Friday, December 28, 2007

Xbox 360

So I got what I really wanted for Christmas. My parents-in-law got me an XBox 360, and my parents got me Rock Band.

Yes, I do have the best parents and in-laws in the world.

So I finally plugged in Rock Band tonight, just to try out the solo guitar action and...




This game is so good, I may never play Guitar Hero again. Downloadable songs, the ability to switch and play bass, drums or sing, plus multiplayer and online multiplayer with all of that? Not to mention I love the little tweaks to the Rock Band guitar, like the multi-mode whammy bar and the inset fret buttons, and the super-customizable avatars are awesome as well.

If anybody out there is on XBox Live, please friend me... I've put my gamertag up. I'm a pretty casual gamer, and I can't play first-person, or even a lot of third-person, shooters without getting ill, so I won't do the huge multiplayer HALO or Bioshock or Call of Duty... but I could definitely use some folks to play Rock Band online with, or people who will play with a total novice at Madden '08. I also swung by Gamestop and picked up their "Buy 2, get 1 free" used games to get Tomb Raider Legend, Marvel Ultimate Alliance (I already have it on the PS/2, but this one has Hawkeye and Moon Knight, two of my favorites) and Crackdown.

I can't wait for Burnout Paradise City. I've been digging the demo. And I'm going to buy the full versions of Catan and Carcassone at some point too.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Best of 2007 - Movies

I have gotten to the point where I see less than a dozen movies in the theater, and they're usually the big, dumb Hollywood flicks, while I wind up finding the smarter movies I really love on DVD about a year later. 2007 was no exception, and since my movie viewing was so sparse, rather than a top 10, I'm just giving the whole list:

On Netflix:
Children of Men - Intense, amazing performances, great in every way. My favorite film of 2007.
Pan's Labyrinth - Gorgeous, imaginative, the best Del Toro film I've ever seen and my other favorite movie of the year.
Casino Royale - When I watched this again on DVD, I gained a larger appreciation for it. It's still way too long and inconsistent in tone, but it's got a ton of excellent moments and Daniel Craig is great as Bond.
Fail Safe - Surprisingly engaging take on a classic play with a fantastic cast.
Deja Vu - Enjoyable action movie from Tony Scott, for those who dig his quick-cut, frenetic style. I happen to be one of those people.
Night Watch - Not entirely great, but imaginative, fresh and fun.
The Last King of Scotland - Great performance by Forest Whitaker in a somewhat bland movie.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Good, nowhere near as good as the book nor as good as the reviewers made it out to be.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Good, nowhere near as good as the book.
The Illusionist - Interesting, and a great performance (as always) by Ed Norton, but I didn't love it.
The Lookout - Boring. Didn't finish it.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Boring. Didn't finish it.
Shortbus - How do you make what is essentially porn this boring?
Crank - Too over the top and dumb, couldn't quite enjoy this, and I say that as a fan of The Transporter and somebody who watched and enjoyed parts of Transporter 2.
Stranger than Fiction - Weird, likable, more or less forgettable.
Little Miss Sunshine - Overrated, occasionally funny but overwrought and melodramatic.
Out of the Past - Couldn't get into it. Came highly recommended by Ed Brubaker, but I'm just not an old movie guy.

In Theatres:
Knocked Up - Funny and sweet, the heart at the center of this one puts it just above...
Superbad - Which is funnier than Knocked Up, and has an equally great cast, but it's focus is on comedy over character.
Hot Fuzz - Hilarious, and as good or perhaps better than Shaun of the Dead. Although still not as great as Spaced.
Ocean's 13 - Fun, although I didn't think it was noticeably better or different from Ocean's 12, unlike most of the critics who lambasted 12 and loved 13. I liked both about equally, and neither one as well as Ocean's 11.
Ratatouille - Pixar delivers the goods as always, although it's weaker than their last few. Great short at the start, though, and still an excellent movie.
Bee Movie - Surprisingly fun, took my daughter to this one and we both had a good time.
Pirates 3 - Loud, pointless, occasionally fun.
Transformers - See above, but with transforming robots, too many pointless human characters and way too much Michael Bay and Shia LaBeouf
Bourne Ultimatum - Well crafted, but the first person shaky cam stuff actually made me ill and I had to leave the theatre before it finished, which downgrades it in my mind
28 Weeks Later - I hated this, found it laughably bad, and don't understand how so many people gave it good marks.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Best of 2007 - Music

My Top 10 Favorite Albums of 2007
The Fratellis - Costello Music - I'm pretty sure this album was released in 2006, but I hadn't really heard of The Fratellis before this year, and now they're one of my favorite bands. I can't remember the last time I bought an album and loved every song on it. Certainly none of the other albums on this list can make that claim, even though there were some very good albums this year. Hoping we'll see more Fratellis in 2008.

Hot Hot Heat - Elevator - Another band I've heard of, but never sampled before 2007. Hot Hot Heat has the same sort of poppy up-tempo style that many of my favorites on this list have, and I dug quite a few songs off this album.

Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare - Love the Arctic Monkeys, and although this wasn't as great as their last album, there are still a half-dozen really good songs, and not really a stinker in the mix.

Hot Fuzz - The Soundtrack - Nice weird mixture of music, from '60s standards to (you guessed it) a couple Fratellis tunes. First place I heard the band, actually. Also has a great song by The Eels.

Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga - Austin based band that I really should have checked out earlier. There are a few songs I really like on here, but I'm even more impressed with Girls Can Tell, their older album that I picked up off eMusic. But this one was released this year, so it goes on the 2007 list.

Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace - Solid, although not spectacular. The Foo Fighters never fail to deliver at least good music, but this didn't have the killer hooks in me the way their last few albums have. A couple really good singles, though, and overall I dug the album.

Fountains of Wayne - Traffic and Weather - I'm about 50-50 on this album, but the songs I like, I really like, and I find all of them listenable, even if most of them didn't wind up on regular rotation.

The Killers - Sam's Town - It's weird, I like The Killers when I hear them on other people's iPods, but it usually takes me a while to realize that before buying the album. That was the case with Sam's Town, which I bought a few months after release, at least.

Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank - I liked this better than Modest Mouse's first album. The lead single they released was my favorite song on it, though.

Arcade Fire - Neon Bible - This one took a few listens to decide I liked it, but then I wound up actually loving one of the songs on it so much it made my Top Favorite songs of 2007.

My Top 10 Favorite Songs of 2007
Flathead - The Fratellis - Close call, but it's my favorite track from the album - great video, too - Chelsea Dagger is a close second, and another great video

Theme From Andrex - Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra (Picked up on it from the Ocean's 13 trailer)

Fluorescent Adolescent - Arctic Monkeys - One of my three favorite songs off Arctic Monkeys, I also really love "Do The Bad Thing" and "Balaclava"

Don't Make Me A Target - Spoon - My favorite song off the Spoon album, which became a favorite after I saw it used perfectly on "Chuck," and it's in close competition with "The Underdog"

Souljacker Part 1 - The Eels

The Well and the Lighthouse - Arcade Fire - Favorite song off this album

Radio Nowhere - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band - iTunes freebie, and one of my favorite Springsteen tunes ever - But then, I'm not a huge Springsteen fan

New Routine - Fountains of Wayne - My favorite song off the new Fountains of Wayne, although "Someone to Love" is close... and the video embedded below, since I can't find New Routine on Youtube. Also, this video features Demetri Martin from The Daily Show, which is cool.

Dreaming of You - The Coral - From The Scrubs Volume 2 soundtrack - occasionally sappy, but they pick good music for these

Chick Habit - April March - Perfect ending to Tarantino's Death Proof - in the theatre, at least - I hear the DVD version is interminable, and I can believe that, because Grindhouse was perfect as one movie, but didn't seem like a good idea as two longer ones.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Best of 2007 - TV

I'm going to go ahead and start posting my Best of 2007 lists, even though the year isn't technically over yet. For TV, it all ended a week ago anyway. I'll also plan to cover music and movies (although given my DVD versus theater habits, that'll be more of a Best of 2006). Comics will of course be covered in podcast form on Comic Pants in early 2008.

My Top 10 Favorite TV Shows of 2007
30 Rock (NBC) - I might love this even more than Arrested Development. It's funny, it's smart, it has a great ensemble cast. One memorable scene from a recent episode is below, but it's worth checking out all of season one on DVD or any of the second season episodes on Amazon or Hulu (although I don't whole-heartedly endorse those at the moment, given the writer's strike. And that goes for any reference to legal downloads made in this post.)

Dexter (SHO) - Claiming the title of favorite drama over longtime champion The Shield, Dexter had the benefit of a stunning first season and an even more impressive second season follow-up. Rarely misses a beat, has a great cast and great writers. Takes a bizarre premise that sounds totally unappealing at first and makes it totally addicting viewing. Worth having Showtime for. The video below is a funny official Showtime music video for the show, it spoils major parts of season one but doesn't spoil anything from season two.

The Shield (F/X) - Continually putting the characters into situations where you wonder what's going to happen next, how they're going to escape and if they even deserve to. There's only one season left, and it sure looks like they'll go out on a high note.

The Office (NBC) - To me, the show just keeps getting funnier, and I loved all the new characters in season three and the evolution of relationships in season four. There were a ton of laugh out loud episodes in both.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (F/X) - Actually managed to go even further into outrageous comedy territory in their latest season, building up steam with four last episodes for the season that are among the funniest they've ever done. Look up some clips on Youtube or Hulu, paying particular attention to "The Gang Gets Whacked" or "Bums: Making a Mess All Over The City" or "The Gang Dances Their Asses Off."

Lost (ABC) - I never quite had the disconnect that so many did from season three, but I won't deny that were some weaker episodes in there. However, I think it's better than most people remember, and the awesomely cool season finale (not to mention an announced ending) have me excited about a strong conclusion. Just hope the AMPTP's negotiating tactics and resulting long strike don't mess up the plan too badly.

Burn Notice (USA) - Light fun, good cast, and a developing larger story made this at first a mildly entertaining diversion, building up to a must-watch show by the end.

Pushing Daisies (ABC) - The best of the new Fall season shows, this one has a Tim Burton vibe (think Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands and especially Big Fish), fantastic casting, two gorgeous female leads, the best narrator ever and lots of witty, imaginative comedy and dramatic character hooks as well. Bryan Fuller (of Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls) finally gets the success he's always deserved, and he gets to keep the quirk.

Chuck (NBC) - This one grew on me as the season went on, until eventually I was going into "Nooo! Not the strike!" mode when the episodes ran out. The terrific supporting cast (Adam Baldwin as Agent Casey in particular, although I also love Ellie and Captain Awesome, and Morgan has really grown on me) is enough reason to watch it, but the Chuck/Sarah relationship turns out to be really good, and I love the combination of goofy comedy with spy action and a touch of soap opera relationships. Also, the music choices on this show are excellent.

Battlestar Galactica (SCIFI) - The first four episodes, focusing on a guerrilla resistance against the Cylons, were my favorite episodes of the series. Then there was a drought of about fourteen episodes that rarely rated above mediocre, and then there was a terrific two-part finale. Then there was Razor, the movie about the Pegasus, which I loved. So although there were a lot of episodes I didn't like, the eight (counting Razor as two) I did I really liked, and that brings the whole thing up to the bottom spot on my top 10.

Shows that didn't make the cut (but almost did) were Heroes (for the first season episodes that aired in 2007, but the awful season two weighed too heavily aginst them), How I Met Your Mother (still funny, but it lost something in the transition between season two and three), Weeds (strong season, but not quite strong enough to get past the shows above) and Friday Night Lights (awesome first season, very disappointing second season).

Monday, December 17, 2007

Girls With Slingshots in Dead Tree Edition!

This is so cool. I discovered GWS when Danielle came to the first ever STAPLE!, and now, three years later, I'll be able to buy a copy when she's at the fourth one in March!

If you're not in Austin, or you just don't want to wait, or you want to make sure I curse myself for not ordering one instead of waiting to buy one from Danielle in person in March, go and look here. GWS is a very funny, very well-drawn comic.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Weekly Comics to Come - December 19, 2007

Action Philosophers Vol 3 Giant Sized Thing TP (The finale of Van Lente & Dunlavey's great indie comic series... good news is that their next one, Comic Book Comics, looks just as good)
Escapists HC (Finally! This was supposed to ship two weeks ago, but we're just getting it at my shop. One of my favorite stories from 2006)
X-men First Class Vol 2 #6 (Corrected version, now readable in order, is just as good as I remember when I had to read in weird order with the misprints a couple weeks back)
Incredible Hulk #112 (Basically a backdoor series for Hercules and Amadeus Cho, and it is awesome. Best issue of the series since #110, which is my runner-up for best single issue of the year)
The Order #6 (Another strong issue for The Order)

Angel After The Fall #2 (First issue was good, and I'm very curious to see where they go from here)
Batman And The Outsiders #3 (Solid entertaining superteam book with really nice art)
Birds of Prey #113 (Sean McKeever takes over, and I'll check back in to see if I have any interest)
Countdown Ray Palmer Superwoman Batwoman #1 (I have zero interest in the Countdown aspect, but I loved the Superwoman Batwoman Elseworlds from way back... unfortunately, a lot of that was down to Matt Haley's artwork, and Randy Green isn't in the same league. Palmiotti & Gray are good storytellers, though... I'll probably check this out, but expect to be disappointed.)
Grendel Behold The Devil #2 (First issue was great, looking forward to more)
Immortal Iron Fist #11 (Very strong Iron Fist issue, and a Heroes for Hire reunion of sorts)
Justice League Of America #16 (Last issue won me back a bit, although I'm still not loving this as much as I thought I would)
Long Count #1 (New from Archaia, sci-fi take on the Mayan end of the world myths, I'm intrigued)
Mundens Bar Vol 1 TP (Collection of weird short stories from Grimjack backups)
Naoki Urasawas Monster Vol 12 (This has been getting really good of late)
Neozoic #2 (Beautiful art on this alternate world humans vs. dinosaurs book from Red 5, and the story was solid as well)
Other Side Of The Mirror Vol 1 (Jo Chen's manga! I'm a huge fan of her art, and even though the genre here isn't my favorite, I have to check it out)
Robotika For A Few Rubles More #1 (Really enjoyed the first one, and this follow-up looks very good as well)
Special Forces #2 (Weird, but kind of compelling, and Baker's vision and style are different from anyone else in comics)
Umbrella Academy Apocalypse Suite #4 (Almost nonsensical, but in a good way... and beautiful to look at)
Walking Dead Vol 3 HC (I'm on and off this book, but I'm on enough to pick up these hardcovers)
What If Civil War (Writers I like take on a concept I hate... I'm interested in checking it out)
World War Hulk Warbound #1 (First issue of this one is a good read, although I'm not sure where it's going... which is a good thing, I suppose)

Friday, December 14, 2007

J.K. Rowling's Newest Book

In case you haven't heard, J.K. Rowling has released a new book, a companion of sorts to Harry Potter. It's called "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" and it is a real-life version of the book seen in the last Harry Potter book. It is also handwritten, done up in a style with leather and semi-precious stones and a locking clasp, and, oh yeah, there are only seven of them in existence.

Six of them were given to those that Rowling calls "those most closely connected to the Harry Potter books during the last 17 years." The last was auctioned off for almost 2 million pounds (around 4 million dollars) and purchased through a proxy by, who are making reviews and pictures available to the public.

In some respects, it seems like a really cruel trick to play on us Potter fans, presenting a wholly new book that is clearly very good (at least if the words of the reviewer are to be believed, and the description of the two tales up as of this writing certainly sound pretty good) and then saying "Oops, sorry, you can't have it."

However, she's raised almost four million dollars for a children's charity in Europe. And Amazon, who purchased the book, have found a way to share it with the public. For free. Hard to get too upset about that. It's a remarkably cool use of the fame and well-earned critical acclaim that Rowling has earned, and just goes to show that in addition to creating one of the most enduring new fantasy series, she just seems like a really smart, really nice lady.

I'm holding out hope that at some point in the future, a mass-produced version of "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" will be published. I have a hard time imagining that it won't. But even if it isn't, this is just a really cool story.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A List of Pixar Inside Jokes

This is just a really cool list of various Pixar inside jokes in their movies, with screen captures. I thought I'd know most of them, but I probably only knew a couple.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Weekly Comics to Come - December 12, 2007

Bprd Killing Ground #5 (Latest Mignola/Arcudi/Davis treat comes to an end)
Fables #68 (Loving this new story)
Nova #9 (Best two-parter of the series thus far concludes here, and I want a communist space dog miniseries)
Nova Vol 1 Annihilation Conquest TP (Might just be my favorite new series of 2007)
Wormwood One Shot (Finally, new Wormwood... one thing, though... this book has been gone for months while Templesmith worked on it, and they just *had* to put it out on the one week that the Chronicles of Wormwood from Avatar came out too?)

Abyss #2 (Second issue of the fun supervillain spoof)
Astounding Wolf-Man #4 (This book really needed to be monthly for a while to build momentum... I'm in a very not caring place about it right now)
Criminal Vol 2 Lawless TP (Wasn't wild about the ending, but this was a strong arc, I'm curious to read it all at once)
Darkness #1 (Phil Hester on writing, and I'm interested to see what he does)
DMZ #26 (Burchielli's back, and Wood's one-shot story focuses on Kelly, a character I quite like)
Elephantmen War Toys #1 (The story of the war, at last, as Elephantmen returns)
Engineer #1 (Guy fights interdimensional trouble with his cosmic pipe organ... Archaia Studios Press)
Fantastic Four #552 (Dwayne McDuffie appears to be going out with a bang, on this cool little future Doom story)
Hybrid Bastards #1 (Beautifully painted, weird new series from Archaia Studios Press)
Marvel Adventures Hulk #6 (Fun to see Namor and Hulk square off, unfortunate that Mario Gully's art is kinda ugly)
Misericordia #1 (Another new Archaia book with an unusual, intriguing art style)
New Warriors #6 (Lame reveal of Thrash's identity sort of kills my formerly high interest in the book)
Potters Field #3 (Waid's pulpy noir mini at Boom! wraps, and I'm glad there's more coming in 2008)
Suicide Squad Raise The Flag #4 (I just don't like the modern status quo, which is hurting the book, but it's still a solid read)
Walking Dead #45 (Hated #43, warmed up a little bit to #44, hope this is good)

Monday, December 10, 2007

And on the lighter side of the news...

Well, lighter if you consider "Corporate America making another naked attempt at squashing workers by applying their giant financial advantage to evil purposes" lighter. Or, in other words, the writer's strike.

But the writers do have a spoof page up for the AMPTP, or NAMBLA (this joke trademark Jon Stewart and the Daily Show), and it's hilarious. Check it out.

Creationist fucktards cost actual intelligent educator their job

This makes me furious, especially given that it's happened here in Austin, Texas, where I live.

Furious enough to make an ill-considered rant about religion. To my friends who read this who are religious, in some cases to the extent of being an actual minister, know that I'm not talking about you. I'm talking about the people who *claim* to be Christian, but clearly have no idea what that actually means.

I've tried to be very tolerant of those who have a strong faith. I respect it, even if I don't share it. In return, I expect that my lack of religious belief be given the same respect. Which just ain't happening in America, and it's only getting worse since Bush's "God put me here" Presidency.

I'm tired of the leeway that some religious crazies get for their faulty science. I find it maddening that intelligent design can seriously be included in any curriculum, rather than laughed out of the building. And it annoys me that an atheist wouldn't have a shot in hell of the Presidency, that not believing in an invisible all-powerful man in the clouds somehow marks *me* as the crazy one.

If an atheist got up and gave a speech about "Anyone who has never prayed to a nonexistent God is a friend of mine," they'd be tarred, feathered and lit on fire before being run out of town. But Mitt Romney, G.O.P. third in line for the 2008 Republican nomination, gave a speech in which he said "Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me."

For any atheist or agnostic, it's hard not to take that as an implicit "And if you don't believe in God, you're not my friend, and may be my enemy."

If an atheist said "There are those who believe that God watches over us all -- they are wrong" he might not make it down off the podium before being beaten to within an inch of his life by angry religious folks in the audience.

Yet Romney offers up "It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America -- the religion of secularism. They are wrong."

Really? Well, I've managed to live 35 years as a pretty decent human being without religion to guide me. I've had parents, peers and good examples in the community to teach me right from wrong, I didn't need a set of arbitrary rules from a church that often didn't hold its faithful or even its priests to the same codes.

If an atheist said, "Freedom requires free expression and free thought, just as free expression and free thought flourish in a free society. Freedom opens the windows of the mind so a man can question the most profound beliefs of society, including the existence of God. Freedom and free thought endure together, or perish alone." Well, that he'd probably get away with, but there's no way in hell he'd be elected President. Too many folks equate religion with turning off the brain and just accepting what the church tells you.

Yet Romney offers up: "Freedom requires religion, just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone,"

I call bullshit. Religion has nothing to do with freedom. All too often, organized religion has been used to squash freedom, to stifle free expression and to limit free thought. I'm glad that we live in a society where people are free to believe what they wish, without being persecuted. I just wish there wasn't what seems like a majority belief that if you're an atheist, you're following that freedom to foolish ends.

And I pity the poor teacher who decides to try and sling that creationism/intelligent design bullshit at Katy and Aaron at school. Because they're going to get the extended dance remix of this post, in person. Every day until they stop trying to poison my kid's mind.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Blog Update for November 2007

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. This is basically also my own records of what I read/liked for the inevitable "End of Year" lists I feel like making.

It's another huge month for comics, and my early cut of "best of the month" ran well over thirty. Cutting it down, I lost promising new first issues of Midknight (Red 5), Batman and the Outsiders (DC), Angel (IDW), Fearless and Hawaiian Dick (Image). Also not quite making the cut were a half-dozen from Marvel (Marvel Adventures Iron Man #7, Criminal #10, Marvel Zombies 2 #2, Daredevil #102, Incredible Hulk #111 and Immortal Iron Fist #10), two from DC (Brave And The Bold #8 and Suicide Squad Raise The Flag #3) and four from other publishers (Hack Slash Series #6, Usagi Yojimbo #107, Umbrella Academy Apocalypse Suite #3 and Invincible #46). As for what did make the cut? 3 DC (the out-of-continuity, consistently late All Star Superman and two Vertigo books, one of which is gone in the new year, not exactly a strong DC showing), a whopping 10 (half the list!) from Marvel (with Abnett & Lanning and Christos Gage both represented on the list with two different books), 1 from Image, 1 from Red 5, 1 from Oni and 4 from Dark Horse, making it the second biggest publisher on my list. Plus two of the books that almost made the cut were Dark Horse, putting them even with DC even if I expanded to a top 30 and included Vertigo in DC's count. Marvel also has my attention, but mostly for books that are on their fringe, with only Captain America in the top 20 sellers.

Didn't do a lot of reading this month, outside of comics issues. Only read a half-dozen graphic novels or so, didn't start on any of the books that I meant to read. But it was a busy month at work and there were a few trips to Dallas for family visits and Wizard World Texas, plus I was getting ready to start up the D&D game again in December, which meant a lot of prep work.

November was also the last real month of new television for the year, and indeed probably for longer. My guess, given the networks' insulting negotiation tactics, is that the strike is going to go on for a while. Which is OK, although I'll probably start missing shows in a couple months. At any rate, there are a few great series, and a couple that have moved from intriguing to solidly good. But first, the disappointments. I killed off Reaper for good because it was getting repetitive and also because I saw what the CW passed on with the Veronica Mars season four pilot, and I think my interests and the interests of whoever made that decision are nowhere near in line. Heroes regained some strength, but then turned in a two-part finale that may have been the worst episodes the series has ever had. I'm not sure I'll be back for season three. Friday Night Lights continues to have moments of greatness and moments of "what the hell?!" And Scrubs... it bums me out that Scrubs was weak last season and weaker this one, and that it's not going to go out as strongly as it could have if they'd ended a couple seasons ago. Still watching, but not enjoying it as much as the rest of the comedy block.

Then there's the good. The Office went dark early thanks to the strike, but before it did, they turned in three pretty strong episodes. 30 Rock was even better, with three new episodes, two of which could be series favorites for me. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia had a great third season, closing out with some hilarious episodes, with the two-part "Gang Gets Whacked," the '70s tinged "Bums" episode and "The Gang Dances Their Asses Off" providing some of the most over-the-top and hilarious moments the show has ever seen. I sincerely hope we see more Rickety Cricket in season four, as every moment with him was gold. Pushing Daisies doesn't quite have its hooks in me the way Fuller's Dead Like Me did, but I love the entire cast and it's definitely my favorite new show of the season. My second favorite, as it turns out, is Chuck, which is like this weirdly perfect blend of McG's Charlie's Angels (in terms of whimsy and action), Alias (in terms of action/soap opera/spy stuff blending) and a few other elements. The music choices and dialogue/characters are strong, and though I never watched it, I'm going to guess those are the hallmarks of The O.C.'s Josh Schwartz.I was also really, really happy with Razor, the Battlestar Galactica movie, which has me wanting to go back and re-watch seasons 1-3 of Galactica. Then there's my favorite show on the air, Dexter, which is having a second season as good or maybe even better than its first. As long as Showtime has Dexter, I will have Showtime. Weeds, too, although Weeds returning next year is kind of bittersweet, as the last few episodes in November really provided a great finale for the series, and I'm wary of them going on too long. And the "good, but not great" sitcoms of How I Met Your Mother and My Name is Earl, both of which have occasional uproariously funny moments (the "writing fantasy" episode of Earl was great, for example) but also occasionally fall into sitcom cliche, continued to be good, occasionally great. Mother was fairly weak in November, so it was number 11 on the top 10 and didn't quite make the cut.

A few new additions to the blogroll this month, mostly a result of the strike. I've added both Deadline Hollywood Daily and United Hollywood, and both have become favorites of mine for their strike coverage. Also added the writer blogs of Ronald D. Moore and Lisa Klink. In non-strike related additions, there was the Flickr blog (semi-daily new pictures), Obama Press (the official newsblog of Barack Obama's campaign), rarely updated blogs from Jenna Fischer (Pam from The Office) and Stan Sakai (creator of Usagi Yojimbo), a new webcomic, Real Life Comics, found from a link on Shortpacked! and the Wizards of the Coast RSS feed.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Weekly Comics to Come - December 5, 2007

Annihilation Conquest #2 (Great second issue, nice twists and turns and fantastic art)
Dynamo 5 #9 (Another issue of what may be my favorite new superhero book of 2007)
House Of M Avengers #2 (Sweet Christmas, I love this book. '70s superheroes at their finest... give Gage and Perkins an ongoing book, already, Marvel!)
Resurrection #1 (Terrific new post-alien apocalypse book that recalls The Walking Dead in all the right ways)
The Order #5 (Another strong issue, another contender for best new superhero book of 2007)

Atomic Robo #3 (The move to the modern-day makes me love the book even more, Red 5 is impressing)
Avengers Initiative Annual #1 (The last issue won me back over to the book for a while)
Buffy The Vampire Slayer #9 (Vaughan's Faith arc concludes, I believe... best Buffy comic story so far)
Fearless #2 (Promising first issue, now to see if it can deliver the goods once the setup is done)
Infinite Horizon #1 (Love Phil Noto's art, I'll give this one a look)
Invincible #47 (This weird "no books for months and then two in two weeks" shipping is annoying, but it's still a great book)
Justice League Of America #15 (Almost off McDuffie's JLA, but I can't quite bring myself to quit it yet)
Lobster Johnson Iron Prometheus #4 (Liking this one, although not as much as Hellboy or BPRD)
Marvel Adventures Hulk Vol 1 Tp (Fun stories, nice art, great use of Madrox)
Northlanders #1 (Brian Wood's promising new viking Vertigo saga)
Overman #1 (New sci-fi series from Image, first issue is very good)
Owly Vol 4 Dont Be Afraid TP (New Owly! Yay!)
Wet Moon Vol 3 Gn (New gothy art from Ross Campbell! Double yay!)
World War Hulk Aftersmash (Weird, but interesting, epilogue to World War Hulk)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Little More On The Strike

I haven't been posting as many links to the strike news as of late, but I have still been following it with a sort of horrified interest. Horrified at how greedy the AMPTP and the studios behind them are being, that is.

So this, from United Hollywood, an open letter to the AMPTP's PR Person of the Hour, just about made me die laughing.

"In the very likely event that you get fired before you finish reading this, I hope you'll be so kind as to mark your place so that your successors can pick up reading where you leave off. Thanks."


The strike is going to take a while, I think, but I fully believe the AMPTP will cave. Because they are losing *huge* right now, in terms of PR and stock prices, which is hitting them where they hurt.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Weekly Comics to Come - November 29, 2007

Age Of Bronze Vol 3 Betrayal HC (The latest in Shanower's Greek war epic)
American Virgin #21 (The final arc of American Virgin continues)
Marvel Zombies 2 #2 (Kirkman and Phillips continue to impress)
Proof #2 (Promising new series from Image, imagine X-Files if Mulder were a bigfoot)
X-Men First Class Vol 2 #6 (Another great issue, this one features danger from space, a classic foe and even better, a long form story with Parker and Colleen Coover doing a story of Scarlet Witch and Jean Grey)

Batman And The Outsiders #2 (First issue was surprisingly fun, last page was worrying, but I'm curious to see where it goes from here)
Dan Dare #1 (Garth Ennis takes on a classic Brit hero in the Flash Gordon mold)
Daredevil #102 (Still digging Brubaker's take, but the whole "Milla's a murderer" thing is bugging me)
Dock Walloper #1 (New crime comic from Virgin)
Fear Agent Hatchet Job #1 (New miniseries - really enjoyed the last one)
Hack Slash Series #6 (I'm behind on Hack Slash, need to get caught up)
Jack Of Fables #17 (Also need to get caught up on this one, since I just read the trade)
Marvel Adventures Iron Man #7 (Dr. Doom... stealth armor... hells yeah)
Marvel Atlas #1 (Locales of the Marvel Universe, sounds like fun)
Popgun Vol 1 Gn (Giant anthology from Image with an impressive creator list)
Previews #27.12 (Down the Line is in the works)
Transformers Devastation #3 (Loved the second issue)
Usagi Yojimbo #107 (Always great stories of the rabbit ronin)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Jeff Parker = Genius

At this point, I have no particular interest in writing comics, beyond the "If someone gave me a comic I'd write it," but I still find the process stuff interesting. And Jeff Parker, talking about working with artists but throwing in a few general writer tips as well, writes a must-read column on writing in this blog entry.

No wonder X-Men First Class, Agents of Atlas, Marvel Adventures Avengers, etc. are all so damn good. Also, X-Men First Class #9? From the new solicit?

"No longer with Magneto's Brotherhood, Wanda Maximoff is at a crossroads. Should she become a super hero like her friend Marvel Girl? Or will the Black Widow succeed in her goal of Scarlet Witch - Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.!"

Let me repeat that: Scarlet Witch - Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Jeff Parker = genius

Monday, November 19, 2007

Weekly Comics to Come - November 21, 2007

American Virgin Vol 3 Wet TP (Sad to see it go, especially since each volume was better than the last, and this one's no exception)
Goon Chinatown Hc (The Goon's origin! Full color OGN by Eric Powell! Aw hells yeah!)
Grendel Behold The Devil #1 (New Matt Wagner Hunter Rose stories! Wooo!)
Hawaiian Dick #1 (New Hawaiian Dick stories! Scott Chantler Art! Maybe monthly this time! Double woo!)
Iron Man Director Of Shield Annual #1 (Dear Marvel: Please put Christos Gage on Iron Man monthly and have him write stories like this. Sincerely, Randy. This is the best Iron Man story I've read in quite some time, and it's also one of the more fun SHIELD stories I've read in a while... *and* it makes great use of Marvel's "Hong Kong", Madripoor, and some of the characters created by Claremont there)

Angel After The Fall #1 (Good, promising stuff... read my review)
Brave And The Bold #8 (Flash and Doom Patrol, looks like fun)
Captain America #32 (Another shocker from Brubaker and Epting, and I continue to really enjoy this book)
Incredible Hulk #111 (Interesting new status quo from Pak & Van Lente)
Invincible #46 (Digging this one as well, as it leads up to something big with #50)
Love And Capes #6 (The best full-color romance book on the stands)
Midknight #1 (New from promising newcomers Red 5 Comics)
Shadowpact #19 (Need to check back in, with Matt Sturges taking over solo writing chores a couple months back... and then I need to catch up on the trades)
She-Hulk 2 #23 (Second issue isn't as good as the first of Peter David's run, but it's still solid fun)
Thunderbolts Breaking Point (Not as good as Thunderbolts, not as godawful as the last Thunderbolts one-shot by a different creative team)
Umbrella Academy Apocalypse Suite #3 (Strange, beautifully illustrated, good comics)
Walking Dead #44 (#43 almost lost me... I'll have to see if this can win me back, but the dire portents of the future lead me to think Kirkman's going to once again go too far in a direction I'm not interested in)


It was a bit of a rough day, once we left Wizard World Texas. Hit some car trouble, and I've had various financial worries because... well, mostly because I worry a lot, not because we're in any real trouble.

And then I read my wife's blog and see her state with perfect clarity exactly how I feel pretty much every day. I mean, I own a comic book shop, which I run with the help of a great group of employees and friends. And then there's this:

So yeah. Pretty thankful this 2007.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Daily Show - Still Funny, Even on Strike

I Am Pro Robot-Overlord

John Rogers and Tyrone make a strong case for backing a robot overlord takeover. I see no choice but to publicly declare my early support on the internet, which is of course like beaming it directly into the proto-robot overlord brains.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Writer's Strike - Ask A Ninja

The Strike Continues...

It's probably an indication of what an entertainment junkie I am (ok, and an RSS junkie) that I'm reading *tons* of stuff about the writers' strike right now. In fact, sad as it may seem, I am probably greatly informed about the writers' strike, the world of comic books, the developments in the upcoming 2008 election and maybe a bit about videogames and very little else. We're not at war with Iran yet, are we? Because I might have missed that.

Kidding! Mostly. I really am paying a lot of attention to this.

And I've realized that I know people affected by this. I mean, not really close friends, although I do have close friends who are writers, but they're generally working in videogames or smaller press comics. I have plenty of friendly acquaintances, though, who are being affected by the strike. It struck me today that the writers' strike for a lot of the gofers and assistants and the others who really make the shows run day-to-day are probably hurting now, and will be more. It would be kind of like if comics' writers struck... the companies and the big name writers could hold out for a while, but I'd be in a panic-spiral without new product to sell to customers, and the guys doing one book a month would be having to take jobs waiting tables.

So while I have great admiration for the writer/producers for turning their back on huge salaries and great deals they've worked their whole lives to get, I think I have even more respect for folks who lost their first big break in a writers' room, or who had to give up a new internship, or did any of the other thousands of jobs that are necessary for TV to work, in order to support the writers.

And that, ultimately, is why the studios are going to lose, and lose huge, here. The reruns are coming sooner than expected (next week is the last new Office, which makes me very sad, and it won't be the first show to get truncated that way), and while it's going to hurt the viewers, most of us who aren't misinformed or selfish about our entertainment realize that it's the least bit of sacrifice we can offer to support the future of writers. And it's clear that, in general, folks have lined up behind the WGA on this. Any hopes of splitting them from the other guilds is weakening by the day. And it makes me glad when I see something like this on United Hollywood, showing that the actors (and SAG) are supporting the WGA.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Weekly Comics to Come - November 14, 2007

Avengers Initiative #7 (In a well-run Marvel Universe, this issue would have *major* continuity implications and be the best issue of The Initiative so far. In the current Marvel Universe? Probably will mostly be ignored by Bendis, JMS and the others *causing* the continuity/character problems and won't fix the problems it should fix, but it's still a very good issue that Spider-Man fans should check out - Edited to add, based on the comments, that this *will* be in continuity, which means it's must-reading for the week, especially if you're a Spidey fan, especially if you're a Spidey fan with a fondness for... well, that would be telling. But trust me.)
Fables #67 (Continuing one of the best stories the book has had)
Nova #8 (Maybe my favorite issue yet, a dash of Fraction-esque weirdness and fun with the same solid superhero adventure)
Scott Pilgrim Vol 4 GN (Awesome. You can read my review HERE)
World War Hulk #5 (I'm really looking forward to the end of this one... surprised by how much Pak and Romita Jr. have gotten me involved in the big Marvel crossover)

All Star Superman #9 (Morrison's obsession with Bizarro is growing tiresome, but as long as it's him and Quitely, I'll be reading)
Atheist #4 (Finally! It's been a long wait, but I'm guessing it'll be worth the wait)
Atomic Robo #2 (First issue was a ton of fun, looking forward to more)
Batman And The Outsiders #1 (Had little interest in the original creative team, due largely to the art, but Chuck Dixon and a stronger artist? I'll check it out)
Booster Gold #4 (Kind of meh on this, but I'm a Booster Gold fan enough to keep reading, or at least skim-reading)
BPRD Killing Ground #4 (As always, the BPRD remains one of my favorite monthly reads)
Brit #3 (Anarchic superhero fun)
Courtney Crumrin And The Fire Thiefs Tale (Yay, more Courtney Crumrin!)
DMZ #25 (Another one-shot story, although I've never been a huge fan of guest artist Danijel Zezelj)
Ex Machina Vol 6 Power Down TP (The first trade I haven't read in single issues already, looking forward to catching up)
House Of M Avengers #1 (If House of M had been as good as this, I would have read the whole series, instead of one issue and assorted panels from the rest)
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen The Black Dossier HC (After the long delays, I don't know if it can possibly live up to the anticipation)
Marvel Adventures Hulk #5 (Dr. Strange guest-stars! This issue is a blast)
Official Handbook Of The Invincible Universe TP (Dug the hell out of this, but I'm hoping it'll be in the Invincible hardcovers)
Queen & Country Vol 8 Operation Red Panda TP (The final Queen & Country trade)
Salvation Run #1 (Villains face off, ala Secret Wars... could be fun)
Suicide Squad Raise The Flag #3 (Fun, not as good as the original stuff, but fun)
Wonder Woman #14 (Gail Simone tries to rescue the badly damaged DC character)
World Of Warcraft #1 (Curious about this... I'm not a huge fan of Simonson's writing or the art I've seen, and my WoW love is severely diminished, but I still want to check it out)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Heroes This Week

Best episode yet. Which at this point is damning with faint praise. But it does seem like they might finally be on the right track, they've moved most of the characters into more interesting places and the scope of the dual threats (which are no doubt related somehow) is pretty good.

Another week with no Maya/Alejandro, yay!

Another week with no Veronica Mars with Lightning Action, boo!

Hiro finally back from Japan, yay!

Suresh again has boomerang plot-driven characterization, boo!

Terrific scenes of Peter in the future and the amnesia story is finally dead! Yay!

Still don't give a crap about West, and I'm increasingly fed up with Claire. Boo!

Basically, it does seem like they could have gotten to this same place in, say, two or three episodes instead of six. Cut out West and the Black Oil twins and you've shaved at least one episode entirely, cut down the Hiro/Kensei arc to two episodes and you've saved another. And that's without eliminating any of the other pointless stuff, like amnesiac Irish Peter for four episodes. And all of this stretching out was clearly to keep us guessing, so that when the shock reveals of this episode hit, we'd all go "Wow, they've really been planning it."

Except that the reveals were so painfully predictable that we all knew they were coming from much earlier on. Adam's true identity? Guessed the second Kensei's powers were revealed, which incidentally should have been a first episode reveal. Hiro is Kensei? Actual guess from the first episode we met the "real" Kensei. And all this stuff with the Company is so much more interesting than almost anything from the first three episodes... shame they didn't lead with that.

At any rate, with Tim Kring and the rest of the writers on the strike lines, it's probably irrelevant that the show has made a minor comeback. And even though it is a comeback, I'm still uncertain about whether the show can be all that good with four episodes or so of pointless filler in its backstory and West, Maya and Alejandro still lurking in the wings, waiting to suck the life out of the show at any minute. But this was a better episode, and I felt less like I had wasted an hour of my life in watching it.

Of course, I watched it on Tuesday, and watched Chuck on Monday. Chuck is actually getting better with each episode after starting fairly strong, which puts it way out ahead of Heroes. And indeed, ahead of most of the Fall season, except for Pushing Daisies, which is terrific.

Again, though, with the strike, I think getting attached to any of the new shows this season is probably foolish. We're no doubt going to lose a few that might have stuck around in a different situation.

Wow, Are The Studios Screwed

Really, the best thing they could have hoped for in their greedy attempt to keep the writers from benefiting financially from their work was that the actors, teamsters or writer/producers would have split from the WGA.

That ain't happening. By all accounts, the teamsters are supportive, and if you read this article from Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan, you'll see that the writer/producers and several actors are walking the picket line.

This includes the folks running some of my favorite shows, like Shawn Ryan, Ronald Moore, Tina Fey, Greg Daniels, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. It's always nice to see when creative folks you admire for their creative output turn out to have integrity as well.

This may not be a short strike. The corporations seem pretty dug in. But in the end, I have to believe it's going to work in the writers' favor, because it's going to become quickly apparent which side needs the other more... and it's not the creative people who need the corporations.

Must Reading On The Writers' Strike

Brian Vaughan had a great piece up that was reprinted at the end of this CBR piece. The man walked away from a staff writer/producer job on Lost. A dream job. On principle, on supporting his fellow writers. That is what the strike is about.

But John Rogers really gets to the heart of it, and in a way that is a hilariously funny read. His corporation = tiger metaphor is one that I find heart-breakingly true and side-splittingly funny.

It's a painful, transitional time as entertainment, hell, our entire culture, goes fully from analog to digital. This is probably just one of the many important baby steps that will be taken in transforming the culture.

I said in a previous post that as an entertainment consumer, I don't have any particular emotional investment in this strike. But as someone who follows pop culture, as someone who knows and likes creative people, I am absolutely 100% behind the writers on this one.

Monday, November 05, 2007

From Uncle STAPLE!

STAPLE! Registration has begun!

Hey everybody!

STAPLE! The Independent Media Expo is back for its
fourth annual show! Come out Saturday March 1st, 2008
to a new location – the Monarch Event Center next to
Highland Mall – This
exciting new venue occupies the site of the former
Lincoln Village Theater in the Lincoln Village
shopping center in north central Austin. It’s been
completely remodeled and refurbished into a lovely new
spot just perfect for a bigger and better STAPLE!

We are very pleased to announce a very special guest
for STAPLE! 2008 - BRIAN WOOD! Author of Channel Zero,
Couriers, DMZ, Demo, Local, Supermarket, and the
forthcoming Northlanders (available December 5th),
Brian has made his mark as an influential and eclectic
pioneer of independent comics creation. We are very
honored and excited to have him appear at STAPLE! For
more on Brian go to

And if you’d like to start making your own mark, you
can be an exhibitor at STAPLE! Exhibitor registration
is now open and tables are available at $65 for an
eight footer and $35 for a half – cheap! They always
sell out fast so to get yours now go to

STAPLE! The Independent Media Expo is the Southwest’s
only convention for independently produced comics,
zines, graphic arts and animation. The fourth annual
Expo is Saturday, March 1st, 2008, 11am-7pm at the
Monarch Event Center in Austin, Texas. Admission is
STILL only $5 at the door! For more info go to

Thanks! Hope to see you there!

Weekly Comics to Come - November 7, 2007

Annihilation Conquest #1 (Great start to the new cosmic crossover, roundtable review is up at Comic Pants)
Criminal #10 (End of the second story arc, which I've actually been enjoying more than the first one)
Dan Breretons Nocturnals Vol 1 HC (Finally! Nocturnals gets swanky oversized hardcover treatment.. and yep, I'm buying the $10 more expensive deluxe version)
Grendel Art Of Matt Wagners Grendel HC (New deluxe Dark Horse art book... yay!)
The Order #4 (Fantastic issue, possibly the best one since #1)

Annihilation Conquest Star Lord #4 (A really good ending to what is probably my favorite of the Conquest miniseries)
Buffy The Vampire Slayer #8 (Vaughan's arc has been a lot of fun thus far)
Darkness First Look (Hate the Darkness, but really enjoy Phil Hester's writing... so I'll give this a read)
Fantastic Four #551 (Looks like the wrap-up to McDuffie's run, and it starts off very strong)
Fearless #1 (Intriguing new superhero book from Image)
Hellboy Darkness Calls #6 (Wrapping up the first Fegredo drawn Hellboy, and it's been my favorite Hellboy series in years)
Immortal Iron Fist #10 (Wandering into "I'd rather read this in trade" territory, but still very good)
Lobster Johnson The Iron Prometheus #3 (Not feeling it as much as the other BPRD stuff, but great art, good pulp story)
Lower Regions GN (Alex Robinson's loving parody of D&D)
Y The Last Man #59 (The penultimate issue, and after last issue, I'm more than a little worried about where it's going)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

My Thoughts on The Strike

In general? I'm with the writers. What they want is completely fair, and the studios are being ridiculously stupid in not wanting to share the money with the people who are largely responsible for them making it. Without studios, there will still be a lot of great TV and movies (witness the Internet, short films, etc.). Without writers? The studios produce reality TV and game shows.

So yeah, advantage: Writers. Like, F-15s vs. cavemen type advantage.

But the problem, and a lot of the writers know it even though they have been pushed into an unavoidable corner, is that nobody wins in this situation. The traditional TV/movie models have been slipping for a while, and the strike could cost a lot of the audience. With any luck, the writers will find new ways to make money in newer delivery systems and the studios will find that they just fucked themselves out of cash and new media importance, kind of the way the RIAA is slowly pushing itself into obsolescence. But in the real world, this is going to hurt working writers as well as studio suits.

Or, to take a page from my blog postings about a year ago:

"Dry month for TV, though, and here's the thing... I barely noticed. I still have so many DVDs to watch, videogames to play, comics and books to read, not to mention the diversion that is the Internet, that if TV magically went away tomorrow, I don't know that I'd actually miss it. And I am a diehard fan of the medium. This should scare the shit out of TV executives, who still seem intent on driving off what audience there is with hair-trigger cancellations of serial shows, constant rejiggering of schedules and some of the lowest common denominator programming I've ever seen."

Could the strike be the "TV magically went away tomorrow" I was thinking of? Nah, probably not. But honestly, despite enjoying several shows right now, from an entertainment consumer point of view, I don't really care that much about the strike. I've got *plenty* to occupy my time.

Guitar Hero III

I'm maybe 75% of the way through the game on Medium difficulty (I'm in Japan, for anyone playing the game who knows what that means), and I'm digging it. It doesn't have the pure "holy shit, this is cool!" thrill that the first one did, but it's the third sequel (counting Rock the '80s), so really, that's probably not fair to expect.

But the good news is, the loss of the original Harmonix team to Rock Band does not hurt the game. There are definite touches where you can see the changes that have been made, some good (original artists instead of covers!), some not as good (tons of product placement), and some that I both like and dislike. This includes boss battles against Tom Morello and Slash (cool to see this kind of integration with real life guitar legends, I'm not wild about the boss battle mechanic, even though it's not super-hard to figure out or anything) and slicker, more animated cut scenes (they're fun, although I miss the sort of grungy, rock art designs of the first and second games).

The song list is fantastic. I was hoping for some Green Day off American Idiot, some Beatles, and I'd love it if the next game has The Fratellis, but this was a pretty damn impressive song list with some true favorites on there. Muse's Knights of Cydonia is an awesome pick... and very hard to play, too. That one's a challenge. It is definitely a touch harder to play, but as someone who's grown in skill enough to beat Medium but not really challenge Expert, I liked that incremental bump up in difficulty.

What I'd love to see in future games is for them to ditch the "rise to fame" story that we've seen in all the Guitar Hero games thus far. I don't remember who said it, but it doesn't seem that credible that a cover band would rise to popularity like this, although honestly, it's not realistic to have you playing original songs because where's the fun in that? But if you're going for over-the-top story, why not take it a bit further? I'd love it if it was a "Conquering Hell" story along the lines of Black Metal or even a twisted romance/coming of age tale like Bryan O'Malley's singularly unique Scott Pilgrim. Or even a "music is magic" thing like Phonogram. Basically, I'd like to see something like the music-influenced stories of comics, something that's as much story as it is music.

But really, that's just window dressing. Guitar Hero III has plenty of that, too, including a ton of cool novelty guitars, outfits and characters. I've purchased Metalhead, a decommissioned '50s style Soviet robot with a laser gun guitar, as my default character. Kind of cool to think about unlocking both Tom Morello (of Rage Against the Machine) and Slash (of Guns 'n' Roses) and playing in dual mode with a friend, each of playing a real guitar legend.

Overall, big thumbs up. The one notable thing missing is online play, which is available for the other platforms but not PS/2. I kinda wish I'd never bought that online adapter, because I rarely ever use it. I would use it for Guitar Hero, though... shame I can't.

Oh, and I definitely recommend either getting a wireless guitar or buying the Guitar Hero III bundle that comes with the new wireless guitar. Playing wireless is just a nice little touch that makes the game more fun.

Holy... Wow.

Can we *please* have this guy as President?

He may be a naive idealist, or he may be a smooth political operator making promises he can't or won't keep. But when I read speeches like the one above, I actually see a time when I might be able to say "The President of the United States" with pride instead of wanting to cringe and wash my mouth out with soap.

I want the polls to be wrong. I want this guy to be the Democratic contender for the Presidency. And I want him to win.

I can't remember the last time I felt inspired by a candidate. Certainly there wasn't anyone close in 2004.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Damn You, TV!

I had forgiven The CW for canceling Veronica Mars, at least enough to watch Reaper, which was getting good buzz. "I didn't see the pilot for the fourth season," I thought, "Maybe it just wasn't any good. After all, season three was a bit bumpy, to say the least."

Then Jennifer Armstrong at EW found the link to the two-part Veronica Mars mini-pilot for season four. And I watched it, and was reminded that thanks to the CW, we have Kristen Bell being misused on the increasingly awful Heroes, no Enrico Colantoni, no Tina Majorino... and none of Rob Thomas and crew's sharp writing.

I've been wavering on Reaper, haven't watched the last three episodes, and this decided it for me. I'm canceling the CW for a while, because clearly their executives wouldn't know a great show if it bit them on the ass.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Dear TV Gods... Please let the strike kill this project in the womb


There may (and I stress may) be someone who could do an American version of the brilliantly funny British sitcom Spaced. Maybe. I doubt it.

I'm 100% certain it is not producer McG or anyone who has been involved in Will & Grace, The New Adventures of Old Christine, The Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll, The O.C. or Fastlane.

The only possible saving grace is that we might finally get region 1 discs of the original Spaced series.

Bad TV! No donut for you!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Blog Update for October 2007

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. This is basically also my own records of what I read/liked for the inevitable "End of Year" lists I feel like making.

Another great month for comics, with another dozen books that didn't make the cut but easily could have, including three new launch titles from promising new company Red 5 Comics. Also included in that list were the finale of Highwaymen and Fear Agent Last Goodbye, two excellent miniseries, and the latest issues of Marvel Adventures Hulk #4, Daredevil #101, Transformers Devastation #2, Warhammer Forge Of War #4, DMZ #24, New Warriors #5 and Buffy The Vampire Slayer #7. The tally this month: 2 Vertigo, 3 DC (not one of them Countdown-related), 2 Archaia, 3 from Image (including the debut of Proof), 2 Dark Horse and 8 Marvel, including three new books in She-Hulk (Peter David's run), Marvel Zombies 2 (surprisingly fun) and Daredevil Annual (sort of a "pilot" for a Black Tarantula mini, which would be awesome). It's funny, there are a bunch of Marvel books I absolutely hate, but in terms of the big two, they're still much closer to producing what I want right now. Well, me and like 60% of the comics market at the moment.

Got a lot more graphic novels read this month, so many that Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil, Savage Brothers, Warhammer 40K: Damnation Crusade and Essential Moon Knight Vols. 1-2 didn't make the list. My novel reading slowed down, as I finished The Amber Spyglass and read a single chapter of Stephen Colbert's new book. My overall take on His Dark Materials is that Golden Compass was a really good book without a real ending, and the rest of the trilogy was kind of a slog. There are neat ideas and characters throughout, but the vibe of Golden Compass had me feeling like I wanted to see a lot more of that world, and instead the next two books were about different worlds that I didn't find as interesting. Now I've added to the reading list not only Gates of Fire, but the first book of George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire and the first book of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files.

Great month for TV, as the Fall season was in full swing. Mind you, it's a disappointing Fall season, with nothing great and plenty of disappointing new seasons (Heroes is stinking up the place, Friday Night Lights is worrying me and Reaper had a great pilot and then a repetitive and increasingly dull series), but there are still plenty of shows to watch, especially if you've got Showtime. I know common wisdom is that The Office is weaker in hour episodes, but I've been really digging it, and loving 30 Rock and My Name is Earl as well. Pushing Daisies has been great, although I miss the visual spark the first two episodes had, reputedly at an amazingly gigantic budget (explaining where they went). Chuck has gotten better, and I now look forward to watching it... my theory is that if you smashed together Chuck and Reaper, you'd have one very good show, instead of one weak one and one good but not great one. That said, even though there were a dozen shows on my list this week (Scrubs and Chuck should really be on there), if there does turn out to be a writer's strike as tomorrow, I can't say it'll worry me overmuch. It'll let me get caught up on my bursting Netflix queue and a bunch of other DVDs I've bought.

Added to the ever-expanding blogroll this month: Scott Dunbier's new blog, sketchblogs from Nate Bellegarde and Cory Walker, the awesome "Team vs. Team" blog Superest, Leigh Walton's excellent comics analysis blog Picture Poetry, Alex Robinson's blog (where he's serializing some of his mini-comics, all of which are great) and Riccardo Burchielli's blog, among a few others.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Heroes: OK, Who Still Cares?

I don't know how these little recaps of mine turned into a weekly thing, or how many people are actually reading them. At this point, it's more like venting my anger at a good (and potentially great) show that has become not just weak, but actually bad. If I hadn't invested a seasons' worth of interest already, if this were a new show, I would have given up a couple of episodes ago. As is, I think I've got one, maybe two more episodes like the ones we've been given before I give up anyway.

So I won't have a lot to say this time because honestly, the show isn't really worth that much time. I'll just say this:

*Kristen Bell introduced one week, then she doesn't show up next week so we can get more time-traveling Hiro (in a predictable, and predictably weakly shot and scripted development in his painfully extended time travel detour), more Maya/Alejandro (seriously, if Sylar doesn't kill one of them soon, I'm just going to start fast forwarding through their sequences) and more Claire/West high school drama. Also missing? The only interesting story, about the murders of the supers of the past, and thus any glimpse of Parkman and Petrelli. So basically, extra doses of the three irritating new characters, no glimpse of the three most interesting characters and no check-in at all on the plot I actually care about. Bleh.

*I was out of town, so I was watching the show live, not on Tivo. I fell asleep for about 10-15 minutes there. When I woke up, I didn't feel as if I'd missed anything. Not a good sign.

*Cool to say HRG being all badass, but it's in service to a lame story about some "forgotten" paintings by Isaac, another repetitive element from last season. Also repetitive, the big reveal at the end of the episode and the promise of an "alternate future" episode next week. I'm beginning to suspect they took the scripts from last season and just gave them a touch-up, rather than creating a whole new season.

*Does anyone give a shit whether Clare is a cheerleader or not? Anyone? Just checking. Because I sure don't. They need to get her the hell away from high school and the hell away from dreamy annoying boyfriend dude.

The show is spending all its time exploring questions I don't care about the answers to, and letting the few interesting questions they've managed to accidentally raise linger and die a slow, unattended death. This show needs major surgery, and soon.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Weekly Comics to Come - October 31, 2007

Chiaroscuro HC (Fantastic little indy gem that vanished and is now back as a complete hardcover. Can't wait to read all of it, it was a strange and compelling book)
Dynamo 5 #8 (Picking up where the trade left off, and after re-reading the trade recently, I'm really ready for more)
Mouse Guard Winter 1152 #2 (First issue was great, maybe even better than the first series... looking forward to more)
Perry Bible Fellowship Trial Of Colonel Sweeto HC (Probably the funniest, weirdest comic on the Internet, and the book is reportedly very well put together)
True Story Swear To God Image Ed #9 (One of my absolute favorite series, and each issue confirms why I feel that way)

3 Minute Sketchbook TP (Fun concept, fun sketches, I'll check this out)
American Virgin #20 (I'm so pissed this is being canceled. Not surprised, really, it's a weird book that's not for everyone, and the market just doesn't have room for those books right now. But c'mon, they couldn't have given them up to issue #25?)
Annihilation Conquest Quasar #4 (Good finale, nice reveal on the mysterious savior, weird continuity glitch with Wraith)
Biff Bam Pow #1 (Wow, you wanna talk about late. Two years or so this was announced. Still, it's Evan Dorkin and Sara Dyer, and will no doubt be entertaining. But jeez... indy people wonder where the sales went? When your timeliness makes Ultimates look punctual, you lose everyone but your hardcore readers)
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Long Way Home TP (On balance, I think I decided I don't want to buy this series for re-reading... but it's a good read if you're a Buffy fan at all)
Daredevil Annual #1 (Reads like a pilot for a Black Tarantula miniseries, scripted by Ande Parks with art by Leandro Fernandez... and after reading it, I'm *totally* game for said miniseries)
DC Infinite Halloween Special #1 (Features work by Mark Waid, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Steve Seagle. Also features work by Dan Didio. Also features DnA returning to Resurrection Man. On balance, probably mostly gonna suck but will have a couple *great* stories, if I had to guess)
El Cazador Vol 1 TP (Disney reprints Crossgen's fallen pirate series... please let this be the start of a comic book continuation)
Flash Wonderland TP (The first Geoff Johns Flash... misses Kolins, but Unzueta's work is solid, and it lays down a lot of important foundation stuff. Plus it's just kinda fun)
Immortal Iron Fist Vol 1 TP (Fraction, Brubaker & Aja's kung-fu cool book comes to softcover... and now I want to hold out for a giant sized hardcover of two volumes)
Jack Of Fables #16 (Caught up on the series in the second trade, now I need to get caught back up in singles)
Primordia #1 (New fantasy book from Archaia, looks like great art)
Special Forces #1 (Kyle Baker's very late Image book about lowest common denominator soldiers. Probably very funny with great cartooning)
Tales Of The Fear Agent 12 Steps In One (Fear Agent one shot by a different creative team... I'm always digging the Fear Agent)
Wasteland #13 (I've sort of moved to reading trades on this one, honestly... but I'm anxiously awaiting the next trade)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Heroes Episode 5: Still Better, Still Not Great

This was the best episode of Heroes Season Two so far. It actually has me legitimately excited to come back next week and see what happens next. It doesn't hurt that Maya, Alejandro and stalker boyfriend West were entirely absent, that Kristen Bell was entirely present, and that the Matt Parkman/Nathan Petrelli and Monica/Micah teams are probably the most interesting ones on the show. Hell, even the Hiro subplot, while still boring and contrived (with his time travel/teleportation powers, why can't they go *past* the army, instead of through it?), was watchable. Still, here come the gripes (and a few kudos):

*When one of your producers can't spell "lightning" and instead spells it either "lightening" (that'd be making it lighter) or "lighting" (that'd be making it brighter)? Yeah, that doesn't look so good.

*Also, lightning hands? Cool power. Introducing that power by having the girl talk to herself and fire a few sparks at a nearby cargo shipping container? Laaaaammme. Jeez, reveal the power when she fries a member of the Lucky Charms gang, at least that would have been cool.

*Kristen Bell is doing good stuff with what little they've given her, though. Some of that Veronica Mars sass in the hands of a much more wicked girl. I *loved* her "Yeah, OK I killed him" conversation with "Daddy" and I'm dying to know who "Daddy" is. Easily the best new character of the season. No shock there. No pun intended.

*Second best new character, though, is definitely Monica. She and Micah have a great rapport (and the kid who plays Micah is one of the best kid actors on TV), she has a cool power and I like that they're instantly going into "What do we do now" mode rather than having her spend three episodes denying her powers.

*Unlike, say, Peter, who is still pissing about in Ireland, with the writers' mistakenly believing we give a shit if they kill any (or indeed all) of the gangster/bar owner characters they've introduced this season.

*Parkman's dad? Great stuff. I was totally buying his act until the second he was revealed, and I thought the reveal of what was going on with Matt Parkman and Nathan Petrelli and the mindgames was very well shot.

*Also digging the stuff with The Company, with Stephen Tobolowsky being great as always, and I loved Mohinder and Nikki interacting, if only briefly.

Overall, while it's worth noting (as EW did) that at this point in the last season, we got that kickass, electrifying moment in the subway between future Hiro and Peter, and thus Heroes Season Two is still too slow and disappointing, this was a promising upturn. The real grade is probably still a C or a C-, but if you grade on a curve against the rest of the season, this was a B, maybe a B+ episode. Here's hoping it continues to improve, and faster, each week.


Bush wants $42.3 billion for war, says we can get the money by not giving healthcare to poor children (OK, I made that last part up, he actually just thinks war money falls from the sky. In other news, Congress, please don't fuck up again and let these guys declare war on Iran, OK?)

I'm quoted in the New York Times. Which is kinda cool. Even if they flubbed the name (and link) to the site.

Max Riffner (winner of the 2006 Isotope Mini-Comic Award) has a 24 Hour Comic. It is about a werewolf. And it is a lot of fun.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Weekly Comics to Come - October 24, 2007

Proof #1 (FBI Special Agent Bigfoot. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. A very promising, very cool new Image series)
She-Hulk 2 #22 (First issue by Peter David and Shawn Moll... and it's kind of awesome, actually)
Spirit Vol 1 HC (First six issues of Eisner's Spirit in hardcover... hoping for cool extras)
Thunderbolts #117 (Still really cool, great use of Doc Samson)
X-men First Class Vol 2 #5 (X-Men vs. the Hulk, Roger Cruz's best art yet, Parker in fine form as always)

Annihilation Conquest Wraith #4 (Good finale, can't wait for Annihilation Conquest)
Avengers Assemble Vol 5 HC (Concluding the Busiek Avengers run)
Crawl Space Xxxombies #1 ('70s porno zombies by Rick Remender and Kieron Dwyer)
Daredevil #101 (Great issue, but I'm disliking the direction Milla's story is going in, and I *hate* that the character on the last page is in this book)
Fear Agent Last Goodbye #4 (Last issue of the best Fear Agent so far)
Flash #233 (Second issue was kinda weak, but Waid's kicking a lot of ass on Brave & The Bold and I really want to like this book)
Foolkiller #1 (Not expecting a lot, but I like the character)
Green Arrow Year One #6 (Finale of the action-packed Diggle/Jock book)
Hack Slash Series #5 (The latest in Tim Seeley's fun horror/action book)
Jack Of Fables Vol 2 Jack Of Hearts TP (Yay! Second trade! Spinoff as good as the main book)
Killer #5-6 (From a retail point of view, super-late + double shipping is highly annoying. As a reader of The Killer, though? I'm OK with it)
Marvel Adventures Iron Man #6 (Space armor... rock)
Marvel Zombies Covers HC (After Marvel Zombies 2 and 52 Covers last week, I'm pretty much right in the mood for this)
Neozoic #1 (Alternate universe where humans live alongside dinosaurs, with great art)
Potters Field #2 (Second issue of Waid's modern day pulp hero... I'm already wishing it was an ongoing series)
Previews Vol XVII #11 (Down the Line is in the works)
Star Wars Dark Times #6 (New story arc, new art by Luke Ross, probably still the same great comic)
Transformers Devastation #2 (Big things happening in IDW's Transformers line)
Walking Dead #43 (After that cliffhanger last time? Can't wait)
Warhammer 40k Blood & Thunder #1 (Orks talk funny and blow shit up)
Warhammer Forge Of War #4 (Caught up on Boom!'s fantasy comic recently, and now I'm really digging the stories of all the soldiers and mages who lost a really big battle and what happened after)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Being Unsurprised Doesn't Equal Not Being Pissed Off

So the House failed to override Bush's veto of the childcare health program.

It's been clear that this was the way the wind was blowing for a while, but I'm still pissed to see it actually confirmed. Despite polls showing that 60% of Americans favored the increase (and we should be ashamed as a country that the number isn't higher), Bush and his cronies stood up and knocked back a chance to increase funding for childrens' health insurance by $35 million. Bush, in what can only be considered a condescending tone, offers up $5 million as his ceiling. Considerably less than we're spending on his war.

Silver lining, this is probably going to screw pretty heavily with Republicans running for election or re-election. Downside of course being that the Democrats aren't much better, and I'm a regime change in 2008 isn't going to help the families who are going to have to struggle with their kid's healthcare costs because Bush and those who voted with him are somehow terrified that socialized medicine will destroy America.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Seems to me it's been a pretty good year for Marvel. If you just ignore all the stupidity and misogyny going on in the Bendis corner of the universe (and I've surgically removed my Avengers love until somebody else is running that show), there's been World War Hulk and Incredible Hulk, a perfect mix of modern pop thrills and actual appreciation for the characters and history, hipster superheroes from Brubaker, Fraction and Ellis, the kickass cosmic epic Annihilation: Conquest and just solid post-Civil War superheroes in books like New Warriors. Sure, the X-Men are basically dull and lifeless, but really, Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely and company might have been the last hurrah for those characters. When even Ed Brubaker and Joss Whedon can't make 'em interesting to me, there's something wrong with that subset of the universe or with me. Allowing that it might be me, and I might just be tired of the X-Men, there's still a whole lot of readable (and strong selling) books at Marvel.

They've made best sellers out of the Hulk, Moon Knight and Iron Fist. I've loved these characters for a long time, but I didn't think anyone else would.

So what's the first thing they do, when they've got a good buzz going, Hulk is a cool character again, and folks want to read about him? They hand him over to Jeph Loeb, whose Wolverine arc was... well, calling it a trainwreck is being kind. Here's Paul O'Brien to explain.

And what does Loeb do? Well, in a move that seems more in line with DC than Marvel, he's starting off with a murder mystery involving "one of Hulk's oldest cast members." Hands up, anyone guessing it'll be a perfectly good female character. If your hand isn't up, you probably haven't been reading superhero comics lately. Maybe I'm wrong, though, and they'll just off Rick Jones or someone else who no doubt has more potential in him/her than this lame duck of a story.

Oh, and the Hulk? He's big, and red, and puffy, and looks like something you'd see watching Adult Swim while tripping on acid. And there's a mystery about who the character is. Because having just established Hulk in his classic look, with a new and badass personality and motivation, and a movie on the way starring Ed Freakin' Norton, the first thing you want to do is change *everything* about the character. After all, it worked out so well for Wolverine.

But maybe I should give Loeb the benefit of the doubt. After all, remember his Superman/Batman? And how it made absolutely no sense? Hmm. Well, what about his work with Rob Liefeld? Oof. OK, but what about his work on Wolverine?

If Tim Sale were involved, I'd have reason to be at least a little bit hopeful, as Loeb/Sale bring out the best in one another, and their collaborations always raise Loeb's game, occasionally (as with his Daredevil: Yellow) to an A-level. But this looks just awful.

And worse, 2007 has seen a Marvel Universe with no Mark Millar, and Millar is gleefully announcing he's going to save the company (presumably from making sense and having characters instead of indistinguishable action puppets) by having five books at Marvel next year. Yikes.

With these developments looming and the ugly-ass gun-toting new Cap, I'm starting to get a bad feeling about Marvel '08, at least in terms of my own interest. And DC is showing no signs of getting my interest back anytime soon. I'm sure I'll get my superhero fix somewhere, though, at Image and Dark Horse if nothing else. And if the last few years are any indication, even if DC/Marvel aren't firing for me in general, the small press and self-publishers will be producing plenty of good material.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mountain Dew Game Fuel

So while at the grocery store today with both kids (and there's a fun adventure), I was picking up some soda and I saw Mountain Dew Game Fuel, the limited edition Mountain Dew flavor tied into HALO 3.

Now, while I don't drink it a lot, I always kind of liked Mountain Dew in college. And I've had a bit of a fondness for the variant Mountain Dew flavors like Code Red (still a favorite) and Live Wire (the orange soda, and I miss it) and have even liked the somewhat chalky, grape-influenced Pitch Black (although I still have 8 cans of Pitch Black II in my fridge, so I'm not so much a big fan now). So what the hell... I figure I'll give this soda with a "blast of invigorating citrus cherry flavor" a try.

I popped open the first can about a half hour ago. And this stuff tastes pretty much like drinkable Bayer Aspirin with carbonation. Which is to say, it's kinda nasty. Maybe it'll grow on me... I have 11 more cans to down to see if it does.

The question of course, is, "Randy, why on Earth would you buy HALO 3 soda when you don't play HALO and you know that the odds are good it's going to taste terrible?" The answer? I've liked 3 out of the 4 Mountain Dew flavors I've tried in the past, and I liked those odds. The other answer? I'm just as susceptible to marketing stupidity as everybody else.

Perhaps the best response to this drink can be found here.

Heroes: Better, But...

The fourth episode of Heroes was the strongest one this season. A big part of that is that two of the stupidest, least interesting plotlines (Hiro in Feudal Japan and Peter in Ireland) were entirely absent. Another part was that they finally, *finally* introduced a new character I didn't immediately want to throttle. And another part is that they seem to have hit upon a main story that actually seems potentially as interesting as the Sylar/Lenderman mysteries of season one. Now if only they can focus in on that and ditch all the extraneous garbage.

The new character and her family are cliched in the extreme, with a cringe-worthy inclusion of a "topical" Hurricane Katrina story. However, the new actress (Dana Davis) is quite good in a cliched role, and her powers (Taskmaster-esque photographic reflexes) are pretty cool, and well done. I'm finding it really, really hard to believe Tim Kring's assertion that he doesn't read comics... if that's the case, he has the super-power of accidentally ripping them off in every episode. Which is fine, just... acknowledge your influences, don't try to pretend you're one of the cool kids who doesn't read superhero comics when you're trading on the cool factor of the genre to shore up your B-list writing.

Was that harsh? No harsher than the feelings I continue to have for Maya, Alejandro and West, the three new characters whom I would like to see die in a huge fireball. Or a quiet gas leak. Really, whatever gets rid of them the fastest. I was actually stunned by the stupidity of coincidence that Sylar stumbled into the path of Maya and Alejandro, but that whole story gained a 50% boost in charisma with Zachary Quinto's arrival, and even better, maybe it means Sylar will kill Maya and Alejandro and we can be done with the whole stupid subplot. I confess, I didn't think bringing back Sylar was a great idea, but I don't really know exactly what his motivations/goals are at this point, nor do I know what's up with the cockroaches left at the scene of the crime, and I'm actually interested in both those mysteries.

The main mystery, which is actually interesting, is about "The Company" and how it relates to the original band of not-so-heroes. Sure, Parkman and Suresh are in a hilarious superhero version of My Two Gay Dads (surely the writers see this, right?), but I like where they've taken the characters, and I liked Parkman interacting with Petrelli. In fact, seeing some of these characters cross paths reminded me of the biggest misstep the show made in season two, which is splitting them all up again, when just building on the relationships and going forward would have been *so* much more interesting. Hopefully the connections will come faster from here on in, and we won't have to wait until midseason (or longer) before the various plots are connecting and I don't find myself wanting to fast forward through large chunks of the story.

Seriously, every time West is on screen, I keep hoping for him to either spontaneously combust or be revealed as a devious bad guy who's manipulating Claire. Because if this great boyfriend act is meant to be sincere, it's a little too saccharine for me.

At any rate, seeing Kristen Bell in the teasers gave me hope, as she shines in just the few seconds of screen time there, and if she can bring Peter back from his stupid, contrived Irish mis-adventure, so much the better.

Even though the show was better tonight, it was still weaker than pretty much any of the episodes from last season. And there were some weak, weak episodes last season. I'm still watching, but my finger's on the "Cancel Season Pass" button, and I won't be recommending to my two friends who've given up that they come back at this point.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

How Much Do I Love Heidi MacDonald right now?

If you're at all a fan of the comic book medium, you should go read this. Then go to the comments and watch the fireworks.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Weekly Comics to Come - October 17, 2007

Battle Royale Ultimate Ed Vol 1 HC (I'm really looking forward to re-reading this story, and seeing how the Tokyopop deluxe format is)
Captain America #31 (Another great issue from Brubaker and company... bring on Omnibus #2 next year!)
DMZ #24 (Another self-contained issue, with a look back at Amina from "Public Works")
Marvel Zombies 2 #1 (Shocked at how much I enjoyed this first issue... I thought the joke would get old, but this was so funny it has me once again considering picking up the hardcover)
Umbrella Academy Apocalypse Suite #2 (First issue was great, can't wait to see more)

52 The Covers HC (A process book on the covers, plus all the gorgeous JG Jones art? Sold! And I'm not even buying the 52 series!)
Abyss #1 (New son of supervillain comedy book by the guys who did Star Wars: Tag & Bink Are Dead. I've read it, it's quite good)
Awesome Indie Spinner Rack Anthology Vol 1 TP (Some good indie names in here, and hopefully some new talent to discover as well)
Brave And The Bold #7 (First arc concluded on a high note, new arc starts here, I'm excited to see it)
Cory Doctorows Futuristic Tales Here And Now #1 (I've never read Doctorow's fiction, only his Boing-Boing posts, but this is a good excuse to check out his sci-fi)
Fables #66 (The Flycatcher story is running long - and maybe late? - but it's still one of my favorite stories of the run so far)
Highwaymen #5 (The highly under-rated action/adventure miniseries reaches its conclusion)
Marvel Adventures Avengers #17 (Parker's gone, but Ty Templeton's a good writer... I'll give his first issue a shot)
Naoki Urasawas Monster Vol 11 (More of the best suspense manga I've ever read)
Ray Harryhausen Presents Sinbad Rogue Of Mars #1 (Beautiful art, writing by the creator of Hero Camp, great concept)
Savage Brothers Vol 1 TP (Rednecks hunt zombies in the post-apocalypse. Boom!)
Shazam Monster Society Of Evil Deluxe HC (I'd almost buy this for the beautiful art alone, even though the story let me down. I probably will, if the hardcover is as impressive as I'm hearing)
Sword #1 (New fantasy book by The Luna Brothers... dug Ultra, got bored of Girls... curious to see whether they can deliver on this one)
Uzumaki Vol 1 (My favorite horror manga of all-time, finally re-released by Viz)