See you later, Aggro Gator

August 27th, 2009

  • Oh I know he doesn’ t need any more praise but Bryan Lee O’malley’s Scott Pilgrim site rocks as hard as  do all things SP related. You’ve gotta admire the fact that he’s turned himself into a one man franchise without sacrificing any ofthe comics inherent yumminess. If you haven’t read SP yet I presume you have no eyes, in which case you can’t read this which means you can’t see me sticking my fingers up at you. (tbmd)
  • I’ve really been enjoying Hip Hop Isn’t Dead recently. Max’s dedication to slogging through the entire Wu-related back catalogue is particularly rewarding (see: U-God and Cappadonna aka The Cab Driver). I don’t agree with him a lot of the time, but it’s a good site from a man with generally excellent taste in Hip Hop.  (tbmd)
  • Bit of a 2000AD flavour to my online reading this week – starting with Garth Ennis’ first contribution to Rich Johnson’s Bleeding Cool, When 2000AD was the Future. It’s an unabashedly nostalgic birthday tribute to the Galaxy’s Greatest, and although it feels a bit hacked-out, if you don’t get a lump in the throat or pants upon reading his list of standout moments, then, brother, you must have no pants. It’s also interesting for several other reasons – Bleeding Cool has been a bit of lame replacement for the much-missed Lying in the Gutters, having somehow managed to bring out a heretofore unimagined boring streak in Warren Ellis’ online columns, so if it’s giving us regular bulletins from Ennis now (the first time he’ll have done this kind of regular editorialising since, what, the Preacher letters page?) then all to the good. Secondly, funny to note the unfortunate truism ‘2000AD was better when I were a lad’ can be heard coming from even the most level headed industry professionals. Thirdly,  the revealing detail that Ennis does not count 2000AD as a significant influence on his career-best Punisher MAX run, although he does with nearly all of his other, far less essential US work. And finally, the general public acknowledgement of the debt he owes to Tharg, which will seem ironic to anyone who read Wagner’s Dredd story last week and noticed how much Jay Doubleyou appears to have been reciprocally influenced by Ennis in recent years. Five pages of unbelievable tension and gravitas balanced effortlessly across three simultaneous scenes, no action but lots of quiet political violence, in an episode of sheer comics storytelling perfection that displays the kind of tough yet elegant narrative engineering that Ennis has lately made his own.
  • This has been up for ages but I’ve only just stumbled across it: Cradlegrave, John Smith and Edmund Bagwell’s recently-concluded tale of alien body-horror and kitchen-sink drama on a Northern housing estate is being hailed by some Squaxx as the best story The Mighty One has put out since Halo Jones. A full Mindless report to follow soon, but in a rare move the excellent 2000AD Review site has put Smith’s script for an entire episode up for your perusal. Bloody brilliant.
  • Further happy proof that the world you live in is becoming more like Judge Joseph Dredd’s every day! (b)
  • Look, 5 posts for the price of one! Andrew Hickey’s hyperpost continues apace. The topics, which he’s attacking from multiple and diverse angles, are canon and continuity and other stuff that concerns those of us of a fannish bent. So far Andrew’s posts have focussed on Morrison’s concept of Hypertime, Cerebus via Oscar Wilde (or should that be the other way round?), and an ‘imaginary’ (in the Alan Moore sense) Dr Who audio story which doesn’t feature too much Dr Who but does feature a dying man. This kind of multi-pronged oblique criticism is exactly the kind of thing we try to do round here, and exactly what Andrew Rilstone did so fantastically in his recent fanzine Who Sent the Sentinels?. Looking forward to seeing what else Andrew can come up with.
  • Ah, its been ages since we’ve given some love to the boys at Funnybook Babylon. If you don’t listen to their podcasts you really should as they’re some of best pop-critics out there, and really don’t get the credit they deserve nearly often enough. The standout moment in the latest edition has to be Chris Ekert’s disembowelling of Ultimatum – to call it criticism would be to give Loeb’s writing too much credit, but it sure is funny as shit.

Bunyan would have blushed

August 11th, 2009

or Crisis? What Crisis? (part one)

This one:

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Think of him as 2000AD’s awkward cousin. He and Tharg used to get on great for a bit, but while The Mighty One went into his teens still drunk on the heady surge of Thrill Power, Crisis was always a bit serious. Self consciously so, you could say. You know the routine: went veggie. CND badge. Amnesty membership. Morrissey lyrics sung at high volume to that face in the bedroom mirror. Didn’t make friends that easily, and sometimes seemed to try hard not to be noticed at all, but on rare occasions he’d come out with something that would really be worth paying attention to.

You’d get such a shock you’d probably jump in the ocean