like tom&jerry thing
and you go ping
(Yes, I am drinking and listening to Underworld.)
like tom&jerry thing
and you go ping
(Yes, I am drinking and listening to Underworld.)
KP: vnv baby ishelping tyb pe
KP: cc c b f gv nf n
BeaucoupKevin: HI BABY.
KP: nm jm hjh bblhhh b
BeaucoupKevin: Best conversation I’ve had in months, sadly.
Meme-Hating, Hypocritical Mike Sterling points us to a burgeoning meme in which Alan David Doane and Fred Hembeck list their 100 favoritest things about this medium of comics that we all love, despite our infinite grousing. This is a fine idea, says me. Here we go. These are 100 things I love about comics, and it’s just the beginning.
1. Jack Kirby.
3. The Boondocks.
4. 1970s Marvel.
5. Jimmy Corrigan.
6. Charles Schulz
7. The Spider-Man cartoon theme.
8. “There are seven working defenses from this position. Three of them disarm with minimal contact. Three of them kill. One ï¿½ hurts.ï¿½
9. Supreme by Alan Moore.
10. Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley.
12. “Yes, father. I shall become…a bat.”
13. Ed Cunard, Mike Sterling, Ian Brill, Dorian Wright, Chris Butcher, and all the other comics bloggers that I respect.
14. Lying In The Gutters over at CBR.
15. Comicazi, my shop and strange social hub in my life.
16. Love And Rockets.
20. Street Angel.
22. Marvelman / Miracleman.
23. Fantastic Four #51
24. Having a favorite letterer, just because you can. (Bob Lappan.)
25. Mark Evanier.
26. Will Eisner.
27. The New Gods.
28. Kyle Baker.
29. Scott Morse.
30. Top Shelf Productions.
31. Discount bins.
33. 80 Page Giants.
34. “Stan Lee Presents…”
35. “#32 In A 32 Issue Limited Series”
36. Grant Morrison.
37. Howard Chaykin.
40. Conventions. (It’s a love/hate thing, really.)
41. Bizarre Aliens in the Green Lantern Corps.
42. The first few years of Strangers In Paradise.
43. Stray Bullets.
44. Big Barda.
45. “Darkseid is.”
46. Kid Koala.
47. Spider-Man 2.
48. The Hulk.
49. Short lived heroes inspired by music or pop culture.
50. Warren “Cranky” Ellis.
51. “Can U Dig It” by Pop Will Eat Itself.
52. Manga and Digest format books.
53. The Authority‘s first 12 issues.
54. Superman Vs Muhammed Ali.
55. “And, Lo, There Shall Be A Reckoning!”
56. Beta Ray Bill.
57. Adrian Tomine.
59. Evan Dorkin!
60. “For The Man Who Has Everything” by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.
61. The “New Look” Wonder Woman inspired by Emma Peel.
62. New X-Men by Grant Morrison.
63. Teddy Kristiansen.
65. Meanwhile…, Dick Giordano’s column in 80s DC books.
66. “>Hh.<" (Grant Morrison's utterly Batman sound.)
67. Filipino Comics Artists.
68. Marvel’s gloriously awful novels from the 70s.
69. Fred Hembeck!
70. Fanboy Rampage.
71. Julius Schwartz.
72. “A Mighty Marvel Masterpiece!”
74. The DC Checkboard pattern from the 1960s.
75. Modesty Blaise.
77. Nightfist – he will hit you with his fist!
78. Jose Luis Garcia Lopez.
79. “Treasury” or Tabloid-sized comics.
81. J Jonah Jameson.
82. Atari Force.
83. Bendis/Maleev on Daredevil.
84. Roger Stern’s Avengers.
85. Figuring out which inkers work with which pencillers.
86. Conversely, bitching about Vince Coletta’s butchering Jack Kirby.
88. Giffen and DeMatteis on Justice League.
89. Archie Goodwin.
90. Walt Simonson.
91. Gen 13 written by Adam Warren.
92. X-Force and X-Statix.
93. Alex Toth.
95. Carl Barks.
96. Elliot S! Maggin.
97. Frank Miller.
99. Giving comics to my friends, especially the unitiated.
100. DC’s Star Trek volume 1, #13 – the first comic I ever bought with my own money.
I’m going to wax on a bit here in one of those wanky self-referential posts I abhor in the manner normally reserved for neoconservatives and people who smoke in subway stations. You can ignore it if you want; I shan’t be offended or really care.
The jar pictured up there is Supergood Japanese Rice Stuff which Sarah introduced to me one day after ramen at the nice place in Porter Exchange. You put this on rice, see, and it makes the grain turn into something super tasty. A great way to boost the flavor on rice and turn what is a plain bowl of carbohydrate goodness into a veritable pleasure. This is, in fact, rather akin what she does to my life. Days are better when she’s around and a few moments conversation with her usually do more than any amount of Vitamin B shots and sunshine. I’ve been pretty crummy of late in regards to meeting my commitments to her and this is a big old in-front-of-the-internet apology. I’m sorry I’m a jackass and you deserve better from me.
(Anyone else who feels that I owe them an apology can suck it right now. I know this is hypocritical considering how much I wax in a rhapsodic manner concerning exposing your personal life to the world at large. Once again, sucking it is advisable.)
Courtesy of Ren, who reads The Hollywood Reporter so I don’t have to:
Fox Broadcasting Co. plans to shuffle its Sunday comedy lineup in May to make room for the addition of “American Dad” on May 1. As part of the schedule change, the network has opted to reduce the episode order on “Arrested Development,” but the specifics still are being worked out. As of May 1, “American Dad” will slide into “Arrested’s” 8:30 p.m. slot behind “The Simpsons.” For the first three weeks of the month, “Dad” will be followed at 9 p.m. by another original “Simpsons” episode.
OK, so Arrested Development wins, I dunno, 8 million awards and garners decent ratings. It’s getting more asses in seats than network staples like ABC’s lame TGIF lineup and NBC’s heavily promoted Medical Investigation. It even beats Family Guy, King Of The Hill, Malcolm In The Middle and Bernie Mac – all shows that Fox has supported (or decided to support again in the case of my pet hate, Family Guy.) It gets screwed.
TV executives – living up to the stereotype of idiots who don’t get it. These are the same sort of people who put Enterprise up against Sci-Fi’s ratings juggernaut lineup on Friday nights. Fox isn’t going to beat Extreme Home Makeover over at ABC and they need to stop trying. There’s no audience crossover, unless you think there’s 8 people who might be interested in how Bluth Construction builds homes. They should promote what obviously has been working for them and find niches where their unfunny cartoon can beat things like Everwood and America’s Next Top Model.
Ah, so this is how a Monday morning quarterback feels.
Your word of the day.
Noun, (kï¿½k bli[ng])
Definition: An attractive woman (or gay male) on the arm of an ugly man who is wealthy or perceived to have power in an industry.
Example: At Comicon, I saw Joe Quesada with a hot piece of cockbling.
Appropos of nothing:
Mark Millar’s worst fear should be being caught in the elevator with me. I’d lean in, really close, and whisper “This is my face while I’m fucking you in the ass,” as I slip on a pair of Hulk Hands.
Frank Miller has cast a long shadow over the Batman mythos, especially so since his collaboration with David Mazzucchelli, Batman: Year One debuted in 1987. Sure, The Dark Knight Returns came before and made a huge impact the previous year, along with Alan Moore’s Watchmen, but it was the end of the story. With Year One, he redefined the origin of the hero and kick-started a whole new mini-industry of “Hey, let’s talk about Batman when he was first doing this hero jazz!” Stories without Robin, without the yellow circle, without his Sci-Fi Closet came into vogue and everyone suddenly wanted to tell stories where Batman had an inner monologue and it was in cursive. Sadly, Sturgeon’s law applied to these stories and even writers who were quite good normally weren’t up to the task on the series set up specifically for these early-years tales, Legends of the Dark Knight. Denny O’Neill, most beloved by fans for his work with Neal Adams, turned out a yawner about shamen and this was followed up by Grant Morrison’s Gothic, which made his turgid Arkham Asylum look downright brilliant, even with Klaus Janson doing his quite-nice job on art. This trend continued with only a few minor blips of note.
1999′s Batman: The Long Halloween is the best thing that Jeph Loeb will ever write and Tim Sale drew his little heart out. Even if it’s a Godfather pastiche, The Long Halloween has enough interesting plot turns and emotional beats to keep the reader engaged. You can, however, pretty much ignore the sequel Dark Victory, as only the art carries the day in this shabbily constructed non-mystery that would hint at the awfulness that was the ending to Loeb’s Hush.
An underappreciated gem, Batman Annual #14 (from 1990) covers some of the same material as The Long Halloween in regards to Harvey Dent, but more explicitly recalls Year One with Andrew Helfer’s using both Batman and Jim Gordon as narrators with art by Chris Sprouse that thematically reminds you of the down-to-earth tone taken by Mazzucchelli on Year One, even if the approaches are clearly very different. This story stands up strongly in its own right and its connections to Miller’s story only enhance it, rewarding the reader by expanding upon the earlier work.
This brings us to Ed Brubaker and Doug Mahnke’s The Man Who Laughs. With a cover that recalls the opening splash from the Joker’s appearance in Batman #1 and a title borrowed from the silent classic featuring Conrad Veidt which inspired the Joker’s look, the creators set a very high bar for themselves that they, surprisingly enough, reach easily enough.
Brubaker, I trust well enough. I was not a huge fan of his Detective or Batman runs for the most part and I can directly point the finger at needless crossovers and art that inspired me to give not more than a cursory glance beyond the first few issues on either title. I think his Gotham Noir novel with Sean Phillips was an interesting experiment that failed, but had enough chutzpah to keep me interested. His Catwoman work, however, was sublime enough to keep me interested until the unfortunate choice of Paul Gulacy as series artist made me run with my eyes covered. You don’t go from Darwyn Cooke and similar artists to a professional past his prime that, frankly, makes Selina Kyle about as sexy as a Brillo pad and keep me interested. That’s the double-edged sword with comics – bad artists can completely obliterate the work of writers and lift bad writers up to being acceptable. Sleeper has continued to impress me and his split title with Greg Rucka, Gotham Central, is my favorite book set in the DC Universe.
Mahnke’s art normally fails to click with me – I find it a bit too grotesque, I think, but his work on this book is more readable than I’ve seen from him before. He takes the reader to the Gotham that Mazzucchelli and Miller designed while maintaining his unique perspective and slightly-askew “camera” work.
This is appropriate, considering that this book directly follows Year One. Gordon’s still a captain, dealing with a police force that tries to shoot Batman on sight. Batman’s learning how to deal with his mission, becoming more competent but still close to being overwhelmed when the first batch of homicides with grins set in with rigor mortis first appear. Of course, the readers know this is the work of what will be Batman’s archenemy, but Brubaker still reveals things at a pace that lets you feel a genuine sense of suspense. What follows is a tribute to the first Joker stories as well as Miller’s script for Year One – the psychopath sets deadlines through television and kills rich Gothamites, finally leading up a night where he announces he’s going to murder Bruce Wayne and the mayor simultaneously. There’s enough Clever Batman Moments, procedural police work, and character building to keep diehard bat-fans happy and letting the casual reader enjoy a well-told story that doesn’t require an encyclopedic knowledge of the Batman mythos. Well worth the $7 price tag and can easily be said to be a more worthy sequel to Year One than the, frankly, dire Year Two and Year Three series.
Random blogging thoughts follow. This shouldn’t be graded. This may offend people and I really don’t care.
You probably notice that I have a LiveJournal feed linked over on the left side of my site. This is because of the vast number of LiveJournal people that I know who whine like bitches when they can’t get automatic updates from my site, because bookmarking or using del.icio.us is akin to being beaten by six pipe-wielding thugs. I’ve been asked by several people if I have a LiveJournal account and when they’re informed that I don’t, have been told that I should get one so that I can read their secret posts.
If you’re making secret posts and don’t bother to tell me what’s going on there without my reading it, then obviously, I’m not much of a friend to you. The internet is famous for bringing people together who never would have met otherwise. It’s even responsible, in some ways, for my meeting Kristin (she was a customer at the Cybercafe in which I helped people with their fiddling computer issues.) It’s given me quite a few people I’m proud to call my friends and has put me in touch with like-minded nerds across the planet with which I can share obsessions and mock the moronic.
I’m a blogger, but not a LiveJournaler. Why don’t I use LiveJournal? The sense of false intimacy that the LJ system encourages is disconcerting to me. It’s far too easy to declare someone a “friend” and then find out more than you wanted to about their day-to-day lives. This is, of course, the fault of people posting their innermost, super-private thoughts to groups of “friends” on the internet instead of shutting their goddamn traps. There’s a reason that there are communities that celebrate the drama that occurs there – many people leave their lives open for trainwreck-style viewing and then whine like babies when they’re mocked for their actions, which makes it all the more delightful to people who revel in this sort of thing.
And I don’t want to hear “But I have to keep all my friends up to date on my life!” used as an argument. No, no you don’t. People probably don’t care about the minute details of your morning sojourn to the local package store for lottery tickets and beef jerky or the fact that you saw your ex-boyfriend ForeverKnightR0x0rz there who happens to be dating 36DDboobs4u who reads your LJ so you have to make a secret post so they don’t know you saw that person and won’t shiv you in the dark.
Frankly, if I’ve never met you or talked to you personally, I most likely don’t want to read your innermost, darkest, super-secret thoughts. Sorry to tell you this, and sorry that you may feel slighted that I don’t want to share my own deep-seated issues with alien abduction with you in a “secret” post that I’m pretty convinced that you’re going to share with someone that I wouldn’t want to have intimate knowledge of why Communion and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind make me break out in cold sweats. If you want me to know these things, tell me. Don’t make me feel like I’m part of a crowd when you reveal that you get violent diarrhea whenever you see Every Which Way But Loose. This is the sort of thing that maybe you should keep to yourself anyway, eh?
There’s no real point to this ranting, really. I just think that everybody should learn the mantra Shut The Fuck Up About Your Pointless Life unless they’re approaching their real-life experience as a basis for writing – Hunter S Thompson, for instance, combines Journalism and What I Did With My Coked-Up Weekend to great effect. The person I most admire for this is Bad News Hughes, who makes me laugh and wince at the horrible, awful, miserable things that have happened to him or that he has inflicted upon others.
Of course, you can ask “Why does BeaucoupKevin blog? He prattles on and on about nothing to absolutely no effect.” I blog because I write. The more I write, the more I blog. I call myself a “writer” when people ask what I do, and it feels right. It’s part of my day-to-day job as an Internet Content Manager. I’ve been told that this site is funny and that’s part of it – I like making people laugh or smile or think. I like engaging people on an intellectual level and I think that most people who use LiveJournal or blogger and document the minute details of their life are missing a great opportunity. Maybe I’m hypocritical because I believe that I offer more than SuperDude69 on LiveJournal when, in fact, I am far more annoying because I have a purpose in my writing and I fail.
I’d rather fail when trying to hit my goal a million times instead of writing a million things with no goal in mind.
Hey, did you hear?
While I’m on the subject of fellow bloggers that should be linked (no, I wasn’t, was I?), Sam Johnson dedicated his blog to me today because, thanks to a few pieces of advice on my part, he is now a Firefox and Ad-Aware user. I’m not a super technical guy outside of telling you how Warp Drive theoretically works , but if you’re a Windows person and you don’t have these tools in effect, you’re screwing yourself over. Unfortunately, it’s my fault that Sam’s spyware count went up drastically – I linked to the Kramixer DJ tool site without imagining they’d use things that’d bite you on the ass if you’re an IE user. I implore you to download and use these tools so that you’re not out there in the open.
Oh, and in a moment of pure ego, here’s a snapshot of what Sam wrote about me. His words are far kinder than I deserve, really. In the future, however, I will expect you all to dedicate your blogs to me, your nerd god.
What I want is a Superman story where we get Beppo The Super-Monkey into his shiny-new-no-fun-allowed continuity. Point of nerd trivia: yes, I say “New” when, in fact, it’s nearly 20 years old and I really should just get over it, shouldn’t I?
Anyway, with this no-fun-allowed-post-Byrne1 continuity, we’ve had Krypto and Mxyzptlk2 as part of the status quo for a while, so why not bring back Beppo? Figure this – Jor-El shot Beppo into space to make sure his starship design worked and through whatever reason, it didn’t get to Earth quite as quickly. Beppo’s ship lands somewhere, Superman (being who he is) happens to be randomly flying near the crash site, swoops down, opens the hatch, and goes “Oh, hey, a space Chimpanzee with the house of El logo on that handy blanket there!” He decides to reach into the pod to retrieve his new simian friend and…
…promptly gets his arm ripped off. You see, chimps normally have 5 to 7 times the strength of a regular adult male. Figure a few minutes under a nice yellow sun, that Kryptonian primate is going to have his way with just about anyone who resembles the fucker that put him in the spaceship and fired him into deep space. Once Superman’s down, who’s going to stand up to this freakish Space-chimp with a serious mean streak? Nobody! Beppo would be running the planet in about twenty minutes flat. He’ll end up beating down the Justice League with Superman’s severed arm and then ringing up Gorilla City, asking if they’ve got sturdy girl chimps for his lusty needs.
I’m thinking it’s going to have to be a 9-part mini-series, huge crossover. Call it Space-Chimp: Saga, get Alex Ross to paint a cover or three, convince editors to have Beppo show up to terrorize the heroes in their own titles, maybe offing The Red Bee just to make sure that fans know we’re doing serious comics art here.
DC, I’ll be awaiting your email with bated breath.
Oh, and the cover I’ve linked at the top of this entry? You totally want to read that comic now, don’t you?
198% of Hispanic women with blonde hair hate John Byrne.
2Yes, that’s spelled right. No, I didn’t have to look it up. Yes, I’ve known the touch of a woman.
Toner Mishap (which I really should permalink to) pointed me to this a while back and I neglected to link:
OK, so everyone else has to carry around a sign, but The Atom has a balloon? And wouldn’t he have to worry about being blown away in a stiff breeze? (Yes, I thought about his density-changing belt. Yes, I am that nerdy.)
The local sports team won the big game last night and there were none of the following:
I’m both proud and disappointed, people. How am I supposed to keep up with the status of the game without news reports of cars being set aflame? It’s not like I can watch more than 3 minutes of football without losing interest and playing with a piece of tin-foil in the corner. You people need to work with me. Help me so I can help you. Reports on the new show from Family Guy creator1 Seth McFarlane indicate that it’ll most likely die a quick death since nobody I know laughed at it.
1“Creator” in as much as “Simpsons + King Of The Hill + Evil Baby + Talking Dog = NEW SHOW” is creation to some network executives. I loathe Family Guy, even when it makes jokes I should laugh at. I am an engine of hate and criticism.
Fuck me, this was the best comics week I’ve had in a while. Everyone else has written about them, but I have to say something or I lose my status as a comics blogger.
Yes, Seaguy is Morrison at his most abstract and curiously heartstring-pulling and Cameron Stewart is the only artist that could have pulled off what he needed.
The Couriers 03: The Ballad Of Johnny Funwrecker is a balls-out, nearly-impossible-to-film action movie in convenient comics format, just like the previous two books in the series and the one that kickstarted everything, Couscous Express. Wood’s script is tight, full of wonderfully biting dialogue that reminds me of (but never mimics) Ellis’s better bits and Rob G just beats the hell out of every page, managing to convey facial expression, body language, and action with detail enough to give the viewer a clear idea of what’s going on and never confusing them with extraneous data. Nice one-off, and is a more-than-worthy prequel to a series that’s not disappointed me yet.
As expected, Bizarro World is a mixed bag, but its rewards are surprisingly abundant. Highlights include a Legion story by “Abe Foreau” (Hi, Jordan Crane) and James Kolchaka, the indie super-team of Dylan Horrocks writing, Farel Dalrymple arting, and Paul Hornscheier coloring a surprisingly moving short story called “Dear Superman,” Eddie Campbell and Paul Grist doing a Flash story with a really, really neat trick involved in the narration, and “The Break,” Eric Drysdale and Tim Lane’s refreshing look at the Justice League in their off hours. Evan Dorkin’s all over this thing and everything he touches is pure gold, either in writing or art. I believe his attention to craft is woefully underappreciated because he does humor and makes it look easy, but creative layouts and scripting choices make him one of my favorite current creators. There’s a few disappointments – Mike Doughty’s writing on a story about Aquaman singing at an open-mike night left me cold even if Danny Hellman’s art impressed me, for example. All in all, better than the first volume, as it doesn’t have the overly long framing sequence and the people seemed to know what they were getting into more.
I’ve also given more money to the coffers of the Dorkin/Dyer household by purchasing the first volume of Slave Labor’s Bill And Ted’s Most EXcellent Comic Book reprints, but have yet to gaze upon the pages. Having read a few issues when it came out, I’m sure it’ll entertain, if not inform and educate.
The same principle also applies for the new Essential volume of Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man. I love 70s Marvel in a clearly unhealthy, most likely deranged way. Whether the Essential moniker is earned on anything like this is certainly up for questioning, but I really don’t care.
For some stupid reason, I’m also enjoying these Dark Horse books that BMW’s sponsoring. This issue of The Hire is written by Bruce Campbell with art by Killian Plunkett. It’s interesting to compare this with The Couriers because the approaches are vastly different to a similar idea (people on the run, cue explodo) and yet they’re both entertaining. Campbell, as you expect, writes with a sardonic tone that’s a tad bit too cute sometimes but manages to engage the reader as Plunkett does action sequences that are ridiculous, yet somehow plausible on the page.
It’s somewhat embarassing to admit I’m reading an Image book based on the Spawn mythos, but Case Files: Sam And Twitch has managed give me yet another procedural comic to read when I can’t stand the stuff on TV. Penned by everyone’s favorite zombie guy, Steve Niles with some sort of input apparently given by Todd McFarlane, this is a nice little one-shot that explores Sam’s history and gives readers who’ve enjoyed the book in the past an explanation for some of his behavior. As the previous arc (also drawn by the very able Paul Lee) explored some similar territory, and the arc before that got into Twitch’s personal life quite heavily, I’d really appreciate a straightforward detective story next. Something about this book really appeals to me – regular series writer Marc Andreyko has kept me pulled into a world that I can’t say I would care about otherwise and has followed Bendis’s act in the first volume of the book quite handily. See also: he’s working with guys whose art I like. Before the aforementioned Paul Lee, Scott Morse did the first arc, and I tend to rave wildly about him whenever possible. I don’t know if we’ll ever see trades of this, which is where the book would really flourish, racked next to stuff like Powers and Gotham Central. As it stands, I’m surprised it’s not cancelled yet due to poor sales.
Oh, and not to give it short shrift, but c’mon, Jack Kirby doing Black Panther? You know you have to have it unless you’re a mentally defective sort that probably shouldn’t be allowed near comics shops, playgrounds, or knives. There’s more mental ideas per issue of this than most modern comics crank out in a year or two. Even when he was “off,” Kirby was more on than 99% of the other creators out there. More superlatives about Kirby available on request.
I think that’s quite enough blah blah and confessional bits about comics I’ve liked this week.
So, I need a show of hands.
Who would have thought, 10 years ago, that the new Star Wars films would be sort of dodgy1, a Star Trek series would be the victim of a recent cancellation, and a remake of the craptacular Battlestar Galactica would emerge to be the best science fiction show on television?
You lie. You didn’t see it coming, either.
1Each of these new films have bits I quite like – Episode I has Coruscant and fine martial-arts and swordplay business. Episode II has Yoda kicking ass, a more-than-decent land battle, and Sam Jackson being badass. I’m sure I’ll like chunks of Episode III, but my enthusiasm is waning rapidly. I can’t even be bothered to do my traditional geek thing of reading every goddamn Star Wars book that Lucas has his cadre crank out.
“I’ve become immune in a way, too. I have rhinoceros skin, but at the same time I’m human. So, anything can hurt like that, but I’m very strong.”
1Hey, Karen? You don’t have to post about how stupid you think Lockjaw is. You’ve made your point of view on my favorite Inhuman clear on several dozen occasions. Doug, however, is free point to out the glory that is Karnak.
File Under: Bad Movie, Great Monologue.
You know what the problem with Hollywood is? They make shit. Unbelievable, unremarkable shit. Now I’m not some grungy wannabe filmmaker that’s searching for existentialism through a haze of bong smoke or something . No, it’s easy to pick apart bad acting, short-sighted directing, and a purely moronic stringing together of words that many of studios term as prose. No, I’m talking about the lack of realism. Realism. Not a pervasive element in today’s modern American cinematic vision. Take Dog Day Afternoon for example. Arguably Pacino’s best work, short of Scarface and Godfather Part One, of course. Masterpiece of directing, easily Lumet’s best. The cinematography, the acting, the screenplay, all top notch. But they didn’t push the envelope. Now what if in Dog Day, Sonny really wanted to get away with it? What if – now here’s the tricky part – what if he started killing hostages right away? No mercy, no quarter. “Meet our demands or the pretty blond in the bellbottoms gets it in the back of the head.” Bam, splat! “What, still no bus?” Come on. How many innocent victims splattered across the window would it take to have the city to reverse its policy on hostage situations? And this is 1976, there’s no CNN, there’s no CNBC, there’s no Internet! Now, fast-forward to today. Present time, same situation. How quickly would the modern media make a frenzy over this? In a matter of hours, it would be the, the biggest story from Boston to Budapest. Ten hostages die. Twenty, thirty. Relentless, bam bim, one after another. All caught in hi-def, computer-enhanced, color-corrected. You can practically taste the brain-matter. All for what, a bus? A plane? A couple of million dollars that’s federally insured? I don’t think so. Just a thought. I mean, it’s not within the realm of conventional cinema…but what if?
Outside of the soundtrack, a pair of overrated breasts, and this monologue, Swordfish is dreck of the highest order.
BoingBoing comes through again by pointing us to a piece on Big Little Books by James Lileks1. Of course, I’ve seen these dozens of times and have been tempted to collect them, especially as they have nice big pictures. I like pictures, you see, as I am a simple man who wants nothing more than to see a chimp in a wig. Monkeys wearing false hair aside, the highlight of this piece is seeing The Fantastic Four portrayed in a manner that’s quite possibly the worst I’ve seen outside of stories that feature H.E.R.B.I.E.2. Spider-Man also pays the price of admittance into the Big Little Book annals, in weighty tome in which he battles a villain based on Astrology. There’s also a few pages on Space Ghost, with a much better take on the character than the current “deadly serious” approach that DC is trying to use. Well worth your click-time.
1Lileks, I have decided, is only funny about a third of the time. When he seems to think he’s being funny is when he’s at his worst. Humor being what it is, however, your mileage may vary wildly. I’ve just come to the realization that when someone says they’re a humorist, they’re usually trying to convince the audience and themselves that they’re actually sort of funny.
2For those not familiar with H.E.R.B.I.E., he was a robot introduced in the New Fantastic Four cartoon to take the place of The Human Torch, as network executives were convinced that young tots would attempt to set themselves aflame in order imitate Johnny Storm. Through this logic, they should have replaced The Thing, for fear that children everywhere would attempt to encase themselves in concrete. Lileks also says that art on this FF book is by Jack Kirby, but it looks so lifeless that either A) Kirby didn’t care, B) Vince Coletta inked it, or C) It’s not Jack, but someone attempting to ape his style and failing. I suspect C.