Friday, July 31, 2009

Episode 35 - Breakdowns on Casanova Pt. 5

Part 5 of 7 of my continuing look at Matt Fraction and Gabriel Ba's Casanova.

Music Featured is by The Beatles.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Episode 35 - Breakdowns on Casanova Pt. 4

Double Nirvana!!

Part 4 of 7 of my continuing look at Matt Fraction and Gabriel Ba's Casanova.

Music Featured is by The Beatles.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Episode 35 - Breakdowns on Casanova Pt. 3

Part 3 of 7 of my continuing look at Matt Fraction and Gabriel Ba's Casanova.

Music Featured is by The Beatles.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Episode 35 - Breakdowns on Casanova Pt. 2

Part 2 of 7 of my continuing look at Matt Fraction and Gabriel Ba's Casanova.

Music Featured is by The Beatles.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Episode 35 - Breakdowns on Casanova Pt. 1

Part 1 of TW's daily look at Matt Fraction and Gabriel Ba's Casanova. From here on out prepare yourself for espionage, deja vu, and whacked-out personalities.

Music Featured is by The Beatles.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Episode 34 - K-Billy's Super Sounds of the 70s

Comics! Movies! E-mail! Announcements! A lot of Ed Brubaker (I like this in a non-creepy way but in a man-love way)! It's all in this episode. Not to be missed for you TW addicts!

Comics & Movies Mentioned
Batman: Streets of Gotham
Gotham City Sirens
Murder, My Sweet
Reservoir Dogs
Sleeper: Season 1
Tales of the TMNT

Music featured is by Stealer's Wheel.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Back to the Bins - Episode 15

Pulling out the Long Boxes once again this week to get our Back Issue fix!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Ford's Focus - July 13th 2009 to July 17th 2009

Written by: Ford Thomas

*The Amazing Spider-Man: Brand New Day Vol. 1 HC (library)
*The Amazing Spider-Man: Brand New Day Vol. 3 TP (library)
*Captain America: To Serve And Protect TP (library)
*American Virgin Vol. 1: Head TP (library)
*Captain America Reborn #1(of 5)
*Action Comics #879
*Batman: Streets Of Gotham #2
*Blackest Night #1(of 8)
*Blackest Night: Tales Of The Corps #1(of 3)
*Fables #86
*Incognito #5
*JSA vs. Kobra #2(of 6)
*Killer #9(of 10)
*Rasl #5
*Scalped #30
*Wednesday Comics #2(of 12)
*Madame Xanadu Vol. 1: Disenchanted TP
*Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter HC

*everything ‘bought’

If I could only read one comic a month it would be Scalped, no doubt about it. Month in month out this is confirmed. There were lots of great comics this week, some big splashes but it was Scalped that won out as my favourite book this week. I’m not sure if I react the way I do to Scalped with any other book. There are audible reactions, usually in the particularly gory/shocking moments but more so for the reasons beyond the violent acts themselves. Quite frequently I’ll start crapping on about what I’m reading while I’m half through it or immediately after in the form of incomprehensible nonsense to my spouse if she’s unlucky enough to be in the house at the time. But there are never gasps and winces of pain with anything but Scalped. These gory moments are so good because of everything they’re surrounded by, all the horrible, despicable characters and the terrible situations they find themselves in.
Scalped #30 as well as being the first issue in the five-part arc The Gnawing could also work as a good ‘jumping on point’. A new reader probably won’t have a clue who most of the characters are by the end of the issue and the scenes won’t have as much weight as they would without having read the previous 29 issues but the scenes are more than strong enough to draw a new reader in. There is also the strong feeling of imminent doom which draws in you like a good mystery but you know bad stuff is happening to everyone you just don’t know the when and how and sometimes the why.

The two volumes of Spider-Man Brand New Day that I read this week were mostly re-reading and a bit of following up on up where I left off, and it was a lot of fun. Wise-cracking is major part of the Spider-Man persona but rarely has it ever made me laugh, maybe it’s never made me laugh and at it’s best it comes across as a care free attitude which when done right is just as good if not better. Throughout both volumes most of the wisecracks did their job and got laughs out of me (guess this contradicts the above slightly), most of them I had read numerous times before in the case of the issues contained in volume one.
With Spider-Man coming out three times a month beginning with Brand New Day firstly I’d found it enjoyable and knowing the cliffhangers would be followed up within a week or two at most made the new weeks releases that little bit more exciting. But after a while I felt that the book was good and slightly above average, so I stopped reading it. Reading eleven issues in quick succession gave me the feeling of wanting to follow it up immediately by picking up the following trades. Sadly this feeling dissipated after a couple of days but thankfully it did because this week was a pretty big week of purchases for me. This is something that has been happening quite a lot lately after reading large chunks of some series, when I’m reading them I don’t want it to stop but then I find after a day or two I don’t care (as was the case with The Walking Dead Compendium). Having said all that, some things in the Brand New Day volumes worked even better in quick succession such as the references to “the Parker luck” which was especially hilarious in Amazing Spider-Man #559, that begins with Spider-Man chasing Screwball “the world’s first ‘live streaming super-villain’” who on escaping from Spider-Man says “Yeah? Well I’ve got a li’l thing called…the parkour luck!”. This is then later reused when Peter Parker is on his paparazzi beat and he is acrobatically avoids some disgruntled bodyguards and says “Yep. And I’ve got the Parker Luck!”.

Breakdowns on Casanova!

Alright, the time is approaching, and I am calling out to you all to inform. For the week of July 27th, 2009 Teenage Wasteland will be releasing daily installments for your podcast consumption, all in which will focus on a particular issue of Casanova Vol. 1 - Luxuria.

Each episode, as I mentioned, will focus on a specific issue in its reading order. I will provide the plot, looks at specific moments, and my general impressions. In a nutshell, these episodes will be SPOILER FILLED, and I encourage all who plan to listen to read along or re-read if you have done so before. I also encourage lovers of the book to check out the show forum (here)and discuss the specific issues in the episode feedback threads. I want to get a good discussion brewing over the book among many different people and talk comics for the sake of comics.

So, on July 27th check back at this blog or search Teenage Wasteland in iTunes and listen in. Get ready for a week full of audio on Matt Fraction and Gabriel Ba's zany, spy comic. Now, go read the book! Do it!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Episode 33 - Shawn Pryor of PKD Media

In this edition I am joined by Shawn Pryor: visionary, comic creator and chief of PKD Media. Shawn was kind enough to sit down and have a one hour discussion covering his creative endeavors and his life as a business man holding the reigns of PKD Media. This episode is not to be missed! You know why?? Because, I am channeling Siuntres!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Back to the Bins - Episode 14

Pulling out the Long Boxes once again this week to get our Back Issue fix!


Monday, July 13, 2009

SOAPSTone on Enough

For any written work a reader should be able to distinguish two layers of structure: one being the surface level plot thread and the second being the deeper intent and the author’s purpose. Enough by Bill McKibben opens the door and sheds some light on the dusty opinion of an environmentalist who lives in the world built by the futurist. McKibben, as an author and environmentalist, has a strong opinion of leaning humanity more on natural solutions, localized economies, and the strength of community. He seems to be a man who wishes to build a compromise between technology and the earth, creating some sort of fusion of old and new world ideas. With this world we nurture today, McKibben sees it as important that we get a hold of ourselves when it comes to how much we allow technology and these “new gods” to anchor themselves within our lives. He’s writing this book now because he sees the time as the turning point in our collective human history.
Enough is a book filled with metaphors and science lingo. Mainly for the reason that it is supposed to jog one’s mind into overactive thought. With that said, McKibben writes Enough not for the average audience, instead it is for those who ask the questions and think about the larger picture. He intends as an author and a voice to, again, make you, as a reader, ask the questions. McKibben wants to you dust off that moral line and modify it to your own specifications for this new age of ethics. Those ethics being the question of whether man should be able to “play god” in a sense and change the species by the use of genetic engineering and nanotechnology.
McKibben as the author sees the coming of the “engineered age” as a post-human dystopia where we will loose our individuality and sense of humanity. With that in mind, the tone of Enough is all about persuasion and defending a personal opinion. McKibben can also come as a somewhat self-centered person in spots. Yet, for a work like this, it is a tone that is needed. McKibben needs to play himself up as the “only right man” on the planet, otherwise why would a reader allow themselves to trust anything the man is saying.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Episode 32 - I Have Something to Say

Some recent comic book reads and the introduction of the brand spankin' new 'Writer Watch' segment can all be found within this fine episode. Yay, audio!

Titles Mentioned:
Batman & Robin
Captain America: Reborn
Greek Street
Jersey Gods
Justice League: Cry for Justice
Justice League International

Music Featured is by Metallica

Download / iTunes / Forum

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Back to the Bins - Episode 13

Pulling out the Long Boxes once again this week to get our Back Issue fix!


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ford's Focus - June 29th 2009 to July 5th 2009

Written by: Ford Thomas


*Buffy The Vampire Slayer #26

*Batman And Robin #2

*Green Lantern Corps #38

*Justice League: Cry For Justice #1

*Locke And Key: Head Games #6

*Echo #13

*Chew #2

*Batman Confidential #31

*Greek Street #1

*Uptight #3

*The Perfect Planet and Other Stories TP

*Sleeper Vol.1: Out in the Cold TP (library)

*Sleeper Vol.2: All False Moves TP (library)

*Sandman Mystery Theatre: Sleep Of Reason TP (library)


*Oishinbo: Ramen and Gyoza TP

*Starman Omnibus Vol. 3 HC

*Blazing Combat HC

*Athena Voltaire: The Complete Web Comics TP

*Athena Voltaire: Flight Of The Falcon TP

*Superman: The Man Of Steel #90

*R.E.B.E.L.S. #1-4

*The Mighty #1-4

*Flash: Rebirth #1-3

*Blackest Night #0

*Final Crisis Aftermath: Run! #1, Escape #1, Dance #1, Ink #1

*everything ‘bought’

A new week brought more Starman for me. As I mentioned last week it has taken me a while to warm up to Starman in the omnibuses for a few reasons, mostly the gaps between reading them, but also the few years since my first experience with Starman. It shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise that the contents of volume three really hit home for me as some of my favourite Starman moments are contained within it, as well as Starman Annual #2, my introduction to Starman as the lead comic in the To Reach The Stars trade paperback.

The annual consists of three stories of ‘times past’ retold by Jack Knight to Sadie Falk’s (Jayne Payton) as their romance blossoms over different seasons of the year.

Volume three leads off with a four-part Shade mini-series; each issue featuring different artists and taking place in different times. It starts in the mid 19th century and ends in the late 90s where the Starman series was at the time the mini series’ publication. The strength of the series is in the singularity of each issue that when taken together creates a longer form story. I found this refreshing, after having read so much Starman lately I’ve become aware of the story meandering quite a lot. In small doses some issues can seem ordinary or at least until you hit an issue which really builds on the big picture, making you realise every issue has its reason and is a small part of a larger story that encompasses the entire series.

A good example of this is the story that kicks off the Infernal Devices arc in Starman #30 which builds on a few plot threads, and on the first page of #32 reads “six players gather on our stage…” Two of these players are Ted Knight and Solomon Grundy, both major players in the series but who aren’t featured in the previous two issues except for a couple of pages of Ted. From these lines we are given a clear sense that the story was written as a serial. While it could have been more effective to spend a little more time leading into where Solomon Grundy is placed as character, this can be forgiven by the end of the issue where we see Grundy’s greatest character moment and a high point in the series. These issues lead into two issues which contains cameos from Batman, Sentinel (the gold age Green Lantern) and Floronic Man but drops the villain The Infernal Dr Pip from the Infernal Devices issues, leaving his story partially unfinished. Both stories get wrapped up and tied together in #35. The highlight of this issue for me was when Batman revealed Crime and Misdemeanors as his favourite Woody Allen movie.

Issue #36 is a ‘time past’ story featuring the Will Payton the fifth Starman, which works a nice precursor to the revelation at the end of Annual #2. Next up in #37 is Talking With David, ’97, David is Jack’s deceased brother and the prior Starman who pays annual visits to Jack. The Talking With David issues are great for many reasons; they give Tony Harris’ art a chance to shine through in ‘colour’ palette of black, white and grey used in these issues where David is the only character to appear in colour. Each instalment takes place in a different setting, which fosters the growing affection between Jack and David who weren’t the closest of brothers while David was alive as well as a platform for Jack to receive some ‘hero tips’. #37 features seven dead heroes other than David, most of who were a part of the Justice Society, all of who have a nugget of hero-ing knowledge to pass on to Jack. #38 stops in with the new Mist as she nurses Jack and her baby while recounting a recent adventure that sealed her villainy status. The volume finishes up with Secret Files #1 and a story titled Talking With Ted… Talking With Jack… where Ted tells Sadie about Jack and Jack tells his tattooist about Ted. This is a nice cap to volume three because Starman is essentially a story about a father and his son.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Episode 31 - Comic & Movie Talk

I actually watched some movies. Three of them!! Yep, shocking I know.....wait....wait...ok, yeah, the sky is not falling. We're good! Also, some recent comic book reads to cap off this episode. Hope you dig!

Music Featured is by My Chemical Romance

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009