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Category Archives: comics

“None seek Eternity unless they desire power!”

Janelle: “You’re getting some grey hairs, at your temples.”

“Like Dr Strange, this dimension’s Sorcerer Supreme?” I asked, hopefully.

“No,” she said. “Not like that.”

fave albums of the 00s

Making my TV of the decade list made me realize just how many incredible shows the last decade has produced. The 00s have not been as good for music, though. The decade isn’t a write-off, of course, but I could easily rattle off half a dozen albums from the 90s that I preferred to the best of the 00s. However, there was some brilliant electronica happening from about 2000-2003, a wave of great indie pop/rock/folk (much of it Canadian) in the middle of the decade, and… kind of a holding pattern these days, it seems, though maybe I just don’t have sufficient perspective on 2008-09 yet. (I’m secretly hoping the next decade produces an IDM revival. It could happen!)

Anyway, without further ado, my Top 50 Albums of the 00s. Feel free to post your own list in the comments, but be aware that my list is, oddly enough, completely correct and entirely objective, so there’s not really a lot to be gained by disagreeing with it. I expect it to be taught in music history classes by 2030.







  1. The Arcade Fire – Funeral
  2. Low – Things We Lost in the Fire
  3. Boards of Canada – Geogaddi
  4. PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
  5. Radiohead – Kid A
  6. Modest Mouse – The Moon and Antarctica
  7. Cat Power – You Are Free
  8. Caribou – Andorra
  9. Blonde Redhead – Misery is a Butterfly
  10. Four Tet – Rounds
  11. The Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
  12. Add N to (X) – Loud Like Nature
  13. Nicola Conte – Bossa Per Due
  14. Mouse on Mars – Niun Niggung
  15. Low – Trust
  16. Amon Tobin – Supermodified
  17. Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
  18. William Shatner – Has Been
  19. Explosions in the Sky – Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever
  20. Sons and Daughters – This Gift
  21. TV On The Radio – Return To Cookie Mountain
  22. The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
  23. The Field – From Here We Go Sublime
  24. The Flashbulb – Kirlian Selections
  25. Iron & Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days
  26. The New Pornographers – Mass Romantic
  27. Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
  28. Sunset Rubdown – Dragonslayer
  29. Bj̦rk РVespertine
  30. The Knife – Silent Shout
  31. Bonobo – Dial M for Monkey
  32. Yo La Tengo – And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
  33. Sigur Rós – Ágætis Byrjun
  34. Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
  35. Sun Kil Moon – April
  36. Daft Punk – Discovery
  37. Broken Social Scene – You Forgot It In People
  38. Beck – Sea Change
  39. Kid Koala – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  40. Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
  41. Blonde Redhead – 23
  42. Plaid – Double Figure
  43. Manitoba – Up in Flames
  44. Sons and Daughters – The Repulsion Box
  45. Sufjan Stevens – Seven Swans
  46. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever to Tell
  47. The Dandy Warhols – Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia
  48. Junior Boys – Last Exit
  49. Holy Fuck – Holy Fuck
  50. Xploding Plastix – Amateur Girlfriends Go Proskirt Agents

Whew! And here are some more that I really liked but didn’t quite make the cut. You can consider them tied for 51st:

Andrew Bird – Andrew Bird and the Mysterious Production of Eggs
Aphex Twin – Analord, vols 1-11
Autechre – Quarstice
Beirut – The Flying Cup Club
Black Mountain – Black Mountain
Black Mountain – In the Future
Blonde Redhead – Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons
Boards of Canada – The Campfire Headphase
Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
Buck 65 – Talkin’ Honky Blues
Burial – Untrue
Cat Power – The Covers Record
Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles
Cul de Sac – Death of the Sun
Deadbeat – New World Observer
The Decemberists – Picaresque
Elliott Smith – Figure 8
Explosions in the Sky – All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone
Explosions in the Sky – The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place
The Field – Yesterday and Today
The Flashbulb – Soundtrack to a Vacant Life
Four Tet – Pause
Franz Ferdinand – Tonight
Fuck Buttons – Street Horrrsing
Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Raise Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
Hol Baumann – Human
Iron & Wine – The Creek Drank the Cradle
Junior Boys – So This is Goodbye
Ladytron – 604
Low – The Great Destroyer
Metric – Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?
Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Ever Sank
Mouse on Mars – Idiology
Mouse on Mars – Radical Connector
M̼m РFinally We Are No One
Neko Case and Her Boyfriends – Furnace Room Lullaby
The New Pornographers – Twin Cinema
The Organ – Grab That Gun
Pole – 3
The Postal Service – Give Up
Prefuse 73 – Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives
RJD2 – Dead Ringer
Radiohead – In Rainbows
The Strokes – Is This It?
Sufjan Stevens – Illinoise
Sunset Rubdown – Random Spirit Lover
Thievery Corporation – The Mirror Conspiracy
Wolf Parade – Apologies to the Queen Mary
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz
various artists – Clicks + Cuts

just sayin’, is all


Ah, nothing like an attention-grabbing comic book stunt, is there? When I was slightly younger, my brothers and I would remake Archie comics by cutting and pasting word balloons from one story to another. The results made exactly as much sense, but were much, much funnier.

But right now, I just want to point out that Jughead’s expression goes far beyond “this shit is fucked up” to true heartbreak territory. So much for the theory that Juggie is just a misogynist with a fast metabolism and snappy fashion sense.

Also, speaking of Jughead’s hat: this is some awesome research right here.

In other news, I’ve just become a thirty-something professional who posts about Star Trek and Archie comics on the internet. And to think: none of my teachers ever thought I’d amount to anything.

Garfield Minus Garfield


It’s been a long time since I sent out a random link that you’ve probably already seen (but hey, even if you have, it’s new to me). Garfield Minus Garfield is… well, I’ll just let the site speak for itself:

Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness in a quiet American suburb.

The really frightening thing is just how much I identify with this Jon Arbuckle.

status update (still alive, working, reading Spider-Man comics)

spiderman.jpgI haven’t been updating this here blog much lately, and the reason is as lame as can be — I don’t have a computer at home. One of the less glamorous aspects of my otherwise totally sexy Yaletown start-up job is that, if I want to work on OS X instead of Linux (which I very, very much do want), I have to supply my own computer. And so Coconino, my ageing-but-beloved 12″ G4 PowerBook, stays semi-permanently in the office.

However, that just gives me more time to get caught up on my geek reading. Reading like The Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus, 1088 pages of sheer 1960s Spider-Man awesomeness in a volume the size and weight of a cinderblock. My own Marvel comics reading was mostly confined to the late 1980s, as the comics industry was beginning to be slowly ground to death between the Scylla of an overheated speculator market and the Charybdis of an incredibly convoluted continuity. We’re talking plot-twists, rewriting, retconning, editorial fiat, and the steady metronome of character death and resurrection. Though on the plus side, chronicling the Marvel continuity makes for some hilariously deadpan wikipedia articles:

Despite the obvious obstacles, Octavius was for a time on good terms with Peter Parker’s Aunt May, whom he first met in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 (1964) when he abducted her and Peter’s then-girlfriend Betty Brant to attract Spider-Man’s attention. In fact, in later years May Parker and Otto Octavius were briefly engaged to be married. Their wedding was interrupted by Hammerhead.

During the Clone Saga, Doctor Octopus saved Spider-Man from certain death due to a poison injected by the Vulture. During the healing process he discovered the identity of Spider-Man and then allowed himself to be taken in by police, expecting to be saved by his accomplice/lover Stunner. But Stunner was knocked out and Doc Ock was murdered by the insane Peter Parker clone named Kaine. Octavius’ student Carolyn Trainer took over as “Doctor Octopus” until the original was resurrected by a branch of the mystical ninja cult known as the Hand. Upon his resurrection, it was revealed that he had no knowledge of Spider-Man’s identity. The reason was that the memories he gained came from a computer chip provided by Carolyn Trainer with his recorded memories; that recent memory had not been recorded at the time of his death.

Oops, spoiler alert!

In reading the original 1960s Spider-Man, it’s hard not to be impressed with how fresh and imaginative those early issues were. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko were clearly firing on all cylinders and every issue is practically bursting with a kind of inmates-taking-over-the-asylum enthusiasm and cockiness. It’s like they woke up one morning, decided they were going to reinvent superhero comics overnight, and then did just that, one guilt-ridden teenaged nerd/crimefighter at a time.

(I’ve also been slowly working my way through the more recent Y: The Last Man, which is an altogether different kind of comic-book goodness…)