Saturday, December 31, 2005

Hellboy Animated

How weird is it that Tad Stones, the guy behind such Disney Afternoon classics as DuckTales, Chip 'n' Dale: Rescue Rangers, and TaleSpin is the man behind the pair of upcoming Hellboy animated DVD features (and possible TV series)? It's like finding a rare EC Comics horror story by Carl Barks.
Brian Wood - DMZ 4.04.72

As if I wasn't enjoying Brian Wood's DMZ enough as it is, he has to go and stick a panda in one issue.

Ringing in the new year with sushi.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Glows in the Dark

If I had been seriously into models when these kits were being produced, I'd probably still be seriously into models. (I probably would have worked a lot harder at painting stuff well.) As it is, I had the Monogram reissue of the Dracula model (purchased at Disneyland, I believe), and I'd read about these kids, but they always remained the stuff that dreams were made of. Still do, of course, but nice to see a web site devoted to them...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Just a quick one:

Happy holidays to everyone, from myself and Penelope.

Saw King Kong today. Despite my concerns about its length (which I've talked about before), I really enjoyed it. It does drag in places, but nowhere near as dull as Return of the King. And I'm now quite enamoured of Naomi Watts, but not enough to try to watch the Ring movies.

Now, off to Napoleon Dynamite!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

BBC America - Touching Evil: "Touching Evil tracks the investigations of the Organised and Serial Crimes Unit (OSC), a crack team of special police agents. The brooding and mysterious Detective Inspector Dave Creegan (Robson Green, Wire in the Blood, Reckless, Trust) helped create this team before suffering a nearly fatal gunshot to the head. After spending over two years recovering physically and emotionally from his injury, Creegan returns to active service. "

One of my favorite British crime series, created and written by Paul "Shameless/State of Play" Abbott, with at least one episode written by Russell T. Davies. (And the basis for a lame American version produced by Bruce Willis and the Hughes Bros for USA Network. Ignore that; it was crap.)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Bush Defends Secret Spying in the U.S. - Yahoo! News: "'The American people expect me to do everything in my power under our laws and Constitution to protect them and their civil liberties,' Bush said. "

So this is what the president bush said in his radio address yesterday, dealing with the revelation that he has authorized secret surveillance on Americans without warrants or oversight, and the strong opposition to the Patriot Act in the Senate, thanks to the Democrats finally growing a fucking spine. And he says it's all in the name of protecting our civil liberties.

Fuckwad. Fuck him. Fuck him sideways in every orifice by rabid baboons.

(Probably just earned myself a wiretap there.)

As usual, anything I could say has been said better elsewhere, and this time, I'm going to quote Warren Ellis in the latest issue of Jack Cross, probably written more than a year ago:

CROSS: Why did you join Homeland Security?

HOMELAND SECURITY AGENT: Because we got fat. Because there are scarier people in the world than us and we should be more careful. See, it's not a global village we're in. It's a global city. And people who live in the city don't leave their doors unlocked.

CROSS: Yeah. And there was all that terrorist activity on the millennium.

AGENT: What terrorist activity?

CROSS: Exactly. You think every nutball in the world took the day off?

Intel did their job that day. Without a Department of Homeland Security. Without impacting the rights of the American people or our visitors. The world didn't sudddenly fill up with scary people on September eleventh. A race of supermen didn't suddenly fly out of a bunch of Afghan caves.

Intel blew it that day. That's all.

You can break the most sophisticated computer in the world by shoving a stick into it. That's what happened. It was the dumbest, ugliest, most low-tech attack you could think of. And it was awful, sure. We were complacent, sure. We'd turned inwards. We weren't thinking well.

But we're not supposed to be a country that instinctively hates the foreign and spies on itself. And free speech is not a terrorist activity.
---
So there you go.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Friday, December 16, 2005

Okay, earlier today, I was thinking I should applaud the Senate for growing a fucking spine and preventing the patriot Act (lower case deliberate) from being made permanent unconditionally. For not just being a rubber stamp for the administration.

But I'm not going to applaud. Because this is the way the system is supposed to work. And it shouldn't be so remarkable when that happens. So sad when it does, though, isn't it?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Was having an okay day, then came home to find a message from the body shop that took too long to fix my car. Apparently, they're having trouble getting paid by Titan Insurance, so they need my help, and tell me--on the message--that I need to file a claim with my insurance company so they can get paid. This would be over three months since the accident, and over one month since I got my car back, having been told that they had it in writing from Titan that they would be paying for the repairs that Desert Collision Center had done.

So either the guy at Desert Collision lied and didn't have the guarantee in writing that he said he had, or he's so bad at his job that he couldn't tell whether he had the guarantee that he was supposed to get or not. And either way, I still have this message letting me know that this is somehow my problem.

So, not in such a good mood any more.

Monday, December 12, 2005

If you're so proud of your twin girls, wouldn't you want to advertise that on a safer car?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

SCIFI.COM | Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King

SciFi had been running commercials for this during The Triangle, and I had no idea what it was. Exccept that it looked very much like a show whose vision exceeded its budget. According to their site, it stars Alicia Witt (who I like), Kristanna Loken (from Terminator 3, who is hot), and someone I've never heard of named Benno Furmann.

Then, on Zeta Minor, I learn that a British DVD of something called Sword of Xanten is coming out, with the same cast, and is based on the Ring of the Nibelung Norse myths. So I google the title, and according to the reviews I found, it's a crappy, low-budget German/South African TV miniseries that had a theatrical release in the UK, and is crap. (Oh, I said that already, didn't I?) And that means that the really poor CGI dragon featured in the commercial doesn't look bad because it's unfinished, but because it's cheap and crappy.

So, not something to look forward to quite as much, perhaps. Although... Alicia Witt...
Finished watching the SciFi miniseries The Triangle this morning. It has received mixed reviews, but I enjoyed it. Part of the problem it faced, I think, is that previous SciFi miniseries like Dune, Taken, and Battlestar Galactica have set the bar pretty high, and this doesn't quite live up to those expectations. But it's also way better than the typical made-for-SciFi movie, like Mansquito, which is probably much more representative of their output.

And the miniseries dragged in a couple of places, but I'm not sure if it could have lost a whole episode's worth of material without seeming rushed, so it's a tough call to make. (On HBO, it could have run any length it needed to, but on commercial television, they're pretty much stuck with 30-minute blocks of time...) Considering I had expected the whole thing would take place on a boat, it managed to defy my expectations just by not doing that. And I've pretty much gotten out of the habit of trying to second-guess movies and stuff, so I didn't predict the ending. It was fun, it held my attention, and Catherine Bell is still incredibly hot. (JAG on DVD next year, hopefully!) So, worth my time.

But it's no Doctor Who.
Kung Fu Monkey: BB model sheets 2

So there's ths new Blue Beetle comic coming out, written by Keith Giffen (who I've been a fan of since his work on Legion of Super-Heroes alongside Paul Levitz, who I already talked about in the previous post) and screenwriter John Rogers, who wrote the excellent Global Frequency pilot and is given credit for some crappy movies like Catwoman and American Outlaws, I think. And it's drawn by Cully Hamner, who I like. But taking a look at the costume... I don't know; it just looks completely unappealing, in a way I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe because there's nothing particularly distinctive about it, except for the big mandibles sticking up out of the bug backpack, which just look silly?
Comics post ahead (first of a couple, probably...)

Is it already time for my next Previews order? Thanks to a mailng problem, I only just got my Previews the other day, and I already have to let my guy know what comics I want...

So, for my comics-reading friends who read this, here's the list of new series and books that caught my eye:

From Dark Horse Comics:

Hellboy: Makoma #1
Actually, this has a longer, pulpier sounding subtitle, but I don't have the catalog next to me right now. Certainly it would be easy enough to just say that I've bought every issue of Hellboy since the first one, and haven't been disappointed, so I'm not about to stop now. But this one also features art by '70s underground comics legend Richard Corben. Not too long ago, I heard some folks at my local comics store talking about his art in the then-recent Punisher: The End one-shot, and one of the staff guys described it as looking too "old-fashioned" or something. One of the other staff guys immediately told him off, and let's face it, Corben is a genuine great who shouldn't be dismissed because he doesn't draw like Jim Lee. It's weird seeing him doing mainstream superhero stuff these days (I have a Hulk miniseries by him, a Luke Cage miniseries, and the aforementioned Punisher one-shot), but it was also nice seeing some more personal-looking stuff in his recent issue of Solo from DC. The sample page from this issue of Hellboy shows that his style will fit perfectly in with the tone of this series, as well.

Concrete: Killer Smile Trade Paperback
At one point, I had all the issues of Concrete, including all his short-story appearances. And it's always been a favorite series, so the opportunity to have them all in a format I can keep on my bookshelf is one I can't pass up. Paul Chadwick's art is always gorgeous, and his writing has an emotional depth that so few comics even attempt. So, no, I won't be content until I have the whole library.

From DC Comics

Batman: Year One Hundred #1
I've talked before about how the regular Batman books just weren't doing it for me, so I decided to give them up in favor of the miniseries. That's been a mixed bag as well: I'm loving Batman and the Monstermen, Long Day's Journey into Knight isn't really making any sort of impression, and I've been disappointed by Gotham County Line. I had high hopes for that last one, because I really like the writer and artist, but it just feels like they're not trying, perhaps because it's Batman and not something they have a stake in.

So why, then, take a chance on this new miniseries by Paul Pope, a highly idiosyncratic creator? Because even when he's doing stories with DC superheroes (as seen in his issue of Solo and stories in Batman Chronicles), they still feel like Paul Pope stories, that's why. And so I have the same expectations here.

Rann-Thanagar War Infinite Crisis Special and Infinite Crisis Secret Files 2006
I'm going to lump these two together to save time. I've expounded at length about my love-hate relationship with Infinite Crisis and everything related to it, so I won't go over all that again. But while I'm not so completely sold on the series to be willing to buy every crossover and tie-in issue of comics I wouldn't otherwise ordinarily read, I am enjoying it enough to buy the one-shot comics that "enhance" the story. (Particularly after seeing how reading some of the OMAC Project crossover stories would have enhanced my enjoyment by allowing me to read key plot points that weren't shown in the actual story... But there I go again.) Plus, the Secret Files book is written by veteran writer (and writer of the original Crisis on Infinite Earths) Marv Wolfman, and that's enough to get my attention right there. (Although not enough to get me to buy the issues of Teen Titans he's co-writing with non-writer Geoff Johns. Presumably there, he's contributing ideas that aren't 100% reliant on previously published stories by other writers.)

But, really, I want this to be the last time I buy a comic called "Rann-Thanagar War." You hear me, DC?

Showcase Presents House of Mystery Vol 1 Trade Paperback
Loving the Showcase format of 500 or so pages of old comics in black and white. And I love the tone of the 70s DC horror comics. They're not quite as hard-edged as the ECs, maybe a little more influenced by 30s and 40s pulp writers. And the art is great. Sold.

JSA #82
Yes, planning on buying six issues of JSA. Because Geoff Johns isn't non-writing it for six months. Instead, we get a six-issue fill in story by Paul Levitz, drawn by George Perez and Rags Morales, featuring the Gentleman Ghost. When I was a kid, Levitz's Legion of Super-Heroes was one of my absolute favorite books (along with Wolfman & Perez's New Teen Titans), and he's been away from writing for too long. (He's also President of DC Comics, so he's busy.) Perez is a longtime favorite artist, and Morales is a new favorite. And I've always liked the Gentleman Ghost character, ever since he was used so well by Tony Isabella in his Shadow War of Hawkman miniseries and follow-up series. Plus, since it's not non-written by Johns means there's a better-than-average chance that the story won't be entirely dependent on tying together old plot points from 20 year old comics, without actually bringing anything new to the story, just the illusion of something new. (You are now seeing the "hate" side of the love/hate relationship with Infinite Crisis. Sorry.)

Of course, this story does apparently tie-in to Infinite Crisis, but all the other factors make it something I want to read, so I'm not just getting it because I feel forced to read a crossover story.

Warlord #1
There's a whole other entry percolating in the back of my brain about this, but it boils down to some highly mixed feelings: I love the original Mike Grell series, and am not entirely comfortable with the idea of anyone else redoing it. But I like the character and concept enough that I can't entirely turn my back on it, either. So I'm going to try it out.

Elfquest: The Grand Quest Vol 13 Trade Paperback
By this point, we're well into Elfquest stories I never read the first time around. Thank you, DC.

American Way #1
I really enjoyed John Ridley's superhero novel, Those Who Hunt in Darkness, which is apparently in the works as a pilot for a SciFi TV series. And while that didn't interest me enough to pick up his work on established Wildstorm characters like the Authority or (God help us) Warblade, I am definitely picking up another creator-owned superhero story from him, this time in comics form.

Thunderbolt Jaxon #1
No history with these old British IPC characters that Wildstorm is reviving in the slow-to-appear, plotted-by-Alan-Moore Albion miniseries. But this one sounds kind of neat, and it's written by Dave Gibbons (and not company-dictated plot-wise like Rann-Thanagar War) and drawn by John Higgins, so I want to read it.

From Image Comics:

Rocketo Vol 1 Journey to the Hidden Sea Trade Paperback
I've seen sample pages of Rocketo and read interviews with the creator (animator Frank Espinosa, I think) that make it sound like a cool Flash-Gordon-y sci-fi adventure series with really nice art. But I had missed the first few issues. So here's my chance to get caught up. (I've read mixed reviews about the story, but do I really need to explain how I feel about comic book web site reviews? Where "confusing" is just shorthand for "couldn't bother to pay attention as I read?" Didn't think so.)

From Marvel Comics:

Franklin Richards, Son of a Genius: Everybody Loves Franklin
I read the first one-shot by Chris Eliopolous (whose work on Desperate Times I always liked and BGSU alum Mark Sumerak. And, as expected from the two of them, it's cute and funny. And very entertaining, and well worth the cover price. And since that's pretty much what I want from a comic, when presented with a second one-shot, there's not really a reason to pass it up, is there?

Oh, added a couple of Marvel titles from last month at the last minute:

Nextwave
Generally, Warren Ellis's Marvel superhero stuff hasn't really excited me the way his creator-owned stuff has, so I've not made it a priority. And that's why I skipped Nextwave on the first pass, figuring I'd buy it when it's collected. But thinking about what he's said about it, and looking at the ads and preview art and everything, I just couldn't get it out of my head. And he and I seem sympatico on so many things that if he's saying that he's writing the sort of superhero comic he'd want to read, I have to suspect it may be the the sort of one I'd want to read, as well.

But what really sold it for me were the two promotional images, one with the tagline, "Saving the world by blowing things up," and the other reading, "Good. Bad. Monkey. Nextwave doesn't know the difference." And that suggests sort of the freewheeling, anarchic action tone I want from a Marvel superhero comic right now. Because--in that specific subgenre--I want less people sitting around and talking and more people blowing stuff up. So I decided to get the comic as a monthly after all.

Daughters of the Dragon
Ordinarily, I'd wait for this to be collected, because it's a Marvel miniseries. But the more interviews I've read lately with Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Grey about it, and the more sample pages I've seen, the more I wanted to read it. It looks like a fun, high-energy story about a couple of normal-people bounty hunters in the Marvel universe. And Palmiotti and Grey have proven that they've got that down-on-their-luck, wrong-side-of-the-tracks characters who have led hard lives but still have their sense of humor voice down cold. And, as time passed, I felt like if Marvel was finally going to publish a comic I found myself getting excited about, I should demonstrate approval by buying the thing as it came out.

Marvel Romance Trade Paperback
Call me a girl, but I like romance comics. This month, Marvel has four "romance" one-shots focusing on romances within the superheroes and supervillains of their superhero universe. And I just don't care, because if every freaking issue of Spider-Man touches on Peter Parker's marriage with Mary Jane, then what's so special about a one-shot comic that does exactly the same thing? Superhero comics have already internalized the romance element as part of their subplotting structure, so I can't get excited about four issues that bring that to the fore. Similarly, I'm not interested in Marvel's miniseries of rescripted old romance comics, because it would be every bit as easy to rewrite an issue of Spider-Man to make it seem silly. Or Watchmen, for that matter.

But this book collects the genuine article, and allows some of comics' great artists to tell stories about normal people, without costumes, masks, or action sequences. The plots may seem corny and dated--I don't know, haven't read them before, but some Romance comics hold up better than others--but I'd still rather read the genuine article than some bastardized version of the format.

Essential Moon Knight Vol 1 trade paperback
500 pages of Moon Knight stories for a reasonable price, including work by Doug Moench and Bill Sienkiewicz. I've always been interested in the Moon Knight character, and now I can read the early stories I never had a chance to. It's just such a cool costume, plus the multiple-secret-identies schtick he's got going on. Plus, Bill Sienkiewicz, doing the work that put him on the map.

From Archaia Press
Mouse Guard #1
Sold on the strength of the preview pages.

Okay, not sure of the publisher of this one, but...

McCandless & Company Crime Scenes Trade Paperback
I read a one-shot in this series I don't know how long ago. This is a longer graphic novel drawn by Gene Gonzales, who isn't a big name, but whose work I know and like. The first one-shot was just fine, and I like private eye comics, so I'll continue to support this one. As long as it comes out, because it seems like they're better at soliciting issues of this comic than actually putting them out...

From Dynamite Entertainment

Painkiller Jane #1
Not interested because of last night's SciFi movie, which I haven't watched yet. And I don't think I actually read any of her previous appearances. But I'm getting this, partly because it marks Lee Moder's return to comics art, and partly because it's written by Jimmy Palmiotti, whose praises I sang above. Now that I'm a bigger fan of his, I feel like I ought to get his creator-owned work, even more so than his company-owned stuff.

From Scholastic Graphix, whose web site I don't feel like looking up right now...

Bone Vol 3 Eyes of the Storm Color Edition
It's not like I have the entire Bone series in paperback already--I'm missing a couple of books--and these look so nice in color...

From IDW Publishing (Again, just tired of looking up web sites...)

Spike vs Dracula #1
I like Spike, from the Angel TV series just fine, and this is written by Peter David, who I also like just fine. So... There you go. (Although, as I type this, if any of this month's purchases feel like an obligation rather than something that excites me...)

You know what? I think I just may have talked myself out of buying this... At least I'm having second thoughts now...

Supermarket #1
No question about this one, though, since it's a new miniseries by Brian Wood.

From Moonstone Press:

Pat Novak for Hire Graphic Novel
A fairly inexpensive private eye one-shot in black and white, written by great writer (and frequent visitor to my library) Steven Grant and drawn by fantastic artist Tom Mandrake. Sold.

From Oni Press

Gray Horses Graphic Novel
I tend to like Oni's graphic novels quite a bit, at least the quieter, character-driven ones, which this seems to be. And... Well, it's just an impulse purchase, really.

Queen & Country Declassified Vol 2 trade paperback
Less than ten dollars, written by Greg Rucka and drawn by Rick Burchett, I've been waiting for this one. I may no longer be particularly impressed by Rucka's superhero work--although I may end up buying his new Checkmate series from DC--but his work on this series, which is completely his creation, never fails to please.

From Papercutz:
Zorro Vol 3
I liked the first book. Haven't read the second one yet, but again, three comics worth of stories, under ten bucks.

From Rebellion:

Judge Dredd Compete Case Files Vol 2
Take what I said two months ago about Volume 1 (love Dredd, looking forward to reading all these early stories in order, yadda yadda) and apply it here as well.

Caballistics Inc Vol 1 Going Underground Trade Paperback
Caballistics Inc is probably my favorite new 2000AD series of recent vintage, so I look forward to rereading those stories in a more convenient, permanent collection.

And that's it.
Yes, I changed my Blog design. I was tired of the huge amount of space showing up at the top of the page every time I looked at it, and the only way I could figure out how to get rid of it was to change the template. Lazy me, I just wanted to use one of Blogger's premade templates, and sadly, they didn't have one with cats on it any more. Still need to go back in and add links to friends' blogs, obviously. But this looks a little nicer, I think.

Although I now see that blogger has flagged my blog as a potential "spam blog," so now I have to enter a word verification when I post. Hope this isn't a permanent thing...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Beautiful Atrocities: BEAUTIFUL ATROCITIES COMPLETE GUIDE TO JENNIFERS: "Jennifer was the most popular girls' name in the 1970s, which explains why we're now up to our ass in Jennifers. If, like me, you have trouble telling them apart, here's a handy guide."
Vicious Imagery: The Old Order Changeth: " I've been contracted to write a six-part FIENDS OF THE EASTERN FRONT strip for the Meg, with Colin MacNeil attached as artist. "

Fiends of the Eastern Front would be the classic 2000AD strip about Russian vampires killing Nazis in WWII. A great concept, with great art by Carlos Ezquerra, and so-so scripting by Gerry Finley-Day, heavily rewritten by Alan Grant. Dave Bishop isn't the most spectacular writer working for 2000AD/Judge Dredd Megazine, but I usually enjoy his work, plus he's a heck of a nice guy. And Colin MacNeil is just fine as an artist. So this ought to be fun.

BOOKSTEVE'S LIBRARY: Barnaby

Another forgotten classic, which I read (one of the Dover reprint books, plus a couple of the Del Reys) in my childhood... That there are a million Garfield books in print, and not one Barnaby book, is a crime against humanity, I say.
Voice Of God Revealed To Be Cheney On Intercom | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

Menu from my new favorite restaurant.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The first (and most likely last) Captain Cosmic Web Page

This was just a weird, surprising discovery: a page about the local kid's sci-fi TV show I used to watch growing up...
No cat pictures today (yet) but last night, I received the graphic novel adaptation of Mark Gatiss' fantastic Vesuvius Club, a comic novel about a gay Edwardian secret agent. A graphic novel, published with little to no fanfare, as far as I can tell, by Simon & Schuster UK. Who saw that coming?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Not feeling a great deal like writing right now, but don't forget, tomorrow at 10:00 pm (at least out here), USA is running the Dead Zone Christmas episode, featuring the return of Close to Home's Jennifer Finnigan as a female psychic. The first episode with her character was a lot of fun, and I'm liking her in Close to Home. And that's not even mentioning that Dead Zone is probably one of my favorite shows anyway. And I'm a sucker for Christmas episodes.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Okay, so I saw Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire today, and thought it was a lot of fun, although it has some flaws. Going to write something more complete tomorrow, but I still haven't seen last night's Desperate Housewives or Gray's Anatomy yet, plus it's the final episode of Viva Blackpool in about ten minutes... And I just got my Doctor Who DVD boxed set today, of the first series of the new show.

But, speaking of David Tennant and Harry Potter... Isn't he afraid of being typecast as the actor that other actors turn into?
GateWorld - News: Cooper: Ori take Stargate to a new level

Yeah, but it's still been kinda dull this year, hasn't it?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Gormania: Max Allan Collins (no post last night; keyboard fritzed

Been a longtime fan of Max Allan Collins, and while most of his recent output has been CSI novels that I'm not interested in reading (don't watch the shows for free; won't pay to read the books), any time he does something new on his own is worthy of note.

Standing watch.

Just read this at Warren Ellis' The Engine:

Subject: Claypool Comics' Crisis


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact David Seidman, Claypool Comics marketing director
davidseidman@earthlink.net / 310-652-4369


CLAYPOOL IN CRISIS
Independent Publisher Reaches Out to Readers and Retailers

Diamond Comics Distributors has told Claypool Comics of plans to cancel the Claypool titles DEADBEATS and SOULSEARCHERS AND COMPANY, starting with the issues shipping in April, unless Claypool can push their sales up. That move would wipe out much of Claypool’s line.

This news comes as Claypool is in the middle of a group of special issues. SOULSEARCHERS #76 and ELVIRA #153 (shipping in January) and DEADBEATS #76 (shipping in February) are “Jump In” issues written and drawn especially for new readers. Last year, when Claypool inaugurated the “Jump In” issues, they sold very well.

Claypool has asked retailers to order an extra copy of each “Jump In” issue. In addition, Claypool has asked readers to buy Claypool titles now and request that the retailers order the “Jump In” issues. The cover of SOULSEARCHERS’ “Jump In” issue is on the Web at http://www.claypoolcomics.com/uploads/ss76.gif , while http://www.claypoolcomics.com/uploads/db76.gif houses DEADBEATS’ cover.

Claypool is backing up its requests with point-of-sale cards that retailers can put on their counters or use as bag stuffers. The cards tell readers about the issues and include a spot to check off which issues they’d like to buy.

DEADBEATS, by Marvel veterans Richard Howell and Ricardo Villagran, is a punk vampire soap opera that should appeal to fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and 30 Days of Night. SOULSEARCHERS, written and co-created by Peter David, is a super-hero satire featuring a group of supernatural investigators, featuring art by Joe Staton and covers by JSA Classified: Power Girl’s Amanda Conner.

Claypool editor Richard Howell says, “Claypool Comics has always had a dedicated base of fans, most of whom are literate and educated people whose needs aren’t always met by the current comics marketplace. A retailer who puts our comics on the shelves will most likely find that they continue to sell month after month. The consistency of our sales is undisputable, and we have every indication that if our books got more exposure, they’d sell strongly for many, many more retailers. Claypool Comics are and always have been a labor of love -- love of comics, that is. We’re committed to good comics, and that makes our readers committed to us. Any retailer who wants to profit from that dedication and goodwill is enthusiastically invited along for the ride.”

Claypool, which has published comics steadily since 1993, is known as “the publisher of hidden treasures” -- but it doesn’t WANT to hide them!

***

I've been a fan of Claypool's comics since they started. I did drift away, and now only buy Soulsearchers & Co, although with this news, I may start getting Elvira and Deadbeats again. Soulsearchers is a hilarious satire of the supernatural investigator genre (along with anything else that writer Peter David feels like lampooning that month), and while it's always had nice art, adding one of my favorite artists, Joe Staton, was just icing on the cake as far as I was concerned. Deadbeats is this weird vampire soap opera thing, almost like the original Dark Shadows TV series (writer/artist Richard Howell is a huge DS fan), and I always liked it, just not as much as Soulsearchers. And Elvira is just good fun. In these days of fans whining when Marvel or DC cancels some superhero book or another that's really just like every other superhero book only ever so slightly different, it'd be a shame if people weren't more up in arms over this than they get over, say, Spider-Girl or Runaways.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

NEWSARAMA - GREG RUCKA TALKS SUPERGIRL: "One hint Rucka said of his first arc is that the "world tour" aspect of Kara on Earth will be sidelined for a while. "Jeph will have wrapped up the world tour of the DCU and introduced Kara to everyone by the time I get on," Rucka said. "I'm not looking at doing a bunch of crossovers and seeing who's going to be guest-starring this issue. That's just not the direction I'm interested in taking her. I've got nothing against doing that kind of arc, but we've got other things we want to sort out with her first. Once those things are sorted, we'll worry about other things. Once we nail down who she is, we'll worry about who she's meeting.""

Considering it was the focus on the guest stars over establishing Supergirl as a character in her own right in her own book was what was making me lean towards dropping the Supergirl comic as written by Jeph Loeb, this news from new series writer Greg Rucka is enough to make me want to stick with the book when he takes over... at least for a little while.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Warrenellis.com TV SCUM: Have Some Dead TV With Your Dead Buzzard: "It also came out tonight that THRESHOLD has been cancelled, presumably effective immediately, after a reportedly catastrophic ratings drop following its move to a new timeslot."

If this is true, I should probably be disappointed, but of the three new sci-fi network shows (this and the renewed-not-canceled Surface and Invasion) Threshold was probably my least favorite, story-wise. I'm just sad that another Carla Gugino TV vehicle will be gone from the screen. Plus, JAG's Catherine Bell was supposed to be joining the series as a recurring guest star. If future episodes had featured the two of them fighting the alien invasion by stripping down to their underwear and jello wrestling, I'd probably be more broken-hearted, but as it is... No, not so much.

In not-really-related news, TV Guide gave a "jeer" this week to the Fox network for pulling the perennially low-rated Arrested Development off the air without giving audiences a chance to find it. The show was in it's third dismally-rated season; anyone looking for it would have found it by now. Whiners.
on your nerve: Vin Diesel

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

"Alias," AKA Canceled - Yahoo! News: "Bristow went
down Wednesday, with ABC confirming what the Nielsen ratings had been saying all season: Alias is done.

The Emmy-winning
action-spy series that made a brand-name star of Jennifer Garner will air its final episode in May, the network said."

I should feel a stronger sense of disappointment about this, but if I'm completely honest, I wasn't enjoying it as much as I had been in earlier seasons. So best it go before it completely wore out its welcome for me.

Monday, November 21, 2005

GateWorld - News: Claudia Black joins SG-1 cast : "Claudia Black has sauntered her way into the hearts of many Stargate fans this year, playing the sexy thief Vala Mal Doran in eight episodes of SG-1's ninth season. Now Black is set to join the long-running series as a full-time cast member."

Hopefully, this will help pull the show out of the doldrums it's currently in. Her appearances at the beginning of the season were like a breath of fresh air, and she's been sorely missed (by me, at least...)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

One Muppet. One Voice. [savethemuppets.com]: "In September 2005, the Muppets Holding Company, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company, held open auditions to cast 'alternate performers' for the ten main Muppet characters, including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Gonzo.

Disney's plan is to replace the Muppeteers %u2015 artists who have performed these classic characters for decades %u2015 with a production line of part-time puppeteers. It's cheaper and quicker to use young, unknown performers %u2015 they don't ask as many questions or hold things up by insisting that the characters remain consistent."

Yes, there are maybe more important concerns in the world. But, come on. It's the Muppets.

Monday, November 14, 2005

In my dreams, I kill men with strollers.

--

Mobile Email from a Cingular Wireless Customer http://www.cingular.com

Where are the large desserts?

My motel.

I give you...the future! (And not just a real expensive scooter.)

Look! It's a giant Woody! (I slay me.)

Nightmare Before Xmas Haunted Mansion

Hell is other people.

Yes, I spilled milk everywhere. Not going 2 cry over it.

F*ck this line $#it, says one young visitor.

Apparently, I'm nnt the only one who doesn't know when the gates open.

Chained heat: Disnex behind bars.

First rest stop.

The hardest part is saying goodbye.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

UltimateDisney.com: The Ultimate Guide to Disney DVD: "November 12, 2005 - Disney has already announced 'The Golden Girls' Season 4 for February 14, 2006. While this press release chooses an odd aspect to highlight in its headlines, it promises one new bonus feature titled 'Top Ten Guests From Season 4.'"

And how frustrated am I that Golden Girls DVDs keep rolling out, and Disney has canceled the third and final Once & Again DVD set?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

So, I had thought my adventure with Titan Insurance was finished. They put it in writing that they would be paying for the repairs to my car, which was the only way the body shop would turn it over to me. Sure, my insurance company would be going after them for the money they had to pay for the car rental that Titan refused to pay for, but that's nothing to do with me.

So I get home, and in the mail today, I got a letter from Titan telling me that as of November 3 (two full months after the accident) they had received new information that proved that their client was not responsible for the accident, and that they were not obligated to pay for anything, so I shouldn't make any further claims against them. Which, okay, whatever, the work is done and paid for, by them, so I'm not sure exactly what the problem is. Unless I'm supposed to now be going, "Oh, look at what nice people they were to pay for the repairs out of the goodness of their hearts" or whatever. Because, certainly, I'm okay with the whole thing. I think they're lowlife shitweasels, certainly, who should probably die by leeching--oh, the irony--but now that they've finally done what they were supposed to do, which would be pay for the repairs, I'm pretty much done. What they wouldn't do, my insurance company did, which is why I pay them, and whatever happens between my guys and Titan is nothing to do with me.

But still, it was just one more kick in the head, just getting that letter. (And, quite honestly, whoever is ultimately responsible, it was their client's SUV that hit my car, and she took responsibility at the time, and they accepted that enough to pay for the repairs. So whatever they discovered two months later really has nothing to do with me, either.)

Friday, November 11, 2005

Bush Contends Partisan Critics Hurt War Effort - New York Times: "Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, called Mr. Bush's speech 'a campaignlike attempt to rebuild his own credibility by tearing down those who seek truth about the clear manipulation of intelligence in the run-up to the Iraq war.'The White House, which has sought to define its opponents on the issue as liberals who are out of the mainstream on national security, struck back quickly at Mr. Kennedy as part of a new rapid-response plan through which administration officials hope to blunt the Democratic message about Mr. Bush.Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, said it was 'regrettable that Senator Kennedy has found more time to say negative things about President Bush than he ever did about Saddam Hussein.'"

Yes, it is regrettable that Senator Kennedy--and others--have more negative things to say about the president than about Saddam Hussein. And what does that tell us about how people are viewing the president?

(Liar.)
Bush Contends Partisan Critics Hurt War Effort - New York Times: "'The stakes in the global war on terror are too high, and the national interest is too important, for politicians to throw out false charges,' Mr. Bush said. 'These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will. As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them to war continue to stand behind them.'"

Liar. Liar, liar, liar, liar liar.

Mr. president, your pants are on fire.

Liar.
So, amongst a bunch of the other blogs I read, the news that Fox has canceled the consistently low-rated Arrested Development, after giving it a mere three seasons to find an audience, seems to be a major talking point.

I don't know; I watched it once, and didn't have any interest in seeing it again. Sometimes it really is the responsibility of the TV producers to make something that people want to come back for.
Okay, got the car back yesterday, and the Girl in the Cafe is pretty much not an option I'll be pursuing at the present time. So expect less discussion/mention of those topics in the future.

Do, however, look forward next Monday and Tuesday to photos from Disneyland, because I'm getting out of town and heading there for a couple of days.
MiceAge.com: "We'll begin by telling you about one of the worst kept secrets on the Internet,
the upcoming rehab of Pirates of the Caribbean. We've been keeping you updated
on this topic for months now, and since our last update the project has been
officially greenlit and received its funding. The refurbishment dates have also
been firmed up, and the ride is now scheduled to close March 6th and reopen 15
weeks later on June 22nd. (The popular Blue Bayou restaurant will be closed that
whole time as well.) When the ride does finally reopen in time for summer
crowds, Disneyland visitors will find Jack Sparrow has moved in and tweaked the
storyline of the 39-year-old ride to align more with the second and third
sequels of the blockbuster original movie. Read on only if you want to learn of
the surprises Walt Disney Imagineering currently has planned for both the
Disneyland and Walt Disney World versions of the ride."
news from me - ARCHIVES: "My friend Buzz Dixon, whose name you've seen many a time on this weblog, is a writer of all sorts of things: Screenplays, animation, comics, games, etc. He has recently turned editor/packager with a new line of what his people are calling 'America's Premiere Inspirational Manga.' Serenity is a comedic teen soap opera about an unhappy girl who finds a happy ending in today's world. She's a lonely teen from a broken family who's coping with certain anger issues as she enrolls in a new school and gets 'adopted' by a Christian prayer group. Buzz wrote it and it was drawn primarily by Min Kwon, a young Korean-American woman who's steeped in Asian storytelling techniques yet immersed in American culture as well. I like the fact that the story is written with conviction but without hectoring, and that the kids seem to talk and act like actual kids."

Thursday, November 10, 2005

BBC - Doctor Who - Cybermen Revealed: "Filming is now underway in Cardiff for the long-awaited return of the Cybermen. The two-part adventure, written by Tom McRae, sees The Doctor and companions battle against a new, more deadly breed of Cybermen who are out to convert humanity into their own kind."

Monday, November 07, 2005

Here's a surprise: car not ready yet. Thanks to Titan "the body shop is taking longer than we think is appropriate, so we're not paying for your rental car any more as of a week ago" Auto Insurance taking a week to respond to the body shop's messages. Punks. Maybe tomorrow. Not crossing my fingers.

Watched the first episode of Boondocks and the final episode of Extras this morning. Extras ended with a lot of heart, and I'm looking forward to the new season already. (HBO is rerunning the whole first season starting next Sunday, I think.) Boondocks was fun, but, like all half-hour shows based on daily comic strips, fails to capture the pace of the strip. But it feels like the strip, so that's all okay.
Sci Fi Wire -- The News Service of the Sci Fi Channel: "Threshold To Try Tuesdays
CBS is moving its SF drama Threshold to Tuesdays at 10 p.m., ET/PT, following The Amazing Race, from its current Friday timeslot, Variety reported. Close to Home, which currently occupies that timeslot, will move to Threshold's old timeslot, following Ghost Whisperer, at 9 p.m. Fridays.
Threshold moves to Tuesdays on Nov. 22 and 29. (The Tuesday slot is pre-empted on Nov. 8 for a two-hour Race and on Nov. 15 for the Country Music Awards.) If all goes well, the show will move in permanently, the trade paper reported.
Threshold has performed decently, but not tremendously, in the ratings. Executives reportedly feel that the SF thriller could potentially hold on to more Race fans than those of Whisperer, who skew more female.
"

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Across the street: candy cane lights the first week of November. Jeez.

Again, comics stuff...

Expanding some on last night's post about the new Previews order:

A couple of weeks ago, some creators and editors from Tokyopop came to our libraries, a series of programs I had set up. They were mainly promoting their new manga-inspired graphic novels, produced by American creators. One of the creators who came was Amy Kim Gantner, creator of Sorcerers and Secretaries. And of the three books Tokyopop sent me to read, I enjoyed that one the most. (Well, the chapters they sent me, anyway, the book wasn't finished yet at that point.) So I'm looking forward to reading the whole thing. At the programs, one of the editors (Luis Reyes) had talked up a book called MBQ, and I asked him to send me a copy. I read it, and enjoyed it as well, although I thought it was maybe a little over the top in places. But I liked it enough to want to read the next book, so that's why these two made my November order.

And just a quick word about the Seven Soldiers of Victory collection... I have been complaining about the four Infinite Crisis lead-in miniseries, and that's because I think they're pretty deeply flawed comics. But one of the biggest flaws is, for comics that are intended to showcase the diversity of stories that can be told in the "DC Universe," they all feel pretty much the same. The science fiction one just feels like superheroes in space. The magical/mystical one still feels just like a big superhero fight story. They don't really have their own flavors.

With his Seven Soldiers books, though, Grant Morrison has created a bunch of diverse-feeling stories that come together into one whole. This project showcases the sort of variety that DC Comics ought to be offering in a way that the Crisis stuff--thus far--has completely failed to do. And it's a bunch of differently-toned stories all written by one writer, whereas the Crisis lead-ins should have felt more different due to being written by different people. And I don't want to be one of those guys venerating Grant Morrison as a comic-book god with a golden touch, but at least he seems to be trying harder than his peers...

Plus, he seems to be interested in telling new stories, instead of devoting his entire career to building on stories created by others. (And yes, I suppose I am calling Geoff Johns a parasite. Wanna make something of it?)
Okay, saw Mirrormask. Loved it. Unsurprisingly, it's like a Neil Gaiman/Dave McKean graphic novel come to life, and every bit as weird and wonderful and magical as you'd imagine that could possibly be.
Oh, don't forget that Boondocks premieres tonight on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. Check your local listings for the time, because I can't actually be bothered to remember it or look it up. But it promises to be cool.
Have just purchased a ticket to Mirrormask from Fandango.com. Yes, this means paying the princely sum of one dollar extra for the movie. But I am absolutely not in the mood for standing in line behind... well, anyone, really. Not the family of 27 who can't decide which movie to see, and apparently haven't pondered this conundrum until they actually get to the box office window. Not the lovey-dovey teenager making out directly in front of me. None of the variety of the great, unwashed masses who might potentially be there in front of me or directly behind me. (Not even the cute goth girls who love Sandman and are there to see the exact same movie as me.) No, I just want to park my car, go to the theater, and go get seated right away. And that's worth the extra buck to me.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Comics stuff ahead...

Okay, before the beer completely wears off (although it pretty much has), here's the rundown of my November Previews order of new comics, as it currently stands...

HG Wells The War of the Worlds Hardcover from Dark Horse Comcs
An adaptatation of the classic novel which I have never read, and will probably never read, by Ian Edginton and D'Israeli. The guys who created the fantastic graphic novel, Kingdom of the Wicked. And the fantastic 2000AD series, Leviathan. (Hopefully to be reprinted in a single book at some point.) More to the point, they did the fantastic sequel to War of the Worlds, Scarlet Traces, first for a failed web comics site, then serialized in the Judge Dredd Megazine before finally being collected by Dark Horse. And if I thought the sequel by them was fantastic, how can I pass up their adaptation of the original?

Nexus Archives Volume 2 from Dark Horse
More reprints of the most brilliant superhero/sci-fi comic ever, which I foolishly lost in my travels.

Day of Vengeance Infinite Crisis Special from DC Comics

I know, I've been bitching about the Infinite Crisis lead-in miniseries pretty strongly. And this is another issue in one of them, by the exact same creative team. So why buy this one? Well... I had decided to stick with the Infinite Crisis story to the end, and this is supposed to explain how the Day of Vengeance miniseries connects to the Crisis. Perhaps more importantly, it is supposed to feature favorite DC mystical characters like the Phantom Stranger and Madame Xanadu. And I don't really expect it to avoid the miniseries flaws (too much superheroics, not enough mysticism), but I still want to read it. And I promise not to complain too much if it ends up on the same level of quality as the miniseries, because that's about all I can expect, right?

DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore from DC Comics
Hard to believe there was once a day when a big-name writer like Alan Moore could just come on and write one issue or one story about a DC universe character, do it incredibly well, and not completely revamp the character, isn't it? Well, the proof is now bound between covers. I hadn't purchased the earlier version of this book, but since this new edition includes Batman: The Killing Joke and the "Last Superman Story" (I forget the title), there's no reason to put this off any longer.

Seven Soldiers of Victory Volume 1 trade paperback from DC Comics
Ordinarily, a book reprinting stuff I already have wouldn't be a priority. But the Seven Soldiers series by Grant Morrison has been my favorite new DC comic (or comics) this year, and I'm happy to have it on my shelf as a collected book. And I know there are fans bitching about the format, about how it just collects the story in order and how it would be better if each individual miniseries got its own book. But the thing is, even though the series is structured as separate-but-related miniseries, it is all one big story. If a reader only wants the Zatanna story or whatever, that's fine, they can buy that. But if the story of the Seven Soldiers of Victory is being collected, it should be the whole story, so I'm glad they're taking that route.

Sgt Rock: The Prophecy from DC Comics
It's a new six-issue Sgt Rock miniseries, written and drawn by Joe Kubert. You'd have to be completely retarded to not buy that.

Elfquest: The Discovery from DC Comics
What I said right above? Replace "Sgt Rock" with "Elfquest" and "Joe Kubert" with "Wendy Pini" and I don't need to type any more, do I? (New, full-color Elfquest story by Wendy Pini from DC Comics? This truly is the most perfect of all perfect worlds.)

Body Bags: One Shot one-shot from Image
I'm sure I've waxed lyrical about Jason Pearson's Body Bags before. Yes, it's over the top, hyper-violent, and completely unsubtle. And yet, I love it so. His art and storytelling are fantastic, and his writing is wall-to-wall fun. And who would have thought we'd ever see new stories? Ever?

G0dand Volume 1: Hello Cosmic Trade Paperback from Image
G0dland is perhaps my favorite new comic right now. It seems hard for critics to look past the Lee/Kirby influence, but it really is an exciting, innovative, original take on the whole "cosmic superhero" subgenre. I find myself wanting to reread all the previous issues when a new one comes out. So, even though I own the original issues, I'm happy to buy this collection, just for ease of rereading.

Pulse #13 from Marvel
Just wanted to point out that this is apparently Brian Bendis' final issue as writer, and this is where I get off.

Essential Godzilla from Marvel
Let me just quote from Ninth Art:
"If you've ever looked for proof that the Marvel Bullpen put acid in the water coolers, look no further than ESSENTIAL GODZILLA. I'm not sure whose idea it was to have a comic about Godzilla rampaging through the Marvel Universe, but that's exactly what you get here. It's tough to get the ultimate strange moment here, but while many would point to a shrunken Godzilla rampaging through the New York sewer system, I'm going to have to place money on him getting teleported back in time to team up with Moon Boy and Devil Dinosaur. This is a book sure to never be reprinted, so if you ever want to experience the insanity of Marvel's GODZILLA this is your one chance."

So there.

Marlene #1 from Slave Labor
It's a mystery one-shot from former Starman artist Peter Snejberg. And I like his art, and I like mysteries...

Roy Thomas' Anthem from Heroic
Okay, this may not be all that good. But, as a kid, I loved Roy Thomas' All-Star Squadron, telling the adventures of DC's Golden Age characters in WWII. Easily one of my favorite comics. And obviously, he loves telling stories about superheroes in WWII. So this is a new series along that theme. The characters are all new, but it's the same general idea. So I'm going to give it a shot.

Spike: Old Wounds one-shot from IDW
Liked the first Spike one-shot from IDW. This is the same artist, but not written by Peter David. But it deals with the Black Dahlia murder, which I've been interested in since reading the James Ellroy novel. So... okay.

Lucky Bamboo Presents from Lucky Bamboo
Okay, I must confess, I like what I've read of Fiona Avery's Arana series from Marvel. But not enough to actually buy it. But a comic that's created and owned by her, and not superheroes... And this book previews the new series from her own press. So I'll take a look, certainly. (Plus I like the artists.)

Past Lies from Oni
I liked the book, Skinwalker that Christina Weir and Nunzio DiFilliipis wrote. Didn't get their next two Oni graphic novels, but they sounded neat. (Can't buy everything.) This one sounds cool, too, about a detective helping a man solve the murder of one of his past lives...

Judge Dredd: The Chief Judge's Man from Rebellion
Read the second half of this story when it was serialized in 2000AD. Now I want to read the whole thing.

Rogue Trooper: To the Ends of Nu Earth from Rebellion
At this point, does it surprise anyone that I'll buy any old-school 2000AD reprints?

Sorcerers and Secretaries and MBQ from Tokyopop
I'll talk about these tomorrow...

Middleman Vol 2 #1: The Entering Dragon from Viper
What do I need to say? I loved the first one. It's like if Men in Black was good.

And this is all I feel like writing right now.
Okay, so it's Saturday night, so does this mean that this post follows an evening in Timbers, drinking Newcastle ale? Indeed it does. And yet, I find myself in that weird state where I'm aware I've been drinking, and yet feel completely focused and sober. Which pretty much belies the point (if belies is the word I want), because I wanted to fuzz out my brain enough that I wouldn't be thinking about The Girl in the Cafe, and yet, there she is. (Earlier today, I had her in my thoughts, because like almost everyone I know, she is named Jen, and another of the Legion of Jens had come up in conversation. However, when I realized I couldn't get her out of my head, she was almost instantly replaced by that Kylie Minogue song. Which isn't necessarily a better thing.)

Best news of the day: Mirrormask the Neil Gaiman/Dave McKean movie, is playing in Las Vegas. So I'll be seeing that tomorrow. Expect a report.

Worst news of the day: Titan Auto Insurance still dicking me around. I'd have my car back at this point if it wasn't for them. Which particularly sucks, since they aren't paying for my rental because they claim that the body shop is taking too long. Wouldn't you think that if someone were making that sort of accusation, they'd be Johnny On the Spot? Dillweeds.

So, anyway, I bought a copy of Marvel Comics Essential Werewolf By Night tonight. And as I've found myself recently fascinated by 70s Marvel's weird comics, I've realized something about my initial childhood impressions about Marvel comics.

As a kid, I first started reading Disney and Archie and Harvey comics, and other humor comics. I knew of super-heroes, of course, mostly from reruns of the old Batman and Superman TV shows, and episodes of the Superfriends cartoon (which just don't hold up today). So I understood that DC did comics about superheroes. But Marvel... Marvel published stuff like Conan the Barbarian, which clearly wasn't aimed at the seven-year-old me. Or Howard the Duck, which looked funny at first, but was way over my head. Even their superheroes scared the crap out of me. I remember waiting in line with my mother at Safeway one day, probably reading Richie Rich or Casper or somesuch, and a teenage boy came and offered me a copy of some Marvel superhero comic or another. And I think the featured superhero was the Thing, from the Fantastic Four. And I told him that I didn't read those kinds of comics.

So, yeah, Marvel scared the crap out of me. And now, when I think of the Marvel of my youth, the Marvel I never read, it's all Tomb of Dracula and Howard the Duck and Werewolf by Night. And I still don't care about their superheroes, because they're not my superheroes. But the idea of an Essential Godzilla, featuring Godzilla vs. the Avengers and SHIELD... That's my Marvel. And the fact that Marvel simply doesn't do stuff like that any more is probably the reason that I don't buy many Marvel comics. (Although there are exceptions... And since I did my new Previews order, you may hear about some of those exceptions tomorrow...)
'Blood Fever' U.S. Hardcover Available for Pre-Order - James Bond 007 - CommanderBond.net - James Bond At Its Best: "The U.S. edition of Charlie Higson's second Young Bond novel, Blood Fever, is now available for pre-order at Amazon.com. The release date currently shows as May 2006. Price is $16.95."

Of course, after reading how references to beer in the American edition of Silverfin had been removed, I'd almost rather order the British edition... (Plus it's out, like, five months earlier...)
Bush Orders Staff to Attend Ethics Briefings: "President Bush has ordered White House staff to attend mandatory briefings beginning next week on ethical behavior and the handling of classified material after the indictment last week of a senior administration official in the CIA leak probe."

Barn door...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Some brief comics stuff...

Last week's comics arrived yesterday (finally), and I read all the new first issues last night. Just some quick thoughts:

Loveless by Brian Azzarello & Marcelo Frusin, from DC Comics/Vertigo
I had really enjoyed Brian Azzarello's 100 Bullets series when it first started, but drifted away from it. (The intent is to read it as it's collected in books, but I'm even behind on reading those... Still...) But a new creator-owned series from him, I'm glad to buy in single issues, particularly since it's a dark western, which won't necessarily be a huge hit. It's hard to tell from this first issue exactly where the story will be going, but from the tone, the dialogue, and the art, it looks like it'll be an interesting ride, wherever the creators decide to take us.

13th Son: Worse Thing Waiting by Kelley Jones, from Dark Horse Comics
'Bout time Kelley Jones wrote something again, as well as drawing. He's been one of my favorite monster artists for years, with these weird, distorted creatures that don't look like anything we've ever seen before. And his writing is just as wild. This starts off feeling like a left-of-center urban myth/folklore thing about a monster that kills monsters, but he manages to give it just enough connections to the human world to make the reader not feel completely alienated. And it's got a great, quiet cliffhanger ending.

Book of Lost Souls by J. Michael Straczynski and Colleen Doran, from Marvel Comics
While I don't worship the ground that writer JMS walks on like some (a rep based mainly on the TV series Babylon 5, which I thought was interesting enough in its conception for me to watch all the way through and buy the DVDs, but flawed in exection), I really enjoyed his comics series Midnight Nation. And while I'm completely unimpressed with his Spider-Man comcs (surprise), I was willing to give this new creation of his a shot. Besides, it's got art by Colleen Doran, who I've been a fan of since we were both kids, apparently. (She started A Distant Soil when she was 16, I think.) This tale, about a man who has to walk among the "lost souls" and tip them towards good or evil feels very similar in tone to Midnight Nation without duplicating the story, so I'll stick with it. (Only does every other page have to be an advertisement?)

Fear Agent by Rick Remender, Tony Moore, and Sean Parsons, from Image Comics
This was pretty highly anticipated by me. It was promoted as being highly influenced by the EC sci-fi comics of Wally Wood, and it definitely has that feel. No carefully thought-out science fiction premises here, not if they get in the way of a two-fisted action hero fighting a giant brain using alien ape-creatures to build some sort of rocket-thing on a primitive planet. Unlike G0dland, however, which really wears its Jack Kirby influences on its sleeve, this feels more distanced from its influences. Probably because the Wally Wood stories that give it its tone and surface details were eight-page self-contained stories, whereas this is a full-length story, the first part of a five-part story about an ongoing character. The important thing, though, is it does capture the sense of action and excitement and fun that it set out to capture, and makes me want to come back for more.

Haunted Mansion from Slave Labor
This was another one I was pretty excited about, and again, I was not disappointed. It's an anthology comic about the Disneyland ride, and does a really good job telling a diverse set of stories about the characters and situations we see on the ride. The stories would work just fine if you didn't know the connection to the Disney thing, I think, and they don't make a big deal about how they do connect. They don't shout, "See? This is the guy from this scene right here, we're telling his story, get it?" The tone is the same sort of light-creepy that Slave Labor has made popular with their line of comics like Lenore and Gloomcookie, which fits perfectly with the original ride (not too scary, not too funny). Definitely a success, definitely looking forward to the next issue. Now, if only they can get the attention of the vast universe of Disney fans/collectors...
Dispatches from the Flying M: The next tie-in book: "I've signed the contract and the outline is approved, so I can talk in general terms about the next tie-in book I'll be doing. It's called Superman: Trail of Time, and it's for DC Comics and Warner Books. In it, Superman, Phantom Stranger and the Demon travel into the old West (among other places) where they'll meet up with Jonah Hex, Bat Lash, Scalphunter, and El Diablo. I love those old Western characters, and the magical/horror-oriented characters of the DCU, so this should be a lot of fun to write. The research, involving reading hundreds of comics, has already been a blast."

Not much of a Superman fan these days, but I like Jeff Mariotte's writing just fine, plus the idea of a novel featuring the Phantom Stranger, the Demon, and a bunch of DC's Western comics characters... This one, I'll probably read.
BBC - Doctor Who - Christmas Invasion at Christmas: "The special will transmit on Christmas Day.
Cancel those plans. David Tennant and Billie Piper will face The Christmas Invasion on 25 December itself."
CBS goes online with 'Threshold' - Yahoo! News: "LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - CBS crossed a new
'Threshold' on Wednesday when it announced it would offer three
episodes of the rookie suspense drama free and without
advertising on http://www.CBS.com."

Anything that helps a Carla Gugino show survive is fine with me. (I'm enjoying Threshold just fine, by the way.)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Right, this next bit is going to make me sound like a sap at first. Don't care.

Watched my new Titanic Special Edition DVD yesterday and today. Well, the movie and deleted scenes, anyway. (It's a three disk set, with three commentary tracks, making-of bits integrated into the viewing of the film, documentaries, and all sorts of stuff. Not going to see it all at once, obviously. Plus, the movie is like three hours, anyway.) And I realize that the movie has been at the receiving end of a considerable backlash since it's release, but--and here's the bit that makes me sound like a sap; don't care--I like it. I like it a lot, which is why I saw it a couple of times in the theater, and why I bought the DVD and watched it all straight through again.

And I'm not going to get into a whole discussion about whether or not it really is a great movie, or just a piece of overblown fluff, because that just doesn't matter to me. There are plenty of acknowledged classics and wonderful films beloved by many that I think are incredibly dull. (Hey! Gone with the Wind and Return of the King! I'm talking to you!) And there are many other films that I love as well. But I'm not going to be embarrassed about putting Titanic on the list, because it's my list, and I'm making it my way.

Part of the appeal, for me, is the time it came out. I was going through a great deal of personal upheaval at the time (quitting work, going back to school, moving to a strange town, falling in love, getting a cat) and so the movie reminds me of this pivotal time of my life, and how it all worked out okay. Which wasn't exactly apparent at the time, because I was right in the middle of it. And that's a reason that nobody else will have for liking Titanic, and that doesn't make it any less relevant.

And part of it is that I think it's a pretty good movie. Okay, maybe I am going to defend it a little here. I read arguments that it's too long and too padded; seeing what was cut out of it really gives lie to that notion. There's a whole extended chase/fight sequence that would have stopped the movie dead if it had been left in. And lots of stuff with the present-day characters in the framing sequence. All gone, all for the better. And there are those who say that it's too obvious and straightforward and facile. Again, seeing what was cut out makes the existing cut seem so subtle and understated, it's a revelation. The DVD includes the originally scripted and shot ending, which is so obvious and heavy-handed, it's almost like it comes from another movie. Almost every scene cut from the first half (pre-iceberg) part of the movie is a scene that explains the themes and emotions of the story and characters, for those members of the audience who just can't be bothered to think. That's the stuff that would have yanked me right out of the movie.

In the end, I like that it's this almost fairy-tale romance happening against this backdrop of epic tragedy. Because this is what I want to see in movies: Grand themes and emotions writ large, shown to me in ways I'd never see them in life. This is just me, of course, but I don't want to see a movie that presents a detailed portrait of the human condition, with all its subtle shadings and colors. That's the world I live in. That's the world where the once-greatest nation in the world places a higher priority on preserving the riches of the wealthy over helping the victims of natural disasters (victims whose lot could have been much better in the first place, had the government pulled its head out of its diamond-encrusted arse and prepared for a very predictable disaster). It's the world where people are dying in the thousands in a war started by a pack of lies, and the uncovering of those lies is being referred to as the "criminalization of politics."

And, on a personal level, it's a world where the stupid insurance company that authorized repairs to my car--which someone else hit while I was virtually stopped--won't authorize a rental car while those repairs are being done. Do I believe that the romance between Jack and Rose is a true reflection of the social mores of the time, and the complex interplay of emotion that genuinely represents the intertwining of two souls? No, of course not. But I get all that from playing "guess what I'm thinking" with the Girl in the Cafe, thank you very much; what would be the point of watching the exact same bloody thing as entertainment? The other day, at breakfast at another regular haunt of mine, the waitress I generally chat with sat down at my table to talk to me, even though she wasn't waiting on me. And I don't know what, if anything, that might mean. I like the relative lack of ambiguity, the straightforward true-love-ness of the romance in Titanic, because it cuts to the heart of things (no pun intended). It sends a different message than just, "Things are always all confusing and screwed up, and there's nothing you can do about it." And it still ends tragically. So there.

So, yes, the romance in Titanic is a fantasy. That is what I want to see at the movies. I don't need to pay to see a reflection of the ambiguities and gray areas of my daily life; I get those for free, thank you very much. When I pay my six to nine dollars to see a movie, I want to see spectacular ships sinking, and explosions, and cartoons, and spaceships and robots and giant apes (only maybe not for three hours). And that's why I like Titanic.
COMICON.com: KELLY & PORTER TAKE ON JONNY QUEST AT DC : "Joe Kelly's next take on a classic Hanna-Barbera character for DC Comics will be Jonny Quest. According to Wizard # 170, perennial favorite boy action hero Quest is returning for five issues next year. Artist Howard Porter will be digitally painting the limited series. Kelly, who worked on the critically-acclaimed Space Ghost limited series, is a big fan of classic Hanna-Barbera characters. But that doesn't mean he doesn't have his own vision for the animated staples. He told Wizard this version of the preteen boy will be a 'significantly darker Jonny and you will find out how he got that way.'"

The idea of a "darker" Jonny Quest should just turn my stomach. But Joe Kelly completely sold the idea of a dark Space Ghost story, so I'm willing to go with him on this...

Friday, October 28, 2005

Statler & Waldorf: From the Balcony: "THIS WEEK'S EPISODE
Muppet curmudgeons Statler and Waldorf take on Jarhead and The Legend of Zorro. Plus, the Weather Guy previews, appropriately enough, The Weather Man."

Laughed out loud at the Jarhead review.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Okay, is it stranger to discover that the song I was enjoying on about drink #3 at the bar is by Hliary Duff, or that the remake of Seal's "Crazy" (a song I love) by Alannis Morissette (a singer I like) at first had me convinced it was by Celine Dion?

Drinks wearing off now. Too soon.
Video Business Online - 10/21/2005 - Retailers rail over studio date switches - CA6276901: "Last week, Buena Vista Home Entertainment indefinitely benched expected Jan. 10 TV releases of Once and Again, Beggars and Choosers and Boy Meets World."

And we were so close to the complete series of Once and Again on DVD... Disney bastards!
Okay, as seems to now be the norm, this post is the result of some slight intoxication on my part. (Although the photo of traffic posted earlier this evening was done stone cold sober. This would be traffic at 9:30 at night caused by a SUV-involved accident. Bastards. Because, of course, it's all meant to personally inconvenience me. Anyway, the picture was taken and emailed to the blog as I was stopped completely, so no driving hazards there. Lets you know how traffic was flowing, doesn't it?)

So, aside from the car-repair/insurance frustration that is ongoing (still don't have my freaking car back), today was irritating for a couple of reasons. For one, I still don't have this week's 2000AD. Thank you, US Postal Service, where getting mail actually fucking delivered is apparently just a bonus. And normally, I would have had the Judge Dredd Megazine to hold me over, just in case. But this month's Meg had the second half of a story that started in last week's 2000 AD, so I've already read through it. Bastards. (Of course, I'm about four issues behind on the 2000 AD Extreme Edition, but that's old stuff, so it doesn't exactly count.)

More directly the cause of tonight's drinking safari (more like a drive-by, really; two beers and a raspberry kamikaze) would be the sudden appearance at the library of The Girl in the Cafe. Because I had actually deliberately avoided going to see her at the Cafe for going on two weeks now, and then, a block away from the library, I received a text message from a coworker that she and her son were at the library.

Some background: while we had talked about going out, and exchanged phone numbers and the like, it hadn't actually happened yet, because she's all busy being a full-time mom, full-time student, and full-time cafe manager or owner or whatever. So I was continuing to talk to her every Tuesday and Wednesday morning, like I always had been doing. But the weekend before last, we had some editors and artists from Tokyopop visit our libraries. Including a particularly cool female editor, who I found myself developing a crush on. If that's the right phrase. (Not enough alcohol to put this out of my mind, but enough that I don't care about my writing.) Then Monday, I managed to find myself encountering just about every woman in the library district that I had an unrequited crush on, none of which could be acted upon for a variety of reasons (married, doesn't date people, etc.). That, plus my crush on the editor, pretty much made me feel like there wasn't much different from my interaction with the Girl in the Cafe. Yes, we had acknowledged that we wanted to spend time together, but beyond that, I felt like I was trying to contrive to see her just the same way I contrived to see these other women. And I was getting as far with her as I was the others.

So, something had to change, I decided. And since I wasn't going to insist that she carve time out of her schedule for me, the only thing I could do was back off. So I did. I started getting my breakfast from Bob's East Side Deli, and figured I'd give her a chance to miss me.

So today, she turns up at the library to work on her homework while her son plays on the computer. And it's just weird, because it's almost never that she tries to get in touch with me (doesn't call, nothing). And we talk like we always have, and don't mention how I've been not seeing her. But it's weird, because for the first time, she's on my turf. And the control that I had taken, by deciding to step away, has been somewhat taken away by her coming into my arena, if that makes any sense. And part of me wants to think that she showed up in my place of work because I stopped showing up in hers, but that way lies madness, so I'm trying not to think about that.

But, the really frustrating bit, out of the many frustrating bits, is that I had pretty much resigned myself to the idea that I wouldn't be seeing her for a while. And I was okay with that, and not actually missing her, and then I saw her again.

And I think I need more to drink, but that's not an option, unless I go back to Timbers, which just seems lame at this point. So I'm going to stop writing now.
Sci Fi Wire -- The News Service of the Sci Fi Channel: "Kong Gets Supersized
Less than two months before the Dec. 14 release of Universal's remake of King Kong, the studio has agreed to release director Peter Jackson's three-hour cut, which will push the budget to $207 million, Variety reported."

Okay, I was actually starting to kind of get excited about the King Kong movie, but... three hours? It's a movie about a giant gorilla! (Not to mention the last Peter Jackson three-hour epic I saw felt so overlong, it's why I hardly ever go to movies any more...)

Monday, October 24, 2005

Got a phone call today from the car rental place. Apparently, the insurance company (Titan, representing the woman who hit me, not my company) let them know that they were going to stop paying for my rental car as of 10/16. As this is the first I'm hearing about this, on 10/24, I'm a bit upset.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Okay, some comics stuff...

I read the first issue of Infinite Crisis, the big DC Comics event series of the year, the one that will change everything about the DC Universe that we know, just like Crisis on Infinite Earths did 20 years ago (to which this is a sequel). And I enjoyed it okay, but also have some pretty fundamental problems with it. Once again, it's a comic that seems completely dependent on what has come before; the cliffhanger ending really only has any meaning for those who read the first story twenty years ago. And while I'm happy to read the ongoing adventures of characters I love, like Doctor Who or James Bond or whoever, there's a world of difference between reading stories about the same characters for twenty years, and reading the same story for twenty years.

On the plus side, it's pretty, and it's not nearly as bad as the four miniseries leading up to it. The unfortunately-titled OMAC Project and Rann-Thanagar War books were really four issues of story crammed into six issues of comics... Day of Vengeance, despite featuring some of my favorite characters, never really became anything more than a superhero story, only with the word "superpowers" whited out and "magic" written in. And the best of the bunch, Villains United, completely fell apart for me at the end with a final issue that just made no sense.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Putfile - End of the Smurfs

Here's a clip from a UNICEF Belgium promo commercial for their Leave the Children in Peace campaign.

Monday, October 10, 2005

If only I could muster this much enthusiasm ...

WARNING: MATURE(ish) CONTENT

AVN :: Articles - Doc Johnson Introduces Kochi

So wrong. So very wrong. But seeing this sort of thing makes me feel like I lead a normal life.
CBS scares up ratings with 'Ghost Whisperer' - Yahoo! News: "LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The new Jennifer Love Hewitt drama 'Ghost Whisperer' is settling into its own Friday
night groove and proving to be a self-starter for CBS so far
this season."

Evidence, then, that what America wants on a Friday night is feel good and large breasts.

And, to be honest, that's pretty much why I've been watching it.

And I finally gave up on Medium. I just turned on the DVR one day, saw how many recorded programs I had to watch, started watching that week's Medium, and realized that I really don't care much about these people or what happens to them. And just like that, I erased it, and took it off the list of programs to record.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Seattle Times: Comics

Have I linked to this before? 'Tis the only place I've found Berke Breathed's Opus online...
This next post is all about comics. Just so you know. It's also written on the heels of several pints of beer, so bear with me. (Beer with me? This is what you're in for...)

Okay, so here's what I seem to be ordering from the new Previews, although it's not due until next week, so there may be changes...

Concrete Vol. 3: Fragile Creature from Dark Horse Comics
Do I love Concrete (the series)? Oh, yes, I do. So I'm happy to buy this new "complete Concrete" reprint series. (And, quite honestly, anyone who isn't all about loving Concrete doesn't deserve to be reading comics.)

Serenity from Dark Horse Comics
To be honest, this almost didn't make the cut. And then I saw Serenity, the movie, and loved it. And since this is actually cowritten by series creator Joss Whedon, I decided to stick it on the list. And it puts me over my monthly limit of graphic novels, but I was under last month, so that's okay. Basically, I'm not willing to say goodbye to these characters yet.

Jingle Belle: The Fight Before Christmas from Dark Horse Comics
I love Paul Dini's Jingle Belle character, Santa's rebellious teenage daughter. So any new appearance is a must-have. Funny, biting, sarcastic, and yet somehow still sweet and Christmasy...

Star Wars: Purge One Shot from Dark Horse Comics
I love Star Wars, and it's been ages since I've actually bought a Star Wars comic. But this one picks up after the last movie, and it's only one issue (and if it had been more, I probably wouldn't have ordered it).

Hard Time Season Two from DC Comics
The sole survivor from last year's ill-fated "Focus" line. The problem with starting up a new imprint of comics is that it just confuses the audience. Particularly something like the Focus line; were they all a shared universe, did you have to read them all, were they superherores, were they Vertigo, were they something else? Fortunately, Steve Gerber's Hard Time, easily the best of the bunch, survived in this "season two" form. This weird teenager-in-prison-with-superpowers comic defies easy classification (although I obviously just tried) and just manages to be good. And, all things being equal, there ought to always be comics written by folks like Steve Gerber, Marv Wolfman, and Len Wein, whenever they want, because the mature comics market in the US probably wouldn't exist without them.

Showcase Presents Justice League from DC Comics
I just got the Green Lantern and Metamorpho Showcase books, and I'm all excited about 500 pages of great Silver Age comics for relatively cheap. If I haven't made it clear, my current attitude is that I don't want to read stuff that's like the stuff I used to love. No, I'd rather just reread the stuff I used to love. And my earliest exposure to the JLA was black and white reprints of the silver age stuff. Well, here's 500 more pages...

Tom Strong #36 from DC Comics
I had dropped the Tom Strong series, but this is the last issue, done by creators Alan Moore and Chris Sprouse. So I'll get this last one.

Blood River from Image
This is on the list, I must admit, because it's under ten dollars, and a one-shot, and co-written by Mike Oeming. I don't actually know what it's about, but it sounds dark slice-of-life-ish, and I end to like the projects he works on as a writer, as well as an artist. And the cover looks nice, sort of a woodcut-looking thing.

Coyote, Vol 2 from Image Comics
What I said about Gerber, Wolfman, and Wein above? That probably goes for Steve Englehart, too. And while his recent Batman: Dark Detective series was a bit disappointing, that doesn't mean I'm not looking forward to these reprints of what is probably his best work.

Image Comics Holiday Special 2005 from Image Comics
I like the idea of holiday comics, but this had better have all the stories it says it does (including a Liberty Meadows one) or I'm going to take someone out for a meal with Mr and Mrs. Pain, I am.
(Actually just reread the catalog entry, and it doesn't say anything about a Liberty Meadows story, but it does have work by a lot of people I like.)

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane from Marvel Comics
I know what I've been saying lately: just because I like a particular creator, I'm not going to buy their second-rate superhero crap. (Yes, Greg Rucka and Judd Winick, I'm talking to you.) But those rules go out the window when it comes to Sean McKeever's Mary Jane stories. McKeever first came to my attention though his high school series, The Waiting Place. And while that was his baby and Mary Jane ought to be nothing more than company-owned crap, he and Takishi Miyazaki (probably getting that name wrong) have turned this book into something special.

Demo Collection Trade Paperback from AiT/PlanetLar
This is the only book I'm getting that reprints stuff I already have. But, as mentioned last month, I think, I've been rereading a lot of my Brian Wood books, and I want to have this all in one volume, for ease of rereading. (And that's why I'm going one book over my graphic novel limit this month.)

Mlinki Robot Bicycle from Slave Labor
Nothing really to say here, except that I liked the story he did in the second Flight book, so I want to read more. And it's cheap.

Red Sonja vs. Thulsa Doom from DE Press
Given their track record on the regular Red Sonja series, this will probably never even come out. But I like Red Sonja just fine, this is co-written by Peter David, who I generally like, and the art previewed in Red Sonja #2 looked nice. So I'm ordering it.

Fallen Angel from IDW
When I said directly above that I generally like Peter David, DC's Fallen Angel is the perfect example of why I like his comics... when they're his babies, and not corporate symbols. Well, DC's loss-through-cancellation is IDW's gain. The art looks absolutely gorgeous, and we already know that the story is fantastic. (Not going to elaborate on it here because, well, slightly drunk and tired.)

Living in Infamy from a new press whose name I can't recall...
This one, co-written by Ben Raab about supervillains in the witness protection program, almost didn't make the cut. I mean, I didn't feel like I really needed another superhero/supervillain book, even if it was creator owned. But here's the thing: I like Ben Raab's Phantom stories for Moonstone. And I like the Hawkman miniseries he did several years ago, illustrated by Michael Lark. But I hated his writing on Green Lantern, which I read when the book crossed over with Green Arrow, back when I was getting that. But in the back of my head, I could hear, "Jay Faerber," the writer who completely failed to impress me with his work on DC superheroes, but who completely won me over with his creator-owned stuff, including Noble Causes. So I'm giving Raab the same chance.

Scott Pilgrim Vol 3 Infinite Sadness from Oni Press
Not just a new book by Bryan Lee O'Malley, but the next Scott Pilgrim book. I'm not even sure how to describe it, sort of a mix between twentysomething slacker romance and Dragonball Z. Well deserving of all the acclaim it's been getting.

Judge Dredd: Complete Case Files Vol 1 from Rebellion
Okay, remember my griping about DC Comics when they dropped their line of 2000 AD reprint books, because I love those comics so much? (Especially the ones from the early years?) So you think I'm going to pass up the first-ever reprinting of Judge Dredd in chronological order from the very first strip?

Robo-Hunter: Play it Again, Sam from Rebellion
In recent issues of 2000 AD, they've been running a sequel/revival strip called Samantha Slade: Robo-Hunter. It's written by one of the original creators, Alan Grant, and drawn by original artist and personal fave, Ian Gibson. And I want to like it better, but it's not written all that well, and the art is lazy (Gibson, apparently feeling uninspired by the script, can't be bothered to draw backgrounds). But these original Robo-Hunter strips are the ones that made me look forward to the revival so much, and want to like it so much. And what have I been saying lately? I don't want to read something like something I used to love; I'd rather just read the original version again. (Although, in this case, I haven't read these specific stories.)

Oh, and there's a third Rebellion graphic novel this month, reprinting the recent John Wagner/Frazer Irving Judge Death stories. If I wasn't already over my limit, I'd be ordering that. But I am over the limit, and those are all stories I've read recently. (For similar reasons, I'm not ordering Grant Morrison's Vimanarama collection, either...)

Aaaaannnnndddd.... that's it, for now. But there are actually more comics ending this month than I'm adding, so it's possible I may end up adding the new Planet of the Apes miniseries that I'm sort of on the fence about.