All posts by cosmo

The Flaming Carrot’s Absurd Escapades

 

Flaming Carrot 29 Bob Burden
Bob Burden

Comics can be strange. Rich men processing their grief by dressing up as a bat, pummeling street thugs and adopting an orphan/sidekick. Perfectly logical, right? And that is one of the more “grounded” examples. One of the sources of richness within the medium has long been the play between creators who favor naturalism versus absurdity. Coming down squarely in the latter camp is Bob Burden who dreamt up one of the most surreal series in comics’ history: Flaming Carrot Comics. Chronicling the mundane and outrageous adventures of its titular hero, Burden crafted a book that defies reason. Narratives would take sharp left-turns or, in some cases, drop-off entirely. Plot points from decades ago remain dangling to this day. Like his fellow absurdist Steve Gerber, Burden’s strengths as a storyteller did not include long-term plotting. Where Burden’s talent did shine, however, was writing and illustrating one of the funniest, most odd-ball comics ever published. Also, like Gerber, Burden’s output has retained its edge over two decades later.

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Uncovering the Best Covers, 4-20-17

Want to know what covers caught our attention this week?

Curious what our eyes fell in love with at first sight?

Well, here they are, the most memorable images on the stands this Wednesday . . .

Creighton is swept up by . . .

Monstress 11 Sana Takeda
Monstress #11 by Sana Takeda

Continue reading Uncovering the Best Covers, 4-20-17

First Trailer for Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

 

As part of today’s The Last Jedi panel at Star Wars Celebration, Disney released the first trailer for Episode VIII. As with most initial views it is mostly teaser, but still, it’ll give fans shivers . . .

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, directed by Rian Johnson, opens December 15th.

Cheers.

Review of My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea

my-entire-high-school-sinking-into-the-sea-poster

This review was originally published last October when the movie screened at the New York Film Festival. It opens today in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto; it will expand to additional cities over the coming weeks. For more information on the film’s expansion schedule, please see Dash Shaw’s tumblr.

Over the past several years, Dash Shaw has earned widespread acclaim through writing and illustrating of graphic novels such as 2014’s Doctors. This year he unveiled a new type of project: his first feature length film, My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea. Shaw’s animated movie premiered last month at the Toronto Film Festival before appearing this week at the New York Film Festival. My Entire High School is a thrilling, poignant movie, which demonstrates that Shaw’s skills stretches beyond the printed page.

Film by its nature is a collaborative process. When a movie is successful, it is the result of a variety of talented individuals blending their skills into a final product. At the same time, some filmmakers leave behind more prominent fingerprints than others. Most fans would be hard pressed to distinguish the characteristics of an Andrew Stanton directed Pixar film from a Peter Docter one. This is not a slight on the quality of their movies, which is quite high, but an observation about style. Meanwhile, other recent animated films such as Frankenweenie and Anomalisa are instantly recognizable as the products of Tim Burton and Charlie Kaufman’s idiosyncratic imaginations. Shaw’s My Entire High School fits into this second category. As with Frankenweenie or Anomalisa, My Entire High School is a visually striking, emotionally resonant experience. To watch it is to become fully immersed in the distinct vision of its creator.

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Star Wars Celebration Remembers Carrie Fisher

The annual Star Wars Celebration kicked off today with the 40th Anniversary of A New Hope. As part of the festivities, participants took time to pay tribute to the recently departed Carrie Fisher. They offered testimonials along with an affecting video honoring both Leia Organa and the actress who brought her to life.

The Star Wars Celebration continues in Orlando through the weekend. Next up tomorrow: The Last Jedi.

Cheers.

This Week’s Finest: The Wicked + the Divine #28

The Wicked + The Divine 28 cover Jamie McKelvie
Jamie McKelvie

By Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie & Matthew Wilson

As previously observed, The Wicked + the Divine has always been focused on the subject of youth. However, this has hardly caused the series to remain static—quite the opposite in fact. One of writer Kieron Gillen’s motifs has been how the devil-may-care attitudes of adolescence gradually cede to the responsibilities of adulthood. The initial arcs depicted a Pantheon fully in thrall to their newfound powers; most of the freshly minted divinities were luxuriating in dazzlingly heights (or lows, if you were the Goth type with a preference for moping through poorly lit tube stations). It is true that mortality haunted The Pantheon from nearly the beginning striking down some of its brightest stars. Perhaps this is another reason why the brilliant Tara chapter (#13) struck such a deep chord: here was a portrait of a god buckling under the weight of her mantle. Tara never sought fame and all its trappings; indeed she desired as much anonymity as possible. When she turned to Ananke, The Pantheon’s mentor, for relief,, Tara was brutally rebuffed. In death she became another reminder of the finality which waits even for the divine. In fact, each time a Pantheon member has died, the tone of the narrative has shifted. Lucifer’s demise moved the theme from cheeky world-building concept to heart-wrenching poignancy. Inanna and Tara’s deaths deepened this somber atmosphere. Then Persephone’s killing of Ananke altered the status quo even more drastically. Adult supervision was gone and the children were left to fend for themselves. What would they do now that the only authority was their own? “Whatever we want,” Persephone declares. As the first half of Imperial Phase powerfully draws to a close, the reader is left wondering just how well that anthem is working out for any of them.

Continue reading This Week’s Finest: The Wicked + the Divine #28

Uncovering the Best Covers, 4-13-17

Want to know what covers caught our attention this week?

Curious what our eyes fell in love with at first sight?

Well, here they are, the most memorable images on the stands this Wednesday . . .

Creighton hums the blues for . . .

Godshaper 1 David Aja
Godshaper #1 by David Aja

Continue reading Uncovering the Best Covers, 4-13-17

First Trailer for Thor: Ragnarok

Today Marvel Studios unveiled the initial trailer for Thor: Ragnarok. This first footage is solidly focused on Chris Hemsworth’s God of Thunder who it appears is about to undergo another of his periodic humblings. The trailer wisely de-emphasizes Loki (headgear change noted with approval, though) in favor of new characters Valkyrie, The Grandmaster and especially Cate Blanchett’s Hela (who looks fantastic). The trailer also suggests that the film will arrive with Taika Waititi’s signature quirk intact.

Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson & Jeff Goldblum. The movie, directed by Taika Waititi, opens November 3rd.

Cheers.

Uncovering the Best Covers, 4-06-17

Want to know what covers caught our attention this week?

Curious what our eyes fell in love with at first sight?

Well, here they are, the most memorable images on the stands this Wednesday . . .

Creighton adjusts his perspective for . . .

Shade the Changing Girl 7 Marguerite Sauvage
Shade the Changing Girl #7 by Marguerite Sauvage

Continue reading Uncovering the Best Covers, 4-06-17