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.