27 February 2009

Friday Night Fights: O.P.P (2)

Spacebooger wants us to show him one panel of pain. Just one panel. And make it painful, he said.

Painful enough for ya? Huh?

Dog bites man in the gonads from Preacher vol. 8 by Ennis, Dillon & McCrea.

25 February 2009


Yes, Mr. Smartly Dressed Assasin. Now. Now is the perfect time for a redhead to save an Arab Sheikh by crashing through the window on skis. Because that's just how she rolls, sucka!

Scarlett shows she can kick ass just like the rest of them in G.I. Joe #9, one of the few issues not written by Larry Hama (it was written by Steven Grant with art by Mike Vosburg and Chic Stone). This issue is also collected in Classic G.I. Joe vol. 1 from IDW. Out Now.

24 February 2009

All Vader Needs Is Love

Here is Lunch Break, a whimsical tale by John Adams, collected in Star Wars Tales vol. 4 (the bestest Star Wars comic series evar so of course it didn't sell. There are 6 volumes total. Collect them all).

Anyway, a couple of off-duty Imperial Stormtroopers are secretly reading Darth Vader's diary which one of the troopers managed to snatch from Vader's personal quarters. Excerpts:

(click on panels for Death Star size)

All he wanted, it seemed, was to be loved. But it's hard to make people love you when you can choke them long distance. Dressing in an all black getup all the time and wearing a helmet with a creepy skull motif also gives a message to others that you're a no nonsense kinda guy.

Anyway, Vader discovers his diary is missing and calls all the Stormtroopers for an emergency assembly. The two troopers who have been reading the diary try to play it cool:

Yup, that trooper is so dead.

23 February 2009

Good Comics Not Many People Read: Scarlet Traces: The Great Game (Dark Horse, 2007)

Last week I reviewed a very good but little known graphic novel called Scalet Traces which was a sequel to H.G. Wells' classic invaders-from-Mars novel, The War of the Worlds. Then Ian Edginton and D'Israeli wrote a second sequel, Scarlet Traces: The Great Game.

I call it a sequel but like Scarlet Traces, The Great Game can also be read as a self contained book by itself without any knowledge of the prior graphic novel (or even the source novel that inspired it). At the end of Scarlet Traces, the truth about the missing girls is revealed and the last page shows the British government launching an invasion fleet on Mars and you could have stopped at that cliffhanger and you would have read a very good, albeit depressing, story.

The Great Game takes the reader about 40 years after the events from the first book. British troops are still on Mars and still fighting. The news is always rosy: Our boys are vanquishing the Martians, brave Commonwealth troops captures vital Martian stronghold, yada yada yada. Meanwhile, back on Earth, Britain is gradually turning fascistic with tight controls over the press and freedom of speech. All in the name of security, you understnd. They even locked up Eric Blair (George Orwell's real name). Yes, I thought that was a nice nod to 1984 as well.

But like the first book, there is also something far more sinister going on that isn't very clear at first. By the end of the story the reader may not be so quick to condemn the politicians. Without spoiling anything, suffice it to say that the Martians were not totally defeated in H.G. Wells' book. That was just an advance force. The rest of them are still on Mars. They have learned their lesson and came up with Plan B on how to colonise Earth. Unfortunately, no one on Earth knows about it because the politicians are keeping that under wraps. Why? Well, that would be telling. Go read the book and find out.

The Great Game has the same nice excellent quality that made Scarlet Traces such a pleasure to read. The plot moves along nicely and the artwork is amazing. It also has a lot more in-jokes within its pages, though you would only notice it if you were a fan of British comics and shows like Dan Dare, Dr. Who and Thunderbirds.

If you like to read about old-school adventure stories in space, you can't go wrong with Scarlet Traces: The Great Game. Make sure you read Scarlet Traces as well. Edginton and D'Israeli also adapted Wells' prose novel into a graphic novel but I never read that one so I can't comment on it. Oh, just get all three and have a rollicking good time. Makes a change from reading Batman. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

22 February 2009

Great Moments In Comics History No. 7: German WW 1 Fighter Aces Are BAD ASS

Here's the situation: Rittmeister Hans von Hammer, "Enemy Ace" to the Allied forces, finds himself in a bit of a pickle over the skies at the Western Front. His tri-wing Fokker has been riddled with bullets and he's going down in flames. Is this the end? The hell it is!

The "Enemy Ace" saves himself from being a burnt smudge on the ground by grabbing hold of the axle of another airplane and hangs on for dear life while British fighters chase after him and his saviour over the skies of France. Just try to wrap your head around that one, will you?

This classic scene of bad-assery can only come from the mind of Robert Kanigher and the pencil skills of Joe Kubert. Reprinted in Showcase Presents: Enemy Ace (DC, 2008).

For more of DGR's Great Moments..., click the appropriate label below.

20 February 2009

Friday Night Fights: O.P.P (1)

In case you can't see the words, the Super Skrull said, "For the love of Kolker! Is there no one on this planet who's normal anymore?"

To which the correct reply would be, "HELL, NO!
" but a SPROOOING uppercut is even better.

Spacebooger knows what I'm talking about.

From The Incredible Hulk #375 by Peter David, Dale Keown & Bob McLeod.

19 February 2009

It's a Kodak moment

My 6 year old daughter reading her first superhero comic. I'm so proud. I've always believed comics can help teach English especially to those of us whose mother tongue is not English. Include comic books in the school curriculum, teachers! Trust me. That's how I learned the language.

She's reading Tiny Titans: Welcome to the Treehouse trade collection by Art Baltazar & Franco (DC, 2008). A cute, well written all-ages comic book perfect for the kids and the kids at heart.

17 February 2009

Planet Wifey

Clarence Smith Jr., better known to, well, me as Bahlactus (former host and kick ass commentator of Friday Night Fights) has created a new webcomic, Planet Wifey, featuring true stories of married life and to quote Maxo, it's "freakin' ADORABLE". This thing is gonna fly, I tell ya. Bookmark it and check it out every other Friday.

16 February 2009

Good Comics Not Many People Read: Scarlet Traces (Dark Horse, 2003)

What happened after the events in H.G. Wells's The War of the Worlds? The Martians have been defeated, Britain is victorious. So then what happened? That is the premise of Scarlet Traces, a comic book sequel to Wells' seminal work.

10 years have passed after the doomed Martian invasion and England has prospered, thanks to the alien technology that the British have exploited. Spoils of war and all that. But not all is well. While England has advanced with an industrial revolution powered by Martian knowledge, Scotland has been under martial law with government troops disptached there to quell any resistance by any means necessary. The other worldly technology has meant that one machine can do the work of a hundred men and that has resulted in unemployment and massive resentment amongst the people.

In the middle of all this, our protagonist Major Robert Autumn is thrown into a mystery when his valet's brother (a Scots) has been arrested in London for trespassing in an abandoned government building. He claims to be looking for his daughter who came down to London answering a job advertisement and was never seen or heard from again. And she wasn't the only one. It seems many young women from the impoverished North have answered the same advertisement and travelled down to London only to suffer the same fate. Major Autumn, feeling left out in a world moving too fast into the future for his taste, eagerly takes up the challenge to solve this mystery and I'm not spoiling anything when I say it won't end well for some people.

I was a bit sceptical at first when I found out that this book was a sequel to a classic novel. These kind of sequels never turn out to be good, never mind the fact this version was done in a sequential art form. It's still a sequel not written by the original author. I was afraid it was going to end up like that
Gone With the Wind sequel that no one talks about nowadays. I'm glad I was wrong.

The mystery moves along at a brisk pace and since the Martian invasion plays a major part of the story, you know those pesky aliens are involved in this somehow. Ian Edginton has pulled off a miracle by writing a sequel to a classic novel that did not suck. D'israeli's art is beautiful eye candy especially when it comes to the futuristic cityscape of Victorian London. It did make me stop and wonder whether they could have achieve all this within 10 years of accidentally defeating the Martians. Mastering a new piece of technology is one thing, mastering an alien technology within 10 years during the Victorian-era is incredible. Then I realise it's just a comic book, so screw logic!

Scarlet Traces is one of those books that flew under a lot of comic book aficionado's radar when it came out 6 years ago but if you like to read a darn good story, this book should be right up your alley.

13 February 2009

Friday Night Fights Special Edition: Love Tap!

It's a Valentine's Special over at Spacebooger.com tonight so here are everyone's favourite psychotic lovers, Joker and Harley Quinn going through a rough patch in their 'relationship':

Turns out that's not even Harley but Poison Ivy in disguise so the joke's on him! Why did Poison Ivy disguise herself as Dr. Quinzel? You gotta read Harley Quinn: Preludes and Knock Knock Jokes by Karl Kesel and Terry & Rachel Dodson to find out.

11 February 2009

Pride And Prejudice And Zombies (Quirk Books, 2009)

Best argument against copyright term extension ever! This could either be very, very good or very, very bad. It's exactly what you think it is: Jane Austen's classic novel, now with zombies. And this is from it's Facebook page, "we're happy to report that Pride and Prejudice and Zombie HAS ninjas in it! We've got your back!" Mr. Darcy, zombies and ninjas, all in the same book. Kicking!

From the link:
"Jane Austen is the author of Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and other masterpieces of English literature.

Seth Grahame-Smith is the author of How to Survive a Horror Movie and The Big Book of Porn."

Some days I just don't mind living at the end of civilisation.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies will be out April 15 but Amazon says May 13.

10 February 2009

Good Comics Not Many People Read: Agents Of Atlas HC (Marvel, 2007)

Now that they have their own series, it's about time I give a shout out to what is probably the best comic miniseries that not many people read: Agents of Atlas. Came out two years ago and still available at Amazon, doncha know? AoA introduced me to Jeff Parker and if you click his name at the tag section down there you will know I totally have a platonic guy-love for Jeff Parker and it's all because of this book. Seriously, it's fun, funny, exciting and jam packed with extras if you like that sort of thing in your collected editions. And Leonard Kirk's pencils aren't too shabby either.

I guess it is possible to take a group of obscure characters from a publisher's early days, feature them in a miniseries and not make it suck. Having a talking gorilla as one of the characters also helps.

I honestly don't know how long their ongoing series will last. I'm guessing about 30 issues worth since most of the books I like tend to get cancelled before their 50th issue. I'm a regular Jonah, I am. But check out their miniseries collection first. It has a semi naked love goddess prancing about seducing bad guys, a killer robot shooting rays, a sea queen, a secret agent, a spaceman and the aforementioned talking gorilla.

And a dragon called Mr. Lao. Seriously.