Monday, October 30, 2006

PAGE 15

BANG IT OUT BANG IT OUT!

Page 15: The Pencilled. Deep-fried finito! Dr. Finished McSlapitaround.

This puts me one page ahead of the Fast Schedule, and I think I'm done for tonight. I'd need to do three more pages of pencils to get to the Ultra Schedule, and I don't have it tonight.

However, the Fast Schedule has me getting two more pages done by Tuesday. The closest I can get that to SIX pages, the closer I get to ultimate abandonment. Cartoonist Nirvana. Winter-Green Enlighten Mints.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

HITTIN' THAT

In order to hit The Schedule, I had to have 12 pages of pencils done by the end of the day. 14 pages would put me on the Fast Schedule and 18 is for Supa Fast.

I have 14 pages of pencils done. I'm about to start Page 15. Aiming for the Supa Fast and Ultra Awesome.

33.333...%

Page 12 pencils are the done. One third of the way to the great pencil finish tape in the sky. Can you smell what the Fox is cookin'?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

WAKE UP

Woke up to tighten the middle of page 11 and done do the bottom. Looking at it, I realized there was a way for me to make the page take twice as long to complete, so I did it. I hope it turns out well once I lay ink and reduce it. It's the craziest page to date, and we all know how dating crazies can be.

Anyway, the page is done and it's on to page 12! Blammo!

HI-YO!

Page 10 is pencilled. Page 11 is about about halfway done, depending on how long the flying lizards and rats take — certainly not as long as the architecture at the top of the page. The architecture and comic-bookiness is taking the longest to do, but I think it's going to be worth it. If I nail the animals, that will REALLY be worth it. They've been fast to draw so far, but there's just a shit-load of them coming, lots of over-lapping.

I'm glad that Marcos seems to have caught the mega-enthusiasm bug, too. So, I'm not completely alone.

For the googlers and other searchers, more of The List is coming soon. I've got about 150 more songs to add, I just need to take the time to write.

I realized how I might start describing this, which is nice. At first I was going with a "What if The Incal was written well" sort of mission statement, but that sounded terrible. Then I went with a "What if The Incal was written with a more modern sensibility." Still not great. Now it's a little more, "What if Trondheim and Sfar did a Moebius-style sci-fi book." It's not the best marketing campaign, but it's a start. I'd like to get it into more of a "What if you never heard of Moebius, The Incal, Trondheim or Sfar" phraseology. Not exactly for 'marketing' so much as for answering that dread question I'm always asked; variations on "What's it about?" "What sort of comics do you do?" "Tell me about your book." "Fascinating. I love The Incredibles. Is it like that?" Fair questions most, I just never have a great answer.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

TAKE THAT

Page 9. BLAM! In fairness, it's the most straightforward of pages. Big, simple images. Still... BLAM!

SLAP IT ROUND RIGHT ROUND BABY

Page 8! Call the doctor! Call me Denzel, Ishmael. 'Cause I'm a man on fire. Get me a whale. I'll hunt it for the meat. Shimmy shimmy yay. Give me the pencil, and I'll take it away again, Sam. 8 pages of pencils. Schedule! How's my driving?

That's got me right on schedule. The goal, though, is to hit the ultra schedule. If I have page 10 pencils done after Friday night, that's the schedule. If I have page 12 pencils done after Friday night, that's the ultra schedule. Four pages in two nights.

I think I can get 9 and 10 done tomorrow. 11 and 12 are going to be a little bit tougher. GOAL!

Now. Sleep.

PAGE 7

Pencils. BLAM! Page 7 had maybe the most complex architecture to date, and was interupted by Lost. Done now. BLAM!

Page 8 to comes!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

NAILED IT

Page 6, consider yourself nailed. Page 7? Prepare for nailing. We're taking it out a whole new door.

WORKED UP

I got very worked up last night, especially after getting orders from two stores that had never ordered from me before. Then I was calling out every comics creator I admired and saying that my new book would crush them all. This is my new attitude. I'm actively competing with every cartoonist and consider their best work to be an open challenge. I envision something like when Brian Wilson heard Revolver and countered with Pet Sounds. Except, in this world, he doesn't scrap Smile, hears Sgt. Pepper and makes Smile. Then it keeps building. Or when the Minutemen responded to Zen Arcade with Double Nickels on the Dime. Or like when All Eyez On Me followed Ready to Die.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of cartoonists I admire. So, I was up very late. Then, when I was finally waring out and falling asleep, some kids decided to play ring and run with the building's doorbells. For half an hour.

So, now I'm working on about three hours sleep. Yay!

Doesn't matter, the pages are getting done. Slowly, but AWESOMELY.

Anyway, I'm calling you out. Y'all better make some great comics in the next couple months, because I'm goin' all Hikaru No Go on all use asses. This book is gonna rock hard like biznaz. All Eyez On the Double Nickels Making Pet Sounds. Crack a window and slap it around. Damn.

Monday, October 23, 2006

SUPPLE MENTS

Blogging by email from the office.

I'm thinking about supplementary material for Earth Minds #8. Much of
this goes back to what the Looooonnnngstreth and Sim were talking
about in their indiespinnerrack interviews. The idea of A) giving
more bangs for bucks (or bangs for free, 'cause being a slut is
really my default setting) and B), as the Sim put it, making sure the
reader is still immersed in the book even after he's finished the
cheese dootles he bought with it. I still like the idea of short
chunks, but alternating the short chunks with the long thickness is
what I should be doing. What we all should be doing. Do it!

Listening to the Sim interview was particularly nice, on reflection.
I stayed with Cerebus long after the point where he went all Dennis
Miller/Christopher Hitchens with added misogyny and Judeo-Christian-
Islamo fanaticism, and only left when I started to get bored with the
monthly installments of Ernest Hemmingway (Ham Ernestway, oy). I made
it pretty far, but realised I couldn't read it anymore. But I forgot
how much I missed his OTHER fanatical obsession: making and self-
publishing comics. He's really the best there is at getting you
motivated to work, and getting you to work better than you thought
you were going to.

Anyway, I'd definitely like to do a quick
idea>thumbnail>pencil>ink>digitize>color? piece. It's something I
always LOVE seeing, but never included because... well, it seems like
the very height of hubris. But I love it when other people do it,
even when I don't absolutely love the finished work. And I'm no worse
than people I don't care for, so maybe it'll be a good thing for
people like me.

Maybe include a history essay on where all this came from, and where
it might be headed. The book, that is. Other places the book was
going before it became what it's becoming. Things that influenced it
and the like.

If I've got The List done, I think that'd be the ultimate super crazy
inclusion. I really, really, really (with sugar on top), want to have
that be included. That will be soooooo awesome.

Maybe a Cliff Face catalog page. I've been thinking about doing a
Cliff Face Catalog for some time. maybe once Marcos revamps the
store... What's that?

What else can I throw in there? I want this book to be nearly
unfoldable in its massiveness.

——————————————————————

I need to get myself an office dude-friend. I went out for lunch and
saw this girl who got the fall fashion memos all screwed up. She
thought the bulky sweater with leggings look would work with a bulky
sweater and thin stockings. The sweater wasn't nearly long enough to
do it right. But what was being done was AWESOME. I looked all around
for someone to talk to, but all there were were hollering fools. I
got back to the office and realized my best dude-friend is a girl,
and she's away on her honeymoon — and it's not the same with her. I
just need a daytime dude-friend to share these experiences with, so I
don't blog about them and get in the troubles. Damn Protestant blog-
readers. Dude.

MORDUN

Had to pick up Evelyn at the airport and spend the time, so I didn't get at much done as I wanted to, but I've at least finished page five's pencils. I need to look at bldgblog some more to get inspiration for architecture, because I'm starting to repeat mice elf, and I really don't want to do that too much.

But I'm feeling groovy. I'm deep in the groove. I'm well-worn. And that means... it's time for a schedule. One of my goals in life is too actually meet one of these schedules. I think I can do it with this one.

Finish pencils on Wednessday, November 22. It's the day before my birthday and Thanksgiving (which seem to be falling on the same day more often in adulthood than they did in childhood). What a gift that will be to me: finishing the pencils.

MY CALENDAR ONLY GOES TO 2007! NOOOOOOO!

Anyway, finish the inks on the main book on January 2 (it gets spread out for holidays).

I haven't decide if this is going to be in color or not yet. It could really go either way. If I'm smart, I'll start doing digital work as I ink pages. But I'll give a day a page anyway, because color could kill me.

That's got me done with digitals on February 7.

I could have these all printed and assembled by February 18.

That is really, really depressing. Four months after #7 debuts.

Let's make a ludicris schedule, based on completing five pages this weekend. Imagining Alec Longstreth and Dave Sim breathing down my neck every minute.

The above is based on an average of a page a day, minus holiday, of each stage of work. The below is based on one page a day per weekday and two page each Saturday and Sunday, minus holidays.

Pencils are done November 16.
Inks are done December 15.
Digitals done January 16.
And assemblies done January 23. BLAM! Only three months to completion!

Now, if I do THREE PAGES every TWO WEEKDAYS, and... okay. Let's not get too ahead of ourselves. (eh, the most breakneck I can imagine has me done assembling on December 26, first day of Kwanzaa — which would be the awesome, even if it means I'll have run out of friends at that point.)

I also want to have THE LIST finished then. D-MAN, can I do it?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

BETTER

Very special thanks to Charlito and Mr. Phil for Indie Spinner Rack, which has been a big part of reinvigorating my drawing hand this weekend. I've been listening to their podcast interviews with Jamie Tanner, G. B. Tran, Alec Longstreth and Dave Sim. Inspirational and funny, these guys have gotten me to 1/3 of the way through the pencils of page 5 of EMAW #8. I started page one panel 1 last night, so I feel chuggy.

It feels good. I was feeling a bit... let down? by issue 7. It's always hard for me to enjoy a book right after I'm done with it though. Maybe I'll feel more satisfied with it once I start hating the new book. So, probably two weeks or so from now. It is nice to stretch the art in a different way, even if all the perspective lines are killing my arms. Aside from doing backgrounds out my wazoo, which is just a tremendous leap from the last book, I'm happy that some of the gags I'd written out last month are turning out nicely.

Actually, the whole book feels leapy. I think people are going to see this issue as a leap. At least the people in my head will.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

So Brrrrr

Well, tonight looks to be my second straight night of sobriety since last Tuesday. Wednessday night was the scotch as I finished prepping for the show. Thursday was beer and wine for the first night in Bethesda. Friday was wine and beer and whiskey and then back to wine... which led to a rather miserable first few hours at the show on Saturday (barely a recap/apology over here). Saturday night was beer, wine and whiskey and wine. Sunday... wine. Monday, manny beers. Tuesday was a lot of whiskey and a shot of jagermeister for some kind of measure (somewhere beyond good and evil).

Last night, I pretty much tried to recover. Tonight should be drawing. I want to have pencil on paper before anyone starts reading the latest issue of Earth Minds Are Weak, regretting I was ever a part of their lives.

The show (SPX) was great, for all the faults shows have. We only have plans to do two next year (maybe three), and it would be nice to go to one without doing all the selling (or the not-selling as the case may be), because it can burn you out as much as inspire you. But we're most likely not going to a show until summer, making the whole convention period seem fresher... maybe. I kind of envy the Mike Dawsons, Heidi MacDonalds, Bob Schrecks and Jogs of the world, with their schmoozing, buying, hanging, hiding and guest being.

It's always great to catch up with other comics nerds and meet new ones and get new comics in heavilly lop-sided trades (haha! I win!). I'm sure I'll be hankering to go once MoCCA happens again. Maybe.

But, for now, it's time for dinner and then it's back to work. I've got thumbnails waiting to be transformed into crap (I even managed to do some work on the bus ride down — not so much the extended, Adam Sandler-blaring ride back), so I'd better hotfoot it. I dream of finishing the next book in time for the holiday, I just hope it's the holidays THIS year.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

TWO FINGERS OF DOOM

There's a whole Latverian girlfriend joke I'd love to make.

I cracked the 15-year old Dalwhinnie Single Malt Highland Scotch Whisky. Dos digits doses. Prep work for the SPX (the small press show you just don't pronounce as a word). Five books to staple and then I'm packin' heat.

I hope I don't forget anything.

Looking forward to a good show, looking even more forward to just not being at the job. I'll be working on thumbs for the next couple Earth Minds Are Weak on the Vamoose bus on the way down. I know that I'll be all exited to get right back to work as soon as I get back. I always am, and this time I'll be ready to lay pencil as soon as I stumble back in the door.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

CROSSING THE WOODEN QUARTER?

In theory, the quarter mark on the 2007 GREATEST SONGS FOR 2007 should be at 502. In reality, I think I might exceed 2007 on my first run-through. In which case, I don't know where the quarter mark is. Hey, it's not rocket science, it's Techno-Techno Science. I'm sure I'll know exactly what to do when it's time to do the thing I'll have to do, no matter how unlikely it is that I'll know to do that thing.

486. Destro's Secret The Dillinger Escape Plan Calculating Infinity
487. 4th Grade Dropout The Dillinger Escape Plan Calculating Infinity

The PLAN was to walk through walls — The Mgt. TDE don't walk through walls, so much as bulldoze through them. Then stop and do some speed twinkling. Then they bulldoze again. I was always bad at time signatures (I failed every test in high school), and I don't know what it means to switch from 5/9 time to 37/3 time on a dime, but apparently it makes music hard to get into unless you're listening to it live. I've never seen them live, so I don't know what I'm missing, man. I do know that this is loud, angry, not-as-messy-as-it-seems, mega-rollercoaster, agression music. If the world ever needs less of that, I'll be on my way out — carried by a talking dolphin.

488. Good Things Sleater-Kinney call the doctor
489. I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone Sleater-Kinney Call The Doctor

Three hot chicks make catchy anthemic rock songs. It goes against every perceived law of music thought that Sleater-Kinney weren't the biggest band in the world. Hell, I didn't even have more than a few of their songs until recently. Is their something wrong with me or the perceived law? More respected than popular, S-L SHOULD have been both. I don't know ANYone who didn't love them after hearing them one time. Maybe not enough people heard them. Maybe I don't know enough people.

490. Sinners Bleed Entombed Clandestine
491. Evilyn Entombed Clandestine
492. Strangers Aeons Entombed Clandestine
493. Crawl Entombed Clandestine

I love the fact that Death Metal is/was so prevelant in the Scandinavian countries. What I love even more is that one of the greatest Death Metal albums of all time is from Sweden. That's funnier if you growl Death Metal and squeek out a Sweden. Entombed took those snow-bunny fur bikinis and replaced them with skulls. Growling skulls with fire-breathing worms crawling out of their eyes. All four of these songs should give you a sense of the breadth Death Metal is capable of, but rarely explores. Hell, any ONE of these songs should give you enough musical variety, thrashiness, dime-stop switches, drumtasticness and epicosity to satisfy your darkest desire.

494. Iron Galaxy Cannibal Ox Cold Vein
495. Straight Off The D.I.C. Cannibal Ox Cold Vein
496. The F-Word Cannibal Ox Cold Vein
497. Real Earth Cannibal Ox Cold Vein
498. Ridiculoid Cannibal Ox Cold Vein
499. Scream Phoenix Cannibal Ox Cold Vein

For some reason, my iTunes had Cold Vein listed as El-P's instrumental version of this album. Which I have, but haven't imported. Weird. Anyway, that's why it's out of alphabetical order. I got to CanOx backwards, from Aesop Rock to El-P to the cypher unknowns. Imagine my surprise when I found out El-P could produce great, non-insane beats — slow beats at that. CanOx may have been the best grindingly slow rap group ever. Vast Air makes rhyming slow an actual artform. It's all a bit creepy and a lot lush. Brillaint stuff.

500. Odalisque The Decemberists Castaways And Cutouts

This is the only song on Castaways that really stands out for me. I like it because the name reminds me of those stretched-out, boneless Ingres paintings, which is a good way of describing the Decemberists.

501. Bad Mutha Cee-Lo Cee-Lo Green And His Perfect Imperfections
502. Closet Freak Cee-Lo Cee-Lo Green And His Perfect Imperfections
503. Live (Right Now) Cee-Lo Cee-Lo Green And His Perfect Imperfections
504. El Dorado Sunrise (Super Chicken) Cee-Lo Cee-Lo Green And His Perfect Imperfections
505. Gettin' Grown Cee-Lo Cee-Lo Green And His Perfect Imperfections
506. Microhard Cee-Lo Feat. Jahalla & Kirkland Underwater Cee-Lo Green And His Perfect Imperfections

If Al Green and Rick James were Greek gods (and who's to say they aren't?) they'd have gotten bored on Olympus on high one day and sprouted Cee-Lo, fully formed, from their temporarily conjoined foreheads. Then they'd set him on some impossible tasks: Make a solo record that will freak out any fans of your previous group's hits. Done. Release a southern hip-hop/soul album weirder than anything Outkast had ever done while Stankonia ruled the charts. Check. Release another crazy album right after Speakerboxxxxx/Love Below was released. Next? Secure you're biggest hit writing a song held hostage by robots impersonating women. Hello, Pussycat Dolls! Then write a not-so-crazy song called Crazy BEFORE Outkast put out a crapblum and finally get people to worship at your feet. There you go. But before Z100 was crankin' Cee-Lo 24/7, Cee-Lo made his solo debut with this album and blew the few of us listening away with the above crazy-gonuts. I love Cee-Lo, and he can raise his spoiled kid however he wants (a helicopter? C'mon!), so long as he keeps making such awesome shit. I do wish he rapped more. Listen to the raps on these and wonder why Big Boi so slow and Twista so lacking inventiveness.

The Rules
1-85
86-113
114-230
231-321
322-338
339-408

Monday, October 09, 2006

WHY SHOULD GOOD LUCK COME IN STRINGS?

After a weekend of just about everything going right, everything went wrong tonight. Maybe it started earlier... when I woke up to find an empty coffee pot five minutes before I was set to go to work. Or when I tried to use the post office on freakin' Columbus Day. Then I realized I needed to print copies to replace the ones going in the mail. Then I started applying stickers at an angle. Then my printer started trying to print on two sheets at the same time. Then images started printing upsidedown. Then I stapled books 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch off the center. Then I stapled books with pages only printed on one side. Then I knocked over and broke the sacred coffee mug.

I only had a little work left to do. I my brain is refusing to do it. I should be sprinting towards the finish line, but I find myself out of breathe. The finish line is lilting and getting further away.

Wha hoppen?

I need to start drinking again. And I shouldn't be trying to cut down on the cigarettes. Not now. And I need to go to bed.

And why does an album I bought from iTunes show up as Candestine, when it's obvioulsy called Clandestine? It's their in the album art. Right there!

SPX: THE FINAL STRETCH

Okay. I'm actually in a good place with the latest issue of Earth Minds Are Weak. I was starting to doubt whether I'd get all the printing/assembling done in time for SPX this weekend, but I wound up finishing most of the work. All the interior books are fully printed and assembled. I just have to apply the stickers to the envelopes and stuff them. I went through a brief bitch session asking why I'd decided on these stickers, but the finished product is so worth it. And the application isn't bad at all. If I was doing 200 of them, there'd be a problem.

Hopefully, by the time I've posted this on the blog (emailing from work), I'll have bought new reams and some gluestick. I have about four sheets of usable paper left. Where did all my reams go?

I'm also doing some updating on the Cliff Face site. I never put issue six up on the EMAW page... until now. I'm also thinking that I'd like to do something different with that page in the next couple weeks. Fix the jpegs, for starters. Maybe make it a page of thumbs that link to larger images. And we need to do something about the store. What happened to Marcos' plans? His big plans?

————————————————————————

Still working on the LIST as the quarter mark approaches. I've hit another moment of "haven't listened to it enough to know what to do"itis with the Dillinger Escape Plan. For some reason, for years, I thought they were a ska band. I don't know where I got this idea from. But the idea was so ingrained, I managed to completely ignore
their existence (ska being one of the lowest forms of music — sorry, Kenny!). Anyway, it turns out that they're grind core, or math core or grind math core or corey hart's math grind. Whatever. There's good stuff, but I need to listen to it a little more before I can figure out how it fits on the list.

————————————————————————

I have read a few comics recently. I read Criminal, which is really well-done, not particularly ground-breaking, questionably interesting basic caperism. It's SO run-of-the-mill, that it's hard to really get behind it. But it's so well-constructed that it's hard not to like it. I just wish there was a little more 'new' to it. BRUBAKER!

The new American Splendor has some nice colabs with Eddie Campbell and Richard Corben. Pekar's work really shines when he's paired with really interesting artists. My first Pekar story was drawn by Joe Sacco, and all his comics should look so good.

I haven't made my way all the way through the new Kramer's Ergo. I don't know why. Maybe because the thrill of it seems to have worn off. Maybe because Pa-Ping is doing what Kramer's could be doing. Maybe because it's gotten too caught up in its own hype? I just don't know. I'll finish it eventually.

I figured I should read Jodorowsky and Mœbius' Incal series, since that's the inspirational touchstone for the next EMAWs. It's a nice enough read, much better than the Metabaron stuff. Actually, there's a LOT to absolutely love about it, but I find that French storytelling to be so awkward. There's more space to the storytelling than in some other French series, but I'd still like a little bit more (I say this as someone who is about to debut a comic where I eliminated almost all storytelling space). It's also quite beautiful. I still like the idea that the next big book I do is more "what I think French sci-fi comics are like having only seen untranslated versions of them" than "this is me trying to do French comics." If that makes any sense.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

409-485 (CLOSING OUT THE BEES)

409. The Earth Died Screaming Tom Waits Bone Machine
410. A Little Rain Tom Waits Bone Machine
411. Goin' Out West Tom Waits Bone Machine
412. Black Wings Tom Waits Bone Machine
413. Whistle Down The Wind Tom Waits Bone Machine
414. That Feel Tom Waits Bone Machine

Bone Machine (one of those all-time great album names) is Waits' tribute to the end of the world. If there's a The Wire after the apocalypse six years from now, "The Earth Died Screaming" will play over the opening credits. Waits' music is essentially blues/folk music, but he guts each song until they fit into one genre — Waits. The best and worst thing about "That Feel" is Keith Richards' harmonies deflecting off an otherwise lovely song.

415. Cecilia Ann Pixies Bossanova
416. Rock Music Pixies Bossanova
417. Velouria Pixies Bossanova
418. Alison Pixies Bossanova
419. Is She Weird Pixies Bossanova
420. All Over the World Pixies Bossanova
421. Dig For Fire Pixies Bossanova
422. The Happening Pixies Bossanova
423. Havalina Pixies Bossanova

Bossanova is the Pixies' 2nd worst studio album, featuring only nine great songs. I know "Celia Ann" is a cover, but its spaghetti-wester surf guitar is permantently linked to the Pixies in my mind. For all the influence on Nirvana that people ascribe to the Pixies, they often forget 'anti-songs' like "Rock Music" influencing Cobain's album tracks.

424. I Will Follow U2 Boy
425. An Cat Dubh U2 Boy
426. Out of Control U2 Boy

It's easy to forget just how fully formed U2 was in 1980 before they got Enoed, Lanoised and Flooded. They were. ready to be great even before they knew how to be for a full album. It's a testament to them that "I Will Follow" could have easily been a new hit song ten-fifteen years after its release.

427. Boys Don't Cry The Cure Boys Don't Cry
428. Jumping Someone Else's Train The Cure Boys Don't Cry
429. Killing An Arab The Cure Boys Don't Cry

The Cure were a more idiosyncratic band than U2, and weren't fully THE CURE in 1980. Still, the singles included on this album were pointing the way towards their greatness. And stand out as great tunes to this day.


430. Blood Roses Tori Amos Boys For Pele
431. Professional Widow Tori Amos Boys For Pele
432. Mr Zebra Tori Amos Boys For Pele
433. Caught A Lite Sneeze Tori Amos Boys For Pele
434. Hey Jupiter Tori Amos Boys For Pele

The Tori Amos backlash was in full effect when Boys dropped, almost guaranteeing that this would be her last great album. Anger mixes with her personal blend of mythology in a Mulligan Stew of musical styles in each of these richter-written songs.

435. Toccata Emerson, Lake & Palmer Brain Salad Surgery
436. Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression - Part 1 Emerson, Lake & Palmer Brain Salad Surgery
437. Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression - Part 2 Emerson, Lake & Palmer Brain Salad Surgery
438. Karn Evil 9: 3rd Impression Emerson, Lake & Palmer Brain Salad Surgery

Well, if I didn't lose you with Tori, you might be jumping ship now. If you were sitting out until I got to ELP, well, welcome back my friends. The first truly great statement in electronic music, Toccata takes a classical piece of music and transforms it into an intrumental attack of reverence. That's right. I hemmed the olde haw trying to decide whether Karn Evil 9 constitutes 1 or 4 songs. I say four, mainly because the "2nd Impression" (as much as I love it) doesn't really symbolize what was so great about ELP. They're about the key-razy octo-synthesizers, the mega drum kit of accoustic/electronic drums and Greg Lake losing a battle of wits with The Great Computer. Shouldn't have let it speak, Greg.

439. Get Miles Gomez Bring It On
440. 78 Stone Wobble Gomez Bring It On
441. Tijuana Lady Gomez Bring It On

The British roots-rockers remind me of the Screaming Trees, but were at their best when they approached their music from a post-Beck perspective.

442. Subterranean Homesick Blues Bob Dylan Bringing It All Back Home
443. She Belongs To Me Bob Dylan Bringing It All Back Home
444. Maggie's Farm Bob Dylan Bringing It All Back Home
445. Bob Dylan's 115th Dream Bob Dylan Bringing It All Back Home
446. Mr. Tambourine Man Bob Dylan Bringing It All Back Home
447. Gates Of Eden Bob Dylan Bringing It All Back Home
448. It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) Bob Dylan Bringing It All Back Home
449. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue Bob Dylan Bringing It All Back Home

One of the most influencial albums of all time. Dylan smokes weed, goes electric, gets weird and redefines both folk and rock & roll. Judas! Not as perfect as "Blood on the Tracks," but it's hard to be perfect when you're writing the future. Actually a good case could be made for any song I left off.

450. 7,4 (Shoreline) Broken Social Scene Broken Social Scene
451. Fire Eye`d Boy Broken Social Scene Broken Social Scene
452. Superconnected Broken Social Scene Broken Social Scene

Putting the rock back into post-rock and the productive back into collective, BSS can crank out some decent tunes. Their biggest weakness is that their overwhelming sonics make for albums that just kind of wash over you like Niagra Falls. So, it takes some phenomenal songs to really stand out. These stand out.

453. Kinder Murder Elvis Costello Brutal Youth
454. 13 Steps Lead Down Elvis Costello Brutal Youth

The two tunes from "Youth" that remind you of Costello's former self.

455. Freak Scene Dinosaur Jr Bug
456. Let It Ride Dinosaur Jr Bug

Two Dino tunes that represent Mascis at his best.

457. Patti Dooke De La Soul Buhloone Mind State
458. Ego Trippin' (Part Two) De La Soul Buhloone Mind State
459. Breakadawn De La Soul Buhloone Mind State
460. I Am I Be De La Soul Buhloone Mind State

"3 Feet" may be the big album, but "Buhloone" actually has more great individual songs. Patti Dooke. Heh.

461. Never Ending Math Equation Modest Mouse Building Nothing Out Of Something
462. Workin' On Leavin' The Livin' Modest Mouse Building Nothing Out Of Something
463. All Night Diner Modest Mouse Building Nothing Out Of Something
464. Baby Blue Sedan Modest Mouse Building Nothing Out Of Something
465. A Life Of Artic Sounds Modest Mouse Building Nothing Out Of Something
466. Other People's Lives Modest Mouse Building Nothing Out Of Something

My introduction to the Mouse was this collection of singles and B-Sides. What should have been an assortment of odds and ends, is more like a fantastic first album. Never Ending Math Equation is one of my favorite of their songs. But all of these made me a fan for life.

467. Maxine Ghostface Killah Bullet Proof Wallets
468. Never Be The Same Again Ghostface Killah F. Carl Thomas & Raekwon Bullet Proof Wallets
469. The Juks Ghostface Killah F. Trife & Superb Bullet Proof Wallets
470. Walking Through The Darkness Ghostface Killah Feat. Takitha Bullet Proof Wallets
471. The Hilton Ghostface Killah F/ Raekwon Bullet Proof Wallets

The problem with "Wallets" is that Ghostface lets a lot of z-list rappers ruin half to two thirds of nearly every song on the album. I came so close to putting a number of other tracks on until I got to those half-assed verses. Where 'face is at his best, he's all alone on the ridiculously cinematic "Maxine." Where the songs are almost as good, he's paired with rhymers that can keep up.

472. Ghetto Superstar Pras, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Mya Bullworth The Soundtrack

One of the hardest moments in my musical life was kicking this song off The Ultimate party Mix. The second hardest was seeing Mya for the first time. She provides the great hook, Pras provides the foundation and Dirt McGirt brings some of his best crazy.

473. Boon Dox EPMD Business Never Personal
474. Can't Hear Nothing But The Music EPMD Business Never Personal
475. Chill EPMD Business Never Personal
476. Head Banger EPMD Business Never Personal
477. Crossover EPMD Business Never Personal
478. Cummin' At Cha (with Das EFX) EPMD Business Never Personal
479. Play The Next Man EPMD Business Never Personal

Making this list, I've been confronted with some tough questions. One of them is, "Why don't I listen to this album every single friggin' day?" Holy shit, this is awesome. Some of the hardest-hitting hip hop of all time. The whole thing is great, but the above kick my ass both ways to November.

480. Cut Minutemen Buzz or Howl Under the Influence of Heat
481. I Felt Like a Gringo Minutemen Buzz or Howl Under the Influence of Heat
482. Little Man With Gun In His Hand Minutemen Buzz or Howl Under the Influence of Heat

The Minutemen were still finding their voice on "Buzz," but you can hear them becoming the greatest hardcore punk band throughout, and finding exactly who they'd be on these.

483. My Philosophy Boogie Down Productions By All Means Necessary
484. Ya Slippin' Boogie Down Productions By All Means Necessary
485. T'cha - T'cha Boogie Down Productions By All Means Necessary

KRS-1 is considered to be one of the pillars of 'concious' rap, but his message songs aren't as good as his proclimations of awesomenss.

The Rules
1-85
86-113
114-230
231-321
322-338
339-408

Thursday, October 05, 2006

339-408

A little list while printing:

339. Just A Friend Biz Markie Biz Never Sleeps

Oh, SHAP! A novelty song, by a novelty artist, from a period of novelty hits. Take Bla-bla-bla's word for it — it's one of the best ever.


340. Funky Ceili Black 47 Black 47 (EP)
341. Maria's Wedding Black 47 Black 47 (EP)

Man, I love these guys. They were so good for a short period of time. The American Pogues were best when they were laughing at the stupid shit they'd done.


342. Party Hard (Featuring Guru and Camutao) Perceptionists Black Dialogue
343. Let's Move Perceptionists Black Dialogue

The Perceptionists don't know if they want to party or impart 'conciousness'. They don't do either perfectly, but they merge those impulses so well.

344. A Peculiar Noise Called "Train Director" The Olivia Tremor Control Black Foliage: Animation Music Vol. 1
345. A Sleepy Company The Olivia Tremor Control Black Foliage: Animation Music Vol. 1

OTC picked sounds and themes and built them on top of each other into different songs that all blend together into an almost seamless album. It's hard to pick out the best songs, but these hold up on their own very well.

346. Break 'em Off Some Cypress Hill Black Sunday
347. When The Shit Goes Down Cypress Hill Black Sunday
348. Let's Talk About Sex Salt-N-Pepa Blacks' Magic

The angry stoner hiphop songs and Salt-N-Pepa's greatest contribution to music. I'm glad they talked about sex instead of making love. Now everybody's doing it.

349. New Pleasure Richard Hell & the Voidoids Blank Generation
350. Love Comes in Spurts Richard Hell & the Voidoids Blank Generation
351. Blank Generation Richard Hell & the Voidoids Blank Generation

The other literate punk. From when punk came out of the art schools and poetry classes instead of the frat house. He could also be damn catchy.

352. How U Want It Loon Blazin Hip-Hop And R&B Vol. 33
353. Excuse Me Miss (Remix) Jay-Z Blazin Hip-Hop And R&B Vol. 33
354. Pump It Up (Remix) Joe Buddens Blazin Hip-Hop And R&B Vol. 33
355. Never Leave Lumi D Blazin Hip-Hop And R&B Vol. 33

These songs used to be in the Ultimate Party Mix, but fell off in the latest itteration. The Loon song is fuckin' ridiculous.

356. Sky Is Falling Blackalicious Blazing Arrow
357. First In Flight Blackalicious Blazing Arrow
358. 4000 Miles Blackalicious Blazing Arrow
359. Paragraph President Blackalicious Blazing Arrow
360. It's Going Down Blackalicious Blazing Arrow
361. Passion Babu, Blackalicious & Rakaa Blazing Arrow
362. Release, Pts. 1, 2 & 3 Blackalicious Blazing Arrow

Possibly the most underrated hip-hop act around. Perfect production, crazy flow and rhymes that might be a little too smart. They sometimes get caught up in their politics, but when it all works, it really works.

363. Blew Nirvana Bleach
364. Floyd The Barber Nirvana Bleach
365. About A Girl Nirvana Bleach
366. Paper Cuts Nirvana Bleach
367. Negative Creep Nirvana Bleach

How I miss Nirvana. Bleach is a great album, but they really got better on each outing. Cobain's death may have been the greatest loss to music. These are the best songs they did before they became fully realized (and they're light-years better than most bands long after they are).

368. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 Bob Dylan Blonde On Blonde
369. Visions Of Johanna Bob Dylan Blonde On Blonde
370. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again Bob Dylan Blonde On Blonde
371. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat Bob Dylan Blonde On Blonde

Blonde on Blonde tears me up. It really does. Dylan's only official release featuring music by his touring band, then known as The Hawks. The Hawks would then change their name and become that band that might have been the worst band in the world. What was that band's name again? Anyway, there's some wonderful songs hiding under all the awful instrumentation. Like a Darwinian experiment, some were strong enough to break through the crap.

372. The Wolf Is Loose Mastodon Blood Mountain
373. Sleeping Giant Mastodon Blood Mountain
374. Capillarian Crest Mastodon Blood Mountain
375. Hunters of the Sky Mastodon Blood Mountain

I stalled the other day, acquainting myself more fully with Mastadon. Guns & Roses without the glam or ego, sludgey troubadors of Frazzetta barbarian & monster paintings. They do a lot of the things that only metal can do, and they do it exceedingly well.

376. Tangled Up In Blue Bob Dylan Blood On The Tracks
377. Simple Twist Of Fate Bob Dylan Blood On The Tracks
378. You're A Big Girl Bob Dylan Blood On The Tracks
379. Idiot Wind Bob Dylan Blood On The Tracks
380. You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go Bob Dylan Blood On The Tracks
381. Meet Me In The Morning Bob Dylan Blood On The Tracks
382. Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts Bob Dylan Blood On The Tracks
383. If You See Her, Say Hello Bob Dylan Blood On The Tracks
384. Shelter From The Storm Bob Dylan Blood On The Tracks
385. Buckets Of Rain Bob Dylan Blood On The Tracks

Unlike Blonde on Blonde, Blood on the Tracks may be the closest anyone has ever come to making a perfect album. Not a false or bad note appears. Most of the songs are utter classics, and the ones that aren't would have been on any other album.

386. Safe From Harm Massive Attack Blue Lines
387. Blue Lines Massive Attack Blue Lines
388. Be Thankful For What You Got Massive Attack Blue Lines
389. Five Man Army Massive Attack Blue Lines
390. Hymn Of The Big Wheel Massive Attack Blue Lines

Remember when trip-hop was going to conquer the world? When Massive Attack, Tricky and Portishead created a whole new type of music? The flood of pale imitators, comercial jingles, movie soundtracks and incorporators nearly drowned out the handful of genious albums. It's time to look back on that halcyon time and remember how good slow, dubby, quiet hiphop was.

391. Blue Train John Coltrane Blue Train
392. Locomotion John Coltrane Blue Train
393. I'm Old Fashioned John Coltrane Blue Train

I think the true sign of jazz genious might be the ability to make quieter, somber songs without sounding like smooth jazz or coming across as overly indulgent. 'Trane's sax is wistful and fond of something that's pulled away from his life. The band is screaming or crying, it just misses you.

394. Not Guilty Jay-Z Blueprint
395. The Ruler's Back Jay-Z Blueprint
396. Izzo (H.O.V.A.) Jay-Z Blueprint
397. Girls, Girls, Girls Jay-Z Blueprint
398. U Don't Know Jay-Z Blueprint
399. Heart Of The City (Ain't No Love) Jay-Z Blueprint

Probably the best thing Jay-Z has done was the Blueprint. There's really not a bad song on it, but some aren't flat-out great. The above are. Braggadocio and bravado can be like an ugly suit worn by a bore, but Hov turns them into charm. How he do that?

400. B.O.B.B.Y. RZA Bobby Digital
401. My Lovin' Is Digi RZA Bobby Digital

And there was a time when the Wu was going to take over the world too. Maybe there were too many competing visions for taking over the world? It's like you know the Red Skull will never succeed because Dr. Doom, Magneto, Kang and Apocalypse are watering down the villain pool. Bobby Digital may have been that point when the Cosmic Cube had given way to relying on Crossbones to do the dirty, but there's still some classic evil hidden inside.

402. Jump Van Halen 1984
403. Panama Van Halen 1984
404. Hot for Teacher Van Halen 1984

New Gods help me, there was actually a time when I enjoyed Sammy Hagar's foolishness. I always new Dave was better, but Sammy seemd pretty ok. How much much thought does it actually take to tell the difference between Hot For Teacher and Right Now? None. They may as well have been by different bands. Maybe they were. One was the-joke-as-genious and the other was the-joke-as-played-out.

405. I Am the Law Anthrax Among the Living
406. Indians Anthrax Among the Living
407. One World Anthrax Among the Living
408. Imitation of Life Anthrax Among the Living

Every year, dozens of bands think they're the next Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. Jazz Fusion! Nu Metal! Punk Ska! Thug R&B! British Rappers! Well, Anthrax was the first to merge hip hop and metal. But before that, they merged metal and punk. To fans of neither, that may not sound so disparate. To fans of either, they're musical antitheses. To fans of both, they're two great tastes that taste great together. Sabbathy sludge + speed leads + shouty, leftist politics + staccato rythms. No one made black & white sloganeering sound as heavy as Anthrax. The worst version of Judge Dredd starred Sylvester Stalone, the best featured Scott Ian on guitar.

The Rules
1-85
86-113
114-230
231-321
322-338 (the title's wrong because I'm dumb)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

LOST

Best network tv season premier of the season. Hands down.

"I guess I'm not in the book club anymore."

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

DUM-DUM-DUM-DUM DUGAN

I caught some of the CW news tonight after the Veronica Mars premier.

Despite the craziness of congressman Foley's story, or the disturbing Amish shooter's story, the real standout was the sports story. Learning that a Mets' pitcher was injured just before the playoffs, a Yankee fan said, "I hope they lose. That's one less team we'll have to play later." WHAT?

—————————————————————————————————

I know I'm the last guy in the world to read Marvel's Civil War #4 (Marcos buys them and I read them later), but... WHAT?

In case you have a life and don't know what Civil War is, it's a miniseries about a bunch of likeable super friends being replaced by their Mirror Universe doubles. In the first issue, some super villain blew a town up. And people blamed the super heroes. After a week of debate, Congress decided to register all the super heroes, and Iron Man, Reed Richards and Hank Pym decided to beat the shit out of anyone who wouldn't register. In the second issue, Peter Parker came out of the closet and started wearing a Sybian sex toy on his back. In the third issue, the Mirror Universe superheroes fought each other, when Thor showed up and flashed them all. And the story continues...

Things I liked:

Thor's helmet is too big on him at first, but it shrinks to fit in the rain.
No one thinks it's odd when Thor threatens the life of Dagger.
Falcon lost his right iris and pupil! Despite having no depth perception, he was STILL able to fly in and make a big save!
Thor has really bad aim.
The U.S. Agent is wearing Catain America's costume again! Oh, wait. No he's not.
Iron Man meets Captain America for the first time.
Hercules throws a water tower so hard, it bursts into flames!
Goliath does something with a truck!
Then Thor shoots Black Goliath through the chest with a lightning laser force beam! That blows a bloody hole out his back! That's serious lightning control.
The heroes' clothes are all ripped up, but only Dagger has tears in the ass of her pants? Who did that? Radioactive Man?
Falcon says, "We've got to get out of here or we're all going down!" Mr. Wilson knows no one wants a one-eyed man going down.
Then, Thor says, "You ARE all going down." Well, that's just how he likes it, I guess.
The Fantastic Four now wear coasters on their chests. They are the laziest super heroes of them all.
Some rave kid says, "What about our wounded and downed?" Maybe Radioactive Man was tarring and feathering his erstwhile comrades.
Reed Richards never expected Thor to behave strangely, but he gave him a shutdown failsafe code just in case. And just in case Thor wasn't Nazi enough, that shutdown code is Wagner's name and lifespan.
Reed can't tell the difference between Hank Pym and his wife.
The Watcher has downs syndrome!
Hank Pym is now involved in genetics. Branching out, good for him.
Some doctor is shown shoving a VERY long tube up Thor's netherlands!
And Thor's not sure how he feels about it.
Captain America has gone back to his old job, place kicker for the Indianapolis Colts.
Nighthawk can't get anybody to smell his fingers, even though he knows all about the '42 Complex' that no one has explained yet. If I came up with an idea called '42', and my biggest competitor came up with an idea called '52', I'd have a complex too.
Cap knows all about the clonus horror, even though we readers are only just finding out about it ourselves.
Cap is a jerk.
Cable is a nancy boy.
Haven't ALL these guys seen worse threats than this? It's a good thing Thanos isn't around, scooping up Infinity Gems and the Kree and Skrulls aren't at war and Galctus isn't hungering.
WHOAH! Even Cobra's own demolitions and subterfuge specialist, Firefly can't believe his eyes!
I used to date a girl from Goliath's Funeral, New Jersey. Really sweet girl. I wonder what ever happened to her? Nice town, too. Lots of contiguous empty grave plots.
Is Iron Man afraid Black Goliath is going to turn zombie? Is Brother Voodoo working for Captain America's team? Is that why he's chained up?
Some sad mope named Happy puts voice to his own complex. Looking at Black Goliath lying there in a white sheet, he says, "Just a shame we couldn't SHRINK HIM DOWN." Now the KKK will never believe he's white.
Who is Mrs. Sharpe? Mastermind? A Skrull? How does she keep getting so close to Tony? The man's got a 'non-human ATTACK registry' but not a 'bitch-woman MANIPULATING registry'?
Why include the after-effects of Tony's shaving accident?
Who is that guy with the mustache?
Is that Doc Sampson, or did Thor go for a swim before the ph levels balanced?
When did Johnny get out of the hospital?
And why is he letting the Thing do THAT to him in front of some kids?
Is Sue Storm good at anything? What a lousy letter.
Oily-fish dinner? First of all, she uses hyphens like a Scotsman. Secondly, what's an 'oily-fish'? Is it good with hot sauce?
Making love??? What would Mark Gruenwald say? And is it REALLY good for the immune system? Has she been trolling around Warren Ellis' website?
Oh, wait. This is a letter from 'Susan XXX'. That explains everything. Nice swerve, Millar. 'Next-Door Nikki' wrote me a similar note.
Who did Iron Man's side lose? Who did Captain America's side gain? Who is in this book? Did Radioactive Man switch teams AGAIN? That bear, you never know what you're getting with him as a bedfellow.
The Wasp is a real jerk too. First, she thinks clone-Thor is a good idea. Then she thinks even MORE clones would be an even BETTER idea. Then she thinks that the best solution to the rogue-heroes problem is Iron Man's idea to hire Venom, Bullseye, Taskmaster, Killer Shrike, Jack-O-Lantern, Lady Deathstrike and some chick with a bad dye job, trying to protect her throat (Musical Theatre Woman?).

And that's it. There was really nothing NOT to like about this comic. It has everything. Lazy super heroes. Creepy super heroes. Evil super heroes. Cowardly super heroes. Asshole super heroes. Lots and lots of homo-eroticism. Great character swerves. Science. Confusing events disguised as plot points. Wonderful stuff.

I look foward to issue #5. I expect I'll read it sometime in 2007.

Monday, October 02, 2006

METAL!!!!

After visiting Marcos and spending half my afternoon on the half-assed weekend train to Morris County, I went back to the list and back to Mastadon's Blood Mountain. And then I was inspired to do this METAL!1!1! Sketch. It misses the monster-mash theme of Mastadon, but it looks like something I would have drawn in a junior high textbook. Check it: METAL!1!!1!1!



On the iTunes right now is Dylan's Simple Twist of Fate. Should I draw a portrait of Matt Hardy? Or maybe the new knotted helmet of the Lord of Order from 52?

Maybe I should draw the MONSTER I should've drawn in the first place...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

NOTES

2nd Dimension has the trailer up for DEATH NOTE II, looks like it covers Death Note 4-5. And it looks pretty good...
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