Monday, July 31, 2006

Devon Goes Cat-Blogging

I'm back.... sorta. The reason for my low output lately? I've been sick for the entire month of July. Earlier in the month, I got sick and preceded to lose nearly 15 pounds in two weeks. The next week, I found out the hard way that I'm lactose intolerant (That was fun) and now I'm finishing out the month hacking up bits.

Believe it or not, this is the best I've felt all month. So, yeah...I wasn't in much of a mood to do much of anything, much less try and finish semi-coherent thought on a semi-daily basis. So, in order to not subject you to tedious daily posts about how bad I felt (cat-blogging), I decided to take some time off.

So what did I do with my time off from "Seven Hells!"?

I watched Season One of Veronica Mars. (Absolutely loved it.)

Saw Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Man's Chest. (Was it me but did you feel like Johnny Depp just kinda "showed up" and collected a paycheck in this one?)

Purged more of my comic book collection. Those issues of Rob Liefeld's Glory were making me feel dirty.

Slept... a lot.

Learned to appreciate this hobby of mine just that much more.

On that note, tomorrow brings a new and hopefully better month and "Seven Hells!" will return with the much promised, often-delayed Kyle Rayner: ADULT! Week!

'Til tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The "Seven Hells!" Clip Show


I"ve decided I'm taking the week off from almost everything. Blogging. My job. Cocaine. My work with the dolphins.

So, instead of bringing you new content, I've decided to bring you The "Seven Hells!" Clip Show. Always remember, kids... they're not re-runs if they're done in flashback...

Devon uplifts the race...

Devon handles the giant-sized man-thing...

Crisis!...

Red-headed stepchildren...

Devon finds the 80's Geoff Johns...

Crazed!

Devon: Finder of Lost Loves

Golden Showers!

Chaykin-itis!

Zeitgeist

Religion

See you next week!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

CHUD: Thor's Comic Column


This is, in fact, the cover for Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #4 but dammit for some reason, this is the cover I decided to use!

Hey, kids! Did you know that I do comic reviews for CHUD? Yeah. Sometimes, I forget that I still do that, too.

This week, I reviewed the upcoming Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #1 (Third review down.) So, as usual, here's the first paragraph, submitted for your approval...

“Can you imagine living under the totalitarian regime of face-hugging starfish parasites from Planet Wherever? No, they can’t, because I’m out there putting my life on the line to keep this country and this world safe.”— Phantom Lady

“When Lilliput was on fire, Gulliver urinated on the palace, to save the people... Like the Lilliputians, you want safety and prosperity without sacrifice.” --- Father Time

...and with those lines of dialogue Uncle Sam and The Freedom Fighters #1 has eclipsed, in my mind, Marvel’s Civil War as this summer’s best comic book you’ll read about superhero legislation.

You can read the rest of this review and other fine comic reviews at CHUD: Thor's Comic Column!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Big Monkey Comics Interviews Brad Meltzer


I had the pleasure of doing an interview with Justice League of America writer Brad Meltzer the other day. In it you'll find his thoughts on his past works, his comics legacy and his thoughts on The Martian Manhunter.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Ms. Appropriated


Lately, I've been reading the comic book adventures of a blonde, buxom, superpowered heroine. She also happens to have a connection to one of comics' most revered superheroes. She's also been a member in good standing of one of comics' oldest and most powerful superteams.

After the events of a universe shattering crisis, she's finally realized her place in the world and set out on a path to make a name for herself.

Dear DC Comics, Marvel's Ms. Marvel is the best Power Girl comic currently not being published by DC Comics.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Snap Judgments

"Trust me. She's one strong moment away from making sense of it all. Who she was. Who she is."
Quote taken from Batman in Batgirl #1

Yes, that is the former Batgirl, Cassandra Cain, snapping the neck of her mother, the assassin Lady Shiva. She's having that "strong moment."

Yes, that is Cassandra Cain, the former Batgirl, shooting her father, the assassin Cain, through the head.

Yes, that is Cassandra Cain taking in and accepting her role as a killer born.

Yes, that is Cassandra Cain, the former Batgirl, ignoring her mother's final request for death. And yes, that is also "Cassie" Cain, hanging her mother on a meat hook.

And yes, this is also Cassie walking away with a smile on her face after killing her mother.

But this leads me to this question to Batgirl's "readers": "What comic book were you reading that I wasn't reading?"

I've read every issue of Batgirl and from the very start, this girl's training from Batman & Oracle ran counter to everything this young woman had ever been taught. Batman trained her to save but she was raised by Cain to kill. That cannot be disputed.

Batgirl was born to kill. She killed Lady Shiva before and in her final issue, she did it again. It's what she does.

So, please, I'm sick to death of people's outrage at Cassandra Cain's "turn" within the pages of Robin. It was natural progression, is what it is. It's a character's arc. Character's have them, occasionally.

Batgirl readers should maybe start reading the words and actions contained within the pages and maybe stop reading the comic books they'd "created" within their minds.

The fact that Batman was able to keep her on the side of the angels, suppressing what was inborn for so long is a testament to all characters involved.

Just my opinion.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

What's The Buzz, Cuz?

What do you get when you put Supergirl, Power Girl & Superman in the same comic book?

ULTIMATE COUSIN BUZZIN'!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Metatext Appeal

For those of us who love to bitch and moan TM ("Bitch and moan" is trademarked and sole property of teh intranet) about Grant Morrison's "overuse" of metatext as a storytelling device ("That bit in 52 #1 where The Question, looks put at the audience and says, "I can see you." Had to have been Morrison." It wasn't.), I say this to you:

**sniff**

If something works, let it. If Morrison wants to metatext himself dry, let him. As long as the man can produce a scene like this one from Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #4, let him. And you know why?

When done right, metatext still works.

Metatext works in regard to the story he was trying to tell. Too many people chose to ignore the previous three and a half issues of set-up where Morrison presented us with a Zatanna sorely in need of inner being and self-confidence and when all else seemed lost, he had her reach out for help and you know what? It worked.

I'll be damned if I and nearly everyone else I've asked didn't touch their palms to hers.

That's a writer asking the reader to work with him. For me, that's essentially what metatext is, a writer asking you to come along, take a leap of faith and let the story take you someplace unexpected. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. We'll live, regardless, I think.


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Kyle Rayner: ADULT!

How do you know you're reading a comic book with Kyle Rayner in it? Even if it isn't necessarily about Kyle, he manages to take it over. Will it be with his effervescent wit & charm? His pride in his effortless mastery of the only Power Ring known to existence? His Daddy, trust, gender and commitment issues? Probably so.

C'mon, Kyle! You're talking "daddy issues" with a kid whose mother was an a damned hippie and whose father is a sanctimonious lecher with a bow & arrow. Could you not find Orion, Son of Darkseid to talk to?

Maybe he'd tell you he'd somehow gotten a glimpse of the future and seen how many people die once they get around you, he decided to get out while the gettin' was good.

What's in it for Connor? Well, he gets a mirror to hold himself up to, for one. This l'il archer's looking pretty good to himself right about now.

"Well, enough of this "feminine issues" bull..." Heh! That Kyle, so confused. He was after all the one who brought up his "feminine issues" and then got uncomfortable with himself. Connor just kept quiet, just rocking that purple shirt the whole time. If "issues" were a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, tight snazzy purple tee would beat out leather jacket this time around, I think.

...and so ends another edition of Kyle Rayner: ADULT!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Path Of The Tornado


Was he pre-destined to die so that they may live? Will his resurrection lead them towards a path of enlightenment?

Judging by the cover solicitation for Justice League of America #2, it looks like the another triumpahnt return for The Red Tornado. I predict The Red Tornado will become a true fan-favorite in 2006. Why?

Will it be JLofA writer Brad Meltzer's handling of the character? Maybe?

Will new life be breathed into Reddy by the slick renderings of former Superman penciller Ed Benes? Maybe.

Personally, I believe he will become "Sensational Character Find of 2006" because we, as a society, love to see things explode. What else explains the popularity of a Jerry Bruckheimer film? Nothing explodes better than Red Tornado.

A brief history of Red Tornado's "devotion" to mankind:

Justice League of America, Vol. 1 #102: Red Tornado sacrifices himself to save multiples Earths.

Justice League of America, Vol. 1 #192: Red Tornado explodes an astonishing three times in one issue.

The Crisis On Infinite Earths: Reddy blows up so big and good it causes a nearly seven foot tall man in a devil costume to scream, "EEEK!"

Justice Number One or Two: It happens so often lately, I can't remember which issue it happened in. The "Legion of Doom" uses The Tornado to take out The Justice League Sattelite. Well, given Red Tornado's past, isn't that what YOU would have done?

Justice League Unlimited #13: Writer Adam Beechen knowing a good thing when he sees one has The Tornado taken over by "sinister forces," go haywire, damn near self-destructing in another effort to save humanity. Good times.

JLA #115: The Secret Society of Super-Villains reforms, wanting revenge on The Justice League, promptly begins practice by blowing up The Red Tornado and showering Batman with the pieces. Actually, that's a "pimp" move, if I ever saw one.

52 #2: Red Tornado's creator, T.O. Morrow, comments to Metal Men creator Dr. Will Magnus about The Tornado's propensity towards "self-sacrifice."

52 #5: Red Tornado blows up and almost takes 3 Black (Firestorm, Cyborg & Hornblower) men with him. Amanda Waller & Mr. Bones launch simultaneous investigations. The NAACP immediately calls for dismantling of The Red Tornado.

Is it me or does it seem that The Red Tornado's whole reason for being is to be blown up, giving the heroes and the writer a chance to reflect on "humanity?" Has The Red Tornado surpassed Superman as the new messiah figure in comics? Or... is it just really easy to write an android blowing up?

(Special thanks to Christopher Mah for the research.)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Local Boy Does Good

Above is a picture of former Big Monkey Comics employee Andrew Carl with Scarlett Johansson at the wrap party for the upcoming film "The Nannie Diaries."

I've been selling this guy comics since he was 10! Now, he won't return my calls.

He said I could run this, though:

Big Monkey Comics : The Official Comic Book Store of Andrew Carl.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Mike Parobeck


It was ten years ago today, that one of my favorite artists, Mike Parobeck passed away from complications due to Type 1 Diabetes.

Parobeck's art was a precursor of incredible things to come, employing an open line that many would, at the time, call "cartoon-y." Now, it would be called "clean" or "minimalist." Parobeck accomplished in one line what it would take many of his then-contemporaries twenty crosshatches to do. Parobeck was my very first "gimme" artist, meaning that whatever he drew, be it The Batman Adventures, Robin or Justice Society of America, I had to have it.

At the time of his death, I had no internet connection and read about it weeks after it had happened in The Comcs Shop News. It was the first time I'd ever felt a since of loss for someone not truly close to me. I instantly felt a sense of sadness at the thought of never again holding this man's art in my hands on a monthly basis and it truly, truly made me sad.

Today, I rejoice in this man's work. When prospective comic book artists come into my shop, asking how to become better at their craft, I show them Mike Parobeck's artwork. In his art, they get to see proper page layout, how to tell a story through art, how properly to portray less as more and you know what? They get it.

They get it because great art like great story is timeless. Mike Parobeck's "clean line" art, created something that has become timeless in its simplicity. Ten years on and he's still impacting my life and the lives of others. The comics genre is about storytelling & legacy. Mike Parobeck through his art has left us with a legacy, a body of work absolutely worthy of treasuring.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Cousin Buzzin'

Supergirl isn't the only one who knows how to get her swerve on on with her cousin. Supergirl's Earth 2 counterpart Power Girl also knows a thing or two about the sweet Kryptonian art of cousin-buzzin'TM. ("Cousin-buzzin' " is trademark "Seven Hells!" LLC.)

You know what the greatest part of this is? The look on Black Canary's face. It is the absolute perfect melange of amazement & bewilderment. This is the exact look you will have on your face if your neighbor knocks on your door, you answer it and said neighbor drops his or her pants and takes a dump on your doorstep.

"I can't get used to you-- you're nothing like my cousin' Supergirl." Translation: "M-m-my super-senses tell me that she isn't anything like my cousin, Supergirl. This girl, this Power Girl, will eventually try to convince that a woman can be...ON TOP?!?"

The popular misconception is that The Star-Spangled Kid is screaming "Power Girl!" because she's in some sort of danger. Star-Spangled Kid knows well the sound a man makes after being on the receiving end of a Power Girl "Dirty Sanchez."

Thank Rao, we got these two draft picks in the explosion, eh?

EEEEWWWW!!!!!

Power Girl's was just as kinky as Supergirl ever was! This panel makes one grateful for not only The Crisis On Infinite Earths and for retcons, in general. Thank God, there was no Comet The Superhorse to complicate things even further.

(Special thanks to Christopher Mah for showing me this panel.)