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.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Quiz Time!

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

I didn't include several states that I have only passed through on the way to other states.

Also, the quiz told me that I have visited 10 states and that's 19% of the total. I'm a little worried about the math the quiz is using.

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands