Sunday, December 27, 2009

Nearly as Many Movies as Books

  1. Shade the Changing Man, vol. 1: The American Scream by Peter Milligan & Chris Bachalo.
  2. Shade the Changing Man, vol. 2: Edge of Vision by Peter Milligan & Chris Bachalo. Nice that DC/Vertigo is finally getting around to reprinting more of this series, just 6 years after they first collected volume one (and something like 15 years after the comics were first published).
  3. Scalped, vol. 5: High Lonesome by Jason Aaron, R.M. Guera, et al. I have to assume Aaron has an end point in mind, because if you drag a noir story out too long it loses its impact. But we're nowhere near that point yet with this story. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. Ball Peen Hammer by Adam Rupp & George O'Connor. I didn't like this. It smacked too much of a play by someone trying for significance and depth but just achieving pretension. (Library.)
  5. Essential Hulk, vol. 1 by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, et al. The stories here are too similar to really stand out. They blend into one another. But it is still interesting to see the early Hulk stories.
  6. Stephen King's The Stand: American Nightmares adapted by Robert Aguirre-Sacasa & Mike Perkins. I have no idea how many more volumes of this adaptation there will be, but given how big the original novel, I suspect it's going to be a lot.
  7. Artesia Afire: The Third Book of Dooms by Mark Smylie. I really enjoy this series. Smylie has done a fantastic job of world-building (although I must confess that the huge number of unfamiliar names {people, places, gods, etc} can be a little off-putting). I recently bought the role-playing game set in this world. Once I read it, I may see if the guys in my gaming group are interested in playing.

While down at my grandmother's for Christmas, we watched a lot of movies.
  • Muppet Christmas Carol.
  • It's a Wonderful Life. The fourth of the Christmas movies we watch every year. We unfortunately forgot our DVD, so we ended up watching it on broadcast TV, and with commercials it lasted forever.
  • Up. Such a fantastic movie. It rivals The Incredibles for my favorite Pixar film.
  • G-Force. It did not choose to watch this. One of my relatives received it as a gift, and she wanted to watch it. She enjoyed it. I did not.
  • The Dark Knight. Very good movie, but very dark, and very long.
  • Doctor Who: Horror of Fang Rock. Somehow I had got it into my head that this was just a two-part story, rather than the four-parts it actually is. And I thought that the monster was just a guy in a garbage bag. Really, the monster is pretty good-looking (although I suspect it is a good thing that the script doesn't call for it to do much more than climb some stairs).

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Light Week

  1. Echo, vol. 2: Atomic Dreams by Terry Moore. Somewhat slow-moving, but I like the way the story is building. I'm assuming Moore has an ending in mind. Glad I started reading this.
  2. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. Great steampunk novel, with zombies! Teena read this a little while ago, and her description made me want to read it. But I got distracted by other books and it slipped from my consciousness. Then I heard an interview with Priest on the podcast War Rocket Ajax, and that moved the book into "read now" territory. I really enjoyed this and can't wait to read the sequel that Priest is working on. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  3. Batman: The Black Glove by Grant Morrison, J.H. Williams III, & Tony Daniel. I didn't much care for this. I could see hints of what I think Morrison was trying to do (and that I liked), but for the most part, the art wasn't up to the task. And I know the story isn't done yet. Maybe I'll change my mind once I read Batman R.I.P., but I'm not confident.
  4. New Avengers, vol. 11: Search for the Sorcerer Supreme by Brian Michael Bendis, Billy Tan, & Chris Bachalo. Not great, but interesting enough to keep me checking these out of the library.
  5. Daredevil: Return of the King by Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark, & David Aja. The end of Brubaker's run. Interesting change in the character's status quo. (Library.)
  6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8, vol. 5: Predators & Prey by various. Still pretty good.

A few movies this week:
  • RiffTrax Live: Christmas Shorts-stravaganza. Making fun of a bunch of Christmas-themed (and a couple non-Christmassy) short films. Very funny, although there was not enough of guest-riffer "Weird Al" Yankovic.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Corpse Vanishes. Bela Lugosi film from MST3K's first season. Kind of rough in places. They got better at making fun of bad movies.
  • Die Hard. This is NOT the fourth of our annual Christmas movies. We were visiting some friends, and when they learned that I had never seen it, insisted that that situation be corrected. It's a great action film. I missed it when it first came out and never felt strongly enough to seek it out.
  • Babylon 5, Season 1: Signs and Portents. Teena had never seen this series, so we're working through the DVDs. There were times when I had to tell her that the series gets better after the first season. (I really hope that just isn't nostalgia talking.) The acting does get better in the latter half of the season, and I'm hoping that trend continues.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Another Sunday Update

  1. Beanworld, vol. 3: Remember Here When You Are There by Larry Marder. New Beanworld stories after 15 years! Yay! I am so very happy Marder has returned to Beanworld. And I can't wait for volume four. Teena has written an entry about this as well. She goes into much more depth than I do.
  2. V: Symphony of Terror by Somtow Sucharitkul. Much like the Prisoner remake, I am not terribly impressed the new V, but it reminded me that I had an unread tie-in novel from the original. Sucharitkul is my favorite author nobody has heard of. (I highly recommend his Inquestor books, if you can find them.) This is by no means his strongest work, but it's entertaining enough.
  3. Bloom County The Complete Library, vol. 1: 1980-1982 by Berkeley Breathed. Wow, this strip started off very different from what it would develop into. Kind of rough to start with, but it settles in fairly quickly. Looking forward to further volumes. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  4. Sycopated: An Anthology of Nonfiction Picto-Essays edited by Brenden Burford. What the title says. (Checked out of the library.)
  5. Black Jack, vol. 8 by Osamu Tezuka. Still more medical manga.
  6. Pluto: Urasawa X Tezuka, vol. 6 by Naoki Urasawa. The update-expansion-modernization of an old Astro Boy story continues. Still fantastic.
  7. 3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man by Matt Kindt. Not as great as Kindt's Super Spy, but still good. (Library.)

A couple of DVDs this week:
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Santa Claus. The third of the four Christmas movies we watch every year. Mexican kid's movie dubbed into English and then made fun of by the MST3K crews. Source of the immortal line "Ah, the classic battle between evil and the narrator."
  • Penn and Tellor: Bullshit!: The Complete Fifth Season. I say this every time we finish another season: They may not always convince me of their opinion, but they are very funny.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Missed One Last Week

Don't know how, but I skipped a book last week in my update.

  1. The Prisoner: A Day in the Life by Hank Stine. This is the missing book. Teena & I still have not finished watching the Prisoner remake. (Who knows what possessed AMC to show the entire thing over 3 nights.) But what I have seen got me thinking about the original, and I dug out this tie-in novel from the 80s. It's only okay, but it definitely captures the feel of the original show better than the remake.
  2. Ultimate Fantastic Four, vol. 6: Frightful by Mark Millar & Greg Land. Zombies! (Checked out of the library.
  3. Ultimate Fantastic Four,vol. 7: God Wars by Mike Carey & Pasqual Ferry. Jack Kirby's Fourth World stories as seen through the Marvel Ultimate universe. (Library.)
  4. The Plot: The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion by Will Eisner. This is Eisner's final work. In it, he explores the history of this forgery and how it keeps resurfacing despite having been thoroughly debunked.
  5. Avengers: The Initiative, vol. 2: Killed in Action by Dan Slott, Christos Gage, Stefano Caselli, & Steve Uy. (Library.)
  6. Essential Spider-Man, vol. 5 by Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, John Romita, & Gil Kane. In this volume, Peter Parker takes a serum that was supposed to remove his spider powers. Instead, it causes him to grow four more arms. Fortunately he is able to get rid of them after a couple of issues. Also, he travels to the jungle hidden in the heart of Antarctica. I love the Marvel Universe.
  7. Fantastic Four Visionaries: Walter Simonson, vol. 3 by Walter Simonson and Arthur Adams. Fun stuff, with gorgeous art from both Simonson and Adams. Nice to see Simonson's FF run fully collected.

A couple of movies:
  • Mystery Science Theatrer 3000: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Each December, Teena and I have four different movies we watch. This is one of them. Such an awful movie (although the guy playing the Martian father really sells it; he's much too good for this movie).
  • Love Actually. This is the second of our Christmas movies. This is so good. I love that Colin's story is completely preposterous and Emma Thompson's is so devastating. Wonderful, wonderful movie.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Some More Books Read

  1. Little Lulu: The Bawlplayers and Other Stories by John Stanley & Irving Tripp. Fun comics about kids. (Borrowed from the library.)
  2. 1985 by Mark Millar & Tommy Lee Edwards. (Library.)
  3. Superman: Past and Future by various. A collection of Superman stories involving time travel. In this book, I learned that Lex Luthor has a time machine shaped like a d20.
  4. Essential Avengers, vol. 2 by Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Don Heck, and John Buscema. Can't say this grabbed me.
  5. Air, vol. 2: Flying Machine by G. Willow Wilson & M.K. Perker. Magical realism. I really enjoy this series and am looking forward to seeing where it's going.
  6. Showcase Presents: Warlord, vol. 1 by Mike Grell. Sword and sorcery in a hollow earth. Entertaining stories and some nice art.
  7. Love and Rockets: New Stories, vol. 1 by Los Bros Hernandez.
  8. Artesia Afield by Mark Smylie. I am very impressed with this series. Smylie has done a wonderful job of world-building, the art is beautiful, and the story is compelling. I had been curious about this series for a while, but until I picked up the first volume a few months back, I just wasn't sure. I am now convinced. I got volume 3 today, and I will be looking forward to volume 4, when it is published. More details about what this is about when I finish volume 3.

Just one DVD watched this week:
  • The H.P. Lovecraft Collection, vol. 2: Dreams of Cthulhu: The Rough Magik Initiative. Pilot episode for a British TV show that didn't get made. Some potential, but rather rough.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Blog Post Title

  1. 20th Century Boys, vol. 5: Reunion by Naoki Urasawa. I really like this series. Did not expect the timeline to jump forward about 14 years. And the twist at the end caught me fairly unexpectedly. Can't wait to see what comes next.
  2. Johnny Cash: I See a Darkness by Reinhard Kleist. Graphic novel biography of Johnny Cash. Very good, but I did find it puzzling that it skipped twenty-some years of his life. It jumps from the concert in Folsom Prison to the last year of his life. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Spider-Man: Brand New Day, vol. 1 by various. I thought I'd see what the new Spider-Man status-quo is like. I wasn't impressed. (Library.)
  4. PS238, vol. 7: Daughters, Sons, and Shrink-Ray Guns by Aaron Williams. The latest volume of comics about a school for super-powered children. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  5. Captain Britain and MI13, vol. 3: Vampire State by Paul Cornell & Leonard Kirk. Dracula, at the head of an army of vampires, invades the UK. This series was quite good but fell prey to poor sales. This is the final volume (Library.)
  6. The Sandman: The Dream Hunters by Neil Gaiman & P. Craig Russell. Gorgeous comics adaptation of the novella Gaiman wrote to mark the 10th anniversary of the start of Sandman. Russell's art is a beautiful as always.
  7. Space Dog by Hendrik Dorgathen. Wordless comic about a dog shot into space. (Library.)
  8. The Question, vol. 5: Riddles by Dennis O'Neil & Denys Cowan. While these comics may no longer be as radical (at least as far as super-heroes go) as they were when they were first published in the 80s, they're still entertaining.

Movies and DVDs:
  • Penn and Teller: Bullshit!, The Complete Sixth Season. Penn may be the definition of "asshole libertarian", but they're funny.
  • The Men Who Stare at Goats. Pretty funny, but ultimately not much substance. Great cast, though.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy News

Just a quick note to mention that Teena has a blog! I'm very excited about that.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Ton of Library Books

  1. Richard Stark's Parker, book 1: The Hunter adapted by Darwyn Cooke. Very dark crime novel. Looks gorgeous, though. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. The Twelve, vol. 1 by J. Michael Straczynski & Chris Weston. Interesting take on a bunch (twelve, in fact) Golden Age super-heroes. (Library.)
  3. The Umbrella Academy, vol. 2: Dallas by Gerard Way & Gabriel Ba. Good, but I don't quite get what all the fuss is about. (Library.)
  4. Batman: Going Sane by J.M. DeMatteis & Joe Staton. What does the Joker do when he thinks he's killed Batman? (Library.)
  5. Secret Identities: The Asian American Super Hero Anthology by various. (Library.)
  6. Ultimate Fantastic Four, vol. 4: Inhuman by Mike Carey, Mark Millar, & Jae Lee. (Library.)
  7. Hikaru no Go, vol. 16: Chinese Go Association by Yumi Hotta & Takeshi Obata. (Library.)
  8. Spike: After the Fall by Brian Lynch & Franco Urru. (Library.)
  9. Avengers: The Initiative, vol. 1: Basic Training by Dan Slott & Stefano Caseil. Pretty good comics to come out of a cross-over event. (Library.)
  10. 30 Days of Night: Juarez by Matt Fraction & Ben Templesmith. Didn't much care for the original story (although I liked the art), but I do like Fraction's writing, so I gave this a chance. Pretty good.(Library.)
  11. Hikaru no Go, vol. 17: Familiar Face by Yumi Hotta & Takeshi Obata. As I keep saying, I'm still enjoying this series about a board game. (Library.)
  12. Ultimate Fantastic Four, vol 5: Crossover by Mark Millar & Greg Land. (Library.)
  13. Echo, vol. 1: Moon Lake by Terry Moore. While I enjoyed Moore's Strangers in Paradise at the start, I eventually grew fed up with it, and I have been rather sour on Moore ever since then. However, I kept hearing good things about this series, so I picked this up. Very good, and I'll be getting further volumes.
  14. Fullmetal Alchemist, vol. 20 by Hiromu Arakawa. This seems to be picking back up. (Library.)
  15. The Five Fists of Science by Matt Fraction & Steven Sanders. Mark Twain & Nikola Tesla use the power of Science! to save us from the machinations of Thomas Edison, Andrew Carnegie, and J.P. Morgan. Lots of fun.
  16. The Rockpool Files by Glenn Dakin & Phil Elliot. Odd little piece about anthropomorphic fish detectives.
  17. Girl Genius, book 8: Agatha Heterodyne and the Chapel of Bones by Phil and Kaja Foglio. I still read the web comic when it comes out, but this does read much better in collected form, and I find the art looks better on paper than on a screen.

Another week with just one movie:
  • Notorious. Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, & Claude Rains. I had never seen this before. I am constantly amazed at how good Hitchcock was at building suspense.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Very Light Week

  1. Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli. Mazzucchelli first became well known when he did the art for Frank Miller's Batman: Year One. It's hard to imagine something more different from this book about an architecture professor. Still very good. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett. The latest Discworld book. When it was announced that Pratchett had early onset Alzheimer's, I wasn't sure he'd write any more novels, but I was clearly wrong. Very good book about sports and what it is to be human. (Of course, most of his novels are about what it is to be human.) (Borrowed from Teena.)
  3. Wolfskin by Warren Ellis, Juan Jose Ryp, & Gianluca Pagliarani. Big, loud, violent comics.
  4. Noir: A Collection of Crime Comics by various. Just what it says in the title.
  5. Freakangels, vol. 3 by Warren Ellis & Paul Duffield. I still read each new installment when it appears online each Friday, but I like the story so much I want a paper copy.

Yep, just five books this week. And just one movie:

  • Ink. Ordered the DVD directly from the production company as a gift for Teena. I like this movie, but not nearly as much as she does. I just wish it had gotten a distribution deal so that more people could have seen it.

In video games, I am really enjoying Final Fantasy XII. Gorgeous graphics, interesting story, and I like the gameplay. And, after nearly a year, I have stopped playing Animal Crossing: City Folk. It's a cute game & lots of fun, but there's only so much content, and I've seen most of it. There's not enough left to hold my interest.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Lazy Weekend

Getting a late start today.

  1. Irredeemable, vol. 1 by Mark Waid & Peter Krause. What if the most powerful superhero in the world went bad? Very good, but it is clearly just the first act of a longer story. Looking forward to further volumes.
  2. Wolverine: Tales of Weapon X by Marc Sumerak, Mark Robinson, et al. Picked this up on a whim. Not really for me. Glad I didn't buy it. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. The Last One by J.M. DeMatteis and Dan Sweetman. As I've said before, DeMatteis's mystical stuff tends to be hit or miss with me. This was okay. (Library.)
  4. Black Jack, vol. 6 by Osamu Tezuka. Great series.
  5. Prince Valiant, vol. 1: 1937-1938 by Hal Foster. Absolutely gorgeous artwork and engaging stories. I had never read any of this strip before. I can see why it's legendary.
  6. Essential Doctor Strange, vol. 4 by Roger Stern, Gene Colan, et al. I really do love the Essentials & Showcase Presents series. Lots of comics (sometimes great, sometimes not) printed cheap. I really liked this volume and can't wait for volume 5 (which I hope is coming), which will contain the part of Stern's run when Paul Smith did the art. I have fond memories of those comics.
  7. Fullmetal Alchemist, vol 19 by Hiromu Arakawa. (Library.)
  8. Black Jack, vol. 7 by Osamu Tezuka.
  9. Fantastic Four: True Story by Paul Cornell and Horacio Dominguez. I'd heard some good things about this on a comics podcast, but I have to say I didn't find it particularly impressive. (Library.)
  10. Talking Lives: The Graphic Stories of R.O. Blechman. (Library.)
  11. The Annotated Mantooth by Matt Fraction & Andy Kuhn. Talking gorilla as James Bond. (Library.)
  12. House of Mystery, vol. 2: Love Stories for Dead People by Matthew Sturges, Luco Rossi, et al. This volume had less of the characters telling each other that they need to tell another character something important (and then failing to do so) than the first volume, but there was enough to still be annoying. (Library.)
  13. Locke and Key, vol. 2: Head Games by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez. I know this is an ongoing story, and that it's horror, but I was beginning to think that the bad guy would never get any set-backs, that he'd be able to achieve his goal without any opposition whatsoever. If there hadn't been an indication at the end of the volume that not everything is going to go his way, I wouldn't have been reading any further volumes. (Borrowed from Teena.)

So here are the movies I've seen since the HPL Film Festival:
  • RiffTrax: Shorts-tacular Shorts-stravaganza.
  • Death Note II: The Last Name. The manga series would have been a lot better if it had wrapped up the story as quickly as these two movies did.
  • Where the Wild Things Are. Absolutely wonderful movie. Very powerful. Not for kids, though. I think they'd be bored. It's too much about what it's like to be a kid for children to really get it. Teena says, "I loved it, but I never want to see it again." I understand her. Highly recommended.
  • RiffTrax: Wide World of Shorts. Still more funny commentaries on instructional films.
  • Call of Cthulhu. The first of the scary movies we watched on Halloween. Very nicely done adaptation of the story, done as if it had been made shortly after Lovecraft wrote it: silent and with period special effects. Fantastic job.
  • AM 1200. Very well done. I must say that it seemed quite a bit longer the first time we say it (at last years HPL Film Festival). Borrowed the DVD from Michael.
  • Kaku Ren Bo. Anime short about a game of hide & seek. Very creepy.
  • Cloverfield, watched with RiffTrax commentary. I do like the movie, but it's even more enjoyable with the commentary pointing out the absurdities (and how many times Hud says "Rob"). This was the first time we had purchased a RiffTrax commentary (as opposed to buying the DVDs that they sell), and we were very pleased at how well it worked.
  • Touch of Evil. Was flipping channels this morning and noticed that this was just starting. Tuned in to see that long opening shot and got sucked in. Had to watch the whole thing. Great movie.

On the video game front:

I may have hit a game-ender in Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. I just don't know if I can do this one thing required to get through this dungeon. I had been really enjoying the game, and I hate to abandon it, but I don't know if I can get past this.

I am slowly making my way through Katamari Forever and enjoying the weirdness as much as ever.

And today I just started playing Final Fantasy XII. Beautiful game, and I'm looking forward to playing it. (As is Teena. She gets to experience the game again without having to replay it.)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sick Day

I am not feeling well today, so I stayed home from work. Therefore I have the chance to update. However, I don't feel like putting too much thought into this, so things will be short.

  1. X-Men First Class: Finals
  2. by Jeff Parker & Roger Cruz. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Pluto, vol. 5
  4. by Naoki Urasawa. Still really impressed by this.
  5. Rex Libris, vol. 2: Book of Monsters
  6. by James Tuner. Two-fisted librarian action. (Library.)
  7. Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge
  8. by Geoff Johns & Scott Kolins. (Library.)
  9. Captain America: The Man with No Face
  10. by Ed Brubaker, et al.
  11. Ultimate Spider-Man, vol. 10
  12. by Brian Michael Bendis & Stuart Immonen. Still good. (Library.)
  13. Odd and the Frost Giants
  14. by Neil Gaiman. Enjoyable take on Norse mythology. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  15. James Robinson's Complete WildC.A.T.S.
  16. by James Robinson, Travis Charest, et al. These don't hold up as well as I thought they would.
  17. Gotham Central, book 2: Jokers and Madmen
  18. by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, Michael Lark, et al. Police procedural set in Gotham City. I did not buy the first hardback collection, because it doesn't have anything that wasn't included in the paperback collections. This volume does, so I picked it up. Great stuff.
  19. Uncanny X-Men: Sisterhood
  20. by Matt Fraction & Greg Land. I have the same complaints about Land's art that everybody else does: his use of photo reference (apparently from porn) means that all his female characters look the same. Love the writing, though. (Library.)
  21. Goats: Infinite Typewriters
  22. by Jonathan Rosenberg. Collection of a web comic I had never heard of. Pretty amusing, but in some ways stereotypically web comicky: Over the top violence, psychopaths as viewpoint characters, being transgressive for the sake of being transgressive. (Library.)
  23. X-Men Noir
  24. by Fred Van Lente & Dennis Calero. I enjoyed this, but the occasional use of contemporary language in what is supposed to be a period piece lessened my enjoyment. (Library.)
  25. DMZ, vol. 7: War Powers
  26. by Brian Wood, Riccardo Burchielli, et al. Still very good.
  27. Essential Captain America, vol. 1
  28. by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Lots of fun.
  29. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  30. by Douglas Adams. As a way to commemorate my 42nd birthda, I re-read this for the first time in years. I was amazed at how much of it stuck with me. Of course, I've listened to the radio plays and seen the TV show multiple times over the years. Still holds up.
  31. The New Avengers, vol. 10: Power
  32. by Brian Michael Bendis & Billy Tan. (Library.)
  33. Marvel Zombies 3
  34. by Fred Van Lente & Kev Walker. Nasty bad fun. (Library.)

Still feeling brain dead, so movies will have to wait.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

I turn 42 today. Just got back from an excursion with Teena. We went to a signing at a comic book shop (Beto & Jaime Hernandez and Gail Simone) and then went to Pix Patisserie to pick up some desserts.

Will watch at least one episode of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy tonight to celebrate turning 42.

I'll be back next week with a real update.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Light Week

Not much for the blog this time around.

  1. The Boys, vol. 4: We Gotta Go Now by Garth Ennis & Darick Robertson. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Delta Green: Dark Theatres by various. Anthology of modern Lovecraftian stories. I especially liked the one that connected a thinly-disguised Kurt Cobain with "The Music of Erich Zann."
  3. Angel Omnibus, vol. 1 by various. (Library.)
  4. You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation! by Fletcher Hanks. More insane comics from the early days of comic books. (Library.)
  5. Cthulhu 101 by Kenneth Hite. All the Lovecraftian basics, in a very funny format.
  6. Wonder Woman: The Circle by Gaile Simone, Terry Dodson, & Bernard Chang. Collection of Simone's first six issues writing "Wonder Woman."

Monday, October 05, 2009

A Day Late

Attending the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival this past weekend meant that I was unable to update yesterday. But I'm taking the day off work, so here are the few books I read last week:

  1. Northlanders, book 2: The Cross and the Hammer by Brian Wood & Ryan Kelly. I didn't enjoy this quite as much as the first volume, but it's still good. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Flight, volume 4 by various. Comics anthology (Borrowed from Teena.)
  3. Skitzy: The Story of Floyd W. Skitzafroid. (Library.)
  4. All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder, vol. 1 by Frank Miller & Jim Lee. Completely over the top and brilliant in its stupidity. (Library.)
  5. Torchwood: Rift War by various. This didn't impress me. (Library.)

And now: What I saw at the HPL Film Festival this year:
  • Pickman's Muse. This really needed to be tighter. It dragged quite a bit.
  • The Mist. This years big Hollywood film (the festival has one of these each year). Absolutely excellent.
  • Shorts Block 1. As usual, the shorts blocks are a mixed bag. In this one, the outstanding films were "Elder Sign", a parody of medication commercials, and "The Prey", a twist on Lovecraft's story "The Terrible Old Man." Also good were "The Quiet Darkness" and "Tinglewood." I did not care for "Lovecraft Paragraphs" which is an attempt to let Lovecraft's prose speak for itself by using text-to-speech software to read selections from a variety of stories. However, the lack of human inflection, the random visual imagery, and the fact that there is no narrative all combined to make this unmemorable. It just washed over me and left no impression (other than boredom).
  • Shorts Block 3. Three longer short films. Pretty good, although the plot of "Dirt Dauber" doesn't stand up to even the least consideration.
  • Relic of Cthulhu. The outstanding film of the festival this year. Very funny (intentionally so, unlike some of the films that get shown at this festival). Lots of fun.
  • The Haunted Palace. For a Roger Corman movie, this actually had a budget and production values. Plus Vincent Price! However, I was quite tired by the late showing on Saturday night, and I was nodding off during this.
  • Shorts Block 2. I enjoyed both "Seance" and "Forlorn Hope" (although the ending of the latter doesn't work very well). Didn't much like "The Dead Don't Lie". The description in the program describes this as a comedy, although you'd never know it from the film itself.
  • Night of the Eagle. 1962 British adaptation of Fritz Leiber's Conjure Wife. Very good, although it doesn't actually earn the ending.
  • Colour from the Dark. Unfortunately this was the last thing Teena & I saw. Neither of us liked this. On a technical level, it is good, with fine direction, cinematography, etc. But on a story level, it's a complete mess. On at least FIVE occasions, something horrific happens, only to have a character wake up from a bad dream. Unless you're developing a story specifically about dreams and nightmare, one "it was just a dream" scene is pushing it. Five is completely ridiculous. I got the impression that the screenwriter didn't throw out a single idea. "Hey, it'd be cool if Lucia were taking a bath & then took a razor and sliced open her cheek." "We can't do that. We need her character later in the movie." "But that would be so cool. We have to use it. Tell you what, we'll just make it a dream sequence."

Despite ending with a movie we disliked, both Teena and I had a blast at the festival.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

So Far, So Good

Haven't had any computer issues lately. Let's hope it stays that way.

  1. Essential Iron Man, vol. 1 by Stan Lee, Don Heck, et al. In most Marvel comics of the period, radiation is the macguffin that will do whatever the story requires. In Iron Man, it's transistors. Nobody ever seems to have explained to Stan that a machine can't be transistor-powered. And man, the red-baiting is turned up to 11 in these stories. Only a handful of the bad-guys aren't commies.
  2. The Silent Invasion, vol. 1/2: Secret Affairs/Red Shadows by Larry Hancock and Michael Cherkas. Speaking of commies, this comic is set in the 50s and is all about Cold War fears. Who's a Red? Who's an alien? Who are the shadowy figures manipulating the public?
  3. A Mess of Everything by Miss Lasko-Gross. Semi-autobiographical comics about a mixed-up teenager. I liked this better than I expected. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. Conan, vol. 6: The Hand of Nergal by Timothy Truman & Tomas Giorello. (Library.)
  5. Green Lantern: Rise of the Red Lanterns by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Mike McKone, & Shane Davis. If Johns took this a little less seriously, I would have enjoyed it a lot more. You've got to admit that there is something inherently goofy about the sudden creation of a whole bunch of new [insert color here] Lantern Corps. But Johns is extremely earnest about all this, and shows it by depicting lots of gory death & dismemberment. Lighten up, dude. Your comics will be the better for it. (Library.)
  6. Skelebunnies: Complete Collection by Tommy Kovac. (Library.)
  7. Jingo by Terry Pratchett. For a couple of weeks, I've felt like re-reading this book about how countries are manipulated into war. Pratchett is so good. What an amazing writer.
  8. Atomic Robo, vol. 1: Atomic Robo and the Fightin' Scientists of Tesladyne by Brian Clevinger & Scott Wegener. Fun stuff, but it feels an awful lot like Hellboy-lite. (Library.)

Despite the delay, not many movies since I last updated them:
  • RiffTrax: Missile to the Moon.
  • A Night at the Opera. Ah, the stateroom scene.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back in the Saddle (I Hope)

Well, here's hoping the computer doesn't break down again. In any case, I'll be keeping things short, since I'm a month behind.

  1. Showcase Presents: Supergirl, vol. 2 by various.
  2. Skin Horse, vol. 1 by Shaenon Garrity & Jeffrey C. Wells. First collection of a web comic about the government agency in charge of social services for non-human sentients. Lots of fun.
  3. Just a Pilgrim by Garth Ennis & Carlos Ezquerra. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. Tales Designed to Thrizzle, vol. 1 by Michael Kupperman. Absurdity & strangeness. (Library.)
  5. Justice League International, vol. 3 by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Kevin Maguire, et al. (Library.)
  6. Showcase Presents: Bat Lash by Sergio Aragones, Nick Cardy, et al. Western comics.
  7. Graphic Classics: Oscar Wilde by various. (Library.)
  8. Birds of Prey: Dead of Winter by Gail Simone & Nicola Scott. (Library.)
  9. Jack Kirby's The Losers. War comics from Kirby.
  10. Superman: The Third Kryptonian by Kurt Busiek, Dwayne McDuffie, Rich Leonardi, et al. (Library.)
  11. A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi. Autobiographical manga. Fascinating look at Japanese life during the post-WWII years. (Library.)
  12. Uncanny X-Men: Manifest Destiny by Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, Greg Land, et al. (Library.)
  13. The Antarctic Express by Ken Hite & Christina Rodruiguez. Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness retold as The Polar Express.
  14. More Digressions by Peter David. Essays on comics & life.
  15. The Boys, vol. 3: Good for the Soul by Garth Ennis & Darick Robertson. Ennis clearly has a goal in mind with this series. I'm looking forward to seeing there he goes. (Library.)
  16. The Muppet Show Comic Book: Meet the Muppets by Roger Langridge. Very nicely done. Langridge really captures the feel of the show on the page.
  17. Yokai Attack!: The Japanese Monster Survival Guide by Hiroko Yoda & Matt Alt. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  18. The Salon by Nick Bertozzi. Mystery set in Paris during the birth of modern art. (Library.)
  19. 100 Bullets, vol. 13: Wilt by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso. The final volume wraps things up. Unfortunately, it has been so long since I read the previous volumes, that I had a hard time remembering who had betrayed who and just who everybody was. Even with that disadvantage, this is still very good. (Library.)
  20. Showcase Presents: Eclipso by Bob Haney, Jack Sparling, et al. Man, eclipses happen remarkably frequently in this book. Every couple of months, by my calculations And there are more solar eclipses than lunar ones. It's amazing.
  21. Secret Six: Unhinged by Gail Simone & Nicola Scott. Simone is a twisted person, which means that this comic about villains is fantastic. Lots of sick fun.
  22. Justice League International, vol. 3 by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Ty Templeton, et al. (Library.)
  23. 20th Century Boys, vol. 4: Love and Peace by Naoki Urasawa. Still loving this series.
  24. Punk Rock and Trailer Parks by Derf. (Library.)
  25. Wolverine: Not Dead Yet by Warren Ellis & Leinil Yu. (Library.)
  26. The Witch-Woman: A Trilogy about Her by James Branch Cabell.
  27. The Invincible Iron-Man, vol. 2: World's Most Wanted by Matt Fraction & Salvador Larroca. (Library.)
  28. Tangent Comics, vol. 1 by various.
  29. Herbie Archives, vol. 2 by Shane O'Shea & Ogden Whitney. Wacky stuff. (Library.)
  30. Scalped, vol. 4: The Gravel in Your Guts by Jason Aaron, R.M. Guera, & Davide Furno. This noir series set on a reservation is getting increasingly dark. Hence, noir. (Library.)
  31. Fables, vol. 12: The Dark Ages by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Peter Gross, et al. The war with the Adversary is over, and a new threat has arisen.
  32. Swallowing the Earth by Osamu Tezuka. Tezuka's first work aimed at a more mature audience. Odd, but I quite liked it.

I'll catch up on movies next time.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Technical Difficulties

Having some problems with the computer. No updates until they are resolved. (Updating from the BlackBerry is too much hassle.)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Another Week, Another Few Books

  1. Britten & Brulightly by Hannah Berry. Odd & slightly off-beat mystery story. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Popeye, vol. 1 by E.C. Segar. This really is the golden age of comic strip reprints. Beautiful book design & some wonderfully silly comic strips.
  3. DC Universe: Helltown by Dennis O'Neil. O'Neil updates & adapts several storylines from the late 80s Question comic book into a novel.
  4. Fullmetal Alchemist, vol. 18 by Hiromu Arakawa. Still pretty good, but it feels like it's dragging on too long. (Possibly because the anime series had wrapped up long before this point in the story.) (Library.)
  5. Justice League of America: Second Coming by Dwayne McDuffie & Ed Benes. (Library.)
  6. Supermen!: The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes, 1936-1941 edited by Greg Sadowski. In the early days of comic books there was more enthusiasm than talent, but the work here shows some promise (when it's not batshit crazy).
  7. Krazy & Ignatz 1941-1942: A Ragout of Raspberries by George Herriman. Strange, arty, wonderful comics.

And some movies:
  • Mad Men, Season Two. We've been watching this with some friends, and we finished just in time for the beginning of the third season. Amazingly written, and absolutely gorgeous.
  • RiffTrax Live: Plan Nine from Outer Space. Many of the same jokes as on the DVD, but lots of fun, nonetheless.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Zombie Nightmare. Awful mid-eighties horror film featuring Adam West.
  • The Castle of Cagliostro. Early Miyazaki. Very different from later works, but here & there you can see touches of what was to come.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Catching Up

  1. Templar, AZ, Book 3: And a Stick to Beat the Devil With by Spike. As I think I mentioned when I read Book 1, I discovered Templar, AZ at this years Stumptown Comics Fest. I liked it, and was pleased to discover that the shop where I get my comics stocks the collections of this web-comic. However, it looks like Book 2 costs $18, and I wasn't quite willing to pay that much for it. So I read that one online. Book 3, on the other hand, was only $12, so I shelled out for it, and now I'm definitely hooked. I'm staying up to date online, and the next time I'm feeling rich, I'll be picking up Book 2.
  2. Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip, vol. 4 by Tove & Lars Jansson. The latest (final?) volume of Jansson's sweet, gently humorous strip about the characters from her children's books.
  3. The Boys, vol. 1: The Name of the Game by Garth Ennis & Darick Robertson. Over the top and exceedingly violent. But I quite liked it anyway. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. Usagi Yojimbo, vol. 23: Bridge of Tears by Stan Sakai. As excellent as always.
  5. Scorpion: Poison Tomorrow by Fred van Lente & Leonard Kirk.
  6. Captain Britain and MI13, vol. 2: Hell Comes to Britain by Paul Cornell & Leonard Kirk. The praise I've been reading online for this comic is well deserved. (Library.)
  7. The Brave and the Bold, vol. 3: Demons & Dragons by Mark Waid, Scott Kolins, et al. Super-hero team-ups. (Library.)
  8. Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? by Neil Gaiman, Andy Kubert, et al. Gaiman's Batman-related stories.
  9. The Weasel Patrol by Ken Macklin & Lela Dowling. Silly stuff.
  10. Hulk: WWH - Damage Control by Dwayne McDuffie, Salva Espin et al. (Library.)
  11. Mouse Guard, vol. 2: Winter 1152 by David Peterson. I liked the first volume well enough, but it didn't really grab me. This volume did. Looking forward to the next book.
  12. Beanworld, book 2: A Gift Comes! by Larry Marder. Collecting the rest of the previously published Beanworld stories. I can't wait for book 3 and new material.
  13. Ignorance, Thy Name is Bucky by Darby Conley. The latest "Get Fuzzy" collection.
  14. Star Wars Vector, vol. 2 by John Ostrander, Jan Duursema, et al. Star Wars cross-over comics. But I really do like Ostrander's writing.
  15. Spider-Man: Family Ties by various. (Library.)
  16. Pluto, vol. 4 by Naoki Urasawa. I continue to be blown away by the emotional depth in this manga series. Wonderful stuff. And it's a retelling of an "Astro Boy" story.
  17. Dan Dare Omnibus by Garth Ennis & Gary Erskine. Revamp of the old British comics character. (Library.)
  18. Madame Xanadu, vol. 1: Disenchanted by Matt Wagner & Amy Reeder. Very good. I don't know what else to say.
  19. Frankenstein's Womb by Warren Ellis & Marek Oleksicki. Comic about Mary Shelley, her creation, and the birth of modernity.
  20. Elk's Run by Joshua Hale Fialkov & Noel Tuazon. Coming-of-age story set in what may be the worst-thought-out (by the characters, not the writer) Utopia I've ever encountered.
  21. Tales of the Batman by Tim Sale, et al. I know DC put this out because Sale does (did? I've stopped watching) the comic artwork in Heroes, but I'll take it because there is some gorgeous artwork here. And the stories aren't bad, either. (Library.)
  22. The Boys, vol. 2: Get Some by Garth Ennis & Darick Robertson. More deconstruction of super-heroes. (Library.)

Only a couple of movies in the past two weeks:
  • RiffTrax: Carnival of Souls. There's about 10 minutes worth of story in this 82 minute movie. The rest is padding. OMG, this movie moves slowly. The jokes make endurable, just.
  • Ponyo. Very sweet. Not as much substance as Spirited Away or Howl's Moving Castle, but still gorgeous and touching. I wouldn't expect anything less from Miyazaki.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

House Guest

No post this week.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Some More Books

  1. Incognegro: A Graphic Mystery by Mat Johnson & Warren Pleece. Set during the Harlem Renaissance, this graphic novel tells the story of a black reporter who can pass as white & who does so to report on lynchings in the South. Very well done. (Library.)
  2. The Goon, vol. 7: A Place of Heartache & Grief by Eric Powell. Still very silly in places, but becoming more serious. (Library.)
  3. HeroQuest: Core Rules by Robin D. Laws. My gaming group has started role-playing in Glorantha again, and so I wanted to pick up the latest version of the rules to support what I view as the best fantasy setting I've ever seen for an RPG.
  4. What If? Civil War by various. Nothing terribly good in this, but one of the stories is simply awful. The art was unsuited to "serious" superheroics, and the writing was just amateurish. (Library.)
  5. Nexus: As It Happened, vol. 1 by Mike Baron & Steve Rude. I already have the stories collected here, but I would like to see the rest of Nexus collected in an affordable format. There's no way I'm paying $50 a pop for the Archive editions.
  6. Uncanny X-Men: Lovelorn by Matt Fraction & Terry Dodson. (Library.)
  7. The Huntress: Darknight Daughter by Paul Levitz & Joe Staton. Comics about Batman's & Catwoman's daughter. (Library.)
  8. Sam & Twitch: The Brian Michael Bendis Collection, vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis & Angel Medina. (Library.)

No new movies this week, but I did forget something last week. (Which is ironic, because I forgot to blog about it when Teena & I first watched it.)
  • Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, The Complete Fourth Season. More debunking & offensive commentary from Penn & Teller.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


(In case you hadn't noticed, I really don't know how to title posts.)

  1. The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, vol. 9 by Eiji Otsuka & Housui Yamazuki. More Japanese horror. (Library.)
  2. Green Lantern Corps: Sins of the Star Sapphire by Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, & Luke Ross. More prep work for "Blackest Night", which is just starting now. (Library.)
  3. Zorro Year One: Trail of the Fox by Matt Wagner & Francesco Francavilla. I quite enjoyed this, but was rather bother by the fact that the biggest words on the front cover (even larger than "Zorro") are "Isabelle Allende" when she didn't have anything to do with this graphic novel. There are much smaller words that say "Inspired by the novel by" but come on.
  4. Justice League International, vol. 2 by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, & Kevin Maguire. Fun superheroics. (Library.)
  5. Astro Boy, vol. 22 by Osamu Tezuka. With this volume, I filled in the last gap in my Astro Boy collection.
  6. Empowered, vol. 5 by Adam Warren. The serious plot elements are growing more prominent in each volume, but there's still plenty of light-hearted stuff here. (Library.)

And a couple of movies:

  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Girl in Lover's Lane. Dark, awful ending that's not really supported by the rest of the movie. But the jokes are funny.
  • Ink. If you see this described as "It's a Wonderful Life" crossed with "Sin City," don't believe it. It's "It's a Wonderful Life" crossed with "Dark City." The former wouldn't work at all, but the latter works quite well. I felt the beginning was a little too oblique for the story that was being told, but I came around & quite enjoyed this. Teena loved it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Lure of the New

Dragged myself away from my new toy (a Blackberry Storm) long enough to update. I've got two weeks to get through.

  1. Mystery in Space, vol. 1 by Jim Starlin & Shane Davis. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Mystery in Space, vol. 2 by Jim Starlin, Shane Davis, & Bernie Wrightson. Okay sci fi adventure. Not Starlin's best, though. (Library.)
  3. Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman. There's a lot of interesting stuff here, especially the interview at the end of the book, but a lot of the book is plot summaries of Gaiman's works, and I've read the vast majority of the things discussed.
  4. Black Jack, vol. 5 by Osamu Tezuka. More medical drama. I don't know how many volumes this will run, but I'm in for the long haul.
  5. Showcase Presents: The Doom Patrol, vol. 1 by Arnold Drake & Bruno Premiani. These comics are as strange as anything that Grant Morrison came up with when he wrote the title 25 years later. Wonderfully bizarre stories.
  6. Hulk: World War Hulk: The Incredible Hercules by Greg Pak, Gary Frank, et al. I've really enjoyed the Hercules stories that Marvel has published recently, even though I read them all out of sequence, since the books aren't numbered consistently. This book is the first in the sequence, but I'm just reading it now. Oh well. (Library.)
  7. Astro Boy, vol. 3 by Osamu Tezuka. I've been enjoying Pluto so much, that I decided to go back & reread the Astro Boy story that served as its inspiration, "The Greatest Robot on Earth." It's in this volume.
  8. Justice Society, vol. 2 by Paul Levitz & Joe Staton. (Library.)
  9. Legend of the Five Rings: Death at Koten by Shawn Carman & YJL of Imaginary FS. I played the L5R collectible card game for years & picked up the role playing books that followed. It's been ages since I played, but I knew I had to get this graphic novel. It's okay and serves as an introduction to the world, but I don't know that anybody who doesn't already know the setting would enjoy it.
  10. The Adventures of Blanche by Rick Geary. Geary's comics are quirky, but I enjoy them. (Library.)
  11. Starman Omnibus, vol. 3 by James Robinson, Tony Harris, et al. I am so happy to have this series of collections. The paperback Starman collections don't have all the issues from the main comic, much less things like the Shade mini-series. And it looks like the next volume will have the Starman/Hellboy crossover. Yay!
  12. Wolverine: First Class: Wolverine-By-Night by Fred Van Lente, et al. (Library.)
  13. Astro Boy, vol. 20 by Osamu Tezuka. Pluto also inspired me to fill in the gaps in my Astro Boy run.
  14. New X-Men - Academy X, vol. 3: X-Posed by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir, et al. (Library.)
  15. House of M: X-Men - Academy X by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir, & Aaron Lopestri. (Library.)
  16. Power Girl by Geoff Johns, Amanda Connor, et al. (Library.)

Several movies in the past couple of weeks.
  • RiffTrax: Night of the Living Dead.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Robot Versus the Aztec Mummy. This movie has about 20 minutes of plot spread out over an hour & a half. That, combined with the fact that the MST3K crew are still honing their craft, means that this is painful to watch.
  • Moon. Great science fiction movie with Sam Rockwell, and an excellently-cast Kevin Spacey as the voice of the creepy computer.
  • MST3K: Racket Girls. Gangsters & female wrestlers.
  • RiffTrax: The Little Shop of Horrors.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Slight Delay (Yes, Again)

Spend most of the day out & about. Will try to update tomorrow.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Here I Am Again

  1. Yotsuba & !, vol. 1 by Kiyohiko Azuma. Found a cheap copy of this deeply cute manga.
  2. The New Avengers, vol. 9: Secret Wars, bk. 2 by Brian Michael Bendis, Billy Tan, et al. Some pretty good stories, but not much in the way of the Avengers. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Enigma Cipher by Andrew Crosby, Michael Alan Nelson, & Greg Scott. Like a lot of things from this publisher, this reads as a pitch for a movie. In this case, a thriller. (Library.)
  4. Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman & Charles Vess. Beautifully illustrated version of the poem Gaiman wrote for Tori Amos when she was pregnant with her daughter. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  5. Legion of Super-Heroes: Enemy Manifest by Jim Shooter, Francis Manapul, et al. (Library.)
  6. Tokyo Days, Bangkok Nights by Jonathan Vankin, Seth Fisher, & Giuseppe Comuncoli. (Library.)
  7. Magic Trixie, vol. 3: Magic Trixie & Her Dragon by Jill Thompson. Another delightful kid's book from Thompson.
  8. She-Hulk, vol. 9: Lady Liberators by Peter David, Vincenzo Cucca, & Steve Scott. The last volume in this series.
  9. Stephen King's The Dark Tower: Treachery by Robin Furth, Peter David, & Jae Lee. More backstory for Roland.
  10. Jumper: Jumpscars by Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir, & Brian Hurtt. Prequel to the movie, Jumper, which I never saw. (Library.)
  11. Special Forces, vol. 1: Hot to Death by Kyle Baker. Satirical look at the Iraq war.
  12. GalaxyQuest: Global Warning by Scott Lobdell & Ilias Kyriazis. Eh. (Library.)
  13. The Age of the Sentry by Jeff Parker, Paul Tobin, Nick Dragotta, et al. Pastiche of Silver-Age Superman. Loads of fun.
  14. Captain Britain and MI13, vol. 1: Secret Invasion by Paul Cornell & Leonard Kirk. Pretty good. (Library.)
  15. 20th Century Boys, vol. 3: Hero with a Guitar by Naoki Urasawa. Some clues about the mystery, & the tension builds. I'm really enjoying this series and its exploration of adults looking back at their childhoods.

Three movies this week:
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon. Saw this in 3D. Sometimes the 3D effects were fantastic, sometimes not.
  • RiffTrax: House on Haunted Hill.
  • RiffTrax: Reefer Madness. Just laughable, even without the commentary.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Another Week Gone

  1. Beowulf, v. 1: The Monster Maker by Bill Willingham. Short fantasy novel set in the same world as Willingham's short-lived comics series, "Coventry."
  2. Essential Luke Cage, Power Man, vol. 2 by various. Mores 70s Marvel comics. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. The Best American Comics 2008, edited by Lynda Barry. Barry wanted to include an excerpt from Paul Pope's Batman Year 100 in this anthology, but DC wouldn't give their permission. Their loss. (Library.)
  4. Daredevil: Lady Bullseye by Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark, & Stefano Gaudiano. I may start buying these collections again. (Library.)
  5. The Rack: Year One (Mostly) by Kevin Church & Benjamin Birdie. Print collection of a web comic about a comic book store. It doesn't depend entirely on knowing comics (but that knowledge doesn't hurt).
  6. Humbug, vol. 2 by Harvey Kurtzman, et al. The rest of the humor series. This volume contains annotations for the entire series, which helps explain some of the 1950s cultural references that have not survived. (Library.)
  7. Bayou, vol. 1 by Jeremy Love. Great story and beautiful art, printed on some of the worst paper I've ever seen. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  8. Star Wars: Vector, vol. 1 by various. (Checked out of the library.)

2 movies this week, both from RiffTrax.
  • The Best of RiffTrax Shorts, vol. 1.
  • The Best of RiffTrax Shorts, vol. 2.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Still more books

  1. BPRD, vol. 10: The Warning by Mike Migola, John Arcudi, & Guy Davis. More portents of disaster to come.
  2. Swamp Thing, vol. 8: Spontaneous Generation by Rick Veitch. I finally got around to picking up the second collection of Veitch's Swamp Thing run. Now if only they would finish reprinting it.
  3. I Saw You...: Comics Inspired by Real-Life Missed Connections edited by Julia Wertz. Like most anthologies, a mixed bag, but there were some good stories here. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. Justice Society, vol. 1 by Paul Levitz, Gerry Conway, Joe Staton, Keith Giffen, Wally Wood, & Ric Estrada. 1970s stories of Earth-2. (Library.)
  5. Pluto, vol. 3 by Naoki Urasawa. Still very much impressed by this expansion & retelling of an Astro Boy story.
  6. Punisher War Journal, vol. 5: Secret Invasion by Matt Fraction, Rick Remender, Howard Chaykin, et al. Bad fun. (Library.)
  7. Secret Invasion: Thor by Matt Fraction & Doug Braithwaite. (Library.)
  8. T-Minus: The Race to the Moon by Jim Ottoviani, Zander Cannon, & Kevin Cannon. The latest work of science history from Ottoviani, this time about the space race.
  9. Rasl, vol. 1: The Drift by Jeff Smith. Very different from Bone, but I like it, and I'm looking forward to seeing where the story goes. (Library.)
  10. MySpace Dark Horse Presents, vol. 2 by various. This volume includes a Captain Hammer story. (Library.)

Just one movie this week:
  • RiffTrax: Plan 9 from Outer Space. RiffTrax is a venture from some MST3K alumni. They do humorous commentaries on movies & then sell them as downloads. The purchaser then plays the commentary as they watch the movie. But recently, they've begun selling DVDs with both the movies & commentaries. Of course Teena & I had to have these. More RiffTrax movies will be showing up in the coming weeks.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Another Update

  1. X-Factor: Secret Invasion by Peter David, Larry Strohman, et al. Part of Marvel's latest mega-event crossover, but still comprehensible for all that.
  2. The Superman Chronicles, vol. 1 by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster. The first volume of a series reprinting Superman stories from the very beginning. The power fantasy elements are very apparent in these early stories. Superman gets his way by beating up people, and lots of people are afraid of him. I do like the way Superman fights for the little guy in these stories. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Supermarket by Brian Wood & Kristian Donaldson. (Library.)
  4. Star Wars Legacy, vol. 5: The Hidden Temple by John Ostrander & Jan Duursema.
  5. Showcase Presents Jonah Hex by John Albano, Michael Fleisher, Tony DeZuniga, et al. Western comics from the 70s. Very good, and I really hope they do further volumes, even if they do have to renegotiate reprint rights with the creators.
  6. Countdown to Final Crisis, vol. 4 by Paul Dini, et al. Eh. (Library.)
  7. Gravel, vol. 1: Bloody Liars by Warren Ellis, Mike Wolfer, Raulo Caceres, & Oscar Jimenez. Combat magician Sergeant Major William Gravel gets an ongoing series.
  8. MPD-Pscyho, vol. 8 by Eiji Otsuka & Sho-U Tajima. (Library.)
  9. Showcase Presents Legion of Super-Heroes, vol. 3 by Jim Shooter, Curt Swan, et al. It's great to see these stories made available in an affordable format.

A few more movies:
  • More Tales of the City. With the cast changes, & the fact that the main characters are split up for the first half of the story, this isn't as good as the first one.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Stranded in Space. Another episode courtesy of Dave.
  • Speed Racer. Light & fluffy, with faster visuals than you can possibly keep up with, but surprisingly entertaining. The visual overload works because it's about conveying an impression. When details are important, the movie slows down enough that you can understand what's going on. Not something I'd want a steady diet of, but it shows what can be done with green screen.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Three in a Row

I really shouldn't be so excited to have updated 3 weeks running.

  1. Joker by Brian Azzarello & Lee Bermejo. Pretty good, but I'm not sure how well a semi-realistic depiction of gangsters fits in with Batman & the Joker. In some ways, it reminded me of The Sopranos. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Superfolks by Robert Mayer. Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, & Kurt Busiek all cite this 1977 novel about a superhero undergoing a mid-life crisis as an influence. I liked it quite a bit, but I have to admit that the humorous parts largely fell flat for me. I think that's largely the cultural distance between when it was written & when I read it.
  3. Museum of Terror, vol. 1: Tomie 1 by Junji Ito. One of the things I like about the Japanese horror I've seen is that often there is no reason behind the horror. It's just something awful that happens for no reason & with no origin. In the Tomie stories, Tomie is a young woman who provokes obsession in men. They become so obsessed with her that they hack her into pieces. These pieces then regenerate, sometimes into multiple Tomies. No explanation is ever given as to where she came from or why she has this effect or how she can regenerate.
  4. Museum of Terror, vol. 2: Tomie 2 by Junji Ito. More Tomie stories.
  5. Museum of Terror, vol. 3: The Long Hair in the Attic by Junji Ito. More horror manga.
  6. Essential Ms. Marvel by Chris Claremont, Jim Mooney, et al. Pretty good. Claremont hasn't quite developed into the writer he will be, but on the other hand, his writing tics are not very prominent here.
  7. Star Wars Clone Wars: The Wind Raiders of Taloraan by John Ostrander & the Fillback Brothers. I haven't seen the show, but I like & trust Ostrander's writing. This was pretty good.

A few movies this week, and a correction:

Last week I identified Mystery Science Theater 3000: Gamera vs. Barugon as being from Dave's collection. That was wrong. It's one of Teena's. I regret the error. (MST3K: Robot Monster from a while back, is from Dave's collection, though.)

  • MST3K: Time of the Apes.
  • MST3K: Rocket Attack U.S.A..
  • The Film Crew: Wild Women of Wongo.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Back On Track

Two weeks in a row. Maybe I'll be able to maintain my schedule for a while.

  1. Essential Uncanny X-Men, vol. 1 by Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Jack Kirby, & Werner Roth. Not Stan & Jack's best work, but entertaining enough. I have to say that I didn't particularly care for the issues that Roy Thomas wrote.
  2. Secret Invasion by Brian Michael Bendis & Leinil Yu. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. 20th Century Boys, vol. 2: The Prophet by Naoki Urasawa. I'm really impressed with this series and am looking forward to reading more volumes as they are released.
  4. Humbug, vol. 1 by Harvey Kurtzman, et al. A collection of a humor magazine from the legendary creator of Mad. (Library.)
  5. Hikaru no Go, vol. 15: Sayonara by Yumi Hotta & Takeshi Obata. More manga about Go.
  6. The Eternal Smile by Gene Luen Yang & Derek Kirk Kim. Three great stories. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  7. The Mighty Avengers, vol. 4: Secret Invasion, book 2 by Brian Michael Bendis, Khoi Pham, et al. (Library.)

And now for the movies I've watched in the past few weeks.
  • Doctor Who: The Armageddon Factor. Finale of the Key of Time storyline.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Gamera vs. Barugon. Thanks to Dave for providing the tape to this episode.
  • MST3K: Lost Continent. Two words: Rock climbing.
  • Iron Man.
  • Firefly. Teena's father really enjoyed watching this series with us.
  • Serenity.
  • The African Queen.
  • MST3K: Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster. Another episode courtesy of Dave.
  • Up. Pixar does it again. Absolutely amazing. Go see this movie. Go see it now. Very touching.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

We Apologize for the Interruption in Service

Having a house guest for two & a half weeks throws routines into disarray. But I'm back now, and I've got a lot of catching up to do.

  1. Countdown to Final Crisis, vol. 2 by Paul Dini, et al. This got pretty tedious. The stories didn't really progress at all in this volume. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Hal Spacejock by Simon Hayes. Humorous science fiction from an Australian author. Not bad, but not really worth the extra cost that comes with being an import.
  3. Black Jack, vol. 4 by Osamu Tezuka. More medical manga.
  4. Jack of Fables, vol. 5: Turning Pages by Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges, Russ Braun, & Tony Atkins. Still enjoying this.
  5. Eyebeam: Render unto Peaches by Sam Hurt.
  6. Superman: Brainiac by Geoff Johns & Gary Frank. (Library.)
  7. Stephen King's The Stand: Captain Trips adapted by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa & Mike Perkins. I haven't read the original, but I quite liked this, and Teena (who is a big Stephen King fan) says it looks amazingly like what she pictures when she reads the novel. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  8. Countdown to Final Crisis, vol. 3 by Paul Dini, et al. The stories pick up again in this volume. (Library.)
  9. The Savage Sword of Conan, vol. 2 by Roy Thomas, John Buscema, et al.
  10. Essential Spider-Man, vol. 4 by Stan Lee & John Romita. These stories are remarkably good. Really, I think the only stumbling blocks are when Lee tries to depict youth culture. Solid super-heroics.
  11. Secret Identity: The Fetish Art of Superman's Co-Creator, Joe Shuster. The title pretty much says it all.
  12. Jurgen by James Branch Cabell. I don't know if I got this, when I first read this book, around 15 years ago, but this fantasy novel seems to be an extended metaphor for a mid-life crisis.
  13. Notes on Jurgen by James P. Cover. Notes on the mythological allusions in Jurgen. Also, the references to Cabell's other works.
  14. Johnny Boo: Twinkle Power by Jame Kochalka. Kid's comics. (Borrowed from Teena's classroom.)
  15. She-Hulk, vol. 8: Secret Invasion by Peter David, Vincenzo Cucca, & Larry Strohman.
  16. X-Men First Class: The Wonder Years by Jeff Parker, Roger Cruz, et al. (Library.)
  17. Knights of the Dinner Table Bundle of Trouble, vol. 24 by Jolly Blackburn, et al.
  18. Freakangels, vol. 2 by Warren Ellis & Paul Duffield. I continue to enjoy the webcomic and will be buying collections as long as they keep publishing them.
  19. Infinity Inc., vol. 2: The Bogeyman by Peter Milligan, Dom Regan, & Pete Woods. I started out buying the individual isues of this series, but it didn't grab me. But I did want to see where things went after I stopped reading. (Library.)
  20. The Question, vol. 4: Welcome to Oz by Dennis O'Neil & Denys Cowan. This doesn't feel as exciting as it did when the issues collected here were first published, but that's because in the 80s, this was ground-breaking work. Now that it's twenty years later, I've seen stuff like this before. Still pretty damn good, though.
  21. FX by Wayne Osborne & John Byrne. (Library.)
  22. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8, vol. 4: Time of Your Life by Joss Whedon, Karl Moline, et al.
  23. Blazing Combat by Archie Goodwin, et al. Some fantastic war comics from the mid-60's, including some amazing art by Gene Colan, Alex Toth, John Severin, Al Williamson, and others.
  24. The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, vol. 8 by Eiji Otsuka & Housui Yamazaki. (Library.)
  25. Booster Gold, vol. 2: 52 Pick-Up by Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz, & Dan Jurgens. (Library.)
  26. Spider-Man 2099, vol. 1 by Peter David & Rick Leonardi.
  27. MPD Psycho, vol. 6 by Eiji Otsuka & Sho-U Tajima. (Library.)
  28. Manhunter, vol. 5: Forgotten by Marc Andreyko, Michael Gaydos, et al. The final volume of this series. I'm sorry it's gone, but it did get a longer run than a lot of comics do.
  29. Fallen Angel, vol. 6: Cities of Light and Dark by Peter David & J.K. Woodward. This pretty much has to be the final volume of this series unless it moves in a drastically different direction.
  30. 20th Century Boys, vol. 1: Friends by Naoki Urasawa. I was really impressed with this manga about a group of childhood friends & their lives as adults. I will definitely be buying this series as it comes out. There is some real emotion in this story. (Library.)
  31. Creepy Archives, vol. 2 by various. More horror comics. (Library.)
  32. Showcase Presents Superman Family, vol. 3 by various. Awesomely stupid comics featuring Jimmy Olsen & Lois Lane.
  33. MPD Psycho, vol. 7 by Eiji Otsuka & Sho-U Tajima. (Library.)
  34. Bite Me!: A Vampire Farce by Dylan Meconis. Collection of a webcomic about vampires during the French Revolution. I have to say that for the most part the humor didn't work for me.
  35. Silver Surfer: Requiem by J. Michael Straczynski & Esad Ribic. Pretty good story about the death of the Silver Surfer. I'm assuming this was never intended to be a part of continuity. Even if it was, it'll be undone pretty damn quick (if it hasn't been already). (Library.)
  36. Kaput & Zosky by Lewis Trondheim. (Library.)
  37. Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! by Scott Morse. (Library.)

I'll catch up on movies next time.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Back on Track

Still no Amazon links. I'm not convinced it was an innocent mistake. Plus, allowing Amazon to become a monopoly is not a good thing.

  1. Superman: Camelot Falls, vol. 1 by Kurt Busiek & Carlos Pacheco. Read this a while ago, but it took volume 2 long enough to come out that I decided to reread this first. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Creepy Archives, vol. 1 by Archie Goodwin, et al. Horror comics in the EC tradition. Pretty formulaic, but well constructed stories. Plus some fantastic art. (Library.)
  3. Necronomicon by William Messner-Loebs & Andrew Ritchie. More Lovecraftian than most comics inspired than HPL. And it's written by a comic creator who deserves to get more work.
  4. Templar, Arizona, vol. 1: The Great Outdoors by Spike. I picked up this web comic collection at this year's Stumptown Comics Fest. I liked this, and it seems to have promise, but there's not actually a lot going on in this volume. It's scene-setting, not story. I need to read more to really form an opinion. Fortunately, you can read it online for free!
  5. Superman: Camelot Falls, vol. 2 by Kurt Busiek, Carlos Pacheco, & Jesus Merino. And here's the second volume. I like the concept here: That civilization naturally rises & falls, and Superman, being an alien, has unnaturally forestalled the next fall. And by doing so, the force behind that fall is growing so that when the next dark age comes, it will be so dark that humanity will be destroyed. (Library.)
  6. Showcase Presents: Ambush Bug by Keith Giffen and Robert Loren Fleming. Silly, silly comics. Lots of goofiness.
  7. Sandman Mystery Theatre, vol. 7: The Mist & The Phantom of the Fair by Matt Wagner, Steven T. Seagle, & Guy Davis. More great comics about the Golden Age Sandman.
  8. Ars Magica: Realms of Power: Faerie by Eric Dahl, Timothy Ferguson, & Mark Shirley. Michael's running an Ars Magica campaign, and I'm playing a magus from House Merinita, so I'm reading up on their specialty: faerie.
  9. Choice Comix: Sid Love by Terry Toledo. Another Stumptown purchase. Choose your own adventure. This has an interesting twist in that certain choices give you "audio endings." You can go online & listen to a song about that ending. Or something. I haven't actually done it, so I don't know for certain. I guess I should bring the book to the computer & look up the URL.
  10. Starman Omnibus, vol. 2 by James Robinson, Tony Harris, et al. Yay! Another big collection of the best superhero comic of the 90s. And this edition includes all the issues, short stories featuring supporting characters, and the prose stories from the letters page.
  11. Air, vol. 1: Letters from Lost Countries by G. Willow Wilson & M.K. Perker. Magical realism (sort of) & an acrophobic flight attendant.
  12. Eyebeam: Teetering on the Blink by Sam Hurt. The high level of surrealism may be why this comic strip never really took off. I like it, though.

And a few movies:
  • Doctor Who: The Stones of Blood.
  • Doctor Who: The Androids of Tara. An awful lot of Doctor Who adventures are titled "The X of Y", and Y very often is something like "death" or "blood."
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Beginning of the End.
  • MST3K: Robot Monster. Oh, this is an awful movie, even for MST3K.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Another Skipped Week

Distracted by The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass (I finally started playing it again), I didn't leave time enough for updating. I didn't get much read anyway. See you next week.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


A day sick at home means I get to update sooner than I expected.

(No Amazon links this time, or in the future unless they fix the ranking fiasco. See here for an explanation of the situation if you are unfamiliar with the situation.)
  1. Why I Killed Peter by Olivier Ka & Alfred. Autobiographical (semi?) comic about the writer's childhood, when he was molested by a priest. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Danger Unlimited by John Byrne. This holds up pretty well. It's a shame Byrne didn't continue it. (I assume the problem was low sales, not a lack of interest on his part.)
  3. Wolverine: Logan by Brian K. Vaughan & Eduardo Risso. Pretty good story, but much too expensive. There's no way the collection for a three-issue series should cost $20, not even if it is a hardcover. Not when the issues were the Marvel-standard 22 pages long. (Library.)
  4. Emma, vol. 8 by Kaoru Mori. The main character's story reached her "happily ever after" in volume 7, but the creator is obsessed with Victorian England, and she continues to write & draw stories about the supporting characters.
  5. New Mutants Classic, vol. 4 by Chris Claremont, Bill Sienkiewicz, & Steve Leialoha. Some fantastic art, but Claremont's writing quirks are on full display here. Oh, the angst!
  6. Countdown to Final Crisis, vol. 1 by Paul Dini, et al. I know the DC editors didn't do their job, and this story has nothing to do with Final Crisis. And I've heard that the whole thing is pretty much a train-wreck. But I had to see it for myself. (Library.)
  7. Madame Mirage by Paul Dini & Kenneth Rocofort. Anatomically improbable cheesecake art and a fairly standard revenge story. (Library.)
  8. Sardine in Outer Space, vol. 1 by Emmanuel Guibert & Joann Sfar. Cute kid's comic. (Library.)
  9. The Death of Captain America, vol. 3: The Man Who Bought America by Ed Brubaker & Steve Epting. This is still great.
  10. Narbonic, vol. 6 by Shaenon Garrity. The final volume of the fantastic web comic. It's amazing how far in advance Garrity planned out this comic and how many little details pay off months & years after they were introduced. I'm looking forward to seeing her at Stumptown this weekend and telling her how much I like her work.
  11. Little Nothings, vol. 2: The Prisoner Syndrome by Lewis Trondheim. A collection of Trondheim's blog sketches. Little slices of life, often quite funny. If I could read French, I would read them as he posts them. (Library.)
  12. Powers, vol. 12: The 25 Greatest Dead Superheroes of All Time by Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Avon Oeming. Still going strong.

A couple of movies since last time:
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Warrior of the Lost World.
  • MST3K: Outlaw.

Chances are a lot of MST3K movies will be showing up here in the near future. Right now we've got a device that can copy from VHS tapes to DVDs, so we're making the most of it & converting the MST3K episodes Teena taped off the TV.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

And the Streak Is Broken

Easter & family commitments kept me from updating today. See you next week.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

This Is Getting to Be a Habit

I'm sure I'll break my streak soon enough, but here we go with my fourth on-time update in a row.

  1. Myth-Taken Identity by Robert Aspirin & Judy Lynn Nye. I remember enjoying the early Myth Adventures books quite a lot. This was disappointing. Not really bad, but not nearly as funny as I remember the others being, and the plotting was pretty week.
  2. Pluto: Urasawa X Tezuka 002 by Naoki Urasawa. The second volume holds up to the first. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series as it is released in English.
  3. Green Lantern: Secret Origin by Geoff Johns & Ivan Reis. Expansion & retelling of Hal Jordan's secret origin & planting seeds for Johns' next big Green Lantern event. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. Conan: The Blood-Stained Crown and Other Stories. By Kurt Busiek, et al. More Conan comics. (Library.)
  5. She-Hulk, vol. 6: Jaded by Peter David & Shawn Moll. I wasn't sure I was going to buy the collections of Peter David's run on She-Hulk, but when I checked this out of the library a while back, I decided I would start picking them up.
  6. She-Hulk, vol. 7: Here Today... by Peter David & Val Semeiks. And here's the second collection.
  7. Cthulhu Tales, vol. 2: The Whisper of Madness by various. Pretty good horror stories. (Library.)
  8. Anna Mercury, vol. 1: The Cutter by Warren Ellis & Facundo Percio. Big, over-the-top action.
  9. Narbonic, vol. 4 by Shaenon Garrity.
  10. Justice League International, vol. 1 by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, & Kevin Maguire. Fun super-heroics. One of the bright spots from DC in the 80's.
  11. Bookhunter by Jason Shiga. The adventures of the Library Police in Oakland in 1973.
  12. Narbonic, vol. 5 by Shaenon Garrity. I got through two volumes this week. Only one to go.

Movies & DVDs

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Third Week Running!
  1. The New Avengers, vol. 8: Secret Invasion, Bk. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis, et al. Keeping up to date (sort of) with events in the Marvel Universe. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. The Rabbi's Cat 2 by Joann Sfar. I picked this up a while ago, but I didn't read it right away for some reason, and I am at a loss as to what that reason is. Because this is just as great as the first book. Very human. Plus, this volume has a cameo appearance by Tin Tin!
  3. Green Lantern: In Brightest Day: Tales of the Green Lantern Corps by various. (Library.)
  4. Light of Thy Countenance by Alan Moore, Antony Johnston, & Felipe Massafera. Television considered as a god.
  5. Showcase Presents: Strange Adventures, vol. 1 by various. Science fiction comics from the 50's. Most of the stories involve alien invasion. And in half of the invasion stories, the aliens are trying to trick the humans because our atomic weapons pose a threat to them. In the other half, our arsenal is no match for the aliens' superior firepower, and we need to trick them. It happens so often I have to wonder if the writers were aware of the Cold War fears playing out in their stories.
  6. Ted McKeever Library, Bk. 2: Eddy Current. Oddball stuff, but I liked it. (Library.)
  7. Grendel: Devil's Reign by Matt Wagner & Tim Sale. Wagner used radically different styles for each Grendel storyline. This one takes the form of a history/political biography of a man who becomes emperor of the world. Well-done, but not exactly gripping storytelling.
  8. Aces: Curse of the Red Baron by Shannon Eric Denton, G. Willow Wilson, & Curtis Square Briggs. Pretty good adventure story that could have used a proofreader. (Library.)
  9. Little White Mouse Omnibus by Paul Sizer. Great science fiction story about a teenage girl stuck on an automated mining outpost in deep space. One of the things I especially like about it is that Loo's family gets along. Memories of her family are a source of strength for Loo, not a source of angst. And that's just refreshing.
  10. Batman: Private Casebook by Paul Dini & Dustin Nguyen. Pretty good. (Library.)
  11. Narbonic, vol. 3 by Shaenon Garrity. It's taking be about a week to get through each volume (each one of which collects about a year of the webcomic).

Couple of movies:

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Wow. Two Updates in Two Weeks.
  1. Essential Fantastic Four, vol. 3 by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby. There are some great comics here, including the introduction of the Inhumans and the Black Panther's first appearance, not to mention the Galactus & the Silver Surfer.
  2. Fall of Cthulhu, vol. 2: The Gathering by Michael Alan Nelson, et al. All the stories in this book are creepy, but only the first one seems particularly Lovecraftian. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Beanworld, vol. 1: Wahoolazuma! by Larry Marder. Yay! Beanworld is back in print! This is cause for celebration. As the tagline says, it is a most peculiar comic book experience, but it's a wonderful one.
  4. St. Trinian's: The Entire Appalling Business by Ronald Searle. Cartoons about a girl's boarding school. (Library.)
  5. Un-Men, vol. 1: Get Your Freak On! by John Whalen & Mike Hawthorne. Meh. (Library.)
  6. Spider-Man: The Other - Evolve or Die by various. Gee, all the changes to Spider-Man that came out of this cross-over event are all gone, some of them even disappeared before the next Spider-Man cross-over event.
  7. The Invincible Iron Man, vol. 1: The Five Nightmares by Matt Fraction & Salvador Larroca. Does a lot to make Iron Man more sympathetic after the way he was portrayed in Civil War. (Library.)
  8. Star Trek: Assignment Earth by John Byrne. Remember that episode in the original Star Trek series where they go back to the 1960's, and it was intended as a pilot for a spin-off series? Teri Garr was a guest star in the episode. Anyway, this comic is about the (non-existent) spin-off. (Library.)
  9. Flight, vol. 3 by various. Another excellent volume in the anthology series. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  10. Conan, vol. 4: The Hall of the Dead and Other Stories by various. Working my way through this series.
  11. Fall of Cthulhu, vol. 3: The Gray Man by Michael Alan Nelson & Mateus Santolouco. Again, a good horror story, but forces of evil at work here seem entirely too comprehensible for this to be very Lovecraftian. (Library.)
  12. Myth Adventures! by Robert Asprin & Phil Foglio. Comics adaptation of the first of Asprin's humorous fantasy novels.
  13. Pluto: Urasawa X Texuka 001 by Naoki Urasawa. A reimagining of an Astro Boy story. I have to say I am extremely impressed by this first volume. Gorgeous artwork and a story full of depth.
  14. Superman: Kryptonite by Darwyn Cooke & Tim Sale. A pretty good story with some fantastic artwork. (Library.)
  15. Narbonic, vol. 2 by Shaenon Garrity. Working my way through this series again.

Just one movie this week:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I'm Back
  1. Hikaru no Go, vol. 14: Sai vs. Toya Koyo by Yumi Hotta & Takeshi Obata. Still enjoying this.
  2. The Vinyl Underground, vol. 1: Watching the Detectives by Si Spencer & Simon Gene. Pretty good story about occult detectives. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. The Pinhoe Egg by Diana Wynne Jones. Another great fantasy novel from Jones. One thing I like about her work is that, unlike in most fiction for kids, the bad guys in her stories are bad in the ways that real people are: they're selfish, greedy, and short-sighted, not cackling maniacs.
  4. Pocket Full of Rain & Other Stories by Jason. Early work from the Norwegian cartoonist. (Library.)
  5. Godchild, vol. 1 by Kaori Yuki. I didn't care for this. Too gothy & it felt rather Mary-Jane-ish. (Library.)
  6. Tiny Titans, vol. 1: Welcome to the Treehouse by Art Baltazar & Franco. Cute, cute versions of the Teen Titans. (Borrowed from Teena's classroom.)
  7. Scott Pilgrim, vol. 5: Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe by Bryan Lee O'Malley. The latest volume of this fun series.
  8. Marvel Adventures Avengers, vol. 9: The New Recruits by Paul Tobin, Ig Guara, et al.
  9. Skrulls vs. Power Pack by Fred Van Lente & Cory Hamscher.
  10. Alan Moore's The Courtyard by Alan Moore, Antony Johnston, & Jacen Burrows. New, color edition of the adaptation of a Lovecraftian story by Moore.
  11. Conan: Book of Thoth by Kurt Busiek, Len Wein, & Kelley Jones. Back story for a major Conan villain. (Library.)
  12. Vigilante: City Lights, Prairie Justice by James Robinson & Tony Salmons. Nice to see some of Robinson's older work being reprinted.
  13. Wonder Woman: Who Is Wonder Woman? by Allan Heinberg, Terry & Rachel Dodson. I like Heinberg's comics writing, but he seems unable to meet a deadline. When this was originally published, issues were months late. It reads much better all together.
  14. Cruel and Unusual by Jamie Delano, Tom Peyer, & John McCrea. Satirical look at the US prison system.
  15. Cash and Carry by Tim Broderick. Thriller originally done as a web comic. I'm not sure I care for the art, but the story is good. (Library.)
  16. DMZ, vol. 6: Blood in the Game by Brian Wood & Riccardo Burchielli. Still enjoying this quite a bit.
  17. Streets of Glory by Garth Ennis & Mike Wolfer. Story about the fading days of the Old West.
  18. Gargoyles: Clan-Building, vol. 1 by Greg Weisman, David Hedgecock, et al. New stories from the creator of the TV show.
  19. Green Lantern: Wanted: Hal Jordan by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, & Daniel Acuna. (Library.)
  20. All-Star Superman, vol. 1 by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely. Had to re-read this because volume 2 just came out.
  21. All-Star Superman, vol. 2 by Gran Morrison & Frank Quitely. Some of the absolute best Superman stories ever.
  22. Silverfish by David Lapham. Crime story set in the 80s. (Library.)
  23. Justice League of America, vol. 4: Sanctuary by Dwayne McDuffie, Alan Burnett, et al. (Library.)
  24. Flight, vol. 2 by various. Great anthology. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  25. Harley Quinn: Preludes & Knock-Knock Jokes by Karl Kesel, Terry & Rachel Dodson. Light-hearted stories about the Joker's girlfriend. (Library.)
  26. The Mighty Avengers, vol. 3: Secret Invasion by Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev, et al. Pretty good comics, but not much sign of the Avengers. (Library.)
  27. Saga of the Swamp Thing, book 1 by Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, & John Totleben. New edition of Moore's run on Swamp Thing, including his first issue, which has never been reprinted before (because it was all about tying up plot threads from the previous writer).
  28. Conan, vol. 3: The Tower of the Elephant and Other Stories by Kurt Busiek & Cary Nord. (Library.)
  29. Narbonic, vol. 1 by Shaenon Garrity. The final volume collecting this web comic was recently published, so I decided to work my way through the previous volumes.

A few movies since last time:
  • Guys and Dolls.
  • Futurama: Bender's Game. Up until the fantasy sequence (3/4 of the way through the movie), this had been the best of the direct to DVD Futurama releases. Then it just fell apart. But the first hour or so is great.
  • Watchmen. I've got mixed feelings about this. It looks fantastic, and does a good job adapting the central plot from the graphic novel (although I've got some problems with the changes to the end). But by leaving out the minor characters (which I know had to be done; the movie is plenty long as it is), the film misses the heart of the story. It's not quite all surface & no substance, but it's close.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

My excuse for not updating today was going to be that I spent the afternoon & early evening seeing Watchmen, but that fell through. So it just comes down to laziness on my part.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Catch-up Time
  1. Cromartie High School, vol. 6 by Eiji Nonaka. Silliness (Checked out of the library.)
  2. The Comics Cavalcade Archives, vol. 1 by various. Reprints of Golden Age comics. A really mixed bag, but the Wonder Woman stories were fun, especially the one where she (in her secret identity of Diana Prince), suspects a group of men are German spies (possibly because of their outrageous accents), so she tricks them into revealing themselves by saying "Heil Hitler!" They all automatically return the salute and then capture her. (She gets tied up an awful lot in these old stories.)
  3. Hulk Visionaries: Peter David, vol. 6 by Peter David, Dale Keown, & Bill Jaaska. This is where David's run on The Hulk really comes into it's own. It has the first issues with all of Banner/The Hulk's personalities integrated into one.
  4. Hulk: Heart of the Atom by various. Collection of stories spun out of the one issue of The Hulk that Harlan Ellison wrote. (Library.)
  5. Batman: The Resurrection of Ra's Al Ghul by various. Pretty good Batman crossover event. (Library.)
  6. Black Jack, vol. 3 by Osamu Tezuka. This volume contains the absolutely insane story where Black Jack operates on himself in the Australian outback while dingoes close in.
  7. Graphic Classics, vol. 14: Gothic Classics by various. Comics adaptations of various gothic stories. The best are "Northanger Abbey" and "At the Gate". Library.
  8. Jimmy Olsen Adventures, vol. 1 by Jack Kirby. Kirby's special brand of madness brought to Superman's pal.
  9. Showcase Presents Superman, vol. 4 by various. More Silver Age wackiness, including a story where Superman deliberately exposes himself to red kryptonite so he can grow an ant's head. I love the Silver Age.
  10. Watchmen by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons. I decided I needed to reread this one last time before the movie comes out. I know the advance word has been positive, but I just can't help thinking that Snyder hasn't looked past the surface, and that the movie is going to be all style & no substance.
  11. Conan, vol. 2: The God in the Bowl and Other Stories by Kurt Busiek & Cary Nord. (Library.)
  12. Monster, vol. 18: Scenery for a Doomsday by Naoki Urasawa. The conclusion of this suspenseful series. (Library.)
  13. Incredible Hercules: Secret Invasion by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, & Rafa Sandoval. (Library.)
  14. Flight, vol. 1 by various. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  15. The War at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks. I quite enjoyed this story about a new student at a boarding school. (Library.)
  16. Cromartie High School, vol. 7 by Eiji Nonaka. After seven volumes, I find the joke is wearing thin, but that may be because I read too many volumes too close together. (Library.)
  17. Punisher War Journal, vol. 4: Jigsaw by Matt Fraction, Rick Remender, & Howard Chaykin. (Library.)
  18. World of Warcraft, bk. 1 by Walter Simonson & Ludo Lullabi. Checked out because Simonson write it. Not his best work, but not his worst, either. However, I have to say that the art did not work for me. (Library.)
  19. Rosario + Vampire, vol. 3: Trolls by Akihisa Ikeda. (Library.)
  20. Speak of the Devil by Gilbert Hernandez. This just didn't really work for me. (Library.)

Only one movie since my last real update: