No Clever Title Needed #2

When thoughts cannot stand on their own, they are tossed here, into a blog post that can go anywhere. More random thoughts for your soul! Or your brain. Or something.

I travelled to Pittsburgh, Pa this past Thursday in order to take part in Norma Jean’s recent tour. For those on the outside, Norma Jean is a pretty sweet metal/hardcore group, and I enjoy them very much. Now, while this was not my first show, or “concert” as the old term goes, it was the first one where I was actually a big fan of the performer. Granted, KISS and Anamanaguchi (whom I have both seen) put on fun, exciting shows, but there is something extra when watching a live performance and you know the exact moment to nod your head or pluck your air guitar. I had that experience, and I totally lived it, pushing my way to the front of the crowd, taking part in the pushing and shoving as the music drilled on. The time was great, and Mr. Smalls Theater, the venue hosting the show, definitely holds a cool aesthetic quality as it still showcases a few stain glass windows from the times when it was a church.

Here are a few (blurry) pictures of the show:

Norma Jean at Mr. Smalls

Norma Jean at Mr. Smalls

Norma Jean at Mr. Smalls

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A year ago, my opinion on Brian Michael Bendis was not very positive. Today, I cannot get enough of this guy. Why the sudden shift? I have learned to look past the “evil company man” reputation and see Bendis’ work for what it really is. Yes, the guy’s work does dictate the Marvel line of comics to some degree, and, yes, he does cheerlead for Marvel quite a bit, but I feel these acts now geniune rather than cycnical. His recent activity shows me that this guy is still very much an artist first and a sales man second. The Bendis Tapes, over on the Word Balloon Podcast, have been pretty straight forward the past few months, and the guy has been launching a whole slew of new creator-owned projects while also making his main line Marvel work shine.Bendis is the real deal, as he probably always has been.

Most may complain that his Avengers talk too much, but that is the take, and I for one find it very interesting. Not because they are talking necessarily but because Bendis is using the dialogue to explore the super-hero genre in a different light, showing these characters as the people they really are, wrapping their lives in a Mighty Marvel drama while backdropping against time travel, Civil Wars, and Norman Osborn.

So, I am on “Team Bendis” as you may call it. At least, that is what my buddy Joey Aulisio calls it. I am picking up a majority of his work right now, and I am excited about what this guy is doing in comics because I feel Bendis still have things to say. He is not a hack nor does he phone anything in.

With this recent positivity, I have even returned to titles such as Avengers and Ultimate Spider-man. Books I loved at one time and then dropped due to my “anti-corporate comics” phase, I am now back with, rapidly picking up any and all backissues I can find from the time I have missed. So far, my actions have been successful, nearly having all the books I need to read the entire sagas of Bendis’ Avengers and Spider-man work.

So, the point? I like Bendis again.

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I know not much of Jim Shooter, the one time editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, but I really enjoy his new blog.

It is basically Jim Shooter chronicled as he, by way of his handy computer assistant, relates to us his own history in the comics industry. And hey, he is detailing the events chronologically.

Jim Shooter can be a guy with a bad reputation, but if you are not already, read this guy’s blog. I am learning a lot.

http://www.jimshooter.com/

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Mark Waid on Daredevil, eh? To be honest, I was really looking forward to the announcement of the new Daredevil creative team, but when I first heard Waid I figured that would be a book I skip. Now, I am not so sure. Waid has given an interview discussing his plans and take, and I like what he has to say so far as he looks to bring back the “swashbuckling,” high-adventure Daredevil. Granted, he says the book will still retain some of its crime elements, but I could go for a Daredevil fighting Stilt-man. That is a Daredevil I have never actually read while in comics because the DD title has been consistantly noir ever since I began. Waid’s take could prove to be a nice change of pace. Plus, the guy has Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin at his disposal. Those are good artists.

Daredevil by Marcos Martin

As for Greg Rucka on Punisher? I feel like I am skipping that. I like Rucka’s writing well enough, but from what he described it sounds like another Punisher book that delves into the dark and gritty environment of street crime and guns. That stuff is cool, yeah, but I have read it before, and Rucka is not high enough on my list to make me excited about that take on the Punisher.
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I have other thoughts, but I want to turn those into full blog posts of their own. So, as usual, thanks for reading and comments are always welcome. I see the numbers for this thing, so I know people read it; I just need to hear from you.

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1 Comment

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One response to “No Clever Title Needed #2

  1. Eric Cunningham

    Hey Alec, just wanted to talk about how Bendis has grown on me in response to your section on him. I too used to not really like Bendis because I felt like he was doing too much for Marvel and everything was just what he wanted. But now I really enjoy what he has created. One of my favorite books now are New Avengers because of his dialogue. I love their little conversations, it is just really fun. I love most of Bendis books coming out and realize that why I love Marvel right now is because of him. I hope to hear more of your opinion on him in the future. Keep up the great work.

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