Endless Loop: Snakedriver

jmcsdHave you ever had one of those songs that get stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Snakedriver” by The Jesus and Mary Chain

Thee Comic Column #127: The Art of the Letters Column

ScanAh, the letters column. Sometimes I wonder if it had more of an impact on the comic book world – or maybe just comic book readers – back before the advent of the Internet and email, when fans of a book wrote their questions, comments and musings out by hand, sent them to the address specified on the last page of their favorite books and waited to see if theirs would be one of the dispatches picked for publication/response. Or perhaps sending an email is just as time consuming, personally revealing and weighted with anticipation. Either way, letters columns are a beloved industry standard, but one that I myself had gotten away from reading quite some time ago. Why? I’m not really sure. However, this has slowly been changing and yesterday, during an illness-inspired confinement to bed, I read my way through the new issues of several comics that all have very impressive letters pages and you know what? Something was reignited in me. I’ll place the responsibility for this final realization squarely in the hands of Greg Rucka and Michael Lark’s Lazarus, which probably has the best letters page ever. But there are more books than that which, on a monthly basis, have been slowly eroding whatever prejudice I long ago developed for something I used to love. That’s right true believers, I don’t think I’ll be trying for a No-Prize anytime soon, but I am whole-heartedly back on the “Must Read the Letters Column” wagon from here on out.

Endless Loop: Fade Into You

mazzystarHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star

I am a shy teenager caught in an eternal slow dance in a school’s gymnasium, hushed, embarrassed, and awkward, my arms forever enfolding my unrequited love. I am an admirer pining away from a distance, but never standing to meet, gazing and longing forever. I am the loving and lonely soul who gives away my whole heart only to have it given back to me. I love what can never love me back.

Thee Comic Column #126: Daredevil & The MMU

Netflix-Daredevil-Costume-3Everyone else on the Internet wrote about Marvel’s new Daredevil series last week when it dropped on Netflix. I’m still only a little over halfway through the season as I write this, however I simply can’t NOT write about a comic-based show this damn good. That said, what I really want to talk about here isn’t merely how great a show Daredevil is, or how wonderful the show is cast, the fact that besides the obvious magnificence of Mr. Cox and Mr. D’onofrio as hero and foil, Elden Henson is the perfect Foggy Nelson, Vondie Curtis-Hall kills as Ben Urich* and Deborah Ann Woll has added a level of innocence back to a character that, for those of us who have read Born Again, stopped associating with Ms. Page a long time ago. No, what I really want to get into is my own absolute admiration for Marvel’s big picture, the saintly patience with which they stalk their master plan and how they’ve consistently been able to transform and translate EVERYTHING they’ve brought to the silver screen – little or big – since 2006’s Iron Man led the way.

The Joup Friday Album: The Phantom of the Paradise OST

phantomofparadiseTwo years before he tackled Carrie in 1976 to open himself up to a much wider audience, Brian De Palma made the absolutely bonkers musical/rock opera/horror schlock film The Phantom of the Paradise. The movie is a take on The Phantom of the Opera and Faust, but taking place within the music industry. William Finley plays the wide-eyed Winslow Leach, an aspiring music composer and singer whose songs catch the eyes and ears of satanic record producer and club promoter Swan, played wonderfully and devilishly (pun absolutely intended) by Paul Williams. From there, we have love, betrayal, murder, mutilation, a deal with the devil, and a string of grand, rock and roll music numbers.

Endless Loop: I’m So Tired

fugaziHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“I’m So Tired” by Fugazi

Thee Comic Column #125 – A Valiant Way of Doing Things

RaiLet me tell you about my trip to the comic shop the other day. As is my custom, I headed to Manhattan Beach’s branch of The Comic Bug on my way home from work, using the stop off as a welcome respite from the five-day a week insanity that is the Southbound 405 Freeway* at 3:00 PM on a weekday. Ah, the sights and sounds of a comic shop on new release day – it is pure, unadulterated joy to me. And on this particular day there was double the joy when I met one Andy Liegl, Sales Manager of Valiant Comics on my way to the register. Andy’s a friendly guy whose passion for comics runs as deep as my own, so within moments of his inquiry into what I had in my stack and the perfunctory small talk that revolved around the first issue of the new Luther Strode series and James Tynion, IV I knew that I wanted to hear what this man had to say. Andy had a table decked out with trades and single issues showcasing the Valiant Universe as it is today, almost three years after the re-launch that brought them back in 2012, about the same time a certain other comic company did their re-launch. But I’ll get back to that. So I inquired and Andy, Andy was only too happy to talk to me about what Valiant is doing – besides signing a nine-figure movie deal to open a movie division that is. I wanted to know about the comics, a company I’d been peripherally aware of since their inception in 1988  So Andy gave me his pitch and when all was said and done, I was impressed.

Translate