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.)