Ogilvy & Mather Paris commissioned French studio Wizz to make these three animated ads for Scrabble. They’re based on a series of print ads that won at Cannes in 2008. They’re also terrific.
That thug is like, what, 9 feet tall? Check it out on Flickr.
I know, I know, you’re like “What? The Rack? On a Thursday?” but there’s actually a fairly craven, mercenary reason for this that you can discover when you click here.
I love booze accoutrements, and this school of cartooning. It’s a shame that the flavors include “Melon Mint,” “Ginger Coriander” and “Espresso.” Leave it to the Germans to overengineer vodka. More at Lovely Package.
I am going to try to do these more often because I’ve totally sucked on the talking-about-shit-I’ve-read front.
I bought the the first installment of the mangafied, not-your-Father’s-Wolverine book published by Del Rey, Prodigal Son, for a bit of a laugh but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise that was well-paced and engaging. Anthony Johnston’s script doesn’t break any new storytelling ground, but it hits every beat it’s supposed to just so while Wilson Tortosa’s art manages to capture fight scenes and talking head sequences equally well. I could quibble about too many speed lines, but I think that’d be me missing the point more than usual.
Batman: Joker’s Asylum is just about worth the $10 it costs on Amazon. Every story is a little slice of Gotham City psychopathy, with Jason Aaron’s magnificently cruel Penguin story featuring pitch-perfect art by Jason Pearson, Andy Clarke’s art in the Two Face piece and Arvid Nelson’s tight little script for the Joker making up for missteps like the bland-as-hell Poison Ivy feature. I was also glad to see Juan Doe do some DC work and would not mind seeing a lot more.
I’ve been reading A Drifting Life slowly over the past two weeks and it’s well worth savoring. I fell in love with Tatsumi’s work with Drawn and Quarterly’s reprint of The Push Man And Other Stories and am starting to think of him in the same terms as I do guys like Kurosawa and Kirby. His ability to dissect the mundane and pull back the veil of normality to show life’s underbelly has made me pause more than a once.
Speaking of life, Paul Pope’s 100% is so full of it that I really didn’t want it to end. This series of interrelated stories is vividly realized and serves as a treatise on why the man is so revered with its sci-fi backdrop and organically-written characters that may be eclectic but never feel created. I’m normally fine with creators moving on from their works, but if Pope ever wanted to revisit his future New York, I wouldn’t complain.
Oh, and it’s a couple of weeks old, but Birdie did a bangup review of the final issue of 100 Bullets that says everything I would have if I’d ever bothered to write more than just a couple of reviews for CBR, but all smart and stuff.
Here’s your latest installment of The Rack. If you’ll excuse me now, I’ll be in the back, snorting espresso to try to wake up properly.
OK, so, I love Zaha Hadid‘s work and I love retro-future-2001-meets-
Here are four clips from the released-today DVDs featuring the X-Men cartoon that many of us grew up with:
I’d somehow missed this during my freshman and sophomore years of college1 and for years, a certain subsect of comic fans have been telling me that the X-Men cartoon stood up to the Warner Brothers-produced Batman animated series that also aired on the FOX network, and I’d always quietly suspected that the haze of nerd nostalgia had prevented them from being objective about the matter. I’m sad to inform them after sampling a dozen episodes from the confusingly named “Marvel DVD Comic Book Collection” of the 90s X-Men cartoon, it’s all as bad as these clips would indicate and the series surely can’t hold a candle to its contemporary from another studio.
Where Batman was sleek and sharply written, effectively using decades of continuity and minimal, easily animated designs to get the most from a tight budget, the X-Men cartoon is a bloated mess that seems to revel in its fiscal and storytelling shortcomings. There’s overblown dialogue forced into the mouths of voice actors who seem more desperate than talented, animation that seems to be missing every other frame, and an intensely dispiriting take on the X-Men mythos that lacks any sort of joy, stripping away the themes of tolerance and education in exchange for hamfisted plotting and poorly done fight sequences. In a lot of ways, it’s emblematic of much of the comics being printed at the time, all cheap gloss with no substance and an ugly veneer that seems designed to attract teenage boys with more money than charisma.
There’s a reason that this cartoon has been buried in the past until Disney secured the rights to release it on DVD: if the Batman cartoon was frequently a night of passion with a fantastic partner, something you’d want to revisit again and again, X-Men is closer to ten minutes with a tube sock that you’d then bury in the laundry, hamfisted groping that is embarrassing after a certain age..
1You can speculate why in the comments. I’ll tell you that it rhymed with “girls, music, and some more girls, almost like a Jeffrey Brown book.”
This week’s comics, picked for you, with special super-amazing investment advice from Aaron.
Modulorbeat’s temporary dance club setup livens up any dreary urban space with cubes that slowly pulse like a giant techno heartbeat.
…is going to deal with you later, little man.
(Check out Herr Sterling’s Galactus Week, in which he’ll be celebrating Galactus. For a week.)
Two conversations, one involving a counter, the other involving one of Birdie’s favorite locations to play around in.
Adam Grano’s bold design cover design is the perfect complement to Fantagraphics’ comprehensive collection of the dead-by-the-time-it-hit-the-ground Warren war book helmed by Archie Goodwin with a stellar team of artists that included Frank Frazetta, Wally Wood, John Severin, Alex Toth, Al Williamson, Russ Heath, Reed Crandall, and Gene Colan. It’s remarkable how little these stories have aged, as many cover thematic ground that resonates to this day. The Joe Orlando-drawn opener “Viet Cong!” features a US military advisor confronted with an untenable war on foreign soil and a moral crisis that revolves around torture while “Survival” hammers home the devastation left after combat and the way it leaves civilian lives ruined. Even the more straightforward “war comics” that are presented in this volume have an unusual gravitas that fits naturally over the proceedings, making the stories collected stand out, and the interviews with Archie Goodwin and Jim Warren provide an in-depth and fascinating look at the pressures that the controversial comic magazine faced. Amazon has it for $16.49, an $8 savings off the cover price.
Special Bonus Feature
Pal Josh made a point of mentioning, sadly, that Blazing Combat was always going to be a more interesting comic than Peacetime Bliss and then illustrated said point because I demanded that he do so:
Two notes: Everything here’s in the very hands-in-the-air end of progressive house because this is the first nice spring weekend we’re seeing in New England and I wanted people to have some happy, upbeat dance records. This is also the first mix made with my new (lower-end, admittedly) Numark mixer and I think it came out really well except for two minor glitches that probably bug me more than they will you. Just right click or command-click to download.
“Free Fall” (Dynamic Illusion’s Cloud West Paradise Mix) – Michael & Levan
“She Knows” (Juan Carlos Herrera Remix) – Lee Daines
“Dawn Patrol” – Sentrafuge
“Melo” – Pryda
“Just Another Sleepless Night” (Egostereo Mix) – Mad8 & Shawn Christopher
“Professional Killers” (Jerome Isma-Ae & Daniel Portman Remix) – Komytea
“Lilith” (Remix) – Gai Barone
“Hey Dee Jay” – Marini & Noferini
One member of Yavin IV’s staff reacts particularly badly to Lydia’s announcement.
The interface is a bit wacky, but it’s one of my favorite comics artists drawing my favorite science fiction property.
Found via roadsidepictures on Flickr.
I just finished watching David Simon’s look at the Iraq War, based on Evan Wright’s account of his time with the Marine Corps’ First Reconnaissance Batallion, and declare it supra-good.Â Much like The Wire, Generation Kill is an unflinching look at a world that the most of its viewers would never experience, and it’s just as immersive with an admirable level of craft across the board.Â Simon had Wright’s accounts of the actual soldiers to use as a base, but the performances really bring them to life in a way that becomes almost documentarian when combined with the handheld camera work and high production values with carefully nuanced audio production that uses some of the same techniques from The Wire (overlapping background dialogue, no background score) to good effect.Â Just as interesting as the main series (seven one-hour-and-change episodes) are the interviews with the marines portrayed, including Rudy Reyes, who played himself in the miniseries.Â Amazon has the series for $26.99 for a limited time and I can easily think of six dozen worse ways to spend your money.
Details available on the Adhouse Books website.