Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Whole Story: Sleeper

I used to whine a lot about the seemingly endless narratives of superhero stories. I thought it would be better if the respective stories of the Hulk, Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, and the rest would just end. It bothered me that while I could read an issue of Incredible Hulk from 1976 and one from 1996, in spite of the fact each of those comics were supposed to be different chapters of the same story, the Hulk of the respective comics was clearly not the same character. The Hulk of Roy Thomas was not the Hulk of Bill Mantlo. Bill Mantlo's Hulk wasn't Peter David's Hulk, and neither were Greg Pak's Hulk. They spoke, looked, and acted different, and not just because of the Sybil-like changes Hulk has gone through over the years, but because all of those writers had their own styles as did the illustrators. No amount of arguing is going to convince me that this Bruce Banner...

...this Bruce Banner...

...and this Bruce Banner...

...are the same guy. Sorry, no dice.

I used to think this was something particular to comics, but then I got my nose out of the funnybooks and looked around. I realized I could see similar tendencies in season after season of Seinfeld and The X-Files. They were in spin-off-drunk franchises like Star Trek, Stargate, and Law & Order. They were in the horror movie franchises who, year after year, redefined what most of us accept as the meaning of the phrase "LAST summer." Now in online RPGs like World of Warcraft you can find games that never end, games that you can never really win, games that just keep going.

That's what's behind the idea of my weekly column The Whole Story. Every Tuesday I will look at either a comic book or TV series that ended, because its ending provides me with the uncommon opportunity to look at a series as an actual whole without provisos like "so far" or "up until now." I will probably be looking at more comics than TV shows, at least at first, simply because of time considerations. It takes less time to read 18 issues of Power Company than it does to watch 144 episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

For my first column, I chose a comic so good, it's a pure miracle of stupid that the thing didn't rake in enough dough to keep afloat, though I'm not sure that's necessarily a bad thing.

Sleeper, written by Ed Brubaker and illustrated by Sean Phillips, is the story of Holden Carver, a black ops bad-ass who was unlucky enough to encounter an alien artifact that gave him a deadly super-power. Holden soaks up physical pain without feeling it, and doles it out to others with the touch of his skin. Before the series begins Holden's commander John Lynch tasks Holden with infiltrating a vast, clandestine organization populated by super-powered criminals and headed by the mad genius Tao. Because of Tao's power and influence, Lynch tells Holden that no one but Lynch himself will know that Carver is undercover and no official record will be kept; to the rest of the world he's a traitor who murdered his brother soldiers. Holden kills and maims enough on Tao's orders to work his way up in the organization, but when John Lynch is shot and put in a coma, Holden faces three equally crappy options - wait to see if Lynch will wake from his coma, find a way out himself, or become the villain everyone - including, increasingly, Holden himself - believes him to be.

Sleeper opens with Holden confronted with one of the lethal choices he regularly faces in the series. Tao suspects one of his operatives is a mole. Tao orders Holden to find out the truth and to do "what needs to be done." When Holden learns Tao's suspicions are correct, he makes the only choice possible if he wants to stay alive, but it's the first in a long list of tough choices that sink Holden deep into a moral quagmire.

In the aftermath of a SNAFU involving Holden, the brutal strongman Genocide, the timid XXXRay, and the degenerate telepath Steeleye, Holden is promoted to Prodigal - a title reserved for only three of Tao's closest and deadliest operatives. The other Prodigals are Peter Grimm, a killer with the power to drive you insane with the touch of his finger, and the sadistic and alluring Miss Misery whose unique physical condition necessitates she commit acts of evil or else slowly die. Holden and Misery soon become lovers, and the fact that Misery's pure, unapologetic evil does nothing but turn him on helps to convince Holden that his murderous tendencies are less of an act than he realizes.

Holden's body count grows through wonderfully-rendered, John Woo style two-fisted gunfights with rival spooks and government sponsored superheroes. He fends off suspicions of Tao and his underlings while trying to just plain survive the bloody tasks Tao assigns him. Chances crop up for Holden to escape but are always ground into the dust. By the end of the first 12 issues Holden loses one of his closest friends in Tao's organization, he's captured by federal agents who don't believe he's a double agent, he learns Tao has known quite a bit more than he suspected, and the last page of the 12th issue ends with a reveal that may be Holden's only hope for salvation.

Sleeper: Season Two opens with Holden completely cut off from his original mission. He has given up all hope of escaping Tao's clutches and heads a group of killers known as The Hounds. But the recently awoken John Lynch still wants Tao taken out of the picture, and he's not willing to give up Holden to the other side. Soon Holden is playing Tao and Lynch against one another, trusting neither, desperately trying to find his own way out to something resembling a normal life. It's a bloody, suspenseful race to the finish and a nice chunk of the comic's recurring characters don't make it to the end. Holden's fate will, if nothing else, make you question what you can and can't really call a "happy ending."

The story of Sleeper arguably begins in the limited series Point Blank in which the Grifter is manipulated into shooting John Lynch, but you don't need to read it. I had no idea Point Blank existed until I was halfway done with Sleeper. Nor did I know that recurring Sleeper characters like Tao and John Lynch had deep roots in the history of Wildstorm. You don't need to have read anything from Wildstorm to understand or appreciate Sleeper. Ultimately, whenever I consider recommending superhero comics to people who don't read superhero comics, Sleeper is one of the first that springs to mind precisely because the uninitiated don't need to see the wider canvas upon which the story is drawn.

Now the literal canvas upon which the story is drawn is cool. Sleeper just plain looks cool. The first thing you notice is the panel arrangement. Most of the pages feature one large picture with smaller panels drawn on top of the primary image. And the panels don't generally follow the normal left-to-right, up-to-down ordering. As you first get to a page, you might feel a little lost. You look at the panel arrangement and don't know which way to go. What surprises you is that, as you begin to read, your eyes figure it out on their own. There are no arrows like some of the 1970s or 1980s comics would regularly provide in the uncommon occurrences that the panels appeared in nonstandard orders. If you do mix up the order a bit, it usually isn't a problem. It just comes off like some kind of fast-paced cut-up style of film directing; something along the lines of Snatch.

A single color dominates most pages, though that color changes; sometimes a pinkish red, sometimes a dark blue, etc. In part, this is purely functional. Most issues of Sleeper feature quick back and forth between flashbacks and the present, and changing the dominant color is an easy way for the creative team to do the Time Warp. When I tried to figure out if there was a thematic reason for the coloring, I looked to the pages on which there wasn't any single dominant hue. This is usually the case in most of the Origin Story flashbacks, it happens sometimes (though not always or even most times) when Holden is hanging out with his friends in the regular criminal dive, the Tird Street Arms (named "Tird" because of the broken H in the bar's neon sign), and we also tend to see it in the few situations where Holden isn't pretending to be loyal to Tao. This impression may be a mistaken one, but it gave me the sense that the closest we ever see of the real Holden Carver is when he's knocking back beers or knocking around 8-balls with his buddies Genocide and XXXRay in the Tird Street Arms. It makes me wonder, in light of all of the comic's bloody and tragic events, if given the choice, would Holden Carver have opted to just stay right where he was, doing the odd job for Tao but never rising to the rank of Prodigal, and occasionally retiring to the bar to chill out with his fellow spooks and killers?

That brings me to one of the things I find most interesting about Sleeper. The pliability of our moral codes is one of the more overt themes of the series. It's something you're likely to find in just about any story involving undercover agents. At first we get the notion that in his capacity as a mole Holden only kills other bad guys, but then we see a picture of him hanging out of a helicopter, firing a missile at a commercial jet. We read him referring to stomping on the scorched skulls of children. One of Holden's botched attempts to escape Tao's organization ends with Holden shooting a truck driver in the head simply because he saw him. In particular, a lot of hay is made about the sameness between Tao and John Lynch; both manipulative bastards, both murderers, excepting nothing but the government stamp on Lynch's pursuits. At the same time, without getting specific and spoiling too much, quite a few of the friends Holden makes in Tao's organization don't survive to the final curtain, and we care. At least I did. I took the deaths of certain characters just as hard as I would've if they weren't sadistic, evil psychopaths. It reminded me of what I would occasionally consider when I watched The Sopranos. Tony Soprano would finally kill or otherwise handle a mobster who had been giving him grief all season, and after giving my silent "F%#$ yeah" to Soprano's victory, I'd wonder why I was rooting for the guy so hard. The character was unquestionably an unrepentant, evil prick. More often than not, so were his adversaries, but they didn't deserve death any more than he did. If a person like him, or like Holden or any of the friends he makes in Sleeper, had anything at all to do with my life, they'd probably be there to either ruin it or to end it. It makes me wonder if the real message in Sleeper about morality is that what threatens our moral codes the most is the familiar. We can grow to live with any evil as long as it doesn't come from strangers. What we will permit from our own friends and family is the same stuff we'll tsk-tsk while browsing the newspaper or watching a talk show. It's why fans of particular celebrities will excuse any acts the objects of their adoration commit. It's why Holden can mow down strangers without a second thought, but the deaths of the kinds of black-souled bastards who would find good company in the gallows of Nuremberg bring him to tears.

If you haven't guessed already, Sleeper's a fairly dark superhero story, and in this sense it's refreshing. When it comes to Mature Readers superhero comics, a healthy amount of irreverence towards the older superhero stories is inevitable. They make fun of the goofy names, they make fun of the goofy costumes, and Sleeper is no different. What is different is that there's respect that goes along with Brubaker's irreverence. When a classically-spandexed super guy sails overhead, Brubaker has Holden think "Okay, who the fuck is this dweeb," but he also has that superguy descend from the clouds and beat Peter Grimm to within an inch of his life. Likewise, when Holden approaches the superhero Turbine hoping the crime-fighter will help him clear his name, as immersed readers we may not like how Turbine responds because our sympathy is with Holden, but Turbine's reaction makes sense. This may seem like a little thing, but as both a lover of older superhero stories as well as a discerning reader who doesn't find the same joke posed to him over and over again as funny and fresh as a lot of contemporary superhero writers find it, I'm tired of Superman clones posed as drooling degenerates with the expectation that I, the reader, think the writer is just so pop-culture-perceptive to figure out what the rest of us were too dumb to see. It has its place, but it doesn't have EVERY damn place.

Brubaker initially expected the series to only last 12 issues. Those first 12 issues became known as Sleeper: Season One and were reprinted in the trade paperbacks Sleeper: Out in the Cold and Sleeper: All False Moves. When Wildstorm Executive Editor Scott Dunbier called him for another 12 issues, Brubaker had the idea of waking John Lynch up from his coma and so came Sleeper: Season Two whose stories you can find in Sleeper: A Crooked Line and Sleeper: The Long Way Home. But that was it. There were Eisner nominations and quotes from just about everyone in or outside the comics industry who read the thing that it was comicdom's best kept secret and that, for Hulk's sake, stop keeping the secret and make people buy the damn thing, but commercially it didn't have the numbers.

When I referred to its cancellation earlier as a "miracle of stupid," I meant it. The fact that more people didn't read Sleeper is just plain dumb. When Alan Doane interviewed him in 2006, Brubaker cited marketing and Sleeper's narrative connections to the Wildstorm universe - "a superhero universe on the wane at the time" - among other reasons, for Sleeper's cancellation, and he would know better than me. I just know, regardless of the reasons, it makes no sense. Sleeper had everything superhero comics readers wanted. It poked fun at older, cornier depictions of superheroes and their villainous counterparts. It was cool, dark, violent and sexy. And besides all of that, it was a genuinely great story. It was a perfect marriage of the superhero and espionage genres. And in an age when you could pick up just about any DC or Marvel offering and absorb the entire - increasingly expensive - comic in about 5 minutes, every chapter of Sleeper was its own, satisfying story.

But I meant the "miracle" part of "miracle of stupid" too because, while its lack of commercial support blows my geek mind, I'm not convinced Sleeper shouldn't have ended exactly when it did. Sleeper's concept wasn't open-ended. I'm sure Brubaker could have gotten more issues out of it, but Holden Carver's story wasn't one that was meant to stick around year after year.

I'm thankful for what we did get. Sleeper is about as close as you get to perfection in a superhero comic. Happily, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have continued to work together on other comics like Criminal and Incognito. There apparently was talk two years ago of Sam Raimi and Tom Cruise working on a film adaptation of Sleeper, but I haven't found any mention of it on IMDB or anything really after 2008. Considering Spider-Man 3 and Tom Cruise being Tom Cruise, maybe it would be best if they take a page out of Wildstorm's book and just let it go.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I Read Far Too Much into Certain Events and the Lessons Culled Lead Me, as Usual, to Start Blogging. Again. (Or "Superheroes, etc. is back! Yay!")

I got sick a month ago. I thought it might be the flu. I thought it might be a cold. I heard reports of Something Going Around. My stomach hurt and I felt woozy. My face felt like the underside of an iron. I checked out of work early on a Wednesday and didn't return until the following Monday. I stayed under the covers and watched reruns of The Office and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The illness was evasive. Not only could I not figure out what it was, there were times when I felt well enough that I wondered if the whole thing was psychosomatic. I just never got to a run-for-the-toilet level of sick. Then, as soon as I finally decided "Yes, I have become a hypochondriac and am actually fine," I would do something like go to the store with my girlfriend and after about five minutes I'd be woozy again, holding onto the shopping cart or the merchandise shelves for fear of stumbling and falling.

If you are or ever were a smoker, you know that intense illnesses sometimes seem to offer you an easy way out of your addiction. If you're sick enough, you don't want to smoke. You wonder if this is an opportunity you should grab. You wonder if, should you stay smokeless once you get better, Withdrawal will just ignore you altogether.

I don't smoke anymore but for this most recent illness, in spite of the lack of intensity, I felt something similar. As I lay in bed, thankful for the Play All option on the Office DVDs, I felt like something inside was different; as if something had unclenched. I didn't feel angry or frustrated with my life. I didn't feel afraid of losing anything. I felt okay. I felt like there were things worth wanting. Whatever had unclenched, I wanted it to stay that way. I also knew it wouldn't.

The wooziness finally left me and I returned to work on Monday. On Tuesday, work was a little more taxing than usual because I had to help cover for a co-worker who was home watching the last few years of imported beer exit his face. This is only important because what it almost lead to, but didn't.

I had plans to meet friends after work to see Conviction at the local art house theater, The Spectrum. Without a car, my plan had been to walk 40 minutes to the theater's adjoining cafe and read/web-surf until others arrived. But now, indignant about the few hours of more taxing work, I felt I had a perfect reason to just jump on a bus home.

Before the plan to ditch solidified, it occurred to me that nothing I was thinking made sense. I was thinking that the slightly more taxing work day made it far too difficult to enjoy the evening I had planned. I would have to walk 40 minutes in cold weather through three equally shitty neighborhoods to wait in a cafe - a cafe I could be slaughtered in should the other patrons learn I don't actually own a beret - in order to hang out with people who, probably, didn't even really want me there; they were just being nice.

The reality was that I'd just had a harder work day, but it really wasn't a big deal. It would end with me choosing to walk 40 minutes, because I could've easily taken two crowded but quick buses, and for free since I was carrying a bus pass my girlfriend had paid for. And sure, if I walked it would be through three shitty neighborhoods, but it would be in broad daylight and I'm big enough that people don't bother me in bad neighborhoods as long as I don't scatter dollar bills on the sidewalk while singing "I am physically vulnerable and surprisingly trusting." It was cold, yeah, but I had a coat. The cafe would be filled with people who probably, sure, own more patchouli than I, but also who likely have their own lives and problems and epiphanies and bullshit and couldn't give two ounces of granola about how many Pete Seeger albums I don't own. And finally, of course the people who invited me obviously wanted me there because I'm certified for pure fucking awesome.

There was something jarring about how easily and quickly I had schooled myself. This wasn't, I realized, Standard Operating Procedure. Standard Operating Procedure was 1) I make plans to do something which I know I don't want to do because it falls under the umbrella of Doing Something. 2) Shortly before the Something takes place something perfectly normal happens which I mentally inflate into a complication important enough to possibly excuse myself from my plans. 3) I spend the better part of a day convincing myself that the complication is complicated enough that anyone reasonable would see the complication as complexly as I do. 4) I go home and avoid Doing Something.

It had, I realized, been this way for years. It was my default. In my mind, my default settings were to Go Home And Chill - play FallOut 3 on the XBox, maybe watch some TV. Surf Facebook. Read. I had seen the movie outing as an interruption. An invasion. And initially, the thought to discard it came with relief.

What amazed me is that I detected all of this as if I were another person, shaking his head condescendingly over another poor bastard's dumb choices. I saw what I was doing, saw it for its stupidity, and I rejected it. I went to the movies.

I think I really was sick a month ago, but it wasn't a flu or a cold. It wasn't a stomach bug or Captain Trips or Something Going Around. I think I made myself sick. I think it was change. That's all. It was the physical manifestation of a painful but necessary transition from Mick-Who-Existed-On-Wednesday to Mick-Who-Existed-The-Following-Monday. I cannot point to any single triggering event - spiritual, mental, or otherwise - or even really any confluence of triggering events. I don't know why it happened when it happened.

All I know for certain is that I feel as if I woke up. A month ago life felt like a prison, it felt that way for a very long time, and now that's over. I don't get angry or frustrated at work. Well, bullshit, sure I do, but not as much. I don't blame all of my co-workers for my problems. I don't let myself get so bitter or envious or jealous that it rules my world. Every night after work I decide what I'm going to do, not what I'm going to avoid.

How/why/when did I get like this? Why was there anything from which to wake up in the first place? I don't know. I have theories and they're all good, undeveloped, amateurish theories. Working nights for three years killed my social skills. Spending five years with a manipulative, possessive woman isolated me from the other important things in my life. Certain experiences in college wrecked what was an inflated, but fragile, confidence. Maybe I should analyze what happened more thoroughly, but right now the only thing I care about is that I feel more driven, excited, and confident about what I want to do than I have in years. Really, I haven't felt this good about things since before I left Tampa over ten years ago. Things just feel possible. I feel ready.

Superheroes, etc. is going to be a big part of this re-awakening. I'm taking this blog, and my writing in general, more seriously. As such, for the foreseeable future, I will be providing content for Superheroes, etc. 5 days a week. I may post some stuff on the weekend too, but all I'll commit to is Monday - Friday.

Up until now, my online writing presence has revolved around comic books and superheroes. There's still going to be plenty of that content here, but I also plan to take that "etc" in the title more seriously. I'll be writing more about movies, fiction, non-fiction and video games. I want to include a lot more autobiographical material as well.

Tuesdays will feature what I'm tentatively calling "The Whole Story". In "The Whole Story", I'll be looking at completed/canceled series. In most cases, I'll be talking about comics. For some years now I've been intrigued by the seemingly endless nature of comic book narratives, and I feel like canceled comics offer a unique opportunity. You get to see exactly how writers handle the ends of stories that weren't necessarily meant to end. But I will also occasionally look at television shows. Tomorrow, for the first installment of The Whole Story, I'll look at the canceled Wildstorm series Sleeper.

For Wednesdays, I'll have movie reviews. In fact, the scheduling of this particular feature is due to the movie outings I mentioned earlier in the post. My friend and co-worker Sarah has a Tuesday night Movie Club. It's usually at The Spectrum because it's the best theater in town, Sarah picks the movie, and we sometimes meet beforehand in the adjoining Ultraviolet Cafe. Me and my girlfriend Maryann are the newest members of Movie Club, and I may, by mentioning it, actually be breaking the first and second rules of the clandestine organization.

Fridays will bring a regular column dealing with one very specific subject. I prefer to not announce what that subject is right away. Don't worry, it isn't anything dirty, I just think it would be a little more fun if it's a surprise. That said, for those of you who know me in real life, and even for those of you who just know me from my online presence, it's probably not going to be a huge shock.

I'm leaving Mondays and Thursdays open. Graphic novel reviews, book reviews, music reviews, video game reviews, more autobiographical stuff, whatever. I may even do Top 10 lists again along the lines of the lists on my old blog List SMASH! I like the idea of creating structure with regular features, but I know if I have a theme-specific feature for every single day, I'll feel constricted and even resentful about it.

Things may change. I may decide to do fewer subject-specific columns, I may decide to do more, or I may decide to do the same but pick different subjects. What will not change is that there will be content on Superheroes, etc. for 5 days a week. I hope you stop by every now and then.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Overdue Books, Extra Medium, and The Whole Story

I just finished html-tagging in a bunch of pictures for reviews and articles in next week's posts, including something like a dozen panels of nothing but the Hulk beating up other superheroes. That felt good. I need a cigarette.

(not really, I quit)

I did a bit of reorganization of my links lists; specifically the links to my own reviews. First, I've retro-posted a bunch of reviews here that I originally posted on other sites. Second, I used to have a long list of links to every individual review, but I've changed it by adding labels to all the relevant blog posts and then just linking to those labels. So you can click on the "Graphic Novel/Comic Book" link and just scroll through all the relevant posts.

Third, you'll see I have a list of links called "Features." Now the "The Whole Story" link leads to nothing right now because I haven't posted any of those articles. But Overdue Books and Extra Medium are features I did for other sites: Extra Medium was for Trouble With Comics and Overdue Books as for Comic Book Galaxy.

Retro-posting those to the blog was weird. I can't believe I did the Overdue Books columns 5 frickin' years ago. That would make me 5 years older than when I wrote them. That seems implausible. I don't buy it.

Both are columns I started with a lot of excitement and unfortunately I let both fall by the wayside. Extra Medium was about Comics being brought to other mediums, or the subjects of other mediums brought to comics (e.g., a comic book movie or a comic book based on a video game). Overdue Books was conceived out of necessity. I wanted to write something for CBG, but I had no discretionary funds for comics (that hasn't really changed). Alan Doane suggested I try the library, and that gave me the idea to do a column about books I got out of the library. Every week I reviewed 2-3 graphic novels, all starting with the same letter. I got as far as E (Electric Girl, ElfQuest and Exiles) before I let procrastination and laziness and everything else get in the way.

I might bring these features back, but not on any kind of regular, scheduled basis since I already have three weekly features to deal with. Just more of on a whenever-the-hell basis. I'll probably do an Overdue Books fairly soon. I needed to stop by the library today anyway so I went ahead and started where I left off. I took out Flight, Vol. 1, Fortune and Glory, Funny Misshapen Body and Footnotes in Gaza.

I was reminded of how I had this strange sense of, I'm not even sure, integrity maybe, when choosing the books for Overdue Books. I felt like if I found a book that started with the right letter, I couldn't pass it over because it was unfamiliar or intimidating. I was reminded of this because the libraries in my region have a LOT more manga than they did when I first did Overdue Books in 2005. And there were not one but two manga series at the library starting with F. Now I like manga. At least I've exposed myself to a lot more manga and certainly enjoyed some of it, but these series didn't look like my particular can of soda. One had a title I don't remember and the other was named Fruit Basket. I breathed a deep sigh of relief when I saw that there was no first volume in the library for either series, giving me the perfect excuse to pass them up. Of course, maybe I shouldn't want to skip them. Maybe I should embrace the unfamiliar, even if they do look like teenage romance stuff. I worry I wouldn't be able to give them fair reviews because it's a genre I wouldn't normally be interested in. I just think it's funny that I feel like I need to follow some strange bushido code about what I will and won't pick at the library. I mean, if I just want to pick up Fantastic Four and Firestorm, it's not like the ghost of Harvey Pekar is going to be standing behind me and shaking his head.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Enjoy the Silence...

...because it won't last.

I wanted to check in because a revival of Superheroes, etc. is coming.

I recently made a pledge, to no one but myself and for the benefit of no one other than myself, that I would update Superheroes, etc. 5 days a week for at least 6 months. I only put the "at least" because I've been so bad about keeping up a regular pace with this blog, and I want some kind of tangible goal. I've had some good luck in actually meeting goals this year, and I thought I'd try again.

The revival has already begun and is going strong, but you won't start seeing new content here until Monday, November 29th (the Monday after next).

Because of the usual hurdles of procrastination, laziness, and crisis, this time I've decided to start before I start; in other words, to have at least a couple of weeks worth of content written and ready to be posted before any of it actually is posted. I just put the finishing touches on the post scheduled to go up Friday, December 3rd. I'm sorely tempted, with a week's worth of posts done, to push the re-opening up a week to this coming Monday, but I think it's best if I wait. That's part of the reason why I'm making this announcement, actually. I figure if I post something it will hopefully ease the temptation to re-open early.

The new Superheroes, etc. is going to have three regular features. The first is called The Whole Story and will be posted on Tuesdays. The Whole Story will look at completed series - usually comics, though also some TV shows. On Wednesdays I'll have movie reviews (I don't have a clever name for this yet, don't know if it's necessary really). The Friday feature will be something I'm not going to mention just yet, but it's something I've wanted to do for a while. And those of you who know me at all probably won't be surprised about the subject matter.

Mondays and Thursdays will be for whatever. I want to have more structure, which is one of the reasons for the regular features, but I don't want to have too much structure. I want enough room to be able to say, "You know, I don't care about Power Man & Iron Fist today - I want to write about how I'm having issues with pooping."

There will be a lot of comic book and superhero related content, but I also hope to branch out as much as possible. There will be more autobiographical pieces (in fact the first post will be along these lines), and hopefully plenty of reviews that have nothing to do with comic books or superguys. I think I've only posted one book review the whole time I've been blogging and I'd like to change that. I'd also like to try my hand writing about video games. Overall, I wouldn't mind if people who know nothing about superheroes or supervillains could enjoy some of the content here (believe it or not, I do allow such people in my life).

So, see you soon. Hope you can stop by. Hulk bless.