Saturday, October 26, 2002  

My New Theory of Comic Books

I thought that I really enjoyed last week's Smallville episode, but after reading some on-line reviews, I "noticed" a bunch of inconsistencies in the plot and designs, and suddenly realized I thought less of it than I had before.

With that revelation in mind, I started thinking about the last few years of comic book fandom, and came up with a theory, just a theory mind you, about why so many people on-line seem to hate comics, despite posting in comic book forums.

Could it be that the ability to read other people's opinions about the books we read so soon after we read them affects our ultimate enjoyment of the books?

Back in the good ol' days, a person had to wait weeks or months before seeing another opinion about the story they just read. Most readers never noticed the inconsistencies so rampant in the books. Their opinions had time to fully form and solidify before they were challenged.

Nowadays, you need only read the book then go on-line to read an opinion. Heck, you don't even have to wait until you've read it! And while many reviewers emphasize the good points of a book, it is much easier to point out the flaws.

So, what do you think? Are we, the on-line community, enjoying our books less because of the reviews we read of them?

posted by Tegan | 8:25 AM

Friday, October 25, 2002  

Not A Good Day

Richard Harris has died.
More info here.

posted by Tegan | 4:27 PM

Hmmm... Books

It's been awhile since I could afford to buy any books, but I've remained a member of the Science Fiction Book Club anyway, in the hopes that my financial situation might someday change. In the latest mailing, there were two books that caught my eye.

A Gift of Dragons by Anne McCaffrey collects some of the short stories about Pern that she's written over the years. I became a Pern fan in middle school, and always wanted a fire lizard. My only fear was that it would probably eat neighborhood cats. Anyway, that's a book I wouldn't mind picking up. I've got, in some form or another, all reprinted stories, but it also includes a new Pern story, and I'm a sucker for that sort of thing.

The other book is Harry Turtledove's Ruled Britannia about the Spanish conquering England. I consider Turtledove to be the master of alternate history fiction, and this one looks to be good. I only wish I could afford it.

posted by Tegan | 8:37 AM

Thursday, October 24, 2002  

Rapid Previews For Jan 2003

First off, I've gotta say it was really nice of DC to cancel two issues of Wonder Woman that I really didn't want to buy. Sure, they are resoliciting them in this Previews, but that doesn't mean I have to re-order them. Bye-bye Wonder Woman!

DC is giving me three Elseworlds in January, after a small drought. Batman: The Golden Streets of Gotham is apparently set in the first decade of the 1900s, otherwise I don't know anything about it. Superman: Last Stand on Krypton is a sequel to Last Son of Earth, so it's worth grabbing IMHO. And of course, how can I resist Generations III? In for a month, in for a year, but I'll buy it.

Other DC books include three Aquaman items. Aquaman #2 is a given for me. The Aquaman Archive looks cool and is going to include more stuff than I had hoped. And there's an Aquaman and Black Manta Super Friends Action Figure Set.

Sticking with DC, since that's what hubby (Eric) and I buy most of, we've got Gotham Adventures, Birds of Prey, Supergirl, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Hawkman (do we really need to keep getting this?), JLA, JSA, Justice League Adventures, Spectre, Titans, and Young Justice.

Of special note is the 10 cent Superman Adventure, which we are getting because of the price. Also, the JLA/Spectre mini looks like it has Aquaman in it, though that could be just a misleading cover, but we'll get it in any case. Power Company is newly installed on our pull list, and highly recommended. In addition to the Aquaman and Black Manta action figure set I'm getting, Eric might get the Green Lantern and Sinestro set.

Non DC stuff isn't as numerous, but there are still a few.

I'd like to drop Marvel completely because of their anti-reader policies, but at the moment we are still getting Amazing Spider-Man and Avengers, and I really wanted to see how Truth plays out, so we have that on order. If I hadn't been zoning completely, perhaps I would have jumped on Captain Marvel with the new #1, but I've missed my chance to buy it easily so I think I'll pass.

From Dark Horse, the only thing we're getting this month is Usagi Yojimbo. This book is so consistently good that it's a no-brainer. It stays on the list no matter what.

The only Image title we are getting is Powers. I'm not even mildly interested in the new super-hero books.

Two regular CrossGen books have made our pull list. Ruse is just cool. I like having a detective comic book, my only complaint is that I wish they would do some more detective stories. And I like Way of the Rat so far, although last issue was a bit of a disappointment because it was all fight and no plot.

On the "maybe we'll get it" list is Crossovers #1, which I keep hearing good things about. This book is not set in the Crossgen universe. I guess we'll decide once we actually get Previews Mag.

Another fantastic book being solicited this month is Girl Genius #9. Any fan of humor books that isn't getting this title is really missing out. To make it easier for people to get into this book, the whole of issue #1 is available on the Studio Foglio Website. At the very least, go check it out.

Futurama Comics keeps dropping off the list, then popping back on again. I'm not at all interested in it, but hubby likes it, so hubby gets it.

We recently tried out Snapdragons and enjoyed it, so we'll pre-order issue #3.

And lastly in the rapid preview, Cardcaptor Sakura... the next graphic novel is being solicited, so we'll add it to the collection.

So, when we get Previews Magazine itself we'll edit the order and I'll post another note about it when we know what we are getting for sure.

posted by Tegan | 9:42 PM

Taking the Blog Out for a Walk

A strange thing happened to me at work today. First, a pounding headache focused just over my left eye. Then, a good half-hour later, a *snap* noise inside my head and sudden dizziness, as well as pain in my left ear. As the headache subsided, apparently from the painkiller I hastily swallowed as it started, the ear pain grew. Then the pain in the ear was gone, but I was very dizzy. Any sudden move threw me into waves of vertigo.

Luckily, I was able to do a sit-down job and keep my head still for a couple of hours.

Driving home was an adventure I'd just as soon never repeat. Indeed, I think I may have been a little too daring to try driving in that state. As soon as I got home, the vertigo hit full force and I felt horrible for a good two hours after. I still feel sick, but not as sick, now.

Besides the sudden sickness (which will hopefully leave just as quickly) I've had an ok day so far. The seventh issue of The Aquaman Chronicles came today, and is an interesting mix of crossover information. John always does a fantastic job with this fanzine and I love being able to read it, not to mention contribute to it.

A comic I didn't mention in my Rapid Reviews was a preview that was put in my box by my thoughtful retailer. The Witch and the Jackal is apparently a fantasy adventure comic. I wish I could say more than that, but eight pages isn't really enough to make a judgement on. There's a little more on the website I just linked to, but it's still not really enough. Perhaps if the art was truly fantastic instead of just pretty good. Perhaps if I knew a little more about the universe it's set in... I don't know. I'm hovering on this one, and might give it a try. It's Canadian, and the $2.65 US cover price is at least original.

I'll let you know if I do give it a shot.

Well, I'm going to try to go through the Diamond Comics Order Form and figure out which books I'm most likely to buy for January. Without the help of at least a Previews text file, it's a tough job, but it's also one of my bits of fun. I like manipulating words and numbers, and the files from Previews are good to work with. Yeah, I'm odd. Tell me something I don't know. Anyhow, I'll probably post a preliminary list of interesting looking books once I'm done, maybe as soon as tonight... maybe "Rapid Previews".

A week from Hallowe'en. I still think I could make a really good Ma Hunkel Red Tornado if I could find the pieces to make the costume...

posted by Tegan | 5:07 PM

Good Morning!

I've found the surefire way to wake myself up once the alarm rings and I've hit the snooze. If I can just reach the TV remote and turn on the morning news, I'll be awake in five minutes whether I like it or not.

This morning's news involved the DC Sniper (I like the nickname someone came up with: The DC Coward) and his connections to Washington State. Apparently he trained at Fort Lewis and lived in Tacoma. Forensic evidence was gathered from his old Tacoma home, including bullets embedded in trees on the property. Of course, it's still early in the story so the newsfolk may have gotten some facts wrong in their rush to tell the tale.

In any case, waking up is a self-defense mechanism. The sooner I'm awake, the sooner the news goes off and I can get back into my blissful fantasy world. Funny thing to say, I know, but how else to stay sane in such an insane world?

Ah well. I do pay attention to the news, but TV news is so... flashy. It tries too hard to sell the program, so it comes off, in my opinion, as extremely insensitive.

Ok, time to get going... lots to do before I get to work this morning (lots more to do once I get to work!). But first, some unfinished business:

Rapid Reviews Continued

Finished the comics last night before drifting off to sleep, so here's the story:

Green Arrow Secret Files #1: Yeah, seeing Scott in print really made the book for me, but it was also a pretty darn good book too. That last page is classic. The price is a downer, but this was definitely one of the best Secret Files DC has put out... 4 1/2 starfish.

Birds of Prey #48: What is with the artwork? I really don't like it. It doesn't fit the story well, and kept pushing me out of my suspension of disbelief. The writing was fine, but the art definitely ruined the tale for me. 2 starfish.

Supergirl #75: Ah, a fresh new start! The events of the last billion issues are quickly explained (for new readers, old readers already know what happened) and a new source of frustration for Linda is introduced. All-in-all, a good Peter David tale. If anything, this is a lot more straightforward than most of his books. 4 starfish.

Next week's tentative list: Lone Wolf and Cub, Usagi Yojimbo, Batman: Gotham Adventures, Gotham Girls, Titans, Avengers, and Ruse.

posted by Tegan | 7:55 AM

Wednesday, October 23, 2002  

Rapid Reviews - 23 Oct 2002

Smallville The Comic: Typical TV show tie-in. Pretty good main story. It's late enough that the season 2 revelations were all nothing new. Overall, decent. 3 starfish.

Wonder Woman #185: I'm very close to dropping this book. In fact, I think we probably won't be ordering any more. This issue was nothing special. Tied up the last bits of a long on-going storyline, but otherwise wasn't impressive. Art was good, story was good... I just don't have any interest in Wonder Woman. 2 starfish.

JLA #74: Finally an issue that ISN'T convoluted! Unfortunately, there is a little too much exposition. In fact, pretty much the entire plot so far is explained in a couple of pages... which would be ok if I hadn't already had it figured out, I guess. In any case, this doesn't really give away the ending... and I know Aquaman will be back soon. So, 3 starfish. (for my full review of the storyline, check out my JLA: The Obsidian Age review page.)

Green Arrow Secret Files #1: Haven't finished it yet, but just seeing my buddy Scott McCullar's name in print makes my day. GO SCOTT! I've read about half the book so far, and enjoyed it, but the starfish will wait until I finish it.

Haven't read yet: Birds of Prey #48 and Supergirl #75.

Birds of Prey TV Show: Not bad. Not bad at all. Hubby figured out how to defeat the bad guy before I did. I'm kind of tired of the "I'm a tough girl, what're ya gonna do about it" attitude that Huntress exudes, but that's really my only nit with the show so far. 3 starfish.

Smallville TV Show: Already gave my thoughts on this one, just decided to make it official. Nice creepy beginning, but the story didn't rely on the mystery of who was admiring Lana, so it didn't seem as cliche. 4 starfish.

posted by Tegan | 10:15 PM

Comment (1)

Hee hee hee. My first inclusion in my lovely wife's blog. I'm not sure when or how I figured out how they were going to beat the badguy on Birds of Prey, but I just knew that if they did it, it would be a very cool way to do it -- and poetic justice to boot.

And if there are any guys out there who haven't started watching BoP, I highly recommend it, as all three lead actresses are hotties! (But don't tell Tegan I said that, she tends to get jealous over my mild crushes on inaccessible women on television...)

Hubby | Email | Homepage | 10.24.02 - 1:41 am


Random Nothings

So I got home today, checked my mail, and found a nice letter from Sea Fire Productions. I am going to a concert on October 26th by Heather Alexander, and the letter contains my ticket. I'm very much looking forward to it. Heather's music is quite good, and something I really enjoy. I'll definitely write a report after the concert.

Got my comics today. Almost everything came. I hung out at the comic shop and complained with the owner about Marvel's no overprint policy. I love my comic shop. It's like a safe haven. Good books, friendly people. The opportunity to look at the sneak preview pack if I want...

Anyway, got JLA. Haven't looked through it yet, but I plan to shortly. I need to write my review and get my website updated. Time for a modern review, instead of a Golden Age one.

Well, I'd better eat lunch and read JLA... can't eat, read, and type at the same time, so more later.

posted by Tegan | 4:06 PM

Blog Thoughts

I like BlogSpot. My own website with my on-line name and everything. Of course, I quickly found some problems with the interface.

Biggest problem is that my HTML template erases all my links when I go to edit it. Ooops! I wanted to be able to edit the look off-line, anyway, so I quickly figured out that saving the whole thing in a text file on my machine was a good idea. Then I had the power of changing the colors and adding more links without worrying about losing everything. Works great, now!


Ever get the feeling that you want to write a whole bunch of stuff, but not one thought will form well enough to get out coherently? That's my biggest problem with Blogging. I've got all these things to write, but when I sit in front of the keyboard, none of them want to form.

Ah well, better luck next time.

posted by Tegan | 7:47 AM

Tuesday, October 22, 2002  

Insomnia Part I

A dangerous hobby, this is.

I can't promise that any entries posted after 11 pm on the Pacific Coast will be rational. At the moment, I just want to type and know that I don't have to stay on topic.

I really like the cover art DC provided for Previews Mag with Aquaman on it. Fantastic image. I'm not so thrilled with the actual cover to Aquaman #1, nor with the cover to Aquaman #2. Hey, I wonder if I can post images hosted on my website here? Let's see...

Seems to have worked... That's the one I like, by the way.

Anyway, I wonder what it is about men bound in chains and octopus tentacles... *GRIN*

Watched Smallville tonight. As usual, enjoyed it. I'm finding it to be my big guilty pleasure of the week. I see so many critics of the show out there, but I really like it. The acting is good, the foreshadowing is silly but nice. And I care about these characters like I never cared about Superman before. I just hope Clark fesses up to Lana before the end of the season. And Chloe.

This episode was a "sun turns boy into Hulk-like creature" which is, as I recall, just the opposite of the original Hulk who feared nightfall.

Oh well. Comics ship tomorrow. Next installment of JLA: Obsidian Age. I hope it's good. I'd hate the lead-in to Aquaman to be a complete stinker. Although I've noticed that my opinion of the story so far doesn't seem to mesh with on-line critics, who are being rather brutal. Perhaps I'm just seeing it through green and orange tinted glasses, because I know what the story is leading up to?

Ok, I do have to work in the morning, and it is rather late even here. More in the morning, maybe.

posted by Tegan | 11:09 PM

Can't We Be Colorblind?

I guess I ought to write my first serious blog. I've got a few minutes while dinner is in the oven.

I'm afraid this really is quite serious.

About six months ago, a man was killed on a street very near to where my best friend used to live. That's my very tenuous tie to the whole mess. I know the neighborhood.

The short version is that Mel Miller, a white police officer, lives on a private road that he shares with a few neighbors. One of the neighbors noticed a parked truck at the entrance to the private road, partially blocking it and making it dangerous for the residents to try to leave as their visibility to the road was impaired. The neighbor also noticed that the people in the truck seemed to be drinking, so he called Mel, who was the "go to" guy in situations like that. Mel went out to ask them to leave, taking his gun with him, and after a short confrontation the driver of the truck, Robert Thomas Sr, was dead. Because Thomas was black, cries of racism immediately started.

Anyway, the whole thing boiled up into a massive controversy here in Seattle, leading to what I see as a split in our community that is clearly a sign of something more serious underneath.

Before I get into the details, here are some editorials about the whole thing: Seattle PI Opinion, Susan Paynter of the PI talks with Miller, and Susan Paynter of the PI talks with Thomas' lawyers.

I feel incredibly racist, because I've come down on the side of the off-duty policeman who shot and killed a man.

My reasoning is pretty simple. I find it a lot easier to believe a sober cop who in over 20 years on a police force had never once fired his gun at a person, over a convicted felon with a history of shooting people he disagreed with who happened to be both drunk and high at the time of the shooting, not to mention illegally parked and carrying a stolen gun.

From reading both viewpoints, it seems to me that it really boils down to who you believe pulled a gun first. For me to believe that Miller pulled his gun first, I have to ignore his sterling record as a police officer. But it's pretty easy to imagine Thomas pulling his gun, as he'd already done so twice in the past and been convicted of it.

Anyway, I'm still sorting out my thoughts and feelings on the whole mess. Perhaps new evidence will come to light, and my opinion will change.

I wrote to Susan Paynter, the columnist who wrote the two sides of the story. She wrote back to thank me for "getting it". Apparently she's been getting hate mail from people who don't understand that quoting someone doesn't mean you support them 100%. That fact alone makes me even more sick. We hate and hate, and ignore the other side of the story.

posted by Tegan | 8:13 PM

Introduction and Greetings

Hi there.

Way back when, when I first started my first webpage, I tried to do this. Thisthing that's now called "blog"ing. But I didn't really get what I wanted to do, so every entry was this huge essay that made no sense.

It's been a few years. About seven, actually.

So now I'm jumping on the blogging bandwagon because this is something I meant to do a long time ago. The great thing about this is that nobody has to read my notes. Nobody has to care. I'm venting my steam into the pixels of the 'net and it doesn't matter if I never get a response.

Well, I suppose it matters a little. Everyone wants to be validated, even if the person responding to them disagrees.

Anyway. This is my "blow off steam" page. I've added a comment feature simply because a blog needs one. If you need to comment, please do. Otherwise I'm just going to spit out my nothings at the world in general.

So, let's go!

posted by Tegan | 7:37 PM
10/22/2002 - 10/26/2002
10/27/2002 - 11/02/2002