Thursday, July 31, 2003

"Wonder and Majesty"

Ok, I'm running out of ways to use "Wonder" in the title.

My favourite comedians

1) Glenn Foster - A great Canadian comic who's observations are uniquely Canadian, and as such, are underappreciated.
2) Dennis Leary - The granddaddy of snarky, pissed off comedians.
3) Dennis Miller - Now, I don't want to go of on a rant here, but ever since Miller became an apologist for the Bush Administration, he's lost a lot of respect. It's obvious that his terror with what happened at 9-11 shook him like a mixmaster in a mosh pit, but that's no excuse for becoming one of the mindless drones, all right? That's just my opinion, I could be wrong

-Stupid name calling
All right, so Chuck Austen has offically called anyone who has critiqued him as a jealous troll. Pal, I've seen your picture, and trust me, I've got nothing to be jealous of. However, if you feel the need to continue taunting fans like the class bully, then I'll just treat you like one. Anytime, any place Chuck, I'm calling you out, because I think I stand a pretty good chance of beating your ass. Email and we'll set this up. Personally, I have never read your stuff outside the four page previews at Comics Continuum, and well, I've never gotten past page 3 of anything you've ever penned. Beyond that, this will be the last time I mention your name, Chuck, because like any bully, you just aren't worth any more of my precious time, and neither is anything you write.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

"Wonders beyond the imagination..."

Back to this week's theme, I'm going discuss some of my favourite music, because narrowing it down to a few songs and CDs is nearly impossible for me

1) Classical - Beethoven and Mozart and Holst and Handel, oh my! This stuff carries true human emotion, and SOUL in it, with a power and majesty that cannot be matched in a 5 minute pop tune.
2) Modern Music - My taste here is eclectic; I liked Martin Page's House of Stone and Light for it's sense of mysticism, and I like bits and pieces of Live and Collective Soul and a few other bands.
3) Canadian Music - I'm a homegrown guy at heart. Great Big Sea has long ago surpased most other contemporary music by connecting me with my Canadian heritage. Tragically Hip is also tied deeply to my heritage, so I feel that they are something of a cultural institution.
4) Soundtracks - whether they be pop tunes (Titan A.E. )or instrumental (Gladiator), I tend to end up liking the soundtracks better than the movies, as it is the music that really transforms and helps to create emotional content in the movie.
5) Parody - I love Weird Al Yankovic, who doesn't?


- If you've seen the posts below, you can see I'm not thrilled with the idea of a brain dead living fart like Chuck Austen writing the second biggest popculture icon (Superman). I don't think he has anything of value to say about the character, hell, I don't thing he has anything of value to say about ANY CHARACTER IN ANY MEDIA. I'm sorry Chuck, I'm sure you're a nice guy, but as a writer, well....ugh.
- Looks like I still have no bids for the comics I'm selling on Ebay
Here's the link

Take a chance, trust me, I've got a lot of good stuff up for grabs, but you need to hurry.

Well, looks like Rucka did have an exclusive at DC. My bad...

...and oh crap, Austen is on one the Superman monthlies....and I thought things were bad before.....someone please put a hit on this guy...well maybe I'll get lucky and Bill Jemas will do it...after all, Chuck must have made a deal with him to even get as far as he has.

Chuck Austen on bad is this going to suck?

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

"Awe and wonder"

In keeping with my theme of favourites for the week

My Favourite TV shows (in no particular order)

1) Farscape - this show was a fun, wild, insane ride that was cut-off too soon by myopic business interests. Thought provoking and interesting, I couldn't help but relate to Crichton's humour (though at times bordering on madness) in dealing with things so far from his experience and trying to relate them to things he remembered from his lost home. And it was a fun adventure, nearly perfect if you don't count the fact that it ended on a poor cliffhanger.
2) Futurama - Using "the future" to parallel modern-day issues used to be Star Trek's deal, before it became too smaltzy and drama-based. This was a humorous take on the future and how science and science-fiction tend to give results that we don't expect. Again, cancelled by myopic business interests.
3) ALF - As a kid, I could relate to being the odd member of the family, and so ALF was a natural escape for me. Even as I watch re-runs I notice how well it holds up, and without the excess of shock and sex that more modern comedies are forced to rely on. Cancelled by myopic business interests (Anyone ELSE Seeing a pattern here?)
4) Babylon 5 - NOT cancelled by myopic business interests, but just barely. A sci-fi novel/opera brought in full detail to TV by Joe Michael Straczynski. It's a pity that the sequel series Crusade degenerated the way it did.
5) Smallville - A guilty pleasure, I admit, but it's probably the best interpretation of Superman being made today, because it isn't in the comics. It's a coming of age tale that seeks to reinforce a truly weird idea; Right making Might, instead of the other way around.


OK, so DC comics (Superman/Batman) are swiping writers from Marvel (Spiderman/X-Men)...well let's take a look at some of Marvel's "A-List" and see what the likely results are

- Brian Michael Bendis - OK, this one's easy. There is NO WAY on Earth Marvel can afford to let this guy go. He writes, what, five of their books? If he goes, Marvel's crown jewel, the Ultimate line, crashes. If they are that stupid, well, they deserve to go the way of the dino. He's staying.
- Mark Millar - seems he has a grudge (perhaps rightfully so, given what happened to the Authority) with Levitz. And he seems to be happy at Marvel. He's staying.
- Peter David - At the end of the day, I'm more a fan of Peter's novels than his comics, but that being said, he's still one of the top writers. I suspect that he'll remain a freelancer unless Marvel pushes him too far. Very few people really can tell him what to do and expect to get away with it. Freelancer.
- Joe Michael Straczynski - He's already said no. He's staying. That's probably a good thing, because while I'm a huge Babylon 5 fan, his comics work has Staying.
- Dan Jurgens - Outside of his work on Thor the only other things he does are The T&A Top Cow books. Freelancer.
- Gail Simone - She will probably remain freelance unless DC gives her a high-profile project outside her "Birds of Prey" work, which doesn't seem too likely at the moment. However, I expect she'll rise through the ranks at Marvel and probably end up with a few good projects. Freelancer.
- Christopher Priest - When the Crew gets cancelled, which it most likely will, my suspicision is that Priest would be good at revitalizing a lot of DC's superhero properties (such as the rumoured Milestone line) or doing his own politically charged work for a Vertigo or Wildstorm title. Likely to leave.
- Garth Ennis - Rich Johnston's rumor mill suggest a few weeks back that Garth would end up on "Ultimate X-Men". Now, given Mark Millar's comments of a few days ago, change "Ultimate" to "New" and it might sound a little better. He'll stay with Marvel for the moment.
- Paul Jenkins - Same as Jurgens, one Marvel book, and a lot of T&A at other companies. Freelancer.
- Brian K. Vaughn - His big project is at DC, in their Vertigo imprint, and his Marvel book isn't a sales buster, but I think he'll keep using both playgrounds. Freelancer.
- Bruce Jones - Honestly can't say that much one way or the other, but I doubt that they have a replacement for him for The Hulk. He'll stay.
- Pete Milligan + Mike Allred - If X-Statics goes, so do they. End of story. Freelancers.
- Chris Claremont - Will remain a freelancer, and stick with his one X-title, and a little project here and there. Freelancer with one permanent job.
- Greg Rucka - Freelance. He's still committed to his Queen and Country Work.
- Tom DeFalco - I admire the guy for fighting for his baby, Spider-Girl, against hopless odds. While not a big name talent, and I personally still have a bone or three to pick about his "Fantastic Four" work, I have to say I've softened up on the guy in years, as he's shown he can write entertaining comics, something the last two on this list don't have a clue about. He'll stay until they finally kill "Spider-Girl".
- Frank Tieri - This guy should not be allowed to work outside Marvel. Staying.
- Chuck Austen - Hearing that he has a Superman project really soured the milk for me as far as yesterday's bout of good Superman news went. Chuck doesn't deserve lick Grant Morrison's shoes, never mind the fact that he should never have gotten into comics in the first place. I just hope that his "Superman" project is a sequel to his "Metropolis" because I don't think I want him anywhere near one of the monthlies. GET A CLUE: This guy is BAD BAD BAD. I have a 10-yr old cousin who could plot a better comic using only the letters from his alphabet soup!


Monday, July 28, 2003

"Something Wonderful"

Just thought I'd spend some time to share with you some of my favourite things during the course of this week, along with some rants, so here goes

Comics I'm reading these days
1) Planetary - Easily Warren Ellis' best work, this is equal parts conspiracy story, detective yarn, and moral play about the power of the imagination to change the world and what it takes for people to use that power wisely.
2) Fantastic Four - I've been hooked on FF since I was 4 yrs old, and Reed Richards inspired my interested in science and was probably ultimately responsible for my decision to become an engineer. While I won't be getting any new issues after Mark Waid is gone, this remains my favourite comic of all time.
3) Empire - Anyone who thinks Mark Waid is just a sappy optimist should pick up this book, as he has created a terrifying and darkly humourous look at the "villian rules the world" story. It chilled me to see the detail in his writing of this dark story.
4) Invincible - On the other hand, this lighthearted take on "Son of Superman" is great fun, and has the sense of wonder that superhero comics seem to have lost.
5) Sleeper - Fans of the T.V. Show 24 should be getting this, as it is a gritty spy tale that will appeal to them.
6) The Forgotten - I had to order these comics directly from the independent publisher in Philidelphia, but it was worth it for this nifty supernatural mystery worth of "The Sixth Sense"

-Watched the VH1 Top 200 popculture icons. This thing was taken with a modern, 20 something perspective, because there is NO WAY that JFK Jr. had a bigger impact than his Father. One was the president during a major global crisis, the other had a magazine. Are we clear?

-OK, for you comic fans,
Go to eBay or email me so you can find out about my comic auctions. Hurry!



Sunday, July 27, 2003

Just a couple of items for today because I've got to get to my grandfather's to help him with the roof;

1) I've got 100 comics from my collection up for auction at eBay. There is a lot of really good stuff I'm getting rid of, and if you are interested in more details, give me a buzz at

2) Feeling better, thanks.


Saturday, July 26, 2003

Been a bad week, just going to get a few things off my chest.

1) Someone at WB wants to have Ashton Kutcher (Kelso from "That 70's show") as either Batman or Superman for their next superhero movie. Their reasoning? It'll get teenage girls to go see the movie. Now, either my opinion of teenage girls is a lot higher than it should be, or WB is full of fucking idiots. Point one: Superheroes are geared towards an adolescent male power fantasy. Period. Trying to get girls to like that is like trying to cast Harrison Ford into a Barbie movie; it doesn't work. Point two: Just because a "hearthrob" is in it does not mean that teenage girls will flock to it; the movie should actually be fucking watchable, understand? You want to get teenage girls to watch a Superman movie? It's simple; remind the audience that at the end of the day, Superman can lift a fricking aircraft carrier, but Lois is his equal because she'll fight just as hard for what she believes in. You want a mind-blowing take on the Superman Mythos? Write it from Lois' perspective. That'll get teenage girls if you do a half decent job.

2) Bad Day: Got told by a girl I was interested in not to bother. In her words, "You're a nice guy, and you'll meet a really nice girl. I'm just too messed up right now." So you mean that the fact that I'm not screwed up means that I'm screwed up? Welcome to the Catch-22 that is my dating life. In this town, you have to be drunk as a skunk, high as a kite, smoke like a chimney and be a total loser to get a date. Well, looks like "Mr. Nice Guy" isn't working, let's start kicking people's dogs in public places. That'll get me a date. Sorry, that was just a bit over the top. It just seems like I can't find a nice girl in this town who wants someone like me, I guess I'm just not the dangerous type.

3) Self Loathing here: I was in the music store when I think I saw the only girl I ever fell for. It's been five years, so I couldn't be sure, if it was her, she had changed, but then so did I. I couldn't bring myself to go to make sure. This was a girl I failed; I wasn't strong enough, and I blame myself for not being what she really needed; a friend. I know she never felt that way about me; but we had a good friendship, and I made like an idiot, and fell for her, and didn't even have the guts to tell her. And this is what it's come to.

4) Bought The Chinese Connection on DVD; Good movie, in some ways superior to Enter the Dragon because it has a moral center and a dilemna that ultimately violence doesn't solve.

Talk to you later,


Thursday, July 24, 2003

Been having trouble sleeping this week, starting to affect performance.

Dreams, imaginings of things that scare the crap out of me. Been living in the Hour of the Wolf with the feeling that Someone just stepped on my grave for the whole week....can't concentrate....

I know I'm on the verge of something, as the last time I was in this bad a shape something....wonderful epiphany, an awakening that changed my life. Looks like another one is in the works....

...I just hope I don't crack before it does.


Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Listening to a radio commercial saying that there's Polonium-210 (radio active material) in cigarattes...
Whether or not you believe that, can you not imagine some moron now trying to make his own nuke out of cigarettes? Stupid, dangerous, and bizarre. Just thought I'd drop that one to you.

So, Manley is out of the race for Liberal leadership, and Sheila Copps is saying it's not over yet. Some one should just tell her that her odds of beating Paul Martin for the leadership race are slightly better than that of George W. Bush LOSING the Republic nomination. Admit, Sheila, it's over, he's won and crushed you all. So, say hi to Prime Minister Paul Martin, hereby to refered to as PMPM.

Have a nice day, and feel free to send feedback to


Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Being a consulting engineer can basically be boiled down to one description: Letting everyone know how badly they are going to suffer for not doing things right.

This week is sort of a "Reading Week" for me, as I'm spending some time catching up on my reading and doing some research on various things.

What I read this weekend

Warren Ellis' STORMWATCH VOL 1 - 4 and THE AUTHORITY #1-4: The most politically aware comic writer of our time, Warren Ellis produced a great Sci-fi TV series on Paper called Stormwatch, and the big-budget movie spinoff The Authority. These are some of the best comics I have ever read, and quite frankly, if you care about good political drama, sci-fi, or superhero, you should get these too.

What I'm going to be reading this week

God Emperor of Dune - I read Dune and Dune Messiah, and I found that my interest waned. After the miniseries got released, I'm starting to catch up, and I'm impressed with the level of detail Herbert put into his society and ecology. This is Science Fiction's answer to Lord of The Rings in terms of creating a functional environment, and it is a very good tale to boot

Tao of Jeet Kune Do - By pure accident, I'm reading this on the week that marks the 30th anniversary of Bruce Lee's death. Weird coincidence, that. Not much of a heavy read, the two key messages are : Keep it Simple and Stay in Shape.

The Ingenuity Gap - Thomas Homer Dixon is attempting to explain the depth the social, technological, and environmental problems and the societies they have created, and whether or not the societies and complex systems are capable of creating solutions. It's very dense, but also very insightful.

Other Notes

Chuck Dixon, Get a Clue

I was reading an interview with really-long-time Batman writer Chuck Dixon the other day, where he implied that the company he's currently working for is superior to those pumping out nothing but super-hero comics because Crossgen's material is "Genre Fiction"

This arguement collapses for anyone who's even had a 1st year course in literature, but let's make sure Chuck gets the message

"Genre Fiction" is just a formula, it follows the dramatic formula that any sophomore highschool student knows, and it uses the techniques and forms of the genre, whether it be western, romance, horror, etc (aka "Genre coventions"). EVERY PIECE OF FICTION DOES THIS.

What this means is that genre fiction is genre fiction no matter how good or bad the writer. To put it another way, the hack who writes the romance novels that lie on the pharmacy bookshelves is no different from the great classical romance writers because they both use the same FORM; the difference is that one writes well, and the other writes poorly. So saying that Crossgen is better simply because it offers genre fiction is patently ridiculous. So, if I want good Sci-fi, do I pick up Chuck's SIGIL comic, or Herbert's DUNE books? Which one do you think is the better writer?

That's the difference.


Monday, July 21, 2003

Back. Had a great weekend at the cottage. Got some reading done, and trounced my entire family in Scrabble.

Anyway, I've been reading alot about what's happening in Iraq, and it brought me back to an email I wrote to my university class some time after the war started. It's a bit sentimental (surprisingly, even I have a sentimental side), but it was something I needed to do then, and something I want to get off my chest now that things are the way they are.

I wrote this on March 23 of this year

You may not believe this, but I couldn't go to sleep the night the missles
started firing in Iraq....I know, I know, a bit hard to swallow from a guy who
uses my admittedly graphic vocabulary (although, I'd like to point out that it
was fairly normal in my high school, so what's scarier I don't know)

You see, back during my first work term, the son of the people I was boarding
with had come home to start training to be a Toronto police officer. He had
been a peacekeeper in Bosnia, and a master marksman, but he was one of the most
amazingly gentle and kind people I've ever met. He had an 11-month old
daughter who tended to prance into my room and steal my Frosh yellow hard hat
and run around wearing it....quite a darling she was....

..and it hurts to know that there is someone in Iraq right now who may die
never seeing his child...and that sucks

During my last workterm, I got into a few rounds of pool with a US Marine
demolitions expert...a 20 year old that had been in Afganistan, and he was a
Canadian Expatriate. What he told me during those rounds of pools (which he
beat the tar out of me at) was both shocking and disturbing....not the sort of
things even I would talk about openly...but nonetheless, he was an alright

and he may be in deadly danger as we speak....

I write this down to you, to sort it out in my own mind. You see, while I hope
that this war can be brought to minimal is things such as the
link below that make my blood boil.

And don't get me wrong, I know and appreciate that a soldier is willing to take
the risk as we speak...but that he is being asked to do so for circumstances
that are nebulous at best and criminal at worst, it does nothing to make my
rest easier, but it is my hope that writing this will help.

Sorry for taking your time,

Michael C. Paciocco

More new stuff tomorrow. Promise.


Thursday, July 17, 2003

Posts will be erratic, I'm bordering on a social life these if only a love life would come with it :)

Take the time over the next few days to get familiar with the archived stuff. For those of you keeping up to date, I thank you and apologize for my absences....things will be back to normal by Monday


Wednesday, July 16, 2003

No real topic today, just rambling...

1) still needs your help...go!
2) I also recommend you checkout A former classmate of mine, Gabe is one of the smartest men I know, and he and I share a lot of the same opinions on Smallville to boot.
3) Gabe also has a lot of links to other former classmates of mine, and I suggest you go visit each and every single one.

Tonite's a training night, and I expect it to be a heavy one. Now that I'm not a white belt, I'm not willing to let myself get away with any shortcuts. I can't argue with the results though, I just went down another notch on my belt size. 5 hours of martial arts a week, and in the fall I'll start a daily gym routine, so that's another 5 hours a week. I should be in pretty good shape for any reunions :)

Things I now know how to do because of MacGuyver (been watching some reruns):
-escape the Chinese Embassy
-create smoke bombs and nitroglycerin gels so I can escape Russian mental asylums
-Electrify my car at the precise moment to stun armed guards using bailing wire
-Stop a hydrochloric acid leak using a hersey bar (they never use THAT in chocolate commercials!)
-booby-trap a villiage against armed guerrilas
-Jury rig a car so I can dodge a bazooka
-create a makeshift jet pack in the hold of a Chinese cargo ship using a steering wheel, some seat belts, and a high pressure water hose

Why isn't this show on more channels? That's what I want to know.


Tuesday, July 15, 2003

OK, on the advice of a friend I've decided not to do a "week of rage" but to temper it with other things....but that doesn't mean I'm not going to let off some steam....

First, a few notes;
Tonite's reading : DC: One Million miniseries + tie-ins - Grant Morrison's opus for DC comics...this miniseries and the tie-ins were filled with a sense of unbridled awe and wonder that DC comics has been unable to instill in me for many years. The imagination, humor, and thought required to construct this "event" is a scale to which Morrison never before or since has managed to attain.
Tonite's listening: Titan AE soundtrack - an impressive compiliation from a tragically under-appreciated film.

Anywho, like everyone, I have enemies, and people and things that quite frankly, have been a negative part of my life. The quick list

The Rogues Gallery

1) the Bush Administration - for disrupting a rare and beautiful moment of global unity for reasons that are nebulous at best, and nefarious at worst. You had a chance to make the world a lot better, and the fact that you've squandered that chance makes the world resent you all the more.
2) the French Government - in their own way, they are just as bad as the Bush Administration. They should have negotiated joining in the Iraq effort in exchange for the U.S. to recognize the UN World Court, thus squarely putting the US in the realm of international law for any war crimes it may commit. Again, a remarkable opportunity lost to stupid posturing.
3) the Space Program's catatonia - folks, someone has to revive the space program, because I fear for humanity the day we set a limit for ourselves.
4) Justin/Brittiney/Cristina/whatever - manufactured life-size dolls should not be making this much noise, nor should they be occupying any real amount of time of any young person.
5) my Ex-boss from GM - who made the first half of 2001 living hell for me, and I know that there will be a reckoning for him.
6) the Sci-Fi Channel - for cancelling the inventive, mad, and fun series FARSCAPE, and replacing it with crud like Tremors the Series and Scare Tactics? WHAT?
Someone needs your help

Alan David Doane of, aka the best comic site on the world wide web needs the help of all people whom love good comics. Go to his site, read his blog, see the insight of one of the mediums primiere online commentators, and donate. Me, I'm just helping a friend and a good man.

The week of rage will resume later.

Monday, July 14, 2003

Comics and Writing

I want to get some of this material out of the way so I can spend some time on some of the more political stuff I'm hoping to talk about in the next few weeks.

Comics Writers you should be reading work from (listed in no particular order):

1) Alan Moore - is a force of nature. If you haven't read an Alan Moore comic, then you really haven't been reading comics for long enough. Alan is the best in the medium, a creative mind so powerful it is a physical presence.
2) Warren Ellis - Alan is the best, but Warren is my favourite. I'm very much in line with most of Warren's science-fiction and political leanings, though that's not to say that I don't have some disagreements with his work, because I do. Warren at his best is capable of being reflective, thoughtful, and even optimistic.
3) Mark Waid - My favourite among the classic superhero writers, Waid's writing can be at times a little too feel-good, but then if you read EMPIRE....well, let's just say that this must be where his repressed negativity goes.
4) Kurt Busiek - the master of the dramatic plot twist, Kurt's writing has been consistently engaging and surprising for me.
5) Peter David - I have to admit, I'm not a fan of his superhero work, but at the same time, he is probably one of the most unique and diverse authors in the medium
6) Gail Simone - FLAT OUT FUNNY.
7) Brian Michael Bendis - Again, not really my cup of tea, but he does have a solid grasp of characterization and dialogue.

Comic Book Writers you should avoid like SARS:
1) Chuck Austen - Listen Chuck, I've never bought a single issue you've penned, you know why? I go to the online previews where they post the first four pages...and you've never held my interest past page three. It is obvious from what I have heard that you don't understand how the dramatic form of writing works, and that you are simply assigned to books that could not possibly ever be cancelled no matter how terribly you write. Good for you, that's job security. Just don't ask me to like you.
2) Rob Liefeld - The Ed Wood of Comics.
3) Todd a fellow Canuck, yet he's never had a truly original thought that wasn't handed to him by people greater than
4) Joe Kelly - has writen exactly ONE good issue of Superman in about 4 years.....1/48 =2.08333%....and you're responsible for one of the most important comics franchises? We're screwed.
5) Jeph Loeb - has contributing to making comics seeming more infantile and confusing at the same time....great.

Now, having written the following, and given that the question has been posed to me over the years, would I ever consider a career as a comic writer?

No. Probably never. I have a career, thanks.

There are a few reasons why I'd never really consider this as a career option. They are listed in order of importance

1) Most importantly, to me anyway, is to apply the lessons I learned from comics to my adult life, foremost among these lesson is to use my gifts to help others. That's why I'm engineer, because I have these gifts which can be used to help people. I don't want to just write about heroes and the advancement of science and human society, I want to be an active part of it to the best of my ability, and for now, that is exactly what I'm doing.
2) In all honesty, looking at that "Best" list, it is a daunting task trying to bring something to the table that one of those folks couldn't do a lot better.
3) I'm 23...I've got more than a few years, and if I ever did feel like trying it, I want to actually live enough to have something to write about.
4) I'd need a lot of training and studying to do before I'd be ready for such a drastic career change. My last creative writing class was my senior year of high school. I'd have a LOT of reading, researching, and writing to do in order to get a style good enough.

That being said, I do still write, but I write mostly a prose literature style, possibly geared towards writing a novel at some future point. The ideas are there, but I'm willing to take the time to develop them and shape them into something that someone would actually want to READ. Anything else and ....I'd be Chuck Austen.

That's all, I'll be on a different topic all together tomorrow,


Sunday, July 13, 2003

Got a little behind in blogging....a lot happened short

-I'm a yellow belt in Kuk's a start
-I went to see the Italian Job....good fun flick, especially as I'm currently suffering from CGI fatigue...and this is good...a hybrid of Gone in 60 Seconds and the Ocean's Eleven remake. Just a fun watch.

-Today, I went to see my little brother race his Camaro in a sort-of drag's more complicated than that he tells me. Whatever. Yeah, I know what you may be thinking, that it's all a pack of trailer/white trash with gas fumes in the brain, and to a small extent that's true. But I get it, it's a celebration, a festival of raw power, of many and machine. It hit me when my brother's car took off the starting line....I was thirty feet away, and I could FEEL the damn engine like some goddamn caged dragon trying to tear loose from the car, and it wasn't operating at top form. I don't agree with some of the chances he takes with the car, but I have to admit to tame that machine takes some skill, and that is what this is about.

Another thing to keep in mind is: these are THE PEOPLE. The ones who watch the popular stuff, the guys who the politicans race after. And while I may not agree with them...well...THEY DON'T CARE WHAT I THINK, because they realize that in the end...I'M JUST LIKE THEM. I don't really know better, I just sometimes like to think I do, and they have the exact same opinion. Not a revelation, by any means, but a reminder that no matter what I think, they are the ones who ultimately make the decisions, and that anyone who gets into power of any kind has to by definition, keep their interests at heart.

Just a few thoughts,


Friday, July 11, 2003

"I'm not going to stop until you're a greasy smear on my fist."

Strong language for a boy scout. Saw the Justice League primiere "Twilight" (taped it, finally got around to watching it). This is how you clearly show that Superman is not some pushover wimp who could easily be defeated with just some green rocks. I don't think he' been portrayed this well in comics in years. Between Smallville showing the human side and Justice League showing the action, there is almost no need for the comics whatsoever (at some later date I'll go through the very few Superman comics that exist).

In other news, I'm going for my yellow belt test tonite. Wish me luck.

Oh, Ms. Rice, you say that the CIA OK'ed what you said about Uranium? Is this before or after you pressured them to show a link to justify the invasion plan that was whipped before Sept. 11? Just asking.

That's all for now, you want to give me some comments, send them to


Thursday, July 10, 2003

The Best

Before I started going on any rants about the comics medium itself, I want to give credit to my influences and the people who have shaped my thoughts on the medium.

Alan David Doane's sight is the best critical look at the medium you will find, and he is the most passionate defender of the medium on the web. I owe a lot of my own personal evolution (Alan's recommendations have sold me on more than a few books). He can be a bit over the top, and even abrasive, but that's a consequence of whom the man is. He's passionate about the medium, and yeah, he spends a lot more time talking about the indepents you've never heard of instead of superhero comics. You know why? BECAUSE HE'S THE ONLY ONE WHO WILL. That's what makes him the best; he doesn't just fight the fights he can win, he fights the ones he believes in. He has a paypal button somewhere in the site, and I recommend you show your support and donate. It's an investment in real thought.

The best comics infosite. Rich Johnston's "Lying in the Gutters" column is THE premier rumor/gossip/news (in the comics industry, there is almost no difference between these three terms) source. Steven Grant's "Permenant Damage" column is a wonderful analysis of the medium, world politics, and pop culture. Thoughtful, critical and insightful.

Johanna Draper Carlson is the best regular reviewer of comics, if you are undecided about a book, she'll give you the straight facts. Check them out.

That's all for now,

Michael Paciocco

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Got Fantastic Four #500 today. Good issue, wraps the storyline up nicely, but still not the knock-down drag-out Reed/Doom fight from Walt Simonson's Fantastic Four #352. That being said, Mark Waid does give Reed a sharper focus and a more developed personality than any FF writer since Stan Lee.

It's a pretty good book, which may explain why Marvel is going to shitcan it. Congrats Marvel, once Waid's gone, the only Marvel comics I'll be getting are Stan and Jack reprints. At least they knew that the whole superhero thing wasn't supposed to be serious to begin with, and used that freedom to write good stories.


Tuesday, July 08, 2003


I was practicing for my yellow belt test today (the test is on Friday) and for the longest time I wasn't able to break the board....I could seem to get it together.

Then, I got it...and the feeling of incredible...a real confidence booster.


Monday, July 07, 2003


I like to keep up with the news, and I've been noticing something. There has been an average of 1 Allied soldier killed in Iraq per day since "hostilities ended" on May 1st. If this is peaceful, we've got problems.

Now, whether or not you feel the Iraq War was right or wrong or unjustified or whatever you choose to believe, I have to say that things are looking bad there, and we have no idea if it's going to get better or how or when. And this is how Vietnam started.

Sorry, but it seems that the American government isn't doing what it should to ensure the safeguard the troops, and that's the most UnAmerican thing I can think of.


Sunday, July 06, 2003

Going to be busy studying for my belt test this week, so posts will be infrequent.

Listening to a Crimestopper's radio commercial "Fighting Crime is everyone's business. That doesn't mean you have to patrol the streets with the police..."

Why do I have the nagging feeling that this was added because some idiot decided to play vigilante and claimed that Crimestoppers inspired him? Or is it just that the language is a little too suggestive.

Do we as a society have to be told not to do dangerous and possibly stupid things? I mean, there is the odd moron, but doesn't this insult your intelligence? Do you need to be told not to become a costumed crimefighter? I mean, I've got the trenchcoat and the ninja weapons handy, but I'm not ready to start my superhero career yet.

Michael Paciocco

Saturday, July 05, 2003


As I said, I like comics. On some level, everyone does, whether it is Dilbert or Garfield or Archie even.

The problem when you talk about comics is that everyone reads it as Comics=Superheroes=A lot of guys in tights. Unfortunately, this is true to some extent. At the same time, if you take more than two minutes, you'll probably find that there is something in comics you like, whether romance, police drama, sci-fi, whatever.

Why do I like comics?
1) They require you to read. Not sit down and manipulate some control pad, not sit down and stare at a screen while a story is being told to you. You actually have to DO something.
2) Comics are unique in that they don't have a huge editorial backlog, meaning that it is easier to be relevant. In theory, you can go from idea to script to comic in under 4 months, whereas other media (movies, TV), take a lot longer and go through a lot more filtration via marketers, censors, etc. More direct control = more creative freedom, and isn't that supposed to be A GOOD THING?
3) Budget for a movie is huge compared to a comic book (no actors, no Special effects), so it has almost unlimited potential.

This has been covered by better people than me, so I won't go any further than this.

For me, yeah, I still read a lot of superhero stuff, but I've grown out of most of it into the realm of political drama and science fiction/action adventure. The thing about the superhero stuff that I like is that it can be weird and imagination inspiring. I don't think I would have persued a career as an engineer if it hadn't been for the wonder I found in those comics. I sure wouldn't have if I had been more influenced by movies or video games.

The superhero ethics (yes, there is an ethical value) is also one that appeals to me. It goes like this
1) It is good to serve and help others when they need it, even if they never acknowledge what you have done (hence the real reason secret identities exist).
2) Power and Responsibility - You know what line I'm talking about, I'm not going to say it
3) Lead by example.

There is a lot more, but that's the basic. Aren't these good things to have in our stories? Isn't that better than some movies/video games, where the only lesson seems to be "might makes right" and "There is no such thing as right and wrong, only shades of grey"? I know that I'm sounding preachy, but this is just what I believe. If I ever have kids, I know what I'll want to teach them, and that says something.

That's all for now.

Getting to know me

Hope I'm doing this right, as I'm virtually computer illiterate. Excuse any weird stuff.

Here's a few of the more frequent things I'll be discussing as this blog continues

1) Comics: I'll take some time to discuss the medium, and a few of the notables in it.
2) Politics: I'll be focusing on American and Canadian politics, and probably more often than not, ranting a bit.
3) Movies, Music, Pop culture: Just under the general category of things I like
4) Martial Arts: I'm still a student, but I like to talk about what I've learned
5) Philosophy and Literature: I read A LOT, even outside of the comics. Some junk, some classics.
6) Space exploration and technology: I honestly can't say I have enough info sources on what is going on, so I appreciate the help getting connected on this.

Hi, I'm Michael Paciocco.

Things to know about me: Canadian with Italian roots. 20s. Probably a bit of a geek. Bizzare and diverse interests. Engineering Degree. Massively opinionated and can be an evil vindictive bastard.

Thanks to my former classmates whom encouraged this idea. You have no idea what you've unleashed on this poor defenseless planet.

Let the Games begin,