Monday, August 30, 2004

A large part of why I haven't been keeping this site updated is because I've been spending a lot of time playing Kingdom of Loathing, an online game that is very addicting. But I seem to be nearing the end of the adventures created for the game, so it's starting to get a little boring.

Anyway, it might be nice to list books I've read more often than once a month, so here goes.

  • Spider-Man's Tangled Web by various. (I can't find it at Amazon.) Odd-ball Spider-Man stories. (Checked out of the library.)
  • 40 oz. Collected by Jim Mahfood. (Library.)
  • New X-Men, vol. 3 by Grant Morrison, et al. (Man, I wish Amazon's search function worked better with graphic novels. I can't tell if they don't have this particular volume or if I just can't find it. Of course, part of the problem is the way that Marvel names & numbers hardbacks vs. paperbacks. More on that at a later date.) The final year or so of Morrison's run on X-Men. Good stuff.
  • Brokedown Palace by Steven Brust. This is set in the same world as Brust's Taltos novels, but the emphasis is different. This feels a lot like a retold fairy tale. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  • The Forbidden Book: Journeys into the Mystic by various. (Boy, I'm not having much luck finding stuff on Amazon today, am I?) A variety of short stories involving magic. Eh.
  • CMX Preview 2004 by various. (Okay, I'm not surprised Amazon didn't have this one. It's a free sampler of manga titles from CMX.)
  • Mother, Come Home by Paul Hornschemeier. A touching account of a boy & his father trying to cope with the boy's mother's suicide. Very good. (Library.)
  • The Devil's Footprints by Scott Allie, Paul Lee, & Brian Horton. A pretty good horror story. (Library.)
  • Astro Boy, vol. 22 by Osamu Tezuka. (Library.)
  • Strange Kiss by Warren Ellis. I like Ellis's stuff, but sometimes I find it difficult to describe. This is odd, but good.
  • Human Target: Strike Zones by Peter Milligan & Javier Pulido. I enjoy this series, but the explaining the premise would take more time than I feel like right now. Maybe later.
  • Exiles, vol. 4: Legacy by Judd Winick, Jim Calafiore, & Ken Walker. This is the last volume of the Winick-written Exiles that I needed to get. Occasionally I wonder if this series would appeal to somebody who isn't familiar with the Marvel universe & all its intricacies, but the backstory for one of the plotlines in this collection is from a time after I stopped reading X-Men, and I enjoyed it fine.
  • Drawn & Quarterly Showcase, Book 2 by various. (Library.)

And that's where I'm going to stop for now, because the next book I read is one that I didn't like, and I want to talk about just why I didn't like it (along with a couple others that I didn't enjoy), and the PSU library will be closing soon enough that I don't think I can get my rant done in time. I hope to finish updating later in the week.

Friday, August 13, 2004

I created a new mix CD last weekend. This one isn't one of my tarot-themed CD's though. It's covers.

You Still Ain't Heard Nothing Yet

So that's my latest mix.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Wow, May was the last time I updated the movie list. Since it's been so long, I'll leave out the Amazon links (I'm just too lazy).
Movies, videos, DVDs
  • X-Files, season 1. I didn't start watching the show until sometime after the first season, but reruns have meant that I had seen most of these episodes. But there were still several that were new to me. Good stuff. Man, if only they'd pulled the plug on this show a couple seasons earlier. (Checked out of the library, but I don't know why I just didn't just borrow this from Michael.)
  • Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. The 6-episode tv series that came before the book. Not the best special effects, but generally well done.
  • Amelie. Teena & I saw this at Pix. Their Tuesday night movies tend to be a lot of fun.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Diabolik. The final MST3K; cheesy Italian caper movie. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Bloodlust. (Teena.)
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Rocket Attack USA. (Teena.)
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Teenage Caveman. (Teena.)
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Viking Women vs. the Sea Serpent. (Teena.)
  • Chappelle's Show, Season One Uncensored. Dave Chappelle is a funny, funny man.
  • The Lion King. Disney does Hamlet.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Violent Years. (Teena.)
  • The Odd Couple. The movie, not the tv show. (Library.)
  • M*A*S*H, season 1. Watching this made me realize that I'm still burned out on this show. It's very good, but I watched way too much of it when it was syndicated. If they released a "Best of" DVD set, I might get that, but I won't be buying any more seasons.
  • The Sopranos, season 4. (Library.)
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Bride of the Monster. (Teena.)
  • Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban. Teena & I went to see this. Much better than the first two movies; I wish this director were sticking around for the rest of the series. It was nice to see a film directed by somebody who understood that books & film are different media & have different needs.
  • Six String Samurai. Several of us went over to Alex's & watched this post-apocalyptic story. I enjoyed what I saw of it. Unfortunately, thanks to a combination of lack of sleep the night before, anti-histamines, and a single beer, I was nodding off during most of the movie.
  • Godzilla. This is the original Japanese movie, not the American version that added Raymond Burr. Very good movie.
  • Shrek 2. Teena & I saw this together. Very entertaining, but I don't quite see why these two movies are as extraordinarily popular as they are. I enjoy them, but I don't quite get what it is that so many people seem to get out of them.
  • Spider-Man 2. Teena & I went to see this with a couple of friends. (Hi, Harmony & Topher!) Lot's of fun. It is so gratifying to see good superhero movies.
  • Doctor Who: The Dalek Invasion of Earth. Michael had a Doctor Who marathon that Teena & I attended. He tried to show a sampling of the various Doctors. This was the William Hartnell entry.
  • Doctor Who: The Three Doctors.
  • Doctor Who: The Talons of Weng-Chiang. An excellent Tom Baker adventure.
  • Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric. The more I see of Sylvester McCoy's later episodes, the more I like him. I think he may have overtaken Tom Baker as my favorite Doctor.
  • Northern Exposure, season 1. A nice, quirky little show. But now that I've seen it again, I'm feeling less of a need to own the series. However, I'll be more than happy to borrow DVDs from other people. (Borrowed from my mom.)
  • The Best of Insomniac with Dave Attell, vol. 2. What can I say? Sometimes I like low-brow humor.
  • Robin Williams Live on Broadway. (Borrowed from Mom.)
  • Monty Python's The Life of Brian. This movie was re-released to theaters as a sort of anti-Passion of the Christ, but it took a while for it to get to the Hollywood Theater. It had been years since I'd seen this movie, and this was the first time I'd seen it on the big screen. Very funny. I'd have to say that this is Python's best film. It's one story, not a bunch of sketches strung together.
  • The West Wing, season 1. I don't know why I didn't watch this show from the beginning, but damn it was good right from the start. (Library.)
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: I Accuse My Parents. (Teena.)
  • The Muppet Movie. Another Pix movie watched with Teena.
  • I, Robot. This is a perfectly fine action movie if you can just ignore the idea that it has anything to do with Asimov's stories. Yeah, there are plot holes, but it's an action movie. Teena & I enjoyed it.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Magic Sword. (Teena.)
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Gunslinger. (Teena.)
  • Seeing Other People. Pretty funny.
  • The Chronicles of Riddick. This is a bad, bad movie. Don't get me wrong; it is entertaining, but is is simply awful. If you're considering seeing this movie, my best advice is to go in with low expectations and try to disengage your brain. I believe Teena would agree with me.
  • The Bourne Supremacy. Teena & I have been going to quite a few movies together since school got out. This was very good.
  • The Essential Clash. A collection of videos. I like The Clash very much, but these videos aren't all that interesting. They're mostly just shots of the band performing.
  • You Bet Your Life. A game show where the highlight isn't whether or not the contestants won but rather the host talking to the contestants. Groucho Marx was a very funny man.
  • The Jack Benny Show. I have to say this didn't excite me all that much. Jokes that weren't very funny & songs I don't care about. Not my cup of tea. But the Christmas episode was interesting.

Monday, August 09, 2004

I really do need to start updating this more frequently. 2 1/2 weeks since I updated books & I don't know how long it's been for movies. Plus I've got a new mix CD to post.

Well the site's not going to update itself.

  • Ultimate Spider-Man, vol. 4 by Brian Michael Bendis & Mark Bagley. Bendis really has a knack for dialogue. I enjoy his work quite a bit, and if I had a job, I'd be buying these collections. (Checked out of the library.)
  • The Nocturnals: The Dark Forever by Dan Brereton.
  • 24 Hour Comics Day Highlights by various. Years ago, Scott McCloud issued a challenge to another notoriously slow comics creator: Create a 24 hour comic book in a 24 hour period. Since then, many many people have taken up the challenge. This past April, there was a designated day for people to create 24 hour comics. Hundreds of people in dozens of locations participated. This book is a selection of the results.
  • Marvels, 10th Anniversary Edition by Kurt Busiek & Alex Ross. (Library.)
  • The Maxx, vol. 2 by Sam Kieth w/William Messner-Loebs. By far the strangest (and probably the best) thing to come out of the early days of Image Comics.
  • War Stories, vol. 1 by Garth Ennis et al.
  • The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. Somehow I managed to get an English degree from Stanford without having read in Faulkner. It took the board to get me to finally pick him up. (Library.)
  • The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror Fun-Filled Frightfest by various. A collection of stories from several issues of the annual Simpsons Halloween comic book.
  • The Chrestomanci Quartet by Diana Wynne Jones. The Science Fiction Book Club put together this collection of four novels. I've said this before about Diana Wynne Jones, but she covers a lot of the same ground that J.K. Rowling does in the Harry Potter books. However she's been doing it longer & better (just not as popularly).
  • Planet of the Capes by Larry Young & Brandon McKinney. This story was somewhat interesting but ultimately seems rather pointless. (Library.)
  • Batman/Deathblow: After the Fire by Brian Azzarello & Lee Bermejo. (Library.)
  • Inu Yasha, vol. 17 by Rumiko Takahashi. (Library.)
  • Paradise Too: Drunk Ducks by Terry Moore. A collection of Moore's attempts to develop a syndicated comic strip. I see why he hasn't had any success with that. For the most part, these strips are derivative, uninteresting, and unfunny. (Library.)
  • Yukiko's Spinach by Frederic Boilet. (Apparently Amazon doesn't have this book.) A story (that may or may not be autobiographical) about a brief affair. (Library.)
  • Kyle Baker, Cartoonist, vol. 2 (Amazon has volume 1, so I'm guessing this is just too new to show up.) I think Baker works better with longer stories, but his shorter pieces are pretty funny too.
  • Exiles, vol. 1: Down the Rabbit Hole by Judd Winick & Mike McKone. Having decided that I like this series enough to buy the books, I'm slowly picking them up (at least the ones written by Winick).
  • Orion: The Gates of Apokolips by Walt Simonson. I think Simonson's one of the few creators who can do justice to Jack Kirby's creations, the New Gods.
  • Exiles, vol. 3: Out of Time by Judd Winick, Mike McKone, & Jim Calafiore. Since there's only one Winick-written volume of this series that I haven't acquired yet, I guess I'm not going that slow in picking them up.
  • Powers, vol. 6: The Sell Outs by Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Avon Oeming. The latest collection of Bendis's excellent cop/super-hero comic.
  • Finder: Mystery Date by Carla Speed McNeil. I really love this series. It's science fiction, and unlike most SF comic books, it isn't simply superheroes with a few SF trappings.
  • Dragon Ball, vol. 16 by Akira Toriyama. This is the final volume before the series changes to Dragon Ball Z.
  • Negima!, vol. 2 by Ken Akamatsu. One of the reasons I first looked at this series is because I learned that the English adaptation is being handled by Peter David, whose work (in comics & novels) I quite like.
  • The Woad to Wuin by Peter David. See? This is the 2nd of David's novels about an anti-hero, Sir Apropos of Nothing.
  • Hulk: Gray by Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale. This is probably the best of the collaborations between Loeb & Sale that I've read, but I still don't understand why they're as popular as they are. But I do like them enough to check the books out of the library. (Library.)
  • Hellblazer: Highwater by Brian Azzarello et al. (Library.)
  • X-Statix, vol. 2: Good Guys & Bad Guys by Peter Milligan, Mike Allred, Darwyn Cooke, et al. I really like this, but I'm not sure what to say about it. This series is more about the nature of celebrity that it is about superheroes. And sometimes it's just plain weird (as in the Wolverine/Doop cross-over).
  • PvP at Large, vol. 1 by Scott Kurtz. This is a collection of a comic that is an expansion of an online comic.
  • Transmetropolitan, vol. 0: Tales of Human Waste by Warren Ellis et al. This is an assortment of excerpts from Spider Jerusalem's columns.
  • Man Is Vox!: Barracudae by John Thomas & Carter Allen. An odd little comic, and the first part is nearly incomprehensible because the creators need to work on their storytelling skills. It gets better later in the book. (Library.)
  • Thor: Vikings by Garth Ennis & Glenn Fabry. Ennis gets to exercise his penchant for over the top violence. (Library.)
  • The Batman in Nine Lives by Dean Motter & Michael Lark. A noir story using Batman characters.