People often ask me what I look like without the beard. That's me on the left: so apparently I look like a young Tony Soprano:
on First Moon:
"Lycanthropy and the changes that occur in the body because of it have been used as metaphors for adolescence by film and prose for decades, so there isnít much in the way of surprise in what Benís journey of discovery tells him. That means the book really has to place its bets on the sections following the Roanoke settlers. Fortunately for McNamara and Talbert, their work pays off. I found those sections to be strong reading, and even somewhat disappointed when the narrative flipped back over to Benís life.
"Artistically, the book looks better in the Roanoke sections as well. The somewhat distorted and scratchy nature of the characters look more appropriate for those from centuries ago, as opposed to the somewhat disconcerting way it applies to the modern piece of the story. "
Re: last night's ep: I think the "game-changing" thing that the LOST producers are teasing that's coming up in the show is that this program isn't going to be about a bunch of survivors of a crashed plane on a mysterious island, anymore, but that all of this crazy stuff is going on because Penny is using her dad's money to literally bend time and space for... lost... love.
Once and future blogmaster Kevin Melrose
pointed me to iFilm yesterday, after the annoucement of The Black Diamond
#1, where the curious and the damned can watch "Shake Hands With Danger" in its entirety:
Long-time readers of my CBR column "Loose Cannon" will no doubt remember one of my periodic re-statements of mission wherein I wrote another one in a series of "Why comics is like a broken stoplight" columns about cutting granite and comic book discussion boards, called "Big Wheels From Santa."
It was in that job I watched "Shake Hands With Danger" four times in two years.
+++++Hablar de El Diamante Negro...
...and it's a rare thing that I read something on the Internet that I wish I had written, but my old pal, FOX-TV VP Rick Austin forwarded me over to this AICN review of 300,
and I have to say that any flick that engenders this review: "I canít spoil the plot because THANK GOD THERE ISNíT ONE. Just ass kicking that kicks ass that, while said ass is getting kicked, is kicking yet more ass thatís hitting someoneís balls with a hammer made of ice but the ice is frozen whiskey."
is a movie that I will be going to see, oh, yes. More, please.
Dig that JK Parkin over at Blogarama:
"Interestingly enough, if Iím not mistaken, the titles of the first two issues ó 'Shake Hands With Danger' and 'One More For The Road' ó are taken from 1950s driverís education films. Shake Hands with Danger
is a construction safety film thatís supposed to be a little chilling. One More for the Road,
I believe, was a drunk driving film, but then again, maybe itís just a reference to Lynyrd Skynyrd."
has some kind things to say about First Moon:
"I got another review copy from Larry, who always sends something fascinating about the time I'm feeling forgotten... The artwork is strange and in a style that I'm not fond of, for the most part. I thought it worked extremely well in some places of the Roanoke story, but there were often bits where the faces were far too exaggerated, and I wasn't sure if there was a story reason for it or if that was just the artist's style. The fight scenes made no sense to me on the first read, only on the second read did I understand what was happening in them. In any case, after my first read-through I thought the Roanoke parts were well-drawn while the rest of the book was not. On my second read-through I dismissed that as being a trick of my perception: I wanted to enjoy the Roanoke part of the story more, so I did. The art is not as uneven as I first thought.
"Once I got past my issues with the artwork, (which are entirely a matter of my tastes, I think, and not the skill of the artist) the story is pretty darn good. It's a bit of a horror story about the original Roanoke colonists and the terror they provoked, seen through the lens of a modern descendent of ... but that would be telling. It's a good read, and I enjoyed it greatly on my second pass. As we've seen before with AiT/Planet Lar, there are text pages in the back of the book with more information. This time a wonderful summary of the history of Roanoke Colony and its fate. All told, this is an excellent package, worth checking out."
The affable Dorian Wright
is the one reviewer who has noticed that Continuity
was produced after First Moon,
albeit obliquely: "As a follow-up to the same creative team's Continuity,
which I found to be an accomlished and impressive debut work, First Moon
doesn't quite live up to my expectations. There is a good story here, about teen angst and connecting with seemingly monstrous parents, with a very clever lycanthropic metaphor, but the transistions between that story and the parallel tale of the fall of the Roanoke colony are awkward and forced. It's an intriguing historical mystery, granted, but the tale doesn't quite fully mesh with the teen werewolf story at the heart of the book. That emotional core is strong, though, as in Continuity,
and the art, particularly in the action sequences, has an appealingly frenzied and chaotic quality, as well as very impressive and loose character designs which are strongly emotive, but the disparate story threads never quite gel together satisfactorily."
I've enjoyed Bill Sherman's
insights since I first encountered them in The Comics Journal
around issue 3123 or so in the late Eighties. I have to say it's a bit of a thrill to me that a guy whose thoughtful critiques I enjoyed back then seems to grok what we do now. "Like the teenaged heroine of McNamara & Talbert's debut graphic novel, Continuity,
Ben is adolescently chafing against his Berkeley parents (who happen Ė horrors! Ė to both be English teachers), but when he surprises them in an unguarded moment, the true sight of his parents is enough to send him running away from home. Scripter McNamara holds off the specifics of that particular reveal to the end of the book, but we're pretty sure it's something lycanthropic: especially after we've been treated to a dinner table sequence where Ben's parents tease him for being vegetarian... I generally found the contemporary sequences more effective than the settler scenes Ė in large part because the modern characters are more distinctly established Ė though you can definitely see artist Talbert enjoying himself with the period imagery. His art still recalls Spain Rodriquez in places, though I could also detect the influence of another sixties undergrounder, S. Clay Wilson, in the battle scene tableaux Ė especially the frenzied half-page panels where settlers and native creatures fight to the bloody death. A few of the panels with Ben and his parents also have an old-fashioned children's book appearance: a Turn-of-the-20th-Century picture book rendition of Little Red Riding Hood, say."