Friday, March 30, 2007

What I Got - 3.28.07

Yipes! I only got one book this week, so I'm afraid this'll be short. Next week looks to be heavier (and pricey) as two mid-priced collections hit that I really want (All-Star Superman HC & Alpha Flight Classic). The AS: Superman book will probably wait until it's on amazon so I can take full advantage. But I don;t think I'll have the will power to stop myself from dropping the coin on the crazy cannuks in the 'Flight.

Anyhoo, on to what I got:
52: Week 47

So Robin, Bats and Wonder Woman all meet up in Nanda Parbat to recharge their batteries. We also head back to Gotham to check in and see how the wacky Apokaliptian Intergang Wierdos are doing. Not good, and they've decided to take another swing at sacrificing Batwoman. Can't say I care too much.
Then there's Buddy. Mr. Morrison, I'll give it to you that you really can do anything you want with this character, since, met him and explained to him why you jerk him around so much. But really this was a little low. Somehow, it comes off as lower than it did when you killed his entire family. that said, I'm intrigued and I want to see where this goes. I guess I wasn't really expecting a happy ending for Animal Man, but I sure wish there is one.

Overall, this was kind of a getting from point A to point B issue, all set-up. I didn't hate it, and it had a pretty darn good ending , as I'm ready to see Montoya kick some ass and I've always had a soft spot for Nightwing. I'll allow them a slow eek this week, just because it seems to be setting the pieces in place for a crazy final month of this series (Holy shit! There's only five issues left!).

That's all for today. After reading through Spencer's post about his proposed pull-list, I've found that I'll have to update mine as well (I forgot some things were on there). So I should have that up tomorrow or Sunday. Until then, have a good weekend.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

It Came From Ebay

Sometimes I am totally eBay's bitch. Mostly this is due to the fact that I have a hard time passing up a perceived "bargain", so, in an effort to get some value out of the books that I buy for $3.00 at 11:30 on a Friday night, I'm going to try to review them in an irregular series on this here blog.

Also, due to a regime change at my place of work, I'm going to be stuck in meetings, getting told how to do my job for the next two days. Imagine my joy. This will most likely delay my comic buying for the week.

Superman: The Daily Planet
Cost: $3.00
Value: OK

One of the many, many books released to tie into last summer's movie, this book features various stories spotlighting the Daily Planet and its staff through the years. Overall, the older stuff is the best, because it's patently insane. One story, which I'm sure Jake has already covered, has Lois Lane taking time off from her normal obsession with tricking Superman into marrying her, for her side-line obsession of proving that Clark Kent is trying to trick her into marrying him. No wonder so many kids of the 40' & 50's became drug addled beat poets and hippies. If these books shaped your view of what adult life would be, you'd need drugs to have it live up to it.

The later 70's and early 80's books featured our reporters kicking the Planet to the curb in favor of a TV station. I don't know why they bothered with these stories at all. I mean, the Planet's a newspaper, not the crap-ass TV station they worked for. Maybe they just wanted to show off some of the primo threads of that era.

Mainly, this book illustrated for me that someone needs to do a book actually about the Planet and its employees. Much like how Gotham Central was about the cops in Gotham City, I think there could be a really good series about the issues facing journalists in a world that seems to be in mortal peril on a weekly basis. It's been tried a few times. Marvel had the Pulse which was OK for a few issues before it became an exposition outlet for whatever major "event" Bendis was writing at the time. There was also that issue of Astro City (not sure which one, but it's in the first collection) which featured a reporter who had a vital story to tell, but no sources. Hell, if they could get back the creative team from GC (Brubaker, Rucka & Lark) this would be an excellent book. No one would buy it, but I'd be happy.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Monday Morning Sunshine

Ladies and Gentlemen, on this shiny Monday morning, I give you something to bring a smile to your face:

The Pipettes - Pull Shapes

Incidentally, if you'd like to make my day sunny, check out my auctions on ebay and buy my stuff. Daddy needs a new TV!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Weekend Rawk!

Gentlemen, I give you 2 minutes and 16 seconds of your weekend that is guaranteed to rawk!

The Ponys - Everyday Weapon

What I Got - 3.21.07

Still trying to wake up after Wednesday night. As I alluded to below, I went to see Sebadoh @ the Metro and man, I am just not built to be out on the town 'till 1am anymore. Very, very good show, always happy to see a band I loved in college that can still bring it.

As for comics, it was a pretty good week, four titles on my list came out in the same week, that's probably a new record (granted, one of them is 52, so that doesn't really count). I had a good find in the bargain bin, so I may pull that out for a more in depth look this weekend, depending upon my will to get the ol' scanner out of mothballs. ANYWAY, here's what I got:

52: Week 46

This week: Black Adam fucks some shit up on Oolong Island, get called a "prick" and finally, gets his ass kicked by a bunch of geeks. Also Will Magnus get some! From a human!

Overall, a good issue, though I was more excited that the tease for next week promises some Animal Man action.

The Brave and the Bold #2

All right, this is excellent. More slam-bang Super-Heroics from Mark Waid and George Perez. GL and Supergirl are on Planet Ventura , essentially Las Vegas in space (check out this post from Jake for more), tracking down the Book of Destiny before some one can clean up like Biff in Back to the Future 2.

We also get Batman and Blue Beetle teaming up the other alien left behind on Earth.

I sure do love this series, it reads like Superheros 101. (Cool Heroes + Wild Locales) + Punching = Awesome

Detective Comics #830
[Note: this is not this week's cover]

We finish up the two parter started two weeks ago, and everything pretty much happens as you would expect. That's a good thing. There's a clumsy attempt to paint the mad bomber, who's trying to blow up Wayne Tower, as Batman's opposite number (he uses terror against innocents to fight injustice, while Batman uses terror against the wicked), but overall, it's just a good Batman action story. I like that Robin is being treated as Batman's partner again, rather than as his lackey, as he had been used in the last few years. Dare I say Batman is fun again?

The Spirit #4

More fun with the Spirit. Well as fun as things can be stranded in the desert (with a beautiful CIA Agent). I haven't read enough of the Eisner strips to know Silk Satin's history, but she's obviously a formidable character as written by Cooke.

Between this, Detective and The B&B, the theme of the week definitely seems to be a return to fun, uncomplicated comics. What a fantastic development.

X-Factor #17

After two or three pretty much self-contained issues, this story arc gets down to brass tacks. Something bad is about to happen (as the last few issues seem to be omens of) and Jamie has to get his ass back to Mutanttown to try to defuse the situation. Luckily, there's plenty of ice cream waiting for him.

I really have no idea where this story is going, but I'm happy to sit back and enjoy the ride (though I may be covering my eyes as we get towards the end).

So that wraps up this week's damage to the old bank account. Hopefully, I'll actually venture out to see 300 this weekend, so I may post some thoughts on that. I did watch Casino Royale last night and that movie completely kicked ass. I am very, very angry that I did not see it on the big screen. About half-way through the movie I wanted to chuck my 27" and run out and get a LCD TV just so I could watch it in its full glory.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What I've Learned

I am a very, very tired man and I want to die today. I'll get reviews together this evening, but here's some things I've learned in the last few days:
  1. 90's lo-fi bands still rock live. Even if their shows go to 1am on a school night.

  2. Foppish Australian power-pop bands are OK. But it's kind of weird when their singer is swigging red wine out of the bottle during the show.

  3. Spencer Carnage is now a reference source.

  4. Mark Millar is very, very insecure. And that explains a lot. (If you don't want to subject yourself to Millarworld, read Hibbs's recap here.)

  5. Adorable Baby Polar Bears must die!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Best. Cover. Ever

From DC's June Solicitations: I give you All-Star Superman #8

Two clinchers:

  1. The square red sun in the background.
  2. The fact that Bizarro is using his "heat-breath" to light the fuse (ie. the opposite of Superman's cold-breath).

Monday, March 19, 2007

Great Moments in (My) Music History: Part 1

Hey everybody, in an effort to make people thingk there's more to my life than reading about people in garish tights punching each other, I'm going to start posting reviews of albums that are important to me. Mind you, these are not necessarily the best albums ever, just the ones that had an effect on me at a particular time in my life.

How I came up with our first album here is a bit of a (boring) story. My iPod died a few months ago (hard drive blew up) and since my wife just got herself a shiny new one, her old mini became mine (the mini's battery is shot, but since I only listen to music at work or in the car, power is not a problem). So, anyway, as I was listening to The Submarine Races, what should the next album be on her pod? It's Copper Blue by Sugar. Quite possibly the greatest album of 1992, if not the entire decade.
I was entering my first year of college when this album hit and I was drawn to it like a moth to the flame. There's not a song out of place on this album, not one that hasn't been my favorite at a given time in the last 15(!) years since its release. I really can't tell you too mouch more about this, except that it's one of those CD's that should be in every collection, and if it isn't in yours, go buy one now, I've personally burned through 2 copies a so far.

Sorry there's not much to this review, but writing about music really doesn't do it much justice. Here's the opening track, and if that doesn't get your head bobbing, well, you're just dead inside.

Sugar - The Act We Act

Friday, March 16, 2007

What I Got - 3.13.07

Man, what a dead couple of weeks. I wandered the shop for like ten minutes, just to make sure there wasn't anything else I wanted and came up empty. I almost feel bad when I walk out of there without spending $10. I was going to give Punisher: War Journal one more issue before I decided whether to drop it all together. But it was either sold out or didn't make it out this week, so it's gone. Well, enough with my blathering, here's what I got (now, with blathering!):

Manhunter #29

So, as I said in my previous post, I added this book to my list in order to boost it's sales by the staggering number of 1 issue per month. It was pretty easy to pick up what's been going on, though apparently, Kate's switched to being a defender and is representing Wonder Woman in the killing of Maxwell Lord. While WW had a darn good reason for cracking Max's neck, she's got an equally good reason for not making it public. Meanwhile, Dylan is busy rescuing Cameron Chase and Blue Beetle (the dead one) is running around as well. They pack quite a bit into this issue and I'm glad I picked it back up again. This story arc will end next issue and there'll be a bit of a break while they ramp up production again.

52: Week 45

So, as could be expected with his whole family murdered, Black Adam goes bat-shit insane, and the rest of the world craps their pants. I'm really starting to love the Chinese Great Ten, they have a great scene reacting to Adams path of destruction and questioning their government's possible role in his undoing.

The only problem here is that it seems Adam's going to be taking center stage for a couple weeks, so I really hope the rest of the stories don't get short shrift as this year comes to a close.

BPRD: Garden of Souls #1

BPRD is really becoming like Lost for me. They've been teasing out Abe's origin, for like 5 mini-series now, and they're still not getting anywhere with it. I'm not really interested in it in the first place, but they keep spending 5-6 pages on it each issue, so it's a little distracting. Not too much else happens. Daimo gets some weird ass acupuncture that somehow involves a human-faced monkey in a jar with a .45, and Johann learns to drive a forklift. I like reading this in trades, so I'm dropping this and switching over.

So that's the story for this week. Overall, not much to write home about, but next week looks to be fun.

Anatomy of a Pull-List

Since I didn't buy much this week, I figured I'd delve into my pull-list and try to explain why I subscribe to the things I do. This is more for me that it is for you, dear reader (isn't that the point of blogging?), as I am trying to pare down my already paltry pull-list to only the essential monthly titles. Truth be told, I really don't like buying single issues. I don't bag and board them and my organizational system consists of me throwing piles of them into plastic tubs in my basement. I prefer trades, since I can throw them on bookshelves (that I don't actually have) and they fit perfectly into the 55 qt. sterilite tubs I throw them in.

What I get monthly falls, generally, into two categories:

  1. Books that have poor sales and need every monthly reader to remain in existence (ie. Gotham Central, I miss you baby).
  2. Books that come out so rarely, I may be waiting for trade in my grave (ie. Planetary).

Here's the list:

  • 52: I tried this since I am one of the 4 people who really liked Infinite Crisis. I've since gotten addicted to the idea of a weekly comic and while there have been some slow patches, this has been very good overall. I don't know if I'm going to continue onto Countdown though. The higher price is bugging me. I think I'll go with the first month and see if it's as compelling.
  • X-Factor: Peter David's original X-Factor book has long been fave, so when this hit the stands (and the Madrox mini before it), I knew it was a must get, and I also knew that it probably wouldn't be a big seller, so monthly was the way to go. Also, Marvel's dumb-ass strategy of putting books out in the Premier HC format delays the time until the trade hits by about 8 months, and has killed my interest in several of their books (Moon Knight, continuing with Ult. Spider-man). I wanted to get in on the ground floor of this one.
  • Nextwave: It'll be back I tell you! It'll be back (I made my LCS keep this on my list).
  • Hellboy/BPRD: I subscribed to this book back when Hellboy was putting out about 2 issues per year (on average), so this initially fell under rule 2. Now that BPRD is coming out fairly often, I'm not sure why I still get this book. I'll explore more in my review of the new BPRD series.
  • Astonishing X-Men: While this series's schedule has gotten better, it's still rare to see a new issue on the stands. Plus, I'd rather get the Oversized HC than the trades on this one, so I have to wait a little longer.
  • Ultimates 2: As above (except for the part about the schedule getting better). Oh yeah, I'm off this as soon as the last issue comes out. Ultimates 3 is going to suck, mark my word.
  • Planetary: Again, as above. With only one more issue to go, I may yet have the final Absolute HC in my hands before I'm a Grandfather, but I'm not betting on it.
  • Astro City: Rule 1 again. I'm glad that Busiek has been able to get more of this series out, but each issue still seems like a little gift.
  • Manhunter: Rule 2. I just added this one, since I liked the first trade, but loved the second. Of course then the series got cancelled, but as soon as I heard it was un-cancelled, I vowed to jump on, if anything to make sure I can at least get a few more trades.

Trades: I do subscribe to some trades as well, though they don't really fall under either rule:

  • 100 Bullets: What a great series, but I can't imagine collecting this in singles. Each trade is pretty much perfect (though some are better than others). This is the first thing I look for when DC solicitations come out each month.
  • JSA: I really liked the straight-forward super-heroics of the last series of this and I'm glad I have the complete set. As for the new series, I'm giving them one more issue before I give up (though, depending upon reviews, I might get the JLA/JSA cross-over trade).
  • The Outsiders: I have no idea why I get the trade for this series. I loved the first trade, but it's all been downhill from there. Somebody please stop me!
  • Fables: See 100 Bullets, though I am tempted to start buying the singles. (Also, Jack of Fables).
  • Ultimate Spider-Man: Just dropped this due to the aforementioned decision on Marvel's part to switch this to Premier HC. That, and Bendis has long ditched doing anything original for just "ultimatizing" 616 characters and throwing them on the book in lieu of writing an actual story. I may peek in when Immonen starts his run, but it'll probably be too little, too late.
  • Runaways (Digests): Not to much to say, I'll stay on this through Whedon's run and the first collection of whoever comes after him. Always fun.

Man, I just realized how little Marvel stuff I buy. That's too bad, but due to their bad stories and their awful pricing strategies (just look at how their trade prices compare to DC's, it's sad) have killed my interest in their product. The only thing I'm really looking forward to is the Alpha Flight Classic TPB coming out (collecting the Byrne issues), after that, everything else I'll buy from them in trade is pretty much all Essentials (and the last Nextwave trade). Too bad they can't get me excited about anything (other than what's above) they've put out in the last 20 years.

Monday, March 12, 2007


For the hell of it (since it's Monday), here are some webcomics I enjoy on a regular basis:

ShortPacked! - A fun comic about a toy store. It mostly dwells upon the toy collecting geek culture, one that I am fortunately immune to. However, he does regularly cross over to comics, in particular, his love of Batman. (Updates almost daily)

The Non-Adventures of Wonderella - Essentially, Wonder Woman as a slacker goofball. Here are some favorites. (Updates Saturdays)

Multiplex - Fun stuff about people working at a movie theatre. There is some type of running story, so you may want to begin at the beginning. (Updates Mondays)

The Perry Bible Fellowship - Do you want the experience of reading the Sunday Comix on acid, only without the drugs? Here you go. There is some funny, funny stuff here (both ha-ha and odd). (Updates Wednesdays, I think)

Have a good one.

Friday, March 09, 2007

What I Got - 3.7.07

A couple quick points before the (re)views:

  • The horror, the horror....Why is it, now that I'm entering year two of the life of my second child that I am still amazed at the disgusting things that can issue forth from their bowels? I don't want to gross you out, but I think I saw a boot in there.
  • The death of Capatain America: like most of the western world, I didn't get a copy. I'm not sure if I'll pick up one next time I'm in the shop. It depends upon what my load is like when they finally hit the stands. As for the actual story itself. From what I can peice together, it was good. I trust Brubaker quite a bit and his handling of Cap has always been good. I'm getting the trade, no doubt about it. also, I think I'm going to pick up a Kirby Cap trade over the weekend. Any recommendations?
  • Last word on Cap, check this out:

Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil #2

More excellence from Jeff Smith. Billy Batson/Captain Marvel goes to the Circus. Once there, he teams up with a tiger and issues a beatdown to some Alligators that have a taste for children. This book practically screams classic at every turn. I can't wait to this in hardcover and share it with my kids.

It's not just that it's fun and simple (in a good way) that makes it great for kids. It's also got that strong undercurrent of sadness that all great children's literature has. It's like when you look at the Harry Potter books and realize how horrible everything is in those stories. It's the same way for Billy and his sister Mary. They've rarely experienced kindness, but now an old wizard and a kindly talking tiger (and Captain Marvel too) have come to help them. You just want to hug these kids. If you are not reading this book, you are a bad person.

52: Week 44

So this pretty much follows up on last week. Black Adam and Isis find out about Osiris's fate and battle the Four Horsemen. Good for what it is, but I would've liked to see more movement in the rest of the stories. ***spoilers*** I'm sure this is because they wanted to give Isis's death a proper page-count, but after it was over I still wanted to know more about Ralph's last wish, or what Buddy was up to.

We did get Montoya officially being given the mantle of the Question. I really want to see her in her own book again. I really do hope there's a new Question book spun out of all of this. DC really needs a street-level crime book (and I REALLY miss Gotham Central).

Criminal #5

Speaking of Gotham Central and Ed Brubaker, he's got another book out today. Criminal has been a damn fine series, and this issue brings to a close the first arc. Leo has finally had the last straw and reveals what he's really been afraid of the whole time. I had Ennio Morricone's score for the Untouchables going through my head the whole time I read this issue. I really hope Marvel puts some effort into getting the word out to the crime fiction fans. This would have a lot of appeal to fans or Donald Westlake's work and the like.

There's also been some great backmatter in these books. This one has a round table discussion of the finer points of 60's and 70's noir films. Matt Fraction, Patton Oswalt and Warren Ellis all check in, along with some other guests. Some great films are talked about and I hit my Netflix queue as soon as I got home to add some.

Detective Comics #829

Since it was a light week (no trades), I picked up the latest issue of Detective. Since Dini started writing it, I've picked up some random issues, but I'm mostly waiting for trade on this one. Stuart Moore is putting in a guest two-parter starting this issue and it's got some good stuff. Bruce is mediating a diplomatic crisis at Wayne Tower when the building is hit by a terrorist bomber. Fortunately, Robin is in the building to help out. It's a pretty standard Bruce is stuck in a crowd so he can't change into Batman situation, but it's done perfectly. I suppose I'll have to pick up the next issue when it comes out-luckily in only two weeks.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Your kid is a moron.

You know, before I dress my boys up as Spider-man and chuck them out of a window, I'll at least have a radioactive spider bite them first. Man, parents need to think.

More at Blog @ Newsarama.


Hey there, my good friend Bill recently posted a guest blog entry from yours truly on his blog. He's the music geek to my comic geek in our own personal Eltingville Club. Check it out if you get a chance (and check out the rest of his recommendations too, he's got some great stuff on there).

Saturday, March 03, 2007

What I Got - 2.28.07 Part Two: The Trades

Jack of Fables Vol. 1

I like Fables quite a bit, but I never really expected a spin-off. The new title focuses on Jack (of beanstalk and & Jill fame), who's been banished from the rest of the cast following his Hollywood adventure(which is helpfully re-capped in the first issue). This series is a lot of fun since it's not as dire as the parent title and Jack is a great protagonist, especially due to his narration, which doesn't have much to do with the truth. Good stuff, if you've been holding off of the main title, this is a good place to start, and if you like the parent, well, you're going to buy this too, aren't you?

Quick note to Vertigo: Hey Vertigo, what's up with the price on this trade? $15 for five issues? Usually the first volume of new titles is $10,, but not this time. Don't go get all Marvel-price-gougy on me here. If not for your pricing strategy on these things, you would've never gotten me hooked on DMZ. So I'll let you off with a warning this time, but keep your nose clean and your trades cheap from here on out, m'kay?

Marvel Adventures: The Avengers Vol. 2

Do you prefer when Iron Man's not an asshole? Do you like it when super-heroes fight (gasp) super-villains? Well, have I got a Marvel comic for you! Just step right down and pick up both volumes of Marvel Adventures: The Avengers.

I loved the first digest collection of this series, and the second, while not quite as good, is still the best thing with an Avengers label on it that has come out in some time. When this series was solicited initially, I was a little doubtful. It had the "all-ages" banner and it shoe-horned both Storm and Wolverine onto the team (also, it ret-conned the wasp into the teenage Giant-Girl). But, refreshingly, it's very good. The only thing that makes this stand out as all ages is the lack of rape, murder and emo navel-gazing. There's still some great action and some fun ideas thrown around. Essentially this is a fun super-hero fight comic. There's nothing wrong (and everything right) with that.

I still have one more to add inhere later, but I still have to finish reading it. Two great trades that I heartily recommend you picking up RIGHT NOW!

Friday, March 02, 2007

More Starman? Who Do I Have to Kill?

From DC's Panel at WonderCon:

"James Robinson does have a story in mind for more Jack Knight stories, and the door is open, Didio said, now, scheduled (sic) just need to match up."

Dude, if you rolled awesome up into a ball and smoked it, it couldn't taste sweeter than new (Jack Knight) Starman.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

What I Got - 2.28.07

So here's what I got:

X-Factor #16

So this series is humming along nicely. It feels good that the story is just rolling along, not obviously stretching things out for trade.

Jamie continues collecting his stray doubles, finding one that has a whole interesting set of problems with him. we also catch up on what 's up with Monet & Siren continue their Paris adventure to unlawful ends, picking up an (apparent) new member of the team (and perhaps a new villain).

Good stuff all around, easily this is the best Marvel continuing series going on right now. Why is that? No Civil War bullshit. Yay!

Dr. Strange: Oath #5

Now onto the best mini-series coming from Marvel. This is the best I've ever read from Dr. Strange. It only took 20 years of reading comics to get to it. This makes me even more pissed that our next look at the Dr. will be in New Avengers. Ug. If Marvel editorial had a clue they'd yank Vaughn off of Ult. X-men and throw him on a Dr. Strange on-going. But, then again, we know what the answer to that question is.

Oh well, this is one where I can't wait for the trade.

52: Week 43

Good stuff, I can't believe I didn't see who the fourth horseman was from a mile away. Just goes to show that there's a lot of good planning behind this. It's like they actually figured out where the story was going BEFORE THEY WROTE IT (sorry, I paged through Frontline #11 at the shop and my eyes are still bleeding). My only real disappointment was that Animal Man got a pretty short shrift this issue, but hey, at least he's alive. Haven't gotten to the Plastic Man origin yet. I'll update later tomorrow or Saturday.

That's all I got in the way of singles this week, I picked up a few trades, so I'll get to those over the weekend too.

Have a good one!