Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Joshua Radin

For those of you that are fans of Scrubs, you'll have probably heard two of Joshua Radin's songs without even realising it. He writes the perfect music for a lazy day in the sun, or the rain, or whatever. He is releasing his sophomore record "Simple Times" on Sept 30th, and I reckon it's going to be the exact album that we'lll need in the hazy Autumn months. Here are two tracks that are going to be on it that were posted on his myspace page a few days ago,and if you are a fan of chilled out acoustic singer-songwriters, this is exactly what you need in your life right now.

I'd Rather Be With You
One Of Those Days
(from the forthcoming album, Simple Times, released 30/09/08)


Monday, 25 August 2008

So, you want to read some amazing comic books? Part Two!

Okay! I put this off unwittingly, but now it's time for part two of my adventures into graphic novels. These are the ones you really want to check out, even if you don't know it yet. I can safely say this: All of these graphic novels are fantastically written, have fantastic artwork, and are just basically a good time for all. Lets begin...or continue even.

The Watchmen by Alan Moore

This is hands down amazing. It's not surprising to hear that a film is being made from this fantastic graphic novel. The story largely centres around a defunct group of superheroes in a future where being a superhero-vigilante-type is outlawed, and the death of one of the team starts drawing the original team back together, with an absolutely thrilling finale.

What's also brilliant is how there are so many brilliant characters, from the anti-hero Rorschach, the controversial Comedian, and the enigmatic Dr. Manhatten. Each of the main characters gets a bit of a back story as well, as this adds to the feeling of the whole story, as we are constantly being introduced to characters all the way through, keeping the story entirely gripping.

Needless to say, as The Dark Knight has been my mostly anticipated film of 2008, Watchmen will be my most anticipated of 2009 by a long way.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller

Frank Miller completely takes hold of the Batman franchise, and makes it his own. Set in a future where Bruce Wayne has retired Batman for the past ten years, we are shown a future Gotham City, where crime has essentially spiralled out of control. Needless to say, Batman doesn't stay out of commission for long, and as well as brief encounters with Harvey Dent, A new Robin, and even Superman, he has absolutely epic battles with the leader of the vigilante army terrorising Gotham, and of course, his old enemy, The Joker.

This is an absolutely out of this world story, and it guarantees gripping you until the end. If the Batman film franchise gets stale again, this would be the perfect story to knock it back into shape again, no doubt.

Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again by Frank Miller

The sequel to The Dark Knight Returns is another fantastic Batman story by Frank Miller. Without giving too much away, the story goes on a big Batman vs Superman tangent, and if you want to see an absolutely epic battle between Batman and Superman, this is the comic book for exactly that.

I can't give away anymore about this one, but again, it's worth the read!

Batman: Hush by Jeph Loeb

After Frank Miller's futuristic Batman books, we jump back to the "present" day, and a mysteriously bandaged villain is attempting to sabotage Batman's every move. As with The Long Halloween, and Dark Victory, Loeb yet again writes another fantastic Batman mystery, and even broaches the subject of Batmans' romantic links with Catwoman.

Oh and expect The Joker, as well as Harley Quinn also. Another great story.

300 by Frank Miller

This is absolutely beautiful. This whole graphic
novel is set out in a painted, double page layout, and if you've seen the film, this is like reading storyboards for the film, it's that amazing.

The story, of course, is all about King Leonidas, and his 300-strong army of Spartans, who attempted to go to war with thousands upon thousands of the Persian army, in a battle for Greek honour.

This is one worth buying for the art alone, every page would make a stunning picture on any comic book fans wall.

Ok, that's it for now, i'm sure i'll write more regular, maybe even LONGER reviews of comic books as and when i read them.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

So, you want to read some amazing comic books? PART ONE

In the last week I have been astounded by the amazing works of art that I have found in the medium that is comic books. Here is a round up of what I read, and why it was so good.

1. Batman: Year One by Frank Miller

I'm not sure how this journey into comic books started. Wait that's a lie. This starts with the newest Batman film: The Dark Knight. After watching that, I spent quite a few days reading all manner of Batman-related information via the internet, and when reading that a lot of inspiration for the script of the film was taken from the Batman comic books "The Long Halloween" and "Dark Victory", I set about finding them. Of course, Batman: Year One is the prequel of sorts to these books, and is a brilliant starting place.

First and foremost, it's written by Frank Miller, the man behind 300, Sin City, and a whole host of other acclaimed comic books (his name will come up again in this article, be sure of that!), and the story is impressive, giving a realistic beginning to the relationship between Batman and Jim Gordon, not unlike the same events in The Dark Knight's prequel, Batman Begins. All in all, it's a fantastic starting point in this version of the batman story, especially if you've enjoyed the recent films. The darker, more realistic feel to the story adds as much to the comic book as it did the film.

2. Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb

Even though Batman: Year Two is the official sequel of sorts to Year One (although not written by Miller), many online sources regarded The Long Halloween to be a much better sequel, and I couldn't find anything to disagree with.

As mentioned before, the writers of The Dark Knight found this to be a big inspiration to the script of the film, and it's not hard to see why, with the mob, the joker, and Harvey Dent all featuring prominently. The main story of the book is of a mystery holiday killer slowly going through the members of the most notorious mob family, killing on every major holiday. Well almost, but that's telling.

The book features appearances from Joker, Scarecrow, Catwoman, The Riddler, and many other well known bat-villains, but of course, it's the story of the white knight DA Harvey Dent that will be of the most interest, especially in the books concluding chapters. A fascinating read.

3. Batman - Dark Victory by Jeph Loeb

Jeph Loeb brings closure to many of characters explored in Year One and The Long Halloween in this book, and he does it in a stunning fashion.

There are breakouts, a hangman killer leaving clues, a tonne of bat-villains, and an introduction to the boy wonder too. Yes that's right, Robin is in this one. And it's good, and still quite realistic, something this trilogy of sorts definitely delivers with.

After Year One and The Long Halloween, there's no way that you wont want to read this.

4. Batman: The Man Who Laughs by Ed Brubaker

An alternative sequel to Year One of sorts. (That's right, another alternative sequel!). This one gets quite a lot of good press though, and it's not hard to see why. Continuing where Year One left off, it explores the relationship between Jim Gordon and Batman, as a crazed madman starts killing important city officials.

It's not hard to see that this first batch of comic books were all read with a fascination of the joker character in mind is it? Either way, this is a more straightforward introduction to the joker character in the Batman universe than, for example, The Long Halloween.

Ok, that's it for part one of what's been a mostly Batman-centric comic book feature so far.

Next up: The Dark Knight Returns, The Dark Knight Strikes Again, The Killing Joke, 300, THE WATCHMEN.

Beware, you have no idea how much I loved the next batch. Be prepared.

Thursday, 7 August 2008


Listening to surround sound Jack's Mannequin
Need a job
Want to play Final Fantasy VI
Want to install and figure out MIDIDS, and install Cubase on my laptop for this reason also
Need to book check up with dentist
Need to put washing out
Need a job
Need money
Want to do awesome Lightningheart related stuff
Want to write music all day and all night
Want to finish reading Nick Hornby - Slam
Listening to surround sound Beirut