Archive for the 'linkblogging' Category


I Got My Uzi Back Linkblogging

December 1st, 2009 Posted by david brothers

-I liked this post by Euge of War Rocket Ajax. It’s not about comics- instead it’s about the Clipse and their place in rap culture. Preorder Til The Casket Drops here, ten bones. It leaked this weekend, it’s dope, get on that.

-I talk about The ‘Nam Volume 1 TPB and a little bit about war comics history over at Comics Alliance.

-Tom Spurgeon wrote a holiday gift guide. Everyone else should just go ahead and bow down, this is extra thorough.

-Matt Thorn discusses manga translation and man, I pretty much agree with him. I’ve had my issues with overly faithful translations, and he does a pretty good job of explaining why. I think approaching a translation project as simply transplanting the language word for word is a huge mistake. There’s something exoticizing about that, too, which makes me a little uncomfortable.

This shirt is dope.

-Nina Stone’s Virgin Read is no more!

Look at all these Marvel characters Kurt Busiek co-created!

-Brandon Thomas wraps his New X-Men retrospective.

-Timothy Callahan is basically correct in his look back at Dark Knight Strikes Again.

-Jog talks about manga and Manga. Good thing to wake up to.

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4thletter! Black Friday Telethon

November 25th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

We don’t have a Paypal button on 4l!, mostly because I’m torn on the idea of people just giving money to the site for nothing. I’d rather someone get something in exchange– Amazon and Project Wonderful ended up being perfect for that.

Amazon is running Black Friday deals all week, and if you click this link, you’ll be taken directly to Amazon, where anything you buy gives us a kickback. Theoretically, this works even if you browse around and buy stuff, as long as you came to Amazon via that link. You can also use the search box on the sidebar (it says Amazon Search, you can’t miss it) and get the same result. Same as the Amazon boxes on any review post.

Costs you nothing extra, you get in on some dope deals, and you help me embezzle money pay for 4l!’s hosting. If you aren’t into shopping online… no bigs. Thanks for reading anyway.

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One Piece: Strong World Sketches

November 24th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

gottsuiiyan at The Eastern Edge bought the new issue of Switch Magazine, and it’s got a feature on the new One Piece movie, Strong World. One Piece is basically the best adventure comic, so I’m looking forward to Strong World. Especially if it has stuff like this:


That mooseasaurus rex in the link looks great, too. Good to see that Oda’s Nami is still 2/3 legs, too.

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Comic Book Survey

November 24th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Heidi MacDonald has the details on a new survey for comics readers, masterminded by Megan Milliken. A bit of cut-n-paste:

I am a University of Chicago graduate student conducting research on comic book readership. I’m interested in demographic trends of comic book readers as well as the medium’s effect on readers’ consumption of other cultural goods and participation in civic activities. I’m motivated to do this research first and foremost because I am an avid comic book fan who has derived a great deal of pleasure and inspiration from both the content itself and the community. I’m interested in how comic books have impacted readers and hope to see what it is about a comic book that keeps a reader coming back month after month. That said I have two surveys (the first is for under 18 respondents, and the other is for respondents that are 18 and over) that I have assembled. It is intended for comic book readers as well as non-comic book readers as I would like to compare responses between these two groups (so please pass it along to the norms as well).

If you’re 18 and over, click here. If you’re not 18, learn to speak when spoken to and click this one. There’s nothing NSFW in the 18+ one– I took it and it had questions about salary and education. I assume the 18 and under one asks about toys or Justin Timberlake or whatever.

One major minor quibble: manga’s been around in the US since the ’80s, at this point. There have been several fairly high profile releases. One of the best comics out in the US this year is from Japan.

Can we stop pretending that manga is a genre? Over the past six months, I’ve bought 1800 pages of historical fiction manga (Vagabond), 600 pages of science fiction manga (20th Century Boys), and 400 pages of slice of life manga (Yotsuba&!). The only thing those books have in common is country of origin and format.

Manga = comics, I don’t know how to put it plainer than that. The differences between Japanese manga and American comics, at this point, are semantic at best.

Manga = comics. Treat it like that.

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Two Posts of Note

November 21st, 2009 Posted by david brothers

-Colleen AF Venable at First Second/:01 is amazing. She’s got another design post up on their blog, and it’s a great read. Is there another company-sponsored blog as good as :01’s? I don’t think so.

-Graeme McMillan, the man behind the man behind the man of comics writing, wrote the best post on colored folks in comics in ages, and I’m including ones that I’ve written in that number. It’s very good.

And how did Rhodey get his start as a superhero again? Oh, that’s right; he replaced Tony as Iron Man. Just like John Stewart got his start replacing Hal Jordan as Green Lantern. And John Henry Irons, replacing Superman back when he died. Oh, and don’t forget Monica Rambeau, Marvel’s second Captain Marvel. Or, hell, the Justice Society of America’s Mr. Terrific or Johnny/JJ Thunder, the Legion of Superheroes’ Computo and Invisible Kid, DC’s Mister Miracle (and, for that matter, Manhattan Guardian) or even The Spectre (And, again, who can forget Black Goliath, who replaced Hank Pym’s original White Goliath – except, of course, the “White” was silent in his name).

Graeme pokes at Rhodey’s history and finds something interesting at work, and ends up saying a lot about what it means to be black in comics. It’s absolutely worth a read or two, and it’s something to keep in mind when looking at black characters in comics.

I hadn’t even realized how few black characters were not “fight the power” types. Storm isn’t, but that’s because she’s completely divorced from any semblance of blackness. Just Bishop and Icon? And Bishop is borderline because of how he was placed at odds with the X-Men. It’s just the “Angry Black Man” stereotype poured into a new bottle.

The post’s excellent, go read it.

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“I have a few problems, the comic is fine.”

November 20th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Tucker Stone, the hands down nicest guy in comics, takes on last month’s books in Advanced Common Sense Episode 6 on comiXology. Click through to see what he has to say, or just press play below. Who knew last month was so awesome?

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Food for thought, you do the dishes.

November 19th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Real life buddy Sonia Harris wrote a piece on ten implausible things in comics that I really dug. A sample:

Why can’t you see her food, when she’s just eaten, before it’s digested?
This has always confounded me. As far as I remember, in the Invisible Man, you could see his food, until it was absorbed by his body. That seems logical to me. However, no one talks about Susan Storm’s food, or being able to see it.

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Double Your Dose of David

November 13th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

I’ve started writing for AOL’s Comics Alliance. I’m going to be doing a few pieces a week, as of this week, and you can check out my posts here. So far, I’ve written about Astro boy vs Pluto and done a brief history bit on the pulps, with an eye toward DC’s Batman/Doc Savage Special.

Bookmark it, RSS it, do whatever the kids do these days. Twitter it, I guess. Put it on Friendster or AOL Chat or whatever.

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They Got More Rights Than Miranda

November 9th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Brandon Thomas, creator of Miranda Mercury, has jumped from Newsarama and launched a new blog to hold his thoughts and long-running Ambidextrous column. Ambi 316 went live this morning, and it’s a clearing of the deck/status report for Miranda. Definitely worth reading.

I wrote a review of the first issue for another site back when it first came out, but it’s apparently been lost to the wilds of site redesigns and Google page ranks. Lucky for you, I’ve reproduced it below. Go show Brandon some love, pick up his comic when it comes out again, and let’s get this book turned from a Thing into an Avalanche. It’s a little bit Kirby, a little bit Star Wars, a little bit Indiana Jones, and a lot of day-glo adventure comics. It’s fun in a way that doesn’t need modifiers.

You can see a preview of #295 here, and the sadly unreleased #296 here. Remember that the front cover is the first page of the comic.

(I love the idea of the radial pulse cannon.)

The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury

mirandamerc_295cover_thumbLet me list three of my top five favorite creators: Frank Miller, Jim Lee, and Brian Azzarello. All three of them dropped books this past week, and yet my book of the week was produced by Brandon Thomas and Lee Ferguson?

Let me introduce you to The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury #295. No, you didn’t miss 294 issues of a comic somehow- Miranda Mercury‘s conceit is that there is a storied past behind the title character and that this is just the latest of her adventures. Miranda is a hero in the Doc Savage, Tom Strong, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers mold. She’s out to have a good time, see the sights, and maybe even learn a little bit while she’s out and about.

The book first caught my eye because it stars a black female. If you’ve been reading 4l!, you know that I feel pretty strongly about the lack of positive black females in comics. Lee Ferguson’s art delivered up a black girl who is both cool and attractive without being sexed up. Thomas’s script brought it all home when it put Miranda’s quick wit and stubborn will on display.

Basically, this comic is great. The cover page ties into the story in a big way (here’s a hint: it’s the first page of the story), the art is insanely attractive, and the story is a great one. Despite being dropped in mid-scene, it’s very easy to follow. You have the villain, the heroine, the sidekick, the hook, and the twist. The villain is a short fellow with an anger problem. The heroine is a skilled fighter in that Indiana Jones kind of way. The sidekick is a supersmart kid with a penchant for possibly being too smart for his own good. The hook is a magical cube that lets you have one wish once you solve its puzzle. The twist? The twist is something I won’t ruin, but which casts the series in a new light.

This isn’t Brandon Thomas’s first comic. He wrote an issue of Robin a few months back, just pre-Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul, that was the best single issue that book had seen in probably eight years. It was just a quick done-in-one about Robin, and ended on a few pages that really nailed the Batman/Robin dynamic for me.

Thomas displayed a deft grasp of the characters and dialogue in that book, and it’s carried over to Miranda Mercury. You get a feeling of real history between all the characters, but not the kind of history that feels manufactured. There’s none of the “Like that time on Alphozon-VII, where you narrowly escaped my clutches!”-style awful exposition. Just quick lines that hint at a shared past and allow your imagination to fill in the blanks.

The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury #295 is, as far as I’m concerned, an incredible success. The characters and art are equally vibrant, the story has a great twist at the end without being an annoying cliffhanger, and I’m genuinely interested in where the story is going to go. Miranda Mercury is an A+ right off the starting block.

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These Bullets Say “To Whom It May Concern”

November 4th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

You can read the first four issues of David Lapham’s Stray Bullets here, completely free. It’s one of my favorite series, with issue 7 being one of my favorite single issues ever.

Hopefully SB comes back soon. You can get volume 1 used off Amazon, but most of the series is out of print.

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