Saturday, June 30, 2007

Well, There Goes that Resolution

Before, when I missed updating within a week, I was only off by a day. This time it's been over a week. Hell, if it weren't for the blog rating quiz, it would have been two weeks. Anyway, I'm back.

  1. John Constantine, Hellblazer: The Devil You Know by Jamie Delano, et al. It's about time they started reprinting more of Delano's run on Hellblazer. He defined the character & made Constantine viable as the focus of an ongoing series (instead of just a mysterious guest-star).
  2. The Drifting Classroom, vol. 5 by Kazuo Umezu. More hystrionics. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Grendel Archives by Matt Wagner. I'm happy to see Wagner's first professional work reprinted, but I'd rather see collections of later storylines, particularly the last two stories from Grendel's original run at Comico.
  4. Conan and the Songs of the Dead by Joe R. Lansdale & Timothy Truman.
  5. Dragon Head, vol. 6 by Minetaro Mochizuki. (Library.)
  6. Gotham Central, vol. 5: Dead Robin by Greg Rucka, Kano, et al. I really enjoyed this series about the police that work in Gotham City, but it annoys me that this is almost certainly the final volume when there are seven issues that remain uncollected.
  7. Bleach, vol. 19: Black Moon Rising by Tite Kubo.
  8. InuYasha, vol. 28 by Rumiko Takahashi. (Library.)
  9. Usagi Yojimbo, vol. 15: Grasscutter II: Journey to Atsuta Shrine by Stan Sakai.
  10. Death Note, vol. 12: Finis by Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata. I had grown dissatisfied with this series, but I think it wrapped up nicely. I found the ending very satisfying.
  11. The Order of the Stick, vol. 1: Dungeon Crawlin' Fools by Rich Burlew. Finally managed to find a copy of the first volume to buy. One of my favorite web comics. Check it out via the link in my sidebar.
  12. New Avengers, vol. 5: Civil War by Brian Michael Bendis, et al. (Library.)
  13. Silver Star: Graphite Edition by Jack Kirby. One of the King's final complete works. (Library.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Some Material May Not Be Suitable for Children
What's My Blog Rated? From Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

That rating is based on the presence of the words "Death" (3x), "Corpse" (2x)and "Sexy" (1x). I wonder if listing them again will push me into PG-13 territory.

Edited to add: It did!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Books, Books, Books

  1. The Complete Peanuts: 1955 to 1956 by Charles M. Schulz. I'm glad somebody is publishing a definitive Peanuts collection; I just wish the books were a bit less expensive. If I had a bit more disposable income, I would be getting this series. As it is, I picked this one up because it was on sale. Schulz was a master.
  2. Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis the Menace, vol. 1: 1951-1952. Unlike the Peanuts volumes, this series is one I would only buy if it were marked down quite a bit.
  3. Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis the Menace, vol. 2: 1953-1954. I will say that Ketcham was a better artist than Schulz. There's some spectacular drawing on display in these books.
  4. Usagi Yojimbo, vol. 13: Grey Shadows by Stan Sakai.
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. Man, I thought Harry was angsty & whiny in the last book. At least the pissy mood only really lasts until he gets to Hogwarts. I really like this volume. It's the longest book in the series (at least so far), but it doesn't feel as bloated as Goblet of Fire did. Prof. Umbridge is a great villain. And I love the developments with Fred & George.
  6. Spider-Man Visionaries: Roger Stern, vol. 1 by Roger Stern, et al. These stories are from pretty early in Stern's writing career, and aren't the best, but they are entertaining.
  7. Monster, vol. 7: Richard by Naoki Urasawa. (Checked out of the library.)
  8. Bucky O'Hare & the Toad Menace by Larry Hama & Michael Golden. Some nice art from Golden, but otherwise, eh. (Library.)
  9. Hank Ketcham's Complete Dennis the Menace, vol. 3: 1955-1956. I really lucked out in spotting the sale Amazon was having when I bought these books. (Of course, if they hadn't been having a sale, I wouldn't have bought them.
  10. Fables, vol. 9: Sons of Empire by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Mike Allred, et al. One of the things that I like about this series is that it feels like Willingham has a plan for these characters & knows where the story is going. So often in serialized stories it's clear that the creators are making it up as they go along, and it's always refreshing to find a creator who plans ahead.
  11. Otherworld, Book One by Phil Jimenez. At first, this seemed like an extremely cliched story about good magic vs. evil technology, but it proved less simplistic than I first thought. (Library.)
  12. Hikaru no Go, vol. 6: The Insei Exam by Yumi Hotta & Takeshi Obata. As this series progresses, the supernatural aspect (the ghost stuck in the main character's head) becomes less & less prominent, and the series becomes more & more about the main character's progress in playing Go.
  13. 28 Days Later: The Aftermath by Steve Niles, et al. This provides a bridge between the first movie & the sequel. (Library.)
  14. Usagi Yojimbo, vol. 14: Demon Mask by Stan Sakai.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I had gotten stuck at a certain point in Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess. I knew exactly what I needed to do; I just couldn't do it. I got extremely frustrated, and the gaps between when I played got longer & longer. And then Thursday night I picked up the wiimote after at least two weeks of having not played. I sailed through the problem area with no trouble whatsoever. I have no idea how I managed it, but I did, and I'm back to enjoying the game.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

A Return to Saturday
Don't know if this will last, but I am updating on a Saturday.

  1. You Can't Get There From Here by Jason. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Marvel 1602: Fantastick Four by Peter David & Pascal Alixe. The writing on this is okay, not David's best, but entertaining enough. The art, however, is terrible.
  3. Claymore, vol. 7: Fit for Battle by Norihiro Yagi. (Library.)
  4. Secret Six: Six Degrees of Devastation by Gail Simone & Brad Walker. I enjoyed this story about super-villains, but it didn't feel quite complete, even though things wrapped up nicely. I wonder if Simone proposed this to DC as an ongoing series, but they only gave her six issues, with perhaps an option for another mini-series if this sold well. (If that's the case, I didn't help matters since I didn't buy the individual issues, just the collection.)
  5. Coyote, vol. 5 by Steve Englehart, Chaz Truog, & Todd McFarlane. This volume wraps up this series of reprints. Nice to have a seminal 80's indie comic collected.
  6. Agents of Atlas by Jeff Parker & Leonard Kirk. Reading this was a blast. Adventure, humor, excitement, and fun. I'd read good things about this series online, and I was going to wait for the paperback, but a local comic shop had a sale on Free Comic Book Day, and the writer was there, so I picked it up. I'm glad I did. Stuff like this is why I read comics.

Well, that didn't take too long. Guess I've got time to update movies too.
  • The Host. This looked like a fantastic monster movie. Unfortunately, there were a large number of jerks in the theater when we watched it, and it's hard to say how much we would have liked it if we hadn't been distracted by loud conversations and laughter at inappropriate places. There are downsides to seeing cheap movies in theaters that serve beer.
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I had intended to watch the first four HP movies in anticipation of number five, just like I'm rereading the books. However, I forgot how dull the first movie is, and that put me off the plan. I should just skip the second movie & move on to the third (assuming it ever shows up on cable), since that's when they dumped Chris Columbus as the director.
  • The Island. We went into this expecting a big, loud, dumb sci-fi movie. And that's largely what it is. It's full of plot holes, and Ewan McGregor's character has incredible luck, but we were willing to forgive all that. At least we were until a particular moment towards the end of the movie that is completely unbelievable. At that point, the movie turns from cheesy but entertaining to cliche-ridden garbage. Awful, awful, awful.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Teen-age Strangler. At least some bad movies can be fun.
  • MST3K: Hamlet. Even the greatest drama in English can be made into a bad movie (that can then be made fun of).
  • Brick. I wouldn't have believed that you could do a film noir set in a contemporary high-school, but this movie works. Works quite well. This is excellent.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sunday Again

  1. American Elf, Book 2: The Collected Sketchbook Diaries of James Kolchalka. Until I read the first volume of his Sketchbook Diaries, Kolchalka's work never really clicked with me. I guess I just needed exposure to enough of his comics before I got them. This book continues to show little slices of his life. Great stuff. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. The Legend of GrimJack, vol. 7 by John Ostrander & Tom Mandrake. The previous volume ended with the death of the main character. No tricks; John Gaunt genuinely died. And this volume continues his adventures, and it does so in a way that works. Not many writers can pull that off, but Ostrander did. It's one of the reasons this is one of my favorite comic series of all time.
  3. Ranma 1/2, vol. 35 by Rumiko Takahashi. The penultimate volume. (Library.)
  4. Ranma 1/2, vol. 36 by Rumiko Takahashi. The many plots & character relationships in this series aren't quite entirely resolved in this volume, but close enough. Lots of fun. (Library.)
  5. Usagi Yojimbo, vol. 12: Grasscutter by Stan Sakai. The story in this volume starts off with two issues of Japanese mythology & history before settling into the main tale. One of the best volumes in an excellent series.
  6. Young Avengers, vol. 2: Family Matters by Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung, et al. I wish Heinberg could meet deadlines better, because he writes some damn good super-hero comics.
  7. The Art of Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai. (Library.)
  8. The Dark Tower, Book 6: Song of Susannah by Stephen King. I like this series more & more as it goes on. The cliff-hanger at the end of this volume is brutal, but for some reason I'm sticking to my schedule, and I'm reading a Harry Potter book next. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  9. Fantastic Four Visionaries: Walter Simonson, vol. 1. Man, I love Simonson's artwork. And his writing is fun & entertaining as well.
  10. The Professor's Daughter by Joan Sfarr & Emmanuel Guibert. (Library.)
  11. Mouse Guard, vol. 1: Fall 1152 by David Petersen. Despite the internet buzz about this series, I managed to resist buying the individual issues & wait for the collection. Very nice, but I think I will continue to wait for the books.
  12. The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, vol. 3 by Eiji Otsuka & Housui Yamazaki. (Library.)
  13. Wasteland, Book 1: Cities in Dust by Antony Johnston & Christopher Mitten. Post-apocalyptic story that didn't really grab me. I think it may be because the art style is not my cup of tea.
  14. Alice in Sunderland: An Entertainment by Bryan Talbot. This is an odd thing. It's a massive book about the history of a city in northeastern England and the connections to it that both Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell had. It's beautifully drawn and thoroughly researched, but it just feels strange. In some ways, it feels like Alan Moore's novel, Voice of the Fire, which explores the history of Moore's hometown of Northampton. In other ways, it feels like the chapter of From Hell in which two characters drive around London, and one of them expounds on the city's history. I can't recommend this to everybody, but for some it's definitely worth reading.
  15. Billy Hazelnuts by Tony Millionaire. (Library.)
  16. Spider-Woman: Origin by Brian Michael Bendis, Brian Reed, Johnathan Luna, & Joshua Luna. Not terribly interesting. Pretty boring, in fact. (Library.)
  17. Ghost of Hoppers by Jaime Hernandez. (Library.)