Twenty Percent Cooler

Chris Sims, senior writer of ComicsAlliance, co-writer of Down Set Fight and Subatomic Party Girls, and the Teen Tycoon of Rock

I made him purple to match his prose. View high resolution

I made him purple to match his prose.

(via xtrmntr)

idrawnintendo:

I think I finally realized the moral of Super Mario Bros.
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idrawnintendo:

I think I finally realized the moral of Super Mario Bros.

(via chrishaley)

comicsalliance:

ComicsAlliance Reviews ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008), Part 5
Chris: Welcome to Cinematic Batmanology and — at long last — the final installment of 2008’s The Dark Knight. When we last left off (one, two, three, four), the Joker had stirred Gotham City into a panic, and Batman had made the morally compromising choice to use his technology to spy on the entire city. Meanwhile, the Joker had successfully terrified the entire population of the city into trying to escape via ferry.Andy: I can’t believe that at this point in the movie, there’s still nearly 40 minutes left. This thing is dense.David: Bruce comments on how the sonar phone server is “beautiful,” while Lucius bitches about it being “unethical.” He says he won’t work for Wayne Enterprises as long as this machine is in the building, and Batman points out that the database is “null-key encrypted” and therefore can only be used by Lucius Fox.Chris: I think “bitching” is a little harsh, Uzi.David: Now, guys, you know how Skyhook ended up being a real thing? Well, there is no goddamn thing as “null key encryption.”Andy: Fox’s line, “At what cost?” sums up this final movement of the film for me. There are police helicopters in the sky, people are trying to escape the city, the National Guard is searching bridges and tunnels for bombs with dogs, Batman is spying on literally the entire city, and the population is in a panic. All this because of terrorism. If the goal of terrorism is to kill, then all of these things seem like pragmatic decisions designed to ensure safety. But if the goal of terrorism is to undermine freedom, to force people to compromise their beliefs and morals, then the Joker is winning.Chris: Yeah, this is really where the allegory hits critical mass, but I think it works very well. It’s one of the testaments to how good this is as the “smart” super-hero movie that it works as both a Batman adventure and this huge political commentary that Nolan’s clearly working with.Andy: Exactly. As obvious as it is that this film has become a reflection of the post-9/11 atmosphere about security, civil rights and really the West’s attitude about terrorism in general, it is still explicitly a Batman story and the logical evolution of the story that begin in the opening scene — hell, in the closing scene of the previous film.David: Lucius points out that this is too much power for one person. How can one man have so much power? The clock’s tickin’, I just count the hours. Stop trippin, I’m trippin’ off the power.Chris: Kanye was actually the first choice to play BatmanRead much, much more at ComicsAlliance.
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comicsalliance:

ComicsAlliance Reviews ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008), Part 5

Chris: Welcome to Cinematic Batmanology and — at long last — the final installment of 2008’s The Dark Knight. When we last left off (onetwothreefour), the Joker had stirred Gotham City into a panic, and Batman had made the morally compromising choice to use his technology to spy on the entire city. Meanwhile, the Joker had successfully terrified the entire population of the city into trying to escape via ferry.

Andy: I can’t believe that at this point in the movie, there’s still nearly 40 minutes left. This thing is dense.

David: Bruce comments on how the sonar phone server is “beautiful,” while Lucius bitches about it being “unethical.” He says he won’t work for Wayne Enterprises as long as this machine is in the building, and Batman points out that the database is “null-key encrypted” and therefore can only be used by Lucius Fox.

Chris: I think “bitching” is a little harsh, Uzi.

David: Now, guys, you know how Skyhook ended up being a real thing? Well, there is no goddamn thing as “null key encryption.”

Andy: Fox’s line, “At what cost?” sums up this final movement of the film for me. There are police helicopters in the sky, people are trying to escape the city, the National Guard is searching bridges and tunnels for bombs with dogs, Batman is spying on literally the entire city, and the population is in a panic. All this because of terrorism. If the goal of terrorism is to kill, then all of these things seem like pragmatic decisions designed to ensure safety. But if the goal of terrorism is to undermine freedom, to force people to compromise their beliefs and morals, then the Joker is winning.

Chris: Yeah, this is really where the allegory hits critical mass, but I think it works very well. It’s one of the testaments to how good this is as the “smart” super-hero movie that it works as both a Batman adventure and this huge political commentary that Nolan’s clearly working with.

Andy: Exactly. As obvious as it is that this film has become a reflection of the post-9/11 atmosphere about security, civil rights and really the West’s attitude about terrorism in general, it is still explicitly a Batman story and the logical evolution of the story that begin in the opening scene — hell, in the closing scene of the previous film.

David: Lucius points out that this is too much power for one person. How can one man have so much power? The clock’s tickin’, I just count the hours. Stop trippin, I’m trippin’ off the power.

Chris: Kanye was actually the first choice to play Batman

Read much, much more at ComicsAlliance.

comicsalliance:

‘Batman’ #1: The Best New Comic of the New 52 (So Far)
By Chris Sims

…a lot of what’s great about this book comes from how thrilling it is right from the opening pages. This is a comic that starts with Batman in Arkham Asylum, fighting an entire army of his enemies all at once, and beating them through the shocking plot twist of teaming up with the Joker.That’s a plot that could’ve taken up an entire issue. With the slow-paced, spoon-fed style that’s been on display in some of the other DC titles, it could’ve taken up the entire first arc. Here, it’s done in seven pages.It’s a pretty great way to kick off the book, and one that does a great job of setting the tone for how this story’s going to play out, especially in how it signals a shift in Snyder’s storytelling. For as long as I’ve been reading Batman comics, there’s been this idea that Detective Comics should be darker and more crime-oriented, while Batman is the super-hero action title. Of course, it’s not like Snyder’s run on Tec didn’t have its share of that stuff — I mean, it is a comic where Batman exploded out of a parking garage so that he could catch a dude who was running away on robot legs — but what he’s doing here takes it to the next level.
More than that, though, it illustrates the theme that Snyder’s working to build — namely, that this is Batman at the top of his game. After all, a battle against a gauntlet of enemies after a mass breakout at Arkham Asylum was the exact thing that ran Batman so ragged in the past that he got his back broken in Knightfall. Here? Seven pages. This is Batman at his prime, a guy who’s already dealt with those enemies and emerged triumphant — so by page eight, we already know that whatever shows up next, whatever can challenge him, must be something truly fearsome. And we know all this without Snyder ever having to say it. He and Capullo shows us, and they do it in the most exciting way possible.Which brings me to the art, and I’ll admit it: I was a naysayer. To be honest, I’ve never been all that familiar with Capullo’s work in the past. I don’t think I’ve ever read an issue of Spawn, the comic he’s most well-known for, but I do have distinct memories of seeing him in one of those old Wizard how-to-draw articles when I was a teenager and not caring for it one bit. So as dumb as that may sound, that’s what informed my expectations for this comic, and I did not expect it to be any good at all.So brace yourselves, because I don’t say this often: I was wrong.


…Capullo nails it. He and Glapion do work in this comic that’s beautifully dynamic, and the facial expressions and body language he gives to characters are incredibly expressive.He’s got the perfect amount of exaggeration in his cartooning that makes his characters fun to look at, even when they’re just walking through a crime scene.And more importantly, I love the way he draws Batman.

Read more at ComicsAlliance.
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comicsalliance:

‘Batman’ #1: The Best New Comic of the New 52 (So Far)

By Chris Sims

…a lot of what’s great about this book comes from how thrilling it is right from the opening pages. This is a comic that starts with Batman in Arkham Asylum, fighting an entire army of his enemies all at once, and beating them through the shocking plot twist of teaming up with the Joker.

That’s a plot that could’ve taken up an entire issue. With the slow-paced, spoon-fed style that’s been on display in some of the other DC titles, it could’ve taken up the entire first arc. Here, it’s done in seven pages.

It’s a pretty great way to kick off the book, and one that does a great job of setting the tone for how this story’s going to play out, especially in how it signals a shift in Snyder’s storytelling. For as long as I’ve been reading Batman comics, there’s been this idea that Detective Comics should be darker and more crime-oriented, while Batman is the super-hero action title. Of course, it’s not like Snyder’s run on Tec didn’t have its share of that stuff — I mean, it is a comic where Batman exploded out of a parking garage so that he could catch a dude who was running away on robot legs — but what he’s doing here takes it to the next level.

More than that, though, it illustrates the theme that Snyder’s working to build — namely, that this is Batman at the top of his game. After all, a battle against a gauntlet of enemies after a mass breakout at Arkham Asylum was the exact thing that ran Batman so ragged in the past that he got his back broken in Knightfall. Here? Seven pages. This is Batman at his prime, a guy who’s already dealt with those enemies and emerged triumphant — so by page eight, we already know that whatever shows up next, whatever can challenge him, must be something truly fearsome. And we know all this without Snyder ever having to say it. He and Capullo shows us, and they do it in the most exciting way possible.

Which brings me to the art, and I’ll admit it: I was a naysayer. To be honest, I’ve never been all that familiar with Capullo’s work in the past. I don’t think I’ve ever read an issue of Spawn, the comic he’s most well-known for, but I do have distinct memories of seeing him in one of those old Wizard how-to-draw articles when I was a teenager and not caring for it one bit. So as dumb as that may sound, that’s what informed my expectations for this comic, and I did not expect it to be any good at all.

So brace yourselves, because I don’t say this often: I was wrong.


…Capullo nails it. He and Glapion do work in this comic that’s beautifully dynamic, and the facial expressions and body language he gives to characters are incredibly expressive.

He’s got the perfect amount of exaggeration in his cartooning that makes his characters fun to look at, even when they’re just walking through a crime scene.

And more importantly, I love the way he draws Batman.


Read more at ComicsAlliance.

comicsalliance:

Why You Should Be Reading ‘Daredevil’ [Review]

By Chris Sims

Not only has the current run rebuilt Daredevil the character, it’s rebuilt the title into what I have absolutely no problem saying is the best super-hero comic being published today. And the fourth issue — out this week from Mark WaidMarcos MartinMuntsa Vicente and Joe Caramagna — is an absolutely perfect example of why.

Thanks to the long, dark shadow cast by Frank Miller, which influenced equally grim runs from folks like Ann Nocenti, Brian Bendis, Ed Brubaker and others, things have been pretty terrible for Matt Murdock. For the readers, that’s not necessarily a bad thing — and in fact, it’s led to some truly great stories — but from a character standpoint, there’s only so far you can go with a guy who has been suffering almost constantlyfor thirty years now.

Just look at the guy’s life: Matt Murdock has had two girlfriends killed in front of him, a wife that was driven insane (leading to a lawsuit from her parents to have him forbidden to ever come near her again!), and, most recently, was possessed by an actual demon from Hell. And for those stories, that’s fine. Heroes have to suffer in order for their victories to matter; it’s the essence of conflict. But when it’s constant, and when every new creative team brings new and exciting ways to make Daredevil’s life worse, you start to wonder, as Waid said in an interview on War Rocket Ajax, why this guy just doesn’t go ahead and put a gun in his mouth.

That’s one of the many brilliant things about the way that this run is unfolding. As much as it’s a departure from the book’s usual style, it feels like the next logical step in Daredevil’s life. With the exception of the highly underrated Karl Kesel/Cary Nord run from the late ’90s, misery has been the status quo for a long time, but after you manage to get through demonic possession, I imagine that everything else starts to look a little easier to get through. In other words, they’ve broken Matt Murdock down to the point where he just can’t get any lower, and as we know from the best of those brutal crime stories that Miller & Co. wrote, that’s when Daredevil starts to build himself up again.

This issue in particular was drawn by one of my favorite artists working in comics, Marcos Martin, but it’s worth noting that the first three were by Paolo Rivera, and he’s not exactly a slouch either. Both Martin and Rivera were part of the rotating art team for Amazing Spider-Man, and while they killed it on that book — Rivera drew one of my all-time favorite fight sequences in #577 — they take it to the next level with this book.

Martin especially is just phenomenal in the way that he represents Daredevil’s powers, especially in that he’s doing it in a way that you could only do in comics. The panels above are a great example — the cries for help manifesting themselves as shadows on the wall that loom over Daredevil as he runs towards a wall of screams. And that’s not even the best example — Martin does panels where he isolates certain elements on a page and, along with Vicente’s coloring, changes the way that he represents them to show how Daredevil perceives them. I hate to keep dropping the word “beautiful,” but there’s no other way to describe it, and with Martin integrating sound effects and Caramanga — no stranger to lettering tricks, like the ones he pulled off so well in Shed — building his lettering around them, the overall effect is just staggering in how good it is.

Read more at ComicsAlliance.

comicsalliance:

DC’s New Starfire, WTF
There’s a difference between writing a female character as sexually liberated, and writing her as wish-fulfillment sex object, but Starfire sure is making a case for the latter in this charmless scene from today’s Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 by Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort. As before, the staff has condensed its feelings about this into their truest and most expressive form: the animated GIF.
Chris Sims:
Bethany Fong:

Caleb Goellner

Chris Haley

Laura Hudson

Andy Khouri


View high resolution

comicsalliance:

DC’s New Starfire, WTF

There’s a difference between writing a female character as sexually liberated, and writing her as wish-fulfillment sex object, but Starfire sure is making a case for the latter in this charmless scene from today’s Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 by Scott Lobdell and Kenneth Rocafort. As before, the staff has condensed its feelings about this into their truest and most expressive form: the animated GIF.

Chris Sims:

Bethany Fong:

Caleb Goellner

Chris Haley

Laura Hudson

Andy Khouri



superheroeswearingjackets:

I hear next month we’ll see the infamous scene from the end of Catwoman #1 from Batman’s perspective.

Matt Wilson = The Best View high resolution

superheroeswearingjackets:

I hear next month we’ll see the infamous scene from the end of Catwoman #1 from Batman’s perspective.

Matt Wilson = The Best