The power of positive thinking

Okay. I was going to rant and scream (as much as one can scream on the internet) about how Civil War: Front Line was one of the absolute worst comics I have ever read… but decided against it. In fact I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf. At least for awhile.

Negativity has been a hallmark of my comics reviewing here. It brings in the readers. But I’m tired of it. There are tons and tons of utterly horrible (but sadly usually popular) comics yet there are still plenty of comics that are great. And that’s why I love comics for those great books that shine above the horde of shit that lines the shelves. It’s been occurring to me that I’ve been spending too much time reviewing and focusing on books that are horrid… and it’s just been depressing me and making me hate the industry and the hobby.

So… no more. At least for a little while.

I’m declaring the month of March (I know March doesn’t start until next month but bare with me) to be Positive Things To Say About Comics Month (the most inelegant title of all time). This means for the next 30 days (or so) I’ll only review comics that I ENJOY and tell you WHY I enjoy them. Think this be a great change of pace for both me and you, gentle readers.

And I picked a great week to kick this off.

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Frank Cho (again)…

From The Frank Cho Panel  at the New York City Comic-Con (via Newsarama)

The choicer elements:

Did he scale down his women for Mighty Avengers? Cho said he tried to with Black Widow but couldn’t fight it. So he said why bother” “Everyone gets a D cup.”


He’d… like to tackle Power Girl, “for obvious reasons”.

Comics as pornography, anyone?

Academy Awards

I just want to put up a few thoughts about the Oscars this year.  I didn’t watch them because I didn’t feel like wasting half the day watching stars read stupid banter off cue cards.  I did watch the Ennio Morricone tribute, which I found to be a boring montage and a lame rendition of some of the best songs in movie history.  Celine Dion? Really?

Anyway,  I’ve long since accepted that the Oscars were a bunch of bullshit.  Rocky beats out Taxi Driver for best picture, the worst of the three Lord of the Rings films cleans up, and Gladiator gets 5 damn awards.  Up until this weekend I could have also pointed out that Ennio Morricone and Martin Scorsese had never won, but I guess they finally wised up years after both directors were in their prime.

As far as the awards themselves:  1. It is a travesty that Children of Men (CoM) was not nominated for best picture. The Queen? Who the fuck cares about The Queen?  (though I do respect Stephen Frears as a director) Personally I think CoM should have won, because while the Departed was fantastic, it didn’t have nearly the depth and nuance that CoM had.  Not to mention the incredible cinematography.  I haven’t seen Pan’s Labyrinth, so I don’t know if that had comparable shooting quality.

2.  What does it say about a nomination when none of the best picture candidates have anyone up for best actor and only one person up for best actress?  Why was Leo put up for the mediocre Blood Diamond rather than the Departed?  Why do I see the names Ryan Gosling, Eddie Murphy, and Will Smith alongside names like Peter O’Toole, Forrest Whitaker, and Alan Arkin?

3. Why is there a category for animated feature but no Science Fiction category or Comedy category?  I realize that great movies like Animal House or Blazing Saddles aren’t going to stand up to IMPORTANT films, but they should be recognized as great none-the-less.  And wouldn’t it be more fair to put Star Wars films up against films of a similar vein rather than up against those same IMPORTANT FILMS?

4. The Academy is made up of directors, actors, producers etc.  What the hell does Penelope Cruz know about film editing?  How does Angelina Jolie judge sound mixing?  What does Paul W. S. Anderson know about subtlety or good film?  Why do we think this is the best measure of a movie’s worth?

I really could go on and on, and at some point when I own both I may talk about Children of Men vs. the Departed if there is any interest.  I just wanted to get my thoughts out.  Also, maybe now Mr. White won’t bitch about the site being only comics and Star Wars.

More Star Wars

Exile comes out today. After I finish it (maybe early next week at the latest…) I’ll write up an extensive review here as with this novel we’ve reached the half-way point of Legacy of the Force.

Oh and I was reading an interview with Aaron Allston today and found this excellent bit:

Thus far in the series, we haven’t seen too much of Jacen’s twin sister, Jaina, the Sword of the Jedi. I know you can’t give anything away, but would it be way off to guess that she’s going to play a larger role in the upcoming books?

You would be right. The thing about a sword, or any weapon, is that it’s a good idea to keep it in its sheath until it’s ready to be used.

This is, as they say, good news. Because, in a word, Jaina is awesome and Legacy of the Force has been suffering with her lack of a prescence in the novels.  

Something to look forward to…

A Star Wars novel by Matthew Stover centered around Luke Skywalker? This, dear friends, is a dream made flesh (or paper).

Sadly it is a year away.

Crashing through rock bottom?

Via Blog@Newsarama.

Can Wizard get worse? I believe so. Expect more Greg Land covers to follow.

Why Civil War (#7) is a bad comic…

This is the oddest comic book I have read in a long while. I’ve read it through three times and I still don’t understand how this how scatter-fuck of a story was supposed to make the Marvel Universe a more interesting, more dangerous place, better place.

What exactly happened in this issue? Clor proved just how useless and pointless he was (but allowed for some brain-splattering hella-cool violence!, Reed Richards gets deflated, America’s Heroes (TM) show Captain America that wanton destruction is bad, and Tony Stark (henceforth to be called Augustus) becomes emperor of the Marvel Universe. Oh yes and Spider-Man becomes a radical-superheroist terrorist (remember, friends, one man’s freedom fighter is another’s terrorist).

My favourite part of this book is Reed and Sue. And how despite the horrible, horrible shit Reed and his cohorts do all he has to say is “sorry” and she comes running back. Clearly, Mark Millar knows how to write strong women.

How does all of this make the Marvel universe a more fractured and more dangerous (and thus in the eyes of Joe Quesada) a better place to read about?

To me the Marvel universe is a less interesting, safer place to live. Look: Augustus Stark has turned the world (or at least MU’s America) into some sort of some sort of pseudo-police state with extra-galactic prisons. And the public just eats it up. The super-hero community is now more or less on the same page (except for the Spectacular Spider-Terrorist and Amazing Friends). There are super-groups for every state (even Alaska!). How the fuck your supposed to be a super-criminal in this environment is beyond on me. And without super-criminals to beat on what’s the point of superhero comics exactly?

What really, deep down, perplexes me about this whole Civil War mess is, what exactly is the BIG POLITICAL STATEMENT that Millar was trying to tell us? What does all that hype about this book really being about ISSUES and CIVIL LIBERTIES versus SECURITY actually add up to?

Well, after reading this issue, it’s pretty obvious that Millar is telling us that if champions of civil liberties would just look around and realize how much destruction their fight against ‘authoritianism’ is causing, they would realize how wrong their is and surrender. And then everything would be great and the world safe and secure. For the children.

Golly, Mark, I knew your politics were kind of fucked up (see: Wanted, among other sources) but this is just out there.