Thursday, March 23, 2006

Seeing V

Well, I caught V for Vendetta this week, and will be posting something on it by the weekend. All in all, it's the best and (to a point) the most faithful of all the features adapted from Alan and his respective collaborative partners's works, though the final act was major deviation and letdown.

While I'm eager to discuss the film and its context, it will be tough to do so without touching upon the ongoing controversy over Alan Moore's widely-publicized stand against the film and any films based on his work. I've no desire to 'fan the flames' regarding Alan, but will find a way to discuss the film in some depth regardless.

Bottom line: Read the graphic novel by Alan Moore & David Lloyd first and foremost -- it's an uncanny, totally prescient masterpiece, terrifyingly attuned to the political bankruptcy and fearmongering terrorist myths of our contemporary reality. In fact, V for Vendetta is The Prisoner for our generation: a coherent dystopian narrative that functions as both a dissection of our times, and a potential "how to deal" guidebook, if not an antitoxin.

In its finest moments, the film captures some of Alan & David's substance and grace notes, and I'm thankful for that. But it simply doesn't hold a candle to its source, which remains essential reading -- more essential than ever before.

I have no such reservations, however, about discussing and tooting a huge Seussian trumpet for Pete Von Sholly's latest creation! Like Mark Martin, Pete is one of the sadly unsung geniuses of comics today, to my mind. If you haven't visited Pete's astounding website as yet, you must do so and promptly (link provided below, among others of relevence this morning).

While it would be unfair of me perhaps to tease you with observations on Peter's upcoming Dark Horse Comics project Extremely Weird Stories (my personal fave page Pete peeked for me had its young, slightly pudgy protagonist awakening in his vintage Marx Brothers' dinosaur playset, complete with the 'plastic sheet' landscape underfoot), I can tell you a bit about the von Sholly invention about to hit the fan.

His upcoming creation from TwoMorrows is a surgical-strike "shock and awe" followup of sorts to the affectionate pair of '60s monster zine parodies Pete packaged a couple of years ago, Crazy Hip Groovy Go Go Way Out Monsters #1 and 2. Pete Von Sholly's latest 68-page full color (oh boy!) extravaganza Comic Book Nerd offers more of Pete's lovingly-crafted insider's lampooning of a mutant magazine phenomenon he loves (and loathes) as much (hmmm, maybe he loathes 'em more -- let's call it "harpooning") as those ol' monster zines. In Pete's own words, this upcoming parody "takes on the fan press phenomenon complete with some glancing blows at the sorry state of the mercenary, hopelessly inbred, degenerate and greedy comics industry." Yow, sounds like The Comics Have Eyes! I used the word 'mutant' earlier with intent, you see.

Whether you saw his monster zines or not, just a peek around Pete's online gallery should convince you he's the man for the job. Anyone who can so lovingly craft covers-that-never-were for comics-that-we-wish-existed (like Pete's Turok, Son of Stone and Star-Spangled War Stories "The War That Time Forgot" covers) clearly has the chops, talons and tools for taking on the current comics scene via satiric covers, ads, letters pages, and articles perfectly emulating the eleven industry mags/rags he's selected as worthy targets. Take a gander at the link(s) below, and grok those covers: Whizzer, the Comics Urinal, Ultra Ego, Comics Buyer’s Guise, Bagged Issue!, Comic Book Meatmarket, Scrawl!, Comic Book Artiste, Purviews and more. These are packaged along with "generous amounts of filler and art from his own failed projects... done with a mixture of love and bile," which has my saliva glands working overtime already. Pete says "I'm sorry if some of it may seem unfair but that's my job." Hey, someone's got to do it. I only hope it's as ravaging a savaging as the industry deserves!

Jeez, Mark Martin's Runaway Comics and now Pete's pride -- maybe "funnybooks" are getting funny again after all. It's about time.

So, what are you waiting for? Prepare your pallette and pre-order your copy when you let
  • PaneltoPanel Feed Your Comic Book Nerd Fix!
  • If you care for a bit more info and preview material, check out
  • TwoMorrows Preview Page for Comic Book Nerd!
  • Oh, and though I've misplaced the link to Pete's site, I can send you to
  • the Psychosaurus Site.
  • Enjoy Pete's faux-Turok covers, and dream away...

    Lest you think I'm gimping out or just gumming day-old porridge this morning, check out this site (compliments of my old JSC amigo Tim Viereck) wherein the game is how good you are at cherry-picking the serial killers from the programming language inventors.

    No fair that I scored high, given my studies of such things (serial killers, that is) -- how will you fare when you take the
  • Killer Kwiz?