Thursday, February 19, 2009


How many of us have them?!?

GEMS...ones we can depend on...

Now I’m sure all Posse members have their favorite stores, and that we all could probably rank them in order. I’m sure we all have our least favorites too (because ANY store w/ comics is still a “favorite”, right). But how many of us have a "GEM”?

I do. In true GEM fashion it’s not the place I keep my saver ((regular pull)) list. It’s not the super-duper glitzy comic-o-rama semi-chain that has more than one location in my city. It’s not even the place around the corner from my house that I hit up on days when I get some spare time and dough to waste. It’s none of those.

But I probably wouldn’t want to write about any of them.

As I define it: a GEM is a building in which I find the greatest deals in the history of the universe. Others may define GEM differently, and that’s their prerogative. Word to B. Brown.

I only tell two kinds of people about my GEM:

· Those whose collections, and collecting appetites, I respect but they DO NOT collect anything I might be after
· “Squares” ((People who have no use for comic books))
· My PTP brethren!!

My GEM is called GREAT ESCAPE GAMES, and is located at 1250 Howe Ave. here in Sacramento, CA. I shit you not, it is invisible from either of the two frontage roads you use to get to it and faces the back parking lot of an adjacent apartment complex. I am not kidding, still no shitting going on here, I once heard an employee describe to someone, over the phone, that in order to find the place once they got to the parking lot they should “pretend you’re going to go dump a couch”!!! I mean is that GEM material or not?

So what is so great about this place, aside from being utterly invisible to all who drive past it? Well, it’s not “really” a comic book shop. Nay. Nay I say. This store is probably about 10% comic book and 90% gamer. Not video-gamer, nay again, this place is for the serious “role player”. This place abounds with Worlds of Warcraft, Magic: the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, D&D, and HeroClix ((the one I’d ever consider getting into)). They also have a shit load of those kind of board games that you’ve never heard of, cost $69.99, and have a baker’s dozen or so stickers on the front proclaiming that this game swept each category of the 2002 European “Toy of the Year” Awards. The store is also unique in that only the front 25% or so is devoted to retail. Pass through the make-shift 4’X9’ hole in the wall and you find yourself in Gamer Tournament Paradise. Table after table of acne-riddled sexual frustration can be found there 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, tackle boxes and expansion pack decks at the ready. Some tables are devoid of people but are covered with “terra”, half demolished castles, miniature houseplants representing the forest, miniature cacti representing the desert, and brown and green painted Styrofoam. The people watching in here is choice **smuah**

However, as fun as all of that may be for a couple of minutes, the true beauty to this GEM is to be found in the long boxes. For it is there, my fellow POSSE members, that you will find laminated 8.5X11 sheets of paper stating:

Dollar Boxes – Buy 5 get 1 FREE, Buy 10 get 3 FREE

“So what?” You may say out loud to noon in particular as you read that. Or you might scream it at some unsuspecting neighbor, and if you did you should now apologize. I’ll wait. Well, Mr./Mrs. So What, I’ll tell you “so what”:

In the 25 or so long boxes, stacked in such a way that there’s 10 on a table top ((2 rows of 5 back-to-back)) and 10 below, with another 5 set off in the corner, that comprise this discount comic book bonanza…you can find last week's books!! That’s right…that’s how they do around GREAT ESCAPE GAMES…they have the smallest shelf set up for the books that come out that week only. Anything older than that gets moved straight to the dollar bin section. I am still crapping you negative. Negatory are the B.M.s here, my friends. Not only is it possible to stumble upon that long sought after Action or Detective Comics you’ve been looking for since ’03, but its highly probable that you’ll stumble upon that long sought after LAST. WEEK’S. BOOK. And won’t that have been well worth the hunt?

It has been tres lovely, folks.

And I do mean tres.

For example: I only recently discovered that the current Ultimate Spider-man team is Bendis and Immonen, both guys whose works I find I tend to appreciate above most others. I had about 20 or so issues to back track and collect if I wanted the entire body of work. It’s a pricey situation, but that’s the way I have to have things. Well, thanks to the GEM known as G.E.G., I found 10 of those 20 for $10, and then got an additional 3 books for free…just on G.P.!

Here’s my haul from Feb. 17th, 2009, now mind, I paid $12.83 for this little bundle:

JLA - #29
JSA - #12, 14, 15
Punisher MAX - #24, 29, 55, 62
New Avengers - #1 (3 copies – Imma see if I can peddle them elsewhere and for what value. There’s still 3 more #1s in the bin)
Amazing Spider-Man - #585
Ultimate Spider-man - #130
Daredevil - #115

EYE POOP EWE NON. (All palindrome style on that ass).

That’s just a little taste of how I feel about it, a little taste of why this place deserves to be written about.

What about you? Any GEMs in your area? Give ‘em some shine. What do you like about them?

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Love Is No Longer Blind

The following statement has been very hard for me to come to terms with, let alone for me to write down as my current formal position on the matter, but I must speak the truth. Prep Time Posse brethren:

DARDEVIL is no longer my top comic book.

Whew. Gotta take a personal moment and compose myself. …3…2…and…1…okay, I’m ready to continue.

I don’t like saying it, but the quality of the book has steadily deteriorated since Brubaker and Lark took over from the HOF run of Bendis and Maleev (the run that made me fall in love with the blind Irishman). It kinda started when Matt went on his grand tour of Europe, North Africa, French Guyana, and Khazikstan. It festered for a bit and really became just blatantly obvious with the last 8 issues: the Cruel & Unusual and Lady Bullseye storylines.

For evidence of which I speak, one need look no farther than issue #110. This issue, which was a culmination of a 4-issue storyline ((and what issue of what comic ISN’T currently part of a multi-issue, soon-to-be-traded storyline)), was co-written, as weer the previous 3 installments, by Greg Rucka. Now, Rucka is another one of my faves, his Q&C and CHECKMATE street cred is gold plated with me, but even his sheen couldn’t polish this turd. I can only assume he was aboard to answer legal and/or black co-ops questions for Brubaker because there’s lots of both in this storyline. The problem is neither of those elements are wrapped up quite clearly, or interestingly for that matter, and we need a 3 page expository conversation between two minor characters, one of whom we’ve never seen before, to make sense of how everything went down.

The biggest peanut in this turd, however, is the pacing of the action. Now I loves me some DAREDEVIL ass whoopin and I am certainly one who’ll bend the rules of reality for the sake of a well-told super-hero fight, but this was ridiculoid. At the beginning of 110, a continuation of the conclusion of 109, Matt’s about to throw-down with a penthouse full of oncoming SWAT team members who are all armed and ready to rock with their sub-machine guns. Not only that, but there’s a sniper in a heliocopter just outside the penthouse repeatedly being told to “take the shot”. The sniper opens up, the SWAT guys open up, Matt’s focusing on heartbeats and doing donkey kicks…bada boom, bada bing, he’s got the SWAT dudes subdues and decides to make for daylight through the window towards the flying sniper’s roost. More SWAT guys unload towards the fleeing crimson crusader who, amidst a hail of sub-machine fire opening up not 10 feet behind him, dives blindly (HAH!) through the window. He DOES take care to tuck his head in both hands so as to protect his lady-killer face.

Now here’s where it gets my dander up. In the very next panel Matt Murdock, aka DAREDEVIL, aka The Man Without Fear, is flying. Above him and seemingly about 50 feet away or so, the sniper stands at the opened helicopter door saying “SON OF A—“ as either the chopper or one of the baker’s dozen automatic weapons that are firing at him says CHAKCHAKCHAKCHAKCHAK”. Now…one could interpret this as Matt simply leaping out the whatever-storyeth window and plummeting gracefully while people shoot at him. One could…until the very next panel which shows, I shit you not, DAREDEVIL clinging to the roof of the chopper and doing a swingin-double kick right into the moosh of the baddy who was snipin’ at him. SOMEHOW THIS FUCKER JUMPED OUT THE WINDOW BELOW AND AWAY FROM THE HELICOPTER, THEN ROSE ABOVE IT AND GRABBED IT, NADIA COMENICI’D THE BAD GUY WITHOUT TAKING SO MUCH AS A HANGNAIL, and then!! Then!! He jumps out the OTHER side of the helicopter, once again plummeting gracefully. We don’t se the ffects of this though, as the bad guy in the chopper tells us, “…we lost him…” The next time we see Matt, he isn’t lost, no he is in his kitchen removing his mask to wash his face. Breaking the laws of physics and falling from several hundred feet to the pavement below can really dirty up a guy. DD needed a refresher.

Am I being nit-picky?

Perhaps. But whoever’s fault that whole action sequence was, whether it was the illustrator or the writer, and the incredibly sloppy conclusion to it, as well as to the whole storyline, is indicative of why I no longer find DAREDEVIL my absolute favoritest book.

P.S. I’ve never been crazy about Marko Djurdjevic’s covers either.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

How To Cast Comic-Book Flix

Who as Who in What?!

Instead of thinking about it like “Who is right actor to play Wolverine” ((fuck the dumb shit, Huge Gackman was NOT the right person for the role)), I usually catch myself thinking about it like “What super-hero would Leonardo di Caprio be the guy right for???!”.

Anyone else do this? What have you come up with?

Clint Walker circa 1967 as The Punisher – Anyone who has seen The Dirty Dozen ((and if you are a heterosexual American male who hasn’t then you either need to move to Canada or blow the first guy you see)) and seen the character “Posey” knows who I’m talking of. 6’6” and a muscled 260, they could have shown the movie on this guy’s chest. He was BORN to play Frank castle, only if the space-time continuum and the laws of physics didn’t exist.

Leonardo di Caprio as Gambit – I hate that Remy Etienne LaBeau is the one name that keeps coming to mind for him because he’s too good of an actor and Gambit sucks anyway. Still, tho….
Josh Brolin as Deadshot – something about him SCREAMS Floyd Lawton!

Scott Caan as Wolverine – The neck. Just…the neck. Plus he’s short and stocky. Then, the Alchemist could show up and they could double team the guys from Ugly Duckling in what could only be described as "A 1997 Backpacker's Wet Dream".

Matt Damon as Daredevil – This is NOT stuntcasting just because Ben Whoffleck? Was so horribly miscast as Matthew Murdock back in the first pic. Its because everywhere Ben was wrong for the role, Matt is right. He’s shown in the Bourne trilogy that he can do some good hand-to-hand, and that was the worst thing about watching Daredevil: seeing this big gawky, stiff and slow guy supposedly be a master martial artist. I’ve seen where Jason Statham is supposed to be DD, w/ Frank Miller’s blessing ((as if he’s the go-to guy for what makes a good movie)), but I don’t think he can lose that innder-city London accent. He’s not THAT good of an actor.

Daniel Craig as Oliver Queen – Maybe it’s because he’s British and Ollie reminds me of Robin Hood…I dunno.

Dennis Haysbert as Gen. Nicholas Fury (Marvel Ultimates universe) – I know the character was originally created to be Sam jJack but I’d like to see Fury be less “street” and Haysbert has that presidential cache

James Carville as Scarecrow ((DC)) – Screw Cillian Murphy. Carville wouldn’t even need makeup.

“Randall from SCRUBS” as UATU The Watcher – some are so easy I should get a finder’s fee.

Vincent D’Onofrio as Thor – He knows the character already!!Paul Walker as Speedball –

Because I would LOVE to see a whole film of him getting tortured mercilessly as Pennance.

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