Monday, April 30, 2007

Blog Template Update for April

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.

April was a fantastic month for single issue comics. I had a tough time cutting it down to 20, and the books that didn't make the cut included All-Star Superman #7 (a good issue, but one of the weaker ones for the series), Spider-Man Family #2 (great Spidey by Sean McKeever and Kano, good Spidey by Paul Benjamin and Vasilis Lolos), three Kirkman books on the cusp (Invincible #40, Irredeemable Ant-Man #7, Walking Dead #37), Spider-Man Fantastic Four #1 (classic superheroes by Jeff Parker and Mike Wieringo) and the latest issues of Ex Machina and Manhunter, which should give some indication of how good I think my top 20 were this month. Pretty good month for jumping-on points, too. Four issue ones make the list, and three of the others (DMZ, Fables and Runaways) are new story arcs or new creative teams.

In general, Marvel dominates the market right now, and maybe there's a good reason for that. Although I hated Civil War and I don't like a lot of the editorial direction of the universe in general, I still found 7 books that I really liked, three of which are directly Initiative/Civil War fallout-related, all but one of which is in continuity. Contrast that with DC, where there are two books, The Spirit and Brave and the Bold, which is as out of step with DC's modern, grim and gritty continuity as you can get. Marvel may not be exactly where I want them to be, but it seems that DC has really lost its way, and badly needs re-focusing. Of course, DC also offers Vertigo, where 4 of my favorite books come from. Dark Horse has two perennial favorites (BPRD and Usagi) and one new favorite (Whedon's Buffy). Boom! offers up a strong first issue (hope the second arrives in a timely fashion) with Steven Grant's Two Guns #1, and Adhouse offers up awesome in comic book form with Johnny Hiro #1. And Image has a strong single issue in Ellis and Templesmith's Fell and a potentially great new ongoing in Jay Faerber's Dynamo 5.

Graphic novel a day is definitely dead, I just don't have time! In fact, my graphic novel reading for this month was down, such that I had a little trouble putting together a Top 10. Thankfully, a swell of interest in Ben Templesmith's work at the end put three of his graphic novels on there. Interestingly (to me, anyway), there are no Marvel or DC or even Vertigo trades on my list this month. It's all indy, the closest I get to mainstream is one Image book.

As predicted, Andy Barker is D.O.A. Just as well, I guess, as the last few episodes weren't as funny as the first couple. Also unsurprisingly killed on the TV Front, Drive, the new Fox/Tim Minear (a combination that is a synonym for early cancellation), which grudgingly makes my Top 10 (largely based on Nathan Fillion's work) on the basis of the three or four episodes that actually aired. How I Met Your Mother, Studio 60 and Veronica Mars are still M.I.A., but that didn't stop April from being a pretty good month for TV. I fell behind watching Raines and The Riches (although I want to get back to them) and completely gave up on 24 and Black Donnellys (before NBC did). 30 Rock had a fantastic two-part season finale, and here's hoping that Alec Baldwin's personal issues won't crash the show next season (it's certainly crashed my previously high opinion of the man). Heroes came back really strong, with ".07%" and the future episode from last night, and it's easily my second favorite show at the moment. Favorite? Oh, that'd be The Shield, which did an amazing two-part opening arc with Forest Whitaker and continued on in the dark, tense vein of the series after that. Also back, Entourage (not great, but good, and I love Carla Gugino so that earns it bonus points) and Sopranos (slow boil, which I know some folks hate but I'm kind of digging). Scrubs has finally picked up, and something on the NBC promos about "final four Scrubs" made me wonder, is this show ending? If so, it's probably about time, and I'd like it to go out strong. The Office came back and was continuously funny. And Lost has been up and down, but has had some really good episodes, and I'm still very much on board the show.

I fell a little behind on TV and Movie watching and Graphic Novel reading this month because, for the first time in a while, I finally picked up some prose. I've had the Harry Potter bug for a while, but wanting to watch The Order of the Phoenix trailer and knowing that the final book was coming out in July finally spurred me to read the books. So I spent this month reading the six Harry Potter books, and I really enjoyed them. My personal favorite is probably Goblet of Fire, if only because there's so much important set-up in there, followed closely by Half-Blood Prince and Prisoner of Azkaban. My least favorite (although I still really enjoyed it) is probably Order of the Phoenix, because it spent a lot of time building up the bad guys and none of them really got a harsh enough comeuppance for me. It's a good book, but the dark tone went a little far for my tastes. I'm now working my way through the movies (re-watched Sorcerer's Stone, saw Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban for the first time), and I'm just waiting for Goblet of Fire (which I know will be disappointing, as I can't imagine fitting enough into even a three-hour movie) from Netflix. In short, though, I was easily swept up into the cult of Harry Potter, and while I'm glad that the character is getting an ending, I'm already hoping that J.K. Rowling will open up the world when she's done with it so we can get comics or something of that nature set in the world. It's such a rich mythology she's created, I'd love to see more of it outside of the Harry Potter-Voldemort epic story.

Tons of new feeds this month. I keep finding artist blogs, like the one from Chad Thomas (talented guy I met at Wizard World Texas), Max Riffner (winner of the Isotope Mini-Comic Award) and Ted Lange (re-mixer of Super Mario and Shakespeare). There are a couple comics blogs I probably should have been reading before now, like Chris's Invincible Super-Blog (which seems like it's undergoing changes now), the amusing Pass/Fail Studios and Christopher Bird's Tetsubo Productions (where he has humorously, but convincingly, been campaigning to be made new writer of The Legion). Then there's Fisticuffs, in which artists' creations face off in imaginary battles voted upon by the readership, probably my favorite new site discovery of the month. Oh, and I once again started visiting The Engine and The Onion, although both are updated so frequently that I don't do much more than skim, in general.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Cool Gaming Stuff in April

It occurred to me that, though I run a comics and game shop, I really only talk about comics for the most part here. Which might give the impression to the casual onlooker that I don't have much interest in games.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. I've been a gamer as long as I've been a comics fan, and while my game collection isn't as extensive as my graphic novel collection, that mostly owes to having gotten rid of large chunks of it every time I've moved. I still have a few gems in my collection, from the beautifully designed Metabarons RPG to the White Wolf Adventure! book (with original fiction from Warren Ellis), and I've got a pretty healthy stock of stuff I still use, like D&D 3.5 and Eberron, HERO System 5th Edition material and a smattering of Feng Shui, Spycraft and Mutants & Masterminds. My board and card game collection is even smaller, but I do have Iron Dragon (a fun fantasy rail game), Lunch Money and way too many D&D Miniatures.

I play in two regular game groups (each one meeting somewhere between every week and every month, closer to the latter of late) and am currently running (with time off between sessions for other campaigns) two campaigns, a Champions game set in Austin and a D&D campaign set in Eberron.

So I thought, why not try a monthly write-up on the cool gaming stuff I saw this month and either purchased for myself or featured at the shop? Thus, this write-up.

For my part, I was prepping for my next D&D adventure in Eberron, so I bought a few more things this month than usual. I finally picked up the Monster Manual II and Monster Manual III to throw some variety at my players, and picked up a decent chunk of the new D&D minis set, Unhallowed, along with buying a few individual key minis off Ebay from various sets in preparation for the next adventure. I picked up two of the Gamemastery Map Tiles sets from Paizo (Dungeon and Haunted Mansion) and the other new Paizo release, the Critical Hit deck. Paizo makes a ton of cool game-related stuff, like their magnetic Combat Pad for keeping track of initiative, and the Crit deck is another new, cool thing. Basically, it's a 52 card deck, and when you confirm a critical hit, you pull a card from the deck. Each card has a listing of critical damage, with four different types (piercing, bludgeoning, slashing and magic). It's a fun little bit of spice for those bored with the "double damage" crits, and gives a bit of flavor to show just what you did that was such critical damage.

As for stuff that came out but I didn't pick up personally: Scion is a new self-contained (three books and out) RPG from White Wolf about the sons and daughters of Gods fighting the Titans and their spawn in modern-day, based on the Exalted rule mechanics. I've always found the World of Darkness a bit goth for my tastes, and Scion and Exalted are closer to my type of gaming. Wizards of the Coast released another map pack, City of Peril (I love that D&D minis has increased the number of full-color maps available for GMs), as well as a new Eberron super-adventure. It's below my current players' level, but I may pick it up at some point to run as a standalone. There was also Munchkin Cthulhu (the latest iteration of Steve Jackson's goofy but addictive spoof card game), new releases for the pre-painted sci-fi AT-43 game and a lot of other stuff. With unlimited time and money, I'm sure I would happily play all of these and more.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Weekly Comics to Come - May 2, 2007

It's been a bit hectic, so here are two weeks' worth of comics: the ones I'm reading this week and the ones I read last week.

Ancient Book Of Myth And War Hc (Should be a beautiful book, features Scott Morse and a couple other animators doing art on myth and war)
Buffy The Vampire Slayer #3 (First two issues were gold... I'm digging this book)
Hellboy Darkness Calls #1 (New Hellboy! Duncan Fegredo art! Rock.)
Runaways #26 (Good first issue, Whedon's on a roll with me at the moment)
Marvel Zombies Army Of Darkness #3 (Second issue was hilarious, now I'm looking forward to reading the third)

52 Week #52 (At this point, I'm mostly just relieved it's over... doesn't bode well for my interest in Countdown)
Alien Pig Farm #1 (Looks like fun... hope it doesn't do one issue and vanish, like Bad Planet did)
Avengers Initiative #2 (Enjoyed the first issue more than I thought I would... I'll stick around to see where they're going)
Bizarre New World #1 (Regular dude learns he can fly... interesting)
Civil War Captain America Tp (Best Civil War stories, period... and good continuation of Brubaker's Cap, too)
Danger Girl Body Shots #2 (First issue reminded me that this can be fun, kinda looking forward to reading the second)
Fantastic Four Visionaries Walter Simonson Vol 1 Tp (Interesting stuff, looking forward to reading it again)
Korgi Vol 1 Tp (New all-ages book from Top Shelf, with beautiful art... maybe the next Owly)
Raise The Dead #2 (First issue was a surprisingly solid little zombie tale)
Shazam The Monster Society Of Evil #3 (Second issue wasn't as good as the first, but it still looked great)
Showcase Presents War That Time Forgot Vol 1 Tp (Dinosaurs vs. soldiers... when I have the time, I'll definitely be checking this one out)
Spider-man Loves Mary Jane #18 (I'm an issue behind, but I want to catch up)
Star Wars Legacy Vol 1 Broken Tp (Need to give this a shot now that it's out in trade form)
True Story Swear To God Image Ed #5 (I'm an issue or two behind on this one, which is annoying because it's one of my favorites)
World War Hulk Prologue World Breaker (I'm intrigued, but Greg Pak's work has never done much for me)

Agents Of Atlas Premiere HC (Looks great, wish it was oversized... will probably wind up picking it up)
Daredevil #96 (Digging this one, especially with DD getting out and fighting some street crime again)
Fantastic Four #545 (Best FF in years... the new FF takes on the Surfer. Great stuff from McDuffie and Pelletier)
Johnny Hiro #1 (An awesome comic book... one of the most fun books I've read all year)
Usagi Yojimbo #102 (Usagi vs. assassin... go!)

52 Week #51 (Wow, do I hate where this one is going. The Mr. Mind thing is really misguided. Although the Animal Man moments were great)
Astro City The Dark Ages 2 #3 (Just... kinda bored. Maybe it'll read better in trade)
Hunter's Moon #1 (Check out Wednesday Number Ones for this week for my thoughts)
Previews Vol #17.5 (Down the Line coming middle of this week)
Shenanigans Gn (Need to read this new graphic novel by Ian Shaughnessy when I get a chance)
Spider-man Visionaries Roger Stern Vol 1 Tp (Not his best stuff yet, but still Roger Stern Spider is worth a look)
Walking Dead #37 (Dealing with Lori's pregnancy, preparing for the assault by the Governor)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Weekly Comics to Come - April 18, 2007

Batman And The Mad Monk TP (My favorite Batman story of the last few years, written/drawn by Matt Wagner)
Brave And The Bold #3 (Possibly my favorite DC or Marvel Universe superhero book at the moment)
DMZ #18 (Starts a new story arc, and I'm loving this book)
Ex Machina #27 (After the Smoke Smoke trade, I'm back onboard this one bigger than I have been since the beginning)
Spirit #5 (Another favorite, Darwyn Cooke continues to amaze)

52 Week #50 (Two weeks left until Countdown)
Daredevil Devil Inside & Out Vol 2 TP (Brubaker and Lark kick ass on Daredevil... still hoping for a hardcover, though)
Invincible #40 (Always fun, if erratic in shipping)
Last Sane Cowboy & Other Stories Gn (Daniel Merlin Goodbrey's experimental comics get a trade collection)
Manhunter #30 (Yay! Not cancelled! Now I just hope for a new trade announcement soon)
Marvel Adventures Avengers #12 (Ego Loves Earth! Jeff Parker continues to impress)
Nightwing Annual #2 (Marc Andreyko writes the story of Nightwing and Oracle's broken marriage promise)
Salon GN (Nick Bertozzi's artist noir about a serial killer hunting famous artists in Paris)
World War III (Weird that this is coming out before 52 concludes... curious but wary)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The New Legion of Super-Heroes

Christopher Bird is currently running a campaign to become the new writer of the Legion of Super-Heroes. He's using photoshopped images to demonstrate his plans. These plans are completely awesome.

I'll say this... I'd read it, and I've been kinda bored by the Legion for years now.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Adventures in Retailing: I Wanna Be Alex Cox when I grow up

Not only is Rocketship a great name for a shop, not only do they have a kickass store complete with great fixtures, logo, T-Shirts, etc.

But Alex Cox is a very smart man, as evidenced by this thread at The Engine.

Our stores are very different, in no small part thanks to geography and customer base, etc., but in general retail philosophy, Alex Cox is one of my retailing role models.

Weekly Comics to Come - April 11, 2007

All-Star Superman #7 (Another issue of this book is always cause for celebration)
BPRD Garden Of Souls #2 (Same here, and the first issue of the newest BPRD was great)
Fables #60 (Beginning a new story arc with the regular creative team)
Loners #1 (Interested in this Runaways spinoff, as I like the characters and the art I've seen)
Sandman Mystery Theatre Vol 5 Dr Death TP (Recently caught up with volumes 3 and 4, looking forward to re-reading more... pure pulp goodness)

28 Days Later The Aftermath (Caught the movie a few months back and really dug it, curious to check out this original follow-up)
All Star Superman Vol 1 HC (I'd be more excited about this one if I hadn't decided to wait and see if they do an Absolute edition of all 12)
Conan & The Midnight God #3 (This King Conan mini has been really good)
Dynamo 5 #2 (Solid first issue of an intriguing new superhero team from Faerber and another impressive artist find)
Fell #8 (It's a rare treat, but I enjoy it when it comes out)
Ferro City Vol 1 TP (Robot noir, great art and interesting story)
Garage Band GN (Beautiful art, interesting concept)
Hack Slash Vol 2 Death By Sequel TP (Lots of fun in this horror/action original)
Heroes For Hire Vol 1 Civil War TP (Want to give this one another chance, based on good buzz and the other work of the writers, who I like a lot)
Madman Atomic Comics #1 (Reviews have been mixed, but it's good to see Allred's Madman back)
Mr. Stuffins #1 (Teddy Bear secret agent from Boom!... curious to check it out)
Nova #1 (New cosmic level Nova ongoing... not my personal favorite version of Nova, but still probably pretty good)
Spider-Man Fantastic Four #1 (The operative word is fun, and the creative team (Jeff Parker & Mike Wieringo) definitely ought to be able to offer that)
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #17 (David Hahn picked up nicely on art, and McKeever hasn't lost a step either)
Thunderbolts #113 (Dark, satirical, and I'm mostly enjoying it)
Two Guns #1 (New crime comic from Boom!)
Uncanny X-Men #485 (Brubaker & Tan's Uncanny arc draws nearer to its close)
Wasteland #8 (Still curious to see where this one is going)
Wasteland Book 1 Cities In Dust TP (And looking forward to reading it in trade, where I think it'll read better)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Comicon Las Vegas

Katherine Keller of Sequential Tart has an excellent article up arguing why the San Diego Comicon should make plans to move to Vegas sooner rather than later.

I agree whole-heartedly. I love San Diego, and the town is part of the reason I'm always excited to go, but it's gotten to where you have to book your hotel a year in advance, and even then there's no guarantee. Vegas would have no such problems, the flights would be cheaper from almost anywhere (meaning more money to spend at the Con itself) and the city certainly doesn't lack for other things to do.

I really hope that the planners behind Comicon are looking into this. I love San Diego, but just as with last year, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to attend, simply because I can't find a place to stay that's anywhere within reasonable distance. And I started looking in February, five months before the convention takes place.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Good News in Threes


1. 30 Rock has been renewed for another season. To see one reason why this is a good thing, check this out:

2. Comics are on their way to Austin as we speak

3. The Shield is back, and it's awesome. As always. Sopranos and Entourage start again on Sunday.

Adventures in Retailing: Uh... where's the fourth box?

So today I got acquainted with one of those delights of retailing, the unfortunate UPS/Diamond shipping mishap. It's happened a lot, usually with one region getting their books a week ahead of time. Minor when it's something like Madman shipping out of L.A. this week, Plattsburgh next. Major when it's Civil War shipping to everywhere but the West Coast one week, then out to the West Coast the next.

But there are also those that just hit one retailer, and not his local competition. UPS ships a lot of boxes, so does Diamond, mistakes are bound to happen. Unfortunately, we happen to be in a business where product as late as a day late is worth less, because a fanatical customer base will sometimes go to another store in town regardless of loyalty to get their weekly fix. It's the downside of creating such a rabidly devoted fanbase.

So this was a big week. Dark Tower #3, Buffy #2, the last part of Planet Hulk, Avengers: The Initiative #1, the first part of Fallen Son, the first issue of Joss Whedon's Runaways... and out of that list, we only got one of those books. The rest (along with several others) were stuck in Houston. Which doesn't seem insurmountable, given that Houston is only about three hours away and I was willing to drive, but I was pretty much told they weren't going to let me in if I went there, and even if I had gone, I wouldn't have been back until many of my customers had already stopped in.

It couldn't have been the box with the Batman free Heroclix for Free Comic Book Day that went missing. Or the one with about three or four smaller books. No, it had to be the heaviest one, packed with all the big sellers.

It was a frustrating morning. I yelled about every obscenity I knew on the long drive back from the UPS center to the shop, and tried desperately to come up with some great tactic that would make customers coming in pick up something else, then come back for their comics on Thursday. There isn't one, by the way... on Wednesday, folks want what they want, they don't want a substitute. I was frustrated and pissed off and, given that this is the first week we've had to do Wednesday morning pulls, maybe even a little worried.

But here's the upside: We still had a pretty good day. Not just sales-wise, although I have to say that the sales hit was less than I thought, thanks to Dark Tower, 52, the new Omega Flight and a number of other mid-level books that we did get. No, mostly it was in seeing that in such a situation, I can count on the people around me. My staff commiserated with me but didn't let me wallow, nor did they wallow themselves. They buckled down and did their jobs. They told every customer what had gone on with a sense of good humor, they worked their asses off on a busy day... one of my staffers asked if I needed him tomorrow morning and didn't complain for a second about having to get up early the next day when he was supposed to have a mid-day shift. I have the best staff in the world.

And some of the best customers, too. Everyone was sympathetic, nobody got mad at us, everybody made plans to come back tomorrow or just hold off and pick stuff up with next week's pulls. All told, we lost some day's sales, but I don't think that many folks went driving somewhere else to get the copy today. We've always done right by them, they remembered that and they rewarded us for it.

It sucks to have something like this happen, especially on a huge week like this one. And yeah, it was a shitty morning and a hectic day. But in the end, it turned out to be kind of a positive, as I was reminded once again that I'm lucky to have a good store, a great staff and a great bunch of customers.

Not so positive an experience that I want it to ever happen again, mind you. :)

Monday, April 02, 2007

Blog Template Update for March

This is the latest monthly update to the right 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.

Well, March was a hell of a month for comics. For me personally, I didn't have a ton of new stuff, but I did have to pare down the list to get to 20, and there were a lot of good graphic novels. For me as a new retailer, it was a phenomenal month. The Death of Captain America, the new Buffy comic, The Dark Tower series, etc. etc. There were a couple new books I liked, including Jay Faerber's new superhero book Dynamo 5, McDuffie and McKone taking over the FF and Joss Whedon and Georges Jeanty's excellent first issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but mostly it was reliable favorites. 3 DC books (Spirit, Brave and the Bold and Manhunter, the common denominator of the first two is fun and the third is just an example of how to take advantage of the ongoing series format), 8 Marvel (despite my hatred of Civil War, which probably speaks to the level of talent at Marvel right now), only 2 Vertigo (no Jack of Fables or American Virgin in March, and Fables was a little weak) and 7 indies (2 Dark Horse, 3 Image, 1 Oni, 1 Devil's Due).

Graphic novel a day may be pretty much dead as a feature. It's not that I'm not reading them, it's that I just can't seem to find the time and energy to write about them. At any rate, I think I read more like a graphic novel every other day, but the Daredevil Omnibus took me four days to get through, and then I was inspired to go back and reread Born Again (pretty damn good) and Man Without Fear (not as good as I'd remembered.) I also tried to read the Daredevil/Elektra Love and War HC with Elektra: Assassin in it, but found it pretentious and boring and didn't get past issue one of Elektra: Assassin.

No new episodes of How I Met Your Mother, The Office, Studio 60 or Veronica Mars. Only two episodes of 30 Rock, but they were both really good. Heroes only had one, "Parasite," but it was a phenomenal episode, maybe the second best in the show's history, after "Company Man" the previous week. Thankfully, Andy Barker P.I. is a really funny new show (that's probably dead, given that it's smart and quirky) and The Riches is dark, features a brilliant cast and has my mild interest. Raines is imperfect and probably going to get old but has some style and a great lead actor in Jeff Goldblum, not to mention a terrific (and underused) supporting actress in Nicole Sullivan. Finally got around to watching the first episode of The Black Donnellys, and I like it... good crime stuff, maybe not exceptional when compared to stuff like The Shield, but certainly watchable... of course, I haven't watched the rest of the episodes on my Tivo, which tells you how deep my interest runs. Good thing, too, as it's been pulled to make way for a reality show about jackasses crashing real weddings... which the (stupid) couple is in on. Yeah, gay marriage would totally cheapen the institution, but bringing on the producers of Punk'd to ruin it weekly on national television, that's fucking perfectly acceptable. I'm annoyed the show is even on the air, I'd be livid if it were replacing something I really liked.

As for the familiar shows... Scrubs has been pretty weak, but came on strong late in the month, and besides, pickings are kinda slim right now for new episodes. Battlestar Galactica, after stumbling around punch-drunk ever since the show lifted off from New Caprica, delivers a nice one-two punch of a season ender. Now if only they can come on stronger next season and really follow up on all that potential... hopefully with an ending before the whole thing just gets old. Lost also stumbled a bit early this year, but has had some really strong episodes lately, and the confrontation between Ben and Locke was probably one of the best moments of the show ever. And 24... well, it's 24. Formulaic, getting predictable, but serving up good action and amusingly predictable "24" moments of torture, Kiefer Sutherland yelling and impossible to believe bad security at CTU. The latest episode, which sees Jack teaming up to fight crime with a developmentally disabled man who was working with his brother the mercenary terrorist, was cringe-worthy. I might be done with 24. Fortunately, April sees the return of The Shield, Entourage and The Sopranos, as well as Heroes, so it's looking like a good TV month.

My novel for March was Gates of Fire. Which I borrowed, but haven't read. Novel of the month is just a spectacular failure, I guess.

This was a month for discovering a ton of new feeds. There was a new webcomic out of New Orleans, starring my friend Leo and written/drawn by Josh Neufeld (New Orleans A.D. After the Deluge), there was the re-independencing of Comics, Covered, and through links to Comic Pants, I found an interesting comics review/commentary site called Blurred Productions. But mostly, it was a month of finding people whose work I love doing blogs. I was delighted to find blogs for Becky Cloonan, Cliff Chiang and Vasilis Lolos, three of my favorite artists. I was interested to find a blog from TV writer Jane Espenson. A link to the brilliant Steampunk Star Wars art he's doing lead me to Eric Poulton. And most importantly, a random link from Entertainment Weekly let me find the site of Alan Sepinwall, professional TV critic whose writings I've been reading since I found a link from rec.arts.comics usenet to his NYPD Blue recap sites. Alan is one of the best TV critics I've read, both because his tastes seem to synch up nicely with mine and because he can write in a style that is witty, intelligent, insightful and yet relatively spoiler-free. I'm delighted to be able to read his writing on a regular basis again.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Weekly Comics to Come - April 4, 2007

American Virgin #13 (The latest story has been really good, and just reintroduced one of my favorite characters)
Buffy The Vampire Slayer #2 (First issue was excellent, I'm really looking forward to reading the second)
Jack Of Fables #9 (After three weaker issues of Fables, the spinoff has surpassed its parent... this book is a whole lot of fun)
Runaways #25 (After Buffy #1, Whedon has the benefit of the doubt for me again... even though he's moving the team to New York and only writing 6 issues)
Elk's Run GN (Really looking forward to reading the whole story of this... I think the story belongs in graphic novel format, and the issues were just tantalizing enough to have me wondering how it all ends up)

52 Week #48 (If pressed, I couldn't really tell you what's happening in this book. I'm reading it, and mostly enjoying it, but it's making no impact at all)
Avengers Initiative #1 (I'm not sure I like it as the status quo for the Marvel Universe, but in a vacuum, the 50 state initiative is kind of a neat idea, and Dan Slott is writing... I'll at least give this a look)
Immortal Iron Fist #4 (I think I might rather read this in trade... I like it, but the pacing is kinda slow)
Irredeemable Ant-Man #7 (Still a fun, unusual book)
Omega Flight #1 (Love Scott Kolins art, lukewarm on Oeming's writing, not crazy about the concept for this team)
Spider-Man Family #2 (Features a story by Paul Benjamin and Vasilis Lolos, looking forward to seeing how it turns out)