Wednesday, April 30, 2008

OMG, Iron Man rules!

Damn that was an awesome movie. Robert Downey Jr was perfect for Tony Stark. Loved the dancing pole in his private jet. I was worried it was going to drag a bit, being over 2 hours long, but it flew by. I need to see it again, but that just may be the best superhero movie ever.

And since I'm making a largely irrelevant post, I may as well add to it...

This week in comics sucked for me. I just dropped JLA and Birds Of Prey (and Brave & The Bold) last week, so that meant no comics for me this week :( We're a week behind the USA, incase you were wondering. I suppose on the bright side I saved $15 on the two comics I dropped, but it sucks coming home empty handed.

I'm on holiday and had been trying to post daily for the 3 weeks. I've been close, the last couple of days are a bust though. I'm working on something (very) different that I hope to be a regular feature, but it's taking longer to organise than I expected. Should be all systems go by the weekend though, fingers crossed. It should rock your world.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

How Not To Treat Girls, Featuring Firestorm

I'm feeling lazy today*, so I'm gonna hand things over to Ronnie's step mother. Take it away, Felicity.

"Holding back a part of himself"? Yeah, that would be the part of him that's seeing another woman...

*lazier than usual that is

Saturday, April 26, 2008

What If... #41

Going through my stack of purchases from last week's convention, I made a startling find- an issue of "What If..." that's actually good. No, I can't believe it either. To mark this momentous occassion, I present to you:

What If... The Avengers Had Fought Galactus? So big a question, it required 43 pages. And seriously? I had a tough time limiting the amount of scans to just those here- lots happens.

This reality is a bit different- the Fantastic Four died in the crash of their rocket ship. This has a flow-on effect to other heroes. Human Torch never cures a homeless Namor of amnesia, and with no Namor, noone revives Captain America from his icy sleep. The Avengers in the above picture are pretty much it, with the inclusion of Iron Man.

The story begins with some strange occurances in the sky- first the atmosphere appears to be on fire, then it becomes a sea of floating rocks. Eventually The Watcher reveals himself to the Avengers as being the one behind it. He's created these illusions to try and hide Earth from the Silver Surfer. It doesn't work though, and it falls to Iron Man to try to stop the herald before Galactus is summoned.

The Surfer's taken out, but too late!

Avengers vs Galactus, round 1.

Galactus does everyone a favour and knocks out Hawkeye, because really- that was just embarrassing. Iron Man had a good run at the Surfer though, so lets give him a try.

Retreat! Retreat!

Galactus: 2 Avengers: 0

Regrouping at Avengers Mansion, team leader Goliath makes a dramatic decision:

All Avengers together for the first time ever. This should be awesome. Let's see who turns up.

Thor! And he brought a friend. Who else is coming?

Wait, what do you mean that's it? That's all the Avengers, together, for the first time? Wow, that's really lame.

Meanwhile, the Silver Surfer has been cruising around the city, observing people. It would seem he's having a few doubts about his job.

We'll check in on him again a bit later, because now it's time for:

Avengers vs Galactus, Round 2.

Their previous encouter not having gone so well, the heroes elect to target their foe's machinery instead.

Not a bad idea, though comparing the damage Thor is doing to the damage Hawkeye is doing? Yeah, arrows are a pretty lame super power. Galactus summons some robotic help, calling down the Punisher from his ship.

That alien suit is pretty tough, and makes short work of Quicksilver. But thankfully for everyone (especially Hawkeye) the Hulk turns up.

It seems the Watcher had telepathically sent the "Avengers Assemble" call to the Hulk. In further non-watching activity, the Watcher sent Iron Man up to Galactus's ship to retrieve the Ultimate Nullifier. Iron Man lasts 3 panels before he's zapped by the ships auto-defenses, so that ends that.

Time to check back on the Silver Surfer. He's still debating his purpose, even saving people from falling debris caused by the battle. Do the Avengers try and talk to him, maybe building up his new found good will? No, they piss him off.

So begins an epic fight between SS and Thor.

Speaking of Thor, it's a good job he brought a friend along, because Hercules is the only one that's any good against Galactus.

That's awesome, though possibly below the belt. The rest of the team are total lame ducks, and all get knocked out.

But wait, what's this? An ex-Avenger has heeded the call. It's the mighty Swordsman! Errr...

heh, Galactus made a funny.

With everyone being trashed, The Watcher makes a decision to grow a pair, and intervene.

It looks impressive, and admitadly Galactus gets thrown through a building, but when all you've ever done is watch, well, how good are you really going to be in a fight? About 3 panels worth of good. Then comes the really interesting part:

Galactus fricking eats the Watcher. Holy shit!

Oh yeah, and there's that fight between Thor and the Silver Surfer, where Thor does what someone should've done 20 pages ago and actually talks to his foe.

It's all too late though. The fight's over, the Watcher's eaten, and Galactus has spared the planet. Time to depart, though the events have made the Surfer curious.

Galactus takes the body of the fallen Watcher back to his brothers

...and you have to ask yourself- just how awesome would it be if Galactus abandoned his planet eating ways, and instead embarked on a quest to hunt down and eat all the Watchers?

Because I think that would rule.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hi, I'm From Japan. Please Show Me Your Panties.

I've been giving the manga a bit of a go lately. Currently I'm reading Rahxephon, having gotten it cheap. It's ok, nothing spectacular. The editorial at the end of volume 1 was a touch concerning though:

What was I letting myself in for with volume 2?

Well ok, I guess that's not too bad, it's not over the top or anyth...


Was I supposed to notice that one?

Hey, 3 in one panel:

Even when the heroine is in mortal danger, her dignity isn't safe...

But not to worry the special agents will save everyone. Quick, don the camel toe suits!

Ha! Can't flash your panties when you're not wearing any.

I'm rapidly forming the view that I'm gonna just stick with American comics...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

X Marks The Spot... Of DEATH

...or at least a severe beating.

What's wrong with this picture?

Hey look, their bodies make an 'X'. I sure hope they don't accidentally summon that X guy.


You just saw your man taken out, you're in your underwear, really- why would you go for a gun?

Take note of that mirror, it's important.

Can you guess what happens next?

Ok, so that wasn't too hard to see coming. Interrogation over...

...but X leaves a lovely parting gift for the couple.

Talk about a mood killer.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Free stuff is good

Weeeee, my Iron Man watch arrived today. Just had to mail in my receipt from buying the toys, and got it free.

I have to use the last hole for it to fit on my wrist. For some reason they appear not to've considered the 30 year old age group.

Art In Close Up: Birds Of Prey #110

Today I thought I'd take a closer look at one of the pages I bought from Nicola Scott over the weekend. I've just framed it and replaced the Andy Clarke Aquaman page that was over my bed.

Birds Of Prey #110
Page 10

Pencils: Nicola Scott
Inks: Rodney Ramos

Writer: Tony Bedard

Colours: Hi-Fi Designs

Letters: Travis Lanham

First up, the full pages:

Yes, there are indeed 2 versions of the original art. Nicola does layouts on the back side of her pages. I asked her about it, and her process goes something like this: layout in blue pencil on the front of the page. Then she turns it over and fills in more of the detail, perspective lines, etc. Then it's back to the front, and doing the final pencils. The idea is that it gives her a clean page to do the finishes on, and she finds it faster to get to the finished pencils (assuming I'm remembering that exactly right heh). It adds a really interesting aspect to her pages, I spent ages just going through the stack of pages she'd brought with her, flipping them back and forth to compare images. I don't know if this is a common practise, but of the couple of dozen pages I own from various artists, these are the only ones done like this.

Panel 1, and it's the money shot of the page. Great action, and it's what screamed "buy me" when I laid eyes on it.

The colourist got to flex their muscles a bit on the glass shards.

I forgot to mention it, but obviously the roughs on the back are facing the opposite way. Which is actually pretty impressive, considering that means the page gets drawn essentially twice, but in opposite directions. From my own experience, there are times (rare though they may be) where I've drawn something that I thought was awesome, then flipped it over and viewed it from behind, and it looks terrible. That's the difference between me and someone who knows how to draw...

Panel 2, complete with dumbass thug holding his gun sideways:

Note the perspective lines running from the bald guys head to the gun. I love details like that, and you usually don't get to see it.

Panel 3, someone's about to get their ass kicked.

The main point of interest here is that you can see the panel was originally planned as a close up head shot.

It's now hanging on my wall:

I normally just cut two matts conventionally, but I was feeling adventerous. I wanted something that played on the Huntress's costume. I cut the purple matt on the bottom the standard way. The white matt overlay is one piece of card, with the idea being that I wanted the white stripe down the middle to match her suit. All the edges are sloped the correct way, and it took about an hour to lay out and cut. If you're framing stuff, go out and buy a proper tool, it's so much cheaper than getting it done professionally.