Saturday, September 01, 2007

die Helden - real Heroes wear Lederhosen!

Real Heroes wear lederhosen!

From the LiveJournal 'ohnotheydidn't community: photos from the promotional Heroes cast tour round Europe. This stop, presumably, Germany!




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FANCY some Gay Conan comics?

(press release)

FANCY by Dale Lazarov and Delic Van Loond joins AdultWebcomics!



http://www.adultwebcomics.com/comics/fancy.php

FANCY is a series of man-on-man erotic fantasy comics - barbarians, princes, wizards and woodsmen who find love and lust in sensual, enchanted landscapes. The first story currently being serialized from FANCY is "Hospitality", a tale of a wandering barbarian swordsman who finds shelter, comfort, tenderness and hot, hard sex in the arms of a burly village blacksmith.

Dale Lazarov is best known as the writer/editor of STICKY, a collaboration with illustrator Steve MacIsaac that was first published by Eros Comix/Fantagraphics and collected in hardcover by Bruno Gmuender Verlag. Best-selling author Clive Barker described STICKY as "Sexy, stylish, minimalist...an intense mixture of erotic realism and the freedom of comics storytelling makes STICKY a pleasure to have in one hand."

With accomplished European erotic artist Delic Van Loond, Dale now brings STICKY's brand of carnality and sweetness to sexy fantasy characters and settings. "Everyone's invited to read FANCY as hypermasculine heroic adventure fantasy types have long been protagonists in the erotic imagination, not just for gay geeks or female fans of slash and yaoi art. That said, Delic and I go through great pains to make sure the protagonists of these stories relate to each other on a human level in order to enhance the experience of sensuality and romance inherent in hard man-on-man sex. Another inclusive aspect of FANCY is the intentional lack of captions or dialogue; anyone who enjoys erotic illustration can immerse themselves in Delic's clear, compelling, gorgeous erotic comics storytelling and fantasize their own dialogue."

Delic Van Loond adds "It's great to work with Dale on this series; his writing brings a real humanity to the characters despite their fantastical settings. He creates a back-story for each protaganist and it's been a fun challenge to show that to readers in a dialogue-free story. I also think it adds to the sensuality when there's empathy with the characters. Combine this with swords, leather, magic and muscles and you have an olde worlde feast of hotness!"

Lazarov & Van Loond's FANCY updates every Saturday at adultwebcomics.com.
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Friday, August 31, 2007

The case of Dan DiDio v. Everyone

Something's definitely rotten in the kingdom of DC

Everything kicked off with Dan DiDio's Newsarama interview which stoked the fires of discontent, by actively denying there is anything wrong, rejoicing in the company's great popularity and the fans' happiness with their product.

I've already gone through my thoughts on DiDio's statements in the interview, and their funny comparison to reality, a few weeks ago.

Well, I'm not the only one being vocal.

Valerie D'Orazio, former assistant editor at DC has recently gone on a long and well-versed rant against Dan DiDio on her Occasional Superheroine blog. If you're going to read one blog this week (apart from this one, duh), make a point of checking this one out.

Best quotes for the fan on the go:


  • [...]the situation at DC has become so dire that to continue to publically mock "Countdown" would be in bad taste.
  • DC is not Marvel[...]Marvel superheroes are not just flawed to be flawed, but have their flawedness organically built into their backstories and characterizations.[...]By contrast, the serious personality flaws imposed on some DC characters in Didio's regime -- such as sociopath/killer Max Lord, sociopath/killer Superboy, "bad girl" Supergirl, rapist Dr. Light, cruelly unethical Leslie Thompkins, and amoral JLA -- have been superimposed, artifically added, uneccessary.

  • Failure to nurture Editors internally.[...]this point goes back to before Didio, back when DC let Axel Alonso get away [...]there has been a similar failure to make the extra effort to retain a good editor over the last few years that I think has directly impacted the company at present.[...]If they do not feel that they have a future with the company in terms of promotabilty, etc., how does that effect their morale?

  • "Stephanie will never get a trophy case."[...]The Didio era at DC inadvertantly helped launch a renaissance in feminist activism in comic books.[...]Stephanie Brown's grisly demise combined three general c**k-ups of the last six years all in one.[...]First, you have the "filth florin filth" aping of what Marvel is considered to be -- hardcore, violent, and amoral.[...]Second, you have what I will explore later -- short-term investment in gimmicks rather than longterm investment in character and story.[...]Third, you have cluelessness/insensitivity to female issues which are interpreted by some (though not all) as misogyny.

  • One-Trick Pony[...]It is inexplicable to me that DC kept running the "New Crisis" thing into the ground after "Infinite Crisis." Whose idea was this? Who said "let's keep running this into the ground?"[...]Was it simple greed that spawned "Countdown," or was there truly not an original idea left to be had?[...]And whose brilliant idea was it to have each issue be drawn & written by different creative teams? It looks like crap. It's like those late books with 15 different inkers working on it at the same time.

  • Didio doesn't "pull off" a Quesada particularly effectively. And that's enough on that.

  • Didio is an "alpha" -- an aggressive male used to full-on attack and victory.[...]This becomes a problem because you essentially have something akin to a dictatorship.Who can stand up to the uber-powerful "alpha" figure and successfully argue their point of view?

  • Lack of innovation.
    Yes, "Minx" is an innovation -- not a Didio project.
    Yes, "Zuda" is an innovation -- not a Didio project.What are the innovations of the Didio regime?
    a) "Taking the smile out of comics" with the "innovative" "Identity Crisis"
    b) Aping the successful "Crisis on Infinite Earths" of twenty-five years ago with "Infinite Crisis"
    c) Aping the successful "Crisis on Infinite Earths" of twenty-five years ago with "52"
    d) Aping the successful "Crisis on Infinite Earths" of twenty-five years ago with "Countdown"
    e) Aping the successful "Crisis on Infinite Earths" of twenty-five years ago with "Final Crisis"
    [...]The popular wisdom is that if you want innovation, try Vertigo. But I think that's DC's failing. Because Marvel has more successfully blended the innovative/"weird" with their mainstream.

  • DC has basically invested their whole superhero line on a series that sucks."Countdown" is an industry joke, and Didio's repeated attempts to justify it sounds eerily familar to GW Bush trying to justify Iraq.

  • Gimmicks like "Female Robin," "Identity Crisis," "the great Giffen JLA massacre," "All-Star Batman," etc alienate long-time readers, drive parents away from the titles, and scoop up great short-term dividends.[...]Yes, killing off Kirby's New Gods in a much-hyped series will give you initial high sales. But then, you've slashed-and-burned your history. What do you do when your short-term is up?The whole Identity-Crisis/Infinite Crisis/52/Countdown complex is a short-term enterprise that started out cool and interesting and went on too damn long.

  • Who would -- theoretically, of course -- replace Dan?My personal pick would be Dwayne McDuffie. He has the experience running a comic book company, he has Hollywood experience, he's a great writer, and sounds like a good egg.
And I'll second that nomination! Dwayne McDuffie sounds like the perfect choice, and he's been more and more involved with quality projects in both companies lately.

Another interesting article on DC's future was posted this week on Blog@Newsarama by "Grumpy Old Fan"

Best Quotes from Five Ways DC Can Make Me A Happier Old Fan:


  • Stick To A Schedule[...]However, while it’s good to have the issues actually in-hand, it’s arguably better to have them come out on a recognizable schedule.
  • Death Is Not An Option.[...] it is more than a little depressing that characters’ deaths are telegraphed in, if not outright selling points for, a lot of these events. The thought of Death of the New Gods closing the door on an entire “family” of characters just makes me ill.
  • Think Outside The Main Line.[...]I’d like to see more “historical” stories (Satellite Era, Detroit League, JLI) in [JLA Classified] as well. I’d also like to see more period stories of the original Justice Socialites in JSA Classified.
  • More Eclectic Collections.[...]DC could do worse than to reprint collections of the original Blue Devil, Firestorm, and Nemesis stories. Each of those characters has been fairly prominent these days, and revisiting the old stuff couldn’t hurt.[...]A number of offbeat, fondly-remembered series, including Amethyst, Hourman, ‘Mazing Man, Major Bummer, and Young Heroes In Love, would also make fine trade paperbacks.
  • Five-Year Crossover Moratorium. [...]DC’s credibility is pretty much zero when it proclaims Final Crisis to be just that. Much of that is due to the company’s perpetual-crossover mentality, going back at least to the start of Identity Crisis in the summer of 2004. [...]With the last issue of Final Crisis coming out at the end of 2008, that’ll actually cap about four and a half years of mega-crossover hijinx, but as you’ll see it pretty much works out.
  • I really cannot stress the moratorium enough. DC’s reliance on the crossover is approaching “we have always been at war with Oceania” levels. Annual crossovers were the norm for a few years after Crisis On Infinite Earths, but these past few years it’s just been too pervasive. I was ready for it to end with 52, and I’m more than ready for it to end with Final Crisis.
  • One of the publisher’s old slogans was “More Than Just Superheroes (But We’ve Got Them Too).” Time again to dust it off.

What do you think? I'd like to hear from the readers on this. Contrary to Dan diDio, I do believe the internet's voice is important and representative
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Meez

This actually looks pretty accurate of what you'd expect of me :P


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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Mighty Avangers #8 cover

ADVERTISEMENT

MIGHTY AVENGERS!!

Fan-favourite writer Brian Bendis continues to revolutionalise the Avengers franchise by re-imagining all your favourite classic Marvel Villains, better* bigger** and more menacing*** than ever before!

*= with boobs
**= DD cup size

***= menstruating



(Bloody Carnage indeed!)

(Cover source: Newsarama )
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Greek Mythology Personality Test

Find out which famous Greek you're most like!

My own result is actually very fitting, in the way it describes my personality, my analytical approach and (sad smiley) my relationships...

My Score: Prometheus

33% Extroversion, 66% Intuition, 27% Emotiveness, 42% Perceptiveness



You are most like Prometheus, and you probably knew that before you even took this test. You probably aren't deliberately altruistic, but you still tend to do things that benefit everyone, even at great expense to your health and personal relationships. You aren't ruled by your emotions, but you still have a strong sense of justice. You make good decisions, but they can sometimes backfire (and this isn't due to a flaw in your reasoning, but due to faulty premises instead).

You are very reasonable, you understand systems, you can quickly pinpoint flaws and you know how to correct them. You pride understanding and knowledge above everything else, and your greatest fear is to appear to be incompetent. You tend to be contemptuous of authority, but you don't accept leadership roles yourself until everyone else has demonstrated their own incompetence.

You've built a very specific skill set. You know exactly where your strengths and weaknesses are, and you pride yourself on this kind of self-knowledge. You distrust tradition, which you see as arbitrary, and you rely instead on your own judgements. You also pride yourself on your pragmatism. You're also a very private person.

Most of all, people think you're arrogant, but screw them! They're the ones who benefit from your ideas and discoveries, and if they took the time to understand why it is that you say and think the things you do, they'd realize that you only appear arrogant because you are exactingly precise when it comes to your area of specification, and most of all because, when you don't know something, you don't have an opinion about it (unlike most of the loudmouths that you have to deal with on a day-to-day basis).

Relationships are your kryptonite. It isn't that you don't want them -- in fact, you would very much like a very close relationship with someone who understands you. They're just the one thing in the world that you're naturally bad at.


Famous people like you: Niels Bohr, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Werner Heisenberg, Issac Newton, John Maynard Keynes, Erwin Schrodinger

Stay Clear of: Apollo, Icarus, Hermes, Aphrodite

Seek out: Atlas, The Oracle, Daedalus

Link: The Greek Mythology Personality Test written by Aleph_Nine on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test

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Review: MICE TEMPLAR #1

MICE TEMPLAR

Artist/Story: Mike Avon Oeming


Writer/Story: Bryan J. L. Glass

Image Comics


Mouse Guard.

Disney’s The Three Musketeers.

Secret of Nimh.


The Mouse Knight.



Somewhere in the collective human subconscious there is a special space that automatically responds affectionately at the sight of a mouse in armour holding a tiny sword battling cats and enemy rats. It’s not something you can control. Cartoon mice enough are cute enough, but slap a feathered cap on them, and you’ve hit the payload! No wonder Petersen’s MOUSE GUARD became such an instant cult hit, leading to sold out first editions hitting some crazy numbers among collectors!

Mouse + Sword =Awwww= $_$

Following the heavily researched math above, Oeming and Glass are starting off their new series with a built-in audience foundation and a natural advantage. Take in the factors: Mice, swords, the Knights Templar, Image Comics. Multiple page coverage in Previews. Oversized premiere issue. Reduced introductory price.

In detail: MICE TEMPLAR #1 introduces us to the world of Karik, a young mouse who lives in a tree village with his mom and little sister. Instead of fairytales, the young mice in this world are enamored with the myth of the Mice Templar, the legendary mice knights of yesteryear, who have long disappeared mysteriously, after a war erupted within their ranks. Now they are the stuff of legend, and children’s favorite play-pretend game. When the village is threatened, Karik discovers that there is a lot more truth to their story than what the elders tell him, and that he has an important role to play in their future.

Glass gets most of the backstory/legend of the Templar out of the way with the first 6 pages of info-dump, which daze the reader and require a lot of attention up front before even seeing the characters for the first time. From then on, the story takes a more relaxed pace and introduces us to the characters inhabiting this mouse village. A number of mysteries and questions are set up for the reader, making him eager to navigate through the issue, while constantly revealing more facts about the way this world works and slowly injecting the more mystical elements in this sword&sorcery tale.

Unlike Petersen’s Mouse Guard, Oeming’s mice aren’t all cute and fluffy, but more akin to his human figures, with sharp stylized angles and features; they’re still thoroughly relatable and ‘likeable’ character designs, especially contrasted to the enemy rats invading near the end of the story. The action sequences are brutally realistic, contrasting with the cartoonistic style of the art. Gruesome deaths, pillaging, beheadings and dismemberments litter the page, portraying the reality of the war that erupts in the character’s once-peaceful life. The world these mice inhabit is bursting with life thanks to the imagination of Mike Oeming and with the amazing coloring it’s literally jumping out of the page. I wish more creators today would let their minds run free like this and create something amazing away from our genre’s spandex conventions.

Unfortunately, the art’s high degree of stylisation and reliance on shadows also leads to a problem in distinguishing the characters between them. The way the four main kid protagonists of the issue are introduced, en masse and as part of an even larger group, it’s hard to keep track of names, likenesses and features; I only managed to make sense of who is doing what by the second reading of the issue. With future issues focusing solely on the main character, this problem will likely subside.

Mice Templar has all the telltale signs of a great epic story. The first issue sets up the world nicely, introduces the main character, gives him a grandiose quest and creates a vast tragedy as backdrop and motivation to set him on his road to destiny. Magical elements, Gods and powerful artefacts are already creeping in the world, albeit with an offbeat flavor.



All in all, MICE TEMPLAR is a new classic-in-the-making with great potential for breakout crossover appeal. A great premise, eye candy art that appeals to the kid inside us, with all-out action and splatter to appease the adult as well and familiar fantasy trappings to tickle the geek bone. All it needs is great marketing and an attractive trade collection format to reach the bookstores audience.

Grade: 8/10

SEE MORE OF MICE TEMPLAR IN THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE
AND READ 16 PAGES OF THE STORY IN THE NEWSARAMA ARTICLE

BONUS:
Intro to the characters in MICE TEMPLAR (only mild spoilers)


Karik

Our big hero! Young Karik has a bright destiny ahead of him. He’s fascinated with the legend of the Mice Templar, and loves to play the dashing action man. He has a strange tendency to get swallowed by magical fish.



Leito

Karik’s best friend. He’s older than the others in their group and has taken over the role of their protector and ‘master storyteller’, retelling the stories of the Mice Templar. He is an apprentice for the village’s blacksmith, Master Deishun.



Gabrielle

Karik’s kid sister. She is also an action aficionado, dreaming of becoming a Maeven, a battle archer. She follows Karik in his games, and infatuated with Karik’s friend Leito.



Elizabeth

Gabrielle’s best friend, she has a mad crush on Karik, but never gets to see any action as she’s stuck with the role of ‘maiden in distress’.




Deishun
Master Deishun is the mysterious village blacksmith, bearing more than a few battle scars. He shares a secret with the elders of the village, and is the secret protector of the village. He has a soft spot for Karik’s mother, Mornae, who manages to break his gruff exterior.





Mornae

Karik and Gabrielle’s mother. She is a widow, raising the young mice on her own, and working as a seamstress.





Pilot the Tall

A mysterious visitor to Deishun’s shop, bearing a gift of a talisman with a peculiar insignia. He is obviously unwelcome in the village and is quickly escorted out of the premises. He has an important role to play in future issues.



Rats

Invading pillagers, the most feared enemy of the mice villagers.







The singing trout

???
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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Orange Wednesdays: Ewan McGregor

The second in our Wednesday series of specials

If you're lucky enough not to live in the UK, you have been deprived of one of the greatest movie theatre inventions since buttered pop corn:

the ORANGE FILM FUNDING COMMITTEE short clips.

These are sponsored by the Orange mobile company and feature a different actor every few months trying to pitch their movie idea to the committee, only to have them -- well, you just watch.

This time Ewan McGregor is trying to promote the 'Make Poverty History' campaign:



(note the ad banner with the phone number in the back of the scene! Great setting)
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Desperate Housewives Season 4 promo

Only one month away from the season 4 premiere now!

the promo trailer features 'Mile in these shoes' from Jennifer Lopez and showcases the five (!) main housewives in all their airbrushed/digitally-retouched glittery glory. Directed by David LaChapelle.



Are the producers going all Six Feet Under on us and hiding clues inside the promo?

Let's examine:

Edie picks up from the season 3 cliffhanger, hanging herself. Does she survive into season 4 as a full-time protagonist of equal power? Or does she have a glamorous funeral and take over as series narrator? I'd love to see her narrating Susan's stories with all her usual bitchiness and non-objectivity

Susan is lying in bed, in an unusually sexy appearance for the character! She's the only housewife wearing black, does this mean something ominous for Mike?

Gabrielle is her usual vain self, preening over her new pearls, but ends up throwing them away. Will she finally have enough of the new slime ball hubbie?

Bree is cooing over her new baby, or rather her daughter's baby which she will be passing off as her own

Lynette, finally, is trying on a short black wig, while we can also see a redhead wig next to her. This one has me stumped.

And the black car approaching is a new arrival in the neighborhood... The much-publicized gay couple? I do hope the Robbie Williams / David Beckham rumors don't stand...

Overall, they've gone for a bit more glamor than they should have, to the point that it overpowers the individual characters and they all meld together in runway glee. I'm still excited for new season though!
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Jack Kirby's birthday and tribute


Tom Brevoort reminds us that yesterday, 28th August, was Jack the King Kirby's birthday, his 9oth in fact!

To commemorate, Brevoort picks his 38 personal favorite covers from the King's immense back-library and shares them with us.
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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Vote for Panel of the Week 26.08.07

Each week I'll be posting the 3-4 most memorable panels from the week and putting them up for a public week-long vote. The winning panels gets posted on the sidebar and earns boasting privileges over lesser panels...


Vote for your favorite:





Panel A:

THE ORDER #2


Panel B:

THUNDERBOLTS #116


Panel C:

ASTONISHING X-MEN #22


Panel D:

BIRDS OF PREY #107
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Salford Ladies United Tolerance Society say: "Sodomy Stinks!"

... S.L.U.T.S. for short!

Every year these... masculine old-fashioned ladies are the highlight of the Manchester Gay Pride parade for me.

These Salford Ladies are traditionalists and will not have any of this Gay Pride and Sodomy crap that is going around. Thankfully every year they take the time off their busy tea-room meetings schedule to instill some morals on the rest of us degenerates. They're not shy to protest against gay marriage, up and down Canal Street(before adjoining for their meeting in Taurus bar).

During the parade they bring along their strollers and baby carriages, along with a loudspeaker to get their message across to the sinners in the audience: 'Go home, wipe that fake tan off you, get a wife, settle down and have some babies! shame on you!'



Popular slogans include:

CLAP FOR THE GAYS
PUT IT AWAY
SHAME ON YOU
WAVE THAT FLAG ALL YOU WANT, YOU'RE GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL

and of course my favourite:
SODOMY STINKS




UPDATE:

here are the Salford Ladies LIVE, courtesy of Jonathan Robinson and FunFur.tv:


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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Neil Gaiman writes Alan Moore

in the literal sense.

Courtesy of Scans Daily, a mini-comic starring Alan Moore, written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Mark Buckingham. Originally published in the Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore from Twomorrows Publishing.


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