Archive for peter bagge

odds and ends: gravity falls, favorite comic creators

Posted in odds and ends with tags , , , , , , , on October 5, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

Last week I talked about some of the new fall TV shows hitting the airwaves and I completely forgot to tell you guys about my new favorite show.

I freakin’ LOVE Gravity Falls on The Disney Channel. Disney has produced some very good animated series’ in the past few years; my boys have sampled pretty much all of them. That being said, there are a very few of them which transcend their kiddie origins. For me, even Phineas and Ferb (a very funny cartoon filled with jokes that fly over kids heads and bullseye on unsuspecting parents) hasn’t ever quite leveled up to a show I’d watch if Elliot and Henry weren’t in the room.

Gravity Falls, I look forward to every Friday. I watch it with the boys… and I’ll watch it by myself. It’s that good.

The conceit of the show finds fraternal twins Dipper and Mabel Pines living with their Great Uncle “Grunkle” Stan one summer in the mysteries town of (you guessed it) Gravity Falls. The town is full of just about every mysterious monster or situation you could ever imagine and much of the show’s humor is derived from dovetailing the outrageous nature of the town with a more grounded problem for the teenage protagonists. A story about telling a girl how you feel about her will be meshed with a cloning experiment gone wrong, for instance.

So, in no particular order, here are some things I love about the show, which you should be watching on Fridays at 9:30 on the Disney Channel:

1. GF wears its’ love for mid 1990’s supernatural/sci-fi on its’ sleeve with sly references to both The X-Files and Twin Peaks.

2. Kristin Schaal’s voice work as Mabel. Schaal has one of those distinct voices where she sounds almost exactly the same from VO gig to VO gig… but her acting brings something new to the table each time. On Bob’s Burgers, she’s cutting and vile… but she’s all positivity and lightness with Mabel. Mabel is like the anti-Louise.

3. Mabel’s pig Waddles! No wait, Mabel’s sweaters. No, I changed my mind! Mabel’s grappling hook! All of them at the same time!!!

4. The overarching mystery of Gravity Falls is the kind of thing a kid would LOVE to obsess over, with its’ coded language and clever allusions.

5. The theme song is a catchy ear worm of an instrumental.

Perhaps the best compliment I can give Gravity Falls is this: it’s worth sitting through all the awful commercials Disney Channel subjects its’ normal viewers to see an episode. I mean, have you SEEN some of the other stuff on Disney Channel? They’re advertising something called Dog with a Blog as a real TV show and it’s not a joke.


Over on his terrific blog Progressive Ruin earlier in the week, Mike Sterling asked: Are there any comic creators out there whose new work you automatically pick up without question? Whose work you know, beyond even the faintest shadow of a doubt, will be worth both your time and your money, and that you will enjoy?

Here are my answers. Off the top of my head, I can only think of two names.

Peter Bagge is one. Even when the political agenda of some of his comics derails the story, I always fall back on his loopy artwork and freewheeling sense of humor. Bagge’s been a favorite of mine since the 1990’s but I’ve quite enjoyed a lot of his recent output and I think he fits the bill for me.

I would also say Bruce Timm, knowing this answer is kind of a cheat since Timm’s work in comics is anything but regular.

That being said, I’m on board with ANYTHING Timm puts his hand to. While the majority of Timm’s work in my time as a fan has been his adapting characters for animation, I absolutely love his style and would follow it anywhere. Even when Timm is doing a cover to a comic and has nothing to do with the interior art… often that will rate a purchase by me.

As far as people working month-to-month in comics right now? No, there’s nobody! I’ve been enjoying Scott Snyder‘s work on Batman and Swamp Thing but don’t feel compelled to seek out American Vampire on the regular. Jeff Smith‘s one of my favorite artists of all time but I don’t feel compelled to pick up RASL in individual issues; I support his work through trade collections. The team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips is one I used to religiously follow, but while I had a lot of enthusiasm for Criminal, I don’t find myself enjoying their current collaboration on Fatale as much.

It’s a shame, because I’m a dyed-in-the-wool comic reader. I make special trips to the store every month to pick up my books. I would have thought there’d be more “I have no reservations about reading ANYTHING from this creator” examples for me, but I’m hard pressed to come up with more than two.


odds and ends: dinosaur dracula, comic pull list

Posted in odds and ends with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

One of my all-time favorite websites is X-Entertainment, a free-for-all tribute site to all the things that made my childhood rad. Updates to X-E have been sporadic in the past few years… but that promises to change with the advent of Dinosaur Dracula, X-E’s newly branded web address!

So far, Matt Caracappa has looked at Garfield and Friends fruit snacks, Fright Flicks trading cards, and my personal favorite, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cracker topper. X-Entertainment was surely an influence on my Thrift Store Finds posts, so I think anyone who likes those would truly love Matt’s writing. Check it out.


We all know that I am something of a fan of the movies Alien and Aliens. I suppose you could say I had the misfortune of being born too late to see any of those movies in theaters- the only Aliens movies I’ve ever seen on the big screen have been muddled (Alien 3) botched (Alien: Resurrection) or just god awful (any of the Alien v. Predator movies, but I haven’t actually seen any of those).

Well, I’ve finally had the chance I’ve been waiting for last night; my most anticipated movie of the summer has to be Prometheus.

The “not a prequel” prequel to Alien, I was excited enough to see this flick that I broke free of my normal old man routines and went to a midnight showing. Even though director Ridley Scott and screenwriter Daniel Lindelof have been pretty straightforward, saying Prometheus is something new… I mean, c’mon. It’s an Alien movie.

…and I loved it. I loved it despite the cardboard cut-out characters. I loved it despite the gigantic plot holes. I loved Prometheus despite its’ structure, seemingly designed to infuriate the most nit-picky fans of this franchise. It’s a gorgeous movie worth seeing on the big screen.


My current comic pull list is woefully small, and getting smaller by the month. Right now, these are the books I’m asking my fine comic retailer to put aside for me.

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sketchbook: gus, buddy, and some ugly sketches

Posted in sketchbook with tags , , , , , , on June 30, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

I recently read the first two trades of the DC/Vertigo series Sweet Tooth, and I’ve really been enjoying it. Written by Jeff Lemire, it’s sort of a post-apocalyptic Road Warrior type drama, only with half-man/half-animal hybrids and WAY more flannel. Recommended.

Hate is easily my favorite comic series ever and while I know there are some fans who aren’t into cartoonist Peter Bagge’s “new” Buddy Bradley look, but I think it’s hilarious. It’s driving me crazy, knowing the newest annual is out there in the world and I haven’t read it.