Friday, November 18, 2005

Was it worth it?

So, I know what you're thinkin'. You're thinkin' was it worth it, little stuffed bull?...Was it worth it?

Heck yeah. It was worth it.

But first...

Simpsons #112SIMPSONS #112: This comic is fun. At last, a Simpsons comic that is more than just sorta's actual full-out real fun! It's a comics sequel to one of my favorite episodes, "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase" and features three stories based on the Simpsons spin-off series from that show. My favorite in the TV show and in the comic was "Chief Wiggum, P.I." ("Look! he's slowly getting away!"), but the other two were good fun as well. And hey, a guest appearance by Susan Dey and Gary Busey! Still not convinced? Not enough to tickle your funny bone? How about the sudden reappearance of long-absent but always-loved Troy McClure, who you may remember from such comics as "Troy McClure's Comics and Stories" and "All-Star Troy-Man and Troy-Boy-The-Boy-Wonder." (Sniff. You're missed, Phil Hartman.)

Batman MM #1BATMAN & THE MONSTER MEN #1: This comic is fun...sorta. Wow! Best Batman cover in a long time! Creepy and cool. (But that sure is a big moon, Mister Wagner.) It's kinda a big shock after that cover to have the first word in the book be a swear word! Just to remind you: I am allowed to read comic books with some swear words in. An' it doesn't say "For Mature Audiences Only!" on the cover in big red letters, does it? (Checks and sees.) Nope! No, it does not. Still, that is not the first word I expected in a Batman comic book. It's a little too inspired in tone and format by Batman: Year One (not that there's anything wrong with that) but the plot seems promising enough: early in his career, Batman's facing off against the Mob (hey! isn't that a little like Batman: The Long Halloween?) but some monsters are very likely 'right 'round the corner 'cause yay! There's Professor Hugo Strange! You gotta love Professor Huge Strange. I wonder if he is Doctor Strange's brother. Anyway, there was one thing missing from most of this Batman story: Batman! He's only on five pages of the whole story! Yes, I'm aware that this is just the first chapter and I know there will be plenty of Batman coming later. But there were even whole rows of pages in which Bruce Wayne didn't appear. And then...oh no, can it be...pages of Batman's girlfriend in her underwear??!? Well, sorta. It looks like she got tired when visiting Bruce and Bruce let her sleep over. That was nice of him! The story is all well and good but that's not what I buy a Batman comic book for. Still, fantastic art. I might peek at the second issue to see if there is more swearing and kissy-kissy stuff first, though.

Runaways #10RUNAWAYS #10: This comic is fun...sorta. Here's a little riddle: what do the original X-Men, the Micronauts, and the Runaways have in common? Give up? Give up yet? The answer is: when they first appeared in their very first issue #1 of each comic, they were a team of heroes, none of which had ever been seen before. So you might assume, as I did when I first read John's old copies of Micronauts, that maybe this didn't take place in the Marvel Universe, so maybe we wouldn't get any cross-overs that would make it more confusing and tied-down to Marvel events and...whoops! There's Man-Thing! And Ant-Man! And the X-Men! Oh well! Anyway, it'll take a lot to make Runaways not fun to me, but plopping them down firmly in the Marvel Universe is one sure step. I really think this was a mistake not only in terms of making the story more reliant on Marvel Universe events (for example: will Molly of Runaways lose her powers after House of M?) but it also makes it a little less accessible to new readers. A book like Runaways is ideal to target to teens and pre-teens who like manga: the storyline of kids whose parents turn out to be evil villains is something any kid would enjoy, huh? But start tying it into the Marvel Universe: Ultron is one of the kid's fathers, ex-New Warriors and Power Packers show up, and Cloak and Dagger become regular cast members...well, that's jus' plain confusing for the casual reader. Don't get me wrong: I loves me some Marvel Universe. But I don't think every book they publish has to be set smack-dab in the middle of Marvel crossover land. (That said, without the Marvel Universe you couldn't get my entry for a new feature in my weekly comics reviews: The Best Line of the Week, this time spoken by Iron Man as he comes across Wolverine on a rooftop: "A Wolverine appearance? How novel." Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!)

Banana Sunday #4BANANA SUNDAY #4: This comic is fun. Oh, I love this comic, and in any normal week, it would easily win most fun comic of the week. The monkeys are funny, the girls are cute, the mystery is cool, the mythology is surprising (John was close but no cigar on what the monkeys represented when he guessed what they were in issue #1!), and the dialogue is just plain wonderful. (As Go-Go, the Sensational Character Find of 2005, says: "I like to have all the muffins!") Mister Nibot and Miss Coover, please please please please make more Banana Sunday comics! I will buy them all (unless Jim Lee draws them). Thank you.

FF #532FANTASTIC FOUR #532: This comic is not fun. This is the end to the storyline I like to call "The Cosmic Rays Are Intelligent But Are They As Interesting As Galactus? No, They Are Not." Reed learns a lot about the secrets of the universe but apparently mostly just how to get home and get in bed with his wife. Maybe they were both very tired. (Wow, that seems to be happening a lot this week in comics! Maybe all these superheroes should take some more vitamins.) A lot of the subplots are wrapped up pretty quick and I'd forgotten about most of them anyway. Some of the funny and fun stuff happening with my per'sonal hero, Ben Grimm, kinda spirals down the drain on the last page, maybe just serving as a set-up to the new THING comic book. And since the story is mostly about Reed, why is Johnny on the front cover? I figure I gave Mister J. Michael Straczynski (I don't even feel like making a joke about how to pronounce his name anymore!) enough time. Now that this story is finished, I'll prob'bly drop FF from my monthly comics shopping list and maybe peek in on the next storyline when or if it's collected in trade. It jus' isn't fun enough for me. And when "The World's Greatest Comics Magazine" isn't fun enough for me, well, that's 30 dimes I can save and spend instead on...

All Star Superman #1ALL STAR SUPERMAN #1: This comic is fun. Wait, that doesn't do it justice. Let me repeat it with the aid of excessive, needless HTML:

This comic is fun!

I mean, like wow. I know I first read this comic in the aftermath of a total fever dream but it was everything I hoped that All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder wasn't: a wild, modern, tossed-into-the-action storyline that starts out with out of the single greatest retellings of Kal-El's origins in eight words and ends with some spilled oranges. It's got modern-as-nanotechnology elements and classic-as-Christopher Reeve character portrayals. It doesn't insult my little stuffed brain by spelling things out, but everything is there on the page for you to put together (why is Clark stumbling in a crosswalk? Why is the villain talking like Lex Luthor?)—that makes it a truly rare modern comic that actually rewards re-reading. It's Superman, all right, but it looks different (thanks, Mister Quitely!), it feels different, and golly, is sure is different from any other Superman comic on the stands now because it doesn't forget that first and foremost, Comics Oughta Be Fun. This one's not goin' in the longbox—it's going on the shelf so I can read it again and again. Is there any doubt in your mind that All Star Superman gets the award as the most fun comic of the week?

Golly! I'm so excited for All Star Superman #2 to come out next month that I bet I will hardly sleep tonight!

Thursday, November 17, 2005





Wednesday, November 16, 2005


HEre c iomeez the sunn! IT IS MORNINGGG YAYYY






the uyahsg iis ghjhlm, hy,.

uthags ;'berao hgy7 rta lo, nab. ahayte hagiuah y. YAGhn







wooww there is really NUTHING good on tv at threee in thje mornjing.

reading: it puts you to sleep. NOT

at least that is what everyubody says. I have read all of showcase presents: superman and i'm now halfway into superman for all seasons. and i am not at all tired. i wish it would be mornin galready.

PS: Choclate milk is really really goood.


this isn't working. i can't sleep. maybe i will get up and read for a while.

Nothing at all.

I'm thinking about nothing. Nothing at all. Certainly not anything about Jimmy Olsen or Lex Luthor. Or what they will look like pencilled by the new artist. Quite frankly, Frank Quitely will


Oh my gosh! Quite Frankly! I just got it!

Hee hee hee hee hee!

La la la la la la.


I am thinking of nothing at all.


Marshall is snoring.

My baby sister is snoring! She is very very loud. I can't sleep! Grrrrrrrr. Maybe if I close my eyes and try to think of nothing at all I will fall asleep very very fast.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I thought it was later than this!

How can it not even be midnight yet?!?!?

A little later.

This pillow is lumpy. Maybe I should go get another one. And some more chocolate milk.

I can't sleep.

I am wide awake. I can't sleep at all, I'm too excited. Maybe I will have a glass of warm milk. With some Hershey's syrup in it.

Mmmmmm, Hershey's syrup.

I can't wait!

As a very great man once said: "The waiting is the hardest part." And I can't wait until tomorrow. Why? Is it Christmas? Is it Arbor Day? No! Tomorrow is going to be the best day ever! Why?

Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's All-Star Superman arrives in comic book stores!

Now, I should know better than to get all worked up and excited until this actually happens. You may remember that I have been disappointed before while waiting for an All-Star comic book. But that was Frank Miller. And Jim Lee. Come to think of it, I really sorta should have seen that one coming, shouldn't I have! But this is Grant Morrison. And Frank Quitely. And, gosh darn it, it's Superman. If this isn't the best comic ever, I don't know what will be!

Gosh, I'm so excited! John once told me that there was one night years and years ago when he was so excited to get Uncanny X-Men #138 the next day at the comic book store that he could hardly sleep. (And that was in the days when there was only one X-Men comic! I know, it seems like a bazillion years ago!)

I am going to bed now so when I wake up it will be time to go get All-Star Superman! Yayyyyy!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Bully's Book Club: The Unofficial LEGO Builder's Guide

If you know anything at all about me, you should know that I love Lego®! (Don't forget: a true Lego fan always refers to them as "Lego"...not "Legos.") Lego, Lego is my favorite toy. I have lotsa keen Lego sets and there are Lego bricks all over the place so I can play with them any time I want. They are the perfect toy! They snap together to form anything! Anything, I tell you: ANYTHING! I am pretty good at building things from Lego but as we all know, you can never know too much about your interests! That's why I highly recommend The Unofficial Lego Builder's Guide!

Now don't get me wrong. This is no book full of patterns and projects of robots and planes that you can build if you follow the instructions and have the right Lego pieces. Oh no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no, no. There are plenty of books like that and those are just fine. But this one is the single best reference I've read to understanding how to create successful and sturdy and most of all cool Lego models! It shows you the tips and techniques to create a structure that's not going to fall apart on you by learning how bracing works, how to use the pieces you have to approximate pieces you don't have (I never have enough archways and now I know how to create them out of small loose bricks!), and how to plan what you're going to build and turning your ideas into cool Lego constructs! I'd go as far to say that this is no mere Lego instruction book: it's actually the Zen of Lego.. Buy it, study it, and you will become master of your own domain...Lego domain, that is!

There's lots of advanced Lego hobbyist's hints and suggestions in here as well: how to create a dedicated area to work on your Lego (not a problem for me; I just dump mine on the living room floor and work on the rug, at least until Gus the Cat comes along and knocks things over and wants to lie on them. Bad Gus! Bad bad!), how to store your Lego, how to make tools to help you build and take apart your creations, and the proverbial much, much more!

There's even a neat section that catalogues most regular Lego pieces, gives a little history behind them and tells you whether they're rare or not. The only thing that would have made this section even more cool was if there was a pull-out card that I could take to the Lego Store as a shopping list to remind me what pieces I want to buy!

Finally, the author has a super-cool website and a very interesting blog in which he addresses more questions about Lego. Man, I never thought I'd see someone more obsessed with Lego than me, but this Allan Bedford guy certainly appears to be! (I just hope he didn't swallow a Lego piece once because it looked like yummy, yummy candy. I learned not to do that the hard way!)

So, to conclude, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of The Unofficial Lego Builder's Guide. It has taught me to understand about Lego mechanics and structures more than I ever thought possible, and it's inspired me to sit down and plan out my models ahead of time so they hold together properly and look professional. In the past I would always get too excited about playing with Lego and my models would get away from me. Not any more! This is the new Lego-master Bully at work! This I swear to you, world: Every one of my Lego models from this point onwards will be elegant and professional and will inspire awe and fear in mankind! You will not defeat me anymore, Lego!


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Ben Grimm totally rocks! Reason #5

Why does Ben Grimm totally rock?

5. He knows that in this day and age of multiple Yellow Pages books, the smart consumer compacts the information into a single resource.

He's the tough guy from Yancy Street, the man who's bigger and boulder. And now you know...another reason why Ben Grimm totally rocks.