John Buys Comics, the Epic Continuation

We rejoin our hero on the Plains of Narzboneskinsavleur, on the eve of the fourth and most awe-inspiring Battle of Seven Voughs. Once again, and ever more improbably, he has managed to acquire Earth-style comic books. An excerpt from his war-diary:

Joe the Barbarian No. 3 (of 8)

This is a fantastic comic, and it just keeps getting better. If you’re not already reading this series, well, I think that you should be. Here are the basics:

Joe is a kid with a sort-of-rough life: tough time at school, single parent household with money troubles, etc. Joe has diabetes and, distracted by rough-life issues, has mismanaged his blood sugar and is in big, life-threatening danger. Joe the Barbarian is about his epic journey from attic bedroom to the kitchen to get a soda.

Thrillsville, right? Ah, but Joe’s essentially dying on his feet - traveling two floors downward might be more than he is physically capable of. Plus, he’s hallucinating pretty hard, so that stopping in the bathroom to splash water on his face becomes an issue-long sojourn among the sewer pirates.

Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy are doing a terrific job of interweaving Joe’s two quests: Morrison’s trademark super-insanity works so much better for me as a contrast to the stark reality of the house than in the undiluted form of something like Seaguy, and Murphy’s art - and especially his attention to detail in bringing real-world elements into the hallucination - is a wonderful fit for the fantasy-world-gone-wrong feel of the whole thing.

PLUS! Morrison is introducing hints that the hallucination world might me more than just the fantasy of a dying boy.

PLUS PLUS! I’m kind of half worried that Joe might die - no free ride happy ending guarantee here.

I am going to buy the trade and force everyone I care about to read it, I hereby swear.

Superman 80-Page Giant No. 1 - You know what I like? Anthology comics that don’t have any stinkers in them. And this didn’t! Everything looked nice, all of the stories featured Superman being a really cool, really human guy and there were a fair number of fun ideas, like the story that was just a bunch of bank robbers talking about the relative downsides of being apprehended by various super-heroes, or the idea that a bored Superman might toss a piano out the window just for the fun of swooping in and rescuing it from destruction. And it lasted me through the bulk of my lunch break!

The Brave and the Bold No. 32 - Okay: Aquaman and the Demon is a pretty great teamup. It’s almost like this book and the cartoon of the same name got their casting mixed up. Maybe the sailor was originally Batman? More importantly, though, the plot concerns an evil extra-dimensional entity that invades our world and forms an army from the bodies of the dead, and it resolves in one issue. Did DC just kick its own ass?

Green Lantern Corps No. 46 - And speaking of the event du jour, do Guy Gardner and his ragtag band of misfits in this book seem way more competent than the all-star team over in Blackest Night? There just seems to be a lot less flailing around and screwing up and a lot more... good plans that actually work, especially as this comic seems to be happening in a much longer period of time (by which I mean that Hal Jordan and co. eff things up about seventy times in a half hour or so, from what I can tell). Also: fridgeform Black Lantern!

Here the document ends, the final pages ruined by a great quantity of fuath ichor. History does not record what became of the author.

Wolverine Week Special: The Hair Conundrum

Happy Free Comic Book Day, folks! And happy Wolverine Weekend! What a world we live in when such joyful occasions can overlap.

I have to say that I was caught a little flat-footed by Wolverine Week. I haven't read many Marvel comics recently (I was enjoying The Twelve but then my curse kicked in) and so wasn't really up to speed on what was going on with the crazy Canuck. Luckily, however, I remembered that I am one of the Internet's top Comic Book Hairstyles scholars1 and so have a surefire way to fascinate and delight you: with a brief illustration of Wolverine's status as a nexus point in the Great Comic Book Hair Continuum.

Now, I'm sure that I don't have to tell you about the Continuum, that vast chart that illustrates the wide variety of hairstyles that exist in the comics medium, their interrelations and influences. It's quite a fascinating field of study, really, and ever more complex as people create new and  distinct characters with ever more unusual haircuts. Why, the inclusion of manga characters in the Continuum after the Pan-Asian Inclusion Conference of 1991 caused the Master Continuum Map to start resembling something along the lines of the Snowflake from Planetary.

Back to Wolverine: Mr. Logan is an interesting figure as he occupies a nexus point between five hair families, while even the most complex hairstyles usually incorporate elements from two or three. Here, check it out (sorry, you're going to have to click and expand this):

This is of course a simplified version of the Continuum. The real thing is 3D and requires a  supercomputer to properly render. Still, you can see how exciting Wolverine's hair is to the Style Academy.

Speaking of simplification, I don't want to get about a thousand angry comments from Hair Continuum Reductionists, so here's Wolvie's position on the Approved Simplified Hair Continuum:

It just doesn't seem the same to me really, but notice that Wolverine still does very well!

I won't bore you with further technical discussion of the intricacies of the Continuum - if you're interested in learning more you can see my series of articles in Ink and Protein, including The Best He is at What He Grows: Wolverine and the Nexus Point2 and The Arms of Logan: The Case for Incorporating the Body Hair Spectrum into the Continuum3.

1I am actually no such thing.

2This paper does not exist.

3Neither does this one.

Later that Day:

As I was writing this it occurred to me that it might be excessively weird, so here's something a bit more... less weird.

So you know how Wolverine was part of an evil Canadian government conspiracy and had all kinds of conditioning and programming and implanted memories and such? While I was image hunting earlier this week I found the absolute best of those and the best evidence that this was not just an evil conspiracy but a dick of a conspiracy:

Here we have Wolverine beau and fellow conspiracy-victim Silver Fox recovering some memory.

Oh no! people are beating up her date!

Her date Wolverine. That's right: the evil conspiracy felt it necessary to simulate a memory of Wolverine getting beat up at his prom and then being a dick to his date.

Can you hope to compete with this level of dickishness, American conspiracies? X-Files conspiracy? Huh? What  do you got, kidnapping Mulder's sister? Go home, girly conspiracy.

Good night, folks.