Wonderful Team Member Readership Award

TheExtremisReview:

We have been nominated for the Wonderful Team Readership Award. Extremis needs no awards but we appreciate the sentiment. Sourcerer is a faithful Extremite and we thank him for his nomination. We run this blog inspired by enthusiasm about our topics. No awards really are needed just feedback and good discussion. We thank him and hope you’ll go check out his blog and the folks he’s nominated. Until next time, Extremites, I remain: Julian Munds.

Originally posted on Sourcerer:

Part Time Monster has nominated me for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award. She’s passing it along from Half-Eaten Mind, who bestowed it upon her in April.  This one is not very difficult since it just requires a few links and I have upward of 60 of you guys bookmarked ;-) So I’m spreading the love today.

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If you just don’t do awards, no worries. The title suggests it’s just a way of saying “thanks for reading,” anyway. That’s exactly what I’m doing here. Regular visitors who read, like, and comment are what makes blogging worthwhile for me. If not for all of you, I wouldn’t see much point in it.

If you do enjoy passing on awards, here are the rules–

  1. The nominee shall display the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award logo on his/her blog.
  2. The nominee shall nominate 14 bloggers s/he admires, over a period of 7 days, all at once or…

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A Couple Webcomics You Should Try Out

Comics in all Shapes and Colours

webcomics-5c29ae8fa53127166b0b820dffe7e573b0b75319-s6-c30The first thing people think of when they talk about Comics are thin books full of colourful pictures that tell the story of different Superheros.
 What they usually forget is that it all originated from mere monochrome, one panel Comics – alternatively called Cartoons or Comic Strips – in newspapers.

With the rise of the Internet these kinds of Comics have become a rarity in print, but more and more available online. The format changed greatly, as Comics were no longer bound to size and the two achromatic colours. They now have up to three or more colourful panels to tell the joke (though there are still newer Comics following the old pattern). Depending on the series the panels and Strips are now also used for continuing story lines instead of trying to simply reach a punch line each Strip. Read the rest of this entry

The Court of Owls: A Return to Batman’s Detective Side

Batman-The_Court_of_Owls,_Part_One_Knife_TrickThe New 52. Oh, most dreaded of reboots. I fear to touch thee, lest I be infected by the new age of senseless retcons!

Ok, I might be exaggerating a bit. But that’s how I was when it came to The New 52 for a long time. I don’t like retcons. I don’t like reboots. I think they’re terribly lazy shortcuts for writers who don’t want to take the time to know all of the canon of their material (which, let’s face it, is pretty much all of them). The DC universe has been particularly bad about retcons, even in the Batman universe, changing their minds no less than three times on whether or not the killer of Bruce Wayne’s parents has a name. So, in a typical boy-ish comic book fan way, I was determined to boycott the reboot, and stick to reliving Year One, Knightfall, and A Death in the Family over and over again.

Read the rest of this entry

Brian Azzarello and Danijel Zezelj’s El Diablo: Authenticity in Simplicity

Decoding DC  - Part 15

El_Diablo_v.2_2Extremites, dialogue is a beast to write. Write it too stilted and readers are drawn out of the story. Too colloquial, the readers have no clue what is going on and give up out of frustration. It is the writer’s job to create authentic clear dialogue that shows character and makes the story coherent and compelling. Brian Azzarello does just that in his redux of El Diablo.

In my articles about Joe R. Lansdale’s Jonah Hex, I often noted that the dialogue ‘seemed wrong.’ I couldn’t quite put my finger on why. The lines were alien in the world they existed in.

Read the rest of this entry

Extremis Looking For New Fan Writers

Come Join Us!

Come Join Us!

Hey, Extremites, you’ve probably noticed a drop off in posts recently.

There’s a few reasons for this. I have been busy with my non-blog life, doing some new contracts around Canada and I am gearing up for a big move to the UK, aside from some health difficulties in the last month.

Anyway, all this means that Extremis needs some new writers. If you are interested in joining our roster, note our mandate is write literate articles about fan related topics.

If interested in joining send me a 500 word article about what you’d like to write  for us and we’ll go from there.

Send it to, julianrmunds@gmail.com in word, PDF or pages format.

My best, Extremites,

Julian Munds – Editor-in-Chief for the Extremis Review.

 

Giving Up on the Hulk: Investigating Stan Lee’s Desperate Retconn of Big Green

Journey Into Marvel - Part 52

Even the sense of humour is off!

Even the sense of humour is off!

Extremites, when I opened up Big Green’s fourth issue all I could see was the desperate machinations at work behind the panels. It’s clear Stan Lee uses this issue to rework a title that is failing.

In 1962, The Incredible Hulk’s four issues had proven to be startlingly unpopular. Lee went into panic mode and tried to figure out why the concept was disliked. He decided that it must be a character problem. Hulk was far too villainous. In this issue he created a failsafe to take some of the Hyde out of the ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ concept that defined the series. Hulk becomes more of a power, a skill, rather than a malady or, indeed, separate character from Bruce Banner. While this makes sense it also has the pathetic affect of removing all the edge out of the character.

Read the rest of this entry

Why Batman Was the Answer to the Great Depression

12836_700xBatman is truly a diverse character. Throughout the years, he’s been campy, serious, happy, depressed, angry, and tortured. So how did he get his start? What was he like in the beginning? After all, the campy TV series and movie of the 1960s didn’t come until twenty years after Batman had been established.
That’s why I wanted to take a look at Detective Comics #27. I was intrigued. I wanted to know what he looked like in 1939. I wanted to get a grasp for what kind of cultural impact he Read the rest of this entry

Unravelling the Mystery of El Diablo: Plunging Into Azzarello and Zezelj’s El Diablo 

Decoding DC – Part 14

El Diablo (Zezelj)

El Diablo (Zezelj)

Extremites, this article is the first article of Decoding DC that does not concern Jonah Hex. It concerns one of the other characters that was born in the Weird Western renaissance of the late 70s: Lazarus Lane or El Diablo.

Lazarus Lane is a mild mannered bank teller until one day he is attacked by a gang of thieves and put into a coma by a lightning strike. A Native American shaman revived Lane and from then on he spent his life chasing criminals under the name ‘El Diablo.’

During the Weird Western period of the early 80s, ‘El Diablo’ ceased being a pseudonym and became an actual vengeful demon that possessed Lane. Perhaps, DC was inspired by success of Marvel’s Ghost Rider?

Like Ghost Rider Lazarus Lane disappeared into the ether, but also like Johnny Blaze, around the turn of the millennium El Diablo received a renaissance.

In 2001, Vertigo had become less a separate line, and more of an underbelly of the wholesome mainstream lines. Experimentalism was still embraced here. Relative unknowns like Brian Azarello and the Balkan import, artist Danijel Zezelj, were free to go wild and show readers a new way to read supernatural westerns.

Azzarello’s arc is by no means a rehash of El Diablo’s origin story. In fact, El Diablo only figures in a few short panels. The story instead focuses on a bounty hunter turned sherif named Moses Stone. There’s a brutal gun attack that destroys the town. Moses, through a series of events, finds himself returning to his home town in pursuit of El Diablo.

El Diablo remains a mystery throughout this issue.

It’s a simple story but there is enough action and character development to keep any reader interested.

I am impressed.

This is exactly how a beginning issue should be. It should offer a conflict that is attractive enough to wet the appetite of a reader; enough to get them turning the pages and ordering the next issue. It should not, as was so often the case with the Lansdale and Truman Hex, spell out a run of the mill story with two-dimensional characters going through the motions of story to fill an issue quota.

As much as I enjoy the richness of Azzarello’s story ,I don’t enjoy Zezelj’s art. It is scrappy, foggy and unfocused. It also lacks the detail that have come to expect in the DC modern age. Each face is not discernible from the next. The fogginess maybe intentional for there is a subtext throughout this story that seems ready to burst through at any moment. Perhaps, Zezelj’s art is intentional in its enigmatic quality.

I feel at a disadvantage in this article.

I want to have a loftier discussion as I do with most these articles but, the issue presented is so perfect in its simplicity that I don’t have much to digest. This simplicity feels ominous. I get a sense that as this arc progresses the world presented will not be as it seems.

I cannot wait to unravel this.

Until next time, Extremites, I remain: Julian Munds.

Story I Read: “El Diablo Part 1″ (El Diablo #1 Mar. 2001)

Rating: 4 out of 5

Pros: The simplicity, the fully fleshed characters and the lush dialogue.

Cons: The art is foggy and tough to discern.

Previous Review:Part Three: Final Shadows” (Jonah Hex: Shadows West #3 Apr. 1999)

Upcoming Review:El Diablo Part 2” (El Diablo #2 Apr. 2001)

 

 

 

Batman V. Superman: Batfleck and DC’s Big Mistake

Batman-v-Superman-Dawn-of-Justice-LogoIt wasn’t long after the closing credits for The Avengers had ended that I found myself saying “We need a Justice League movie.” There’s really no excuse for there not being one already. With the success of Marvel’s cross-over films, I had to ask myself, “Why hasn’t DC started doing this?”

Well, now they are. Except they’ve decided to skip character development altogether. Instead of doing things the smart way, giving Batman his own movie, Wonder Woman her own movie (which is long overdue, considering we’ve yet to have a standalone female superhero film), and the others their own movies, they’ve opted for a backdoor Justice League film in place of the Man of Steel sequel. Read the rest of this entry

Review: Tim Burton’s Batman

TheExtremisReview:

I remember watching this film back in the day. All the character of the Joker himself is odd and has no backing in the source comics, Jack does it brilliantly. Batman returns on the other hand has a lot canonically wrong with it. Most particularly the reduction of Penguin to a Solomon Grundy like miss. Take a look at this wonderful review from Sorcerer.

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Originally posted on Sourcerer:

by Jeremy DeFatta

Happy new book day, everyone! I’m taking a break from looking at real people through the lens of Batman for a couple of posts. Instead, I want to lay out some of my notes and thoughts on the 1989 Batman and 1992 Batman Returns films, which I recently reacquired and watched again for the first time in nearly a decade. This week, I’ll look at 1989′s Batman, directed by Tim Burton and starring Jack Nicholson, Michael Keaton, and Kim Basinger.

BatmanPoster

For many fans in my generation, this film was our first exposure to the character and world of Batman. I’m pleased to say I don’t feel as negatively toward this movie as I did just a few years ago (for whatever reasons). Some aspects of it have not aged well, but it is not a bad film. I could do with a little less Prince, though.

Here…

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