Monday, March 6, 2006

Looking To The Stars - The New Look

My apologies for the late posting. It was a long weekend.

Remember what I said last week about big changes and a big surprise coming soon?

Well, the big surprise is still a little further off.

But the big changes start now!

Doubtlessly most of you have already read The Dark Overlord's missive regarding how the look of the site, the layout of reviews and other things are going to be changing over the next few weeks.

If you haven't, you'd better go read about it quickly, before he has you flayed. There will be new columns, new writers and a lot more graphic elements to the site among other things.

This of course begs the question, how will THIS, the column that has been a staple of this magazine since Day One be changed by these changes?

The answer is, not much.

The column is still here.

Barring my being framed for an assassination attempt on Mark Millar and jailed or being made king of New Marvel, I'm not going anywhere.

And my original contract to write whatever I want, however I want so long as it is turned in before Sunday evening still stands.

There have been no modifications or requirements that I shift everything into a pure graphics format so as to capture that important demographic of illiterate web-surfers who find text and prose-style writing frightening.

You know, the morons, who don't read my column anyway. ;)

So what changes are there? Well, here comes the first one.

And it is a big one.

So big that I've been trying to pad out this introduction so as to better disguise it.

It is, in fact, a logo.

Every feature on the site now has a logo and we will not be exempt from this.

Because of my commitment to being as independent as possible, I designed the logo myself, from scratch, from a photograph of yours truly taken by my friend Donna.

Using the magic that is Paint Shop Pro, I have chopped it, channeled it, fiddled around with and then hit it with a hammer to create something that screams Indy. Something that screams inspiration. Something that didn't take all afternoon. And something that was free so I didn't have to pay Daron's friend to make me one.

With that, I give you this... the new face of Looking To The Stars as we enter this bold new age of graphic-enabled independence!

We've come a long way baby!

Well, that's all! I'll see you all next week!

Okay. You're all still here.

Yes, I do actually have SOME content to the magazine this week, besides the spiffy new logo.

First, a review of the latest work by a writer who I have been missing for a long, long time.

Detective Comics #817
Company Name: DC Comics
Writer: James Robinson
Layouts: Leonard Kirk
Finishes: Andy Clarke
Colors: John Kalisz

The minute I saw the previews of this book, I knew I'd have to get it. Not just because I usually get all the Batman books whenever a new direction begins. Not just to learn the fate of Batman and what happened to him after Infinite Crisis. No. I had to get it because my favorite writer of all time is writing comics once again.

James Robinson, the creator of Starman, is back in comics. And with this, the first Batman comic taking place One Year Later, he has brought back…

* Jim Gordon as Police Commissioner
* Harvey Bullock, with a badge!
* Harvey Dent – Vigilante!
* Batman (Apparently he was gone for a year)
* Robin in a new suit!
* Poison Ivy – not dead and more powerful than ever!

There's not much of a plot at this point past setting up the Gotham City of One Year Later. Despite this, the story goes smoothly and this feels a lot more like what Batman should be than anything written on the Bat-Books since Jeph Loeb left the title. And I'm glad to see somebody FINALLY doing something with the reformed, newly-sane (as far as we know) Harvey Dent.

The art is might pur-tee too. Dark but not overly so. Of course it's not Tony Harris (which would make this book 10 kinds of heaven) but it works well.

Grade: A

And if you're wondering about the new 52 comic, I recently stumbled across a preview of the first five pages.

Finally, on a happy note, I got some fan mail from Jason R Svoboda. This made me laugh after a hard day at work. Hopefully it will do the same for you too.

I'm a long time reader. Very VERY occasional feed-backer. Good job with the column, BTW.

Don't laugh! That's not the funny part!

Anyhow, after reading the spoilers and such on Marvel’s “Civil War” which is being written by Brian Michael Bendis, I think I have an idea of how the editorial meetings with him must go…

Marvel Editors: OK Brian, we need some hot new ideas to spark interest away from that Crisis stuff at DC.

BMB: OK, here’s my pitch: Thor, harder edged. Modernized for the modern fan.

Editors: Sounds good so far.

BMB: Alright well we start off with the Iron Fist holding a meeting with some of his allies in regards to starting a new “Heroes for Hire.” We would have Black Knight there, White Tiger, maybe some mutants like Wolfsbane or Marrow or some other b-leaguers.

Editors: Interesting.

BMB: And then right as they’re talking, in walks… get this …. D-Man! With a bomb strapped to his chest, babbling about “the coming Ragnorak!” At which point it explodes and kills every in the building!

Editors: But what does Heroes fo Hire have to do with Thor…?

BMB: Also, Moon Knight hears the commotion and heads over to investigate, and a piano falls on him.

Editors: ……… why would you kill Moon Knight?

BMB: Eh, I don’t plan on writing him. So why not kill him?

Editor: Well we can’t do that because we are planning on a Moon Knight minseries.

BMB: Oh. Well I do have another idea, it’s a series of one shots involving the key members of the Defenders.

Editor: Sounds better…

BMB: We start off with the Controller feeding the kids from Power Pack into a wood chipper…

Editor: Uh no. We are still using Power Pack for our kid friendly comics.

BMB: Huh, comics for kids… don’t think that would work. Well if not that then howabout this…a saga with Captain America where I kill every single Marvel character whose name starts with the letter “R.”

Editor: Uhm, do you have any ideas that don’t involve randomly killing off characters? Maybe a story where the good guys…. uhm win? Or a story where some dying is integral to the story and not just killing off someone you don’t care for?

BMB: …. I don’t get what you’re trying to say.

Tune in next week. Same Matt time. Same Matt website.