Archive for September, 2007

Start your Engines!


Supergirl #21

First things first: No, the scene depicted on that cover doesn’t actually appear inside the comic. Too bad. It would’ve improved things immensely.

After the chaos of wrecking Air Force One last issue, Supergirl runs to Smallville to seek some comfort from the Kents. But the worst possible thing is ahead for her. No, it’s not the oversized cybermonster that wrecks a train a few miles away — it’s a “Countdown” tie-in. Yeah, the much-despised weekly comic shows up and spews its noxious storyline all over the place. Two characters from the old Legion of Super-Heroes, Karate Kid and Una (actually Triplicate Girl/Duo Damsel after losing all but one body), hitch a ride on a train that gets wrecked by a steroid freak called Equus. The cops show up and think the Legionaires are infected with a bioengineered virus, mainly because Equus called the cops and told ’em that story. Supergirl shows up, figures the Legionaires are the bad guys until she suddenly recognizes them from the pre-Crisis continuity where she was a Legion member and…

Yeah, the whole thing is like that.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Confusing, useless, and entirely revolving around a tie-in to a weekly series that everyone hates. The sooner “Countdown” and all its tie-ins go away, the better.

On the bright side, the art by Renato Guedes is absolutely beautiful.

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Gorey Sci-Fi

Y’all know who Edward Gorey is, right? Not really a cartoonist, but his gothic/Victorian illustrations have been amusing people for decades. If you watch “Mystery!” on PBS, he’s the guy who designed the opening and closing credits. If you’ve ever seen the morbidly hilarious Gashleycrumb Tinies, then you know his work. Many of you are probably more familiar with his works than you think — he has influenced dozens of other artists, illustrators, storytellers, and even filmmakers.

Anyway: Shaenon K. Garrity, creator of the Narbonic webcomic, stumbled upon an old article about Gorey, saw that he was, of all things, a “Star Trek” fan, and was inspired to create her version of how Gorey would’ve designed “The Trouble with Tribbles.”

This is the first panel:


Now go read the whole thing.

(Link via the Daily Illuminator)

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Metal Militia


Metal Men #2

This one is probably going to confuse the heck out of you. It jumps around through four different timelines — one in which the Metal Men exist and are battling, of all things, a giant inflatable robot filled with poisonous gas; one in which Dr. Will Magnus hasn’t yet invented the Metal Men; one in which the Metal Men have been destroyed (no big whup — in the old comics, they got destroyed at the end of every issue), and Dr. Magnus is trying to recover their high-tech responsometers so he can rebuild them; and one with an evil time-traveling Dr. Magnus who wants to prevent the Metal Men from ever being built in the first place. It’s really very confusing — I’ve read the craziest time-travel comics around, and I still needed a map and pushpins to keep track of what was going on.

Where the story really shines, however, is in the characters. Sure, the Metal Men’s personalities are great, but Duncan Rouleau throws in a ton of great villain robots, including the Robot Renegades, which includes a Manhunter robot, L-Ron (who’s normally a good guy), Body-X, and Warbox, a bunch of guys who I’m assuming are going to be called the Alchemy Men, and the stars of this issue, even though they only appear on one page, the Death Metal Men.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Yes, it’s confusing. But the Death Metal Men? That alone makes everything peachy-keen.

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Friday Night Fights: Bronco Busting!

It’s the last round of Friday Night Fights for a couple of weeks, because when Bahlactus spends so much time bringin’ the hurt, he needs a little time off to rest. But there will be no rest tonight! Let the pain commence!

From “The Atom #17” by Gardner Fox and Gil Kane:

Professor Ray Palmer provides a quick lesson in X-treme Horsemanship:


First, you gain control of the horse.


Second, you, well, swing on the reins. (Funny shadow on the right edge courtesy of the difficulty of scanning too close to the spines of DC’s Showcase editions.)


Third, you judo-throw the horse!

Let me repeat:


I think the Atom’s going home with the Championship Belt in Rodeo Brutality!

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The Lobster!


Lobster Johnson #1

Oh, man. This is one big fat shot of happyjuice.

Lobster Johnson is a pulp-style crimefighter who made his first appearance in a Hellboy comic back in 1999. In all of his previous appearances, he’s been a ghost, but this series is set in 1937, back in the Lobster’s heyday. In this first issue, the Lobster defends a man named Jim Sacks, who has acquired a high-tech suit of armor that shoots electricity. The Nazis want him, a mysterious band of evil monks want him, an oversized shapeshifting Yeti wants him. We also get to meet the Lobster’s assistants, a bunch of specialists similar to the Shadow’s various assistants, as well as some of the dastardly forces arrayed against our band of heroes.

Verdict: Thumbs up times about 20. I’m a sucker for pulp adventure, and this one has a pulp hero fighting a big angry Yeti, shooting Nazis, and scaring the crap out of sleazy underworld thugs. It’s got a guy wearing an electrified super-suit. It’s got cannibals in the sewers. It’s got spooky Chinese girls who prophesy doom. It’s got diabolical Fu Manchu villains. And we’ve got another four issues of this delicious cherry-filled awesome pie ahead of us. If you ain’t got it yet, go get it now, ’cause you won’t wanna miss out.

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Lubbock Artists Lead the Way


You can’t fight Art!

For you Lubbockites who are into creating your own artwork, comic and otherwise, this is an outstanding time to check out the Lubbock Sketchclub. Here’s the news from Sketchclub Big Cheese Will Terrell:

The Lubbock Sketchclub is now set up in a studio at the Hope Asbury Methodist Church/Hope Shalom Community Center. Its a great space with lots of potential. This is the beginning of big things for the art community here. There are not many venues to learn the figurative arts in Lubbock, especially in as inspiring a setting as we have the makings of right now. Our group’s foundation is the Thursday night figure drawing group. But in time, as we get all of the equipment built and creative routine ingrained, we will begin to introduce lots more, expanding to multiple nights of figure drawing, portrait drawing, and painting groups. We also have interest from master illustrators to work with our group as we grow as well. And many many more exciting things.

“Repetition is the mother of skill.”

Many of you have seen how frustrating it can be to start drawing from life, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve tried it or have never tried it, or have never worked in this kind of environment. But if you’ve been two or three weeks in a row, you notice how dramatically and incredibly your skills improve. This repetition is crucial to growth. Being around other artists in the same process is equally important. This studio allows us to consistently provide this creative synergy, and I am certain this will only be the beginning. Please join us in these early days, I promise you will not regret it.

The Sketchclub figure drawing group meets Thursdays 7-10 p.m. at our studio in Hope Asbury Methodist Church (21st and Ave T). Come join us this Thursday for our first session. Park in the back parking lot and take the fire escape/staircase to the third floor. The door will be open from 7-8 p.m. After 8, you will need to call me to be let in. 239-0196.

The fee is $5 per session, or $16 for 4 weeks. If you are able to pay the monthly fee that will help us out a lot. Also if anyone is interested in making donations, we need money and supplies for painting the studio, building additional drawing horses and building the model stage. Other items we are looking for are fancy chairs/small couches, interesting props/costumes, fabrics, and of course additional models.

It’s exciting to think that we’re watching the beginnings of a thriving artistic community spring up right in front of us.

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Hell’s Bells


Hellboy: Darkness Calls #5

I can keep this one short and sweet. Hellboy is still trapped in the world of Russian myth, battling Baba Yaga and Koshchei the Deathless. The witches, ghosts, and monsters of the world are preparing to go to war. It looks like Hellboy has Koshchei on the ropes until Baba Yaga locates Koshchei’s soul (it’s located inside a goat, among other things) and gives him even more power.

Verdict: Thumbs up. There is no mythology freakier than Russian folklore, and Mignola uses it in ways you never thought possible. Very cool, very bizarre, very exciting. At this point, I have no idea what’s going to happen next, and I can’t wait for the next issue.

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Sketchclub Announcement

A quick note from Will Terrell of the Lubbock Sketchclub:

Hey Everyone,

We now have a studio at Asbury Methodist/Hope Shalom community center, 20th and Ave. T in Lubbock. Beginning this week, our figure drawing group will be meeting there every Thursday night from 7-10 pm. And in the next few weeks we’ll also begin with our after-school program and eventually the painting group.

Please come check it out, I am hosting an open house tonight from 8 – 9 .pm. Park in the back parking lot and take the fire escape/staircase to the top floor, the door will be open. Our room is the last three doors on the right. We’ve also been given the opportunity to use the art gallery across the hall from the studios to host First Friday of the Month Art trail shows. If you are interested in any of these opportunities please let me know.

Call me if you need more information or directions. 239-0196. Thank you, I look forward to seeing you tonight.

So there ya go — short notice, but for those of you who are into art — and not just comic art anymore, especially with the possibility of a painting group forming — this is something y’all will want to hear about quickly…

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Young Whippersnappers


Teen Titans #50

Most of this issue seems to be dominated by the Titans sitting around and reminiscing about the recently-dead Bart Allen. As such, the plot seems pretty darn thin, because we’ve spent the last month or so watching DC’s characters mourn Kid Flash. What makes this issue cool is that large chunks of it are written and illustrated by people who have helped make cool “Teen Titans” comics for the past 20 years, including Marv Wolfman and George Perez (creators of the classic mid-1980s “New Teen Titans”), Geoff Jones and Mike McKone (from the most recent incarnation of “Teen Titans”), and Todd Dezago and Todd Hauck (creators of the slapstick “Young Justice” series).

The problem is that seeing all that awesome artwork by Perez, McKone, and Hauck just serve as reminders that the art team on the current book doesn’t do anything nearly as cool as all the stuff that came before.

It’s also pretty disappointing that they essentially ripped off John Rogers, writer of the “Blue Beetle” series, by reprinting seven whole pages of plot and dialogue he did in the last issue of his series without crediting him. I don’t know if that’s just an unbelievably clumsy oversight or an unbelievably rude snub.

Verdict: Thumbs up, almost entirely for the chance to revisit the great Titans teams of the past, because this current set of creators don’t seem to have the chops they need.

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Why Does DC Comics Hate Me?


It Wants the Precioussss

Clearly, DC Comics wants me to show up on their doorstep some dark night with a buzzing chainsaw.

On Tuesday, DC Comics announced cancellations of these Showcase volumes:
Suicide Squad

Secret Society of Super-Villains

Jonah Hex Volume 2

The Great Disaster

Captain Carrot

No “Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew” Showcase volume?

Why must DC deprive me of my funny-animal superheroics? WHY MUST THEY MAKE ME CHASE THEM WITH BUZZING CHAINSAWS?!?

In other important news: Dude, Labor Day isn’t even here yet, and I already love it so much I want to marry it.

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