Saturday, December 31, 2005

Hitching my trailer to a boat...

The post where I look back at the year and forward to the next, even predicting the future.

What's the best thing about this past year. Comics. I got back into them and am enjoying something simply because they're enjoyable. Just like the man says 'nuff said.

Second best thing of the year. Comic blogs. You're all great and I've enjoyed reading all of them. And not just the ones on my sidebar, all the ones I'm too lazy to add to my sidebar as well. You've made the dull days in my cubicle bearable (not that I encourage anyone to slack off at their jobs).

Predictions for 2006 - at about this time there will be a whole lot of people making best of the year and worst of the year lists.

Go drink bubbly wine tonight folks!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Thursday's Loot - 29 December 2005

The last loot bag of the year and only two floppies. JLA Classified #15 and the new Solo book. To make up for it I picked up the first trade of Lions, Tigers and Bears as well as Sgt. Rock's Combat Tales Digest.

I took a break for lunch today, sort of resigned myself to fate as far as work goes and read the JLA Classified book. Is that or is that not the most classic Batman move ever? Besides taking a punch Batman has always been the guy with funny boomerangs that later explode when the villain laughs at them or breathes a sigh of relief when s/he realizes Batman missed. Well, I'm a sucker for it every time. It's always a "Fuck Yeah!" moment for me. I could almost see it in every single Batman story and still appreciate it. Otherwise this was probably the best and weirdest JLA story I've read this year. I do love the whole meme as enemy thing Ellis does. Fun stuff.

I really don't know why I like this rendition more than the others I've read of the JLA. I guess they're just equal parts punk and geek in this story - like me, or how I like to think of me. They're smartass, but they're clever. They talk shit but then they bring it. They do what they need to do, believe in themselves and each other without being pandering. And Superman is really goofy but still slightly badass. I mean, Christ, I'm the son of an electrician but I still get shocked everytime I plug in the Christmas tree so I don't see how his father being a scientist has anything to do with fighting random alien menaces. I don't care, I'm just sayin'....

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Marvel, hear my plea!

Oh, you did? Great.

I knew if I got all pissy with you you’d go and do something to make me love you again. Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk was a good read. I really enjoyed it. I think it’s funny how I’m enjoying reworked characters more than their original counterparts. I guess the weight of history is just too much for some characters to take.

Iron Man: The Inevitable was even better. You got me to read an Iron Man comic that didn’t involve the Fantastic Four and large Japanese monsters. Although I think The Basement Tapes and GØDLAND had more to do with it than you Marvel. Thank you for not claiming this book will change my life and bear my children. It was a refreshing change from your usual verbosity.

I know that UWvH was splashed all over the place and it removed the effectiveness of the whole tearing characters apart thing, but maybe I wasn’t paying much attention to you so I missed a lot of the hoopla. I may have been distracted elsewhere but I don’t remember a big stink about it. Thanks for that. And for the writer guy who’s known for doing something on TV that I watched once or twice but gave up on because they were telling the same story each week. Oddly enough I stopped watching his show for the same reason I dropped the comics that I dropped. You are warned.

I hope you are being clever here Mr. TV Writer. That your famous image of Hulk and Wolvie is your visual metaphor for deconstructing the characters. Please be that clever or you’ll let Marvel break my heart all over again.

I want to like the new Excalibur. I was in love with them once but they broke my heart. I still care for you but I was hurt once and I don’t want to go down that road again. If you can prove you’ve changed Marvel, I’ll consider buying this book. I have to admit though, your New Avengers and Young Avengers have let me down. There was no spark there, no connection, on paper we should get along but on our own in a romantic setting there’s just nothing there. I know you’re trying. I know you’re really nice but we just don’t work together very well. That’s okay. We can be friends, just not that involved.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

This is a rambling year-ender of a post

Hi all and Happy Holidays. I’m not sure if this post will be a long one or a short one as I start writing, so let’s read and see…

This has been an interesting year for me. It started out with me working month to month on 30 day contracts and finally getting hired full-time by the party I work for. There was constant threats of me losing my job after that and with a minority parliament a constant threat of a snap election. It’s finally happened and I’ve been working 12 – 16 hours a day since November. I’m exhausted and will be working today, Christmas Eve and Boxing Day for sure, Christmas Day is still a maybe. This is because our candidates haven’t bothered to all get registered and get on the ballot before the holidays like we’ve asked them to. So I get to spend my holidays, not in Halifax as was planned but with my in-laws at my new home with my girlfriend, and me working with people who don’t want to help themselves – but they do want to get elected to parliament. Very frustrating, but I really like my new flat.

2005 was also the year I got back into comics in a big way. It’s been 15-20 years since I read comics in any sort of volume. Having a guaranteed income helped, and a comic shoppe just a few doors down certainly helped out. Over the years I picked up a few Chris Ware and Paul Pope books, but I wasn’t exactly too interested in the whole comics thing. Then I took a computer animation course and was looking for some source material, and I picked up a few Tank Girl trades. The addiction flea bit me and wouldn’t let go. I bought a few random books and looked a few things up online. It was then that I discovered the Identity Crisis hoopla.

Now, say what you will about Identity Crisis as someone returning to comics after a long hiatus I really enjoyed it. I’m not so young anymore so I wasn’t looking for the stories I read as a kid. This did it for me. It brought me right back into comics. It was the right story at the right time for me. Yes there are problems with it, but that’s the point of story telling – there is never ever a perfect story – all stories are written to attain perfection and we read them to revel in the attempt. We’re here to see if the story resonates with us, and that it achieves what the story set out to do.

This year I did a few things simultaneously. I picked up some “essential” books that I’ve never read before alongside some more recent collections and current floppies. This year was the year I read Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns for instance. It opened my eyes to what comics could be if we let them. They don’t need to feel hollow because these books proved it. They were timely and current, and more importantly they are respected, loved and successful precisely because they were timely and current on top of telling timeless tales. Coming at these books as a mature reader made me feel a joy at the brilliance of these works as well as a sadness that this isn’t what the industry is striving for anymore. Would these books get published today? I just don’t know. I also know that not every book can strive to be like these works, but the spirit they exude is missing from a lot of current work.

I can’t blame anyone for this either and I hope it’s not seen in this way. These works have also been responsible for a lot of the current trends that people are upset about. The aping of the style has resulted in the darkening of the genre by copying the surface presentation, not the heart and soul that makes those works historically relevant as well as important today. Plus they are just fun reads.

I read the Y: The Last Man trades as well as The Walking Dead trades and a couple of Hellboy trades – all of which were new to me as well. The Walking Dead sucked me in like a zombie sucking on a neck bone. Same with Y: The Last Man – except for the Safeword trade. It just pulled me out of the larger story when she mentions the Marquis de Sade as a psychiatrist. Near the end through I started to understand the moment in Stand by Me when the fat kid asks about the point to the TV show Wagon Train. Where are they going? They’re always wagon training but never going anywhere. Hellboy is my one regret. I should be putting all my other reading on pause and just getting as much Hellboy reading done as I possibly can. I love the look of the series and how it’s both original yet completely aware of the fun and serious aspects the medium is capable of. It is just storytelling at it’s strongest – proving that you don’t need new stories or characters to tell good stories. I mean half the characters existed since man first started recording stories – Hecate, vampires, golems – these are some of the most ancient stories yet feel new here.

This was also the first time I read Crisis on Infinite Earths.

And finally I’ve tried to keep myself from being blindly loyal to any floppies. If I didn’t like a series I let it go. I’ve read bits of Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Green Arrow, X-men, New Avengers, Young Avengers, Ultimates 2, Ex Machina, various Batman titles, a few Superman books, a couple of Teen Titans, a whole slew of Infinite Crisis tie-ins as well as books like Fear Agent, Gødland, The Amazing Joy Buzzards, Queen and Country: Declassified, and an issue of Ferro City. Recently I’ve been enjoying the western revival found in Jonah Hex and Loveless.

My thoughts for floppies were that I’d buy whatever caught my fancy for whatever reason. Online buzz, recommendations in the comments section here or on any number of other blogs. If a series wasn’t holding my attention I’d simply move on. I’m doing my best to buy what I enjoy, not what I feel duped into buying. This is what I do for fun so it needs to hold my attention and entertain me – that’s it. I’ve received two English degrees, I’ve read my meal of literature so comics are my dessert. That’s all I want – comics that are successful in what they are trying to do. They don’t need to educate me or blow my mind, they simply need to entertain me. If a series doesn’t do that, I move on. There’s a lot to read out there so I’m trying to remain an omnivore on the comics shelf.

I ended up dropping books like Ex Machina, New Avengers, All-Star Batman and Robin because they just didn’t hold my interest anymore. I’m tempted to get them every now and again, but I feel I’ve been there and it’s time to try something new. I just recently picked up the first three issues of Fell, and I may pick up issue four and decide whether or not I’d go on from there. I love the art but I’m not necessarily in the right frame of mind to enjoy the stories. My life is depressing enough. Same with Powers. I dropped this because I felt it would simply be better as a trade.

I’ve also had a hard time getting my hands on a few books. I’ve missed all but the first issue of Ferro City. I liked it, but I wasn’t going to bust my ass to get the books and I don’t want to be tied to a subscription. Gødland has been hit or miss for me as well and I missed the last issue of the Amazing Joy Buzzards – which I would go out of my way to get.

I find it hard to come up with a best of 2005 list since I’ve read stuff from across the historic spectrum. I really enjoyed All Star Superman and I’m seriously enjoying Justice. I wasn’t too sure about Loveless at first but issue two pulled me into the story, as did issue two of Jonah Hex. I’m truly happy to see a series that looks to be single issue books. Please keep this up. I’m also really enjoying the Ultimates 2. I can’t put my finger on why, I just know that I look forward to reading it when I get it. I also think the current arc of Marvel Team-Up will continue to be fun, and I'm enjoying both JLA: Classified and JSA: Classified. And Solo will continue to be on my pull-list.

So I guess I’ll end on an odd note. Things I wish I didn’t miss out on. The Seven Soldiers series. I know I would love these but I just didn’t buy them from the beginning so I’m forcing myself to wait for the trades. I know this goes against what I just finished writing about not forcing myself to buy entire series, but this one I know I’d enjoy it more if I had it all so I’ll wait and see. I also wish I read more of the Justice League Unlimited series and the Spider-girl digests. I’m intrigued by Runaways and Invincible but haven’t gotten to either yet. Hell, I keep changing my list of back-issue trades I want to read. I am afraid to admit I have yet to read any Scott Pilgrim or New Frontier.

I did buy myself a few X-mas gifts this year. I got JSA: The Golden Age, the first Animal Man trade, and The Best of The Spirit. I’m looking forward to read all of them and be able to post on all the weeks I’ve missed out on. I do have a lot to say just not the time to say it.

Thanks for reading – enjoy your turkey if you have it. And I highly recommend Smax to anyone who thought Shrek was a great movie.

Friday, December 23, 2005

14 - The maybes and also rans

Here’s to the potentials and to the never weres.

This is the last of my political posts for a while – maybe. There are two parties that are still eligible to become registered parties if they field one candidate in this election. The Western Block Party and the First Peoples National Party of Canada. Both have logos without flora or fauna, which will really help them stand out on television and in the paper. I really do wish the First Peoples National Party of Canada the best of luck. I think it is a great vision and a movement that will help the First Nations get the respect they so rightly deserve. They have the potential to bring a very unique and original point of view to the political arena.

Then there are these jokers. Sorry if I can’t take them seriously. The logo was made by a small child or worse, an adult who draws like a small child. Then their policies of holding referendums on everything is hilarious. How do you hold a referendum on shared values, let alone shared religion? Sorry, we don’t believe in putting sugar in coffee, we had a referendum on that, it’s not a western value. Then I thought it would be hilarious if Hinduism or Jedi won as their shared religion.

And last but certainly not least are the National Alternative Party that couldn’t get enough members to prove they were a party, The Ontario Party – ditto – and the Absolutely Absurd Party who withdrew their application. I think the Sex Party was also trying to get registered. Personally I think we are all the worse off for not having an Absolutely Absurd Party running. Imagine if they were like Dadaists reading from telephone books at candidate debates.

Sir, what is your position on the gun registry?

James Flannigan – 902-234-1599

Okay, and your party’s position on Quebec separation?

Rice Pudding.

13 – Liz White and the Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada

Well, voters in Toronto Centre are a lucky bunch. This is a brand spanking new party that has become officially registered the moment Liz White was registered as a candidate in this election. Guess what the Animal Alliance Environmnet Voters Party of Canada stand for. Anyone?

Well at least the logo doesn’t have foliage in it. They went with fauna instead of flora, and some kind of tick tack toe game. Good thing it isn’t a jumbled mess… Wait! When did we get gibbons in Canada? And, damn, there is a pine tree in there. So everyone but the Canadian Action Party has foliage in their logo.

Slogan? Nope. Isn’t their name already a slogan?

Liz White. Looks like she’d wear a seal-skin coat. Or not. I’m thinking that she and the other members realized that by having a political party they could give out better tax receipts than if they were a charity so they are simply using this election to have some free advertising and give better tax breaks to contributors who are allied with animals. I bet she's a cat person. Look at her, you know she disapproves of your life.

Captain Carrot has nothing on this lot.

Wednesday's Loot - 21 December 2005

Oops, this got delayed a bit. This week it's all mini-series. In fact I'm almost tempted to only read limited series for all of 2006 with the exception of Jonah Hex and The Amazing Joy Buzzards, of which volume 2 issue 3 I cannot find anywhere. So I picked up Infinite Crisis #3, Justice #3, Green Lantern Corps Recharge #3, JSA Classified (whatever number it's at 6?)Iron Man: The Inevitable #1, and Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk #1 with the Ultimate gold cover. Yes, bright shiny objects will actually attract me, distract me and take my money. I'm also hoping that "The Inevitable" isn't referring to the delays in production... wucca wucca wucca.

I read Infinite Crisis but I'm just too physically exhasuted to make sense of anything anymore. So in the least amount of words possible (maybe to get me in the mood for the Hulk book) here's what I thought.

Animal Man + face lightning = Jon want read series. Am happy bought first trade for self Xmas.
Purple death ray = badass
Luthor = good twist. Stop laughing. It good.
Superboy = whiny frustrated teenager. Good twist.
Antimonitower = good.
Batman = girly-man. Shut up and kick ass. But in happy way with giant bat-bot or something.

12 – Tracy Parsons and the Progressive Canadian Party

Previous entries: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Well there’s only two things I know about the Progressive Canadian Party. One, they were so upset by the death of the Progressive Conservative Party that they decided to use their initials and values for their own party. Two, one of the members owns photoshop or some other image editing software program. Look at the website and you’ll see what I mean, hell, look at Ms. Parson’s photo and you’ll see what I mean.

They exist simply to ape on the old PC party and hope that a few seniors are so used to voting for a PC party that they’ll skim a few votes in each election. I find it funny that none of the actual Progressive Conservative MPs or politicians had anything to do with this party. It’s like fan fiction or fan films. Sure a few are good, and some are even funny when they use flash or other animation programs but for the most part they suck. Same with this party. It loved something so much it tried to recreate it only to be seen as a chubby weirdo with an odd obsession and a light saber, I mean political party – which is weirder. At least people understand that things like comics and star wars will have fans, but political party groupies? C’mon. I mean, really, c’mon. It’s one thing to want to lay the prime minister it’s another to make your own version of a party.

Well, here’s the logo. Yep, looks like it was made by photoshop, or some freeware imaging software. Sorry about the extra crap around it.

I can’t tell what the slogan is. It’s either “welcome,” “become a member” or “nation builders.” I’ll go with “Nation Builders.” That’s not too bad. At least it can’t be photoshopped. Is photoshopped a word? It is now. Finally, I’m with Shakespeare and can be accredited with being the first to record a word that goes into common usage.

I don’t know what to say about Tracy Parsons. I wish her luck, she’s going to need it. (In politics, they got photoshop down-pat). I guess she’s just one of the also-rans. I’m too tired to make with the funny. Is this election over with yet?

No grades. They suck. Not Communist bad, but bad. I mean, the Marxist-Leninists ran more candidates than the Bloc Quebecois last time around and these guys are meant to be a legacy party?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

11 - Sandra Smith and the Marxist-Leninist Party

Hot damn I forgot the Marxist-Leninists. How could I have possibly forgot about the Marxist-Leninist Party? Yes, here in Canada we aren’t happy with a simple Communist Party, we need two parties that show us the strict division in communist thinking and ideologies. I guess we’re only missing the Stalinist Party that will kill anyone who dissents with party leadership.
When I first researched the Marxist-Lenninists they didn’t even have a website. They do now. Way to prove that your method of thinking isn’t out-dated.

I don’t know what the hell is up with the logo. It looks like it’s for transsexual rights or breast cancer survivors. That would be cool, but no, it’s for commies that go by another name.

I think the slogan is awesome, but it also proves why people don’t really like lefties. “FOR US ACCOUNTABILITY BEGINS AT HOME... Stop Paying the Rich! Increase Funding for Social Programs! Let Us Together Take a Bold Step in Defence of the Rights of All!” I like how they misspelled Defense. Good job there. That’s what happens when you do everything by committee.

I couldn’t find anything about the leader but I found this photo in a Google image-search. She could be like King Tut on the sixties Batman TV show. Or maybe one of his hench-ladies. Whatever. I don’t care about this party and neither does anyone else. Well, except for the commies that didn’t like the Communist Party. I won’t even bother rating them, I’ve barely berated them.

10 - Jack Layton and the New Democratic Party

Previous Posts - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

My favorite thing to say about the NDP is that they’re not new anymore, they’re not all that democratic and it’s not much of a party. That and I think they had an internet survey on whether or not Mr. Layton should shave his moustache. That’s sad. Yet, they claim to not be a party that panders to anyone. I guess moustache issues aren’t included in that non-pandering declaration. The moustache demographic can truly decide an election if you’re not careful and since Mr. Layton is the only leader with a moustache he pretty much has that niche voter covered.

These guys are sort of like the superheroes that made creators want to reinvent everything. They were bright and shiny once, offering hope and new ideas but then everyone realized there was very little you could do with these characters. They have one thing to say and when it’s been said, you want to move on – or completely destroy anything that made the character unique. Same goes here. They were bright and shiny to my parents, but now they’re indistinguishable from any of the other parties. I keep hearing how they were working to give us good government, and they were, then suddenly they decided we need an election in the middle of the Christmas holidays that is twice as long as regular elections. It makes me want to say NDP Party just to piss off NDP members. It’s cute to see them get frustrated. “You’re saying New Democratic Party Party when you say NDP Party.” Yeah, yeah go sing strike songs like you actually worked for a union once for a summer job but your hands are softer than a baby’s bottom now because you’d rather kill yourself than work manual labour.

Ah well, at least they keep trying to be Green. That’s something that defines them from the other parties. Well, except the Green Party I suppose. I guess it would be rude to point out how the major supporters of the NDP are steel worker unions and auto worker unions. I can see how they would be a very ecological party with steel workers and auto workers. Two of the most environmentally friendly professions that cause not pollution whatsoever.

At least the logo is green now. It has the requisite maple leaf, but a green one this time. Thanks for changing it up.

Slogan for this election. “Getting results for people.” Not bad. Very assertive. I wonder what kind of results they mean though? Stool samples or like report cards? I do like it but I can’t help but remember that they were getting results and good government from a minority parliament but then decided they wanted more seats and could pull a few more seats from the Liberals in the middle of a scandal. What people want those kind of results? Besides the NDP, I mean? This is sort of like the spider clone saga. It started as a decent idea but then went to complete shit in a hurry.

Jack. What can I call Jack? Jack Spratt? Jack-man? The Dude? All I know is that this guy’s superpower would have something to do with shrugging your shoulders whenever you speak French. It’s hilarious. It’s like he has an itch he can’t scratch on his back and is trying to wiggle his shoulder blades so we doesn’t have to scratch on TV. So, here’s a picture of him getting results for people. Looks like he’s asking the other sissyneck politicians to “just bring it.” That’s pretty cool. I guess you can talk tough when your friends are teamsters. I guess at some point there will be a special book introducing a mini-series where this guy is unceremoniously shot in the head.

Superhero name: Jackass, I mean Jack-man.
Super Powers: Talking tough but can be stretched an shaped into any form other than what was promised.
Weaknesses: Economics. Constant reinvention of origins.
Super Team: Dippers (how can I come up with something better than the truth?)
Overall Rating: B

Monday, December 19, 2005

Shouldn't Marvel put as much effort into their comics as they do their press-releases?

So I figured I’d chime in about comics and stuff instead of the political stuff that leaves the taste of ashes in my mouth. I think my funny bone has been removed since dealing with political candidates.

Anyway, can someone explain what the hell is up with Marvel? They’re already hyping their next big summer event. Is this because I missed something about the last one? I’m sure someone liked it, but it held absolutely no interest for me whatsoever. I would really appreciate if someone could explain how it was good, seriously. It just seemed like a What If? story or about every single Wolverine plot I can remember.

I guess this is the next big event in a similar way to how Ronin was a character everyone was talking about… Except nobody was actually talking about him, her, whatever, I stopped reading New Avengers. I still think the Wrecker scene was cool though.

This thing just seems like someone surgically attached Infinite Crisis to The Da Vinci Code. Aren’t the Illuminati in the Da Vinci Code? They’re in Angels and Demons, and that book made me realize that I would never buy another Dan Brown book again. Ever. I bought it second hand and felt cheated. I plan on using the pages as padding when I mail somewhat fragile items. I refuse to link to his books. You can do whatever you want but I won't waste my time to copy and paste links to that tripe.

I think I’m happy enough just reading Marvel’s press releases. They’re actually more entertaining than a lot of their event books. Who knows though, I was skeptical of Infinite Crisis and I like it, and this could very well be a great story, but don’t call it something like the most talked about event of 2006 when nobody has heard of it or is actually talking about it. I've lost a lot of faith in people these last few weeks and the gaping holes of cynicism and indifference this Marvel civil war has been met with really isn't making me feel good about it or comics in general.

I will go back and re-ead both issues of Fear Agent to make this better.

Friday, December 16, 2005

9 - Blair Longley and the Marijuana Party.

Previous Posts - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

I think the Marijuana Party is what truly defines the North American split (if you leave Mexico out of North America). Since I don’t know anything about Mexico I’ll pretend only Canada and the USA are in North America for this post. In Canada, we have a political party that runs candidates for Federal Office based solely on the premise of legalizing marijuana. In the USA if you come out pro-pot I think they deport you to Mexico. In the USA you’ve basically chosen a side in the war on drugs. Here we let the potheads run for the House of Commons. Here people get fines and mostly just warnings if they are found with a bit of pot, in the States I’m told you get possession of narcotics charges. So if your going to get charged with possession of narcotics why not get caught with a barrel of heroin instead of a gram of weed?

The Marijuana Party is great, sad and hilarious. They manage to live up to stereotypes but they’re also making a point. If so many people are smoking marijuana already are the laws working? They tried to ban alcohol and that only saw a rise in organized crime who decided to fill the hole in the market. Same goes for weed. Legalize it and suddenly the criminal element no longer making a profit when government sponsored weed hits the shelves. But then you see the weed crew and laugh. It’s hard to take them serious and they don’t particularly want to be taken serious so the issue is a no brainer. Dude, isn’t a brainer when somebody blows smoke up your nose?

At least the logo isn’t a maple leaf, although I have seen Canadian flags that replace the maple leaf with a pot leaf. Whatever. The slogan is totally awesome – “Let’s roll!” I appreciate that type of humour. We need more in politics.

Now the thing about these guys is that Kevin Smith has already made comics about them and parodied them enough in Bluntman and Chronic as well as his various Clerks spinoffs. All the funny stuff you can think about the Marijuana Party is probably true. They forget when deadlines are and don’t get on the ballot. They forget that they need to actually collect signatures to get on the ballot, and they forget that the signatures need to be in the riding and from eligible voters. They stink of pot and b.o. when you meet them and probably have beards and/or piercings.

Who really cares though? They exist and manage to run a handful of candidates every elections. Is it due to their leader Mr. Longley? I doubt it. This guy looks more interested in the balloons that running a political party. He probably claims to be a Rastafarian and that the pot laws discriminate against his religion. He’s as much a Rastafarian as I am Hindu. He smokes pot, I eat Indian food, it isn’t a religious conversion. Still, they’re fun. I wish they got invited to debates and stuff. I’d actually watch debates with the Marijuana Party candidates. I’d sit in the audience eating chocolate bars or something to distract them. I guess the whole, they’re right but probably spend more time being paranoid about bullshit ideas they have from spending too much time stoned and sitting in a couch with the same people thing makes me be dismissive.

So what’s my conclusion here? They’d be shitty superheroes, but could be a great guest star or something. They’re cute in that unwashed, want to make politics as bitchin’ as their mixed tapes, kind of way. They’re the political party that gets the munchies whenever pork-barrel politics is mentioned. Not only do they want to lead the unwashed masses, they are unwashed masses. And, um, I didn’t manage to really say anything funny on this post. I wasted its potential, just like this party does with itself.

Superhero Name: Weed-wacko
Super Powers: Can inhale and hold breath for indeterminate periods of time. They got ideas that would totally blow your mind, man
Weaknesses: Bright shiny objects, colours, food, well anything to tempt the senses really.
Superhero Team: The Pot Heads.
Overall Rating: C+

His name is Robert and he can't stop thinking about Ninjas

This is a totally ninja site. It made my day. Well, it made my early morning.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Wednesday's Loot - 14 December 2005

Only picked up three books today, but I didn't see The Amazing Joy Buzzards. I'll have to stop at the other shop on my way home in case it wasn't delayed. How sad am I?

I did get: Batman: Gotham County Line #3, DMZ #2 (didn't that just come out last week?)and The Best of The Spirit. I really can't wait for February when this dang election is over and I can read comics again. I want like a whole month where I can just escape reality (not that dealing with candidates and politicians in any way reflects reality).

Also, Rick Mercer is finally standing up for the much abused Beer Drinking Demographic in response to Scot Reid's comments. Sign the petition because Children may be the future, but Beer is forever.

For Scipio

Since I don't know how to post it or send it to him... Go read The Absorbascon, sorry The Sword of The Absorbascon, or maybe Absorbascon: Sword of the Internet Comic Bloggers... I don't know.

Here's the goddam picture:

Oh yeah, I made it here, with a little help from Photoshop.

8 - Jean-Serge Brisson and the Libertarian Party

Previous Entries - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Well, it seems that the kooky hours I’m working have basically killed all enthusiasm I have for pretty much everything in my life right now. I can’t even make fun of politicians on a regular basis – and it’s really easy.

What is there to really say about the Libertarian Party. I’m pretty sure they exist simply to get votes from dyslexics, myopic or librarian voters who confuse them with the Liberal Party. They believe in less government, so they are cast in the shadow of villains. They’re a bit like anarchist-lite. It just doesn’t fly in a country that values state sponsored institutions. There is a social safety net that has been created and maintained by government. This is the biggest difference between Canada and the U.S. of A. The national consciousness here is that the government of the country is here to support it’s citizens and maintain a basic level of care, whereas south of the border the government is there to ensure the citizenry is free to do what it please whether or not it is to the detriment of everyone else. That’s the big difference. That, and the snow monkeys we’re plagued with up here.

The big impression I’m seeing is that the Libertarians are basically arguing for the Americanization of Canada. The Libertarians sound like the sworn enemies of the Canadian Action Party that exists simply to fear the American Dollar Bill or something. I’m not sure if two insane wrongs make a lesser wrong, but you’d think this could possibly be comedy gold. I’m just not in a funny mood. I feel funny, but that’s just lack of sleep and a proper diet. I think I’m funny, but I’ve been sitting in front of a computer and talking on the phone since 8AM and for the last 16 days for an average of 12 hours a day. Rice is funny to me now.

The logo looks like they’re a airline more than a political party It does contain the required maple leaf. I don’t get this, why do they all need maple leafs? Do these parties think Canadians voting in a Canadian election might accidentally vote for a Ugandan political party?

Any who… The slogan “A whole new idea” sounds like a whole lot of “rushed to meet an election deadline.” I got a brand new idea – try not to suck.

What’s the deal with Mr. Brisson? I guess his big claim to fame is his big seat belt ordeal. I think the party exists to limit the amount of government because they told him it was a good idea to wear a seatbelt while driving on the highway. Those bastards. I guess if you have an impenetrable skull you don’t need to worry. He should fit right in in politics. Is government too big? No, your order is too tall.

Superhero Name: The Librarian
Super Powers: Impenetrable skull
Weaknesses: Fast cars and cops
Super Team: The Freedom Fighting Minute Men of America
Overall Rating: D-

Saturday, December 10, 2005

7 - Paul Martin and the Liberal Party

The Liberal Party, along with the Conservatives and NDP, show us that politics at its best is politics at its worst. To me, Martin and his Liberals are like the second generation of heroes or heirs that inherited a legacy but since they didn’t have to work to earn anyone’s respect they just fuck it all up because they actually believe they’re entitled to have what they have.

To me, the Liberals are something like the re-imagined heroes of the nineties. They’re just riding a wave of success made by their predecessors. The thing is, we’re so used to them being around and since the other groups are even scarier they manage to remain powerful. I guess the Liberals have the potential to be something like Sandman or Starman but really they’re just Aquaman when he got all pissed off and yelly.

The logo unfortunately contains a large letter “L.” It’s fine as far as logos go, easily identifiable, and not too garish a colour. The trouble is, what kind of hero wants to run around with a large “L” on their chest? I know the fad at the beginning of the millennium where people used their thumb and forefinger to make the “L” on their forehead has passed, but I can imagine us all doing this behind a Liberal hero’s back as he streaks towards injustice with a large red L on his chest. Again with the "Maple Leaf as rising sun" motif. How many times does Canada need to rise?

The logo for this campaign doesn’t seem to be released yet, but last time they had “Team Martin” on all their signs. It’s not so bad as far as nineties superhero team names go. It’s all about ego isn’t it. I’m Martin, you’re my team so you’re Team Martin, any questions? The trouble is, you should be inspired by your leader if you plan to rally around that call, and since the Liberals have more back stories, underlying plots, and rifts than three years of X-men books, it’s hard to believe people would jump to this rallying cry. Then again, there are enough boot lickers and toadies in the Liberal party that they’ll all be cow-eyed and complacent until Mr. Martin turns his back or shows a sign of weakness. I always wondered why Megatron tolerated Starscream, now I get it, they were in the Liberal Party of Canada.

What about Mr. Martin? Here he is generating his energy attack. It’s compressed hot air or maybe he farted and stained his pants. Mr. Martin does have a bit of Starman in his story. His father was a great representative for this country, and Mr. Martin wanted nothing more than to follow in his father’s footsteps. The father laid a great path while Mr. Martin was given a quagmire of fraud and invertebrate scum, I mean young Liberals or maybe Conservatives – whatever, potayto potahto. At least the Liberals aren’t righteous sons of bitches, just horribly smug. Anyway, Mr. Martin so desperately wanted to be a defender of democracy like his father but was handed such a scandal ridden mess, it’s amazing he hasn’t jumped off a bridge yet. He stuck with it, and here he is, trying to keep cleaning it up – again. But I guess the only real connection between the Liberals and Starman is that Starman had a rod that looked like it could screw you, and the Liberals are adept at pulling our pants down.

Superhero Name: The Martinite
Super Powers: Hot Air, able to phase concrete plans and detailed promises into nothing.
Weaknesses: Can’t pass up a buck.
Superhero Team: The Invertebrates
Overall Rating: B+

Thursday, December 08, 2005

And speaking of the Green Party...

...they have started an online petition to get included in the leaders' televised debates. They are currently being excluded because they have no sitting members, but are on track to running a full slate of candidates for the second election in a row - more candidates than the included (and elected) Bloc Quebecois.

I know there are a few Canucknuckleheads reading this so I suggest signing up - this is about democratic choice - not whether or not you actually agree with or even like the Greens.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Wednesday's Loot - 7 December 2005

I haven't complete forgotten about comic books, although the amount of candidates I am dealing with makes me want to escape into some form of four colour nether-world more and more these days - I just can't keep my eyes open long enough when I drag my carcass home at the end of the day.

So, I received Local #1 from Chris. Thanks. A review will appear at some point.

Today I picked up quite a few books. I picked up the first three issues of Fell (thank you reprints), Marvel Team Up, Jonah Hex, Detecive Comics, and Ultimates. I will get reviews up in, I don't know, February? Maybe.

Jim Harris and the Green Party of Canada

Previous Entries - 1 2 3 4 5

Ah, the Green Party. They keep trying to be “the little engine that could” but end up being “the little party that just couldn’t.” There’s a lot to love about the Green Party and a lot to make fun of. In a lot of ways they are the Doom Patrol – equally loved and hated depending on who you are and who’s in charge. Plus there is a fairly healthy mix of freaky people and suits. At least now there is. Once upon a time this party was the political equivalent of a Fruit and Nut Bar that had candidates who looked and spoke as if they spent all their time in a root cellar chewing on bark. Now they’re competing with the big kids and look to actually give them a run for their money. These are the second stringers that suddenly became interesting in the right hands.

To me, the history of the Greens is like the opening of The Incredibles where Buddy keeps trying to be like his hero. In some ways it’s amazing that someone young and inexperienced can pull off something as amazing as rocket-boots but they waste their potential trying to copy their idols. In the eighties, some Green lefties were inspired by the European Green Parties and managed to register one in Canada. Unfortunately, modeling a Canadian political party after a European one doesn’t quite work since Canada is larger than all of Europe. Green Parties tend to work in smaller locations, and Canada is certainly not a small location. Anyway, the original Greens sat on a copyright for a while until the next generation came around and said, that’s actually not a bad idea and we can get someone elected if we tone down the “I know what’s right for you even if you don’t and I will cram my righteousness down your frickin throat until you accept my superiority over you” stance inherent in all environmental movements. The last election had the Greens moving from being confused with Greenpeace and the Marijuana Party to being seen more like an actual political party that could get an actual politician elected – some time in the future…eventually.

How about the logo. Why does it look like a buzz-saw or the British Petroleum logo? I don’t think that’s a good idea, but what do I know. Is it supposed to be some flower bullshit? Because to me it looks like a smudged thumbprint. I guess the Green heroes could take an ironic stance and be buzz-saw themed heroes but I doubt they’re that clever.

Now for the slogan, “We Can.” Not exactly horrible, but not exactly good. It’s not exactly specific either, what can you do exactly? Compost? But then you look through their candidates and shockingly they can look like politicians. Maybe that’s what they mean, they can wear suits and comb their hair. Okay, not all of them, but more of them than you’d expect. Maybe they can also have political scandals and pissed off ex-leaders? Yep on both cases. Good job Greens, you can be a political party – well except for the whole getting elected stipulation.

And for the leader. Is he Underdog or Jim Harris? Nobody knows for sure. What we do know is that he doesn’t get picked to take part in debates. Poor guy. I bet he got picked last for dodgeball as well. Unlike the previous leaders of the Green Party Mr. Harris’s leadership has been plagued with controversy. He won the leadership by making it a goal of the party to run a candidate in every riding, and softening the unworkable Green solutions the party was formed on. Apparently this isn’t a Green value because ex-members have been writing nasty articles about him because of this. I guess it’s not Green to compromise and be worth the public’s attention.

Since he’s not included in the debates I’m going to put two pictures of Mr. Harris up here, so the voting public will get to know him. Yes, you, that one Canadian voter who reads this, this is the Green Party leader. Here he is demonstrating his super-power of misdirection. Is he going up, will he go down? Ha ha, you will never know, Toads! Yes, he can be a politician, didn’t you read the slogan? There are a few things I know about Mr. Green Jeans, he always mentions his Toyota Prius and bottled air in interviews. I wonder if he’ll give his star candidates a ride in his Prius and a hit of bottled air when they agree to run?

I need to give the Greens credit though, they managed to bring themselves out of complete obscurity by some pretty innovative means. They had mostly volunteers and little cash but pulled off what only 3 other parties have ever done and run a candidate in every riding. Sure last year’s platform was riddled with inaccuracies and it contradicted itself, and this year former employees and leaders are somehow quitting their positions again months or years after they quit the first time, but it’s not bad for a group of people with no idea of what being a political party entails. At least they don’t all look like the Unabomber.

And finally, Google image search has shown me that Kamala the Ugandan Giant’s real name was Jim Harris. While he would be a hell of a lot more entertaining to see in a political debate when he pile drives the other leaders into the podiums, I give the Green points to being randomly associated with someone retro-chic. I'd vote for this guy in a heartbeat. Plus, the Green Party ran Sailor White in the last election.

Superhero Name – Mr. Green Jeans
Super Powers – Drives his Prius like a motherfucker, master of misdirection, gets more powerful with global warming.
Weaknesses – surrounded by scary looking people
Superhero Team – The Green Machine
Overall Rating – B+ (Most improved)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Last Wednesday's Loot

Oh yeah, I did manage to buy a few floppies last week and actually read them. Oddly enough only one of them was released that week - JLA Classified - and J'onn Jonz was fricking awesome.

I also picked up the first issues of The Perhapenauts and Fear Agent. I'm now looking for the second issue of Fear Agent and I really didn't enjoy the Perhapenauts. I felt it was really cliched. The idea is fine, and the art is fine, but I was just plain bored by the whole thing and felt like I read this a million times before. Sometimes that's okay but this time it didn't work for me. I really dug Fear Agent and the whole riffing on Half-Life which really was the last ballsy Sci-Fi story I can remember. I hope to track down a copy of #2.

Friday, December 02, 2005

5 – Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party

Previous entries - 1 2 3 4

This one has taken me a while for a couple of reasons. The election actually starting and I figured I needed to give Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party “special” attention. As far as the name goes it’s not all that horrific. It says what they are, end of story. However, the story of how the name came about is actually kind of exciting. There used to be two parties, the Progressive Conservatives were one of the original parties in Canada. They were fiscally conservative but socially progressive in a lot of ways. Or maybe it was the other way around, I can’t recall. They’ve had one hell of a ride over the years in politics. In the eighties, under Brian Mulroney they had this massive majority in parliament but he decided that the metaphor of the mouse lying with the elephant wasn’t good enough so he decided to insert the mouse that is Canada so far into the elephant that is the USA that this country would essentially become the 51st state. In the next election they were reduced to two seats and lost their official party status.

Then out west this party called the Reform Party started up. They were sick and tired of the more or less useless PC party bumbling to reassert itself nationally. They were grassroots and Western – bright shiny and new. Then something happened and they became the Canadian Alliance and became scary in the bible-belt, Adam and Eve are my ancestors and rode dinosaurs to church every Sunday, scary. Eventually, Peter MacKay leader of the PC party and Stephen Harper, leader of the Canadian Alliance finally made a truce and formed the Conservative Party. Look, they had meetings around tables and everything so you know they're serious. If you look closely at the picture above it looks like MacKay is restraining himself from ripping off Harpers head and using it for a toilet. Harper looks infatuated.

That is a very brief summary of events, and the potential for conflict and storytelling is massive, as you may well imagine. They are the closest thing to having a Secret Society of Supervillians as a political party as anyone will ever see. Harper and MacKay are always at each other’s throats, and have secret meetings behind each other’s back – there was a public abandonment when Belinda Stronach dumped MacKay and joined the Liberal Party. This is Villains United or the current JSA Classified arc except the only torture involved is in us, the electorate having to listen to these jackasses.

So, with the new party comes a new logo. Not since Bert & Ernie were two men more excited about a letter than Harper and MacKay when they released this logo. It’s a bit of a mobious strip “C” with a maple leaf. It’s okay, but it doesn’t scream conservatism to anyone. I do like the design though, it’s clean and clear. It’s actually quite hip when you think about the source. Not bad gentlemen you could slather this on each other’s chest with liquid latex.

Now let’s have a look at ole Stevey-Boy. OH. MY. GOD. That is an offence to all fans of the Village People, the Village People, cover bands of the Village People and anyone with eyes. I know you wanted to appear more personable and get out of the suit every now and again, by c’mon. Get your kids to make you a faux-hawk and dye it blue, this is just sad, and wait, I need to stick needles into my eyes if I’m to continue….Thalse betataar. Thankfully I can touch type so it won’t affect me except for the sweet release of blinding pain. I think you need to stop attending the pancake breakfasts if you don’t want this leather to pop.

Then there’s the haircut. He is actually giving Donald Trump a run for his money as far as utterly ridiculous haircuts go. Did your dad bring you for a haircut when you were like four and since then you’ve been saying “gimme the usual” ? Because that’s what it looks like. It look impenetrable and just utterly, utterly ridiculous. If this was “Hot or Not” that hair cut would rate a “Fucking Hideous.” If you bent at the waist and ran at brick walls, could you eventually smash through them Stevey-Boy?

When I read his biography online I noticed that Mr. Harper does want to be a hero. He desprately, desprately wants people to revere him, love him and vote for him. This is the first line of his bio “Stephen Harper has spent his political career standing up and speaking out for Canadians who work hard, pay their taxes and play by the rules.” He wants to be Superman. I take comfort that at some point the Conservative Party will kill off Stephen Harper to go up in the polls, and have his role assumed by four unlikely successors, a robot, a younger copy of Mr. Harper who was created using Mr. Harper and Peter MacKay’s combined DNA, a cloned copy of Mr. Harper, and Shaquil O’Neil. I’d watch those debates.

Not a bad thing to stand up for Canadians who work hard, but what about those who are hardly working? Those watercoolers won’t drink themselves you know. Okay, taxes, whatever – give me a break on mine and I’d consider voting for anyone. Now comes the part that got up in my craw and wouldn’t leave “play by the rules.” That is such a “kid who was pushed into the mud on a regular basis in primary school” thing to say. I bet he ran to the teacher whenever a situation started. It’s great to play by the rules if everyone agrees on them, but a major point of Mr. Harper’s campaign and his party’s is that the rules aren’t fair and need to change. They exist simply to change the rules. Playing by the rules is a completely empty statement when uttered by this man. One of the first orders of business is to overturn the ruling on same sex marriage which is now legal and have another vote on it. So the rules are good, and we should all play by them, unless Harpy’s supporters don’t like them and they need to change because they will utterly destroy the moral fabric of this free, just and socially responsible society. Yes, that’s the Canada we all know and love – the one were we get rid of healthcare for every Canadian, and ensure that every Canadian is never treated equal to all others.

So let’s see how they would change things and I’ll add the truth in parentheses.

His plan for Canada tackles the real issues that matter to Canadians. A Harper-led government would:
- Help individuals, families and entrepreneurs get ahead by lowering taxes, rewarding hard work and making it easier to save; (unless you are homosexual)
- Help our seniors preserve their hard won gains through fairer taxes, better service from bureaucrats and by opposing ‘death taxes’; (unless you are homosexual)
- Improve the quality of life in communities by improving access to health care, offering choice in child care and tackling violent crime; (unless you are homosexual)
- Fight waste, mismanagement and corruption in Ottawa by enacting and enforcing tough anti-corruption and accountability measures; (unless you are homosexual) and
- Stand up for Canada by defending our national interests in trade disputes, securing our borders and treating all provinces with respect. (unless you are homosexual)

Holy Gingerbread Jesus, he’s Bizarro not Superman!

Super Hero Name: Leather Pancake Daddy
Super Powers: He can only ever speak the opposite of what he really means. Impenetrable head. Clever ploys.
Weaknesses: Prone to failure and defeat at the hands of his enemies (because he likes it). Leather vests.
Superhero Team: Bibleous Thumpus – aka Secret Society of Harpies.