Thursday, October 23, 2008

On Superman

Hello and welcome to Hoopla!

So, there's a ten-part interview with Grant Morrison being posted over at newsarama which is all about the recently completed All-Star Superman series he and Frank Quitely have been working on for the past few years. The whole interview is certainly worth reading, but I found this excerpt particularly lovely...

In the end, I saw Superman not as a superhero or even a science fiction character, but as a story of Everyman. We’re all Superman in our own adventures. We have our own Fortresses of Solitude we retreat to, with our own special collections of valued stuff, our own super–pets, our own “Bottle Cities” that we feel guilty for neglecting. We have our own peers and rivals and bizarre emotional or moral tangles to deal with.

Ah, Grant Morrison. There's plenty of his work that is not to my taste (Invisibles, Final Crisis, Batman: RIP, his four-issue Mr. Miracle and Bulleteer series), but when he's on, he's on.

My only other comment for this very brief Hoopla! is that the January 2009 solicitations have come out and I am underwhelmed.

I suspect that it's a January thing. I have noticed, over the years, that the Big Two Companies don't tend to have much to offer each January; presumably the thinking is that everyone just spent all their money on gifts and so sales are going to be down in any case. And, hey, that may be true... who knows?

But one thing that did catch my eye is this...

Jack Power and Franklin Richards take a wild trip through the timestream and end up face-to-face with a pre-teen Wolverine! But since young James Howlett is nothing at all like the hero he is destined to one day become, it'll be up to our time-tossed troublemakers to teach the once-and-future-Wolvie how to kick some butt! Plus...MINI MARVELS!32 PGS./All Ages ...$2.99

I have never purchased a Power Pack comic before, but I honestly don't think I can pass up a story about Power Pack teaching a young Wolverine how to fight. I just can't.

Does that make me a bad person?

- Paul

Friday, October 10, 2008

Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade #1

Here are some preview pages that have been posted for DC's Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade #1:


You can see them full-sized, as God intended, here.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating... DC's new all-ages line of comics is FUN!!! And super-cute!!!

- Paul

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Greatest Hits... almost

Hello and welcome to Hoopla!

A while back, a 3-set anthology of Beatles songs was released that purported to contain their greatest hits, divided by musical period. I was disappointed to find, after I bought it, that these were largely "never before released" versions of their greatest hits... like the recording of "Strawberry Fields" where John Lennon starts coughing at one point, or the mix of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" where a helicopter happened to pass by while they were recording and it makes a sort of helicopter-y noise in the background. Or the early version of "Yellow Submarine" that doesn't have any instruments. And the submarine was only a canoe.

Watching the second presidential debate last night, I had much the same feeling. It was like a greatest hits anthology only less polished than the original versions. There was more stammering and mixing up of words. But, ultimately, it was just the two candidates repeating what they perceive to be their best lines, which we have already heard a bazillion times before.

The only thing I really learned from that hour and a half of my life, which would have been better spent playing with my cat or reading comics, is that McCain needs to stop saying "My friends..." so much. It's become annoying. He needs a new line. I don't know what it should be... maybe if he really needs to preface each and every sentence, he could vary it with a few other lines, like "Guys and gals..." or "My fellow mavericks..." or "Chimichanga - Watch me Now!!!"

And, for god's sake, next time don't forget to oil his joints before the debate.

Neither candidate impressed me, though. and Tom Brokaw simply sucked. You mean to tell me that of the twenty bazillion questions that were sent to him, those were the most original and provocative that he could find?

"My question for the senators is... this financial crisis... it's really bad. So, what are you going to actually do, if you are president, to deal with it?"

"My friends... my opponent wants to tax you. To tax you!!! And he told Palestine that he was going to bomb it. You don't do that, my friends. You simply don't."

"I... I just have to quick respond to what Senator McCain has said. I do not want to tax you. In fact, I want to give tax cuts to 95% of the middle class."

[One of these days, he really does need to tell us what that other 5% did to piss him off so much.]

"Our next question comes from aisle J... and it is... What will YOU do about the financial crisis, in the first two years of your presidency, if you are elected president?"

"My friends, I'll tell you what I won't do. I won't raise taxes on the working poor, like this one wants to. And here's his dark secret... here's what Senator Obama hasn't told you... he hates the U.S. economy and everyone in it. But, my friends, the American worker is the best damn worker in the world. The best exporter, the best importer... I love you guys. I really do. You're the best. I don't care what Obama says..."

"That... that just isn't true. Listen... my tax cut is going to HELP 95% of the middle class and small businesses. It looks to me like the wheels just fell off the Straight Talk Express at a busy intersection... and that intersection is today's financial crisis, which was caused by the Bush Administration, which starts with B which rhymes with P and that stands for McCain!!! Because Senator McCain has voted with President Bush 90% of the time. And he actually voted AGAINST investments in solar energy and wind power 26 times."

"My friends, that just isn't true. Barack Obama is like a jellyfish that you can't quite keep in an aquarium because it keeps slithering up the sides and threatening to bomb Pakistan and have dinner with terrorists with NO PRECONDITIONS. You don't do that. You don't do that. You don't have dinner with known terrorists who have called Israel a STINKING CORPSE. You simply don't do that, my friends."

"Okay, okay... settle down fellows. I'm going to use up a few precious minutes good-naturedly chiding you for going over the allotted time. I mean, I'm trying to do a good job here. I am. And I'm following the rules that you gave me. So, please, don't go over the allotted time. You're just making my job that much harder. And you make me feel sad inside. And now I'm going to ask this question, which came from the internet... "About this here financial crisis, what are YOU going to do about it if YOU are elected president?"


Who knew democracy could be this banal?

- Paul

Sunday, October 5, 2008


"Seriously, though... could I be any more adorable? Could I???"

Saturday, October 4, 2008

In which someone gets their little weenie snipped off...

Hello and welcome to Hoopla!

I just finished watching the Iron Man movie; I gotta say, it was pretty darn good. That Robert Downey Jr. ... he makes a mighty fine Tony Stark.

Normally, I hate comic-book based movies... they tend to rely too heavily on that god-awful CGI animation that movie directors in Hollywood think looks really cool but which everyone else in the world has noticed looks incredibly fake... and, yes, they tend to be aimed at the lowest common denominator... much like John McCain's vice-presidential selection...

"Say it ain't so, Joe..."

She's a saucy little scamp, ain't she? Actually, since we're all living here on non sequiter island, let me quickly toss in a quote I just read from Ms. "I'm a hockey mom" Palin...

"Our opponent though is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough that he is palling around with terrorists who would target their own country," Palin said of Obama, also calling him an embarrassment.

Yup... thats' the high-minded politics that I look to McCain and Palin for... I'm glad they're not indulging in those petty, mud-slinging tactics that the voters have all grown so weary of... after all, like John said, this is not the time for that ridiculous partisan posturing. Now is the time to really, uh, focus on the issues and... uh... lie. A lot.

Anyway... Iron Man. Very good movie. Very enjoyable. Yes, there is some CGI stuff toward the end, but it's relatively brief.

So, you may consider that a recommendation, my friend...


The past couple of nights my new roommate and fellow comic-book reviewer, Rocky the cat, has been keeping me up from about 8pm to 6am with an incessant meowing/yowling noise that seems to spring up from within him from the moment that the sun sets, lasting until it rises again...

Of course, I am sympathetic. He's a young cat, used to living on his own, and he wants to be outside, showing the ladies a good time...

Hey, I get it. I was young and feline too, once upon a time.

But... I didn't want him going out until we had the little fella "fixed" because I believe in responsible sex... and since I'm not actually having any sex at all right now, I'm acting out my need for responsible sex by preventing Rocky from fathering any kittens that I know he is neither financially nor emotionally prepared to care for...

Anyway, so I didn't get much sleep. At all. And then today, Rocky went on a little adventure...

snip. snip.

So, now he's very groggy and not in such a great mood, and I'm exhausted from lack of sleep, and we're both just kind of hanging out together, finding some small comfort in each other's company...

And yet, ironically, even as we commiserate over life's difficulties, I remain poignantly aware that we are each directly responsible for the misery and exhaustion that the other is experiencing...

Is this what it's like being married?

- Paul

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Character Find of 2008... Rocky!!!

Hello and welcome to Hoopla!

I've been a little busy lately, but now I have a friend who's going to help me with these comic-book reviews... so, without any further ado, allow me to introduce my new cat, Rocky!!!


Rocky and I are going to do some reviews together and I think you'll agree that, together, we are a force to be reckoned with... unto like a fist of iron!!!

The first comic I wanted to talk about was the single most enjoyable comic I've read in... well, in a very long time. I'm talking about Superman/Batman #51, which features the return of some hallucinations that Superman had in a previous story... only they're no longer hallucinations.

The whole thing is pretty damn funny, but the best part is the little Batman featured on the cover below...

He talks tough, just like the Batman we all know and love, but he's so cuuuute!!!

Rocky, what did you think of Superman/Batman #51?

>No tuna.<

I'm sorry...?

>No tuna. Two paws down.<

Yeah but, Rocky... that's not really fair. I mean, none of the comics that came out this month had tuna in them. Or were about tuna. At all.

>Two paws down.<

For what...?

>All of this month's comics. No tuna. Two paws down.<


>Two paws down comics! Give me some tuna.<

Yeah, but Rocky, this is a comic-book review column. People from around the world come here to find out which comics are recommended and which to stay away from... and, you know, there's general commentary about comic-books and...

>Two paws down.<


>Hoopla! No tuna! Two paws down!!!<

But, Rocky...

>Two paws down!!! Two paws down!!! Dumb Hoopla! Two paws down!!!<

>Tuna!!! Two paws up!!!<

Hm. Well, I hope you will join me next week (or thereabouts) for an all-new Hoopla!, in which I'll be looking at a bunch of new comics and... um... and I want to thank Rocky for joining me for this very special Hoopla! column...

Thanks, Rocky.

>No problem, Paul.<