Non-Sequitur #25:Brothers and Sisters, Why Are We Fighting?

Stop fighting,ladies...you're BOTH pretty!

So Spike Lee and Tyler Perry are beefing. Tyler saying Spike can go to hell because of something Spike said implicating Tyler regarding “coonery and bufoonery” in the media. http://concreteloop.com/2011/04/round-the-way-tyler-perry-tells-spike-lee-to-go-straight-to-hell-steve-harveys-intern-steals-10k-from-himI was going to get all deep and political then I thought about it…isn’t Tyler responding to something Spike said in 2009 when he was promoting Miracle at St Anna’s. And isn’t Tyler promoting his latest film now? At first you think this is a debate about race, media images, and politics, then you wonder how much this is about artists hawking their wares. Thing is, the issues they brought up ARE worth discussing. The images of race, gender, and religion that appear in the media do affect the way some people view others. It’s totally worth discussing how certain stereotypes are not only accepted, but are also commercial in today’s culture. On the other hand it’s dismaying to see two popular black directors sniping at each other about who’s good for black people. And it’s a little disheartening to see other black people thinking they need to take sides. Personally, I think Spike has made some good films ( and some not so great ones). I think Tyler is serving an audience that is not always catered to ( I need a few more slo-mo gun fights in my flicks tho). We don’t have to choose between one black voice or the other in Hollywood, there’s room for both…and many more.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jp_jEryyND8

Random El Sighting: Ok, so I’m on th el and saw a French family. It was two guys and three children. The kids were goofing off and one of them actually said, “Oo-la-la”. I am not joking. Anyway, I thought they were either tourists or visiting someone in town and I was like, “What a nice French family visiting our first class international city.” I sat down next to a young black man who I assumed was from the west side. THEN he started speaking into his I-Phone in what sounded like it could have been French as well. Welcome to Chicago, mon ami.

Also, I’m always amused when the green-line el passes over the Chicago River and children are like, “Oh, look at the water!” It just makes me laugh.

X-Men Anime: I saw the first couple of episodes on You Tube and so far it’s not a bad cartoon. However, I am disappointed by how physically weak Storm is depicted. Back in the day Storm was always portrayed as one of the most powerful X-men characters. Heck, I remember back when Storm had NO POWERS and still defeated Cyclops in a duel to determine who had the right to lead the team. The Storm on this show uses her powers and faints every five minutes. Goddess…

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes: This is another show I’ve been catching on You Tube. I like it a lot more than I thought I would. I have to give credit to head writer Christopher Yost. The show displays are real knowledge and reverence for Marvel comics history as well as an appreciation of modern continuity. There’s a good mix of old and new stories and characters, a nice blend of interesting personality types and the tales are exciting and dramatic. This exactly what I want from a superhero team show. I hope the live action Avengers movie does a similarly good job.

The New York Five #3: Not earth shattering, but interesting. The title continues the trials and tribulations of young female college students. The comic almost comes across as a love letter to hip New York. If I had a complaint, I’d say that it comes across maybe a little too glamorized? Sure, all the characters have problems and serious issues they have to deal with, but everyone is pretty and hip and living a lifestyle that a lot of young people dream of living. No one’s overweight. Even though the characters aren’t wealthy, class issues aren’t a major part of the story. With a bit of tweaking I could almost imagine this as a series on the CW (that’s not an insult).

Fear Itself #1: I know, I know…I complain all day long about event comics and here I am buying an event comic. My only reason/justification is that I really like Stuart Immonen’s art. The art here is gorgeous, it’s lovely, and it was worth buying for it’s own sake. The story isn’t terrible. but let’s see how that goes.

George Perez sketches on my butt (& past footage of Joe Sinnott)

I never thought I’d get to meet Geroge Pérez because I have never gone to his usual shows Heroes or Dragon*Con. I knew he would be at Pittsburgh but again, figured, there’s just no way – his line would be crazy long and I’d never get more than a second.
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Non-Sequitur #24: Feeling Brand New, I Jumped Up

The sun came out! The sun came out! Yea! It's sunny outside!

The sun finally came out this past weekend and I couldn’t be happier! Sunshine! Damn near three weeks straight of  day after day after day of gray cloudy skies. I was damn near ready to slit my wrists! Ok, not really and that’s probably not something to joke about, but I have been pretty down recently for a variety of personal reasons and the cold dreary climate didn’t help my out look. When I was younger I used to scoff at the idea of people’s moods being affected by constant gloomy weather, but now I know there’s definitely something to it. Heck… I know ultimately we all die alone in a cruel unfair universe, but right now  I’m groovin’ on the ladies in their skirts and open toe shoes! The sun came out! Yea!

The other day I turned the corner to walk into my building and I was hit by a pungent and familiar oder. I thought, “Where the F*CK  is this weed smell coming from?!” I looked half a block down and saw a young man walking with his girl friend who was carrying laundry. A puff a smoke  floated around his head. I remember thinking “I hope a cop hits him in the head.” Not cuz I’m anti-weed or anything, but because I couldn’t believe he’d be so stupid to be smoking a blunt walking down the middle of the street like that. If you want to do your thing, go home or find some secluded area, ok? Look, I get it…I know what it’s like to be young and arrogant, “See, I’m so bad-ass I smoke my sh*t right in the open! I don’t give f*ck! Acknowledge my coolness!”  I just feel like, dude…please get a clue.

This past Saturday I walked past the Daley Center in Chicago. I saw a gospel group having a  sound-check. It looked like it was for some sort of pro-union rally that was going to be happening later on.  Aside from the teenagers on the stage, there didn’t seem to be too many young people there. Most of the crowd seemed to be middle-aged. I’m not sure if this says anything about how people in their twenties feel about unions these days. Hell, I was there early, they could have showed up later. I just thought the demographic was interesting at the time.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7XiFMa0iDw

One of my favorite David Bowie songs is Life On Mars. About three days ago I found out that Barbara Streisand did a cover of it back in the 70’s. And I can’t even get snarky about it cuz you know what? It’s not terrible and in a strange way it makes perfect sense that Babs would sing this song seeing as Bowie wrote it as kind of a response to My Way which has been done by a multitude of old style crooners. Here it is.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rtL73TSHxM Stop being a hipster and just listen to it.

Avengers, The Children’s Crusade #5: First of all, this comic is really Young Avengers.  It’s probably called Avengers:Sub-Title for marketing reasons, but whatever. The plot is about Wiccan and Speed trying to find the Scarlet Witch and discover if she’s in fact their mother. The other Young Avengers join the adventure to support their teammates and the emotional weight of the story centers on the young heroes. The adult New Avengers just kinda guest star. This issue features the return of Iron Lad. Iron Lad takes the team back in time to the start of “Avengers Disassembled” and things get kinda hairy. Well written, great characterization, and lovely, lovely art. The story by Heinberg is driven by dialogue and almost none of it seems unnecessary. The art is by Jim Cheung. Did I happen to mention I think it’s lovely?

Batman Inc #4: Not an all time great issue, but very interesting. There’s a guest appearance by the new Batwoman and fun flashback of the pre-crisis Batwoman. Somehow this ties into Batman’s current adventure in South America with Gaucho. Grant Morrison’s greatest strength? Being able to include all the camp stuff in a way that doesn’t make Batman look like a clown and being able to portray modern Batman in a manner that doesn’t make him seem like a paranoid control freak. I’m intrigued enough to pick up the next issue.

Ultimate Captain America #4: Ultimate Captain America is an asshole. I’m sorry, but that’s they way his personality is written and I don’t think he’s a “cool” asshole or an “edgy” asshole or a “necessary evil” asshole or an “interesting character study” asshole. He’s just some kinda fuggin’ ASSHOLE. I want 616 Steve Rogers to go to the Ultimate Universe and back hand this guy and put him in check. On a positive  note, I really enjoy the Ron Garney art. Just enough of old school  bronze age storytelling to give a dramatic and cinematic feel to the tale. Really great visuals. Too bad the protagonist is a JERK.

This song makes me feel good