Random Thoughts! (September 4, 2012)

Random Thought! I hope last week's actions in this column prove to you all that Brian Cronin can be a cruel man. Me, I loved it. But, I'm also kind of a jerk, so... It's Random Thoughts time! Get excited!

Link Thought! GraphiContent for comics. butterbeatleblog for popculture. 411mania for wrestling reviews and the occasional CD review. My Twitter account for random thoughts as they happen in real time.

Random Thought! Riding the Gravy Train 22 on AVX: VS #5 and Wolverine and the X-Men #15 where I continue to review the fights in the former as if they were wrestling matches and praise the latter for being one of my favourite comics from this event so far, mostly because it just does what it would have done without the event.

Random Thought! This week: no Avengers vs. X-Men comics. Next week: four Avengers vs. X-Men comics. Fuck you, Marvel. Your scheduling is shit. We'll see how many of the tie-ins NEED to be read after Avengers vs. X-Men #11.

Random Thought! And a hearty "Fuck you!" to DC's collections department for their continued lazy effort in the paperback editions of the Kirby's Fourth World omnibus editions where it seems they simply took everything from the hardcover editions and transferred it over, including any out of date references, copy that calls the editions hardcover, or, in the third volume, a table of contents that claims that Mister Miracle #10 is included when, in fact, it's the first comic in the fourth volume. Keep up the amateurish work, people!

Random Thought! I rather like how "Everything Burns" is a weekly story... until the final issue comes three weeks after the penultimate one. Again: scheduling is clearly Marvel's strong suit.

Random Thought! I would like to reaffirm my affection for the music of Buck 65. Go listen to Talkin' Honky Blues. "And you never heard it like this before."

Random Thought! Ultimate X-Men is looking like it could be one of the more interesting superhero books out there. Just give Brian Wood a better artist and that comic would be something special.

Random Thought! You could see the 'twist' in Winter Soldier coming a mile away, but I still loved it for the beatdown of the cliche. Dark and mean. Why would I like that? HA!

Random Thought! I'm a bit over 100 pages into The Cold Six Thousand by James Ellroy. His style in this book is a little harder to deal with. You can't take as much of it -- which seems to be what he was going for. It's surprising that it works that way -- that such short, focused sentences could tire you out. They just pummel you. I love the effect and how surprising it is.

Random Thought! The new issue of Prophet is surprisingly light-hearted in its 'putting the band back together' story.

Random Thought! The Loki/Thor stuff in the new Journey into Mystery is engaging and plays off of the past couple of years of both that title and The Mighty Thor. It's nice to see that the main characters of both books form the core of this crossover. I particularly like how everything is that goes wrong is a culmination of Loki's efforts to do the right thing.

Random Thought! A full year later and the DCU titles that I'm reading are Action Comics, Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE, Wonder Woman, and Batman, Incorporated.

Random Thought! After harsh words earlier for DC's collections department, I am looking forward to the third Batman: Knightfall trade this week, KnightsEnd. I've liked the production of the first two trades (though, skipping most of "KnightQuest: The Search" in the second trade was annoying). I'm also looking forward to reading the first Glory trade this week. I've heard good things -- I only read the first issue of the new series in .pdf and thought it was fine.

Random Thought! I can't tell: does Howard Chaykin want people to masturbate to his Black Kiss stuff?

Random Thought! Wait... does J. Scott Campbell want people to masturbate to his art? Frank Cho? I assume Jim Balent does. Has anyone asked any artists that seem to specialise in art like that if they consider the masturbation needs of those looking at their art?

Random Thought! If Alec doesn't hurry his ass up, I plan to disavow him Casey/Huddleston style when it comes to the next Direct Message.

Random Thought! A few months back, I asked for a credit card limit increase of $500 through my bank's website and heard nothing. I assumed my credit was still awful thanks to my two-and-a-half-years of unemployment where I was usually months behind on some credit card payments (I've since paid off all of my (two) credit cards (and cancelled one once it was paid off) and am working on my student loans at a steady pace). Then, on Saturday, I was in the bank to get some coins for laundry and was told that I was pre-approved for a $7500 limit increase. I upped my limit $1500 and walked away confused.

Random Thought! Like Graeme, I'm not sold on Marvel's ability to keep artists on books consistently. I know some titles have rotating artists built in, which is fine. My main issue is an art team leaving mid-story, especially when it's because everyone has decided that they're better served drawing some other book. Somehow, that bugs me more than artist blowing a deadline. I guess it's because everyone involved is, basically, agreeing to break their word on what they told readers would be happening. And, no, failing to explicitly state that an artist will no longer be on a book after a certain point isn't a valid excuse, Stephen Wacker. That's using a technicality as justification for lying to readers by omission. It's a cheap move that deflects from the fact that, yeah, you couldn't (or actively chose not to) deliver what you said you would -- and an apparent secret plan isn't a good excuse either.

Random Thought! No, really, Storm gets mad at the Black Panther for coming up with ways to counter her attacks after she hit him with a lightning bolt. Definitely an understanding of 'moral high ground.'

Random Brian Cronin Quote of the Week! "There's just certain things Jim Lee should not try to draw. Watchmen characters are one of them."


Random Joe Casey Question! Because it comes up all of the time and I figure that if I ask and you answer, people will stop asking: will there ever be a collection (preferrably in hardcover on BIG pages and in English) of Automatic Kafka?

Random Joe Casey Answer! Does it really come up all the time? I'm not so sure. In any case, I wouldn't hold my breath for an English language collected edition of AUTOMATIC KAFKA any time soon, if ever. It seems to me like the "golden age" of Wildstorm -- such as it was -- has pretty much been relegated to the forgotten mists of time, from a corporate point of view. Sure, they pop out the occasional collection now and then, but anything that even remotely smacks of "art comix" is not going to be a high priority at DC right now. I mean, if you want proof of that, look at Vertigo, which has never seemed more irrelevant within the greater DC culture than it seems to at this moment...


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

Elvira Spring Special

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