12 April 2012

PULL LIST: Proper Superhero Shit | April 4, 2012

Things got a little hectic this past week. I'm going to wrap things up briefly with a couple legit reviews and simply panels and a few words for the rest. Then, on to this week's comics. There's simply too much to cover the first half of each month and little the second. Maybe I'll spread the reviews out in the future so that they're not necessarily specific to the date of release.

Take note of the new rating system as well. Let's call it X out of 5 Mokkelbosts, hm?

Swamp Thing #8

Scott Snyder (S), Yanick Paquette (A), Marco Rudy (A), Nathan Fairbairn (C)
Swamp Thing is finally revealed in full as he confronts Sethe, the "stinking Lord of the Rot," in hopes of rescuing Abigail Arcane from its clenches. Head-to-toe in Mignolia-esque medieval armor of his own Green composition, Swampy bears lush wings and a crown of spiked antlers. It would seem goofy if it didn't look so badass.

Snyder nails Alec Holland's complete acceptance of his role, having dragged him kicking and screaming to accept his role as heir to the Swamp Thing legacy. There are no traces of the reluctant hero here.

10 April 2012

PULL LIST: AVX | April 4, 2012

PULL LIST was originally intended to kick off with a lengthy Avengers vs. X-Men event review which I had all but ready to post until my (n)ever trusty HTC Android phone decided to take a shit and die. I've lost track of the times I've performed a factory restore on this thing. This is by no means a tech blog, but just say no to HTC products.

But I digress. Comic panels are late, late, late this week. I've had a few job prospects, interviews, Zombie Jesus Day, etc. So, here's installment one of PULL LIST: the AVX edition.

Wolverine & the X-Men #8

Jason Aaron (S), Chris Bachalo (A)(C), Tim Townsend (I)
Without a functioning Matter Transmuter to repair a crippled Wolverine from last issue's foiled casino raid on Planet Sin, the Beast, né Dr. Henry McCoy, PhD. must rocket to S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters in Earth's orbit to recover his backup. But what Dr. McCoy finds instead is a bloody murder scene and his girlfriend, The Peak's Director, held captive by a rehabilitated Sabretooth who forces Beast to shed his diplomatic exterior if he wants to save Abigail's life.

02 April 2012

THIS WEEK IN PANELS: March 28, 2012

Last week for THIS WEEK IN PANELS, folks. In case you missed yesterday's post, later this week TWIP will undergo an expanded format under the title PULL LISTED. I'll probably let the link to TWIP linger for a few weeks in the Features column but I don't have any intention of merging labels for the two features. So bookmark away or get friendly with the search function if you want to backtrack.

Let's start this (last) week off with one of my favorite comics by one of my favorite artists. I missed it in the March 21st post and, frankly, nothing this week compared for the coveted "panel of the week." Abbreviations still go (S) Story, (A) Art, O))) Sunn.

The Goon #38

The Goon #38 by Eric Powell (S)(A)

This month's Goon marks the second issue focusing on tales of semi-fictional characters that aren't Goon. Kizzie, feeling out of place in her podunk town, leaves her family and fiancé to join the traveling circus, eventually displaying her brute strength as the Iron Maiden, and (without giving too much away) becomes a very prominent figure in the Goon's life.

More panels make ya jump, jump.

01 April 2012

BMSR April Fools

The following status was posted by Black Moth Super Rainbow main man Tobacco's Facebook early yesterday afternoon:
My opposite of an April fools joke - song from the new album, forever in the making, tomorrow afternoon: http://soundcloud.com/black-moth-super-rainbow. #freebmsr
After some fans speculated the release of BMSR's much belabored album Psychic Love Damage, a video for "Like A Sundae (edit)" was posted to Tobacco's website late last night. Whether this is the #freebmsr in question or not, the one minute thirty-seven second track is a welcome return from the Pittsburgh band.

The keys in BMSR songs always reminded me of the music during the scenic country drive in the neo-zombie flick 28 Days Later. That recollection is stronger than ever here, especially with the nuclear playground scene of the accompanying video. Take a peak below and follow Tobaxxo.com throughout day for more treats, April Fools or no.

Site Happenings: April 1, 2012

Something just occurred to me, it's now been two years since I acquired this blog space and began contemplating when, how, and why I was tackling this thing. And quite frankly, I'm still not sure. Initially I intended to feature original art and graphic design. Having not really done much with my talents in a while I've found inspiration and motivation to be infrequent. I've also been highly critical of my design work, being only self-taught in Photoshop, Illustrator, and such.

Basically, its going to be a while until there's any real artistic content.

In the meantime I've been bouncing back and forth between promoting comics and music that I find unique and interesting. I think there's been too little music and too much and the wrong kind of focus on comics. THIS WEEK IN PANELS is getting out of hand as I find myself reading more and more titles each week in effort to lengthen the post, leading only to delays in the actual posting. Quality over quantity.

This brings me to some upcoming projects:

  • THIS WEEK IN PANELS will become PULL LISTED as I focus on selected titles (TBA) and feature full reviews. I'm still debating whether PULL LISTED will be a single post on Thursdays or spread over two or three days. I'll do a test run this week and last week's delayed TWIP will see publication later today.

  • The Hunger Games movie review has been pushed back until I get a chance to see it once more to solidify my opinions. They're a little jaded at the moment, having been somewhat a fan of the novels. Expect it sometime next weekend or the following Monday (April 9.)

  • Paul Pope's Batman: Year 100 comic review is coming soon. SPOILER ALERT: Its awesome.

  • And expect much more music to come. I'm going to try and hook up some interviews with independent (and possibly local) musicians. Album reviews should be more frequent, too, with Melvins and Quakers reviews coming shortly.

I hope those of you following are still entertained as I try and figure out exactly what I'm doing here. I'll try to figure it out as soon as possible. Drop me a line with encouragement, criticism, and comments.

- J

VIDEO: Regina Spektor - "All the Rowboats"

Regina Ilyinichna Spektor's music has been labelled "eccentric" by music journalists too lazy to formulate a genuine opinion on a diverse (albeit scatterbrained) body of work ranging in style from classical piano ("Apres Moi") to cutesy pop ("On the Radio") to the utterly macabre ("Chemo Limo"), sometimes within the very same song ("Back of A Truck.") Criticism aside, Spektor has risen from posting free albums to the internet (2002's Songs) to certifiable Gold (2006's Begin to Hope) in just under five years. That's no small feat for anyone, let alone an eccentric Russian-born classical pianist.

But when 2009's Far felt heavy by the hand of over-production, many fans were left want for the intimacy of her earlier recordings: little more than Regina, piano, and her patented human beatbox metronome. Ironically, its under the hand of superstar producer Mike Elizondo (Eminem, Fiona Apple, Dr. Dre) that new single "All the Rowboats" channels the live studio energy of her earlier work paired with the broken electronics of previous tracks "Edit" and "Machine."
The Adria Petty directed video (she also directed the excellent "Countdown" for Beyonce) features the sort of Michel Gondry cartoon reality props that are reminiscent of his video for Bjork's "Human Behavior" as Regina fights her way through claymation waves, undersea nets, and a ginormous maritime rope vice before finally rowing to freedom on fluorescent oars. A perfectly nightmarish video for an ominous track that bodes very well for her upcoming album.

"All the Rowboats" is the first single off What We Saw from the Cheap Seats out May 29th.  Watch the video below: