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Commentary Track for the Buy Pile (all of May 2010)

Posted in awesomeness, black panther, blackest night, buy pile, comics, comics reviews, dc, fandom, marvel, mediocrity, sadness, superman on May 28th, 2010 by Hannibal Tabu

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Every week I do a column full of comic book reviews as I’ve done since March 2003 and currently published at Comic Book Resources. Then, after the reviews post, I try to come over to my blog and expand on the thoughts and ideas listed there. Sometimes it’s profound, sometimes it’s gibberish, but it’s always about comics … let’s see what we get this week!

What? This week’s reviews


Okay, so I’ve been gone … what, three or four weeks? This blog in particular is late because my four-month-old was a little reluctant to go to sleep tonight. If the choice is “my kids” or “comics,” sequential art never stands a chance.

I’m not gonna individually nit pick each missing week since my last commentary track — too much going on for that kind of indulgence. So let’s do it lightning round style!

May 5, 2010: The Great Ten being cancelled at issue nine is both funny and wrong at the same time. I am starting to hate Steve Rogers a little bit less now he wants to be a spy, but I still hate Captain America thanks to “the casual sexism and racist thought” of stories like “Captain America and the Ageless Orientals Who Wouldn’t Die.” Oy. I would like more dynamic, engaging art for “Killer: Modus Vivendi.” I hate the “trailer park” syndrome that many writers (I won’t name names for the guy who essentially founded this school of “storytelling” but since he wanted to throw me in the water behind SDCC, chances are that he knows) have adopted, but snippets and samples of plot do not make a plot. Also, fair warning: I automatically start to tune out on any story involving Nazis, zombies, pirates or vampires. They’re overdone like Wolverine and Snake-Eyes in the late 80s.

May 12, 2010: People often tell me that I hate everything. To that I have two words in response: Amadeus Cho. I have never seen a single panel with this character that I did not like, and I’m pretty sure that’s a fact. Whether he was in Pym’s Avengers or just hanging with Herc, he’s written with such aplomb and intelligence and bad-assery (note: not a word) that he’s everything I’d have wanted to be as a teenager … well, you know, but Black.

I also have a huge man-crush on the “bwa-ha-ha” era, and to see Booster Gold back with DeMatteis and Giffen (who, it seems, are like EPMD — best when together) and doing some effective heroing as well? That’s fantastic stuff. I love it unequivocally and hope two more issues are this good so it can get a standing spot on the Buy Pile as the character has long deserved.

Final love letter? The Legion. Dude. I love the Legion. The endless variety of powers, the complicated personal relationships, the galaxy-spanning threats. Loved giving Jemm, Son of Saturn a reason to exist. Loved the building of Mon-El into something real, finally, as the Valor thing seemed to be missing a leg for a long time. Love the crankiness of Braniac 5. Love seeing Levitz back at the wheel. Big happiness that week.

I saw that this dude blogged about me (comments weren’t enabled when I swung by) re: Titans: Villains For Hire … and I didn’t really get his point. I read stuff way more terrible than that. It’s biggest problem was (as Der Bugman notes) yet another white guy whacking a character of color … and the fact that it was no story, just fight scene. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t like it … but if we’re gonna call DC out for racially dialing the clock back to somewhere white in the early 90s, they at least didn’t try to be as open as Logan’s clearly hateful commentary, writing off the peoples of an entire continent and ignoring the reasons why things happen that way. I’ll try to be meaner, if it’ll make you feel better, but honestly, I’m tired of being that guy since massa ain’t gonna change.

May 19, 2010: Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers delivered in a big way. If you’re doing a mini, that’s the right approach — leave it all out on the field in your last issue. No telling what sequels may come, or if the world will come to an end. Dream big.

Also, Yildiray Cinar is one hell of a penciller (sp?). Very talented. ‘Nuff said.

Please, please, please can Kill Shakespeare live up to its premise and promise? Please be better.

I’m glad that 100,000 Kryptonians are no longer a story element in DC, but War of the Supermen was a dumb way to go about it.

Speaking of racism, what’s with Ultimate Proto-Hulk going from scientist to gangster? Not cool.

May 26, 2010: Go Incorruptible. Now you’re doing some writing!

I will likely reprint Jonathan Hickman’s entire Reed Richards speech on my blog. It literally inspires me. The rest of the comic, meh, but that speech is worth owning and reprinting and living up to.

Bringing back Thanos? Yes, I love that guy. Bringing back the dude on the last page? Not cool. Don’t muddy my Thanos with heroism. I liked him the way he was. Grrr!

That will have to hold you until next week, children. Much to do, much to do. Play safely.

Watching (Hulu): Lost, “The End”

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Go on — call it a comeback

Posted in 104, awesomeness, bad ideas, blame society, blog fu, blogging, gratitude, n900, shameless pandering, steganography on May 28th, 2010 by Hannibal Tabu

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… aaaaaand we’re back.

Welcome to the newly unified Soapbox, my one and only blog for the foreseeable future. This feat of modern code magic would not have been possible without the tireless skill and dogged determination of Suuru Designs (who adapted the hell out of this WordPress theme for me, making it fit the rest of the site) and krischel.org (who wrestled server shenanigans to make it all work), so they both deserve endless praise and gratitude.

Let’s inaugurate this with some self-serving blog-fu, just so we know where all the bodies are preserved in disturbing life-like poses.

Oops. Maybe too soon for that. Oh well. Anyway …

THE RISE OF KHART HADDAS: If all of my blogging is moving here, whatever happened to The Hundred and Four? Well, that’ll now be my own little sandbox to experiment with, where I’ll toss up any crazy thing I get the idea to (which will clear some operating room here on the main domain). It retains everything that went before (I’m touchy that way) while keeping a “heads up display” of my currently abandoned Twitter feed (back in 2011), an RSS of this blog and my linkroll (updated six to seven days a week). Just so ya know.

SEVEN YEARS STRONG: My weekly review column, The Buy Pile continues its largely uninterrupted run (I’ve missed maybe six weeks in seven years, maybe) thanks to the wonderful people at Comic Book Resources and — much to the dismay of many — will not be stopping for the foreseeable future. That H-Teezy reign just won’t let up …

GIVE YOURSELF TO THE DARK SIDE: As many of you might have noticed, this is in fact a WordPress blog … which means I’ll be eating some crow for all the years I said WordPress theme mavens weren’t real coders and what not. I stand corrected. The amazing (and rather labyrinthine) work done by Suuru Designs has shown me the error of my ways, and I accept that not only is this a valid methodology for blogging, but with MaStory going on my N900, it’s almost like live reporting. Just saying — be warned, I could cover anything, anywhere now …

That’s all I have time for, as I have another blog to do and two meetings to prep for. No rest for the wicked. I’d be happy to hear what you think of all this in the comments or what have you, and I thank you for joining me on the ride.

Playing (Music): “Ballad of the Black Gold” by Reflection Eternal

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Cloudy Days: The Fall of Khart Haddas

Posted in blogging, cloud computing, technology, wussing out on May 1st, 2010 by Hannibal Tabu
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… she asked me “how’s the air up there?

The image you see is the view from my office in Pasadena. I just moved into a new office, and I’ll admit that it looks pretty good. I even made my own whimsical version of Megadesk.

This is not what we’re here to discuss.

The day has come, as was foretold with prophecy even in the light of delays and hold ups. Google’s Blogger service is canceling their FTP support, and I’m out.

I’ve had a privately hosted website for many, many years (since 1999, if memory serves) and I love the privacy and freedom it allows. Set up a password-protected directory for information about a party, and then tons of embarrassing photos from said party? Done. Upload musical tracks for people to use as the theme for their fresh new web show? Easy peasy. Keep decades of writing and showcase my experience in multiple industries with an information architecture that borders on the pristine? I’m all over it.

Blogger wants me to come have my site hosted by Google. Now, you know I believe Google is reaching too far with their cloud concepted shenanigans. I don’t want that much of my information in Mountain View, held secure by people who can’t even get their own phone right. I have worked with my hosting company for years, they’re as reliable as death and police oppression, and I’m not inclined to go with an entity that’s clearly on the wrong path.

So my wonderful wife and her delicious design company are reformatting a Wordpress theme and I may be able to freak that … or I may go back to manually FTPing HTML files and making my own RSS. I can’t say today.

What I can say is that The Hundred and Four as you know it will be undergoing its latest transition. First it was an “online symposium and writing journal” for what I thought would be the next generation of brilliant voices, taught to be professionals by the likes of me. That failed miserably. Then I revamped it as my own window into the world, taking my own personal, more introspective blogging to my Soapbox, where I’ve had plenty to say about plenty since 2000 (yeah, I’ve been blogging that long, at least).

Now? Well, the main page (which will get a redesign as of, oh, let’s say Bastille Day, its original launch date) will become a kind of aggregate — my linkroll, (it’s not ironic that I use Google for that, I don’t mind them knowing what I look at, I just don’t want them having what I create), an RSS feed for my CBR column and my Twitter feed when I get back to it, links to people I believe need to be linked to … it’s ultimately gonna be my experimental area, where I’ll create and destroy worlds that most of you will never see (freeing up precious disk space on my main website).

But in a way, we’ll be saying goodbye to this, at least together. I’m not deleting any files here, so it’ll all (sooner or later) be searchable again. But for now, for today …

Shade and sweet water, traveler. See you on the other side, or maybe one day you’ll come visit me where I live, in the day after tomorrow.

Playing (Music): “My Hood” by GemStones

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