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.