Huk Vs Bizarro – 2 Parter

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Hulk vs Bizarro vs Superman

It was an honest mistake, I'm sure.

Superman's house is on fire

That's right, Bizarros covered up Hulk geting into Superman's petting zoo by torching the place.

Goin’ down to the fishin’ hole

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Reelin' in the Years

Fishin' at the Fishin' Hole - Episode 3

Hulk Vs Bizarro – The Next Strip in Chronology

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Flip that Trading Makeover Spaces Lair

Flip that Lair

Hulk vs Who Now? Episode Something

August 9th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I can't believe it's not smashing something.

I skipped episode 4 if anyone is counting…. because it sucks.

Hulk Vs Bizarro – Episode the Second

August 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Hulk Vs Bizarro, comic strip episode 2

Hulk smash Go-Kart!

The Return of a Classic

August 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

A few years back, I started a joke with a friend while chatting over Instant Messenger… We were, as we tended to do, throw comedic “what if” scenarios back and forth involving pop culture, movies, or most often, comic books, something we’d both been avid readers of in our younger days. We both are somewhat working with comics now – myself as a freelance writer and artist, my friend Dave Giarrusso (brother of Mini Marvel madman, hilarious cartoonist, and all around great guy, Chris Giarrusso) as a colorist – and our love for the medium has remained. If for nothing else its wealth of comic possibility.

So, to take the joke we started to another level besides talk for once, I did a goofy, quick comic strip for fun, just to make him and me laugh. Little did I know that the dozens of comic strips that followed would strike a chords with many people out there in Internet Lands, and other people would find them funny too. While Hulk Vs Bizarro (Even the name is a joke, as they never do actually fight, except for the occasional round of existential fisticuffs) never gathered a huge audience (more to the failing to create the strips on a regular basis perhaps?), those that did read it seemed to enjoy it nearly as much as I, and eventually my cohort Jason Danzeisen, enjoyed creating them.

So I was digging through some files today and found the collection of strips, and thought now might be a good time to share them once more, and hopefully reach a wider selection of people who might enjoy them. And, I don’t want to sound like a jerk, but, man, they are still funny, and I think it’s worth re-running them from the beginning… So, if you’ve seen them before, hopefully they’ll make you laugh again. And if you missed them the first time, here’s something new and awesome! Hulk Vs. Bizarro!

Hulk Vs Bizarro - Season 1 Episode 1 - The Pilot

The Pilot Episode

PS: Does this raise hopes once again for the much lauded, never completed, delayed and dismayed Season Three of HvB to finally see the light of day? Maybe. I dunno. You tell me.

Death In Comics

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Death in comics isn’t to be taken seriously. Except by the poor characters that stand near ground zero when the latest character’s “death” (ie: marketing 101 ploy) goes off. They seem to actually be affected, emotional, distraught even, but only because they are not in on the¬† joke.

Death of a character seems to be the only tool in the Modern Comic Writer’s Toolbox for attempting to elicit or inflict an emotional reaction. Now, it’s not their fault I gather, or so their Independent work versus their Professional work would seem to say. No, it’s the editor, with their strong edicts and corporate mandates that limit creative writing¬† to the sarcastically wide spectrum of death, rape, a slight costume modification, and punch ups. Or do we plan the comic readership who continues to purchase Special Dead as a Doorknob for Realz This Time issues and all the tie-in 4th string character books like Special Dead as a Doorknob for Realz This Time: Ground Zero and Special Dead as a Doorknob for Realz This Time: Power Pack and the like….? I think not. Readers love their brand like a smoker. And changes in the tar level or the color of the packaging aren’t going to precede the need for their next fix.

It’s really gone beyond a satire at this point for characters to die in comics, only to come back a year later, a week later, the next issue, no Death it seems is now like the Flu for all comic bookdom. Sooner or later, everyone will get it, but it’ll only last for a bit, and Reed Richards is probably somewhere right now working on a shot to prevent it.

So just off the top of my head, here are some characters who have “died” in comics, only to be resurrected or clumsily described to have been never dead at all but cut loose into the time stream or an alternate universe or the far side of the moon:

Captain America, Batman, Bucky (once the Holy Untouchable Dead that Would Always Remain Thus… twice dead now; he too shall rise again I’m certain), Jean Grey/Phoenix (Dead and back at least twice now. Possibly a third? I’m honestly not current on my State of Jean Grey Checklist), Colossus, Hal Jordan/Green Lantern (Or was he merely transplanted into the living embodiment of Order?), the Original Flash, Superman, Spider-Man (or was it a clone?), Ultimate Spider-Man (oh, he’ll be back. There’s no way the Republicans are going to let some African American kid run around playing superhero. And when he does, it will be the final proof that the Ultimate Universe is irreparably broken and used now solely for a breeding ground for Mark Millar’s Snuff Film Fetish)… I’m sure there’s more..

So, what’s the point? Everything is bigger in comics. You can’t sell issues nowadays with sentimental talk and deep character development told over the course of several issues. You have to move fast and you have to move big. What’s bigger than death? Only birth, or rebirth in these case. Several comic universes full of walking mythological forces, being ever retold, reborn, reused. They are constant, these characters, these demigods, though they may falter, they may wane, they will never, ever, be truly gone.

apparently, the only thing certain of life in comics is taxes.

Video games that I’ve played the hell out of.

February 26th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

I was sharing my thoughts on the game, Heavy Rain with my boss the other day. He wanted to ask me for my opinion of the game, which I totally dig, before he went out and bought it. As we talked he mentioned that he’d heard one its selling points is its replayability. For me replayablity usually doesn’t factor into my gaming purchases. More often than not I play through a game once and, unless new content is released for it ala GTA IV or Fallout 3, I never play it again. This got me to thinking about the short list of video games I have put a lot of time into playing and replaying over the years. So here they are, the video games that I’ve played the hell out of.

Civ III
civ3
I still play this game frequently and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fleshed out my niche on the “perfect continent” only to find it has no iron…d’oh. Sure, you can lose the odd tank to a spearman but for my money its mix of city building, exploration, and combat is irresistible.

Fire Emblem The Sacred Stones
fire-emblem-the-sacred-stones-gba_331605
This GBA title is a turn based strategy game in the vein of Final Fantasy Tactics and it almost requires you to play it through twice. Near the beginning of the game your army splits in two and you must choose which branch of the story to follow for the rest of the game. Couple this with addictive gameplay, bonus characters that can only be unlocked by playing through multiple times, characters that stay dead if they fall in battle, and a job that can include vast stretches of down time and you’ve got a recipe for near infinite replayability.

Shadowrun (Sega)
shadowrun
I loved the story (despite the disappointing ending), the non-linear mission structure, and I even enjoyed grinding mission after mission to collect enough nuyen to buy the best decks and upgrades. While my hopes for a great next-gen Shadowrun game were dashed by FASA’s 2007 head scratcher, I still hold out hope some developer will do this franchise justice.

Tecmo Super Bowl
tecmo_super_bowl_front
This is the game that kicked off my obsession with football. (Sorry)
While franchises like Madden and the 2K series have made giant strides in the realistic portrayal video game football, Tecmo Super Bowl still just plain fun. Unless, that is, you are playing someone who chose the Raiders and knows how to use Howie Long…

Morrowind
morrowwind
This game had a steep learning curve, for me anyway. It took several hours of being crippled by Mudcrabs and running like hell from flocks of shrieking Cliff Racers, but once my character was able to defend himself one of the deepest and most detailed gaming worlds I’ve ever seen was opened up to me and my Redguard. You and your character were rewarded for exploring every nook and cranny of this huge gaming world while on your way to becoming the Nerevarine and beyond. After literally hundreds of hours of gameplay across the main quest and two full sized expansions I finally completed one of the best and most satisfying RPG experiences I’ve ever had. While I enjoyed and “played the hell out of” Oblivion, the next game in the “Elder Scrolls” series, it felt to me like Morrowind lite.

Rome Total War
rome-total-war-campaign-map1
Even though I tend to play as the same faction and use the same tactics with each play through, I can’t help but return to this gameworld over and over again. Sure, as the game begins life is good, enemy empires fall before you as your armies cut their way across the lands surrounding the Mediterranean and the Near East. Each new conquest fills your bulging coffers with gold, the Senate leaves you alone as long as you do as they ask of you, and your main concern is whether to next make for Carthage or Egypt. Then after several hours of gameplay, your end game begins. You find yourself managing your empire instead of expanding it as your realm begins to bloat and sag under its own weight. Your targets of conquest begin to dry up, most of them having been gobbled up by you and your Roman allies. At the same time the cities you’ve poured so much of your hard won Denarii into begin to rise in revolt as your finances are being bled dry by corruption and waste. Next thing you know the Senate has begun to see you as a threat and orders you to commit suicide or have war declared on you. I’ve played through this game dozens of times and the final push to conquer your former allies and, ultimately the city of Rome itself, is one of the most difficult and exciting challenges I’ve faced in gaming.

Valkyria Chronicles
valkyria_chronicles_packshot
The last and most recent game on my list is a bit unique. Valkyria Chronicles is part action shooter, part RPG, part puzzle game, and part turn based strategy game. One of my favorite parts of the game are the battle maps you unlock as you progress through the main story. These maps let you to replay an encounter over and over allowing you to not only level grind your squad but hone your tactics. I was lucky enough to buy this game used for $15 and it has been worth every penny.

So there they are, a short list of the games I’ve played and re-played the most over the years.
I’d love to hear from you folks out there, so feel free drop a comment in the box below about this post or whatever else is on your mind!
In other news, keep an eye out for a new season of Hulk vs Bizarro!

Check this book out.

February 24th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

det_inc

I just finished reading this comic reprinted by IDW and I loved it!
This hardbound book collects the two B&W Detectives Inc. graphic novels from the early and mid-80s along with some bonus materials including essays and scrpit excerpts by the author Don McGregor.
For more info and a peek at the contrasting art styles of Gene Colan and Marshall Rogers go here and here.

Comics of the Weak

February 16th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Mike introduced me to the website The Factual Opinion several months ago. While other genres of entertainment are covered elsewhere on the site, I’m drawn to the section where assorted comics are skewered in the spirit of Zero Punctuation.
Here is an excerpt from a rant about Ultimate X #1:
“The women look like vacationers from a Jane Austen tuberculosis ward, the men are all played by Tom Skerritt’s feelings, and the entire thing stinks of cowardice.”
I can only hope that our comics can someday be so efficiently and eloquently eviscerated…