Saturday, December 28, 2002  

Final Thoughts for the Night

Here's a review to cap off the week:

This is the origin story of the harpoon that Aquaman wore for the majority of Peter David's run on the book. It's also part of the whole "Zero Hour" crossover, the one time in memory that most of the fans wanted the "bad guy" to win. And, despite being numbered "0", this is actually the third issue of Peter David's series. I have to admit that I hope DC has got the funny numbering thing out of their system. I prefer to have three follow two, not zero.

Which reminds me, if you haven't already, go find a copy of Aquaman #1! It sold out at my local shop, which makes me happy because I know Paige ordered well on it (and not just because one of her customers is the most rabid Aquaman fan on the 'net). I've re-read it a few times, and it is one of those books that gets better with each read. Looking forward to issue #2 in a couple weeks!

Left out of the previous rapid review was information on how to get The Witch and the Jackal if your shop doesn't carry it. Just pop over to their website for more information and a preview.

Also, Funny Pages Press has a website promoting Opposite Forces if you'd like to check it out. Everything else this week was from a major publisher, so you shouldn't have any problems finding those.

And lastly, there's just something really cool about getting a holiday card from Robin and Elayne Riggs. I hate to admit that it's one of the highlights of the holiday season for me to see what Robin and Elayne do with the card this year. Today, this year's card came, with a neat drawing of a snow-covered house complete with snowman. One of these years I need to start sending out cards to the few die-hard friends who still keep sending me cards each year.

I've hit my three blog limit... nothing more 'til tomorrow. Good night, all.

posted by Tegan | 5:31 PM

Rapid Reviews - 27 Dec 2002 - Part III

Opposite Forces #2: Very interesting. This is the issue in which our two heroes begin to figure out what happened to them. And it's funny. Which is the whole reason we got this book in the first place. 4 octopus.

The Witch and the Jackal #2: The storytelling is still quite good, but there was something not quite right with the pacing when I first read it. To be honest, looking back at it I think it's fine, just something I can't quite place my finger on managed to throw me off a bit. Still, worth picking up. Better than a lot of the super-hero comics I buy. 3 1/2 starro fish.

Comics that are supposed to ship next week: Lone Wolf and Cub Final Volume, Batman: The Golden Streets of Gotham (Elseworld), Justice League Adventures #15, and Young Justice #53. Hopefully Sandwalk Adventures #5 will also make it to my shop.


Found another fun site. It's the Astronomy Picture of the Day site. Check it out for an astronomy-related image complete with an explanation. The picture below is one from their archive of the Hale-Bopp comet, which I think everyone must have seen for themselves since it was so incredibly bright.

Note to myself: Christmas fudge does not make a good lunch, no matter how yummy it is.

posted by Tegan | 4:38 PM

Rapid Reviews - 27 Dec 2002 - Part II

Archard's Agents #1: Definitely good to read this one before reading Ruse, although it doesn't necessarily answer all the questions you might have. In any case, I got a preview copy of this a long time ago, and enjoyed the story then. It was just as fun on the re-read. 3 1/2 electric eels.

Ruse #15: Best-Cliffhanger-Ever! Ok, maybe not, but certainly a fun one. This is definitely not a jumping on point, as much of the first half of the issue is taken up with characters we were introduced to earlier. I'd say it would be impossible to understand by a new reader, as it was difficult for me to understand and I've read every issue. 3 sturgeon.

Gotham Girls #5: It finally ends with a lot more fighting and a little detective work. Not the best animated-based series ever, but not bad. 3 clams.

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen II #4: I really wasn't that interested in Allan and Mina's relationship, and I could've done without all the sordid scenes. In fact, I still have a strong urge to scrub my eyes with scouring pads and stinging soap. Indeed, that bit pretty much wiped out the rest of the story for me. I'm only left with the question of who young Jimmy Grey is. At the time of this writing, Jess Nevin's Remarkable Notes do not answer that question. 2 sea slugs.

Still saving for last and not yet reviewed: Opposite Forces #2 and The Witch and the Jackal #2. Sandwalk Adventures #5 didn't make it to my shop, although I have news that other shops got it. Insert obligatory curse at Diamond here.

Thoughts on Comic Sales

Dirk Deppey has pointed out in his Journalista Blog that the press releases being put out by Marvel are basically lies, as they don't figure in adjusted sales figures, which for at least the last three months have put DC Comics on top of the sales charts instead of Marvel. Like Dirk, I'd like to see the comic fan press reporting more heavily on the adjusted sales, as those tell a different story than the initial pre-orders, which will favor Marvel until more readers drop Marvel because they can't get their comics consistently.

Song of the Day

Tonight Tonight by The Smashing Pumpkins. Not only a cool song, but it has one of the best music videos ever made to go with it.

posted by Tegan | 12:50 PM

Friday, December 27, 2002  

Rapid Reviews - 27 Dec 2002 - Part I

Power Company #11: The newest member appears, and there is some more friction among the partners. The story progressed a little slower than I liked, but it was interesting how things played out. I particularly like the cliff-hanger. 4 flying fish.

Titans #48: I only read this book for Tempest, who doesn't appear in this issue, and I'm really tired of mind-control storylines. 2 crabs.

JLA #76: Hey! Aquaman was in this issue! Ok, so he showed up on one page, and it pre-dated his appearance in his own book, but at least he was there. What was more interesting was the comings and goings of the various members of the team. Still, this was a fill-in issue, and even the art showed that. 2 1/2 dogfish.

Avengers #62: One more issue of Avengers after this one for us. Two stories going on here, both fairly interesting. I liked Gary Frank's art. 3 1/2 catfish.

Amazing Spider-Man #48: Had trouble remembering what had happened in the last issue, but once I did, I enjoyed this issue. Yeah, this has been a good book. Too bad Marvel hates its readers, or I'd be more inclined to follow JMS when he switches to another Spidey book. 4 swordfish.

Batman: Gotham Adventures #57: I generally like Robin stories, but this one ... I don't know, I didn't connect with it at all. It was ok, but nothing special. 3 goldfish.

Still to go: Gotham Girls, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Ruse, Archard's Agents, Opposite Forces, The Witch and the Jackal.

posted by Tegan | 10:43 PM

Windy Afternoon

So windy, in fact, that we did indeed lose power for a few hours. Most of the area did at some point. All the trees that needed trimming were quickly identified as they knocked down power lines, and a few power poles that needed more support were also discovered when they fell.

I went to work and got there just as the storm really hit. It was quiet and I got a lot done with no customers to interrupt me. Funny how that works. I also wandered around the building at one point to check that everything was securely closed. The winds made a lot of noise in that old building.

On the way home, lots of traffic lights were out. Note to any drivers who don't know this rule: If a traffic light is out, treat it as a four way stop unless there is a police officer directing traffic. DON'T drive right through. Idiots. *ahem*

Power was on when I got home, but not for long. Just as hubby-Eric announced he was going to warm up some leftovers for lunch, the power went away so he couldn't. We went to get the comics, then, and everything on the shipping list came except Sandwalk Adventures. Rapid reviews later, when I start reading them. It was too dark to read properly most of the afternoon, thanks to the lack of power. Anyway...

On that note, let me introduce another image for you:

Yup, that's my comic shop from the same aerial sweep that I found my house in on terraserver. This picture was taken 12 years ago, so it wasn't really the comic shop then, but it is now.

The shop owner and I were discussing this fact, so I found some information for her (Hi Paige!) on the help section of the website. It says the images "are 1-meter resolution images, meaning the smallest object that can be distinguished is about three feet across. That does not mean, however, that everything three feet long or more can be identified in the photo. For example, it is usually easy to identify a driveway in one of these pictures. If a car is parked in the driveway, you can easily tell what it is. But if a car is parked in the middle of a field, where you would not expect to find it, you might not be able to identify it as an automobile. The ability to identify features increases with the viewer's experience in photographic interpretation-a skill for recognizing objects in images." The help site is truly fascinating, as it explains how the images are altered so they can be used as maps, and explains how the images are taken in the first place (no, not satellite images, these came from planes). Read about it here.

Oh well, this blows my conspiracy theory about Bush's "proof" of arms in Iraq right out of the water. See, I was working from the premise that these images came from a satellite (which is what I believed when I first saw them several years ago), and not a plane. If pictures twelve years old are that good, wouldn't advances in technology mean that the US could basically spy on anything Iraq does? Now, I still believe that the US has spy satellites capable of seeing lots of things, but my basis of camparison was completely wrong, and I'm no longer sure how far satellite tech has advanced. This is a good thing. I'd rather not know how easy it is for eyes in the sky to stare down on us.

posted by Tegan | 6:53 PM

Comments (1)

In regards to the wind: Let's also not forget that our mailbox now wants to lay down a lot as well. (Although I suspect that may have something to do with whoever ran over it the other day as well.)

Hubby | Email | Homepage | 12.27.02 - 10:00 pm


Quiet Morning

I'm off to work shortly, so I shouldn't spend too much time on-line...

If you believe the moon landing was faked, not only are you a complete idiot, but you also ought to check out Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy website for a complete debunking of the conspiracy theorists' "proof". Well worth a read anyway, the Bad Astronomy site covers a lot of topics besides the so-called moon hoax. I particularly like his movie reviews. Good stuff.

Note to myself: Christmas fudge does not make a good breakfast, no matter how yummy it is.

Still tracking that incoming storm. It might yet fizzle out, but it's hitting the Washington coast with a bit of fury. I can expect the worst to hit about the time I reach my job. At least it's snowing in the mountains, which is a good thing for many reasons. The skiers love it, but they aren't as important as having a good snowpack to keep us watered throughout the summer. The snow has been sparse this year so far.

Ah well, must prepare. More for the blog later, it should be a short day at work, since the store is actually closed, we're just doing pricing and stocking.

posted by Tegan | 8:39 AM

Thursday, December 26, 2002  

Talking about the Weather

Ok, if this works properly, you should get KIRO TV's current camera view of Seattle from their tower atop Queen Anne hill. Depending on the time of day you are viewing this, and what the weather is like, it may be a very boring or very interesting picture:

I'm told that there is a massive storm moving into Seattle (which means we'll get a few light showers and some wind and all the news reports will have special graphics screaming about the "Post-Boxing Day Storm of 2002!"), and I remembered a weather page I once built that had views from all the local traffic cams. I resurrected the page on my own computer, just so I could look at the images again. Fun. Most of them still worked, including the above cam from KIRO TV. Rather than link to the various traffic images myself, I'll instead give you this nifty link to the WSDOT Puget Sound Area Traffic Cameras so you can see how bad our traffic is yourself.

posted by Tegan | 8:37 PM

Wandering Thoughts

Here's where I live:

"X" marks the spot. The picture is 12 years old, of course, but you can see the trees that still drop lots of spiders onto our roof, which then crawl into our house and scare me every time I think I'm finally over my arachnophobia. I also found a picture of my Mom and Dad's house (much more visible) and my old High School. Hmmm... maybe I should go look for my dorm from college... it's torn down now, but there might still be an image of it on terraserver. No such luck, I found the university, but the dorm was already a parking lot in the image they have.

Over on the GCD chatlist, Jerry Bails mentioned the idea of some intelligent comic fan putting together a Sunday comic book insert for some major metropolitan area. The idea is that an insert with comic book stories would be more likely to be pulled out by readers, thus any ads in such a book would have a longer "shelf life" than most Sunday inserts. And it would promote the form of comics among the regular unwashed masses. I added to the discussion by suggesting an anthology, with a mix of comics for younger readers and older readers. Then another GCDer pointed out that what I was talking about is basically the same as the Spirit inserts that ran from 1940-1952 in some newspapers. I just wonder if such a thing would fly in today's market. Man, I wish I had some money to try out all these neat ideas Jerry keeps coming up with!

No comics today. No surprise, really. Diamond is pretty awful about getting things out on time during any sort of holiday. And the West Coast is constantly getting screwed by Diamond during holidays/bad weather/lazy workers or whatever the next excuse is. At least a few other people on-line have reported a similar shortage, so it's not just Seattle for once.

Here's a short article about people investing in comic books. Can't say it's a smart idea, but the article sure makes it sound appealing.

Have a look at Seattle's best Christmas Cards.

posted by Tegan | 5:22 PM

Back to Reality

First, now that Christmas is safely over, go visit Cap'n Wacky's Gallery of Unfortunate Christmas Cards for a little bit of a laugh. Link courtesy of David Allen Jones.

Oooh, nasty. The Tallahassee Democrat refuses to apologize for posting stuff to the internet without first checking to see if it met their editorial standards. In fact, very disturbingly, they claim that they never published the cartoon in question, despite it being posted to their website. I guess they have a different definition of "publish" than internetters.

Hubby-Eric has lasting power on the internet in the form of some fan-fic he wrote many years ago. The English version of his Quantum Leap/Tiny Toon Adventures crossover fic is impressive enough, but it's also been translated into Portugese.

And now it's time for me to read the last three days' worth of newspapers, since I have been ignoring them for a bit... Maybe I'll find some blogfodder...

posted by Tegan | 1:14 PM

Wednesday, December 25, 2002  

Rest Today

Be with family and friends. Think about happiness and how to reach it. Have fun. And rest. It's a day to have a good day. I hope you all have one.

posted by Tegan | 9:20 AM

Tuesday, December 24, 2002  

Quick Note

Here's a touching Christmas story, courtesy of The Seattle Times.

posted by Tegan | 9:00 AM

Monday, December 23, 2002  

Two More Days...

In the words of SpongeBob Squarepants as he heads off to work: "I'm ready! I'm ready! I'm ready!" Two more days of retail, then the rush is over for this year...

"I'm ready! I'm ready! I'm ready!"

posted by Tegan | 9:18 AM

Sunday, December 22, 2002  

Bah, Humbug!

Christmas traditions I hate: "A Christmas Carol". Every year. EVERY YEAR. Starting in early December: at least twenty times, sometimes as many as thirty or forty, all different interpretations of the same boring old story. As a child, you can't escape it. It's playing here, there... at school, at home. EVERY YEAR. And when I hit about 7th grade, I realized suddenly that I passionately hated it, and would NEVER watch it again in any way, shape, or form. It was a dumb story anyway! A greedy old man has a sudden change of heart just because some dumb old ghosts visit him. Hmph. "Not worth my time!" I thought, "I know the story already, it's not like it's going to change in any one of these billions of versions they want me to watch."

I maintained that view throughout high school, and into college. In fact, to some degree, I still agree with it. There are far too many versions of the story out there, most of which aren't as true to the original as they could be. And I'll tell you, it was the original that eventually changed my mind about "A Christmas Carol".

At some point, long after I'd gotten out of public schools, long after I'd decided to hate the story, somebody suggested I read the original version. I was a bit flabbergasted. In all the years of having the story forced down my throat, nobody had ever read the original to me, nor suggested I try reading it. And you know, it's a completely different story when it's your own mind doing the interpretations instead of random director here or there.

I still hate the fact that there are hundreds of versions of the story out there. And I still cringe when I end up watching one I don't want to watch. But at least now I can go back to the original and know that it's not that bad a tale after all.

posted by Tegan | 10:24 AM

Comments (3)

I agree that there are a lot of lame versions out there, and I myself am long overdue to re-read the original Dickens story.

But in my book it's hard to beat the 1951 film version with Alistair Sim. It's a great film that is good enough to watch all year long, and Sim's Scrooge is, I believe, one of the greatest performances in the history of cinema. Just beware the heinous colorized version (which I actually saw on the other night). This film was shot as dark as possible, to give an oppressive atmosphere to the proceedings and just looks bad with the bland pastels the colorized version imposes on it.

Dave aka Johnny Bacardi | Email | Homepage | 12.23.02 - 10:57 am

Bah humbug to you! Read here to find out why I absolutely adore this story, and by this point can probably recite most of Dickens' dialogue verbatim.

Elayne Riggs | Email | Homepage | 12.24.02 - 1:31 pm

I can recite most of the story verbatim, but not because I wanted to. The problem was that it was force-fed to me as a child. I never got a chance to discover it for myself. And once you've been forced to sit through something ten times in one month, you get tired of it.

I read "The Red Badge of Courage" long before it was assigned to me in a reading class, and because of that I liked the book. Had I been forced to read it for the first time while searching for symbolism and preparing to write a paper on it, I would not have enjoyed it at all.

And, in my defense, once I actually sat down and read the original Dickens tale I found a new appreciation for it. I may never adore the story like you, Elayne, but at least I can understand why some people do.

Laura Gjovaag | Email | Homepage | 12.25.02 - 12:24 pm