Random Thoughts! (August 30, 2011)

Random Thought! Of course, now I'm going to demand $500 for charity once a year, you know. It's Random Thoughts time! Get excited!

Link Thought! GraphiContent for comics. butterbeatleblog for popculture. 411mania for wrestling reviews, Curb Your Enthusiasm season eight reviews, and CD reviews.

Random Thought! I got engaged on July 1. Don't think that was ever mentioned here. Wedding is set for October 13, 2012.

Random Thought! The new DC books that I will be buying the first issue of for sure (more could be added for review purposes, I can't say yet): Action Comics, Animal Man, Batman, Batwoman, Grifter, Justice League Dark, Men of War, Stormwatch, Swamp Thing, and Wonder Woman.

Random Thought! What comics discussions have I missed out on in my hiatus? I should have been keeping a 'Random Thoughts' document for my return. Make that first post a cakewalk. Dammit.

Random Thought! Normally, I disagree with Tim Callahan's view that Marvel's Essential and DC's Showcase Presents books are inferior because of their lack of colour... but I picked up The Trial of the Flash last week and those Flash/Reverse-Flash scenes lose something in black and white.

Random Thought! Also, why is it that every time I go to look for a special Essential book it's out of print? Not so 'essential,' eh, Marvel?

Random Thought! Is it just me or has this season of Curb Your Enthusiasm been the weakest in the show's history? Aside from "The Palestinian Chicken," none of the episodes have really rocked my world. Some have been good, but just as many have been disappointments with the most recent being one of the flattest, most unfunny episodes of the show I've seen. The lack of an overriding story seems to be the problem. There's no focus, so it's just become a broad sitcom. Which is fine... if what you want from Curb is a broad sitcom.

Random Thought! For anyone that didn't read Ultimate Fallout, that's Reed Richards in the helmet on the first page of The Ultimates #1. Also, why was the comic bagged? Why was the signed variant signed by Stan Lee? Does anyone have an answer?

Random Thought! I tried watching one of those trailers for DC's new books and... well, was the intent to make me both roll my eyes and laugh mockingly?

Random Thought! Everyone upset over Spider-Man ditching out on his fellow heroes, I want to remind you that Peter Park is a selfish child. That's his character.

Random Thought! Because I work from 10-6 on Wednesdays, I get my comics on Thursday and once of the most enjoyable parts of my week has become chatting with my retailer Tim for ten or fifteen minutes. We were talking the DC relaunch and there are four people at my store buying all 52 books. Beyond that, Static Shock is the one with the fewest pre-orders (no additional ones).

Random Thought! I've been growing tired of the amount of writers using plots that revolve around something unknown from the character's past coming back to haunt him. It's been bothering me especially on Brubaker's Captain America. It made sense when James was Cap, because he would logically have to get past his time as the Winter Soldier, but it seems every story with Steve is the same thing. Does the character have any relevancy that doesn't come from the fact that he was in World War 2?

Random Thought! More exciting: the DC relaunch or the return of Casanova? I'm cautiously optimistic about both.

Random Thought! I got the complete series of Married... With Children on DVD for $45 on Amazon.ca a few months back and just got to season seven today. Season four still seems like the show's creative peak, but it was still going strong by this point. Though, the addition of Seven is a clear misstep. Hell, they'd already sidestepped this problem by making Peggy's pregnancy a dream (thankfully), so why jump into a pile of shit you were previously smart enough to avoid?

Random Thought! Been reading and enjoying Mark Blake's Comfortably Numb: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd for the past while (putting it down to read other stuff at times). I'm in the middle of the making of The Wall right now. It's becoming very anti-Roger Waters at this point, but that's hard to tell how much is the author's opinion and how much is skewed by the fact that everyone hated his guts then.

Random Thought! The pitch I came up with for an Adam Warlock series the other day:

Adam Warlock is Grant Morrison. The Magus is Alan Moore. Thanos is Neil Gaiman. Drax the Destroyer is Garth Ennis. Pip the Troll is Mark Millar. Gamorra is Warren Ellis. Moondragon is Peter Milligan. Mentor is Frank Miller. Starfox is Paul Pope.

Paul Pope as Starfox was Tim Callahan's idea. I didn't come up with anything else, because the book writes itself from there.

Random Thought! Thanks to a Twitter conversation today, I remembered that Victoria Hand is gay. Isn't it great that she's gay and that isn't even close to a defining trait for her character? That's just who she is.

Random Thought! The best part of Schism so far, by far: Idie looking at a picture of the original X-Men and going ""I don't understand... why are they smiling?"

Random Thought! The WWE's recent DVD release The Greatest Superstars of the 21st Century is worth picking up for the complete Kurt Angle/Brock Lesnar 60-Minute Iron Man Match. They even get rid of the commercial breaks, so the match is completely uninterrupted. The storytelling in that match is superb as they really use the stipulation of the Iron Man Match to determine what they do and how the story is being told. Pretty much everything else on the DVD is a bonus after that.

Random Thought! I boycott nothing except comics I think are bad.

Random Thought! Will the "Oral History of the Avengers" ever be finished? I was looking forward to Bendis tackling "The Crossing." I would like to see it return and run parallel to the use of that technique in the comics proper. Then again, I'm the only person who read and enjoyed those text pieces, so...

Random Thought! I finally got the first four Peter Milligan-penned Hellblazer trades and really enjoy his take on John Constantine. Just constant fucking up and ugly, horrible behaviour. Thankfully, it ignores the awful end to Andy Diggle's run and just gets on with showing that Constantine is a fairly repulsive person much of the time as he gets set in his ways and gets older. I like the addition of the scar over his eye and the lighter hair colour, too. He almost looks his age.

Random Thought! Soon: Holy Terror! Yesssssssssssssssssssss!

Random Thought! Prison Pit Book 3 is absolutely lovely. Not as funny as the second book, but Johnny Ryan delivers some of his coolest, most compelling visuals.

Random Thought! You know what's fun? Cutting some of the pages in your copy of 'Breed II because they weren't cut already... not cool, Image!

Random Thought! On Monday, Michelle and I going to see the Blue Jays play the Red Sox in Toronto with our parents. It's the first meeting of the parents. I already regret not putting Michelle and I in seats in a different section.

Random Thought! Yes, I sang Alan Moore's reworked "Sympathy for the Devil" out loud... I'm sure I wasn't the only one.

Random Thought! And, yes, I was alone. Of course I was alone!

Random Thought! Anyone know what the purpose of The Search for Swamp Thing was? You know, aside from proving that DC clearly has no standards for what they'll publish...

Random Thought! Because it would amuse me, I should spoil everything Greg refuses to... people who decide to wait for the trade make their choice and that choice should know that spoilers are possibilities. Greg's just too nice, that's the problem.

Random Thought! Party Down was a pretty good show. I got both seasons on DVD in a combo pack for $13 on my last visit to Detroit. Now, that's a goddamn good deal.

Random Thought! Some clarification on my view of superheroes/what I want out of superhero comics that I kicked off the Blogathon with. This does not mean I want overly 'grim and gritty' or comics like that DC Decisions or whatever the fuck it was called. Nor does it mean I don't want fantastic works of fantasty and surreality and craziness. It's that I'm more inclined to like works that explore the concepts of superhumanity and what that would entail. Take when the Authority took over America. I lament that that was never used as an exercise in thinking out how to radically alter the country based on the idea of a small group with enough power to enforce any changes they wish. Political fiction on an entirely different scale than we're used to. Ideological, philosophical think pieces. Something I love about Ellis's superhuman trilogy is how it tries to explore how being a superhuman makes you different from a human. I strongly criticised Mark Millar's Ultimate X-Men run for constantly talking about mutants as the next evolutionary step while writing them like any other person. But, that's me. And it's not all I'm interested in.

Random Thought! Reading The Trial of the Flash, I've learned that I was wrong about Barry Allen. I used to argue that he had no personality and was boring. He wasn't. Like most DC Silver Age heroes, he was a fucking asshole. An absolutely horrible human being.

Random Thought! I really wish the final two issues of Secret Warriors had been one big issue.

Random Thought! Recent Grant Morrison interviews don't surprise me and simply place him in the same category as many writers whose work I like, but whose public statements I don't agree with. Nothing new there.

Random Thought! No DC books to buy this week... thankfully, Marvel pushed back a couple of titles (whether on purpose or by accident I don't know) like Secret Avengers #16 (Ellis comes aboard!) and The Mighty Thor #5. I'm as surprised as anyone, but I've gotten into The Mighty Thor after two less-than-stellar issues to begin the new series. It's actually cohered into some entertaining comics.

That's it for this week. Thanks for reading. Later

Grant Morrison on Why He Hates Watchmen

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