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Rip Kirby: The First Modern Detective: Complete Comic Strips 1946-1948

Rip Kirby: The First Modern Detective: Complete Comic Strips 1946-1948

By David Bird in Blog on February 7, 2010

Writer: Alex Raymond, Artist: Alex RaymondPublished by IDW 2009One of the highlights of comic publishing in recent years has been IDW’s American Comics Library , which has been providing beautiful, quality reprints of some of the best newspaper strips.A newer addition to the line is Rip Kirby, Alex Raymond’s post-war comic featuring the adventures of Remington ‘Rip’ Kirby, a private eye and the further thing imaginable from the works that made Raymond famous, Flash Gordon and Jungle Jim. Kirby if firmly grounded in the realities of late 40s America. He is a modern hero, as the titles says, and not a fantasy character - though, to be honest, he is still pretty fantastic. A war hero and athlete, he is also a gifted scientist, and with the help of his trusted valet, Desmond, he is always fashionably turned out. He’s not a tough guy, but he is always as tough as the situation requires. Besides Des, the recurrent characters are restricted to, at least in this volume, Honey Dorian, a beautiful blonde fashion model, and love interest, and Pagan Lee, a bad girl turned movie star and a rival for Rip’s affections. Not that he would ever cheat, but just having the one girl might seem a bit too domestic.As an author Raymond’s hand at detective fiction improves a great deal over the period covered in this volume. An early story involves a thug who gets his hand on the formula for a bacteriological weapon and intends to bring the world governments to their knees. Raymond is talented enough to keep his readers interested, but not enough to lift the story above the silliness of the basic plot. The only good thing about it is that it introduces Pagan. Fortunately, there aren’t many missteps. Even when the villains lean towards the strange and eccentric, he usually keeps the stories grounded in more serious themes, such as blackmail, counterfeiting, black-market babies. The four main characters are all entertaining enough, but what you see is what you get and there is little in the way of complexities and few surprises. (Actually, I can only think of one, involving Honey, but I won’t spoil it here.) Artistically, it is easy to see why Raymond is so highly regarded. He came at this strip at the height of his powers, and every page is beautiful. One thing I particularly liked is that each story is given a title. I assume this is something Raymond himself provided, but I think it would have been a good idea to provide them with other American Comics Library collections as well.This blog has been syndicated from David Bird's Eponymous Blog.

Oh, The Horror! #45: Jennifer's Body

Oh, The Horror! #45: Jennifer's Body

By Greg Anderson-Elysee in Blog on February 6, 2010

"The pieces of Jennifer's boooody..." Sorry, I'm a Hole fan and Jennifer's Body is one of my favorite songs from their album Live Thru This. A song which was also the inspiration for the title, Jennifer's Body. A film starring sexy It-girl Megan Fox as Jennifer and the very lovely and talented Amanda Seyfried as her best friend, Needy. The film was directed by Karyn Kusama and written by award winner screenwriter of Juno, Diablo Cody, who also created United States of Tara, a television series I absolutely adore (at least the episodes I've been fortunate to catch). So it seems from all that I've stated this movie had a lot going for it. So was the movie good? Eehhh. Whatever. That's how I felt overall by the movie. It wasn't terrible and it wasn't good. It was just there. One of those watch it then shrug type films. Though I can see this being a film that some people find as guilty pleasure and some just downright hating that they spent their time watching this than doing something else productive, like writing a better script for a horror film.The movie follows the character of Needy, played by Amanda Seyfried who I absolutely adore ever since she cracked me the hell up in Mean Girls. Needy is the awkward girl in school with a loving boyfriend and is best friends with the extremely hot and popular cheerleader, Jennifer, played by Megan Fox. We begin with Needy in a psychiatric center where she's put into solitude due to attacking a doctor trying to help her. She then tells us how she got there, starting at a town named the Devil's Kettle. There we see her relationship with boyfriend Chip, probably the only true likable character in this movie and we see her rather weird... lovingly abusive relationship with Jennifer. Jennifer is sexy and spunky with the right type of humor that is easy to annoy you if you were on the receiving end of it. That is the first strike for where this film failed where it could have succeeded, but we'll get to that later. Jennifer talks Needy into going to the local bar to meet Low Shoulder, a indie band from the city. Jennifer's plan is to get cozy with the lead singer, played by Adam Brody. While at the bar, we meet one of Jennifer's sex buddies and learn that she isn't a virgin, not even a back door one. While the band is playing, fire ignites and causes the death of some locals, destroying the whole bar. Needy and Jennifer make it out safely. Nikolai, the lead singer of Low Shoulder, talks Jennifer into leaving with him in his van with his band mates while Amanda sadly watches her friend go after arguing with her not to. Moments pass and Jennifer is sacrificed by the band to Satan for fame and fortune. Here's where the band messed up. Believing Jennifer is a virgin, this has caused a succubus to invade and take over her body, while Low Shoulder enjoy rising success. So now Jennifer comes back as if nothing has happened and feeds off of boys after seducing them to keep her strength and makes her way to Chip, while Needy is determined to stop her former best friend.Now to the flaws and things I thought were okay. The biggest flaw I can say for this film were the characters. Besides Chip and a teacher played by J.K. Simmons, there really aren't much likable characters. We're also introduced to a lot of other characters in the film but there's nothing there to even care much for them. There's a emo goth kid who's fairly likable but besides being rather weird and quirky and slightly charming, what else is there when he becomes a target for Jennifer? Now Seyfried tries her best to bring some likability to the character of Needy, and while Needy is in fact a very strong protagonist, there's a lot of fault in the script that hinders and undermines her. So while the character herself isn't bad, it's the poor script that brings her down. And the main hindrance of the script goes to Jennifer as a character. The first mistake I've noticed upon first watching this was just how unlikable Jennifer was BEFORE she was killed and turned into a demon. This girl was an absolute bitch. She was mean to her best friend and just plain annoying. The film-makers failed there as they could have at least put some redeeming factors in the character for us to feel sorry about when she is shown being killed. Or at least show us a contrast! I wouldn't mind seeing a spunky but goodhearted Jennifer at first. That would have made her transformation as a demon a lot more interesting upon seeing how different she's become. Sure, it's a cliche, but for this movie the cliche could have worked well.There were a lot of things I felt this movie could have done to make the overall watch a better experience. For one, if we maybe went into details on just how the demon works and who she picks to be her victims, specifically why them over other guys. Maybe if she could only seduce them a certain way or if they couldn't get it up, maybe she couldn't fully do much. But no, things were just happening and in a failed attempt to be hip, well... it failed, plain and simple. The one scene that I felt worked perfectly was the make-out scene between Needy and Jennifer. Jennifer seduces Needy into making out with her, but there obviously is a lot more to this... it was more of Needy allowing herself to be seduced. Underneath all the best friend stuff, she had actual sexual feelings for her friend and she responded back. The film was doing a great job with that with the scene actually being creepily done... but then it shifts back to "eehh-ness." And speaking of connections with the character, there's a weird supernatural-like connection between the two main character which is hardly EVER mentioned or explained besides Needy licking Jennifer's wound when they were kids. Um... ok. Whatever.This film I will say did have some cool stuff here and there, notably Amanda Seyfriend as you can see I dig her a lot. Megan Fox was ok as Jennifer. I felt it was great to see her as someone in a film who knows she's hot and exploits herself despite not being likable. And there were some dialogue that were actually rather charming and gave the characters some personality. But the overall film was a bit of a dub. I also did love that Needy was a sexually active girl and the film didn't fall into the cliche "You're a bad girl if you have sex, and only girls who wait till marriage and study are good girls." While I didn't HATE the movie, I could have done without seeing it and wouldn't really recommend it. But who knows? I watched it tonight with two good buddies and they seem to dig it a lot. So... enter at your own risk, I suppose.

Day 2: Mr. Terrific

Day 2: Mr. Terrific

By Greg Anderson-Elysee in Blog on February 2, 2010

For some reason, calling Michael Holt, aka Mr. Terrific III, a prodigy seems like an understatement.At the young age of 6, Colt was already comfortably familiar with the works of Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, and Aage Bohr. Holt also possesses 14 Ph.Ds, including Physics and Engineering with doctorates and masters in Mathematics, Law, Psychology, Political Science, and Chemistry. He also holds gold medals, being an Olympic Decathlete, and Black Belts in 6 different martial arts disciplines.Michael Holt grew up taking care of his mentally challenged older brother, Jeffrey. At the age of 15, Jeffrey died, devastating Holt. He eventually married a woman named Paula, a day Holt considers his proudest moment. Tragedy struck when Paula was killed in a car accident along with their unborn child. Crushed, Holt contemplated suicide until he was visited by the Spirit of Divine Vengeance, The Spectre who told Holt of the life of Terry Sloan, the original Mr. Terrific. Inspired by the story of Terry Sloan and in memory of Paula and Jeffrey, Holt took up the mantle of Mr. Terrific and decided to use his anger and frustration positively.Using his genius intellect, Mr. Terrific created “T-spheres” that responds to his mental and vocal commands, functioning as a computer, holographic projection, projective weapons including explosives, a means to allow him to fly along with many various other uses. Due to his T-Mask bonded on his face, he is invisible to all forms of electronic detection.Though relatively new to the Justice Society of America, his natural leadership skills led to Terrific getting elected as the chairman of the team, which he lead until the members disbanded for a short while. He was then offered by Green Lantern Alan Scott to take part in rebuilding the agency Checkmate, becoming Bishop to Scott's White King and started a romance with Black Queen, Sasha Bordeaux. The relationship was complicated when Mr. Terrific became Checkmate’s new White King when Alan Scott was forced to resign.Mr. Terrific's adventures can be found:JSA vol. 3 #1-currentCheckmate #1-25JSA vs KobraJLA/JSA: Lightning Saga

Comic Book Black History Month, Day One: Blade

Comic Book Black History Month, Day One: Blade

By Greg Anderson-Elysee in Blog on February 1, 2010

Man, remember when this was also suppose to be a blog where I also focus on comics I like, heh heh? Been far too long...http://www.theouthousers.com/content/view/6388/203/BladeOne of the most popular comic book characters in the mainstream due to the portrayal of the titular character by Wesley Snipes in Blade, Blade 2, and Blade Trinity and then reprised in the Blade television show by rapper/actor Kirk “Sticky Fingaz“ Jones. Blade is a man on a mission, set on ridding the world of the undead, of vampires. One thing though: he’s half vampire himself. Born Eric Brooks, on the night of his birth, vampire Deacon Frost disguised himself as a doctor only to feed on his mother, Tara. When Tara died from the attack, Deacon’s vampire abilities passed onto Blade, giving him the strength and superhuman abilities of his sworn enemies. Yet at the same time in a strange event, the newborn Blade was sparred of the weaknesses attributed to vampires including garlic, sunlight, crosses… all leading to the nick name: Day-Walker. As a child he was trained by Jamal Afari, a trumpet player also with a vendetta against the undead. Blade quickly gained the skills to successfully become a vampire slayer, with skills surpassing Olympic level athletes and excellent hand-to-hand combat combined with an amazing talent of weaponry ranging from wooden knives to swords to guns.Created by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan, the character made his debut in Tomb of Dracula #10 (July 1973) as an enemy of “protagonist” Dracula. Blade was a hardcore, nails to the wall bad-ass, letting nothing get in his way while he took down vampire after vampire. Over the years, the character has had multiple short-lived series where he continued his blood lust hate for vampires and demons of various kinds, fighting his “creator” Deacon Frost, Morbius the Living Vampire, and of course Dracula. He has teamed up, on many occasions, with the likes of Dr. Strange, Ghost Rider, Brother Voodoo, Hannibal King, and Spider-Man. He even formed an alliance with supernatural heroes, dubbing themselves the Darkstalkers, in hopes of protecting the innocents from evil.Recently, Blade was seen leading a black ops-team named Vanguard, with Black Widow, Dominic Fortune, and Micromax. Shortly after, he joined with Captain Britain and his mean of MI:13 members where he helped fight Plokta and his army of Mindless Ones and once again his long standing opponent Dracula. While with the MI:13, Blade’s blood lust of vanquishing vampires led him to staking team member Spitfire who was secretly a vampire. After being saved, Spitfire has had numerous fights Blade which surprisingly led a romance and connection between the two which quickly blossomed. They have been together ever since.Blade adventures can be found in:Blade: Black and WhiteTomb of Dracula Essentials Vol. 1, 2, and 3Blade: Undead AgainBlade: Sins of the FatherCaptain Britain and the MI:13: Hell Comes to BurminghamCaptain Britain and the MI:13: Vampire StateBlade, directed by Stephen Norrington starring Wesley SnipesBlade 2, directed by Guillermo del Toro starring Wesley SnipesBlade: The Series starring Kirk “Sticky Fingaz” Jones


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Playlist:  Best Songs of 2009 – Honorable Mention

Playlist: Best Songs of 2009 – Honorable Mention

By in Blog on February 1, 2010

As a companion to my list and playlist of the top 20 best albums of 2009, I present a playlist featuring the best cuts from 2009 that were not included on those lists. If embedded content does not appear follow this link.


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The Wrasslin' Fan #1: The Davey Richards Story

The Wrasslin' Fan #1: The Davey Richards Story

By syxxpakk in Blog on January 31, 2010

Oh man, who gave me a blog?

Northlanders Volume 2: The Cross And The Hammer

Northlanders Volume 2: The Cross And The Hammer

By David Bird in Blog on January 30, 2010

Writer: Brian Wood, Artist: Ryan Kelly Published by DC/Vertigo 2009 I enjoyed the first volume of Northlanders well enough, even if it could be a bit anachronistic at times. I kept thinking that Sven was a very modern hero. This time round Wood doesn’t even try. Just the opposite. This time we get a police procedural. Seriously. Five pages in and we’re talking about ‘splatter patterns.’ Its CSI Erie. The story is set in 1014, relatively late in the Viking period, and the Scandinavians are about to be thrown out of Ireland. Still, their king dispatches one of his best men, Ragnar Ragnarsson, to stop a violent insurgency. The king’s officials and loyal servants are being ruthlessly killed. Once he is on the scene, however, the forensics make it very clear that it is all the work of one man. That man is Magnus Mag Rodain. After a life of violence, Magnus hopes to find some sort of redemption by funneling his energies into the service of his people, so, accompanied by his daughter Brigit, he has been terrorizing the Viking communities. The book is one long chase as Ragnar attempts to run Magnus to ground. This is not a book for people who really know much or care about the period. While Vikings pillaged Ireland as much as anywhere, anyone who’d read anything of the period would know that their actual presence there was always tenuous. That aspect of the story would have been better suited to Britain. And so many of the details - Ragnar has detailed maps of the Irish countryside, Magnus is identified by his tattoo, the Irish are called Celts - are just wrong. It’s a crime story with swords and horses replacing cars and guns. And even there it hasn’t much to offer. Chase, violence, chase, violence. There is little reason to care. Only towards the end are we given any insights into Magnus, and never any into Ragnar, and those are offered in a gimmicky way, which might have worked better as characterization if it had been made clear from the beginning. A definite miss. This blog has been syndicated from David Bird's Eponymous Blog.

Oh, The Horror! #44: The Final Destination (4)

Oh, The Horror! #44: The Final Destination (4)

By Greg Anderson-Elysee in Blog on January 28, 2010

Ugh, I'll try my best not to cuss through out this review... ah, fuck it. FUCKING TERRIBLE! This movie was beyond garbage. GAR-BAGE. This movie was such a complete waste of time that I pray to all that is holy that whoever sees this review steers clear of this movie. Hopefully anyone who isn't even reading gets some kind of force to steer them clear because this movie is a complete waste of time. Don't be tricked by the 3D special effects. This movie has no point to its production except to annoy me. The plot was nearly non-existent, no believable characters or character beats, on top of more and more crap. Why oh WHY did they continue this franchise? The first movie I felt was a solid film and stands well on it's own. The second was a decent follow up. The third they should have stopped right there. Terrible film the third one was but it wasn't as much of a piece of stinking maggot filled turb that this film was. Usually with a film I don't like I'd find something redeemable or likable about it whether it's camera work or a specific shot, or a specific character or actor or SOMETHING! This film doesn't have any of it. There's not even an awesome cameo by the great Tony Todd! Skip this piece of crap, please.PLEASE!


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Playlist:  Best Songs of 2009

Playlist: Best Songs of 2009

By in Blog on January 27, 2010

Running a little late on this one…  As a companion playlist to my list of the top 20 best albums of 2009, I present a playlist featuring one of the best cuts off of each of those albums, resequenced for maximum enjoyment. If embedded content does not appear follow this link.

Saga of the Swamp Thing Volume 1

Saga of the Swamp Thing Volume 1

By David Bird in Blog on January 23, 2010

Writer: Alan Moore, Artist: Stephen Bissette, John Totleben et al.Published by DC/Vertigo, 2009If I was worrying about trying too hard to sell things with my last review, I certainly shouldn’t need to sell this one. This is the comic that started it all! Alan Moore, Vertigo, and the Modern Age of comic books! Okay, that statement stretches things quite a bit, but it did introduce Moore to America, securing it an important place on must read lists.I was just getting back into comics when this came out, having given them up during my teen years, and I wasn’t reading anything as mainstream as Swamp Thing, but a friend loaned my his copies a few years later. That was the only time I read them before re-reading them now, but I am pretty sure his collection of singles did not include .‘Loose Ends’, Moore’s very first issue. It has been collected here for the first time.What did I think re-reading it after all these years? The art poses a problem for me, one that I often have when older comics are reprinted with modern production techniques. The colours are too much. Too bright. Garish, even. Especially when you consider how fine Bissette and Totleben’s lines are. The story? Through the actions of the vegetable villain Floronic Man, Swamp Thing learns his true origins and begins the process of reconciling himself with that knowledge. But first Moore kills, or tries to kill, just about everyone. He does kill the title character. And when he brings the Swamp Thing back, he completely retcons the character, taking him from the B movie monster he had always been and making him over completely. How often do we hear that complaint today? A new creator comes in and throws everything previous writers have done out the window? On reading this I also realized that this, and the first two or three Sandman arcs, were deeply steeped in the horror genre. A lot of people traced the darkness of the Modern era’s comics to DKR and Watchmen, but the roots are laid here and those roots grew out of monsters and nightmares. I also spotted the first appearance of Sting, a preoccupation of Bissette’s that would give rise to the character John Constantine.Besides the addition of issue 20, this collection also boasts an informative introduction by Swamp Thing creator Len Wein, who describes both the original creation of the title and, with Wein acting as editor, the passing of the torch to Moore, whose changes he enthusiastically supported.

De: Tales and Daytripper

De: Tales and Daytripper

By David Bird in Blog on January 24, 2010

Writer: Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba, Artist: Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba De: Tales published by Dark Horse, 2006 Daytripper published by DC/Vertigo, 2009-ongoing These two titles are by a pair of twins from Sao Paulo who have been making a name for themselves illustrating titles like Casanova, The Umbrella Academy, and B.P.R.D. Left to their own devices they leave behind super-spies, superheroes, and the supernatural behind to spin tales about twenty-somethings in modern Brazil. De: Tales was published four years ago. It includes biographical and fantasy stories, but principally focuses on capturing moments in the lives of young people. Meetings, by chance or appointment, are a common theme. Like most anthologies, it’s a mixed bag, but none of them are terrible. The best, which was also the first of their stories I read, when it was collected in Autobiographix tells about an actual encounter the two had while in Paris. At their weakest the stories just seem a little pointless. They capture their characters’ youth, their hipness, in a way that seems more real than Pope, but there often seems to be little reason for the story. Daytripper, which has a third issue coming out this week, also focuses on the on the lives of young Brazilians and may be heading towards the same problems. The first story centered on an obituary writer whose dreams of becoming a novelist suffer in the shadow of his father, one of the nation’s most revered authors. The second story centers on a young man on vacation. He meets a dream girl. There are various profundities spoken. While the first story is full of potential, the second goes no where, though both end at the same place. I am not going to say where - I don’t want to spoil things - but I hope it doesn’t become a gimmick. With only two issues out, and those so uneven, its probably too early to form a judgment of the series as a whole, but it seems to share the same strengths and weaknesses as the stories in the earlier book. As with most stories in the earlier collection, the credits don’t break down who did what. Its Moon and Ba all the way.

Oh, The Horror! #43: A Nightmare on Elm Street

Oh, The Horror! #43: A Nightmare on Elm Street

By Greg Anderson-Elysee in Blog on January 20, 2010

Let me be first to say that although I am a Robert Englund fan, I wasn't always a Freddy Kruger fan. Since I was a kid, I never got too much of the appeal of these films. I knew they were a HUGE favorite for horror fans, but I was never enthusiastic to watch Freddy films. Now I have seen a few, many I can't quite remember except for specific scenes. About a week or so ago I watched 2.5 Freddy films and feel I was maybe a bit too hard on the it. Some time last year I tried to watch the first A Nightmare on Elm Street and really couldn't get into it at all. I felt it was fairly laughable and nothing grabbed me. Upon watching it again, I found myself finally getting into it. The characters were all there and the premise was in fact strong. As to why I had a dislike for it, I can't possibly say. The premise has such strong potential and a lot of promise for stories and the first did a rather decent job with that. A mysterious, burnt killer with knives for a hand invading your dreams is completely horrifying, especially for the fact that when he kills you in your dreams, you die in real life too. Upon finally giving this film another shot - a fair shot - I felt the movie franchise would have been extremely strong without the pointless sequels. Now, the third part of the series, Dream Warriors, had some great ideas and itself was a fine film, the series could have done without sequels period. The first film was a solid horror tale and by itself would have been a solid footnote of a scary movie.Visually, this film was very well made, especially blurring the lines between dream and reality, creating some surreal scenes. Examples being the first victim's death, Freddy's various appearances, among other things. My favorite scene would surely be when Nancy, the film's protagonist, is asleep and Freddy's figure begins to slowly come forward through the wall atop her bed. Very creepy scene and very well done. Visual-wise, I'm actually looking forward to see what kind of nightmares and special effects are used for the up-coming remake despite my dislikes for the current remake genre. My biggest complaint also for the film was in fact the use of music. I felt most of the music used for this film were very poor choices and could have highly improved the creepiness of the film if a more subtly creepy type score scheme was used. The main musical theme is very good, but other musical pieces in other scenes I found to be quite jarring and sometimes nearly took me out of the scene.A Nightmare on Elm Street is a creepy fun movie that stands rather well on it's own. I'm glad I gave it another fair shot after all this time of un-interest and somehow completely disliking it last time I watched it. Heck, I didn't even bother to finish it last time. But hey, if you're like me about this franchise, give the first film a fair viewer. You may like the interesting premise and may in fact like Freddy himself. The character works better as a sinister and creepy monster then the wise-cracking joke-ster he ended up being as the franchise went on. And here's hoping the remake does some justice. I'll try to give it a benefit of a doubt.Directed by Wes Craven.

Oh, The Horror! #42: Halloween

Oh, The Horror! #42: Halloween

By Greg Anderson-Elysee in Blog on January 16, 2010

Another wonderful classic. I'm glad I'm seeing this now. Don't ask me why, but I just am. John Carpenter directs an extremely creepy and well made craft of a little horror tale about a psychotic stalker with a weird mask on his face as he kills through local town teenagers, his target baby-sitter Laurie, played by Scream Queen, Jamie Lee Curtis. Besides that little tid-bit, there isn't too much to say of the plot for this movie. That synopsis is pretty much it along with a psychologist roaming the town in search of stopping this psychotic killer, Michael Myers. Jamie Lee Curtis, following her mother's horror footsteps, does a fine job as the very likable Laurie as she struggles to combat Myers who just keeps on coming back from whatever you dish at him.My absolute favorite aspect of this film is just how darn creepy this film is just how simple it is. Great shots, great use of space and raising tension, good use of a creepy musical score, and VERY minimal amount of blood. Now, I know people may get annoyed at my annoyance with people's disapproval of horror films with no blood and gore, but here is a classic slasher horror film that doesn't rely on gore or blood whatsoever. Heck, I can't even think of any blood in this film. There's a lot more to the craft of horror then just blood and guts and I wish modern horror fans would get that into their heads. But dammit, let me not rant about this... The atmosphere and tone produced int his movie is very much masterful and pushes forth an insane amount of creepiness that still resonant to this day watching this film. The movie overall looks beautiful.Besides a bit of a flat ending, this is a great film I'd highly recommend. I'm not a huge fan of the slasher genre, but this here is one of the very first slasher horror films that started such a great trend and it's well deserved of all the craze and acclaim this simple film gets.

It was the worst of times...

It was the worst of times...

By starlord in Blog on January 14, 2010

Starlord returns in his second blog! This time I shall enthrall you all with what I thought was the best and worst of D.C. Comics. Keep in mind that D.C. has always been my favorite of the big two, so this was a bit harder for me.D.C. (The Best)5. Wonder Woman: Not since the days of Greg Rucka has our favorite Princess been so spot on. With bizarre Gorilla friends helping her, new villains to blend in with the old ones, and a return of the Gods; Gail Simone has raised the bar once again for Amazon stories. I hope the next writer chosen can maintain the quality that this book puts out on a monthly basis.4. Supergirl: Last year I believe I had this title in my worst category. What a difference a year makes! Probably the best thing to come out of the New Krypton story, Supergirl has finally found her footing. Who would have thought that bringing in her parents was all she needed. Much praise must go to Sterling Gates for turning this book that was not readable in the least to a must read in less than a year. 3. Geoff Johns: Say what you want (and many of you will), but Geoff is to D.C. what Bendis is to Marvel. He's the architect to everything in the universe right now. His Blackest Night is both fun and dark. He's made the original Brave and the Bold center stage once more. His work on changing the status quo in the Superman books have been controversial perhaps, but still well worth reading (for the most part). The man knows comics. He knows what the fanboys like and except for one huge gaff, he delivers time and time again. 2. The Secret Six: Hands down the best book D.C. has out right now. Gail Simone is at her absolute best with these characters. She's able to use her zany sense of humor and somewhat warped persona that she keeps for just this occasion to great advantage. In her hands, Catman has went from a second stringer to one of the best Anti-Heroes I've ever seen in comics. She's even made Bane fun to read. If you haven't been reading this book, you're missing out. This is the reason I fell in love with comics oh those many years ago. Damn near perfection!1. Blackest Night: This could very well have been nothing more than your typical zombie event that seems to be gripping the comic industry lately, but instead it made a right turn into a much more humanizing story. Under the more than capable hands of Geoff Johns we are shown just how much misery our heroes have faced in the last few years with the death of so many loved ones. The creation of the Rainbow Lanterns is a fascinating twist that I hope continues way after the event is over. But the best part of this is that with the reveal of Nekron we may actually get an explanation of why so many of our heroes have been returning from the death to begin with. 2009 was all about death in the D.C. Universe, and it's never been more entertaining.D.C. (The Worst)5. The Web: Actually all of these characters that were purchased from D.C. could probably tie for this spot. The relaunch was weak and the delivery of the series was worse. Even bringing in Oracle to the Web in hopes of tying him more into the D.C. Universe proper did nothing to help this exercise in paper waist If this was their plan all along, they should have saved their money.4. Superman: I'm going to be brief with this one because really, it's only logical: You can't have a book with its title character no longer in it. It just doesn't work. And really, Mon-El? Come on! 3. Cry for Justice: Even the amazing art of this book couldn't save it from becoming the biggest letdown of 2009. It has languished in "who cares anymore" land for months now. While the rest of the world turns, this story seems to be frozen in time. There has yet to be a real cohesive story involved and it's now obvious that Robinson's original plan for this mini series was changed drastically when he was given the writing position of the JLA. Now the art really is some of the best of the year, but I still couldn't recommend this title to anyone. Really, does anyone else care about any part of it except when it is going to end? The justice in this is if we are given our money back with an apology.2. Flash: Rebirth: As much as I loves my Geoff Johns, I still can't figure out why this had to happen. I loved Barry Allen. I'm a child of the Silver Age, and even I didn't want to see him come back. One of the greatest sacrificial deaths in comic history was ripped apart with Barry's return and for what reason? So that Nekron can go chasing after him again? So those of us who have fallen in love with Wally as the scarlet speedster can fret about his future? Sorry Mr. Johns, but this really was only for you and maybe Dan. You should have taken notes from John Q's playbook with Spider-Man - the past isn't always worth revisiting.1. All things Titans: I have never seen a franchise in this much disarray. The Titans book sucks. The Teen Titans are wondering around without meaning or purpose. There is no cohesiveness to this part of the D.C. Universe that needs a total remake like this part. And if they aren't going to fix the problems (and there are so many), then do those of us who love this team a favor and put us out of our misery. Fix them stat or cancel them. I'm pretty sure even Garth would sign a do not resuscitate document if he realized how long these guys have been lingering at death's door with no bright light in the near future. Now, with all that said and done, I'd have to say that this year goes to Marvel Comics. They were much stronger in story (if not art), and continuity. Their space adventures are better than D.C.'s by leaps and bounds and while Batman and Superman seem to be waisting away; Marvel's trinity of Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor have never been stronger.2009 goes to Marvel. Nuff said! This blog has been syndicated from Starlord's Corner.

Oh, The Horror! #41: The House Centipede

Oh, The Horror! #41: The House Centipede

By Greg Anderson-Elysee in Blog on January 14, 2010

Okay, remember that post I made way back of Barry? Well, here's another critter, this one very much more common. So common that you can stumble upon it in your own bedroom, hell... right next to your freakin' pillow. Say hello to the common house centipede...Creepy as all hell, how could this NOT get it's own entry on Oh, The Horror!? This thing is horrific. Nothing with all those legs should exist. Their main purpose seems to be to just creep into your house and cause you to start scratching yourself while you climb a top of a chair, praying to all your Gods that it doesn't climb onto that specific chair you're standing on.Now, if you're not creeped out by this creature, you're set. It can in fact be very helpful around the house as they tend to eat a bunch of insects that infest your home. But it doesn't help that it's even scarier than the common spider or roach. These centipedes are harmless, but trust me, you can make a nightmarish horror film starring these things. Yulch!

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