Sunday, December 30, 2007

Short, Short Entry

  1. Q-Ko-Chan: The Earth Invader Girl, vol. 1 by Ueda Hajime. Strange manga from the creator of FLCL.

And that's the only book I finished in the past week. That's because we spent the week visiting Teena's parents for Christmas. We had a great time, especially the trip to Disneyland. More later.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Bare-Bones Entry

  1. John Woo's 7 Brothers, vol. 1: Sons of Heaven, Son of Hell by John Woo, Garth Ennis, & Keevan Kang. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Jingle Belle: Dash Away All by Paul Dini & Jose Garibaldi.
  3. Criminal, vol. 2: Lawless by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips
  4. Starchild: Mythopolis II, vol. 1 by James A. Owen.
  5. Unique by Dean Motter & Dennis Calero.
  6. Batman: Year 100 by Paul Pope.
  7. Space Usagi by Stan Sakai.
  8. Narbonic, vol. 5 by Shaenon Garrity.
  9. Showcase Presents: Legion of Super Heroes, vol. 1 by various.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I don't have a clever title for this entry (not that I ever do)

  1. Warren Ellis' Blackgas by Warren Ellis, Max Fiumara, & Ryan Waterhouse. Zombies.
  2. Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire by Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden. It took me a little while to get into this horror novel, but once I did, I enjoyed it quite a bit. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Megatokyo, vol. 3 by Fred Gallagher. Can't think of anything to say about this series that I haven't said before.
  4. Scott Pilgrim, vol. 4: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together by Bryan Lee O'Malley. More game-logic and slacker adventures. Fun stuff.
  5. Bow Wow Bugs a Bug by Mark Newgarden & Megan Montague Cash. Kid's book. (Library.)
  6. The Escapists by Brian K. Vaughan, Steve Rolston, Jason Shawn Alexander, Philip Bond, & Eduardo Barreto. I never did really warm up to Michael Chabon Presents the Amazing Adventures of the Escapist, the anthology that pretended to reprint stories from the long & varied publishing history of the Escapist, the comic book character from The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. The conceit just never worked. The stories just couldn't live up to the descriptions from the novel. However this story, about three friends who try to make a go of publishing new Escapist comics, works wonderfully. I loved this. Highly recommended.
  7. Knights of the Dinner Table Bundle of Trouble, vol. 23 by Jolly Blackburn, et al.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Short Week

Didn't get many books read this week. Unfortunately that does not mean you'll be getting my review of LoEG: Black Dossier yet. Sorry. Too lazy.

  1. Girl Genius, Book 6: Agatha Heterodyne and the Golden Trilobite by Phil & Kaja Foglio. This came out months ago, and I honestly don't know if the delay stems from Diamond or my regular comic shop. Given that once I requested the book from a different comic shop, they got it within a week from Diamond, I suspect that the problem lies with my regular comic shop. Since the incident isn't exactly isolated, in a few months, they will NOT be my regular comic shop anymore. I will stay there long enough to buy all the graphic novels I ordered through them (assuming they show up), but when that's taken care of, I'm done.
  2. Give Our Regards to the Atomsmashers!: Writers on Comics edited by Sean Howe. Fairly interesting, but this didn't really grab me. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Megatokyo, vol. 2 by Fred Gallagher, with Rodney Caston. This was a purchase from that comic sale a few months back. Megatokyo is good, but I find it frustrating. It's so slow. Every action & motivation has to be examined & reexamined. And as the strip progresses, it gets slower & slower. It's like time is stretching out, and someday it's going to freeze completely, and no further progress will ever be made.
  4. Alan Moore's Hypothetical Lizard adapted by Antony Johnston, Sebasian Fiumara, & Lorenzo Lorente. Comic adaptation of a prose store Moore wrote for a shared world anthology.
  5. 52, vol. 4 by various. I have to say I'm impressed by the achievement of publishing a weekly comic book for a year & maintaining the quality seen here. That's not to say this is great, but it's pretty good, and the main stories were well handled.
  6. Owly, vol. 4: A Time to Be Brave by Andy Runton. Adorably cute, silent comics. (Borrowed from Teena.)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

And I'm Back

  1. Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four: v. 2: Fantastic Voyages by Jeff Parker & Manuel Garcia. One of the things I like about the Marvel Adventures books is that, because they are aimed at kids, the characters are allowed to be heroic.
  2. Firestorm the Nuclear Man: Reborn by Stuart Moore & Jamal Igle. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Marvel Adventures Avengers, vol. 4: The Dream Team by Jeff Parker, Leonard Kirk, & Cafu.
  4. Sluggy Freelance Magatome 2: Little Evils by Pete Abrams. More web-comic silliness.
  5. Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip, Book 2. Sweet, adorable comics. Cute and lots of fun. Highly recommended.
  6. Blade, vol. 1: Undead Again by Marc Guggenheim & Howard Chaykin. Pretty good writing, and some great artwork. (Library.)
  7. Marvel Adventures Iron Man, vol. 1: Heart of Steel by Fred Van Lente, James Cordiero & Ronan Cliquet. Cool, a version of Tony Stark that hasn't become a fascist.
  8. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier by Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill. I think I've got a fair amount to say about this book. More than I want to type now in a catch-up post. I'll make an effort to do a separate post about it later this week. Short take: Easter eggs overwhelmed the story, but given that this started as (and still serves as) a handbook to the world of the league, that's not surprising.
  9. The Drifting Classroom, vol. 8 by Kazuo Umezu. More horror & histrionics. (Library.)
  10. JLA: Ultramarine Corps by Grant Morrison, Ed McGuinness, & Val Semeiks. A.K.A. Seven Soldiers of Victory, vol. 0 (plus a random cross-over written by Morrison thrown in to pad out the page-count).
  11. Jim Henson's Legends of the Dark Crystal, vol. 1: The Garthim Wars by Barbara Randall Kesel, Heidi Arnhold, & Max Kim. A prequel to the movie. Pretty good, but kind of depressing since the reader knows how it's all going to end up.
  12. Darkman vs. Army of Darkness by Kurt Busiek, Roger Stern, & James Fry. I bought this because I like Busiek & Stern's work, but I wasn't impressed.
  13. Brian Jacques' Redwall: The Graphic Novel adapted by Stuart Moore & Bret Blevins. Adaptation of the first novel in the series of children's books. I haven't read the original, but I enjoyed this.
  14. Ex Machina, vol 6: Power Down by Brian K. Vaughan & Toby Harris. Politics & superpowers; this time with some hints as to where the main character's superpowers came from.
  15. The Spirit, Book 1 by Darwyn Cooke, with Jeph Loeb. I have this book thanks to Michael's generosity. When I heard that DC would be publishing a new comic using Will Eisner's classic character, I had my doubts, but Cooke pulls it off beautifully. A worthy tribute to a master in the field.
  16. Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, vol. 4 by Eiji Otsuka & Housui Yamazaki. (Library.)
  17. Knights of the Dinner Table Bundle of Trouble, vol. 22 by Jolly Blackburn, et al.
  18. Monster, vol. 11: Blind Spot by Naoki Urasawa. The tension builds.
  19. Tupelo: The World's Forgotten Boy by Matt DeGeennaro & Phil Elliott. The reviews at Amazon seem to indicate that the punk band written about here, The Famous Monsters, was real. However, I can find no other indication that that is true. The CD is pretty cool, though.
  20. Stagger Lee by Derek McCulloch & Shepherd Hendrix. I was very impressed with this book when I checked it out of the library a while back. So impressed that I bought a copy. It holds up on a second reading too. History of the song and a story about the people & events that inspired the song.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How Not to Write a Book Blurb

Recently in my job I encountered the following on the back of a book:

The pace of change in work with these client groups continues and there is a call from busy workers to be kept up-to-date with all the new developments in theory, research and practice. This book offers them signposts to help them refine or extend the range of available intervention options. [The editor] has brought together an international team of respected authors to consolidate knowledge on a range of topics and to further stimulate debates. Their contributions are organised into themed sections that address theory and research development; engagement of young people; assessment issues; practice issues; management issues, treatment issues and outcomes. The text builds on [the editor]'s previous works ([XXXXXXX XXXXX] Publishing, 1999; 2002) by using the material as building blocks to chart how things have evolved further, been disregarded or replaced by new ideas, or been refind and developed further. As our state of knowledge accelerates, and narrows our ignorance gap, the need to transfer the progress into practice becomes necessary. This text acts as a vehicle to achieve this goal.

I defy you to tell me what the book is about. Without the title, that blurb is entirely useless. Even when you know the title (which tells you the book's subject), the blurb is remarkably free of information.

Any guesses on what the book is about?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

Despite it being a 4-day weekend, it's been quite busy. And so an update will not be appearing today. Chances are it won't be appearing until next weekend.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Weekend update

  1. Essential X-Factor, vol. 2 by Louise Simonson, Walter Simonson, et al. Certain plot elements take way too long to play out, and the angst factor is cranked up way too high, but these comics are entertaining, and the art is fantastic.
  2. Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes: Dominator War by Mark Waid & Barry Kitson, with Tony Bedard & Kevin Sharpe. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born by Stephen King, Robin Furth, Peter David, Jae Lee, & Richard Isanove. This is a nice adaptation of Roland's youth, and the art is amazing. But it is something of a disappointment because when this project was first announced, we were told it would cover untold tales of the young gunslinger. Instead it is simply an adaptation of parts of the first and fourth books in King's series. Still quite good, though.
  4. Heroes, vol. 1 by various. This is a collection of the web-comics NBC posted online while the first season of Heroes aired. We get to learn more about the characters, including quite a bit about one character who only appeared onscreen in a couple of episodes.
  5. Yotsuba &!, vol. 3 by Kiyohiko Azuma. Oh, the cuteness. (Library.)
  6. Runaways, vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan, Adrian Alphona, & Mike Norton.
  7. Platinum Grit, Book 3 by Trudy Cooper & Danny Murphy. Strange stuff.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Day Late & A Dollar Short

Computer problems prevented me from updating yesterday. They seem to have sorted themselves out, and I'm staying home from work today because I'm feeling sick, so I'm not too late with the update.

  1. Daredevil: The Devil, Inside & Out, vol. 2 by Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark & David Aja. I enjoyed this, but it does seem to be all about restoring the comic to its status quo. At the end Matt Murdock is free, and most people think that his being outed as Daredevil was all a hoax. I know superheroes thrive on their characters not changing (at least not long term), but genuine character development would be nice.
  2. Dragon Head, vol 8 by Minetaro Mochizuki. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Pounded by Brian Wood & Steve Rolston. This was okay, but it didn't feel like a complete story, more like the opening of a longer series.
  4. The Immortal Iron Fist, vol. 1: The Last Iron Fist Story by Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, David Aja, et al. This was a blast. Kung Fu action, the hidden legacy of the Iron Fist, cool art (including flash back sequences by great like Russ Heath & John Severin). I'm really looking forward to more of this.
  5. Zombie Powder, vol. 4: Walk Like a Zombie by Tite Kubo. Early work from the creator of Bleach.
  6. Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes: Adult Education by Mark Waid, Tony Bedard & Barry Kitson. (Library.)
  7. Sandman Mystery Theatre: Sleep of Reason by John Ney Rieber & Eric Nguyen. An obvious attempt to revive one of Vertigo's early successes. It tries a bit too hard.
  8. The Goon, vol. 3: Heaps of Ruination by Eric Powell. Goofy stuff. Fun.
  9. Alex Robinson's Lower Regions. Silent comic about a D&D-type adventure.
  10. House by Josh Simmons. Silent comic about three teenagers who find an abandoned mansion deep in the woods.

Also this week I finished listening to the audio-book version of The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. I had forgotten just how good this book is, and I can't wait for the movie (although I am apprehensive about changes the studio will have made in an attempt to placate people who will take offense at the implication that blind obedience to the church is not a good thing).

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Back on Track

I'm updating again, dammit. (But I'll probably keep things short since I'm behind.)

  1. Spider-Man & the Fantastic Four: Silver Rage by Jeff Parker & Mike Wieringo. One of Wieringo's final works before his untimely death.
  2. The Puzzling Puzzles: Bothersome Games Which Will Bother Some People by Lemony Snicket. Keeping that Series of Unfortunate Events bandwagon rolling. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  3. But I Like It by Joe Sacco. Sacco's strips about music, including ones he produced while on tour in Europe with The Miracle Workers. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. Maria's Wedding by Nunzio DiFilippis, Christina Weir, & Jose Garibaldi. Touching story about family & the forces that can tear them apart & bring them together.
  5. Bleach, vol. 21: Be My Family Or Not by Tite Kubo.
  6. Scandalous by J. Torres & Scott Chantler. Hollywood gossip in the 50s.
  7. Punisher War Journal, vol. 1: Civil War by Matt Fraction, Ariel Olivetti, & Mike Deodato. I usually enjoy Fraction's writing quite a bit, but this was just okay.
  8. John Constantine, Hellblazer: Staring at the Wall by Mike Carey, Marcelo Frusin, & Doug Alexander Gregory. Bad things happen in this volume. But then, bad things happen in every Hellblazer collection.
  9. X-Factor, vol. 3: Many Lives of Madrox by Peter David, Pablo Raimondi, et al.
  10. Lost at Sea by Bryan Lee O'Malley. This book pulls off a difficult trick of portraying adolescent angst without being annoying & pretentious.
  11. Conan, vol. 4: The Hall of the Dead and Other Stories by various.
  12. First in Space by James Vining. The story of Ham, the first chimp in space.
  13. Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, vol. 2: Mystery Date by Peter David, Todd Nauck, & Scot Eaton.
  14. Robin: Days of Fire & Madness by Bill Willingham & Scott McDaniel.
  15. Chronicles of Wormwood by Garth Ennis & Jacen Burrows. Adventures of the anti-Christ. He has rejected his father's plans for him & works as a television producer. Somewhat In Nomine-ish.
  16. Uncanny X-Men: Rise & Fall of the Shi'ar Empire by Ed Brubaker, Billy Tan, & Clayton Henry. I've read several comics blogs lately say that space opera doesn't fit in with the basic premise behind the X-Men, but it's never bothered me. Probably because I was at the right age (12 or thereabouts) when I first encountered the Shi'ar. I will say that Brubaker's forte is with more down-to-earth stories. (Library.)
  17. Tom Strong, Book Six by various. The final volume of this series. Alan Moore returns for the final issue to write an feel-good story about the end of the world.
  18. I Luv Halloween, vol. 3 by Keith Giffen & Benjamin Roman. Giffen is twisted. (Library.)
  19. X-Factor Visionaries: Peter David, vol. 3 by Peter David, et al. Man, 90s comics had some ugly art. And this is by far not the worst offender.
  20. Powers, vol. 10: Cosmic by Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Avon Oeming. I love how, even though this book was released nearly a year later than originally scheduled, there is a typo on the spine. It reads "Cosimic."
  21. Shutterbug Follies by Jason Little.
  22. Daredevil: The Devil, Inside & Out by Ed Brubaker & Michael Lark. This type of story (superhero stuck in prison) is better suited to Brubaker's strengths.
  23. Empowered, vol. 2 by Adam Warren. Unlike a lot of comic artists who do cheesecake art, Warren gives the impression that A) he knows what women actually look like and B) he understands that women are people.
  24. Glister, no. 2: House Hunting by Andi Watson. Cute, all-ages comic about a girl who lives in a fantastic old mansion.
  25. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Eight, vol. 1: The Long Way Home by Joss Whedon & Georges Jeanty. Pretty good. But I am glad I'm just waiting for the collections rather than reading each issue as it comes out.
  26. Gen 13: London, New York, Hell by Warren Ellis & Steve Dillon. Eh. Ellis clearly isn't trying very hard here, but it's entertaining enough.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Oh Yeah, There's a Reason I Don't Update During the Week

When I got home, I didn't feel like spending time in front of the computer. I guess the update's going to have to wait.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Rain Check

Spent the afternoon helping Steve move, and didn't feel like updating in the evening. I'll try to get caught up tomorrow. But no guarantees.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My Birthday

I turn 40 today. I'm not freaking out about it. No huge plans, either. Teena & I will go out for dinner tonight, and that's about it.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Books I Read This Week

  1. Alpha Flight Classic, vol. 1 by John Byrne. More 80s comics that I enjoyed at the time. Fortunately, I still enjoy them now.
  2. The Drifting Classroom, vol. 7 by Kazuo Umezu. More histrionic manga. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Ghost Rider: The Road to Damnation by Garth Ennnis & Clayton Crain. When I checked the hardback edition of this book out of the library a few months back, I felt that this had a certain In Nomine-like feel to the story. It still does, what with the personable demon, Hoss, and the relentless angel, Ruth. I liked it then, so I picked up this paperback copy at that comic book store sale a few weeks back.
  4. Fullmetal Alchemist, vol. 14 by Hiromu Arakwa. For a while (about the time that the story in the manga diverged from that in the anime*), the story dragged. But with this volume, it's turned back around, and I'm interested again.
  5. Superman: The Man of Steel, vol. 5 by John Byrne, Marv Wolfman, & Jerry Ordway. Still more 80s comics reprints. This book features a story in which a hypnotized Superman nearly stars in a porno film. No, really. Read it yourself to see.
  6. Iron Wok Jan!, vol. 13 by Shinji Saijyo. (Library.)
  7. Polly and the Pirates, vol. 1 by Ted Naifeh. Lots of fun. Highly recommended.
  8. Dr. Blink, Superhero Shrink, vol. 1: Id. Ego. Superego! by John Kovalic & Christopher Jones. The title says it all.
  9. Ocean of Lard (Choose Your Own Mind-Fuck Fest, no. 17) by Kevin L. Donihe & Carlton Mellick III. A parody of Choose Your Own Adventure Stories, this book is striving to be daring & dangerous, but it comes across as transgressive simply to be transgressive. It's very weird, but there isn't any meaning to the weirdness other than being strange. As you may have gathered from reading this blog, I like weirdness, but I like it best when the weirdness is in service of a good story. That's not the case with this book.
  10. Days Like This by J. Torres & Scott Chantler. Sweet story about the beginning of a record label and a girl group.
  11. Project X: Seven Eleven by Tadashi Ikuta & Naomi Kimura. Another documentary manga volume; this one about the introduction of convenience stores to Japan. Thrill to the gripping contract negotiation scene. Marvel as the characters tackle the inventory tracking problem. Wonder who thought there'd be a US market for a translation of non-fiction manga. (Of course, there is: me and others like me. But how many of us are there in the US?)
  12. X-Men: First Class: Tomorrow's Brightest by Jeff Parker & Roger Cruz. Yesterday, at the book fair at her school, Teena picked up a digest-sized reprint of four issues of the X-Men: First Class comic. I don't think this book is available anywhere besides from Scholastic Books, since I can't find a listing for it. Anyway, Teena was kind enough to let me read it before adding it to the stock of books in her classroom.

*Really that should be when the anime diverged from the manga, but I saw the former before the latter.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Unread Book Meme

Finally passing this meme on from Michael. Below is a list of the top 106 books tagged as "unread" at Library Thing. The ones I have read are in bold, and the ones I have begun, but not finished are in italics.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment (got half-way through, set aside for a while, never picked up again)
One Hundred Years of Solitude

Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion (begun, barely, not finished)
Life of Pi: A Novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote

Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice

Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

The Canterbury Tales (read {in Middle English} a decent portion of this for a class)
The Historian: A Novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World

The Fountainhead
Foucault's Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King

The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons
The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver's Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
The Prince (read selections for a class)
The Sound and the Fury
Angela's Ashes
The God of Small Things
A People's History of the United States

A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Dubliners
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter

Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Cake
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion

Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity's Rainbow
The Hobbit

In Cold Blood
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Sunday, October 14, 2007


After a busy weekend last week, this weekend has been nicely uneventful. Which means I've got the time to catch up on the books I've been reading.

  1. Knights of the Dinner Table Bundle of Trouble, vol. 21 by Jolly Blackburn, et al.
  2. Korgi, Book 1 by Christian Slade. Adorably cute silent story about a young girl and her fire-breathing dog. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  3. Making Money by Terry Pratchett. The latest Discworld novel. Perhaps not prime Pratchett, but still very good. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  4. The Question, vol. 1: Zen & Violence by Dennis O'Neil & Denys Cowan. One of my favorite comic series from the 80's is finally being reprinted. The first issue was okay, but it didn't really grab me. However, since it ended with the hero being beaten, shot in the head, and dumped in a river, I had to buy the second issue to see where the creators would go from there. That issue blew me away, and I was hooked. I have to admit that the story doesn't quite have the same power for me it did twenty years ago, but it's still damn fine storytelling. I hope this does well and more volumes will be forthcoming.
  5. Godland Celestial Edition, vol. 1 by Joe Casey & Tom Scioli. Probably the best Kirby pastiche I've ever seen. Helped in no little part by not using Kirby's creations. (Checked out of the library.)
  6. Monster, vol. 10: Picnic by Naoki Urasawa. (Library.)
  7. New X-Men: Academy X, vol. 1: Choosing Sides by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir, et al. Superpowers & teenage drama. (Library.)
  8. Return to Labyrinth, vol. 2 by Jake T. Forbes & Chris Lie. I don't know who decided to go a manga-style sequel to a 20-year-old movie, but I am enjoying this, even if it is a bit angsty.
  9. Action Philosophers! Giant-Sized Thing, vol. 2 by Fred Van Lente & Ryan Dunlavey. I love stuff like this: explorations of what can be done with comics. In this case, an explication of several philosophers' schools of thought. And it doesn't hurt that this comic is funny.

See, I said I hadn't read much last week. Not much this week either.

On the video game front, I recently finished Shadow Hearts: Covenant, which I borrowed from Alex. I have mixed feelings about the game. The story never really grabbed me, and there are large parts of the game you will never figure out unless you have a guide. But I did like the combat system. I stuck with the game through the end, but I did not even attempt the many side-quests that show up at the end. Since then I have begun playing Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. Teena gave me an early birthday present of a Nintendo DS Lite, and I'm enjoying the hell out of it. Phantom Hourglass is fantastic. I love the way the touch-screen interface works, and it's great to see the Wind Waker art style again. Lots of fun.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Peanuts Quiz

Which Peanuts Character are You?

You are Schroeder!
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code
Lazy and a Liar

As you probably noticed, I didn't update yesterday. It's time to admit that I won't do so until this weekend. Don't worry; I didn't get a lot of books read last week anyway.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

A Short Delay

Sorry for no update. This weekend was taken up with the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. I should be able to update tomorrow.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Yet Another Light Week

Didn't get many books read this week, so I'll take this opportunity to update my sidebar.

  1. 52, vol. 3 by various.
  2. Hellboy, vol. 7: The Troll Witch & Others by Mike Mignola, Richard Corben, & P. Craig Russell. Yay, a new Hellboy book! Normally, I prefer that only Mignola draw Hellboy, since he's clearly the best artist for the character. But Corben & Russell are fantastic artists, and I really enjoyed seeing their versions.
  3. Civil War: Fantastic Four by J. Michael Straczynski, Dwayne McDuffie, & Mike McKone. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. Shiny Beasts by Rick Veitch. Miscellanea from Veitch, including a story written by Alan Moore. (Library.)
  5. Thor Visionaries: Walter Simonson, vol. 4 by Walter Simonson & Sal Buscema. I miss Simonson's art on this series, but Buscema does a fine job. Perhaps not the most epic of stories from this era of Thor, but plenty entertaining.
  6. Sluggy Freelance Megatome 01: Born of Nifty by Pete Abrams. I had heard good things about the webcomic Sluggy Freelance, and I had come into a windfall, so I decided to take a chance on ordering this compilation of the first three (out of print) collections. It was pricey, but it was worth it, because I really enjoyed this book. (But I do have to say that Abrams found a better deal on printing the second megatome, and it's only half the price of the first.) It's hard to describe what Sluggy Freelance is about. There are a lot of pop culture parodies, but sometimes it's just jokes or adventures or wackiness. Lots of fun.
  7. Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia by Greg Rucka & J.G. Jones. I picked this up at that comic book sale I mentioned last week. While I like the story, this book is overpriced, and I would not have bought it if it hadn't been on sale.
  8. Captain Confederacy: The Nature of the Hero by Will Shetterly & Vince Stone. While the premise of this book, a superhero story set in an alternate history where the South succeeded in seceding from the Union, makes it sound like a racist fantasy, but it's not. It's about a good man realizing that the country he loves is in the wrong. This book is a collection (and condensation) of a series that ran for twelve issues nearly twenty years ago, and it's good to see that the story still holds up.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Another Light Week

  1. The Authority: Revolution, Book 1 by Ed Brubaker & Dustin Nguyen. I finally got a copy of book two, but it had been so long since I read book one that I decided to reread it.
  2. The Authority: Revolution, Book 2 by Ed Brubaker & Dustin Nguyen.
  3. Iron Wok Jan!, vol. 12 by Shinji Saijyo. I made a difference at the local library. I had been been checking out volumes from this series, but I had to stop after volume 11, because the original US publisher went out of business. I found the ISBN for volume 12 (from the new publisher), and requested it. Now the Multnomah County Library system has all the volumes of this manga series (at least the ones that have been translated. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. Imagination Rocket: Science and Social Studies Volume by various. I picked this (along with a lot of other books) up at a local comic book store that was having a sale before shutting its doors. This book is intended for use in a classroom (my guess would be junior high). After each story, there is a page of study questions & activities. The stories vary in quality, and sometimes don't do much toward promoting learning. But it is an interesting concept, and I'd like to see more of this kind of thing.
  5. Civil War: The Road to Civil War by various. (Library.)
  6. DMZ, vol. 3: Public Works by Brian Wood & Richard Burchielli. This excellent war comic continues, with this volume taking a look at "Trustwell" an independent contractor hired to rebuild certain significant locations in the DMZ (Manhattan). Just think "Blackwater." Brutal, gripping comics.
  7. Green Lantern: No Fear by Geoff Johns, et al. Johns is a good enough writer, but sometimes I don't care for his style. However, I liked this volume quite a bit. Writing Hal Jordan seems to be Johns' niche. (Library.)
  8. Doctor 13: Architecture and Mortality by Brian Azzarello & Cliff Chiang. This is a fantastic story about the oddball characters from comics' past that don't fit anywhere anymore: from a talking Nazi gorilla to the ultimate skeptic to the ghost of a Confederate general who haunts a WWII tank. It doesn't feel like the sort of thing Azzarello normally writes, but it's a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed it.
  9. Civil War: Amazing Spider-Man by J. Michael Straczynski & Ron Garney. From what I've heard, the powers that be at Marvel have said that Iron Man's side in Civil War was supposed to be the one in the right. But all of the comics I've read show him in a negative light, and it's clear that he is now a super-villain (albeit one with government backing). I don't know what to make of that disconnect. (Library.)
  10. Project X: Cup Noodle by Todashi Katoh. Man, only the Japanese would produce a comic book about the development of Cup Noodles. But then somebody has translated it into English, and I bought the damn thing, so it's not like I'm in a position to cast aspersions. Yes, you read that correctly. This is a documentary comic about how Nissin developed Cup O'Noodles. Make of that what you will.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

No Inspired (Or Even Uninspired) Post Title Today

  1. Once in a Blue Moon, vol. 1 by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir, & Jennifer Quick. A rather nice little set-up for an on-going series of graphic novels. Too bad there's no sign of any further volumes.
  2. Monster, vol. 9: A Nameless Monster by Naoki Urawawa. The thriller manga series continues. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Civil War: Front Line, Book 1 by Paul Jenkins, et al. The more comics from Marvel's Civil War I read, the less I like it, and I didn't have a high opinion of the cross-over before I began. And yet I keep checking the books out. Train-wreck value, I guess. (Library.)
  4. Manhunter, vol. 3: Origins by Marc Andreyko, Javier Pina, et al. It took a while for this comic to grow on me, but I'm glad I gave it a chance, because now I really like it. I hope it returns from hiatus soon.
  5. Strange: Beginnings & Endings by J. Michael Straczynski, Samm Barnes, & Brandon Peterson. A retelling of Dr. Strange's origin that doesn't seem all that necessary & that doesn't add much to the character. Eh. (Library.)
  6. I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets! by Fletcher Hanks. Bizarre comics from the golden age. These stories read like something written by a grade-schooler, but there is an undeniable energy in the art. And often the stories pull you along by their sheer strangeness. For example, in one story the hero, Stardust, transforms the bad guys into rats & then summons cats to chase them out of the city & into the sea. There most of them drown, but Stardust rescues their leader & restores his human head & then drops the man-rat off at FBI headquarters for interrogation. Weird, weird stuff. (Library.)
  7. Dragon Head, vol. 7 by Minetaro Mochizuki. (Library.)
  8. The Legend of GrimJack, vol. 7 by John Ostrander & Tom Mandrake. The final volume of John Gaunt's adventures. I've said this before, but I am so glad that this series is being collected. I can't wait for the next volume.
  9. Negative Burn Summer 2005 by various. So-so anthology.
  10. Ms. Marvel, vol. 1: Best of the Best by Brian Reed, Roberto De La Torre. I've got a quibble about stories in Marvel Comics. If the events of the Civil War crossover were triggered by an explosion that killed 600-some civilians, shouldn't there have been at least some reaction to events in this comic, in which an army base and a town of 3000 people were wiped off the map? (Library.)
  11. Wet Moon, vol. 1: Feeble Wanderings by Ross Campbell. I like Campbell's art style, but I hated the story, which is full of late-adolescent/early-adult angst & drama. Bleh.
  12. Batman: Detective by Paul Dini, et al. Batman comics written by the person behind Batman: The Animated Series? Yes, please. I especially liked the Joker story that finishes up the volume.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Light Week

  1. True Story Swear to God, vol. 1 by Tom Beland. This is actually the third collection of this series, but it recently changed publishers, and this is the first volume from the new publisher. Which is fine, but there are 5 or 6 of the self-published issues that have not been collected, and I have seen no sign that they will be collected. Which is a shame, because this autobiographical series is fantastic.
  2. It Came from the Far Side by Gary Larson.
  3. Incredible Hulk: Planet Hulk by Greg Pak, Carlo Pagolyan, Aaron Lopresti, et al. I'd heard good things about the issues collected here. And I have to admit, it sounded like a good storyline: Transported to another world, the Hulk becomes a gladiator & ends up leading a slave rebellion. But this collection costs $40, and my budget can't accommodate a book that expensive if I'm not sure about it. I did enjoy this quite a bit, and I'll consider picking it up in paperback at some point. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. The Far Side by Gary Larson. The first Far Side collection. I was surprised to discover that one of my favorites was one of the very first Far Side cartoons: A line of damned souls are walking through a corridor in Hell as a devil looks on. Beside the devil is a sign that reads "Today is the first day of the rest of your life."
  5. Red Prophet: The Tales of Alvin Maker, vol. 1 by Orson Scott Card, Roland Bernard Brown, Renato Arlem & Miguel Montenegro. I don't want to give money to Card, because he is a homophobe, but he's a damn good writer. I compromise by checking his books out of the library. (Library.)
  6. Beyond the Far Side by Gary Larson.
  7. Hellboy Animated, vol. 2: The Judgment Bell by Jim Pasco, Rick Lacy, & Tad Stones. Not as good as the stuff from Mignola, but entertaining enough.
  8. Checkmate, vol. 2: Pawn Breaks by Greg Rucka, Jesus Saiz, et al. An interesting mixture of spies & super-heroes.
  9. Spider-Man Family, vol. 1: Back in Black by various.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Which Heroes character are you?
Your Result: Hiro Nakamura

You are Hiro Nakamura.
You can bend space and time with your mind. You always try to do what is right and you are very innocent. Maybe too innocent. You took a trip to the future and saw NYC blow up. Now you are focused on saving the world. You also love sci-fi.

Claire Bennet
Matt Parkman
Peter Petrelli
Issac Mendez
Nathan Petrelli
Niki Sanders
Which Heroes character are you?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Labor Day!
Unfortunately, Teena is unable to completely take this day off. She's got to prepare for class to begin tomorrow. However, I'm at home today, and I'm using the time to update.

  1. Fallen Angel, vol. 3: Back in Noire. By Peter David, J.K. Woodward, & Kristian Donaldson. I would say that this is the best comic David is currently writing. Possibly the best comic he has ever written.
  2. Good as Lily by Derek Kirk Kim & Jesse Hamm. When I saw that this book was written by the same person who wrote Same Difference & Other Stories, I knew it'd be good. I wasn't disappointed.
  3. Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four, vol. 1: Family of Heroes by various. Some of the most entertaining comics Marvel is currently publishing are coming from the Marvel Adventures line of comics for younger readers.
  4. In Search of the Far Side by Gary Larson. Comics for the geek in all of us.
  5. The Ultimates 2, vol. 2: Grand Theft America by Mark Millar & Bryan Hitch. Big, loud, enjoyable super-hero comics. Much better than Civil War. (Checked out of the library.)
  6. Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four, vol. 3: World's Greatest by Jeff Parker, et al. These comics are just fun.
  7. Yotsuba &!, vol. 2 by Kiyohiko Azuma. More cute comics about an enthusiastic little girl. (Library.)
  8. Hound of the Far Side by Gary Larson.
  9. Essential Silver Surfer, vol. 2 by Steve Engelhart, Marshall Rogers, et al. Big, cosmic comics, with the fate of the universe hanging in the balance. Fun stuff. And Rogers' art is fantastic.
  10. Anne Freaks, vol. 1 by Yua Kotegawa. I picked this up on a whim when I spotted it at the library. But the story didn't grab me, so I don't think I'll be picking up any further volumes. (Library.)
  11. The Incredible Hulk: Prelude to Planet Hulk by David Way, Keu Cha, & Juan Santacruz. (Library.)
  12. The Punisher, vol. 7: Man of Stone by Garth Ennis & Leandro Fernandez. (Library.)
  13. Legion of Super-Heroes, vol. 2: Death of a Dream by Mark Waid & Barry Kitson. I've lost track of how many times the Legion of Super-Heroes has been rebooted since Crisis on Infinite Earths, but I'm enjoying this version of the characters while they last. (Library.)
  14. Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four, vol. 6: Monsters & Mysteries by Fred Van Lente & Clay Mann. Kids' comics don't have to justify themselves to the readers by pretending to be "mature". Of course, mainstream comics don't have to do so either, but a lot of the creators apparently think they do; hence grim, dark comics that have all the fun stripped out of them.
  15. Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, vol. 6: The Black Costume by Fred Van Lente, Cory Hamscher, & Michael O'Hare.
  16. BomBaby: The Screen Goddess by Antony Mazzotta. An attempt to translate a Bollywood film to comics. I'm not sure it works without music. But I still liked it.
  17. Goodnight, Irene: The Collected Stories of Irene Van de Kamp by Carol Lay. This parody of romance comics is pretty strange (the title character is a Caucasian woman raised in Africa & who has a plate lip), but I like it as much as when I read some of these stories back in the early 90's.
  18. Alan Moore: Wild Worlds by Alan Moore, et al. These comics Moore wrote for Image back in the 90's aren't his strongest work, but it's nice to have them collected.
  19. Skinwalker by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir, & Brian Hurtt. I liked this X-Files-ish story when I checked it out of the library, so I snapped it up when I found a copy on sale at 50% at a local comic store.

And now for movies & DVDs I've seen lately:
  • Penn & Teller: Bullshit! The First Season. This is a great TV series in which Penn & Teller explore a variety of topics, from alternative medicine to UFO abduction, and explain how it's all bullshit. I don't always agree with them, but they're always funny.
  • Samurai Jack, Season 3.
  • Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix. I know a lot of people don't like this book, but I quite enjoyed it, and I think the movie adaptation worked well (assuming you know that back story).
  • The Simpsons Movie. We haven't watched the show in years, but Teena & I had to go see the movie. We liked it. And it was helped by the movie-going experience. We saw this at Cinetopia, a fantastic local theater. It's pricey, but not all that much more than Regal, and you get some nice perks for the extra money. The seats are extremely comfortable, there is plenty of leg-room, there are even ottomans so you can put your feet up. In some of the auditoria, they serve food & wine, which we didn't try. But the bar-service means that no-one under 21 is allowed in those theaters. No crying babys! No texting teenagers! All in all, it was a great experience, and we'll be going back there every now & again.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Lost Continent. This film contains more footage of rock climbing than any other movie ever made. No, I'm not making an exception for documentaries about rock climbing.
  • Paprika. Anime film from the director of Paranoia Agent about dreams & some machines that allow people to share them.
  • Man on the Moon. Jim Carrey as Andy Kaufman.
  • MST3K: Wild Rebels.
  • MST3K: Shorts, vol. 2.
  • MST3K: The Indestructible Man. As you may have noticed, I've been watching a lot of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Basically, Teena & I realized that some of the DVD sets have gone out of print, and to make sure that we didn't miss any, we ordered a bunch of the sets we didn't have. And we've been watching them.
  • The Film Crew: Hollywood After Dark. Three MST3K alumni (Michael Nelson, Kevin Murphy, & Bill Corbett) are continuing the tradition. No silhouettes, this time around, but the jokes are a little racier. This movie stars Rue McClanahan as a would-be actress who falls on hard times and ends up working as a stripper. Wait, before you run away, it's from 30 years before Golden Girls. I'm looking forward to future discs in this series.
  • Stardust. Different from the book, but that's to be expected in any adaptation from one medium to another. We liked this and have only minor quibbles.
  • Penn & Teller: Bullshit! The Complete Second Season. More skepticism from Penn & Teller.
  • Young Frankenstein. Mel Brooks' humor may not be sophisticated or subtle, but it is funny. (Or it was, when he made this. His recent track record isn't too hot.)
  • Labyrinth. Cheesy, but I like it. However, when we saw this last night, we were unfortunate enough to be sitting next to a group of people who clearly have seen the movie way too many times. They recited every single line of the entire movie, including the songs. Teena shushed them a few times (she was the unlucky one sitting right next to them), as did other people around them. It didn't do any good. This isn't The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and it's not your living room. Shut the hell up.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


No update today. I'll be back tomorrow with the books I've read in the past week & the movies I've seen recently.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Various & Sundry Titles

  1. Valley of the Far Side by Gary Larson. I'm glad I dug these books out of storage, because I am really enjoying rereading them.
  2. Apollo's Song by Osamu Tezuka. I don't even know where to begin in describing this. It's the story of a young man who has no sense of love and is therefore condemned by the goddess of love to live many lives where he falls in love but never to know happiness. Odd stuff, even for Tezuka, who isn't the most straight-laced of storytellers.
  3. Charley's War: 17 October 1916 - 21 February 1917 by Pat Mills & Joe Colquhoun. More excellent comics about WWI. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. Glister, v.1: Glister & the Haunted Teapot by Andi Watson. Very cute.
  5. Civil War: Iron Man by various. (Library.)
  6. JSA Presents: Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. by Geoff Johns & Lee Moder. These are the first comics Johns wrote, and they're a lot of fun. This is before Johns apparently decided that grim & dark is better. His current comics are remarkably likely to feature dismemberment or cannibalism. I can't say I much like the direction Johns has taken his writing. Give me more light-hearted fun like this book. (Library.)
  7. Bride of the Far Side by Gary Larson.
  8. Alias the Cat! by Kim Deitch. (Library.)
  9. Knights of the Dinner Table Bundle of Trouble, vol. 20 by Jolly Blackburn, et al. More gaming comics.
  10. The Territory by Jamie Delano & David Lloyd. (Library.)
  11. Abraxas & the Earthman by Rick Veitch. A trippy, science fiction version of Moby Dick (albeit considerably shorter). (Library.)
  12. Green Lantern Corps: To Be a Lantern by Dave Gibbons & Patrick Gleason. As much as I love Gibbons' artwork, I've found his writing hit or miss. When he's working on a personal project, such as The Originals, it's great. His superhero work, such as this book, is okay, but nothing special. (Library.)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Twilight Princess finished

The day after my last post I finished playing The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. It's a fantastic game, and I'm looking forward to the next Zelda game, whenever it arrives.

On to books:

  1. The Indelible Alison Bechdel: Confessions, Comix, & Miscellaneous Dykes to Watch Out For. Miscellanea that has not made it into Bechdel's Dykes to Watch Out For books, including the cartoons she did for six years worth of calendars.
  2. Wildlife Preserves by Gary Larson. Another Far Side collection.
  3. Annihilation, Book Three by various. Science fiction war comics from Marvel. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. Shaman King, vol. 10: The Song of Doom by Hiroyuki Takei. I had been content to simply read this series as it was serialized in Shonen Jump, but they recently dropped it from their line-up, and I want to see where the story goes, so I'm reading the graphic novels again. (Library.)
  5. Cromartie High School, vol. 3 by Eiji Nonaka. Completely absurd comics about the toughest high school in Tokyo. (Library.)
  6. 52, vol. 2 by various. The stories here really started to gel for me in this volume, and I enjoyed it more than the previous one.
  7. The Far Side Observer by Gary Larson. These comics really do hold up well.
  8. The Drifting Classroom, vol. 6 by Kazuo Umezu. The most histrionic story I've ever read. Fascinating in its oddity. (Library.)
  9. Battler Britton by Garth Ennis & Colin Wilson. Nobody else (at least nobody else currently working) writes war comics like Ennis. Actually, I'm not sure anybody else currently working writes war comics. (Library.)
  10. InuYasha, vol. 29 by Rumiko Takahashi. I recently learned that I gave up on watching the InuYasha anime shortly before it finished it's run. This is made slightly less frustrating by the fact that apparently it didn't come to any conclusion. Presumably it wrapped up the last storyline, but I'm sure the Big Bad wasn't defeated. (Library.)
  11. Re-Gifters by Mike Carey, Sonnie Liew, & Marc Hempel. This is a great little story about martial arts & high school romance. Check it out; you won't be sorry. (Library.)
  12. Knights of the Dinner Table Bundle of Trouble, vol. 8 by Jolly Blackburn, et al. Entertaining stories, but horrible artwork.
  13. Hunter X Hunter, vol. 9 by Yoshihiro Togashi. (Library.)
  14. Demo by Brian Wood & Becky Cloonan. A fantastic collection of stories about people with special abilities. What X-Men could be without the superheroes.
  15. Star Wars: Legacy, vol. 1: Broken by John Ostrander & Jan Duursema. Say what you will about Lucas, he did create a universe in which writers who are actually, you know, good have set some fun stories.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Earlier this evening, I made it through the Cave of Ordeals in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princes. Let me tell you, that's a challenge: 50 levels of progressively harder opponents, with no chance to restock the supplies you use. I'm nearly done with the game now. Unless I decide to go after the last few Poes, all I've got left is the final dungeon.

On to books:

  1. Knights of the Dinner Table: Bundle of Trouble, vol. 19 by Jolly Blackburn. Gaming comics.
  2. The Tourist by Brian Wood & Toby Cypress. I've enjoyed the other things by Wood that I have read, but this didn't do anything for me.
  3. X-Factor, vol. 2: Life & Death Matters by Peter David, et al.
  4. Ode to Kirihito by Osamu Tezuka. I'm not sure where to begin in describing this massive hunk of manga. Over 800 pages long, it's the story of a doctor searching for the source of a disease that turns its victims into dog-like people. Strange, but excellent work.
  5. Monster, vol. 8: My Nameless Hero by Naoki Urasawa. (Checked out of the library.)
  6. Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer by Michael Moorcock & Walter Simonson. Moorcock's Elric stories aren't my favorites among his work, but I loved this graphic novel. A large part of that has to be Simonson's artwork, which I've adored for years, but the story worked for me too.
  7. Red Sonja vs. Thulsa Doom by Peter David, Luke Lieberman, & Will Conrad. Meh. (Library.)
  8. Usagi Yojimbo, vol. 21: The Mother of Mountains by Stan Sakai. Sakai knows how to construct an adventure story. This one has intrigue, family rivalry, explosions, death, daring escapes, and great sword fights. Wonderful stuff.
  9. Civil War: A Marvel Comics Event by Mark Millar & Steve McNiven. There were some interesting ideas here, but the execution sucked. I am very glad I didn't spend any money on this. (Library.)
  10. The Goon, vol. 2: My Murderous Childhood (and Other Grievous Yarns) by Eric Powell. After reading Civil War, I needed something light & fun to wash the taste out of my mouth. This fit the bill nicely. The humor may be crude, but it's undeniably funny.
  11. Yotsuba&!, vol. 1 by Kiyohiko Azuma. Extremely cute manga about a young, incredibly enthusiastic girl. (Library.)
  12. The Complete Annotated Oz Squad, vol. 1 by Steve Ahlquist, Andrew Murphy, Mike Sagura, et al. During the 90s, there were several Oz-themed comic books. This is the only one of them that was at all good. The others were intent on making the characters "serious" and "dark". While this one can be quite violent, but it doesn't seem to violate the spirit of Baum's work the way the others did. I am very glad I stumbled across the listing for this book at the Print On Demand site I hope volume two will soon be forthcoming.
  13. Night of the Crash-Test Dummies by Gary Larson. I recently unearthed some old Far Side collections, and they'll probably be showing up here in the near future.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Which Jane Austen Heroine Are You?
I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

You are Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though you are tremendously sensible and allow your head to rule, you have a deep, emotional side that few people often see.

Offered without comment

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Back to Books

  1. Usagi Yojimbo, vol. 20: Glimpses of Death by Stan Sakai.
  2. Rex Libris, vol. 1: I, Librarian by James Turner. Funny, but occasionally too wordy, comic about the two-fisted adventures of a librarian as he tracks down overdue books, even if the search takes him to different planets.
  3. Albion by Leah Moore, John Reppion, & Shane Oakley. I would have enjoyed this more if I knew more about British comics of the 60s & 70s other than what I have picked up reading tributes like this one. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. The Last Sane Cowboy and Other Stories by Daniel Merlin. Surrealist comics. (Library.)
  5. Crecy by Warren Ellis & Raulo Caceres. I'm just going to quote from the promotional material for this book: A highly trained but under equipped army invades another country due to that country's perceived threat to home security. The army conducts shock-and-awe raids designed to terrify the populace. This army is soon driven to ground, and vastly outnumbered. The English army has to stand and fight, in Crecy, France. On 26 August 1346, modern warfare changed forever.
  6. Penny Arcade, vol. 4: Birds Are Weird by Jerry Holkins & Mike Krahulik. (Library.)
  7. Batman: Harley & Ivy by Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, et al.
  8. The Nodwick Chronicles VI: Nodwick Goes Hollywood by Aaron Williams. One of several comics I read that have their origins in role playing games.
  9. Knights of the Dinner Table, Bundle of Trouble, vol. 18 by Jolly R. Blackburn. Another of several comics I read that have their origins in role playing games.
  10. Marvel Adventures: The Avengers, vol. 3: Bizarre Adventures by Jeff Parker & Juan Santacruz. This comic may be aimed at kids, but it is one of the most entertaining things Marvel is currently publishing. How can you not love a comic that features the Avengers all turning into M.O.D.O.C.s? Or a comic that reveals that Ego, the Living Planet, is actually Ego, the Loving Planet? Well, I guess you could if you weren't familiar with M.O.D.O.C. or Ego, but trust me, this book is fun.
  11. The Goon, vol. 1: Nothin' But Misery by Eric Powell. I enjoyed this series when I checked it out of the library, so when I had the chance to order this cheap from the Science Fiction Book Club, I did.
  12. The Grave Robber's Daughter by Richard Sala. As always, Sala's artwork perfectly matches his creepy stories. Also, this is quite funny. (Library.)
  13. Killer Princesses by Gail Simone & Lea Hernandez.
  14. A Man Called Kev by Garth Ennis & Carlos Ezquerra. (Library.)
  15. Hulk Visionaries: Peter David, vol. 4 by Peter David, Jeff Purves, et al. Some good stuff here, but the peak of David's run on the Hulk is still to come.
  16. Annihilation, Book 2 by various. Marvel's big event with their space-based characters. Entertaining enough. (Library.)
  17. Post-Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel. Bechdel's comic strip may be soap opera, but it's damn good soap opera.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Silver Screen

I've read a few books since I last updated, but it's been too long since I listed movies & DVDs I've watched, so the books will wait until next week.

  • Spider-Man 3. Too many villains, too much plot for one movie, too many cheap jokes. This was a mess.
  • Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire. This movie moves. It has to. There's just so much in the book that the filmmakers can't stop to explain anything. It seems reasonable to assume that anybody watching this movie will have seen the previous three (and it'd probably be a reasonably safe bet that they have read the books too), so the lack of exposition doesn't bother me.
  • Cry Baby. John Waters.
  • Myster Science Theater 3000: Cave Dwellers. There is a certain joy in watching awful movies.
  • Psycho. There is a different joy in watching excellent movies.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Better than the second movie, but still too far over the top. When it comes to action sequences, there's a fine line between awesome & completely ridiculous. It's clear that the people who made these movies have no idea where that line is. Still, it was entertaining enough.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. This is the 6-episode BBC series from the early 80's. Excellently done, even with a small budget. Some great performances, particularly by Simon Jones as Arthur, Steven Moore as Marvin, and Peter Jones as The Book.
  • The Prestige. This was really good. We were both really impressed with it. Teena has read the book and knew what was coming, and she was still blown away. Highly recommended.
  • The Simpsons - The Complete Ninth Season. Unless we can fine excellent prices, this will be the latest Simpsons season we will be buying. The show's still good, but it has definitely entered its long, slow decline.
  • Ratatouille. Very enjoyable, but not really a kid's movie. At least, not a young kid's movie. We saw this with our niece, and, while she was very well-behaved, it didn't hold her attention all that well. Cooking just isn't visually interesting enough to fascinate a six-year-old.
  • MST3K: Pod People. Excruciating attempt to cash in on the popularity of E.T.
  • The Tempest. This is the excellent production we saw in Ashland. I guess this doesn't belong on a list of movies I've seen, but it sorta fits.
  • MST3K: Hobgoblins. Excruciating attempt to cash in on the popularity of Gremlins.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Okay, I'm taking the time to update at last.

  1. Megatokyo, vol. 5 by Fred Gallagher. I have to admit I enjoy this series, but there is no way I would have the patience to read it online in real time. Give me the books; there are enough strips in them that something actually happens. Also, somebody really needs to tell Gallagher that a little self-deprecation goes a long way. Denigrating your art skills when you have one of the most popular web comics makes it seem like you're fishing for compliments. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Full Frontal Nerdity, vol. 1: Big Book of Epic Fail by Aaron Williams. An enjoyable collection of comic strips about a group of gamers, but I was rather put off by the duplication about half a dozen strips scattered throughout the volume.
  3. Fell, vol. 1: Feral City by Warren Ellis & Ben Templesmith. A great comic about a police detective newly transferred to a city where social services are coming apart and anybody who can afford to move away has already done so. Often brutal, sometimes touching, always excellently written & drawn.
  4. Charley's War: 1 August 1916 - 17 October 1916 by Pat Mills & Joe Colquhoun. Meticulously researched WWI comics. (Library.)
  5. Hicksville: A Comic Book by Dylan Horrocks. When I first read this love letter to comics, I was blown away, and I knew that I would have to own it someday. But I didn't feel any rush to find a copy. Then it went out of print. Fortunately, Teena found a copy for a good price and ordered it for me. Thank you, honey. I love you.
  6. Crossing Midnight, vol. 1: Cut Here by Mike Carey & Jim Fern. The people at Vertigo know what they're doing when they price the first collections of series so cheaply. I picked this up because I have enjoyed Carey's writing before, and hey, it was only $10. I quite liked this and will definitely be picking up future volumes. It feels sort of like a Japanese version of Neverwhere (although, like Neverwhere, it was written by an Englishman).
  7. Screw Heaven, When I Die I'm Going to Mars by Shannon Wheeler. I enjoy Wheeler's cartoons, but I have to admit this book felt somewhat padded, with quite a few unnecessary blank pages. But it's got the best title I've encountered in a long, long time.
  8. Wire Mothers: Harry Harlow & the Science of Love by Jim Ottaviani & Dylan Meconis. A great little book about the man who performed disturbing but fascinating experiments on baby monkeys.
  9. Levitation: Physics & Psychology in the Service of Deception by Jim Ottaviani & Janine Johnston. The intrigues of stage magicians.
  10. Usagi Yojimbo, vol. 18: Travels with Jotaro by Stan Sakai. Yay! Dark Horse reprinted this volume, allowing me to fill the last hole in my collection.
  11. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. This is it, the final book. It drags in places, and coincidence plays a much larger role than it really should. In other words, it's a lot like the previous volumes. I really enjoyed this and feel it is a satisfying conclusion to the series. I won't say any more for fear of spoiling things for people who haven't finished it yet. I will mention that Teena (who got to read our copy first since she's a faster reader than me) was 2/3 of the way through the book when she discovered that a 32 page sequence was duplicated. That wouldn't have been too bad, except that the following 32 page sequence was missing. There was nothing for it but to immediately head out & buy another copy. (We'll return the defective one to Amazon shortly.) It must have been nerve-wracking for her, but it did allow me to begin the book a couple of hours before I would have otherwise.
  12. Clubbing by Andi Watson & Josh Howard. Normally I enjoy Watson's work, but this left me flat. I think it was a combination of an unpleasant main character and a plot twist at the end that felt completely out of place. I don't think Watson played fair with the reader; there was no way the reader could have anticipated the twist, so it feels tacked-on.
  13. The Black Diamond Detective Agency by Eddie Campbell, with C. Gaby Mitchell. I enjoyed this but don't have much to say about it.
  14. Usagi Yojimbo, vol. 19: Fathers & Sons by Stan Sakai.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I Lied

I didn't even try to update today. My excuse is that I was up too late last night (well after midnight) finishing the book. I'm too tired.

And with that, I'm off to bed.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

No Update Today

I'm reading Harry Potter 7. I'll try to update tomorrow night.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ancient Language!

Your Score: Hieroglyphics

You scored

You are Egyptian Hieroglyphics! Monumental, ornate and even in technicolour! Your users contributed virtually all ancient knowledge on inks, dyes and writing surfaces - to the point where the popular reed of Papyrus became the universal name for organic, manufactured writing surfaces in the western hemisphere for thousands of years. Proud, upstanding and dignified.

Link: The Which Ancient Language Are You Test written by imipak on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Thanks, Michael!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Back from Ashland
We returned from Ashland a few hours ago. We went down to see a friend of mine from college, whose birthday is this week, and to see a play. We saw The Tempest. It was a great production, and we had a lot of fun, but it was a tiring trip, so I'll keep things short.

  1. The All-New Atom, vol. 1: My Life in Miniature by Gail Simone, John Byrne, & Eddy Barrows. Fun superheroics. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Hawkgirl: The Maw by Walter Simonson & Howard Chaykin. I like the work of both these creators, but somehow this comic doesn't gel. Just not that good. (Library.)
  3. Full Frontal Nerdity, vol. 1: Big Book of Epic Fail by Aaron Williams. Comic strips about a gaming group.
  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. All caught up and ready for volume seven.
  5. Dungeon Parade 1: A Dungeon Too Many by Joann Sfar, Lewis Trondheim, & Manu Larcenet. (Library.)
  6. Wonder Man: My Fair Super Hero by Peter David, Andrew Currie, & Todd Nauck. A pretty good story, but some atrocious art. Currie doesn't seem to know what heads are shaped like. None of the characters have foreheads, and I found myself wondering where they kept their brains.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Slight Delay

This week's update won't happen until Monday (at best). See you then!

Monday, July 09, 2007

I think I've taken this quiz before
You scored as Heart of Gold (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), You are a light and humorous person. No one can help but to smile to your wit. Now if only the improbability

drive would stop turning you into weird stuff.

Moya (Farscape)


Heart of Gold (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)


Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)


Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)


Serenity (Firefly)


Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)


SG-1 (Stargate)


Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)


Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)


Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)


Enterprise D (Star Trek)


Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)


FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)


Which sci-fi crew would you best fit in with? (pics)
created with

The last time I tried this quiz, I got Moya.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

One Series Done

  1. Hunter X Hunter, vol. 8 by Yoshihiro Togashi. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Northwest Passage by Scott Chantler. Frontier adventure set in the wilds of 18th century Canada.
  3. Zombie Powder, vol. 3: Pierce Me Standing in the Firegarden by Tite Kubo. I generally like Kubo's work, but I often find it hard to follow his action sequences.
  4. Usagi Yojimbo, vol. 16: The Shrouded Moon by Stan Sakai. I am amazed at how good Usagi Yojimbo has been for so long. Sakai really knows what he's doing.
  5. The Louche & Insalubrious Escapades of Art d'Ecco by Andrew & Roger Langridge. (Library.)
  6. The Dark Tower, Book VII: The Dark Tower by Stephen King. At last, I have completed reading this series. I liked it from the beginning and think the books improved as they went (although I have a few issues with the ending). Reading these books has made me a King fan, and I will be reading more of his books in the future. (Not for a while, though. Once I finish the Harry Potter books, I'm going to need a break from huge, thick books for a while.) (Borrowed from Teena.)
  7. 52, vol. 1 by various. I enjoyed this well enough, but I think it would have felt more exciting if I'd been reading this weekly as the issues were published. Still, it's good enough that I'll be getting the other volumes. (However, from what I've read online of DC's follow-up weekly comic, I will not be buying the collections to Countdown.)
  8. The Complete Peanuts: 1961-1962 by Charles Schulz. I was amazed at how many of the comics in this book (and the other Complete Peanuts volume I read) are ones I remember from the many, many Peanuts books I had as a kid. It's been close to 30 years since I read those books, but they still remain in my head. I wish Schulz had felt better about what he did. He was a treasure.
  9. Usagi Yojimbo, vol. 17: Duel at Kitanoji by Stan Sakai. This will be the last UY book I read for a while, unless Dark Horse reprints volume 18 soon.
  10. Bleach, vol. 20: End of Hypnosis by Tite Kubo.