Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Equality: Right, Left, and Ramblings

Over the past year, a lot has been said over Marvel turning original X-Man Bobby Drake (aka Iceman) gay and that seems to be brought forth yet again with Iceman getting his first ongoing series with it's writer saying that his sexuality will be a focus in the title. Now, I'm not writing this to try and argue the good/bad of making him gay (though if you want my opinion, I don't care that they made him gay but I do feel it was a poorly written transition). I'm here to state my opinion on equality in comics and how we all need to calm our shit down.
First and foremost, take a look at most (if not all) of the big names we all know: Superman, Spider-Man, Batman, Captain America, Iron Man, Green Lantern, Thor, Flash. The big Leaguers and Avengers alike are white and mostly male. When these long-standing names were created, the world was different. I'd like to think that at this point, we can all recognize and acknowledge that. As the years went by, society, and by proxy readership, changed. Our world was no longer the same. Hell, we're far different from the 90s already so it's safe to say the 60s and beyond are times long removed. Through the decades, the characters expanded and are still trying to expand to this day. But can you guess which characters are still the top dogs? Prominently white, straight males. The top selling characters are the same through all these decades.
Now, THAT in itself I don't see as a(the?) problem. What I can tell you from almost a decade of running a comic shop and what I would guess publishers would tell you if they could be blunt without pissing sales off is that it is hard to get anything new to really take traction. Ridiculously hard. The reason characters like Batman and Spider-Man have so damn many off-shoot books is because those names sell and sadly, sales are what businesses are about. Try and think of the last time a new character took you. It's likely either connected to larger mythos (like Atrocitus and the Lanterns) or the 90s Image books. Yet how many of you really follow or even care about Spawn any more? Could you tell me the last time you read Witchblade? 20 years later and they're already all but forgotten.
Which is why, hate it though you may, it's these bigger, already established characters that get changed. Female Robin? All those Batman readers will notice. Mexican Blue Beetle? What Justice League fan doesn't know who Blue Beetle is? Bobby Drake is gay? Yes because it fits into what the writers see as an open history and a chance to make that ever-changing readership feel more at home. No matter their reasoning (or justifying), it's altering something big that will get it noticed.
Miles Morales is one of the best examples I can speak of. When Marvel killed Ultimate Peter Parker, they were hammered with backlash because they dared to change a beloved white character simply so they could have a "token ethnic" character. Except if you actually read any of the story, it was pretty damn good. Miles is the perfect example of how a hero transcends the character. Miles has become what I see as the perfect embodiment of what Spider-Man is and stands for. Maybe Marvel was pushing for ethnicity. Maybe it was just to boost publicity and sales. Maybe it was a great story that deserved to be told.
Iceman is gay. How you deal with that reaction is entirely up to you. Nobody can force you to like it and nobody should knock you down if you do. However, if Bobby Drake happens to be your all-time favorite character and this change fills you with hate and fear and a desire to never look at him again, I would suggest looking inward for larger problems. That kind of reaction is not healthy and says a whole lot more about you than it does any publisher or any character.
The real question we should ourselves in situations like these, for me, is a fairly easy one:
'Do I like the character or do I like their appearance?"
If written properly and with care, only one of those things should change.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Frank Cho, Sexism, and the Right of Art

For the last few years, there has been a "war" being fought in the comic industry. Alas, it's not a new fight. Not by a long shot. However, there's a lot of firing at the target of Frank Cho recently. Frank Cho is known for his cartoon-styled, buxom women. It's pretty much what's helped him get a name (though if you read his Liberty Meadows, his writing was actually pretty funny as well). It's also where a lot of hatred stems. In the comic industry, there has been fighting for more equality for a long time. As reader base grows, so do the types of readers. For the most part, I feel comics have tried their best to incorporate more characters that represent more than just us white males. Ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender have all expanded over the years to try and help make everybody feel connected and comfortable. Is it likely that white males will ever bee the minority characters? Doubtful since that's pretty much what makes up all the main (and best selling) characters. While the fight still continues, my love of Mr. Cho's art has brought forth a lot of this fighting to my reading. Because of his art style.
There is a pretty avid community that despises Cho's art and thanks to his reactions to them, Frank Cho himself. Back in 2014, Marvel hired an Italian artist to draw a variant cover for Spider-Woman. However, Milo Manara is quite known for his erotica and said cover was deemed by some as far too sexual for the character and it's intended audience. Marvel cancelled the cover. In 2015, DC did a month of Joker-themed variants for all it's books with one in particular grabbed as also being offensive. It depicted a moment from The Killing Joke and had Joker drawing a bloody smile on the face of a scared and crying Batgirl while also holding a gun. The depicted violence towards a prominent female character caused outrage among some groups. DC cancelled the cover. Over the last few years, criticism has grown with some of it coming from his reaction to the Spider-Woman cover. Cho has done some sketch covers mimicking the Spider-Woman pose seemingly in an attempt to poke fun at the reaction and "non-issue" of the controversy. It's not only made that already angry group more infuriated but it's even caught some anger from other comic creators (I've only read anger from one creator but I say it's fair to assume there are at least a few others). Cho's reaction has essentially been "calm down ya babies" which naturally makes them calm right down.
Current controversy from Cho has been from his "outrage" sketch covers in which he has been drawing a lot of boobs and making fun of all the, you guessed it, outrage coming from his "over-sexualized" women. People are demanding the big guns (DC and Marvel if ya didn't know) stop hiring him because it's a slap in their face when they do. Cho has recently quit doing variant covers for the new Wonder Woman title due to what he says is censorship from the title's writer.
So where has all this nonsensical rambling been leading me to? Something that may make me sound sexist and misogynistic.
I try my best to respect every type of person I come across. At first. Some people just don't deserve respect once you get to know them. I say this because I honestly don't mean to come across as a bad person with this: so what? If I'm being honest, sexy women have been a selling point for comics since basically day one. Many, many artists draw women with curves, showing prominently ass and boobs. And on the flip side, men have almost always been portrayed as studly beefcakes. I understand that women have had a much, much, much (can't really say too many muches here) harder time fighting for equality but if you fight for the de-sexualizing of women, shouldn't men also be fought for?
Further more, what say should people have on an other's art? One person's offensive can be another person's masterpiece. So should the companies cave to demand when groups feel they are wronged? Is is better to show extreme violence (which there is plenty of and not many complaints over) then a woman with large breasts? Is Frank Cho within his artistic rights to troll angry people if he feels he is in the right? I personally don't think art con be defined or confined. Clearly we don't want comics of Spider-Man flapping wang as he slings through New York (or do we...) or Black Canary giving a cry from her nipples (or do we...) but I feel if the owners of said properties allow it, we as the audience either have to support it or walk away. Money talks in this industry (and pretty much every other one). If walk and sales walk with you, they will have to change. Bitching on the internet has never solved anything. Which is how I know this mess I'm writing will be worthless.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Boobs of the Day

Brandi Maxxxx
Parks and Rec has a decent running gag where a porn star who kinda resembles (in a fake porn star kinda way) the main star Leslie Knope and she is always comparing the two of them as similar people. As such, we get some nice boobage when she comes on and I appreciate that. Always good to laugh while objectifying people.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wowzers

If you haven't heard of Gabriele Dell'Otto, you need to look him up. Chances are that if you have read comics in the last decade or so, you've seen his stuff. Recently I found some exclusive covers he's done for the Dark Knight III and they are amazing. Shoot over to bulletproofcomix.com to look em up and buy some. This dude has never done a bad picture.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Boobs of the Day

Rosabell Laurenti Sellers
It may be that she's on Game of Thrones and that show makes everybody in it super hot just by being in it. It may be the jail scene in which we get some skin because that's a hot fantasy. It may be the short hair as I have a thing for short hair. It may just be that I got some nudity and I enjoy me some nudity. No matter how ya slice it, though, she's hot and I'll gladly take more.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

NB of the Week



Old Man Logan #8
Written by Jeff Lemire
Drawn by Andrea Sorrentino
The X-Men have always been my favorite. Their comics and writing may not be, but as a team, my loyalty stands firm. If you were a fan of them in the 90's as I was, there are likely three things that you will always get the love-chills from when you come across em:
1) Those amazing yellow and blue costumes. Stupid though they may look now, those were a huge, defining part of them. Rogue's belt that was always too big yet stayed on her hips no matter what. Cyclops' very useful pouches that strapped themselves every which way around his shoulders. Jean's stylish head gear that protected her forehead and nothing much else. They were the epitome of cool and anything they wore only solidified that.
2) The animated series. Fact: the minutes you read that, you started running the theme music through your head. It's ok. We all did. The 90's cartoon was the coolest cartoon around. From Morph yelling "Wolverine! Pull Back!" to the chillingly cool echo that Sinister had when he healed, we sat through every episode, good and bad, with immense anticipation. While fans may argue that there are other comic cartoons that were better, none stood taller in my eyes.
3) Wolverine and Jubilee. These two had one of the best relationships at the time. A child with no family to call her own and a loner with a heart of stone. The two worked. We ached with Jubilee as she read the goodbye note after Wolverine left the X-Men and ever since, the companionship just hasn't been there.
But we can now have hope.
In this week's Old Man Logan, we get Young Jean Grey taking Wolverine through the locations of the villains' uprising from his future. She's trying to show him that simply by being here in this world, his timeline is already off. Dead people are alive. The Xavier school is now in Limbo. And friends are still there to help. Including little miss Jubilation Lee.


With this picture, my heart grew three sizes this day. I know it's nothing big. I know out Logan is dead and this is an alternate future version. I know Jubilee was a vampire and really, really sucked for the last 15 years. I also how damn good it felt to see these two back together. And that's enough for me.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Oh Marvel, How Fall You Have Fallen

Anybody else reading Marvel's Civil War II? If not, so far, I suggest skipping it. While complaints could be made against the first Civil War story, I feel it had something legitimate to say about the prospects of vigilantism if it were to be scrutinized realistically. Here, not so much.
The premise is one that right off the ground doesn't feel strong enough to cause strife amongst the heroes: after the Terrigen Mists were released on the world, any person with any Inhuman DNA has been changed into a Nuhuman (fancy terms). one such young man has been given the power of precognition. His visions of the future just got (SPOILERS) War Machine and (maybe)She-Hulk killed. Iron Man leads a fight against using said powers to stop what is to come while Captain Marvel (now part of the Alpha Flight space team that stops threats before they can get to Earth) believes they should use them. That's the argument.
In the newest issue (issue 2), Stark breaks into Attilan (a sovereign nation), kidnaps this kid and proceeds to torture him to find how the power works. No, I'm not making that up. This Avenger who calls himself a futurist, kidnapped a minor, tied him to a chair and tortured him because using his powers is bad.
Marvel better have a shit ton more up their sleeve because right now, they've clearly been making shit as they go.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

I'm Sorry

I may be the worst "blogger" to have every tried blogging. I humbly apologize and deeply regret having hurt any of the 3 people who may still visit this site in the hopes of reading my weekly comic book complaints or seeing scantly clad boobs. To make up for it, here's a little of both.

Damn, Liefeld! Learn how to draw proper boobs!


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

NB of the Week (Special 4 Months Later Edition)

-I SPOIL, I DIE. I SPOIL AGAIN!-

Old Man Logan #1
Recap if you're new to the OML world (and I assume the two people reading this are not): in a future, the villains won. They finally teamed up and rid the world of our beloved heroes causing a wasteland of a country. Taking out the X-Men was Wolverine. To a degree. Mysterio was able to work it so that Wolverine thought he was seeing his villains killing his team when in fact, he himself was killing his team instead of those villains. He vowed to never pop those claws again. The Wolverine was dead. Years later, blind Hawkeye shows up needing his help and it all spills over, causing Logan to lose his new family and break that Snikt vow of his.
During the recent Marvel event Secret Wars, all universes were pulled together and combined into one world. OML was in that and his journey took him into other domains on Battleworld (the other dimensions and such) and he was confused as all shit seeing other versions of his dead friends. This second mini really did nothing except introduce Old Man to the modern Marvel universe that we know. Which is where this book begins.
Old Man Logan comes to in the middle of Times Square, naked and, once again, confused. Doesn't take long, however, as his memories come flooding back. As he finds clothes to cover his nethers, he comes across a hat, sparking flashbacks (to his past in the future...) of him and his son trading at the market. We see his son wearing the hat he found, which is apparently a big deal in that future as people want it in his trading. He tells 'em all no, that it's his son's and not open for trade. Until Black Butcher comes in (to my knowledge, a new character). A fourth rate villain who Logan claims only got power after sneaking in after the hard work was done, Butcher now wants the hat. Logan tried to fight it but since he's unwilling to get physical, he loses. Humiliatingly. Butcher not only takes the hat but he does if after slapping Logan's son. They end up leaving with Logan trying to explain that they have to pick their battles and fighting only would have made their lives worse in the long run..
Back in out present, Logan decides his purpose of now being here is to prevent his future from ever happening and he knows just where to start. After kicking some ass and taking some names, Logan is able to find his way to a young Black Butcher, who tries to zap Logan with his arm shocker thingie but he doesn't realize who this is and it has little effect. Before he can try again, Logan lobs off Butcher's arm, leaving him defenseless and, more importantly, scared. Butcher cries for answers, not understanding why this is happening
"You hit my boy."
"What?! You're crazy!! I - I ain't never seen you before! You or your kid!"
"Yeah... and now you never will."
And with the pop of the claws, Butcher is gone with three more holes in his head than when he started the day. With that, Logan has started the list. Butcher was first. Now he just needs to find Banner, Mysterio and Red Skull and he'll be done.
The original Old Man Logan was fantastic. It was badass Wolverine action front to back and was a joy to read. This book, though feeling a little bit darker, already has that same excitement back in me. Jeff Lemire has picked up a heavy load with this character but is showing he's ready to run with it. And the amazing artwork of Andrea Sorrentino only adds to how great it read. There's not a lot of depth here yet but there is definitely room for that. Though smaller, the original was riddled with it even though it all seemed small and quick. Overall, this book has me more excited for a Marvel book than any other right now and more than most have in the last few years. It's a promising start with what I hope with be a very violent journey.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Boobs of the Day

Krysten Ritter

As I prepare myself for the upcoming Netflix show Jessica Jones, I decided to give the short-lived comedy Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 a go and see what Miss Ritter has done outside of being Jesse Pinkman's girlfriend. The show is turning out to be rather hilarious with it's odd stories and even odder dialogue directions but most surprising is the fact that Ritter, as the B---- in Apartment 23, is somehow so much hotter when being a bitch than when not being a bitch. Guess I like 'em dangerous. She seems like she may be perfect as Jessica Jones and I would certainly be happy to watch her more.


Monday, September 7, 2015

(Late) NB of the Week

IT'S A GLOW-IN-THE-DARK COMPASS SPOILS. SO YOU DON'T GET LOST-

Daredevil #18

Written by Mark Waid
Drawn by Chris Samnee
 
Waid and company bring their four year run on the Man Without Fear to a close in perfect fashion. No big death, no big shocker, no big twist. At the end of the day, the bad guys lose and the good guy wins (even if in comics it's only for another month). This has quite possibly been the best run of DD since I've started reading and with Foggy's words towards the end, Waid perfectly sums up the type of hero we all know Murdock is:
"When you were a kid, you got blinded just trying to help an old man across the street. That wasn't fair. Ever since then, you've devoted your life to balancing those scales. To making the world a fairer place for everyone else despite the fact that it is a vast, random entity of incomprehensible power. You get up every morning and you fight an unjust universe because you think you can make a dent. That is exactly the level of arrogance Kirsten and I will always trust to protect us."
I won't go as far as to say that this run redefined the hero we all know. A lot of blows were thrown at Murdock and some big changes did happen (like everybody knowing Murdock is Daredevil) but I find it hard to say that all these things redefined who Daredevil is when every choice, every reaction, every move felt so very true to the character. If anything, this run strengthened the definition of who Daredevil is.
I started Daredevil on a monthly basis 17 years ago (which seems really long now that I say it) when Kevin Smith relaunched it under the Marvel Knights banner. Over that time, there have been downs but by far there were more ups and I have no problem saying that Waid's tenure has been my favorite and will likely be my test for any writer to come after. They all have my best of lucks in doing so and time shall tell.
But I doubt it.

Friday, August 21, 2015

NB of the Week

-I'D SPOIL THAT FOR A DOLLAR-

Birthright #10
Written by Joshua Williamson 
Drawn by Andrei Bressan

Birthright is the story of the Rhodes family and their very long journey after one of their children disappears. After that child then reappears, as a full grown adult, things get a little crazy. Mikey has returned as a warrior from the land of Terrenos and though he tries to tell his family he is there to save them all from the invading army of the evil Lore, it turns out he's actually been infected by a Nevermind and is there to help Lore conquer. He escapes the authorities and is on his quest with his bigger (though with his time in Terrenos, he is now much bigger and older) brother, they come face to face with a Diviner.
In this issue we get a little side story like Mikey's mother meeting Rya (his winged companion from Terrenos and soon to be baby mama) and beginning to realize more about just what Mikey went through but the real story (as usual) lies with Mikey and Brennan as they face the spirit looking to cleanse Mikey. It tells Brennan that his brother is infected and it has to end it before it consumes them all. Brennan is reluctant but he has been seeing his brother deteriorate and feels that if this thing can cure him, he has to let it. As the Diviner begins, Mikey tries to fight as the Nevermind fights back from within him. In the end, Mikey gives in to the Diviner. He claims he wasn't forced into this and chose the dark path he is on. As the spirit is about to kill Mikey (for that is the only way to fully end the infection), Brennan won't let his brother die, grabs Mikey's Blades of the Forever Field and stabs the Diviner, killing it. Mikey is shocked that Brennan was deemed worthy to use the blades, says he's already feeling better and they all prepare to leave. But of course there has to be more to the story as the last page reveals. Speaking to the Nevermind, Mikey revels in the fact that he was right and that Brennan is very important. Turns out using the blades isn't all that great as the Nevermind concludes with Mikey that his brother is on the path to corruption and that he will be the perfect host for their God King Lore.
If you take one part Jumanji, one part Flight of the Navigator and mix it all together with D&D, you have Birthright. WIlliamson is creating a whole world here that is fascinating and exciting and dangerous around every corner. And the art of Bressan has been pretty stunning. The name wasn't familiar to me before this series but he seems perfect in the fantasy world and I will absolutely be watching him in the future (and hopefully on this book for a good while).
No offense to what DC and Marvel have been doing, but Image Comics have been putting out more and more amazing reads and if the big two aren't careful, they're gonna start finding that out the hard way.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Boobs of the Day

Katrina Law
Having suffered through 35 episodes of Arrow, I can say that Ms Law came into the show just at the right time (meaning when it finally got good). However, if you nuts out there think she was hot as the daughter of Ra's Al Ghul (but not Talia), you should have seen her in Spartacus. She's even hotter when less clothed and killing with more blood.

Friday, July 31, 2015

NB of the Week

-MY SPOILS ELEVATES AND ISOLATES ME AND MAKES ME A RARE SPECIMEN-

Anybody buying the X-Men '92 series from Marvel? If not, you may have missed what is possibly the best cameo/reappearance ever:


You seeing what I'm seeing?! Right there. Big blue with Eany and Meany on each shoulder. Second biggest character in the panel.
Mother-fudging Maggott!
Yeah, he'll likely have no more lines and is probably gonna become cannon fodder within his next 5 to 10 panels but who cares? My (somehow)favorite x-man is back and he was brought back within the words of what very well could be my whole reason for loving comics as I do, the animated X-Men universe. Call it whatever you want, but I call this a win.
And a good day for other the 2 Maggot fans in the world as well.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

NB of the Week

-I'M HEARING THE SPOILS OF GOD THROUGH A CROSSWORD PUZZLE!

Archie vs. Predator
Written by Alex de Campi
Drawn by Fernando Ruiz

For the longest time, the Archie/Punisher team-up was up there on the list of strangest crossover events of all time. Well, thanks to Dark Horse and Archie Comics, we get another (not to mention the just released Archie vs. Sharknado). After winning a trip to a lavish beach resort on their spring break, Archie and the \gang think they're in for a great time in the sun. But soon enough, Betty runs off into the jungle and finds a creepy looking cave and of course enters. Inside, she finds an ancient sacrificial knife that she accidentally takes back with her. And with that knife, follows a deadly hunter. Through the next three issues, the Predator systematically kills everybody off, including Sabrina (of the Teenage Witch variety) and sure enough Jughead. Eventually, Archie is slashed by the Predator's duel blades and Betty and Veronica are left to finish it. They drag Archie to the panic room in Veronica's mansion (did I mention that was the place of battle?) and hook him up to a machine that accidentally injects him with far too much... whatever it was they injected into him and they go off to finish the Predator. The ancient knife demands another sacrifice and they're gonna go out fighting. When in jumps Archie! All 'roided up and ready to fight. Veronica joins in but is quickly stabbed through the stomach! Betty joins the battle and quickly loses her arm for it! Archie kneels, defeated when the Predator slices and dices through his head, killing our beloved Archie! With a club to the head and a stab to the chest, Betty and Veronica soon defeat the Predator and end the cursed knife. However, they can't bare to lose all their friends so they take the still living Predator back to the panic room and begin to turn the predator into their loved Archie
The End.
This was the first ever Archie comics that I not only bought but even read. I've never read the Punisher book but may have to look for it now. This mini was great. Seeing the Riverdale gang filled with blood and guts and decapitation and spine ripping is hilarious. Not in the "violence is funny" way but in the "so damn ridiculous" way. This is one of those titles that should be read and talked about for years to come. Like Aunt May getting cosmic powers and being the Golden Oldie. It's that level and ridiculous. And Awesome.