Thursday, August 30, 2007

Comic Picks - August 2007

All Star Superman
By Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

When I was a kid I loved Superman. Most of my exposure was the movies with Christopher Reeve who embodies the spirit of my generation's Superman and the Super Friends cartoons which, well, were nice for me as a kid. When I started collecting comics when I was eight, however, I was all about Spider-Man. Superman comics just weren't that fun in the 80s. I've now broken Superman down into the 3 versions that I think work:
  1. The Siegel-Schuster/Fleischer era which was so awesome with it's art deco style and it's iconic characterizations.
  2. The Silver-Age/1950s anything-can-happen/15 kinds of kryptonite/loads of fantasy Superman.
  3. The Christopher Reeve movies (1 & 2).
All Star Superman takes the best of all these eras and finally does Superman right again. It doesn't have have that super dense continuity that's taken over comics, all the Silver-Age fantasy is there but played straight yet not so straight that it's not fun anymore. Frank Quitely's design borrows heavily from the Fleischer era with an EC Comics Sci Fi twist. This takes the best of the 40s, 50s, and 80s and brings it all together in a comic that you don't have to follow monthly to understand. All Star Superman is a superhero book for people who like superheroes but aren't geeks about it.

By Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

I'm currently on the third trade paperback of Ed Brubaker's Sleeper and I'm totally addicted! The basic plot is very similar to the Movie The Departed (which kicked ass!) but with a little more espionage and, yes, it does take place in a world with superheroes, but it's very easy to forget that. This is more a crime comic than a fantasy comic and it's probably the most absorbing comic I've read this year! Everytime I finish a trade I kick myself because I didn't buy the next one. This is brought to you by the perfect team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, who I want to give credit to because everyone can see I drool over Brubaker's writing, but Phillips is really underappreciated and he really sets to mood and style of the story. This book kicks ass! There is a prequal to this comic but I really recommend people start with this first trade Out In the Cold. I haven't read the prequal yet and I'm sure it's good but the art's not by Seann Phillips and it's not really Sleeper without Phillips (I'm really picky about continuity of art). Fortunately the prequal is "choose to read" and not essential.

Please feel free to leave your comments and feedback at my forums.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Most AWESOME New Orleans Barbeque Shrimp Recipe EVER!!!

This is a dish I first had on my honeymoon, over six years ago now, in our favorite restaurant in New Orleans. My wife, who had eaten there in the past, told me about the barbeque shrimp and after trying it I fell in love. I asked the waiter if there was a cookbook that carried the recipe and he returned from the kitchen with a sheet of paper that had the recipe on it. Now that is service! Warning: This is fattening, however it is worth it! As my motto goes, Everything in moderation, including moderation.

Recipe Serves 2 as an Entree, 4 as an Appetizer

16 Jumbo Shrimp (12 per pound, about 1 1/2 lbs.) with heads and unpeeled
1/2 cup Worchestershire
2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice (about 2 Lemons)
2 teaspoons freshly ground Black Pepper
2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed
French Bread for dipping

In a large skillet combine the shrimp, Worshestershire, Lemon Juice, Black Peppers, Creole Seasoning, and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until shrimp turn pink, about 1 minute on each side. Reduce heat to moderate and stir in butter, a few cubes at a time, stirring constantly and adding more only when butter is melted. Remove skillet from heat. Place the shrimp in a bowl and pour sauce over the top. Serve with the French Bread for dipping.

Please feel free to leave your feedback at my forum.