Tagged: Look

Dennis O’Neil: The Elephant in the Punch Bowl

Dear Uncle Huff ,

Look, I know that your guns are important to you: more important than Emmy’s knitting is to her, more important than the twins’ comic book collection is to them, maybe more important than Gran’s daily mass and communion is to her.

For openers, there’s your collection, the best in town. From the nifty little .22 derringer to the awesome AK47, it’s a display of firearms you’re justly proud of. And yes, I remember sitting in your living room, cocking and dry-firing your Colt Peacemaker. Sure, guns fascinate me. I’m an American male.

But the collection is only the beginning. Guns provide a focus for your energy and enthusiasm. They give you a social life, too. I’ve seen you at the gun shows, kidding around with your pals, sharing information and opinions with them. They’re your tribe and you’re happy to have a tribe and to be part of this one. And guns give you an area of expertise – something most of us want. You stand holding the Glock in both hands and empty it downrange and the target you’re shooting at is shredded. You smile. You’re a damn good shot and you know it.

I wonder if fear isn’t part of your devotion to weapons. Some where along the line, you realized that the world is dangerous and unpredictable and having the capability to end an enemy’s life with a half-pound of pressure on a trigger give you a feeling of security.

Let us not forget your patriotism. When the “liberals” – a word you expel from your mouth like it has a bad taste – criticize guns and gun owners, you cite the Second Amendment and when the liberals suggest that our founding fathers meant for state militias to be armed and said nothing about ordinary Joes, you shrug.

Even if the founding fathers hadn’t limited their recommendation to military organizations, they lived and wrote about 236 years ago. Do you still ride to work on a horse?

I’ll ask one more question – a snide question, I admit: if you’re so star-spangled patriotic, why have you never worn a uniform? You’re strong and healthy and intelligent and, let us remember, a fine marksman; the Army would have welcomed you. Okay, like I said: snide. I have no right to judge you, or anyone else.

So instead of judging you, let me plead with you to be enormously brave. Admit that you’ve been ignoring the elephant in the punch bowl, that guns may bear some responsibility for the barbaric slaughter of innocents we are continuously witnessing. Heed facts and ignore slogans. Find the courage to abandon important elements of your life so a greater good can exist. Admit that you might be wrong.

Whenever there’s an Aurora or Virginia Tech or Gabby Gifford, the pro-gun pundits say that now is not the time to discuss gun control, let’s wait until emotions cool. Then time passes and other matters claim the national attention, and eventually, there is more cause for mourning.

At least start asking the questions. Last week, 20 school children were shot to death.

Your nephew,


THURSDAY: Martha Thomases



Art: Neil T. Foster

Art: Robert Brown

Airship 27 Productions has shared a sneak peek at an interior illustration from their upcoming Dan Fowler G-Man pulp anthology.

From the Airship 27 Facebook page:
Super artist Neil T.Foster is busy at work doing spot illustrations for our second DAN FOWLER G-MAN book due out early next year. Here’s a sneak peek at one of his illos.

Airship 27’s Dan Fowler G-Man Volume 1 is also available here and here.

Look for more news on this new project at All Pulp as it becomes available.


Meteor House Press announces a wonderfully strange, wild new novel and and a contest! And even offers a free excerpt below! 

The Abnormalities of Stringent Strange

The Abnormalities of Stringent Strange

The exploits of an apeman test pilot

By Rhys Hughes

The world has never seen an aviator quite like Stringent Strange. Half man, half ape, half badly added fraction, he can fly anything with wings and many things without. Under the mentorship of the unorthodox genius Professor Tobias Crinkle, our hairy hero soon gets much more than he bargains for when he finds himself up against a fiendish Nazi plot to invade and conquer America before the war has even begun!

Fortunately there exists an invention that can help him fight back against the warlike scoundrels, but the consequences of using it will propel him into even greater peril, into an alternative future where the themes and tropes of early magazine science fiction are menacingly real and coexist in perfect disharmony! Into a bracing reality where the only weapons he can rely on are the three special abnormalities he was born with…
Come and join Stringent Strange in a stupendous, mysterious, inventive adventure set in a far-flung time When Pulps Collide!

In addition to buying the book, which will be a signed limited edition, customers can order a “deleted scene” which Rhys will write specifically for them. It will not appear in the book but will printed out from the “manuscript” and mailed with the book. In this (short) scene the reader will be killed by the author of their choice in the arena as they battle as gladiators. Here is an example: http://meteorhousepress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/deleted1.pdf
Also, Rhys is currently writing a new novelette featuring Stringent Strange, “The Further Fangs of Suet Pudding,” http://rhysaurus.blogspot.com/2012/11/suet-pudding-returns.html. Everyone who preorders The Abnormalities of Stringent Strange, will get the ebook of “The Further Fangs of Suet Pudding” for free.
 Anyone who orders a deleted scene before the end of November (Two days left!), will be Tuckerized as a character in “The Further Fangs of Suet Pudding.”
Go on a wild ride and learn all about THE ABNORMALITIES OF STRINGENT STRANGE! Start with the excerpt below!

Excerpt from

The Abnormalities of Stringent Strange


Sunlight flashed on the wings of the single-engine Northrop Gamma as it banked around the small cumulus that was the only cloud in the sky. The monoplane performed a final barrel roll before coming in to land and the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 14-cylinder radial engine droned comfortably as the pilot adjusted the fuel/air mix. The overinflated wheels bounced once on the hot tarmac and the propeller clattered to a standstill. Then the pilot emerged and rubbed his gloved hands.

“She’s a beauty, no doubt about it, doc. Handles like a French whore. I mean that the frills serve a purpose…”

“I comprehend the allusion,” sighed Crinkle.

“Another winner, in my opinion.”

The pilot removed his goggles and grinned. Stringent Strange was tall and muscular with a manly chin and the clear blue eyes of a hero. He was exactly the sort of fellow that girls should go wild over, but in fact he had to spend an unhealthy percentage of his test pilot’s salary on prostitutes. It was his body that was the cause of this discrepancy. It was hirsute beyond belief, the torso of a gorilla balanced on the legs of a giant lemur; and the hairs were malodorous in the extreme.

“My worst fear has been confirmed,” continued Professor Crinkle, as he rubbed his bleary eyes, “but there’s nothing we can do about it. Jack is the winner and that’s a plain fact.”

“Knowing when to quit is a useful talent, doc!”

“Yes, I suppose so, dear boy.”

Stringent began walking back to the control tower. He was in a good mood but he tried to hide his exuberance for the sake of his mentor, who trailed behind him with pouting lips. When a man’s dreams are shattered in front of him, it’s poor taste to whistle and skip. Tobias Crinkle, Ph.D., had devoted almost twenty-five years to the cutting edge of the aviation industry but dedication isn’t enough on its own. Genius counts for more and his main rival had plenty of that.

His main rival had a name. Jack Northrop.

Although Stringent felt empathy for Crinkle, his recent flight brimmed him with an almost sexual joy and he strode ahead rapidly, not caring to be brought down by the glum expression and nihilistic mutterings of the disappointed professor; but at the entrance to the control tower he turned for a last glance of the gleaming Northrop Gamma, its aerodynamic spats giving the airplane a curiously anthropomorphic appearance, like a jazz musician performing a primal dance.

Stringent’s psychology wasn’t quite that of a normal man and he often saw resemblances that no one else could perceive, or would even want to, but on this occasion he could be forgiven his conceit, for the machine did actually have the semblance of a speakeasy reveler. Three steps at a time he climbed the spiral stairway to the control room and grinned at the man who sat on a leather chair in front of a transmitter. This man had been in constant radio contact during the flight.

“A beautiful plane, Mr. Northrop,” Stringent said.

The seated man nodded once. “I’m glad you like it. I do feel bad about Tobias, but it’s a cutthroat business.”

“That’s true. We appreciate the situation.”

“Well, Jack,” cried Professor Crinkle as he emerged into the room. “It only remains for me to throw in the towel and admit I’m beaten. Stringent here says your new Gamma is something really special and I know better than to ever distrust his word on anything connected with aviation. So I’m going to quit the business and sell up.”

“That’s a shame,” said Jack. “You’re a good designer.”

The professor smiled wistfully. “Sure, but not a patch on you, and I’m not too proud to acknowledge the obvious. My own rival prototype, the Crinkle Crisp, just isn’t up to scratch. Sure, it’s faster than diarrhea in a Malay Peninsula missionary, but it doesn’t have the maneuverability of your model. Look, I don’t have a towel on me, just a pocket handkerchief, so I ought to throw that in instead.”

He bunched up the square of filthy cloth and hurled it at Jack’s head. It missed and struck the wall behind: a wholly symbolic gesture. The mucus acted like glue and it remained stuck on the wall. Stringent thought about wrenching it off, then decided not to.

Jack Northrop leaned back in his chair until the leather creaked and he made a pyramid with his fingertips. “Listen, Tobias, my new Gamma is a superb small cargo plane and does everything it should to make it the best of its kind in that category, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon all your ongoing projects. I’m extremely interested in some of your proposed innovations. The Flying Tail, for example. An aircraft without fuselage or wings, cutting drag to the minimum!”

Professor Crinkle shook his head. “I suspect you’re just flattering me, Jack. Agreed, my Flying Tail is a pretty neat idea, but the tests I’ve run on miniature models prove that it’s very unstable. And you’ve got your own low drag project, the Flying Wing.”

Jack licked his lips and lowered his voice.

“Yes, that’s a particular favorite of mine. But I’m going to come clean with the pair of you. There’s something even more special in the works. A stratospheric cruiser with a highly experimental propulsion system that’ll generate vast amounts of free power if it works properly. Forgive me if I don’t say much more at this stage.”

“You never cease to amaze me, Jack,” said Crinkle.

The leather creaked again as the occupant of the chair stood up. “Time is passing rapidly and I have an engagement in Los Angeles this evening, so I should make my farewells now.”

Stringent nodded. “Thanks for inviting us over, Mr. Northrop, and for letting me fly your Gamma.” He turned to the professor. “I know you are sore disappointed, doc, but at least you’ve been saved pumping more cash into that ridiculous Crinkle Crisp.”

“Yes, that was a rather large favor, dear boy.”

“Think nothing of it,” said Jack.

“Keep us updated about your triumphs, will you?” asked Crinkle. His reddening eyes blinked rapidly.

“Of course I will, Tobias. Maybe I’ll see you again before 1932 is out, and if you decide to let Stringent go, there’ll always be a job for him here. Have a safe journey back to…?”

“Tallahassee. That’s where we’re based.”

Jack’s eyebrows shot up. “In Florida? But I always believed you had headquarters somewhere in Nevada.”

“We did. Then a freak sandstorm destroyed all our hangars. We had no choice but to relocate and now we’re on the far side of the continent. Rent is lower and the climate isn’t so harsh, plus I prefer the food and the local Seminole workers are reliable.”

“And I enjoy swamp whores,” added Stringent.

There was an awkward pause.

“Ahem… Yes, well, many factors contribute to the desirability of the Florida Panhandle as a suitable location for our operations, not that there will be any further products rolling off my production line. My intention is to cancel all Crinkle Industry programs. I’ve had it with aviation, Jack. I can’t even face getting in a plane to return home. I think I’ll take a train instead. Is that fine by you, Stringy?”

Stringent nodded dubiously. “I guess so.”

Jack Northrop pulled on his coat and perched a hat on his head. “If I’d known you had to come so far, I wouldn’t have invited you over just for a few hours and a solitary test flight. Damn it, Florida’s two thousand miles distant and by locomotive it’s a monstrous and vaporous journey. And I’m not referring to California when I honestly point out that you don’t look in any fit state to go back right now.”

“I amrather tired,” admitted the professor.

Jack puffed out his cheeks. “In that case, why not spend the night here on the airfield? There’s a cabin on the edge of the runway with a bunk bed and a kitchen and other facilities. I had it built so I could sometimes work late without having to go home.”

Crinkle and Stringent exchanged glances.

“Why not?” they said in unison.

The Abnormalities of Stringent Strange, copyright © 2012 by Rhys Hughes


Cover: Sherin Nicole

Prime Books has announced their newest anthology, Weird Detectives. The cover art by Sherin Nicole has been released as well. Look for Weird Detectives in April 2013.


Paranormal investigators. Occult detectives. Ghost hunters. Monster fighters. Humans who unravel uncanny crimes and solve psychic puzzles; sleuths with supernatural powers of their own who provide services far beyond those normal gumshoes, shamuses, and Sherlocks can provide. When vampires, werewolves, and thing that go bump in the night are part of your world, criminals can be as inhuman as the crimes they commit, and magic can seep into the mundane—those who solve the mysteries, bring justice for victims or even save the world itself, might wield wands as well as firearms, utter spells or simply use their powers of deduction. Some of the best twenty-first century tales from top authors of the century’s most popular genre take you down mean streets and into strange crime scenes in this fantastic compilation.

Contents (alphabetical by author):
“Cryptic Coloration” by Elizabeth Bear
“The Key” by Ilsa J. Blick
“Mortal Bait” Richard Bowes
“Star of David” by Patricia Briggs
“Love Hurts” by Jim Butcher
“Swing Shift” by Dana Cameron
“The Necromancer’s Apprentice” by Lillian Stewart Carl
“Sherlock Holmes and the Diving Bell” by Simon Clark
“The Adakian Eagle” by Bradley Denton
“Hecate’s Golden Eye” by P.N. Elrod
“The Case of Death and Honey” by Neil Gaiman
“The Nightside, Needless to Say” by Simon R. Green
“Deal Breaker” by Justin Gustainis
“Death by Dahlia” by Charlaine Harris
“See Me” by Tanya Huff
“Signatures of the Dead” by Faith Hunter
“The Maltese Unicorn” by Caitlín R. Kiernan
“The Case of the Stalking Shadow” by Joe R. Lansdale
“Like a Part of the Family” by Jonathan Maberry
“The Beast of Glamis” by William Meikle
“Fox Tails” by Richard Parks
“Imposters” by Sarah Monette
“Defining Shadows” by Carrie Vaughn

Weird Detectives: Recent Investigations
Edited by Paula Guran
Type: Trade Paperback
Pages: 480
Size: 6″ X 9″
ISBN: 9781607013846
Publication Date: April 10, 2013
Price: $16.99

Learn more about Prime Books at www.prime-books.com.

Michael Davis: Does The Comics Industry Have A Soul?

Spoken to the intro of The Adventures Of Superman

Faster than a speeding police pursuit! More powerful than a community organizer! Able to leap tall GOP bullshit in a single bound!

Look, up in the White House! It’s an African! It’s a Muslim! It’s Black-Man!

Yes, it’s Black-Man! Strange visitor not from Hawaii but Kenya if you believe Fox News, who came to Washington with promise and abilities far above those of Herman Cain.


Who can change the discourse of any discussion; kill Grandma with his bare hands! And who, disguised as a Socialist, mild mannered President for the 99% leads a never-ending battle for truth, justice all to prove he’s an American and deny he’s gay!

Yes! This column is about comics.

Unless I’ve missed my deadline, today is Election Day. Since I’m on the west coast and my column goes up in the afternoon east coast time the polls should be closing within a few hours.

So in a matter of hours we will either have a new President or Wednesday morning we will wake to a Donald Trump news conference where he demands Obama prove he did not kidnap and kill the Lindbergh baby.

Absolutely, I’m an Obama supporter but no, this article is not about why I hate Romney and I’m voting again for Obama. Yes, I worked hard to get that last sentence in. That said, this article is about the comics industry and who or what we are or we are not.

Remember four years ago the zillion comic books featuring Obama? There were books just about him or about his wife or kids or books where he was hanging out with everyone from Spider-Man to the Savage Dragon.

Remember that super bad ass Alex Ross painting and tee shirt?

Love him or hate him, the comic book community overwhelmingly backed Obama. I came late to the party, having been a Clinton supporter, but eventually I was taken in by the Obama enthusiasm within the industry.

It was something palpable about the industry support for Obama. As an example, the San Diego Comic Con the summer before the election was brimming with Obama fever and those Alex Ross tee shirts were everywhere.

At my annual SDCC party, Samuel L. Jackson almost jacked Art Tebbel of MDW Pop Art fame for his Alex Ross Obama shirt. Yeah, that Sam Jackson and that Art Tebbel.

It seemed everyone in comics was on the Obama love train during the last election but four years later that train has long left the station. Yes, I’m fully aware that everyone in the industry does not back Obama; people I like and respect (Batton Lash and Billy Tucci high among those people) differ greatly with Obama, which is their right.

I don’t want to give the impression that everyone in the industry was an Obama fan, they were not. To me however, it sure seemed the majority of the comic book world was firmly in Obama’s corner.

Whatever Obama Kool-Aid the country was drinking last time is gone. The wave of freshness and optimism, now, as compared to the last election, is laughable.

The comic industry portrayed Obama as a superhero now his opponents portray him as a Muslim (as if that’s evil) who is not even really a citizen. The industry that was damn near universally behind him has shut up like a Ho whose pimp just caught her stealing money. The best thing that Ho can do is just shut up because nothing she’s says can help her but it could make things worse. The comic book realm deserted Obama like Alpo would abandon Michael Vick is he were their spokesman.

That got me thinking (the non existent peep this year about anything political after the craziness of the last election got me thinking, not the Ho) what, if anything, has ever seen that kind of comic book industry support?

Was the industry just getting on the band wagon to sell some books or was the Obama movement really something that energized the business and if so, are we a bunch of pussies that withdraw that support because it was only fun while it lasted?

Look, I’d be writing this column if Hillary won instead of Obama. If she generated the kind of support industry wide that Obama did, yes this piece would be about her. Would I be writing this if a Republican won and generated the excitement that Obama did?

Yes, but come on! What Republican (with the exception of Lincoln after he was capped in the head) ever generated that type of excitement?

Consequently, I’d really like to know, regarding comics, what kind of industry are we?

What, if anything, do we stand for?

What’s our purpose except selling superheroes with an occasional Road to Perdition and Maus thrown in to give us a reason to say at parties “Comics are far more than just silly superheroes. Have you seen Road to Perdition? Well, that’s from a comic book or more appropriately, an graphic novel!”

Are we political outside of what’s cool and fresh?

Do we pride ourselves on the artistic merits of the business?

I’m not talking about big name individuals who do all of the above, as evidenced by any Alan Moore interview or the occasional rant by Frank Miller putting something or someone in the industry on blast.

I’m talking about the comic book industry as an entity as a whole, are we anything more than collection of people who draw funny books?

Does, for lack of a better term, the comic book industry have any redeeming value?

Does the industry have a soul?

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Why Mike Gold Didn’t Cold-Cock Walter Simonson



Dynamite Entertainment has announced a new series starring one of pulp’s greatest heroes, The Shadow. Veteran comic book creator Matt Wagner has been tapped to tell The Shadow’s early adventures in The Shadow: Year One.



October 12th, 2012, Mt. Laurel, NJ – Legendary comic book creator Matt (Mage, Grendel) Wagner takes on The Shadow in 2013 with The Shadow: Year One. Much as he did with Dynamite’s Green Hornet: Year One, Matt plans to tell the definitive origin story of The Shadow, showing fans why the character has endured in popularity for so many years! Look for Matt Wagner’s The Shadow: Year One in 2013!

“THE SHADOW has long been one of my absolute favorite established characters and I’m thrilled to finally get the chance to contribute to his continuing adventures,” says Matt Wagner. “I’m getting to help define The Shadow’s mysterious origins in a Year One story arc! For all his published history in both the pulps and comics, as well as his radio adventures, there’s surprisingly no depiction of his very first adventures as the dark-clad Master of Men. This series will explore the events that first drew Kent Allard/Lamont Cranston back to the States, how he began to assemble his vast network of agents and how he first adopted the famous black hat and cloak as his alter-ego’s disguise-secrets that, up until now…only The Shadow knew!”

“Matt’s a legend and it’s always great to work with him,” stated Dynamite Editor Joe Rybandt. “Everything about his work is infused with realism and authenticity, and his Shadow: Year One will raise the bar for pulps and their heroes.”

“I’ve known Matt for 30 years now, since he lived in Philadelphia and was working on Mage for Comico Comics. I’ve mentioned this for years, that I repeatedly asked him if he would work on a comic with me as even at a young age, his scripts, art and ability to tell stories was some of the best I had seen. I never would have thought that 25 years later we would start a relationship with Matt working together. This is the third project with Matt, and it keeps getting better each time. I’m proud to be working with Matt, and can’t wait for this new adventure to begin!” – States Dynamite President and Publisher Nick Barrucci

For art and more information, please visit: www.dynamite.net.

Why Does Michael Davis Still Read Comics?

I started reading comics in the fifth grade. I still have the very first comic book I ever brought: The Avengers #43. I won’t bore you with the heartwarming story of how I pretty much learned to read with comics. I’ve told that story a billion times and I’m sure (although I can’t remember) I’ve written about it on ComicMix so just assume I clued you in, dry your eyes and say a silent “thank you for the heartwarming story Michael Davis shared with me” and move on.

Oh, if you find the article I’m pretty sure the issue number of the Avengers is wrong. When I looked at the issue I was surprised it was issue 43. All this time I was thinking it was later…

I was a serious comic book collector in grade school and by the time I got into high school I had over 100,000 comic books, including the complete silver age of Marvel and almost a complete silver age DC Comics collection. DC was (and is) my favorite universe but I couldn’t bring myself to go all out for copies of Bob Hope, Lois Lane and some of the other DC comics, which in my 10-year-old wisdom I considered kid stuf’.

I was a lucky so and so when it came to my comic book collection. Not once, not twice but three times I was the lucky benefactor of someone else’s collection. Three times when I was a kid someone in my life gave me his or her comic book collection. I got one collection from a cousin who had grown out of it. I got another from an 8th grade friend named Karl McKenzie. Karl was moving and his father refused to take those ghetto trash books to his new home.

It occurred to me later that Karl’s dad was moving from the hood to a nicer (white people lived on the block) place and no son of his was going to be reading that ghetto trash among white people who read Look and Life magazines.

The funny thing about that was I saw Karl about a year later and he told me one of his new friends on the block was a huge comic book fan as was the kid’s dad. Karl told me that his dad now thought that comics were cool.

Clearly this was an attempt on Karl’s part to get me to return his collection.

Nope. The chances of that happening was, lets see… zero.

I think the word back then was “Indian giver.” I may or may not have called Karl that; I don’t remember. I do remember regardless how I thought Karl was going about it, he was not getting back book one. If his grandmother was dying and the only thing that would have saved her was a couple of books from the collection it surely would have been bye, bye, Grandma.

The third comic book collection I inherited was from a then girlfriend’s mom whose husband collected comics but one day the mom decided she didn’t want them in the house anymore. Guess who volunteered to lift that heavy burden from her shoulders?

My comic book collection was so badass that a local newspaper ran a story on me when I was about 14.

I loved comics and collected like an addict up until my first year at Pratt Institute.

My first year at Pratt pretty much killed my desire to read comics.  I had attended the High School of Art & Design (A&D) before Pratt and when asked what I wanted to major in I had to choose between comics and illustration. My cousin, William T. Williams, had a long talk with me about my major would be at A&D. He said to me at the end of our talk the following; “If you choose comics as a major you will stave and die.”

My cousin was my mentor and the only real father figure I’ve ever had in my life so I listened to him. I kid him about the success of Milestone and all the other comic related things I’ve done but I’ve never ever regretted that decision to major in illustration and not comics.

FYI, my cousin is not just a relative who gave me good advice, he’s also one of the premier artists on this planet and one of his paintings cost more than my house and I have a nice house… in a white neighborhood!!

That is not a joke.

So with little fanfare I left my comic collection and my desire to become a comic book artist behind. I still collected a bit in high school but by the time I got to Pratt, I was completely comic book free.

For four years of undergraduate at Pratt and two years of graduate work at another school I didn’t pick up nor was I interested in comic books. That’s six years without giving a thought to what was going on in comics and even less thought about what was going on in the industry.

Then one day like a sign from above I was back…

End of part one!

WEDNESDAY: Mike Gold Attacks Mars Attacks! Still!


Mixed Review: Dredd, and Martha, and Mike

Mike Gold: So. How did Dredd 3-D compare to the first attempt?

Martha Thomases: So much better! Karl Urban looked the part. The set, while not looking like the comics, had the gritty spirit of the comics. And the violence was terrifically cartoony.

And no Rob Schneider, although I did think he was the best thing about the first one.

Mike: Back in 1995 I went in to the theater with really low expectations, given the Sylvester Stallone / Rob Schneider leads. They managed to live up to those expectations. This new one had enough blood to make Sam Peckinpah gag, but I dug it. It was meaningful blood.

I admire Urban playing true to the character and never taking the helmet  off. Sly put his money right there on the screen. Sadly.

Martha: Urban kept his face still and his voice growled. I can remember the other characters. The kid who worked the computer for the bad guys has stayed in my mind. Those eyes. Dredd 3-D reminded me of Escape From New York more than Peckinpah.

Mike: Good point. Although Escape From New York reminded me of Grand Central Terminal at evening rush.

Lots of solid special effects with the eyes. It was a signature thing with this movie. I liked how both women leads looked like they had been drawn by Ian Gibson, which was exactly the right thing. The growling was right on target, although I’m afraid some people will think he was imitating Batman.

Martha: I also liked the way the women weren’t played as sexy femme fatales nor damsels in distress. None were there to be love interests, not even Judge Anderson. Although in a society where everything is filthy and no one can get a close shave, I am impressed that they take the time to pluck their eyebrows.

Mike: This one was very faithful to the comics, both in tone and in detail. You’re right about the cityscape, and the blocks looked more realistic (and less ironic) than in the comics.

They really understood their source material… maybe because the 2000AD publisher co-produced it. The dog wagging the tail, as opposed to the Warner Bros. approach.

Martha: I couldn’t tell when it went from real to matte/CGI. The city looked quite believable.

Mike: Like the Tales from the Crypt teevee show, they added nasty language to the dialog. Unlike Tales from the Crypt, no nudity. Which was fine: I, for one, would have to pluck my eyes out after seeing Judge Dredd naked.

Martha: But a naked Dr. McCoy would be a delight!

Mike: Yeah, that’ll be in Star Trek 2.2 for sure! Just to feel Spock’s indifference.

I did flash on how cool it would have been to have Joan Jett as the villain, but Lena Headey was absolutely great.

Martha: I don’t know who should get the credit for Urban’s performance. It was very flat, which is exactly right. Kind of show-offy in a non-show-offy way. I assume the director told him to do that.

Mike: Judge Dredd dominates. Unlike the comics, he can’t be unrealistically one head taller than everybody else so his performance had to make it seem that way. Given how everything was covered up except for his jaw and mouth, all he had to work with was his voice. Which came off great.

Martha: If I have a problem, it’s the McGuffin made no sense. It’s a drug called SloMo, which slows one’s perception of time. If you’ll living a wretched slum, why is that something you would want to do?

Although taking a bath on SloMo sure was pretty.

Mike: I agree with that, although heroin is much the same way – except you also get to distance yourself from your lousy reality. But it worked well for the big finish.

Martha: It worked for the torture threats, too. Made the bad guys seem really, really bad.

Mike: I think the middle of the movie was too drawn out. When Steven Moffatt wrote the Rowin Atkinson Doctor Who, he said the show was about chase scenes through endless corridors. In Dredd 3-D, they seem to think this was a good idea.

Martha: I kept thinking video games. I thought we going to have to go through all 200 levels.

Mike: The outrageousness of the early Dredd stores has since become commonplace in our culture. It lost all its shock value. And as much fun as that was, I think they were smart to avoid that today. It would have turned the movie into a comedy. But without Rob Schneider.

Martha: I eagerly await the Judge Death storyline.

Mike: Yeah, I hope it does well enough for a sequel. Not too sure about that, although the reviews weren’t universally horrible. Two-thirds were at least fairly positive.

What did you think of the Real 3-D?

Martha: It made the SloMo parts really pretty.

Mike: This is the new second move – ever – where I liked the 3-D effects, the first being The Avengers. This was actually better. But those middle scenes lacked ‘em, making them even slower for me.

Martha: Otherwise, it was subtle enough that I focused on the movie.

Mike: Good point. The gimmicks should never outweigh the story or the performances. Just try telling that to George Lucas.

Martha: The sparkle in the SloMo 3D is the only reason I could imagine the drug was any fun.

Mike: So, kids, just say no to drugs unless you’re in a 3-D theater. ComicMix cares.

Martha: 3-D Pixar movies are great in 3-D.

Mike: Yeah, well, personally I’m not a big fan of that animation style. This makes me very lonely. And they’re a waste of Randy Newman’s considerable gifts.

Martha: We will have to agree to disagree about that.

Mike: So I infer you liked Dredd 3-D… a lot?

Martha: A bunch. I would recommend it. I hope it does well so Box Office Democracy covers it. I should warn you that I did not hate the TotalRecall remake, so my opinion might not matter.

Mike: Of course your opinion matters. Consensual reality doesn’t apply to movies. And nice job plugging Box Office Democracy!

I would certainly recommend it to action movie fans and absolutely to comics fan. I think my response is about 90% of yours.

Martha: I would be interested to know how this movie is received by those who don’t know the comic.

Mike: I will be interested to see how it does in the UK as opposed to North America.

What are you looking forward to next?

Martha: I want to see Looker. I still haven’t seen The Master. And Bond. James Bond. The Man with the Iron Fists. Django Unchained. Cloud Atlas – the new Wachowski film. I am a social butterfly!

Mike: The trailer for Iron Fists was great, although you already warned me. It’s made by Michael Davis’s buddy Rza. And, yeah, as always I’m looking forward to the next Bond. Us baby boomers and our James Bond fetish.

That Ben Afflick movie Argo looks interesting. Then again, I’m hoping he’s in Avengers 2 as well. Or Captain America 2. Just to piss the hardcore off.

Martha: I love Ben. I even loved Jersey Girl.

I find that, if there is a theme in my movie preferences of late, it’s that I like to see cute guys in peril.

Mike: Damn. So Daniel Craig is cute? He doesn’t do that much for me. But M…

Martha: Is she in peril in the new one? I think the new Q is adorable.

So, yes, I think all ComicMix readers should go see this… if only to participate in this discussion in the comments.

Mike: Ever vigilant about the page hits! I agree, on both subjects. Thanks, Martha! We’ll see you here next week!