Random Thoughts! (September 6, 2011)

Random Thought! Two weeks of this and I'm already ready for another hiatus... I kid, I kid! 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, and CD reviews (like my review of I'm with You by the Red Hot Chili Peppers).

Random Thought! Random bits taken from Twitter last week as part of the #DCnUSpoilers hashtag (not all of them are winners, of course -- and, later in the week on Twitter, I went insane with #wrestlingpickuplines):* New city beat reporter at the Daily Planet: Spider Jerusalem* The Superman in Action Comics? Actually the High after he trapped young Clark Kent in the Phantom Zone.* No Weatherman in Stormwatch, the leader is the Monitor; and the main villain is former leader, Henry Bendix the Anti-Monitor.* Voodoo is just Zatanna, but actually takes her clothes off and uses voodoo magic.* Earth 2 counterpart of Batman now called Nite-Owl.* Africa is a continent AND a country ala Australia.* Year one of Action Comics ends with the creation of Superman, Ltd.* "Wally West? Who is Wally West?"* Maxwell Lord now drawn to look like Samuel L. Jackson.* Geoff Johns's Aquaman is an adaptation of Craig Ferguson's Aquman sketches.* Blue Bettle vs. Danny Duoshade & the Spiders from Mars!* Grant Morrison is alive again.

Random Thought! Dan DiDio's comments about recap pages bug me. I've never really understood the arguments against recap pages, because even saying "I don't like them and don't read them" isn't really an argument against them being in a comic, it's simply a statement about your personal use for them. More than that, I can think of many great TV shows that are better written and better at introducing characters and plot than most comics that use recaps. I mean, shit, did recaps before episodes of The West Wing mean that Aaron Sorkin is a lazy, bad writer? Recaps aren't needed for done-in-ones, but the minute you're doing extended multi-issue stories, not using recaps seems counterintuitive.

Random Thought! Part of me wants to see Weird Al do a parody of The Wall by Pink Floyd (every song and tell a story like the album, just a different one) and call it "The Al."

Random Thought! Greg raised the idea in his review post this past week. But, here are my choices for 'perfect albums.' Not necessarily my favourite albums, but ones that seem 'perfect' beginning to end (and done simply by a quick scan over the album I own, so not really thought out, just instinct): Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, After the Gold Rush and Tonight's the Night by Neil Young, Highway 61 Revisisted by Bob Dylan, the first four Led Zeppelin albums, Bat Out of Hell by Meat Loaf, OK Computer by Radiohead, Berlin by Lou Reed, Let It Bleed by the Rolling Stones, Rubber Soul through Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles, and Crime of the Century by Supertramp. And let the hating begin...

Random Thought! So, this is the week. Everything I'm buying aside from The Boys and Moon Knight has a big ol' "#1" slapped on the cover. I'm fairly excited. I'm a little wary/worried about the return of Casanova. Curious to see how the New Avengers annual plays out. Pumped for David Aja art on Wolverine: Debt of Death. And, then, there are the bunch of DC #1s... I'll be getting Action Comics, Animal Man, Men of War, Stormwatch, and Swamp Thing... maybe OMAC, because Tim has 99% of the way talked me into giving it a shot. I kind of like how half of the DC books I'm buying are coming out in the first week. Makes it feel bigger.

Random Thought! Yesterday's trip to Toronto to see the Blue Jays play the Red Sox with Michelle, her sister, her parents, and my parents was fun. Michelle and I went to my parents' place in London after I finished work on Sunday night and, then, the four of us left way too early yesterday morning. But, better to be early than late, right? We only had to wait around half an hour before they opened the gates. I bought us seats up in the 500 level, just slightly to the left of home plate, so we had a great view of the field. When Michelle's parents and sister arrived, they alerted me to a sale going on in the Jays shop on windbreaker for 50% off, so I got one. I've wanted a new windbreaker for a while and getting a Jays one for 50% off was pretty sweet (especially since I still had around twenty bucks left on a Jays gift card that my mom got me for Christmas). The game itself was great. Very competitive, lots of great plays, and was scoreless until the bottom-of-the-11th walk-off home run by Brett Lawrie. The only frustrating part was how fucking slow the Red Sox were in the bottom of the 10th. Papelbon took forever on the mound. Still, extra innings and an awesome Jays win? Can't ask for much better. Dinner after was nice and, then, it was back to London and Windsor.

Random Thought! Had to resist spending too much money at HMV last Tuesday as, surprisingly, they had a lot of David Bowie albums I'm missing. Normally, they have one, MAYBE two. This time, it was five. I only bought one (Aladdin Sane) since I also picked up the new Red Hot Chili Peppers album (review link above!) and The Final Cut by Pink Floyd. With Pink Floyd, the only album of theirs I'm missing out of the ones I wanted is Wish You Were Here. I'm pretty much sticking to the period from Dark Side of the Moon to The Final Cut with them.

Random Thought! Tomorrow night, we're seeing Citizen Kane on the big screen as part of Cineplex's Classic Film Series. Not always a fan of their selections, but I love the concept of the series and... come on, Citizen Kane in a theatre? About damn time!

Random Thought! The Splash Page returns this week in Tim's When Words Collide column. We discuss Flashpoint and the DC relaunch. (Although, the bold/not bold isn't accurate for who said what. I don't know why that is, but I've noticed that Tim's columns often have that mistake. The first paragraph of his response is bolded, but none of the subsequent paragraphs he wrote. Weird. (And disregard this if the bold/not bold stuff is fixed.))

Random Thought! At this point, anyone who thinks the Justice League needs an origin story is an idiot. "World's most powerful heroes team up to fight threats too big for one of them to handle." Boom. Done. Fucking get on with it.

Random Thought! For at least the second time, I've pre-ordered The Mutineer, Hunter Thompson's third book of letters. According to Amazon.ca, it's coming out in August 2012. I think eleven months ahead of time is my largest pre-order. Then again, I've believe it's coming out when it comes out. The last time I tried to order it was just before Christmas 2006. Why a collection of letters has taken so long to get release is beyond me. That Rolling Stone collection of his writing for his magazine is also finally coming out this fall. I wonder if there have been estate issues. Wouldn't be surprising. I am looking forward to The Rum Diary, though.

Random Thought! Exciting time for comics? Sure. Much I feel like saying about them? Apparently not.

Random Thought! I love how every time companies want to make a character more 'accessible' or 'exciting,' they get rid of that character's marriage. And then the people who did it make it very clear that their marriages are great and exciting and everything a person could hope for. Funny how they don't seem to have the talent to convey that in the comics, right? Me, I'd take a look around the comics landscape and notice that 'different' and 'new' avenues of storytelling exist in writing a married superhero. There are like, what, four of them? I can't wait for the person who follows Bendis to break up Luke and Jessica because, fuck, those two are just so goddamn boring as a married couple with a kid!

Random Thought! I do love it when Bendis gets all metafictional and mocks 'Avengers fans' that hate his work on the title(s). It's so petty -- and he's right at the same time.

Random Thought! Some are upset that the actor portraying Tony Stark/Iron Man in the porn parody is too short. While they're speaking about his height, I would have loved it if they were concerned over penis size, because, in their world, anything less than a foot and a half just doesn't seem right.


Random Comments! You remember this: I posted something, you people responded, and, now, I'm picking the comments I feel like responding to while ignoring the rest. If I didn't use your comment, it's only because I thought what you said was stupid and I don't like you.

First, thanks for all of the well wishes and congrats regarding my engagement.

Neal K said: Huh – you are getting married on my wedding anniversary.


I wonder if the prominent use of World War II is at all editorially mandated by Marvel to appeal to the Captain America movie audience.

I doubt it since it's been prominent in Brubaker's use of Steve Rogers ever since he took over the character.

I’m not sure I’ve read the Morrison interviews of which you speak – what in them don’t you agree with?

It was some outtake Q&A stuff from the recent article in Rolling Stone. His words on Chris Ware don't gel with my views; same with some of his views towards the industry and superheroes. Nothing major -- or new. It was funny to see people lose their shit over it, though.

Ultimate Matt said: Toldja that Angle/Lesnar Ironman match is the tits (I’m adopting “the tits” as an expression beause I’m childish).

And you were right. It had me wanting to get all of the other Iron Man matches, but I don't think the Rock/Triple H one is on DVD. The show it was on isn't on DVD and I haven't seen it pop up on any of the match listings for any other DVDs. I kind of wish they'd put all of the Iron Man matches in a set, throwing in the WCW ones as well.

Dan said: You got an obscene deal on Party Down!

I know! It was at Target. Maybe the deal is still on. I also got the first two seasons of Breaking Bad for (and it could be slightly different) $24. Maybe a buck or two cheaper or expensive, I can't remember. Still, great deal as well.

Mary Warner said: It’s not just the people who wait for trades that get the stories spoiled. People with old-style mail-order subscriptions also suffer (they usually arrive two or even three weeks late). Not to mention all those who simply can’t get to a comic store every week; some of us have to travel to other towns to find one.

Good points. But, that's also the risk of being online and reading things like this. When I don't want to be spoiled, I avoid all discussion of the topic in question. And, when I am spoiled, I don't get mad at the person who did it. What, they're supposed to tip-toe around for my benefit? Fuck that.


Yeah. My review of the second book was remembered, so Fantagraphics sent me a copy of book three.

Applemask said: At least you haven’t reached the bit where the dog dies and his soul is judged by a mouse lawyer and a cat prosecutor and then he’s resurrected by Father Guido Sarducci.

Way to spoil it! GAH!

And, sadly, I will get there.

The Mutt said: The problem with tying everything Cap to WWII is that according to the Oral history of The Avengers, everything that ever appeared in an Avengers comic actually happened, so our “man out of time” from the 40s has lived through a dozen planetary invasions, travelled to a hundred worlds, died six or seven times, trained every Avenger, fought Nixon, quit and rejoined a few times, etc.

At some point, 'beat Hitler' would just seem antiquated. I mean, fuck, who the fuck was Hitler when compared to the threats that superheroes face?

Travis Pelkie said: Where’s Moore’s reworked Sympathy for the Devil? I’d totally sing it out.

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century: 1969.

Ed (A Different One) said: And Chad – Looking forward to more of your musical references as well. On more than a few occasions those comments have served to turn me on to artists I probably never would have tried otherwise. I know I said this already – but welcome back!

Plenty of them in this week's edition. Hope you enjoy.

Zach said: Hold on!!! You aren’t satisfied with Curb this season?!?!?!?! I think Larry and the writing staff has been at his absolute best this season. At least 4 episodes so far have to rank in the all time top 10 of the show. The Juicing episode was outstanding. I admit last episode wasn’t as good but this still has to be one of the best seasons of this series. Even ESPN writer Bill Simmons (on Grantland.com) has devoted lengthy columns to this season and how it matches up to past seasons. It’s a great chance to compare episodes and seasons to each other. Check it out!

I looked and Simmons's stuff on this season isn't in any columns (at least none that I could find). Possibly his podcast? And, to avoid the lengthy debate over Simmons: I haven't really read his work. I neither like nor dislike him or his writing. I am a Chuck Klosterman fan, though.

JoeMac said: Why Grifter?

I've liked Nathan Edmondson's writing on Who is Jake Ellis? and am a fan of CAFU's art. That's enough to make me check the book out.

Jeremy said: Angle/Brock at WMXIX > Angle/Brock on Smackdown. A good example of “less is more”. George Lucas has apparently not heard of this concept!

I'd take the Iron Man match over their 'Mania bout (aka the most well known botch in recent history). And I have no issue with Lucas changing his movies as he sees fit. They're his, not ours, and, as the creative mind behind them, he can take any steps to make them adhere as closely as possible to his vision. It brings to mind Samuel Richardson and other writers of the 17th and 18th centuries where it wasn't unusual to rerelease books with changes to better provoke the intended reaction. This concept of a final definitive work is a fairly modern one and I rather like the idea of altered editions.

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

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