Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day update

  1. Little Vampire Goes to School by Joann Sfar. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Little Vampire Does Kung Fu! by Joann Sfar. A pair of kid's books that I quite enjoyed. (Library.)
  3. The Rabbi's Cat by Joann Sfar. This book isn't aimed at kids, although the drawing style is cartoony. It's an exploration of faith & religion, and it's funny. Wonderful stuff, and I've heard that Tin Tin makes an appearance in the second volume.
  4. Essential Moon Knight, vol. 2 by Dough Moench, Bill Sienkiewicz, et al. In these comics, you can see Sienkiewicz stretching his art towards the wild & expressionistic style of his later work. It looks great, even in black and white.
  5. Zombies Calling by Faith Erin Hicks. This was okay, but it could have used a tighter editorial hand. For instance, in the beginning of the book a big deal is made about how the main character knows all the rules for staying alive in a zombie movie. However, once the zombies show up, only a couple of the rules are explained, and they don't play as big a role as you would expect.
  6. X-Men & Power Pack: The Power of X by Marc Sumerak & Gurihiru. Something I picked up to read & then pass on to Teena's classroom's graphic novel library.
  7. The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch by Neil Gaiman & Michael Zulli. As always, Zulli's art is fantastic. Gaiman's story is pretty good, too.
  8. Showcase Presents Adam Strange by Gardner Fox & Carmine Infantino. Although the stories all have a certain similarity to each other & tend to blend together (especially if you read too many in too short a time), I enjoyed this book more than the other Fox-written comics I've read. I really like the way that Adam Strange thinks his way out of problems.
  9. The Naked Artist...And Other Comic Book Legends by Bryan Talbot. This collection of stories about comics professionals, comic fans, & comic store owners is interesting enough (Talbot doesn't claim that the stories are necessarily true), although sometimes the writing is pretty sloppy. But given that it's just a bunch of anecdotes, that's forgivable.
  10. Spider-Man & Power Pack: Big City Super Heroes by Marc Sumerak & Gurihiru. Another book for Teena's classroom library.
  11. Red Prophet: Tales of Alvin Maker, vol. 2 by Orson Scott Card, et al. Comics adaptation. (Library.)
  12. Dragon Head, vol. 10 by Minetaro Mochizuki. The final volume in this horror series. The climax doesn't quite meet the expectations that have been building throughout the series, but that would have been very hard, and it's still pretty good. (Library.)
  13. Rocketo: Journey to the Hidden Sea, vol. 1 by Frank Espinosa. Science fiction story very reminiscent of old time adventure comic strips and the pulps. (Library.)
  14. PS238, vol. 5: Extraterrestrial Credit by Aaron Williams. The latest collection of this fantastic series about a school for "meta-human prodigies". Lots of fun. Some of the best superhero comics currently being published. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  15. The Outsiders/Checkmate: CheckOut by Greg Rucka, Judd Winick, Joe Bennett, & Matthew Clark.
  16. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, vol. 1 by various. Mixed bag here. Some of the comics collected here are pretty good. Others aren't.
  17. B.P.R.D., vol. 8: Killing Ground by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, & Guy Davis. More adventures of the Bureau of Paranormal Research & Defense.
  18. I Killed Adolf Hitler by Jason. Jason's work is growing on me. Not enough that I'm willing to shell out $13 for a 48 page book, but I am happy to continue checking them out of the library. (Library.)
  19. Superman: 3-2-1 Action! by Kurt Busiek, Mark Evanier, Steve Rude, et al. (Library.)

Sunday, May 25, 2008


As has become standard procedure for three-day weekends, I will update on Monday.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hot and Muggy

Too hot & muggy to spend much time sitting in front of the computer today. I'll update next week.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Video Games Rock On

It's been forever since I mentioned video games here, so before I go into the books from the past couple of weeks, I'm going to talk about what I've been playing over the past few months.

  • First up is Animal Crossing: Wild World. I have played this game every single day since last November. It's a "work" game since you have to do chores to pay off your debt, but it is cute beyond all words, and since it for the DC, it is simple to do those chores while doing something else (usually watching TV). Lots of fun, or I wouldn't still be playing after six months. Since I'm talking about Animal Crossing, I have to link to this touching cartoon about the original game. Warning: it may make you cry.
  • I got through the storyline of Super Mario Galaxy. There is more to do, but I got distracted by
  • Super Paper Mario. What can I say? I like Mario games.
  • After I finished that, I started Resident Evil, which I bought shortly after getting my GameCube. I tried the game then but got stuck pretty early on and gave up. This time I have made a lot more progress. I'm enjoying the game. It is very creepy. However, it's looking like I'll be putting zombie-killing on hold for a while, because I have been distracted by
  • Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80's. We got this yesterday as a stop-gap measure. See, last weekend, we visited a couple of friends & played Rock Band with them. It was a blast, and we will definitely be getting our own copy. But not right now. So to keep us tided over for the month or so until we can, we'll be rocking out to the music of the 80's.

And now: Books!

  1. Hikaru No Go, v. 10: Lifeline by Yumi Hotta & Takeshi Obata. More manga.
  2. Kid Gravity by Landry Walker & Eric Jones. Cute but slight comics aimed at kids. After I read this, I donated it to Teena's classroom.
  3. Wyrms by Orson Scott Card, Jake Black, Adriano Batista & Vitor Ishimura. This graphic novel read more like a Cliff's Notes version than an adaptation. I haven't read the original, but it really felt compressed & condensed. I could tell what what going on, but there was clearly a lot of stuff that had been left out. The adaptation would have been better served if it had lasted more than six issues. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. Abadazad, vol. 1: The Road to Inconceivable by J.M. DeMatteis & Mike Ploog. Excellent kid's book that mixes ordinary text with comics. As I mentioned the last time I read something by DeMatteis, he can be hit or miss with me. This was definitely a hit. Full of heart. I can see his mysticism at play here, but it doesn't overwhelm the story, and it works wonderfully.
  5. Blue Beetle, vol. 3: Reach for the Stars by John Rogers, Rafael Albuquerque, et al. Well done superheroics.
  6. Abadazad, vol. 2: The Dream Thief by J.M. DeMatteis & Mike Ploog. The second book in the series, and as of right now, the last one published in the US. I hope the rest of the series gets published soon.
  7. The Last Musketeer by Jason. Odd but fun. (Library.)
  8. Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes: Strange Visitor from Another Century by Mark Waid & Barry Kitson. (Library.)
  9. North World by Lars Brown. The story of a slacker, made more interesting with the introduction of some fantasy elements.
  10. Cromartie High School, vol. 5 by Eiji Nonaka. More weirdness. (Library.)
  11. Showcase Presents Superman, vol. 3 by various. More Silver-Age wackiness. Man, I love Curt Swan's rendition of Superman.
  12. Wonder Woman, vol. 4: Destiny Calling by George Perez, et al.
  13. Scalped, vol. 1: Indian Country by Jason Aaron & R.M. Guera. Crime fiction set on a reservation. (Library.)
  14. From the Desk of Warren Ellis, vol. 1: 1995-1998. A few weeks back I picked up this hardcover edition for less than $5, but I was disappointed to discover that the hard covers are rather offset by the terrible quality of the paper inside. Why would you go to the bother of putting out a deluxe hardcover edition of a book if you're going to print the insides on toilet paper?
  15. Batman/Grendel by Matt Wagner. It's nice to see Wagner's older Grendel work collected.
  16. The Super Scary Monster Show featuring Little Gloomy by Landry Walker & Eric Jones. Cute, funny comics about monsters.
  17. newuniversal: Everything Went White by Warren Ellis & Salvador Larroca. A great revamping of what was a pretty lousy idea (at least as originally presented by Marvel back in the 80's).
  18. Marvel Adventures Avengers, vol. 5: Some Assembly Required by Ty Templeton, et al.
  19. Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, vol. 9: Fiercest Foes by Fred Van Lente & Cory Hamscher. Fun kid's comics.
  20. X-Men: First Class - Mutant Mayhem by Jeff Parker, Roger Cruz, et al. Fun, and not necessarily aimed at kids.
  21. The New Mutants Classic, vol. 3 by Chris Claremont & Bill Sienkiewicz. Claremont's writing tics are all on display here, and I've got much less tolerance for teenage angst than I did when I was a teenager (when these comics were originally published), but Sienkiewicz's art still holds up. I love his style.
  22. Jenny Finn: Doom Messiah by Mike Mignola, Troy Nixey, & Farel Dalrymple. Lovecraftian horror.
  23. Faker by Mike Carey & Jock. Carey's another writer who is hit or miss with me. This wasn't bad, exactly. But it didn't work all that well either.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Feeling Lazy

So no update this week. (It was another light week anyway.) But I will link to Larry Marder's photos of Teena's hand-made Beanworld shirt.