Random Thoughts! (January 18, 2011)

Random Thought! I am returned. It's random thoughts time! Get excited!

Link Thought! GraphiContent for comics. butterbeatleblog for popculture.

Random Thought! If you missed it: a Christmas Eve episode of the Splash Page Podcast with Sean Witzke and I talking for over four hours. My favourite part is where we pause in the middle because it's after midnight and wish one another a Merry Christmas. And, no, Tim and I currently don't know when we'll get back to it.

Random Thought! Coming later this year: Shot in the Face: A Savage Journey to the Heart of Transmetropolitan edited by yours truly. I love the cover.

Random Thought! I like the version of the Red Robin costume that Tim wears in the Ünternet more than the regular one.

Random Thought! I am very much looking forward to "Age of X." Sure, there's part of me that fears the worst, but an alternate reality story? I'm there. And watch for something related to that story from myself and another Comics Should be Good blogger as the issues come out.

Random Thought! Looking for a Dreadstar December archive? I put one up on my blog as part of my "Hello Cosmic" series of posts on Starlin's cosmic work. I also did a brief post on his Darklon the Mystic.

Random Thought! I want to revamp Resurrection Man with a teenage partner named Suicidekick.

Random Thought! I'm really looking forward to Monday when Raw is in Detroit. Michelle and I planning to head across the river and see it live. It's been nearly two years since I've seen the WWE live and that was for the 2009 Royal Rumble in Detroit. Should be fun. We haven't gotten tickets yet since I got some American money for Christmas and figured it'd be easier to just buy a couple of tickets from the box office with that (I highly doubt it will sell out). Tempted, if I have enough cash left, to get one of those New Nexus t-shirts.

Random Thought! For the record, how much a comic sells shouldn't be a factor in reviews. That has absolutely nothing to do with its quality. So don't lay the blame on me when your favourite low-selling comic churns out a crap issue and I say so. And don't get pissed off because I dare to enjoy a comic that sells a lot. If only because I don't pay attention to sales charts. Yeah, I have an idea of what's selling and what isn't, but I don't care.

Random Thought! The cynic in me immediately thought, "By publishing The Mighty Thor AND Journey into Mystery, Marvel can reach issue 700 twice as quickly!"

Random Thought! Sorry, Brian Michael Bendis, but the official soundtrack to Scarlet, for me, is now "Crystal Skull" by Ryan Adams & the Cardinals.

Random Thought! Tempted to get Invincible Iron Man #500... really on the fence over it.

Random Thought! Very much looking forward to The Boys #50. It will be the first comic I read on Wednesday. Then again, the new issue of The Boys is always the first comic I read that week.

Random Thought! To answer the question of why I took three weeks off from this: the first week was because I was out of town for the holidays, the second because I wanted a proper break from this where I can just relax at home, the third because I simply didn't feel like doing it. Hell, I only came back because Kelly e-mailed me, demanding to know when I'd resume this weekly feature, and who am I to say no to such a demand?

Random Thought! Since I last did this, I have listened to many albums, seen a few movies, watched lots of wrestling, read a book or three, read many comics, and even read a couple of year-end issues of music magazines. The year-end issue of Rolling Stone was a disappointment for the second year in a row. The year-end stuff barely got any space. More emphasis was placed on the John Lennon stuff, which I guess needed to be in this issue to coincide with the anniversary of his death, but struck me as a bit of a waste here. That sort of thing is strong enough to sell some copies on its own and so is a year-end issue. Why combine them when you could focus an issue to each? Spin was better, devoting their entire issue to year-end stuff. I read Invisible by Paul Auster in a day, mostly because I spent a few hours at the hospital waiting around with someone for something routine because that was the only place to get some routine bloodwork done during the holidays since all of the labs in town were lacking doctors who were all away for the holidays. I really like Auster's writing, but never feel any urgency to get one of his new books. Hell, I still haven't gotten a bunch of his older books. I will at some point I imagine. One of the other books I got for Christmas is this giant coffee table-sized edition of The Curse of Lono by Hunter Thompson. It's the only book of his available that I hadn't read before, so getting it was pretty exciting. More than any of his books, Ralph Steadman contributes a lot of art, which is why an art book publisher put out this giant edition. Apparently, they did a limited edition before this one that was bigger in size. It's large size meant I had to read this at home and it was alright. It was basically Thompson just discussing what he did while in Hawaii for six months. Some parts were funny and wonderful, other parts dragged. Steadman's art is gorgeous. Saw True Grit and Black Swan, and really dug both. True Grit was funnier than I expected. Black Swan wasn't as freaky/intense as I expected. Nothing that scarred my brain forever ala Requiem for a Dream. Le Noise by Neil Young is fantastic and stands among his best work. Under Great White Northern Lights has one or two tracks that I would have liked to seen switched out, but is a really strong live album -- and the movie is cool. I'm a little disappointed that almost no time was spent on any of the White Stripes's tour dates outside of the territories and East coast... I saw them in London during that Canadian tour and it would have been cool to have seen a little bit of that show again. Ha. Milk by Hawksley Workman took a couple of listens to get into, but it makes for a nice complement to Meat. I love how his past four albums have really been two pairs of albums that complement one another, acting as a whole in a way. Finally got Babylon 5: The Movie Collection. I hadn't seen any of the movies aside from a scene here and there... Michelle and I blew through them in two days. In the Beginning was nice, but mostly things we already knew. Thirdspace was one of the self-contained episodes expanded... and I'm not sure it warranted it. River of Souls was stronger and featured Martin Sheen delivering a strong performance. Was disappointed with how little Ian MacShane had to do. After Kings, I wanted to see him and Sheen in something together as political opponents or something like that. A Call to Arms was probably the best of the bunch because it actually advanced the story of the universe while telling an interesting story. Now, all I need is Crusade... Got Boston Legal season five on DVD thanks to a gift card Michelle and I shared. I watched seasons four and five of the show when they aired, but Michelle had never seen the final season (I already had the others on DVD). That show ends so perfectly. It's one of my favourite series finales of all time. And, finally, I got Smackdown vs. Raw 2007 for the PlayStation 2 and have been enjoying that. Just finished up my first go-through of the season mode with Triple H. They nail his entrance in that game. Started a new one on a harder difficulty level with Booker T. Nice to have a wrestling game for the most modern video game system in the apartment.

Random Thought! Call me crazy, but the new colours for that Walt Simonson The Mighty Thor omnibus just look wrong. Not my thing.

Random Thought! You know, I have very little to say about Axel Alonson becoming the new Marvel EIC and Joe Quesada stepping down from that position. Actually, I have nothing to say beyond that.

Random Thought! Seriously, what's the point of Marvel's 'point-one' issues if they're not all done by the regular writer of the book? "Hey, here's a jumping on point written by someone who doesn't actually write the series at all! ENJOY!"

Random Thought! Sorry, but I'll never sign any petition demanding a character be brought back/written into a series/given a title. A person writing in a letter on their own requesting to see a character they love? Yeah, that seems alright to me. Mounting a campaign for the same purpose? That crosses a line somewhere for me. That's not a friendly fan request, that's a demand that comes from a sense of entitlement that's not legitimate. But, I'd also rather see characters used when there's a purpose, not just to please some part of the fanbase.

Random Thought! Aside from 'Free TV Match of the Year,' I took the official Low Road on 2010 in the 411mania Wrestling Year End Awards (Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four) by writing blurbs for every 'worst' category. Decided to live the gimmick... if only for the year-end stuff for the site. Honestly, since we sign up for the blurbs mostly before we know the results, picking the negative categories is easier. It's a lot easier to find fault in things you like than find good points in things you don't in case the results aren't in line with what you think. Also, I'm a negative bastard...

Random Thought! I found the wonky continuity shit in Avengers Prime fairly annoying, but there's no denying that Bendis wrote an entertaining story that looks absolutely gorgeous thanks to Alan Davis. But, the Steve cheating on Sharon bit? Yeah, that's going to bug me for a while... Unless it's meant to be a subtle commentary on Steve's mindset of the soldier off 'at war' as it were. Then... no... no, it still bugs me.

Random Thought! Wait, Halcyon is a five-issue mini now? When did that happen?

Random Thought! Stolen from my blog: "I bought seven comics this week (six that I would be getting anyway and one just for reviewing) and all but one were $2.99... I can't remember the last time that happened. But, that's also the way the week worked out. Only two of the books used to be $3.99 and they were ones that were worth the extra dollar. Doc Savage had the fantastic 'Justice, Inc.' back-up feature and T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents was closer to 30 pages of comic. And the lone $3.99 comic? 32 pages of comic plus six pages of text. So, if DC hadn't gone to 20 pages for $2.99, it would have been a week of three $3.99 comics that I was more than happy to pay the price for and four $2.99 comics. Though, I did notice something: The Unwritten #21 is 22 pages... But, as I was saying to Tim (my retrailer, not Callahan) at my shop, most of DC's books were $2.99 already and I wasn't buying them already. The change meant little to me. And, as I've said, the two titles that were $3.99 and have been affected by the change suffered a little to me. Well done."

Random Thought! And, no, you'll recall I wasn't one of those people bitching about $3.99 comics, so there's no hypocrisy here. Maybe that comes from being Canadian and paying over four bucks for some comics ten years ago. Prices didn't so much increase as... well, decrease, actually.

Random Thought! I would see Red 2. Hells yes I would.

Random Thought! It's raining. In January. Fuck that.

Random Thought! I bought Watchmen on DVD for, like, five bucks. Haven't rewatched it yet. Did finally rewatch The Spirit on DVD over the holidays and enjoyed it even more than I did in theatres. Such an insane, fun, absurd movie.

Random Thought! Hmm... I put Fear Itself on my pull list and not Flashpoint. I guess I am a Marvel guy...

Random Thought! Deadpool MAX #4: it's Cable... WEARING A MONOCLE! I haven't read it yet and, of course, haven't written my review for CBR of it yet, but I can tell you this much: FIVE STARS!

Random Thought! Reread Garth Ennis's Punisher MAX as a whole for the first time during the holidays and that is such the opposite side of the coin from Preacher. Preacher was an affirmation of friendship and the great parts of America, while Punisher MAX is about the failure of the American Dream... it's probably my favourite work by Ennis. If it were a prose novel, it would be hailed as one of the best of the early 21st century, I think. A stunning work. Punisher: The End, in particular, left me stunned and a little messed up -- and, like the rest of the run, I'd read it before. The End actually becomes more powerful and strange every time I read it.

Random Thought! After many small weeks, I embrace next week having lots of comics I'm excited to read. At least January won't be a total bust...

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

REVIEW: Uncanny X-Men #10 is the End of a Bumpy Ride

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