Boom de Ya Da!

I am probably REALLY slow to discover *snigger* this Discovery Channel ad for their “The World is just Awesome” campaign.  But really quite impressed by it.

Apparently, it has inspired LOADS of “imitations”, including this really cool one featuring the World of Warcraft!!

And my personal favorite…

They got Neil Gaiman to “sing”!! Awesome…

One thing to note though… local conspiracy theorist are already staking claim that this whole Boom De Ya Da, or should I say Boomz de Ya Da nonsense is inspired by a local “celebrity” *sic*.. as shown in this badly done video.

I wish I could go on… but this Boom de Ya Da thing is stuck in my head.

Boom De Ya Da!!

For the Moment…

For the moment, my favorite comic related imagery is this…

beatles Sandman neil gaiman Michael Allred Abby Road

What’s not to like? It features my favorite characters (Delirium, Dream, Death, Desire, Delirium’s flying goldfishes… if only they have Destruction) created by my favorite writer (Guess…), drawn by one of my favorite artist (Michael Allred), paying tribute to my favorite band (Beatles… that’s Abby Road for those of you who just came out from under the rock. Be careful of the sunshine).

Days like these, feels like someone up there wanna look out for me.

I take it as a sign.

Also… my favorite quote of the moment:

Penny: While you’re there, could you pick me up some comics for my nephew’s birthday?

Sheldon: I think you mean comic books. “Comics” are feeble attempts at humor featuring talking babies and anthropomorphized pets, found traditionally in the optimistically-named Funny Pages.

big bang theory, flash, leonard, sheldon, holowitz, raj

Thanks Jacq. Big Bang Theory rocks! Appeals to the inner (REALLY) geek.

Comic of the Week – Week of 29 Jul

With no real Blackest Night installment this week, I was pretty convinced that this would finally be the week for Wednesday Comics (WC). WC is a new anthology that comes out every Wednesday (REALLY), or in sunny home town, Thursday featuring many one page stories of (relatively) popular DC heroes… much like the 1 page comic strip serials seen in the newspapers( think Prince Valiant, Dick Tracy, etc…)

The cool thing about WC is that they have a truly hardcore stable of creators which translates to some (wet) dream pairing up of writers and artists working on hugely established characters.

Exhibit A: Post 100 bullets (something I should definitely blog about) Azzarello and Risso working on a noir-ish Batman murder mystery. Hot dames, check. Wittily punny (or is it punnily witty?) dialogue, check. Hard talking, smooth dealing men, check. Batman? Check! Check! and check!

Exhibit B: Neil Gaiman (yup, HIM again) and Michael Allred in an almost trippy Metamorpho adventure. Neil Gaiman, check! Michael Allred, check!

Wednesday Comics 3 Cover

The whole comic is consistent in keeping with the tone of  the newspaper strip. The dialogue is accessible (meaning comic nerd will not be the only ones who will understand the speech) and a lot of this is because, like all Sunday comic strips, the stories does not carry the baggage of continuity. EVERYONE can just hop on and be entertained.  We have Agatha-ish mysteries, Last boy on Earth fantasy adventures, War stories and of course, Super hero tales. There really is something for everybody.

And did I mention the art? The deliberate news paper-ish lettering and adding of color half tones to the images to make the strips more vintage looking really brought on a wave of nostalgia… in a VERY good way

Halftones, barry allen, iris west, flash, wednesday comics

Sample art. Un Photoshopped

The reasons why WC is not top of the pops this week?

1. It’s an anthology. For every cool Busiek Green Lantern story, there is one lousy and confusing Wonder Woman one. Having a book with something for everybody means everybody has something not to like in the book. Though the average quality of the book is good to rock your heart out superb, there are still some jarring tales that just does not sit very well with you (I’m looking at you Wonder Woman)

2.  Three words. Brian Michael Bendis with his Secret Warriors.

The Group that Fury built during Secret Invasion finally come of age. With the addition of a new kick ass member and the return of the Howling Commandos, the Secret Warriors are slowly shaping up to be the prickly thorn in Osborn’s backside. It’s like watching the growing of the Rebel movements in Star Wars.

Nick Fury, secret warriors, brian michael bendis

Finally. Reason number 3.

And the top reason why Wednesday Comics is not the king of the hill THIS week.

thunderbolts

Post Secret Invasion, we’ve seen this team take a beating week after week after week. We bemoan the lost of the darkly humored Thunderbolts and silently, we think that this incarnation of Thunderbolt is just gonna be the forgotten step sister to the Dark Avengers.

I mean… villains masquerading as good guys that save the world for personal gains. That’s basically the premise of Thunderbolts since its conception. So with the Dark Avengers around, who need the Thunderbolts?

The final page of #134 throws that question right open. The final reveal shows the huge and intricate web of deception that has been built around the readers. We’ve been played for WEEKS. And this normally means 2 things.

1. The old direction for the book is not working and the editors decide to take creative liberties and give a big twist in the tale to bring it in a whole new direction (think soap operas)

or

2. It was planned for all along. (Much like George Lucas planned his Star wars to be part of a nine-0-logy. It’s all bout the money, it’s all bout the dum dum de de de dum) (think soap operas)

Either way, consider me gullibly swindled due to the smoothness in the handling of the twist.

Without giving too much of a spoiler away, I’ll say this image of a future cover of Thunderbolts says it all…

thunderbolts, mach 4, songbird, fixer, black widow

It begs the question… WHO are the Thunderbolts?

And for those not afraid of a spoiler, I would say this lil minx will be getting a LOT of exposure in the coming year.

scarlett johannson black widow iron man 2

Oh, I forgot to include the context…

scarlett, robert downey jr, mickey rourke, iron man 2, iron man, black widow, entertainment magazine

An Inglorious Bastard

Not very long ago, I blogged about this set of uber cool stamps issued by Royal Mail that got my panties in a bunch.

McKeanGaimanStamps

McKeanGaimanStamps

Any self respecting individual would have taken it as a rant and leave it as that.

So now I’ve discovered the Girlfriend is not just any self respecting individual and actually went out to get me my very own set of stamps!

Granted, she was in the general continent, but still….

Whoopeedy doo me!

Have I said it already? I am one lucky bastard.

I normally think Stamp collecting is for dweebs…

Every time I write a post like this, I feel I need to add in a disclaimer. So here goes…

Disclaimer:
I am a huge Neil Gaiman fan, but I am really really not stalking him. Maybe except, once in a while… on his blog…

Now that we have that out of the way, check out these awesome looking stamps that Royal Mail just released!

McKeanGaimanStamps

The art is by Gaiman’s long time art collaborator, Dave McKean, graphic designer to nearly all the issues in the Sandmand Series. But along with McKean’s art, each stamp comes with one of Gaiman’s short stories.

Have I said it yet? Lucky British Bastards!

The Bat is Dead, Long Live the Bat

Death of Batman, Final Crisis, Superman, Batman, Superman carrying Batman

I’ve spoken about this before but nothing prepared me for Omega Beam Fried Batman.

This post is a bit late, coming to the party. The cynical among you would diss this as just another publicity attempt and that Bats would “return from the dead” soon enough.

To that, I say… “Bah”

We already know that Bats (version: Bruce Wayne) is not dead from the final pages of Final Crisis. But this doesn’t stop DC from dishing out a plethora of “Life after Batman” stories.

Unlike the publicity stunt that was Death of Superman, the follow up stories to the death of the Bat were surprisingly good. The ongoing “Battle of the Cowl” series brilliantly highlighted many of the bits characters of the Bat-verse fighting it out to see who would be the next Batman.

Of course, special mention goes to “Whatever happened to the Caped Crusader” by, who else, Neil Gaiman.

Neil Gaiman Batman, Whatever happened to the caped crusader, alfred, batman, cape

I got the comics a few weeks ago.  I had to visit 3 comics shop before being able to acquire Part 2 and Part 1 of the tale… at a cut throat price. I had to do it all with a ranting Girlfriend in tow.

So, the question to ask is… Was it worth it?

To be honest I bought the books based solely on the brand name of Neil Gaiman.

I am a Blind Fan.

And to be even more honest, I kinda hated the books on the first reading. It felt like Neil Gaiman was trying to outweird Grant Morrison, who, of course was the guy responsible for the death of Batman in the first place. (Check out: Batman: R.I.P. and Final Crisis for more information)

Grant Morrison is weird. Grant Morrison has a HUGE fan base from him being weird. Reading a Grant Morrison story is like trying to ride a roller coaster through the House of Mirrors while ingesting copious amounts of Magic Mushrooms.

I don’t like Grant Morrison.

Neil Gaiman, on the other hand, Neil Gaiman wrote the Sandman, for goodness sake. I simply cannot believe that he weird write just for weird writing’s sake. I had to assume he was doing a “Game of You” again. “Game of You”, for the uninitiated is one of the Sandman collection featuring Barbie (yup, actual name and not the doll) and her adventures into her dreamland. The story features a talking cockatoo, a man with a chestful of blackbirds (chest as in breast and not the wooden variety) and  witches traveling by way of menses.

Hated the story the first time. Loved it on re-reading.

So I dug out “Whatever happened to the Caped Crusader” again today to give it a second reading.

whatever happened to the cape crusader gaiman batman

Ok. Even on the second reading, I wouldn’t say it is a story that would live on through the ages.

But it’s starting to read good.

You start to appreciate how the various eras of Batman is represented in the stories.

You’ll appreciate the “Dream” leimotiff (fancy french word for snails) that Gaiman has since the start of his career.

You’ll see how Gaiman used the various short stories scattered in the series to showcase different aspects of the Batman myth. It’s almost like Neil Gaiman’s love letter to Batman.

There is even a central message through the whole story. A message of “At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you die. People will always remember you for something. And that something depends on how you lived your life. On your part, you just die at the end of the day.”

I kinda like that.

Of Books and Fantasies

The Hugo Awards is upon us again.

After rejecting the nomination for Anansi Boys a few years back, Neil Gaiman has accepted the nomination for the Graveyard Book, adding to the millions of accolades heaped upon it.

graveyard book, neil gaiman, cool book cover

While the Graveyard Book is one of the VERY VERY VERY few books that I get to finish reading, cover to cover in recent times, I did not feel it was THAT strong an offering. I think I got through it based mainly on loyalty to the author. Felt that many of the themes and ideas were rehashed from his earlier works… Sandman and the wonderfully awesome American Gods come to mind.

I love the fact that the Hugos has now shed it’s snotty potty pretentiousness and now have categories which honor Graphic Novels, as well as films. Definitely a step in the right direction. After all, art evolves, stories evolve, and so the story form must evolve as well.

As a friend reminded me recently… The Medium is the Message.

american gods, neil gaiman, cover

American Gods, now THAT is a book that totally deserves the Hugo. Just re-read it and it’s still good on it’s 5th reading. There’s something about the characters that makes you feel for almost each and everyone of them. The rich history that comes with each of the Gods makes the book read like a Justice League of Gods, of sorts. In my eyes, it deserves a “Classic” status already.

Speaking of American Gods, I actually managed to dredge up this really cool website. It lists most, if not all the gods mentioned in American Gods, along with their unique origin stories!

It’s a great read for those that dig the book. For those that dig mythologies. And especially for those love reading up on obscure deities, forgotten gods, and little known stories.

Anyway, the point of this whole post is that, looking through the list, it makes me realize how much I’ve fallen. There was a time when I would have gone out to get most of the books on the list, if only just to glance through them. These days, I can only gaze at the list wistfully and wish I have the time to read even 1 of them.

“Working Life Sucks” is a recurring mantra on this site. So I decided to do something about it. I put my foot down, and downloaded Neil Stephenson’s Anathem. Now I am sneaking sentences while commuting on the train, while waiting for the Girlfriend, and of course, while sitting on the pot.

Even so, I still yearn for the day when I can just cosy up on my couch with a book in my hands, a hot cocoa drink besides me and a thunderstorm raging outside my window.

These days, it seems all I can get is the thunderstorm…