Saturday, December 07, 2002  

Golden Days

Re-reading some old Aquaman stories, I think I've found the all-time winner for funniest panel of an Aquaman story. Maybe. I thought I'd share it with my loyal readers, and also with anyone who happens to pop in and read for no apparent reason. This is from an old story illustrated by John Daly, who was the third regular Aquaman artist.

I'm particularly fond of the guy to Aquaman's right (our left) whose apparently having a similar reaction to the heroine of the film they are watching.

You could also take this as proof that Aquaman didn't have a one-hour limit in the Golden Age, as he watches a film with no problem, and also takes a cross-country trip on a train, sleeping in a normal sleeper car (no special tank or anything).

I was given the page from Maxim magazine that features Aquaman on trial for being the lamest superhero. It's just the typical nonsense. Nothing original in this one. At least the artwork is pretty good, and I didn't have to buy the magazine (which, given this sample, is definitely NOT something I'd enjoy) to see it. Sometime I'd like to see a funny parody of Aquaman, one that doesn't trot out the tired old "lamest Super Friend" schtick.

Just as I finished this bit of the blog, I found a link to a scan of the parody. If you've got a fast modem, judge for yourself. The website it's on is actually fairly perturbing (is that even a word?). Not for the weak of heart.

If you read Girl Genius you must go immediately to the Girl Genius site and visit the Jägermonster Barracks. They really like their hats...

posted by Tegan | 8:06 PM


I'm bothered by the report of the local gun shop that apparently gave or sold a gun to the DC Sniper, illegally. The shop had, in the past, been investigated for illegal dealings. It took a pile of corpses for the weight of the law to come down on them, though. We've got plenty of gun laws in the country. If they were ever enforced, things might get better. I don't have tons of faith in that, but if this shop had been punished properly after it's first few problems, instead of just getting warnings, several people in the DC area might be alive today.

There's a big article about a dissident "Mormon" scholar who is probably about to be excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It goes on and on about how he has "proved" the Book of Mormon wrong, all the while mostly ignoring his faulty premises. I was raised in that church, and even I can see that the guy hasn't made his case. The reason he's about to be excommunicated is because, as he says in the article, he resigned from the church already! Six years ago, in fact. And then he continued to speak against the church with "proof" that was not only hardly conclusive, it was hardly significant. Duh. Any church would kick him out after that. I only wonder why it took them six years.

What really gets to me, though, is that the article itself gets bunches of facts wrong. The whole section on "racist" passages in the Book of Mormon come from misreading the thing. Believe me, I've read it. There are some disturbing bits, but that sort of racism isn't in there. As a teenager I had a crush on "native American guys" because of the Book of Mormon. Because it presented them as way more than just savages, unlike most other reading material of the time.

If a person like me, who hasn't gone to church regularly in about a decade, can see that this scholar is barking up the wrong tree, how on earth did he get any support at all from people who are supposedly active members of that church? Are people really that stupid? Have none of them actually read what they profess to believe in? How utterly pathetic of them.

And why on earth is this news fit for the front pages of the local section of a newspaper?

A better article in today's Times is about books to get kids for Christmas. Most of these I'd never heard of, but they all sound interesting. Now I want some of them... library, here I come! Er, after work, that is...

posted by Tegan | 9:32 AM

Friday, December 06, 2002  

Five Days....

Five more days to Aquaman #1. Yes, I've read it. But I'm still excited. It's the first issue of hopefully a great many more. I want this Aquaman series to finally top #100.

Saw another episode of SpongeBob Squarepants featuring Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. This was the fourth short, and had SpongeBob accidently stealing Mermaid Man's utility belt (as well as a funny face-off between Squidward and Barnacle Boy).

A funny episode that focused much less on the super-heroes than on SpongeBob himself. 3 starfish.

I wrote to Rick Veitch with my review of Aquaman #1, and got a nice response. The guy is just nice. If for no other reason than because he politely answers his fan mail, people should buy Aquaman #1 and give the book a try.

Ok, got a long day at work ahead of me tomorrow. Retail at Christmas... I am nuts, aren't I?

posted by Tegan | 8:59 PM


My manager at work pointed out the other morning that I'm a classic introvert. What that means for me, working in retail, is that I run out of energy faster than my non-introverted co-workers. People like me apparently prefer to be alone to recharge, while most of the population gets more energy from being around people.

So, effectively, it means that while I love my job it wears me out very quickly.

It does explain a few things. While I enjoy parties, I cannot stay around groups of more than a handful of people for very long without seeking a private room to hide in. I enjoy conventions, but I literally shift myself into another personality when I'm at them, and I do get worn out faster than hubby-Eric.

I remember going through all those "career choice" tests when I got into college, trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. One in particular sticks in my memory. It told me I should become a weather observer in Alaska. Gee, thanks. Just because I said I don't want to be around people doesn't mean I don't want to be around any people. Those tests were completely unhelpful: I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

posted by Tegan | 5:56 PM

Comments (1)

Hey, I'm an introvert, too, you know! Just not to as much of an extreme as you, I guess...

Hubby | Email | Homepage | 12.06.02 - 11:46 pm


Morning, All!

Congrats to Peter David on having another little girl! And a snowstorm baby, to boot!

I was just starting a pleasant day off yesterday, getting into full slob mode, when my boss called and asked if I could work. I went from slob to ready in half and hour, and ended up working a full day, coming home around 9:45 pm to fall fast asleep without getting back on the computer or anything. I half expect another call today, so I'm being slightly less of a slob at the moment.

Other than that, though, I just don't have anything to say. Maybe once I eat breakfast...

posted by Tegan | 11:06 AM

Thursday, December 05, 2002  

Rapid Reviews - 4 Dec 2002 - Part II

Justice League Adventures #14: Nice. Aquaman alone is enough to keep the Justice League busy. Definitely like a story like that. And it's also nice to see Batman as detective. That is one of my favorite aspects of the animated Batman: he's a detective, but he's not impossible to follow. 4 starfish.
I'm still trying to figure out what the weird "VERB" insert is, though. The website offered no clues. Interesting Aquaman, but why aren't his eyes blue?

JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice: Decent book, but there were too many jumps. Slight logic jumps in the story that broke up the flow. Usually they don't bother me in comic books, but for some reason they didn't work well in this one for me. 3 starfish.

Aquaman #1: Through my haze of joy at reading this early, I was still able to point out what might be flaws (I'll need to look more closely to be sure). Still, it's what I wanted and hoped for from this first issue. No rating until it comes out for real!

Next Week's Shipping List: Amelia Rules #8, Powers #26, PS238 #0, Hawkman #10, Avengers #61, and Colonia #8. I hope they all come out! Tuesday #2 was missing from this week's shipment, by the way.

posted by Tegan | 10:19 AM

Comments (4)

The more I hear about that JLA/JSA book, the happier I am that I passed on it. I just don't got the chedda for those big hardcover joints. Knowwhutumsayin?

If I did, I'd have Selina's Big Score and all the Spirit Archives...

And hey! We do have one book in common, Powers! I think you should take a flyer of Gotham Central, too, if you like that.

David J | Email | Homepage | 12.05.02 - 2:47 pm

uh...that's ON Gotham Central. Brain/fingers coordination problem.

David J | Email | Homepage | 12.05.02 - 2:48 pm

Hi Laura,

I just wanted to drop a note to say that I'm very jealous of your Aquaman statue ownership and that I really appreciate all the hard work you do on the Aquaman website. He's my favorite character too, and I'm starting to try and piece together exactly why that is? Anyway, happy holidays to you and your family.

Thanks again- Steve

Steve P | Email | 12.05.02 - 8:49 pm

The JLA/JSA hardcover was very nice... but it wasn't really worth the price. Originally, Eric and I decided to wait for the paperback, which would have been a good idea. We eventually got it with some sweat equity in the comic shop on Eric's part. Eric's comment after reading it and praising it was, "I'm glad we didn't pay cash for it."

I really wouldn't mind trying Gotham Central... I just can't justify adding any more books. Not right now.

Steve: I'm quite happy with the statue, he's just perfect. Thanks for the comments on the website. I don't really get much praise for it. As for loving Aquaman, it took years for me to finally figure it out, but I'm glad I found a reason. Thanks for posting!

Laura Gjovaag | Email | Homepage | 12.06.02 - 1:22 pm

Wednesday, December 04, 2002  

Rapid Reviews - 4 Dec 2002 - Part I

Classic Aquaman Statue: I already said my piece on this, but I'll summarize. This is the best Aquaman-related product to come down the line, ever. He's absolutely gorgeous. The pictures on the box itself don't even do justice to the real thing. His expression is perfect. I look at it from different angles and I see slightly different emotions. I have no nitpicks. This is exactly what I wanted and hoped for from this item. 5 starfish.

Spectre #24: I haven't really enjoyed this book much recently, and I didn't expect to enjoy this issue. But I was pleasantly surprised by the change of pace and the guest stars. The art, however, was pretty bad. It was readable: decent storytelling despite the nature of the book, but it just looked ugly. 2 1/2 starfish (would have been 3 1/2, but for the art).

Green Arrow #19: Hmmm... the Archer's Quest is continuing, and I like it. This one had a couple of very nice bits with other Justice League members (is it guest star week?). I'm still not used to Hester's blocky artwork, but there are very few spots in this issue where I found it annoying. So, overall, pretty good. 3 1/2 starfish.

Young Justice #52: Just when you thought it was safe to read the last page. Anyway, another issue to make me annoyed that this book is being cancelled. Three major plot threads, all of them handled well. 4 starfish.

Futurama #10: I had no intention of reading this, much less reviewing this. It just happened to be in the stack, so I started to flip through it before setting it aside, and before I knew it I'd read it. Not that it's particularly compelling, or anything, it's just cute and silly. 2 starfish.

Way of the Rat #8: We already knew that Boon was quite an idiot... now the story gets "deeper" and we get to see several plot threads being woven. This is a better issue than the last two, and I hope the level stays up on the next few issues. 3 1/2 starfish.

Still to go: Justice League Adventures #14 and JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice. Tomorrow. Not today. No more blogs today.

posted by Tegan | 7:53 PM

Oh Wow, What a Good Day!

It was a normal enough day at work. I accomplished the two big tasks I set out to do, despite also helping a lot of Christmas shoppers. My first retail Christmas is working up to a frenzy, but hasn't been bad so far, really. It helps that most of our product sells itself. It also helps that most of us are very enthusiastic about the stuff we sell, too. It's much easier to sell something you like.

Anyway, the real fun came after work, as I stopped at the comic book shop on the way home.

The first thing that greeted me was a huge box with a gorgeous Aquaman on it. Hubby-Eric worked long hours in the comic shop to pay for this, my Christmas gift from him! It's a "Hand-Painted Cold-Cast Porcelain Statue" of Classic (Silver Age) Aquaman, sculpted by Tim Bruckner, who did a fantastic job. Carol (the clerk) and I opened the box to look at the statue, and both of us were very impressed. He's got a serious, slightly stern, look on his face... and a pleasant gleam in his eyes that makes him look like he might break out into a grin at any moment. The orange-scaled shirt has a nice mix of golden scales. Mine is numbered 0308 of 1200. And hubby-Eric will be getting muchas smooches for this one!

I'll just note here that this counts as the second really good Aquaman present hubby-Eric has gotten me for Christmas. The first was a complete surprise when I opened it: an original watercolor by Ramona Fradon (1997). Hmmm, every five years, huh? Wonder what he'll get me in 2007...

After gawping at the statue, I checked off my regular books for the week. Only one was missing, but everything else came in as expected. Then came the moment of truth... the moment I had been waiting for all day... I asked to check the DC Sneak Peek package.

And Carol said, "Nope! But I will." She and Paige (the shop owner) cruelly and slowly flipped through the books, looking for that one title. After looking at every book, they looked up and me and shook their heads sadly. "Sorry, Laura, it didn't come." I felt the excitement drain out of me. I felt mildly disappointed (not too disappointed, since I knew I would only have to wait a week). I sighed and started to accept the reality of it when Carol flipped back through the stack, showed a book to Paige, who nodded as they both grinned... and then they set the book in front of me: Aquaman #1.

Suddenly, today is Aquaman day. Not just the statue and the sneak peek, but also Justice League Adventures #14 guest-starring Aquaman.

Now, I haven't finished my reading for the day, and so I'll be posting the Rapid Reviews later on tonight. I won't post any spoilers whatsoever for Aquaman #1, though I might give some general impressions (which is actually what I'm usually trying to do with the Rapid Reviews anyway).

Just be warned: I'm going into today's comics reading in a very good mood!

posted by Tegan | 5:28 PM

More Moodiness...

Naturally, once I started putting together my Christmas CD, I found last year's version (which never got quite done) and a whole bunch of songs I'd already gotten ready. It took some doing, but I finally got the list down to something that will put me in a holiday mood without driving me nuts. For a week or so of driving to and from work, that is. After that I may need a different CD.

While looking for Christmas music, I started to run across math-related songs by Tom Lehrer. Now I've got a serious hankerin' to do a Math Music album for my boss (who is a math enthusiast). Only problem is, three Tom Lehrer songs do not an album make. I could throw in some Schoolhouse Rock, but that only goes so far in making it fun... so maybe it won't happen after all. But it's amusing to think about. Anyone know of any good math-related songs that aren't Tom Lehrer or Schoolhouse Rock?

A couple of recent news items have really gotten on my nerves. I'll take them one at a time.

First is the young man who decided he was an atheist, but wanted to stay in the Boy Scouts of America. There was a big fuss about the Boy Scouts, with people ranting and raving about how unfair and prejudiced they are. The truth is, they are what they have always been: A Christian organization. Once the young man decided he was no longer Christian, he should have simply left the Boy Scouts. By fighting to stay part of a group he no longer agreed with, he compromised his own morals and became, essentially, a liar. The Boy Scouts, on the other hand, stayed true to their beliefs. You may completely disagree with their beliefs, but they have never forced anyone to join. They have their rules, and if you want to be a part of the scouts, you follow those rules. You may say that they are state-sanctioned, or some such nonsense, but they will probably go on even if all non-religious support is taken from them (and, to be honest, I don't think any state or local government should be supporting them anyway). People trying to force the Boy Scouts to become something they aren't annoy me. If you feel that strongly about it, support another organization (and there are many out there) that has rules you agree with.

The second news item involves a police officer's wife, a cell phone, and a deadly crash. It's all over the news up here, and it happened only a few miles from my home. A woman, who happens to be the wife of a police officer, was allegedly chatting on her cell phone while racing along on the highway in her SUV when she crashed into a broken-down car, killing the family of four inside the car (actually, she killed the mother and the two young girls that night, the father didn't die of his injuries until almost three weeks later). She received a $490 ticket.

She was charged with negligent-driving for "speeding, talking on her cellphone and possibly tailgating"... but according to prosecutors: "there was no evidence of recklessness or disregard for the safety of others". HELLO. Speeding while tailgating alone should be considered recklessness, add in talking on the cellphone and you've got a criminal disregard for the safety of others. What will it take for people to understand this? If you refuse to pay attention while driving and kill someone, you should be held completely accountable for their deaths!

Here's the original news article about the crash, and a very sad follow-up, along with the news that caused all the fuss.

To be honest, I feel very sorry for the woman. She's going to have to live with this all her life. But I don't think a small fine is an appropriate punishment. She should, at the very least, spend some time in jail. She should also have her drivers license taken away until she has taken a class on "paying attention while driving". And she should probably do some community service, as well.

Well, is that a depressing enough morning for you? I'll be happier when I get home tonight, since I'll have some comics to read. I'll be posting more then...

posted by Tegan | 8:49 AM

Tuesday, December 03, 2002  

Nothing to Say

However, having nothing to say has never stopped me in the past.

First, a somber note. If you read the comments attached to my last post, you'll know that Jim Beattie, the owner of Rain City Collectibles in Woodinville, was killed on the 30th in a car accident. His wife and 2 young girls will have a tough Christmas this year. If you are religious, please send a prayer their way. He will be missed.

Here's a surprise: Cellphone usage tied to deadlier roadways. This was in yesterday's Seattle Times. I also saw it on the TV news as I woke up. The thing is, it isn't really the cell phone use as much as it is an assumption on the part of many drivers that they don't need their full attention while driving. I suspect that most people cannot safely drive while using a cell phone, but they also can't safely drive while putting on make-up, shaving, or reading the newspaper... all stuff I frequently saw when I commuted during rush hour. Even now, with my commute during off-hours, I still see behavior that constantly makes me wish there was a police car around. Or makes me wish that I could get on my cell phone and call the police... d'oh!

There was an article in the Times today about a shortage of brides in India. I was reading it, thinking it was kind of silly, until the article got into the reason for the shortage. It seems that many Indian couples use ultrasound gender tests to keep up with a cultural desire for males. In other words, they are killing their daughters before they are born, so they can have sons instead.

One particular paragraph hit me hard: As noted in a recent UNICEF study, South Asia "is the only region that defies the global biological norm ... so that 74 million females are 'simply missing.' " As many as 50 million of the "missing" females are from India.

I've always been anti-abortion, but pro-choice. I think abortion is a form of murder, but legislation to stop it only made things much worse for a time. It didn't stop the killing. Education is the way to stop abortion... but how do you change an entire culture so they won't kill their little girls?

I don't have the answer. But I can cry for the 50 million dead Indian girls.

Wow, I'm really a downer today, aren't I?

In the shop today I saw a baby in a stroller, sleeping peacefully. Every once in awhile while I watched him from across the room, the corner of his mouth would quirk upwards in a smile. I envied him for the happy dreams he must have been having, but he also made me smile. It was good to see someone having a good time, even if it was in a dream!

I must say, I'm not in nearly as bad a mood as I'm making myself out to be. Tomorrow the new comics come out to the comic shop, and if I'm really lucky, I might get my hands on one particular preview comic from DC's preview package. If I'm lucky, and it comes. I'm crossing my fingers. Even if it doesn't come, I've got seven comics coming tomorrow to read! A normal week is 3-4, a slow week is 2 or less, and a good week is 5 or more. We've had a couple of good weeks in a row lately.

I've been compiling a collection of good Christmas songs for a CD to play in my car on the way to work. My biggest problem is that I can't find a version of "O Holy Night" that I like. I love the song, it's by far my favorite Christmas song, but every version I've heard recently seems... overdone. The best version I ever heard was during a church service. The singer had only a piano to accompany her, and the piano arrangement was sparse, letting the singer use her voice to emphasize the music. So I've been looking for some kind of version to get and add to my collection that fits my criteria. If you know of any, please let me know.

Some of my choices so far, though, are quite satisfactory. I've got Bon Jovi doing "Please Come Home For Christmas", Eartha Kitt singing "Santa Baby", Elvis Presley's "Blue Christmas", Meg Davis' "Other People's Children", Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song", Burl Ives' "A Holly Jolly Christmas", Brenda Lee singing "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", and the Eurythmics version of "Winter Wonderland".

I think I might include Dora Bryan's "All I Want For Christmas Is A Beatle". I also might grab something from the Star Wars Christmas Album, it's between "What Can You Get A Wookie For Christmas (When He Already Has A Comb)" and "Merry, Merry Christmas". I'm not sure I want to have Wierd Al's "The Night Santa Went Crazy" on my compilation. We're big Wierd Al fans, but it seems a little much. But then, I'm seriously considering "I'm Gonna Spend My Christmas With A Dalek" by the Go Go's (not those, another group). Hmmm, maybe I'd be better off making one serious compilation, and one not-so-serious... Perhaps I'll post more on this later, as I figure out what I want on the compilation(s).

Christmas Wish List: A warm coat. My raincoat is very nice, but it's not very warm. I'd like a coat that hugs me. I haven't had a really good coat since I was a kid. And, as long as I'm asking for a good coat, I wouldn't mind some nice gloves to go with them. My current gloves are getting a bit thin, but they are serviceable for another year or so, I guess.

posted by Tegan | 6:46 PM

Monday, December 02, 2002  

Animated Aquaman News

Comics Continuum (which had some server problems over the weekend) did an interview with Alan Burnett, one of WB's producers of animation at the Mid-Ohio-Con on Saturday.

Among the topics discussed was the new Animated Aquaman series. It sounds, from the comments made, that it's a bit further along than I realized. This thing might actually get made!

I was a little worried by this comment: "They also want to attract girls as much as they can. They want some sort of girl element so that girls can stay with a super-hero show throughout the thing." Makes me think that Aquaboy (since the show will focus on Aquaman's early career) will have a love interest. Could be really bad, depending on how they manage it.

Ah well, I guess I'll worry about it once it's actually on the schedule.

posted by Tegan | 7:00 PM

Comments (2)

Hey Laura,

I wanted to let you know this before you came into the store on Wednesday, as I don't want to "gossip" about it in the store.

I found out yesterday that Jim, the owner of Rain City in Woodinville, was killed on Saturday in a car accident. I've known him and his wife Denise for over 8 years, and they have 2 young girls. I just saw him a couple of weeks ago, too, at the UPS depot in Redmond.

I feel so bad for Denise and the girls. My heart goes out to them.

They'll be in my prayers this holiday season.

Paige | Email | 12.03.02 - 5:53 pm

Man. He was pretty cool, too.

Thanks for passing the news on.

My prayers go out to Denise and the girls.

Laura Gjovaag | Email | Homepage | 12.03.02 - 6:43 pm


Just A Thought

ICv2 has confirmed that Aquaman #1 actual sales are approximately 45,000 copies in North America. While that's very good for Aquaman, it's still less than half of Batman #610's sales (109,500) and well under Aquaman's lowest Silver Age point. What comics need right now, more than anything else, is new readers.

posted by Tegan | 8:31 AM

Sunday, December 01, 2002  

Oh, Yeah

Ten days left until Aquaman #1.

posted by Tegan | 9:25 PM

Not Much To Say Today

So I'll keep it short. Finally figured out who linked to me from There's a link by the writer (Dan Slott) of Justice League Adventures #13 for my Nov 6th Rapid Review which included a capsule opinion of the issue (which I liked on the first read, thus my capsule, and more on subsequent reads. It's a strong, if slightly predictable, story). You can read the toonzone thread here.

More tomorrow.

posted by Tegan | 7:30 PM