Mark Millar movies and comics can be highly concerning and dangerous entities. There is an odd status where Millar chooses for his work to appeal to the hate in the audience while simultaneously judging them for liking it. Kickass for example was unrelentingly aggressive towards the people watching the movie and reading the comic. The nerd protagonist was a horrible person with almost no redeeming qualities beyond a skewed view of justice coupled with a penchant for violence. While some of his choices can be seen as Millar sticking to the pulpy roots of comics, there is a point where that adherence to old styles of violence, sexism and racism feels infuriatingly backwards. That is why it came as a surprise that Kingsman: The Secret Service (based on The Secret Service by Millar and Dave Gibbons) is a spy movie that does a fantastic job at avoiding the hatefulness of the genre that Millar’s work commonly holds. Instead we are reintroduced to that original Millar who grew up at the feet of Grant Morrison with a love for comics. This is the Millar that could write decent characters, craft a fun plot and still have some good over the top action. Kingsman: The Secret Service has the better Millar at the heart, or at least some very strong adaption work thanks to writer and director Matthew Vaughn (X-men: First Class, Kickass and Stardust).
Ok so what if I told you that eating a fruit could keep you away from the doctors. You’d probably be like “is this one of those click bait articles where you use a picture of a spider-penis so we click and then find out it is something we can only get if you live in New York City or Farmer’s Market, IA?”
We here at Nerdcenaries like to be hip and on the ball so we decided to do one of those Quizzes where we ask you to name comic characters and by name comic characters we mean choose between two names attacked to an image we got off Google Image Search and didn’t attribute because we have better things to do than that. Like make more of these quizzes. How many X-factor Members do you know?
Horrible Bosses 2 is the kind of sequel that takes characters people generally liked the first time out, hands them to a new creative team, and then fails to make anything worthwhile narratively, neglecting to tell actual jokes or to make the characters endearing. Gone are the bumbling and mostly innocent knuckleheads from Horrible Bosses, replaced with stunted, pale imitations. The gang Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) proceed to bumble around committing actual offenses, played off as jokes, while struggling to commit an actual crime for the right reasons.
Because it is about time someone did!
It is hard to find someone who wouldn’t punch Hitler out if they had the chance so on the Hitler punching podcast, we will be looking into HOW they would punch Hitler if they had the chance. It will be like an anti-Nazi Inside The Actor’s Studio. Join us next week for the first episode.
I was a bit disappointed that the early screening of Let’s Be Cops didn’t have the same type of social marketing hashtag that The Purge: Anarchy had. For The Purge, they wanted viewers of the early movie screening to tweet what they’d do #IfThePurgeWasReal. Let’s Be Cops wasn’t afforded the same benefit. There was no “#WhatIfWeLetsBeCops, possibly out of fear, because most of those ideas that would be tweeted out might be better than the actual ideas within Let’s Be Cops. Where Pixar very often describes throwing away complete story idea to try and attain some real and original, Let’s Be Cops feels more like it was scraping at the bottom of the barrel wasting an excellent premise and cast.
I was behind on comics from last week, I’ve been busy, and work has generally kept me away from the internet so when I finally got around to examining the #FireRickRemender story I got frustrated.
Rick Remender’s Captain America run introduced Jet Black, a Big Barda pastiche who is the daughter of Armin Zola. She was raised to be evil in Zola’s Dimension Z, she fought Cap there and eventually she got to our world and started working with Captain America and Co. Honestly, I missed the third volume of stories since Remender’s Cap isn’t my favorite run and I’d rather read stuff I want to but this controversy got big so I sat down and read the issue.
Nerdcenaries: Hello Ramon!
Ramon Villalobos: Hi.
Nerdcenaries: How are you doing?
Ramon Villalobos: I’m doing alright.
Nerdcenaries: Well, you got done with your What If: Age of Ultron issue and you are doing Young Avengers next but I think there was something else you had that came out recently. Am I mistaken?
Ramon Villalobos: Yeah a book called Abstract 3 that my friend Frank is inking for me, written by Seth Jacob.
Nerdcenaries: What is it about?
Ramon Villalobos: Well it’s about a group of superheroes called the Abstract 3 that have a reality warping crisis but I can’t really talk much about the plot.
Nerdcenaries: Ah. Well it has your art on it which is a solid selling point.
Ramon Villalobos: Haha thank you.
Nerdcenaries: Your style to me kind of seems like a Rafael Grampa crinkly-ness meets the sharp cleanliness of Mike Allred. Were either of them inspirations?
Ramon Villalobos: Definitely both of those guys are yeah. Probably Rafael Grampa is a little more apparent in my art. I like the really classy grit in his drawing. Allred I really like because he kind of has some of the quirky silver age stiffness that I really dig but it’s not as conscious of an influence as is Grampa.
In Jason Aaron’s first arc of Thor: God of Thunder, he introduces a character known as Gorr the God Butcher, an alien who saw his fellow people die when the gods they believed to failed to save his world from drought, famine and injury. The faithful were seen as brutal but weak minded people, driven by conviction in the face of proof via absence that god did not exist. Driven out Gorr eventually finds two of his gods, leads to the death of both and then using the weaponry of one, begins a campaign of slaughter across the universe killing gods, culminating in him rewriting the timeline so that he might kill all gods of the universe using the God bomb. With that power to shape the world, to fell deities, he becomes recognized as a god himself, but does that make him a god?
I’ve been to a few comic museums – Toonseum in Pittsburgh, the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco and recently the Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum at OSU and so far I haven’t seen that perfect cartoon museum, or at least the one big feature I want to see. I mean all of the facilities I mentioned are very nice – but none of them are made for the comic medium itself and that is the biggest issue.
Comics are sequential art. Comics usually tell a story. Comics usually are not a static moment like paintings are, like photographs are, like statues are. Comics are a serial art form and while a single page can show a lot, it doesn’t capture what a comic is – a way to tell stories. If you only give part of a story, devoid of context, you loose a lot. It becomes all about the art and writing for that page, not how everything ties in, and it removed the comic as a tool to tell stories. When you start posting single pages of original sets of art on the wall for a comic museum, devoid of context, unless that page is an entire story, you’ve messed with the art form. You don’t cut a hand off of a full body statue and put it in a museum as a solitary piece of art. If you post a single movie still, that is not the same as showing the actual movie – and sure it may be helpful to illustrate a directorial style but you miss the context and the actual format of the art itself. A well shot still from a movie is not a movie itself. A single page from a multi page story is not itself.