Random Thoughts! (September 13, 2011)

Random Thought! If the link is going to be automatically shortened, why do all of the characters count towards the final total, Twitter? 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 (the final of which went up this week... because the season is over; full archive here), and CD reviews.

Random Thought! Was anyone else annoyed by the treads on Jack Hawksmoor's hands? Why are they there? The treads on his feet made sense, because he's been adapted to live in an urban environment, so his feet are like sneakers. But, putting treads on his hands makes no sense... is he walking on all fours?

Random Thought! I love how New Avengers annual #1 is continued in Avengers annual #1... which hasn't even been solicited yet. Wouldn't it have made more sense to wait and release them together? Is there some time sensitive element to this story that I'm missing? (And, if there is, why would that affect when the first half of the story is released?)

Random Thought! Two thoughts in and I'm thinking I should rename this feature 'Random Questions!'

Random Thought! David Aja is the fucking man.

Random Thought! The insidious truth found in The Big Lie: given the choice, people care more about iPads than saving lives.

Random Thought! Part of me is disappointed that Dynamite isn't using those old-timey nude famous covers parody shots hanging on the wall of the brothel in The Boys #58 as variant covers. I love the handlebar mustache on the 'Superman' holding 'Supergirl.'

Random Thought! Over at 411mania, someone to replace me on the weekly Instant Analysis of TNA Impact Wrestling has been found. I'm free! My plan is to pretend for the next while that TNA doesn't exist. Things are looking up, people!

Random Thought! For me, what sets Animal Man #1 apart from Swamp Thing $1 is that the former was creepy and disturbing and the latter was not. (There are other things, of course, but saying them all wouldn't be as succinct...)

Random Thought! I finished reading Showcase Presents: The Trial of the Flash today and... those were some crazy comics. The first thing that struck me as odd was the choice of cover for the volume. They used the cover to #347, which strikes me as an odd choice. Of the issues collected, there are four covers that I would have thought the more obvious choices: #323, #324, #326, and #349. Beyond the cover, some of the character motivations and plot twists are just bizarre, barely resembling reality. The Flash's lawyer hating him was funny, especially when he saved her life and she seems to hate him even more. The damage the Flash does to his fiancee is hard to fully grasp -- why didn't he even tell her that he was the Flash before they were going to get married? So much, much more in that book that's insane. Go buy it.

Random Thought! OMAC #1 was the new DC book that I bought that I liked the least, but there's still something intriguing about it. There's an undercurrent of insanity that's hard to ignore.

Random Thought! Someone commented on my blog, asking how I can reconcile Joe Casey's pacifist Superman with Grant Morrison Golden Age throwback Superman. Logically, the two depictions are at odds to a degree (something Casey himself pointed out in his run on Adventures of Superman). The guy wasn't asking to be a jerk or catch me being a hypocrite, he was just curious about my thinking. Well, here it is: it's the character at two different points. A young, just getting started Superman probably would be an angry young man that tries to fight all of the social injustice he can. After all, isn't that what most of us would have done at his age if we had those powers? Pacifism, though, seems like the logical end point of Superman's philosophy as it grows and develops over time. It's really just two versions of the same character at different points in their life.

Random Thought! For some reason, I always thought Sgt. Rock's first name was Joe. That made me think that the new Rock in Men of War being named Joe and his grandfather being Frank was a big change. Nope. I just don't know as much as I like to think I do.

Random Thought! I like Casanova being back for real.

Random Thought! Another big week this week. First, there's dropping some cash on the trade for Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis. I dug the other two Ellis-penned Astonishing X-Men stories, so I'm looking forward to the final one. From there, there's three DC #1s (Batwoman, Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE, and Grifter), the finale of Criminal: Last of the Innocent, Fear Itself #6, Daredevil #3, and new issues of Journey into Mystery, New Avengers, Punishermax, Scalped, Severed, and The Unwritten... some weeks are good weeks and this is one of them.

Random Thought! At the end of the month, the Barenaked Ladies will be releasing their second 'best of' collection with nine of the 14 songs previously appearing on their first one, Disc One. There are probably a lot of good reasons for this, but... wow. Considering their first one covered the period of 1991-2001, you'd think this one would cover 2001-2011. The only 'new' song on the compilation is the Big Bang Theory theme. But, there is apparently a two-disc edition coming out with the second disc containing b-sides and other rare/unreleased material. Part of me is disappointed that this one isn't title 'Disc Two' even though I know the title of the first one was an inside joke going back to "Box Set" off Gordon...

Random Thought! Only 13 months until I get married... to the day!

Random Thought! Michelle and I have watched the first three episodes of Breaking Bad. It is good. I'm almost done the first disc of season eight of Married... with Children and the quality has settled to a pretty stable level with a quarter of the episodes being funny, half of them being pleasantly amusing, and a quarter outright sucking. I imagine those ratios will continue to shift as I make my way through the final four seasons. But, hey, at least Seven disappeared and was never to be heard from again!

Random Thought! Judging from Swamp Thing #1, that new Superman costume is godawful. If Paquette can't make it work, what chance do 90% of DC's artists?

Random Thought! Just got CHIKARA's 'best of' DVD sets for 2009 and 2010 in the mail today. The cover to the 2009 one is based on the cover to The Infinity Gauntlet #1 and it's a regular thing for CHIKARA to use comic covers as inspiration for their DVD art. I used Michelle as an excuse to get these since she really likes CHIKARA stuff. She's only seen a few matches, but absolutely loved them. So, I've used her love of CHIKARA as an excuse to buy these sets and watch them with her. I love that CHIKARA has these three-disc 'best of' sets. It makes it a lot easier to jump in and get some of their DVDs without worrying about which individual show is great or even focusing on an entire show. What you get here is a bunch of great matches you can dip in and out of. If we like these a lot, I'll go back and buy previous years' sets and, then, hopefully, keep doing that every year.

Random Thought! Tim-My-Retailer was telling me this week that one of the guys at my shop who was going to buy all 52 first issues of the DC relaunch came in on Wednesday and told Tim that he just couldn't bring himself to buy Hawk and Dove #1. So, he's getting 51 out of 52...


Random Comments! Because I value what everyone has to say...

Enrique said: Wish you were Here is a great album. It only includes five songs, but all of them great. My favorite is “Welcome to the Machine”.

I love the title track, which I've heard on Echoes, their 'best of.' And what I've heard of "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" I've liked a lot.

DrewT said: Wish You Were Here is so great. I have a lot of strong memories attached to that album. At one point it was my favorite Floyd album, but somehow Dark Side has totally stolen the top spot

For me, it's Animals right now. Had it on repeat at work this weekend and absolutely adored it.

stealthwise said: I don’t mind Lucas changing his own works, but given that the Lucas of today is so far removed in terms of creative zeal and earnestness from his 1977 counterpart, I think we need a time machine to actually set things right.

Now, that's the one good argument I've heard against Lucas changing anything. Is he really altering things to match what he wanted initially or what he wants now? (Does it matter?) That's a debate that's much more worthwhile and interesting -- to me at least.

Travis Pelkie said: Ooh, what other Bowie albums are you missing? We can let you know what to avoid

I actually just picked up Pinups and "Heroes" this past week. Otherwise, of the ones I wanted to get, I'm still missing Space Oddity, Hunky Dory, Low, Lodger, and Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps). Basically, I've decided to just stick with the Space Oddity to Let's Dance period. There are some live albums in there I want, too.

Billy Bissette said: The best version of a comic book recap page to me is the one that mixes new recap text with either key panels (either edited from the previous issue or even new versions of previous scenes) or at least relevant character art. This gives you something other than a block of text to read, but still doesn’t try to disguise a page of recap material as part of the story page count. There are several ways to go wrong. Perhaps the worst is the recap page that contains essential material that *was not delivered* in previous issues. I’ve seen some Marvel previews fail in this area. I’d read the recap and go “What? Did I miss an issue?”, then look back and see that no, I hadn’t. It was just the writer delivering new info in the recap page. Or explaining something that he had utterly failed to explain. (Things like “Insert-name has come from Galaxy 989 to retrieve her cosmic doodad that was stolen by her adoptive brother”, when the previous issue had one panel of an angry Insert-name arriving. Or even “Insert name, having struck a deal with Fuschia Hulk, is now serving as his right hand man”, when the previous issue had one panel of an angry Insert-name arriving. Yes, the recap page covering material that happened *between* the two issues.)

My biggest pet peeve are recaps that are wrong. I've had a few reviews I've done of Marvel books get criticised because I made a factual error when, really, I was using information from the recap page, because it was a title I don't regularly read. Maybe they should be done by people who have actually read (and understand) the comics?

daniel the demon cleaner said: Hey, cool! Revolver & After the Gold Rush were my picks as well. It seems a lot of people picked After the Gold Rush, which is a bit surprising actually. I mean Harvest is objectively the best. Oh, and you’re totally right about the Beatles. All three albums deserve a spot on a perfect albums list (plus Abby Road and maybe the White Album).

Harvest sold the best, but is very uneven on the whole. It's almost like for every song that's great and works, there's another that doesn't.

Dr Shore said: I love your Weird Al idea for The Al. Just the thought of Weird Al doing a concept record is a fun one.

I'm kind of surprised he hasn't. Then again, it would either have to be a parody of an entire concept album or entirely original songs, so maybe that's the problem. If he can't work in parodies of current songs, would anyone besides hardcore Weird Al fans want to buy it?

Why are we still waiting for HST’s The Mutineer?! It should have been out years ago. I heard a quote from Anita Thompson about a year or 2 ago saying it would never come out. I don’t believe that because there’s money to be made so it will eventually be worked out, but I’m hoping sooner rather than later.

Like I said, I assume it has to be issues with his estate. That Rolling Stone collection was delayed as well. Personally, I'm hoping we're entering a period where we get a lot of unreleased/uncollected Thompson work.

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

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