Sunday, September 25, 2011

Last Sunday in September

  1. Atomic Robo, vol. 5: Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science by Brian Clevinger & Scott Wegener.

    I'm glad I stuck with this series after the first volume (which felt a lot like a Hellboy pastiche). It keeps getting better & funnier. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Fallen Angel: Return of the Son by Peter David & J.K. Woodward. This appears to be the final volume of this series. There is a chance there will be more, but they will be quite dark, and I'm not sure I will get them.
  3. Vertigo Resurrected: Johnny Double by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso. Another mini-series collected.
  4. 20th Century Boys, vol. 16: Beyond the Looking Glass by Naoki Urasawa.

    Another nine volumes to go, and I'm still eagerly anticipating each one. Can't wait to see where it goes next.
  5. Thunderbolts: Violent Rejection by Jeff Parker, Kev Walker & Declan Shalvey. Don't know what to say other than that I enjoyed this. (Library.)
  6. Amulet, Book 1: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi

    The fourth book in this series is coming, so I decided it was time to re-read this one and to finally read 2 and 3. I had forgotten how good this fantasy comic is. Looking forward to reading more. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  7. Excalibur Visionaries: Warren Ellis, vol. 1 by Warren Ellis, et al. Even though I like Ellis's writing a lot, I resisted picking up this collection of some of his early work at Marvel. But I found a used copy and picked it up. The first issues reprinted here don't impress me, but the final three issues are definitely Ellis doing good work. The character he introduced earlier, Pete Wisdom, starts to feel like the standard Ellis protagonist (if you've read Transmetropolitan or Gravel or just about anything Ellis has written, you know what I mean). I'll be getting the other volumes when the opportunity presents itself.
  8. The Best of Archie Comics by various.

    Over 400 pages of comics ranging from Archie's first appearance in 1941 to an issue from 2010, all for $10. This is quite a bargain. I will never claim that Archie comics are high art, but they can be plenty entertaining.
  9. Showcase Presents: Blackhawk by unknown and Dick Dillin. DC comics no longer knows who wrote these stories from the late 50s, but they do know that Dillin drew them. The first few issues reprinted here are all about how evil Communists are, and the stories suffer for it. (Not that I'm pro-communist. Just anti-propaganda.) Once the Blackhawks' opponents become gangsters with fantastic weapons and vehicles, the stories get more readable.
  10. Stan Lee's Starborn, vol. 1: Beyond the Far Stars by Chris Roberson & Khary Randolph. (Library.)
  11. Mermaid Saga, vol. 1 by Rumiko Takahashi. Not her usual formula, but this is a horror series, not a romantic comedy.
  12. Mermaid Saga, vol. 2 by Rumiko Takahashi.

Still no movies.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


  1. X'ed Out by Charles Burns.

    Disturbing, as Burns always is. I had not realized this was the first volume of a series. Looking forward to more. I wonder if the next volume will also have a certain Tintin feel to it. (Checked out of the library.)
  2. Hulk Visionaries: Peter David, vol. 8 by Peter David, Dale Keown, et al. David wrote the Hulk for a long time, and I am very glad his run is being collected.
  3. Fantastic Four, vol. 4 by Jonathan Hickman & Steve Epting. Hickman seems a perfect fit for the Fantastic Four. Plenty of super-science concepts flying around. (Library.)
  4. Sweet Tooth, vol. 3: Animal Armies by Jeff Lemire. Latest collection of this post-apocalyptic comic. Sweet an horrifying at the same time. The more of Lemire's work I read, the more I like him.
  5. Star Trek: The Manga, Ultimate Edition by various. Manga-style comics about classic Trek.
  6. The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum, Eric Shanower & Skottie Young.

    Comics adaptation of the second Oz novel. I had forgotten just how funny these books can sometimes be. (Borrowed from Teena.)
  7. Essential Spider-Man, vol. 7 by Gerry Conway, Len Wein, Ross Andru, et al. When I was a kid, I had a subscription to The Amazing Spider-Man sometime in the mid-70s. The issues I got in my subscription are reprinted in this volume. It was a weird feeling, re-reading something after 35 or so years.
  8. Madame Xanadu, vol. 4: Extra Sensory by Matt Wagner, et al. I had thought volume 3 was the final collection of this series, but I was wrong. However, this is the last one.
  9. Congress of the Animals by Jim Woodring.

    Woodring's comics are always surreal and dream-like, particularly his Frank stories, which are wordless. Freaky stuff, but very good. (Library.)

No movies this week.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years

Don't have much to say about the 10th anniversary, but we shouldn't forget.

Anyway, on to books:
  1. Call of the Wild: A Mutts Treasury by Patrick McDonnell. Such a wonderful comic. Sweet and gentle unlike anything else on the comics page, but not cloying or saccharine.
  2. Avengers: The Coming of the Beast by Steve Englehart, Tony Isabella, George Tuska and Don Heck. I really wonder who at Marvel decides what comics get fancy hardcover collections. This one consists of the first four Avengers issues where the Beast is a member and 2 unrelated fill-in issues from shortly thereafter. Different creative teams too. Why do these issues warrant a $20 hardcover? (Checked out of the library.)
  3. Casanova, vol. 2: Gula by Matt Fraction and Fabio Moon. Man, I love this comic. Weird and surreal and fantastic. So glad that new issues are being published again.
  4. Rin-Ne, vol. 6 by Rumiko Takahashi. I'm sure I've mentioned this on every previous volume: Takahashi's formula is very apparent here, but it's still entertaining. (Library.)
  5. Fantastic Four, vol. 3 by Jonathan Hickman & Neil Edwards. More super-science concepts. (Library.)
  6. Doctor Strange: Into the Dark Dimension by Roger Stern, Paul Smith, et al. Another of the fancy hardcovers I was talking about above, but this time it's a coherent storyline (although I suspect the final issue reprinted here may have been included just to pad the page count). I really enjoy Stern's writing and wish there were more collections of his work.
  7. DC Comics Presents: JLA - Heaven's Ladder by Mark Waid & Bryan Hitch. One of the things DC seems to be using these DC Comics Presents for is to bring back into print stories that were originally published as overpriced hardcover original graphic novels. I'm glad they are now cheaper.
  8. B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth, vol. 1: New World by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi & Guy Davis.
    Still a remarkable series. Still going strong.
  9. Gen 13: Best of a Bad Lot by Gail Simone & Talent Caldwell. Reboot of the Wildstorm property. Probably moot with DC's latest relaunch, but still a good story.
  10. Usagi Yojimbo, vol. 25: Fox Hunt by Stan Sakai.
    Now this is an achievement. Sakai has been creating this comic for nearly 25 years, and it is as good as it has ever been. He just keeps honing his craft. Excellent comics. One of the best being published.

  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Teena and I had our niece over for a visit, so we watched a kid's movie. This was better than we had expected. Not filled with lazy jokes, which was a pleasant surprise.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

Three day weekend means a Monday post.

Today is a nice reminder that the U.S. hasn't always been so hostile to the common worker. I'm just glad that Labor Day is old enough that there is little chance of it being rescinded. (Although who knows? As this page shows, the Right has stopped pretending not to be outraged that the poor have the audacity to think they should have a say in their own governance.

Anyway, on to the past weeks books:

  1. Ghost Story by Jim Butcher.

    The latest Dresden Files novel. Where do you go when your protagonist ends the previous book by being shot in the chest and falling into the icy waters of Lake Michigan? Well, the title should give you a hint. Looking forward to the next book next year.
  2. The Warlord: The Saga by Mike Grell, Joe Prado & Chad Hardin. Grell returns to a character he wrote and drew for a good deal of the 70s.
  3. Incognito, vol. 2: Bad Influences by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips.
    Pulp-inspired super-villainy. Can't wait to see where the story goes next.
  4. Rasl: Pocket Book One by Jeff Smith. Smith's latest book is very different from Bone, but is just as good. (Although I will admit I am starting to get a little burned out on stories that use Tesla as a source for whatever science McGuffin they need.)
  5. Dan Dare Omnibus by Garth Ennis & Gary Erskine.

Catch-up time for movies:
  • Cowboys vs. Aliens. Actually saw this back at the beginning of August, but forgot to post about it then. Enjoyed the movie itself fine enough. Unfortunately, our experience was ruined by a jerk who got to the theater after previews had started, sat right next to Teena and spent the entire movie texting.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Gamera vs. Zigra. It's really strange to see a kaiju (giant monster like Gamera or Godzilla) speaking in one of these movies.
  • Doctor Who: Enlightenment. Wraps up the story arc of Turlough's introduction.
  • RiffTrax Live: Jack the Giant Killer. Old kids' movie with some respectable stop-motion animation effects and a bizarre story.
  • The Heroic Trio Kung Fu super-heroics.
  • RiffTrax: Shorts to Go. One of the latest collections of short films and joke-filled commentaries.
  • RiffTrax: Olde Tyme Shorts Roundup. The other latest collection.
  • Doctor Who: The Seeds of Death. The Second Doctor vs. invading Martians.
  • The Film Crew: The Giant of Marathon. A Steve Reeves movie that isn't about Hercules. Amazingly, he still plays an incredibly strong ancient Greek.
  • Big Trouble in Little China. This movie is so much fun. I love the description of Kurt Russell's character as "A sidekick who thinks he's the lead." It fits perfectly.
  • RiffTrax: Shortstoberfest. Still more short films.