Sunday, September 07, 2014

A Sunday Review

TV this week:

  • Doctor Who: "Robot of Sherwood" - I was with the Doctor on this one. It just was too close to the legends to be real. I've seen robot knights on Doctor Who before. They really do make good robots. But the rest, very silly, hard to believe, but fun. I really liked Clara in this one, again. She's a pretty solid person to have around in a pinch. I guess with some episodes I really need to not think too hard, because I enjoyed the heck out of it, but I still have that "roll the eyes" response to the subject matter.

Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • Aug 6th
  • Aquaman and the Others #5 - Ah, mystic pools of power. Just what is needed to melt down ancient artifacts and stuff. But now... who does the seal of clarity belong to? Or is it shared?
  • Green Lantern #34 - Hal gets a break after all the nonsense that just happened. Sort of. I'm not sure what to think of it. I guess the kids will have one heckuva "what did I do on my summer vacation" story to tell.
  • Earth 2 #26 - I do like the Earth 2 Aquawoman. She's got some serious kick-butt attitude. Oh, and the other characters aren't too bad, either.
  • Justice League 3000 #9 - Teri takes on Terry and GL finally loses his temper with his tormenter. Fun stuff there, but isn't this book done yet?
  • Batman '66 meets Green Hornet #3 - Well, there's a twist at the end I wasn't expecting! Still, it was fun to see Kato and Robin duke it out. I think Kato would wipe the floor with Robin if it was a real fight, though.
  • Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #3 - So, if you yell "Aquaman" at the Rock of Eternity, you turn into Aquaman? Wait, that doesn't seem quite right...
  • Tales of Honor #4 - I am so frustrated by this book. It has the potential. The story is right there. But the execution is so lousy I want to throw it across the room. ARGH!
  • Usagi Yojimbo: Senso #1 - Oh man, seeing Jotaro all grown up... *sniff* Ahem, this was a good one, although I question the course of the book, I know I'll enjoy it while it lasts.

Fortean Times #317
Fortean Times #317 (August 2014). Ah, Slenderman. The cover is suitably creepy for a made-up nasty with some real-world stupidity mixed in. I just hope the two murderous brats don't see it, maybe they would enjoy the notority. *ahem* I'm referring to the recent case where two 12-year-old girls attempted to murder a classmate in order to become proxies of Slenderman, a made-up horror character invented via the Internet in 2009. I have my doubts that the two girls were telling the truth about their motive, but that's for other people to decide. What I do know is that anyone who attempts a murder in the name of any fictional character is a dingbat who needs to be locked up for a long time. I could rant about the murder attempt for a long time, but the long and short of it is that I do not accept the event at face value, not with the detailed history of Slenderman available to anyone who has the slightest interest in the subject and access to a networked computer. It's all well and good to talk about tulpas and the way the internet meme taps into darker and ancient fears... but it's still just a made-up horror figure with a well-documented, and short, history. There is something more, something about human nature, that needs to be examined and explained in the Slenderman story.

Moving on to the other main articles of the issue, The Mirage Men is an advertisement article for a documentary that asks if the UFO scares were part of a disinformation campaign. It's a fascinating topic that I really wouldn't mind delving into more, but it's not my top interest. Someday I hope to explore the subject, but I won't be seeking out the documentary.

The final main article was the second part of the feature on Rollo Ahmed, who is a pretty amazing guy, I'll grant. I'm glad I never met him. Still, another look at history, and life, from a different point of view... always a good thing to read.

The Editorial page features a short but sad obituary for publisher Felix Dennis, who founded the company that publishes Fortean Times and many other magazines. Strangedays starts us off with Boko Haram members being attacked by bees possessed by their victims. There's also the story of the great white shark that was eaten by something bigger, and the question of what that thing was. We also get the whale of a tale of a painting that was missing its focus until it was restored and... well, a whale appeared. There's also coverage of the 36th annual Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year, which went to How to Poo on a Date: The Lovers' Guide to Toilet Etiquette. We also get pictures of a bear relaxing in a hammock and a giant rat. Fortean Follow-ups are also good.

Archaeology hits on a treasure discovered near the Rhine and the cracking of a Viking Rune code. Turns out Vikings liked wordplay. Classical Corner is about ... um... well... necrophilia. Let's leave it at that. Konspiracy Korner is about the strange way some conspiracy theorists think and their illogical logic. Fairies, Folklore and Foreteana is about shamanism and people who meet fairies. The UFO Files has the usual, more files released by the UK government, Fortean pioneers, UFO art and Hawaii. The UFO Casebook looks at Stockport's history of UFO. Blasts from the Past tells us about girls in rural France who suffered from mysterious falls of rocks.

The First Forteans races through the Fortean histories of H.G. Wells and Lance Sieveking, the latter being really interesting to me because I knew nothing about his history as a pioneer in radio and television broadcasting. The Forum starts with an article that sort of debunks the concept of Hugo Chavez worship as being something unusual for Venezuela. Another article explores a UFO flap in Ireland between 1954 and 1956 that ended with a farmer wrestling a UFO. Yes, wrestling.

Fortean Traveller hunts down The Museum of Souls in Purgatory in Rome, a small collection made with the goal of proving that purgatory exists and hardly recognized by the Catholic Church anymore, since purgatory isn't really a popular concept at the moment. The Illustrated Police News tells the story of Krao, the Missing Link, who was basically just a girl who had a condition that gave her a lot of hair. She seemed to be able to handle the situation well, and grew up to be well respected among her peers. Phenomenomix is about August Strindberg.

The reviews weren't quite as biting as usual, but still nicely done with some slams on some books that really sound like something to avoid. Unfortunately, nothing jumped out as something that needs to go on my to-read list, either. Letters were fun, particularly the one pointing out Kitlers and Cats in Sinks, both internet sites that deliver. There's also a good defense of a negative review of a book about Doctor Who. Bafflegab, indeed! Another letter talks about the real scariest movies, saying that Mulholland Drive and Donnie Darko have The Exorcist beat by miles.It Happened To Me had a couple of tales that weren't too terrifying. Good issue, and the next one has already arrived... must dig in...