Saturday, November 27, 2010

JLA Overload Wallpaper

For those of you who don't mind your desktop a little busy...

Someone had a lot of fun Photoshopping various pieces of Alex Ross art together to make this.  (Which can be downloaded here, in case you're interested.)  I think it's really cool, but my brain would hurt if I had to find desktop icons on top of it.

It would look pretty cool on a wall, too...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Harley Quinn Sketch by Loston Wallace

November is just a crazy, and kind of bleak month, and I can't get my act together, and Frank from the Idol-Head of Diabolu was nice enough to call this to my attention.  So here's just a little something.

Though I'm pretty sure it's digital, I like the brush rendering used for the coloring, which makes it actually look like a sketch and not a scene from a comic.  A nice choice, I think.  And Harley's smile is a nice blend of crazy and sweet.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Picasso Superhero Portraits

From the "Okay That's Kinda Cool But I'd Never Want to Spend $65 For One" files, I give you:

Picasso Batman.

And Picasso Superman.

And Picasso Green Lantern.

You'll now have some really bizarre dreams.  You're welcome!

If you really do want to buy any of these prints, you can do so here.  And see some Marvel ones here.  Oh, Etsy.  Will your wonders ever cease?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Impel DC Cosmic Cards #112--Adam Strange

Coming to the comics world only recently, I wasn't aware that there were superhero trading cards.  I honestly don't remember seeing any comics cards at all the card shows I went to in my teenaged years, but then again, I always made a beeline to the baseball card booths.  (Though I did see hockey cards once.)

Here's an Impel DC Cosmic trading card featuring CMMH! favorite Adam Strange:

I'm not sure if the "Heroes From Beyond" label applied to a certain set of superheroes, i.e. sci-fi superheroes like Adam Strange or Captain Comet, or all DC heroes, but it would interesting to know.

While the obverse of the card is all Silver Age silliness, the reverse hints at the Bronze Age changes which Adam underwent during the Man of Two Worlds story arc:

Hooray for calling it a rocket pack and not jet pack!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Comics Go Historical?

It's funny how legitimate conversations can veer into the world of comics.  This past week one of the history teachers at work brought up how there might be an error in the AP History textbook regarding Aaron Burr.  While she was doing research online, her conversation consisted mostly of, "Did anyone know that [fill in random Aaron Burr fact here]?" about three times and me replying, "Yes, I did."  I'm not really a history buff, but I was a little obsessive about the Federalist era there for a while.  Let's just say that Alexander Hamilton was the Hal Jordan of his day, and that entertains me.

So, while on our respective lunch breaks, we were all trying to figure out whether Aaron Burr held a position in Jefferson's cabinet, and being the Paragon of Information of my workplace, I went immediately to Wikipedia, and of course this jumped out at me:

Leave it to comics to make history more awesome than it already is.  And thank you, Wikipedia.

Are you as surprised as I am that Hal actually knew what year Aaron Burr died?

How often to you see something historical in a comic book today?  Comics today seem to exist in a cultural bubble: I'm not sure what world the characters live in.  I know they live in the U.S., becuase pop culture references get dropped every now and then.  Because I'm just one of those people that likes to learn random things, I kind of miss the "educational" value that comics had in the Silver Age.  Even if they got the science wrong in a Flash comic, at least they were trying.  And there were those little articles in between the stories that were somehow related to the stories: an article about astronomy in Mystery in Space, for example.  I think reading a comic would be a little richer if some knowledge was added to the mix, and if those little informational columns came back, they could be an incentive to buy single issues, assuming they aren't printed in trades.

Well, if you consider going on a power trip and prompting the aliens' western territories to secede from the Union, well, then sure, I guess he succeeded.

While I don't need an overtly-historical story like this one to make me happy, I'd like a little mention of something I could use to win Jeopardy someday.  Maybe the Flash rogues were the ones really responsible for stealing The Scream, for example?

My favorite panel.  Too bad this didn't happen in real life.  In the sequel to this story, Hamilton shows up and is all awesome and finishes what the monster started.  Okay, not really, but that would be cool.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

No comics this week!

Saturday is usually the day when my comics arrive, but Brightest Day #13 was the only comic on my pull list, and it wasn't worth the extra shipping cost to have it sent to me, so I figured I'd wait till next week.

It feels like I haven't read a good comic in a looooong time!  Espeically back issues.  Every older story that I'm currently interested in reading, like the original L.E.G.I.O.N. run, isn't available in trade paperback format, and I don't feel like hunting down single issues.

Oh, and there always this:

My sweet, wonderful Adam Strange comic that I've been waiting for since August looks like it will never see the light of day at this rate!  I need my rocket packs and ray guns fix, darnit!!

In other news, you probably won't be seeing much of me this month.  Like kalinara over at Pretty Fizzy Paradise, I'm participating in National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo, for short) for my fourth year in a row.  As you can imagine, writing 50,000 words in 30 days is kinda a time drain.

Some good comics are coming out next week, so I can't wait until then!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Why do *you* read comics?

During my weekly existential crisis I was wondering: what's the main reason people read comics?  I haven't even come to an answers as to why I read them other than they're a fast read, and that can't be a good reason.  I like the pretty pictures, too, but that doesn't seem like a valid reason to like a medium, either.

There's just something inherently cool about comic book characters that I can't quite put my finger on.  Yet at the same time, I really don't think of too many stories or comic book plots as memorable or meaningful.  With a few exceptions, I can't think of any great quotes from comic books that I find particularly memorable like I do from movies (both comic-based and not) and TV shows.  I mean, I sit there and say the lines along with the actors every time I watch Seinfeld, but there aren't too many comics that I'll re-read to that point.

Two comics that pop into my mind when I think about them as an actual story in the "graphic novel" sense are The Long Halloween and Martian Manhunter: American Secrets.  Both made me invest in the plot and left me wanting to find out what happens, and both had characters whom I found had a depth to them and that might stand to lose something.  The other story that pops into my head in terms of character is any Justice League International story.  The plots of those JLI stories were entertaining, but it was the characters and how they related to each that I really enjoy.  And thinking about Silver Age stories, which are often lacking any sort of depth (or sense), they are just so imaginative that they become entertaining.

I'm scratching my head trying to figure out why I buy certain ongoing titles today.  Most stories are lacking meaningful characters whom I can relate to, and the plots are pretty formulaic.  So what's the point of reading them?  I've been reading R.E.B.E.L.S. since last summer for the sheer purpose of hoping to find a panel showing Adam Strange standing in the background.  For me, it's character that interests me and keeps me coming back, even if it's a cameo appearance.  I've since kept R.E.B.E.L.S. in the pull list becuase I find Vril Dox entertaining, and now I'll read it without an Adam Strange appearance.

What are your reasons for reading comics?

Monday, November 1, 2010

What I imagine DC writer's meetings are like

Scene: Swanky DC Boardroom

Random DC Editor Unqualified to Do His Job: So, Winnick, we've got this Brightest Day thing going on. We've got to figure out some new angle to sell books now that Giffen left.

Judd Winnick:  Heh.  I'm glad that old geezer left.  Now I've got the book all to myself and I can do whatever I want!  Muahahahahaha!!!

Random Editor Who Knows Less About DC Characters Than Fans Do:  So, Juddmeister, you got any ideas?

Judd Winnick:  Well, sort of.  You remember that--what was it called--really stupid version of the Justice League that was in the 80's?  You know--what's it called?


IT Guy Who Happens to Be In The Room Fixing Ethernet Cables: The Justice League International?

Judd Winnick:  Yeah!  That's it!  Wait, who are you again?  Can you like get me a coffee or something?  So we've got Maxwell Lord being evil and all that.  But come on, guys, been there done, that.  Lame-o.  Let's really blow the socks off these readers.  It'll be awesome!!

Random DC Editor Unqualified to Do His Job: What do you have in mind?

Judd Winnick:  Well, you've these two girls, right?  Fire and Ice.  And Ice is all boring and no one ever liked her.  So how about this: we make her BADASS.

Random Editor Who Knows Less About DC Characters Than Fans Do:  Hmm...badass might not be enough to sell books.

Judd Winnick:  Oh, wait till you hear what I have in mind!!  Not only are Fire and Ice gonna fight each other--it's gonna be so hawt!!--Ice is gonna turn all ice-elemental-monstery, and look all unhuman and stuff.

Artist-guy Who Draws Generation Lost But Whose Name I'm Too Lazy to Google:  Dude, we've got to do something about Ice's costume.  I mean, like, she's always got this stupid half-sweatshirt thing covering up her boobs.  We've got to get rid of that.  She's like the only heroine not showing cleavage.

Judd Winnick:  Hell yeah!!  When Fire and Ice have this big fight--and it's so going to be in character, don't worry editor-guys, she's gonna turn all icey and go whoosh and her clothes are going to burn off so we can lose that stupid boob-cover.

IT Guy Who Happens to Be In The Room Fixing Ethernet Cables:  Don't you mean "freeze" off and not "burn off?"

Random Editor Who Knows Less About DC Characters Than Fans Do:  Still, this has been done before.  I can't think of any specific examples, but I know heroes have fought each other.  Hey, look!  A pigeon!

Judd Winick:  Well, get this!!  We'll make it completely character-driven!  We'll go back and explain to the unknowing audience all about Icemaiden's tragic origins and how she killed her father and all this stuff...

Artist-guy Who Draws Generation Lost But Whose Name I'm Too Lazy to Google:  Can I draw her in a midriff even though she lives in Norway?

Judd Winick:  DUDE, that makes TOTAL sense.  Why didn't I think of that?  Because all hot girls should always dress in midriffs, even if it's twenty below zero.  I mean, that's like a comic book RULE.

All three bow their heads before a portrait of Dan DiDio and recite the Oath of Comic Book Writing:  "We shall always portray our heroes as badasses.  Our characters will only be motivated to become heroes after a tragic childhood.  Decent characters will be killed off for no reason other than to sell books.  All women will wear thongs and wear bras as tops and be angry all the time to show how strong they are.  Our crossovers will never be bound by the laws of logic, lest they actually make sense.  Batman is the bestest character ever.  In the name of the Mighty Morrison, we pledge our allegiance.  Amen."

Judd Winick:  Ohh!  Oh!!!  I just thought of something!!  I'm going to make Ice swear like a trucker!  I mean, if a character doesn't swear, they're a total wimp, right?

IT Guy Who Happens to Be In The Room Fixing Ethernet Cables:  How much do you people make for this?

Random Editor Who Knows Less About DC Characters Than Fans Do:  Okay, that all sounds great.  Let's make comics, people!  Now, who wants a donut?

* * *

Thus ends the worst blog post I've ever written.