Yo, Dre. I got something to say.
No, not that. Well, yeah, that. But also this…
Thank you for N.W.A. and ‘The Chronic’ and Snoop and Eminem and ‘2001’…
…and Xzibit’s ‘Restless’ and 50’s ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin” and, of course, Kendrick Lamar. Thank you for not releasing ‘Detox’, and finally, thank you for releasing ‘Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre.’
Your third album, while not as good as ‘Chronic’ or ‘2001’, is fucking excellent, and a nice closing chapter to your solo trilogy, and coupled with the (excellent!) ‘Straight Outta Compton’ film, a perfect bookend to your legendary career.
Nobody questions your legacy as a producer. If your albums were films, you’d be Scorsese. 70’s Coppola. Tarantino. Nobody does it like you.
When it comes to your raps though, people view you differently because you don’t write them. I’ve come to realize however – via some articles that grant us a peek behind the scenes + a lifetime of listening to you – you’re more than just a rap-puppet with an army of ghostwriters pulling the strings.
The relationship is more symbiotic.
You’ve always been a prism that perfectly channels whoever you’re working with. Taking their energy in. Filtering it to its essence. Spitting it back out as a laser beam. Early N.W.A. had Cube’s furrowed brow and booming anger. ‘The Chronic’ was hotboxed with Snoop’s influence. ‘2001’ flowed like Eminem in his prime. Compton has Kendrick’s Butterfly-pimpin’ stamp all over it. For someone that sprang up so far back in Hip Hop’s past, the fact that you always manage to catch up and then sprint past its present is motherfuckin’ impressive. Especially now, at the age of 50! Old man strength, dawg!
Now, most people trumpeted the arrival of Compton, but there were those that didn’t like it, and further, didn’t get why I liked it. People always come at me when things I love fail…
Colts get eliminated from the playoffs in embarrassing fashion?
“NICE TEAM NUV! SHOULDA CHOSE A DOUCHIER-CHEATING-MORE ‘MERICA TEAM THAT WINS MORE, OR SWITCH TO THE TEAM THAT WON LAST YEAR LIKE A TRUE FAN!!” Okay, ‘Boys/Pats/Hawks dudes. My bad.
Superhero movie sucks?
“FUCK YOU, AND FANTASTIC FOUR, NUV!” I like Superman and Batman and shit. I don’t even really like Fantastic Four that mu… “IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU LIKE!!” Touché.
Rap album is the weak shit?
“YO, SUP WITH YOUR BOY YELAWOLF?! THAT ALBUM IS DUMB-DUMBZZ!!” I don’t know, I’m disappointed too. “AND FUCK EMINEM! HE HASN’T MADE A GOOD ALBUM IN OVER A DECADE!! YOU FUCKING SON OF A BITCH!!” Locked.
Pacino movie is stupid?
“HE ALWAYS SUCKED! ‘GODFATHER’ IS OVERRATED, AND YOU’RE A PIECE OF SHIT! I PREFER DANISH CINEMA, YOU FUCKING PLEB!” Apologies.
…as if I made them and it’s my fault. They also assume I’m just being forgiving of an artist I’ve loved for my whole life, and can’t look at this album with anything less than rose-coloured Locs.
Wrong-o, Dong-os! I am the hardest on things I love. I expect the fucking world from the man that gave us this…
And this, and uh…
‘Straight Outta Compton’. ‘Boyz-N-The-Hood’. ‘8 Ball’. ‘Dopeman’. ‘100 Miles and Runnin’. ‘Real Niggaz Don’t Die’. ‘Always Into Somethin’. ‘Appetite For Destruction’. ‘Natural Born Killaz’. ‘Hello’. ‘The Watcher’. ‘Still D.R.E.’. I’ll stop there. I could go on forever. Point being: that is the biggest shadow a motherfucker could possibly walk with. That’s why we never got ‘Detox’. Because, in your own words Dre, “it wasn’t good. I didn’t like it.” You didn’t want to put out something that’s not great. At this point, putting out nothing would be the safe play. Your place in history is cemented and secure. Putting out something wack though? Cement boots.
In this short-attention span world, you’re only as good as your last project. So, coming into this, my expectations were sky high. And as the Star Wars prequels taught us, that just means it’s a longer way to fall, with more time for the disappointment to snowball into an Indiana Jones-size boulder.
Alright Dre, I’m just gonna tell these motherfuckers what I love about this album. Maybe they’ll hear it with different ears after. Maybe it won’t change a G(D) thang for ’em. Who gives a motherfuck?! They don’t like it, they can pretend your career ended with 2001. If they do, they have one more (one last?) Dr. Dre album in the collection to ride to! Let’s roll out. Compton or bust…
This old newscast about Compton, set to an appropriately cinematic soundscape, perfectly sets the thematic stage for the world we’re about to (re)enter, and lays the groundwork for the cohesive ‘soundtrack’ feel Dre was going for on this album. It’s just an intro, but like in all of perfectionist Dre’s projects, even the little details matter.
Talk About It
I imagine the first track is what immediately colours people’s perceptions of this album for better or worse. It sounds like nothing Dre has done, at least on the surface, and isn’t as immediately riveting as some of his past album-openers. Thoroughly modern, a little bit ‘trappish’, and Dre isn’t even the first voice you hear. (Not that that should be a surprise, Dre’s albums have always been ensembles, rather than solo vehicles). When Dre finally arrives, even his cadence and flow on this track is very much of the now, and doesn’t resemble any of his previous iterations. Peel back the layers though. The sounds of both the rapping and the beat may feel unfamiliar at first listen, but feel how deep and lush and dense the beat is. That’s Dre as fuck! No one assembles so many moving parts in their beats without a hint of clutter. Everything in it’s place, every piece working in concert with the rest. Dre’s beats are Devastator! And as for the raps, I like Dre’s delivery here. Dre has always evolved, vocally. And he always sounds of the moment, yet timeless somehow. Plus, the sentiment of this song is N.W.A. as fuuuuck! First vocal you hear: “I don’t-give-one fuck!” And yo, “still got Eminem cheques I ain’t opened yet!”?! Come on, that’s a COLD line! Anyway, I will admit, while I found things to like in this track, I don’t LOVE it, and it’s probably, relatively, the “weakest” song on the album. My first listen, I was slightly alarmed. I needn’t have been…
YO. FUCKOUTTAHERE!! This fuckin’ beat?! This grimy, grinding, punishing beat?!?! The deadpan delivery on the first segment of the chorus is perfection. I don’t even mind the reggae half. Dre murders his verse, and, in keeping with the title of this track, Kendrick just absolutely HITLERS his. If you didn’t screw your face up and nod your head till you needed a neck brace, well, there’s nothing we can do for you, my son. You’re already a corpse.
It’s All On Me
This track bleeds heart and spills soul, from the beat to the rhymes. Old dog busts out yet another new trick, as Dre’s sing-songy, melodic rhyming is a revelation. His verse hops around through his history, from ‘Fuck Tha Police’, to Snoop and Death Row. Yo, try and not get chills when he spits “and then the night came in, when that n**** Knight came in.” Brrrrrr!
All In A Day’s Work
This song is a perfectly executed exercise in contradictions and contrasts. Somehow laid back and amped up at the same time. I love the back and forth between Dre’s rapping and this kid Anderson.Paak’s singing, sometimes mid-line. Could’ve been chaos, but every interruption fits like it was supposed to. The sudden ebbs and flows in Dre’s delivery are masterful. The way the beat slowly breaks down at the end till there is nothing left but that hi-hat is amazing. At that point it makes the track feel like a movie score, bringing us back around to the fact that this is “A Soundtrack.” Just another day at the office for Doc…
I straight up didn’t like the beginning of this song. I was okay with the dude rapping (King Mez) at first. But then: auto-tune. Fuck off, already! Beat was good. Not crazy, but like, early Em-style. I was ready to chalk this up as the first full-on failure on the album. And then: “No please don’t give me a reason, reason…” And Dre comes in. OH. SHIT. That’s how the fuck you rap! And then: “Word to my n**** Eazy!” Song cuts off. An old Eazy E excerpt!! “Eazy E, CPT, OG from the other side… other side… other side” Drums underneath. Dre saying “Eazy!” echoing in the background. (Holy fuck, I didn’t realize how much I miss Eazy’s voice in hip hop, especially next to other N.W.A. members.) And then perfectly in time to intercept the song from the Eazy interlude and completely switch tracks for the second half: the instruments arrive, and the chick comes in singing “It’s easy to say you’d leave me…” Fuck. That’s a monstrous transition. Wow. And the ‘Gone’ half is classic Dre. Slinky piano keys. Great Dre verse. Insane Kendrick rhyming circles around the world till time reverses and shit. Okay. Scared me for a second Dre, but still no fail. Slow clap.
Yeah!! Xzibit + Dre beats, forever!!!!
Super-mega-bonus: Cold 187UM (from old school gangster rap crew Above The Law, the first crew to collaborate with N.W.A.) is on this!
Rad Dre beat. Best Cube has sounded on a song in years. I guess I coulda just lead with Dre + Cube, and called it a day on this one…
The beat rings and gurgles along and lurches to startling halts, as the MCs combine with just enough vocal effects to make the whole thing disorienting as they ride just underneath it like gangster submarines, (I don’t even know what the fuck a gangster submarine would entail, but now I want one) and break the surface periodically with the desperation of drowning men. This song more than most feels like a movie scene, and not just because of the breakdown into the horns/gasping interlude at the end. Oh, and, Kendrick, kills it (AGAIN), blah blah etc.
One Shot One Kill
My favourite song on the album. The beat instantly makes my skeleton get goosebumps. This is the best Snoop has sounded in, fucking, I don’t know, a decade maybe? More? And this Jon Connor kid absolutely hangs right beside top-form, final level, end boss Snoop, and belongs. If you don’t like this song, you’re a cunt.
Just Another Day
Game: THAT’S HOW YOU SUPPOSED TO RAP!! FROM NOW ON, THAT’S HOW YOU RAP!!!! This right here is the best The Game has ever sounded. EVER. Every rap he’s ever spit before is dust in the whirlwind of this Game. Just vicious. And what a fuckin’ motherfucker of a beat! Those horns are DEVILMAGIC! This might be my second or third favourite track.
For The Love Of Money
The whole album feels like it has Eazy’s ghost hanging over it. Almost literally on ‘Darkside/Gone’. There are numerous mentions and name drops in Dre’s verses throughout. And here, of course, reminding us of one of Eazy’s biggest post-N.W.A. hits alongside his proteges, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. After the intense peaks the album built to over the previous run of songs, this is the perfect spot to gear down to a more chill valley, and catch our breath.
Which is not to say this song is a snoozer. Dre and Jon Connor’s verses are sick, and the beat and chorus have that soulful-but-still-hard-as-cement feel that I get from tracks like Kendrick’s ‘Money Trees’, or Dre’s own ‘Let Me Ride’. I don’t always like singing on rap records, but when I do, it sounds like this.
Dre + Snoop usually = gold, but this one doesn’t quite satisfyyyyy… satisfy-ction? Satisfyc? WHATEVER. FUCK THE PUNS. What I’m trying to say: this is no G Thang. Or Deep Cover. Or Next Episode. Beat is cool, chorus is above-average, raps are mad decent. Still, I expect collaborations between these two to be earth-altering. This is just ‘solid’.
THIS IS THE FIRST PROFESSIONAL COLLABORATION BY DR. DRE AND DJ MOTHERFUCKING PREMIER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In order, from best to worst elements of this song: Dre rides the beat with panache. Em is in full-on Rap God-mode if measuring against your average MC, but only above-average if compared to himself. Anderson.Paak’s not bad here. Not really a fan of the chorus. I like the lyrics, but her delivery just reminds me of one of the generic late-album Em singles, as does the beat. This track is neither the cause, nor the cure. Almost-yay!
Talking To My Diary
If this is the last song on the last album Dr. Dre ever puts out, he penned a hell of a finale. The main character in our movie is at the end of the line with his life flashing before his eyes, in the form of another super-personal verse. It reminds me a little of the also excellent My 1st Song (from what should’ve been Jay Z’s last album, ‘The Black Album’). A look back to move forward, before riding off into the sunset as the beat rides on and rides out for the remainder of the song. Those cinematic horns that weave in and out of this album popping back up to not only tie everything together, but remind me of the score that plays through Cube’s movie ‘Boyz-N-The-Hood’. This album encompasses not only the entirety of his career, but manages to touch on every corner of both his legacy, and N.W.A.’s. And this song is a perfect microcosm of the whole album.
Fitting that the man that came to us Straight Outta Compton had to go back home before he called it a wrap. End credits. Fade to black.
In conclusion: DAAAAMMMN, THAT SHIT WAS DOPE!!
My childhood just caught a coconut to the head…
When I was a kid, he was the guy I was supposed to boo. The villainous asshole. He was always fuckin’ with Mr. T, for Christ’s sake!!
BUT: whenever he got a mic in his hand, he would win me over. Super-charismatic and hilarious, the way he would verbally dress down his opponents made me laugh milk out my nose and all over my grandma and dad every time, like clockwork. “You’re a very ugly person… you couldn’t get a date with a $100 bill on your forehead.”
He was rad outside of the ring too. If you haven’t seen the criminally underrated John Carpenter film ‘They Live’, you should. Here’s two reasons why:
1) One of the most quotable movie lines ever…
2) One of the best fight scenes ever…
Also, that’s a fuckin raaaad mullet.
Man. This right on the heels of the American Dream dying, too…
The working man just can’t catch a break! That’s hard times, daddy. That’s hard times…
The connection between the two of them goes beyond them both being great on the microphone, and dying in the same summer. Hot Rod actually wrestled Dusty’s son – that weird-ass, androgynous hermie Goldust (who would unnerve his opponents by trying to kiss them and just generally being an all-around Creeptron 3000) – at Wrestlemania XII, in a super-crazy, entertaining “Hollywood Backlot Brawl”…
This drawing by Jim Rugg perfectly captures why these deaths always affect me enough to write about them…
Yeah, I didn’t know them. But I knew them. I would lay on my stomach in my living room and check in on their exploits once a week. And then I would spend the rest of my week doodling my heroes in my notebook during class, wondering what crazy shit they were gonna get up to next week. We may have never met, but these weirdos in kilts and polka dots were there for me every week. There was a connection made that was woven into the very fabric of my childhood. When these guys die, when those connections get broken, well, it feels like someone is slowly unravelling the Linus blanket, one thread at a time. And then I’m not that kid all bundled up, safe on the living room floor. I’m an adult. With no blanky. And an ever-growing amount of greys in my beard and bills in my email. And, fuck adults man! They suck!! I don’t wanna grow up! I’m a motherfuckin’ Toys ‘R Us kid, y’heard!?!
Ugh. Shitty start to a long weekend. I’m gonna throw on my magic shades, pop some Bubble Yum, and go outside. Dirtbag aliens beware, and shit.
Ten bell salute to two of the best talkers of all time…
RIP Rowdy Roddy Piper.
RIP Dusty Rhodes.
Yo, it’s fuckin’ gorgeous outside! Like Superman, I get my power from the sun, or maybe I’m just useless in the cold (brown people steez) so in comparison I seem more powerful or some shit. WHATEVER. Point is: I’mma peace out in one sec, but I thought I’d share some recent radness I’ve come across before I do…
Kick off your summer with these two Madvillainous motherfuckers. L’Orange’s beats feel like they have a thick film of mid-90s dust on em, till Jeremiah Jae’s raps blow it off and all up in your noseholes. Breathe in the realness!
Mad Max: Fury Road will climb up to your expectations, flip over them, come back down just to stab them, blow them up, and drag the carcass through the sand. No amount of hyperbole is enough. The best action movie since The Raid/The Raid 2, and probably the most important since The Matrix. PLUS: DOOF WARRIOR!!!!!!
Yes that’s his actual character name. Yes that’s a flamethrower-guitar. Yes this is the awesomest, most metal thing that has ever happened, ever.
See Mad Max: Fury Road! Die! See it again! What a fuckin’ lovely day!!
…and exceeded it’s funding goals. Then last month, they rewarded those of us that have been patiently waiting from jump with
a music video from the soundtrack for the film WHITELAMBORGHINIHASSELHOFFFURY…
…and now, we’ve reached the end of the rainbow: KUNG FURY IS MOTHERFUCKING HERE!!!!
Cop the 80s-ass soundtrack in all it’s business in the front/party in the back, synth-drenched, training montage-ready glory here. Blow and fingerless gloves sold separately.
Mad Men has been dead and gone for two weeks. It still burns! I was personally disappointed in the finale itself. Except for the very last scene. That was brilliant! If it had ended with the near-perfect second-to-last episode, it would’ve gone out undefeated. Despite that, that last episode takes nothing away from the series as a whole, an absolute masterpiece that sits in my head alongside shows like The Sopranos and The Wire. So raise your glass for a toast. Let’s say good night to this swaggering, sleazy, poetic, beautiful bad guy of a show. The last time we gonna see a bad guy like this, let me tell you…
Alright kids. Fuck off the computer, go outside and play! Don’t come back till it’s dark. Or light again. Or whatever.
You know what’s cooler than cool?
Friends doing amazing things on cool platforms that make us laugh.
Well, they weren’t just content being awesome in one way. Nah, they decided to take White Ninja, the weirdest cartoon ever created by two other funny Canadians…
…and drag his subversive corpse from the comics to the web. (Wait, do ninjas ever really die? Or do they just stay perfectly still for a very long time? I’m not very good with ninja trivia. *Hangs head*)
I DIGRESS. If you’re a fan of Vine, you know it’s a lot of kids being stupid, animals farting, and babies punching themselves but there’s also a lot of creative savants making magic out of those looping 6.5 seconds.
Whiskaye Films and their buds at North of Now decided that dusting off White Ninja and his adventures being a dick would play out perfectly as a web series on Vine. That sentence alone makes us excited.
Are you feeling it? Check out the trailer to get a ninja-sized boner. (I think they’re big.)
And, duh, follow them on Vine to never miss another fish pokin’, carrot danglin’, kid sleddin’ good time.
He’s always welcome at R2AK HQ.
My eldest brother was a huge Star Trek fan, which, when I was a kid made me immediately curious. What (other than Gabe Kaplan’s Welcome Back Kotter moustache/afro styles) could grab the attention of my big brother?!
The first time I watched it, right from the beginning of the opening credits I immediately felt like I was watching something epic. That monologue at the beginning. “Space. The Final Frontier…” The theremin-sounding voice on the theme music. Even the font they used for the credits. So rad.
I vividly remember that first episode I watched. Spock was brainwashed, and Captain Kirk was trying to snap him out of it by hurling insults at him and angering him, until he started to whup Kirk’s ass!
“Right next to the dog-faced boy”!!! And “should be squatting in a mushroom instead of passing himself off as a man”?!?! The Bridge Is Over, and shit. Anyway, that scene established everything I loved about Trek. Kirk was my favourite, cause he was the leader and he got mad green bitches and over-acted like a boss (peep the Shatner in this shit!), but Spock was a baaaaad motherfucker, and a close second. AND he had like superpowers and shit:
1) the Vulcan Neck Pinch…
2) the Vulcan Mind Meld, a useful tactic when one wants to appear sensitive to them hoes…
3) being a Main Street Hipster like 40-50 years before they existed…
Kirk and Spock’s friendship was what drove both the show, and my attachment to it though. Well, the two of them and the grumpy-ass doctor, Bones. The chemistry between the three amigos was always way more interesting to me than whatever evil plant, or clearly made-out-of-rubber creature, or weak white man in half white/half black make-up they were battling this week.
And when they did the movies years later, the passage of time added as much poignance as it did wrinkles to the trio…
So, Hipster Spock up top: whenever they would time travel to Earth’s past, before human’s had first contact with aliens and shit, Spock would have to cover his pointy Vulcan ears. Here’s Headband Spock in the 80s on a bus, dealing with a punk-ass punk…
Leonard Nimoy (and headbands in general) are the coolest. And that’s just his Spock steez! On top of all that, he was motherfuckin’ Megatron 2.0 himself, GALVATRON, in the original, non-Michael Bay Transformers: The Movie!!
I say all that to say this. The world paid a visit to a saaaaad planet this morning…
Actor, director, musician, poet, photographer, grandfather of the People’s Eyebrow…
…Decepticon leader and Chief Science Officer Leonard Nimoy beamed up for good. He passed this morning at age 83 of “end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease”. Dammit. This is the end of Wraith of Khan all over again…
“I have been – and always will be – your friend.” That shit KILLED me just now. Was all throat-lumps and Shatner-faces up in this piece. Alright. Deep breath. Everyone throw up the Vulcan-hand for Leonard. (Thumb out, index+middle together, ring+pinky together)
He did exactly what he wished for everyone else. He lived long and prospered.
RIP Mr. Spock.
The theme music will play in your head from the second page on…
Marvel’s new Star Wars series takes place in that sweet spot between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, is written by the amazing Jason “NOT GEORGE LUCAS” Aaron, with beautiful art by John “NOT CGI” Cassaday, and is pretty much the fucking dark lord of our black hearts over at R2AK HQ.
(A lesser writer would’ve said “it FORCED its way into our hearts” there. Luckily Ian went and Carradined himself to death – pretending it was a Vader Force Choke, nerd-turally – so I tossed his draft in the compost. Takeover! Break’s over, midget!)
The characters look and sound just like they did when you first fell in love with them…
Cooler, even, in Luke’s case…
Chewy’s got your back!
Vader’s gon’ have yo’ ass!
No boring-ass senate meetings or trade tariff bullshits, the creative team has a grasp on the personality and sense of adventure that the original trilogy possessed in spades, and the prequels were completely devoid of…
I admit, after the prequels, I lacked faith. Joined the dark side. Embraced the hate. I never thought I’d be able to wash the bad taste out of my mouth. The taste of that rotting wood Lucas dialogue. Of “midichlorians.” The absolute anti-climax of the strikingly designed Darth Maul’s waaaaay too soon, waaaay too stupid death, wasting a potentially-as-cool-as-Vader-villain, and replacing him with a hunchbacked(?), coughing(?!?) robot MEGA-CGI and/or old white men can’t even get their lightsabers all the way up. And, of course, the much-reviled Jar Jar Binks, and the much worse in hindsight Jake Jake The Dink. (He grew up. And was still a fuckin’ cumsock! You HAVE to watch this awkward, bitter interview…)
But then this popped the fuck up out of the sand…
Yo. The X-Wings flying along the water. The crazy, Excalibur-ass lightsaber shit. THE THEME MUSIC KICKING IN WHEN WE FIRST SPOT THE MILLENIUM FALCON!! It’s lookin’ like Disney rescued this franchise from George Lucas’ out-of-touch-ass clutches, much like I rescued this article from Ian’s greasy, grubby little jerk-mitts! December can’t come fast enough!
Between that trailer and this comic, the property seems like it’s being shepherded into the future in good hands.
A NEW new hope, if you will…
Eat shit, mysterious hashtag-poltergeist!
#notpoltergeist #carradineghost #toofar #beyondthegravekungfuckyou #ianressurected
Star Wars #1 and 2 are available now at your local comic shop, or for your iPads and all them shits online via comixology.com. Run that shit!
Motherfuckers, meet Phil Noto. (Noto, motherfuckers.)
His name literally translates in many languages to “!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Yo, fuckin’ Darth Leia and SuperDraper?!?! Those aren’t tears of joy shooting from the faces of nerdkind, that’s a million eye-boners shootin’ that funky jizm! LOOK AT THAT SHIT! And then look at these!!
Yo, Noto was born to draw baaaaad motherfuckers, smoking and drinking and fucking mothers, but back when they were still daughters in the sixties and shit, dig? Free love, bitches! That said, don’t get it twisted, he can draw ANYTHING cool as a motherfuckin’ polar bear toenail. Peep his take on my two favourite graphic novels, Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen. He always finds a fresh angle to view shit from, as you can see in his decision to move the camera off-center and zero in on Robin instead of Batman, or to turn his Ozymandias piece into a mock magazine ad…
Wolverine with a tommy gun, and pre-Crystal Skull Harrison Ford, for your viewing pleasure…
Pulpy, noir book covers where the bitches are as dangerous as the bullets…
More mock magazine steez, like this rad 80’s new wave take on Psylocke…
Or these period piece, superhero magazine covers…
He started applying his unorthodox concepts to actual paid work, resulting in some bad ass comic book covers…
So, what’s my point? Well, last month I did a piece on DC’s variant cover theme months. Well, Marvel’s all about that action too, boss. For example, these two variant covers that pay homage to R2AK favourites, the rap duo Run The Jewels…
AND, Marvel’s got a Phil Noto Month of covers coming out, inspired by his mock magazine covers, as well as this series of art-pieces Noto did for his blog, The Hank Pym Photo Archives (basically “candid” shots taken by Hank “Ant-Man” Pym, set back in the time period that the comics actually came out, which Noto happens to excel at, you guessed it, the 60s/70s)…
So basically: FUCK + YES = !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yo, I’mma just step aside. PEEP THESE BEAUTIFUL MOTHERFUCKERS!!!
Are those not some of the dopest lines you’ve seen laid on a flat surface since cocaine?! Option A is “YES”. There is no other option. Anyways, you non-blind motherfuckers that dig the Noto-ness can find his art on (and in) Marvel’s monthly Black Widow title. Phil makes the character as gorgeous as her onscreen counterpart and shit…
Noto’s the goddamn truth! The darkness and the light and all them shits in between! Don’t believe me? That’s fine.
BELIEVE TWO BRANDOS!!!
DC Comics has been doing rad month-long themes for alternate versions of their comic covers for a while.
I thought I’d share my two favourite themes so far…
Darwyn Cooke December
DC joined forces with another DC: Darwyn Cooke. The God of Art supplied these sick widescreen covers for 23 of their titles this month. Cooke has always been a favourite of ours here at R2AK. His art being the absolute better-than-Eric-Roberts-Best-of-the-Best is one of the only things that dickless dwarf Ian & I agree on! Those throwback, clean, classic lines of his just ooze nostalgia. Sleek and streamlined, he accomplishes more with a few simple strokes than shitfaces like Liefeld can with all the facial lines in the world. The art feels kinda sixties, but in a cool modern-look-back-at-the-sixties, Mad Men kind of way. Like, these covers’ll drink a scotch on the job and slap a bitch, and look damn dapper while they’re being cads. But these pages aren’t just a pretty face, yo! Cooke frames his scenes more like an Oscar-winnning cinematographer than a “funny book” artist. His storytelling, even in a single image, tells you more than some artists can in a 12 issue miniseries. Yo, I could blather on and on, but I’mma just shut up and stand aside, let these sexy motherfuckers speak for themselves…
BY THE POWER OF GREYSKUUULL!!
Movie Poster March
March 2015 is gonna bring us 22 covers that homage classic Warner Bros films. While I don’t really care for either Aquaman or Free Willy, even that poster is executed flawlessly. Some are hilarious (longhair-Superman & Doomsday as Bill & Ted), some are just too perfect for each other (Teen Titans/Lost Boys, Joker as The Mask, Supergirl as Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy). And the best ones (Superman/Superfly, Batgirl/Purple Rain, Catwoman/Bullit) match the classy cool of the classic posters they’re paying tribute to, so much so that I kinda wanna make some space and hang them up next to the originals. I’ve put each cover beside the poster it’s taking it’s cues from below so you can see for yourself. Check ’em…
Yo DC, make all them shits into posters, sit back, tread water in all the $$$ you’ll be drowning in, and feel proud of the fact that you’ll be classing up mad nerd-walls. Oh, no need to thank me. I’m full of great ideas, that one’s on the house. Christmas steez. If you really wanna thank me though, ask Dave Johnson to make me a Nuv variant of the Superman/Superfly cover.
“Never a dude like this one! He’s a brown cat from Handsome-land!”
In fact, in the spirit of the holiday, here’s some more cover theme ideas, free of charge. Stick em up your, I mean, under your tree DC…
1) Musical May: get Cliff Chiang, the artist of the Batgirl/Purple Rain cover to do homages to album covers, like he did in his 12-Inch Remix series.
2) Posse Cut-tember: hire this dude from Comics Alliance to do crazy team-ups with larger-than-life figures from the real world.
3) That 70’s Covers: Francesco Francavilla’s Batman 1972.
He came up with the concept just for fun on his blog. How this hasn’t been greenlit as it’s own project already is a motherfuckin’ mystery Batman couldn’t solve…
Get him to give the whole DC Universe a gritty, New York crime flick makeover as a cover theme. Drool over the results. Then: GET OFF YOUR ASSES AND PAY FF TO MAKE A BATMAN 1972 COMIC!
Boom. You’re welcome. Leave a scotch out for me with the motherfuckin’ cookies and shit. Santa Nuv: OUT.
Season’s greetings on behalf of me & the absentee midget.
Put two in the air…
If you like mind-shattering writing that opens your doors of perception and doesn’t spoon-feed you…
…if you like Watchmen, if you HATE Watchmen…
…if you have a PULSE and if you only believe one thing we ever tell you: READ THIS THE FUCK NOW.
[CLICK THE PIC TO BUY IT AT COMIXOLOGY.COM]
It’s not a comic strip. It’s a non-linear, deconstructionist, infinite Möbius strip, looping and twisting endlessly back in on itself. Front-to-back, back-to-front, upside down, sinking in quicksand, squinting through this barrage of hyperbole, this motherfucker of a book comes together like clockwork in every direction and reveals cooler layers every time you look at it.
Pax Americana goes full circle, using the original Charlton characters that were the inspiration for the characters in Watchmen (Captain Atom = Dr. Manhattan, The Question = Rorscach, etc.)…
…and at the same time the influence of the Watchmen versions of the characters is clear here. Blatant even.
Taken on it’s own, or as a post-modern “rebuttal to Alan Moore/Watchmen”, or a meta commentary on a post-Dark Knight/Marvel Studios world where the movies and merch matter more than the source material, whatever, HOWEVER you take it, and however you slice it: this is the comic of the year.
And while you’re reading it, it juuust might be reading you right back…
*cue Twilight Zone theme…*