Monday, May 23, 2005

The reason I didn't update last weekend is because I'm in Mexico. I came down to attend my brother's wedding. It was held in Guanajuato, a beautiful old mining town. I don't have much time right now, so I'll have to write about it after I return to the States.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Wow, it's only been a week since I last updated books

  1. Elektra: The Scorpio Key by Brian Michael Bendis & Chuck Austen. Not the best work by either creator.
  2. Owly, vol. 1: The Way Home & The Bittersweet Summer by Andy Runton. This is a very sweet, wordless comic for all ages. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Hellboy: Weird Tales, Vol. 1 by various. Not as good as Mignola's version, but there's some interesting stuff here.
  4. Captain America, vol. 2: The Extremists by John Ney Rieber, Chuck Austen, Trevor Hairsine, & Jae Lee. Not recommended. (Library.)
  5. Hewligan's Haircut by Peter Milligan & Jaime Hewlett. Extremely silly.
  6. The Josh Kirby Discworld Portfolio. (Library.)
  7. Bleach, vol. 2: Good-Bye Parakeet, Good Night My Sister by Tite Kubo. As you may be able to tell from the lack of a link, this is manga. I can find volumes 4-8 on Amazon, but not 1-3. (Library.)
  8. The White Elephant by Damon Hurd & Christopher Steininger. A semi-autobiographical story. (Library.)
  9. Bleach, vol. 3: Memories in the Rain by Tite Kubo. (Library.)
  10. Doctor Mid-Nite by Matt Wagner & John K. Snyder III. I'm glad I didn't buy this full price. It's okay, but definitely not worth $20.
  11. Inu-Yasha, vol. 17 by Rumiko Takahashi. Amazingly enough, I didn't have any difficulty finding this on Amazon. Probably because this series & the anime based on it are very popular. (Library.)
  12. Zippy: From Here to Absurdity by Bill Griffith. A year's worth of Zippy the Pinhead cartoons (from 2004). Strange stuff. (Library.)
  13. Owly, vol. 2: Just a Little Blue by Andy Runton. Just as cute as the first volume. (Library.)
  14. Inu-Yasha, vol. 18 by Rumiko Takahashi. I've said it before, but I think this is the best of Takahashi's work. She combines action, adventure, and romance together very well in these stories about a dog-demon in Feudal Japan. (Library.)
  15. Inu-Yasha, vol. 19 by Rumiko Takahashi. I like this series enough that I'd like to own them, but at $9 a pop and over 20 volumes published so far (and no end in sight), I think I'll content myself with checking them out of the (Library.)
  16. Inu-Yasha, vol. 20 by Rumiko Takahashi. I've noticed that the books do not advance the story further than the anime episodes shown on Cartoon Network. That is, the books are not released until the same part of the story has aired on television. But that may just be an artifact of me not getting the books as soon as they're published. (Library.)
  17. The Names of Magic by Dylan Horrocks & Richard Case. I picked this up because I loved Hicksville so much, but this wasn't nearly as good. I think that's because Horrocks wasn't telling a story of his own, but one using a pre-existing character.
  18. Inu-Yasha, vol. 21 by Rumiko Takahashi. (Library.)

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Wow, I've got to go back to February for the movies I've seen since I last updated them.

  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Manos: The Hands of Fate. Oh, this movie is awful. On the bright side, the DVD contains a set of very funny bloopers from the MST3K host segments. (Borrowed from Teena*, of course.)
  • MST3K: Santa Claus. This Mexican movie has one of the most disturbing depictions of Santa I've ever seen. (Teena.)
  • Zig Zag: Real Stories, New Angles. This locally-produced DVD contains short pieces about transportation choices: cars vs. bicycles vs. mass transit. (Checked out of the library.)
  • Constantine. Teena & I saw this together. It wasn't as bad as I feard, but it did help to pretend that it didn't actually have anything to do with the Hellblazer comic. Tilda Swinton was great as Gabriel.
  • Vera Drake. Excellent, but very depressing.
  • MST3K: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Another terrible film (this one features a very young Pia Zadora!) made funny by the MST3K folk. (Teena.)
  • The Tall Guy. Jeff Goldblum before he took himself seriously. Emma Thompson. How could you go wrong? (Library.)
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie. I don't care for this as much as I'd like. I think that part of the problem is that the film they make fun of, This Island Earth, isn't all that bad. (Teena.)
  • Shane. I had never seen this before, although I had seen Clint Eastwood's remake, Pale Rider.
  • The Incredibles. Pixar just keeps outdoing themselves (although I have to say that the trailer for Cars doesn't excite me). An amazing family story, with superheroes! (Teena.)
  • MST3K: Teenagers from Outer Space. Apparently teenagers from outer space look like they're in their early 30's. (Teena.)
  • Texhnolyze, vol. 1: Inhumane & Beautiful. I only watched one episode of this anime series before abandoning it as hopelessly slow-moving & incomprehensible. It looked nice, though. (Library.)
  • I attended one night of the Faux Film Festival at the Hollywood Theatre. It was a collection of movie parodies, trailers for films that will never exist, mocumentaries, & the like.
  • Sin City. Wow. This is an amazing translation from comics to film. It looks just like the graphic novels. I liked this a lot, but I enjoyed the comics, so that's no surprise. This is one of the most visually interesting movies I've seen in a long time.
  • A Hundred Dollars & a T-shirt. This locally-produced DVD is a documentary about zines & the people who make them. I was pleased to see a former co-worker among the interviewees. (Library.)
  • MST3K: Tormented. (Teena.)
  • Young Master. This is part of the Jackie Chan Triple Punch Collection. It's an early one of Chan's films. It's not great, but there are some nice fight sequences. Chan has a fantastic gift for physical comedy.
  • Fantasy Mission Force. Another selection from the Triple Punch Collection, this movie is very bad and nearly incomprehensible. It doesn't feature Jackie nearly enough.
  • The Iron Giant. Oh, this is such a good movie. Between this & The Incredibles, Brad Bird is a director to watch. (Library.)
  • MST3K: The Hellcats. I've never seen so many drug references in an episode of MST3K as I did in this movie, but given that the movie is about a motorcycle gang involved in drug smuggling, I shouldn't be surprised. (Teena.)
  • Kung Fu Hustle. Oh man, I loved this movie. I had a big stupid grin plastered across my face for the entire thing. I cannot remember the last time I laughed out loud so often in the theater. The action sequences are spectacular. Often, the CGI effects are noticible, but the whole movie has such heart that you just don't care. I think I need to see this again in the theater. And I'll definitely be buying it when it comes out on DVD.
  • Ocean's Eleven. I'd never seen this before, so Teena showed me her copy. A lot of fun.
  • Cowboy Bebop: The Movie. Unfortunately, I was tired when we watched this, and I dozed off once or twice. But it's definitely not boring.

*This distinction will become meaningless once we move in together.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Well, I didn't get a chance to update movies two weeks ago. Last weekend I just didn't have the time to update at all. So we're going back to Books for the moment. Movies may follow later (but don't count on it).

  1. Get Your War On by David Rees. There was a guy in my frosh dorm named Dave Rees. I wonder if he's the one creating these clip art cartoons about the war on terror. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Chaland Anthology, vol. 1: Freddy Lombard by Yves Chaland. The art style is reminescent of Herge (creator of Tintin). (Library.)
  3. DC: The New Frontier, vol. 2 by Darwyn Cooke. This collection concludes Cooke's story about DC heroes between the end of WWII and the beginning of the 60's. Beautiful artwork and a very well-told story. Excellent stuff.
  4. Sky Ape Collection by Phil Amara, Tim McCarney, Richard Jenkins, & Mike Russo. How could I pass up a book about a talking ape who wears a jet pack & fights crime? How could anybody? (But somebody did, since I bought this used.)
  5. Wapsi Square, vol. 1 by Paul Taylor. More & more web comics are making the transition to print. This one is okay, but I don't think I'll be buying any further volumes.
  6. Wonder Woman: Down to Earth by Greg Rucka & Drew Johnson. Even though I enjoy Rucka's writing, I decided not to buy the individual isues of Wonder Woman when he took over. A couple collections came out, and I didn't buy them immediately. But I found used copies at Powell's so I picked them up. I enjoyed the first one tremendously. So much so that when I finished it, I immediately picked up the second one.
  7. Wonder Woman: Bitter Rivals by Greg Rucka, Drew Johnson, et al. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with this collection, because in it, the villain who has been manipulating things behind the scenes explains her motivations (i.e. gets monologuing), and they are extremely trite & cliched. It was a huge let-down after enjoying the rest of these two books so much. Because I did like these so much (apart from the one aspect), I will buy the next collection when it becomes available, but if the quality slips again, that'll be it for Rucka's Wonder Woman.
  8. The Legend of GrimJack, vol. 2 by John Ostrander & Tim Truman. I cannot tell you how happy I am that this series is finally being collected. I hope it does extremely well, and the entire run (all 70-some issues) gets collected. Reprinting this comic was one of my lottery-fantasies: what I'd do with the money if I ever won the lottery. (I don't play the lottery, but it's fun to dream.) Excellent, gritty stories about an aging detective/bodyguard/mercenary. Ostrander is one of my favorite comic writers, and I hope this reprint series brings him lots of money & increases interest in his work enough that DC decides to collect the version of the Suicide Squad that Ostrander wrote in the late 80's through early 90's.
  9. X-Statix, vol. 4: X-Statix vs. the Avengers by Peter Milligan & Mike Allred. This is the final volume of this series. As I've mentioned before, this was more about the nature of fame & celebrity than it was about superheroics. Actually, this volume was a bit more traditional, what with a fight against the Avengers. And I think it suffers for it. Still, I liked this series quite a bit.
  10. The Best of Twisted Toyfare Theatre, vol. 1 by Pat McCallum, Tom Root, & Douglas Golstein. Very silly fumetti (cartoons using photos rather than drawings) about superhero action figures. This apparently was a predecessor to Robot Chicken.
  11. Rurouni Kenshin, vol. 1: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story by Nobuhiro Watsuki. Amazing, I actually found this manga book on Amazon without any difficulty. (Library.)
  12. Unknown Soldier by Garth Ennis & Killian Plunkett. (Library.)
  13. Attitute Presents Andy Singer. (Library.)
  14. The Authority: Kev by Garth Ennis & Glenn Fabry.
  15. Fullmetal Alchemist, vol. 1 by Hiromu Arakawa. I've really been enjoying the anime series based on this manga, so I was very happy when I learned an English translation was being released (particularly since I missed the first few episodes). Two brother alchemists, Edward & Alphonse Elric, search for the philosopher's stone so they can restore Edward's leg & arm and Alphonse's entire body, which were lost in an alchemical accident. (Alphonse's soul has been grafted to a suit of armor.)
  16. Batman: War Games, Act 1: Outbreak by various. I do wish the Batman titles didn't have these big events where some huge occurrence runs through all the titles. I like the writers for a couple of the titles (Bill Willingham on Robin and Ed Brubaker on Catwoman), but they don't contribute enough to this whole collection for me to buy it. (Library.)
  17. Dragon Ball Z, vol. 16 by Akira Toriyama.
  18. Dungeon, vol. 2: The Barbarian Princess by Joann Sfar & Lewis Trondheim. Humorous fantasy. (Library.)