* Maybe my deep and abiding satisfaction with The Lord of the Rings has given this subsequent project an air of anticlimax. Maybe the lingering stink of Guillermo Del Toro, genre filmmaking’s most overrated non-Christopher Nolan exemplar, has dampened my enthusiasm. Maybe the advent of everything from Lost to Battlestar Galactica to A Song of Ice and Fire has diffused my ability to obsessively interest myself in another serialized work of fantastic fiction. Maybe the constant budget and legal and personnel problems and the resulting stops and starts in production have afforded me a little too much of a confidence-sapping glimpse into how the sausage gets made. Regardless, I’ve found myself bizarrely (for me, a man who has the White Tree of Gondor tattooed on his person) indifferent to Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies. But if you were Peter Jackson and you wanted to rectify that state of affairs, you could do much, much worse than releasing a production still as note-perfect as the one below and casting Evangeline Lilly as a Wood Elf, I’ll tell you that goddamn much.
* Jeet Heer scans the length and breadth of Daniel Clowes’s recent works — lots to chew on in the books, lots to chew on in the piece, though Jeet fails to tackle the critical question of whether he can identify with Wilson or not.
* Also at the Journal: Tim Kreider’s piece on Cerebus explains both why you’d want to read Dave Sim’s landmark comic and why you wouldn’t better than any I’ve read. I commented on the piece at Robot 6.
* Gary Groth on the state of the comics industry. Be sure to check the comment thread to discover that the publisher of Love and Rockets, Eightball, Peanuts, and The Acme Novelty Library has failed to live up to superhero fans’ exacting standards.
* Hans Rickheit has launched his Cochlea & Eustachia feature as a webcomic. That’s a great strip every time it appears.
* Curt Purcell on the fashion of Death Note. I’ll tell you what — I don’t remember the name of that ill-fated FBI agent from the second volume, but I sure remember her jacket.
* Sheeeeesh, this picture of a speaker stack by Paul Pope.
* I need to write this down someplace before I forget: that supercut video of the 100 Greatest Movie Threats should have included the bit from The Three Amigos where Steve Martin tells El Guapo “Let her go or I’ll fill your guts so full of lead you’ll be using your dick for a pencil” and the part from Invasion U.S.A. where Chuck Norris tells a guy “I’ll hit you with so many rights you’re gonna beg for a left.”
* The 2D material in this half-hour animated Italian-language adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness” is crude, yes. But the computer-rendered sequence in which the plane flies through the mountains and into the dead city beyond, starting around the 11:50 mark? Absolutely astonishing. The sense of scale is horrific, and the lighting…man, if a live-action horror film were lit this way today, we’d be celebrating in the streets. I had no idea gray could glow. (Via Bryan Alexander.)