Archive | March, 2017

HONEY, LET’S JUST SKIP THE MUNDANE SATURDAY NIGHT BLOW JOB AND WATCH CARTOONS INSTEAD

30 Mar

This should be a quick and easy blog to write about.

So I keep telling myself for the past 75 blogs or so, otherwise they’d all be less time-consuming and quick and easy to write.

Saturday morning cartoons should be one of the those grandiose subjects that should naturally flow from my hands to the laptop keyboard like electricity through my fingers or easier than my penis piercing through cold refrigerated butter.

But it’s not. You still have to do the obligatory blasted research before posting.

I love most animated shows produced today. I feel that over the years they have grown up with me RATHER than me having grown up watching them.

Saturdays these days my eyeballs are glued practically 6:00PM to sometimes nearly 2 to 3 in the morning to nothing but animation. With the addition of online platforms such as Hulu and Netflix, and not to mention some real long out of circulation golden oldies that can be found on Netflix, there’s more of a library to fulfill a lifetime.

On Hulu:

The Simpsons. 28 years and still going strong. One of my favorite radio hosts, Peter Tilden from KABC, (of horror movie Shocker fame), wrote the episode where the family takes a vacation to Cuba in “Havana Wild Weekend.”

 

Bob’s Burgers. A NETWORK animated show that’s both hilariously funny and has a lot of goddamn heart. The other show that I’d stick in the same category in the cable and streaming end is BOJACK HORSEMAN.

Family Guy. 15 years and still going strong. Laugh out loud, crude and very possessive dark hearted and cruel for a NETWORK animated comedy. And that’s why I adore it and immediately after watching it need to smoke a cigarette afterwards.

I would presume that Son of Zorn ran its first thirteen episode probation season and we’ll just have to wait to hear word from Fox at the May upfronts on whether it’s going to get renewed or not.

Now I purposely utilize Hulu for all my current Fox Animation Domination and Adult Swim needs. I tried to follow a few MTV series like The Maxx,  Liquid TV, or Beavis & Butthead, but as soon as I got around to streaming Daria, I got JERKED before embarking on the third season which was probably a message for me to go out and buy the massive expensive complete series set. Hulu is fucking notorious for this type of action. Certain shows get clipped for some reason while you’re in the middle of that and they disappear entirely from your queue. This also has happened to me during streaming golden sixties oldies Naked City and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

Meanwhile on Netflix:

The New Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show. (pictured above) is a modern take on the sixties classic created by Jay Ward that was an alternating segment on the Rocky & Bullwinkle show. It’s produced by DreamWorks Animation for Netflix exclusively, but by the imposed commercial breaks I would assume that it’s shown globally on commercial television. Voice actors Chris Parnell and Max Charles reprise their roles from the DreamWorks CGI movie. It’s already on its’ third season and has been renewed for another season to start this fall. The animation is little crude and doesn’t do its’ best Ward impersonation, but the stories and its’ unique David Letterman type of talk show format gets the job done.

Danger Mouse is back with a whole look minus the flash and dash. The 1981 series was very limited in using Flash, but now produced in brilliant Toon Boom Harmony, able to give the show more depth and scope. Co-creator Brian Cosgrove is a consultant in the series and each episode is a bite size twelve minus. So if you’re that tea and crumpets kind of phase, you can easily devour two in one day – that is, if you can get the appetite make room for occasional guest voice Lena Headey as female American super spy Jeopardy Mouse

Gon – I love the person whoever is voicing the grunts and maniacal laugh of this title character. Gon is based on a manga series created by Masashi Tanaka and I was exposed to it by DC Comics through its imprint Paradox Press during my years when I was managing a comic book store in North Hollywood. The American reprints tapered off, but the character of a mischievous little dinosaur who can eat entire trees and bushes with one gulp and fight any living creature no matter how big or small always manage to stick in my craw. I never forgot that little fuck and I was caught completely off guard when I saw that a CGI animated series had been done (he’s also star of a video game. Wow, image that) and was recommended to add to my cue. I don’t know how many seasons I have to waffle though, but I think I’ve got plenty to last me for the rest of the summer.

Voltron Legendary Defender. Logical progression from Legend of Korra producers. Renewed for an addition seasons 3 & 4. It’s got that same quirky heart and pulse pounding suspense that were noticeable in Korra and the Last Airbender.

On my blu ray / dvd player:

Though technically a Amazon Prime acquisition – I’ve somehow managed to get my hands on a third-party dvd copy of the original UK broadcasts of THUNDERBIRDS are GO!, therefore saving me a good thirteen bucks a month that I would have otherwise was willing to shell out just to have the subscription service. Thunderbirds Are Go would have been another reason I would’ve chomped at the bit of getting Amazon Prime besides the magnificent live action adaptation of The Man in the High Castle, but again, I was also lucky to obtain a screener copy of the latest second season that I’m now currently in the process of finishing up.

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With a little more GO! power to muster, I’ve sort of surrender to terms with myself that TEEN TITANS GO! is the new norm and has improved time and time again since I’ve declared time after time to infinity and the edge of ad nauseam that this show is nothing more than a Technicolor eyesore, but once the show was showing that it was willing to guest star YOUNG JUSTICE in one episode and found myself laughing myself silly, the show has become acceptable. I work my way through the dvd sets whenever they’re released.

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Beavis & Butthead. I was Target one day and I happen to see that this DVD set boasted on the cellophane wrapping that it was the entire series, movie, and music videos – ALL IN ONE COLLECTION.

And guess what?

I’ve never seen every Beavis & Butthead episode, movie, and music videos EVER MADE.

So into the shopping cart it went.

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THE CENTURIONS was a 1986 Jack Kirby & Gil Kane model designed series as with most afternoon kiddie fare, it was sorely a shill for toys. Max Ray, Jake Rockwell, & Ace McCloud were former military men who are gathered together to work as a team with enhanced exo-frames provided by their space satellite orbiting headquarters SKYLAB in defeating evil cyborg scientist Doc Terror. Sixty five syndicated episodes managed to slip past my mid-twenties (I dunno, maybe I was too infatuated with Defenders of the Earth at the time or lusting after my roommate’s sister Jennifer Ellis since I was living in San Diego at the time) but luckily Warner Archive recently becoming  my new best friend has the whole series in their manufacture by demand series of products.

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Predating Jack Kirby’s work on the Centurions was another series designated to the toy shelf, but this one certainly RESONATED more with viewers  (I understand that there are cults who worship this series on college campuses . I have a couple of facebook friends, Buzz Dixon and Mark Evanier who once wrote for this series – but the sole germ of this apocalyptic world  idea came from the same mind of the creator of Howard the Duck, Steve Gerber. – although I swear it has remnants of Kirby’s Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth sprinkled all over it. It could have been a collaboration of Gerber saying to Jack: what if Kamandi was a grown up and was hanging out with a hot young sorceress and a Mok creature and they were out saving the world from evil sorcerer, mutant crocodiles, cosmic vampires and  a pack of werewolves led by their leader “ZEVON” (there’s some Gerber humor right there). I betcha that’s how Gerber & Kirby pitched it to Ruby Spears. I just know it.  Again, mostly available through the kind shippers and packers at Warner Archive. (I believe I picked this collection up at Amoeba Records used).

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I’ll have enough Jonny Quest The Real Adventures episodes to at least last me throughout the year. The Real Adventures is Jonny Quest & Hadji depicted in their teens along with Race Bannon’s daughter, Jessie joining the team. However, creative differences occurred between producer Peter Lawrence and Hanna Barbara  that he was let go after the first half episodes were delivered. The second half of the season reverted back to its’ original setting of the kids being younger, but still kept the same model sheets, and sadly jettisoning the computer graphic enhanced Questworld segments.  I wasn’t keen on the mid-eighties series, but watching most of the episodes for the first time (I didn’t have cable to watch the original runs), I feel the first season had to be a natural extension to the original. I think what Lawrence was trying to demonstrate that characters that you once had an affinity can’t just grow up in a vacuum. You need to show progression in a child character. since one that could be viewed as someone who could have a possibility of existing. There are some goofy outlandish episodes and VR is quite the rage these days, and there are some that tried to educate us. Take for example,  the last episode I watched, The Spectre of the Pine Barrens was interesting and at least historically inaccurately amusing. The Revolutionary War is still being fought in the mountains of the Pine Barrens between the redcoats and the minutemen more than two hundred years since it began, The Declaration of Independence (the real one) is at stake. Posting this just in time for the release of the DC experimenting with this year’s annuals in which your favorite DC super-hero teams up with a Hanna Barbara character, such as Suicide Squad and the Banana Splits, Green Lantern and Space Ghost, and Jonny Quest with Adam Strange. The first wave arrives in comic book specialty shops this week.

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AVENGERS ASSEMBLE: ULTRON REVOLUTION (season 3) is very loud – just like their movie counterpart. I have issues with Marvel Animation. They constantly insist in stiffing people who don’t have cable television, like me, and only sell their episodes, FUCKING ‘a la carte for two bucks on iTunes. I was comfortably watching them on my Netflix, which was another reason I caved in and got a subscription in addition to the Marvel live action shows – but they took them all off!!. I’m paying a goddamn two bucks per episode of Ultimate Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy or for this show for that matter. Since they absolutely refuse to make blu ray or dvd season sets, I’m just going to have to go the BOOTLEGGER route, and buy the entire season set at conventions for $ 15 dollars a pop. Fuck you stingy assholes at Disney.

LOOKING FORWARD TO:

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The seventh season of Archer should be out on dvd by the time I’ve posted this.

I usually conclude with a movie.

Movie nights in the recent past have included Nerdland, the Blu Ray version of GHOST IN THE SHELL, Kobu and the Two Strings, and usually all DC Universe Original Animated movies will have me on animation adrenaline until at least 3 o’clock in the morning. And then on Sundays, I’ll write for an hour or two, read some DC comics and go on another cathode ray induced marathon for all the super hero live action dramas and the best of today’s cable shows until the coach potato ass sores set in.

I’m looking forward to this one (finally, one without Batman, Superman, or Justice League in the title!!) and the collected CW Seed edition of Vixen.

 

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IF YOU CAN’T DO THE READING TIME, THEN DON’T COMMIT THE COMIC BOOK CRIME!!

17 Mar

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I’ve been delving of late into the subject of reading a brand new line of American crime noir comic books being printed today by Titan Distribution from the wonderful wacky country of the United Kingdom usually known the world-wide over for their monotonous multitude of Doctor Who and Assassin’s Creed comic books.

Sounds sketchy I know, but hear me out your honor.

Crime comic books kick ass. They’ve always been kicking ass since their inception from way back when Gangbusters was born on radio and made the transition to DC Comics back in the 1940’s.

NOT everything I read concerns spandex. I’ve had my various other genre kicks over the years. I was first  on board when DC Comics launched their own more mature content under the imprint umbrella called Vertigo Comics (seeing as how Piranha Press failed to make the cut in when it failed to ensnare readers with the heart wrenching Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children) that originally coined the phrase “mixology’ when it came to blending some of the more abstract DC heroes such as Animal Man, Shade the Changing Man, Sandman, & the Doom Patrol into their own stand alone warped universe adventures smattered with a few original creator owned books such as Enigma and Sebastian O in a vast world nearly unpopulated by the term ‘mature readers only’.

Back in the 1990’s, Frank Miller was making the scene again with his independent fare of his grimy black & white world with a splash of red, yellow, or blue here and there called Sin City as a regular feature in Dark Horse Presents that basically tore the world loose as other popular artists and writers let off with a barrage of the ultra violent nitty-gritty that made Negan back in the day come off in short pants and swinging a mean wiffle bat.

When I was a manager of a comic book store in North Hollywood, I experimented for a time of bringing sole creator made comics into the spotlight that used to make me a champion for the underdog with a passion for the independent creator that was a subject in my many essays and letters to Comics Buyer’s Guide that eventually led me to a position for Comic Con International to serve as their small press coordinator in 1997.

One of those books from that period that I carried a good ten copies or so for my store was very memorable in practically creating a cottage industry in itself called Stray Bullets by rising talent David Lapham, who had become jaded with working with Jim Shooter on a  book at a new publishing venture Defiant Comics that failed to launch called Warriors of Plasm. It went for fifty issues or more before it took a much needed hiatus.

But as time and fist pummeling to the face marched on, the genre softened a bit, making it less prominent in the majors. Darywn Cooke was somewhat keeping the wheel turning with his series of I Parker adaptations for IDW. Lapham is still now doing Stray Bullets for Image. Also I’d be remiss if I didn’t make mention of Ed Brubaker collaboration with artist Sean Phillips for their platform of crime based mini-series they’ve been doing for Image Comics that started off with Fatale back in 2012, but by blog posting time, I didn’t have time to cobble together a mini-series or two for observation.

So here is one of the waves of Hard Case Crime Comics published in junction with Titan Books that I happened to hang ten on. Hard Case Crime also serves as an imprint of a series of paperback novels from some nifty knucklebuster film noirishing writers such as Stephen King, Harlan Ellison, Max Allan Collins, Lawrence Block, Erie Stanley Gardner, Donald E. Westlake, and a host of many others. Six of the novels in the series have been nominated for Edgar Awards. Movies and tv shows such as King’s The Colorado Kid was turned into Haven that aired for a time on the Syfy Channel. 2016’s The Nice Guys was first published as a novel in this series and more media related projects are on the way.

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Peepland is a five issue mini-series (the final issue hasn’t been released as of blog posting time) that uses the much publicized 1989 Central Park rapes as a back drop concerning the possession of a video tape of these widely reported rapes that’s captured by a sex worker and friends that could possibly incriminate certain people of power. It’s a mini-series ride rifled with scumbags that even cockroaches wouldn’t scatter from.

I’m not too familiar with Christa Faust’s hard-boiled mystery writing, but with some of he events that happen in this book, she does succeed in making one squeamish and I’d supposed some of her roughshod style carries on in the novels she pens for Hard Case such as Money Shot. Christa has said in interviews that Peepland was a dream project come true for her as it literally five years to get off the ground and that’s it’s a love letter to the era of New York City that she grew up in. With artists Gary Phillips (The Rinse, Captain Action, Vigilante: Southland) and inker Andrea Camerini, that dream has now become a hard-core reality.

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Walter Hill, director, writer, and producer of many cinematic and television late seventies masterpieces such as Alien, 48 Hours,  Tales From the Crypt, and The Warriors is responsible for scripting the remaining two out of the three latest wave of The Hard Case Crime Comics line. Triggerman  is a operatic Prohibition era mini-series about a convict risking life and limb to save the girl he loves, co-written by Walter Hill and French writer Matz, illustrated by Jef. is based on one of many unproduced screenplays left lying in a desk drawer whereas…

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the third offering is a three issued double-sized adaptation to the just recent released “The Assignment” movie starring Sigourney Weaver and directed by Hill is also done by the same creative team of Triggerman. Great premise, by the way – Hitman Frank Kitchen  (Michelle Rodriguez…..huh?) is hired to do a job but gets interrupted, or rather KNOCKED UNCONSCIOUS along the way only to wake up to a very unwanted and a very unexpected SEX CHANGE operation (oh, ok, I get now)performed by a certain unhinged doctor (played by Weaver) as part of a plan of revenge for Frank killing somebody close to her. The comic book is probably getting wider exposure, since this low distributed movie is barely in any theaters that I know of. Where I work in the Hollywood biz, the director of operations at my office is even finding it tough to book this film our employee theater. So this may serve as the next best thing.

For the next wave of upcoming books recently announced.

The Cinemax show, “Quarry” will be a mini-series to be published by Titan and it’s based on the series of books by Max Allan Collins (Road to Perdition, Ms. Tree). I knew I had good instincts when picking up the recently released blu-ray set since I was in the mood to pick up the void that the four season Banshee left in my purest darkest heart. The blurb written on the back of the package sold me. I hear it’s based on the latest book series by Collins who is the co-creator of Ms. Tree, a FAVORITE independent comic book of mine back in the 1980’s only reinforced my natural gravitation to exquisite taste. Quarry just happens to be your normal average everyday traumatized Viet Nam sniper, who comes home from war only to snapped up by the local Mississippi mob to do their dirty work.

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As for these two beauts – well, Vertigo had already done an adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, so I don’t know what the purpose is behind for another publisher to tackle the same type of material, but its’ announcement couldn’t have been of coincidence since Sony just announced a sequel to the American film version called “The Girl in the Spider’s Web“, which to me is an entire bastardization of the original Swedish material (I sat through all 3 original Swedish versions of the Larsson’s novels and they’re vastly superior to the Americanized David Fincher adaptation , which was impossible for me to stay awake through, as it offered nothing new for me to explore.

Normandy Gold by author Megan Abbott details the events of when a female Washington DC sheriff goes ballistic when she finds her sister murdered and the trail to find the culprits responsible goes through a labyrinth of prostitution and drug rings leading all its’ way up to the White House. Almost sounds like something true to life since we recently got an orangutan elected commander-in-chief.

So those I hear are coming out this June.

Also, a couple of other companies making crime waves with their assembly line of comics:

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Homegrown in my own hometown of Sherman Oaks, California is American Monster from Aftershock Comics (currently occupying a high-rise building near the renown Sherman Oaks Galleria where I used to count box office receipts for Paramount Pictures) by fabled Batman: The Dark Knight III and 100 Bullets wordsmith Brian Azzarello and artist Juan Doe (Juan Doe? Seriously?)  According to the book description found on the publisher’s website; “In a small Midwestern town, a large man with a horribly scarred face gets off a bus, and takes a room. He spooks the locals–nobody knows him–or do they? It’s impossible to say be-cause he seemingly has no face. The man’s intentions remain unknown, until he takes on a corrupt sheriff and the rural crew of racist arms dealers. The town’s impression of the man changes, and he’s seen as a hero…until his real intentions bubble to the surface. The man isn’t there to end the gang, but to take it over. And he’s just getting started.”

Maybe both American Monster and Quarry could compare notes on how to avoid stepping into even more shit after leaving Vietnam. I love the look of the product as much as I’ve seen of the entire Aftershock line with its’ great quality and generous portion of previews of upcoming projects which also made me pick up the alternative history action adventure Rough Riders, but AM’s infrequent shipping schedule has made me lose the gist of the story. Sometimes its three to four months before you even see an issue pop up in your subscription box. At the time of this blog posting, I don’t think even the sixth as even shipped and it’s been three months since issue five has shipped.

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I never thought I’d see the day when I’m willing to admit that possibly one of the best written comic books in the world today would be published by ARCHIE COMICS. Black Hood is currently the most bone crunching cringing in pain comic book that can realistically kicks you hard in the stomach with a very sharp object, having your entrails spill sloppily onto the concrete and still you’re willing to turn the page as your life fades to black. Each issue is the most fifteen minute dark ride you will take before calling it quits into the night THAT IS, if you ever wake up again.

The character goes way back to the nineteen forties was an average day super-hero when he had his own comics and a radio show who was probably blah, blah, blah – caught in the super underwear glut, but after many unsuccessful attempts to resuscitate his reboots through the decades, it wasn’t until the last few years or so when novelist Duane Swierczynski took a hard-core urban approach and made him a pill popping beat cop by day and vengeful black masked motorcycle riding skull cracking thuggish vigilante by night all over the city of Philadelphia that gave him his true panache. The series is fucking brilliant and really messes with your head after you finishing reading. It’s not only the great scripted pages and various artist to have graced its’ three mini-series, but also the crazy research into true crime stories to have occurred throughout the city of Philadelphia provided by actual crime historians that serve as back up filler.

The series is currently on it’s *ahem* second season. I recently read the last three issues a few nights ago. As much as I love this series, but please a word to all comic book publishers – ESPECIALLY those who publish books published on Joss Whedon properties: FUCKING STOP IT ALREADY with the fucking referring to your comic books as television seasons!! It’s novelty has pretty much worn off.

Next time it’s more cartoon showtime. Look for it in two weeks.