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Random Thoughts! (September 27, 2011)

Random Thought! I wish Lays in Canada would learn that their new Old-Fashioned Bar-B-Q flavour of chips is far superior to that crap they have forced on the public as Bar-B-Q. It's Random Thoughts time! Get excited!

Link Thought! GraphiContent for comics. butterbeatleblog for popculture. 411mania for wrestling reviews and the occasional CD review.

Random Thought! Looking at Marvel's December solicitations, I couldn't but notice a Spider-Man trade paperback collecting all of the PSA comics the character has been in. This is pretty much a book catering to the internet audience that will buy it for the sole purpose of mocking it. It caused me to go hunting a little and I discovered that I still have four of those PSA comics. Three of them are books produced in Canada with the police and an anti-drug group. The 'best' one has to be the fifth one: "Dead Ball" where Peter is sent to Montreal by The Daily Bugle for some assignment about the Montreal Expos and kids... except Mary Jane has surprised him with little Norman Osborn, the son of Harry and Liz! So, when Peter takes little Normie to a baseball game, Harry accidentally sees it on TV back in New York (because Expo games were a big thing in New York), is all crazed on prescription pills and goofballs, and flies to Montreal on his glider and attacks the Expos. Crazy shit. And, for $35, you can get an entire trade full of these things! (But, it doesn't seem to collect the "Real Heroes" comics done with Pizza Hut! What the fuck, Marvel?)

Random Thought! You know how Marvel point one comics could have been better? One per month, positioned between storyarcs, self-contained-with-a-couple-of-hints-towards-the-new-story, no 'regular' issue of the title that month, and all of them drawn by Neal Adams.

Random Thought! Last week: Prison Pit book 3. This week: Holy Terror. It's good to like comics.

Random Thought! No word on that two-disc edition of the new Barenaked Ladies 'best of' compilation where the second disc was supposed to be full of rarities. The compilation is out today. That's fucked up.

Random Thought! But, what isn't fucked up: Lulu by Lou Reed and Metallica is coming out on November 1. Lou Reed and Metallica!

Random Thought! I've heard comparisons to Dr. Manhattan thrown around a lot with regards to Captain Atom #1 and I don't see it. Obviously, there's the similarity in powers, but, otherwise, what's the connection? Certainly not tone or execution or character or art or... wait, what else is there?

Random Thought! I've made my peace with the direction Noh-Varr has been taken in by Bendis... but, will he eventually get an actual personality? Please? Right now, he's cardboard. Boring cardboard.

Random Thought! I'm rereading Criminal and have only The Sinners and Last of the Innocent left to reread. It's strange to see how much Sean Phillips and Val Staples have improved over the course of the series. Coward looks a lot less polished compared to what came after, each new issue somehow improving on the last. Bad Night may have the most depressing ending of them all. (And, does it take place before Coward? Is the payoff that's taken the one that results in Roy-L's right-hand man getting arrested prior to Coward? Never noticed that before... because I read comics good.)

Random Thought! "Was it love or was it just easy?"

Random Thought! I finally read the two 'Breed collections Image recently put out last week. It's easy to see why that series is Jim Starlin's personal favourite with all of the autobiographical stuff in the first couple of issues of the first series. As well, it's a book that has a lot of familiar elements from his work remixed and used differently, so it's probably up there with Dreadstar as a book for creative freedom and pleasure for him. I don't think it matches up to something like Dreadstar necessarily. It's a lot more slowly and methodically paced than I expected it to be. The three volumes will basically tell one big story over a somewhat contained period (though time moves freely and quickly, it doesn't SEEM to...).

Random Thought! After reading the title of this Newsarama interview with Geoff Johns on Aquaman ("AQUAMAN In-Depth: GEOFF JOHNS Says He Already IS Cool"), I immediately thought of a one-panel gag strip where all of the superheroes are laughing at Aquaman as he shouts "My writer thinks I'm cool!"

Random Thought! It's the end of the baseball season and, once again, the Toronto Blue Jays didn't make the playoffs. It's been a lacklustre season for the team, but I got to see them play a few times live in entertaining games and that was cool. Right now, I'm more focused on the Red Sox's self-destruction in September and the possibility of the Tampa Bay Rays taking the Wild Card from them. Now, ideally, no other AL East team would get the Wild Card, but, if it has to be one, I'd much rather it be the Rays than Red Sox. It's a simple matter of which teams I hate more. From most hated to least hated, it's pretty simple: the Yankees, the Red Sox, the Rays, the Orioles, and, then, everyone else. Because of the way the League is structured, most teams are just other teams, while teams in the same division are bitter rivals who you play more often and directly for at least one playoff spot. So, while I would have liked to see the Angels come back and take the Wild Card instead of the Rays, the Rays getting it will be a small victory. Because, when your team is out of contention, all you have left is hate. (Personally, I'm rooting for the Phillies to win the World Series, because I want Roy Halladay to get that win -- and so trading him was worthwhile and accomplished its goal.) Horrible way to treat the game, I know, but... that's all there is.

Random Thought! My favourite comment from one of the best set of comments I've ever received for one of my Instant Analysis reviews over on 411mania comes from : "wow u really over analyze this show."

Random Thought! Anyone else mark out when the man from the beginning of Vengeance #1 was revealed to be Larry Young in issue three? And did anyone else mark out further when Kyle Richmond said those two magic words: Jack Truman?

Random Thought! I don't know why, but part of me can't let go of the idea that the difference between The Boys and Marshal Law is that The Boys isn't really about superheroes at all.

Random Thought! I'm now on season nine of Married... With Children. I've already got my next longform sitcom lined up for when this is done: The King of Queens. Today, a complete series set was released that I pre-ordered for $45 (same price as my complete Married... With Children)! I wish more series were released in cheap packages for about $45. Hell, I wish they'd especially do that for shows that weren't doing great in season-by-season release, but would probably sell well as complete series sets at a reasonable cost. My wish list of shows they'd do that for: Night Court, Perfect Strangers, Malcolm in the Middle, The Bernie Mac Show, Coach, The Drew Carey Show, and King of the Hill. Price them in the $50-$100 range and I would buy them all -- and I imagine others would too. Sometimes, the whole 'one season at a time' approach doesn't work, but I think this could do some good business. Better than nothing, right?

Random Thought! Gavin Jasper of 4thletter pointed something out on Twitter today: there are no What If? titles in Marvel's December solicitations! Now, last year's batch of books was pretty bad, but, still... it's a tradition! I want my What If? comics! (By the way, my simple idea for the eventual Fear Itself issue: what if no one was afraid of the Serpent? Boom. Done.)

Random Thought! My biggest problem with Schism right now is that I don't buy Wolverine's argument. The argument itself is good (using kids as soldiers is bad), but it doesn't ring true coming from him. Given his history of teen sidekicks and generally not giving a fuck, why should we believe he cares now? I'm disappointed Cyclops didn't retort in issue four that he was fighting Sentinels as a teen, so what's the big deal? Otherwise, it's been a good series. Still undecided about picking up any post-Schism titles. Wolverine and the X-Men is tempting for Bachalo art.

Random Thought! AMERIDROID... FUCK YEAH!

Random Thought! Only two DC #1s for me this week: Justice League Dark and Voodoo (with the latter being a review book). Still, Holy Terror! Neal Adams drawing New Avengers #16.1! Deadpool MAX #12! And many other fine comics!

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Random Comments! Maybe, some day, I'll include every single comment from the previous week. Probably not.

Matt said: Jericho should be Spike Dudley,Kyle should be Helms and Donna should be Molly Holly.

I agree. How could I forget Spike?

Dalarsco said: The Hellblazer Annual #1 thing confused me, too, along with the recent Uncanny X-Men Annuals #1-3. I think that the thinking is that ____ Annual is a specific series not extra issues of the main series, and if they don’t bother to do annuals for a few years then they count it as a cancellation and eventual restarting. This especially makes sense in the case of Hellblazer, that only ever had one actual Annual over twenty years ago and never did an “Annual” again.

That's a logical explanation. And one with probably more thought put into it than DC did. A later comment suggesting that they could have easily published it as "Hellblazer Special" or given it a proper title makes sense, too.

Tim Callahan said: Duck, You Sucker is on Netflix streaming, for those who don’t already know. Like me, a few days ago when I came across it.

If you have Netflix streaming, get on watching that, people!

Seth T. Hahne said: If you’ve got even more than a passing interest in Sergio Leone, I’d recommend Christopher Frayling’s Something to Do with Death. As a biography, it’s pretty wonderful as it relies so heavily on the outrageous personal history given by Leone himself. Frayling judiciously drops in just enough counter-evidence to spin Leone’s leonine account of himself into something truly diabolical. As well, special attention is paid to each of his films and his interactions with the Italian film industry.

I should. The featurette with Frayling talking about Duck, You Sucker! was pretty great. I've wanted a bio of Leone for a while and this one sounds like the one to get (until someone reads this and gets pissed off, because they think a different one is better, of course).

Travis Pelkie said: From my understanding of Diamond Dogs, Bowie originally wanted to do an opera/musical thing based on 1984, but couldn’t get the rights to do it. That might partly explain why the songs don’t match up too well. Also, from what I understand, Bowie was doing a sort of dadaist/beat/cut up thing with lyrics, where he basically picked lines out of a hat, so that too could explain why things are so odd.

Well, he's obviously referencing the book, so I don't imagine any lyrics close to the novel's plot would cross the line. I wonder what the timeline on the rights being refused was. It would be interesting if the rights were refused because Orwell's widow heard these sample songs and noticed that they had nothing to do with the book. That they exist at all suggests that they were written before the rights were refused (otherwise, why write them?).

Jake Earlewine said: “Daredevil is on the New Avengers for the sole reason that Bendis wants him on the team.” Well, doesn’t that single reason apply to all the members, Chad?

Yes. That was my point (and I said it rather clearly). About all superhero teams. No member is essential and all members are there because the people doing the book want them there. The only other reason is deferring to history and that someone already put them on the team, so there's an association. The best example I can think of: the Fantastic Four. There have been versions of the team with less than four members, more than four members, and entire rosters with none of the original members and, guess what, they were all the Fantastic Four! Bendis didn't 'ruin' the Avengers, he just wrote some comics you don't like. Big fucking difference.

Brian Cronin said: The ending of Fear Itself #6 is the explanation for why Cap is not on the team. It ends with Cap telling the other Avengers to wait for Iron Man and get the super-weapons while he goes to the front line.

But, how would Stark know not to make him something on the off-chance he isn't around to use it? It's a bad comic, man. Just... it's really bad.

comicbookreader said: Chad, you’re a Mark Leyner fan right? I was excited to see that he a new novel solicited for next March.

Hell yes! Thank you, kind sir. I cannot wait.

stealthwise said: I don’t get why people get worked into such a frenzy about who the mother is on HIMYM. Getting closer to that answer means you get closer to the ending of that show, and really, we’ve had six excellent seasons that show no signs of slowing down. Most of the drama and enjoyment I get out of it is seeing what happens with Barney and Robin and Marshall and Lily. You could almost drop Ted out of the equation for a couple of years and it wouldn’t even bother me.

I figured I'd just include the final How I Met Your Mother comment for all discussion of the show. I like the idea presented by Dan S. that the mother could be Barney's half-sister. That would be interesting. I still love Victoria. She was a really great fit into the show and, as last night's episode showed, brings out the best in Ted. That was the first episode in a while where I remembered that, yeah, I used to like Ted. Her presence made the show feel like a 'classic' episode. I don't think that the show needs to end when the mother is revealed. There's nothing to stop it from continuing the story from that point. Hell, what's the point if it stops when he meets the mother? Then all we get is some unknown woman we barely see as the payoff for the entire series? As well, I don't mind stories with Ted that don't focus on the mother. Those are fine. It's when they keep throwing the possibility in your face or tease the end with no payoff. That's just jerky behaviour. And, stealthwise, the last two seasons have kind of sucked.

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

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