Non- Sequitur #46: My Reflection In A Snow Covered Hill

Um, I drew this like 2 years ago...

Where’d all this frickin’ snow come from all of the sudden? I, I… oh, yeah…it IS  winter in Chicago. Never mind.

                              Mean Girl On The Bus

So, sometimes I see this teen-aged (?) girl on the bus when I go to work in the morning. Sometimes I see her with a young man. Over the last maybe one year, I’d see her with a guy for a few months, then someone new for several months. Recently, I saw her with a different boy. She’s young so it’s not like I think it’s a big deal for her to date different people. The most recent time they sat close enough to me in the back that I could hear snippets of their conversation ( I wasn’t ear hustling, I swear!). It seemed like maybe they were breaking up. She was the loudest and saying stuff like, “You must not have did it right,” “I didn’t tell you ‘cuz you would’ve been accusing me again,” and “You don’t want it, I don’t want it either.” What got to me was not her words, but her tone. She was very mean and argumentative even when she talking about getting a state ID. Then I thought about how she was with her other boyfriends, she spoke to them the exact same way. I know it sounds terrible, but I thought geez, does she want to be with some guy who’ll react negatively and yell at her or knock her on her ass?  Then I thought, no wonder the other boys are gone, I’d leave too. Who wants to be with someone who argues with them all of the time? On the other hand, I’m living alone right now so fuck me for being judgmental.

Hey, a picture of women's finger nail polish

Anime In The Mail       

Yeah, I got some anime in the mail.  The final volumes of Ghost in The Shell:2nd Gig. I really really enjoyed it. It was a pretty decent conclusion to a reasonably tight story about politics and revolution. Actually, it’s about a lot more than that. It’s about the web, cybernetic advancements, identity, individualism vs community, and the needs of minority/immigrant community vs the needs of the dominant culture’s stability…and it’s also about mullets.  I’m not sure if I’ll do a You Tube video review for it or not, but I liked it.  If I ever get a chance to write some sort of action/superhero/intrigue/sci-fi story, I would totally try to do something like this.

Got Ergo Proxy volume 4.  Very engaging. I’ll probably wait until next month before I get the rest of the volumes though.

I also got the first two volumes of  Gunslinger Girl.  It’s very different than what I expected. The premise is, there’s an organization in Italy called the Social Welfare Agency. It’s basically a front for a government institution that trains assassins. They use children for their recruits because the conditioning and cybernetic enhancements just seem to work better on kids than on adults.  I guess I initially thought that the show would be more either light-hearted or tongue in cheek, but for the most part, the concept is played pretty straight. The tone is pretty somber. It’s  kinda like Le Femme Nikta with school girls. I’ve only watched the first DVD so far. It’s not bad, just different than what I thought it would be.

                                                         McDonald’s Is Making Me Fat

So, I was at McDonald’s last night. I noticed that the woman who took my order had alternating colors of finger nail polish. Black then red then black. I dunno…I thought it was kinda cute.

 

Non-Sequitur #45: Brushing My Teeth With A Bottle of Jack

So, some days ago I read a quote from pop star Kesha. It was something like, “Everyone thinks Rock n Roll is dead, it’s my duty to bring it back.”  I thought cool, but wouldn’t that statement make more sense coming from an artist that actually played  rock n roll? I’m not hatin’…I’m just sayin’…

Been going crazy  because I’ve had a lot of time off work lately and normally I’d try to get some work done on the internet and watch some movies or TV online. However my computer has been moving very very  slow. It takes like 20 minutes to getting to certain websites or an hour to watch a 15 minute video. Digital Chinese water torture…

Beginners: This was a film directed by Mike Mills about a man dealing with his dying father coming out as gay and the  son’s possible start of a new relationship with an exotic young lady. The movie has a very low key yet light-hearted feel about it. I thought I might not like  certain aspects of the film, but I came around by the end of the movie. Melanie  Laurent’s character was maybe just a little too good to be true, but I think the actress was able to ground her a bit. I was moved, however by Ewan McGregor’s characters relationship with his parents and I liked the way the flashbacks were handled.

Defenders #2: I like the Terry and Rachel Dodson art and didn’t hate the Matt Fraction story. The team is captured then escapes then learns a bit more about the crazy things that are rumored to happen. I’m still on board for the next issue.

Fatale #1:  A strange tale from the team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. The format may seem like and old fashioned noir tale, it’s really a supernatural story. After the first chapter, I’m intrigued.

Doc Strange

Non-Sequitur #44: Nothing Changes On New Years Day

The Not So New Avengers by Jim Cheung

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah…Out with the old, new beginings, blah, blah, blah…whatever.

I do not resolve to go on a diet

So, the maintenance man for my job’s building was teasing me  the other day about gaining weight. Something about the ground shaking as I walked by. Well, I’ll have you know, Richard…I lost 10 POUNDS this summer! So there! Course, this winter I’ve already re-gained 12 pounds, so…um…DAMMIT! You’ve won this round “Richard”, but I’ll be back!

I do not resolve to go out and meet new people

On the way to work, I passed a dude sitting at a bus stop. It was about 30 degrees outside and he was bare chested. It looked like he’d just taken off his jacket which was on the ground and his sweater which he still had one hand in. I remember thinking that this man either had maybe slight mental issues or he was just really really HIGH. I contemplated saying something, but what? “Hey, dude…it’s cold. Put your sweater back on?” And what was I going to do if he got belligerent? Get a cop and be like, “But Officer! He he wouldn’t put his sweater back on and it’s cold out!”

New people…

I was walking down the street earlier today. There were a couple guys coming towards me and one of them was wearing a Green Bay jacket. As I was passing them, a young man in a car who was turning down a nearby alley, stuck his head out the window and shouted, “PACKERS SUCK!!” Can’t we all just get along?

I do not resolve to be more practical with money. I got movies and comics to get!

Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol: I saw it earlier this week and I had fun with it. Solid action packed flick. I mostly bought the actors in their roles and there was only a few minor plot quibbles. Not terribly complex or layered, but it delivered on the level it was trying to deliver on.

Aquaman #4: By Johns, Reis, and Prado with some really nice coloring by Rod Reis. This is the end of the first arc. It wasn’t super heavy, basically the plot is Aquaman fighting sea monsters while the general public cracks on how lame he is. Storywise, it was actually pretty thin, but I still enjoyed it. I liked the relationship between Aquaman and Mera. They came across as a mature couple that enjoys each other’s company, but each partner has their own mind. A bit unlike the contrivances we see on some sit-coms and and cliched comic books. The art is just gorgeous. Ivan Reis and Joe Prado do a great job at making the art bombastic and detailed, yet the faces they draw are just nuanced enough to convey emotion.

Avengers Children’s Crusade: One more issue to go in this mini-series and so far I’ve really enjoyed the ride. We deal with Dr Doom with magical powers and the question of what to do about Wanda and  is she really responsible for everything that’s happened and if she is, what next? Good characterizations and dialogue from Heinburg and very very nice art from Cheung.

I Bought Batwoman #4, but I haven’t read it yet.

Hm, I feel like playing guitar in the snow, but it’s been unusually warm this winter, so I’ll have to made due with this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiejqnbnFPk&feature=fvsr

Non Sequitur #41: Paint The Devil On The Wall

Josie from the Pussycats by Jason Pearson

So like I wasted the entire day today. I originally planned to do a lot of things this Friday, but I spent last  night drinking and just didn’t feel like doing anything when I got up this morning. I didn’t get any business done, didn’t see anyone, didn’t buy any comics. I suck.

 

Some random work stuff…

 

Hmm..I saw a fox at my job’s parking lot. He darted out from behind a car and scurried across the street. I’ve seen rabbits in the area before and a couple of possum but this was the first time I saw a fox. I guess it was kind of neat.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k1-kh6HbHQ

A couple of people at my job have birthdays that fall on this weekend, so we had cake and sang Happy Birthday. It was chocolate with whipped cream and strawberries.  Yummy. Very neat. There were cupcakes too, but I didn’t have one.

On the way home changing from the bus to the train I saw a couple of older guys at the station. They were maybe in their late 50’s and dressed  kinda biker-ish(?) 70’s-ish(?) They had jean jackets, beards…one might have had cowboy boots.  One dude was definitely giving off a Dennis Hooper vibe. But like old Dennis Hooper wearing young Dennis Hooper’s clothes. Odd and neat at the same time.

I wrote down  on a piece of paper the words “Aquaman”, “Target”, and “9:20” .  Aquaman  is one of the comics I’ll probably buy this weekend. I was going to go to Target retail store, but forget it. I’m racking my brain trying to remember why I wrote down 9:20. It’s killing me that I don’t know what this was supposed to mean.

Batman,Year One:  I saw the animated film recently. It was pretty faithful to the source material, Frank Miller’s comic book reworking of Batman’s beginning. They did lose some of Bruce Wayne’s narrative which makes it seem more like what many fans have said over the years, that it’s almost more Jim Gordon’s story than Batman’s origin. I felt the voice actor for Batman/Bruce Wayne  ( Ben McKenzie ) could have been more impressive, but overall I enjoyed the movie.

Green Lantern:  I finally saw the Ryan Reynolds film. I totally see why a lot of people were disappointed  with this movie. I thought it started off ok, but there was like almost an hour of Hal Jordan “doubting himself” and having to “face responsibility” and dealing with “fear”. I was like, “What’s all this man-child emo stuff? Bring back those space monsters!” I agree with people who felt that Sinestro was the best thing about the film. On a whole though, this movie was not neat.

Today of course is the day we set aside to worship our overlord, Rebecca Black. I honor her greatness by sharing this song with you.

Non-Sequitur #34: Mrs America, How’s You Favorite Son?

Scarlet Witch by Adam Hughes. Awesome sauce!

I   have these notes for what I wanted to write about for this column and one of them says “Bar-B-Q Sauce” and for the life of me I can’t remember what I wanted to say about Bar-B-Q Sauce. It’s killing me that I can’t remember. Oh, well…on with the jibber jabber!

Random Screw Up: I was late for work the other day. I missed my train stop. I didn’t fall asleep or anything although I have done that in the past. I missed my stop because I was emersed in the Dan Savage column in The Reader    (a free alternative paper in Chicago). The focus of this week’s column was people sending in their vacation sex stories. I was thinking, “Damn, I don’t have one great vacation sex story. I mean nothing EPIC. Hell, most of my vacations in general are boring. ”  This is what was on my mind. Not the state of the economy, not how I can make better choices for my family, but, “Why come these folks were having amazing sex at 15 on exotic beaches around the world when I was still a virgin at 15? Life isn’t fair!” And thus I missed my stop and and to call my job and tell them I’d be late.  I felt like a schmuck. Yiddish pun intended.

Random Bus Thing: So coming home this lady got on the bus with her two daughters. Mom was maybe 30-ish. The girls were like 4-5 yrs old. After traveling maybe two blocks, one of the daughters asked if this was their stop. The mom said no. The little girl insisted a few  times.  “It is! It is! I KNOW this is my stop!” Mom was like, “If you want to get off and walk it’s going to take about an hour.”  The girl amused herself and her sister for a little while, but soon got restless. She asked if they were there yet. No. For some reason it made me laugh when the little girl said, “I KNOW we’re going the WRONG way.” As more people got off the bus, the two little girls began switching seats. The quieter of the two settled down quickly, but the more active one kept it up until the mom got her under control. When I got off at my stop, I heard behind me a stern, “WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?!” I kind of wonder if Mom was just waiting for me to leave so she could snap without a stranger judging her.  Hey… no judgement from me, Mom. Lay the hammer down.

Random Pop Culture reference:  Lollapolooza happened this weekend. It’s the 20th anniversary of the rock concert fest and if you remember when  Pearl Jam  was hip, when ICE-T  had a trash metal band, when NIN  actually dared to play somewhere in the sunlight, then you are old. No, no…no ironic detachment can save you now. You’re old. Stop fighting it. It’s ok. Things can be alright here on the other side.

I listened to the 3 Chicks Review Comics podcast episode 23. The ladies review a few recent releases and raise some interesting issues regarding diversity in comics and fan’s reactions to the new Ultimate Spiderman. http://1979semifinalist.podomatic.com/

Siouxsie Sioux and Ice-T from Lolla '91

  Black Panther #521:  The start of the American Pather story arc. The story is by David Liss and art by Francesco Francavilla. It’s completely the opposite of what I thought it was going to be. A new Hatemonger has come to Hell’s Kitchen and is stirring things up. Dealing with economic downturn and disenfranchised white males this issue deals with a  relevant topic handled in a so far plausible way. Well structured story so far and decent art, I’m picking up the next issue.
  Secret Avengrs #15:  I think this is the last Nick Spencer written issue. It deals with the fallout from the death of Bucky in Fear Itself. It also deals with the deaths and ressurections of supeerheroes in a pretty direct way and why civilians (and readers) have a hard time taking comic book death seriously. Solid writing by Nick and decent art by Scot Eaton make this is a fun buy.
  X-Men,First Class:  So I finally got around to seeing this movie. Not bad. Actually, it was really good. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Much praise has been heaped on  Michael Fassbender and deservedly so. He was excellent as pre-villian Eric Lensherr. He was  angry, driven yet very charismatic . James MacAvoy was also very good as a young Professor X.  Young Charles as confident and ready take on the world was a delight to see. The movie is about two hours long, but at no point did I feel it lagged. The pacing and the suspense  were just right. Some people were disappointed with January Jones’s performance, but I thought she was ok. She wasn’t portraying “our” Emma Frost, but Bryan Singer’s Emma Frost. I will say this about her costumes though…the one that looked like sexy lingerie was fine and the white suit was fine, but that thing that was somewhere in between was kinda ugh.
Wild In The Streets:  I watched this on You Tube of all places. A  youth exploitation movie from 1968 I believe. I think it was supposed to be a satire of the youth movement of the time, but by the last reel it seems like the filmmakers just said “screw it” and decided to make it as over the top as possible. Hal Holbrook stars as an idealistic politician named John Furgus trying to woo the youth vote. A rock star named Max Frost endorses the candidate after the voting age  is lowered to 15. Eventually, Max becomes thirsty for power and becomes a candidate himself. Too late Hal realizes how power mad Max has become. The movie ends on ridiculous note ( I mean I think it’s supposed to be ridiculous on purpose ) where all the people who are over 30 are taken to concentration camps and fed LSD to take them under control.  Stuff I liked about this film are Shelly Winters, the song Shape of Things to Come, and a bit part by Richard Pryor. Richard doesn’t do much, but it’s just cool to see him. The movie occupies this weird tone where on one hand it seems to be pandering to the youth movement but the message seems to be “These Goddam kids are getting out of control!”
Ok…so I’m going to go back to trying to eating decent food again. Yesterday for dinner I had pork steak, potatoes, brocholli and carrots for dinner. I washed it down with a beer that was 5.5% instead of the usual I have which is 8%. Yea, me.
More than decade after Max Frost. Goddam kids are still causing trouble

Non-Sequitur #33: Umm…

Jaime Hernandez's Maggie the Mechanic by Adam Hughes

Some random stuff:

I bought some skim milk the other day. Jeez…I don’t know what I was thinking.

Standing at the corner waiting to cross the street, I almost got a contact high from a couple of guys           that walked pass me.

I haven’t read the books, but I have seen all the movies of the Millennium Trilogy and I’m kinda                  interested in how they will translate in the American remake. Here’s an interview with Stig Larsson’s        widow. She Speaks about Stig work as a journalist, the Norway tragedy, and other things .                                                                                  http://www.democracynow.org/2011/7/27/before_death_acclaimed_girl_with_dragon

I saw a girl with a tattoo of Will Ferrell from Anchor Man. Umm…OK?

I saw the Marilyn Monroe statue on State Street in Chicago. I’m sorry but that’s the tacky looking thing I’ve ever seen.    I mean, it’s just not a good statue.

On the train the other day, I saw a girl reading a hardcover of one of the Ultimate Spiderman comics. I couldn’t tell which volume it was, but it’s always good to see young people reading comics.

At work the other day I had to tell people to create a collage explaining their feelings about glue. Not how they use glue, but  how they FEEL about glue.What glue means to them. How glue is a part of their lives. Yeah…

Didn’t read any new comics,but I saw a couple of movies…

Captain America:   A lot people have been giving this film great reviews. I thought it was a good movie, but I wasn’t blown away. I liked all the actors in the film. I dug Chris Evan’s almost understated portrayal of Steve Rogers. I especially like Stanley Tucci as the professor who previously functioned as a plot device in  the comics, I actually felt for him as a character. The special effects were good and I liked the        whole bit with Steve as a propaganda tool. Things that I would have changed? Maybe trimmed the first hour a little, explained the political background of the war a bit more, and maybe made an action scene or two just a little more dynamic. But for the most part I enjoyed this movie.

The Man Who Fell to Earth:   This was a science fiction film starring David Bowie from 1975. David is an alien from another planet searching for water to save his drought ridden home world. Because he’s from an advanced planet he’s able to patent new technology and become the richest man on Earth. Eventually, he’s found out and subjected to humiliating experiments.Yeah, this is definitely a film made during the 70’s. Lots of strange camera shots and weird editing. Lots avant garde for the sake of avant garde.   I’m glad a saw this film and wouldn’t mind seeing it again, but I’m not sure if I’d recommend it to a casual movie goer. The version I saw I guess had restored footage. If you’re adventurous, give it a shot.

Next time I’ll be better prepared.