Monday, December 06, 2004

on to other business

Well, I finished writing my Christmas exam for English 401, and so now I'm done until New Year's - you may all begin hating me....now. Technically, I do have to hand in my Art 112 portfolio on Friday, but that's essentially done. All that's needed is for me to date and label all the pieces, and finish up my "personal" work, basically a piece that combines what we've learned this year (value, texture, composition) as well as saaying something about my own tastes and artistic leanings.

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How would you like these guys as your fascist ditators?

Since I finished my last essay on Thurs. I was able to go by 8th Street Books & Comics and catch up on the last two weeks of issues. So I walked out with 15 titles in my bag. It was wonderful to sit down and catch up. I must give a special recommendation to the current story arc in Superman/Batman, the first two parts, issues #14 and 15, of which are currently out. Jeph Loeb writes awesome stories. I must admit, I'm first and foremost a Marvel reader. I read more Marvel books every month, and one of the things that many people like about Marvel is that their characters are more "human" and relatable. However, sometimes they become too talky. Comic books are, by definition, a visual medium and Loeb writes storylines that are big and exciting, but at the same time seem meaningful and important. Take his run on Batman with "Hush." He allowed Jim Lee to really stand out and to perhaps the most exciting artwork of his career. And with the current storyline in Superman/Batman, entitled "Absolute Power" is what I call quality, high-concept story telling. The basic premise is that someone has tampered with the timeline, and raised young Kal-El (Superman) and Bruce Wayne (Batman) to become the rulers of the world. Most of the superhumans have been eliminated and Bruce and Kal rule the world with an iron fist. The statue of Lady Liberty in Gotham Harbour has been replaced with a giant statue of the two men, in full costume, with the words "Obey or Die!" taking their place. Who is responsible for this alternate timeline, and who is going to right things? I can't wait for the next issue.

Reading comic books is something that puts me in the minority among my friends. The only other one that really reads on a regular basis is my friend Luke, but doesn't buy too many issues. I'm the only heavy collector I know, reading approx. 20-25 books a month. I guess my interest in drawing, and the graphic arts is something that led me to it. I always read comics as a kid - my dad's old Superman issues, Calvin & Hobbes, Tintin - I have a broad interest in comics as an art form, beyond superheroes or funny pages.

Anyway, I just thought I'd post something about comics, because I realize that as much as I like music, my knowledge isn't nearly as good as some of my fellow bloggers such as Caitlin, Ewan or Joel. I love music, and I know that I'm more educated than most of the "unwashed masses", but I do realize that my real areas of knowledge are more in film and comic books.

Speaking of film and comic books in the same sentence, this one is for you Ewan. I know you're not much of a comic book reader, but you've gotta get excited for next summer when you see this. (even though I think you've seen it before) Finally a film maker who understands that James Gordon is not some incompetant, overweight fool. Thank God for Christopher Nolan.


(click for larger picture)

6 Comments:

At 4:10 PM, Blogger Johannes de Silentio said...

You have now reached an area where I have past experience, but not much present experience. I was deep into X-force back in the day, to the point that I own all the New Mutants comics and up to 104 or so X-force. The storyline got horrible around issue 102, that's why they ended up killing off the characters in 116 (or so) and creating a whole new team, those now known as x-static. I also collected Backlash, Gen13, and W.I.L.D.cats for a while. I have the occasional x-men/x-factor issue and quite a few Excalibur as well. Don't feel alone, I have read and will probably continue to read comics throughout my life. I always end up buying a comic or two any time I actually take time to look at them at 8th St. Books. On a side note: I've always thought of them as the teenaged boys soap-opera. The stories are equally as involved and impossible, but the characters are just as palpable. Sorry, I rant.

 
At 6:04 PM, Blogger cait said...

8th Street Books was the store of my childhood--not for the comics (except the Herge, which you know, I never really thought of as comics until you mentioned them in that context), but for the second hand books; my sister and I used to take our old children's books in and get credits to spend on novels; I think Bea got most of her old Star Wars books there (the ones they wrote in between the movies, like "Splinter of the Mind's Eye," which was pretty creepy when you know that Luke and Leia are related). That store reminds me of being a kid so much; we lived on 3rd street, so we used to walk to J.S. Wood library and then to 8th Street Books. I actually recently bought a super old translation of Oedipus Rex there. (geek that I am, I like to compare translations of works)

 
At 7:03 PM, Blogger Anders said...

I love 8th St Comics. My friend Matthew and I would always go and browse and buy back issues and stuff, so it brings back fond memories. Also, I love that Pat knows me by name and when I come in on Wednesday's he always asks how schools doing (and bugs me about it), tells a funny anecdote (like about his time as a security guard in Uranium City), or lets me know about a new comic that he thinks I'll like. It's that community thing that I love about going there, hanging out and browsing.

BTW Joel, horror of horrors, Rob Liefeld has brought back X-Force. Seriously, that guy sucks so bad. He needs to learn how to draw hands to begin with.

 
At 12:12 AM, Blogger Ewan said...

Gary Oldman in anything gets me excited. I think he's my favourite current actor. The cast has got me thinking this batman film is gonna be good.

What about the tintin movie? is that still in planning?

 
At 11:55 AM, Blogger Anders said...

The Tintin film is on hiatus while Spielberg busys himself with other projects (War of the Worlds, Vengeance).

 
At 1:48 PM, Blogger Ewan said...

well at least Eric Bana's in Vengeance, isn't he?
He's another one of my boys.

 

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