Archive for January 28, 2013

It’s an ill wind that blows no winter

January 28, 2013

My comrade Stefan Sasse and I have posted a new episode of our A Song of Ice and Fire podcast the Boiled Leather Audio Hour, focused on the latest preview chapter George R.R. Martin has released from The Winds of Winter. Get your Dorne on!

“Downton Abbey” thoughts, Season Three, Episode Four

January 27, 2013

The thing about comfort food is that when someone serves you a piping hot plate of it week after week, you never suspect that one day they’re going to grab it and smash it into your face.

My review of tonight’s episode of Downton Abbey is up at Rolling Stone.

Yr Own 5-10-15-20

January 27, 2013

Pitchfork has a feature called 5-10-15-20 where they interview musicians about the music that was important to them at five-year intervals throughout their lives. On his personal tumblr editor-in-chief Mark Richardson asked people to create their own. You can find mine at my music tumblr, Cool Practice. A fantastic voyage from Lipps Inc. to A$AP Rocky.

“JESUS can we EVER talk about ANYTHING in THIS family besides FOOD”

January 23, 2013


January 21, 2013

‎”As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked — and rightly so — what about Vietnam? They asked if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.”

Martin Luther King Jr., April 4, 1967

Before we start using video games and movies as facile scapegoats for America’s murderous gun culture — despite the fact that the entire developed world plays those games and watches those movies too and doesn’t have anywhere near the problem with gun violence we do — we should remember that all of us, every day from the time we’re young children, are led by example by our own government.

“Downton Abbey” thoughts, Season Three, Episode Three

January 20, 2013

“We all live in a harsh world.” I wrote about whores, Irish, and other undesirables in my review of tonight’s Downton Abbey episode for Rolling Stone.

“I cannot forgive”

January 16, 2013

Pages 24 & 25 of “Destructor Meets the Cats” by me and Matt Wiegle have been posted in a special double-sized installment.

You can read the whole story so far on one continuously scrolling page by clicking here.

Hellboy/B.P.R.D. reading order

January 14, 2013

I like the comics that Mike Mignola (with a lot of help from John Arcudi and Guy Davis, primarily) has written, drawn, and/or plotted about his demonic character Hellboy, the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense to which he once belonged, and associated characters, collectively called the Mignolaverse. There are an awful lot of them, collected under an awfully large number of titles, with an awfully large variety of numbering systems. Below is my stab at a reading order that incorporates all of the Hellboy/B.P.R.D./related titles. Enjoy!

Hellboy Vol. 1: Seed of Destruction
Hellboy Vol. 2: Wake the Devil
Hellboy Vol. 3: The Chained Coffin and Others
Hellboy Vol. 4: The Right Hand of Doom
Hellboy Vol. 5: The Conqueror Worm
B.P.R.D. Vol. 1: Hollow Earth & Other Stories
Hellboy: Weird Tales Vol. 1
[Hellboy Junior]
B.P.R.D. Vol. 2: The Soul of Venice & Other Stories
Hellboy: Weird Tales Vol. 2
B.P.R.D. Vol. 3: Plague of Frogs
B.P.R.D. Vol. 4: The Dead
Hellboy Vol. 6: Strange Places
B.P.R.D. Vol. 5: The Black Flame
B.P.R.D. Vol. 6: The Universal Machine
Hellboy Vol. 7: The Troll Witch and Others
B.P.R.D. Vol. 7: Garden of Souls
B.P.R.D. Vol. 8: Killing Ground
Lobster Johnson Vol. 1: The Iron Prometheus
Hellboy Vol. 8: Darkness Calls
Abe Sapien: The Drowning
B.P.R.D. Vol. 9: 1946
B.P.R.D. Vol. 10: The Warning
B.P.R.D. Vol. 11: The Black Goddess
Hellboy Vol. 9: The Wild Hunt
Witchfinder Vol. 1: In the Service of Angels
B.P.R.D. Vol. 12: War on Frogs
Hellboy Vol. 10: The Crooked Man and Others
B.P.R.D. Vol. 13: 1947
B.P.R.D. Vol. 14: King of Fear
Hellboy: Masks and Monsters
B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth Vol. 1: New World
Hellboy Vol. 11: The Bride of Hell and Others
B.P.R.D.: Being Human
Witchfinder Vol. 2: Lost and Gone Forever
B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth Vol. 2: Gods and Monsters
Hellboy Vol. 12: The Storm and the Fury
Abe Sapien Vol. 2: The Devil Does Not Jest
B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth Vol. 3: Russia
Lobster Johnson Vol. 2: The Burning Hand
B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth Vol. 4: The Devil’s Engine and the Long Death

Carnival of souls: “The Winds of Winter,” Box Brown, giant squid, more

January 14, 2013

* Tom Spurgeon’s complete holiday interview series is up at the Comics Reporter. Go ye and click; so far I’ve really enjoyed the interviews with writer Mark Waid, cartoonists Dean Haspiel, Derf Backderf, Sammy Harkham, and Tom Kaczynski, and critics J. Caleb Mozzocco and Rob Clough.

* You should absolutely read “Sticky-Icky-Icky,” a stoner-sex-slice-of-life comic by Box Brown. I said “whoa” when I saw this page in particular.

* Ooh, it’s a master list of the tumblrs for all the members of Closed Caption Comics who have tumblrs. Thanks, Ryan Cecil Smith!

* Wow, the colors on this cover for Lisa Hanawalt’s forthcoming book from Drawn & Quarterly.

* Always glad to see smut from Julia Gfrörer.

* Very very Barkerian work from Mr. Freibert.

* This painting by Charles-Frédéric Soehnée is a nightmare. (Via Monster Brains.)

* Just for fun, Dresden Kodak creator is doing a whole series of drawings and sketches and posts on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. Many of them are idiosyncratic and beautiful.

* The addendum at the end hurts a bit because Coates in scold mode is the worst Coates, but otherwise this is a nice scales-from-the-eyes piece by Ta-Nehisi Coates about Kendrick Lamar’s excellent album Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City.

* Here are all of Chris “Shallow Rewards” Ott’s posts on the Cure from his stint on the themed music blog One Week, One Band last year. If you want to read a good writer write a whole lot about a good band he happens to love, then this is just like heaven . (Just note that in this case, when you’re clicking the arrows to navigate the pages, “older” actually means “newer,” since it’s arranged chronologically but tumblr gets confused by this.)

* Great piece on Downton Abbey and Lady Edith by Alyssa Rosenberg.

* John Brennan belongs in prison, not running the CIA. If you did half the shit this guy says it’s okay for the government to do, you bet your ass you’d be in prison.

* Truth, justice, and the American way.

* Very sad news: Wilko Johnson, guitarist for Dr. Feelgood and Ser Ilyn Payne on Game of Thrones, is dying of pancreatic cancer. Man that guy played with style.

* Scientists have filmed a live giant squid in its natural habitat. I can die now.

* New The Winds of Winter sample chapter from George R.R. Martin!

“Downton Abbey” thoughts, Season Three, Episode Two

January 13, 2013

I freaking LOVED writing about this week’s Downton Abbey. It’s at Rolling Stone. #teamedith

Movie Time: Contagion

January 11, 2013

On a whim I started watching Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 viral-epidemic disaster film Contagion at midnight last night. I can’t say that’s a great idea: It kept me up way past my bedtime, and when you’re a tired father pretty much the last thing you want to see when staying up past your bedtime is the grayfaced corpse of a little boy in his pajamas, which is something you see within this film’s first, I don’t know, ten minutes. Keep repeating, “It’s only a movie…it’s only a movie…”

It’s very much a movie, in fact, a nice little disaster picture of modest ambition and tight execution. The Soderberghian excesses that Traffic trained me to look for were there: fathers freaking out about their blonde daughters risking their health by having sex, technocrats discovering their souls when It Happens To Them, sentimentalized poors, overscoring. But Soderbergh’s primary ambition is twofold: to make a movie out of that amazing chapter in The Stand that follows the virus from hand to hand and object to object across the country, and then to pull the world back from the brink of apocalypse. I admire a movie that has such specific goals and trims away so much fat in their pursuit.

Soderbergh uses his repertory company of very famous actors to strong effect, killing some pretty blondes for that Psycho effect and thus training us to wait for the deaths of all the main characters, many of which then fail to come. He leaves a lot of loose ends like that: one character collates interviews for a report we never see, another exits safety for danger and we never see that what happens when they arrive, another takes a grave but secret personal risk and we never know if they pay for it. There’s a portentous off-screen character we never meet, there’s a sweet and sappy resolution for a young character the architect of which never gets to witness, there’s a Devlin MacGregor-style megacorporation dog that doesn’t really ever bite, and on and on. The handoffs between storylines happen so quickly and are edited with such aplomb that the loose ends feel like deliberate signal-sending: This isn’t where the story ends, it’s just where it stops. By looping back to the very very beginning in the film’s final scene, Contagion even not-so-subtly suggests that it could start again at any moment. Thus the grim watch-the-car-crash catharsis of a good apocalypse flick and the triumph-over-nature catharsis of a good disaster flick are welded together inseparably, leaving you turning the thing over and over in your mind, trying to find the right angle to determine what it is you just watched. It’s a neat little trick in a neat little movie.


January 8, 2013

My David Bowie sketchbook has been showcased at BuzzFeed Music. (The drawing above is by Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio.)


January 8, 2013

I love this album cover. Barnbrook, the designers, talk about it at their blog.


January 8, 2013


Let’s start with the bad news.

January 8, 2013

from Glory #31 by Joe Keatinge & Ross Campbell

Best of 2012s, housekeeping, etc.

January 7, 2013

* Comics Bulletin listed “Hottest Chick in the Game” by me and Andrew White as one of the Top 10 Online Comics of 2012. I really liked this part of Danny Djelsjovich’s write-up, which describes the atmosphere that attracted me to comics in the first place:

…this is comics, where budgets are low and creativity is high, where you can create something special and distinct and put it on the Internet at a low risk, in the hopes that it will find its audience. And it has.

* Ales Kot named me one of his favorite comics writers of 2012, in a paragraph that lists me alongside Michael DeForge, Grant Morrison, and a bunch of the biggest writers in comics. That’s quite unexpected and quite nice.

* I’ve updated the sidebar of this blog some, making links to some of my other outlets more prominent and updating the list of comics reviews I’ve done for the first time in a few months. The TV links should be complete as of today for all the shows listed, too. (I still need to go back through the archives and link to movie reviews and interviews and things like that. Someday.) Give it a look and give the links a spin.

* I can’t recall ever being sketched before. Thanks, Alex Nicholson.

* Finally, I’ve gotten Superheroes Lose, my tumblr where I post pictures of superheroes losing, up and running again. Tune in to watch colorful avatars of humanity’s brightest hopes and greatest strengths experience abject defeat again and again.