Extra Sequential Podcast #78-Creative Departures

39 mins. This show is dedicated to comics creators who offer us projects that surprise us, projects that show a different side to their creativity. From manga to all-ages to, um, Frank Miller we discuss a few unexpected career turns. Also, Superman pyjamas and Grant Morrison’s exercise video.

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You can email us at kris (at)extrasequential(dot)com and befriend us on the NEW ES Facebook page.

1:53 NEWS
The controversial Before Watchmen prequel series
The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man trailers
7:19 THEME – CREATIVE DIFFERENCES
Chuck Dixon writing The Simpsons comics
Jeff Lemire, from The Essex County Trilogy to Superboy and Animal Man
Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan’s Conan the Barbarian
Frank Miller and Geoff Darrow’s Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot
Frank Miller’s unrealised JESUS! project
Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Avon Oeming’s Takio
Junji Ito’s Cat Diary
Katsuhiro Otomo’s Hipira: The Little Vampire

Extra Sequential Podcast #66-War

55 mins. War. What is it good for? We dive into the battlefield and how it’s been represented in comics of yesteryear and today.Plus, the wearing of shorts, head shapes and hammy thighs.

LISTEN TO IT HERE

DOWNLOAD IT HERE

GET IT ON ITUNES HERE

You can email us at kris (at)extrasequential(dot)com and befriend us on the NEW ES Facebook page.

1:17 NEWS

Neil Gaiman’s birthday

DC Comics licence plates

Cinebook publisher Olivier Cadic receives an Order of Merit

The new Asterix creative team

Akira film casting

7:13 THEME-WAR!

Frank Miller’s Holy Terror

Joe Sacco’s The Fixer

Vietnam set The Other Side, and Guerillas

Hans Von Hammer’s WW1 set tales in Enemy Ace

Sgt. Rock, DMZ, The ‘Nam, Semper Fi, Commando Comics, Nick Fury (whose Howling Commandos appear in the Captain America films)

The relaunched DC Comics’ Men of War series (that we didn’t mention!)

Frank Miller’s Gucci Ad

As we mentioned in the second episode of the new Extra Sequential podcast, comic book legend (300, Sin City, The Dark Knight Returns) and film director (The Spirit) Frank Miller is behind a new TV ad for Gucci. See it below. It stars Evan Rachel Wood and Chris Evans.

Yeah, not mind blowing and similar to the cinematography seen in 300 and Sin City, but hopefully he can learn and then give us an awesome film sometime to make up for The Spirit.

The Spirit Review

The SpiritFrank Miller is a legend in the comics biz, and rightly so. As writer/artist he re-invigorated Daredevil for Marvel and Batman for DC in the 80s then went on to give the world his own creations such as 300 and Sin City. The film adaptation of the latter is the most faithful comic movie ever made, and Miller used his co-directing credit to launch a career in Hollywood. With The Spirit, it’s Miller’s show all the way, as both writer and director he helms this film. The trailer made it look like Sin City 2, with it’s black and white imagery and over the top action. Sadly, that’s exactly what this film gives you. It’s not individual in its approach, because it’s been done so much better with Sin City. That film is fun, funny and adventurous. The Spirit has none of that. It’s just – dull.

Will Eisner was a legend in comics long before Miller and when he gave the world The Spirit, he used the strip as a groundbreaking tool for sequential storytelling. This film is the opposite of that – disappointing and uninteresting, only because Sin City has already taken the similar green screen manipulation approach and wowed us. The story here is also flat and involves resurrected cop Denny Colt AKA The Spirit and explains his origins, tied in with arch enemy The Octopus and his chase for immortality. Bringing the tale to the modern day doesn’t help. Staying in the 1940s would’ve cemented its noir influence more effectively. There’s a bevy of beauties  with cool names, such as Sand Saref and Lorelei, but even Scarlett Johansson lacks any charm and Samuel L. Jackson as baddie The Octopus (a character whose face was never revealed in the original newspaper strip) is typically boisterous. Nothing saves this film. The CGI backgrounds have been done before, the dialogue is bland and strangely repetitive and The Spirit, played by Gabriel Macht, has the annoying propensity to offer gruff voice-overs, and talk straight to camera. If you want to really know what The Spirit is like, check out DC’s collection of archive editions, or their new Spirit series by new creators.

The best thing about the DVD is a 15 minute feature called Miller on Miller, in which he discusses his comics career and gives a brief history on the artform, with beautiful art dispersed throughout. Here’s a tip – hire the DVD and just watch this doco instead. Miller’s next film project is another adaptation of a classic character – Buck Rogers. I wish he’d just leave Hollywood and come back to comics.

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