Sunday, July 26, 2009

There is a CD, Burn, Burn, Burn

I've been in a bit of an Our Lady Peace mood and I decided to pick up their new album, Burn, Burn, Burn. I heard some good pre-release press and was interested in seeing where exactly the band had landed after several years of spinning their wheels and producing yawn-worthy power pop.

Well, I can't say as it is a terrible album, but they certainly haven't left their current comfort zone. The first single, "All You Did Was Save My Life", is catchy, driving, and gets under your skin after a few listens but, so far, none of the other songs on the album have managed to equal that. I like some of them just fine, but I will find myself humming the new track from time to time. It does require a few more sit downs and listens before I give it my final verdict, but I'm not holding out hope for it making its way into the same category as their first four efforts which defined their sound and writing so expertly that anything since has seemed trite.

One of my favourite songs from the band, and one of my all-time favourite videos, is a track called "Thief".



Friday, July 24, 2009

Sort of SDCC Related

In 2000 I made a Comikaze trip down to San Diego with my buddy Karl. It was the first time I ever attended the con, and I was going under the auspices of doing some coverage for FEARS Magazine, a web publication that I was writing for that was run by a very cool cat named Ed Flynn. Almost on a whim (I think we decided the same day we left on the trip), Karl and I rented a car, loaded up our stuff and drove 33 odd hours from Saskatoon to San Diego (with a few stops in-between for sustenance and one stop in Vegas which was more curiosity than anything else).

I have a lot of fond memories of that con. I met Chris Carter whose shows I have been loving for the last 15 years or so, and even got to ask him a question on the X-Files/Lone Gunmen panel that made all the news sites by the time I got home (I asked him about Millennium, what the future holds for the series and was he truly happy with the 'closure' they gave the character of Frank Black in the New Year X-Files episode, "Millennium"). I met Will Eisner and got to shake his hand and thank him for all of his excellent work over the years, not to mention getting my Spirit Archives Volume 1 autographed. I did some great video interviews including one with Jill Thompson that I especially enjoyed. Nobody has ever seen the video outside of me (although the text for which has been transcribed and published) which I may remedy in the future. I had a chance to talk to Jose Ladronn and Sylvain Despretz (who, when I asked him for a sketch, wanted to clarify that I actually knew who he was since he wasn't really a comic book guy), met Walt Simonson, Sergio Aragones, Bob Burden, Brian Azzarello, Stan Sakai, and Mike Mignola. It was good times.

Outside of the con, Karl and I hung around with friends Kaare Andrews (who was living in town while doing work for Wildstorm), Trevor McCarthy (who taught me how to talk like a New Yorker should I ever find myself in the City), and a retailer out of Edmonton named Kelly (whose last name I shamefully forget). Karl played pool with Howard Simpson, we crashed the Wizard party, and closed the show down with an extra day in SD, spending most of it on the beach to recharge before making the epic trek back home.

At the con I managed to snag a sketch by Duncan Fegredo which remains one of my most prized possessions. Shade the Changing Man was an important series for me during the Peter Milligan run and Fegredo did some of the most amazing painted covers for that book. I loved them all. It was one of the things I looked forward to every month. So, I stood in line and when it was my turn I asked Duncan to either draw me one of two characters: one whose identity escapes me at the moment, and the other was a Mad, Mod, Poet God. He chose the latter and I was ever so happy he did.

I always intended on framing some of the sketches I acquired at SDCC and I never got around to it until tonight when I finally set it up and hung it on the wall. Jen has been pushing to finally start putting up some art or posters or pictures or something to beautify the homestead a bit, so we put up one of my favourite Moonshadow posters and the Shade image, so far. I've attached images of them (taken with my shitty phone, I know) below so you can get an idea of what I'm talking about.

So, yeah, I just wanted to share that little tidbit. I'll be framing my Usagi Yojimbo, Scary Godmother, Sylvain Despretz rendition of Maximus from Gladiator and a Mike Mignola Hellboy sketch as soon as I get some matte boards for the frames. Until then, I'll have to enjoy ol' Shade for a while, which shouldn't be hard because the image gives me a lotta joy.

Take care!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Music Quest

Canadian rock band, Our Lady Peace, just released their new album and it got me buzzing around iTunes checking out some older OLP material that I, for some reason, do not own. Not even in one of those 'less-than-legal' ways, either.

While buzzing around I was reminded that Raine Maida, frontman for the band (and husband to Chantal Kreviazuk, for anyone who cares about that sort of thing), put out a solo album a couple of years ago (called The Hunters Lullaby) which I remember pretty much ignoring at the time it was released. In fact, he was even here playing at a local pub and I decided it wouldn't be worth my time to go see him without the whole OLP ensemble and anthemic rock music. I had yet to hear any of his solo material and just assumed I wouldn't care much for it. It is possible that someone might have told me he got all folky, or something.

So, looking at it in the online store I was also reminded that Jen had bought a song or two off of it and I remembered kind of liking the song she played for me. She just started playing it off of her laptop one afternoon and asked if I could guess who this artist was, which I did. "Who's This?", by the way, is a 'game' we 'lovingly' play in our household but the question is usually directed at Jen and not me.

Anyway, I got the title from her, downloaded it myself and I've been listening to it ever since. Here's the video I found for it off of the YouTube:

I'm just loving the song and I think the idea behind the video is kind of neat, too. Wandering around Toronto busking for War Child. Works for me. I do feel a little special needs for letting my snobbishness get in the way of discovering some cool new music, though. Everything in its time, I guess.

Well, I hope you enjoy the track as much as I do. I'm heading back into the iTunes store to search for more goodies. I found a Sloan song I didn't even know existed and some previously rare Chapterhouse stuff, so I'm kind of jazzed right now.

Take care!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday, Bob Burden!

I sort of missed this one a few days back but one of my very favourite funny book people, Bob Burden, just had a birthday and I wanted to give a proper Meanwhile... shout out to him. Anyone who has been buying/reading comics for the last few years should know about his wacky creation, the Flaming Carrot, and the crazy surrealist joy that his characters have brought to many a fan (this one included).

One of my favourite stories involving Bob came from an interview we did a few years back where he outlined what he would do if he was allowed to work on some Marvel heroes. This was a period where editor Axel Alonso was bringing in talent like Peter Milligan, Jim Mahfood, Mike Allred, and a number of names nobody could have predicted would work on a Marvel book. It had something to do with Iron Man and Dr. Doom, a beach and someone's vacation being ruined. It sounded like a winner in my book.

Anyway, Bob turned 57 on July 19th, so Happy Birthday, Bob!



Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Who You Gonna Call?

First the game, now this. I'm in freakin' heaven these days!

I'll have some comments on the aforementioned game in the near(?) future as I am 3/4 of the way through as of this writing, and it's just too cool to not rave about it in a post sometime soon.

Until then, enjoy!


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Road Rage

There are few things that bother me like someone who is already breaking one or more traffic laws looking at you like you're an asshole if you're somehow making it difficult for them to break another.

This is why I want a rocket launcher mod to my Focus.


Jon J Muth

I've been on a bit of a Muth kick of late (some of that has to do with the reasons why my mind has been blown, if you're curious) and I ran across these neat videos of Jon that I thought I would share...

...and this one is a bit of an EPK style promo discussing his latest Zen book...

That's all for now. Catch you later!