Friday, May 28, 2004

Michael is planning on ordering from Amazon this weekend. So here's some links for him.
Doctor Who: The Two Doctors
Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric
Alanis Morissette: So Called Chaos
Vienna Teng: Warm Strangers
Many thanks to Michael for ordering through me.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Yeah, it's been over a week since I updated the list. Haven't been reading all that much (although it's picked up some the past couple of days).
  • Hedge Magic by Aaron Link & John Snead. This is a supplement for the Ars Magica role playing game.
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I'd been watching the BBC production of this story with some friends & decided I needed to re-read this. Teena did the exact same thing.
  • Lyra's Oxford by Philip Pullman. This is something of a bridge between Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy & a new story that I hope comes out soon.
  • Taltos by Steven Brust. Teena has been very kind in allowing me to borrow the books in this series. I'm enjoying them quite a bit.
  • New Souls/All Turned Around by Donna Barr. This is a flip-book, with one side being a collection of stories featuring Barr's character Stinz, and the other featuring her "Bosom Enemies" characters. Both are very good, but a little too complex to go here. Maybe later.
  • Giant Robot Warriors by Stuart Moore & Ryan Kelly. (Borrowed from the library.)
  • The Amazing Spider-Man: Revelations by J. Michael Straczynski & John Romita Jr. The creator of Babylon 5 has been writing Spider-Man for a while now. I really should be picking up more of the collections, because he's very good. This collection contains a story in which Aunt May learns that Peter is Spider-Man.
  • Phoenix by Steven Brust. Another in the Vlad Taltos series. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  • Graphic Classics: Bram Stoker by various. Adaptations of several of Stoker's stories. It was interesting to see a version of "The Lair of the White Worm" & compare it to the Ken Russell film. (Believe it or not, I think the movie is a better story.)
  • Switchblade Honey by Warren Ellis and Brandon McKinney. This is Ellis's reaction to the squeaky-clean future presented in the various Star Trek franchises and how they seem to conveniently ignore certain basic aspects of human nature. And it's a pretty damn good story too.
  • Spider-Man: Blue by Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale. Loeb & Sale seem to be a hot team in comics today. Their series seem to do quite well, and I don't see why. Sale's artwork is great, but Loeb's writing just doesn't work for me. It's okay, but not spectacular. (Library.)

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Some friends are going to buy Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6 soon, so here's a link for them. Thanks, Harmony & Topher.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

And a few more books since last week.
  • Gotham Central: In the Line of Duty by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, & Michael Lark. This is something like a comic book version of NYPD Blue or Homicide: Life on the Street but set in Gotham City. Batman shows up sometimes, but the emphasis is on the ordinary cops and their lives. After the initial, co-written, story, Brubaker & Rucka trade off storylines; one writing about the day shift the other about the night shift. Because this is a Batman-related comic book, I figured it wouldn't need my support all that much, so I haven't bought any individual issues. I'm just getting the collections as they come out. (And I'm hoping that later volumes will be as cheap [$9.95] as this one.)
  • Weirdoes from Another Planet by Bill Watterson. Ah, Calvin & Hobbes. I wonder what Watterson is doing nowadays. I respect his decision to stop Calvin & Hobbes, but I wish he'd create something else.
  • Illegal Alien by James Robinson and Phil Elliot. Aliens, mobsters, mods, and family. Kind of hard to explain, but a nicely touching little story.
  • Terra Obscura by Peter Hogan, Alan Moore, and Yanick Paquette. Moore co-plotted this spin-off of his Tom Strong comic.
  • Greyshirt: Indigo Sunset by Rick Veitch. Veitch takes the Greyshirt character away from his roots as a tribute to Will Einer's Spirit and crafts a great story about his origins.
  • Teckla by Steven Brust. Continuing to read Brust's novels about Vlad Taltos. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  • Bone, vol. 3: Eyes of the Storm by Jeff Smith. Before I started re-reading these books, I had forgotten just how funny they are (the early volumes, at least). Smith really has his comic timing down. (Checked out of the library.)
  • The Filth by Grant Morrison & Chris Weston. More weirdness from Morrison. This is probably his best-constructed work, but it doesn't quite gel for me the way Doom Patrol or The Invisibles did.
  • Batgirl: Year One by Scott Beatty, Chuck Dixon, & Marcos Martin. (Library.)
  • The Magic Flute. P. Craig Russell's adaptation of Mozart's opera. Absolutely beautiful artwork.
  • Cable: The End by David Tischman, Darko Makan & Igor Kordey. Eh. (Library.)

Wednesday, May 12, 2004


  • TokyoPop Sneaks, 2004 vol. 2 by various. This is a freebie given out to attract new buyers to the manga books that TokyoPop publishes. Unfortunately, almost none of the stories appealed to me. I don't know if it was the small size of the samples, translation problems, or simply bad storytelling from the artists, but most of the time, I couldn't tell what was going on.
  • Grendel: Past Prime by Greg Rucka with illustrations by Matt Wagner. The Grendel graphic novel I read last week is a prelude to this novel, which is pretty much a samurai tale with different trappings.
  • The Fixer: A Story from Sarajevo by Joe Sacco. More non-fiction comics from Sacco. (Checked out of the library.)
  • Elektra: Introspect by Greg Rucka & Carlo Pagulayan. (Library.)
  • Elektra: Everything Old Is New Again by Greg Rucka, Joe Bennett, Carlo Pagulayan & Carlos Meglia. (Library.)
  • Dicks & Deedees by Jaime Hernandez. I've fallen behind in reading the various Love & Rockets collections, perhaps because I'm not enjoying the stories as much as I used to. They're still great, though.
  • Four Women by Sam Kieth. This is Kieth's first work not to include some element of the fantastic, but he does it well. This story is much more powerful when read in a single sitting rather than spread out as the individual issues were published. (Another argument to stop buying so many regular comics.)
  • The Coffin by Phil Hester & Mike Huddleston.
  • Gon on Safari by Masashi Tanaka. More silent stories about a two-foot T-rex. (Library.)
  • Gon Underground by Masashi Tanaka. (Library.)
  • Typewriter by various. This comics anthology is rather interesting. The final line of one creator's section becomes the first line of the next. (Library.)
  • Bone, vol. 1: Out from Boneville by Jeff Smith. Bone will be finishing up shortly, with the publication of the 9th volume, so I have decided to re-read the series in preparation for that. (I stopped buying individual issues a while ago and have just been buying the collections.) But my copies of the early volumes are all in storage, so I'm checking them out of the library. The trouble is, the Multnomah County Library system only has one record for all the volumes. So if you just put a hold on Bone without specifying a particular copy, you'll get whichever volume becomes available first. It's doable, but a pain in the ass. Plus, for some reason, not a single branch of the library has volume 2, so I'm just going to have to skip it. (Library.)
  • Liberty Meadows, book 1: Eden by Frank Cho. (Library.)

Movies & DVDs

  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Monster A-Go-Go. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  • Drunken Master. This isn't the movie that was released in the US not too long ago. That's The Legend of Drunken Master, and it's a sequel to this movie. This is the movie that made Jackie Chan a star. Some amazing fight scenes here.
  • Muppet Treasure Island. This is the only version of Treasure Island I've ever seen. I haven't even read the book. Tim Curry is great as Long John Silver.
  • Sunset Boulevard. I'd never seen this before, although I knew something about it. Excellent movie. Somewhere along the way (possibly from the parody of it done on the Carrol Burnett Show) I picked up the idea that the Norma Desmond character was ancient. But this movie was made in 1950, not all that long after the silent era. Desmond is middle-aged, not elderly.
  • Castle in the Sky. Every time I see a Miyazaki film, I'm blown away again at how beautiful & well-crafted they are. Man, I want to see more of his work translated into English.
  • Kill Bill, vol. 2. I think this is a better movie than Vol. 1, but not as much fun. There's more story & character development here & not as much revenge-story action. And I don't understand why Tarantino made a big deal about hiding Uma Thurman's character's name.
  • Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. I watched this with the commentary by Tim Burton & Paul Reubens, which was interesting, but at times seemed to consist of Reubens pointing out props from the movie that he still owns. Ooh, a bit of trivia: The woman who plays Pee-Wee's girlfriend inethe movie now does the voice of Buttercup on The Powerpuff Girls
As expected, I didn't get the job.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Update on that interview I had: I still haven't heard back about that, even though I was told that they hoped to make a decision by the end of last week. And I've noticed that they're still advertising the position. I'm interpreting that to mean that they don't really want me but don't want to cut me loose just in case nobody better applies. Not exactly fodder for my ego, but I'm not in a position to stand on a point of pride right now.

So now I'm reluctant to email the woman who interviewed me because I suspect that if I do, she'll tell me, "No." And I don't want to give up on that last shred of hope.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Wow, Blogger did an update, and I've I've got a new interface. Shouldn't be a problem, though.

  • Clive Barker's Hellraiser Collected Best II by various. This is an anthology of stories collected from a comic that ran in the early 90's. There's a third volume, but I hate to think what's in it, because I really didn't like this one. Although I have considered getting the first volume, but that's because there's a Neil Gaiman story in it. (Checked out of the library.)
  • Fables, vol. 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham and Lan Medina. I quite enjoy Fables, a comic book about characters from fairy tales, legends, and literature living in New York (after having been forced out of their own worlds by somebody known as "the Adversary"). In this collection, the sheriff of Fabletown, Bigby Wolf, is trying to figure out who killed Rose Red & why. Because the comic is doing well, I am considering cancelling my subscription to it at the comic store & simply getting the collections when they come out. Why buy the same story twice? And I prefer books to magazines anyway (and they're cheaper than the individual issues).
  • Y: The Last Man, vol. 3: One Small Step by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, and Paul Chadwick. Another comic I'm considering dumping for just the collections. The premise for this comic is that one day, every male mammal on the planet died except for one guy & his monkey. This is about what happens after.
  • Sir Apropos of Nothing by Peter David. A semi-humorous fantasy novel about an anti-hero.
  • The Avengers: Ultron Unlimited by Kurt Busiek, George Perez, and Stuart Immonen. I don't have too much to say about this in particular, so I'll use it to talk about graphic novel pricing. I generally feel a graphic novel that reprints issues of a comic is worth the price if it costs as much as or less than the individual issues if they were to be published now. For instance, the Thor Legends collections I read a few weeks back are reasonably priced at $25 because each reprints 10 issues, and superhero titles generally run around $2.50 nowadays. (Although they were considerably cheaper when those Thor issues first came out.) Ultron Unlimited collects four regular issues of the comic and issue #0 (which was only 12 pages long). Its list price is $14.95. If you consider that some superhero comics run $2.95 and that zero-numbered issues are hard to find, it's worth it. Barely. Fortunately, I bought this used & didn't pay that much for it.
  • Young Gods & Friends by Barry Windsor-Smith. (Library.)
  • Yendi by Steven Brust. The 2nd (written) Vlad Taltos book. I'm quite enjoying these. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  • Aquaman: The Waterbearer by Rich Veitch & Yuel Guichet. In the late 80's, DC censored an issue of Swamp Thing that Veitch had created (after they initially gave it the go-ahead), and he swore never to work for them again. I have no idea what changed to make him change his mind. In his year on the title, Veitch connected Aquaman to Arthurian stories. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
  • Talent Operations Command Intelligence Bulletion No.2, Talent Operations Groups by Dennis Detwiller. This is a sourcebook for the Godlike role playing game of gritty superheroes in WWII.
  • Grendel Tales: Homecoming by Pat McEown & Dave Cooper.
  • Dragon Ball, vol. 15 by Akira Toriyama.
  • Shaman King, vol. 3 by Hiroyuki Takei.
  • Skidmarks: The Complete Bic Cycle by Ilya (a.k.a. Ed Hillier). The story of what a guy, Bic, goes through to get the money for a really nice bicyle.

Friday, May 07, 2004

It's been a long time since I posted a personality quiz. So let me tell you which one of Henry VIII's wives I am.

Which of Henry VIII's wives are you?

this quiz was made by the proper Victorian ladies at Spookbot

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

And now for the books I've read since last week.
  • Ultimate X-Men, vol. 2 by Marc Millar, Adam Kubert, Chris Bachalo, et al. (Checked out of the library.)
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow & Tara by Amber Benson et al. A few stories co-written (plotted, I suspect) by the actress who played Tara on Buffy. Okay, not great.
  • Revelations III: Heaven & Hell by various. A sourcebook for the In Nomine role playing game.
  • Jhereg by Steven Brust. I really enjoyed this & will be reading the other books in this series. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  • Fantastic Four Visionaries: John Byrne. This reprints Byrne's first 9 issues on The Fantastic Four, and the stories hold up pretty well. They do get a bit expositiony in places, but I think Byrne's run on FF may be his best work. (Which is a pitty because it was 20 years ago.)
  • Wonder Woman: Gods & Mortals by George Perez, with Len Wein & Greg Potter. This reprints the first 7 issues of the relaunched Wonder Woman from the late 80's.
  • Gon by Masashi Tanaka. Japanese comics about a tiny & cute (but fierce) T-rex.
  • Here Today, Gon Tomorrow! by Masashi Tanaka.
  • Going, Going ... Gon by Masashi Tanaka.
  • Madman Comics, vol 4: Heaven & Hell by Mike Allred.
  • Banks/Eubanks by Tom Hart.
  • Cicada: The Motel by Josue Menjivar.
  • DeadLands: The Black Circle: Unholy Alliance by John Goff. I've written before about the DeadLands role playing game. I like the idea of combining westerns with horror, but the execution of the game just doesn't quite pull it off. For instance, the sourcebooks for the game all start off with excerpts from "The Tombstone Epitaph," a newspaper from the game world. Except that the writing sound nothing at all like a 19th century newspaper, even a sensationalist, muck-raking tabloid like the "Epitaph" is supposed to be. Of course, if the books were written in the style of a 19th century newspaper, they wouldn't be that interesting to gamers. So it's a catch-22. Anyway, despite my disappointments in the presentation, I occasionally read books for the game, because I really do like the concept.
  • Formerly Known as the Justice League by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, & Kevin Maguire. Humorous superheroics from the team that brought you the funniest version of the JLA ever.
  • Scoundrel's Folly by Rob Vaux & Jennifer Wick. An adventure for the Seventh Sea role playing game.
  • Epitaph no.1 by various. A magazine of adventures, fiction, & other resources for DeadLands.
  • Epitaph no.2 by various.

Monday, May 03, 2004

I'm a bit behind on books, but they can wait for tomorrow. Now it's time to update movies.
  • Get Shorty.
  • Futurama, vol. 3. Man, I loved this show. Damn Fox anyway for treating it like crap & cancelling it. (Bit of trivia, one of the commentary tracks for this season was recorded before the episode ever aired in the U.S.)
  • Robot Stories. This is an independent film, four short pieces about what life might be like with robots. I loved one of the stories (in part because it featured Micronauts, a set of toys I had when I was a kid), liked two of the others quite a bit, and didn't care for the other.
  • Babylon 5: The Gathering/In the Beginning. Two Babylon 5 tv movies.
  • Rear Window. It's been a while since I'd seen this. I'd forgotten what an amazing film it is. Damn but Hitchcock could build suspense.
  • X-Men 1.5. In a couple of the delete scenes, Halle Berry actually has some lines!