Funnybook Babylon

January 6, 2012

FBBP #137 – New Year, Same Old New 52

Welcome to 2012! Back in the dying days of 2011, we sat down and looked at some of DC’s “New 52” titles a few issues in. Titles discussed include:

  • Action Comics by Grant Morrison, Rags Morales and others
  • Batman & Robin by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
  • Batman by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
  • Batwoman by JH Williams III and Haden Blackman
  • Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang

We also talked about the overall “success” of The New 52, how we as readers should judge the success, how much digital comics should cost, and how Apple should really sell Chris an iPad for ten dollars. Seriously. It would be great PR.

What New 52 books are we sleeping on? What books are we insane to enjoy? Why aren’t we reading something not published by DC? All good questions, and it’s up to you, the FBBArmy, to tell us!

COMING IN 2012: More Avenging the Week, more Girl Talk, more podcasts, and A Cavalcade of Davids!

April 20, 2010

Stay Positive: Chris Looks at DC’s July Solicitations

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , , , , — Chris Eckert @ 9:27 pm

Reader, my two most recent posts have been spiteful missives directed at funnybooks. Most of the other things I’ve been working on are critical of comics as well. I do not wish to simply curse the darkness, so when I looked at yesterday’s DC Solicitations, I struggled mightily not to focus on the negative. So here are some nice things DC will be doing in July, assuming they do not change things and make these books returnable:

bnrobin-14 02

Batman #701 (Grant Morrison & Tony Daniel)
Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #4
(Grant Morrison & Cameron Stewart)
Batman & Robin #14 (Grant Morrison & Frazier Irving)
Joe the Barbarian #7 (Grant Morrison & Sean Murphy) – Who could imagine, I’m excited for a GMo QUAD-LASER in July! And he’s collaborating with two of his Seven Soldiers running buddies! And Sean Murphy, who is killing it on Joe! And Tony Daniel, who is… uh… providing a narrative consistency with “Batman R.I.P.”! I feel pity for David’s annotatin’ arm come July, but am otherwise unabashedly excited for the barrage of Morrison Batmanalia coming this summer.

Sparta: USA #5 (David Lapham & Johnny Timmons) – Like The Beast Must Die over on Mindless Ones, I’m distracted by Johnny Timmons’s overly photo-referenced art in Sparta. But like TMBD, I’m powering through it to follow Lapham. It’s getting to the point that stiff photoreferenced work is just this era’s Thing You Must Endure, like muddy proto-Vertigo coloring and the awkward introduction of computer coloring and lettering. How many otherwise enjoyable comics were marred by grotesque lensflares, ridiculous character-specific fonts, and panel upon panel awash with different concentrations of brown and purple? Many! And yet comics soldiered on. One day, this too shall pass.
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June 30, 2009

FBBP #102 – Batman Reviewed

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , — Chris Eckert @ 11:47 pm

Detective Comics #854 coverWe just can’t stop talking about Batman! This week we convene to discuss all the non-Morrison “Batman Reborn” titles, particularly Detective Comics #854, the long-awaited start of Greg Rucka and JH Williams III‘s Batwoman story. Along the way we discuss all the other books released thus far — Batman, Batman & Robin, Red Robin, Gotham City Sirens and Streets of Gotham Spoiler alert: As many as half of these books may be worth your time!

Check back later this week for the second half of our recording session, where we discuss LONGBOX, something we are told will change something for an indefinite period of time!

February 14, 2009

FBB Valentine’s Day Weekend: 25 Things Pedro Loves about Comics

On the worst day of the year for single people and absent-minded married men, Team FBB stood back and thought of the things that we love about comics. We capped it at 25 so that this series of articles would be completed sometime this year. One interesting thing that I came across while compiling my list was how many of these selections were based on visual storytelling moments. I’m starting to realize that I enjoy the art side of comics more than the writing.
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January 30, 2009

Waited for the Trade – Doubleshot!

huntress1Huntress: Year One
collects Huntress: Year One #1-6
written by Ivory Madison
art by Cliff Richards
DC Comics

DC’s Year One concept has become something of an institution lately, with everyone from Metamorpho to Two-Face to Green Arrow getting miniseries under its banner, complete with a “Year One” logo. Each series fleshes out the character’s origin, usually by filling in the details of their pre-superheroic life. Huntress: Year One doesn’t deviate from this formula, following Helena Bertinelli from her 21st birthday through her getting the Huntress costume and meeting Batman and his allies for the first time, what seems to be a period of a few months.
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January 28, 2009

Final Crisis #7 – “New Heaven, New Earth”

Final Crisis #7

Final Crisis #7

Not much preamble to make here – it’s the last issue, I enjoyed it a lot, a lot of people probably think it’s confusing drivel. Maybe I can help you out.
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January 20, 2009

FBBP #87 – Ripped from Last Week’s Headlines

Happy Inauguration Day, everyone! Now that President-Elect Obama’s inspirational address has been delivered, we expect you’re primed to listen to more eloquent uplift. But if you’re tired of that sort of thing, why not check out this week’s FBB podcast?

Obamamania
is on everyone’s mind and we’re no exception, but we can’t let other Big Stories get lost in the swirl of Hope and Change: we also discuss Batman Actually R.ing I.P., and a fresh “Yes, This is Being Published” from two reliable purveyors of YTiBPs.

Check back later in the week for a belated birthday appreciation of Sam Kieth!

January 16, 2009

Obamamania Update!

So, hey, people sure are excited about this whole “Spider-Man Meets Barack Obama” thing. Here’s a few things I wanted to address about the excitement.

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January 14, 2009

Final Crisis #6 – “How to Murder the Earth”

They used the title! Yay!

Final Crisis #6

Final Crisis #6

Reaction to this issue:
Oh Shit!
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December 24, 2008

Batman #683 – “What the Butler Saw”

And thus, we end Grant Morrison’s first run on Batman. You’ll be missed. Lots to annotate this time around; lots of stuff referenced that’s more within our lifetimes. Let’s get to it.
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December 4, 2008

Batman #682 – “The Butler Did It” (A Final Crisis Tie-In) (A Last Rites Tie-In)

Batman #682

Batman #682

Double crossover banners, bitches! THIS ISSUE IS IMPORTANT!

And the title of this post isn’t even a spoiler, I ain’t doin’ my victory dance just yet. Note time. Also, this issue? Less straightforward than the last two.

But first, a note.
If you’ve dug Grant Morrison’s run on this title, and the sort of philosophical psycho-thriller approach he’s taken, then I highly recommend you check out this week’s X-Men Noir #1 by Fred Van Lente and Dennis Calero. It’s a gorgeous book, and Van Lente’s script is incredibly smart and bursting with novel ideas in a way I haven’t seen on an X-title since, well, Grant Morrison. It’s astonishing how well he translates the X-Men’s core themes – and I don’t mean the Claremontian “wah wah we’re persecuted just like real world minority” themes, I mean the themes about evolution and natural selection and the generation gap – into a world without powers, but everything remains intact, and the manners in which this is accomplished are absolutely inspired. It’s a great book, totally worth both the admittedly high price of $3.99 and the considerable amount of hype Marvel’s given it, and may have actually been my favorite book I’ve read this week. (I haven’t hit up Jason Aaron’s Punisher X-Mas Special, though, which Tim Callahan seems to have adored, so that might change. But I doubt it.)

UPDATE: I just read the X-Mas Special. Tim’s right, it really is brilliant, so get that too.

Lo, there shall be… annotations!!
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December 3, 2008

FBBP #81 – The Batcast

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , — Chris Eckert @ 10:37 pm

We aren’t above cashing in on Bat-Mania, so if you can’t get enough of David’s Batannotations and all our other Batcoverage, LOOK NO FURTHER! Batman #681 dropped last week, with #682 in stores today.

Our final Morrison on Batman podcast (until the next one) featured topics including:

  • WHO IS THE BLACK GLOVE?
  • Class Warfare in Gotham City
  • Joseph’s continued attempt to monetize the site using “space medicine” beer
  • Chris’s continued attempt to stick media theory square pegs into round comic book holes
  • Jamaal’s questioning of that Bald Scot behind the curtain
  • Ragged Robins and Millionaire Playboys
  • The Balkanization of the DC Universe and Why This Could be Good
  • There are no Atheists in a Batcave (or are there?)

We’ve got winged mammals coming out our ears, and now you can too!

November 26, 2008

Batman #681 – “Batman R.I.P. Part 6: Hearts in Darkness”

Filed under: Annotations — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Uzumeri @ 4:47 pm
Batman #681

Batman #681

Yeah, yeah, I know I have shitty reactions sometimes. Full-on notes below the jump, although this issue is way more straightforward than normal.
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David Overreacts A Bit To Batman #681

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , , — David Uzumeri @ 11:22 am

UPDATE: After doing some thought and reading it some more, my initial reaction (which I’ll keep here even though I don’t still agree with everything I said this morning) was regarding my expectations for the issue more than the quality itself, since it’s actually a pretty fucking incredible action comic. My problem was, I thought I’d find out for sure who and what the Black Glove was, so I got angry, even though we have the next issue coming next fucking week. Which is pretty dumb and nerdragey of me so I admit to a decent degree of embarrassment, but still, I was really sure this issue was going to have the huge twist that was promised, even though honestly nobody ever said that for sure and we practically still have two issues left. In three weeks I may very well be feeling like a total asshole, and I’m okay with that, since I like good comics.

ORIGINAL POST I AM SAD ABOUT BELOW

Normally, this is where I’d do page-by-page annotations, but I don’t really know if there’s anything to annotate.

This is what DC promised:

This is it – “Batman R.I.P.” concludes here! The final, heartrending confrontation between Bruce Wayne and Jezebel Jet. The final fate of The Dark Knight. And the horrifying and shocking truth behind the Black Glove. With The Joker, the Club of Villains, Robin, Damian, plus an ending you’ll never see coming – this one has it all!

– From the solicitation

And also to show how strong he is and the way he deals with what happens to him. Bad guys take him down, and I’m thinking, ‘How do I get him back up?’ [Laughs] When we find out at the end who the villain is, it’s possibly the most shocking Batman revelation in 70 years.”

– Grant Morrison, at NYCC ’08

So, what did we get? See below the jump.
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More Blogs about Batman and Food

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , — Chris Eckert @ 1:24 am

batmanandfood

 

Later this morning, the final chapter in “Batman R.I.P.” drops, so I need to get my crackpot theory out there tonight! THE MYSTERY DIES AT DAWN!

I’ll just lay it out here: I think Grant Morrison’s whole Black Glove mystery, the whole core of Bruce Wayne’s damaged psyche, all ties into a preoccupation of another famous orphan: FOOD! GLORIOUS FOOD!

I’m sure I’m not the only person who read Batman #678 and wanted to know why was Robin eating so much. Twice, he appears, investigating all the weirdness surrounding Batman and his Black Casebooks. Twice, he is stuffing his face with junk food. When I reread Morrison’s whole run to lend a hand in David’s annotations, I was really just looking for more “food” clues. Everyone wrote me off as grasping at straws, that I had gone as clue-crazy as Batman himself in the midst of a “Zur en Arrh” induced breakdown. But look at the evidence. LOOK AT IT! (more…)

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