Tuesday, August 31, 2010

bum bum ba BUMMM!!

Look what I came across while reading Daredevil - Wake Up:

Quite apt that my scan accidentally cut his head off don't you think?

Lets take a closer look:

See they don't have to be green to be good!

Edited to add that I put a review of this book up on New readers... if anyone is interested.  there's no bum over there tho.

Monday, August 30, 2010

No Mans Land - Comedy moments

So, yesterday's post was all serious and deep.  Today's will be amusing (and short).

First, a peek into Batfamily life:

I love getting glimpses into Batfamily life.  It seems as if the relationship between Dick and Alfred hasn't really changed much over the years.

And now, I finally got to read about something I've been hearing about for years.  Big Barda wears Plastic Man.

It's probably a good thing he's plastic and unkilleable, or he'da been in real trouble.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

No Mans Land - Azrael, Batgirl and Leslie Thompkins

I was of course already familiar with Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) and Leslie Thompkins but less so with Azrael.  I don't think I'd ever read anything with Azrael in before.  I had no idea of his background, his mission or anything about him.  In NML he strikes up a friendship with Leslie Thompkins, the doctor, and later, Batgirl.

Leslie's role in NML is that of pacifist and conscience to Bruce and Azrael.  She is fiercely against violence and is so committed to her principles that she even tends a notorious killer, knowing that when he awakes he will most likely kill her and everyone else in the hospital.  When he does wake, and does threaten her, she doesn't fight back - she lies at his feet and declares that she won't fight back, even tho she is terrified and she dearly wants to defend herself to preserve her life.  The pacifist stance does come off a bit heavy handed and forced at times, but it does also allow her to be mentor to those like Azrael, and later Batgirl.

As Batman becomes the Commander of his little clan Azrael and Batgirl find themselves working together and a friendship develops.  It's a bit of an odd friendship, given that the only word Batgirl can say is stop, so Jean-Paul (Azrael) does most of the talking.  Nonetheless, given their similar backgrounds and given the role that violence plays in their lives they have an understanding.  At one point, Azrael asks Batgirl what the plan is and this is what she replies:

Towards the end of the book it is coming up to Christmas and Lesllie gives gifts to both Jean paul and Batgirl.  Note that because of their backgrounds they don't know what Christmas is or what gift giving is about.  Batgirl gets her present first:

Jean Paul is given a harmonica.  Later he tries to play it:

The dance is Batgirl's Christmas gift to him.

All the scans are from Azrael 60 and 61.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

No Mans Land - Catwoman assorted

And now for the last few Catwoman scans.  There's a few pieces of art which are just fun to look at:

Friday, August 27, 2010

No Mans Land - Catwoman and her henchmen

Catwoman got herself an adorable henchman in No Mans Land. His name is Mookie and he's the sweetest thing ever:

Utitlising Mookie's liking for wearing ladies clothes, Selina has him act as decpy by dressing him up in one of her outfits.

Love it.  Selina looks after her henchmen.  The proof is here:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

No Mans Land - Catwoman and sex

I'd read the Catwoman No Mans Land issues before, but age ago, and tbh, they probably didn't mean a lot to me then.  On re-reading them alongside the other No Mans Land issues they become a whole lot better.

I suspect that on the first read I got on a stroppy feminist high horse about the sexual art.  I now get off that horse and will defend the art.  It's a playful porny pin up style and it's great!

It's flirtatious and sexual, and it's overly emphasising her breasts and arse, but so does Selina especially when she's with Bats.  So what better way to start this off than with a series of pictures showing them at their best (click to embiggen):

Yes the art is salacious, yes it's titillating, but that aint a bad thing!  This is some glorious storytelling with decent sexual tension between the two and I love it.  And it isn't unfeminist of me to say it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Read Comics in Public day!

I heartily encourage this.  I also heartily encourage DC Women Kicking Ass's idea, which I shall crosspost:

Read Comics in Public Day - Ladies, let’s show them!

Saturday is International “Read Comics in Public Day” a day designed to show off the number of comics readers ‘round the globe. Here’s the idea behind the day from organizer Brian Heater:
The concept is fairly simple: we’re asking that everyone take an hour or two out of their day on August 28th (also the birthday of Jack “King” Kirby, incidentally) to read a comic book in a public setting—a park bench, a beach, a bus, the front steps of your local library (we do ask, however, that you be mindful of local loitering laws). Let strangers see you reading a piece of sequential art.
Take to the streets. Be proud. If someone asks what you’re reading, say, “a comic book” (the phrase “graphic novel is also acceptable, but let’s face it, it sort of defeats the whole purpose). Heck, lend them a book, if you’ve got an extra—what better way to make a new friend and convert a new reader?
This year’s event seems to be getting some good visibility — NPR did a story about it this last night.

I’ve been writing a lot recently about ways to increase the ranks of female comic readers. Each post, I’ve given suggestions on what the average person can do. And here’s another opportunity. This Saturday, if you are a woman who reads comics take your love to the street and show it off by participating in this event. But I had a thought, what if we showed off lots of images of women reading comics in public? I have grown so tired of hearing “I don’t care if women read comics” over and over, most recently in response to an article that Kelly Thompson did about Ben Caldwell’s Wonder Woman. Here’s the opportunity to show why people, if not the size of the ranks, the passion. Let’s show them a reason they should care.

To facilitate this I have created a Tumblr “Women Read Comics in Public”. Help me fill it with images of women reading comics from this Saturday’s event. What do to do? Grab a comic, go somwhere public on Saturday, take a picture of you reading it and and send it to me. If you’re not a woman send me a picture of your girlfriend, sister, wife, mom, daughter, or co-worker reading. If you want privacy hold the comic in front of your face.

You can send me the pictures by using the submit button on the blog, over Twitter or email it to dcwomenkickingass [at] yahoo.com. If you think it’s a good idea, let others know! Twitter, blog, reblog and post in forums. And hope for good weather!

 Do it guys, I certainly will be!

No Mans Land - the inside art

Continuing this series, lets look at the art inside No Mans Land.

As I mentioned in my last post, No Mans Land shows us a ton* of different art styles, some  affecting, some serious, some comedic and some cartoony.  Here are a few of the best ones to catch my eye.
 This is from Robin 71.  I like Alfred when he's sardonic.

 What I do not understand, is how in an apocalyptic wasteland he still manages to dress only in Butler clothes.


This just cracks me up and shows why I can't take the Dark Knight seriously. He could be looking through the door saying You rang, M'Lord?

From Young Justice 20.  I miss YJ.

 And now to the serious.  This came from the Mr Freeze story arc, but which issues they were I forget.  The things I like about this are the colours and the way Batman is drawn in the bottom left.  It's such a simple style, yet speaks volumes.

Lastly, this gem.  This was from an arc dealing with the inside of Arkham Asylum.  Dr Arkham and his assistant are trying to hold the fort while the rest of the staff trickle away.  It may even be part of the Road to No Mans Land arc, not No Mans Land proper.  What attracts me to this page is the layout of the panels and the background behind the panels.  There's such a lot of detail and care paid to producing this, and as a result it really stands out.
If anyone can tell me what issue this is from I'd be grateful.

*Yeah, that's right, a ton.  I've got a good handle on the English language tonight, to be sure.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

No Mans Land

I've been reading Cataclysm, Aftershock, Road to No Mans Land and No Mans Land.  They were surprisingly good, even for a Batman hater like me.
For those of you that don't know, Cataclyscm deals with a massive earthquake destroying Gotham.  Aftershock is the immediate aftermath of said earthquake, and No Mans Land covers the year following the earthquake.  The US government, pushed by various malign influences, decide to annex Gotham city, cut it off from the rest of the country and leave it to rot as a no mans land.  The inhabitants are given the opportunity to leave but some, for varied reasons, decide to stay.  Chaos ensues and the Batclan and the remnants of the GCPD try to restore order to Gotham city.

No Mans Land ran over 85 issues and 40 of these were collected into 4 trades.  I've been lucky enough to get hold of the whole run, so I discovered that the 80+ issues were arranged around various small story arcs and a few standalone issues, each focusing on one particular area of Gotham city or one character.  It's been really interesting to read all of these and I'm planning to do posts on the things I found most interesting.

Given that this story crossed many different DC titles there is a huge variation in the art styles and ways of drawing each character.  The Penguin was particularly interesting to see, as some artists caricatured him to become a short, squat figure with a very pointy news, and others drew him more human like.  Depictions of Two Face also varied enormously.  But to start with, lets take a look at the cover issues.  Click to embiggen.

This is from the Aftershock storyline and I think it's just a beautiful picture.  I'm a big fan of using similar tones and shades to create moods in artwork, and I feel that this is just a very powerful picture.

Whereas the image above is isolating and shows Batman as somewhat inconsequential when compared to the plight of the city this cover is crowded and claustrophobic, and even more desperate.  The firey colours used are, I assume, meant to remind you of hell.

This is the cover to part 2 of a 3 part arc and ran in Shadow of the Bat 88, Batman 568 and Detective Comics 735.   Poison Ivy has set up in Gotham's Robinson Park and has made it her own.  Anyone going in doesn't come out again.  Clayface enters and makes her a deal.  Unfortunately for Ivy, he reneges on it and imprisons her, feeding her salt and denying her water and sunlight.  Ivy has also adopted various (human) children and Clayface captures them forcing them to work for him tending and selling the produce Ivy grows.  Batman and Robin investigate, help Ivy out and can't quite believe that the children are happy and want to stay with Ivy.  Score 1 for environmentalists, score nothing for pompous know it all crimefighters.

No Mans Land is a harsh place and people survive any way they can.  In this issue, an enterprising couple are promising a way out of Gotham in return for jewellery and other shiny goods.  However their way out is actually a tunnel full of starved, crazed people who attack and eat anyone tricked into entering.  It's noteworthy because the starved cannibals are drawn to resemble zombies, making this an interesting take on the survival of the fittest theorem.  If it weren't for the sanctimonious ending this would be a really good issue.

What can I say.  Any cover stating that Robin tastes like chicken is gonna get a mention from me. Mmmm, chicken!

Ahh, this cover is just lovely.  The story concerns an cop and a veterinarian and their struggles to care for the people they come across.  The cop ponders the value of his soul and wonders what the daily fight is doing to him, and the veterinarian is worn out to the point where she will make a deal with the penguin to help the kids in her charge to get out of Gotham.  This story ran in Legends of the Dark Knight 123 and Shadow of the Bat 91.

I find this cover giggle inducing.  So sue me, but it doesn't look like he's grieving, it looks like he's muttering 'I'm Batman! I can breathe in space!' or something similar.
This is just lovely.  The composition, the softness of the background colours compared with the dark of Batman, the fact he's not brooding, but is simply ready.  Lovely.

Monday, August 23, 2010

So, there are some things which seem US centric.

In the blogosphere, or at least those sections I inhabit, it does sometimes seem very American dominated.  Maybe that's cos I mostly read DC comics blogs.  Anyway, some things I read look, on first glance, to be only about the USA. But sometimes, I think the text is worth repeating.

On Stars and Garters recently, notintheface wrote this:

A Helpful Racial Etiquette Tip

For anyone asking the question "If black people can use the word 'n___er', why can't white people use it?", here's my answer:

Because when they do, they usually sound like complete fucking idiots."

You can read the whole post here.  Please do.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What Kyle really thinks of the JLA

Can't remember which issue this is from, sorry.

I think dwarf Aquaman may be my favourite.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Blue Lantern Corps

I'm not finding the time to blgo in detail about things.  So let's have some picture spam over the next few days!

I'm a sucker for oaths I really am.  And who doesn't need a little hope?  The colours are so beautiful in this page too.

Friday, August 20, 2010

River Tam

The girl's ultimate fantasy is the above picture.  Isn't she adorable?

Taken from the Serenity Better Days trade.  That one with the awful cover.  Not a bad story though.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

General Ulysses Hadrian Armstrong

As seen in Chuck Dixon's run of Robin.  He's young, obnoxious, pompous, sociopathic and generally reminds me of Damian.  Wikipedia says he became Anarky.  Is this correct?  Did he suddenly age up or something?