Monday, July 31, 2006


Claypool is shutting down it's print line. And, as Peter David points out, it wasn't by choice. It's because Diamond has certain performance levels, and they weren't meeting them.

For the gals: Which Justice League Member (Male) Would You Marry?

Snark Free Corner.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Random Thoughts

Ooooh, here's a great essay by Folksinger Janis Ian, who goes into why free downloads of music are a GOOD thing for artists, and lost sales by the music industry are more an indication of poor management on the parts of the recording industry than anything at all to do with downloads. Putting her money where her mouth is, Ian put up a page of free downloads of her music. The article is four years old, but the points she makes are still valid. Via Garrett.

Top 50 Movie Endings of All Time... lots of spoilers.

A friend of my sister just visited and directed me to the George Reeves Memorial website, where the hometown of George Reeves (which is where my sister's friend is from) are selling stuff, including a commemorative video, in an effort to preserve Reeves birthplace. My sister's friend, Veronica, worked on the video, which is on this page: GRMF "Coming Home to Woolstock" DVD.

Illusive Arts have put up San Diego 2006 Photos in a nice Flickr set for everyone who wants to see them.

What the heck? Not a good sign, if it's for real. You shouldn't be arrested for taking pictures of cops.

E. T. Phone Home. What happened to all those copies of the truly awful video game rushed into production to take advantage of the popularity of the movie? Find out on MetaFilter.

Clipart. It's a quicktime movie. Wait for it to load. No sound, you can choose your own soundtrack.

Enchantment Under the Sea Dance Revisited. What happens if you compare Back to the Future with Back to the Future II?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Trolling Around Town

I spent most of today being a tourist in Seattle, so here's a picture for you. No other blog entry today.

Fremont Troll

Friday, July 28, 2006


Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #61.

Doctor Who Money!

Still tracking the Aquaman Pilot, which still continues to sit at #1 on the iTunes Video download list. It's also getting pretty good reviews (average of 4 stars out of over 300 reviews).

Thursday, July 27, 2006

This One is for the In-Laws

Edge City, a comic strip, has had a bit of a pug run lately. Starting here, the story revolves around Rajiv, who is having troubles with his love life. So he gets a pug, Twinkles. I particularly like this strip, as it makes a fun point about SF fans in comparison to other "fandoms".

Anyway, this is for my in-laws and their pug, Buddy.


Everyone has a panel at Comicon.

US Navy Safety Photos. This one just frightens me.

Flickr pool of bad parking. Look at all the "compact" SUVs!

Star Wars Theme on a Banjo:

Jim Henley covers all the angles of the newest sports doping scandal.

How stores are using Barry Manilow to "rob" you. A bunch of stuff about how retail stores work on consumers. Funny, but I knew about most of these already...

Rachel Hartman has a House fantasy. Um. Ok. Insanity is inherited: you get it from your kids.

Marvel editor in chief Joe Quesada will be appearing on the Colbert Report tonight. Tune in for some laughs.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Danes are Very Forgiving

Remember the lying imam who made up extra cartoons and added them to the Danish ones? The imam whose actions resulted in riots and the burning of Danish embassies? Colleen Doran lets us know where he's been and what he's up to now, and it seems rather ironic, considering the circumstances.

Personally, I would have asked him to stay in Lebanon. He's now hiding behind the flag he burned, and using the embassy he helped to burn down to escape violence.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

San Diego Bits

The news will keep filtering in over the next few weeks. Here's what I found of interest today.

Here's a neat round-up of the all-ages stuff at San Diego. I'm particularly happy to see Oddly Normal is going to have a second volume soon.

This article about Dark Horse is fun simply because of the way it ends...

And this article talks about Linda Medley's self-revitalization project: Oz.

Aquaman Pilot on iTunes

The Aquaman pilot is on iTunes for $2. Unfortunately for those of us who refuse to install iTunes on our computers (it completely screwed up my PC the last time I tried), you cannot get at it unless you have iTunes. This link is supposed to take you directly to it, but I can't check it because iTunes doesn't work on my machine.

Music video for Kaylee in Firefly

While looking for the real video for this song, I also stumbled across this great Firefly version of Sara Evans' "Born to Fly," dedicated to our favorite engineer. Enjoy!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Powers and Kabuki pull a Girl Genius

Newsarama is going to be posting Powers and Kabuki page by page, just like the Foglios have been doing with Girl Genius for awhile now. I love Powers (I'm still not sure why) and have never tried Kabuki. Who knows, this might get me to buy the trades...

Powers started today: Powers @ Newsarama.

A Couple of San Diego Links

Newsarama's Index to San Diego Comicon Coverage.

Comic Book Resources Days 3 & 4 Photo Parades.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

For Hubby-Eric

Metafilter links to Top 100 Music Videos.

Too Hot To Think

Our nice cool house has warmed up quite a bit, because I had most of the lower branches trimmed from the trees out front during the last year. So in the evenings, the sun shines directly in the main windows and heats the house dramatically. I'm beginning to really get warm... but at least I haven't had to sit outside today. According to the temp gauge it's 91F outside right now. Ouch.

How about a few scattered links...

CBR Day 2 Photo Parade at the Comicon. Also, CBR reports on the stopping of ticket sales. If I do go back to San Diego Comicon some year, I plan to spend all day Saturday working booths and not hitting the floor. Also, The Beat has more photos and Newsarama Blog links to good newspaper coverage of the con.

My old friend Paul Cornell (who wrote me into a Doctor Who novel) is writing for Marvel, working on a character I've never heard of. I usually don't buy books for creators, but I might make an exception here. Paul's been a friend of mine for a very long time.

The only interesting Aquaman news I've heard comes from Action Figure Insider, who are reporting that the New Aquaman is getting his own figure in the fourth wave of the First Appearances line along with the new Blue Beetle, The new Atom, Warlord, and modern Martian Manhunter. DC Direct is attempting to bankrupt me.

Action Figure Insider New Aquaman

And yes, I'll be getting this figure. I love the new Aquaman series. There is more mystery and fun than we've had for a long time. Along with undersea intrigue and a whole new status quo to mix it up. At the moment, despite the book's focus being on the new guy, the tale of Orin hasn't yet finished and I'm waiting to see how he returns to normal and gets his throne back... or if he even does manage it. I love the inclusion of Vulko in the last issue, and how everything fits the character perfectly. This is the Vulko I fell in love with when I started reading the books. The scientific skeptic who nonetheless refused to stop learning. It's a shame there will likely never be a Vulko action figure.

Right... the heat has addled my brain. I think I'd better go catch up on reading some comic books. I'm still a few weeks back in reviewing.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Another Massive Linkdump

Eisner Award Winners.

I loved Young Justice, and I'm with PAD on Dan Didio's ridiculous comments about the series. I still haven't bothered with Teen Titans because it replaced Young Justice.

Mike Sterling has a couple of videos from San Diego that pretty much show why I'm scared to go back. I'm really bad in crowds.

And Kevin posts more video blogging.

At some point I'm going to have to look at the Turtle Teaser Trailer.

Is Bad Astronomy Blog Partisan? Only when partisan politics deny reality and dismiss science.

Ooops... Secure those lines so people cannot put their own fun on your closure lists. An oldie but goodie. Via Augie.

I'm Speechless, once again.

The Pig and the Box, a children's story about DRM.

You can label your town on Wikimapia. Someone had already helpfully labelled all the "dive bars" in my town. I added the library and some other buildings that Google didn't label.

Cool McDonald's Billboard, one that's actually somewhat useful, too. Via Augie again.

Boing Boing reports that "The National Film Board of Canada has put 50 of their brilliant animated short films on line for free viewing." Wahoo! Some of these are just fantastic. My favorite has to be BlackFly, and yes, it's there.

Yay! We're going to get more Miles Vorkosigan!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Massive Linkdump

Websnark has a touching obituary for Jim Baen, who will be missed. The obit suggests buying a copy of The World Turned Upside Down and giving it to a child who might enjoy it. After taking a look at the authors in this collection of stories that had an impact on Jim Baen, I think doing that would be a very good idea.

Snape's on a Plane.

Animated Hellboy site goes live, and looks good.

Strange Coincidences, via The Museum of Hoaxes. I've always thought one of the cooler coincidences I've heard about involved an author's coat turning up as part of a costume in a movie made from his works.

There will be a Girl Genius Omnibus edition, the first three collections in smaller size and B&W. I'll have to decide if I want to get that too, since I've got all the collections already. Also in Girl Genius news, Kaja has worked out when the 101 Class will meet the Advanced Class: July 30, 2007. At that point, the entire story to date will be on-line. Kaja also made a nifty list to show where you can find the various bits of the story.

A Fanged Killer Kangaroo once roamed Australia's outback. Now, wouldn't that make a great band name?

Total agreement from me with Will Pfeifer on this one.

Special Comicon Section:

CBR's Day 0 Photo Parade.

CBR's Day 1 Photo Parade.

The Beat's Day 0 and Photo Parade.

Friends of Lulu Awards.

Photo Parade Day 1. SUNSCREEN!!!!!

Sequential Tart Flickr Pool.

Story Boredom presents archetype sketches of fans at San Diego: The Classic Trekker, Furry Unicorn Man with Guitar, Pierced Couple, The Ravenous Reader, Klingon Family of Lemon Grove, Portfolio Lad, Goth Girl, Grizzled Pro, Scantily Clad Woman Who Have Nothing To Do With Comic Books, Super Troopers, Man-Tiger, Security Zealot, Hardcore Dad, Table Toad, Unidentified Walking Fuzzy, The Hipster, Scared Granny, and Optimus Prime-Cardboard Edition. Via The Beat.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


A lovely post about The Marvel Year In Review, and why it ought to be brought back.

Why comments in other languages should be checked before publication.

Is Ogopogo a Sturgeon?

Star Trek Cribs. Uh. I'm speechless.

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #59.

Aquaman Stuff!

Solicits for DC Comics due to ship in October have been posted on various websites: Comic Book Resources, Newsarama, Buzzscope, and The Official DC Site. Here's the Aquaman stuff I spotted:

Cover to Aquaman #46

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #46 begins a flashback story starring Orin and King Shark. Shipping October 18th.

Cover to Aquaman:SoA: Once and Future

The first six issues of Sword of Atlantis are collected in "Once and Future", due out November 15th.

Cover to Justice League Unlimited #26

Black Manta gets an ally to help attack Atlantis in Justice League Unlimited #26, due out October 4th.

Cover to Teen Titans Go! #36

A new member joins the Teen Titans in Teen Titans Go! #36, due out October 25th.

Kingdom Come Aquaman

At lastly, DC Direct tries again to bankrupt me with the Kingdom Come Aquaman, featured in Series 3 of the Kingdom Come action figures, due out March 21, 2007.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Overdue Reviews

Still slowly catching up.

21 June 2006

52 Week Seven: "Going Down": The moment when Ralph realizes that Booster may have been able to prevent it all... that was a truly frightening moment. And when it all falls apart... it was unexpected, but at the same time it sure seemed like it was leading up to that moment. Should be interesting to see how Booster deals with it. 2 1/2 starfish

Birds of Prey #95: "A Cup of Kindness Yet": The duality of the story, how Shiva and Canary both took apprentices of a different type, made the ending to this one much more powerful. In fact, this was a genuinely satisfying finish. I'd like to see more like this. 3 starfish

Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #1: "Flashback": So... the Speed Force still exists, but isn't safe to use? This issue gets everyone up to speed on what's been happening with the world of Flash characters. It's quite a nice little summary. I don't know if I'll read more, but it's a solid little average superhero tale. 2 1/2 starfish

Fallen Angel #6: Jumping into the past of the Fallen Angel, back to when she first fell, was a bit of a shock, but it's also very cool. I like the way this story is shaping up, maybe more than the regular modern story. 3 starfish

Conan #29: "The Toad": Conan sends rocks down on his enemies, but Nestor survives. Only... but that would be telling. This is a continuation of Conan #24, which I was beginning to think would never get continued. I enjoyed it. 2 1/2 starfish

Conan Book of Thoth #4: "The Serpent Strikes": An echo of a Conan tale, as Kalanthes suffers the same experiences Conan will much later, all for being loyal and honest. We also find out who the voice talking to Thoth-Amon was, and who narrated the whole story. It's a good ending, even if I found myself wishing for more of the tale. 3 starfish

Not half done with this past week, and now I've got two more weeks on top of my other overdue reviews.

Mail Issues

Now that I've had a day to recover from the trip (I'm one of those folks who really doesn't travel well at all) I'd like to report that I'm finally getting into my mail that came while we were gone and there are a couple of goodies I'll be blogging in a bit.

On a more annoying note, at least one of my e-mail boxes was screwed up somehow, and if you sent me anything in the last week you may want to resend it to make sure I get it. I'm not entirely sure what happened, but I'm fairly certain it was my fault.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Don't Push The Red Button.

I Thought I Didn't Want To Go To San Diego...

Over the weekend I got an offer, which may or may not happen, which might allow me to go to a future San Diego Comicon. I'm really surprised at how much excitement I felt when I heard the deal. If it happens, I'll be delighted. And, it looks like I'll be disappointed if it doesn't happen. And here I was thinking that my fear of crowds would be enough to make me not want to attend again.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Thoughts on Driving a PT Cruiser

I just had a nice road trip, from Seattle to Salem in our car, then from Salem to Monterey California in a PT Cruiser. I got plenty of driving time in the Cruiser, and here are some thoughts on the vehicle.

On the plus side: I love the compass and outside temp indicators. At one point, the outside temp read as 114F, which didn't seem likely. More often it was like this...

Compass and Temp

I also liked that it locked the doors once we got underway. Nice safety feature that I'm sure tons of cars have nowadays. As both our vehicles are over 10 years old, it's hard to know for sure.

On the bad side: The car has freakin' HUGE blind spots. Freeway driving wasn't too bad, but driving through a town was a hair-raising proposition. If a PT Cruiser cuts in front of you sometime, odds are the driver couldn't see you. Even doing head checks I often found I couldn't see what was next to me.

Also, the steering was oversensitive. Until I got used to it, I nearly drove off the road whenever I had to stay tight in a curve. Even once I was used to it, I found the steering immensely uncomfortable.

The car also had the tendency to want to go faster, but fully loaded with four people and their luggage for a nearly week-long trip, it was weak on power when climbing hills. Going downhill it was easy to hit 80 without realizing it (until you got into a tight curve and the steering sensitivity nearly took you off the road), but on some hills it couldn't get up to 40 and we were being passed by semis.

Not much leg room. Even when I'm skinny (which I haven't been in far too long) I have long legs. Trying to fit into a PT Cruiser was slightly claustrophobia inducing. My horrible back problems started up on the second day and still haven't let up. With four people in the car, there simply wasn't enough room for a long drive like ours.

Conclusion: it's a somewhat pretty car, but I have no intention of ever buying one.

Heading Home...

Grand Ave Detail from 2 July 2006

By the time you read this, Laura and Eric should be heading home. Wahoo. Vacation over... back to work.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Still At Asilomar

Here's a lovely picture of the beautiful wildlife at Asilomar for you to enjoy.

Asilomar Racoon

Great Picture

Kids Find Can of Paint, Chaos Ensues.

This is a time blog, prepared earlier and set off today. Laura is currently off enjoying life (without paint).

Saturday, July 15, 2006

How To Spot...

How to spot a Jap (1942), an example of the propaganda pushed on our soldiers during WWII. While being incredibly offensive to us nowadays, it's an important look into the past.

This is a time blog, prepared earlier and set off today. Laura is currently off on vacation.

Friday, July 14, 2006


I'm at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, California. Two days of driving, plus another hour this morning. We stayed in the Redwoods the first night, after driving from Seattle to a bit South of Portland, Oregon to pick up friends. The second day we wove our way through the Redwoods... and the road construction, then rested overnight near Santa Cruz. The next two nights we'll be in Asilomar, then it's back up the road home to Seattle, but this time via I-5 most of the way, so it should be a little bit faster.

That's... Damn Interesting

If you haven't checked out Damn Interesting, you maybe ought to. It's got a range of articles on things that are just... well... Interesting.

This is a time blog, prepared earlier and set off today. Laura is currently off finding interesting things.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Ugly Americans

Boing Boing links to a comic book about "Ugly Americans" and our bad habits when touring other countries. It's quite a read, with some well-known names in cartooning contributing.

This is a time blog, prepared earlier and set off today. Laura is currently off on vacation.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I'm Away

Asilomar Artie

"Hi there! Artie here to tell you that Laura and Eric are off on an Adventure for the next few days. You may see nothing here for a day or two, or a guest blogger blogging away."

I've also set up some "time blogs" to be set off by my house-sitter/guest blogger Lisa as she finds time to do so.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Who Says Nobody Reports Good News?

Here's an article that might lift your day a little. Update: Readers respond with their own stories.

Overdue Reviews

Slowly, slowly catching up...

14 June 2006

52 Week Six: "China Syndrome": More with Black Adam's new political drive, and a big long fight with the Green Lanterns. Vastly more interesting to me is Booster visiting Rip Hunter's home and finding that fascinating chalkboard with lots of clues on it. And, of course, the nifty cliffhanger. This is a step down from the last issue for most of it, but that chalkboard makes up for a lot. 2 1/2 starfish

Checkmate #3: "The Game of Kings Part 3": The intrigue builds as the real reason China is fighting to get rid of Checkmate is revealed. This is a twisted kind of book that makes sense when you read it, but is difficult to follow when you try to recall what you just read. Or maybe that's my memory finally going. Anyway, it's got Alan and Mister Terrific, so we'll continue to get it. 2 1/2 starfish

Green Arrow #63: "Busted!": Fun to see Deathstroke do the unexpected. Like Ollie, I would have expected him to fight. Nice cliffhanger, too. Not a bad issue overall. 2 1/2 starfish

Green Lantern Corps #1: "To Be A Lantern": The only character I really care about is Soranik Natu, the new and reluctant Green Lantern. The rest of the characters could go ... um. I don't really care about any of the others. Good thing the focus in this first issue is on Natu, right? 2 1/2 starfish

JLA Classified #22: "A Game of Chance Part One: Deal": Steel's history in those first couple of pages makes you wonder if the pain he refers to is physical or emotional. Nice appearance of the Royal Flush Gang, or at least... one of them. And Aquaman shows up for a bit, too. Not a great book, but fun. 2 1/2 starfish

Superman #653: "Up in the Sky": An ancient Kryptonian warship, lots of violence, and an unexpected by standard ending. Maybe standard. Depends on how the final part goes, I guess. Not too bad, but I kind of wanted more. 2 1/2 starfish

Squadron Supreme #4: "Blood and Sand": Ah, a line up with the names of the whole team. Useful. Emil is a really nasty dude, isn't he? And the concept of world domination first comes up. I guess the story is moving forward, but I'm hoping it picks up the pace a little now. We'll have to see. 2 1/2 starfish

Wolverine Origins #3: "Born in Blood Part Three": More flashbacks, and nasty ones at that. And Wolverine was the cause of a lot of it? It's all intense, but very strange. I still don't know what is happening. We'll have to see if I stick with it. But if it were up to me, I'd already have dropped it. 2 1/2 starfish

Supernatural Law #1: "With a Silver Bullet": If you haven't noticed that this comic is now on the web every Monday and Thursday, usually with two or three new "pages", then you need to check it out. This issue features two stories both happening at the same time. It's a fun little adventure, with lots of clever bits. The writing is really what makes this series excellent, although the artwork is also excellent. Anyway, check out the web version, and if you like it, go get the print version as well. As for me? It's recommended. 4 starfish

Now I'm only two weeks behind... And going on vacation tomorrow, so I'll be three weeks behind when I get back. *sigh*

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Beautiful Game

The Beautiful Game, presented by Warren Ellis. BBC Sport has a bit more on what may have caused that headbutt. The comments at Warren Ellis' site also have some lovely links, including a flash game in which you can headbutt Italians if you'd like.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Chug-a-Pug. This one is for the in-laws.

The Paperclip House.

Did Ken Lay fake his own death?

The Beat review Pirates, and she's not nice about it.

Now, that's what I call a Flash Mob.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

You Know...

...There's something really, really cool about monsters trash-talking each other.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Johnny Drama Says...

Johnny Drama with Aquaman tickets
"Keep up those requests!"

Go to this page and submit a request for an Aquaman T-shirt from the Entourage show! For the subject line, put "Entourage Aquaman T-Shirt?" and for the content, just request a t-shirt based on the Aquaman movie in the show.

I'll be checking the HBO Entourage Shop regularly and will alert folks if I see an official shirt appear. T-Shirt Watch has a link to what appears to be an unofficial t-shirt, but I'd like to see a legit one, personally.

So let's start a wave. Write in and ask for it.

Review Copy Reviews

Ah shucks. Somebody else was nice enough to send me a free comic book (even though I've already ordered the book and will be getting it through my shop as well). I feel I ought to review it. And since I'm in the middle of a ton of other reviews, I'll drop them and get this one up first. This book should be out in stores next week, though as always there is the possibility it will be out the week after. They are currently available at the Dorothy website.

Cover to Dorothy VI
Dorothy VI: "Heartless": Wow. I've seen a few different origins for the Tinman, but this is one of the strangest and coolest, mostly because it's set in a version of Oz that doesn't follow all the rules of the original story. Like the story of the Scarecrow, the story of the new character is introduced through flashbacks. If I say much more, I'll give part of the tale away, so I'll skip the juicy details and just say that the Tinman's tale is very different but almost as tragic as the Scarecrow's tale (and the Scarecrow's tale is the most intense bit of comic book reading I've had in a long time). I particularly like the bits with Dorothy in this one, as she shows off her skills and learns she has some new ones. I want to see more of Toto, though. The little bits we get of him in this issue were tantalizing, particularly Tinman's response to him. Now that I've finished reading the issue, I kind of wish I could erase my memory and read it again, it was that good. This has been an incredible series so far, and this issue doesn't let it down. Recommended. 4 starfish

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Overdue Reviews

Finally getting into last month's books. I've promised myself that I won't be reading this week's books until I get within a week or two of the current week. Which means I'll continue to review books rapidly until I get caught up.

31 May 2006

52 Week Four: "Dances With Monsters": This one seems to be focusing a little on Renee, though what's happening to Steel is fascinating. And the return of some of the heroes, too. Maybe we'll finally learn what happened to Alan's eye. In fact, this is the best issue so far. It feels like the book is hitting its stride and the pieces are starting to fall into place. There's a lot more to go, sure, but we're finally starting to get some shaping of the DCU here. 2 1/2 starfish

Ion #2: "Torch Bearer Part 2": Kyle Rayner, out of his head and hurting people. Most powerful weapon in the universe, and he doesn't know what he's doing? ug. Not my cuppa. 2 starfish

Action Comics #839: "This Look Like A Job...": Nice to see Superman overwhelmed by his own powers. Makes you think about it, a bit. I'm still not sure what Luthor is up to, although I get all the references and such. That last panel definitely gives an idea of it, though. This has been a fun ride. 2 1/2 starfish

JLA Classified #21: "After The Fire!": This was a very bumpy story, but it ended nicely. I like the method that J'onn used to rid people of the virus. The final few pages, with Batman, were excellent. This won't go down as one of my favorite JLA stories, but it's not too bad. 2 1/2 starfish

Crisis Aftermath: The Spectre #1: "Dead Again Part One": I haven't yet read the Gotham Central books that lead up to the death of the character that the Spectre joins with, but this book gives a nicely solid overview of what happened so I don't have to wonder too much. In fact, that's pretty much all this issue is: an overview of what has happened before to get everyone up to speed. Lots of seeds planted in this one, I hope to see some of them sprouting in the next issue. 2 1/2 starfish

Warlord #4: The artwork is too sketchy, the storytelling is lousy. Only by reading the text closely can I figure out what is going on, and even so I can't understand half the happenings because the art is too weak. This is pretty much my definition of a bad comic book. And that's a shame, because I really wanted to like it. 1 starfish

Local #5: "The Last Lonely Days At The Oxford Theatre": This is the first issue of this book that I really didn't like. Megan is playing mind games, and she does it poorly. While I generally like this book, this issue just didn't connect with me at all. 1 1/2 starfish

Mouse Guard #3: "Rise of the Axe": Well, this is a fine mess they've gotten into! This is a great book, well worth checking out. My only complaint is that I wish each book would go on a lot longer. The lavish art allows for a limited amount of story per issue, but if you really think about it, each issue has as much or more movement as a comparable superhero book. Anyway, go flip through this book. I recommend it. 4 starfish

7 June 2006

52 Week Five: "Stars in Their Courses": I like the opening scenes, with Ellen Baker waiting for Buddy to come back. I'm guessing Steel is wearing his armor to disguise whatever was happening to him in the last issue. And Alan's explanation doesn't make sense, but I don't think it's supposed to... yet. This is more like what I expected to see from this series. 2 1/2 starfish

Wonder Woman #1: "Who is Wonder Woman?": I thought Donna Troy was off learning about the universe in the back pages of 52? And is it just my imagination, or does that final page evoke some old Wonder Woman comics in which Diana Rigg seemed to be more in vogue than Diana Prince? I know who the three villains Donna faces are, but who is Nemesis? And why does he deserve his own logo? And, yes, where is Steve Trevor? Interesting start. 3 starfish

Detective #820: "Face the Face part 7 of 8": Nice battle at the beginning. It always seems cool when a writer manages to make Batman chatting with someone while fighting work. The rest of the story seems to be a pretty basic look at the news of Harvey's regression. Not wonderful, but not bad. 2 1/2 starfish

JSA #86: "Where Highwaymen Rode": I like the flashbacks to Jim as usual. I also like the way the whole thing is coming together, including why The Gentleman Ghost worked on getting them to England. And I like Ma Hunkel smacking the Ghost. Go Ma! 2 1/2 starfish

Justice League Unlimited #22: "Outside Looking In": I like this one, as it shows Gypsy's skills off, and makes her look pretty cool while doing it. This is a strong issue, and I like seeing these and hope to see a lot more like them. This may well be the strongest DC book available, and certainly the strongest all-ages book they put out. 3 1/2 starfish

Manifest Eternity #1: This seems to be a book about prejudice, at least at first. But then it turns into a multiverse spanning war. I'll wait and see on this one, but so far it doesn't have a lot to recommend it, in my opinion. 2 starfish

Noble Causes #20: Slightly better artwork than the last issue, but I still can't tell Race and Rusty apart. Still, it's an improvement. I'm curious to see what Rae really is, and hope we get answers for that one. And what is Slate up to, anyway? 2 1/2 starfish

It would be easier to catch up if I didn't have a dozen books a week I keep reviewing.

Overdue Reviews

Hey, let's see if I can get caught up on reviews to last month...

17 May 2006

52 Week Two: "Looking Back At Tomorrow": It's a puzzle, and we haven't got many of the pieces yet. While Booster seems to be the focus, I find Ralph's experiences far more intriguing. He's the guy I feel for. It's interesting that the vandal actually gave him something to live for, instead of just causing damage. The backup feature doesn't do anything at all for me, yet. I hope it'll get more interesting. Not bad. 2 1/2 starfish

Green Arrow #62: "An Eye for An Eye": Just a big fight between Green Arrow and Deathstroke. Definitely not the high point of the series so far. 2 starfish

Shadowpact #1: "Death in a Small Town": Tell me, is it a major continuity blunder that Superman appears, with his full powers, at the beginning of this issue? Or could this have happened before the crisis? Anyway, how can I not enjoy a book that has Rex the Wonder Dog show up? Definitely an intriguing start to this series. 2 1/2 starfish

Wolverine Origins #2: "Born in Blood Part Two": I'm not sure I get this. Wolverine used torture to program soldiers to commit atrocities in Vietnam... at the bidding of whoever his mysterious goal is? There's a story here, but I'm still not quite following it. Not enough pieces yet. 2 starfish

Wonderland #1: I still need to read the Alice books. Then I might have an idea of who Mary Ann is. For now, I'll just read and enjoy. It's a funny little book, but it runs along nicely and has a very wonderland-y feel to it. Looking forward to the second issue. 3 starfish

Conan #28: "Storyteller": This is a sad sort of story... the main character is not Conan, but a villager who longs for excitement. He gets more than he expects. Except for Rovann himself, the art feels a little off to me. But because the focus is Rovann, it actually works for the story. It's a sad story, but I liked it. 3 starfish

Paradox #3: This issue has the exact same problem as the first two: it needs a good editor and another draft or two. The story is still fun, the concept still excellent... but it really needs some polishing to work. It's a good book, but it could be a great book. 2 1/2 starfish

Fallen Angel #5: Events move forward a long way in this issue. In fact, I think this is my favorite issue of the entire series, DC and IDW, so far. We get the culmination of pretty much everything, and end on a new status quo. I'm looking forward to seeing how Jude deals with his new reality. Angel's theology is depressing, but a neat bit of philosophical ranting. I think Jude should know better than to ask a fallen angel about God. Lots of nice bits beyond that in this issue. Let's see where this book goes from here. 3 1/2 starfish

24 May 2006

52 Week Three: "New World Order": So, Alexander Luthor died in an alley with half his face burned off... but this Luthor is dead in perfect shape. Not the same guy? Or something else. I still feel like this book is setting up, not shaping. I want to see some shaping, darnit. 2 1/2 starfish

Birds of Prey #94: "Stolen Inferno": The frustrations of Shiva and Black Canary both start to reach boiling point in this issue. I'm not sure how they are going to get out of this. Canary can't let the child become the next Shiva, and Shiva isn't going to tolerate Canary's requirements. Still one of the best of the OYL titles. 3 starfish

Secret Six #1: "Exposed": I very much liked the Secret Six mini during the event, so I have big hopes for this mini as well. In this book we learn that the society is still active, which we'd heard in other books as well... but this book gives us a look at their fractured nature now. This issue wasn't great, it was mostly set-up with a shot of action at the end, but it'll do. Looking forward to the next issue. 2 1/2 starfish

Green Lantern #11: "Revenge of the Green Lanterns": That has got to be one of the oddest covers I've seen in a long time. Exactly what are they doing? This is a story of Hal trying to redeem himself after his crimes. I think I might be able to like it, but I need to see more before I forget what came before. 2 1/2 starfish

JSA Classified #12: "The Fall and Rise of Vandal Savage part three": I can see that we're trying to be given this whole sense of Vandal's history and all... but this story could really have used some serious editing to reduce the duration. In this case, decompression doesn't seem to be serving it. I want a shorter story. 2 1/2 starfish

Batman #653: "Face the Face part 6 of 8": This issue is entirely about Harvey making a decision about the future. It's got some flashbacks, and a somewhat gruesome scene involving acid. It's a very depressing issue. 2 1/2 starfish

Checkmate #1: "The Game of Kings Part #1": As soon as we learned that Alan Scott was part of the new Checkmate, we picked up the first issue. And the second issue was already out, so we got that too. As an added bonus, my second favorite JSAer, Mister Terrific, is also part of the team. I'm not sure what to say about this book except it's a complicated read with too many characters, and I'm sure I'll enjoy it about as much as I do JSA. 2 1/2 starfish

Checkmate #2: "The Game of Kings Part #2": Kobra, Checkmater, massive political intrigue, and a couple of heroes in the middle of the insanity. I'm waiting to see if it pulls together in my mind, or if I'll have to keep rereading. 2 1/2 starfish

Squadron Supreme #3: "International Incidents": huh. The way she overcame The Voice's power was quite a hint into the nature of the character. There were a lot of clever bits in this issue, and a few that made me grumble. Not a bad issue overall, but far from the greatest book I read this week. 2 1/2 starfish

Powers #18: The opening monologue finally fits into the storyline directly. We actually get the resolution of the latest murder investigation in this one, but hopefully we'll move into the solution to Deena's problem soon. Still a good, if often difficult to read, book. 3 starfish

Conan: Book of Thoth #3: "The Serpent Rises": An origin tale that Howard never wrote, but a good one. Thoth sets up a puppet ruler through his magic, while Kalanthes sits around not figuring it all out. It's depressing to see how Thoth accomplished his conversion of the people to Set. After convincing the ruler to send armies on foolish missions of conquest, the people were beset by outside enemies to the point where they were terrorized, then they willinging followed the leader who promised to deliver them from the terror that he himself caused. It's an ancient pattern, and it still holds true in reality as well as fiction. 3 starfish

Age of Bronze #23: "Betrayal 4": This issue shows the Trojan side of things as the battle draws near. There isn't a lot I can intelligently comment on about this issue... expect it is excellent as usual. Shanower has given life to these cardboard characters and made them something more than players in an ancient drama. They have motivations, fears, goals. And for the first time I'm seeing all that. If you have any interest at all in the Trojan War, BUY THIS BOOK. 3 1/2 starfish

Nope. Still not up to last month yet. There were a LOT of books out in those couple of weeks! I'm drowning in comics! Help! Ok, right... back to the stack. May 31st coming up...