Sean Maher's Quality Control

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Making the rounds...

Wow. I know I'm about a year behind the curve on this one, but Jesus, this is an awesome album:



I've listened to a little bit of Common's earlier stuff over the last couple years, having heard some buzz about his style being intelligent or sophisticated or whatever. Never really did it for me. But I kept hearing and hearing about his latest album, Be, and so I went ahead and took a copy up to the listening stations at Amoeba. The first track just completely blew me away and I had to pick the fucker up right then and there.

The present is a gift, and I just wanna be.

*****



Keith Giffen and Mike Leib did this once before, but I missed out on it. Boom! Studios grabbed a bunch of cool old artwork from golden and silver age comics and let the writers just go nuts on the captions and word balloons; the last one looked like old war pulp, where the new book, What Were They Thinking?! - Some People Never Learn, covers a lot of different genres, opening with an alien invasion sci-fi story. This stuff is best in small doses, so most of the stories here are just wisely a few pages long, though the Giffen/Leib story - the funniest of the bunch, had me cracking up at least once per page - is a bit longer. It's cool because it makes the book more dense; you can easily pick it up and just spend a few minutes reading one or two stories (this is perfect crapper reading, and loyal readers will recall I consider myself a connoisseur of great crapper reading). There is, after all, no better place to read something that might make you laugh until you pee than right there on the can where you belong.

My other favorite from the book is Chris Ward's remix, an old comic newly titled "The Bowties That Bind", in which he somehow manages to make a surfing pun funny. Skilled stuff.

The Giffen/Leib stuff is so funny - honestly, some of my favorite Keith Giffen writing from the last few years - I'll have to go back and track down the first What Were They Thinking?! and give it a read.

This should be out next Wednesday, for those with a jones for the glory days of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

*****

Of course, my readers are among the most intelligent and creative of the comics internet community, so I'd be hugely remiss if I didn't point you all to Jason Rodriguez' recent call for submissions over at the Postcards production blog. It's a fine bit of gauntlet throwing to us all, with a challenging concept - just the sort of thing that really works for a lot of writers, working within a box and coming up with creative ways to write themselves out of it. Check it out. Even if you're not a writer, I think it's a fun project to think about.

*****

Anybody else wondering what happened to Mark Fossen? I don't read a lot of blogs, but Focused Totality is one of 'em, and near the top of the blog-reading-To-Do list, too.

Come back, Mark!

*****

Ooh, check out what Josh Richardson posted!



I met this guy (the artist, not the girl-who-secretly-turns-out-to-be-a-guy in the picture) at APE and he seemed like a righteous fellow. I'm digging his art, and can't wait to see what he and Josh come up with.

EDIT: Turns out Josh wasn't happy with me spoiling his secret ending, so, sadly, it no longer turns out at the end that she's a guy. Instead - and I'm still working on convincing him this is a good idea - she should turn out to be the writer himself. I mean, I can't tell you how often I've walked in on the guy dressed just like the fierce/soft warrior-artist lady in the image above, the wig brushing down over one of his eyes while he gives me that look that makes me wonder, "Am I about to be told I'm beautiful, or killed?"

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