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Showing posts from June, 2005

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

I saw "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" today, starring Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and was met with a really great film. But beyond the great action sequences and plot twists, there were a lot of metaphors that went hand-in-hand with the story's main thrust of this married couple's life together. Obviously, there's the spy double-life that stands as a metaphor for the side of ourselves, like work and time with friends, that we don't share with our loved ones completely, but there are other things that come out of this film really organically, like how the couple doesn't fit in with their suburban neighborhood at large, filled with happy couples, where these two spies are faced with things like children and such that don't fit into their career plans. They're really outcasts in this regard, even though they do their best to be pleasant neighbors. Also, the cheating metaphor really works strongly with the spy theme, as each of them make excuses about wo…

Scott Pilgrim's Final Fantasy

I'm assuming most of you have read "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," so I don't need to tell you how awesome it is and what great taste in women Scott has. But I do have to dwell on the "Final Fantasy" references, because I love the games. Scott is a gamer, obviously, as he plays video games in his basement all the time and talks about Sonic 3 and whatnot. But there were three "Final Fantasy" references in the second volume of this series. The first was playing a guitar melody he got from "Final Fantasy 2," which is my favorite game ever. The older "Final Fantasy" games for the Super Nintendo always had great soundtracks. I remember being really excited when "Final Fantasy 3" was released and you could actually order the soundtrack on CD. Wallace, Scott's roomie, later mentions that Scott cried when he saved over his "Final Fantasy" game, which I think I've done before too. lol. The old FF game…

Star Wars: Revelations

This past weekend I saw the 40-minute fan fiction movie "Star Wars: Revelations," which was released on-line, as a profitless venture from a fan who spent $20,000 to make the film. Given the amount of money spent on the creation, it was really well-done. The special effects were decent, standing out sometimes as a little off, sometimes glaringly fake, but passing for realistic every so often. The movie was a little hazy and poorly-acted, but what do you expect from actors getting paid next-to-nothing? The storyline was actually rather compelling, assuming that some jedis remained alive after "Episode III," following the journey of a seer whose sister was a jedi (or jedi-in-training). It was difficult to discern some things that should have been explicit, such as the first vision, when our heroine bumped into a bounty hunter and had a vision in a club. I didn't really catch that she bumped into anybody, so I was lost for a minute or two. And I hate to say…

Paradise Kiss

Okay, it's now two for two, for Ai Yazawa. "Nana" was a stellar read in the new "Shojo Beat," as I mentioned previously, so I decided to check out her earlier work, "Paradise Kiss." And I am so glad I did. I caught myself laughing out loud several times during the story, chalk-full of quirky characters and fun plot twists. In the first volume of this series, we follow Yukari Hayasaka, model student, as she's drawn into Paradise Kiss, a label being created by art students. She's given an offer to become a model for them, something she weighs throughout the story. Yazawa's artwork, her characterization...it's just wonderful. Reading other shojo manga, like "Absolute Boyfriend" in "Shojo Beat," just didn't do it for me to the same degree. I think one of the big things that's set her apart in my mind is her pacing. She slows down at the right moments, drawing out the emotions in the perfect places, whet…

The Stardust Kid

From the creative team of J.M DeMatteis and Mike Ploog, comes the first issue of "The Stardust Kid" from Image Comics. Riding off the success of Crossgen's "Abadazad," they have created another all-ages fantasy, this one, an amalgam of stereotypes. Including "old ones that predate humanity" and a Troll in Central Park - I mean, a creature who lives in a tree in a park within a big New York-like city, "The Stardust Kid" is about a boy who befriends a shape-shifting "old one" who turns him from the happy-go-lucky kid he was into someone who neglects his friends and is subdued when it comes to family. I was completely underwhelmed by this story, given how absolutely wonderful "Abadazad" was. In comparison, it was completely uninventive, unimpressive, and forgettable.

May comic charts

The number one comic for this past month was depressingly "Green Lantern #1," followed by a more deserving "Astonishing X-Men." On a more promising note, "Walking Dead (vol 3): Safety Behind Bars" was the number one graphic novel. Image won the crown there, but I was really surprised to see that Image's highest-ranked comic on the issue chart was at number 96. Pretty sad for a top five publisher featured in the front of "Previews." I was also a little sad to see "Machine Teen #1" debut so low (under the top 100), but I suppose all of those all-ages comics like "Livewires" are geared more toward trades and the manga readers anyway. The number one manga in comic stores was "Samurai Executioner." Check out the complete charts for yourself at sites such as www.newsarama.com, www.icv2.com, www.comicon.com/pulse, and www.comicbookresources.com, places I regularly visit for such information.

Batman Begins

I just saw "Batman Begins" and was not disappointed. Christian Bale dons the mask in the latest bat-film and does a great job beside such talent as Katie Holmes, Morgan Freeman and Liam Nieson. This Batman doesn't rely on the flashy villains of the previous efforts, but gives the Batman himself the front seat of the film. "Batman & Robin," this ain't. Best Bat-film easily, but remains overshadowed by the "Spiderman" and "X-Men" films in my opinion. But the sequels were the best movies in both of those franchises, so it's early yet for the Bat.

While I loved the "Batman Begins" film, I was overwhelmed to see the "Serenity" trailer. I can not wait for Whedon's film to debut. I was kind of scared that Anara wouldn't really be in it, but there she was, in all her glory. Made my night.

"Batman Begins" opened on Wednesday with over $15 million, making it the eleventh highest grossing Wednesda…

Nana

"Nana" is the featured 100-page story in the first issue of "Shojo Beat." It's the first part of the popular girls' manga in Japan, by the creator of "Paradise Kiss." This was actually the first shojo manga I ever read. My manga reading history has been pretty scarce, consisting of the fantasy "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind," the bloody "Battle Royale," silly "Ranma 1/2," and a little bit of the horror title "Tomie." This was completely different. It's about a girl who wants a boyfriend and has some extremely bad luck, so tries having a boy friend without any romantic ties at all. The character of Nana is wonderful and her past, the little revealing moments, all come in the perfect places and are just so well executed, that I have to wonder if this is the best comic story that I've ever read. Seriously. I wasn't expecting to be so taken with this random thing I read, but I was completely mes…

Must-See TV

I wanted to recommend television shows for your viewing enjoyment, none of which are current because TV sucks now.

~ "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" - the best television series ever created, very influential in my writing. Give it a chance beyond season one: it sets things up, but doesn't get phenomenal until the next year.

~ "Angel" - the spin-off from "Buffy" that came into its own and progressively got better each season until its untimely demise.

~ "Neon Genesis Evangelion" - the next best series after "Buffy." Really, you've got to watch this, whether you're a fan of anime or not.

~ "His and Her Circumstances" - From the creators of "Evangelion," a romantic comedy series that surprised me and really deserves to be ranked up there with the others on my list.

~ "Twin Peaks" - David Lynch's off-beat murder mystery. Creepy, intense...all without including the girl that the whole series revolves ar…

June 13th

Hey. It's June 13th and I just want to share things in my life at this point in time. This is something I'll probably be doing periodically.

Last comic I read: "Spellbinders #3"
Next comic in my pile: "The Stardust Kid #1"

Comics I'm getting this week:
"Manhunter #11"
"Mnemovore #3"
"Scott Pilgrim (volume 2)"
"Seven Soldiers: Klarion the Witch Boy #2"
"Vimanarama #3"

Comics I'm getting next week:
"House of M #2"
"New Avengers #6"
"Spellbinders #4"

Last graphic novel/Trade I read: "The Walking Dead (vol. 3)"
Next graphic novel/Trade in my pile: "Ultra: Seven Days"

Last novel I read: "Little Women"
CD in my player: "Bleed Like Me" ~ Garbage

Film

I just saw "Howl's Moving Castle," Miyazaki's latest animated masterpiece. He is just the king of animation. Go see it if you haven't already.

I just thought I would mention some films upcoming that I'm particularly looking forward to seeing:

"Batman Begins" - Comes out Wednesday. Early reviews indicate it as the Batman we've been waiting for.

"Land of the Dead" - George Romero doing zombies as only he can do.

"Bewitched" - Is it wrong that this preview really struck me? Nicole Kidman looked just awesome in it and she's been on fire lately.

"War of the Worlds" - Probably the closest movie to the scale of Episode III for blockbusters this summer. Hopefully this one will be as good. I find it hard to believe Spielberg will let us down.

"Fantastic Four" - Like most, I'm really iffy about this one. Could be the most craptastic movie, could be great. Either way, Johnny Storm is hot.

"The Skeleton …

100 Things I Love About Comics (In no particular order)

1. Meeting my boyfriend, Patrick, over a magazine featuring the "X-Men" movie.

2. DC: I don't read many of their titles, but it's just awesome to know that there's another universe out there beyond Marvel's superheros.

3. Mark Smylie's magnificently-rendered world of "Arteseia."

4. Kitty Pryde, the reason I got drawn into Comics and my favorite character to date.

5. "Birds of Prey"

6. The anticipation of the next "Batman" movie, while growing up.

7. "Runaways" - Brilliant premise, most original comic Marvel's published in years.

8. "Midnight, Mass," particularly the "Here There Be Monsters" mini. More, please!

9. Working on the designs for Patrick's comic.

10. Working on my comic.

11. Crossgen - What can I say? I was a fan...

12. "Bone"

13. "Exiles"

14. "Batman: The Animated Series"

15. The Uncanny X-Men

16. "My Sexual History" by David Heatley

17. Gilbert Herna…

Welcome

Hey everyone. Welcome to Comics-and-more. I, Dave Ferraro, will be posting about a variety of subjects here: movies, TV, books...but mostly comic books. I'll pretty much just post about whatever thoughts I have, but I will be putting together reviews and such as I read material, trying my utmost to remain faithful about updating frequently. To give you an idea of what I like, I'll post one hundred things I like about comics, as is all the rage. I welcome feedback and comments, so please let me know what you think of my site and what I could do to improve. I am a writer first and foremost, and may publish some of my work here for your prying eyes, so please be honest and open. I hope you all like what you see!