The Cipher 01/12/11

January 12th, 2011 by | Tags: , , , , ,

my mind warps and bends

created: Slow week!

-I took a look at ComiXology’s sales charts and Diamond’s sales charts, add in a bit of educated guesswork, and come up with something interesting about digital comics.

floats the wind


-New blog from a friend! Sol, the lady behind the Greg Land gif that brought the internet to its knees, has launched Walking the Comic Book Runway, a fun examination of fashion in comics. This is something I talk about with her all the time, so it’s cool to see her putting these thoughts out there. There’s a few posts right now, but I’m sure if you visit and conversate a bit, she’ll keep on pushing. Go on, do that. She knows her stuff.

-Y’all heard Ye and Jay’s “HAM?” Yeah, it’s straight. The beat is Final Fantasy hot, but Kanye sounds sleepy and Jay needs to stop talking about Beanie Sigel without actually saying dude’s name. As is, though, I liked it better when it was Pill’s “Trap Goin’ Ham,” incredibly ignorant video and all.

-More P I Double: “OK Denn” and “Real Mutherfuckin’ Gs”, “Run Up to Me” with Freddie Gibbs, and one of my favorite songs from 2010, Yelawolf’s “I Wish” remix with Pill and CyHi da Prynce. Every verse on that remix is hot.

-Yelawolf: Woke up in the morning with a fucking pen and a pistol/ I put one to the paper, I put one in my fist/ Stuck up a shop with the pen then I shot up my notebook/ I’m reading bullet holes, I wish a fucker would

-CyHi: I been fly, my momma gave birth to me on a plane/ Nigga, so I guess you could say I’m airborne/ I’m running my city getting my mayor on/ Stay on my grizzly, you know I bear arms

-Pill: Born into poverty, heart torn, obviously/ Dad gone, so we trying to figure out how to eat/ Older brother hustling, momma working overtime/ Now I’m standing in the kitchen whipping baking soda time

-All three of these cats know that when you’re wrapping up a verse, you need to go in or else nobody’s gonna remember you. You can’t just peter out and fade, you gotta hit harder than the rest of your verse or keep rhyming til the beat’s gone, no matter what you’re saying.

-More Yela: “Pop the Trunk” goes so hard, man. It just bleeds menace, from the beat to the lyrics. That bridge at the end is nice, too. “I Just Wanna Party” with Gucci Mane is pretty okay, too. I don’t even really get down with Gucci like that, but he gets it going here. Look for Big Boi roundabout 2:45, too. And who can forget a hot song off one of the hottest albums of the year, Big Boi’s “You Ain’t No DJ”?

-“Yeah, I’m pale, but I’ll impale you with an Impala”

-Also, I bought Weezy’s “6 Foot 7 Foot” with Cory Gunz. Gunz can spit to an absurd degree, and it’s nice to hear Mixtape Weezy again. This song bangs, and Weezy’s punchlines are back to being next level. “Real Gs move in silence like lasagna”? “You niggas are gelatin, peanuts to an elephant/ I got through that sentence like a subject and a predicate”? Ayo.

-Gunner is the only dude who can use “pause” because he’s so rapidfire. It’s like “breath!” “Wayne, these niggas out they mind/ I done told these fuck niggas, so many times/ that I keep these bucks steady on my mind/ tuck these, I fuck these on your mind, pause”

-Dang, I guess the South still got something to say.

-Peer pressure works! Jamaal Thomas over at FBB is rounding up his top ten floppies of 2010. Go, read.

-Here’s an index of all of Spurgeon’s holiday interviews. There’s 20, and they’re great.

Part 2 of Joe Q’s exit interview is up at CBR. Quesada really did a lot for Marvel, and I think for the comics industry overall. He stumbled, obviously, but if you compare Marvel now to Marvel then… gimme Marvel now any day of the week.

Sean Murphy is great, but you knew that already.

Periscope Studio is also full of great artists, and this week they’re drawing the Thunderbolts.

-This NY Times profile of Radical talks a lot about how they’re selling comics to Hollywood, and the only creator they bother to mention is Nick Simmons. How do I feel about that? I think this image says it all, and also shows that you should never run an auto-retweet script on Twitter.

-I buckled under and bought a Kindle. Looking forward to reading real books and newspapers again.

-The Kindle purchase is part of a hard push toward going mostly digital this year. Down the line will be an iPad for comics (once Dark Horse’s store launches and hopefully after Marvel pulls its digital head from its digital butt and fixes). I did some testing, though, and I can already go almost all VOD. I watched the Buckeyes game last week on ESPN3, which was mostly delightful. I use Netflix and Hulu to watch random movies and TV. And now, I can use iTunes to buy stuff I want to keep. I bought Archer and FLCL (iTunes link, but the first ep is free). Between Amazon and iTunes, I should be able to buy most of the stuff I want to keep and rewatch.

-My only issue is the price. It’ll tend to run slightly more than the Blu-rays after the Amazon discount, but less than the MSRP. At the same time… I have instant access forever with no physical media to worry about. This’ll force me to only buy things I really, really want, which is probably a good thing in the long run. I’m doing a lot of thinking about what I think is fair.

Archer is incredible, though. “Karate? The Dane Cook of martial arts?”

Judging by the box art and this blog post about their reasoning, Catherine is cruising directly to all of the Game of the Year awards. Gonna be crazy, and probably a story that ends with a good, wholesome message. “Don’t cheat on your girlfriend or else you’ll be damned forever and turned into a sheep dude by sheep cultists.” Here’s a subtitled trailer and a gameplay heavy trailer.

-The Persona games have done a generally good/weird/interesting job of playing with sex and sexuality. A game where the focal point is “You cheated on your girlfriend and now your life is ruined” should be pretty good. It’s sure to be unsettling in probably a Silent Hill sorta way.

-Shoji Meguro did the Persona 4 soundtrack, I’m pretty sure. Curious to see what he comes up with for Catherine.

-Also, whoa, Vincent is in Persona 3 Portable? Cool.

-How messed up is it to cheat on your girlfriend Katherine with a Catherine? What is that, some kind of screwy fetish? Bad luck?

count to ten

David: Heroes for Hire 2
Esther: Batman 17, Batman and Robin 19, Birds of Prey 8, Knight and Squire 4
Gavin: Batman And Robin 19, Booster Gold 40, Justice League Generation Lost 17, Knight & Squire 4, Secret Six 29, Chaos War Dead Avengers 3, Deadpool 31, Heroes For Hire 2, Incredible Hulks 620

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12 comments to “The Cipher 01/12/11”

  1. I’m most excited this week for Nick Spencer’s Infinite Vacation and 2000AD with more sweet, sweet Brendan McCarthy Dredd.

  2. Vincent’s appearance in P3P was a little shameless – he sits at the bar and just summarizes the premise to Catherine – but it also worked, because my wife and I are waiting breathlessly for the damned thing.

    P3 and P4 have, I think, very different conceptions of sexuality – I think P4 got it mostly right, but I also think that P3 is more “uninhibited” for a thematic reason (Eros vs. Thanatos), even if they mistook a big part of their audience. Much like the Evangelion references and the anime trope characters, it was a bid at drawing in a certain kind of crowd – but when the game appealed to a larger group than they expected, they adapted. Which is cool. Atlus seems to learn lessons pretty well, when they don’t overcompensate (not every aspect of P3 needed to be revised to be more like P4 in Portable – just the ones that fit better on a handheld).

    That both women have the same name (sort of) in Catherine suggests to me that they’re going very representational with it – I worry a bit that the girls aren’t going to be very fleshed out because of it, since it’s all Vincent’s POV, but we don’t know enough about anything regarding the game to judge.

  3. Sorry, forgot to add –

    Shoji Meguro did the music for both P3 and P4. He’s actually somewhat disliked by MegaTen fans (myself not included), because he’s known for adding the stuff with lyrics – the Lotus Juice raps in P3, the JPop in P4, etc – whereas earlier games in the series leaned more on techno, and a little bit of metal, with no lyrics. When P1 got a PSP remake, he was brought in to update a lot of music and apparently fans got out of joint that their favorite tracks got dropped. He’s supervising the P2 remake, and apparently aside from the new opening credits, he’s staying more hands-off this time (again with listening to the audience, I suppose).

    I think he’s really fucking talented, personally, and most of the music in P3 and P4 is memorable and really fucking catchy.

  4. Heroes for Hire 2 & Thunder Agents 3 from the LCBS, and once I found out that there was an app for Osamu Tezuka comics, I bought a few issues of that.

    I read the 3rd volume of Tezuka’s “Adolf” back in college, and I wanted to go back and read the first couple, but Volume 1 is apparently out of print, so I’ve started buying the issues that have chapters of that series. The UI in the app needs some work, but at 99 cents for each issue (which has 1 chapter of 4 different Tezuka comics in it) the price is right.

  5. Messed up the link, the site for the app is http://www.astroboymagazine.com/

  6. Keep us updated on your effort to go digital in 2011. It was a minor New Year’s resolution of mine, depending on how quickly I get an iPad for comics/books. Do you watch iTunes content on your computer or on an AppleTV?

    Video games are a tough one too, while there are some full retail games on PS3 and 360 they are nowhere near the physical releases.

  7. @Drew: I’m doing iTunes content on my TV. Rather than having a computer monitor, I have my PC plugged into my TV. I thought about going AppleTV, but that adds a layer of effort on top of something that’s awfully easy to do. The computer goes directly to the TV and a set of speakers. Works great for music/movies/youtube.

    An iPad is coming down the line. I’m currently hugely frustrated with iTunes right now due to it being a buggy piece of crap that likes to wipe my iPod without telling me no matter what settings I change, so I figure I’ll wait a few weeks before leaping into iPad-land.

    As far as games go… I’m super picky already, since I work in games. Right now, I own what, five or six discs? Two Rock Bands (beatles and 3), MGS4, Persona 4, Valkyria Chronicles, NBA 2k11, and Final Fantasy Tactics on PSP, which just stays in the system anyway. A game has to be really great for me to seek it out, and the only stuff I can see myself purchasing any time soon is MvC3. I’ll get Catherine, if that gets localized, but by that point, I’ll have jettisoned a few other discs, I bet.

    My main rule is if I’m getting a hard copy, it needs to be something I can revisit over and over again or love enough that I just want it around. That goes for books, games, movies… whatever. If I want it just to consume it, welp, better find that digitally. Hopefully it goes well. I’m in the process of turning over some floppies and trades to digital copies where I can and getting rid of the hard copies. I mean, honestly–do I really need the Death of Superman on my bookshelf?

    @Patchworkearth: Yeah, I dug P4‘s soundtrack a lot. Ripped the CD to mp3 and everything. P3 isn’t as catchy, but I also haven’t spent 50-some hours with it yet.

    I think the two Catherines will be at least a little archetypal. The interview mentions motherliness vs sexiness as one of their points, and just the fact that you’re paying for choosing one over the other, however briefly, suggests that there is a right and wrong choice somewhere in there.

    I think it’ll do an interesting job of things from Vincent’s POV, but hopefully have that same kind of… call it “unclear depth,” like what Persona 4 had. I’m thinking specifically of how Rise and Kanji (and Naoto, to an extent) had these very sexually charged dungeons and personas that they had to come to grips with, and after, things were still a little fuzzy. There’s a lot to chew on and figure out yourself, even after there’s some kind of resolution after beating the dungeon. Maybe it’s because they’re teenagers and things are so fluid at that time, I dunno.

    I’m pretty much imagining Catherine to be like the unholy combination of Marukyu Striptease and like, Silent Hill. “Oh, you like sex, eh? Well here’s all the sex you can handle, personified in the form of monsters who want to rip your soul right off your body.”

  8. @david brothers: I heard a story on NPR about digital books, and how a lot of downloads are mostly garbage fiction. Books people want to read, but don’t want cluttering up their shelves. I can easily see this happening with comic fans. Like you mentioned, you may not want Death of Superman on your shelf, but it might be worth a few megabytes on an iPad.

    (or at least that’s my theory on why Mark Millar books are so goddamn popular digitally)

  9. @Drew: Yeah, I was looking at Marvel’s upcoming slate of print books… and man, I’d be buying so many more if I didn’t have to look at the floppies cluttering up my place. “I’m kinda interested” is easy to turn into “Sure, why not?” when it’s just a dollar or two bucks for instant gratification.

  10. Hey, can someone explain to me the ending of Deadpool? Was the girl real or in his head?

  11. @Dan Coyle: She was real, but she used the first opportunity to get the hell out of there. Deadpool couldn’t quite get that it was because he’s a psychopath.

  12. @Gavok: Thanks. For some reason, I was confused. Too bad Dazo isn’t the regular artist, because this arc was a vast improvement.