Sunday, June 12, 2011

More Books this Week

  1. The Goon, vol. 9: Calamity of Conscience by Eric Powell.

    I like the way Powell mixes thrills and angst with goofiness and low-brow humor. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. DC Comics Presents: Batman: Dark Knight, Dark City by Peter Milligan & Kieron Dwyer. I'm generally not in favor of stories that bring us a dark & edgy Riddler. Come on, he's just silly. But this one is well-done and adds to Gotham City's history.
  3. Stan Lee's Soldier Zero, vol. 1: One Small Step for Man by Paul Cornell & Javier Pina. I normally like Cornell's writing quite a bit, but it did nothing for me here.
  4. The Boys, vol. 7: the Innocents by Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson, Russ Brown, & John McCrea. Building towards a climax. (Library.)
  5. DC Comics Presents: Green Lantern: Willworld by J.M. DeMatteis & Seth Fisher. One of DeMatteis' mystical stories, which can be hit or miss for me, but it works here, especially since it is backed up by suitably hallucinatory art from Fisher.
  6. Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 2: War of Kings, bk. 1 by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Brad Walker, et al. More cosmic super-heroics in the Marvel Universe. (Library.)
  7. Secret Six: Reptile Brain by Gail Simone, Jim Calafiore, et al. More twisted fun from Simone. This is one of my favorite comics right now, and I am sad that it will be going away with DC's relaunch in September. I really hope we get a collection of the final issues.
  8. Farscape: Uncharted Tales: D'Argo's Quest by Keith R.A. DeCandido & Caleb Cleveland. (Library.)
  9. Batman and Robin, vol. 3: Batman and Robin Must Die by Grant Morrison, Fraser Irving, et al. Great climax to this part of the huge, sprawling Batman story Morrison has been telling for years.
  10. The Stranded, vol. 1 by Mike Carey & Siddharth Kotian. I need to remember that not everything Carey writes works for me. A lot of it does, and when it does, it really works (see my responses to The Unwritten). But this is not one of those. There's nothing wrong with this story about aliens hiding amongst humanity, but it doesn't really speak to me.
  11. The Stuff of Legend, bk. 2: The Jungle by Mike Raicht, Brian Smith, & Charles Paul Wilson III.

    More adventures of a group of toys searching the world beyond the closet for their boy, who has been stolen by the Boogieman.
  12. The Best American Comics 2008 edited by Lynda Barry.

    I may not love every comic in this anthology, but I can see the merit to them all. And there is plenty of great stuff here. (I do wish DC had permitted an excerpt from Paul Pope's excellent Batman: Year One Hundred .)

Time to catch up on movies:
  • Iron Man 2. Not bad, but not as good as the first one. This needed more banter between Tony & Pepper and Tony & Rhodey. You've got Robert Downey Jr., give him a chance to be charming.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Beginning of the End. Peter Graves in a tale of giant locusts menacing Chicago.
  • The Saturday program of the Northwest Animation Festival. Not everything here was for me, but there was plenty of great animation. I especially liked "The Gentleman's Guide to Villainy", "Something Left, Something Taken", and "Coffee Critics".
  • The Last Airbender with the RiffTrax commentary. The white-washing of the cast was enough to keep Teena and I from seeing this movie in the theater even before the horrible reviews came in. However, we thought the jokes of a RiffTrax commentary would make it worth a NetFlix rental. There were some funny jokes, but they weren't nearly strong enough to overcome just how bad this movie is. It tries to cram the entire 20 episode first season of the cartoon into an hour and a half. It does this by forgoing any attempt to "show, don't tell." It feels like the movie is nothing but exposition. Particularly awkward exposition. More than once, a character tells another, "As you know..." Also sacrificed to get the run-time down: any trace of charm, humor, and the characters' personalities. Simply awful. Not worth it even with the RiffTrax jokes. Teena and I have started re-watching the cartoon (which is wonderful) just to get the bad taste out of our mouths.

No comments: