Pretty sure I’m not supposed to be this exhausted yet.

Had some problems sending the column off this morning, which is why you probably have two installments to wade through. Hopefully by next year, I’ll own a decent piece of equipment that won’t require me to run to some overpriced Internet connection every morning and file these things. Inform your nearest editor ladies and gentlemen, my laptop is in desperate need of an upgrade, and the future is only a couple scripts away.
But, back on topic?

Picked up Youngblood: Imperial at the very spacious Arcade Comics booth, and checked in with Jimmy Jay, before running into Joe Casey at his Man of Action set-up. Now, he told me he’s going to check this and make sure it gets mentioned, so before getting down to business, I’m obligated to highlight the writer’s dual action nipple rings, that even a stylish Captain America T-shirt could not conceal. We’ll likely do a nice little post-mortem for Wildcats after the final issue drops, and then talk a bit about The Intimates, his new Wildstorm property launching in November.

Canceled Wildstorm series written by Joe Casey are getting really old, so I hope people go ahead and buy this one, even if it’s strictly due to a heavy involvement from DC’s resident sales spiker Jim Lee.

Around the same time, his Avengers mini with Scott Kolins should start coming out, and will fit in very well among Marvel’s Year of the Avengers or whatever they’re calling it, and the man’s got like eight graphic novels scheduled at AiT/PlanetLar for ’05. Spread the Casey love, bitches. The man’s got nipple rings. Fuckin’ cool ass nipple rings. And you know he’s a really good writer. Pick whatever justification sounds best for you, and give him money.

The only panel I was even remotely interested in was the Vertigo one, and through the magic of hindsight, I should’ve waited and went to the one tomorrow morning, because though they did announce a couple of things (Dysart on Swamp Thing as of issue #9, Jason Hall and John Watkiss doing something incredibly good lookin’ called Trigger), they were saving things for the ‘bigger’ panel. It was cool regardless, but after hearing about Marvel’s exclusives yesterday, you know, I wanted to see what DC was coming with, but I think I got faked out. Still three more days left, so this is me calming down, and leading into my review of this Chuck Austen JLA comic.

Though I despise bandwagon jumping, I would be lying if I said that I’ve enjoyed a great percentage of Austen’s work. Someone tells me there was some crazy horrible sexless fan that got on a message board and wished an AIDS infection on the writer, and it almost goes without saying how unjustified bullshit like that is, but I’ll go ahead and say it anyway. I’m not feelin’ most of his stuff and as a mature, logical response, I just don’t buy it, but with David Baron still my personal superhero for picking up the bill for Wednesday night’s dinner, I felt obligated to support the recent books he colored. Which leads us here to JLA #101, and the ‘Pain of the God’ which is actually a really nice title for a storyline. But so was ‘Dominant Species’ so take that how you will?

Hmm guess that wasn’t so bad. Ron Garney’s art really carries the story, with a lot of splash pages giving him tremendous room to work with, and Austen’s script is pretty tight, but I’m not feelin’ the dialogue for Superman, which makes him almost TOO mundane and approachable in a way. I’ve read Supes written with an almost passionate aloofness that really casts him in a really interesting / uncomfortable light, without jeopardizing that sense of wonder that comes when he lands on the scene. While I will buy his frustration and anger in making a critical error that costs a man his life, Austen kicks me out of the story just a little bit with Superman screaming, WHY!!!!!!!!!?? like Nancy Kerrigan while tearing the Watchtower apart.

The ending is almost too tidy, and I wish they’d thrown this into more unexpected territory, but this was a solid showing more or less. I’m down for at least another one.

Spent the rest of the day chillin’ at the Arcade booth, and cruising through Artist’s Alley, stopping at Ale Garza’s table, and wishing I’d had more cash so I could’ve bought a page of original art from my Spidey Unlimited story. Seeing that stuff still trips me out, but more importantly, Garza’s taking over the art chores on Batgirl pretty soon, and he gave me a quick peek at his first page, which was quite lovely.

Nothing much else to report without being too much of a dick tease, but I do know what Brubaker’s Marvel book will be (can’t tell) and what that O.C. writer is doing in the Avengers office (can’t tell that either). Tomorrow I’m planning to touch base with a bunch of people, finally meet Mark Powers, and hit a couple more panels, including one about ‘The Future of Black Comics’ Updates should be regular after this, if I can help it, and sorry about the delay. Time for bed.

End Transmission 1:44 AM

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