Savage Henry Lee's super-rad ultra-hip madcastic blogging editorial bruahaha of funk!
3/27/2008 1:30:10 PM permalink
The Sam "Fury" Jackson thing is still weighing on my mind. Why do people get cast to play certain roles in movies? Does it matter? Should it matter? Should anybody care at all? Hell, just the other day somebody said to me, "Don't get so worked up. It's just comics." Of course they said it a second before I brought my knee down on their throat, crushing the life out of their stupid, lying body, but whatever. My point is, you should really think it through if you're going to...
Hey, I just thought I'd point out - Ultimate Wasp is Asian. Chinese, I think? Now, I know she's not showing up in any movies any time soon, but do you think there'll be any debate when that bit of casting comes up? Hard to say.
I just don't know. I don't want to care about ethnicity in casting, but at the same time, isn't "how a person looks" kind of important when you're translating something that already exists in a visual medium? You look at Jessica Alba and Sue Storm and you have to wonder who thought that one of those girls could visually represent the other. What magical thing do those two women have in common, that I just can't see?
Hell, Apparently fans want The Rock to play Black Adam, and I'm pretty sure that Adam's not Samoan. The only Samoan comic character I know was Mondo, from Generation X. And he was fat. But a dusky dude is a dusky dude, or so it goes with movie casting.
I just don't know. What if they put the Ninja Turtles on screen, and 2 of them were blue, and the movie people were like, "well, some frogs are blue, so we thought this would work better." There'd be riots in the street, man! Somebody's head would get stuck on a long stick out front of a movie studio.
I'd like to say, "It all comes down to the actor," but it doesn't. A movie is not just an actor in front of a camera. It's the director, the writer, the guy who chooses how the scenes will be lit, the editor who chooses what shots will stay in the film, the sound editor, the story editor... You could have the perfect actor, a great director, and the perfect story, and still wind up with something that looks nothing like that original property. And that might still be more "successful" or profitable, than an accurate representation of the original.
I'm mainly thinking about Hellboy, which I thought was a neat movie, but had nothing to do with the character I read about in Mignola's comics. As well, I didn't think the movie looked enough like a Mignola-inspired piece. I would have liked to have seen more of Mignola's style used for the architecture and background design. I worry that Sin City has really ruined my expectations for other comic adapations.
But I also didn't care for the portrayal of the character in Hellboy. He's too butch. I've said, this, and I will continue to say this - If the Hellboy movie was a Ben Grimm movie, it would be perfect
. But, as a representation of the Mike Mignola comics I'm familiar with, I think it's a little weak. I mean, we were introduced to him in a secret high-tech men-in-black lab, with Hellboy smoking cigars and pumping iron to some shit-kicker song. That just blew the whole thing for me. Sure it's a great action-adventure movie with a great lead character, but as a cinematic depiction of the characters that Mignola had built, it really didn't work for me. Great visual design, not such great character and story design. For me.
X-Men was another one. They had a tall handsome guy play the short ugly character, and a short guy playing the tall thin character. Hell, if you look at the X-Men, each of the characters has a nickname beyond their codename, and those nicknames tell you a bit about the characters. Scott was called Slim, Nightcrawler was called Fuzzy Elf, Logan was called Runt... Yet in the movie, Scott wasn't slim, Nightcrawler wasn't fuzzy, and Logan wasn't short. And sure they were all fine actors doing their best with the roles, but... For the most part, I thought the characters were totally visually alienated from the originals.
Wolverine had a bit of the hair. Nightcrawler was blue and had a tail. Cyclops had a visor. Jean had red hair. But it was like they could only take a few facts from each character - "Logan can either have 3 claws and be tall, or he can be short, and we'll give him 8 claws on each hand. But he can't be both. If we make this too accurate, people will think we really loved the comics, and then hookers will make us pay them more, because nerds always have to pay more for sex."
Representing a book is one thing. Representing a comic is another. I think a filmmaker who wants to pay homage to a preexisting comic should pay it to both, the artist(s) and the writer(s). You should want to represent all the talent and skill that went into the production of the original piece of art, even if that piece of art is something disposable and novelty-based, like the Fantastic Four.
I love comics for the writing and the art, and if movie-makers want me to support their comic2film adaptations, then they're going to have to start showing love to all those aspects of the comics. The writing and the art. The look at the feel. The flow of the text. The layout of the panels. I mean, are you doing this because you love it? Or do you just want to get paid?
I only post these blog entries for the money I make off them. Every time I put another one of these hit-singles of a post up, it's KA-CHING! The sound of money and the smell of commerce. Well, at least I hope that's commerce I'm smelling. I think I need a shower.
Tales Of The City Streets
, I'm a pretty little girl.
3/25/2008 1:20:19 PM permalink
OK, so remember when I said I really loved the hulk trailer, except for one bit? Well that one bit was the music. I hated the music in the Hulk trailer. That bland, meaningless orchestral crap. Using good music is something Iron Man really got right, and pretty much every other superhero movie gets totally wrong.
So, I've got a few ideas as to how you could make the Hulk trailer better.
Want to hear them?
3/25/2008 11:35:35 AM permalink
So, there was a big debate around the comic shop the other day, about Nick Fury. No good results could be obtained, so I'm taking the fight to the blogs, to hear what all the good internet people think about the matter.
What do you think about Nick Fury being Ultimatized in the up-coming Marvel movies?
I love Sam Jackson. He's a great actor, with about 8X more personality than most people in the movie business. Pulp Fiction remains perhaps my very favorite movie of all time. He was also great in Jackie Brown, Deep Blue Sea, Coming to America... The list goes on and on. I dig the man, and I'm usually pretty happy to see him turning up in things like movies or TV shows.
I also agree that a lot of the Marvel Universe is awfully caucasian, and having a few non-white faces in the superhero crowd is a good thing.
Uh, I've seen pictures of Nick Fury. He looks nothing like Sam Jackson. He's not a bald, 40 year-old black guy. He's a white guy who fought in WWII, which makes him about 400 years old. And he's got hair.
Nick Fury also talks & acts nothing like Sam Jackson. He's a gruff military man. I've seen Sam play those roles, but they're not his bread & butter. Sam is like Al Pacino - I know he's a real actor, but most people buy their tickets to see him over-act, and that's not a lot of fun for me. They don't want to see Sam Jackson acting, they want to see him yelling and swearing and mugging for the camera. I don't want to see a Nick Fury who acts that way. I want a Nick Fury who's like a sexier, cooler James Bond. A super-smart secret agent who's so cool he makes Sinatra look like Urkel.
The only reason they're putting Sam Jackson in this role, is because of the Ultimates. And I didn't even read the Ultimates. I grew up with the regular Nick Fury. The Fury who was created by Lee & Kirby. I also know Nick Fury best from the Jim Steranko days - Steranko being in my mind, one of the true masters
of comic book art.
I think putting Sam Jackson in the comics as Nick Fury was lazy. To me, it looks like somebody wanted to put a black guy in a book, so they stole Sam Jackson's style of speech, and got the artist to draw from photos of Sam Jackson. And I hate that. I hate movie stars showing up in my comics. It seems super-lazy, and it reeks of Mark Millar. "Yeah, I was going to write an original character, but instead I just put in Sam Jackson. That way you don't need any creativity to imagine the character, you can just look at or listen to, Sam Jackson."
That's lazy, stupid, and not the sort of comic-writing I'm interested in reading. It's bullshit.
The original Nick Fury was a real character with years of continuity. Ultimate Nick Fury is a cheap, 1-note, Mark Millar joke. I want the Nick Fury from the time-tested Steranko comics, not the Nick Fury from some "flavor of the month" book like the Ultimates.
To summarize in true Comic Shop Guy form:
I love Sam Jackson, but,
Steranko is a great artist Marvel has forgotten. His Nick Fury is worth something.
Mark Millar is a nobody whom Marvel hypes. His Nick Fury is worth nothing.
But hey - that's just what I think. I wanna know what you
Tales Of The City Streets
, Stupid Hero Battles
3/24/2008 11:12:20 AM permalink
No comics. 1 movie. I had a really good saturday, but it had nothing to do with this web page. Nevertheless, I write.
(I wrote this on Sunday, so some of the time frames mentions have slid around a bit. I need to check my own continuity better.)
I like the weekend. Don't you like the weekend? I never used to get weekends - I was too important to not have in the comic shop over the brisk business days of Saturday & Sunday. But then, finally, I was like, "fuck that shit", and I fought and bled until I got to start having weekends off with my girlfriend. And now I'm a happier creature.
Yesterday was jam-packed full of action, though not much jam. The irony sickened me. So did paying 7 bucks for a burger and not getting fries with it. Here's how it is - I pay more than 3 bucks for a burger? I expect fries with it. Just shut up and make it happen. "Fatburger" is the name of the place where I got no fries with my burger. Forget them.
I took part in the world's largest pillow fight yesterday. My girlfriend's into Flash-Mobs, and she wanted us to go down and check it out, so, we brought a pillow apiece and went out looking for the fight of our lives. We also brought Peter, the artist of The Young Offenders
(chapter 03 is almost done!!). It's good to let your artist out every now and again. They get too cooped up, and their production rate suffers. Let them out too much, and they start to forget they're an artist, and then you have to beat them back into the broom-closet again. "You can come out when you're done the breakdowns for page 12!"
The Pillow Fight was amazing. There were between 200 to 400 people there, mostly from about 18 to 30 years old. College kids, facebook fans, a few emo punks... Everybody brought a pillow to swing, and before long, the air was full of feathers; there was so much on the ground it looked like it'd been snowing. It was awesome. I joined in the crowd, and it was like a big cuddly mosh pit where you kept getting hit by really friendly people with big cushy things. I loved it. You couldn't control where you were going, you couldn't see anything but people and feathers, you just laughed and kept swinging. Twice somebody screamed, "get the guy with the blue hair!" and twice I went down under a barrage of pillows.
It was a blast. I've never been a part of anything like it.
After that, I went out and bought a camera. I needed a camera. I see a lot of graffiti and clever crows which need documenting. So far this morning I've taken several photos of toys skulking around my kitchen. I'll have to set up a flicker account, I guess.
Went and saw the movie "Doomsday" after that. I expected Doomsday to suck, and it didn't, so I was quite happy. There were a number of stupid or annoying things in the movie, like this chick who kept waggling her tongue at people because she thought she was sexy, but for the most part, it was just a kick-ass action movie. Like Predator, or Aliens. I don't think I've seen such a bad-ass, gory, bloody, straight-forward action movie since the 80's. Doomsday is not the best movie I've ever seen, but it was pretty cool, and I'm glad I went.
Doomsday, in a nutshell, is about how fucked up Scottish people are. They try to cover it up with a "virus" and crap, but basically, it's about Scotland, and Scottish people, and why you should never go there. That was the one truly unbelievable thing about the movie, this idea that you could wall Scotland off for 30 years and then understand a word said by anybody who came from there. In Doomsday, everybody spoke fine clear English that I could understand without difficultly. There's nothing Scottish about that.
Ended up grabbing Nick Furious from the comic shop after that, at which point we headed over to The Keg to use up a gift certificate we had. We feasted on appetizers, and the boys had some booze too. Happy little things they were. Nick claimed that he still could've gone for a steak, but I think he was slightly exaggerating.
I'm reading the Alan Martin's Tank Girl novel. I was dead-set against the idea of putting Tank Girl in prose form, but... I'm part-way through the book, and I'm really, really loving it. I'll have to do a full review for it later, just so I have an excuse to reprint a bunch of chunks from it. Still, I almost want to tell readers of this blog to not read the book, so that way I can continue to rip it off without anybody knowing that's what I'm doing.
Alan Martin is an amazing writer. He's like Jack Kerouac for my people. My people being pot-smokers with funny colored hair who enjoy comics and violent explosions of smoke and fury. "Tank Girl Armadillo" is one of the best things I've read. Alan Martin goes up there with Philip K. Dick, Kurt Vonnegut, William Gibson, and the other madmen novelists who've changed my life forever.
Now it's sunday. Lots of tea, lots of weed, a walk out into the neighborhood to buy emergency supplies, and I think, a dinner with M's mom. That's cool. She's nice people. So long as I can get in a few uninterrupted hours of writing and/or video game playing, I'm Solid like the Snake.
, Tales Of The City Streets
, Little Fishies Swim Going swish-swish-swish!
3/23/2008 5:34:23 PM permalink
The following images contain graphic violence, and should not be viewed by young children, old people, or girly men. Girly girls probably won't have a problem with it, but girly men will no doubt crap their pants.
A few weeks ago, Nick Furious and I happened across an old, broken GI Joe figure. Specifically, it was a fallen Cobra trooper. He'd been broken, irreparably, at the waist. He said it'd been from a GI Joe attack, but he was quite drunk, so I have my suspicions about the accuracy of his tale. More likely, he'd been run over by one of those little mini-tanks the Cobra officers are always goofing around in.
It was a sad thing to see, so we did what we could. Nick, having been a combat medic in the secret wars, was able to use some electrical tape to patch the solider up, but we knew he couldn't live that way.
So we took him out in the back alley, doused him in lighter fluid, and set him on fire.
I wish I could of filmed it for you, but I didn't have my camera then. I can
tell you that he burned and burned, and wouldn't stop, and a noxious cloud of black smoke came up off him. I started to panic, so Nick threw a handful of alley water on him, putting out the fire.
He was cool to the touch in moments. I picked him up, swaddled him in paper towel, and brought him home, where he sat on a shelf until today, when I finally got around to photographing him.
See what comes of opposing my will!
Tales Of The City Streets
3/21/2008 2:50:03 PM permalink
One of the greatest, most super-plus awesome comics I have ever read in my life, was Grant Morrison and Philip Bond's Kill Your Boyfriend.
It was brutal, hilarious, and so full of little jokes and insights that you'd never get it all on your first past.
Now, you should know - this book is edgy, in a very adult, Vertigo comics way. If you lean to the right or vote in any sort of a conservative way, there is a very good chance that this book is going to lean over and hork an awfully big green chunk of phlegm into your coffee, or maybe your daughter.
There is a very good chance that this book doesn't like you very much, and that's cool. It is what it is, and you don't have to like that. Those of you who do like it, are welcome to join the rest of us in the backroom, for open-mouth kissing, multi-colored pills, and naked, greased up disco dancing.
This book is a taboo breaker; that's sort of why it exists. It's like if Tank Girl were a quiet little story about a girl finding herself through masturbation and illegally procured firearms. It's Ghost World getting violent on ecstasy.
The only really sad thing about Kill Your Boyfriend, is that it's out of print. It's been that way for years. It's hard to believe, since it's a team-up between superstars Grant Morrison and Philip Bond, and it's not like they don't know people who know people - Bond is married to Shelly Bond, the queen mother of Vertigo comics. So bringing this book back into print should be no problem, unless it's being held up by some close-minded chump who wouldn't know a sexy good time if it bit him on the ass.
So I'm putting out a challenge - no! Two challenges. Lets really go for it, OK?
1) - I want DC to bring Kill Your Boyfriend back in print.
2) - I'm putting out the call to all the Morrison fans out there, all the 7 Soldier and We3 and Vimanarama fans. All the Seaguy fans. All the fans of Philip Bond. The fans of the Gorillaz and Tank Girl. I'm the call out to you people who've never read Kill Your Boyfriend, but really want to. All you people who need a new copy, 'cause you lent yours out and never got it back. I'm putting the call out to readers of quality subversive literature. And the call is this: Represent. I want you to tell me that you want DC to bring Kill Your Boyfriend back in print.
Come here and leave hits or messges, or hell, do it on your own blog, or over at the DC forums
- but let DC Comics know. Let them know we want this comic in stores now!!
And then baby,
KILL YOUR BOYFRIEND!
3/21/2008 12:33:54 PM permalink
This last week saw the re-release of the first collection of the
Justice League International.
It was written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis, with art by Kevin Maguire.
Now, I missed this stuff the first time around, and if you were born in the late 70's like I was, you probably did too. You can check out Wikipedia
for the full story, but basically...
"During the JLI period of time, the membership of the Justice League consisted primarily of then-lesser known heroes such as Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Mister Miracle and Guy Gardner. Because of the humorous nature of the series, these characters are still primarily known for being comical in nature, but are extremely identifiable and have a loyal fanbase to the present day."
JLI was pretty cool. I have some friends who are huge into it, and it's definitely a really high point for art & writing on the JLA franchise.
If you really enjoyed the characters in JLI, you might enjoy seeing them all get raped and murdered in the more recent Identity Crisis and Infinite Crisis!
Check it out!
3/21/2008 11:17:44 AM permalink
I want to create superhero characters!
Here's my idea for a new mutant character: A person with power/handicap to excrete physical waste as projectiles that can be shot out super fast. They'd be like little poison darts that he could shoot from his hands!
It makes sense to me. It utilizes the natural body function of creating waste, and it explains where the bits come from. Not like say, Archangel, who had tons of metal feathers he could shoot, and never seemed to run out. Or unlike Cable, who fires off thousands of rounds of ammo, and never has to reload. No, this character's power would explain where they kept getting ammunition from - the body itself is generating the harmful missiles.
It's the Fecalator! "Hey everybody - time for a shit storm!"
I'd love to see the Fecalator battling Wolverine. Wolverine would be slogging through an intense barrage, a sandstorm of razor sharp turds. His healing factor would keep trying to fix the injuries, but ever cut would be instantly, horribly infected.
Will the Fecalator bury Wolverine in the biggest pile of shit since the X-Treme X-Men? Can Wolverine avoid swallowing any of the really big bits?
This could be the next great X-Men character. Even better than Maggot and Adam-X and Shatterstar all put together in one big homo-erotic greased-up man-pile! This could be the biggest thing since Gambit snuck out of the Yaoi books and into the hearts of the X-Fans!
Dare to dream!
The Fecalator was co-created by Nick Furious, a man who knows a thing or two about slinging shit!
Stupid Hero Battles
, Would you like a piece of pie?
3/20/2008 2:34:35 PM permalink
OK. Gonna take a new spin on the Shit List for it's second time out. Today, the "shit" in "shit list" stands for "Bullshit," which is to say, Shit I talk about. So, this isn't just a list of things that make me angry, this is a list of things I'd like to quickly write about. It's a quick bullshit session, with me, that guy you've never met but feel a strange attraction to.
Shit Shit Shit. I've come a long way from the guy who used to use big "X"s to cover the vowels in his curses. Now I'm just a big potty mouth. I think it's watching the South Park that does it. That stuff rots your brains.
#1 - SUPERNAUT.
He's the one who came up with the idea of me doing this in the first place. Well, sort of. I forget how it came up. But it was his idea, so fuck him. He's always like, "dude, just speak your mind, and don't worry about what other people are gonna say. Be opinionated. There's nothing wrong with that."
Yeah sure. He's not the one who gets kicked in the balls 3 times a day by the many, many sexy women who read these blogs. He's not the one who got kneecapped by Stan Lee outside a disreputable opium den. That lovable, good-looking bastard. I've seen photos of him, you know? He looks like a younger, dorkier David Cross.
#2 - PREVIEWS, CERTIFIED COOL.
How the fuck can something be certified cool? I thought being "cool" meant you weren't affected by things. You keep your cool. What's Fonzy like Yolanda? He's cool. That's right. And that's what we're going to be. Previews, the catalog that all comic shops order from, has an advertising hook you can purchase called "certified cool". What that means is, when you see something has been certified cool in Previews, is that somebody has paid an extra amount of cash, to have a little picture of a cat in sunglasses, and the stamp "certified cool" on their advertisement. Because that's what cool is. It's a stamp.
Man, nothing that's certified is cool. Cool is un-certifiable. Unverifiable. Cool is beyond certificates and rules. Cool is cool. Certified Cool is an oxymoron, and Previews should drop that shit. When us retailers read it, we just make fun of the product, and it sometimes makes us even less inclined to pay attention to it. And that's who Previews is for damn it, the retailers. It's not a freaking fan magazine - so don't try to bamboozle us with crap. Just get to the point. What is it, who made it, and why should we sell it in our store?
#3 - GUY GARDNER
Why can't he be in the JLA movie? He was cool. I think they should get that rapper-actor, Mos Def to play him. Rapcator. No, wait, Conan O'Brian! No, wait... I got nothing. They should get a wrestler to play him. Uh... Maybe Roddy Piper would be great as Guy Gardner. How old is he now? Actually, forget anything I've ever said about anything. I want Roddy Piper to play Guy Gardner in the JLA movie. There. My foot is down.
#4 - EX MACHINA.
Goddamn Ex Machina is good. Every time it comes out, it's just amazing. I think it's the only monthly comic from DC that I still buy. That and All Star Superman, I guess. Though I do wait for the trades to come out; I don't need a bunch more stupid singles crowding up my apartment. This new issue of Ex Machina? Totally fucking amazing. It speaks to me, and for me. It says so much that I wish I could say about superheroes and culture. It's a really, really smart book, and one of my biggest pleasures to read.
#5 - DC Comics Price Drop.
Congratulations to DC comics, speaking of them. They finally brought down the cover price of their Canadian comics. They even beat out Marvel by 6 fucking cents. Yippie. No, really, it's great that they did that, even though we had to start lowering the prices on the books like a year ago. Finally, we are paying the same price for our books as our American brethren. Hell, I never thought the day would come - I assumed that we'd always be paying more for shipped-in goods. Shows me. We are now equal in the eyes of Superman.
#6 - The GI Joe Movie.
OK, I sort of just assume this thing is going to be a "Street Fighter" level train-wreck, but I still wanna start seeing photos of dudes in costumes. Release shots of Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, damn it! Today! I NEED
to see a blurry photo of Ray Parks in a black Ski Mask like you wouldn't believe.
#7 - The Street Fighter Movie.
I still have mixed feelings about Lana Lang playing Chun Li, but whatever. It's not like I'm king of the world or anything. Maybe she's a good action actor. The movie still sounds... weird. I don't think I know anybody who's in it, but some dude from that Black Eye Peas band is gonna be Vega? Well, I guess he's got the hair. I dunno. I went to the theater to see Street Fighter when I was 15. After we got out from that, my Dad took me to see Pulp Fiction. I know one of those movies was better than the other, but I always forget which. Hey, Mortal Kombat was an awesome movie. Maybe something good could happen with this one. Maybe...
#8 - Fucking Speed Racer X.
Goddamn it. I was so pysched that they'd make Matt Fox's Racer X mask more like the old Cyclops mask, and then I could just fantasize that he was playing Scott in a really, really bad-ass X-Men movie. But the costume he's in doesn't have the right kind of visor. So now I'm sulking.
#9 - Australia is at war with the JLA?
What? Really? I didn't really read the article, but I think I read that Australia (the little one at the bottom of the Risk board that's kinda hard to work with) is planning to nuke the JLA moonbase 'cause they owe the Australian government a bunch of money due to something Lobo-related. Like I said, I just skimmed the article. But I hope the Australians sue the fuck out of those cocky JLAers. Those heroes got deep pockets, y'know?
#10 - (This ones going out the to the media.) "The Fans Think."
Don't tell me what the fucking fans think, OK? I read that all the time in articles. "Well, most die-hard Watchman fans think", "Well, when they make these movies, they have to consider the needs of the fans..." Don't fucking talk for me. I've been working in a comic shop for a good few years now, and if there's one thing I've learned, it's that there's no Unified Fan Theory. Just because we both enjoy stories told with pictures doesn't mean we think the same, vote the same, fuck the same, eat the same, or like each other. I am a Watchman fan, and when I read my opinion in articles, it pisses me off. How about this - you write an article? You speak for yourself. You leave what the rest of the world thinks, out of it. And stop acting like "marvel fans" or "superhero fans" or any other fans are an organized group that have votes and agree on things. "Well, most fans thought..." "Well, if you were a real fan, you'd..."
You know what fans do? They move hot air around. I don't fans. I want supporters. Because that's what I need - a little support. And that's what I want to give to the projects I enjoy. I want to support the projects I care about, to allow them to be more able to stand on their own artistic merit, thusly granting the creators magical gifts of money and candy.
Just don't fucking tell me what The Fans are thinking.
My girlfriend gave me this list's subtitle. She comes up with a lot of funny stuff that I steal.
3/20/2008 11:44:48 AM permalink
Welcome to Screamland.
Oh boy! Ice Cream Land!
No, I'm afraid that's Screamland.
OK, so... I'm really going out of my way to read #1 issues of things I've never heard of. New comic day, I skip over all the Marvel & DC and all the big books that've been coming out for years, and I look for things I don't recognize, done by people I've never heard of.
Last week, I came across Screamland, by Harold Sipe & Hector Casanova. I like those names. Lots of "H" action in them. I'd like to team-up with the artist, so we could be Savage Henry Lee and Smooth Hector Casanova. We'd be so cool...
Screamland is a world where movie monsters are real - real depressing that is. No, see, what it's like is, imagine if monster movies were played by real monsters, monsters with acting careers and drinking problems and ex-wives. Imagine if Frankenstein hadn't worked in years, and spent his days getting drunk in a Hawaiian shirt, laying next to his slightly dirty swimming pool.
The basis of the book is - Frankenstein doesn't want to come out retirement. He doesn't like the public perception of what he does. But there's a movie filming, and they want to get the old gang back together, all the classic monsters that made 50's horror movies so great. So, can Frankenstein overcome his drunken self-loathing to take a part in a movie? Even if he's worried that the movie is going to turn out to be some crap that's based on a stupid comic? Sure those are some big fears to overcome, but Frankenstein's a big, grown-up, drunken monster; he can take care of himself.
I didn't know what to expect from Screamland, but it was one of those books that just kept pulling me in. I tried to skim it, but it was too interesting. I tried to flip through it, but it was too funny. I tried to ignore it, but it was too full of oddly compelling characters.
Screamland is a 5 issue miniseries, and the first issue is in stores now. It's got a big picture of Frank on the cover, looking confused. I think it's because he's an old man who's a little wasted, a little too early in the day. Man, I used to do that, back before I gave up booze. I'd drink these caffeine & vodka drinks for breakfast, and then just lunge around town, totally toasted off my nips by 10 in the morning. It's not cool, kids. Drinking gives you cancer, bad breath, and makes you more desirable to diseased skanks. Drink only in moderation, and if you're going to get your booze on first thing in the morning, make sure you have a friend to guide you through the mall.
Screamland has a ton of personality to it. It's not just some bland, thoughtless horror comic. It's a comic about people, and about fame, and desperation. It kind of reminds me of a Coen Brothers movie, like The Big Lebowski, or Barton Fink. If this comic were a movie, a depressed Steve Buscemi would be in it somewhere. It made me laugh, and it made me bag it up and bring it home for my girlfriend to read.
So, if you're looking for something new, that's a little different from the rest of the comics out there, if you're into low-key snappy dialog, drunken failures, the illusion of the mystique of hollywood, or monsters, this comic is worth checking out. Flip through it on the shelf, see if it's your thing before you buy it, but god help you if you read more than 50% of the story in the store. God help you, because I won't. If you're the sort of person who'll read a whole comic in a store and then not buy it, then sooner or later I'm gonna dose you hot bacon fat, light you on fire and kick you down the street like a sack of angry cats. Because I am sick of that crap, OK? I don't mind if you want to check out the book before you buy it, but don't read shit you're not going to purchase! It's like letting your mouth write checks your ass can't cash without proper ID. An' another thing - stop telling me about the toys you loved when you were little. I don't care how many GI Joes you had when you 13 and possibly even stupider than you are now. And dress like you got some goddamn self-respect. And where the hell is my tea?