Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

And Now for Something Completely Different

October 12th, 2011 by Susie

Or not that different actually since it’s a comic, and that’s what this site is all about. The different thing is that it’s a comic by me. Despite that i didn’t draw a single panel, it took an awfully long time to put together. Four whole hours! I’m such a artistic visionary, or something. I don’t know if anyone besides me will find it amusing, but here it is.

In order for the post not be enormous I put in the pages as thumbnails.  You’ll have to click on each one to read it.

Poor Giles.  I hope it made someone smile (other than me).

Seriously, They’re Evil!

October 7th, 2011 by Susie

This isn’t particularly timely, but I thought of it last night and it made me giggle, so I whipped this up.

I’m not trying to besmirch Liza Minelli in any way, she seems perfectly nice, if a bit eccentric.  I just can’t think of an instance in a sci fi film or tv show where a female character with extremely short black hair was benevolent, can you?




Lets Be Superficial, who is the sexiest (male) comics creator?

February 23rd, 2011 by Susie

Okay this post was inspired by an interview with Karen Berger, in which she mentioned that Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon are Brazilian and identical twins, and my brain went straight to “I must find a picture of them!”  And I did, and they are very cute.  And it occurred to me that it would be fun to make a post of the most sexy comics creators.  I decided to limit it to males, just because I find objectifying men far more amusing and novel, than doing the same to women.  Especially when it comes to the comics industry.  So keeping in mind that “sexy” is very subjective, I thought I would list the ones I think are the most physically attractive, and then open the floor to you guys to list your own.

Disclaimer: All of these guys are infinitely talented, and are worthy of admiration regardless of their appearance.  And frankly comics creator is a title that is just sort of inherently sexy to me.  But I’m being superficial today, so this post’s deepness level is skin.

First up the aforementioned twins Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon.

Look at them!  They are such cute little hipster boys!  This could be an indie label album cover.  Oh and their credits include doing the writing and art for Umbrella Academy, and Daytrippers, among others.

Keeping with the theme of up and coming brother teams, Jonathan and Joshua Luna.

How hot are they?  Points for being able to work the camera.  They are responsible for the Sword, Girls, and Ultra.

How about David Mack?

I’ve met him twice at conventions, and was utterly charmed by him both times.  He totally recognized me the second time, even though two years had passed, and our first encounter had to be pretty similar to hundreds he had had with fans at conventions.  (I’m not implying anything here.  I just mean that I walked up to his table.  Told him his art was cool, and that I liked it.)  During that first meeting, I had not read any Kabuki though I had heard of it, and had really liked his Daredevil work.  He was incredibly gracious, and gave me the first trade and the, at that time, most recent hardcover collection for half price, and just flat out gave both me and my sister all the uncollected issues for free, as well as two limited prints of his Kabuki work, also for free.  And he signed it all!  It was just such a classy move, that of course the next time we saw him at a convention we bought every new item he had for sale, and we had already bought all the intervening Kabuki volumes.  (By the way Kabuki is amazing!)  Anyway that might have bought him a place on this list, but it was unnecessary because he is undeniably cute.

And this is the only other person on this list that I have spoken to, Neil Gaiman.

The conversation went like this:

Neil: Hello.

Me: Hi.  (blushes and hands over books)

Neil:  What is your name?

Me:  Susan (he writes personalized signature in my books, while I stammer incoherently)

Me: Thank you! (he smiles pleasantly, before turning to the next blushing, stammering person in line.)

Imagine how many times that has happened to him.  He probably has the highest ratio of  swooning to nonswooning fans in comicdom.  It could be because he is a super-genius-writer-guy, or that he is quite nice to look at, but I blame the voice.  He has the best story reading voice ever.  Just listen to one of his self narrated audiobooks for the proof.

Next we have Read Comics favorite Brian K. Vaughan.

Got to like a guy who can work a shaved head, raised eyebrow combo.  He is the writer behind Y: the Last Man, Runaways, and Ex Machina.

As I was compiling this list I was lamenting the fact that none of these guys had any calendar worthy beefcake photos that I could put up.  You would think they didn’t take their sex symbol status seriously.  (That was a whole lot of unplanned alliteration, sorry.)

But thank god for Grant Morrison!  Always planning ahead.  Here is a young Grant (almost demurely compared to later shots) showing off his bum in tight white pants.

Warning next pic may be NOT SAFE for WORK!  For real, I am not kidding.  Don’t let your boss catch you looking.  In fact I’m going to hide it under the jump.


iPad as ultimate comic book reader

April 3rd, 2010 by Martin

I’ll be purchasing one of Apple’s shiny new iPads tomorrow morning. Mostly because I’m a proud indie game developer, (and already working on a game or two for the device), but also because I see enormous potential for it to become my go-to device for consuming traditional media in digital form.

eBooks are cool, but lets face it, this thing is going to make digital comic books look gorgeous. It’s so obvious that Marvel and IDW already have iPad optimized versions of their libraries available for download. (The aptly named Comics app looks to be another good one, offering Marvel, Image, Red 5 and Zenoscope titles.) All of these apps offer comics for purchase. Looks like pricing is one or two dollars per comic.

Speaking of libraries though, lets say you have some comics on your hard drive in .cbr or .cbz format. (Or even in .pdf or .zip!) You already have two choices at launch for viewing them on your iPad:

The first is Mobi Reader, which I think looks to be the stronger of the two contenders. It’s got .cbr, .cbz, .zip, .rar, and .pdf support, right out of the proverbial box. All you need to do is transfer those files to your iPad somehow. (The app’s description says the syncing tool is not yet available on the iPad version. Boo!) This is also the more expensive option, at $14.99.

Your second choice is Comic Zeal, weighing in with a pricetag of $7.99. Comic Zeal doesn’t support all those fancy file formats, but there’s a desktop app you use that does read them, and presumably also manages the syncing to the iPad.

I’ll probably try out both of these apps in the next few days and hopefully report back with my findings. Let me know if you have any tips or suggestions in the comments!

Understanding Comics and Superheroes: Delineated

October 19th, 2008 by Stephanie

UnderstandingComics.jpgI recently read Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, which is a meaty book in graphical layout, about the history of comic books (or, perhaps, of graphical storytelling), and some of the fundamental theories surrounding art+words=story. McCloud breaks down graphic storytelling, giving a solid foundation for understanding the artistic theories as well as the underpinnings of composition.

What he doesn’t do as well in this book is discuss the story part of the comic book, the development of story arcs, and how words play a role in the telling of a comic book story. This is because, by McCloud’s own admission, a comic book needs to be sequential, but it doesn’t need to have words to tell its story.

As a writer, I would challenge that, but I know my challenge would be hollow. In the right artist’s hands, your script doesn’t need words– the art acts as the words (my own artist sends me the un-lettered version of each page, and I can always see the story, even without the words). But, also as a writer, I know that the story still exists in word, even if it’s not expressed that way in the artwork.

As a reader of comics, I find myself focusing on the words, not the pictures, for the story. I often wonder if that’s a function of not being a very practiced comic book reader (it took me a few months to get the hang of listening to audiobooks, too), or if it’s because I’m a verbal learner, rather than visual. Or if I’m just not attentive enough to the graphic novel, and need to slow down, take my time, to savor the story.

Meanwhile, over at Fractal Hall, they’re posting a meta-analysis of some of the great icons of comic book superheroes, tagging them “delineated.” So far, they’ve delineated Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, and The Flash, with great insight and introspection.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

September 17th, 2008 by Patrick

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (when cicadas cry) is an excellent horror anime/manga. It is based on a Japanese sound novel, a type of mystery game, and the goal is to figure out just what is going on before the end. The story centers around a village, and each episode/book contains a different set of events. It is a very interesting concept, and will be entertaining to all fans of the horror genre! One hard thing to wrap your brain around is that it is completely non-linear, Which makes it very difficult to guess the outcome of the story.  It’s convoluted twists and turns keep kept me at the edge of my seat the whole way through. Now, I personally recommend downloading the anime online and watching the subtitled version, because the voices seem to fit the parts very well. not only that, but the sound track is amazing, perfectly tuned to how the watcher is supposed to be feeling. All in all, a thoroughly worthwhile venture.

Caution: despite the cover’s cutsey look, this is not for the faint of heart. seriously. it scared the shit out of me.

Get ready people, it’s going to be legend…wait for it…

May 17th, 2008 by Susie

…dary! Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog has a website. So far all that is there is this glowing picture of Neil Patrick Harris all Dr. Horrible suited up. For those of you have no idea what the @#%$ I am talking about, here is what you need to know.

Joss Whedon announced today, special Internet Musical.

Whedon reports that during the WGA strike he started writing the musical which will be a limited internet series. Each of the three episodes will be approximately ten minute each.

Co-writers for the internet feature are Joss’ brothers Zack and Jed and Jed’s Fiancé Maurissa. The writing has been completed and shooting commenced today.

“It’s the story of a low-rent super-villain, the hero who keeps beating him up, and the cute girl from the laundromat he’s too shy to talk to.” Says Whedon.

“Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” will star Neil Patrick Harris as Dr. Horrible, Nathan Fillion as Captain Hammer, Felicia Day as Penny and a cast of dozens.

I know! Awsome! There has yet to be a premiere date set but, Joss has said it will be before Comicon, which I think is in August. And with the website up there is further proof that it is actually happening. I am giddy!

Bonus new Jossness this way:dollhouse trailer

I admit, I might be a little giddy about that too.

My favorite not actually a comic book, comic book stuff

May 9th, 2008 by Susie

I love comic books, that is pretty obvious, but I think I may like these things even more.


1) Marvel/DC  

No I am not talking about the rival comic publishers, or their occasional cross company crossovers.  I am talking about the youtube webseries starring action figures of both companies most popular characters.  It started as a parody of, the hi I am a mac and I am a PC comercials.  And it was funny.  Superman played the uptight PC role and Spiderman was the laid back Mac. It worked as a parody of the comercial as well as poking fun at the characters and their respective companies. Observe


It is clear that the creator Some Random Guy, has a deep affection for the characters he has borrowed. As the series progressed more characters were worked in and the format shifted from the mac ads formula to a narrative.  The Universe threatening crisis that concluded the first season was far more exciting and engaging to me than anything being published by either company right now.  The second season Marvel/DC: Happy Hour has just started.  I must admit I was more giddy about this than about the upcoming release of the Dark Knight.


2) Year One 

This webcomic strip is currently on a long term hiatus, presumably so Matt Parkinson the creator can find work that will pay.  The archive is definitely worth taking a look at.  The first month or two of strips can be skipped unless you want to see how far his skill as a stripist(?) stripper(?) progressed.  The premise is simple, all the marvel characters are children that go to school together. The charecthers are pretty adorable my favorite being the hyper and a bit dimwitted Speedball

Sometimes the strips are simple gags like Beast from X-Men morphing into Cookie Monster at the sight of a plate cookies.  Other times they are dissections of the often ridiculously complicated Marvel continuity.  Here is a strip featuring  the kids from the school across the road.



3) Cat Tales.  This a long runing series of fanfiction.  There are currently 5 books and at least 2 spinoff projects.  So far I have only read the first seven chapters of book one.  It centers around a relationship between Batman and Catwoman, but whole batcast is featured.  It is very well written and a pretty funny and compelling look into their heads.  IUt also is conveniently available to download in PDF, making it easy to transfer to portable devices.

So that is it, my favorite comic related stuff.  Ooooh!  One more.  Larry Niven’s essay Man Of Steel, Women of Kleenex.  It was written in the seventies and deals with the problematic realities of procreation for Superman and Lois Lane. It’s funny y’all.  It was collected in his short story collection All the Myriad Ways.

Wolverine = comic book creator???

March 25th, 2008 by Michael

I was checking out and saw the interesting headline:

Hugh Jackman Developing Comicbook Series

And I respond with a big, “meh.” Here’s the press release:

“(FROM VARIETY) – Hugh Jackman and Eli Stone co-creator Marc Guggenheim are teaming with Virgin Comics to develop a new comicbook series that can eventually be adapted into a movie starring Jackman. The comic, Nowhere Man, is focused on a character, similar to Will Smith’s role in I Am Legend, living in a futuristic world where mankind has traded privacy for safety. ”This is our first comic, and we feel the concept is transferable to other arenas, perhaps first as a videogame, and then a movie,” John Palermo, Jackman’s Seed Productions partner, told Variety. Guggenheim has previously written installments of Amazing Spider-man and Wolverine for Marvel Comics. Jackman is currently shooting X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the spinoff movie set to release in May 2009. (Variety)”

I have a few reservations about this. First of all, the idea, while intriguing, is about as original as last week’s toast. Perhaps they got the idea from the Bush administration. The very title, Nowhere Man, has been used countless times (ok, perhaps not countless, but at least six times on film alone according to IMDB). Then they admit that they’re borrowing from I Am Legend. Even worse, they want it to be a launching pad for other platforms…film, video games, lingerie, etc. Which would be fine if the comic were already a hit, but here they’re looking to capitalize on the popularity of comic adapted materials. In other words, the comic is being created to be marketable. And before anyone yells at me about being hypocritical about spinoffs and being a Marvel fan, I’m not really excited about the aforementioned X-Men Origins: Wolverine either. Finally, how much do you want to bet that Hugh Jackman’s name is attached only for marketability? Meaning Marc Guggenheim does all the work and Jackman gets the big paycheck. Especially if this makes it to film like they want to.

Now, I’m not very familiar with Guggenheim’s work. I know he’s done stuff for Marvel and DC and will shortly be writing Young X-Men (even writing the title makes me gag…call them what you want, they’ll always be the New Mutants). He’s one of those writers pulled from the world of TV and cinema, having written for Brothers and Sisters, Law and Order, and The Practice. He recently developed Eli Stone, of which I saw some and found witty and kinda funny but it got tired pretty quick. Despite the negative tone of this post, I do reserve complete judgement until the comic comes out, but I have a feeling I’ll be passing this one by.

The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine

March 20th, 2008 by Rurik

Fantastic Four #554With issue #554, the ‘World’s Greatest Comic Magazine,’ aka, Marvel’s Fantastic Four, has had yet another creative team relaunch. Normally, 66.6% of these relaunches are Ho-Hum at best (as in “the return of J. Scott Campbell”who ended up only doing covers) or idiotic (let’s erase thirty years of Spider-Man continuity) at worst. But the remaining third are often a worthy change. The new creative team on The FF is one such worthy change, as it consists of megalomaniac, Mark Millar (writing), detail-freak, Bryan Hitch (drawing) and tracer extraordinaire, Paul Neary (inking). This is the same team who brought us The Ultimates, which was, in my opinion, a very interesting and well crafted comic.

Now, having been through my share of FF reboots over the years, I wasn’t overly hyped for this version. And to be honest, I’m not in awe of this team of artists and writer. But I’ve always had a fondness for the FF when they’re done well, which, for me, constitutes that family feeling of familiarity, communication, bickering and, of course, solving galactic problems that threaten the Earth, if not the Universe. The Civil War arc that Marvel ran last year had it’s Good, Bad and Ugly moments, but I was thoroughly disappointed with the way that they wrote Reed Richards, the (allegedly) ‘smartest man on earth’ as a blind-sided fool. (Personal aside: I honestly believe that Dr. Doom is smarter, but he’s never grown past his high school emotional jealousy that he keeps getting his ass whupped. C’mon, Doom could use his magic to send the FF to hell any old time and probably get away with it. Doom works at it; Reed kinda takes it for granted.)

I gave the ‘new’ FF creative team two issues (#554-555) to see what they can do and I can say that I’m impressed. In #554, Ben cannily guilts Reed into going with him to visit his old school by saying, “Any chance of doin’ a solid for the guy ya disfigured in that cosmic ray accident?” This gets followed up later with Reed giving a lecture to the school kids on his ‘anti-Galactus suit,’ and boring them to the point of near-fatal nose-picking, which is broken only by Ben interrupting, “Anybody wanna play in the Fantasti-Car?” sending the kids into a frenzy. No, these scenes aren’t terribly pertinent to the main story, but they’re the type of characterization that I’ve always felt was successful for the FF. Reed is too smart to see that everybody isn’t as excited by nano-particles as he is and Ben is the ice breaker.

I like the addition, or rather, return, of Alyssa Moy, the character Sue describes as “Mrs. Fantastic.” Alyssa is an ex of Reed’s from college. She’s cute, sassy and equally as smart as he is, even though she’s now married as well. Although the chemistry between the two is still pretty tame at this point, I can see the seeds of angst being planted by Millar. Flashbacks of flirting from their college days, as well as observations from Alyssa’s husband regarding her feelings towards Reed are tell-tale signs that the pot’s going to be boiling over soon. No, I don’t think that Sue & Reed will split (again….), but I’m going to enjoy the miscommunication, the innuendo, the assumptions, and the ensuing chaos presented by “Mrs. Fantastic.” (Yes, I just enjoy the name…).

Fantastic Four #555As for Johnny Storm…. let’s see… it’s been about 45 years since FF #1 came out and he’s still called Johnny, aka, the boy who never grew up. Well, I can’t say much complementary about him in this reboot. He decides that he wants to put together a band through a reality show and ends up making out with some hot babe/diamond robber in a sexy leather suit while trying to bust her for the crime. Hasn’t this guy learned ANYTHING in 45 years!?! Ok, ok, comic continuity being maybe one year for every ten that we, mere mortal comic readers live, maybe it’s only been four or five years for Johnny. But, Geez! The guy’s been involved with Skrulls, Heralds of Galactus, Inhumans, models, bimbos, witches, and anything in a skirt. If he doesn’t have a majority of the social diseases out there, he should at least have enough dating knowledge to not act like a drunken frat boy 24/7. (Hmmm, maybe that’s why the FF are rich: Reed invented cures for all the STD’s Johnny brought home over the years…?)

And Sue… stalwart Sue. She’s easily proven herself to be the most powerful member of the team on numerous occasions. She’s taken Doom down single-handed. She looks good in leather, even after giving birth. She’s smart, funny, and makes sure the bills get paid. She’s the one constant in a group. Here, she’s trying to create a charity group, working with She-Hulk and the Wasp. The scene where they’re discussing issues, while being served tea and pumpkin pie by modified Doom-bots is a treasure. Sue explains it by saying, “Oh, you know what Reed’s like… Always building stuff while we’re watching TV. I don’t even ask.” Again, this is the characterization that I’ve come to know and love with a well done FF.

Oh, did I mention the plot? Here comes the spoiler info, for those of you who care… The plot revolves around Alyssa’s husband, in conjunction with several other bazillionaires who’ve learned that Earth will only be habitable for another 10 years and have decided to pour their riches into creating ‘Nu-World,’ an exact replica of Earth, minus the guns, war and troubles (though keeping the graffitti, for ‘arts sake’), for all six billion humans. Things begin to go awry in issue #555, but I eagerly await the next installment to see how far the pot boils over. The art is solid the writing is spot-on and the plotting is the usual slow burn I’ve come to expect from Millar before he pours the molten liquid over my brain. The only thing that I can say that I really don’t like is the drawing of the Thing. Hitch seems to be taking a leaf from Kurt Busiek’s “Astro City” character from the First Family (who was, of course, drawn from Marvel’s FF). Ben is drawn somewhere between a human, a lizard and the orange rock we’ve come to know. It just doesn’t work for me… but considering that I’m enjoying the rest, I guess I can make allowances.

My rating: Go buy it.

Absolute Sandman Vol. 2, Echo 1, Ookla the Mok, new issues

March 12th, 2008 by Susie

Lot’s of stuff to write about! 1)Last christmas Florence, and Marty got me the first volume of Absolute Sandman.  It was awesome, the second volume is even better.  The Absolute line (yes the name does make it sound like a promotion for Vodka) from DC is basically a repackaging of some of their most acclaimed series, in oversized, beutifully designed hard covered books.  Usually the art is recolored, and the back of the book is jammed with extra content.  I usually don’t think it is worth buying a second copy of something if the story has not changed, and other Sandman I don’t think I will (although Kingdom Come is tempting).  With Sandman they have reprinted three tpbs, per volume.  Volume 2 contains the Seasons of Mists, a Game of You arcs, and most of the short stories from the Fables and Reflections collection.  Though volume 1 had some really great issues, this is the period in Sandman in my opinion where it came into it’s stride both with the story and the art.  SoM, is an epic that feels like an ancient myth that no one had transcribed yet.  Lucifer decides to quit being the adversary, kicks everyone out of Hell, leaves locking the door behind him.  He gives the key to Dream, whom he had previously vowed to destroy but now just hopes it will make his life a little difficult.  Which it does, as figures from many different pantheons (religious as well as comic book) arrive in the Dreaming seeking the deed to Hell.  Reading it again now, it is amazing how a few small interactions in these early issues set in motion the conclusion of the whole series.   At one time Season of Mists was my favorite arc, but now I feel a Game of You surpasses it.  It is a much smaller scale story than most of the other large arcs, and though Morpheus id in it, he is mostly periphery.  The main character is Barbie, who was a periphery character in the Dollhouse (collected in volume 1).  She had at one time had a very vivid dream life, in which she was a princess in a magic world of talking animals called the Land.  She has however stopped dreaming, and no longer remembers the Land.  In her absence the Land has started to die and is under the thrall of a monster called the Cuckoo.  Barbie does eventually return to the land and the it causes serous damage to the waking world.   The story could just be another “magic land ” like Oz, or Wonderland, but the conclusion id entirely originally.  The supporting cast Barbie’s neighbors: sweet transvestite, Wanda, lesbians Hazel and Foxglove, and the witch Thessaly (the only one to have any importance to the bigger story of Sandman), as well as the Land’s animals, giant dog creature Martin Tenbones, and Wilkinson a cynical rat wearing a trench-coat, are some of the most memorable in the whole series.  These are the stories that where the art  finally moves away from the typical horror comic style (overly lined faces, and colored in sickly purples and greens) .  Despite having some of the most horrific  scenes in the whole series, a man chained to rock in Hell having his chest repeatedly torn open, a pile of decapitated heads singing, the face torn from corpse nailed to wall happily chatting away with it’s wagging tongue.  It was well worth spending seventy dollars for this excellent new printing. 2) I also read echo number 1.  It is Terry Moore’s new creator owned comic.  It appears to be his take on super heroes.  Of course the heroine is one of his beautiful girls.  the first issue is a simple origin story.  Girl taking pictures in the dessert, inadvertently finds herself in the path of a explosion, gain a super powered suit.  That is all that has happened so far.  Except that we know that the owners of the suit seriously nasty, killing the previous wearer of the suit (hence the explosion) just to test it’s durability.  I know in few issues this is going to have completely sucked me in, and the story will be any thing but simple.  This is from the creator of Strangers in Paradise after all. 3) I have totally fallen in Love the album Super Secret from the band Ookla the Mok.  They are by far the geekiest band I have every encountered.  Nearly every high energy song song is a packed with references to comic books, old school science fiction, or alien abductions.  A sample of one of there lyrics from the song Theme from Super Skrull “He can turn one leg invisible, which is not all that practical. Unless you are quite gullible, you won’t get fooled by Super Skrull!”  My favorite song on  the album is called Stop Talking About Comic Books or I will Kill You, but the one I can not stop humming is Guggenheim Love.  The songs are not only catchy, they are hilarious. 4)  In a couple of hours i will head over to my local comic shop and pick up a months a worht of issues.  Including issues of, Buffy, Angel, Runaways, Fables,  Astro City, and the first issue of Serenity: Better Days!  Woo hoo!That is all.