Wednesday, June 23, 2010

SECRET AVENGERS 1


YOU TOO COULD BE PROSPEROUS, HEALTHY, FULL OF RESORTS.

Didja hear? Artists can't write unbiased criticism. They only see their subjects through the filter of self interest as a creator. As opposed to critics. Real critics. Real critics are as pure as new snow, with eyes of a child yet minds learned like the eldest philosopher. They castrate their creativity to write from the place of total mental stillness. Able to see through all walls of personal agenda. They use their pen of young lamb to judge what's best not for themselves, but for all humanity. Such is the powerful power, the terrible responsibility of the true critic.

I have fasted for three centuries, nailed myself upside down to the Tree of Woe, drained my body of every ounce of blood and replaced it with the freshest plastic-bottled spring water. I have removed my corrupted eyes and put in their place the brand new eyes of a just aborted 1 year old baby. My brain, so fouled by the joys of beastial like and dislike, I have placed in a tank of hydrogen peroxide to allow the infection of need and want to be leached from it. From this new vantage point, from this new me, I am ready to speak of comics with the furiously unpoliticized gaze of the Real Critic.



AVENGERS 1, WINNER OF THE SHITTIEST COVER EVER AWARD SHITTIEST BLOG EVER AWARD.

"Oh Jesus that is the worst cover ever. My God. It's so ugly. It's offensively bad." -from "The Critical Book Of Brynocki C" by Brynocki C.

I will begin my career as a Powerful Critic with the most mainstream of mainstream books. Avengers 1. That's a pretty horrid cover yeah? I have heard a remark about certain comic book art being so big and bold it comes right off the page. John Romita Jr often draws so steroided-out his characters are painfully scrunched within the page. Trapped. He should get some bigger paper. Really.

John Romita Jr first came to my attention with his solid run on Uncanny X-men in the mid '80s (roughly issues 175-211) followed by a beautiful run on Daredevil(issues 250-282 give or take a few) with Ann Nocenti, where he began to transform into an artist with a recognizable style. These days his style can get the best of him, with characters occasionally drawn so simple they borderline Lego. But he still holds power, the following page is a good new page by Romita Jr...


Now let's see an even better page from over 20 years ago. Daredevil, the Man Without Fear, issue 260. The man called Bullet takes a dive. Ann Nocenti provided her usual unusually introspective script. Al Williamson provided some tight inkwork.


Romita, aka JRJR did, and still does, draw smashed stuff well. His faces are a different story though, another look at Avengers 1.


Klaus Janson on inks here. Janson's an old Daredevil alum, predating Romita's run by a few years, first inking then finishing the pencils of legend turned lunatic Frank Miller.

What the hell, let's throw up a few more Romita Jr's!


1985's classic "Mutant Massacre" storyline. A great comic, one of Marvel's earliest, and best, events.


From the now famous Kick-Ass. This is inked by Tom Palmer. Another classic dude. I mean no disrespect to Klaus Janson, but I prefer Palmer on JRJR.

Returning to Avengers, team books have a lot to do with the "line up" of heroes in the roster. Avengers 1 has got, though it may change as the team gets settled, Spiderman, Wolverine, Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Spiderwoman, and Captain America. Quite the man heavy line up. Let me look into my criticrystal ball for a final word on Avengers 1.

"I really cannot recommend this book to someone. Unless, like me, you are knee deep in this crap already."-from "Critical Statements on Critical Cartoons" by Brynocki D.

Was that a review?

Next up is New Avengers #1. Right, this is the new "New Avengers" book. The previous New Avengers #1 came out in 2005.


NEW AVENGERS 1 HAS WOLVERINE ON THE COVER OF AVENGERS 1 ALSO!

The new New Avengers #1 is part of the just arrived "Heroic Age" of Marvel Comics. Heroes are back in control again after a long dark period where Norman Osborn, the once and future Green Goblin, was in charge of national security. Osborn's insanity was re-revealed and he fell from grace after he orchestrated a full scale super powered invasion of the recently earthbound city of Asgard(as chronicled in the four issue Marvel limited series entitled simply, "Siege". A strange title as technically there was no siege, only a storming of the castle). The job of National Security is now in the hands of Steve Rogers, the original Captain America recently back from the dead. Or near dead.

New Avengers 1 (and Avengers 1) is written by Brian Michael Bendis, scribe for the 64 issues of the original series, along with a few annuals and a really great Finale issue. The 64 issue series started out pretty exciting and nosedived halfway through becoming a prolonged and repetitive face off with the magically empowered street hoodlum, "The Hood". New Avengers was also a platform where the grade school banter never ceased, Wolverine, Luke Cage and Spiderwoman reduced to spouting juvenile quips at each other. Some people call the Bendis approach "real life talk", and I agreed with that assessment for a while back during his Daredevil run, but now I find his dialogue obnoxious. Not true to the characters portrayed. But when he writes a good book it can be really good, his taste in characters is cool and his plotting is often creative.(Though his endings for books such as Siege and Secret Invasion were less than inspired)

The great thing about writing comic book review blogs so slow is that the next issue comes out before you even finish writing about the last one. SO...


AVENGERS 2. WHEREIN THE EARTH'S MIGHTIEST HEROES STAND AROUND AND CONVERSE LIKE MORONS AND ASSHOLES. FUCK THIS BOOK.

If you can, read this sample page below.


Captain America is a monthly book written by Ed Brubaker and it's a fairly successful comic. Cap, formerly Bucky, is an interesting and somewhat flawed protagonist, enjoyable in the central role. In Captain America issue 606 in an out of costume hang out session with Steve Rogers and The Falcon in a bar, Brubaker has Bucky delivering comfortable lines such as...

"Look, guys. I appreciate the concern...I do. And I know where you're both coming from. I put you at risk yesterday, Sam...and I'm sorry. I've got a lot of stuff rattling around in my head sometimes...I've lived a lot of lives. But I really am fine."

Here is his first speaking page in Avengers 2 as written by Brian Michael Bendis.


The following are the rest of Bucky's lines for the entire issue.

"is this a trick?"
"are you sure?"
"what exactly is happening now?"
"it's wrong?"
"what's going on?"
"why would we have to imagine that?"
"can you get us there?"
"it's broken everywhere"
"listen to the man"
"how did he do that?"
"he was an avenger?"

I put the 2 lines that aren't questions in Bold.

Again I will tap my growing critical powers and present a weighty opinion, from which you should form your own view without ever having read the above slimly discussed work.

"Why did I buy this comic? Why do people read this comic? Why do most of the people I know have the ability to know in advance that this kind of comic is utter crap? Why do Bucky and I both talk like 3 year olds? OK. Avengers is dropped. I am done with it. Time for me to send a message to Marvel, you'll only be selling 99999 of these next month instead of 100000." -"Questions for Time Spent Waiting to do Something" by Brynocki E.

Where was I? Oh, New Avengers. New Avengers 1 is pencilled by Stuart Immonen in his very reliable smooth style. He's got a good grip on designing a page. Though I think inker Wade Von Grawbadger thickens his grace. Check it out.


There's some more Bendis-Speak on the above page. Characters bickering, generally over nothing. Pettiness abounds even on one's own lips. Did I say Prettiness? Immonen draws a pretty Luke Cage! And a seriously weird looking Danny Rand!


That full page above Luke Cage was a scene with "Doctor" Voodoo, the newest Sorcerer Supreme. I prefer his original moniker, Brother Voodoo. Here's the cover of his first appearance, Strange Tales 169, from the almighty 1973.


Brother Voodoo's given name is Jericho Drumm, a name as rad as his newly adopted one. This character is deeply cool. Here's a Gene Colan interior page.


Next is a page from Strange Tales 170 describing the powers Brother Voodoo learned from Papa Jambo, his infinitely wise elderly teacher.


Our Haitian hero's final power comes when he absorbs the spirit of his recently deceased brother, Daniel Drumm. Daniel's spirit has the ability to leave Brother Voodoo's body and possess other people, giving Jericho a second hand when combating jerks like Baron Samedi here in Strange Tales 171.


Doctor Voodoo recently had a five issue series come out from Marvel. Here's the cover of #1.


DOCTOR VOODOO 1. NO ONE SEEMS HAPPY WITH THE NEW SORCERER SUPREME, INCLUDING ME.

I learned an interesting tidbit from an article in the back of the first Doctor Voodoo issue. John Romita Jr, who helped out around Marvel before doing any serious work for them, assisted his father, John Romita, in designing Brother Voodoo's costume! Here in the present day this new series was written by Rick Remender with line art by Jefte Palo. An action page.


So much for Voodoo's traditional rogues gallery. Mainstream Marvel bad guys here. The first issue of this series felt confused. Doctor Voodoo talks like a warped Dr. Strange, the previous Sorcerer Supreme. The comic was heavy on this talk, as Doctor Voodoo meets various people who doubt his ability to fill these large shoes. And I'll confess to be one of them. The attempt to merge these two mystical characters diminishes Brother Voodoo. He is no longer a potential springboard for investigation into this African via Haiti based religion. The initial limits on the character's focus made him interesting. He was and should remain the antithesis of the all encompassing magic of a Sorcerer Supreme. Don't tell me they ran out of cool Voodoo inspired ideas.

Voodoo Dolls used for evil? Or as representations of the Loa(Spirits) of the Haitian Vodou? This following wikipedia-lifted image alone is worthy of a 4 issue mini.


Despite the low sales numbers of this last Voodoo series, now seems like a good time to have a another book starring the Haitian born hero(Doctor Voodoo #1 sold 23000 copies but issue two dropped to 16000, seems like plenty of comics to me. But for context, Avengers 1 was the top selling comic in May 2010, the number's aren't in yet for that month, but the top selling monthly for April 2010 was DC's Brightest Day #0, selling an estimated 129446 copies, according to comichron.com ). Numbers Shnumbers, a special one shot to benefit Haiti starring Brother Voodoo wouldn't break the bank. Marvel should jump on this, spread some social awareness and/or fucked up raw magic. Throw Spiderman in there and all the kids will buy it. But make it weird. He could fight this guy...



Jumping back to New Avengers 1, the bearable Bendis script sets up the book's new direction, Steve Rogers tells Luke Cage he can form his own team and run it under his own set of rules. Even selling him the mysteriously renovated Avengers mansion to house the outfit. The New Avengers until recently were a team in hiding, living in Dr. Strange's Santum Sanctorium or Captain America's secret hideout, but the Age of Heroes has ended that putting them back out legally in the public sphere. The initial team consists of Iron Fist(please please Bendis I make fun of you but keep Iron Fist in the book), Luke Cage, Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye again, Mockingbird, Wolverine again, Spiderman again and last but not least the ever lovable but somewhat boring Thing. Thing's power set brings nothing new but surely his presence will allow for lots of stupid Bendis banter. Whoopee. Anyway what I really want to talk about is the book's cover.

The book was marketed in the comic book stores with two normal priced covers(normal is now $3.99). The standard is shown above, but the second was almost all white. And it looks, uhm, pretty weak. But I bought it. Why? I don't know. It has the same cheesy 1990's-looking "Heroic Age" banner that all current Marvels have across the top and it has this little wooden podium thing at the bottom that says "New Avengers 1". Upon leaving the store with my bright white copy I swung by my garden plot(rented from a nice couple with a an extra lot) to get some fresh greens. It's been raining non-stop and the garden is beginning to flourish.


Gardening is great. It's it's own "Destroyed Economy Survival-System, Totally Radically Organic" or DESTRO.


It's cheap fresh food, costing time instead of money. If you have less work and more time it's the perfect situation. (though you can start to sink some dough into it if you get into the gourmet compost, the fish emulsion and the seagull shit). Gardening reduces stress if you zen out on the small growing things and if you're a pale white comic nerd you get some sun. THE SUN! I need some chickens. I snipped some Spinach. And some New Zealand Spinach(which is not Spinach), Hakurai Turnips, Basil, Collard Greens and some other shit. Stuffed it in my backpack next to the plastic bag with the comics in it and continued home. And guess what. When I pulled that New Avengers 1 out of the bag, the once glowing white cover was smeared with dirt.

The dirt looked ok but as a drawing it need a little more something so I added a dude,


This "hero", Ronin, is not in the comic. But my maneuver is completely in keeping with New Avengers tradition. Ronin first appeared in issue 11 of the 2005 New Avengers, but he was on a variant cover of issue 4 and on the standard cover of issue 7. This is a character that had not even been introduced yet. Previously Wolverine was on the cover of the first issue, but he didn't show up inside the comic till issue 4. Marvel is quite adept at selling metaphoric Cap'n Crunch cereal with Tony the Tiger on it to little kids with no show of restraint. I'm keeping the dream alive.


Ronin is actually an interesting character. You were lead to believe for most of issue 11 that Daredevil was the mysterious black clad martial artist beating ninjas in Japan, but you soon find out it's a woman, the deaf hero Echo, in a man muscle suit. The suit soon passes to Clint Barton, ex-Hawkeye after his reincarnation, and now, it's in Limbo. I hope that it continues to be a suit for heroes, or villains, or anyone that needs to do a job in someone else's skin. A good character concept. My Ronin on the cover of New Avengers #1 could be your mom for all you know.

"As for New Avengers 1, I really cannot recommend it to anyone but the most foolish comic reader like myself though I really want to like it because of the presence of Luke Cage(Power Man) and Iron Fist. If you are a serious, intelligent, handsome newcomer looking to get into some serious, intelligent, handsome new comics, look elsewhere." -from "5000 Indisputable Facts about Comicbooks" by Brynocki G.



SECRET AVENGERS 1, THE AVENGERS BOOK YOU CAN SECRETLY LIKE.

Finally, we get to a 3rd Avengers book that has just debuted. Secret Avengers by Ed Brubaker with Mike Deodato on art and Rainier Beredo on color. I'm a Deodato fan, by page 5 the action is already on, and it's got a little Paul Gulacy in it's genes.


Secret Avengers is Steve Roger's "shadow ops" team of Avengers. The membership looks to be War Machine, Black Widow, the new obnoxious Antman, Beast, Moon Knight, Valkyrie and ex SHIELD agent Sharon Carter. Basically a spy/superteam that along with a few pedestrian members includes a huge blue furry guy, a dude in white tights with a hood and a cape, a flying man with a golden helmet, a guy in a hulking grey suit of armor covered in weapons and a really tall blonde lady wearing a viking suit and carrying a giant sword. I'll quote Steve Rogers at the end of their first 6 page intro adventure, "We won and we're getting away with no one knowing who we are". He's got a skin tight red white and blue suit on with big stars on the chest and shoulders and he's sneaking around Dubai. All in all, a strange ensemble cast for the undercover stealth team.

But it's in the capable hands of Ed Brubaker so you can bet it will be a good read. The first issue is slightly more schizo than Bru's Captain America work as he has more players to juggle. But what's nice about a Brubaker as opposed to a Bendis book is that the characters have enough respect for one another(and the reader) as to not interrupt each other at every turn. Secret Avengers reads smoothly. And there is an extra layer of meaning to this story. Another Steve Rogers quote concerning the evil corporation Roxxon mining in space,

"Amazing...The hubris to sell mineral rights to another planet..."

War Machine responds, "That's the 21st century for you...The future is here, and it's for sale to the highest bidder."

And meanwhile on Mars...


"Secret Avengers is a bold new Avengers book. Its dynamic and dark artwork sparks light and life onto the pages with a tight script capturing subtle traits of our protagonists with seemingly little effort but great understanding. This is one Avengers book that should not be missed. Not merely another nerd-off written by and for comic fans alone. Secret Avengers combines imaginative plotting, a healthy dose of Marvel Universe continuity, and keeps the door open wide enough to let in a general audience. Important for a First issue. Recommended!" -from "Clever versus Smart, comics for people who read comics versus comics for people who might read comics." by Brynocki Z.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON KILLING TREES TO MAKE GENERALLY LOW VALUE SEQUENTIAL FLOP(pie)S.

I'll be honest. I love books. Sitting in the hot sun with a solar charged I-Read I-Roasting your I-Lap so you can sink into the latest JM Coetzee novel sounds like a bad I-dea to me. Bring on the tech sure, but keep planting those trees. I'll read my favorite bleak-horizon novel like "Disgrace" without the fear of some 13 year smartass watching me through my own monitor. A candle, a book, a tent, a forest. Lost in a bad poem. Lost in a dim light headache. One magnet to destroy us all. I read my Blogs on toilet paper and type this shit on a phonetic xylophone.

PS. Here's my other DESTRO. It lives up on the roof. Brother Voodoo stops by sometimes, we summon ladybugs together.


This important piece of literariness brought to you by Marvelous Coma, hyping books that don't need it since 2112.


WAIT, THERE'S AN EPILOGUE.

I have developed a new procedure to extract the essence of a comic book.
















Sunday, April 11, 2010

CAPTAIN AMERICA 603


SUBURBAN TEA MYSTERY REVEALS VISUAL VIOLENCE ON WHITE PICKET FENCE

It's amazing how many comic books you can buy each week when you don't have health insurance. Now I don't know if reading about scantily clad dudes with bullet proof skin, healing factors and enhanced strength will impact my immune system, but surely the effort of trying to keep up with Marvel continuity will stave off Alzheimers. Its so great to go into the Public store every wednesday and have so many Options. I ride my bike seven miles round trip to Time Capsule in Cranston RI to pick up my new comics so at least i know it won't be my heart that stops(when i get run over by a cell phone driving a pickup with six back wheels).

ONE AMERICA. You can't post on Captain America without delving into America itself. So lets start with the insatiable record label of Jon Olsen, American Tapes, to set the mood. American Tapes has released, as far as i can tell, 599 items. One repeat offender would be the Michigan band Wolf Eyes, of which Jon Olsen is a member, thats him on the saxophone. I suggest you play this while you scroll down to read the post.


TWO AMERICAS. Thats the title of the new four issue Captain America storyline by the wild and crazy Ed Brubaker. And two issues deep into the story he has already pissed off a portion of one of those Americas. Namely, the Tea Party America. I may be an avid tea enthusiast but thats where my congruencies begin and end with this cadre of penny pinchers. The Tea Party claims their main party line is this, reduce spending. As a person who has never had a credit card i can relate. What i can't relate to is this, why the Party of "no spending" would drop $100000 to have Sarah Palin speak at their jamboree. The well to do Palin is an advocate for war on Iran. So i assume The T-Party(lets call them Tea Baggers) agree with this policy. Well Tea Baggers, war is not cheap. So either every Tea Bagger is an arms dealer or a body bag salesman and stands to make a profit selling to both sides of the conflict, or every Tea Bagger has been horribly manipulated. Whichever way the coin lands, they are, to use a Palinism, retarded. Would Mr. Tea himself even have pity for these fools?



One might think an attack on Iran would prevent more terrorism, as Iran openly funds Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine, and as we all know, wants to wipe the "perfectly harmless and fair" state of Israel off the map. Now the U.S. led war in Iraq has at this point produced 100000 civilian casualties. If you figure each one of those people has a relative, or a friend, or a nice neighbor, one might assume that the 100000 people left holding the charred bodies might want to wipe the U.S. off the face of the earth. War Produces Terrorism. Is this disputable? So war on Iran would neither reduce the deficit, nor would it ease terrorism. What it would do is trigger World War 3 in which Israel would be at the smoking center of a long and catastrophic Crisis(and there's no infinite earths this time). I know its more complicated than that, whole books have been dedicated to the subject of peace in the middle east, (and I won't even mention the vast library of comic book blogs on the subject), but the complexity is all the more reason to keep Palin and the gang as far away from the area as possible. So Tea Baggers, put down your placards, stop lobbying for senators across the country in areas you know nothing about, stop inviting racist speakers like Tom Tancredo (he insinuated President Obama was elected because "we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote in this country") to your pep rallies and try out a new hobby. How about street mime? Write poetry. Learn to paint. Or draw comics. Like Luke Ross and Butch Guice.


Captain America 603. A little story background. The replacement Captain America from the 1950's(he is physically identical to Steve Rogers, the O.G. Captain, but also happens to be arguably somewhat insane) is loose in the American Midwest and has joined up with The Watchdogs, a paramilitary anti-government group, and they have a plan to blow some shit up. Bucky(the new Captain America), teams up with The Falcon to infiltrate and stop this nefarious outfit.


That was Good Cap on the first page shown and Bad Cap on the second(pretty wild "page slipping off the page" layout). Now i am not loving the art by Ross(pencils) and Guice(inks) on this arc, but i am a fan of both of these artists. Captain A. has had solid and stylistically consistent art since Brubaker began his really quite thrilling run 54 issues ago, trading off between Steve Epting, Ross, Guice and even a special Gene Colan issue 601, all of this fused together by Frank D'Armata's subdued color palette for the bulk of the issues. Good old Butch(AKA "Jackson")Guice has done a ton of great work over the years, and his styles got a little bit of Gene Colan in there. From 2008's "Ultimate Origins",


Here's genuine Gene Colan. It's 1969! C.A. issue 117, introducing The Falcon!


Now back to the present where the real action kicks in. A controversy sparked up with issue 602(part 1 of "Two Americas") in which it is insinuated that the Tea Party is racist, as The Falcon debates Bucky's infiltration plan saying "I don't exactly see a Black Man from Harlem fitting in with a bunch of angry white folks". This caption was laid over an image of a Tea Party Rally. A right wing blogger got a hold of it, then Fox news, and then Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada at Marvel apologized, saying it was an editorial foul-up, that C.A. writer Brubaker was not responsible for the words on the signs and that everyone was very sorry.


I'm sure someone apologized for the following Tea Party signs as well but i couldn't find anything.




People sure get creative with their signs! Now, speaking of creative, S.H.I.E.L.D. issue one is out!



Oh No! Now they have done it, they have added this huge history to the SHIELD organization and it includes Chinese people! Damnit, i thought we had a purely American spy group here. The Tea Partiers aren't going to accept this! I got a copy of the black and white version and one of the color version. I pity the fool who spends all his money on comics! hahhahaha!! From the color edition here's a new character, Night Machine!


Artwork by Dustin Weaver, written by Jonathan Hickman. S.H.I.E.L.D., the Marvel Universe's top spy organization now has roots that go back to 2620 BC when a group of Egyptians step up to defend earth from an alien Brood attack. A variety of historical characters, some Marvel Universe creations, others real world figures such as Galileo have been added to SHIELDS's ranks. This first storyline includes Leonardi Da Vinci as a main character and we get to see many of his machine drawings become realized inventions such as a set of mechanical wings for flight. The whole "blend famous real or mythic historical characters into contemporary science-fantasy" approach to comic making is possibly a played out notion these days, but i am falling for it again. I like it. Hickman is really taking the Marvel U by storm with this and the current FF. I heartily encourage people to pick both books up, serious imaginative fun! Hickman's a writer who's actually not afraid to lend his full power to one of the big two companies. He's creating characters for them! And they don't have the same abilities as Wolverine! I guess he has enough self confidence to give Marvel his "all" now and have more "all" for himself later! Here's a spread from Fantastic Four 577. Dale Eaglesham art, Paul Mounts color.


But wait, jump back to two more quick Cap scenes....First in issue 602, to get Bucky into the good graces of The Watchdogs, The Falcon(Sam Wilson) goes into a local bar as an IRS agent from Washington harassing the owner with the threat of an audit. Bucky, undercover as "a trucker passin through town", kicks him out of the bar violently. Its the script for these two panels that really packs a razor sharp political punch.


Hahaha! "Don't forget your briefcase Obama!". And second,


in issue 604, things about face when Falcon learns that a man from Harlem can hang in Idaho! We all learn a lesson in humanity. Gosh, Brubaker must have thought this out! So i take back all those nasty things i said about the Tea Party! We are just one big happy super-sized American family! I'm going to abort this topic and immigrate over to another American Tapes recording artist interlude, Hair Police, suitable for any Party. Go ahead and play it even if Wolf Eyes is not done jamming yet.


THREE AMERICAS. Three more pieces of the American Pie, or more likely, the American Dream(world).

1.Carlos Gonzalez, "Steam Walkway". Carlos was carrying his new comic around in a plastic bag that had some Doritos or something in it. Giving the cover an extra orange shimmer. I am sure it was deliberate, because it's Carlos.

I am not going to reveal too much about this surprising horror mystery, but it involves human metamorphosis, human cruelty, and human love. Its scary, grotesque and quite brilliant and if i were you i would track it down fast, it's probably already gone. Carlos is really a subtle tsunami of ideas and charisma, and we need more of his work, and his presence, in our lives.






2. "Spiderman-Fever". Brendan McCarthy is back on the comics scene, read a rad little interview with him near Here.



The cover doesn't quite McCarthatize me like it should, and this above page is about as wild as it gets in issue one. Its got twisty dialogue with some real funny moments, its got Spidey and Dr. Strange, it's not quite my dream McCarthy book but i enjoyed it. 3 issue mini series. Heres a fairly straight page,


Ok fine, McCarthy's not American, but Spiderman is. And McCarthy sure captured the feel of the country back in the 90's with those Shade the Changing Man covers. It honestly doesn't get any better than this....


Whether or not Fever turns out to be a psychedelic masterpiece, the sky is a little bluer with McCarthy putting out books. (did you know he did a pile of character and vehicle designs for Mad Max 4 "Fury Road"? The movie is finally back in production and may or may not include his work. I hope to hell it does! MAD FUCKING MAX!)

3. The timing for me to be working on this post is amazing, because what set up shop a week ago not 100 feet away from my front door but a good old fashioned traveling Carnival!!!!!








I tried to play this "hit Scooby with a ball and drop it in a basket" game and totally lost. The guy kept calling me "Mike". "Come on Mike, throw it slow Mike!". 1001 nights which is like a 30 foot high metal post with a boat thing on top full of people that goes up and down was broken and someone said an ambulance had been there earlier in the day. Years ago at one of these traveling Carnivals i was pinned up against the wall of the Gravitron spinning a million miles an hour when i caught a glimpse of the dude controlling it. It was the meanest skinhead from Thayer Street, the "hang out" street of Providence. The same skinhead, "Kurt", who had tried to mug me and some friends only a few years before. Well, he handled the 'tron like pro. Can't complain. Dangers aside i love these glittering mini meccas that creep up in the night to entertain and dazzle us and then slip off before the sun rises. Its true magic. My neighborhood has a really large Central American population and they were the bulk of the patrons. All of us together, all immigrants(my ex-English dad became a citizen in the 90's), all spending our hard earned cash on things here in the States. Captain America would be proud.


Finally, I'll leave you with more Wolf Eyes. In full party band mode, and in Providence Rhode Island. Land of the Free.