The Cipher 12/29/10

December 29th, 2010 by | Tags: , , , ,

girls who are boys, who like boys to be girls
created: Not a whole lot, but I’m pretty happy with what we’ve got.

-We’re in the home stretch of Digital December. Two more pieces this week and done. To catch up, peep my interview with Fantagraphics about their run up to digital publishing. You can also check out seven things you want to see in digital comics, where I pull reax from Twitter and talk about them. Finally, I look at spin and call it out in terms of ownership and digital books. Non-digital–here are ten Marvel books to read in 03/11.

and I’m too tired to care about it. can’t you see this in my face, my face
consumed: Still on comics hiatus while I’m on vacation, which is somehow simultaneously grind time (bang bang bang). I got through a few things, though.

-I’ve been burning through Akira Toriyama’s Dr. Slump. I knocked out the first four volumes over the course of four days. Good bedtime reading, and so densely packed with jokes that each page is great. There’s a chapter early with a joke that revolves around Arale being a robot without a vagina, and Senbei is like “I didn’t put one on because I haven’t seen one before! All the magazines are censored!” Weird reading a comic for kids that’s like, “Dirty magazines? Yeah, our main dude reads them constantly and is a huge pervert. Also this chapter is about vaginas.”

-Sort of makes, “Hey kids! Comics!” look stupid in hindsight, don’t it? I vote we all stop saying that.

-I read Doug Moench and Paul Gulacy’s Shang-Chi: The Hellfire Apocalypse. I’m trying to wrap my head around Gulacy still. His art style doesn’t quite appeal to me, but I like the way he does fight scenes. He can dip into the T&A well a little too much, but his camera angles and staging are good. More on this guy later, I’m sure, as I figure out who he is and how he came to be.

-This is what happens when we allow moe to run wild:

-Speaking of moe:

-I’ve been listening to a lot of The Beatles this past weekend. Just on a whim, really. I’m not very familiar with their catalog, so I asked around to see where I should start. That ended up meaning listening to Revolver about ten times from what, Thursday to Monday? Then I switched to Rubber Soul. I like a lot of it. Deeper thoughts as I continue my trip through their library. A post of its own.

-“Eleanor Rigby” is fantastic, though. I had no idea that that’s where Bobby Ray got the chorus from “Lonely People” from, but that’s another song I dug. I bet this pissed off however many Beatles fans listen to southern rap when it came out, huh? Video’s mildly nsfw, I guess, though everything is blurred out.

-Marty over at TFO didn’t like it much, I don’t think, and apparently I did know that it was a flip of “Eleanor Rigby,” because I’m in the comments down there. I just didn’t know that it was “Eleanor Rigby” from The Beatles, is all, I guess.

-More Marty: His review of Das Racist’s Shut Up, Dude and Sit Down, Man is great. I liked Shut Up way more than Sit Down, but this is the kind of review that makes me want to go back and bump them back to back to back to back. He pulls out what works about the music, provides context for the albums, works in the sociopolitical context, too… this guy is good. Das Racist is good, too.

-The Deborah Solomon interview he mentions is here. She’s completely out of her depth. This is the best bit, though:

Like most musicians, you dislike the process of categorizing your work. That said, how would you categorize your work?
Suri: It’s a realist painting of a collage. Vazquez: I would say we are proto-postworld pop.

Ha. Is that capitalized?
Vazquez: It’s all capitalized! Suri: All caps everything!

-“ALL CAPS EVERYTHING.” I think Jay-Z once said, “I might type in all caps for a year straight, I might bring back Cazal shades.” Look it up.

Here’s Witzke on the Gorillaz’ Plastic Beach:

Gorillaz is a 21st century project as it is larger than just songs on wax, and how much work/knowledge the audience brings to their time with it. If you are a Jamie Hewllet fan, who’s been reading all his comics for years, Gorillaz is a completely different experience if you’ve never heard of the him before this. There is a matrix of “if, then” questions that determine what you can and will take away from Gorillaz as a project, most of them are deliberate on Albarn and Hewlett’s part, some of them aren’t (consider – this is the first Gorillaz project without any overt George Romero zombie or Exorcist references – did you know that? Do you care? Do I?).

Basically, you should be reading that.

-Listen to these while you do so. “Rhinestone Eyes” (dig those Jamie Hewlett storyboards) and “Welcome to the World of Plastic Beach” with tha Doggfather. (“Helicopters fly over the beach/ Same time everyday, same routine/ Clear target in the summer when skies are blue.”

I love his letters (BOOM!) and how he draws De La and the other guests of Plastic Beach.

-Some idle thoughts on Plastic Beach: Murdoc is the villain of the Gorillaz. That much is true. Noodle and Russ are pretty self-sufficient. Russ has his mental issues, but he knows better than to trust Murdoc farther than he can throw him. Noodle, though, is 100% in control, with Demon Days being her Jean Grey in New X-Men moment. 2D, however, just kinda follows along. He’s been stuck with Murdoc for years, and at this point, Murdoc’s kidnapped him and taken him to Plastic Beach. That makes 2D the damsel in distress, doesn’t it?

-2D and the clown mask–is it a coping mechanism? Intentional dissociation? Transference? There’s an interview someplace where he talks about wearing the clown mask in the “Stylo” video and how it got shot up. Did I imagine that? Maybe it was on the iTunes Sessions EP. He’s terrified of Cyborg Noodle, though. Does that make his participation in “Doncamatic” a cry for help? “Talk to me talk to me talk to me” while wearing an outfit that Murdoc clearly picked out for him.

-Jack Sullivan agrees with me. “If you invert the island it’s like he’s trapped in a tower, and the whale is like a dragon, so pretty much yeah.”

-What’s “Doncamatic” mean? Nonsense word?

-What’s it mean that Murdoc made such an extremely pop-sounding album that’s actually kind of sad and foreboding once you get past the sound?

-Here’s Gorillaz covering The xx’s “Crystalised.” You can see Daley in this one. Also “Doncamatic” and “On Melancholy Hill”. “Empire Ants” on Letterman.

-I should stop. There’s a ton of official live Gorillaz on Youtube, and turning youtubes to mp3s is easy and I should stop now before it’s 3am.

-The time between me writing that “I should stop” bit and actually stopping watching youtube: enough time to save like eight or nine fresh new live Gorillaz tracks, including the entire Letterman sessions.

-I have a problem.

i got my head checked by a jumbo jet. it wasn’t easy, but nothing is, no
David: New Mutants 20
Esther: Action Comics 896, Tiny Titans 35 Possible: The Dark Knight 1, Detective Comics 872
Gavin: Green Lantern 61, Astonishing Spider-Man/Wolverine 4, Avengers 8, Captain America 613, Carnage 2, Daken: Dark Wolverine 4, Deadpool Team-Up 886, Hulk 28, Secret Warriors 23, Ultimate Comics Avengers 3 5, (maybe) Ultimate Comics Thor 3, What If 200

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13 comments to “The Cipher 12/29/10”

  1. A Doncamatic is one of the first electic drum machines.

  2. Drats, beaten to the punch. Well played, Probe… well, played.

    – I like the beatles and southern rap and was just happy it was BoB who finally got around to putting flow over a sample. It was quality. Nothing kills a song quicker than a weak voice over a familiar sample for me.

    – I’ve always been of the opinion that Murdoc wasn’t always a Villian, hence his “friendship” with 2-D, but as the albums have fed Murdoc’s dark egomania he’s lost more and more touch with his “not as bad” side (I can’t imagine him having a good side) with Murdoc taking 2-d to the Beach as the big attempt to get 2-D on board with his schemes.

  3. M.O.P. … or M.O.E.?

  4. After having listened to Gorillaz casually, whenevr something of theirs was playing near me, your posts inspired me to pick up all their albums via Amazon.

    The laughter at the end of Feel Good, Inc has me square in the “Murdoc is the villain” camp, especially after watching the video more times than I should probably admit. He probably didn’t start out as a villain, but he’s got a need for control burning inside him like a supernova that’s pushing him into increasingly evil actions. 2-D is his friend because 2-D does what he tells him to do, but if he ever decides to go his own way he’s going to suffer the same sort of fate that Murdoc tried to arrange for Noodle in Manana (the more I see the FGI and Manana videos, the more obvious it seems that Murdoc’s plan was for her to die because she wanted to get out from under his thumb).

    As for why Murdoc took 2-D to the Beach, it’s not so much a case of him trying to get 2-D on board as it is him trying to take away any other options 2-D might otherwise have had.

    I can’t help but wonder if this is no longer the actual Murdoc at all – what if it’s actually the Boogieman wearing his face?

  5. I always Identified most with Russel, probably ’cause he was always so self-sufficient, off doing his own thing.

    And yeah, 2D is definitely the Damsel in Distress but since you tweeted that last night I’ve been trying to think of another relationship in media as specifically abusive as Murdoc’s and 2D’s and been coming up short.

  6. Have you played Beatles Rock Band? Believe it or not, I actually gained a lot of appreciation for the band from that game. It did a really good job of showing the progression of their style. I’d never really listened to them before that, so I didn’t realize what great musicians they were. I felt like Beatles Rock Band absolutely brought that out. A rental of that, I think, is a good way to get an overview of their career.

  7. Gavin/Gavok . . . with What If? #200, will you be following up on where recent issues would rank on your top 100 list? The only one of those I got in the past few years was Spider-Man Vs. Wolverine, and I reckon that would be ranked pretty darn high.

  8. @Gaijin D: I’ve played it a few times, but was… let’s call it “less than sober” at the time. It’s 20 bucks now, so I think I’ll buy it for home use.

    @Miles: MOE OUT POSSE

    @Prodigal: Close. The Gorillaz book shows that he definitely started out as a villain. The Gorillaz got their fame due to a deal with Satan, etc etc. The Plastic Beach videos suggest that the Boogieman is chasing Murdoc, though, which makes me think that it’s Hell come to collect.

    Some of the supplemental material credits Mos Def with coming up with the Boogieman, which is interesting.

  9. Ha, YES. Cold as ice.

  10. First, Mr. Brothers, I really enjoy your work.

    Second, have you heard Ray Charles version of “Eleanor Rigby’? Beautiful.

  11. @RS David: I hadn’t, but you’re a beautiful person for pointing me toward this http://www.mediafire.com/?yytryjwttjw

  12. @david brothers: Consider a small return on you pointing out the new Gil Scot-Heron album. Good stuff.

  13. @david brothers: Was just a random thought when I was dwelling on what seemed to be a theme of false faces – Cyborg wearing Noodle’s face, and Noodle and 2D’s masks, but after seeing the animatic video for Rhinestone Eyes, I think you’re totally right that the collection man is knocking on Murdoc’s door.