Thursday, June 26, 2008

I'm off to WizardWorld Chicago

as of tomorrow. Which means I probably will not be updating for a few days. And I know I'm super-lame for not really writing anything recently anyway... I suppose I haven't been properly inspired (plus, I have been improperly busy).

But hopefully, when I get back I will have a report of the con and pictures to share, much like I did with the New York Comic Con (plug-PS: you can read about my New York misadventures here!). I trust this year's show will be both profitable and interesting... but, hopefully, not as interesting as last year's, if you catch my meaning.

So if you're going to the con, stop by and say hi (we're booth #2135), or if you're not, just wait patiently by the computer for an update on what you missed. Yes, that's it. Don't move. Don't even blink. Just sit there, staring, staring, forever staring... into.... oblivion...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Rock and Fashion

or image, if you will. How do they relate? SHOULD they? Can they NOT?

I have been thinking a lot about fashion lately... well, compared to any point previously in my life, anyway. This is mostly due to my friend Emily's fashion blog, which I have already linked to but why not do it again. Her last post over there (as you can see on my sidebar!) was about how the Fratellis dressed themselves at a New York show. Now, I'm hardly qualified to talk about the Fratellis, but someone over there made a comment that was exactly along the lines of what I was thinking... "there's something to be said for the Springsteens of the world."

(Yes, it's another post about the Boss. I'm thinking of making this Bruce Springsteen Week).

Because, see, during this whole post I was thinking "alright, is it really fair to tear up a band for not putting a lot of thought into their dress?" And I was trying to think of all the fashion-less bands and artists out there, and about how good music doesn't require good fashion sense.

And it's very telling that the first artist who popped into my mind was Springsteen.

This is telling because one's knee-jerk reaction (like mine) is to say "obviously Bruce is fashionless. He wears jeans and t-shirts or overalls. He dresses like the good ole boys in Youngstown, PA or Asbury Park, NJ." I daresay that this is the most famous image of Bruce's, well, image, the one everyone conjures up when they think of his fashion:

Jeans, a t-shirt, and a red baseball cap. Is he going to rock Yankee Stadium or is he going to watch his kids play baseball? Hey, he's the Boss. He can do both!

But there's an obvious flaw in thinking Bruce is fashionless: he wants you to see him this way. This is his image, just as much as Ozzy's is looking like a vampire, and Britney's is looking like (?) a tramp (yes, I took that from a comment I made on Emily's blog before I decided to write up this post. Sue me).

For most people, this can probably go unsaid; of course Bruce has constructed this image, it's good marketing. But the funny thing is that for me and at least one other person interested in the relationship between rock and fashion, we still jump to this image without thinking and label Bruce as a "fashionless" rock-star.

Now, this is not to knock the Boss (whom, obviously, I love). But some people, like my aforementioned friend Jim, are really put off by this. Jim's words: "I don't buy that whole working-man shit." In other words: Bruce pretends to be someone he's not by embodying the blue-collar man in word and dress, and this is a lifestyle he couldn't possibly know about. Well, okay. I'm not sure how well that criticism holds up. Does Metallica know anything about fighting ancient monsters or bringing death to villages? Doubt it. Is David Bowie really an alien? Hell, he's not even an astronaut! Bruce's blue-collar songwriting perspective is just an adopted character like any other. The most one can say is that it's slightly more tricky than most adopted characters, because it's less of a stretch than Alice Cooper as a demon from hell or Dave Mustaine as a sociologist. But only a little less.

See, almost every good songwriter adopts a persona (or several!). The only genre I can think of that shies away from this completely is emo, and you know what? Emo is fucking boring. I could care less about the bad day you had, dude. They Might Be Giants can write better, sadder songs in their sleep, and they're using their imagination to do it. Being able to write songs from a perspective not your own is simply more interesting, more inspired, and more complimentary to an artist's creativity. There's nothing "dishonest" about it. It is a basic tenet of writing that this is the case--one would not expect Stephen King novels, for instance, to be about what Mr. King does for a daily routine.

So it's silly to expect that rock stars would not adopt some kind of persona. And, following that, it only makes sense that rock stars would adopt a fashion to fit this persona. Some genres along those lines are obvious: goth, new wave, hair (really anything from the 80s!), punk. Some take the Springsteen route to make you think they don't care, like the grunge movement of the 90s. But, you know, they care a lot. See, any band who consciously shuns fashion is thus adopting it, because they have to try to dress in such a way that shows that dress doesn't matter. Medieval Italian courts called this sprezzatura. Modern rockers might call it "the Kurt Cobain."

I'm sure that there are bands out there that are more or less, to use a term in Emily's arsenal, "fashion-invisible," that don't make any kind of fashion statement for or against. This would probably be most indie bands; I couldn't tell you how The New Pornographers dress in relation to any persona, just that they're awesome (and that, whatever Neko Case wears, it should be less). So maybe that is an example of music speaking for itself. But even in that case, those artists have to choose to just dress like they want, go out on stage, and rock, and thus the fashion is a personal choice, not a group one. But there is still a larger group dynamic in play, an umbrella under which all band members choose their wardrobe; either spoken or not, The New Pornographers have agreed to all dress like 30-something hipsters that let music speak for itself; if Kurt Dahle decided to wear a robot suit, Carl Newman would probably shoot this down (this is probably why Statements Lost was upset when I wore faux-leather pants when playing with them. But damn it, it was funny).

The point is that it seems like when it comes to rock-n-roll, there's no such thing as "fashionless." And while those of us who live without fashion (like me) may at first balk at this, that's really the only way things could be. Would Bruce Springsteen be as compelling in a suit and tie? Definitely not. Would you want to see Jenny Lewis in jeans and a t-shirt? Not when the other option is a cocktail dress. Fashion... image... is just another way to get at the themes behind an artist's work. It's an interesting point because, I think, so many of us consciously choose not to care about how musicians look when we embrace their music... but maybe this choice is in error.

There is at least one definite and immediate upside to this rock-fashion consciousness. One need only look at Fall-Out Boy to know they suck.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I'd Drive All Night

just to listen to some Bruce Springsteen.

I was out in the far western Chicago suburbs yesterday (Sandwich, Oswego and Yorkville to be precise) to do a couple cool things, not the least of which was see Blackened, a Metallica cover band that my buddy Jim is in. They are pretty awesome, and Jim is a crazily-talented lead guitarist... I recommend checking them out. I didn't leave their show until midnight (which was the halfway point!... I had to get up for work early today). And while nighttime driving is not always the most fun from a safety standpoint, it affords me an enjoyable opportunity that some may chalk up to mild neuroses but what do they know?!... I love picking music to drive to at night. Further, after many many moonlight trips, I have found that one artist excels at providing a soundtrack for the road under the stars, and, as you may have guessed, that is none other than the Boss.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love Bruce Springsteen in any context. I think he is one of the great voices in American rock-and-roll, if not the greatest. But something about him just... the nighttime. I don't know what it is, but I can't really listen to something like Magic or Devils and Dust when the sun is out.

But, as awesome as those albums are (especially Magic), there is one Bruce album that, to me, is king of the night-time driving routine, and it is this:

Yes, The River has been my traveling companion countless times in the past year, and I haven't gotten tired of in. In fact, I seem to discover something new I like about it every time I listen... kind of like having a good conversation with an old friend. For instance, just last night I finally got into track 18, "The Price You Pay," and really began to see it as the beautiful piece of songwriting it really is.

I'm not sure what makes The River so ideal for a night-driving situation. There are certain empirical factors, to be sure. The fact that it was originally a double-album (back in the days of vinyl, can you believe it?!), for instance, makes it sufficiently long--a little over 80 minutes--to knock out long stretches of road. But I think in the end the only satisfactory answer is that this album feels right to drive to. It exhibits incredible pacing that weaves together some of Bruce's most intense rock songs and his most sensitive ballads expertly. I mean, just listen to disc one, side one--"The Ties That Bind" has got to be one of Springsteen's most kick-ass songs, and it gives you a great shot of adrenaline to get that drive going. That fast pace continues on through "Sherry Darling," "Jackson Cage," and "Two Hearts" before any sign of slowing down with "Independence Day." But then, over on side two (side note: what's nice about MP3 players is you don't have to flip records over. Look into that, guys!) we get another huge burst of energy with "Hungry Heart," "Out on the Streets" (this album's second-best tune behind "The Ties That Bind," in my humble opinion), "Crush On You," and "You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)." This side, too, closes with poignancy, but this time with two ballads ("I Wanna Marry You" and the titular track), which pave the way for the slower, more reflective second disc, which actually almost inverts the number of rockers to ballads (first disc: 8 to 3, second disc: 3 to 6).

And, the second disc is really pretty. Like, usually I hate when rock-stars oversaturate albums with ballads to try to be, I don't know, more mature (see: Bon Jovi). But these ballads are great. They are legitimately moving, powerful songs. I won't go through disc two cut-by-cut, but I do want to mention that for me this album climaxes with the second-to-last track, "Drive All Night," which was featured in the movie Reign O'er Me (which, actually, is responsible for turning me on to this album). Maybe because I associate it with a sad scene in a sad movie, I find this song to be one of the most emotional tunes ever to be constructed in the rock milieu. I think that, if you were feeling especially sentimental, it might actually be tough to get through this whole song dry-eyed.

Maybe it seems silly that my best "night time driving record" would be one which front-loads its power and eventually turns reflective, almost sad. Does that really carry me through the night? Well, yes. See, I think The River hooks you with its rock, and then draws you in with its ballads, making a wholly immersing, wonderful listening experience. More albums need to be constructed with this cohesion. By the time you're on to the second disc, you don't need high-octane rock songs to get you through the drive. You're part of the Boss's world for a rich 80 minutes... a world where all of America is laid out in front of you, waiting to be explored, yet perhaps the richest story is the one right inside your car...

Oh, yeah. Having a song called "Drive All Night" also kind of solidifies the River/nighttime driving connection too. Just sayin'.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I've Been on an X-Men Kick Lately

which I think was inspired by the Grant Morrison kick I'd been on before, after meeting him in New York. I recently got the urge to read through the entirety of his New X-Men series... especially since I hadn't read a few of those arcs since they first came out... and then I realized that, since Whedon's Astonishing X-Men (essentially New X-Men's sequel) had just ended, now would be a good time to re-evaluate that, too. And then I thought, well shucks, I really like Mike Carey's X-Men too, and I've always grouped him in with the avant-garde writers of the last few X-years (based primarily on the strength of his Lucifer series which, yes, I really do like more than its parent Sandman). So it was that the past two weeks has seen me tackle three distinct, high-profile artistic runs of X-Men comics, and I thought I'd pass my impressions on to you. So...

Grant Morrison's New X-Men

July 2001. Looking to shake up their most popular team creatively and sales-wise, Marvel hires on superstar Scotsman Grant Morrison to begin an era of avant-garde X-books that appeal to more than just the usual fan of spandex-laden brawls.

Grant Morrison is my favorite writer. This much is probably clear if you read about my experiences in New York, scoped out the graphic that adorns the top of my blog, or just know me. So it is that I have an automatic positive bias when it comes to this guy's work. Some may say I tend to overvalue it.

And it's true, I do really like Morrison's take on the X-Men. Morrison is known for his crazy, mind-blowing concepts, and those are not in short supply here. This guy stretches the X-Men in ways that most would not imagine they could or should be stretched--going public, losing the costumes, becoming a real school, etc. And, to me, the Marvel Universe was better for it.

That said... I do not love Morrison's X-Men. At least not all of it. I don't think it is his strongest work, nor do I think it's the strongest take on the X-Men we've ever seen. Certainly a couple of the story arcs in here can lock horns for title of best X-stories ever... my personal vote would be for Riot at Xavier's, which takes the concept of the X-Mansion as a school to the highest level it's ever attained. And Morrison does a lot of stuff that's fantastic and, in retrospect, seems like it needed to be done, such as putting Emma Frost on the team, further devolving/evolving Beast (thus deepening an already fantastic character), and creating Cassandra Nova, who is surely one of the most badass X-villains of all.

But there are some problems here, too. Chief among them, I think, is that after the high-point that is Riot at Xavier's, momentum begins to falter. Murder at the Mansion is an okay story, but I really don't like Assault on Weapon Plus, and I feel that a diversion into a Logan-centric story really hurts the overall thrust of Morrison's work on the title. Planet X has some cool stuff in it but I find it a little garbled, and Here Comes Tomorrow... I don't know. I really don't like what Morrison was going for there, creating the "ultimate Bad" for the X-Men to face in Sublime. I guess it just didn't resonate with me. This may sound like a weird (or weirdly obvious) thing to say about Morrison, but it seemed like too much of a reach.

To sum up, I think pretty much every story up to and including Riot at Xavier's is perfect, and every story after that is a little on the weak side. Instead of building to an amazing end, I feel like Morrison's run climaxed early. And while it was still a great read, I don't think, as a whole, it is the definitive run in X-Men history.

Rating (out of five stars): * * * *

Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men

May 2004. Morrison ends his high-selling yet controversial run on one of Marvel's flagship books. Marvel needs to find a follow-up writer who will continue to bring the non-superhero appeal of Morrison, but at the same time salvage their super-hero team from some of those crazy ideas introduced in the past few years. Enter, of Buffy fame, Joss Whedon.

Before I dove into my X-project, my initial expectation was that I'd like Morrison's run a little more than I did, and Whedon's a fair deal less. I remember not being incredibly into Whedon's stuff past the first story arc, and as the series went on I definitely lost interest, probably due mostly to chronic lateness (it was not uncommon to go four months without a new issue, and the stories were very decompressed as it was). But reading them all in a couple sittings, I found myself really getting into most of Whedon's work. Basically... I think Astonishing X-Men starts and ends with two of the best stories in X-history. And then there's two stories in the middle.

Whedon's first arc, Gifted, is amazing. It focuses on the notion of a cure for mutancy, and it's easily the best iteration of a cure storyline that's ever been done. Similarly, Whedon's final arc, Unstoppable, just feels so excellent... for a crazy outer space story, it's incredibly human, and the climax is, I will say, very moving.

Whedon's other two stories, Dangerous and Torn, I am less impressed with. The villain of Dangerous (literally the Danger Room come to life) is a little silly, for one. Torn, on the other hand, has a great plot through-and-through (picking up on some major Morrison threads, in fact), but both of these stories share the major flaw of being paced very poorly. In each case there is far too much build-up and not nearly enough time for the action to resolve; this was especially infuriating at the end of Torn, when after six issues of waiting for something HUGE to happen we get about two and a half pages of semi-resolution before BAM! and the X-Men are whisked off into space.

But, as I said above, it is emotion where Whedon excels. His characters are so human that after reading an issue or two you feel like they're friends of yours. It is this emotion that carries on through the fairly lackluster second and third arcs and sets us up for the big, gut-wrenching finale of Unstoppable.

And Whedon's got another asset... the art of John Cassaday, whose incredibly realistic style compliments Whedon's emotional command fantastically (look at the way he draws those faces!). The art of Morrison's run was quite varied. Sometimes it was good (Igor Kordey did a fine job, and it's where I was first introduced to Ethan Van Sciver, one of my favorite artists in the medium) and sometimes it was so-so (I like Frank Quietly, but not on X-Men), but it was never consistent. Cassaday's pencils are just as much a part of Astonishing as Whedon's art, and the end result is that much better for it.

In the end Whedon's run, like Morrison's, falls short of perfection. I already mentioned the pacing problems in the middle stories. I also think that Gifted could have been the defining X-Men story were it not for one nagging problem--this arc is saturated in testosterone, which results in Wolverine brawling both Cyclops and Beast on school grounds with very little provocation. I was really hoping something would pop up in this story or the one following to explain this (maybe something to do with psychic backlash from a distraught Emma messing with the X-Men's minds?) but this was not the case. And, maybe it's a silly complaint, but those two scenes really did bother me... they seemed very out-of-character and out of place in an otherwise perfect story.

But despite it's problems, Whedon's work on X-Men certainly is magnificent, and simply because Whedon is more reader-friendly than Morrison, I think his run is a little closer to being the definite X-Men legacy.

Rating: * * * *

Mike Carey's X-Men (pre-Messiah Complex)

I'm not gonna give this run a fancy-pants introduction, because I am probably one of the only people in the world who would consider Mike Carey an avant-garde X-writer. Like I said, that's based solely on the fact that he wrote one of the coolest comic sagas I've ever read in Lucifer. But putting him on X-Men was not, to Marvel, like signing up Grant Morrison or Joss Whedon. And it certainly wasn't to fill Whedon's shoes, because all of these books came out concurrently with Whedon's (albeit on a monthly schedule). No, it shall be Warren Ellis who Marvel deems worthy of being the next "artsy" X-Men writer, and because I absolutely loathe Warren Ellis, I shall not stick around to find out how he compares to his priors.

And it may be that my placement of Carey among Morrison and Whedon is flawed. In fact, I'm pretty sure it is. This is despite the fact that obviously Carey is a big fan of the two, Morrison in particular--he does a lot with Morrisonian concepts and his style seems to me to kind of mimic that whole "crazy-in-media-res" thing Morrison has going on. Reading these issues the first time around, I was totally sure that Carey belonged in the Morrison/Whedon pantheon. But reading them again, in succession...

Well, there's a couple problems.

And now I'm going to backpedal like I'm running for office. I don't think the problems are, necessarily, Carey's fault.

Problem one, to me, is this: unlike Whedon and Morrison, he's been saddled with B, C, and D-list characters (this may be kind of circular reasoning, because I think Morrison and Whedon helped define the A-list, but still). I saw Carey give a talk at a bookstore once and he said that, like Morrison and Whedon, he got to pick his team. The problem is that he didn't get first pick--in fact I rather think he was last on the picking order, after Whedon himself and then Ed Brubaker, who for some reason is a superstar writer. So it is that Carey's X-Men are: Rogue, Iceman, Cannonball, Cable, Sabretooth, Mystique, Lady Mastermind, and Omega Sentinel. Morrison picking Emma for his team was inspired... Carey picking three point five bad guys not so much. Sure, he had a good reason for it (he explained as much at this talk), but still. Dude, you have precisely two major X-characters on your team, Iceman and Rogue, and their status is kind of questionable. The rest... blah. It's really hard to care about Cannonball when Beast, Emma, Kitty, Wolverine, Cyclops, and Colossus are in the next book over.

Problem two: Carey has been saddled with B, C, and D-quality artists. Sorry guys, but I do like Humberto Ramos or Chris Bachalo, whom Marvel has assigned to nearly all of Carey's issues. I find their art formless and overcrowded. The only issues of Carey's run I enjoyed looking at were the two not illustrated by these guys. In fact, the one pencilled by Mike Choi was beautiful. Coincidentally (or maybe not) it was also my favorite issue in Carey's run. Go figure.

So I think that Carey kind of got the shit end of the stick here. Weak characters and weak artists don't really help his book to compete with Joss Whedon and John Cassaday. Yet even for all that, there is some quality stuff here. Carey takes those two key characters he got and does amazing things with them--Iceman has never been so powerful, and there's no good explanation for that except that no one thought about his powers as much as Carey. Ditto Rogue, except the result of taking her powers to their logical conclusion is a little less happy for her. Carey created an excellent villain in Pan, a "Typhoid Mary in reverse" who infects himself with people's "diseases" (and/or powers) when he comes into contact with them. And, even though I ragged on Cannonball above, him and Iceman do make a really cool team, which Carey exploits to the fullest. In fact he gives his all into these characters and does some really great things with most of them. I just feel like, at the end of the day, doing great things with Lady Mastermind and Omega Sentinel as drawn by Ramos/Bachalo is not so compelling as I would have hoped.

Now, compared to any average X-book (like one by Chuck Austen, Peter Milligan, or Chris Claremont in the last 20 years) Carey's stuff is fantastic, yeah. But I am forced to conclude that, for reasons probably beyond his power, he is not the "spiritual successor" to Whedon/Morrison I hoped he'd be. Maybe his current work on X-Men Legacy will change that. Until then, I will happily re-read my Lucifer trades and be thrilled that such an awesome writer has made it to the mainstream, because even if his stuff isn't fantastic... dude, he's Mike Carey. He's the man.

Rating: * *

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


is supposed to be illegal. That's what "The Law" says. But that may only be when there's sex involved. And God knows there's no sex here. I mean, come on.

So my buddy Marc designed the logo to my blog that I just now put up. It's really cool. He did it for a really great price which included me mentioning who did it. But I was gonna anyway. Marc is part of the trio of guys known as Unshaven Comics, who you can find here. They're a company of aspiring-but-further-along-than-most-of-us-will-ever-get graphic novelists from the south suburbs of Chicago. On Free Comic Book Day, they did a signing at our store, and it went really well. If you're so inclined, you can support them by checking out their book, called The March: Crossing Bridges in America at good old or Stand-Up Comics. Or you can e-mail Marc and tell him how cool his work is/commission some of your own, at

(I'm also going to be cross-posting all my comic-related stuff at the Unshaven website, where I already have a few blogs up. If you're interested, you can scope 'em out in the "Words" section).

And while I'm at this pimping game ... I'd like to mention a few of the people who inspired me to start doing this. It would be really cool if you looked at their blogs, too (oh, and all these blogs are linked to on the right-hand side of the page, if'n you don't remember to bookmark them now):

- Attention men: from summer to winter fashion advice, this is where you should turn! (and we could all use it)

- Find yourself missing the mark with your poker play? Maybe you'll find some tips to dominate the table.

- Sure this political blog hasn't updated in a few months, but maybe some heckle-ing would convince the owner otherwise. He's strong enough to take it.

- My comic knowledge is but a trickle compared to this foss-it of insight.

And yes, all those italicized words are puns. Deal with it.

Monday, June 9, 2008

So this new Weezer album...

sucks on ice. It's terrible. Easily the worst thing the band has ever recorded.

When Make Believe came out in 2005, no one wanted to listen to me arguing that "Beverly Hills" was a tongue-in-cheek send up of glamor culture, that Rivers didn't really want to be in Beverly Hills, he was just making fun of people who did. But what's weird is, now it's three years later, and Weezer's put out what's basically an entire record of "Beverly Hills," and people are going nuts for it!

It's not just fans. Critics love or at least like the Red Album. Rolling Stone's given it three stars. Spin magazine talks about how it's a "return to Weezer's roots." rates the album at four and a half stars. But the most audacious thing about AllMusic's review is this line, courtesy of head critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine, who usually I agree with 100%: "[Rivers] never avoids his age."


This whole album is an exercise in Rivers avoiding his age! With only one or two exceptions, every song on this album is about, in some capacity, being a rock star. Except, critics insist, it is an ironic take on this--Rivers makes fun of over-produced pop in "Pork & Beans," he mocks the faux bad-boy side of rock in "Troublemaker," he sends up the tendency of rockers to overvalue themselves and their work in "Greatest Man Who Ever Lived." Well, okay. That's one way to look at it. But it's not a good way.

This reading of the Red album would work if Rivers Cuomo was, well, a ROCK STAR. But he's not. It's been three years since his band's last album, and they didn't even headline their last tour. Each successive Weezer album (of course, except for this one, inexplicably) has been met by worse and worse reviews. Weezer is not a band full of rock stars... they are a band that, since 2001, has been trying to be rock stars again.

Given this, doesn't it seem a little odd that Rivers positions himself to critique pop music from the inside? If this album had come out in 1996, yeah, sure, that's good timing--you're rejecting the process of corporate pop/rock by making fun of it while you're on top of your game critically and commercially. You get to look down at others and scoff. But it's come over a decade later, when your only means of salvation as a band seems to be embracing that world. Hmm...

See, I have a much more insidious reading of this album. I'm pretty sure that the goal of writing all these awful songs criticizing rock stars is to make Rivers & co. be part of that same scene again. It's a weird kind of tactic in play here: "Yes, I am ridiculously cool. I'm so cool that even though I'm not famous anymore, I'm going to make an album tearing apart famous people from a perspective that only other famous people are privy to. By doing so, I will seem even cooler, and will become famous again." It's attaining proximity by distancing, and it's a great tactic in theory... at least for a rhetorician. Not so much for a musician, at least not one in a band whose early work was so praised because of its honesty. But it seems to have worked, because if the press is any indication, the Red album is some sort of comeback for Weezer. But to me, it's ridiculously transparent. You are not cool, Rivers Cuomo. And making fun of cool people does not make you cool.

If Rivers really had acted his age on the Red album, it could have been excellent. See, I have to say... I'm actually a fan of Maladroit and Make Believe. No, they're not classic Weezer, but they have some good songs on them. And that's what's really important... not cultivating some kind of pop-rock image like Red tries to do. And to me, it's really a shame... if Weezer had made Make Believe 2 I would have stuck with them, gone to see them live, and waited another three years for another okay album with terrible reception. But now all they're going to have is critical and commercial popularity. Yep... it's quite a shame.


I've decided that the timing is right. I'm about to become like seven million other assholes (and a handful of actually cool people) who have an honest-to-goodness blog.

I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that a bunch of my friends have taken this up as a hobby lately, and I enjoy reading what they write... it gives me something to do. Also, I don't know why, but I've been feeling inspired lately... not just when it comes to writing, but when it comes to all my pursuits. This is a good feeling, and I'm gonna go with it. So it is that I feel like having an outlet to express myself critically, since shoe-horning these things into everyday conversation just doesn't always work (sometimes it does, though... and it's always fun to try!!).

So what I'm going to be writing about here is kind of whatever crosses my mind as an important topic of discussion at the moment, but I'm willing to bet that most of the posts will be about one of three things. In descending order, those are: comic books, music, and philosophy--the three things I know most about (or at least pretend to), and, more importantly, care most about. And maybe it's just me, but I feel like I do have something to contribute to the discussion at large when it comes to comics and music. Philosophy, not so much, but it's an interest of mine, so bear with me.

I don't know how often I'll update, but I imagine it will be pretty frequently. Like I said, I've been feeling inspired, and I've already got three-four posts lined up, one of which will probably go up later today. So, thanks for visiting, guys, and enjoy!