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Showing posts from February, 2010

Blog Post of the Week

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I had hoped to have a review of the new “Justice League” DVD for you today, but maintenance has been in and out of my apartment all day trying to fix my heat (still broken at this writing) so I haven’t been able to watch it yet. Instead, I direct you to a blog post from “Pearls Before Swine” cartoonist Stephan Pastis about those grocery checkout dividers that made me laugh because they annoy me too.

Well-endowed Sci-Fi . . . . . . . . . .

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SCI-FI & FANTASY ILLUSTRATED #1  (ZENOSCOPE ENTERTAINMENT, released February, 2010)  Mature Audiences Only.  Features one complete story, 48 pages from cover to cover.  $4.99 price.          I am always on the look-out for quality horror and science-fiction comics.  When I find a new title worth exploring I’ll review it here.  Sometimes I’ll even focus on some titles that miss the mark for me, yet bear enough promise that I still want to point them out to others and let them choose for themselves.   For me, these comics provide a nice break from the super-hero and crime titles  that account for a huge chunk of my regular comics reading habits.  I like the variety.  I also recognize that if these books don’t get enough support they won’t become available on a regular basis or fade out before they can realize their potential.   Long-time comics readers need our choices.           Zenoscope Entertainment built its reputation on mature re-telling of traditional fairy tales, adding a l…

Comics I Read: Catching Up #19

Guardians of the Galaxy 19-23: I’m not sure how I wound up so far behind on this series, because it is actually one of my favorite Marvel titles. Abnett and Lanning are striking the perfect balance between humor and tragedy (the end of #19 is particularly brutal.) They’re so good at being surprising without seeming random that I’m reluctant to be too specific about the plot – I’d rather that you read it. My only criticism is that the book now seems to have two artists alternating issues and one of them has a more “cartoony” style than the other, which undercuts the serious moments a little bit.Green Arrow/Black Canary 24-29: I also have been enjoying Andrew Kriesberg’s run on this book, but I think I let these issues sit around because his “Cupid” villain is a little too much “Harley Quinn” for my taste and because I felt the breakup (temporary or not) was forced. The good news is that it wasn’t actually a breakup, but the bad news is that it leads to five issues of Cupid, a fake Gree…

Books I Read: Podcast Edition

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When we got our second two feet of snow last week, I couldn’t get to work because my office parking lot hadn’t been plowed and I worked from home for the day. I’m able to do everything from home that I can do from my office, except take support calls from our Skype account, because I didn’t have a microphone at home. So I bought a Logitech USB Desktop Microphone for the next work-at-home occasion and since I have a radiobackground, I thought it might be fun to test my new hardware by doing some book reviews as a podcast. I have mixed feelings about podcasts – though there are several (Car Talk, Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me, Radiolab, Word Balloon, Radio Free Burrito, Stack Overflow) that I follow regularly – because I am a very fast reader, but of course I can only listen as fast as everyone else. It is faster to record than to write, however, so I gave it a try. I didn’t do any editing, so you get to listen to all my “um”s and awkward pauses, but I think it came out OK. I don’t kno…

Comics I Read: Catching Up #18

There are some spoilers below, because it’s impossible to talk about current Marvels without giving some surprises away, so beware if you’re not up to date.Dark Avengers 12-14: This seems to be the beginning of Bendis’ endgame for The Sentry (and continuing in “Siege”, which I’ll talk about in a minute). He goes into some of the nature of Sentry’s powers and sets him on a path that may piss some people off, but I like the idea of the Sentry’s story having a beginning, middle and end so I’m interested so far. In #14, Bendis shows Victoria Hand to be a character of much greater wit (“Take her to her room, please. After she’s done spasming.”) and conviction than has been shown so far, so much so that I hope she’s still around after Osborn gets defeated.Captain America Reborn 5-6, Who Will Wield the Shield?: The end of “Reborn” is a little anticlimactic, since there’s never any doubt who will win and the question of who will carry on as Cap is left for the special. Still, the art is amazi…

KERMIT THE KING

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MUPPET KING ARTHUR #1 of 4  (Boom Kids, February 10, 2010)  Writers: Paul Benjamin and Patrick Storck;  Artist: Dave AlvarezThere are numerous versions of King Arthur’s story available in many different formats.  That begs the question = why do we need yet another?   Answer:  because it’s very funny and clever and worth your time.  I don’t regret a minute I spent reading this book.  I wish I could read it to a young niece or nephew right now so I could enjoy it again and also observe their delight.   Just as the Muppet television show was a classic that appealed to all ages, MUPPET KING ARTHUR also has something for everyone.          The Muppets occupy a special place in the hearts and minds of anyone (of any age) who has ever been exposed to their unique and witty way of story-telling and entertaining.  This memory was reinforced during a recent and very short trip through the Hollywood Land section of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  I took some time to catch the Muppets In …

ANNIHILATION 1: The Space Mopes

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There’s a lot to like here - -  but what I think I’m enjoying most is that there appears to be an actual finality to events that occur in this series  - - not imaginary but for keeps, for real.  After reading a few series that ended up without much really changing I can appreciate a storyline where death is much more final.  As it appears to be here. . . . . . . . . . . . .NOTE: There are going to be spoilers here, which I’m not going to try too hard to avoid since this is very far from being considered a new book.  If you still haven’t read this series and plan to, then don’t bother reading this if you want to have a chance to be surprised . . . . .NOVA  Annihilation mini-series #1 – 4(Marvel 2006)  by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning writers with Kev Walker penciler  (covers by Gabriele Dell ’Otto)ISSUE #1:  I took a liking to Kev Walker’s art immediately.  I think his style suits this book and is fun to follow.  I really like the way he draws snow (or maybe that’s fall out).        …

Comics I Read: Catching Up #17

I don’t seem to be getting caught up, do I? I actually did get a lot of stuff read since my last entry, so let’s try to get caught up with the writing…The Question 37: Forget what I said about my favorite of the “resurrected” books before – if you only buy one of them, it should be this one. Greg Rucka and Denny O’Neill deliver a moving goodbye to the Vic Sage version of the character that fits perfectly at the end of his original series. (In fact, those are being reprinted in trades now, so I hope they include this issue in the last volume like they’re including some recent issues in the fifth Starman hardcover.) The characterizations of Montoya, Tot and Lady Shiva are spot on, and Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkeiwicz convey the emotions perfectly (even with most of the pages taking place in a rainstorm!) Really, a must have for fans of the original series or “52” and I think even folks unfamiliar with the characters will enjoy it.Suicide Squad 67: And this book is a close second. My onl…

ZOMBIES DU JOUR

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Apparently, zombies remain a vital part of our current popular culture and continue to draw readers as well as the obligatory flies.  IDW, one of the current comics publishers to feature a healthy assortment of horror and dark fantasy works, serves up two more rotting titles in February.  let’s have a sniff peek at them . . . . . . . . . .WE WILL BURY YOU #1 ( IDW, cover date February 2010) written by Brea and Zane Austin Grant with art by Kyle Strahm (cover by Ben Templesmith)          If you’re only going to check out one of these titles, then I recommend you pick this one - - - it just seems more promising to me.  WE WILL BURY YOU is scheduled for a four issue run.          Brea and Zane Grant are associated with the Heroes” television series, although that shouldn’t matter to you.  She is an actress on the series.  He is her less famous brother.  Together they’ve cooked up an interesting story here and peppered it with a lot of flavor.  The art by Kyle Strahm reminds me…