Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!
  1. American Vampire, vol. 1 by Scott Snyder, Stephen King, & Rafael Albuquerque.

    Despite all the comics with his name on them, this is the only one that Stephen King is actually involved in (as far as I know). (Borrowed from Teena.)
  2. John Constantine: Hellblazer - All His Engines by Mike Carey & Leonardo Manco. I finally got around to getting a copy of this. Carey's run on Hellblazer was great, as is this graphic novel.
  3. Iron Man: Deadly Solutions by Kurt Busiek & Sean Chen. I am sure Marvel put this out to capitalize on the movies. It's okay but nothing special. (Checked out of the library.)
  4. Farscape, vol. 1: The Beginning of the End of the Beginning by Rockne S. O'Bannon, Keith R.A. DeCandido, & Tommy Patterson. This certainly captures the feel of the show. Scarcely surprising, since the story is by the show's creator.
  5. Blacksad by Juan Diaz Canales & Juanjo Guarnido.

    Absolutely gorgeous art illustrating these noir-ish stories about a private detective. Like Usagi Yojimbo, this tells serious stories using "funny" animals. I hope more stories are coming. (Library.)

I haven't done movies since the Lovecraft Festival. But there's still not much:
    Ghost Rider with the RiffTrax commentary. This is the cheesiest movie I've ever seen, and it is plenty ripe for snarky comments. Unfortunately, three guys who never had anything to do with MST3K do the riffing here. They're okay, but not nearly as good as the MST3K alumni.
  • Dexter: The Third Season I never thought I'd enjoy a show about a serial killer as much as I enjoy this.
  • RiffTrax: House on Haunted Hill This was RiffTrax "Live"*. Many of the same jokes as the DVD release, but plenty of new ones. Plus a couple of new shorts. Very funny.
  • Doctor Who: Battlefield I really liked the character bits, but I can't say the story itself really worked for me. (Not that it's any more ridiculous than other Doctor Who stories.)

*So many live events aren't really live when you live on the west coast.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Past Two Weeks
  1. Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love by Chris Roberson & Shawn McManus. Spin-off from the Fables series. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Icon vol. 2: The Mothership Connection by Dwayne McDuffie & M.D. Bright. Great super-hero comics from the 90s. I wish more of the Milestone comics were collected.
  3. Crogan's March by Chris Schweizer.

    More historical fiction about the Crogan family. This time about a member of the French Foreign Legion. Great stuff, well-written, largely historically accurate (as far as I can tell), and nicely illustrated. I can't wait for the next volume. (Library.)
  4. Sandman Mystery Theatre, vol. 8: The Blackhawk and the Return of the Scarlet Ghost by Matt Wagner, Steven T. Seagle, Matthew Smith, & Guy Davis. This was a great series.
  5. The Adventures of Superboy by various. A collection of the earliest Superboy stories. Interesting to see these stories from the 40s. (Library.)
  6. Ultimate Comics Iron Man: Armor Wars by Warren Ellis & Steve Kurth.
  7. Dark Entries by Ian Rankin & Werther Dell'edera. A John Constatine story printed as part of the "Vertigo Crime" series. (Library.)
  8. Spider-Man: Fever by Brendan McCarthy.

    Trippy story with sometimes awkward writing, but great, psychedelic art.
  9. Superman: Tales from the Phantom Zone by various. Oh man, these stories are fantastically silly. Did you know that Jor-El's evil brother (cousin?) was named "Cru-El"? Isn't that awesome?
  10. Essential Punisher, vol. 2 by Mike Baron, Whilce Portacio, & Klaus Janson. Some very 80s comics here. Can't say I like Portacio's art, but Janson's is great as always.
  11. Nancy, vol. 2 (John Stanley Library) by John Stanley & Dan Gormley. These comics almost feel like re-purposed Little Lulu stories, which is not surprising, considering that Stanley wrote Little Lulu for years & years. (Library.)
  12. Secret Warriors, vol. 3: Wake the Beast by Jonathan Hickman & Alessandro Vitti. (Library.)
  13. Stephen King's Dark Tower: Battle of Jericho Hill by Robin Furth, Peter David, & Jae Lee. More back-story to the Dark Tower series. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  14. Super Spy: The Lost Dossiers by Matt Kindt. Odds & ends that didn't make it into Kindt's amazing. Super Spy.
  15. Jimmy Olsen Adventures by Jack Kirby, vol. 2

    Kirby's brand of action & insanity applied to Superman's pal.
  16. Showcase Presents Wonder Woman, vol. 2 by Robert Kanigher & Ross Andru. Speaking of insanity, these stories don't make a lick of sense. But they're tons of fun.
  17. Melvin Monster, vol. 2 (The John Stanley Library) by John Stanley. (Library.)
  18. DC Comics Presents Batman #1 by Ed Brubaker & Scott McDaniel. I'm not sure why DC hasn't collected these comics before, given how popular Brubaker has become.
  19. Detroit Metal City, vol. 6 by Kiminori Wakasugi. Heavy metal silliness. (Library.)
  20. Justice League: Cry for Justice by James Robinson, Mauro Cascioli, et al. I got this to see if it was as wretched as I'd read on the internet. Not quite, but close. Robinson used to be one of my favorite comics writers. Not so much anymore. (Library.)
  21. Captain America Reborn by Ed Brubaker, Bryan Hitch, & Butch Guice. The return of Steve Rogers.
  22. The Cartoon History of the Modern World, part. II: From the Bastille to Baghdad by Larry Gonick

    The conclusion of Gonick's fantastic history of everything. Comics is an amazingly versatile medium, and it's great to see it used for something other than power-fantasies.

Movies can wait until next week.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Another Break

Spent the afternoon putting together a DVD rack. Will catch up next week.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Back to Books

Quite a bit to get through. Over a month to cover.
  1. Penny Arcade, vol. 6: The Halls Below by Jerry Holkins & Mike Krahulik. Yet another web comic collection. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  2. White Night by Jim Butcher.

    Still liking the Dresden Files novels. This was NOT borrowed from Michael. I finally bought my own copies.
  3. Red/Tokyo Storm Warning by Warren Ellis, Cully Hamner, & James Raiz. The trailers I've been seeing for the upcoming movie Red got me thinking about this, so I re-read it. The movie bears almost no resemblance to this, but I want to see it anyway, since I want to see Helen Mirren kick ass.
  4. Invincible Iron Man, vol. 4: Stark Disassembled by Matt Fraction & Salvador Larroca. The covers on the original comics collected here are great and unlike any other comics I've ever seen.

    Unfortunately, the cover on this collection looks like any other comic.

    Not that the art is bad, just not distinctive.(Checked out of the library.)
  5. Small Favor by Jim Butcher. Volume 10.
  6. The Best American Comics 2007 by various.
  7. Showcase Presents: DC Comics Presents: The Superman Team-Ups, vol. 1 bu various. That's quite a mouthful of a title. The stories collected here aren't exactly good, but they are entertaining. And they're a great introduction to DC characters.
  8. Turn Coat by Jim Butcher. Volume 11.
  9. Unwritten, vol. 2: The Inside Man by Mike Carey & Peter Gross.

    This series is fantastic and keeps getting better. One of the first things I read each time a new issue comes out.
  10. Unknown Soldier, vol. 2: Easy Kill by Joshua Dysart, Alberto Ponticelli, & Pat Mastoni. (Library.)
  11. Thor: The Warriors Three by Alan Zelenetz, Charles Vess, et al.

    Beautiful, beautiful artwork from Vess.
  12. Dumbheart: A Get Fuzzy Collection by Darby Conley.
  13. Empowered, vol. 6 by Adam Warren. As this series goes on, it moves further & further from its roots in cheesecake pin-ups.
  14. X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back by Kathryn Immonen & Sara Pichelli. (Library.)
  15. Locke & Key, vol. 3: Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez. This is getting more interesting as it goes along. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  16. Sir Apropos of Nothing: Gypsies, Vamps, and Thieves by Peter David & Robin Riggs. Comic version of David's anti-hero.
  17. Criminal, vol. 5: The Sinners by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

    Great noir.
  18. PS238, vol. 8: When Worlds Go Splat! by Aaron Williams. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  19. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, vol. 6: Retreat by Jane Espenson & Georges Jeanty. This is getting better. I wasn't terribly impressed with the early volumes, but I quite liked this one.
  20. Fullmetal Alchemist, vol. 23 by Hiromu Arakawa. Not done yet, but winding up to the conclusion. (Library.)
  21. Shade, the Changing Man, vol. 3: Scream Time by Peter Milligan & Chris Bachalo. Glad more of this is finally being collected.
  22. John Constantine, Hellblazer: Hooked by Peter Milligan, Giuseppe Camuncoli, et al.
  23. Changes by Jim Butcher. And with this, I am caught up with the Dresden Files books. Can't wait for the short story collection (due soon) and the next novel (April).
  24. DC Comics Presents: Jack Cross by Warren Ellis & Gary Erskine. Interesting little story that probably would never have gotten collected if DC weren't trying out a new format.
  25. Wally Gropius: The Umpteen Millionaire by Tim Hensley. (Library.)
  26. The Amazing Screw-On Head and Other Curious Objects by Mike Mignola.

    Goofy stories by Mignola.
  27. Patsy Walker: Hellcat by Kathryn Immonen, David Lafuente, & Stuart Immonen. Absurd & silly super-hero stories.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Movie Catch-Up
Before I get into the books I've been reading, I thought I'd deal with the movies I've seen in the last month or so.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Brain That Wouldn't Die
  • The Matrix Revolutions with the RiffTrax commentary.
  • Doctor Who: The Sontaran Experiment
  • Hancock Okay, but not terribly memorable.
  • Little Big Man I had forgotten how depressing this is. I don't know why, given that it's about Native Americans in the 19th century.
  • Tokyo Godfathers Another great movie from Satoshi Kon.
  • MST3K: The Horrors of Spider Island We watched this our first night in the new place. Teena picked it out because the host segments deal with moving.
  • MST3K: The Giant Gila Monster
  • Kung Fu Hustle I love this movie. So much fun.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean : The Curse of the Black Pearl with the Rifftrax commentary. Teena and I like to pretend that Disney showed restraint and did not make any sequels.

    And now for the movies from the (last?) H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival:
  • The Burrowers Nice, suspenseful western. I do think the filmmakers made a mistake in giving the audience a good look at the monsters in the last part of the movie.
  • Pan's Labyrinth Such a great movie.
  • Shorts Block 3. Pretty good selection of shorts, including a great parody of those ads promoting religion.
  • The Whole Wide World Bio-pic of Robert E. Howard. Probably would not have seen it if there had been anything besides readings & panels on opposite it. I'm glad there wasn't, because this was great. Vincent D'Onofrio & Renee Zellweger give fantastic performances.
  • Shorts Block 2. Not quite as good as Block 3. I really think it is a bad choice to present a dramatic reading as a movie. Either make it audio only or put in the effort to make it visually interesting.
  • Shorts Block 1. Other than a humorous piece about a "paranormal drug dealer", I didn't much care for this block. Skipped out early so we could see
  • Dreams of the Witch House. The most incompetently-made movie I have ever seen. Hilarious.
  • The Unnamable Oh so 80s horror flick.
  • The Unnamable Returns: The Statement of Randolph Carter Slightly less 80s than the first one, but just as cheesy.
  • Dagon Pretty good adaptation of Shadow over Innsmouth. Not exactly faithful, but it doesn't abandon the story either.
  • El Monstruo del Mar. Lovecraft mixed with Russ Meyer. Not good. Too long at 75 minutes, sound problems, hints at backstory that go unexplored, and main characters made irredeemably unsympathetic in the first 15 minutes.

    And one DVD that I picked up at the Festival:
  • The Cosmic Horror Fun-Pak. A collection of short films from a local production company.