Zilla and the Comics Junkies

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

8.30 Panel 'o the Day

Man these 3 panels kick ass... what a cool scene in a great short. mark don't answer ;)

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30 August, 2005 23:19, Blogger Mark Fossen said...

I won't name names ... but this issue is maybe the one where I fell in love with the series.

31 August, 2005 09:20, Blogger Bigseek said...

That's Planetary, issue 3?

The Hong Kong action movie one.

One of the best issues of the series. I need to get the last trade.

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Zilla's 8.30 Shopping List

Wow. Longest buy list for me in a while... after a great week last week i'm pretty stoked to keep it rolling one more week at least (even though next week is shaping up to be pretty promising). DC and Marvel are bringing the wood tomorrow no doubt.

** Remember everything in maroon is coming via mailordercomics - and thus part of the "experiment".

BPRD THE BLACK FLAME #1 (OF 6) - Just finished the last of the first 5 HB trades (Conq Worm) and i'm ready to dive into BPRD. Not sure is this is the place to start but...
REVELATIONS #1 (OF 6) - Been waiting on this for a long, long time. LOVE the creative team of Jenkins and Ramos. Got a good feeling about this mini.
USAGI YOJIMBO #86 - Pull list.

EX MACHINA #14 (MR) - Pull list.
LOSERS #27 (MR) - Pull list.
SILENT DRAGON #2 (OF 6) - #1 was fantabulous. Can't wait to get my hands on this.

BODY BAGS FATHERS DAY #2 (OF 2) (MR) - Missed these the first time around (guess they came out during my "black" years?) but #1 was a fun read.

ASTONISHING X-MEN #12 - Pull list.
MARVEL 1602 NEW WORLD #2 (OF 5) - #1 was a huge let down but i've got a 2-issue rule for new titles.
NEW AVENGERS #9 - Pull list.
POWERS #12 - They're actually putting this one out w/ 2 different covers, one by Bendis and one by Oeming... Def won't be getting both but cool to be able to choose :) This has the makings of a great issue considering where #11 left us...
RUNAWAYS #7 - Pull list. Got the HC on my buy list too (maybe not this week though considering the load).
SUPREME POWER #18 (MR) - Pull list.
ULTIMATES 2 VOL 1 GODS AND MONSTERS TP - Oh yes. Got all the flops but must own the TP for this one ;)
YOUNG AVENGERS #6 - Pull list.

BRODIES LAW TP - Been waiting for the trade on this title... Supposedly good - anyone read it?
DESPERADOES BANNERS OF GOLD TP - Read #1 of this a while ago... been waiting on the trade. Hopefully this can hook my need of a western fix until Loveless drops.
HERO SQUARED #2 (OF 3) - Fun book by the guys bringing us the Defenders mini (Giffen and Matteis SP?).

WIZARD - I think this came out last week actually (?) but i'll grab it. I really need to get a sub of this and stop paying cover ;)

Looking ahead one week (Can't wait for the Ex Machina TP, Marvel Team-up w/ Spidey and Invincible, and the start of the new Colossus mini): EX MACHINA VOL 2 TAG TP (MR), GOTHAM CENTRAL #35, Y THE LAST MAN #37 (MR), CABLE DEADPOOL #19, GHOST RIDER #1 (OF 6), HOUSE OF M #6 (OF 8), INCREDIBLE HULK #86, MARVEL TEAM-UP #12, PUNISHER #25 (MR), and X-MEN COLOSSUS BLOODLINE #1 (OF 5).

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Monday, August 29, 2005

8.29 Panel 'o the Day

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29 August, 2005 10:26, Blogger Mark Fossen said...

I have no idea what that is ... I'd like to know, though. Looks cool. :)

02 September, 2005 09:29, Blogger Shane Bailey said...

The last issue to Millar's Wolverine Agent of Shield run.


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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Street Angel TPB

Street Angel just might be the oddest and most disorienting all-over-the-place comic i've ever read - yet it totally rocks.

Rugg and Maruca give us a tale of a junior-highish female skateboarder (best in the world BTW) with uncanny skill with fisticuffs and all manner of modern and/or makeshift weaponry (from samurai swords to MAC-10s to her trusty deck). Our lead is a deep and surprisingly well-developed character - with genuine highs and lows; anger to depression, pre-teen angst, and self-doubt. Angel's got a heart for helping people and a rough-around-the-edges, street-tough side that combine to make a cool, likeable personality that endears the reader from the first few pages of this mini.

And the story? wow - it's so all over the place it's hard to even summarize what goes down (or even in what order). This TPB is really a collection of short stories featuring our talented heroine, basketball playing ninja's, a mad-scientist bent on taking over the world by re-connecting all of the continents (with the help of his army of ninja's he recruited through a connection made in prison), time-travelling pirates, an irish astronaut, a no-legged, one-armed sidekick named "flying eagle", Jesus (yeah THAT Jesus), a demon, and a bad-ass ex-superhero aptly named "Afrodisiac" (from my absolute favorite SA short so far; issue #4).

Rugg and Maruca's socially connected writing and dialogue feel just fresh and modern enough to earn the writing team some serious street cred IMO (and who's not down w/ street cred having stuff these days?). Sprinkle in a whole-lot of serious martial arts ass-whupping, some sincere sentimentality and some way, way, WAY out there stories that will entertain you like nothing else on the stands, and you've got what you've got.

A great collection of 5 great issues. I've read this through twice now and enjoyed it even more the second time around... Here's to hoping for ongoing SA adventures. B+.

PS - In case you're wondering about the art (since i usually include scans in my reviews), it's sketch, it's indy, it's B&W, it works.

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28 August, 2005 18:50, Blogger Ed Cunard said...

Told you it'd be up your alley. :)

28 August, 2005 18:53, Blogger zilla said...

that you did ed - and thanks. i actually read it the first time through eons ago (and loved it then) but sat down w/ it a second time today and decided to bust out the review...


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8.28 Panel 'o the Day


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29 August, 2005 14:42, Blogger Ryan X said...

Somewhere in the first TPB of The Losers. If you didn't know where this panel was from, pick up the first trade, you won't be sorry!


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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Zilla's 8.24 Mini-Reviews Part II: Kirkmania

Saved my RK books for last (since 3 of them came out this week, all highly anticipated):

BATTLE POPE (COLOR) #2 - No let down here. This continues to be that book in my stack that i'm so guilty i'm enjoying. There is so much wrong w/ this book on so many levels, but i just can't help laughing my arse off when i read it. My mom would give me so much shit if she saw this on my coffee table that i know for sure ;)

In this issue BP and Jesus (uh... yeah.) set off on their quest to rescue St. Michael for God. Lucifer first sends a pair of zombie twins w/ the ability to join together to waylay the Pope and his side-kick, but they are easily defeated ("Uh.. 'Cuz i'm the son of God..." - Jesus). The second wave consists of a huge multi-story monster made up of thousands of dead bodies ripped from their graves (think the first appearance of the "monster made of people" from Brit if you've read that - very cool). Not to be easily defeated, Lucifer and his minions have also "rebuilt" the Demon that originally killed the Pope (in Issue #1) into a cyborg. Can you smell the revenge you just knew BP would get at some point?

Kirkman's dialogue and writing really will have you laughing (hard to believe he wrote this so long ago, mostly during classes back in the day), and Moore's art is very different than TWD, but solid and comical none-the-less. Guilty, guilty pleasure. B+.

THE WALKING DEAD #21 - As you guys (and gals) probably already know, TWD is one of my favorite monthlies at the moment, and it just seems to get better and better IMO. Our dysfunctional band has discovered a generator in the prison which may or may not work... but electricity could certainly change everything. We know that Dale was bit in the ankle by a Zombie in #20, and the race is one to try and figure out what do to with him... possibly find a way to prevent him from turning given the new theories rick has developed over the last few issues? Oh man wait until you see where this one goes...

Add to that some wild business between Tyreese and the new sword-swinging bad-ass chick Michonne and you have what amounts to another solidly interesting/intriguing issue.

PS LOVE the letter pages in TWD (best around IMO) and the nice "roll-call" w/ mug-shots at the back. Helps keep track of the constantly expanding and contracting cast. A.

It was all over when...

INVINCIBLE #25 (Double-Size) - Great issue (love double-sized even if it is almost double priced). Won't get into it too much because it all builds up to a big surprise in the last panel that i can't bring myself to spoil. Been wondering when "this" would happen ;) Extra's include very cool history mini's for Monster Girl, Rex Splode, The Immortal, Dupli Kate, and Atom Eve (all of which are good), plus a cool preview (at least it seems to be a preview) of the re-birth/re-invention of one of Kirkman's older characters: Science Dog (who subsequently cameos in the Invincible story).

The panel i want to post for "It was all over when..." is a major spoiler so i'll just leave you w/ a cool shot of Science Dog whuppin' hot lead on his arch-emeny:

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Friday, August 26, 2005

8.26 Panel 'o the Day

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28 August, 2005 19:25, Anonymous Flem said...

I loved the Hush story arc. Great panel.


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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Afternoon Musings by Mr. X

After hitting the LCS this afternoon and picking up a few books, I felt the urge to comment on a couple of new additions to my stack. I fired down a triple espresso while reading my purchases so I wanted to get this out before I came off my Starbucks high...


Now I know we have had at least 2 or 3 posts on here regarding Fear Agent, well here is another one. I was fortunate enough to pick up the preview copy of Fear Agent at my LCS today for 8 bits. If the whole thing is already on the net, I missed it. Anyway, it only made me thirst for this title even more than I already was, folks, this is going to be good. Since we have beat the FA drum like John Bonham on "Moby Dick", I'll leave you with a little quote from Rick Remender, writer of Fear Agent:

Sci-fi is back and there isn't a trade federation anywhere in site.

That's right, it says "site". Spelling aside, I can't wait for October.


I have been anticipating this 4-issue mini since it was first solicited in Previews. Warren Ellis, espionage, secret agents, I knew I wouldn't be disappointed...and I am far from it after reading #1. This is good stuff. The storyline (see below) is nothing new, not even close. It has been used in countless movies and books, but you know what, I friggin love it! I can't get enough of guys that will use any means possible to accomplish the mission. The one twist here is that it appears (and I mean this is only #1 folks) that our friend Jack actually has a conscience...this is going to get very interesting. Check out this summary I stole from Atomic Books website:

Jack Cross is a one-man solution to direct threats to Americas freedoms. Hired by the enigmatic Karen Huang of the National Security Council, Cross is placed into flashpoint situations with carte blanche to solve problems. He works for hire, but not for money - hell only fight for the right cause. And when it is, theres nothing Cross wont do to get the job done!

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25 August, 2005 16:45, Blogger zilla said...

this is the first i've even heard of jack cross (i'll def be checking this out now) and i can't wait for FA. thanks x.

26 August, 2005 12:07, Blogger David said...

According to the DC site here, Jack Cross is ongoing, which is excellent news, as the first issue was great stuff...

26 August, 2005 13:18, Blogger Mark Fossen said...

Ryan -

I'm waiting for it to arrive through mailorder ... but I was wondering this:

Is there a reason it's in the DCU? Does it actually reference any superheroes or anything?

26 August, 2005 16:25, Blogger Ryan X said...

No hint of any superhero action whatsoever. Not really sure where it would fit in the DCU, but I don't really know the DCU either. No one even has any pre-cog abilities or anything supernatural either.

26 August, 2005 16:26, Blogger Ryan X said...

That is excellent news! I thought it was just a mini. Sweet!

26 August, 2005 16:28, Blogger zilla said...

i picked this up today - i'm going to check it out here shortly... thanks for the heads up x. i love when i find out something's ongoing - for some reason that makes it all the more interesting to me (as opposed to knowing off the bat it's limited).


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Zilla's 8.24 Mini-Reviews Part I: Non-Kirkmania

Saved my Kirkmania books for last (BP #2, TWD #21, and the massive Invincible #25). Here's my thoughts on everything else i bought yesterday:

ULTIMATE X-MEN ANNUAL #1 - Juggernaut has escaped from prison and seeks out rogue (who turned states evidence on him and helped him get put away in the first place) for a little revenge. As we know, Rogue has left the X-men in pursuit of a more pro-active, difference-making life on the "outside" with Gambit. Much battling ensues. Something bad happens (no spoilers!). I love Juggernaut as a villian, but hate this "new" helmet/costume he's got (was something outdated about the cool old one?). Decent read, especially considering one of my favorite bad-guys (Juggie) and something pretty big happens. B.

CONAN #19 - Ah Conan. If only you could hit the stands every week :) Nord is back on the pencils - and i'm back in heaven. Our id-ish Cimmerian stole a great artifact (the bowl) a couple of issues ago and its keepers have sent a hoard of dog crossed men to retrieve it. Meanwhile, Conan breaks into the temple of a visiting princess and steals her bejeweled crown for his latest mistress - envoking a huge blob-like monstrocity bent on it's retrieval (people really don't like to be stolen from do they?). Busiek ties this all together nicely for us (but unfortunately with little Conan-esque brawn) by the end of the issue (subsequently the end of the arc).

Elephant tower arc begins next - can't wait. B+.

WOLVERINE #31 - Typical Wolverine issue. A 20-page battle between the stunted hairy one and the last head of Hydra (for now). Can't complain though - that's why i buy this mag. Pretty cool climax, solid art (as usual). New arc starts w/ #32. B.

GODLAND #2 - Ok this isn't really from this week but i missed it last trip so picked it up yesterday. I hear a lot of complaining about Godland but i'm not sure it's warranted. I haven't read a lot of Kirby's stuff that i can remember (considering any of it i HAVE read was over 15 years ago), so i don't really have an opinion about the "homage" being good or bad. I just enjoy the story and art for what it is - a solid, classic-feeling, suprisingly humorous action sci-fi tale. Our main character Adam Archer and his arch-emeny (as of now) Basil Cronus are interesting characters by writing and draw-rings.

I'm enjoying this. B+.

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25 August, 2005 16:22, Blogger Ryan X said...

Conan #19 was part of my afternoon comics extravaganza today, good stuff man. Looking forward to the next arc.


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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

8.24 Panel 'o the Day

Where's it from?

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25 August, 2005 00:03, Blogger Greg said...

Well, it's Planetary, but I can't remember exactly which issue.

25 August, 2005 07:52, Blogger zilla said...

LOVE this panel.


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Powers V7: Forever

I love comics and I especially love writers that take us in a totally different direction with a title when we least expect it - and that's exactly what Bendis has done in Powers: Forever. I really think Bendis was meant to write "sans mainstream handcuffs" like in Powers and Alias (not to say his mainstream stuff isn't good). His talent really shines through when he's not worried about appealing to the mainstream, or avoiding adult themes/language/grit IMO.

Forever is essentially the history of our main man, the oft-troubled Christian Walker.

I don't want to give away ANYTHING; especially since i enjoyed the surprises in this book primarily because i was totally oblivious going in myself. So... Let's just cover the basics and whet the 'ole appetite.

Forever is a great story full of previously unrevealed Powers nuggets. Bendis does a really good job adding even more depth and interest to an already stellar character (Walker). He introduces a life-long arch-enemy of CW's, and finally sheds some light on the mystery behind Walker's powers (and how he lost them), his relationship w/ Triphammer, Retro Girl, and Zora, and how he ended up a cop.

We get to read Bendis write (and see Oeming draw) a pack of prehistoric apes, a Conan-esque warrior, a temple of Kung-Fu purists, and Albert Einstien - all in one trade! How in the sam hell does all this tie together? Oh man i wish i could say... but i'd seriously ruin a great experience for any Powers fan who hasn't gotten this far in the story yet... so... i won't. Let me just say that it's very cool when it all comes together somewhere in the middle and you actually start to realize what's going on. VERY cool.

Oeming's sketch noir continues to impress. The guy may not have the prettiest shapes and/or lines in the world, but his style works great for Powers, and his layouts are solid (often exceptional). He has a real knack for "visual story-telling" and is adept at laying down action and emotion w/ his panels IMO. There are a lot of simple square 6-per-page panels in Powers, but also a ton of 2-page splashes and unique layouts that add to the story. Oeming is especially good at working around Bendis' wordy balloons (and we know how verbose BMB is), probably due all the practice ;)

In conclusion, I can't imagine having read these issues in their initial run - it's a "can't put it down" collection (I read it in one sitting) and the 4-6 week gaps between issue releases must have been hell (especially after the wildly infamous "monkey issue" #31). You really have NO idea where Bendis and Oeming are going w/ the arc until several issues in - but i guess that was the idea :)

And you know what else? I love how most of the Powers collections are HUGE (these things are literally double the size of most of my "normal" sized trades and packed with extras). Gotta love bang for your buck.

Powers: Forever = A

It was all over when...

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24 August, 2005 15:27, Blogger Ryan X said...

Excellent job on "whetting the appetite"! Nice review and great analysis of what makes this such a great comic. Thanks for turning me onto Powers, I hope everyone takes the time to get into this series.


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Finding the Best Price

You know me, i'm always looking for a way to save a bit of money on my books so i can buy that one or 2 more w/ each order. My wife turned me onto www.booksprice.com, a website that trolls 34 online resellers for the best price (even breaking out shipping). Very cool, very useful (and works great for comic HCs and TPBs).

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Need A New Title?

Randy Lander over at the 4th Rail has put together an excellent new "snap judgements" reviewing a slew of recent #1's: Banana Sunday, Ferro City, The Gatesville Company, Rocketo, Small Gods, and more. Check it.

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24 August, 2005 11:18, Anonymous Dave Carter said...

Banana Sunday #1 was really good and funny, and issue #2 comes out today. If your comic shop doesn't have these available, smack the owner upside the head and demand your monkey satisfaction! :)


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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Zilla's 8.24 Shopping List

Kirkmania this week. New BP Color, TWD, and a phat double-sized issue of Invincible. I'm in heaven after a royally shit run at the LCS last week. Next week new Losers, Silent Dragon, Revelations #1, and a host of good Marvel releases... 'bout time we had 2 great LCS weeks in a row!!!

** Remember everything in maroon is coming via mailordercomics - and thus part of the "experiment".

CONAN #19 (MR) - Pull list. Nord's back after an issue off - and thank goodness - he's a beast and was sorely missed IMO.

None :(

BATTLE POPE COLOR #2 - Seems like this one took forever to come out after a hilarious #1. Can't wait.
INVINCIBLE #25 - Double-sized issue. Nice.
WALKING DEAD #21 (MR) - Pull list.
GODLAND #2 - Missed this last week so i'm going to grab it this week and give it a look-see...

HULK DESTRUCTION #2 (OF 4) (MR) - Why am i buying this? #1 blew hard but that damn 2-issue rule i have haunts me again.
ULTIMATE X-MEN ANNUAL #1 - Pull list. Hopefully it's as good as the Ultimate Spidey Annual (which was top-notch).
WOLVERINE #31 (MR) - Pull list.

BANANA SUNDAYS #2 (OF 4) - Waiting for the trade on this one but wanted to mention it regardless... very funny.
SMOKE #3 (OF 3) - Haven't read #1 or 2 even though i have them both waiting in my stack - might as well complete the collection before i've even read a page of it! (heard it's good tho :)

I don't want to know what SPAZTIC COLON #3 or REAR ENTRY #1-8 are... wowzers batman.


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8.23 Panel 'o the Day

Where's it from?

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25 August, 2005 00:04, Blogger Greg said...

That's Atomika #1. I'm on fire!

25 August, 2005 07:52, Blogger zilla said...

ha! yes it is. great moment from a cool comic.


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Fear Agent

I love Tony Moore and can't wait for Fear Agent to drop. CBR kicks off day one of it's multi-part "Fear Agent Week" today and it's a good read (w/ some nice preview pages of Moore's new work).

IMO Moore's art is getting better and better - and I love Rick Remender's quote (he's the writer) that he wants to bring "real" sci-fi back to comics w/ Fear Agent. Cheers to that.

For your convenience: Tony Moore's blog (albeit rarely updated): http://tonymooreillustration.com/ and a previous interview w/ Moore over at Newsarama.

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Monday, August 22, 2005

Dark Horse and Image Nov Solicits Anyone?

Ah it's that lovely time again when the solicits from many moons into the future come out. Looks to be a quiet month from DH but Image has some real good stuff planned for Nov IMO:

PERHAPANAUTS #1 - Grew up in Tejas and has a childhood facination w/ chupacabras - so i have to check this out ;) Looks like fun besides. I'm in.
CONAN AND THE JEWELS OF GWAHLUR HC - Not sure if i'm going the HC route here (probably SC) but i'm def wanting to read this. Been avoiding he floppies and waiting for this trade...

PULLS and Other Stuff: B.P.R.D. THE BLACK FLAME #4 (of 6), CONAN #22, CONAN AND THE DEMONS OF KHITAI #2 (of 4), REVELATIONS #4 (of 6), and USAGI YOJIMBO #89.

BODY BAGS: 3 THE HARD WAY (ONE-SHOT) - Fun, fun book. Kind of unnerving that they draw a 14 year old girl like a 20-something but i make myself feel better by pretending she is 18 (at least). Regardless - this is a cool read. Will def be grabbing this TP for my shelf.
BATTLE POPE, VOL 1: GENESIS TP - Ah, I'll say it again, BP is my guilty pleasure when it comes to comics. Can't wait for #2 much less this first trade. Hilarious. Kirkman.
THE WALKING DEAD, VOL. 4: THE HEART'S DESIRE TP - I'll be collecting these TPs as long as Kirkman is writing them (even though i have the floppies). Love some TWD. The cover for #25 looks very cool - and foreshadows some good times to come ;)

PULLS and Other Stuff: BATTLE POPE #6, FEAR AGENT #2, FELL #3, FERRO CITY #4 (of 4), INVINCIBLE #29, THE WALKING DEAD #25 - I'll be snatching up each of these in turn (assuming Fear Agent #1 and Fell #1 and 2 are any good).

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23 August, 2005 14:17, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Ah, "Genesis", such a fitting name for the first Battle Pope arc.


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Sunday, August 21, 2005

8.23 Panel 'o the Day

Where's it from?

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22 August, 2005 13:15, Blogger Shane Bailey said...

Hulk Gray (the last issue or next to last?) by Loeb and Sale.


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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Ferro City #1

I'm really digging on this new title - Ferro City. Reminds me of old Humphrey Bogart movies like the Maltese Falcon. Funny thing too - cuz just as i was thinking that, i ran into the author's page in the back and he (Jason Armstrong) cites one of his motivations for FC as having watched an ass-load of HB movies (and loved them). Warren Ellis might as well have been another of Armstrong's influences - because this book seems kind of like something he (Ellis) might write IMO. Gritty, noir crime drama you know?

Ferro City is self-described "robot science fiction pulp noir" and that's pretty accurate in my opinion. Armstrong takes us into the future, where semi-intelligent robots live among humans (even though they clearly look like robots) in the fictional Ferro City. The robot population is screaming for equal rights (and on the edge of obtaining them legally) - even though we're not quite sure how that ties into the story yet.

Our main character, a wizened Bogart-esque private dick named Smythe is working a sketchy case w/ his partner (Harry Weston) to recover a revolutionary piece of "quasi-tech" called the "Medusa Key". We're not sure exactly how yet, but the Medusa Key is tied to the robots quest for equal rights, and shrouded in mystery. Everyone around seems to want to get their hands on it; Smythe, the police, the mob and other to-be-named gangsters.

Weston is murdered in the first few panels of this first issue, and Smythe must now try and figure out who killed his partner (who he didn't like that much anyways) and locate the Medusa Key, while keeping his own ass out of the morgue and/or the clink for Weston's murder.

Armstrong's art is all B&W sketch - which works just fine for this title (keeps w/ the Bogart feel). I love his characters (Smythe, Weston, the police chief, a Russian ex-con w/ one eye, and the mob goons are all solid - plus he writes the robots in the story pretty cool). The overall story-telling, tone, and dialogue of this first issue are great IMO. This title has a lot of potential in the crime noir space (and throw in that it's in the future and you have something especially unique).

Cool. A.

It was all over when...

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21 August, 2005 21:43, Blogger Ryan X said...

I am glad you posted this, this is right up my alley. I would not have looked at this title had you not reviewed it, now I can't wait to check it. Thanks dude!


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8.20 Panel 'o the Day

Courtesy Mr. Jeremy Treece.

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Friday, August 19, 2005

My How Things Change...

I'm 30 and i don't go out nearly as much as i used to. Am i a total homer because a great night for me is dinner w/ my wife, then a stack of comics and a couple of good beers in my recliner? My wife got me a discount coupon (from where i have no idea) to Border's (30% off any softcover) so i trekked up there today and bought Hush (Batman) 1 and 2 on the way out to dinner. Got home, cracked a Coors light (ok so that's not "good" beer but it's what i've got on hand), and have been reading w/ my wingman (he's a dog) at my feet - happy as a clam.

PS Hush is my first ever Batman - and man it's friggin' good. The art is phenomenal.

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19 August, 2005 22:57, Blogger Num104 said...

Those are on my list of must reads. One of these days I'm going to have to place an order for all the trades I want. I'm just dreading the cost.

Comics can be expensive sometimes.

20 August, 2005 08:18, Blogger Castaway said...

I was flipping though blogs and came across your page... WOW! What a great design and content. I have bookmarked and will be returning.

Earth House Hold

20 August, 2005 10:06, Blogger zilla said...

thanks castaway - i hope you do.

20 August, 2005 10:31, Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

I can see Hush's appeal, especially as your first Batman story, but as you read some more, I suspect it'll quickly drop down your list. Two Batman must-reads, IMO, are The Long Halloween and Batman: Year One, Loeb and Miller, respectively, at their Dark Knight peaks. From there, you have a boatload of stories to choose from, but I doubt you'll come across anything better.

20 August, 2005 11:40, Blogger zilla said...

i mean lee's art in hush just really got me. fantastic. i'm def adding long halloween and year one to my buy list - thanks something huge guy!

22 August, 2005 22:09, Anonymous Kurt said...

Add three kids screaming, "Daaaaadeee..." and you've got my standard evening at home. And I love it.

Got agree with Guy on Hush - very good but not great. The Long Halloween was excellent.


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Hellboy: The Island (plus a bonus: the origin of mankind!)

Our latest Hellboy tale opens as HB comes ashore of a mysterious island after over two years submerged under the ocean. He sits for drinks w/ some sailors he meets at a local tavern (who promptly turn into skeletons), and is subsequently confronted by Hecate (the big iron maiden/serpent looking demon-lady from previous stories), who thanks him for surviving this long - especially since she wants him to fulfill his destiny and bring about the end of the world. Shortly after their meeting, HB blows off Hecate and sets off to explore the island.

Big red comes across a mysterious castle (aren't all castles mysterious in HB?), where a man is in the process of being declared a demon and killed by a priest and his followers (we find out later for good reason). The man's blood runs down the castle stairs and into the moat - where it awakens a serpentine monster. A classic mignola battle ensues, ending as HB is stabbed through the midsection by one of the monster's huge, spear-like legs and thrown into the interior of the castle.

The castle room in which Hellboy lands happens to be the tomb of the man slain by the priest in earlier pages. The man is reborn of Hellboy's blood and shares his history and purpose via a long-winded (but entertaining) yarn.

In his youth, the man discovered three solid gold tablets enscribed with the history of the world beneath the ruins of an ancient Aztec city (Indiana Jones greatest dream huh?). Some time after his discovery, the man killed by invading spanish soldiers and the tablets melted down for gold (but not before he is able to memorize their inscriptions word-for-word).

The man is taken as a prisoner and hauled back to Spain, where he is endlessly tortured to reveal the tablets contents. Before he cracks however, he is rescued by a mysterious "Order of Scholars" who have set about the world collecting artifacts of knowledge (of which he is now one considering he has memorized the origin of man).

So i'm sure you're wondering - if this guy has memorized the history of the world; in essence the origin of mankind - what is it? Ah yes - Mignola has fun with this one.

Things began with a group of "watchers" who are sent by "God" to watch (surprise!) the new earth in its infancy. One of these guys raises his big right hand and creates a multi-headed dragon (from a pile of mud), called the Ogdru Jahad. The beast delivers to the earth her first inhabitants - 369 vile little offspring named Ogdru Hem.

The watchers go into shock at the sight of these rotten munchkin monsters and destroy them all with earth-shattering lightning. The poor watcher who screwed up originally and created the Ogdru Jahad (the baby daddy) raises his big right hand again to imprison the demon - but his fellow watchers (who think he's going to screw them over again) attack him and blow him to bits. Only one piece survives - his right hand.

You can probably guess ahead where the hand ends up... but back to the story.

God strikes down most of the watchers as punishment for this whole debacle (see what happens when you send kids to do a man's job?); some are destroyed, some breed monsters and evil, and some of the less guilty become the first men. These first men take the charred right hand of the watcher that remains and pass it down as a sacred artifact for thousands of years - where it eventually finds its way to Hellboy's father/creator (the history of that huge stone fist of his finally revealed!).

Ok enough history though - back to the current story. The man (who just filled us in on all this) believes it his destiny to raise the Ogdru Hem from eternal slumber (they weren't killed after all) where they will take over the earth as a new race w/ the help of their big dad the Ogdru Jahad until Hellboy raises the "right hand" again and reboots the world. Hellboy kills him instead. The end.

It was all over when...

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19 August, 2005 14:33, Blogger Ryan X said...

I can't even read this, too much spoiling going on!!! Thanks a lot man!

19 August, 2005 14:34, Blogger zilla said...

ha!!! it's been out a while so i let loose... i really enjoyed this (i love HB).

19 August, 2005 14:39, Blogger zilla said...

ps i'm not sure there are technically spoilers in this because there aren't really any surprises per se - sorry to anyone who likes to experience it all the first time through though ;)

19 August, 2005 17:24, Blogger Ryan X said...

I guess I should have qualified my statement, that's what I meant. I love to go into things fresh. I can't even have someone tell me the plot of a movie if I really want to see it, I just need to experience it. Yeah, I need medication, whatever.


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8.19 mailordercomics.com Experiment Update

Got my second mailordercomics.com order (first w/ floppies in it) this past wednesday - so it looks like i will be exactly 7 days behind on my books each week. Jury's still out on whether or not i can handle that with my floppies (it's no problem w/ my trades/collections).

More bad news: my order didn't contain any of the trades that were due (Wolverine: Soultaker, Gun Fu, and Stormbreaker). I emailed Mike and he replied in about an hour (guy is good), apologizing and promising to get them in the mail ASAP. Evidently there was some mix-up in the packing. Mike wanted the name of the packer from my receipt but i told him i'd rather not crush some poor guy for an honest mistake so i didn't supply it (and hopefully he won't look it up).

Regardless Mike is a class act - i'll keep giving this guy my business (for preview order trades if not floppies).

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8.19 Panel 'o the Day

Who says nothing cool is happening in this title? Love this panel...

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19 August, 2005 12:07, Blogger Num104 said...

The last panel / page of House Of M #5.

I'm really enjoying the main series right now. I think Bendis is doing an excellent job.


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Thursday, August 18, 2005

An Interview w/ Jeremy Treece of Hero@Large

Jeremy Treece, the up-and-coming new artist for Speakeasy's Hero@Large, took some time out of his busy schedule to chat with me about his first published title, his influences, and a bunch of other stuff. He's also kindly put me in touch with Erick Hogan (H@L's creator/writer), so expect a "part 2" to this series here soon (when i get a chance to ask Hogan some questions), followed by a review of the first issue of their baby - Hero@Large.

Anyways, read on my friends - then buy Hero@Large #1 and enjoy it several times until #2 comes out in October.

Me: Is this your first published title?
Treece: Yeah.

Me: How'd you land this gig?
Treece: I got this gig from a commission actually. I was commissioned to do a pinup for Erick (Hogan), and he liked the work - the commission changed the way he envisioned Hero@Large (the title had a different artist at the time). Hogan asked me if I could do a book within a month. I agreed, and pumped out the first issue of H@L in three weeks.

Me: 3 weeks? Jeez. What kind of schedule does that put you on?
Treece: Well after completing the first issue I had two months to finish issue two, the deadline for that is in September. So I'm currently in the middle of doing that issue.

Me: Is Hero@Large a mini or ongoing?
Treece: H@L is currently a four issue run, but hopefully we will be able to continue after the fourth issue. There are way to many stories to tell with only four issues.

Me: True. If you had to describe the overall "idea" behind H@L in a few sentences?
Treece: Everything Superhero books don't show you, or are scared to touch in terms of subject matter, will be in Hero@Large.

Me: Very cool. Is it going to focus around this one guy (Alpha Major) or will the "lead" character(s) change from issue to issue?
Treece: The lead character really never changes. The lead is basically the superhero world in one city, and how they operate things. So the comic doesn't really focus on the actual cast. It's the ideas behind being a hero (or villain for that matter) that drive the story.

Me: And that city is Megalaotropolis?
Treece: Exactly. In issue one we show a behind the scenes look at a hero that is dropped from his hero team.

Me: and replaced by someone younger right?
Treece: Correct. We also show how a team such as the Justice Five can be easily sucked into some mainstream money making ideas. Like how many times can you go to the store and see X-Men toilet paper, and think to yourself. "I wonder if Wolverine or Cyclops get a percentage of sales of these products?".

Me: what are your favorite titles right now?
Treece: Damn, this question will haunt me. haha. I actually haven't been to the shop in about 4 months, but I was really enjoying the Age of Apocolypse : Ten Year Anniversary, from Marvel. I liked that series based on Storm's back history, "Ororo : Before the Storm.". Pirate Club from Slave Labor Graphics is a really nice read. I love the art in there done by Derek Hunter, it's very stylized - they need to get him on a full color book. Also 100 girls from Arcana Studio. I've loved this comic since it was on the DarkHorse website as a web-strip. One of my influences in my art is the artist on that title, Todd Demong (Who also did Hell for DarkHorse's Rocket Comics.)

And of course that comic Hero@Large is one of the funniest comics out there. ;)

Me: so you don't read any ongoings at the moment?
Treece: Well Pirate Club from SLG, and 100 Girls from Arcana. Nothing from the big three, except Invincible from Image. I never got into DC, so this whole Infinate Crisis stuff that's floating around or whatever it is I have no clue about.

Me: Oh yeah now we're talking. Ottley and RK. RK is one of my fav writers at the moment.
Treece: Kirkman is a pimp.

Me: What about favorite all-time characters? Any you'd love to draw?
Treece: Spider-Man, Batman, Robin (Would love to do a Robin title.), ShadowCat from the X-men (or Excalibur).

Me: Yeah i really dig that Spider-Man sketch up on your website. Who are your influences? There aren't many w/ your style (i love it though).
Treece: I take bits and pieces of things I like to see in comics. It's a wide range from people like Ramos, to Jim Mahfood, to Joe Maduerira, to people that don't even do comics, a lot of it comes from ideas in story boarding for animation. Watching Nicktoons, or Cartoon Network really gives me a lot of inspiration while chomping down a bowl of Fruity Pebbles, and sketching some page layouts.

Me: Love me some CN too. Is this a full time gig for you?
Treece: I put most my time into this book, but currently I'm expecting a child with my fiance, so I have been trying to pick up some smaller illustration gigs on the way. I've been in talks with an up and coming skateboard company to do some illustrations for Decks, also a UK record company to do some CD illustration and design.

Me: Very cool. Do you want to draw comics long term?
Treece: I would love to be able to if i made enough to support me and my family.

Me: What decides if Hero@Large will make it past the mini? Sales?
Treece: Sales, reader interest. Marketability I suppose.

Me: Good luck with that. What's the status on your website? Its got a lot of potential but seems to be still under construction :)
Treece: Haha, I have to design, build, and code it all myself. So it's not as high priority as the illustration work I have to do. I might just conform to something a little more simplistic than what I intended for it.

Me: Don't do that - it's a cool design if i remember correctly. What's the link again?
Treece: http://www.crisishour.com

Me: Right. Do you have any scanned sketches or artwork (outside what's in #1 H@L?)
Treece: You can check out my deviant account, there is a crapload of sketches, art, and doodles posted there (http://crisishour.deviantart.com). The H@L second issues backcover is in the gallery there.

Me: Oh man i love that #2 backcover - that should be the cover IMO. Who is that character?
Treece: That is super-Amazing Man, he's the "main guy" in the second issue.

Me: What about gravity girl (another sketch i saw in your deviant art gallery)?
Treece: That's my first comic. It has never been published. But hopefully after some time of H@L I can start to push it out there.

Me: So what's H@L #2 about?
Treece: One hero stands alone against the city's most powerful force - the Department of Superhuman Registration. Can Super-Amazing Man prove he has what it takes to become Megalotropolis' newest hero?

Me: what's the Dept of SH reg?
Treece: I suppose you'll have to pick up issue 2 in october to find out. :)

Me: Ah yes, i should have seen that one coming ;) Anything you'd like to add before i let you go?
Treece: There will be a letter column starting issue #2 so if anyone wants to right to us and ask further questions on the book or give us some feedback we'll read it answer it and put it in the back of the issue.

Me: i'll have to write in. Thanks for your time Jeremy - best of luck on H@L.

** If you have any more questions for Jeremy - post them in the comments and he may just reply ;)

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18 August, 2005 16:23, Anonymous Erick Hogan said...

If Treece is such a good artist how come he can't draw a horse?

18 August, 2005 17:42, Blogger Ryan X said...

Jeremy, thanks for gracing the blog with your insight, great stuff man. I know I can't wait to read H@L as soon as I get my grubby hands on it.

18 August, 2005 18:02, Blogger Crisis! said...

I can draw a horse. It's just that I hate drawing them.

18 August, 2005 18:16, Blogger Mark Fossen said...

As you've been pimpin' Hero@Large, Zilla, I keep thinking you're talking about Hero Squared (the Giffen-Dematteis thang) which is not my cup o' tea.

This is a great interview - I like how it obviously wasn't a canned list of questions - and I'll look for Hero@Large when next I hit the LCS.

18 August, 2005 18:27, Blogger zilla said...

prove it ;)

20 August, 2005 22:16, Blogger Christopher Green said...

This may be a dumb question but... Does the comic book have anything to do with the old John Ritter film "Hero At Large"?

21 August, 2005 19:37, Blogger Crisis! said...

not at all.


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My First 6 Months "Back" - Part 3 - Collections

I've read a ton of trades in the past 6 months; the following 15 are the ones that made a lasting impression (click the link titles for more in-depth reviews by me, ryan, or uncensored - where available):

  1. HELLBOY V3: CHAINED COFFIN AND OTHER STORIES - My favorite Hellboy trade so far. Great stories, great art. Mignola is at the top of his game with almost every short in this collection.

  2. INVINCIBLE V3: PERFECT STRANGERS - Invincible really starts to get interesting in this third volume. I can't say too much w/o giving away stuff i'd hate to give away (for anyone who hasn't read all of Invincible) but Kirkman really throws us for a loop, building on events that happen in the latter half of volume 2.

  3. CONAN V1: THE FROST GIANTS DAUGHTER AND OTHER STOREIS - Everything about this title just oozes "Conan". This is a big, thick, beautiful collection. Busiek and Nord are the perfect team for this incarnation of the barbarian Cimmerian, and i hope they can keep it together for a long, long time. Absolutely cannnot wait for the second trade to come out (sept?).

  4. THE GOON V3: HEAPS OF RUINATION - Powell's story-telling and artwork get better and better as The Goon moves along. IMO he really starts to shine in this trade (after a solid volume 2). The "Lagarto Hombre" alien lizard short and the Hellboy cameo are two of my all time favorite Goon stories - and both are included in this collection.

  5. HULK: GRAY - I've read this thing until the pages started falling out. Love Loeb's rendition of Hulk's origin (and early days) and sales classic style only adds to it IMO. great read - especially considering most of what's currently running for the big green is garbage IMO (so sad).

  6. Y: THE LAST MAN V1: UNMANNED - Is there anyone NOT reading this title? One of the coolest premises for a book pretty much ever. Suppose every Y chromosome on the planet is wiped out in a matter of minutes - except two; a boy and his monkey. BKV is an absolute stud right now and i can't wait to see where he takes this (i'm only throught the first couple trades).

  7. THE LOSERS V1: ANTE UP - Just discovered this title a few weeks ago (hunting down some of Andy Diggle's other work after i read and loved Silent Dragon) and already i'm in love. This is some uber-cool shit my friends. Ex-CIA commandos on the lam after being bitterly betrayed? Great cast of characters (good and bad), including the coolest female bad-ass i've ever seen written/drawn. Tom Clancy and Vince Flynn rolled up into one - with pictures!

  8. ULTIMATES V2: HOMELAND SECURITY - Ultimates is quite possibly the best "superhero" book out there IMO. Millar's work here deserves a lot more attention than it gets. The entire Ultimates run (1-13 in 2 trades) is excellent, but it really all comes together in this second collection. One of the coolest "final battles" i've ever read, plus a supremely interesting Hulk, Thor, and Captain America incarnations.

  9. TRANSMETROPOLITAN V1: BACK ON THE STREET - Straight classic. Spider is quite possibly the coolest non-superhero character ever to grace a comic page. This first collection is so damn entertaining. I haven't read much farther but i can only hope Transmet gets better and better.

  10. PREACHER V1: GONE TO TEXAS - Another classic that i can't seem to put down once i get started with it. Unique idea, unique characters, brisk pacing, a hard-ass back-from-the-dead pistolier, a vampire and a whuppin'-ass priest in 80s white jeans set in small-town texas. What more could you ask for?

  11. USAGI YOJIMBO BOOK 2: SAMURAI - UY has been one of my favorites since i was a kid. Talked to Stan Sakai himself and he recommended starting my UY reading w/ this book (rather than #1). Sakai is one of the best story-tellers ever born, and his mix of historical reference (the research this guy must do...) and interesting characters and settings is can't miss for any fan of feudal japan or samurai rabbits. Hard to believe this guys been writing this title for 20 years (and it's never jumped the shark).

  12. SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN V2: THE HUNGER - Humberto Ramos and Jenkins are a kick-ass team IMO. This is another one of those trades i've read about 20 times and just can't get enough of. The absolute best Eddie Brock (Venom) story arc every written. Jenkins really explores the human side of Venom (Brock) and takes us on an emotional ride. Ramos is one of my favorite artists (even though many don't appreciate his cartoony style like i do). Looking forward to their next project (Revelations) since Spec Spider-Man up and died on me :(

  13. POWERS V4: SUPERGROUP - What can i say about Powers? I probably could have added 3 or 4 of the Powers collections to this list but you probably wouldn't want to read me gushing over it that much (i'm sure). Supergroup is a kick ass arc for a mature audience. I absolutely love how Bendis uses Powers (and in some ways Alias) as a platform to look at how the world might REALLY be if some among us were gifted w/ super-human abilities. Gritty, real, hard-core. Oemings art fits the title perfectly.

  14. SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR - Humphrey Bogart and Bruce Willis movies wrapped up into one. Miller is an absolute beast of a story-teller and noir artist. Dame to Kill for is cool w/ a capitol "C". For mature audiences only (and that's a good thing w/ Sin City).

  15. THE WALKING DEAD V3: SAFETY BEHIND BARS - Ah last but not least (these were in no particular order remember). RK has literally blown my socks off w/ TWD and things get even more interesting in this third collection. We're finally getting to the breaking point w/ many of our characters psyche and the wait has paid off. Our band settles in an abandoned prison and has to start worrying about a lot more than just zombies as they try and put some semblance of a new society together. One of the coolest looks at relationships and the human psyche during a time of extreme crisis ever printed. A+.

HONORABLE MENTION: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen V1, Astonishing X-Men V1, and Brit V2: Cold Death.

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18 August, 2005 14:05, Blogger Ryan X said...

Your list looks a lot like mine! Ha ha. One editor note, I thought Losers V1 was called 'Ante Up'? Great job and great titles.


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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Sean's "Comics to Crap By" Part 3

First read Sean's post.

Today's cat: Format. Let me start by saying i friggin' hate digests for some reason - even though my tiny (tiny) Lone Wolf and Cub books are perfect for the can. Short, digestible stories and compact enough to fit into a trouser pocket (almost). This cat also brings out the perfect-ness of the old Far Side trades (man my copies of these are from way back and practically falling apart. i think these even used to be in the can at my dorm like 10 years ago!), and of course one of my all-time favorite current back-office reads - PvP.

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8.17 Panel 'o the Day

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Sean's "Comics to Crap By" Part Deuce (Get it?)

Sean has dropped the second post in his internet-splitting "Great Crapper Comics" series this week and i'm laughing even harder than i was at the first.

Today we're talking "attitude" people. We've been through duration as a category for great can comics, but what about the necessary attitude/tone to facilitate a comfortable outing w/o overly-taxing the old noggin?

Recently i've been enjoying Punisher v5 and Transmet on the can (both fit into this cat nicely). i also invariably grab for any of my Hellboy trades (seemingly at random) whenever i need to drop a deuce. Not sure why - but i can read those trades over, and over, and over on the throne. HB seems to have the proper duration AND attitude IMO.

...If only i could bring my trades to work w/ me (where i seem to do most of my "business")...

PS Sean's posts have not only lightened up my week, but given me some good books to look up for my next visit to the back-office. Last of the Independents and that Authority run are now on my list...

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Cool: Preview Panels

Buzzscope has posted preview panels of 3 #1's i'm especially pumped for: Ghost Rider #1, Colossus: Bloodline #1, and Loveless #1. Check 'em.

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Marvel and DC Nov Solicits Anyone?

MARVEL: Par for the course here. Some good ongoing stuff and a few new titles i'm hype for; plus a very cool re-print of Silver Surfer Essentials (some of my childhood fav issues are in this book).

MARVEL TEAM-UP #14 - Krikman's Invincible and Spider-Man? How could you miss this?
DECIMATION: HOUSE OF M - THE DAY AFTER - I'm burning out on HoM already and it's only half-way through. I'm sure i'll read this though... get that weird feeling i have to.
NEW EXCALIBUR #1 - From what i've seen of this so far def looks interesting... will at least check out #1. like the cast.
X-FACTOR #1 - Post HoM goodness or crap? we shall see.
ESSENTIAL SILVER SURFER VOL. 1 – NEW PRINTING! - No new SS stuff to read so might as well dig into some oldies but goodies.
THE THING #1 - 'Ole rock butt has a new ongoing. I'm in.

PULLS and Other Stuff: ULTIMATES 2 #9, FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #2 (and the rest of the "Other" crossover titles), GHOST RIDER #3, DEFENDERS #5, CABLE/DEADPOOL #22, INCREDIBLE HULK #88 & 89 (start of a new creative team post-PAD), NEW AVENGERS #13, RUNAWAYS #10, YOUNG AVENGERS #10, PUNISHER #27, POWERS #16, THOR: BLOOD OATH #4 & 5, and X-MEN: COLOSSUS BLOODLINE #3.

DC/VERTIGO/WILDSTORM: Jonah Hex #1 and a great month for my pull list from DC (especially from Vertigo and Wildstorm).

JONAH HEX #1 - Can't wait for this... used to read Jonah way, way back. Here's to hoping they can recapture the magic (and hype it up).
SEVEN SOLDIERS: THE BULLETEER #1 and SEVEN SOLDIERS: FRANKENSTEIN #1 - Haven't read much Seven Soldiers yet - but by Nov. i certainly plan to have.
THE LOSERS: CLOSE QUARTERS TP and THE LOSERS: TRIFECTA TP - I love this title. I'll be collecting the TPs i'm pretty sure so these will go onto the shelf (after a re-read of course).


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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Zilla's 8.17 Shopping List

Still haven't recieved my mailordercomics order from last week (was hoping i'd get it yesterday or today - so monday or tuesday of the following week... but maybe i won't be so lucky). i think i'm going to just use mailordercomics for trades... but not sure yet. First week that i'm 100% one publisher (weird). The lucky winner is Marvel.

** Remember everything in maroon is coming via mailordercomics - and thus part of the "experiment".

None :(

None :(

GODLAND #2 - I wasn't overly impressed w/ #1 but i have a 2-issue rule for anything worth buying one of. Good luck Godland!

CABLE DEADPOOL #18 - Pull list. DP is one funny dude.
DEFENDERS #2 (OF 5) - Fun book. Good break from all the seriousness in superhero mags these days.
SPIDER-MAN HOUSE OF M #3 (OF 5) - Not really into this but i'll finish it (plus i have no choice because it's coming via mailorder ;)
STORMBREAKER SAGA OF BETA RAY BILL TP - Looking forward to reading this. I skipped the floppies when they dropped in favor of waiting for this trade.
ULTIMATE X-MEN #62 - Pull list.
WOLVERINE SOULTAKER TP - Waited on the TP for this one too after reading and enjoying #1. Good stuff (i hope?).

None :(

Looking ahead one week: TRANSMETROPOLITAN VOL 1 BACK ON THE STREET TP, HULK DESTRUCTION #2 (OF 4) (even though i'm not sure i even WANT this anymore it's coming via mailordercomics - def learned never to buy a #2 before i've read a #1. 2-issue rule is in effect tho.), and WOLVERINE #31.

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17 August, 2005 10:02, Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

You MUST add the RUNNERS: BAD GOODS trade to your list! Think Star Wars if George Lucas were a better writer. Great ensemble action-adventure and the art is ridiculously good.

17 August, 2005 13:20, Blogger zilla said...

interesting - it's such a light week i might just have to pick that up on your recommendation...


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8.16 Panel 'o the Day

Any clue?

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16 August, 2005 20:02, Blogger Num104 said...

I know I've seen the spanish talking lizard thing in the Goon.

16 August, 2005 21:42, Blogger Ryan X said...

One of my fav moments from the 3rd TP. NICE!!!

16 August, 2005 22:12, Blogger zilla said...

Mr. X - you back?

17 August, 2005 15:36, Blogger Ryan X said...

Yeah, check your email.


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Monday, August 15, 2005

My First 6 Months "Back" - Part 2 - Floppies

Second night of my return to comics recap. The following is a list (long i know but what can i do?) of ongoing titles that have made an impression on me these first 6 months back - in no particular order:

EX MACHINA - Recommended to me by the good Dr. Flem. Great, great book (as i think all of these are). West Wing with a nostalgic super-hero twist. Vaughn is at his best here IMO, the storylines and dialogue are heady, poignant, and intelligent. The entire book has a classic feel, without taking the reader too far into the past w/ it. Very cool tie-ins to real world events and politics. Vaughn deftly tackles some tough subjects. One of the best titles on the stands period.

100 BULLETS - Love the premise of this book - 100 bullets for revenge, w/ no threat of reprecussions (from the law at least). Ever changing characters and stories keep it fresh and ineteresting. One of my favorites (even though i'm still early on hoping it never jumps the shark).

Y THE LAST MAN - Once someone tells you the plot behind YTLM, you're hooked. Every Y chromosome on the planet has been wiped out by a mysterious plague - save 2; a boy and his monkey. Very cool look at life "after". I'm not nearly caught up with this yet - but can't deny what i've read so far. Hard to imagine life as the last man... oh God let this never happen to me.

THE GOON - Powell's story-telling and art has grown up before our eyes. The Goon gets better and better. First trade was good, second great, and by the third and into the current floppies it's been stellar. The Goon is a highly original, likeable tough-guy, and his side-kick Franky has me laughing out loud as often as not. Love this title for Powells hilarious (and sometimes spooky) writing and his original colored pencil looking art.

POWERS - One of my all time favorites (if i'm allowed to have all-time favorites after 6 mos). Bendis has outdone himself on this title IMO. Powers is a gritty, mature, down-to-earth crime drama set in a world full of much more realistic superheros and storylines than we get almost anywhere else. Couple that with some very interesting leads and plots that get better and better as the series progresses, and you've got a solid winner. I love Oeming's art too (am i the only one?), it's perfect for this title.

THE WALKING DEAD - Reminds me so much of the movie 28 days (great flik BTW). Kirkman brilliantly leverages the collapse of society into anarchy after a devestating zombie plague to delve into the human psyche. What would happen if society as we know it completely disintegrated? Where would we go? What would we do? How would we act towards one another? Kirkman tackles all these questions and many, many more in TWD - brilliantly. Very cool "can't put it down" title w/ a plethora of interesting characters, relationships, and settings.

CONAN - Wow. Used to be one of my fav titles as a kid and i can't tell you how happy i was to come back to this. Busiek, Nord, and Stewart are an incredible team and this title comes as close to the perfect Conan title as possible IMO. The story-telling and art here are a match made in heaven. Nord's "painted" work in particular is some of the best i've seen since i've been back. Everything about this book is "Conan". Crom would be proud.

NEW AVENGERS - Good Bendis, great art. This is just about the best Marvel has going right now (next to Ultimates 2 IMO).

LOSERS - Cool w/ a capitol "C". Think Tom Clancy, Robert Lludlum, Vince Flynn. Combine a great cast (your shadowy leader/tactition, cowboy sniper, hacker, pilot, and a hard-ass arabic female commando) with some intriguing corrupt CIA conspiracy spook-filled storylines and a traitor in the first 5 issues and... Well... What more could you ask for? There's so much bad-ass butt-kicking, military hardware, gov't corruption, and uber-cool dialogue in this title i can't get enough of it.

ULTIMATES and ULTIMATES 2 - Hands down the BEST superhero series i've read since i've been back. Intelligent writing/dialogue and stellar artwork. Not to mention an all-star Marvel cast featuring 2 of my all-time favorites: The Incridble Hulk and just about the most interesting Thor ever written (my apologies Simonson).

INVINCIBLE - Just when i thought i didn't need another "kid with new powers" book, along came Invincible. A new take on a done (and redone) story - Invincible manages to make it all fresh again. Kirkman shows his range by writing TWD and Invincible at the same time - you can hardly tell they come from the same dude's mind. The story in Invincible is really, really good with great twists, likeable characters, and funny, interesting dialogue. A must read for any superhero fan.

BATTLE POPE - My guilty pleasure. One of those books you don't WANT to laugh at - hell you even feel GUILTY for laughing at... but in the end you just can't help yourself.

ALIAS - Recommended this book by my good pal Uncensored. Didn't think i'd like it at first but grew to love it after only a few issues. I'm not usually one for female leads (i'm not sexist i just like to pretend i'm the cool main character ok ;) but this one won me over. Bendis took one of Marvel's least interesting characters (Jessica Jones) and turned her into one of it's most interesting. Very cool crime drama that stands up w/o leaning on superpowers, heros or villians as anything more than an aside. Can't miss.

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16 August, 2005 13:12, Blogger Christopher Green said...

You'll have to forgive the Marvelness of my list:

The best thing I've read since my return to the fold. It's not going anymore and hell, it ended a couple of years ago, but it's still a damn good read, with probably one of the most interesting female leads I've ever seen (in any fictional medium).

With a mood similar to Alias (no surprise, since it's also written by Brian Michael Bendis), this is the best thing done with DD I've ever read (including Frank Miller's legendary run). Less emphasis on the tights (Murdock is barely in costume) and more emphasis on the story, this is one of the best superhero books I've ever read.

New Avengers
Wow, I'm becoming a Bendis fanboy I think. I loved The Avengers when I was younger, and this title just takes what I loved about the team, gives it some new (welcome) members (Spider-Woman, yum). It's generally a lighthearted look at a serious plot, and that's what I love about it.

The Punisher
As many uses of the word "F--k" as Goodfellas, and just has much R-rated content as said film, this is the way The Punisher should be. No blught tights with white gloves, no superheroes in sight, just a man who has come unglued over the amount of killing he's done in the past 30 years. And the fact that Garth Ennis' MAX Punisher has actually aged in real time makes it even better.

Battle Pope
I've only read the first issue, but I'm already hooked. With a comedic look at religion and a sense of humour that sometimes is over the top, yet other times subtle ("Made In Taiwan" sticker on the back of a crucifix, brilliant), this is by far the funniest thing I've read since my return.

18 August, 2005 15:20, Blogger Ryan X said...

The Losers
No doubt, one of the best titles I have read since my return. Just plain old great story telling and awesome art. Plus, who doesn't like stories that zip you around the globe every other page? Also, first trade happens in Houston, sweet.

Shout out to Zilla for pointing me in the right direction on this one, just f-ing brilliant shit man, seriously.

Desperation Jones
Haven't heard a lot about this title lately, but I absolutely loved the first two. The premise is so friggin cool, love it.

On the Ellis note, this has turned out to be another favorite. I couldn't even imagine a comic like this 6 months ago, I am savoring every trade.

Written by the guy who did Hawaiian Dick (B.Clay Moore), this is an awesome new series in the spirit of Losers, Sleeper, etc. Good stuff, looks like it is only going to get better.

The rest my good buddy Zilla has easily covered, there are so many!!!


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Comics on the Throne?

Sean dropped the first in a series of posts today trying to determine what makes a good "can", "throne", or "back office" comic. I too am not afraid to admit i read (and have read) many a funny book on the can - sometimes it's the only peace and quiet a married man can get.

Today's category is "duration". I go for books like Hellboy, Usagi, The Goon, if i'm in for a real sit down (they're still digestible in small chunks but have some substance beyong a single page or two), and for my Far Side, Calvin and Hobbes, Dilbert and PvP (LOVE PvP) collections if time is of the essence.

Can't wait to see what's in store for tomorrow (cat 2)...

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15 August, 2005 22:37, Blogger Ed Cunard said...

I keep all my alternative and art comix from Free Comic Book Day in the magazine rack in my bathroom for people to read if they are pooping. It's the least I can do.

Generally, though, I crap at work, so I usually take a copy of TELEVISION WEEK or BROADCASTING & CABLE with me. That way, I'm pooping, but I'm also working.

Yes, it grosses out the people I work with, but I'm getting shit done.

16 August, 2005 10:06, Blogger zilla said...

ha! you're "getting shit done" in more ways than one i guess. hilarious.


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8.15 Panel 'o the Day

Where's it from?

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15 August, 2005 16:12, Anonymous Hammer said...

Looks like it's from The Losers. Haven't read an issue in awhile so I'm not sure what issue.

15 August, 2005 21:37, Blogger Kitty said...

What Hammer said - I think that's Aisha. Not sure of the issue number but I think it was in the first collection.


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Powell Takes Over Drawing Swamp Thing in Nov.

As announced a couple of week's ago in Wizardworld: Chicago, Eisner Award winning creator of The Goon Eric Powell takes over as new artist for Vertigo's Swamp Thing with November's issue #21.

I missed this news the first time around somehow (was OOT during WW: Chi). I haven't read any of Vert's Swamp Thing yet - but i guess i'll be starting in Nov. I can't get enough of EP's writing or art (he's born to draw monsters like Swamp Thing so this is going to be a great match i'm sure).

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15 August, 2005 12:46, Blogger Num104 said...

I believe that he is only the cover artist. At least that is what Newsaram is reporting.

15 August, 2005 12:55, Blogger zilla said...

damn i read that quote as meaning he was going to draw the insides too... can anyone confirm?

PS num104 did you get categories added to your blog?

15 August, 2005 20:40, Blogger Num104 said...

I decided not to go with the categories. I do appreciate the links, I bookmarked them in case I decide to do it (or use it on another blog).

Newsarama has a small article with some quotes from Powell. It is only covers.


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Sunday, August 14, 2005

My First 6 Months "Back"

Today marks the start of a week-long look back at my return to comics (spanning all of 6 months now). I'm going to drop a series of posts (starting with the one you are currently reading) essentially laying down everything i've found in my first half-year reading comics after a 15-year hiatus.

My favorite publishers, floppies (ongoing, mini-series, and single issues), trade paperbacks, writers, artists, comic shops (LCS and online), comic boards/forums, blogs and news/opinion sites. I'm going to try and list the noteworthy entries that i have read in each category (no matter how many) and offer thoughts on each, along w/ any general comments i might have about the group as a whole, and, where appropriate, any future considerations.

** Keep in mind that these lists are not necessarily going to cover the best in everyone's opinion (only mine) and will only include books i've read, shops i've shopped at, etc. I know for a fact there is a TON of good stuff i haven't gotten around to yet - some of which i'm sure would likely make these lists but won't simply because i haven't read/used them.

This is as much for my benefit as the greater community - so hopefully you'll enjoy this look back as much as i will. I'm hoping we can stir up some conversation (via comments) among my fellow "return to comics" crew/bloggers (remember that secret society we were supposed to put together?). So guys let me know what you think. **

With introductions and BS out of the way - where to start? It's Sunday and i'm feeling a bit lazy so let's go w/ something easy: Publishers.

When i was a kid, Marvel and DC were the only publishers i had even heard of. I don't remember reading titles from anyone else (even though i'm sure there were a few sprinkled in). These days, there are a lot more companies in the "comics business" and i can't say i'm dissappointed. Marvel didn't make my list at all, and DC is only representing via subsidiaries, even though both flagships (the "big 2") have titles i read and love (there will be plenty of evidence of this when i drop my floppies and trades of note posts later in the week). Sometimes it just feels like the big 2 flagships are a bit lumbering and unoriginal... but that being said, they'll always have titles in my weekly buys.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comDARK HORSE (Conan, Goon, Hellboy, Samurai H&E, and Sin City): I know DH is primarily a hodge-podge of creater-owned and previously creator-published titles, but i still have to give them credit for their collection. Some of my favorite books at the moment (and all time) are published under the DH umbrella, and I can't help but head over to the DH racks first every wed.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comIMAGE (Battle Pope, Invincible, and The Walking Dead): Ah Image. Funny how i've got them on my list based on the writings of one man: Robert Kirkman. RK is one of my favorite writers at the moment, and his books keep Image in the news. There are some other noteworthy Image titles for sure (Athiest, Body Bags, Small Gods), but they wouldn't be on my list here sans Kirkman's books.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comDC's VERTIGO (Losers, 100 Bullets, Y: the Last Man, Preacher, and Transmetropolitan): Wow - These are some GOOD books right? I didn't realize just how many Vertigo titles/books i'm in love with until i typed them out just now. Vertigo has some creative, edgy, gritty books that i appreciate as an adult reader.

HONORABLE MENTION: DC's WILDSTORM (Ex Machina): Another DC subsid. I'm putting Wildstrom on here primarily for Ex Machina, a great, great title IMO. They also pub Planetary, Promethea, and some others that i've heard are very good but haven't gotten around to reading quite yet. Future considerations: Silent Dragon and Winter Men. Have a feeling i'm really going to dig both of these minis. Their releases this month and last almost had me promoting WS out of honorable mention to the "list".

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15 August, 2005 11:20, Blogger Mark Fossen said...

In your Wildstorm love, don't forget Desolation Jones!

I haven't been back in all that long, but as far as publishers go, I'm still a Marvel/DC boy. Right now, DC's doing a great job with it's entire universe, and while Marvel's lagging behind it's still got some really excellent individual titles.

And I must throw props to Oni ... for Scott Pilgrim, if nothing else.

15 August, 2005 11:27, Blogger zilla said...

oh yeah Des Jones... great book - forgot how much i'm enjoying that. thanks mark. i still need to get a hold of Scott Pilgrim... will do that soon.


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8.14 Panel 'o the Day

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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Look Back at the First Half of 2005

Over at Buzzscope they're taking a look back at the best ongoing titles and OGN's of the first half of 2005. I'm happy to report that i'm reading every book on their top 9 (top 9?) ongoing titles list, but they missed a few IMO: Powers, The Goon, TWD, and Invincible anyone?

And as far as the OGN's go - it's hard for me to get a grip since i've read SO many compilations in the past few months - it's hard to remember which ones came out this year and which before... I would love to see Hulk: Gray on this list tho ;)

Regardless it's a good read that will help you reflect a bit... can't believe 2005 is half over already. Here's to some great comics from now until new years.

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14 August, 2005 18:41, Blogger Christopher Green said...

Doesn't really make sense that they called New Avengers one of the best books, yet a couple of scrolls down they call it the most overrated.

Oh well. The only title I read on there is New Avengers. that's depressing.


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8.13 Panel 'o the Day

Sorry no other posts today - been busy as all get out w/ my "honey-do" list (and yeah i hate that term as much as you do). This is a classic for me though (click to enlarge it if you can't read the bubbles):

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Friday, August 12, 2005

8.12 Panel 'o the Day

Peg it down as far as you can...

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Hulk: Gray (TPB)

You know how you have those "go-to" trades or floppies that you whip out whenever you don't have anything else to read (or just don't feel like reading anything from your ongoing pile)? This Hulk: Gray TPB plays as one of those for me. I've read this story about 5 times in the last 3 or 4 months, and that's certainly saying something considering how much unread stuff i always have laying around. What is it about this book you ask?

Let me start by admitting that i'm as big a Hulk fan as any fanboy out there (well maybe not THAT big but... big). This 6-issue collection re-tells the origin of the Hulk (one more time!) via a midnight consult between present-day Bruce Banner and his friend/shrink Doc Samson. IMO Loeb handles this re-hashing of an age old story about as well as any rendition i've ever read, and Sale gives the book an "old timey comics" feel w/ his art. Kind of reminds me of reading those old Hulk comics i used to run ragged when i was a kid... good times.

Loeb takes advantage of the fact that his story is being told by a distressed Bruce Banner to his head doc, Samson, by focusing (as all shrinks tend to do) on his relationships during the early days of the Big Green. Special attention is paid to Banner (and subsequently Hulk's) interactions with Rick Jones, General Ross, Ross's now famous daughter Betty.

The narration and dialogue is written in such a way as to really pull you into the confusion, distress, anger, and lonliness that have plagued Bruce Banner from the very start. There's a really cool couple of panels when the Hulk accidentally kills a "pet" rabbit that really speaks to me - and typifies the inner struggle between Bruce and his "other" half.

Loeb throws a bone to anyone wanting something new in their rehash - by adding in the never before told story of the first meeting of the Hulk and Iron-Man. Evidently Stark Inudstries is THE major supplier of military hardware to the U.S. gub-ment (the link), and when the Hulk first emerges and begins to rampage the countryside, Stark is enlisted by Gen. Ross to hunt down and capture/destroy him. A classic battle ensues; ending w/ the Hulk beating the absolute snot out of this early-edition Iron-Man. The book has a lot to offer overall, but this cameo is worth the price of admission by itself IMO.

Ok enough is enough. Overall this is a great retelling of a now classic story. Loeb does an excellent job w/ it, and Sale's art is a great compliment. If you're a Hulk fan, this is can't miss for sure (especially considering some of the Hulk dreg that's been out there lately representing the character), but don't shy away if you're just in need of a good stand-alone Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde story with some real depth of character and a solid peek into the inner struggles of a man and his monster second half. A+.

It was all over when...

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In no particular order:

Criminal, The Goon, Daredevil, Exterminators, Punisher, Hellboy/B.P.R.D (All), Powers, Godland, Usagi Yojimbo, The Walking Dead, Invincible, Conan, Ex Machina, DMZ, Desolation Jones, Fell, 100 Bullets, All-Star Superman, Ultimates 2, Loveless, and Fear Agent.

I'm recently back reading after a 15 year comics hiatus.

Zilla is not my real name.

I'm from Tejas living in VA. I'm married w/ 2 dogs. I'm an IT security consultant cranking the wheel for a big consulting firm in "real" life.

I watch the History Channel, Nat'l Geo, TLC, Mil Channel, ESPN and NFL Network, CourtTV (forensic files, etc.) and the Cartoon Network (love Genndy T's Samurai Jack and Clone Wars Adventures). My taste in movies: Gladiator, Last Samurai, Braveheart, Godfather, Tarantino (whatever), Kung-Fu (whatever), Westerns, Top Gun, Big Lebowski.

I love the outdoors and bs'ing around w/ my dogs.

In addition to being a comics junkie, i'm also a sports junkie especially when it comes to the Texas Longhorns and the Dallas Cowboys.

Blog contents copyright © 2005 Rod Wetsel