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01 May 2015

Some random thoughts on that Avengers Age of Ultron moive. It needed more AC/DC.

Image result for avengers age of ultron
I only see about one movie a year that doesn't have a talking animal in it so I may as well write about it when I do.

  • It needed more AC/DC.  One of the problems with the current era of super hero movies is that none of them have a theme song.  Not one damn one of them.  Hum Spider-Man's theme.  You can't.  How many times have you seen kids play fighting in their back yard while humming the Avenger's theme?  Zero.  And Tony Robert Downey Jr. Stark was smart enough to know he existed in an era of incompetent film scorers so he brought his own jams.  He brought AC/DC.  Those all-american arena rock jams from the Australian band AC/DC played a big part it setting the tone for Iron Man and differentiating him from the super heroes of the past in Iron Man, Iron Man 2 and the first Avengers film.  But then, Iron Man 3 happened and there wasn't any AC/DC.  And I think Tony Robert Downey Jr. Stark has been in mourning ever sense.  He never seems to enjoy himself in Avengers: Age of Ultron.  And really that's the biggest knock on this movie.  It just isn't as fun as Marvel has taught us these movies should be.  Marvel fed us a formula and it worked.  This time they forgot some of the ingredients.  Just a little AC/DC might have fixed all of that. 
  • Or maybe they could have just used the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack.  It would have been cheap but who would complain.  When it works it works. 
  • I think that feeling of mourning was all over this movie.  It felt like a swan song for Robet Downey Jr.,  Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner in particular.  We know Downey Jr. is at least back for Captain America: Civil War but for all three of those guys it felt like a last ride.
  • Only Chris Hemsworth's Thor seemed to be enjoying himself.  Chris Evan's Captain America seemed to revel in the comraderie of a super team.  As that character should.  
  • Scarlett Johansen's Black Widow wasn't having a ton of fun but she's not supposed to.  Dark past and all that.  I think she was just right in every scene or at least as right as the script allowed.  Great work from her.  People can debate that the character could have been given more.  You can look at it from a feminist angle and make some complaints.  But this movie is meant to sell toys to little boys and razors to their dads.  Scarlett did about as much with what she was going to get as possible. 
  • Sticking with the ladies for a moment.  Cobie Smulders continues to be great as Maria Hill.  Linda Cardellini is always just right in everything from Scooby-Doo to Mad Men.  I thought Elizabeth Olsen was very good in a very bad role.  She could be a strong contributor to the next films.
  • But... sigh.  Scarlett Witch and Quicksliver... I think it it was a bad idea from the start.  Yeah, they have been avengers and if you are bringing Vision into the story you kind of want Scarlet Witch to be there to stand beside him.  But these characters are not those characters from the comics and I guess legally they can't be since Fox has the mutants.  So instead they are a couple of kids that from a fictional country that got "enhanced" by Hydra.  Lame.  Could't they at least be Inhumans?  And what are they ehanced with?  Loki staff magic?  Chitauri slime?  My 13 year old daughter is a big X-Men fan and she was pretty mad about how wrong they got Scarlet Witch and Quicksliver. 
  • And speaking of bad ideas; Sokovia.  Ugh.  More like Suck-ovia.  Fake countries are the worst.  Stop it!  Why is there a country of people that look like middle class white Americans that all speak with the same bad movie-Russian accent?
  • Yeah, Quicksliver was definelty a bad idea.  And what makes it worse is Fox did Quickslilver better in X-Men: Days of Future Past.  Contratulations Fox.  Marvel should have just cut their loses with Quicksilver. You can't turn vinegar into wine. Congratulations Fox. You and Sony have a combined total of one win against Marvel.  I think that brings the score to 109,342 to 1.  Try to build on it.  Or don't.  Actually, please don't.  Please just go away or get bought by Disney.
  • I loved that this movie was not about children.  Eventually we will probably get a child Spider-Man in these things but so far we've been mercifully Harry Potter and Katniss free in the Marvel movieverse. Thank God!
  • It was cool to see War Machine and Falcon involved but why didn't Falcon get to play in the helicarrier scenes?  Lame.
I had some more thoughts but life is hard and I got tired/bored before I finished this post.  Sorry. 

Your best pal ever,

Shannon Smith

21 January 2015

I read a bunch of my daughter's comics.


I buy a lot of comics.  A lot of them are for my kids.  Luckily they have pretty good taste in comics.  The sad thing is that I read the comics they get before I read the ones I get for myself.  (And then my comics accumulate into a giant tower as pictured above.)  See, I don't get to keep their comics.  I can always read my comics on my death bed or whatever but I gotta read their comics before they turn them into pocketbooks and post them on Pintrest or whatever it is kids do with things these days.

(Is Pintrest still a thing?  I got an ello invite a while back and never found the time to read the email.)

Where were we?  Oh yeah, comics. I read a bunch of my daughter's comics recently.  Here are some words about them.

Doctor Who
All three of the new comics from Titan by Nick Abadzis, Elena Casagrande, Al Ewing, Rob Williams, Simon Fraser, Robbie Morrison, Dave Taylor and a whole bunch of other people.
Published by Titan.  $3.99.

My daughter is super into Doctor Who.  (And I am too kinda.)  We started reading some of the IDW Doctor Who comics a year or so ago and like most IDW comics they were pretty good if not super over produced.  I was skeptical about the franchise moving from IDW to Titan but these new Titan Doctor Who comics look and feel almost exactly like the IDW books.  Paper and production that are almost too good.  Colors that are almost too slick.  Writing and drawing that are fine enough.  There are three of these things.  One series for the 10th Doctor, one for the 11th and now one for the 12th.  Each writer does a fine job of capturing their Doctor's personality and dialog and each artist does a solid job of capturing their mannerisms.  I like most of the stories so far.  These comics get to go off into some 2000 AD directions you don't see on TV.  The art can be inconsistent but I enjoy it, especially the Dave Taylor work on the 12th doctor book.  It is lovely sci-fi drawing with some Brendan McCarthy-esque colors as well. Of the three serieses I'd say the 12th Doctor comic is the best.  My main complaint with these things is do we really need three Doctor Who comics at $3.99 each.  How about one comic each month at $4.99.  Instead of 20 ish pages of each doctor each month, give me 8 ish pages of each doctor in one magazine style book.  Maybe even throw in a random "Classic" Doctor story as well?  Maybe even hire me to write one of the things.  Hell, I'd buy two copies of that issue.
Oh, one other complaint:  Titan, give me digital codes in the print comics so I can also read these on my iPad.  Ask Marvel and Comixology how.  Do it!  Do it now!

Edge of Spider-Verse No. 2:  Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman
By Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez, Rico Renzi, Clayton Cowles and some other people.
Published by Marvel. $3.99

This is one of the more visually exciting comics I've read in a bit.  Robbi Rodriquez draws with every one's clothes and hair in motion and his action layouts force the eye to the point of impact with great speed.  Rico Renzi's colors really pop off the page and his pallet choices are bold and vibrant.  There are very few tricks and gimmicks in Renzi's colors.  Mostly flats with out any of the garbage effects everyone uses.  Just great choices.  Choices that would probably sound insane if you were to explain them without showing them.  "Yeah, I'm gonna have hot pink on top of electric green in this panel but trust me, it's gonna work." -Something imaginary Renzi said to imaginary Latour and Rodriguez while imaginary coloring the book.  It looks fantastic.  And it's full of some neat ideas.  In this Spider-Man variant universe whatever, Gwen Stacy got bit instead of Pete Parker and it sets up totally different dynamics with her police officer father and her female friends that you don't get in the regular Spider-Man books.  And that costume, I mean c'mon guys, that costume is sharp.  I'd buy more of these.  Hey Marvel, make more of these.  (They are totally making more of these.)

Gotham Academy No. 1
By Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl, Geyser, Dave McCaig, Steve Wands and some other people.
Published by DC Comics. $2.99.

Ugh.  Aww jeeze.  This one was a slog to get through.  Like reading a mud puddle.  I really should not have read this after reading that exciting Spider-Gwen comic.  This thing, man this thing.  Let's start with the colors by "Geyser with Dave McCaig".  Maybe it should have been colored by just Geyser or just Dave McCaig because one of the two did way too much coloring.  Maybe Karl Kerschl did some good drawing in this thing but I'll never know because all I can see is various shapes of split pea soup and refried beans. And the writing.  Gawd.  This thing is full of words all of which you've read a gagillion times.  This book really lost me on page one with the total imagination vacuum of protagonist monologue captions. "Every stone has a story  ...but not every story has a happy ending."  You know what, either get on with the story or let's skip to the sad ending folks. "This is my life.."  No kid, this is the life of every freaking young adult character ever.  Get over it.  Please God oh please make Batman show up by page 4 of this thing and punch somebody in the neck. I counted the pages and absolutely nothing happens in the first eleven pages of this comic.  This comic is not for me.  And look, most comics published since about 1987 have been published specifically for ME.  I'm cool with somebody not Shannon Smith being pandered too.  Really, go make your young adult fiction comics.  Pretend Bruce Wayne went to Hogwarts.  Whatever you think it is that the youngs need.  Just make them good.  Go read Richard Sala and figure it out.  Jeeziz.  Can we not just pay Richard Sala a bunch of money to pretend that Cat Burglar Black took place in Gotham and re-launch that as an ongoing comic?  Seriously, whatever it takes.

New Suicide Squad No. 1.
By Sean Ryan, Jeremy Roberts, Bond, Taylor Esposito and some other people.
Published by DC Comics.  $2.99.

This is a re-launch of the New 52 re-launch of the Suicide Squad.  Have you read it?  No.  Close your eyes and imagine what this comic looks and reads like.  Okay, that is exactly what this comic looks and reads like.  Like most of the New 52 stuff outside of the Batman, Superman and Green Lantern books, this thing looks and reads like 2000s Image.  And not the good Image.  This looks like the Top Cow image.  Which is terrible.  My daughter wanted this because she is super into Harley Quinn and Duela Dent.  (They call Duela Dent "Joker's Daughter" in the New 52 but she's Duela Dent and she's been around longer than you have.)  Duela and Harley aver very fun characters but there is nothing fun about this comic.  Sure it's full of video game violence if you are into that but where are the jokes?  Where is the madness?  I think (I could be wrong) but I think this is the first time New 52 Harley and New 52 Duela get together.  That should have been magic.  But, not a lot of writers get Harley and Duela in the New 52.  Jimmy Palmiotti does.  Go read Ame-Comi girls.  It's the best comic DC has published in the New 52 era.  Duela Dent shines in that thing.  This is not that thing.  This is not very good.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl No. 1.
By Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Rico Renzi and some other people.
Published by Marvel.  $3.99

Loved every panel of this comic.  Great script, great character design and drawing, vibrant colors, talking squirrel... what else you want?  Every thing I said about Renzi's color on the Spider-Gwen book applies here as well.  Ryan North really has this smart comics for kids thing figured out.  I've read about 100 thousand of his Adventure Times comics and I don't want him dead yet so that's pretty darn good.  Love Henderson's Kraven the Hunter in this.  The plot?  Eh, who cares?  She's going to college or whatever.  It's a girl with a squirrel tail and a talking squirrel sidekick.  Who even cares what they are doing as long as they are doing it with jokes?  The kids, they love the jokes.

Your best pal ever,
Shannon Smith

p.s. Say you want a leader but you can't seem to make up your mind. I think you'd better close it and let me guide you to my twitter feed.
p.p.s. Let's pretend we went to high school together on facebook.
p.p.p.s. Google + is another place you can read the same thing I posted here.
p.p.p.p.s. I'll tumblr for ya.
p.p.p.p.p.s.  Yeah, I do Instagram too now.  I guess it's a law or something.

15 May 2014

I drove 628 miles round trip to buy your minicomic: The 2014 fuo Fluke report.

This is Fluke. (Image stolen from Fluke.) 

(EDITOR'S NOTE:  I started writing this soon after Fluke but then I got busy with work that pays me money.  Sorry.  As much as I'd love to spend all day creating "content" for you to share with your mom on Facebook, I gotta get paid. The kids gotta have their My Little Ponies.)


Fluke is a mini-comics and zine festival that takes place in Athens GA USA every spring.  I love it.  I think this is year twelve of the show.  I think I've been to maybe seven of them?  I like it so much that when I don't go I have Henry Eudy drop in by parachute to write a report about it for file under other.  (Or maybe he drives there?  I forget logistics.)  The point that I am trying to make with this opening paragraph is that Fluke is great.  I love it.  You love it.  We love it. 

I love Fluke so much that I requested to have off from work the Friday before the show months in advance so that I could drive down before the show and enjoy Athens.  This request was denied.  So, I had to leave after work and drive in the rain all Friday night showing up in town sometime in the Saturday AM.  Same as always.

The way you (and by you, I mean I) get to Athens GA from southwest VA is to drive to Kingsport, TN then get on Interstate 26 and take it through the Carolinas then on into Georgia.  I'd like to take a moment to talk with you about the abomination that is Interstate 26.  

I once read a book about traveling through Mongolia and post Soviet Russia and how terrible the roads were.  As in there were not any roads.  I'm assuming it was a lot like Interstate 26.  Calling Interstate 26 an "interstate" is the most flattering lie I could direct at Interstate 26.  Interstate 26 is a nightmare.  It is driving for three hours on road so bumpy that you have to keep telling yourself over and over that you do not have a flat tire.  Yet.  How do people in North Carolina live like this?  If you drive that road more than once a week I assure you that you are living with a constant concussion and you are most likely brain damaged right now.  Brain damage being the only thing I can imagine that has prevented every single citizen of North Carolina from marching on their state capital and demanding that Interstate 26 be improved and/or just murdering everyone in the building. 


Sections of I-26 have sings that read "Future".  They have said this for years and years.  The future is never going to come to North Carolina.  I guess the future can't happen everywhere.

Eventually, I made it to Interstate 85 and headed on into Georgia.  Touching tires to asphalt on I-85 after hours on I-26 is like arriving at Disney World after a days long journey.  I can only imagine what it must feel like for pilgrims to arrive at Mecca but I'm guessing the elation is much like that moment when you realize that all of I-26 is behind you. 

This concludes the Interstate Highway System review portion of the report. 

Around 12:20 or 1:30 AM (some time with a 30 in it) I finally arrived that the home of cartoonist extraordinaire and Fluke organizer Patrick Dean.  Patrick had graciously offered me couch space to I took him up on it as I am cheap and don't like sleeping outside. I presented my host with a collection of Werewolf by Night comics as is the custom.  Patrick gave me the tour of his lovely home.  He has some very impressive original art but I mainly looked at his kids' toys. We then talked about Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko for a while.  Again, as is the custom.

The next morning everyone got up and I met Patrick's wife and kids.  Patrick's son showed me his toys.  We had a nice breakfast and then it was time to get out there and make Fluke happen.  Patrick lives a few minutes outside of Athens and I enjoyed the drive into town.  The non-Atlanta parts of Georgia are very pretty.  Trees, ponds, ducks, covered bridges, Waffle Houses with giant bulldogs painted on the side... it's nice.
We went to Kroger and picked up a giant cake for the show.  As is the custom.

This is 40 Watt Club around 9 AM before the Fluking starts.

We got to the 40 Watt Club around 9 AM and met up with Fluke organizer, writer, editor, publisher, retired pod-caster and all round swell fellow Robert Newsome.  This is a good two hours before the show starts but there were already a few exhibitors waiting to get into the show.  Which is odd, because Fluke adopted a pre-show registration process last year so these guys knew they had a table.  But, who am I to question their enthusiasm?   I drove six hours in the rain.

At 9 AM on a Saturday, 40 Watt Club is an empty place.  It was strange to be in a bar in the AM and not be intoxicated.  I pressed on. Robert and Patrick's friends showed up to help set up for the show.  They included Joey Weiser, Michele Chidester, Drew Weing, David Mack and maybe some other people I apologize for forgetting.  In my mind, I call this group of people Athens Force and when I think the words "Athens Force" I see it in my mind in the font from the cover logo of  Atari Force.  They showed up to help load in the tables but the tables were not there yet.  Drama!
Not really.  The tables showed up a little while after 9:30.  We probably had them set up and ready for Fluking by 10.

Somewhere previously in that last paragraph, I should have mentioned that while we waited for the tables two fun things happened.  1) Patrick Dean went to Waffle House to get a knife to cut the Fluke Cake but he also bought and ate a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit because he felt it was the polite thing to do.
2)  Robert Newsome played with the Fluke megaphone.  Fluke has a megaphone.

This is Michele Chidester using sorceress powers to make a cake appear. (She did not really use sorceress powers to make it appear.  Patrick Dean bought it from a grocery store bakery. I saw it happen.  Both Michele and Patrick may have sorcery based powers but I'm pretty sure the cake was just eggs, flour, sugar and whatever else goes into cakes.  What does go into cakes?  I honestly have no idea.  (It's probably sorcery.)

This is the stage of 40 Watt Club.  Famous people have performed music on that stage.  I have never seen that happen.  I have seen people buy, trade and read minicomics and zines in a rock club though.

This is Robert Newsome harassing complete strangers with a Megaphone.  (He totally knows who those people are but the thought of him harassing strangers is funnier.)

 It was my understanding that the Earth revolves around the sun so the appearance of sunshine moving is just an illusion.  But, since these guys have an exact street address of where the sunshine has moved, I may be wrong.

Tables hungry for Fluking.

The line was backed up all the way to where the sunshine had moved.

At 10 AMish, exhibitors were allowed into the show to set up.  This is great because a lot of the exhibitors are my long time pals.  It only takes a few minutes to set up so that leaves some time to socialize.  As soon as Henry Eudy came through the door I flagged him down and asked if he wanted to share a table with me.  This is because I love him.
He said yes.
We used his cool Halloween skull tablecloth to cover our table.  It looked nice.

This is my table setup.  Kinda orange. 

After the tables were set up, the knife was acquired and Patrick ate his biscuit, the non-exhibitor patron type people were welcomed in at 11 AM and Fluke was on.

Also at 11 AM, 40 Watt Club's bar opened.  I believe I was the first customer.  I ordered Jim Beam with Ginger Ale.  Five bucks and a tip.  It was good. 

This is me making a face at Henry Eudy. (Image stolen from Henry Eudy.)

This is Henry Eudy (the world's most dangerous man) making a face at me.

 Robert Newsome.  The longest reigning The Atomic Elbow Professional Wrestling Zine World Heavyweight Champ of the modern era.

This is Robert Newsome yelling at my shoes with a megaphone.  (He is not really yelling at my shoes but, again, made up stuff is funnier.)  (Image stolen from Fluke.) 

Now there are people in Fluke doing Fluke things.  I see Rich Tommaso, J. Chris Campbell and Jason Horn.  We are doing Fluke y'all!   (Image stolen from Fluke.) 

This is Adam Daughhetee doing Adam Daughhetee things.  (Image stolen from Fluke.) 
Adam and Shawn Daughhetee had the new Dollar Bin comics zine thing and it looked great.  It contains an Adam Rose pin-up by me.  You should track them down and buy 12 copies. 

That is Eleanor Davis on the right being tall and awesome. (Image stolen from Fluke.) 

Yes, David Mack and Joey Weiser would like some cake. (Image stolen from Fluke.) 

Fluke does not have an awards show or panels.  Fluke has cake.  I think we started eating the cake around noon.  

It was probably also around noon that Patrick's wife showed up with more biscuits from Waffle House.  Patrick ate them.

Henry Eudy's cake kind of fell apart.  He cried for a while and then murdered all of us.  (No, he did not murder us.  But again, made up stuff is funny and murder is hilarious.)  (Image stolen from Fluke.) 

That is Adam Casey doing Adam Casey things. (Image stolen from Fluke.) 

 This is people Fluking.

The show had a good crowd.  All of the tables were sold out in one day of registration so we knew the room would be full.  I think the walk up non-cartoonist attendance was steady.  Not the most shoppers I've seen at Fluke but it was a rainy day and the day before Easter.  I didn't sell as much as I have in the past but a lot of the business you do at a show like this is with other cartoonists and I did not have anything new on my table that the folks that I already knew had not already picked up.  I was also out of what have been my two best selling comics so I guess I need to re-print those and finish some new stuff right now.

 Here is a picture I took from one of Henry Eudy's sketchbooks.  I think it is great.

Henry Eudy seemed to do very well.  Henry's table is a good example of my multiple price points philosophy in action.  Henry had small prints and comics in an affordable price range.  And his stuff looks great.  His bigger prints with their bold colors seemed to bring folks over and the smaller stuff gave them something to walk away with.

I didn't ask anyone about sales or numbers but Rich Tommaso seemed to be very busy.  He had a solid variety of Recoil books on his table.  The all look great.  Picking up some stuff from Rich was one of the main things on my to-do list.  So I did.

Other things on my to-do list included getting whatever Drew Weing and Eleanor Davis had to offer and getting anything that Patrick Dead had that I was missing from my collection.  I did those things and it was good.

I really was not focused on selling. I was mainly there to talk to my comics friends and see what was new.  I talked to J. Chris Campbell about Brad McGitny.  I talked to Rich Tommaso about Patrick Dean.  I talked to Drew Weing about Margo Maloo.  I talked to Robert Newsome about Jimmy Valiant.  I talked to a lot of people about wrestling.  A lot of people talked to me about how rad my Brad McGinty t-shirt was.  I regretted not talking as much as I wanted to to many other people.  (Sorry bros.  Get at me at HeroesCon.)

 This is Patrick Dean announcing that Fluke has cake for people to eat.  I really should have put this picture up above the pictures of people eating the cake but get your own blog and don't tell me what to do. Maybe try tumblr.  All the kids love tumblr.

Here are more Fluke people.  I'm pretty sure I've known everyone in this picture for about a decade but I don't know any of their names.  (I know some of their names but, again, comedy.)

Here is another picture that looks almost the same as the other pictures I took from behind my table.  Walking around and taking pictures honestly never occurred to me.  Professional photo journalists just stand in one spot and wait for something exciting to happen right?  Well, that's what I did.

The dude on the left is me and the dude on the right is my pal writer and former co-worker Todd O'Brien.  The last time I saw him was a previous Fluke show about 5 years ago.  He grew a beard.  And a hat.  Maybe he bought the hat.  I didn't ask.  Look, if anyone can grow a hat, it's that guy.

After Fluke we all went to the Bizzaro-Wuxtry comics shop.  As is the custom.  It is great.  You should go there.  They have at least one of everything.  Also, Devlin, the gentleman that runs the shop, bought copies of Fluke peoples' minicomic and zines to sell in the shop.  Go there now.  I several different minicomics on sell there right now.  Right now!

This is Robert Newsome playing with a Hulk toy at Bizzaro-Wuxtry.  I thought about cropping out that bending over dude's back but whatever.  When I put this picture on my facebook page it wanted me to "tag" all of those masks because it thought they were all real peoples' faces.  Ha hah hah!  The joke is on you Zuckerberg!  You may be worth a billion dollars but that website you "invented" that is just MySpace with the customization features turned off does not know the difference between a Sylvester the Cat mask and a human being!

We eventually left Bizzaro and headed out looking for some dinner.  I was super hungry having eaten only breakfast, cake and some tic-tacs.  Patrick was starving having only eaten at least breakfast, cake and three bacon egg and cheese biscuits.  Robert, Patrick, my pall Todd and I ended up at Yummy Pho where we found Rich Tommaso, his girlfriend and another fellow to whom I apologize for not remembering his name.  I ordered grilled pork.  It was great.  Robert and Patrick ordered these huge bowls of crazy Vietnamese noodles.  These bowls were the size of bowls you would use if you were going to make a large quantity of food that would then be served in several smaller bowls to several people.  They ate it all and did not die.  I was impressed.

Yummy Pho was very good and very affordable.  I recommend it.  I wish I was there eating right now. (Even though Robert Newsome thinks that adults should not say the word "yummy".  I kinda agree with him.  Maybe mothers can say the word yummy to their own children but a grown man should probably never say it unless talking specifically about a Vietnamese restaurant with the word "yummy" in its name or Chester Brown comics.)

This is a picture of the stuff I got at Fluke.  Actually, I got other things but those were for my kids and they took those things before I took this picture. 

After dinner and a stop in a record store (it was record store day) it was time to say my sad farewells and head back to Virginia.  Huge enormous thank-yous to Patrick Dean and his family for having me.  Thanks to Robert and everyone else for hanging out and having a swell time.  I miss you all already.  Let's do it again. 

Your best pal ever,

Shannon Smith

p.s. Say you want a leader but you can't seem to make up your mind. I think you'd better close it and let me guide you to my twitter feed.
p.p.s. Let's pretend we went to high school together on facebook.
p.p.p.s. Google + is another place you can read the same thing I posted here.
p.p.p.p.s. I'll tumblr for ya.
p.p.p.p.p.s.  Yeah, I do Instagram too now.  I guess it's a law or something.

28 March 2014

Other Comics News Parade-O-Links 03282014


(Star Wars issue 103 published by Marvel in 1985.  Cover art by Cynthia Martin.  Stolen from ComicVine.)

Here are some things I found interesting in the world of minicomics, comic books, graphic novels, small press, self publishing, zines, webcomics, cartoons, digital comics, other, etc. during the week ending 01052014 01132014 01192014 01222014  03282014

"To hell with every greedhead operator who flocked here throughout history because you wanted what we had, but wanted us to go underground and get it for you.  To hell with you for offering above-average wages in a place filled with workers who’d never had a decent shot at employment or education, and then treating the people you found here like just another material resource—suitable for exploiting and using up, and discarding when they’d outlived their usefulness.  To hell with you for rigging the game so that those wages were paid in currency that was worthless everywhere but at the company store, so that all you did was let the workers hold it for a while, before they went into debt they couldn’t get out of."  -Eric Waggoner speaking on the situation in West Virginia and/or the situations the majority of Americans are living in right this second.




Your best pal ever,

Shannon Smith

p.s. Say you want a leader but you can't seem to make up your mind. I think you'd better close it and let me guide you to my twitter feed.
p.p.s. Let's pretend we went to high school together on facebook.
p.p.p.s. Google + is another place you can read the same thing I posted here.
p.p.p.p.s. I'll tumblr for ya.
p.p.p.p.p.s.  Yeah, I do Instagram too now.  I guess it's a law or something.

Other Comics News Parade-O-Links 03222015


(Star Wars issue 103 published by Marvel in 1985.  Cover art by Cynthia Martin.  Stolen from ComicVine.)

Here are some things I found interesting in the world of minicomics, comic books, graphic novels, small press, self publishing, zines, webcomics, cartoons, digital comics, other, etc. during the week weeks month months year ending 03282014

"To hell with every greedhead operator who flocked here throughout history because you wanted what we had, but wanted us to go underground and get it for you.  To hell with you for offering above-average wages in a place filled with workers who’d never had a decent shot at employment or education, and then treating the people you found here like just another material resource—suitable for exploiting and using up, and discarding when they’d outlived their usefulness.  To hell with you for rigging the game so that those wages were paid in currency that was worthless everywhere but at the company store, so that all you did was let the workers hold it for a while, before they went into debt they couldn’t get out of."  -Eric Waggoner speaking on the situation in West Virginia and/or the situations the majority of Americans are living in right this second.



  • Hello brothers and sisters of teh intronets and welcome back to Your Other Comics News Parade-O-Links.  My name is Shannon Smith and I'll be your host as we get through this thing called life, electric word life and that means forever and that's a mighty long time but I'm here to tell you, there's something else... comics.
  • "Dear Ms. Smith,  When will the Parade-O-Links return?  I miss it so much.  Since you stopped posting it, I've given up on comics and become a highly successful business person.  Ted Cruz wont' stop asking me for money.  It's a living hell.  Come back. Where are you?  I'll hang up and listen."  First things first, I'm not a lady.  Second things second, WHERE ARE YOU?  Next question.
  • Hoo boy.  So, lots of people had beef with a variant cover for a Batgirl comic book having a drawing of the Joker doing Joker things to Batgirl. There are a lot of different points of interest in this story.  I thought it was really cool for the creative team (including the artist that drew the thing) to come out and say we don't think this one works for our book and would like it pulled.  I also thought it was cool for DC to say, well, okay.  That's just basic politeness and professionalism and points out the fact that maybe we would not have as many of these issues if the creative teams driving a book would have more input on the cover options than some marketing bro that picks out what cover theme DC will use to flood the shops with that month.  But I'm no the target audience for this stuff.  Variants don't mean anything to me.  Actually I'll say they are a pain in the ass because they make it a lot harder for me to remember if I already bought that comic or not.  More often than not, when faced with that confusion I buy zero comic. As far as the cover itself;  well, it's a horror cover.  It think it would have been fine on the Snyder/Cappulo Batman comic because that comics is absolutely a horror comic and the Joker absolutely does that kind of stuff to people in that comic.  Worse actually.  Batgirl, on the other hand is not a horror comic.  As best I can tell, it is a comic about college aged kids and their cell phones.  (Yes, I actually read it.) I can't really speak to the gender driven discussions that the cover triggered.  I'm a dude.  I've seen people say the cover is everything from the glorification of violence against women to a straight up rape fantasy.  I look at it and I see the Joker with a hostage and he is putting his red smile on the hostage.  Like the Joker does.  Like the Joker has done.  Like the Joker will do again.  I don't see blood.  There isn't any red on the Joker's hands or clothes.  My first thought was that it was paint because Joker has been painting smiles on hostages faces for a while, with, you know, paint.  He also did that in a wildly successful movie.  Another thought was that it might be lipstick because... the Joker is a clown standing right beside the hostage with red lipstick on his face.  I've talked to folks about this and they say it is blood because it looks like blood.  Well, okay.  I've also heard that it is blood because it is the Killing Joke Joker and that Joker was bloody.  Sure.  But I don't look at that and see rape.  And part of that is I just don't see the Joker as a sexual being. Look, it's a scary cover.  The Joker in his most recent film appearance and the past... decades of comics is a horror monster.  But that's the thing about art, the viewer does not have to justify their interpretation.  And that's the thing about capitalism, the customer gets to say I don't want that thing.  
  • Fans cry and complain and occasionally get their way then the other fans cry and complain that those fans took away what they wanted because everything seems to be a zero sum game and we are all insane ridiculous babies.  Fans get crapped on.  Don't be a fan.  Be a customer.  The customer is always right. 
  • And finally... I don't wanna live in a world without Nintendo.

Your best pal ever,

Shannon Smith

p.s. Say you want a leader but you can't seem to make up your mind. I think you'd better close it and let me guide you to my twitter feed.
p.p.s. Let's pretend we went to high school together on facebook.
p.p.p.s. Google + is another place you can read the same thing I posted here.
p.p.p.p.s. I'll tumblr for ya.
p.p.p.p.p.s.  Yeah, I do Instagram too now.  I guess it's a law or something.