Thursday, April 29, 2010

I'm a Naughty Little Fibber

I said I was going to post another blog the very next night. I did not. I also hinted at a topic. I'm changing that as well. I'm going to review a comic.

I need to state for the record that I am in no way a qualified reviewer. I am not educated in artistic history or technique. As such, at this point my opinions on art are easily influenced by what I hear from others. I can barely call myself a writer, because aside from occasionally getting bloggy with it, I never show anyone anything I've written. But I like what I like, you know? So anytime I "review" a comic or movie or game or whatever, I'm only sharing my opinion. I'm not trying to change yours, but I would love to talk about it. I say this to firstly let you know exactly how "important" I think this blog is but also as a soapbox on which to stand and holler "suck my front butt, spammers and trollers." There are few things I tolerate less than an anonymous douche with a thesaurus and a hyper-verbal temper.

Anyhoo. "Crossed: Family Values," by David Lapham and Javier Barreno. Thus begins my spoiler free review.

Holy shit. Well, I guess I should start with a question. Do you know how much I love Garth Ennis? A lot. An awful lot. He might be my very very favorite. Wait - no, yeah, probably my favorite. So maybe to comprehend the depth of my feelings for this volume, I should give you a quick capsule review of the first volume: Loved it, shocked by it, horrified by it, favorite author, mildly dissatisfied with the ending. In my top ten titles.

I repeat: Holy shit. I feel a little sick saying it. It feels weird in my skin. This book I love, created by two amazing talents has a sequel . . . and I think I like the sequel more. Yikes! But it's amazing! More shocking and appaling, but in a far less graphic, smack you in the face with a you know what (spoiler free, kids) kind of way. The art is more stylish, the characters slightly more round without every crossing (HA!) over into cartoony. Oh, and as an added bonus, the Juan Jose Ryo cover very well might give you nightmares.

This volume so far follows the same path as the first - the story focuses this time on a farm family, their relationships, and how the Crossed situation changes their entire beings. The actual Crossed are almost a subplot, as the main focus of both volumes is not "how" or "why," but "what happens." As the plot moves, it will not just shock you, but surprise you as well. This is officially the book I am looking forward to every month.

Well, that's it for tonight, friends and neighbors. This "Fringe" business has snagged my attention, and I'm in need of a "LOST" replacement, so I'm giving it a whirl.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Doesn't "Indie" Mean Out of Tune Guitars and Shitty Production?

I've just finished weeping at an MOW and a couple Hallmark commercials, and I should probably be putting myself to bed with all my new comics. But inspiration has struck, and I'm blurting before it's gone. I actually have a lot floating around in the noggin, but rather than type for an hour and create an entry no one will want to finish, I think I'm going to break it up in to two entries. Stay tuned for part two - "Mommy, Why is Steve Jobs Murdering Comics?"

Issue the first. Blogs. Blogs and bloggers get a bad name. If you tell someone you have a blog, odds are they think you are a twat or they absolutely don't give a shit. A small percentage might be interested, but you probably are sleeping or have slept with them. Maybe paranoia about actually turning into one of the bloggers that gives us a bad name is what keeps me from posting very often. Most likely it's laziness, but we'll go with paranoia. Bad blogs are egocentric (I had a turkey sandwhich for lunch today) and redundant (I had another turkey sandwhich for lunch today, but this time I switched it up and went with mustard - not mayo), and I never want to be those things, bloggy or otherwise. But you know who has an amazing blog? David fucking Byrne. It's educational, poetic, and - more often than not - visually stunning. You should read his blog regularly. Plus he doesn't call it a blog, he calls it a "journal."

Issue the second: Small press comics. And/or comic conventions. I went to my second ever convention this weekend, and it could not have been different from the "commercial" con I attended a couple weekends ago. I'd like to not be a douche and say they were both really cool in an apples and oranges sort of way, but . . . not so much. The small press/indie show was so much cooler. It had very minor drawbacks, but those drawbacks are such positive occurrences. Allow me to 'splain.

The first issue would only be exclusive to me and my People - all the neurotic idiots of the world: Everyone you meet asks you what you've brought to the show. This year? I had to avoid eye contact and mutter "oh, um . . . nothing, uh . . . not so much . . . boyfriend . . . his table's over there . . . " It only bothered me because I wished I had contributed, and hopefully that will be a different story next year. But you know why so many people asked? BECAUSE THEY CARE. They want to read your shit. They are genuinely interested. It's amazing. I've never encountered such a wonderful thing.

The second? Walking away from a table without making a purchase. Some of the creators do indeed have a look of quiet, pleading desperation. But I truly don't think it's because they want your money (a lot of them might need your money, but that's a horse of an entirely different color). These folks don't really care about money, they just care about their stuff being out there and hopefully a few people really dig it. That's cool with them. Making a living out of it would be a dream come true, of course, but most of them are just plain ol' cool. Also awesome.

The commercial con was cool. There was lots of amazing art and an asston of pop-paraphernalia, and local artists got to showcase their books and talents. I love all of those things. But spectators didn't really commune with anyone outside their friend group. There was little to no chit chat that wasn't centered around a sale. 95% of the artists' tables were filled with expensive prints of characters they didn't create (shout out to my friend Justin and his collaborators at WAC Comics for keepin' it real).

So ye tho' it's pretty obvious I respect one arena more than the other, I appreciate them both for exactly what they are. Well rounded opportunity and nothing-wrong-with-just-plain-fun, respectively.

Yeah, that was douchey and egocentric enough for one night, I think. I'm off to read black and white autobiographical mini-comics now. But there's also an issue of Joe the Barbarian and the latest issue of an X-men title in my stack (not to mention the fact that I asked all these indie artists to sketch the frakkin' Dazzler, for criminey's sake) - so please don't take this as my hippyesque, pretentious relinquishing of mainstream books. Oh no, old friends. You've never let me down, I just think it's time we had an open relationship.