Archive for the ‘Comic books’ Category


January 15, 2012


I bought this DVD for $3.

If it was about WonderMAN it would probably be $5.

Comics go to the movies – Kick-ass

January 9, 2012

I was surprised that I hadn’t written anything about the movie Kick-ass when it came out in theaters. And I’m not going to write much now either. I was expecting “more” when I saw it at the multiplex especially after all the hype and the awesome trailers. Although it was trying to shake up the superhero mythos with violence, it didn’t seem it go far enough in terms of depth of characters. Watching it again on DVD, and with lowered expectations, it’s more entertaining as a parody of the genre. (But in both viewings Nicholas Cage is scenery-chewingly awful.)

Th real reason I’m writing this now is to point out something completely inconsequential I noticed. Early in the film the main character and his friends are shown coming out of a movie theater and seen on the marquee very briefly is “The Spirit 3.”

At first I thought it was wishful thinking on the part of the movie studio for both films, Lionsgate. But then I realized that Kick-ass was produced independently with Lionsgate just picking up the distribution afterwards In other words, I think Kick-ass was taking a shot at cartoonist/director Frank “Sin City” Miller’s spectacularly gonzo misfire adaptation of Will Eisner’s classic 1940s crime fighter.

Comics go to the movies – Bordello of Blood

October 31, 2011

For Halloween, how about a horror movie based on a comic? OK, so it’s not actually based on one of the actual stories from the comic. It’s based on the TV show that was actually based on the actual stories from the comic.

Perhaps this will be a little less confusing. First there was the infamous EC horror comics of the 1950s (published by MAD’s William Gaines) of which Tales from the Crypt was one of the titles. Then there was the HBO series of the same name that ran from 1989 to 1996. (Each episode was based on one of the original stories.) Then there were a few movie spin-offs that were not based on any of the original stories. Bordello of Blood was the second.

So let me say this – I do recommend this movie, but it is a really bad movie. And not in the “it’s so bad it’s good” way, it’s just bad. But the saving grace in this excuse to add boobs to the franchise is Dennis Miller.

I’ve always loved (the non-political) Dennis Miller. And it appears that he rewrote his lines for this movie. So what you have is snappy comebacks in a sea of bad dialog. It’s unintentionally meta. It’s as if Dennis Miller was dropped into the alternate reality that is this movie and is riffing on it.

I saw Dennis Miller at the Disney MGM Studios theme park in 2000. The appearance was to promote him starting as a commentator on Monday Night Football. He put his hand prints in cement in from of the pseudo Mann’s Chinese Theater and then, of his own accord, happily signed autographs for the on-lookers. It really looked like he was going to do so for the whole crowd – and I was just a few people away from him – when the handlers intercepted. Dang. Then there was a Q&A in the Beauty and the Beast theater (I think). I wanted to ask about Bordello of Blood but I didn’t think the Disney people would appreciate me saying the word “bordello” into the PA system.

What I’m reading – Beasts of Burden

June 24, 2011

I had been hearing a lot about Beats of Burden for a while and so picked up the first issue on Free Comic Book Day. It’s really great. Neighborhood pets as paranormal investigators sounds like kiddie fare, but don’t let that or the art style throw you – it’s hardcore.

And Jill Thompson won the National Cartoonists Society’s division award for Best Comic Book just a few weeks ago.

Saturday is the new Sunday – Deliver us from evil

June 4, 2011


Here’s the probably-never-seen drop panel for the Sunday strip rerunning today on I wish I could have written more of this kind of back-n-forth, 1940’s fast-talkin’ comedy.

What I’m reading – The Executioner

May 13, 2011

This is one of the 10¢ bargain comics I bought last Saturday during Free Comic Book Day. I got a couple dozen – it’s such a good way to check out things you’re curious about.

Being a child of he 1970s, I grew up during the era of The Executioner paperbacks, the granddad of all men’s action books… and they all start with “the.” The Penetrator. The Butcher. The Destroyer*. And, speaking of comics, The Punisher. And they’re all about men who kill bad guys. Plain and simple

How’s the comic? Surprisingly dull.

* which was the basis for the fun action movie Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins starring Fred Ward and Joel Grey. Check it out.

What I’m Reading – American Splendor

April 29, 2011


I picked a couple of issues of the last iteration of Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor which was published by Vertigo. I’m a big fan of Pekar’s work, and I hate to speak ill of the dead, but these were very weak, pale reflections of what AS was.

Comics go to the movies – Red

April 1, 2011


Not as bad as you think it might be. Sure, that’s faint praise, but, c’mon, it’s a standard movie – you can figure everything out from any trailer. (SPOILER ALERT: the good guys win.) But it’s done really well, with enough twists and charm to make it quite enjoyable instead of an ordeal.

What I’m reading – Midnighter

March 24, 2011

Remember a few weeks ago when I drowned the sorrow of my wife and son going to Florida without me by going on a comics-related shopping spree? Well, one of the establishments I went to was Comix Connection in Mechanicsburg, PA. As a matter of fact, I spent a good hour crouching on their floor going throughout the “2 for 99¢” boxes. Why you ask? Because my bad back isn’t painful enough, and because I’m cheap.

I bought 20 comics and, although I haven’t read all of them yet, most were pretty bad. I don’t mean they weren’t my cup of tea. I mean they were wordily over-written, or the art was confusing and hard to follow, or both.

Surprisingly, the handful of issues of “Midnighter” I picked up were great. Well-paced stories, oft times told in a single issue (which is quite the novelty and not easy to do). I had read some random issues of “The Authority” featuring him. Picture Batman if he had some powers and killed people… and is lovers with Superman. Yep, you heard right…but that isn’t the focus. Check it out.

What I’m reading – Wanted

November 5, 2010


If you have seen the movie, it’s very different from the book.

Full disclaimer: I saw the movie before reading the comic. (Heretic!) And what I had read up to this week was just snippets in Barnes and Noble. (Sacrilege!!) And the trade copy I read this week I got for $5 at the Allentown Comic Con and did have the above image on the cover since it was the official movie tie-in edition. (Blasphemy!!!!)