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Dean Haspiel

History

7th January 2005

2:21am: Knockdown Drag Out
Finally got around to watching DEATHDREAM [originally titled DEAD OF NIGHT], a 1974 subtle horror combo of zombie, vampire, and Vietnam war political protest. This quiet, low-budget movie makes a curious impact. I was chilled yet deeply moved by the final shot. Nothing can stop the power of a mother's love for her child. Almost nothing. I also watched CITY OF GOD, a modern Shakespearean cautionary tale taking place in the violent slums of Rio De Janeiro. The cinematography, storytelling, and acting were majestic.

I've been drawing Pekar's THE QUITTER at a steady clip [20-pages inked, thus far] and writing short A-OKAY COOL scripts for my proposed Image series, AS BIG AS EARTH, a 2-man superhero anthology with cohort Scott Morse. Otherwise, nothing new to report.

dinoblack videotaped Patton Oswalt and David Cross comedy for me to watch and laugh at on my lunch breaks. Including the show I attended for Oswalt's Comedy Central special, NO REASON TO COMPLAIN. Thanks! dinoblack was also kind enough to make me a copy of Mos Def's THE NEW DANGER, because he thought I would like it. Bro, I hated it. Had to turn it off after the 5th track and throw it against the wall. I dig Mos Def's acting and the jams he flexed in BLACKSTAR, but, damn, this cd is worse than the ear-fuckery that talentless sham, Wyclef Jean, culls and calls music! What did you like about this album?

Barely making it through the "Sins Past" storyline in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, where Straczynski rapes the memory of Gwen Stacy, JMS gives Peter Parker his very own Victor Von Doom [dating back to high school] in the new arc "Skin Deep." I dunno. JMS can spin a solid yarn, but maybe it's time for him to retire his web-shooter? Curious to see how JMS and Mike McKone follow Waid & Ringo's nearly sublime run on FF [nearly, because that Frightful Four story was for the birds]. Brubaker has consistently knocked SLEEPER out of the ballpark and his take on CAPTAIN AMERICA is the comic book equivalent to 24 [speaking of 24: season 4 debuts this Sunday!]. I dare Marvel NOT to let Brubaker and GOTHAM CENTRAL cohort, Michael Lark, follow Bendis & Maleev's awesome run on DAREDEVIL. Double dare. A shame Bruce Jones' great run on HULK ended on a whimper. It felt rushed. Sloppy. As if editorial finally caved in to the fans poor distaste for good old fashioned mystery and horror. Puny humans! Jones & Lee's HARD KNOCKS was fun if unnecessary. After taking sabbatical, INCREDIBLE HULK is back on the racks. This time with HULK veteran Peter David returning to write it. I never read David's decade long run on the title but fans did which makes me suspicious. Still, Lee Weeks and Tom Palmer drew this, so I had to try it. So far, so good. I don't know what my opinion of Bendis' AVENGERS [old and new] is. I think I like it. I wish there were more meat added to them there potatoes per issue, but he's got me buying my first AVENGERS comics since the '80s. So, I guess he's doing something right, or at the very least, compelling. I like Millar & Hitch's THE ULTIMATES much better. Vaughan continues to rock Y THE LAST MAN and EX MACHINA. I look forward to the return of THE RUNAWAYS. Azzarello & Risso are keeping it lively with 100 BULLETS, but Azz's SUPERMAN is hurting me like a bad paper cut that won't heal. Is the big reveal of "the vanishing" that, by the 13th issue of this 12-issue arc, there won't be more suffering? Still, I believe in Azzarello. Don't let me down!

brianwood and Becky Cloonan's perfect 12-issue DEMO ended on a beautiful note [I think they flew UP off the roof...], and Jim Rugg continues to rule the ghetto with STREET ANGEL, as does Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard's THE WALKING DEAD, and the Luna Bros.' ULTRA. Grabbed new launches of CONCRETE and FLAMING CARROT and the final issue of BLACKHOLE. Haven't read 'em yet but it's good to see indie/alt fare making it back into my regular pull of mostly super-dupers. Dave Cooper released another beautifully ugly book of pillowy girls called UNDERBELLY. He should've titled it FAT UPPER PUSSY. I'll probably read ELRIC once the 4th issue is released, but I'm overjoyed to have new and brilliant Simonson art to steep in. Simonson is one of the few artists who gets better with age.

Based on a recommendation from alexdecampi, I scored YOU GOT NOTHING COMING by Jimmy A. Lerner. Subtitle boasts "Notes from a prison fish.'" The first page made me cringe. I had to have it.

I added another album to my white music collection; the YEAH YEAH YEAHS "Fever to Tell." It's crunchy and it squeaks. I like it. Okay -- I have "Ziggy Stardust," "Diamond Dogs," and "Hunky Dory." What is the 4th BOWIE album I MUST-HAVTA-GOTTA own?

I picked up old pal Josh Neufeld at his A FEW PERFECT HOURS book signing at Jim Hanley's Universe [90 CANDLES cohort, rantcomics was signing, too!] and we split for JOEY THAI with zegas [who just finished a great 10pp crime western parody called "The Big Fat Noon" written by buddy, Jim Dougan], Nick Bertozzi, and Leland Purvis. Nick gave me Robert McKee's STORY, and an advanced galley of his graphic novel, THE SALON, to read. Leland talked about putting together materials for VOX V, and I got him hip to Dougan's western for a possible collaboration.

Talking shit the other day, I claimed my three favorite real life action heroes of all time. I nominated Mohammed Ali, Bruce Lee, and Steve McQueen. Hard to argue their merits. I'd drop their ghosts into a knockdown drag-out crime fiction, kung-fu western. The Shaw Brothers meets Sergio Leone in a Robert Aldrich epic. Throw in Romero zombies and you may have the best fiction ever told.

Who are your Top 3 and how would you handle them?


AND -- because avphibes prompted LJers to show off a snapshot from their youth, here I was...Collapse )
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