Friday, February 3, 2012

No Post Friday

Myrna Loy is outta here
Sorry.  No post this evening.  You will have to just imagine what is fevering my brain until I post again.

Have a lovely Friday.

Oh, and probably no post for Saturday.  I'm off to see They Might Be Giants with SimonUK tomorrow evening.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Achewood seems to have actually returned

Its only hitting when Chris Onstad has energy and time to do a strip, but the results have been worth it.  I am glad to see multiple successive Achewood strips have been published.

Return to Achewood here.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

10 Surprises from The Watchmen Prequels - The Second Wave!

A few surprise late announcements regarding the second wave of Watchmen books in the all new DC Watchmen imprint.  "We couldn't stop with just our first wave of announcements!  We're just too excited and need to show profit again in the 3rd quarter!  Watchmen was always a group effort, just like signing an office birthday card" said Didio and Lee.    "We dug deep to find the greatest talent DC had to offer.  Grant said he was busy, so here's what we came up with."

"While this is clearly unnecessary, its much easier to take this money than do cover work," said Brian Bolland.  "You'd be amazed what its like to sleep on a pile of money from work you did when Reagan was in office.  Yes, Dan, I will take another bag of money and a hooker.  Is this thing on?"

1.  An 8-issue team up book penned and drawn by Scott McDaniel is planned.  The book will feature Seymour, the news stand guy and the shrink with the sexual dysfunction.  The rumored villain is Matthew Frewer.

2.  Scott Lobdell will write a 6 issue series exploring the further adventures of the raft made of dead bodies from The Black Freighter.  However, the captain will be replaced by his daughter, an edgy, sexy young woman with just a whole bunch of secrets (and no pants).  Lobdell promises "action, action, action!"

On the topic of Watchmen Prequels

Today DC Comics formally announced that they are developing a series of Watchmen prequels.

there is a reason all the comics geeks over the age of 30 are posting this picture today

Gerry wrote a compelling piece over at his site, and I encourage you to read what he has to say on the topic of Watchmen prequels.

No doubt one look at DC's books by the new leadership up at the very top saw that Watchmen isn't just successful in comics, its a transformative publishing success story for comics.  Its more or less been DC's way of printing money every quarter since I was in high school.  DCE President Diane Nelson is an entertainment executive, and it is not the job of an executive to think of the product as anything but product.  We readers and collectors have the luxury of thinking of our comics as art or works of literature, but the first thing that happens when a book or movie does well?  The publisher or studio starts looking to either produce a sequel or re-assemble the components that made that first hit such a hit.

If the President of a drinking glass making company sees that pint glasses are moving more than tumblers, they need to make more pint glasses, and probably a variety of pint glasses.  ECONOMICS!

That, I get.

But I don't think I'll be picking up any of the series.*

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I have a few questions for Mark Waid on "Irredeemable"

edit:  I have recently been informed that my comics conversations have gone way "inside baseball".  I suspect this is one of those.  I apologize in advance.

Also, this thing was riddled with type-o's.  Thanks for not pointing that out.

I just finished Irredeemable Volume 8.

Some thoughts:

As much as Kingdom Come was a commentary on the state of superhero comics in the mad, mad 90's, I have to look at Irredeemable in whole, if not in individual parts, as another bit of Waid's commentary, but (for me) its a bit like trying to hold mercury.  The Plutonian is not exactly a Superman analog, even when he clearly is.  There are hints of Squadron Supreme here and there, which was exactly a commentary on the Justice League, but maybe less so when JMS rebooted the Squadron a decade ago.  Hints of Wildstorm, bits of reflections of reflections of the JLA and DC line of books in Authority or a few dozen other replicas that mistook gloss for edge and grim violence for "realism".  But maybe this book is a reflection of that dark reflection.

In this issue, Irredeemable fights the ghost robot from space!*

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Movie Watch 2012: Shadow of the Thin Man

I'm not quite ready to submerge myself back into noir at the moment, so this evening I took the half-step of watching a Nick & Nora movie, Shadow of the Thin Man (1941).

Its definitely not the place to start with the series, and it seems to dial up the goofiness a few notches (especially with how the movie deals with Asta, Nick's loyal Fox Terrier).  In fact, the whole operation has the feel of a particularly high-end hour long police procedural series one might catch on ABC (its not bone dry and soul crushing enough for CBS, and there's not enough shame involved to qualify it for NBC).  Of course, Nick's habitual drinking would probably need to land the show on premium cable or late night on FX.

But this was a movie for folks who already loved the three prior Thin Man films.  By this movie, there's a Charles child, a maid and a whole lot of domesticity.  Nora is barely seen knocking them back.

Anyway, someone gets murdered and Nick and Nora get involved, and wackiness ensues.

I can't help but note that this movie was released in November of 1941.  Pretty tough time to be getting word of mouth out there.  Myrna Loy would become heavily involved in supporting the war effort, not making another movie until the 1945 follow up to this picture.

As with all previous Thin Man films, I recommend.

Also, again, Myrna Loy.

Signal Watch Watches: Queen of Outer Space

Sometimes I just record things off Turner Classic because the name intrigues me.  And that's how I wound up recording Queen of Outer Space (1958).

If you like your gender roles defined by the fevered visions of a clumsy 7th grade boy from 1957, have I got a movie for you!  

Possibly the most cheerfully sexist movie I've ever seen, Queen of Outer Space follows the misadventures daring exploits of three dimbulb brave astronauts in the far future of 1985. Whilst transporting a "professor" to a space station, things go awry and the spaceship lands on Venus.  Venus, wouldn't you know it, turns out to have a population of nothing but dames in high heels and mini-skirts toting ray guns.  Yes yes, its the kind of movie where space vixens all speak English, wear make-up and their hair is done up in the fashions of the day.  And they'd all be a lot better off if they had some men around.  Sure, they're ruled by a despotic queen (of outerspace), but they also have Zsa Zsa Gabor completely half-assing her way through the movie.

There's a cautionary tale in here both about the ravages of war and the victims left behind AND about what every little lady just wants a little smooching and she'll be fine.

No doubt, this is exactly the late night movie Amazon Women on the Moon was spoofing, and its easy to see why.  MST3K must never have secured the rights to this one, but it feels like the sort of thing they would have quite enjoyed working on.


I also like how the movie ends with the promise of sex, sex and more sex for our brave astronauts.  Well done, 1958.


Yes, I heartily recommend this movie for all the right reasons and to see a just-past-her-prime Zsa Zsa doing her best to at least show up in this movie.

this trailer actually gets a few plot points wrong, but... whatever.

Here's the whole movie.