The Art of Self Defense

Image result for the art of self defense movie poster

I had never heard thing one about this movie when I saw it in the list of films at the Cinemark.  Or at least, I did not remember anything about it.  After seeing the film I realized that I had seen at least one trailer from it, but it was certainly not a film that ran that trailer a bunch of times (or was very effective of a trailer since I did not remember it).

Jesse Eisenberg plays Casey, a down-on-his-luck schmuck who is just going through life down the rungs of the ladder.  He’s learning French with the hope that some day he would have the chance to go to France.

One night, after coming back from his brain dead job, he discovered that he was out of dog food and he had to head out to pick some up.  On the way to the store, a motorcycle gang stopped him and asked if he had a gun.  Leaving him, Casey was spooked.  After getting the dog food, as Casey was on his way back, he was stopped by the motorcycle gang and beaten into  critical condition for no reason.

As he recovered, Casey, who was already timid and withdrawn, became even more so.

Casey stumbled across a karate dojo and went inside to see the class.  The Sensei (Alessandro Nivola) was leading the class and approached Casey after wards.  Casey is very taken with the idea of karate and with Sensei himself and agrees to come for his first, free class.

After the first class, Casey is excited about signing up, but he soon realizes that the class is leading him on a path that was unexpected.

The Art of Self-Defense is dark and violent, but has many funny moments as well.  Jesse Eisenberg is great in this role, one of his best since The Social Network.  You feel so bad for Casey as bad things continue to happen to him and you can see that many of these bad things are because of Sensei and this karate dojo.  Still, he is so desperate for a relief of the anguish and fear that has so gripped him that he does not know what he can do.

Alessandro Nivola is tremendous as Sensei. He is so cold and calculating and yet so warm and inviting that you are never quite sure what is happening, even when you are seeing clear evidence that Sensei may not be all there.  Nivola plays this contradiction beautifully.

The ending is great, even though, technically, I saw it coming.  That typically irritates me, but the third act is so very satisfying, I can forgive the fact that I had figured out what was going to happen (at least part of the way) prior.

The film dives into the theme of toxic masculinity as we see this echoing throughout the movie.  Yes, there are a few coincidences that have to be accepted, but that does not totally derail the picture.

There were some shocking moments that worked well, keeping the viewer off guard.

The film is a strong character piece focusing on poor Casey and his lack of power, lack of male masculinity in a world where that is required.  It’s like they took The Karate Kid and Cobra Kai, mushed them together with Seven Psychopaths and Fight Club.  It was dark fun.

4 stars 

 

Emmy Award Nominees 2019

Lead Actor Limited Series or Movie

Mahershala Ali, “True Detective”
Benicio del Toro, “Escape at Dannemora”
Hugh Grant, “A Very English Scandal”
Jared Harris, “Chernobyl”
Jharrel Jerome, “When They See Us”
Sam Rockwell, “Fosse/Verdon”

Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie 

Amy Adams, “Sharp Objects”
Patricia Arquette, “Escape at Dannemora”
Aunjanue Ellis, “When They See Us”
Joey King, “The Act”
Niecy Nash, “When They See Us”
Michelle Williams, “Fosse/Verdon”

Best Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
Don Cheadle, “Black Monday,”
Ted Danson, “The Good Place”
Michael Douglas, “The Kominksy Method”
Bill Hader, “Barry”
Eugene Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Christina Applegate, “Dead to Me”
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Julia-Louis Dreyfus, “Veep
Natasha Lyonne, “Russian Doll”
Catherine O’Hara, “Schitt’s Creek”
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Fleabag”

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Jason Bateman, “Ozark”
Sterling K. Brown, “This is Us”
Kit Harrington, “Game of Thrones”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Billy Porter, “Pose”
Milo Ventimiglia, “This Is Us”

Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones”
Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve”
Viola Davis, “How to Get Away With Murder”
Laura Linney, “Ozark”
Mandy Moore, “This Is Us”
Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

Reality-Competition Program

“The Amazing Race” (CBS)
“American Ninja Warrior” (NBC)
“Nailed It” (Netflix)
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” (VH1)
“Top Chef” (Bravo)
“The Voice” (NBC)

Variety Talk Series

“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” (Comedy Central)
“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” (TBS)
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC)
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” (HBO)
“The Late Late Show with James Corden” (CBS)
“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” (CBS)

Outstanding Limited Series

“Chernobyl” (HBO)
“Escape at Dannemora” (Showtime)
“Fosse Verdon” (FX)
“Sharp Objects” (HBO)
“When They See Us” (Netflix)

Outstanding Television Movie

“Bandersnatch,” (Netflix)
“Brexit,” (HBO)
“Deadwood: The Movie,” (HBO)
“King Lear,” (Amazon)
“My Dinner with Herve,” (HBO)

Comedy Series

“Barry” (HBO)
“Fleabag” (Amazon)
“The Good Place” (NBC)
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon)
“Russian Doll” (Netflix)
“Schitt’s Creek” (Pop)
“Veep” (HBO)

Drama Series

“Better Call Saul” (AMC)
“Bodyguard” (Netflix)
“Game of Thrones” (HBO)
“Killing Eve” (BBC America)
“Ozark” (Netflix)
“Pose” (FX)
“Succession” (HBO)
“This Is Us” (NBC)

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Gwendoline Christie (“Game of Thrones”)
Julia Garner (“Ozark”)
Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones”)
Fiona Shaw (“Killing Eve”)
Sophie Turner (“Game of Thrones”)
Maisie Williams (“Game of Thrones”)

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Alfie Allen (“Game of Thrones”)
Jonathan Banks (“Better Call Saul”)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldeau (“Game of Thrones”)
Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”)
Giancarlo Esposito (“Better Call Saul”)
Michael Kelly (“House of Cards”)
Chris Sullivan (“This Is Us”)

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Alex Borstein (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)
Anna Chlumsky (“Veep”)
Sian Clifford (“Fleabag”)
Olivia Colman (“Fleabag”)
Betty Gilpin (“GLOW”)
Sarah Goldberg (“Barry”)
Marin Hinkle (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)
Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”)

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Alan Arkin (“The Kominsky Method”)
Anthony Carrigan (“Barry”)
Tony Hale (“Veep”)
Stephen Root (“Barry”)
Tony Shalhoub (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)
Henry Winkler (“Barry”)

Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Patricia Arquette (“The Act”)
Marsha Stephanie Blake (“When They See Us”)
Patricia Clarkson (“Sharp Objects”)
Vera Farmiga (“When They See Us”)
Margaret Qualley (“Fosse/Verdon”)
Emily Watson (“Chernobyl”)

Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Asante Blackk (“When They See Us”)
Paul Dano (“Escape at Dannemora”)
John Leguizamo (“When They See Us”)
Stellan Skarsgård (“Chernobyl”)
Ben Whishaw (“A Very English Scandal”)
Michael K. Williams (“When They See Us”)

Guest Actress in a Drama Series

Laverne Cox (“Orange Is the New Black”)
Cherry Jones (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)
Jessica Lange (“American Horror Story: Apocalypse”)
Phylicia Rashad (“This Is Us”)
Cicely Tyson (“How to Get Away With Murder”)
Carice van Houten (“Game of Thrones”)

Guest Actor in a Drama Series

Michael Angarano (“This Is Us”)
Ron Cephas Jones (“This Is Us”)
Michael McKean (“Better Call Saul”)
Kumail Nanjiani (“The Twilight Zone”)
Glynn Turman (“How to Get Away With Murder”)
Bradley Whitford (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)

Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

Jane Lynch (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)
Sandra Oh (“Saturday Night Live”)
Maya Rudolph (“The Good Place”)
Kristin Scott Thomas (“Fleabag”)
Fiona Shaw (“Fleabag”)
Emma Thompson (“Saturday Night Live”)

Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

Matt Damon (“Saturday Night Live”)
Robert De Niro (“Saturday Night Live”)
Luke Kirby (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)
Peter MacNicol (“Veep”)
John Mulaney (“Saturday Night Live”)
Adam Sandler (“Saturday Night Live”)
Rufus Sewell (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)

Structured Reality Program

“Antiques Roadshow” (PBS)
“Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives” (Food Network)
“Queer Eye” (Netflix)
“Shark Tank” (ABC)
“Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” (Netflix)
“Who Do You Think You Are?” (TLC)

Unstructured Reality Program

“Born This Way” (A&E)
“Deadliest Catch” (Discovery Channel)
“Life Below Zero” (National Geographic)
“RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked” (VH1)
“Somebody Feed Phil” (Netflix)
“United Shades Of America With W. Kamau
Bell” (CNN)

Host for a Reality or Competition Program

James Corden (“The World’s Best”)
Ellen DeGeneres (“Ellen’s Game Of Games”)
Marie Kondo (“Tidying Up With Marie Kondo”)
Amy Poehler & Nick Offerman (“Making It”)
RuPaul (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”)

Variety Sketch Series

“At Home With Amy Sedaris” (truTV)
“Documentary Now!” (IFC)
“Drunk History” (Comedy Central)
“I Love You, America With Sarah Silverman” (Hulu)
“Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
“Who Is America?” (Showtime)

Variety Special (Live)

“The 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards” (NBC)
“The 61st Grammy Awards” (CBS)
“Live In Front Of A Studio Audience: Norman
Lear’s ‘All In The Family’ And ‘The
Jeffersons’” (ABC)
“The Oscars” (ABC)
“RENT” (Fox)
“72nd Annual Tony Awards” (CBS)

Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)

“Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met
McCartney Live From Liverpool” (CBS)
“Hannah Gadsby: Nanette” (Netflix)
“Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé” (Netflix)
“Springsteen On Broadway” (Netflix)
“Wanda Sykes: Not Normal” (Netflix)

Informational Series or Special

“Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown” (CNN)
“Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee” (Netflix)
“Leah Remini: Scientology And The Aftermath” (A&E)
“My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman” (Netflix)
“Surviving R. Kelly” (Lifetime)

Will Eisner Winners 2019

Image
Best Short Story
  • “Get Naked in Barcelona,” by Steven T. Seagle and Emei Olivia Burell, in Get Naked (Image)
  • “The Ghastlygun Tinies,” by Matt Cohen and Marc Palm, in MAD magazine #4 (DC)
  • “Here I Am,” by Shaun Tan, in I Feel Machine (SelfMadeHero)
  • “Life During Interesting Times,” by Mike Dawson (The Nib)
  • “Supply Chains,” by Peter and Maria Hoey, in Coin-Op #7 (Coin-Op Books)
  • “The Talk of the Saints,” by Tom King and Jason Fabok, in Swamp Thing Winter Special (DC)

Image result for peter parker #310Best Single Issue/One-Shot
  • Beneath the Dead Oak Tree, by Emily Carroll (ShortBox)
  • Black Hammer: Cthu-Louise, by Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox (Dark Horse)
  • No Better Words, by Carolyn Nowak (Silver Sprocket)
  • Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310, by Chip Zdarsky (Marvel)
  • The Terrible Elisabeth Dumn Against the Devils In Suits, by Arabson, translated by James Robinson (IHQ Studio/ Image)

Best Continuing Series
  • Batman, by Tom King et al. (DC)
  • Black Hammer: Age of Doom, by Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, and Rich Tommaso (Dark Horse)
  • Gasolina, by Sean Mackiewicz and Niko Walter (Skybound/Image)
  • Giant Days, by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julaa Madrigal (BOOM! Box)
  • The Immortal Hulk, by Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, and Ruy José (Marvel)
  • Runaways, by Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka (Marvel)

Image result for will eisner winners 2019 comic conBest Limited Series
  • Batman: White Knight, by Sean Murphy (DC)
  • Eternity Girl, by Magdalene Visaggio and Sonny Liew (Vertigo/DC)
  • Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, by Mark Russell, Mike Feehan, and Mark Morales (DC)
  • Mister Miracle, by Tom King and Mitch Gerads (DC)
  • X-Men: Grand Design: Second Genesis, by Ed Piskor (Marvel)

Best New Series
  • Bitter Root, by David Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene (Image)
  • Crowded, by Christopher Sebela, Ro Stein, and Ted Brandt (Image)
  • Gideon Falls, by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino (Image)
  • Isola, by Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl (Image)
  • Man-Eaters, by Chelsea Cain, Lia Miternique and Kate Niemczyk (Image)
  • Skyward, by Joe Henderson and Lee Garbett (Image)

ImageBest Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)
  • Johnny Boo and the Ice Cream Computer, by James Kochalka (Top Shelf/IDW)
  • Petals, by Gustavo Borges (KaBOOM!)
  • Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths, by Graham Annable (First Second)
  • This Is a Taco! By Andrew Cangelose and Josh Shipley (CubHouse/Lion Forge)
  • Tiger Vs. Nightmare, by Emily Tetri (First Second)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 9–12)
  • Aquicorn Cove, by Katie O’Neill (Oni)
  • Be Prepared, by Vera Brosgol (First Second)
  • The Cardboard Kingdom, by Chad Sell (Knopf/Random House Children’s Books)
  • Crush, by Svetlana Chmakova (JY/Yen Press)
  • The Divided Earth, by Faith Erin Hicks (First Second)

ImageBest Publication for Teens (ages 13–17)
  • All Summer Long, by Hope Larson (Farrar Straus Giroux)
  • Gumballs, by Erin Nations (Top Shelf/IDW)
  • Middlewest, by Skottie Young and Jorge Corona (Image)
  • Norroway, Book 1: The Black Bull of Norroway, by Cat Seaton and Kit Seaton (Image)
  • The Prince and the Dressmaker, by Jen Wang (First Second)
  • Watersnakes, by Tony Sandoval, translated by Lucas Marangon (Magnetic/Lion Forge)

Best Humor Publication
  • Get Naked, by Steven T. Seagle et al. (Image)
  • Giant Days, by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julia Madrigal (BOOM! Box)
  • MAD magazine, edited by Bill Morrison (DC)
  • A Perfect Failure: Fante Bukowski 3, by Noah Van Sciver (Fantagraphics)
  • Woman World, by Aminder Dhaliwal (Drawn & Quarterly)

ImageBest Anthology
  • Femme Magnifique: 50 Magnificent Women Who Changed the World, edited by Shelly Bond (Black Crown/IDW)
  • Puerto Rico Strong, edited by Marco Lopez, Desiree Rodriguez, Hazel Newlevant, Derek Ruiz, and Neil Schwartz (Lion Forge)
  • Twisted Romance, edited by Alex de Campi (Image)
  • Where We Live: A Benefit for the Survivors in Las Vegas, edited by Will Dennis, curated by J. H. Williams III and Wendy Wright-Williams (Image)

Best Reality-Based Work
  • All the Answers: A Graphic Memoir, by Michael Kupperman (Gallery 13)
  • All the Sad Songs, by Summer Pierre (Retrofit/Big Planet)
  • Is This Guy For Real? The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman, by Box Brown (First Second)
  • Monk! by Youssef Daoudi (First Second)
  • One Dirty Tree, by Noah Van Sciver (Uncivilized Books)

ImageBest Graphic Album—New
  • Bad Girls, by Alex de Campi and Victor Santos (Gallery 13)
  • Come Again, by Nate Powell (Top Shelf/IDW)
  • Green Lantern: Earth One Vol. 1, by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman (DC)
  • Homunculus, by Joe Sparrow (ShortBox)
  • My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
  • Sabrina, by Nick Drnaso (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint
  • Berlin, by Jason Lutes (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Girl Town, by Carolyn Nowak (Top Shelf/IDW)
  • Upgrade Soul, by Ezra Claytan Daniels (Lion Forge)
  • The Vision hardcover, by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, and Michael Walsh (Marvel)
  • Young Frances, by Hartley Lin (AdHouse Books)

Best Adaptation from Another Medium
  • Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation, adapted by Ari Folman and David Polonsky (Pantheon)
  • “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley, in Frankenstein: Junji Ito Story Collection, adapted by Junji Ito, translated by Jocelyne Allen (VIZ Media)
  • Out in the Open by Jesús Carraso, adapted by Javi Rey, translated by Lawrence Schimel (SelfMadeHero)
  • Speak: The Graphic Novel, by Laurie Halse Anderson and Emily Carroll (Farrar Straus Giroux)
  • To Build a Fire: Based on Jack London’s Classic Story, by Chabouté (Gallery 13)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
  • About Betty’s Boobby Vero Cazot and Julie Rocheleau, translated by Edward Gauvin (Archaia/BOOM!)
  • Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World, by Pénélope Bagieu, translated by Montana Kane (First Second)
  • Herakles Book 1, by Edouard Cour, translated by Jeremy Melloul (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
  • Niourk, by Stefan Wul and Olivier Vatine, translated by Brandon Kander and Diana Schutz (Dark Horse)
  • A Sea of Love, by Wilfrid Lupano and Grégory Panaccione (Magnetic/Lion Forge)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia
  • Abara: Complete Deluxe Edition, by Tsutomu Nihei, translated by Sheldon Drzka (VIZ Media)
  • Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction, by Inio Asano, translated by John Werry (VIZ Media)
  • Laid-Back Camp, by Afro, translated by Amber Tamosaitis (Yen Press)
  • My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder, by Nie Jun, translated by Edward Gauvin (Graphic Universe/Lerner)
  • Tokyo Tarareba Girls, by Akiko Higashimura (Kodansha)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips
  • Pogo, vol. 5: Out of This World At Home, by Walt Kelly, edited by Mark Evanier and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
  • Sky Masters of the Space Force: The Complete Sunday Strips in Color (1959–1960), by Jack Kirby, Wally Wood et al., edited by Ferran Delgado (Amigo Comics)
  • Star Wars: Classic Newspaper Strips, vol. 3, by Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson, edited by Dean Mullaney (Library of American Comics/IDW)
  • The Temple of Silence: Forgotten Words and Worlds of Herbert Crowley, by Justin Duerr (Beehive Books
  • Thimble Theatre and the Pre-Popeye Comics of E. C. Segar, edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press)

View image on TwitterBest Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books
  • Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman Deluxe Edition, edited by Paul Levitz (DC)
  • Bill Sienkiewicz’s Mutants and Moon Knights… And Assassins… Artifact Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
  • Dirty Plotte: The Complete Julie Doucet (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Madman Quarter Century Shindig, by Mike Allred, edited by Chris Ryall (IDW)
  • Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise Gallery Edition, edited by Bob Chapman, Joseph Melchior, and Terry Moore (Abstract Studio/Graphitti Designs)
  • Will Eisner’s A Contract with God: Curator’s Collection, edited by John Lind (Kitchen Sink/Dark Horse)

ImageBest Writer
  • Alex de Campi, Bad Girls (Gallery 13); Twisted Romance (Image)
  • Tom King, Batman, Mister Miracle, Heroes in Crisis, Swamp Thing Winter Special (DC)
  • Jeff Lemire, Black Hammer: Age of Doom, Doctor Star & the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows, Quantum Age (Dark Horse); Descender, Gideon Falls, Royal City (Image)
  • Mark Russell, Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, Green Lantern/Huckleberry Hound, Lex Luthor/Porky Pig (DC); Lone Ranger (Dynamite)
  • Kelly Thompson, Nancy Drew (Dynamite); Hawkeye, Jessica Jones, Mr. & Mrs. X, Rogue & Gambit, Uncanny X-Men, West Coast Avengers (Marvel)
  • Chip Zdarsky, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man, Marvel Two-in-One (Marvel)

Best Writer/Artist
  • Sophie Campbell, Wet Moon (Oni)
  • Nick Drnaso, Sabrina (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • David Lapham, Lodger (Black Crown/IDW); Stray Bullets (Image)
  • Nate Powell, Come Again (Top Shelf/IDW)
  • Tony Sandoval, Watersnakes (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
  • Jen Wang, The Prince and the Dressmaker (First Second)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
  • Matías BergaraCoda (BOOM!)
  • Mitch Gerads, Mister Miracle (DC)
  • Karl Kerschl, Isola (Image)
  • Sonny Liew, Eternity Girl (Vertigo/DC)
  • Sean Phillips, Kill or Be Killed, My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies (Image)
  • Yanick Paquette, Wonder Woman Earth One, vol. 2 (DC)

 

ImageBest Cover Artist (for multiple covers)
  • Jen Bartel, Blackbird (Image); Submerged (Vault)
  • Nick Derington, Mister Miracle (DC)
  • Karl Kerschl, Isola (Image)
  • Joshua Middleton, Batgirl and Aquaman variants (DC)
  • Julian Tedesco, Hawkeye, Life of Captain Marvel (Marvel)

Best Coloring
  • Jordie Bellaire, Batgirl, Batman (DC); The Divided Earth (First Second); Days of Hate, Dead Hand, Head Lopper, Redlands (Image); Shuri, Doctor Strange (Marvel)
  • Tamra Bonvillain, Alien 3 (Dark Horse); Batman, Doom Patrol (DC); Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Multiple Man (Marvel)
  • Nathan Fairbairn, Batman, Batgirl, Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman Earth One, vol. 2 (DC); Die!Die!Die! (Image)
  • Matt Hollingsworth, Batman: White Knight (DC): Seven to Eternity, Wytches (Image)
  • Matt Wilson, Black Cloud, Paper Girls, The Wicked + The Divine (Image); The Mighty Thor, Runaways (Marvel)

ImageBest Lettering
  • David Aja, Seeds (Berger Books/Dark Horse)
  • Jim Campbell, BreathlessCalexit, Gravetrancers, Snap Flash Hustle, Survival FetishThe Wilds (Black Mask); AbbottAlice: Dream to Dream, Black Badge, CluelessCodaFenceFireflyGiant DaysGrass Kings, Lumberjanes: The Infernal CompassLow Road WestSparrowhawk (BOOM); Angelic (Image); Wasted Space (Vault)
  • Alex de Campi, Bad Girls (Gallery 13); Twisted Romance (Image)
  • Jared Fletcher, Batman: Damned (DC); The Gravediggers Union, Moonshine, Paper Girls, Southern Bastards (Image)
  • Todd Klein— Black Hammer: Age of Doom, Neil Gaiman’s A Study in Emerald (Dark Horse); Batman: White Night (DC); Eternity Girl, Books of Magic (Vertigo/DC); The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest (Top Shelf/IDW)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism –

TIE

  • Back Issue, edited by Michael Eury (TwoMorrows)
  • The Columbus Scribbler, edited by Brian Canini, Jack Wallace, Steve Steiner, and Derek Baxter columbusscribbler.com
  • Comicosity, edited by Aaron Long and Matt Santori,  www.comicosity.com
  • LAAB Magazine #0: Dark Matter, edited by Ronald Wimberley and Josh O’Neill (Beehive Books)
  • PanelxPanel magazine, edited by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, panelxpanel.com

ImageBest Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
  • Lee Bermejo, Batman: Damned (DC)
  • Carita Lupatelli, Izuna Book 2 (Humanoids)
  • Dustin Nguyen, Descender (Image)
  • Gregory Panaccione, A Sea of Love (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
  • Tony Sandoval, Watersnakes (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
Best Comics-Related Book
  • Comic Book Implosion: An Oral History of DC Comics Circa 1978, by Keith Dallas and John Wells (TwoMorrows)
  • Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists, by Martha H. Kennedy (University Press of Mississippi)
  • The League of Regrettable Sidekicks, by Jon Morris (Quirk Books)
  • Mike Grell: Life Is Drawing Without an Eraser, by Dewey Cassell with Jeff Messer (TwoMorrows)
  • Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography—Beyond the Fantasy, by Florent Gorges, translated by Laure Dupont and Annie Gullion (Dark Horse)

Best Academic/Scholarly Work
  • Between Pen and Pixel: Comics, Materiality, and the Book of the Future, by Aaron Kashtan (Ohio State University Press)
  • Breaking the Frames: Populism and Prestige in Comics Studies, by Marc Singer (University of Texas Press)
  • The Goat-Getters: Jack Johnson, the Fight of the Century, and How a Bunch of Raucous Cartoonists Reinvented Comics, by Eddie Campbell (Library of American Comics/IDW/Ohio State University Press)
  • Incorrigibles and Innocents, Constructing Childhood and Citizenship in Progressive Era Comics, by Lara Saguisag (Rutgers University Press)
  • Sweet Little C*nt: The Graphic Work of Julie Doucet, by Anne Elizabeth Moore (Uncivilized Books)

Best Publication Design
  • A Sea of Love, designed by Wilfrid Lupano, Grégory Panaccione, and Mike Kennedy (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
  • The Stan Lee Story Collector’s Edition, designed by Josh Baker (Taschen)
  • The Temple of Silence: Forgotten Worlds of Herbert Crowley, designed by Paul Kepple and Max Vandenberg (Beehive Books)
  • Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise Gallery Edition, designed by Josh Beatman/Brainchild Studios/NYC, (Abstract Studio/Graphitti Designs)
  • Will Eisner’s A Contract with God: Curator’s Collection, designed by John Lind (Kitchen Sink/Dark Horse)

Best Digital Comic

Best Webcomic

 

Image

Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez

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The judge’s choices for this year’s Will Eisner Hall of Fame Inductees included Jim Aparo, Dave Stevens, June Tarpé Mills, and Morrie Turner. Winners of voter’s choice were Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Jenette Kahn, Paul Levitz, Wendy and Richard Pini, and Bill Sienkiewicz.

 

EYG would like to congratulate all the winners and all those deserving nominees for this year’s Eisner Awards.  Couple of my own shout outs/comments…

  • I absolutely LOVED Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #310 and I am thrilled that it won the Best Single Issue/One Shot.  It was one of the best Spidey stories in years.
  • I wanted The Immortal Hulk to win Best Ongoing Series.  I do not read Giant Days, but this has been the best version of the Hulk on the page in years!
  • The Vision is one of my all-time favorite story arcs and I an very excited that it won for Best Graphic Album-Reprint.  
  • It sure seems that Tom King is an Eisner favorite!  Well deserved because he is awesome!

The Lion King (2019)

Image result for lion king 2019 poster

Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba                                                                                                            Sithi uhm ingonyama

Nants ingonyama bagithi baba                                                                                                        Sithi uhhmm ingonyama                                                                                                                    Ingonyama

Siyo Nqoba                                                                                                                            Ingonyama                                                                                                                                Ingonyama nengw’ enamabala

The Circle of Life

On the day we arrived on the planet…. Disney was making money, and there is no doubt in the world that the remake of the classic Disney animated movie The Lion King will make all the moneys.

But is that the only reason that they created this “live action” version of the film, or is there something deeper here?

Let’s address the elephant in the room (not literally).  It is hard to call this a live action adaptation when there is nothing that is alive in the actual movie.  This should be defined as “photo realistic” animation.  And, no matter what we call it, the animation is a masterpiece.

Literally, it looks like we have real animals moving around a real landscape in Africa, somehow moving their mouths.  The CGI of the film is nothing short of brilliant and a work of absolute art.  No matter what anyone tells you about the movie, the visuals are some of the greatest work ever to be seen on the big screen.

Now, the rest.

The story itself is nearly a shot-for-shot remake of the animated film.  You know the story… young lion cub Simba leaves his home after his father, the king, Mustafa is killed by his brother Scar.  Scar makes it look as if it was Simba who was at fault so he could assume the throne.  Simba chased off by the hyenas, finds friends out in the world of Timon and Pumbaa (a meerkat and warthog, respectfully) and lives his life until destiny finds him.

Yes, it is basically Hamlet.  It is an all-time classic story.

So why did it feel dull here?

As I said, the movie was basically a shot-for-shot remake of the animated movie, which was amazing, so why is the “live action” version not the same?  Why does it feel as if they sucked out all the emotion and the magic from the film?  Did they actually turn The Lion King into a Disneynature film?

I think part of the problem was the photo realistic nature of the animation did not lend itself to any expression from the faces of the lions.  The mouths were moving, including saying many lines form the original script that never fails to elicit deep emotion, but there was just no expression in the eyes or the faces of these characters and that hurt the feels.  Even the big emotional moment with the stampede did not make me feel much and that scene normally destroys me.

The magic was just not there, which made me find the film to be hollow, albeit a beautifully created hollow film.

The Lion King (2019) did not add enough new to it to justify its existence for anything other than a cash grab.  Sure, all movies want to make money and there is nothing wrong with that, but when you have an IP like Lion King, you bring a level of expectations to the project beyond just the pocketbooks.  Jon Favreau, who did the much better live-action remake of Jungle Book, directed the film that really needed a new vision or something that gave it a purpose beside stunning visuals.

It is hard not to compare this film to the 1994 animated version, because it is so close to it in so many ways. That might be unfair, because that first movie is, arguably, one of the greatest animated movies ever made.  If I had to share one of these movies with someone who had never seen this before, I would pick the 1994 animated film every time.

It is actually sad to me that there are many people who will have this version of The Lion King as their introduction to the film.  While 2019 Lion King is a visual masterpiece, the rest is a letdown.

2.6 stars

Lois Lane #1

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Lois Lane #1

Enemy of the People Part One

Writer:  Greg Rucka

Artist:  Mike Perkins

Cover Art:  Jenny Frison

Whoa, same week, two non-Marvel books.  Who would’ve thunk it?

I picked up the Lois Lane #1 book from DC Comics simply because I really liked the variant cover that was on display.  It is the one used on this review and it was an eye-catcher.  Jenny Frison was the artist and a cover should help attract people to your book.  This certainly worked on me.

I wound up enjoying the story as well.  It was a very topical, political story involving Lois Lane investigating some topics that may just have some familiarity to them.  Especially if you pay any attention to the news today.  While I prefer my politics to stay out of the comics, this was well done and came at it with an angle that was unexpected.

I like dhow they kept Clark Kent’s role in her story at a minimum.  The book was about Lois, although there was one surprising cameo in the story.

I did like this, but I am not sure I want to commit to 12 issues of the series.  If you are a DC fan, this is a book that you cannot miss.  For me, I have to consider what I am going to do with it.

tryit

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2019 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees

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Eisner Awards to be revealed at San Diego Comic Con on July 19, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel.

 

Best Short Story
  • “Get Naked in Barcelona,” by Steven T. Seagle and Emei Olivia Burell, in Get Naked (Image)
  • “The Ghastlygun Tinies,” by Matt Cohen and Marc Palm, in MAD magazine #4 (DC)
  • “Here I Am,” by Shaun Tan, in I Feel Machine (SelfMadeHero)
  • “Life During Interesting Times,” by Mike Dawson (The Nib)
  • “Supply Chains,” by Peter and Maria Hoey, in Coin-Op #7 (Coin-Op Books)
  • “The Talk of the Saints,” by Tom King and Jason Fabok, in Swamp Thing Winter Special (DC)

Best Single Issue/One-Shot
  • Beneath the Dead Oak Tree, by Emily Carroll (ShortBox)
  • Black Hammer: Cthu-Louise, by Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox (Dark Horse)
  • No Better Words, by Carolyn Nowak (Silver Sprocket)
  • Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310, by Chip Zdarsky (Marvel)
  • The Terrible Elisabeth Dumn Against the Devils In Suits, by Arabson, translated by James Robinson (IHQ Studio/ Image)

Image result for Immortal hulkBest Continuing Series
  • Batman, by Tom King et al. (DC)
  • Black Hammer: Age of Doom, by Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, and Rich Tommaso (Dark Horse)
  • Gasolina, by Sean Mackiewicz and Niko Walter (Skybound/Image)
  • Giant Days, by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julaa Madrigal (BOOM! Box)
  • The Immortal Hulk, by Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, and Ruy José (Marvel)
  • Runaways, by Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka (Marvel)

Best Limited Series
  • Batman: White Knight, by Sean Murphy (DC)
  • Eternity Girl, by Magdalene Visaggio and Sonny Liew (Vertigo/DC)
  • Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, by Mark Russell, Mike Feehan, and Mark Morales (DC)
  • Mister Miracle, by Tom King and Mitch Gerads (DC)
  • X-Men: Grand Design: Second Genesis, by Ed Piskor (Marvel)

Image result for man eaters chelsea cainBest New Series
  • Bitter Root, by David Walker, Chuck Brown, and Sanford Greene (Image)
  • Crowded, by Christopher Sebela, Ro Stein, and Ted Brandt (Image)
  • Gideon Falls, by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino (Image)
  • Isola, by Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl (Image)
  • Man-Eaters, by Chelsea Cain, Lia Miternique and Kate Niemczyk (Image)
  • Skyward, by Joe Henderson and Lee Garbett (Image)

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)
  • Johnny Boo and the Ice Cream Computer, by James Kochalka (Top Shelf/IDW)
  • Petals, by Gustavo Borges (KaBOOM!)
  • Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths, by Graham Annable (First Second)
  • This Is a Taco! By Andrew Cangelose and Josh Shipley (CubHouse/Lion Forge)
  • Tiger Vs. Nightmare, by Emily Tetri (First Second)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 9–12)
  • Aquicorn Cove, by Katie O’Neill (Oni)
  • Be Prepared, by Vera Brosgol (First Second)
  • The Cardboard Kingdom, by Chad Sell (Knopf/Random House Children’s Books)
  • Crush, by Svetlana Chmakova (JY/Yen Press)
  • The Divided Earth, by Faith Erin Hicks (First Second)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13–17)
  • All Summer Long, by Hope Larson (Farrar Straus Giroux)
  • Gumballs, by Erin Nations (Top Shelf/IDW)
  • Middlewest, by Skottie Young and Jorge Corona (Image)
  • Norroway, Book 1: The Black Bull of Norroway, by Cat Seaton and Kit Seaton (Image)
  • The Prince and the Dressmaker, by Jen Wang (First Second)
  • Watersnakes, by Tony Sandoval, translated by Lucas Marangon (Magnetic/Lion Forge)

Best Humor Publication
  • Get Naked, by Steven T. Seagle et al. (Image)
  • Giant Days, by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julia Madrigal (BOOM! Box)
  • MAD magazine, edited by Bill Morrison (DC)
  • A Perfect Failure: Fante Bukowski 3, by Noah Van Sciver (Fantagraphics)
  • Woman World, by Aminder Dhaliwal (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Anthology
  • Femme Magnifique: 50 Magnificent Women Who Changed the World, edited by Shelly Bond (Black Crown/IDW)
  • Puerto Rico Strong, edited by Marco Lopez, Desiree Rodriguez, Hazel Newlevant, Derek Ruiz, and Neil Schwartz (Lion Forge)
  • Twisted Romance, edited by Alex de Campi (Image)
  • Where We Live: A Benefit for the Survivors in Las Vegas, edited by Will Dennis, curated by J. H. Williams III and Wendy Wright-Williams (Image)

Best Reality-Based Work
  • All the Answers: A Graphic Memoir, by Michael Kupperman (Gallery 13)
  • All the Sad Songs, by Summer Pierre (Retrofit/Big Planet)
  • Is This Guy For Real? The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman, by Box Brown (First Second)
  • Monk! by Youssef Daoudi (First Second)
  • One Dirty Tree, by Noah Van Sciver (Uncivilized Books)

Image result for green lantern earth 1 vol 1Best Graphic Album—New
  • Bad Girls, by Alex de Campi and Victor Santos (Gallery 13)
  • Come Again, by Nate Powell (Top Shelf/IDW)
  • Green Lantern: Earth One Vol. 1, by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman (DC)
  • Homunculus, by Joe Sparrow (ShortBox)
  • My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
  • Sabrina, by Nick Drnaso (Drawn & Quarterly)

Image result for vision hardcover reprintBest Graphic Album—Reprint
  • Berlin, by Jason Lutes (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Girl Town, by Carolyn Nowak (Top Shelf/IDW)
  • Upgrade Soul, by Ezra Claytan Daniels (Lion Forge)
  • The Vision hardcover, by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, and Michael Walsh (Marvel)
  • Young Frances, by Hartley Lin (AdHouse Books)

Best Adaptation from Another Medium
  • Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation, adapted by Ari Folman and David Polonsky (Pantheon)
  • “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley, in Frankenstein: Junji Ito Story Collection, adapted by Junji Ito, translated by Jocelyne Allen (VIZ Media)
  • Out in the Open by Jesús Carraso, adapted by Javi Rey, translated by Lawrence Schimel (SelfMadeHero)
  • Speak: The Graphic Novel, by Laurie Halse Anderson and Emily Carroll (Farrar Straus Giroux)
  • To Build a Fire: Based on Jack London’s Classic Story, by Chabouté (Gallery 13)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
  • About Betty’s Boobby Vero Cazot and Julie Rocheleau, translated by Edward Gauvin (Archaia/BOOM!)
  • Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World, by Pénélope Bagieu, translated by Montana Kane (First Second)
  • Herakles Book 1, by Edouard Cour, translated by Jeremy Melloul (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
  • Niourk, by Stefan Wul and Olivier Vatine, translated by Brandon Kander and Diana Schutz (Dark Horse)
  • A Sea of Love, by Wilfrid Lupano and Grégory Panaccione (Magnetic/Lion Forge)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia
  • Abara: Complete Deluxe Edition, by Tsutomu Nihei, translated by Sheldon Drzka (VIZ Media)
  • Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction, by Inio Asano, translated by John Werry (VIZ Media)
  • Laid-Back Camp, by Afro, translated by Amber Tamosaitis (Yen Press)
  • My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder, by Nie Jun, translated by Edward Gauvin (Graphic Universe/Lerner)
  • Tokyo Tarareba Girls, by Akiko Higashimura (Kodansha)

Image result for Star Wars: Classic Newspaper Strips, vol. 3Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips
  • Pogo, vol. 5: Out of This World At Home, by Walt Kelly, edited by Mark Evanier and Eric Reynolds (Fantagraphics)
  • Sky Masters of the Space Force: The Complete Sunday Strips in Color (1959–1960), by Jack Kirby, Wally Wood et al., edited by Ferran Delgado (Amigo Comics)
  • Star Wars: Classic Newspaper Strips, vol. 3, by Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson, edited by Dean Mullaney (Library of American Comics/IDW)
  • The Temple of Silence: Forgotten Words and Worlds of Herbert Crowley, by Justin Duerr (Beehive Books
  • Thimble Theatre and the Pre-Popeye Comics of E. C. Segar, edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books
  • Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman Deluxe Edition, edited by Paul Levitz (DC)
  • Bill Sienkiewicz’s Mutants and Moon Knights… And Assassins… Artifact Edition, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
  • Dirty Plotte: The Complete Julie Doucet (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Madman Quarter Century Shindig, by Mike Allred, edited by Chris Ryall (IDW)
  • Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise Gallery Edition, edited by Bob Chapman, Joseph Melchior, and Terry Moore (Abstract Studio/Graphitti Designs)
  • Will Eisner’s A Contract with God: Curator’s Collection, edited by John Lind (Kitchen Sink/Dark Horse)

Related imageBest Writer
  • Alex de Campi, Bad Girls (Gallery 13); Twisted Romance (Image)
  • Tom King, Batman, Mister Miracle, Heroes in Crisis, Swamp Thing Winter Special (DC)
  • Jeff Lemire, Black Hammer: Age of Doom, Doctor Star & the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows, Quantum Age (Dark Horse); Descender, Gideon Falls, Royal City (Image)
  • Mark Russell, Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, Green Lantern/Huckleberry Hound, Lex Luthor/Porky Pig (DC); Lone Ranger (Dynamite)
  • Kelly Thompson, Nancy Drew (Dynamite); Hawkeye, Jessica Jones, Mr. & Mrs. X, Rogue & Gambit, Uncanny X-Men, West Coast Avengers (Marvel)
  • Chip Zdarsky, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man, Marvel Two-in-One (Marvel)

Best Writer/Artist
  • Sophie Campbell, Wet Moon (Oni)
  • Nick Drnaso, Sabrina (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • David Lapham, Lodger (Black Crown/IDW); Stray Bullets (Image)
  • Nate Powell, Come Again (Top Shelf/IDW)
  • Tony Sandoval, Watersnakes (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
  • Jen Wang, The Prince and the Dressmaker (First Second)

Image result for mitch geradsBest Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
  • Matías BergaraCoda (BOOM!)
  • Mitch Gerads, Mister Miracle (DC)
  • Karl Kerschl, Isola (Image)
  • Sonny Liew, Eternity Girl (Vertigo/DC)
  • Sean Phillips, Kill or Be Killed, My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies (Image)
  • Yanick Paquette, Wonder Woman Earth One, vol. 2 (DC)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
  • Lee Bermejo, Batman: Damned (DC)
  • Carita Lupatelli, Izuna Book 2 (Humanoids)
  • Dustin Nguyen, Descender (Image)
  • Gregory Panaccione, A Sea of Love (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
  • Tony Sandoval, Watersnakes (Magnetic/Lion Forge)

Image result for julian tedesco life of captain marvel coverBest Cover Artist (for multiple covers)
  • Jen Bartel, Blackbird (Image); Submerged (Vault)
  • Nick Derington, Mister Miracle (DC)
  • Karl Kerschl, Isola (Image)
  • Joshua Middleton, Batgirl and Aquaman variants (DC)
  • Julian Tedesco, Hawkeye, Life of Captain Marvel (Marvel)

Best Coloring
  • Jordie Bellaire, Batgirl, Batman (DC); The Divided Earth (First Second); Days of Hate, Dead Hand, Head Lopper, Redlands (Image); Shuri, Doctor Strange (Marvel)
  • Tamra Bonvillain, Alien 3 (Dark Horse); Batman, Doom Patrol (DC); Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Multiple Man (Marvel)
  • Nathan Fairbairn, Batman, Batgirl, Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman Earth One, vol. 2 (DC); Die!Die!Die! (Image)
  • Matt Hollingsworth, Batman: White Knight (DC): Seven to Eternity, Wytches (Image)
  • Matt Wilson, Black Cloud, Paper Girls, The Wicked + The Divine (Image); The Mighty Thor, Runaways (Marvel)

Best Lettering
  • David Aja, Seeds (Berger Books/Dark Horse)
  • Jim Campbell, BreathlessCalexit, Gravetrancers, Snap Flash Hustle, Survival FetishThe Wilds (Black Mask); AbbottAlice: Dream to Dream, Black Badge, CluelessCodaFenceFireflyGiant DaysGrass Kings, Lumberjanes: The Infernal CompassLow Road WestSparrowhawk (BOOM); Angelic (Image); Wasted Space (Vault)
  • Alex de Campi, Bad Girls (Gallery 13); Twisted Romance (Image)
  • Jared Fletcher, Batman: Damned (DC); The Gravediggers Union, Moonshine, Paper Girls, Southern Bastards (Image)
  • Todd Klein— Black Hammer: Age of Doom, Neil Gaiman’s A Study in Emerald (Dark Horse); Batman: White Night (DC); Eternity Girl, Books of Magic (Vertigo/DC); The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest (Top Shelf/IDW)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
  • Back Issue, edited by Michael Eury (TwoMorrows)
  • The Columbus Scribbler, edited by Brian Canini, Jack Wallace, Steve Steiner, and Derek Baxter columbusscribbler.com
  • Comicosity, edited by Aaron Long and Matt Santori,  www.comicosity.com
  • LAAB Magazine #0: Dark Matter, edited by Ronald Wimberley and Josh O’Neill (Beehive Books)
  • PanelxPanel magazine, edited by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, panelxpanel.com

Image result for The League of Regrettable SidekicksBest Comics-Related Book
  • Comic Book Implosion: An Oral History of DC Comics Circa 1978, by Keith Dallas and John Wells (TwoMorrows)
  • Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists, by Martha H. Kennedy (University Press of Mississippi)
  • The League of Regrettable Sidekicks, by Jon Morris (Quirk Books)
  • Mike Grell: Life Is Drawing Without an Eraser, by Dewey Cassell with Jeff Messer (TwoMorrows)
  • Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography—Beyond the Fantasy, by Florent Gorges, translated by Laure Dupont and Annie Gullion (Dark Horse)

Best Academic/Scholarly Work
  • Between Pen and Pixel: Comics, Materiality, and the Book of the Future, by Aaron Kashtan (Ohio State University Press)
  • Breaking the Frames: Populism and Prestige in Comics Studies, by Marc Singer (University of Texas Press)
  • The Goat-Getters: Jack Johnson, the Fight of the Century, and How a Bunch of Raucous Cartoonists Reinvented Comics, by Eddie Campbell (Library of American Comics/IDW/Ohio State University Press)
  • Incorrigibles and Innocents, Constructing Childhood and Citizenship in Progressive Era Comics, by Lara Saguisag (Rutgers University Press)
  • Sweet Little C*nt: The Graphic Work of Julie Doucet, by Anne Elizabeth Moore (Uncivilized Books)

Best Publication Design
  • A Sea of Love, designed by Wilfrid Lupano, Grégory Panaccione, and Mike Kennedy (Magnetic/Lion Forge)
  • The Stan Lee Story Collector’s Edition, designed by Josh Baker (Taschen)
  • The Temple of Silence: Forgotten Worlds of Herbert Crowley, designed by Paul Kepple and Max Vandenberg (Beehive Books)
  • Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise Gallery Edition, designed by Josh Beatman/Brainchild Studios/NYC, (Abstract Studio/Graphitti Designs)
  • Will Eisner’s A Contract with God: Curator’s Collection, designed by John Lind (Kitchen Sink/Dark Horse)

Best Digital Comic

Best Webcomic

 

Image result for The Stan Lee Story Collector’s Edition, designed by Josh Baker (Taschen)

List source:  https://www.comic-con.org/awards/2019-will-eisner-comic-industry-award-nominees

Sea of Stars #1

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Sea of Stars #1

“Lost in the Heavens”

Writer:  Jason Aaron & Dennis Hallum

Artist:  Stephen Green

Cover Art: Mike Mignola

Yes, this is an Image Comic book, the first non-Marvel or DC book that I have reviewed in the Comics This Week section.  Yes, this is uncommon for me, as I am mostly a Marvel guy, but I was at Comic World and Games, my comic shop, today talking with the owner Ben about some writers and I mentioned that I liked Jason Aaron’s work.  Ben suggested that I check out this book, Sea of Stars #1, because he had read it and he connected with it.  It was his last copy on the shelf so I said I would take it and look at it.

I have to say, it was a very solid story and I enjoyed it enough to add it to my pull list, once again, which is very uncommon for a non-Marvel title.

Sea of Stars#1 is the story of a father and a son traveling in space.  They implied that the mother was gone and the father had to bring his son Kadyn along with him on his job transporting goods for the Krogarrian Museum of Space History.  As things do in these sort of stories, the ship they were on was attacked and the father/son were separated.  Kadyn winds up on an alien planet with some weird creatures who are considering eating him and the father is ready to come find him.

The sci-fi story works very well because at the heart of the story is the relationship between the father and son.  They have a problem between them, in this case it looks like the loss of the mother/wife, and the pair is not sure what to do with one another.  The tragic circumstances lead to the understanding of how much they mean to each other.

The book is a lot of set up for what is going to happen, but, as I have said before, I like stuff like that.  Set up indicates that you deal with characterization and I like a slow burn if it deals with characters.  We spend the first half of this book learning about our two protagonists here setting up the moment when they are ripped apart.

There are some wonderful pieces of art within this story, especially at the moment when the two of them are being torn away from each other.

I do like the start of this series and I will be picking it up as we continue.  I hope this is a book that I can continue to look forward to and not a book that winds up getting lost in the pile of books to be read.

ReadIt

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Loki#1

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Loki #1

“The God Who Fell to Earth”

Chapter One: Happily Ever After

Writer:  Daniel Kibblesmith

Artist:  Oscar Bazaldua

Cover Art:  Ozgur Yildirim

Hot off the underwhelming The War of the Realms series is a fully enjoyable and fun Loki #1, written by Daniel Kibblesmith, a comedy writer from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and a former editor of Clickhole, and drawn by Oscar Bazaldua.

I was really entertained by this issue.  I found the story quick and easy to follow (not always the case with some of the Norse myth-based Marvel heroes) and the dialogue, especially from Loki, was sharp, witty and hilarious.

Frosti may be my favorite new character from Marvel Comics in decades.

Kibblesmith caught the exact tone and essence of the character of Loki beautifully.  Loki is the God of Mischief and you catch the sense of that in this book.  There are some great scenes with Loki and his brother Thor, a relationship that is as complicated as any sibling relationship in comic book history.

We may not know what path this story takes, though the final page is one that really begs for some questions, but what starts here is fantastic characterization of one of Marvel Comics’ most classic villains in an engaging and entertaining manner.

Shout out as well to Oscar Bazaldua, an artist from the Mrs. and Mrs. X book, whose art looks to be the perfect touch for this series.

I am very positive for this series and I am really looking forward to see where it goes from here.  The comedy here is very smart and subtle and I have not found a comic this funny since the days of Chelsea Cain’s Mockingbird, which is one of my all-time favorite series.  I have very high hopes for Loki moving forward in the Marvel Universe.

excelsior

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Running Scared (1986)

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I was looking for a movie to watch this afternoon when I came across Running Scared, a film from the 1980s starring Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines as a couple of hard-boiled cops from Chicago.  I remember seeing this movie in the theater and being a big fan of it so it was the perfect choice for this afternoon.

Problem was, on this viewing, I hated it.

I suppose it was the difference of viewing this movie as a 50-year old man compared to viewing it as a 17-year old kid.  Much of the stuff in this movie was much more aligned for the kid, because it did not ask much of me mentally and I had to suspend all kinds of intelligence for the story to come even close to working.  There are no cops like this in the country and, if there were, they would not be cops for very long.

Positives:  Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines are good together and they have all kinds of witty banter.  The dialogue between them was strong and their friendship was heart-warming.

After that, nothing else was worth my time.

Jimmy Smits was the bad guy, Julio Gonzales, and this guy had zero realism to him.  He was a cartoon villain who could somehow keep getting released after clear criminal acts.  The third act showdown is so unbelievable and made no sense whatsoever.

This makes me wonder what other films from my childhood that I loved would be crap in my eyes today.

stale

 

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Harry and the Hendersons (1987)

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Earlier this week, Collider Live brought up Harry and the Hendersons and Josh Macuga stated how much he liked that movie. So when I came across it on Netflix tonight, I thought I would watch it.  I had seen pieces of the film before, but never the whole thing.

It is very much an 80s movie.  It is an action/comedy similar to many of the movies we saw during the 1980s.  There is some definite silliness and the plot is fairly formulaic, but there is a charm and a heart that takes the film to a higher level than it might have been.

Coming home from their camping trip, George Henderson (John Lithgow) and his family hit a legendary Bigfoot with his car.  Believing that they had killed the beast, they put the corpse on the roof of the car and took it back to Seattle, Washington with them.

However, turns out, the Bigfoot was not dead and a late night ransacking of their kitchen looking for food was in line for the Sasquatch.

As the family tried to determine exactly what they were going to do, they discovered that the Bigfoot, nicknamed Harry, was more than just an animal.

John Lithgow was solid in the role of George Henderson, the man who at first tried to get rid of the Bigfoot, but eventually came around to love the creature.  Don Ameche played Bigfoot museum manager Dr. Wallace Wrightwood and David Suchet (who played Hercule Poirot) was big game hunter Jacques LaFleur, who had been chasing Bigfoot for decades.  These are both fairly typical characters that fit into the 1980s films like this one.

Harry was the fish out of water type character here as the Hendersons struggled to re-find Harry and then get him safely back into the woods.  Harry, played by Kevin Peter Hall (who was also the Predator in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film), is very lovable in a realistic way.  No CGI here, only practical effects and they help give Harry his charm.

There is not much to the movie beyond the message of family and respecting life, even animal life, but it is an enjoyable watch with some cute comedic moments.

While it may not be an all-time classic, it is certainly worth a lazy Saturday night watch on Netflix.

funtime

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The Godfather Part II (1974)

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I had only seen the original Godfather once before I watched it earlier today, but I had never seen The Godfather Part II at all.  I can see why some people believe that the movie is one of the greatest sequels ever made.

To be honest, though, I found the original to be my favorite of the two.

The Godfather Part II tells two stories concurrently.  One was the ongoing events in the life of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) as he continues his ascension into the position of head of the Corleone crime family.  The second story gave us the background of a young Vito Corleone (Robert DeNiro) growing up in Corleone, Italy and how he started moving up the ranks to become the Godfather.

Pacino and DeNiro are at the peak of their skills in this movie as their performances are amazing.  The film feels like a continuation of the story started in The Godfather and seamlessly flows on.  There are some shocking moments that I could not believe were happening.  I am impressed that, despite over 30 years since its release, I had not heard the details of a couple of the story points (in particular, the one dealing with Diane Keaton.

I must say there were two problems I had with the film.  It did feel a little long, especially in the first hour or so.  The film picked up in the second half as many things happened that I did not see coming.

The second issue is that Michael Corleone has become such an unlikable character that I found it harder to support him as the protagonist.  I know the theme is how life choices can be unavoidable and can take someone down a bad path, but he is almost unrecognizable from the first film.   While that is a fascinating development for a character, I wanted someone to root for and that was lacking.

However, as a character piece on the development of a villain, The Godfather Part II is harrowing.  Al Pacino deserved to have won the Oscar for this performance, though he did not.

I feel like a major gap in my movie viewing has now been filled as I cannot say any more that I have not seen Godfather Part II.  I do not plan on watching Godfather Part III any time soon though.

vintage

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The Godfather (1972)

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I wanted to do something special for the 200th Doc’s Classic Movie Review and so I chose one of the great movies in cinematic history, The Godfather.

I had actually only seen The Godfather once and it was just a few years ago on the big screen at a Fathom Event so it fits right into the idea for #200.

Francis Ford Coppola directed the film and co-wrote the screenplay with Mario Puzo, who wrote the original novel that the film was based upon, that told the story of the five families of organized crime in New York, specifically about the Corleone family, led by Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando).  Corleone was aging and a failed assassination attempt slowed him down even more.  His son Sonny (James Caan) initially would make decisions, but  eventually, the power of the family would fall down to Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), war hero who wanted to stay out of the family business but only found himself pulled back in.

The film is beautifully shot and the imagery we get is as iconic as it comes.  The music is a perfect blend with what we see on the screen.  The music paints us a picture of the family and its continuous growth.

Michael Corleone changes dramatically as the film progresses, starting as the young man back from war who wanted to stay free of the family business to the vicious, cold-blooded Don at the end, taking steps that even his father would not take.

Marlon Brando and Al Pacino are revolutionary in their performances.  Both men are simply astounding and deserve every accolade that they received.

The remainder of the cast is spectacular as well.  We have James Caan, Abe Vigoda, Diane Keaton, Sterling Hayden, Robert DuVall, Talia Shire, Richard Castellano among others.  There is not one misstep among the cast.

The Godfather was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won for Best Picture, Best Actor (Marlon Brando), and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The Godfather is one of the greatest movies ever made.

Next up is a movie that I have never seen… The Godfather 2.

paragon

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Point Blank

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Looking over at Netflix this evening and I came across a film called Point Blank starring the Falcon and Crossbones.  That is, of course, Anthony Mackie and Frank Grillo, and it was a somewhat short film so I thought I would give it a chance.

So, Frank Grillo’s character, Abe, was being set up to take the fall for the assassination of the District Attorney and he winds up in the hospital when his brother Mateo (Christian Cooke) hits him with the car on their attempted escape from the scene of the crime.  Mateo kidnaps the nurse-on-duty, Paul’s (Anthony Mackie) pregnant wife Taryn (Teyonah Parris) to ensure the help of Paul to break Abe from custody.

Paul agrees to do whatever it takes to get his wife back; however, the story takes an unexpected turn when it looks as if the status quo is not what he expects.

I like both Anthony Mackie and Frank Grillo so I had hopes for this film.  The problem was this… the movie wants you to relate to and cheer for Abe and Mateo as the career criminals because they had hearts of gold and that they stumbled into the conspiracy of the film.  Yet, I could not find myself rooting for either one of these characters because Mateo kidnapped a pregnant woman and held her at gunpoint.  Both of them kept the woman in their custody despite the potential danger that they might have exposed the unborn child to.  I had a hard time getting past that.  Maybe the other people who were framing Abe for the D.A.’s murder were worse, but that does not make it better for me.  The only people in the film who you could root for was Paul and Taryn.  And truthfully, I was a little uncertain about Paul.

The third act of the movie stretched credibility beyond reasonable levels as Abe and Paul launch their attack to get their revenge and retrieve the now-in-labor Taryn, respectfully.

The tone was all over the place.  It would be moving along with a seriousness of the situation and then, suddenly, something funny, almost slapstick-like would happen, feeling completely out of place.

Anthony Mackie was fine here, as was Frank Grillo, but the story really betrayed them.

2.2 stars

Crawl

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After seeing the new movie Crawl, I know one thing for damn sure.  I ain’t never going to Florida.  They’ve got hurricanes, floods, and giant killer alligators everywhere.

Count me out.  I have now learned that I am really damn scared of giant alligators trying to eat people.  Who knew.

This is a simple movie that is done so well.  It is tense and frightening.  It is a white-knuckle ride as soon as the alligators show up until the last minute of the movie.

As a hurricane is preparing to strike Florida, Haley (Kaya Scodelario), a top-line collegiate swimmer, hears from her sister that their father Dave (Barry Pepper) would not answer the phone.  Haley heads out to his house to try and find him.  She winds up trapped in the crawlspace of the house with him, flood waters rising threatening them with drowning, and several vicious alligators swimming around.

I was actually jumping in my seat throughout the movie.  Every time the alligator lunged at Haley or her father, I felt the stress and nerves.  This was the way jump scares were meant to be done.  You build up the tension and earn the release.  You don’t fake them, set them up and not pay them off.  This film does the jump scares so well, I wish other films would follow this blueprint.

The visual effects are tremendous in Crawl too.  The alligators look beautiful and every tooth is scary.  This had to be a rough job to work as the house continued to fill with water.

Yes, this is a simple story, but the movie does a great job of being what it is.  It is a thriller/horror film and it brings the fear and the suspense.  The performances from father/daughter, Scodelario and Pepper, are powerful, especially in the world of peril.  They display so many emotions and they shared a very strong and emotional scene dealing with their relationship that helped frame their characters better.

So long to Florida…

4.5 stars

Wolverine & Captain America: Weapon Plus#1

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Wolverine & Captain America: Weapon Plus#1

“The Last Best Hope for Earth”

Writer:  Ethan Sacks

Artist:  Diogenes Neves

Cover Art:  Skan

Marvel Comics has continued the “Weapon” storyline that they have run for years.  I believe I already knew that Wolverine’s Weapon X was just an offshoot of the Super Soldier program (I think… at least I am pretty sure).  It was not an uncommon theme as in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the program that created the Hulk was also trying to recreate the Super Soldier Serum.

The hook in Weapon Plus is that Captain America not only inspired the heroic, good deeds of people, but also inspired bad people to move forward with their experimentation and in their attempts to create a new Captain America.

We meet an especially unsteady young man named Billy Junger, who was desperately trying to become a new Captain America and was influential to the continuation of the program.

We find much of the information from a hologram of the deceased Fantomex, who serves as a basic exposition dump.  Wolverine finds Cap and the pair head off to take care of the problem.  They come across some horrendous experiments that were still viable.

The art is decent, but I would not say it stood out.  The story was okay, but nothing too great.  I am not sure exactly what here was new information and what was retread from past history.  I do like the counter balance of Cap and Wolvie together as they make a diametrically opposed partnership, but there was not that much of that between them in this issue.

I am interested enough to continue reading this series, as much because of the interesting possibilities that could come from the story as for anything that I actually saw in issue number one.  Hopefully the bombshells become more explosive to justify the mini series.

tryit

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