Saturday, January 04, 2003  

Final Thoughts for the Night

Here's a review to cap off the week:

One of my favorite covers of all time. It's also part of one of the best Aquaman stories ever written: The Mera Quest by Steve Skeates. If DC were to suddenly start reprinting classic Aquaman stories in trade paperback form, I'd be hoping for this one to come out real quick.

posted by Tegan | 10:09 PM

Comments (2)

I like that cover a lot, myself. Nick Cardy was the cover master back then. One of my all time fave covers is the one he did for Spectre #8.

Dave aka Johnny Bacardi | Email | Homepage | 01.05.03 - 9:46 am

This is one of my favorite covers, and it's certainly my favorite "Aquaman" cover (any series). When I spent my entire Christmas bonus on Golden and Silver Age comics, I picked up virtually all of the Search for Mera arc, and I agree that this is Aquaman at his best. It was reading it that I formulated my theory that Aquaman was the first truly flawed, bi-polar superhero. (Part of my theory assumes that the Thing and Spider-Man fake their manic periods and are really depressed all the time.)

Franklin Harris | Email | Homepage | 01.05.03 - 11:11 am


Thoughts on Cloning

I can't believe all the fuss about this. First off, it's probably possible. Even so, it is a horrible process at this stage, resulting in mostly failure. For that reason, I don't think human cloning should be done yet. With the reports of premature aging in animal clones, and the huge failure rate... it's wrong to try human cloning at this point.

But all these strange people going on and on about banning human cloning altogether because of ethical considerations... What ethical considerations? Seriously. What is wrong with cloning?

I think too many people are looking at cloning as if it is already in the stage science fiction has dreamed up for it. But at this moment, with the knowledge and technology that we have, clones must be "created" from living donor cells (you can't clone somebody who is dead) and the baby must be carried by a surrogate mother. All that cloning is, at this stage and in the easily forseeable future, is a way to make a time-delayed twin of yourself.

A clone of you would not be you. Your clone would have none of your memories or experiences. Your clone wouldn't have your fingerprints. Your clone would be a person, as valid and real as yourself or a child you might have.

Perhaps instead of trying to ban human cloning, the various governments across the world ought to be making sure that idiots who don't understand life won't try to take advantage of the technology for dumb ideas better left to fiction. Maybe it would be better to make sure that, if someone does manage to make a human clone, the clone won't go through life being thought of as a "thing" instead of a person.

As for the possibility of cloning taking the place of regular reproduction... sorry, the current method of reproduction is far too easy and fun to be replaced by science. Clones will always be in a special realm, like "test tube babies". Reserved for people who can't reproduce in the usual way.

And, sorry, I just can't see anything wrong with that.

Song of the Day

"Walk The Dinosaur" by Was (Not Was). Just because.

posted by Tegan | 7:01 PM

Rapid Reviews - 3 Jan 2003 - Part II

Batman: The Golden Streets of Gotham: If only. If only this weren't the umpteen Elseworld about Batman. If only we had more of other characters in Elseworlds. It was good, but I'm so tired of Elseworlds based on Batman. They are beginning to all blend into one. 3 starfish.

Young Justice #53: We knew it was coming, but still a doozy of a last page. I like how the situation was discovered, and I like "Robin"'s reason for dressing as he does. And I like the working link a a website. 4 starfish.

Lone Wolf and Cub Vol 28: Wow. The conclusion. The final issue. The end. I didn't know what to expect, as Itto had become more and more superhuman as the series went on, but I knew that Yagyu was also portrayed as mostly superhuman, even if he did have to send every single person loyal to him to soften up Itto... but I was left with one burning question at the end, and that question made me say, "One more page! Please! One last bit! I need an epilogue!" 4 1/2 starfish for this issue, and for the series as a whole.

Aquaman #2: Mmmmmm. More Aquaman. I prefer the colors on this version of the cover to the preview version. This gets a rating when it comes out, though I may post a full review on my website as soon as Monday night.

Comics due out next week: Green Arrow #20, Powers #27, Futurama/Simpsons #2, Superman/Batman Generation III #1, Hawkman #11, JSA #44, Way of the Rat #9, and Superman: The 10 Cent Adventure. Oh yeah, and Aquaman #2.

posted by Tegan | 8:19 AM

Friday, January 03, 2003  

Rapid Reviews - 3 Jan 2003 - Part I

Sandwalk Adventures #5: This was a great series from start to finish, and WOW what a finish! For a tale that is basically two characters just talking to each other this has been a fantastic ride. And the zinger of the last page just made the whole thing so worth it. 4 1/2 starfish.

Justice League Adventures #15: I liked the solution that Batman came up with, even if I don't think Ro will keep to it for very long at all. Another fun issue. 3 1/2 starfish.

Still to review: Batman: The Golden Streets of Gotham, Young Justice #53, and Lone Wolf and Cub Vol 28 (the final volume).

Special Message

Happy Birthday, Mom!

posted by Tegan | 9:15 PM

An Aqua-Day

Rapid reviews will be coming later tonight or tomorrow, since the comics arrived today. You might recall how last time I suspected Aquaman might be in the Sneak Peek package, the shop owner and her employee gleefully fooled me into thinking it wasn't there? Yeah, well, I fell for it again. They are both just so trustworthy and honest! And they did not lie to me (either time). They told me this time, when I asked to look at the Sneak Peek package, that Aquaman wasn't in it. That's because they had already put it in my pull box.

So yeah, I've read Aquaman #2 already. This is going to require a bit of effort to write a review for, as I helped a tiny bit on the background of this story and I'm still reeling about it. But, believe me, I've got a lot to say on this one.

I'm not used to reading old 1950s Aquaman in Black and White, but it's still very cool! If anyone knows where I can find any Curt Swan & Win Mortimer Superman Newspaper Strip panels, please let me know. That's what my fellow fan who is helping me out with Aquaman is looking for, and I would love to help him get stuff he wants!

Hubby-Eric and I have bought our tickets for the Emerald City Comicon. I waited until Studio Foglio had signed on. As far as I'm concerned, it's now an official convention. I hope Kurt Busiek will come on up for it.

My newest link over on the side there is to Aunt Marcia's Page. Aunt Marcia is actually hubby-Eric's aunt, his mother's sister. She and I get along well, though, and we both love jigsaw puzzles. She's a great person to sit and puzzle with. She's also a wonderful artist, as you can see on her page. She made a quilt for hubby-Eric and I for our wedding that is a true work of art. Her annual calendar always graces a wall in our house. So go visit her website and take a look, you might like it.

Song of the Day

Ponderous by 2NU. It's not really a song, so much as a linear dream with a beat, but it's pretty fun. Heard it on the radio today, and it reminded me that I enjoyed it.

posted by Tegan | 5:28 PM

Comments (2)

Do you mean the original drawings for the strips, or just a collection? Anyway, that's an auction at eBay for a big collection (966 strips) for $9.00 right now.

Matt | Email | 01.06.03 - 4:01 am

I suspect he already has that book. I think he's looking for original panels (ie, not reprints) or original artwork.

Thanks for the tip though!

Laura Gjovaag | Email | Homepage | 01.06.03 - 12:01 pm


Random Thoughts

Been a bit busy, and a bit tired. A huge storm came through last night and woke me up. Actually, what woke me up was a sound like something crying outside our window. I checked the clock, it was 1 am. I thought about getting up to find out what it was, but it sounded like a cat. Not particularly distressed, just loud. Then the storm hit and I couldn't hear it anymore... just rain pounding on the roof and the occassional crack of thunder. It didn't let up for nearly three hours, and I didn't fall fully asleep until almost 5 am.

So I'm headed to work a bit under-rested.

In other news, a fellow comic book fan found some old British/Austrailian reprints of several 1950s Aquaman stories and is sending them to me. They are in black and white, and mostly Ramona Fradon's stuff. While I've always preferred color, the sample page he sent looked very good, and I'm eager to see the rest.

And so to work I go...

posted by Tegan | 9:09 AM

Thursday, January 02, 2003  

That's Mathematics!

A fun site for mathematics is The Glossary of Mathematical Mistakes, complete with the famous proof that 1=2.

Counting sheep / When you're trying to sleep...

I may have mentioned before that I work in a small educational toy shop. The focus of the shop is Mathematics. My boss was told that a store with math as a focus would never succeed, yet she's been in business over 8 years now.

Being fair / When there's something to share...

Since starting work there in March (fresh off a stint on unemployment) I have had to relearn a lot of the math I once knew. It's been an uphill climb in a lot of ways, but I've also learned that I really like math a lot more than I realized I did. I may have been an English Grad, but I still think I made a huge error by not staying with math.

Being neat / When you're folding a sheet...

I think I've said before, I make a quarter the money as my old job, work twice as hard, and have at least five times as much fun. Just a little more money and I'd be set.

...Oh try as you may, you just can't get away from mathematics!

Anyway, here's the location as seen from above. Yeah, I had a little too much fun with TerraServer.

Oh yeah, and the song of the day is "That's Mathematics" by Tom Lehrer, some of which I quoted above.

posted by Tegan | 9:16 AM

Wednesday, January 01, 2003  

Rapid Reviews - The Two Towers

Yup, finally saw it last ye-- er, yesterday. There were far too many previews before it for a film as long as it is, but that's my only real complaint.

I won't go into any great detail, since I'm not for spoiling stories, but I will say that the movie ends well before the end of the novel. The first movie ended slightly after the end of the first novel, but there's a few chapters yet to go in the novel Two Towers when the movie Two Towers ends. Actually, there's a few chapters left to go in both of the books of the Two Towers. Each novel in the Lord of the Rings trilogy is made up of two books. In The Two Towers, the second book is about Frodo, Samwise, and Gollum, and the first book is the adventures of everyone else. The ending of the movie is way before the ending of the first book, and just a few chapters before the ending of the second. Note: This is an observation, not a complaint!

I didn't like this movie as much as the first one, the pace was a bit slower and at spots it definitely crawled. However, I really want an Ent. I want one to tend to the trees in my backyard.

Overall, this trilogy is shaping up to be the greatest achievement in movie history. This movie gets 4 starfish from me.

posted by Tegan | 4:04 PM

Iron Pig - Flaming Horse

I don't hold much with various forms of astrology, but I always find it amusing to take a look at how those forms of astrology try to define me. As entertainment, they are worth a look. Some IRC friends were chatting about this very subject yesterday. A guy was complaining that he was born in the year of the rat, which was bad enough, but then he learned that because his birthday was early in the year, he was actually born in the year of the pig! How horrible.

To my vast amusement, I am in exactly the same situation. I'm just twelve years older than my IRC friend (gasp!). I was born in January, very late in the year of the pig (or boar, depending on which chart you look at). I found some interesting information for my IRC friend at, including a full description of the piggy personality (which both of us found really funny). I was particularly taken with this statement: "Pigs are so magnanimous they can appear almost saintly" - no one has ever mistaken me for a Saint before!

But wait, there's more! This particular site also adds in the elements to the mix, giving you even more attributes to choose from. In my case, it looks like I'm metal... Cool! I'm an IRON PIG! wahoo! The funniest part of the description of the element, to me, was this line: "Others look up to you in awe of your commanding, confident presence." Uh-huh. Right.

Naturally, I had to look up hubby-Eric. He's a Horse, according to this site (he was also born in January), and his element is Fire. Great. The Iron Pig is married to a Flaming Horse...

Now, if you do believe in astrology, please don't be too offended. I just find it very difficult to believe that your personality is shaped by the day you are born... and I find it particularly difficult to believe that people born in the same year would share so many traits. It's easy enough to start believing in it, then make it come true. I'd rather not, thanks. I'll touch the surface and move on.

Song of the Day

Acts of Creation as sung by Kathy Mar. The full song is available at An appropriate song for new beginnings.

posted by Tegan | 11:47 AM

Comments (2)

Hey, I'm an Earth Pig. Pretty cool, huh!

So when's your birthday? Mine's the 16th.

Happy 2003 to you and yours, Laura!

Johnny B | Email | Homepage | 01.01.03 - 4:19 pm

January 20th.

I've had to deal with my birthday being inauguration day for many years. Some have been far more difficult than others.

Laura Gjovaag | Email | Homepage | 01.01.03 - 6:30 pm

Tuesday, December 31, 2002  

The Obligatory End of the Year Blog

I'll review The Two Towers next year, as that's only a few hours away now. For the moment, the best and worst of 2002.

Worst thing about 2002: It's a tie between my ongoing battle with depression and my ongoing battle for financial stability. I think I'll go with the financial thing, though, since I feel like I've almost got the depression thing licked.

Best thing about 2002: The return of Aquaman. I hate to admit that this had an impact on my depression, but it did. I don't want to forever link my emotions with my hobbies, but in this case the news that Aquaman was returning came at just the right time to give me a major boost that I desperately needed that second half of the year.

A close second would be finding my current job. While I could have gotten unemployment for a bit longer, having a job made me feel wanted and needed. Having a job that I actually enjoy has made all the difference.

I won't try to do a best comic of the year. I know there were a great many I enjoyed a lot. But I'd be bound to leave something out at this point.

This year has been pretty awful. Maybe not as awful as last year, but horrible all its own. I hope 2003 is far better. At this point, I'd really hate to see worse.

Song of the Day

"It Won't Be Easy" (aka "theme from Star Cops") by Justin Hayward. It didn't work really well as a theme tune, but I really like it as a song to just have playing. It's a sad song, about loss, with just a few nods to the concept of outer space.

posted by Tegan | 7:30 PM

Good Morning!

Ok, it's almost afternoon, but it sure feels quiet today, for once.

An addendum to yesterday's closing questions: "And should we care?" I think we should to some extent, it always helps to know when someone is twisting the facts to show results that are more favorable to them. But let's not take it too seriously. I like Dirk's less-than-serious take on the matter. I just wish more of the fan press would realize that Marvel's number-twisting ought to be revealed.

I finally get to see the Two Towers today! My little sister let me borrow her copy of the Special Edition of the Fellowship of the Rings, and I've been really enjoying it. Added scenes, extended scenes... fun stuff. I haven't even managed to get to the final two discs yet!

Some of you may have noticed my odd archive. I do it manually on my own page so that I don't have to rely on Blogger's archiving. While it makes my archive slightly more reliable, it also means that I've got to actually remember to update it. It also makes it very hard, if not impossible, for me to create a permalink to it from the regular blog. There are probably ways around it, but I have other things to worry about.

I got a new LEGO catalog in the mail yesterday. The new sets include an NBA themed line (yes, you too can get your favorite basketball players as a LEGO minifig!). This line is notable because it includes the first non-yellow minifigs. See, yellow is the "skin color" of all regular LEGO minifigs. LEGO minifigs don't have to worry about race, since all of them are yellow. But for the NBA line, LEGO has created minifigs with more natural skin tones. None of the figures based on actual people are yellow. Every other minifig in the line is yellow, but the ones based on real people have "skin tone" colors. It's interesting. I actually would quite like to have the one Seattle player they show in the catalog, just for the fun of it...

Also new is a continuation of the Adventurers line into the Orient. These sets include an elephant (that I really want) and a tiger (which I dont). I need to get one of those neat curves swords for my minifigs, too. The Adventurers also roam un into the Himalayas and meet a Yeti (I want that set too!).

There are two new Star Wars lines. One is the Star Wars MINIs, which have very cool small models. If I had money, I'd get them all! (which translates to: I'm getting none of them, bummer). The other neat Star Wars set is Jabba the Hutt's palace. These fit in with the rest of the Star Wars line. I wouldn't mind getting them, but I really completed my Star Wars collection when I got the Millenium Falcon. As much as I'd like all the other sets, that was the one MUST-HAVE on my list.

In the train line, some neat things are happening. You can buy train cars individually, and there are some awe-inspiring models. I wouldn't mind a small train engine (with tender) in green with a load of passenger cars... They also have the Metroliner listed as a classic, but it's the Railroad Club Car that goes with the Metroliner that I'd want. The last page of trains shows LEGO cars designed by James Mathis, big time LEGO Train fan (and member of PNLTC).

LEGO has definitely started to respond to the fans, and try to provide them with what they want. I hope they succeed with this business plan, since it would prove that catering to the fans isn't always a bad thing.

posted by Tegan | 11:41 AM

Monday, December 30, 2002  

Number Cruncher

This should be the biggest story in comic book fandom at the moment: Is Marvel making up sales numbers?. In a press release, Marvel claims that they had 42.9% of the Unit Share in January. Diamond's Pre-Order numbers say their share is only 40.13%. They also claim to have 38.7% of the Retail Share in January. Diamond's pre-order number: 32.76%.

So what's going on? I checked several websites trying to figure out the difference, and only got myself more confused by the various numbers out there. Diamond's Market Share website for January 2003 has DC firmly on top with 33% of the "actual dollar market share" with Marvel trailing at 31.01%. What? CBR has DC at 31.82% for dollar share, and Marvel at 30.93%. In addition, Marvel is apparently leading in unit sales, with 38.46% to DC's 33.18%. Oh, my poor brain. So where on Earth did the numbers in Marvel's press release come from?

I have a theory, but I don't have the math skills to try to confirm it. All of the lists I found show the sales and pre-orders for all comics, magazines, and graphic novels. What if Marvel is only talking about the top 300 comics in their press release? It might improve their numbers since DC has a number of graphic novels (including an Archive) coming out in January. The press release is worded so that the market share numbers being quoted could definitely apply to just the top 300 comics.

In any case, it looks like Marvel is playing with numbers to hide the fact that they are, in reality, slowly losing sales to DC.

What do you think? Am I totally off-base? Am I just not skilled enough to read the numbers? What is happening here?

posted by Tegan | 1:22 PM

Comments (2)

I think it might be a case of everybody being right, and the natural outcome of the "lies, damned lies and statistics" mentality that relies so much on numbers that can be manipulated to say whatever the purveyors want them to say.

It's natural for Marvel to be #1 in pre-orders, because they don't have a reorder policy any more. So I don't doubt that their numbers are right.

None of this takes bookstores into account anyway, which is where the real growth is starting.

Elayne Riggs | Email | Homepage | 12.30.02 - 4:28 pm

This is all true enough, but instead of just printing these releases unquestioned, we should be making sure that everyone knows Marvel isn't using the same numbers most of the fans are using when they talk about sales.

That's when statistics turn into lies.

Laura Gjovaag | Email | Homepage | 12.31.02 - 3:03 pm


Random Thoughts

Not many thoughts to speak of, at the moment.

Hubby-Eric and father-in-law-Jerry fixed our oft-abused mailbox. This time we have a sturdy wooden post. Hubby-Eric and I plan to zip off to the home repair store later and get a bunch of reflectors for it. Maybe people will stop backing into it if they can see it.

Fascinating discussion about copyright going on over on the GCD Chatlist. I'd always just assumed, incorrectly, that most people associated with comic books would hate all these copyright extensions. The arguments put forth for having "eternal" copyrights aren't very convincing to me, but interesting to read, nonetheless. I suspect my little contribution wasn't terribly convincing to them, either. Strange, I don't think I know what hubby-Eric, who is a published author, thinks of the whole thing...

Song of the Day

"Joy To The World" by Three Dog Night. Ok, I admit it. The first time I heard about this song, I just assumed it was the Christmas carol. Since that misconception was corrected, it's become one of my favorites.

posted by Tegan | 12:15 PM

Sunday, December 29, 2002  

The Play Is The Thing

Saw a play tonight at the Charlotte Martin Theatre in the Seattle Center. It was a musical version of "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe".

Let me first point out that I haven't read all the Narnia books. Very few of them, in fact. But I have read the book this play is based on, so none of what happened was a surprise. What was a surprise was how closely the play followed the story from the book. It followed as closely as it could without sacrificing itself. The biggest departure was the songs, of course. In the book I don't recall anyone breaking into song.

Even with those distractions, which seemed to entrace the children in the audience more than most of the adults, the play was quite good. The White Witch was gleefully evil, the Beavers were wonderful, Mr. Tumnus was delightful, and the children were decent. Aslan was noble as he ought to be. The scary death scene was appropriately frightening. Overall, it was quite a nice Christmas present from Hubby-Eric's parents.

Definitely worth a watch if it comes to a theatre near you... but bring along a small child to enjoy the songs.

posted by Tegan | 10:57 PM

Random Thoughts

If you're in a particularly religious mood, a very odd guy has illustrated key parts of the Bible using LEGO Bricks. Be brave, and don't take it too seriously. Note: This is not for young children, a parent should read it first. Link courtesy of Dirk Deppey. In case you are curious but too lazy to go check it out now, here's a much reduced scene from the story of Noah's Ark:

CNN reports that it will be an interesting 2003 for the Supreme Court. The article mentions some cases that are currently being looked at, including the copyright case.

Song of the Day

"Chickies in the House * Napoleon's Rant * Duncan's Dance" from A Gypsy's Home by Heather Alexander. I particularly like this instrumental because Heather played it at a live concert I attended, and she told us to listen for the chickies as they were chased by the dog. You can hear them every time one of them gets nipped for being in the house. She had a long story to go along with the song, but I can't remember the whole thing. Maybe she'll put it up on her website someday. There is a realaudio sample of this song on this page.

posted by Tegan | 2:03 PM

Japan Cam!

Ever been to Sapporo? I haven't, but here's some images of the place. And, if this cam is working, you should get a pleasant view of downtown:

Here's an index of Japanese cams, some of them quite spectacular. Cams may not be "in" right now, but they are still one of the best ways to communicate the splendor of the world with other people. New technology makes it possible to have a cam that shows live video feed, but I still like having a still image taken every 90 seconds or so. Anyone know of any other good cams that have been around awhile?

posted by Tegan | 10:22 AM