Sunday, April 11, 2010



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.


Mark said...

McCarthy's not American, but what's more American than McCarthyism? Nothing, that's what.

Brynocki C said...

damn you nailed it. I should steal your comment for a re-title of my post...

Frank Santoro said...

"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."

That's a beautiful sentence.

Brynocki C said...

Thanks Frank! I probably should have edited the whole post down to just that passage.

strfkr said...

I got that Spider-Man/ Doctor Strange book. It was pretty good. I'll buy the next issue.
I'm a sucker for Dr. Strange and Spider-Man so I was easily roped in. I liked the panels with The Vulture just beating Spidey in the head; no fancy superhero fighting.
The Fantastic Four has also been good.
This Cap story hasn't been that great but all in all it has been a good series since they started it up.
Really I can't believe the amount of Marvel books I'm reading these days.

Mark P Hensel said...

Is that a Celestial on that page from the Shield #1? Hell yes. Maybe the Tea Party people can afford to have Sarah Palin speak because they're tapped into some secret Celestial intergalactic drug running funds.

Brynocki C said...

yeah a lady celestial!

Tea Party as intergalactic drug runners. could be could be. If i could just get Fox News to announce that headline then half the country will believe it unquestionably!

and strkfkr, i am knee deep in Marvels myself. Some of them are even pretty good.

strfkr said...

I finally read SHIELD. It was OK. The whole revisionist past thing always bugs me but it was kind of a slow week.
The second issue of that Spider-Man Dr. Strange came out and i liked it more than the first one.

ALso getting good is Batman & Robin. It has had it's ups and downs but this new issue had lots of good shit in it.

J.T. Dockery said...

All I get out of this is that Mike Connelly is a socialist.

snag said...

Hi Brian,

love your work & tried to contact you before for a radio interview if possible.

Let me know if you're interested

-Oren (Jekyll & Hyde, 106 FM Jerussalem)