240 – Big Barda

Recorded an episode tonight of League Night that will go online in early December. It featured Big Barda. This sketch is terrible.

239 – Psycho Pirate

A sketch request from Joe Grunenwald, I decided to modify the costume a bit, to make it slightly less goofy. I this version, the mask would never morph into an emotion, the victim would see their own reflection and that would morph into whatever emotion The Pirate would want.

***

Also, I am featured on the Repaneled Blog today! I drew this panel a year ago! And finally finished coloring this weekend. I am slow, lazy and unmotivated.

238 – Redneck

237 – Daredevil Portrait

The final piece of my contribution to the Christopher’s Restaurant art gallery that is on display from September 20th through October 31st. Jason Young and Jeff Potter, my fellow Ok, PANIC! artists, have each done five portraits of various superheroes, and they are all available for sale. If you live in the Dayton, Ohio area, go eat some delicious food and enjoy some great comic-related artwork.

236 – Black Cat Portrait

Part 4 of my contribution to the Christopher’s Restaurant art gallery that is on display from September 20th through October 31st. Jason Young and Jeff Potter, my fellow Ok, PANIC! artists, have each done five portraits of various superheroes, and they are all available for sale. If you live in the Dayton, Ohio area, go eat some delicious food and enjoy some great comic-related artwork.

***

More comic reviews:

Birds of Prey: I honestly just remembered that I even read this, but I couldn’t tell you what happened in the book, what it was about or if I had any thoughts on it. Which should probably tell you all you need to know.

Nightwing: Eh. I love Nightwing, and I want to support the character, but after two fantastic years of him in the role of Batman, working out perfectly by some fantastic creators, this seems like a step back. The art’s fine, and there’s a mystery element, but this is also like the 17th time I’ve read a story about Nightwing setting up a new chapter of his life right when some old part of his life comes out of nowhere to fuck things up, and oh, hey, the old circus is in town, he should go visit old friends. It’s not bad, but not a standout.

DC Presents – Deadman: I can’t remember much about this book other than I recall being bored while reading it. Then Deadman jumps into someone’s body and threatens to make it commit suicide. Spoiler.

Wonder Woman: I love Brian Azzarello’s decision to give Wonder Woman a seemingly entirely new status quo and not explain a single part of it. It’s something that seems like it’d be a bad way to go about it, but he pulls of brilliantly by not making you care, and this story is about moving the plot along. It’s essentially a story about the Greek Gods fucking with humans and ruining their lives for shits and giggles, just like the old times, and Wonder Woman is there to stop the bullshit. I liked this book quite a bit, and the art by Cliff Chiang is great.

Batman: Not only is this a dark and gritty Batman, but it also manages to have a sense of humor and fun just underneath the surface. Scott Snyder is taking Grant Morrison’s idea of a well-adjusted Bruce Wayne and working the hell out of it. In fact, by simply existing, Snyder’s Batman makes Tony Daniel’s Detective Comics look like a retarded brain damaged coma victim wrote that book (it was a mentally challenged person who got into a horrific head-injury accident, and then slipped into a coma which further expounded the brain damage). Here’s something else Batman does better than Detective: art. I pretty much think of Tony Daniel and Greg Capullo as contemporaries, both coming up together at around the same time, both having a deep-rooted Todd McFarlane influence, even working for the man at various times. I’ve never been a fan of either one of them, but holy crap, Greg Capullo is perfect for a Batman comic. It might be that he has a different inker who is able to pull forward all of his strengths, but I’ve never seen Capullo draw this well. This was an absolute revelation.

235 – Blue Beetle Portrait

Part 3 of my contribution to the Christopher’s Restaurant art gallery that is on display from September 20th through October 31st. Jason Young and Jeff Potter, my fellow Ok, PANIC! artists, have each done five portraits of various superheroes, and they are all available for sale. If you live in the Dayton, Ohio area, go eat some delicious food and enjoy some great comic-related artwork.

***

No comics read last night, but I watched a couple of movies, and an episode of COPS played out behind my apartment last night, but without the cops.

Big Bad Wolf: Terrible horror comedy about a jokey, rapey werewolf played by the bad guy from Kindergarten Cop. The lead actor is the older brother of the girl who played Hit Girl in Kick-Ass. One of those siblings got all the acting talent. The other was in Big Bad Wolf.

I Spit on Your Grave (Original): Pretty much you’re either gonna like this movie or you’re not, depending on your tolerance for late ’70s exploitation flicks with a rape/revenge plot. For what it is, it’s not bad. I loved that there was no music in this movie except for diegetic music. It’s not terribly acted, it’s intense and slow, but it’s not a “good” movie either. I’ve seen worse, in all aspects of the word.

My neighbors: Ok, so I was sitting in my office when I hear yelling, which – sadly – isn’t unusual. I look out my window to see the lady (the one who is actually supposed to be living in the apartment) screaming at the guy (the one who isn’t supposed to be living there), and she’s holding a baseball bat. He’s in his car, and she starts pounding the bat into the door. He opens the door, and she starts hitting him in the arm and chest. I roll my eyes and go into the living room.

I go back into the office, and still hear yelling, so I look out. She is now sitting in the backseat of his car, looking at her phone and yelling at him. He is sitting in the driver’s seat, yelling at her, but he gets out and sets a tallboy wrapped in a brown paper bag on the hood, and then proceeds to take a piss on the driveway. I go back to the living room.

I go back to the office again, and everyone’s gone. Back into the living room.

I sit down, I’m watching a movie and then I hear some heavy bass thumping. I open my door to see the car now parked where I usually park, he is inside and has the stereo turned all the way up listening to some obnoxious hip-hop. I close the door and continue to watch the movie. This lasts for about 45 minutes and the music stops. I hear stomping and slamming upstairs, but it all dies down around 9:30pm or so. The car was still parked in my spot this morning when I left for work.

Sadly, the neighbors seem to know exactly how far the surveillance cameras reach, and always pull this bullshit away from the all-seeing eye.

Thought about calling the cops, but in the end, I thought it was more funny and annoying than anything else, and they can knock the shit out of each other all day for all I care, as long as I get left alone. I’ll be more mad if the car is still in my spot when I get home. I just wish I’d have had my phone on me to take a video of the beating to show my landlord.

234 – Nightwing Portrait

Part 2 of my contribution to the Christopher’s Restaurant art gallery that is on display from September 20th through October 31st. Jason Young and Jeff Potter, my fellow Ok, PANIC! artists, have each done five portraits of various superheroes, and they are all available for sale. If you live in the Dayton, Ohio area, go eat some delicious food and enjoy some great comic-related artwork.

***

I’m really trying to get back into the habit of reading comics again, so I might continue to do this.

Moving forward:

Ultimate X-Men: Apparently, mutants were created as part of an experiment by the U.S. government, Wolverine being the first. Then mutantism started spreading like a virus, I guess. Whatever. This follows up on all the hoopla of the Ultimate Fallout story and of Jeph Loeb & Art Adams’ Ultimate X series, which was only worth buying for the art. 5 issues came out in 2 years, which makes me think that this Ultimate reboot, which seems to come pretty quickly after the last Ultimate reboot, is because Ultimate X took so long to come out. Anyway, this was a fine comic, a lot of appearances from former X-Men characters, an intriguing set-up for future stories, and Ultimate Val Cooper. I’ll keep with this for a bit.

Daredevil # 4: I’m not supposed to like this book. I’m not a fan of Mark Waid’s work. I used to be back in his first runs on Flash and Captain America, but everything else I’ve read from him has been pretty mediocre. I love Daredevil, he’s my favorite Marvel character, but I was dreading Mark Waid on this book, for the aforementioned mediocrity, plus it doesn’t really seem like the type of character Waid usually is drawn to. But it works, it absolutely, bafflingly works. The second issue of this book made me want to tear it up due to a litany of legalese puns, but that only happened that once. Plus Paolo Rivera is a fantastic artist, and Marcos Martin is fucking amazing. I’m actually angry that I like this book so much. Goddammit, Daredevil.

Catwoman: Eh. The art’s fantastic and cheesecakey, but there’s seemingly no story here, and if there was, I missed it. It’s really just a string of scenes, all to lead up to the final 4 pages of Batman and Catwoman fucking – which apparently is freaking people out. Eh. Whatever. My only problem with it is that between this and Damien Wayne existing, it destroys my theory that if Batman ever got laid, he’s stop being Batman. Hell, when I was getting laid regularly, I pretty much stopped doing anything else. But otherwise – eh.

233 – Firestorm Portrait

Starting September 20th and running until October 31st, 3/4ths of Ok, PANIC! will have their art on display and for sale at Christopher’s Restaurant in Kettering, Ohio.

Jason Young, Jeff Potter and I have each done five portraits of various superheroes. I will be posting mine here on the blog, but please, if you live in the area, go see all fifteen pieces at Christopher’s. Jeff and Jason have both really outdone themselves, and it’s some of their best work I’ve ever seen.

I can also say that the food is quite delicious at Christopher’s. They serve a wide variety of dishes and are very vegetarian friendly. Even for a meativore like myself, I often have enjoyed the portabella mushroom burger, the veggie chili (though I prefer the normal chili), and my personal favorite, the Hot Cheese Supreme, aka the best grilled cheese I’ve ever had.

So go there, eat awesome food, look at awesome art, spend some of your awesome money on us.

***

Alright, some more comics were read, let’s do this:

Justice League International: Another book I was excited to read, but for the most part was simply mediocre. The biggest negative I have on this was it seems to really rely on the reader having previous knowledge of all the characters involved and other story bits (the Hall of Justice subplot, for instance), but seems to also be “introducing” all these characters for the first time. Booster Gold is treated well character-wise, but holy hell his new costume is terrible. It’s a step above his Extreme Justice armor, but so are turds. Other than that, it’s an okay story with decent art. I want to love this book, and it actually seems to have a sense of humor, which none of the other DC #1s have. It’s not the old JLI, though, which may be the basis of my disappointment. I’ll still check out issue # 2.

Stormwatch: Just… disappointing. I just… I dunno. The art was not good, and really turned me off, but the story didn’t help at all, either. Sigh. Other than the art, I can’t point out exactly what it was that I didn’t like. Probably won’t get issue 2.

Batwoman: Pretty much just a continuation of the previous run in Detective Comics. Plus, Chase and the DEO! But really, it all comes down to three words: J.H. Willaims. I’m never not going to buy this as long as he’s on board.

Batgirl: I’m a pretty big Barbara Gordon fan, and while I tend to agree with the majority that Babs as Oracle was an insanely rich and compelling character, I’m also pretty stoked to see her back as Batgirl. Gail Simone – a writer who lives and breathes Barbara Gordon – writes a strong first issue centered around Barbara’s character and determination, and the art is good. I’m sticking around on this book, for certain.

Frankenstein – Agent of S.H.A.D.E.: Man, what a fun book this was. I loved Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldier’s mini, and this takes all the great parts of that story and makes it crazier, weirder, and added The Creature Commandos, making it the first time I ever gave a damn about them. It’s got a decent sense of humor, and the art is fantastic. I got a real vibe of mid-80s Epic Comics from this book, and that my friends, is awesome. Definitely going to continue with this book.

Animal Man: Definitely a strong book, so far it’s the one that practically slapped me in the face and demanded I come back for more. The mystery is intriguing, the characters are just as likeable and appealing as when I first read Morrison’s Animal Man, and I love the weirdness that’s growing. The art is inconsistent, but at it’s best, it’s fantastic. Looking forward to see where this is going.

Men of War: Holy balls. I’m ready to declare this book as the best from the new DC. It’s so tense and action packed, it’s like a Garth Ennis story combining war and superheroes without all the shock value, lowest common denominator factor things that usually spring from an Ennis book. The art is reminiscent of Darrick Robertson without being a copy, the storytelling is clear and concise. I didn’t bother reading the back-up story, but that main story… wow. I did not expect much from this book, but I truly don’t think that that is affecting my opinion. This truly was an incredibly strong, ballsy comic. I loved it.

232 – Morning Doodle 3

There’s nothing to say about this.

I did, however, pick up a stack of comics, and felt like giving some encapsulated reviews of the ones I’ve read, most of which are from the The New DC 52.

First things first, Justice League. Joe Grunenwald and I reviewed the first issue as a special bonus episode of League Night. Check out the full review there, but I will say it was one of the most humorless, cliche-filled disappointments ever published, with stagnant bland art and nothing to be interested in.

I also read, Hannibal Tabu style, Detective Comics. Over at my other podcast, Gutter Trash, I recently declared Evil Ernie: War of the Dead to be the worst comic I’d ever read. Detective Comics # 1 came close to dethroning it. It’s a horrible mess of eye-gouging art, sub-intelligent writing and dialogue, unclear storytelling, and every terrible mish-mash of the “dark, twisted loner” Batman that I’ve come to despise, with a terrible “shock” ending that really demonstrates how low-common denominator this book is.

I never had any intention of reading those books, and may possibly be biased against them from the jump.

So, onto books I actually wanted read:

Demon Knights: The weakest of the stack I bought, so far. The art is mediocre, and I do like Paul Cornell’s work. It reminded me of a medieval version of his work on Captain Britian and the MI:13, and sadly just made me wish that book was still around, instead of really wanting to pick up #2 of D.K. I like the characters involved in this book, but there was something lackluster about the entire package, and the art turned me off.

Resurrection Man: The second weakest book I’ve read yet. The art is fine, if inconsistent, and I love the central concept of the character. It’s a book I missed out on in it’s initial run, and this first issue made me want to track down the previous series. Unfortunately I don’t have much interest in picking up a second issue of this series. But I might be willing to give this a few more based on Abnett & Lanning’s track record.

Swamp Thing: I really dug this. While I felt Superman’s appearance seemed out of place, I like the atmosphere of the story, and the art was fantastic. Being a long-time Swamp Thing fan, I was worried about the sort-of backtracking on Alan Moore’s story, but Scott Snyder pulled it off well, and I’ll definitely be on for issue 2.

Batman and Robin: This one is weird, because other than Bruce Wayne being back as Batman, it simply felt like a continuation of the previous Batman and Robin series, which is fine. There was nothing wrong with it before, there’s nothing wrong with it now.

O.M.A.C.: This is one I was really looking forward to. Keith Giffen channeling Kirby, and it was fantastic. It was a bombastic, action packed first issue with a ton of setup and delivery. My favorite book, so far.

Action Comics: A really strongly written issue, some inconsistent, but good art. I’m pretty much on board with this book no matter what, so in many ways, the opposite of Detective and JL.

And finally

Ultimate Spider-Man: It’s a pretty light issue, but there are enough seeds planted to keep me coming back. Bendis has a knack for writing comics in where not much happens, but I’m never mad about it. So far, Mile Morales seems to not be just Brown Peter Parker, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

Not that anyone cared. Whatever. Go fuck yourselves.

231 – Morning Doodle 2