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Friday, July 4, 2008

What Do You Mean They're Not Superheroes?: Independents Day (Ha HA! A pun.)

Since today is the anniversary of America declaring it's Independence from the British Royal Kingdom I thought it might be fun to do a post about a couple different things. Independent music, independent movies, independent comics, independent programming, personal independence, and an independent internet.

For the sake of entertainment let's talk about things out of order.

One of the most important causes in the world today isn't gas, the credit crunch, the freedom of the citizens of Zimbabwe, the war going on in Iraq, the “conflict” going on in Afghanistan, it's Net Neutrality. Without Net Neutrality we wouldn't be able to freely know about all the things going on in the world. Without Net Neutrality corporations will cut up the internet, which is basically the last free and open frontier left in the world. Real Estate is drying up, as they say “The only thing you can't make more of is land”. Every second on television is owned and spun by someone. Every radio wave is occupied (the places on the radio that are static are most likely owned and undeveloped or are static for a very specific reason). The internet is the last place where you can make a stand, the last place where the world is truly at your fingertips. If the corporate world has it the way they want you'll not only have to pay for access to the internet and for the speed at which you wish to access it but they will charge you for how much of the internet they will allow you to use, sort of the way that the cable companies charge you for the channels that you want to watch ... Stop them ... go to http://savetheinternet.com and find out everything you need to know about the ways to keep the world at your fingertips.

More and more the best shows aren't on the Big Three (alright, Fox counts too ... Big Four ... sheesh). Sure most of the rest of the television networks are owned by the big three ... ahem Four, sorry ... but still networks like USA, FX, HBO, Showtime, A&E, Sci-Fi, etc. have some of the best shows. Shows like Psych, Burn Notice, Rescue Me, The Shield, The Wire, Dexter, Mad Men, Battlestar Galactica, and a growing number of others, stretch outside your comfort zone and check out some of these shows. Head over to www.hulu.com (if you check out Hulu then do yourself a favor and check out Murder One) or www.surfthechannel.com (if you check out SurfTheChannel then do yourself a favor and check out Damages) and check some of these rising stars out.

Recently I went to a concert at The Duck Room, which is the concert venue beneath Chuck Berry's own Saint Louis restaurant Blueberry Hill. It is perhaps the most underrated concert venue in Saint Louis. The concert I attended was for one of my favorite bands, Ours. They recently released their third album on a new label, long gone from their previous label Dreamworks. They worked long and hard on this album with Rick Ruben before finding a home for the record and it was well worth the wait. Ours is one of the most awesome bands I have ever had the pleasure of seeing live. They have a similar sound to that of Muse, and maybe even a little bit of Radiohead and A Perfect Circle. Jimmy Gnecco is an amazing frontman who also is the creative drive behind the band. When they make their way to Saint Louis again you should all take a chance on something unfamiliar and prepare yourself for a really good time.

Lately in the store we've been watching Mystery Men ... really an underrated superhero movie.

I had 34 books this week ... I admit, I have a problem. The breakdown as the books go are as follows: 1 Marvel, 8 Vertigo, 9 DC, 6 Image, 3 Dark Horse, 7 Smaller presses. So, while Vertigo is technically part of DC and Jonah Hex is technically a DC publication, even a conservative count still has it as 18 mainstream books and 16 small press books. A more liberal, and if I am anything I am a bleeding heart liberal, interpretation puts the numbers at 9 mainstream titles and 25 titles outside the purview of the mainstream. So I have fantasy books, sci-fi books, crime books, slice of life books, western books, and non-typical superhero books. So, I think it is easy to say that I am a supporter of the whole of the comics industry, as both a fan and a retailer. I try the kinds of comics that sound good to me. Even more I try the same kinds of stories that appeal to me in any medium. Why people only read superhero comics has never made sense to me. If when you go home from work the one thing you want to watch is Law & Order or re-runs of NYPD Blue or something like that then why aren't you reading Powers? If you love the novels of Robert Ludlum then why aren't you reading Queen & Country? If you are one of the millions who read The Da Vinci Code then why aren't you reading Rex Mundi? If you love old Clint Eastwood movies then what is keeping you from Jonah Hex, The Lone Ranger, The Man with No Name, and all the awesome western graphic novels out there? If you like Quentin Tarantino and the crime movies of the 60's and 70's then why isn't Criminal, '76 and 100 Bullets on your pull and hold list? Seriously, there is a comic out there for every taste. So seriously, if you watch television or movies, or read novels then the next time you go into your Local Comic Shop ask them if there is anything like the rest of what you enjoy.

I treat comics, movies, music and everything in my life with a sense of independence. The more variety in my life, the more I declare my independence from any one concept or precept, the more I try new things the more I define my palate. Things I like, things I don't like ... it helps me develop a sort of compass to guide my way through life. And that means that I can try new foods, new cuisines, new artists, new authors, new shows, new comics, new movies. It lets me know who's opinion I can trust and whose I cannot ... and hopefully at some point my opinion can become one of your compass points.

1 comment:

Rob Anytime- Anywhere said...

If you enjoy Mystery men then you should check out The Specials. let me know if you need me to set you up with it.