Gødland's shaping up to be lot more enjoyable than I thought it might be. Still haven't read issue 2 thanks to the slacker kid at the local comic shop (not really "local" as I have to drive a half hour south to get there, but you get the drift) who still hasn't ordered it after a month and a half. The villains so far, Freidrick Nickelhead and Discordia, have beena hoot and the main character's shaping up to be pretty interesting. There was a moment in the last issue (#4) where he's fighting a giant robot in the North Pole and starts wondering why he can't stop engaging in stereotypical superhero battle banter. I keep waiting for it to get too cut for it's own good, but it hasn't yet, so I guess I on board for the forseeable future. Oh yeah, and Scioli's art of Kirby-riffic. Marvel is smoking some serious crack to not take him up n a Black Bolt mini.
Bought the current run of Waid's Legion Of Super-heroes off a seller on ebay, so I'll review those when they get here.
But the comic I dug the most as of late is this bad boy here:
Of course, the mention of Celestials sent me on a fact-finding mission to decode the bits of remembered Marvel history I've accumulated over the years. I tore through the Wikipedia entries fo Kirby's 70's work at DC (the Fourth World books, Kamandi, O.M.A.C.) and Marvel (Eternals, 2001, Machine Man) and somehow stumbled on this brilliant site:
Wow. Some serious stuff goin on there. I spent s good part of a weekend hacking away at that. Got through the Middle Ages so far, but just a genius compiling of the insane morass of Marvel chronology. Like I said, this is whay I read comics, all the passing references to stuff it seemed like you should know (Celestials, High Evolutionary, Watchers etc.) that mad eyou feel ike you were somehow on the outside of an inside joke. Dang, I love comics.
Watched a few movies lately.Harold & Maude - It'd been YEEEEars since I last saw this movie and remembered next to nothing about it. Enjoyed it, but could have done without the semi-creepy sex scene. Still, an enjoyable, funny and well-crafted film.
David Byrne: Live @ Union Chapel Hall - We'd seen him earlier in this tour & I just remember the unbelievable energy that was in the room. That energy is somewhat lacking in this recording, whether it just didn't transfer to the recording or whether the crowd/venue proved a little too somber for the music to really take off. I dunno. Still it's worth it to hear his version of "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," and "Lazy," with an eight piece orchestra.
Finally, Dear Frankie. Chris was going nuts over this movie when we were down in Vegas last time, so I made a mental note to check it out. I remember seeing a preview for it before another film and thinking "Wow, that looks like a good movie." My immediate follow-up was "Would I even be thinking about watching this film if it were an American Hollywood film?" Luckily, It's anything but. It's a somewhat predictable view, but there's enough real human feeling and an undercurrent of sadness that it manages to avoid coming across as cloying or saccharine (unlike the imaginary American version I picture in my mind).
Batman Begins is next. Yay.
Aaaaaah, Manhattan Guardian. By far my favorite 7S mini, mainly because it's Grant's take on a DC take on a Marvel-style character, where the others in this wave (Klarion the Witch-Boy, Zatanna & Shining Knight) have been supernatural/magical in nature. This issue focuses more on the Newsboy Legion and their fates. A bit of metatext here with the Terrible TimeTailor fitting the shiniy Golden Age adventurers that are the Newsbot Legion with "new clothes," that rob them of their innocence. Lots of questions here: Is the Terrible Time Tailor one or all of the Seven Unknown Men? Why did he bring the Sheeda to harvest the earth? Was the last issue a foreshadowing of the relationship of the TTT and the Sheeda Queen - the husband scientist mobilizing robots after his wife turns them into her pawns - a battle with innocents caught in-between? Why did the Newsboy Legion kill Captain 7? Loving this mega-series, though. Next week: Grant tackles the cosmic superhero with Mister Miracle! Yay!
Gibson's Neuromancer. Pretty decent. I didn't love it as much as Pattern Recognition, but still, a decent thrill of a story. I now dislike the Matrix movies even more, as they just plain STOLE a large portion of the premise from this book. There are moments where it gets a little to "gritty" for my tastes, but all in all, a decent book. Philip K. Dick would be proud.
As you'll notice from the time stamps, it's pretty late. Couldn't sleep, so I worked on a project for a little and am now working through my backlog of posts I've been meaning to get to. This came out week before last, but here it is anyway - the first Seven Soldiers mini to wrap. Was it worth it? I think so. While I didn't enjoy this mini as much as, say Guardian, it had some great moments.
I love the way Grant's refitting forgotten concepts with the Seven Soldiers minis, with SK as a psychedelic fantasy. Story-wise, Shining Knight's a solid tale that ties into the mythological origins of the Sheeda, but grunds them as a real threat. Bianchi's art is gorgeous, but his storytelling is a bit wonky at times (issue 2's glaring inconsistencies during the police car escape springs to mind, as well as the unnecessary Chinese-type symbols in every exterior scene), but serves the book well. Like I said, not my favorite, but worth the money.
The thing that really hit me the most was how driven Alvin is to find out what his purpose is, how he fits in with the grand scheme. He has these talents and is DESPERATELY seeking an answer to how he should use them. I dunno, that really struck me. It seems like that's a big part of what I'm being taught right now: that there's a purpose and I need to be searching it out. I need to dream and then make it real.
Another thing that's really great about a Card book is his ability to flesh out any character. Even throwaway characters like - forgot his name, but he's Lincoln's friend, gets his wallet lifted, anyway... - has a distinct voice and motivation. I really loved Calvin's character, a real wonderful foil to Alvin: totally self-indulgent and scruple-less compared to Alvin's selfless conscience. It would have been really to wite him as a madman, or just out-and-out evil, but Card manages to flesh him out and we see the human inside him. Truly evil people don't think they're evil. Calvin sees his worldview as totally acceptable - power is to be used, not controlled. If you can do something, why not do it, right?
This book works as an alternate history book, a fantasy book and as religious allegory. Well-played Brother Card.
Saw this last week. Really loved it. Reminded me why I fell so deeply in love with the music of the Flaming Lips. Beautiful, scary, sad, ridiculous and fun, which, interestingly enough, is just like the music these guys make. Covering the twenty plus years of the Flaming Lips, through their mutations from Cure-with-a-Southern-accent goths, loud punk rockers, sundazed stoners, pop trippers and finally psychedelic scientists of the heart, it's a great look at one of the best bands out there. Recommended.
So, here I am, ten years latder, and Mercury Rev's providing the soundtrack to my life again. The Secret Migration is a tight, beautiful, almost poppy album, and man, it's good.
I was really excited about this &, all in all, I liked what I read. Casey both pays homage to & pokes fun at the over-the-top Kirby/Lee Silver Age Marvel style & time will tell whether this works or not. @ first blush, I'd have to say I liked what I read & am definitely looking forward to future issues. While I understand what Casey's trying to do here & applaud him for trying to make these forgotten & "uncool" tools (though balloons, obvious exposition, super-compression, etc.) work in a modern comic, I worry that the stylistic tics will get in the way of telling a good story. Casey's obviously a sharp guy & his Basement Tapes column @ comicbookresources.com with Matt Fraction is always an interesting read, but I still get the feeling whenever I read something of his that Casey's just trying too hard, which is better than not trying @ all I guess.