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I Thought of Transmetropolitan

He's using the Google Glass like Spider Jerusalem used his glasses. It's pretty kewl when the present catches up with the future.

"When there's a wall of police firing plastic bullets at you, and you're running through a wall of tear-gas, having your hands free to cover your face, while saying 'OK Glass, record a video', makes that recording process a lot... easier," says Tim Pool.

Pool has been using Glass for his livestreaming coverage of recent protests in Istanbul, Cairo and Brazil for Vice in 2013, but he's been doing what he calls "mobile first-person" journalism since 2011, and the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York.

Ofc, the downside of that is the necessity of such a device to record abusive police actions, dystopia being the other side of the future.

By min | July 31, 2013, 10:47 AM | Comics & Liberal Outrage & Science | Link

Marvel Sales


By fnord12 | July 29, 2013, 4:25 PM | Comics | Link

Guillermo del Toro's Raydeen vs. Godzilla

After seeing Pacific Rim on Friday night, i did a little networking and i am now excited to announce that i have exclusive access to the storyboards for the sequel (working title, according to friend Bob - Pacific Rim 2: Rimmed Harder). I've learned that Guillermo del Toro has acquired the licenses for a couple of characters:

Of course i went with the Marvel version of Raydeen.  But i couldn't do the same for Godzilla.  He's just too off model.  Sorry, Herb Trimpe.

Oh my god, you guys! This is going to be awesome! I can't wait to see it!

Here are the storyboards:

I use the Comic Sans font just because i know it bizarrely angers some people.

Hmmmmm. Not quite what i was expecting. What the hell just happened?

By fnord12 | July 28, 2013, 9:50 AM | Comics & Godzilla & Movies | Link

It's only a problem because someone keeps using up all the hours in my day with this thing called "work"

This is a few days old thanks to Old Reader being down, but MightyGodKing seems to really like Superior Spider-Man. I've certainly been enjoying Octo-Spidey in the team-up book but i haven't had much personal luck with Dan Slott and i didn't want to start with this. But this is looking more and more like a "pick up sooner than later" for the back-issues, especially if it's all going the way MGK thinks it's going.

Something to add to that category between "comics for the timeline project" and "current". Because when i'm not reading Marvel comics, i'm reading Marvel comics. That's kind of a problem, isn't it?

But since i'm me and i can't help focus on the negative, i'll just "heh, indeed" this bit that MGK politely tucks away in a footnote:

Yes, Peter will be back eventually. Probably it will involve Mephisto in some way, because why not. Let us all take a moment to acknowledge that after semi-rebooting Spider-Man to end his marriage in order to tell all the stories they couldn't tell with a married Spider-Man, the single best idea they had was "hey, let's kill him."

By fnord12 | July 26, 2013, 1:17 PM | Comics | Link

No theme implied

Since the Old Reader is apparently going to be down for a couple of days, i thought it would be a good time to dump some random pictures i've been holding onto.

From a series of ads for Dungeons and Dragons in comics circa 1982. I've always liked this pic.

Art is by a young Bill Willingham, aka 'the Fables guy'.

Not the boobs! Not the boobs!

At least they're honest.  Well, not about 'synometrics'.

This requires no explanation (or, at least, you're not getting one):

The Metallic Jokers might actually be a good name for a band.  Less sure about The Special Metallic Jokers.  It could go either way.

By fnord12 | July 23, 2013, 11:25 AM | Comics & D&D & Good Name For a Band & My stupid life | Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

I woke up this morning to find out that i don't even own this site anymore but i figured i should still try to get through this big pile of recent comics before i go away for the week (during which time, i imagine, the site will just completely melt down). It's been a while so i'll be Speed Reviewing two issues at once in some cases. And i've got to get to bed to catch a plane tomorrow morning, so no proofreading or nuthin'.

Secret Avengers #5-6 - I really have a problem with the weird premise of this series (Hawkeye and Black Widow agreeing to let SHIELD mindwipe them repeatedly while sending them on assassination missions and other questionably moral things) so you'd think i'd be happy with issue #5 where Hawkeye was finally beginning to question what the hell he was doing there. But instead i'm just like "Yeah! So walk away!". But he doesn't. I'm glad to see Maria Hill become the action director of SHIELD again, and the jokey acknowledgement that even the characters in the book can't tell them apart. AIM working its way onto the permanent UN Security Council seems insanely implausible. I enjoyed the bit with Rhodey taking over the Iron Patriots.

Red She-Hulk #67 - Let's just say whatever the merits of this issue, i'm sorry to see Jeff Parker go.

X-Factor #258 - I came in late to this iteration of X-Factor and i imagine the payoff for these final issues will be better for those who have been following from the beginning.

Thunderbolts #11 - We decided to drop this when Daniel Way left so i think this is our last issue. It's been fun. A bit thin, plotwise, but i've enjoyed the character interactions.

Avengers AI #1 - I dropped Age of Ultron early on, which, by all accounts, seems to have been the right move. Bought this on the strength of Sam Humphries, who is doing decent stuff on Uncanny X-Force. And i think i'm going to like this better. Can already tell i'm going to love the Doombot. But i'm not sure if i'm missing anything regarding the reason Pym was arrested by SHIELD; from what i saw here it seemed very unlikely that would happen. I actually didn't know Pym was going to feature so prominently in this series, which is probably for the best because i might have skipped it. I'm in it for a bunch of robots hanging out together. But even with Pym it seems like this is going to be a fun series. As an aside (but an important one!), i really wish someone would pull someone at Marvel aside and explain to them that Captain America is an absolute laughingstock in his current costume.

Young Avengers #6-7 - These continue to be great. I was missing McKelvie's art on #6 until we got to the guy in the Patriot suit doing a zombie-shuffle across the room; that was done really well by Kate Brown. Most of the issue was a downtime issue so it's hard to judge the art beyond that (although it was fine - Speed's facial expressions during the assembly sequence were more on the cartoony side than i initially liked but it could grow on me). And it was a good downtime issue. I must have read Prodigy's first appearance in the 2003 New Mutants series but i don't remember him and this was a great introduction and i really love the idea that he's using his knowledge to work at a super-hero (?) call center. Speed's "one second is a week" bit has been done before but it's the type of thing that bears repeating. Issue #7 was "downtime" as well (unless you count the Skifflefuffles in the beginning) but everything's building nicely.

FF #8 - Loved "Thing Rings, Do Your Thing". But i'm not comfortable with the characterization of two characters in this series. The first being Dr. Doom. Kidnapping a kid's parents and terrorizing a child and forcing him to do your bidding? Not how i like to see Dr. Doom portrayed. And Medusa - the idea that she is unapproachable royalty... i get the idea. But that ship sailed way back in Stan Lee's day and she wasn't on board. I saw Fraction do a little of that before and i hoped that would be the end of it, but it was really a focal point in this issue. Now maybe something happened (in Hickman's run) that explained this, but my policy is "if i don't know about it and there's no footnote, it's wrong!" and it really comes across like a much belated attempt at a do-over for her.

Captain Marvel #13 - To be fair, we're weirdly just getting the Captain Marvel parts of this Enemy Within crossover so i'm judging this based on only getting part of the story. At the same time the pacing on this seems to be such that it doesn't seem like we actually missed anything. All that said, it really does feel like with both Sebela and De Andrade not here, this book is missing vital components. The art... not great. If i wasn't being extra SuperSpeedy i would post this picture of Captain America because it is just hilariously bad. To give you an idea, he looks kind of like this. Plotwise, the idea that Earth is just loaded with Kree sentries seems outrageous to me.

Wolverine #5-6 - As i've said previously, i get so much Wolverine without even trying that i didn't need a Wolverine book, but Alan Davis' art was a draw. So now we've got these two issues, and guess who isn't on them? And remember last issue, when i was confused that the story clearly wasn't over but they were telling us it was over? Well, they've apparently redefined what a story arc means because these issues are a direct continuation of the previous four - seriously, this is just parts 5 and 6 of the story that started in issue #1 - just with a different artist. All that said... Paul Cornell has unloaded on us the fact that what we thought was a gun in the previous "arc" was really a Micronauts spaceship and i'm gonna say that makes it all worthwhile.

Iron Man #12 - I can't enjoy this because i'm just too nervous about what this story is saying about Tony Stark, which is that he was genetically programmed by a rogue Rigellian Recorder to be a super-genius. After some deep breaths, i am confident that Gillen will find a way to tell us it was all a big fake-out and then i can go back and read this in a more rational frame of mind. In the meantime, i do like Eaglesham's art.

Uncanny X-Force #7 - Silly Fantomex triplets stuff. It's good. But i'd prefer to get back to the full team and see a conclusion to the Demon Bear storyline at this point.

Uncanny Avengers #9 - In my local reading circle, i've been the hold out on this book. Everyone else is ready to drop it. And with this issue, i guess i'm ready to agree. It's the never-resolving petty arguments. I get that in theory this is supposed to be the book that deals with mutant/non-mutant tension. But it's not dealing with it. It's just every issue they bring it up again and everybody's yelling at each other. There's nothing Uncanny about it; it's the Angry Avengers. Bill Mantlo would be embarrassed. I did think one part of the argument was interesting. Not necessarily good. But when Rogue started talking about mutant culture and stuff like that, the response was that mutants aren't a "culture" and that being a mutant isn't like being an ethnic minority or gay or anything like that. And there's a real logic to that (not that it seemed to move Rogue one iota). But isn't that also backing away from the core theme of what mutants stand for at Marvel? Like, if you're going to point out the flaws in the comparison to real life discrimination, then what are we talking about here? What's the book supposed to be about? I think another factor here is that i could look past all that if the Apocalypse plot was moving. I mean, Apocalypse! But it's really dragging. Something about mummies and a last-page introduction to some resurrected heroes (conveniently both X- And Avengers characters). And apparently some off-panel killing of additional Celestials (did i read that right? And if so, did they really choose to rehash the X/Avengers fight scenes again instead of showing a child of Apocalypse fighting Celestials?). Compare to the Red Skull arc where the Red Skull and his silly minions were out front pretty much the whole time. I think we can trade-wait and/or bargain bin the rest of this.

Indestructible Hulk #9-10 - This is another one where someone needs to get pulled aside to be told "Psst, no one wants to see the Hulk wearing armor.". Anecdotally, this seems to be preventing people from trying out Mark Waid's Hulk run, which has been awesome. So let's cut it out. These issues were great - enjoyed the Daredevil "team-up", enjoyed seeing Baron Zemo.

Daredevil #27-28 - Two more really great Mark Waid issues. The first one concludes the weirdest Daredevil/Bullseye fight ever. The next one i was all ready to hate. Bringing back the bully that called Matt Murdock Daredevil? Really? But Waid handled it really well and i'm looking forward to the rest of this Sons of the Serpent storyline. The judge pulling out a gun in court was certainly something new. Foggy's cancer storyline is being handled nicely as well. Realistic, not maudlin.

X-Men #2 - For those who can't keep track of the adjectives, this is the all female/Brian Wood book. And it's really nice. Great characterization. Really nice art by Olivier Coipel. Nice pacing (especially if issue #3 really is the end of the arc as advertised and not another Wolverine fake-out). Just something as simple as making Kitty Pryde's "disruption of electronics while phasing" power a key point here was great. Paul O'Brien wrote about this issue that it "should have a lot of appeal to the more traditionally-minded X-Men reader" and holy god did that make me feel old, but yeah, if that's what you want to call it, sure. More like this, please.

By fnord12 | July 14, 2013, 11:32 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

Automatic A+

Although this scene doesn't pass the Bechdel test.

By fnord12 | July 14, 2013, 11:27 PM | Comics | Link

The secret is: Stop sending us your filthy wrappers

The nice thing about the internet is when you see some weird ad in your comic books you can look it up and see what the hell they are talking about. I didn't know anything about an Indian Wrapper Legend, but according to Snopes it seems like people somehow got it into their heads that if you got a tootsie pop with an Indian picture on it you could send it in for a free tootsie pop. In fact according to that Snopes article (from 2011), they still get about 150 letters a week asking for free tootsie pops, and some stores feel compelled to give them away because people are so sure about it.

And so this ad seems to have been an attempt to disabuse people of this idea. They started sending out the "secret of the Indian Wrapper Legend" pamphlets and trying to get people to send some money along with their sticky candy wrappers in exchange for hats and towels or whatever.

It seems to me you shouldn't need a winter hat and a beach towel at the same time.

Weird. But that is one smug looking kid with all his tootsie roll paraphernalia. He earned it, though. By eating candy.

By fnord12 | July 12, 2013, 7:28 PM | Comics & Ummm... Other? | Link

I did not know that

I guess i should have guessed, but it turns out the impetus for the awful Origin comic was Hollywood. This is from an article reviewing the now available motion comic version:

For decades, the best kept secret in comics was the origin of Marvel's claw-wielding Canadian berserker, Wolverine. So secret, in fact, was this origin story that Wolverine himself actually had no idea what his early life consisted of, how exactly he got his metal-bonded skeleton and matching claws and even what his full name might be. He answered to the name "Logan", but there was no telling if this was really his own name. This was, of course, one of the most compelling and attractive things about the character and considering his mutant healing factor, the implication that "Logan" could be significantly older than he looks kept the mystery pumping for years.

That all changed when 20th Century Fox found success with its X-Men movie series and essentially mandated to Marvel Comics that either it divulge Wolverine's origin story or the studio would make up its own. Hence, in 2001, this story was told in the graphic novel limited series called Origin...

Again, i don't know why they didn't just hand them Barry Windsor-Smith's Weapon X saga and be done with it. But i guess it explains why that Origin comic was so useless (boring, barely a story in its own right, unsupported by previous work, and did nothing interesting for Wolverine's character). It was just a hack job done to satisfy some Hollywood execs.

By fnord12 | July 11, 2013, 12:45 PM | Comics | Comments (1)| Link

Idiot destroys priceless comics to make dumb paper mache statues like you used to make in 3rd grade

At a minimum, looks like Avengers #1, Avengers #4, a Bruce Jones Ka-Zar, and part of that nice Captain America/Hulk crossover written by Roger Stern were destroyed.

By fnord12 | July 9, 2013, 10:12 AM | Comics | Link

Hulk is maker, not taker!

This subscription ad from 1980 was just a little before my time, and when i first started collecting Marvel a few years later, the Hulk had Bruce Banners brain. So the joke of him sitting down for a nice cup of tea speaking articulately was a bit diluted for me. I was more focused on the fact that the lady sitting next to him had to be She-Hulk and it was kind of weird for her to be there in a setting more appropriate for a wife.

But what would have been totally over my head is the Atlas Shrugged book. That is hilarious.

Hulk just wants to be left alone!  Hulk understands that is now called 'going Galt!'.

By fnord12 | July 3, 2013, 10:35 AM | Comics | Link

Own your own comics

I continue to buy hard copies for all my comics and then download the digital files for scanning convenience. And i think the only Image series i'm currently following is Walking Dead and we're getting that in trade format. So this news isn't of immediate use to me, but i still think it's a positive move.

Image is now going to sell digital files of their comics. You'll have your option of PDF, EPUB, or my preferred CBR/CBZ format.

Image's Director of Business Development Ron Richards says that offering the direct-to-consumer downloads is important. "There's something to be said for the ownership factor. If readers purchase a book on ComiXology, that may be their library [on the service] but from what I understand that could be revoked. And God forbid, if ComiXology goes under or their data center has an earthquake all their hard drives go away -- then you've got nothing."
"My stance on piracy is that piracy is bad for bad entertainment," Image Comics publisher Eric Stephenson told Wired in an exclusive interview. "There's a pretty strong correlation with things that suck not being greatly pirated, while things that are successful have a higher piracy rate. If you put out a good comic book, even if somebody does download it illegally, if they enjoy it then the likelihood of them purchasing the book is pretty high. Obviously we don't want everybody giving a copy to a hundred friends, but this argument has been around since home taping was supposedly killing music back in the '70s, and that didn't happen. And I don't think it's happening now."
This was my first Dead Kennedys tape.

By fnord12 | July 3, 2013, 7:58 AM | Comics & Music | Link

It sure gets us to spend time looking at them

Once again, Caleb reviews an ad in a Marvel book that boggled my mind too.

By fnord12 | July 1, 2013, 8:36 AM | Comics | Link

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