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This issue of Ghost Rider is the only comic I've ever seen that blatantly references Friedkin's Sorcerer. On the first page. I can show you with graphs that this makes it the greatest comic Marvel has ever released.

I like how Bachalo's Dr. Strange is modeled on Stan Lee. It adds another layer of cheese to the whole storyline.

I have to disagree with you about the Arkham Asylum one-shot. Yeah, it's another in a long line of b.s. coming out of the painfully contrived Battle for the Cowl nonsense, but at least David Hine told a good story (he's reliable that way). That it was about nobodies didn't really bother me. In fact, I appreciated the naked self-indulgence in it. Every once in a while, DC's willingness to publish just about anything can turn up a decent comic worth owning.

Read that Detective issue while listening to "Teo Torriate" by Queen. It's a hoot.

And people attacked *me* for being too 'insulting' to Gaiman! Someone on Twitter said "You really seem to have an axe to grind against Neil. Insulting review, really, damning with faint praise and all that."

I should point him this way...

I just caught up on your Gaiman twitter attacks--geez, what a bunch of babies. Hell, I think you went pretty easy on the dude. People like that are so boring.

I probably did. Must say I was impressed by Gaiman's restraint in his response to me, though.

I didn't think the comic was *that* bad, though. It certainly wasn't a *good* comic, but it met all the minimal standards of craft that *should* be met by everything published but so rarely are.

I like the parentheses (well, I did) (when I was reading the book). But then I like reading Mamet plays, and that's where Bendis lifted the device from to begin with.

The lightning round in Advanced Common Sense had me laughing very hard.

Oh, and where did that Makin Fire gif come from? I like that.

hey Tucker, I've seen you review and mention Pluto but I haven't seen you mention 20th Century Boys.

Hey, I went to Mamet's school, I dig the guy too. But Mamet's stuff has a cadence, a real rhythym to it. There's just no tempo to it here--Bendis made it work in Powers, but in New Avengers it just steamrolls all the characters. I'm not a big "you're doing it wrong" guy, but when there's this many characters, it comes across as everybody sounding the same. I can get Cage and Parker talking like that--but Strange?

I can't even remember where I found the gif, it was way old blog stuff, and I found it again saved on an old desktop. Had to bring it back.

Nathan-that's only because my 20th Century Boys review got lost due to technical crap and i didn't have time--or the patience--to re-do it. But I'm a fan of the series so far, and I thought the latest volume just fucking killed it. I'm sure I'll catch up with it here or at one of the other sites in the future. It's good comics.

I always feel like Bendis saves his working on his craft game for Powers. Like, with the Avengers comics, he gives them his best, but he's not trying to perfect his craft with them. So, it always feels like new techniques he's figured out crop up there without any refining.

As for the Gaiman stuff, I gave your exchange some thought last night. I'm a *huge* Gaiman fanboy, but I can also see how some people feel he's all sizzle and no steak. Gaiman never bothers to really bring unique plots around. I've seen him lecture a few times and he more or less said he uses the Alice in Wonderland motif as much as possible. What he does, in my opinion, better than anyone in comics is the prose. The words themselves are always gorgeous and read phenomenally well. If someone doesn't have an appreciation for that, it's all good, different strokes and all that, but I always feel like that's where the genius is with Gaiman - *how* he says what he has to say.

I didn't read the Batman story because I don't care much about Batman. I'm sure I will eventually just to absorb the beautiful sentences, though.

I don't have anything to say right now other than that that JLA review is utterly sublime.

Tucker, I don't understand why you're not reading Jason Aaron's Scalped. I understand why I'm not reading Jason Aaron's Ghost Rider: there are too many bloody comic books out there and I can't afford them all, so obviously something must give. But I don't want to have to give up a comic for a comic. Any suggestions?

I'm reading Scalped, but the only time I think I ever talked about it was sometime last year at comiXology, and that was only in reference to a larger thing about violence. It's a good series, although it's one that I think would work better as a television show--the rhythm of it reminds me of that more than it does a comic. I don't mention it here because I read it in trade--I can't remember who turned me onto it, but it had been going for about ten issues when I first checked it out. Some internet critic mentioned it a bunch.

Not sure what to suggest. You must have bailed on something for Warlord though, so it can't be that foreign to you.

I do think the Rider series is probably best in single issues though--not because of the month-to-month thing, but man--it's a comic that needs to have some mud and tears in it. It's getting so grindhouse I'm tempted to rip out pages before I get started, just to have a "scene missing" moment.

do you hang on to all this stuff, box it and what not?

I keep hoping your place will show up on CBR's "Send Us Your Shelf Porn" things. Instead of mismatched bookcases, rows of toys, & stained carpet I picture a 50 gallon fire barrel filled with ash in a room of Nagel posters.

Let's put it like this: somebody gave me a framed black and white portrait of Michael Haneke, and I sit in the Lazy Boy chair that my grandfather died in.

I don't have any toys.

Damn, Aaron is somehow writing a redneck mud-bog thing into Ghost Rider? Crazy. I really should read that book sometime. Also: Viking. Also: Azrael, just to look at the art. I loves me some Frazier Irving.

By the way, I agree with Kenny about Gaiman's prose, but that's why I think I like him better as a *prose* writer. Outside of Sandman, he hasn't done much comics that I really like all that much. Maybe some of his earlier stuff with Dave McKean? Nah, I say he should just keep up with the novels and short stories; he's moved beyond comics. Or maybe they've moved beyond him? I dunno.

"I'm not a big "you're doing it wrong" guy, but when there's this many characters, it comes across as everybody sounding the same. I can get Cage and Parker talking like that--but Strange?"

Yeah, I hear that. I thought you were talking about the parentheses in general, which I've seen Bendis use well in plenty of different books. I think I've read all of maybe half an issue of the stuff with Strange in it, so I don't have anything to say about that particular usage.

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