Hypocritical Hyperbole

The Abomination of Obama's Nation

DC COMICS WEEK 3 September 29, 2011

Batman – I like Scott Snyder’s  batman work for the most part. I like Capulo’s art. So I’ll check out the second issue

Birds of Prey-  Surprisingly didn’t suck. Didn’t suck much at all. I like Black Canary and the other woman we’ve met so far. I like what’s going on. I hate (SPOILER) that they killed the black dude. I liked him too.

Blue Beetle – I like Jaime. I like Paco. I love Jaime’s parents. They’re great in this issue. I feel like this is a total reboot though and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I do know I’m not a huge fan of the beginning of this book, and it appears that the story is going to go that way quite a bit. We’ll see.

Captain Atom – I am definitely going to check out the second issue. There are some things in it that I’m confused about and I’ve never been a huge fan of the character. So I’ll give the second issue a go and see if I can make sense of it.

Catwoman – Yeah it’s a bit of a trainwreck. The super over sexualization is not at all what I want to read. It’s insulting to me. The idea that this is what I want out of female characters shows a clear lack of respect of who I am as a reader.

DCU Presents – Deadman’s a neat enough character. This issue really didn’t grab me though. It seems like technically it was proficient, I just wasn’t pulled in for whatever reason.

Green Lantern Coprs – More blood raining from the . . well, not ceiling. Though there is some of that. It’s blood from the cosmos. All over. I really liked the interaction between Guy and  John. I’m just not sure if  I’m going to want to hang out with the rest of the story to enjoy those moments.

Legion of Super Heroes – White people in space featuring space aliens that look suspiciously like painted white people.

Nightwing –  I dunno. I really don’t like the interpretation of Dick Grayson in this. I’m just not feeling it.

Red Hood and the Outlaws – Basically the same thing with Catwoman, but surprisingly even worse. I was looking forward to this book, but man, big disappointment. The Starfire stuff is just total bullshit and completely insulting.

Supergirl – Another one that surprised me. I’m not going to keep reading it, and maybe it’s just in comparison to the other books this week, but it’s surprisingly lacking in suck.

Wonder Woman – AWW YEAH WONDER WOMAN! This is the best book of the week by a bunch. By a whole bunch. Love the setting up of the Greek Gods. I love the characterization of Wonder Woman. I love Cliff Chiang’s art. Love it. Like, man. It’s good. Can’t say enough about it. I wasn’t planning on buying it, and I’m totally buying it.

 

Welcome To the Party September 27, 2011

Hi friends. You guys been watching all the events of the occupy wall street protest? Been a little shocked at how the police are treating these peaceful protesters? Are you a little outraged? Cool. I’m glad to hear it. Continue on with that. It’s good that you’re outraged when the police step outside of their roles and beat the shit out of people for god damned reason.

Here’s the deal. Now that it’s happening to people in the middle class folks are becoming aware of it. That’s dandy, just know this isn’t an isolated event. This is  how the police are allowed to act all over. They’re allowed to pepper spray someone for no reason and then laugh about it.

"HAHA! I'm a Cop! I dare you to say something about my misconduct. Pepper Spray is the shit.

This isn’t an isolated event. This is something that happens. There are bills and movements around the country asking for stronger police accountability laws. Call your representatives about it. If there is one ask them to try and pass them. If there isn’t one, ask them if they’d be kind enough to see if there’s anything they can do to get something like it proposed. I know it’s a big deal in Pittsburgh right now. It’s been sitting on hold for over 500 days and nothing is getting done.

Now that we’re seeing this on a larger scale in NYC let’s not let this slide. We’ve already forgotten about Oscar Grant. Let’s not let this go. Get on it. Now that it’s happening to you open your eyes and help out a bit so it doesn’t keep happening to the rest of us.

Also, peep this. I stole it from STFU Conservatives. Made me giggle.

See, Peaceful

 

 

On Your Police: They’re a Problem September 26, 2011

This isn’t an attack on the individual police officer. This is an attack on the institution of police in the US. The whole thing is a big problem. People like to pretend it’s not, because that’s just easier to live in that world. I get it. It’s nice to live in a happy fantasy land  where the people who are being paid to protect and serve you actually protect and serve you. The problem is that fantasy land doesn’t exist for everyone.

The reason it doesn’t is because the police can do pretty much whatever they want. There is a serious problem of accountability. People just assume that when the cops beat the crap out of someone or kill a person on the street they are in the right. People say stupid things like “he shouldn’t have run” when two PLAIN CLOTHES officers beat a young black boy into the hospital. You can read about that Here and Here if you want. It’s depressing. This isn’t the only case of it. This kind of story happens all over the place, and we’re just talking about reported instances of police brutality. There are many more unreported stories because people know they don’t have a chance of winning against the police.

It’s a fact, the less likely you are to fight back and win against the police the greater chance you have of getting your teeth knocked out. Or ending up looking like this.

It’s extremely similar to the problem we have in America with rape. People are always way too willing to blame the victims instead of looking at the perpetrators of the actual crime. When people bring it up as a problem a good portion of the American population is quick to point out any reason why this isn’t the case, or how it’s better in another portion of the country (when this is actually not statistically true).

This isn’t a south problem, this is a USA Police problem. Don’t believe me? (well, that story above took place in Pittsburgh which, last I checked, was firmly in the north. but whatever. Let’s keep going).

http://bostonreview.net/BR36.5/jeanne_mansfield_occupy_wall_street.php

This whole thing that’s been going on in NYC over the past (honestly, I don’t even know. At least a week, maybe two by now) is really upsetting. It’s crazy how little coverage it’s been getting. Anyway, so there’s this peaceful protest going on. I need to reiterate. PEACEFUL protest. Like, not a riot, not throwing stones, not that stuff that went down in Seattle a while back where people were throwing things into businesses. Naw, this is a peaceful protest. Just people doing what they should and assembling together to voice their displeasure at an institution while ultimately causing no harm (either physically or emotionally) to anyone. This is American. Unfortunately what’s also American is that the cops are looking at this peaceful protest like ” fuck those kids.” See, the people who are protesting are highly unlikely to be able to actually win a lawsuit against the police and the ACLU, for all the good it does, isn’t big enough to fight for everyone. The police know this, so what do they do? They instigate violence just because they can. You’ll never be able to convince me that if Police had even the smallest bit of fear of going to jail for doing what they’re doing here they’d be so gung ho about macing and beating people.

But here’s just reasons why I don’t trust cops #6528. This is a peaceful protest and they’re out here macing people for no reason, arresting people who aren’t even protesting (just walking through), clubbing concerned citizens for asking why protesters are being beaten up, throwing people into cars and buildings. This is what are police do when there’s no accountability. None of the officers out here instigating violence on peaceful protesters (and non protesters who just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time) will be reprimanded in any way. Their destructive actions are endorsed by the state, and the only way you can possibly not have a problem with the current institution of american police systems is if you live in fantasy rich white people world where you never have to actually worry about unprovoked police violence being directed at you.

 

I don’t want to spend time with you September 25, 2011

Filed under: Books,comics,Movies — Micah Griffin @ 19:52

This is something I just cannot understand when it comes to writing fiction. What makes a writer decide that we want to follow a bad person around. I’m not talking about someone like  a Wolverine who’s just grumpy all the time. That can have it’s charms. I’m talking about genuinely bad people.

I’ve read a couple of books lately that feature differing degrees of bad people. One book wanted me to follow a rapist. One book wanted me to follow a racist. Another book thought it’d be a good idea to make me try and sympathize with a super misogynist and all around bad dude.

I need to know who thinks this is a good idea? I’m not saying every character needs to be the best person ever, but I honestly don’t get the point of spending lots of time with awful awful people. Some books try and acknowledge that these are the bad guys. The problem comes when we know that nothing is going to be done about them being bad. Because this person is the protagonist, we become aware that all of the people who try and curb this person’s actions will fail. Furthermore we want the good people to fail because they’re inhibiting our protagonist from getting what they want. It’s just not a world view I’m a big fan of.

The other thing that happens is the writer will either ignore or try and excuse the actions of our terribly bad character. I just read a whole book where the main character goes around calling people out of their names and being wholly disrespectful just because of their race. Nothing ever comes of it. Nothing is ever said. Then a time comes when something bad happens and I’m all of a sudden suppose to care, and all the emotions fall flat because I’ve spent hundreds of pages not caring at all about this character.

At times though, I’m less worried about the writer who thinks this is a cool and awesome idea and more concerned about the people who volunteer to spend all their time around said racist/sexist/awful person. Who are these people that just love seeing someone be terrible to other people and cheer when the good guys can’t stop them? I dunno it’s just weird to me.

 

The Blackest Man in Riverdale September 12, 2011

First thing first. My history with Archie.

This was the first I knew of the Archie characters. I grew up listening almost exclusively to 60s pop and R&B and Black Gospel music. The Archies were a thing. Then there was Sonic the Hedgehog. These were actually the first Archie comic books I ever read, and I was a fan. Then there was this.

At the time it was one of the few shows I was able to watch in my middle of nowhere middle school existence. (no cable, bad reception with the antennae.) On top of that, it starred a witch, which I’m sure my mother and step father would’ve hated if they knew I watched it. The other thing is that my Dad loves sitcoms. It’s a problem, but we deal with it. In my youth I’d watch anything he watched and went along with it.

Looking back, that show was terrible.

I finally got into Archie comics a few years later and enjoyed the mildly, but left because I had no disposable income of my own to buy them with. There was also this issue I had. You can note it in the two videos I posted as well. There was a lot of whiteness going on here. A whole bunch. It was kind of weird. (Note: No black people in sonic either. What’s the deal Robotnik? Just because you’re the only human looking thing in Robotropolis or whatever the name of your stupid city is there’s no excuse not to have any black folks in there).

In walks Chuck Clayton. He’s all. ‘Sup dudes. Word on the streets is that this guy use to be all manner of slick back in the 70s when he first popped up. Not as bad as any of the Black characters from say, Marvel, but pretty awful in terms of vocabulary. I don’t know firsthand, but I do trust my sources as they are very close to the issue. Fortunately for me, but the time I started seeing him pop up they had turned him from Archie’s black sidekick to Archie’s nerdy as hell cartoonist athlete friend who pops up at least every third issue. He has a family and everything. Mom’s a teacher, Dad’s a coach, and Grandma has an attic that needs cleaned.  Eventually he gets a full time squeeze Nancy, which makes them the first monogamous couple in all of Riverdale High.

The thing I loved about Chuck was that he fit into Riverdale well. He was also a character I could easily identify with. I happened to be the only black kid in my high school full of white folks. Since Riverdale is a much much better place than middle of nowhere PA Chuck doesn’t have to deal with all the same things I did, but no one in Riverdale ever has to deal with anything most high school kids go through so it’s a complete non factor. He was also a nerd. I’m a nerd. I’m cool with this. These are things we can work with. That’s pretty much where my similarities with chuck end, but that’s enough. That’s more than 99% of American comic book characters. (99% may actually be a low estimate.)

I don’t have the history with Archie like I do with other comic companies like Marvel and DC. All I know is that when Chuck comes through he brings all his people with him. Teachers I’ve never seen before, little kids running around Riverdale that don’t exist otherwise, and random non characters in the hallways. I guess he told people if he was coming up they all were coming up. And it’s true. Chuck paved the way for the cultural explosion of Riverdale. Before Chuck, folk looked around Riverdale and were just bombarded with white as far as the eye can see. Nowadays we have Ginger and Maria Latinaing up the place. Raj and his family Indianing up the place. Kevin Keller Gaying up the place. It’s crazy. I’m sure a lot of this would’ve happened eventually, but props will be shown to the first. The Blackest Man in Riverdale Chuck Clayton.

I guess this is all that we need to know going into “Archie and Friends All-Stars. The Cartoon Life of Chuck Clayton”

 

On American Vampire September 11, 2011

Filed under: comics — Micah Griffin @ 19:43
Tags: , , , ,

This is an interesting review for me to write. I initially didn’t have a lot of interest in American Vampire because  it’s a vampire story set in the old west.  But so many people said it was good. In fact, I’ve never heard anyone say a negative thing about it. Not even little nit picky stuff. So I was almost dismayed when I first tried to read it and absolutely couldn’t get into it. It’s not unusual that my opinion differs from popular notions, but this was weirdly off for me. So I put it down and read some other stuff. It’s entirely possible I just wasn’t in the mood.

I came back it, and yeah. Sometimes a book is just entirely not for you in any shape form or fashion. I’ll say this. There are characters of color in the book. Two I believe. Both die. But it’s a horror story so nothing unusual here. They’re Mexican Americans and are called all manner of derogatory names by Skinner. Bla Bla about keeping with the times and showing Skinner to be awful. Whatever, I don’t want to read it. Especially since we know both characters are going to die at Skinner’s hands.

So here’s what American Vampire is. It’s the story of a genetic offshoot of Vampires that crop up in America. See, traditional vampires as we know them existed in Europe for a long time and formed some sort of aristocracy. They moved to America and had all kinds of money. Then this one bank robber (who is just a vile person) gets turned into a Vampire. The thing is, he’s an entirely different strain of Vampire from the old Euro models. He’s all Americanized. He can’t be killed by sunlight or drowning. He’s weaker in the full moon, and that’s about the only time they can be killed. So they’re like super vampires. They also have wicked claws and such. So all around much better than their European counterparts. I actually find the play between those two types of vampires interesting.

Here’s the thing. The rest of the story doesn’t absolutely nothing for me. In one part of the story we are following Pearl Jones, an actress who was served up as dinner to a group of Euro style vampires and ended up being saved by Skinner Sweet (our bank robber turned new vampire). I don’t really have a lot of feelings for her or her roommate. She’s doing the struggling actress thing who sort of has the hots for this older actor dude and that leads to her being served up for dinner. Then we follow through her learning how to be a vampire and going on a revenge spree. Then her roommate is turned into a vampire and turned against her. They fight. Pearl wins with the help of a vagabond she has grown to like, then goes and fights more vampires. It just did nothing for me at all.

The second story follows Skinner Sweet from a bank robber who’s completely okay with rape to a Vampire who is completely unlikable. To me, the problem isnt’ that he’s unlikable. He’s suppose to be, I get it. It’s just he’s not anyone I want to follow in a story. I find the character so repulsive as to not care. There’s not a single redeeming thing about him, and we know he’s going to survive all this. We know that the characters that are set up in opposition to him are going to lose. We know that this mayor and his son are going to die. We know this lawman who is chasing him down won’t survive.

Side note. The story of James Book is awful. He’s a detective sent to hunt down Skinner Sweet. He does this pretty well before Skinner turns him into a vampire. He lives his life trying to not be a vampire until he can’t control it anymore. He’s a good dude. His god daughter Abilena just wants to bone him hard. Real hard. That’s actually the only thing we see in the character the entire book. She wants to bone James Book. At the end of Book’s life he figures out that he can be damaged when there’s no moon. He wants to be dead. So he makes a deal. He’ll bone her brains out if she promises to kill him. So he bones her and she kills him. Then she has a kid and goes to hunt Skinner.

So that’s the story. Pearl is a vampire killing vampire machine. Skinner is an awful person who we’re suppose to want to follow and root for, but I don’t because I find him disgusting. All the other characters in the book are just there as foils to die. Well, Pearl’s vagabond boyfriend has survived so far, as well as Book’s god daughter/baby mama. Everyone else is fodder. It doesn’t make me hate Skinner more that he’s out here killing good people just trying to do their jobs. It makes me not want to read the book anymore. So I won’t.

 

DC Relaunch Week 1: Quick Reviews September 9, 2011

So I’m trying to figure out if I should do all of this  in one giant post or do multiple post. I think I’ll do quick hits all in this one post and do single reviews for books I feel are worth it. So leggoo.

Action Comics #1 – I like it. Clark Kent is cool. I like his land lady. It’s a bit heavy handed, but it’s cool. I like that Supes can get hurt. There stuff I don’t like. Or just don’t care about right now, like the military in the book.

Animal Man #1 – It’s alright. Not really my thing. The art just didn’t do it for me. I’m not passing judgement. Just saying it didn’t do anything for me. His eyes were bleeding and then his guts were bleeding in the past and I think other things were bleeding too.

Batgirl #1 – Felt like it was off to me. The story didn’t really work for me. I’m not huge into whatever was going on here. We’ll see. The thing where she was paralyzed with fear made me actually roll my eyes. The art is okay. More blood than I expected. We’ll see.

Batwing #1 – Batwing was cool. I’ll stick with it for a while. There was some stuff that surprised me. I have small nitpicks of course. It’s a bit paternalistic. Many mentions of Africa, not as many of DRC. I’m sticking with it. The ending did feel a bit  cheap, though.

Detective Comics #1 – There’s a lot of blood. Like, a lot. So there’s that. The joker was crazy and Batman fought him and there was blood raining from the ceiling.

Green Arrow #1 – I know I read this book. I don’t remember it at all.

Hawk and Dove #1 – The art. No.

JLI # 1 – I get it. You hate when people complain. Don’t waste time in my book for that shit. The whole team selection thing in the beginning was whatever. Mari is in it though, so I’m cool with what’s here. I hope something actually happens in issue 2.

Men of War #1 – Yeah. I can’t really even criticize this book properly because it is so not for me at all. The modern war comic thing is just clearly not for me.

O.M.A.C. #1 – The art. Yes. The Didio. No. Kieth Giffen is a boss. I don’t like everything going on in the book (that hair needs to stop), but it’s like 80% Kirby and so I can’t really even hate on it all together. I can hate on Didio. Dude doesn’t work for me.

Static Shock #1 – This is my book. Expect to hear more about this from me. Love the new trash can lid. Love the faces. Love the family in the book. Mad props to my boy Hardware. I like how it feels like even though they’re in New York they just brought Dakota with them. I’m in love with the art. Cheap ending, but whatevs. First issue grabber thing just like Batwing. The colors are awesome. Virgil is great. I can hang with this dude. Great. Great. Great.

Stormwatch #1 – I don’t even know. I like Paul Cornell. I’m going to read it again and see what I really think. I know that I absolutely can’t do this art. It just isn’t up to snuff for me. I’m interested, but ultimately, I’m not sure if I even like the story so far. The fist issue did not grab me.

Swamp Thing #1 – Hmmm. . .It’s swamp thing. I need someone to call me when this book is finished with the amnesia plot. So far the story just is falling flat. The art is decent.

So Yeah. That’s week 1. Static is freaking AWESOME. Action comics has potential and I have already fallen in love with this version of Clark Kent. Everything else I’m either giving more time to or I’m just out on. Some because I think they’re just not any good, and others just due to them not being for me.

I’ll come with deeper reviews on . . . I think Static and Action later.