Funnybook Babylon

November 29, 2007

FBBP #37 – The DCU and You!

Filed under: Podcasts — Funnybook Babylon @ 12:56 pm

So we’ve got Chris, Jamaal and Pedro back at you with another episode of our podcast.

They discuss Hulk stuff, the DCU (that is the marvel digital comics unlimited site, not the DC universe), And announce the next contenders in our New Gods Survival showdown…

Enjoy.

PS: I’m back on the 1+2’s and I’ll be on next week’s podcast suitably confused as all hell.

November 28, 2007

Pull List Reviews for November 28, 2007

Filed under: Reviews — David Uzumeri @ 11:49 am

Happy Wednesday morning from Canada, where we actually get our comics! Here’s some nice, spoiler-free thoughts on the stuff I’ve read this morning.

senssm41.jpgSensational Spider-Man #41
J. Michael Straczynski & Joe Quesada

If you were down on this story so far, don’t expect this to change your mind. This story arc is turning out to be about as lame and hackneyed as everyone feared, consisting of a series of unpredictable deus ex machinas to bring about a status quo change. I doubt it’s all said and done just yet, and there’ll be some twist in the fourth installment, but as a story this really kind of sucks. D+

8444_400×600.jpgBatman #671
Grant Morrison & Tony Daniel

On the other side of the crossover spectrum, Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul reaches its midpoint with tons of revelations within. It seems odd that the event’s architect, Grant Morrison, would make this halfway point his final issue of the crossover, but this does serve as a sort of thematic climax and it could all be pieces falling into place from here. This crossover is nothing if not unpredictable, though, so all bets are off — which, combined with Morrison’s usual deft skill with complex superhero action, makes this issue an A-

0564632001194295890image_big.jpgX-Men #205
Mike Carey & Chris Bachalo

It’s a Mike Carey fight issue, which means it’s filled with quips that seem somewhat more droll than the characters usually exhibit, and it also doesn’t matter because the fight is usually creative. Except here. It’s a pretty standard superhero fight, through and through, with an appropriate (if somewhat predictable) reveal ending to cap off the crossover’s first month. Not a weak installment if you’re invested in this story, but it’s not a standout high point, either. B

Green Lantern Corps #18
Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason w/Jamal Igle

Sodam Yat: Now somewhat less of a random cipher! This is the Superman-Prime/Ion fight we’ve been promised for a while, except it really just uses that as a framing device for fleshing out who Sodam Yat is. The art’s very pretty, with Patrick Gleason handling the fight in the present day and a Jamal Igle/Jerry Ordway tagteam handling Sodam’s rather interesting past. Apparently, Daxamites are assholes. I’m warming up to Tomasi. B+

8443_400×600.jpgSuperman Annual #13
Kurt Busiek & Carlos Pacheco
Kurt Busiek, Fabian Nicieza & Renato Guedes

This is the much-delayed end of “Camelot Falls,” and, well, honestly, it’s kind of a letdown. I loved the holy hell out of this arc back when it was something that came out on a semi-regular basis, but the incessant delays really hurt the story’s momentum until it seems almost like a curiosity now that it’s finally out. Some stuff happens, Superman punches people, ominous ending. Busiek, Nicieza and Renato “Healthy Supergirl” Guedes contribute a very wholesome backup story about the entire extended Kent/El family going on a trip to some alien planet. It’s fun, but not gun-to-your-head required-reading. B- overall

8320_400×600.jpgAll Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder #8
Frank Miller & Jim Lee

Somehow, every issue of this series takes what we thought was 11 on the previous issue, recalibrates it to 10, and then, once again, Spinal Tap style, takes it to 11. This is completely, awesomely ridiculous. A

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Getting your 10 (5) dollars worth out of the DCU – X-Statix

Filed under: Blurbs,Reviews — Pedro Tejeda @ 12:11 am

Everyone and their mom has been talking about the new Marvel Comics online initiative and how it will and won’t change the industry forever. There’s a lot of interesting discussion out there right now, but you don’t really give a shit about that. You want to know if there are any comics on the site that are worth your 10 ( or 5 ) dollars this month.

All New and All Different Best 10 dollars spent on the DCU outside of half price New Frontier tradesThe answer is an incredible yes. Among the 2500 and growing digital books, there is a bunch of stuff worth more than 10 dollars, and Marvel’s online only solution may be the only way to read them a chunk of them.

This week, I want to spotlight one of my most beloved series, Peter Milligan and Mike Allred’s X-Statix. The oft-ignored sister book to Grant Morrison’s New X-Men, was a child of the Jemas Marvel Era where a thousand ideas were flung at a wall until something stuck. This book ended up being one of the best example of why people still look to that era with fondness.

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November 27, 2007

We will soon resume our regularly scheduled programming…

Filed under: Blurbs — Joseph Mastantuono @ 11:04 pm

Due to turkeys, apple ‘updates’, and plastic guitars (and drums), I apologize for the recent lateness of the last podcast. It will be up tomorrow, barring any acts of god(s). New or otherwise.

I’m back on the 1’s & 2’s, not on the mic yet.

November 21, 2007

Pull List Reviews for November 21, 2007

Filed under: Reviews — David Uzumeri @ 11:38 am

It’s a DC-heavy week with my morning reading, so here we go with the (incredibly positive) initial impressions. Let me know if you like this more than the analysis.

8324_400×600.jpgDetective Comics #838: The third part of “Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul” (really the fourth counting the prelude in Batman #670) continues the fast-paced martial arts thriller at a pace with previous issues. Scripter Paul Dini turns in a strong installment that doesn’t feel out of place with previous chapters, but artist Ryan Benjamin continues the bizarre clash of styles that have characterized this arc with an Image-esque scratchy style that conflicts with Tony Daniel, Freddie E. Williams II and Don Kramer in layout and tone. Not as much as our next book, though. Still, this issue gets a B

0960650001194292234image_big.jpgNew X-Men #44: The fourth part of “Messiah CompleX” satisfactorily touches on and continues a number of the ongoing plot threads, so that’s all well and fun, and Kyle and Yost have a nice script that spotlights their own characters while still feeling like a sequential part of the story. This is good. However, while I don’t normally have any issue with his art, I really have to question the use of Humberto Ramos when the first three parts were by Marc Silvestri, Billy Tan and Scot Eaton. This is going to read really badly in trade paperback when the first three parts have non-clashing artists and the same colorist and then everything looks completely different in part 4. Alternating between Tan/Eaton and Ramos/Bachalo is going to really make reading this in totality bizarre. Nevertheless, if you’ve enjoyed this story so far and are on the side of the fence that likes Ramos’s art, go for it. B

8331_400×600.jpgAction Comics #859: This is quite good, with Gary Frank providing sufficiently emotive art and Johns continuing to weave an intriguing mystery, but it’s hampered by the Classic Geoff Johns Team Fight Scene. This is where he writes a whole fight scene with hero A being hit by villain B who gets hit by hero C who gets smashed in the face by villain D who gets flattened by hero A, with an appropriately cheesy quip with each hit. Johns is an incredibly effective writer when he endeavors to step outside of his boundaries, but this formula was old back in the JLA “Crisis of Conscience” arc when it was written by playing with action figures. Other than that, it’s a fun story, and the central theme justifies it being in a mainline Superman title. B+

8338_400×600.jpgBrave and the Bold #8: This pretty much continues the book’s style and tone so far, with spot-on characterizations for all characters involved and more of the same busy-but-detailed layout work from George Perez. It’s the old-school team-up book, but probably the zenith of that entire concept. Not for everyone, but if you’ve been enjoying its aesthetic so far this issue won’t let up. B+

8339_400×600.jpgFlash #234: The kids in this book have proven to be a pretty polarizing addition, and this issue continues the level of focus and attention placed on them. In my opinion, I’d read 230 issues of Wally West as the Flash before this, and having him in a *slightly* background role to his kids is hardly an unwelcome direction, but there’s no question that the kids run this book, and you think they’re either compelling/adorable or obnoxious. Freddie E. Williams II does an excellent job with the art, and the backup with Rogers and Braithwaite is a lot of fun. Plus, Mike Wieringo memorial. A-

Quick second wave of reviews and full shipping list after the jump.
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November 16, 2007

The Lost Colony, Book One: The Snodgrass Conspiracy

Filed under: Blurbs,Reviews — Pedro Tejeda @ 2:47 pm

Contains Slavery

Grady Klien
The Lost Colony, Book One: The Snodgrass Conspiracy
First Second

Lost Colony didn’t work for me for the first two thirds of the story. It throws a lot of characters at you, and the setting – an island where slavery is abolished in early colonial America – is weirdly defined. The art was jarring as Klien’s simplified yet highly stylized drawings made it hard to follow along. It was not until the last action set piece that everything started to fall in place. I ended up getting pulled back in because Klein’s cartooning worked fantastically here. The sequence is full of chaos and animation. I walked away feeling much better about the purchase of the book due to this. It’s not strong enough to recommend buying at full price and barely at half, but if Klien plays to his strengths in later chapters, this would be a series to follow.

Lost dude causes problemsLots and lots of problems.Also don’t buy what he’s selling

Preview available here.

Red Eye, Black Eye

Filed under: Blurbs,Reviews — Pedro Tejeda @ 2:38 pm

Cross country in the worst possible way.

K. Thor Jensen
Red Eye, Black Eye
Alternative Comics

In the first 3 pages of the book, Thor’s life falls apart in a humorously tragic way. Even though it’s all very sad shit, he depicts it so well that you can’t help laugh when you see him purchase an Ameripass, the greyhound version of an unlimited bus pass for all of America, and decides to get the fuck out of town. What follows is a 60 day trip of the United States by what has to be the shittiest form of transportation a human being can submit themselves to. Almost everyone he runs into has some short story that takes 2 pages of space that rarely connects with the ongoing narrative but tells us a lot about these people and where they live. They remind me of the fun origin stories that popped up in Sleeper and add flavor to an already enjoyable story. There has been a lot of play about “the memoir” lately. Even though I got burned out on them, Red Eye was a blast to read. Thor’s book doesn’t try to tell you this life altering experience to teach you some grand moral or attempt to take this deep analytical look of his life to dissect why he may be fucked up. It instead gives you a rather in depth look at this period in his life and just like Thor does, you end up taking what you want from it. It’s a ride that’s worth it if you can get a discount.

WORSTWEEKEVAR

Preview available here.

Scott Pilgrim, Vol 4: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together

Filed under: Blurbs,Reviews — Tags: , , — Pedro Tejeda @ 11:44 am

Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Comedy Action Romantic Graphic Novel Series gets a fourth book and our hero gets a chance to grow up. Will he?

Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together (Scott Pilgrim v4)
Bryan Lee O’Malley
Oni Press

Scott Pilgrim Gets it Together cockteases you with by opening with ten color pages that I still don’t get the meaning of. It’s a shame, because it’s so pretty. Either way, the black and white art is still expressive and does a lot with fewer lines than previous volumes. O’Malley jacks up the romance as our hero goes through a hot Canadian summer of growin’ up. It’s a rather cool character progression that O’Malley underscores with one of my favorite jokes in the book. There are a bunch of jokes in this volume, and they’re funny, but this volume has less of the funky action sequences that I was a big fan of in the earlier volumes. It could be that this is a longer book, making the throwdowns feel sparser. But when you get to the last fight, you’ll laugh and for cheer Scott, which is a great feeling. I am absolutely in love with the series and I can’t wait to visit his world again. Buy all these books and lend them to your friends. Don’t ask for them back,just buy them the fuck again.

They forgot to get mayo in the earlier sequence.Wallace is gay and also hilarious.Oh nice one Wallace. You are king of the burns.

Previews are available here and here.

November 15, 2007

FBBP #36 – The Lateness of the New Gods Mixtape

Funnybook Babylon – The Lateness of the New Gods Mixtape Review

1) Fourth World’s Finest pt. 2 (WW1 Germany mix) – ft. the ghost of Jack Kirby

**** – Following up on their last new godz track, FBB discusses the merits of Apokolips powerhouse Virman Vundabar and new leader/former psychoanalyst Takion. Great track but too much time is spent on figuring out who the fuck Takion is.

2) New Godz Killa (Jim Starlin diss track)

**** 1/2 – If you thought Jamaal was brutal on the Zuda mixtape, it was nothing compared to hearing them spit hot fire on the lack of Jim Starlin’s skills. Everything from his characterization, to his plotting, to his ability to draw is torn apart. There has not been this much beef since the Pedro vs. Brian Wood feud.

3) One More Delay (Shoulda put Bagley on it Remix )

*** – It’s kind of ironic that this track pops up here since it’s been pushed back off podcast after podcast. The boys go into detail over how they feel lateness effects the business and who really is at fault with Spider-man missing it’s ship date.

Overall it is a strong podcast, but the production has been off since Joe went solo and the group switched from Swishahouse over to Slip and Slide. It will tide you over until the next Downcounting single comes out. The free low def version is up to download on the website. There are plans to release a high bit rate version with a pdf with liner notes and hand written lyrics later this month for 5 bucks.

November 12, 2007

Pull List Analysis for November 14, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — Tags: — David Uzumeri @ 1:52 pm

This is a huge week. I’ve been sick these past two weeks but I’m back in action now. Let’s roll.

8113_400×600.jpgBatman and the Outsiders #1
Chuck Dixon & Julian Lopez

This book has had, at different times, Judd Winick, Peter J. Tomasi, Tony Bedard and now Chuck Dixon attached on writing duties. So it’s gone through a little bit of a development hell. This seems to be the set direction, though, and it’s likely to read very much like Chuck Dixon’s previous Batman books, just with new characters. Although it should be fun to watch him (try to?) write lesbians in a loving relationship. He didn’t fuck it up too bad with Midnighter and Apollo.

8196_400×600.jpgJLA: Ultramarine Corps TPB
Grant Morrison & Various

FINALLY, the amazing first three issues of JLA Classified reprinted in trade form. This really should have been included with Seven Soldiers, as it’s a prelude to that story, but hey. It’s also got a pretty lame-sounding JLA/Wildcats crossover that I’ve never read, but hey, it’s Morrison, so it can’t be that bad.

5977_400×600.jpgLeague of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier
Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill

This needs no introduction. Hope you live in the US.

8329_400×600.jpgSalvation Run #1
Bill Willingham & Sean Chen

Been wondering where the Suicide Squad were carting all those DCU villains off to? Wonder no more! In this 7-issue mini, reportedly based on a George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire) pitch, Lex Luthor, the Joker, the Rogues and every other villain anybody gives a shit about are stuck on famed Legion prison planet Takron Galtos. Basically, it’s the original Secret Wars minus the heroes, with a bit of Planet Hulk.

captmrvl.jpgCaptain Marvel #1
Brian Reed & Lee Weeks

In this Secret Invasion lead-in, we finally get some follow-up on January’s controversial Civil War: The Return oneshot that brought us the return of the original Captain Mar-Vell through Wolfman-inspired time fuckery. This has a very strong creative team attached, and a cool man-out-of-time premise, and its status as a miniseries holds out hope that this won’t fuck with the legacy of Mar-Vell’s seminal death story too much. Marvel is going for an interesting artistic approach here by using their usual “gritty” art stylists (Lee Weeks and ever-street-level inker Stefano Gaudiano) on a high-level cosmic book with bright Jason Keith colors. Looks very cool.

thor4copiel.jpgThor #4
J. Michael Straczynski & Olivier Coipel

This issue: Thor stops the conflict in Darfur. What the hell is next? Curing cancer in #5 and using his hammer to reverse global warming in #6? Where is JMS going with this?

wwh5finch.jpgWorld War Hulk #5
Greg Pak & John Romita Jr.

The Hulk vs. Sentry slugfest we all knew was coming. Pak has done an excellent job with keeping this crossover walking the line between being too heady and too punchy, so I expect this to continue in the concluding chapter. Marvel is likely to clean up on this saleswise.

517684927_0f1b1b08ab.jpgScott Pilgrim Vol. 4
Bryan Lee O’Malley

This should need little introduction — you either like O’Malley’s videogame-culture-inspired indie geek romance or you don’t. For those in the former category, the rather lengthy wait for this fourth (and, according to O’Malley, longest) volume is over come this Wednesday.

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FBBP #35 – Zud… Zud… Zudio

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , — Funnybook Babylon @ 12:43 pm

Schedule conflicts among the Funnybook Babylon cast has forced us to provide you with Round 2 of the Epically Long and still amazing podcast from last week.

Leading off the discussion from last week about Vertigo’s Great Disaster, we discuss it’s fifth world replacement, Zuda Comics. The cast of FBB ponders stories like Bayou and Black Swan. Those links won’t lead to comics because Zuda does not support hotlinking, so like answers to Countdown, you can go find them your own goddamn self on the internet.

Note for young listeners, this podcast is uncensored, uses this word – boss and uses flash in non-aggressive ways. Please listen to something more age appropriate like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn if FBB is too explicit for you.

November 8, 2007

FBBP #34 -The Vertigo is Fallin’

While Joe’s away, the cast of Funnybook Babylon is left to their own devices and where does it lead them?

Back to the age old (2 weeks) question of whether or not Vertigo is falling apart. With Jeph Loeb and Brian Michael Bendis’ help, they reveal the secret ultimate origin of the Vertigo U, hint: Sandman has black hair and Lucifer is a blond, and only one can lead the pack. Spider Jerusalem is really from a race of humans evolved from bastards instead of apes.

Kyle Baker’s Special Forces is vaguely discussed since Chris didn’t read it. Jamaal gives the nod to ABC (which is apparently not this), and what does Jerry Siegel’s Spectre and Shigeru Miyamoto’s Link have in common? If you said ghostridin’ the whip, you’re only half right.

This episode has been screwed, chopped up and remixed by Swishhouse (Pedro’s an intern there under Slim Thug) so forgive the 36th Chambers level of production. This is part 1 of a seriously long ass podcast, since the podcasts were too small to fit on Dirk Deppey’s Nano.

November 1, 2007

FBBP #33 – Sentences Review

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , , , , — Funnybook Babylon @ 12:55 pm

Cover
Pedro, Chris and Jamaal engage in a lengthy discussion about Sentences, the critically acclaimed ‘graphic novel’* written by Percy Carey, a/k/a M.F. Grimm with art by Ronald Wimberly. As a special bonus, this podcast also offers a FBB patented off topic conversation about unverifiable hip-hop history from the mid ’90’s. We are Joeless again this week, for reasons that are classified. We hope you enjoy.

*Or a graphic memoir, if you prefer.

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