please believe: i'd bite if i could...

i don't spend nearly as much time trolling the web for dope artists as i used to. and even then, i could scarcely compete with my boy BigSteelo! he came across this BRILLIANT illustrator Arthur Depins. rather than waste your time with my observations, i invite you to waste your OWN time by clicking the pics and going to his website! he's worth the diversion!

Quote of the Day...

"It's a DefComedyJam/KKK world now... I'm juss visiting."
-Black Canseco

one of my favorite mySpace bloggers-Black Canseco- wrote a blog about the resurgence of blackface as a comedy staple RE: the following SNL Barak Obama skit, and in a reply to something i said, he said the sentence above. we never concluded whether racial humor (no matter who it was about) would get more common or less common as racism becomes less of a problem. one of the things i like about BC is that while he can be as inflammatory as any opinionated black dude, he rarely lets anyone off the hook, no matter their race or other affilliation.

Dead Men tell tales...

commentary from my Man mike:
So here's what I'll say about Diary of the Dead, and in fact the whole Dead series...For something like four decades George Romero has written and directed movies that examined the dominant social issue of the day... in the genre of (of all things)... zombie movies!!!!
1968 - Night of Living Dead - Race issues
1978 - Dawn of the Dead - Consumerism
1985 - Day of the Dead - military build-up
2005 - Land of The Dead - Class war, growing gap between rich and poor
2008 - Diary of the Dead - the blogoshpere, obsession with capturing/reporting vs. experiencingThat's really what each of these movies are about at the center, although of course they're each really zombie films. I gotta say, I was kind of iffy on Land of the Dead as well, and even to some extent on Diary, but I was overwhelmed at how this 70 year old underground horror film maker consistently has his finger on the pulse of American culture and manages to get it on film in gross out gore fests. Maybe you guys think I'm nuts, but many a great artist has gotten commentary to our culture through disrespected mediums... like rock and roll, or hip hop, or comedy, or of course,... comic books.

Ryan Ottley Rising...

i just read Invincible #48... series artist Ryan Ottley is getting better and better at this. honestly, a simply adequate artist is all you need to get a nice comic when Robert Kirkman is writing at such a high level of good-ole-fashioned sooper hero action, but Ottley is KILLING it! right now, he's the artist you wish would draw your favorite comic, except you really want him to stay on Invincible! in this issue, it's Cameos galore from all over the loosely tied Image Universe, with appearances by Dynamo 5, Savage Dragon, and of course Kirkman creations Capes, Wolfman, and Gaurdians of the Globe... and they ALL look so much better than usual under the influence of Ottley! in an especially Kirkmanesque move, the previously lame Doc Seismic breaks out of jail and beats the cowboy crap outta Invincible and his pals, in what is leading up to the oft-teased Invincible #50! if you STILL aren't reading Invincible (idiot!) go here and learn how to be down before issue 50 drops this spring!

comics. hiphop. news. art. culture

Jumper never quite gets off the ground...

as a big-time comics fan, I thought that a movie like Jumper would fulfill my need to explore a fantastic world on the big screen, so my wife and I went to check it out. We didn't expect a GREAT movie, but for our money would like to see a good one.
we didn't.
Jumper has the problem many movies of the sort have: it never lives up to the 'Big Idea'. the visual effects, powers and "origin" of David (the title character, played by Christensen) are illustrated well enough, but the story was not well executed.

Sam L. Jackson is convincing as a Paladin
, one of an order of religious zealots who hunt Jumpers, but we are never really told why, beyond the repeated vague statement that "only God should be able to be all places at once." Designed, I suppose, to play upon the increasingly popular sentiment that all religious people are idiots who profess to serve good, even if it requires the commission of horrific acts of violence. in other words, people of faith are all haters... yawn. as i recall, "Jumper" is an adaptation of a novel, and the motives of the Paladins run deeper than this.
would'a been nice to include that in the movie...
of course, there is a girl for the main character to be smitten with, but she's horrible and she and Christensen have no chemistry at all. so anyways, this movie had lots of potential. it might make a great comic in the right hands, as the story was very thin, but begged more room to explain and expand on themes. writers of the story would really benefit from people being able to ask questions, which could be answered later. creative people should check it out, a because they could learn how to play with an idea... and how NOT to neglect your audience!



indie brilliance: Will Capers

one of the great things about comics is when an artist's skills as a draftsman are quietly surpassed by his writing skills. this is the case with Will Capers. like many artists, he asserts that he has been drawing since his early years, but he has just recently embraced the storytelling medium of comics. "I've been a rising black artist since I was three and a half. Now, I have turned my attention to... create cartoons that talk about the issues we don't want to face, let alone tackle."
like many of the indie cartoonists of the past, it is the boldness of his writing that really appeals to me... his drawing is just good enough to bring his ideas into the immediate visual media of Political Cartoons and Sequential Comics, where the alchemy of words and pictures can do the REAL magic. again, it's the quick absorption of comics that makes his work hit so hard and fast: before you can look away, the idea has penetrated your brain, and you are offended, inspired, or annoyed. whether addressing issues within the media, politics, or popular culture, Capers expresses himself without apology. i'd advise that people give him a look... this kind of artist will only get better.
comics. hiphop. news. art. culture

the King James-King of New York Connect

is Jay-Z Wooing Lebron to the Nets?
Lebron is moving to Brooklyn. not this season, and not next season... but it's only a matter of time. James and his long time friend (and 2007 gM Man of the Year nominee) Jay-Z called themselves "the Two Kings" at a VIP dinner in New Orleans as part of the NBA All-Star weekend festivities.
In case you ain't already know, the superstar rapper just so HAPPENS to be part owner of the New Jersey Nets, a team that has been quietly clearing salary cap space in preparations of moving the team to Jay-Z's native bourough of Brooklyn, New York. Have they been clearing space for Lebron? when asked about it two years ago, Jay said “How amazing would that be? He’s my friend first. If Cleveland is building a championship team around him, then my advice is to stay there," but then Jigga teased "If it’s the Nets who are building a championship team... then my advice is to come to the Nets.”
so is it a coincidence that the Nets never traded Jason Kidd to Cleveland, who wanted him as bad as anyone else, OR that after they finally manage to move Kidd (and his heavy contract) that Cleveland strip-mined its squad to try and beef up and contend for a title ASAP? before you answer, consider this: LeBron is a Yankees fan, Nike has a LeBron-Yankees shoe planned for March release, Lebron can get out of his contract with Cleveland as early as 2010.
make no mistake... Jay-Z is gangsta! he maintained a brutal rap war with Nas for several years, then SIGNED Nas once he became President at DefJam. he embraced Lebron before he even went to the NBA... before Jay was even part of the Net's ownership! he's got the vision, gab, and the swagger to convince James (who said he wanted to be the first Billionaire athlete) that he needs to move to the Planet to solidify his goals of world supremacy...
Cleveland needs to have mega-success in the next two years, or their hopes of keeping the self-styled King of Hoops in town are doomed. T-minus two years.... tick, tick, tick...
comics. hiphop. news. art. culture

Can't Win for Losin'...

imagine for a minute that you are the Chicago Bulls, in houston to face the red-hot Rockets (winners of 11 straight)... imagine that you find out you will have less turnovers (15 v. 16) and more points in the paint (36 v. 34) than the other team, PLUS you will MURDER them in fast break points (20-5!)... you'd be happy right? don't dance that jigg YET youngster, 'cause you're still gonna lose!

that was the story last night. all that hustle might have lead to a Bulls victory, if not for the three point line. the rockets shot 54.8% from deep (v. a sad-faced 30.8 for los torros), finding the hole from long range 13 times. 7 rockets scored in double figures, lead by Tracy McGrady's 21 points and 8 assists. i admit it in advance: Tracy's 21 points, 4.8 boards and 5 dimes a game should have gotten him on my gM MVP ballot!
leave comments voting for T Mac and i'll include 'em in the final tally! anyways, the Bulls went down 110-97 in H town, and the Rockets have officially won 12 straight, the longest streak since these Rockets won the title during Jordan's first retirement.

that new Grouch video Artsy!


i'm Sayin' though!

i read this on yahoo:
By KATHY MATHESON, Associated Press Writer Sat Feb 23, 4:31 AM ET PHILADELPHIA - As a child growing up in the 1940s, Charles Blockson was once told by a white teacher that black people had made no contributions to history.
Even as a fourth-grader, Blockson, who is black, knew better. So he began collecting proof. (more...)

"the Sword" and "Umbrella Academy" continue to impress...

the Luna Brothers' suburban fantasy superhero smash, Image Comics' The Sword continues to be the best comic of the new year. to be fair, i have little to no idea what the mainstream giants Marvel and DC are doing (other than crapping all over Spiderman), since i'm not feelin' the crossover fever they're on...

in fact, the only comic competing for the top spot is Gerard Way's Umbrella Academy (detail on the right), from Dark Horse comics. i will write a real review of Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite when i get a chance to read the finale (#6), which is on stands right now. anyways, The Sword is the real deal! if you missed my review, check it out here.

either way, lemme know what ya'll think!
comics. hiphop. news. art. culture

"you can EVEN wear it as a funky fresh medallion!"

rappers may rock ice and platinum, but how many of 'em got a medallion that can help them save the world? nah, this ain't about Kanye's jesus piece, it's about the bling little Emily rocks in the new fantasy graphic novel Amulet, by rising star cartoonist Kazu Kibuishi (Flight, Daisy Cutter). for those who are unfamiliar with the great Kazu, try to blend the surreal spookiness of Sam Kieth (the Maxx) with the charming 'toon excellence of Charles Schultz (Peanuts [that's Charlie Brown, mom!]) and you'll be on the right track!
Amulet is the story of a a young girl and her small family that, in coping with the death of her father, all get caught up in an epic fantasy adventure, complete with more cute robots, weird technology, killer elves and land-roving squids than you can shake a stick at... plus, of course, a powerful (and apparently sentient) Amulet! the 187 page Amulet, Book One: The Stonekeeper gets the series of OGNs (original graphic novels) off to a great start, establishing the high-stakes of the series for the cast right from the beginning scene. Kazu does a great job of telling and showing at the same time, making sure that the pictures and words enhance each other rather than interfere with each other or become redundant, so the story can move along at a brisk yet comfortable pace.

if you haven't read Amulet, i strongly encourage picking it up. it is an all-ages book, but deals honestly with themes of grave danger, sickness and even death. since it's published by Scholastic, you should be able to cop it just about anywhere, but if you can't find it in stores, cop it here for $14.95 in hardcover or cop the paperback (like i did!) for ten bucks or less... if you HAVE read it, i'd love to hear what you thought of it!

comics. hiphop. news. art. culture

it's time to start arguing about the MVP...

okay, the All-Star break has come and gone, so now we get to the good stuff! the second half of the season is always the make-or-break time for the NBA, and this year, we'll REALLY see it.
the big story of the first half of the season this year was definitely the Boston Celtics, led by KG, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. they burst out to the best start in franchise history, and at the break were PERFECT versus the west. speaking of which, the horse race out west yields some serious topics to discuss: the amazing rise of the New Orleans Hornets behind wonderkind point Chris Paul, the cold-war worthy arms race of monster trades for Dallas, the Lakers and Phoenix, and you always gotta have one eye on the Spurs...
so anyways, with less than 30 games left, Who's Your pick for MVP? there's a poll to the right for ghettoManga NBA MVP voting. my pick is Kobe Bryant, but you can feel free to pick someone else. after all, being wrong is your God-given right as an American! but nah, really... lets argue about it! tell us WHY!!!!

New Manhattan instead of Neo Tokyo?

does this look like Leonardo Dicaprio to you?
the good news: the powers that be over at Warner Brothers have greenlit a two picture deal to make a live-action adaptation of the greatest Manga-Anime Feature combo of all time: japanese comics god/director Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira. for the uninitiated, Akira is a dystopian sci-fi thriller set in a future after a massive catastrophe has destroyed the city, which has been rebuilt into a megatropolis dominated by feuding biker gangs and gestapo-style military police. oh! did i mention the telekinetic mutant Tetsuo who goes one-on-one with a freakin' military Satellite? yeah well, there's that...
the bad news: for some reason, the WB peeps think it will be a good idea to "americanize" the damn thing, casting Leo Dicaprio as the lead character, the gun-toting semi-badass, fully JAPANESE Kaneda (pictured above)... also, the whole thing will be set in New Manhattan instead of Neo Tokyo, in what the filmmakers pitched as “Blade Runner meets City of God ... what's wrong with white people in America, that they think they have to americanize Akira? are there all-Japanese remakes of The Color Purple or Shane shooting in Osaka as we speak?
good grief...

Invest in Kevlar...

Obama is taking the Primaries by storm!
although it's a very tight race with Hillary Clinton for the democratic party nomination, we are closer than ever before to having a black president.
get some background on this cat Barak Obama by clicking the picture above.

what do you think about Joe Mad's Ultimates?

click to enlarge I'm not sure what to say about Ultimates3. after two "Seasons" (because THAT'S what we need: comics imitating television) of the Mark Millar brand of widescreen superhero action with consistantly breathtaking (and consistantly late) art by Bryan Hitch, the new creative team of Jeph Loeb and Joe Madureira have taken over the Ultimate Marvel Universe's version of the mighty Avengers. but even though they are set firmly in regular Ultiverse continuity, this is an Ultimates team that just seems unfamiliar...

Although they are every bit as much a superstar team as the previous duo, and they are employing the sexy, monumental, fast-paced model that made the book a hit, Loeb and Mad have created a vibe that feels very different. and i'm not sure i like it. i mean, there's all the eyebrow-raising plot/bullet points (incest: check, body count:check, superhero voyeur porn: check...), but it's certainly not the same as what i'm used to...

it's almost like the original Ultimates team was making an HBO series, and this team's making one for Cartoon Network. the writing's a little less engaging, or maybe i was just mesmerized by the realistic art of Hitch (not to mention Laura Depuy's sublime colors) into thinking Millar was writing great superhero drama. i mean, in the first issue of Ultimates3, the heroes are standing around in their Mansion base in full superhero costumes watching teevee... what is this 1985? and why are they fighting Venom? ugh...

Despite all that complaining, i have bought both issues so far... i'm trying to see if it gets better. Joe Mad is one of the biggest stars comics have ever seen, and it looks like he is still warming up. anyways, check out the preview pages from issue #3 on CBR... what do YOU think?

are the Mavs Kidding or What?

it's been an extremely busy february for GM's and agents in the NBA. the Lakers pick up Pau Gasol at the Memphis clearance sale, Shaq/Marion trade brings the Diesel to Phoenix, Webber returns to Golden State, and the Nets agree to send triple-double machine Jason Kidd to the Mavericks... almost. apparently, Jason Kidd will have to wait at least One More Day (let's hope Satan is not involved in THIS deal...), as the deal just ain't sittin' well with Devean George, who does not want to participate in the trade because he would have to give up some of his free-agent rights.
"We're not trying to block anything,'' agent Mark Bartelstein told the Dallas Morning News. "But just like teams have to make tough decisions, my job is to protect Devean and sometimes we have to make tough decisions. Right now, he feels good about his situation in Dallas... The whole thing is uncomfortable. But this is a right Devean has.''
Kidd, who (like me) turns 35 next month, would go to Dallas with one bullet point on his "to do" list: Win the NBA Championship. As part of the trade, the Mavericks would also send Jerry Stackhouse, Devean George, DeSagna Diop, Maurice Ager and $3 million to New Jersey. Along with Kidd, the Nets send reserve forward Malik Allen to the Mavs. One league source expects Stackhouse to return to the Mavericks if the trade is completed. if that's true, give George some hush money or something and get this deal in the books!
as i often say... we'll see!
samax. news. art. culture

new Champ sketch...

click to enlarge.
okay, so after i got that new Fan art joint for Maddy from Champion of Children, i could not get maddy off my mind ever since, so i've been working on new champ stuff, including doing this new Maddy sketch... stay tuned for new Champ news coming soon (hopefully!)

the Future of the WNBA?

this is Brittney Griner, a 6'5" sophomore at Nimitz High School in Houston, TX. i don't know if the WNBA has rules about women going to the pros straight outta high school, but they need to get some...

samax. news. art. culture

the Affluenza Epidemic

BRILLIANT! thanks Mikhaela!



the last real Nigger alive?

all i know is, the album better be reeeeal good... i don't mean "hip hop is dead" good, i mean "it takes a nation of millions to hold us back" good!

Li'l Madd Skillz by divatude

one of my main people on mySpace is Houston 3-D designer miss Divatude... Divatude was nice enough to hook up this fly joint of Li'l Madd Skillz star of Champion of Children recently, and has shown interest in doing more Champ characters, so stay tuned!
comics. hiphop. news. art. culture

R.I.P. FreeWill

comics. hiphop. news. art. culture

Reggie didn't appreciate it...

the NEW new...

the NEW New Frontier Trailer...

the Spoof I've been waiting on

i'm not a big fan of the spoof... y'know, the movies that earn their take making fun of other movies: Meet the Spartans, Scary Movie, etc... these films generally don't interest me. i can have as good a laugh at a friend's house watching an actually good movie, so don't hold your breathe waitin' on me to pay to watch a bad one...
but i think they're gonna get me. i just heard they are doing Superhero Movie, a take off of the genre that hollywood can't get enough of lately, the comics adaptation. it stars Drake Bell as the spidey-ish hero The Dragonfly, and Chris McDonald as his nemesis, The Hourglass, a man "dying of some rare disease, who invents a machine where he can continue to live, as long as he kills a lot of people," Zucker says. "The only one who can stop him is Dragonfly." the movie also features Tracy Morgan and Regina Bell.
i don't know why, but i actually wanna see this!

Jumpers director Jim Liman on Reelz Channel. Jumpers opens next week on valentine's Day.

Self-Serve Snitchin'...

Give it Up to the DeeJay

"The Foundation" by samax.
even though today's rap fans and artists seem to forget, the DeeJay is the backbone of today's most influential culture.
hip hop originated in the Bronx, at parties rocked by DJ Kool Herc. The process Herc used for extending a break so that it lasted long enough to perform to is the basis for the sound we have today. initially, Herc and other deeJays rhymed (At that time rap was not yet known as 'rap' but called 'emceeing', from the common term for party hosting Master of Ceremonies) over the beats they flipped, until Herc decided to concetrate on the craft of deeJaying, and handed the microphone over to Coke La Rock and Clark Kent (not Dana Dane's dj). This was rap music first emcee team. They became known as Kool Herc and the Herculoids. From this humble beginning, hipHop has spread all over the globe. production styles have come and gone, technological advances and the digital revolution sometimes threaten to wipe out the importance of the deeJay in modern rap music. but i implore you: rappers, writers, b-boys and girls, NEVER forget to give it up for the DeeJay!

Wolverine takes center stage...

comics. hiphop. news. art. culture

sharing the Love!

yo! it's extra hot even though it's winter! february means Valentine's, means black history, means presidential primaries... all that adds up to get your hustle on! in the spirit of the infinite grizzle that IS february, i'm biggin' up that brotha goldiGold once again! he got the Design rockin' in multiple colors for ya'll, doin' it the right way! click the pic up top or the moniker to hit up his mySpace to sample and cop a shirt for a measly $17 (plus, if you hurry, he got that superCat joint "Dolly My Baby" playin' on his profile...jeauh!). pure fire, son! but don't take MY word for it...

comics. hiphop. news. art. culture

If you Can't Beat 'Em...

Oh, how the Mighty have Fallen! just a couple years removed from stomping the Mavericks in the NBA Finals, the Miami Heat have the worst record in the NBA. in efforts to shake up the talent-starved Heat, the team has brokered a deal that will ship 4-time champion has-bee... i mean veteran center -the once Mighty Shaquille O'Neal- out west. that's right kids! Shaq is headed to Phoenix! the Big Aristotle is in Arizona today for a physical which, if he passes, will lock up the trade, making the big man a Phoenix Sun...

the deal makes madd sense for Miami of course: the team needs shooters, and they'll get Shawn "The Matrix" Marion and Marcus "Never Heard of Him" Banks in the deal to help the sorely overworked Dwayne Wade. but why in the world would the run-and-gun-Suns want the currently-injured-and-way-past-his-prime O'Neal, who can scarcely keep up with east coast pace? two words: Pau Gasol. the surging LA Lakers recently acquired the 7-footer in a SWEET trade with Memphis, and Kobe and Derek Fischer are looking to drop more dimes than Frank Lucas. with Bynum and and Gasol in the Lakers' front court, the Suns are looking to Beef Up. this is the time of year when trade speculation is furious so i was skeptical, but O'Neil IS in Phoenix today, and word is, the physical is all that stands in the way...
we shall see...

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