Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog Archive LXI
Laura "Tegan" Gjovaag

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Sketchbook - Rod Espinosa

The story of this sketch is told in my con report from San Diego 2000. I had only recently read the first book of The Courageous Princess when I went to San Diego 2000. The book was great, a fairy-tale princess who didn't wait around to be rescued, but went ahead and rescued herself. So, while booth-sitting at the Friends of Lulu booth, I recognized his name right away when he came up to renew his membership.

by Rod Espinosa
23 July 2000
(permission to post given 26 October 2003 via e-mail)

The oddest thing about asking Rod Espinosa for a sketch was that I got tongue-tied. See, I'd met Ramona Fradon and Nick Cardy, and had no trouble talking with them, but meeting Rod Espinosa you would have thought I'd just met a rock star. And then I did something that, if I'd thought about it, I wouldn't have done. I let him take my sketchbook, with its sixty-two sketches already in it, and go out of my sight for a couple of minutes to add to it. There were only two blank pages in the book at that point. And once Rod Espinosa was done, there was only one blank page.

To see all the sketches I have permission to post so far, check out my Sketchbook Page. If you have any contact information for any of the other artists I'm trying to contact, please e-mail me. Click for a random Aquaman sketch.

by Tegan at 8:10 PM Seattle time

The Year of Comic Books in Review - Part Three (March)

February was seriously lacking in nominees for "best comic book of the year according to Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog", but March managed to put in a trio of contenders.

The first would be Amelia Rules #9. This is the issue in which we learn a bit about Amelia's past, including her old best friend. This was a painful and touching issue, and the reality of a kid being ripped from a comfortable place and uprooted is shown extremely well.

I also really liked Crossovers in March. It was only the third issue, but it was the issue in which the various genres started to really clash. It showed what a great series this could become... pure fun.

The last comic book in March that produced a high rating will be hard to beat, as it was written for me. The Aquaman Secret Files main story was such a wonderful tale, aimed right at me, that writing this entry I wonder if anything can possibly compete against it. Luckily, I don't have to make that decision now.

So the nominees for March are: Amelia Rules #9, Crossovers #3, and Aquaman Secret Files 2003.

by Tegan at 8:02 AM Seattle time

Friday, December 19, 2003

Rapid Reviews - 10 December 2003 - Part I

Aquaman #13: Wow. This is a solid standalone issue (great jumping on point) which features some of the abilities of the new Aquaman. I'm not sure I like the implication that Aquaman's breath smells like seaweed... but I love the father's comments: "Can you make the waves stop?" "Can you fly us out of here?!" "What do you do?!" Heh. In fact, this is a great story showing Aquaman's strengths as well as weaknesses, and giving us a very good character moment at the end. 4 1/2 starfish

Assembly #2: The last half of the first issue is explained, and a mystery is introduced. We also get a family breakdown that is well directed with a nice touch of misdirection. Overall I liked this issue a little better than the first, and that's a good sign. The artwork is nice. 3 1/2 starfish

JSA #55: This book has been all over the map with me lately. I didn't like the last issue (the Thanksgiving special) but really enjoyed the one before it. On average I just haven't been liking this book much at all. But this issue caught me. Hubby-Eric couldn't wait for me to read it, as one of my very favorite Golden Age characters (after Aquaman) appears in it. I'm glad no one spoiled this one for me, because the appearance was a complete surprise and a great delight. Yeah, I really liked this one. 4 starfish

Still to Review: H-E-R-O, Generations III, Fallen Angel, Leave it to Chance, Shrek, and 1602. And from Dec 17th: Outsiders, Plastic Man Lost Annual, Wildguard, Way of the Rat, Batman Adventures, Superman: The Kansas Sighting, Cinnamon, and Green Arrow.

by Tegan at 10:17 PM Seattle time

The Year of Comic Books in Review - Part Two (February)

Picking up from January, where we got five nominees for best book of the year, February was a pretty pathetic month. The only high rated book of the whole month was Astro City: Local Heroes #1. While a small part of the fun of that book was just having Astro City back again after so long, it was also a strong issue.

For an honorable mention, I'll list Miranda #1, a Doctor Who related comic book that my husband ordered from England.

So the nominee for February is: Astro City: Local Heroes #1.

by Tegan at 8:42 AM Seattle time

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Refi and Other Random Stuff

So the appraiser came today, looked at the house. She gave me some advice on how to up the value when we refi again or sell. She thought the house value would be right in the value range we are looking at. I guess we'll find out in a day or so, and we'll also learn if the refi can go through.

I spent the afternoon, what's gone by so far, sorting comics and trying to find my copies of Go Girl so my sister can borrow them. It took awhile, and they were in nearly the last place left to look, but I found them. I also found the missing issues of Akiko that she wants to read.

And I've got some comic book reading done. I'll start reviewing as I find the time and desire. I'm not going to push it.

My mother and niece got into a local paper for the work they are doing on quilts. The reporter spelled my mom's name wrong. Ah well, at least the story of a bunch of third-graders being herded by my mom as they make quilts for charity got printed. My mom rocks.

by Tegan at 3:40 PM Seattle time

The Year of Comic Books in Review - Part One (January)

I figure it's about time to start reviewing this year's purchases in the comic book world, and determining what I liked and didn't. The plan is to re-visit each month, working from my order forms and the shipping lists, as well as the dated reviews on my review index. The goal of this exercise is to come up with a few nominations each month for "best comic of the year" according to Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog. On December 31st (if all goes as planned) I'll try to pick a best of the year.

January seems to have been a pretty good month, overall. I had 5 books get four and a half starfish. Two of them were Aquaman. Issue two of the current series was a great issue, and seemed to indicate wonderful things to come. And the first Aquaman Archive also came out, reprinting some truly classic Silver Age silliness, complete with yellow gloves. One minor mistake in the table of contents was the only marring of this otherwise fine collection.

The other three books to get four and a half starfish weren't superhero books. Usagi Yojimbo was particularly good that month, with a story about the thief Kitsune that sees Jotaro saying "you must know everybody!" to Usagi, which is echoed later. The last volume of Lone Wolf and Cub also came out in January, and was a dramatic end to that fantastic series. And the last issue of Sandwalk Adventures also came out, ending the dramatized tale of Darwin on a high note.

There were two books that aren't in the running, but certainly deserve to be mentioned again. The last issue of Castle Waiting to date came out in January, and I miss that book deeply and dearly. I hope to see its return. Also out in January was the Interman graphic novel by Jeff Parker... to which I'm still hoping there will be a sequel.

So the nominees for January are: Aquaman Archive Volume One, Aquaman #2, Usagi Yojimbo #63, Lone Wolf and Cub Volume 28, and The Sandwalk Adventures #5.

by Tegan at 9:49 AM Seattle time

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Random Thoughts

I, Cringely on the best solution to the electronic voting problem. Via Slashdot.

Go buy a Fire Fighter Calendar. Go on. You know you want to.

by Tegan at 6:13 PM Seattle time


After Sunday Morning's joyous reaction to Saddam's capture (and that was joyous and spontaneous, just ask hubby-Eric), I've had time to sit back and reflect on the capture and what it means. Just like any conspiracy-minded liberal, I'm sure there are many unanswered questions about it. However, overall it's a very good thing.

The biggest reason I think it's good is because of the people of Iraq. As long as Saddam was free, he was a boogey-man. A shadow on the door. There was always the chance that he would rally the nasties once the Americans left and take over again. That myth is gone. They saw him hauled out of a hole in the ground, looking like a broken old man.

The reactions of Iraqi bloggers can give a little insight: Zeyad of Healing Iraq felt sadness and a tiny bit of pity. Riverbend has a bit of intelligent commentary on the custom of shooting into the air: "The bullets are supposed to be an expression of joy... and they probably are- in a desert, far from buildings, streets crawling with vulnerable people and cars. In Baghdad, they mean chaos. People were literally ducking and running, trying to get out of the rain of firepower because what goes up must, eventually, come down." Salam Pax tells how he wants a public trial. Alaa declares: "The Ululation of Gunfire again; you should all be here now. What fireworks! You should be here. The Baghdadis are expressing what they really think again." Ays tells us to "look at the monkey!!!" and suggests that Saddam not be executed: "he should imprisoned for the rest of his life and watch how Iraq, the country that he had destroyed, will progress and become the prosperous and model country , so I think the execution will relieve him, but when he is humiliated in the prison, he will die and die everyday." Sam of Hammorabi points out an inconsistency of unripe dates in the video of Saddam's capture. Omar of Iraq the Model stated on the day of the capture: "I wish I could hug you all."

For the people of Iraq, this capture was a very good thing. As for all the questions it raises, yes... there are some problems with the whole scenario, but I'm willing to let those slide right now and let the celebrations continue a bit longer. I still think Dubya is a liar who led his country into war on false pretenses, and I still think there are far too many unanswered questions about 9/11, but even out of horrible acts some good things can come, and taking out Saddam (finally) can only be a good thing.

by Tegan at 9:27 AM Seattle time

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Rapid Reviews - Justice League Cartoon

Justice League: Wild Card: Royal Flush Gang and Joker. Ok, it's a natural pairing, but I don't recall any version of the RFG that had super-powers before. I could be wrong, as I've not read much of them in general, but they always seemed more basic bad-guys to me, and I'm not sure I like making them evil X-Men. There were enough nice touches that I wasn't disappointed overall, but there were too many bits I didn't like. 3 1/2 starfish

Justice League: Comfort and Joy: Cute and light. I liked the snowball fight that turned into a different kind of fight. Having a nasty rappin' toy "adjusted" was funny too. The bit with J'onn was a wee more subtle, but very nice. Good touch having him eat cookies that looked like Oreos. 4 starfish

Still having trouble getting interested enough to read my regular comics. The cover aesthetics argument coupled with the Removed by request of post subject has lessened my joy in comics to a dramatic degree. I'm going to try and read them, and when I get around to posting reviews I'll use the date they came out as the blog title, as usual.

by Tegan at 4:35 PM Seattle time


I didn't make it to the Marysville School Board meeting last night, but I did hear some really good news about it.

The latest crap the superintendent was giving the district was to eliminate a whole bunch of EAs from the district. EAs are Educational Assistants who provide valuable instruction time to students. As reported on December 3rd from one of the EAs affected: "I have just found out that my position, along with several other Vocational EA's, has been eliminated. It affects approx. 8 EAs with an excess of over 110 years of seniority."

Well, the new board members were notified, and the activists in the district were up in arms, and the result: "Carol thank you so much for putting a motion forward to pay the EA's out of LW's budget. I wish some of the EA's that spoke at the meeting last night were still there when you sent this motion out. I'm sure they all know by now though." Yup, the board voted 3 to 1 (one member wasn't there) to pay the EAs out of the superintendent's oversized budget!!! They also voted to "have the Districts Human Resources Dept send out an apology letter to those EA's who were put in a terrible spot last week." HA! Someone is actually holding the administration accountable for their abuse!

The board also confirmed the calendar (finally) and decided to hire an outside consultant to look into the district's funding, using the district's emergency funds. I'm opposed to that move in a lot of ways, because the district already has a financial person who is supposed to be doing that, but I understand that the new board members do not trust the guy, as he has a shady background and was hired by the superintendent. Getting someone from outside to look at the books may be the only way to sort out what is going on with the district.

by Tegan at 2:18 PM Seattle time

Monday, December 15, 2003

DC Solicits are Up

I wish that more publishers put up full solicits on-line. It would be a much easier way to read Previews. Anyway, the DC solicits are up at Toonzone, and we've got another Alan Freakin' Davis cover for Aquaman.

Aquaman #16

by Tegan at 9:56 PM Seattle time

Sketchbook Update - Scott Alan

I just got a note from Scott Alan, who was the first artist to give me explicit permission to post his Aquaman sketch on my blog, that his website has moved. You can now find his artwork at I've updated the page of the sketchbook with his piece on it.

And hey, as long as I have an excuse to repost a sketch, I guess I'll repost it, eh?

by Tegan at 4:30 PM Seattle time

Dirk Explains It All

Removed by request of post subject

by Tegan at 2:36 PM Seattle time

Sunday, December 14, 2003

There's A Hole...

There's Tikrit by the Tigris River.
There's Tikrit by the Tigris River.
There's a hole! There's a hole.
There's Tikrit by the Tigris River...

There's a hut in Tikrit by the Tigris River.
There's a hut in Tikrit by the Tigris River.
There's a hole! There's a hole.
There's a hut by the Tigris River...

There's a hole by the hut in Tikrit by the Tigris River.
There's a hole by the hut in Tikrit by the Tigris River.
There's a hole! There's a hole.
There's a hole by Tigris River...

There's a Saddam in the hole by the hut in Tikrit by the Tigris River.
There's a Saddam in the hole by the hut in Tikrit by the Tigris River.
There's a hole! There's a hole.
There's Saddam by the Tigris River...

There's American soldiers finding Saddam in the hole by the hut in Tikrit by the Tigris River.
There's American soldiers finding Saddam in the hole by the hut in Tikrit by the Tigris River.
There's a hole! There's a hole.
There's soldiers by the Tigris River...

There's Iraqis celebrating now that American soldiers have found Saddam in the hole by the hut in Tikrit by the Tigris River.
There's Iraqis celebrating now that American soldiers have found Saddam in the hole by the hut in Tikrit by the Tigris River.
There's a hole! There's a hole.
There's a party in the streets of Baghdad!

by Tegan at 8:56 AM Seattle time