The Merc with a Mouth in a Movie | Thoughts on the Deadpool flick

For an action movie with a foulmouthed blabbermouth antihero, it’s pretty good. The opening sequence let’s you know right away (and any parents who may have foolishly brought their little ones expecting Spider-Man, Iron Man or Captain America fare) what the … Continue reading The Merc with a Mouth in a Movie | Thoughts on the Deadpool flick

Perspective: State of the Comics Industry in 1999 via Warren Ellis

– by Brandon L. Rucker – So for the first time in well over a decade I am re-reading COME IN ALONE, the trade paperback collection of Warren Ellis‘ year-long column at Comic Book Resources that ran from December 1999 to December 2000. It’s a starkly honest observation and analysis of the seriously ailing comics industry of the time. Surely you all remember that bleak time period: post-early-90s boom, and post-mid-90s bust, yet prior to slight post-911 rebound? For me personally it was a time most significantly marked by the horrible decision of Image Comics standout partner Jim Lee to sell his … Continue reading Perspective: State of the Comics Industry in 1999 via Warren Ellis

Once More Unto the Well | Thoughts on the Comic Book Industry

By Brandon L. Rucker Brian Hiibbs has historically overreacted to things happening in the market. And as usual I disagree with his chicken little perspective. As what’s very obviously just a niche market in this modern era (meaning the days of half a million-to-a-million-selling issues are waaaaaaay behind us), the only way the comics publishing industry takes a “crash” is if those faithful to the Big Two truly say “ENOUGH” and truly walk away cold turkey. As evident in the continued support of regurgitated ideas (mainly looking at Marvel on this), that’s just not all that likely to happen. So … Continue reading Once More Unto the Well | Thoughts on the Comic Book Industry

Creator-Owned Comics Demand Patience

By Brandon L. Rucker And that’s all right.  I’m good with it.  However, some folks feel entitled to having all comics be monthly, thanks to the periodical standard set ages ago (although going way back many titles from the Golden Age and early Silver Age were actually bi-monthly).  Me, I’m a fairly patient dude.  I really am.  In a weird way a little less can be more for me (Marvel doesn’t grasp that concept, though, with their rampant redundancy in titles and accelerated shipping on some of them). So long as I don’t have  to wait more than 3 months between … Continue reading Creator-Owned Comics Demand Patience

CBDA – Comic Book Diversification Act

By Brandon L. Rucker Another column I would write if I were actively still doing comics journalism would be based on the theme that what you’re seeing in modern comics (and expanded media) is what I call the Comic Book Diversification Act.  It essentially amounts to the atonement of a past and legacy littered with the exclusion of diversity and inclusiveness, and in some cases effective racism.  Do a little research on the Golden, Silver and Bronze Age of comics (1930s — 1980s) for edification on the comics’ industry’s white washed history. Like in modern American society, it is because of those … Continue reading CBDA – Comic Book Diversification Act

A Lament for the 1980s Era of Comics

By Brandon L. Rucker It’s too bad I’ve lost the will to thoroughly engage in comics journalism anymore, otherwise I’d be writing a big ol’ thematic column about how the storytelling sensibilities of the 1980s — arguably the best decade critically for superhero comics — will never be allowed to return. The days of handing a character (i.e. Daredevil) or team (i.e. X-Men) to a writer and artist and letting them loose on the series for an extended legendary, uninterrupted and undisturbed by LOCKSTEP UNIVERSAL BANAL EVENT STORYLINES EVERY TWELVE MONTHS run. Yeah, that’d be great. Sure, everyone’s got their … Continue reading A Lament for the 1980s Era of Comics

The Question’s Never Far from the Answer | Thoughts on The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1

The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1 (DC) – There’s good Grant Morrison (The Multiversity #1 and The Multiversity: The Just #1). And there’s bad Grant Morrison (The Multiversity: Society of Superheroes #1and this issue), where he drops you in the middle of a story without a parachute and you bang your head and find yourself a little disoriented and wondering what the hell is going. That was my reading experience this time again with the multi-universal event (the ratio is now 2:2). I’ve seen a lot of chatter online and in the comic book media that lauds this issue as a … Continue reading The Question’s Never Far from the Answer | Thoughts on The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1

Not How It Was Before | Thoughts on Outcast #5

Outcast #5 (Image)– This issue was perhaps the series’ most focused to date and contains a fair amount of action and plot development (so far this series is even less about character than The Walking Dead or Invincible). Knowing that Kirkman is going for his usual 6-issue story arc break for collected trade editions of his comics just confirms suspicion that the story is being unveiled in a very decompressed method. Decompression, as you well know, is the bane of the comic book medium in these modern times. Since the four issues prior spent little time developing character, the events … Continue reading Not How It Was Before | Thoughts on Outcast #5

You Never Had a Daughter | Thoughts Wytches #2

Wytches #2 (Image) – Scott Snyder should not be writing horror stories for comics, tasking an artist to translate them into compelling images. He should instead be writing short prose stories like he did before coming to comics. Despite Jock’s art and the Matt Hollingsworth’s astounding color work, this is the last issue of Wytches I purchase. – Rating: 2.0 Continue reading You Never Had a Daughter | Thoughts Wytches #2

The Justified | Thoughts on The Multiversity: The Just #1

The Multiversity: The Just #1 (DC) – This third installment was a lot more fun than the previous one that focused on the Society of Superheroes (S.O.S), the old-school Golden Age contingency of characters. The characters of The Just (and Justice League) are all younger, legacy variants of the ones we know so well. Damian Wayne is Batman, Chris Kent is Superman, Alexis Luthor is Batman’s once secret girlfriend and whose dad had killed the original Superman – it all makes for awkward relations between the two “World’s Finest” best friends. Many characters abound here, as per The Multiversity usual … Continue reading The Justified | Thoughts on The Multiversity: The Just #1

They Killed Earl Tubb? You Bastards! | Thoughts on Southern Bastards #5

Southern Bastards #5 (Image) – Well…I guess I’m out. Fuck. I’m pissed off. Just like Game of Thrones with Ned Stark, my gateway character – in the case of this series, Earl Tubb, the sympathetic protagonist of the “Here Was a Man” story arc (a telling title), the apparent star of this series’ first four issues, actually *** RARE SPOILERS *** diedin that fourth issue (okay, so “died” is a bit of an understatement, considering). Meaning he wasn’t even in this issue; hell even at his funeral it was a closed casket (y’know, given that hellacious beating he took in … Continue reading They Killed Earl Tubb? You Bastards! | Thoughts on Southern Bastards #5

Lost the Plot | Thoughts on Trees

Trees #6 (Image) – I’ve finally come to realize why I’m having so much trouble with this series. It’s perfectly plot-less – there is no obvious (or even discernable) plot that writer Warren Ellis (the comics legend) is working here. It’s not uncommon for an author to hold his cards close to his vest in a suspense story in terms of plot. However, I would say Ellis is playing Texas Hold’em with Trees. And he’s bluffing hard. The concept is cool – well, it seems like it could be really cool, there’s not really been much revealed about it when you … Continue reading Lost the Plot | Thoughts on Trees

Third-Party Noir | Thoughts on The Fade Out #2

The Fade Out #2 (Image) – I’m very happy for Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips on the success of the sold-out first issue and that others have taken a huge liking to the series. However, for me, I mentioned it with the first issue and now with #2 it’s hit me hard: my number one problem with this book is the third-person narration employed by writer Brubaker. It’s just too distant and contains too much telling. There’s a reason that overly exposition-y style is not en vogue anymore (unless you’re Chris Claremont, Neil Gaiman or Todd McFarlane). For the better … Continue reading Third-Party Noir | Thoughts on The Fade Out #2

“Pledged Is Pledged” | Thoughts on Wytches #1

Wytches #1 (Image) — I started out as a horror buff pretty early in life thanks to my horror and sci-fi-loving mom. I was weened on 80s horror and later got into suspense and psychological horror in the early 90s before the mid-to-late 90s sullied and soured both genres for a while. Thankfully, there was a nice resurgence in the early-to-mid 2000s that helped redeem the genres. I’m largely talking about film, but also books and some television. As for comics … I believe horror is a tough genre to pull off well in the medium. In late 2011 I  … Continue reading “Pledged Is Pledged” | Thoughts on Wytches #1

Just Make Mine Image! Comics, That Is

In light of recent news making the rounds at this year’s New York Comic Con, it’s become apparent that Marvel enjoys going to the well. Often. That should now be common knowledge for those in the know. I won’t even mention the news bits here as it would make me more complicit in their mission than I care to be. However, I must say that given one particular piece of their news, it now seems that their new hobby is to truly spite their fans (likely at the behest of corporate daddy-of-daddies Disney). So, this has given me pause to … Continue reading Just Make Mine Image! Comics, That Is

“My Dad, the Bill Cosby of Kink” | Thoughts on Sex Criminals #8

Sex Criminals #8 (Image) – SexCrimz never seems to disappoint and it’s undeniably my highest rated series since I’ve started doing the Fetish Favorites here, scoring 5.0 issues more than any other series I read. And it’s never earned a rating lower than 4.0 (out of 5) from me in all its eight issues-so-far run. Just as Velvet is Ed Brubaker writing at his best, Sex Criminals is easily Matt Fraction writing at his very best. Of course, I would be remiss not to mention Chip Zdarsky’s equal contribution to the greatness of this series as its artist (love the … Continue reading “My Dad, the Bill Cosby of Kink” | Thoughts on Sex Criminals #8

In the Courtyard | Thoughts on Rat Queens #8

Rat Queens #8 (Image) — Glad to have one of my absolute favorite series back (after a three month layoff), but sad that it’s a single character issue starring Violet, the Dwarf member of the Queens, dealing with her family’s tradition at the gathering of eight families in the courtyard, as well as her well-groomed beard. Timing for this one-off is odd because the previous storyline is unresolved and judging by future solicits, that story is not over. This is a perfectly serviceable character-driven spotlight issue. However, with the long layoff between #7 & #8, I can’t deny I was a … Continue reading In the Courtyard | Thoughts on Rat Queens #8