28 March 2012



Cannuck hip-hop/jazz-strumentalists BADBADNOTGOOD are poised to release their second studio full-length on April 3rd. The no-frills titled BBNG2 continues the eponymous naming of 2011's mostly covers mixtape BBNG and two following live sets. BADBADNOTGOOD's sound is firmly rooted in jazz and live instrumentation emulation of Dilla beats with the end result sounding like a looser, free-form version of The Roots, sans vocals.

But that's about as close to FM radio or anything BNM'd by Pitchfork as they're likely to get. As far as comparisons go, they're more akin to the nerdy kids jamming in your University's jazz club, although they do share much in common with the "future rock" of Providence, Rhode Island's now defunct Grüvis Malt.

According to their Bandcamp page, the trio met while enrolled at Humber College in Toronto, Canada, over a mutual admiration of hip-hop artists OFWGKTA, Gucci Mane, and Wacka Flocka Flame. They tend to lean toward the neo-jazz production of Flying Lotus and covers of Legend of Zelda's Ocarina of Time, though; although they did some sessions recordings with Odd Future's Tyler, the Creator.

Seriously, only these guys could make that dude tolerable.


No word on cost or method of release, but if their previous live and studio releases are any indication, BBNG2 will be available as a free download on their website. Until then, check out the promo video above which parodies recent Apple ads. Watch for the witch house spoofing album art at the end and make sure to snatch up all the free musics on their site and stay based.


26 March 2012

THIS WEEK IN PANELS: March 21, 2012

Revel, one and all, in the new formatting! Bask in the equalizing page breaks! Tremble at the sight of creator credits! (S) Story, (A) Art, (You) Smitten!

Also, next update -- new feature title (finally) and header icon. Excelsior!

Dark Horse Presents #10

House of Fun feat. Milk & Cheese and the Murder Family by Evan Dorkin (S)(A)

DHP #10 is a welcome return to the indies of my rebellious teens. The return of Milk & Cheese? (Not entirely sure they went anywhere, really. Time to bone up on that.) Geof Darrow and Andrew Vachss? All I needed was some Tank Girl and I'd have been transported back to hovering over longboxes, flipping through back issues of Deadline USA.

More after the jump. Don't stop, get it get it!

20 March 2012

Jean Giraud "Moebius" (1938-2012)

On March 10, 2012 the comic and art world lost a living legend in prolific illustrator Jean Henri Gaston Giraud, more widely known as the singular moniker Moebius. Anyone with even a fleeting interest in fantasy and science fiction in the late 20th century has felt Giraud's broad influence. His film contributions alone are immense, contributing storyboards and concept designs to the films Alien, Willow, Tron, Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, and The Fifth Element.

It is, perhaps, his comic work that defines him -- from co-founding Métal Hurlant which would translate into the long-running English science fiction magazine Heavy Metal, to his own ambitious independent titles: Blueberry, Azrach, The Incal, and the Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius. But it is perhaps his work on Marvel's own space philosopher that sealed his legend. In just two issues, Stan Lee and Moebius' Silver Surfer: Parable depicted a showdown between the Surfer and intergalactic devourer of worlds, Galactus, that has since defined the character on par with creator Jack Kirby himself.

Having read several obituaries and tributes over the past week, it seems that most fans in their early thirties and on have a similar story regarding their introduction to Moebius. I am no different. As far back as middle school, I had been fascinated with an illustration of late guitarist Jimi Hendrix eating a surreal bowl of soup floating out of its own dish in psychedelic appendages as smoke billows from Hendrix's own purple afro that graced the cover of a double album import of Are You Experienced / Axis: Bold As Love. Eventually I would discover the work credited to a single name: Moebius.

Already, I recognized his style on the screen (or rather, the video rental store), in Ralph Bakshi's animated science-fantasy Wizards and, of course, in comic books. The cover of SS: Parable was everywhere -- on ads and t-shirts -- and his detailed abstract style was so apparent in the works of Geof Darrow (Hard Boiled, Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot) and Frank Quitely (All-Star Superman, New X-Men) and in the anime of Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Gibli (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke). It's no wonder blogs like Comic Twart and What Not are abundant with illustrated homages to the artist.

Brazilian author Paulo Coelho appropriately eulogized, "the great Moebius died today, but the great Moebius is still alive. Your body died today, your work is more alive than ever." Jean Giraud was 73. His work can be found in the collected volumes Moebius 0-9 and several editions and reprints of his comics and art.

Watch a bittersweet video of the master in action below:

Page Update, New Reviews

In an effort to bring more content to this page I will be posting more reviews. I seem to be heading in that direction with almost colossus as I've been less studious in art and graphic design for the moment.

Short term, I will be posting a review of Paul Pope's futuristic Batman tale, Batman: Year 100, as well as a review of noise relics the Melvins free EP, the Bulls & the Bees.

I should be posting more of my favorite comics as I discover them while music is going to be somewhat of a grab bag for the time being. I'm not too interested in making my view on so-called classics but I may do some sort of notable series of reviews -- stuff that's influenced me over the years. I may also review local and submitted comics and music if there's enough interest.

So please, submit your independent music and comics and I'll give you a bump. Contact me at any of the social networking tools, and until then:

19 March 2012

THIS WEEK IN PANELS: March 14, 2012

THIS WEEK IN PANELS features the best in comic book panels each week. No criteria, no rhyme, no reason. Excelsior! (Click pictures to embiggen)
The Strange Talent of Luthor Strode #6 by Justin Jordan & Tradd Moore; Image 2012
Going on a year of reintegrating into comics after a lengthy break (Battle Chasers was still ongoing when I stopped), I find myself already tiring of the same ol' hero-punch-villain routine. The DC reboot was revitalizing at first for new/return readers but seven issues in, it seems most titles are already running on superhero auto-pilot.

Luckily, indie titles are vibrant in today's industry with Image pumping out new creator-owneds each week. I don't know that I'll find anything quite like, say, The Maxx which blew my 16-year-old mind, but Luthor Strode came pretty damn close. The pivotal panel above illustrates Moore's Adam Warren-esque style with the hyper-reality pacing of Scott Pilgrim that made this mini such a quick and incredibly satisfying read.

09 March 2012

THIS WEEK IN PANELS: March 7, 2012

THIS WEEK IN PANELS features the best in comic book panels each week. No criteria, no rhyme, no reason. Excelsior! (Click pictures to embiggen)
Swamp Thing #7 by Scott Snyder & Yanick Paquette; DC 2012
Snyder and crew absolutely killed it this week in Swamp Thing. Paquette's art here is the best we've ever seen, its beautiful and gruesome (that child's head on the Rot's abomination) and minutely detailed in all of the Green fauna: the sunflower in panel border bloom, Swampy's cabbage coccoon, the psychedelic haze, leaves, and distortion of the Rot borders. J.H. Williams III better come back from his break on Batwoman with a vengeance because Paquette's progressive page designs are giving him a serious run.

Oh, and did I mention Swampy? This is the issue we've all been waiting for. Although I could have posted any damn panel here there was only ever one. The beast is back.

07 March 2012


Indie rapper DOOM (a.k.a. MF DOOM) is the focus of the Spring 2012 issue of quarterly urban magazine Frank Book. Distributed free to select metropolitan areas by Frank 151, the pocket-sized publication is "helmed by a special Guest Curator and focuses on a unique editorial theme," as described by the media group itself. According to Stones Throw, the DOOM issue will feature "ILLUSTRATED DOOM LYRICS, ARTICLES FROM COLLABORATORS, [and] PHOTOS" from the likes of Jeremy Povolny, Mr. Kiji, and more. Keep a lock on Stones Throw for copies and locations.

Follow the jump for news on Tobacco, Flying Lotus, and more.

06 March 2012

Melvins Free EP, Album; Tour Van For Sale

Little more than ten years ago, intrigued by name recognition and reverse packaging, I found my first taste of the Melvins. I wasn't sure what to expect behind the greyscale bar code television collage and DayGlo orange packaging of Colossus of Destiny, but what I found was almost 60 minutes of bleeps, blorps, squeals, and samples. At the time, I found it completely unlistenable.

Luckily, though, I was still curious -- a few months later they released Hostile Ambient Takeover, which delivered high octane guitars and drums and limited the electro-experimentation to an a 16-minute track and an extended outro. I was hooked. Material over their 25-year plus career range in sound from proto-grunge garage rock, Sabbath sludge at a snail's pace, and avant garde noise experimentalism. It's no wonder they've influenced bands from Nirvana to Queens of the Stone Age to Mastodon and beyond.

The grunge godfathers continue their campaign of annual output this year with not one, but two releases under two lineups and one new moniker. Listen to the track "Friends Before Larry" (via Metal Sucks) below and follow the jump for more, including the two releases.

02 March 2012

THIS WEEK IN PANELS: Feb. 29, 2012

THIS WEEK IN PANELS features the best in comic book panels each week. No criteria, no rhyme, no reason. Excelsior! (Click pictures to embiggen)
Wednesday I tweeted a lack of variety among new titles this week and indicated I may feature some titles I was late to the draw on from past weeks. Rather than backtrack, I'm going to feature more than one panel of this week's comics

So, with only three titles what say we blow our load right off the bat. Spoiler alert, an' all 'at.

Venom #13.4 by Rick Remender, et al, & Lan Medina; Marvel 2012
Having just plowed through a stack of Ghost Rider comics from my childhood, the final page of part four -- no, wait... five? Can we just agree this point system is ridiculous? -- is every aggressive, adolescent, comic geek's wet dream. All that amalgamation of Red Hulk, Venom, and Ghost Rider up there needs is a set of adamantium claws and this would be a million-selling title for Marvel each month in 1996.