Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Reformation!

Lots of other events have taken place on October 31 besides Halloween. In 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg. This, of course, is often cited as the start of the Protestant Reformation. In honor of this, let's take a quick look at what it might be like if Frank Miller (Sin City, 300, Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One) made a comic about Luther.

Daily Batman

Detective Comics #809

Loose Ends and Dangling Threads

Animal Man: If these are my stories you've been telling, if I'm the star of this "comic book," then why am I always on the sidelines? Why am I always just an observer?
Grant Morrison: It's the same for almost everyone. We expect starring roles in our own lives but somehow we just end up with walk-on parts.
Life doesn't have plots and subplots and denouements. It's just a big collection of loose ends and dangling threads that never get explained.
 - Animal Man #26
by Grant Morrison and Chas Truog

Friday, October 28, 2011

Daily Batman

Art by Jim Lee.


Animal Man: Listen, if you can do anything...if you can...will you bring my family back?
Grant Morrison: Sorry, it wouldn't be realistic. Pointless violence and death is "realistic." Comic books are "realistic" now."
- Animal Man #26
by Grant Morrison and Chas Truog

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Daily Batman

Art by Jim Lee.

Your Link With Heaven

Says who? You? What makes your link with Heaven any stronger than mine?
We have unique gifts--but no more so, and no more special, than those granted a physician or physicist, or philosopher or athlete. It could be due to an accident of nature or divine providence. Who's to say?
Are arbitrary labels more important than the way we live our lives, what we're supposed to be more important than what we actually are?!
For all you know, we could be the real human race...
...and the rest of you, the mutants.
- God Loves, Man Kills
by Chris Claremont and Brent Eric Anderson

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Daily Batman

Art by Jim Lee. Click to embiggen for awesomeness.

Batman's Reward

Martha Wayne: Are you ready to let it go now? To move on?
Batman: To go to my final reward? I told you, Mom, I don't believe in--
Martha Wayne: You don't get Heaven, or Hell. Do you know the only reward you get for being Batman? You get to be Batman.
And--when you're a child--you get a handful of years of real happiness, with your father, with me. It's more than some people get.
- Detective Comics #853
by Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Daily Batman

Art by Mike Mignola

The Whole World

Animal Man: All this stuff. The whole world. Just...stories?
You write The Doom Patrol, too?
Grant Morrison: Yeah, but they don't know.
- Animal Man #26
by Grant Morrison and Chas Truog

Monday, October 24, 2011

Daily Batman

Michael Keaton and Batman creator Bob Kane


As you get older, you realize you can't take the Bible as literally as you did when you're a kid.
It's more like a guidebook for life, and if you start believing every single word, people are gonna be crossing the street to avoid you, son.
-Chosen #2
by Mark Millar and Peter Gross

Friday, October 21, 2011

Daily Batman

A Death in the Family

God Help Us If That's What It Means

We'll stop at nothing, you see. All the suffering and the death and the pain in your world is entertainment for us.
Why does blood and torture and anguish still excite us?
We thought that by making your world more violent, we could make it more "realistic," more "adult." God help us if that's what it means.
Maybe, for once, we could try to be kind.
- Animal Man #26
by Grant Morrison and Chas Truog

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Daily Batman

Art by Bob Kane

2000 Years Ago

Well, suppose I'd been there two thousand years ago when the original Jesus Christ was doing his thing?
Would I have bought all that hocus-pocus about God-made-man, or just stood there and watched while they hammered in the nails. You know what I'm saying here?
- Chosen #3
by Mark Millar and Peter Gross

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Daily Batman

Batman #404. Art by David Mazzucchelli

Am I Real?

Animal Man: Listen, Just tell me one thing: Am I real or what?
Grant Morrison: Of course you're real! We wouldn't be here talking if you weren't real.
You existed long before I wrote about you and, if you're lucky, you'll still be young when I'm old or dead.
You're more real than I am.
 - Animal Man #26
by Grant Morrison and Chas Truog

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Daily Batman

Cover to Batman #700. Art by David Finch

Graphic Bible: Ezekiel 23:20

"There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emissions was like that of horses." (NIV) 

Her Name Was Jarmara

Animal Man: Why?
Why did you do this? You killed my family. You ruined everything.
Do you know what you've done to me?
Grant Morrison: Of course I know. I wrote your grief and your rage and your acceptance.
It added drama. All stories need drama and it's easy to get a cheap emotional shock by killing popular characters.
Animal Man: But that's not fair.
Grant Morrison: No, it's not.
One of my cats died last year. Something, maybe a bone, punctured her lung. Pus built up in her lungs so that she couldn't breathe. She suffered for four weeks and then died at the vet's, a couple weeks after her third birthday.
Her name was Jarmara.
That wasn't fair either, but who do I complain to?
See, your world is so much simpler than ours. It can be invaded by aliens or suffer catastrophes and nothing matters. It all just comes back, good as new.
There's no problem that can't be solved by some idiot in tights.
So don't come here complaining to me about what's fair and what's not.
- Animal Man #26
by Grant Morrison and Chas Truog

Monday, October 17, 2011

Daily Batman

Art by Mike Mignola

Temple Moment

When Jesus was twelve years old, it's said the boy was missing and his poor mom and dad had just about bitten their nails down to the knuckles with worry.
Like all good parents, they assumed the worst until they heard he was talking in the Temple with all the scribes and Pharisees and they wondered what the hell was going on.
When they reached the Temple, they saw their twelve-year old son hanging around and holding court with some of the finest minds in Judea in those days.
And that's when it hit them, the Bible says. That's when they realized that everything they'd been told about this kid had been absolutely real.
You see, up until that point they just couldn't be certain. Sure, they'd had visitations and omens and stuff like that, but they'd toilet-trained this little boy.
They'd taught him how to walk and talk: How could this be the Son of God when Mary and Joseph still had to wipe his nose from time to time?
- Chosen #1
by Mark Millar and Peter Gross

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Daily Batman

Cover to Detective Comics #853. Art by Andy Kubert.

Write the Wrongs

Animal Man: You're telling me you've been behind all this? You?
Did you create the yellow aliens?
Grant Morrison: Well, I didn't create them, but I did rescue them from obscurity and put them to work for me.
I didn't create you either. Or your family. I'm more of a demiurgic power.
Someone else creates you to be perfect and innocent and then I step in and spoil everything.
It's a little satanic, I suppose.
See? It's all done here.
I can make you say and do anything. I can make you hate your wife and children. I can make you forget you were ever married.
It's all here, this is where I write the wrongs of the world.
 - Animal Man #26
by Grant Morrison and Chas Truog

Friday, October 14, 2011

Daily Batman

Cover to Batman Incorporated #4. Art by J.H. Williams III

God Loves, Man Kills

Daniel: I was talkin' about the Stryker Crusade, an' all the good it does.
My folks an' I are members, what's wrong with that?
Kitty: Tell her the rest, creep--about how Reverend Stryker's gonna save humanity...
...from the godless hordes of mutantkind!
Daniel: Well, he is! Muties are evil! They deserve whatever they get!
You wanna make somethin' of it, mutie-lover?!
- God Loves, Man Kills
by Chris Claremont and Brent Eric Anderson 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Graphic Bible: 1 Samuel 18:25-27

Then Saul said, "Thus shall you say to David, 'The king desires no bride-price except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that he may be avenged of the king's enemies.'" Now Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king's son-in-law. Before the time had expired, David arose and went, along with his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king's son-in-law. And Saul gave him his daughter Michal for a wife. (English Standard Version)

Daily Batman

Batman Incorporated #6. Art by Chris Burnham. Click to embiggen for awesomeness.

Just Like Star Wars

Okay, you got to think of the Old Testament as Star Wars...
Everybody likes it, the characters were great, and its huge success was always gonna change the world forever.
The New Testament is essentially The Empire Strikes Back. Unlike most sequels, the hard-core fans like it better than the original.
There's a lot of cool twists, like the lead guy turning out to be the son of the big banana and the guy we actually like the best looking like he bites it in the end.
The good news, of course, is that he doesn't die and he's back in form in the final part of the trilogy.
We get a trailer for this called the Book of Revelation, and that's what we're living in now, guys--Return of the friggin' Jedi.
- Chosen #2
by Mark Millar and Peter Gross

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Daily Batman

Batman #681. Cover by Alex Ross.

Batman on the Afterlife

Batman: I don't...actually...believe in an afterlife. You know that? I don't believe there's a place you go if you're good, when you're done. I've tried to believe, but I can't.
This is just me, alone in my brain, isn't it, Mom? I mean, you're not really here.
Martha Wayne: I'm here, Bruce. I'm always here.
- Detective Comics #853
by Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Daily Batman

Batman #676

The Negotiator

Abram: And if I found forty among them? Would you still sweep away the innocent with the guilty?
Woman 1: Again, talking with his lord, God.
Woman 2: It is a great man who can appease the gods.
Woman 1: Abram doesn't appease. He negotiates.
Abram: What if I found ten innocents? Just ten worthy men?
Would you still burn the whole of Gomorrah to the ground?
 - Testament #2
by Douglas Rushkoff and Liam Sharp

Come to think of it, Moses was pretty good at this, too. And now I want to see a cop show (or cop comic book!) where Abraham and Moses are transported through time to the present and team up as the world's best hostage negotiators.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Daily Batman

Cover to Batman: Shadow of the Bat #79. Art by Glen Orbik.

Singer Losing His Voice

Poor Father O'Higgins... Do you know he hasn't believed in God since that tumor took his mother and that homeless man killed his brother eighteen months ago?
It's every man's right to be agnostic, of course, but kinda unfortunate in his line of work, don't you think? I liken it a lot to a singer losing his voice.
- Chosen #1
by Mark Millar and Peter Gross

I imagine this happens a lot more often to people in ministry than we'd care to admit.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Daily Batman

Click to embiggen for awesomeness.

Can't Hurt, Right?

Batman: Are you a religious man, Jim?
Gordon: What? I-- Sarah and I attend church when we can. I'm not sure how much of it is honoring a promise to my mother. Can't hurt, right?
 - Batman: The Chalice
by Chuck Dixion and John Van Fleet

Friday, October 7, 2011

Daily Batman

Some things are better without context.

Murder and Imposture

When a book is read, an irrevocable thing happens--a murder, followed by an imposture. The story in the mind murders the story on the page, and takes its place.
- The Unwritten #8
Mike Carey and Peter Gross

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Daily Batman

Cover to Detective Comics #877. Art by Jock.

Supergirl on Christmas

Supergirl: I don't get it. It's a religion thing, right?
Superman: Yes. It's a major holiday in the Christian faiths--
Supergirl: --Even though many scholars agree that Jesus's actual birthday probably wasn't in December at all? And Santa Claus isn't in the Bible..?
Superman: You're just messing with me now, aren't you?
- "All I want For Christmas" in DCU Infinite Holiday Special
by Joe Kelly and Ale Garza 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Daily Batman

Cover to Detective Comics #880. Art by Jock

Because You Believe

And I know you can't answer me. Speak with one voice, or anything.
Because you're not one voice. You're all of them. Hobbes's whale, not Sinbad's or Jonah's, or Munchhausen's.
And Hobbes's whale was just a symbol. It stood for the power of the masses. A billion living things making up one huge entity.
I think you're that. Kind of--the collective unconsciousness, or something.
The fictional unconsciousness. The minds of all the millions of people who read my father's books. Or any books, maybe.
All those minds, focused on him--on Tommy. And through Tommy, on me.
The monster said you need leverage to move worlds. That's it, isn't it? Any leverage I've got comes from you.
You're what Wilson plugged me into.
I can use a magic wand because you believe--for as long as you're reading the book--that Tommy can use a magic wand.
I exist in the suspension of your disbelief.
- The Unwritten #23
by Mike Carey and Peter Gross

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review: Green River Killer

Graphic literature consists of a wider variety of material than just monthly superhero comic books. In fact, the vast majority of graphic literature has nothing to do with Batman. Sometimes that makes me sad. But then I think of awesome non-Batman graphic lit such as The Walking Dead, The Unwritten, and now Green River Killer, and I don't feel so sad.

Green River Killer: A True Detective Story is a graphic novel written by Jeff Jensen with art by Jonathan Case.  A graphic novel is essentially a long comic book with better binding. I take issue with the term as a blanket label for the format since it implies a genre of fiction. Originally I was going to refer to this as a graphic memoir, but then the back of the book corrected me. The book explicitly states, "It is not intended as history or memoir." Names and information have been changed and streamlined. Whole groups of people have been collapsed into a singular character. It is still based on a true story, but not a completely accurate depiction of that true story. I guess it is more akin to a movie adaptation of a true story.

Green River Killer is roughly 230 pages long, illustrated in black and white, and truly unsettling.

Daily Batman

Art by Frank Miller


You went to a Catholic school, didn't you Mathilde? Think of the Lamb of God. When the world's flesh is scoured away, metaphors will be all that's left.
- The Unwritten #22
by Mike Carey and Peter Gross

Monday, October 3, 2011

Thwipster: The Unwritten

Good morning, AFB!

You guys know how much I love The Unwritten, don't you? Well, you should, considering how many of the daily quotes have so far been taken from the series. If you've ever been curious about the full story behind those quotes, today is a good day to find out!

Right now, the first 3 trade paperback collections of the series are on sale at Thwipster for 40%-46% off the cover price!

What are trade paperbacks (or TPBs), you ask? They are multiple issues of a series collected into one book.  Each of these volumes contain 6 issues of The Unwritten. So if you were to get them all, you could feast on 18 issues of meta fiction awesomeness that will wrinkle your brain!

What is Thwipster, you ask? Thwipster is a daily deal site like Woot or Teefury, but for comic books and other nerdy paraphernalia.  Thwipster keeps each item available for 3 days or until they sell out. They often sell out before the 3 days are up.

So should you dive in and read The Unwritten, you ask? Well, maybe. I certainly love it and would recommend it. But I can understand if others would disagree with me.  Right now the series is kind of like LOST. It is high concept with lots of mysteries and questions, but is really slow at giving answers or any kind of payoff. So if a slow-burn story isn't your thing, you might want to hold off for awhile. Also, it's a Vertigo title (and Thwipster's site says it's a week of Vertigo, so there might be more deals for me to get overly excited about), so the book will be filled with mad swears and other such things we label as "mature" for some reason.

That said, it is a wonderful examination of stories, how they work, and how they affect us. So, you know, whether you're down with that or not, I will certainly keep talking about it.

Daily Batman

Law and Order and Batman


For-real-true is only true now. Story-true is true forever.
The Unwritten #20
by Mike Carey and Peter Gross

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Daily Batman

Art by Alex Ross

The Only Shape the World Has

It's what they do best. What they're all about. By controlling our stories, they control our minds.
They shape the way we see the world, and that's the only shape the world has.
- The Unwritten #16
by Mike Carey and Peter Gross