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whowhatwhycast
December 03, 2020
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thegiantbrain
December 02, 2020
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Episode 60 - Critical Strike

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We-reNotWizards
December 01, 2020
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Zombie Kidz Evolution Review

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oliverkinne
December 01, 2020
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November 30, 2020
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GrantLyon
November 30, 2020
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Matt Thrower
November 30, 2020
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oliverkinne
November 27, 2020
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Micro City Board Game Review

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mads b.
November 27, 2020
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Michael Barnes
November 26, 2020
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boardgameinquisition
November 26, 2020
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Andi Lennon
November 25, 2020
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WadeMonnig
November 25, 2020
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whowhatwhycast
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What COMIC BOOKS have you been reading?

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06 Dec 2012 22:41 #139048 by Shellhead

metalface13 wrote: Yesterday was my birthday, and I will be receiving the final volume of iZombie when it comes out next week. It's a shame the series was canceled after 28 issues, but that's a pretty solid run. Chris Roberson apparently said a lot of pro-creator rights that rubbed DC the wrong way. Anyway, I just think it's a fun comic and Alred's artwork certainly doesn't hurt.


I read the first three trades of iZombie and liked it. The stories weren't that great, but I really liked the characters.

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06 Dec 2012 22:43 #139049 by dragonstout
Can I do a "double thank you"?

Thanks for the great illumination of a series I've always heard vague good things about, but thanks to the legal issues will probably never put in the effort to acquire a copy of and read. I do have a complete folder of bootleg copies, though, to read on my computer screen, but that is obviously not ideal.

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06 Dec 2012 23:08 #139050 by Shellhead

dragonstout wrote: Can I do a "double thank you"?

Thanks for the great illumination of a series I've always heard vague good things about, but thanks to the legal issues will probably never put in the effort to acquire a copy of and read. I do have a complete folder of bootleg copies, though, to read on my computer screen, but that is obviously not ideal.


Before Alan Moore came along, there were just a handful of great writers at the top in comics, and Moench was definitely one of them. Moore clearly surpassed them and raised the standards for the whole industry. But I would rate Moench's work on MoKF above any of Moore's recent work.

One thing I really enjoyed about the final six-issue arc for the Moench/Gulacy team was the shifting perspective. Each of those six issues was narrated by a different main character, including Fu Manchu. That was a great way to really develop the excellent supporting cast.

I already owned one other run from MoKF, which was the Moench/Gene Day run from near the end of the series. It's just as good as the Gulacy stuff, because Day was equally skilled at the fight choreography, and liked to draw fiendishly detailed backgrounds. A few issues after Day died, Marvel pulled the plug on the series. Here's a nice sample of Day's work, though in black-and-white and not from MoKF:

2.bp.blogspot.com/_uZMPVFAFJD8/SdEe4riA9...xLJRpU/s1600-h/6.jpg

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06 Dec 2012 23:30 #139052 by Michael Barnes
Yeah Steve, thanks for that lesson on Master of Kung Fu- I'm going to check it out. Sadly, probably in scans, but so it goes.

As for the Morrison/Moore debate- great comments all around. It's a hard call.

I TOTALLY agree that when Moore slips into "hey, it's the funny papers!" bit, he sucks. One definite strength that Morrison has over Moore is that he is way, way, way better at doing the Silver Age thing...probably because he just embraces the absurdity and runs with it instead of trying to intellectually parody it.

Morrison is also much stronger in terms of taking established and very mainstream characters and completely subverting them. This is a guy that made Bat-Mite viable as a modern Batman character. This is a guy that turned some of the goofball 1950s/1960s Batman stuff into workable modern concepts. Then there's New X-Men, where he took that franchise away from the kind of rippling muscle, spandex ballets the books had been since the late 1980s and instead made stories about body horror subjects, rebellious teenagers, and completely different kinds of mutant concepts. Even with the hit-or-miss JLA stuff, it was something very different than what had come before.

But he is sloppy and repetitive. I kind of like that (hello, I like The Fall). I also like that his best work feels like he KNOWS he's talking over your head and that you just don't get or just don't know...because eventually, he'll come down to earth, circling back around and explaining things, and it's like this epiphanic moment. In terms of writing very mainstream comics, there is no writer as fearless and frankly difficult as Morrison. Truth be told, I'm not really sure why he's so popular with Joe Comicbook.

Moore is much more meticulous, he's almost a Kubrickian figure along with similar mystique. He is definitely more adept at using the comics medium, and I think he understands (understood) it better than Morrison as a very specific artistic tool. Some of that undoubtedly has to do with how specific and detailed his scripts are. Moore is also better at subtlety.

Moore is also better suited to exploring profundity and psychological depth than Morrison is...some of this may have to do with him having a clarity and a defined purpose that Morrison typically does not. There's nothing obscure in Moore's books, apart from the occultism and references to old Charlton characters, William Blake, something inspired by an LSD hallucination he had while reading a Green Lantern book in 1973, or whatever.

And he's probably not an insufferable jackass IRL like Morrison probably is. Despite all of the shamanism, sex magic, Liberace rings, and hair.

I don't know, there's valid arguments on both sides...but that integrity issues is definitely one to consider. Moore's integrity is unimpeachable and should serve as an example for other comics creators.

I do agree that Moore's best tops Morrison's best, although it's by a hair if we're talking about Doom Patrol, All-Star Superman, Seven Soldiers, and his Batman material.
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07 Dec 2012 00:15 #139053 by Shellhead
Okay, I will weigh in on Moore vs. Morrison. I agree with you Barnes that Moore's best slightly edges out Morrison's best. In particular, Moore has consistently been able to get his storytelling intentions across to each artist, while Morrison seems to often be flying over the heads of his artist collaborators. Moore writes better dialogue and does great character development. He seems to be a prickly sort based on his interactions with publishers, but always seems very warm, funny and self-aware in interviews.

Grant Morrison is more creative then any five people in the industry, including Alan Moore. Early in his career, Morrison left every page of comics littered with ideas briefly introduced and then discarded. A hack like Geoff Johns could make an entire career off of Morrison's leftovers. And I love the way Morrison embraces the sheer wackiness of the silver age, especially when he ties it into really weird but real concepts from modern science. The problem is that sometimes Grant's brilliance is sometimes lost in translation when an artist is interpreting his script. And sometimes Grant just plain loses me when he is moving quickly through ideas.

Although I think that Moore's best work is better than Morrison's best work, it's worth noting that Morrison continues to get better. Meanwhile, Moore's recent work seems like the efforts of a dirty old man. Too much sex, not enough story or characterization or anything else interesting. If Morrison sticks with comics for a few more years, it's still possible that he might surpass Moore. I doubt it, my gut instinct is that Morrison peaked with Seven Soldiers and his Batman work, but hopefully I am wrong.

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07 Dec 2012 00:22 #139054 by OldHippy

Columbob wrote: Speaking of Mignola, if you can get a hand on his adaptation of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser's trade paperback, get it! Some of the best classic Leiber Lankhmar stories.


I do own that and enjoyed it a great deal. It was a little confusing and strangely paced but still a great looking comic and a fun read. I'm not selling it for example.

Anyone read The Doom that Came to Gotham? That's one of my favorite Batman stories and it was nice to see Mignola do Batman art... even if it was in a different setting. I don't think it's necessarily a great Batman or Lovecraft story but it was pretty cool the way he managed to merge the two worlds and it's certainly worth reading.

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07 Dec 2012 16:36 #139074 by Michael Barnes
Steve, would you recommend just starting with Master of Kung Fu #15 (not Moench, I know) or should I just jump in at #38?

Are the four or five Giant Sized Master of Kung Fus worth reading or are they even important to the main arc?

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07 Dec 2012 17:47 - 07 Dec 2012 17:50 #139080 by Shellhead
I skipped the first few issues of Master of Kung-Fu, because they are too expensive, though I am curious as to how Jim Starlin was writing those early issues. If you're going with scans, you might as well start there. But Master of Kung-Fu gradually improves until about issue #38, and then it's consistently strong through issue #50. If you want to start in when he starts working for MI6 regularly, start with #29, but be sure to skip the very annoying filler issues of #36-37. Moench did write #36-37, but they are inexplicably bad. Gulacy didn't do the pencils on those two issues, and I get the sense that he and Moench have a great creative synergy that was missing from those two issues.

I didn't even think to buy the Giant-Size issues, because I only remembered seeing one which I bought and hated. But that was actually the one and only Master of Kung-Fu Annual, featuring a very disappointing team-up between Shang-Chi and Iron Fist, though written by Moench. And I know that I missed at least one good issue, because there were two consecutive issues of letter page praise for one of the four Giant-Size issues. Gulacy worked with Moench on #1-3, and I'm betting that either #2 or #3 was great, while the other was decent. Number one contains several stories by various creators that I like, but is probably of uneven quality. #4 is a Moench/Pollard issue so it's strictly optional. None of these issues seem crucial to the main comic, as compared to the Giant-Size Avengers issues of that era, where every major storyline in the comics seemed to conclude in a separate Giant-Size issue. I suspect the real reason why MoKF #36-37 sucked is because Moench wrote that while working on the really great Giant-Size issue.

My other blindspot is the Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu, a black-and-white magazine that featured various kung-fu heroes of that era of Marvel. Thanks to the Sax Roehmer estate, those issues haven't been reprinted either. The writers tended to be decent ones, and some of the artists, too. While Shang-Chi and Iron Fist probably appeared the most, there were other heroes like the Sons of the Tiger, the Daughters of the Dragon, White Tiger, and uh, Jack of Hearts. The only issue that I have is the special issue featuring one big story including Iron Fist, Shang-Chi, and the Sons of the Tiger, and that was decent.
Last edit: 07 Dec 2012 17:50 by Shellhead.
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07 Dec 2012 18:49 #139081 by metalface13

Shellhead wrote: I read the first three trades of iZombie and liked it. The stories weren't that great, but I really liked the characters.


I think the story could have been better at a slower pace. I wanted to see Gwen go through a few more short arcs of Scooby-Doo mystery solving before it delved into the bigger world building with the government secret agency and the monster hunters or Gwen discovering her previous life, etc. But, Roberson saw the writing on the wall and told the story that was most important to him in the time allowed.

Have you read his new series Memorial? I read the first preview issue and liked it, but it also felt very similar to The Unwritten.

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07 Dec 2012 18:58 #139082 by Michael Barnes
OK, I have every issue of Master of Kung Fu...and yeah, I may as well just read all the damn things since they're scans. Hate to not buy 'em, but hey...if they're not available...

I'm going to start reading them after I finish the Morrison Animal Man later today. Good god, that book goes off the rails...in a rather amazing way. The animal rights material in it is actually extremely well done...the Bolland cover where he's angry/sad and holding up a chimpanzee with its eyes sewn shut is just amazing. The dolphin issue was chilling and moving.

But damn..."I CAN SEE ALL OF YOU!" That was crazy...simple trick, but it totally worked.

Four issues to go.

Really digging Revival, BTW.

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07 Dec 2012 20:51 - 07 Dec 2012 20:55 #139087 by dragonstout

Michael Barnes wrote: OI'm going to start reading them after I finish the Morrison Animal Man later today.

Are you just metering out the Doom Patrols because you don't want it to be over? You've read like 4 whole Morrison runs since you started Doom Patrol.

That dolphin issue is really upsetting; it was actually the first Grant Morrison comic I ever read. And yup, Animal Man is where that particular theme (characters in comics are real!) of Morrison's first shows up...and shows up in...literally *everything* he's done since? Maybe not New X-Men, and I'm just talking about the 4+ issue stories here...but New X-Men is the only exception I can think of. This is what everyone was talking about with Morrison being repetitive. In Animal Man I think it's tied in nicely with the animal rights stuff, though (don't be cruel to animals OR characters).
Last edit: 07 Dec 2012 20:55 by dragonstout.

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07 Dec 2012 21:11 - 07 Dec 2012 21:53 #139088 by Michael Barnes
Yes. I don't want to rush through them. I bought Zev's set of trades and I'm taking my time with them. I've actually re-read the first two twice and haven't moved on to the fourth. I'll probably read the third again first.

Finished Animal Man. Mind=blown. What could have been something really, really dumb was actually strangely poignant and moving...and shockingly honest. I won't spoil it.

Leave it to Grant Morrison to use a C-list character to tell a profound, metaphysical story. Huh.

I love a line in it, about comic books...paraphrasing..."we thought we could make our world more adult by adding more violence and darkness. Why didn't we just try being kind?"

And that was in '89, before comics got even more violent and dark. Not that violent and dark is necessarily bad...but something Andy said has stuck with me- when you've got graphic violence in a Green Lantern book, something's gone wrong.

I really appreciated how mature his comments on animal rights/experimentation/exploitation were...he has an unusually frank way of assessing it, coupled with a passion for the cause. The issue with the ALF-style lab saboteurs really brought that point home.

Great stuff. A couple of the filler issues we
Last edit: 07 Dec 2012 21:53 by Michael Barnes.

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10 Dec 2012 22:44 - 10 Dec 2012 22:48 #139235 by dragonstout
The Scott Snyder Batman: The Court of Owls came in from the library on Saturday, and since there's a big queue demanding it so I probably wouldn't get it back for a while if I just let it go, I took a temporary break from reading Building Stories to read it (well, I'm 5 issues in out of 7 so far). It's better than I remember that first issue being; first of all, I think this is because that first issue was neither satisfying as a complete story in itself, nor was there anything REALLY intriguing that made me want to see what happened next (the big cliffhanger is actually completely dismissed as a red herring very quickly in the next issue). Second of all, I had a mindset this time of comparing it to the animated Batman, so the somewhat cornball narration didn't bug me, as it felt like something BTAS might do as well. I wish I could be allowed to just enjoy a fight scene without narration, though.

Except for the hallucination/pure-horror issue, though, the art sucks, though, especially when he tries to draw people who therefore have faces. Capullo's people look like pod-people trying to pretend like they have emotions by imitating some videos they've studied, particularly any time someone smiles, or any of the many times Dick Grayson is making his smirking/wisecracking.

I'm enjoying it, though, to the point where I may pick up the second volume, which says something. If they really do end up messing with Batman's origin, though, then fuck that, I will completely lose interest. That needs to be a random killing just like Spider-Man's origin just needs to be a bizarre coincidence. It's also unbelievably hard to imagine that the Court of Owls has been around this whole time, just because it's hard to imagine that they wouldn't dispose of Batman earlier for seriously upsetting the balance of Gotham. But I'm not judging it on that yet, because there's still *plenty* of mystery to be explained.

There are ridiculously stupid bits, though, that pull me out of it...what stands out in my memory was Bruce asking Alfred if he knows anything that might have any connection to the legend of the owl conspiracy, and Alfred's all, "well, I know one owl-related story, but it's not related at all." Bruce persists, "what's the story?", and Alfred's all "well, right before he died, your great-great grandfather was really paranoid about owls and was convinced that they were watching him everywhere". No, not related at all. jackass. Similarly, I swear to fucking god: "how did he die?" "Nothing to make you suspect foul play at all." and then less than a page later: "his naked body was found in the sewer weeks after he disappeared." W T F are you kidding me, did you seriously say that? Just sloppy as hell, like the writer just thinks it's cool for people to say that there's nothing mysterious and doesn't stop to think that there is no way they would actually say that given the events discussed.
Last edit: 10 Dec 2012 22:48 by dragonstout.

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10 Dec 2012 22:57 #139238 by Michael Barnes
OMG, I know exactly what you mean by Capullo's faces...FREAKY. I'm like, "that's Clayface, right? Clayface is gonna pop out!"

I liked the story more because it was "cool" than "good". It's definitely janky if you inspect it too closely.

The second story arc is pretty good so far...Joker is back, and his entrance is kind of awesome. There's a police station scene that's REALLY well done, I think. Scary stuff, definitely in line with the Batman-as-horror line Snyder is towing.

I'm plowing through Master of Kung Fu, definitely worth looking at.

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10 Dec 2012 23:15 #139239 by SleightOfHand12
Thoughts: better to buy the complete Seven Soldiers as a set of individual issues, or as a two- (or four-) volume trade? I understand that the series can be read in the prescribed order or as a series of one-shots sandwiched between SS #00-01 (which'd be easier given individual issues), but is there any reason to read it in the latter order?

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