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.