Friday, October 29, 2010

Television Two-For-One!

I'm doing something a bit different today. I'm reviewing a television show, Sherlock on PBS, and previewing another, The Walking Dead on AMC. This should come as no surprise to those of you who read the Daily Genoshan regularly, as I have made my fondness for both Sherlock Holmes and zombies quite well known. Let's start with the review, shall we?

Sherlock (BBC/PBS)

Wow. I'm pretty sure my brain has melted out of my skull into a pool of awesome at my feet. The new Sherlock Holmes show—cleverly titled Sherlock—originated on the BBC, as all good television tends to do, but has been brought to PBS as part of the Masterpiece Mystery! series. Benedict Cumberbatch (random BBC stuff) stars as Sherlock Holmes, with the ridiculously amazing Martin Freeman (Love Actually, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, BBC's version of The Office, Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's upcoming version of The Hobbit(!!!!!!)) playing Dr. John Watson. The series places Holmes and Watson in modern-day London, and upgrades the tools that the famous detective has at his disposal. Holmes now utilizes texting, GPS, and internet research to aid him in solving mysteries.

Strangely enough, though, the series is about as close to the original works as you could get. The characterization is impeccable, and the attention to detail is otherworldly. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle originally had Watson returning to London after being injured in Afghanistan, so they didn't have to change much there (wah wah). But the best thing about the new series is that it's actually pretty hilarious. Instead of being a brave but witless dolt, as he is sometimes portrayed, Watson is a highly intelligent man and compliments Holmes in a very natural way. I could watch Cumberbatch and Freeman go back and forth all day. There are only three episodes right now, but the BBC plans on making more, so that's something to look forward to going into the series. The other thing that's great about Sherlock is that you can actually watch the episodes online for free! The day after each episode airs, PBS streams the episode online! Go ahead, see for yourself! I would not blame you if you just ditched the rest of this review to go watch the first episode. Actually, why don't you go watch it and then come back. Go ahead, go watch it.

Did you watch it? Wasn't it spectacular? It was, wasn't it? It was.

So yeah, Sherlock, Sundays at 9pm ET on PBS (check local listings), and available online the following day. Also, in a mostly unrelated note, I would like to point out that, on the PBS website, the main page for the series is found by clicking a link called "Sherlock Home." I found that amusing.

Moving on.

The Walking Dead (AMC)

While I can't speak for Rubicon because I haven't seen it, all of the other shows that AMC has produced have been complete gold. Mad Men has won the Best Drama Emmy three years in a row; Brian Cranston of Breaking Bad has won the Outstanding Actor in a Drama Emmy three years in a row; Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad just won the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Emmy this year!

And I actually thought The Prisoner was pretty good... sorry.

Anyway, premiering THIS SUNDAY NIGHT(!), HALLOWEEN(!), is the first episode of the television adaptation of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead. Normally, I would wonder how a television show about zombies could possibly sustain itself. Usually zombie flicks are all "survive or die." People either figure out how to save themselves, or they don't. How could you possibly keep something like running away from the undead over and over and over again fresh and exciting and interesting over the course of an entire series? Well, if you're basing the entire thing off of a comic book series that's already well into its 13th volume, then I'd say you've got some room to work.

I'm extremely excited for the premiere of The Walking Dead this Sunday night. It means that A) mainstream media is continuing to take comic books seriously, B) mainstream media is starting to take zombies seriously, and C) I will have something to do on Sunday nights now that Mad Men is over for a while. Seriously, folks, you might want to get on this.

Oh! And it stars ANOTHER guy from Love Actually! Love that movie.

I highly suggest catching both of these fantastic shows. Until next week, keep reading, Genoshans!

Friday, October 22, 2010

WHY BUY? Hybrid Bastards! (Tom Pinchuk & Kate Glasheen)

Why Buy Hybrid Bastards!?
by author Tom Pinchuk

Because it’s the weirdest comic in the whole wide world!

That may sound like a bold claim, but I’ve made it to countless readers over the years that I’ve promoted the book, and not one has called me out on it yet. Not a single one. Brian asked me to kick off the “Why Buy?” feature on Daily Genoshan, and I’ve found that that’s the best answer - - that’s the most succinct way to describe my comic.

After you read this official synopsis, I think you’ll be inclined to agree…

Hybrid Bastards! is about creatures born in a practical joke of mythic proportions. One night, the Greek god Zeus gets duped into being ferociously attracted to inanimate objects. For one mindless night, he sows his seed into cars, walls, laundry, and basically everything else you can think of. Because he's a god, these things get pregnant and they give birth. When the unholy offspring come of age, they want what all children want - - their Daddy's love. But he's disgusted by them, he wants 'em swept under the rug like so much dust, and there lies the battle of wills, the fractured family drama.

And as crazy as that sounds, that's only the beginning. The madness escalates from page to page, from panel to panel. Reading this comic is going to blow your mind so bad, your brains will be all over the ceiling. It’ll give you a charge that starts in your tail bone and shoots all the way up your spine until it ignites your hair into a furious blaze. It'll force you to divide your life into two eras: before reading it.... and after.

But you’re not big on hyperbole. You want hard facts.

How about some specs? Archaia, the publisher, has put together another gorgeous hardcover here (as has become their signature) that’ll make you look that much cooler for having one on your coffee table or on your bookshelf. Buy this on Amazon for a discount and you’ll get 77 pages of gloriously painted art, a totally-insane back-up short, criminally-cracked concept designs, and probably the most diverse selection of guest pin-ups ever assembled. And you’re going to get a full story. This isn’t the first of a planned series. We may come back and revisit these characters someday, but we made this with the attitude that there is no tomorrow. We didn’t save anything, we didn’t hold back on anything. We put everything on the table and packed everything we wanted to do into this comic. And I think anybody irked by leisurely decompression in comics will appreciate that.

But you want the really serious answer.

The serious answer is that comics can be too serious for their own good a lot of the time. Make no mistake - - I love Max, I love Vertigo, I love intense comics that you don’t want your Mom to see, I love comics that make incisive points about reality, politics, and philosophy. But I also love comics that flippantly throw the rules out the window because what they want do is simply more fun, and I sadly don’t see enough of those comics. I’m talking about Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol run, Scud the Disposable Assassin, and Little Nemo in Slumberland. I’m talking about Silly Symphonies and Merry Melodies from the golden age of cartoons; back before Bugs, Mickey, Felix the Cat, Betty Boop and their pals had to start acting respectably. I’m talking about comics and toons that invited you into a living, breathing world of phantasmagoria where dream logic is king.

That’s my intention with Hybrid Bastards!, and that’s what that talented lunatic, Kate Glasheen, has helped me create. This book isn’t all snarky one-liners about Greek mythology and involved jokes about laundry creatures keying cars… even though it has plenty of that. Hybrid Bastards! is about giving you a comic that's genuinely unpredictable, that's so unique it defies categorization, that doesn't fit into any box, that gloriously smashes the high-brow and the low-brow together, that escalates in insanity all the way from panel one to the titanic twisted final splash page.

And that, sirs and madams, is why you should buy Hybrid Bastards!

Friday, October 15, 2010

New Feature!

I am extremely excited to announce a new feature that will appear on the Daily Genoshan occasionally starting next week! It's called "Why Buy?" and will be somewhat different than regular reviews. Instead of reviewing a book myself, or even interviewing an author to see what he or she thinks, "Why Buy?" will be written by the authors themselves! It will give creators a chance to really let the world know what they think is special about their work in particular. Why do they love their book? Why do they think you'll love it? WHY should you BUY it?

As I said, this new feature will premiere NEXT FRIDAY! So make sure you tune in, folks!

Friday, October 8, 2010

New York Comic Con

Sorry folks, but no review this week, as I'll be at New York Comic Con!

In the meantime, enjoy a webcomic!

Questionable Content

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