Dream a Little Dream

A couple days ago, I had a dream.

The only thing I remember about it is that at one point I was trying to decide whether to call John Byrne 'John' or 'Mr. Byrne.' I'm pretty sure I decided on 'Mr. Byrne.'

For the sake of my sanity, I choose to believe I was telling him how much I liked Alpha Flight.


What's the deal with...

... Graphic Novel back-cover blurbs?

It seems like they're often written by people who might have heard a few things about the books from a friend who flipped through a copy once. Here are some examples from a couple books I liked (mostly for the art, granted), and an example of the right way to do it.

From Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean's Mr. Punch:

In his grandfather's failing seaside arcade, a young boy encounters a mysterious Punch and Judy Man with a dark past, and a woman who makes her living playing a mermaid.

Well, he does encounter those people, though I don't know how mysterious the Punch and Judy Man was, nor whether he had a dark past (maybe I slept through those pages).

As their lives intertwine and their stories unfold, the boy is forced to confront family secrets, strange puppets and a nightmarish world of violence and betrayal, in a fable of childhood innocence and adult pain.

Do their lives really intertwine? The boy observes their lives and their stories, and he's certainly affected by them, but did he really have that much involvement with or effect on any of the other characters? I'd say my life is more intertwined with my local reference librarian than the boy's was with them. And does he even confront family secrets, let alone be forced to do so? At least there are actually strange puppets, violence, and betrayal.

Then there's Jon J Muth's Swamp Thing: Roots:

One tree, whose twisted roots snare a cold evil that coils itself around a small town...

Snare a cold evil? Check. Coils itself around a small town? Not in the book I read, unless the town was so small it only had a population of 12-15.

One woman who's fleeing with her children from an abusive husband...

Or more accurately, a woman who has fled with her children from an abusive husband. '[Is] fleeing' implies pursuit.

And one man, seeking salvation, moves beyond flesh and blood and emerges from the murky depths of the Wabash River as...the Swamp Thing?

This compelling story of small-town terror and one Earth elementals quest for deliverance is written and painted by Eisner Award-winner Jon J Muth.

Okay, that part is true. The guy (with the initials A.H.) turns into Swamp Thing in the book called Swamp Thing. He damn well better.

Finally, look at the blurb from Howard Cruse's Stuck Rubber Baby:

Art and story combine powerfully in this lyrical tale of a young man caught in the maelstrom of the civil rights movement and the entrenched homophobia of small-town America. Toland Polk, the son of an uneducated white carpenter, has grown up in the Southern town of Clayfield. It is the 1960s, a time of passionate beliefs and violent emotions, and Clayfield's citizens are divided in the fight over segregation. As Toland fights on the side of the civil rights activists, he slowly begins to realize that he also has a more personal battle—to accept that he is gay.

That whole thing accurately describes the book. It's almost like the person who wrote that actually read it.

But looking at the description on Amazon, I saw this line:

As Toland fights on the side of the civil rights activists, he slowly begins to realize and try to deny that he is gay.

Well, no. That's not what happens. He already realized he was gay, and he was trying not to be. The other description is the right one.

Is it really that hard to describe the plot—not the story or theme, just the plot—of a book accurately? Hundreds of bloggers manage it every week, somehow. It doesn't really seem to be open to that much interpretation in most cases.


I wish I could say this is the last one.

(Yeah, the panel at the bottom of that page might have been better, but the words didn't fit in the balloons as well.)


International Read Like a Pirate Day

Or, "Who Link-blogs the Link-bloggers?"

Ampersand discusses the pirate comic in Watchmen:

[...] Veidt explains that he's been dreaming of "swimming towards a hideous…." This is a reference to the only other image of swimming in Watchmen; the protagonist of the pirate comic swimming towards the hideous pirate ship after murdering his own family and townsfolk. Veidt, like the main character in the pirate comic, is the destruction he fears.

Scurvy Dogs is a humorous take on a group of pirates living in the modern world. I thought the first two issues were much stronger than the later three, mostly because I'm a sucker for a good Monkees joke. It's currently on hiatus.

Rick Remender, Kieron Dwyer, and Salgood Sam's Sea of Red is one of those vampire pirate stories that are all the rage now. Issue 5 is scheduled to ship on the 28th.

Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' Black Sails, another vampire pirate story, exists in some sort of comics limbo. I don't know whether to continue looking forward to it.

For older pirate comics, see J. Larry Voyer's pirate-themed comics pages.

Scott has a good list of comic pirates over at Polite Dissent.

If pirates really are the new monkeys, where are all the vampire monkey comics we should have seen a few years ago?


In which I talk about comics before reading them.

JUL050211 ACTION COMICS #831 $2.50

Peter Dinklage would be a great Dr. Psycho. I hope the ever-changing face of Black Adam (whom I adore) isn't too distracting in this issue.

JUL050282 DESOLATION JONES #3 (MR) $2.99
JUL050300 FABLES #41 (MR) $2.75

Wow, that was the best ever! What an amazing issue of [whichever]! I love [insert title here] more with every new installment.

JUL050238 JSA #77 $2.50

Well, a couple members of the JSA seem to be in it.

JUL050247 RANN THANAGAR WAR #5 (OF 6) $2.50

Wow, baffling. Remember how good the Adam Strange series was? Me too.

JUL050276 WILDCATS NEMESIS #1 (OF 9) $2.99

Oh, Robbie... Why?

JUL051872 MARVEL KNIGHTS 4 #22 $2.99

Straczynski? Fuck that shit. Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa!

JUL051851 MUTOPIA X #3 (OF 5) $2.99

I suppose if Ismael were a mutant, Wanda would have made him less of a massive screw-up. Poor guy.

JUL051863 TOXIN #6 (OF 6) $2.99

This is, hands down (or off), the best symbiote story ever. That I've read.

JUL051859 ULTIMATE X-MEN #63 $2.50

That Brian K Vaughan sure writes a good team book or two.


Seven Soldiers: Guardian #4

[Insert inappropriate sexual analogy regarding how much this series pleases me here.]

Having read the translations (via) of the Sheeda dialogue in Shining Knight #4, I decided to try my hand at the single line in this issue.

Using one Ogham alphabet, I ended up with Muin Muin Muin, Luis Eadhadh Ailm Fern Beith. Mmm, leafb? Well, I figured the last one could maybe be an Uilleann, which, as long as I'm making things up, might be a Y. Leafy is a word.

Then I looked on Barbelith and saw that I was way off. Once I finally Googled 'ogham roman alphabet' and found a page with Ogham's Roman equivalents, I was able to work back from the new transliteration, and I noticed that I'd been looking at the original alphabet page the wrong way. I thought the characters had been rotated counter-clockwise from the vertical, when they were actually rotated clockwise, meaning the Luis was actually a Dair, the Fern was a Tinne, and the Beith was really an Uath, or Huath.

If I had paid closer attention to the original translation while looking at the alphabet, I would have caught my mistake much sooner. But that would have deprived me of wondering what, exactly, was 'leafy' about what was happening.


Fuck Canada

There, I said it.

I want to get stoned, marry a dude, and get comics on the Wednesday after an American holiday.

Now that's freedom.

Meanwhile, I'm finally getting into Powers. The dialogue was a bit infuriating at the beginning, but it's getting much easier to deal with as I get further in. The Warren Ellis issue and the Coloring/Activity book are definite highlights so far.

Here, read some Lulu Eightball.


Comics Pre-mix

It's like a remix, except the comic's not out yet.

Blood of the Demon #9:

Demon-style word balloons are no fun to draw in manually.


One for the Rampagers

This appeared in Impulse #16:

"save one, read one, and give some poor unlucky soul a copy."

Huh. So close.

(And I see that switching to HaloScan has erased or hidden all three of the previous comments I've received (that's total, of course). Sorry, Spencer.)