Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Sunday Review

Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • Mar 18th
  • Green Lantern: New Guardians #40 - Wait... so what does this mean? No more Kyle Lantern? Yay?
  • Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse #9 - Earth-19 Aquaman! Finally, an Elseworld Aquaman in this series! I can now squee in joy!
  • Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland #4 - Ok, I like the princess, once she gets into her role and has adventures as well. In fact, I'd like to see more of this book.
  • Doctor Who 12th #6 - Promising start to a tale. I actually liked Clara and the Doctor in this one. And then we've got sister who've lost a dad. Or have they? Again, a promising start.
  • Peanuts V2 #26 - Pigpen and Peppermint Patty? Well, it's alliterative. This issue seems to be about love, which is fun in little kids as demonstrated by Sally. Good stuff.

Fortean Times #325
Fortean Times #325 (March 2015). My first thought on seeing the cover was a sad reflection that such young men aren't all that uncommon anymore. The fact that they could be sideshows and headliners in their times is something that ought to give any parent of such a child pause. However, once I read the article, the tales got even more interesting. Yeah, the Fat Boy of Peckham was large, but he was also apparently strong, healthy and stubborn... and that's what got him his fame more than just being large. As a gentleman who battled the best efforts of the school board to get him to school, he became notorious. In any case, his story and the stories of the various other fat boys of their time were a fascinating look back as well as a reminder of human nature.

The Salvador Dali story was just bizarre... kind of like the man. I don't know if I could even explain it, much less how I felt about the subject. Another article tells us about the Black Ball of the Ukraine, and why the eventual explanation for it was probably wrong. Clearly Fortean, but without more facts it's going to just remain an interesting story.

The last main article is about Alexandra Holzer, the daughter of ghosthunter Hans Holzer, and what his legacy meant to her and means to her now. While I'm skeptical of the methods they employ in hunting ghosts, it is a very touching story of how a father's business can affect a child.

Strangedays starts with news of a temple to Thor and Odin in Norway. The Conspirasphere is about two high-profile assassinations, Alexander Litvinenko and Alberto Nisman. Strangedays also has a nice bit about bigfoot with a bunch of sightings, a girl who is at least 20 years old but looks about seven, horrible cases of deja vu and a zombie cat.

Science talks about all the ways nature has to start fires (not just lightning!). Archaeology is about ancient art. Classical Corner is about the cutting off of heads. Ghostwatch looks at some of the haunts of writer M.R. James. Alien Zoo has monkeys, eels and things that aren't really lambs. Fairies, Folklore and Forteana looks at old references to crop circles. The UFO files first has some snark for believers in Flying Saucery, then moves to new evidence in an old case in the UFO Casebook. The First Forteans wraps up with a variety of stories and linkages.

The Forum has a nutty story about a soccer player who apparently dooms some celebrity to die every time he makes a goal. A nice statistical analysis pretty much demolishes the argument, but it shows how people see patterns that aren't really there and come up with ridiculous reasons to explain those patterns.

Reviews is pretty good, with a nice mix of works that get praise and works that get critiqued. At least two books are likely to make it onto my wishlist from this set, including Why Science is Wrong... About Almost Everything and The Day Commodus Killed a Rhino. Some good movie reviews... and the Reverend's Review, which usually tackles horror movies, instead reviews Big Finish audios in general and finds them good. And also manages to never once mention Doctor Who.

More good stuff in the letter columns, including an answer to the very strange Doctor Who letter from the last issue that perplexed me. I'm not sure I understand it any better with this follow-up. The issue finishes with a nice Fortean Traveller to Knossos, Crete, which I would love to visit if I had the stamina to make such a trip, and Phenomenomix finishes (I think) its look at Carl Jung. The final page has Strange Deaths, one of two sections of the magazine that I almost never mention in these reviews (the other is the Necrolog). I was tempted to send a local death into FT, but I just can't bring myself to make light of the pain of the family, which is sort of how I feel about the Strange Deaths column in general. Yes, the deaths are odd... but we're talking about people's lives. It's a hard one for me.

And that catches me up on my Fortean Times reading unless the new mag comes this week, which it might. So no telling what I'll have in next week's review. Maybe just the comics.