Wednesday, June 22, 2022

The Mars Volta - Blacklight Shine


Holy cow - NEW MARS VOLTA! This news still caught me by surprise, despite the fact that Mr. Brown sent me a message yesterday about a show at Chicago's Aragon Brawlroom in early October. I'm hoping this heralds a new album on the horizon, which it almost certainly does because even though this official video for "Blacklight Shine" is over 11 minutes long, well over half of that is the percussive section that accompanies the images of dancers; the actual single on streaming services isn't even three minutes in duration, and thus, just about the shortest Mars Volta song that's not a 'lead-in' track EVER. Oh yeah, how cool is it that Omar directed the video?


Since I'm traveling, a lot of these will be waiting for me in my pull box back home. Some of them, however, are books I haven't yet added to my official list, and instead have been scooping up off the shelf with reserve the last few months. Those, I'll be stopping at a local shop to pick up. I'll probably go with Rick's Comic City.

I'm still reeling from how awesome issue three of this new iteration of The Amazing Spider-Man was; hoping number four continues on the same path. There's really something classic about seeing Spidey duke it out with a bunch of street-level hoods, even the goofy ones like the Rabbit or whatever the chick with white rabbit ears calls herself. 

Three issues of Deadly Class remain after this one. I'll admit, because of all the time jumps in "A Fond Farewell," I began to lose my compass as to where we were a few issues back, but I'm assuming this comes from not seeing the big picture to the final arc yet, and also, reading it monthly.

The final issue of Homesick Pilots, and another one I kind of got lost in a few issues back. I'm planning a series re-read as soon as I get home. This book has been nuts in the best possible way, and there is nothing else out there that even remotely resembles it. I mean, Grunge-era haunted house ghost mech suits employed by the military to fight other ghost mech things? It even sounds nuts. I'll miss this one, but I'm always glad to hold a completed story in hand and relish its completion. Better to leave 'em wanting more than to overstay your welcome.

The first issue of I Hate This Place was great. Let's see where we're going, because all signs point to cattle mutilation - which is disgusting and terrible, but a part of alien mythology that always fascinated me for all its oddness. I mean, why cattle? Regardless, I'm digging the way this one seems to be mixing that Alien lore with haunted houses and a classic slasher set-up. Kind of a kitchen sink aesthetic, which can be tricky, but so far here, has me intrigued.

Do I even have to talk about how I wait for every issue of Kieron Gillen's Immortal X-Men with bated breath? I thought not. On my pull, but I'm picking it up anyway, cuz there's no way I want to wait. 

I feel like the art in this Moon Knight book is getting a bit cartoony, which is something I usually don't go for in comics (there are exceptions and East of West springs immediately to mind), but so far, I love what MacKay is doing with the characters, so I'm hanging on.

A new limited series continuing one of my favorite one-off storylines from back in the early 90s? 

If you don't know or remember, back in late 90/early 91, for three issues the world thought Reed, Sue, Johnny and Ben were dead, and in their wake, Spidey, Grey Hulk, Logan and Danny Ketch as Ghost Rider took over to avenge their deaths. I haven't re-read this one in a long time, and it was clearly a gambit to boost sales on "The World's Greatest Comics Magazine" and garner ever more exposure for four of the most popular characters of that era (Punisher would fit that bill too, but he doesn't show up until the last page of the final issue in a kind of meta-commentary on the situation by writer Walt Simonson). 

Anyway, Marvel's doing a lot of these 'in-continuity' throwback series lately: iconic writers of the 80s and 90s go back and flesh out these classic eras. I've dug Symbiote Spider-Man by Peter David and the X-Men Legends that Walt and his wife Louise wrote for their OG X-Factor team, so of course, I'm giving this a try.

I hadn't been reading this current New Mutants until last issue, when "The Labors of Magik" storyline began. Look, reading the X-books in the 80s, I was... twelve when the original "Inferno" came out. It is still, to this day, the best X-Men Event or Crossover ever. Also, as a pre-pubescent male, The Goblin Queen and Ilyana Rasputin gave me something to live for in some ways, if you know what I mean and I think you do. So all of that is imprinted on me pretty deep. Thus, anything that references back to that storyline is immediately on my radar. They've toyed with this stuff before - wasn't Maddy or Magik or both Queen of Hell before? Or wasn't there another Inferno, before Hickman's new masterpiece that had nothing to do with Limbo or Magik at all? I believe so, but I ignored them. And if the first issue of "Labors of Magik" hadn't been as good as it was, I would have bowed out right away. But it was good, and I'm here again for part two.

Man, I remember when great indie books like Newburn were all I read. Now, they're kinda the minority in my monthly spending habit. Doesn't change the fact that Newburn is awesome, though.

HORROR. That is all. 

Being that this is the final issue of X-Men, volume five for Duggan and Larraz? I hope not, but being that A) this is the last issue before the now annual Hellfire Gala, B) this is the final issue before Judgment Day, and C) no writer/artist are listed in Comics CLZ for issues 13 and 14's solicitation, I'm inclined to think maybe. I hope not, as I've LOVED this run. Either way, last issue dropped a BOMB, so let's get to picking up the pieces.


Black Sabbath - Eponymous


There's no surprise to me that I pulled this one again today. Got the news that my boss's boss is leaving the company, and that puts my keeping my job once I move in question. 

I should clarify: I'd previously worked out that I'd be stepping down as Assistant Manager and taking a pay cut to focus on the international logistics side of my job, which exponentially increases every year and leaves me little time to actually 'manage' anyway. 

Receiving this news shook me a bit, but it really hit K hard. Which I totally get. But receiving this "Temper Emotion with Reason" message two days in row indicates that we shouldn't make the assumption that I won't be able to keep the job. We also shouldn't assume I will. We have to approach the entire situation reasonably, which I definitely had flashes of yesterday. We looked at a lot of houses yesterday, several with our Real Estate Agent Josh (who is awesome), and several more just using Josh's portal. Zillow and Google Maps to triangulate areas where we saw things we wanted to look at. During those drives, we saw a lot of industry here with positions open. When K dug around online after we got home, there's a lot of stuff out there - whether local or 'remote' - that I more than qualify for. And I won't lie - I got a huge ego boost from totally crushing my officiating speech/duties at my Sister's wedding on Saturday. So I know I could find something good. Maybe better. The downside to losing the position I have now - or rather the new version of it I would have upon moving - is that, despite the fact that it's challenging, once I drop the management side of things - which is KILLING me at the moment - my job will be very cush in that I will have a large workload that will keep me on my toes, but it's a workload I am familiar with and enjoy. 

We'll see. 

No comments: