Wednesday, August 29, 2007

In brief, like a Catholic school skirt

Oh dear.

The panels that they show from this miniseries make me fear for the future of my daughter. And I don't even have any kids.

Sam Kieth has in fact had a distinguished career. He has been self-deprecating to the point of "Don't look at me!" on the subject of his co-creation of the Sandman, but his work on Preludes and Nocturnes is breathtaking and fun. He has some good credits in indie comics too. The hell was he thinking?

If he ran up gambling debts with Russian troikas, well, do a telethon.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

We've got Spirit, how 'bout you?

What to say about The Spirit #9? Well, it's got a nice cover. Ebony White reads an old hardcover with the title "Tales of Terror", his eyes shifting to one side as if he knows that there's something real bad around the corner. And quite literally, there is. A pallid zombie is right outside the window (a window that would not be out of place in Dr Strange's Greenwich pad.)

In fact, the story taken by itself is a pretty nice voodoo/zombie story. The tale revolves around the softer, more mama's boy of two sibling gangsters. When he's betrayed by his wife and killed, his mother sacrifices the two-faced bee0ch and brings him back to life. 'Cept of course it ain't exactly life, but undeath. And because he died in a struggle with Denny Colt, he's got a bit of a grudge against the man in the blue suit.

It's all very creepy and bloody, in the "Weird Tales" way it's supposed to be. My only complaint? It's a little too open-ended. The villain, El Morte, reminds our boy that "I swore to you a curse," and despite turning the Spirit's ribs into jelly beans, he makes clear that he's not done yet. The word "End" is right there on the last page. I only hope it's not a lie.

For a little background, the Spirit was created by Will Eisner back in the Golden Age, and stands as the earliest successful costumed hero to stay in the ownership of his creator. Eisner licensed the character to DC shortly before his death, although the Eisner family retains ownership.

Canadian artist/writer kicked off the new series about a year ago with a Batman crossover. He's done a creditable job. Ebony, a minstrelish character that eventually caused Eisner great embarassment, has been refashioned into a believable and not-too-trendy inner city teen. Cooke hasn't done much in the way of Eisner's socially conscious stories, but he makes it fun. And that's valuable. There's not much fun to be had in contemporary comics, particularly those emanating from the Big Two. If you've kept up, you know the symptoms. Decompressed storytelling, which usually translates to "nothing happened this month." Big events that will soon be overturned by other big events. A fixation on killing little heroes and making the big ones suffer. Superhero comics now seem to spend the majority of their time either setting up the premise or deconstructing it.

The Spirit, thus far, has been an exception. You pick up an issue, read the contents, and you get it. There are colorful villains, sexy femme fatales, and in general you like all these people, good and bad. Cooke seems to, as well. And to be plain, I'd like to see that continue. If DC demands that the title become more Countdown/Outsiders-like, better to quit soon. Kyle Baker also had a small good thing going when he wrote and drew Plastic Man. He tried going the decompressed route, albeit from a satirical angle. Again, he seemed to be indulging the powers that were. When he finished this story, Plastic Man was finished too.

So the point is, giving The Spirit a big angsty arc will not guarantee sales or survival. It would definitely not be a moral victory. And if we see Ellen Dolan being shoved'>">shoved into a fridge well, that would be a big defeat.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Well there you go

This post results from the event having happened right after I logged into Blogger.

Moths. They're related to butterflies, but didn't get the looks. And frankly, having a butterfly in your apartment would get pretty old toot sweet as well. So, as you figure, a moth hanging around your place is rather annoying.

Now, everyone knows that moths are attracted to light. So, common sense would seem to tell you that they'd find their way out by themselves. After all, you can just leave your lights off. During the daytime, it will be brighter outside. At night, there are streetlights and the lights on other people's houses. So Mr Moth will get bored and leave, right?

Wrong. The poor dull saps don't seem to have that much in the way of distance vision. So this one big ass moth had been in my bathroom for several days. The bathroom is usually dark. I generally don't even turn the lights on to take a shower. Tonight it left the bathroom, apparently disturbed when I used the toilet for what a toilet is used for. A while later, I noticed it was chilling on the wall over my CD player. This had gone on long enough.

Since you can't count on them leaving on their own, you have basically two options. One is to kill it. Problem is, if you swing a magazine at the moth and you miss, or don't hit it hard enough, you've just pissed it off. And while it can't really do anything to you, an agitated moth will be more annoying to you as well.

The other option is catch-release. Luckily, this is fairly easy. If you have an empty plastic food container and a lid, you're ready to go. Just wait until it's resting on some flat surface--wall or ceiling, say--or just near it. Bring the container down. Keep the lid steady, right near it. Silde the container over the lid, and seal it.

You then have a captured moth. You want to let it go outside. Best to go at least a block from where you live. Don't want it just circling around and going back through your window. Look for a streetlight, or a store that keeps some lights on after closing. Just to be on the safe side.

Here, we give you the household hints that Eloise is afraid of.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Blog on the way, not quite here yet

On the off chance that someone is actually reading this:

Yeah, still in development hell. But not on the Hollywood schedule. So I'll have substantive posts up soon. Just sort of worked out how to log in, for one thing.

But here's something. The other day, I had just finished grocery shopping. I was walking from the supermarket to the bus stop, when I saw a dead duck by the road.

Now, I don't think there was a pond that close by. So this fella or gal must have done some flying. But it also struck me that this is another human convention that animals don't follow.: dying in private. Just like they'll take a piss or f__k* their mate anywhere, no matter who's watching, they'll drop and croak pretty much the same way. Guess it kind of takes the pressure off.

Nevertheless, seeing a cute animal gathering flies is upsetting. And maybe moreso with birds. Unconsciously, I think my reaction was "What are you doing dead down here? You were doing so well up there?"

That's sort of why I picked the blogname "Flying Totems." There's a vague theme of looking up to things: beauty, goodness, etc. What's behind it. How do you protect the things and people you admire, at least for yourself?

That sounds heavy and portentous, but most of the time here I'll be kind of messing around. And occasionally, if I'm lucky, it might be funny as well.

*Still figuring out how much cussing I'll allow or deny myself on this blog. But you know what I meant.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Brief Intro

Hello my darling. Hello my baby. Hello my ragtime gal.

This is my second blog. My first (after a false start somewhere else) was found at That ran from late '04 to early '06. It was sort of part of the left blogosphere. This blog will have a different focus, as a rule. What that focus will be I'll inform you later. I'm still kind of working it out myself.

Meanwhile, the reason I created this blog tonight specifically was that I wanted to leave a comment at another 'spot blog that doesn't allow anonymous commenting. So off to do that.