Monday, August 31, 2009

What The?!

Disney has purchased Marvel. Is this Assistant Editors' Month?
Check out what else Disney owns.

Cool Covers

This is a really great "stand-alone" issue.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Off the Shelf

During the San Diego Comic Con, Google and DC Comics teamed up with this promotional art on Google's mainpage. A nifty piece by Jim Lee.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Let's All Go to the Lobby!

The bastard child of cinema is at it again: Quentin Tarantino's new film "Inglourious Basterds" hits theatres today and is already one of the highlights of the year.

Though the film is a revisionist take on the outcome of WW2, it's still a fun action flick that features some of the best filmmaking I've seen in a while. There are two scenes in particular that have stuck with me and really showcase Tarantino's ability as a writer and composition on screen.

Some of the film, however, devolves into gory slapstick and contains allusions to many great cinematic pieces, but I think I can let that slide. Brad Pitt hams it up everytime he's on screen, though I wasn't completely impressed with his performance. There isn't much character development for the Basterds, just know that they are Jews in France looking to kill Nazis.

The film is truly carried by Christopher Waltz. He is a Nazi who revels in his ability to find and kill Jews but his character is so charming and engaging that you almost miss when he is not on screen. Waltz played the character fluidly, moving effortlessly from personable officer to ruthless murderer and back again without breaking a sweat.

Personally, I don't think this is Tarantino's best work, but it was a lot of fun. The film is great escapism and expertly crafted. I think it's safe to say that right now it's certainly in my Top 10 for the year.

"Inglourious Basterds" is in theatres today.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cool Covers

What force could knock the Hulk off his bearings? Psychology, actually.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Let's All Go to the Lobby!

"District 9" has had one of the better promotional campaigns in recent memory. Through a combination of viral videos and a little ambiguity, "District 9" seemed poised to be the sleeper hit of the summer. What is delivered, however, falls flat of that potential.

While the film sports slick special effects, it loses steam about 1/3 of the way through its 112 minute running time. The first act focuses on an alien race landing on Earth and settling into South Africa and how humanity deals with the sudden influx and shock. This gives way to settlement camps and ghettos (District 9) constructed to house the aliens which eventually gives way to a new camp which features less space and more surveillance (District 10).

The special effects are some of the best I've seen, whether it's a science fiction film, actioner, or any drab experimental piece. All of that loses its luster, however, when the movie goes from a critical social commentary to a first-person shooter game. As each new scene began in the second and third acts, I was already prepared for the action to be similar to a new level on a video game. Each scene featured an objective, usually preposterous, but that will generally be lost on an audience awed by the special effects and life-like quality of the alien race.

I was really hoping this film would bridge the gap of alien films (Alien to Mac & Me), but instead it plays like Max Payne. It's worth seeing for the SFX, which I'm sure required 1000s of man hours to perfect, but the story just falls short. Rent it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Off the Shelf

This week, I want to take a look at two works that are coming out in the next couple of months.

First up is "Strange Tales" from the MAX imprint at Marvel Comics. This three issue mini-series is an anthology with work by some of the biggest names from indie and underground comics: Peter Bagge, Jason, Paul Pope, James Kochalka, and more. It'll be exciting to see fresh takes on Marvel's most prominent properties, especially since the creators all hail from alt comix.

Matt Kindt debuts his new book, "3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man," in October. Kindt has been burning up the indie scene over the last couple of years, winning awards and critical praise for his works "2 Sisters" and "Super Spy." 3 Story tells the tale of a man who continues to grow and the trouble that brings. From Kindt's site:
What would it be like to stand head and shoulders above everyone else - and to keep growing? Unable to interact with a fragile world that isn't built to withstand your size? To live in a house that doesn't fit you anymore - with a wife who doesn't either? Craig Pressgang's life is well documented in his official CIA biography, "Giant Man: Pillar of America," but the heroic picture it paints is only half the story. The continuous growth caused by Craig's strange medical condition brings a variety of problems as he becomes more isolated and unknowable.
"3 Story" will be published by Dark Horse Comics and they have a preview of the book available now. This excerpt is actually a standalone tale not featured in the October release. Kindt will be holding a "3 Story" release party at Subterranean Books on October 7th from 7pm-9pm.

Kindt will also have a story featured in the forthcoming "Strange Tales," which is released in September.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cool Covers

I was so damn excited to read Green Lantern every month as a kid, and this cover is just another reason why.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Off the Shelf

Coming off the success of The Essex County Trilogy, Jeff Lemire's newest book is a revisionist take on "The Invisible Man."

While not as touching as the ECT, "The Nobody" still explores the depths of the human condition. The Nobody, Griffen, arrives in a small town wrapped in bandages and hiding a secret. Told entirely in flashbacks, and flashbacks within flashbacks, the Griffen's sordid past unravels just as his bandages do. Lemire delivers a piece of the puzzle at a deliberate pace and builds the story to a crescendo that's almost anti-climatic. "The Nobody" is a great story for anyone who is a fan of mysteries, classic science fiction, or interested in seeing Lemire continue to develop as an artist and storyteller.

"The Nobody" was released by Vertigo on July 8.

Though it's been available for nearly a year, I recently read Emmanuel Guibert's graphic novelization of Alan Cope's experience during World War II. What begins as a historic travelogue of one soldiers experiences throughout Europe becomes an engrossing tale of self-discovery and actualization of an authentic essence all well depicted through Guibert's beautiful artistic style.

Though I haven't been involved in any sort of war (aside from a spiritual war, of course), I was fascinated by Cope's experience. He was never afraid to try something new, sneak out after curfew, or mingle with people he shouldn't. Through his own curiosity Cope found himself traveling across Europe and meeting musicians, poets, and other intellectuals.

"Alan's War" was released by First Second Books and is available now.