Thursday, December 29, 2005

Your 2005 Song Is

Feel Good Inc by Gorillaz

"Love forever love is free.
Let's turn forever you and me."

In 2005, you were loving life and feeling no pain.

Friday, December 23, 2005

New episodes of Battlestar Galactica begin airing in 2 weeks. This makes me very happy.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

And I've finished another mix CD. This one is songs from anime & Japanese video game soundtracks (with one exception, and that's from an American cartoon with a strong anime influence & is by a Japanese duo).

Music for Otaku*
  1. "Katamari March Damacy" from the Katamari Damacy soundtrack
  2. The Seatbelts - "Tank! (Live)" from the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack
  3. "Chocobo Jam" from the Final Fantasy X soundtrack
  4. The Pillows - "Ride on Shooting Star" from the FLCL soundtrack
  5. Puffy AmiYumi - "Teen Titans Theme" from Nice
  6. "Everlasting Love" from the We {heart} Katamari soundtrack
  7. "Katamari Stars" from the Katamari Damacy soundtrack
  8. "Katamari on the Swing" from the We {heart} Katamari soundtrack
  9. "Lonely Rolling Star" from the Katamari Damacy soundtrack
  10. "Katamari Mambo~Katamari Syndrome Mix" from the Katamari Damacy soundtrack
  11. The Seatbelts - "What Planet Is This? (Live)" from the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack
  12. Susumu Hirasawa - "Dream Island Obsessional Park" from the Paranoia Agent soundtrack
  13. Steve Conteh - "Call Me Call Me" from the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack
  14. Yoko Kanno - "Lithium Flower" from the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex soundtrack
  15. The Pillows - "Little Busters" from the FLCL soundtrack
  16. Yoko Kanno - "Inner Universe" from the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex soundtrack
  17. Raju Ramayya - "Ask DNA" from the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack
  18. Susumu Hirasawa - "White Hill - Maromi's Theme" from the Paranoia Agent soundtrack

*Otaku is Japanese for nerd, particularly those focussing on anime & manga.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Happy Solstice, everybody!

Things may be dark right now, but the sun is returning. Things will get brighter. I need to keep reminding myself of this, because if I spend too much time thinking about politics, my head will explode.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Continuing to update:

  1. Buddha, vol. 6: Ananda by Osamu Tezuka. I've said it before about this series, but it is a remarkable achievement. And I think I've also mentioned that a while back I saw a solicitation for the first volume in paperback. That was something like six months ago, and there's still no sign of it. It's very frustrating. I would love to own these books, but I just can't justify paying $25 a volume. (Library.)
  2. The Losers, vol. 3: Trifecta by Andy Diggle & Jock. (Library.)
  3. Adventures of the Rifle Brigade by Garth Ennis & Carlos Ezquerra. (Library.)
  4. Astro City: Local Heroes by Kurt Busiek & Brent Anderson. The latest collection in this remarkable series. Busiek tells some fantastic and emotionally-true stories using superheroes.
  5. Ultimate Spider-Man, vol. 6 by Brian Michael Bendis & Mark Bagley. I question the wisdom of an "ultimate" version of Carnage, but I still enjoyed this & will continued to pick up these collections.
  6. Heroes & Villains: The William Messner-Loebs Benefit Book by various. Messner-Loebs wrote some wonderful comics, including great runs on The Flash and Wonder Woman. Plus, he wrote & drew Journey, an amazing series about frontier life in the early 19th century. Unfortunately, he has not found work in several years. This benefit book is an attempt to help him out. I hope it worked. And I really hope more of his work is collected.
  7. Doom Patrol, vol. 3: Down Paradise Way by Grant Morrison, Richard Case, & Kelley Jones. Yay! More of Morrison's run on Doom Patrol has been collected. This volume even features the introduction of Flex Mentallo, Man of Muscle Mystery. It's a shame the Flex Mentallo mini-series stands virtually no chance of being collected, since Charles Atlas's estate doesn't care for certain aspects of the character.
  8. OUtsiders, vol. 3: Wanted by Judd Winick, et al.
  9. Usagi Yojimbo, vol. 19: Fathers & Sons by Stan Sakai. I'm not sure what to say about this series that I haven't already said. Great stuff.
  10. Bite Club by Howard Chaykin, David Tischman, & David Hahn.
  11. One Piece, vol. 8: I Won't Die by Eiichiro Oda. Recently Teena said she hoped there was less shouting in the manga version of One Piece than in the anime version. There isn't, but since I control the volume level in my head, it's tolerable.
  12. Kwaidan by Jung & Jee-Yun. As I read this, I wondered if there were some problems with the translation. (Library.)
  13. One, vol. 1 by Lee Vin. I think that's pronounced "Oh-nay", but I'm not sure. In any case, I picked up this book because I happened to spot volume 1 on the shelf at the library. I wasn't impressed & won't be picking up any further volumes. (Library.)
  14. Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller, vol. 2. I don't understand why comics publishers didn't hit on the idea of collecting certain creators' runs on comics long before they actually did. I guess too many people still follow titles or characters rather than creators.
  15. A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book the Twelfth: The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket. These books keep getting better & better. I'm eagerly awaiting the final volume in this series. (Library.)
  16. The Shark Diaries by Jim Toomey. (Teena's book.)
  17. The Goon, vol. 0: Rough Stuff by Eric Powell. Not too long ago, Dark Horse reprinted an early issue of The Goon for $.25. Well, I couldn't pass up that price, so I picked it up & really enjoyed it. Funny stuff. I'm afraid my budget doesn't allow me to buy the collections, but that's what libraries are for. (Library.)
  18. The Curse of Dracula by Marv Wolfman & Gene Colan. More vampire stories from the team behind Tomb of Dracula? How could I pass that up? Obviously, I didn't.
  19. Jack Kirby's Forth World, featuring Mister Miracle. Wonderful Kirby strangeness.
  20. Spider-Man: Son of the Goblin by various. (Library.)
  21. Rising Stars, vol. 3: Fire & Ash by J. Michael Straczynski & Brent Anderson.
  22. Iron Wok Jan!, vol. 3 by Shinji Saijyo. (Library.)
  23. Iron Wok Jan!, vol. 4 by Shinji Saijyo. (Library.)
  24. Iron Wok Jan!, vol. 5 by Shinji Saijyo. (Library.)
  25. Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller, vol. 3.
  26. Tuxedo Gin, vol. 5 by Tokihiko Matsuura. (Library.)
  27. Man of Steel, vol. 4 by John Byrne, et al. More reprints from the 80's revamp of Superman.
  28. The Bogie Man by John Wagner, Alan Grant, & Robin Smith. Stories about an escaped mental patient who thinks he's Humphry Bogart.
  29. Bone Sharps, Cowboys & Thunder Lizards: A Tale of Edward Drinker Cope, Othniel Charles Marsh, and the Gilded Age of Paleontology by Jim Ottaviani & Big Time Attic. I always enjoy Ottaviani's comics about scientists, and when I was little, I wanted to become a paleontologist, so his latest book was a treat.
  30. Keif Llama: Particle Dreams by Matt Howarth. I really enjoy Howarth's work; he's one of the few creators who does actual science fiction comics (as opposed to superheroes with a thin veneer of SF. The stories reprinted here aren't his best work, but I am extremely happy to see them in print and hope it's a sign that more collections will be forthcoming. (That reminds me, the latest issue of the new Keif Llama series was supposed to have come out a few weeks back. I'll need to check on that, since my comic book store didn't supply me with a copy.)
  31. Jenny Finn: Messiah by Mike Mignola, Troy Nixey & Faral Dalrymple.
  32. Batman: Under the Hood by Judd Winick, Dough Mahnke & Paul Lee.
  33. Dorothy, vol. 1 by Mark Masterson, Greg Mannino, Catie Fisher, et al. Heavily photoshopped photo-comics retelling the story of The Wizard of Oz. Strange, but very cool.
  34. Dr. Slump, vol. 4 by Akira Toriyama.
  35. Dragon Ball Z, vol. 19 by Akira Toriyama.
  36. Champs by Steven Weissman.
  37. Mister X: The Definitive Collection, vol. 2 by Dean Motter, Seth, et al. This volume reprints the Neil Gaiman/Dave McKean story that has been reprinted many, many times.
  38. Juicy Mother, vol. 1: Celebration by various. A collection of short comics stories by gay comics creators. (Library.)
  39. The Ultimates, vol. 1 by Mark Millar & Bryan Hitch. Millar's work has always been hit & miss for me, so I avoided this for a while, despite having read quite a few good reviews of it. I was afraid it'd be too cynical for my tastes, but I liked it a lot. Enough that I'm considering buying it at some point. (Library.)
  40. A Child's Life and Other Stories by Pheobe Gloeckner. (Library.)
  41. Hunter X Hunter, vol. 5 by Yoshihiro Togashi.
  42. Black Jack: Two-Fisted Surgeon by Osamu Tezuka. (Library.)
  43. Surfer Safari by Jim Toomey. (Teena's book.)
  44. Superman For Tomorrow, vol. 1 by Brian Azzarello & Jim Lee. Azzarello's writing style just doesn't fit with Superman. (Library.)
  45. The Bloodline Chronicles by Varanda & Ange. (Library.)
  46. Chiaroscuro: The Private Lives of Leonardo da Vinci by Pat McGreal, David Rawson, & Chaz Truog. Great historical fiction. The medium is capable of so much; it's too bad it's almost entirely taken up with superheroes. (Not that there's anything wrong with superheroes; I read plenty of them myself. It's just that there could be so much more.)
  47. Where's My Cow? by Terry Pratchett & Melvyn Grant. This is a Discworld children's book; that is, not a children's book about the Discworld (although it is that), but a children's book that was published in the Discworld (sort of). (Teena's book.)
  48. 24 Hour Comics Day Highlights 2005 by various.
  49. Vic & Blood: The Continuing Adventures of a Boy and His Dog by Harlan Ellison & Richard Corben.
  50. Day of Vengeance by Bill Willingham, Judd Winick, Ian Churchill, & Justiniano.

Time for another break.
Here's an idea: How about I actually do what this blog is supposed to be about? It's been nearly 3 months since I last added to the book list. It's well past time I did something about that. Comments are likely to be sparse as I've got a lot of books to get through (I'm hoping to get caught up by the end of the year) and I may just not remember enough about the book to have something interesting to say.

  1. Frumpy the Clown, vol. 2: The Fat Lady Sings by Judd Winick.
  2. Dr. Slump, vol. 3 by Akira Toriyama.
  3. Ursula by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. The Avengers: The Serpent Crown by Steve Englehart & George Perez. I think I'd had my expecations built up too high after having heard about this storyline for years, because I was a little disappointed. Still, there's something about Marvel comics from the 70's.
  5. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Wow, an actual novel. Set in the same world as Gaiman's previous novel, American Gods, this has a very different tone & feel. I like them both, but I can see where somebody might not.
  6. Runaways, vol. 4: True Believers by Brian K. Vaughan & Adrian Alphona. I'm still not buying individual issues, but I do really enjoy these cheap digest-sized collections.
  7. Sleeper, vol. 1: Out in the Cold by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips.
  8. Sleeper, vol. 2: All False Moves by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips.
  9. Sleeper, vol. 3: A Crooked Line by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips.
  10. Sleeper, vol. 4: The Long Way Home by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips. I know people complained that this excellent series came to an end, but it seems to me that the nature of the story (an agent deep undercover in a terrorist organization must decide where his loyalties really lie) has to have a conclusion. If this series had gone on much longer, I don't think it would have worked; the stories would have become repetitive or too implausible (of course, we're talking about people with superpowers, so credibility isn't a large factor to start with, but that's a reason not to stretch what you have any further).
  11. Project: Superior by various. (Library.)
  12. Jack Cole & Plastic Man: Forms Stretched to Their Limits by Art Spiegelman & Chip Kidd. I didn't actually know much about Cole before reading this, so it was interesting. Plus, it was nice to actually read some of Cole's Plastic Man stories. Reprints are available in archive reprints, but at $50 a pop, that's out of my range.
  13. Tuxedo Gin, vol. 3 by Tokihiko Matsuura. (Library.)
  14. Tuxedo Gin, vol. 4 by Tokihiko Matsuura. (Library.)
  15. Pet Shop of Horrors, vol. 4 by Maturi Akino. (Library.)
  16. Tramps Like Us, vol. 1 by Yayoi Ogawa. Even manga without any elements of the fantastic are strange: The premise her is that a woman helps out a young homeless man, brings him into her apartment & essentially makes him her pet. There's no sex (at least, not in the volumes I read), but there are plenty of power games & control issues. Odd stuff. (Library.)
  17. Tramps Like Us, vol. 2 by Yayoi Ogawa. Wow, it's been nearly 3 months since I've felt the need to complain about Amazon's search function & the difficulty of finding particular manga volumes. (Library.)
  18. Hulk Visionaries: Peter David, vol. 2 by Peter David, Todd McFarlane, & Erik Larsen. I wonder how many more volumes before they get to a good artist. David wrote the Hulk for something like 10 years, and did some very interesting things with the character. Unfortunately, the early part of the run just doesn't look all that good.
  19. InuYasha, vol. 22 by Rumiko Takahashi. Apparently this series is still ongoing in Japan, so no end in sight. Still, I really enjoy it. (Library.)
  20. The Murder of Abraham Lincoln by Rick Geary. (Library.)
  21. No Dead Time by Brian McLachlan & Tom Williams. I didn't remember anything about this book until I found it on Amazon. I still don't have anything to say about it. (Library.)
  22. PS238, vol. 2: To the Cafeteria...For Justice! by Aaron Williams. This is a great little comic about a school that teaches the children of superheroes. There was a recent movie about the same topic. Unfortunately that film looked absolutely terrible. While I haven't seen the movie, I can virtually guarantee that this book is much better.
  23. Hunter X Hunter, vol. 4 by Yoshiro Togashi.
  24. Superman: Day of Doom by Dan Jurgens & Bill Sienkiewicz. Has Jurgens done anything in the past ten years that didn't somehow relate to the "Death of Superman" storyline? (Library.)
  25. Secret of the Swamp Thing by Len Wein & Berni Wrightson. This is a nice (and cheap) little reprint of the original Swamp Thing stories.
  26. B.P.R.D., vol. 4: The Dead by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, & Guy Davis. While I love Davis's artwork, and I like seeing the other characters, I miss Hellboy. Aren't there enough short pieces for another Hellboy collection yet?
  27. Boneyard, vol. 4 by Richard Moore. (Library.)
  28. Little Lulu: Sunday Afternoon. (Library.)
  29. Showcase Presents: Superman, vol. 1 by various. Oh man. Where to begin on this wondrous collection of Superman stories from the 50's? It's great (although I had to take it in small doses); full of goofy stories, like the one where a pair of con artists make an educated guess at Superman's secret identity & do a damn good job of convincing Superman that they are his parents. My favorite part of the story is when they set off a smoke bomb to cover their tracks when hiding their "time machine" (since Ma & Pa Kent are dead). They're 10 feet away from Superman, the guy who can hear Jimmy Olsen's signal watch from the other side of the planet, rolling their hamster-ball-shaped time machine into some bushes, and he doesn't notice anything. And I really need to figure out Teena's scanner, because there is one panel in the book that needs to be shared with all the world.
  30. Strangehaven, vol. 3: Conspiracies by Gary Spencer Millige. This quirky series about a small English village is great, and I don't begruge Millige the time it takes to produce it (18 issues in 10 years isn't a speedy track record), but I was annoyed that this book collecting issues 13-18 came out a week before issue 18 hit the stores.
  31. 2020 Visions by Jamie Delano, et al.
  32. From the Desk of Warren Ellis, vol. 1.

Okay, I'm getting nervous Blogger will crap out on me or something along those lines, so I'm going to stop for now. I'll try to post more later today.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

You scored as Existentialist. Existentialism emphasizes human capability. There is no greater power interfering with life and thus it is up to us to make things happen. Sometimes considered a negative and depressing world view, your optimism towards human accomplishment is immense. Mankind is condemned to be free and must accept the responsibility.







Cultural Creative










What is Your World View? (updated)
created with

I'm trying to figure out where that 6% Fundamentalist came from.

Monday, December 12, 2005

I've finally finished a mix I've been thinking about for a long time.

The Alchemical Marriage

1. Stephen Colbert - Ladies & Gentlemen
2. Hedwig & the Angry Inch soundtrack - Wig in a Box
3. The Kinks - Lola
4. Tim Curry - Sweet Transvestite
5. Lea DeLaria - Hot Patootie
6. Lou Reed - Walk on the Wild Side
7. Aerosmith - Dude (Looks Like a Lady)
8. Tribe 8 - Tranny Chaser
9. Garbage - Androgyny
10. The Dambuilders - Boys Keep Swinging
11. David Bowie - Lady Stardust
12. The Beatles - Get Back
13. The Who - I’m a Boy
14. The Kinks - Out of the Wardrobe
15. Björk - Venus as a Boy
16. Suzanne Vega - As Girls Go
17. Phranc - The Handsome Cabin Boy
18. Richard Thompson - Woman or a Man?
19. Cowboy Junkies - If You Were the Woman and I Was the Man
20. Lizzie West - I’m Your Man

The theme this time is cross-dressing.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Parts of this essay about fandom and male privilege remind me of Bill O'Reilly's rants about the "war on Christmas." The essayist's comments about how male privilege is so pervasive as to be invisible is right on the money. She is also absolutely right when she says "a lack of male privilege is taken as active oppression, as male-bashing or bias towards women. It is not enough that the mere presence of something which actively aims at women and women's interests is taken as oppressing men; simply not catering to men's interests is perceived as oppression."

(On a side note, the more I learn about O'Reilly, the more convinced I am that the man is insane.)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

>You are Spider-Man
Iron Man
Green Lantern
The Flash
Wonder Woman
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.
Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Check out the connections between Oz & the Illuminati. (Link swiped from Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog. Also, yesterday's Lovecraft/Family Circus mash-up came from Boing Boing.)

Monday, November 28, 2005

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

We'll be heading down to my Grandmother's for Thanksgiving soon, and I won't be able to update while we're there, so I thought I'd put up a quick entry on what I'm thankful for.

I'm glad I have my health and that I am gainfully employed. I am happy I have good relations with my family. The thing I am most grateful for is the same one as last year and the year before that: Teena is part of my life.

Teena, I will never be able to express how happy you make me. I have no idea how I got by without you for so long. I love you with all my heart.

Monday, November 21, 2005

You scored as Hedonism. Your life is guided by the principles of Hedonism: You believe that pleasure is a great, or the greatest, good; and you try to enjoy life?s pleasures as much as you can.

?Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die!?

More info at Arocoun's Wikipedia User Page...





Justice (Fairness)






Strong Egoism






Divine Command


What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
created with

Monday, November 14, 2005

Random thought for the day: Considering how frequently Chumbawumba songs come up on shuffle, even though I only have one of their CDs, I think my iPod is an anarchist.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Small companies have been making Lovecraftian plush dolls for a few years now. But now the big names are getting in on the action.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

You are Rerun!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Rerun? Sure, I guess.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Stolen from Boing Boing, the theme song from Shaft, in Chaucerian verse.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Here is a review of Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter, one of the movies Steve showed at his annual Halloween movie marathon.

My blog is worth $1,693.62.
How much is your blog worth?

Well, that's just pathetic.

Maybe it's because it's been nearly three weeks since I updated. I've been pretty busy, and well, I just haven't felt like it. It's just over two years since I started this thing, and I've only posted 200 times. I'll try to get caught up, but no promises.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

This may very well be my favorite music video of all time. It's just so delightfully odd. (Plus, the lyrics contain a reference to Dune.) It came out a few years back, but I just stumbled across it online.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Don't ask, just follow the link. Once you've done that, come back here & read about it.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I have to admit that it is Friday in certain parts of the country, but it's still Thursday here on the Left Coast, so I'm keeping my promise to write about Serenity before it opens.

I guess a large part of the problem is that this is a movie you really don't want to be spoiled for. At least, not if you're familiar with Firefly. I guess I should have mentioned that a few months back, shouldn't I? (Another large part of the problem is, of course, laziness.)

I really enjoyed the preview when I saw it, and I am very much looking forward to seeing the completed film this weekend (for a variety of reasons, we're not actually going on opening night). I was a big fan of the series, and its cancellation is one of the reasons I have a tendency to say "Damn Fox anyway" now & again (see also: Wonderfalls and Futurama). So I wasn't an impartial observer going into the second advance screening in Portland. (I think I've told the story of my attempt to get into the first advance screening to everybody who reads this, but I'll put it up here soon anyway.) I think the movie is accessible to people who aren't familar with the series, and I hope that perception is accurate, because I want it to do very well & for Joss Whedon to make a whole bunch more movies.

And in the end, I just don't know what to say other than, "I liked it. I think you'll like it too." Sorry it's not more articulate.

Monday, September 26, 2005

You're Classic Batman. You're the old school,
iconic Batman that everyone knows. Your
sidekick is Dick Grayson, the original Robin,
and you also team up with Batgirl alot. You're
the World's Greatest Detective, and also one of
the best fighters on the planet. You're against
guns and lethal force. Right now, you're pretty
much in the prime of your career, before you
become haunted by Dead Sidekicks and loved

What kind of Batman are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Trying again. I'm going to keep comments short in hopes that I can finish before my browser crashes again.

  1. Negima!, vol. 4 by Ken Akamatsu. There are some pretty deeply creepy aspects to this manga, but I enjoy the humor. As Kaja Foglio says, it helps to imagine that the characters are 4 to 6 years older than they say they are.
  2. Pet Shop of Horrors, vol. 2 by Mutsuri Akina. I have the feeling that eventually, this may turn into yaoi manga. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Heartbreakers Meet Boilerplate by Paul Guinan & Anina Bennet.
  4. Iron Wok Jan!, v.2 by Shinji Saijyo. I'm not going to rant about the difficulty of finding particular manga volumes at Amazon, because I have gathered that the publisher who put out the first volumes of this series has since gone out of business. (Library.)
  5. Deadman: Lost Souls by Mike Baron & Kelley Jones.
  6. Frumpy the Clown, vol. 1: Freaking Out the Neighbors by Judd Winick. Collection of a short-lived daily strip.
  7. Frumpy the Clown, vol. 2: The Fat Lady Sings by Judd Winick. I think I am contractually obligated to point out that the creator for this strip appeared on the San Francisco season of The Real World.
  8. Mermaid Saga, vol. 2 by Rumiko Takahashi. I know manga artists work with assistants, but there must be an awful lot of people who can draw in Takahashi's style, because she has an awful lot of series. (Yes, we're probably getting her stuff at a faster rate than it appeared in Japan, but there does seem to be a lot of it. (Library.)
  9. Punch & Judy: Twice Told Tales by Christopher P. Reilly & Darron Laessig.
  10. Shaman King, vol. 7: Clash at Mata Cemetery by Hiroyuki Takei.
  11. CMX Preview 2005 by various.
  12. Empire by Mark Waid & Barry Kitson.
  13. Little Lulu: My Dinner with Lulu by John Stanley & Irving Tripp. (Library.)
  14. Aria, vol. 1 by Kozue Amano. (Library.)
  15. The Best of Spider-Man, vol. 4 by J. Michael Straczynski, John Romita Jr., & Mike Deodato Jr. (Why does Amazon have the cover for volume one up for this book?) I've read a lot of negative things about one of the stories collected in this book, and while I didn't think it was all that good, it also didn't strike me as the travesty that a lot of people said it was.
  16. Coyote, vol. 1 by Steve Englehart & Marshall Rogers. It's looking like more & more great comics from the 80s are being collected. This is a very good thing.
  17. Thor: Son of Asgard: The Warriors Teen by Akira Yoshida & Greg Tocchini. (Library.)
  18. Ex Machina, vol 2: Tag by Brian K. Vaughan & Tony Harris. I'm really enjoying this series. It seems to be doing fairly well in sales, so I don't feel too guilty for only buying the collections.
  19. The Complete Jon Sable, Freelance, vol. 1 by Mike Grell. Another 80s series being collected. (Library.)
  20. Pet Shop of Horrors, vol. 3 by Matsuri Akino. (Library.)
  21. Spider-Man/Human Torch: I'm with Stupid by Dan Slott & Ty Templeton. This was a delight. Five stories (set at various points in Marvel Universe history) about two heroes & how they (don't) get along. Funny, but not at the expense of the characters. Lots of fun.
  22. Mermaid Saga, vol. 3 by Rumiko Takahashi. You know the drill by now. Please insert one of my previous complaints about how difficult it is to find particular manga volumes at Amazon. (Library.)
  23. Sgt. Rock's Combat Tales, vol. 1 by Robert Kanigher, Joe Kubert, et al. Finally, cheap reprints of DC's war comics. The manga explosion has been good not only because it has brought some great Japanese comics to the U.S., but because it's forcing Marvel & DC to look beyond superheroes.
  24. Point Blank by Ed Brubaker & Colin Wilson. With the recent publication of Sleeper, vol. 4, the entire series has been collected. I'll be reading the whole thing (sometimes re-reading), and I started with this prelude volume.

I'm back up to date. Let's see how long that lasts.

And I promise, a post about Serenity before Friday.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Recently I was poking around Amazon & noticed that they've got Teen Titans DVDS. I looked at the reviews, which were mostly positive, but there were a few exceptions. Without fail, the negative reviews complained that the show wasn't anime. It isn't. It's an American cartoon with some anime influences, but it's not even trying to be "real anime." However, these people (mostly young, from what I can tell) seemed personally offended by the show. I guess I don't have a point other than that fans can be peculiar and particular, but then I already knew that. Still, I found it amusing.

Monday, September 19, 2005


I'd nearly finished updating when Mozilla crashed on me. Now I can't get logged back on with Mozilla (I'm in Explorer right now). Sorry, I do not feel like recreating what I'd been typing. An update will have to wait. In the meantime, content yourself with the expanded links to the left.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

My excuse for not updating more frequently is that Teena got me hooked on Final Fantasy X, and I've been spending my evenings playing that.

Also, I may soon be spending time playing the Hamlet text adventure (link swiped from Boing Boing).

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Okay, so I'm not updating books any more frequently. So sue me.

  1. Megatokyo, vol. 3 by Fred Gallagher. I have to admit, this is growing on me. Not enough for me to buy any more volumes, but I am considering following it online. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Catwoman: Wild Ride by Ed Brubaker & Cameron Stewart. I've really enjoyed these collections, not least because of the art. The style fits in very well with the noir-ish feel to the stories. Unfortunately, this is apparently the last Catwoman book with good art. I'll pick up the rest of Brubaker's run when it's collected because I like his writing, but having flipped through one or two of the issues drawn by Paul Gulacy, I'm not looking forward to them all that much.
  3. Solstice by Steven T. Seagle & Justin Norman. I picked this up at the comic store when I saw it because I had vague memories of reading an issue or two of this story when it was first published, something like 10 years ago. It was never completed then, but this book collects the previous comics & finishes the story (about a man with an extremely difficult father).
  4. The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon. I loved The Amazig Adventures of Kavalier & Klay and Summerland when I read them, so I was looking forward to reading this for the book club at White Noise, but I didn't enjoy Chabon's first novel nearly as much. The language seems entirely too precious, as if he spent too much time hunting for exactly the perfect turn of phrase and not enough just telling a story. I'm glad he got better. (Library.)
  5. Tricked by Alex Robinson. I really hope this does well. It's an excellent graphic novel, and it was not serialized as comics first. I would love to see more comics creators able to support themselves with original graphic novels. Also, stories that are just about people make a nice change from superhero fare.
  6. Scandalous by J. Torres & Scott Chantler. A great story about Hollywood in the 50s. (Library.)
  7. Tom Strong's Terrific Tales, Book 1 by Alan Moore, Steve Moore, et al. I have no idea why it took so long for the publisher to put out a paperback collection of these comics. And who knows when book two will come out?
  8. Tuxedo Gin, vol. 2 by Tokihiko Matsuura. More manga strangeness about a guy reincarnated as a penguin. (Library.)

Friday, September 09, 2005

I've started getting comment spam, so I have turned on word verification for comments. Thanks for understanding.
Yet another quiz. This one seems a little pointless, since I'm several revamps behind on Legion continuity, and I think only one person who reads this will have any idea what I'm talking about, but what the hell.

You're...Brainiac 5!
You're Querl Dox, Brainiac 5!

Which Legionnaire are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Another quiz. This time: Which Disney character are you?
You scored as Goofy. Your alter ego is Goofy! You are fun and great to be around, and you are always willing to help others. You arn't worried about embarrassing yourself, so you are one who is more willing to try new things.



The Beast






Sleeping Beauty




Donald Duck


Cruella De Ville


Peter Pan


Snow White


Which Disney Character is your Alter Ego?
created with

I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the result (although I'd quibble over "you aren't worried about embarrasing yourself").

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Before I get back to the list, I should link to The R. Tam Sessions. If you liked Firefly and/or intend to see Serenity, you need to take a look at the video clips found there. (And that reminds me, one of these days I need to write about going to see an advance screening of Serenity.)

Anyway, back to books.

  1. 32 Stories: the Complete Optic Nerve Mini-Comics by Adrian Tomine. Tomine seems to be one of the indie comics scene's darlings, but his stuff doesn't really grab me. I can tell it's good, but I just don't like it well enough to buy. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Pet Shop of Horrors, vol. 1 Matsuri Akino. The premise sounds pretty cheesy: people buy strange & unusual pets from an odd pet shop in Chinatown & end up with more than they bargained for. But the execution is pretty good. (Library.)
  3. Alice by Lewis Carroll & Lela Dowling. This adaptation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland first appeared in The Dreamery, an anthology comic where I first encountered Donna Barr's work.
  4. Wolverine: Blood Hungry by Peter David & Sam Keith. Strange as this story is, it's pretty straight-forward when compared to Keith's The Maxx.
  5. Terra Obscura, vol. 2 by Alan Moore, Peter Hogan, & Yanick Paquette. Another volume of the series spun-off of Moore's Tom Strong. I enjoyed this well enough, but I suspect Moore's involvement was minimal; the writing just doesn't have the same feel that Moore's stuff does.
  6. In the Floyd Archives: A Psycho-Bestiary by Sarah Boxer. I suspect I would have enjoyed this book about animals visiting a psychiatrist more if I knew more about Freud. (Library.)
  7. Naruto, vol. 5: The Challengers by Masashi Kishimoto. The majority of this volume is about the characters taking a written examination, but it's still filled with tension & excitement. I was uncertain about this at first (and still have some difficulty interpreting the art during action sequences), but it has really grown on me. It may overtake One Piece as my favorite manga from Shonen Jump.
  8. Ultimate X-Men, vol. 4 by Brian Michael Bendis & David Finch. I've read most of Millar's run on Ultimate X-Men, and it didn't grab me, but I liked this quite a bit. And I'm looking forward to volume 5, since that'll be the first part of Brian K. Vaughan's run on the book (I haven't read any of the individual issues, but I like his work elsewhere).
  9. Bughouse, vol. 3: Scalawag by Steve Lafler. Lafler's stories about anthropomorphic bug jazz musicians are odd but quite human. (Library.)
  10. Superman, The Man of Steel, vol. 3 by John Byrne, Marv Wolfman, & Jerry Ordway. It's nice to have books collecting the early issues of Superman comics after Byrne's reboot, but I'm not quite willing to pay $20 each for them, so I keep an eye out for used copies.
  11. Poodle: The Other White Meat by Jim Toomey. This is another "Sherman's Lagoon" collection. One thing I like about this daily strip about a shark is that the artist is unafraid to have the main character eat humans (or poodles). (Teena's book.)
  12. Concrete, vol. 1: Depths by Paul Chadwick. I am very happy that Dark Horse is reprinting the full run of Concrete stories. There were a few short stories here & there that got missed in previous collections. It'll be nice to have them all in a series. And at a consistant size, too; some previous collections were regular comics size while others were magazine sized. Comic publishers should know that comics fans like consistancy & order; there's a reason we have the reputation we do.
  13. The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck by Don Rosa. Wow, it only took 10 years to collect this great series that depicts how Scrooge grew from a humble shoe-shine duck to a bitter old miser. Now if only there were affordable reprints of Carl Barks' stories. Barks was the grandmaster of duck artists. He created Uncle Scrooge, Gyro Gearloose, and the Junior Woodchucks. He was responsible for an amazing number of fantastic stories, but the comprehensive collection of his stories was way too expensive for the average collector (and is now out of print anyway).
  14. Naruto, vol. 6: The Forest of Death by Masashi Kishimoto. More testing, but this test is a practical application of the students' ninja skills. Much more action than in the previous volume.
  15. Megatokyo, vol. 2 by Fred Gallagher. This is growing on me. Gallagher seems to be finding his footing and getting a handle on what he wants to do with the strip. It still feels pretty self-indulgent, but I'm beginning to like the characters. (Library.)
  16. Daredevil, vol. 4 by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev. I don't know that I'd enjoy these stories as much if I were reading them one chapter at a time in the monthly comic, but gethered together like this, they make for a great read. (And a guest-starring Spider-Man gets some fantastic lines.)
  17. Batman: No Man's Land, vol 5 by various. The wrap-up volume of a Batman cross-over event. Do they even make Batman comics that don't cross-over to half a dozen or more comics anymore? (Library.)
  18. Van Helsing's Night Off by Nicolas Mahler. Wordless comics about monsters & monster hunters. (Library.)
  19. Spike: Old Times by Peter David & Fernando Goni. David wraps up a loose plot thread from the Angel TV show and does a good job of capturing Spike's voice.
  20. Fullmetal Alchemist, vol. 3 by Hiromu Arakawa. Oddly enough, the stories in this volume are the same ones Teena & I have recently been watching in the anime version. What makes it especially odd is that we're a week or two behind in watching the anime episodes. Weird little coincidence.
  21. FLCL, vol. 1 by Gainax & Hajime Ueda. Adult Swim recently finished showing all 6 episodes of the strangest anime series I've ever seen (and that's saying something). I thought the manga version might provide some enlightenment as to what the hell was going on (and I've seen the anime version two or three times). Unfortunately, the manga version is even stranger. (Library.)
  22. FLCL, vol. 2 by Gainax & Hajime Ueda. And as the comic continues, it diverges more & more from the animated version. As you may have gathered, I like strange stories, but this may be a little too much even for me.

And with that, I am caught up on books. Let's see if I can stay on top of things.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

  1. A Day at the Beach by Jim Toomey. Another Sherman's Lagoon collection. (Teena's book.)
  2. Finder, vol. 7: The Rescuers by Carla Speed McNeil. Amazing science fiction comics here. But the extrapolation is from sociology & anthropology rather than physics & chemistry. McNeil calls it "aboriginal sf." I am constantly amazed by this series. So much so that, while I would normally grouse about the fact that this collection came out so soon after the last issue that is collected in the book (the next issue has not yet been published), I am just so happy to have the story all in one place that it doesn't bother me at all. (Also, Lightspeed Press is {as far as I can tell} a one-woman show, so I'm willing to cut her a lot more slack than I am Marvel.) This collection has been reviewed at Salon, so check it out.
  3. The Probability Broach: The Graphic Novel by L. Neil Smith & Scott Bieser. This is libertarian propaganda; there's really no other way of describing it. It could have been an interesting little alternate history story, but I found the periodic lectures (on the evilness of government, on the necessity of arming anybody & everybody down to age 6 or 7, etc.) to be distracting. While the phrase "enlightened self-interest" never appears in the book, that does appear to be the operating principle behind the philosophy presented. Unfortunately, the author doesn't seem to realize that the former part is a lot harder to achieve than the latter. Also, he doesn't appear to acknowledge that people don't always act rationally. Children and adolescents with guns do not make for a stable society. The trouble with utopias is that the people who create them tend to forget about aspects of human nature that don't fit convienently into their plan. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. YuYu Hakusho, vol. 6: The Dark Tournament by Yoshihiro Togashi. Time once again to complain about Amazon's crappy sorting for manga titles. What happened to "advanced search"? I'd really like to be able to weed out manga translations in languages other than English. Hell, I'd be happy to sort through the French & German versions if I thought I'd find more than a couple English volumes of the title I'm looking for. And it seems to be a crap shoot as to which titles are fully represented in English and which aren't.

That's all for now.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

  1. Hard Boiled Angel, Book 1: Blue Angel by Hyun Se Lee. Korean comics. Didn't much care for it. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Catch of the Day by Jim Toomey. This is a collection of Sherman's Lagoon strips. (Teena's book.)
  3. Top 10: The Forty-Niners by Alan Moore & Gene Ha. I don't know where to begin. This book is absolutely excellent. It reminded me of how good the regular Top 10 series was and how sad I am that there won't be any more. (Yeah, there's a mini-series being published, but Moore's not writing it. I enjoyed the first issue, but it's not nearly as good as the original.) The concept, police in a city where everybody has super powers of some sort, sounds odd, but Moore uses it to tell marvelously human stories. (And the easter eggs just enhance the reading experience.)
  4. The Sandman Presents: Thessaly, Witch for Hire by Bill Willingham & Shawn McManus. Most of the non-Gaiman Sandman spin-offs tried way too hard to capture the feel of the original. This one works because it doesn't. (The same is true of Jill Thompson's works with the characters.)
  5. Superman: Secret Identity by Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen. I'd heard good things about this when is was being published as a mini-series, but I held off on reading it. Now that it's been collected, I think I'll have to pick up my own copy. This is an "Elseworlds" story (i.e. it's outside normal continuity). By telling the story of a man with superpowers in which the man ages & matures, Busiek has created one of his best works (and that's saying something considering the man wrote Marvels and Astro City). (Library.)
  6. Bad Signal, vol. 2 by Warren Ellis with Jacen Burrows. More of the best from Ellis' mailing list. Thoughts about comics, life, & the world.
  7. The Long Haul by Antony Johnston & Eduardo Barreto. A caper story set in the old west. The way the main character reacts to Native Americans seems a little too modern for this to be plausible (as if caper stories were plausible), but I still enjoyed this quite a bit. (Library.)
  8. Avengers West Coast: VisionQuest by John Byrne. This storyline got reprinted because of recent events in the Marvel Universe, but that's fine by me, because otherwise we wouldn't have this book of comics from back in the day when Byrne's ego hadn't completely taken over. Apart from his usual awkwardness when it comes to exposition (which unfortunately there is quite a lot of in this book), this is solid superhero fun. (Well, there is the matter of Wonder Man's mullet, but I'm not entirely sure we can blame Byrne for that.)
  9. Bill & Ted's Most Excellent Adventures, vol. 2 by Evan Dorkin. There is a lightheartedness to these comics that I really enjoy. I like Dorkin's other work, but Dork has an edge of bitterness to it, and Hectic Planet became pretty melancholy by the end. It's great to see something from Dorkin that's just unabashedly fun.
  10. Conan, vol. 1: The Frost Giant's Daugher and Other Stories by Kurt Busiek & Cary Nord. (Library.)
  11. Bleach, vol. 7: The Broken Coda by Tite Kubo. More ghost-hunting goodness. (Library.)
  12. King: A Comics Biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Ho Che Anderson. It's exactly what it says. Very well done. (Library.)
  13. The Legend of GrimJack, vol. 3 by John Ostrander & Timothy Truman. I've praised Ostrander here repeatedly. What can I say? I really enjoy his writing. So let me say once again how happy I am that this fantastic series is being collected.
  14. Heaven's War by Michah Harris & Michael Gaydos. (Library.)
  15. Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas by Jun Asuga. This is a manga adaptation of the movie. It was fine, but because it doesn't bring anything new to the story, it felt a little flat, sort of like a cover version of a song where the performer just tries to recreate the original.
  16. Scott Pilgrim, vol. 2: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World by Bryan Lee O'Malley. More kick-assery from O'Malley, full of cute drawings and game logic. Highly recommended.

Friday, August 26, 2005

From Michael:
You scored as Storyteller. You're more inclined toward the role playing side of the equation and less interested in numbers or experience points. You're quick to compromise if you can help move the story forward, and get bored when the game slows down for a long planning session. You want to play out a story that moves like it's orchestrated by a skilled novelist or film director.



Casual Gamer






Power Gamer




Method Actor


Law's Game Style
created with

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I just realized I haven't mentioned how much I enjoy reading Hulk's Diary That Is On The Internet. Well worth checking out.
Klingon fairy tale titles. (Link swiped from Boing Boing.)
I may have linked to this before. But it may have been a different quiz. In any case, I'm fairly satisfied with the result.

The Second Doctor
You are the Second Doctor: Affable, impish, and
fond of simple pleasures as well as simple
pranks. Your mischievous exterior camouflages a
powerful mind and a great deal of courage.
Although you care nothing for appearances, you
place a high value on the bonds of true and
lasting friendship.

Which Incarnation of the Doctor Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

(Edited to add that the quiz only goes up to the 7th Doctor, but it does include the Master. Also, I'm nearly positive I linked to this before. Oh well.)

Monday, August 22, 2005

It's been nearly two months since Teena & I moved in together. I thought I'd update more frequently once I had regular internet access, but that doesn't seem to have worked out. If I can get caught up, maybe I'll be able to stay on top of things with smaller but more frequent posts.

  1. Superman vs. the Flash by various. This reprint volume collects all the comics depicting races between Superman and the Flash (all three of the latter). I found it iteresting that in every case where there was an unambiguous winner, the Flash won. There's got to be some benefit to specializing. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Narbonic, vol. 2 by Shaenon K. Garrity. Teena & I both enjoyed the first volume so much that we promptly ordered the second one. Highly recommended. Go to Garrity's website, check out the available strips, & order yourself a copy.
  3. Megatokyo, vol. 1 by Fred Gallagher w/Rodney Caston. I had heard the name of this online comic a few places, so I decided to give this collection of strips a try. I enjoyed it, but the major impression it gave me is that it was written by & for American people who are way too interested in Japanese culture. You know the type: white guys who know the minutest detail about any manga or anime series you care to name. (I know. To some people, I am that guy. But believe me, there are people out there whose interest in all things Japanese puts mine to shame.)
  4. One Piece, vol. 7: The Crap-Geezer by Eiichiro Oda. Yes, I've undercut my argument by listing a manga volume immedately after the last book, but at least it's in English. The guys I'm talking about learn Japanese so they can have the unfiltered experience.
  5. Sandman Mystery Theatre, vol. 3: The Vamp by Matt Wagner, Steven T. Seagle, & Guy Davis. I had forgotten how good this series was, and I'm glad for these reprints to remind me. The relationship between Wesley & Diane is a wonderful thing to watch develop. I hope this has sold enough that they continue with the reprints.
  6. Bleach, vol. 5: Right Arm of the Giant by Tite Kubo. I'm really enjoying this series. Enough so, that I'm considering buying them. (Now if only I could find them on Amazon.) (Library.)
  7. Bleach, vol. 6: The Death Trilogy Overture by Tite Kubo. (Library.)
  8. Walking Dead, vol 2: Miles Behind Us by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard. A damn good zombie story. (Library.)
  9. Walking Dead, vol. 3: Safety Behind Bars by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard. (Library.)
  10. Don Martin's Droll Book. If you're a fan of the man who was once billed as "Mad's Maddest Artist" you don't need me to explain this. If you're not, nothing I could say would convince you.
  11. Star Wars Clone Wars, vol. 6: On the Fields of Battle by John Ostrander, Jan Duursema, et al. This volume wasn't entirely written by Ostrander, but enough of it was that I felt it was worthwhile to pick it up. I'm sure I'm in a miniscule minority of people buying Star Wars comics in that whether or not I pick up an issue or graphic novel depends entirely on who the creators are, so my hope for books entirely by Ostrander will probably go unfulfilled.

(Edited to fix the time frame. It's been more than two weeks since Teena & I moved in together.)
(Edited again to fix the count numbers.)

Friday, August 19, 2005

Tom the Dog had almost exactly the same reaction to Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life that I did, and he expresses it much more articulately than I did. So check out his review.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Back to the list.

  1. Iron Wok Jan, vol. 1 by Shinji Saijyo. I'd read good stuff about this online, so I decided to take a look. Pretty interesting, but it didn't really grab me. It is nice, though, to see a manga series where the battles aren't fights (although I bet it quickly becomes difficult to make cooking competitions visually interesting). (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Tuxedo Gin, vol. 1 by Toki Matsuura. Another series I decided to try based on online recommendations. I'll be checking out more of these, if only for the sheer weirdness of the premise: a boxer dies & is reincarnated as a penguin; he retains his memories of being a human; if he lives out his natural lifespan as a penguin {no suicide}, he'll be returned to his human body & reunited with the girl he loves. Of course, said girl is keeping him as a pet. Completely absurd, but rather charming nonetheless. (Library.)
  3. Scott Pilgrim, vol. 1: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O'Malley. Yet another book I read because of comics blogs I read. From the blurb on the back of the book, I was prepared to hate this book. It sounded like it was filled with the kind of drama that appeals to teens & twenty-somethings. Plus the main character is 23 and dating a 17-year-old? Creepy. But I read it & discovered that it kicks all kinds of ass. Very cool stuff. I'll definitely be buying my own copy of this. (Library.)

I didn't get nearly as far as I wanted to tonight. Oh well, at least I made some progress.

{Edited to correct the numbers}

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I'm off a roll. Life got in the way of updating. And even now I'm not posting books I've read recently.

Yesterday Fanboy Rampage had a thread about "desert island comics." I didn't post my list of 5 comics there, but I am posting it here. In no particular order:

  • Tales of the Beanworld by Larry Marder. Such a wonderfully strange & thought-provoking series. Unfortunately out of print.
  • Promethea by Alan Moore & J.H. Williams III. Beautiful artwork, wonderful stories, and a primer on magic, all rolled into one.
  • The Sandman by Neil Gaiman et al. I don't need to explain this choice, do I?
  • The first half of Cerebus by Dave Sim & Gerhard. Sim is an amazing storyteller (and no other letterer can convey the nuances of speech as well as he can). It's too bad he went nuts.
  • Palomar by Gilbert Hernandez. I cannot tell you how touching these stories are.

So that's my list.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I'm on a roll.

  1. The Fairer Sex: A Tale of Shades & Angels, vol. 1 by John Ira Thomas & Jeremy Smith. I found this book quite confusing. I attributed that to bad storytelling skills on the part of the creators. I thought that they simply weren't bothering to properly introduce characters, but once I saw the ad in the back of the book I realized that despite the "volume one" on the cover, this isn't the first book featuring some of these characters. However, nothing in the book except that ad gives any indication that this is the case. So it's still bad storytelling, but more along the lines of sloppiness rather than incompetence. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. The Maxx, vol. 3 by Sam Kieth, with Wiliam Messner-Loebs. Strange, weird stuff. But it starts to all make sense in this volume. I had delayed in picking up this volume because the oddness of the previous two had started to get to me. (And I've got a high tolerance for weirdness.) I need to get volume 4.
  3. Ranma 1/2, vol. 28 by Rumiko Takahashi. Yet more martial arts mayhem. (Library.)
  4. Ranma 1/2, vol. 29 by Rumiko Takahashi. Even more martial arts mayhem. (Library.)
  5. Narbonic, vol. 1 by Shaenon K. Garrity. One day I stumbled across Narbonic, a great little web comic about a mad scientist & her underlings. I hadn't seen much of it when I took a chance on ordering a copy of her book (directly from her rather than Amazon). Teena & I are both glad I took that risk. The comic is very funny, but then how can you go wrong with mad scientists? Highly recommended.
  6. Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. You may not have heard of this fantasy novel, but it's actually the sixth in a series of seven books.
  7. Too Much Coffee Man: How to Be Happy by Shannon Wheeler. You have to admire Wheeler. He took a one-note character & turned him into a vehicle for all kinds of commentary. Pretty funny, too.
  8. Y: The Last Man, vol. 5: The Ring of Truth by Brian K. Vaughan & Pia Guerra. The latest collection of this series, and it looks like we're finally starting to get some answers about what happened & why Yorick & Ampersand survived the disaster that killed every other male mammal on the the planet.
  9. Dr. Slump, vol. 2 by Akira Toriyama. If all I knew of Toriyama's work were Dragon Ball Z, I'd have been surprised at how goofy Dr. Slump is, but I knew that before the "Z" was added, Dragon Ball was pretty silly.
  10. The Pulse, vol. 2: Secret War by Brian Michael Bendis & Brent Anderson. It seems wrong to me that the "comics event" this storyline ties into is still unfinished. It also seems wrong that this collection was published before the next issue of "The Pulse" comic was. It makes me more inclined than ever to just wait for collections.

I'm catching up. Right now I'm only 1.5 weeks behind, and the half week is the time since I started updating again.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I didn't actually expect to be updating tonight, but the regular Wednesday night game fell through, and I didn't feel up to heading over to Michael's for an impromptu Space 1889 game.

  1. The Golden Plates, vol. 1: The Sword of Laban and the Tree of Life by Michael Allred. Much as I like Allred's work, I'm not terribly interested in a comic book adaptation of the Book of Mormon, so I'm not buying this series. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Hunter X Hunter, vol. 2 by Yoshihiro Togashi. As formulaic as this is, I like it.
  3. Will Eisner's John Law, Detective: Dead Man Walking by Gary Chaloner. The reprinted Eisner stories in this book are good. Unfortunately, they're something like only a third of the book. (Library.)
  4. Hunter X Hunter, vol. 3 by Yoshihiro Togashi. More manga.
  5. Escalator by Brandon Graham. I enjoyed this at the time I read it, but it took quite a while for me to remember it now that I'm posting about it. (Library.)
  6. Scheherezade: Stories about Love, Treacher, Mothers & Monsters by various. Another not-terribly-memorable graphic novel. (Library.)
  7. Batman & Superman: World's Finest by Karl Kesel, Dave Tayer, et al. (Library.)
  8. The Dead Boy Detectives by Jill Thompson. A cute comic in the style of shojo (girl's) manga. I always enjoy Thompson's work.
  9. Ranma 1/2, vol. 27 by Rumiko Takahashi. I'm afraid I don't really have much left to say about this series. There are enough volumes that I think I've covered it all before. I like these and will keep reading them as long as I can get them. (Library.)
  10. Fullmetal Alchemist, vol. 2 by Hiromu Arakawa. I'm very happy that Teena also enjoys this manga & anime series about two alchemist brothers.
  11. Midnight Pulp Presents: Secret Skull by Steve Niles & Chuck BB. I've ranted before about how I think Niles is a sloppy writer. So why do I keep reading his stuff? I think it's because I derive some schadenfreude from the knowledge that I could do a better job of editing his stuff than whoever is doing so. Actually, this book wasn't bad. I didn't notice any gaping plot holes, but it still didn't grab me. (Library.)
  12. Naruto, vol. 4: The Next Level by Masashi Kishimoto. Even by the standards of ninja stories, this is unrealistic. But it's fun.
  13. The X-Files, vol. 1 by Stefan Petrucha et al. Actually, this is more like volume 3. Topps (yes, the baseball card people) published a line of comics in the 90s, and they had the license for The X-Files. They published two collections before they folded, and now a new publisher is picking up where Topps left off. Unfortunately, the art is muddy. It feels to me like they didn't have access to the original art and had to shoot from copies of the comic books. Also, they really need a proof-reader. A couple pages are out of sequence, and there is something that should have been printed as a two-page spread but instead ended up on opposite sides of a single page. But my favorite mix-up is on one of the chapter headings. In the book, each issue starts off with a page that reprints the cover of the original comic. On that page, they have put the writing & art credits for the issue that follows. For one of these, the credits read: "Story: Author Name. Art: Artist Name." Lovely quality control there, folks.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Continuing with catching up.
  1. Courtney Crumrin & the Coven of Mystics by Ted Naifeh. I like these well enough to check them out of the library. My best guess as to why they don't quite work for me is that they come across as a little too angsty & "Oh, nobody understands the burden of being me." (Library.)
  2. Scream Queen by Ho Che Anderson. (Library.)
  3. Superman: True Brit by Kim "Howard" Johnson & John Byrne, with John Cleese. I had hopes for this story: John Cleese helping write a "What if Kal El's ship landed in England rather than Kansas?" Sounds promising, but overall it was just lame. The jokes fell flat. Too many of them were rehashed Monty Python gags that weren't actually funny but instead reminded the reader of something that actually was humorous. The book suffers in comparison. Not recommended. (Library.)
  4. The Losers, vol. 2: Double Down by Andy Diggle, Jock, & Shawn Martinbrough. I enjoyed this, but I can't think of anything to say about it. (Library.)
  5. Batman: War Games, Act 2: Tides by various. (Library.)
  6. Canvas by Alex Fellows. (Library.)
  7. Proof of Concept by Larry Young et al. The idea behind this book is that the writer throws out a bunch of ideas for possible comic book series or graphic novels & then has a variety of artists illustrate them. None of the concepts really grabbed me, but I did like a couple of them. (Library.)
  8. What's Michael?, vol. 10: Sleepless Nights by Makoto Kobayashi. Japanese comics about cats.
  9. True Story, Swear to God: 100 Stories by Tom Beland. A collection of comic strips. I see now why people have been raving about Beland.
  10. Filler by Rick Spears and Rob G. I rather enjoyed this gritty crime drama until I got to the end. The twist at the end of the book renders everything that came before unnecessary. It made the whole experience unsatisfying. (Library.)

Only 4 weeks behind now.
Another quiz, courtesy of Mr. Piggs and Gemma.

You are a Black Coffee

At your best, you are: low maintenance, friendly, and adaptable

At your worst, you are: cheap and angsty

You drink coffee when: you can get your hands on it

Your caffeine addiction level: high

I would debate the level of caffeine addiction, but the rest seems about right.
Here's a Harry Potter personality quiz based on the Myers-Briggs test.

Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz
Harry Potter Personality Quiz
by Pirate Monkeys Inc.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Here's two weeks' worth of books.
  1. Wizard's Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. This is a compilation of Howl's Moving Castle and its sequel, Castle in the Air. I didn't reread these before we went to see Miyazaki's adaptation of the first book, and I'm glad I didn't. They are quite different, and if I'd reread the book first, I would have spent the movie making comparisons between the two, instead of just enjoying it. Of the two books, I prefer the latter. I suspect that's because of the Arabian Nights feel.
  2. Magic Pickle by Scott Morse. Silly.
  3. Michael Chabon Presents the Amazing Adventures of the Escapist, vol. 2 by various. I stopped buying the individual issues of this series because Dark Horse was releasing the collections mere weeks after all the issues collected (both of them) were published. I didn't feel like spending money on the same material twice so close together. And now they seem to have stopped collecting issues. It looks like I'll have to hunt down back issues, and I know I'm going to do so. Will Eisner contributed to one of the uncollected issues.
  4. The Secrets, vol. 1: The Other Statue by Edward Gorey. (Checked out of the library.)
  5. Powers, vol. 8: Legends by Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Avon Oeming. I know Bendis isn't all that popular among comics bloggers, but I still like his stuff. (Although Powers is the only comic of his where I don't wait for the trade. Wait, I also buy individual issues of The Pulse.) Lots of revelations in this collection (and the infamous "monkey sex" issue).
  6. Supreme Power, vol. 1 by J. Michael Straczynski. I found it interesting that the supplementary material in this collection never once mentions the fact that the Squadron Supreme (which Straczynski is re-imagining in this series) was based on the Justice League. I guess there are too many trademark issues, but it's obvious (and always has been).
  7. The Wizard King, book 1: The King of the World by Wallace Wood. I have to say that the thing that most stands out in my mind about this book is how the coloring has added clothes to all the femal characters. It's clear from the linework that Wood intended them to be nude. (Library.)
  8. Age of Bronze, vol. 2: Sacrifice by Eric Shanower. Shanower is doing an absolutely amazing job of retelling the Trojan War. It's taking a long time, I assume because the vast majority of comic buyers aren't interested in a realistic depiction of life in the bronze age. (The only supernatural elements Shanower uses are visions & prophecies.) It's clear the book is meticulously researched. It's also clear Shanower cares a lot about the subject. I hope this sells very well outside of comic book stores, because it's wonderful stuff, and I want to see it completed.
  9. Negative Burn Winter Special 2005 by various. Negative Burn was a great anthology comic in the 90's, but anthology comics almost never sell very well. NB lasted longer than most, but it too was cancelled. Now it's back in a series of specials. (Well, assuming more than one gets produced. And given that this "Winter Special" didn't come out until June, I'm not getting my hopes up.)
  10. Julius by Antony Johnstone & Brett Weldele. Shakespeare's Julius Caesar retold as the story of contemporary London mobsters. That should be enough to tell you whether or not you'd be interested in it.

Only 5 weeks behind now.

(By the by, I ended up not getting the books I linked to earlier.)
Just putting a couple Amazon links in for my own use.
Ultimate X-Men, vol. 4
New Avengers, vol. 1

Sunday, July 31, 2005

It's way past time I started updating books again. I'm not going to get caught up tonight, but if I don't get started, I'll never make any progress.

  1. Get Fuzzy, vol. 5: Say Cheesy by Darby Conley. "Get Fuzzy" is my favorite newspaper strip that isn't "Doonsebury." Always happy to see another collection.
  2. Ojo by Sam Kieth, with Alex Pardee & Chris Wisnia. Kieth writes & draws strange books. I like weirdness, but sometimes I don't know what to make of his work.
  3. The Atomics: Spaced Out & Grounded in Snap City by Mike Allred et al. Silly, good-natured fun.
  4. Hunter X Hunter, vol. 1 by Yoshihiro Togashi. I keep discovering more shonen (boy's) manga that I enjoy. They're horribly formulaic (a boy is determined to become the best at something; with pluck, determination, and the help of the friends he makes along the way {at least some of whom will be former rivals or adversaries}, he achieves his goal), but I still like them.
  5. Ultimate Fantastic Four, vol. 3: N-Zone by Warren Ellis & Adam Kubert. I really enjoyed Ellis's take on this new version of the FF. But he quit after 12 issues, so this will be the last of the collections I get.
  6. Courtney Crumrin, vol. 3: In the Night Kingdom by Ted Naifeh. I wish I could put my finger on why Naifeh's work doesn't quite click with me. I feel I should like it, but there's something about it that doesn't work for me. (Checked out of the library.)
  7. Bleach, vol. 4: Quincy Archer Hates You by Tite Kubo. Another shonen series I've been enjoying. At least I'm saving some money by not buying these. (Library.)
  8. Peanutbutter & Jeremy's Best Book Ever by James Kochalka. I'm finally beginning to appreciate Kochakla's work. This is damn cute but not cloying. (Library.)
  9. Little Lit: It Was a Dark and Silly Night by various. (Library.)
  10. The Baroque Cycle, Vol. One: Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson. It took me a long time to finish this book, but I really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to the next two volumes, but I've been putting them off because they're just as long as this one.
  11. Pearls Before Swine: This Little Piggy Stayed Home by Stephan Pastis. A comic strip collection. (Library.)
  12. Planetes, vol. 4, pt. 2 by Makoto Yukimura. This is the final volume of a highly impressive science fiction manga. (I have no idea why the last two volumes are labeled vol. 4, pts. 1 & 2. Why not simply five volumes?) Hard SF is such a rarity to find in comics of any sort, plus this one has some emotional depth to it as well. Unfortunately, this appears to be a high-water mark among manga, and I may have some difficulty finding anything else this good.

That's it for now. I'll try to get caught up by the end of this week, but I'm not making any promises. I'm still 7 weeks behind.