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Commentary Track for December 31st Buy Pile Reviews (UPDATED WITH VIDEO)

Posted in comics, namor on December 31st, 2009 by Hannibal Tabu

There’s actually a lotta discussion and thought that goes into this week’s review(s), so there’s not much that needs to be said … but the images are needed.

The management at CBR isn’t sure this week’s column will be posted as is and on schedule. If you see a link in this paragraph, all was well, and if you see a note with a link, all was wonky. If you see no link, well, the “director’s cut” will eventually run here. (NOTE: The column didn’t run. I’m gonna invoice ‘em for it anyway. Screw that noise …)

Anyhoo, with the exception of the last image shown here, photos are courtesy of Isaac S. Lew and Jason Thompson (where noted), who hopefully will send over videos that can be added shortly … (NOTE: Videos came in after press time, but they’re included here now, due to sheer awesomeness)

In any case, here’s the photos …

The Counselor, presenting his case
Photo by Isaac S. Lew

About a half dozen people gathered around to hear what he had to say.

The Counselor (known as “Da King” or “Your Majesty” to the newly named Quislet) presents his case
Video by Isaac S. Lew
Another view of “the courtroom”
Photo by Jason D. Thompson

Most were awed by the disturbing volume of his scholarship as well as the relentless clarity of his points. Some just cracked up laughing.

A serious presentation of the facts
Photo by Isaac S. Lew

Take any term paper every written, anywhere. This is more serious than that. It’s like some Johnnie Cochrane stuff. The burden of proof was just a start of things, before the real smack down. It was some top rope, elbow-tapping, vengeful god stuff. Also known as “awesome.”

The body of evidence
Photo by Isaac S. Lew

Roy Thomas to Matt Cherniss to Stan Lee, covering every era of comics from the Invaders to the Initiative. Wow.

He said he was scanning and blowing up images in preparation for this at home, and his wife got all Seth Meyers on him and was like, “Really?” It’d be worth it to get a photo of that expression.

Presiding over this madness, Hannibal drove rapidly through LA screaming “HERE COMES JUSTICE!”
Photo by Isaac S. Lew

My stepdaughter was warming up for her second Kwanzaa show performance this week, my wife was struggling with some pregnancy related issues (probably some stuff on the Soapbox about that sooner or later). It was hard to be parted from the family to rule on such a goofy matter, but The Counselor made it a show worth seeing.

The man formerly known as Adam K, sometimes known as little girl’s names, but henceforth known as QUISLET, admitting his complete loss
Photo by Hannibal Tabu

Part of the final ruling was that Quislet here had to be known as “Quislet” as an ironic bit of comeuppance for his earlier “victory,” and has to refer to The Counselor exclusively as “The King” or “Your Majesty” for no fewer than five years. Oh, would you like to see the final judgement? We can do that … Sandy, can we roll that clip?

His Honor Hannibal Tabu stands ready to render judgement.
Video by Isaac S. Lew

Hopefully some sign of this great achievement will be recorded on the Comics Ink wall, but store owner Steve is more about finance than jurisprudence.

Less a battle and more of a felonious assault, The Counselor was like Thor and Quislet here was like Marvin’s cape on the old Superfriends show. Not even close.

Can’t get enough? Download the eight page PDF of the brief — well worth your time.

Playing (Music): “Bedroom Lites” by Idle Warship

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Write Now: Sick Cycle Carousel

Posted in fiction, microfiction, ranting, relationships, writing on December 25th, 2009 by Hannibal Tabu

NOTE: So, I’d love to be writing more fiction, but time won’t give me time like my name was Boy George. In 2010, I plan to drop fresh installments of The Messenger on your brain while also getting two big announcements in the field of content, if all goes well. I don’t like talking much about stuff I can’t really reveal, since I feel that’s like a “coming soon” page on a website — ambition outstripping ability. I like to be productive and actually create.

Luckily, I still have much smaller ideas, like this one, which come out as microfiction and I can lob over the wall of the web like a grenade. This piece is brand spanking new, born from an idea I had absently while standing in my bedroom. Super early draft, hope you like it, and I hope to work on it further.

Gray clouds hung low over Burbank as a Boeing 737 lazily drifted west towards the airport. Below, Liz — a bespectacled Asian woman with round cheeks, a shy smile and the hint of her second child still haunting her midsection — walked along with Lindsey, her co-worker. Lindsey was crowned with a plume of blondish brown hair, the circular frames of her glasses poking out from beneath her bangs. Both wore puffy dark 3/4 length jackets as they strolled the pathways of the corporate park that held their place of employment, and scarves knitted by Liz’s sure hand clung close to their necks.

Lindsey took a long drag from the Natural American Spirit cigarette in her petite left hand, the tan line from where her wedding ring sat just six months before still showing, her other hand jammed deep into a jacket pocket, and blew the smoke straight up away from the two of them.

“Those things aren’t any safer than regular cigarettes,” Liz admonished sadly.

“I’m doing a half-pack of these a day instead of a pack and a half of Virginia Slims,” Lindsey shrugged, a brush of wind pushing aside the unguarded end of her jacket and showing off the slim waist that three children and twenty years since leaving her mother’s Alabama home hadn’t managed to alter. “Isn’t that progress?”

Liz shook her head sadly, the suede-shod footfalls of her boots falling into line next to Lindsey’s New Balance sneakers on the gray twisting sidewalk. “You’re gonna worry me to death one of these days,” the younger woman said sadly.

“With all the layoffs in IT, let me have my little pleasures, willya?” Lindsey said tiredly. “We work in internet marketing, so it’s way easier to let us go than people who run the machines.” Looking forgivingly at Liz’s downturned face, she softened her tone. “Look, honey, I’ll quit as soon as the economy stops making me worry about my mortgage, okay?”

They walked a few more feet, approaching two men sitting on a stone bench, one positioned precariously on the back of the seat, while another man spoke to the one seated higher from a standing position. The man speaking — a shaven headed Black man built like a football player but wearing a burnt orange shirt with a black tie — gestured as he spoke, and the man seated lowest chuckled as the conversation went on. The third man — spiky red hair and a natty Van Dyke underneath his rakish smile, a cigarette tucked behind his right ear — seemed to be less interested in what was being said to him and more intent on following the curve of Lindsey’s tights up her lithe leggings and towards the hem of her coat.

“… not just a jerk, you’re like the king of the jerks!” the Black man said as they came into earshot. “When other jerks look for leadership, they just pick up their cell phone and you’re pre-programmed in as the first entry on their speed dial! You can’t just leave a girl at the mall because she wanted to share your fries, Dave! That’s just not …”

As they walked on, the Black man’s voice fell away and Lindsey glanced back to see the redhead still checking her out.

“Can you believe that?” Liz asked, shocked. “Some guys just can’t act right …”

“Uh huh …” Lindsey returned absently, considering for a moment. Throwing down her cigarette and grinding it with her toe, she said, “Listen, you go on ahead, I’m gonna go back and bum a fresh smoke from that Dave guy, be right back …”

Without another word, she started walking back towards the stone bench. Liz slumped her shoulders slightly and sighed, twisting her wedding ring on her hand, and went after her friend to make sure she didn’t do anything too stupid …

Playing (Music): “Nothing On You” by B.O.B. feat. Bruno Mars

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Commentary Track for December 24th Buy Pile Reviews

Posted in comics, namor on December 24th, 2009 by Hannibal Tabu

Before we get started, I wrote a blog last week about (among other things) my problem about “Blackest Night,” and somebody might come looking for it. Lemme look at my noted here … crap, can’t read my own handwriting. Somebody with a … “tod complex?” “bod complex?” Something like that. Anyway, that’s here, so good luck with that.

At the time I’m writing this, I don’t have a link, as the column won’t post for a few hours (it’s 3:58 AM). However, I had to write about something important (well, as comics go) …

Clash of the Nutjobs

Shown here are “Sally” (the school teacher some know as Adam K. and the comics retail clerk I routinely call little girls names) and a lawyer who’d probably prefer to keep his name out of all of this craziness.

Anyway, the lawyer (let’s call him Counselor, for argument’s sake) believes that Namor needs to flap those ridiculous little wings on his ankles in order to fly. Most of the people at the shop (and likely the world) believe that’s crazy — Namor flies because he’s a flying mutant. He thinks he can fly, therefore he does. Flapping the wings makes no difference.

This argument was allegedly settled early this year when Vince Moore (another retailer at the store and a writer/editor/columnist/man about town) pulled out some John Byrne-penned “proof” that Namor was a delusional nutbag and could fly irrespective of his ankle wings. However, The Counselor’s further research found Vince’s “proof” to be as factual as Obama’s claims that he didn’t campaign for a public option and the “verdict” was overturned.

Thanks to a ruling from store owner, Steve LeClaire, the Counselor has until the end of 2009 to present his case to a quorum of comics fans and “authorities” at Comics Ink or he shall forever be shunned and mocked.

Next Wednesday, Diamond Comics and UPS can’t get their act together and no comics will ship. Only one new comic book will be on sale in US shops — some “Blackest Night” book. However, at 5PM, on the corner of Overland and Braddock in Culver City, CA, The Counselor will present his case to either emerge covered in triumphant glory or derision and shame.

Unless a new baby appears sometime around then, I will be there, serving likely as a jurist.

So there’s that. Now, commentary about this week’s comics:

I was shocked to see Marvel dominate both the “super crappy” and “not so bad” sections simultaneously, which is quite a feat and normally needs event comics to accomplish. I like the work of so many of these writers — Fear Agent from Remender, Jonathan Hickman’s amazing work on The Nightly News, Pax Romana and Transhuman, just for example. But this stuff … it’s really scary how bad it is. That means any good writer can turn in crap. That’s frightening. I’ve gotta work harder at my stuff …

Also, “Necrosha/Blackest Night?” I need the Armageddon/Deep Impact stuff to not happen, ‘kay?

Now, a quick bit on Unknown Soldier. Despite the fact that the writer’s dead to me now, the graphic novel was freaking amazing, and really redefined the property. However, sending this property — which had heavy US ties in its mythos — to an African country with no clear goals nor direction … well, that’s always been a bit weird to me. The whole reason the graphic novel worked so well was that the Soldier knew who he was and why — an instrument of policy, a tool to achieve goals. This guy seems to have more of Christopher Chance’s malaise (as presented by Peter Milligan) and that’s … hard to catch up with. I’m always interested, because (even though there are zero Black creators on this book — sigh) Black characters in comics are always going to at least get my eyebrow to raise with interest.

However, on charm, I can’t say enough of how much I enjoy reading Amadeus Cho, who’s a morally gray character who feels no real desire to choose sides. I can relate to that. Heroism or villainy depend on mood and what’s happening that day. His pairing with the “scoundrel” styled charm of Hercules could only be topped by a Layla Miller or Valeria Richards. I really hope to see more of the character as the years go on, maybe even some mentoring from Jimmy Woo.

Now, as I have the day off and would like to actually do some writing for myself for a change (as well as Audio Hijacking all of my favorite songs from The Sing Off), I bid you adieu. I will report back from the Namor showdown next week, and as always keep an eye on The Operative Network for baby news.

Playing (Music): “Popular Demand” by Lupe Fiasco

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