Funnybook Babylon

June 30, 2007

FBBP #17.5 – Matt Fraction’s Casanova

Filed under: Podcasts — Tags: , , , , , — Joseph Mastantuono @ 4:50 pm

JOE NOTES: Editing this show, it seems that Warren Ellis read Casanova and thought, “Hmm… I’m going to take all the good ideas in this and do them justice in Desolation Jones“. I didn’t realize how much this was true until after the show…

Slight warning. There’s lots me ranting. Lots. So, you might want to skip this if you don’t enjoy my whiny ass whining. My “Too Long, Didn’t Listen” version: None of us liked Casanova. At all. Go Desolation Jones instead.

June 28, 2007

MOCCA Reviews – Calavera Comics pt. 1 – Hero Twins

Filed under: Reviews — Pedro Tejeda @ 1:56 pm

FBB went to Mocca this week and had a generally good time. I bought a few things, specifically three comics from Calvera Comics out of Miami, FL.



Their table attracted me at the show due to a combination of stunning artwork and a great attitude from the people there. I had just ran into the writer on the books in the elevator moments before and he was pretty nice guy.


They had a pretty sweet deal going, buy all 3 of the comics they had on sale there and get a free poster. They had so many awesome posters, it was pretty hard to pick out just one. I settled on this one, convinced by Jamaal that this was a killer tagline.


Even though I had been blown away by the artwork, the true test was taking the books home and reading them.


I started off with Hero Twins by John Nofsinger, Brian Clothier, Mike Houlihan, and Anniryn Armstrong. Right off, I cannot gush enough over the colors in this and each of the other books. It fits perfectly with this entire lines mix of ethnic flavour and non-superhero genres.


The art is just fly. I’m a big fan of the hyper-stylized cartoon and Nofsinger’s art, even though it was not of that style, was quite good. What stood out for me in particular Diego’s facial expressions. They sold everyone of the character beats wrote in for Diego. In regards to the writing, Clothier does a good job in the diary sections but stays away from dialogue and focuses on the narration from Diego, which is strong. It has a weird tint to it, sounding like a native Spanish speaker translating the story back to us in English. I really dug this and the way it work here. It was the right mix of closeness and distance.


The book makes some missteps. I don’t care for the Enter the Dragon reference in one of the wrestling matches, it’s a moment of cheese in a story I’m supposed to take seriously. This clashes hard against some awesome mix media pages from Diego’s diary. The narration from him in the captions work so well, so I was displeased to see that throwback line take away from that.

In the end it’s a good setup issue. We see Diego start on the bottom, find a tool to rebuild himself and quickly gain success. I felt along with his lamenting the rush decision to put on the mask, now that it is revealed it comes with a cost. I’m invested in Diego enough to want to learn about him and pickup the next issue. Especially since we can see that he has a certain level of downfall awaiting him.


My only nagging concern is that I’m still uncertain of the direction this book is going. It’s got enough engaging elements of Mayan mythology that I hope the book continues to take it seriously but still showcases the fantastic fight sequences. The wrestling matches depicted in enough brutal glory that when Diego stands tall at the end you feel for him.


Definitely worth the 3 bucks. Other 2 reviews later this week.

June 26, 2007

Pull List Analysis for June 27, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — David Uzumeri @ 5:19 pm

Yo, David Uzumeri here to comment on new funnybooks again!

Blue Beetle 16

Blue Beetle #16
John Rogers & Rafael Albuquerque

Rogers comes back to Blue Beetle just in time to tie into everyone’s favorite weekly series, COUNTDOWN! This issue is set to feature the return of Eclipso to Earth, presumably so she can make Mary Marvel’s skirt EVEN SHORTER, but hopefully will also feature the blend of intelligent action, high-concept sci-fi and brilliant character interaction that has made this book so popular with its 20,000 readers. This issue could be a good starting-on point — I highly recommend everybody check out this critically acclaimed but unfortunately a sales disaster. This is a book WELL worth saving.

Sinestro Corps
Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special
Geoff Johns & Ethan Van Sciver w/Dave Gibbons

Well, DC’s biggest event so far this year begins here. Johns has likened this to the Empire Strikes Back to Rebirth’s Star Wars, and that seems like an accurate description — darker, more epic, continuing to reveal Johns’s extensive additions to the Green Lantern mythos. Also likely to be a sales success for DC — something the company badly, badly, badly needs.

Superman Batman #37
Superman/Batman #37
Alan Burnett & Dustin Nguyen

“Diniverse” alum Alan Burnett does his first comic work in this bizarre-sounding six-part “Torment” arc, set to feature (as this goes on) Darkseid, Killer Croc, the New Gods and Batman boning Orion’s wife. Burnett’s work in the DCAU proves that he gets these characters amazingly well — we’ll just have to see how this translates to the comic medium (probably pretty well). Worth a watch, especially if this heralds a continuing career for Burnett. Also, gorgeous Dustin Nguyen art.

Wonder Woman 10

Wonder Woman #10
Jodi Picoult & Paco Diaz

This lead-in to Amazons Attack finally hits its conclusion as, uh, I guess Wonder Woman cuts some Amazons up and fights with her mom some more. I really have absolutely no idea what DC was thinking with this arc, which was clearly aimed at the direct market (and isn’t likely to read well in trade) what with leading into a major event crossover and tying in with other books repeatedly. It didn’t do particularly well there; I guess we’ll see how the “Picoult experiment” does in bookstores when the hardcover comes out later this year.

Daredevil #98
Daredevil #98
Ed Brubaker & Michael Lark

Gladiator vs. Milla vs. Feminist comic blogs! Will Marvel’s controversial preview information lead to yet another HTTP POST to the Women in Refrigerators website, or will Brubaker amaze us all again? Find out here!

X-Men #200
X-Men #200
Mike Carey & Humberto Ramos w/Chris Bachalo

Also featuring the first Endangered Speciesbackup by Mike Carey and Scot Eaton, this double-sized issue features the X-Men fighting a fuckload of Marauders, and Mr. Sinister. This landmark issue promises to contain a few shocks and thrills, as well as some rather controversial art (due to fan displeasure with Humberto Ramos’s latest style) and hopefully the same thoughtful, intelligent, well-planned writing Mike Carey has made use of this entire run.


June 25, 2007

FBBP #17 – A Podcast about the RZA

Filed under: Podcasts — Joseph Mastantuono @ 5:37 pm

This is the MoCCA after party. I bear no responsibility for what was said.

June 19, 2007

FBBP #16 – “We gots Skrulls in ur Comics” – Pedro’s Back.

Filed under: Blurbs — Funnybook Babylon @ 7:14 pm

Pedro’s back, and we discuss the weekend’s comiccon’s madness, as well as New Avengers #31. 


Editor’s Note: This post is missing a podcast, if you happen to have it, please contact us. Thanks.



June 18, 2007

Pull List Analysis for June 20, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — David Uzumeri @ 8:39 pm

7456_400×600.jpgFlash: The Fastest Man Alive #13
Marc Guggenheim & Tony Daniel

Well, now we know why DC was promoting this book with retailer incentives so strongly: it’s OVER. The solicited Flash #14-15 will actually be All-Flash #1 and Flash #231, the first two issues of Mark Waid’s return to the book. This is pretty damned big news and it’s impressive that it was kept so well by the company in this day and age – I guess it’s to the credit of Dan & Jann that this was pulled off so well. Either way, it looks like Bart’s saga ends here, so let’s shed a tear of farewell to the little hero put up by DC’s editorial department as a sacrificial lamb for the fans to fucking mutilate.

jla10turnerteaser.jpgJustice League of America #10
Brad Meltzer & Ed Benes (Lightning Saga 5)

Meanwhile, this book is said to have some kind of relationship to Flash — possibly involving the person the lightning rods are meant to resurrect? Who knows. Either way, this is the last issue of the JLA/JSA “blockbuster” summer crossover The Lightning Saga, where some stuff that only makes sense to people over the age of 40 or with Masters Degrees in DC Continuity will happen. I’ve got the latter, but this continues to be a book I couldn’t recommend to anyone without one. I’m hoping Dwayne McDuffie gives this book the vision and scope it needs when he comes on with September’s #13.

7451_400×600.jpgBrave and the Bold #4
Mark Waid & George Perez

More of Flash’s Mark Waid, starring Supergirl and Lobo. I’m not quite sure where this book could go wrong.

hulk_107.jpgIncredible Hulk #107
Greg Pak & Gary Frank

The second part of “Warbound”, the World War Hulk crossover. Featuring Amadeus Cho, Hercules using a computer, Angel spending a lot of money, Hulk being pissed and more of Greg Pak’s intelligent plotting and character-driven writing. After the SMASH hit that was World War Hulk #1 (kill me), there’s no reason for Pak to begin descending now. Probably a must-read for anybody interested in World War Hulk.

ultsp-man.jpgUltimate Spider-Man #110
Brian Michael Bendis & Mark Bagley

Mark Bagley’s last full issue. Jesus, dude. We’ll miss you, until you arrive like a Messiah to bring the newly-two-months-delayed Mighty Avengers back on schedule in a few months.

x-menendangered.jpgX-Men: Endangered Species
Mike Carey & Scot Eaton

The beginning of the X-Men event said to CHANGE. EVERYTHING. and begin the dissemination of Axel Alonso’s editorial vision to this beleaguered franchise. And I say, bring it the fuck on. From here on out, Astonishing X-Men loses its status as the core of the line as Uncanny X-Men, X-Factor, New X-Men and X-Men feature backup stories continuing from this one-shot promised to culminate all the events in the mutant world since House of M. The creative talent is solid – Brubaker, Carey, Kyle/Yost and PAD – and will continue into November/December/January’s major X-Men event, “Messiah Complex,” an old-school crossover between all four books. The premise is pretty simple: No more mutants = mutants are endangered. Good elevator pitch. We’ll see how it goes.


I hate Scans Daily

Filed under: Blurbs — Pedro Tejeda @ 5:41 pm

It’s at least three steps below Newsarama for godsakes.

It’s pretty obvious by the 4th panel, that she’s not blowing anyone. I can’t believe anyone could miss the point of this art.

Not a blowjob

June 15, 2007

FBBP #15.5 – Reviews

Filed under: Blurbs — Funnybook Babylon @ 6:50 am

Chris, Jamaal, and I mention Charlie Brown’s penchant for reprints, as well as Brubaker/Lark’s The Devil Inside and Out. It’s entertaining, I guess. We have ambivalent feelings. Listen.


Editor’s Note: This post is missing a podcast, if you happen to have it, please contact us. Thanks.

June 14, 2007

(Black) Men on Fire

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , — Pedro Tejeda @ 6:14 pm

This is my first article on race at FBB, something I have been avoiding from the website’s inception. Part of it is my fear of getting pigeonholed as the black comic blog. There is nothing wrong with being classified that way, but I feel that FBB really isn’t written in that direction.

What spurred me on to talk about race though is the outrage on the blogosphere about Marvel’s fascination with setting black dudes on fire. Toronto’s Chris Butcher in a tirade about the awful Marvel Zombie Spidey Loves MJ cover (awful mostly due to being derivative and just not well done) remarked about not liking the cover for Cap 29, and he’s not the only one.

Cap 29 or Brother on FIRE

The problem here for these guy is that Sam “Snap” Wilson is on fire on the cover. They question Marvel’s decision to depict a black man on fire so close to not only numerous cover controversies, but also the death of “Black” Goliath. This week’s issue of New Avengers, as Graeme McMillian pointed out, doesn’t help Joey Q’s quest to prove he’s not intolerant out. Elektra sets New Avengers leader Luke Cage on fire! That doesn’t make much sense at all. She has never set people or fire before. Why do it now and to Luke Cage of all reasons? Does Marvel really just want to destroy their public image?

There seems to be some outrage here but the problem for me is that I just don’t get the questioning on this topic. I don’t understand what makes the Falcon cover offensive. I asked blogger and respected black man David Brothers if he saw anything wrong with this cover and he saw nothing to be offended about either. This is where the disconnect is. These well meaning white guys saw this cover and saw a black man on fire, we instead saw that the main focus of the book was now shifting towards Snap. This period of time following the death of his friend would be painful and possibly question his feelings about America. At no time did either of us just see him as a brother on fire. Why did we miss it? Are we just insensitive? Are we quislings to our respective races? Do we need our ghetto passes revoked?

I personally feel that the reason, it went over our heads is a slightly more sinister one than us missing the malicious intent hidden in the cover. I hate the fact that a lot of people look at this cover and just see a black man on fire. In some cases, people don’t even mention Snap’s name at all. It’s as if no matter how much the character is developed, advanced in status, or just outright written, readers won’t be able to get past his skin color.

At the end of the day, I want equality for characters of all races, and the end result of that progress is they got to be put to the wringer as badly as Spider-Man does all the time. I thank Brubaker for putting Sam on the same level and just not thinking him as a “black man”.


David and I both think it is insanely awesome when characters set themselves on fire as a political statement or to jump with two uzis firing into a group of bad guys. We don’t think its awesome to set a people on fire for their ethnicity.


I saw Brubaker post the following thing in Butcher’s blog. Took the words right out of my mouth.

Ed Brubaker Says:
June 14th, 2007 at 12:21 pm

I would just like to point out that the Falcon having his costume lit on fire on a cover is not inherently racially insensitive. If he was hanging from a tree while a cross burned, then yeah, I could see your point. But the burning of people isn’t an iconic racist image, it’s iconic for witches and religious heretics.

I didn’t even think of him as a “black man” when I suggested the image to Steve, I thought of him as a superhero whose costume we wanted to get rid of.

I generally like your posts and agree with a lot of what you have to say, but I resent the idea that I’m somehow a racist for treating The Falcon the same as I would treat any other superhero in one of my books. To me, treating different races and genders and sexual orientations differently than I would a white male character is the definition of racism.

June 12, 2007

Pull List Analysis for June 13, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — David Uzumeri @ 1:08 pm

New Avengers #31
According to Marvel’s marketing department, this issue will spontaneously cause all comic stores to combust on Wednesday morning, forming a flaming pentagram pattern across North America used to bring Mephisto into our world, who will then hold a parade down Fifth Avenue where Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Millar will stand on top of a float throwing action figures of Jim Shooter to the audience. Maybe, instead, it’ll just be a really fucking good story. But the countdown to the crossover of the century ever since Civil War #7 begins NOW!
World War Hulk #1
Now, this looks really promising. The setup is simple: Dr. Strange, Reed Richards, Black Bolt and Iron Man shot the Hulk into space and now he’s really damned mad. As much as comics fans the world over seem to be hoping for 48 pages of the Hulk anally raping Tony Stark until his internal organs turn into a puree, this is far more likely to be an emotionally taut, well-written, beautifully drawn (Romita and Janson are a winning combination and Christina Strain’s colors are always strong) story that’s really about friendship, making mistakes, the consequences of judging people and the responsibilities of power.

Or anal rape.
Countdown #46
Superman/Batman #36
What a mess this book has turned into. It’s had no conceivable identity since Jeph Loeb left, which isn’t saying much since that identity was just “Jeph Loeb’s cum-catching kleenex.” We just came off an arc with Despero and a bunch of aliens that barely anybody even remembers, now a Metal Men arc that already contradicts 52 (Batman doesn’t know who Will Magnus is? What?) and coming up is… Alan Burnett’s comics debut for a six-parter? What is this book’s mandate? When are we moving past fill-in arcs? Why does it exist? I have no idea.


June 10, 2007

FBBP #15 – Oh, the Summer of Naruto!

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: — Funnybook Babylon @ 7:26 pm

Topics this week include the American manga audience and the Harvey Awards. Enjoy!

June 7, 2007

FBBP #14.5 – Girls! Girls! Girls! (part two)

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , , , — Funnybook Babylon @ 6:00 am

As promised, our review of Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s Lost Girls. Check it out!

Editor’s Note: This post is missing a podcast, if you happen to have it, please <a href=””>contact us</a>. Thanks.

June 6, 2007

Pull List Analysis for Week of June 6, 2007

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — Chris Eckert @ 12:00 pm

Gail Simone Tripleshot COMIN’ ATCHA!All-New Atom #12, Birds of Prey #107 & Welcome To Tranquility #7 $2.99Look out, chickensluts! A triple-dose of Gail Simone this week is liable to render you completely unable to process other human beings as anything other than walking quip factories! I’m not really sure what the “BOPPERS” and “Tranquers” or whatever Ms. Simone calls them are up to, but the Atom kicks off the Countdown-related “Hunt for Ray Palmer”, promising lots of Bob the Monitor action!!!

…okay sorry guys, I’m having a really hard time writing up what’s going on at Marvel and DC without being a sarcastic jerk. Christos Gage turns in a one-off on Midnighter, there’s a baffling Battlin’ Jack Murdock mini launching from Marvel, Brubaker brings the X-Men back to Earth in Uncanny, Supergirl‘s a couple issues away from its new girl-friendly soft reboot, and otherwise Countdown and The Initiative continue apace with varying degrees of quality.

There are a bunch of trades coming out; Marvel is putting out some decent-but-inessential Fantastic Four books and the tail end of their Civil War trade program, while DC gets the Superhero Trade Pick of the Week with:
Batman Turning Points coverBatman Turning Points TP $14.99: This trade collects a 2001 mini-series that explores different phases of the relationship between Batman and Commissioner Gordon. It’s written by the then-regular Batcrew of Ed Brubaker, Chuck Dixon and Greg Rucka, and is perhaps most notable for the final issue, drawn by Paul Pope and essentially serving as a pilot issue for the dearly departed Gotham Central.

If none of this excites you but you’ve still got some new-funnybook-money burning a hole in your pocket, you’re in luck! There are a bunch of awesome books from non-Big-Two publishers coming out tomorrow:


June 3, 2007

FBBP #14 – Girls! Girls! Girls! (part one)

This week’s podcast is getting split in half, with news and discussion now and the review later this week: we didn’t want to flood you with a seven hour podcast, but felt that the discussion was interesting and worth putting out there.

Topics include the continuing Heroes For Hire “tentacle porn” cover brouhaha, the Nymphet controversy, the end of Strangers in Paradise, the new Supergirl creative team.. you may notice a theme.

And if we didn’t discuss Gender Issues in Comics enough for you on this podcast, come Wednesday you’ll get our review of Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s Lost Girls!

Here’s an example of Renato Guedes’s Supergirl concept art, as mentioned on the podcast:


There’s more Guedes art accompanying this interview with new Supergirl writer Tony Bedard, too.



Editor’s Note: This post is missing a podcast, if you happen to have it, please <a href=””>contact us</a>. Thanks.

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