Saturday, February 12, 2005

So I've had my new job for a week, and while it can be a little overwhelming at times, I think I've got a pretty good handle on it. It seems like a good fit. (Much better than ACT was, that's for sure.)

Anyway, I'm over a week behind on books & even further on movies/DVDs & games.

  1. The Viscount of Adrilankha, vol. 2: The Lord of Castle Black by Stephen Brust. I really enjoyed this, and it's a little frustrating (after reading these books one after the other) to have to wait until March when Sethra Lavode will be released in paperback before I can see how the story ends. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  2. Mermaid Saga, vol. 1 by Rumiko Takahashi. More manga. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Usagi Yojimbo, vol. 18: Travels with Jotaro by Stan Sakai. The idea that somebody could tell the story of a samurai using funny animals (the main character is an anthropomorphic rabbit) seems odd, but Sakai has created a rich & entertaining story using feudal Japan as a background. (Library.)
  4. On Subbing by Dave _____. Stories from a guy who works as a substitute education assistant. Interesting, but it took me a little while to become accustomed to the writer's style. (Borrowed from Alex.)
  5. PVP, vol. 2: Reloaded by Scott Kurtz. PVP started as (and still is) a web comic, became a comic book, and now there are collections of the comic book.
  6. Bill & Ted's Most Excellent Adventures, vol. 1 by Evan Dorkin. While I enjoyed the Bill & Ted movies, I would never have bought a comic book adaptation of the second one or a series based on them unless I already liked the creator. And Evan Dorkin is a very funny guy. Now, years later, the series is being collected.
  7. Phoenix, vol. 5: Resurrection by Osamu Tezuka. Tezuka considered Phoenix to be his life's work, and it shows. He told remarkably touching stories in this series. (Library.)
  8. The Legend of GrimJack, vol. 1 by John Ostrander & Timothy Truman. I am so happy that somebody is reprinting the GrimJack series from the 80's & early 90's. I loved that comic & was very unhappy when the company that published it went under. The title character was one of the first "grim & gritty" comic book characters, and he's still one of the best. These early stories are a little rough; Ostrander was still getting a feel for writing comic books, but the promise of the character shows through. I'm looking forward to many more of these reprint volumes.
  9. Ultimate Spider-Man, vol. 4 by Brian Michael Bendis & Mark Bagley. More great Spider-Man stories.
  10. Runaways, vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona. This is the finale to the initial storyline about six teenagers who discover that their parents are supervillains. I'm liking Vaughan's writing more & more.
  11. Seaguy by Grant Morrison & Cameron Stewart. Most of the time the strangeness in Morrrison's writing works for me; this time it didn't. I don't really get what he was trying to do here.
  12. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Origin by Christopher Golden, Daniel Brereton, & Joe Bennett. This was adapted from Josh Whedon's original screenplay for the movie. I'm afraid it's been too long since I've seen the movie, so the biggest difference I noticed was that Buffy's Watcher looks like the actor who played him in flashbacks on the TV show and not like Donald Sutherland.
  13. Essential Howard the Duck by Steve Gerber, Gene Colan, et al. Yes, the movie was legendarily awful, but the comic book that the movie was based on was pretty damn good. These stories are very much of their time (mid- to late-1970's), but they are quite entertaining. This series may have been Gerber's peak.
  14. Noble Causes, vol. 1: In Sickness and in Health by Jay Faerber, et al. Soap opera-ish superheroics. (Library.)
  15. Ultimate Marvel Team-Up, vol. 2 by Brian Michael Bendis, et al. Fun stories with Spider-Man meeting other prominent figures in the Marvel Universe.
  16. The Amazing Spider-Man: Coming Home by J. Michael Straczynski & John Romita, Jr. This collects Straczynski's first storyline as writer for Spider-Man.
  17. Clive Barker's Tapping the Vein by various. I remember enjoying these adaptations of Barker's short stories when they were first published in the early 90's, but now they don't do much for me at all. (Library.)
  18. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Bad Blood by Andi Watson & Joe Bennett. I think Watson was an excellent choice to write the Buffy comic book. Unfortunately, the artists Dark Horse chose weren't the best. Often the only way to figure out who a character is supposed to be is by hair color: "She's a brunette, so she must be Cordelia." Also, I am annoyed by the fact that the collections give no indication as to which issues of the comics they reprint. Since the collections don't have any kind of numbering, you're left to guess in what order they should be read.
  19. Mighty Love by Howard Chaykin. (Library.)
  20. Queen & Country, vol. 3: Operation: Crystal Ball by Greg Rucka & Leandro Fernandez. Fernandez is a good artist, but I don't think his style (which tends toward exateration & cartooniness) is suited to this series of very realistic spy stories.
  21. Queen & Country, vol. 4: Operation: Blackwall by Greg Rucka & J. Alexander. Another excellent spy story.
  22. Broolyn Dreams by J. Marc DeMatteis & Glenn Barr. I find DeMatteis to be an uneven writer. He can be excellent (see Moonshadow), but often he tries to shoehorn spiritual ideas into superhero comics that just can't handle them. This story is (I assume) autobiographical, and DeMatteis's insights work much better in this format. This may be his best work. (Library.)
  23. Marge's Little Lulu, vol. 1: Lulu Goes Shopping by John Stanley & Irving Tripp. I remember enjoying Little Lulu comics when I was a kid. It's nice to discover that they still hold up. Of course, these aren't the same comics I read in the 70's. These are reprints from the 40's. (Library.)
  24. Pulpatoon Pilgrimage by Joel Priddy. (Library.)

I'll try to write about gaming and movies later today.

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