31 Days of Comics Challenge Day 19: A Comic That You Quote From

tmI hate to bring up the same comic book series in the same 31 day challenge, but the comic I quote from quite frequently is Warren Ellis’ Transmetropolitan. It’s just one of the most endlessly quotable comics I’ve ever read. Spider Jerusalem is simply and endlessly quotable fucker. I mean really:

“Do not offend the chair leg of truth!”
“I don’t trust any of you dogfuckers!”
“I’m going to take a dump the size of a birthday cake.”
“Trust the fuckhead.”
“If I’m unhappy. Everybody’s unhappy.”

And that’s just off the top of my head having not reread the comic on about a year. It’s blisteringly good fun that I insist on reading again and again every few years.

For more on the 31 Days of Comics Challenge Click Here

– Jack Cameron

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Movie Monday: The Avengers

I’ve been collecting Marvel Comics since I was twelve years old. One of the things that has kept me interested is the fact that all of these characters live in the same world. The fact that Spider-Man can go to the Baxter Building, hang out with the Fantastic Four who have end up having a run in with Magneto only to get some last minute help from Wolverine is pretty cool. Shared universes rock. And pretty much the only place I got to experience a shared universe was between the pages of comic books. Until now.

The Avengers is an important movie for a lot of reasons, but the biggest one to me is that it shows how successful a shared universe can be. I’m sure that the Avengers would be successful without any other movies leading up to it. With a great cast, a giant marketing campaign, and a writer/director with a huge cult following, it would be difficult for it not to be successful. However, by putting in the time to building the universe with five previous movies, Marvel Studios created something that’s never been done in movie history. And they broke all previous box office records doing it.

Unfortunately, Marvel has licensed out many of their properties such as Spider-Man and the X-Men. So you won’t see Wolverine hanging out with Iron Man any time soon. If I were Sony or Fox, I’d be talking to Marvel/Disney and seeing if I couldn’t integrate any future movies I made just a bit more. This can only help and fan boys will love it. It’s a philosophy that most companies can’t understand and won’t agree to: play nice and we all make money.

Now as for the Avengers movie itself, it’s a well-oiled machine. It’s a smart, character-driven, super-action, comic book movie. Every character gets their moment to shine. The people who just showed up for the big explosions will be just as happy as the people who showed up for snappy dialog. This is the movie Michael Bay could never make.

For Joss Whedon fans the fact that the movie works on all levels is no surprise. They’ve followed him from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Angel to Firefly to Serenity to Dr. Horrible to House in the Woods to the Avengers. Many fans of Joss will talk about the fact that he’s just as much fan boy as a big time writer/director. He is one of us. And that’s true in a lot of ways. Joss Whedon is more capable than just about any other writer/director working of giving us exactly what we want.

It’s amazing to me that he’s only just now getting big budget movies to play with because Joss Whedon while being tremendously talented to the point where I’m happy to read or watch whatever he’s writing also tends to be tremendously safe. He will make (and I’d argue has made) the ultimate summer popcorn movie. But he doesn’t often do anything that challenges expectations.

Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely loved Avengers. It’s the movie I’ve wanted to see since I was twelve. There’s almost nothing wrong with it. If I were grading it, I’d give it an easy four stars. I can’t give it five though because it didn’t surprise me.

– Jack Cameron

The Classic Vs The New

I have probably close to 10,000 comic books. My DVD collection is pushing 1,000 discs. I have no idea how many books I have. Whenever I move, I realize that about 85% of the stuff I own is media. And despite all of this, I want more

 

 Wanting more stuff is human. I don’t have a problem with it. The problem I have is that there are certain logistics I’m slowly becoming aware of. Let’s assume it takes me ten minutes to read a comic book. Assuming I have 10,000 comics and I want to reread them all, it would take me about half a year to do it if I all I did was read comics twelve hours every day. Let’s average out my DVDs to two hours each even though most of them are longer than that. That’s almost another half year of twelve hour shifts. (And this is of course assuming I don’t buy any more, which of course I will.)

 

       So, if I took an entire year off and didn’t work or write or do anything but watch TV and read comics. I might get through it all. But of course I can’t do that. In fact, to be honest, if I really dedicated myself to it, I could probably squeeze two hours a day into this project. And with that math, I’m looking at a project that would take me roughly FIVE YEARS.

 

And during those five years, there will be new movies, TV shows, comics, music that I’m going to want to check out. My point here is that I’m beginning to realize that I’m not sure I have time to reread things or watch a favorite movie for the tenth (or even second or third) time. Like for instance, this evening I felt like reading, but I can’t quite decide between rereading more of Warren Ellis’ awesome masterwork, Transmetropolitan or Cory Doctorow’s brand new young adult novel, Little Brother. Transmet I’ve probably read two or three times, so one might argue that reading something new would be good, but then again, when you read something again, it always hits you differently.

 

I bought the box set of Homicide sometime last year. Homicide was one of my favorite shows and I’m slowly watching the entire series again for the first time since it went off the air. Why? Because it’s an amazingly well put together show. Also I’m getting things I couldn’t get before from it. The last time I watched it, I wasn’t a parent so any episodes with kids, I didn’t really relate to except from the kid perspective. Also there are actors who’ve gone on to do other things since last I saw the show. In one of the best scenes of the entire series Andre Brougher’s character Frank Pembleton, gets a confession out of an innocent man. That man was played by Grey’s Anatomy’s Isaiah Washington.

 

I like to reread quality books and quality television and movies. It’s fun and I get a lot out of it. The thing of it is, I also like discovering the new. Though I’ve been buying it every month, I only recently read all of Matt Fraction’s comic series Casanova. I’d been buying it exclusively on the power of the reading the first issue, but now, having read 1-13 all in one sitting, I have to say that Matt Fraction is all sorts of awesome. And he’s not even done yet. I’m looking forward to the next issue and believe me I won’t be waiting to read it.

I guess I’m just trying to figure out the balance of the new and the classic. It makes me sad to think there are DVDs on my shelf that I’ll probably never watch again, but it also makes me sad to think there are great ones out there I’ll never see. So I’m not sure where that leaves me.

-Jack