Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Two Days 'Til STAPLE!:
OK, three if you count today, but really, there's technically only 10 minutes left to Wednesday, so I'm not counting it. It'll probably be Thursday by the time I finish writing this and post it.

Warning: This one's gonna ramble.

My budget for STAPLE! has been made up by selling off CDs to Cheapo's. Can't recommend this place enough as a place to sell used CDs, as they gave a pretty decent amount of cash (I've got about $200 earmarked for the show, which should just cover my bar tab at the live art show ;). All I know for sure that I want to buy at the show is Danielle Corsetto and Jim Dougan's GN Crazy Papers (and hopefully a sketch from Corsetto), but I'm quite sure I'll find plenty to pick up. I think I've got everything from Mahfood, Crosland and Knight, but if I don't, I'll be happy to discover something new. If I've got the cash, I'd certainly like to pick something up at the live art show.

Tomorrow night is the last STAPLE! organizational meeting before the show. So as I write this blog post, I'm also writing up the exhibitor survey that I volunteered to do last meeting (and then forgot about until last night).

It's funny that the weekend of the small press con brings one of the best mainstream comics weeks in recent memory. This is that rare comics week, the one that makes me think maybe I should review again. But not enough that I actually sit down and do it. In short, though, there were some great highlights this week. Detective Comics #817 starts James Robinson's 8-part "One Year Later" arc on Batman, and it gives me great hope for the OYL direction. I actually teared up a little when I saw Batman and Jim Gordon getting along as friends again. And much as I loved most of Gotham Central, I was kinda glad to see the somewhat boring, bland GCPD pushed aside for the return of a couple familiar and colorful cops and one new one whose surname suggests a connection to Metropolis superhero (and former cop) Guardian.

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis wasn't as strong as Detective, but it was a good opener as well. And I think I've figured out Busiek's "have your cake and eat it too" continuity strategy vis-a-vis Orin (the modern post-Crisis Aquaman), which I like if it's true. I won't spoil it, I'll just say look real closely at what the Dweller in the Deep is saying at the end of the book.

Judd Winick seems to have missed the memo about lightening things up a bit, with his overly dark Outsiders and convoluted origin for Red Hood in Batman Annual, JSA was just plain boring and I didn't even skim Blood of the Demon because it ain't my thing, but two out of five OYL is more than I really expected to like when all the prologue to Crisis minis were coming.

Oni had a big week, with the conclusion of Q&C: Declassified Vol. 2 (didn't read, waiting for trade), Northwest Passage Vol. 2 (haven't read yet, but eagerly looking forward to doing so) and Local #4 (great, brutal, fascinating issue). Ultimates was a lot of fun, with some great "Ultimized" villains. Despite being as late as it is, I dug Fear Agent #3 quite a bit. Fallen Angel #3 was a rough read, but the best issue of the new series thus far. Ex Machina and Y: The Last Man were typically excellent (which I know sounds like a contradiction in terms). Hell, I even kind of enjoyed bits and pieces of Infinite Crisis #5.

I've also been catching a lot of Netflix movies of late. Watched Transporter (again), Transporter 2 (first time), and found both to be cheesy fun. Watched Scarface for the first time and generally enjoyed it, although I didn't love it. Watched Soderbergh's Bubble, which I was really anticipating, and found it to be mostly boring, which was my reaction to the critically-beloved Junebug as well. I prefer Soderbergh in popcorn mode, but I generally like his indy stuff well (really like Full Frontal and The Limey), but Bubble just left me cold. But then, my tastes aren't always the most sophisticated. I caught Tony Scott's Domino and really enjoyed it, and that is pretty much pure popcorn movie.

I did get down to Hut's on Sunday to try the buffalo burger and I have to say, I'm not all that impressed. Had a little bit of a gamey aftertaste, and cost $1.75 extra to boot. Back to regular beef for me, although maybe I'll try the longhorn beef at some point just to see if I can tell the difference. Also worth noting that while Hut's offers like 20 different kinds of burgers, most of them involve variations of a number of condiments I just don't care for, like guacamole, lettuce, tomato, etc. Give me more variations of burgers with BBQ sauce (and other sauces, beyond just mayo and ketchup), bacon, mushrooms, jalapenos, and more exotic condiments and I'll be more impressed with selection. However, their burgers *are* good, and their fries are excellent, probably better than the always-voted-best in Austin Chronicle Hyde Park Grill, which I find a little dry and overrated.

I've been listening to a few new things, specifically the Arctic Monkeys' new album (love these guys), Ray Davies' new album (former lead singer of the Kinks, good album) and Let It Beast, the Dj BC and the Beastles remix of Beatles and Beastie Boys (excellent, excellent mash-up, and it's free!)

The Shield is as great as ever, and if Forrest Whitaker doesn't get a Supporting Actor Emmy, then the whole awards are just worthless. 24 has been guilty pleasure "guy soap opera" fun, as they've really tuned into the proper formula for the show and have the best cast that the show has had, and I'm really digging Lost as well. Also, Scrubs returned this week after a week or two off, and man do I love that show. It's one of the few comedies (along with Newsradio, Seinfeld and Arrested Development) that I actually buy on DVD, because I suspect I'll be rewatching it for years to come. Oh, and Battlestar Galactica won its way back into my heart with a couple of good episodes and then one great one, "Downloaded," which gave insight into the cylon civilization and provided a fun twist on the Baltar/Six relationship.

See, I told ya this was gonna ramble.

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