December 28, 2008

People who rule

I'm assuming just by certain transitive properties that at least 50 percent of the people who read this site are Rachel Maddow fans to one degree or another. Anyway, in case you didn't want her to be your pretend girlfriend badly enough, read this, wherein she piles love on Queen & Country. Somewhere, some Greg Rucka fan fic author is shipping the hell out of Rachel Maddow and Renee Montoya, and the sun shines a little brighter. Happy New Year!

December 24, 2008

Ho Ho Holy shit I have a lot of wrapping to do tonight

We'll be gallivanting around the Eastern seaboard for the next several days, but please be sure to download the two-part year-end podcast if you haven't already. Have an awesomed one everybody!!

(I almost went with this image, but then feared that anyone who hasn't been around here all that much might take it the wrong way.)

December 22, 2008

I never thought I could feel this way about anyone, Alfred

Recent Madonna ex Guy Ritchie's rich new girlfriend is supposedly named Jemima Khan, and is "the daughter of Lady Annabel Goldsmith and the late financier Sir James Goldsmith. She was previously married to a Pakistani cricket player."

I say "supposedly" because this is clearly a secretly evil Bruce Wayne love interest, not a real person.

December 21, 2008

ABC Podcast 2008 Year-End Special!!

Welcome to the Awesomed By Comics Year-End Spectacular Extravaganzamaskkahnzasm! In this very special two-part episode, Aaron and Evie give awards to the comics, characters creators and more that made 2008 in comics what it was, from the triumphs to the tripe. Lots of new categories, and some unexpected (and some very expected) winners. We even sing for you, for free. As a special bonus for those who believe hard enough, we'll throw in a dozen of Aaron's famous orange cranberry pecan Christmas cookies. Be sure to download both Parts A and B. Have an awesomed holiday!

Download/subscribe in the right sidebar, and leave an iTunes review!

Nominees for 2008's Funniest Moment in Comics (because they lose a little something in the audio version):

(These next two panels don't sufficiently represent the nomination, which was the execution of Kang's attempted world domination via potato chip enterprise)

December 17, 2008

R.I.P. Maddie Blaustein

I was extremely saddened to learn of the passing of comics writer, prolific voice actress and friend Maddie Blaustein.

Maddie (born Adam Blaustein) might be the most recognizable transgender voice on the planet, from her roles as Meowth on Pokemon, and Solomon Moto on Yu-Gi-Oh, not to mention dozens of other anime and video games. She was also a writer for Milestone Comics, penning issues of Static and Hardware, as well as the limited series Deathwish.

Maddie once told me the story of how she was inspired to fully transition from male to female (and to come out to her co-workers as transgender) by an episode of Pokemon. In the episode "Go West, Young Meowth" her character travels to Hollywood to make it big. There, Meowth falls in love with another Meowth, who spurns his advances. He decides to learn how to speak and to stand upright in order to impress her - but she rejects him for being a "freak." Meowth was a human trapped in a Pokemon's body.

Maddie was an inspiration to people around the world - not just GLBT people, but anyone who felt like a little bit of an outcast.

She died in her sleep at the age of 48, after what's been called a "brief illness." She will be dearly missed by anyone who loved her work, whether they knew her name or not.

December 14, 2008

ABC Podcast, Episode #27 and visual aids

This episode of Awesomed By Comics is brought to you by "Alphabet Bitches" by Lil' Wayne, which incidentally settles a question or two about Black Adam's late bride. I Kill Giants once again gets the gush treatment, and Final Crisis #5 barely qualifies for an award of its own. Awards also go to nasty jerks and a delightfully adapted PowerPoint presentation. Aaron presents an urban allegory to answer all your questions about how the likes of Ed Benes, Grant Morrison, etc. are allowed to keep doing what they do without consequence.

Download/subscribe in the right sidebar, and leave an iTunes review!

Cover(s) of the Week

Aaron's pick, from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz #1, cover by Skottie Young:

Evie's pick, from Green Lantern Corps #31, cover by Patrick Gleason and Nei Ruffino:

Panel(s) of the Week

Evie's pick, from I Kill Giants #6 by Joe Kelly and JM Ken Niimura:

Aaron's pick, from I Kill Giants #6 by Joe Kelly and JM Ken Niimura:

December 12, 2008

I can hardly wait

I'm working from home today, still in my pajamas, because a guy is painting and working in my bathroom to fix some plumbing that was originally done by a guy who was completely shitfaced. The point is that I am feeling both lazy and on edge, which results in a snitty post like this.

So anyway I was reading Secret Invasion: Dark Reign #1 last night, and while there are any number of hilarious things to pick on, such as old ragged Namor (who, by the way, also acts nothing like Namor in addition to looking nothing like him), this is what jumped out, from the previews at the end:

"Huh," I thought, "that is an awfully long time to wait, maybe they want to get us excited just in time for Don Cheadle?" But no, of course it is a typo, somebody just cut and pasted from the other preview tags that say "ON SALE JANUARY XX, 2009," etc. We only have to wait one week for this Inuit-slaughtering opus (which we know from the preview showing the bloody mauling of Inuits), not one year and one week. It's like Christmas already.

December 11, 2008

You know what's a terrible thing to do?

A terrible thing to do is to fall asleep while reading Final Crisis. Seriously, you will wake up and not even know what hemisphere you're in. Particularly since you won't have fallen asleep all at once, but in fits and starts, while sort of reading two or three pages that shift transitionless between context-free scenes, characters you forgot existed and Mary Marvel scalp-stubble. It's horrifying.

December 7, 2008

ABC Podcast, Episode #26 and visual aids

This episode of Awesomed By Comics is sponsored by a very nice and not bad-looking girl who is bored this evening, would you like to chat? In this very special show, Evie and Aaron interview a certain Big Shot Writer who may or may not answer all of your burning questions about a certain blockbuster "summer" crossover event whose "shocking" conclusion was released this "week". So be sure to stay tuned for that bonus segment about midway through. Also, Aaron gets excited about lots of green-skinned space babes, and the Punisher brings the hurt in the name of Our Lord and Savior. X-Men Noir debuts, albeit without any of these promised black X-Men, and Criminal #7 STEALS the show. HA HA.

Download/subscribe in the right sidebar, and leave an iTunes review!

Cover(s) of the Week

Aaron's pick, from X-Men Noir #1, cover by Dennis Calero:

Evie's pick, from Cable #9, cover by Ariel Olivetti:

Panel(s) of the Week

Evie's pick, from Terra #3 by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner:

Aaron's picks, from X-Men Manifest Destiny #4, story by James Asmus, art by Takeshi Miyazawa:

And from Marvels: Eye of the Camera #1 by Kurt Busiek and Jay Anacleto:

December 4, 2008


It's probably too late for this, but just in case it's not: Don't read Secret Invasion #8. You know what happens. If you read it, you'll close it with a furrowed brow and full of doubt that you ever knew the difference between good and terrible storytelling. Instead, read New Avengers #47. Despite being written by the same author and even overlapping in a few panels, it is nothing like Secret Invasion. It is small and tender and tense, and will remind you of a bygone era when that author spent a lot of time doing what he was very good at and did not get in over his head with toothless, lumbering punch-and-kickathons. At least consider it. For the children.

December 2, 2008

A sad goodbye to Comic Foundry

As Tim Leong and Laura Hudson announced on Comic Foundry's website today, and in an email to contributors last night, the innovative magazine of comics culture is closing after the next issue.

This causes me great sorrow. When I first discovered Comic Foundry at Forbidden Planet early this year, my first thought was "I love this!" and my second thought was "I want to write for them!" because after all that's what I do, and I can't just admire something without sticking my fingers in it. After enjoying the first four issues as a reader, I am in fact contributing to the fifth and final issue, with a fun Valentine's-themed piece that Aaron and I wrote together (I know, awwww). The timing should be perfect, as the issue is scheduled to come out in early February, hopefully in time to be available at New York Comic Con. But still, I was really looking forward to seeing the magazine grow, as it really is one of a kind, and has a little something for everyone who has ever flipped through a funny book or two.

Anyway, I'm sort of hoping that there will be all kinds of outrage that will force Tim to reconsider, but his decision is understandable and that probably won't happen. However, if you haven't read it yet, go buy or order every copy you can find, so that you can be pissed off about its demise just in time.

November 30, 2008

ABC Podcast, Episode #25 and visual aids

This episode of Awesomed By Comics is brought to you by More Comic Book Knock-Knock Jokes, because INTERRUPTING INTERGALACTIC STARFISH. Evie and Aaron are a little bloaty and slow after Thanksgiving, but still manage to get a bolt of disdainful adrenaline out of Batman RIP (and think Grant Morrison could learn a lot from Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu). The conclusion to Hickman and Ringuet's excellent Transhuman series is Monkey-tastic, and this time we mean the kind without Peter Tork.

Download/subscribe in the right sidebar, and leave an iTunes review!

Cover of the Week

Evie and Aaron's pick, from Secret Invasion: Inhumans #4, cover by Stjepan Sejic

Panel(s) of the Week

Evie's pick, from JSA: The Kingdom by Geoff Johns, Alex Ross and Fernando Pasarin:

Aaron's pick, from Nova #19 by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Wellinton Alves and Geraldo Borges:

November 26, 2008

So I just finished Batman RIP... (spoilers)


I'm trying to formulate a well-supported criticism of this supposedly mythos-defining storyline that surpasses the threshold of a mere "GUUUUHHHHHHHHH..."

I guess the lowest hanging fruit is the notion that in a year when Batman is the number-one franchise on the planet, and any multiple of thousands of people might have wanted to check out the source material, RIP was an epic failure of judgment in the pure positive outreach department. It's not just that Morrison leans on ultra-obscure references from 70 years of Batman history, or that the non-linear storyline was muddled further by strange art, or that characters with unexplained motivations come out of nowhere, or that the identity of nemesis Dr. Hurt isn't clearly revealed even though Morrison teased it as "shocking" (and the leading theories of the Devil, Thomas Wayne, or your garden-variety crazy are hack, convoluted and bland, respectively), or that it ended with a "ZOMG Batman fell to his death in a fireball!" that obviously did not happen.

No, the primary problem with this story was WHO ARE THE FRICKING EUROPEANS? Seriously--Tim Drake gets in a fight in the middle of the street, and some friendly folks with Continental speaking quirks pop up and are all "pip pip, let us help you monsieur, we will take care of things here while you go find Batman, jawohl!" And I think that moment is the defining microcosm of the RIP storytelling flaw. Sure, maybe I'm supposed to know who those chaps were from some story Grant Morrison wrote eight years ago, or eight months ago, and it's not his fault that I don't. But I would clearly not be alone by a long shot, particularly if new readers decided to join the party after the summer, and it throws you right out of the action to a distinct state of "WTF?" that loosens the justification for everything else.

The references I did get, to things like Nanda Parbat and the Thogal, yes, they added to my experience. I like that Morrison tied that piece of relatively recent Batman history to what was going on with Bruce's psyche now, because it's interesting and thought provoking. Bruce had subjected himself to the most intense of sensory deprivation meditations, that simulates death and drives out demons, and it turns out he'd done something similar many years prior as part of an experiment with Dr. Hurt, that the doctor was now supposedly using against him. Cool. That works. Now... take me down that road. Introduce some twists, some "wild cards" like the Joker to fuck up everyone's plans, some moments of confusion where the reader doesn't know if what they're seeing is happening to Bruce or only in his mind. But don't throw in a merry band of anonymous knights who had, for no discernible reason, "mounted their own investigations" and figured out what was going on somehow and then leave them as fast as you brought them in so I have one more reason to think I'm missing the entire point. When most probably I'm not, and the point is this: "ha ha ha ha BOO."

Anyway. According to all previews and leaked info, the upcoming Batman mini-series "Battle for the Cowl," and whatever else is going on until Bruce Wayne eventually comes back and everything is normal, will not be written by Grant Morrison. So maybe it will be good and maybe it will be bad, but at least I know that it will NOT have a bunch of random Frenchies that distract me from what I'm supposed to understand.

And as far as who will be the next Batman, it's safe to say that I'm on Team Dick. Although the distinct benefit of the Nightwing costume is that it doesn't have a fine-ass-obstructing cape. Hmm. What was I talking about? Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24, 2008


Jet packs for everyone! (Can't find an embed link for this, grr.)

Faster than a speeding TPS report

I unfortunately can't post examples due to employee discretion and not being a complete dope and all that, but I just want to mention that you should be jealous of the email I got yesterday from corporate communications, explaining how to implement new company branding conventions via a comic book spoof starring a strapping a superhero who will swoop in and correct all semantic inconsistencies. It was pretty rad, in only the way such a thing could be.

November 23, 2008

ABC Podcast, Episode #24 and #24a (Monkey Variant), plus visual aids

This episode of Awesomed By Comics is brought to you by Practice, which makes pizza pies, Punisher plots and porpoises, in addition to perfect. Evie and Aaron try to think of what could possibly make Wolverine more badass and popular, and discuss why Mayor Hundred doesn't need to be. Andy Diggle's electrifying (GET IT??) first issue of Thunderbolts earns some nods.

Be sure also to download Episode #24a, the bonus Monkey Variant. Don't let the previous Zombie Variant deter you. Really.

Download/subscribe in the right sidebar, and leave an iTunes review!

Cover(s) of the Week

Evie's pick, from Uncanny X-Men #504, cover by Terry and Rachel Dodson:

Aaron's pick, from Amazing Spider-Man #578, cover by Marcos Martin:

Panel(s) of the Week

Aaron's pick, from Uncanny X-Men #504 by Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson:

Evie's pick, from Marvel Adventures Avengers #30 by Paul Tobin and Matteo Lolli:

November 20, 2008

I stand corrected

While I haven't made much mention of the recent Detective Comics "Hush" (or whatever it's actually called) storyline here on the blog, I've talked about it several times on the podcast, including giving the closing issue a Last of the Week award this past week for the very sweet Bruce/Selina nub nub bit, as well as Selina's lovely turn of monetary revenge against Tommy "Hush" Elliot for being so very shitty to her. The primary criticism I've had against the story has, of course, been the absolutely preposterous bit about Hush holding Catwoman's actual beating heart hostage in a Dr. Freeze-created machine, while Mr. Terrific and Dr. Midnite improbably kept her alive elsewhere.

But apparently, this is not preposterous at all.

See, this actual young lady lived in such a predicament for FOUR MONTHS, and just went home this week. Of course, she didn't have her original heart kept alive and returned to her, but that's not really what was getting at me anyway. So color me humbled, and more edumacated. Yay science!

But I still think the energy signature thing is dubious.


I just wanted to take a moment to salute the person who came to this site by googling "Am I too lazy to google?" We are kindred spirits, sir/madam.

I didn't get a chance to read any books yesterday, because I was at a class all evening toward the aim of enhancing my professional skillz. Did Sue Storm die? No I know she didn't, because duh.

November 17, 2008

More like New Krapton... oh whatever I can't keep up

UPDATE: Nevermind.

Ok, so, maybe Superman is caught in a rougher scenario* than I thought? This may very well be Geoff Johns' biggest triangulatory retcon challenge yet. But I think he's up for it.**

*Scroll down to "Stardust"
**I really do, no joshin. He's a master at turning nonsensical nonsense on its head until it looks like it was right side up the whole time. God speed.

November 16, 2008

ABC Podcast, Episode #23 and visual aids

Episode #23 of Awesomed By Comics is brought to you by Pasta, because eyyyyyyy, how YOU doin? You wanna go get some wheels n sauce? Evie and Aaron gush over I Kill Giants, and wonder why Marvel keeps printing Wolverine fan fiction. Due to the success of last week's Zombie Variant, we include a special foil cover.

Download/subscribe in the right sidebar, and leave an iTunes review!

Cover(s) of the Week

Evie's Pick, from Fables #78, cover by James Jean:

Aaron's Pick, from Anna Mercury #4, regular cover by Paul Duffield:

Panel(s) of the Week

Aaron's pick, from I Kill Giants #5 by Joe Kelly and JM Ken Nimura:

Evie's pick, from Booster Gold #14 by Rick Remender and Pat Olliffe:

November 13, 2008

Ok but seriously

I'm not really a giant fan of Superman, for all the reasons that anyone who isn't a giant fan of Superman isn't a giant fan of Superman. He's a little too too, you know? I like me some baggage, and failure, and character flaws other than being too nice. But I still appreciate the scope of his importance, and read his various titles, because no self-respecting girl who follows the DCU and was a toddler in the late 1970s* would do otherwise. In general I don't get overly invested in the Superman stories beyond their importance to the big picture. Which is why this New Krypton thing is, how shall I say it, a triple helping of whack.

100,000 Kryptonians. With the power of Superman. And naturally without his values and loyalty to humans. Let's put it this way: if Geoff Johns and James Robinson manage to think up an escape from this situation that is not totally devastating or totally preposterous, I will be stunned. Either the world ends, or they all die in a General Lane Kryptonite attack, or Superman improbably convinces them all to behave forever, or somebody finds them an empty but perfectly inhabitable planet orbiting a yellow sun that they can all go be powerful and autonomous on. Ok, that one is probably the most plausible. But that seems a little anti-climactic.

I think, though, that what's really sitting weird about this storyline isn't the crap sandwichness of the situation vis a vis homeland security. It's that it just so wholeheartedly unravels the mythology of Superman. He's the last son of Krypton, forced to cope with this responsibility on Earth. That's, like, his thing. Sure there's been the joy and drama of introducing isolated characters like Supergirl and Phantom Zone folk and alternate-universe Kryptonians, but not a whole damn city's-worth of them--I know the bottle Kandor thing has been around for a while, and I'll admit to never quite getting my head around it--but this is just nuts.

Now I realize that people who have been reading comics for decades might look at this and go "girl, this is nuthin, we've seen crazy irretrievable shit and this ain't it." Ok fine. But you understand my concern. I guess maybe this is where reboots come in handy. Perhaps Johns phoned up DiDio sometime last year and said "Dan, I'd like to use my Crisis Line please," and Grant Morrison will render this all moot. Cuz otherwise, I don't see this ending without a whole lot of martial law and broke shit and PTSD.**

*Like Aaron with Julie Newmar, I attribute my first recognition of the opposite sex and vague understanding of its significance to Christopher Reeve. I assume this also works for gay males of my approximate age.

**I know it's comics, everything will be fine.

November 10, 2008

I like the hat

(via, thanks to my friend Dave who works, appropriately, for the Justice Department)

November 9, 2008

ABC Podcast, Episodes #22 and #22a (Zombie Variant), plus visual aids

This episode of Awesomed By Comics is brought to you by a Brand New Day--starring Barack Obama and decidedly not Mephisto-orchestrated--as well as some crap that Aaron made up about poor Oscar Hammerstein. A strong week for mini-series and one-shots holds up even under the yoke of a zillion Wolverines, and pretty art is everywhere. Fin Fang Foom and headless hookers excel.

Also be sure to download the bonus Zombie Variant episode.

Download/subscribe in the right sidebar, and leave an iTunes review!

Cover(s) of the Week

Aaron's Pick:

Evie's Pick: from Punisher War Journal Annual #1, cover by Dave Wilkins

Panel(s) of the Week

Evie's Pick: from Secret Six #3 by Gail Simone and Nicola Scott

Aaron's Pick (activated by automatic Fin Fang Foom Rule): from Ms. Marvel Storyteller #1 by Brian Reed and Giuseppe Camuncoli

Evie and Aaron's Runner-Up: From Terra #1 by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Amanda Conner

November 5, 2008

Yes we very probably can

Holy heck you guys. I'm exhausted and drunk on happies and hope while also majorly buzzkilled by my crap home state, which at the moment can break off and die in an earthquake for all I freaking care. Except for my family and many good friends, of course.

Anyway, I suppose maybe comic books come out today? I'll have to check on that.

Also, I noticed Andy Diggle twitter that he changed an upcoming script of Thunderbolts from saying "the president" to "President Obama," which made him happy, but which makes me go "dude, you're going to put President Obama in Norman Osborn's path of sociopathy? You dick."

November 4, 2008

Ok, one tiny comics thing

This is some kind of "Election Fools Day" thing right? That's not change we can believe in.

Your comics-related posts are on hiatus until I stop freaking the frak out, hopefully by Thursdayish

On Monday, November 1, 2004, I lived in Cambridge, Mass. and wrote this stirring pep talk and loving ode to my adopted home state about how it was places like Massachusetts that made the world okay, and we were going to get out there and send our senator to the White House gosh darnit, and oh the gay marriage thing made me so happy, and yay America. Well, we all know what happened the next day, and all I could bring myself to do at that point was post photos of Courtney and myself as Jem and Jerrica because what the fuck was the point of anything anymore, it was all so truly outrageous.

Of course, less than a month earlier, I had also written this open letter to the Boston Red Sox, saying that I loved them and everything but please don't break the curse and win the World Series because after the Super Bowl and everything there's just no way Massachusetts was going to sweep all important 2004 contests, so basically they would be dooming John Kerry to defeat.

So, in 2008: a) The Red Sox did not win the World Series; b) much more importantly, the Cubs did not break their endless curse and win the World Series, thereby dooming their Senator's White House chances; c) I did not write a warm, fuzzy hope-filled screed about how genuinely patriotic and optimistic and misty-eyed I'm feeling, even though I totally am. Come to your own conclusions, see you on the other side.

November 2, 2008

ABC Podcast, Episode #21 and visual aids

This episode of Awesomed By Comics is brought to you by OH MY GOD NOVEMBER 4TH CANNOT GET HERE FAST ENOUGH LET'S DO THIS THING ALREADY. Warren Ellis can't avoid winning several ABC awards after writing 694 books this week, and Incredible Hercules remains Marvel's strongest title, and not just because of all the sexy. Raise your hand if you secretly want the Brown Bomber to get an ongoing.

Download/subscribe in the right sidebar, and leave an iTunes review!

Cover(s) of the Week

Aaron's Pick: Amazing Spider-Man #575, cover by Chris Bachalo

Evie's Pick: Incredible Hercules #122, variant cover by Henry and/or Guru?

Panel(s) of the Week

Evie's Picks: From Justice League of America #26 by Dwayne McDuffie and Ed Benes

and from Incredible Hercules #122 by Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry & Salva Espin

Aaron's Pick: From Avengers: The Initiative #18 by Dan Slott, Christos Gage and Steve Kurth (note: award given solely by virtue of the Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends Super Skrull)

October 30, 2008

Pressing question that I'm too lazy to Google

Despite that fact that I was totally the shit in science in like eighth grade (seriously I was totally that girl until calculus got involved), I don't know the answer to this: is an "energy signature" a legitimately useful thing, or is it ubiquitous comic book schmiency bullshit? Or C), is it a sometimes legitimately useful thing in specific situations that is used by comic book writers in bullshitty ways all the damn time? I'm guessing that one. Anyway, your insight is welcome.

October 28, 2008

It's really cold in here and my socks are wet

So the election is a week from today, and eight days from right now I'll either be elated, or suicidal, or homicidal, or fleeing the riot-torn streets, or feasting on Swiss Miss and Kraft Dinner in the name of delicious celebration or dire comfort food because either way everyone's still broke. And that led me to think about the economic crisis and how everyone's worried about their jobs whether they have supportable reason to be or not, and then about how if everything else went to hell, it would be so nice if we could all just relax and work in comic book stores. I imagine that those of you who own/work in comic book stores probably find that laughable for any number of reasons, but cut me some slack, I really needed to get my stream of consciousness away from the macaroni and cheese.

October 26, 2008

ABC Podcast, Episode #20 and visual aids

This week's Awesomed By Comics is sponsored by whinging Chinese ghosts, because Two and a Half Men jokes are so pre-economic crisis. We celebrate this 20th episode with a brutal Twenty Questions smack-down, and big event comics are anything but. Aaron oh-so-unpredictably finds a hero in Top Shelf's The Man Who Loved Breasts, and then frames Evie for a rude sound. Make sure you're registered to vote.

Download/subscribe in the right sidebar, and leave an iTunes review!

Cover(s) of the Week

Aaron's Pick: Noble Causes #57, cover by Ryan Ottley

Evie's Pick: Runaways #3, cover by Humberto Ramos

Panel(s) of the Week

Evie's Pick: from She-Hulk #34 by Peter David and Vincenzo Cucca

Aaron's Picks: from Noble Causes #57 by Jay Faerber and Yildiray Cinar

And from The Man Who Loved Breasts by Robert Goodin