Friday, December 29, 2006


So here we are, two days away from 2007 and I feel like 2006 just got started.

Still, all things considered, '06 has been pretty good to me.

  • I started the year off with a bang by going to Manhattan for a week, and that was something I'd wanted to do for most of my life. I never made it to the Baxter Building, though. Oh, well, maybe next time.
  • I got a raise at work.
  • I bought a house.
  • I got a dog.
  • I self-published my first comic, and had another story appear in 803 # 3.
  • And even though Comic Club saw a bit of a decline in attendance this year, I think we more than made up for it with the number of phone in guests we've had... Don Rosa, Steve Engelhart, Roger Stern, Roy Thomas, etc...
  • I met Ricardo and Pedro, and will be doing more comics work with both of them in '07.
  • And closed the year out by getting a video iPod, which I'm now addicted to.

See... not so bad.

Of course, now's the time everyone sits down to do their "Best and Worst of 2006" lists, and since I can't really think of anything better... here's mine.


Best (or "Comics I was happy to buy!")

Astonishing X-men by Whedon and Cassaday
Daredevil by Brubaker and Lark
She-Hulk by Slott and various
The Thing by Slott and various (gone before its time)
Y-The Last Man by Vaughn and Guerra
Casanova by Fraction and Ba
Fables by Willingham and Buckingham
All-Star Superman by Morrison and Quitely
Runaways by Vaughn and Alphono
Aquaman, Sword of Atlantis by Busiek and Guice
Superman by Busiek and Pacheco

2006 also gave us some great mini-series' too, like BEYOND! by McDuffie and Kolins, and Agents of Atlas by Parker and Kirk, and Avenger: Earth's Mighties Heroes II by Casey and Rosado.

Comics I'm really looking forward to in '07:

The Spirit by Darwyn Cooke
Immortal Iron Fist by Brubake/Fraction and Aja
Civil War: The Initiative by Slott and various
New Nexus by Baron and Rude

Worst (or "Why'd they even put this out?")

Infinite Crisis by Johns/DC Editorial and various
Civil War by Millar/Marvel Editorial and McNiven
All-Star Batman and Robin by Miller and Lee
Onslaught: Reborn by Loeb and Liefield
Superman/Batman by Loeb and various
Green Lantern by Johns and various

Comics Underdog Award 2006:

This award goes to Mr. Paul Jenkins, writer of Civil War: Frontline for writing a mini-series that's twice as long and ten times as interesting and sensical as the main mini-series it spun out of.

You go, Paul. And congrats on the new kid!


I bought and listened to less music this year than I have since I was in middle school, and I'm kind of ashamed to be honest with you.

There was some really great stuff out this year that I came to late, so I don't really feel qualified to put it on any kind of list... however, here's some stuff that I liked a lot.

Beck, The Information
The Killers, Sam's Town
Jay-Z, Kingdom Come
The Roots, Best of...
The Flaming Lips, At War With The Mystics
Gnarls Barkely, St. Elsewhere
Thom Yorke, The Eraser
Eagles of Death Metal, Death by Sexy


Of what I saw, here's what I liked most...

Casino Royale
Happy Feet
Mission Impossible 3
Clerks 2
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Movies I Regret Not Seeing:

Little Miss Sunshine
The Departed
Inside Man
Flags of Our Fathers
Children of Men
The Devil Wears Prada
Jackass, Number Two
The Notorious Bettie Page
Art School Confidential
The Prestige
The Grudge 2
Miami Vice

Movies I Regret Seeing:

Lady in the Water
De Vinci Code
Basic Instinct 2
My Super Ex-Girlfriend


Battlestar Galactica
Doctor Who
The Office
30 Rock
The Venture Brothers
Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip

Wanted to put My Name Is Earl on the list, but it seems to have lost something this season. Maybe too much Randy and less and less of Earl's interesting past.

Shark is pretty good, but I haven't been totally pulled in yet.

Also, Standoff is a bit a guilty pleasure... love that Ron Livingston.

Not terribly impressed with Heroes.

Still haven't finished Season 2 of Lost, but I did watch the first few episodes of Season 3 and thought it was pretty good.

I'm always catching hell for this, but I don't watch the Sopranos, 24, The Wire, Deadwood, Rome, or Nip'Tuck, but just based on my recently updated NetFlix quee, that's about to change.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006



Uh, just Sorry, Benjy, but just based off this last one... I think I'll take the Hulk - JESUS.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Well, it's December 26th and after three days of travel, I'm back home.

And since I'm running a little low on brain power (content), I thought I'd be a jerk and post pictures of some of the cool stuff I got this Christmas.

Don't know what it is about being a guy with a dog, but one question I got over and over this season was, "What're you getting Argo for Christmas?" If you don't know, Argo is my dog (and yes she's named after Argo city, where Supergirl is from) and this was her first Christmas with us. Honestly, I hadn't really thought about getting her anything -- I mean, she's a dog afterall -- but most folks with dogs seem to get 'em something, so why not, right?

We bought her a tire chewtoy called a "Pup Tread" and presented it to her Christmas morning.

Here're a few pictures.

(Now I'm officially that guy with pictures of his dog on his blog.)

And here's some stuff I got...

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Phil hit me with the ol' "Five Things You Don't Know About Me Tag" over at Poptown, so it looks like I'm up.

  1. I'm absolutely terrified of guns. Not because they can kill people, but because I hate the loudness of their firing. But I did recently go to a shooting range with my brother-in-law and nephews and shot about six different guns. I was wearing the range-required headphones so the sound wasn't too bad, and I actually had a pretty good time... still, wouldn't want to do it without the headgear.
  2. Back in middle school, I lied to a lot of people and told them my dad was stationed in Germany when I was born, thus giving me duel citizenship. The truth is my dad WAS in the military, but the furthest he ever went was Alaska, and that was about ten or so years before I was even born. I stuck with my story, though, all the way up until my first year of high school.
  3. I hate Chucky!!! Can't stand him, won't look at him, and I don't like to hear him talk. He totally freaks me the "F" out. This started when I first saw the trailer for the first Child's Play movie as a kid and hasn't stopped yet...
  4. I sang back-up, played guitar and even wrote a little bit for Nashville sensation Julie Roberts when I was in college. Julie's from the same town as me, Lancaster, and we became pretty good friends when we were both freshmen. I also ended up rooming with her then boyfriend for my last two years of college.
  5. I don't really like the taste or smell of candy. It drives my wife nuts. I have an extremely keen sense of smell and very sensitive taste buds, so pretty much everything stands out. And there's just something about the sweet smell of candy that overwhelms me and quite honestly, sometimes even makes me a little nauseous. Weird, huh?

And that's it. Of course there's a lot more people don't know about me, but this'll have to do for now.

Let's see... who'm I going to tag? How 'bout my pal Ricardo. All right, Ric - you're up!

Friday, December 22, 2006

HANK PYM FLIPS THE #@$% OUT!!! (Part 1)


Everyone knows Hank Pym (AKA Ant-man, Giant-man, Goliath, Yellowjacket, etc...) has a bit of the ol' Schizophrenia and hit his wife once... and if you didn't, then you probably haven't read a story with Hank since it happened, cause lord knows it gets mentioned nearly every time he makes an appearance, but I digress...

What you might not know is, that in his earliest days as Avengers chairman, he and his team - the ever so winsome Wasp, happy-to-shot-anybody-with-an-arrow Hawkeye, the badass Black Panther, and the virile Vision - were recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. (Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law-Enforcement Division... I know it means something else now, but at the time, it stood for this) to stop A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanincs) from creating an army of Super-Adaptoid clones. But before they arive, the whole cloning process goes awry and A.I.M. ends up with an uncontrollable legion of Adaptoids, forcing the Avengers to take action.

During the skirmish, Hank makes a tough call, and sends the rest of the team away to retrieve the original Super-adaptoid from A.I.M.'s island HQ, leaving him all alone to take on an army of mindless drones, each with the powers of the Avengers... oh, shit.


That's right, folks... that last one is Hank Pym with a mouthful of Super-adaptoid clone.

All that to really just say that I'm enjoying Joe Casey's Earth's Mightiest Heroes II just as much as the first.

The first EMH was a nice look at the role of Captain America in the Avengers and how his joining the team kind of pulled everything together for them. This one jumps forward a few years and we see the Avengers made popular by the Roy Thomas and John Buscema era.

Having recently read the Thomas run, I think it's pretty cool how Casey's choosing to focus on the mental breakdown of Hank, something that Thomas introduced in the late-60s without a whole lot of build-up. Hank seems so out of his league as leader, and is desperatly trys to overcompensate by being all badass with Nick Fury and foolishly standing alone against the adaptoids.

I haven't really talked to a lot of people who're reading this, though... and that's a shame.

I know the first one did pretty well in hardcover once it was collected, but so far, month-to-month, this has been a great comic and it's a shame Casey's not writing an Avengers ongoing.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

BEHOLD... THE 70s!!!

Conan (October, 1970)
Man-Thing (May, 1971)
Morbius, the Living Vampire (October, 1971)
The Defenders (December, 1971)
Werewolf by Night (February, 1972)
Dracula (April, 1972)
Luke Cage (June, 1972)
Ghost Rider (August, 1972)
Warlock (August, 1972)
The Cat (November, 1972)
Monster of Frankenstein (January, 1973)
Killraven (May, 1973)
Blade (July, 1973)
The Living Mummy (August, 1973)
Zombie (August, 1973)
Man-wolf (September, 1973)
Brother Voodoo (September, 1973)
Son of Satan (September, 1973)
Satana (October, 1973)
Howard the Duck (December, 1973)
Punisher (February, 1974)
Iron Fist (May, 1974)
Deathlok (August, 1974)
Wolverine (October 1974)
Black Goliath (April, 1975)
Collosus (May, 1975)
Nightcrawler (May, 1975)
Storm (May, 1975)
Moon Knight (August 1975)
Captain Britain (October, 1976)
Ms. Marvel (January, 1977)
Spider-woman (February, 1977)

Captain Marvel (Came into his own during the 70s as The Most Cosmic Superhero of All!)

Doctor Strange (June, 1974, Doc gets relaunched with new #1...came into his own during the 70s)

Hulk (Thanks in part to the success of the television show, Hulk came into his own during the 70s and to this days remains one of Marvel's most popular characters.)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Lots of different opinions swirling around over Archie Comics' decision to change art styles.

In May of '07, Archie will be going from the standard, in-house, Dan Decarlo-inspired look to something that's a little more modern.

New Vs. Classic

They've already done something similar to this with Sabrina the Teenage Witch - shifting from the house style to something more Manga-inspried - and that seems to have worked out for them.

So why is this a big deal?

I'll admit I'm not the Archie fan that this guy is - I did read a lot of the digests when I was a kid and I try to keep up with the whole Americana series as those come out, but trust me, I am by no means an Archie-phile.

But I also think that's one of the best things about Archie. Even though I haven't really read Archie since I was much younger, I could pick up an Archie comic today and not be lost. I love that, and I think most everybody else does too.

But with this new look, I wonder if the creators might not be tempted to play around with the story elements a little more. They've already announced that the formatting will change, going from the standard short-story format to a longer, full-length tale each issue. And now that Archie and the gang look different - a little more realistic - will the stories start to veer towards the same?

If that happens, it might not be a bad thing either. Archie's been around a long time, and a little change could be good. I usually side with the old "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" theory, but I'm interested to see where this goes.

It's certainly got people talking about ol' Arch', and I'll be picking up the first issue when it hits in May... and I haven't been to Riverdale in over twenty years.

Additional Reading:

What my pal Phil "the deal" Looney has to say about Archie...

Newsarama's coverage of the Archie announcement...

Archie Comics Site...

More on Dan Decarlo...