Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Republican Tax Plan

Y'know, I'm no big fan of Clinton's health insurance mandate. But Jesus...

McCain's plan? Give money to the insurance companies from *your* taxes.

How's he going to pay for it? By taking away a tax cut from employers, thus reducing the impetus for them to offer you affordable healthcare in the first place.

I can't believe the sheer balls it takes to present this as "Putting choices back into the hands of citizens."

Putting more power into the hands of fucking insurance companies is more like it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

That Sound You Heard?

That was the sound of any respect I had for Brian Williams flushing down the toilet.

Smith Michaels pretty much nails it in his commentary. That anyone would respect this as Pulitzer-worthy commentary is kind of sad, that Brian Williams singled it out and encouraged his viewers (or readers, it was on the NBC Nightly News blog) to go read it just kills me.

I don't have a *ton* of respect for any of the TV journalists... but I liked Williams when I'd seen him. To see him so pleased by this piece of shit piece of writing disturbs me.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Ka-Baam! comes to Austin

It was almost 10 years ago that I went to a comic-book/superhero themed improv show in New York called Ka-Baam!! It was run by Steve Wacker (who is now editor of the Spidey titles at Marvel) and featured amongst others Dan Raspler (who was then a bigwig editor at DC on titles I don't remember). It was a very fun show, and I had written it off as a unique but essentially unduplicatable experience, what with it being a limited run show and me being in Austin anyway.

Of course, then I got the announcement that from May 3rd through July 5th, at 8:00 PM every Saturday, Ka-Baam!! is being put on at the Hideout Theatre in Austin. $10 tickets right in my price range.

Problem being, Saturday (like Wednesday) is one of those days I pretty much can't take off from work. We do all our reordering, and taking a night off means major headaches for me and the manager and more work later, and much as I'd like to see the show again, I can't justify that.

But... if you're in the Austin area and have a fondness for superheroes... definitely check this show out. More info at and Press info below:

Ka-baam!!is four-color fantasy writ large and on-the-spot by a cast of Austin'smost heroic improv comedians. Every Saturday in May and June audience suggestions will inspire the origins and adventures of three never-before-seen heroes in a comic book story that will never be seenagain. Each week the Golden Age of comics returns with the deadliest ofvillains, most ridiculous of brawls and special guest comic bookartists every week to capture the action in pencil and ink.

Ka-Baam!! is the brain child of Steve Wacker, former editor at DCComics and current editor at Marvel Comics. After a four-year run inNew York City the show is being launched here in Austin and directed byAsaf Ronen who has been with the show since its inception. It is thecomic book crossover of the year -- even if you have no idea what acrossover is!

Created by Steve Wacker (editor, Marvel Comics), directed by Asaf Ronen (The Sickest F***ing Stories I Ever Heard) and featuring: Erik Adams, Kareem Badr, Kaci Beeler, Jon Clinkenbeard, Justin Davis, Roy Janik, Kacey Samiee, Audrey Sansom, Michael Thomas, and Jason Vines. Free comic books provided by Austin Books & Comics.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Weekly Comics to Come - April 30, 2008

BPRD Vol 8 Killing Ground TP (Another great Mignola/Arcudi/Davis BPRD arc)
Green Arrow Year One HC (Diggle and Jock can do no wrong together, this was a great mini)
Immortal Iron Fist #14 (Following up on last issue's cliffhanger, can't see how this will be anything but awesome... bittersweet, though, since it's one issue closer to the end)
Noble Causes #33 (I've read the first three issues of the five years later relaunch, and they're all very good)
Order #10 (Speaking of bittersweet... I expect it'll go out on a high note, I'm sad it has to go out at all)

Caliber #1 (King Arthur meets Western from new publisher, $1 comic... looks intriguing)
Daredevil Blood Of The Tarantula (One-shot, and I liked the previous Tarantula story from Parks/Brubaker, etc.)
Dc Universe Zero (Expect to be disappointed, but I at least have to give it a shot and see)
Fantastic Four Beginning Of The End TP (Collects the McDuffie stuff and the Beland one-shot, a good FF trade)
Gumby Vol 1 TP (Missed this one when it first hit, but I read parts of it on Chris Sims' blog and when Dan Grendell bought it, and it looks great... not going to miss my second chance to pick it up)
Hercules #1 (From the folks putting out Caliber, another $1 comic based on classic Hercules)
Local #11 (Yay! Finally, a new issue of Local!)
Magic Pickle GN (I've got all the old Magic Pickle stuff, but I love this weird bit of all-ages comics from Scott Morse)
Marvel Adventures Iron Man #12 (More on Stark's father, an interesting MA Iron Man subplot, plus obscure villain Kiber the Cruel!)
New Gods Action Figures (I don't buy many action figures anymore, but these Kirby-based figures look cool as hell)
Proof #7 (Enjoyed the first arc, but I'm liking the book even more now that the setup is out of the way)
Speed Racer Racer X Origins Collection TP (Dug these stories when Wildstorm put them out, hadn't realized they were Jo Chen art, so I'll definitely pick this trade up)
Teen Titans #58 (Pretty solid fun, approachable super-teen team stuff by Sean McKeever)
Teen Titans Year One #4 (Gorgeous art, fun story... nervous about the mopey solicits for #5-6, but I love what I've seen so far)
Thor Ages Of Thunder (I'm not a huge Thor fan, but I am a Fraction fan, and Zircher's art looks sharp)
Usagi Yojimbo #111 (Last issue with Gen and Usagi was one of my favorite issues in a while... Sakai continues to impress on this book, even after years and years of doing it)
Wildguard Insider #1 (Yay! Todd Nauck's fun reality TV superheroes are back for a new mini!)
X-Men Legacy #210 (Still not entirely sold, still mildly curious enough to read)

The Strawman

Over at his blog, Tom Brevoort offers up a familiar spin on an argument he has used a few times before to complain about indecisive fans. You can read the full piece here, but the important part is this:

"For example: it's not great secret that there are still people upset about the changes to Spider-Man. Fair enough, But in the space of a day or two, I got five-or-so comments lamenting the elimination of Spidey's organic webbing, and the fact that there's been no mention of the additional powers he gained during "The Other."

Which comes as a bit of a shock, frankly, because the overwhelming majority of the reactions we saw at the time those two stories came out were decidedly negative! Nobody seemed to like the organic webbing, and people wrote long treatises about how Peter creating mechanical web-shooters was better, because this showcased his science skills. But just a couple short years later, we go back to the mechanical web-shooters, and it's like we fire-bombed something."

This is, to put it plainly, a ridiculous argument. What Tom is saying here is that of the 100,000+ readers of Spider-Man, five of them spoke to him in New York to complain about the elimination of organic webbing and new "The Other" powers. These five people, through some brand of statistical sampling I'm unfamiliar with, also represent the hundreds if not thousands of fans who disliked it when the organic webbing and "The Other" powers were introduced.

It is not even remotely possible that these might be different fans. Because clearly, if there were five comments, they must come from the majority of the 100,000 fans. I'm not sure how 0.00005 percent equals a majority, but hey, I was a journalism major, not a math major.

Brevoort (and Quesada, and Didio, and Bendis, etc.) love to use this argument. "Well, these fans are now loving the same thing the fans were complaining about a few months ago! You crazy fans, you don't know what you want!" When in fact, while some fans change their minds, many of them probably were glad to see the organic webbing and "Other" powers go, they just were sad that the way they were eliminated was by a ridiculous, shoddy bit of storytelling that ran late and accomplished a goal nobody in particular was clamoring for (eliminating the Spidey/MJ marriage) along with the stuff people *were* clamoring for (good stories, new creative teams). Or maybe they hated the organic webbing, they *love* that it's gone, but they didn't think to come up to Brevoort and say "Hey, great job getting rid of that organic webbing!"

Just because I'm liking some of Brand New Day doesn't mean I thought One More Day was the way to get there. Just because I wound up loving The Order doesn't mean I liked that Civil War was used to set it up. Just because I enjoyed most of 52 doesn't mean I'm in love with the new multiverse and Countdown. And just because five fans came up to you at a convention to tell you they miss the organic webbing doesn't mean we all do.

Brevoort is smart enough to know this. He also knows full well that fans are more likely to offer negative criticism rather than positive criticism (and even the positive, at a Con, is more likely to be of a "You guys rock!" general kind of thing, not a "thanks for ditching those lame-as-hell organic webshooters" kind of thing).

He's making a strawman argument to try and belittle legitimate criticism along with the irrational crazytalk that too often passes for criticism on the message boards. Brevoort's blog is a great resource, a look at comics from a guy with a ton of experience and smarts. It's just a shame when he dips into this well of overly defensive rah-rah PR.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

No shocker, the process continues

So Hilary Clinton has won Pennsylvania by what looks like about a 10% margin. She's still pretty much in line to lose the nomination unless there's a dramatic shift in momentum and she starts winning every state from here on out by 20% or more or the superdelegates decide en masse to throw in with the Clinton camp, but that's a plenty big margin of victory to justify staying in the race.

Certainly it's hard to argue that the momentum has shifted. Clinton is winning races and taking shots, Obama is starting to seem tired of the whole thing, and making sloppy mistakes that don't do him any good (like the "bitter" comments). He's also clearly the front-runner, and that's a much different position to run in. It seems like the Obama machine is having some trouble correcting for that new status quo.

As to whether or not Clinton *should* stay in the race, or drop out for the good of the party? Or whether Obama should, even though he's in the lead? At this point, they might as well fight it out to the convention. The damage has been done. A few months back, polls indicated that either candidate had a good lead (Obama had a bigger one) on presumptive Republican nominee John McCain. Now they're about even.

Now this isn't really all that telling, the polls aren't wholly accurate and even when they are, so much is in flux right now that it's impossible to get an accurate reading on what's going to happen in the general election. But it's hard to argue that this bitter fight between two rival candidates has *not* been a benefit to the Democratic party. It has instead given the Republican candidate a fighting chance in the next election.

This fact is going to only heighten the bitterness in the two camps, as each will blame the other candidate for dragging things out.

I don't really have any solutions to offer. I will say that the process has dragged me from "fired up, ready to go" to "Jesus, can we please have a fucking candidate already?" I mean, I'm still hoping to vote for Obama, hoping he'll be our President, but it's starting to feel more like naive optimism in the face of an increasingly bitter fight that looks pretty much like politics as usual.

Summer Movie Anticipation

Even though I've been increasingly disappointed by the blockbuster movies of summer, I continue to look forward to them gleefully. The summer always looks better than it turns out to be, and this year in particular there are a ton of movies I'm excited about. I was going to do some kind of post about them, but couldn't figure out exactly what to write, and then Smith Michaels over at Blurred Productions posted his "Optimistic, Cautious, Pessimistic" post and I thought, "Hey! Let's steal that!"

Except that I'm also modifying it into a sort of Top 13 movies I'm looking forward to this summer. With trailers to show you why. Starting with #13, and moving to my most anticipated movie of the summer. Btw, with my schedule and my inability to get out of the house on a regular basis, not to mention that I hate seeing movies by myself, my guess is that I'll see at least 50% of these late, when they come to DVD. Which may happen with Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Harold & Kumar as well, although I'm really excited to see both of those too.

13. Tropic Thunder (August 15)

Optimistic Because: Great cast, potentially funny concept, and I've liked a lot of what Ben Stiller directed
Cautious Because: The trailer doesn't look great or provide a ton of laugh out loud moments
Pessimistic Because: Meet The Fockers

12. Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (May 22)

Optimistic Because: The '50s time period update is kind of cool, even closing on sixty Harrison Ford *still* looks awesome as Indy, plus I have super nostalgic attachment to Indiana Jones
Cautious Because: Steven Spielberg is very hit and miss with me
Pessimistic Because: George Lucas stinks up anything he touches these days, and I have little interest in seeing more of Shia LaBeouf's "acting"

11. The Dark Knight (July 18)

Optimistic Because: Heath Ledger looks impressive as the Joker, and everybody else loved Batman Begins, so I want to like this
Cautious Because: I did not love Batman Begins, found it a bit over-the-top toward the end and loved Bale as Bruce Wayne, but hated his growly Batman
Pessimistic Because: Not really pessimistic, just not really hyped either

10. Incredible Hulk (June 13)

Optimistic Because: Ed Norton as Banner, Tim Roth as Abomination? That's pretty cool. And Louis Leterrier does pretty good action, and an action-heavy Hulk film is what I'd like. Also, not a bad little trailer.
Cautious Because: I liked The Transporter, but it was highly cheesy
Pessimistic Because: The strife between Norton, Leterrier and the studio, which delayed the marketing until almost the last minute, is worrying

9. Wanted (June 27)

Optimistic Because: The trailer looks good, I love Angelina Jolie, like Morgan Freeman and James McAvoy and enjoyed the Nightwatch/Daywatch films of the director
Cautious Because: I didn't really like The Wanted graphic novels
Pessimistic Because: This could just be a Matrix style also-ran.

8. X-Files: I Want To Believe (July 25)

Optimistic Because: Turns out that even though I stopped watching the show several seasons before it ended, I do still have some love for the property and the characters
Cautious Because: No trailer, so there's no way of knowing what we're getting other than the bits of online news
Pessimistic Because: Right before or right after the movie (depending on how charitable you're being) The X-Files began to really, really, really suck

7. Get Smart (June 20)

Optimistic Because: Steve Carell is perfect casting for Maxwell Smart, Anne Hathaway is pretty good casting for Agent 99
Cautious Because: The trailer is merely OK
Pessimistic Because: Casting him as a fish out of water analyst seems to miss the point of Maxwell Smart, and re-inventing TV comedy franchises rarely works out well in film

6. The Happening (June 13)

Optimistic Because: I generally like M. Night Shyamalan, I like the genre and it's a pretty intriguing trailer
Cautious Because: The Village was a bit weak
Pessimistic Because: By all accounts, Lady in the Water sucked

5. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (July 11)

Optimistic Because: Two great trailers, good cast, and I loved Pan's Labyrinth
Cautious Because: I wasn't a huge fan of the first Hellboy
Pessimistic Because: Let's be honest, nobody is going to do better on Hellboy than the comics, especially considering how great the BPRD and Hellboy stuff is right now

4. Pineapple Express (August 8)

Optimistic Because: Great trailer, nice to see Franco in a role more like his Freaks & Geeks role, love Seth Rogen
Cautious Because: It's easier for comedy to fall flat than action or drama, although I don't expect this will

3. Wall*E (June 27)

Optimistic Because: Pixar. Never. Misses. There is no doubt in my mind that I'll love this movie, because I haven't been wowed by a trailer since The Incredibles, but I loved Ratatouille and Cars just as much as all the rest.

2. Speed Racer (May 9)

Optimistic Because: The trailers look awesome, I love the stylized look, I still remember how great The Matrix was and it turns out I have some nostalgic fondness for Speed Racer, even though I was never a fan of the cartoon. I even went out and bought some of the Hot Wheels style cars the other day
Cautious Because: It's ambitious, and ambition can sometimes lead to failure
Pessimistic Because: There were two really weak Matrix sequels

1. Iron Man (May 2)

Optimistic Because: The trailers are fantastic, Jon Favreau has directed some great movies, Robert Downey Jr. is perfect casting (and I loved him in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), Iron Man is a favorite hero of mine, the armor looks great... so many reasons to look forward to it
Cautious Because: There's always the "great trailer, sucky movie" potential. But honestly, I have a hard time this is going to be anything but the best superhero movie in a long time, possibly the best superhero movie period

Monday, April 21, 2008

Weekly Comics to Come - April 23, 2008

Dynamo 5 #12 (One of my favorite superhero books)
Fables #72 (The last issue was *awesome*... can't wait to see what's next)
Northlanders #5 (Continuing the opening arc)
Uncanny X-Men #497 (Kind of a fun San Francisco based superhero thing)
Wormwood Calamari Rising #4 (Wormwood vs. evil squid monsters)

Previews Vol XVIII #5 (Down the Line on the way)
White Picket Fences Double Feature GN ('50s era sci-fi)
Wolverine First Class #2 (Fun, but I don't know how much life there is in the premise)
X-men First Class Vol 2 #11 (Continuity in-joke filled... kind of a weaker issue, actually)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

One More Year Closer to Forty

It's my birthday today. Well, technically. It's April 17th, although I'm pretty sure I was born later than 1:48 in the morning.

That makes me 37. (The only way I can remember this, btw, is by subtracting the current year from 1971, the year I was born. Seriously, I cannot memorize this one simple fact. I know that SHIELD stands for, I can name the founding members of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Teen Titans, Avengers, Defenders, etc. but I cannot remember my age without basic math.)

Weirdly, getting older doesn't really bug me. I mean, things seem to get more or less better for me as time goes on. Randy of 1988 was a high school junior with abysmal dating abilities, no clear idea what he wanted to study in college and an occasional dose of what I like to call "mopey whiny little shit-itis." Randy of 1998 was in love and soon to be married, but he was also in a job he hated with no idea what he might want to do. Randy of 2008 has a wife he loves, two kids he loves, a good house and owns a comic book shop that shows every sign of providing a stable future. Not too shabby for a guy who can't remember his age without doing basic math.

I mean, getting older and living your life is kind of like falling. It can be a pleasant sensation, if you take the time to look around and enjoy the ride, and try not to think of the sudden stop at the end.

Anyway, the original plan to hit up Fogo De Chao for some delightful carnivore carnage was ended because of the massive amount of cash required to dine at a Brazilian steakhouse, but plans for a casual get-together with friends at Hula Hut and then getting together to play Rock Band seems like a pretty good birthday plan to me. I have to admit I feel a *wee* bit pathetic organizing my own birthday party, but I hated the last couple years when I didn't do much of anything, and I'm an organizer by nature, so what the hell.

So far for my birthday I've spent some of the cash from my in-laws on three XBox games (Star Wars KOTOR, Jade Empire and Call of Cthulhu), and I'm pretty sure my birthday money will go to further XBox related purchases like the wireless adapter and XBox credits to buy more Rock Band songs and maybe the new downloadable game Ikaruga.

Yes, I realize this was an entirely self-indulgent post that is entirely irrelevant to 99% of you.

Cut me some slack.

It's my birthday.

Elitist? Are You FUCKING Kidding Me?

This kind of shit just pisses me off. Not the CNN article, which is quite well written and notes correctly that wanting to be President pretty much makes all the candidates elitist by nature, but this whole line of attack.

In case you haven't heard, Obama made some remarks in Pennsylvania about how some small-town folks are bitter about the government and turn to guns and religion for comfort.

Now just because that happens to sound 100% frikkin' accurate isn't really relevant to the discussion.

But it's spurred this whole thing of Clinton and McCain trying to paint Obama as some member of the elite, removed from the society that he wishes to govern.

Kristi Keck (the writer at CNN) notes that as the candidates hit the campaign trail, "They fight to show they still share the average American's values, visiting bowling alleys, diners and schools along the way."

Seriously? This is what some of you want in a President? Even better, this is American life? Bowling alleys and diners? Should they drive around a NASCAR track and slug down a six pack while hunting too? Is that really what we, as a country, want to be?

Honestly, I don't really want Obama to be like me, except insofar as he represents some of the things I believe in, like universal health care, a reduction in corporate influence in our government, better energy and environmental policies, etc. In fact, the more Obama is like me, the more we're going to get a President who would rather not deal with national and international politics, instead favoring a Rock Band get-together or a D&D night with the Cabinet.

Which I think we can all agree we've had eight years of already. Just substitute "clearing brush at the ranch" for D&D and Rock Band.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Weekly Comics to Come - April 16th

Comics shipping the week of my birthday (April 17th, btw)

Annihilation Conquest #6 (I've read an advance copy, and this ends on a very high note)
Hellboy Library Ed Vol 1 Seed Of Destruction HC (Hellboy hardcovers! Woot!)
Incredible Hercules #116 (Fantastic issue, I love what Pak & Van Lente are doing with Athena in particular)
Naoki Urasawas Monster Vol 14 (Sure to be another fascinating chapter in my favorite suspense manga)
Noble Causes #32 (Great jumping-on point for those who have been digging Dynamo 5, and a welcome return for those who dug Noble Causes too)

Amazing Spider-Man #557 (Bachalo and Wells are producing some fun Spidey comics)
Batman And The Outsiders #6 (Really enjoyed the last issue, Dixon is knocking out some of the best books DC has right now)
Brave And The Bold #12 (Good, but I'm ready for the Megistus story to be over... the book is at its best without the over-arching plot)
Captain America #37 (Fantastic scenes this issue with a couple of my favorite supporting characters, I might be back onboard)
Damned Prodigal Sons #1 (The return of the great Prohibition era crime/supernatural story from Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt)
DMZ #30 (Second chapter of the election story, which started strong last issue)
Grendel Behold The Devil #6 (Still loving this return to form from Matt Wagner)
Pigeons From Hell #1 (Joe Lansdale and fantastic artist Nathan Fox adapt a Robert E Howard horror story)
Robin #173 (Another fun, solid offering from Chuck Dixon at DC)
Sabrina Vol 2 #93 (I'm not a Sabrina fan, but this has art by Chad Thomas, an artist I really like)
Suicide Squad Raise The Flag #8 (Ostrander concludes his return to these characters... wish he was going to be doing more immediately, or taking over Checkmate)
Warhammer Forge Of War TP (Great, dark fantasy stuff from Boom! and Abnett & Edginton)
X-Factor #30 (Arcade! Plus more of the best X-title out there)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

OK, We're Done

For those who thought the Salad Shooter or American Idol were the signs of the Roman Empire style beginning of the end for modern Western Civilization as a whole, I give you:

Actual working televisions for doll houses

It is clear that, as a species, we have nothing further to offer. Who's got next? Dogs? Cats? I hear good things about the Marmoset civilization.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Stop Uwe Boll from making more films

Courtesy of Critical Hits:

"There is a petition going around to stop Uwe Boll from making any more movies. He claimed he would stop if one million people signed it - here it is - make your vote count!"

Finally, the Internet could be used for good. Maybe if this works, we can start one for Paul W.S. Anderson, Michael Bay and Brett Rattner, too?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Weekly Comics to Come - April 9, 2008

Aqua Leung Vol 1 GN (I've actually read most of this already... short version: What if Aquaman was awesome?)
George R R Martins Wild Cards #1 (I have a huge fondness for these books, I'm kind of nostalgically interested in seeing this comic)
Nova #12 (Fantastic issue, promises big things leading into the final issue of Annihilation Conquest too)
Serenity Better Days #2 (Great first issue, already wishing it was more than three issues long)
Bprd 1946 #4 (Conclusion? Or penultimate? I can't remember, but I know it'll be good)

Amazing Spider-Man #556 (Kinda digging Bachalo's artwork, and Wells is the second-best writer on the BND books, based on his first issue)
Batman Confidential #16 (Still kind of liking this story of the return of anti-Batman The Wrath)
Booster Gold #8 (It's full of continuity stuff that usually puts me off, but I've been won over by the fun factor of this book)
Criminal 2 #2 (Really damn dark, but an interesting counter read to Volume 2 #1)
Jesus Hates Zombies GN (C'mon, I have to at least look)
Resurrection #4 (Not as enthused as I was after the first issue, but still intrigued)
Terry Moores Echo #2 (Curious to see how this develops)
Wonder Woman #19 (Gail is really doing a great job on this book)
Wormwood Calamari Rising #3 (Probably going to enjoy it more in trade, but I'm still reading as it comes out)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Blog Update for March 2008

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.

DC made a big comeback this month in terms of comics my interest, partly due to a renaissance in the Batman satellite books thanks to Chuck Dixon and Peter Tomasi, partly due to a couple strong one-shots in the form of a New Frontier special and All-Star Superman and partly due to a couple strong miniseries in Suicide Squad and Teen Titans Year One. Throw in two Vertigo books, and DC makes up almost half of the Top 20 this month. Dark Horse and Marvel both tie for second place with five books each, and Image brings up the rear with two, a regular (Dynamo 5) and a new one (Dead Space). No indies this month, it was not a great month for indie publishers. Comics that didn't make the top 20 cut (but almost did) this month included the first issues of Wolverine First Class and Cable and the latest issues of X-Men First Class, Hack Slash, Invincible, Proof, Atomic Robo, BPRD 1946, Thunderbolts, Walking Dead, Wonder Woman and Northlanders.

I read a pretty decent amount of graphic novels this month, despite also taking a break to re-read the entirety of Hawkworld. Long story short on that one is that there are great moments and a few really good stories, but it didn't hold up to a re-read the way that Ostrander's Suicide Squad or Spectre does. Still pretty good stuff, though, just more uneven than I remembered it being. Anyway, graphic novels that didn't make the top 10 cut this month included three things that I picked up from the clearance table at the store (Sgt. Rock: Between Hell & A Hard Place, Salmon Doubts, Houdini The Handcuff King) and the uneven but occasionally very good anthology Discovered from the Savannah College of Art & Design. Also, I apparently didn't read any Marvel graphic novels this month, and only one DC (Blue Beetle, and I'm so sorry it took me this long to find out just how damn good this book is). I've also just started reading Kirby: King of Comics! by Mark Evanier, which is a good autobiography with amazing selections of Kirby artwork. Highly recommended based on the first two chapters and a skim through the rest for the art.

The strike is over, but TV is still very slowly returning, and there was actually less to watch this month than there was last. Mainly, I was all about Lost, which started off the fourth season with a couple of kickass episodes and, though they weren't all of that caliber, never really served up a stinker. Lost is definitely my favorite TV show running right at the moment. How I Met Your Mother also came back fairly strong, which was nice, and I can't wait for next month when we get the return of Battlestar Galactica, 30 Rock and The Office. There may be others, but honestly, I think that's all that's returning that I'm really excited about.

Added a couple items to the RSS feed this month, including the webcomics Basic Instructions and Ctl-Alt-Del and the interesting social experiment site Post Secret.