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“And What He IS is GONE.” COMICS! Sometimes Persistence Doesn’t Pay Off.

John Kane

Nearly there. Good soldier. Nearly there. DKIII:TMR by Kubert, Janson, Azzarello, Anderson, Robins & Miller Anyway, this…

“Why the Hell Why?” COMICS! Sometimes It’s Sobering To Think That This Comic Is Someone’s Idea of Fun.

John Kane

In which I continue to try and make up lost ground by looking at issue 7 (of 8 of 9) of DC Comic’s big-ticket Bat event. By popular demand! Well, two people, anyway. DKIII:TMR by Kubert, Janson, Azzarello, Anderson, Robins & Miller Anyway, this…

 “It seemed CENTURIES had passed.” COMICS! Sometimes It’s Not As Easy As It Looks.

John Kane

No, I don’t know why I bother either. Masochism, I guess. DKIII:TMR by Kubert, Janson, Azzarello, Anderson, Robins & Miller Anyway, this…

“…There Will Never Be a TRIumphteenth Time.” COMICS! Sometimes Comics Might Not Be For Kids Anymore But The People Who Make ‘Em Could Sure Do With Acting A Bit More Like Adults, Maybe?.

John Kane

I sure hope everyone loves my unwieldy and turgid exercises in overkill, because here’s another one coming up right about now. But, hey, Batman’s in it. I know I said comics (plural) last time but this got out of hand so I’ve split the other bit for later, plus I couldn’t quite get that part to work. It’ll turn up though; nothing gets wasted. And now it’s over to…Batman! DARK KNIGHT: THE LAST CRUSADE by Romita Jnr, Steigerwald, Azzarello, Miller and Robins Anyway, this…

“I Thought It Would Be FUN.” COMICS! Sometimes They Take The Proverbial!

John Kane

It’s Bwana Hibbs’ Birthday! Happy Birthday, Brian Hibbs! Emotion! Ugh. Enough sentimental nonsense and  back to things of far greater import: is DKIII: TMR improving? Find out below! DKIII: TMR by Kubert, Janson, Azzarello, Miller, Anderson & Robins Anyway this…

“Take Him To The BODY BANKS!” COMICS! Sometimes It’s The Little Things…

John Kane

Um, here’s a gallery of comic book covers from a series that Marvel published from 1979 – 1984 as a tie-in to a terrible line of toys. It was also, as of issue 38, part of Marvel’s first tender dalliances with Direct Market only comics (see also MOON KNIGHT and KA-ZAR). The unfortunate Bill Mantlo scripted the series solidly (as was his wont) for its duration, but the real attraction was the cavalcade of artistic talent who put food on their table drawing this stuff. Michael Golden! Gil Kane! Steve Ditko! (Howard Victor Chaykin even did some innards but, alas, no covers). Because of legal what have you, and the fact it was so heavily intertwined with the Marvel Universe…  Read More…

“I Can’t DO This Anymore.” COMICS! Sometimes I Wish I Had A Hammer Too.

John Kane

In which I look at a Batman comic so lacking in self-awareness it unknowingly reviews itself: DKIII:TMR by Kubert, Janson, Miller, Azzarello, Anderson & Robins But I still went on about it nevertheless. Anyway, this…

“Like Turds in Rain…” COMICS! Sometimes I Act My Shoe-Size Not My Age.

John Kane

Abhay’s below this, so don’t dilly dally, and certainly don’t shilly shally, go there! Do it NOW! Me, I’m still trying to get regular, so here’s another go at that. There’s a lot of toilet humour in this one. It’s the only industry we have left. DKIII by Risso, Azzarello, Mulvihill & Robins Anyway, this…

“Wonderfully PEDESTRIAN.” COMICS! Sometimes I’m Less Than Impressed.

John Kane

There was a new Batman comic out. It was an Event because Frank Miller was reportedly involved. I bought it. Frank Miller may well have been involved in actuality but, honestly, I could only detect homeopathic quantities of Frank Miller. Overall, I thought it was a pretty poor Event and only a mediocre Btaman comic. Yeah, that’s it; I thought I’d spare you having to read what follows. You can if you like, but it goes on a bit. Ooh, what a palaver! DKIII by Miller, Janson, Azzarello, Anderson & Robins Anyway this…

“I Think of Dollar Signs. The Rest is Easy.” COMICS! Sometimes I Think Some Folk Need To Remember You Can Only Sell The Family Silverware Once!

John Kane

Yeah, so I’m not getting it together at all over here. Sorry. Let’s just leave it as I’ll be back in the New Year then we all know where we are. But wait! No one leaves empty handed! So until we next meet let me gift you with the pathetic results of what happens when an old man messes with Paint. Yes! Please be seated and feast your eyes upon a tribute to DKIII: The Childishly Trollingly Fascistic Title, with particular emphasis upon the rocket ship pacing and Shakespearean word play of Brian Azzarello and, naturally, the visually scintillating fireworks of Andy Kubert. DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE by Andy Kubert, Klaus Janson, Frank Miller(?) & Brian Azzarello I…  Read More…

“Seems Like Even The GODS Have Their ACCIDENTS!” COMICS! Sometimes The King Is Still Dead!

John Kane

“Tarru!” to you, too!! Just look at the creators on this thing! It’s like the comic book equivalent of one of those Irwin Allen films where Steve McQueen and Paul Newman jockey for top billing, Fred Astaire tumbles burning out of a lift, Michael Caine shouts about bloody, bloody bees and Gene Hackman tells God off with his steam blistered fists raised. It isn’t a movie, but is it a disaster? TALES OF THE NEW GODS by John Paul Leon, Kevin McCarthy, John Workman & Tatjana Wood Anyway this…

Wait, What? Ep. 59.1: Only in Our Dreams

It’s true: this is indeed the podcast installment where you will hear Graeme and I talk about Debbie Gibson (or Deborah, if you prefer), Tiffany, and New Kids on the Block, along with Frank Miller’s Holy Terror and Grant Morrison’s Invisibles. I’d like to try and deny that Graeme and I came up with a marvelous piece of speculative audio fanfic showing how NKOTB were, in fact, an early ’90s Invisibles cell….but I can’t. (That said? We didn’t, don’t worry.) How does that saying go: sometimes we don’t get the podcast we want, we get the podcast we need? That’s not really applicable here but it’s a fun sentence to type, certainly.  And it’s not even one-tenth the fun you’ll…  Read More…

Wait, What? Ep. 54: The Men Without Talk Talk Itself

Yeahhhh…. so Wait, What? Episode 54 is…kinda long?  I’ve been trying to break these bastards up into two parts so they’re a little less daunting, a little more accessible (kinda), but this sonuvabitch presented no easy way to cut into pieces — the traditional breaking point at around an hour was right when we were in the thick of things — so I thought it was better, in the end, to just give it to you as one prime piece of just-under-two-hours of auditory real estate. And what a fine patch of ear-land it is, I must say!  Graeme and I talk Black Panther: The Man Without Fear Fear Itself; the Internet backlash on Grant Morrison; whether creators are the…  Read More…

“…It’s not for free and it doesn’t come easy. It’s AMERICA!” Comics? I’m still reading ’em!

John Kane

For pretty obvious reasons we don’t celebrate Independence Day over here but you guys sure seem to. Just to show you that there are no hard feelings I read some nationalistic comics and wrote some words about them for y’all. Be nice if you picked up the phone sometime, America. I know you moved out but we still worry about you.

Backwards Lap: Capsule Reviews from Jeff

Yes, dammit.  I am currently committed to this capsule review thing, if only because it forces Hibbs and Graeme to also write reviews and my WASPy upbringing inherently enjoys guilting people into stuff. After the jump: comics from last week, last year, and a very cool fan letter.

Favorites: The Dark Knight Strikes Again

Years ago I came across an eye-opening quote from Jaron Lanier in the liner notes of the reissued Gary Numan album The Pleasure Principle. Google reveals that it was pulled from this Wired essay. Here’s what it said: “Style used to be, in part, a record of the technological limitations of the media of each period. The sound of The Beatles was the sound of what you could do if you pushed a ’60s-era recording studio absolutely as far as it could go. Artists long for limitations; excessive freedom casts us into a vacuum. We are vulnerable to becoming jittery and aimless, like children with nothing to do. That is why narrow simulations of ‘vintage’ music synthesizers are hotter right…  Read More…

Hey, Didja Hear About This Movie Frank Miller Directed? Jeff Watches The Spirit

Frank Miller has a small role in The Spirit, the movie he wrote and directed, playing a cop by the name of Liebowitz. Miller’s character dies about ten minutes into the picture; his directing career follows suit ninety-five minutes later. Counting me, there were twelve people in the showing I attended and four of them walked out before the movie ended. (Another one snored audibly when I passed him on the way to the head.) Since Miller considers himself a provocateur in the comics world, I wish I could say the four that left stormed out furious, but no: they left with the resigned air of people cutting bait, already figuring which multiplex theater they’d stop by next. Me, I…  Read More…

Around the Store in 31 Days: Day Seventeen

Continuing the creator racks, we’re on Frank Miller. Again, there’s some stupidly obvious choices here: SIN CITY, BATMAN: YEAR ONE, DAREDEVIL (though much of it is OOP), DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, but I’m going to go with a slightly less obvious one here: HARDBOILED Created with Geof Darrow in 1992, HARDBOILED is a masterpiece of over-the-top detail and carnage. Really the star here is Darrow, with more detail-per-square-inch than any five other comics combined. There are pages here you can stare at for five minutes each, pulling out details. There’s a level of outrageous here that I’d never seen before in a comic before this — where crazy background details do more for world-building than anything previous. And there’s a crazy…  Read More…

All-WHAT?! — Hibbs continues 5/16

ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN THE BOY WONDER #5: Paul Levitz apparently thinks that DC’s publication of THE BOYS could do some theoretical harm to their core superhero business, or taint the icons, or something. This makes me wonder what Paul made of THIS. Since it is the ACTUAL icons. The strangest thing is that, had Frank Miller been drawing this, I’d probably have found it amusing and satirical and maybe even a little funny. But with Jim Lee? Lee is THE mainstream superhero comic book artist, so it adds a layer of weight and Importance to it all that just absolutely demands it be taken Seriously, and, thus, renders any satire as stone-faced earnestness. But, really, REALLY, Levitz cancelled THE…  Read More…