Odds and endgames

Been a bit since we’ve posted anything here at the Pocket Protector’s zombie-impregnable bunker. This will make for a bit of a lengthy post now, as there’s a lot going on in our bespectacled, suspendered world.

So have a seat. We have a three-course meal ready.

We’ll start with an appetizer to whet those closeted nerd appetites.

Focus Features’ zombie kid flick ‘Paranorman’ is A-grade excellent, and for those keeping a watchful eye for approaching undead clans here at the bunker, that’s saying a lot.

Animators Chris Butler and Sam Fell, who also worked on claymation hits like ‘Coraline,’ tell a really fun and visually interesting story. It’s about a boy who can see and converse with ghosts and gets caught in the crossfire of a raise-the-dead prophecy that threatens to overrun his town. Think ‘Sixth Sense’ meets ‘Night of the Living Dead,’ but for 10-year-olds. And dorks here at the bunker.

Now for the main course. Comics, comics, comics.

My MY there has been a lot going on in this corner. Publisher Marvel Comics will be making a lot of changes to its universe soon. Marvel NOW will take beloved characters like Captain America, Hulk and Iron Man back to no. 1 issues with new storylines and looks that will follow the numerous outcomes of the ongoing Avengers VS X-Men story arc. While this has been referred to as a reboot like DC Entertainment’s recent New 52 launch, editors say it’s quite a bit different.

Dynamic duo Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo – writer and artist respectively for ‘Batman’ – are bringing the Joker back out of the shadows. When we last saw the Clown Prince of Crime, he’d purposefully cut his own face off in the New 52′s Detective Comics No. 1, then disappeared. Now he’s back, Leatherface-style. If Snyder’s Tweets have even a degree of truth to them, it’s going to be one hell of a scary arc.

In the words of Heath Ledger’s ‘Dark Knight’ Joker: “People will die.”

Speaking of Snyder, the Twitterverse buzzed for a few hours this weekend during a Tweet feud Snyder was part of. Comics icon Rob Liefield, who recently announced he’d be stepping down from his duties as artist/writer on DC’s Hawkman, Grifter and Deathstroke titles, went after Snyder, claiming the Batman writer had berated him for lashing out at DC after he announced he was quitting.

“Excuse me if I don’t marvel at your amazing abilities to write Batman. Piss off,” Liefield said at one point in their jab match.

Snyder fired right back: “I’ll give you credit, Rob. Batman might sell in spite of me and Greg Capullo as you say, but Deathstroke and Hawkman failed because of you.”


Snyder later apologized for his part in the digital boxing match. Liefield also went off on DC, Marvel and Marvel vice president Tom Brevoort, criticizing his weight.

We here at the bunker bid you good astonished riddance, Mr. Liefield. You keep burning bridges at this rate, you’re eventually going to set yourself on fire.

But on the other end, another comics departure we’re quite sad about is Ed Brubaker, Captain America scribe of eight years and author of numerous well-penned crime comics. Brubaker announced on Twitter he was “done doing superhero books for awhile,” choosing instead to focus on more independent works. If his wildly popular horror/noir “Fatale” comic is an indicator of how that will go, we’re not worried at all. Really, we’ll just miss his voice in the Cap comics. He made a historically goofy character grounded, serious and relevant in the 21st century, and that’s commendable.

Finally, artist/writer Jeff Lemire banked another slam dunk for a stand alone graphic novel with “The Underwater Welder.” It’s a dark, surprisingly moving tale about a Canadian offshore rig welder named Jack, a married man with a son on the way who is on a subconscious quest to find his father, presumed dead after slipping into the ocean’s cold waters when Jack was 10. I’ve admired Lemire’s talent as a storyteller and artist for over a year now, and his newest story shows he’s nowhere close to being out of truly unique ideas.

For dessert, it’s important you know the bunker is in full-fledged watercolor painting overload. I tried it on a whim a couple months back, and I haven’t stopped. I shared a couple of them below. The deer/boy is Gus, from “Sweet Tooth,” yet another amazing story by Mr. Lemire.

End transmission.

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    Ryan Pfeil

    This is a blog for southern Oregonians to check in on all things geek. Sci-fi, history, comics, movies, video/photo and anything else that would have gotten you shut in a locker in high school. Have fun. Read Full
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