Sunday, March 13, 2005

I guess it says how little I think about using this space for personal updates that it didn't occur to me to announce here that Teena & I got engaged. We did it a couple weeks ago. Of course, I think everybody who reads this already knows.

Yeah, this site is almost entirely about Books
  1. B.P.R.D.: The Soul of Venice and Other Stories by various. An assortment of creators tell stories using characters from Mike Mignola's Bureau of Paranormal Research & Defense. I resisted buying this for a long time because it's expensive for what it is. It reprints 4 comic books that each cost $3 when they were first published, but it costs $18. Admittedly, there are some extras that weren't in the individual issues, but still. (The same issue has kept me from buying Hellboy: Weird Tales.) Fortunately, I picked it up a the recent comic book show here in Portland, and it was only half-price.
  2. The Wicked West by Todd Livingston, Robert Tinnell, & Neil Vokes. This is a vampire story set in the old west. Generally, I like genre-mixing, but this wouldn't have had much to recommend it execept that it plays the "real" story of what happened against a cowboy movie from the 30s that claims to tell the same story. The contrast between the two works very well. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Carnet de Voyage by Craig Thompson. I've read Thompson's earlier works, Good-Bbye, Chunky Rice and Blankets, and while they're good, neither one really grabbed me. However this book, a travel journal of a trip to Europe to promote Blankets (with a side trip to north Africa), worked very well for me. I don't know why, but I liked this a lot more than the other two books. Maybe I just like travel writing. (Library.)
  4. The Supernaturalists by Patrick Neighly & Jorge Heufemann. Another vampire story, this one set in Prohibition-era New York. (Library.)
  5. Truth: Red, White, & Black by Robert Morales & Kyle Baker. The idea behind this book is that the super-soldier serum that created Captain America was first tested on African-American soldiers. Baker's artwork is typically cartoony, which at times doesn't fit the mood of the story. But generally I think it works, except that there are occasions when it is difficult to tell some characters apart.
  6. Books of Magick: Life During Wartime by Si Spencer & Dean Ormston. DC/Vertigo has started another series featuring Tim Hunter (introduced in Neil Gaiman's The Books of Magic), but this didn't really work for me. The writer just doesn't do a very good job of explaining who is who. The war mentioned in the title is being fought by three factions: The Born, The Bred, and The Coalition. Even after having read the book, I couldn't tell you which of The Born & The Bred is made up of humans and which of demons. Nor could I tell you who makes up the Coalition. I get the feeling that Spencer knows what's going on, but he just hasn't done a good job of conveying what's in his head to the rest of us. Admittedly, this is simply the first storyline of an ongoing series, but I just don't care enough to pick up any further collections.
  7. Birthday by Meimu. This is the latest manga sequel to The Ring. Unfortunately, as more & more of the mystery behind the curse is explained, it becomes less & less frightening. Horror, like humor, doesn't often survive explanation.
  8. The Plastic Man Archives, vol. 2 by Jack Cole. (Library.)
  9. In the Shadow of No Towers by Art Spiegelman. The author of Maus tries to come to grips with the events of September 11, 2001. Very good. (Library.)
  10. Howard the Duck by Steve Gerber & Phil Winslade, with Glenn Fabry. Gerber is at his best with over-the-top social satire, as found here.

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