Sunday, December 26, 2010

Dead Part of the Year
The week between Christmas & New Year's always seems like down-time to me. Here is one last entry before my end of the year post.
  1. Showcase Presents Metal Men, vol. 2 by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru, et al. These comics are insane. Mere words cannot do justice to the weirdness. They have to be experienced to be believed.
  2. Irredeemable, vol. 4 by Mark Waid & Diego Barreto. I am enjoying this, but I hope Waid has a conclusion in mind. A comic about a Superman-equivalent going bad cannot be maintained forever. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Ex Machina, vol. 4: March to War by Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris, & Chris Sprouse.

    Still re-reading this series.
  4. Essential Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man, vol. 2 by various. Comics I recollect fondly from my childhood. Still entertaining. And how can you go wrong with a comic where Spider-Man fights a Nazi made out of bees?
  5. Doctor Who: The Only Good Dalek by Justin Richards & Mike Collins. The story is good, and the art is well done, but it isn't very strong in terms of story-telling. There were times when it was unclear what was happening. (Library.)
  6. Star Wars Legacy, vol. 3: Claws of the Dragon by John Ostrander & Jan Duursema. I expect to get volume 10 next week, and I am refreshing my memories of this series.
  7. North 40 by Aaron Williams & Fiona Staples.

    Lovecraftian story about a Texas county that gets exposed to eldritch horror.
  8. Ex Machina, vol. 5: Smoke Smoke by Brian K. Vaughan & Tony Harris.
  9. Ex Machina, vol. 6: Power Down by Brian K. Vaughan & Tony Harris.
  10. Star Wars Legacy, vol. 4: Alliance by John Ostrander, Omar Francia & Alan Robinson.
  11. Ex Machina, vol. 7: Ex Cathedra by Brian K. Vaughan & Tony Harris.
  12. Thor: Tales of Asgard by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby. Nice presentation of back-up stories from the 60s. Stan & Jack were firing on all cylinders with these stories. The comics; however, have been re-colored for this collection. The colorist did a good job and clearly knows what he is doing, but he used a subdued palette here, which really does not suit Kirby's artwork. Kirby artwork should be full of bright, high-contrast colors, not subtle gradations of muted colors.

A few movies since I last updated:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I'm Here After All

Turns out I do have a chance to update today. Don't count on it next week, though.
  1. Excalibur Classic, vol. 3: Cross-Time Caper, book 1 by Chris Claremont, Alan Davis, et al. I really enjoyed this until Davis stopped doing the artwork. The quality went way downhill right away. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Rolling Stones - Voodoo Lounge by Dave McKean.
  3. Star Wars: Legacy, vol. 1: Broken by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema. The final volume of this is out, so I am re-reading all the previous volumes.
  4. Greek Street Vol. 2: Cassandra Complex by Peter Milligan & Davide Gianfelice.

    Re-working Greek myths to contemporary London. Can't wait for the next volume.
  5. Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga by Paul Levitz & Keith Giffen.

    Nice presentation of a years worth of LSH comics from the mid-80s. It's the kind of storyline you couldn't do nowadays. At the time, the identity of the bad guy was a mystery, and the reveal late in the story was a genuine surprise. Now it would get spoiled months in advance, and people would pick it to shreds on the internet. It helped that this was one of the first uses of Darkseid outside of Kirby's original Fourth World comics. He has been way over-used since then.
  6. Skin Horse, vol. 2 by Shaenon Garrity & Jeffrey Wells. The second collection of the web-comic about the black-ops social service agents tasked with aiding the sapient non-human community. This volume contains the entire Alaska storyline that ran for months & months. I have to say, it reads better all at once. Not that it was bad in small daily doses.
  7. The Best American Comics 2009 edited by Charles Burns.
  8. Star Wars Legacy, vol. 2: Shards by John Ostrander, et al. I do like how not all the stories in this series are about Cade Skywalker.
  9. Ex Machina, vol. 1: The First Hundred Days by Brian K. Vaughan & Tony Harris. As with Star Wars Legacy, the final volume was recently published, and I am going back & re-reading the earlier volumes before tackling the new one.
  10. Ex Machina, vol. 2: Tag by Brian K. Vaughan & Tony Harris.
  11. Ex Machina, vol. 3: Fact vs. Fiction by Brian K. Vaughan & Tony Harris.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Possibly Last Post for a While

We will have some house guests starting soon, so I may not get a chance to update again until after New Year's. I'll try, but no guarantees.
  1. DC Comics Presents Batman #2 by Ed Brubaker & Scott McDaniel.
  2. Supergirl: Friends and Fugitives bu Sterling Gates, Greg Rucka, Jamal Igle. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Birds of Prey: The Battle Within by Gail Simone, Joe Bennett, Ed Benes, et al. I love Simone's writing on this series, but I can't say I like the artwork, particularly Benes's work. Awful cheesecake stuff.
  4. Superman: New Krypton, vol. 4 by James Robinson, Greg Rucka, Pete Woods, & Ron Randall. (Library.)
  5. Captain America: Two Americas by Ed Brubaker, Luke Ross, & Butch Guice. This is the book that collects the issues that garnered controversy by depicting the tea party movement as largely racist. Unfortunately, Marvel caved and edited the (accurate) offending panels.
  6. Picture This by Lynda Barry.

    Like Barry's previous book: What It Is, this is a meditation on creativity. Beautiful, wonderful book. Barry just keeps getting better. Which isn't to say that I wasn't very excited to learn that next year we will see the first volume of a series collecting her comic strip work. I'm really looking forward to it.
  7. Gravel, vol. 3: The Last King of England by Warren Ellis & Mike Wolfer. I found the conclusion of this series somewhat unsatisfactory. At least, if it is the end of the series. If there is more to come, it's a good ending to the volume.
  8. Fingerprints by Will Dinski. (Library.)
  9. R.E.B.E.L.S.: Strange Companions by Tony Bedard, et al. (Library.)
  10. Li'l Abner, vol. 27: Dailies 1961 by Al Capp. Capp was fairly misanthropic, but boy was he funny. Definitely thinking more about picking up the new collections.
  11. Heart Transplant by Andrew Vachss & Frank Caruso.

    This may have started as a screenplay, but it is currently a heavily illustrated novella about bullying. (Library.)
  12. Essential Defenders, vol. 2 by Steve Gerber, Sal Buscema, et al. The weirdness often found in Gerber's work hasn't fully manifested itself yet, but it grows in this volume.
  13. Batman & Robin: Batman vs. Robin by Grant Morrison, Cameron Stewart, & Andy Clarke. I am one of the people who has really been enjoying Morrison's run on Batman and associated titles, and they read even better when collected.

Okay, it has been way too long since I updated movies, so here goes:

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Back on Track
I hope. Two weeks in a row. Fingers crossed I keep it up.
  1. Barry Windsor-Smith Archives Conan, vol. 1 by Roy Thomas & Barry Windsor-Smith. The comics collected here are from before Windsor-Smith had fully developed as an artist, but his talent shows through.
  2. Showcase Presents Legion of Super-Heroes, vol. 4 by Jim Shooter, J. Winslow Mortimer, et al.
  3. The Extremist by Peter Milligan & Ted McKeever. Short Vertigo mini-series finally collected.
  4. Power Girl, vol. 2: Aliens and Apes by Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, & Amanda Conner. Light-hearted super-heroics. (Checked out of the library.)
  5. Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys, vol. 11: List of Ingredients by Naoki Urasawa. More twists. I'm still with this, but I wonder if the story can support another 14 volumes.
  6. Batman: Dark Detective by Steve Englehart & Marshall Rogers.

    The creators of some legendary Batman comics in the 70s reunite. Rogers' art is gorgeous as always, and Englehart is one of my favorite comics writers.
  7. Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance by Joe Casey, ChrisCross, et al. Superheroes as celebrities. It's been done before. (Library.)
  8. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8, vol. 7: Twilight by Brad Meltzer, Georges Jeanty, et al. The big bad of season eight is revealed. Caught me by surprise.
  9. The Annotated Northwest Passage by Scott Chantler. Adventure and derring-do in 18th century Canada.
  10. The Purple Smurfs by Peyo. The original Smurf comics are being translated into English, so I thought I'd check them out. Don't know that I'll get any for myself, but if Teena wants more for her classroom, I'll probably read them before passing them on. (Borrowed from Teena's classroom.)
  11. Siege: Battlefield by various. Assorted one-shots tying into Marvel's "Siege" cross-over. (Library.)
  12. Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation adapted by Tim Hamilton.

    The art is good, but it doesn't do a great job of storytelling. The story, on the other hand, is a classic.
  13. Dragon Puncher by James Kochalka. Silly story for kids. (Borrowed from Teena's classroom.)
  14. Grant Morrison's 18 Days by Grant Morrison, with Mukesh Singh.

    This is the series bible and scripts for the first three episodes of an upcoming (?) animated series adapting The Mahabharata, the Indian epic. It also includes lots of gorgeous concept art. Based on this, I would love to see this series. However, the site for the series says it is coming in Spring 2010, so I doubt we will ever actually see it. Which is a shame.
  15. Grandville Mon Amour by Bryan Talbot. Much better than you would think from something that could be described as "funny-animal, steampunk Sherlock Holmes". But really, this is great.

Too lazy to do movies today. Maybe next week.