Adam Creighton's logo Adam Creighton

I'm Reading (Subscribe)

Magazines, novels, articles, poetry, interviews or other textual (and sometimes illustrated) media that's currently caught the mind of Adam Creighton ...

Friday, August 18, 2006

Twisted ToyFare Theater (Vols. 1 & 2)

"Oh, Sweet Mother, his is funny sh**. They should do a kids cartoon."
I'm reading ToyFare Magazine's Twisted ToyFare Theater, and it now hurts to pee.

ToyFare is a Wizard's toy collection magazine, and the whole thing is awesomely irreverant, but TTT is a whole new level of funny.

The concept is to take toys (many valuable, some MEGO crappy, and some both), and create riffs on everything -- how Jar Jar Binks sucks, how funny it would be if Charlie Brown really hated his servitude to Snoopy, etc. -- and make a comic strip. An adult comic strip.

Spider-Man is a dysfunctional slacker. Captain America is a boyscout. Mr. Fantastic is an elistist megolomaniac. The hulk has consistent dietary problems with broccoli and corn, and with petting furred animals too hard (like Chief Chirpa). Thor's a girly man. The Axis of Evil consists of Gargamel, Skeletor, Cobra Commander and Megatron.

You get the picture.

I laughed out loud reading Volumne 2.

Out. Loud.

Check out samples online.

Oh, this is funny stuff. And it's inspiring stuff for my "Super Secret Project X", which is in the same vein.

And, the collected volumes also include behind-the-scenes techniques. Which also helps "Super Secret Project X".

Ah, I've dropped another tip.

More to come ...

Share: Digg! |! | Reddit! | TinyUrl | Twitter

Leave Comments

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Halo Graphic Novel

I finally got to read The Halo Graphic Novel (two weeks after it released, but the $8.50 I saved at Amazon was worth it).

This is a good first foray into the comics medium for Bungie and Marvel. Unfortunately not great, but pretty solid.

The book is divided into 5 parts -- 4 self-contained (mostly) stories (each with different writers and artists) and an art gallery.

I say mostly self-contained, because the first story, "Last Voyage of the Infinite Succor", written by Lee Hammock and illustrated by Simon Bisley, is not. If you don't have the back story of the game, and read the introduction to the story, you'll be lost. And the narrative is pretty weak and disjoint, and doesn't do service to Bisley's great art -- not a good one with which to start the book.

The next 3 stories are stronger.

"Armor Testing" by Ed Lee and Jay Faerber is a solid (if a bit underwhelming) tale, with a subtle twist and decent humanization at the end.

Better is Tsutomo Nihei's "Breaking Quarantine", which details Halo foil (and cookie-cutter space marine bad-ass sergeant -- uh, Aliens?) Johnson's escape from the Flood. This dialog-less tale showcases Nihei's painted art, and his flexibility in illustrating someone else's story.

The best (and capstone) story is Moebius and Brett Lewis' "Second Sunrise Over New Mombasa" -- a tight, insightful (but not heavyhanded), and eventually sentimental war journalism story. And there's a subtle, definite nod to the hook of Halo 3.

The art gallery is great, with my favorite entries being from Lorraine McLees, Doug Alexander, Justin Sweet, Kent Williams, Craig Mullins, and Scott Fischer (who also gets my award for best composition; deconstructing the pict makes me realize, "Oh, that's why I'm affected that way!).

My least favorite pin-up is Bungie guy's Tom Doyle's, (What, is that a midget kid he's rescuing? C'Mon, proportion. Little Person kid. Sorry).

And then I have my general gripes about hard back cover galleries. Why do a two-page spread, when I can't hope to get a decent view of it, even if I break the spine of the book? You think I'm actually gonna cut these picts out and hang them up? How long to do you think this thing'll sit on my coffee table to show off to guests before it goes on a shelf, rarely to be viewed?

But, this is a good first foray into the comics, and with confirmation that the franchise will go monthly next year, the future looks good from this starting point.

Share: Digg! |! | Reddit! | TinyUrl | Twitter

Leave Comments

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I Peter

Yikes, this is a tough one for me to reconcile with day-to-day living, and it's not like there's a lot of gray in the text ...

Share: Digg! |! | Reddit! | TinyUrl | Twitter

Leave Comments

Friday, August 04, 2006

Marvel's "Civil War"

Marvels Comics' Civil War crossover arc is a big thing.

I've been reading the two core series, Civil War and Civil War: Frontline, and a select few tie-ins (Captain America (natch), New Avengers, and others that catch my eye).

The overly simplified premise is there was a fight between bad guys and good guys, one of the bad guys is really bad, and wiped out a chunk of a town -- including an elementary school and all of its kids.

In response, the government signs into law the Superhero Registration Act, which requires all costumed and powered entities to register with the government, reveal their identities to the government, and fight for the government. Half the men and women in tights comply (ostensibly led by Iron Man, who, also interestingly, does not wear tights), and half become resistance fighters (led by Captain America). Yeah. Interesting...

The difference between the core two series at a high level is Civil War is the superhero struggle, and Civil War: Frontline is the civilian view. The first series is written by Mark Millar, and is good. The second is written by Paul Jenkins, and is not.

Now, that's a bit of an unfair generalization, but hear me out (and hear me contradict myself).

Civil War is more even-handed. It shows the complexity of letting people with so much power loose in the world, and it shows the slippery slope of civil rights violation. At least it was good until #3, where Millar -- who knows Spider-Man -- has a bunch of interactions between him and Captain America, Daredevil, and others that do not fit in to the character, and do not fit into the history and relationship he has with those two guys. Weird, and what it showed was not authentic to the characters for the sake of creating drama in that issue. I'm hoping #4 resets a bit.

Civil War: Frontline is a showcase for Paul Jenkins' agenda, which is a bummer, because I like Jenkins as a writer. But he's got an axe to grind with the current administration, and it shows in his work. The book is clever in that it has multiple mini stories continuing in each issue (though the final poetry/lyric juxtaposition at the end of each issue is coming off convoluted and flat to me), but I feel like the integrity of the work is off because of the personal biases. Think a lesser evil than what Chuck Austen did with Nightcrawler or Captain America. But Issue #4 was better -- much better -- and seemed to start a correction in the diatribe. We'll see.

Now, New Avengers #22, by Brian Michael Bendis got my attention. I mean, Brian Michael Bendis is amazing, but this issue showcases that. It's all about Luke Cage (Power Man), and what he's going to do at midnight, when the bill becomes law. And very little is about fighting. It is about sacrificing (Cage is married and has a newborn daughter). It is about standing up for what is right, and defending your home. Bendis does a really good job with dialog (his forte), including some direct references to slavery, and some heart-hurting moments between Cage, his wife, and their newborn ("She won't look at me ... Hey baby ... look at me"). I was affected.

But I'm exhausted and taking Meisner classes so I'm prone to be misty eyed anyway.

The artist-of-the-month thing is irritating me, but I liked Leinil Yu's artwork -- Bill Sienkiewicz plus Trevor Hersine. Ish.

Oh, and what I predicted last time about this issue being out of whack with the Civil War continuity? It happened (I'm good):

"But where does [New Avengers #21] fit in the Civil War? It's almost like it's supposed to come out before Civil War #2 (and maybe even #1), but shipped after both. And the tease for New Avengers #22 sounds like it's supposed to happen before Civil War #2, also, but will probably ship after #4 [it actually shipped at the same time]."
(Where did I miss Cap's shield getting a chip in it?)

Share: Digg! |! | Reddit! | TinyUrl | Twitter

Leave Comments

Adam Creighton: Headshot

Powered by Blogger