It’s been a while since we’ve rounded up where Loser City writers are appearing, but it’s because we’ve been busy doing things like playing Skirrid:
I’m the handsome James Bond looking dude and Danny is the one who looks like J.K. Simmons cosplaying as Sigmund Freud, obviously. Anyway, on to the real news, which is the ridiculous slate of credits Loser City folk racked up recently.
First up, David Sackllah has been contributing to Houston Press (and Consequence of Sound!) and as a result, he had the chance to interview Built to Spill’s Brett Netson about the band’s new album Moon and the line-up changes that shook the band up in 2013. Netson is refreshingly frank about the music industry and his role in it, and given Loser City’s “let’s burn everything down and start again” approach to media, this quote stood out:
I’ve been trying to have a better attitude lately. A few years ago I was getting disgusted with music, and everything that’s changed mostly I don’t like. We have a lot of cheap music recording equipment being made by slave labor overseas in terrible working conditions. The U.S. capitalism is so out of control we cant even see it. People who should know better don’t care. Plus, there’s a ridiculous saturation on the lowest part of the “so-called underground.” Really small bands don’t get heard unless they have money for a publicist. They are the gatekeepers for who rises above this sea of nothingness. What kind of young people have $1,200 to get a publicist?
The part that I do like is there are things on the Internet that have been reliable and good for people on both hands, like Bandcamp. It’s a low-noise situation where it lives up to everybody’s claims of what the Internet is supposed to do. It puts the band in contact with the listener. I’ve been playing a long time and I remember fanzines and the empowerment of that, and the only time I’ve gotten that kind of feeling is from stuff like Bandcamp.”
Over at Paste, Shea Hennum weighed in on Ed Luce’s Wuvable Oaf, a Fantagraphics comic that more than lives up to its title, featuring as it does a burly bear of a man with a herd of cats for friends. Despite its goofy demeanor, Hennum asserts that Wuvable Oaf is a profound work with deep meaning and value, stating “It’s vitally important to recognize not only the complex identities of Luce’s characters but to also recognize that he offers a spectrum of gay characters. The community of people that Oaf exists in is made up of all kinds of different people—different heights, weights, ways of dressing and grooming and expressing themselves, as well as different attitudes and dispositions. Unfortunately, gay characters who are actually characters and not just cyphers are a doubly rare, so Luce’s ability to render each of these people with a unique personality is important to lionize.” Also, did we mention the kitties?
In other Hennum news, the dude has joined the Comics Alternative podcast with a regularly segment aimed at helping new readers get into manga. The first episode was centered on Gyo, which you may remember me loving, and the most recent is devoted to that legendary manga work Akira.
Then over at Kill Screen, Loser City Games Genius Jake Muncy reviewed Malebolgia, a trippy looking indie game that allowed Jake to wax poetic on The Divine Comedy, arguing that “gaming might not have a Dante, but we do have the inescapable spectre of Dark Souls.” Ultimately, that means Malebolgia can’t help but pale in comparison to Jake’s favorite series, but Jake does say that “The designers of Malebolgia seem aware that rendering something grotesque in a cartoony style only serves to make it more frightening, and they use it to great effect here,” so at least it’s pretty while failing.
New Loser City friend Claire Napier has recently joined the illustrious ranks of ComicsAlliance, diving in with her trademark wit and envious work ethic– I don’t think she’s been there a month and she’s already racked up nearly enough credits to fill the front page herself (if the frontpage weren’t cluttered with relinks from something sinister called ScreenCrush). Last week she checked back into the Marvel U to examine A-Force, a comic Vulture erroneously claimed featured Marvel’s first all woman superteam and the New Yorker offered up to a few young boys in order to determine how porn-y it was (no, seriously). Claire thought it was mostly meh, but she was especially baffled by the surreality of the advertising in the comic, resulting in this delicious digression:
Straight in on the first page, a Gillette — the best a man can get — advert tells us who the comic is, ahem, really for. Seven pages later, an underwater-themed advert slots into the over-water action of the comic perplexingly well, confusing my understanding and messing with the narrative flow. Five pages after that, an Avengers: Age of Ultron play set (man-characters only, of course) with the same pale grey/speed line aesthetic bursts onto a page following an exclamatory “CRSSSH” onomatopoeia. BUILD AVENGERS HQ, shouts the advert, while I try to concentrate on alternate-Sam Wilson, just before I try to accept alternate-Stephen Strange.
One single page of comic separates this Avengers merchandise from that; SUNSCREEN IS BETTER WITH FRIENDS, shouts Walmart-exclusive sun protection lotion, as She-Hulk verbally tussles with Strange. Two “friends” clearly separated by altered circumstance. When will they next share sunscreen? Suddenly I… feel so sad.”
Oof. Luckily, Claire had a bit more fun with Wolverine: Top Secret a novelization spin-off of the animated X-Men series, focused on Wolverine’s adventures at prom. Before you snicker, heed Claire’s words on this book’s unique perspective on the appeal of Logan:
This book is all about maybes. Maybe Logan spends the various chapters remembering genuine events in his long, but not Origin-long, life. Maybe it’s all a trick, like they told us in episode forty-five, Weapon X, Lies, and Videotape. Doesn’t matter. It’s a peek inside the best-he-can-do mind of the character as children saw him at the time: gruff, sad, reliable, protective. We never needed the extensive facts of the life of James “Logan” Howlett. We already understood the man he felt like.”
In case you’re still wondering who Wolverine really is, though, here’s this graphic:
I think the gist of it is that Wolverine is a man, and men are complex. And on that note, we’re out, but check in again soon to see how much closer we are to total media domination (it’s looking good).
Nick Hanover got his degree from Disneyland, but he’s the last of the secret agents and he’s your man. Which is to say you can find his particular style of espionage here at Loser City as well as Ovrld, where he contributes music reviews and writes a column on undiscovered Austin bands. You can also flip through his archives at Comics Bulletin, which he is formerly the Co-Managing Editor of, and Spectrum Culture, where he contributed literally hundreds of pieces for a few years. Or if you feel particularly adventurous, you can always witness his odd .gif battles with friends and enemies on twitter: @Nick_Hanover