Archive for comics

Preacher: A Retrospective

Posted in Comics with tags , , , , , , , , on 01/29/2012 by Papa Nerd

The library where I live is awesome.  Why?

They loan out comic books.  And not just kiddie comics that fit into a certain religious perspective (you hear me, Salem, MO, library?).  They have graphic novels, complete with violence and foul language.

I love me some graphic novels with gratuitous violence and language.  Anyway, I had heard a lot about a series called Preacher, which came out in the mid to late nineties.  I didn’t know anything about it, other than the fact it was called Preacher.  I was looking at the graphic novels one day, and I saw the first volume in the Preacher trade paperbacks, subtitled Gone to Texas.  The first thing that caught my attention about it was the creative team behind it: Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon.  Ennis and Dillon had a good run on Punisher for Marvel a few years back, so I figured Preacher couldn’t be too bad.  I mean, all of the other nerds like it and are wanting a movie made of Preacher.  I picked it up, and was instantly hooked.

The story revolves around Jesse Custer (his name is an anagram of Secret Jesus), who comes from a crappy background and a home life that is beyond dysfunctional.  He was born out of wedlock, then his family was captured and taken to his grandmother’s plantation in Louisiana, where they could be watched at all times and instructed in the ways of God.  His father and mother tried to escape, and as a result, his father was murdered before his eyes.  His mother taught him, while one of his grandmother’s thugs taught him how to fight and about mechanics.  After his friend Billy Bob, a one-eyed, inbred swamp dweller was murdered for seeing another thug screw a chicken, Jesse escaped the plantation, and led a life of pure debauchery.  He met a woman, Tulip O’Hare, fell in love, and was ready to propose to her.  Unfortunately, his Grandma sent her thugs, Jody and T.C. to get him back.  They found him in Arizona, and threatened to kill Tulip if he didn’t go back with them.  He did, and his Grandma forced him into preaching.

He ended up preaching in a hick Texas town, where he wanted nothing more than to expose his congregation’s hypocrisies, and then crawl inside a whiskey bottle.  One night, he goes to the local watering hole and begins announcing the misdeeds of his congregation, and gets beaten unconscious for his troubles.  The next morning, while he is preaching, Jesse was suddenly struck by a supernatural force later identified as Genesis, grafting itself to Jesse’s soul and releasing an explosion of energy that destroyed the church and the town, killing the whole population. By a well-timed coincidence, Tulip had hitched a lift with an Irishman named Cassidy after having just bungled her first job as an assassin. The two discovered Jesse among the rubble of the church and, after some discussion, agreed to help him to safety, although Tulip was still furious with Jesse over his sudden abandonment of her five years before. The death of the townsfolk and the rumored appearance of a stone-faced, dual-pistol wielding cowboy brought the involvement of both local law enforcement and the FBI.

By the way, Cassidy is a vampire.  Just throwin’ that out there.

Genesis gives Jesse an ability known as “The Word of God.”  Basically, he can command people to do anything.

So, after this, Jesse decides he is going to find God, who has quit His job, and kick His ass.  Hilarity ensues.

As someone who was raised as a fundamental Baptist, I should be offended by what could be extreme sacrilege, right?  Nope.  I don’t really care.  I am no longer a religious or spiritual person, and I am now more open minded about things.  Otherwise, the thought of a drunken, debaucherous, cuss-like-a-sailor preacher, hanging out with a vampire, on a quest to kick God’s ass, would be offensive.  But, Jesse wasn’t a real preacher to begin with.  He was just going through the motions.

Preacher is overly violent, drops more f-bombs than Samuel L. Jackson, is filled with drug use and sexual innuendo.  Not to mention a fun story, with well written characters.

In other words,

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Belated Happy Birthday to the Generalissimo!

Posted in Comics, Life with tags , , , , , , , , on 12/29/2011 by Papa Nerd

Stan Lee

On December 28, 1922, Stanley Martin Lieber was born.

Young Stanley began writing while he was a teenager, but he got his break when he got a job with Timely Comics in 1939.  His first published story for Timely was a text-only Captain America story in 1941, under the pseudonym “Stan Lee,” which he later adopted as his legal name.  After spending a few years in the Army writing propaganda material, Lee returned to Timely, where, with collaborators Steve Ditko, and Jack Kirby, among others, he helped create Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, and countless other fictional characters.

He was made publisher of Marvel (Timely changed their name to Atlas Comics, then Marvel, after one of the titles they published) in 1972, and he subsequently led the publisher from a small publishing house to a multimedia giant.

Needless to say, Stan’s contributions to the world of comics have made him a legend.

I have to say that I am a huge Stan Lee fan.  One of my dreams is to be able to sit down with him and pick his brain about all aspects of the creative process, and just comics in general.  Maybe I could get some inspiration for my own graphic novel, which is collecting dust at the moment.

Also, he would have to sign my copy of Dunn’s Conundrum.  If you’re a fellow Lee nerd, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

‘Nuff said.

This Week in Nerd News

Posted in Comics, etc., Movies with tags , , , , , , , , , on 12/07/2011 by Papa Nerd

It seems there is no shortage of nerdy pop-culture stuff happening out there.  Each week, I’ll round up some highlights of the things showing up on the nerd radar.

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A Nerd’s Review of the Marvel Cinematic Universe… So Far, Part 3

Posted in Movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 11/17/2011 by Papa Nerd

Next up in my review of the MCU to date is Iron Man 2, starring Robert Downey, Jr., Don Cheadle, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johannson, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, and the Bad Mutha Shut Yo Mouth himself, Samuel L. (I’m not yelling!  This is how I talk!) Jackson.

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This Week in Nerd News

Posted in etc., Movies, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 11/15/2011 by Papa Nerd

It seems there is no shortage of nerdy pop-culture stuff happening out there.  Each week, I’ll round up some highlights of the things showing up on the nerd radar.

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Welcome to Papa Nerd!

Posted in etc. with tags , , , , , , , on 11/09/2011 by Papa Nerd

Who the heck is Papa Nerd?  Me, that’s who.  I kid, I kid.  I’m a guy who is a stay-at-home dad, aside from working part-time at night (papa).  I’m also a life-long fan of comics, movies, video games, and, sometimes, pro-wrestling (nerd).  See what I did there?  I’m a papa and a nerd.  Hence, Papa Nerd!  God, I’m so damn clever.

Anyway,  I realize there is no shortage of snarky nerd blogs on teh interwebz.  But, what about a blog for the growing population of stay-at-home dads?  There are plenty for moms.  But we guys get no love.  That’s what I have set out to do. Give the guys some love.

Wait.  That’s not right.

I’m going to post snarky nerd news, reviews, opinions, and the like, but through the eyes of a dad.  Sometimes, for the sheer hell of it, I’ll post something random.  Like this:

Darth Vader. Riding a cat. Word.

 But, again, I’m a dad, so I’ll be talking about my experiences with my two-year-old son. For example, I think he is some kind of evil super genius.  He acts completely different from other kids his age.  He looks at them as though they rode the short bus to the playground.  He already knows how to get girls to chase him around, the little stud.

That's right. I'm a pimp.

Sayonara, for now.  I’ll be back…

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