Aww, fuck. Might as well start off with a quote from Millar, the Instigator:

“But I love that Kapow! is sold out. I want people to turn up, find that out and think: ‘Damn, I’m definitely going to get my ticket next year.’ There is something cool about that.”

(Kapow! Superheroes come to Britian – man, this even willingly leans in to those Zap! Pow! punches, eh?)

Ok so one of the weird things about Mark Millar, as a figure in popular culture, is that I’m predisposed to disbelieve almost everything he says in interviews. He’s like Tony Blair that way for me, only, you know, Millar’s not actually irredeemably evil.

He is the king of the obvious idea, apparently, and as such the first person to write a comic where a supervillain is the main character. The book in question? Nemesis (Icon Comics, 2010), except… that’s not quite right.  You see, the weird thing about this particular boast is that Millar actually beat himself to the punch on this one, with Wanted (Top Cow, 2003). Or maybe the pluralisation invalidates that example, in which case all I have to say is: Zodiac (Marvel, 2009). Or maybe: Irredeemable (Boom Studios, 2009). If plural supervillains count then maybe I’d be saying Empire (Gorilla Comics, 2000)  instead, but the point is that it’s a silly boast, one that’s easily proved to be untrue.

Still, at least it’s still a relatively new idea, eh?

Well... there were probably no gay incestous womb-bombs in this comic, but maybe that's because it's a shit idea?

Oh. Okay. Maybe not. Well… there probably weren’t any gay incestuous womb-bombs in those old Joker comics, but maybe that’s just because it’s a shit idea?

More fear and self loathing at the comics convention after the cut!!

Kapow! Podcast part 2

April 18th, 2011

This podcast covers the second half of day one. The bulk of this is taken up with a recording of the Attack The Block panel featuring director, Joe Cornish. There’s also some on-the-floor reactions from Mindless Members, Illogical Volume and Botswana Beast. Apologies for any sound quality issues.


Click to download

Yes, there is!  We talk about Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library # 20, also known as Lint.

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Then there’s some rambling chat about Mark Millar, Marvel Ultimate stuff, The Authority, Bryan Hitch, Warren Ellis, Freak Angels, The Boys, Garth Ennis, Unknown Soldier, Jesse Custer’s hair and white jeans,  Peter Milligan and Hellblazer. Then the battery ran out and we all went home to bed and it was all a dream.  Or was it?  Of course it wasn’t, you can hear it here:

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2010 Mindless Podcast #5 Preacher

December 15th, 2010

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…And by this point in our recording session that’s what we’ve done.  I for one was pretty drunk by this point.  Amy Poodle brought along Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Preacher for us all to talk about.  I can’t remember much more than that other than we digressed heavily into Mark Millar and other stuff.  Why not listen with me as I refresh my memory.

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And that’s it for our 2010 podcasts.  Thanks for listening and hopefully we’ll all get together in the new year for more of the same.

For this next bit of our 2010 get-together, Bobsy brought along Clint and Dodgem Logic for The Beast Must Die, Zom, Gary Lactus and Amy Poodle to talk about. This is what it sounded like:

Click to download

clint-cover

Print

To do a Kick Ass 2 review

September 6th, 2010

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Clint was found, after a little befuddled craning and turning while doing that exaggerated ‘I am looking for something’ look, not beside the sci-fi/movie/comic mags that the cover tries to pass itself off as, but a whole shelf over, next to the lads mags and Madgadget Monthly. Is this a local thing, slip of shelfstacker’s wrist, or deliberate placement, on WHSmiths’ no-doubt nationally co-ordinated layout plans? This seemed at first like a straight up simple mistake – word with someone in sales, get it sorted for the next issue. But after a read of the Great British boys’ comic’s best last hope… maybe not so sure.

Comics has a right to children

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No brains out of 5.

Are you there Margaret? It’s me, John Constantine.

I haven’t read much of the comic as there’s only so much misanthropy and homophobia that I can take, so this won’t be an exercise in comparing texts. Actually, unless your name’s Charlie Kauffman I’m not sure anyone should bother overmuch with that sort of thing. Personally I’m much more concerned with the question of whether or not the thing in front of me has anything going for it than whether the thing in front of me has anything in common with some other thing that isn’t in front of me.

So was this particular thing good? The further I get away from it the more I’m inclined to go with not so much. Don’t get me wrong, it is entertaining up to a point but it’s also rather irritating in retrospect and much of what I enjoyed I’m not sure would do it for me on a second viewing. To begin with Kick Ass sets the audience up with expectations that it just doesn’t deliver on. You start off thinking you’re watching a comedy intent on skewering the whole idea of superheroics, but what you get is Superbad meets The Punisher. We’re told by actual fer real characters and actual fer real plot events that superheroing isn’t just physically impossible it’s practically unfeasible and the province of the psychologically disturbed, and you know what? It’s pretty hard to disagree. If anything I’d go further and add a clause about ethics and morality, but ya know this is a popcorn flick based on a Mark Millar comic so you can’t have everything.

Had the film stopped at turning a rather definitive statement about the physical impossibility of superheroics into what amounts to the part of the origin story where the hero gains (admittedly very rubbish) superpowers I probably wouldn’t be of a mind to complain. It’s a kind of thematic and intellectual betrayal but it’s a reasonably fun idea and for a minute there it looked as if the movie might have had something vaguely interesting to say about our culture of voyeurism and its relationship to our unwillingness to intervene when we see wrongs being committed. Sadly the film has nothing to say that’s worth saying about any of that and the powering up of Kick Ass turns out to be a direction of travel that culminates in the very definite assertion that being a superhero isn’t just possible, it completely fucking a-one awesome! Kick ass, dude!

In fact if the movie has anything to say at all it’s that in the real world you’d have to do superheroics with firearms and that you’d have to kill people (but hey that’s completely awesome too), that being a comic geek is really cool, and that being a gay is totally gay. Yes along the way we get to meet Hit Girl and yes she steals the film, and yes some of it is quite funny, and I’m sure teenagers will love the flick. The teenagers in the cinema with me sure as fuck did. But in the end there’s only so much nerd wet dream I need in my life.

As a side note about the action sequences, it struck me that Vaughn’s film, in common with the vast majority of modern action movies, is a prisoner of its own stylisation. The hackneyed John Woo-esque action-balletics which have come to own contemporary cinema just couldn’t exist in a film which was really concerned with bringing any kind of realism to superheroing. Had they decided to remove those stylistic elements they would have ended up with a very different and perhaps far better movie.

I award Kick Ass two brains out of five.