Thursday 23 July 2009


from the comic shop, where I almost, almost bought the Darwyn Cooke adaptation of the Parker novel The Hunter (a.k.a. Point Blank). I've been thinking of trying some of the Parker books for a while, hunting round for old US editions whenever I'm in secondhand book shops, so I was kinda looking forward to Cooke's interpretation. And today there it was on the display table in the middle of the shop, waiting for me. So of course I head straight for it and reach out for it and even before I pick it up I realise it's... kind of small. Dimension-wise, I mean. More like a hardback novel than a graphic novel. Did I know that already and just forgot? Possibly. But it still stopped me in my tracks a little. Anyway, no biggie, I take a look inside, nice art, all good, maybe I'll buy it (even though it'll be cheaper on Amazon), hmm, uh, oh, hang on, what's this?

The captions.

The captions are in the past tense.


Now, I haven't read it yet, so I can't really criticize, and it's possible past tense captions work really well in this particular instance, but, DID WE NOT DISCUSS THIS BEFORE? HMM?! ANYONE??!! The Stand adaptation? Past tense captions? Ringing any bells?

Sort it out.

Wednesday 22 July 2009


I love this blog with a vengeance, but sometimes the artists come up with an approach that's so clever and witty, it becomes more than just tribute, actually saying something about the comic that's covered, the context, the history, the audience... just like art should.

Lots of Covered contributors have had a stab at Avengers #221, but this is really rather brilliant.

The List The List The List for This Week!

Whoo! Yeah! Alright! Here it is!

Aliens #2 (of 4)
Amazing Spider-Man #600
Captain Britain And MI 13 #15
Final Crisis Legion Of Three Worlds #5 (of 5)
Green Lantern #44
Incredible Hulk #600
Invincible #64

Hmm. That's a pretty poor showing actually. Not a great week for new comics. Not even sure about getting Aliens (first issue was OK; I'll flick through this one first I think) or Amazing Spider-Man (haven't really touched it since the Brand New Day debacle). To be honest, I could quite easily skip all of these and not have any real regrets (apart from Final Crisis Legion, which rules).

But that would mean not going to the comic shop this week.


Random Comics Characters We Like for No Discernible Reason

We all have a few of these. Or at least those of us who still read superhero comics well into our dotage. I'm not talking about your Captain Americas or Batmans here. I mean your second- and third- and even fourth-stringers, characters who wouldn't support their own comic in a million years and yet for some reason struck a chord with us, usually at an impressionable age (although not necessarily).

Like this guy. Vance Astro. I've mentioned him before. There he is on the right, bottom right on the cover. Why has he lodged in my brain? No idea. I couldn't tell you a thing about him, although I recently picked up a few old Marvel Presents, so maybe they'll shed some light.

Then there's Kang. I think I like Kang because I like the sound of his name. Kang. Kang. KANG. Kang is a conquerer (in fact he often insists on being called Kang the Conquerer). There are a few comics featuring him I really like, notably Avengers Forever, but beyond the sound of his name and his blue face and funky duds, I have no clue why he resonates with me. Maybe that's all you need with comics characters. A cool name, a nice look, and a chance encounter in childhood. I guess ol' Vance Astro fits the bill there too.

Well there you go. I think we've all learned something there.

Tuesday 21 July 2009

Of course,

the problem with maintaining a blog about something (as opposed to maintaining a blog about nothing – see Off Message and previous iterations of Existential Ennui) is you need to have something interesting to say about your chosen subject matter on a regular basis. And if you don't have something interesting to say, or indeed write, then you might find yourself knocking out a post along the lines of this one, which is going to be of no useful interest to anyone, least of all yourself.

Monday 20 July 2009

For once,

I finished all this week's comics at the weekend. Usually it takes me up until the next New Comics Day to polish them off, and often longer than that. So well done me.

Best of the bunch was probably the Michael Kupperman back-up story in All Select, featuring Marvex the Super-Robot, which read like a lot of other Kupperman comics, i.e. daft and random and full of off kilter moments and unexpected detours (usually leading to dead ends). And then I read the story after Kupperman's effort, a reprint of an actual Marvex strip from the 1940s, and it quickly became clear that some of the more Kupperman-esque comedy stylings – Marvex being paid $20 for righting a wrong, for example – were a direct lift. In fact the 'classic' Marvex comic strip was even more random than the Kupperman version. Which just goes to prove that Golden Age comics really weren't big on logic or reason. Or plot. Or characterization. But they were big on MENTALNESS.