Archive for April, 2011


Mortal Marathon Part 7: Undying Dream

April 20th, 2011 Posted by guest article

Guest article series by Gabriel “TheJoker138″ Coleman.

Let’s get right into it again, because this is a short, boring episode where almost nothing of import happens. First off, there’s totally an on-screen title card again, that is once again in a totally different style than all of them before it, in a different spot than previous ones (they were all at the beginning, this is after the opening teaser) and is wrong:

I showed you the last one cause I thought it was weird. I’m showing you this one because it’s the most interesting thing in the whole episode.

Anyway, we start off with Taja in the marketplace, buying some stuff when she sees a man that she believes to be her father. She follows him into an alley and they embrace, but a portal to Outworld opens behind him and he drags her through. On the other side, her father vanishes and Not Jade is there waiting for them. Shang enters just as Taja and Not Jade are about to get into a scuffle and stops it from happening. His plan is to use Taja as bait to lure Kung Lao in and then… well, you know what he wants to do after that.

Taja, always the skeptic, still doesn’t even believe Outworld exists, which at this point is more stupid and stubborn than anything with all they’ve seen and faced. She’ll believe in guys made of oil, but not alternate dimensions that one of her best friends says he’s been to. She also doesn’t believe that it was really her father, just some trick that Shang was playing. In a twist, it appears it wasn’t just him morphing and that her father really is in the mines as a prisoner. Taja escapes from Not Jade’s grasp and runs off to try and find him. Shang tells another prisoner who is working for him to go get her and as long as he doesn’t kill her, he can do whatever he likes when he catches up.

The next morning at the training post, Kung Lao wakes up and joins Siro in the kitchen. As they’re bickering with one another about tea, they hear a strange sound outside and go to investigate. It’s a vision of Taja speaking in Shang Tsung’s voice, telling them that she’s being held prisoner and giving them a location that a portal will open that night. They’re told if they want to see her alive again, it would be wise of Kung to go through said portal.

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The Cipher 04/20/11: “Disco Dynamite”

April 20th, 2011 Posted by david brothers

it’s dynamite

created: I get out ahead of things until I hit that point where I’m suddenly not. I’m gonna try to double my output soon, I think. More of more than ever before.

-I like Tonci Zonjic’s work a lot.

-a new weekly feature on digital comics to buy

been broke before, all i’m saying’s get dough

consumed: Sore throat’s gone! But my voice is still kinda raaaaaaaaspy. (yo, I totally forgot that David Banner was in this joint. The old Banner, too, back before he turned himself into a sex symbol!)

This interview with David Simon is excellent. Reading this guy always makes me want to do more and do better, and hurt whoever deserves it. He’s dead-on about everything he says, too, from newspapers to how America is more than willing to eat its young.

-Sometimes you just read this stuff and get depressed, like the train is already off the tracks, sailing down the cliff, and we’re just waiting for the impact.

-Soundtracks… I’m listening to Blu right now, so bump this while you read. I’ll be listening to DJ Quik before this post is done, so put this joint he did with Kurupt on.

-Actually, bump that last one first so that I can talk about it.

-“9x Outta 10” is absurd rap, with this brutal beat and sample haunting Kurupt’s sideways verse. And then Quik fades in, Kurupt fades out, and then it stops–

-But it’s gonna start again, where it started at, ended up, and restart again. Get your mind in the right position before it start again.

-I can’t tell you how much I love Kurupt’s performance on this song. Quik came through in a huge way with the beat, creating a beat that’s simultaneously classic boom-bap (ignore the sample, and just listen–it ain’t that complicated) and like a dirty, grimey version of early Kanye, but Kurupt’s delivery is just… it’s not all over the place. He’s too good for that and everything lands where it’s supposed to be. But he breaks from how rap songs usually get broken up and completely changes how the song sounds. You can’t drop a regular verse on this track after this, and I don’t even really want the instrumental for a ringtone (yes I do).

-Kurupt came with that tongue-twister Jenga skyscraper flow, just pulling out blocks and putting them where you wouldn’t expect them to go. The chorus blends into the verse, Quik’s verse is part of Kurupt’s verse, and the sample bleeds and bends until it’s not even words any more, it’s just music.

-Two things: that shot of Kurupt breathing out smoke is incredible. “Don’t talk to me no more about no motherfucking money.”

-Quik and Kurupt are west coast legends. I’ve been a fan for years. Longer for Kurupt, I think, ’cause I liked Tha Dogg Pound a whole lot.

-More on drinkin’ smokin’ straight west coastin’:

-I bought two albums today. One was DJ Quik’s The Book of David, which I’ll come back to in a bit. I’m listening to Blu’s Her Favorite Colo(u)r right now, the other album I bought, and it’s got about ten minutes left. I haven’t listened to Quik’s record yet, but I liked Blu’s joint back when it dropped for free, unmastered, in 2009.

-I’ve tried to put what I like about Blu down on paper before, but trying again couldn’t hurt, right?

-I just got distracted for like ten minutes trying to ID the piano from Blu’s “Pardon”. It’s from Curtis Mayfield’s We the People Who Are Darker Than Blue”. He chopped up Mayfield’s vocals (that’s Mayfield going “Pardon me brother”) and sped up the music.

-Blu’s whole sound is really interesting to me, and that brief burst of sample digging kinda illustrates why. He’s not particularly lyrical (like “I’m lyrical miracle dropping bombs like spherical dirigibles”). He comes across as genuine in his rhymes, like a normal dude who just likes to make music and is talented enough to have a national platform.

-His beats tend to be these relaxed, soulful joints that I really dig. He’s not really about pumping out hits. Every rap song out right now sounds like Lex Luger produced it. Luger is dope, but that’s wack. Blu’s a nice corrective. You can just vibe out to his music, put it on in the background, and get your bougie smart-art cat on.

-And when it comes to songs that have some knock… well, listen to “Disco Dynamite” again. He can do that, too. I’m assuming him and Mainframe co-produced that joint, and maybe I’m wrong, but that beat is undeniable. It’s not as “What did the shotgun say to the head?” as Kurupt and Quik’s “9x Outta 10”, but it’s a definite headnodder. He’s got that Raekwon Juggernaut flow, just kicking rhymes.

-Also the girl(s) at 2:00 and 2:05.

-Quik’s album just came up on iTunes.

-Versatility is nice. You could definitely put Blu in a lane if you wanted to, maybe because of his movie and music samples, but he knows how to pull in these disparate influences and sources and create something new. Some of his songs positively meander. He’ll drop a verse, let the sample breathe for a minute, drop another verse, and out. A minute or more of no vocals, and the beat just riding out. I like that a whole lot.

-DJ Quik I have less to say about, but I dig him a lot, probably for similar. If you put a Quik album and a Dr. Dre album in front of me… I’m gonna grab the Quik record. Dre is dope when he tries, but his perfectionism and stage fright basically make him a dude who has coasted for at least ten years now. Quik has consistently put out dope tracks for everyone from 8Ball & MJG to himself to Tupac. You can be a genius producer, but if you never bother to produce, why should I care?

-Quik’s name is David, too, so that’s bonus points right there.

-Quik didn’t ever really fit into the West Coast sound. He wasn’t G-Funk enough for the mid ’90s and he didn’t have that hypnotic Dr. Dre knock of the late ’90s into the ’00s. But he’s versatile, too. “Do Today” just came up on iTunes and it goes. Apparently it’s got part of The Family’s “Screams of Passion” in it, and it’s definitely got that ’80s synth funk pop sound. Quik’s dope with the keyboards, really.

-Quik was an alternative to Warren G, Battlecat, and Dre, but never took that hard turn toward New York that Alchemist did. I don’t think he ever had that underground, Dilated Peoples/Hiero/Murs sound, either. He’s always been his own dude. Someone with a better sense of history than me could probably tell it better.

-I bought Portal 2. What’s up with not having a body in first person games? You pick up and hold things constantly, but never see your arms. You run around and jump, but never see your legs. I don’t think the water even splashes when you move through it.

-It’s this weird uncanny valley thing, and it keeps me from getting engrossed in the game. It’s a reminder that it’s fake, like some schmuck in a comic book mugging at the camera or saying something like, “We’re not in a comic book, Captain America! Life doesn’t work like that!”

-Angie Wang is a dope artist and I swear she finds the best games. She’s working on a book for First Second right now. When it’s announced and ships, buy it.

-Play that one. I’m finding a strange amount of enjoyment in these arty/non-violent games. It forces me to mentally shift gears, so that it’s not about competition so much as the experience in and of itself.

-Achievements, trophies… all that stuff is stupid. I reject being a completionist or proving my worth. I’m all about the experience now. Scores don’t matter. Rankings don’t matter. I don’t care. Is it fun? Am I interested? If I spend five minutes with it, will those five minutes keep my attention?

-These little art games tickle a part of my brain that rarely gets tickled when I play games, whether for pleasure or for work. They’re nice.

-A bit more about music…

-Jim Jones, “Everybody Jones.”

-This song goes.

-The beat is hot, and while Jimmy does more or less his regular flow (“We Fly High,” “Pop Champagne,” “Get Like Me”), he’s pulling that ’90s jiggy swag into 2011 more or less intact. This whole joint is just “Capo got stuff and girls like him. Harlem!” It’s a shopping list set to music, the 2011 equivalent of a poster of a Porsche on a teenager’s wall.

-Jones’s swag has been interesting lately, though. Him and Dipset had that whole pink Polo thing on lock, but at some point, probably shortly after Dipset broke up, they got into that rock star style. Skull & crossbones, wallet chains, properly fitted jeans (which is tough, for real), kick game vicious, chains back to ’90s size but either solo or in absurd numbers… the swagger is definitely black, for lack of a better word, but at the same time, it isn’t. Rock star rapper swag.

-The neon green and purple that Jones is sporting is fresh, too. It pops against his otherwise regular clothes. I couldn’t pull it off, but I’m definitely down to swagger jack some of his normal style.

-I bought another album, though it was the other day. Exile & Free The Robots’ LA Series 10.

-It’s a vinyl project, so it probably loses a little in the translation to mp3. Exile did one side, four songs that combine to form one long song, while Free the Robots did the other side. It’s not really a collaboration. It’s the tenth in a series of records about LA.

-I don’t want to say too much about it, because I think I want to do an Albarn post on it, but I dig it a whole lot. Both sides are good, but Exile’s wins by a mile.

-The thing about Exile’s half is that all the words I want to use it describe it are negative. His songs sound like the aftertaste of poison on your girlfriend’s lips after your last kiss or like looking at a broken, rotting building feels.

-I mean that in a good way, is the thing.

-“There was a hole here. It’s gone now” music.

-Even the track titles… “Distopian Utopia,” “PCP Laced Beedies,” “Love for Sell/Bots have feelings,” and “Dawn of the Nothing.” All of that feels wrong, like a body that’s about half as warm as it should be.

-Exile made this little four song sequence that crawls up under your skin and whispers in your ear while you sleep. I’m really glad I bought this joint. It’s music to think about.

-It sounds like parts of Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira feels, and that’s already got a mean soundtrack (here and here) that’ll sit in your hindbrain.

-Exile worked with Blu on the Below the Heavens LP. I recommend that joint.

-Gonna ride out to some Blu this week, I think. I’m looking forward to No York, his next full-length of original material.

TheExplaNation from Johnson Barnes on Vimeo.

a new shooting star, falling off the roof

David: Hellblazer 278, Hulk 32, Thunderbolts 156
Gavin: vivaaaaaaa las vegas

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We Pause for Radio Station Identification

April 19th, 2011 Posted by david brothers

4thletter! is:

David! (likes music)
Esther! (likes Batmans)
Gavin! (likes Venoms)


What do you guys like?
good comic books

What do you guys hate?
bad comics (david also hates mediocre comics, but he’s a douchebag)

What do you guys hope for?
that you like reading us talking about comics

Got an RSS feed?
no doubt.

I need more scorn and tangents in my life. Can you help with that?
there is a podcast (the Fourcast!, get it?) where David and Esther talk about comics. subscribe via Podcast Alley , RSS, or iTunes. the podcast is currently on hold on account of Wondercon being the comic book equivalent of a ship filled with bubonic rats, but will probably be back next week.

Who pays for all of this?
David did, then Project Wonderful did, and now Amazon does. click the referral links (generally a book’s title) and use the search box over on the right–that keeps the lights on. or don’t, y’know. whatever feels right.

What’s up with the site, man?
yeah, it has a really unwieldy navigation system, but that is being (er, “will be”) worked on so that you can find stuff worth reading. in the meantime, just use the categories.

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Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins: The iRiff!

April 19th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

Some of you longtime readers might remember that a couple years ago, me and some guys experimented with iRiffs, a part of the Rifftrax site where any idiot with time and a microphone can record his own Mystery Science Theater 3000 garbage and put it online. Our first couple attempts were plagued with sound issues, mostly on my part, but we moved onto a project I practically begged the others for: Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins. Journey Begins was an animated movie released to hype up the theatrical release of Mortal Kombat. Anyone who has ever seen it can tell you that it’s ripe with ridiculousness and begs to be made fun of. So we did just that.

We recorded our lines and everything, but things fell to the wayside and a lot of it was forgotten about. Considering Nick Zachariasen, also known as ManiacClown, had little to do after Ultimate Edit finished up and the new Mortal Kombat game was on the horizon, it made sense to get back to work on it. He worked his ass off on it and here it is. It’s me, Nick and James Howard, who rules the roost with his delivery. My quality has gone from outright terrible to plain crappy, so that’s a slight step up.

Rather than show you a preview and ask you to purchase it, I thought it would be better to just give you the whole shebang, synced up and ready to go. So here you go. The entire iRiff of Journey Begins for free. Enjoy.

There is an iRiff page for the mp3 file, so if you feel the need to pay a dollar for it, I won’t hold it against you.

(The last couple seconds repeat a few times. No idea what that’s about)

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The Eternal Champions Comic: Sooner Than Later God Will Cut You Down

April 18th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

(Special thanks to Fletcher “Syrg” Arnett for his assistance)

With the new Mortal Kombat game coming out tomorrow, it feels right to cover another comic based on a game that tried to ape the series’ success with lesser results. Already, I’ve covered Killer Instinct and Primal Rage. Now it’s time for Eternal Champions, a short-lived backup featured in the UK publication Sonic the Comic. Sonic the Comic was a bi-weekly anthology featuring stories about Sega’s rodent mascot with the occasional backups of other Sega properties. It’s mostly remembered in the comic world for a series of Streets of Rage stories written by one Mark Millar. Eternal Champions got two story arcs and a special one-shot issue out of the deal.

So what is Eternal Champions? The game was released on the Genesis in the early 90’s, followed soon after by an updated version with an expanded roster on the Sega CD. The game had a really cool and inventive storyline… until it remembers the part that it’s a fighting game and it falls apart. The idea is that there’s this being called the Eternal Champion and he’s a big force for good. In the distant future, he comes to realize that the balance between good and evil is way out of whack. Evil’s held its grip over history a bit too much and this will cause a major cataclysm. He notices a handful of beings who were killed before their prime from different time periods. People who would have made the world a better place had their lives not been cut so short.

The Eternal Champion decides to use his powers to bring in these nine souls (more in the Sega CD game) in an attempt to help set things right. It’s like Exiles with time travel. Despite having the power to pull them all from the time stream, he only has the strength to send one of these guys back a moment before their scheduled death. That’s a weird drawback, but okay. I was thinking you could blame the butterfly effect on that, but even if the caveman changes history for the better, the Sega CD endings feel the need to remind you that EVERYONE ELSE IS DESTINED TO DIE HORRIBLY via early-90’s CGI animation.

So how does the Eternal Champion decide who will get his or her second chance? FIGHTING TOURNAMENT, THAT’S HOW! Man, it’s a good thing all of these potential heroes are physically fit martial artists. So not only do they have to murder the fuck out of each other (and honestly, the “Overkills” are more violent than most Mortal Kombat Fatalities), despite the fact that they’re all pretty good people, they have to fight the super-cheap Eternal Champion to prove themselves. Why? Like, if he kicks your ass – and believe me, he probably will – he cancels the entire project and decides to allow reality to crumble to evil. All because you can’t defeat a nearly omnipotent deity with your knowledge of karate. What a dickhole!

Luckily, even the comic is aware that the Eternal Champion is full of snot. Let’s look at our nine time travelers:

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It Ain’t No More To It: Casanova & Growth

April 18th, 2011 Posted by david brothers

(A brief explanation: I feel bored and weird and unsatisfied and like I need something new. It Ain’t No More To It is borrowed from a Biggie song where he drops in, busts a verse like that Schooly D joint, and gets out in 50-some seconds. So: I took a loose idea [in this case, talk about Casanova] and spent thirty minutes writing about it. No post-writing edits, either, beyond adding in images and links. This’ll be an ongoing thing, and eventually they might even get good.)

My man Sean has me thinking about Matt Fraction, Fabio Moon, and Gabriel Ba’s Casanova tonight.

I read Casanova: Luxuria 1 and was turned off. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why, but it felt see-thru. Ephemeral, light, full of nothing. References for references sake, and the backmatter actually grated. Having such an overwhelmingly negative reaction to Fraction, Moon, and Ba’s book was a huge surprise surprise to me. Years ago, Casanova was everything to me, a bright, shining beacon of what comics could be, something that ran counter to the mainstream superheroes that tended to turn to ashes in my mouth.

Casanova launched in 2006. Since then, I’ve been through several major life upheavals. I moved two thousand miles from home. I sold my car. I got a job with a salary. I started drinking. I quit drinking. I met girls, I forgot girls, and then met them again. Saying “Everything is different now” is probably hyperbole, but in a very real way, I’m not who I was five years ago. I’ve done a lot of changing and a lot of growing up.

I get the Beatles, Blur, and David Bowie references in Casanova now. The story is different to me, though it’s the same story it’s always been. I’m different, and what was once revolutionary and mind-expanding is… just okay. Been there, learned what I needed to learn, and left it in the dust.

I used to love the backmatter in Casanova. It was like getting a guided tour behind the curtain, a personal connection between creator and consumer. It deepened my appreciation of the book, the way getting a glimpse of the person behind the pen tends to do, and it was something I wished more people would do. Bendis’s letters pages in Powers were a hot mess, but Casanova‘s text pieces clicked with me.

Part of it was that it served to make the book more clear. It made it plain that, yes, Casanova was about Jim Steranko comics and music and movies and sex, but it was also about Matt Fraction (and maybe to a lesser extent, the brothers Moon and Ba). It was his The Invisibles, a distillation of things he loves, hates, and fears put down onto the comics page. I could relate. Writing has always served as a way for me to work out issues (perhaps not always as well as I’d like) and crystallize my thoughts. Writing makes thoughts real. It creates realities. And reading Casanova felt like watching someone else work through that process.

The new backmatter struck me as the opposite. It felt like a flinch, like he’d touched a hot stove and drew back. It was alternately smug, infuriating, and annoying. The rejection of snark from Fraction felt fake, as did the “stop downloading and start uploading” tag in the indicia. It sounded like the old dichotomy of an artist up there, a reader down there, and if you’re one, you clearly aren’t the other, so man up and make something. And that grated.

I don’t think I’d realized how much I’ve changed until I read through Casanova: Luxuria. I say there were upheavals, but it was more like anything else. Brief bursts of growth that, when viewed in hindsight, were more gradual than they felt. I wonder if I was expecting Casanova to still have that revelatory effect that it had when it was fresh to me, and that’s why I had an allergic reaction to something I used to love?

I can’t really call it. I’m different, Fraction’s different, and I’d come to terms with not really checking for his work until I read this essay by Sean Witzke. A character says, “I’m not doing this for you. I’m doing this for me. I don’t care about your expectations. So go fuck yourself, Doug. Fuck everybody. Fuck you.” Fraction often used to put overt examples of his voice into his characters, and this reads pretty plain to me.

And I liked it.

The story that followed clicked in a way that his Iron Man and Uncanny X-Men didn’t. It was weird and noodly and personal and all the things I originally came to love about Casanova. And that line, and Sean pulling the story apart on his autopsy table, convinced me to go back. I want to read the next volume of Casanova now. He’s ditching the backmatter, it looks like he’s telling the stories I want to read, and it feels right.

It won’t be the same, but that’s obvious. Things can only be revealed once. The Dark Phoenix saga is purple and bloated now. Miller’s Daredevil is an arrangement of cliches. Back then? They were the bomb. Now, they’re classics with caveats. So it’ll be nice to see where Fraction goes next. Claremont has pretty much kept pressing the same button for the entirety of his career–whether to maintain or refine, I do not know–and I can’t think of a single reason to pick up his comics now. Miller, on the other hand, has pushed himself forward with each project. For all the talk about how Miller only has one gimmick, you can’t look at his projects and go “This guy hasn’t learned anything or changed.” The Sin City projects are pretty different from each other, and All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder is an experiment with the grotesque that proves that he doesn’t stand still.

Fraction’s Marvel work went from being pretty good to losing me entirely. Almost all of Iron Fist and specific bits of The Order? They hold up pretty well. Iron Man? Tried to like it, wanted to like it, but Salvador Larocca’s art is garbage and I can’t get into the story. Uncanny X-Men has been adrift since Austen left. But the last eight pages of Casanova: Gula feel pretty good, like finding an old friend that grew up different than you expected, but no less interesting. So which one is Fraction going to be? Claremont or Miller? Stagnant or open to mutation?

It’s tough to tell. Five years is a long time, and in hindsight, I’m not too surprised my overwhelming enthusiasm for Casanova cooled. That’s natural, isn’t it? That’s how it’s supposed to be. If you’re still psyched about something you were into five years ago, you either need to consume more culture or stop being so excitable. Embrace the new. Learn something. That forces you to readjust and reconsider.

Which I think is absolutely a good thing. I may not love Casanova like I did, but I think I might be able to appreciate it more now. Back then, it was all about being fresh and shiny. Now, it’s more like seeing how the puzzle pieces of influence fit together to form a brand new whole.

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This Week in Panels: Week 82

April 17th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

Hello, everybody. This week I’m helped out by David Brothers, Space Jawa and Luis.

In a couple days, I’m taking off to Las Vegas for a bit, but that won’t put a damper on the quantity of posts. In a few hours, I’ll have a big review article going up. Tomorrow I’ll have something really cool to share with you all and while I’m gone, a couple Mortal Marathon guest articles should be popping up. Plus that one guy and that one girl will probably still be posting stuff as usual.

Anyhow, panels.

Batgirl #20
Bryan Q. Miller and Ramon Bachs

Batman and Robin #22
Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason

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“Have you returned to Khera to commit SUICIDE with me?”

April 15th, 2011 Posted by david brothers

Lotta talk about Wonder Woman on Twitter recently, I figure due to the TV show, but she’s a character I could never really get into. My eyes just kinda glaze over. There have been bits and pieces (JLA Earth 2 by Morrison and Quitely, JLA Classified: Ultramarines by Morrison and McGuinness, sometimes the cartoon), but overall? I dunno, never clicked.

When it comes to women from an isolationist Amazon culture turned superhero who has a dopey blond-haired military dude for a love interest and a little sister who is also a hero, Zealot will always have my heart:

She’s basically Wonder Woman + All The Good Parts of Wolverine + Aristocracy + Guilt-free Violence. Wonder Woman’s always felt a little fluid to me, like people couldn’t ever decide what she was beyond “She’s in the Trinity, and sometimes she kills people I guess. Oh, no, wait, killing is wrong, so all of this awesome armor and her armory is uh ceremonial.”

Izza shame there’s only been something like three and a half readable Zealot stories ever, though. Great in theory, mumblemumble in execution.

Words on that one by Grant Morrison, pencils by Jim Lee, inks by Scott Williams, colors by Alex Sinclair. Wildcats #1. #2 is undoubtedly lost and gone forever.

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Batgirl #20 Play-by-Play

April 13th, 2011 Posted by Esther Inglis-Arkell

Spoiled, spoiled, all is spoiled.

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The Cipher 04/13/11: “Golf Wang”

April 13th, 2011 Posted by david brothers

this is what the devil plays before he goes to sleep

created: I haven’t been sleeping well. My throat hurts, so every time I swallow, I wince. Apparently, every time I swallow in my sleep, I wake up. That’s right: I’m the guy who wakes up an hour after taking sleeping pills. It’s had the odd effect of increasing my productivity, though. I’ve been dashing out stuff at work and at home like mad. I’m this close to getting out in front of every deadline I have control over. Crazy.

-Got a lot of irons in the fire (two, in fact, with another probably coming tonight), but all that’s up now is a little bit about Stan Sakai

-and ten Marvel books for June

go to school with this

consumed: But forreal though WHY DOES MY THROAT STILL HURT!!!!!

-Have I linked this Charlie Huston piece at Mulholland Books yet? I like this cat a whole lot, and the conclusion he comes to is interesting. I like his commentary on the piece over here, too.

-You know what’s nice about comics? There’s so many good ones that I can be well-versed in the greats and have a fantastic library without having to give Will Eisner any props for The Spirit and Ebony White. “It was just the times! Ha ha! Not racist!” Nah son, that looks pretty racist, especially for 1972, but I guess ’cause Ebony was an Upstanding Honorable Guy Who Gets The Job Done it’s okay that he’s drawn like a pickaninny. Doing a smug strip like this is dumb, too. Why should I give you the time of day? Sheer skill only goes so far, man. Spotted at Diversions of the Groovy Kind.

-While I’m on the subject I guess:

Jonathan Hickman is the guest on the new Word Balloon podcast. Skip ahead to 1:13:00, when Hickman answers a question and goes into things he wouldn’t feel comfortable writing.

-I can respect Hickman’s point (glibly paraphrased: “I’m not completely comfortable writing black guys because I feel like a faker, and that’s not the kind of writer I want to be”), but at the same time… at a certain point, you gotta man up, man. I (inelegantly) talked about this a while back, but you can’t let the possible reception throw you off your game.

-What’s more, black people aren’t so different from other people. You know what black people hate? Taxes and nagging moms. You know what black people love? …if you do, let me know, ’cause I’m real uncomfortable with the concept the concept of love.

-But seriously, if you can write space aliens, secret histories of the world, and time travel, I’m pretty sure you can write a believable black guy. Just go for it, man. Do some reading. Take a look at some magazines. Flip through a history book. Research it like you would anything else. Run it by a friend. Some people will not like it, others will, so just soak up the feedback (“Oh, so I was a little wrong when I did ______”) and keep it moving. You’ll get better.

-Also, please add some more colored folks to SHIELD. The world’s a big place. Thanks in advance.

-Ellen Page is pretty interesting. I liked her AV Club interview, particularly the stuff on how she chooses to go about her career, and all of these sketches of her by dope artists is pretty cool. As far as Inception goes, her and Joseph Gordon-Levitt shared the only real moment of humanity in the entire movie (the stolen kiss) so I’m pro-Page.

-This is mind-boggling:

-If I tried to pull this as a kid (“Oh, that was a lie. I didn’t mean it, I just wanted to say something.”) my mom would’ve beaten me in the street and I would’ve deserved it. Jon Kyl is either a hero or scum. The country we live in, man. We keep electing creeps.

-Colbert cracks up during this bit, and I really can’t blame him:

-That’s really, really funny stuff, and it gets even funnier because of Colbert breaking character.

-Did anybody see Norm Macdonald’s new show last night? I missed it.

-Norm wasn’t funny to me at all when I was a kid, but he’s legendary these days. Me Doing Stand-Up was funny, and so is stuff like this:

-I pay three bucks a month for Yen Press’s Yen Plus. It’s pretty okay, but the highlight by far is still Kiyohiko Azuma’s Yotsuba&!. Funniest comic, man. I liked this bit from the new chapter. Read it right to left.

-So much of Yotsuba&!‘s humor revolves around being mean to Fuuka.

-Tyler, the Creator’s Bastard came up this morning while it was raining. It triggered a funny thought. I latched onto Jay-Z in a big way once he started talking about his experiences as the child of a single mother. “Where Have You Been?” was incredible to me. I was what, 16? 17? Whenever that Dynasty joint dropped. I was putting that on mix CDs like it was going out of style and at all appropriate to give to a girl you liked. I was that high on it.


Do you even remember the tender boy you turned into a cold young man?
with one goal and one plan: get mommy out of some jam
She was always in one
Always short with the income, always late with the rent
You said that you was comin through
I would stay in the hallway (waitin), always playin the bench (waitin)
And that day came and went
Fuck You! very much you showed me the worst kind of pain
but I’m stronger, and trust me I will never hurt again

-So tell me if this exceprt from Tyler’s Bastard” is all that different from “Where Have You Been?”:

My mother raised me a single parent so it’s apparent
That I got love for my mother, none of you other fuckers
Are much important, I’m getting angrier while recording
I’m feeling like the Bulls, I’ve got a Gang of Wolves
Odd Future is children that’s fucked up on they mental
Simple but probably not, fuck ’em

-Being able to relate to music in some way is vital for me, whether through the pleasure of living someone else’s life or affirming some aspect of my own, and Tyler’s rapping about the same stuff I’ve been struggling with for years. I think I would’ve been an Odd Future fan in high school.

-The beat on “Yonkers” is so hard. I bought it off iTunes a while back, just because.

-Video ain’t safe for work, I guess.

-Wolf Gang.

losers can never win me, you can never offend me

David: Uncanny X-Force 7
Esther: Yes: Batgirl 20 Maybe: Batman and Robin 22, Red Robin 22, Superboy 6 (would have been a yes, but ugh, crossover) New Artist and a Story About Huntress and Catman? Oh, HELL Yes: Birds of Prey 11
Gavin: Batman And Robin 22, Booster Gold 43, Justice League Generation Lost 23, Captain America Fighting Avenger 1, Carnage 4, Deadpool 35, Incredible Hulks 626, Iron Man 2.0 3, New Avengers 11, Punisher MAX 12, Secret Warriors 26, Ultimate Comics Avengers vs New Ultimates 3, Uncanny X-Force 7

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