Wednesday, December 31, 2008

funnybooks of the two weeks prior to this one: The Walking Dead #56 & What If? Spider-Man: Back in Black

So, on the day that new books for this week should be coming out (they won't until Friday, but if you were chomping at the bit for me to get this out you already knew that), I give you my picks for the previous two weeks. Shall we?

I will continue to repeat this until you get tired of it. Zombie movies, zombie comics, zombie pretty much anything are all at their best when they're about the people who have to live through it more than the hows and whys of the zombies or even the danger those zombies present. I said zombies a lot there. Zombies.

With The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman shows that he not only knows this, but thrives on the idea. This is a crazy drama about real people doing real things in a messed up world. The zombies are window dressing, this is a dramatic book that deals with the consequences of living in constant horror.

So a What If? book goes like this: a landmark story from Marvel Comics' history is retold with one detail having been changed, therefore taking the story in a different direction. When this was a regular series, many people would read across the top (for example: "What If the Fantastic Four all had the same powers?" and reply to the comic "everyone dies."

Because that's kind of what happened in most of them. As such, the What If? series is usually a story darker in tone than most mainstream capes & tights comics. This issue, though, which explores what would have happened if the bullet that hit Aunt May (and caused Spider-Man to make a deal with the devil) had instead hit and instantly killed Mary Jane. The result is raw emotion from Peter Parker juxtaposed amazingly against the cold Kingpin and the "by-the-book" Iron Man. And, oh goodness, is it dark.

Peter crosses a few lines, causes some trouble, and goes all Dolemite at one particular moment. Most What If? stories wrap up in one issue, but when next year's batch comes out, I'd like to see where else a Parker that has made these choices and landed in that situation can land. Make it happen, Marvel.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

scott says i've learned the #1 rule of the internet

Yesterday, I sat down to do my part to keep How RDU Doin'? rolling into a powerhouse local blog. I went through the reader, and picked up on a story about The Biggest Loser finale and how it contained a Raleigh couple. The last time someone from Raleigh hit it big on a huge prime time reality contest thingamabobber, it was that Clay Aiken kid.

So I wrote a post pleading with Raleigh to support these folks the way they did good ol' Clay. It wasn't my best work, but I thought it was a funny enough bit. Andi and I went to have a nice dinner at one of Durham's fine eateries and watch Slumdog Millionaire (totally worth your time, by the way), and I forgot I'd written that post entirely.

When we came home, I checked my special How RDU Doin'? email because I'm desperately behind schedule on what was going to be a brilliant feature and want to get started as soon as I get certain confirmations (ooh, mysterious!). I saw that there had been a comment on something I posted. "Oh good, we're getting comments." I took a closer look and saw that it had drawn more than the usual amount of comments.

It seems that the Claymate nation takes serious exception to the implication that Clay rose to fame on a karaoke-style game show. Serious exception. The Claymates showed up to tear me a new one in the comments section by pointing out that Clay is not reduced to blogging, but rather has achieved success as a huge Broadway star (did you know he was in Spamalot?).

I've often been told that you're not doing anything right on the internet until you get hate mail. Clearly this is another banner day for our fledgling blog.

Lesson learned.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

sean avery: putting the "k" in klassy

So we all know that Sean Avery is a grade a d-bag. But that doesn't stop him from going out of his way to prove it on a regular basis. This time, though, it's earned him a suspension. Not from the Dallas Stars, but the NHL. Here's what landed him in the trouble:

Reporters were waiting to speak with Avery about disparaging remarks he'd made last month about Flames star Jarome Iginla when Avery walked over to the group and asked if there was a camera present. When told there was, he said, "I'm just going to say one thing."

"I'm really happy to be back in Calgary; I love Canada," the Ontario native said. "I just want to comment on how it's become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds. I don't know what that's about, but enjoy the game tonight." He then walked out of the locker room.

Defenders of Avery and people who just want to take a few shots at the NHL for overreacting will say that this was just some poor gamesmanship, just an attempt to get into the head of Calgary's Dion Phaneuf. Phaneuf is dating Elisha Cuthbert, known unanimously here at Big American Party as the girl who played the character stupid enough to step into a bear trap in 24's second season.

There is more to it than that. "Sloppy seconds" is an intensely graphic term that boiled the women he was referring to down to, well, an intensely graphic image. I'm wondering if the usually up-in-arms sports media will call this out as an incident of not just an NHL player, but one of the few names and faces casual fans can identify, using a derogatory remark about women or if this will simply be acknowledged as the straw that broke the camel's back, on par with things like yelling back at an abusive fan. My fear is that it will be the latter.

Particularly disturbing is that he didn't just drop it as an offhand remark in the middle of questioning. Rather he had thought through, probably rehearsed, and checked to see that the cameras were rolling for this charming little soundbite (to be repeated on Jim Rome's radio show thrice daily for the next six months).

Maybe a mere suspension is too good for this guy.