Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Jane's World Omnibus vol.1; A Hardcore REview *SPOILERS*

So I just finished reading the first omnibus of Jane's World, an ongoing collected comic strip by Paige Braddock. Jane's World is hilarious comic strip about Jane Wyatt, a gay journalist and her group of friends. Think Seinfeld, except full of lesbians. Yes, Jane's World is a GLBT comic. And it's damn good too. I first heard of Ms. Braddock back at APE Con 2008. As when I was there she was one of the featured guests. This past San Diego Comic Con, I attended two GLBT comic book panels. One entitled, "Writing Queer, creating effective GLBT characters," and the other, "Gays in Comics: Year 23." This year has been pretty much a landmark in gay comics, as many characters, both new and long standing have either revealed themselves to be gay, or their sexuality has become more prevalent in their stories. Even Archie Comics has a new gay character, Kevin. Things have become a little more accessible to the GLBT community, and their friends and family. Conversely, the Westboro Baptist Church, you know the God Hates Fags people, protested Comic Con International. From what I hear, it's because comic books and Hollywood support and tolerate the homosexuals, and their impure lifestyle.
So back to Jane's World. Jane is a neurotic, blond who kind of watches life pass her by. I say that, cause I think she's a really accessible character whether you're gay or straight or even if you don't label yourself. She spends her time obsessing over relationships past and the girl who just smiled at her at the corner coffee shop. And then there's her circle of friends. First her roommate Ethan, who could best be described as a confrontational phobic, slob who's kind of the same vein as Jane. Both spend their time wondering "what if?" instead of going out and getting stuff done. In the middle of the volume, Jane decides she's gonna write a novel, but an never seem to get past that pesky opening line before she loses interest. She's a poster child and spokesperson for Generation X. You know the kids who took Ritalin and Prozac and never got fully acclimated to the world. And not for lack of trying. Cause well, we never really tried. It was more for lack of motivation to try.
Early on, Jane meets her arch nemesis, Chelle. A narcissistic, and bullying woman who looks an awful lot like Trinity from the Matrix. She wears her sunglasses all the time. And is mostly seen wearing a black wife beater and black pants that I can only assume are leather. Chelle puts a strain on Jane's relationship with her coworker Archie, who much like Jane, never seems to do any actual work when he's on the clock.
Enter Jane's close circle of friends, who include Dorothy or Dot as Jane calls her, and a whole bunch of other people who I cannot for the life of me remember. Damn Chemo! So Jane and her ex, Sarah I believe, go on a canoe trip with another couple, who are friends, and somehow, as you will see, Chelle somehow tags along, thus ruining Jane's passive attempt to re-establish her lost relationship. And even though Chelle plays spoiler to Jane at about every goddamn turn you can imagine, Jane is still a pretty plucky gal.
Then there's "Shallow Breast Guy," another cartoonist contemporary of Paige Braddock's who seemingly takes over the Jane's World strip at very inappropriate time, giving all of the mostly female cast huge knockers and very monosyllabic lesbian porn diatribes about "getting it on." And then the characters point out that they are indeed in a comic strip and cannot understand how this "Shallow Breast Guy" keeps taking control of the comic. They never even acknowledge Paige. In their world, I think it's supposed to be an anonymous creator of some sort.
Hijinks ensue, such as Jane getting a dog named Rusty and a hamster. The hamster breaks outta his cage and bolts into Ethan's room. To which Jane calls Dot at work and asks for help in searching for the little rodent. Jane dresses in full scuba gear and ties a rope to her waist, while Dot is her anchor woman. Should Jane tug on the rope, Dot has to reel in Jane from the depths of spookiness that is Ethan's room. I believe this happens twice, before the hamster runs out of the room himself. During the process Jane frees the cable guy who has been trapped in Ethan's room for the better part of a decade.
Oh and then there's the incident where Jane and Dixie, a very big haired woman from near Graceland get abducted by aliens. And during the attempted escape, Jane turns Dixie into a monkey. Jane then takes monkey Dixie home where she eventually turns back into big haired human Dixie. And it all ties together cause Dot, Dixie and Talia, who was Jane's marching band mate in college turns up, and they all know each other and had relations in the past.
All in all I would highly recommend Jane's World to anyone wanting a humorous tale or epic proportions, that doesn't really go anywhere. And I say that only in the sense that by the end of the first omnibus things have come full circle, yet doesn't really seem like they ever left the front door. And that's totally not a bad thing. In an industry dominated by 'roided out guys in spandex and capes and masks who claim to be anything but gay, there is a small stable of comics that holds true to their intended audience and creators. And in this day and age it is so easy to get swept up in the fracas that it would seem common place. However, Paige Braddock does a great job with the humor department. Jane's World is a fantastic read, that you will breeze through and then be sad that you're finished. So you'll order the next volume from your dealer. And at just $20 for the first several volumes combined into one phone book sized edition is a hell of a good deal. Take a chance and try something new. You'd be surprised how pertinent this book probably is to your life.
As you may or may not know, instead of stars, or a letter grade, I review all of these projects on a notable hardcore moments in professional wrestling history. And Jane's World is most certainly deserving of, in keeping with the characters and GLBT theme of this review, the first ever lesbian kiss in wrestling history. I feel like I have used this moment before, but fuck it. All of the other "lesbian" moments were just that, no real moments. They were purely for shock and value. And they did neither. The year was 1995, if I remember correctly. Tommy Dreamer had just stolen Beulah McGillicutty away from Raven, when she revealed in an in ring interview with Joey Styles and Stevie Richards that she was pregnant. Only weeks later, Shane Douglas, made it public that Beulah had been cheating on Dreamer with someone else. Dreamer confronted Douglas in the ring, to which Douglas revealed further that Beulah not only had been cheating on him, but SHE WAS NOT PREGNANT! Infuriated, Dreamer ordered to know who he was. To which Douglas laughed, "Oh it's not a him Tommy Dreamer. It's not a him at all!" In a flash five foot nothing, Kimona Wanna Laya grabs the mic and shreiks, "It's ME!" Beulah and Kimona go at it in the ring, which ends with Tommy grabbing both women by the hair and yanking them apart. Douglas walks up to Tommy and asks him, "What are you gonna do now?" And in typical ECW over the top, hardcore-ishness, Tommy exclaims, "I'll take 'em both. I'm hardcore!" And a new kind of three way dance begins. This angle got ECW kicked off of every affiliate network that carried the syndicated programming. Who knew that seven years later Eric Bischoff would return to wrestling and bring about something like HLA, Hot Lesbian Action into the ring in WWE. And now WWE has a PG, all ages type of format that would never allow for that type of in ring shenanigans. Kudos to ECW for being pioneers in more ways than just violence and typical tits and ass type angles.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Swamp Thing (1982); A Hardcore Review *SPOILERS*

What is there to say about a movie that utilizes supernatural chicanery via a rubber suited swamp monster with a hard plastic molded face? What can I say about it? Adrienne Barbeau and her amazing perm didn't save this movie. However, the skinny little black kid who owned and operated his own general store couldn't save it either. And then he got killed. Face down in a swamp boat. But the big green machine feels for all living things and used his super powers to bring the kid back to life and then later save the chesty heroine. Strange thing is, I've never read Swamp Thing, nope, not even Alan Moore's run. Cause well, Alan Moore is a wordy fucking Brit. And if I'm gonna read a comic book, I wanna read a comic book. If I wanna read a novel then I'll read an Alan Moore comic book. So, honestly I have no idea if Swampie can even bring people back to life. I do know he can travel through time and even went and saw Christ being crucified. Which is really weird since there is no God and obviously that means there was no Jesus.
Onto the movie in question. Alec Holland is a botanist working for the United States government. I can already see the magnitude of suckage this is gonna bring me. Holland and his pretty little sister, who Barbeau is jealous of cause she thinks she's Alec's wife, make up this magic glowing ooze, that seems like it should be in a canister that gets dropped into the sewers of New York onto a foursome of reptiles that explodes. Yes folks, this amazing plant fertilizer explodes. I wonder if Timothy McVeigh watched this movie at all. So then the explosion is sort of like the Big Bang for plants as it begins growing pine branches out of the wooden floor. So there's these other guys with guns who come in. One of them has a perm like Ms. Barbeau's and they threaten Dr. Holland and his sister. They gun her down in cold blood and take the notebooks containing all of Holland's knowledge. Let's just say they were really small notebooks. He grabs the goo and runs away, trips and blows up. Gets up off the ground completely engulfed in flames. Runs out of the wooden lab. Great idea, right. And into the swamp, where, even under water he continues to blow up.
Um then some really boring stuff happens. And the badguy is revealed to be Zartan, I mean some dude named Doctor Anton Arcane, who was wearing Ritter's face. Now Ritter was Holland's bodyguard, but apparently he was killed and skinned so Arcane could play dress up. See why this is such a stupid movie is they tried to interject plot. Here's the even more fucked up part. This whole movie was written and driected by Wes Craven. Yes, that Wes Craven, the one who's seemingly given up on telling quality horror stories in order to jump on the 3D bandwagon with "Just Fucking Kill Me Last Summer Already and I'll Scream in the Last House on the Left on Elm Street."
Rubber suits, complete with folds and creases like any good swamp monster. Not to mention Shakespearesque quality dialog by said monster, you know if Shakespear was seriously retarded, stoned and drunk all at the same time. Then Swampie gets his arm cut off, finds out photosynthesis grows said arm back and escapes from the shackles of man, free to destroy his oppressors. Oh wait I mixed this up with Nat Turner's Diary which will be out later this NEVER! Cause no white movie executive would ever tell a story about an oppressed black man who rose up and slaughtered a whole bunch of white people and then was later murdered himself. That would get the darkies thinking. If they could stop talking in the theatre long enough to hear anything.
See that's why this is the Hardcore Review. Cause I'll say shit like that. After a really shitty, and I mean Hulk Hogan like effort, Power Rangers type of final fight scene with Arcane, Alice Cable (Barbeau) doesn't get laid by Swampie, who walks off into the swamp without the theme from the Incredible Hulk playing the in the background.
So the grade for this would probably have to fall in the anals, I mean annals (how ever could I have made that mistake) of a poor young woman named Katie Vick. Now I know what you're thinking and this has nothing to do with a dog killing quarterback who couldn't throw the ball if his life depended on it. It seems Kane, brother of the Undertaker killed a woman while out driving one night when he was on a date. I didn't know they issued driver's licenses to ahem, seven foot tall big red retards like Kane, who at that point couldn't even speak without one of those voice thingies that throat cancer patients use. So she dies, and in a stunning grasp of what the fans want Vince McMahon decides to show a re-enactment of Kane humping the dead body of Katie Vick while she was in her casket. Triple H was feuding with Kane at the time and it was actually Triple H who screwed her brains out. I know Hunter had to have been hating this entire ordeal. But even the son in law to the boss doesn't hold enough stroke to get out of this abortion.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Zombieland; A Hardcore Review

I forget if I already reviewed this movie. But you know what? It's my MagogDamn Hardcore Review. So I'll re-review it if I fucking want, and or forgot I already did. Now from the opening credits to the final moments with Tallahassee with Twinkee firmly in hand this movie is a winner.
Rules rules rules. We all have some. We follow some sort of dichotomy that we choose to live by, whether it be laws, rules of nature or things we fucking make up as we go along. We all have them, and you know what? Some are meant to be broken. Sometimes.
So Columbus, who is played by the other Michale Cera, Jesse Eisenberg who recently starred in The Social Network with Justin Timberlake, which I won't pay to see.
The Double Tap
Don't be a hero
Check the back seat

Just a few of the many many rules that Columbus lives by. After the zombie apocalypse Columbus who is a shut in, meets up with Tallahassee, played by the enigmatic Woody Harrelson, is an ass kicking guy with an arsenal or really odd weaponry, a love for Dale Earnhardt or at least the number 3 AND an unquenchable thirst for a Twinkee. Tallahassee sets a new standard when it comes to taking out zombies. There's some new fangled ways of taking those undead flesh cravers out. And I couldn't be happier to watch this new artform take shape.
And the fucking dialog is seriously hilarious. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are dialog gods on par with Kevin Smith and myself.
Emma Stone is hot, as always, and not completely without her merits in the Zombieland. I mean you would think, hot chick, pretty fucking useless when it comes to battling the undead. And Abigail Breslin has outgrown being the little chubby girl from Little Miss Sunshine, which is another awesome fucking movie and worthy of a Hardcore Review.
Now things get a little complicated when Tallahassee and Columbus meet Wichita and Little Rock (Stone and Breslin). Cause well Columbus is a bitch and all he wants in life is to meet a girl who he can brush her hair past her ear. And as romantic as that sounds, you're a little bitch who's only survived cause he's been lucky. Sure he does cardio and he has a bunch of rules, but let's face it, Columbus isn't the brightest, toughest or brazen individuals in movie history. I am glad that the lead character isn't this bullshit cliche tough as nails ass kicker. I mean even Tallahassee isn't even all that predictable in this flick. Sure he kicks some serious zombie ass, but he's also driven by Twinkees and uh, finding new and improved ways to dispose of the undead. That and his obsession with Bill Murray. The kill scene with Murray is so fucking funny, even Wichita breaks character and starts laughing. The thing I wonder about is if they really shot in Bill Murray's house. That would be an interesting fact.
The whole Wantin' Your Wampum gift shop scene is AWESOME. "Let me begin my 3 part apology by saying you're a wonderful human being..."
The driving scene in the Hummer after the trashing the gift shop where they're just shooting the shit, is classic. "You don't know who Willie Nelson is?..... Willie Nelson?..." "Yeah. No!" C'mon everyone knows who Willie Nelson is. EVERYONE!
I could go on and on and on about every fucking scene in this flick. But then again, it would be too long and boring after while. I mean I consider myself a really good writer, but rehashing every scene in even the greatest movie would get tedious after a bit.
The whole concept of disguising yourself as a zombie to avoid being attacked is fucking cool. And it's been done in Shaun of the Dead, and some comic books, which is a brilliant idea.
Ok, so for the grade. I go with Steve Corino versus Terry Funk in MLW in a barbed wire "I Quit" match. Bloody as you would expect. And just imaging the single toughest sixty year old EVER kicking the shit out of a thirty something for the MLW Heavyweight Championship. It was pretty brutal. And then of course the Extreme Horsemen come out and take out Funk on behalf of Corino. And the match ends without actually anyone actually saying "I quit," but with Funk wrapped up in barbed wire. Blood, sweat and a lot of ass kicking including Funk piledriving Corino through the ringside table. Fucking brilliant. And the best part was Corino offering Funk to simply say he quit before the match even started and walk away. To which Funk grabs the mike and tells Corino the same thing. Sixty years old, two bad knees and fucked up back and still fearless.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Scalped vol. 1; A Hardcore Review *SPOILERS*

What can I say about this trade other than it's FUCKING BRILLIANT! Jason Aaron writes a compelling, deep seeded book that R.M. Guera draws about Dashiell Bad Horse, a Lakota man who's come back to The Rez to find it in worse shape than when he left. Bad Horse is made a law man by Lincoln Red Crow, with the hopes of cleaning up the reservation in time for the Crazy Horse Casino opening. Dash is not at all excited about the new position he has, but takes it like a champ kicking the shit out of anyone who gets in his way. Not the least is his former Red Power revolutionary mother, Gina, with whom he is estranged. Red Horse busts out meth houses, while keeping tabs on the old love he left behind 15 years ago. And she hasn't forgotten the heart break either.
Red Crow, the prosperous tribal leader is mired in getting his 97 million dollar casino off the ground, while structuring back alley deals with drug dealers and the men who put him power. Also on his plate is dealing with his scandalous daughter who is the source of much shame to him. Red Crow surrounds himself with plenty of muscle and guns to keep things from going under. But there's only so much that can save you when the man you just hired to keep the situation in order is an undercover FBI agent. And Red Crow has a little too much on his plate to notice all the holes in his grand scheme.
Bad Horse is a bad mother fucker in every sense of those three words. The term "tough as nails cop," gets thrown around a lot too often in descriptions for movies, tv shows and novels these days. As sadly America's vocabulary suffers greatly from lack of use of a thesaurus. But Bad Horse is someone you do not wanna fuck with. Upon his return, everything is thrown into the blender and then poured out in a concoction of gasoline and volatile methamphetamine chemical cocktails. This is a book you do not want to miss.
Guera's artwork is fashionably subdued for this piece. Nothing is warranted like a book with the perfect art to compliment the writing. And it doesn't get any better than Scalped. With a solid Earth-tone palette and grizzly realism, Guera paints a gritty and fucked up picture to Aaron's words. And the flashback sequences are nothing short of genius, having the palette shift to gray scale to show the separation of time. If this duo hasn't won an award yet, it's not for lack of effort, that's for fucking sure. People need to put this book on their pull list for fear of being left out of a title that truly changes the face of comics today. And that is what has set Vertigo apart from the rest for so many years now. Their willingness to let the talent be the talent and let them tell stories the way they can do it best.
The intrigue from a double murder almost 25 years earlier, sends FBI agent Nitz recruiting Bad Horse from the academy and sending him back to Lakota land to bring down Red Crow. This all ties in with Red Crow, Bad Horse's mother and the mysterious man trailing Bad Horse at his secret rendezvous with Nitz. And that's just the first two story arcs.
Scalped is one of the most brutally shocking crime noir comics ever, and that's it's best selling point.
As you may well know these reviews are graded based upon moments in wrestling history. The more hardcore, sexual, violent, classic or otherwise the moment, the more I approve of the piece I am reviewing. Scalped rates pretty fucking high on that list. With its frankly downright honest dialog and story telling to the truth it holds with the art, I cannot help but fucking love this book. You won't hear mention of Hulk Hogan in this review, except for right there. Hardcore is a title that is earned and should never ever be given to someone or something. Especially when that someone or something has not earned it. And when Vince McMahon bought ECW, he thought he bought the idea of hardcore. You can't buy a legacy. You can't hold an idea in your hands and claim it's yours cause you shelled out a few million bucks for it. But when Pantera's "Walk" blared into the Hammerstein Ballroom on January 7, 2001 it meant something. And when Rob Van Dam, stepped from behind those curtains that night, the crowd lost it. He confidently sauntered to the ring in his now iconic tiger striped singlet and the crowd chanted with him, "WHOLE FUCKIN' SHOW!" as he did the double thumbs. Rob put on a performance that few have tried and even fewer have equaled. That night he fought the only man to ever take him to his limit in Jerry Lynn, new recruit to Cyrus. Lynn professed at the start of the pay per view that he would only wrestle in main events if he ever wrestled again. It was the main event and it was spectacular, as Van Dam and Lynn pulled out all the stops and then some. And with no one on his side. Sidekick and manager Bill Alphonso was not at ring side to help, who was gonna aide Van Dam in delivering the most dangerous and deadly finisher is wrestling. In steps the quintessential stud muffin, Joel Gertner who had been battling with Cyrus all through 2000 on pay per views and during the Friday night ECW on TNN. Gertner jumped into the ring saying he could do Van Dam's bidding, and so he should. Holding the steel chair over Lynn's face as he lay damn near unconscious in the corner. All in one motion, Van Dam leaped to the top turnbuckle and sprang corner to corner, to deliver the very last Van Terminator in ECW.


So I just sent out my application for the Xeric Grant yesterday. It's making its way up to Massachusetts. And we'll find out if we receive a grant in November. It's a long time to wait, but I have a lot of good feelings about this. Especially considering that the book is finished. It simply needs some fine tuning and funding is all.
And it's a great book. Everyone who has read it has enjoyed it. Even some of their parents who sit in the 50 something age range. And this is definitely an 18 to 35 book kinda demographic.
I thoroughly enjoyed working on Fuzzyface. And I know it will be a success where ever it goes from here.
But lately, like the past few days, I have been completely unmotivated to do much of anything, other than a commission piece I did a few days back. I've got to get into the regular swing of working on stuff. And I plan on doing some coloring later on a few t-shirt designs that have been sitting on my hard drive for quite some time now. Anything to promote the products that I make. Get them colored and put out onto That's the business. But stay tuned for more updates on Xeric news, and further Hardcore Reviews. I have read some really good trades lately and watched a plethora of movies. Just haven't felt the bug to write up reviews. Maybe the changing seasons are sapping my strength and work ethic. Not that I had much of a work ethic to begin with.
Until next time. Thank you for tuning in and I won't be gone as long next time. So stay tuned. Same pigtail time. Same sidekick channel!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Open for Commission Work

I am open for commission work. Pieces starting at just $20 and ranging in size from 8.5X11 to 11X17 full comic book page size.
8.5X11 one character (pencils)- $20*
11X17 one character (pencils)- $30*
sketch cards (bust up 1 character/ colored)- $3*

...*plus shipping

contact me either here, or through my email for subject matter and other details