Wednesday, March 31, 2004

As promised, here are the books I've read since Friday.
  • Fantastic Four: Unstable Molecules by James Sturm & Guy Davis. The idea behind this graphic novel is that the Fantastic Four comics of the early 60's were highly fictionalized accounts of the exploits of four real people, and this comic is their real story. The introduction mentions more volumes to come. I hope that's true & not just an added detail to make the whole thing sound more plausible.
  • DeadLands: Hell on Earth by Shane Lacy Hensley. This is a sequel to the DeadLands role playing game, which is a mix of horror and westerns. This game is set in the future after a global war & is a post-apocalyptic horror western.
  • Amphigorey Also by Edward Gorey.
  • One Piece, vol. 3 by Eiichiro Oda.
  • Rose by Jeff Smith & Charles Vess. This is a prequel to Smith's Bone series, which, to use the most commonly quoted review, is like a cross between Tolkien & Walt Kelly's Pogo.
  • Spider-Man: Revenge of the Green Goblin by Roger Stern, Ron Frenz, et al. (Checked out of the library.)
  • The Complete Samurai Jam by Andi Watson. This is a collection of Watson's first comic book series. I have to say it's not nearly as good as his later work. The art actually gets worse as this series progresses. But Watson was just learning. He got much better with Skeleton Key, Geisha, Breakfast After Noon, and others.
  • Hellboy: The Bones of Giants by Christopher Golden. I'm looking forward to the upcoming movie.
  • Codeflesh by Joe Casey & Charlie Adelard. A cross of superheroes & crime fiction, this is about a bailbondsman who puts on a costume to track down & capture supervillains who skip bail. Not bad, but not great either.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

It's about time I updated about more than just books.

Movies & DVDs
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's. I'd never seen this before, and it made me wonder how it differs from the novel (which I'm not sure I would if I hadn't seen that one episode of Seinfeld). (Checked out of the library.)
  • Angel, season 2. Watching this, made me realize just how much better this show used to be. I still enjoy the current season, but it was much more consistent back then.
  • The Osbournes, season 1. Amazingly funny. But whoever MTv got to do the captioning should have been more familiar with British colloquialisms. In the episode where the Osbournes are having trouble with the neighbors, and Ozzy goes to chuck a hunk of firewood over the fence, Sharon says "No, Ozzy! You could get done (i.e. tried) for manslaughter!" But it was captioned as "You could get gone for manslaughter!" Even better is later in the episode when the police show up, and Jack starts panicking, "I'm going to get nicked (i.e. arrested)!" The captioning for that says "I'm going to get Nick!", which might lead people to wonder who Nick is, why we've never seen him before, and how he'll help with the police.
  • From Here to Eternity. Saw this at the Hollywood Theatre. I'd never seen it before. Very good. I tend to forget that Frank Sinatra could really act.
  • Glen or Glenda? Teena & I saw this (along with the following movie) at a friend's house. For such terrible movies, they were remarkably entertaining. Hilarious in a way that was never intended.
  • Plan 9 from Outer Space.
  • My Neighbor Totoro. Teena found a cheap copy of this DVD at a garage sale. I'd never seen it before, despite really enjoying Miyazaki's other movies. Just delightful.
  • Analyze This. I enjoyed this, but I suspect it would have felt different if I'd seen it when it came out, before The Sopranos dealt with the same subject seriously. (Library.)

I'll update books tomorrow.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Some more books

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

And a few more books since last week.

  • Planetary: Crossing Worlds by Warren Ellis, Phil Jimenez, Jerry Ordway, & John Cassaday.
  • The Incredible Hulk, vol. 2 by Bruce Jones, Stuart Immonen, & Mike Deodato Jr. I stopped buying the Hulk comic book when Peter David stopped writing it. But I kept hearing good things about the Bruce Jones written issues. But David, despite a long (& I though successful) run had been forced off the book, and I have loyalty to writers I like. So I wasn't going to buy the comics. However, checking them out of the library seems acceptable to me. I'd read the first collection a while ago, and while I enjoyed it, something about it seemed off. It took the introduction to the second collection for me to put my finger on just what it was that bugged me. In it, Jones talks about finding new artists for the comic when the previous ones move on to other projects. And Jones mentions that before Deodato sent in his samples, he'd never seen his artwork before.
    The thing is, Deodato had worked on the Hulk before, during David's run. So it appears Jones hasn't read the previous writer's tenure on the title, even though David wrote The Incredible Hulk for over 10 years. Now I can understand wanting to make your own mark on the character, to take the title in your own direction, but to completely ignore the work of the person who handled the Hulk for a quarter of his existence seems wrong.
  • The Maxx, vol. 1 by Sam Kieth with William Messner-Loebs.
  • Completely Pip & Norton by Dave Cooper & Gavin McInnes. (Library)
  • SpyBoy: The M.A.N.G.A. Affair by Peter David & Pop Mhan.
  • SpyBoy/Young Justice by Peter David, Pop Mhan, & Todd Nauck.
  • Essential X-Men, vol. 4 by Chris Claremont, Paul Smith, et al. Reprints of the comics that helped me get through adolescence. I find I have much less tolerance for angst & melodrama nowadays, though.
  • JSA: Darkness Falls by David Goyer, Geoff Johns, et al. (Library.)

Friday, March 19, 2004

I've read a few things since Monday.
  • The Justice Society Returns by various. This book has an odd title, since the stories are set in the 40's, so there's no need for a "return." (Checked out of library.)
  • Sleeper: Out in the Cold by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips. This is a cross between a spy story & superheroics. The main character, Holden Carver, is undercover as an agent for a criminal organization. Unfortunately, the only person who knows he isn't what he appears to be is in a coma. So Carver is caught between maintaining his cover & trying to disrupt the organizations plans. Plus, there are superpowers. Good stuff. (Library.)
  • JSA: Fair Play by Geoff Jones et al. (Library.)
  • Al Capp's Li'l Abner, The Frazetta Years, volume 3, 1958-1959.
  • The Essential Tomb of Dracula, vol. 1 by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan, et al. I really love Marvel's "Essential" line of reprints. 500+ pages of comics for $14.95. Admitedly, they're in black & white, but still, that's a great bargain. This is the first volume of some great horror comics from the early 70's. This is the comic that introduced Blade (as in the Wesley Snipes movies).
  • 67 Seconds by James Robinson & Steve Yeowell. This is a great graphic novel, but Marvel/Epic didn't promote it when it came out in the early 90's, plus it was way overpriced ($15.95 for a 64-page book). (I bought it on sale.) Also, the artist's name was misspelled both times it appears (two different ways).
  • Superman: President Lex by various. In the DC Univers, Lex Luthor won the 2000 presidential election. This volume reprints the issues dealing with the campain, election, & Luthor's inauguration. (Library.)
  • Fantastic Four: Authoritative Action by Mark Waid & Howard Porter. The latest reprint of Waid's run on FF, this volume deals with what happens to Latveria after the FF defeat its leader, Dr. Doom (in the previous volume).
  • Reload/Mek by Warren Ellis, Paul Gulacy, & Steve Rolston.
  • Fantastic Four 1234 by Grant Morrison & Jae Lee.
  • Playboy's Little Annie Fanny, vol. 2, 1970-1988 by Harvey Kurtzman & Will Elder. All the manic energy of Mad from before it became a magazine (because Kurtzman was the writer/editor and Elder one of the artists) but with nudity.

Thanks to Gretchin for pointing out an unclosed italics tag.

Monday, March 15, 2004

I've recently created two new mix CDs and nearly forgot to post about them here. The first was created for a CD exchange with other members of The Usual Suspects, and the other was a theme I'd been considering for a while but didn't get around to until inspired by the first mix.

Sins (Seven)

Ol' Scratch Mix

Once again, it's been a week since I updated. Oh well.

  • Usagi Yojimbo: The Shrouded Moon by Stan Sakai. More anthropomorphic adventures of the ronin rabbit.
  • The Golden Age by James Robinson & Paul Smith. (I can't seem to find this book at Amazon. Therefore, no link.) This is the same creative team as Leave It To Chance, but is very different. This is the story of the golden age superheroes & what happened to them in the years after WWII. It is excellent, but I'm not sure it would work for somebody who didn't already have at least some familiarity with the characters. While this is technically an "Elseworlds" story (meaning DC doesn't consider it to have "really" happened), Robinson has said that as far as he is concerned it is canon, and during Starman there were a few references to the events in this story.
  • Usagi Yojimbo: Duel at Kitanoji by Stan Sakai. Reading these has reminded me how good these comics are. Now I want to pick up the volume or two that I'm missing.
  • Nightstand Chillers by Pat Boyette. (Checked out of the library.)
  • John Constantine: Hellblazer: Son of Man by Garth Ennis & John Higgins.
  • Star Trek, New Frontier: Gods Above by Peter David. It had been a while since I'd read any of David's novels (I make sure to pick up whatever comics he writes), & I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed them. So I bought this after finishing the other.
  • Club 9, vol. 2 by Makoto Kobayashi. (Library.)
  • Phoenix: Dawn by Osamu Tezuka. (Library.)
  • Post-Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel.
  • Supergirl: Many Happy Returns by Peter David & Ed Benes. This is a collection of the final 6 issues of the Supergirl series. Sales hadn't been very good, so DC cancelled it. Ironically, sales took an upturn with this storyline, but by then it was too late.
  • Subway Series by Leela Corman. Eh. (Library.)
  • Liberty Meadows: Creature Comforts by Frank Cho. (Library.)
  • Outsiders: Looking for Trouble by Judd Winick, Tom Raney & Chriscross. Superheroes by a former star of The Real World.
  • The Life Eaters by David Brin & Scott Hampton. This is a graphic novel sequel to Brin's short story, "Thor Meets Captain America." I haven't read the story, but now I definitely want to.
  • Diana: Warrior Princess by Marcus Rowland. This is an odd little item, it's a role playing game based on a TV show that doesn't exist. The idea is that sometime a thousand or more years in the future, somebody decided to create a show based on the life of Princess Di and researched as carefully & thoroughly as Xena was. So you get Diana & her sidekick, Fergie, roaming around, thwarting the plans of Landmines, God of War, and opposing the plots of her ex-mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth. Other characters include Queen Victoria & Prince Albert Einstein, rulers of Britannia (which neighbor's Elizabeth's England), and Wild Bill Gates, riverboat gambler. Very funny stuff.
  • Frightful Fairy Tales by Dame Darcy.
  • Green Lantern: The Power of Ion by Judd Winick et al.

Movies & DVDs
  • Red Dwarf I
  • The middle third of the 2nd season of Sports Night with Teena & some friends from The Usual Suspects message board.
  • Red Dwarf II
  • Finished watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 5.
  • Westender, an independent movie filmed in Oregon. This film looks like it was made by members of the Society for Creative Anachronism. It's the story of a knight who has fallen on hard times & his search for a ring that has great value to him. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous, the acting ranges from pretty good to so-so, and generally the script is good. But there is one sequence towards the end of the film that goes on much too long. By the time it was over, I had lost patience with the movie & was unwilling it cut it any slack.
  • Hidalgo. Saw this with Teena yesterday. Very entertaining. Kinda formulaic, but lots of fun. It made me want to watch things like The Mummy and Indiana Jones.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Some more books since Friday.
  • Starman, vol. 4: Times Past by James Robinson et al. I think another reason I like the Starman series so much is that, while it does take an old character & revamp him, it does so without trashing the past. Robinson respects the comics that came before (as goofy as they may have been). I doubt DC would be publishing a Justice Society comic if not for Starman.
  • Starman, vol. 5: Infernal Devices by James Robinson, Tony Harris, et al.
  • Starman, vol. 6: To Reach the Stars by James Robinson, Jerry Ordway, Tony Harris, et al.
  • Starman, vol. 7: A Starry Knight by James Robinson, David Goyer, Steve Yeowell & Peter Snejbjerg.
  • Starman: vol. 8: Stars My Destination by James Robinson, David Goyer, Peter Snejbjerg, et al. This is the most recent collection. When I was figuring out how many more there will be, I underestimated. It's more likely to be 3 or 4 more volumes. I really need to write to DC & encourage them to collect the rest of this series.
  • Crayon Shinchan, vol. 2 by Yoshito Usui. A Japanese comic strip about a bratty 5-year-old. (Checked out of the library.)
  • Inu Yasha, vol. 16 by Rumiko Takahashi. (Library.)
  • Patrick the Wolf Boy Collection, vol. 2 by Arthur Baltazar & Franco Aureliani
  • Hellboy: The Right Hand of Doom by Mike Mignola. I picked this up at the local comic book convention that was held on Sunday. It was the last Hellboy graphic novel that I was missing. I'm really looking forward to the Hellboy movie.

Friday, March 05, 2004

There have been a few movies & DVDs recently.

  • Last week some friends & I got together & watched The Four Corners of Nowhere(?), a "Gen-X"y film that got better than it started.
  • The Ben Stiller Show Great sketch comedy from the early 90's. One of many shows that Fox cancelled too soon.
  • The Station Agent This movie has been playing at The Hollywood Theatre for two months, and I finally got around to seeing it. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't great.
  • Beany & Cecil Cartoons & puppets from Bob Clampett after he left Warner Brothers.
  • The Addams Family. Damn Christina Ricci & Mercedes McNab (who has a small role as a girl scout) are young in this.

And of course, there are

  • Star Trek: New Frontier: Stone & Anvil by Peter David. Yes, I read Star Trek novels, but only those by Peter David, a writer I discovered from comic books. (Okay, some people may find one just as damning as the other.)
  • Starman, vol. 1: Sins of the Father by James Robinson & Tony Harris. No relation at all to the movie. Robinson's Starman is one of the best superhero series I've ever read. It brings up the notion of heroism in a way that no other comic I know of has. It also shows a complex relationship between Jack Knight, the main character, and his father, the first Starman. And it is a loving depiction of a city that doesn't exist (but should). After the car accident, I felt the need for something familiar & comforting. I've read these comics several times before, and they fit the bill. Great stuff. I really hope DC finishes collecting the series in book form. By my count, there are 2 or 3 volumes to go.
  • Starman, vol. 2: Night & Day by James Robinson & Tony Harris.
  • Starman, vol. 3: A Wicked Inclination... by James Robinson, Tony Harris, et al.
  • PvP: The Dork Ages by Scott Kurtz.
  • Al Capp's Li'l Abner The Frazetta Years, vol. 2: 1956-1957.

Please note that I've added a few links to the right.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Last night Teena & I were heading somewhere, and I was driving. The traffic was stopped dead, and I decided to follow the example of some other drivers & get into the turn lane & find an alternate route. I turned on the blinker & started easing into the left turn lane. I was going very slowly because traffic was stopped & therefore there wasn't much maneuverability. Out of nowhere, a car came up & swiped the left front corner.

Nobody was hurt, but Teena's car was totalled (as far as insurance is concerned). A witness gave us her name & number, telling us the other driver had been going extremely fast (presumably trying to make the light before it changed), but apparently fault will be assigned either to both drivers or to just me.

We'd been having a very pleasant evening, but that all changed in a second. And now Teena doesn't have a car. I want to fix the situation I caused, but I just don't have very much money. It was an accident, and there's nothing I could have done, but I feel like the worst boyfriend ever (even though I know I'm not).

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Thanks to Michael, I recently discovered Guzzlefish, a site for managing movie collections (as well as others, but I'm using it primarily for movies). I have entered my DVDs into their database (I've got a few movies that they don't have listed yet, but the vast majority of them are there). This seems much better than listing them here, where the list soon gets out of date and also gets lost in the archives.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Maybe I should just accept that I'll only get this thing updated once a week.

  • Last of the Independents by Matt Fraction & Kieron Dwyer. There seems to be an upswing in the number of comics telling crime stories. I rather like the trend. (Checked out of the library.)
  • Lucifer, vol. 4: The Divine Comedy by Mike Carey & Peter Gross. I enjoy this enough to keep checking the books out of the library, but not enough to buy them or the individual issues of the comic. (Library.)
  • FLCL, vol. 1 by Gainax & Hajime Ueda. Just as strange & somehow even LESS accessible than the anime series this is based on. I doubt I'll be getting any further volumes.
  • Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence, adapted to comics by Hunt Emerson.
  • Fantastic Four: Imaginauts by Mark Waid, Mike Weiringo, Karl Kesel, Mark Buckingham, & Stuart Immonen. This is the FF as they should be done.
  • Usagi Yojimbo: Grey Shadows by Stan Sakai. Wonderful "funny animal" comics about a rabbit samurai.
  • Daily Delirium by Miguelanxo Prado. (Library)
  • Tales of Ordinary Madness by Malcolm Bourne & Mike Allred. Collection of a 4-issue series that was first published in the early 90's. Comics about a psychiatrist & how he relates to his patients. I liked it better when I first read it 10 years ago.
  • The 3 Geeks: The Geeksville Years by Rich Koslowski.
  • Skull & Bones: Swashbuckling Horror in the Golden Age of Piracy by Ian Sturrock, T.S. Luikcart, Gareth-Michael Skarka. I like this role-playing book quite a bit. The authors have clearly done their research on the late 17th-early 18th century Caribbean.
  • Union Station by Ande Parks & Eduardo Barreto. (Library)
  • Star Wars: The Stark Hyperspace War by John Ostrander & Davide Fabbri.
  • Courtney Crumrin & the Night Things by Ted Naifeh. Spooky kid's stuff. Enjoyable, but I think I'll borrow future volumes from the library rather than buying them.
  • Jack Staff, vol. 1: Everything Used to Be Black & White by Paul Grist. Great superhero stuff, although sometimes there's a little too much going on at once.
  • Maison Ikkoku, vol. 1 by Rumiko Takahashi. I have discovered that this edition contains chapters that were not included in the first edition, so I picked this up. Looks like my copy of the first edition will be sold to Powell's.
  • Rosetta: A Comics Anthology by various. (Library.)

And since last week, I have watched The Ben Stiller Show DVDs. Very funny sketch comedy from Stiller, Janeanne Garofalo, Bob Odenkirk, and Andy Dick.