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Showing posts from July, 2005

Previews

"Previews" came out today, so it's time to comment on what's to come...

Marvel:
"Nick Fury's Howling Commandos" - Okay, you knew from the hook of Vampire by Night (a vampire bitten by a werewolf), that we'd see this character in some form after her story had ended in "Amazing Fantasy." And here she is, fighting side-by-side with other monsters, like the Zombie and Frankenstein. Is that enough to check this series out? Mmm....probably not.

"Ultimate Fantastic Four" - Yeah, I haven't checked out this series, but the cover for the new "Tomb of Namor" arc gave me a chill. I think this is where I get on board.

"Runaways" - I love Vaughan's original series. Number nine is the beginning of a new arc, "East Coast/West Coast," with the return of Cloak and Dagger to the book, an appearance I really enjoyed back in the first volume of the series.

"The Book of Lost Souls" - The new Icon title f…

Penguins and Everyone Else

I saw a few movies over the past few weeks. Last week, I saw "March of the Penguins," which went wide, I believe, this past weekend. I'm one of those people who really enjoy watching nature/animal stuff on TV, especially Jeff Corwin on Animal Planet (he's funny AND cute). So, of course, I couldn't pass on this movie, especially given how I love penguins. The documentary was really well done, I thought. Better than their previous work, "Winged Migration." It was full of what people went to the movie to see - cute animals doing cute things. There were funny moments and sad moments. I felt that there could have been one penguin couple that the film makers focused in on to really give a sense of attachment to the animals, a personality. It could have been a little shorter too - there's only so much penguin waddling I can stand before the cuteness wears off. But I do recommend this highly for people who love watching animals like I do.

The other…

Ai Yazawa

Ai Yazawa is a comics genius. I just finished reading her fifth and final installment of "Paradise Kiss" and it was wonderful! The art was beautiful, with the perfect expressions on each of the characters at the perfect moments to evoke just the right moods. I found myself stopping sometimes just to admire the art for minutes at a time. It really is incredible, especially the elaborate fashions. The story itself just kept getting better and better as the series progressed, something you think just isn't possible as you read each installment. The characters grow in the most unexpected ways and really get under your skin emotionally before you even realize they're there! The relationships between characters Arashi and Miwako is one of the most complex and realistic relationships I've ever read about. The model/main character Yuraki also has a love/hate relationship with the mysterious George that rings just as true, and as a character that sometimes shines …

Cavalcade of Boys

"Cavalcade of Boys" is a fun romp of a romance series by Tim Fish. There obviously aren't too many gay comics out there (aside from manga series about gay boys written by girls for girls, which is kinda weird), so it's pretty refreshing to read this independently-published comic on the stands. Fish fills his trade with cute boy images that Patrick noted looked a lot like Erik Larson's art (could there be some influence there?). There is way too much Zip-a-tone at the beginning of the story, but it fades before too long to become quite bearable.

"Cavalcade of Boys" reads more like a collection of short stories that follow gay boys through their adventures meeting other boys (ala "Love & Rockets," with recurring characters and plot threads being picked up and dropped capriciously). While it seems that no gay man in the volume is capable of staying monogomous (with one exception), it's still a fun portrayal of stereotypes among the ga…

The Basement - a short story

“You know what I love best about moving to a new city?” Laura Sentry asked as she plopped down onto the couch beside her boyfriend, arms expertly sliding around his neck. “Finding the best restaurants. Milwaukee must have some great Italian restaurants and pizza. I think I saw a Greek place on the way in. I don’t think I’ve ever had Greek food before…” She tapped a finger against her lips as the thought slithered across her mind.

“I was going to say no cleaning,” Mark smirked, his eyes glued to the TV. “No picking up for a couple weeks, at least.”

“Yeah,” Laura muttered, looking over the dozen or so unopened boxes left to sort through near the door. She sat up. “Actually, most of our clothes are wrinkled. Those will have to be washed.”

With an easy smile, Mark turned to her. “Then you’d best get on that, huh?”

Laura glared. “You are such an ass.”

“But you love me anyway.”

A smile worked its way over her features despite herself, and she planted a quick kiss on his lips. “You’re just lucky y…

San Diego

There weren't too many really cool announcements out of San Diego's con this year, but there were a few highlights for me. I loved hearing about "Abadazad," because I just loved that series, and it's nice to know that I can expect to see something come from Disney early next year. I'm still crossing my fingers for more "Meridian" and "Mystic" comics. You can check out the article at Newsarama here: http://www.newsarama.com/forums/showthread.php?s=fc867ad13de378069bf0845173a2a41e&threadid=38374

Another exciting announcement was about the new "Fables" original graphic novel, "1,001 Nights of Snowfall." I've been waiting for the announcement of the next OGN for awhile now, since it was mentioned to be in the works. This one's about Snow White, obviously a spoof of "1,001 Arabian Nights." Also coming from "Fables" - "Jack of Fables." I'm not too keen on this character, esp…

#1's

Sorry I didn't update sooner! I wrote a short story, which I'm going to put on my site pretty soon, and I've been painting more of my comic. Me and Patrick went into Chicago over the weekend and stopped by Chicago Comics and Quimby's, both of which inspired me to get my butt in gear with my mini-comic (actually, going to those stores was the reason for the trek). Anyways, Patrick picked up "Mome #1" and "Cavalcade of Boys." I just got my comics for the week. Patrick also got Gilbert Hernandez' DVD "Naked Cosmos" for his birthday, something I'm sure I'll be reviewing as soon as I've viewed it with him.

I read a few #1 issues this week that I wanted to mention:
"All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #1" - A great start to a new Batman series by Frank Miller and Jim Lee, focusing on Robin at the beginning of his crime-fighting career. I don't really care for Jim Lee as many do, but hey, Miller's great…

Lost At Sea/Ocean

I read "Lost At Sea" last night, Brian Lee O'Malley's first graphic novel. If you like the hipster dialogue and art of "Scott Pilgrim," this definitely has the same kind of feel. I actually felt like I could identify with this book better than I could "Scott Pilgrim," though I do feel the latter is a superior work. In "Lost At Sea," we find a girl, Raleigh, in a car full of strangers from school, as they travel north to Canada. It's much more internal than "Pilgrim," opting to beg the cosmic questions of where we fit in and such. Quite emotional and full of flashbacks that flush out Raleigh as the story unfolds, I recommend this book readily.

Warren Ellis' new six-issue mini-series "Ocean" has a great premise. A group of scientists discover something beneath one of the icy moons of Jupiter. The series starts out full of promise, as the atmosphere of this futuristic world is depicted in a way that really …

July 11th

Hey, just saw the Diamond shipping list here: http://www.diamondcomics.com/shipping.asp

This week, I'm going to be reading:
~"All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #1" (Haven't read a Frank Miller comic I haven't liked)
~"The Comics Journal #269" (I usually don't read this, but it's the shojo manga issue!)
~"Fables #39" (More of the homeland)
~"Mnemovore #4" (Shaping up to be a neat little horror story)
~"New Avengers #7" (I have to say, I like this series, though the panels are a little hard to follow sometimes...)
~"NYX #6" (Last issue?)
~"Serenity #1" (Definitely getting excited for the movie!!)
~"Seven Soldiers: The Guardian #3" (The best of the Seven Soldiers minis thus far)

Next week's reads:
~"Astonishing X-Men #11" (Finally! Another issue of the best superhero title out there right now!)
~"Kitty Pryde: Shadow and Flame #2" (Need I say more?)
~"Manhunter #12&q…

Fantastic Four...not so bad?

WARNING! THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS!!!!

Okay, I think we've all heard how awful the "Fantastic Four" movie is, but...is it really that bad? Well, I saw it opening day and was pleasantly surprised. I thought it was kind of good. Not to say that there wasn't a lot bad about it - there was, but overall, I liked the movie.
The pros:
- The characters were all depicted like I would have expected the characters to be like, with the exception of the Invisible Girl. Mr. Fantastic was a distracted over-thinker, Johnny is a hot-head who loves attention, the Thing hates what he is, but is selfless when it comes to people despite their reactions.
- The interaction between the characters feels genuine and is true to the source material (with the exception of the Invisible Girl's relationship to Reed, which was...weird and didn't make much sense). I particularly liked the fun-pranking relationship between Johnny and Ben, but I think Sue's getting between them was g…

Kitty Pryde

With "Kitty Pryde: Shadow and Flame" having come out this past week, I'm taking a look back at the Kitty Pryde that I fell in love with. I have to reiterate that Kitty means a lot to me personally, as she's the reason I got into comics. When I was around eleven, I began collecting Marvel Universe (series one) trading cards because some of the other kids on the street were doing so. I saw Shadowcat's card and immediately fell in love with this pretty girl holding her purple dragon. I soon discovered that she was part of this superhero spin-off team named "Excalibur," and I tracked down every issue of the series, falling deeper in love with this smart, opinionated, normal girl from Chicago. I loved her temper, her naivety, her tenderness...and such feelings have remained to the present day. I went back and bought the issue of "Uncanny X-Men" where she originally joined the team and read some of my favorite "X-Men" stories like "Th…

Reasons Patrick loves comics

Since I admire my boyfriend's comic sensibilities, I thought I would post the things he loves about comics. He couldn't quite get to one hundred because he didn't want to list anything that fell into the "Like" category. Here it is:

74(?!?)*Things I love About Comics
By Patrick Markfort

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures The first comic book I ever bought was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #3, and this was the first series I “collected.” Beginning with the fifth issue, it began spinning out of the television show to form it’s own complex continuity, with major characters who appeared only in this series or for the first time in this series. I’d love to see someone bring this back into print.

2. First Comics’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collections Oversized, Color reprints of the original Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird series. I used to get these for Christmas. I especially loved the “Return of the Shredder” story.

3. Memories of good comics at Medi…

Monster

If you want to read a good essay on manga creator Naoki Urasawa (who wrote the forthcoming "Monster" manga that I talked about from Previews) click here: http://www.comicbookgalaxy.com/commentary_ak_010305.html

It's a really great look at Urasawa, written by Abhay Khosla, which first informed Patrick of "Monster," and thus excited me in turn.

Looming

Yeah, "Previews" came out this week, so I'm highlighting the upcoming comics that I'm excited about. And speaking of upcoming, the Chicago comic convention is coming up extremely fast. I can't wait. Now that I'm closer than ever, it won't be such an exhausting voyage to attend. But anyways, from the pages of "Previews...."

Dark Horse: I'm excited about the "Sumarai: Heaven and Earth" trade. I went back and forth on getting this one quite a bit as the issues were out, but I opted to wait in hopes for a trade. I'm glad they're collecting it. I loved Marz' samurai stuff at Crossgen, so I'm excited to see what he comes up with without a panel directing the story.

DC: There's great stuff coming out from DC, like the "Kamandi Archives" and "Showcase Presents" trades, but I'm personally most excited to see what Grant Morrison does for his next "Seven Soldiers" mini, "Mister M…

I'm Back!

Hey - sorry it took so long to post there. I am now officially in Milwaukee (or West Allis) and am moved in quite comfortably. I'm trying to get more comfortable with the area now and start work again on Monday. I was pleased to discover that my local comic store is going to be The Lost World of Wonders, a store we stopped by when we were searching for apartments and were hoping we would be close to. It turns out that it's just down the street. Quite a different story from our previous local comic store in Saint Cloud, MN - Granite City Comics, where you could get practically only DC and Marvel. The Lost World of Wonders has a little bit of everything, which is nice. We probably still have to venture to Chicago to get hard-to-find stuff, at Quimby's or Chicago Comics, but it's a huge step up from Granite City, where one can never even browse. I will, however, miss Big Brain and the Source in Minneapolis.