IT’S HERE! ComicBookDude’s Comic Talk Podcast- Episode ONE

30 12 2010

AT LONG LAST!

The first episode of my podcast is here! Sorry for the brief delay of time when I said this was supposed to come out, but I ran into some technical setbacks. Regardless of that I mananged to get through those obstacles and here we have it:

http://www.archive.org/details/ComicbookdudesComicTalkPodcast-EpisodeOne

Click that link if you want to download it!

For the time being you guys will have to check out the podcast through that link. Eventually I’ll have it so that you folks can listen to it through the blog. Be sure to live feedback and let people know about this podcast! I will try to get this out on a weekly/bi-weekly schedule. It depends on how my schedule looks like and how much there is to talk about. Thanks for taking your time to listen in!

In this podcast I introduce myself and explain what this podcast is about. I discuss my two cents on Marvel’s new event book coming out in April 2010 called Fear Itself by Matt Fraction and Stuart Immonen. I also review Chew#16, Invincible#76, Superior#3, The Guild- Vork#1, and American Vampire#10.

Advertisements




You just can’t polish a turd (GOOD comic book writers gone BAD)

2 08 2010

A Polished Turd, apparently…

 You know that time when your favorite writer, musician, performer, actor, etc. isn’t as good as they used to be? Well, that’s how I feel about a few comic book writers today. As an aspiring comic book writer myself one of the most painful things is seeing your creative heroes let you down. This post is about those writers:

Jeph Loeb:

My first exposure to Mr. Loeb’s comics was The Ultimates 3, then soon afterward Ultimatum. Those had to be some of the worst comic books I’ve ever read. I thought to myself, “Has this guy written ANYTHING good?” After searching around on the interwebs I found out that people liked his stories where he worked with Tim Sale. Soon afterward my dad had mentioned a story he had read called Spider-Man: Blue and he recommended that I read it. Little did I know that it was written by none other than Jeph Loeb. I ended up reading it based on my dad’s recommendation and I liked it. The ending was very heartbreaking and well thought of. Then several months I read Batman: Hush by Loeb and Jim Lee. I was blown away by it. In a good way. To me it was very engaging and it had some of the best comic book art I’ve ever seen. Then, come February this year I read Batman: The Long Halloween by Loeb and Sale. That became my favorite Jeph Loeb story very quickly and it was then that I realized that Loeb is/was capable of some really good storytelling. I want that Jeph Loeb back soon.

Frank Miller:

This is perhaps the most tragic downfall of a comic book writer in the industry. This man has written and drawn some of the best comic books in the world. In my Top 5 favorite comic book stories list, Miller has written two of those stories. Those are Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Daredevil: Born Again. Other wonderful work Miller has done is as following: Batman: Year One, Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot, Daredevil: Man Without Fear, and his run on Daredevil. So why do I dislike his writing now? Dark Knight Strikes Again is THE WORST Batman story I’ve EVER read. So childish and pointless. You couldn’t have a man talking about a woman without them commenting on her butt. Then comes along All-Star Batman and Robin. The dialogue in this so-called “comic book” is HORRIBLE. I’m a big fan of Miller’s dialogue he used in his older work, but this dialogue in All-Star is just utter garbage. There was nothing attractive about it. But the final straw for me was the movie Miller made called The Spirit based on the wonderful comic by Will Eisner. While, some of the visuals were nice, the rest of the movie is sickening. The dialogue is on par with All-Star Batman and Robin. Evidently Miller and Eisner were best friends, and I can’t believe Miller just pissed all over Eisner’s creation. I honestly don’t know how he can live with himself after that movie. I just like to pretend that none of that crap exists and I enjoy Miller’s good work.

James Robinson:

This one will be short because this isn’t as painful as all the others. I’m a big fan of his Starman stories. That was one of the best books to come out of the 90s. But recently his JLA stories have been AWFUL. You’d think that he could write superheroes after seeing what he could do in Starman, but apparently not. In JLA not only is it just not a fun read, you have the heroes killing each other and ripping body parts of each other and it’s just… ugh. What is this? The Teen Titans?

Geoff Johns:

What? How come Geoff Johns is on this list? I’ll tell you why. Brightest Day SUCKS. You’d think with a title like that it would be a happy story and FINALLY we’d have a light-hearted story in the DCU… right? Nope. Brightest Day has to be one of the most depressing and boring comic book I’ve ever read in my 10 years of reading comics. Don’t get me wrong I have LOVED some of Geoff’s earlier stuff like the stuff he does with Gary Frank, his Green Lantern stories are good (not anymore, too much same old same old for me), his Avengers stories were good, and Blackest Night was great up until the end. The truth and my honest opinion is that Johns is just not doing his best work right now. I hope something changes soon.

Brian Michael Bendis:

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love Ultimate Spider-Man and his indy comic book Goldfish. So imagine my disappointment when I read his Avenger stories. New Avengers was boring, Dark Avengers was a joke, and his current Avenger books aren’t good. His current disregard for continuity is astounding. His lack of respect for female characters (for the most part, he doesn’t that as much recently) was/is disgusting. For months and months I have begged and prayed for the Bendis I know and love to come back. Well, thankfully my prayers have been answered with Scarlet done by Bendis and Alex Maleev. Sadly that is only going to be a mini-series. His work in the mainstream comic books outweighs his great work on Scarlet. To me, Bendis is more of an independent writer than a mainstream writer.

Mark Millar:

To me, this is the most painful and tragic downfall of a comic book writer. Millar was one of my early influences as a comic book writer. I liked his work on Ultimate X-Men, The Ultimates 1+2, Wanted, Chosen, and Superman: Red Son. Then he started letting me down with Civil War, Fantastic Four, Kick-Ass, Nemesis, War Heroes, Ultimate Avengers 1+2, Marvel 1985, and Old Man Logan. I remember the day I first read Old Man Logan. It was not a good weekend for me. I had suffered a lot of emotional pain the week before and all I wanted to do was read a good comic book story. So I picked up some issues of OML because most people said they liked it. I read it and never before have I felt so dirty about buying and reading a comic book in my entire life. The story had way too many continuity gaps in it and it just wasn’t an enjoyable read for me. In fact, I got really mad at the part where Wolverine finds out he accidently kills all of the X-Men due to Mysterio (which would never, NEVER happen). I had gotten so mad that I threw the issue into the air and yelled, “That’s bulls***!” (Don’t worry fanboys, I didn’t damage the book too much. You can breathe now).

Two weeks later my dad bought for me the trade paperback of Superman: Red Son. To this day Red Son is my favorite Superman story and my favorite Mark Millar story. In fact, towards the end I started crying because I just could not believe that the man who wrote this awesome story, had written OML. To see what Millar has become now just breaks my heart. It seems all he does not is steal from movies and doesn’t try as hard as he used to. Have any of you noticed that his new upcoming comic, Superior, sounds just like Dancing with Wolves and Avatar? It’s true.

Those are the comic book writers whose work I’ve enjoyed, but lately I haven’t been enjoying their work. I know I bash Bendis, Johns, Millar, Loeb, and Marvel a lot. Not because I dis-respect them, but because I know they’ve done better work and are capable of so much more.

Thanks for bearing with me and please leave a comment to let me know what you all think! Thanks!





Scarlet#1 REVIEW (Is this the third strike for Bendis?)

14 07 2010

Cover art by Alex Maleev

Scarlet#1 

Written by: Brian Michael Bendis 

Drawn by: Alex Maleev 

Price: $3.95 

Publisher: Marvel/Icon Comics 

You know that saying: “three strikes and your out?” Well to me that’s what my feelings toward Bendis have been recently. Avengers was strike one. New Avengers was strike two. So was Scarlet strike three? I can honestly say that Scarlet definitely was not a strikeout. 

(POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD) 

Scarlet is about a girl who is basically trying to right the wrongs of the world, by eliminating the evil-doers. Throughout the entire issue the protagonist breaks the fourth wall constantly to tell the reader her story. To me, as an aspiring comic book writer myself, the technique of breaking the fourth wall is a dangerous one to use. It can either go well and work well with the story or it can fall flat on its face. In this book Bendis does it near-perfect. It’s a very unique way of telling his story and does a nice job of getting you emotionally invested in the character because she’s talking directly to you, the reader. Also the fourth wall breaking is the method of telling the story and not just a gimmick (like when Jessica Jones’ baby looks at you in an issue of New Avengers). There is a part where she and her boyfriend are running away from a policeman, who is a heavy narcotics user. Just when you think they’ve gotten away her boyfriend gets shot from behind by the policeman and is killed. That scene made me feel so bad for the protagonist, where in Bendis’ Avenger books I don’t give two craps about any of the characters in those books and what happens to them. 

The fourth wall breaking was so well done that, at times, I felt that this was based on a true story. I really did. The great thing about this book is that there is a strong female protagonist who reminds me a lot of Deena Pilgrim from Powers, which is another good Bendis book (the new volume is terrible, though). If you go back to my earlier blogs I’d constantly complain about the frequent misogyny in Bendis’ mainstream books. I don’t know why he can’t write all his female characters like this. Clearly he can write them really well, but he has also shown that he can do some pretty nasty things to them as well. Now, some bad things happen to this girl and I’m sure more bad things will happen to her, but when the bad things happened I felt an emotion other than disgust. I felt bad for her. There was also a funny Twilight joke which brought up a good point that all girls want nowadays is a pretty boy who’ll protect them 24/7. 

I can’t finish this review in good conscience without talking about the art. I have never been a huge of Alex Maleev’s art, but this is by far the best art I’ve seen him do. It’s truly a work of art. I’m still no fan of his, but I’m glad he did a nice job on the art chores. Now I do have a couple of complaints about this book. One was that there was no Parental Advisory or Explicit Content warning on the cover OR on the back of the book. This book is definitely NOT for those kids under let’s say 14-15 years of age. There is a ton of swearing, a fair share of violence, and some brief sex scenes. I’m usually ok with this if it doesn’t go overboard or becomes too much, but when you don’t put a warning on the cover of the book, I’m sorry but I’m gonna call the company out on this. The other thing I didn’t like about this book is… that I have to wait a month for the next issue!!! 

All in all it was a very solid issue that sets up the next issue perfectly and I can hardly wait for the next issue. For all of you who bought this last week, I don’t have to wait as long as you, so HAHA! 😀 

This is the Brian Bendis I know and love. I loved AKA Goldfish and his work on Ultimate Spider-Man. Why he can’t write like he does in this book and the stuff that he’s written that I’ve enjoyed, I don’t know. But I certainly hope he stays and I’m glad he’s still capable of writing solid stories.





My Two Cents: Kick-Ass 2 and David Finch’s Batman

13 07 2010

Art by David Finch

 Once again articles on Bleedingcool.com has inspired me to offer my opinions on the topics of what to expect from Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall and David Finch’s upcoming Batman mini-series.

Evidently David Finch will have a new Batman mini-series called Batman: The Dark Knight. I myself am a fan of David Finch’s art so I am somewhat excited for this. The part that I’m worried about is that he is writing the mini as well. Now I have not read a comic that Finch has both written and drawn, so I have no idea what to expect. That’s what’s worrying me a little. After reading Batman: Odyssey by Neal Adams my faith and expectations of books that are written and drawn by the same person went downward. But then I had to remember all the awesome series that were both written and drawn by the same person (i.e. Monkeyman and O’Brien, Liberty Meadows, Battle Chasers…). I may check it out when it is released. This book is scheduled to be released November 2010.

I’m sure you guys know how I feel about Mark Millar right now. I am a big fan of his older work, such as Superman: Red Son, Ultimate X-Men, The Ultimates, and Wanted. But then came along Civil War, Kick-Ass, War Heroes, and Nemesis. Oh and Old Man Logan. His newer stories have  seriously disappointed me and now I want the old Mark Millar back. Just like Old Man Logan is getting a sequel, so is Kick-Ass. Watch Nemesis get a sequel. Anyway I read what Mark Millar has said about what Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall is going to be like… and I was amazed at how much he referenced movies and how much his story is going to be like such-and-such movie. He said that Red Mist is going to be a bit of Heath Ledger’s Joker and other movie villains he’s enjoyed. Really Mr. Millar? Can’t you come up with something new and original??? It wasn’t enough to rip off The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger’s Joker in Nemesis? He also makes a reference about how Hit-Girl is going to be like Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven. I could go on, but quite frankly I don’t want to.

I now pose the question: How is this guy still getting work when it’s CRYSTAL CLEAR all he does now is steal from movies?

Answer: Fanboiz gotta have dey Mark Millar awesomeness crap!