Weekly Reading Round-Up : 04/15/2018 – 04/21/2018


Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

One book understandably sucked all the oxygen out of the room this week, and we’ll dive right into it first, but fear not, there are a few others worth talking about, as well —

So, look, let’s just call it like it is : Action Comics  #1000 is an eight-dollar victory lap. A “double milestone” book celebrating both the fact that it’s the first American comic to hit the four-digit-issue-number mark, as well as the 80th anniversary of Superman’s first appearance, you go in figuring you’re in for plenty of self-congratulation here, and yeah, it’s essentially 80 pages of DC’s top creators, past and present, paying tribute to the company’s number one character (sorry, Bat-fans). Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster get the “80-Page Giant” dedicated to them, as well they should, but don’t come in for much mention anywhere else within its pages, which feels like a bit of a…

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Bored “Stiff” (A.K.A. “Necro Lover”)


Trash Film Guru

Maybe I got overloaded on micro-budget horror back in October when I plumbed the depths of Amazon Prime’s offerings in the sub-genre for my customary “Halloween Month” reviews, maybe I’m just too damn busy at work to follow all of my interests (cinematic or otherwise) lately, or maybe trying to build up a solid backlog of content on my new(-ish) comics blog is eating up every spare moment I have for writing so I’m just not watching as many movies since I don’t have as much time to write about them — I dunno, but whatever the case may be, it had been a good few months since I’d watched a cheap-ass indie fright flick, and their absence from my existence was starting to be felt on, like, a goddamn cellular level. Something needed to be done.

So, yeah, last night I ended my impromptu fast and returned to combing…

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Nathan Ward’s “Warpwish Comix” #1 : Everything Else Is For Squares


Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

I’ve been going back to Nathan Ward’s Warpwish Comix #1 (I checked, and no matter how the logo may appear to you, that is the cartoonist’s preferred spelling of the title) every week of two since he self-published it in magazine format (on old-school newsprint no less, hooray for that!) at the tail end of 2016, trying my level best to decipher it. To plumb its depths or, failing that, to at least limn the boundaries of its hermetically-sealed internal — well, not logic, but maybe ethos. To figure out both what was happening in it and why. Spoiler alert — it hasn’t been easy.  And I’m pretty sure I’ve failed on all counts.

Indeed, all I can really be certain of, even after all this time, is that just because Ward is from Cleveland (where he’s been active in a number of punk bands over the…

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It’s The End Of The Universe As We Know It, And I Feel Like Shit : Johnny Ryan’s “Prison Pit” Book Six (Advance Review)


Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

It’s all been leading up to this : four years in the making, the sixth and final installment of Johnny Ryan’s formerly-annual (or thereabouts) paean to thoughtless juvenalia, Prison Pit, is upon us courtesy of Fantagraphics Books, and while it’s frankly impossible to conceive of anyone feeling in any way “attached” to protagonist Cannibal Fuckface, much less to the batshit crazy universe he calls home, it’s equally been impossible to conceive of any of the gleefully depraved hyper-violence, horrifyingly sick sex, and/or both that have appeared on pretty much every page of this series since his inception — impossible for anyone but Ryan, mind you.

Which is, of course, precisely how it should be. Ryan boxed himself into a corner with this project from the outset, it seems to me — he literally had no choice but to consistently “one-up” himself, otherwise what the fuck was the point? —…

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RAMPAGE – Review by Case Wright, ALT Title – The Video Game Movie Curse Is Broken by Dwayne’s Awesome Arms!


Rampage-Movie-

I thoroughly enjoyed this film!! Why? Because it’s a Dwayne Johnson movie.  He’s an actor, a brand, and you know what you’re going to get.  EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.  Did it have a couple of slow moments?  Yep.  Were the characters, especially the villains, one dimensional or 8-Bit?  Sure.  But, so what? Rampage is fun and sometimes it’s great to take a bath in nostalgia and see some shit blow up.

A Dwayne Johnson movie is really a sub-genre all its very own.  I won’t compare it to other movies.  His movies are also fun because we just like Dwayne Johnson so much as a Man that we feel like he’s a friend.  It becomes reflexive that we hear Dwayne Johnson has a movie out, it’s as if one of our friends just made one.  I told a guy at work that I was going to see a Dwayne Johnson movie, he knew exactly what I meant, and he referred to Dwayne Johnson as a National Treasure.  Yes, we’re now getting married in the fall and are registered at Pottery Barn.

I played Rampage when I was a wee bairn.  In fact, with the help of my friend Robbie, we stayed up all night and destroyed the whole country. Congratulations! I, like every boy in the Y-Generation, was excited for this film.  Sidenote: sorry everyone, Millenials are no more, you’ve been folded into Y, but take heart – “Even children get older, I’m gettin older …too.”

An Evil Corporation, run ostensibly by Ivanka Trump and her Generic Trump brother, create a virus that mutate ordinary animals into genetically spliced super-creatures that run amok.  That’s it- that’s the plot- and like the video game upon which it was based, Rampage the Film is beautifully Wabi Sabi.

The film begins with The Rock who is closed off from people because after seeing their terrible acts in war and poaching, he just can’t let them in. *sniff*  The Rock’s best friend is George- an albino gorilla- who can sign.  Soon, the Trump family look alikes’ experiment accidentally infects George, a wolf, a crocodile, and a partridge in a pear tree. The Partridge Monster doesn’t actually destroy anything, but he blatantly re-gifts Christmas presents; therefore, he’s the worst monster of all because he destroys your self-esteem.

George, the wolf, and crocodile get BIGGER, the government – embodied by Jeffrey Dean Morgan- try to stop the monsters, but can’t.  Jeffrey becomes an ally of The Rock, helping him along the way with helicopter keys, air strikes, and lending him his edger so The Rock can really make his lawn POP for barbecue season.  The Trumps put out a signal to draw the monsters to Chicago, hoping they’ll kill each other off.  The Trumps hope that they’ll be able to take a sample of the monster flesh, replicate it, and sell it to whomever.  It doesn’t go well.  The monsters go nuts.  I’m not going to spoil anything.  Needless to say, the last 40 minutes of the film are amazingly satisfying.

Congratulations! Dwayne you’ve done it! The Video Game Curse is Broken.

 

Weekly Reading Round-Up : 04/08/2018 – 04/14/2018


Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Three first issues and a seven hundredth? Yeah, this oughtta be an interesting column —

Crude #1 kicks off a new Skybound/Image six-parter from the creative team of Steve Orlando and Garry Brown revolving around a mix of family drama and Russian oil business shady dealings, with some sort of vague-at-this-point mystery thrown into the mix to — sorry — muddy the waters. Orlando has always been an up-and-down writer in my estimation, but he seems to be more “up” here, serving us a script that’s heavy on the characterization and stage-setting. This may just turn out to be yet another revenge yarn, but those are fun if they kick enough ass, and all indications are that this one’ll do just that — and Brown’s murky, expressionistic art is more than well-suited to the proceedings. At $3.99 a pop for singles this might be one to “trade-wait,” but since I’m…

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“Qoberious” Vol. 1 : A Mystery Wrapped In A Riddle Inside — You Know The Drill


Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Seattle-based cartoonist D.R.T. is a figure cloaked in a certain amount of intrigue — in a recent TCJ interview he revealed that his name is Daniel, that he has a background in film and animation, and that he suffered a debilitating stroke at age 27 that forced him to learn to draw all over again, this time with his non-dominant left hand. His debut graphic novel, then, Qoberious Vol. 1 (released under the auspices of his own self-publishing imprint, Kvorious Comics),  is something that can only be called a true labor of love — emphasis on the “labor.”

Crucially, though, it in no way feels belabored — indeed, the hermetically-sealed reality D.R.T. creates literally seems to have flowed directly from his subconscious onto the page, and in many ways even feels like a work channeled from some other, perhaps higher, dimension. There is a raw immediacy to this…

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