Saturday, March 25, 2006

Yet another attempt to get caught up.

  1. Young Avengers, vol. 1: Sidekicks by Allan Heinberg & Jim Cheung. This was a lot of fun. Good, simple superhero adventure. I had read good things about this comic, but I was pleasantly surprised at just how good it was. I'm looking forward to reading more comics by Heinberg. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Hysteria by Mike Hawthorne. (Library.)
  3. The Goon, vol. 1: Nothin' But Misery by Eric Powell. Full of absurdity, this comic was a blast. (Library.)
  4. Kinetic by Kelley Puckett & Warren Pleece. Yet another attempt to do a comic about what it might be like if a real person developed super powers. I think we've seen this idea explored quite enough. Can we move on to something else, please? Still, it was well-done. (Library.)
  5. Northwest Passage, vol. 1 by Scott Chantler. Frontier adventure set in colonial Canada.
  6. Silent Dance by Matteo Lobaccaro & Alessandro DeAngelis. A vampire (sort-of) story that starts out muddled & unclear. It becomes more comprehensible later, but overall, this is not very memorable. (Library.)
  7. Captain America, vol. 1: Winter Soldier by Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, et al. This is a very good Captain America story, but it's not complete in this volume. I'm looking forward to when volume two will be published, and I can see how this ends. The fact that it is so well done is what keeps me from condeming it for (seemingly?) resurrecting one of two people in the Marvel Universe who stay dead: Bucky Barnes (the other is Peter Parker's uncle Ben). (Library.)
  8. Black Panther by Jack Kirby. More mid-70's comics from Kirby. It's great, but Kirby's heart doesn't seem to have quite been in this. (Library.)
  9. Daisy Kutter: The Last Train by Kazu Kibuishi. A science fiction western about a train heist. (Library.)
  10. Wonder Woman: Eyes of the Gorgon by Greg Rucka, Drew Johnson, James Raiz, & Sean Phillips. Rucka's run on Wonder Woman has been great. He has a real feel for the character and the mythology that makes up her background. (Library.)
  11. Teen Titans, vol. 3: Beast Boys and Girls by Geoff Johns, Ben Raab, Justiniano, & Tom Grummett. Again, Johns' take on the Titans doesn't thrill me. But I find it interesting enough to borrow the books. (Library.)
  12. The OMAC Project by Greg Rucka, Jesus Saiz, et al. Meh. (Library.)
  13. Tales of the Realm by Robert Kirkman & Matt Tyree. (Library.)
  14. True Story, Swear to God, vol. 1: Chances Are by Tom Beland. Not long ago, I would have said that romance comics were a dead genre, but this shows that there is great potential here. Touching, charming, and (above all) true, this autobiographical comic is a wonder.
  15. Miniature Sulk by Jeffry Brown. (Library.)
  16. Wanted by Mark Millar & J.G. Johns. This is a nasty little comic about a world where the supervillains have taken over. (Library.)
  17. Iron Wok Jan! vol. 10 by Shinji Saijyo. (Library.)
  18. F-Stop: A Love Story by Antony Johnston & Mattew Loux. Romantic comedy set in the world of modelling. (Library.)
  19. Mad Night by Richard Sala. Sala's stories tend to follow similar plots: a regular person stumbles onto shady doings involving a conspiracy & lots of murder, but I really enjoy Sala's scratchy drawing style, so I can handle a certain repetitiveness in the stories. (Library.)
  20. Conan & the Jewels of Gwahlur by Robert E. Howard, adapted by P. Craig Russell. Russell's artwork is always a joy to behold. And he always chooses great stories to adapt.
  21. Legion of Super-Heroes, vol. 1: Teenage Revolution by Mark Waid & Bary Kitson. The Legion has been rebooted more than any other comic book I know. This latest version looks interesting. (Library.)
  22. Vampirella: The Morisson/Millar Collection by Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, Amanda Connor, & Louis Small Jr. Morrison is one of my favorite writers, so I picked this up, but this is by no means his strongest work. Plus, the "bad girl" factor in the art is cranked up so high that I would not want to be seen reading this.
  23. Ultimate X-Men, vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughan, Brandon Peterson, Andy Kubert, & Stuart Immonen. I continue to enjoy Vaughan's writing.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

More books.

  1. The New Avengers, vol. 1: Breakout by Brian Michael Bendis & David Finch. I haven't soured on Bendis, as a lot of people have, but somebody really should point out to him that A) he is really fond of two-page spreads in the comics he writes and B) everything he writes gets collected sooner or later, therefore he should be telling the artists and letterers not to put important information or word balloons close to the middle of said two-page spreads. In comics, which you can open flat, that's fine, but in books, you lose about an inch in the middle because of the binding. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Musashi #9, vol. 1 by Takahashi Miyuki. Checked out on impulse. Not very memorable. I doubt I'll be getting any further volumes. (Library.)
  3. Holes by Louis Sachar. Very good children's book. Teena tells me the movie version is not nearly as good. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  4. Four Letter Worlds by various. Another unmemorable graphic novel. I do remember that Amber Benson (Tara from Buffy wrote one of the stories. (Library.)
  5. Showcase Presents: Green Lantern, vol. 1 by John Broome & Gil Kane, w/Gardner Fox. I was surprised to see how many elements of the GL mythos were introduces very early in the run: Sinestro, Qward, Star Sapphire, and several other details that I can't remember now because it's been over a month since I finished the book. It's great to see inexpensive reprints of Silver Age comics. I just wish I could afford all the volumes in the Showcase Presents line.
  6. Iron Wok Jan!, vol. 8 by Shinji Saijyo. (Library.)
  7. Concrete, vol. 3: Fragile Creature by Paul Chadwick. As I've mentioned before, I'm happy to see all the Concrete stories collected in (more or less) chronological order and in a consistent size. But it would be nice if the beautifully muted color from the first publication could have been kept. However, I suspect that would have driven the price higher than I would have liked.
  8. The Flash: The Secret of Barry Allen by Geoff Johns & Howard Porter. There's something about Johns' writing that doesn't quite click with me. I don't know why that is, though.
  9. Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity by Matt Wagner. When I first read this (checked out of the library a while ago), it didn't grab me. I liked it considerably better this time around, but I don't know why. (Not my day for detailed analysis, is it?)
  10. Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar, Dave Johnson, & Killian Plunkett. What if Kal-El's rocket ship had landed in the Soviet Union rather than the US? An interesting look at an alternative to the DC universe we know. (Library.)
  11. Iron Wok Jan!, vol. 9 by Shinji Saijyo. (Library.)
  12. Skinwalker by Nunzio De Filippis, Christina Weir, & Brian Hurtt. Comparisons to The X-Files are inevitable, since this is about an FBI agent investigating a paranormal case, but this isn't a rip-off, and is, in fact, better done than the last couple of seasons of the show. Okay, that's not saying much, but this is a damn good graphic novel. (Library.)
  13. Street Angel by Jim Rugg & Brian Maruca. I think I'd had my hopes built up a little too much. A lot of comics bloggers had praised this to high heaven, and I think I expected too much. It's fun, and I enjoyed it, but it wasn't the masterpiece of absurdity that I had been expecting. (Library.)
  14. Rumble Girls, vol. 1: Silky Warrior Tansie by Lea Hernandez. Very manga-esque. (Library.)
  15. Hunter X Hunter, vol. 6 by Yoshihiro Togashi. (Library.)
  16. Owly, vol. 3: Flying Lessons by Andy Runton. Adorable, wordless comics for all ages. (Library.)
  17. The Order of the Stick, vol. 1: Dungeon Crawlin' Fools by Rich Burlew. I really do need to update my sidebar so I can add Order of the Stick to the comics. Funny stuff that doesn't entirely rely on a knowledge of D&D rules for the humor. (Library.)
  18. The Cute Manifesto by James Kochalka. Kochalka's thoughts on art & life. (Library.)
  19. Knights of the Dinner Table: Bundle of Trouble, vol. 15 by Jolly Blackburn, et al. Comics about gamers.
  20. Little Lulu, vol. 3: Lulu in the Doghouse by John Stanley & Irving Tripp. More delightful kids' comics. (Library.)
  21. Kid Eternity by Grant Morrison & Duncan Fegredo. Not the strongest of Morrison's works. But I'm still glad it has been collected.
  22. Bleach, vol. 11: A Star & A Stray Dog by Tite Kubo. In this volume, the main character, Ichigo, & his friends continue their attept to rescue Rukia, who has been condemned to death for giving Ichigo supernatural powers. In order to do so, they are essentially storming the afterlife.
  23. Dragon Ball Z, vol. 24 by Akira Toriyama. This is probably the epitome of fighting manga.
  24. Powers, vol. 9: Psychotic by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming. I finally stopped bying the individual issues of Powers with the storyline collected here. The next volume will be entirely new to me.
  25. Mystique, vol. 2: Tinker, Tailor, Mutant, Spy by Brian K. Vaughan & Michael Ryan. I've been looking for a used copy of this for a while, but I haven't even found a new copy (not that I can quite bring myself to pay full price for it). I wish Marvel did a better job of keeping books in print. (Library.)
  26. Jew Gangster: A Father's Admonition by Joe Kubert. The title pretty much says it all; this is the story of how a young Jewish man growing up during the Depression becomes a gangster. Kubert's art & storytelling remain amazing. (Library.)
  27. The Quitter by Harvey Pekar & Dean Haspiel. Even though Pekar's comics are all autobiographical, I think this is the first to cover his youth. I believe all his previous work were about recent events in his life. It's interesting to see his early years. (Library.)
  28. Captain America & the Falcon: Madbomb by Jack Kirby. It's great that Marvel has finally started collecting Kirby's work from the 70's. I just wish it were a little cheaper. (Library.)
  29. Love & Rockets, vol. 15: Hernandez Satyricon by Gilbert, Jaime, and Mario Hernandez. Miscellaneous stories from Los Bros.
  30. Giant Killer by Dan Brereton. I really enjoyed this. While reading it, I kept thinking this is what you'd get if you crossed a Japanese monster movie with Hellboy.
  31. Alan Moore's Writing for Comics. I don't really have any intention of writing my own comics, but for some reason I'm fascinated by the advice pros have for aspiring comics writers. And of course, the fact that this is by Alan Moore helped tremendously (even if it is a reprint of something he wrote close to 20 years ago).

Still haven't gotten through February, but I think that's enough for now.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I am:
"You're a complete liberal, utterly without a trace of Republicanism. Your strength is as the strength of ten because your heart is pure. (You hope.)"

Are You A Republican?

(Swiped from Kat.)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I'm spending the morning at home, waiting for the cable guy to take a look at our malfunctioning DVR, so let's see how many titles I can get entered before he's scheduled to arrive & I have to go back downstairs to wait for him.

  1. Alan Moore Spells It Out. This is a fairly long interview with Moore by Bill Baker. It was also conducted a couple of years before the book was released, and some of Moore's attitudes have since changed, most notably his attitude towards Hollywood & what they do to his works.
  2. The Get Fuzzy Experience: Are You Bucksperienced? by Darby Conley. Sometimes I just feel the need to reread Get Fuzzy strips.
  3. A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett. I am amazed at Pratchett's speed & ability. He writes more than a book a year, and they're all excellent.
  4. Dungeon, the Early Years, vol. 1: The Night Shirt by Christophe Blaine, Joann Sfar, & Lewis Trondheim. (Checked out of the library.)
  5. Inu-Yasha, vol. 23 by Rumiko Takahashi. (Library.)
  6. Fantastic Four: Foes by Robert Kirkman & Cliff Rathburn. Eh. Not terribly memorable. (Library.)
  7. The Maxx, vol. 5 by Sam Kieth. This collection finishes up with The Maxx series proper. I assume volume 6 will collect the short-running Friends of Maxx series. As I've mentioned before, this series got stranger & stranger as it progressed, but it did have a certain dream-like logic behind it.
  8. Wimbledon Green: The Greatest Comic Book Collector in the World by Seth. Slight, but fun. (Library.)
  9. Spiral-Bound by Aaron Reiner. A cute comic, aimed squarely at kids. (Library.)
  10. Bizarro World by various. "Alternative" (i.e. non-superhero) comics creators work with DC characters. The quality varies quite a bit, but for the most part, this is great stuff. It's always nice to see familiar characters treated with affection but not reverence (and no concern for continuity). (Library.)
  11. Mutts, vol. 7: What Now by Patrick McDonnell. More adorable strips about cats & dogs.
  12. The Freebooters by Barry Windsor Smith. Windsor-Smith's art is incredible, and he's no slouch when it comes to writing either. However the text pieces here, explaining why this story is unfinished are written with such a clear bias against the "former publisher" (Dark Horse comics) that I found myself wondering what their side of the story is. (Library.)
  13. Doing Time by Kazuichi Hanawa. This book recounts the author's time in prison for possession of an illegal fire-arm. It was so unlike any other prison narrative I've ever encountered (admittedly most of those were fictional) that it really highlights cultural differences between Japan & the U.S. (Library.)
  14. Sexy Chix by various. This anthology has an unfortunate (and I think unwisely chosen) title. It's a collection of stories by female comics creators. Like any anthology, the quality of the stories varies, but most of the stories are very well done.
  15. Serenity: Those Left Behind by Josh Whedon, Brett Matthews, & Will Conrad. It probably would have been best if this collection of comics bridging the gap between Firefly and Serenity before the latter was released to theaters.
  16. Strange Killings: The Body Orchard by Warren Ellis & Mike Wolfer. Violence. Lots & lots of violence.

I'm going to stop for now. Hey, I made it into February.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Just testing out the options available from Library Thing.

Some version of this will probably go into my sidebar (if I ever get around to updating it).

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Recently I have realized that unless I win the lottery I will never have a home big enough to hold all the shelves I would need to put all my books on display. Which indicates that I should go through my library & pull out books I won't read again.* But what it really meant is that I started wanting some kind of collection management program so I could keep track of what I have.

Michal has pointed me to a web-based library organizer: Library Thing. I think it's going to be pretty close to ideal for my needs. Over the coming weeks & months, I'll be inputting my collection. (It's going to take a while, especially considering that a large percentage of my books are currently in storage.)

If you are signed up with Library Thing & want to see what books I've got, my user name there is PhilipF

*And in the near future I probably will cull a few things for sale at Powell's.