Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Batwoman Comic

I've read quite a few comics in my life. I wouldn't say I'm an expert, but probably somewhere above an amateur comics reader. Not quite a Professional comic reader, but close. I don't know a bunch about certain artists & writers, but I do have a few favorites. Probably the first comics writer I ever paid attention to was Ed Brubaker. I mean REALLY paid attention to. I had read Daredevil for years, but Brubaker made him more than a comic. He made Daredevil a real person. Deep, emotional, with real world problems. Mr. Brubaker was at the last Wizard World Texas Con I went to. I skipped his workshop, something I really regret, to get or see something else. Luckily, T went to the workshop, so I got a pretty good account of his workshop from her. I think it was Mr. Brubaker that really put the writing bug in T's ear.

There are few comics that really grab me. I like great writing & complex characters combined with good to freaking fantastic art. Brubaker's Daredevil had both. They were top notch. I really miss them. Mike Mignola & Eric Powell are the other two who light my comics fire. I have yet to ever pick up a B.P.R.D., Hellboy, or Goon that I haven't loved. I have almost everything Mr. Mignola & his team have ever made. I'm catching up on Mr. Powell's Goon.

So where does Batwoman fit into all of this? I'll tell you what, for me...she is right up there with these guys. DC's new 52 relaunch didn't really change anything for Batwoman, other than her issue number. She was just re-launched Spring of 2006. There was tons of media hype about how DC had made the character a lesbian & blah, blah, blah. I actually avoided picking it up at first because I didn't want anyone thinking I was buying it just because she was a lesbian.

Once I did pick it up, I was awed by the art. It was gorgeous. Stunning. I had to see more. The writing was pretty good to boot. With the new 52 Batwoman, not only is the absolute beauty of this title still intact, but the writing is better. It is co-written by J.H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman, with the art also being composed by Mr. Williams III. I say composed because that's what it feels like as you move across the pages. Mr. Williams had been the artist on the Batwoman graphic novel "Elegy". Personally, I hope he never leaves. This guy is a master.

I realized, after reading Batwoman, that it was really refreshing to see that even though there was tons of media hype about Batwoman's sexuality, it didn't really translate into the comic. It's written much like Brubaker's Daredevil. Real world problems & real world situations. How refreshing. A strong female lesbian character that isn't being forced. I know women just like Kate (Batwoman). Her sexuality doesn't define her, it just happens to be part of who she is. No big deal. Batwoman has a thing for cops & Batman has a thing for cat burglars. It isn't the main thread of the story.

If you haven't picked Batwoman up yet & you enjoy great writing combined with fantastic art, I suggest you go grab the first three issues. I can't wait to see where these guys go with this. I think it's going to be one of the best comics of 2012.

New Xena Fan Video

Friday, November 11, 2011

Dutch Schaefer Sideshow Figure

Now available for $349.99, the Dutch Schaefer premium format figure from Sideshow Collectibles. This figure is available with the flexpay option, which means you can pay it out in installments of $105.00 a month. The piece is 20.5 inches tall & weighs in at 13lbs. The exclusive version comes with a separate head or "additional portrait with cigar for alternate display" as listed on the Sideshow page under the summary tab.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Funko Maleficent

These aren't my bag, but quite a few people are really into the Funko type toys. Here is my favorite Disney Villain of all time available through Entertainment Earth for $9.99. Looks like they have her available in December, but I bet you might be able to get your hands on one before then if you just google around a bit.

Adventure People by Fisher Price

Here we have a cool picture that my Flickr buddy Skip the Frogman put together of the complete line of Adventure Time figures released by Fisher Price from 1975 to 1985. I loved these figures. Skip helped me finally identify a figure I have kept all these years. I always wondered where he came from, but wasn't positive that he was with this line because he was a robot.

He fit right in with my Star Wars collection though. Anyone else out there have any of these awesome figures?

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Xena Painting...Finally, Two Eyes!

Whew, man, there was some serious anxiety about getting that second eye done. I was sure I was going to screw up the whole painting. Nope, in fact, the second eye looks better than the first! Now, back to work! She's getting there!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Captain America

I just finished watching the latest Marvel movie Captain America. Two thumbs up, five stars, excellent job Mr. Johnston! I was never a huge fan of Cap, but let me tell you, I LOVED this movie! Marvel has perfected their superhero movie. DC really needs to take a cue & learn how to keep a character true while still making the hero accessible to everyone. Red Skull was perfect, as was Cap & the rest of the characters and cast. The pacing was good and the climax was satisfying. I would have liked to see Cap punch Red Skull in the face though. That's my one complaint. It was a beautifully shot film and also had an excellent score. I cannot wait for the Avengers. I expect it to break all previous box office records.

Xena Painting Update: Hello November!

Started in on the shoulder guards & some of the metal. Finished up the background. Not sure I want to keep it. I almost want something more abstract & geometric. We'll see.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Wonder Woman & the New 52 from DC

DC Comics recently decided to revamp their entire comic line. All your beloved favorites get re-hauled, re-tooled, etc. The one I was most looking forward to was Wonder Woman. For years, DC has shied away from who the Amazon Princess really is & where she came from. They've been uncomfortable with what it is to be an Amazon. They have hesitated to play with the mythologies laid out in front of them. Unlike Marvel's Thor, who has always been in touch with his Gods, DC always tries to stick Wonder Woman in our time & strip her of any link to her past & her culture. I was happy to find that Writer Brian Azzarello, so far has NOT decided to follow in those past footsteps.

There is a costume change. Honestly, I like the change. Not too dramatic, pays homage to the old, and doesn't try to apologize by adding pants. Thank you for that.

Now, there are a few problems I have with the New 52 Wonder Woman, but not many. Of course, we are only 2 issues in. Okay, you MUST get your mythology right. Sure, you can play around with it, but make sure you have a damn good reason for changing it & don't just change it to change it. For example, in the picture above, you can bear witness to a female Centaur. *sigh* Alright, alright, there were very scarce references to female centaurs, but generally speaking Centaurs are thought of as an all male species. I'll let that one slide, since, technically there are both males & females. They did get the female one right on, though. She was considered to be a white Centaur. So that one is just nit-picky of me really. Let's not screw too many myths up though, okay?

The next thing though really chaps my ass. Hippolyta has, was & should ever be dark haired, raven tressed, possessing of locks as dark as the night. NOT BLOND. OMG, WTF. Wonder Woman's mom is now blond. Seriously? I'm blond myself, but the Queen of the Amazons is not. First of all, how many blonde Greeks do you know? I don't like it. It cheapens Hippolyta. CHANGE IT BACK.

I also dislike it when characters take control of humans to do their bidding & then without any reason kill them, when it's obvious that they might need them again for the same purpose. I call it Gratuitous Death. We already have this in issue 1. Really? Look, have the god take them prisoner in his giant mansion of a penthouse, or keep a godly spell on them, but to just have him lure them up, use them & kill them without any sort of care in the world, well, honestly that OMG impact you wanted in the story you were writing...yeah, didn't happen. I didn't get to know them enough to give a crap. So really, the whole scene ends up completely pointless emotionally. Yeah, I got the info, but man, was that a completely overdramatic way to deliver it or what?

The writing is not bad. It could be a little tighter. There are a few pages where I had to read twice because the dialogue seemed really choppy. The panels didn't seem to pull off exactly what was being told either. The art is average. Nothing to be awed by, but not just puked out either.

Things I love? Diana's attitude. Diana NOT shying away from WHO she is. The naughty Amazon jokes. The feeling that this time, DC is going to embrace their Amazon Princess & let her be who she should have always been. Push the boundaries a little.
Make her mythology part of her story. Take us into her world rather than plucking her out & putting her in ours and making her forget where she came from.

So, if you have ever wanted to read Wonder Woman & didn't really know where to start, please go grab issue 1 & 2 of the New 52 Wonder Woman at your local comics shop. Go on! It's 15 to 20 minutes of fun each month for $2.99 a comic. I think this could possibly end up being the best Wonder Woman run ever. You wouldn't want to miss it would you?

(All images in this post copyright by DC Comics)