Boy, that was quick, huh? Been doing this for a month and have to quit? S'Up with that?

Y'See, in the real world, the job I do basically involves setting up things for several hours then hitting the "Go" button and waiting 4+ hours for the results. I wanted something to do while I was waiting, and figured I'd give this whole Blogging thing a try.

Well, wouldn't you know it, I have new responsibilities now. Gone are the days where I have the time to pay attention to this, so unless I feel like updating it after I get home each night, It's not gonna get updated.

So, let's call it sporadic updates for now. Maybe I'll get good enough at this to work it down to only taking an hour or so of my day and I can do it daily again.

Apologies to my 10s of readers!

Acquired: Amazing Spider-Man #344

Price: $10.00 (Store Credit)
Where: Arch Enemy Comics, Boise, ID

Bought this one with some store credit I'd accumulated from Ken at Arch Enemy Comics. If you're in the area, stop on by... great store!

Now how much would you pay?!

Writer: David Michelinie
Penciler: Erik Larsen

Pretty good cover by Larsen, although Cardiac looks a bit unconcerned at the prospect of a beat-down by Spidey and the Rhino. Perhaps it's the power of the Kirby Kackle! And although Rhino's the big Spidey-Family villain this issue, he gets billing only after Cardiac and - check out the top - clues to a possible Venom cameo. I'd be pissed. Actually, on a second glance, he kind of is! In fact, killing Spider-Man would get you some press above the fold, as it were. Ah, motivations!

I also like the "Now how much would you pay?!" blurb at the bottom. Anything that encourages a 10-year old haggling in a direct market comics store, I'm all in favor of.

I have a huge Amazing Spider-Man collection - far more than any other title I own. It just sort of exploded by itself then subject itself to collector's disease. The reason this on was on the list is that, now that I've got it, I have every Amazing Spider-Man from #100 until it re-booted. I just never got around to plugging that gap. I mention this because I don't want you to think I wanted this one for the fantastic story and breathtaking art... 'cause, brother, they ain't here!

This issue starts, like every ASM in the '90s, with Spider-man checking out some shady goings on at the waterfront. The shadiness gets broken up by a new Super Hero/Villain (will we ever know?!?), Cardiac, who uses some kind of big staff to zap the bad guys and destroy the waterfront and the evil chemical corporation that's using it. We then get a brief Peter / Mary Jane plot furtherance, then a look at a previously unknown multi-million dollar corporation run by a big guy who walks with a cane and has a problem with evil chemical corporations.

I mean, C'Mon! Was I ever dumb enough not to put these together? I say thee, Nay!

At this point, I was curious if I could, based on the story so far and the cover, predict the rest of the issue. I could. It wasn't even hard. Play along at home!

If you guessed that Rhino would be hired to stop the new character from completing his evil-chemical corporation vendetta and Spidey would get caught in the middle and then Rhino would be defeated and finally the two would leave everything at an unsteady truce... well, Congrats! Here's your cookie.

When we're not getting Spidey kicking Rhino, we get a bit about Eddie Brock in prison and a glimpse of something that may or may not be the costume making it's way back to him. He's sharing a room with the guy who will eventually become Carnage and it's pointed out how evil he is. Oh, and we get this sinister-looking panel of him:

My Face! What have you done to my FACE?!?

That's wrong, Mr. Larsen. So, very, very wrong. Still, you did make me giggle, so if you were going for that, good job!

Thank goodness for store credit, because this issue certainly wasn't worth the $10 I used on it. This could be one of the formulaic comics I've read in a long time - and I have all of the other 90s ASM's, so that's saying something. But it did plug a ASM gap, so glad to finally have it. And it did have this ad on the inside:

The humble beginnings!

"You've seen the ads! You've heard the name uttered in whispers! But now it's time to meet the newest, most exotically exciting superstar in the mighty Marvel firmament - the only super hero based on a real-life, flesh-and-blood human being - dazzling, dangerous, deadly - a smoldering, sizzling stick of human dynamite - the one and only NIGHT CAT!"

That some mighty fine huckstering there, Stan! You the man!

"Yours truly wrote the script, too, which could possibly change the complexion of the comic book industry for all time to come!"

I'll let that one lie there.

I still think we should get Night Cat and Feedback together to really create something that would change complexions. At least mine.

Off Topic Weekend: Dogs

I have two dogs whom I love to death, but they couldn't be more different. Sarah is a typical lunk-headed hound dog who just loves life and everything about it to the point that she gets into a lot of trouble just being a big, curious dog. Like getting her head stuck in a fence, or getting bit on the nose by a groundhog, or adopting and bringing home a stray cat (that really happened - and that cat still hangs around). The kids on the block love her and sometimes knock on my door just to ask me if they can walk her. Emo Philips has a great joke about dogs that sums up Sarah perfectly:

Dogs are great. Because, you know, when you're asleep at 4 in the morning, and a squirrel runs across your lawn... well, you don't want to sleep through that!

Sarah deserves her own Bloggy entry, but today lets talk about my other dog, Deliah.

Deliah is the smartest dog I've ever met. EVER. Scary smart. She's a border collie mix, and she knows about 40 words perfectly, can communicate what she wants to me easily, seems like she's reading my mind at times, and probably just puts up with me because of the whole doorknob-mastery, opposible thumbs thing. I hope she never learns where the knives are kept. Or how to load a .38.

She is a much smaller dog than Sarah, so she gets less food - and she obviously notices. For months, no matter how much I rationed her, and how much I've exercised her, she's gained weight. She's a little fattie now. I eventually found out that she's been stealing Sarah's food each morning. By distracting her.

Let me repeat that:

By distracting her.

Deliah will finish her food off quickly, having less of it, then run into the other room out of sight and start growling and barking. Like she's found a kitten stuck in the wall or something. Sarah, being the big dopey curious hound dog that she is, will stop eating and go check it out. She sniffs the wall, tries all the corners, and looks around the room, scanning the ceiling for what Deliah was soooo concerned with. At that point, Deliah runs back to the kitchen and finishes Sarah's food while Sarah is still trying to figure out where ceiling cat is.

Think about that. That's evil-mastermind genius dog level thinking, right there. That's something out of Sun Tzu's playbook. And Sarah has been falling for this same scheme for months.

After I got wise to this, I put a stop to it. All seemed well except Deliah kept getting fatter. I couldn't figure out why until today, when I let her outside to do her business. Because she was barking and really wanted to go outside. She can sucker me, too.

After a while, I couldn't get her to come inside so I went out to find her myself. Eventually she came when I called, but she was chewing something as she returned. Like gum. And, in plain sight now on her way back, she stopped to grab another morsel before running inside.

My dog's eating her own crap. And loving it.

I'm assuming this is a recent thing, and the latest way for this evil genius of a dog to get more food, MORE FOOD!, MORE!! BWAHAHAHA!!!! but it does happen to coincide with the day that I switched their food to something local that is touted as "Best tasting! Best nutrition! Best for your dog!" And, brother!, they love this stuff - they can't wait to gobble it down. It's like doggie crack.

So, here's my suggestion for Grandma Z's Premium All Natural Dog Food's new slogan:

I bribed her with a 'cookie'

I'll be waiting for my check. Thanks!

EDIT: Changed the sign a bit. It's funnier when you use the word "Poo."

When Comics Collide!

Try to care.
Steve McNiven
Sappy Goodness!
Roger Stern

Much better reveal setup
Much better reveal
So do I, Tim... so do I...

(I can't believe I'm the first one to do this ...and if I'm not.. this wasn't a rip - great minds and all that... honestly...)

(and someday I'll have decent Photoshop skills. I swear. Give me time.)

Most Wanted

This week's haul was not nearly as massive as last week's was, and I was able to narrow down my most anticipated issues to only two books. And under normal conditions, Grant Morrison writing a Joker story would be a no-brainer, but not this week.

Not a chance.

Behold! Oh, Fleshy Ones!

Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. #12
Warren Ellis
Stuart Immonen

I was standing in the store holding this and thought, "If the last panel of this issue doesn't have the Nextwave gang breaking the fourth wall and flipping off the reader, I'm gonna be a little upset."

Well, I doesn't have that, but it does have two reveals that are so frecin' AWESOME that the dial goes to 11. Or 12, probably. Seriously, this thing is INSANE! And in the best possible way.

Not to spoil anything, but this wraps up (of course) the gang's infiltration of the H.A.T.E. / S.I.L.E.N.T. super-base and dealing with the bosses who have been in charge of everything since the first issue. That's it in a nutshell, but like every issue of Nextwave, the Devil's in the details. (You see what I did there?) Before it's all over (ARRGGHHH!), we get The Captain kicking balls, a 6-foot champagne flute, a Monica smirk that screams "Yep. You're fucked.", and Machine Man making with the sexy. And lots of 'splosions. Lots and lots of 'splosions.

I can't believe it's over. Kind of, anyway (I know, I know). Hell of a ride. Hell of an ending.

Most Wanted Panel:

Compute This!

(This isn't, of course, the panel that should be here.. but I'm keeping this thing spoiler free. You're welcome)

That's My Baby!

I'm the Father!!!
Subject: Back off, you cretins! All of you!
From: General Immortus
Criminal Genius
43,467 Posts

Recently, I have become increasingly distressed at the continuing parade of so-called, 'fathers' coming out of the proverbial woodwork, all claiming paternal ownership over a certain newborn recently birthed unto a certain lady about town. This vexes me. I am vexed. Allow me to put the issue to rest, once and for all: I, General Immortus, leader of a million armies, sovereign of time, and master of mortality itself, am the child's rightful father!

I remember it as though it were merely centuries ago... A crowded room, a stolen glance, an 'accidental' brushed contact. The slurred word that passed her lips as I kissed her hand. The conversation that was struck...

Oh! And what a conversation! A more charming lady I have not met in the last 267 years! She was quite inquisitive with my stance on a myriad of subjects: Politics, Money, Love, Religion, Money, How to outflank an enemy's logistical base with superior forces by employing the German Kesselschlacht maneuver, Money..

I know what you're thinking: "How could someone as ...well, experienced as you ever hope to win the coital affections of someone as charming as Ms. Nichols Smith?" Well, suffice it to say, you learn a lot of tricks when you're several thousands of years old!

Ah, yes! It didn't take long before she fell prey to my obvious charm. And once she found out about my secret caches of gold stashed across the globe... why, she practically dragged me to that hotel room!

That initial encounter led to a series of torrid affairs spanning the length of several months. For a time, my plans for world domination fell away from me, as I was swept into more ... domestic plans with my little Anna-bell (for that is what I called her).

But, of course, all good things must pass in time. As she grew increasingly suspicious about my actual age (her curiosity initially piqued by a particularly robust session of love-making, I might add!), I was forced to explain the bitter truth to her - that I was, in fact, immortal, and sadly, would eventually outlive her. To my eternal regret, she could not overcome this immutable fact, and drifted off seeking other waters.

Upon learning of her recent tragic passing, I came to the obvious conclusion that the child she recently bore could only have been sired by myself, General Immortus. There can be no other conclusion. But, in the spirit of ..ugh.. 'fairness,' I shall supply scientific proof of what I speak. For I myself, General Immortus, have taken the liberty of conducting my own DNA verification using an identifier of my own design and a sample obtained recently from the infant by one of my many spi... er, assistants. The test proves conclusively that I, General Immortus, am indeed, the sole father of Annie Nichols Smith's infant child. Of this, there can be no doubt.

And who better to care for the child? Who better to instruct her in the disciplines that will be truly important in her life and in a manner that she and her newly acquired millions of dollars would be used to? Who has more experience when dealing with such matters? No, the decision is quite clear.

My armies await further instruction. I assume you will come to the only fair conclusion in this matter.

Subject: Hey, Pinhead! I'm the Father!
From: The Terror
Evil Old Dude
2,378 Posts

Bah, bah, bah...

Don't come into this house with those kind of threats, sonny! Why, in my day, a threat like that would earn you a smack to the head!

You never even met the lady, you immortal prick! Never even got close to her! You wanna know how I know? Huh? I know because it was ME that hooked up with her that night, not YOU!

Ah, Annie! How lovely you were! Kind of gal that didn't mind a feller with some experience under his belt, you know? I'll always cherish that night of passion, romance, and back strain.

Yeah, she was a peach. Smart, too - as soon as she learned that I couldn't legally use any of the cash I'd ...er, 'acquired,' she was off like a shot! Now that's a dame you can respect!

Anyway, that kid is as much mine as it is anybody's over 100 years old, and I'm going to wait right here in my giant mechanical spider for you pinheads to get to off your fat duffs and BRING ME MY MONEY!! er... BABY!! If I'm kept waiting too long, there will be evil. Oh yes. More evil that you can shake a stick at, sonny! Evviiiiilllll....

Now ... Hop to it!

I am better than you
Subject: I Never Touched the Crazy Broad
From: Vandal "Vandar Adg" Savage
Immortal Gadfly
875,643,276,890 Posts


Was not there, did not touch that. No way, not a chance.

I mean, have you seen that chick?!? She's wacked-out! Bat-shit crazy! And, I'm a freckin' immortal - I know bat-shit crazy!! That chick could give psycho lessons to wack-job while snorting a high-ball off of barmy's ass!

No way am I boarding that crazy-train. Count me out of this race, fellers!

So, you can keep your half a billion dollar baby - I want no part of that, Jack! If I need money, I'll just sell off some more stock or collector's plates or something.

Now, I'm gonna make me a Manwich. Cheers.

EDIT: This one started out as a single General Immortus Op/Ed theme, but after I furthered the joke, I think it read better in a web forum style. So, I'm changing the format. Still, I made myself laugh re-reading it, and that's always a good thing.

Acquired: Strikeforce: Morituri #31

Price: $.25
Where: Future Dreams, Portland, OR

Chalk this one up to a guilty little pleasure. Because, man, this is not a good comic.

If this was the '60s Marvel, that would be 'Chief Wampum'

Strikeforce: Morituri was a nifty little sci-fi / super-hero title that started in 1988 (I believe) that centered around an alien invasion of Earth. The aliens, vastly superior to us humans, easily put down the initial resistance and have spent years looting the Earth. Not of resources, but of trinkets. Buttons, old movies, action figures and the like. They were basically a race of interstellar super-collectors. Maybe they worked for Wizard. Or Toybiz.

Humanity's salvation comes when one scientist discovers the Morituri Process - the ability to create super-heroes. The process comes at a cost, however, as it puts such an immense strain on the subjects' metabolism that they will - sometime in the near future, but usually within a year - burn out and die. Usually they explode. It's cool. The process is also limited to very few genetic matches, and the powers the volunteers get are totally random. One lady got the power to make flowers bloom. Sucks to be you, babe!

The call goes out for volunteers, and those that were willing to sacrifice themselves for a chance to bash some alien butt are put through the process. During the comic's run, many characters would die (Ka-Blooey!) and get replaced by other characters. But the end of the series, there were no original characters - in fact, I think the rotating cast was well into its 4th generation.

I loved this concept when I originally read it and collected every issue as it came out. Though not a brilliant comic (far from it), at times it was a very fun read. I liked it enough to keep my original complete run to this day. I even created a series of Champions RPG modules based on this concept - players would each create 5 characters each and at certain times during the game, I would make a random (and hidden) roll, and if a certain percentage came up, somebody's character would explode. Then they'd move on to the next character they created.

Yes, I'm a geek. This surprises anyone reading this far?

So, imagine my horror when I realised that I didn't actually have every issue. I had every issue but the last one. How odd. Luckily, I was able to find one in the cheap bin for $.25. And brother, I gotta tell you: it's worth at least half that.

At the time of this issue, the hoarding aliens have been defeated (by other, even more powerful aliens in one of the biggest cop-outs to a series finale I've ever read), the surviving Morituri have found a "cure" that lets them live indefinitely, and things are returning to semi-normal. Except that behind the scenes the Morituri process is being used covertly to (wait for it....) create killers loyal to a shadow government in order to overthrow the legitimate government. I could've written this. Even back in '89.

It's fairly obvious that this issue has to wrap everything up - and quickly. It's pretty jumbled and forces endings .. when it's not letting them go. The issue opens with the uber-aliens giving us a synopsis (this issue's real heavy on synopsis' - it uses one at three different times. Not a good sign.) that leads up to the four surviving Morituri on their way to the secret bad guy base to put a stop to the evil government's plot. Things aren't going so well at the bad guy base at the moment. One of the bad Morituri has it in his head that he's some kind of god and is running around slaughtering people at super speed. Ah, loyalty! Thy fickle mistress!

One of the two other evil Morituri makes his ghostly way to the base, figuring out that he's on the wrong side. Evil M#3 figures it out, too and decides to just go back home to India. Screw it. Issue's only got so many pages, you know.

So, all the evil guys you recruited for use on your side have all turned on ya, huh, Mr. Government Guy? Seemed like a good plan at the time? You paying attention, Mr. Stark?

The Morituri get to the base and it only takes them six pages to break in. Really. Six pages. The upcoming big fight scene with speedy guy was complete in 4 1/2. Masterful pacing there. Fight with speedy guy begins, and after he takes out half of them, we get to something I like to call "The Dr. Light Moment!"

No, Sui! No!Inter-racial romance. Marvel: Ahead of the times...

The thought of having another mini-series with the word "Crisis!" in it spurs our final Morituri to kill speedy guy and we wrap up everything pretty quickly. How, you ask?

The uber-aliens are behind everything - AGAIN!

I specifically remembering groaning at this when I was 18. Again?!?

The aliens do some mind-mamajama on the boss, he surrenders - surrenders, mind you - and the comic finishes the issue setting up the scenes for a few quarterlies that were set to run after this issue. I've read them - and whoo-boy! are they stinky! This issue has a few pages from what will be the first one, Y'know, to whet your appetite. With pages like this one:

It's been 10 years. Page done in 4 words

Along with this page, which basically says, "It's been 10 years and the government's new, and we have new stuff now." all of the "sneak preview" pages are exposition pages. All of them. Nothing new is presented at all. Now, I gotta say - if I was pushing this book in a new direction and wanted to ensure that old, series-long readers are going to want to see the direction I'm going to be taking it in the last issue of the series - man, I'm definitely going to show them a sneak preview consisting of nothing but recaps. Because, Y'know, nothing says innovative like a flashback to things they already know. They'll be lining up to buy that sucker.

This issue's penciler is credited as John Calimee, with Mark Bagley on the cover. I suspect that Bagley had more than a passing influence on the interior (or vice-versa), however - check out this bit:

Ultimate Spidey-Shock!

That's a Bagely sequence, right there.

Strikeforce: Morituri will always have a place in my heart as a great concept to base a series on, however passable the execution turned out to be. I really loved this series (especially the early issues) and now I have a complete set. Except for those quarterly issues. Don't miss those at all. So long, you crazy doomed-to-die alien horde bashin' heroes!

What? No beer?

Nah, I'm good.

EDIT: One real spiffy thing about this issue that I completely forgot to mention is that you get to read the whole 25 pages of story without getting interrupted by a single advertisement. The only ads in the book are between the main story and the preview and then after the preview itself - and there's only 3 pages of them. Imagine that. It was real refreshing, actually - Thesedays I'm so used to having my fight scenes broken up by Heroes promos, car ads, or that damn Wii kid.

Great Fight Scenes Revisited ... and a Question

I was going through a few of the comics I brought home from Portland and became reacquainted with this fight scene from The Question #6. (click for biggies - it really needs to be full size to appreciate it):

That right there is an awesome fight scene! Cowan's use of motion and "shock lines" in the background make this an amazingly fluid scene. And check out that entrance shot! Wowsers! That may be the basis for my next tattoo. Man, I love this series. Cowan did this kind of thing almost every issue! This particular one cost me all of 25 cents.

And it's scenes like these that make me really, really upset that we may be seeing the last of Vic, judging by 52. I mean, you can't kill off someone that can do this!! This is just too good to lose. And no, Montoya can't do this justice. Not even close.

But one thing... How did he get from this:

To this:
In one move?

That is the Question...

Alton Brown would never do this

A recent find from deep in the Food Network's TV archives:

Yep. That's the X-Mansion. I pull out the stops, Baby!

Food 911: The Mutant Problem

(The following is a transcript from a lost episode of Food 911 that was set to air sometime in the near future. This episode remained unfinished and was eventually shelved because of sudden, unexpected shrinkage of the episode's intended target audience.)

Tyler: Hi! I'm Tyler Florence, and this is Food 911! Today we're in upstate New York and were going to deal with the mutant problem. Well, it's a problem for one man, at least - this is X-Mansion head chef, Mitch "The Canker" Herdanker. Mitch? Why don't you fill us in on what the problem is...

Mitch: Yeah, well, I gotta cook for everyone here at the mansion, see? Three meals a day for most of 'em. And these mutants, all the different types, they all haveta have different - whattacall 'em - dietary specializations.

Tyler: They all have to have a different menu? Like Vegan alternatives?

Mitch: I wish! These are friggin' mutants here, and some of 'em can't even take human diets. I got ones that can't eat meat, sure, but I also got ones that can't eat plants, either. I got one kid here that can't process calcium hypochlorite! I mean, how the hell do you cook for someone that can't eat friggin' calcium hypochlorite?! Hell, I got one that can only survive on "teardrops from a doomed animal." You believe that shit?!? "Teardrops from a Doomed Freggin' Animal!?!" So every day I gots to head down the animal shelter - for this ONE freggin' mutie - with my straw and my bottle, ask for the list...

Tyler: I imagine this all can put quite the strain on you and your staff here...

Mitch: It Fuckin' sucks, Tyler.

Tyler: Ha ha. So, what you want us to do is help you to find a quick and easy way to prepare a lot of really diverse meals for a lot of people, right?

Mitch: I told you: They ain't people, they're mutants.

Tyler: Right. So let's see what we have in the kitchen here...

Mitch: Fuckin' mutants.

Tyler: Looks like you have quite a busy setup here, Mitch! I see all the staples, a ton of spices... Hey! What's this?

Mitch: That's some kinda super protein and vitamin mash that that Einstein cat-guy made. S'only thing he eats. He says it's some kinda perfect nutrition food thing - no preservatives or artificial stuff.

Sounds like a nutritional purist kind of guy!

Mitch: Yeah, but he's kind of a intellectual douchbag, so I always spike it with "Fancy Feast." I think it's responsible for his - whattacallit - secondary mutation thing.

Tyler: Interesting. Anybody else here have such a refined palate?

Mitch: Well, there's that English broad... everything with her is always so freggin' hoity-toity! It all has to be imported, or be like fine dining, or have some French name I can't pronounce.

Tyler: Must be difficult!

Mitch: Fuckin' French.

Tyler: Hah ha. So, let's grab that pot and we'll get started! And, while we're setting up, why don't you tell us where you got your nickname, "The Canker" - that's quite a unique one, there! Is it because it rhymes with your last name?

Mitch: Nah. S'matter a fact, that English broad kinda gave it to me. See, I was telling this joke to one of my cooks about this naked lady, her pet monkey and these 13 ping-pong balls when she walks by just as I was getting to the part where the monkey's juggling and about to fall off from her feet when all of a sudden she stops and looks at me like she's readin' my mind or somethin' and says all sarcastic like in that snooty accent of hers, "Oh, aren't we a Cheeky Wanker?" Then some of the kids found out and shortened it, and it kinda stuck after that.

Tyler: Ha ha. Great story!

Mitch: I hate it, but that broad's real easy on the eyes, y'know, so I didn't say nothing - just kept tryin' to move those zippers with my brain. I figure, "why should the friggin' muties be the only ones that can do that?"

Tyler: Interesting!

Mitch: Fuckin' zippers.

Tyler: Ha ha.

Mitch: I mean, what the hell does "The Canker" even mean, anyway? Is my secret mutie power the ability to give people cold sores or somethin'? "Look out, evil-doers! Behold the power of The Canker!!" Cripes.

Tyler: Well, OK! - Now that we've got our stock going, our stoats de-loused, and we've broken up all the formica into bite-sized chunks, we can move on to properly amplifying the photons roasting in a dark Skrull-milk sauce. And after that, we'll combine all the dry ingrediants to begin our dessert's Oreo crumble topping.

Fuckin' Martians.

Unidentified Hairy Canadian: Move outta the way, bub. Need beer.

Mitch: Oh, no.

UHC: What the Sam Scratch is this?!? No beer?!? Somebody's got some explaining to do. And they better do it fast. I ain't in the best of moods.

Well, sorry to tell you, but we used the last of the beer to flavor our Down-Home Mariko Spirit Squeezings! It has 3 kinds of spices!

(It was at this point that the audio and visual feed were unexpectedly cut short. Before completely losing the signal however, one can hear some loud, crunching sounds that suggest furniture is breaking, several screams, and even a few "Snikt's.")

Most Wanted

Wow! Was this ever quite the week! It's been a long time since I bought so many books (a whopping 17!), and judging by the crowd at my local comic store, it was a big week for everyone. Chatting with the owner, he guessed it was a combination of January having a 5-Wednesday month, Civil War's delay has finally caught up all the cross-overs, and that Stephen King thing.

Like I do every week, I mentally sort the books into "new stories," "continuing a story arc - I should probably re-read the last issue," "this looks interesting," "Oh Yeah, Baby!" and "MUST READ NOW!" Strangely enough, the comics I am most looking forward to aren't in the last category; ever since I was a kid, I've savored the anticipation of the really good ones and usually read them last. That way, I always have something to look forward to when I'm slogging through an issue of say, Justice League. (since dropped)

To go with the theme here at The Want List, I'm going to change that. I'm going to read my most looked forward to issue first, after I get them in my grubby li'l hands.

(This also saves me the trouble of writing about all the comics I get on a particular week and, especially after this busy week, that appeals to my lazy nature. More drinking time. Besides, there are comic bloggers out there who do a much, MUCH better job than I could ever do in that area. See the links to the right for examples.)

This was a tough week for Most Wanted, but the unexpected arrival of one made me gasp a bit, and it jumped to the top:

Fell #7
Warren Ellis
Ben Templesmith

What has it been? 9 months? Seems like it.

In fact, it's been so long that I was jarred by the cover: isn't Fell a black and white book? The delay was for coloring? I had completely forgotten that it wasn't - a combination of the delay, my memory, and that the comic is typically very dower and muted in it's colors. That cover just "popped" and I didn't expect it.

Another great done-in-one all-interrogation issue, which is how I like my Fell. Great dialogue from Ellis and a slightly different art feel from Templesmith - very intentionally trippy at times, and it pushes the story nicely. This issue has a great "rising, crescendo, fall to Earth" roller-coaster like feel to it, and when it finally hits bottom, you really want to punch someone. At least I did. My dogs are in the other room, cowering.

Although, I must admit I was amazed that Ellis didn't add to the "eating pizza alone for three days" thing. You know what I'm talking about. With the tub? Heck, Ennis would've...

(I almost said, "With the tub girl?" but then I though about the Google ramifications.)


(Oh, heck.)

Like all issues of Fell, you get a lot more than the page count. Amazing work, and I hope this issue's delay doesn't forbode bad things for it. I love this title.

Most Wanted Panel:

OK, I'll bite...

Meme from Brandon

My first one!

Bow to me, fleshy ones!

I'm actually in the process of getting all the Nextwave #11 splash pages framed for display down my hallway. I will post photos.

I can't wait!

EDIT: I really could've done a better job with Robin's thought bubble.. but it's late, I'm tired, I still have to go through TiVo's recomendations (Designing Women? Again!?!), and I'm on my 8th beer. Screw it.

When Comics Collide!

Yes, I own this. Shut up.
Greg Land
Alan Moore
I'm not ashamed in the least.

Yep. I'm a simple, simple man.

(that took *way* longer than it should have)

Acquired: ROM Annual #1

Price: $2.80
Where: Future Dreams, Portland, OR

I recently made a trip to Portland, Oregon where I was able to cross a few things off the list. I've been looking for this one ever since I noticed it somehow missing from my collection.

Wow. That cover blew my 12-year old mind. Check that shit out. This is a classic, "I've gotta see what happens!" cover. A few things about it:

- That is some poorly put-together armor. It doesn't have ankles, feet bottoms, (feet bottoms? - moving on) arm protection, or under-thighs. (under-thighs?)
- Be thankful that the only piece still remaining is the crotch-guard. As an aside, I'm totally making a product called "Crotch-Guard." I don't know what it will do, but it'll come to me.
- I seem to remember that you're trading your humanity in order to become a space knight, and I seem to remember some kind of ceremony that left you scarred in some way. But, cripes! They sure fuck you up good.
- This scene, though it does happen in the comic, (I hate those "I've gotta see what happens!" covers that never take place in the book itself) happens on one panel only. But the crotch-guard is, finally, removed.
- Though I didn't know it when I was 12, this cover is by Affable Al Milgrom, an artist whom I generally despise, though I like his writing - for what it does - and he's a really funny and nice guy personally. I met him in '86 or so at some comic convention or another and he was happy to sign things, chat, and doodle for me. If I knew that he did this cover then, I would've had him sign it. This cover totally rocks, unlike say, all of Secret Wars II.

Unfortunately, the art on the inside is by Pat Broderick, an artist I cannot freggin' stand. Never have, never will. Bill Mantlo writes it, and it's a typical Mantlo "done it in one" threat that almost beats the hero but hero fights it back and we all learn something in the process script. He probably phoned this one in, but again, my 12-year old mind was blown.

Our story opens with some vast space judicial society sentencing one T'urin G'ar to "be expelled from the body," which is apparently like being in the Phantom Zone but without all that "trapped in an unbreakable prison thing." He floats around incorporeally through space for a bit until he comes across "A warm world! A living planet!" Three guesses.

He lands on Earth in some backwoods community where he upsets the local kid's baseball game. And here's an example of why I don't like Broderick's art:

We should all crave further adventures of 'Butch' and 'Pinkie.'

There's a whole lot wrong with that sequence... but let's just stick to the passage of time. This might be the worst example of dialog pacing you'll ever see. The baseball and the batter's swing are moving completely independent of the dialog. Unless they're speaking really, really fast.

Anywhoo, Mr. G'ar arrives, absorbs the kids and in the process gives us one heck of an out-of context panel:


"Merging them with his starstuff. T'urin G'ar bears the children off to a place of darkness where he senses he can be alone with his warm-things."

I once thought I had sensed a place where I could be alone with some warm things, but then the cop flashed his light into the car and scared us both shitless.

T-to-the-G decides to steal some essence from each of the kids (ewww...) in order to make another body for himself, because "The starstuff binding me prevents me only from rejoining the Body - not from stealing the essence of others!" That's some well-thought out punishment, there. That's likewise some well-thought out dialogue, there.

Meanwhile, ROM is doing his thing, looking for the Dire Wraiths, when he spots the kids' search party passing by. He detects some "other world" activity and goes off to find it. Instead, he finds the essence-less bodies of the kids and returns them to the search party.

In a scene that repeats itself in every issue of ROM, the humans assume he did something to the kids (or some other random human while hunting Dire Wraiths) and force him off. I swear, it would save a lot of time if ROM had a sign explaining things. Like this one:

Hooray for Crappy Photoskills!

The Dire Wraiths use the distraction to escape the search party and end up getting absorbed by Tig Giddy, who now goes by Stardust. ROM detects the Wraiths and follows the trail of Wraith corpses to S'Diddy's lair. Then they throw down smack like a Cracker, Jack!

Yo' mama wears mttens!

Notice ROM doesn't care about the Wraiths' life-energies. He's all harsh like that. And "Return the humans' life-energies, or suffer the wrath of ROM!" may be my new catch phrase to greet strangers with at bars. That or, "Soon you will have no desire to fight the Body!" Or, "Creature, you have defiled me with your unholy examination!" Mantlo's great with these. I'll bet he gets all the chicks. Props to the playa.

OK, I'm done with the gansta, yo. White-bread cracker like me shain't'all'n' go there. Word.

Anyway, ROM beats Stardust and uses all that extra "life-energy" to restore the children. But not the Wraiths. Cold, ROM, cold. You could restore them, then Limbo 'em, Homey! Fate worse than death or absorption by the S-Diddy, yo!

OK, I'm sorry. Last time, I swear.

He then explains the whole "I didn't kill any humans, they were really Wraiths in disguise - I'm a space knight and sorry it looked that way" thing he does in every issue and the town's cool with it. And we're all good.


There's a fun 6-page backup about another space knight named "Gloriole" - which I think is something what would cost you at least $15 in Thailand, if you knew the right hotel - betraying ROM before learning that it wasn't such a good idea and redeeming himself. More space knight mittens are involved.

This was an awesomely unexpected find during my vacation, and left me giggling the whole flight home. I loves me the ROM, and all it's campy goodness.

The Want List

We all have them.

Things we want. Things we need. Things we must have. A full run of Miracleman. A Martin acoustic. The Star Wars AT-AT walker. An original Jack Kirby drawing. A cell from Yellow Submarine. A '67 Fury. Whatever.

We all have lists of stuff we would like to own. They're not always written down; most of the time they're burned into our memories. Mental notes to notice these desires in case we happen to come across them one day.

And no one has a want list quite like a comic collector.

A few weeks ago I put my entire collection through it's "5 year purge" where I go through everything and decide weather or not to keep issues, try to sell them, or donate them. Some series that I thought were absolutely fantastic when I was 15 are now.. not so much. (I'm looking at you, Australian Outback X-Men!) As I do this, I'm also listing any gaps in a series that I'd like to plug.

By the time I was done, the list was pretty substantial. After I combined it with my frequently updated "If you ever come across this, BUY IT!" list it was huge.

Then I started checking out the comic blogs. Thanks to you guys, (see front page links) and all of the fantastic reviews / mockeries / nostalgia entries you've done, the list is immense, to the point where I probably have no hope of ever crossing everything off.

But, I'm going to try. And I'm going to write about it.

See, I've always wanted to start a comic blog, but there are so many already out there that it would be hard to make mine unique. I didn't just want to throw another fan-boy comic one out there into the mix.

So, I'm going to blog about this comic collector's never-ending quest to aquire all of the items on my ever-growing want list. And it won't just be comics - I mean to get all those little childhood things I promised myself I'd get when I was an adult. Most of them were from the ads inside comic books. I'll use eBay, Amazon, comic stores, bookstores, toy stores ... wherever. And - once I get something (and finish playing with it) - I'll do a little write up. And while I'm waiting for the mailman, I'll post whatever random crap creeps into my head if it's along line with the theme.

Hope you enjoy it! At the very least, this will both drain my wallet and provide me with a lot of new cool crap to play with...