You Read These With Your Eyes! – June 1st, 2011

Read about these, earth-man.

Every week, Comics! The Blog goes through the list of new releases and tell you which comics to plug into your mind hole. Your mileage may vary.

CRIMINAL: LAST OF THE INNOCENTS #1 (Marvel Comics/Icon)

The long awaited return of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Criminal is here! Look, I like Incognito as much as the next guy, buy there’s something special about Criminal. I’m not entirely sure I can put a finger on it – though I suspect it has something to do with the fact that it’s a style of comic that’s more rare in the business, the straight up, down and dirty crime noir, rather than pulp noir. But I digress.

Like every arc of Criminal, you can come at this baby fresh. The book is not so much the continual tales of the same criminals, more like the continual tales of people in the worldof Criminal. In fact, this story is a bit of a departure from previous ones, in that Brubaker has said it was inspired by Archie, of all things. Basically, this is one of those “what would happen if some all-American archetypes grew up” deals, meshing this underbelly world with comics history. It should be a fantastic read.

REED GUNTHER #1 (Image Comics)

You don’t see very many western books anymore – let alone westerns that are appropriate for all ages – but low and behold, there’s this! Reed Gunther is a new ongoing from Image that features the titular cowboy who rides a bear and goes on old west adventures. And that’s something you can’t miss out on. SO DON’T.

THE TOOTH HC (Oni Press)

This is going to be an interesting. From the minds of Cullen Bunn (Fear Itself: The Deep, The Sixth Gun, The Damned, etc.) and Matt Kindt (Superspy, Revolver, 3 Story, etc.) comes this horror-pulp fisticuff spectacular, featuring the adventures of… well, Cullen really explains it best in his elevator pitch, which is this:

“A guy finds a magic tooth… which nests in his mouth like an inverted sabertooth tiger fang… and occasionally leaps out, grows to the size of a gorilla, and fights demons.”

Which sounds just crazy enough to work, amirite? Be on the look out for it.

OSBORN: EVIL INCARCERATED TP (Marvel Comics)

This series was one of the best things we’ve read this year to date, and stands a good chance of making it onto our Inarguable Best list for 2011. Working together to produce pure goddamn magic, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios (with a touch of help from Becky Cloonan) put together a tense prison drama with just a touch of that fantastical Marvel flavouring. Each issue ratcheted up the stakes and the tension, and when things came unwound, we at C!TB were left reeling, simultaneously exhausted and wishing for more, more, more as though it was the midnight hour, or something. Anyway, this book launched alongside the soon-to-be-departed Spider-Girl ongoing, as part of the Big Time launch and both books were criminally overlooked. Don’t miss your second chance to experience it here.

THE FEAR ITSELF/FLASHPOINT GANGBAG SEX-STRAVIGANZA! (Amalgam)

What, a guy can wish, can’t he?

Look, we’d me remiss if we didn’t mention the fact that both Marvel and DC are giving a big push for both of their big events this week – and we’re both fans of what Matt Fraction and Geoff Johns have been doing on their respective books, so we’re pretty excited. If you’re into this kind of thing, both of these guys (alongside Stuart Immonen and Andy Kubert) are killing it on these books, and you really should pop in and see what they’re saying. Big company crossover madness has never been this good.

These are just five books being released this week! You can find the full list of comics being released here. If you have any other recommendations, let us know in the comments below.

The Culture Hole, Issue 7: Tintin in the Land of the Backseat Eberts

The Culture Hole! For all your cultural orifice needs (logo adapted with love from http://emnla.deviantart.com/)

Issue 7 – Tintin in the Land of the Backseat Eberts

There is an impasse: comic book fans want movies based on comics to be everything they demand, and film producers, well, they don’t really give a shit about comic book fans.

Maybe that’s too harsh. Maybe it’s just that studios love money – more than just the fans’ – and fans want the impossible. They want something that reminds them of the first time that, as a kid, they first read a Thor, Green Lantern, Captain America or Tintin comic, to capture that feeling of discovering something for the first time. But it also has to have nods to the longtime fans to reward their service. And it can’t be for kids, but kids should love it.

And studios? Well, like I said: they want money. That leads to all sorts of decisions. Sometimes good, sometimes… not for me. But there’s definitely a bottom line. These aren’t not-for-profits. It’s their job only to care about the fan as much as they don’t piss them off enough to avoid seeing the movie about the guy on their t-shirts, their bookshelves and their long boxes.

Like I said: there’s an impasse.

00. My job

But, see, Ghost Rider still made a pooptonne of money. There’s going to be another. And with that in mind, comic book fans have a few options when it comes down to it:

1. Don’t see it.

B. Be quiet about it if you don’t like it.

€. Look for ways to have fun with it.

And really, all of these are pretty easy when you think about it.

01. THE FINE ART OF NOT CARING.

This one’s pretty easy. Hell, I’ve probably talked about it here already, probably in this very same column. I’ll be brief, I swear. Here’s the gist: it is your job to avoid things that don’t make you happy. It’s your basic evolutionary imperative. It applies to food, to shelter, to the people you surround yourself with. So why not the media you enjoy? If the new Tintin movie doesn’t look like It’s going to blow your hair back, steer clear. You’ll be happy and you’ll have voted with your wallet. Done.

Now that wasn’t too bad, was it?

B. SPEAK NO EVIL

Of course, it’s not always that easy. Sometimes, you really do want to like something and you just don’t. That’s okay, there’s nothing wrong with not liking things. It’s not a crime.

So let’s say you saw Thor and didn’t like it. Oh well. That sucks. So you log on to Twitter and toss out a quick mention of that fact. Cool! That’s the wonder of modern technology.

But let that be it.

No, I mean it. If you’re still complaining, apropos of nothing, a week later? All you’re doing is making yourself unhappy and smearing a bunch of shit all over the Internet. Of course, it’s still cool not to like Thor. And a healthy, critical discussion? That’s still rad and a half. But if you’re just complaining? I don’t see why. Where’s the good in it?

That’s a serious question. I want you to answer it. Why not talk about something you like?

€. YODA WAS FUCKIN’ WRONG, GUYS. TRYING IS RAD.

Let’s step back in time a little. Alllll the way back to when you were a wee kid. Dang, wasn’t your babysitter hot? Okay, now let’s go forward a little. To a couple of weeks ago, when the trailer for The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn made its way to the web. It hadn’t been live for half an hour before my Twitter feed was full of the Internet bellowing, “UNCANNY VALLEY! UNCANNY VALLEY!” It was deafening. It sounded like the worst movie ever. Then I watched the trailer.

And it looked good! Now, I’m not saying it will be my favourite movie ever. But it looked fun, it had bright colours and teased of swashbuckling adventure. It made me want to see it even more than I already did.

Was the Internet wrong? No. A lot of people really did think it looked bad. But so did J J AbramsStar Trek trailer when I first saw it. So did a lot of other movies. Some looked silly. Some looked unfaithful to the material I loved. Some just didn’t look…right. But eventually, against what I thought was my better judgment, I gave these a try. And a lot of the time? I loved them! People complained about X-Men: First Class based on nothing but trailers and posters for a year and now that they’re seeing the movie (or its strong reviews) they’re admitting, Okay, this is pretty great.

These are 30 second teasers and TV spots, people. They’re bites. They’re insubstantial. They’re not even made by the people who actually made the movie. They’re supposed to sell the movie. Sometimes they don’t. It’s not the movie’s fault. It could still be great!

So I’ve got a challenge. Try to watch a teaser and find something to like in it, instead of immediately seeing what’s wrong. Use your imagination and try to see the movie it could be. You might have fun.

You might not. Maybe you just can’t bring yourself to think it will be good. Don’t see it. Maybe you psych yourself up and you just don’t have fun. I feel for you; we’ve all been there. Just don’t perseverate. Don’t put shit out into the world. And above all else, just remember what it was like to be a kid reading Green Lantern for the first time, to just love things without preconceptions of it all.

It’s pretty fun!

C!TB Best of the Week | May 30th, 2011

Ta-daaaahhh

What’s up, human fleshlights? Did you have a funderful weekend? As I type this, I’m sitting in my cousin’s dining room in Kitchener, Ontario, eating leftover pizza and reading. Basically, life is sweet. And Brandon? Now that he’s moved, I suspect he’s passed out in another biracial sex pile as boxes of comics wobble sensually to the rhythm of a meat mountain.

Wait, what was I talking about?

Whatever. These were the best comics of last week.

For once, nothing sexy here!MCDUCKIN’, OLD SCHOOL

Guys, did you know Kaboom! is actually calling it the Disney Afternoon inside the comic? That’s right, my – and by proxy yours, too – favourite Saturday afternoon cartoons from childhood are now living on in comic book form. First it was Darkwing Duck, then it was the Rescue Rangers. Now it’s Duck Tales, too! This is, I’m guessing, what joy feels like.

Just like the other Kaboom! titles, Duck Tales #1 manages to capture the complete essence of the original show. Warren Spector nails the voices of the characters in a way that’s almost eerie, and the result is all those voices I’ve loved for years bouncing around in my head all over again like it’s the weekend and I’m 10 years old once again. The plot, about Scrooge McDuck being guilted (by Webby) and goaded (by one of his nemeses) into giving away all the treasures he’s amassed over the years. Of course, there’s a plot. Things go wrong. Things get real. Well, as real as things involving anthropomorphic ducks who wear shirts but not pants and swim in money are going to get.

But we don’t love these shows and these comics because they’re real. We love them because the imagination and pure joy they elicit makes us feel like we’re kids again, because they make us laugh and grin like kids. Or idiots. Whatever. They’re fun! For that, we give the issue our inaugural I Hope TaleSpin Is Next Award. (J)

TIME IS A FICKLE CONTEMPTUOUS BITCH

Here is a fantastical fact for your brain meats: at a certain level of exhaustion, my brain appears to kick in like a motherfucker and writing becomes a slight bit easier to do. For instance, I did not stare at this computer for hours trying to figure out how to start this review. I just wrote shit. Now, on the other hand, my filter is clearly gone, and you’re just getting meandering dreck. So.

Last week saw the conclusion to Jason Aaron and Adam Kubert’s thugonomic, stereophonic, time travel fantacular within the pages of Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine – and the results were fantastic. Note, in my current move-induced state of fatigue, I am not predisposed to follow things that involve time travel. For the most part, stories that loop in and around themselves as characters are flung forwards and backwards through time require a little bit of extra brain-thinkery – thus, the smallest bit of confusion would’ve probably sent me into a sleep coma for a solid decade. But this story? This story was fantastic. The time bits were explored quite well, explained to my liking, and the conclusion was suitable and fitting on a number of levels. There was even a nice emotional punch-to-the-gut ending that really pushed the story to a different level. And the epilogue? Whelp, let’s just say I can’t wait to see that play itself out somewhere. It should be interesting to see.

And so we bestow this book and its creators the Time Unicorn Award for, uhhh… being fantastic and rare, like a time unicorn or something. Look, let’s just move on to the best of the week, and pretend as though I never spoke about things, mmkay? (B)

Better than alllll the rest

But yeah, there was one comic this week that stands above the rest, that thrilled Brandon and I more than any other, only one comic that had the Lincoln Memorial coming to life and fighting Nazis with the help of dinosaurs and George Washington.

Yes.

YES!

20110529-053013.jpg

Boom.

Nick Spencer has done it again. This man, this man, he just makes comics that make us so happy. Who else could take a series about a covert spy team of superheroes and make an issue about a giant battle where an animated Lincoln Memorial, dinosaurs and contents of the Smithsonian fight a giant battle against Nazi mechs while not seeming out of place. And then he adds a touching story about Beast and a congressman friend of his having a soft, poignant conversation about integrity and the importance of fighting for what you believe in even if it’s hopeless, just because it’s right.

That’s the part, even more than the awesomeness of Lincoln fighting Nazis, that got to me. And don’t get me wrong, that part was awesome. But a doomed person trying to remind his country about the fight to stay free, through the power of one of the most famous speeches of his country’s history? GodDAMN. I follow Spencer on Twitter, so I’m familiar with his political outrage and indignation, but seeing his unabashed optimism? His belief in democracy and the never-ending duty to protect it? I got goosebumps. It was like watching The West Wing for the first time all over again. It was beautiful and I’m so grateful I got to read it.

You’re Welcome, Internet | May 23-27, 2011

Drawing sex pictures for the masses.

One week down, seven to go! Until what, you ask?  Don’t worry, you’ll see it on the news.

You’re welcome, Internet.

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She-Hulk spanks Iron Man animated by Max

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OH NOES BATS EAT BUGSBat-douche

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Love.

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This is how the first dude lost an eye.

“Archie, no!”

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Served on melmac?

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Bob "Jack" Ross.

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Click for full bodied goodness

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LEASK: Another week, another night spent listening to Lady Gaga at 3am while you tried to shit out an article about her that actually turned out to be kind of alright.

Or was that just me?

Either way, I think the week was pretty great; on Tuesday, Brandon and I woke up to an extremely supportive email from one of our favourite creators, and it absolutely made our weeks.  I still haven’t emailed him back because I’m scared of being too weird.

In unrelated news, I’ll be away next week visiting Ottawa, but I’ll try to have a few things up for you.  I’m traveling with just my iPad instead of my laptop, so you’re about to find out how good the iOS WordPress app is.  Brandon’s moving too, so things might be a little lighter than usual here.  We’ll make it up later, I sex promise you.

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SCHATZ: Actually, if I know anything about myself, there will probably be a lotof content from me next week. Like James said, I’m moving this weekend, which means next week I’ll be unpacking things. And when I’m unpacking, I will do anything and everything else other than… you know… unpacking. I mean hey, this week saw me put something up nearly every day, and that was while I was packing things up until 2 am ev-a-ree night. But we’ll see what happens, I suppose.

Before we head off into the sunset for another week, I just want to thank you all for your support of the site. It really means a lot to us that people out there seem to be responding to James and I stringing two or three terrible jokes together into things that vaguely resemble articles. So… thanks! And with that….

You’ve been reading Comics! The Blog. This concludes our broadcast week.

Movin' On Up: Death by Comic Books

Now they give it to me nice and easy/Since I moved up like George and Weezie

Part 4 (of 3): Mother’s don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys comic shop managers

Staring at my life as it descends into a yin and yang of neatly stacked boxes and spatters of ephemera still strewn across the ground, I am seized by the thought that life would be a whole lot easier if I just set fire to it all. As the flames would light my face, I would probably smile, because finally, mercifully, it would all be over. And I just want it all to be over.

Two months ago, my roommate decided that we needed to move. Up until October, I had actually planned to move once my lease was up for the year into a place of my own. One last move into a place that I could call my own, that was mine. These well laid plans were scuttled, however, when my car choked and shuddered to a stop for the very last time. Money for a down payment of some sort became “money for a new car”, and with relatively little credit to my name, the banks were just going to laugh in my damn face if I tried to take out a mortgage around the same time I signed up for a loan for the rest of the car.

And so I resigned myself to another year of renting, the light at the tunnel a little further than before. But at least I don’t have to move all of my shit, I thought.

Life, you are a fucking cruel and spiteful bitch.

STAB IT IN THE EYES

When he proposed the move, I told the roommate he better have some fucking good reasons for trying to get me to move all of my stuff. And he did. He was going to go to college this coming year and he wanted a place that didn’t require a two hour bus ride to get to campus. Plus, since we moved into our current residence, rental prices had shot down – not to mention the fact that over the course of the two years we had been living there, my cars had been broken into three times, right in front of the house. So I agreed, but with a couple of caveats: that he would take care of all of the searching (because if I thought about the move too much, I would lock down and refuse to leave) and that when we started to move, he would not complain about the amount of books he would have to move. This last one was important, because seriously? I have a lot of shit. If you want to look at it with Juggalo Science, objects are drawn to nerds because of miracles, and that shit is both unexplicable, and unavoidable.

Anyway, flash forward to Monday. That dude’s family drives down with a large van. They take three loads of things and the first contains all of his stuff (DVDs, books, CDs, etc). It takes up maybe a third of this van. The rest of that load? My books. The second trip is similar, though his stuff is replaced with a few of my bookcases. And the third? More of the same. At the end of that day – which was merely phase one of the move – he sits down on a couch, beer in hand and goes, “Fuck. You’re books. So many books.”

“You brought this on yourself,” I reply, sitting on an opposite couch.

Behind me are more boxes. More books.

“I know,” he says, draining half his beer in a gulp.

I’m pretty sure he cried himself to sleep that night.

DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE

This week has been hell. I wake up every morning, drive to work, stay past closing (because I just can’t help myself) get home at ten, load my car with as much shit as it can take, drive it down to the new place, return home, and then set to packing more stuff. At two in the morning, my brain finally strokes out and leaves me in a crumpled pile on the ground. I wake up in the morning, and do it all over again.

This routine is punctuated by a few bits of unproductive bouts of relaxation. On Tuesday, in order to pull me back from a stress induced panic attack, I stayed late at work to get things ready for Wednesday, and to inject some comics into my eyeballs – and like all good drugs, it soothed the fire that was threatening to erupt into knife stabs. It allowed me to breathe again, which was nice. On Wednesday, I had burgers with James after the shop closed at a bar. It’s something I shouldn’t have done (STILL MORE STUFF!) but a guy’s gotta eat, and I needed to spend a few hours making terrible jokes with a fellow connoisseur. Then finally, on Thursday, I had a clear night of moving and packing. After finishing dropping off a load of stuff at the new place, I went to work sweeping up the dregs and shoving the more random crap into boxes. This worked pretty well until I remembered – oh right! – I was housing one of my old roommates for the night. He needed a place to stay because half of the town he was living in burned to the ground a couple of weeks ago, and he needed a place to stay before he could return to his old stomping ground (his house was spared by the flames). Anyway, he arrived and we got to talking and drinking. Several alcohols later, I’m stumbling to my room where I pass out amid a scattered mass of shit.

Today, I woke up to the sight of still more things. I hadn’t quite accomplished the amount I wanted to right now, and it’s crunch time. One of my parents is heading to the city to help us finish the move by taking the beds and couches and remaining boxes. I panic a bit, but then stumbled upon my copy of Fred Van Lente’s Taskmaster collection and use Don of the Dead to get back on solid ground.

Tonight I will go home and freak out again. But for now, I’m okay. I’m surrounded by comics, and by like minded people who like rad things. And while my job may have gotten me into this situation, what with all this access to all this stuff, it’s also the thing that’s saving me right now.

Comics, you guys. They’re amazing, and I wouldn’t trade them, or this job for anything.

Next: Either pictures of the unpacking process and the new set-up, or a link to a murder suicide article on the local news site. Stay tuned!

Recomendation: Secret Avengers #13

SECRET AVENGERS #13 (Marvel Comics)
by Nick Spencer, Scot Eaton, Jamie Mendoza, Rick Ketcham, Frank D’Armata and Dave Lanphear

Synopsis: While America weathers an attack unlike any other, Abraham Lincoln comes back to life to lead an attack against Nazi death machines. With dinosaurs.

01. Fuck you, I don’t have to tell you anything else other than that. You shouldn’t even be reading this part anymore, you should’ve left your chair spinning in your wake as you drive with reckless abandon towards your local comic shop. If it’s closed and you have the money to cover the cost of damages and the comic, plow your car right through the entrance and grab a copy. Hug it. Love it. Never let it go, ever. This is what you must do right now.

02.

03. You know what? Fine. Deprive yourself of this comic. Live without so you can read my shitty words. At the end of the day, you’ll have to live with that decision, and I’m sure as hell not going to take the blame. But since you’re here, I might as well make an effort.

04. There is no reason this comic should be as good as it is. I mean, I expected it to be good – Nick Spencer has yet to disappoint, after all – but the man was given the job of holding the fort in between runs by Warren Ellis and Ed Brubaker during a mega event. In that situation, I figured I’d get something decent, and not amazing. But… you guys… the Lincoln Memorial comes to life in this issue and leads an army of dinosaurs against Nazi death machines. And it makes perfect story sense. In fact, at the end of the issue, even after all that craziness happens, it all ends up boiling down to something charming and quiet. A defiant and well reasoned plea for courage and sanity in the midst of fear and death. It’s friggen poetic, and probably one of the best things Spencer has written – which is saying quiet a bit.

05. Of course, when it comes to comic books, a story can be made or broken with the artist – and man, there’s no way anyone can complain about the work that Scot Eaton and his band of merry collaborators bring to the table here. The action is swift and brutal and the quiet moments really tug at your heart strings as everything begins to crumble bit by bit. A stunning effort by all involved. Really, you’ve wasted your time reading these words if you don’t already have this book in your hands. So go. Go now. Your nerd cred depends on it.

There Are No Guilty Pleasures, Episode 4: Bluffin' With my Muffin, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Gaga

Grab my glasses, I'm out the door, I'm gonna hit this city.

Episode 4: Bluffin’ With my Muffin, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Gaga

To be totally honest, I’m not exactly sure what it means.  I think it’s a joke about baked goods.  Or something.  What I do know, however, is that in the last day I’ve had two different conversations about what my favourite song is on the new Lady Gaga album, Born This Way, a distinction which changes every time I listen to the album.

Of course, it wasn’t always this way.  A year and a half ago, I hadn’t even heard anything about Gaga other than that she once wore a dress made of muppets she murdered and a few bars of “Poker Face” that I heard during a TV ad for the latest annual compilation of MuchDance while I watched the episode of (Canadian) Cribs with the member of the BC Lions almost nobody knows showing the viewers his X-Box like it is a thing that is supposed to be impressive, followed by a member of the Los Angeles Kings showing off his office, which is basically just an expensive place he stacks his numerous speeding tickets.

But this isn’t an article about Cribs, though I could probably write one about how much I love its low budget Canadian iteration.  This is about something that’s almost as close to the opposite of low budget as you can get without being Queen Elizabeth II: Gaga!  And my growing, impossible-to-hide love for her.

This was back in the heady days of 2008 or 2009, when it was pretty easy to not know that Lady Gaga didn’t exist if you didn’t listen to Top 40 radio or watch MuchMusic for something other than Cribs.  All I knew about her were those few bars and that my girlfriend at the time was really adorable when she imitated the “P-p-p-p-poker face” line in a funny voice.  At the time, I declared Gaga to be a “one hit wonder,” even though I didn’t think making a “p-p-p-p” sound like an ineffective motorboat  actually counted as a hit.

Basically, I don’t ever know what I’m talking about.

It was probably another full year before I actually heard a full Lady Gaga song.  I mean, by then I knew who she was, and I knew that I was about as wrong as I could have been when I’d pronounced her to be an artist that would disappear within a matter of months, but it wasn’t until everybody told me I had to watch the video for “Telephone” that I actually listened to one of her songs.  And it was pretty good!

I still didn’t actively seek out more of her songs, though.  At that point, it was pretty easy to let the juggernaut that was the Haus of Somethingorother find me.  I had a sense of who she was.  I even bought the Bluewater Lady Gaga comic and had a blast.  I watched – and loved – the Glee episode dedicated to her songs.

And yet…

I don’t know why I didn’t buy her albums right then.  It certainly wasn’t because I felt guilty about loving her music.  I mean, look at the title of this column.  Read the last episode.  I think I reiterated my belief that “MMMBop” is one of the greatest pop songs ever just last week; guilt and shame about the music I like just isn’t on the table.

So what was it?  I think I felt that there was such a saturation of Gaga at the time that I felt like I’d already bought the albums.  The news was talking about her.  My friends were talking about her.  There were enough tweets with links to her videos that I didn’t feel like I was missing out.

But then I thought, Hey jackhole, you talk big on your personal blog about how people should support artists they like by buying music, how about you do it, dick? And, overly harsh on myself or not, thank-you-very-much-Scottish-ancestry, my internal asshole-alogue had a point.  Plus, there’s nothing like weirding out passersby on the street (or at Brandon’s store) with the awkward glory that is a nerd dancing unironically.

So, cue Monday.  I’ve come to terms with my love of sick beats and disco sticks, I load iTunes and there’s a big ol’ featured link to the new album.  And I have the day off work due to Victoria Day, basically the best part of being a constitutional monarchy.

Click.

Now what?

Pajamas dance party, that’s what!

And guys, Born This Way is so good! Now, I really don’t care much about fashion (le gasp!), so about half of Lady Gaga’s act is more or less lost on me.  I never gave a shit about whether or not she had a dong or whether she was androgynous or beautiful or whatever.  She seems pretty nice, that’s the extent of my knowledge.  She can be whoever she wants to be.

But that music?  The sleazy, pounding BOOM BOOM BOOM as Stefani Germanitassimolattewithsugar moans and monotones and sing-sing-sings?  Goddamn if that isn’t something that makes me happy.  The inimitable Rob Sheffield has a great rundown of the album, and I’m not even going to try to upstage the greatest music writer of a generation by getting into all that, but here’s what it is: it’s fun.  It’s loud.  It’s unapologetic in how Gaga borrows from anything and everything she loves, even as the result is something that I haven’t heard before.  It’s def funky jams and killer riffz and a a bunch of other silly words that make me giggle.  Fuck the Madonna comparison whining.  This is a great album.  Madge’s great cuts are still there.  Nobody’s gonna forget “Express Yourself” because of “Born This Way.”  Hell, I bet it saw a sales increase.  Whatever the case is, this is new, this is something else.  I have room in my heart for both.

Plus, Ray of Light was Madonna‘s best album anyway.

And come on!  E-Street Band member Clarence Clemons plays saxophone on a song! Which is so rad, and it turns a song that might have been thought of as purely Cher-esque into my new number one boxers dance jam.  When in doubt, add Bruce and wiggle.

I don’t know what your favourite song on the album is; everybody I’ve talked to has a different one.  But there’s a certain glee in finding somebody to exult in about anything, and with her being probably the biggest recording artist on the planet right now, it’s not hard to find someone to talk to about her music.  Media saturation, comedy spoofing, gossip and everything else is secondary to this: I like her music.  It makes me happy.  I generally ignore everything else because nothing else matters to me.  Maybe it does to you, though!  That’s cool!  Just make sure you love what you love.  Me?  I love dancing to Gaga.

I think I’m a Little Monster or whatever.  Keen.

You Read These With Your Eyes – May 25th, 2011

Read about these, earth-man.

Every week, Comics! The Blog goes through the list of new releases and tell you which comics to plug into your mind hole. Your mileage may vary.

DV8: GODS AND MONSTERS TP (DC Comics/Wildstorm)

You have no idea how happy I am to see this collection, you guys. See, DC has a nasty habit of soliciting collections, and canceling them if sales don’t meet a certain threshold – which has led to the untimely demise of a few old Wildstorm projects that would’ve (IMO) had a better life as a collection than as single issues. But whatever.

This is the collection of the Brian Wood/Rebekah Isaacs eight issue DV8 reboot – one that not only reintroduced the characters (having long been out of circulation) but told a fascinating tale of super powers on a more visceral Lord of the Flies kind of way. A great read if you like superheroics that are just a touch removed from the norm, and books like Wood’s Demo.

IRON MAN 2.0 #5 & SECRET AVENGERS #13 (Marvel Comics)

In which C!TB favourite Nick Spencer takes over Marvel’s big event for a week! The work he’s done on both of these books has been phenomenal so far, and if you’re looking for a nice entry point into their worlds, you could do worse than jumping on here. Seriously, these are going to be rad as balls.

DETECTIVE COMICS #877 (DC Comics)

Scott Snyder blew our minds on last week’s Batman: Gates of Gotham – but that wasn’t really much of a surprise, because the man has been killing it on this book since November. Filled with taut mysteries and gloomy bat-doings (but with a dash of humor), he’s made DETECTIVE a must read again. And this issue? Is more of the same amazingness as before. If you’ve been slacking on the whole “reading this book” thing, you should probably get on that. Now.

STRANGE ADVENTURES #1 (DC/Vertigo)

So hey, Vertigo is publishing this little anthology book, and it’s got writers and artists like Jeff Lemire, Brian Azzarello, Eduardo Risso, Paul Cornell, Ross Campbell, and Peter Milligan on board – as well as others. Basically, they are all doing some short sci-fi stories, and they will probably be amazing. Oh, and there’s a cover by this guy named Paul Pope? So yeah. Don’t miss out on this.

These are just five books being released this week! You can find the full list of comics being released here. If you have any other recommendations, let us know in the comments below.

 

Drunk Comic Recap Sober Suppliment: Godzilla vs Barkley VIDEO!

Hi there, sportsfans!  Or is it comics fans?  Well, today it’s BOTH!  Surely by now you’ve seen Brandon’s excellent drunk comic recap for Dark Horse‘s 1993 one-shot Godzilla vs. Barkley comic.  Well, I put little ol’ “Godzilla vs Barkley” into Google and discovered there was a whole related TV commercial for Nike that I’d forgotten existed, which clearly means I am a thought criminal.

Luckily, there’s a version online that you can see and enjoy below:

Charles Barkley VS Godzilla from Jeff Roth on Vimeo.

Basically, things are awesome today and now you know why.  Until next time, chochachos!

Drunk Comic Recaps – Godzilla vs. Barkley

Yeah he does!I have to pee. This will not end well.

OOHH HHEEEEEEY! You guys, it’s time! IT’S TIME! For DRUNK! COMIC! REEEEECCAAAAAAAPSSSS!

So it’s been what. Three weeks since the last one of these? And in that time I was sick and then, I think I did something last week? I can’t remember. But there was maybe something that happened and it sucked. But look! We have a brand new recap here today, and it’s a doozy! So hang the fuck on, because THINGS are about to get REAL

GODZILLA VS. BARKLEY ONE SHOT – Balls

Ew.Yes, this was definitely a thing that happened. The cover alone is hilarious, and has a tag that reads “Read in awe as GODZILLA battles CHARLES BARKLEY in a cataclysmic game of hoops the likes of which has never before been witnessed by MAN!” Which, I will presume means, a game of that magnitude has been witnessed by Godzillas. Like, they do this shit all the time, and they call it “regular basketball” or some shit. Any way.

The book begins! With fisher people? People in a boat. And they are talking in Japan and one of them is worried about Godzilla rising, because they are in a storm, and the other says “don’t even say that, Godzilla doesn’t exist” and the Godzilla rises and wrecks the shit out of their boat like so. Many. Mothra. Vaginas.

Flash to, uh… a beach! Elsewhere! Where a young black kid and his gramps are walking, and the kid is super excited about meeting someone. The kid says “I wish I were taller” to which my brain says “Well, I wish I was a baller” and then he asks his gramps what he can see. Gramps says he sees people and the kid runs ahead to see what’s up, and runs into a shoot where Charles Barkley is… shooting… a commercial? GOD DAMMIT WORDS IS HARD.

Anyway, the kid ends up getting turned away by Charles’ bodyguard dude, who tells him to step off, and he walks away all dijected and shit, and his grandpa tries to make him feel better by giving the boy a magic coin (or a coin he says brings him luck). Then they stumble across a passed out dude, who is being held by two honkies who clearly llive on the beach. Anyway, this passed out guy warns everyone that Godzilla is coming, and people are like “BULLSHIT” and the kid goes, FUCK YOU, he’s the “King of the Monsters” and then Gozilla pops out of the water with a big “SKREONK” and starts stomping shit up.

If this hasn't been optioned for film I'm calling dibs right now.The kid decides that he needs to use the magic coin that his gramps gave him to stop Godzilla. His grandpa tells him that he shouldn’t take on Godzilla himself, and the kid goes, “Not ME, gramps, BARKLEY! Charles Barkley is the earth’s greatest warrior! Only he can stop Godzilla!” Anyway, Godzilla blows up some planes and the kid nabs a skateboard, does a sweet trick, and nabs Barkley’s attention. Oh, by the way, he needs to get Barkley’s attention this way, because his enterage is being dicks and keeping hte kid from him. Anyway, the kid tells Barkley that he has to stop Godzilla and take the silver dollar he has and Barkley says “I don’t have to stop that ugly monster and I don’t want your dollar. You want to give me a dollar, buy a ticket to the game.”

But then the kid tells him that he has to stop Godzilla, that he’s the only one who can, because he’s earth’s greatest warrior, and Charles then says “Hmm… you may have a point there.” Then he turns around IMMEDIATELY and tells his people that they are fired. The guy with the pony tail asks what will happen if he says something that offends someone in Vermont, and Charles says to just have them write him, and to give him some space.

Anyway, two seconds later, Charles has stolen this kid from hisgramps, and they are driving. Barkley wants to know how he’s supposed to stop Godzilla, and the kid tells him they should use the magic dollar. Charles looks at it, identifies it as a 1889 Morgan Silver Dollar in fine condition and then the kid tells him to maybe put it in his mouth. Charles tells the kid that you should NEVER put strange money in your mouth, ebcause you don’t know where it’s been, and then the kid sees a hoop, and demands that Barkley pull the car over to show him some moves.

So they’re about to play hoops, and flip to see who goes, when Barkley nabs the coin and ends up growing to Godzilla height. He sees that now he has a responsibility to save the city, and so he goes off to do that. On his way there, a news helicoptor asks him what he’s doing, and Barkley says “I’m gonna try to lead the monster out of the city. I’m going to challenge him to some one-on-one. It’s a little known fact that Godzilla is a sucker for B-Ball!”

So they go to this air base and Charles wrecks a satilite dish and turns it into a giant hops things, and they play hoops until Godzilla gets mad that he’s losing and melts the ball. Charles scolds him, but tells him that he has moves, ad that he should try out of the Bulls of another “second rate team” and then says “You don’t need to be toastin’ the opposition! Where’s your sense of honor?” I am assuming that he is appealing to his sense of honor, because he believes Godzilla to be Japanese. Which is RACIST.

Anyway, they walk off together, with Barkley’s arm around Godzilla, and Charles promises that they will have a chat and find him some proper b-ball shoes. After getting Godzilla the 13,000 EEE size shoes, he tells him to work on 1,000,000 lay ups, which solves the whole attacking problem, because now Godzilla is busy. Then Charles flies down back to see the boy and give him a dollar. He does that, and the story ends.

HEY! That was AWESOME!

Anyway, this feature should be bacK! Again! Next week for more! Until then!!!

Komitchiwham bitches!

[Ed note: Because I am lazy, I stole these pictures with so much love from Chris Sims’ excellent ComicsAlliance article, “The Greatest Dinosaurs in Comic Books“.  Read it and imagine what kind of articles you could read here if we were talented like Chris. – DJ Jazzy James]

[Ed note #2: Apparently this was a tie-in to a Nike TV commercial!  The video is here. – Jittery James]