Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Sunday Review

This week started out with hubby-Eric, two other friends (including Pontoon MiniCity owner), and I all watching the Superbowl together. We were cheering the Giants and hoping for good ads. The best one was the Coke ad with the balloons, but the Bridgestone ad with Richard Simmons was also pretty good. We also enjoyed the game a lot. It was a good excuse for a little party.

On the TV, I saw the remainder of the American Gladiators that got cut off last week (fun), and the new American Gladiators (also fun), House: "Frozen" (eek!), the Conan/Colbert/Stewart brawl (see here and here), Ghost Hunters International: "Fortress of Fear" (cool location, Barry is hilarious as usual), Torchwood: "Meat" (ew gross), Supernanny (if she's a supernanny, what's her super power?), and Ace of Cakes (I love cake).

I checked out Far Out: 101 Strange Tales from Science's Outer Edge by Mark Pilkington from the library. There are 101 short articles, all with a feel somewhere between Fortean Times and Damn Interesting, about science on the fringe. Most of the science is junk/discarded theories, but some is still viable and it's all fascinating. It's a very cool little book, worth a look.

Another library book was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. As I read the other ones, I figured I ought to read this one too. But I didn't want it enough to buy it, so I waited for a library copy. It's a mishmash of a book, with lots of the usual Moore stuff (i.e. "Not for Kids"). The wonderful mining of literature is fun for anyone who is well-read, but might be boring/incomprehensible for non-English Majors. There was a bit too much of the text pieces for this to really be called a graphic novel, in my opinion. The only text piece I couldn't get through was the beat novel, which was pretty much unreadable for me. The Jeeves and Wooster bit was hilarious. The 3-D ending was slightly annoying, and maybe even a little disappointing. All-in-all, though, it was a fun package.

Hubby-Eric and I watched more of Sapphire and Steel: "The Railway Station". Scary bits in this one, as they learn more about the soldier and what's really controlling his actions.

I read my comic books this week in record time. Justice League Unlimited #42 was a bittersweet story that makes me dislike Green Lantern. I was a tad confused by JSA #12, but then the cast of team books always has that potential. I really like Cyclone (Maxine Hunkel), and her inability to shut up still amuses me. I found myself nearly breathless when I saw Joseph Curry's image on the table, and started to ache for what some time with the JSA could do for him. Oh yes, put Artie Joe in the JSA! Ahem...

Going back to another Aqua-character, Teen Titans: Year One #2 is so incredibly disappointing to me that it's not even funny. The mistreatment of Aqualad is intense in this issue. Not only is he drawn completely incorrectly and incredibly ugly, but the various bits of "can't breathe" go just a little overboard. I understand... some of it was needed for the tale. But this book treats the character like an utter joke. I want very badly to like this book, but I can't. It's just awful. Once again, THIS is what Aqualad looked like:

Real Aqualad

Moving on... I also read Detective Comics #841, which was a nice one-shot featuring the Mad Hatter. I was very disturbed by Jonah Hex #28. A boy wants revenge for a lynching, and Hex ... no, no spoilers. But it was disturbing. Phantom #21 had a surprising event. If it stands, if it isn't a trick, it's a serious shock to any Phantom fan. Star Wars: Rebellion #11 is the start of a new story, and it's somewhat promising. The ending makes me wonder how the heroes can possibly get out of it, which is what you want from a book like this, I think. Northlanders #3 continues the excellence, as Sven begins a reign of terror. I'm enjoying this book a lot. And lastly, True Story, Swear to God #10 is one of those books where you might need a tissue handy while you are reading it. The book was a good reminder that all relationships require work, but the best relationships are worth the effort.

A comic I was given was The Last Musketeer by Jason, published by Fantagraphics. It's a very simple book, with a standard evil villain, a noble hero, and the sassy female helper. The art is basic but draws you in, the writing is plain but also manages to do the job. It's a very odd, very interesting little book.

Another library book was Redwall: The Graphic Novel. I read the original book a long time ago. This was a pretty straightforward retelling. Not much else I can say, really.

Anyone who knows I have an interest in the paranormal won't be surprised I checked out Ghosts, Critters & Sacred Places of Washington and Oregon by Jefferson Davis. I was mildly disappointed by it. It's a good collection of ghost stories, but there isn't much beyond just stories. The critters and sacred places get seriously short shrifted here. The writing level is a bit jarring, I expected something other than a book written at a grade-school level. On the other hand, it wouldn't be a horrible book to give to a kid interested in the topic. I think it could've used a good editor and another draft: I found lots of typos while reading it. On the plus side, the book has an index and every section has bibliographic information, so finding original sources of any story shouldn't be tough. Overall, not a bad read. Just not what I was hoping for or expecting.

We got another copy of Ratatouille from the library to watch. This one played, although there was a headache-inducing moment in a later scene where it stopped... but when hubby-Eric restarted the scene, it played all the way through. Yes, that was a very good movie. I now understand why people like it so much. If you get your hands on the DVD, be sure to watch "Your Friend The Rat". It's worth it just for the Canadian video game spoof.