An early contender for one of the BEST podcasts of the year! Larry Lieber on Stan Lee!

 

 

 

 

 

A simply stupendous interview with Larry Lieber, brother to the great Stan Lee, and unsung hero/creator in his own right.

A vocal few people like to praise Kirby, and then feel they can’t do that, without also taking shots at Stan Lee. A very diseased American either/or idea, that you can’t praise something without tearing something else down.

I’ll have no truck with that.

Stan Lee was (is? I think genius is a fleeting time frame for the best of us. It is an alchemic time that is short lived for the best of us) a genius… Full Stop. And his greatest genius besides his enthusiasm and invention and superlative imagination and ideas, and great writing, was he knew how to find and cheer-lead talent. And inspire talent and appreciation in and for others.

I don’t care how talented you are, either as an artist or writer, what you need is someone to champion that talent and get the masses excited. This is what Stan Lee did, he took a denigrated kids medium, and moved it from the corner store into the College campuses. And from the College campuses to the larger mainstream culture of television, music, merchandising and finally Movies.

Stan Lee did that.

Not alone at the end, but alone at the beginning, he was the visionary who saw a future for these four colored mythologies, beyond the recycling bin. He believed in outrageous ideas like a life for these four color concepts beyond their newsprint origins. He believed in a bookstore life for these books, when that was as much a thing of fiction as the stories in the books themselves.

And he did this by finding and celebrating talent.Like Kirby, like Ditko, Like Romito, Like Heck, Like Buscema, like Roy Thomas.And like his Brother Steve Lieber. Absolutely fantastic interview, I say again. I found myself tearing up during it. And my appreciation for Stan Lee is already immense, him helping train and teach his brother, only increased it. And my appreciation for Larry Lieber has skyrocketed. I’m on a mission now to pick up all his work as writer and artist.
Listen now, true Believer!

 

 

 

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Podcast of the Day : Episode 286: The July Previews Catalog & Bendis Trojan Horse!?!

Podcast of the Day : Episode 286: The July Previews Catalog & Bendis Trojan Horse!?!

http://comicsalternative.com/episode-286-the-july-previews-catalog/

Great podcast, around the 30 to 40 minute mark you’ll find a nice bit on how everything  thoughtful is somewhat political. Give a listen.

It is a nice overview of items you can find in this Month’s Previews.

Previews for those uninitiated is a prE-ordering system for comic books. Especially with the outrageous cover prices Marvel and now DC are charging (I’m telling you, Brian Bendis was a Trojan horse for Marvel 🙂 , jumping ship to eff up DC’s lower, and more successful $2.99 pricing structure. I was picking up a good # of DC $2.99 books, but suddenly Bendis defects to DC, after defending Marvel’s awful business practices and price points for years, and now DC’s books (with a couple welcome holdouts) have shifted to the higher; and in my view, too expensive, Marvel price point of $3.99 minimum).

Pre-Ordering comics allows you to save (depending on the service you use) between 30% and 50% off cover price.

A sizable savings off the no-discount you would receive if you wait to  get the books off-the racks at your local retailer, when they come out.

The deadline to order upcoming comics at a sizeable discount, this month is 25 july. So in a few days at the time of this writing.

Thankfully there are several online retailers that allow you to preorder your comics and have them mailed to you. I’ve tried them all, Milehigh, Westfield, DCBS, to name a few, and while not the cheapest, the one I find to be the best, with the best packing, best customer service, and best quality of service and ease of use… is MY COMIC SHOP.

Order them here:

https://www.mycomicshop.com/subscriptionservice/previews?AffID=200301P01

Come back in a little bit and I’ll have up my list of must buys! I will give you a hint, fire marvel and dc (the movies are much better than the books anyhow. case in point, in the comics they moronically feel the need to both ride off the coattails of the movie version of nick fury, and diminish him at the same time, Black nick fury as white nick fury’s son??? that is just stupid.

what moronic writer came up with that lame, and more than a bit wasp centric idea?

Oh nick spencer. 

yeah, why am i not surprised. 🙂

I KID because i love! Unlike the moronic anti social justice warrior crowD, [basically any idiot who thinkS he is so witty for having a new short hand derogatory label, ‘SJW’, to try and diminish something that scares them, and they don’t quite understand. if they weren’t attacking sjw, they would be burning crosses no doubt. :). if you are subscribed to these clickbait morons on youtube or etc, stop being part of the problem and unsubscribe from them.

] i do not give an eff about cap being a hydra agent for two minutes. i just didm’t buy them.but it enforces a precedent of spencer perhaps not having the greatest ideas. 🙂

here’s an idea. marvel has a multiverse. why can’t the sam jackson nick fury, be his own man. from that splendid multiverse, where he is called nick fury and he is black, and his dad was black, and his mom was black, and his grand parents were black, like the sam jackson nick fury would have to be with a complexion that dark. 🙂

and that should be a great and fine thing! we have some mixed, melting pot families. that’s fine. but we have a lot that are not, and that should be fine too!

why does he have to be a junior to the wwii version of nick fury. it is worse than being blindly bigoted, which a lot of supposedly liberal people are… it is just stupid.

that is why the movies are better than the comics, they have better writers, and other creative people. and don’t get me started on tom king’s batman. talk about the emperor not having any clothes.

tom king is a fantastic writer. his ‘vision’ is i think, without argument, a masterpiece. However there is a repetition to king’s writing, and having the suicidal, deranged, falling apart protagonist that worked so well for the vision, as his goto archetype for every subsequent story is a failing.

it worked less well for the omega men, jury is out on on mister miracle, and it absolutely does not fit with batman. i am suicide? as the definition of batman? it is  the absolute oposite of everything it would take to endure, which is the definition of batman that rings the truest.

I took the trouble of getting and reading the five volumes of his batman run from the library, it is not good. i think he has one voice for all his male protaginists, and it is a voice that doesn’t fit his batman run. that said, when he gets away from his ‘not working’ longer storyline, and sticks to self contained stories, that’s when you see the genius of tom king.

HIS BATMAN ANNUAL 2 is case in point. forget trying to weave this long form story, and delivering issue after issue that underwhelms, give me a 100 stand alone stories of the quality of batman annual 2.

unfortunately he took the wrong thing from the success of that annual. he thought it was about milking that one storyline for a hundred issues, the strength of that issue is it was complete onto itself. king is trying to do doug moench, when he should be trying to do frank robbins. self contained over long form

 

How is that for an aside?! :))

so all that to say fire the over-priced, variant and gimmick saturated marvel and dc comics , and get periodical comics from people who respect their readers and just want to tell good stories in the periodical format. marvel and dc, do have fantastic creators, but they are being sabotaged by $4 to $8 ‘high way robbery’ price points. i absolutely want to read coates’ captain america and black panther, priests’ deathstroke, same for many other books. i refuse to pay their price gouging amounts. rather do what i do, wait for them to be collected and either read it for free from the library or buy it at a discount at your local bookstore or online store.

marvel and dc, are pridefully ignorant, a catching disease as our political landscape shows too well. such ignorance can not be reasoned with, it must be actively chastised the only way the pridefully ignorant understand, in dollars and cents.

stop buying them in periodical form. job done.

and instead buy periodicals from companies that are still excited by that format and price point. buy from the new marvel and the new dc for the 21st century.

 

I’m talking of the Canadian company CHAPTER HOUSE, AND THE AMERICAN COMPANY ALTERNA. AT LESS THAN HALF THE PRICE OF MARVEL AND DC, I BUY EVERYTHING THESE GUYS PUT OUT. THESE GUYS MAY JUST BE THE NEW, AND GOOD, MARVEL AND DC. 🙂

 

***********

2018 : The resurgence of BOXING Interest in the US!

The last couple years have shown a real resurgence in mainstream US interest in Boxing.

 

Now that Interest has never waned abroad, and is arguably stronger than it has ever been everywhere from England to Russia, but only in the States that for most of the 20th century was the heart and head and seat of professional Boxing (The home of Boxing’s greatest champions From Jack Johnson to Evander Holyfield), has Boxing been shuffled off the main stage, into all but minor league obscurity.

And while MMA is undoubtably big these days, it is not Boxing. And it is not better than Boxing, it exercises different interests, the way Soccer differs from Football. They both have their strengths.

For my money while MMA has its strengths, and I am glad for its growth, that growth should not come at the expense of Boxing. Anymore than the growth in Rugby should mean we stop giving airtime to Football.

While I like MMA as a discipline and there have been many great matches, the standup game of Boxing and that specification of strikes, and limitation of styles, lends itself to truly epic engagements deserving of apellations such as fight of the year, far more often and regularly than MMA.

 

Boxing due to its length and its style lends itself to being… more than a sprint, when you have two great fighters and styles in the boxing ring, you get these epic engagements of will that allows you to see a fighter’s chin tested and his endurance tested in a way that the sprint, submission style of MMA, rarely lends itself to.

Again there are many great fighters and matches in the past and present of MMA, from the domination years of Royce Gracie to the domination years of Sakuraba to the domination years of Anderson Silva to the current domination years of fantastic fighters such as Jon Jones (currently the best UFC fighter and a personal favorite, who I like to introduce, whenever I see him fight, in my best Boxing Announcer voice as… ‘JON JONES…… THE MARTIAN MANHUNTER!!!!! You have to be a comic book fan to get the reference, but I think that is way better than the idiotic nickname of ‘BONES’ that they give him) and such phenoms as Buakaw (if you do not know that name, go searching for any of his over 200 professional fights. Yes I said over 200 fights!!!!! He is the stuff of legend.); but these exceptions aside, as a whole Boxing’s stand up style lends itself to far more interesting engagements.

 

I recently watched (on the big screen TV, I don’t watch video on a phone or tablet or laptop. If I am going to take the time to watch something, I want to watch it as close to its intended scale as possible. Only then can you get close to adequately consuming, or reviewing and forming and intelligent opinion on the content consumed.  David Lean’s LAWRENCE OF ARABIA  seen in 70mm on a full size movie theater, which I have done, is a completely richer experience than watching it on someone’s LCD monitor. How you consume content, is part and parcel of the experience), courtesy of the Youtube App on my Roku device, a bevy of classic 70s and 80s Boxing matches, with men who fought true wars in the ring.

 

Of course Ali, Frazier, Norton, George Foreman (people remember Foreman for his later post Ali years as Champion and beloved funny guy and elder statesman of boxing, but during his first life, as a boxer, that went from 1969 to 1977, this guy… in a heavyweight scene full of fearsome men, was the most feared man on the entire planet.

He was a young, gigantic, brutal,and undefeatable force of nature breaking everything in his path. Ivan Drago’s character in Rocky 4, the character played by Dolph Lundgren (‘I will break you.’) that was George Foreman in the late 60s early 70s. An unbeatable force of nature, till a man called Ali found a way to beat him.)

 

And similar, stuff of legend wars… were fought in the lighter divisions by men with names like Tommy the Hitman Hearnes, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Roberto the man with the hands of Stone Duran, And Sugar Ray Leonard.

I watched the 1st Duran Hearnes fight, then I watched the Hearnes Sugar Ray fight, and its eight year later sequel.

Here is the thing people forget about Hearnes, he much like George Foreman, because of his height and frame and reach… was something new in boxing for his weight class. A kid, like they all were back then, coming out of Detroit he cut through the middlewight division like a knife, earning the name of Hitman by knocking out everyone he faced. An undefeated champion, he and Sugar Ray Leonard, also a champion, would meet in September 1981 for a winner take all unification match.

It was called the showdown and lived up to its billing. Being a 15 round war and one of the greatest fights of that year or any year.

I take this trip down memory lane to say that… what is great about Boxing, can not be replaced or usurped by MMA. There is a uniqueness to Boxing, that makes it, when you get a talented crop of Boxers, the stuff of legend.

I think after 20 years of neglect, and corruption (something that the UFC seems to be dealing with, as well as K1. The japanese PRIDE was the best thing to happen to MMA, and since its effective buyout and dissolution, we have an increasingly suspect, in terms of management, UFC). 

you now have a very exciting Boxing landscape starting to form, particularly at the lower weight classes. Terrence Crawford and Errol Spence being two of the most exciting fighters to come along in decades. And suddenly you begin to see this return of interest and money to the boxing landscape, that I for one am looking forward to.

For more on Boxing, go listen to two recent, pretty darn excellent John Siuntres WORD BALLOON podcasts, that veer from comic books to boxing, in interviews with two great names in the Boxing coverage landscape.

 

http://www.wordballoon.com/

http://percolate.blogtalkradio.com/offsiteplayer?hostId=1113527&episodeId=10850405#

http://percolate.blogtalkradio.com/offsiteplayer?hostId=1113527&episodeId=10858419#

Completely riveting interviews, and after listening, you, like I, will be searching Youtube for great Boxers past and present and future.

Thanks for checking out this post, and if you enjoy please leave a like, or comment. And feel free to recommend your 5 favorite recent boxing and or mma matches or websites.

To get you started here are my recommendations of must watch Youtube boxing/mma videos:

I love watching Thomas Hearnes fight. He had a fantastic jab, a great left hook attack to the body and head, and one of the best, most devastating, right hands in Boxing history. Which makes the following clip, all the more amazing. And why Sugar Ray Leonard, like his idol Muhammad Ali, is the greatest of all time. Because he fought unbeatable men… and found a way to beat them.

And if that is the past of Boxing, here is the present and future: 2018 is the year America remembers what the world has never forgotten, that the boxing ring is the place where the last legends of the world…. are made.

And for more on how to stay ontop the changing world of Boxing, I recommend the following two sites (that both offer subscriptions to their magazines):

http://www.ringtv.com

http://www.ringsideseatmag.com

Best things on streaming HULU this month : Donald Glover’s ATLANTA leads the pack

It took me a while to get aboard the ATLANTA hype train, but catching the whole 1st season of the series courtesy of HULU, it lives up to the hype,

The multi-talanted Donald Glover crafting an ethnic focused drama, with echoes of Twin Peaks (the first interesting season, not the 2nd horrendously boring 2nd season of twin Peaks) mixed with a wonderful filmic vibe of WHAT’S HAPPENING meets HAPPY DAYS meets MENANCE TO SOCIETY.

I binged the entire ten episode 1st season, and look forward to season 2 breaking on HULU or Blu-ray/DVD.

Extra Large Movie Poster Image for Atlanta (#9 of 9)

Other recommends or items of interest this week from the VOD/Streaming service are:

GAME SHOWS or LIFESTYLE PROGRAMMING (I’m not a fan of the term Reality TV)

  • CHOPPED
  • BEAT BOBBY FLAY
  • IRON CHEF
  • HOUSE HUNTERS
  • COUNTING CARS
  • FORGED IN FIRE
  • AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR

Forged in Fire (2015)

DRAMA SHOWS

  • THE HANDMAIDS TALE
  • LETHAL WEAPON
  • TAKEN
  • THE CROSSING
  • FARGO -Just SEASON 2, Season 1 is okay, Season 3 is pretty unwatchable, Season 2 is great.
  • POWER
  • STAN AGAINST EVIL – Horror/Comedy/Drama…. it is great’
  • THE ORVILLE
  • THE STRAIN
  • SPOOKS
  • THE MUSKETEERS- These two BBC shows, SPOOKS and THE MUSKETEERS are two of my favorite shows of all time. I’m buying the BLU-RAY of both against the day they get pulled from streaming. Or one of the actors in the future gets villified and they call for all the shows to be burned/removed. That’s right mofos I still have all my ISPY, FAT ALBERT and COSBY shows. As well as the Grammy winning albums. So sit on it and spin. 🙂 (I really don’t know what that means. 🙂 ) And if you don’t know what I’m referring to, go check out my earlier post.

Taken Movie Poster

CARTOONS

  • TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

 

CLASSIC SHOWS

  • THE BIG VALLEY
  • THE SAINT
  • THE ROCKFORD FILES

Lee Majors, Barbara Stanwyck, Linda Evans, Peter Breck, and Richard Long in The Big Valley (1965)

MOVIES

  • AMERICAN GANSTER
  • ROCKY V – A lot of people hate on this fifth entry in the series starring real life Boxer Tommy Morrison (who gives a really good performance), but I love this movie, and its generational overtones. It is a nice, at the time, capper to the series. Rating the movies I would have to go the first two ROCKY films, CREED, than my next favorite one by far, is this film. ROCKY V. ‘I didn’t hear no bell, Tommy. I didn’t hear no bell.’  I Love this movie.
  • AWAKEN THE SHADOWMAN
  • RYDE
  • STARSHIP TROOPERS: TRAITORS OF MARS
  • COLOSSAL
  • 78/52:HITCHCOCK ‘S SHOWER SCENE
  • THE HANGMAN

American Gangster Movie Poster

Still waiting on Season 2 of LEGION and RUNAWAYS to drop on HULU.

That’s it for this installment.  Come  back for more, or feel free to suggest a VOD channel you want me to do an installement on. Till then be well, be kind, and don’t let big media decide your Gods or your Demons.

VOD/STREAMING Winner or Loser : DELIRIUM (2018) courtesy Amazon Prime

 

 

DELIRIUM (2018) -Contrary to the blurb on the poster this is not ‘One Hell of a Wild Ride’. It is actually more of a waste of time.. DELIRIUM Is a film so weighted down with its own mediocrity and annoying paper thin characters,  that it is not worth spending more than 15 minutes of your time on. That is more than enough time to determine if this film is worth continuing with. It is not.

However part of that 15 minutes is given over to the credit sequence, which is everything the film is not, innovative, interesting, compelling, concise. In scant minutes the credit sequence does not only a thankless job well, but tells a complete story. Watch and enjoy the credit sequence and burn the film.

This film with the exeception of the credit sequence is most definitely a loser. I looked for the company behind the credits, but unfortunately that info is nowhere to be found.

GRADE : FAIL the film, pass the credits!

Marvel Studios BLACK PANTHER in 3D – The Verdict?

I just came from a sold out upscale theater showing of Ryan Coogler’s BLACK PANTHER for Marvel Studios.

I’m going to try to be brief. As someone who went into this having avoided all trailers, and spoilers, and special feature exposes (that in my experience is like pre-chewing your food before sitting down to eat, making it impossible for fan or reviewer to truly be surprised by a film) I was… blown away.

 

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BMTg1MTY2MjYzNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTc4NTMwNDI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_.jpg

In terms of look, performance, direction, pathos, and humor, and rock solid action, it is without argument one of the best of the EIGHTEEN Marvel Studio Films released to date. I saw it in 3D and it is worth seeing in 3D. You don’t get the things flying into the audience effect, but the sense of looking down, and into chasms and waterfalls, plays up to 3Ds strengths. So I recommend seeing it at least once in 3D. I say once because like the original AVENGERS film, this is a film that deserves to be seen more than once.

I plan to see it in 2D when I go back next time.

This BLACK PANTHER film, released during Black History month, in my humble opinion is in a three way tie for the #1 Marvel Movie of all time; tied with the original AVENGERS by Josh Whedon and CAPTAIN AMERICA WINTER SOLDIER by the Russo Brothers. Those three movies share one shining exquisite truth; they are not just great comic-book movies, they are great films… FULL STOP.

Okay that should be all you need, go see the film now.

Okay still here, the following contains minor spoilers.

Black Panther Movie Poster

BLACK PANTHER is a great film from first frame to last. It is masterfully done; weaving effortlessly between drama, pomp, circumstance, humor, horror, tragedy, and heroism and hope. Chadwick Boseman is astonishing as the titular character, playing him with understated grace and elegance, that carries effortlessly the weight of the film. He is the rock upon which our tale is moored.

Writer/Director Ryan Coogler in three films has catapulted himself as one of the defining directors of our age, and BLACK PANTHER is that talent writ large. This is the tale of the death of kings, of fathers and sons, and things lost in the fire, this is about nothing less than the fate of the world, and about nothing more than the grief of boys for their fathers, a beautifully developed thread in all of Coogler’s films, but never done so well as here.

Coogler takes the admonishment of Hamlet ‘The common theme of life, is death of fathers’ and uses it like a lover and a lance, to both caress and break your heart. And he takes King Henry’s complaint in THE LION OF WINTER ‘I could have conquered Europe all of it, but I had women in my life.’ and here makes of it the saving grace of the protagonist, the film, and the world.

It is the women in this film who save the world, who save the men from their self extinguishing thirst for conquest and vengeance. And taking that line from LION OF WINTER, to also mean parental and familial influence, the difference between T’Challa and Killmonger then ultimately is in their relations to their fathers, even to the structure of their afterlives, one is defined by the inspiration of his father, and one by the lack of his father, and both of them have become completely extraordinary men in staggeringly different ways because of these relations.

It makes for a film of unexpected emotional intensity and depth. Coogler as a filmmaker has my number, as tears unbidden came to my eyes in places in this film. But I would argue he has everyone’s number, if you have the heart to feel, be you Irish or Korean or Ethiopian or American, Coogler will find those places that bind us all,… and squeeze. And then he’ll hit you with the action, then the humor, and sometime when you are laughing, he will squeeze again, and the tears will rise and you will know this is a filmmaker.

And it is wonderful when a director finds his muse, and an actor finds the director that gets him, brings out his best. Coogler and Michael B. Jordan are that combination.

They join legendary director/star pairings such as:

  • Ford and Wayne
  • Hawks and Wayne
  • Kurosawa and Mifune
  • Hitchcock  and Grant
  • Lee and Washington
  • Scorsese and Dinero
  • Scott and Washington
  • Woo and Yun-Fat
  • Ayer and Smith
  • Fuqua and Washington (It is not lost on me that Denzel Washington’s name appears with three different directors. It just shows the kind of fantastic actor he is, the longevity of his career, and that he can embody for many directors, the perfect actor).

Black Panther Movie Poster

Those pairings when they happen are the source of cinematic gold. And it happens in BLACK PANTHER with Coogler and Jordan, two of the respective best of their generation.

Simply a masterful film, with a stunning cast, and great performances. And Kudos to Kevin Feige who with 18 films under his belt, is not just producing films that transcend the source material, he has proved himself the most successful and influential film producer, in the history of the medium.Supplanting such names as Zanuck or Lewton.

It is a success richly earned.

That said, a lot of fans and reviewers care about the numbers, how much a movie makes. I do not. I could not care less if BLACK PANTHER made $1 or 1 Billion Dollars. In this day where studios own the films and the theaters; that is money that is being taken out of local economies. It is good the movie is successful in that we get more such movies from that director, that producer, those actors, but as far as making Disney richer, that does not concern me.

Now should we go back to the days of local and community owned theaters, then that matters, that we should support, because those dollars are staying in the community.

So I’m happy for the movie not because it does this much business, or that much business, I’m happy for the movie, because such visions raise us all, and the success allows such visionaries to keep telling stories.

Grade: An unqualified A+.

Extra Large Movie Poster Image for Black Panther (#18 of 23)

If you like this movie I recommend the following:

The following movies are too good, to trust in the ‘cloud’ or ‘streaming’ to always have them available, or always have them available in unchanged, unedited, or unaltered versions. The below movies deserve to be owned in physical form, in the age of digital.

Chadwick Boseman in Message from the King (2016)

Chadwick Boseman’s excellent A MESSAGE FROM THE KING
LION IN WINTER
http://amzn.to/2CtUltq
HAMLET
http://amzn.to/2C6aEk6
AVENGERS
http://amzn.to/2C5Lx0W
CAPTAIN AMERICA : WINTER SOLDIER
http://amzn.to/2C3M97v
CAPTAIN AMERICA : CIVIL WAR
http://amzn.to/2szGli8

Best & Favorite of 2017!!!

This is a bit belated but I think you will find a nice overview to 2017 and pointers to 2018 in the ramblings below.

Favorite movies seen in the Theater in 2017:

KONG:SKULL ISLAND

LOGAN

 

I only saw two movies in the theater in 2017, so looking to improve on that in 2018. Nothing in January had me jazzed to pay theater prices for, however I am looking forward to the following in 2018:

click for larger (if applicable) click for larger (if applicable) click for larger (if applicable)

EQUALIZER 2

click for larger (if applicable)

 

FAVORITE TV SHOWS IN 2017:

  • LEGION
  • TAKEN
  • POWER
  • AMERICAN NINJA
  • CHOPPED
  • AMERICAN PICKERS
  • LOVE IT OR LIST IT
  • LETHAL WEAPON
  • THE GRAND TOUR
  • GODLESS
  • RUNAWAYS

FAVORITE STREAMING TV CHANNEL IN 2017

The one two punch of AMAZON PRIME and HULU gets this award. NETFLIX that was riding high in 2016 with LUKE CAGE and other shows, had a disappointing 2017. With a non user friendly interface compared to Amazon Prime and a selection of shows and movies that weren’t as interesting or well curated as either HULU or AMAZON PRIME, I cancelled my membership at the end of 2017. The last straw being the overhyped and ultimately lackluster PUNISHER series, as well as news of the studios pulling their content from Netflix.

In 2018 the TV shows that I am or will be watching are:

CASTLE ROCK

GRAND TOUR

TAKEN (I think the new showrunner made a mistake getting rid of most of the cast from season 1, but hopefully he can course correct and fix it)

STRIKE BACK and ELEMENTARY return after long hiatuses

LONGMEYER went out with a bit of a whimper, so looking forward to YELLOWSTONE

JACK RYAN

LETHAL WEAPON

CHOPPED

IZOMBIE

BLACK LIGHTNING

AMERICANS

And lastly looking forward to Season 2 of what, without question, was the best, most inventive TV show of 2017, Noah Hawley’s LEGION.

And for those keeping score… LUKE CAGE tied with FARGO Season 2 (Also by Noah Hawley) were the best TV shows of 2015, and DAREDEVIL Season 1 was the best TV show of 2014.

 

BEST MUSIC OF 2017

I loved everything binaural in 2017, adding many great CDs to my collection. THE HEAVY and GREGORY PORTER remained in heavy rotation. Gregory Porter being my favorite live performance of 2017. And I added new interests RAG N BONE MAN, Andra day and Brian Ferneyhough. With Spotify to allow me to try before I buy, I’m looking forward in 2018 to discovering more great music, both old and new.

BEST READS OF 2017

I didn’t read as many novels, or listen to as many audio books in 2017 as I did in previous years, so I definitely hope to turn that around in 2018.

I did do substantially better with Art Books, Graphic Novels, Reference Books, and comics in 2017. Some of the standouts:

 

MATT BAKER THE ART OF GLAMOUR

CREEPING DEATH FROM NEPTUNE

THE WOLVERTON BIBLE

ARTIST EDITION BASIL WOLVERTON (This and the other two previous books having to do with Basil Wolverton, I went all in on him in 2017. Still absorbing these three books here in 2018)

JACKIE ORMES

THE SIGNATURE ART OF BRIANSTELFREEZE

SEX AND HORROR THE ART OF ALESSANDRO BIFFIGNANDI

In 2018 writers I intend to go all in on are Percival Everett, Victor Lavalle, Colin Whitehead and Walter Mosley, as well as revisiting work by Ligotti, Lebbon, Ellison, Stephen King, Clive Barker and Bennett.

 

In 2017 Marvel had a great POWER MAN AND IRON FIST series I was reading, the only thing I was buying monthly from Marvel Comics. And Marvel letting greed get in the way of common sense, killed a series everyone was loving, with a creative team everyone was loving, David Walker and Brian Stelfreeze, to instead both dilute audience attention and oversaturate the market with multiple books, almost all of which are ready to be canceled. So going into 2018, with Marvel sticking to their insane $3.99 price point per book, there are no titles I pick up from Marvel Comics.

 

In 2017 DEATHSTROKE by Christopher Priest was the only DC Comic I was getting on a monthly base. It’s arguably the one series that you can just pick up and enjoy without having to read any other title, or care about any other title. Priest has been able to just do… what he does best, create a fantastic read; month in and month out. So it is the only DC book I’m reading in 2018. However, greed rears its ugly heads and the idiots who get paid to make stupid decisions have decided to add DEATHSTROKE to their floundering team book… JLA,  basically gutting the standalone nature of the comic that allows Priest, to do his magic. Basically the same poor decision making that happened last year with POWER MAN AND IRON FIST.

 

I figure the conversation went like this… ‘man everyone is talking about this book, let’s put the characters in multiple other books, and then they will be talking about all those other books too.’ No, you EFFING morons! The reason people are enjoying POWER MAN AND INRON FIST or DEATHSTROKE is because it is well drawn and well written and not part of your insipid crossover infested universe. Your very attempts to duplicate that success, without understanding it, will kill the character in the new book, and kill interest in the character in the original book.

So yeah here’s hoping someone with brains over at DC, vetoes the horrible idea to put DEATHSTROKE in the JLA, because I’m not going to read the JLA, and you’re editorial interference will create a character that no longer works in his solo book. You have therefore killed the golden goose and have nothing to show for it.

 

The good news is when you get sick of the stupid decisions and overpriced ad laden product at DC and MARVEL, you have great content from other publishers to enjoy. Publishers that give you more for your money. Publishers such as IMAGE, AFTERSHOCK, DARK HORSE and many more.

As far as where to buy new comics from, a lot of people will steer you to DCBS. I personally in terms of pure customer service and ease or ordering prefer LONE STAR COMICS. You can order comics in advance from the at http://www.mycomicshop.com at a discount.

 

They are highly recommended, and I use them myself, and this is an unpaid recommendation. Tell them Heroic Times sent you.

 

And wrapping this up, favorite podcasts of 2017:

 

11OCLOCK COMICS

COMIC GEEK SPEAK

WTF with Marc Maron

BLACK TAPES

GEEK SYNDICATE

 

To name a few. Okay that is it for my 2017 Pop Culture overview. Thanks for bearing with it and if you enjoy, spread the word. Enjoy WEEK #6 of 2018!!!