Sunday, July 31, 2011


Don't feel like updating today. I'll update tomorrow, since I'm on vacation and will have the time.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Once Again, a Light Week

(I realize just how skewed a perspective it is that I consider a week in which I finished reading 8 book to be light.)
  1. Fullmetal Alchemist, vol. 25 by Hiromu Arakwa.

    I keep expecting this series to wrap up with each new volume, but it looks like there are 2 to go after this one. (I have noticed a tendency for manga series to run a few volumes too long. The dangers of serial publication, I suppose.) (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Echo, vol. 6: The Last Day by Terry Moore. The final volume of this series brought in connections to his previous series, Strangers in Paradise, which I never finished. Fortunately, you don't need to know anything about that series to enjoy the climax to this one. Apparently his next series is set in the same world. Looking forward to that one.
  3. Batman: Haunted Gotham by Doug Moench & Kelley Jones. Batman vs. demons. Well-suited to Jones's art style. (Library.)
  4. Red Hulk: Scorched Earth by Jeff Parker & Gabriel Hardman. Basically, this is Marvel Team-Up: Starring the Red Hulk. Lots of guest-stars, lots of fun. (Library.)
  5. Dungeons & Dragons, vol. 1: Shadowplague by John Rogers & Andrea DiVoto.

    I've been buying the individual issues of the new D&D comic, and had been going to pass up on the collection, but was won over when I saw that the book was packaged to look like a source-book for the role-playing game. It looks fantastic and even comes with an appendix with the story from the comic converted into a 4th edition D&D adventure.
  6. Secret Warriors, vol. 5: Night by Jonathan Hickman, Alessandro Vitti, et al. More spy action. (Library.)
  7. Essential Captain America, vol. 4 by Steve Englehart, Sal Buscema, et al. Captain America stories from the early to mid-70's, when Cap undergoes a crisis of conscience brought on by Watergate (and by seeing the Marvel Universe version of Richard Nixon commit suicide after his attempt to become dictator of the US was thwarted*).
  8. Shadowland by Kim Deitch. Sordid & trippy stories about carnival life and the early days of Hollywood.
*Long story.

Once again, only one movie:
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I. Once the books finished, both Teena and I pretty much lost interest in the movies, which is why it has taken us this long to get around to this movie. When we see the final one soon will depend on whether or not we can find a decent theater showing it in 2D. We may just wait for it to show up on NetFlix (as we did this one).

Sunday, July 17, 2011

That's More Like It

  1. Essential Tomb of Dracula, vol. 4 by various. Collecting stories from Marvel's 70s horror magazines. Interestingly, the stories are arranged chronologically by when they occur in Dracula's un-life, rather than when they were published.
  2. Jack of Fables, vol. 8: The Fulminate Blade by Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges, Tony Akins, & Jim Fern. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Atomic Robo, vol. 4: Atomic Robo and Other Strangeness by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener. I am finding this series more and more enjoyable. It keeps getting better. (Library.)
  4. Batman: Knight and Squire by Paul Cornell & Jimmy Broxton.

    I wish the realities of the comic book market didn't dictate that this book be labeled "Batman". It's a fantastic, light-hearted comic that still has some substance to it. But most comics fans don't want that, so, because it's features characters that first appeared in a Batman comic, they don't get top billing in their own book. I loved this and would be thrilled if Cornell were to write more adventures of the Knight & Squire.
  5. DC Comics Presents: Batman: Gotham Noir by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips. I really enjoy stories that take familiar characters and re-imagine them in different circumstances (although I do find it tiresome when the creators cram in too much of the "real" continuity). This is a great version of Gotham City as the setting for a noir story starring private eye James Gordon.
  6. Punisher: In the Blood by Rick Remender & Roland Boschi. (Library.)
  7. Captain America: No Escape by Ed Brubaker & Butch Guice. Still enjoying Brubaker's run on Cap.
  8. Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 3: War of Kings, bk. 2 by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Brad Walker & Wesley Craig. Abnett & Lanning have a great handle on Marvel's cosmic characters. (Library.)
  9. Bat Boy: The Complete Weekly World News Comic Strips by Peter Bagge.

    I think this may be the best thing I've read by Bagge in years. Lots of fun, full of tabloid madness. (Library.)
  10. The Barry Windsor-Smith Conan Archives, vol. 2 by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith.

    Beautiful art on these stories. Windsor-Smith was growing into his talent when he worked on the comics collected here.

Just one movie:
  • Transformers, with the RiffTrax commentary. The commentary made the action sequences very funny, but nothing on earth could salvage the attempts at a story. I have never seen such a collection of plot holes, lazy jokes and just plain stupidity. (And I hope to never suffer such again.) Both Teena & I were rooting for the Decepticons. "Kill all humans!"

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Simply Haven't Been Getting Through Many Books Lately

  1. Tex Arcana: A Saga of the Old West by John Findley. Print on demand collection of a horror-western strip from the pages of 80s Heavy Metal. The first story ends via deus ex machina, but the others work well, and the art holds up nicely.
  2. Hikaru no Go, vol. 23: Endgame by Yumi Hotta and Takeshi Obata. The final volume. I enjoyed this, but the series dragged on too long. It really should have ended with Sai fading away when he saw that the Hikaru would continue to grow as a go player. (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Gingerbread Girl by Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover.

    Great story about a young woman who may be crazy or who may be the product of mad science. Tobin & Coover play with the medium, utilizing many different narrators (who all address the reader directly). Plus, the story is set in Portland, so I enjoyed recognizing the background.
  4. 20th Century Boys, vol. 15: Expo Hurray by Naoki Urasawa.

    Still enjoying this series. Can't wait to see where it goes.
  5. Stan Lee's The Traveler, vol. 1: Man Out of Time by Mark Waid & Chad Hardin. Pretty standard super-hero stuff, but I found this more engaging than the other Lee-"created" graphic novel I read recently.
  6. Showcase Presents The Flash, vol. 2 by John Broome & Carmine Infantino. The Flash may well be the quintessential Silver Age super-hero. I had never been all that interested in the Barry Allen version of the character until I listened to the Tom vs. The Flash podcast, which is a lot of fun. Thanks to that, I picked up this Showcase volume, and I will eventually be acquiring the others. (Tom has since moved on to Aquaman, which continues to get better & better. Funny stuff.)
Only one movie this week:
  • Doctor Who: The Deadly Assassin. Tom Baker without a companion. Good, but he works better with somebody to play off of.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Independence Day

It's a three-day weekend, so my update comes on Monday. (Of course, the 3 or 4 of you who read this probably already know that.)
  1. Thor: Latverian Prometheus by Kieron Gillen & Billy Tan. More Thor comics. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Once Upon a Time in the North by Philip Pullman.

    A nicely-presented short story that tells the tale of when Lee Scoresby met Iorek Byrnison. I really enjoyed it, and it made me want to re-read His Dark Materials. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  3. Vertigo Resurrected: The Sandman Presents: Petrefax by Mike Carey & Steve Leialoha. Collecting a story that must have originally been published after I gave up on Sandman spin-offs, since I had never read it before. Entertaining piece about a minor character from Gaiman's epic.
  4. Level Up by Gene Luen Yang & Thien Pham. A comic about coming to terms with parental expectations. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  5. Fighting American by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby.

    When Simon & Kirby learned that their creation, Captain America, was being revived in the 50s, they decided to try their hands at another patriotic hero. Their new creation lasted longer than the revival.
  6. Invincible Iron Man, vol. 4: Stark Disassembled by Matt Fraction & Salvador Larroca. I picked this up a few months ago, when Fraction did a signing at a local comic shop. Solid super-heroics.
A few movies since last week:
  • Wings of Desire. I saw this in a theater when it was released, back in the late 80s, and I loved it. I hadn't seen it since. While I still liked it, it didn't grab me nearly as much as it did 23 or so years ago. Too slow-moving and not a little pretentious.
  • Doctor Who: Dreamland. Animated Doctor Who story. The writing and acting are fine, but the CGI did not work for either Teena or me.
  • Doctor Who: Earthshock. Adric's final story. Holds up well.