Blog Template Update for October
This is the latest monthly update to the left column of the blog, updating my favorite comics and TV for the previous month. The listings are alphabetical, not by rank of how much I liked them in comparison. My criteria for what makes the list is when I read them, not necessarily when they were published.
So what'd I do in October? Well, the big news is probably that my wife is pregnant with our second child, due in June. We're very excited, and I'm about 50% less terrified, since I know the territory by now. Suzanne has been blogging about her pregnancy, Katy's reaction to it and such on her blog.
In addition, we had folks re-doing the bathrooms and kitchens in the house, which was kind of a pain but which has resulted in generally very nice bathrooms and kitchen. Except that the plugs in the bathrooms don't work. And the medicine chest/mirrors are gone, and I have no idea when they're coming back. But other than that, nice home improvements. I also got very into buying the Justice League Unlimited action figure three-packs when I saw them at the supermarket, and now have a pretty decent selection of obscure and popular DC heroes decorating my computer desk. We officially locked in the STAPLE! '07 special guest (Dean Haspiel) and there should be a few more exciting announcements in November about exhibitors and guests as well. Sales on STAPLE! tables are going very well, and if you're thinking of coming, you might want to look into registration as soon as possible. November fast approacheth, and that means three things to me: 1) Guitar Hero II will be arriving at my house and 2) Wizard World Texas is upon us and 3) Thanksgiving is coming soon.
This was a really good month for first issues, quite possibly the best all year. Criminal and Irredeemable Ant-Man are new and very promising series from Marvel, and there were also a couple great limited series launched this month, namely Doctor Strange: Oath and Other Side. Oni also launches once more into ongoing territory with the beautifully illustrated and intriguing genre-blend The Damned. Kind of amazing that despite hating almost everything related to Civil War and, indeed, much of Marvel's output, they still make up 50% of my Top 10. This probably speaks to Marvel's over-flooding the market once again, but it also speaks to two specific talents: Ed Brubaker and Brian Vaughan. Between them, they account for 8 of my Top 20. There are only two DC universe titles on my list, both on the fringes of the 52/Infinite Crisis-spun universe, which has basically lost all interest for me. But Vertigo takes up 4 spots, about half of Marvel, with roughly 25% of the level of output. And Vertigo dominates my Top 10 graphic novels with 3 spots as well.
There are only a few books on the indy list, and most wouldn't be considered indy by some. (By the way, I'm aware that some folks spell it indie. I spell it indy, and will continue to do so until someone can prove to me that both spellings aren't appropriate, via something other than their opinion.) Those books are The Damned, Dork and The Escapists. One Image book, one Dark Horse and one from Slave Labor. Indy makes up the lion's share of the rest of my graphic novel list, though, with an anthology published by Alternative, a new book from IDW, the first book I've ever bought from Dynamite and books from Dark Horse and Image.
Last month, I thought I was going to have a hard time pruning my Top 10 TV list. But then CBS cancelled Smith, which prompted me to stop watching The Unit, and things got a lot clearer. Shows that almost made the cut were Heroes, which I started to really dislike but which recovered strongly in the last two episodes and both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, which I love but which have been shunted aside for the time being. There are like 30 of them on my Tivo right now, and I watch them at a rate of maybe one or two a week, so I'll never catch up. I watched 30 Rock to see if I wanted to add it to the weekly routine, and it was godawful. Just painfully unfunny, except for Alec Baldwin, who can't carry the show on his own. I know that some critics are hailing 30 Rock while hating on Studio 60, and I just don't get it. At least Studio 60 isn't supposed to be a comedy. My absolute favorite show right now is Battlestar Galactica... I liked but didn't love it for most of its run, but the opening three episode arc has been just amazing. Just below that, I've become obsessed with The Office, which makes me laugh harder than anything on TV since Arrested Development (although it's still not as good as AD... but what could be?) and I'm really enjoying the new Lost and Doctor Who seasons as well. Studio 60 and Veronica Mars have both been uneven for me, but they're always at least entertaining and occasionally great.
New links I added to my RSS reader this month: 2 Guys Reading Comics (on the strength of a hilarious takedown of Civil War #4), Artistic Veritas (covering TV and Tivo, my other two big addictions besides comics and the Internet) and artist blogs for Matt Madden, Marko Djurdjevic and Takeshi Miyazawa.