Hail to the Kings

Hauled a flier into the comic shop yesterday since I'm trying to hustle more commission work. Figured maybe Joey would put it on the table next to the other fliers and cards he gets on a regular basis. Instead he taped it to the rack right next to where the new books go where pretty much every regular in the shop is going to see it.

This is the same Joey that was the only advertiser for the comic we self published years ago that pretty much went nowhere. And he's the same Joey that donated generously when I got my head shaved to raise money to help children with cancer.

Joey is the best.

Go check out his shop.

Foiled again... again.

I had a cunning plan to post daily on here for a month. It was an effort to force my brain to try to come up with something interesting to say on a daily basis. After which I would go reclaim my drooling moron status and throw April 2009 in the faces of all who would call me a slothful, brain-dead monkey screaming "HA! YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY EVERY DAY FOR A MONTH!"

Well, it didn't happen yesterday. I got caught up reading the Mark Waid interview over at AICN and by the time I was done I needed to get ready to go to work. I thought, well I'll post something when I get home, but that didn't happen because I was drawing something.

27 days seems to be my limit. Bob Fresh managed to do it for six months. I'm not Bobby Fresh, but who among us is? I considered embracing my inner Bobby Fresh, but that would require me to play Dungeons and Dragons, and dice hate me.

Serious. There's a conspiracy among die throughout the world to never come up with the numbers needed to do what I need them to do. So, while I'm fascinated with the game of Craps, I'm also utterly terrified of it.

So April is an abysmal failure. I shall go weep now.

It's stupid because I'm not smart enough

I get irked when I see something dismissed as 'stupid' or 'bad' when it's obvious the person dismissing things wasn't able to keep up. I enjoy popcorn films and light reading, however I often like entertainment I can sink my teeth into. I enjoy having my brain fired up with new ideas and interesting concepts. Still, it's obvious that some people out there don't.

I recently joined Facebook, and it kinda sucks, but networking is networking. In a bit of experimentation I joined a group which discusses Batman. It seemed fitting since there's been so much interesting stuff going on there recently. There was quite a bit anti-Morrison sentiment in there. The main gripe was that it's confusing. I'm trying to start a discussion to try to help people with this and offer whatever insights I could, because I managed to follow the story pretty well. So far, no response.

I've spotted something even worse in another form. A guy was complaining that Grant Morrison is a horrible writer. Everyone is entitled to their opinion of what they like and don't like in their entertainment, however it became obvious that the person making that assertion was doing so because he just couldn't follow what was going on.

Welcome to the internet. The problem with internet forums is that you're judged on brain power, so for a lot of people this makes posting things like "that went over my head" completely unacceptable because they're scared to death of being perceived as unintelligent by people they don't know or will never meet. So you see this with challenging work or challenging ideas: tearing it down and saying there's something wrong with it because the people discussing it could not keep up. And it's not because they're stupid. There's plenty of very intelligent people who can't grasp quantum physics, taoism or T.S. Elliot.

Unfortunately, it's the nature of the beast. Always easier to cast fault away than to examine one's self.

There goes my image, part 2

I've developed a fascination for Veggie Tales. It's clever, charming and the songs are very easy to get stuck in my head. I find myself popping in the DVDs been there nothing on interest in the PBS kid's broadcasting. I do enjoy me some Clifford the Big Red Dog.

I'd ask what the hell happened to me, but I already know the answer: doggone kids. It's gotten to the point that I get more excited to be TINY TITANS and SUPERGIRL: COSMIC ADVENTURES IN THE 8TH GRADE in my comics pick-up than JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA. Of course this may also be due to the kid's comics that companies are putting out now are just flat out fun.

BOOM! Studios is seeing a great deal of success with their new kids line. The main gripe I used to here about BOOM! was about the predominance of adult oriented titles from the company. This was true, they specialized in horror comics and the sci-fi books they had like their WARHAMMER series were for more mature readers. Now, along with the horror and sci-fi which are really solid stuff (I'm hooked on FALL OF CTHULU), we've got fun books from them like FARSCAPE and EUREKA! as well as great kids titles like THE INCREDIBLES, CARS and THE MUPPET SHOW. And they're selling.

Imagine that. Fun comics. And they're selling.

Turn off the TV and turn down the volume on your compute. Listen closely. You can actually hear it. Fanboys gnashing their teeth and shouting, "NO! Comics are for grown ups! The medium grew up! I want realism in my comics! I want dark! I want epic! I want dark and epic! Epic and dark! Those kids comics cannot be successful! Where's the grim? Where's the gritty? How dare they shine light into my parent's basement!"

Well, if those fanboys don't want the medium to die with them, then they should be dropping to their knees and thanking the companies for making kids comics, because new readers don't grow on trees. They grow up in our homes and have bright imaginations to be fueled and not tarnished with the grim and gritty garbage that is too often passed off as "realism".

I'm going to go read TINY TITANS with kids now. Hoppy the Marvel Bunny guests stars. YAY!

Putting up and shutting up

There's quite a few different levels of reaction to thinking something sucks. There's just ignoring it. There's getting ticked about it. There's developing seething hatred to the point of creating website dedicated to that seething hatred. There's many others but I'm thinking about one right now: "That sucked and I can do it better."

Oh I'm guilty of it as well. I started writing NIGHTWING scripts in reaction to Bruce Jones's run. Remember that one? When suddenly Dick Grayson decided to be a male model? I've been thinking about it a lot lately mainly due to my displeasure of a lot of what's going on over at DC Comics. My attention is on TITANS right now, and I've been pondering starting script writing to submit to the series. The effort would in all likelihood be fruitless as my work would never be accepted (they're not very keen on random submissions and I don't have anyone inside who'd vouch for me), but the urge is still there.

However if approached today by an editor and told, "I heard you're interested in writing a TITANS story. We need a fill in. What do you have?" I could get a pitch done and out within an hour. If that's accepted I could probably have a proposal together by the time they got back to me about the pitch. From there give me a few days and I'll have scripts done. This is not bragging, or an attempt to sound cool. It's not cool. It's what is expected of you if you're going back up saying "I can write this comic."

I got to thinking about all this after a chat with my friend Linda. Every year she puts together an online role-playing mystery. She puts a ton of time and effort into it. I know this because I've helped her with them a few times. Every year they go very well. Every year somebody gets frustrated and complains. This year one of the complainers asked if they could run the mystery next year. Linda and I both agree that this person has no idea what they are in for if they decide to go through with this.

It's tempting to want to be the cool person and pull off something neat that someone else has done. It's entirely another matter to understand what is going to be necessary to complete that task. That's the problem with saying you're going to "put up". It makes shutting up later much more difficult.

Whatever happened to my attention span?

I find myself much less willing to focus my attention on something that doesn't full on grab me in my comic reading. I used to read a lot more comics. Multiple Spider-man titles, multiple X-whatever titles, just an out and out slew of comics to the point that it could take me a couple of days to read through them all in the midst of carrying on my existence. Now, I'm having weeks of just picking up a couple of issues, and some of them just get leafed though. This week was a prime example.

I picked up four comics, all DC: ARKHAM ASYLUM #1, DETECTIVE COMICS #853, JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #32 and OUTSIDERS #17.

OUTSIDERS was my read of the week. I'm a fan of Peter Tomasi and he keeps my attention focused. He's currently weaving a pretty weird story and all the pieces haven't fallen into place yet, but his character handling is superb and he makes we give a damn about where things are going. Same with JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA this week. I haven't been very excited with the series lately, but I do like Dwayne McDuffie's writing. I feel the book needs a bit more punch to it which has been lacking for a long while. The latest storyline is promising and the art by Rags Morales is always a joy to look at.

But then we go over to the Bat-books which despite all the interesting stuff that had been going on lately, are currently really dull. The thing that gets me is I like David Hine. His writing actually got me interested in a story about Hal Jordan and The Phantom Stranger over in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD, and those are two characters i care nothing about. The ARKHAM ASYLUM story was a very solid one, but it did not grab me. It took a bit of effort on my part to focus and get through it. It wasn't a bad read, but there was nothing exciting there. Not a good sign for a one shot.

Here's where Neil Gaiman fans grab their pitchforks and descend upon Chesapeake to hunt me down. DETECTIVE COMICS this past week was part two of Gaiman's "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?" storyline which is interesting only that it's getting hailed by both people who love Grant Morrison and people who hate Grant Morrision. The Morrison Hate Brigade pretty much despised R.I.P. and FINAL CRISIS due to the horror they felt that Bruce Wayne was going to die, even though Morrison said repeatedly that was not going to happen. The Hate Brigade pretty much missed what was really going on with both stories, which to be perfectly fair it was a challenging read. They're thrilled because the Gaiman story is such a departure from the Morrison run. Then there's the people who loved the Morrison run and are loving the Gaiman story because it fits in so perfectly with what Morrison had done. For more on that, go here.

This entire story left me flat. The art was fine, I've always liked Andy Kubert. The story itself bored the hell out of me and the ending just came off as trite. Reading this on it's own and not passing it through the filter of understanding just what Morrision had done in his recent works made this completely boring. I could have skipped this entirely and not missed a blessed thing.

There is one good thing about me getting much more discerning about the comics I follow. I may enough money for gas in the car after Wendesdays.

Creating your own fiction, and why somepeople should be medicated.

Being involved in comics you come across rabid fandom. I'm talking about people who send in death threats over storyline, those wishing ill fortune and death upon artists and people who think batman can defeat Superman, Bruce Lee and God all at the same time. I've been suckered into the "who would win in fight...?" debate at conventions way too many times. I've finally gotten to the point that I just don't answer the question, or if I do I turn it into a joke.

The writers and artists working in comics are doing their best to make readers give a damn about the stories and characters they work on. So, if you're upset that Ultra-Dude lost his powers or his dog died or whatever then someone did their job right. So we feel attached to the characters we read about, which is cool, but as I mentioned above it often goes to far.

You can't go around wishing horrible things to happen to people who are just working on comics. I think Ed Benes is a crappy artist. I think Judd Winick can't write a fight worth a damn. I'm sure Dan DiDio is taking DC Comics in bad directions and abusing his power as editor-in-chief to satisfy his own fanboyism. However, I don't want anything horrible to happen to any of them. If I don't like an artist's or writer's work I don't buy it, simple as that. The case of DiDio is trickier and much more frustrating, and yes I have written the man a letter in the past stating my displeasure at his work, however I never threatened physical harm nor did I state any wishes for something brutal to happen to him. Do i think he should be removed from his current position? Yes. Do I think he should be out on the street and unable to feed himself and his family? Absolutely not.

As for the characters and stories, there's plenty of people who would like things to be different. If there weren't there wouldn't be so much fanfiction out there. There's nothing wrong with thinking character A and character B should be a couple, it just becomes a problem with those obsessing over it. Write your fanfiction, and get it out of your system.

I have seen something really bizarre lately: a guy so obsessed with his notion as to what should be in his comic reading that somewhere in his mind he's not interpreting what is on the actual pages correctly. He's insisting that things are said and there's images on the pages that just aren't there. This is compounded by a rampant egotist that when you go to correct this person he insisted that you are wrong, and any evidence used to prove your point is somehow faulty. This is an extreme case however and hopefully this person will get the medical attention they need.

There is what is. There is what we want we want it to be. It's great when those two things come together, but we can't force it. There's people out there just a bit 'too into it', like the weirdo I just wrote about. He's constantly touting his superiority and telling people to read more comics. Honestly, he needs to read less.

"JC Penny, $5.95"

I'm hoping to get there one of these years. It may sound weird that a person who is a black belt is trying to get a white belt, but I'm going about it the long way. Like quite a few Karate men I have a satin belt which wears away. The black doesn't stay very well and the belt gets worn out becoming white again. Shogo Kuniba had a belt and there were only a few spots of black left on there. I want a belt like that.

I'm a member of the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai, and my last Karate test was through them. I wore a white belt to that test even though it was for certification to 5th dan (degree of black black belt). You wore your white belt to those events until your rank was certified. There's a new rule now that you wear your white belt to events.

Here's what I like about this. It's not what rank you are, it's what you bring to the table that's important. That is not to say that rank is not important. Those of a higher rank than oneself are the one's that walked the path before you and therefore have wisdom and insight, so they should be respected. So, if those of a higher rank are to be respected and everyone is wearing a white belt, then who should I be bowing to? Everyone.

Besides, I'm a Karate man. We only started wearing different color belts when Funakoshi started teaching the Japanese karate in the 1930s and they used a belt system for Judo. They asked him "What belt are you?" He asked what was the highest belt which was at the time 5th degree black belt. His answer, "I'm a fifth degree black belt."

I've half a mind to make all my students wear white belts all the time, but the kids wouldn't go for it. They look at me wild-eyed when I tell them about wearing white belts to the events I mentioned. Then a few of them get it: it's not the belt that's important.

The Bambi Gambit

Saw the preview for the movie THE BATTLE FOR TERRA the other day. I'm skipping this one. For those who haven't seen the preview, the premise of the movie is there's a planet called Terra with these cute peaceful inhabitants which are invaded by aliens wanting to take it as a new place to live. The alien invaders are the human race who have no doubt destroyed Earth with that pesky global warming. I've had about enough of pop culture telling me humanity sucks.

Somewhere it came to be OK and even slightly hip to make fun of the species. The most glaring is of course Disney's BAMBI. Therefore we have the "Bambi Gambit" in which the storyteller takes an animal, gives it a voice and makes it noble, then has something horrible happen to it to demonstrate the eeeeeeevils of humanity.

And it works too. It doesn't matter that hunters are among the top tier of the conservation effort. It does not matter that largely due to hunters the deer population is greater than it was when they were being hunted exclusively by bow and arrow. It does not matter that the hunters controlling the deer population keeps them from eating their entire food supply and then slowly starving to death or running out in front of cars on a much greater basis. What does matter to the slack-jawed, uninformed, PETA supporting, would-be do-gooder once they discover someone is a hunter is "OMG, YOU KILLED BAMBI!" You you idiots, they killed Bambi's mother and I'm sure she was quite tasty.

A much more recent example is Brian K. Vaughn's PRIDE OF BAGHDAD, which is a work centering around the Iraq War. A group of lions escaped from the Baghdad Zoo once the invasion began. I remember briefly skimming this in the news reports. Well, Vaughn took that incident and applied the above formula. The lions were given personalities and challenges to overcome once they escaped. At the end they finally got to see the horizon which hadn't seen since since they were so horribly imprisoned in the zoo with it's proper care and regular meals, only to be shot by American soldiers. Those poor lions were just sitting there being noble and watching the sunset when they were killed because we need to know that war is horrible and wrong. This is complete bullshit. Does anyone actually think for one second that those lions, which need I remind anyone are wild animals and can easily kill a person, were just sitting there watching the sunset despite being quite hungry? Hey, it sucks that it happened, but as an anti-war argument it utterly fails at being rational.

I see it also here and there in the Pixar movies as well. FINDING NEMO is all about the bad old humans kidnapping a poor little fish. The sharks dismissively blame Americans with the necessary rolling of their shark eyes. At least RATTATOUI was a bit nicer to humans but still found the time to make fun of American food in favor of the obviously superior French food. The French eat snails and on occasion horses. I'll pass, thanks. Then there's good old WALL-E where us humans had trashed the planet and were living in a space ship. People had become so incredibly lazy they were like giant consuming babies. Fortunately, they had a little robot with moxie to show them the way. Just freakin' spare me.

If I want to know how crappy people can be, I'll watch the news. I'll watch the morons who keep being so obnoxious with their "green" movement it makes me want to little. I'll look around me at the people screwing things up for everyone and I'll try to teach the next generation how to do things right.

So, I won't be watching BATTLE FOR TERRA. I'll probably toss INDEPENDENCE DAY into the DVD player instead. Because humanity is worth fighting for and not against.

"I'm not even suposed to be here today!"

Yeah, we all remember the line from the Kevin Smith film. I've uttered it a few times as I joke. I wrote before about 'doing the work'. There's another factor: wanting to do the work.

I don't know a single artist who does what they do because they have to. They do it because they want to, sometimes even need to. Sure, sometimes you get that gig or commission that doesn't excite you as much as others, but at the same time, you're getting to ply your craft. That's not to say it's easy street and not stressful. I spent a good half hour fretting over a picture and taking a ruler to it to check something, but like every other artist, I notice my mistakes first.

You're not going to do your best work if you don't want it. I have a student at karate who doesn't want it. He's the bane of the class and his attitude has frustrated pretty much everyone there. Still his parents pay their money and continue to bring him and say how much it's helped him. The boy currently holds the record for hiding in the bathroom. 45 minutes. He actually took a nap in there the other night. And the boy's technique is miserable. He's been passed in the rankings repeatedly by students that have started training after him. He's a bully in a wimp's body wanting to push people around and quickly learning that he'll get the crap beat out of him if he tries. He doesn't want it, so he's never going to do it, and I'm going to have to talk to his parents about it.

He does not care about his mistakes. That's the major clue as to whether someone wants to be there or not. If someone does not give a damn about what they are doing they aren't going to care if they mess up.

Hide your eyes, part 2!

I now have a content warning on this blog. That's what I get for posting that DC Nation picture in here.

Let this be a warning for all of you: don't post that picture in your blog. It's too late for me, but you may still avoid the stigma of having a content warning slapped on your blog!

Drawing monkey

So, I'm doing more drawing nowadays and taking commissions as well. Worked on one last night and it's weird in that I always start with the face. Well, this time I was in need of some headshots for it. I had my other refereneces, so I went for it anyhow. I penciled the whole thing, except for the head. I should be seeing some pics before the day's out so i can get to work inking, but still it looks so odd. A faceless pin-up picture. "Imagine your dream girl HERE."

That said, if anyone out there would like to commission me for some artwork, you can check out my stuff over at our main site. Chris may have some other commissions I've done posted up soon. I can be contacted through the site's "about" section, or just e-mail me at martynozz@yahoo.com .

There goes my image.

OK. I'm a bitter old bastard. I'm a venomous, scarred Cranky McViciousbritches. I spend significant amounts of time of a daily basis contemplating horrible ways to hurt people, and then teach them to small children.

That said:

The entire ongoing storyline with Fuschia and Criminy over in Sinfest is just amazingly adorable. It's like a warm, cuddly drug and I go directly to that site every morning when a come online before even thinking of checking e-mail, blogging, checking here or looking for midget porn.


You turned me into a romantic.


Warning: the image below may be deemed inappropriate for some fanboys as it will cause them to flee for their bathrooms yelling for their mothers not to bother them for the next few minutes.

Yeah. That's the picture I mentioned. Maybe it was overstating things to say the heroes were "ogling" Supergirl's boobs. They're obviously studying them and marveling at how her Kryptonian spine must be much stronger than a normal human's.

Seriously, what the hell were they thinking running with this. I know the character and many other jailbait super-heroines have been objectified for years and years, but this is ridiculous. The current Supergirl has been struggling to be readable since her debut. This is not helping matters. There needs to be a modification to the costune that includes a whole shirt. Yeah, I know, what the hell an I thinking? Shouldn't I know by know that skin sells, even if it's underage?

It takes more than skin to make me a fan of a character. She's finally getting good character development and is being blessed with having talented writers handling her. Drop the objectification.

Constant state of practice

Chris called last night to quit the studio. He was seriously overdue on this since we couldn't remember the last time he quit. It may have been '07. He certainly hasn't quit this year, and for the life of us we couldn't remember him quitting in 08'. So yeah, he quit again, and then we immediately got back to work.

One of the things that came up in our talk last night was "being in a constant state of practice". This is the dividing line between the hobbists and the pros. I used to say it was matter of getting paid of your work, but this is more fundamental. There are people out there who have it in their head that they're not ready yet and continue to labor and toil at things trying to perfect them until that magic moment that they've perfected their craft at which point they will throw their finest work out unto the masses.

Guess how far that's getting them.

Bobby Fresh's main complaint about artists is trying to find someone willing to do the work. I'm starting to think that there are plenty of people willing to do the work, just not enough of them have the cajonés to actually give it a go. I found an artist who put out an open call for scripts for a comic idea she had. I saw potential in the story, despite the characters being horrible manga stereotypes (Otaku girls, gay guy who may be turning his best friend gay, all of which back-burnered in favor of making them interesting and readable). I did some research on the subject matter and banged out what she wanted: a plot synopsis and the first five pages of script. I was quite pleased with it and sent it to her. It was rejected as being "too big". She did not feel that she could handle drawing what I was purposing with the story. This was not a matter of questionable content. It was the scale of my proposition intimidated her. She did not feel up to the task.

She also had a webcomic. She had made that baby step out of the constant state of practice of seemed ready to jump back into that safe little haven. Easy trap to fall into, too. Self-doubt plays in the emotional spectrum of nearly every artist. There are some very talented people out there whose work will never see the light of day because "it isn't ready let".

Here's the official Duck and Cover Studios advice for those people: "Do the work". Just do it and throw it to the masses. Keep doing it. You want to see improvement? Work. The Chris Johnson working on MERE MORTAL right now is seriously ahead of the curve from the Chris Johnson who did issue #1, and that guy was seriously ahead of the dude who did THE FIFTH BEACH. You want another example read FINDER: SIN-EATER volume 1.

Practice does not make you perfect. There is no perfect. Do. The. Work.

Holy Jailbait.

Picked up my comics this week. Just consisted of ACTION COMICS and TINY TITANS. Saw the DC Nation page which usually features the editor-in-chief saying something really stupid that usually just serves to tick me off.

This week it has a picture from the imminent Justice League book and it looks like Green Lantern, Green Arrow, The Atom and Captain Marvel are just standing there ogling Supergirl's belly-shirt covered boobs.

My eyes rolled so hard I had to go retrieve them.

Kicking tires

Got a new entry up over at Tales of Night Life (GO READ IT!). It occurs to me that it should have been much easier to post. My PC is coming up on six years old and it seems that's pretty old for a computer. I don't really like that electronics become outdated so quickly and don't last longer. My cell phone is considered a dinosaur and I'm made to get a knew one every other time something happens to my current one because they just don't keep up the models I use. I still have a Playstation 2 from the very first shipment that hit Virginia Beach. It's the bulkier model and people are shocked it still works. Never needed fixing. When I bought it I traded in my old Playstation which was a Christmas gift in 1995 and still in perfect working order which absolutely amazing the people at the store.

I treat my electronics very well, despite my urge to throw my cell phone into the ocean from time to time. The computer thing bugs me a bit, but it does seem to be the way of the world now. I'm thinking very hard about getting a Mac for the sole reason that they seem to last longer.

Beware my power, Kltpzyxm's Light!

I've spent a lot of time recently writing about the Flash and my mind temporarily went into Green Lantern mode yesterday. No I'm not going to write a few hundred words about the current Hal Jordan and the Techni-Color Dance Party-a-Go-Go storyline where we get to see Hal Jordan wear lots of different color power rings because even though he boring guy with an interesting job he seems to have the superpower of being super emotional. It's a grade school idea. I say this because I had the same story idea in grade school.

It's just the thought occurred to me yesterday that we learn about three dimensions in school (height, width and depth). The fourth dimension is time. In the DCU the concept of the fourth dimension is a place of pure movement and also the home of the 'Speed Force' from which the Flash draws his power. The Fifth Dimension is Imagination as stated in "Batman R.I.P." and is home to Bat-Mite (Might), Mr. Mxyzptlk and Jakeem Thunder's Thunderbolt.

I then came to the conclusion had the Green Lantern Power Rings draw upon raw Fifth Dimensional energy which once it drawn into the three dimensional universe taps into the ring wearer's imagination to take whatever form necessary. The Rings can only draw so much 5-D energy through. The old rings used to be good for 24 hours and now they run out with use. The different colors come from an emotional filter in the users brain in which their imagination is influenced by what they are feeling. Green is in the center of the color spectrum so I imagine that the wearer is keeping themself centered as they use the ring, because really 'will' is not an emotion.

Those then it occurs to me that the all these different Ring Corps coming out of the woodworks their must be a huge draw on 5-D energy. Not to mention that the new Corps are not centered and very emotional and that could have a feedback effect back in the Fifth Dimension. Would this have an effect on the sentient residents there? Are they upset that their resource is getting pillaged something fierce nowadays?

Quick side note: this same train of though led me to believe that Mr. Mxy is a creation of Superman's Super Imagination. Yes, I was thinking way to hard about this.

But yeah, there's my thoughts. Perhaps I should write it up as a pitch, which wouldn't do me much good because DC doesn't accept unsolicited pitches and submissions, which I don't blame them for. That and my venomous criticism of Dan DiDio would likely come back to bite me in the ass.

Curses, foiled again.

Next in line?

During my weekend shredding of FLASH: REBIRTH Kristie asked me how this mess could be redeemed. It got my brain clicking, especially since I'd been writing about character progression and the passing of torches. With all of the old Silver Age heroes being brought back to the DCU, perhaps is time for the Justice League to go the route of the Justice Society and move aside for the next generation to become the premier heroes of the DCU.

I'm looking hard at the current Titans line-up. They're multiple characters on that roster that have been former League members. The potential there is great, but unfortunately all I'm seeing from the group is them dealing with the same threats they did twenty plus years ago.

Way back in the Wolfman/Perez days the New Teen Titans were seen as the characters that would be the big heroes of the next generation. They were to be the future Justice League. I'm thinking the time may be fast approaching when this thought becomes a fact in comics.

Flash: Rebirth: redeemed

I discovered this evening that the comic I've been venomously blogging about all weekend is not completely without merit.

That horsefly that's been pestering the Nozz Compound has finally gotten sorted out.

Eat your heart out, Leonard Snart!

Yes, I'm continuing banging the drum as to why FLASH: REBIRTH is wrong in nearly every way imaginable. This may seem petty and vindictive, but I get cranky when the unspoken yet fundamental rules of popular culture get stamped upon. So, here we go looking way too deeply at the paradigms that mold the science fiction sub-genre which dominates the particular medium I love and have loved for decades.

Superman was first. He started it. He's the iconic figure representing science fiction in the sub-genre in that he's an alien from another world who's very presence on Earth gives him nearly omnipotent powers. Batman is on the opposite end of the spectrum representing the pinnacle of human achievement and using personal tragedy to form himself into something greater. Wonder Woman represents the aspect of mythology in the sub-genre giving credence to mysticism and tales of ancient times. These are the three fundamental aspects of the whole ball of wax: humanity, mythology and pure sci-fi. This is why these three characters are not only considered the "trinity" of the DC Universe but of the sub-genre of comic book superheroes.

So where does The Flash fit into the key elements of all of this? It's simple. The Flash does the obvious: he moves.

The Flash is what moves the genre forward. The creation of Barry Allen ushered in the Silver Age of comics. Hell, everyone immediately recognizes the Carmine Infantino designed costume and I guarantee that every speedster character created since owes at least a small nod to that design. Following Barry's creation in 1954 came a revitalization on the sub-genre that even spread over to Marvel in 1961 when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby made that company what it is today.

Then came Barry Allen meeting Jay Garrick. This added in the concept of the "multiverse" into DC continuity. This opened the door for characters from the old Whiz and Charlton comics to make their way into the DCU. Think of the DCU without Captain Marvel or the Blue Beetle for a moment. Not a very nice thought.

The Flash mythos knows when to pass the torch. They knew the time was right for Barry Allen to start running and move away from Jay Garrick. Likewise they also knew when it was time for a sidekick to actually fulfill the promise of the role. Wally West has grown up, too grown to be Kid Flash. The time for the 'Multiverse' in the DCU was to come to an end. Barry Allen was killed off. The character that had introduced the Multiverse concept died in the same storyline that the Multiverse did.

But as always, the Flash moves forward. Wally West picked up the mantle. Sure, Dick Grayson was Batman for a short while. Donna Troy has been Wonder Woman. Wally did it first and, unlike Grayson and Troy, his move stuck. This opened the door for the creation of new and exciting characters just as Barry Allen's creation had. Think of the DCU without Kyle Rayner, Connor Hawke, Ryan Choi or Jamie Reyes. When you're done cringing, thank Wally West.

Despite the forces that would make the genre a dark and 'gritty' area of the pop culture imagination there will always be things moving the thought stream in the right direction. "When Mark Waid took over writing THE FLASH, Wally West was one more 'realistic' jerk in a field obsessed, since the mid-80s, by rapists, serial killers and tormented, unshaven 'heroes' doing tormented, unshaven, repetitive things." (Morrison, 1998) Then came the start of the greatest study in character development in comics. "Born To Run" didn't just change the Flash, it was the start of a movement in comics which saw heroes being heroes again. Saving the world every Wednesday and still willing to rescue a kitten out of a tree.

In all these times of great progression it's been the right time. Something in the collective subconsciousness knew it was time to move forward. Something was in the air and things that were as grand as year long events, as interesting as a new writer seeing things differently or as simple as one person wanting to tell a cool story changed the course of an entire sub-genre.

The forward progression is important. Mark Waid made people stop asking the stupid question of "When is Barry coming back?" Great writers do such things. If you want more proof, did out old issues of STORMWATCH and notice how the question "When's Diva coming back?" promptly stopped after Warren Ellis knocked the fanboys on their flabby asses.

And herein lies the problem with FLASH: REBIRTH.

You can't move onward when it's not time. The idiotic notion of "It's not a Crisis until a Flash dies" had been snuffed back in ZERO HOUR where it was thought that Wally West perished. What readers were subsequently treated to were THE FLASH #0 (Which is easily one of my favorite Flash stories of all time) and then "Terminal Velocity" which had to be one of the best love stories disguised as an action story anywhere. When the edict came down that there was to be a new Flash after 2005's INFINITE CRISIS if was doomed to failure. There was no one ready to pick up where Wally left off. This led to aging Bart Allen to adulthood, thereby stealing what was left of his youth and forcing him into the role. The progression was forced. It was obvious, and it could not be sustained.

Now, since the current editorial powers could not shift things forward, they shifted it backwards, back to Barry Allen. This move is doomed for multiple reasons. First, and as I've said before and repeatedly, you do not move forwards by passing the baton backwards. Second, this move had always been done with Green Arrow and Green Lantern. The Flash leads. He does not follow. If the will and consensus of the tides that are the ocean of humanity's pop culture imagination had decreed that it was time to dig out all these Silver Age characters and have them drive the stories then Barry Allen would have been the first one back.

This project is doomed. It was from conception. Not every editorial staff can be blessed with being in the right place at the right time and having magic happen under their watch. A guy in New York needs to stop trying to force it.

Look forward.

Happy Easter!

Hope everyone has a happy Easter, and take care to everyone traveling during the holiday.

Next up, why FLASH: REBIRTH is doomed by cosmic pop culture mind currents.

No, I'm not kidding.

Barry Allen made me Marty Nozz

Yeah, I know I said I was going to stay away from the FLASH: REBIRTH idiocy, but the part of me that has to look at car accidents as I drive by made me check it out. For those who don't know Barry Allen was the Flash way back when i was a little kid and watching SUPER FRIENDS. In the mid-80s, Barry died saving the universe during the CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS series. Since then his sidekick Kid Flash, AKA Wally West took over. So Wally's been the Flash for over twenty years.

So why bring Barry back now? It's simple, Dan DiDio is the DC editor-in-chief and he wanted Barry back just like he wanted Hal Jordan back. Guess he really liked SUPER FRIENDS back in the day. Yes, it's a stupid reason. Yes, it's a horrible idea. Yes, I'm not the only one who thinks so:

"And Barry... well I love him, but he was a stiff. Did he have any personality at all?"

"Barry Allen was the perfect hero for his time. The 1960s."

Those quotes come from a conversation from when this topic was brought up before. If you don't know who said them, I'll tell ya later.

As for the issue at hand, it's not a total loss. The art is really nice. Ethan Van Sciver isn't afraid to put a ton of detail into his pages, and i really dig that. There is a one little coloring error in there. Not as bad as Mister Miracle's ethnicity change in the middle of FINAL CRISIS, but it made me smirk.

Let's start with the line that gave this post it's title. "Barry Allen made me the Flash." Now, reading this out of context one would think that this line would be given to Wally West. But no. That would make sense. It's given to Jay Garrick who was the first Flash back in World War II. In continuity, this was the guy who Barry idolized. Following that line is a bunch of poppycock about how Barry inspired Jay to come out of retirement, and that led to the Justice Society returning and so forth.

Here's what gets me: Barry Allen is the Saint of the DC Universe. He's the guy who sacrificed himself for everyone. That claptrap that Geoff Johns wrote trying make Barry Allen feel important is rubbish and a waste of time. He's a very important character because of the sacrifice he made. That sacrifice is pretty much null and void now.

On to another really stupid line: "The bow ties weren't my fault." This seems really trivial but it's really not. Barry Allen was not cool. He wore the bow ties because they went well with his pocket protector. He always wore those bow ties, and he didn't apologize for them. However, he did tell that line to Hal Jordan, the poster boy for 'it's not my fault'. Perhaps Barry was possessed by the cosmic entity Geekallax who caused Barry to wear those bow ties.

As for appearances, whatever plastic surgeon Iris Allen went to, he's absolutely fabulous. It had to Doctor Midnight, because only a super-hero surgeon could make a woman approximately fifty years old look like that. Kind of spoils the illusion of Iris supposedly being in her late 20s when her GRANDSON appears in the very same issue. When Iris returned from the future with her grandson Bart she was in her forties. That was being really generous too. Time has passed since then. Now it's getting wound backwards. I get that Barry's body is physically the same age as when he died and now he's supposed to be about the same age as Wally. Does this make Iris a cougar?

On to the continuity clusterfuck, which really surprised me because Johns made his rep by plugging continuity holes. Seems according to this issue Barry's father was arrested for murdering his mother. Never mind the fact that both his parents were alive and well and helped to comfort Barry after Iris's supposed death. This is a recurring theme in John's work. The hero must have some sort of tragedy befall them, and it's often revolving around family especially fathers. Hal Jordan watched his father die in a plane crash. Jonathon Kent got killed off last year. Now this. I know a few people would considered John's creation Zoom to be a Mary Sue (note: a Mary Sue is a character that represents the author). Zoom believed that a hero had to go through tragedy to become a better hero. Guess the Mary Sue theory just got more evidence.

As I was reading the issue I just kept thinking to myself 'who is this guy?' They kept insisting he was Barry Allen, but frankly it sure didn't seem like him. He was impatient. He couldn't get away from Hal fast enough to go do whatever he was going to do. He spent zero time with Iris in the issue. I mentioned his makeover before. Frankly I thought I was reading "The Return of Barry Allen" all over again and was waiting for the reveal that it was really Eobard Thawne masquerading as Barry again. That would actually make more sense with how he's acting.

Caught on to who I quoted before? It was a conversation between Mark Waid and his editor Brian Augustyn that spurred from Waid's frustration about people asking him 'when's Barry coming back'. They both knew then that it would be a bad idea, and the "Return of Barry Allen" was a healthy does of be careful what you wish for directed at the drooling fan boys of the time who expected death to not last forever. It seems from what I've heard from critics and readers alike that this is another does. Honestly, I know very few people who wanted this to happen. A lot of them are disappointed with this issue too.

The only bright spot in the writing was the handling of Bart Allen. I'm glad the character is back as Kid Flash. I can understand Bart being upset about Barry's return. He still misses his mentor, Max Mercury, and with Barry could return, then why couldn't Max?

So, where's this thing going to go? Pretty easy to answer. Barry is going to investigate why the Speed Force is acting for weird and think he's at fault for it. It'll turn out to be the killer shown at the beginning of the issue who as it turns out framed Barry's father for the murder of his mother. This will be followed by Barry racing Superman to figure out who is faster even though Superman is supposed to be away for a year and the fact that this notion has been done to death and then some. I have no basis really for any of that, but let's see how accurate I am.

Welcome back Barry. Now go away.


I'm seeing this a lot lately. People putting undue emphasis and effort into things that aren't warranting it. Also folks blowing off things they really shouldn't. This isn't always the person's fault. Sometimes things get misunderstood, but there are times when it really should be more obvious.

I have a family friend who doesn't seem to be able to delegate properly. She constantly seems to be behind at her work and it upsets her. Some of the tasks that are presented to her don't have to be done by her, but instead of passing the orders on to people who are there to assist her, she spends her time at work grumbling about how she'll never be able to get everything done. However, she's also the first person to say she'll handle something despite an already massive workload. Some things really don't need to be micromanaged. Those who know this get less ulcers.

Then there's the things you shouldn't blow off, like family and your bills. My neighbor just evicted a tenant who did not pay his rent. The court said everything in the condo had to be gone by a certain date. Well, it wasn't. Now my neighbor has a bunch of plasma TVs, blu-ray players, surround sound systems, fancy leather couches and bunch of other really great stuff in his garage. The stuff in that garage is worth more than all the stuff in my house. Going to be one hell of a yard sale.

That's an extreme case, but I think we all know that person who has to have the latest toys yet always seems to be completely broke. Hey, I spend my money on comics every week, but if the money isn't there, or I need it for something more important then I won't be buying them.

And speaking of comics, Deffie McDouchebag was spouting off about what's really important about comics. The list basically goes 1) art, 2) monetary value and 3) story. This is an obviously flawed list, especially for anyone looking into actually making comics. The art is there to help tell the story. Of course the art is important, but without a story you just have a series of pin-ups. The truly great works in the medium of comics are not great based solely on artistic merit. Maus did not win the Pulitzer because of the art. Superman, Batman and Spider-man are not still in publication because of the art. Having a great artist on your book is definitely a bonus, but that artist has to be able to contribute in the telling of the story

As for the monetary value of comics: bitch please. The collector's market died miserably over ten years ago. The comics with the variant covers and the fancy-Dan shiny foil covers are current taking up space in the quarter bins of you local comic shop. Got a buddy of mine, Big Rick, and he buys collections. He came across an old fella who runs a sports memorabilia shop and happened to have a bunch on boxes of comics behind the counter. Rick offer the guy ten grand for all of them. The guy refused saying there's one hundred thousand comics in those boxes and he wants at least one dollar per book. Rick explained that that's not a competitive rate and told him where he could look up how much collections like his were actually selling for. Old fella was still adamant about the price so Rick is waiting for him to die so that he can buy the collection from the guy's son.

Rick drops by the store every-so-often to ask if he's dead yet.

So, if the collector's market is deader than Elvis and focusing primarily on art over having a good story is where Deffie's head is at, then where will that leave him in less than a month when he claims his books are going to hit the shelves? Most likely in the same place as the guy who didn't pay his rent and lost all his stuff and my friend who spends her time at work miserably swamped: scratching their head wondering 'why didn't I think about going about this differently?'

And there they are.

Well, I talked to a few people yesterday and now as you see to the right there's ads. Here's the thing, they're there yes, but don't think that you have to click on them out of some sort of false of obligation to help me out. The best way to support Duck and Cover Studios still is and always will be telling folks about us and getting them to check out our work. Now, if you're looking at those ads and are thinking 'that sum'bitch done sold out to the MAN!', keep in mind that when our site gets paid for, or we appear at a convention, or really anything the cost comes out of our pockets. Having ads won't make the Studio profitable, but if we can get some compensation for what we do then it lessens the blow.

OK, on to more important matters. Couple of new names over on the blog roll. Kristiine Havener is a firm supported of Duck and Cover Studios and quite a clever woman. And I Heart Comics has been added after a nice chat with Bobby Fresh and Mike Ferderali. It's a pretty cool site. Kind of a little 'book club' for comics. Check 'em out.

I really don't know about this.

So, I love writing. I do it a lot and it makes me feel better. I'm much easier to be around when I'm doing something creative, either writing or drawing. However, it doesn't pay the bills. Hell, it doesn't even buy the chewing gum.

Money is thinking about getting tight on me. I'm not currently getting slammed by the 'OMG it's the end of the world and big business are a bunch of evil pricks that are out to take all our monies' crisis. However, I don't bring in a ton of cash anyways. I don't want to raise my rates at karate class because I'm offering an affordable alternative to the big storefront dojos. Besides, I have some families that are trying to make the ends meet just like everyone else and they have a hard enough time affording the club dues. There's no big demand for my art right now so commission work isn't going to fly real well.

Then there's the option of putting ads in this blog. I really don't know about that. I don't think I'd have control over what ads went in here. I don't really want the blog to look too obnoxious or anything. Still, it's possible revenue and every little bit helps.

So, I'm putting it out to those of you who actually read the damn thing. So, the three of you please comment and tell me what you think of this notion.

Fringe returns

In a glaring omission in my must see TV post I neglected to mention Fringe. This is likely because that pesky American Idol has been on in it's place. I have an intense dislike for American Idol. Singing competitions don't excite me, but moreover it's because that show has a chronic history of preempting the TV shows that I really love. It was House before, and now it's Fringe.

Fortunately, that comes to an end tonight. Just got to make sure to buy some popcorn on the way home from work, and be on my toes to try to spot the Observer when and if he pops up.

"I'm da best!"

Watched Rocky III on television last night. (I nearly just called it 'the telly'. I blame Richard for that.) I was then dumped into mental state where my entire pop culture universe hinged on boxing. I'm watch a Rocky movie while working on a Night Life page featuring boxers. My mind kept wandering to 96X's The Mike and Bob Show who have declared 2009 "The Year of Clubber Lang". Eye of the Tiger was stuck on an endless loop in my head and then my brain shot over to Supernatural and the now infamous outtake concerning that song.

The only thing that jarred me out of randomly shadowboxing between my pen-strokes is the movie ending and the previously mentioned Richard jarring my consciousness out of fight mode and into comics mode.

It hit me that Rocky in the movie was as old as I am now. The talk in the film was about Rock being 'too old for a comeback'. I keep looking at my gloves and think about doing something really stupid.

Sane person in the madhouse.

So, I missed reading SEAGUY, but others have not. And while the hot buzz may be about Barry Allen returning and taking over the FLASH comic fortunately there's a lovely alternative. For those interested in a stunning review of SEAGUY you should go here.

Now, there's a bit in there that I'd like to address, and while I considered doing so by way of a comment in his blog, this way he may get a bit more traffic, and frankly his blog deserves it.

SeaGuy might seem a comic as mad as the doctors think SeaGuy is, but I'm increasingly convinced that it's what superhero comics look like in the 2009 where the industry isn't crazy.

Accessible but challenging, self-contained but richly intertextual, imaginative but disciplined.

In the sane 2009, the one where truly psychopathic books like Battle for the Cowl: Man-Bat or Bomb Queen V don't exist, then the racks are filled with superhero comics that're just like SeaGuy (whilst also being totally different).

We've hit the point in the comic industry where good story-telling has declared open war on fan service. The weird part is that it's not the comic readers that are getting the fan service. Decrees have come done from the editor-in-chiefs of the big two as to what we are supposed to like. It does not matter that Wally West grew up and has been the Flash for the last twenty-four years when the Dan DiDio likes Barry Allen better. It does not matter that people have enjoyed seeing Peter Parker settle down and be a family man all the while balancing keeping his city safe when Joe Quesada likes the idea of Pete as a bachelor better. Change is coming! And we're supposed to like it. They tell us to.

The stories are not as important as the event surrounding the story. And the stories had better be worth getting that extra masthead across the top or it's just not grand enough. But really, it doesn't have to be a good story, it just has to tie into a better story enough that people might think they're missing something for not purchasing it. Oh, and the ending of that better story, the one that has the editor so excited, had better end just like he likes it, or it's going to get changed.

I'm all for accessible, yet challenging storytelling. Unfortunately, the really good stuff seems to be going over the heads of those that have the power to let it see print. Thank goodness for Vertigo.

Fighting over the future

If science fiction has taught me anything it's that sometime in the future a battle will be fought over who's going to run this here planet. No, I'm not talking about assaults from alien life forms, extra-dimensional overlords or sparkly vampires. I'm talking about humanity seeing who's is going to be in charge around here. See, in every sci-fi story I've ever been exposed to in any medium it's always one of two groups running the show: the government or the corporations.

So on one hand you have the business minded, profit driven groups in control of everything, or it's the a government that taken control of nearly every aspect of the population's lives. It's pretty much conservatism versus liberalism. Do the free markets when out with the winners of the game being whoever has the better product and therefore garners the loyalty of the masses, or is it the government whom we elect because we put them there to serve out best interests? What's really nifty is that the authors of the works no matter which side they come down on in this debate always write about the other side winning. It's always that little undertone of "you see! This is what'll happen if we let them win!"

Will we all work for the faceless corporation heads, whom invariable be hiding some secret that could bring the corporation to ruin?

Will we all be government drones in a totalitarian regime where a small but plucky cabal of freedom fighters will uncover the underhanded methods at which the masses were fooled into bringing them to power?

Is this starting to sound like a cable news network and not science fiction?

And the conservatives are thinking right now, "yeah it sounds like those left wing pussies at CNN!" while the liberals are thinking "hey that sounds like those right wing fascist nuts at Fox News."

And then there's the people rolling their eyes and laughing at both sides.

It filters down to even the most innocent science fiction. Look at poor George Jetson. Toiling away pushing buttons for ol' man Spacely just so he could sell his precious Sprockets. The mortal terror George felt regularly at the thought of his corporate master catching him taking a breath to relax from the frantic button pushing and firing him. How would he be able to confront Jane, Judy and Elroy once deemed inferior and useless by the the Kaisers of the Free Market. Would he be forever ruined and forced to sell Rosey the Robot for scrap parts? Would Cosmo Cogs perhaps look past his years of loyalty to Spacely and hire him?

Then we go over to the more bitter sides of science fiction like the movie Equilibrium in which we see a government run society that's gone so far as to outlaw emotions. They determined that human emotion was the cause of crime, violence and wars so they got rid of such untidy things like art, literature and anything pretty. They also doped the population so they would feel anything.

On paper, Communism works. It should, Marx had enough time to work the bugs out of his manifesto as he was crashing with his friends and being a lazy do-nothing. Hell, this clown was so lazy he didn't even finish writing his manifesto. Here we had a guy who just wanted the government to take care of him. He'd be on welfare today and probably quite content. He probably didn't bank on politicians being... well... politicians.

On paper, Capitalism works. You work hard and earn your living. If you have a trade, a craft or even just a really good idea that is valuable you are rewarded monetarily for it and can sustain yourself. But then greed comes into play, and people start getting the urge to break the rules to get ahead.

So, when will this future battle come to head? Well, it's been said that Democracies come to an end when the population figures out that they can vote for free stuff. I think of the idiot in Florida gushing over the President and asking him what he's going to do about getting him better benefits at McDonalds. I think of London and the fools in streets who lack the ability and knowledge to make a lasting and beneficial change in their own lives and throw tantrums making fools of themselves and doing nothing to help their cause. I think of an acquaintance of main debating the merits of Socialist healthcare and when I pointed out that the government does have healthcare plans for those who need it. She informed me they don't work. The government run healthcare plans don't work, so the solution is the turn the whole system over to the same government. I think I know who is winning.

The battle will not be decided by a giant catastrophic event. It will be determined by the laziness and lack of education of the masses. They don't show that in the sci-fi stories. It's not interesting.

My must see TV

I've always really loved television, which makes it kind of funny that I've gone about six years without cable. So, I don't get to watch a lot of television that other people rave about. I've never seen Robot Chicken, well I did see a clip from YouTube once, and it didn't look interesting, but maybe the rest of it is better. I don't know what Venture Brothers is, but people talk about it. I hear things about a show called Dexter on HBO. But really, I don't care about any of that and honestly if I've got access to a TV with Cable I'm either looking for Mythbusters or something going on in a ring.

But still I love TV, and frankly I've found that even without Cable there's some damn fine stuff to watch. The weekends the TV gets turned off because that's when I try to catch up on the writing and drawing I should be doing.

Monday: I used to live for Heroes, but my interest has waned since the first season. Now, it's just background noise to me. I don't get home in time to watch House, but if I get a chance I do make an effort to watch it. Right now, I'm really into ABC's new show Castle. It's sharp, and Nathon Fillion is always fun to watch.

Tuesday: I jumped on the Reaper wagon late because it used to go head to head with House. Now I don't have that problem. Also, I talked about Cupid previously so I won't belabor it, but it's worth staying up for.

Wednesday: Scrubs got moved to that night, and I follow along like a widdle lost puppy. I also have been enjoying Lie To Me. Tim Roth is amazing and I find the premise and fun facts it reveals utterly fascinating.

Thursday: It's all about Supernatural. Frankly, I think this is the best damn show on television. I just got done watching the latest episode and it just keeps me drooling for more. I love this show. I wish I was the guy who was writing that much cool stuff.

Friday: I'm hooked on Dollhouse. I'm a Joss Whedon fan, and this show hasn't let me down. Kudos to Elisa Dushku. I used to think of her as bad girl eye candy. Now I respect her as an actress.

So, that's my viewing habits. Frankly, it's enough for me to the point that I don't miss cable. I've got more than enough to keep my brain buzzing.

Cupid needs love

I wanted to post this yesterday but considering I spent less time at home than i did at work of the hospital (and that's including sleep time) it just didn't happen.

I watched the show Tuesday night, and I'm going to say right now that I'm fully supporting it and urging folks to watch it. As I said before, I was a fan of the old show and thought it stunk that it got the axe so quickly.

I did some homework. The show's creator Rob Thomas (who also did Veronica Mars, well didn't actually 'do' her, but he created the show) really wanted the previous show to make a go of it, but seems there was a writer's strike or somesuch. he was approached by ABC to do another show here recently and was given the greenlight to give Cupid another shot.

This time it starts Bobby Cannavale, and as tempting as it is to do a compare and contrast between him and the previous star, Jeremy Piven, I'm not because it wouldn't be fair. I'm a big Piven fan, so I'm obviously biased. So, looking strictly at Cannavale's performance, he was great. He was given top notch material to work with and he delivered. He's very likable, and that's so important to character.

For those you don't know what the show is about. Cannavale plays a man claiming to be Cupid, the Roman God of love, who was kicked out of Mount Olympus and isn't allowed back until he puts together one hundred couples, but he can't use his powers. He takes the identity of Trevor Pierce which is false, but he's not offering anything else. So, the question is: is this really the God of Love, or is this crazy guy that's really good at matchmaking? The interesting chink in this comes when he's told about the story of Cupid and Psyche from a book and he's floored stating "That didn't happen."

Now, the twist on that little bit is that the other lead in the series is a pretty psychiatrist who's studying Trevor and thinks he's nuts. So, perhaps we're seeing the myth played out before us.

Look, I'm a cynical bastard. But there's still a small little piece of me deep down that's a romantic. This show appeals to that. One guy standing in the sea of cynicism that is New York City proclaiming to the world that true love exists and it's waiting for you. There's still a part of me that thinks that's pretty damn cool.

I also know that the show is already in trouble. The ratings weren't great for the first episode and ABC's patience isn't very long. So, check it out. You watching may help keep a good show on the air.
I'm getting really tired of going to hospitals.