Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

So, I have only been watching Doctor Who on a regular basis for the last few years but I am really enjoying the new season and it seems like some of our CCW regulars are too. Because of this Doctor Who will be getting a weekly thread through the end of the series (season) as long long as we have enough people participating. Should be fun.


Photo from The Doctor Who Official Website


Hi folks, it’s me again with another shellacking of my opinions from the last couple of weeks or so and of the comics I’ve read and other things. This has ended up being way later than it should have been, I came down with the flu last week and its taken longer than I thought to recover.


1. Last week started with the news of the death of John Hicklenton, a ground breaking artist mainly published in 2000ad and Judge Dredd: the Megazine. I guess he wouldn’t be that well known in the USA which is a real pity. He broke through into comics at the age of 19 by drawing a Neil Gaiman “future-shock” story for 2000ad which garnered him the notice of writer Pat Mills who immediately commissioned him to write 2 books for his long running character Nemesis: The Warlock. This was one of the most popular 2000ad characters which had artists of the calibre of Kev O’Neill and Bryan Talbot work on it before Hicklenton which I think shows how stunning his art was for a 19 year old to take over from those masters.

Its hard to understate how much of an impact Hicklenton’s art had, readers either loved or hated it but over the course of a couple of years many more loved than hated the organic sinister subversiveness of his creativity. Imagine if HR Giger (designer of Alien) had drawn comics then you might get a handle on where Hicklenton’s imagination lived, he could draw disturbing characters and visceral action. He passed away 2 weeks ago at the age of 42 from multiple sclerosis. There are some clips of him from the award winning 2008 documentary about him

2. Then as if the week couldn’t get any cheerier I heard of the death of Dick Giordano. He was a lot older than JH but still its disturbing to hear that death of one of the greats. Dick Giordano is most famous I suppose for the innumerable inking jobs he did, especially on Neal Adams work and for many Batman titles over the years. He was also a great pencilled with a beautiful delicate line, I recall only a few years ago he did some fantastic work on Devin Graysons Gotham Knights title.

He was also hugely significant as editor in chief and an executive for DC during a very successful time during the 80’s and early 90’s including encouraging the “British Invasion” of new artists and writers, regenerating the Teen Titans franchise, the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Watchmen, Dark Knight, the beginnings of Vertigo. The only failing you could say perhaps was letting Alan Moore get disenchanted with DC but then Alan Moore always seems to fall out with everyone eventually.

I’ve seen on Marvels June solicits that the Dracula story he did with Roy Thomas is being reissued, I’d recommend that anyone who enjoys a great story and beautiful art pick it up.

3. In comparison to the first two sections the other stuff like who’s artist on what pales into insignificance in the order of things but still we should talk about the normal stuff in our hobby as well as the heavy stuff, its all part of the tapestry of life and the world keeps moving on and its ok to talk about the stuff that’s important to us at the time…speaking of which…

4. No more Batwoman – Three words even more devastating that Wanda’s “No more Mutants”, the news that Greg Rucka has quit all DC’s projects and will be concentrating on his creator owned stuff. This is fine, I’m sure I’ll be checking out Queen and Country and whatever else he has planned but it is somewhat sickening that the single best mainstream comic of the last year is no more. The Rucka/J.H.Williams III Batwoman stories in Detective Comics were pretty damn amazing, great writing, outstanding art, fine colouring, just a complete package.

The proposed Batwoman title which was forecast for this summer could have been great but now we’ll never know as I don’t think a replacement writer would have as sympathetic take on Kate Kane, they’d probably get some hack like Winick to do it. Rucka has been very nice to DC in his announcement about it but I can’t help a nagging feeling that someone in management at DC poured some cold water on a “lesbian title”, I hope that’s not the case. (Editor’s note: It was announced today that J.H. Williams III will be co-writing and drawing the new Batwoman series beginning later this year)

5. No more PhonogramThis interview from Comics Alliance puts some things in a fairly poor perspective in my point of view. The fact that a great series like Phonogram couldn’t sell as much as C list Marvel and DC comics shows how fucked up the comics business is now. The writing was smart, the art was appealing yet it couldn’t sell much more than 4000 copies, that’s just a disgrace, some fucking piece of shit like Rulk can sell 60000 copies yet Phonogram can’t even sell enough to pay the artist electricity bill??? That just shows how fucked up the comics market is now. Maybe if the characters had all worn costumes and punched and stabbed each other to death, maybe that would have made it more appealing to the masses?

The comic had the reputation of being “elitist”, but for me it was one of the most joyous books of the last year and the comics world is all the poorer if it loses books like this. Hands up who needs more Deadpool books?

6. Youtube – For fucks sake, why in hell did they have to change it? Now the comments section is all fucked up and its lost all sense of narrative. And the info section is all over the place, none of the links or options are in as handy places as they used to be, youtube you fucked up, you bastards!


Battlefields #4
I love this comic, Garth Ennis is such a good writer when he’s doing war stories, he can treat the subject seriously yet still leavens it all with the black humour of the ordinary tommies, yanks and fritzies. In it Sergeant Stiles commands a Sherman Firefly and leads his men in search of fearsome King Tiger tank. Its full of set piece action, good characterisation (even for the Germans who are far from the evil cardboard cut out characters as usually portrayed in TV and movie) and excellent art from Carlos Ezquerra. I’d love to see Jose and Elliot review this one actually.

Air Fighters #1 (Moonstone)
From the sublime to the ridiculous as it were. This was half price on dcbs and since I love war books, especially aviation books I figured it would be worth a chance….boy was I wrong. The cover by Tom Grindberg is very nice but after that it goes all kinds of wrong.

It’s a 72 page anthology based on characters from the Golden age of comics and most of the stories are hokey and just plain stupid. I prefer my war stories with a good realistic base and these are fantastical and make little sense. And as for the artwork….I’m not going to name any names because the art is so awful, its embarrassingly bad, some of it looks like a monkey doodled on the page or something. Some of them didn’t even bother to do some simple reference work, one story portrays a kette of Ju87 Stukas doing a combat air patrol complete with twin 37mm cannons when anyone who would have an interest in this book would know that’s ludicrous beyond belief and just shows how little the writer and artist cared about the whole charade.

Solomon Kane: Deaths Black Riders 2 & 3 (Dark Horse)
Ahhhhh back to something good, 2 issues of Robert E Howard’s puritan antihero and his encounter with some evil demons (are there any other kind?) in the black forest of southern Germany. It reads like a modern version of a classic Hammer Horror film or EC comic, I had to switch off the computer and read this in silence so as to give it my full concentration, so I could absorb every eerie word of Scott Allie’s script and drink in every line of Mario Guevara’s atmospheric artwork which draws you completely into the story so much as that you feel that you are in that dank forest surrounded by bloodthirsty demons with just a pistol and a trusty sword to protect you.

Power Girl 9 (DC)
This comic is such a joy to read, Gray and Palmiotti subvert the normal superhero clichés on almost every page and deliver a quality story every time. This issue sees PG up against Satanna and her “gun-toting Animal men and PG gets thwacked around with a big hammer for most of the issue until that other Amanda Conner favourite Terra turns up to save the day. It’s a real pity that Amanda Conner is quitting as this is a title she was born to draw, can’t wait to see what she works on next.

King City #5 (Image)
Another comic I fell in love with instantly, you can’t help but like Brandon Grahams Ameri-manga art style which has hints of Adam Warren but a more looser, expressive style. The story is about Joe and his Cat who steal things to order and the dramas that they get into. The humour in this title is definitely of the black cynical variety but that makes it no less funny. Its also black and white which shows the linework to its best advantage and its bigger than the normal comic book size so it fits more in, it’s a winner on both counts.

JLA #41 (DC)
Jose asked if anyone is reading JLA at the moment, I don’t remember if anyone answered and I couldn’t blame them. I started reading the book at #38 and the Blackest Night issues were horrible, just really awful writing and art, especially the Dr Light vs. Dr Light battle which got into misogynistic areas. I actually enjoyed #41 though, it felt like those old Avengers issues where Cap or Iron Man would put a new team together, of course this is JLA so it was Donna Troy putting the team together. Perhaps I took a liking to it because I loved the New Teen Titans so seeing Dick, Donna, Cyborg and Starfire on the same team again brought back good memories. Even Mark Bagley’s art seemed tighter and less rushed in this issue.


DC Action 1-6 (London Editions Magazines)
This is a title which came out in 1990 from LEM who specialized in DC reprints for the British and Irish market. I had already been reading their Batman and Superman/JLI reprints when they came out with this oversized 68 page magazine with a cardstock cover featuring the classic Wolfman/Perez New Teen Titans, the Grant Morrison Animal Man title and a third strip which changed every 2 issues. In 1-2 was the Creeper, in 3-4 was the history of Paul Kirk and the Manhunters and in 5-6 was the start of the Perez History of the DC Universe.

This book introduced me to the wider DC Universe back when Marvel Comics were by far and away my favourite company. Unfortunately it only lasted 6 issues, the book had production values that have still not been equalled by any American or British comic in my opinion but that was its downfall as at £1.75 ($3.50) an issue in 1990 it was by far the most expensive comic on the newsstands but still it has fond memories for me. If you are ever in the UK you might be able to track it down in some second hand shops or at car boot sales.


Monster Blog
This is an old favourite which has loads of scanned Monster comics from the Lee/Kirby pre-Marvel superheroes era including “I was face to face with the Creature from Planet X!” and “Invasion from Outer Space!”, its full of those fun goofy stories from the King!

Here in Duckberg
This is a cool little blog focusing on comics mostly but some game stuff as well and it seems to mostly feature stuff I like which is great lol. Its straightforward and informative without being confrontational and controversial like the CCW blog. Blogger Texcap has a friendly open style and a good eye for his layout which is easy on the eye.

This blog takes a look at the sci-fi and comics genres predictions of the future, in its own words it’s “a look into the future that never was”. I just love all the retro-future stuff, especially from the 50’s and 60’s when the world was going to be so bright and modern complete with Domed Cities and flying cars…..I want my flying car now dammit!

One of my favourite recent TV shows is Newswipe with Charlie Brooker which was broadcast on BBC2 in February/March. It is a topical news show presented by comedian Charlie Brooker who dissects news organisations and politicians with savage satire, sort of like Stephen Colbert but with less joshing and more vicious wit. There’s also a philosophical side amongst the funny asides, don’t trust the news media, there’s always an agenda, make up your own mind.

Just Because

Posted: April 7, 2010 in Just Because, Television
Tags: ,

This is the first of what will hopefully be a weekly column about my thoughts on the week in comics and related stuff. It will be made up of mini op-ed pieces (don’t worry I will still be doing in depth op-ed pieces every so often), plus some mini-reviews of comics read during the week, some blog recommendations, maybe a book review here and there too.


1. Last week the Kirby family filed suit against Marvel for termination of copyrights and compensation for lack of credit in films for characters co-created by Jack Kirby. I did an op-ed piece on this a couple of months ago, you can read it here. My views since then haven’t changed one iota, Jack Kirby was Marvel comics dynamo and it’s time that his pride and joy, his family, get the rewards that he was due but never received.

My admiration for the King is not secret so I will unashamedly cheer on the Kirby family to their victory. So what will it mean for the characters in question? Well, Marvel will have to stop publishing the current versions and the family will be able to sell them to DC…..Actually the only people who think that might happen are retarded fanboys who have no clue about copyright law. What will happen is that Marvel will give a big settlement to the Kirby’s and pay royalties for future use.

Hopefully that will open the door for other writers/artists or their families to get their dues also, lets not forget other creators like Bill Everett, Don Heck, Steve Ditko and the rest.

2. Remember my other Op-ed piece about Captain America: Reborn? Well in case anyone thought there was no substance about my accusations against Hitch, just take a look at his art agent’s page. Big splash pages are going for $2000+ whereas “crappy” story pages only go for about $250, a pretty big incentive for him to throw the writer under the bus, eh?

3. Palmiotti and Gray aren’t writing Power Girl anymore and they replace them with Judd Winick??? Sorry but I fucking hate that guy’s writing, expect this book to turn into a train wreck. They should have given the book to Keith Giffen, then it might have continued to be Bwa-ha-ha funny, bad choice DC!

4. Dark Avengers #15, oh you better believe I fucking hate this book with a vengeance. I agree with Jose’s Op-ed piece 1000%, I’ll be doing an Op-ed piece of my own on related matters in the upcoming future but something did strike me when I was reading about the descriptions of Ultimate Comics Avengers #5 and Justice League: Cry for Justice #7…it’s a quote from the description of part of the Battle for Warsaw in 1944 between the SS and the polish resistance (I’m a bit of a history buff btw) which went as follows : “Favoured tactics during the siege reportedly included playing “bayonet catch” with live babies, and torturing captives to death by hacking off their arms, dousing them with gasoline, and setting them alight to run armless and flaming down the streets of Warsaw.” I guess now we get to read about this stuff happening to our favourite heroes now, what’s the world coming to?

5. Goddamn Kick-Ass trailers are on the tv here all the fucking time, there are even posters up on billboards for it, there is no way in hell that I will be going to see that piece of shit and if you have any taste at all you won’t be giving money to that ginger hack Millar.

6. IDW have been promoted by Diamond Comic Distributors to be one of their Premier Publishers which means that they will be out of the back section of Previews magazine and moved up to the front with Dark Horse, DC and Image (Marvel have their own separate Previews comic-sized magazine). They will have much more room to display their products, instead of being squeezed into the current 12 or so pages they will have up to 40 pages to display their wares and be able to promote their comics much better.

I recently previewed one of their comics, Mystery Society, and they normally have a knack of producing interesting comics along with their normal licensed stuff like GI Joe and Transformers. How long till Boom Studios make the transition to Premier Publisher status?

BTW anyone ever notice how much Robert Kirkman looks like Hacksaw Jim Duggan?


These are some reviews on comics I’ve read so far this week. I get my comics via mail order in one or two packages a month so these won’t be “new” comics per se but they are recent. I’ll be trying to mention ones that Jose, Elliot and Ironmuskrat don’t get around to doing full reviews on.

Justice Society of America #34 and #35
If you want a comic that tells good superhero stories without babies being thrown out of windows or rapes then this should be a comic for you. Swipes at Millar and Bendis aside, I really enjoyed these comics. The newly split JSA fought against Mordru, he sent them all into pocket dimensions where they faced their greatest fears then teamed back up to kick ass. This served to reintroduce the characters and bind them together, I think these issues would be a great jumping on point for new readers. The only minor niggle would be with fill in artist Travis Moore who can be a little weak with getting faces right but otherwise did a good job while Jesus Merino catches up.

Fantastic Four #576
This is the second issue of the Prime Elements arc and this story is just sumptuous. From Dale Eaglesham’s art which is reminiscent of Big John Buscema’s classic art to Paul Mounts gorgeous colours, this is just a feast for the eyes. As for Jonathan Hickman’s writing, well only half a dozen issues in and its already got the makings of a classic run up there with John Byrnes mid-80’s stuff, Walt Simonson’s underrated early 90’s run and Waid and Ringo’s epic run of the early noughties (nothing will ever beat Lee/Kirby of course). This episode the team goes under the Antarctic Ice cap to meet an unknown aquatic civilization, Hickman just throwing new ideas out on every few pages.

Outsiders #26 and #27
From the sublime to the ridiculous, Dan Didio takes over from Pete Tomasi and makes a complete dogs dinner of this comic. I really enjoyed Tomasi’s take on the team, which actually made sense but Didio has thrown out all the set up from that run and shipped the team off to Markovia where Brion has made peace with the Kryptonians who send the freakin Eradicator to be their peace envoy….can’t see any trouble with that can you?

I’m not criticising this book because I hate Dan Didio, I actually think he’s done a good job with DC editorial in the last year but unfortunately he’s just a terrible writer, these are only worth getting to laugh at how out of character everyone is and how ham fistedly every situation is handled, case in point being the cringe worthy advances of Owl Man towards Katana. Its not offensive in the same way as a Bendis or Millar comic is, just really poorly written and drawn.

Milestone Forever #1
This I guess is the formal reintroduction of the Milestone characters after the JLA arc of just over a year ago. The first thing that strikes me is the hideous cover on this, apparently DC editorial changed the cover and put this purple wash over the art, there’s no way that I would pick this off the shelf if I didn’t know what it was first, it looks so horrible. The first 8 pages of art by Jean Paul Leon though were very enjoyable, they reminded me of the Kirbyesque art of Shaky Kane.

The rest of the (expensive prestige format) issue was by MD Bright and Romeo Tanghal and sorry to say it but the art was so nineties that it hurt. And so to be honest so was the writing, considering they had 48 pages to work with I couldn’t tell you much more about the characters now than before I read it and that wasn’t much to start with.

Tails of the Pet Avengers #1
This is an anthology of Pet Avengers stories leading up to next months second Pet Avengers mini-series. Each of the pets gets a 5/6 page story which adds up to 30 pages of story/art for $3.99, not a bad deal. The stories range from the cute (Lockjaw) to the poignant (Lockheed) but as always Ms Lion and Frog Thor stole the show, Ms Lion doing some detective work on a cruise ship and the great Frog Thor leading his frogs in a fight against some alligators who were trying to invade their pond in Central Park. Nice writing and art by Chris Eliopoulous, Colleen Coover, Ig Guara, Gurihiro and more, this is truly a comic for all ages and a great break from all the angst-ridden ultra violence that seems to be popular amongst the fanboys now.


DC Holiday Special ‘09
This came out back in November/December of last year, 80 pages for $5.99 with a Christmas/holiday theme. I don’t think this sold huge numbers, certainly not in the direct market anyway, which is a pity because its actually really good, it will probably be dirt cheap as a back issue.

Its worth tracking this down in the back issue bins of your LCS or Cons for the Sgt Rock story by Billy Tucci alone. Added to that are great short stories of Enemy Ace, Red Tornado, Flash, Batman and Martian Manhunter plus there’s an Angel and the Ape story so you can’t say no to that!


Perhaps like me you visit blogs other than the CCW one (I know, it’s a shock isn’t it?) Perhaps you too have idle time to fill at work, I know I do! So every column I’d like to recommend one or two I like, if you’ve got favourites then by all means let us know!

Grantbrigde Street and Other Adventures
I just love this blog, its got loads of stuff I’m interested in from the 60’s to the 90’s, obscure comic strips from the greats like Romita, Kirby, Toth, Charest, Ditko, Buscema, art gallery’s of favourite characters like Doctor Doom, Catwoman, Superman etc. Its got Superhero’s, bizarre sci-fi, horror comics, freaked out shit and lost comic strips like the great Brendan McCarthy’s Sooner or Later, a beautiful Daniel Torres’ story , some great Phillip Druillet art and what about this amazing crazy piece by The King!

Pats Fantasy Hotlist
This is another blog that I go to practically everyday as in addition to comics I’ve loved reading fantasy and sci-fi books for years and have really gotten back into reading novels in the last couple of years (Amazon is just so dirt cheap lol). Pats Fantasy Hotlist is easily the most popular F&SF literary blog out there because its accessible, down to earth (you know what I mean), and pretty easy going, somewhat like the CCW except not quite as community led as the CCW.

The content is consistently solid with writer interviews, excerpts from newly released and upcoming books (important if you’re undecided on what to read next), new Cover art and contests where you can win free books. If you like to read then this blog is worth checking.


I’m not going to comment too much on TV as I’m way behind on what is being currently shown in America, I just can’t be bothered downloading tv stuff now. One series I’ve enjoyed for years though is Mad Men, the story of advertising executives in 1960’s Manhattan, the scripts are witty, the styling is spot on and they’ve got Christina Hendricks, hubba hubba! This is my favourite scene from the current series, Season 3.

Ok, that’s it for this week, I hope you enjoyed it, let me know your opinions. See you next week for more!



I Cant Think of Anything Clever to Type Here

Felicia Day will be co-hosting Attack of the Show on G4 tomorrow.

That is all.



Captain Lou

From PWMania:

WWF Hall of Famer Captain Lou Albano has passed away aged 76. Albano suffered a severe heart attack in 2005 and has had failing health ever since. We reported the news yesterday that Albano had been put in a hospice.

Captain Lou will forever be remembered as being, first and foremost, one of the best managers in the history of professional wrestling. Growing up in the eighties I also remember him as Cyndi Lauper’s “father” in a handful of her music videos and the live-action personification of Mario on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. Rest in peace Captain.