Sunday, May 24, 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:
  • Apr 22nd
  • Convergence #3 - Huh, so that's why there was all that Grayson purple prose in the last issue. What a dumb idea. Still... and the bad guy leads the heroes to Skartaris. Yay?
  • Convergence: Green Lantern Corps #1 - Wow, Guy really is an idiot. But this could still be fun.
  • Convergence: Justice League America #1 - That's an interesting version of the Secret Six. Lots of strange art in this one. I'm not sure I like it, but I don't hate it.
  • Batman '66 #22 - I find the whole concept of themed villains to be mildly boring, but this made for a nice change of pace.
  • Galaxy Quest: The Journey Continues #4 - You know, that was NOT the result I was expecting when they finished this whole thing. I mean, yeah, I expected a follow-up, but not a set-up!
  • Empire Uprising #1 - Wow. I really have to go back and find my original Empire issues and reread, but ... wow. That was disturbing.

Fortean Times #326
Fortean Times #326 (April 2015). Nice Nosferatu cover, and the cover story promises juicy information about links with the occult within the movie. Well, the article delivered on the history of the movie, some of which I wasn't fully aware of, but it missed the occult links in my opinion. It talks about the heavy influence of the occult, then gives two examples, only one of them with any detail. I expected more than some of the wardrobe borrowed from an occult group and a document shown very briefly onscreen. There may have been more, but the article as printed didn't deliver on that particular promise.

The next main article, about crucifixion science, was disturbing on so many levels that I really wanted to just stop reading. Like watching a train crash, I couldn't quite look away. There are really no conclusions to be drawn on the subject, just loads of conjecture. I admit a minor fascination with the idea of nailing or tying people to trees to kill them, but only as much as I wonder about all the other horrible ways people hurt others. The fact that this particular method has received so much attention is just another black mark against humanity as a whole.

The third main article is about crazy British politicians. Considering the nutcases the U.S. has, I wasn't really expecting the Brits to outdo us... but some of these folks are truly so far out there that I'm not even sure our reindeer herder beats them. It does occur to me that you've got to be some level of insane to run for public office at any level, and that insanity has to increase based on the level of the office, so it's not really that strange that politicians are totally nuts. They are just pretty good at hiding it.

The editorial starts off addressing a major subscription snafu that screwed up a bunch of people in the UK, who didn't get their copies of Fortean Times 324. The mailing house sent copies to an old subscription list. Eventually the run had to be reprinted due to the massive screw-up. Fortunately, it didn't affect U.S. subscribers, but it did cause quite a stir on social media.

Strangedays had the usual mix of stuff, ranging from stone UFOs dug up in Siberia to dolls representing people that outnumber the living in some places. The Conspirasphere is about blood moons. No, I don't want to try to explain it. Archaeology is about the discovery of a carving of an unknown god found in south-eastern Turkey, a solar alignment in a Roman fort in Cumbria and another carving of a goddess found in northeastern England. Classical Corner is about... um... self pleasure. Ghostwatch visits Hampton Court and a modern photo that seems to be a digital glitch but could be a ghost, yup, sure. Alien Zoo covers a salamander hoax and polar bears in the Himalayas. Fairies, Folklore and Forteana is about boggarts and placenames.

The UFO Files goes back to its usual format and has more on Roswell and a "new" revelation and part two of an investigation of a strange anomaly that was perceived as a UFO encounter. Blasts from the Past talks about a devil man scare in New Orleans in 1938. The Random Dictionary continues its look at forteanism and the nature of humanity. The Forum starts with a great article on a theory of where Biblical manna came from. The second article talks about the destruction done to historical monuments and sculpture by the so-called Islamic state.

The reviews are lovely, with one book getting a 10 and others getting high marks. Not a lot to add to my wishlist, but a couple might eventually make it. The letters were also fun, but nothing jumped out at me that needs particular mentioning. It happened to me was also interesting, but not outstanding. Fortean Traveller visits Dracula's castle and finds almost a paradox of attitudes among scholars and locals about it. And lastly, Phenomenomix is about Orson Welles and his occult connections.