Thursday, October 30, 2008

Michael Turner Tribute Book

Newsarama is reporting on a tribute book for the late artist Michael Turner who died of cancer this summer.

I am sure that most comics shops will have the book this coming Wednesday but I can't find it listed on Amazon yet.

I think it's weird that I like Turner so much given that his style is more painterly than the kind of comic art I grew up on.

But his work was a real joy for me when I first picked up comics again in 2000 after not reading them for almost 18 years.

I bought the slim volume at my local comic book store yesterday (11/05/08) for $8.99. Here is a link to buy it for the same price on I don't know why it says pre-order, though.

Better yet, order it directly from Aspen Comics. Proceeds go to cancer prevention charities.

[Image: DC Comics/Aspen Comics]

Monday, October 20, 2008

Farewell to The Long Blondes

NME is reporting that The Long Blondes have split up. Not entirely surprised due to health issues of one of the band members, but a band that will be missed. Their two studio albums both showed real promise, taking a few obvious influences and crafting something new and fresh; I still think Couples is quite underrated.

I saw the band in DC at the Rock and Roll Hotel in 2007 and I thought the songs from the first album were even better live.

Here's the video for Giddy Stratospheres by The Long Blondes:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

More Childish Pursuits - Comics!

It's still very hard for me to enjoy well written comics with lackluster art -- or art that doesn't appeal to the perpetual 13-year-old inside me.

I think that stems from the fact that as a child I drew quite a bit. Really, my childhood memories are defined by TV, pop music, and drawing -- sometimes pursuing all three things at once as I used to take LP records in their covers and use them as my drawing boards (hopefully abandoned kids' records of my own or something my parents were sick of playing).

And the first comics I gravitated to were ones where I liked the art but now I'm seeing a modern comics culture where the writer is just as important to many fans; there are people following Grant Morrison like I used to follow Jack Kirby and even I have found myself picking up stuff Brad Meltzer wrote despite the presence of art that didn't particularly do it for me.

So, that's a roundabout way of recommending the Green Arrow/Black Canary: The Wedding Album hardback collection, available here from Amazon.

Two characters I love finally get married with quite a few plot twists sure to entertain even casual DC Universe fans such as myself -- I still prefer the Marvel Universe overall.

I wasn't thrilled with the art but the writing is decent for what it is, not too serious and not too silly with a few great moments thrown in that I won't ruin here.

When I was 12, I switched from pencil-and-paper drawing to pen-and-paper drawing. I was inspired by a cool kid in my neighborhood in Louisiana and was probably copying him a bit -- thanks to him, I started reading Doonesbury paperbacks, drawing in ink using Pilot black ink pens on nice heavy drawing paper, and embellishing my spacecraft and monsters and superheros will all manner of ridiculous flourishes and bits of crosshatching.

So it's probably no surprise how much I enjoy Arthur Adams' stuff from the 1990's. His work in Alan Moore's Tom Strong series is pure delight but, for that 13-year-old "me," his Monkeyman and O'Brien is perfection on paper. Really, this is exactly what I would have loved to have written and drawn as a kid, filled with references to monster movies and the original King Kong.

Yeah, Star Wars really grabbed me when I was 10 but I never abandoned my love of King Kong and other monster movies.

This collection available here on Amazon may be out-of-print but it's worth seeking out if you like this kind of thing like I do.

[Photos: Amazon/DC Comics/Dark Horse Comics]