Archive for May 29, 2004

Words of Welcome Back

May 29, 2004

So, Seanieblog is one year old. Hello, everyone, and welcome to a little reminiscence about my no-longer-so-new home on the web.

Today is the real one-year anniversary of Attentiondeficitdisorderly Too Flat, seeing as how its first post way back on May 28th, 2003, was actually put up here by Kennyb, the nice man who designed the site. May 29th was the day I got on board, with an explanation of how the blog came to be, what it would be like, and what it wouldn’t be like. There’d be no lengthy reviews, I said at the time. (That rule didn’t last 24 hours.) There’d be no political screeds. (Broke that rule too, though I’ve pretty much readopted it at this point. Frankly, I feel like I’ve said all that I need to about where I am politically, and man, is it ever apparent that I’m not changing anybody’s minds here. Point is, if you’re really jonesing for a semi-comics blog that beats its pet political points to death on a daily basis, this is what Jim Henley is for. Ha ha, no, I kid.)

One thing I really didn’t realize was how deeply immersed in the world of comics I would become (and I’m damn sure my hosts here at All Too Flat didn’t, either–they were expecting comedy, I think, not complaints about Cyclops’s body condom), but you know what? I’m glad things have worked out the way they have. When I started this blog I don’t think I knew there was such a thing as the comics blogosphere, and at any rate, whatever there was wasn’t a fraction of the size of what there is now. I’m proud to think I played some sort of role in its expansion and solidification as a medium for the exchange of ideas over the past year. And I’m truly grateful for all the spectacular and brilliant people I’ve gotten to know through it.

As I mentioned yesterday, I haven’t been blogging very often lately, and quite frankly I hate this. Knock on wood, but it looks like my personal situation may soon change for the better and more frequent, more in-depth, less ADD-addled blogging may be in the offing. Simply put, I really want ADDTF to have a second birthday, and I’ll do my damndest to make it happen.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my blogfathers, blogmothers, and all the folks whose blogs provided inspiration in those early weeks and months–I’m both lucky and happy to consider them my friends: The Missus,

Ken Bromberg, Jim Treacher, Bill Sherman, NeilAlien, Dirk Deppey, David Allen Jones, Jim Henley, Franklin Harris, Eve Tushnet, David Allison, and Alan David Doane. Thanks also to everyone who’s joined the party since then. There are now so many terrific blogs and bloggers out there that I’m far too lazy to list them here, but that’s what the blogroll is for, no? And thank you to the pros, publishers, critics, and correspondents who’ve provided me with feedback. It’s an honor and a pleasure to hear from you.

And, of course, thank you, beautiful reader. If a blog posts on the Internet and no one visits it, does it make a difference? Thanks to you I need never know the answer to that question.

Here’s to another year.

First Year!

May 28, 2004

This is the first birthday of Seanieblog! So huge!

Comix and match

May 28, 2004

I’m going to do something I’ve always been reluctant to do and apologize for the sparse blogging over the past couple of months–not just to you, beautiful reader, but to myself as well. I don’t like not blogging. God willing things will change for the better soon and I’ll be back to the blog with a vengeance.

Let’s do this quick-like–my mother-in-law’s in town:

David at Insult to Injury reviews Grant Morrison’s Seaguy #1, pointing out among other things what a great name for a villain the Anti-Dad is (considering how nearly every superhero ever has serious absent-father issues–to say nothing of those heroes’ creators) and what gorgeous, inventive art Cameron Stewart provided for the book (compare it to Stewart’s fellow Catwoman artist Darwyn Cooke’s lovely but relatively staid work on New Frontier, for instance).

Graeme, also at ItoI, reviews Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men #1, and makes it sound interesting enough for me to change my mind and pick it up. At least someone is taking advantage of Morrison’s three-year-long act of deadwood clearance, rather than gathering the deadwood up again and dumping back in again. But watch out if you go there, because there’s a BIG SPOILER for Amazing Spider-Man, goddammit.

Dave Intermittent just kills some tedious anti-suburbia screed from writer Joe Casey, and throws in a dig at the awful, fraudulent American Beauty while he’s at it. Remember when I worried aloud about Brian Wood’s take on suburban life in Demo? Dave spells out exactly what I was worried about. Oh, it’s just lovely to read.

Speaking of Demo, Dave Fiore offers up the most interesting review of the series yet. Is Demo about wanting to break free, or wanting to fit in? Or does doing the latter enable you to do the former? Fascinating stuff.

I finally got around to buying the two most recent volumes of Battle Royale today, so I got a kick out of Kevin Melrose‘s report that a bunch of Tokyo schoolboys were sufficiently inspired by the film to beat up some of their teachers.

Kevin also links to a very thoughtful Publisher’s Weekly review of Brian Azzarello’s Batman run, which pretty much confirms many of the fears I had about it after reading the first issue way back when.

Paul O’Brien has the ugly truth about Marvel’s sales–with the exception of relaunches, almost every title is trending downward. Now, that’s almost a truism in this industry–that’s why there are so many relaunches, after all–but still, it’s depressing, and it’s got to make one wonder why Marvel has (apparently) abandoned the relatively iconoclastic moves that revived their fortunes to chase the shoulder-pads-and-vestigial-straps dollar. (Link courtesy of Graeme McMillan.)

Until those no-goodniks at Broken Frontier set up permalinks for their columns’ latest installments, I’m just gonna link to the people who link to them. For example, Graeme McMillan links to Shawn Hoke’s column about Chris Ware’s comics edition of McSweeney’s. Long story short: It looks AWESOME. No Gloeckner, though. (This tends to be my barometer for these things.)

Marc-Oliver Frisch reminds me that I wanted to check out Mark Waid’s Empire. It’s nice to find someone else who admits to liking Kingdom Come too, by the way.

And that’s it. Good night friends! Sweet dreams, kids!

Get on board, people

May 26, 2004


See, guy?

May 25, 2004

To begin with, I believe that arrangements should be made now to do a full scientific study of Grant Morrison’s brain, in order to find out exactly what makes it so different from normal human brains, and try to come up with an explanation regarding how the man can produce the random, the absurd, the nonsensical, the whimsical, the surreal, the flat-out strange ideas he does, and how he can do them with such apparent ease and proficiency.

Thus spake


May 21, 2004

When I was young, younger than before

I never saw the truth hanging from the door

And now I’m older see it face to face

And now I’m older, gotta get up, clean the place

And I was green, greener than the hill

Where flowers grew and the sun shone still

Now I’m darker than the deepest sea

Just hand me down, give me a place to be

And I was strong, strong in the sun

I thought I’d see when day was done

Now I’m weaker than the palest blue

Oh, so weak in this need for you

–Nick Drake, “Place to Be”


Lately she don’t care for a warmer breeze

Or shade around the base of the maple trees

Spring was on the mountain we climbed upon

Stopped to see how high and how far we’d gone

I said “Love is waiting and better days”

She smiled and placed a kiss on my waiting face

Promise what you will something good for me

Time will take it all and it will you’ll see

–Iron & Wine, “Promise What You Will”


Saw it written and I saw it say

Pink moon is on its way

And none of you stand so tall

Pink moon gonna get ye all

And it’s a pink moon

Yes, a pink moon

Pink, pink, pink, pink

Pink, pink moon

Pink, pink, pink, pink

Pink moon

Saw it written and I saw it say

Pink moon is on its way

And none of you stand so tall

Pink moon gonna get ye all

And it’s a pink moon

Yes, a pink moon

–Nick Drake, “Pink Moon”

Comix and match

May 20, 2004

Laptop’s back! Thank you, Steve Jobs’s minions!

Yesterday I wondered aloud whether skepticism toward the new Dirk Deppey-helmed Comics Journal from folks like Dave Fiore stemmed not from a fear that said Journal wouldn’t cover superhero comics, but that they wouldn’t cover superhero comics in a fashion to said folks’ liking. Dave interpreted that as me saying that Dave has some sort of personal problem with Dirk or other Journal writers and editors, which is not what I meant at all. My point was that if the Journal gives “mainstream” criticism an honest go, that’s really all we can (and should) ask for, as opposed to expecting that they’d share our precise feelings about the merit of the books or their authors. (Or, in Dave’s case, their formal implications.) You grok?

Also on the magazine beat is Marc Singer, who’s hyping the International Journal of Comic Art, a scholarly publication edited by frequent Comics Journal contributor John Lent. Sounds interesting, if you dig the superclose analysis, and babies, I know you dig the superclose analysis.

Eve Tushnet returns to comicsblogging, God bless her, with a short and sweet review of Paul Hornschemeier’s Mother, Come Home.

Speaking of short and sweet, Dave Lartigue almost never says anything I agree with, but goddamn if he isn’t dead right about Planetes, which absent New X-Men may be the most fascinating series around right now. It’s science fiction in which nothing happens that doesn’t spring directly and organically from character, and its manga art is among the most beautiful and thoughtful I’ve seen. Folks, this book is stupid good, the perfect gateway drug into manga for altcomix readers. Volume Three came out yesterday–pick up all three for the price of two movie tickets and some snacks, settle in under a tree someplace with your S.O. this weekend, and enjoy.

And speaking of both Mother and Planetes, John Jakala reviews them both as well. He loves the latter, as should we all; he also points out that my comments about the former were more tempered online than they were in my review for the Journal. In part this is because the point of the Journal piece was to praise, not to bury–the idea was that this was chosen as one of the books of the year, so I was justifying that joice (said justification being deserved any way you slice it, methinks). The other part is that it grew on me. Do I think Hornschemeier cheated a bit with the neatness of the tragedy? Yeah, probably. And I’m totally empathetic, because that’s exactly the way I cheat when I write fiction, and I mean exactly. I think it was only because I saw this in myself that I was as critical of this aspect of the book as I was, at first. But I’ve grown to love myself, so I grew to love this book. How couldn’t I?

I’m glad to see that Fantagraphics is keeping the Complete Peanuts ball rolling, but whatever happened to the subscription program they’d planned on offering? Did the syndicate or the Schulz estate put the kibosh on it? Now that I actually have to, y’know, pay for my own comics, I was sort of counting on this option.

Graeme McMillan points to two potentially interesting graphic novels, Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis 2 and Aaron McGruder & Kyle Baker’s Birth of a Nation. I’m intrigued, but I’d be more excited if Persepolis had actually been the knockout it was billed as (the book is really fun to read, but I’ve said it before and so have many other people: Epileptic is the best there is at what Persepolis does), and if Kyle Baker used a different color palette, and if Aaron McGruder hadn’t recently morphed into the Angry Left’s Jim Davis.

Well, I didn’t know this was happening! Neat.

Warren Ellis & Trevor Hairsine will be present at the biggest interdimensional crossrip since the Tanguska blast of 1909. (That secret and awesome movie quotation is just for you.)

Speaking of Warren Ellis, I think Marc-Oliver just exposed his dark underbelly.

Much is being made of Marvel’s intention to make a Chris Claremont-scripted epic trilogy out of X-Men: The End, but no one seems to notice that we all read X-Men: The End the first time it came out, when Grant Morrison wrote it and it was called New X-Men Volume 7: Here Comes Tomorrow.

Personal, non-comics-related note to Johnny Bacardi: Technically, they’re just really, really angry, which is why they just kill and don’t eat. (The not-eating part is worth noting by the end….)

Finally, made it, Ma! Top o’ the world!

Brief comix and match

May 19, 2004

Most of these come courtesy of Kevin Melrose and/or Graeme McMillan. I mean, don’t they usually?

ICv2 reports that manga continues to multipy and devour, just like those stench-ridden machines from the sea in Junji Ito’s Gyo. (Did you like what I did there?)

‘Kettle Black’: Pot

J.W. Hastings continues a multi-blog dissection of the politics of Warren Ellis, focusing on Ellis’s semi-secret embrace of benevolent dictatorship. J.W., I don’t know if this will affect your analysis, but hasn’t Ellis come out and said that the Authority were, in fact, the villains of their own comic book?

After all the recent superhero movies and cartoons, at a time when Robin and Beast Boy and Spider-Man have their faces all over buses, comics sales have not improved significantly at all – it’s never going to happen unless we change the pricing, the format, the content and many other things about traditional U.S. superhero books.

Quoth Grant Morrison, in a wide-ranging discussion over at ComiX-Fan that covers his X-Men run and its effect on his personal life, his many upcoming Vertigo projects, his oddly inaccessible backlist, his multimedia ventures, and his occult theories. No one in the industry gives better interview than this man. As a matter of fact, it’s difficult to think of anyone in any industry who does.

Towards a definition of comics journalism, from Jeff Chatlos. Great stuff. (In fairness to the Comics Journal, though, JEff, they have done a cover feature on Grant Morrison, and I believe one on Ed Brubaker is in the works.) I think the big obstacle to serious, comprehensive, industry- and artform-wide comics journalism is the fact that there’s next to no money to be made in it, because there’s next to no audience for it. But it’s worth hashing out what would constitute such a thing.

Meanwhile, NeilAlien doesn’t buy the notion that Dirk Deppey’s Comics Journal will be a step in the right direction as far as a “middle ground” between fanboy fawning and elitist pisstaking is concerned; neither does Dave Fiore. But are Neil and Dave demanding that the Journal not just cover mainstream/superhero comics, but cover them the exact same way Neil and Dave would? In my many calls for the Journal to engage the so-called mainstream, I’ve never demanded that they like the mainstream. I simply want them to approach it with an open mind, engage the text on its own merits rather than as a symptom or a “see what I mean?”, and do so regularly enough to keep a current record of that segment of the medium rather than falling back on decade-old conventional wisdom about what constitutes superhero/mainstream storytelling. I’m sorry Tom Spurgeon isn’t reverential enough toward Stan Lee for Neil’s liking, and I’m sorry Dave doesn’t find discussions of a creator’s career and influences particularly interesting, but the fact is that Spurgeon is (hands down, I think) the finest writer on comics there is, and that nobody tackles creator interviews with the smarts and comprehensiveness of the Journal. If this kind of engagement with the mainstream is wrong, I don’t want the Journal to be right. Now, if they cover this stuff in a shallow fashion, just to prove to themselves that all their pre(mis)conceptions are true, I’ll be going after them with as much gusto as anyone. (Case in point being Tim O’Neil’s review of Grant Morrison’s The Filth, which, as the commenters on this Gutterninja discussion thread accurately point out, seemed more like an excuse to take a whack at the big X-shaped pinata than to actually, y’know, talk about The Filth (or New X-Men, for that matter.) But honest engagement is all we can ask for, and I think one has to put one’s biases ahead of one’s judgement to believe that people like Dirk and Tom will offer anything less.

Finally, go dig Johnny Bacardi’s new digs!

Manga revisited

May 19, 2004

A little less than a year ago I wrote a big post on manga–how it truly is the future of comics, and that American comics publishers could and should be learning valuable lessons from it. Nothing that I’ve seen or heard or learned in the intervening months has changed my mind, that much is for sure. (The simple fact that at my bookstore (which I presume to be representative of most chain bookstores), size/format alone is what gets a comic book shelved with the hot-selling manga titles as opposed to the slow-as-molasses-selling non-manga titles, should be reason enough for publishers to be paying a lot closer attention.) Essentially, what manga has done is remove unnecessary obstalces to readership; in my opinion, American publishers haven’t done nearly enough work in this regard. Anyway, I recently came across the piece in the archives, and I think it holds up rather well. Check it out and see if you think it holds up, too.


May 19, 2004

What is missing from this famous quotation? “A _____ and his _____ are soon _____.” You have three minutes. Ready, set, go!

–Henry N. Beard & Douglas C. Kenney, Bored of the Rings

Longtime reader and frequent correspondent George writes in (but always at the wrong email address–dude, it’s right here!) to bemoan the ever-larger number of variant covers cluttering up the racks of the Direct Market lately. Retailer extraordinaire Brian Hibbs spends the second half of his latest column doing much the same thing. Me, I just wonder how this industry got to the point where there’s apparently a massive amount of money to be made in catering to stupid people.

I mean, seriously, who buys these things? Is it the same people who buy Jet records when there’s at least one copy of Thin Lizzy’s Jailbreak available in every record store in America? Folks, the bottom dropped out of the comics-collectability market a long, long time ago. These things now exist to have their prices artificially inflated through ridiculous publishing and production maneuvers in order to fleece fanboys who were sufficiently un-stupid to avoid buying them when they came out (or maybe they just walked to the store too slow–let’s not give them too much credit) but so fucking stupid as to want to track the damn things down and pay about forty times what they’re actually worth to own them.

And the variant covers are almost never nice to look at, by the way. I’m not sure how deep into the gimmickry we’ve gotten during this cycle, but holograms and foil embossing and blah, blah, blah–hideous, one and all. Or, it’s an ugly picture drawn by one of those artists who did five issues of an insanely popular comic, then dropped out to play video games. Or, it’s just another uninteresting pin-up looking image in a long string of uninteresting pin-up looking images, only now you get to buy the whole goddamn book over again for the privelege of owning it. People, they are not worth owning.

About the only impulse behind buying variant covers that I can understand on the consumer side of things is completism. This has resonance with me, as I’m currently waiting ever-so-patiently for the day when I have enough money that I can buy all the recently remastered Rolling Stones and Brian Eno and King Crimson and David Bowie CDs that I already own in less remastered versions. When you really like an artist, you want all the tip-top versions of that artists’ work that are available. But 9 times out of 10, there’s no qualitative difference between the original version and the one with the variant cover–they’re not digitally remastering Astonishing X-Men #1, you know? Occasionally publishers will throw in some DVD-esque supplemental material, like sketchbook pages, scripts, original pitches, and so forth, but quite frankly it infuriates me that all this stuff was lying around and being planned to be used to sucker people into buying a comic book over again after, having no idea such things were planned, they bought the first version. The big movie studios pull this type of nonsense all the time with DVDs, and that’s enough to piss people off too, even though in those cases you’re often getting three hours worth of bonus material for your additional expenditure, rather than, what, eight pages of costume designs?

And then we get into the larger issues, the ones Hibbs talks about in his column–how variants clog up market share and choke midlist and indie titles out of the stores, how they’re indicative of companies fixated on the bottom line instead of telling quality stories (which, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, is exactly how the superhero got turned around when New Marvel first came along–in other words, good storytelling makes good business sense), how they can potentially sink retailers by forcing their inventory into unnatural contortions, how the stupid fucking things can do nothing but turn new customers off of comics and often do the same to longtime readers who simply get fed up, and on and on and on.

Long story short, don’t buy variant covers. Don’t, don’t, don’t. They’re dumb. The end.

Where am I?

May 19, 2004

A few days ago my laptop’s monitor melted down. It’s a logic-board malfunction (because, y’know, I know what that means), and the whole laptop has to be sent back to Apple for repairs. So both blogging and responding to emails will be few and far between until I get the thing back. Just so’s you know.

I guarantee you that this is the best thing that anyone anywhere on this planet said about comics today

May 14, 2004

“They should just make Krypto be the Spectre.”

–my co-worker Greg

Comix and match

May 13, 2004

Steven Berg on The Dark Knight Strikes Again. I’d say “’nuff said,” but it really isn’t, because I’ve got to mention his wondrous description of the role played by the cataclysmic Superman-Wonder Woman sex scene. It beggars belief that people can read a book with something like that in it and think that said book was some sort of play-it-safe corporate sellout. I mean, it has a cataclysmic Superman-Wonder Woman sex scene.

NeilAlien helps talk up the need for an intelligent middle ground between Wizard and The Comics Journal, and points out, accurately, that this is what the comics blogosphere has become. But with all the comics bloggers who’ve written for the Journal in recent months, is it possible that we’ll see the Journal itself become that middle ground, at least in part? I think so, in the sense that all we’re really hoping for is a magazine of criticism that’s smart without being snobby and well-read without being elitist or obscurantist, and, well, that’s Dirk, generally speaking, isn’t it?

Franklin Harris cites an ICv2 report that publisher CPM will be launching an all-yaoi (that’s guy-on-guy romance) line. People, that is hot. It’s certainly possible that I’ve just watched Velvet Goldmine one too many times, but I do think we’re slowly easing our way into a society where two hot guys making out has the same appeal to women as two hot girls making out has for men. (If you have to, chalk this up to the male cast of The Lord of the Rings–I’ve yet to meet a female fan of the films who doesn’t have a favorite mental image of some pair or other getting freak nasty). And in my opinion, you really can’t go wrong with two hot people of any gender making out. So why not show it in comics? I’m sure it’ll be more interesting than that Britney/Madonna bullshit.

I just want to point out a couple of posts by Dave Intermittent–one about comics (specifically the difference in temperament between Warren Ellis and Grant Morrison) and one not–and say that Dave has been writing very, very well recently.

Speaking of writing very well, how about Scott at relatively new blog Polite Dissent? His ten-point defense of blogs is probably the best explanation of why the medium is so strong that I’ve yet come across. But are blogs really “superior” to more traditional methods of newsgathering, both print- and web-based, as Scott suggests? I don’t necessarily think so. They have strengths and weaknesses just like any other publishing mechanism. But to the extent that they fill a previously unfilled niche, enable ideological democracy across a broad spectrum of fields, allow for specialized dialogue without the competitive-cum-belligerent interaction of messboards, and serve as a Greek chorus for those aforementioned “more traditional methods,” they’re certainly worth embracing.

Scott also has a great little collection of tips for eBaying your comics. This is quite helpful to me because I’m tentatively planning to, well, eBay my comics.

And MORE great writing! This time from Jason Kimble, to whom I clearly have been paying not nearly enough attention. Jason has produced a masterful three part analysis of Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volumes 1&2, focusing on the conflict between the “extraoridnary” (which Jason reads primarily as sexuality and violence, or carnality if you prefer) and the “gentlemen” (civilized repression, or at least compartmentalization, of same). And before you start saying “Hey, he’s just taking it for granted that there’s something extraoridnary about carnality, when that really is kinda ordinary, isn’t it???” (Eve Tushnet, I’m looking in your direction), let’s keep in mind that since LoEG takes place in Victorian England, that’s a perfectly fair base assumption. Ooh, it’s all so good–the kind of writing I don’t get to do nearly often enough. (The big horror-blogging marathon was probably the last time I waxed close-reading.) And BTW, it was found via Marc Singer’s fascinating post on the same subject. You’re pretty much gonna have to read that one too.

Finally, I was reading Junji Ito’s Uzumaki today, and you know what? I’m really glad I read comics. Aren’t you glad you do too?


May 13, 2004

Heidi MacDonald responds to the furor over her anti-blog comment in Comic Buyer’s Guide by offering a sort-of apology, which is fine since it was only a sort-of anti-blog comment to begin with. But the hilarious thing about her post is that it helped me discover that Alex Beam’s infamously and genuinely anti-blog article, in which he talked about what an unreliable fly-by-night enterprise this whole writing-for-the-Internet thing is as opposed to people like him who write for Real Publications, is a victim of linkrot.

That is fucking classic.

(For more on Alex Beam, click here.)

Title TK

May 12, 2004

Eve Tushnet has been blogging titles. That is, she’s been collecting lists of people’s favorite titles, as opposed to the works themselves. (The first such post is linked above; click on it and scroll up and you’ll see a bunch more. Hey Eve–when you do stuff like this, you gotta include links to all related posts in the most recent post!) I once started a thread like this on the Comics Journal messboard, and of course I love making lists, so naturally I couldn’t resist…


Our Cancer Year

Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron

Perfect Example

From Hell


The Dark Knight Returns

Elektra Lives Again

That Yellow Bastard

The Big Fat Kill

“Tear It Up, Terry Downe”

Human Diastrophism

Crisis on Infinite Earths

Safe Area Gorazde


A Wizard, a True Star

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars


…I care because you do

The Idiot

Liquid Swords

This Is Hardcore

Station to Station

Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)

You Goddamned Son of a Bitch

Beaucoup Fish

Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols

Tonight’s the Night

All Disco Dance Must End in Broken Bones

Standing on the Verge of Getting It On

The Dandy Warhols Come Down

White Light/White Heat

Let It Be

Let It Bleed

Kind of Blue

In a Silent Way

Here Come the Warm Jets

Larks’ Tongues in Aspic

Starless and Bible Black


Pink Flag

Fear of a Black Planet

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

Electric Warrior

The Menace

Out of the Races and Onto the Tracks

Everything, Everything


Something Wicked This Way Comes

“She Was Spittin’ and Yowlin’ Just Like a Cat”

“Survivor Type”

The Crying of Lot 49


Books of Blood

“In the Hills, the Cities”

“Pig Blood Blues”

I Know This Much Is True


Homage to Catalonia

Keep the Aspidistra Flying

Lord of the Flies

The War Between the Pitiful Teachers and the Splendid Kids

The Stand

“In the Mountains of Madness”

“Behind the Wall of Sleep”


Night of the Living Dead

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia

The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3

Kill Bill

Scorpio Rising

Eyes Wide Shut

Dawn of the Dead

Rebel Without a Cause

The Wicker Man

The Killing

If my brain didn’t feel like those awful Adult ADHD commercials right now, I’m sure I could come up with more, or better. But those are the ones that are tickling my fancy right now.

Quote of the day

May 12, 2004

“It’s like rap music, first dismissed as a trend. It’s gone well beyond a passing fad.”

Comics store owner Bill Liebowitz on manga, as quoted in USA Today. (Link courtesy of–who else?–Franklin Harris.)

Actually, that quote reminds me that I’ve got to get back to work on my startling expose, “2004 – A Good Year to Get Out of the Hip-Hop Business?”

Peanuts gallery

May 12, 2004

Come back, Seth–all is forgiven!

It’s difficult to describe how gorgeous Fantagraphics’ The Complete Peanuts Volume One is. I don’t own a copy–my plans to subscribe to their subscription plan (hey, did they ever end up doing that) went away with my old job–but I flipped through it at Midtown Comics the other day, and Holy Mary Mother of God, it’s just spectacular. I’m still not nuts about Seth’s cover design, but seeing it in the actual size and shape of the book (not to mention wrapped around the book’s contents) does make it work pretty well (in spite of the design, if not because of it). And inside! The paper is lovely, the reprint quality is completely astounding, and the material itself is both adorable and laugh-out-loud hilarious. And speaking anecodtally, the bookstore I work at has already sold out of them. Congratulations to everyone involved, because if this doesn’t end up being the book of the year, I’d almost be frightened to see what is.

(And on an unrelated note that I couldn’t leave unplayed, thanks to a gift certificate and store credit, I bought $120 worth of comics at Midtown for a grand total of three bucks and change. Damn, that’s hot!)


May 12, 2004

Looks like the beloved Heidi MacDonald is auditioning for the coveted title of the comics blogosphere’s Alex Beam. (Courtesy of Franklin Harris.) Hey, Heidi, didn’t Rich Johnston sing that number on last week’s show?

I wish my brother George was here

May 12, 2004

Did you know that former Comics Journal editor and FOG (Friend of Gojira’s) Milo George has his own blog? Well, you do now! Try to imagine a venue where he could put his hilarious message board persona on display without having to do battle with various Danny Hellman or John Ronan sock puppets and you’ll have some idea of just how entertaining this is. Go ye and read, and tell him Sean sent ya! No, seriously. I want you to email him and tell him I sent you. HE NEEDS TO KNOW.

What you like is in the limo

May 8, 2004

It’s been a big week for funnybook thrills here at ADDTF. I’ve spoken with two living-legend artists by phone for a freelance assignment, I bought $120 worth of comics for a grand total of three bucks and change in actual cash thanks to a birthday gift certificate and store credit, and to top it all off, I unknowingly played a big part in the creation of the latest issue of Nick Bertozzi’s Rubber Necker, which I finally picked up.

Nick, as I hope you’re already aware, is an extraordinarily gifted cartoonist who, thematically and stylistically, seems to stand alone amongst his peer group. From his madcap league-of-extraoridnary-modernists serial The Salon to his none-more-black collection The Masochists to his modern-day Eightball anthology series Rubber Necker, he’s shown a mastery of a variety of styles, genres, and tones, all engaged with the help of fluid linework and one of the most singular color palettes in all of alternative comics.

So naturally, when I’d hire him to do illustration work back when I was an editor of the A&F Quarterly, I’d order him to draw pictures of naked people. Seriously! Nick was the illustrator for our regular video-game review column, and in illo after illo he outdid himself in the witty smut arena. (Check it out!)And lo and behold, he’s reprinted all of his “Naughty Preppies” pieces in Rubber Necker #4, and thanked me in print to boot! I couldn’t be more flattered and honored. Nick’s one of the great ones, and I’m proud to say that the world is now graced with more Bertozzi drawings of erect nipples and man-ass than it otherwise would be had I not intervened.

Go visit Nick’s website, and pick up his comics, too. They’re wonderful.