Tuesday, February 8, 2011


OK Folks. I'm putting my money where my enormous mouth is here.
I have been on a tear since Mssrs Niles and Powell kicked this bear in the balls last week preaching the cause of trying out Creator Owned Comics. It all comes down to one simple thing, really. Before you try something new you have to take yourself out of your comfort zone. We all have one. It guides all aspects of our life, from our daily TV watching habits, to our dining habits to our musical tastes (or lack thereof) and our literary pleasures. Since it's the latter rather than the former I am preaching, I think it only fair that I include a few of the others as well because, and I'll be honest here, if you already READ comics, odds are this isn't meant for you.
It's you. Yes...YOU. The one over by the twizzlers at the checkout line that I am talking to here. You never read a comic, well, there was that one time in detention when Jeff had a copy of X-Men 300 that you borrowed. You read about 10 pages of it before you got bored. Not bad, since comics really aren't your thing right? But here's my point, if I may. You read The DaVinci Code twice. You read and reread ALL 7 Harry Potter books last week during the snow storm. You have read almost every book written by Stephen King. But still, the XMEN wasn't your thing. Fair enough. But the point I want to stress here is you are missing out. You like adventure stories. But Super Heroes bore you. I get it. Try reading MY webcomic The Portland Express. There aren't any superheroes in that at all. If that isn't your bag, try The Walking Dead. You know...that TV show? Yes it was a comic. Or maybe you liked Red? Read THAT comic too. I promise you if you try enough of them you'll find one that speaks to you. It's so simple. The only thing is it'll cost you. That five minutes of your time where you put yourself completely at the mercy of the creators will seem like an eternity if you don't dig what they are selling, but if it strikes your fancy, a 100 page graphic novel will seem like a Super Bowl commercial. Over too fast and leaving you wanting more. The point is you will never HAVE that experience if you don't gamble. And it is a gam,ble, man. Never doubt that. You will get some comics that just aren't for you. I still get those daily. But if you read 20....and hate 19 of those...that 1 will be a doosey. I know this.
But it doesn't mean shit if you just hear me tell you this...so I am going to put it to practice. I'm going to try a new comic that I never saw before and tell you what I think....good or bad. I'll do the same with music. I'll listen to a new band and is I like it...I'll tell you why. If I didn't...then no loss. The point is I am doing what I am asking YOU to do. Get your asses OUT there and SEE what is available. There are some KICKASS comics out there just like there are bands you never heard of that will make you soil your drawers and love it.

The Comic
Fubar (http://zombiefubar.wordpress.com/)

This is a zombie comic....consisting of over a dozen black and white short comic stories featuring WWII Nazis and Zombies. I haven't bought the actual comic yet. But I plan to. I was able to read one of the short stories though and that sold me. The story is titled "And the crowd goes wild" by Jeff McComsey and it's fairly straightforward. Man with baseball bat tees off on zombies. It's not War and Peace....more like War and Pieces. The art is finished by Steve Becker. I never heard of him, but I dig his style. It mirrors the quirkiness of Will Eisner and makes killing Nazi Zombies look like a load of fun. In Jeff's own words, "Steve Becker and I were sitting around the studio talking about FUBAR, and we came to the conclusion that the first volume needs just a little bit more brains and baseball bats. We decided to do a collaboration for this story. These are my layouts/pencils, inked by Steve. It’s also worth noting that Steve did hand drawn sound effects, which I think really set this short off. Enjoy." The story was a full 4 pages long. Perfect bathroom reading in my opinion. I say Check it out in comic shops all across the world. 15 stories, 184 pages of World War II zombie pulp fiction available for $11.99.

The Band
Mumford and Sons.

This one is simple and if you follow me on teh FaceBook, you probably heard me squee about this band.
It's a brit folk rock band that does songs with footstompin melodies and brain raping lyrics. The Cave  is one such song. It haunts me. I heard their song Little Lion Man and was willing to leave it there with these guys. I was ready to write them off as a one-hit wonder. Then This week happened. I decided to listen to another song by them and see if I liked it. This was that song. It combines heartfelt moments of solitary self-imposed confinement and adds a sprinkle of Ulysses (the Greek, not the Irishman) to make a song that actually hit me with a physicality I haven't felt in a long time. I'm in a dark place right now as those of you who know me can attest. The death of both my parents days before my birthday hit me like a ton of bricks. THIS song told me that was ok. It gave me permission to feel better. I can't suggest this band more strongly....and the sad component to this story is that had Niles and Powell not started this and had I not decided to try new things...I would NEVER have listened to this song.

If THAT isn't reason enough for you to just get off your ass...take yourself out of your comfort zone for 5 minutes and see what is on the next island, I dunno if I can help you, man. Just go on and buy those twizzlers and I'll see you in about a week or so with another try. But I'm not going to give up on you. I think we're sitting in the eye of a strengthening hurricane. It's going to gain momentum but only if WE power it. If we let it fall limp on the sand...it's just a rainstorm and the status quo remains. Where is the fun in that?

1 comment:

  1. I want to make something clear here. I am NOT asking you to send me your comic or your YouTube video. I'm going out into the wilderness on my own here and I'll find what my fortune leads me to. It's all part of the journey, I suppose. That isn't to say that I don't want to know about what you are doing. I do. It's just THIS experiment (and that is what it is) is all about MY journey as much as YOURS is about the one You will undertake.