“Our culture would do well to stop considering a live action movie the highest form of praise for a story.” – Tim Boyle
And I don’t think it’s fair of YOU to use the word “disrespectful” when describing me saying the Pledge of Allegiance in my Skeksi voice.
. . . if that means I have to use it to fight off an Alien Invasion* to justify getting it, so be it.
*Being from AZ, I should probably clarify: “An Extra-Terrestrial Alien Invasion”.
My cell phone thinks I’m the kind of person who uses the word “pimp” more than the word “shop”.
I have come to the conclusion that All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder exists, as it is today, due to a combination of three possible explanations:
1. This story is a veiled prank, mocking Bat-Fans for their loyalty.
2. Frank Miller HATES Batman.
3. There was a very talented Ghost Writer on Dark Knight Returns.
I gave it one out of five stars on GoodReads.
Recently I’ve found myself liking Avocado, Jalapenos, and Rap, whereas I didn’t like these things before . . . I’m getting old.
I prefer heroes who are so damaged that their only shot at redemption is to do something extraordinary.
People are always closing their medicine cabinets and then turning around and screaming in my face . . . you get use to it.
Don’t feel bad. If you develop a weapon based on the dark physics, you deserve when that weapon proves to be your undoing . . . I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t apply that to myself as well.
I try to start most my conversations with this question: “After Batman, who is your favorite superhero?”
If you haven’t seen the Award-Winning Short Film you should. If you have, you know the gist, the great WWI flying ace (German, but not the Red Baron) and his search for a worthy opponent among the allies. Glass’s feature-length version of the film takes the character into much deeper territory and has great potential as a film. I imagine it looking like Sky Captain but, unlike Sky Captain, actually having a good story (and no giant robots). I will say no more. (MS POLICY)
I knew I was in for one crazy night when the words that were spelled so wrong looked like they were spelled so right.
I think, deep down, the true meaning of Free Comic Book Day* has nothing to do with free comic books.
“The humans would have to eat robots if the robots did not provide food”
- Ancient Robot Proverb
In 1989, I decided to collect comics for serious. Batman had been my all time favorite superhero, pretty much my whole life, but I wasn’t as fanatical until after I saw Tim Burton’s Batman one June afternoon with my brother J.C. (then had to walk all the way home afterward by ourselves from Southern to McLellan in the blistering heat . . . but I was geeking so hard on Batman, I didn’t even mind.)
Anyway, at that time, my goal in life became to read every Batman story in existence, and I used pretty much every cent of my Penny Saver route income to do just that.
One day, during my weekly visit to Atomic Comics, I saw a shrink wrapped hard cover graphic novel titled Arkham Asylum. I couldn’t see the price so I asked an employee how much it was. The “employee” just happened to be Michael T. Malve, the owner and founder of Atomic Comics. He told me the price, which being a hard cover was a bit steep for me, but I decided to buy it anyway because . . . I was trying to read every Batman story in existence.
I continued to browse for another 15 to 20 minutes, excitedly turning my imminent purchase over and over in my hands, when Mike Malve came back and asked me how old I was. “Fifteen” I answered. He then informed me that he couldn’t sell me Arkham Asylum. He turned the book over and showed me that it had “Suggested for Mature Readers” printed in small letters on the back cover. He couldn’t sell it to me until I was 18.
I was devastated, I was angry, and if I remember correctly I left without buying anything else because I was so embarrassed (So embarrassed for not being old enough?!!! That’s how my teen-aged mind worked then).
I knew nothing of the story inside Arkham Asylum but suddenly it had all the nagging allure of forbidden fruit, and every time I’d return to Atomic I would look longing and then ashamedly at Arkham Asylum sitting there on the shelf.
Years passed and I repeatedly fell out of then back into comics; yet over all those years I never once read Arkham Asylum. (There was one time, while working at Barnes & Noble that I started to read it on break, but after two days we sold our only copy and once again I was robbed of it.)
Flash forward to present day. I had just beaten Batman: Arkham Asylum on the Xbox 360 and had Bats and Asylums for the Criminally Insane on my mind, when to my joy, I found Arkham Asylum at my local library.
This was it. The wait was over. After 21 years, I was finally going to read Arkham Asylum. And read the HECK out of it, indeed, I did.
Now about the book itself: Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth was written by Grant Morrison, and illustrated by Dave McKean in 1989. I really like Dave McKean’s art, but I’ve always found his sequential storytelling to be irritatingly abstruse, and Arkham Asylum being no exception, I was going to give this book 2 maybe 3 stars on Goodreads . . . but then I read Grant Morrison’s INCREDIBLE script for Arkham Asylum (with commentary) that came as supplementary material in the back of the 15th Anniversary Edition.
After that . . . well all I’m going to say is Dave McKean blew it . . . big time.
I never got around to reading every Batman story in existence, but Batman is still my favorite superhero ever and I’ve read a whole lot of his stories.
An outstanding Batman story is, in my opinion, one that covers new ground while staying true to the characters essence (this is where The Dark Knight, for all it’s flaws, succeeded, and The Joker by Brian Azzarello complete failed). Arkham Asylum, especially Grant Morrison’s script, hit it out of the park.
I can’t believe it took me this long to read it . . . but if I hadn’t waited for the 15th anniversary edition with Grant Morrison’s script, I probably would have thought Arkham Asylum was just a disturbingly surreal mess of confusion.
So thanks to Mike Malve! Plus, he was right. A 15 year old kid probably shouldn’t have read that book.
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
This was a super interesting story, well executed, but not super well written . . . actually, let’s say this, the story’s writing didn’t reach as high as the story’s ambition.
It’s an oral history, so it’s told by many different narrators . . . except they all sound the same . . . like having the same actor play all the roles.
I hear that the audio book is awesome because all the different parts are played by different actors . . . which would probably help with the voice thing.
Anyway, that’s the only negative I found in the book. The story was super fascinating with a slow burn terror that turns into hope through the indomitable nature of the Human Spirit.
One of the things that Brooks did that I loved was he was very subtle in how he revealed the story. When the book starts, all you know is that there was a Massive Global Zombie Outbreak that almost wiped out the human race, but now it’s over . . . mostly. Then Brooks starts dropping hints as to what transpired. He never out right tells you. He just casually mentions things and then a couple chapters later you find out what he was talking about.
I really liked this book. It was disturbing in few areas, for sure, but way less than I was expecting. The horror came more from the reality of the collapse of civilization than the actual zombie threat (kinda like Red Dawn). Unfortunately because some chapters were rife with profanity I can’t, with clear conscience, recommend it without a strong caveat . . . but dang it was great, especially when the human race rises up from the brink of extinction and turns the tide.
Way to go, Human Race!
I’ll be everywhere.
Wherever you can look.
Wherever there’s a fight, so hungry Bothans can eat, I’ll be there.
Wherever there’s a Storm Trooper beatin’ up an Ewok, I’ll be there.
I’ll be in the way Tusken Raiders yell when they’re mad.
I’ll be in the way a Sarlacc laughs when it’s hungry and it knows supper’s ready, and when the Jawas are sellin’ the droids they scavenge and livin’ in the Sand Crawlers they build,
I’ll be there, too.
In response to Time Out’s 50 greatest animated films (which I have issue with despite the major love it gives Miyazaki . . . but that’s the joy of lists, isn’t it?) I’ve created:
Kohl Glass’s Top 10 Underrated Animated Film List . . . generated in only 10 minutes
10. TMNT – Conflict within the brothers’ relationship was exactly where this film need to go.
9. Memories – Simply beautiful especially in it’s darkness.
8. The Powerpuff Girls Movie – A fantastic origin story for a series where we thought we already knew the origin story.
7. The Goofy Movie – Unexpectedly amazing. Even still.
6. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker – Mind blowing use of set up and pay off . . . and one of the most gripping flashbacks I’ve EVER seen.
5. Chicken Run – The humorous homages in this movie are homage worthy.
4. Prince of Egypt – Makes me want to be a better person every time I see it.
3. Millennium Actress – So perfect it’s quiet.
2. Porco Rosso – Easily one of Miyazaki’s most forgotten and yet most beautifuly innocent . . . plus seaplanes dogfighting!!!
1. The Iron Giant – Incredible animation, even better story. I cry every time.
These are just off the top of my head, but I believe each deserves a wider audience and a closer look. I’m sure I’ll think of more with time.
Lynn Burnham took me flying in his sweet 1963 Piper Cherokee this week (September 29th, 2009). He picked me up at 5:30 AM and we departed Falcon Field a little after 6. We went out past Red Mountain, over to Bushnell Tanks, circled to Horseshoe Lake, down over Bartlet Lake and back. We were airborne for a little over an hour. It was an absolute blast.