vendredi 31 décembre 2010

A decade of comics

Most of comic-bloggers have run their Top Ten of the Decade last year. But I don't mind being late at the party and I'm not gonna list my 10 favourites of the decade but one book for each year, the one that I remember the most.
I'll keep this one in english only (lazy me), but links to my reviews written in french will be provided when they exist.
La plupart des blogueurs ont donné leur Top 10 de la décennie l'année dernière. Ça ne me dérange pas d'arriver après la guerre pour vous donner, année par année, le comics qui m'a le plus marqué. Je ne traduirai pas le reste de l'article mais je mettrai un lien vers mon commentaire Amazon correspondant, lorsqu'il existe.

2000 : JLA Earth2
Morrison -Quitely on the Justice League, a self-contained story with beautiful art, good plot and plenty of cool moments.
Bought this one for Christmas, as I was settling down in my new life as a worker (student no more).
From Batman, at the end of the story :
"I've noticed something about people who try to change the world....The world turns around and changes them right back."

2001 : Daredevil Visionaries 2
Some of my favorites DD issues packed in one book. Memories of childhood revived by flipping pages.
Bought this in Paris, talked about it with an old friend at a café, late in september. Later, this conversation would spawn an essay about Daredevil and Batman.
From the introduction by Diana Schutz :
"In every way, they (the stories) are timeless. Like the dreams of all us when we are still young. Like a friendship that lasts a lifetime."

2002 : Hang up on the hang low (100 Bullets TPB#3)
Might be the best arc of the whole series. Almost too bad it came so early in the series.
The first time Azz, Risso AND Mulvihill got together and knocked it out of the park.
A great father and son noir story.
From Curtis Hugues to Loop Hugues :
"It's how it's played that makes it so goddamn special."

2003 : Counterfifth Detective (100 Bullets TPB#5)
Very cryptic story but excellent art.
Bought this one in NYC, makes it a little more special to me.
"Who I am is Milo Garret (...) I drink too much and tip too little (...) I kick ass, and chase tail."

2004 : Preacher (the whole series)
I hadn't tried it before because the gore stuff was a bit too much for me.
Once you get past that, there's so much more to be found in this series.
I ordered and read all the TPBs in two months.
From Jesse to Tulip :
"People like you an' me don't find each other too often in this damn world."

2005 : Sleeper (the whole series)
Holden Carver is fucked-up from the start. Brubaker and Phillips make us care for him til the end.
Another Amazon reading raid and a truely good read.
From Tao to Holden :
"You are what you do. Not what you think."

2006 : Daredevil : The Devil Inside and Out
Another too strong start. If only Brubaker had kept this level on his run. It would have been legendary.
From the the Punisher to DD :
"You're hurtin' a lot, right now, Murdock, with good reason. But you don't want to be me."

2007 : The Nightly News
Jonathan Hickman created a challenging masterpiece.
"The VOICE says : it's just the beginning."

2008 : Long Cold Dark - Punisher MAX
From Frank Castle :
"The sun slipped away behind me, the last sliver seeming to pause on the horizon, then succumbing to the black. And I drove on through the shadows of America...

Through the long, cold, dark night I've made of my life."

2009 : Wildcats V2 by Joe Casey & Sean Phillips
See this post for more details.
From Jacob Marlowe :
"This world is what it is. To simply classify it is a useless endeavor. But to change it... That is the appropriate measure."

2010 : The Gnawing (Scalped)
Dash on his mother's grave :
"You told me I'd have to face up to who I am. You were right about that.
Only thing is...
who I am ain't nothing nice."

Catégorie : Blogging_Comics

mardi 28 décembre 2010

Long Cold Dark... kinda

The Punisher MAX series by Garth Ennis is my favourite run on the char and one of the best in comics at all. My minor nitpick is that Ennis version of Frank Castle is rather "dry" cocktail-wise. So this run can't provide much stuff for the drinks and comics analysis (a thing that blog tries to do when its author doesn't muse on Daredevil pictures). But sometimes, things can start from a minor item, very remotely linked to cocktails, if related at all.
Le Punisher MAX par Garth Ennis est à ce jour ma version préférée du personnage et un des meilleurs runs que j'ai pu lire ces dernières années. Un reproche, toutefois : le Punisher par Ennis n'est pas un grand buveur, ce qui fournit peu de matière pour la comixologie (ce à quoi ce blog est sensé s'atteler lorsque son auteur ne se contente pas de poster des dessins de Daredevil). Mais parfois, il suffit d'un petit quelque chose pour fournir un lien.

The second to last arc of Ennis on the series was titled "Long Cold Dark" and for a while, I felt it might also be a good cocktail name. The story in a nutshell : Frank versus returning big bad foe Barracuda with Frank's newfound daughter in the middle. An extremely violent tale but one filled with touching glances at the Punisher's remains of humanity. Hence my quest to create a cocktail recipe matching this story's greatness.
L'avant dernier story-arc d'Ennis sur la série MAX s'intitule "Long Cold Dark" et ce titre m'a toujours semblé être un potentiel nom de cocktail. Résumé du récit : Frank Castle est confronté au retour du terrible Barracuda avec dans la balance la vie de sa toute petite fille dont il découvre l'existence. Une histoire très violente mais émaillée de moments touchants, effleurant les restes d'humanité du Punisher.

As I said, Garth Ennis writes Frank Castle mostly as a non-drinker, so if Frank had to drink something called "Long Cold Dark", it might only be a huge pot of cold coffee. But let's expand suspension of disbelief and explore potential drinks. First it seems quite obvious a cocktail with this name should be a long drink, cold (like most of the cocktails) and dark. That last one is the true limiting factor. I might have gone with a rum and coke but that would have been too much of a cheat. But then, I stumbled across some cans of Ginger Beer in an asian shop (Ginger Beer is not very easy to find in France)

Frank is tough enough to drink cold coffee
Le café froid ne fait pas peur au Punisher

Le Punisher d'Ennis étant non-buveur, s'il fallait coller à l'esprit du run pour trouver une boisson nommé 'Long Cold Dark", on se retrouverait sans doute avec un grand verre de café froid.
Aussi, messieurs les puristes, il faudra pour la suite de l'article intensifier votre suspension d'incrédulité.
Le breuvage idoine se devrait d'être un long drink, froid et... de couleur sombre. Ce dernier point étant le plus problématique.
Un rhum-coca pour faire l'affaire mais ça serait quand même un peu de l'arnaque.
Et puis je suis tombé sur des canettes de bière au gingembre dans une épicerie asiatique (je n'en avais jusqu'alors jamais acheté).

Then I tried to tinkered the "Dark and Stormy", based on dark rum, ginger beer and lime juice. I thought replacing the rum with bourbon and adding bitters might result in something interesting... well, not really. The drink was not very dark nor tasty. Adding some cold coffee was the last step before pouring the glass down the drain.
J'ai alors essayé une variante du Dark and Stormy, cocktail à base de rhum, bière de gingembre et jus de citron vert. J'ai remplacé le rhum par du bourbon, ajouté un peu de bitters pour un résultat bof, bof. Pas très sombre et goût pas terrible. L'ajout de café froid à la mixture fut la dernière étape avant le vidage dans l'évier.

I had to find another idea. I considered an Irish Coffee with a skull motif traced on the cream atop the glass but it's supposed to be a cold drink and never tried to draw anything on cream. Plus, cream is white, it wouldn't quite match with the cocktail's name anymore !
Je devais trouver une autre idée. Je songeais à une variante d'un Irish Coffe avec une tête de mort dessinée sur la crème. Mais je recherchais un cocktail froid et le dessin sur crème, je le sentais moyen. De plus, celle-ci étant blanche, cela ne correspondait pas à la "noirceur" recherchée.

I then gave up aiming at a dark black final color and went with this :
J'ai finalement renoncé à une couleur trop sombre et suis parti là-dessus :
1 1/2 oz of Appleton Estate Extra Rum / 4,5 cl de rhum Appleton Extra 12 ans d'âge
1 oz of sweet vermouth /3 cl de vermouth doux
1 oz oz of lime juice /3 cl de jus de citron vert
1/2 oz of Grand Marnier / 1,5 cl de Grand Marnier
a dash of bitters (angostura, Peychaud or else, your choice) / quelques traits de bitters
Stirr in long tall glass, add ice cubes, fill with ginger beer.
Mélanger dans un grand verre, ajouter des glaçons compléter avec la bière de gingembre.

Well, not so dark
Pas si sombre, ce cocktail

Well, it turned out not great but drinkable. If your ever try it, pre-chill the glass and use a score of cubes so you won't add to much ginger beer. It would overwhelm the other ingredients.
Le résultat, sans être génial, était buvable. Si jamais vous essayez d'en faire un, rafraichissez le verre par avance et remplissez bien le verre de glaçons pour ne pas avoir à rajouter trop de bière de gingembre, elle risquerait de dominer le goût des autres ingrédients.

I had to sneak a DD in my 100th post
Une apparition de DD dans ce 100ème post

As it's my 100th post, I wanted to give a nod to my wife and my daughter. Thanks to them, my life is very far from being long, cold, dark.
Pour ce 100ème post, je voulais aussi saluer ma petite famille, sans qui ma vie serait peut-être trop "Long, Cold, Dark".

My wife & my daughter / Ma femme et ma fille

Catégorie : Blogging_Cocktails
Catégorie : Blogging_Comics