Random Thoughts! (December 21 2010)

Random Thought! It's my sister Sarah's birthday today! It's also random thoughts time! Get excited!

Link Thought! GraphiContent for comics. butterbeatleblog for popculture.

Random Thought! I had so much fun writing my review of What If? Spider-Man #1. One of those rare reviews where I really just let it all go and didn't care if I sounded like an asshole.

Random Thought! I always have a hard time enjoying 'best of the year' lists compiled before the year is over. That said, I'm doing my top ten for CBR's staff poll/list today... but, that's not my 'official' top ten since I do that once the year is actually over -- especially since I often get a few more books for Christmas or with gift cards that I got for Christmas. Last year, that's how I got Asterios Polyp, for example. This is just the rough draft. But, for the most part, I prefer to see lists once the year is over.

Random Thought! Last week was The Week of Cheap Wrestling DVD Sets where I got the Roddy Piper and Ricky Steamboat three-disc sets for twelve dollars each and, then, the ladder match set for eight. All used, of course, but who cares at those prices? Michelle likes it when I get sets that include documentaries since she enjoys those more than the actual wrestling. The Piper one was interesting, but, like most WWE documentaries, was very one-sided. We didn't get a lot of backstage hate stories of Piper besides some of the Hogan stuff. You can't tell me that someone with his personality didn't piss people off a whole lot more. The Steamboat documentary was short at only an hour and ten minutes, but there wasn't a whole lot more to say about the guy. He was a really nice guy who didn't get involved with anything controversial really, just did his job very well, and then went home to his family. It makes for an interesting contrast to most wrestling stories, but not the most exciting of documentary features. On Sunday, in honour of the TLC pay-per-view, Michelle and I watched the first four TLC matches on the ladder match set. The first TLC match didn't really impress us. It was energetic, but the pacing was off and the storytelling wasn't there. It seemed like an attempt at the match that didn't get past 'hey, what cool spots can we do?' The second one was a lot better with a smoother flow and not as much 'and now it's this duo's turn to be dominant' from the first match. The third one was right up there, too. The fourth was the worst of the bunch, but I did like how Kane won it by himself.

Random Thought! Greg Burgas is wrong about Deadpool MAX, you know. Then again, how often is Greg right? Especially when he disagrees with both myself and Tim Callahan? That's the definition of wrong.

Random Thought! Last week's comics were enjoyable for the most part, but it was a week that didn't excite me a lot. This week looks more promising in that regard.

Random Thought! If my shop has a copy, I will be reviewing Wildcats #30. The final Wildstorm Universe comic published under the Wildstorm imprint. Game over, man. Game over.

Random Thought! I'm behind on my podcasts and just listened to an old Wait, What? podcast where Jeff Lester and Graeme McMillion$ discussed their picks for the editor-in-chief positions at Marvel and DC. My picks are fairly simple. For DC, I'd go with Mark Waid. It's a name they brought up and it makes the most sense to me. For Marvel, I'd go with a somewhat add choice and get Man of Action to run things. I know Marvel tried that 'multiple EICs' thing in the '90s, but I think hiring an already set group of four guys that have shown they work well together would be interesting. From there, I'd have Joe Casey focus on the Avengers stuff, Joe Kelly on Spider-Man and X-Men, Steven T. Seagle on the MAX and urban/weird heroes, and Duncan Rouleau act as art director/special projects... with all obviously consulting one another and working under the publisher.

Random Thought! So... "Fear Itself," eh? Pretty much what everyone thought it would be, including the creative team. With almost no other information given except the length and the usual hype. Not sure about it being based around an unrevealed action from the past that changes everything. That's a fairly weak way to approach a story in general. Hopefully, it works here... but, yeah, that has me a little wary.

Random Thought! Will I buy it, though? *shrugs* Probably. I am curious to see how everything will be changed again. I'm curious to see how Fraction handles his first big event.

Random Thought! And, no, WWE Heroes will not make my top ten comics of 2010. Missed it by this much!

Random Thought! One artist complains because I used the word 'rushed' in a review to describe the art and suggests 'unfinished.' Cut to months later and another artist complains because I used the word 'unfinished.' From now on, I'll just use the word that I'm really thinking: 'shit.' As in 'the looks like...'

Random Thought! Hey, my copy of Minutes to Midnight: Twelve Essays on Watchmen finally arrived! My essay is awesome, by the way, so go buy a copy of the book. I also received the contracts for a couple of essays I've written for the upcoming Keep the World Strange: A Planetary Guide and for the even-further-down-the-line Shot in the Face: A Savage Journey to the Heart of Transmetropolitan, which I'm editing and contributing an essay to. 2011 is Sequart's Year of Ellis... (and Nevett!)

Random Thought! Remember how I thought I'd get my copy of III/IV by Ryan Adams & The Cardinals from Amazon.ca last week? Yeah, that didn't happen. On Tuesday, the day of the album's release, I waited patiently for the 'order has shipped' e-mail. It didn't come. So I checked out the items I'd ordered (the album and a Gordon Ramsay cookbook for Michelle for Christmas) and the album was listed as 'shipping in 1 to 3 weeks.' On the day of release. An album that I pre-ordered over two and a half weeks before its release date. Since the order contained a presents for Michelle and we were doing our private Christmas gift exchange yesterday, I didn't want to take the chance that Amazon.ca would get the album in time and cancelled the order, ordering the book again with a CD for her (so it worked out in her favour!) to make sure I got it in time. (That order, by the way, took on the 'shipping soon' status within an hour of placing it.) Then, I complained to Amazon.ca since the entire point of a pre-order to ensure that you receive what you want when it comes out. Pretty basic, right? Well, that complaint went nowhere with a standard 'we didn't have enough copies, we're sorry, fuck off' response. Finding a copy in a store was difficult as the album was delayed for everyone it seemed, but I did get a copy yesterday. And I really like it. (And Michelle loved her Christmas presents. The cookbook and CD were only parts of that gift as the final part was for her to pick a recipe out of the book and we'd make it for supper last night. She chose chicken madras, so we got the ingredients and I took the lead on making it. The recipe served four, so we tried to make it for two by halving the portions. It worked fairly well, but we should have stuck closer to the original with regards to the onions, garlic, and ginger since the various spices were a little overpowering. Still, it was decent. Not my sort of dish, but Michelle really enjoyed it -- the whole experience. Of course, that didn't stop her from totally outdoing me by getting me the 21-disc WrestleMania: The Complete Anthology 1985-2005 DVD set and some Cinnabons... the latter comes from a family tradition of having cinnamon buns on Christmas, so I was going to get some to have on Saturday, but she beat me to the punch. She's really thoughtful and amazing.) She left this morning to go to her family's place. I work on the 26th, so I'm stuck in town until Monday morning when I'm taking the bus to my parents' and Michelle is meeting me there. That means I'll be alone on Christmas day. Last year was the first year I spent it away from home when I was at Michelle's family's place on the 25th and this year is my first time spending the day all alone. It kind of sucks, but I'm not upset or sad. I'll still have a regular family Christmas on the 27th. Plus, I'll have a Saturday off from work! I was toying with the idea of going to go see True Grit, but I'm thinking I'll just stay home all day and watching wrestling DVDs or something. Maybe see if anything around here is open for supper.

Random Answer! Adam Archer beats Automatic Kafka because Automatic Kafka doesn't exist. Not even in a fictional sense.

Random Thought! I'm taking next week off. I will return at some point in January. Maybe in two weeks, maybe longer. Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Happy New Year. Plus anything else.


Random Comments! As my special Christmas present to everyone, I'll try to not insult anyone this week.

Mike Loughlin said: I love What If…? but can’t bring myself to buy the current issues until they end up in the dollar bin. I miss crazy What Ifs, like when Professor X became the Juggernaut or Rick Jones was a Hulk that talked like a ’50s greaser. The best was when Conan got stranded in the 20th century, dressed like a pimp, and fought Captain America. Modern What Ifs just haven’t been goofy enough.

I know what you mean. I have enjoyed some recent ones in the past few years, though. The one about Civil War was worth it for the second story where Tony and Steve just talk it out, and everything works out just fine. It was pretty much "What if Civil War was done by writing the characters in a manner consistent with their decades-long history?" Steven Grant also wrote a really strong take on the Spider-Man "Back in Black" story that had the character actually apply that 'with great power comes great responsibility' mantra of his to something other than his spider-powers. For once.

bongoes said: I hate it when they delete the title and credits. But even worse is when there’s no break between issues to let you know that it’s a different chapter/issue!! (Admittedly, if a book is clearly written for the collection and doesn’t really have definite breaks between issues it should be like that, but besides those it’s really annoying.)

I'm with you. For me, it would be like DVD sets of TV shows acting like the episodes make up one long story. No one is fooled into think trades are original graphic novels, so present the material as originally published.

Dalarsco said: The problem with your Bruce Wayne theory is that one man can’t actually fix the world. It takes more than a guy with a metric shit-ton of cash to fix a place as corrupt as Gotham. And even if he could do a better job by just using his money, his mental issues make that impossible.

It seems like he has more money than the mob and they're the ones that ruined Gotham, so... And, yeah, your last point is hard to argue against.

Grim said: I agree, the RKO in mid-air was robbed. Also, how much of a mark-out moment was it when “Angry Miz Girl” actually came to receive her award. Liked the show last night, there was little wrestling but i think that was not the point of the episode, they tried to make it feel like an actual awards show.

The Miz Girl showing up was pretty awesome. I didn't dig on the Slammys much... but that's partly because I'm burned out on three-hour episodes of Raw. They need to space those out a bit or come up with a way to actually fill them with actual content.

Neil Kapit said: Ghost Box was a surprisingly excellent story. Plenty of comics have had the X-Men ( re: Cyclops ) do ethically questionable things in recent years, but with Ellis this direction actually felt natural and believable. Scott’s speech to Storm about how he’s okay with killing when necessary was a rare sensible discussion of the issue.

Definitely. The idea that the man responsible for the remaining 198 (or so) mutants would take the stance that those lives are more valuable than those threatening them makes complete sense. Killing is not the first option, but it's always an option.

Bill Reed said: That Joe Casey podcast was great, by the way, but it would have been greater in about three separate chunks. Whoever’s saying they like the “Once Upon a Time in America” cuts are craaaazy. But Casey, man, he talks a great game, and I pretty much agree with everything he says. I’ll give Butcher Baker a try just for that, though I suspect it won’t be the comic for me.

You know, YOU could take that podcast and break it up into separate chunks yourself. That's the 'interactive' portion of the show. And if it's not the comic for you, then there's something wrong with you (er... probably... we'll see...).

s1rude said: *Shat was robbed, but thank Gawd Punk won. And everybody knows the Superstar of the Year was The Miz.

Nah, I would have given it to Randy Orton.

*How much of Loveless did Frusin actually draw? By the time I gave up on it, he had drawn interiors for very few issues.

He drew issues one through five and, then, nine and ten. So, seven in total. Danijel Zezelj drew nine and Werther Dell'Edera drew eight.

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

Oberon #5

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