Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Sunday Review

I've been watching the superhero shows, but haven't had time to review them... that'll come later, I'm sure. I'm also going through my Hugo reading to figure out what I'm going to nominate, which is MUCH harder even than I thought it would be. In the meantime, I'm trying to catch up with the comics and Fortean Times...

Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • Jan 20th
  • Titans Hunt #4 - Garth is really annoying as a snooty Atlantean, but I'm seeing glimpses of the original character in there. I hope we'll get more of the real "Aqualad" by the time this series ends.
  • Sinestro #19 - That's a few too many yellow rings running around on Earth. I think I saw Manta get one. Funny to see Sinestro as the hero.
  • Astro City #31 - The Nightmare's story told via people who dreamed of it while it was happening... an interesting approach that works for this book.
  • Usagi Yojimbo #151 - Whoa. That epilogue gives you something to think about. Still, a fairly standard story for the most part. Damsel in distress, arranged marriages, hired killers. Good solid stuff with nice twists.

Fortean Times #333
Fortean Times #333 (November 2015). The cover is pretty striking, with a really vivid artist depiction of a lizard man. The cover story rips apart the tale told by the main witness to the Lizard Man of South Carolina, taking each piece of evidence the witness presented and dissecting it into oblivion. The article ends with some theories as to what really happened. Sadly, the witness passed away, and can't confirm or deny anything. It's a pretty solid article, but unlikely to change anything about the phenomena.

The second feature is about the Sitwell family of England, who were thoroughly odd in a very British way. I could have read a lot more about people so wonderfully strange... good thing there's a book about them.

The final feature looks at songs about the JFK assassination. It wasn't bad, but it really could have given a little more than just the overview. It felt like it didn't quite delve deep enough into the subject matter... although I'm jealous of the author's collection and rather impressed at the research that went into the piece. I just felt like it skimmed the subject matter a little too much, although I'm not sure what more I wanted from it.

Forum has a very strange article and a very fun article. The first article questions whether a member of Led Zeppelin was cursed by a houseguest. Um. Okay. But the second piece was about a Cryptid Petting Zoo, which looks like a heckuva lot of fun. Indeed, I wish I could participate in something like it. I know a really good puppet-maker (my sis-in-law)... hmmm.

Strangedays starts with a really strange story of a dead guy with a lot of guns who had claimed to be a secret agent, and maybe even an alien-hybrid. Whoa. A photo montage visits Dismaland, which is Banksy's theme park. Then there's coverage of the Ig Nobels, with my favorite piece of research being the bit that attached a stick to the bottom of a chicken to see how having "a tail" made it move differently (turns out it moves "like a dinosaur"). Medical bag isn't nearly as gross as the last issue, although it's still gross.

I liked the excellent photo of the white wallaby, along with the news of wallaby colonies in Britain. There's also a great piece on stupid criminals and a nice Fortean Follow-up, which is one of my favorite pieces. All three follow-ups were interesting, but I liked the sinister clown stories the most... just as long as they never happen to me.

The Conspirasphere looks at the markets formed by conspiracy theory and the ability for people to "shop" for the theories they like. Science is about the electrosense of various animals, particularly ants. Archaeology covers the discovery of another monument discovered near Stonehenge, an elongated skill and a method to make lower karat gold look richer. Classical corner is about... um... ventriloquism, sort of. It trails off into stories of talking statues, too.

Alien Zoo finds an example of a black panther in art, a conference on werewolves and the story of a pictograph that was misinterpreted for many years. Ghostwatch is about physical mediumship and the debate on its reality or lack thereof.

Building a Fortean Library goes back to one of the classics, the George Adamski UFO tale in its original published form: Flying Saucers Have Landed by George Adamski and Desmond Leslie. Despite the background information published in the article, I still don't have any particular desire to read it. Although... the temptation to read it just to completely understand the debunking book also mentioned in the article is mildly compelling.

Lots of good reviews, but nothing that jumps out at me as something I really want. I was deeply amused to see Zardoz in The Reverend's Review... the connections with The Wizard of Oz are why my husband has watched the movie and even read the novelization. I'm not entirely sure I could stomach it, myself. Lots of lovely letters, and some good tales about ghosts and such in "It Happened to Me". Overall, yet another excellent issue of the best magazine in print.