Carnival of souls

* Battling Blockbusters: Graeme McMillan and Matthew Perpetua & I discuss problems with Brian Michael Bendis’s Secret Invasion, while Matthew and Joe McCulloch discuss impressive aspects of Grant Morrison’s “Batman: R.I.P.”

* Matthew also flags something I talked to him about regarding Watchmen that I neglected to put in my recent review of the book: Dave Gibbons’s portrayal of Laurie Juspeczyk. Basically, Gibbons draws Laurie as attractive but not a knockout (aside from what I think we’re supposed to see as a pretty slammin’ body). The way she looks and the way the guy heroes interact with her remind me of the hottest girl in your school or office or subculture. She may not have anything over some famous sexy movie-star person, but there’s something in the way she wears that Ministry T-shirt or sips her coffee during meetings, you know? You sort of see this play out in the way Dan Dreiberg reacts when he sees Laurie changing into her Silk Spectre costume. It’s not one of those movie-style “everything stops as the camera slowly pans up her body from toe to head and the guy stands there slackjawed” deals–it’s more like that mix of awkwardness and eroticism, that sudden and unexpected intimacy, when you see a woman you know and normally see fully clothed in a revealing bathing suit or underwear. It’s another of Gibbons’s great contributions to the book.

* While we’re on the subject, I don’t have much to say about the following thought beyond simply articulating it, but the way Rorschach and his “crimefighting” jaunts are portrayed are not unlike the masked killers of then-contemporary slasher movies, are they? His blank-slate mask wouldn’t look out of place alongside Michael Myers’s and Jason Voorhees’s.

* Speaking of Grant Morrison (we were, a few items ago), I don’t get the mentality that says ignoring bad comics makes your comic bad.

* It sounds like they’re not exactly shooting for the moon with that Rocky Horror Picture Show remake. (Via Bloody Disgusting.)

* The latest on nine inch nails’ dystopian multimedia project Year Zero is that Trent Reznor has pitched HBO on a two-season “maxiseries” adaptation, which he says was received enthusiastically, and that he’s still alluding to a second album based on the concept. (Via Pitchfork.)

* Wow, look at this Al Columbia “sketch” in Eric Reynolds’s sketchbook.

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* This installment of Brian Ralph’s post-apocalyptic first-person thriller Daybreak may be the creepiest yet.

* Would you like to know the story behind this Michael Kupperman image?

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You bet you would.

* My between-jobs friend Rick Marshall is holding an eBay comics sale fiesta. Go check it out and see if there’s anything you’d like.

* Not a lot of horror news at the moment, but here in the real world there’s never any shortage of horror stories, from the Vince Weiguang Li Greyhound bus decapitation/cannibalism case I never got around to blogging about to the videotaped sexual torture and murder of a young boy in front of his sister by pedophile Joseph Edward Duncan III to the roach-covered, rotting, noxious trailer where Daniel Thurmond kept his wife and four children imprisoned for years.

* Happier note: Courtesy of The Peanuts FAQ (via Jonathan Bennett), I give you the complete text of Snoopy’s It Was a Dark and Stormy Night:

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night

by Snoopy

Part I

It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, a shot rang out!

A door slammed. The maid screamed.

Suddenly, a pirate ship appeared on the horizon!

While millions of people were starving, the king lived in

luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was

growing up.

Part II

A light snow was falling, and the little girl with the

tattered shawl had not sold a violet all day.

At that very moment, a young intern at City Hospital

was making an important discovery. The mysterious patient

in Room 213 had finally awakened. She moaned softly.

Could it be that she was the sister of the boy in Kansas

who loved the girl with the tattered shawl who was the

daughter of the maid who had escaped from the pirates?

The intern frowned.

“Stampede!” the foreman shouted, and forty thousand

head of cattle thundered down on the tiny camp. The two

men rolled on the ground grappling beneath the murderous

hooves. A left and a right. A left. Another left and right.

An uppercut to the jaw. The fight was over. And so the

ranch was saved.

The young intern sat by himself in one corner of the

coffee shop. he had learned about medicine, but more

importantly, he had learned something about life.

THE END

* Finally, I loved you, little tyke.

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