The Goon will never be lonely

HACK! Its Friday, July 1, 2011, I'm under attack from killer mucus, and this is The Side. I'm still sick, and honestly not feeling much better, but I wanted to get this weeks reviews out because the book were really good this week. I've been flip flopping back and forth all week before doses of DayQuil and NyQuil because I honestly don't have time to just be sick. Hopefully with the long weekend I'll have a chance to rest a bit.


Its about damn time THE GOON #34 came out. Eric Powell has been really busy lately churning out content, so its not like he's been slacking, but I've missed this book so much. After an all-to-brief prelude of pounding the crap out of sparkly vampires, the kids at the McGreg Home for Illegitimate, Wayward, and Possibly Homicidal Youths have a problem with the new girl. She's a Tween and, therefore, the devil. Can the Goon save kids even though he's liquored up to the gills? This comic is an out and out blast. If you've never picked this book up before you're in for a treat. Its flat out hilarious, and doesn't apologize for being just venomous in its humor. Rarely do I get a complete laugh out loud and confuse the missus moment in a comic but this one delivered repeatedly. Buy this book. Drop what you're doing and go buy it right now.

BATMAN INCORPORATED #7 takes us out west for a visit with Man-of-Bats and his son Raven. We get to see how things are with a "Batman on a budget". Gang activity on the reservation turns out to be much more as Man-of-Bats is targeted by Leviathan. There's a lot in this issue about the plight of Indians in this country, but it doesn't come across as too heavy handed. It illustrates what these characters have to deal with on a regular basis. This was a really good issue with a few twists and turns in it that made it very enjoyable. I expected the story to take one direction, but Morrison didn't take the easy, clichéd route. Chris Burnham continues to impress on the art. Great issue.

DETECTIVE COMICS #878 wraps up the "Hungry City" storyline. Snyder did some really great thematic stuff here, while still delivering a good story. It deals a lot with our expectations of people and our gut instincts about them. The plot line with return of James Gordon plays heavy here. There's been so many questions hanging in the air about this guy and we get a lot of them answered here. Great use of the story involving Tony Zucco's daughter in that. Snyder is showing himself as an excellent storyteller here. He's also got an incredible handle on Dick Greyson as Batman. Very good stuff.

THE WALKING DEAD #86 is still dealing with the aftermath of the "No Way Out" storyline. This isn't a bad thing as people who have read this comic for a while know that this isn't a rushed book. Kirkman knows how to take his time. This is great as it builds a lot of suspense and interest in the characters. This has always been a character driven book. Yes there is a little shirmish with some roamers, but we're led to worry more about Carl's fate, how Rick is handling it, and what may or may not be going on with him and Andrea. There's nothing there suggesting there's an affair going on or even building. These are two characters in this story that are still around from the first group, so they've got a lot of history. It could be a healthy amount of respect and friendship between the two. We'll see. Very compelling reading and that's what I've come to expect from this series.

ELEPHANTMEN: MAN AND ELEPHANTMAN #1 was on the flip side of THE WALKING DEAD this week, so you got two comics for the price of one. This comic has been around for a while but this is my first time checking it out. Its very solid sci-fi, with a detective story sitting in the middle of it. Our main character, Hip Flask, gets taste of what its like to be a human. By the end of it he's not sure if being a human is a good or a bad thing. I'm a little curious about this series, but that curiousity is a tad morbid. Its obvious that human women are romantically involved with some of the Elephantmen which is just really weird, and a bit kinky. So I can't say that I'm "in" as far as this book goes, because while I am curious about this world the storyline isn't what drew me in. I'm a bit on the fence, and might have to buy issue 2 before I really get on board here.


Federali over at Kings has a new video out. Check it!!

That's all for me today. I'll hopefully see you guys on Sunday with my thoughts on Google+. See y'all then. I hope.

Sorry, gang.

Caught some bug on Sunday. Its had me pretty out of it this week. No Posting today aside from me saying sorry.

Green Lantern is a Peach

In brightest day, or the dead of night
I type this stuff with deadlines tight
Even though I'd rather go fly a kite
The Side is here! Round one! Fight!

Its Sunday, June 26, 2011, and let's do this thing.


GREEN LANTERN hit the big screen last week or something like that. You may have noticed that there's been no review for it on here. The reason being that I've been too busy to go get to the movies. I probably could have tried to eek out some time to go see it, but I honestly wasn't over excited about it. I like Ryan Reynolds, and that had me tempted early on, but the more I saw of previews for it, the less excited I got. I didn't like the inclusion of the whole stupid Parallax thing. The special effects didn't excite. I don't like Hal Jordan. This all pretty much led to me giving this one a pass.

What I have found interesting is the reaction to this movie. The critics pretty much all didn't like it. One said it lacked realism. I'm trying to figure out where realism fits into a movie in which a guy gets a magic ring from a space alien. That's kind of a stupid statement. I think THOR let us all know that the whole realism in a superhero flick is way over rated. I just saw Richard Roeper refer to Green Lantern as one of the "sillier superheroes" with his green tights and flitting around. Yeah, because that's so much sillier that a guy in red and blue tights swinging through New York. Its superheroes. There's going to be a certain level of suspension of disbelief involved going in. Then there's people who have said that Hal Jordan was the least likable character in the movie, so at least we know they're staying true to the comics.

There's been other critiques of the movie about some of the acting, some story elements, and dialogue. Having not seen the movie I can't really comment about all that.

The people I've talked to about the movie who have seen it pretty much all said it was alright. Maybe a renter. I'll likely check it out once it hits Netflix.

One thing I find completely hilarious is people being glad this has flopped because that'll free Reynolds up to do a Deadpool movie. Seriously. There was people actually upset that Reynolds signed on to play Green Lantern because in there minds that meant that there was no way he could play Deadpool. Maybe it was because the characters were owned by two different companies. I guess they didn't think about Chris Evans who played Johnny Storm (Marvel), then a character in THE LOSERS (DC), some schmuck in SCOTT PILGRIM VERSUS THE WORLD (Oni Press), and is next going to play Captain America (Marvel again). So its silly to think that just because Reynolds played Green Lantern that he could play Deadpool again. Instead there's an entirely different reason that Reynolds won't play Deadpool again:


Oscar mike golf, you ridiculous fanboys!! Do you really think the people over at the Marvel movie branch are sitting there saying "OK, we've got THE AVENGERS well under way. Right after that we really need to jump on this whole Deadpool thing." They're not saying that. They'll never say that. His appearance in X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE? That's what you get. That's all you get. The little bit after the credits? Be grateful. Cherish that. That's the end of Deadpool being on the big screen. If you all say your prayers and eat your vitamins and collectively cash in all your geek karma and maybe, maybe, he might pop up in one of the X-MEN: FIRST CLASS sequels they're planning. Don't get your hopes up. And if you're ready to ask me about the people who were excited about a possible Deadpool movie after the end of the Wolverine movie, I've got news for you. You're it. You and maybe some of your friends. There's no public outcry for this. There's not even an outcry in the comic book reading community. Yes, the character has a rabid fanbase. So, did SCOTT PILGRIM and we saw how well that movie did. Its never going to happen. Get over it and move on.


I hat ninjas. I am a ninja hater. That does not mean that I hate in stealthy ways. I even hate that stupid game where people try to smack each others hands, not only because its stupid, but because its called "ninja". And one big reason is that those pricks will steal your peaches given half a chance. Stupid ninja jerks.

That my dealio for today. I'm going to try to relax and not think about Green Lantern or ninjas. Or worse: Green lantern Ninjas. I actually just made myself shudder with that one. See y'all Wednesday. Weather permitting.

Brick not hit back

Its Friday, June 24, 2011, and this is The Side. When my dad was my age, him and some of the guys he trained with got a bunch of cinder blocks and pretty much laid waste to them. there's pictures of my dad breaking them with punches kicks and an elbow. He said always make sure when you do something like that to have someone take your picture, that way you have proof and never have to do it again.

So yesterday when I put my hand through a couple of patio pavers I made sure the karate kids' parents had their smart phones out to record this historic event. It is, of course, historic because now I never have to to do it again.


ZATANNA #14 was waiting for me in the pull box this week. I'm going to miss this series once reboot kicks in. This is a fun comic, and there's so much interesting stuff going on. Unfortunately with the clock ticking down this issue doesn't have anything to do with Brother Night or the underlying big bad a-comin'. Zatanna goes to the club. Well, it wasn't really her idea, its was her cousin, Zachery. Now fellas, you know how this goes. Guy gets done working and he goes on out to get his drink on and meet some honeys. He finds a hot one and of course it turns out to be a life sucking succubus. Happens all the time. Its bad enough that a guy has to worry about STDs, knockin' her up, or ending up in a bathtub full of ice minus a kidney again. Now we gotta worry about this. Makes me glad I'm not single. This one is a one off from Adam Beechen, who I don't have any problem with usually, but there's kinda a problem here. It seems, according to Beechen, that Zatanna and Zatara's powers don't work on flesh, but we just got done with a storyline in which Zee's dad turned a guy into a puppet. Then there's the instance in which she inflated that guy with the time sword. It seems Beechen forgot about those, or forgot that their powers couldn't be used to kill people (which still would have worked with the story), or he thought for a panel or two that he was writing Firestorm. I don't know. Still, it wasn't a bad issue. Zee's relationship with her cousin was done very well. Jamal Igle's art is always a joy to look at. So, with one hiccup in there, I'll call this a win.


Cool song, made even cooler by use of SCRUBS footage. Everything is cooler with SCRUBS footage.

That's all for me today. Time to go make some bacon. See y'all Sunday.

YouTube Sensation!

Whew. Been a trying few days. Having to hustle off to work earlier makes it a bit difficult to get stuff typed up. But that doesn't mean I'm not busy. Got a couple of notions that I'm going to try to flesh out and make something happen with. We'll see how it goes.

But I'm not just thinking about stuff , I'm doing stuff, because its Wednesday, June 22, 2011, Summer is here, and can sod right off, and this is The Side.


Lee over on REALITYB1TES on YouTube has a fairly empty background when he makes his videos, and he's been asked to put something on there. I offered to draw a picture for it. It was kinda a pain getting it sent over since Fed-Ex is stupid, but thanks to some patience and the U.S. Postal service, whom I should have gone to in the first place, it made it!

I kinda doubt it'll be a fixture on his wall, but its pretty cool seeing something I drew on YouTube. It had been a while since I drew something. I still love drawing, but my hands ached, like arthritis or something. Worrisome.

Maybe I need to draw more to rid myself of such problems.


I'm really starting to wonder about the people at convenience stores. I wrote before about the nutter whom asked if I had ever plucked a chicken when I was trying to pay her for my drink at a 7-11. That's how she greeted me: "Have you ever plucked a chicken?" So I was wondering if there was some sort of mental evaluation that she slipped through somehow.

Now, I'm wondering if they check for social skills. Yesterday, I was getting a Gatorade at a 7-11 and I noticed the person in line behind me. She was short. I did a double take because she was a height of a child, maybe around four feet tall, but was obviously a nurse. She was dressed in scrubs, and carried herself like a professional woman. Caught me off guard a bit, and she noticed the double-take, so I offered her a courteous "Good morning." She nodded.

I imagine she's used to people noticing her because of her height. She was gracious about. She was quite attractive as well. I probably wouldn't have though any more about it if the weird broad behind the counter hadn't made a comment as she placed her purchase on the counter. "Is that everything, Mini-Me."

The woman made not indication whatsoever that she even knew the woman. She simply paid and left. It didn't seem like they knew each other.

Who does that? Who in the service industry simply calls a customer a nickname? I don't know if the young lady was offended. She certainly wasn't smiling when she left the store. I'm sure the woman behind the counter, who was a manager no less, felt very clever.

But, like the "chicken plucker lady" she probably needs a job where the public doesn't have to deal with her.


Was driving home yesterday, and my route took me down a particularly tricky stretch of road. Lots of sharp turns, and if you go off the road, you're likely going to end up in a ditch. My mom was scared of that road because when she was a kid she heard that a witch lived on there somewhere.

I was going around a tight "S" turn, which you've got to be careful on because its pretty tight and the trees around it are dense enough that you can't see what's around the corner. So I didn't see the accident until I was right on it. A motorcycle had lost control and swerved into the front of a station wagon. Bike was it the ditch. The rider was lying by the road. The guy in the station wagon was alright, but a bit shook. I pulled over and called 911. By the time I told the operator where we were the rider was on his feet. Just a couple of scratches. The bike was banged up, but pretty much in decent shape. I helped get it out of the ditch. The rider sneezed and lost control.

Pretty sure I won't be getting a motorcycle, like, ever. This song was on the radio when I got back in my car.

I get the feeling that's going to be one of those things that changes the song's context for me. Whenever I hear it, I'll end up thinking of that accident.

That's the ballgame for me today. Thanks again for sticking with me and I'll see y'all Friday.

Little 411

Its Sunday, June 19, 2011, Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, and this is The Side. Not a huge post today. Got a lot of stuff going on that hasn't made for the best writing conditions. Going to try to work on that. Here's some quick stuff for you loyal readers to know.


*My work schedule has changed. I'm having to get into work earlier in the morning now. This may have a direct effect on my posting schedule as I usually my time spent working on this is in the mornings before work. I get up every morning at 6 AM and out the door at 7. In that hour I check news and weather, check messages and e-mail, read some webcomics if I'm lucky, and put this together. That's just the computer time and doesn't include getting dressed, brushing teeth, handling the few household chores that need my attention in the morning, etc. So, for right now everything is business as usual on here, but that may change.

*The Side now has a mobile template for easier reading on things like smartphones. Should make for easier loading and the like.

*There's a +1 button at the bottom of the posts. Show that thing some love.

*My cunning plot to increase traffic by means of using images of the cartoon Pocoyo has failed miserably. There was a small bump in numbers, but now its dropped back down to previous levels. Really, the numbers probably have more to do with people moving away from Blogger and onto Tumblr. I've toyed with the notion of moving this over there, but am not very sure about that. Also, Pocoyo may indeed be ebbing in popularity. When I'm getting more links in from a blog that hasn't been updated in two years than Pocoyo pictures that's fairly telling.


I'm the son of a coal miner's daughter, just not this particular one.

Yes, I know this one was another really short one. Sorry, gang. I'm going to see what I can do about restructuring a few things and try to keep everything on track. Thanks fo the continued support and I'll see y'all (hopefully) Wednesday.

I'm gonna stay here and read comics

I'm going to start sleeping with a locked door. I have a queen sized mattress. This offers me, usually plenty of space for that thing we call sleeping. Typically, there's two people in the bed, myself and the Missus. Simple math, we each get 50% of the bed. Still plenty for sleeping. So how is it that when the bed is invaded by the 40 pound child that kid gets nearly half the bed, the missus is suddenly on my side, and I'm out on about a foot wide bit of mattress trying to sleep and not fall off.

Its hard to sleep when you're about to fall off of something, but I persevere, because its Friday, June 17, 2011 and this is The Side!


Its team up time in BATGIRL #22! Bryan Q. Miller does the best team ups in this comic and this issue is no exception, as Steph teams up with The Squire! I've loved The Squire ever since she was blasted out of the sky by laser packing jet apes and promised God that if he saved her she'd never swear again. A mission for Batman Incorporated gets sidetracked a bit as The ladies take on The Orphan. Its totally like that time Rupert the Bear broke the clock. The chemistry between Steph and Beryl is awesome. These are two really fun characters, in the really fun and weird setting of the DCU Britain, have a really neat adventure. I've said it time and again that this book is an absolute gem and I recommend it to everyone and anyone. This is exactly the kind of comic that needs to be out right now. It seems like every issue is perfect for a new reader, and this one is no exception.

KIRBY GENESIS #1 gives us what happens when you send a probe into space and Jack Kirby's imagination comes back. The story itself follows college students Kirby and Bobbi as the world discovers all is not what it seems. Aliens start touching down. Weird stuff gets discovered all over the world. Its like somebody suddenly turned on the weird switch. Jack Kirby did a lot in his lifetime in regards to comics. In fact everyone with even the slightest hint of pop culture knowledge knows of something that Kirby had a hand in creating. They may not know about Kirby's input, but they know the creations. Well, aside from the work he did for the "Big 2" companies he did a ton of other work. The characters and stories he created are all coming home to roost here. This is a very well done book, and quite a loving tribute to Kirby's work. As a story it reads great. The art is stellar. This is a really good read, and not just for fans of Jack Kirby.

OK. How can I review 50 GIRLS 50 #1 with a straight face? The first issue features two good lookin' women on a mission in space going to a planet where something in the atmosphere makes their clothes fall off. I swear, I'm not making that up. This is a complete fluff book, and I'm not saying this in a bad way. It reminds me a bit of the old STAR BLAZERS cartoon with the mission to get something from space to save Earth. For some reason only certain women can survive getting through the wormhole. For some reason all those women are pretty hawt. There was a bit at the back of the book which was from the writer Doug Murray that there was a reason for this that'll be explained later, but I don't even want to think about this impending explanation because I'm sure it'll leave the imprint of my palm upon my face. This is campy, fun sci-fi. I can't take it very seriously, but that's kinda working in the book's favor. At least they didn't call it "Chicks in Space".


I was stuck at a job site where some other guys working there had on a station that claimed to be country but was really just really bad top 40 music. Another guy commented, "I came to work to get away from having to listen to a whiny bitch." I know a lot of people blame Garth Brooks for country music become more pop, but at least he sang a song about some asshole slapping around his old lady and her finally shooting him. Now that's country. Or possibly hip hop. Wow, Garth really is a crossover artist.

I actually came across people from that country station doing a remote at an event. I told them to play some Merle Haggard. They told they couldn't do that. What the hell kinda country station is that? Well, they might not be able to, but I sure can.

Take THAT, Eagle 97.

Alright, there's a townhouse that needs painting, and it isn't mine, so I better get going. Word to your mothers and I'll see y'all Sunday.

Listen Up, Newbie!

Dammit Vivian, its Wednesday, June 15, 2011, the weather has cooled, and this is The Side. After some nasty heat last week the weather is being much more pleasant this week. As it was I thought I was going to lose ten pounds just from sweating. Saw an article this morning about Sunspot activity going into a phase of non-existence, which it does from time to time. They writers were all concerned that the cooling effect would offset global warming and give us all a false sense that the horror of global warming had been defeated.

They're writing that the Sun has an effect on the warming and cooling of the planet, and yet that global warming thingie is still all our faults.

Sometimes I think Al Gore's superpower (besides hypocrisy, being fat, and being a complete joke of a human being) is getting media people to completely buy into his bullshit.


Let's talk about gaining new readers. As I've been talking about on here, DC will be undertaking a massively ridiculous stunt in an attempt to gain new readers. This stunt has gotten media coverage and quite a few articles in the news. I'm not just talking about the funny book news beat. The Associated Press has covered this, and there's been a few articles popping up on Yahoo. So this stunt has gotten noticed. That's not a guarantee that it'll generate new readers. I've checked out comments on these articles, and the changes and renumbering DC are going to implement are not going over very well. A lot of people think its pretty stupid.

They're doing this to try to gain new readers, but its alienating existing readership. I'm not the only person who won't be buying DC comics soon. The people that aren't reading comics don't care. This "event" is stillborn. There is an important question to be raised here:

Is it up to the comic book publishers to acquire new readers?

Not entirely. The comic publishers job is to get the books out, and advertise the books. Editorial's job is to make sure the books aren't entire clusterfucks, and are the best products that the talent can deliver. The talent (writers, artists, letters, etc.) are responsible for doing their best to put together a quality product that people will want to buy. The talent doesn't have to go to conventions or be accessible online to the fans. Editorial sure as hell shouldn't be involved it writing stories or dictating what they want to see to the talent.

This is supposed to be simple. The talent have something to offer. The editors and publishers makes its its the best it can be and get it out for people to buy. Then they get feedback. They get to see the numbers for sales. They see people talking about these things online. They hear about it at conventions. Hopefully they they take this feedback constructively and go with what works and go back to the drawing board with what doesn't. That's not the case here, because they want readers, and they need new readers.

They're hoping that people who don't buy comic books will suddenly start buying comic books because all these issues have a number 1 on the cover. The problem is is that they're trying to assume all the responsibility for attracting new readers and it not the case.

What DC needs to do is what every comic publisher needs to do: put out the books and make them good. "Events" don't draw new readers. They are aimed at existing readers. The average guy on the street doesn't care about Barry Allen or Hal Jordan. If its Kyle Rayner and Wally West appearing as Green Lantern and the Flash respectively that is not going to have any bearing whatsoever as to whether or not someone who isn't reading comics will decide to pick it up. The cover needs to look cool and if they flip through the book it should look like something neat is going on in there. That's all they can do.

As for gaining new readers, I had two experiences recently that I want to share.

The first involved one of my students at Karate. I was getting ready to take my kids home and one of the younger students was sitting in the foyer looking pretty bummed out. Her father was in the adult class and she had forgotten the book she was reading, so she had nothing to do for an hour. I went to the car where I had a couple of comics in there. The student was an eleven year old girl and I gave her a recent copy of TEEN TITANS. Nicola Scott's awesome artwork and a solid story by J.T. Krul. The next week when I saw her she told me how much she loved it. She had never read a comic book before. She might start reading them if she can get out to a comic shop (unfortunately there's not one close to her house).

I didn't start reading comics because of an event. I started reading them because my grandparents, bless them, gave me a FANTASTIC FOUR comic. I didn't know if they got it for me, or if Gran'dad is a secret FF fan, but he gave it to me and I loved it. The next time I visited he gave me an IRONMAN comic. I was hooked. I cherished those books. I was three or four when I got them and I still have them somewhere.

Like the noble zombie, readers create new readers. You can't push comics onto a non-reader, but if we want the medium to grow fans we have to be observant and look for those who may be open to giving a comic a read. If you approach someone with a "dude, you've got to check this out", you're not going to get anywhere. Enjoy your hobby, and if someone takes an interest be nice and let them read one of your comics. Don't be a weirdo about it either. Those goofs in the book stores getting weird over their manga and acting like I'm the nutter for not knowing everything about their favorite manga aren't doing manga itself any favors.

The second incident involved my buddy's son. He's four. He knows who Superman and Batman are through pop culture and cartoons, but he hadn't read a comic. They live maybe two miles from Comic Kings. His parents asked me to let them know the next time I was going to the comic shop so they could take him and i could show him around. Once they got there the red carpet was rolled out for the kid. It was obvious that this was his first time in the shop. I showed him where the kids comics were and after checking out everything he picked one out, SCOOBY-DOO, which was a bit of a surprise since he really likes superheroes. He was offered some of the free posters and stickers the shop had for promotions. He was interested in the Pokémon cards so they let him have a couple from the 5 cent bin. They even gave him a T-shirt. So the kid thought it was the greatest place ever.

Comic shops build readerships. The shops have to be clean inviting places. There's one in town that's just an absolute pit. Its not terribly clean, and there's hardly any natural light in the place. In contrast, Comic Kings is nice and clean. They have a lot of merchandise on the walls, but you don't feel like you're walking into a dungeon when you go in. The staff are helpful and friendly, and that's important. If someone is a new reader and they go walking into a comic shop for the first time it should be a pleasant experience. They don't need to feel like its a hassle of weird to get their comics.

Having a kids comics area is a great way to go. Most mainstream comics are geared towards 18 to 35 year olds. But there's a lot of really good kids comics out there as a well and having a nice section just for them makes them happy and makes the parents feel better about taking kids to the comic shop. Its not like when I was a kid. I can't wring 60 cents off my folks for an issue of JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA at the 7-11. Another local shop, Local Heroes, has a great kids section complete with a little chair for them to sit at and read the books. My daughters love it.

Having events at the shops can go either way. Comic Kings got on the news for giving away 2,000 copies of the Obama SPIDER-MAN comic. People were lined up out the door. News crews showed up. Yes, it was good publicity, but it didn't generate any new readers. It didn't even give the store a sales bump that day. It was a bunch of Obama fanboys lining up for something free. But doing things like having hosting TCG tournaments and making a big deal out of Free Comic Book Day can pull in a new reader or two.

In conclusion, DC's latest stunt won't do what they want it to do. The problem is what they want to do isn't really all on them. If we want to medium to grow in readership we have to do it. Not aggressively, but in a rational inviting manner. The many comic book movies don't translate into new readers, but play it right and readers and shops can use them to get a few. There's not going to be a massive influx, so go for a few. These numbers add up, especially if you're patient.


Caught this on the video channel my TV randomly grew.

That's it for today. I actually had a dream last night in which I was told I must buy more comics for the good of the industry. I'd say DC is hiring telepaths for their sales staff, but if that was the case you'd think they'd know their stunt is doomed to failure by now. Oh well. See y'all Friday.


Its Sunday, June 12, 2011 and this is The Side. Sorry, I don't have anything on last night's UFC. Wasn't able to make it to go watch the fights. Congrats to Junior Dos Santos for the big win. I'm looking forward to him getting his shot at the title.


I'm stuck in an awkward position, and not because I slept on the couch again. I review comics every Friday, but this isn't the only place that my reviews appear. They also appear over at the Comic Kings site. Comic Kings has been very good to me over the years, and I'm more than happy to put my reviews up on their site. Its minimal trouble, and decent exposure for my blog. I also put the occasional comic related piece or comic movie review up.

On here, I've been pretty clear about what I think about the impending DC reboot. However, I've been keeping my feeling on this mum on the Comic Kings site, because while I'm not going to be buying DC comics once this thing goes into full swing, I don't want the shops business to be hurt. They've been very cool about my feelings about this. They didn't say anything when I started scratching stuff off my pull list. Right now as far as my DC reading I'm down to ACTION COMICS, DETECTIVE COMICS, BATMAN INCORPORATED, and BATGIRL. But I have been adding other titles to my list like MORNING GLORIES, THE WALKING DEAD, and USAGI YOBIMBO. While I don't see myself quickly making up the gap in my reading, I'm sure it'll pick up a bit.

Let's talk about the point of this reboot: getting new readers. The Missus asked a brilliant question when we talked about this, "With them trying to get new readers, are they trying to get rid of the old ones?" I've seen the renumbering stunt quite a few times before. Its something I never really approved of. The thought is that people feel more comfortable jumping onboard a title with its first issue. I never thought I'd see the day that they do this to ACTION COMICS or DETECTIVE COMICS. That's not even my main gripe. They say that they want to move the DCU into the 21st century. I know that there's a problem with some things time-wise. There's characters from World War II still active who have to be pushing ninty and that's being generous. But I'm looking at who they have on board for this. A lot of these guys have had their heyday nearly twenty years ago.

Rob Leifeld is drawing a book? And the defenders of it are the people who read HAWK AND DOVE way back in the 80s? How's that going for new readers? Jim lee is designing outfits which look like the stuff he was designing back in the 90s. I've gotten a look at the covers for these impending first issues, and a lot of them really do look like early image books. This isn't a good thing.

And what on Earth are we doing having artists double as writers again? Tony Daniel, Ethan Van Sciver, and J.H. Williams III are all writing books. I'm going to say this as nicely as possibly: just because you can draw a comic does not mean you can write one. No one is asking Grant Morrison to go draw a comic, now are they. We saw a lot of this in early 90s Marvel and Image, and we got a lot of really stupid comics from that little experiment. Speaking of Image, a lot of Jim Lee's Image creations will be melded into the DCU proper. There's also going to be a "darker" side to the DCU. I bet it'll be dark and epic! Epic and Dark! And George Perez is writing SUPERMAN. You're not going to hear me say a single bad word about George Perez, but this is a guy who can draw any character doing anything and make it look like spot on. Why is one of the best artists ever in comics writing a book and not drawing one?

Where's Bryan Q. Miller in all this. I'm not seeing his name anywhere. They show Mark Waid the door. Greg Rucka gets out. Nick Spencer gets off the reservation. Now I'm not seeing anything by one of the most enjoyable writers currently in DC. But Judd Winick is still around. Yay.

Speaking of writers, there's a bit of confusion going on. Some people are saying that everything that's gone on in the DCU has still happened. Others are saying that this is taking the characters back to earlier points in their lives, hence Barbara Gordon walking again. (Sidenote: way to show diversity. Have your premier disabled character magically out of her wheelchair.) But Geoff Johns said that all the stuff he's done with "Blackest Night" and his other crap have happened. And somehow all of the Robins are around in some way. But Lois and Clark aren't married anymore. There's no consistency here, unless its "Geoff Johns is awesome and we won't write off anything he did".

So, obviously I don't what DC is up to one bit. But a part of me is stupid and thinks that this'll all just be temporary, and in six months they'll come back to their senses and put everything back as they found it. This is the same part that previously said stupid things like "There's no way they'd be dumb enough to bring back Barry Allen." I still can't bring myself to wish ill on the company because if this goes horribly, and it will, then likely they'll make an even worse decision to try to "fix" things. I love the DCU. I love the characters. Its the editorial shenanigans that should be helping books get out and not making dictates as to what they want to see. They say they want to move forwards, but all I'm seeing is a lot of looking backwards.

Will this help bring in new readers? No. I'm honestly expecting the numbers to go down. All of this won't bring in anyone who doesn't currently read comics. If you want to see new readers you have to get comics in view of people who don't normally read them. Can't really get them on newsstands anymore. Even 7-11 is doing away with selling anything more than newspapers are far as reading material. Really it comes down to the current readers. They have to be willing to say to a friend "hey, I think you might dig this" and put an issue in their hand. I did that the other day with one of my students. They forgot the book they were reading at home. I had an issue of TEEN TITANS in the car and she wanted something to read while her father's class was in session. She loved it. I've created more new readers than this stunt DC is pulling will.

So, if you're excited about what you are seeing from DC's plans, then by all means go buy the books. Hope you enjoy them. I'm going to be off reading something else.


Any time is a good time for some Warren Zevon.

That's it for me today. See y'all Wednesday.

Comics sweet like sugar

Its Friday, June 10, 2011 and this is The Side. Had a little excitement on the other night. While watching the SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE auditions flashing blue lights became visible through the windows. I went out on the porch in time to eight patrol cars and some people getting handcuffed.

Obviously, they were trying to elude the officers and once they saw our street, promptly surrendered.


BIRDS OF PREY #13 tops our list this week. The Birds are up against Junior and are in a bit over their heads. They weren't quite ready for this, but those of us who had seen Alex Merkel in SECRET SIX knew this was going to get ugly. Huntress steals the show as she teams up with The Question. Sharp writing and really tight art make this a stand out book. I am a bit bothered by the ending as it looks like we're getting set to take a direction with this book that I'd be completely on board with, but Gail Simone won't be on BIRDS OF PREY after the reboot, so we won't get to see the follow through.

RED ROBIN #24 has our hero tracking down an assassination cult that has a killing contest going. It seemed that their was a tournament going on for assassins, but it looks as though that was a ruse to draw out Tim. Its also looking as though Tim as inherited Bruce's superpower of having killer women wanting him to impregnate them. Osmosis is a powerful thing. I dig Marcus To's artwork. Its very tight and clean.


It came from the 60s by way of the 90s. Why am I doing remakes this week?

That's it for today. Lot of areas under some nasty heat advisories, so everyone safe safe. See y'all Sunday.

Must type or goblins will eat me...

Its Wednesday, June 8, 2011, I'm lacking something clever to say, and this is The Side. Time is working against me, so let's just get to it.


I'm pretty sure that sometimes there a little animated face that pops up on the "new post" page that stares at me when I'm staring at the keyboard try to think about what to write. Friday's are easy. The little animated goblin doesn't come out to make faces at me and mock me for not knowing what to type about. I can do my comic book review and get on with my life. Wednesday and Sunday and much more difficult. While I find great comfort in familiarity of routine I also have a need to create.

Creating routinely works well in theory, but its not like exercising routinely. Both require discipline. Both require time. However if you have time and no health problems you can exercise. You can be healthy as a horse, have all the time in the world, as well as a ton of mind altering substances, and that doesn't guarantee anything is going to happen. However, when you have a deadline, it can make something happen. It forces the matter. There are people who say you shouldn't force creativity, but these are people who either don't create, spend tons of time waiting for inspiration, or have so many ideas popping out of them that the rest of us creative types want to stab them.

I figured out long ago that I'm much easier to be around when I'm creating. I'm actually rather pleasant when I'm drawing regularly. Unfortunately, I'm not drawing regularly, and I haven't done much by way of fiction writing in a long time. Blogging helps, but its like taking medication to keep the nastier symptoms from coming out. Unfortunately time isn't on my side. You can have the best ideas in the world, but when you don't have time to sit and work on them nothing's going to happen. I don't mean time as in, well we're all here and the kids are playing, I mean time as in everyone get out and let me work. There's an old saying that writing isn't a dirty process, but its best done privately and its good to wash your hands afterwards. When you work and have kids, its hard to get that alone time.

And that's when the little goblin pops out: when there's a blank page and a deadline looming. Its different for everyone in that position. Most of them probably don't hallucinate. But then again, if they did, it might give them something to write about.


Not a review of anything of the sort this time around. Just a nice little bit from what has to be the greatest movie theater ever.

Speaking of movies, Here's a bit of the theme song to the upcoming remake of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO.

That's it for today. Thankfully, I've got some work today. See, being creative is cool, being able to express that is great, but paying your bills is frakking important. See y'all Friday.

The stuff that people do

OSU! Its Sunday, June 5, 2011, I'm exhausted, and this is The Side. I'll get to why I'm worn out in a bit. Real quick: on the shameless internet number whoring front, my cunning plan has worked. After getting less then half the page views in May than I did in April I put in a post with a ton of Pocoyo pictures and sure enough I'm back to getting the numbers I previously was and my "sell out" post is one of the most viewed posts on this log.

This let's me know one thing: my opinions and thoughts aren't nearly as sought after as a little cartoon kid and his little animal companions.

Of course, that's not going to stop me from continuing to spew them forth at you people thrice weekly.


So much of what we see and read about our fellow man is terrible. Its so easy to sit and just have a dim view of humanity if we don't get out and away from those trying to get ratings. In news there's a saying "If it bleeds, it leads" meaning the more horrible the story the better the ratings for it will be. And this thought spreads.

Recently a discussion sprung up on the internet making the case that George Washington was an evil person. Really? George Washington? of course nowadays its practically en vogue to bash America, but at a certain point it just gets stupid. One of the main points those making the case that Washington was evil was that Washington owned slaves. However, Robert E. Lee didn't. So does that make Lee a better person than Washington? Well, that can't be the case because Lee fought for slavery during the Civil Wars. At least, that's what you're told because making that war all about slavery makes the winners look better. Saying it was really about States rights versus the powers of the federal government makes things a lot less cut and dried. Were either Washington or Lee evil? Of course not. But demonizing people is easy. Its a low road, and fairly stupid. It ends up leading to stuff like that yearbook page that listed the worst people ever as Adolf Hitler, Osama bin laden, Charles Manson, George W. Bush, and Dick Cheney. Three of those people are actually evil. Two are not. If I have to point out which, you've got a problem.

But with all this stupidity and people thinking the worst of people you can still find all these great folks our there. there's still people going out and trying to be a good example, and even better those who aren't trying and simply are a good example. I was at a karate tournament yesterday, which is why I mentioned earlier that I was so tired. I left everything I had on the floor, and even though I didn't win big, I still tried my best to inspire others with my display of skill and show good sportsmanship with my fellow competitors. I had a bunch of students there, and they all worked hard and did well. I'm proud of all of them. One of things i was really glad to see was two of the teenage students helping one of the younger one who had placed in his division, but didn't know where to get his trophy. They more proud of him and more than happy to take him over to get prize. Its little things like that which makes me think teaching is worth it.

Being inspiring can be a simple thing. It can be as simple as the little old lady who had the save bank account for nearly 100 years, and how great that bank treated her on her 100th birthday. Or it could be something a little more showy, like the little girl who did a great job singing the National Anthem, which wouldn't seem like much of a feat, but considering how many high profile singers have messed it up, its refreshing to see a kid do it right.

And then there's those who protect and serve who can inspire us. The people who don't choose the easy path, but above and beyond, not for the glory, but because it was the right thing to do. People like the Iraq War veteran who protected his children during a bank robbery and then turned around and caught the robber. People with the skills needed to help, the decency to do so, and the intelligence to know when to act.

And finally there are those people who never set out to inspire, but placed in extraordinary circumstances, do so anyway. Such was the case of the British Military man checkpoint was overrun in Afghanistan by 30 Taliban fighters who did their level best to leave him a bullet riddled corpse. Now for those familiar with the story you may be saying "But Nozz, that soldier was a Gurkha! That fight was in no way fair to those Taliban folks!" Which is true, but the Taliban guys started it, and didn't leave that fella any choice but to take all 30 of them out. What's lesson there? Don't quit. Some things only look impossible.

Life isn't simple. Its not really down to good versus evil a lot of times, but sometimes it is. Evil is fairly easy to find if you look for it. News media makes it pretty easy. However good can be found too, and you may have to look a little harder, but its worth the extra effort.


My college roommate dated a girl who looked just like the girl in this video, complete with the legs that went all the way up to her neck. Of course, I've got the video in here due to this being a really great song and video, and not because the girl in question is in a really short skirt.

Alrighty, I'm done. I'm going to go recover, and then go workout, and then go recover. Yeesh. Talk about a vicious cycle.

How far has Hellboy come?

Hey now. Its Friday, June 3, 2011, I got lucky last night, and this is The Side. By lucky I mean I was in a convenience store last night. I was down to my last buck before payday, and since there's not much you can do with a buck nowadays, I bought a scratch off lottery ticket. I won ten dollars!

Figured I'd push my luck and used that money to get more scratch off tickets. After going through most of them I had won a dollar, so I'd at least be back where I started. Sure enough the last ticket won me twenty dollars. For a brief instant I considered getting more lottery tickets, but there's a point where you've got to quit when you're ahead.


HELLBOY: THE FURY #1 begins the wrap up to the huge arc that's been going on for a while now. Big Red has gotten King Arthur's sword, been offered to be a king, and has a nasty queen witch to battle. There's a lot of elements going all the way back to the beginning of the series. There's mentions of Rasputin. Alice Monaghan, the baby from "The Corpse", is all grown up. There's a lot going on, and we jump in right with Hellboy going to confront Nimue. In the meantime its looking like King Arthur's true heir is rising up. There's a big battle going on, and looking like a bigger one is on the way. This one is tough to jump onboard on if you haven't been following what's been going on. Fortunately, Mignola and Fegredo give us a two page recap just to refresh our memories. They're going for "epic" and doing a pretty fine job of it.

With the DC reboot still just a little ways off, I'm finishing out the stories for a bit of closure for myself.

SECRET SIX #34 has the team back from Hell, but there's still the matter of Scandal Savage's girlfriend, Liana, having been kidnapped by lunatic whose torturing her and planning on killing her. Things don't go well for the dirtbag responsible. We also see Bane go out on a date. In a stunning change of pace none of the team tries to kill anyone else on the team. This is probably as close as this book gets to being upbeat. Yes, its always fun in its own unique and twisted way, but there was a slightly different tone here. We can get behind the team's motivation to save Liana and put down the guy who was torturing here. We can enjoy Bane being out on a date with the nice little stripper who really likes him in as close to a romantic comedy as this series can get. Gail Simone hits all the right points here, and fleshes them all out beautifully. Although, I'm still unconvinced about King Shark being a Shark.


The actual video is pretty cool until it turns into a "hurray for liberals" bit. Ah well. I could get it embedded in here anyways. As such. Enjoy some penguins.

That's it for me today. Got a Karate tournament tomorrow and I'm hoping for some big trophies. We'll see what happens and I'll tell y'all about it Sunday.