Writer: Geoff Johns, Artists: Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert
DC is calling this the most anticipated comic of the year. I’m not sure I agree with their findings, but this comic is sure to be a universe altering hit. This is not your typical zombie attack. Yes, the dead do rise again, but it is nothing like Marvel Zombies. This title is the culmination of a hell of a lot of history in the DC Universe. The preverbal “poop” has hit the fan, and the fight to save humanity in general, and superheroes, specifically, starts here. Geoff Johns is the perfect writer for this death-heavy event since he wrote the first six issues of Green Lantern: Rebirth, and Blackest Night is an off-shoot of that. What I want to know is, in the end of all of this death and dying trip, will we ever see Bruce Wayne again? Maybe Blackest Night will finally answer some questions.
Citizen Rex #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
Writers: Mario & Gilbert Hernandez, Artist: Gilbert Hernandez
From the creative team of Love & Rockets, Citizen Rex is their next big thing. This is science-fiction tale of a gossip columnist set 50 years in the future. The art and vibe is just as indie as their critically acclaimed Love & Rockets, but this one has more of the sci-fi goods that us non-emo kids are looking for. This book is both interesting and unique. The art, by Gilbert Hernandez, is stark black and white with thick, childlike lines. I mean that in a good way. All of the panels have depth and movement, while holding onto the simplistic style that triumphed in the heydays of indie comics. Citizen Rex is only slated for six issues, but it the story is popular enough, we may see more of the futuristic tale of gossip and robots.
Creepy Comics #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
Writers: Various, Artists: Various, Cover Eric Powell
There is so much to tell about this comic… where to start? Well, fist of all, it was originally a magazine published in 1964. One of the original artists will be involved in this book. Bernie Wrightson will do some magic, and Eric Powell graces us with his delectable cover art. That alone is worth the $3.50. Creepy Comics will give you the heeby-geebies and make you happy to be a horror fan. If there were ever a classic horror comic, this one would be it, surpassing Tales from the Crypt in and quantity, and might I be so bold as to say… quality? It is great to see the revitalization of such an under rated, but genuinely interesting comic. There are rumors on the nets that both Creepy and Eerie are set to become a movie, so maybe the whole thing will get some well-deserved recognition.
RASL #5 (Cartoon Books)
Writer: Jeff Smith, Artist: Jeff Smith
RASL is really picking up momentum with issue five. The first three issues opened us up to Jeff Smith’s adult-ish time-travel crime story, while issue four gave us a bit of the flashback. Well, now we are being let in on the secret origins of this crazy time-traveling concoction, and how and why Miles is using it at all. Smith is well known for his work on Bone. If you haven’t heard of it, you are not a real comic fan. RASL is a much more grown-up comic, but still has a sweet hint of kiddieness inside. For example, the characters that Smith draws may be muscle-y and covered in tattoos, but they still look like they might only be five feet tall if they were real. The main character may have blood dripping from his scowling face, but it is still round and wide-eyed. Another bit of exciting information is that this comic is set to become bi-monthly, instead of the, every six months or so, lazy schedule that Smith has been keeping so far. So, look forward to hearing me rave about this awesome comic more often in the coming months.
Walking Dead #63 (Image Comics)
Writer: Robert Kirkman, Artists: Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn
I haven’t said a peep about my most favorite comic since, like, Issue 56. So stop giving me crap about it. There are a few reasons why this is on my hot list again. First of all, it’s the Walking Dead, duh. Second, some serious problems have arisen over the past few issues that are really challenging my faith in comic book humanity. I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say that no one, and I mean no one, is safe in the hostile existence that Rick and his rag-tag crew are in. Issue #62 began the “Fear The Hunters” arch and if you thought the Governor was bad… just wait and see. The last reason that I’m bringing up this issue is that a special full issue of Chew #1 will be reprinted as a black-and-white flip book in the back of issue #63. Me thinks that Kirkman and Chew’s writer, John Layman, are in cahoots together. Maybe Layman has been promising back rubs in exchange for good press. Well, no matter the reason for the combo, you’ll be able to pick up both stories for the price of one comic, and you can’t beat that.]]>
If you’ve ever been sitting in a group of friends and thought to yourself that everyone must be smarter than you, then I have just the answer to your insecurity. It’s called the Periodic Table of Videos, and man, do I feel smart. Smarter than you!
For example, did you know that the average person has about a pound of phosphorous stored in their body? And, did you know that we synthesize about 70kgs of an energy molecule called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) that, if we didn’t get out of our body throughout the day, would make us explode? Take that Mr. Mathy McMatherson!
The Periodic Table of Videos was developed by a photo-journalist named Brady Haran and some egghead chemistry nuts at The University of Nottingham in England. And it is just what it sounds like. In June of 2008, Haran and the egghead chemistry nuts; Martyn Poliakoff, Pete Licence, Stephen Liddle, Debbie Kays, and Neil Barnes made 118 three to five minute (give or take) videos about the periodic table of elements. In each video, Professor Poliakoff describes the element while the rest of the team performs simple experiments with them. Obviously, there are a few elements that cannot have ‘simple’ experiments performed with them, so Poliakoff briefly lectures on those.
The idea behind these videos is to get more people excited about chemistry, and it seems to be working. The Periodic Videos have been viewed over three million times and the group won the 2008 IChemE award for education. They continue to update the elements, showing new tricks and adding more information about them. The website is an ever growing experiment of its own.
A lot of the experiments performed by the group are no longer (or never were) performed in a classroom due to safety hazards and financial restrictions, so these videos are an excellent source for education and should be viewing requirements in any middle school chemistry class. While the content can sometimes seem, a bit dry, it is still a great learning device.
Some highlights include, blowing up balloons full of hydrogen, creating sulfur from n2o and cs2, and, when a few of the guys take umbrage at the statement made by a colleague, “Zinc is a boring metal,” and perform a firey experiment to prove otherwise.
The great thing about these videos is that they are quick and to the point. If you have a short attention span, or you are trying to not get caught slacking off at work, then you can watch one and move on. After just a few minutes, you’ll be smarter that before, and you can rub it in your co-worker’s face.
What did I do you ask? Lose that weight you always hear me bitching about? Finish coding Trashcookies.com? Win the basketball championship in my thursdaynightcoedrecleague? No, this is bigger than all of those…
I watched every episode of South Park. Every. Episode. It took me a few weeks and almost got me fired from my job but I did it, and you can too!
The great folks over at Comedy Central and South Park have posted every episode of their 12 seasons in all their construction paper animated glory. All you need to do is go to SouthParkStudios.com and click on the Full Episodes link up at the top and you’ll be on your way to hours… no, days… no, weeks of free entertainment.
Here are some of my favorite clips.
Anybody got any other favorite South Park moments?]]>
iFanboy.com is a website dedicated to talking about comics and nothing else. They write their own reviews as well as hosting an open forum for anyone to write a review. You can even virtually “pull” comics from their list of New This Week comics and write a review or comment on a review for each one. Comics are listed by how many are pulled that week.
The website is not the coolest part of iFanboy.com (although it is a pretty cool place to read what other people think of your favorite comics). It’s the podcasts. There are three regularly posted podcasts each week, a video podcast, a mini video podcast and, my favorite, the Pick of the Week podcast. On Pick of the Week, one of the three hosts, Josh Flanagan, Conor Kilpatrick or Ron Richards, takes his turn picking his favorite comic of the week and the others discuss whether his choice was awesome or stupid.
Conor is a diehard DC Comics (Superman, Batman, etc.) fan, while Ron is obsessed with Marvel Comics (X-Men, Spiderman, etc.). On any given podcast you will hear one of them say, ”I don’t know what’s going on with that story, I don’t read that title.” Josh plays the role of the mediator, loving comics from both distributors.
I’ve heard other comic podcasts, including Alter Ego’s Comic Cast, which has interviews with all my favorite comic book writers and artists, but iFanboy does it better. It’s the way they talk to each other. I feel like I am sitting around with a couple of true comic nerds, discussing the merits of Marvel’s Secret Invasion or arguing over which artists draws Superman better.
iFanboy doesn’t focus solely on the majors either. They dedicate time each week to comics from indie labels like Dark Horse and Image Comics too. I wish they would spend more time on some of the indie titles, but they try to get as much in as possible. Every week they complain about how much they have to read, so it would be impossible to ask them to cover everything.
I don’t read too many of the major titles, like Superman or Spiderman, but I love listening to these guys talk about it. I get to keep up on what’s going on in the DC and Marvel Universe without having to spend my entire paycheck on comics. Plus, I sound really cool when discussing Red Hulk with another comic book nerd, even though I’ve never read any of the issues.
Give the Pick of the Week podcast a listen. It’ll be an entertaining hour of fun and nerding out. You can download the podcasts straight from their website, ifanboy.com or you can get them through iTunes.
For the rest of the record store notes check out their full post.]]>
I’ve always been a fan of vinyl but after loosing much of my collection to a bad break up and then moving around a lot in the years that followed having my music collection digitized and held on a device that could fit in my pocket was invaluable. Now as my life has gained a little more stability (yay desk job) I’m re-rediscovering my love for vinyl records and the experience that goes along with them.
If I want background noise there’s nothing better than letting iTunes do its party shuffle things for hours on end and I can’t very well bring my records to the gym (ha, I don’t go to the gym… are you kidding me?!) but nothing beats sitting down with a new (or old) record and a whiskey drink or ten and listening the night away.
What do you guys think, digital or vinyl???]]>
Unfortunately you cannot go out to your local big box store and pick up the complete series on dvd. However, thanks to the wonders of the world wide web you can see The Incredibly Strange Film Show in all its glory on YouTube.
So go my filthy minded friends. Brew up a batch of beer milkshakes and popcorn and bask in the Trash Cookie love that is The Incredibly Strange Film Show.
Link to all the episodes on Youtube