Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"I don't like that look you give me, that look like i can't get erections"

Red Hood and the Outlaws:

  • Red Hood and the Outlaws is a silly title.
  • Even ignoring the Starfire stuff, this comic is pretty terrible. It reads like it was written by Michael Bay, if Michael Bay cut out all the explosions and just focused on his characters.
  • Taking a character, who regularly appears on the Cartoon Network, and turning her into a cum receptacle may be the darkest thing I've ever read. Much darker than anything i could conceive of at least, and i stay up till 4am reading Dan Harmon interviews trying not to drink myself to sleep. But i always do... always.
  • I guess when Max Hardcore face rapes a girl until she vomits and starts crying, he's really just putting the finishing touches on his biography of Eleanor Roosevelt.
  • I like what Alec Berry did in this. The opening paragraph gave the whole thing a "lightness" that really works.
  • I'm fairly certain Chester Brown ghost wrote Starfire's dialogue.
  • Charleston Chews are the gold standard of nugget based candies.
  • Imagine if Chester Brown actually ghost wrote this? The mental hoops critics would jump through to justify this book would be amazing.
  • Chad Nevetts favorite movie is The Wrestler, and no I've never asked him. But its depressing and about wrestling so it is. Even if he denies it, it is.
  • You figure Internet pornography would have worked out all of these emotions over the past 20 years, but i guess the Wonder Woman and Starfire porn parodies weren't released fast enough to please the comics zestiest.
  • The sexual fantasies of a 12 year old adolescent boys, share a striking resemblance to those of 40 year old men.
  • The complaints about Starfire's costume are odd, since her previous incarnations feature costumes that would make a Tiwana hooker blush.
  • Wouldn't it be amazing if Chris Ware did a porn comic?
  • A sense of incest is present in this book, which while also prominent in Indian Summer, lacks Pratts playful "ribbing" and religious critique, and instead reads as fetishistic. Also Milo Manara draws pretty ladies. 
  • I mean Batwoman likes chicks, but Starfire likes her sister! Boners all around.
  • I'm pretty certain Winnick stole this line from me, the last time i acted like a douche "SHE'S GOT A LOT ON HER MIND...ME"
  • I read this Josh Cotter interview last night, it didn't help stop the drinking.
  • Comics have the nasty habit of relating sexual liberation with female empowerment, a thought that became antiquated the moment it shit itself out of someones mouth. Under the guise of that theory, comics are the most progressive medium in all of history. Showing Wonder Woman's cleavage isn't the byproduct of a reader looking for spank material, its feminism. Characterizing Starfire as a gal' who likes to blow guys down by the docks for fun isn't exploitation, its liberation.
  • Tim Callahan wrote this on Tucker Stone.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Indian Summer


"I Got 99 Problems but a Bitch ain't One"
- Jay Z
"I'm sayin, Porn doesn't have to be dehumanizing."
- Brandon Graham
"The old, slow, creaking descriptions are a thing of the past; today the rule is brevity - but every word must be supercharged, high-voltage.”
- Yevgeny Zamyatin

Indian Summer, by Hugo Pratt and Milo Manara, has sexualizaton in spades. Manara may be the foremost artist in the genre, alongside Guido Creepax. Opening with a rape, and featuring incestuous relations throughout, Indian Summer is a work of exploitation. Exploitation though, which is used to critique the Puritan settlers morality as a whole, making it something so much more.

The Primary concern of Indian Summer is male ownership over females. Through physical force, religious persecution, and genuine love, every prominent female within the narrative is subject to male ownership in one form or another, in life and death.

Sheva, who's rape begins this tale, is referred to only as Reverend Blacks niece for the first 70 pages of this book. Labeling her in relation to a male, and not as an individual, creates a sense of ownership over Sheva. She is ultimately Blacks property.

Her rape is brushed off as a natural occurrence, due to man's "need" during the Indian Summer to let off their sexual frustration "I DISAGREE! AT THIS TIME OF YEAR ALL YOUNG MEN PURSUE GIRLS". A season which can only be compared to the mating season of animals "PERHAPS THEY WERE LIKE ALL YOUNG ANIMALS IN THE EARLY DAYS OF INDIAN SUMMER. BEFORE THE COLD NIGHTS OF WINTER – THEY NEEDED TO PLAY WITH THE FEMALES". The assault of a female isn't a crime in this book, in this society, but harming a males property is.

Sheva's rape, unlike most comics (Identity Crisis), isn't an extension of comics need to "fridge" characters (killing or as i use it, utilizing the rape of a female character as a means to push the narrative of a male character forward), but is a critique on male ownership. Sheva moments after being raped, is saved by Abner who presents her with a gift / trophy (the slain Indians scalps) as a act of courtship (The Scalps have intrinsic value amongst Indians "NO WARRIOR FROM THE NORTH WOULD HAVE LEFT THE TWO SCALPS") and proceeds to kiss her, a declaration of ownership. This attempt at ownership is challenged by Reverend Black (her previous / current owner at the time) which results in hostilities and violence between the two as they jostle for control over her. Ultimately resulting in Blacks scalping, and Abner taking Sheva away with him.

Sheva's reaction to her rape is horror, not at the fact that she was raped, but at the possibility her uncle (and "owner") will abandon her "Black: WHY? HOW DO I LOOK UPON YOU? Sheva: AS IF YOU WISHED TO PUNISH ME. Black: WHAT DO YOU THINK? DO YOU DESERVE TO BE PUNISHED? Sheva: I DO NOT KNOW UNCLE... I DIDN'T WANT TO... I WAS SIMPLY GATHERING BLACKBERRIES" .This possibility is reinforced, due to it previously occurring to Ms. Lewis* who was cast out by Black after she conceived the child of another man.** Following Phyllis treating her with Red Horn*** the chance of cuckolding is ruled out, this removes the possibility of Sheva reliving the fate of Ms. Lewis "YOU HAVING NOTHING TO FEAR" whispers Phyllis, as she holds Sheva in her arms. Phylls is the only character who knows Ms. Lewis's story at that point, making her words all the more reassuring.

Reverend Black, then turns the rape of his niece into a sexual fantasy. While engaged in sex Reverend Black begins to question Sheva about the assault, forcing her to describe it in detail "THEY COMMITTED ALL MANNER OF ACTS AGAINST ME.. Black: WHO EXCITED YOU THE MOST? TELL ME!" while repeatedly exclaiming "YOU WRETCH...YOU WRETCH"

Ownership over females is touched on further with the cases of Ms. Lewis and Phyllis. Ms. Lewis was a servant to Elder Black who routinely "BEAT ME AND OFTEN RAPED ME",forcing her to "CONFESS THESE SINS EVEN AS HE COMMITTED THEM". A fetish for sexually charged confessionals which also seems to have been passed on to his son, Reverend Black.

Elder Blacks ownership was breached by two parties, Reverend Black and a unnamed French Hunter. In the case of the French Hunter Ms.Lewis gave herself to him freely "A HANDSOME MAN HE WAS", rejecting the ownership of both Elder and Reverend Black. The French Hunter subsequently impregnates her, and unlike in the case of Sheva, her herbal remedies were not strong enough to ward off pregnancy. Following her self-devaluation (a pregnant female, or one with children, has little / diminished value as a mate choice)**** she was exiled from the community. But not until she was branded, with the letter L representing "LILITH, ADAM'S FIRST, REBELLIOUS WIFE" for her rejection of male ownership.

Phyllis continuous her mothers rebellion "DON'T BE SO HYPOCRITICAL, MOTHER. YOU WELL REMEMBER TEACHING ME HOW TO USE IT (her sexuality)", she is prized by Lewis (her brother), and like Reverend Black becomes an object for him to posses. Her sexuality is at the forefront of her being, making her a rejection of the male concept of ownership. After Lewis attacks her for displaying her sexuality she rebukes him "NEVER LAY HANDS UPON ME AGAIN, PIG". Pig can refer both to a disgusting male, but also has connections with figures of authority (police) who would wish to censor her.

Utilizing scripture "THE SACRED TEXTS ARE REPLETE WITH INCESTUOUS PERSONS. ANAH, THE DESCENDANT OF ESAU, WAS THE SON OF HIS FATHER'S MOTHER...SO YOU SEE, EVEN THE SCRIPTURES SPEAK OF FORBIDDEN LOVE" Phyllis  is able to justify her own sexuality, while also condemning male perversions of it, which they utalize to justify there ownership over females "Lewis: WELL, YOU HAVE PUT THE BIBLE TO GOOD USE! Phyllis: NO WORSE THAN THE USE TO WHICH THE BLACKS HAVE PUT IT...BOTH FATHER AND SON".

Following Phylls's death, Lewis the one male who wished not to just mate with her, but too own her, rushes to her corpse and declares "DON'T ANYBODY TOUCH HER! NO ONE MAY TOUCH HER! NOW SHE IS MINE!"

Lewis's declaration, shows how absolute male ownership is. Dorothy Talbye, a friend of Ms. Lewis, who is incarcerated for preaching that "THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN ARE EQUAL TO THOSE OF MEN" kills her daughter to free her from this cycle of male ownership "ONLY DEATH WOULD ALLOW HER DAUGHTER TO ESCAPE THE TORMENTS AND HUMILIATIONS OF THE HYPOCRITICAL NEW WORLD PURITANISM", but Lewis shows us, even in death females can be owned.


  • Ive read the book, and scanned through it several times and cant find mention of Ms Lewis's first name, this can either be attributed to my idiocy, or as a extension of the "ownership" the Black have over her, like his niece who remained nameless for the majority of the book, so to does Ms. Lewis. It hearkens back to The Crucible "Let me have my name"
  • This is a common practice in several bird species, who will attack and cast off their female mates if they view the presence of another male in the surrounding area, as a defense mechanism against cuckolding.
  • Pilgrim Plan B
  • Speaking in a Biological sense.
  • Further evidence of male ownership is Jeremiah's masturbatory gestures, which are rebuked, not for there content, but for who they are directed at. When Jeremiah gestures at females who have been established as another males property he is quickly scolded, but when not directed at anyone they are allowed to carry on.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bored at 8am

I'm not sure how many people do this, but whenever I read Silver Age comics I tend to skip 90% of the dialogue. I don't read issues of Ditko's Spider man to have Stan Lee tell me everything that's happening. Ditko accomplishes that by himself. The overwrought nature of Lee's scripts likely stems from his need to explain the action to his adolescent audience. These books were made for kids mind you, and the jokey nature of the dialogue add to that notion.

While the caption boxes and thought balloons that housed so many of Lee's blocks of text, have largely been abandoned, following the advent of "widescreen" comics and the influx of "mature" readers.The joke-y nature of Lee's dialogue is still readily used. In a series where the main protagonists girlfriend has her neck snapped, after being thrown off a bridge, Lee's "jokes" seem out of place. Uncomfortably so. And yet this "stylistic" flourish still exists. The introduction of moral relativism into comics seems to be predicated on the removal of its campish nature. In a dystopian future, featuring a fascistic Batman, Shark Repellant doesn't have a place. I am not advocating the removal of humor from comics as a whole, but I doubt it would be a stretch to think that Watchman's literary reception would have been dampened if it had a two page sequence were Night Owl had a bought of diarrhea. Injecting juvenile humor into a book that deals with "worldly" subjects like life and death undermines the whole process. Yet the practice is still common.

Now don't get me wrong, camp and satire have their place, but in books sold under PR snippets like "gritty" "realistic" "street level" all they accomplish is undermining the work. Cabbie, recently reprinted by Fantagraphics, takes the entire premise of the "streets" and subverts it. Dark and satirical at every point.

The difference between The Cabbie and the majority of the American Mainstreams output is that the Cabbie never strives for "realism".  An avenging cab driver with a whore for a sister, running up against the mob and a family of hoodlums, all under the direction of Saint Christopher, sounds like a ridiculous premise, which it is. And luckily Marti understands the failings of the Pulp genre enough to mock them. And that's where its humor is derived.

At the other end of the spectrum is a book about a millionaire with split personalities, dating a deaf super-spy named Echo, and fighting a magician across LA. This book though takes itself seriously.

Maleev utilizes a "realist" style in Moon Knight, while not as stiff and heavily photo-reference as Scarlett, it doesn't capture the loose cartooning style of his early work on Daredevil. Its an amalgamation of the two, with a heavier emphasis on photo-realism. Creating pages which feature both static and frenetic panels. A odd combination indicative of this series. 

Bendis's script is bipolar. This issue features a night time rooftop battle which spills into the streets of LA, and culminates in the death of Echo (Moon Knights "girlfriend"). All of these elements are put in place to amp up the issues realism, especially when rendered by Maleev. Whenever Moon Knights split personalities are involved (both when they "take over" or are simple being mentioned)the realism Bendis and Maleev try to build goes haywire. It reads like a Bendis Avenger's script bleeding over into Moon Knight. Which makes the choice of split personalities especially alarming due to Bendis's long tenure on The Avengers (and that series distinct tone). His choices seem to be him purposely shooting himself in the foot.

Take this page for example, "WHAT IS HE THE COUNT OF ANYWAY? I BET NOTHING. HE JUST DECIDED TO CALL HIMSELF COUNT." this line of dialogue, while in keeping with Bendis's take on Spider man, creates a problem. If we are supposed to fear for Moon Knights life having Spider man "yuck it up" creates a tonal shift which undermines the seriousness of the moment. Even more so, having Echo die at the end of this issues (which Bendis surely had plotted before he even wrote the issue) makes these "comments" horrifying in retrospect.

What we have here are two books, one that takes itself seriously, and the other which takes nothing serious. But only one of these books ever tells a joke.

I understand your friends think your funny, but theirs a reason Citizen Kane doesn't have any dick jokes.

Moon Knight #9
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: Alex Maleev
Colors by: Matt Hollingsworth
Lettering by: Cory Petit
Publisher by: Marvel Comics 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bored at 4 am

This is just a exercise in reviewing, figured id give it a shot in between essays. I don't think I did to bad so I might fiddle around with the format again.

In a spark of brilliance I downloaded Batgirl #7 off Comixology, I paid a whole $3. Yeah $3. Fuck. People really pay $3 on a regular basis for this comic? Jesus. I watched an old episode of Real Hookers of the AC (that's Atlantic City for you folks not in the know) a few years back, and a toothless "lady of the night" promised the best hummer of your life for a twenty spot. By the end of the episode she agreed to give one to what appeared to be a sixteen year old, for $10 so she could pick up a pack of smokes. So there was definitely room to negotiate. I don't know where this is going, but it's definitely an important digression. Oh yeah, comics are expensive.

Onto the comic. Three dollars man that still bugs me. Page One: Batgirl is thrust headfirst into a pool of water, slowly being drowned by The Grotesque! This looks like the end of Batgirl my good friends, and whats that? Her chilling last thoughts, no it could never be! Its, its a shit joke...or a sewage runoff joke, either way good job to everyone involved. Batgirl in a spark of brilliance then does something and the villain heads home for some reason. Maybe he's Union and his mandatory smoke break started. I don't know, its not explained.

Barbara then power knocks the living shit out of Black Canary's window to go do some extreme training and gab talk. Or "Bab Talk" your you LOVE puns. I hate myself. See, Batgirl just doesn't feel up to snuff anymore and she cant figure out why, but Black Canary's wonderful insight finds the culprit in no time! Its that whole "i was crippled 3 years ago, but now I'm not" thing. A quick slap across the face (as the ladies are known to do) and speech containing the inspirational words "AND ARE YOU SERIOUSLY GOING TO COMPLAIN THAT YOU CAN WALK AGAIN? YOU THINK YOU'RE THE ONLY PERSON WHO EVER REGAINED MOBILITY?" whips her back into shape.

Some quick scene with the villain, a party, something about a bottle of wine, and a cliffhanger about some guy who was with the Joker the night Alan Moore caped her ass, and FIN.

 "All Killer No Filler", in this issue.
This comic is really mediocre, bordering on bad. Simone undercuts the book at every turn, creating a tonal mess and muddled narrative. The villain, even when he has the upper hand, walks away mid fight on two separate occasions for no reason. If that's not lazy writing, I don't know what is. Moments of seriousness (her impending death due to drowning) and inspiration (coming to grips with her past/present/mother/crippling/etc) are rendered moot within pages by instantaneous character regression and inappropriate (tonally, not subject wise) jokes. It reads like a book written by five authors. With a sixth author giving it a final pass to play up the yucks!

The art...exists? Its low rent house style. Part Jim Lee /Part you have 3 days to finish this book or else. Or else what? or else ill kill your fucking family your piece of shit. What was i talking about? oh yeah this looks rushed, in the sense that it looks like shit. That's probably why theirs two pencilers on this issue. The colors are inconsistent between panels, backgrounds change color at random, and light sources appear and disappear for no reason. When ever you see the work of Dean White and Dave Stewart you should thank your lucky stars these men exist to prove someone knows how color works.* Because this comic is an exercise in why I cant read more than one comic at a time, without my eyes bleeding.

Seriously look how many light sources are on this page? Its lit up like a Christmas Tree at this party. Adding more lamps doesn't make your lens flares and random over rendering make sense. It only hurts my eyes. I would also like to point out in the above image, the two men in the foreground of Panel one seem to suffer from a broken elbow and a broken left index finger.

*Or Laura Allred if you need a lady example.

Batgirl #7
Written By: Gail Simone
Pencils By: Ardian Syaf & Alitha Martinez
Inks By: Vincente Cifuentes
Colors By: Ulises Arreola

Friday, March 9, 2012


Ive been trying to write about Jason Aarons Punisher MAX run for a couple of weeks now, I've gone through four or five drafts at this point. I chucked a thousand word essay that devolved into a sermon over the nature of the definitive run, I followed that up with a rehashed Chad Nevett idea. Twenty minutes into that digression I became disgusted with myself and scrapped the thing. This mild plagiarisms made me think about comics and the internet communities obsession with exclusives.

Comics is plagued with theft and dishonesty; I don't want to add to that continuum. Even if it comes from a retrofitted academic critique with MLA formatted sources and quotations.Comics requires more than that, and I require more than that. The Internet is so obsessed with "exclusives" they fail to realize that every original idea uttered by an author is a "exclusive", a Comics Alliance interview that can be quoted whole heatedly at iFanboy is not so much a exclusive, as the tired terminology of a PR and editorial department desperate to justify there paycheck. An exclusive is merely an original idea, a fully formed thought never uttered before. Not a leg in one of the Big Two's propaganda tours.

Chad Nevett's talking about Marvel Boy is an exclusive. Sean Witzke's take on Elecktra Assassin is an exclusive. Matt Seneca's essay on Acme Novelty #20 is an exclusive. Tucker Stone, Tim Callahan, and Joe McCulloch produce exclusive's every time they put word to paper*.

Exclusives emanate from their authors, not the subjects of their column.

The only writer who's interviews I can even stand at this point are those 40 page long carrear retrospectives Gary Groth pumps out, and Tom Spurgeon's equally long interviews, because there's nothing being pitched in them. It is simply a conversation conducted by someone who loves talking about comics, and more so wants them to be better.

Much like Kirby, Ditko, and Moore comics operate as exclusives. A definitive run isn't so much about the character being "defined" as a creator defining there idea of what that character represents.Which is why so many "definitive" runs stand alone. Writers are too focused on repeating and rehashing the idea's of there intellectual betters than coming up with something new.

The most topical example of this is Scott Snyders Swamp Thing. Spending 6 issues, all he tells us is how amazing Alan Moore's run was, rehashing plot point after plot point, in a fetishistic manner. For the $18 you spent on those 6 issues you could have bought one of those nice 12 issue Moore Swamp Thing hardcovers and realized that fact for yourself. Snyder isn't the only offender though, he may even be one of the lesser, if you've read any Daredevil comic in the past 20 years congratulations you just read a lesser version of Frank Millers run.

Before Watchmen isn't so much a exercise in fucking creators as it is the mining of ones predecessors. Watchmen was a cohesive whole, but DC decided to bleed it dry. Like so many ideas before it Watchmen was dived up in the chop shop that is Intellectual Property and sold off for parts. But that's what happens to "Exclusives" in the modern era.

I cant look at Hickman's FF run and not see 40 year old recycled ideas, just like I cant read any "fan" site without seeing a PR man standing behind them, rubbing there shoulders and promising more exclusives as long as there next event gets a 5 Star "Totally Rad" review.

Even this blog, this measly blog that I am the sole author of is guilty of this crime. I try my hardest not to be, but i constantly find my idea's derivative. I don't want to become the "House Style" of comic criticism.I look at serious comic critic in awe of the exclusivity of their idea's. I want every one of my posts to become a exclusive like theirs and not a "Exclusive" like everyone else. Just like i want every comic i read to be a exclusive and not another boring retread of decade old tropes.

Here's a couple things i define as Exclusives:

Tucker Stones Comics Reporter Interview:

Matt Sceneca's essay on Guido Crepax

Gary Groth x2

Sean Witzke and Matt Sceneca on Elektra Assassin

Footnotes/Citations/What Not

*There's several authors i didn't mention because that would become excessive, but if your an intelligent reviewer / commentator then I mean you.

Friday, March 2, 2012

I Just Want Some Skank

“We are fighting a war, a war that will end all wars”

Earlier this week I posted a photo of my “stack” the pile that every comic reader encounters at some point in there life. More likely at every step of it. The photo I posted wasn't even my complete “stack” I probably have a dozen other comics tucked away that I haven't read, and at least one book a week added. I ultimately failed to read the entirety of my stack. Leaving eight books unread. A failure that could only be compared to Henry Kissinger's retreat from Indochina. That may be a overstatement. I mean I did fail to read EIGHT books, but Kissinger caused the deaths of millions due to vanity. Ill call it a wash.

“and I got a girl named Cynthia to blow my brother. For a fix”

I had a nice chat with Alec Berry of Chemical Box fame and fortune (he also writes for Spandexless, his most recent post being a literary raping of some shitty Oni-Press book, I never heard of, nor cared to. I found it particularly funny since today, or yesterday since I'm writing this at 4am, was CREATOR OWNED DAY!!! a day I assume like FREE COMIC DAY is filled with a communal circle jerk over how hardcore everyone is....I for one am quite hardcore within the circle jerk community.) about the gaps in our reading. When I look at that pile I don't see 8 books I need to read, I see 8 books in a ocean of thousands I need to read.

“lets wash the taste of blood out of our...being”

Every time I look at my “stack” (for some reason “stack” sounds dirty to me...if you boil it down its just a pile of unabsorbed knowledge..but “stack” sounds like the noise an object makes when it enters a unwelcoming orifice. It seems like a chore instead of a pleasure.) I see all the books I haven't read, I'm five years into the game and I feel like I've barely read anything of note.

“lightning bolt, old lightning bold why don't you strike them down”

Whats shocking to me is that, when I think about the “Mainstream” I'm fairly certain I've covered it all. There may be a few runs I'm missing (the only ones I can think of are Ditko's Spider man and the various Kirby projects I've neglected to read) . But you never know whats around the corner. We may be a year away from a critical reevaluation of CREATOR X that I completely missed. Or some definitive run ive never heard of is getting reprinted for the first time.

“Rejoice, Rejoice, you'll never make it out alive!”

I don't see ever not having a "stack" because that would mean i was done. Their exists entire continents worth of material I haven't read or heard of. Every week hundreds of titles are released...at least 5-10 a year amount to something. That's not a bad average. Under the 90% of shit paradigm at least, which to me seems like a overestimation of the mediums collective quality.


All-Star Superman:
This is my fourth of fifth time reading this book, and each time it takes me 20-30% longer to read. Frank Quitley's art is so subversively dense, his panels have so much "room" to breath you'd think they'd fall apart under closer examination. Instead they become denser. Issue #2 really stood out this time around. Issue #10 is still the "best" and the death of Pa Kent still heart breaking, but issue two is just an amazing "date" comic. Its also -oddly- the only issue which uses voice over.

The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard:

Eddie Campbell describes his storytelling process as being organic, one panel leads to the next. This technique worked to great effect in his auto-bio comic Alec were the story could go on tangents or become muddled in the details, because that's how life works. If Alec was a cohesive narrative like so many other "auto-bio" comics it would loose its authenticity. That's one of the biggest failures of the auto-bio sub genre, to many of its major works have definitive endings. While that may work within story it doesn't work as a document life. That's why the last 30-40 pages of Paying for It feel so hollow, Brown needed to shoehorn something in to make the book finite. When Campbell approaches a finite narrative though this organic method becomes a detriment. His best (non-autobio) works (From Hell and The Playwright) have a very confining structure, limiting his tendency towards the organic. Monsieu Leotard and The Black Diamond Detective Agency works as a series of pastishes, but fails as a narrative. They are lovely to look at though.

Come in Alone:
This is the collected edition of Warren Ellis's CBR columns from early 2000. Its a interesting read because, along the same lines as the Joe Casey/Matt Fraction "Basement Tapes", there a call to arms for the comic industry. Ellis refers to this generation (I presume focusing on those writers which spawned forth from his forums) the next comics vanguard. He calls it the "Old Bastards Manifesto". Whats interesting though, is that while you can see him trying desperately over the next ten years to jump start the revolution, none of his disciples seem to follow through. Its a book which time has proven to have been a failure, but is fascinating in its passion to change everything.

Its reductive to call this books "cute" right? What took a while to get used to is Lenox's use of pastiche's, their may be five panels on each page, but they don't relate to each other in any way. There's no connective tissue between panels. Its a odd use of the page which i don't recall seeing before. I will have to concur with the introduction that each strip works better when you've read every one before it. They build on each other and reference previous events.

Citations / footnotes / random shit.

* If you have not picked up on this, the various quotes are meaningless, just lyrics i am grabbing from whatever is playing at the moment