Monday, January 25, 2010

This is what happens when I get bored

No post today.  Instead, please enjoy this Guy Gardner sprite I made when I was bored, which I based on some sprites from Final Fantasy VI:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Would it kill DC to institute a ratings system?

I really wish that DC would start rating their comics.  In the past few years of comics reading, I've run into: a hero having his arm ripped off and eaten, Dr. Light raping Sue Dibny, Dr. Light's disgusting conversations about his favorite retconned hobby (rape), another hero having a limb torn off, Wonder Twins expies being attacked and eaten by a demonic Wonder Dog . . .  And that's just off the top of my head.  I'm sure I'm leaving out plenty more.

I am not a fan of censorship, but it isn't censorship to give a comic a content rating (just like it isn't censorship to rate a movie R).  And I really wish they'd give some sort of warning about adult content.  If nothing else, so I know whether it's safe to eat anything while reading a comic.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Justice Society thoughts

I've been enjoying the recent Justice Society stories, but you know what?  Not much is happening.  I understand the need to build a story slowly, but there's a difference between build up and padding, and we've been getting a lot of padding recently (most noticeably in the heroes get attacked, drive villains away only to have the exact same villains attack the exact same location not long afterward).

The most recent issue had one important event occur (a villain's appearance), and we don't even get to see the resolution to that.  The whole issue is pretty much one big internal monologue.  A well written monologue, sure, but it doesn't change the fact that nothing really happens.

In summary: Good writing, but lousy pacing.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Random Thoughts: Avatar and Super Heroes

I saw Avatar recently.  One of my first thoughts upon leaving the theater: They need make a superhero movie with these types of effects.

One of the pitfalls that superhero movies fall into - aside from lousy scripts, bad acting and incoherent plots -is bad special effects.  Some special effects just simply do not work well when human actors are involved, or the technology isn't there to make them look believable.  CGI can solve some of that, but sometimes CGI and live action shots just don't blend well, making the CGI stick out like a sore thumb.

Compare the stretching effects used in Fantastic Four and The Incredibles.  In Fantastic Four, Richard Reed's stretching really isn't a very convincing effect, but in The Incredibles, Elasti-Girl's stretching is completely believable because the CGI effect works perfectly in the CGI world of the movie.

I also think that The Incredibles works so well because comic books, even realistically drawn ones, do not come close to matching the real world.  There is a cartoonish element to comics.  That isn't a bad thing, but it can cause problems when trying to have live actors play out comic book stories.  Superhero costumes, mutants with physical mutations, aliens . . . believable enough in CGI or drawn form, but they suffer problems when you try to get special effects to duplicate them.

Of course, my dream would be a Justice League movie with Avatar-level of special effects.  Because, if nothing else, Martian Manhunter's powers would be freaking awesome to see.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The True Source of Superhero Angst

My dad shared with me his theory on why superheroes tend to be angsty.  It isn't the effects of dealing with the worst of humanity, the tragic pasts, or the conflict between civilian and superhero identities.  The true source is spandex.

Why?  Because spandex leads to super-wedgies, which would make anyone moan and groan.

I love my dad.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Comic Shop Joys

I found a comic book store within 15 minutes of my house!  This may sound like no big deal you "city folk," but I live in a small town, so it's a big deal for me.  This place is saving me about 30 minutes of travel, and it's actually better than the next closest comic shop.  (Not to mention in a better neighborhood.)

I entered the store and the first thing I hear?  A discussion about the casting in the upcoming Captain America movie.  I couldn't help smiling a little and feel like I was in a place where I belonged. . .  (One of the many ways that you can tell I'm a huge nerd.)  Apparently there had been rumors that Leonardo Dicaprio might be cast as Captain America . . . thankfully, the rumors have since turned out to be false.  Nothing against the guy, but when I think Captain America, the words "pretty boy" do not come up.

I spent awhile browsing the back issue bins, which were neatly sorted.  The place was pretty dead, but the owner was friendly, it had a nice selection and it helped me fill in some of the gaps in my collection.  I really wish I'd known about this place sooner . . .

I think one of the greatest joys a comic book fan can have is finding a good comic shop close to where they live.  It's a joy I had not known . . . until now. ;)

(In all seriousness, it did make my day.  That shop just got its newest regular customer.)