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Preview: Bill Reed:Idle of Millions

Bill Reed: Idle of Millions



Amusing and bemusing rants and raves. Unabashed tomfoolery. An imaginary audience.



Updated: 2018-04-17T08:26:44.684-05:00

 



All the movies: 2013

2014-01-05T18:52:44.755-05:00

By my count I watched 167 films in 2013-- 166 features and 1 short substantial enough that I counted it. Three were viewed in a movie theater. The vast majority of them either came from Netflix (discs by mail!) or were recorded to the ol' DVR-- usually from Turner Classic Movies. I watched a few of 'em on my RCA SelectaVision CED player, which is older than I am.Purely for my own amusement, I list them below, in the order they were viewed. Unless otherwise noted, I watched them for the first time. That's right, before 2013 I had never seen such classics as Mad Max, Chinatown, or Billy the Kid vs. Dracula.  January:Funny PeopleTrouble with the CurveDoomsdayOcean's 11 (1960)LooperThe Bourne LegacyYour Sister's SisterBeasts of the Southern WildTo Rome with LoveTotal Recall (2012)Stolen (2009)Premium RushFebruary:Seven PsychopathsFrankenweenie (2012)TedFlightThe Thing (1982) (rewatch)That Guy... Who Was in That ThingTaken 2End of WatchHoly MotorsMarch:Liberal ArtsRobot & FrankThe MasterWreck-It RalphThe IntouchablesSleeping Beauty (2011)ArgoZero Dark ThirtyPhil SpectorLes Miserables (2012)LincolnApril:Abraham Lincoln: Vampire HunterEvil Dead (2013)The Raid: Redemption (rewatch)Killing Them SoftlyPage EightGremlins (rewatch – but basically new to me)A Late QuartetGremlins 2: The New Batch (rewatch – but again, basically new)LifeforceHitchcockLife of PiDjango UnchainedSound of My VoiceRepo ManMay:The HowlingAn American Werewolf in London (rewatch)The Fog (1980)Juan of the DeadSilver Linings PlaybookIron Man 3John Dies at the EndThe Guilt TripHyde Park on HudsonDrive (rewatch)Jack ReacherStand-Up GuysThe Last StandThe KillerBehind the CandelabraRise of the GuardiansMurder by DeathShaft's Big Score!Shaft in AfricaJune:Gangster SquadAfter Fall, WinterKiller JoeWarm BodiesThe Silence of the LambsAdaptation.The SearchersCertified CopyHeadDreddMan of SteelRushmoreNight of the CreepsPromised LandMad Dog and GloryLola VersusOz the Great and PowerfulBottle RocketSide EffectsSuperman (1978) (rewatch)QuartetJuly:V/H/SUpside DownSuperman II – theatrical cut (rewatch)A Good Day to Die HardLady in the LakeJack the Giant SlayerSharknadoSuperman III (I must have seen this before... but I don't remember it)Hunky DorySave the DateThe Expendables 2SmashedAugust:Anna Karenina (2012)HopscotchGI Joe: RetaliationThe SapphiresDay for NightThe Man with the Iron FistsAdmissionThe Fury42TranceClear HistoryMudCalifornia SuiteThe Twelve ChairsUpstream ColorLawlessSeptember:OblivionStar Trek Into DarknessThe Place Beyond the PinesNow You See MeBrazilRollerball (1975)Mad MaxWorld War ZThe FPThe Great Gatsby (2013)October:Unfinished SongKon-Tiki (2012)Billy the Kid vs. Dracula La Jetee (short)Much Ado About Nothing (2013)After EarthThe EastEuropa ReportBefore MidnightOnly God ForgivesNovember:I Give It a YearThe Umbrellas of CherbourgTheatre of BloodUniversal Soldier: Day of ReckoningWhite House DownOlympus Has FallenRopeChinatownFrances HaHatchet for the HoneymoonRust and BoneThe HeatThe InternshipThe Way, Way BackDecember:Skyfall (rewatch)Thunderbolt and LightfootR.I.P.D.The Wicker Man (1973)Monsters UniversityPacific RimStokerThis Is Spinal TapCeleste & Jesse ForeverThe Abominable Dr. PhibesThe World's EndThe Stepford Wives (1975)Minority ReportDrinking BuddiesMission: Impossible (1996)Die Hard (rewatch)Ain't Them Bodies SaintsKluteThe Wolverine[...]



Suggested titles for the next John McClane adventure

2013-07-17T12:46:58.660-05:00

Live Fast, Die Hard
Die Hard or Die Trying
Old Habits Die Hard

Twenty-Sided Die Hard
It's Die Hard Out Here for a Pimp
Can You Die Harder than a Fifth Grader?
Die Soft? Die Hard with Cialis ®
Die Hard Die (German for "The Hard, The")

Die Darkman Die Hard (crossover with Liam Neeson)



I wrote a crossword puzzle

2013-02-08T19:24:40.475-05:00

Writing a crossword puzzle is something I've wanted to do for a while. I did not realize how difficult it would be. The following is not very good, but at least it's finished. Please feel free to click the following to embiggen and print out, and play along at home:







Further Comic Book Prequels to Explore

2012-07-12T22:58:25.354-05:00

Daredevil: Born the First Time
A the First Man
To Hell
Dredd Passes the Bar Exam
Maus Babies
The Dark Knight Retires
Before Before Watchmen



The Best Movies of 2011

2012-06-20T15:08:10.142-05:00

I know, I know, we're like halfway through 2012. But I finally think I have seen enough movies from last year to provide a decent list of the best films of 2011. Your mileage, as always, may vary. But your mileage would be wrong. (These aren't really in order but they're sort of in order. They're in an order.) (I have not seen The Artist yet, but I've seen all the other Best Picture nominees, except Extremely Loud and Incredibly Cloying, which you can't pay me to see. None of the other nominees are on this list, but Midnight in Paris comes the closest, mostly because I have an English degree.)Drive: I was riveted from the first frame; and each frame could be a poster.The Guard: The dialogue really sparkles in this. It's funny, violent, a bit sad. It's like a Coen brothers movie from the 90s. It is better than Fargo.Attack the Block: In the beginning, I did not think this was for me. By the end, I was for it. This movie is leaner than a greyhound and twice as energetic.The Ides of March: Maybe I just have a man-crush on Ryan Gosling. If George Clooney quit acting and switched to directing, I'd be fine with that. His films are always good. Conan O'Brien Can't Stop: I have a lot in common with Conan, and I don't just mean we have the same hair.The Adventures of Tintin: This is the Indiana Jones 4 we didn't get the first time.Captain America: The First Avenger: I had no complaints. They got everything right.Honorable mentions:Rango; Beginners; Midnight in Paris; Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol;The worst movie of 2011:Sucker Punch: Ugh.Anything I am missing? Anything I should see? Anything I saw but didn't like that much but you did so you're gonna tell me about it anyway?[...]



Where we're at with the whole DC Comics thing

2012-06-08T11:04:48.461-05:00

Remember when I ranked all 52 #1s from DC? Well let's do something like that and check in on what I'm actually still reading.BUYING:BatmanDemon KnightsDial HBUYING BUT THINKING ABOUT GOING OUT FOR MILK AND NOT COMING BACK:Animal ManFrankenstein: Agent of SHADE (let's see what Kindt brings to it)Swamp Thing DROPPED:BlackhawksJustice League DarkStormwatch CANCELLED:Static Shock (I would have dropped it anyway; what a massive dive from a promising debut issue. Bernardin's two issues were an improvement, though) WAITING FOR THE COLLECTION:Action Comics (I have gone to hardcovers-only for Grant Morrison comics)All Star Western Batman IncorporatedWonder Woman SHOULD GET THE COLLECTION BUT WILL PROBABLY CONVENIENTLY FORGET TO DO SO:Batman and RobinBatwomanBirds of Prey Flash STRONGLY THINKING ABOUT PICKING UP:Green Arrow (Ann Nocenti edition) "WAVE THREE" TITLES I INTEND TO BUY:... And just to be fair:MARVEL TITLES I AM BUYING:Daredevil (ordered the first trade) PunisherMAX (one trade left to go)THE BEST COMIC:Atomic Robo [...]



Team Comics

2012-02-10T12:46:57.541-05:00

(image)
(Image by Michael Kupperman. Copyright him.)



Cut out the "about"

2012-01-18T18:32:28.821-05:00

A lot of my time on the internet is spent reading articles or critical essays on other works of art, literature, film, comics, TV, etc. Some of my time is spent writing about those same things. The rest, obviously, is naked ladies and pictures of cats, because that's what the internet is for. In this dangerous territory where information is the most dangerous game of all and the government threatens to turn off the lights, only Snake Plissken can escape... the internet.

What am I saying?
Right, reading and writing about stuff. After a while, that cuts you off from the stuff itself. It's all middleman. And, you know, it's cool that the world has a platform on which they can praise, discuss, and condemn the culture around them, and I enjoy reading a lot of that. The internet, however, is a hungry beast, and it eats time. I've spent a lot of hours reading about things, writing about things. I have 35 tabs open in Firefox right now. "That looks nice, I'll read that eventually," I say, popping it open into a new tab and moving onto the next headline, the newer fix. The internet chokes on its babies, like the titan Cronos. It is just about time to ralph.

I really need to stop. 2011 was going to be the year I weaned myself off the internet, starting watching and reading the real material, not the stuff written about it, started writing things, creating. It didn't happen. We're in year eight or so of my five year plan.

I've really got to cut out the about.

(image) (By the way, Hausu is awesome.)



That gum you like? Its time has come.

2011-11-05T21:35:25.314-05:00

(image) Damn, the David Lynch years on Doctor Who were weird.



First Issue Special? Bill Ranks DC's 52 #1s

2011-10-05T19:53:46.672-05:00

For laughs, I decided to read all 52 new superhero #1s from DC Comics. I survived to tell the tale. Let's break 'em down, then, and count down from the best the new crop of series has to offer, to the comics that would have been better off remaining in tree form. To be as scientifically accurate as possible, we will rate them on the 5-star quantitative Morrissey/Marr scale, with no editorial commentary whatsoever.There Is a Light That Never Goes Out (5 out of 5 stars):Nope.Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me (4.5 stars):Atomic Robo and the Ghost of Station X (Oops, wait, that's not DC.)A Rush and a Push and the Land Is Ours (4 stars):1. Static Shock2. All Star WesternThis Charming Man (3.5 stars):3. Swamp Thing4. Action Comics5. Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE6. Demon Knights7. Birds of Prey8. Batman9. Animal Man10. BatwomanPlease, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want (3 stars):11. Justice League Dark12. Men of War13. Deathstroke14. Wonder Woman15. Aquaman16. Superman17. Batman and Robin18. Stormwatch19. The Flash20. OMAC21. Resurrection ManWhat Difference Does It Make? (2.5 stars):22. I, Vampire23. Batwing24. Nightwing25. Green Lantern Corps26. Green Lantern27. Green Arrow28. Captain Atom29. Grifter30. BlackhawksWilliam, It Was Really Nothing (2 stars):31. Justice League32. Justice League International33. The Savage Hawkman34. Legion Lost35. Green Lantern: New Guardians36. Blue Beetle37. Supergirl38. Superboy39. DC Universe Presents: Deadman40. Voodoo41. Legion of Super-Heroes42. Teen TitansThat Joke Isn't Funny Anymore (1.5 stars):43. Suicide Squad44. Mister Terrific45. Batman: The Dark Knight46. Detective Comics47. The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men48. Red Hood and the Outlaws49. CatwomanHeaven Knows I'm Miserable Now (1 star):50. Red Lanterns51. Hawk and Dove52. Batgirl[...]



Superhero Comics

2011-09-05T19:23:57.377-05:00

Sometimes when you try too hard, you start fuckin’ up, because you forget the fuckin’ ingredients. When McDonald’s has their 99-cent Big Mac sale, right, people love the fuckin’ Big Mac. But because it’s 99 cents, everybody fuckin’ wants ’em, right? People order four, five at a time. But now, the people who work there gotta rush. They gotta fuckin’ rush to make the fuckin’ Big Macs faster, because everybody wants ’em. They’re fuckin’ 99 cent! But, now they’ve fuckin’ rushed them so fuckin’ fast that every once in a while, you’ll bite into a Big Mac and it’s missing one of the goddamn ingredients! Everybody knows it’s two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame bun, right? You fuck around and bite the Big Mac and one of them missing special sauce, you’re like “Fuck! There’s no special sauce on this motherfucker.” You bite another one, the pickles ain’t in the shit. You know why? Because motherfuckers is rushing. It takes time. You gotta make the shit how it’s supposed to be made. When you start rushing the burger, you open the shit up, the burger crooked and shit. What the fuck? The burger’s hanging halfway off the goddamn bun, because they fuckin’ rushing, and they not doing it. You gotta make it how the ingredients was initially pitched to the person, and how it’s supposed to taste, and how it’s supposed to look, and how it’s supposed to feel. And that’s what the problem is when you start to make too many fuckin’ changes to shit. And you don’t know what the fuck they want, because they don’t know what they want.

~J.B. Smoove on a crappy sitcom he was on, but really, what doesn't it apply to?



"OMAC lives... so that MAN may live!"

2011-08-10T13:04:36.117-05:00

Colin Smith started writing about OMAC, and if anything's going to assure I pop up out of the woodwork, it's somebody talking about 70s Jack Kirby comics. I wrote the following comment on part one of Colin's post and, being the narcissist I am, decided it was TOO GOOD just to leave in a comment gallery. So here's what I scraped together:

(image) OMAC is one of my favorite Kirby works. I mean, obviously New Gods ranks higher from a more considered standpoint, but OMAC is barnstorming stuff.

We're most likely not supposed to care about Buddy Blank. Look at that name-- he's a cipher trapped in a world he never made, a world that's in the throes of becoming Orwell's 1984, a "world that's coming." It's some kind of left-wing nightmare world, where the Global Peace Agency is a vaguely sinister, faceless group of deciders with an omniscient sentient satellite on the payroll, and *they're the good guys*. Where OMAC is the hero because he is a one-man military who has the might to be right. He's an apotheosis of an individual but the antithesis of the world that made him-- note how he doesn't say he's bulletproof, but that his body "is rejecting the bullets!" That is some fine hyperbole, but it also speaks to the nature of OMAC's character in this world.

It is interesting that OMAC never transforms *back* into Buddy Blank between adventures. This isn't Captain Marvel, where a child lives out his fantasy of being a cool adult. This is a cog in a machine being transformed into a living weapon that can break that machine. Buddy Blank's only friend is Lila, who isn't even real, and he becomes OMAC, who is equally unreal, or, this being Kirby, uber-real, realer than Buddy Blank. It could be read either way. But look at that story where he fights "Kafka," who is clearly a sci-fi Castro, but with the name of an existentialist writer. What the hell does it mean?

Kirby wasn't trying to make literature here, just crazy action comics, but his 70s DC work, particularly the Fourth World, has a lot of personal philosophy bleeding into the pages. I imagine OMAC is the same, but it's a much more cynical philosophy.

Now you've got me wanting to write an article on the book, and I have thought about doing so before. I'd also love to resume the series with #9, just picking up with the story 35 years later like a day hasn't gone by, and keeping Kirby's original series going. There's so much you can say with OMAC's world, and from a modern perspective, there's so much more you can do with the concepts Kirby brought up but didn't quite flesh out.



God help us all

2011-06-16T20:27:11.804-05:00

It begins:

@billreads



And now for 52 Marvel relaunches

2011-06-15T18:22:54.287-05:00

They asked, I answered. I never thought I'd make it to 52, but then, well, I hit over 60, and had to pare it down.Whereas DC Comics seems fit more for big ideas and concepts, Marvel is all about character interaction. There are a lot of team and group books below. Marvel's also got a bigger problem with diversity, in my opinion, but I tried to hit as many vital demographics as I could, and I push hard for a wider audience base. Anyway, here we go:The Marvel Universe:1. Fantastic Four 2. Marvel Two-in-One featuring The Thing 3. Amazing Spider-Man 4. Web of Spider-Man: A monthly collection of a free weekly six-page Spider-Man webcomic 5. Sinister Six: A series about Spidey's rogues gallery6. The Avengers 7. Secret Avengers: Featuring Black Widow, Venom (Flash), Ant-Man, Sleepwalker, Cloak, and Dagger. 8. Avengers UK: Captain Britain/MI13 but with a more profitable title 9. The All New, All Different X-Men: Hated and Feared10. Iron Man 209911. Here Comes Daredevil, the Man Without Fear 12. The Incredible Hulk 13. Black Panther 14. Sleepwalker 15. Journey Into Mystery with Beta Ray Bill16. Marvel Boy17. ROM Spaceknight18. The Offenders: Starring Deathlok, SuperPro, Zombie, Satana, Sun Girl, and Nth Man the Ultimate Ninja19. Nextwave: Kick/'Splode20. Shang-Chi: Kung Fu Superspy 21. Alias Cage & Jones 22. Devil Dinosaur: Agent of SHIELD 23. D-Man and the Howling Commandos24. Marvel Comics Presents - a bi-weekly or monthly anthology that also collects webcomic features in print. Starts off with Wolverine, Deadpool, Damage Control, and Howard the Duck, with rotating features. Marvel Midnight:25. Dr. Strange26. Ghost Riders27. Brother Voodoo28. Nightstalkers: Starring Man-Wolf, Wolfsbane, Werewolf by Night, and Hannibal King29. Where Monsters Dwell: Starring Elsa Bloodstone, Gilgamesh, and the Legion of MonstersYoung Adult/Teen:30. Thor: The Mighty Avenger31. Captain America: The Fighting Avenger32. Avengers Academy: Now with Amadeus Cho33. X-Men: Gifted Youngsters34. Runaways35. Power Pack36. Galacta, Daughter of Galactus37. Spider-Girl and the New Warriors: Featuring Spider-Girl, Gravity, Thunderstrike, Patriot, Power Man, and Ladyhawk)Written, Drawn, and Edited by Women, for Women, Starring Women:38. She-Hulk: Super-Lawyer39. Miss America: A new, Native American superheroine40. Night Nurse: Hospital drama set in the Marvel Universe41. Thoroughly Model Millie: '60s-set romantic comedy42. Dakota North, PI43. Heroines for Hire: Starring all the women of the MUMAX:44. Punisher MAX45. Nick Fury MAX: Starring Samuel L. Jackson46. The Gulf MAX: A “sequel” to The 'Nam about the current Iraq War47. Dazzler MAX: A mature readers book aimed at women.Everything Else:48. Ravage 201249. Strikeforce: Morituri50. Killraven: War of the Worlds51. Not Brand Ecch52. Street Poet Ray[...]



So they asked who should take over the Batman film franchise...

2011-06-05T20:58:55.394-05:00

...over at Spinoff (hi, Graeme), and I said:

Wes Anderson: A wry, modern reclamation of the 1966 TV series, Anderson's Batman (Sam Rockwell) is a guy in the throes of a midlife crisis, who has built himself a family from the ground up, with Robin (Jason Schwartzman), Batgirl (Ellen Page), and his trusty butler, Alfred (Michael Gambon)-- plus Aunt Harriet (also Michael Gambon), who is starting to think Bruce and Dick's relationship might not be so platonic. Meanwhile, he continues his harried caped crusade against his enemies, including a Joker who's forgotten how to laugh (Bill Murray), a Catwoman who's becoming more cougar than sex kitten (Gwyneth Paltrow), a Penguin who's just been diagnosed with lung cancer (Bud Cort), and a Riddler who has seemingly mellowed out thanks to prescription medication (Willem Dafoe).

Also, every villain's henchmen are played by the same three guys-- Luke, Owen, and Andrew Wilson.



If they asked Bill to relaunch the DC Universe and write all 52 titles, these are what they'd be.

2011-06-03T19:42:30.718-05:00

Bully sorta did a gag like this already, yes. And I won't clog up CSBG space with my fandreams. But really, DC, you shoulda gave me a call before you went ahead and gambled your stamp. You can't just publish "superhero comics." Everything needs its own subgenre.Action Comics #1 - Would not actually be #1, but #905 or whatever, for there are some traditions even I like to uphold. This one would basically be Superman Family, an 80 page bi-monthly anthology aimed at the newsstand market especially. There will be action in it.Superman #1 - The Adventures of Superboy (when he was a man). Sci-fi adventure romance.Supergirl #1 - Actually aimed at teen girls, because it's about a teen girlThe Adventures of Jimmy Olsen #1 - A crazy, hyper-compressed day-glo adventure tour of the DCU.Lois Lane & the Daily Planet #1 - Investigative journalism adventure.Detective Comics #882 or whatever, not #1, that's just silly, Batman didn't even show up until #27: Another 8-buck 80-pager, covering the Bat-family. Lead story is crime-fic, but with Batman. Or supernatural horror, but with Batman. Whichever.Batman #1 I guess: The Wire, but with Batman. And punching. And death traps, and explosions. Did The Wire have those things?Batman Inc #11: Grant Morrison can keep this one. It has two ones, so it is superior.Robin the Boy Bastard #1: Damian needs his own series.Batwoman #1: Because JH Williams has to draw something and I guess he wants to draw this.Gotham Central #1: Now with Gordon and Bullock back, it'll be even better.Aquaman #1: Undersea Arthurian science-fantasy adventure.Flash #1: A new guy. Asian particle physicist. No more Speed Force, no more Barry. Science hero for the 21st century.Green Lantern #1: A new lady. Indian astrophysicist. Space exploration adventure for the 21st century.Wonder Woman #1: Anthropological mythology adventure. Yes, I use the word "adventure" a lot. I will continue to do so. Superhero comics are about adventure, goddammit.J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter #1: Philosophical detective spy-fi superhero adventure. The concept shapeshifts as much as the hero.Justice League International #1: Bwa-ha-ha but with the Big Seven or Eight or whatever.JLB #1: The second-run team. The back-ups, the reserves, the trainees. The Little Seven or Eight or whatever.Justice League Universe #1: A bi-weekly, 16-page (with backmatter) series exploring the whole of the DC Universe, no stone left unturned, no character left unloved. Sold for $2 an issue.Jonah Hex #1: Hardboiled western noir.Blackhawk #1: Retro-future aviator espionage adventure. There are no white guys in this comic. There is a talking gorilla.Challengers: F#$% the Unknown #1: In glorious KIRBYVISION.Phantom Stranger #1: A tour of the supernatural underbelly of the DC Universe. H.P. Lovecraft's Doctor Who.Swing with Scooter #1: Archie meets the Beatles meets Scooby Doo meets Buffy meets Scott Pilgrim.Wednesday Comics II #1: It is what you think it is.Teen Titans #1: There's gotta be a way to make it not suck.Legion of Super-Heroes #1: See also - Teen Titans.Shazam! (is a word Captain Marvel says) #1: See also - Legion of Super-Heroes.Metal Men #1: This one is a manga.Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld #1: So is this, but for girls.Swamp Thing #1: By comics blogger law.Justice Society of America #1: Takes place during WWII, dammit.Sgt. Rock #1: So does this, come to think of it.OMAC #9: This one picks up where Jack Kirby left off and just keeps going like it hasn't been 36 years.Elongated & Wife #1: Thin Man. With superheroes.Plastic Man #1: Because you can probably sell two different series featuring stretchy dudes if the tones are drastically different.Kamandi[...]



An excerpt from the upcoming Chesty McBookerton novel, Seduction in the Stacks: Tales of a Bacardi Librarian

2011-05-26T17:47:50.136-05:00

by Geraldine Bouvier

Chesty delicately slipped the latest bound collection of the Horn Book Guide back onto the shelf between its compatriots. As she reached up to adjust the plain beige bookends to firmly tighten the shelf's tomes, the top button on her self-knitted sweater burst from her chest, her ample cleavage surging forth like water threatening to topple a dam. The button, in its aerial bid for freedom, hurtled through the empty space amidst the shelves, into the adjacent aisle, before coming to a sudden stop.

"Ow!" came a voice. Shortly thereafter, a ruggedly handsome face poked around the corner. "Yours, I presume?" asked the gentleman to which the face came attached, holding the button gently between his thumb and forefinger. He seemed to be winking at her, but Chesty soon realized the button had fired from her breasts straight into his eye.

"Sorry," she replied nervously, taking the button from him. Their fingers met; his felt coarse, the fingers of a man whose livelihood came from his hands.

"No problem," he assured her. "After all, it gave me an excuse to talk to you." At that remark, his face turned slightly sheepish.

She gazed into his eyes, the deep and penetrating eyes of a longshoreman, or perhaps a cattle farmer of some kind. "I'd wondered what you were doing amidst the library journals," she said. "Could I--?" She paused, swallowing, nervous. "Could I help you find something?"

His eyes faltered, his line of sight dipping toward her bust. "I think I've found it," he told her, taking her waist into his strong, rough hands, and lowering his perfectly-stubbled face toward her smooth and waiting one.



In which Bill pitches his latest book idea

2011-05-13T16:10:08.199-05:00

It's called Things Hipsters Like.

Page one: "Irony."

Pages 2-200 are blank.



/PHRENOLOG/5/5/11

2011-05-05T19:51:13.289-05:00

What Bill's thinking/watching/reading/writing/doing. This is the shape of my head. style="font-family: trebuchet ms;" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/21905044" frameborder="0" height="225" width="400">//X-Men: First Class Title Sequence from Joe D! on Vimeo.//What Is Pop? by Colin Smith. Why aren't comics pop anymore? That's it, Colin. Get angry.Competency and caution is the name of the game in 2011, with occasional brilliant exceptions and pathetic collapses of craft serving to make the sub-genre at times seem more dynamic than it is. Mostly, I read unambitiously well-structured and utterly predictable stories written for the trade. Often this means that I'm paying for complacent rubbish churned out by folks who surely should know better, but who apparently don't, although they do produce a story in the requisite number of pages. I read stories written by folks with no apparent concept of the genre's long history and the skills developed by generation upon generation of comic book professionals, but who know how to tell a four issue arc perfectly adequately, as if creating comics was a mechanical rather than a creative endeavour. I experience page after page of shoddily designed and executed storytelling, packed with money-shots of be-muscled costumes and porn-actress "super-heroines" parading as if their function is as masturbationary aids for young prospective metrosexuals prevented by their parents from using a search engine and the "start private browsing" button on the family computer. I see not Pop, but aspects of exploitation and complacency which could be fascinating if they were part of a brilliant creation rather than lazy unquestioned examples of shallow thinking and practise.... is that what Private Browsing does!??!? I mean, uh...//The Spaces Between Stars by Warren Ellis:So when I write science fiction I’m a crime writer, and when I write crime fiction I’m an sf writer. I’m talking about our lives, and the way I see the world. I’m writing about the new thing, the disruptive event that enters that world, its repercussions and the attempts to deal with it. But I’m talking about where I think I am today, and what I think it looks like.//Lois Lane, Girl Reporter - a pitch by Dean Trippe and friends. I would buy this. Is anyone listening? I am far from the target audience, but I can tell from the pitch that this is a caring, considered thing that would open up new doors for new audiences into our little world, and it needs to happen.//Chris Sims writes a nice little essay on one of my very favorite comics, Jack Kirby's New Gods:Kirby, a veteran of World War II who had nightmares about the horrors he saw for the rest of his life, created a mythology where there's no such thing as a god of war, because the very act of war itself is a losing proposition. Orion himself refers to it as "packaged murder," and at best, it's shown to be a regrettable necessity that can never truly be won through the temporary solution provided by, but by eliminating the root causes of hatred and fear.//Remake/Remodel is Aquaman for HBO, so of course I loved it. (Pia Guerra; Craig Payne)[...]



I throw up a little in my mouth

2011-05-05T00:12:42.351-05:00

every time someone says "I threw up a little in my mouth."

Real men (and ladies) go the whole hog and full-on vomit. That's the way it's done.



/PHRENOLOG/4/2/11

2011-04-04T17:40:08.946-05:00

What Bill's thinking/watching/reading/writing/doing. This is the shape of my head.//They should do a big-budget remake of The Final Sacrifice, right? I'd say Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Troy and Danny McBride as Zap Rowsdower.//Speaking of gloriously awfulsome movies, here's a trailer for The FP, a film that can only be described as a post-apocalyptic competitive video game dancing movie: style="font-family: trebuchet ms;" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/14724617?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0" frameborder="0" height="225" width="400">The FP - Trailer from Trost Bros. on Vimeo.// Old-timey minimalist paperback covers for comics storylines: some new, some have been kicking around a while.//What ostensibly begins as a discussion between Abhay and Mark Sable over Secret Avengers turns into a madcap dissection of mainstream super-comics.//Colin Smith begins a new series of articles-- one I feel he's uniquely suited to write-- entitled "How to 2000AD." I'm taking notes.//Seneca on Quitely on Kirby.//Remake/Remodels: Fantastic Four and Misty, the world's craziest comics anthology for girls. My favorites (Chip Zdarsky; Tom Bland):Lots of great stuff all over those threads, really.//Via Warren Ellis, of course: style="font-family: trebuchet ms;" title="YouTube video player" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/qv3i-zVIb44" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="390" width="550">//Oh geez oh man oh geez oh oh oh style="font-family: trebuchet ms;" title="YouTube video player" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/9vIsQ25Krq8" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="390" width="550">Oh, dear, sorry. Better clean myself up.[...]



The Greatest Film Subtitles of All Time

2011-04-04T19:27:48.647-05:00

Can you place the subtitle to the movie? Let's begin:

1. Electric Boogaloo
2. The Wrath of Khan
3. The Secret of the Ooze
4. The Revenge
5. The Legend of Curly's Gold
6. In Space
7. The Stone of Cold Fire
8. Back in the Habit
9. Back 2 tha Hood
10. High Voltage
11. The Quest for Peace
12. ... Your Sister Is a Werewolf

Can you think of any other awesome ones?



When I was a kid...

2011-03-25T19:11:08.887-05:00

... I thought there was a specific curse word assigned to each finger.



R.I.P. Michael Gough

2011-03-17T14:50:05.260-05:00

My grandmother comes from a large family, so there was always another great aunt or uncle popping up out of the Polish woodwork when I was a lad. Having watched the 1989 Batman movie a few hundred times, Michael Gough may as well have been another great uncle of mine. I'll miss him, and always return to Batman, or Top Secret!, or what-have-you the same way one would return to a family album.



/PHRENOLOG/3/11/11

2011-03-11T18:37:56.748-05:00

What Bill's thinking/watching/reading/writing/doing. This is the shape of my head.//Dear Hollywood: Can we get a Frederic Wertham biopic? I don't ask for much. Can Christoph Waltz star as Wertham? Thank you.//Gary Groth arguing with folks about the merits of Dilbert. My view? Dilbert, at its height, was hilarious and awesome, and occasionally, we still get a glimpse of same.//Jog on Ditko's recent output and Alan Moore's Swamp Thing. "Novel-length criticism!" a '70s comic would say.//Witzke and Seneca go to town on Elektra: Assassin.//The Mindless Ones' Amy Poodle writes about The Invisibles for the new Comics Journal, which is the new happenin' place to be (which is why I'll never be invited to their parties).//Naked Cities by Miru Kim. (Contains butts.) Absolutely tremendous photography, a haunting exploration of our dilapidated urban detritus, as if these images come to us from a post-apocalypse, when the first brave, naked human wanders back out to explore the destruction we brought upon ourselves.//Qaddafis/Bluths. It's Arrested Development.//Four unused songs from the Scott Pilgrim movie.//Chris Sims talks about one of my all-time favorite comics (spoilers: it's ROM Spaceknight).//Weird old comics TV show interview with Grant Morrison (with hair!) and Dave McKean about Arkham Asylum and stuff.//Stained glass comics cover reproductions by Brandon Michael Barker. Holy crap, you guys. title="YouTube video player" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/bKRxDP--e-Y" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="290" width="430">//Enter the Void: I kinda wanna write more on this later. But, it's a fucked-up visual feast. See it.//So I've now watched the first three Friday the 13th movies before they expire off my Instant Queue, and... they're not very good, are they? I mean, they're passable, sure, and improve as they go along, which is rare for a franchise, but they're not about anything, are they? Each movie is basically a remake of the last one. Is it an anti-teen-sex PSA? With machetes? Compare it to Halloween, which defined the slasher genre for America, or to Evil Dead, which was visually inspiring and self-consciously ridiculous, or to Nightmare on Elm Street, the first of which works great thematically and visually, a fine entry into the Craven/Raimi one-upmanship competition, and clearly a major influence on Joss Whedon's Buffy, and, and, etc. The Fridays have almost no interesting or likable characters, very little plot, weak atmosphere, the endings are deliberately nonsensical, etc. Line up the pins and cut 'em down, that's all they are. Hardly the stuff of horror cinema legend. I guess that's why Jason inevitably becomes the protagonist, instead of the villain.(Now, Jason X, there's a movie.)[...]