Friday, October 31, 2008

Plus One, Minus One Review: Teen Titans #64

Plus One, Minus One:
Teen Titans 64

-1 The cover
What, DC, no fridge in the cover?
I think it would have been more tasteful without the blood. But I've been saying that for the last five or ten issues.
Score: -1

I'm with you all the way. Foreshadowing? Only a few Titans left.
Score: 0

"Lost our super slugger"
Wait, but she's there.
That's like saying someone's "done for" and they're still in the room with you.
Not getting it.
Score: -1

Simplified origin of Bombshell that even I can understand
Score: 0

They can't draw the origin? Why do we need 10 panels of faces telling the story?
Score: -1

8 pages devoted to the origin of the villain
Score: -2

Oh good, more killing. Is this a MAX title? Oops, I meant Vertigo. No, wait. MAX.
Score: -3

Oh, good, a full page where a single panel would do.
Score: -4

Teamwork. Finally.
Score: -3

Bombshell breaks free with ease. Individual minus 1 for Robin getting knocked back eight feet, just by Bombshell spinning in a circle.
Score: -2

"But Dad"
Score: -1

The symmetry of Bombshell's Dad trying to help his bad daughter vs. WG's Dad not helping his good daughter.
Score: 0

What the **** is up with those vanity mirror video communicators? Seriously, not everything has to be widescreen.
Score: -1

Although I hate Wonderdog, the last three panels are so "House of Mystery"
Score: 0

Greg Land face. And a bad one at that.
Score: -1

-1 Oh good. Last page as grueome as the cover. No points for symmetry here.
Score: -2

Overall, I really have lost faith in this title. I know it's never going back to the good old days of Young Justice. But it'd be nice.

The interview I read this week does inspire me to keep reading, in case they do manage to pull this off as a Cap's Avengers. However, Cap's Avengers didn't have throats being slit and dogs ripping apart people in each issue.

If DC ever decides to stop writing comics like slash-fic, the title could have a chance.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Skrully Downtime 12

Man, what am I going to do when Secret Invasion is over???

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Plus One, Minus One Reviews: Secret Invasion #7

Plus One, Minus One scorecard

-1 “The Earth is now part of the Skrull Empire”

Whoa. Back up. I thought the purpose was that they thought Earth was religiously destined to make this new throneworld. There’s a big difference. To me it’s the equivalent of “They’re opening a new Wal-Mart on Earth” vs. “The new Wal-Mart headquarters is Earth”. Already, I’m thinking, “do the writers even remember the plot?”

Score: -1

-1 It’s a random assortment of characters on the title page. Yes, I know it’s a lot of people. But why list 24? Why not just the Avengers?

Score: -2

+1 Green boxes around the confirmed Skrulls

Score: -1

-1 Spider-Woman BEHIND all the guys saying “get Spider-Woman”. How hard would it have been to draw them approaching her?

Score: -2

-1 When are Ares and Thor Brothers? They’re not black.

Score: -3

-1 Why do some heroes get word labels, some don’t? Yes, I guess I’m OCD about this.

Score: -4

+1 Fury/Osborn banter

Score: -3

+1 Three consecutive rump shots of the wasp.

Score: -2

-1 Wolverine dry-humping a Skrull. Never acceptable.

Score: -3

+1 Very Buffy-esque Skrull “if you;re going to turn it into a thing”

Score: -2

+1 Two Buffy lines in a row. Nice one, Stature.

Score: -1

-1 Bullseye gets a word label, Spider-Man does not. Wow.

Score: -2

+1 Nine Invisible Women Attack. I would surrender.
+1 OK, Sue’s my favorite, so that makes it extra naughty

Score: 0

+1 “I can see through you” - so witty.

Score: 1

+1 Howard the Duck? Missed that the first time.

Score: 2

+1 I know it’s not the REAL Galactus, as he does not use a “G” on his outfit, but still. Pretty funny to see a beat-down.

Score: 3

-1 Two pages for Jewel to decide to enter the battle? Eh.

Score: 2

-1 Noh-Varr arrives, but it doesn’t show him wearing the Skrull Nega-Bands. I was really expecting that.

Score: 1

+1 “I’ll take these” - FINALLY

Score: 2

+1 “I need a little” - Baby, we ALL need a little from time to time.

Score: 3

-1 Eh. Come on, we know they’re not going to die. “Something weird happens!” Yeah, I’ll be wringing my hands until the next issue. Yawn.

Final Score: 2

So overall, more good moments than bad. The banter saved it, but the plot still is pretty shaky. The Skrulls attacking now is kind of like going “all in” on the second card. Sure, you may have two aces, but maybe you should have played it a bit slower with the competition.

I guess I’m not seeing the purpose of a secret invasion if the main goal was to just attack Earth. Why use any subterfuge then?

I do think Bendis got shorted though. If none of the regular titles acknowledge the Skrull Invasion, or the before/after parts, how important was it, overall? It’s like going to a party, someone telling you Monday “You were there? You missed the fight!“ and thinking “I was there - no one mentioned anything, and I was there all night. So how big could this fight have been?“

Secret Invasion got devalued by not having any lasting implications for this first year. Seriously, they couldn’t work SOMETHING into any issue of FF, Thor, X-Men, Captain America, Iron Man, or Hulk? Wow, this is a really important crossover. Huge, lasting effects.

I feel bad for Bendis, because I see where it could have gone, but I also see where the line was drawn, too. Go nuts with the C-listers, but nothing else.

When you combine all these special one-shots, mini-series, and lack of Avengers in Avengers titles, this was Marvel’s “Countdown”. It just used higher-ranked heroes than DC did.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Iron Man 7 - Blast

What if the heroes were aware of all the retcons?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Skrully Downtime 9

Sorry for the delay - parodies are so much easier when something actually happens in the actual book.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Skrully Downtime 8

(This happens right at the end of Secret Invasion #6)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Power of Three (Dollars)

As always, there are rumors of price increases. So far, the people I know have been cutting back some, but not altogether.

I've heard that several titles will be $3.99 on the next price increase - maybe December. I'm hoping that it's not the titles I read, but Murphy's Law, they will be.

So now I'm questioning - is it time to cut out?
Now we're passing the magic barrier of 3.

Are comics worth $4 an issue to me? No, I was tentative at $3. That's not a dig on the writers or artists - I think the cost for everyone to get that book out there is just higher. I don't see where it costs $1 to get the book on the shelf, and the comic company is profiting $2 a book. It's just a gradual buildup of costs.

So where can costs be cut?
- Can we go with cheaper paper?
- Can lower costs at the printers?
- Can we lower costs in distribution?

How will comics try to cut costs?
- Black & White issues?
- Bundled issues as a series? Double-issue books for $5 ($1 cheaper than the two books separately)
- Delaying the release of TPB's even further?
- Selling issues through the day of release?

I don't have any answers. But the solutions I think of kind of depress me.

I used to have HBO, but costs and delays of good material made me drop it.
I used to subscribe to Wizard, but the lack of material that interested me for the cost.
I used to go to movies weekly, but at $9 for 1950's movie remakes, now I just go with a DVD unlimited package.

My plea to Wal-Mart
Just like you did for $4 subscriptions, step in and starts offering $2 comics.

Otherwise, I don't see this going well for comics OR me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Skrully Downtime VII

You have to have purchased at least three Yellowjacket Secret Invasion issues to fully appreciate the joke.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Skrully Downtime VI

More Skrulls. More downtime.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

Flash for Vice-President

OK, switching gears back to my own artwork, which is nowhere as polished.

I know there have been issues of Superman-what-ifs where he ran for President.
This is my take on "What if they went with The Flash as V.P.?"

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

In Praise of the Local Comic Shop

OK, I'm taking a break from the daily attempt at humor to write about something important.

Your Local Comic Shop.

Now if you're reading this blog, you probably already go to one. I mean, let's be serious, you need at least 10 short boxes in your back room just to get half my jokes. And I'm cool with that. I'm not doing this site for a profit, or to get recognized. I wanted to make a site for old-school fanboys, for people picking up all issues of the crossover, who wasted money on the mini-series that immediately was retconned. Plus I'm crazy, I think.

Man, I bet I just lost everyone else. Their eyes glazed over at "shortbox" and they went back to

Anyways, for those of you still with us, I think the LCS, Local Comic Shop, not Ladies Chapsticking Sensually, is awesome.

Dangit, now I'm started to get distracted about Ladies Chapsticking Sensually.


TOP 10 REASONS (why your Local Comic Shop is awesome)

1. When the people working there know MORE than you, you say to yourself, "Alright! I'm not the biggest comic geek in my zip code"

2. When the people working there know LESS than you, you say to yourself, "Alright! I'm all super-knowledgable!" as if you won Comic Book Jeopardy.

3. When hot girls are in there. Now I'm spoken for, so there are two views:
- Pre-being-spoken-for:
a. Very nice. Yes, I quoted Borat.
b. She reads comics? Holy cow. "In a relationship? But does he buy indy titles?"

- Post-being-spoken-for:
a. Kind of like being the old guy in any "young guy fails, regains his courage movie".
You give a knowing glance, and inspire them to go for first place.
b. You say "well, she reads comics, but she's not prettier than my girl."

4. Flipping through the book you thought you wanted, but after flipping, said no.

5. Finding a rare book you just know you'd never find in a mega-book-store.

6. Quarter bins.

7. Overhearing personal drama of a comic book geek. You would think comic book geeks would be all "buy the book, then run home" but nooooo, it's like a soap opera in there sometimes. And it's not "that girl won't talk to me" - it's usually "that girl won't talk to me because she's only allowed one phone call in jail and needs to call her husband."

8. Free Comic Book Day. It's like Mardi Gras for fanboys.

9. Most geeks I know don't imagine owning their own bar, their own garage, their own brothel. Brothel?! Oh, good, you're still reading. But most geeks do think, maybe one day, they would run their own shop. It makes us think about the future, and what ifs - and that's a good thing to think about the future. No, not the Marvel "What If" series. Stop being such a comic geek.

10. I don't see most of the LCS owners driving Porsches, owning boats, having two mistresses. These guys are in it because they love what they're doing. And I can respect that.

So, that's my soapbox speech. I hope it was entertaining, maybe illuminating. And as always, if you know someone that reads comics, then feel free to pass my site along. Hey, Parody comics on the shelf are awesome, but who does it for FREE? I do.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. My Comic Shop is Trilogy Comics

Skrully Downtime - Wizkids Edition