Saga – Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Earlier this week the comics world lost a true legend with the passing of Jean Giraud. The French artist Giraud, better known by his pseudonym Moebius, will be remembered for his comics, artistic designs, and the profound impact he had on a generation of creators across virtually every medium. Personally, it was his Heavy Metal fantasy-infused science fiction that resonated with me. Airtight Garage, for example, defied the current turn-anything-good-into-a-movie-or-video-game trend. It was beautiful and trippy and begged to be held and read.

Today, a few days after news of Giraud’s death, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples debuted the first issue of Saga (Image Comics, 2.99), a science & sorcery space opera that, interestingly enough, begins with a birth.

Vaughan is best known in the comics world for his seminal series Y: The Last Man, which concluded in 2008, as well as Ex Machina, which wrapped in 2010. He may have garnered more fame (and certainly a bigger paycheck) by being one of the writers on TV’s Lost. Artist Fiona Staples is a bit of a newcomer, although her work on Wildstorm’s North 40 has been impressive. Together the two have taken a story that may not seem altogether original — an illicit love affair between members of warring sides in a galactic feud on the run with their newborn child — and spun it through an acid-trip fantasy world worthy of Moebius himself. Robots having sex, feline lie detectors, rocketship forest treasure maps, and heartbreaking firearms… all in the first forty-four pages. I feel like the last time Vaughan attempted anything remotely close to the fantasy or sci-fi genre he made lions talk in the lukewarm Pride of Baghdad. This first chapter to what looks to be a beautiful, expansive story, then, a grand departure from anything Vaughan has done for either Marvel or DC, comes as a wonderful surprise. Continue reading Saga – Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Beatle Battle! Second Round Bouts – Division 2: The Shaggy Years

I do believe “Yesterday” may be the most covered song in history, so in honor of that little tidbit I’ve replaced the normal YouTube clips with covers of the songs that are in the Battle to make it to the third round. Enjoy!

There are 4 divisions for the songs:

DIVISION 1: The Clean Cut Years

These are songs from the first 3 Beatles albums – Please Please Me, With The Beatles, and Hard Days Night.

DIVISION 2: The Shaggy Years

These are songs from the next 3 Beatles albums – Beatles For Sale, Help, and Rubber Soul

DIVISION 3: The Mustache Years

These are songs from the middle 3 Beatles albums – Revolver, Sgt Peppers, and Magical Mystery Tour

DIVISION 4: The Beard Years

These are songs from the last 3 Beatles albums – The Beatles (The White Album), Abbey Road, and Let It Be

After each Division crowns one song as the winner, those songs will battle each other in the final fight to determine which Beatles song is the BEST! Enough talk, let’s get to the battles!

CLICK HERE FOR THE SECOND ROUND BOUT: THE CLEAN CUT YEARS

Continue reading Beatle Battle! Second Round Bouts – Division 2: The Shaggy Years

Beatle Battle! Second Round Bouts! Division 1: The Clean Cut Years

I’ve lost sleep trying to figure out what my favorite Beatles song is. Thankfully the internets showed up with PollDaddy and YouTube and now I can pose the question to all 26 Institute of Idle Time readers…. What is the best Beatles song ever?

There are 4 divisions for the songs:

DIVISION 1: The Clean Cut Years

These are songs from the first 3 Beatles albums – Please Please Me, With The Beatles, and Hard Days Night.

DIVISION 2: The Shaggy Years

These are songs from the next 3 Beatles albums – Beatles For Sale, Help, and Rubber Soul

DIVISION 3: The Mustache Years

These are songs from the middle 3 Beatles albums – Revolver, Sgt Peppers, and Magical Mystery Tour

DIVISION 4: The Beard Years

These are songs from the last 3 Beatles albums – The Beatles (The White Album), Abbey Road, and Let It Be

After each Division crowns one song as the winner, those songs will battle each other in the final fight to determine which Beatles song is the BEST! Enough talk, let’s get to the battles!

Continue reading Beatle Battle! Second Round Bouts! Division 1: The Clean Cut Years

Beatle Battle! The First Round Winners

Well, the dust has settled on the first round bouts of the epic Beatle Battle! The people have spoken and here are the songs that came out victorious and will move on to the second round….

Division 1 First Round Bout Winners! The Clean Cut Years

“A Hard Days Night”

“I Saw Her Standing There”

“All My Loving”

“Things We Said Today”

“Love Me Do”

“This Boy”

Continue reading Beatle Battle! The First Round Winners

Geographer – Myth

Geographer had the somewhat unenviable noon timeslot on the first day of last October’s Treasure Island Music Festival. While most island-bound music enthusiasts were still parking their bikes at AT&T Park, or throwing up all over themselves somewhere in the Mission, the San Francisco-based band stepped out into the sunlight on the main stage to play to an assemblage of devotees and inquisitive early-risers. Josh and I fit into the latter category.

The background photo on the band’s website displays a ghost of a band, spectral images double-exposed in concert at Bottom of the Hill. This seems oddly appropriate, since Geographer has sighed on and off stages all over the City since 2008. That year saw the release of their first full-length, Innocent Ghosts, and earned them “band to watch” praise from Spin magazine. They were “those guys” that opened for Stars at the Fillmore, and that “band with the electric cello” at Amoeba; everywhere and anywhen from gallery openings to Odd Fellows locals to outdoor evenings in Golden Gate Park. Their headlining gig at The Independent last weekend was one of the first Noise Pop shows to sell out.

And there they were on a massive stage, with miles of still-unblemished lawn in front of them, the San Francisco skyline sparkling on a clear October morning. It took only a handful of songs, including “Kites” from their 2010 EP Animal Shapes before Josh realized, “I think I really like these guys.” Continue reading Geographer – Myth

Idle Time: A Look Back, part 4

I love Gmail. Rather than rely on my memory, which tends to sensationalize and embellish past events indiscriminately, I am able to quickly scroll back to the summer of 2004 and use electronic correspondence to survey what was going on in my life. From there, I can embellish with a bit more discrimination.

Coffee table sports guru, Matt Di Gino

No real surprises in my inbox early on. EBay notifications and alerts, work-related questions-and-answers (can you remember back to a time when the workplace didn’t supply you with a business email?), and an inordinate number of emails to Craigslist scalpers, often in vain, attempting to secure tickets to sold-out shows. Looks like I spent way too much on that White Stripes show at the Warfield.

But then, beginning in August, something happened. Fantasy sports came back into my life. Matt (not Isey-Matt, but my brother Matt, who is actually in Scottsdale right now hopefully working on a great Spring Training travel piece for the site) invited me to a fantasy football league. From August on, every other conversation thread seems to be either sent by Yahoo! or have something to do with player trades, shit-talking, or injury report analyses. Fantasy football turned into fantasy basketball… and golf and NASCAR and March Madness… and even Serie A Italian soccer, back before anyone gave a crap about ‘football’ and the only way to get involved was through the Italian-language “Mister Yahoo” portal. I dominated.

Continue reading Idle Time: A Look Back, part 4

Beatle Battle! First Round Bouts – Divison 4: The Beard Years

Hey wanna know what’s the best Beatles song ever? Yeah, me too so I decided to pit the songs I like best against each other in a battle royal! Here’s the deal…..

There are 4 divisions for the songs:

DIVISION 1: The Clean Cut Years

These are songs from the first 3 Beatles albums – Please Please Me, With The Beatles, and Hard Days Night.

DIVISION 2: The Shaggy Years

These are songs from the next 3 Beatles albums – Beatles For Sale, Help, and Rubber Soul

DIVISION 3: The Mustache Years

These are songs from the middle 3 Beatles albums – Revolver, Sgt Peppers, and Magical Mystery Tour

DIVISION 4: The Beard Years

These are songs from the last 3 Beatles albums – The Beatles (The White Album), Abbey Road, and Let It Be

After each Division crowns one song as the winner, those songs will battle each other in the final fight to determine which Beatles song is the BEST! Enough talk, let’s get to the battles!

CLICK HERE FOR THE FIRST ROUND BOUT OF DIVISION 1 – THE CLEAN CUT YEARS

CLICK HERE FOR THE FIRST ROUND BOUT OF DIVISION 2 – THE SHAGGY YEARS

CLICK HERE FOR THE FIRST ROUND BOUT OF DIVISION 2 – THE MUSTACHE YEARS

Continue reading Beatle Battle! First Round Bouts – Divison 4: The Beard Years

Beatle Battle! First Round Bouts – Division 3: The Mustache Years

Hey wanna know what’s the best Beatles song ever? Yeah, me too so I decided to pit the songs I like best against each other in a battle royal! Here’s the deal…..

There are 4 divisions for the songs:

DIVISION 1: The Clean Cut Years

These are songs from the first 3 Beatles albums – Please Please Me, With The Beatles, and Hard Days Night.

DIVISION 2: The Shaggy Years

These are songs from the next 3 Beatles albums – Beatles For Sale, Help, and Rubber Soul

DIVISION 3: The Mustache Years

These are songs from the middle 3 Beatles albums – Revolver, Sgt Peppers, and Magical Mystery Tour

DIVISION 4: The Beard Years

These are songs from the last 3 Beatles albums – The Beatles (The White Album), Abbey Road, and Let It Be

After each Division crowns one song as the winner, those songs will battle each other in the final fight to determine which Beatles song is the BEST! Enough talk, let’s get to the battles!

CLICK HERE FOR THE FIRST ROUND BOUT OF DIVISION 1 – THE CLEAN CUT YEARS

CLICK HERE FOR THE FIRST ROUND BOUT OF DIVISION 2 – THE SHAGGY YEARS

Continue reading Beatle Battle! First Round Bouts – Division 3: The Mustache Years

Beatle Battle! First Round Bouts – Division 2: The Shaggy Years

Ringo looks hella hard in this photo

Hey wanna know what’s the best Beatles song ever? Yeah, me too so I decided to pit the songs I like best against each other in a battle royal! Here’s the deal…..

There are 4 divisions for the songs:

DIVISION 1: The Clean Cut Years

These are songs from the first 3 Beatles albums – Please Please Me, With The Beatles, and Hard Days Night.

DIVISION 2: The Shaggy Years

These are songs from the next 3 Beatles albums – Beatles For Sale, Help, and Rubber Soul

DIVISION 3: The Mustache Years

These are songs from the middle 3 Beatles albums – Revolver, Sgt Peppers, and Magical Mystery Tour

DIVISION 4: The Beard Years

These are songs from the last 3 Beatles albums – The Beatles (The White Album), Abbey Road, and Let It Be

After each Division crowns one song as the winner, those songs will battle each other in the final fight to determine which Beatles song is the BEST! Enough talk, let’s get to the battles!

CLICK HERE FOR THE FIRST ROUND BOUT OF DIVISION 1 – THE CLEAN CUT YEARS

Continue reading Beatle Battle! First Round Bouts – Division 2: The Shaggy Years

Beatle Battle! First Round Bouts – Division 1: The Clean Cut Years

Hey wanna know what’s the best Beatles song ever? Yeah, me too so I decided to pit the songs I like best against each other in a battle royal! Here’s the deal…..

There are 4 divisions for the songs:

DIVISION 1: The Clean Cut Years

These are songs from the first 3 Beatles albums – Please Please Me, With The Beatles, and Hard Days Night.

DIVISION 2: The Shaggy Years

These are songs from the next 3 Beatles albums – Beatles For Sale, Help, and Rubber Soul

DIVISION 3: The Mustache Years

These are songs from the middle 3 Beatles albums – Revolver, Sgt Peppers, and Magical Mystery Tour

DIVISION 4: The Beard Years

These are songs from the last 3 Beatles albums – The Beatles (The White Album), Abbey Road, and Let It Be

After each Division crowns one song as the winner, those songs will battle each other in the final fight to determine which Beatles song is the BEST! Enough talk, let’s get to the battles!

Continue reading Beatle Battle! First Round Bouts – Division 1: The Clean Cut Years