Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Late night wittering at the end of the year

Anyone else feel like they need a new liver? 

I have to say I'm pretty relieved that tonight will be the last where I'm required to drink large amounts of booze, as I honestly don't think my blubbery mess of a body can take much more punishment. Hey-Ho, I'm getting very old.

Anyway, new comic day today (strange day to have it) and I might try and slope away to Gosh for an hour or so before the mandatory alcohol poisoning resumes. Didn't pick up my books last week and still haven't read the ones from the week before that, so I'll have a tidy old pile to get through once things calm down.

I suppose I should do some sort of best of 2008 thing since it's almost over and all. To be honest I haven't spent much time thinking about it, but here are a few comic related highlights which spring readily to my addled mind...
  • Amazing Spider-Man: I never liked married Peter Parker anyway so I was glad to see Spidey rebooted. Frankly I found all the bitching about the whole deal with Mephisto thing funny - seemed like a fairly routine sort of thing to happen in a world full of people who can fly and fire laser beams out of their eyes. Whatever, even the haters seem to like the new book. It's fast, fun and on occasions downright brilliant, particularly when it's drawn by...
  • Marcos Martin: Honestly imaginary web chums, I usually pay a lot more attention to the words than I do the pictures, but when I pick up an issue of Spidey and see one of this fellah's covers, the old nerd juice starts leaking out. Martin's art is SWEET. Not only does he draw a great, lithe, graceful Spidey which nods respectfully in the direction of Steve Ditko, he also does fantastic things with his page layouts and nails the look of Marvel Manhattan. I wish he could draw every issue.
  • Green Lantern: Not everyone's cup of cha I know, but for me GL is still my number one spandex based read. Lots of cool looking aliens flying around in space fighting. The obligatory Geoff Johns nods to DC history and continuity undoubtedly turn a lot of new readers off, but get me juiced. 2008's Sinestro war finale and retelling of Hal Jordan's origin have been ace.
  • Walking Dead & Invincible trades: I can see a day when people get fed up of Robert Kirkman's stuff, it's very soap opera and it's very manipulative, BUT who cares? The man writes a mean page-turner. I read his top two books in trade. Get them -  gobble them up. Instantly want more. Do it, you'll see.
  • The End League: Grim, derivative muddle of a comic from Rick Remender which I'm enjoying the hell out of. 
  • Conan's grandad: I've always had a soft spot for Conan, but his grandad is way cooler. He looks a bit like Phineas from The Freak Brothers and chops up werewolves and slavers. Yay! Artist Rich Corben owns every other fantasy artist out there as far as I'm concerned. He should draw the main Conan story as well.
  • 11 O'Clock comics:  Four American blokes getting drunk and blathering on about comics for an hour and half or so. My favourite podcast. Go listen. Also, check out Around Comics and Comic Geek Speak. They're getting slicker as time goes by, but there's still something pleasingly punk about all three shows. I kind of like the I-Fanboy podcast too, but their ultra professional "let's do this for a living" "keep your voicemails to 30 seconds" lickety/split rush to keep the show on schedule turns me off slightly. I like my podcasts to sound more like chaotic audio fanzines. 
  • Having said all that, I do like me some Word Balloon. Host John Siuntres is the David Frost of comics, a PROPER broadcaster who know his subject inside out and has established a great rapport with several of the biggest names in comics. Of his 2008 interviews I'd say the Chuck Dixon, Ed Brubaker/Matt Fraction and mammoth Brian Bendis chats stand out. If you have any sort of interest in the medium, then you really should be wading through his catalogue of creator interviews. Essential listening.
  • War Comics: I've read a lot of good ones in 2008. Storming Paradise is probably my favourite.
  • Final Crisis: Crappy event comics. Yeah, but I've enjoyed every minute of it. Even love the tie-ins. 
  • Blogs: Oh God, I read far too many blogs. All of the ones in the sidebar>>> are worth reading. Go look.
Yeah, that all tailed off a bit towards the end, but I'm v v tired and can't force any more brain farts out. No doubt I'll think of some more stuff I've enjoyed over the course of 2008 tomorrow. 

When I'm a bit fitter for purpose I'll also bring you some exciting photos of Portuguese super-hero murals from LLC reader Diogo AND a quite remarkable development on the Sea-Monkey front that would have been better suited to Easter than Christmas. 

For now though, I really must crawl off into a corner and rest. Happy New Year chums!