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The Cipher 02/09/11: “you can’t get what you want, but you can get me”

February 9th, 2011 by | Tags: , ,

ready to give up so i seek the old earth

created: I’ve seen a few posts over the past couple weeks about the role of criticism and negative reviews online. I dunno–I feel like the only thing that matters is the work. Criticism, reviews, all of that stuff is just toppings. Eat it or don’t, find pleasure or pain in it, but you shouldn’t really try to place rules on it or minimize it. You don’t like it, but somebody else does, and honestly, somebody really needs to be there to say that Grimm Fairy Tales Inferno looks and reads terribly (it does, I checked). Long story short, I hate reading posts that are about posts. And look what I just did! Onward:

-You should’ve read Zeb Wells’s run on New Mutants. It’s cool, though: you can pick up New Mutants, Vol. 1: Return of Legion for cheap. I’m not too fond of John Rauch’s color work on the series (everything seems sort of washed out/overbright, like Pete Pantazis over Ed Benes on JLA a couple years back), but the rest of it’s solid.

-There are five different ways to buy Marvel digital comics. There should be, at most, two. I think the strongest strategy, once they get it straightened out, will be Marvel DCU + Marvel Comics on Chrome. Not perfect, but a good step.


who explained working hard may help you maintain

consumed: iTunes is doing this thing where it only plays several albums I’ve heard in a row, and then something I haven’t listened to in months. I dunno how to feel about that, but it was nice to hear that Johnson & Jonson again. Blu & Mainframe are ill. Here’s “Disco DYNAMITE”:

-That breakdown at 1:50 is the sort of thing I listen to rap for. In comics, it’s like if the CMY dropped out of the CMYK, the lettering went translucent, and the panel borders faded away. (Also the girl at 2:05.)

-An interesting thing about that album is that they did it under fake names for their fake names. Blu, Mainframe, and their guests took on a Johnson alias (Don, Magic, Jack). There’s no real rhyme or reason to it. They shout out their real fake names during the album, they shout out their fake fake names… it’s just an interesting gimmick. It’s meaningless, maybe, but the sort of thing I dig. I think it’d be interesting to take established personas and flip them for a new project. “I act like a dick, so hence the name Johnson.”

-“Hold On John” is nice, too. That boy Blu has range. He needs to drop an album yesterday. I’d put ten on it, first day. I’ll end up getting his Amnesia EP next week, too.

-Blu, Blur, what’s the difference I ask you?

-I sat down with the Catherine demo and was STUNNED to find that it isn’t even really an RPG. It’s a puzzle platformer/dating sim/texting game. It isn’t exactly like Intelligent Qube, which I loved, but it’s similar enough that I’m honestly thinking about importing a game for the first time since whatever that last Fire Pro Wrestling was on PS2. Essentially, you have to scale a maze. You can push and pull blocks left/right/forward/backward or create new blocks. You have to navigate to the top of the stage to escape whatever’s chasing you. I like it. I like it a lot. Importing is probably a bit much (Play-Asia is talking about 90 bucks shipped), so I’m just gonna have to deal until E3 and hopefully an announcement for a US release. There’s a ton of English text in the game, though, so fingers crossed, minna-san.

-Matt Seneca wrote about Grant Morrison and Jim Lee’s Wildcats. I don’t know if I agree with all the specifics of his post, but I do agree that it’s by far the most interesting book Morrison and Lee have done in the past ten years. I tried to wrap my head around it in ’09. I like seeing how we have the same or opposite opinions on certain things. We both had the same reaction to the psychedelic superhero sex.

-I wonder if that scene was supposed to be a Steranko thing, with the pulling in of various styles and influences to make comics that run counter to what you think they should be? Maybe so, maybe no. I’d kill to see Lee on a book where he can cut loose, though. I’ve got high hopes for Dark Knight: Boy Wonder with Frank Miller. Guaranteed to be hands down the most interesting Batman book all year, and probably the most entertaining.

-Speak of the devil, and you will see the weird way everyone draws his radar–Tim Callahan and Ryan Lindsay on Frank Miller’s Daredevil. Next week is Ann Nocenti. To say that I’m on pins and needles would be an understatement. Callahan is good at his job. The Aphrodite/Athena thing–I never picked up on that, and I’ve read all these comics back to front and back again.

-Big KRIT is ill, and he’s got a four song EP with live instruments and an R&B band out now. It costs four bucks. I bought it.

-Aw, sugar, you just gone and wrote the dumbest thing in your whole life.

-MTVGeek interviewed Gareb Shamus. Spurgeon suggested skipping it, and I agree. It’s full of garbage marketing speak and shamelessness. But first, read this excerpt:

“And when it comes to ex-employees, you’ve got to understand that they’re ex-employees: they’re people who have just lost their jobs. And it’s very unfortunate, but unfortunately you’ve got to take what they say with a grain of salt. You’ve got to understand where it’s coming from. It doesn’t diminish their contribution to what we’ve done, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t appreciate their hard work – but when you look at the landscape of comic books today, a lot of these people wouldn’t even be working in this business if it wasn’t for Wizard giving them their first start.

So, when you look at a lot of the people saying those things about us, if it wasn’t for us transplanting them from where they existed – from jobs that weren’t even in comic books, where they were in school and looking for their first opportunity – they might not even be in comics now. So in a sense, I’m really happy – we’ve been able to influence so many different outlets out there, and we gave a lot of people out there a chance to be involved in this industry.”

“Don’t listen to these people. We fired them, and they wouldn’t be anything without us, so how dare they say word one?” Scum.

-Jared Lewis shows off his thirty characters. See what procrastinating gets you? I’d been meaning to email him for weeks (seriously, since November) about this project to get some commentary-type interview going, but he went and did it himself before I could get off my lazy butt. Click through, check it out.

-Jared and Sean are talking Art Adams and Sean’s ’80s hair fetish over at Supervillain, too. Worth reading.

-Also worth reading: Mike Mignola talking about buildings.

-Sequential Tart catches up with Faith Erin Hicks. I like her work, but haven’t read enough of it. Something else I need to fix this year. And hey, look at that–Zombies Calling is four bucks and The War at Ellsmere is five on ComiXology. I’m down with those prices.

-I wanted Nobuo Nakagawa’s Jigoku this weekend. A friend gave me the Criterion months ago and I finally made time. Watching subbed movies is tough for me–I’m used to being able to multitask and write while I watch movies and stuff, and you can’t do that when you have to read. I usually do it on the weekends or between projects. Anyway, trailer:

-It was probably very edgy for its time, but in nowadays, it’s actually kind of boring, up to and until the point the setting shifts to Hell. I mean, honestly. Anyway, I was talking to my friend while and after watching it, which I don’t usually do (death to liveblogs, enjoy things while they happen instead of trying to document them), and here’s a few lines from our conversation:

dub> “stand in a circle in front of this video of fire”
dub> japanese hell is awful
dub> i do like how ironic all the punishments are
dub> it’s like how the Spectre comic used to be
Esco> the best thing is that there is no message other than “Hell sucks, don’t go there”
dub> haha yeah
dub> “if you witness an accident… say something about it”
dub> “unless a dude who is clearly the devil kills your wife first”
dub> man is it just me or is this guy innocent of everything?
dub> “You are guilty of getting depressed when your fiancee died! TO HELL WITH YOU!”

-The thing about the Eight Hells is that apparently people just yell at you in between being dismembered and set on fire or chasing babies. Sometimes the yelling is just your name, and other times, it’s people shouting revelations about the past at you. And that’s the story of why there’s a surprise almost retroactive incest toward the end when a guy finds out one of his love interests is secretly his sister. Not even half-sister. Just straight up sister. His mom was like “I’m not sayin I’m number one–uh, I’m sorry, I LIED.”

-This Black History tumblr is probably my favorite website.

-I ventured back into the badlands of TCJ.com to read a two part Geoff Johns interview with Nathan Wilson. Part One and Part Two. He says a lot of things I thought were pretty interesting, whether in terms of how he approaches comics, the difference in approaches between him and Grant Morrison, or even competition in comics writing.

-Gonna karaoke this weekend. Looking forward to it.


to learn to overcome the heartaches and pain

David: ha ha ha
Esther: For sure: Batgirl 18, Batman and Robin 20, Birds of Prey 9, Knight and Squire 5
Possible: The Brave and the Bold 4, Red Robin 20
Gavin: Batman And Robin 20, Justice League Generation Lost 19, Knight & Squire 5, Carnage 3, (maybe) Casanova Gula 2, Deadpool Team-Up 885, Heroes For Hire 3, Incredible Hulks 622, New Avengers 9,Power Man And Iron Fist 1, Punisher MAX 10, Secret Warriors 24, (maybe), Ultimate Comics Avengers vs New Ultimates 1, Ultimate Comics Captain America 2

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4 comments to “The Cipher 02/09/11: “you can’t get what you want, but you can get me””

  1. “Zombies Calling” and “the War at Ellsmere” are both good books. Not terribly original, but well-done work even if covering some well trodden concepts and tropes. I think I still like her two earlier webcomics “Demonology 101″ and “Ice” best, though her new one, “The Adventures of Superhero Girl”, is very charming, cute and funny…


  2. I love The Cipher posts, and this is a total nitpick, but could you make your links open up in a new tab? I’d like to stay on the site and keep reading while listening to the songs you link, or be able to come back to your article from one you link without reloading.


  3. I picked up Power Man & Iron Fist and Heroes for Hire on a whim. Both were pretty great in different ways. I like that about half my pull list (add Tbolts) derives from Hero for Hire. There’s something neat about that.

    @Drew: I tried that for a bit, and got feedback saying the opposite of what you’re saying, that the new windows were annoying. I personally prefer to open every link in new tabs manually (Ctrl or Apple+Click), so that’s what I went with on the site.


  4. @david brothers: Makes sense guess I need to stop being lazy