesday's Loot - 21 Sept. 2005

Ultimates 2 #8 - Wow, the Ultimates Annual actually comes into play in this issue. That's pretty cool. The thick plottens. The only thing I'm not enjoying in this series is the whole Wasp thing. I just see her as a very wooden character. I'm glad to see some actual emotion put into the characters' faces in this issue. It was starting to bug me that every single character is completely stone-faced in every scene. The art is good, don't get me wrong, I really like it but when there is no character acting it takes away from the story for me. This one has Nick Fury losing it and looking like he's losing it. There's some great scenes humanizing Cpt. America and I'm quite interested if my guess of Loki making his Ultimate appearance will be how the conspiracy ends...

That's all I bought today. I'll try to stop at the other lcs on my way home to see if I can get Ferro City #2 and Godland #3. Are they delayed or is it just my bad luck?

I'll hopefully have a longer post this weekend like I did for Queen and Country. That was cool to have a creator visit this site, even if he did point out what I got wrong. I'm telling you kids, make sure you have the books with you when you are trying to sound smart.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Monday Madness - 19 Sept. 2005

In light of the All Star Batman and Robin debate that everyone is predicting will poison the internet I've decided to post this. Okay I completely pinched this idea from James at the Comic Asylum. I took the "What Kind of Batman Are You?" quiz and came up with this:

You're Classic Batman. You're the old school,
iconic Batman that everyone knows. Your
sidekick is Dick Grayson, the original Robin,
and you also team up with Batgirl alot. You're
the World's Greatest Detective, and also one of
the best fighters on the planet. You're against
guns and lethal force. Right now, you're pretty
much in the prime of your career, before you
become haunted by Dead Sidekicks and loved

What kind of Batman are you?
by Quizilla

I think this is fantastic. It's weird how I managed to score the Batman I actually like without cheating. I'm a fan for the classic Bat and like that interpretation of him. I think the things like the Dark Knight Returns and even Year One are basically versions of the classic Batman. Whatever he is now is just sort of lost on me. I get that he's driven to protect Gotham and all, but does he need to have all traces of humanity removed? Batman is at his best when he is more than a singular character – every fictional character is. I know that we as people and readers have a natural tendency to boil characters down to one driving factor but even singular characters are good when that singular idea is explored in a multifaceted way.

I know we can’t return to the Silver Age and I’m definitely not making a case that says we should but there was something that was lost along the way. Dimension. I think the Silver Age started to really introduce dimension to characters but then things started to get dark simply because they could and have pretty much stayed there since. This isn’t always a bad thing. I like dark and gritty but it gets just as boring as all the Silver Age hokeyness. Give me diversity. Batman is great because he is “just a man” so lets se him like that again instead of the jerk-o-matic that he seems to be now. Instead of changing him from book to book how about putting all those characterizations of the same character into one book, into one story? I’d buy that.

Heck that’s why I’m getting Batman The Animated Series on DVD. That’s basically the boiled down version of the Batman I like. So there’s the question for you to explore and post your replies in the comments for a free dollar bin comic.
Once you’ve taken the quiz, explain why you agree or disagree with the answer. What kind of Batman do you like and why? Heck post and explain why you hate Batman if you want to.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Queen and Country Declassified: Sons and Daughters 1-3

Well I’ve been sitting on this review for a while and in light of recent events I was unsure whether or not to post this. But this is an examination of a piece of art not reality so here’s the post. I’ll start with a little background information for so you know where I’m coming from. This is the first time I’ve read Queen and County so I don’t know if these characters appear elsewhere or what their history is. I know this is the first time Rucka didn’t write the series but since I haven’t read it before I won’t and can’t compare the two. So, sit back with a beverage and begin reading. It's a long one.

I really think Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten did a good job. I liked it but I’m not gushing over it and I hate to sound like I don’t like something when I actually do like it. In short, this is a very enjoyable story but I don’t exactly know why. Hence the essay as attempt to understand.

I’ve always thought I would like stories involving the IRA but I don’t ever seem to read or watch many. To me, it seems these types of stories either gloss over the causes of the IRA or they get bogged down by the politics of Northern Ireland. I liked The Crying Game, In the Name of the Father, and Patriot Games but I haven’t really found a story that seemed to hit the right notes for me to gush over it. I likes me some action flicks like any red-blooded male but the use of the IRA seems almost dismissive of the complex situation. On the other hand I don’t like being preached to. I think all history, including recent history, is open to artistic interpretation don’t get me wrong on that. It’s just that IRA stories tend to be akin to how Arabs are being used today. Either things are over explained or glossed over depending on the needs of the story. I rarely, if ever, see the setting used in a way that reflects or enhances the themes of a story. Maybe in The Crying Game, but I haven’t seen that movie in a long time so I can’t remember exactly.

Then I found this story. It tells stories the way I like them told. It shoves you into the middle of it and assumes you can figure out what’s going on. It doesn’t treat the reader like a complete tit or beat you over the head with history, revisionist history or minutiae and the appearance of fairness. This story comes at you from two sides and doesn’t apologize for it, over explain it or really gloss over it too much in the way an action movie explores the motivation of a “bad guy” (or doesn’t explore the motivation other than a simple “he’s a terrorist who wants money” or “the hero killed his brother/sister/mother/father/lover/etc).

A balance is found between two survivors of one violent event – Liam Finnegan and Lauren Mullen. On one side we see the kidnapper and on the other the kidnapped girl/woman. Both of them come out of the same event with extremely different points of view. They aren’t completely opposing points of view but they are extremely different. Both Liam and Lauren want an Ireland that is determining its own future. It is the methods they resort to that differentiate them. Liam shows what happens when you enter into a violent lifestyle. When you are so desperate that you need to resort to extreme violence it is next to impossible to remove yourself from it again. It will eat up your entire life as is shown by Liam in this story. His lifestyle is used to show us how he can’t escape yet he is unbelievably clever when he re-enters this life. Upon rejoining the active IRA he enters it from outside the group and can see they’re being compromised. His distance from the situation allows him to prove how clever he is in sniffing out spies and killing soldiers. Then there is Lauren who comes out of being kidnapped and having her father killed with a clearer vision that the causes go beyond the appearance of things and that the solution is more than cosmetic, jingoistic and simple. She, of all people, knows the results of desperate acts of violence for freedom and she starts going after the root causes. She talks about paradigm shifts instead of band-aid or black and white solutions.

Then the character of Poole starts to take over the story. He is a trooper caught up in the middle of the fight. He is in the middle of it because it is his job to be. Poole becomes the balance between Liam and Lauren. He can be clever when he needs to be but brains can’t get you through every scenario and his soldiering proves he is capable of dealing with physical action. He is the victim of a truck bomb at the end of issue 1 and it thrusts him into action during issues 2 and 3. There is a sense of fatality to the actions of Poole. He is the victim of a bomb and is basically decommissioned. Through his boredom he starts to research his father’s death and finds a connection between his last assignment, his father’s death and the other main characters.

Although there is a definite personal connection between Poole and Liam it doesn’t cloud Poole’s judgment the way a personal connection clouds Liam’s and drives Liam on a foolishly singular mission. Poole shows the other side of the same situation. Liam is trained to kill but when his personal life gets mixed up into his mission he can’t separate the two. Poole is spurred into action by a personal mission but manages to combine the two in a much more effective manner. Poole is trained to kill but does it to protect someone specific Lauren, whereas Liam is trained to kill and does it for to protect himself. It isn’t his physical self that Liam is protecting but the image of himself that he has created because of his connection to Danny, his brother in arms. Liam is living on his colleague's infamy. Whereas Poole and Lauren are living with their father’s respective shadows the live up to their own expectations. Liam lives completely within his colleague's shadow and is now trying to ensure nobody can find out the truth. Liam is driven by a selfish revenge where Poole is driven to take risks by his feelings of revenge his response is to an immediate threat. Poole doesn’t kill to avenge his father’s death. He kills to save Lauren and possibly saves her desire for a free Northern Ireland.

All the characters are bright people willing to spend time on their causes. They all have a tragic connection to the “troubles” and they are all connected by a shared moment in history. Yet in the end it is how they react to that history that determines the outcome for each character. It isn’t simply a message of reject violence or focus on the future not the past that is presented in this story. Everyone who acknowledges the past but doesn’t confine themselves to repeating it survive this story. They look to the future that will come from their acknowledgement of the past but they don’t ignore the past or get stuck in a feedback loop thereof. Liam traps himself in the past through his actions and his affectations whereas Lauren and Poole use the past to become themselves. That is the biggest difference between the good guys and bad guys here.

Again, this is a black and white comic which is apparently a regulation for my reviews. Honestly, this is coincidence. After The Walking Dead I really didn’t know what to make of the artwork here. On one end of the black and white scale I use is the characterization and detailed backgrounds of The Walking Dead then the cartoonesque fun of The Amazing Joy Buzzards. This falls somewhere in the middle. I had trouble keeping the soldiers straight but that’s sort of the point with armies; to remove individuality. It was only about halfway through the second book that I realized Mitten was creating a minimalist art here. It hovers between realism and cartoony, and although there are obvious characters from the get go they are presented in a very minimal way.

Sorry for skimping on the art review but I’m still learning how to interpret the play between the art and the story. Plus I don’t have the books in front of me as I’ve written this.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Wednesday's Loot - 14 September 2005

Today was a bigger pull. But I won't have any quick reviews. I have some horrible stomach flu thing going on.

Picked up JLA #118, Rann Thanagar War #5, All Star Batman and Robin: The Boy Wonder #2, Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius, and Street Angel TPB.

I've read the continuing story issues but have nothing to contribute right now. I'm just too dizzy to concentrate. I'm really looking forward to Franklin and Street Angel.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Monday Madness - 12 September 2005

Today’s Monday Madness is a bit of a chucked together idea. I’m sure I can do better than this post.

I’m going to give a quick glimpse into my head for a second and give a combined list of music (songs or albums) and comics. Basically it’s songs or albums that went through my head as I read the books or reflect back on them. So here goes.

The Amazing Joy Buzzards – Almost anything by the Buzzcocks especially Sixteen Again (song) and What Do I Get? (song), Gorillaz (anything), The Beatles Revolver (album) and The Rolling Stones (anything before 1980).
I think all of this is self-explanitory.

The Dark Knight Returns – The Ghost Dog Soundtrack, Johnny Cash – When the Man Comes Around (song), Social Distortion (self titled album).
These all just give me ideas about urban cityscapes with tough as nails guys kicking ass and taking names for later. There’s also a bit of introspection with Johnny Cash.

Watchmen – Modest Mouse – Third Planet (song), Tom Waits – The Earth Died Screaming (song) and the rest of Bone Machine (album) for that matter.
Not only do these names fit the actual story of Watchmen, the lyrics do too. I’m a huge Tom Waits fan so his music is usually going through my head no matter what I’m doing but Bone Machine is mostly about the end of the world so it fits Watchmen thematically. There’s also a lot of introspection and exploration of injured characters coming to terms with themselves as well as reveling in the freakish nature of humanity.

Godland – The Detroit Cobras – Life, Love and Leaving (album).
Both are modern creations that invoke a past era. And both rock so damn much you wish they were the only thing available in that genre. They make you feel shame for the rest of their respective genres.

The Walking Dead – The Who – Baba O’Reily (song).
An epic that gives you chills and a feeling of hope.

I could go on for hours but I want your feedback. Whoever posts a comment about a comic and music will get a free dollar bin comic.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Wednesday's Loot - 7 September 2005

The trend of picking up less and less books continues with me. By the end of the month the comic shop will actually be giving me money if this trend continues. I didn't think the orders would be in until Thursday because of the long weekend but I went like a moth to light. Both books I bought are continuation stories so I don’t know if I have much to contribute as far as reviews go.

I only picked up Batman: Detective Comics #811 and Villains United #5. I’ll probably stop by the shop on my way home and check out Young Avengers #6 thanks to Jim’s recommendation. I don’t know why I haven’t yet really. I’m hoping this is a good jumping on point.

Batman: Detective Comics #811
I'm glad to be back to the City of Crime story although I feel a bit lost now. I didn't buy the War Crimes interuption to normal service and am glad of that. I think I should be glad that no character does anything out of the ordinary here. I'm enjoying this story arc even if the detached narrator is hit or miss for me. I like that Robin looks like a younger kid as opposed to a miniature adult and is just as pissed as anyone when Batman does his solo stuff. This story reminds me a lot of Robert Heinlein's The Puppetmasters, which I read recently and enjoyed, so I'm enjoying this story. I like seeing this type of Batman who is making a personal connection again and even if he is conflicted over it, he's acting in a generally non-asshole way about it.

I rate this story: Back on Track.

Villains United #5
Now that's how you do a reveal! I was a bit lost at the beginning of the plot but I think that's because I didn't finish eating lunch and was a bit low on blood-sugar. Finally, villains acting like villains and no sudden interuptions in character or sharp turns coming out of left field.

I rate this story: Just Great.

Convention Break

For everyone not living as a luddite you've probably seen and enjoyed Homestarrunner and Strong-Bad. Well, the brothers Chap are doing their convention rounds and came up with a funny little short cartoon about the experience. Everyone who has ever been to one will appreciate this.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Tuesday Tussle

What is it about Mondays and deadlines? I will change my Monday madness contest to a Tuesday something-or-other. I know it was a long weekend and all so Wednesday’s loot will be a day late as well but I’ll keep this idea for Tuesdays. It will give me a whole day to come up with something.

Today’s question:
Since the whole “Crisis” thing is happening are there any sins from your past? By this I mean are there any big classic books/stories that you haven’t read or didn’t enjoy?

My list is quite huge since I’ve missed about 15 years worth of comics and even back in the day I couldn’t afford many books. So if it happened since 1990 assume I haven’t read it. In fact there is WAY more that I haven’t read. As an example I only read The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen this year. There you go – shocking isn’t it?

So before the cries of “Judas!” start I’ll make the first round of confession. (Sorry for making this post sound all Catholic I don’t know where it’s coming from). So here’s a partial list of “important” works I’ve missed and stuff I think I’ll enjoy but haven’t gotten around to buying or reading.

List of shame:
  1. Sandman by Neil Gaiman

  2. Swamp Thing by Alan Moore

  3. V for Vendetta

  4. From Hell

  5. Invincible

  6. Powers before they were at Marvel

  7. The New Teen Titans by Wolfman/Perez

  8. Hellboy (got the first trade)

  9. Y the Last Man (got the first trade)

  10. Ultimate Spiderman

  11. Fables

  12. Arkham Asylum

  13. The New Frontier

  14. Daredevil by Frank Miller

  15. Crisis on Infinite Earths

I figure one shameful admission for each year I claim to have not paid attention to comics is enough. I know I won’t be picking up all this stuff here but I will be catching up on a few things. My girlfriend is interested in Y The Last Man so I’ll be getting the rest of that series first. Then it depends on my mood.

Post one shameful admission and I’ll send you a free comic. Nobody posted last week, so there’s still a good selection. And by good I mean a larger selection more than a selection of good comics.

Tuesday Name-Check

Well, the weekend was long and fun. Had a great birthday and managed to blow off any sort of preparation I was doing for this site. I hope to get something up later today. In the meantime here's a quick link filled post.

Johanna over at Cognitive Dissonance has a great post on why comics aren’t a mass medium. She does a great job of going into a comparison between comics and network television and in her brevity she hits the nail on the head for the strengths, weaknesses and differences of the two media.

Comics.212 has a great little story about Hope Larson and Bryan Lee O'Malley trying to auction work for hurricane relief. Basically e-bay limits the charity auctions to American citizens. I think you can trust these two to donate their proceeds to the U.S. Red Cross. So come on you Canuckleheads go bid here.

The Low Road (new to the link collection) has a fun little piece about Mint-seekers.

I think the post above gets Dorian at postmodernbarney thinking and you get his fun little Sunday post.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Happy Toilet

If you don't get the title think...Bidet, B-Day, Birthday.

The big Two-Nine today. I'm taking the rest of the day off to go open prezzies with my girlfriend and our neighbours/friends.

I'll be going out for cocktails here, then finally get to go for sushi at Kinki. Mmmm, pretentious sushi.

I finally picked up issue 2 of Godland (sorry don't know how to make the o with the line through it), Ferro City, Rex Libris, and I forgot about Ex Machina on Wednesday. I also got volumes 2 and 3 of the Walking Dead in the mail so I have some good reads for now. I can't find a copy of Godland #1 in Ottawa so I'll just jump in here. I've also been working on a few other posts since I started this site so I'm hoping the long weekend means even a two day hangover won't stop me from writing something on Monday.

Cheers. If you want to send me a copy of Godland 1 post a comment and I'll e-mail you.

Foreign Aid for New Orleans

How much do you spend on comics each week? Try sending that amount to a charity by either matching what you spent this Wednesday or what you will spend next Wednesday. You could send your money to charity instead of buying comics or just match what you spend. I plan to.

Since others are doing it better than I am I’ll link to a few sites that have information about disaster relief for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. I will try to get some information for how Canadians can contribute.

The Comic Asylum’s post about comic artists auctioning off work to drum up funds.
Newsarama’s story about DC’s efforts to help out.
Newsarama again with a list of American charities and organizations.
There is always the American Red Cross and the Canadian Red Cross.

I know that during the tsunami in south east Asia the Canadian Government pledged to match the amount Canadians gave to charities who were working in the relief effort. I hope they are willing to do the same here. I know that so far Canada has offered the help of military engineers and will be trying to get medical drugs to those who need them. If I learn more I will post on how Canadians can help out.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Okay, here’s some stuff that’s floating around and I think is quite interesting. There are a few creators talking about their experience in the industry. If this has any interest to you check them out. There is Devin Grayson, Pia Guerra, and Terry Moore.

Erik Larsen presents a cracking good column in this week’s One Fan’s Opinion. It’s a great exploration on how artist (all creative types really) should always be challenging themselves to grow and evolve. I’m really liking this column.

I’m trying to focus on the positive aspects of the online comics community but I think Highway 62 has posted the cat, or wolf in this case. If you don't know what that means and don't want to read the explination it's the blog-o-sphere's version of Jumping the Shark.

Also, please have your say here – just scroll down to the bolded question if you don’t want to read the rest of the post.