26.11.14

The Two-Hundred-Fifteenth Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

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I feel like there's never been a Manhunter story that was as good as its title page. That's not even meant as an insult to Manhunter stories - the title pages are just that good.

19.11.14

The Two-Hundred-Fourteenth Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

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The Spirit has a flying car? When did this happen?

12.11.14

The Two-Hundred-Thirteenth Greatest Panel in the History of Comics


This is a weird trend I've noticed reading a lot of WW2 comics - I've seen a bunch of examples of heroes fighting Nazis in Europe who, at a certain point, get transferred over to battling the Japs in the Pacific, since that's more marketable.

I understand why this happened, but the implied racial politics make me deeply uncomfortable.

5.11.14

The Two-Hundred-Twelfth Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

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I understand nothing about this. Why are FDR and Churchill plotting at the Arctic Circle?

More importantly, what's going on with the story? Burp hears people talking about bombing and assumes it's 'filth' columnists, then in panel six, he's shocked to find out that they're anti-Hitler, and not saboteurs. But way back in panel two, they're talking about stopping Nazis. So why didn't that tip him off?

29.10.14

The Two-Hundred-Eleventh Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

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Dear lord, is there anything better than metaphorical title pages? We know that a beat cop isn't going to go to a lost valley and fight a dragon, he's going to punch smugglers, one of them presumably going by the codename 'the green dragon'.

But just for one page, it's wonderful to pretend, isn't it?

22.10.14

The Two-Hundred-Tenth Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

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Oh my god, is there anything that isn't awful about this? Plastic Man is choking a chief with a peace pipe, a brave is running out of a teepee, wielding a stone tomahawk, and there's a war dance going on in the background.

If that weren't bad enough, there is - for absolutely no reason - a Swastika on the side of the teepee. Are these Nazi Injuns?

What is going on?

And how sad is it that The Spirit feels he has to beg for your attention from a corner of the cover?

15.10.14

The Two-Hundred-Ninth Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

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It doesn't happen that much, but sometimes I just have to pause and marvel when I see some great non-Spirit visual storytelling.

10.10.14

Filmmaking errors and their effects on narrative.

So imagine a movie that opens with a child being kidnapped. That kidnapping sets the plot in motion, and the search for the child is the main action of the film, with the identity of the kidnappers being a central mystery. Now imagine, two minutes later, a scene in which the mother, before the police come to tell her about her missing child, is talking on the phone in her living room, and in a mirror on the wall, the child is plainly visible getting a drink of water in the kitchen.

If you saw that, wouldn't you spend the rest of the film wondering what the mother's connection to the kidnapping was, and how the child was back at home after we saw them being abducted? Wouldn't it be a little infuriating if the film never addressed it?

Of course, from the filmmakers' point of view, none of this screwing with the audience was ever intended - during the editing process, they moved the kidnapping up to the start of the film, but they needed the content of the phone call to set something up in a later scene. Feeling that a flashback might be confusing, they just edited all of the shots of the child from the phone call scene, and then pretended that the phone call scene was taking place after the kidnapping, but before the mother finds out about it. Unfortunately, they missed the reflection in a couple of the shots, and they wound up leaving a deeply confusing image in the film.

Can an observant viewer be blamed for letting the awareness of that reflection colour their impressions and expectations of the rest of the film? This isn't like seeing wires attached to monster heads, or a boom mike drifting into the top of frame. This is an error that doesn't look like a mistake, and has the potential to drastically change the meaning of the film - possibly the most severe kind of mistake.

Which brings me to Curse of Chucky.

8.10.14

The Two-Hundred-Eighth Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

DuPont Firecrackers? What? Is that a thing people call dynamite? Why?

This calls for an investigation!

1.10.14

The Two-Hundred-Seventh Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

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Okay, all that is great, caption boxes, but is no one going to address the fact that the cobra is guarding a bag of gold coins? How is that not the most important part of this image?

24.9.14

The Two-Hundred-Sixth Greatest Panel in the History of Comics


This is Destiny riding a horse. Why is it that a man in a suit riding a horse such a bizarre image. Does this just never happen in fiction?

Is it just that the suit is buttoned up? Is it the yellow tie?

In any event, this image fascinates me!

17.9.14

The Two-Hundred-Fifth Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

Wow. A single comic panel that understands the FBI better than literally ever show on television.

Not that the boss here stops Plastic Man from solving the crime anyhow.

10.9.14

The Two-Hundred-Fourth Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

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No one - not even her father, the Senator, -can recognize Phantom Lady, who doesn't disguise herself in any way, shape, or form.

Sigh.

3.9.14

The Two-Hundred-Third Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

She's just broken that guy's neck, right? I mean, that's the only way to interpret a stomp on the throat with a corresponding lump at the back of the neck and the bizarre angle it's twisted at, isn't it?

27.8.14

The Two-Hundred-Second Greatest Panel in the History of Comics


No, but I'm fairly sure shooting a corpse is some kind of a crime, isn't it? Great crazy-face, though. Keep that up.