Monday, January 29, 2007

Which Science Fiction Author Are You?
I am:
Hal Clement (Harry C. Stubbs)
A quiet and underrated master of "hard science" fiction who, among other things, foresaw integrated circuits back in the 1940s.

Which science fiction writer are you?

I think I've read maybe one of his books, and that was back in high school. Teena got James Tiptree, Jr.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

  1. Cancer Vixen: A True Story by Marisa Acocella Marchetto. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, vol. 5: Monsters on the Prowl by Peter David & Mike Norton. The Marvel Adventures books are aimed at kids, rather than the (arrested) adolescents of the main Marvel line, but kids' books can be good, and I normally enjoy David's writing. Nothing spectacular, but fun.
  3. Naruto, vol. 10: A Splendid Ninja by Masashi Kishimoto.
  4. Naruto, vol. 11: Impassioned Efforts by Masashi Kishimoto.
  5. Hikaru no Go, vol. 1: Descent of the Go Master by Yumi Hotta & Takeshi Obata. If you had told me, before this manga began serialization in Shonen Jump, that I would enjoy a comic about a board game (Go), I wouldn't have believed you. But of course, the comic isn't actually about the game, but about the characters playing the game.
  6. Flight, vol. 2 by various. (Library.)
  7. Unshelved, vol. 1 by Bill Barnes & Gene Ambaum. A comic strip about a public library. (Library.)
  8. Star Trek the Manga: Shinsei Shinsei by various. (Library.)
  9. Star Trek: The Return of the Worthy by Peter David, Bill Mumy, Gordon Purcell, et al.
  10. What Would Dewey Do?: An Unshelved Collection by Bill Barnes & Gene Ambaum. (Library.)
  11. Read or Die, vol. 3 by Hideyuki Kurato & Shutaro Yamada. It had been long enough since I read the previous volumes that I had forgotten just how bad this is. No more. (Library.)
  12. Zombie Powder, vol. 2: Can't Kiss the Ring (of the Dead) by Tite Kubo. Early work from the creator of Bleach.
  13. Inverloch, vol. 2 by Sarah Ellerton. Fairly standard fantasy tropes, but pretty well executed. To read the strip online, go here. (Library.)
  14. The Art of Fullmetal Alchemist: The Anime by various. (Library.)
  15. Marvel Adventures The Avengers, vol. 1: Heroes Assembled by Jeff Parker & Manuel Garcia. I've been hearing good things about this series, so I thought I'd check it out. Lots of fun.
  16. Library Mascot Cage Match: An Unshelved Collection by Bill Barnes & Gene Ambaum. (Library.)

  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Phantom Planet
  • Six Days, Seven Nights
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark. We saw this at the Hollywood Theatre. It was the first time I had seen it on the big screen since it was originally released. Man, melting faces look really scary when they're 10 feet tall.
  • Popeye. I'm not sure why, but this movie has a bad reputation. It's a lot of fun, and really captures the feel of the original comic strips. And you have to admit that Shelley Duvall is the perfect choice to play Olive Oyl.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Sunday, January 21, 2007


  • V for Vendetta. I would say this is the most faithful movie adaptation of an Alan Moore work, but that's not saying much. It is considerably more simplistic than the graphic novel. Still, Hugo Weaving does an amazing job of acting through a mask.
  • Ed Wood. A great movie about a man who made terrible movies.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Bride of the Monster. This is one of the Ed Wood movies that was covered in Burton's film. It was fascinating to see these two in rapid succession. Burton did a great job of recreating Wood's sets.
  • Serenity.
  • Arrested Development, Season One. An incredibly funny show about awful, awful people. I wish I'd watched this when it originally aired. But from what I've heard, it would have been hard to find, as Fox kept moving it around. Still, it lasted longer than a lot of shows Fox didn't support.
  • Ju-On. Creepy, creepy, creepy Japanese horror. Very effective, without being gory. Highly recommended.
  • Wonderfalls: The Complete Series. Now here's an example of a show Fox didn't support at all. They only aired 4 of the 13 episodes, and if I remember correctly, they shifted its time slot at least once. Way to build an audience, Fox.
  • Stick It. This was billed as the new Bring It On, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the cheerleading movie. Part of the problem is that I didn't buy that characters were gymnasts. I new a couple gymnasts in college, and yes they were tiny, but they also had muscle. The girls in this movie were just skinny.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Some beautiful computer animation here, but I can't remember much else about this movie. If I had ever played the game, there would have been more of a connection. I will say that Teena was very patient with me while we watched it and explained who all the characters were.
  • The Producers. From back in the days when Mel Brooks made good movies.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

  1. The Drifing Classroom, vol. 2 by Kazuo Umezu. The students of the elementary school that was transported to an alien landscape try to survive in a hostile environment and learn the first hints as to what has happened to them. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Emma, vol. 1 by Kaoru Mori. A manga series about a maid in Victorian England.
  3. Fantastic Four Visionaries: John Byrne, vol. 5. Comics from the days before Byrne's ego grew completely out of control.
  4. Planet of the Hairless Beach Apes by Jim Toomey. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  5. Recess Pieces by Bob Fingerman. A zombie story set in a grade school. (Library.)
  6. Fullmetal Alchemist, vol. 11 by Hiromu Arakwa.
  7. Wonder Woman: Mission's End by Greg Rucka, et al. This is my least favorite book collecting Rucka's run on Wonder Woman. Most of it deals with fallout from DC's cross-over events, and the OMAC invasion of Paradise Island seems an appropriate metaphor for editorially-mandated storylines.
  8. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel. I re-read this for an online book club, and I was struck at how well-written Bechdel's examination of her relationship with her father is. This is an amazing memoir, beautifully crafted.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Just a quick note to point out that I've made some adjustments to the sidebar.

Also, I want to mention that I am now playing Shadow of the Colossus and am really enjoying it. It's a fantastic game, with stunning landscapes and amazing boss battles. In fact, that's really all it is: a series of 16 boss battles. It's very simple, but also very challenging. Highly recommended.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Back to movies.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The book list is considerably longer this week. This is fueled in part by the fact that I was sick yesterday & stayed home from work.

  1. B.P.R.D., vol. 6: The Universal Machine by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, & Guy Davis. This may be the best B.P.R.D. book yet. The main story is about Kate's attempt to acquire a book that may restore Roger to "life." And other members of the Bureau tell stories of their past.
  2. In Shark Years I'm Dead: Sherman's Lagoon Turns Fifteen by Jim Toomey. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  3. Comic Books and Other Necessities of Life by Mark Evanier. A collection of essays Evanier originally wrote for the column he had in the Comic Buyer's Guide.
  4. Vampirella: Blood Feud by James Robinson & Joe Jusko. Not Robinson's best work.
  5. Outsiders, vol. 5: The Good Fight by Judd Winick, Matthew Clark. I do hope somebody at DC realizes the irony of entitling this volume "The Good Fight" when the protagonists (I refuse to call them "superheroes" anymore) engage in torture. I won't be buying any more of these books.
  6. The Dreaming, vol. 2 by Queenie Chan. Spooky goings-on at an exclusive school in Australia. I'm looking forward to the final volume in this series.
  7. The Collected Alison Dare, Little Miss Adventures, vol. 1 by J. Torres & J. Bone. Cute, all-ages comics with a pulpy feel (magazines, not juice). (Checked out of the library.)
  8. The Dark Tower, Book 1: The Gunslinger by Stephen King. Other than a short story or two, the only Stephen King I have read was the first 2 or 3 volumes of the Dark Tower series, but that was years ago. During 2007, I will read all 7 volumes. Teena is looking forward to discussing the series with me. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  9. I Love Led Zeppelin by Ellen Forney. (Library.)
  10. Jack Staff, vol. 3: Echoes of Tomorrow by Paul Grist. Grist can be pretty slow, but he produces some great comics. This one features a character very clearly based on Alan Moore.
  11. Fallen Angel, vol. 2: Down to Earth by Peter David & David Lopez. When Peter David took this comic to IDW, it seemed unlikely that DC would continue to publish collections of the first run. But that is not the case, and I am quite happy about that.
  12. Death Note, vol. 9: Contact by Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata.
  13. Manhunter, vol. 1: Street Justice by Marc Andreyko & Jesus Saiz. It's been a while since I read this, and since volume 2 just came out, I thought I'd reread it.
  14. Manhunter, vol. 2: Trial by Fire by Marc Andreyko, Javier Pina, & Jesus Saiz.
  15. Reborn!, vol. 1: Here Comes Reborn! by Akira Amano. I like weird, but this manga may be too weird even for me. It's about an infant assassin to travels from Italy to Japan to train a junior high student for his future as a mafia boss. That's not the weirdest part of it, but I'm feeling poorly again, so I'm going to plow on through the rest of the books I've read recently.
  16. Ultimate Galactus, Book 3: Extinction by Warren Ellis & Brandon Peterson.
  17. Kane, vol. 6: Partners by Paul Grist.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Time to start listing movies I saw in 2006.

  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
  • The City of Lost Children. Oh, what a bizarre, wonderful movie. Clones, Siamese twins, a brain in a jar, and stolen dreams. Beautiful, beautiful sets. Highly recommended.
  • Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
  • Witch Hunter Robin, vol. 1: Arrival. I watched this series when it aired on Adult Swim and quite liked it. However, when I tried watching it on DVD (checked out of the library), it didn't hold my interest. It is a good show, though, with an interesting premise of "witches" (people with supernatural or maybe psychic powers) hunting down others of their kind.
  • The Commitments. I may not have liked the movie as much as the first time I saw it, years ago, but I still adore the music.
  • NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind. Teena and I had heard so many great things about this movie, but I'm afraid we were somewhat disappointed. It's a Miyazaki movie, so of course it is absolutely gorgeous, but NausicaƤ just seemed too perfect; her every instinct spot on. It was hard to accept her as a real person, since she never did anything wrong. But I suspect if we had seen it before we had seen later Miyazaki movies, we would have been more accepting.
  • Back to the Future. Believe it or not, I had never seen this movie before last year. Fun.
  • Back to the Future II. (Not much point in linking to Amazon again, since it'll just point to the same 3-movie set.)
  • Back to the Future III
  • Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
  • Mirrormask. I had bought the DVD as a Valentine's Day present for Teena, and of course we had to watch the movie again.

So this takes me through the end of February 2006.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

In keeping with my resolution to update the book list at least once a week, here's what I have read since the end of 2006:

  1. The Drifting Classroom, vol. 1 by Kazuo Umezu. I had read several positive reviews of this online, so I picked it up. It is a horror story about a grade school that gets transported to an alien landscape. Things are still being established, but I quite enjoyed this and will be reading further volumes. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Changing Planes by Ursula K. LeGuin. I love LeGuin's writing, but for some reason I don't often get around to reading her books. The short stories here read almost like anthropological studies of life on different worlds. Excellently crafted, as always. I really do need to read her work more often.
  3. Platinum Grit, Book Two by Trudy Cooper, Danny Murphy, & Doug Bayne. I'm not sure how to describe this book. It's full of gratuitous violence, exploding animals, mad science, and nearly indecipherable Scottish accents. Fun, though.

I need to keep reminding myself how much easier this is if I do it in small doses. Maybe I'll keep caught up this year.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I, for one, welcome our new Democratic overlords.

The 110th Congress convenes for the first time today. Man oh man, I hope the Democrats grew some spines when they were elected. I hope they remember all the abuses the Republicans heaped on them over the past 12 years and do NOT heed the calls for civility coming from the whining losers.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Okay, time to return to the other half of this blog's title and start listing movies again. When I last posted on movies, it was July of 2005, so I've got quite a bit of catching up to do. Because memories fade, commentary may be sparse for a while. (Also, I'm lazy.)

It may take me less time than I thought to get caught up. I have finished with 2005. I'll try to say more the next time I list movies.