Monday, September 11, 2006

THE DAY MIDDLE AMERICA TOTALLY GOT ATTACKED

In this post I go out of my way to prove I have no soul, taste or talent. This is for the doubters. Hatas, make way.

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Went out to get some A-1 Deli supplies and noticed they had turned the big World Trade Center floodlights on for the five-year anniversary of the World Trade Center attack.

I love it when they turn the lights on. It looks like I'm just one stop away from putting myself behind the wheel of a used Subaru. At these great 9-11 prices? Why not TWO?

I just picture an Uncle Sam and an Osama Bin Laden yelling at me in puns. "Feel the freedom of a factory re-fubished Subaru!" "These towering prices are crashing down!" "No downpayments for qualified buyers, they're Penta-GONE!"

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Picked up a bunch of Fells. It's... cartoonier than I imagined. But I like the character designs. Templesmith is pretty good with body language and facial expressions, but it's weird that the characters never open their mouths unless they're yelling. It also doesn't match the density and drama of Casanova. It's certainly likable, but I wish Richard Fell wasn't such a good cop. He's more CSI than The Wire good. And things resolve themsleves awfully quickly. It's the problem of pacing for 16 pages, especially when you're used to packing a lot less story into 176 pages. And it's something to watch out for. I'll certainly pick up more do see how Ellis continues to work through his self-imposed challenge. And, like I wrote, it's still enjoyable.

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If I do go ahead with this experiment, I'll have to include writing about Phil Spector, Wall of Sound, "Be My Baby" and "River Deep, Mountain High." Apparently, it's one of the obligations.

For the record, "River Deep, Mountain High" is damn-overrated as a masterpiece. It doesn't feel like a wall of sound. It feels like a jam band full of dirty hippies. And Tina Turner's voice really overpowers the sonics instead of merging with them.

On the other hand, "Be My Baby" is one of the most pefect pop tunes ever. It's more than the opening kick drum (which has to be one of the top ten song intros), it's all the Latin percussion without the Latin rhythm. It's the spooky Ronnette's harmonies. It's the way Ronnie's (?) voice bleeds out of the backing vocals. It's the way teenagers talk about sex as love and dependancy in the way that just sounds disturbed to an adult. It's that impenetrable mix of instruments that only gives way during the string-section bridge.

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So, I looked at the early scibbles I laid down late last night and saw something I didn't want to see. Damn. I screwed the pooch right out of the gate, didn't I? I wanted to do "Crazy in Love" and the first four panels feature two comfortable characters sitting on the edge of a bed. Talking. Things kick in after that, but why did I start so boring? At the very least, I need to get these two on some windswept rooftop... or balcony... or pier, even. There was nothing intrinsic about the scene that required an edge of a bed. THIS is the sort of thing I need to avoid. It's a comic for crissakes. And not one about two people sitting on the edge of a bed. I've done enough of that already. It's got the freakin' horns-blaring cover image (one of the projects gestational ideas) but then it needs to go into a little more "Oh-oh! Oh-oh! Oh-ohwa-ohwa! I'm gonna... Oh-oh! Oh-oh! Oh-ohwa-ohwa!" And then the freaking horns! again! Then the 'verse' and then it's horns and the chorus and crazy go nuts.

Why did I bother diagramming five or six pop songs if I'm gonna toss the work the second the pen hits the paper? Wait. I did what? I'm such a nerd. Shut up. No, you shut up.

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I also picked up the usually entertaining Scott McCloud's Making Comics. Mostly out of curiosity, because I already know how to make comics. Making Comics Gooder is the book I really need. But I'd settle for Making People with Money Buy Your Crap Because You've Hypnotized Them into Thinking It's Good. Or, maybe, No One Wants to Read Your Comics About People Sitting on the Edge of a Bed, You Souless Piece of Crap!

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