The Cipher 12/15/10

December 15th, 2010 by | Tags: , ,

black is something to laugh about. black is something to cry about.
created: It’s Digital December at ComicsAlliance, and we’re gawn in. So far, I’ve got interviews up with Boom!, IDW, and Dark Horse. On Thursday, DC Comics hits. On Friday, ???. Next week… something more. 2010 is the year that CA put the boot to your favorite comics news site.

It’s also music countdown at the Factual Opinion, so I’m pitching in to help out Marty Brown and my Joe Casey Fan Club brothers Sean Witzke and Tucker Stone figure out what was good this year. You can check the entire category here, and check out the first of my contributions on the top 50-31 songs list. More to come, of course, including a bit of writing that I ended up being really happy with. That’s rare for me, so stay tuned.

black is serious. black is a feeling.
Charlie Huston wrote a short story, The Impossibility of a Diaphanous History Machine, on the Mulholland Books site. I like Huston’s work. He writes dialogue like people talk, where punctuation may not mean what it traditionally means, and I dig that a lot. This story is about bombs, and I like the gag about mental ones.

-Here’s a piece he wrote about children, poverty, and fuel for stories. I generally don’t like people writing about writing. I think that you should just shut up and do it, because “This is how I write” is one of those things that’s just awfully boring, but this is practically a statement of intent. It’s hype. A voice coming out of a dark alley that says, “I have a gun.” Needless to say, I’m hyped for this new book. Drops in 2012, though.

Huston’s website is here. Get familiar.

Matt Seneca goes in on a Wonder Woman piece by Bill Sienkiewicz. It’s from an aborted series written by Frank Miller and drawn by Sienkiewicz called Wonder Woman: Bondage. I would trade every issue of Wonder Woman and JLA published over the last five years to see this series. That creative team is one of the best in comics. Every time they get together, somebody needs to sit up and take notice.

-I liked this comic by Sloane, especially the way the grid explodes toward the end.

-Ron Wimberly posted a dope story, too.

-Did y’all hear that they killed Brother Voodoo?

-I read Felipe Smith’s Peepo Choo 3 on my lunch break today. That series is three books long and I dug them a lot. They can be mean and gross, hysterically so on both fronts, but man, they click along pretty well. Last volume had a great action scene, while this one ended up having a lot of heart. Morimoto Mazza Fakkin’ Rokkustaa is one of the best new characters of 2010, too. More on this later, once I sort my thoughts out on it. I kinda laughed at the end. I don’t need more, I think the wrap is fine, but I’d read more.

-Kiyohiko Azuma’s Yotsuba&! 9 was fantastic, as expected. Juralumin got one of the hands down best scenes in the book, Yotsuba has some great physical comedy with an exercise ball, and Azuma nails some really nice things over the course of the book. The dinnertime conversation which was very adult, the Yanda/Yotsuba relationship… good stuff. The translation still bugs the life out of me, though. Do I really need to know what the Japanese onomatopoeia for rolling is? And do I need to see it untranslated every single time? Just write “roll roll roll” and we’ll get it.

-The translation really and truly sandbags the book. Stop explaining and just show us. They did well with a dinner scene that would have been tough to translate without notes, but for every one of those, there’s a “Fuuka-onee-chan” to wade through.

-New music: on pause. Been listening to old stuff and have been too busy to buy new joints. Gotta get a lot of stuff did before the Christmas break, and that means doing a couple weeks of work in a few days. Gross.

-But while we’re on the music tip–one of my favorite lines this year is from Evidence, on Copywrite’s Three Story Building. At the end of his verse, he goes, “Started to rap, told my mama I’d be Common/ She thought I meant normal/ I said, “Let’s be honest.” Something about that stuck with me, it’s just ill from top to bottom.

-Copywrite is responsible for another line that I think about a lot. It’s from “Fuck Soundcheck,” off his T.H.E. High Exhaulted tape from forever ago. “I don’t blame you for being wack. I blame your fans for being dumb enough to feel you.”

-I’m not saying that I believe that it’s a fair statement or anything that you should say in polite company. But it’s probably true.

-You hear that Steel might be dying next year in this Doomsday event? I should probably care more, but I could care less, instead. Sorry, John Henry.

-New issues of Chew, Bulletproof Coffin, and Atlas hit ComiXology today. Be nice to catch up on the first two and to ditch a few floppies of the last one.

-I keep trying to think through why I’m uncomfortable with “fun” being a crap descriptor of a comic. I’m trying to purge it from my vocabulary because it’s become vague and meaningless. I think Tucker came closest to how I feel with his review of Batman & Robin 17, a book I thought was mediocre at best. Something else I need to think through, clearly.

black is us, the beautiful people.
David: Amazing Spider-Man 650, Thunderbolts 151
Esther: Batman and Robin 18, Birds of Prey 7
Gavin: Batman And Robin 18, Green Lantern 60, Green Lantern Emerald Warriors 5, Green Lantern Plastic Man Weapon Mass Deception 1, Time Masters Vanishing Point 5, Avengers Academy 7, Chaos War 4, Chaos War Thor 2, Strange Tales 2 3, Thunderbolts 151, What If Spider-Man, Darkwing Duck 7

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9 comments to “The Cipher 12/15/10”

  1. ha those translations on onomatopoeia used to bug me too but after several dozen books with it I just got used to it, like the white on the paper.

    Also thought you quit ASM.

  2. I quit ASM every other issue. Still wind up reading it anyway, though Steve Wacker makes it awfully hard.

    To add insult to injury, Ed Benes is going to be the artist on that Steel one-shot. Ed Benes!

    Black Panther was every bit as dull as you predicted, doesn’t really line up with the end of Shadowland (and does Foggy know Matt’s alive now?), reads like sub-Brubaker stuff. We’ve seen it all before. Also, it’s kind of dumb to post a one-shot saying Hell’s Kitchen is improving one week then the next show it at the mercy of local gangs.

  3. @Nathan: The translations make it read like a scanslation. Super weak.

    I’d quit ASM, but I do my pull list ahead of time on ComiXology. Apparently the me of three months ago thought that buying an anniversary issue was a good idea, and then promptly forgot it existed. Since I preordered it, I’ll buy it.

  4. @david brothers: Very true, but hey its the only game in town for Yotsubato, and really at this point like I said I just down it out, it’s scribbles on the side that I notice in my peripheral vision.

    Also heh, I get ya, been caught like that with a couple preorders before myself.

  5. Regarding “fun” being an ineffective descriptor:

    – The definition of “fun” changes wildly from person to person. Someone who thinks that playing video games is “fun” will probably not enjoy the same things as someone who thinks that breaking watermelons with one’s own head is “fun.”
    – A good reviewer is a good writer. We expect more from good writers than “fun.” We expect a reason why a reviewer enjoyed a book, movie, etc. despite its obvious flaws (i.e. “Skip this if you’re looking for intellectual stimulation or if continuity lapses drive you insane. But if you’re looking for a few good laughs…”).

  6. I picked up Thunderbolts 151 and Dungeons and Dragons #2 at the local shop. D&D is surprisingly fun, obviously the bar is set pretty low for licensed comics, but I’ve been a fan of John Rogers because of his Blue Beetle run, and Andrea Di Vito’s art is nice to look at as well.

    Digitally, I bought D&D issues 0 and 1 on the IDW store, since they were fairly cheap and very fun comics. Grabbed the first issue of Captain America and the Falcon. It’s not my favorite of Priest’s work, but his Black Panther run isn’t available and I wanted to show some kind of support for the guy.

  7. Who knew that Tucker is the hairy man-god of love or whatever GM thinks Bruce Wayne is? show of hands.

  8. Thanks for the link to the Huston story. Looks like good stuff.

    I’m with you on ‘fun’. Although it was a good reaction to the days of cyborg shoulder pad superheroes , it seems to have worn out it’s welcome and become the comic book equivalent to ‘epic’.

    Man, Brother Voodoo got killed? Didn’t they JUST bring him back? And I liked his recent series. What a waste.

    @Neil: The D&D comic is tight in a way that D&D comics haven’t been since the days of Jeff Grubb and Rags Morales on Forgotten Realms. Hope it sticks around.

  9. @Lugh: I recently read Grubb’s Liberty Papers novel, the first Starcraft book, which was great.