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.