Archive for November 2009

Modern Comics… Where’s the Fun?

November 17, 2009

Since my favorite comic character, Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) was killed off last week, I was inspired to post my thoughts on modern comics…

I’ve been a comic book reader for years. I first started back in the 80’s, became a hard-core collector in the 90’s, and continue to this day every Wednesday to get my weekly stash. The biggest draw that comics had for me when I first discovered them was that they had a fun sense of adventure. Colorful superheroes had a huge impact on me and I still love ’em.

But now-a-days, comic books are a serious matter. Gone are the carefree days when heroes always came out on top. Both Marvel and DC have gotten so dark, Marvel has even named all their comics “Dark” this and “Dark” that. And DC’s big cross-over event this year is “Blackest Night”. Most main stream comics have gotten too dark for me, and I’ve gradually had to drop all kinds of titles from my pull-list.

In a way, it does save me money every week. I mean, c’mon, four bucks for a comic!!! Luckily, the few issues I continue to collect are still hanging on to the $2.99 price point. In case you’re wondering, the titles I’m still loyal to are:

Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars: Legacy

That’s pretty much all I can afford. These titles are still fun for me, but even they can get a bit dark at times. I used to get Spider-Man, X-Men, Avengers, Superman, Flash, Justice League, etc… All kinds of titles that had plenty of fun and adventure.

Not any more…

I guess that after 9-11, when the terrorists made Dr. Doom cry in Amazing Spider-Man #36, (you know, the one with the all-black cover that addressed the tragedy in the Marvel Universe), comic book companies decided that “fun-time” was over. Time to get serious!

The problem I have, is that most comic book super heroes were created years ago and were considered light-hearted, escapist entertainment. They wore vibrant, colorful costumes and always defeated the bizarre villains they encountered. Those comics made me feel good after I read them.

After I read DC’s “Blackest Knight” #1, I felt sick! The violence alone made me nauseous. Somewhere along the line, the tide turned and super villains became ultra powerful. Now they defeat the good guys practically at every turn!

Anyway, the thing that just doesn’t work for me is that these costumed characters that have been around since the 60’s seem out of place in such dark settings. Who would have ever thought that a DC villain called Dr. Light, who used his light powers to rob banks in the old days, would have gone on to rape Elongated-Man’s wife, causing the DC heroes to have an “Identity Crisis”!?! Or that a small time Marvel villain named Nitro from who-knows-where, would have nuked a bunch of school kids, plummeting the Marvel heroes into a “Civil War”!?!

The code-names, crazy powers and costumes seem silly now in such serious stories. Just imagine if this dialogue had been featured in a 1960’s comic:

“I am Dr. Light! The world shall tremble before the awesome might of my light ray powers! What to do, what to do. I know, I think I’ll go rape Elongated-Man’s wife!”

It just doesn’t work!

I will admit, I don’t mind giving comics a bit more maturity than they were given in the “Golden” and “Silver” ages. I just feel that the writers of modern comics are taking things further than I am interested in.

Here are some examples that are depressing me from the past few years worth of modern comic continuity; in Marvel, Iron-Man hates Captain America, Spider-Man loses his marriage with Mary Jane to a demon, Captain America gets killed… Then over in DC, Batman gets fried by Darksied, Superboy and Kid Flash both bite the big one, and countless other DCU heroes are currently getting there hearts literally torn out of their bodies by Black Lanterns in “Blackest Night”… I was so pissed to find out that my boy Aquaman died at some point and is now a zombie! WTF!?!

Things have gotten so dark, I just don’t see comic companies returning to a happier tone without a complete re-boot. When I read a comic, I don’t want to be reminded that the world can suck. I read comics to escape reality. I want to see the characters I love reading about enjoy their lives. Shouldn’t being a super hero be fun? When I was a kid, I used to daydream I had super powers. Hell, I would never want to be super hero these days! Tragedy and suffering would be all I’d encounter.

Please, Marvel and DC, let the super heroes have their fun back!

-Chayne

Advertisements

R.I.P. Green Lantern…

November 11, 2009

WARNING!!!

MASSIVE SPOILER AHEAD!!!

I have one more HUGE reason to hate DC’s “Blackest Night”. I just finished reading Green Lantern Corps #42 and was caught off guard by the last page. Kyle Rayner, my favorite, all-time comic book character, is dead

Kyle died on Oa while carrying an Alpha Lantern Heart which had been ripped out by a Black Lantern. It was about to explode, so he flew up next to a group of Black Lanterns that were going to destroy the Green Lantern Central Power Battery. He said his good byes to his friends, and then BOOM! After the smoke cleared, the Black Lanterns were gone and Kyle lay on the ground motionless as his power ring flew off his finger, declared him dead, and went off to space sector 2261 for some reason.

All I can say is, this better be a fake-out! DC better NOT kill off my all-time FAVORITE character! Hopefully he will be revived next issue by his current girlfriend Soranik Natu, a fellow GL Corps member who’s also a surgeon.

It’s always like a slap in the face when a favorite comic character is killed off. I used to be a big fan of DC’s Azreal (Jean-Paul Valley). But his book didn’t sell that well, so DC offed him!

Sigh, many of the characters I get attached to end up dying. But they usually come back somehow a little while later. So as I said before, I hope Kyle’s death isn’t real.

Until I find out Kyle’s true fate, I’m gonna be one sad GL fan… Sob.

-Chayne

GLC42-Kyle


Round One… Fight!!!

November 6, 2009

I finally just bought Street Fighter 4 for the PS3 last night. It’s pretty cool! So far I’ve had a lot of fun with it.

I’ve been a big fan of the Street Fighter franchise since part 2 came out back in 1991. I worked at an arcade at the time of it’s debut and it was all anybody played.

Playing the latest game inspired me to dig up an old character design I’d created back in 2004. Since it was in black and white, I decided to colorize in Photoshop it today.

The dude’s name is Dash and he’s, you guessed it, a gay Street Fighter! Yay! He’s sort of a combination of Ken, Vega and Adon, my three faves.

Dash-Fighter

DASH – The Flaming Fist of Fury
“I never met a man I couldn’t lick.”
Nationality: American
Age: 23
Height: 6’0 ” Weight: 160 lbs
Hair Color: Sandy Blonde
Eye Color: Baby Blue
Blood Type: B Positive
Occupation: Police Detective
Likes: Guys with gorgeous eyes. Pizza (Hand-tossed.) The beach.
Dislikes: Name calling. People who are not true to themselves.
Fighting Style: Muay Thai Kickboxing
Special Techniques: Flaming Dash Uppercut, Flaming Feet Kick

• Very quick and agile fighter. Uses flirtation to confuse and fluster both male and female opponents, then moves in for the final blow.

• Weaknesses: Attraction to good-looking men causes distraction; Flirtation ineffectual against non-human opponents (i.e. monsters, cyborgs, aliens, etc.)

• Works as a police detective by day and fights in the local kickboxing league by night.

That’s all the stuff I came up with for him… Now if only I could get Capcom to include him in an upcoming game! lol

-Chayne

Sketches of Zack

November 4, 2009

I thought I’d share some sketches I did for that last page we posted of Blue Comet and Fusion called “Home Sweet Home”. I drew a full body image of Zack in my sketch book with the intention of using the whole thing on the page. But because there was a lot of dialogue, we had to crop much of Mr. Savage out of the panel. So, here is a glimpse of what I had hoped to fit on the page along with a couple other images. Enjoy!

-Chayne

Zack-Savage-Sketches

Me As Green Lantern

November 2, 2009

I hope everyone had a great Halloween! Russell and I went to visit my parents for the weekend and we helped my Mom decorate her front porch, carve jack-o-lanterns and hand out candy. It was a lot of fun!

Here is a photo of me from a couple years ago when I dressed up as Green Lantern for my brother’s Halloween party. I based it on Kyle Rayner’s costume when he had the Ion powers.

Making the costume was fun. Since I’m a geek for anything GL, I already had the shirt and power ring, but I had to make the mask out of felt. I got a green blazer and wore that under the shirt with the logo. The pants were just black sweat pants and I borrowed the boots from a friend. The gloves were just some old ones we had laying around.

Finally, I worked out like crazy to bulk up… well, actually I padded myself with cotton! lol. Which made the costume really hot. Anyway, I had a blast being Green Lantern for Halloween.

-Chayne

Me-As-GL