Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sorry! Can't post right now. Going through withdrawal....

Scans Daily has been suspended.

Apparently, it had something to do with someone posting the ending to a recent X-Factor comic and Peter David reporting it.

My reaction?

Aw, crap!

You see, since I lack a functional scanner, I relied heavily on Scans for the pictures on my blog postings. Most of the scans on my Friday Night Fights entries were copied from there (although four of my last five actually weren't). But that's not the worst part.

The worst part is that I turned to the Scans site to view a lot of stuff that I might otherwise be unaware of or get a chance to read. If, say, the latest Green Lantern or Supergirl issue was sold out at my local shops, I could at least rely on Scans having a summary post. Also, Scans allowed me to view samples of hard-to-find comics from past decades that I may have missed the first time around.

I will persevere, but, man, this is a pain in the ass.

My first instinct was to look for a scan of the "Tony Stark going cold turkey" scene from Iron Man's "Demon In A Bottle" arc, or the scene with Dinah Lance helping Roy Harper kick heroin in Green Lantern/Green Arrow, or...


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Friday Night Fights: O.P.P.! Round 2 - The Future's Not-So-Bright

Meet the Lord of Time.

He's a time traveller from the year 3786.

He has stolen weaponry from both the past and the far-flung future.

He has mastered fighting skills from hundreds of different eras.

Yet, his chances of beating Batman are still.....

Spacebooger says: It doesn't matter when you come from... Batman will mess you up!

(From The Brave and the Bold#3 by Mark Waid, George Perez, and Bob Wiacek.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Night Fights: O.P.P. - Round 1: Hard Fighting Heroes

Welcome to the latest Friday Night Fights series: Friday Night Fights: O.P.P.!

In this case, O.P.P. stands for One Panel of Pain. This means that each entry must consist of only one panel. And it goes without saying that said panel should be, well, on the violent side.

You have no idea how long I've been waiting for this!

You see, even before Saranga posted the scan below, I'd been aching to use it for FNF, but it never seemed to fit the rules. In fact, it was supposed to be my first round entry for "Friday Night Fights: KAPOW!" , but it lacked the required sound effect.

But this time it fits the rules perfectly.

Tonight's entry comes from Green Arrow#20, written by Mike Grell and drawn by Ed Hannigan and Frank McLaughlin. Green Arrow accidentally shoots a kid carrying a paintball gun with an arrow because he thought the kid was carrying a real gun. As you might guess, Ollie's not handling the aftermath of the accident particularly well. He starts hitting the bottle. Hard.

What comes next is something I call Intervention: Hal Jordan Style.

At Dinah's urging, Hal essentially kidnaps an unconscious Ollie and brings him to the mountains for some trout fishing and male bonding. Ollie resists the idea and starts feeling sorry for himself, which leads to Hal getting mad and giving Ollie a stern lecture.

Which, in turn, leads to this:

Ouch! Even with all the head injuries Hal has sustained over the years, that's still going to leave a mark.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Of Cartoons, Chimps , and Context

When reading a story about police in Stamford, Connecticut having to kill an escaped chimpanzee who mauled and disfigured a womanand left her in critical condition, what's your first reaction?

In the case of New York Post cartoonist Sean Delonas, it was to draw this:

Upon seeing the cartoon above, my first thought was the same as many people's:

"How the fuck did this thing ever see print?"

Even if Mr. Delonas was either too clueless to see the offensiveness of his cartoon or too malicious to care, doesn't the Post have editors? Surely, somebody could have seen the problems with the cartoon and stepped in.

Delonas and those same editors claim the original intent of the cartoon was to use the chimpanzee incident to state that the stimulus bill was so bad, a monkey could have written it. Here's an essential rule of comedy: With very few exceptions, if you have to explain the joke, the joke failed.

The only aspect of this story that initially gave me pause was the apparent comparison, intentional or otherwise, between President Obama and a chimpanzee.

The idea of comparing a sitting President to a chimpanzee is unheard of.

That is, if you missed the previous 8 years.

Over that period I've visited several liberal blogs like Huffington Post, Democratic Underground, and the like, and without fail I've seen those message board posters give George W. Bush such colorful nicknames as "Chimpy", "Smirking Chimp", and "Commander-in-Chimp". In fact, entire websites have been dedicated to this comparison. So what makes this Post cartoon so different?

A few things:

1. The New York Post is a major metropolitan newspaper for one of the largest and most influential cities in the world. That's a hell of a difference between that and some schmuck on a message board or his/her own blog. For one thing, the Post staff is getting paid for their work.

2. Context! Context! Context!

Sure, Mr. Bush has endured several chimp comparisons. But has he or any of his recent ancestors been legally regarded as subhuman without even the most basic civil rights until a few decades ago? Has he or any of his family ever been pulled over for "Driving While White"? Has he ever had to endure police brutality based solely on the color of his skin?

Doubtful. But many African-Americans have over the years. And that's just 100+ years after slavery ended.

In short, there's a lot more baggage behind the imagery in Obama's case, not to mention African-Americans in general. And if Delonas couldn't see that, his editors should have.

Friday, February 13, 2009

FNF Special Edition: Love Tap! - Rings & Sapphires

In honor of Hallmark' I mean, uh, everyone's favorite romantic holiday, Friday Night Fights presents a special Valentine Saturday Edition: Love Tap!

The main rule in this round is that every entry must include an image featuring two lovers, or former lovers, duking it out.

Since our honorable host Spacebooger forbade me from using a scan of Batman and Robin, I will use another famous DC couple in their place. Tonight, I give you:




This lovers' quarrel comes to us courtesy of Action Comics Weekly#602, by Jim "Christopher Priest" Owsley and the late, great Gil Kane. The Star Sapphire has once again possessed Carol Ferris and made her, well, batshit crazy. Her first move is to kill Katma Tui. Here she confronts Hal:

I don't advocate using violence against women, but it didn't look like Hal had much of a choice here.

And on that sweet, romantic note:

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Random Thoughts....

- I watched the last Brave and the Bold episode "Journey to the Center of the Bat". Excellent episode. I love John DiMaggio's Aquaman. Maybe it was just me, but after hearing the voice of the Brain, I kept expecting him to tell Batman "I fart in your general direction!". But why was Elongated Man talking like Frasier Crane?

- I read Final Crisis#7, and I have the same opinion of that issue as I do of the series as a whole: A lot of clever ideas, interesting characters, beautiful art and cool "fuck yeah" moments all in search of a coherent narrative. The conclusion was a bit too dependent on people having read a few of the companion series, especially since some of those series (Legion of 3 Worlds) hadn't even concluded yet. If I hadn't read Superman Beyond, it would have looked like they pulled in Mandrakk as the big bad right out of nowhere. In fact, it still did. I don't get why people were complaining about the art on this series so much, though. Jones and Pacheco gelled almost perfectly, and even the transition to Mahnke in issues 6 and 7 went smoothly.

Still, other than Bruce Wayne's fate, this didn't come off like the game-changer everyone thought it would be. Earth's heroes overcoming a planet-devastatng alien invasion with the help of a deus ex machina device? In the DCU, that's not an earth-shattering event. It's Tuesday.

- I just finished watching the first new "Heroes" episode of the new year. I read that this episode was made during Jeph Loeb's tenure and Lord did it show. Characters were inconsistent. Motivations were inconsistent. Hell, even superpowers were inconsistent. Peter lost his mimicry powers to his dad this season and gained them back through Mohinder's super-serum, but now he has to touch people to get their powers? He used to absorb them just by being in close proximity to a superbeing and could call that being's powers by sheer memory thereafter. You could argue that the need to touch was a product of the serum, but in the last episode (right after taking the serum) he flew to Nathan without touching him first. I think it was typical Loeb: Get the characters from Point A to Point B and screw plot or character consistency. In this case, the writers had to get Peter in the plane with the rest of the group, and if his powers were consistent with every past episode, putting him in the plane with the others would have provided Peter with an all-you-can-eat superpower buffet, unconscious or not. but then we might not have had the dramatic plane crash. There were some cool moments, though, particularly when Sylar escaped the hunters and when Peter thought he was getting super-strength from Nikki but actually got freezing powers from lookalike Tracy instead. I can't wait until the Bryan Fuller episodes start. That will probably be the last chance I give the show.

- I've also been watching "Lost" since it premiered. Anyone else notice that this show improved dramatically right after Brian K. Vaughn climbed on board? The time displacement has been handled very well so far, especially how they've introduced new characters who may actually be the younger selves of older characters.

- I've been reading the Genocide storyline in Wonder Woman and I've got to say I've been impressed with the art of Aaron Lopresti so far. His stuff reminds me of Daryl Banks, JLA-era Adam Hughes, and even pre-lightbox Greg Land (the latter is actually a good thing, as those who read Land's Birds of Prey and Nightwing runs can attest). Stay away from those porno mags, Aaron, and you'll go far.

- My favorite Super Bowl commercial was the one with MacGruber, er, "Pepsuber".

- You know, former governor Rod Blagojavich had been comparing himself with such figures as Ghandi, Martin Luthor King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela, but since he's been kind of an awkward, arrogant oaf, he reminded me a bit of this guy:

Nahh, that's too mean, even to Hal.