Comic Update-A-Tron Lives!

This has been covered elsewhere but I want to shout it from the rooftops. Tales From The Longbox has come up with a replacement for the defunct Comics-Weblog-Update-A-Tron.

Here it is!

Check it out and click on a few blogs you don't recognize. If you want to view multiple entries from the updater open each one in a different tab or window, otherwise you'll only get one of them in window within the main page.


A few links before I go

I'm headed to Chattacon in a few minutes but I wanted to throw some links your way first.

WikiProject: Comics needs your help. Each of us has an obscure comic or artist that we know way too much about. Here's your chance to write about it.

RIP, Drew Posada

Dashing Dave Campbell publishes the post I wish I had about Civil War.

Heidi Meeley from Comics Fairplay goes out on a limb to say that buying crappy comics sucks. Let's all join her in the fight against hold-box inertia.

Scott from Polite Dissent reviews another PSA comic and throws in a little Civil War bashing, too!

Finally, I've been reading Sequentially Speaking a lot lately. It possesses a high degree of excellence.




D-Cups of Justice! Henry Pym!  I will sex you to death!

The images above are from recent covers of Ultimate Vision and Mighty Avengers.

Just when I think comics can't surprise me someone uses "Frank Cho" and "Ultron" in the same sentence and they're not being ironic. There's a strong tradition of cheesecake in comics. I have no problem with it in general but come on! Did Ultron wake up one morning and say, "It's not enough to crush Dr. Pym beneath my adamantium heel; I need to look smokin' hot while doing so!"?

What's next? Greg Land's sexy reinterpretation of Nimrod?


Thunderbolts #110 - Marvel (2007)

Shhhhh.  Don't tell anyone we're evil.

I will pick up the first issue of anything Warren Ellis writes. Usually, I pick up all of the following issues (see Nextwave and New Universal). Other times I only pick up a few and then I decide it's not for me (see Jack Cross).

This time, I'm not even going to buy #111.

It's not all Ellis' fault. He wasn't given much to work with, here, given that this title is forced to be mired in the Civil War storyline. I got this issue because I was interested to see what Ellis does with this group of characters but I'm not impressed with this introduction. I read Ellis books because I really like his take on what people with superpowers are like. I also like the way he writes dialogue and action scenes. I don't like Thunderbolts #110 because it's like there's no Ellis in it.

Sure, Norman Osborne starts the issue off by "having a talk" with Bullseye in a darkened room and he goes all "I am the closest thing to God" on him but even that doesn't have the right feel. Ellis gets in a couple of digs at popular culture and what a bunch of sheep the general public is, but there isn't any bite to it.

I don't know. Maybe my distatse for the whole Civil War: Frontline thing has soured me on anything it touches but this book doesn't interest me at all. I liked the idea of Thunderbolts back when Kurt Busiek created them. I also liked Suicide Squad a lot when Ostrander was writing it. I bring up Suicide Squad because that's closer to what we have in this T-Bolts incarnation. Except Amanda Waller never put on a green suit and lobbed explosive pumpkins at people.

Or, did she?

Anyway, this isn't so much a review as a reaction. If you are into the Civil War, this is an excellent continuation of the story. If you don't like it, stick with New Universal or one of the other books that has yet to be infected by this meta story.

In related news: Noetic Concordance's own Chuck W pointed me towards this parody of Civil War from the excellent Scans Daily LJ community.


Civil War Gives Me Such Schfvilkus

This post from The Fortress of Soliloquy goes into the level of detail about the recent Civil War dumbassery that I wish I could.

The Badass Files #2 - Nathan Kane

Do.  Not.  Fuck.  With.  Me.

(I couldn't find a good portrait shot of Nathan Kane online and my scanner's not cooperating with me right now so here's a picture of Avery Brooks. )

Nathan Kane appears in the miniseries Ocean and he is a badass. Unlike many other badasses, Kane beats people up WITH HIS BRAIN! That's right. Nathan Kane is a Warren Ellis protagonist which means that he is smarter than those around him and he uses those smarts to obliterate his opposition.

Kane doesn't go looking for trouble but he's not afraid to mix it up when people screw with his stuff. Therefore he has a rating of .74 Waynes*.

First off, he has a badass name. Nathan Kane.

Second, he's a U.N. Weapons Inspector. That's a pretty badass job. You know what makes it even more badass? He's a space-faring U.N. Weapons Inspector! He gets to go to Jupiter!

Finally, he's not afraid to use anything as a weapon. A gun, an orbital lander,


the gravity generators on a spaceship!! ZOMG!!!!

I'm just going to let the following pages do the talking for the remainder of the post. Click the thumbnails for readable versions.

Badass! Badass!! Badass!!! Badass!!!!

*The Official Unit of the Badass Scale


I Have No Pull List.

I have no pull list.

I love comics. Comics are poems of movies, or dreams of novels. They are one of the biggest--if not the single biggest--inspiration for my art. But I had to let them go.

...well, the monthly issues anyway. I'm a trade paperback guy now. I suspect I will remain one. When my wife and I moved this year, one of the things I had to lug were some longboxes. Now, granted, I don't have nearly as many as some of my friends, but still--there's nothing like lugging heavy-ass longboxes up flights of narrow stairs to get you thinking about this hobby.

Sure, I pull out issues every now and then. I do. My comics are not hermetically sealed. I do not buy them as a collector--they're there to be read. The only reason they're in longboxes is because there's no other way to store them effectively without destroying them.

But you can put a trade paperback on a shelf. On a shelf! How sweet is that? Easier to sneak on business trips too. Much easier to loan out.

Have you ever tried loaning a non-comics friend a set of individual issues to read, hoping to engage them in the hobby? Yeah, how'd that work out? In my experience, trade paperbacks convert the non-believer more often then a slick stack of plastic-wrapped individual issues.

Downsides: I miss the monthly drip-drip of comics goodness, I cannot find a good source that shows me the release schedules of trades ONLY (without also listing every individual title coming out), and then there's the whole "paced for trades" problem afflicting the industry.

So...how does everyone feel about trades versus monthly issues? Does anybody know of a real easy way for me to stay on top of the release schedules of trades? How do people feel about how trades have affected the pace of storytelling in the industry?


Ringing in 2007

Hey there!

I'm Chuck, one of the new kids on this blog. I'd like to thank Vaklam for inviting me to participate. I grew up on DC Comics, and jumped over to the X-Men and other Marvel comics later on, but I enjoy books from both, as well as some independent and manga titles.

For my first post here, I thought I'd identify some comic-related things I'm looking forward to in 2007.

1. More books by Doug TenNapel. I remember when I first played Earthworm Jim and wondered who was coming up with the crazy, cartoony designs in it. TenNapel has produced several graphic novels that I've greatly enjoyed (Creature Tech, Tommysaurus Rex, Earthboy Jacobus, and Iron West). This year will see the re-release of his first comics work, Gear (which was adapted for animation as Nickelodeon's series Catscratch), as well as a new work, Black Cherry. This is a good thing.

2. Jeff Smith's Shazam project. I've been a fan of Jeff Smith's Bone series for some time, and my appreciation for the Golden Age Captain Marvel goes back even farther, so I've been anticipating Smith's take on the character since this project was announced a few years ago. Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil will be coming out as a Prestige Format mini-series beginning this February.

3. The finale to Planetary. It's hard to believe that I've been reading Planetary for this long, and there's only one issue to go. I had already enjoyed the work of Warren Ellis (including his work on Stormwatch and Authority that directly preceded this), but this title introduced me to John Cassaday's pencils.

4. More Essentials and Showcase volumes. I've really been enjoying the "phone books" that Marvel and DC have been producing. I cannot rationally explain the enjoyment I get from the reprinted Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, but the feeling is genuine. Upcoming highlights (for me, anyway) include the first Legion of Super-Heroes Showcase, and the second Luke Cage: Power Man Essential.

5. The Sinestro Corps. I'm not even going to try to explain this one. The potential for awesomeness is high; we'll see how the execution is before the end of the year.

There are also some items that have not been announced, but I'd love to see this year:

1. A series for Doctor Thirteen. DC's mini-series focusing on the Spectre, Tales of the Unexpected, is not hitting on as many cylinders for me as I had hoped; it's too bad, since I'm a fan of both Crispus Allen and the Spectre. However, the backup story in this mini-series featuring Doctor Thirteen has been excellent. Take a man who steadfastly refuses to believe in the supernatural--which can be hard to do in the DC Universe--and his teenage daughter, and throw them in with a frozen caveman, ghost pirates, and Nazi gorilla commandos, and you've got instant entertainment. More, please.

2. More Carl Barks collections. The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck by Don Rosa reignited my interest in Scrooge, and I remembered some of those great duck stories I read as a kid, some of which were included in the Carl Barks Duck Tales collections that came out this year. This age of Peanuts reprints has inspired the collection of other material, such as IDW's Dick Tracy collection; this might be the time to compile an archive of the work of Carl Barks.

3. The original Monster Society of Evil. Captain Marvel's first encounter back in the Golden Age was a serial that ran in 25 installments, and I believe it was the first lengthy, extended comics story of its kind. (I'm sure some comics historian can correct me if that's not the case.) With a Shazam film in development, it might be good to get some more classic work in print. I appreciate the DC Archives series, but not everyone can afford to pick those up. I really just want the Monster Society of Evil story in one trade paperback.

4. More of The Spirit. I liked the first issue of Darwyn Cooke's new series, and I enjoyed the trade paperback collecting the best Spirit stories, but there's one more thing I want. Over a decade ago, there was a Spirit series done by rotating creators that paid homage to the original series. I can remember stories by Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman off the top of my head. The Spirit: New Adventures was never collected into trade form, and I think there's a prime audience for it now.

Finally, there's one other thing I'm looking forward to this year, and that's the discovery of new books through the comics blogosphere. There are a number of comics that I never would have known about if I hadn't read about them on blogs, books like Street Angel, Iron Wok Jan, Smoke, Hikaru No Go, and Scott Pilgrim, to name a few, and I can't wait to read more.

This isn't everything I want to see this year (there's more Young Avengers, a third season of Venture Bros., and more), but it's a good start. Is there anything coming out this year that I missed? What are you looking forward to?

New Universal #2 - Marvel (2007)

That is a big robot

When I think "comics" the first thing that springs to my mind is the feeling I got reading them in the '80s. That was the time that comics felt like mine. Like I was discovering something that was written for me. A big part of that was Marvel's New Universe line which was Jim Shooter's project to celebrate Marvel's 25th anniversary. The setting was a "world like our own" which got superpowers dropped into it overnight when the "White Event" (literally an enormous white light which filled the sky) happened. I was aware of some of the faults even at the time (Kickers Inc., anyone?) but I thought it was awesome.

Warren Ellis continues his "screwing-with-marvel-tropes" kick with New Universal and it feels every bit as awesome as the first go 'round. The first issue started off with a bang (get it, "White Event"? "Bang"? Oh, I kill me!) and #2 just adds to the awesome.

So far, Ellis has taken Justice, Nightmask, Spitfire and Star Brand and he's done some cool stuff with them. Ellis is in "serious" mode on this one (think Ocean) rather than wacky, Nextwave mode. The interpretations are darker and better fleshed out than the first batch and my favorite part of this is that Ellis is weaving all the stories together.

If you like other stuff by Ellis you will probably like this one but it's not without its faults. There are a couple of wordless action sequences in issue #2 which are confusing and there's the patented Ellis Infodump part of the way through but as long as the story remains compelling and as long as it's accompanied by beautiful Salvador Larroca art like the example from #1 below, it will stay in my hold box.



New Year, New Members

I have invited some comic-geek friends of mine to help me out with this blog. Melissa has been a member for a while now but the others (see their names over there on the right) are brand new. I'll let them introduce themselves as they begin posting.

The metamorphosis of Noetic Concordance into a group blog came from several really good discussions I have had with each of these people about comics and other geeky things. Now I am inflicting them on you. So, you threes of readers, welcome the new gang!


Happy Freakin' New Year

Noetic Concordance is like a Marvel character. Just when you thought it was dead it comes back with a new costume and a half-assed explanation for its resurrection.

I am blowing the dust off this blog and I intend to post regularly once again. Since it's been a while I'm going to start out easy and list my favorite comics from 2006.

Nextwave: This is at the top of my list because it's at the TOP OF MY LIST!!! It is the most fun I have had reading a comic in years. I'll be sorry to see it go with #12 but it's been a great ride. Also, the cover image below sums up my opinion of the whole Civil War thing:

He also really likes Michael Bolton

Local: There were only a couple of missteps in this title by Oni Press and those were still really good reads. Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly worked beautifully together. If you're looking for a non-superhero book this may be the one for you. I don't know if there are any plans for a trade once the last two issues hit the stands but there are probably some back issues of the early ones around by now.

Young Avengers: This is what I read comics for. OK, most of the storyline was released in 2005 but just thinking about Young Avengers made 2006 better.

Ultimate Extinction: An excellent twist on the Galactus story. I still hope the Galactus in the Fantastic Four sequel is a big, freakin' guy, though.

The Return of the GLC: When I have superhero fantasies I imagine myself as a Green Lantern. 'Nuff said.

Owly: The best thing about Free Comic Book Day last year was that it reminded me of Owly's existence. If you are not familiar with Owly, gaze upon Andy Runton's website, ye mighty, and despair.

Astonishing X-Men: Joss Whedon's writing ability is what mine wants to be when it grows up. He groks the X-Men and John Cassaday makes this a joy to stare at as well as to read.

X-factor: Peter David, ladies and gentlemen. This is one of those House of M fallout moments that nearly made that whole tedious event worth it.

Gødland: Dang! Gødland is crazy! I like it for the same reasons I love Nextwave. It's a fun ride and the story is exactly the right kind of absurd. The art really makes this book, though. This is the case with a lot of comics but if Gødland didn't have the whole Kirby-on-acid thing going for it, it wouldn't have nearly as much praise heaped on it.

I pretty much ignored both Civil War and 52 so I can't comment about them except where they showed up in the regular titles I was reading.

I will now comment on one of the things I said I wouldn't comment on: Frankly, I find the whole Civil War storyline to be tedious. They did something kind of cool with it in the new Heroes For Hire series but that's chiefly because Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray are writing it. It's getting in the way of some other potentially cool stories such as the new Iron Fist monthly. Here's Danny Rand in the middle of fighting the entirety of Hydra and he has to take a break to whine about the No-Secret-Identities Act.

I thought the House of M fallout had its moments but I was unimpressed with the big storyline. I am obviously not the target audience for these meta-events.