I have been doing a pretty terrible job of promoting it here, but the first five issues of the podcast I started with a friend of mine, Journey Into Amazing, are all available now for your listening pleasure.
There are many ways to listen:
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Thursday, October 31, 2013
- So after "Marvel Now" comes "All-New Marvel Now"? And they're still doing "point ones"? When will the insanity end?
- Inhuman #1 - I'll probably get the first issue. I'm reluctant to add more Marvel books to my pull list after finally cutting it down to a reasonable size, but I can't help it. I'm weak.
- All-New Invaders #1 - When did James Robinson switch over to Marvel? I'm always happy when people leave DC, but this book doesn't really have any appeal to me otherwise. John Cassaday covers, urgh.
- Okay, that whole "#22.now = #1" makes no fucking sense. Who dreams up these gimmicks at Marvel?
- Avengers World #1 & 2 - Jonathan Hickman's Avengers epic is getting pretty freaking expensive to follow. Or, wait, is this replacing New Avengers? Hmm. All I know is that I'm not going to buy three Hickman Avengers books anymore after Infinity ends. Especially not $4 dollar ones that double-ship half the time.
- Black Widow #1 & 2 - Phil Noto on art. Sold.
- All-New X-Factor #1 & 2 - Peter David and Carmine Di Giandomenico. Tempting. But why is Gambit on this team? Blargh.
- Mighty Avengers #5 - I'm super into this series so far, so yeah, I'm in. Despite Greg Land's art.
- There's a whole section of Inhumanity tie-ins and I don't really know what that is. I didn't realize there was some kind of event on top of the Inhuman series, and why isn't Inhuman #1 in the Inhumanity section? Confusing. Anyway, I'm probably just going to ignore all this.
- Miracleman #1 & 2 - Alan Moore is credited as "the original writer," as in, his name doesn't appear in the description because he specifically requested not to be mentioned. This whole thing makes me a little uncomfortable. Don't think I'm gonna get this. Some of those covers are really nice, though.
- Empire of the Dead: Act One #1 - Written by George Romero with art by Alex Maleev. Meh, I don't know. I like Maleev, but do we really need this?
- New Avengers #14 - Oh no, hey, this series is still going, and for some reason it's in a completely different section than the other Hickman Avengers titles. I don't get it. Also, which one of these books will I have to drop?
- The Amazing Spider-Man: The Movie Adaptation #1 - WHY?
- Daredevil #35 - Man, Chris Samnee is still drawing this? This is the book that I most regret dropping this year. Why did I do that?!
- I kinda want that Warlock collection.
- I don't really have anything to say about any of these books. Except maybe that Brian Wood's run on Conan the Barbarian better end soon because I'm like 15 issues behind and for some reason I can't stop buying it anyway and the issues are just gonna keep piling up until it ends.
- Everything looks awful.
- Gothtopia lolz
- Catwoman is the new Robin?!
- What's wrong with Hal Jordan's face?!
- Deadly Class #1 - I don't know, I'm not really feeling it, but I'll probably try the first issue.
- EGOs #1 - Same.
- Bad Dog #6 - OMG, why did it take like a million years for this last issue to come out!?
- Final issue of Prophet! Sad. Such a great book.
- The Midas Flesh #2 (of 8) (Boom) - That looks kinda cool. Never saw the solicits for the first issue, but I'll try to remember to pick it up if they have it in the store.
- RASL: The Complete Edition HC - I want that.
- I don't really understand the appeal of a Twilight Zone ongoing series.
- Bad Ass #1 (Dynamite) - "If Kick-Ass and Deadpool had a baby, it would be bad ass!" That sounds awful.
- Apparently Al Ewing's run on Jennifer Blood is pretty good. I should check that out.
- Everything that Valiant is publishing right now looks like all right. I kinda wish I hadn't dropped Harbinger.
Posted by Yan Basque at 11:39 PM
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Well, I have been busy doing things. Things like moving and working and just about anything other than writing about comics on this blog. But I warned you something was coming, and now it has arrived.
Welcome to the first episode of Journey Into Amazing, a new podcast about two dudes (myself and co-host Ariel Esteban Cayer) reading their way through all 700 issues of Amazing Spider-Man.
This week we jump right in with the first five issues, written by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, and featuring the first appearances of The Chameleon, The Vulture, Dr. Octopus and The Sandman.
In the second half of the show, we talk about some more recent comics, including Trillium #3, Mara #6, some Robocop mini-series and Mighty Avengers #1 and #2.
I'm super-excited about this project and it seems like the perfect excuse for me to start posting on this blog again. Rising from the ashes, etc.
Please help spread the word by sharing, tweeting, tumblring and facebooking. And tell us what you think in the comments below. In the near-future, we'll have a dedicated page for this podcast on tumblr, where we will also be posting panels from the comic books we review, but I will continue to cross-post new episodes to this blog each week.
00:00:00 - intro & theme song
00:01:30 - jumping right into our discussion of AMS #1-5
00:04:45 - Spidey’s first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15
00:13:55 - AMS #1: first appearance of The Chameleon, guest appearance by the Fantastic Four, Spidey and Johnny Storm BFFs
00:21:16 - ASM #2: first appearance of The Vulture, first appearance of the Tinkerer
00:22:13 - ASM #3: first appearance of Dr. Octopus, Steve Ditko’s art
00:28:39 - ASM #4: first appearance of Sandman, J. Jonah Jameson as antagonist
00:37:58 - ASM #5: guest appearances by Dr. Doom and the Fantastic Four
00:41:30 - closing words on AMS #1-5, what’s up with the spidey signal?
00:43:32 - moving on to weekly comic reviews
00:44:05 - Trillium #1-3, by Jeff Lemire and Jose Vilarrubia
00:52:10 - Mara #1-6, by Brian Wood, Ming Doyle, Jordie Bellaire
01:00:30 - Robocop: Last Stand #1-3, by Frank Miller, Steven Grant, Korkut Oztekin, Michael Garland, with covers by Declan Shalvey
01:04:55 - Mighty Avengers #1-2, by Al Ewing, Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Frank D’Armata
01:18:50 - closing comments
Posted by Yan Basque at 12:14 AM
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Hey, everyone. I haven't updated this blog in about 20 months. But I'm preparing a comeback. And it's going to be... amazing.
Posted by Yan Basque at 2:30 PM
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Might as well get this one out of the way.
The story is splattered all over the internet this morning, including on DC's official blog, The Source, (which appears to be unable to deal with the heavy traffic as I write this), various mainstream entertainment news sites and the usual suspects in the comics web. But in case you haven't heard, it boils down to this: DC is releasing a series of miniseries collectively called "Before Watchmen" (I guess they couldn't come up with anything better than an obvious working title) by various writers and artists. Each series focuses on a different character from the original series/graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Among the creators involved are Brian Azzarello, J. Michael Straczynski, Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner.
Here's a quote from the announcement on The Source:
“It’s our responsibility as publishers to find new ways to keep all of our characters relevant,” said DC Entertainment Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. “After twenty five years, the Watchmen are classic characters whose time has come for new stories to be told. We sought out the best writers and artists in the industry to build on the complex mythology of the original.”It's times like these that I'm so happy I decided to name this blog "Irrelevant Comics." I'm so glad that DiDio and Lee hired JMS to make this classic work "relevant" again. Remember when he was hired to make Superman relevant? That was the time Superman went on a long, boring walk across America where nothing happened and nobody gave a shit. Not even JMS, apparently, since he couldn't be bothered to finish it.
Yeah, it's pretty depressing that JMS is considered one of the "best writers in the industry," but it's not like it makes a big difference to me in the end, since I wasn't planning on reading these books anyway.
What I find more upsetting about the announcement is the confirmation of Darwyn Cooke's involvement in the project. Other than Amanda Connor, he's the only creator involved I really give a shit about, and sadly I am going to find it incredibly difficult to take him seriously after this. Remember this video?
In it, Cooke talks about how he doesn't plan to return to superhero comics "in any big way" (what could be bigger than a Watchmen prequel?!), at least not until the industry stops "catering to the perverted needs of 45-year-old men."
I remember when this video was first posted, a lot of people were upset about his comment on lesbian heroes. It bothered me too, but I chose to give him the benefit of the doubt at the time because I still had respect for him as a creator and thought his point was mostly about superhero comics not being for kids anymore. (Who says lesbian characters can't be for kids? But let's not get into that right now.)
But now that we know he's a hypocrite and a profiteer? I'm not feeling so generous. Watchmen (along with Frank Miller's Batman work in the 1980s) is one of the seminal works responsible for the "maturing" of superhero comics' content. It features graphic violence, foul language, sex and even rape - all the things Cooke claims have no place in superhero comics. So what the fuck?
That DC would eventually go back to milk the Watchmen cash cow seemed like an inevitability. The question was when it and how it would happen. And with or without Alan Moore's blessings. There's a lot of history here, and I'm not sure there's much point in me going over it again. In a nutshell, relations between Moore and DC have been bad ever since he stopped working for them, and a lot of it was directly related who owns the rights to these characters.
My friend and fellow blogger Alan David Doane has written a very persuasive short piece on why DC's decision to go ahead with the Watchmen prequels despite Alan Moore's objections is (in his opinion) unethical. You can read it here, and if you agree with it you can also sign the petition.
I agree with a lot of what that petition says, and that's why I'm sharing it here and encouraging people to read it and decide for themselves. Personally, I don't feel strongly enough about it to add my name to the list. I think the prequels are in very poor taste. I think Alan Moore got the shitty end of the stick. But it's also not that different from the way Marvel treated Kirby, or the way DC treated Siegel and Shuster. I'm not saying that two or three wrongs make a right, or that we should ignore one injustice because there are other injustices out there. It's just that I've realized and more or less come to terms with the fact that DC and Marvel are big, ugly, profit-driven corporations, which is pretty much synonymous with unethical behaviour. What they're doing here is ugly, but so is everything else they do. And if I'm going to start signing petitions over this case, then I might as well stop supporting them completely and never buy another one of their books, or else I'm going to feel like a total hypocrite.
That's just my take on it. I think being a fan of (or consumer of) any mass entertainment necessarily involves a certain amount of cognitive dissonance and ethical negotiations with oneself. I feel the same way about television and Hollywood and video games. Hell, I feel that way about EVERYTHING I spend my money on, since it's all part of a giant system I am generally opposed to. (Call it capitalism, I suppose.) Again, I'm not saying the way to deal with these concerns is to shove them at the bottom of your psyche and ignore them. It's important to be aware of these things that make us uncomfortable, and to think and write and talk about them, and whenever possible try to fight them. And if you decide that the best way to do this is for you to sign the petition, then sign it. For me, it isn't.
(Whoa! Did I ever get side-tracked, there!)
I'm not going to buy any of these Watchmen prequels, and I feel this is the best way to send a message to DC. A few hundred names on a petition is not going to do much. The only thing that's going to make a difference at the end of the day is whether the books sell well or not.
And here comes the depressing part: Of course they're going to sell well. They're going to be at the top of the charts and (like the New 52) they will be deemed a success. Before the books come out, Dan DiDio is going to be quoted saying he's puzzled that fans are reacting negatively without having read the books. Guaranteed. And then after the books have come out, if anybody points out that they sucked (after having read them), he's going to point out that they were best-sellers, so obviously the opinion of that reader doesn't matter.
Notice the catch-22 here? Our opinion doesn't matter until we've bought and read the book. And once we've bought and read the book, our opinion doesn't matter because we've already paid for it.
Monday, January 30, 2012
I'm glad I managed to write some comics reviews last week and I hope I can keep the momentum going. But as always, there are things happening in live that could possibly get in the way.
Plus, I thought I'd have lots of time to read comics after finishing A Clash of Kings, but I couldn't help it and bought A Storm of Swords and started reading it this morning on the way to work. I'm sorry.
Anyway. Some new comics this week:
- Animal Man #6 (DC)
- Swamp Thing #6 (DC)
- Sweet Tooth #30 (DC)
- Alpha Girl #1 (Image)
- Fatale #2 (Image)
- Amazing Spider-Man #679 (Marvel)
- Punisher #8 (Marvel)
- Winter Soldier #1 (Marvel)
Sweet Tooth is back on track now after a brief flashback story about the origins of the plague, which was illustrated (quite nicely) by Matt Kindt. That flashback made me a little uncomfortable for reasons that I still want to write about someday, but probably not today. (Hint: cultural appropriation.) But I'm not letting that turn me off too much, because other than that one thing, Sweet Tooth is still my favourite comic.
I've put Alpha Girl on the list even though I'm not totally convinced that I'm going to get it myself, but it's a new series from Image so it's probably at least worth flipping through at the store. Something to do with zombies, unfortunately. I'm a bit tired of zombies and vampires.
Fatale #1 was great, so I'm really looking forward to the second issue.
And Winter Soldier... Blargh. I'm about 90% sure I'm not going to buy that, unless I get a sudden urge to spend more money than I should. which happens a lot, so it's not completely out of the question.
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