Random Thoughts! (February 2, 2010)

Random Thought! A new feature debuts with this post as I include comments and my responses to them. Why? To fill up more space, of course. More content for your buck, people! Think of the new feature as the unwanted-but-tolerated co-feature. It's random thoughts time! Get excited!

Link Thought! Quickie Reviews (January 27, 2010) (the four books I got last week that I didn't review for CBR). High Road/Low Road on Ken Anderson in TNA (the former Mr. Kennedy from the WWE, FYI...). Royal Rumble PPV roundtable preview (I went 2-for-5 in my predictions, but would have went 3-for-6 if the Miz/MVP match had been announced ahead of time). Comics Reporter's Five for Friday (I sent in my list of five musicians/bands whose work I'd chose to inspire a comics anthology ala that Tori Amos one that came out a while back). Wrestling 4Rs (including my write-up of TNA Impact, which was pretty average and bland). Wrestler of the Week (with a winner that should surprise no one). And, finally, the Splash Page Podcast episodes 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3.

Random Thought! Well, I dropped The Authority: The Lost Year from my pull list. Anyone actually still buying that book? If so... why?

Random Thought! So, I completely forgot that the Hive in Secret Warriors is called that and referred to him as the Leviathan because I am stupid.

Random Thought! Reread Garth Ennis's Hellblazer run this past week and found it enjoyable, but not nearly as good as most of his other work. The bar scenes in particular here didn't engage me as much as the bar scenes in Preacher, for example. Interesting to see how much Steve Dillon's art has changed over the years as he's simplified his line work quite a bit. Though, I will admit, I think I could do without ever having to read another rant about St. Patrick's Day in an Ennis comic.

Random Thought! Watched Dragon Gate USA's second PPV Open the Untouchable Gate this weekend and it was fantastic. The Bryan Danielson/Naruki Doi and Davey Richards/Shingo matches are worth the price of the DVD alone. Dragon Gate USA is definitely proving itself as the indie promotion to watch.

Random Thought! A point raised on Twitter this week: does I, Spyder in Seven Soldiers #0 look like Joe Casey or not? And, if so, was it purposeful?

Random Thought! John Romita, Jr. on a new Avengers book sounds good to me in theory, but I'm not sure his art style will mesh well with Brian Michael Bendis's writing. I find Romita works best with more action-focused writers, not one that prefers quiet dialogue-based scenes. I'm sure it will be good, but I'm just a little concerned about how nice a fit it will be.

Random Thought! Just reread "One Last Love Song" by Warren Ellis and James Romberger from Hellblazer #142 (it split the issue with another story drawn by Javier Pulido) and collected in Setting Sun with the other one-off issues from Ellis's run on the book. It's a nice little story that doesn't fit in with the rest of the run really, because it's sentimental and... not loving, but something close to that. John Constantine reflecting on some exes and how he misses them all. A sweet story. We saw elements of this in Haunted, but the story still stands out in Ellis's run. Flipping through Setting Sun made me wonder if this is the perfect collection to hand someone who's never read Hellblazer and wants to give it a try. #142 and 143 were the first issues of the book I ever read and, now, I own more Hellblazer than any other book. Setting Sun collects four issues with five stories total, all self-contained, all horror-based, all pretty entertaining... But, Ellis's John Constantine isn't the same as anyone else's... Then again, no one writes him the same as anyone else. I know Rare Cuts is meant to be something of a first taste for the book, but, come on, it was really meant to collect the two Morrison issues, and some uncollected Ennis and Delano stuff. You could always give someone a full story, but which one? Dangerous Habits, a popular choice I'm guessing, is slow and hampered by Ennis not quite having a firm grip on narration yet. Huh. I think I'll stick with Setting Sun as my choice.

Random Thought! I'm glad James Barnes is staying on as Captain America.

Random Thought! I'm always taken off guard when someone refers to Comics Should be Good as 'CBR.' Even before I began posting here, I always saw the blog as being separate from CBR... it just happens to be hosted by the site and linked to sometimes. I guess others don't see it that way, but it's how I've always seen it.

Random Thought! Something I may do whenever I'm running low on thoughts... I'll pick a superhero team and choose the seven-member roster I'd use were I in charge of the team/book (based on whatever idea strikes me at the moment). This time, why not go with the Avengers: Captain America (Barnes), Black Widow, Vision, Clint Barton (in whatever guise seems appropriate), Mockingbird, Thor, and Sif. I chose these seven, because I rather like the idea of the team being made up of three couples and an android. That could lead to some interesting team dynamics, I think.

Random Thought! Tomorrow should be a good comics days. A really good one. Here's what I'm buying: The Boys #39, Criminal: The Sinners #4, DEMO Vol 2 #1, Ghost Riders: Heavens On Fire #6, Great Ten #4, Greek Street #8, The Question #37, Scalped #34, and Siege #2. Lots of low key superhero or non-superhero work. Looking forward to it all.

Random Thought! Sean Phillips is my favourite artist currently.

Random Thought! Every time I see a mention of Millar and Romita's Kick-Ass, I hear the title in my head as Eric Cartman saying "Kick ass!" in an early episode of South Park. That is not a selling point, by the way.

Random Thought! I'm tired.

Random Thought! The greatest thing ever. (Or, at least, the greatest thing since the last 'greatest thing ever.')


Random Comments and Responses! Starting this week, I'll be picking some comments to last week's post, reprinting them (in possibly edited form) and responding here. Fun!

Bill Reed says: You did sound a bit Canadian, but not as Canadian as I would've thought.

Comics bloggers never sound like how I'd imagine them to when I hear their voices. This is why I ignore podcasts.

Being from southwestern Ontario and raised on American TV means I don't sound stereotypically Canadian. I'm rarely surprised by how people sound, but I was surprised when I saw Tucker Stone's first Advanced Common Sense because he didn't look at all how I pictured him. Not that that's a bad thing, just... he doesn't look how I pictured him from his writing.

Rebis said: Happy birthweek, Chad! And since we're on the topic: Sure, Gretzky might sound cooler, but you could do a lot worse than to share your actual day of birth with Ms. Winfrey. There's plenty to slag on when it comes to the big O (as there would be for anybody that rich and famous), but she's a good Aquarian. I mock her, sometimes, for her über-consumerist show (convincing people to buy her "favorite things"!), but I also remember that she's done some good. The book club is an example: She got a bunch of non-readers to start reading. And not just page-turner best-sellers, but literary works by the likes of Toni Morrison, Isabel Allende, John Steinbeck and Elie Wisel.

My favorite good-Oprah story is the one where the Texas cattlemen sued her for all sorts of damages after she remarked on her show that she might not eat another burger (because of the threat of mad cow disease). She could've caved to their bullying and settled out of court, but she moved her entire show from Chicago to Cattle Country, Texas, for months so she could fight the lawsuit. And she won. That's an example of her putting her money where her mouth is, to defend the principle of free speech.

Thanks for the good wishes. And this is possibly the strangest comment I've ever gotten.

FunkyGreenJerusalem said: Happy B'day, youngster!

(If you'd been born on your due date, you would've been born on Australia day, which meant if you lived here, you'd get a public holiday every b'day. And you'd only be two days younger than me as opposed to five).

Comics have had questions like that since... well, ages. Who would you like to see Spidey team up with etc.

Thanks! Happy birthday to you as well! And my issue with asking what books you'd like to see Mike Carey mention in The Unwritten is that specific books relate to the story in specific and purposeful ways. That title isn't a monthly superhero book where a team-up issue can be jammed in with little to no problems. Hamstringing references to a book that doesn't fit the tone of the series could hurt it quite a bit. Also, there's a difference between creator- and company-owned comics.

Adam K said: I almost feel like Bendis was thinking "let's see, how much can I get the internet to believe this time? hahahahaha"

The Biblical thing looks like a joke, the Galactus thing was obviously a joke, and yet the internet still freaked out.

The Biblical thing doesn't look like a joke because of the way the issue started with two pages devoted to Moses, the tenth plague, and an energy much like the Void's dark energy hovering above the city. The Galactus thing clearly was a joke. Dismissing those first two pages as a joke wouldn't fit at all.

Nitz the Bloody said: My complaint with Dark Avengers 13 isn't the Biblical nonsense so much as the implication that Bob isn't a hero struggling with severe mental illness who found a ( seeming ) friend in Norman, but a junkie with no willpower who's hooking up with the Gobliny guy for a new stash. I'm familiar that crazy and evil are almost always synonyms in pop culture, but applying that to crazy and weak bothers me.

The drug addiction aspect of the Sentry was there from the beginning of Paul Jenkins's conception of the character when the plot was a Vertigo revamp of Hourman. Since Hourman took those pills that gave him powers for an hour, Jenkins wanted to explore the idea of him being a superpower junkie. Also, Bob being a drug addict has been raised before. I think there's some interesting elements in it, but do agree that the stuff between him and Osborn was much better when Osborn simply thought him another guy with some mental problems. That added a level of humanity to Osborn that he needed.

lindav said: ummmm, about the Jimmy Page comment you left? let me tell you something, alright?? #1, from what I've read about you, you're only how old? I will take that into consideration while culturing you on THEE finest guitar player/engineer/musician alive today or any other day/year/life....

Mr.Page, more than likely, will NOT be "publishing or distributing" anything close to what you want. BUT-FYI-there are hundreds, if not thousands, of bootleg Zep that's right up there with some of the stuff Page releases/has released........Blueberry Hill, for example, even Page has said it is probably the best of the bootlegs out there. Wanna really know more? READ "HEAVEN AND HELL" it IS the best you'll ever read about what's Zeppelin in this lifetime-unreal photos by Neal Preston, never published until he put them into this book. the #1 interview with Jimmy Page to date, which is January 30, 2010. other than that? have a nice day. rock out. zeppelin rules. communicationbreakdown. trampled underfoot. peace

I'm aware of the bootlegs, and, for whatever reason, tend to avoid them. I know they don't need the money and it makes me a sucker, but I do like to give money to people for what they do. As well, I know Page is a stickler over sound quality, so I also trust things he's produced to sound as fantastic as possible. It's a personal preference.

And that does it for this week. Thanks for reading!

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