A couple weeks back I was happy to attend a Launch Party for the collected edition ofTEEN BOAT by Dave Roman and John Green. I’ve been reading and enjoying their work separately and together since way with their book Quicken Forbidden and following through with their work in the FLIGHT anthologies, various mini comics, Agnes Quill, and much more. The party featured books, a boat, food, musical performances and fun. I filmed some of it and made a video.
The following video has gotten some praise and heads up from individuals involved in it and now I share it officially on my website.
I’m betting some might be curious of the musical loop I invented for this. Well, I personally titled it “The OK GO Show Around The World Raises the Banner!” Hopefully no one ever feels that I should get punished since I’m not making any money off this thing.
At this year’s (2012) MoCCA Fest on top of the books I got and the footage I shot (coming very soon) I also came up with a fun sketchbook concept of an Exquisite Corpse. I knew a concept like this meant I’d probably end up with way less sketches than I’ve usually gotten in the past, by handing out up to three different sketchbooks during a convention and picking them up at different points. I spent some time putting together the final works into a sort of readable collage which you can see below. As Lars says at the end, Enjoy!
Car chases, attempted murder, mansions on the hill, underground prisons, psychopaths, agents, directors, actors, cops, criminals, lawyers, big whigs, buxom babes, nudity, sex, drugs, death, destruction… sounds like a regular day in Hollywood doesn’t it? At least the Hollywood of the movies, but for Charlie Hardie it’s the most atypical day in usually decidedly chosen humdrum life.
Excitement was the norm for him, till one day and for the last few years he’s done everything in his power to have the most basic, boring life possible. Life doesn’t ever go the way one plans, especially when the man running your life is writer Duane Swiercynski.
This isn’t how the Charlie Hardie trilogy of FUN & GAMES (June 2011), HELL & GONE(October 2011) and POINT & SHOOT (scheduled for 2013) begins, but that’s the crux of the matter. I became a real fan of Duane’s through his work on CABLE Vol.2 , in which Nate Summers and an unnamed child travel through a crazy future. I had been marginally introduced to him prior through his book The Blonde, but it was with Fun & Games that his brand of high octane, high adventure, crazy twists and wilder turns really grabbed me and have turned me into an always and future fan.
As with some of the best of crime noir fiction, the Charlie Hardie series is very visual. As you go through each passage, there is no way to not envision how this book would be translated on to the big screen with any of the current aging action stars of the 80s who are still kicking ass and taking names at the helm. Personally I see Val Kilmer or Russell Crowe when I close my eyes and/or pour through the pages, but I’m not a movie executive or a financier or even someone with the money to buy the rights to take the energy on a script adaptation, no, here I’m just a fan who thinks you should be as well.
Swiercynski takes the choice of an almost fourth person approach here, jumping from the perspective of various characters, including the peripheral. This style is kept up through both books and while jarring at first, it allows a really inventive way of revealing bits and pieces of a much larger whole. As much as this is Charlie’s adventure, there is so much more going on and each clue, hint, tid bit and revelation into this huge architecture Duane has built just expands in such ways that you can pretty much completely understand why he’s taking his time with the third book. Originally this trilogy was going to come hard and fast, June and October of 2011 and then March of 2012. After finishing Hell & Gone and then reading the first openings of Point & Shoot at the end of it, I was salivating at the bit for the final chapter, wondering how after how large, crazy and thrilling the second book was, it could be topped. That’s the idea with a trilogy right? To keep building and building. Not that there’s many trilogy to compare to. In its own way Charlie Hardie’s story and Duane’s concept to do it as three self-contained but completely interconnected books is truly quite original. The only real trilogies I can even think of in literature that may have begun as being conceptually the same is the work of Robertson Davis, all other trilogies have such different histories and origins.
One of the most fascinating things from this fourth person style of different perspectives is you gain an appreciation and interest for everyone involved, even the people who die or the people who just seem like they’re pure evil. It is one of the most amazing aspects of the writing that would definitely get lost in transition from page to screen.
I must say I enjoyed HELL & GONE much more than FUN & GAMES. There’s just so much intrigue, character development and the type of nail biting I personally love. FUN & GAMES for most the most part is escaping the horror, not stopping for one moment to explore, while HELL & GONE is the locked chamber, with no where to run, so you better figure out how to just survive till you can escape. I can only guess that the final book is the insanity where you try to decide to go into the lion’s den.
FUN & GAMES and HELL & GONE were published by Mulholland Books and are availabile at all fine book retailers and in all e-book formats.
I’d made a decision with DC’s New 52 to take advantage of thinking of it as a jumping off point. A perfect opportunity to start ordering less comics and focus my financial energies elsewhere.
This was not a boycott or a hatred of the re-launch. It seemed like a fine idea to me. Weird and strangely done, but I was ok with it. I was even feeling regretful when they announced books like ANIMAL MAN and the new Western title. Some of these books look great.
I really thought though that before the relaunches all the current books would have satisfying tie-ups where one could walk away from the book feeling like “It goes on, but this is a stop point.”. I expected no actual cliff-hangers.
Then I get Green Lantern #67, the conclusion to War of the Green Lanterns. Half the issue is a set up for Green Lantern #1. Maybe it’ll be tied up tightly in Aftermath of the War, but I betting that that book will instead be filler for the month Green Lantern isn’t published. This pisses me off.
I am just going to have to reconcile myself to not care.
I am slowly trying to drop some Marvel books as well.
Even if money was no object I’d be doing this. I need to taper off the books, as the stories are becoming to hit or miss.
I’d rather focus all my energies on more “independent books” that have been consistent or newer properties that have great creators behind them and not a lot of messy continuity.
Here are four books that fit that category now currently for me.
Sergio Aragonés’ Funnies: Published by BONGO as Sergio has been doing some great Simpson’s stuff for them, it is great to see Sergio let loose. He is a funny funny man and funnier than ever here.
Roger Landridge’s Snarked: Everything Landridge touches is gold, Fred the Clown, Thor, The Muppets and now he’s tackling Lewis Carroll. The #0 reprints Hunting of the Snark and Walrus and the Carpenter and I cannot wait to see how he expands the Wonderland Universe. I trust he will do even better than Tommy Kovak and Sonny Liew, even though that was an amazing book.
The Boys: Garth Ennis and Darrick Robertson continue to kick ass on this book. Russ Braun as the current artist as Darrick tackles Butcher’s origin is amazing and John McCrea has done some of the best work of his life here as well.
The Unwritten: While I’m not reading DC Comics anymore, I’ll be sticking with Vertigo. Scalped ends at issue #60… so that leaves me Unwritten by Mike Carey and Peter Gross. It’s truly one of the most compelling books I get monthly.
A long long time ago in an internet far far away which had nothing to do with Star Wars this website existed in a different incarnation. I did exhaustive HTML, created original logos and that jazz. I even published the writings of some of my other internet friends who either didn’t have their own websites or wanted to contribute. I was blessed to have the friends who gave me work, but one of the best was from now major comics writer Ian Brill.
Ian Brill’s career trajectory as I understand it (but can’t completely confirm or deny) started off as an intern at McSweeney’s, as well doing freelance work for Publisher’s Weekly, Newsarama and many other comics journalism sites, back in 2008 he landed an editor position at BOOM! Comics, working on a variety of books until finally getting the writing reigns to some of the Disney Afternoon line from BOOM! Kids which is now known Kaboom. Ian has written Darkwing Duck and my personal favorite Chip & Dale’s Rescue Rangers.
Before all that though he was just another voice out there in the world of the internet and he wrote little bio pieces based on music inspired by the Nick Hornby book, Songbook.
It was really fun reading which fell under the title BRILL BUILDING, which had the double meaning of the essays being about Ian’s growing up, but also being inspired by the name of a famous building of musical history.
Luckily or unluckily (I’ll let him decide that) those articles are still sitting on the Pop-Culture Spectrum server.
One of the cooler comics that I’ve been getting was published by SLG/Amaze Ink, Dan Vado’s company. It was called The Royal Historian of Oz and it was written by Tommy Kovac who had previously written the fantastic Wonderland story drawn by Sonny Liew also published by SLG and was drawn by Andy Hirsch in his first “mainstream comics” gig and here’s hoping he gets more.
I was truly loving this mini series with 4 issues in the pot, Issue 5 would’ve been printed and shipped this month (June 2011), but sadly the preorders were only 800. Dan Vado surmises that people must be trade waiting or at least he hopes this, as do I.
Royal Historian of Oz is a great story, up there with anything Eric Shanower has done prior to his current OZ adaptations with Skottie Young.
In 2006, Dean Trippe did what all of us comic fans do occasionally, armchair editing. It’s much like armchair booking for wrestling. I had decided to really go the armchair route though. In armchair booking for wrestling you don’t just throw together matches, you tend to also come up with new angles and gimmicks as well. I decided what if I took that approach to armchair editing. I stuck to MARVEL and DC like Trippe did, but I’ created a whole new universe for both companies using their established characters. The biggest thing to remember with Armchairing is that you can/try to ignore everything that is currently going on or is being set-up to go in a totally new and different direction that will still be possible and make sense to fans.
Now with DC about to do their own super reboot in September which almost resembles this entire idea and Marvel in kind of a strange state of existence with their titles, I’ve decided it’s time to try and do this again for shit & giggles.
My rules in 2006 were seven core titles for each company, but to be as progressive as possible. I may be less progressive now with current interests, but I’ll keep the core 7, ignoring things such as MAX,, Ultimate Comics and such. I’ve noticed that DC Comics is actually doing a super reboot as well, so my energies will be focused to just MARVEL. Still 50 titles is too many, 7 sounds just about right. The 50 new DC titles do have some gems in the rough though. I hope you enjoy.
The Mighty Avengers by Roger Landrige and Chris Samnee. The team that brought you The Mighty Thor bring it all back to the square one, but with a faster pace bringing in the full onslaught of all Avengers incarnations together for a book much like DC’s CURRENT version of JSA.
X-Men by Peter David and Clayton Henry. Peter will bring his overarching, but brilliant pierced drama work of X-Factor to the more popular and well known mutants of film fame with one of the most under utilized artists in comics.
Spider-Man by Paul Tobin and Ronan Cliquet. The writer of the Marvel Adventures version of Spidey understands the character and has created a version better than any. While his current Matteo Lolli is fantastic, Cliquet has a dynamics needed for one of the premier titles of the universe.
Strange Tales by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Kev Walker. The entirety of Marvel’s supernatural forces get explored on a regular basis from the man that brought us a great miniseries about just this and the current artist of Thunderbolts.
Mysteries of the Future by Dan Slott and Paul Pelletier. Years ago Dan Slott described to me a great Marvel future exploring paths set up in his Great Lakes Avengers books. It’s time those ideas saw fruition and who better than an artist who can tackle humor, action and space with precision.
Cosmic by Keith Giffen, Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning and Marco Rudy. The men who made Nova, Silver Surfer and more into the best things ever combine their writing efforts with another amazing, but underutilized current DC artist to bring the best the Beyond can bring.
Fantastic Family by Jonathan Hickman and Jimmy Cheung. Hickman has proven himself with these characters and should be given the chance to reimagine them from scratch with an A-list artist who is also bar none one of the best in the biz and the World’s Greatest Comics Magazine deserves such.
Bob Fingerman has been for a long time one of my favorite writers and artists in the world of comics. With the release of his novel “Bottomfeeder” he also became one of my favorite writers ever and solidified this with the experimental “Connective Tissue”. His comedic tales such as “Otis Goes To Hollywood” and his zombie take in “Recess Pieces” were phenomenal (and I’m not a big zombie fan with Return of The Living Dead being truly the only zombie film I like and I believe even own on a home release).
“From the Ashes” is/was his post-apocalyptic tale, but is also as much of his work is, an autobiographical, introspective mirror of the soul full of political commentary satire and metaphorical insight into the world as a whole. Sure Bob is misanthropic (an understatement?), but he also has a very healthy and humorous disdain towards most of the human race, not to mention robots, minerals, animals and plants. In “From The Ashes
he truly explores this, throws in some amazing twists and makes disgusting mutants somehow still mildly sexy. How he does it, I’m not sure, but he just does… and I love him and his work for it.
You’d be punishing yourself not to pick up the “From The Ashes” collection. Why punish yourself? Unless you like that kind of thing… and if you do? Well, then you really need “From The Ashes”. It’ll be available in comic shops, book stores and on-line book sellers in February 2010.