Now With Comics and Gum Blogging!

*So I was checking out all the searches that people have been performing to get to this fine website, and I notice that ‘Hubba Bubba Max’ has been getting me a mystifying amount of traffic (that is, more than two referrals). One of the searches even sought a ‘Hubba Bubba Max review’. That really touched me. You see, way back when I did my little Hubba Bubba Max article all I did was make some puns as to Marvel’s MAX line and concluded the entry with a fart joke, thus providing my readers with an early dose of the sophisticated humor they’ve come to treasure from my written output. But I’d never stopped to think that maybe, just maybe, someone would like to read a nice serious analysis of chewing gum. I never expected this, and it’s totally my fault. I can only hope that I can remedy the situation, as I strive to provide the most satisfying and pleasurable reading experience for all of my visitors.

Hubba Bubba Max

The taste gets pretty intense at first. That’s good. It’s the sort of gum I’ll only chew one piece of at a time, not like Juicy Fruit or any of the stick-based gums. I just keep shoving those suckers in, but this stuff gives me a good initial blast of flavor. But just as the initial rush of excitement in beginning a new project fades so much more quickly into workmanlike utilitarian thinking, the flavor of “Hubba Bubba Max” reaches is crescendo too quickly, rendering the gum a tasteless blob, though perhaps some of the tastelessness is merely from the shock of the initial flavor rush (indeed, like the rush of new love!) saturating the mouth and commanding all other flavors within the oral zone to conform to an enforced status quo of flavor consistency merely through the presence of the dominant saturation, a dictatorship of fruity taste. Regardless, it’s an above-average gum. And like obscenity, all of us shall know above-average gum when we experience it for ourselves, and I am confident that “Hubba Bubba Max“ shall provide a uniform reaction in quality appreciation.

Whew! Another satisfied handful of readers!

*THIS WEEK IN COMICS is mercifully light. I thank the good people at Comics Headquarters for thinking of my wallet in selecting this week’s releases.

Bighead: Jeffrey Brown has been branching out a little from the autobiographical material that made him noted in comics circles. He had an interesting if somewhat compressed-feeling semi-horror entry in “Drawn and Quarterly Showcase Vol. 2” (which I ought to get around to reviewing one of these days), and here he comes again with a 128-page superhero parody book from Top Shelf. A five-page sample was provided in Top Shelf’s Free Comic Book Day entry a few months ago; it’s pretty amusing seeing superhero action conveyed through Brown’s signature style (hands like broken sticks, shaded and expressive faces, etc.) but that’s obviously not going to carry a $13 book. Brown’s got a good sense for cliché and absurdity (be sure to check out his self-parody floppy “Be a Man”) though, and this’ll probably be worth at least a flip on the stands.

The Goon #9: Former blogger Sean T. Collins had a nice review of this series in the latest Comics Journal. Well, to be exact, it was a review of the two Dark Horse trades collecting the entirety of the book’s self-published run (although newly-colored if I’m not mistaken) and the first trade of the current Dark Horse series, collecting issues 1-4. Sean seemed to like the book, but he couldn’t help but feel that Powell would be better served by pursuing a more direct horror-crime hybrid, rather than the splatter-comedy trajectory the book usually aims for. I can’t totally agree with that, although I’m gonna have to admit that I’m basing my claims on the later issues of the Dark Horse run, stuff Sean didn’t actually review. Issue #5 was my favorite issue of the series thus far because it found a wonderful balance between Powell’s nonsense sensibilities (if you will) and the darker threads running through the story. Like I’ve said before on this site, the effect was like waking up after a night of fine drinking only to have to face the sun. On the other hand, last issue saw Powell moving more directly toward outright drama, and I found it to be overcooked, frankly, with characters spouting florid dialogue while examining their pain and SACRIFICE! It gave me the opinion that Powell might be keeping his more melodramatic tendencies (and I mean mawkishly expository melodrama) under control through constant bombardments of bad taste action. And I just happen to find Powell’s ’serious’ material to be far more palatable when viewed through that filter; alone it’s just not as attractive a shade for me. This issue, anyway, takes us back into the past as the Goon forms a football team to raise the people’s morale amidst the zombie invasion. I’ll be there.

Identity Crisis #5 (of 7): I predict that the United States of Internet will be holding discussions as based on the contents of this comic. Call it a hunch. Although didn’t that recent DC Encyclopedia feature a bunch of spoilers anyway? I hope nobody got to the 'Identity Crisis Killer' entry; everyone’s gonna be pretty pissed when they find out it was Alfred.

Ocean #1 (of 6): Advance word suggests that the first issue of this new Wildstorm miniseries from Warren Ellis and Chris Sprouse (with Karl Story on inks) will be moving at a pace not entirely unlike that of “Ultimate Nightmare”, which I believe is still on the opening titles as of the conclusion of issue #3. I’m sure it’ll be nice scenery to look at. The premise sounds really interesting though, a hard-ish sci-fi exploit in the oceans of a far-away world. We’ll see.

Terra Obscura Vol. 2 #3 (of 6): And speaking of Mr. Story, he’s also on art duty in this ABC miniseries. Tom Strange is apparently going to meet some evil folk as the time distortions continue. “Terra Obscura” usually manages to provide some solid middle-level superheroics, and this’ll probably keep up the standard.

Nightjar #3 (of 4): Wow! This is a surprise! Particularly considering that I never noticed issue #2 being released and I’ve never seen a copy in any store! It’s actually a pretty decent little magical horror story, based on a concept (and a very short strip) devised by Alan Moore and Bryan Talbot, but the book itself is written by Antony Johnston and drawn by Max Fiumara. Man, next thing you know Avatar’ll be releasing issue #7 of “Frank Miller’s Robocop”…