Sunday, January 28, 2007

Pandora

See the new addition to the sidebar?

I've discovered through Billboard Magazine's website a cool little gadget called Pandora. It's basically a tool for you to discover new music based on your tastes.

It's a customizable radio station. Well... as many radio stations as you want to create.

What you do is give it an artist or name of a song and it uses it's highly complex list of styles to cross-reference them with all the other songs and artists out there. Then it creates a station based on those similarities.

You can make a station based on just one artist, like Tori Amos, or you can combine multiple artists to get an ultimate listening experience (my White Zombie station is actually using two seeds: White Zombie and Rob Zombie).

Once you're done, you'll have a station that plays music by the artists you chose as well as whoever sounds much like them.

Here's the seeds for the stations so far:

COUNTRY- Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, Rodney Atkins, Sugarland and Tim McGraw.

TORI AMOS RADIO- Tori Amos.

POST MODERN- Depeche Mode, Love And Rockets, Siouxsie And The Banshees, The Church and The Cure.

DANCE- Beyonce, Frankie Knuckles, Madonna, Pepper Mashay & The Electro Illusion and Ultra Nate.

NU ROCK- Jet, Juliette & The Licks, The Hives, The Killers, The Strokes, The Vines, The White Stripes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

AMP- Aphex Twin, Autechre, C.J Bolland, Fluke, Howie B, Ken Ishii, Kraftwerk, Massive Attack, Morcheeba, Orbital, Prodigy, Sun Electric, The Chemical Brothers, The Future Sound Of London, Tricky and Underworld.

PSYHEDELIA- 13th Floor Elevators, Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, It's A Beautiful Day, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, Led Zeppelin, Spirit, Steve Miller Band, The Byrds, The Human Expression, The Moody Blues and The Yardbirds.

PUNK- Rancid and The Distillers.

WHITE ZOMBIE RADIO- Rob Zombie and White Zombie. Scum of the Earth wasn't available.

FOLKISH RADIO- Ani Difranco, Arlo Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, Dan Bern, Dar Williams, Gillian Welch, Greg Brown, Holly Near, James Taylor, Janis Ian, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Martin Sexton, Odetta, Paul Simon, Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, The Weavers, Tracy Chapman and Woody Guthrie.

HIPSTER RADIO- Beck and Cat Power.

EXOTICA- Esquivel, Les Baxter, Martin Denny and Yma Sumac.

AND ALL THAT JAZZ- Anita O'Day, Archie Shepp, Astrud Gilberto, Betty Carter, Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby, Blossom Dearie, Cal Tjader, Carmen McRae, Count Basie, Dinah Washington, Dizzy Gillespie, Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Hugh Masekela, Jimmy Smith, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Natalie Cole, Nina Simone, Oscar Brown, Jr., Ramsey Lewis, Sarah Vaughan, Shirley Horn, Tito Puente, Tony Bennett and Willie Bobo.

SWING RADIO- Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Brian Setzer, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Louis Prima and Squirrel Nut Zippers.

ALT RADIO- Barenaked Ladies and Smash Mouth.

ROCK RADIO- Def Leppard, Heart and Scorpions.

SKA PUNK- Fishbone, No Doubt, Operation Ivy, Rancid, Reel Big Fish, Sublime and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

PSYCHOBILLY- Mojo Nixon, Nashville Pussy, Reverend Horton Heat, Southern Culture On The Skids, The Cramps, The Gibson Brothers, The Gun Club and The Legendary Stardust Cowboy.

MIDNIGHT IN THE CITY- Bjork, Coldcut, DJ Krush, DJ Shadow, Fatboy Slim, Fila Brazillia, Howie B, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Massive Attack, Portishead, The Chemical Brothers, The Future Sound Of London, Thievery Corporation, Tricky, Unkle and Wagon Christ.

MYST RADIO- Deep Forest, Enigma and Enya.

A NIGHT AT THE BAR- Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles.

There's also a "Quick Mix" feature that shuffles stations you select for those days that you just don't know what you want to listen to.

Go here to listen to any of these stations or to create your own personal playlist. You can also just click on any of the station links on the sidebar.
Real nifty!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Some Sketches

Not great pieces of art. Just a few textbook exercises to get myself up to a better level.




Saturday, January 20, 2007

Don't You Hate It When...

Don't you hate it when you're drifting off to sleep and you have a cool idea... And you lay there pondering whether or not you'll remember it the next day... Until you finally decide to get up and write it down so you'll have something to remind you of what the idea was...

But then the next day you rush off to work and forget that you had an idea or that you even wrote anything down...

Then a few days pass by... And you remember having a cool idea... And you remember writing it down so you wouldn't forget it... But you can't remember where you wrote it..?

Drivin' me crazy, I'll tell ya...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Being a Little Creative

I updated my art gallery with some more pics. Mostly pages that haven't made it into my comics.

I'm also working on updating my 'Nuther World Comics blog. First order of business is to get everything set up in a more easy to read fashion.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Thursday, January 11, 2007

MARVEL ADVENTURES: To Try Or Not To Try


So the Marvel Adventures line has been making a little news lately with the all-MODOC issue of MARVEL ADVENTURES: THE AVENGERS.

So after looking the preview for that over, I was a bit intrigued.

Then I found that Comic Book Resources just did a two-part spotlight on the line. Here's what they had to say: Part One, Part Two.

The feature started off pretty promising with the line editor, Mark Paniccia, saying "You're not going to find a story that's specifically geared for seven year-old. You're going to get a story that can entertain anyone from age seven to 70."

And then, "First off, they're all self-contained. Since these books are going out to the mass market, there's a good chance this is someone's first experience with a comic. We want to make sure they get a beginning, middle and an end--that the experience is satisfying and something unique.

"Second, we're very careful content-wise. There are things we stay away from such as guns, risqué situations or anything we think might be too graphic. And you know what, you don't need those things for a great story. The books are straight up, awesome adventures that an adult can read and feel comfortable passing on to a younger reader."

Could it be..?

I may have found something else to check out.

Currently there are three Marvel Adventures titles:
SPIDER-MAN
FANTASTIC FOUR
THE AVENGERS

And there's a fourth new title beginning this year with a special preview geared for Free Comic Book Day.
X-MEN would be a sure bet. But I wouldn't be surprised if it was an anthology series much like ADVENTURES IN THE DC UNIVERSE was. Perhaps MARVEL TEAM-UP.

The Spirit Index


***



BATMAN/THE SPIRIT
Written by Jeph Loeb & Darwyn Cooke
Art by Cooke & J. Bone
Cover by Cooke
Will Eisner's legendary hero The Spirit returns for a monumental meeting with the Dark Knight in this special one-shot event written by comics luminaries Jeph Loeb (SUPERMAN/ BATMAN) & Darwyn Cooke (DC: THE NEW FRONTIER) with art by Cooke & J. Bone!
When the American Criminologist Association holds its annual convention, its members are unaware that America's criminals are holding a gathering of their own. And when Batman's rogue gallery joins forces with the Spirit's colorful criminals, things can only get worse!
With dozens of villains on the loose and the nation's security at stake, two very different crimefighters must come together to save the day. Guest-starring just about everyone from the supporting casts of both comic-book icons - including Robin, Catwoman, the Joker, Ebony, P'Gell, Commissioner Dolan and more - this is an historic comics event you won't want to miss!
On sale November 29 o 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US Edited by Mark Chiarello




***



THE SPIRIT #1
Written by Darwyn Cooke
Art by Cooke & J. Bone
Cover by Cooke
Acclaimed writer/artist Darwyn Cooke (DC: THE NEW FRONTIER) sets his sights on Will Eisner's classic hero The Spirit in this all-new monthly series that maintains the "spirit" of Eisner's creation while bringing a new sensibility to the character. The Spirit, a.k.a. Denny Colt, joins Commissioner Dolan and his daughter Ellen in this go-for-broke, shoot-the-lights-out crime story!
When ace television reporter Ginger Coffee is abducted by a crimelord she was about to run an exposé on, The Spirit is called in to investigate. Finding her is tough enough, but getting out alive is a whole other matter!
Don't miss the first exciting issue, filled with action, adventure, humor and sexy girls!
On sale December 20 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US Edited by Scott Dunbier



***



THE SPIRIT #2
Written by Darwyn Cooke
Art by Cooke & J. Bone
Cover by Cooke
Darwyn Cooke's reimagining of The Spirit continues! The Spirit is confronted by his old nemesis, P'Gell, who has designs on a wealthy member of an Arab royal family, Prince Farouk. P'Gell, quite possibly the sexiest seductress in comics history, uses her womanly wiles to achieve her ends - as the Spirit does what he can to thwart her!
On sale January 17 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US



***



THE SPIRIT #3
Written by Darwyn Cooke Cover by Cooke
Art by Cooke & J. Bone
Investigating a gang shooting at a local restaurant, the Spirit and Commissioner Dolan make a startling discovery - the gunman apparently was killed years before, on the same night the Spirit came to be. Later, his mind wanders back to that fateful evening when Denny Colt met his destiny, and a legend was born.
On sale February 21 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US



***



THE SPIRIT #4
Written by Darwyn Cooke
Art by Cooke & J. Bone Cover by Cooke
The Spirit is on the trail of a master criminal in a Mexican bordertown. But the tables are soon turned, and he's on the run, now chained to the seductive Silk Satin, a CIA agent also tracking the villain. Can our duo make their escape from the ever-spreading tentacles of…The Octopus?
On sale March 21 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
***



THE SPIRIT #5
Written by Darwyn Cooke
Art by Cooke & J. Bone
Cover by Cooke
The Spirit's likeness has been hijacked and slapped on a rather unappetizing little product called "Spirit Pork & Beans Spread," much to our hero's chagrin. The culprit is one Mr. Carrion, an eccentric con artist. But it seems Mr. C is in over his head this time after he's paid a visit by a decidedly more brutal member of the Spirit's rogues gallery…
On sale April 18 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
***



THE SPIRIT #6
Written by Darwyn Cooke
Art by Cooke & J. Bone
Cover by Cooke
A young musician's life changes dramatically when he stumbles across a fallen meteor with a strange light emanating from it - bathed in its eerie glow he finds his musical abilities enhanced...and his skin color changed to blue! Things are coming up roses for our young friend until people start turning up dead, and an odd shade of blue. Time for the Spirit to intervene!
On sale May 16 o 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US
***


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Review: BATMAN/THE SPIRIT #1 and THE SPIRIT #1


So I just read BATMAN/THE SPIRIT #1 and THE SPIRIT #1...

A couple of the best books I've read in a long time. Unlike most comics, I didn't end up with a feeling that there should have been more. Both stories were complete and still very entertaining.

The BATMAN/SPIRIT was particularly charming because we got to see a rather large part of Batman's rogues mingling with The Spirit's most well known foes. Drawn by Darwyn Cooke no less!
There were a few throwbacks to the '60s tv show with Robin doing at least one "Holy ____!" and a few crooked angle panels... And I didn't find myself complaining one bit.

Why can't there be a Batman book like this? With all the titles out there for him, what's one light-hearted book gonna hurt? Huh??

I have to say that Jeph Loeb did an excellent job with this and I would love to see him and Cooke collaborate again sometime in the future.

Meanwhile, Cooke proves to us in THE SPIRIT #1 that he's not incapable of telling a good story, himself. The story moves along at a steady pace and sets up the characters' personalities quite well.

I'm not sure if Ginger Coffee is a new character or not, but I'm betting she's going to be giving Ellen some grief over the next year or so. She's a perfect foil.

Ginger was quite appealing as the "Lois Lane" without remorse. I remember reading the previews with her describing their actions out loud and I was thinking there must have been something wrong with the character or Darwyn fell into a bad habit of over-exposition. After seeing what led to it and why, I could see how that fit so well.

The Pill was a unique oddity to be sure, somewhat reminiscent of Batman's Clayface. I'm sure we'll see more of him, but I don't see him becoming a major player anytime soon.

Oh and I thought the ticker news reports were a nice touch, too. I got a good chuckle out of a couple of them.

I'm definitely looking forward to the next issue.
And the next.
And... the next...

What Am I Into Now..?

Well... after a few months of being out of the comic shops and workin' my ass off... I'm settling back down and trying to remember where I left off on all the comics I was reading.

I'm still waiting for the return of MADMAN sometime in March or April.


I've always been a big Madman fan. I have to admit that I'm still missing a few issues, though. Mainly because something else is always grabbing my attention and keeping me from having the funds needed to pick them up. Oh, and that I would have to order them, since the local comic shop doesn't have many of them.

However, when the new #1 comes out and if it's as good as I'm hoping, it'll get the fire rekindled and I'll climb mountains and swim rivers to get those holes filled.

Next on my list of books that have me interested is Darwyn Cooke's SPIRIT. The first issue is out as we speak but I've not been to the comic shop so I have yet to see how it measures up.


I've liked virtually everything that Darwyn has both written and drawn. Even with the minor inconsistencies in NEW FRONTIER, I was enthralled with his style of storytelling. And he's only getting better.

I'm thrilled to see DC giving him his own monthly ongoing and matching him with Will Eisner's Spirit seems like a perfect fit.

Another book I'm looking forward to is also helmed by a solo creator. I tend to like these types of comics the most. Simply because when you have one creator doing both the writing and art I find it more focused and expressionistic. When the creator starts drawing the comic, the writing hasn't stopped. If he or she feels that throwing in a character or a visual clue would be appropriate, then there's no one to consult.

This other book is Jeff Smith (of BONE)'s SHAZAM: THE MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL.
It's only four issues and in prestige format, but it's gotta be a great slice of comic book excitement!



Unfortunately, those are the only books that have me totally psyched.

Dynamite Entertainment's SAVAGE TALES has me a little interested. I've tried reading RED SONJA recently, but I just couldn't get into it. Same with CONAN.
I would love to find a sword & sorcery book to get lost in but the stories I've read just weren't pulling me in.
The last time I read a good fantasy comic was back when SOJOURN was being published.

The only book that's survived my recent departure from comics is SHADOWPACT. And the sad thing is that it's losing my interest. It started off with so much promise but it's lost a bit of steam. I just don't have the strong desire to know what these characters are going to be doing next month.

100 BULLETS...
Oh, how I need to get caught up on this one.
Really.
I can't believe I let this one go unchecked for so long.

I need to get back into LOVE AND ROCKETS, too. Of course, the main reason why I've let the current series run on without me picking it up in so long is that I'm still behind on the original series. I have several of the trades and I want to read those first.

Not to mention that I got tangled up in the DC and Marvel cross-overs. Well... DC, anyway...
And the small-press comics always are the first to suffer when my monthly pull list starts getting too big.

So there we have it.

MADMAN
THE SPIRIT
SHAZAM: THE MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL
100 BULLETS

And maybe SAVAGE TALES.

Seems I still have room for about five more books.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Savage Tales Returns...



... And Red Sonja and Cthulu are the main stars.

The first issue hits in March and includes:
-Red Sonja (part 1) by Ron Marz, Adriano Batista
-Gleaming Atlantis by writers Leah Moore and John Reppion with artists Pablo Marcos and Stjepan Sejic
-The Hunter -- from the pages of Red Sonja -- from writers Luke Lieberman and Michael Avon Oeming with artist Matt Smith
-Cthulu and The Old Ones by Mike Raict and artist Pere.

$4.99 cover-price. Same as a pack of cigarettes. And lasts longer, too!

Movie of the Year?!


I'm sooo looking forward to this movie.
Official website is here.