Tuesday, October 17, 2006 

You've Gotta Work Hard To Be This Mediocre

Over at Sports Gone South, my take on the Atlanta Falcons, a team for whom inconsistency would be an improvement. (Pictured below: a representative sample shot from yesterday's woodshedding at the hands of the New York Football Giants.) Enjoy.

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Monday, October 16, 2006 

Comics For People Who Don't Read Comics: The Other Side #1

Gather 'round, younguns, and I'm going to tell you of a time before your "Internets," a time before the word "spoiler" even existed, a time when everybody found out at the same time what happened in your favorite movie, tv show, or comic book. Nowadays, you spoiled kids learn about everything months or years in advance. Spider-Man unmasks, Henry Gale turns out to be one of The Others, Jack Sparrow meets his apparent doom at the tentacles of the Kraken, and the whole world knows it--hell, can see it--moments after it's released.

Which makes discovering a book like The Other Side so sweet.

I was at the local comics store--shout out to my boys at Great Escape, yo--this weekend and picked up the usual haul--Azzarello's Loveless, Digital Webbing Presents, B. Clay Moore's The Leading Man, the fanboy wankfest Infinite Crisis hardcover--when a book I'd never heard of before caught my eye. You can see the cover right there on the right--two soldiers, Huey helicopters, jungle background--you can already predict exactly what this story's about, which is a very good thing. Vietnam, in comic form. Put out by Vertigo, which, when it pulls its head out of the third-generation-Sandman-copy clouds, puts out some of the consistently best books on the market.

So. The Other Side. It's a Vietnam story told from two different points of view. On the American side, we've got Billy Everette, a boy from Alabama drafted into Uncle LBJ's army. On the Vietnamese side, we've got Vo Binh Dai, a kid from the village of Nam Phong, which looks pretty much like the Alabama of North Vietnam.

This first issue is fairly standard setup--we see both boys going through their versions of basic training, which includes a pretty heavy dose of indoctrination. Billy's experience is straight out of Full Metal Jacket, including brutal drill sergeant and rifle begging to be put in the mouth. But since TOS's writer, Jason Aaron, is a cousin of Gustav Hansford, whose book The Short Timers became the inspiration for Full Metal Jacket, we can cut him some slack--it's all in the family.

Where TOS diverges from FMJ is the metaphysical aspect. Both boys are haunted--Billy by the ghosts of horribly massacred soldiers, Dai by the expectant spirits of his ancestors. The artwork renders these figures--as well as dramatic jungle scenes, such as the North Vietnamese army camping at the front steps of a decrepit French plantation--in vivid, utterly believable detail.

Ironically, if this were an HBO series, it'd be getting tidal waves of critical accolades. Only in comics can a series this real and ground-level be out of the mainstream. Hopefully the sales will keep this book afloat; if not, a Wolverine guest appearance may be in order. (Don't laugh--when Marvel's late, lamented Vietnam series The 'Nam began floundering sales-wise, the powers-that-be injected The Punisher, in his pre-costume days, into the series to goose buyers.)

Anyway, TOS's first issue--"If You're Lucky, You'll Only Get Killed"--is a solid start to the series, and highly recommended. I'm on board for the long haul, and you ought to be too.

Sunday, October 15, 2006 

Bullfeathers


Posted a new bit on how the NCAA has, once again, proven its collective head is surgically fused to its collective ass--this time, they've forbidden the College of William & Mary from using freaking feathers on its logo. (No, really.) Check it out over at Sports Gone South.

Thursday, October 12, 2006 

"The Perfect Place To Be If Your Thumbs Have More Skills Than Your Pimp Game."

No disrespect to Hannah Storm, Erin Andrews, Suzy Kolber, et. al., but our new favorite yournextmnfsidelinereporter.jpgsideline reporter is the lovely Charity Hodges. Ms. Hodges--she's the utter mess there at the right of your screen--is the sideline reporter for NOPI Tunervision, a SpeedTV show about--well, we’re not quite sure what the hell it’s about, frankly, only that there are lots of boobs and cars.


Apparently edited by a hypercaffeinated ferret--no shot lasts longer than three seconds--NOPI Tunervision is a show where tattooed (and heavily sponsored) dudes talk about widebody kits, superchargers, and 12-inch GRW-7s, which would really impress us if we knew what the hell they were. It’s also a show where insanely hot chicks shake their butts for membership in the “Apple Butt Club” and frolic in the sexual-assault pregame show knownnopi.JPG as a “Bubble Bath Bikini Contest.” Oh, yeah--and there's Xbox competitions too, which is where the title quote comes from. And through it all, the lovely Ms. Hodges wears a low-cut blouse showing cleavage deep enough to hide a toddler. She may not know NOPI Tunervision from a Hopi reservation, but really...who cares?



Check it out like we did--for free--by clicking here and downloading it off iTunes. Then, like they say on the show, keep your right foot angry...or whatever.

Thursday, October 05, 2006 

Mouthing Off, Pro Division--A Sports Gone South cross-post

A quick roundup of some of the South's sports stories of the moment, taken from my new site Sports Gone South:

-Apparently, the Bobcats' practices need the Benny Hill theme music as a soundtrack.

-In other Bobcats news, if you drive the lane against Sean May, there's a decent chance you're going to get eaten.

-Hey, guess what! Pat Riley sez training camp is easier if you’re coming off a world championship. In totally unrelated news, Stan Van Gundy's corpse was found in a Baltimore row house covered in lime.


-"Haynesworth! For the love of God, man, stop stomping the butler!"


-Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist goes on the DL after rupturing metaphor muscle while comparing Wake Forest to Tickle Me Elmo.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006 

New Website! Go! Now!

I've just set up a new website, Sports Gone South, which will host all my sports musings on all things south of the Potomac River. Go check it out. I'll be cross-posting here for a bit. Here's the first one, all about the NL playoffs...
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Ah, early October. The warmth of summer's still hanging around, but the nights are getting crisp. Football's in full swing, basketball's training camps are open, and hockey...nobody cares about hockey. And baseball's playoffs are just beginning, and, as usual, Glavine and Maddux are on the hill:


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...oh, yeah. I forgot.


maddogla.jpg glavineny.jpg


The Glavine-Maddux showdown which was likely for Game 2 won't come to pass, which is a shame, because I was looking forward to seeing how it would be physically possible for both Hall of Fame pitchers to simultaneously dig their teams into huge holes. Sort of an "irresistible force/immovable object" quandary in reverse.


Me, I'm taking the Dodgers in this one--no offense to Glavine, who's always been one of my favorites, but anything that brings misery to New York sports fans brings joy into my life:


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My own postmortem of the Braves' dynasty is right here.

Bio

Jay Busbee runs Yahoo! Sports' NASCAR Blog From The Marbles, Atlanta Magazine's Atlanta sports blog Right Down Peachtree, and the Southern sports/humor blog Sports Gone South. He also writes for damn near anybody who'll throw him a buck and a byline, and he's at work on the books The Quiet Dynasty: The History Of The Atlanta Braves' Championship Run (2009, Sports Publishing LLC) and God Is A Bulldog: Georgia, Florida, And The Greatest Play In College Football History (2010, Sports Publishing LLC). Click below for more info on his novels, articles, and comics.
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