BATGIRL 41 & ENDGAME 1: Spare the controversy, spoil the story

Batgirl 41 coverBATGIRL ENDGAME is like the lighter side backstory to DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. Well to me at least. As Babs silently (nary a talky bubble in this issue, nor or are they needed), moves her way through the Joker Virus infected Gotham, to herd her Grinners as Rick Grimes does Walkers, my mind couldn’t let go of a Mutant overrun Gotham from my youth that was protected and cherished by another young woman also of indomitable spirit, Carrie Kelly.

The lack of words in this issue leaves this artistic troglodyte at a loss for a lengthy review. The plot, as with most comics, is straightforward. Joker virus extras bleeding off of Snyder and Cappulo’s soundstage in BATMAN are making their way off the little island that Satan built towards the wilds of Kane County and beyond. Thankfully, Babs is ready to use her New 52 giddy-up sticks to make the bridge go boom before Joker and Amazo viruses collide (drops the continuity mike)

Where you get your per minute entertainment value in ENDGAME (outside of giving a deep naval gaze into the penultimate pages of Snyder’s ending omnibus Batrun) is basking in Bengal’s ability to articulate grander and granular in a deft dance between panels. Also, as I mentioned earlier, fangeezers can see what Miller’s work would have looked like with clean lines.

I don’t know which of the three family bridges blew up (as identified in GATES OF GOTHAM) and I don’t care. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the other side glance offerings yet to come in ENDGAME. I don’t care about any of the things we usually bitch about, because I am already so blinded by the incoming flares of CONVERGENCE’S continuity supernova that I am eminently satisfied with solitary sub-universe seamless…hmmm…lets say geling.

Batman, Superman, Justice League, Dark, Young and Didio: The myriad of nation states that make up the DC super power have kept tight storytelling even if they were always slightly one step ahead of their respective partners over the past three year dance. Number ones appeared and appeared again, but they were merely accounting exercises more than story catalysts. Except for Batgirl.

Babs’ recent reset to a Twitter tastic younger teen is honestly a bit more offensive than her truncating of Wheelchair time after the New 52 accordion scrunch. We didn’t het a number one, nor an explanation on Babs’ sudden selfie obsession when her Dad is thelittle spoon with Bane in the bowls of Blackgate. Change is good, but change is hard. I was fine walking away with this title with Ms. Simone, but I feel deeply for those Batgirl zealots who may have thought they were picking up the next issue of the media devolved Just from MULTIVERSITY. New art and new tone, should have been anointed a new number one without question and at least a drop of Omega Beam to explain why she started to age like Benjamin Button. Change, but for God’s sake DC, show us how you came to the conclusion. You did it a bit in this issue, Batgirl finally used Twitter for a purpose to communicate with a school bus full of kids. She used social media to not only contain a plague, but also be a hero in the purest sense of the word.

Barbara Gordon is more than a gimmick. She earned her elevation beyond the pastiche light purple pastel that birthed her a generation ago. Smarts, sass, moxy and courage made her a hero, the events of the KILLING JOKE then made her an icon. She birthed the information age back when it took a knowledge of computers to use computers. She has never quit…and neither have her creators.

Time to back off Fangeezers, there’s great shit going on here and if you don’t like it, I really really believe your daughters will. I recently defended Albuquerque on Twitter for his decision to pull his BATGIRL 41 “KILLING JOKE” homage cover. I could care less about good taste, I simply hate bad business. BATGIRL is no longer ours, and that creepy creepy moment that fell Barbara and led to years of triumphant climbing back are also gone. New 52 time, Barbara’s back was better after 3 months in the cave. The brunt of recovery was for the 3 weeks when Harold the hunchback moved in. Ohhhh those good ole’ weeks. See what I mean, new Joker getting weird with new Babs…it’s just weird. Buy a print oldie fans, I know I’ll try. And buy BATGIRL ENDGAME. Enjoy the craftsmanship and then pay it forward so these kids are writing for us as we prepare to die in our moon retirement homes.

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 27,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

WAYWARD #1 COMIC REVIEW: Zub Kicks Barriers Instead of Skulls

Wayward01B-AlinaUrusovWAYWARD 1 (In Stores August 2014)
Writer: Jim Zub
Artist: Steve Cummings
Publisher: Image
Reviwer: Rob Patey (aka – Optimous Douche, Ain’t it Cool News) 

I find it hard to believe it’s been 4 years since I was first contacted by a lone Eastern Europeanish immigrant named Jim Zubkavich. Traveling by steamer ship from the same piece of shit country as Balki from Perfect Strangers, I received his telegraph requesting coverage of his book SKULL KICKERS, which would be his indentured servitude golden ticket to America.

Now he’s a shining example of the American Dream and how indentured servitude is really a great piece of currency, the kavich has left the building and Jim Zub delivers another comic problem solver with WAYWARD 1.

That’s right, a comic problem solver. Anyone can write a story or lasso words around editorial edicts, but the ones worth remembering always stand at the ready to fill a void or vacuum.

Back then, with SKULL KICKERS Kavich showed us that comics could be fun as his nameless D&D characters pretty much kicked a bunch of skulls inside the story wrappers of every fantasy trope imaginable. 2010 was a bummer fucking year as the Big 2 put their current universes in neutral and took all the top talent to the board room to usher in the Meticulously Measured Metrics Age of comics. Kavich said, no silly Americans, do not be sad the beetle blues has been shot by the Lord of Foldgers, laugh at my silly dwarf man instead.

Wayward01A-SteveCummings_RossACampbellToday, Zub fixes a problem that has been screaming at comics since the first bra was burned and yet amidst that screeching there is still so little problem solving – that’s right, I’m talking about some lady protagonisting. Not only does Zub go lady, he actually goes teenage lady, and I’ll tell you that it definitely works.

Rori Lane is not only about to undergo a fantastic journey filled with comic bookey stuff, but she’s also on a journey of discovery as a stranger in a strange land that I already find equally if not more intriguing than the fantasy. Her half Irish, half Japanese decent only lasted until her parents divorce. Mom gets Rori, so Rori gets to move to Tokyo.

Zub paints the perfect balance of wonderment and fear in Rori as she navigates a land that many foreigners will never quite “get,” until they actually experience it. However, the land of the rising sun also activates something in Rori that I can only best describe as Splinter Cell vision. Rori begins to see pathways, or when put to good use, a strategic line to overcome any point A to point B obstacle.

Now, where most assholes would simply use this ability to YouTube X-Treme Parkor, Rori’s mettle is actually tested her first afternoon in town by Turtles in a half shell with big ass slobbering teeth and ironically bird flu (OK I made up the last part). Until a girl with an uncanny ability to summon felines and become cat like herself mysteriously saves Rori and then quickly abandons her. Not before getting some strange milk from a vending machine to solidify once more how strange Eastern culture is to us Western world folks.

Wayward01D-AdamWarren_JohnRauchWhat this review is missing is how well Zub paints these moments. Rori’s journey, the loss of her parent’s love for each other, how bat shit crazy Japan is for first timers, because he does it all in masterful and authentic detail. Steve Cummings is simply a new God of comic drawing, my jaw continued to lower to the floor page after beautiful page.

Sorry to tease WAYWARD so far ahead of release, but that’s comics folks. Retailers must order now, they believe they are people too, and so they sometimes need a little help stocking the shelves before you consumer types start navigating them. There are a deluge of titles coming from every corner of comics and Image is certainly one of the most massive #1 producers in recent memory. Out of all those so many books of genesis I’ve enjoyed, WAYWARD is one of the first that I feel is as much needed as it is entertaining.

Avoiding Hypocrisy – Blogging the Bad for Once

rob-patey-sad-faceI blog with the highest of frequency and candor about my successes in life, so I want to avoid the traditional artist hypocrisy of cowering when my ego is suffering from the rawest bruise ever struck.

I parted ways with my employer today. We both had an inkling it wasn’t going to work out pretty much from day one, and I am almost thankful (though undeniably scared about my future) they broached the subject in a timely fashion. So when they said it wasn’t working out, I didn’t perform the traditional knee jerk defense because I truly wasn’t happy with the decision I made. Quite frankly, the only reason I didn’t leave sooner is I simply refuse to be the first to throw in the towel. I know in the grand scheme of an uninterrupted fifteen year career, I should consider this a quick 4 week anomaly. But your first rejection, when you kind of want to be rejected still stings a tad.

To be truly honest with myself it wasn’t losing the job that causes the sting to throb, it was quite frankly ignoring my gut on what the now clear voice of hindsight was telling during the interview process. Also, I am just now realizing how valued I was at my prior place of employment. Actually, I take that back, I realized how valued I was at my prior employer the moment I resigned. What I am dealing with now is seeing a support network via FaceBook from these folks that makes those past feelings shine so much more brighter.

Rejection should and could cut the human spirit like a scythe, we are after all social animals. If this day didn’t sting  I would be even more scared about who I am right now. Even when you join a tribe whose war paint clearly causes allergic reactions to your skin, the cognoscente person will take a moment of self reflection to ponder why. The sociopath will be unaffected, and only the truly blind with arrogance will deflect all fault to the other party.

What I chose to do as I sauntered away from this tribe in my coconut wheeled SUV, is take stock of not where I have been, but where I want to go next. Mistakes are only unforgivable when repeated.

Oh the places I want to go

  • Marketing – but let me be clear it must be content based. I must be with an organization that understands that capturing market share comes from invoking true emotion in prospects
  • Places that want a unique voice – My style is not for everyone, thankfully Google has awarded my style with the recent Penguin and Panda changes, but not all places will necessarily agree.
  • Team I must be part of a team –  I am too much of an extrovert, I feed off the energy of others and didn’t realize that my soul would truly suffer in solitude.
  • Technology, Entertainment and Advertising: These are my career loves, but again the future will be an exercise in ensuring those…I guess we can call them industries…are a truly honest and creative brand (or sincerely want me to make them that)

If you think my lament is admirable and honest and you want a content or lead ten marketer, here is my  resume (Robert T Patey Resume 06-14-2). I’ll also encourage you to read some of my marketing related content to ensure my voice resonates well with your eye holes.

When I bleed, I bleed ink and your readership truly helps cauterize the wound.

 

3 Types Doomed to Fail Their Comic Kickstarter

1146506_10151595136021149_2082735482_nHere are just some of the people I’ve helped already! Submit your questions in the comments or via email – because this is the face of caring!

 

Aaron Kuhn #ASKSROB

Dear Rob,
Kickstarter Fail: John Campbell Burns Comics Rather Than Sending Them To Donors

From BleedingCool.com

“And then there can be the bizarre. Such as that of John Campbell of Pictures for Sad Children.

Author of said popular webcomic, he published the first 200 strips in 2009. In 2012 he set up a Kickstarter to raise the money to publish a second volume, Sad Pictures for Children.

He asked for $8000. He got $51,615.

Some people got their books. Some didn’t. Yesterday, Campbell explained in a massive rambling Kickstarter update. Here are some highlights.

Well first, there’s the video of him burning 127 copies of the book because he had received emails asking him where the books were. And the threat he will continue to burn copies with every email, tweet, Facebook message etc he receives.”

Da Fuck?

Great Question Aaron,
There are three possible explanations for the behavior of Mr. Burns. Like Bleeding Cool‘s publisher Rich Johnston, who broke this tale of Kickstarted woe I have been exposed to all of these personality “types” during my tenure of comic reporting on Ain’t It Cool News.

Take note, all but a small fraction of the creative disorders burn out very quickly.

1) Edward Entitled: These are the worst types of creators and just frankly human beings in my opinion. They believe the world owes them something for just existing or in this case making some fucking stick figures.

They believe they are the most special and unique things put on the planet, when anyone with half a brain could dissect their personality and creative pastiches in 4 seconds.

These people are usually sheltered and get grand attention from a very small fishbowl of people.

We are all but micro atoms in the cosmic scheme and once you accept that facet, you become grateful for all the 8 bit blocks in life you unearth and craft.

I blog about comics. I’m a mid level manager. Life is good and I’m happy a small handful of people like my stuff. I’m Rob Patey, I’m not that important in the cosmic clock and neither are you John Campbell.

Dance monkey, it’s our job.

2) Harry Hubris: These types are quite frankly the victims of a morsel of success. This dude had a Web comic. And as a fellow narcissist I know the rush of gratification one can get from that initial inflow of palatitudes.

Here’s the think though, reading shit for free and paying for it is very different.

We have thousands that listen to the PopTards Podcast! each week. If we charged one dime we would see that number dropping faster than John Travolta’s IQ points from wig constriction.

3) Socialist Sam: Here are the people that baffle me. They love the socialistic bedrocks of crowd funding, but then feel like a puppet of the system when they have to produce.

Ukrainians don’t get toilet paper for not picking beets, just saying…

This guy in the end is just an Asshole. I see so many earnest Kickstarters fail miserably and this dick pulled down 250% above goal.

So people wrote him about the books wondering when delivery would be fulfilled. Who the hell orders anything without wondering that?

It’s guys like this that will kill Crowd Funding. I have contributed to one that delivered and one that failed. I really am 50/50 about ever investing on one again. This might have dropped it lower.`

All of The S$#@ is Gone From Christmas

All of The S$#@ is Gone From Christmas (Sung to the juxtaposed tune of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot LIKE Christmas”

All of the shit is gone from Christmas
The tree is by the curb
Amazon Box filled with wrapping
Hungover egg nog napping
And we finally get rid of Uncle Herb

All of the shit is gone from Christmas
Except the sizes wrong
They’ll go back to the outlet store
With gift receipts galore
Keeping spouses out for hours long

Pine needles in rugs and copious drugs
Mark days one and two
Regifting the crap that you just can’t bring back
Keeps you in the Chriastmas mood
And let’s not forget
All the leftover food

All of the shit is gone from Christmas
But I guess it’s really not
The gifts all still remain
Along with psychological family pain
Until next year’s onslaught.

Wag the Spouse

woman-with-man-begging-vertHaving trouble getting your significant other to see the merits of Pet Insurance? Here are some strategies to turn the tables in your favor. 

You love your four-legged housemates like family. Unfortunately, not all people feel the same. It becomes even more unfortunate if you have tethered yourself to one of these people for life. It happens; courtship is a whirlwind experience as we become puppets to rapidly flying pheromones. You don’t always discuss every facet of life before you say “I do” or clear out some drawers for co-habitation.

Fortunately everyone has buttons; those pain points that will make even the most stalwart of feelings whether it’s about pet insurance or putting down the toilet seat (grrrrr) fall to the wayside for the greater good of the relationship.

Here are some tips to help your significant other see the light when it comes to protecting the whole family.

Dollars & “S”cents

Whether you describe your two-legged life mate as pragmatic, frugal or downright cheap; you know the quickest path to your partner’s heart is paved with debits and credits. The next time they balk at the cost for your favorite barker’s protection lay some of these average veterinary bill figures on them:

Fractured Tooth – $700: With that kind of money your Scrooge McDuck could get 50 yard line seats at any sporting event in the country (plus beverages).

Cataracts – $1,500-3,000 PER LENS: Yikes, this nasty coating of the eyes ends up striking every living creature eventually. With pet insurance in your back pocket, the lenses are covered and the money saved could add some nice new toys to the man-cave.

Face-Lift – $13,000: No, not for vanity. We love dogs like bloodhounds and bull dogs for their beautiful folds, but those cute crevices can become big problems over time. Some dogs simply need those deep adorable wrinkles tightened up a bit as they age. Fortunately with the right pet insurance that covers hereditary conditions, you take care of your saggy faced friend and your curmudgeon can finally get that fishing boat they’ve been dreaming of.

Let Go of the Leash

In many relationships, when one partner is less than a fan of feathers, paws and claws you might be the one to blame. That’s right, your mothering (or fathering ) instincts have left the naysayers in the house out in the cold. It’s hard not to smother when in love, but this could be one of the reasons your significant other would rather see fur fly than settle in for a snuggle. After all, how can you expect someone who has never been exposed to pets to fall in love if they still aren’t being exposed to your pet?

It’s time to correct course. If your partner is a helper, than why not mention to them that you are really falling behind on daily tooth brushing for your pet, or feedings, walks….whatever! Just get them involved. Once they begin to help care for your other family member they will eventually see the soul inside those big brown eyes.

Lounge Lizards

Perhaps your partner is the complete antithesis of “the helper,” leaning frankly, a little more towards sloth. Thankfully, most of our four-legged friends sleep as much as they do anything else. A way to break down the walls between your partner and favorite pet is to surreptitiously place them together for a Sunday afternoon of football or intense video game playing. You already know the soul of your pet and how in-tune they are with your emotional states. Your partner will soon realize this as well when Fido mirrors their zeal or remorse depending on how the game goes.

There are certainly more tactics at hand to melt the icicles between your two loves, but this is definitely a good start. How about you? Have you been able to break down the walls between pet and partner? Let us know how you achieved the seemingly impossible.