Random People Dressed For St Paddy’s Day: A white guy and his black girlfriend. A Hispanic couple. An African-American mother and her son at the comic book store. A guy on the subway who looked middle-eastern. Another guy on the same train telling his friends that he got his green tuxedo t-shirt in Boystown ( an upscale gay neighborhood in Chicago). He said this without any hint of self consciousness, cuz he obviously had no problem being a straight guy buying clothes in a gay environment. Days like this make me think, “Wow, I live in one of the most diverse cities in the country. Things don’t have to be so tense all the time.” Of course I know we’re also one of the most segregated cities in America. And I know eventually something will happen to make me think, “Gawd! What A-Holes some people are!” But this morning, the world was chill.
Our Muzak Is Cooler Than Your Muzak: Ok, so at my job recently they started playing music over the PA in the halls between the offices. I’m pretty sure this is the music you’d hear if you called my job and asked to speak to the owner and got put on hold. Most of it is what you probably expect, lite-rock music. Elton John, Lionel Richie, John Mayer, soft rock hits from the 70’s-80’s etc. What’s interesting is the ample seasoning of AOR (that’s album oriented rock to you kids) that made it into the programming. I was pleasantly surprised to hear David Bowie’s “Suffragette City” on a trip to the bathroom one day. The other day I heard Lynyrd Skynyrd (!) “That Smell” and later a track from the Who’s Quadrophenia album. I don’t have a problem with any of this music, it’s just that I never thought I’d be working at a desk job where the safe for work “muzak” would include hard rock classics. If on the way to look for paper for the copy machine I hear Ted Nugent or Black Sabbath next, I think my head will explode.
So how did I celebrate St Paddy’s Day weekend? Um, I wore my winter coat which is army green? No? I went to Oak Park which is a suburb of Chicago. I took the Green-line train? Eh? I bought a double cheese burger and some fries. I paid cash, that’s green money? Huh? Good enuff, no? FINE, here’s some friggin’ comics…
Power Girl #4: This comic came out in 2009, but I’m just now getting around to it. It’s a fun one and done story written by Justin gray and Jimmy Palmiotti with art by Amanda Conner.Peej and Terra go out to the movies and have to stop a witch who wants monsters to destroy the city in order to save the environment. The story is mostly humorous with just enough action to remind you that you’re reading a superhero comic and just enough sub-plot to get you curious about further issues. The thing that makes this comic work however is Conner’s art. The way she depicts facial expressions really carry a lot of the humor. Also, I really appreciate the way Conner draws Power Girl. Kara is busty, but she’s athletic looking as well. She looks like a woman who could give you a hard time in a fight as opposed to a girl with a boob-job. One drawback, I don’t think the new Terra’s name is actually mentioned in this issue.
Godland #34: I guess we’re coming to the end of the series. The story is by Joe Casey and the art is from Tom Scioli and a bunch of way out cosmic stuff happens that I don’t think I can begin to explain. The sun has been replaced by god knows what. The hero is on the other side of the galaxy and has to get back home. Bad guys are turning on each other while mice dressed like Superman and Clark Kent are under foot. There’s enormous space stations and viking space giants floating around and cosmic beings just…being cosmic. The series has mostly been a tribute to bronze age science fiction-y comics in general and Jack Kirby in particular, but with enough of Casey’s personality and other underground sensibilities that it doesn’t come off as a just an imitation of “the king’s” work.
Batman Inc #3: Cool. A Batman comic where he doesn’t act like a control freak jerk. Bats goes to Argentina to recruit El Gaucho to join his group of international Batmen and gets involved in a plot concerning arms dealers and missing children. Story by Grant Morrison. Pencils by Yanick Paquette. Inks mostly by Michel Lacombe. This comic is breezy and action packed. Very nice detailed art from Paquette. He shows a real knowledge of bodies, form, composition, and storytelling.
Van Morrison is Irish http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjs1mm5vngc
So’s John Lydon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylOCIP54PIQ
Oh…before I sat down to write this column, I went to the liquor store to get some beer. On the way, I walked past a few drunk muscle bound frat-boy type guys. One of them said to me, “You going the wrong way, old man?” I said, “I’m going the right way,” and kept walking. In the distance, I heard something like “come back and I’ll show you something.” I couldn’t make it a whole 24 hours without some jerk bursting my St Paddy’s Day brotherhood of man bubble.