Monday, January 17, 2011

The Struggle For the Moral Soul: MLK and Civil Rights





"Justice at its best is power
correcting everything that stands against love."

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


I think the Civil Rights Movement was the best thing that ever happened to America, because it forced us to redeem ourselves. And it still is.

I grew up in the South and Midwest during the civil rights years and their aftermath. It challenged everything about my world and deepened my appreciation of humanity. Not a single day passes where the lessons learned are not affecting my perceptions, my outlook, or my aspirations. What is right nowadays stems from their moral paths, what is wrong tends to come from where any of us have lost the way. It's on each of us to make it better for each other. Selflessness brings us into the better angels of our nature. This is my psalm of love to my heroes, the bravest of the brave.

When you look back at the black and white photos of the tense events of the civil rights struggle in the 50's and 60's, like those shot by Charles Moore, there is a strangely brutal clarity. It seems like all artifice strips away leaving only hate and heroism. There is no theatre. There's only that queasy moment when something terrible is happening, when someone is doing wrong to someone, or recklessly trying to stand up in the face of danger. It is immediate, it's serious, it's real. A black woman cringing from a swung baseball bat. People slammed to the ground by the high-pressure firehoses of Alabama firemen. State Troopers charging church marchers with batons through tear gas. College students bludgeoned by horseback cops. And this was America.

There is a sickness so terrible in those frames, it chills the heart. Studying those snapshots and films, you look in the faces of the racist cop, the klanswoman, the corrupt governor, and you can perhaps also see their fear...of the modern, of change, of the truth. They look like sad relics not quite grasping that their hold is slipping, that critical mass is tiding against them. That every wrong they've ever done is coming up for account.

Hindsight is one thing, but living through that revolution was far more intense; it was painful, personal, and ongoing. And there was really nothing black and white about any of it. Black And White was just ink on a copy page, photos on newsprint, flickers on a television. It was the medium for conveying this moral war, but the reality was too complex for polar absolutes. Those shocking events were actually an alarmingly clear mirror showing the spectrum of our neglect. It ripped up laissez-fair dismissals about the reality of racism to shreds. It stripped away the firewalls that we used to separate it from our lives. Most of all, it forced us to question our national identity, and our personal character. Were you really what you said you were, who you thought you were? Where did you stand, and why? This was no civics lesson or some marketing campaign. This was the new true reality. Not shopping, not cruising, not the cinema. Those images and stories radically challenged how you behaved and what you believed in.

This was a new era where the political was a personal as it gets. Who was the Enemy here; was it the Klan South, the segregationist politicians, outmoded laws? Or also benign ignorance, local injustice, personal acts? Racism was as pervasive in all regions of the country and society as the South. People may have been carefully segregated by opposing terms like Black or White, male or female, Christian or heathen. But that aritifice stripped away when you had to stand at the mirror and face who you really were inside. The truth was that the real enemy was the ugliness in the human heart. There was no Us and Them. There was only each of us having to atone for any flaws in our own daily actions going forward. The moral struggle for the soul of the nation had to happen ultimately within each of us.

Part of the pain of living in the South and Midwest was seeing that poison directly in the ones you loved, in yourself. It's easy for someone to stand outside of an area and point out cardboard villains. It was another thing to live there and see the loved ones you trusted -who put church above all else, were wise and kind, who raised you- also believing in the same cruel hatred that compelled Sheriff James Clark to violently assault protesters. Another thing then to find some of these seeds in yourself and weed them out. Facing these truths left you feeling like a smashed windshield after a collision. It called into question your faith in love itself. How could these very moral people teach such immoral attitudes? How could they be Christian while excluding everyone they were afraid of? The sadness was compounded by watching these people you respected -who cared about family, led decent lives, worked hard every day- then having their sad fears twisted into hate for personal power by men in suits: pastors, police, politicians. Who could you believe in anymore?



"It may well be that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition is not the glaring noisiness of the so-called bad people, but the appalling silence of the so-called good people."
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Rosa Parks was tired. She'd worked hard all day and she didn't want to give up her seat on the bus. The law said she should but the law was immoral. By trying to hold on to her dignity in one small moment, Rosa took a stand that changed everything. People stepped forward to stand with her, and more, and more. Now we all had to make decisions on what was better for everyone, even if the written law was unequal to the task.

You could instead choose an honest love, a compassionate outlook, a giving hand, that left hate and hypocrisy behind. The Civil Rights Movement forced you to make a choice. Often between relationships and principle, selfishness and selflessness, between the past and the future, repression or progress. It was the hardest break of all but it was necessary for the soul.

Dr. King never succumbed to hate. He steadfastly remembered that his enemies were just people who could still be reached, befriended, forgiven. Resorting to brutality or hatred only dehumanized any of us. He put all his faith in human dignity, and in the world's support when they saw it being assailed. He was right to and always will be. No one could see the bombing of the church which killed four little girls and not be moved on the deepest level. King believed foremost in our humanity, that we would come through for another in pain. This redemptive love ennobled our nation and inspired us to be better people.

When a flash flood hits, it's pretty overwhelming and dramatic. Then it seeps down out of view, only to flourish seeds in the future. The 60's and the empowerment ethos ignited by the Civil Rights Movement were like a flash flood worldwide.

Before, the mainstream culture at large had been strictly for the Included. TV ads and shows, churches, schools, and industry were very good about reminding everyone what those parameters were, and how you did or didn't fit into them. But in the biggest generation ever, that left a lot of ostracized people to meet each other and bond together. There was nothing black or white about any of them, they were like a prism of possibilities; Ban The Bomb activists, Folk protestors, Rock hedonists, Jazz boppers, ecologists, vegetarians, student uprisers, international dissidents, disillusioned soldiers, young college women, banned writers, progressive teachers, pacifist clergy, migrant workers, repressed voters, closeted gays, starving artists, fashion forwards, philosophers, shafted unions, poor people...the list was limitless. No one had a monopoly on pain. Its universality connected them. By sharing common grievance they began to see an end to limitations when they pooled their strengths. That's the true 60's...the Empowerment era. En masse, their alienation created a sort of sub-nation, a counterculture. This humanist movement's mantra was freedom, in the sense of personal emancipation.

There's a clear throughline from the Civil Rights movement to Farmworkers' rights, the Paris revolts, Prague Spring, the Counterculture, Feminism and ERA, Chicano pride, AIM, Solidarnosc, Eastern European liberation, ecology, Apartheid's end, and Gay rights. They are all the seeds that grew from the flood that Rosa Parks unleashed that fateful day she made her stand.

For his humane efforts, King was called "an extremist" by conservative attackers. Though never elected to the office, Martin Luther King was the moral President of the United States...and he still is.

"Why have we substituted the arrogant undertaking of policing the whole world, for the high task of setting one's own house in order?

For the evils of racism, poverty, and militarism to die, a new set of values must be born.

Our economy must become more person-centered
than profit- and property-centered."


-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1967


Let's keep going forward together.










Here's a vido I made to homage the everyday heroes who fought the good fight for justice...

NINA SIMONE -"Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" (1964)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

BEST COMICS: 2000-2010!


"Black Hole", Charles Burns

It's always best to count the good things in the tough times: here's my favorite graphix from the last decade!

Shortcut links:
> Best Comic
> Best Comics Company +
> Graphic Novels
> Reissued Graphic Novels
> How To
> Our Creators
> MVPs
> "Burn, Hollywood, Burn!"
> Movies And TV



BEST COMIC:


Newly expanded for another generation to catch up to real greatness.

-STARSTRUCK, by Elaine Lee, Michael Wm. Kaluta, and Lee Moyer

STARSTRUCK was one of the greatest comics of the Renaissance '80s. It was better than anything out then, and it still is.

Smart art for hip people. Get the Deluxe Edition collection in March, 2011!




BEST COMICS COMPANY:
America's Best Comics


An entire comics line created and written by the Shakespeare of the form, the unassailable ALAN MOORE. Quietly, with mesmerizing grace, Moore created his second revolution, dedicated to putting wonder and fun back into the medium. Everyone has yet to even attempt catching up.


-THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill

Which ultimately is the story of one extraordinary woman: Mina Harker, and the teams of classic literary heroes she led across a century's span. It takes the conceit of weaving together all literature as if it were all co-existent and true, and pulls it off.

If you heard there is a film, it isn't true. Ignore it.



-PROMETHEA, by Alan Moore, J.H. Williams III, and Mick Gray

A fully-realized Wonder Woman without any of the restraints. Promethea is the goddess embodiment of human creativity, fluid and endless, the core of our survival. Moore is more ambitious in scope here than can be comprehended, and artist J.H. WILLIAMS III (Batwoman) perfected his craft here re-inventing comic composition to keep up.



-TOP 10, by Alan Moore, Zander Cannon, and Gene Ha

There will probably never be a more complex and loving homage to the entire history of Comic Strips and Comic Books than this. With layout artist ZANDER CANNON and the astounding ink finishes of GENE HA, this farcical police procedural investigates every last inch of the genres.



-TOM STRONG, by Alan Moore, Chris Sprouse, Alan Gordon, and Karl Story

Tom Strong is every 20th Century hero archetype distilled into one: Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, Doc Savage, Superman, Capt. Marvel. Better still, he is the sense of wonder that comics lost in recent decades confusing violence with maturity. Clean, clear, smart, startling, classic stories honed to a shining gleam by penciller CHRIS SPROUSE.




DC:




-BATWOMAN, by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III ⇧⇧

The best ongoing series being made. She will kick your ass without a blink, on every level.
J.H. WILLIAMS III took the mainstream by storm with his astounding art, in service to crack stories by GREG RUCKA. (Fans of Williams should go back and explore all of PROMETHEA, as well as the early '80s art of Gene Day on MASTER OF KUNG FU #101-120.)

-THE NEW FRONTIER, by Darwyn Cooke

Darwyn recaptures the early '60s sense of hope and possibility in his retelling of the birth of The Silver Age heroes. Retro art and postmodern smarts.

-BATMAN DEATHBLOW, by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo

That art! LEE BERMEJO is one of the best illustrators to ever grace comics. His fully-functional costume designs for Batman and Superman put Hollywood to shame. A marvel of brutal excellence.

WEDNESDAY Comics:
SUPERMAN, by Lee Bermejo

-WEDNESDAY Comics, Various Artists

The most valuable person at DC is editor MARK CHIARELLO, an excellent artist who dreams up progressive projects regularly. Here he resurrects the large Sunday Comics strip pages with 15 strips by top creators, who all use this broad new canvas to the hilt.


-IDENTITY CRISIS, by Brad Meltzer and Rags Morales

Amid all the aggro-lescent blowouts that pass for 'big event' comics series anymore, here instead is a sharp and heartbreaking story by best-selling Mystery writer BRAD MELTZER, brought to life with deft humanity by artist RAGS MORALES.



-SHAZAM: Power Of Hope, by Paul Dini and Alex Ross

-WONDER WOMAN: Spirit Of Truth, by Paul Dini and Alex Ross
ALEX ROSS, the finest illustrator in modern comics, is also a fleet storyteller with a kid's wonderful reverence and nostalgia. His huge, handpainted tribute volumes to the essence of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the real Captain Marvel are gems that act as 'how-to' lessons for the current generation.

-THE SPECTRE #1-13, by J.M. Dematteis and Ryan Sook
The most lyrical and elegant stylist since P. Craig Russell and Mike Mignola, RYAN SOOK's art is breathtaking in this beautiful run.


____________ And last, an unintentional 'trilogy' of how to do the Man Of Tomorrow correctly...

-SUPERMAN: BIRTHRIGHT, by Mark Waid & Leinil Francis Yu

The best and most surprising revamping of his origin and emergence one could imagine, one that SMALLVILLE and SUPERMAN RETURNS yearn to match.

-LUTHOR, by Brian Azzarello & Lee Bermejo

LEE BERMEJO returns with this revelatory retooling of Lex Luthor that works inadvertently as a perfect bookend to "Birthright".

-ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

Alan Moore summed up the absolute essence of Superman in his two DC finale stories and with the entire SUPREME series. But GRANT MORRISON gives Alan a terrific run for his money with this wonderfully inspired 'last Superman story'.



MARVEL:




-DAREDEVIL, by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev

Adult comics have been better than most any Hollywood film for over two decades. Haunted by Tarantino and Coppola in the best senses, this stunner plays like an illustrated movie of realistic heroism and character depth. ALEX MALEEV's dark and cinematic art is ever amazing for their three year run.

-ALIAS, by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos

This series is a parallel companion in tone, style, and sometimes story to the DAREDEVIL run mentioned above. Gritty, sarcastic noir tales of private investigator Jessica Jones, a world-weary smart-ass who brooks no fools but who can't seem to escape her shadowy former-superhero past. Irreverent as it is relevant.

(Released at the same time as the ALIAS TV series, there is no relation. In 2015, the JESSICA JONES series debuted on Netflix.)

-1602, by Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert

Perhaps as close to a THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN as Marvel will ever get, courtesy of maestro Gaiman.

-THE ETERNALS, by Neil Gaiman and John Romita, Jr.

Neil Gaiman does Jack Kirby. Nuff said.

-X-FORCE/ X-STATIX, by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred

Imagine the classic Lee-Kirby Silver Age comics done as a scathing satire of the 21st century multi-media machine. Timeless retro art, surreal fun, and an unsparing critique of poison glamour and slick greed. You'll laugh, you'll think, you'll cringe at your world!

-EARTH X, by Alex Ross and Jean Paul Leon

In the wake of the magisterial KINGDOM COME for DC, Alex Ross proved his writing chops by pulling off the impossible stunt of making a cohesive cosmic history of Marvel's past while charting its best future. JEAN PAUL LEON couldn't be a more opposite artist in terms of style, but the zen essence of his bold brushwork is letter perfect.


WILDSTORM:




-PLANETARY, by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday

While Alan Moore reinterpreted all the wonders of 20th pop culture through TOM STRONG, WARREN ELLIS does an alternate take through an askew lens with stark clarity and nuanced sophistication.

-EX MACHINA, by Brian K. Vaughn and Tony Harris

A tour-de-force of realistic heroes and the sociopolitical ramifications of their acts.



VERTIGO


-Y: THE LAST MAN, by Brian K. Vaughn and Pia Guerra

Everyone loves this series. For me this was Good to Very Good, with some great moments. Wanted more from it, but still worth the journey.



AMERICAN MULE Entertainment:



-PUBLIC ENEMY, by Chuck D and Adam Wallenta

'The Only RAP Band That Matters'* become a different variant of heroes in this fun and pointed 12 issue series. A sorely needed infusion of African American consciousness into a medium long short of it.

*That's a Clash joke, for any of you hotheads out there.




GRAPHIC NOVELS:




HEROICS:
-TOP 10: The Forty-Niners, by Alan Moore and Gene Ha

-BATWOMAN: Elegy, by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III


SMART ART:

-THE PLOT: The Secret Story of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, by Will Eisner
-BERLIN: City Of Stone, by Jason Lutes
-BERLIN: City Of Smoke, by Jason Lutes
-PERSEPOLIS, by Marjane Satrapi
-LA PERDIDA, by Jessica Abel

-BLACK HOLE, by Charles Burns
-ASTERIOS POLYP, by David Mazzucchelli
-GEMMA BOVERY, by Posy Simmonds, (1999)
-TAMARA DREWE, by Posy Simmonds


-THE QUITTER, by Harvey Pekar and Dean Haspiel
-BLANKETS, by Craig Thompson
-FUN HOME: A Family Tragicomic, by Alison Bechdel
-THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL: An Account in Words and Pictures, by Phoebe Gloeckner


DREAMS:

-SERENITY: The Shepard's Tale, by Zach Whedon and Chris Samnee
-VIMANARAMA, by Grant Morrison and Philip Bond
-CORALINE, by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell
-THE SANDMAN: THE DREAM HUNTERS, by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell





REISSUED GRAPHIC NOVELS:


L: Gil Kane; R: Jack Kirby


THE TRUE SCHOOL:

-SHOWCASE
-ESSENTIAL MARVEL ⇧⇧

To learn directly from the great masters, buy the affordable Showcase (DC) and Essential Marvel (MARVEL) trade paperbacks. These 500 page archives of classic comics printed in the original black-and-white line are a treasure trove for teaching aspiring artists.

-"KRAZY & IGNATZ in 'Tiger Tea'", by George Herriman

The most surreal and loopy storyline that GEORGE HERRIMAN ever did.

-WONDER WOMAN Chronicles, vol.1, by Wm. Moulton Marston and H.G. Peter

Over the years the 'clean line' style of greats like Carl Barks, Herge, and C.C. Beck have earned the respect they always deserved. This volume should turn similar respect to H.G. PETER, the original Wonder Woman artist for her first two decades. His spiraling art nouveau cartoon style is one of comicdom's neglected secret treasures.

-FLASH GORDON: A Lifelong Vision of the Heroic, by Al Williamson

Carrying on the fine tradition of Alex Raymond, here is EC Comics artisan AL WILLIAMSON showing you how it's done.

-Jack Kirby's FOURTH WORLD OMNIBUS, 1-4, by Jack Kirby and Mike Royer

The New Gods books have more great ideas in five pages than most series do in decades. JACK KIRBY did virtually everything first and better than anyone.

-SUPERMAN vs. MUHAMMED ALI giant size facsimile edition, by Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams

The most improbable comic story of all time is also one of The Greatest Of All Time. DENNY O'NEIL's story carries you from intimate urban streets to galactic warfare without a sweat, and NEAL ADAM's art is the best of his career (which is saying a lot).

-THE ROCKETEER: The Complete Adventures, by Dave Stevens

DAVE STEVENS was a terrific artist and storyteller, and a great guy. Here's everything you need to know why.


THE NEW SCHOOL:

-CAGES, by Dave McKean

We never got Moore and Sienkiewicz's BIG NUMBERS in finished form, but we did get this complex, chameleonic epic from premiere illustrator DAVE McKEAN.

-AMERICAN SPLENDOR, by Harvey Pekar with R. Crumb, etc.

Puts together the two trade paperbacks of the 80's that ignited public appreciation of HARVEY PEKAR, back in print in time for the excellent movie.

-THE ESSENTIAL DYKES TO WATCH OUT FOR, by Alison Bechdel

ALISON BECHDEL's graphic novel FUN HOME was Time's Book Of The Year 2006. Here's 20 years of her epic and intimate comic strip to school us in how she learned her craft so well.

-X-ED OUT, by Charles Burns

A postpunk Tintin, by CHARLES BURNS. How can you lose?

-A CHILD'S LIFE and Other Stories, by Phoebe Gloeckner

Brutal truth, sensitive stories, sharp illustration...PHOEBE GLOECKNER does it all.


HIGHER LEARNING:

Alan Moore


-FROM HELL, by Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell

The most complex, all-inclusive, well-researched, and quietly subversive account of Jack The Ripper ever created.

-LOST GIRLS, by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie

Alan turns literature and erotica inside out, while MELINDA GEBBBIE -his life partner and feminist underground comix pioneer- pays homage to Von Bayros, Mucha, Schiele, and Beardsley along the torrid way.

-SUPREME: The Return, by Alan Moore and Chris Sprouse

The greatest Superman stories never told.

-SUPREME: Story of the Year, by Alan Moore and Chris Sprouse

Still more of the greatest Superman stories never told.




HOW TO:




We're blessed in this age to have the most well-trained artists and writers in comics history, thanks to progressive colleges and republished archives.
If you want to know how to do this, there's never been a better time to learn how the right way:


-COMICS AND SEQUENTIAL ART: Principles and Practices, by Will Eisner

-UNDERSTANDING COMICS, by Scott McCloud
I went to the oldest art school on the West Coast. Turns out this had a better grasp on the fundamentals of artmaking than anything I ever read there.
-REINVENTING COMICS, by Scott McCloud
-MAKING COMICS, by Scott McCloud


-The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics, by Dennis O'Neil
-The DC Comics Guide to Pencilling Comics, by Klaus Janson
-The DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics, by Freddie E. Williams II
-The DC Comics Guide to Inking Comics, by Klaus Janson
-The DC Comics Guide to Coloring and Lettering Comics, by Mark Chiarello and Todd Klein



-DRAWING WORDS AND WRITING PICTURES: Making Comics: Manga, Graphic Novels, and Beyond, by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden




OUR CREATORS:



There are a wealth of retrospective books about the great artists out nowadays. Here are a few terrific ones.


Comix:

-WILL EISNER: A Dreamer's Life in Comics, by Michael Schumacher
-WILL EISNER: A Spirited Life, by Bob Andelman
-WILL EISNER: Portrait of a Sequential Artist (DVD), by Andrew D. Cooke
It's easy to single someone as The One when they're so great. WILL EISNER was part of a pantheon of great creators who triggered and defined the graphix arts, but his singular innovations leave him without peer.

-KRIGSTEIN, vol. 1, by Greg Sadowski
-KIRBY: King Of Comics, by Mark Evanier
-ALAN MOORE: Portrait Of An Extraordinary Gentleman, tribute by 145 creators
-MYTHOLOGY, by Alex Ross
-Modern Masters, v.12: MICHAEL GOLDEN
-COMIC BOOK ARTIST #6: Will Eisner, a trade paperback tributing the late WILL EISNER by the entire industry.



Illustration:


-JOSEPH CLEMENT COLL: A Legacy in Line, edited by John Fleskes

-FRANKLIN BOOTH: American Illustrator, by Manuel Auad
One folly of youth is to think that the here and now is the ultimate fruition. Only in a relay handoff tied by respect. But, without that respect, good traditions are lost and things devolve. Just look at classical illustrators like COLL, BOOTH, and CLARA ELSENE PECK, and you're reminded quite handily what timeless quality really is.

-The Brinkley Girls: The Best of NELL BRINKLEY's Cartoons from 1913-1940, by Trina Robbins
TRINA ROBBINS has done more to rediscover and canonize the women of comics than everyone else combined. All of her books will lead you to a wider dimension of appreciation.

-RGK: The Art Of ROY G. KRENKEL
The works of the fine illustrator, from EC Comics to his paperback covers.

-Wings of Twilight: The Art of MICHAEL KALUTA

-The Art Of JEFFREY JONES, by Arnie Fenner and Cathy Fenner
JONES and KALUTA are among the modern masters who have continued the finest tradition of the great illustrators.





MAGAZINES:



-BLACK AND WHITE IMAGES, edited by Jim Vadeboncoeur
-ALTER EGO, edited by Roy Thomas

While there should be retrospective books about him, it was this magazine (issue #47) that finally gave us the most detailed overview of the career and work of MATT BAKER (Phantom Lady), one of the few African American artists permitted into the Golden Age Of Comics.

-ILLUSTRATION Magazine

-COMIC BOOK ARTIST, vol. 1 (Two Morrows) and vol. 2 (Top Shelf)

-DODGEM LOGIC, edited by Alan Moore
An underground grab-bag of conceptual curios and mayhemic mentalities, from ringmaster MOORE and his colourful cadre of calamitous creatives.




HISTORY:




OUR HISTORY:
-THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY, by Michael Chabon

CHABON won the Pulitzer Prize for his epic reimagining of the Golden Age Of Comics, and brought a generation of new eyes to deities like WILL EISNER, LOU FINE, JACK KIRBY, and JIM STERANKO who inspired the book.

-MEN OF TOMORROW: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book, by Gerard Jones
-THE 10-CENT PLAGUE: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America, by David Hajdu

OUR PROGRESS:
-REBEL VISIONS: The Underground Comix Revolution 1963-1975, by Patrick Rosenkranz
-EROTIC COMICS: A Graphic History from Tijuana Bibles to Underground Comix, by Tim Pilcher
-EROTIC COMICS 2: A Graphic History from the Liberated '70s to the Internet, by Tim Pilcher

OUR FAMILY:
-GREAT WOMEN CARTOONISTS, by Trina Robbins
-JACKIE ORMES: The First African American Woman Cartoonist, by Nancy Goldstein
Although MATT BAKER hasn't gotten the book he deserves yet, luckily JACKIE ORMES has. Learn about her struggles and triumphs as a comic artist, writer, and designer in the turbulent 50's.
-BLACK COMIX: African American Independent Comics, Art and Culture, by Damian Duffy



OLYMPUS:
-SUPERMAN: The Complete History, by Les Daniels
-BATMAN: The Complete History, by Les Daniels
-WONDER WOMAN: The Complete History, by Les Daniels

-SHAZAM! The Golden Age Of The World's Mightiest Mortal, by Chip Kidd
-KIMOTA: The Miracleman Companion, by George Khoury
Learn the whole crazy history of one of comics' most revolutionary and essential characters; how he went from Marvelman to Miracleman, and the legal labyrinth therein.
With the talents of ALAN MOORE, NEIL GAIMAN, JOHN TOTLEBEN, MARK BUCKINGHAM, and ALAN DAVIS, what more do you want?




Website:


Golden Age Comic Book Stories
Bud Plant's Art Books
Robot 6
Newsarama
Girls Read Comics Too
AfriComics




MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS:


DARWIN COOKE


L: Darwyn Cooke;
R: My painted acrylic homage to Darwyn Cooke >

A former animator on the quintessential '90s BATMAN cartoons by Bruce Timm, Cooke proved himself 'the man with the golden pen' throughout the decade.

-CATWOMAN
Cooke retooled Selina Kyle as a reformed and complex woman in Mod DIY biker's leathers. Ed Brubaker's no-frills realistic noir stories belied the simple grace of the art with a gritty depth that built and built. Sadly, Hollywood destroyed it all making a clueless movie for clueless people instead.

-SELINA'S BIG SCORE
After only four issues, Darwyn made a prequel graphic novel with the heist that led Selina to this new resurrection.

-THE NEW FRONTIER
The dawn of the Justice League in the Kennedy era of hope, with a Wonder Woman you do not cross.

-THE SPIRIT
Leery of taking on the loaded course of reviving the most innovative series in comics history, he did just fine balancing the past with the modern. His final act was the best, retelling the ultimate Spirit story about Sand Sarif, but in a lovingly exact capturing of Will Eisner's modern graphic novel style. Pitch perfect and heartwarming.

-PARKER: The Hunter, PARKER: The Outfit
Now Cooke is taking all the industry awards with his hardboiled adaptions of Richard Stark's brusque anti-hero.



GRANT MORRISON


Morrison proved to be 'the man with the golden keyboard' this decade.

-THE INVISIBLES
The millennium started with Morrison killing it and rebooting it in the grand finale of his subversive conceptual molotov series. This book from the late 90's probably jumpstarted Alan Moore into his brilliant ABC Comics years, and most definitely inspired THE MATRIX trilogy.

-WE 3
Three animals and a story that effortlessly balances soulful empathy against brutal bureaucracy. This is what would convince a new reader that comics are Art.

-ALL-STAR SUPERMAN
An elegant and majestic summation of everything touching and wondrous about the greatest hero of them all.

-SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY
If 1971 Jack Kirby and 1985 Alan Moore had a jam session, it would probably be as cool and inspired as this. A collage epic of seven different series, four issues each, that redefine Kirby for the post-Vertigo era, and bring Silver Age wonder back in to redeem all that darkness. Alive with inspiration.

The art is often staggering. J.H Williams III does line-perfect homages to the art styles of Jean (Moebius) Giraud's "Lt. Blueberry", Jack Kirby's "New Gods", and Winsor McCay's "Little Nemo". And then homages all seven artists from the other Soldier titles all side-by-side in one story: including disparate styles like Simone Bianchi, Ryan Sook, and Doug Mahnke. Whoa.

-FINAL CRISIS
Moore makes collage puzzles that have an underlying symmetry, Morrison makes kaleidoscope headgames based on chaos theory. The concepts are so fast and furious that relishing the details matters more than any cohesive whole. Morrison manages to payoff his Seven Soldiers set-ups, give Jack Kirby one of the best epilogues possible, and make an epic bookend for "Crisis On Infinite Earths" (1986). Wow!

-BATMAN titles
Morrison took his 'Death of Batman' story as a chance to rebuild him for the future. In connected Bat-family titles he has expanded the Batman concept into a global task force, while perfecting his particular blend of Silver Age fun, Vertigo edge, and freestyle freakiness. Time will look back at this as one of the pivotal, crucial arcs in the character's advancement.




THINGS I HAVEN'T READ YET, Dept.:



Coz, hey, who has all the money in the world? (Greedy corporations who aren't real people.)


HEROICS:
-FABLES, by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, and Steve Laialoha
-ASTRO CITY, by Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson

INDIE:
-THE BEATS: A Graphic History, by Harvey Pekar
-LOVE AND ROCKETS: New Stories", by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez

CONFESSIONALS:
-ONE HUNDRED DEMONS, by Lynda Barry
-NEED MORE LOVE: A graphic Memoir, by Aline Kominsky-Crumb
-ALEC, by Eddie Campbell




This has been all about the good things to enjoy out of the decade. But here's some bad nonsense that should end.


THINGS I WILL NEVER, EVER READ, Dept.:



-immature Mutant comics

-Mercenary Killer comics

-cosmic Events with rambling plots and no heart

-violent Cheap Shock comics

-bubblebodied Bimbos for chuckleheads comics

-macho masturbation Crime comics by Tarantino wanna-bes

-stunt Hero Death comics

-cynical rebootings of Once Great Characters by ad-hoc committees

-anything that smells of R&D from the Corporate Mafias who just stole the comics companies

-Also, Bad Movie adaptations by stupid studios...
(Cue)




BURN, HOLLYWOOD, BURN!
a.k.a., Suits Are Stupid, Dept.:



(V enters) "Some observations, by someone who cares. Let's begin."


  • A clue for you. Y: THE LAST MAN can't be adapted into a two-hour film because it's meant to be five seasons of 13-episode arcs on a forward-thinking Cable station. Since you bothered to do that for THE WALKING DEAD...the solution is abvious. Hint: this also applies to THE SANDMAN.
  • SUPERMAN is not meant to be 'dark'. His villains need to be more powerful and darker to let him shine.
  • SUPERMAN RETURNS did everything right. And it made more money than BATMAN BEGINS. Writing off its quality success with the back load of your Bad '90s Development Debt is only your covering your own mistakes.
  • You don't know what to do with WONDER WOMAN because you think she's just a hottie in a bikini. If you make a faithful movie about the compassionate gladiator instead, it will be a worldwide smash.
  • New rule: one villain, one great story. Period. Example proven, SPIDER-MAN 2.
  • Screwing Sam Raimi over by cramming too many bad suggestions into SPIDER-MAN 3, and then firing him to make a teen-friendly reboot doesn't impress anyone.
  • The phrase "TURN OFF THE DARK" is a non-sequiter that makes the medium look that much stupider.
  • Gutting Ed Norton's character depth from THE INCREDIBLE HULK for an 'action cut' was wrong. Cutting his excellent Rio opening out of the Special Edition dvd instead of putting those scenes back in was just spitefully wrong. Meanwhile, the character-driven DARK KNIGHT wiped you off the map.
  • If you had done Brubaker's and Cooke's CATWOMAN instead, it would have been a smart character noir with Riot Grrrl appeal and cost no money beyond leathers and a cycle. Where's your impatient ReBoot Dept. for that?
  • CAPTAIN MARVEL is a man, Billy Batson is a separate kid. Don't get foolish by conflating them just to give us BIG in a cape.
  • Elaine Lee's VAMPS series for Vertigo Comics would've made a smarter choice for a Cable vampire series than any of the bad Whitebread Romance Novel flicks you've glutted the market with.
  • AMERICAN SPLENDOR and PERSEPOLIS are the right way to go. Make smart, cheap Indie films out of adult works like LOVE AND ROCKETS, CAGES, and THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL.
  • It's possible to do animated films now that retain an artist's line style using computer programming, such as this translation of Charles Burns. Wake up: make animated films in the actual line styles of Jack Kirby ("New Gods"), Herge ("Tintin"), and Milton Caniff ("Terry And The Pirates").
  • Don't show us an entire film in the trailer six months before it comes out. We've seen it all and lose anticipation.
  • The money people who greenlight these films should know and understand the medium they are drawing them from. Respect breeds respect.
  • We revere the writers and artists who created the storylines you use as fodder for films. They should be credited, paid, and their works artistically respected by your money machine.
  • Great movies are made by creative people, like Christopher Nolan. This does not include bean-counters, so let them do the real work and leave them alone.
  • We will support Quality. We will destroy Junk. Do right by us and earn the profits.




"Good evening." (Exits)




MOVIES AND TV


So I guess I should put my money where my mouthiness was...

GREAT


-UNBREAKABLE (2000)
The right way to do it, as an engaging human story with some mystery and nobility.
-ROAD TO PERDITION (2002)
-HERO (2002)
Zhang Yimou can do no wrong. A good story is a good story.
-AMERICAN SPLENDOR (2003)
The other right way to do it: indie character films made from indie character books.
-X2: X-Men United (2003)
Takes it all on, pulls it all off.
-MATRIX RELOADED (2003)
The best Catwoman movie never made.
-MATRIX REVOLUTIONS (2003)
The best Superman movie never made.
-SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW (2004)
We exist because of the Pulps. Never forget.
-SPIDER-MAN 2 (2004)
One villain. One great story.
-GHOST IN THE SHELL II: Innocence (2004)
Another way to do it right; Art And Text becomes Art And Sound.
-THE INCREDIBLES (2004)
Arguably the purest superhero movie ever made in reverence and spirit. Definitely the only Fantastic Four movie yet made.
-KILL BILL, 1 and 2 (2004)
There are not enough strong, well-rounded women portrayed in any media.
-MIRRORMASK (2005)
The undersung indie film by NEIL GAIMAN and DAVE McKEAN.
-BATMAN BEGINS (2005)
Perfect, and only the warm-up.
-HOLLYWOODLAND (2006)
The death of Superman.
-V FOR VENDETTA (2006)
A film that 100% respects the work it came from, even in its changes.
-CASINO ROYALE (2006)
A James Bond you care about. Brilliant!
-RENAISSANCE (2006)
Cult hit French animation in future noir black'n'white, voiced by Daniel Craig.
-SUPERMAN RETURNS (2007)
Not only completes the first two Christopher Reeve films as a perfect trilogy, but lifts our Man into Alex Ross' compassionate savior.
-PERSEPOLIS (2007)
There are not enough strong, well-rounded women portrayed in any media.
-HELLBOY II (2008)
Huge and poetic and funny.
-THE DARK KNIGHT (2008)
The epitome. The GODFATHER II of graphix films.
-DR. HORRIBLE'S SINGALONG BLOG (2008)
Smart, fun, affectionate.
-WATCHMEN (2009)
It's all there, done with total respect and smart embellishment.
-TAMARA DREWE (2010)
A smart, good film of a much deeper, brilliant graphic novel by Posy Simmonds.
-SCOTT PILGRIM vs. THE WORLD (2010)
Plug in, Tune Up, Blast off!


TV:


-Misfits (uk)
If "Heroes" was Marvel, then MISFITS is Vertigo. Rich, tough, shocking, hilarious.
-Alias, season 2
Lena Olin.
-The Tick
Too funny, too little support.
-Spaced (uk)
Find out (on Hulu) where Simon Pegg and his director Edgar Wright got their start. A smack perfect love letter to 'geek' fandom.
-The Middleman
Goofy fun, crack lines, pop culture in-jokes galore, created by writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach (LOST).
-Smallville, season 10
Once the real mythos kicked in, it now roars on all cylinders.


ANIMATED:


-Samurai Jack
-Powerpuff Girls
There are not enough strong, well-rounded girls portrayed in any media.
-Animatrix
-Batman: Gotham Knight
-The New Frontier


DOCUMENTARY:


-The Mindscape Of Alan Moore
-Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked


GOOD


-FROM HELL (2001)
If you're going to do 2/5 of the story, this is a pretty apt way to compress it. But read the book for epic depth.
-SPIDER-MAN (2002)
-HELLBOY (2004)
-GHOST WORLD
There are not enough strong, well-rounded grrrls portrayed in any media. Note how 90% of this blog's lists are male and pale.
-HULK (2003) and INCREDIBLE HULK (2008)
-CONSTANTINE (2005)
Is it different being American? Yeah. But the essence is there and it works as its own Elseworlds take.
-SIN CITY (2005)
-A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE (2005)
-ART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL (2006)
-IRON MAN (2008) and IRON MAN II (2010)
-HANCOCK (2008)
While IRON MAN was really BATMAN BEGINS-Lite with some laughs, this odd film seemed like it was missing its third act. It was that lack of formula that charmed me. When fun is enough.
-PUSH (2009)
If this had been an adaption of an existing Vertigo series, maybe it would've gotten more credit. Great texture, fun action, just enough heart.


GUILTY PLEASURES:


-DAREDEVIL (2003)
Sure, they compressed his finest storyline too much: Elektra. But in general, for tone and details, it did everything pretty right.
-ELEKTRA (2005)
Forgetting our baggage and expectations, this is actually a fine Hong Kong action film on its own merits.
-MY SUPER EX-GIRLFRIEND (2006)
Can't watch Superman/Lois flying scenes the same way again after this.
-WHITEOUT (2009)
A decent alternate take of the graphic novel, with most of its essence. Not brilliant but not bad.


TV:


-Heroes
The tired line: "I liked it in the beginning, then it lost it." Not true; they got better at cohesive arcs and actual character exponentially up to the fine ending.
-Smallville, seasons 1-9
Started fresh but fell into formula and stalemate. Lois and Green Arrow lifted it toward its refreshed second half.
-Dollhouse
Half-baked and half-brilliant. The bookend finales about the future drug it up to its highest potential in the end.


GOD-AWFUL


-CATWOMAN (2004)
How to insult the character, the fans, women, and the popcorn crowd in one disposable go.
-THE PUNISHERs (2004, 2008)
-300 (2007)
A circle jerk for jerks.
-WANTED (2008)
After seeing this for free, I wanted $12 back.
-TRANSFORMERS (ad infinitum)
-G.I. JOE (2009)
-KICK-ASS (2010)
-JONAH HEX (2010)

-THE SPIRIT (2008)
This movie broke my heart. The 'Citizen Kane of Comics' reduced to an episode of the '60s Batman show, by a director who should know better both ways. A capitol crime.

"The Spirit", for real, by Will Eisner




Nuff said, pilgrim. Excelsior!




See also:

-FourColorFilms: THE Comics Film Review Site!

-BEST COMICS: 2011
-BEST COMICS: 2012

-BEST MOVIES AND TV: 2000-2010
-BEST MOVIES AND TV: 2011
-BEST MOVIES AND TV: 2012
-BEST MOVIES AND TV: 2013
-BEST MOVIES AND TV: 2014
-BEST MOVIES AND TV: 2015
-BEST MOVIES AND TV: 2016

-STARSTRUCK Strikes Back!
-STARSTRUCK: The Roots and Branches of Elaine Lee & Michael Kaluta's space opera
-How STAR WARS Is Changing Everything!

-THE CANON 1: 50 Books That Created Modern Pop Culture
-THE CANON 2: 50 More Books That Created Modern Pop Culture



Sunday, January 2, 2011

BEST MUSIC: 2000-2010, With Music Players!


Janelle Monae





It's always best to count the good things in this life:
here's some excellent music of all kinds from the last decade,
with Music Players!

Shortcut to Music Players:
BEST ALBUMS: 2000-2004
BEST ALBUMS: 2005-2010

BEST REISSUES: 2000-2010
BEST BOX SETS: 2000-2010
Best MySpace Artists: 2000-2010




B E S T
A L B U M S:



BEST ALBUMS: 2000-2004:
This player contains songs from the following albums,
in the same order.


2 0 0 0 :


  • ELASTICA, "The Menace"
  • NIKKA COSTA, "Everybody Got Their Something"
  • THE HIVES, "Veni Vidi Vicious"
  • HOOVERPHONIC, "The Magnificent Tree"
  • FINLEY QUAYE, "Vanguard"
  • FASTBALL, "Harsh Light Of Day"
  • BUTTHOLE SURFERS, "Weird Revolution"
  • JURASSIC 5, "Quality Control"
  • PEACHES, "The Teaches of Peaches"
  • ELLIOTT SMITH, "Figure 8"
  • GALACTIC, "Late For the Future""
  • THE SPRAGUE BROTHERS, "Forever And A Day"
  • GOLDFRAPP, "Felt Mountain"
  • Various Artists/Soundtrack, "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"
  • CHICKS ON SPEED, "Chicks On Speed Will Save Us All!"
  • ORANGER, "The Quiet Vibration Land"
  • JOHNNY CASH, "Solitary Man"
  • SPACEWAYS INCORPORATED, "Thirteen Cosmic Standards By Sun Ra & Funkadelic"
  • MISS LUDELLA BLACK, "She's Out There"
  • R.L. BURNSIDE, "Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down"

2 0 0 1 :



  • GILLIAN WELCH, "Time (The Revelator)"
  • BOB DYLAN, "Love And Theft"
  • BECK, "Sea Change"
  • LADYTRON, "604"
  • SAM PHILLIPS, "Fan Dance"
  • SAHARA HOTNIGHTS, "Jennie Bomb"
  • LOS SUPER SEVEN, "Canto"
  • SUPER FURRY ANIMALS, "Rings Around The World"
  • MYSTIC, "Cuts For Luck And Scars For Freedom"
  • GORILLAZ, "Gorillaz"
  • SLOAN, "Pretty Together"
  • AIR, "10,000 Hz Legend"
  • BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA, "Spirit Of The Century"
  • THE DETROIT COBRAS, "Life, Love, And Leaving"
  • SUPER FURRY ANIMALS, "Rings Around The World"
  • LE TIGRE, "Feminist Sweepstakes"
  • SWAG, "Catchall"
  • THE GOSSIP, "That's Not What I Heard"
  • MOFRO, "Blackwater"
  • TINA AND THE TOTAL BABES, "She's So Tuff"

2 0 0 2 :



  • LOS LOBOS, "Good Morning Aztlan"
  • QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, "Songs For The Deaf"
  • JOI GILLIAM, "Star Kitty's Revenge"
  • ELVIS COSTELLO, "When I Was Cruel"
  • BLACKALICIOUS, "Broken Arrow"
  • WONDERMINTS, "Mind If We Make Love to You?"
  • RY COODER & MANUEL GALBAN, "Mambo Sinuendo"
  • CATO SALSA EXPERIENCE, "A Good Tip For A Good Time"
  • COMMON, "Electric Circus"
  • THE FLAMING SIDEBURNS, "Save Rock'n'Roll"
  • YOHIMBE BROTHERS, "Front End Lifter"
  • ECHOBRAIN, "Echobrain"
  • JURASSIC 5, "Power In Numbers"
  • GEORGE HARRISON, "Brainwashed"
  • DRESSY BESSY, "Sound Go Round"
  • THE LUCKY BISHOPS, "Grimstone"
  • OF MONTREAL, "Aldhils Arboretum"
  • THE RAVEONETTES, "Whip It On"
  • CODY CHESTNUTT, "The Headphone Masterpiece"
  • THE BLACK KEYS, "The Big Come Up"
  • SHARON JONES AND THE DAP KINGS, "Dap Dippin"
  • ED HARCOURT, "From Every Sphere"
  • TONY ALLEN, "Homecoming"
  • SUPERGRASS, "Life On Other Planets"

2 0 0 3 :



  • THE GO, "The Go"
  • KOMEDA, "Kokomemedada"
  • WIRE, "Send"
  • THE BANGLES, "Doll Revolution"
  • AL GREEN, "I Can't Stop"
  • SINEAD O'CONNOR, "She Who Dwells..."
  • THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS, "Electric Version"
  • JANE'S ADDICTION, "Strays"
  • KILLING JOKE, "Killing Joke"
  • YEAH YEAH YEAHS, "Fever To Tell"
  • THE JAYHAWKS, "Rainy Day Music"
  • BETH GIBBONS + RUSTIC MAN, "Out of Season"
  • LYRICS BORN, "Later That Day"
  • DANDY WARHOLS, "Welcome to the Monkey House"
  • LUCINDA WILLIAMS, "World Without Tears"
  • IGGY POP, "Skull Ring"
  • SHONEN KNIFE, "Heavy Songs"
  • BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB, "Take Them On, On Your Own"
  • KELIS, "Tasty"
  • THE CAESARS, "39 Minutes of Bliss (In an Otherwise Meaningless World)"
  • ANTIPOP CONSORTIUM, "Antipop vs. Matthew Shipp"
  • THE KILLS, "Keep On Your Mean Side"
  • "KILL BILL", Vol. 1 soundtrack
  • MARTINA TOPLEY-BIRD, "Quixotic"
  • WEEN, "Quebec"
  • GOLDFRAPP, "Black Cherry"
  • THE QUANTIC SOUL ORCHESTRA, "Stampede"
  • ROBERT RANDOLPH AND THE FAMILY BAND, "Unclassified"

2 0 0 4 :



  • BRIAN WILSON, "Smile"
  • PEACHES, "Impeach My Bush"
  • ANTIBALAS, "Who Is This America?"
  • SAM PHILLIPS, "A Boot And A Shoe"
  • THE EAGLES OF DEATH METAL, "Peace Love Death Metal"
  • LE TIGRE, "This Island"
  • LUCKY JIM, "Our Troubles End Tonight"
  • MELISSA AUF der MAUR, "Auf der Maur"
  • FRANK BLACK FRANCIS, "Frank Black Francis"
  • AIR, "Talkie Walkie"
  • ECHOBRAIN, "Glean"
  • BEASTIE BOYS, "To The 5 Boroughs"
  • GIBBY HAYNES, "And His Problem"
  • GUITAR WOLF, "Love Rock"
  • PATTI SMITH, "Trampin"
  • EARLIMART, "Treble And Tremble"
  • BOYSKOUT, "School Of Etiquette"
  • DANIELE LUPPI, "An Italian Story"
  • "KILL BILL", Vol. 2 soundtrack
  • FABIENNE DELSOUL, "No Time For Sorrows"
  • NICOLE WILLIS, "Be It"
  • IMANI COPPOLA, "Afrodite"
  • EX-GIRL, "Endangered Species"
  • REIGNING SOUND, "Too Much Guitar"
  • ALIF, "Dakamerap"
  • THE VON BONDIES, "Pawn Shoppe Heart"
  • VON IVA, "Von Iva"
  • THE GO! TEAM, "Thunder, Lightning, Strike"




2 0 0 5 :



BEST ALBUMS: 2005-2010:
This player contains songs from the following albums,
in the same order.



  • ROBERT PLANT, "Mighty ReArranger"
  • PETRA HADEN, "Sings: The Who Sell Out"
  • M.I.A., "Arular"
  • STEVIE WONDER, "A Time To Love"
  • TRACY BONHAM, "Blink the Brightest"
  • THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS, "Twin Cinema"
  • METRIC, "Live It Out"
  • BECK, "Guero"
  • NMS (NEPHLIM MODULATION SYSTEMS), "Imperial Letters of Protection"
  • ELECTROCUTE, "Troublesome Bubblegum"
  • PAUL McCARTNEY, "Chaos And Creation In The Backyard"
  • GENERAL ELEKTIRKS, "Cliquety Kliqk"
  • GRAHAM COXON, "Happiness In Magazines"
  • HAIKU d'ETAT, "Coup de Theatre"
  • NIKKA COSTA, "Can'tneverdidnothing"
  • NIC ARMSTRONG AND THE THIEVES, "The Greatest White Liar"
  • KEREN ANN, "Nolita"
  • PUBLIC ENEMY, "New Whirl Odor"
  • SPOON, "Gimme Fiction"
  • ROBBERS ON HIGH STREET, "Tree City"
  • VASHTI, "Lookaftering"
  • DENGUE FEVER, "Escape From Dragon House"
  • LAS PERRAS DEL INFIERNO, "Intuicion Canina"
  • THE WHITE STRIPES, "Get Behind Me, Satan"

2 0 0 6 :



  • "GIRL MONSTER", various artists
  • MUSE, "Black Holes And Revelations"
  • ERASE ERRATA, "Nightlife"
  • JAMES HUNTER, "People Gonna Talk"
  • ISOBEL CAMPBELL AND MARK LANEGAN, "Ballad Of The Broken Seas"
  • JENNY LEWIS & THE WATSON TWINS, "Rabbit Fur Coat"
  • SEAN LENNON, "Friendly Fire"
  • SLOAN, "Never Hear The End Of It"
  • AUTONERVOUS, "Autonervous"
  • THE HUSBANDS, "There's Nothing I'd Like More Than To See You Dead"
  • GNARLS BARKLEY, "St. Elsewhere"
  • CURLEE WURLEE, "Oui Oui..."
  • LUCKY JIM, "All The King's Horses"
  • THE ESSEX SEA, "Cannibal Sea"
  • KASABIAN, "Empire"
  • SPEKTRUM, "Fun At The Gymkhana Club"

2 0 0 7 :



  • PUBLIC ENEMY, "How You Sell Soul To A Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul???"
  • ALICE SMITH, "For Lovers, Dreamers, And Me"
  • GRINDERMAN, "Grinderman"
  • FUGU, "As Found"
  • TWIN PEAKS Season 2 soundtrack
  • Soundtrack, "ACROSS THE UNIVERSE"
  • BIKERIDE, "The Kiss"
  • KAY KAY AND HIS WEATHERED UNDERGROUND, "Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground"
  • PLASTICINES, "LP1"
  • MAVIS STAPLES, "We'll Never Turn Back"
  • TINARIWEN, "Aman Iman"
  • DANDELION GUM, "Black Moth Super Rainbow"
  • JOHN FOGERTY, "Revival"
  • SHARON JONES AND THE DAP KINGS, "100 Days, 100 Nights"
  • BUDOS BAND, "Budos Band II"
  • DEERHOOF, "Friend Opportunity"

2 0 0 8 :



  • PORTISHEAD, "Third"
  • THE FIREMAN, "Electric Arguments"
  • GNARLS BARKLEY, "The Odd Couple"
  • SUPERGRASS, "Diamond Hoo Ha"
  • THE B-52s, "Funplex"
  • THE EXPLORERS CLUB, "Freedom Wind"
  • JESSY BULBO, "Taras Bulba"
  • PANIC! AT THE DISCO, "Pretty. Odd."
  • RAPHAEL SAADIQ, "The Way I See It"
  • STEREOSCOPE JERK EXPLOSION, "La Panthere Pop"
  • FLEET FOXES, "Fleet Foxes"
  • MENAHAN STREET BAND, "Make the Road By Walking"
  • TY SEGALL, "Ty Segall"
  • THE DUKE SPIRIT, "Neptune"
  • CHEAP TIME, "Cheap Time"
  • THE KILLS, "Midnight Boom"

2 0 0 9 :



  • THE LOVE ME NOTS, "Upsidedown, Insideout"
  • WENDY AND LISA, "White Flags Of Winter Chimneys"
  • MICHAEL DAUGHERTY, "Metropolis Symphony"
  • LEONARD BERNSTEIN, "Mass"
  • HANNIBAL LOKUMBE, "Dear Mrs. Parks"
  • TARA BUSCH, "Pilfershire Lane"
  • THE NEW NO 2, "You Are Here"
  • YOKO ONO, "Between My Head And The Sky"
  • BABE RUTH, "Que Pasa?"
  • CALIBRO 35, "Calibro 35"
  • CIRCULATORY SYSTEM, "Signal Morning"
  • ANTI-POP CONSORTIUM, "Fluorescent Black"
  • BLACK JOE LEWIS AND THE HONEYBEARS, "Tell 'Em What Your Name Is"
  • WHITE DENIM, "Fits"
  • KIM LENZ AND HER JAGUARS, "It's All True!"
  • LEE FIELDS, "My World"

2 0 1 0 :



  • THE BLACK KEYS, "Brothers"
  • FISTFUL OF MERCY, "As I Call You Down"
  • THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS, "Together"
  • ROBERT PLANT, "Band Of Joy"
  • THE LIKE, "Release Me"
  • LAWRENCE ARABIA, "Chant Darling"
  • JANELLE MONAE, "The ArchAndroid"
  • STARSTRUCK: The AudioPlay" cast recording
  • MAIBELL AND THE MISFIRES, "Ride Along!"
  • LOS PEYOTES, "Garaje o Muerte"
  • GEMMA RAY, "It's A Shame About Gemma Ray"
  • THE YOUNG VEINS, "Take A Vacation!"
  • ADRIAN YOUNGE, "Something About April"
  • THE DIRTBOMBS, "Party Store""
  • FABIENNE DELSOUL, "On My Mind"
  • CHERRY TESS AND HER RHYTHM SPARKS, "Roc-a-Chicka"





B E S T
M U S I C
R E I S S U E S :

Betty Davis


This section includes remasters of classic albums, reissues of rare albums, and recordings from the vault previously unreleased.




BEST REISSUES: 2000-2010:
This player contains songs from the following albums,
in the same order.



1920s-1960s
  • "MARTIN SCORSESE Present THE BLUES"
  • , seven CDs covering the documentary series

1950s
  • THE JOHNNY BURNETTE TRIO, "The Train Kept A Rollin"


'50s VARIOUS ARTISTS:
  • "THE ROOTS OF ROCK'N'ROLL: 1946-1954"
  • "THE GOLDEN ERA OF ROCK'N'ROLL: 1954-1963"
  • "WHISTLE BAIT! 25 Rockabilly Rave-Ups"
  • "AIN'T I'M A DOG! 25 More Rockabilly Rave-Ups"
  • "GOOD GIRLS GONE BAD: Wild, Weird, And Wanted", Rockabilly women

1960s

  • THE LUV'D ONES, "Truth Gotta Stand"
  • BOB DYLAN, the catalog remasters and all Bootleg Series
  • THE MERRY GO ROUND, "Listen, Listen"
  • THE SHANGRI-LAS, "Myrmidons Of Melodrama"
  • BILLY NICHOLLS, "Forever Is No Time At All"
  • VASHTI BUNYAN, "Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind: Singles and Demos 1964-1967"
  • BOOKER T & THE MGs, "The Definitive..."
  • SAM & DAVE, "The Definitive..."
  • WILSON PICKETT, "The Definitive..."
  • THE CHOCOLATE WATCHBAND, "Melts In Your Brain...Not On Your Wrist - The Complete Recordings"
  • THE TEMPTATIONS, "Psychedelic Soul"
  • SHARON TANDY, "You Just Gotta Believe It's..."
  • DEAN CARTER, "Call Of the Wild"
  • THE DAISY CHAIN, "Straight Or Lame"
  • THE AEROVONS, "Resurrection"
  • SHE, "Wants A Piece Of You"
  • JOHN BARRY, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" soundtrack
  • ENNIO MORRICONE, "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (Expanded)" soundtrack
  • PIERO PICCIONI, "Colpo Rovente" soundtrack
  • NORA ORLANDI, "Il Dolce Corpo Di Deborah (The Sweet Body Of Deborah)" soundtrack


'60s VARIOUS ARTISTS:
  • "Beatlemaniacs: The World Of Beatles Novelties"
  • "The British Invasion: 1963-1967"
  • "Le Beat Bespok√©: 25 Tailor Made Cuts", (French Funk/ soul)
  • "We Love The Pirates: Charting The 'Big L' Fab 40"; British pirate radio
  • "Eccentric Soul", ongoing series of rare Soul/Funk
  • "Girls With Guitars"
  • "Destroy That Boy!: Girls With Guitars 2"
  • "Dream Babes 5: Folk Rock And Beautiful"
  • SLY STONE, "Listen To The Voices: In The Studio 1965-1970"

1970s


  • GEORGE HARRISON, "All Things Must Pass"
  • NITRO FUNCTION, "Billy Cox's Nitro Function" (guitarist Char Vinnedge, leader of The Luv'd Ones)
  • MILES DAVIS, "On The Corner"
  • HERBIE HANCOCK, "Sextant"
  • SHUGGIE OTIS, "Inspiration Information"
  • BETTY DAVIS, "Betty Davis", "They Say I'm Different", "Nasty Gal", "Is It Love Or Desire?"
  • EMITT RHODES, "The Emitt Rhodes Recordings, 1969-1973"
  • BADFINGER, "Magic Christian Music", "No Dice", "Straight Up", "Ass" (Apple); "Wish You Were Here", "Head First" (WB)
  • JOHN LENNON, "Acoustic"
  • AL GREEN, catalog remasters
  • FELA, catalog remasters
  • LED ZEPPELIN, "How the West Was Won"
  • FUNKADELIC, catalog remasters
  • THE HEADHUNTERS, "Survival Of The Fittest"
  • EDDIE HAZEL, "Games, Dames, And Guitar Thangs"
  • ISIS, "Ain't No Backin' Up Now"
  • (unsung all-female Funk band)
  • LEON WARE, "Musical Massage" (basis for Marvin Gaye's 'I Want You' album)
  • THE RUNAWAYS, "Live In Japan"
  • NIKKI AND THE CORVETTES, "Nikki And The Corvettes"
  • RADIO BIRDMAN, "The Essential Radio Birdman (1974-1978)"
  • THE SLITS, "Cut"
  • PIERO UMILIANI, "Il Corpo (The Body)" soundtrack
  • EDDA DELL'ORSO, "Voice", "Dream Within a Dream: Incredible Voice of...", soundtrack work


'70s VARIOUS ARTISTS:
  • "Do The Pop: Australian Garage-Rock Sound 1976-87"; (Garage/Punk)
  • "Black Power: Music of a Revolution"; (Funk/Soul)
  • "Country Got Soul", Vol. 1 and 2, Country Soul artists
  • "Funk Rock: Rock Breaks And Guitars For Funky People"
  • "The Brazilian Funk Experience"
  • "Essential Afrobeat"
  • "DJ Spooky Presents: In Fine Style"; (Dub Reggae)
  • "Funky Kingston: Reggae Grooves 1968-74"; (proto-Rap Reggae)
  • "VAMPYROS LESBOS: Sexadelic Dance party", soundtrack
  • "EASY TEMPO", ten CD series of groovy Italian film music

1980s


  • BRIAN ENO/ DAVID BYRNE, "My Life In the Bush Of Ghosts"
  • TALKING HEADS, the catalog remasters
  • JOHN LENNON & YOKO ONO, "Double Fantasy -Stripped Down"
  • KLEENEX/LiliPUT, "LiliPUT/ Kleenex"
  • GANG OF FOUR, "Entertainment"
  • IGGY POP, "New Values"
  • THE KNACK, catalog re-issues
  • DEFUNKT, "Defunkt/ Thermonuclear Sweat"
  • AFRIKA BAMBAATAA, "Looking for the Perfect Beat 1980-1985"
  • GENE CLARK & CARLA OLSON, "So Rebellious A Lover"
  • PLASTICLAND, "Make Yourself a Happening Machine: A Collection of"
  • MARK STEWART, "Kiss The Future"
'80s VARIOUS ARTISTS:
  • "New York Noise", vol. 1,2, 3; (Post Punk)
  • "In The Beginning There Was Rhythm", (Post Punk)
  • "Tommy Boy Essentials: Hip Hop 1"
  • "Electro Sessions", (Electro Rap)
  • "Rip It Up and Start Again", (PostPunk and New Pop)
  • "Nao Wave: Brazil PostPunk 1982-1988"

1990s


  • ELASTICA, "Radio One Sessions"
  • TOM WAITS, "Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers, & Bastards"
  • SUPRA ARGO, "Supra Argo"

'90s VARIOUS ARTISTS:

  • "Attack Of The Terrible Boots"
  • (modern Japanese Garage Rock)
  • "O SISTER: The Women's Bluegrass Collection", various



F A V O R I T E
B O X
S E T S:



BEST BOX SETS: 2000-2010:
This player contains songs from the following albums in the same order.

1950s


'50s VARIOUS ARTISTS:

  • "From Boppin' Hillbilly To Red Hot Rockabilly"
  • "1954: The Year That Rocked The World"
  • "We're Gonna Rock, We're Gonna Roll"
  • "ROCKIN' BONES: 1950s Punk & Rockabilly"

1960s


  • THE BEATLES, "Remastered"
  • albums collection
  • NINA SIMONE, "Four Women: The Nina Simone Philips Recordings"
  • JOHNNY CASH, "Love God Murder"
  • THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE

'60s VARIOUS ARTISTS:

  • "NUGGETS II: Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond"
  • MOJO Magazine, "Acid Drops, Spacedust, And Flying Saucers"
  • "Love Is the Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970"
  • "Where The Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets 1965-1968"
  • "ONE KISS CAN LEAD TO ANOTHER: Girl Group Sounds, Lost And Found"
  • "TROJAN RECORDS, "Sixties Box Set"
  • , Reggae

1970s


  • FANNY, "First Time in a Long Time: The Reprise Recording"
  • SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE, "Collection"
  • (first seven albums)
  • BLACK SABBATH, "Symptom Of The Universe"
  • SEX PISTOLS, "Sexbox"

'70s VARIOUS ARTISTS:

  • "WHAT IT IS? Funky Soul And Rare Grooves (1967-1977)"
  • "NO THANKS!: 70s Punk Rebellion"

1990s

  • NIRVANA, "With The Lights Out"




FAVORITE MySpace ARTISTS:

They say MySpace should be now be renamed as BandSpace. That's fine; someone has to spotlight the struggling artists after this decade's implosion of the record industry.

Here are terrific artists who deserve all the love and support they can get!



Best MySpace Artists:
This player contains songs from the following artists, in the same order.

-ANDREA (SPIEJER, nee POPPAEA)
-THE LOVE ME NOTS
-TARA BUSCH
-THE SHE CREATURES

-SISTAS IN THE PIT
-SASSY
-LUCID NATION
-CHRIS JOSS

-ZEPPARELLA
-SHARON JONES AND THE DAP KINGS
-DONITA SPARKS (L7)
-FREDA RENTE

-BELLA WAGNER
-BABYSTONE (SLY's daughter)
-BLACK ROCK QUEEN
-LUCKY JIM

-GIRL GARAGE MAYHEM!





See also:

-BEST MOVIES And TV: 2000-2010
-BEST COMICS: 2000-2010

-BEST MOVIES And TV: 2011
-BEST MUSIC: 2011, with Music Players!
-BEST COMICS: 2011

-BEST MOVIES And TV: 2012
-BEST MUSIC: 2012, with Music Players!
-BEST COMICS: 2012

-BEST MOVIES And TV: 2013
-BEST MUSIC: 2013, with Music Players!

-BEST MOVIES And TV: 2014
-BEST MUSIC: 2014, with Music Players!

-BEST MOVIES And TV: 2015
-BEST MUSIC: 2015, with Music Players!

-BEST MOVIES And TV: 2016
-BEST MUSIC: 2016, with Music Players!