Random Thoughts! (May 10, 2011)

Random Thought! Wow, 4:45 is a pretty random time to post this every Tuesday, don'tcha think? It's random thoughts time! Get excited!

Link Thought!GraphiContent for comics. butterbeatleblog for popculture. The Splash Page Podcast for some awesome comics discussion.

Random Thought! This week will the the Splash Page Podcast episode 50. Actually, it will be more like episode... 50-something if you include the various guest podcasts and solocast Tim and I have both done. Whatever. It's number fifty of regular Tim and Chad Splash Page podcasting. To celebrate, it will be exactly the same as every other episode aside from new intro music. I haven't picked it out yet, but have a few options that I've sent to Tim. Not sure if anything will be as dead-on as "We're Hardcore" by Gord Downie, but we'll see...

Random Thought! Well, I'm done with Jennifer Blood, I think. And Moon Knight #1 reminded me how much I like Alex Maleev's art when he's just drawing a comic... so, I'm finally dropping Scarlet, too. Can't say I didn't try with Scarlet.

Random Thought! This afternoon, I'll be getting the new album by the Sam Roberts Band, Collider. I'm excited for it -- and they're playing in Detroit in June! I've seen the band live three times, but not since 2005. How the fuck did that happen? Then again, the last time I saw them live, it was watching the show backstage as they played a Frosh concert at the University of Western Ontario and I got to interview Roberts afterwards. So, you know, that was pretty cool.

Random Thought! Actually, we're hitting a nice little run of cool album: new Sam Roberts this week, new Danger Mouse next week, new Matthew Good the week after, another addition to the Neil Young archives in June... what I really need is another Ryan Adams album.

Random Thought! 25 issues and still pretty great... why doesn't anyone talk about Irredeemable anymore?

Random Thought! I was surprised at how much I liked X-Men: Prelude to Schism #1. I'd signed up to review it for CBR and was a little surprised when it was in my pull file. I put Schism on my list, so I guess this getting handed to me isn't that surprising. But, on the strength of the first issue, I think I'll stick with this prologue series. Paul Jenkins's approach of establishing a mood and building tension around an unsaid threat is very effective -- and Roberto De La Torre and Leigh Loughridge bring it on art. It does remind me of the those team-up issues of The Sentry before The Sentry vs. the Void, but that's good. It's an effective way to build up to something big. And, given how outright awful books like this usually are at actually setting up events, Jenkins working on mood and characters instead of plot is a smart approach.

Random Thought! Anyone complaining about how quickly comics are read, I give you... The Boys #54! Enjoy!

Random Thought! I want to like Annihilators more than I actually like it. The pieces are there, but something just isn't clicking with me.

Random Thought! Reading the X-boards on the CBR forums is always mentally taxing. It's just hard to understand people who judge quality based on 1) how often their favourite character appears and 2) how characters they hate are depicted. Then again, I don't quite understand how someone can become a big fan of the X-Men and hate Cyclops. That's like loving the Justice League of America except for the Martian Manhunter. Loving the Avengers except for Captain America. Loving the Fantastic Four except for Reed Richards. That's just baffling to me.

Random Thought! Am I the only one who's sick of comics where the 'twist' or 'surprise' at the end of the first issue is the premise on which the series is sold? And not 'sold' in the sense of getting the company to publish it like Thunderbolts, but 'sold' to the comic-reading public like Moon Knight. Wait, Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Captain America are all in his head? I DIDN'T KNOW THAT, BECAUSE BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS AND ALEX MALEEV DIDN'T TELL US THAT BACK IN FEBRUARY!

Random Thought! Finished the second Marshal Law novella, "Cloak of Evil" and liked it less than "Day of the Dead." It was a lot more scattered and had some odd tangents. It also had less Kevin O'Neill illustrations. An interesting exercise is thinking about how these novellas would have been paced/structured as comics. "Day of the Dead" seems like it would have been a 48-page one-shot, probably. "Cloak of Evil" might have been a two-issue mini? Maybe longer. I guess it depends on how they'd pace the fight scenes. Those can be very different lengths depending on what the creators feel like doing with them.

Random Thought! Maybe now I'll track down those Hellblazer novels...

Random Thought! Why do I keep thinking that reading prose works of comic properties is a good idea? The Marshal Law stuff at least was done by Mills and O'Neill.

Random Thought! Yeah... I definitely prefer the Jenjetov pages to the Charest pages in Weapons of the Metabaron. I understand why Travis Charest's name is the largest on the cover, but... come on... JODOROWSKY, PEOPLE!

Random Thought! I want to see Patrick Stewart and Jason Stratham in a Metabarons film. Why? I dunno. They're both bald and awesome and we could watch them kill people using sci-fi magic weapons. That seems like a good enough reason to me.

Random Thought! What the fuck is up with the way Al Hartley drew Donald Blake in Journey into Mystery #90? It's all giant head, tiny body stuff. Freaky. That Brian didn't spotlight those bits of art in his post on the ten goofiest moments in the first ten Thor comics is a crime. Mock him at will.


Random Comments! Judging by the lower number of comments, the chance to appear in this section isn't quite as appealing as it once was...

Matt said: What were his top ROH picks? I was looking at that sale myself.

I answered this in the comments section last week, but, for anyone who missed it. Ring of Honor had a sale on all of their in-stock DVDs from 2008 on back for six bucks each. I asked 411mania's ROH expert Ari Berenstein for his advice on which DVDs were the best ones to get. On his advice, I purchased:

Manhattan Mayhem- New York, NY 5/7/05Dragon Gate Challenge- Detroit, MI 3/30/06Fifth Year Festival: Finale- Liverpool, UK 3/4/07Take No Prisoners- Philadelphia, PA 3/16/08

And those DVDs arrived today. Nice speedy service.

bongoes said: I was nervous about Steve Carell leaving, but they handled it perfectly. My only problem with the episode was Will Ferrell. I think he’s funny, but he felt out of place in this one. His story, while important for this weeks episode apparently, felt like it could’ve been in any episode.

Ferrell's mini-run on the show did not work at all. They never really got a handle on his character. Every episode featured a new character basically. I hope they manage to make the other guest stars advertised work. If they can't make James Spader work, then they should just pack it in.

JRB said: Turn in your man card for enjoying Jane Eyre. Had to sit through that movie with my girlfriend and I thought I was going to either a) claw my eyes out from boredom or b) imagine it’s a prequel of X-Men: First Class and have an internal movie in my head with how Erik Lensher would handle the situations in the movie.

Is it nice living the life of a cliche?

Travis Pelkie said: Raw Power IS awesome. I can’t remember right off what’s up with the different mixes, but it rocks regardless.

There's the original Bowie mix and then a newer one when the album was released on CD that Iggy Pop helped with, but with the reasoning of the record company was doing it with or without him, so better to join in and make sure it doesn't get too fucked up. The edition I have has the original Bowie mix.

What’s Morrison’s Supergods? I don’t remember hearing about it.

It's a book Grant Morrison has coming out in July:

The first superhero comic ever published, Action Comics no. 1 in 1938, introduced the world to something both unprecedented and timeless: Superman, a caped god for the modern age. In a matter of years, the skies of the imaginary world were filled with strange mutants, aliens, and vigilantes: Batman, Wonder Woman, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and the X-Men—the list of names as familiar as our own. In less than a century, they’ve gone from not existing at all to being everywhere we look: on our movie and television screens, in our videogames and dreams. But what are they trying to tell us?

For Grant Morrison, arguably the greatest of contemporary chroniclers of the “superworld,” these heroes are powerful archetypes whose ongoing, decades-spanning story arcs reflect and predict the course of human existence: Through them we tell the story of ourselves, our troubled history, and our starry aspirations. In this exhilarating work of a lifetime, Morrison draws on art, science, mythology, and his own astonishing journeys through this shadow universe to provide the first true history of the superhero—why they matter, why they will always be with us, and what they tell us about who we are . . . and what we may yet become.

Dom said: The 20th Century called…they said thank you for still getting movie soundtracks.

Tarantino soundtracks are a must.

Neil Kapit said: What was wrong with Hitch’s Moon Knight?

In Avengers #12.1 it barely looked like the character.

Ed (A Different One) said: Re: “Page One by Steven Page hasn’t blown me away yet. Some decent tracks, but it’s missing that special something. ”

Even BNL before Page left hasn’t done it for me the last few albums, so I would’ve been surprised if Page could recapture it on his own. Great voice though, and I really love everyone from that band.

My criteria for being devoted to a band is two-fold: the band either has to consistently give me “goosebumps”, or they have to regularly make me want to jump to my feet, run to the nearest window, and scream out to the streets as follows: “Whoooaa, F**k Yeah, Mother F**king [INSERT BAND NAME HERE]!!!! YEEEAHHH!!!” Throwing the Horns out at this point is optional but encouraged.

BNL used to be one of those bands that made me do both on a regular basis (the other band that has that ability also hails from Canada – Rush). BNL was always a special band to me, I feel like I came of age with them (I’m roughly their age) and felt like I went through some of the same stuff they were writing about in their songs as they came out (“yeah right”, I know, but it felt that way at the time). But, yeah, I just haven’t felt it from any of them lately. Then again, I can’t remember the last time I gave anyone “goosebumps” or inspired anyone to scream obscenities out a window either (at least in a positive way). Guess I’m still “coming of age” with them.

I'm with you. Barenaked Ladies are Me/Barenaked Ladies are Men left me largely cold aside from a few songs. And, even then, one of the songs I liked best "I Can, I Will, I Do" sounds like a retread of "Conventioneers" off Maroon. But, you know what? I'm with them until they stop. Getting a new album every two or three years isn't too demanding and even the ones I don't dig on as much still have the odd moment of greatness.

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

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