Sunday, May 27, 2007

Is Sunday My New Day for Updating?

I can't seem to get myself motivated to update on Saturdays anymore. We'll see how it goes.

  1. Eternals by Neil Gaiman & John Romita, Jr. An interesting take on Kirby characters from the late 70's. Not Gaiman's best work, but worth reading. This is the first time I didn't buy the individual issues of a Gaiman-written series, and I think that was a reasonable decision.
  2. Criminal, vol. 1: Coward by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips. I don't read much crime fiction, but I do like it when it's done well. It's done well here. Excellent story about a heist gone wrong. Highly recommended.
  3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. This time the book didn't feel as bloated as it did the first time around. It's still too long, but World Quidditch Cup didn't feel as interminable as it did when I originally read the book. Another complaint I have about this book is the House Elves storyline. I cannot believe anybody in this day and age would write about a race of sentient beings who are enslaved, but "it's okay; they like being servants." The whole idea is just appalling. But as much as I complain about this book, I will say that the chapters with Voldemort are well done; extremely creepy & scary. Also, this passage:
    "Well, times like that bring out the best in some people and the worst in others. Crouch's principles might've been good in the beginning--I wouldn't know. He rose quickly through the Ministry, and he started ordering very harsh measures against Voldemort's supporters. The Aurors were given new powers--powers to kill rather than capture, for instance. And I wasn't the only one who was handed straight to the dementors without trial. Crouch fought violence with violence, and authorized the use of the Unforgivable Curses against suspects. I would say he became as ruthless and cruel as many on the Dark Side. He had his supporters, mind you--plenty of people thought he was going about things the right way, and there were a lot of witches and wizards clamoring for him to take over as Minister of Magic.
    shows a lot of insight into human nature, especially since the book was published in 2000, and Rowling didn't have the War on Terror to serve as an example.
  4. Captain America: Red Menace, vol. 1 by Ed Brubaker, Mike Perkins, et al. I probably should just stop checking books written by Brubaker out of the library & just buy them from the start, because I end up buying them anyway.
  5. Doctor Strange: The Oath by Brian K. Vaughan & Marcos Martin. A nicely done story about a character who has lots of potential, but hardly anybody seems to know what to do with him or how to handle him.
  6. Captain America: Red Menace, vol. 2 by Ed Brubaker & Steve Epting.
  7. Civil War: Captain America by Ed Brubaker, Mike Perkins, et al. I seem to have learned my lesson, since I bought it without having read a library copy first. I haven't heard much positive about the overall Civil War cross-over, but Brubaker is a good enough writer that he was able to do good work with the crappy, editorially mandated premise that was handed to him.
  8. Showcase Presents: Shazam! by various. Slight, but entertaining kid's comics from the 70's. The quality took a bit of a downturn when the creators begin emulating the live-action Shazam show that was airing on Saturday mornings at the time. The comics that are collected in the volume originally included reprints of Captain Marvel stories from the 40's & 50's, and I would love it if those stories had been included in the collection, for some reason, they weren't.
  9. Discworld's Unseen University Diary 1998 by Terry Pratchett. Every year, Pratchett used to put out a weekly planner that included information about some aspect of Discworld. Yesterday we found a copy of the 1998 edition in a used book store & picked it up. There's a chance we found an incredible bargain (the book store had it at $5, and people are trying to sell it on Amazon for over $300. However, the eBay prices are considerably lower, so it doesn't look like we'll be selling this for a huge profit.
  10. Y: The Last Man, vol. 9: Motherland by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, & Goran Sudzuka. It feels like this series is starting to wrap up, and I believe there's only one volume to come after this one. Consistently entertaining.
  11. InuYasha, vol. 27 by Rumiko Takahashi. (Checked out of the library.)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Few More Books
We had a couple friends over for dinner last night, so I didn't get a chance to update yesterday. Despite still spending a lot of time playing Twilight Princess, I did manage to get more books read this week than last.

  1. Narbonic, vol. 4 by Shaenon Garrity. Another great collection of this fantastic web comic about mad science.
  2. Showcase Presents: Justice League of America, vol. 2 by Gardner Fox & Mike Sekowsky. More Silver Age weirdness.
  3. Annihilation, Book 1 by various. Enjoyable space opera using Marvel's outer-space based characters. Not trying to be "meaningful" and therefore more successful as entertainment than "Civil War" (from what I've heard). (Checked out of the library.)
  4. Usagi Yojimbo, vol. 9: Daisho by Stan Sakai. In this volume, Usagi's swords get stolen, and he is relentless in seeking out the thief.
  5. Hikaru no Go, vol. 5: Start by Yumi Hotta & Takeshi Obata. More manga about a board game.
  6. The Dark Tower, Book 5: Wolves of the Calla by Stephen King. This series grows on me with each volume, and I liked it from the start. Who would have thought that King would write a spaghetti western?
  7. Small Favors, vol. 2 by Colleen Coover.
  8. Claymore, vol. 6: The Endless Gravestones by Norihiro Yagi. (Library.)
  9. Usagi Yojimbo, vol. 10: The Brink of Life & Death by Stan Sakai.
  10. Ranma 1/2, vol. 34 by Rumiko Takahashi. As we close in on the end of this series, Takahashi starts resolving some of the situations that have been milked for all the comedy they're worth. (Library.)
  11. The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, vol. 2 by Eiji Otsuka & Honsui Yamazaki. Horror manga. (Library.)
  12. Usagi Yojimbo, vol. 11: Seasons by Stan Sakai.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Non-reading Week

Thanks to the Wii, I haven't been spending a lot of time reading this week, so the update is short.

  1. Usagi Yojimbo, vol. 8: Shades of Death by Stan Sakai. I had most of the books in this series, but there were a couple gaps in my collection, and some others had suffered water damage (the roof of the place where I had them stored leaks). The trigger that got me to fill in the missing volumes (and to start re-reading) was that I showed a volume to Teena, and she really liked it. I couldn't leave her hanging, could I?
  2. Empowered, vol. 1 by Adam Warren. Light-hearted fare about a superheroine who suffers from low self-confidence. It starts off a little rough, but the story soon comes together.

See, I told you it was short. I guess that's a good excuse to update movies, since I haven't done that in a while.

  • This Is Spinal Tap. As far as I know, this is the first mocumentary. It remains one of the best. It certainly is one of the most quotable movies I've seen.
  • Sullivan's Travels. Very funny. A classic.
  • The Lost Room. The ads for this SciFi Channel mini-series caused Teena & me to forever after call it "The Scary Door", but we ended up enjoying quite a bit. There were some plot holes, and it was clearly designed as a pilot. If it had done well enough in the ratings, it would have become an on-going series. Still, it did provide me some fodder for my upcoming In Nomine campaign.
  • Some Like It Hot. Marilyn Monroe may have played air-heads, but she could act. And damn she was sexy. Oh yeah, Jack Lemmon & Tony Curtis were also great in this.
  • Little Voice. I was extremely surprised to learn that Jane Horrocks did all her own singing for this movie.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa. Neither Teena nor I cared for this sequel to the anime series.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Wii're Here!
Thanks to Alex, we are now the proud owners of a Wii! It's been nearly 6 months since they were released, and they're still hard to come by. It was getting to the point that I was beginning to think the whole thing was a cruel hoax and that they didn't actually exist. Thank you so much, Alex.

We set it up this afternoon and played around a bit with Wii Sports, which looks like fun. But it didn't take long before we put in the game that I really wanted to play (and have ever since I first heard about it, 2 years ago): The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess. I haven't gotten very far yet, but it looks gorgeous, and it's got all the traditional Zelda touches. I can't wait to explore this version of Hyrule.

Found via Kat

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Under the Weather Entry

I'm recovering from a cold, and not feeling all that focussed, so I'm not going to say much about the books I finished reading this week. However, most of them are volumes in ongoing series. Since I'm still reading them, that's an indication I like the series.
  1. Sandman Mystery Theatre, vol. 5: Dr. Death & The Night of the Butcher by Matt Wagner, Steven Seagle, Guy Davis, & Vince Locke.
  2. Usagi Yojimbo, vol. 6 by Stan Sakai.
  3. InuYasha, vol. 26 by Rumiko Takahashi. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. Fullmetal Alchemist, vol. 13 by Hiromu Arakawa.
  5. Wonder Woman: Eyes of the Gorgon by Greg Rucka, et al.
  6. Usagi Yojimbo, vol. 7 by Stan Sakai.
  7. Scalawag (Bughouse, vol. 3) by Steve Lafler.
  8. Monster, vol. 6: The Secret Woods by Naoki Urasawa. (Library.)
  9. Three Fingers by Rich Koslowski. Imagine a documentary about the history of cartoons made in the world of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. That'll give you a feel for what this book is like.
  10. Modern Masters, vol. 11: Charles Vess. Man, I love Vess's artwork.