Briefly // Too Much Show

I’m having one of those problems that aren’t actually a problem. This past Christmas, I finally shook loose a chunk of change large enough to nab me one of those fancy tablet devices I’ve seen two year old kids chewing on at restaurants, and since then, I’ve been having trouble getting articles out. This is entirely my fault, of course: I’ve never been great at compartmentalizing, and so when I was met by the torrent of media available for tablets, I let myself wash away in the stream. Now I’m trying to claw my way back. This might take some time.

The problem is this: between my current physical too-read pile, and the stacks of digital comics I have amassed through ComiXology and Marvel’s Unlimited app, I’ve been spending far too much time trying to figure out what to read next, instead of actually reading things. This leads to some severe whirlwind trips to and from runs both old and new, with ideas for articles swirling in the eddies of every issue. All of those random issues and ideas end up piling up until they become a roiling mass of unintelligible information that I have to force myself to communicate in some way, shape or form. What I used to do is no longer working – so it’s time to take this problem and make things small.

Too Much Pie

Every day, you’re going to start seeing small random posts from me in and around the larger bits of content that we offer on this site. The intent is to bite off chunks of the roiling mass with an eye to form something bigger and better later. It starts today, with this post. It will continue, hopefully, for the remainder of the year, and beyond. Hey, this is a blog is it not? We’re always talking about how we love those who use the comic book format to the fullest, and here we are, wasting a perfectly good blog with regular articles that have become late-as-hell through the result of deadlocked brains and fatigue. It’s time for content. Let’s get on with the show.

Jetpack Tastes on an Alero Budget

01. You probably noticed the new site design by now, didn’t you?  Isn’t it swanky?  I like how the header has a Sam Humphries afro.

02. That was a pleasant surprise, actually!  Around here, I basically handle zero of the technical aspects that aren’t the podcast, and my responsibility with the site design is basically forgetting to answer Brandon’s texts and direct messages about the latest work-in-progress version of a new site design.  I actually think Twitter has had more of a role with this than I have, actually; the last time we redesigned the site, our followers gave feedback to Brandon on the colours when mine was basically, “It’s pretty good.”  I’m not always this lazy, I swear.

But that is a good example of how the site works.  Brandon wrangles the tech stuff.  I try to make sure posts have the same tags and formatting so that the site doesn’t feel as slapdash as it absolutely is, and so that the whole thing feels like the continuous thing I want it to be.  Sometimes I silently debate murdering Brandon over saying shit like “kind’ve” and then realize that I don’t really want to have to start doing my own WordPress tech support and write everything.  That’s friendship, I guess.

…And Another Year Closer To Death

01. Because it wouldn’t be a proper Comics! The Blog celebration without a hefty reminder of futility and shame. Drop a beat, I’m gonna kick this old school, with a numbered list and everything.

02. Two years. The site has been around two whole years, and that’s pretty amazing. Despite my creative impulses, I’ve never been able to make a go of personal projects for longer than a few months, usually fizzling just when people start noticing I’ve been doing something off in my little corner. There are always excuses for this behavior. Life, work, stress, whatever. In the past, this site wouldn’t have made it past its first six months. We would have just been another pair of guys with enough disposable income to buy webspace and nothing more – but instead, we became something great. It’s something I could not have done on my own. Which brings me to James.

Site News: What Are You, New?

Hey everyone, and welcome to the brand new look for Comics! The Blog! We’ve been preparing this slowly in the background for a couple of months now, and we’re really proud of the look.

With the new site, comes a new format. We have a better layout for displaying our main features, and a nicer blog format to help facilitate shorter posts like this. What does it all mean? Whelp, a better looking site, with more content. What’s not to love?

Announcing: Early Night with James and Brandon! The Show!

PureSpec and Comics! The Blog present:

Early Night with James and Brandon! The Show!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if we were given the keys to their very own late night talk show? Listen, in our heart of hearts, we know that you’ve secretly been waiting for this moment, whether you’ll admit to it or not. And now it’s here!

For the first time ever, we’ll be taking the stage for our very own live talk show at this year’s Pure Speculation festival, delivering late night laffs in a prime time spot.

This is now how I will end every conversation.

THE DETAILS: 

The show takes place on November 17th at the Grant MacEwan Robbins Health Centre, running from 6pm to 7:30. To attend, you must have tickets to PureSpec, so don’t show up and just expect to get in. We love you, but these folks are taking a ridiculous and unnecessary risk by letting us talk to a room full of people for over an hour, and they should be richly compensated for that courage.

You can grab tickets for the full weekend (or just Saturday) online at their website, or you can pop in to Wizard’s Comics or Happy Harbor, where they will gladly give you a full weekend pass in exchange for $40 slim dollars. (An aside: we highly suggest you nab the weekend pass, which grants you FREE ACCESS to the big Taste of PureSpec on Friday. It’s a hoot.)

WHY YOU SHOULD GO: 

If the chance to hear our supple voices in person is not enough to tweak your lobes, we have just the thing that’ll do it.

During the show, we’ll be interviewing the darling Matt Fraction and the dapper Kelly Sue DeConnick, writers of book such as Casanova, Invincible Iron Man, Osborn and Captain Marvel! They will be our special Skype-in guests, alongside whatever else we have planned (but can’t quite announce).

It should be a pretty rad time, so drop in, check out PureSpec, and then hit our big show! You’ll be glad you did!

Comics! The Blog vs 2012

This year, I did not drink with the Russians. As sad fate would have it, my access to them has been cut off – or more to the point, one of my friends no longer lives with the Russians. And so this new year’s eve, I found myself at a different setting altogether – one filled with good friends, good food, and good times. We did not set our wishes on fire (because with the sheer amount of people involved, we would’ve surely set quite a few things on fire) but the party was still amazing. After all, while last year was interesting, I don’t remember most of it – nor do I remember the names of the Russians I was hanging out with. This year, I spent it with James and my special lady friend and some mutual acquaintances (who are pretty rad in their own right) and it was great. We talked, we laughed, and more importantly, we had a good time and totally didn’t almost miss the countdown.

Ahem.

Anyway, the year started quite well, and the year ahead looks pretty stellar. There’s a lot to look forward to (including the mysterious something we keep counting down to here on the site) and so we thought we’d touch upon a few of those things before we really kick things off on the blog for the new year.

Wot wot.

01. THINGS THAT INVOLVE BATMAN

This year should be a good one for the Dark Knight. Not only does The Dark Knight Rises hit the theatres this summer, but the big blockbuster conclusion to Grant Morrison’s epic Batman run will finally unspool at some point this year. In the case of The Dark Knight Rises, we’ve been waiting for quite a few years. Not that doing so is a bad thing. Remember when the Batman movies of the 80s and 90s started pushing forward at a fairly fast clip? We got some, uh… interesting and amazing stylistic choices from that.

Christopher Nolan is known for taking his sweet time with his movies, to make sure that they have the proper room to breathe. Also, he’s a guy that has so much clout now, he can essentially tell the studios where they can put their precious 3D – and when this new Batman movie makes all the money, he can take that clout to the bank for even more things in the future. (Which is to say, we don’t much care for 3D movies – which might be unsurprising, considering the fact that James can only see out of one of his eyes. But enough penis talk.)

And then, of course, there is Morrison, who’s Batman run of comics will go down as one of the greatest in history. The last batch of Batman Incorporated stories that hit the stands (in the form of the wonderful Leviathan Strikes one-shot) were quite stunning, gunning straight for the gut and picking up threads that go back right to the first arc of his run. It set up what looks to be a stunning conclusion to the series, with some fantastic art on tap by Chris Burnham to boot – who has been elevated to super-star status with his art on the books so far.

It’s all going to be amazing, and we absolutely can’t wait.

02. THE BEST OF THE 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, AND TODAY!

Despite my position as a comic shop manager, I am woefully behind on reading what many consider to be the classics of the medium. Books like Preacher, 100 Bullets, Transmetropolitan, Love and Rockets, Doom Patrol (the Morrison version), The Invisibles, Walt Simonson’s Thor, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Batman Year One, The Dark Knight Returns and a veritable bevy of others. I’m not proud of this – especially when you consider the fact that I do own each and every volume of series that I just listed. Which is why this year I aim to rectify this. I was especially spurred towards this when I kept seeing the fourth volume of the new yearly Love and Rockets series on pretty much every best of list this year, imploring everyone to read all of the volumes for the highest emotional payload. Which is also why I’ll be attempting to read and talk about all of these books occasionally on the blog this year. All it will take is a little bit of planning and gumption – hopefully that works about, because I’ve been wanting to sit down and plow through some of these books for far too long now.

03. EXPLORE NEW WORLDS

The year already looks like its going to be full of amazing new books. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples looks amazing. The new Brubaker and Phillips series Fatale is arriving tomorrow, and reports are coming in already that it’s one of their best (which is saying something). And then there’s also Prophet and Saucer Country and New Deadwardians and Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child and The Manhatten Projects and more Sacrifice and Casanova and on and on and on. Seriously, there has never been a better time to be reading comics. There’s something exciting around for everybody!

04. AND MORE!

Which is to say nothing about all the personal projects coming up this year. As I tend to do every new year, I’m focusing down on writing. Last year I almost made it to the end of the year before powering down, which is amazing for me. But now, you’ll be able to expect a lot more from this site – at least from me. (Thank you, James, for carrying my ass for the last few weeks, you sex bucket of chum, you.) And as stated, the site is launching a new, amazing endeavour in the next few days – and I hope to be returning to the realm of fiction within the next three months or so. Which will be exciting.

Yes, the year is looking pretty amazing for comics, and for people who like to read the rad ones. And of course, we’ll be here to help you out with the whole “talking about them” thing. It should be great.

Thugs and kisses.