Archive for May, 2010


4 Colors, 5 Mics: Rappers Reading Comics 05/26

May 26th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

rest in power ryan choi we gon neva forget u

It’s kinda hard with you not around, know you in heaven smiling down, watching us while we pray for you… Every day we pray for you…

Return of Bruce Wayne 01
words by grant morrison, art by chris sprouse/karl story/guy major/jared k fletcher, cover by andy kubert

Holocaust from the land of the lost, behold the pale horse, off course… off course.

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


4thletter! Film Fest

May 26th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Sean did it because Wolkin asked him to. I’m doing it because I can. I’m picking movies for a personal film festival. These aren’t my favorite (that would be Out of the Past), but I love all of them. No explanations, though the titles of each day should give you an idea what I’m going for. Feel free to chime in. If you’re really puzzled, I’ll explain in the comments.

Three movies a day. I could probably come up with a food menu for these, too, for the full David Brothers Experience.

Friday: Nothing Succeeds Like Excess
Ninja Scroll, directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri (dub) (possibly on second generation VHS)
Scarface, directed by Brian De Palma
Bad Boys II, directed by Michael Bay

Saturday: Building Blocks
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, directed by Steve Barron
Akira, directed by Katsuhiro Otomo (original dub)
Malcolm X, directed by Spike Lee

Sunday: A History of Violence
Seven Samurai, directed by Akira Kurosawa (sub)
The Killer, directed by John Woo (dub)
Blade, directed by Stephen Norrington

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


New Avengers Finale raised a lot of questions…

May 25th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

words by brian bendis, art by brian hitch or maybe stuart immonen, the credits aren’t clear

The biggest being what is going on with that baby. That kid is like five years old.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Fourcast! 46: Next Year’s Fourcast

May 24th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

-The Fourcast is one year old this week!
-(We took a six week break last year when my work schedule got crazy and I officially stopped sleeping.)
-We talk about things we liked last year: Wednesday Comics, Amazing Spider-Man, and Gastrophobia
-We have a wish list for the next year, too!
-More ongoing series of graphic novels
-Happy Fun Comics
-Esther’s love of Frank Miller
-More Crime and War Comics
-David’s complete inability to add properly
Absolute Flex Mentallo
Wednesdayer Comics
-Dead Heroes
-No wait, No Dead Heroes
-6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental for the theme music.
-See you, space cowboy!

Subscribe to the Fourcast! via:
Podcast Alley feed!
RSS feed via Feedburner
iTunes Store

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Alive by Goldfrapp

May 24th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Just a quick post here. I’ve talked before about my brother Geremy. He’s part of a production company called Legs that’s so far pulled off a music video about a creepy puppet made of meat with a disturbingly catchy theme song and did a strange, explosive music video for Florence and the Machine. Now I discover my brother’s latest vision.

Goldfrapp “Alive” Music Video directed by Legs from LEGS MEDIA on Vimeo.

I am so proud.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


This Week in Panels: Week 35

May 23rd, 2010 Posted by Gavok

This week’s update took me longer than it should have because my scanner was being a dick. Everyone join me in yelling at my scanner for being a dick.

Age of Heroes #1
Kurt Busiek, Marko Djurdjevic and many others

Atlas #1
Jeff Parker, Gabriel Hardman and Ramon Rosanas

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Atlas #1: “My three-dimensional fade is clean cut”

May 21st, 2010 Posted by david brothers

I like a lot of crappy characters. It comes with the territory, I think. Everybody has those weird little crap characters they like. More specifically, though, I’ve got a perverse fascination with crappy black characters, which should come as no surprise to anyone who has read more than ten words of this site before. I mean, I’m just saying that I [slang term], [rap reference], [animated gif of someone shaking their head], y’know?

But there’s something I love about all these characters that were just dashed off back in the day. Moses Magnum has the greatest name in comics, the kind of name you just steal outright if you ever get a chance. Hypno-Hustler has a great name and backup singers. Shades & Comanche are the down-on-their-luck scrubs that litter every story about the hood. I don’t even have to defend my love of these characters, either. There are people out there who want to read about people whose only power is “I shrink.”

One crappy black character I never liked, though, was Triathlon. Delroy Garrett was introduced in Kurt Busiek and George Perez’s Avengers, in a story with Moses Magnum no less, but I never took to him. He was boring. He had some weird Fake Scientologist entanglement, his costume was ehhh, and his powers were lame. Oh, you are as strong as three guys? Congrats, I’m happy for you. Learn to shoot lasers or use a sword.

Jeff Parker and Gabriel Hardman, though. Those guys looked to be featuring Delroy Garrett in his new role as the 3-D Man in Atlas. I couldn’t even really say that I was skeptical. I think I knew he was going to be in the book going in, but Parker has rarely done me wrong. I liked his Agents of Atlas work both times around. They were pretty clever and deftly written little books, weaving into and out of Marvel history without feeling like a Crisis or a history lesson.

This week’s Atlas #1 is the grand return of the Agents of Atlas. The first series (which had fantastic covers) was an introduction and establishment of a status quo for the Agents. The second series placed them squarely within Marvel’s Dark Reign status quo, kind of like how the second Runaways series tied in a little closer to the greater Marvel Universe.

This third one, though, feels like something different. It also stars Delroy Garrett as a has-been hero. He made some hard decisions during the Skrull invasion, and the aftermath of those decisions is that he has been completely ostracized by his peers. He’s looking around for a new career in Los Angeles with his actress girlfriend when he runs into trouble. Garrett ends up being accused of murdering one of his mentors, on the run from the police, hunted by some mysterious entity, and suffering from vivid nightmares. The nightmares point directly toward Atlas.

The tone of Atlas is something like ’50s paranoia, like in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. There’s a creeping feeling of mystery and danger that runs through the issue. Everything Delroy trusts is either wrong or broken, and his one lifeline is a comatose old man. He’s one man against the world, with no friends and no allies to speak of.

As befitting the tone of the book, the agents haunt Delroy. They appear in nightmares, news reports, and as silent characters up until the end of the first story. They infest his dreams and while they don’t come across as villains, exactly, it is clear that Atlas isn’t your same old super-team.

This book was excellent. Hardman and Elizabeth Breitweiser’s art was appropriately moody and subdued, Parker’s dialogue and pacing were on point, and (pregnant pause) it made me a fan of the 3-D Man. His new status quo works for me in a way that Triathlon never did. I never thought that would happen, but what can you do? I picked up the first issue on a whim, rather than waiting for the trade like I usually do, and it paid off huge. Huge enough that I’m buying it monthly from here on out. Check out the preview at CBR and go pick it up.

Looks like next week is going to feature another Jeff Parker bullet to the dome, too. Good show.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Does 4thletter Promote the Illegal Downloading of Comics?

May 20th, 2010 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

During the last DC panel of Wondercon, the talk turned to illegal downloads, their ethics, popularity, and effect on the comic book industry.

My take is that they’re not ethical, they’re very popular, and their overall effect is bad.  That being said, I can’t really lord morality over anyone.  I don’t get permission for the panels I use to illustrated stuff on this site, so to the extent I can steal, I suppose I do.

To the extent that I can.  To be honest, a part of what’s keeping me back from at least sneaking a few downloads to get the flavor of a particular book, is that I honestly can’t do it.  At all.  I’m a half-wit when it comes to know-how.  I don’t really know where to look for anything that I can’t look up in a book.  I’m also a half-wit when it comes to technology.  I tend toward the user-friendly programs and everything else is ‘magic’.  Half times half leaves me with a quarter wit to navigate my way through torrent sites, and I’m not up to the challenge.  I’ll pay the three dollars, thank you.

Another part of what keeps me shelling out money for books I know are going to frustrate me, is the overall atmosphere.  To me, going to a comic book store is like going to a bar.  Specifically, my well-loved, local bar.  I see people every week.  I catch up with them.  I talk comics with them.  I drift away and read when they talk sports.  I come back and we talk about what’s on TV, and eventually they close up and I head home.

Downloading comics has its appeal, especially to the broke and cheap, both of which kind of describe me, but at the same time – come on.  That’s like saying, “Why go down and meet my friends for a beer when I can make gin in my bathtub and get drunk alone?”  Sure, you can.  But why would you?

Except that, thanks to 4thletter, and Comics Alliance and Io9 and Comic Book Resources and LJ and Dreamwidth and Twitter and hundreds of message boards, that’s not true.  Hell, half of why I got into comics was the vast amount of resources, and company, online.

So I wonder, is this part of why people download comics?  I know, I know, less human connection, less local communities pulling together, standards.  I’m not frowning on it.  Like I said, I wouldn’t be into comics if I couldn’t talk about them whenever I have the time, and if I couldn’t get the number of angles on them that the internet provides.  Supplanting local with global might not be picturesque, but it gives a lot of opportunities for connection, and for variety.  At the same time, when you can get comics online for the same price that you can get conversation about comics online, maybe that’s competition too tough for vendors and creators.  And given that they’re who we need for our fix, maybe that’s going to be a problem pretty soon.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


“I’m like Malcolm…”

May 19th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

Malcolm X, The Ballot or the Bullet (abridged HTML, unabridged PDF) (04/1964)

The three biggest black figures for me are Richard Pryor, Muhammad Ali, and Malcolm X. I learned something important from each of them. Pryor taught perspective, Ali taught confidence, and Malcolm taught the importance of intelligence in all things.

Speak plainly, be friendly, consider your position, and if the time comes, you put the hammer down. You don’t thank someone for finally doing the right thing they should have been doing all along. You don’t accept anything less than what you deserve. Your anger should be a scalpel, not a bludgeon. Get the jelly out of your spine and keep cobwebs out of your mind. When it comes to right and wrong, there is no compromise. There is either the ballot or the bullet.

A brief quote:

“How can you thank a man for giving you what’s already yours? How then can you thank him for giving you only part of what’s already yours? You haven’t even made progress, if what’s being given to you, you should have had already. That’s not progress. And I love my Brother Lomax, the way he pointed out we’re right back where we were in 1954. We’re not even as far up as we were in 1954. We’re behind where we were in 1954. There’s more segregation now than there was in 1954. There’s more racial animosity, more racial hatred, more racial violence today in 1964, than there was in 1954. Where is the progress?

And now you’re facing a situation where the young Negroes coming up. They don’t want to hear that “turn the-other-cheek” stuff, no. In Jacksonville, those were teenagers, they were throwing Molotov cocktails. Negroes have never done that before. But it shows you there’s a new deal coming in. There’s new thinking coming in. There’s new strategy coming in. It’ll be Molotov cocktails this month, hand grenades next month, and something else next month. It’ll be ballots, or it’ll be bullets. It’ll be liberty, or it will be death.

Malcolm X would have been eighty-five years old today. Happy birthday.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Scattered Thoughts on the Siege and the Sentry

May 19th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

There’s little more disappointing in comic books than a bad ending. A story that’s bad from start to finish? It happens all the time. A story or series with a rough beginning? As long as they can get past it and get their footing, it gets a pass. A rough ending, on the other hand, easily poisons your final thoughts on a product. For instance, let’s say Return of the Jedi ended with a scene of Luke saving the galaxy by viciously murdering Darth Vader and the Emperor. Not only would that have sucked, but Return of the Jedi would have sucked and the Empire Strikes Back would have sucked in retrospect.

That’s how I feel about Siege, the miniseries by Brian Michael Bendis and Oliver Coipel. The miniseries ended about a week ago and I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it initially. Why did the ending bug me so much?

First, let’s look at the miniseries itself and how it ranks as an event. At only four issues (regardless of the unfortunate delay), it’s really refreshing. With Secret Invasion and Blackest Night, I’ve become completely sick of overly long event comics. This goes doubly for the two examples, as it means every single comic tie-in is going to be the same basic story told over again. Siege is quick and to the point. The issues are action packed and move the story forward at breakneck speed. The tie-ins are quite good for the most part, with the worst being at least inoffensive. It’s the first event where the Ben Urich tie-in mini is actually pretty good.

The art’s rather nice too.

Then you have to look at what it’s all about. Usually with these event comics, they do so well because they’re really dynamic story ideas. You can rant about how people only buy them because they’re important to continuity, but I mostly disagree on the basis of having described these stories to non-comic readers and seeing their reactions. If you tell someone about what World War Hulk or Civil War or Blackest Night is about, a lot of the times they’ll come across as interested.

How do you describe Siege to somebody? “There’s this crazy jerk who is one of the country’s bigwigs and he conspires with a trickster god to attack a floating city of gods in Oklahoma just because they’re there. The crazy jerk has a uber-powerful ace in the hole and a bunch of superheroes interject themselves into the battle.” It doesn’t have any real kick to it.

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon