Sunday, December 28, 2008

Stir Crazy

Despite being snowed in the entire week, I did not find the time to update. And I probably won't get the chance to do so until next weekend.

See you next year!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cabin Fever

Thanks to the snow and ice (and a cold that finally seems to be subsiding), I only went to work one day last week. (And the way things are going, I don't know that I'll be going to work tomorrow. If that's the case, I'll do another movie post.) But despite that, I didn't finish all that many books this week.

  1. Monster, vol. 17: I'm Back by Naoki Urasawa. Things are coming to a head, with twists & revelations. One volume to go. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Mail, vol. 1 by Housui Yamazuki. Manga about a guy who exorcises ghosts with a special gun. (Library.)
  3. The Question, vol. 3: Epitaph for a Hero by Dennis O'Neil & Denys Cowan. This comic gets very meta in the issue where The Question reads Watchmen, which contains a character (Rorschach) who is based on the original version of The Question.
  4. Dungeon Monstres, vol. 2: The Dark Lord by Joann Sfarr, Lewis Trondheim, Andreas, & Stephane Blanquet. Another Dungeon volume. I don't know how fast the originals are coming out in France, but if the translations are a ways behind, I wish they'd step up the production schedule. (Library.)
  5. Black Jack, vol. 2 by Osamu Tezuka. In Japan, this is Tezuka's most popular manga for adults, and I can see why. (Although I personally think Buddha is better.)
  6. The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation by Sid Jacobson & Ernie Colon. There is a lot of important information in this book. Unfortunately what I took away from the book is that somebody involved does not know how to lay out comic pages so that they read easily. Far too many times I found myself puzzling over which caption to read next. The eye should flow easily from one panel to the next, with out having to stop & consider which caption is next. Poorly done comics.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Return of Movie Posts

Between snow & a sore throat, I've been home for the past 5 days. I guess I should use some of that time to catch up on the list of movies I've seen. My last post on the topic was in June, so this is long overdue.

I am not caught up yet (this only gets us to mid-September), but I think that's enough for now. Good to stop on a high note. I'm hoping it won't be another 6 months before I get back to posting about movies again.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cold Weather

Because Portland got a lot of snow yesterday (more than Vancouver did), my workplace is shut down today, so I am enjoying a surprise 3-day weekend. Anyway, on to the books I read last week.

  1. FreakAngels, vol. 1 by Warren Ellis & Paul Duffield. The first (of I hope many) collection of a web comic I really enjoy. I look forward to it each week, but it reads even better when collected.
  2. The Couriers, vol. 1 by Brian Wood & Rob G. Big, loud action comic. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. The Couriers, vol. 2: Dirtbike Manifesto by Brian Wood & Rob G. (Library.)
  4. The Couriers, vol. 3: The Ballad of Johnny Funwrecker by Brian Wood & Rob G. (Library.)
  5. Fables, vol. 11: War & Pieces by Bill Willingham & Mark Buckingham. This volume wraps up the major story that's been brewing since the very beginning of this series.
  6. Aqua Leung, vol. 1 by Mark Smith & Paul Maybury. Pretty standard adventure story that could have used some proofreading. The art is pretty, but the story feels extremely generic. (Library.)
  7. X-Men First Class: Band of Brothers by Jeff Parker, Roger Cruz, et al. More angst-free X-Men stories. Yay!
  8. Superman vs. Brainiac by various. I wish Amazon had the actual cover image for this book (they often do not have the actual cover image for graphic novels); it's a terrible cover. First, and most importantly, it's ugly. But also, it's impossible to tell whether Superman is winding up to punch Brainiac in the face or if he's turning tail to run because Brainiac scares the crap out of him. I'm sure it's the former, but if it is Superman is seriously overbalanced, and would fall right over. (Although I guess that is less of a concern when you can fly.)
  9. Omega the Unknown by Jonathan Lethem & Farel Dalrymple, with Karl Rusnak. Lethem's reworking of one of Steve Gerber's stranger (and that's saying something) 1970s comics. (Library.)
  10. JLA/Avengers by Kurt Busiek & George Perez. Nice of DC & Marvel to finally collect this in an affordable format.
  11. In Me Own Words: The Autobiography of Bigfoot by Graham Roumieu. This just didn't work for me. There were funny bits, but for the most part, this left me cold. (Library.)
  12. Marvel Adventures Iron Man: Armored Avenger by Fred Van Lente, et al.
  13. Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi. Yeah, I've read this before, but those times I checked it out of the library. I finally picked up a copy because Amazon had it for sale at like 60% off.
  14. 100 Bullets, vol. 12: Dirty by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso. Heading toward the series climax in the next volume. (Library.)
  15. Ultimate Iron Man vs. Hulk: Ultimate Human by Warren Ellis & Cary Nord. Somewhat overpriced, but a good example of Ellis's superhero work.
  16. Thunderbolts, vol. 2: Caged Angels by Warren Ellis & Mike Deodato Jr. Ellis does even better when writing supervillains (and still better when writing characters he created & owns). And Deodato's artwork has improved since the 90s (see last week's post).
  17. Batman: Ego and Other Tails by Darwyn Cooke. No, that's not a typo. There is a Catwoman story in this collection. Gorgeous artwork.
  18. Artesia by Mark Smylie. I had been interested in this book for quite a while, but never enough to spend the money on it. Then I found a copy for half price, so I gave it a try. Despite having to keep track of a huge number of strange names (too often par for the course in fantasy settings), I quite liked this, and I'll be looking for later volumes, even if they aren't discounted 50%.
  19. Essex County, vol. 3: The Country Nurse by Jeff Lemire. Touching end to the trilogy. (Library.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Snow Day

Due to inclement weather, I'll have tomorrow off, and I'll update then.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Breaking 500

  1. Local by Brian Wood & Ryan Kelly. Great stories about a young woman, presented in a beautifully-designed book. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Chamber of Mystery: Witchcraft, vol. 1 by various. Pre-comics code horror stories. Not from EC, not actually all that good, but still interesting.
  3. Good-Bye by Yoshihiro Tatsumi. Alternative manga from the 70s. (Library.)
  4. DC Goes Ape by various. Stories featuring gorillas. Once DC's forte.
  5. I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert, et al. Colbert's tone doesn't quite come across without him delivering the lines, but still quite funny.
  6. Tales of the Multiverse: Batman - Vampire by Doug Moench and Kelly Jones. Nice, creepy artwork, but the writing is overwrought.
  7. The Death of the New Gods by Jim Starlin. Cosmic Sturm und Drang that was undone by another writer even quicker than is usual in comics (because DC's editors apparently don't talk to each other). (Library.)
  8. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, pt. 2 by Akira Himekawa. I enjoyed this adaptation of the video game, but I doubt I'll get further volumes in the series, since they'll be adapting games I haven't played. I may pick this series up again if they get to Wind Waker.
  9. Thor Visionaries: Mike Deodato Jr. by Warren Ellis, William Messner-Loebs, & Mike Deodato Jr. I can't say I'm actually a fan of Deodato, but I do like Ellis & Messner-Loebs' writing, and I found this for half price.
  10. Order of the Stick, vol. 3: War & XPs by Rich Berlew. The latest collection of the web comic.