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I Got So Much Culture On My Mind 02: feh.

April 27th, 2012 Posted by david brothers

-I’m slowly getting into Michael DeForge’s work. It’s weird and a little out of my wheelhouse of cusswords and violence comix, but I like how creepy and weird and John K his style gets sometimes. He’s put Kid Mafia #1 online for free, asking only that if you read and enjoy it, you kick him fifty cents via Paypal. I read it, I liked it, and I paypaled him fifty cents in Canadian dollars. If you like it, you should do the same.

I like this idea, and I hope more cats who produce minicomics start doing this. I’m not much for paper books and totally fine with making it rain via Paypal. Hopefully you are, too!

-I did a podcast with Chris Eckert from Funnybook Babylon about our comic book origins. I really like this photoset he made for the chat, which really says it all:

Is it any wonder my taste in comics turned out like it did? That Batman cover is crazy, though. I also spill the beans on the time I had a nightmare about Terry Kavanaugh, which is one of the stupidest things that has ever happened to me. We talk a lot about Image comics, too. I guess I hadn’t realized how fundamental their stuff was for/to me until this chat, so it was nice to look back and sort of reconcile what I like now with what I liked then.

-Michael Peterson and Kevin Czapiewski have launched Project Ballad, a webcomic about a girl named Kendra Price, RPGs, and maybe… video games?? Start reading it here. It’ll update Monday-Wednesday-Friday from here on out. You should read it. I am.

-I watched Lena Dunham’s Girls, but I don’t really have a thinkpiece in me like the rest of the internet. I hated it, basically, because the experiences and people I watched on TV were so completely and utterly alien to my experiences. Like, magic, kung fu? I can buy that. Asking my mother for eleven hundred bucks a month to pay my rent while I douchebag around town? My mom would die laughing and then haunt me for the rest of my life, telling me to get a job in between ghostly guffaws. So yeah: not for me.

-I watched Frederic Jardin’s Sleepless Night the other night. I liked it a lot. It’s this tight little crime thriller about a cop who robs the wrong guy and gets his son kidnapped. Most of it takes place in one building, there are several factions, and I love love loved that the violence was so awkward and off-putting. Tomer Sisley as Vincent is not playing Jason Statham as Jason Statham, as the fight scene in the kitchen proves. He’s just a cop, rather than a supercop. Also there are father/son issues, and I’m a sucker for those, not to mention gunfights and action.

A lot of Sleepless Night takes place in a nightclub, but it never dragged the movie down like every other nightclub scene does for me.

Sleepless Night reminded me about Fred Cavayé’s Point Blank because… well, they’re both in the same genre, French, and pretty good. Point Blank shakes out a little differently. Samuel is a regular dude, a nurse, put into a tough situation. He sucks a a lot of things, but the movie livens things up by teaming him up with a hardened criminal. That doesn’t mean that you won’t see cross on double cross on triple cross over the course of the movie, though. Gilles Lellouche is perfect as the desperate regular dude, and Roschdy Zem gets a good turn as a gangster. There’s a scene in an apartment that was tremendous, really great writing, action, and film-making.

-My man Sean Witzke put me onto Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, which is a… some type of band. Rock? Noise? Whatever. I really like “Hoshi Neko,” but the entire album is pretty good.

I don’t really have the frame of reference to describe it in proper terms, I guess, so I’m going to copy & paste from their blog:

YT//ST was founded in late 2007 by performance artists alaska B and Ruby Kato Attwood, born from the ashes of the late Lesbian Fight Club. Armed with mixed-race identities, mad illustration skills and a whole pile of home-brew junk electronics, alaska and Ruby wrote and performed the first mini ‘Noh-Wave’ Opera, ‘YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN I’ in April 2008. YT//ST continued to perform short homebrewed operas, eventually forming a network of Asian and Indigenous artists through collaboration and formed the current YT//ST collective.

They have this weird multi-disciplinary sound, sort of dissonant but appealing at the same time. The vocals sound like they’re coming in from a distance, or through a filter, and instruments sound like they fade in and out of the mix as needed. I dunno, I could keep putting words that don’t quite fit on it or you can listen to “Hoshi Neko” and “Reverse Crystal//Murder of a Spider” and hear exactly what I mean. I bought the album and it was more than worth my time.

-This guy Boulet is so good. I love this strip about childhood dreams, too.

-Philip Bond is still drawing spacegirls.

-Faith Erin Hicks is great. I think she’s super interesting as a person, going by her essays on making a living in comics & animation and whatnot, and of course she’s scary talented. She’s got a Tumblr now, which includes this great picture of Liz Sherman from BPRD:

I really really like this. Liz’s bored expression, which extends to the lazily arcing cigarette smoke, is pitch-perfect. Even the lazy posture, starting from her bent left leg on up. But, and maybe this is weird, my favorite part is Hicks’s signature. “feh.” is the best signature since Walt Simonson’s dinosaur. Someone should do one of those knock-down, drag-out, ultra-long, “here are all of my opinions on every subject ever” interviews with Hicks. I bet it’d be a great read.

-Powerhouse blogger Kate Dacey is curating a Manga Movable Feast on Viz Signature, which may well be the best comics imprint since the glory days of Wildstorm. The MMF is a collection of reviews, criticism, and just content in general, all on the subject of Viz Sig’s fantastic catalog. I’m not sure if I’ll have time to contribute this time (my motivation for everything these days is on approximately a negative thousand million, but it’ll pass. I’ve been working on this simple post since Wednesday, ha ha), but I did pick Takehiko Inoue’s Vagabond Vizbig 9 and Naoki Urasawa’s Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka as part of my best of 2010, and I still like this look at Inoue’s writing. I’m down for another Vagabond reread, actually. Maybe that’ll be this summer’s big series of posts? Inouefest, 2012. In-No-Way-Fest 2012. Anyway! Go, read! Kate’s list of 7 essential books is pretty good.

-I’m probably going to pre-order the super deluxe funcrusher plus monster package of El-P’s Cancer 4 Cure (that title!!!!!) and Killer Mike’s RAP Music. I love those guys, and dropping 85 bones on their work doesn’t seem like a huge extravagance. I’ll have to wait to see how next payday shakes out, though. I definitely want the vinyl of both. I just have to make sure the math makes sense. It may be smarter to just order Cancer 4 Cure and R.A.P. Music on vinyl separately, though. I don’t necessarily need the instrumentals or poster.

-Paul Jenkins and Humberto Ramos have a kickstarter going for their book Fairy Quest. Here’s a video:

And a widget:

I like these guys, especially when they work together. I’m going to kick some cash their way come payday, too.

-Here’s a couple STS videos I liked. I like how regular the video for “Good Intentions” is. It’s just a bunch of guys hanging out and doing things. It fits the theme of STS’s Goldrush, too, which is laid back flips of established songs. And STS is a spitter, too. Always a treat to hear a new verse.

-Tucker’s Comics of the Weak is still the best post every week. He’s got Jog and Abhay backing him up this week, plus Nate Bulmer, so maybe you should get down or lay down. Also, I vote you don’t get to make the Holocaust into a pithy comeback in your stupid fight comics. Been there, done that.

-Next week: I’ve got my uzi back, you dudes is wack, face it, the Wu is back (hopefully, but if the Celtics beat the Hawks on Sunday, I may spiral back into the Pit of Depression)

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Fourcast! 66: Dead Wrong at New York Comic Con

October 18th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

-New York Comic Con Special Edition Fourcast!
-I borrowed my main man Pedro Tejeda from Funnybook Babylon and grabbed Gavin for a true FBB4l! connection.
-We talk about the con.
-I predict the cancellation of Young Allies, though I have it eight issues rather than six.
-We sing.
-We say mean things.
-We say hilarious things.
-There are music clips.
-Big ups to Joe from FBB for editing and recording this one for us.
-This is one of my favorites.
-6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental for the theme music.
-If we want to talk to you, you better not listen, you might wind up in critical condition… we’re American Males.
-See you, space cowboy!

Subscribe to the Fourcast! via:
-Podcast Alley feed!
-RSS feed via Feedburner
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The Cipher 10/13/10

October 13th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

keys open doors
-NYCC shouts: Witzke, Jared, Tucker, the whole FBB4l! death squad, Tim Callahan, Sims, Julian, Deb Aoki, Ed Chavez, Laura Hudson, Prof Gray, Kiel Phegley, Caleb and Anna, Bergen St Tom and Bergen St Amy, Cheryl Lynn, the iFanboys, and everyone else I met whose name I instantly forgot when I blinked my eyes after being introduced. I’m sorry, it’s just that my brain is so full of cut-n-paste snark blogging that I can’t even build short-term memory any more.

-Anybody else attend the X-Men panel? I thought it was funny when PAD showed up and announced that whoever placed the panels so far from either the show floor or Artist’s Alley should die? A couple years back he was going off on people online for that, but I guess it’s all to the good in person!

-See?! It’s a compulsion! I can barely type a whole sentence without mentioning how there hasn’t been a good Typhoid Mary story since Ann Nocenti left the character!

-Special shouts to everyone who said that they a) listened to, b) enjoyed, c) loved, or d) all of the above the Fourcast!. That was pretty flattering. Also everyone who mentioned the posts where I say things about race and comical books. This was a super flattering con. Good thing my ego’s already as big as humanly possible, you know?

-Kicked off the con weekend by giving a guest lecture to two classes and two and a half hours of karaoke.

-How good is The Outfit? I’ll have to hire a 4l! intern to scan some pages out of it so I can talk about it some.

-What was up with fans behaving badly at NYCC? Apparently some Lian Harper cosplayer got invited up onto a DC panel and then went on to complain about Jason Todd’s hair color and some other crap? There was also a belligerent Sgt Rock cosplay who was real upset about Frankencastle and accosted another panel. I’m sure there was some OMD/BND strife, too. C’mon, son. It’s just comics. It’s not that serious.

-Every year I go to one of these, I end up adjusting how I interact with comics as a whole. The first year, I was greedy guts, thirsty for signatures and books and panels. Attending a World War Hulk panel killed all that noise real quick, though, and now I only attend corporate comics panels if I gotta. They’re awful. The panels to go to are ones featuring either smaller publishers, like Oni or Top Shelf, or focused on a specific creator. Creator spotlights are great.

-Last year, it was all about original art and sketches. I got a Risso sketch and a gang of others.

-This year, I realized that I don’t care about signatures (though I do still like sketches/art) and it was all about 1) books and 2) my friends. Meeting creators at a con is nice and all, but it’s too one-sided for me. “Hi I like your books it’s nice to meet you can you make this out to David?” I don’t really get anything out of that.

-I’d rather meet someone at a bar or somewhere less formal than stand in a line to shake their hands and then catch them hand sanitizing it up thirty seconds later, you know? Email, over drinks, anywhere outside of the context of a comics convention is great. Within the building, though? I’d rather talk and walk with my friends.

-I do like those brief moments where you run into a creator you know or a friend on the floor while traveling in opposite directions, though. I saw Tim & Ryan Callahan, Geoff Johns, Kate Dacey, Marc Bernardin, and a few others that way.

-There was a super fine Ramona Flowers running around the con on Friday. She was quickly dubbed Ethnically Ambigious Ramona Flowers by the crew, and if you’re reading this: you won the con. Don’t let anybody tell you different.

-We gotta get rid of the Sexy Jailbait Anime Costume cosplays, though. If you needed to get parental permission to attend the con, please put some clothes on.

-I wore a three piece suit on Saturday.

-Sims talking about how he would kill Stephanie Brown “9 times” on the Comics Alliance panel killed me. Hopefully the video will be up soon, and hopefully I didn’t make too many stupid faces.

-Oh yeah, from the preview for ASM this week:


Bringing back Hypno Hustler, however briefly? Mark Waid, you are the dreamiest. Truly.

keys open doors
Wrote: I wrote a bunch of panel recaps while I was at NYCC, but there’s not a single bit of news in there I thought was ground breaking or worth paying attention to. Instead, read about Chi’s Sweet Home, 7 Billion Needles, and Redline, an anime that makes the Wachowski Speed Racer flick look like a fraud.

I’ve got a column at Moviefone now, too. The first is about five non-cape comic movies we need to see.

Read: I bought a gang of French and Alan Davis comics at NYCC, including an ill Eduardo Risso/Carlos Trillo book I’ve never seen before. On the plane, I read Twin Spica 01, Twin Spica 02, Twin Spica 03, Power Girl Vol. 2: Aliens & Apes, and Spin Angels. All of them were good to very good, and I’ll have longer bits on them later. And now that the Palmiotti/Gray/Conner Power Girl is done, I can go back to pretending like Power Girl doesn’t exist.

keys keys open doors
David: Amazing Spider-Man 645, Thor 616
Esther: Definitely: Knight and Squire 1, Maybe: Return of Bruce Wayne 5, Bruce Wayne: The Road Home – Batgirl, The Outsiders, Batman and Robin, Red Robin, Doc Savage 7
Gavin: Batman Return Of Bruce Wayne 5, Booster Gold 37, Green Lantern 58
Justice League Generation Lost 11, Knight & Squire 1, Welcome To Tranquility One Foot Grave 4, Daken Dark Wolverine 2, Deadpool Corps 7, Incredible Hulks 614, New Avengers 5, Irredeemable 18

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The Cipher 10/06/10

October 6th, 2010 Posted by david brothers

they believed in machine guns.
-New York Comic Con is this weekend. Gavin and I will be there. Short cipher, then.

-Charlie Huston has a new novel coming out in 2012 from Mulholland Books. Skinner is going to be about poverty, seems like. Here’s a pretty good introduction to the headspace he’s working in.

Speaking of putting a bullet in the head of irony, 1 in 5 U.S. resident children are currently living below that line.

You can’t, as the comedians are wont to say, make this shit up.

Facts, in these situation, kick the shit out of fiction every fucking time.

The present moment is born of the past. The future moment is born also of the past, and the now.

1 in 5 children born from the past into present poverty. How the fuck did that happen?

If you want to get into his work, The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death: A Novel is a pretty good starting point. Brutally funny, brutal pacing (in The Shotgun Rule especially), brutal violence… this guy is the one novelist whose books I buy on release and tear through in two or three sittings, max.

-Continuing the trend of the extended FBB4l! family being the best people to read when it comes to writing about comics, Tucker Stone has a positively fantastic interview with Darwyn Cooke up at Comics Alliance. Parker: The Outfit drops today, and it’s basically already book of the week.

-More Richard Stark: The Hunter, The Man with the Getaway Face, and The Outfit are on Kindle now.


David Grofield: Unknown Soldier 24, Parker: The Outfit
Esther Parker:
Handy Gavin: Incorruptible 10, Metalocalypse Dethklok 1, Secret Six 26, Avengers Academy 5, Chaos War 1, Deadpool Pulp 2, DeadpoolMAX 1, Hawkeye & Mockingbird 5, S.H.I.E.L.D. 4, Taskmaster 2, Ultimate Comics Thor 1, Young Allies 5

I was gonna buy Ultimate Thor off ComiXology, but if you think I’m paying four bucks for a regular old comic book, you’re insane.

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Station Identification

March 1st, 2010 Posted by david brothers

I’m taking a couple days break now that BHM is over, so it’ll be a few days before I get back to calling DC stupid and Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass racist. In light of that fact, now’s as good a time as any to remind you who we are and what we do!

4l! turns five years old this month. The anniversary is later in the month, and hopefully we’ll have some cool business going on. Five years, though, dang. If you have anniversary stuff you want us to do, drop a comment down below.

4thletter! is
Gavin: Funny stuff and wrestling
Esther: Batman and Batman
David: Black people and exasperation

RSS feed for posts
RSS feed for comments
Livejournal syndication
Facebook page
iTunes page for the Fourcast!
RSS feed for the Fourcast!

The Family
Blog@Newsarama: Psyche.
Cheryl Lynn: Cheryl likes to send me links that are to either funny animated gifs or are meant to get me writin’ mad. She’s also the maintainer of The Ormes Society.
The Factual Opinion: TFO is the home of Tucker and Nina Stone. Nina’s just looking for somecomic to love while Tucker’s handing out two-fisted reviews. Both are worth reading.
Funnybook Babylon: Chris, Pedro, Joe, Jamaal, and David U bring some tough talk for funnybooks.
Julian Lytle: Creator of Ants and dope artist. Check out his reviews and miscellany on Ignorant Bliss.
Ron Wimberly: Dope artist, creator of Gratuitous Ninja, jet-setting dude who does a whole lot.
Sean Witzke: Sean is the kind of guy who brings up something you’ve seen a million times and completely dismantles it, forcing you to look at it in a new light. You don’t get it, boy. Supervillain isn’t his blog. It’s an operating table. And he’s the surgeon.

If I forgot you… I forgot you. Peace!

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Fourcast! 21: Batman Year 100: PulpHope

October 19th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

We’ve got a You Made Me Read This that’s five months in the making! Esther’s read Batman Year 100, and we have a nice discussion about it for around half an hour. We go over what makes Batman Batman, belly button physics, dentures and lisps, and plenty of other bits. After we discuss our favorite incarnations or styles of Batman, 6th Sense’s 4a.m. Instrumental plays and we go on our way.

The Batman “Dick, was I a good father?” scene is this one:

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I don’t know if it was like that in the original Infinite Crisis #4, but Chris Eckert’s Edited Crisis #4 > Infinite Crisis #4. I love it like a fat kid loves cake or a rap kid loves breaks.

My Podcast Alley feed! {pca-60fd9af9e57947dbb2602de779a8da1b}

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Thirty Year Old Linkblogging @ FBB

January 20th, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Chris Eckert has a fascinating look at The Comic Reader, a fanzine from the late ’70s/early ’80s, over at FBB. The inaugural edition of what I hope is going to be a series is pretty fascinating, and even explains those weird painted marks on old comics.

[…]Denny O’Neil contributes an open letter to Steve Skeates, responding to an earlier interview where Skeates lambastes what he perceives as O’Neil’s dishonest business practices and “lukewarm liberalism” masquerading as as “radicalism”.

So in case you were wondering everyone, politics invaded comics a long time ago. Blame Nixon.

TCR allows O’Neil to ramble for over two pages, mixing inside jokes with lengthy quotations from Camus and e.e. cummings, old convention anecdotes and critiques of specific issues of Aquaman. What’s amazing is that these are not the kneejerk slapfights we’ve grown accustomed to in the blogosphere, these are letters delivered by parcel, debates with months between retorts. But even with those hurdles, creators found time to fight!

Go give it a read.

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Authentic Street Lingo?

September 17th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

Batman’s Comedy of Eros, by Dennis O’Neil – ComicMix news

Comics have come a considerable distance in the few years since I left editing. Hell and damn, once verboten seem okay both in comics and on TV, and a few gamier locutions are beginning to pop up. But I don’t believe the medium – comics – has evolved to the point where authentic street lingo is expected.

This is about the All-Star Batman thingaling. I guess what he’s meaning by “authentic street lingo” is curse words, but I don’t exactly see why comics have not, or would not have, evolved to the point where it is expected.

“Motherloving” is a terrible, terrible word. It was bad in Ennis’s Punisher, it was bad in Priest’s Panther (or was it Deadpool?), and it was bad in last week’s issue of Amazing Spidey. “Butthat” is pretty bad, too. “*@#($&” is annoying, but not as annoying as the fake Legion grife and sprock and frak and whatever.

I saw The Incredible Hulk with Ron from iFanboy and James and Kirsten from Isotope. There is a bit in the movie where the old school Hulk theme plays. We were talking about the movie afterwards, and Kirsten remarked that playing the Hulk theme was a bad move. It was something that pulled you out of the movie and just reminded that you that you were a dumb comics fan who was seeing a dumb movie about a dumb guy who turns into a big dumber guy.

That’s what the fake censoring does. No one is doing it for the “Hee hee it was almost a cuss word” thing. People do it because the other ways look stupid. The other ways just serve to remind you that, HEY, this is a comic book, buddy! They jerk you out of the story. They look stupid.

The black bars are actually pretty elegant. I think the first place I saw them, and really noticed them, was in Adam Warren’s work, though Milestone used a variant of it. It’s reminiscient of the TV beep or music video cut. It takes away the word while still allowing it to remain present for dialogue flow or character purposes. A lot of all-ages titles get this right. They don’t use fake curse words. If they have a situation that needs them, they don’t replace it with “motherlover.”

Some people don’t like to be reminded that they are reading a comic while they’re reading. It isn’t a comics hate or self-hate thing. It’s no different than being pulled out of a movie or novel. It’s distracting. It hurts your enjoyment of the book.

So, yeah. Put me down with the people who expect authentic street lingo out of comics, be it superhero or otherwise. I can’t think of a single reason why not. If it isn’t a book that that is mature readers (and that is an essay to come, as Frank Miller had a really interesting discussion about it in some Sin City lettercols years ago) and you are worried about backlash, bleep the words.

David U from FBB has some more thoughts on the immaturity thing here.

More to come. I’ve been at work all day yesterday, all night last night, and possibly all day today again. I want to talk about this stupid streak of self-loathing comics fans have, or at least loathing toward other comics fans, and more on censorship and labeling.

I guess the long and short of it, though, is that labeling isn’t something I’m down with and self-loathing is for idiots.

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4ch: NYCC: The Interviews, Part 2

August 29th, 2008 Posted by david brothers

Four Color Heroines interviews noted bloggers Cheryl Lynn and Valerie D’Orazio, among others, at New York Comic-con 08. I wish that the interviews went a little more in-depth or were just longer in general, as we don’t get much more than a taste of each interviewee.

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Rad Nauseam :: Have You Got Yourself an Occupation?

August 21st, 2008 Posted by david brothers

Rad Nauseam » Blog Archive » Have You Got Yourself an Occupation?

Like all great things, Babysan is extremely racist, heavily sexist and oh-so erotic. Published in 1953 (a year after the American occupation of Japan ended), Babysan is a series of one panel cartoons accompanied by a few paragraphs of explanatory condescension.

These are amazing. Click through and check these out. FBB4l affiliate David Cole also runs Atavism and will design you an awesome website if you give him money.

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