Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Comics I have read and enjoyed: Part 1 of an ongoing series (probably)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 19, 2012 by watsonprime

So, I’ve not updated in a year, sorry, I’ve been busy.

But I’m going to make an effort now to get back into things and, as a self imposed writing exercise, I’m going to write about the some of the comics I’ve read recently and just how fantastic or unfantastic they’ve been.

First off, Scott Snyder’s Batman – By far the best book of The New 52 (the huge relaunch of the entire DC line that was pretty much the biggest thing in comics) is already one of my favourite comics ever, and it’s only on issue 6. I was aware of Scott Snyder before I had started the series, but I hadn’t actually read any of his work apart from Gates Of Gotham which I loved, I have since then read Batman: The Black Mirror, which has won a huge amount of critical acclaim for it’s beautifully told crime/horror story, and have put American Vampire on my must read list.

Anyway, for those unaware, Snyder’s Batman features the Caped Crusader investigating a shadowy organisation that have ties to the foundations of Gotham City. As Batman’s investigation progresses, he faces some of his most difficult challenges yet – both physically and mentally. You may be thinking this sounds very similar to Grant Morrison’s story Batman R.I.P. which features Batman investigating the Black Glove organisation – but it’s very different. Firstly, unlike Morrison’s Batman, who was painted as the ultimate human being (which is in no way a bad thing – I’m a big fan of Morrison’s entire run on Batman) Snyder’s Batman is fallible, at first he doesn’t believe the Court Of Owls exists, believing them to be nothing more than a myth, it takes some time before he realises they’re a credible threat. One thematic similarity between Morrison and Snyder’s work is the way that they utilise the comic medium in a way that other media can’t – for example, Morrison subtly used a recurring red and black pattern throughout his story, placing panels in a checkerboard style that provided clues to the plot. Snyder, to emphasise Batman losing his mind starts placing the pages upside down, forcing the reader to physically rotate the comic. It’s a technique I don’t see very often, and would probably become cliche very quickly if repeated, but it certainly helps raise the comic above other releases.

The story itself is marvellous, with fantastic action sequences and fight scenes, but with an incredibly creepy undertone that reveals more and more upon repeated readings. This is enhanced by Greg Capullo’s artwork, which works best in more recent issues as Batman gets beaten and drugged. A standout of the book has to be the way Batman’s costume is treated, covered in rips and blood, and most interesting visually – a broken lens on his cowl, revealing one incredibly emotive eye which helps make Batman look that much more vulnerable.

It’s an absolutely first-class comic, and I’m so glad it’s one of the first New 52 titles to be collected into a hardback.

Keeping with the New 52 theme, another comic I’ve enjoyed has been the controversial Red Hood And The Outlaws, while the first issue got a lot of negative press for it’s portrayal of Starfire, the series has quickly developed and become one of my favourites. Maybe because I’m a fan of all the Robins, and the idea of a rogue Robin is interesting to me, but the series has a unique spin on what could happen to sidekicks who go off the rails (although Starfire was never a sidekick, she’s never been a ‘big name’ super hero in my opinion). Plus I really like Jason Todd’s costume, I was never a big fan of the superhero style get up he wore early on in Morrison’s Batman and Robin, but I do like the whole jacket over a costume look. Plus the fact he’s nwo wearing a batsymbol is pretty cool, referencing his ties to Batman, but also making a visual statement that he is quite far removed from his former mentor.

It’s a really 90s style comic that’s a lot of fun, and surprisingly a heart to it. There are a few quite emotional scenes that sneak up on you, in particular one flashback scene in which Bruce Wayne actually behaves like the father he should have been. Touching stuff.

Moving onto Marvel, what might have been my favourite comic of the past year is Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, the much talked about introduction of the African American/Latino Spider-Man Miles Morales. I had heard a lot of good things about Bendis’ entire run on Ultimate Spider-Man, but I only started reading during Peter Parker’s last days, so I went into the rebooted story not sure what to expect. What I found was one of the most touching and well written comics I have ever read. First off, Miles Morales is not Peter Parker, and while they both gained their powers from a spider bite, that is where the similarities end. When we first meet Miles, he’s just won a place at a prestigious school, but instead of being happy, he instead feels guilty for filling a slot that another child could have deserved more. It’s a nice way of introducing a character, and it immediately shows that this is a kid who’s smart, but not sure of himself, while being sensitive and empathetic and it helps the audience empathise with him when he encounters what happens next. See, Miles also has an uncle he’s close to, like Peter, but instead of the saint like Uncle Ben, Miles’s uncle is a career criminal who we see robbing Oscorp, and picking up a certain arachnid along the way. This leads to Miles being bitten by a similar spider to the one that bit Peter Parker, and gaining super-powers. But instead of finding joy in his new powers (which differ slightly from Peter’s) he despairs, this is after all, a world where super powered teenagers are figures of hate and scorn, and Miles believing himself to be a mutant, isn’t best pleased with his situation. It’s a bit of a slow burner, it takes some time for Miles to get used to his powers, and it isn’t until the 6th (I think, I can’t remember) issue that we see him accept that he is the new Spider-Man and put on the cool black and red suit that’s on the covers.

This is a book that literally anyone can enjoy, even non-superhero fans. I can’t recommend it enough.

There have been some other fantastic books that I’ll write about later, like Peter Panzerfaust, The Strange Talent Of Luther Strode and a whole bunch more, but I’ve already written, like, a billion words (to the closest billion).

Update

Posted in Uncategorized on June 26, 2011 by watsonprime

So, i’ve just realised that I haven’t updated in what seems like months! While I’ve been too busy to keep up to date with reviews and stuff, I have been doing some design work which will be uploaded to the website once I talk to my webteam (i.e. my girlfriend).

I plan on posting a few reviews or something soon.

I promise.

Eric

Captain America Trailer

Posted in Uncategorized on February 9, 2011 by watsonprime

So it seems like i was one of the few people in the western world who didn’t watch the superbowl, but what I was most annoyed about missing was not the handegg tournament, but the Captain America teaser. Fortunately, by the time I woke the next morning, the video was on every single page of the internet. So I’ve decided to write down my thoughts on a 30 second video that everyone saw two days ago.

First off, how did they get Chris Evans to look so skinny? It reminds me of that scene in Spiderman where Peter Parker looks at himself in the mirror before getting his powers, and I think for that scene they filmed him before and after working out. But Chris Evans was never that thin, so I suspect some CGI trickery, and after finding out that the twins in the Social Network were played by the same guy, I now know that someones face can be put on someone else’s body and you’d never know. So it’s probably just some really skinny guy with Chris Evan’s face pasted over him, and not Evans pulling a Christian Bale.

How did I not know that Tommy Lee Jones is in this film? Cool.

Topless Chris Evans has increased ticket sales to this film and we’re only halfway through the trailer. He is totally going on my man crush list.

There’s a weird shot of Captain America jumping to grab a crane or something hanging from the ceiling. I realise that they’re only showing him mid flight for a second but it seems a bit weird, for some reason it reminds me of that bit in Space Jam when Michael Jordan scores the final points for the game by defying physics.

They are really hammering home the whole “Avengers” thing. While I never understood why a superhero team was called The Avengers, I guess it kind of makes sense with Captain America, after all surely he’s avenging the world, but it just seems like they’re crowbarring the word in where it’s not necessary. I assume that The Avengers as a team are less familiar to the public eye than say, the Fantastic Four or the Justice League, and they need to make sure people connect this film with the Avengers movie.

The Red Skull looks awesome, I was worried that a man who has a red skull for a face would look ridiculous, but somehow, somehow, they’ve made him look cool. I read somewhere that they’re downplaying the whole Nazi thing and replacing it with Hydra, which I’m sure will upset some people, but doesn’t bother me too much. After all, the basic premise of changing a man into a six foot, blonde ubermensch so that he can fight Nazi’s and all that they stand for, seems a bit weak.

We’re treated to the standard trailer ending with someone asking a question only to be answered with something cool that would look good quoted in a screen name. I imagine the shield being developed will be a major part of the story, and hopefully they’ll explain what it was doing in Tony Starks workshop.

Overall the film looks pretty awesome, plenty of fights scenes, explosions, topless Chris Evans and a decent looking Captain America uniform. Obviously it’s hard to gain a real idea of what the film will be like given less than 30 seconds of footage, but considering they’ve made both Captain America and The Red Skull look badass in a live action setting, i’m sold.

News and things

Posted in Uncategorized on January 13, 2011 by watsonprime

So I haven’t posted anything in a very long time, and I really have no excuse, but I promise to try harder.

The big news is that I finally have my website up and running, it has my advertising portfolio, as well as my cv and other good stuff (including this blog) so please check it out at http://www.watsonprime.co.uk

I’d like to thank my fantastic girlfriend Amy for working so hard on all the technical stuff, I’m pretty limited when it comes to anything to do with coding and other related computery things.

Thanks for stopping by

Update

Posted in Uncategorized on December 22, 2010 by watsonprime

I know I’m due a Misfits review and some more stuff, but I’ve been working in a mailroom for the past couple of weeks and I haven’t had time to do any writing. I’ll post some stuff soon.

 

‘Night

My Chemical Romance – Danger Days: The True Lives of The Fabulous Killjoys

Posted in Uncategorized on November 22, 2010 by watsonprime

I am a massive fan of My Chemical Romance, so I have been eagerly awaiting this day for a good few years. The band’s new album “Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys” was released today, four years after their last album “The Black Parade”. Again, this is a concept album, much like their previous one, but instead of the last moments of a cancer patient on his deathbed, Danger Days is about a colourful gang of rogues living in a post apocalyptic world fighting a villain played by Grant Morrison (yeah, Grant Morrison, how cool is that?).

As a result, the sound on this album is vastly different to the previous one, but then the band have been constantly evolving their style since their first album “I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love”. On the agenda today is a bright, punky sound that, while still sounds like My Chemical Romance, suggests that they are really having fun making music.

Much could be said about their change in musical style, and I’m sure that many would accuse the band of “selling out”, and it goes without saying that their first and last albums are radically different, but Gerard Way has done a lot since that first album came out, they are no longer angsty 20-somethings, recording dark, brooding music, Gerard Way is pretty much living the dream right now; he’s married, has a kid, is the writer of an award winning (and spectacularly awesome) comic book and he makes his living in a rock band, to make gloomy music about the dark side of things would be a little bit ridiculous, and not in a good way.

Anyway, back to the review.

The album is absolutely killer, there is a wide range of styles, although not as wide a “The Black Parade”, I’ve not noticed any polka music in this one. Fast paced tracks like “Na Na Na” and “Planetary (GO!)” which have elements of earlier My Chemical Romance sit nicely alongside power ballads likeĀ  “SING” and “The Only Hope For Me Is You”.

One thing My Chemical Romance excel at (besides being an awesome band) is creating a whole world for their music in the form of music videos, viral campaigns, merchandise, costumes and treatment of their fanbase. Much like how they transformed themselves into the Black Parade in promotion of their last album, the band have become the Fabulous Killjoys, with long red hair and primary coloured clothes in stark contrast to the monochromatic, marching band look they sported previously, or even the red and black they went with before that. All this helps create a context for the album, which enhances the experience for the listener and helps transport to the world of the Killjoys and their battle against Better Life Industries.

Chapter 1: Getting Started

Posted in Uncategorized on November 8, 2010 by watsonprime

So, I’ve started a blog. Mainly because I want to start writing, but also because every job I seem to apply for requires me to have one (expect to see me start a Twitter account in the near future). I have no idea what to write about and considering this may be viewed by potential employers (if that’s you – Hi there, please give me a job), I have no idea what sort of tone I should take. Therefore, the content and style of this blog will inevitably veer from reviews of things I like, to work I’ve done, to articles about things I like and from being incredibly formal to so relaxed and personal it gets uncomfortable.

Anyway, there we go, I’ve written something. That should do for a bit, yeah?