Monday, October 31, 2011

My first fan letter? I guess...

Dear Mr. Chihak,
I am a loyal fan of your art and have purchased a few issues of your series. I was wanting to purchase another book, titled Fuzzy Face. Unfortunately, the book wasn't in stock. I then settled for, Bed Head which unlike your other books, had no price printed on the cover. I was astounded to find out that it was being sold for, $10.00! I was willing to believe that it would be TWICE as good as your others, that I have bought for $5.00. Unfortunately I was appalled to discover the contents of Bed Head. Again unlike your other books, which have stories and plot lines, a mere collection of sketches that didn't meet my expectations or your quality of work. As a loyal fan I hope to hear from you soon.

Branden Adams

My response to this, Is I do not know what to say. I mean it says Sketchbook right on the cover. SO it's not like I was false advertising or anything. Plus, I am pretty sure this guy bought the book at Safehouse, so he could have easily looked at the contents before buying it. I have not responded to this email, as I don't really know what I could say to him.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Zombie Tramp vol. 1; A Hardcore Review

Recently, I ordered Dan Mendoza's Zombie Tramp volume one from Super Real Graphics. I follow Dan on DeviantArt and have been admiring his pics of the Zombie Tramp, Janey. It's actually a light hearted tale about Hollywood's best call girl, Janey. Her Madame, gets blackmailed by a crooked cop and is forced to send Janey to the cop's home. Janey gets forced into the basement where the crooked cop's son is waiting, and hungry. For some reason, the cop's son is a zombie and he takes a chunk out of Janey's supple bod. Afterward, Janey dies.... and re-emerges, with the help of the equally busty Zombie Voodoo Priestess, Xula as The Zombie Tramp, the hottest, not completely clothed, large breasted zombie EVER!
This book is fucking great. It's done mostly in black and white, with splashes of color, mostly red. But damn it's fucking great. Who doesn't love some scantily clad goodness with extra large jublies all around. And there is nudity. I was fucking waiting for that through the whole book. And Dan finally delivered at the very end of the book. Zombie or not, there's a ton of comic book fans, male and female who would risk their humanity for a piece of that ass. And Mendoza is working feverishly on volume two. More ultra large zombie titties, bouncing around as only saline can deliver.
Zombie Tramp reads, much like a late 80's early 90's really low rent zombie flicks. B-Horror is one of the all time best genres of movies ever. I mean look at the great things we've gotten from it: Bruce Campbell, a naked as fuck Linnea Quigley, Sam Raimi, Liam Neeson, Bruce Campbell's chin and so much more. And this whole concept is as fun and fucked as anything could possibly be.
Zombies have become a staple of pop culture. Here in Tucson, we have Zombie Walk, and there's a Zombie Ball, at Phoenix Con we get Zombie Prom and the Zombie Beauty Pageant. Zombies have taken the world by storm, something piss poor vampires never totally could. And Stephanie Meyer, if you ever think to write a story about sparkling zombies, I will find you and sing annoying songs at the top of my lungs until your ears bleed.
Now for the grade. As you may or may not know, I don't use some sort of lame thumbs up my ass, a piss poor letter or number grade. No, this is the mother fucking, original HARDCORE REVIEW. I only grade with hardcore moments in wrestling history. And this is not an exception to that rule. It was the very first episode of ECW on Sci-Fi, produced by the WWE. And I know, you're thinking nothing involving WWE's ECW was hardcore. But I hit you in the face with a steel chair with thumb tacks super glues to it. Listen up spunky, cause here we go. It's actually two moments from that initial show. The first being Paul Heyman's emergence and presentation of the new ECW World Heavyweight Championship belt to Rob Van Dam, who had just won the WWE Championship from John Cena at ECW's One Night Stand two nights before. When Heyman gives the belt to RVD, RVD says he's honored to have the belt he fought for in ECW for so many years. But he wants to keep the WWE Championship too. The quote is awesome, "Look, it spins!" God I loved that shit! The second part, was when a fucking zombie came out of the walkway and tried to cut a moaning promo in the middle of the ring. The crowd honestly didn't know what to think, when all of a sudden (not on television tho) "Enter Sandman" hits the PA system and the crowd fucking lost it. Sandman walks he way down to the ring, shotgunning beers the entire way. Stumbles over the barricade, slides into the ring and canes the holy fuck out of the zombie. They rigged the zombies shirt full of sawdust, so every time he got nailed, dust flew into the air and the crowd cheered as wrestling's Hardcore Icon beat the shit out of some poor sonofabitch who is probably a star now under Vince McMahon's infinite wisdom. Hope you enjoyed this review as much I enjoyed drinking while writing it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

We3; A Hardcore Review

I finally just picked up Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly's We3. And it was worth the price of the deluxe edition hardcover graphic novel. Morrison's writing is as good as it's ever been in this tale of a government/military project to make animals into soldiers. Quietly's art style has never been better. And the extras show the massive amount of work that went into this insane project. Some people don't like the extras, the behind the scenes type stuff that artists and writers decide to add to the works. It's like a great movie on dvd or Bluray, with commentary and deleted scenes. We3 had everything you could want in an epic non-superhero story. This sci-fi story is up there with some of the greats, and has lurked its way onto my top five. Not an easy feat to accomplish.
Morrison is a sick sick man, with a penchant for writing some of the best fucking comics out there. Sure back in the early 2000's he supposedly retired after accusing the Waschowski brothers of stealing his idea for the Matrix. And even though, there were others who claimed the same thing, I am glad the Scottish scribe decided to come back to the table that fed him.
Quietly's artwork has always been amazing, but with this graphic novel, he pushes himself to the limits in his abilities. Quietly is a badass when it comes to rendering the emotions of the animals who are stolen from their homes and forced into a life of the service of a depraved military. Some, and reiterate, some of Quietly's humans look alike in their facial features. But the technology of the armor that We3 wear, and the animals themselves are amazingly rendered. When you look at the extras, Quietly worked himself to the utmost limits. The escape sequence, the cat fight sequence, and the CCTV pages were astounding. And with the extras you can see exactly how much time and work went into the project. I give Quietly the utmost kudos and mad props for his storytelling abilities. It is what all artists should aspire to.
It's interesting, since I recently reviewed Action Comics #1, where Morrison was accused of being anti-Christian when Supes uttered a gutteral moan that some moronic right wing, god fearing asshole called for a boycott. Morrison weaved a solid tale that is a super quick read, but with all of Quietly's quality linework and the amazing digital inks and colors make you want to take you sweet fucking time making your way through this book. I cannot stress enough, just how much I enjoyed We3. I am an animal lover, and I own three small dogs. So watching the military adaptation about these animals being experimented on was really tough on me. But hearing them talk to each other and the way they communicated in "text" speak was pretty hilarious.
The battle sequences were majestic in scope and Quietly does an amazing job with those sequences. His attention to detail is nothing short of top quality. This book is so fucking amazing that mere words cannot do it justice. You have to see and read it to believe it. So amazing in fact that it's notched its way into my top five favorite comic book stories of all time with the likes of Teenagers from Mars and Bone. That's pretty high praise fellas.
Morrison and Quietly are the perfect creative team. And in keeping with the tradition of great teams I am grading this with one with my favorite tag team of all time, ECW's The Eliminators. John Kronus and Perry Saturn took on all comers in their battles for the World Tag Team Titles. And they had some legendary matches. One of the most remembered matches took place in the vaunted ECW Arena where The Eliminators sought to take on the best in the world, when they fought the incomparable, and greatest American tag team ever to wrestle in Japan, Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy and "Doctor Death" Steve Williams. The match itself wasn't anything spectacular. It was a great match, with all four wrestlers putting out max effort, but it was the finale that put it over the top, and landed Saturn and Gordy in the hospital. For later that night, Tommy Dreamer would meet Brian Lee in the finale to their monster feud in a scaffold match.... Saturn, took the opportunity to use the scaffold to drop the monster elbow from the rafter of the ECW Arena. The elbow hit Gordy square and left both men needing paramedic assistance to get out of the ring.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

X-Men First Class; A Hardcore Review

"Go fuck yourselves!" The single greatest line Wolverine has ever uttered... EVER! But why Wolverine can say "fuck" and Mystique has no visible nipples confounds me. But back to the point. Wait, what was the fucking point? Oh, right, First Class, with characters who didn't show up until like a few years ago. Great continuity job there guys. Look I hate the concept of reboots. But I hate the concept of shitty reboots even more. And when there is only ONE original X-Man in the FIRST CLASS, there's gonna be a problem. But down deep, this was a good movie. A really good movie. I wanted to hate it. And believe me, I got my moments, which I will fully blast later, but this was a solid flick. I loved that they used footage from the first X-Men movie when Magneto's powers first manifested. And I loved how Shaw used Magneto as a test case, and brought the source of his powers out. It was AWESOME! Plus, Kevin Bacon's German, and Russian were great. Not that I speak either language. I mean, let's be honest, I can barely handle English or American, but whatever you wanna call it.
Magneto's journey of vengeance was flat out, very well done. And done with such fervor and rage, it was fucking believable. That's what I liked about it. But to balance out Magneto's anger, was Charles Xavier's serenity. Somehow, knowing all these people hate him and want him dead, even after all his team did, he still wanted to make the world better by just blending in. Magneto did, at the end, bring out the Malcolm X to Xavier's Martin Luther King Jr. It made sense. And fusing it with actual history, including the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis was super well done. I have been super impressed with this and one other film that melded with American history and used it so well, by integrating it with the story. Surprisingly well done. I dug the cast of characters, for the most part. And of course like any sci-fi movie, the black guy died first. At least it wasn't on accident so the two estranged white people got to live, but the whole team. And he made that choice to try and help defeat Shaw and his ripoff Nightcrawler. But what the fuck was a go-go dancing stripper named who had DRAGONFLY tattoos on her back called Angel for? And how many women, in 1962, even a stripper, had huge fucking wings tattooed on there backs? One of the worst keeping with the 60's motif in the movie. That and the fact that the white and black mutants got along. C'mon, there wasn't any tension between them. But there was issues with Hank McCoy who had weird feet? What the fuck? Oh, and then when he transforms he becomes unable to make his mouth move in accordance with his speech. And he didn't get any bigger body wise, but his head grew EIGHT sizes that day. And while I am on the subject of Beast, if he did become more animalistic in nature, than wouldn't he lose the need for glasses? He would have predator eyes.
But back to the good. The search for the mutants. Man, the fucking cameo of Wolverine was CLASSIC!
Xavier: "Hi, I'm Charles Xavier and this is-"
Wolverine: "Go fuck yourselves!"
Xavier: "Alrighty then..... Eric, I think I just wet me britches a smidge."
Why was a 16 year old in solitary confinement and he wasn't all scary or crazy. I mean he was antisocial, but not hardcore about it. You know, I never liked White Queen all that much, but GODDAMN January Jones has got a set of titties on her. And she's like what a buck five, with tits that make her a buck fifteen. The diamond effect was cool. And even though he was a Nightcrawler knock off, Azazel had his moments. He was cool looking, but I dunno, I just love Crawler so much, that I couldn't like him at all. Although the way he used his power was pretty badass. But the pretty much unlimited teleportation range was a fucking bit much. And what was the point of Angel? Dude, there was like the most useless character. But she lives, cause she's hot and I guess only half black or Asian. And the full on negro bites the dust, by getting exploded from the inside. And by the guy who used to be the Nazi official.... do tell.
This movie was cool for the most part in my mind because of the mutant searching, the training and Magneto's search for revenge. Those are elements that made for a great new beginning. And Xavier and Mystique's relationship was really cool. Knowing that even in the end when he told her to go with Magneto, he wasn't reading her mind. Oh, and how come Xavier has to touch his temple to activate his powers? And why does Magneto need to motion towards the object he is manipulating? I understand it when he's still learning to use his power. But Emma Frost didn't have to do that. Shaw sorta did, but he was absorbing and expelling energy.
The breakdown of the first big battle and the training sequences alone made this flick for me. Sure there were parts that sucked, but with most comic book movies is to hope that they get the spirit of the characters correctly and the story makes sense and is epic in a way. Solid story, really good cast. Using a lot of unknown and lesser used actors, solid effects and mostly great characters.... X-Men First Class was a great reboot. And I never thought I would hear myself say that. Then again I never thought I would cheer a Wolverine one liner either.
If you're just tuning in, the Hardcore Review doesn't use thumbs, letters, numbers or even a hefty, nifty little shiny one liner for the movie poster or dvd slip case. I use hardcore moments in wrestling history as a basis for my grades. If the review is favorable, expect, foul language, sex, blood and more. If it sucks, expect Hulk Hogan. The moment I harken back to is from 1997. Triple H, who was then Hunter Hearst Helmsley was embroiled in a battle with Mankind. But the feud grew to the point that Mankind enlisted the friend of his old alter ego, Cactus Jack. Triple H and Cactus battled in a hardcore match with weapons and total violence, just when the then World Wrestling Federation began to enter the "Attitude Era." It was Monday Night Raw and the final moment of the match resulted in Cactus Jack doing something that very well may never have been done in the WWF until that point.... he piledrived Triple H through a table on the Titantron entrance ramp. The table wasn't the regular folding table used now, this was a rough, raw wood table that was probably from the 80's. I'm surprised Triple H survived to become the 10 time champion, and man who three years later "retire" Mick Foley as Cactus Jack.

Red State; A Hardcore Review

I know I said I would be back on a more regular basis with these reviews, but, honestly, I've been slacking. Last night, I watched Kevin Smith's Red State. I had to say, going in, I had no idea about what this flick was all about. Reading the short synopsis on I was really interested. Knowing Smith stepped out of his comfort zone of comedy and dick and fart jokes had me interested, but slightly concerned. I, like many of you, I love his work and his style of monologue type dialog. But, even without seeing one frame, I was impressed. It's not easy to step away from what's worked for you. And a lot of people don't respond well to it when you do. But Red State started out with me going, "What the fuck?" and not ceasing to be impressed until the credits rolled.
Red State is the tale of a trio of high school friends who seek sex via the internet. While on their drunken journey to nearby Cooper's Dell, the trio side swipe a parked car that has two dudes going at it in the front seat. The group flee the scene and make their way to a single wide trailer that houses a middle aged woman waiting for their hard cocks. Or so they thought. After downing a few beers provided by the anonymous cock hound cougar, the trio find themselves waking up, bound, one in a dog kennel, the other two in the small crawl space of a church of a group of insane Right Wing, uber conservative Christians who not only loathe extra/premarital and homosexual sex, but picket the funerals of homosexuals and deviants alike, they are also armed to the fucking teeth with automatic weapons to bring about their crusade against the profane. But in addition to that, we learn that they have also been responsible for the murder of at least one young man from the nearby town where the high school boys are from. The kid in the kennel witnesses the execution of a man who has been bound in shrink wrap and his mouth stuffed with an S&M ball gag. Strange that a conservative group would have access to this type of accouterments. We learn that the group, The Five Points Baptist Church, has been using the internet to lure deviants to their doom. And I say deviants from their point of view. I could care less if someone wants to have sex with a man or a woman, married, single, extra marital, premarital or otherwise.
This movie gets dark quick, as the man is tied to a cross at the front of the church. The preacher, identified by his followers as "Daddy" and "grandpa," orders the young members to leave the room before they wrap the man's face and head and then blow his brains out. How, noble and righteous. You'll brainwash them to hate and they're probably inbreeding, but witnessing executions is FOR ADULTS ONLY. Apparently, even righteousness has it's limits. But go figure, cause in just a few years, those kids are going to be taking the reigns as handed down to them by their fucked up parents.
The group grabs the young man out of the kennel, and begins wrapping him up, binding him to the same cross. Down below in the crawl space, the two remaining friends escape using bone shards from the recently killed man who was dropped down into the little room. It gets seriously insane from here, when one of the kids finds the weapons stash and all hell breaks loose.
I really wanna tell you what happens, but I know I gotta save it for those of you who have yet to see it. And I highly recommend this flick. It is more fucked up than a donkey show with a chubby man giving that ass a sloppy blowjob. You probably never thought Smith would be able to top those antics, or getting a chubby Seth Rogen to disrobe on screen or a woman to blow bubbles with her twat. BUT HE DID! And Smith made such a great showing for himself with this coup de gras of bringing down the walls around psychotic Christian fundamentalists. Smith, as you may know, is a Catholic, although he is not devout, or practicing. He made Dogma and was smoten by Catholics who never dared step foot into the theatre to witness as he poked fun on his own faith. How might the insanely zealotous Right Wing population respond to this slap in the face? It's interesting, cause for people who love publicity and are righteous sure seem to shy away from stuff like this. They claim this isn't how they view the world, while they picket funerals, planned parenthood clinics and openly question the morality of other religious groups that have equally opposing views. Strange, cause they hate people like me, an educated, Atheist who believes in himself and thinks for himself, but you'd never see me waging war on a group of people, race, religion, gender or sexuality based. Atheists just don't do shit like that. Cause we don't put our faith into something that can't be proven or substantiated, that would have us kill our own son or massacre a people cause they were exploring their sexuality. Movies like this get me thinking and also get me mad. Cause it shows the extreme side to a belief structure that is based on the so called word of God, that was interpreted by man. And man is, in god's eyes, fallible. So, no doubt the words got fucking misinterpreted. Hmmm. makes me think this sounds like the people who read a book and take it as fact. Eisner, I hate Twilight fans. And I seriously don't understand how someone would honestly believe that a god that was once very pissy and egotistical would suddenly change his ways once he impregnates a thirteen year old girl. Or at least a portion of him did so. Cause not only is god god, but god is also Jesus AND the holy spirit? How the fuck is that possible? Oh and if god has always been, then why'd it take god so long to create the heaven and universe?
Enough soapboxing. This movie kicked all kinds of ass. Smith took his work to the next level, by moving completely out of his comfort zone. I have been a fan of Kevin Smith's work since Clerks, but recently, even being a fan, have admitted he is overrated. Perhaps one of the most overrated directors in Hollywood, along with Tarantino, Rodriguez, Peter Jackson, George Lucas and Shyamalan. But with this effort, Smith has far removed himself from that group and although he had it before, garnered even more respect from me. Fuckin' A I like it!
As you may or may not know, if you're not a follower of the Hardcore Review, I rate my reviews a bit differently than most. I don't give a shitty letter, number, a percentage or some stupid, overdone and easily identifiable, and without effort grade. No, here at the mother fucking ORIGINAL Hardcore Review I base my review upon hardcore moments in professional wrestling history. The more hardcore, blood filled and insane the moment, the more I fucking liked whatever the hell I am grading. And with this movie, I feel it deserves an equally controversial moment from the annals of wrestling history. It was the heyday of ECW. And the during the height of the Sandman/ Raven feud. Raven, kidnapped and brainwashed Sandman's wife and son. But that wasn't the ultimate. Raven attacks Sandman, and then with the help of Super Nova, Blue Meanie and Stevie Richards, CRUCIFIED Sandman. This moment left announcer Joey Styles speechless, and the crowd silent and visibly upset. With the heat from the moment and threats of a lawsuit from potential roster member Kurt Angle, Paul Heyman made Scotty Levy (Raven) go out and apologize to the crowd for offending them and bring up religious iconography. Which was hilarious in it's own right. Cause Raven admits, that he went out there with orders to make a sincere apology. Raven states that he did his best to make a sincerely insincere apology. All, I ask is that Smith never fucking apologize for his work. Well maybe Chasing Amy, but not Red State. If he does, I'll fucking make him fly Southwest AGAIN!.... if you know what I mean.