Oct 18, 2006

Thought Bubbles: New Comics for 10/18

52 is really getting crazy now. If you like superhero books and you're not reading this one, I've gotta say you're missing out.

I just read issue one of The Damned. This book has cool, Jazz-Age, organized-crime drama, magical action, and demons! Writer Cullen Bunn has wrapped up some of my favorite things about comics in one original mini. Brian Hurtt, formerly on SS-fav Hard Time, handles the visuals. His hard lines and stretched frames are perfect for the material. Check out a preview and more stuff over here.

Related post: Comic's the Spektor

Another book from Oni Press, Wasteland, is on issue 4. This books keeps getting more complex, but it feels like things have just gotten started. Plus, dig those Templesmith covers.

The new Virgin Comics line is intriguing. I don't like Deepak Chopra and his "spiritual thinking," but the concept of building a comic universe around Indian mythology makes Virgin Comics more than just another publisher. Right now the only book I'm reading is Snake Woman. I enjoyed Gayos's artwork in Daredevil: Redemption and the story intrigues me more than the others I've looked into.

As a special note, I've very close to posting my webcomic. I don't have a real artist, so you'll have to tolerate my horrible work. Hopefully posting some of them will help motivate me to find someone handy with a pen. Any suggestions?

Oct 16, 2006

Appropriately Named, pt.1

“What did he say?” she posed as the whirling squirts and digital snaps roared at the song’s climax.

“Red hot drops,” I replied, with a somewhat condescending tone, my standard delivery for a question I felt unworthy of enunciation.

“It sounds like he’s saying drots.” She countered after listening to the next light more closely.

Indeed, the plosive ending to Chad VanGaalen’s “Red hot drops / hot read drops” lines in song of same name is so strongly punctuated that the interpretation is easily muddled. Throughout Skelliconnection, the singer’s latest album, VanGaalen flexes the songwriting muscles exhibited on 2004’s Infiniheart. As potent as his abilities are, they are further enhanced by the charming sloppiness of it all. VanGaalen learned this skill well from Grandfather Beck and the in-laws, Neutral Milk Hotel (whose lyrical cohesion he more closely follows).

On “Gubbbish,” VanGaalen proclaims, “I’m never going to sleep. / I’m never going to sleep.” “Mini-TVs” ends with the lines, “Mix tapes, / try to stay awake, / ride my rusty bicycle / into the lake.” The next-to-last song on the album is titled “Sing Me 2 Sleep.” As a whole, the album feels like the slow waning of an adolescent’s schizophrenic energy.

All these lyrics bring to mind the themes of Infiniheart, namely the closer “Traffic,” which partially inspired the title of this blog. Sleep (not to mention traffic, the ocean*, and the future) is to Chad VanGaalen what wolves, hearts, and owls are to Jason Molina: a personal archetype fat with symbolism and meaning, but slender enough to make an easy turn of phrase. The meaning is everything, but it’s not enough to distract from the simple genius of the song.

“See-Thru-Skin,” a gentle whisper compared to most of the tracks procedes “Wind-Driving Dogs,” VanGaalen’s version of a Delta-blues foot stomper, complete with hand claps. Other than the afore mentioned “Red Hot Drops,” no song jumps off of Skelliconnection, but VanGaalen has crafted a solid indie pop gem.

Chad VanGaalen – “Red Hot Drops” from Skelliconnection

Chad VanGaalen – “Traffic” from Infiniheart

*In VanGaalen’s musical universe, sleep = [under]water = traffic/highway (just listen to “After the Afterlife”), but I don’t want to get to English-major on ya’ll.

Oct 5, 2006

Make your own shirts, poser.

Today's San Antonio Rock City is rather poignant. I have a couple shirts that I've made myself. I'm wearing one right now. They're pretty crappy. My hint: don't use an iron-on on a gray or black T-shirt.

Recently, I've been thinking about giving it another try. Maybe I'll use something from superdickery. Thanks to Oh My Art Stars!/Random GIS of the Day for introducing me to that site.

That is all.

Oct 3, 2006

Spektor on the [Internet]

Regina Spektor is live from Washington, D.C. on the NPR Live Concert Series tonight at 7:30 Eastern. It's an early show. If you miss it live, it should be available to stream later on.

Check it out here.

Regina Spektor - "Ne Me Quitte Pas" from Songs
Regina Spektor - "Apres Moi" from Begin to Hope

Oct 2, 2006

Thought bubbles

The newest issue of Bitch magazine has a great article on the origins of Wonder Woman.

Grant Morrison's run on Batman
is finally hitting its stride. The drama caused by his possible son is comically ridiculous and painfully serious, which seems to be what DC is going for with the character lately .

Tim Bradstreet is no longer doing covers for the
Hellblazer comic, but at least they've got him on the novel covers.

Hellblazer: Subterranean

What to pick up at the comic book store this week:
52 #22
American Splendor #2
Y: The Last Man #50
Giant-Size Wolverine #1

Well, that's all for this post, kids. I'll be back next time with music!