Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day (Observed)

Before I begin my regular post, please take a moment to honor those who serve and have served, and especially those who have died in the service of their country.

Thank you.

  1. Doctor Who Classics, vol. 3 by various. About half of this book was written by Grant Morrison, and those stories read like Doctor Who stories. The others read like short stories written for 2000 AD, which is scarcely surprising, considering the creative teams were largely the same. Still, Dave Gibbons art is nothing to sneeze at.
  2. Fool Moon by Jim Butcher. I am continuing to read and enjoy the Dresden Files novels. (Borrowed from Michael.)
  3. The New Avengers, vol. 12: Powerloss, by Brian Michael Bendis & Stuart Immonen. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. R.E.B.E.L.S.: The Coming of Starro by Tony Bedard, Andy Clarke, & Claude St. Aubin. (Library.)
  5. Howard the Duck: Media Duckling by Ty Templeton & Juan Bobillo. No, this wasn't written by Steve Gerber (Howard's creator), but it does feel in the spirit of the original stories.
  6. Templar, Arizona, bk. 4: Trouble Every Day by Spike. The latest collection of the web comic. It is nice to have a chunk of the story all together in a book. Plus the annotations are interesting.
  7. Happily Ever After: A Collection of Cartoons to Chill the Heart of Your Loved One by Charles Addams. If you don't know who Charles Addams was, I suggest you find a collection of his comics and read it ASAP. Watching The Addams Family (either TV or movies) is acceptable as well. (Library.)
  8. Little Nothings, vol. 3: Uneasy Happiness by Lewis Trondheim. More day-to-day life of a French comic writer & artist. (Library.)

Just one movie this time around:
  • The Matrix. We watched this with the RiffTrax commentary. Very funny, but this demonstrated that we should not get the RiffTrax commentaries for movies we really like, because the jokes during some of the cool scenes just irritated us instead of making us laugh.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

As is normal for three-day weekends, I will update on Monday.

I will say that Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a blast, and Teena and I are having a lot of fun playing it.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

New Book Series Begun
  1. Storm Front by Jim Butcher. My gaming group will soon be starting to play the Dresden Files role-playing game. So I'm reading the novels to see what the world is like. I quite enjoyed this and am looking forward to reading more. (Borrowed from Michael.)
  2. Beyond! by Dwayne McDuffie & Scott Kolins. I'd heard very positive things about this book, and they are well-deserved. McDuffie is a great comics writer & deserves more work and respect.
  3. Northlanders Vol. 3: Blood in the Snow by Brian Wood, et al. More stories about vikings. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. GrimJack: The Manx Cat by John Ostrander and Timothy Truman. I read this when it first appeared online. Then I bough the issues when they were published. Now I have the collection. Ostrander is one of my favorite comics writers, and I want to support him. A new John Gaunt story. I hope there are more to come and that we will see the rest of the original run of GrimJack collected.
  5. Stephen King's The Dark Tower: The Fall of Gilead by Robin Furth, Peter David, & Richard Isanove. The latest graphic novel prequel to King's Dark Tower novels. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  6. Counter X, vol. 3: X-Man by Warren Ellis, Steven Grant, & Ariel Olivetti. The best of these three collections of X-comics from the 90s. (Library.)
  7. Showcase Presents World's Finest Vol. 2 by various. More Silver Age wackiness with Superman & Batman.
  8. R. Crumb's America by Robert Crumb. Yes, the man is twisted & has a horrible attitude towards women. But, boy can he draw.

Only one movie this time:
  • Woman of the Year. Katharine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy are great, of course. But the gender politics of any 1942 movie are going to seem skewed to modern sensibilities. (Spoilers to a 68-year-old movie follow.) I would have been okay with the ending if they had actually shown us some of the characters' compromise. But ending it right after they decide to work on their marriage felt very unsatisfying.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pluto Is Amazing

  1. Pluto, vol. 1 by Naoki Urasawa.
  2. Pluto, vol. 2 by Naoki Urasawa.
  3. Pluto, vol. 3 by Naoki Urasawa.
  4. Pluto, vol. 4 by Naoki Urasawa.
  5. Pluto, vol. 5 by Naoki Urasawa.
  6. Pluto, vol. 6 by Naoki Urasawa.
  7. Pluto, vol. 7 by Naoki Urasawa.
  8. Pluto: Urasawa X Tezuka, vol. 8 by Naoki Urasawa. The conclusion of Urasawa's version of a classic Astro Boy story. Beautifully done, touching, and a tour de force from start to finish. The original was very much a kid's story, but this one is intended for grown-ups. My highest recommendation.
  9. Irreedemable, vol. 2 by Mark Waid & Peter Krause. The story of a Superman-level super-hero to snaps one day and turns against everybody. (Checked out of the library.)
  10. Hellboy, vol. 9: The Wild Hunt by Mike Mignola & Duncan Fegredo. In the latest Hellboy collection, we learn more about Hellboy's ancestry. I had my doubts about somebody besides Mignola doing the artwork, but Fegredo does a wonderful job (as he did in the last volume).
  11. Counter X, vol. 2: Generation X by Warren Ellis, Brian Wood, & Steve Pugh. Very definitely 90's comics, but pretty good for all that. (Library.)
  12. The Muppet Show Comic Book: The Treasure of Peg-Leg Wilson by Roger Langridge. Langridge has really captured the feel of the show. Lots of fun.
  13. Essential Spider-Woman, vol. 2 By Chris Claremont, Steve Leialoa, et al. Claremont's comics sure are wordy. And full of angst. But I enjoy them anyway.
  14. Doctor Doom and the Masters of Evil by Paul Tobin & Patrick Scherberger. Great story about Doom teaming up with a much of other villains.
  15. Hero Squared, vol. 3: Love and Death by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, & Nathan Watson. Humorous super-heroics.

A couple of movies this week:
  • Sherlock Holmes. Fun movie. Great chemistry between Holmes & Watson.
  • Doctor Who: The Sea Devils. This would have been better if it had only been 4 episodes instead of 6, but still entertaining.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Another Light Week

  1. Mathemagick and Mystiphysics, vol. 1: The Probabilities of Pandemonium by James Davide & Jesse Davide. Another book I picked up at Stumptown. Seven mathematicians throughout time band together to fight threats such as the disappearance of the vanishing point. Great idea, but I would have liked more actual math in the comic (I'm weird, I know). And, given that the only one of the mathematicians I had previous heard of was Alan Turing, I would have liked more information about the characters. Still, this was fun.
  2. Forsake the Sky by Tim Powers. This was better than I expected for being such an early work. Which seems to be damning with faint praise, but I really did enjoy this. Very different from most of Powers' other work, especially being set on a different planet.
  3. Ultimate Annuals, vol. 1 by various. A collection of annuals from Marvel's Ultimate comics line. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. Essential Thor, vol. 2 by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby. This was a blast. Lots of fun. So many foundations of the Marvel Universe. I had not realized that Ego the Living Planet & the High Evolutionary were introduced within a couple of issues of each other. Fun, fun stuff.

You may have noticed the return of links. I have not gone back to Amazon's affiliates program. But Powell's Books also has an affiliates program, and I have signed up with them. So if you feel like buying anything you see me writing about, please follow the links. I'll get a small cut. Also, Powell's has free shipping on orders over $25.

Just one movie this week:
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Final Sacrifice. Canadian film about an evil cult and a lost civilization. Not as dire as Teena and I remembered. But still an awful movie.

On the video game front, I played through PixelJunk Shooter, a fun little shoot-em-up game that we downloaded for the PS3. Well worth the $10. And I am currently replaying Super Mario Sunshine, which I always enjoy. It is getting me excited about the release of Super Mario Galaxy 2 later this month.


Monday, May 03, 2010

I'm Radioactive!

I'm not at work today so I can have my parathyroid glands scanned, a process that involves radioactive iodine.

Here are the books I finished reading last week:
  1. The Wonder Woman Chronicles, vol. 1 by William Moulton Marston & Harry G. Peter. It's about time DC finally got around to presenting Golden Age Wonder Woman stories in an affordable format. I've heard about these stories for years, but apart from a page here & there in books about the history of comics, the only way to see the stories was to buy Archive editions at $50 a pop. But now there is an affordable way to read Wonder Woman as she was originally conceived. The bondage theme isn't fully developed yet, but I'm sure it will turn up soon enough in further volumes.
  2. 100% by Paul Pope. Romance comics disguised by a near-future science fiction setting. Great stuff. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Welcome to Tranquility, vol. 2 by Gail Simone, Neil Googe, et al. When I first read this, I didn't care for it quite as much as the first volume. But I have come around & realized how good it is. Can't wait for the new "Welcome to Tranquility" series that's coming.
  4. Wolverine: The Death of Wolverine by Marc Guggenheim & Howard Chaykin. If only the title were accurate. (Library.)
  5. Greek Street, vol. 1: Blood Calls for Blood by Peter Milligan & Davide Gianfelice. Greek myths reinterpreted as a crime story set in contemporary London (with some supernatural elements). Looking forward to further collections.
  6. Sorcery 101, vol. 1 by Kel McDonald. This is one of the books that I picked up at Stumptown. It's a collection of a webcomic about a guy learning sorcery from a vampire. Well-done, but not really my cup of tea. Also, it stretches my suspension of disbelief too much to have a world where the supernatural is common but looks otherwise looks almost exactly like the real world.
  7. Lotus Root Children by Wei Li. Teena picked this up at Stumptown and was very moved by it. (Here is the blog post in which she discusses it.) It is a story about Chinese children who have been stolen from their families and a woman whose job it is to brainwash the children into forgetting their original families. Very well done.
  8. Final Crisis by Grant Morrison, J.G. Jones, & Dough Mahnke. The people who say this comic is incomprehensible are wrong. If you are familiar with DC characters (and why would you be reading a cross-over event if you weren't?), and if you pay attention, this makes sense.
  9. Do Anything: Thoughts on Comics and Thing, vol. 1: Jack Kirby Ripped My Flesh by Warren Ellis. Short collection of online essays about comics and things.
  10. Instructions by Neil Gaiman & Charles Vess. Beautifully illustrated version of Gaiman's poem about what to do if you find yourself in a fairy tale. (Borrowed from Teena.)

Just one movie this week:
  • The Thing. Great horror movie, although Teena (who had never seen it before) pointed out that when the Thing is not impersonating a person, it doesn't act very intelligently.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

A Slight Delay

I'm off work tomorrow, so I will update then.