Hey All! We've moved the Blog portion of the ComicDorksCast over to The Fantasy Shop's Website! Just Click on Wallace The Dragon to find all our new articles. We will still be posting the episodes here as to not interrupt those who have subscribed through iTunes and various other podcatchers but all of our articles have found a new home. Come find us! We've got reviews on games as well and the message boards are once again alive and active!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

From The Dorks Soundtrack: The Republic Tigers

Music from Episode 043

Band: The Republic Tigers

Album: Keep Color

Track: Golden Sand

It seems like your week to pick the song for the show sneaks up on you even more than your week to host the show. And when you listen to as much diverse music as I do in the average week it really becomes a struggle to figure out which track you want to share with our ever growing audience. This week I had a few different bands dancing around in my head and as per usual I think it is just as interesting to tell you all about the path not taken as it is to share with you the selection. I almost picked a track from the new album by Los Campesinos, labelmates of Soundtrack Alumn, The Stars, Broken Social Scene, & The Stills (it's probably my favorite recording label and I've yet to really experience a bad release from them). Another close call was something off of the most recent record from Bound Stems, a Chicago band who I saw play with Gentleman Auction House who was also in the running.

Ultimately I decided to go with one of my favorite tracks off of the first full length release from one of my favorite new bands: The Republic Tigers. Hailing from Saint Louis' sister metropolis, Kansas City, MO. Front man Kenn Jankowski and his bandmates were in town playing at the incredibly underrated Biliken Club the evening of November the 20th and while the two opening acts nearly drove me away the show was ultimately worth the wait and then some. They seemed to be having a great deal of fun onstage and it seemed just as clear that they were excited to recieve such a warm reception at such a small venue. They have sort of a Travis meets Helio Sequence meets The Shins sound that really just washes over you and dares you not to smile. Their music has been featured on such shows as Grey's Anatomy, Gossip Girl, Supernatural, and most recently (a great show that also happens to be where I first encountered them) Chuck. Featuring prominent harmonies and wordless singing alongside great guitar work as well as incredibly catchy keyboards.

It's hard to believe that these guys have only been together since 2005 and that Keep Color is their first album but more and more these days it seems like debut full lengths from the midwest are getting better and better. If you like these guys and you haven't checked them out yet I reccommend that you run out and get their record. If you already have it then I definitely reccommend that you check out The Helio Sequence's album "Keep Your Eyes Ahead" and also make sure to check out So Many Dynamos "Flashlight" ... between guys like The Republic Tigers and So Many Dynamos it's really become time to start paying attention to Missouri when you talk about the national indie music scene

Friday, November 28, 2008

Blog Log # 2 (Quote of the Week)

Side Burneius the Mundane

Qoutact II

(This scene opens with Mollyandria entering Side Burneius’ chamber.)

Why so glum my dear Burneius? What burden is weighing on your heart?

My dear Mollyandria, I feel as if I am destined to bare the curse of making music with hands of my own, for eternity. I feel that the gods are refusing me a collaboration I most desire.

What is it my love? Tell me Burneius, what events have been placed on you to cause such anguish to your soul?

You remember Dayarian the lad that helped me with my paper a while back? Well he sent me a message just the other day. It read “Can u play gitbox with u?” to which I replied “um… conflicted. What were u saying?” he answered, “Can I play guitar and stuff wit… U?” I, a man who finds no greater joy then sharing a glorious thing such as music with others, has one answer to that question, “U sure can.” I must admit, my ever-loving sunflower, that I felt a great deal of excitement after that textversation. For Dayarian and I had been talking for a while about creating a sound unattainable to the unknowing and now we were to take our first step into the door of our destiny. What would we find just beyond that door ahead of us? Would it be some sort of monstrosity or some sort of beautiful elixir made of beauty, fun, and meaning? Does it even matter? But a man must confront himself and take a risk. I entered that unknown, my love. I walked right in. Your mind is wondering what I saw in that unknown just beyond the door. Well, my dear I saw myself in a room of filth all alone with a guitar. At first shock consumed my body but then I saw a vision. This was one of the most beautiful visions I had ever seen. It was Dayarian in his armor of cotton and denim ready for battle. His axe was hung low like those of the inter circle of the Great Rock Wars. It was real I tell you. You must believe me my love we experienced a new level of existence.

That sounds epic Burneius, absolutely divine but why are you wearing melancholy like a cloak?

Because love, it was just a vision. It was only the product of an over eager imagination. All that door offered was that room of filth. There was no Dayarian there, neither collaboration nor just two fellow men spinning yarns. It was only me I tell you. Me and Me alone. With only my trusty axe by my side. I felt that I should send a message to Dayarian to make sure trouble had not found him and he was still planning to journey through the door. He was kind enough to reply, “Hopefully… I’m going to a party but I don’t know how long I will be there…” Even the blindest man could see the future of this situation. Dayarian will not be arriving this evening.

Oh my gods Burneius, I wish I could help you carry this burden thrust upon your chest. What did you do my sweet? I believe if I was you I would weep like a willow.

What could I do? What man is prepared for such a debacle? I tell you my sunflower I was struck with the powers from above. The same Jove I thought was plotting against me granted me the strength of one whole folk singer. The same Juno I believed to be cursing me gave me the power of a voice that sounded like Tweedy and Dylan doing nasty things together. So what did I do my love? I did what I was born to do. I played Cletus Whiteheart songs with no shame of being a tribute band. It was satisfying but a void surrounded the room. The empty spot where Dayarian belonged. This feeling of emptiness is the reason I left that door ajar. And it will remain that way forever.

Oh Burneius, how can a man like you be forged by anything other than pure gold of the gods?

Mollyandria my world, I am half the person you are. You, the bright smile and joy of a sunflower and I, the big hairy weeping willow. Could I really exist with out the joy of a sunflower? Not even Venus could find her way into a form that would compare.

You are a cheesy one Side Burneius but charming on occasion.
*Moral of story, other people have feelings too.
(A different artist's depiction of the possible fate of Dayarian)

***Tell me, where is the hate in this?***

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What I’s Reading Now (A True Story)

Hey everybody how are you? Happy turkey day! I hope it was a lovely day for all of you. My day has been absolutely precious I tell you… absolutely precious. So I bet you guys are looking for the inside scoop on what I have been reading. Well I have been knee deep in romance novels; the ones with the Fabio painted covers. He always looks so fabulous and rugged all at the same time. Yummy! But the best thing I’ve read recently happens to be a bathroom stall. So there I am making brown on the pooper. Dancing really moves my bowels. I actually have a move called the Bowel. People love it. Anyways there I am hovering over the toilet seat and thought hey I will look around a bit. You will never guess what I saw. Pure golden wisdom lay upon that wall. People sat here broken-hearted cause they came to shit but only farted. That hit me hard and I got sad. I saw the writings of angry people keeping us aware that certain things suck and we are being lied to, people letting us know what bands rule, people looking for a good time even left their numbers (some even told you exactly what to expect when you called), and some strange alien scribes (maybe gang words or tags but I’m sticking with aliens) were present in this stall. I said to myself, “wow what a great community a bathroom can be” and everyone seemed so nice taboot. Just as I was about to exit the stall I spied an interesting thing. It was a hole. What could this be for I thought to myself. Maybe its so you can pass TP to some one who ran out. That is so awesome… nay… that is glorious! They should call that a glory hole or something. My point in all this is next time you are in a public pooper take a look around. If you like what you see leave your number, if you want. This guy named Captain Cletus is everywhere. Since I’ve been awakened to this new type of writing I have seen is name in every single bathroom stall I have visited. Out of state even. I jotted his number down but always forget to call. My life has been so much better since I discovered Stall Lit, I’ve met lots of new people and have done things I never thought I would ever do. Anywho, that’s it for now bye- bye and toodleloos. Gobble… Gobble
- Dayron

(This is one of the many bits of wisdom that has changed my life and that's the mysterious hole.)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Living Up to Expectations: Jack of Fables

"First there were heroes, then there were superheroes, then there was... JACK OF FABLES" issue #28

Writers -Matthew Sturges & Bill Willingham

Pencils –Tony Akins

*** I kept this pretty vague sose not to ruin it for my partners or my gal.

(That's Jack in his Fruit of the Waterlooms.)

Jack of Fables is a book that us Dorks do not talk about all that much. That’s mainly because some people in this operation are not caught up on it. Right now Scotty is making a mental list of all the books I should read but don’t. To him I say, whateva. Jack of Fables is one of the funest (is that a word?) books on the shelves these days. By now we all should be familiar with a little book called Fables… right? And we all know how great of a book Fables is… right? Well guess what! Fables has a little brother, whom is a perfect counterpart to the prior, and it is just as good as its elder. Okay, maybe in a different way but a great book nonetheless. You saw the team behind it and I dare you to question their quality… I dare you!

Jack is one of my favorite kinds of characters. You know the type, one of those people that are talented in the art of douchebaggery. He’s the kind of guy that you laugh at when bad things happen to him. Let’s just say I love to hate Jack of the Tales. Now, Jack was banished from Fable Town some time ago and thrown into a world that he very much creates for himself. He happens to be his own worst enemy… on a long list of enemies. This series takes us on the journey with Jack as he slinks from town to town always leaving a pretty little mess in his wake. Along his side we get a great supporting cast, not to say they all support Jack. From the Bookburner and Mr. Revise to the Page sisters, each character has their very own defining personality that sets them apart from one another. Each character is lovable (sort of) in their own way. I feel that it is necessary to add that very few of the characters in Jack of Fables are also in Fables. (the comic not the classics)

Now, on to the staff. Sturges and Willingham no longer have to prove themselves to anyone. Separate they are both excellent wordsmiths but together they might be wordmasters. This book feels like a place for them to have a little fun; like a breath of fresh air (if you will) for them and that only results in a breath of fresh air for us. Not to mention that their words are placed in Tony Akins' panels that, in my opinion, are penciled very well and surely fitting to the overall tone of the stories. An excellent team indeed.

Okay, here it is my one gripe about this book. I will back pedal before I lay my complaint on you. I love Blue. (and blues… in every sense) Therefore, I would hate to see Blue ran into the ground. Those of you who have been reading this book have noticed that we have been getting a Blue page in every issue for a while now. I am scared that if this continues my love for Blue may wane and I would hate for that to happen. Yes, I realize that I may be the only one who feels this way but this is America and you should think exactly what I think. Blue is random right? So, then why should we see him every issue? To me Blue should pop up sparsely, tell his story and vanish only to reappear sometime later on an undisclosed date. Not... every... issue. Everything else about this book is absolutely faultless.

All you folks out there not hip to this title need to look into it. All you folks out there that read Fables but not Jack of Fables I have one question. Why? You obviously enjoy these types of characters so why not laugh at them a bit? One word people… One word in all caps. TRIFECTA!!! Do yourself a favor get into to Jack of Fables. There are three trades out right now with one coming next month and another slated for March 2009. If you like good comics you have no excuse. No excuse at all! –Rob

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

ComicDorksCast Episode 042

(Download Directly: Right Click and choose "Save As..." and save locally on your computer)

We apologize for the sound quality of this episode, it is by no stretch of the imagination our best effort.

Running Time: 01:18:39

Specific Time Stamps will come tomorrow night.
  • A bit more violence than expected in JSA: Kingdom Come Special - Magog #1.
  • Scott's Pick of the Week: X-Factor #37.
  • GET A ROOM ... oh you're in a room ... well then ... Invincible #55 will just leave you alone then.
  • Darren's Pick of the Week: Firebreather #3.
  • Ah! It's all coming back to me now in Supergirl #35.
  • Rob's Pick of the Week: Hellblazer #249.
  • E-MAILS!
  • Brief Mentions
  • Anticipated Books

If you have any questions or comments drop us a line at: Comicdorkscast@gmail.com

Go to www.FantasyShopOnline.com and check out the growing community on the Message Boards.

Check out our website at ComicDorksCast.Blogspot.com.

The Music at the opening and closing of the show was: "Við Spilum Endalaust" by: Sigur Rós.

What Do You Mean They're Not Superheroes?: Sneak Peek Reviews 11/25/2008

Umbrella Academy: Dallas #1
Written by: Gerard Way
Art by: Gabriel Ba

So, last year when Dark Horse announced that they were going to be publishing a miniseries written by the lead singer of My Chemical Romance I think I recall throwing up in my mouth a little bit. Then they made the announcement even more confusing by saying that one of my favorite new artists was going to be doing the art for the book, Gabriel Ba. The bile tasted just as sour. Then I actually read the damn book. And I will say with a good portion of my being that it was really rather damn good. Way had created a cast of compelling characters and had crafted an interesting mystery that lead down a lot of complex pathways. All in all the miniseries was rather enjoyable and when it came time for awards season this year the industry took notice as well. Umbrella Academy won the Eisner for Best Limited Series this last summer at the 2008 Eisner Award Ceremony. So needless to say it's sequel Umbrella Academy: Dallas has quite a lot to live up to. And I think that it did. I was just as interested in the goings on of the first issue of the new miniseries as I was during the previous miniseries and I think that it has the potential to be a better story than the previous one in all actuality. Way's managed to get past the jitters that every first writer experiences and really nails the dialog as well as the characterization. Ba's art looks better than ever and the quality here will only raise his stock with those that already love his work. So, I think it goes pretty well without saying that if you read Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite that you're going to want to get this one as well, and if you have never read either and are a fan of books like Hellboy, Proof, B.P.R.D, The Perhapanauts, and others that you should certainly check this one out as well.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Episode to Come Tomorrow

Today the Manager Meeting ran longer than anticipated and last night the recording of the episode ran longer than anticipated, so unfortunately that means that the episode will be out tomorrow ... as per usual here is the picture denoting failure, Me with a Deep Fried Twinkie:

Brief Mentions: The Goon # 30

By: Eric Powell

Here we are at the tail end of “The Year of The Goon” and this book keeps getting better and better. Prior to this glorious year Powell gave us the long awaited graphic novel “Chinatown.” In my opinion, “Chinatown” was the turning point in this series. The Goon has transformed from a light comic riddled with comedy and slack jaws being destroyed into a larger story. Even though comedy still plays a big part of this book we are also seeing a larger story unravel and this story seems heavily driven by drama. Before “The Year of the Goon” it felt like we were getting single issues of jokes and absurdity. I do enjoy absurd jokes but the underlying story makes me love this book so much more.

Issue # 30 gave us yet another reference to “Chinatown.” I have to say I believe Franky should keep his word and stick the evil dame. Why not a knife in the eye? This issue also gave us an interesting glimpse at the relationship between Buzzard and the Zombie Priest as well as a reason to stay away from train tracks. There was definitely some heavy drama being played out in these pages but that heaviness was countered by the backwoods humor I have come to love oh so much. It appears that Powell is finding a healthy balance of both comedy and tragedy in his writing. I would also like to say that Eric Powell is one of my favorite artists. He possesses a style all his own and it is very fitting for this type of book.

Another bonus with “The Year of the Goon” we get colors by Dave Stewart. Dave has been one of my favorites for a while now. I first discovered his talent when I realized I was a huge Darwyn Cooke fan. When I saw that he was joining Powell on this book I began to bubble over with excitement. What else could you ask for? The Goon has been monthly. The Goon has been strong and well written every month. The Goon is colored beautifully by Dave Stewart.

What will become of us after our year is up? Hopefully, The Goon will still come out on a semi regular basis and the story will keep progressing as it is. I feel like we have witnessed a year of The Goon’s world crumbling apart and a year of him trying to mend his broken heart. It leaves me wondering will the last issue of “The Year of the Goon” wrap this story up or leave us hanging on a cliff. Anyway it is done; I am a Goon fan and expect that I will be for a long time to come. Maybe I can enjoy The Goon the animated film someday. That would be nice.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

From the Dorks’ Soundtrack: The Hottest Thing in Iceland

Music from episode #42
Song: Við Spilum Endalaust
Album: Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
Performed by: Sigur Rós

When you think of Iceland, what comes to mind. Probably ice... but I’m here to change that today. In 1994, Jón Þór (Jónsi) Birgisson (guitar and vocals), Georg Hólm (bass) and Ágúst Ævar Gunnarsson (drums) formed the group Sigur Rós, in Reykjavík, Iceland (whew, let me catch my breath). The band’s unique name comes from Jónsi’s little sisters name Sigurrós (meaning “Victory Rose”), who was born on the same day as the band’s formation. They got a record deal with Bad Taste Records and soon released their first album, Von, in 1997. The band gained a great deal of popularity throughout the snowy capital and throughout the country. But in 1999, with the release of Ágætis Byrjun (An Alright Start), the band claimed international attention. This album featured the unique playing style of Jónsi on guitar as he used a bow from a cello to create a fluid sound that gave their band their tone. Also the band became attributed with and recognized by Jónsi’s falsetto voice. In 2002, the band released their third album ( ). On this album, all the lyrics are sung in Vonleska, also known as Hopelandic, which is a constructed language that is very similar to the Icelandic language. In 2005, Sigur Rós released their fourth studio album, Takk…( "Thanks..."). With growing success, the band became more and more popular throughout the world and collaborated with bands such as Radiohead and their music is featured in several films and documentaries. In Summer 2008, before the release of their fifth studio album I was lucky enough to catch their only summer performance in the United States in Manchester, Tennessee – Bonnaroo. It was a late night show, not starting until 2 A.M. Sigur Rós immediately became a favorite due to their interesting sound and amazing live shows. Jónsi Birgisson, is an amazing musician as well as the marching band that sometimes would accompany him on stage. It was a truly life changing show. A month or so after this show, Sigur Rós came out with their fifth studio album, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust ("With a Buzz in Our Ears We Play Endlessly"). This album proves that Sigur Rós is a band that is redefining music and creating their own genre. Sigur Rós is an example to how valuable international music is. Not just Icelandic but music from all over the world. The song premiered in episode #42 is from Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust and is entitled “Við Spilum Endalaust.” It is a great example of Sigur Rós style and if you can’t understand the lyrics it’s ok, it’s in Icelandic. So enjoy the Icelandic sensation that is sweeping the nation, Sigur Rós.Picture #1 - Sigur Rós live in Reykjavík
Picture #2 - Sigur Rós live at Bonnaroo 2008
Picture #3 - Sigur Rós behind a rock!

In Memoriam: Fairview Heights, I Barely Knew Ye

Summer is a great invention. No school. No responsibilities. Just me and comics. Periodically throughout Summer 2008, I would visit Scott’s former comic store in Fairview Heights (R.I.P.) and spend a whole day just catching up on comic series. I began Fables there, read Batman: Year One there for the first time, and read Fear Agent and a lot of other great titles. Located 1937 West Highway 50, the Fairview Heights Fantasy Shop was a great store, which had a great selection of weekly titles and trade paperbacks. During the day, I read comics and conversed with my colleague Scott. At night, the dice came out, and D&D was played on the back table. A few weeks ago, I heard the horrible news that this store had been sold. This was terrible news. With such great memories of this store it was sad to see it go. But I bid you adieu Fairview Heights. I will miss Thai food Wednesdays and being able to read comics while watching Countdown to Wednesday. You could always count on the Fairview Heights store having the issue you needed – indie or not. Farewell Fairview Heights, you are gone but never forgotten.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Blog Log # 2 (Quote of the Week)


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Living Up To Expectations: Thunderbolts #126

Thunderbolts #126
Written by: Andy Diggle

Art by: Roberto De La Torre

Alright, I'll admit that I am a pretty huge Warren Ellis fan ... but I never bought Thunderbolts. I'm not sure why. But it's the truth. So when I heard that he was leaving the book I was a little disappointed, sure I hadn't been buying the book but I had been enjoying what I was reading. When I heard that Andy Diggle was going to be taking over the title I was intrigued. It was on the book The Losers that I first recognized how incredibly talented that Diggle is and so I was curious what he could do with a team of reformed (but not really reformed) super-villains. The first issue certainly pointed in a positive direction for the title. All of the members of the team are written incredibly true to character. The art was also rather impressive and I think that Roberto De La Torre shows all the indicators of being an artist with all kinds of potential for growth. The biggest problem with this issue is that it should have come out after the final issue of Secret Invasion ... it contains far too many indicators of the outcome of Secret Invasion. So ... take that for what you will. But know that when you sit down with this issue tha you are going to feel a dark shadow fall over you and I can assure you that by the end of the issue that you will be clamoring for the next one.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What Do You Mean They're Not Superheroes?: Sneak Peek Reviews 11/18/2008

Written by: Peter David

Art by: Valentine De Landro

It's back. In spades. Peter David has long been hampered by crossovers, and X-Factor has suffered under the weight of stories that really didn't do anything to forward the ongoing plot that had been developing between the characters that David had done so much work to bring together in such a satisfying way. In all actuality David has done a great deal of interesting character work in the intervening stories, such as the introduction of Longshot into the group. Now that we are finally back to telling the kinds of stories that had become so satisfying to the readership it is only going to be a matter of convincing the readers who left the title behind during the Messiah Complex debacle or the more recent Secret Invasion unnecessariness. Valentine De Landro is also back and his art is a welcome return to the kind of style that we had all become so familiar with during the establishment of the series. De Landro and his cohorts like Khoi Pham, and Pablo Raimondi did a great job of continuing the sort of style that had been established in the Madrox miniseries as well as the beginning of the ongoing. I honestly think that if you left the title at some point that now it is time to come back. We are once again dealing with shady bad guys who want to bring about the end of the world. we are dealing with an oppressive government that wants nothing more than to control the chaos that X-Factor Investigations presents, and we have the kind of delightfully complex inter-character relationships that we have all come to know and love Peter David for. This is the sound of the dinner bell, it's time to come home again.

Young X-Men #8
Written by: Marc Guggenheim
Art by: Rafa Sandoval

For a long time I have not cared one little bit about any of the X books. Sort of. I've never been a big fan of the a-list mutants. But, like the way I feel about under appreciated comics I also feel about under appreciated characters. So for years while I have never been a fan of Uncanny X-Men or the adjectiveless X-Men or Cable or Wolverine or books of the like I have been cultivating a unique appreciation for the lower tier X-titles. In the last few years this has manifested in my enjoyment of titles like New X-Men: Academy X, X-Statix, Exiles, X-Factor and so on. When I heard about the new series Young X-Men I wasn't sure whether or not this was going to be the kind of title that would be worth my attention. It has, admittedly, taken a while but I have come to the conclusion that this is a book right in my wheelhouse. Action packed enough to be a good superhero book, character driven enough to be the kind of story that you can really sink your teeth into, and just the kind of creative team to really get you excited about how the series is going to progress. Marc Guggenheim is the kind of writer who can find time to work in both comics and television at the same time (if only Alan Heinberg could do the same). He has the kind of skill sets available to him to craft a group of characters who manage to have similar goals without speaking with once voice. And with this issue Rafa Sandoval contributes art chores and the series looks rather great as well. If you are looking for a good time to jump in then now is the time. This week the first trade hits the shelves, which collects the first 5 issues, and now is the time to start checking in with the Young X-Men.

Monday, November 17, 2008

ComicDorksCast Episode 041

(Download Directly: Right Click and choose "Save As..." and save locally on your computer)

Running Time: 01:16:16

00:03:05 - Green Arrow/Black Canary #14 ends 5 years of great stories from Judd Winick, here's fo five years of great story from Andrew Kriesberg.
00:13:13 - Darren's Pick of the Week: JSA: Kingdom Come Special - Superman #1 was .
00:18:55 - A momentous occasion for a momentous issue in Detective Comics #850.
00:27:53 - Scott's Pick of the Week: Simon Dark #14.
00:30:55 - Mullets are untrustworthy in Walking Dead #54.
00:42:06 - Rob's Pick of the Week: Action Comics #871.
00:50:37 - The Best Trade Paperbacks of Last Month!
00:59:56 - Brief Mentions
01:08:56 - Anticipated Books

If you have any questions or comments drop us a line at: Comicdorkscast@gmail.com

Go to www.FantasyShopOnline.com and check out the growing community on the Message Boards.

Check out our website at ComicDorksCast.Blogspot.com.

The Music at the opening and closing of the show was: "Avoiding Catatonic Surrender" by Tim Barry

The Best Book You Didn't Read Last Week, Issue 15

Lone Ranger #15
Written by: Brett Matthews
Art by: Sergio Cariello

Westerns. I know you're probably sick of hearing me talk about them. The best way to get me to stop writing articles about them is to start making them "The Best Book You READ Last Week". Brett Matthews has spent the last two years writing great crime stories, great revenge stories, recreating some of the greatest characters of 20th century American fiction. This issue we see the truth of what justice was in the old west. We see that cruelty and inhumanity is not something reserved for modern times. We see that those who seek real justice do not always act on the right side of the law, but those who do real damage to society are not always the kind of men who can be brought down by the system society has put in place. I think that if you like books like Punisher that it's time you start reading westerns. I think that if you like books like Criminal it's time you start reading westerns. I think that The Lone Ranger is as much a superhero as Superman, Batman, Spider-Man or any of the rest. He wears a costume, he conducts himself by a moral code, he brings those who wish to do harm to innocents to see the face of justice, even if the trial they face, is one of fire.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Brief Mention: Nightwing #150

Nightwing #150
Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
Art by: Don Kramer

I know I have mentioned on this website before that my first comic coming back from the one and only sabbatical that I ever took from comics was an issue of Nightwing. Issue #16 to be precise. That's a little over eleven years in real time. Since I was a sophomore at Helias High School in Jefferson City I have gone to a comic store every month for 134 months in order to pick up my monthly fix of the adventures of Dick Grayson. I have watched the character go through personal and professional ups and downs. I have watched him square off against dozens if not hundreds of enemies, I have watched him stand up against Batman and kneel at the feet of Barbara Gordon. It has been one hell of a ride along the way. When I first started reading the book it was being written by Chuck Dixon (as was most of the rest of the Batman Universe) and the art was being handled by Scott McDaniel and Karl Story. Since those days the character has been under the watchful eye of such writers as Devin Grayson, Bruce Jones, Marv Wolfnan and now Peter J. Tomasi. Some were better than others and some were more approved by the fans. But ultimately I have grown to love the character for all his facets and flaws. I think that Dick Grayson is probably my favorite character in comics today. So, seeing his title reach the prestigious 150th issue is something I am very proud to see. The issue itself was also incredibly gratifying in many ways and was a great wrap-up to the R.I.P tie-in that has been going on that pit Nightwing against Two-Face. The unfortunate thing about the story is that in the same week as the momentous issue we also recieved the announcement that Nightwing would be ending with February's issue #153. So, I thought I would just take this opportunity to thank all the writers, artists, inkers, colorists, editors, and everyone else involved with the production of Nightwing for their years of hard work that has gone into the creation of one of my favorite books. And I think most importantly I would like to thank Writer Chuck Dixon, Penciller Scott McDaniel, Inker Karl Story, Colorist Roberta Tewes, Letterer John Costanza, Editors Scott Peterson and Darren Vincenzo, and the wonderful team of Scott McDaniel, Karl Story, and Patrick Martin for putting together the cover that first caught my eye.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

From the Dorks’ Soundtrack (As Soon As This Shit Starts Boy It’s Bound To End- The Revival Tour 2008)

Music from episode # 41

Song-Avoiding Catatonic Surrender

Performed- by Tim Barry

(That's Tim right there.)

The Revival Tour

Lineup: Chuck Ragan, Ben Nichols, Tim Barry, Jon Gaunt, Digger Barnes & Todd Beene

Special guests on select dates: Austin Lucas, Bob Lucas, Jesse Malin, Frank Turner, Sundowner, Jon Snodgrass, Kevin Seconds, and Tom Gabel
Last night Joe Metro and I saw The Revival Tour at the Hi Tone in Memphis Tennessee. It was a nice drive in the Missouri rain; Arkansas and Tennessee’s skies were much the same. Did you know these new fancy phones come with GPS? Well, I didn’t and when I found out I spent the duration of the trip figuring out ways I could dodge a laser from outer space. You see I was certain my head was bound to be incinerated. Why else is there a blue dot following you the entire trip? By the time we entered The Volunteer State I had convinced myself I could, in fact, dodge a laser from outer space and knew that this night was to be a glorious one.
The Revival Tour is one of the best ideas I have ever heard of. Punk rockers picking folk songs, now that is pure genius. I had known of Chuck because of Hot Water Music, Ben Nichols because of Lucero, and Tim Barry because he used to hit on my buddies girlfriend but he is from a band called Avail. Hearing these guys play folk music was a real treat for me. You see one time I moved into to a punker’s apartment and with me I brought things like a banjo, a mandolin, a saw, some Dylan cds, and most importantly some Townes Van Zandt cds. A lot of jokes can be made about a boy from St. Peters that picks a banjer. These years transformed me from a slow and easy folkie into a hate breeding punk rocker that played folk music, sort of hard and I was in a three-piece horror rock band with the Devil and Doug. Due, to this transformation I had really gotten into Hot Water Music, amongst many other life changing punk rock bands. The result of seeing this show ended in me being the victor and he who laughed last. V I C T O R Y, you hear that Metro. V I C T O R Y!!!
The show opened with every one playing together. That includes Tim, Chuck, Ben, as well as Jon Gaunt on fiddle, Digger Barnes on stand-up bass fiddle, and Todd Beene on pedal steel. They took turns playing each other songs, which is the greatest thing about seeing this show. I got to see Chuck and Tim sing Lucero songs and Tim sing on Chuck songs… and etcetera, etcetera. It was especially nice hearing them play original music together as opposed to cover songs. Then Tom Gabel (Against Me!) took the stage. He was the guest during this leg of the tour. And Each Name on the bill got their very own solo set. Well, that’s mostly true. People would wander up and do songs with one another during those solo sets. This being the 50Th show on the tour they were sounding goddamned magical together. Then, we got Tim. Then, we got Chuck. Then, we got Ben. Then, we got everyone together again to bring it all home. But home was like 300 something miles away and it was 1:30 am. What are we supposed to do?

After the show we decided to head back to St. Louis. We knocked on Graceland’s door but they refused to let us crash in the jungle room so our only choice was to truck on. To our surprise Cap’n Cletus Whiteheart did a back of the Van set that lasted approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. 85% percent of the show was Cap’n Clet supporting Joe and the Metro’s. What more could you ask for in just one night and an early morning? It surely felt like one of those once in a lifetime opportunities. You know, one of those bad ideas you're glad you did. Not like that time you decided you needed just one more shot but one that ended without a morning of shame and is still remembered.

Everybody involved in this traveling show was absolutely folktastic. Right down to the doorman. Though his kindness made me think I was in a bar like the one in From Dusk Til Dawn and at any moment all these fine people were gonna turn and lust for my blood. The Hi Tone was a nice little bar. A perfect place to see a show of this nature. Above the bar was a huge picture of the King in his gee on his knees next to his sensei. That’s the first sign that a place rocks. Second sign is that they had a ping-pong room and a Tron arcade game. Overall this night is up their with the best that I have ever lived. -Rob

**A special true story from The Revival Tour 2008 in Memphis. Okay, there was a punker at the show. You know the type he had a baby fin, tight black jeans, and various mediocre punk band patches safety pinned to his hoodie. Now, there is nothing wrong with patches on hoodies as long I think that band is cool. Anyway, I guess this show was so good it made this punker realize his worst nightmare. Punk rockers playing folk music and doing it well, apparently, it made this punker realize he had been lying to himself. Music doesn’t have to be screamed at you accompanied by pick slides and distortion to carry a message you relate to. I love good punk music but I also realize you can play most of those songs slow acoustically and find that they still rock… and pick slides do indeed fucking rule. Obviously, this was overwhelming for him and he proceeded to puke right there on the floor. Personally, if I was Chuck I would feel like a bad ass. To be able to play music so good that a punker personifies your name on the floor of a bar is a fantastic feat.

(That's Austin with the killer Guitar and the killer smile.)

Friday, November 14, 2008

What I Saw at 12:01 Friday Morning: Quantum of Solace

That’s right. Bond is back and I couldn’t be happier. I have been a fan of James Bond since Pierce Brosnan was kicking Alec Trevelyan's ass all over the silver screen in Goldeneye (1995). Since then I have seen all 21 James Bond films, such as (Deep Breath): Dr. No (1962), From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Live and Let Die (1973), The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983), A View to a Kill (1985), The Living Daylights (1987), Licence to Kill (1989), GoldenEye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002), and Casino Royale (2006). Last Night, at 12:01 A.M. the 22nd installment of the James Bond series was released. Now don’t start panicking and think I’m going to spoil it for you because I’m not that cruel. But I will say on thing… GO SEE IT. Five stars, two thumbs, a million golden globes, whatever your personal rating system is, it deserves the highest possible. I will say I am a biased opinion. I have loved this character and all these films since Sean Connery took the scene in 1962. Quantum of Solace, Daniel Craig’s second film (Casino Royale), is the first time in the series in which it is a sequel to the previous movie. Quantum of Solace actually takes place 20 minutes after Casio Royale. Upon hearing this, I became skeptical. When it comes to movie series and changes are made it is usually for the worst (i.e. Star Wars). But in no way does Quantum of Solace disappoint. The most appealing thing about these last two films is that we finally get to see 007’s first mission and how he became the secret agent we know and love. And if you love James Bond like I do, be sure to check out these great comic titles: Sleeper (Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips), XIII (Belgians Jean Van Hamme, William Vance), Queen & Country (Greg Rucka), Checkmate (Greg Rucka), Cassanova (Matt Fraction, Gabriel Bá, Fábio Moon), 100 Bullets (Brian Azzarello, Eduardo Risso). So whether you love Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, or even Roger Moore go see Quantum of Solace and dive into the espionage experience.

Blog Log # 2 (Quote of the Week)

“We live in deeds, not years… we should count time by heart-throbs.”


“We live in deeds, not years… we should count time by heart-throbs.”

Did I see a throb in there? -Rob

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Living Up to Expectations: A Kingdom of Giants

I Kill Giants #5
Written By: Joe Kelly

Art By: JM Ken Niimura

A story that seemed so simple, a girl who believes she fights giants, has turned incredibly complex. This book was last mentioned in episode # 36, In which Scott picked it for just that reason: a slowly emerging complex and emotional plot story. The story continues in issue # 5 of I Kill Giants. Written by Joe Kelly and art by JM Ken Niimura, I Kill Giants is blossoming into a truly deep and thought provoking tale about a young girl’s struggle against the harshness of reality. In the last issue, the conflict in Barbara’s life came to the surface – her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Kelly takes this fact of life and deludes it to the understanding of a child, as something to defeat and kill, a giant. Upon this realization, this story takes off to a whole new level. It’s about the struggle of girl to fit in and to fight the reality that her mother is dying. The book is not all tears though, there are funny (especially if you’re a DM, like myself) and light-hearted scenes throughout the book that lighten the mood and improve the story. Issue #5 is a great addition to an already great story. Barbara is missing and her friend, Sophia, frantically tries to find her and ask why she has been absent from school. As the story continues, Barbara begins to collect dead animals to make a “sacrifice” to empower her “weapons” so that she can fight “giants” (a lot of symbolism going on by the way). All this wraps up into a very…huge…conclusion. Adding to Kelly’s script, Niimura really has a unique and creative drawing style and adds to the intensity and the emotion that resonates throughout the story (despite what the last page will tell you). I Kill Giants is a underrated book that deserves wide attention and praise. It helps you see that with a little imagination and hope you took can kill your giants.

Kingdom Come Special: Superman #1
Written By: Alex Ross
Art By: Alex Ross

The Multi-Verse. Man’s final frontier. This is the voyage of Darren, trying to understand what is going on. Kingdom Come Special: Superman (also entitled Kingdom Come 3 ½), written and illustrated by Alex Ross, hit the shelves this week. This is the first of three one-shots pertaining to the Justice Society of America series. I’m going to be very brief with this review because the Dorks will no doubt talk about this issue… LISTEN TO THE EPISODE. But there are many things in this issue that adds more complexity to the highly acclaimed Kingdom Come series. IF YOU LIKE KINGDOM COME GO BUY THIS ISSUE BECAUSE IT IS A MUST HAVE!!! Ahem…This issue felt like Kingdom Come. The art, the story, and even the characters. We also see the return of Norman McKay and see flashback from the original series. Emotions run high within these pages and your heart breaks constantly for superman time and time again. The biggest question about this issue is where do we place it within the Elseworld series. For about this conundrum… LISTEN TO THE EPISODE!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Blog Log # 2 (Goodbye Blue Monday and Hello Armistice Tuesday!)

Today, the eleventh day of the eleventh month, in 1922 a literary hero was “accidentally”* born. Kurt Vonnegut Jr., until he grew into a man that no longer needed the junior, blessed our universal and imaginative gourds with the truest humor known to man…Black Comedy! The dark honest humor, which I happen to be a pretty huge fan of, has taught me the greatest lesson of all. The lesson is that the only real defense to all the shit humans have to slink through everyday is a sense of humor about that shit. Basically, it’s natural to laugh at our self-destruction because most times that’s the only thing we do about it. I have to say it’s ironic that we laugh at fictional characters that possess the very same tragic flaws we as nonfictional characters have as well.

Vonnegut was born a German American in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was a Chemistry major at Cornell up until he became a prisoner of war. Being a prisoner of WWII his job was to gather up corpses for mass burial for the Nazis. As if his experience in the war was not enough his life seemed to be a steady flow of tragedy. Despite, the trials and tribulations of death (strange deaths. look into it it’s a little crazy. Much like a book itself.), divorce, bombings, and fire he crafted a long list of finely worded if not pure golden stories. It is no surprise that a life like Vonnegut’s would form a unique way at looking at the universe. The talent comes in being able to put those views into words and on paper to be related to, by all who is lucky enough to indulged themselves into his work.

Adding to his achievements we can say he got a M.A. in Anthropology from The University of Chicago. He was awarded this degree after using Cat’s Cradle as a thesis. His first thesis was dismissed as being “unprofessional.”* He was a professor, a SAAB dealer, “a skeptic, a freethinker, a humanist, a Unitarian Universalist, an agnostic, and a atheist.”* He even has an asteroid named after him. Not to mention his brother could make it rain and yes, he was in the film Back To School.

I find it humorous that a veteran seems to prefer Armistice Day to our now standard Veteran’s Day. In the pages of Breakfast of Champions Vonnegut writes, “November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. All the people of all the nations who fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month. It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to men who were on the battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.”… “Armistice Day has become Veteran’s Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veteran’s Day is not. So I will throw Veteran’s Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don’t want to throw away any sacred things. What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance. And all music”- Philboyd Studge

Kurt Vonnegut died April 11, 2007 at the age of 84. To add to the accidental life of Vonnegut, he wrote that his alter ego Kilgore Trout would die at the age of 84. So from here on out on top of celebrating Veteran’s Day we should all have a minute of silence followed directly by a Pall Mall and an open discussion about the glory of Kilgore Trout. Vonnegut said smoking Pall Mall was a “classy way to commit suicide.” Could you imagine dieing from Marlboro Lights? I wouldn’t wish that on my worse enemy. I will now take it upon myself to say that the 11th minute can be in the 23rd or the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

In closing I would like to wish Kurt Vonnegut a happy birthday, all of you a happy Armistice Day, and a thank you all of those who fight and those who died, so I don’t have to.
-Cap’n Clet "If I should die, let this be my epitaph: his only proof for the existence of God was music.”- Kurt Vonnegut

* Vonnegut's words not credited in this blog log

Player Piano (1952)
The Sirens of Titan (1959)
Mother Night (1961)
Cat's Cradle (1963)
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater; or, Pearls before Swine (1965)
Slaughterhouse-Five; or, The Children's Crusade (1969)
Breakfast of Champions; or, Goodbye Blue Monday (1973)
Slapstick; or, Lonesome No More (1976)
Jailbird (1979)
Deadeye Dick (1982)
Galápagos (1985)
Bluebeard (1987)
Hocus Pocus (1990)
Timequake (1997)
Collections of short stories and essays
Canary in a Cathouse (1961)
Welcome to the Monkey House: A Collection of Short Works (1968)
Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons (1974)
Palm Sunday (1981)
Fates Worse than Death (1991)
Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction (1999)
God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian (1999)
A Man Without a Country (2005)
Armageddon in Retrospect (2008, posthumous)