Sunday, August 31, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

Unlike most three-day weekends, I am going to update on Sunday, rather than putting it off until Monday.

  1. Beg the Question by Bob Fingerman. Semi-autobiographical comics. This didn't click with me as much as it did the first time I read it.
  2. Little Nothings: The Curse of the Umbrella by Lewis Trondheim. Slices of Trondheim's life. Quite amusing. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Jhegaala by Steven Brust. The latest of Brust's Vlad Taltos novels. This one recounts what happened to Vlad when he went east for a while. Good, as always. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  4. Uncanny X-Men: The Extremists by Ed Brubaker & Salvador Larroca. (Checked out of the library.)
  5. Batman: Death & the City by Paul Dini, Don Kramer, et al. (Library.)
  6. Nat Turner by Kyle Baker. Baker's account of the slave 1831 slave revolt that Turner led is nearly silent, but gripping, nonetheless.
  7. The Middleman, vol. 1: The Trade Paperback Imperative by Javier Grillo-Marxuach & Les McClaine. I've been enjoying the Middleman TV series (even if I did come to it fairly late), so I thought I'd check out the comics. I was not disappointed. Just as silly & action-packed as on TV. (Library.)

Well, if I don't get too lazy tomorrow, I may post about movies & videogames.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Who Would Direct the Movie of My Life?

Your result for The Director Who Films Your Life Test...

Edward D. Wood, Jr.

Ed Wood will get your film done waaaaay under budget, and will likely make it into a classic film of all time -- for all the wrong reasons. Let's face it, your life isn't terribly exciting to begin with, and it needs some camping up. His resume includes classics such as Plan Nine From Outer Space and Glen or Glenda? He's not afraid to tackle controversial topics, and may insist on portraying a transvestite in your film -- even if you've never seen a transvestite before. He was immortalized in the Academy Award winning Tim Burton film, Ed Wood -- go see it.

Take The Director Who Films Your Life Test at HelloQuizzy

Woo-Hoo! Wooden "acting", stock footage, and plot holes you could drive the Death Star through. Sounds perfect.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sports, Sports, Sports

Watching the Olympics. No update today.

edited to add:

Or, thanks to a lack of interest in water-polo, we might catch up with all the Olympics we had on the DVR, and I might find myself with a couple of hours before the Olympics return.

  1. Army@Love, vol. 1: The Hot Zone Club by Rick Veitch. Throw war & romance comics in the blender & add a heaping handful of satire, and you end up with this. Offensive on any number of levels, but funny & smart. This is one of the best things Veitch has done.
  2. Army@Love, vol. 2: Generation Pwned by Rick Veitch. Rounding out the first 12 issues of the comic.
  3. 100 Bullets, vol. 7: Samurai by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso. I am completely hooked on this series. (Borrowed from Alex.)
  4. Batman & Son by Grant Morrison & Andy Kubert. This felt to me a little disjointed, like Morrison wasn't really trying all that hard. Pretty good, but not great.
  5. 100 Bullets, vol. 8: The Hard Way by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso. (Borrowed from Alex.)
  6. Coraline by Neil Gaiman & P. Craig Russell. I bought this story as a prose novel when it came out. I also got the audio book read by Gaiman. Now I've got the graphic novel adaptation. I will definitely see the movie when it comes out, and there's a decent chance I'll get the DVD when that becomes available. That's a lot of different media for one story.
  7. She-Hulk, vol. 5: Planet without a Hulk by Dan Slott & Rich Burchett. (Checked out of the library.)
  8. 100 Bullets, vol. 9: Strychnine Lives by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso. (Borrowed from Alex.)
  9. Yam: Bite-Size Chunks by Corey Barba. Cute, silent comics. (Borrowed from Teena's classroom.)
  10. Angel: After the Fall, vol. 1 by Bryan Lynch, Joss Whedon, & Franco Urru. AKA Angel, Season 6. The story is okay, but I can't say I like the art. Very muddy in places & not the best story-telling.
  11. 100 Bullets, vol. 10: Decayed by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso. Some of these volume titles are really clever. (Borrowed from Alex.)
  12. Doctor Who Classics, vol. 1 by Pat Mills, John Wagner, & Dave Gibbons. 30-year-old Doctor Who comics.
  13. The Brave and the Bold, vol. 1: The Lords of Luck by Mark Waid & George Perez. Beautifully-drawn & entertainingly-written team-up book. (Library.)
  14. Too Cool to Be Forgotten by Alex Robinson. Pretty good.
  15. Criminal, vol. 3: The Dead and the Dying by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips. Three connected stories set in the early 70s. This noir comic is simply amazing.
  16. Spy vs. Spy: The Complete Casebook by Antonio Prohias. This brought back memories of reading Mad when I was a kid.
  17. The New York Four by Brian Wood & Ryan Kelly. Pretty good, but clearly intended as the first of a series.
  18. Shirley by Kaoru Mori. Manga about a maid in a Victorian household.
  19. Read Responsibly by Bill Barnes & Gene Ambaum. Comic strips about a public library. (Library.)
  20. 100 Bullets, vol. 11: Once Upon a Crime by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso. (Borrowed from Alex.)
  21. Jack Kirby's O.M.A.C.: One Man Army Corps. Kirby's use of language in his comics may have been (shall we say) awkward, but man he could put together a story. No wonder so many superhero comic artists emulate him.
  22. Scalped, vol. 2: Casino Boogie by Jason Aaron & R.M. Guera. (Library.)
  23. Monster, vol. 15: The Door to Memories by Naoki Urasawa. (Library.)
  24. The Four Immigrants Manga: A Japanese Experience in San Francisco, 1904-1924 by Henry (Yoshitaka) Kiyama. This does a much better job of explaining this book than I could. In fact, that journal entry was why I decided to try this book, and I'm glad I did. (Library.)
  25. PS238: The Role-Playing Game by Steven S. Long & Aaron Williams. I guess the game mechanics presented in this book are a simplified version of the HERO System. If that's the case, keep the full HERO System well away from me.
  26. The Adventures of Little Archie, vol. 2 by Dexter Taylor & Bob Bolling. This is a thin book, with around eight stories. I have vague recollections of reading over half of them when I was a kid. Either there are fewer Little Archie stories than I thought or I read a hell of a lot of them. (Library.)
  27. Zot!: The Complete Black & White Collection by Scott McCloud. I was a big fan of Zot! when it was first published, and I was always disappointed that the last few issues, the best of the run, were never collected. That has been rectified in this hefty tome. There's some great work here, especially the character studies in the latter issues. Read this. Do it.
  28. The New Fantastic Four by Dwayne McDuffie & Paul Pelletier. (Library.)
  29. Fantastic Four: The Beginning of the End by Dwayne McDuffie, Paul Pelletier, Karl Kesel, & Tom Grummet. (Library.)
  30. Ug: Boy Genius of the Stone Age by Raymond Briggs. Kids book comics format. (Library.)
  31. The Compleat John Byrne's Next Men, vol. 1. Next Men is probably Byrne's last really good work. It's nice to have inexpensive reprints of this comic.
  32. Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes by Geoff Johns & Gary Frank. I really liked this, although the art tended to make everybody look rather crazed. (Library.)

And that catches me up.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Heat & Athletics

It may be 10 degrees cooler than yesterday, but it's still too damned hot to spend a lot of time in front of the computer today. So no update. Instead, I'll be watching the Olympics.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Catching Up

  1. Death, Jr. by Gary Whitta & Ted Naifeh. Not too bad.
  2. The Incredible Hercules: Against the World by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Khoi Pham, et al. I've been hearing good stuff about "The Incredible Hercules", and this volume supports what I've been hearing. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Judenhass by Dave Sim.
  4. PvP, vol. 5: PvP Treks On by Scott Kurtz. (Library.)
  5. Planet of the Capes by Larry Young & Brandon McKinney.
  6. Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four, vol. 9: New York's Finest by Paul Tobin, David Hahn, & David Nakayama. More fun comics aimed at kids.
  7. Cowa! by Akira Toriyama. Cute manga about the adventures of a boy monster who is half-vampire & half-werekoala.
  8. Counter X, vol. 1 by Warren Ellis, Ian Edginton, Whilce Portacio, et al. There's some good writing here, with some interesting ideas, but the art is remarkably ugly, and the storytelling leaves a LOT to be desired. Also, this seems to be from the period when it was editorial policy to make the various X-titles inaccessible to new readers.
  9. Usagi Yojimbo, vol. 22: Tomoe's Story by Stan Sakai. The latest volume in this excellent series.
  10. Shazam!: The Monster Society of Evil by Jeff Smith. Finally! A good updating of Captain Marvel, one that understands the original comics. (Library.)
  11. 100 Bullets, vol. 6: Six Feet Under the Gun by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso. (Library.)
  12. Magic Trixie by Jill Thompson. This is definitely a children's book, but it is enjoyable by adults as well. Beautiful artwork (as always) from Thompson, and a cute story about a Trixie's jealousy of the attention her baby sister receives.
  13. The Order, vol. 2: California Dreaming by Matt Fraction & Barry Kitson, with Javier Saltares.
  14. Girl Genius, book 7: Agatha Heterodyne and the Voice of the Castle by Kaja & Phil Foglio. I'm still loving this series.
  15. Fallen Angel, vol. 5: Red Horse Riding by Peter David & J.K. Woodward. A bunch of story threads that have been building come to a head in this volume.

And with that, I am caught up with books. If I feel like it, after dinner I may post about movies that I've seen recently and/or the video games I've been playing. (But don't count on it.)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Still Catching Up

I go back to work tomorrow. (What was I thinking? Why didn't I just take six days off?) So I should take advantage of the extra time I have right now to update some more.

  1. Freddie & Me: A Coming of Age (Bohemian) Rhapsody by Mike Dawson. I can't say this excited me. There just didn't seem to be much of a point to the story. There's more to autobiography than just recounting stuff that happened to you. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Welcome to Tranquility, vol. 2 by Gail Simone & Neil Googe. (Library.)
  3. Conan, vol. 1: The Frost Giant's Daughter and Other Stories by Kurt Busiek & Cary Nord.
  4. Superman: Escape from Bizarro World by Richard Donner, Geoff Johns, & Eric Powell. A pretty good story, padded out with older Bizarro stories so they could justify putting it out in hardback and charging $25. (Library.)
  5. Kimmie66 by Aaron Alexovich.
  6. True Story, Swear to God Archives, vol. 1 by Tom Beland. I recently discovered Beland's blog and learned that TSStG sells around 1,300 copies at best. Which just amazed me. This is a wonderful, wonderful comic; full of heart and with some great cartooning. I guess I shouldn't be surprised; the comics market isn't exactly overflowing with customers looking for true-life romance stories. And that's a shame. This comic is fantastic and deserves a much, much bigger audience.
  7. The Question: The Five Books of Blood by Greg Rucka, et al. I'd feel better about this comic if there were any indication DC might be publishing a follow-up.
  8. Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War by Geoff Johns, Dave Gibbons, et al. (Library.)
  9. The Helmet of Fate by various. (Library.)
  10. Punisher War Journal, vol. 2: Goin' Out West by Matt Fraction & Ariel Olivetti. (Library.)
  11. Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan. (Library.)
  12. A Gentleman's Game: A Queen & Country Novel by Greg Rucka. I hate book blurbs. "She's a spy who plays by only one rule: her own." Please. The blurbs on this novel make it sound like a James Bond-like story, instead of a reasonably realistic spy story that takes into account the political and psychological tolls of wetwork.
  13. Queen & Country, vol. 8: Operation: Red Panda by Greg Rucka & Chris Samnee. And here's the fallout from A Gentleman's Game.
  14. 100 Bullets, vol. 5: The Counterfifth Detective by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso. Some of the subtitles to this series don't make a lot of sense. What does "counterfifth" mean, anyway? Working the volume number into the subtitle is clever, when it makes sense. (Library.)
  15. The Nocturnals: Carnival of Beasts by Dan Brereton, et al.
  16. She-Hulk, vol. 4: Laws of Attraction by Dan Slott, et al. (Library.)
  17. Hellboy, vol. 8: Darkness Calls by Mike Mignola & Duncan Fegredo. I really liked this volume. In it, Hellboy deals with the consequences of some of the choices he has made, including his refusal to accept the role of Beast of the Apocalypse (or Antichrist; I forget which he's supposed to be, possibly both). The art is fantastic, even if it feels weird saying that about a Hellboy story not drawn by Mignola.
  18. Hikaru no Go, vol. 12: The Shinshodan Series by Yumi Hotta & Takeshi Obata.
  19. Justice League of America, vol. 3: The Injustice League by Dwayne McDuffie, et al. (Library.)
  20. Star Wars Legacy, vol. 3: Claws of the Dragon by John Ostrander & Jan Duursema. Ostrander is so much better than Lucas at depicting someone on the edge of falling to the dark side.
  21. Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War, vol. 2 by various.
  22. Manga Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet adapted by Richard Appignanesi & Sonia Leong. Maybe it's because I'm less familiar with Romeo & Juliet than I am with Hamlet, but this annoyed me less than the other Manga Shakespeare volume I read. I am still glad I bought it cheap on sale, though.
  23. Green Lantern: Tales of the Sinestro Corps by various. (Library.)
  24. Postage Stamp Funnies by Shannon Wheeler. This could have done with fewer poop jokes, but is otherwise pretty funny.
  25. Pendragon Graphic Novel, bk. 1: The Merchant of Death by D.J. McHale & Carla Speed McNeil. I am completely unfamiliar with the Pendragon series of young adult novels, but I love Carla Speed McNeil's work, so I picked this up. It was a good choice. I doubt I'll be reading the originals, but if she adapts any more of the books, I'll definitely be getting them.

Well, that takes me up to where I would have been if I'd updated on Sunday, so I think that's enough for now.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Back at Last

Given that I'm 3 weeks behind, I'm not going to get caught up today. But I'm on vacation through Thursday, so I'll have a chance to update later in the week. (Just don't count on it.)

  1. X-Factor Visionaries: Peter David, vol. 4 by Peter David, Jae Lee, Joe Quesada, et al. Comics in the 90s were remarkably ugly. And X-Men crossovers were impenetrable (not that they're much more comprehensible now).
  2. Showcase Presents Superman Family, vol. 2 by various. More Silver Age wackiness.
  3. Bleach, vol. 23: !Mala Suerte! by Tite Kubo. (That first exclamation point should be upside down, but I don't know how to do that.)
  4. The American Way by John Ridley & Georges Jeanty. Superhero story set in the 60s and dealing with actual issues of the day. Most swear words in this comic were represented by symbols like: @#$%, so it came as a surprise when the n-word appeared in full. It was used in a context-appropriate way, but it was still a shock. (Checked out of the library.)
  5. Penny Arcade, vol. 5: The Case of the Mummy's Gold by Jerry Holkins & Mike Krahulik. More comics about video games. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  6. Jack of Fables, vol. 3: The Bad Prince by Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges, et al. More adventures, and some hints as to what's going on.
  7. Dogs and Water by Anders Nilsen. (Library.)
  8. The Death of Captain America, vol. 1: The Death of the Dream by Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, & Mike Perkins. I feel I should have something to say about this, but I don't. Of course, the story's not over. Maybe then.
  9. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8, vol. 2: No Future for You by Brian K. Vaughan & Georges Jeanty. I like the idea of doing the "eighth season" as a series of story-arcs rather than trying to fit an "episode" into each issue.
  10. The Museum Vaults: Excerpts from the Journal of an Expert by Marc-Antoine Mathieu. (Library.)
  11. 100 Bullets, vol. 4: A Forgone Tomorrow by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso. Still enjoying this. (Library.)
  12. From the Desk of Warren Ellis, vol. 2: 1998-1999. More discussion of comics.
  13. The Discworld Graphic Novels: The Colour of Magic & The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett, Scott Rockwell, & Steven Ross. The early Discworld books aren't the best of the bunch, not by a long shot. These two books in particular are parodies of fantasy novels, rather than the commentary on society that the later books will be. Still, they can be funny.
  14. Take Our Cat, Please by Darby Conley. Another Get Fuzzy collection.

That's enough for now. More later in the week (I hope).