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

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Sketchbook - Scott Kurtz

Another sketch from the Emerald City Comicon 2005. This one will be familiar to all the readers of PvP, and anyone who isn't familiar really ought to check the strip out. This was also a notable stop during the con because Scott had me leave a fangirl voice mail message for Aaron Williams, who writes my current favorite superhero book, PS238. Scott also did a Green Lantern Skull for hubby-Eric, which I'll share if I get to the point where I have no Aquaman sketches again.

by Scott Kurtz
06 February 2005
(permission to post given 06 February 2005 in person)

As a reminder: Almost every sketch in my sketchbook was non-commissioned and done on the floor of a con. These are not the best works of the artists. These are only representative of what the artist can do under pressure in a loud, crowded, and often stressed-out environment. Most of them were done as quickly as possible, to prevent huge lines from forming. Don't judge any of these artists negatively by the artwork you see, instead be as impressed as I am by what they accomplished in far-from-ideal conditions.

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.

The Saturday Sketch ™ is brought to you by the letters "S", "K" and the number "85", and also courtesy the fine artists who pour their lives into producing wonderful comic books, then come to conventions only to get asked by geeky fangirls for a sketch of Aquaman. Support an artist, buy a comic book.

by Tegan at 9:05 PM Seattle time - Permalink  


A sketch is coming later tonight. In the meantime, why don't you try this little problem I was confronted with in the store today?

Name an emotion that is an anagram of a homonym of an antomyn of a homonym of an anagram of wolf.

Please feel free to post what you think is the answer in the comments, and if you want the book it's from drop me a line and I'll see if I can figure out which one the customer was looking at when she hit us with it.

by Tegan at 6:02 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Friday, February 18, 2005

Rapid Reviews - 16 February 2005 - Part I

Green Lantern: Rebirth #4: "Force of Will": I'm still not sure if this explanation will fly. This issue was disjointed and a bit confusing. There are two plotlines, and I'm really wondering if they will ever join back up. Again I can't say much without some spoilers, so I'll just leave it at that. 3 1/2 starfish

Birds of Prey #79: "She Rides The Eye of a Hurricane": What must it be like to be the child of a policeman? This story brings that into sharp focus, not to mention the added terror and pride of the daughter of a superhero. I don't know much about Thorn, but I guess I'm going to learn. Origin month continues at DC with a recap of both Canary and Oracle's lives. 3 1/2 starfish

JLA: Classified #4: "This Guy... This-- Gardner!": Just more of the same Giffen fun, with the added difficulty of Sue, as described in the opening caption. Fire's patience with Mary Marvel combined with Beetle and Booster's antics makes for a fun story, but then add in some detective work and Ralph's sudden *um* "misconception", and this becomes freakin' hilarious. Definitely worth checking out if you like Giffen's sense of humor. 4 starfish

Teen Titans #21: "The New Kid": Speedy joins the Titans as Dr Light decides to retrieve his dignity after the events in Identity Crisis. Mia manages to hold her own, and I'm liking the character a lot in this book. Again, it seems to be origin month at DC as we get a recap of the history of the Titans, complete with scenes of Aqualad. As for Dr Light... this is the way to reboot a villain. He's much more of a threat now, at least he seems to be. I'm very curious as to how this story is going to turn out. 4 starfish

by Tegan at 6:32 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

More Thoughts

Grits and the lack thereof (Rachel "Amy Unbounded" Hartman's blog).

Photos in ultraviolet of various flowers. Cool links. Check out the landscapes, too.

Way cool Apollo mission panoramas using quicktime. Via /.

I'd write more, but I need to go deal with the obnoxious gurgling toilet problem again. There is definitely a problem, but I can't tell if it's further down the line or what...

by Tegan at 10:26 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Rapid Reviews - 9 February 2005 - Part III

JLA #111: "36 Hours: The Storm": Heh heh: "...the Fish Man. We got one of you back home, too -- only ours is, y'know, actually scary." heh. Nice use of other superteams in this one. In fact, it seems like the interaction between teams is one of the strong points of the DC Universe. I do kind of wonder exactly how the League, no matter how many members strong, is going to deal with the two threats they face. Looking forward to the next issue. 4 starfish

JSA #70: "High Societies": I've become a real fan of the modern Mr Terrific, and seeing how he deals with the past makes for a very cool story, in my opinion. Unfortunately, that's only a small part of the overall story, and it's easy to get lost when the writer is juggling so many threads. I keep forgetting which members are in the past. And we only get a couple of pages for each one. I wish each issue could have focused on the full adventure of one of the heroes instead. It's good, but difficult to follow. 3 1/2 starfish

Teen Titans #20: "Hiding": I went back and got this issue after I learned that Tempest is on the cover to issue #23. I'm glad I did. Not because any character I like appears, but because this is a well-written story about Robin dealing with his grief. And there was a small Black Manta reference that I didn't notice until I re-read the issue. A good tale. 3 1/2 starfish

by Tegan at 6:36 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Rapid Reviews - 9 February 2005 - Part II

Aquaman #27: "Retroverse Two": Heh. I'm getting quizzical e-mails wondering if I'm ever going to post a review of this issue. I think that means that people are intrigued by it and want to see my reaction. That's gotta be a good sign.

I liked it. A lot. After Arcudi's first issue, which was pretty bad, I was worried we'd get a whole lot of cliche stories with no new twists. I was pleasantly surprised last month, and even more impressed with this month's issue. In fact, this issue made me grab my older Peter David books to check something out, which doesn't happen unless I'm actively interested in something.

I was a solid issue, with a nice turn of events and a good use of continuity. There was even a recap of Aquaman's origin. The artwork was suberb. I wish DC still had page numbers, as I'd point out a few neat bits... instead I'll just urge you to take a look at the book for yourself.

Two very minor quibbles. One: Geist should NOT be on the surface, as the bad guys might spot him and then he's a dead man. He knows that, and Aquaman would have realized that shortly. Two: Orm needs to have contact with his staff or he's in great pain. That might have been the case here, but if it was it wasn't clear one the "staff" was removed from him.

Excellent issue. I'm actually looking forward to the next couple despite my vocal fears about them when I read Previews. 4 1/2 starfish

Green Arrow #47: "Southern Comfort": Must be origin month at DC as Green Arrow also gets a recap of his origin in this month's issue. This issue was strong, with a premise set up at the beginning which we later see put into action. The villians of the piece are sinister and fun (in that order) and the action moves along nicely. I'm a little disturbed by the art, as it seems to make some of the characters' faces more rubbery than needed. A good issue. 4 starfish

Bloodhound #8: "Slow Burn": I think I must like mysteries, as this issue really appealed to me, and it's mostly just setting up a good old-fashioned superhero mystery. I'm liking Clev a lot, and I kind of hope he gets cameos in other books in the future. 4 starfish

by Tegan at 12:45 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Audioblog - Bloggin' From The Comic Shop

Not much to say about this entry. It's short, stupid and serves its purpose, which was to test the audio blogging. I could see audioblogging becoming extremely addictive, and terribly boring to anyone who would rather read than listen.

this is an audio post - click to play

Transcript: "Ok, here I am, typical nerd, blogging from the comic shop! What other place should I do a test of my audio blogging software from? Um... not much to say. It's a comic shop, I'm in it. I just got my comics, you know, it's Wednesday - everyone knows comics come in on Wednesday. And... uh... well, not much- it's sunny outside. uh... Gotta go to work soon. uh... Whatever. Ok, that's it. *bleep!*" Note that you can also hear comic shop employee Carol yelling at the computer in the background.

It's amazing how much I sound like my little sister. When I listen to it, I hear her, not me.

by Tegan at 1:53 PM Seattle time - Permalink  


Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Trailer... it wouldn't run on Firefox, I had to use the evil browser to watch it. But ... Zaphod's second head is DEFINITELY in there.

The NHL Season is Gone. No surprise.

This Metafilter article is one of the most fascinating reads I've enjoyed in quite awhile. And, despite the topic, it's worksafe! And, by fascinating read, I mean read the links in the main post. The one in which they track down Lena for a conference is just cool.

And lastly, I apologize for this, but I will be shortly testing Audioblogger here on Bloggity. It worked with Gjoblaag, so I'm presuming that it will work here too. If you see an audioblog and don't want to listen, be patient. I'll transcibe it when I get the chance. Probably. Unless it's really, really dumb.

by Tegan at 11:33 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Comment Changes

I've made some changes to my commenting system so I can play with the Beta features of Haloscan. I will be playing with them, and so things might change a bit over the next ... however long it takes for me to get bored with it. The biggest change from the user's perspective is that I'm now requiring e-mail addresses, but not displaying them.

One reason to get your e-mail address is so people can use the funky Gravatar system to add an avatar image to their posts. I don't expect everyone to have an avatar, but I'm certain that some folks will want to. And it requires an e-mail address.

Now, I don't really expect spammers to harvest e-mail from comments, but then you never know. That's one reason I've decided to not display e-mail. I also decided to not show the e-mail because I've made it mandatory. Some people just don't want to have their e-mail floating around out there. If you actually want your e-mail address to show, you need to put it in the comment text.

One last thing. Some of the functions I'm activating are still in Beta testing, so if you notice anything truly odd, let me know so I can pass it on to the Haloscan administrators to fix. If it's so odd that you can't comment, then e-mail me.

BTW: If you notice a little square on other people's comments from Haloscan, it's that Gravatar thing. It's been activated for all Haloscan accounts on a Beta basis, and will show up whenever anyone includes their e-mail address, even if they don't have an Avatar. The Preview button has also been activated for all accounts. People with Premium accounts can edit their templates to adjust the way stuff is showing (like e-mail and avatars). Much of what I'm playing with is completely behind the scenes, but will have effects on what you see.

Update: Oooh, I changed my whole template. I'm still getting the hang of CSS, but it's interesting to work with. This is a neat time-waster. I should be writing a review of the latest Aquaman...

by Tegan at 9:00 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Happy Birthday Daniel!

Happy birthday to my silent little brother, who lives pretty far away from me now so I can't give him a hug (heh heh) for his birthday. Enjoy your day, little bro.

by Tegan at 8:10 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Monday, February 14, 2005

Obligatory DC Solicits Post

I'm sure others have/will cover the rest of the solicits sufficiently. I'll just focus, as usual, on my speciality.

Great cover, particularly when you look at the close-up and see what the "chains" are made of. The solicit itself is promising, and after two strong issues my interest is beginning to burn again. This issue has Black Manta, which would have made me yawn except for the twist thrown in. Then, just to make things even more interesting, it looks like we'll get to see Atlantis again... I wonder what will have happened there in the time we've been away?

But that isn't all. Nope. DC Direct is tormenting me this month with not one, but TWO new Aquaman action figures. And Black Manta, too, just to drive it home. The first Aquaman is part of a JLA gift set.

I'm going to have to check out the price on this one, but I know I want it. The other isn't a set, thank goodness, but another round of figures based on Alex Ross' artwork:

I think I want both figures. I really need to get that aquarium fitted out so I can put Aquaman figures in it and display them properly.

by Tegan at 3:14 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Rapid Reviews - 9 February 2005 - Part I

Dorothy Gale: Journey to Oz #1: A new version of Oz, but not totally original. Ok, the take on Toto is one I hadn't seen before. Same with Glinda. Amusingly, the Flying Monkeys appear to be much closer to their original origin from the books than most versions I see (which make them out to be pure evil... not so!). The artwork is nice, the story promising, but the price is a killer. I'm not sure it was worth $6. 3 1/2 starfish

Captain America & The Falcon #12: "Brothers": This actually does a nice job of summing up the plot and pulling everything together. In fact, pretty much all the rest of the story makes better sense to me now. Not too bad. 3 1/2 starfish

Outsiders #20: "Back to Normal": Um. That was an interesting splash page. And the issue mostly limited itself to one plotline, a rarity in current comic books that reads like a breath of fresh air. Plus, although it refers to previous events and sets up future plots, it's a nice done-in-one. Not bad. 3 1/2 starfish

Batman Strikes! #6: "The Cat's Prize": I still can't get into the TV series, but this issue makes me almost want to watch some more. I like this version of Catwoman. Not perfect, but a readable issue of an otherwise unremarkable book. 3 1/2 starfish

by Tegan at 1:04 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

It's Snowing

After weeks of summer-like weather, it's snowing. I'd forgotten that it's winter. The snow started as I drove back from my doctor's appointment, and now it's coming down hard, like it means it. I was going to write that I don't think it will stick, but I can already see it sticking to the neighbor's lawn... if this keeps up for another hour or two we will have a standard Seattle snowstorm, and children will be stuck at school.

I just stepped outside to take a picture and get an idea of the temperature. It's just below freezing, I think, and the snow is starting to stick to the roads already.

I sense a geniune Seattle disaster in the making. Especially since it was sunny this morning... if the road in front of our house is any indication, it's not going to take a full hour for everything to become slick enough to cause serious problems.

Huh. In the time it's taken me to write this, the snow has gone from "cute, but not threatening" to "uh-oh".

Update: twenty minutes later, it seems to be slowing up quite a bit. Fingers crossed, but it might not be a problem after all.

by Tegan at 9:17 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Retro Reviews - More Fun Comics #74

I apologize for the low quality of the scans in this review. The only copy I have of this story is on microfiche, and I've yet to find a decent microfiche printer/scanner. These were printed at the local library.

I really wish DC would do more reprints of Golden Age stories. They often are far more fascinating than you would expect. And I'd rather give money to DC for these stories than over-paying a dealer in Golden Age books just to get my hands on an eight-page story.

Anyway, this story is Aquaman's second tale, probably still written by Mort and definitely drawn by Paul Norris. Paul does not remember drawing ten full Aquaman stories, but he's listed as the artist of the first ten stories at the moment.

More Fun Comics #74

More Fun #74 didn't differ much from More Fun #73 in content or size. The book was 68 pages (including covers) and priced at 10 cents. The cover date was December 1941, but the book was on the stands much earlier. The Aquaman story was 8 pages long.

This being the second ever Aquaman story, it also introduced Aquaman's first recurring villain. We'll get into his origin when I cover the story, but in the meantime I can tell you he stuck around for awhile, lasting from his intro in 1941 until at least 1950.

In addition to Aquaman's new nemesis, this issue also introduced a... for lack of a better term, a sidekick for the Spectre. Those of you who have read any of the Percival Popp Spectre stories know what I'm talking about. Apparently having bad guys wasn't enough, the Spectre needed an annoying good guy to deal with, too.

Historical Context: This month in 1941 is infamous in the United States, but the book was to be pulled from the stands in December. Books that were cover dated April or May of the next year were the first ones that had content in them relating to Pearl Harbor. In fact, this issue was a little light on any war material, mostly dealing with criminals, both common and uncommon.

Also, an essay in the back of one of the Aquaman minis claimed that this second tale introduced the Aquacave. This is not the case. Aquaman's underwater lair (and it isn't a cave) is introduced in the next story.

The Other Stories: Because I have this issue on microfiche, I can give you a good summary of each of the tales. For other information, go visit the GCD. The cover features Doctor Fate again, but he's the last story in this issue.

First up is The Spectre: "Introducing Percival Popp, the Super Cop". Percival starts out by hitching a ride in Jim Corrigan's car, and claims that he's trying to be as effective as fictional detectives by using their methods. He gets involved in a case of wealthy men disappearing, and manages to actually help the Spectre in a small way.

Next up is the Green Arrow's second tale, "The Silent City". In it, a villain uses a device to remove all sound so his gang can run around without getting caught.

Radio Patrol showed up next in "The Case of the Dead Thoroughbred", in which they discover a horse dead in the middle of a city street and unravel the mystery from there.

Aquaman's story is next, then Johnny Quick faces off again "Dr Clever", who pulls not one, not two, but three criminal rackets which Quick breaks up in this one story. And all in 8 pages.

Next up is the two page text story about a "Kid From Kentucky" who demonstrates that good shooting can make up for being against seemingly impossible odds when a posse refuses him because he doesn't have a "good gun".

Then Clip Carson goes to Buenos Aires where he gets involved in a crooked racehorse scheme and gets the local girl to fall in love with him.

The book ends with Doctor Fate's story "Mr. Who Lives Again" in which Mr Who's powers of adaptability threaten the city.

Aquaman's Tale: This is an eight-pager which appears pretty much in the middle of the book. The splash page shows Aquaman diving from the air at a ship flying the skull and crossbones flag.

On the open sea, a pleasure yacht is attacked by pirates dressed in old costumes and flying "an old fashioned pirate flag". The pleasure yacht surrenders and gives him what he wants, but Black Jack has no intention of letting them live.

The pirates toss the unlucky yachtsman overboard, but somebody is there to give him a hand.

Aquaman climbs aboard with the rescued man and immediately starts to take out the pirates. After a short but decisive fight, Black Jack declares a retreat, but Aquaman manages to grab their loot and return it to the rightful owners before jumping to the pirate ship to continue the fight.

He's doing quite well until Black Jack tosses a gas grenade at him, which knocks Aquaman out. When he comes to, Black Jack tells Aquaman that he admires him. Black Jack explains that because of the war, the fleets are busy and "bold lads" can loot at will. Aquaman says that all he sees is a phony costume, to which Black Jack replies:

In short, Black Jack is waging psychological warfare against cargo ships and pleasure yachts. Aquaman's answer to the proposal to join the pirate crew is swift and definite.

So Black Jack puts chains and weights on Aquaman and makes him walk "the old plank road". Of course, Black Jack wasn't counting on Aquaman being able to breathe underwater, or on him finding some handy coral to cut the ropes binding him so he could free himself from the weights.

Black Jack chases after the yacht that Aquaman rescued earlier, and decides to sink it with a torpedo. But just as the torpedo launches, guess who arrives?

Aquaman turns the torpedo around and hits Black Jack's ship. As it's starting to sink, Aquaman leaps aboard and starts smashing heads.

The pirates run from Aquaman, diving into the water, except for Black Jack himself who battles Aquaman until his ship has sunk beneath him. While Aquaman congratulates himself on getting rid of another pirate, Black Jack washes up on a "rocky reef" and swears vengeance.

Observations: On the splash page, next to the "AQUAMAN" title is a circle with the words "by Paul".

Black Jack is stylishly dressed in a dark green shirt with olive drab pants and brown boots. Around his waist appears to be a sash, over which he wears his gunbelt, with two guns. His gloves are black and he carries his sword in his left hand. On his right shoulder is a stylin' brown half-cape, and his left shoulder has some cords. He wears a knotted blue hankerchief as his hat, and has an eyepatch on his left eye. He also has a moustache and beard, and from them we can see his hair is dark brown.

All of Black Jack's crew wear green and black striped shirts.

Aquaman never once uses his ability to talk to fish in this story. It's all brains and muscle, mostly muscle.

Black Jack and his crew don't just dress like old-time pirates, they attempt to talk like them too. At one point Black Jack yells "Swamp the swab!" and he also tells his crew to "bust his binnacle for him!" Um. Ok.

Body Count: The pirates do not kill anyone on the pleasure yacht thanks to Aquaman's timely intervention, but apparently the entire crew of the pirate ship dies when it sinks. Only Black Jack survives. The most pirates we ever see at one time are seven, but Black Jack's crew may have been larger. So the body count is at least seven, all criminals.

Named Characters/Places/Ships: The pleasure yacht is never named, but either the captain or the first mate is named Mr. Boswell. Black Jack's ship is called The Nemesis.

Loose Ends: Not many. The yacht appears to have gotten away. Black Jack escaped as well, but it's pretty obvious we'll see more of him soon. We don't know if any of Black Jack's crew escaped, or if they all died in the sinking of the Nemesis.

Concluding Thoughts: Fun little romp. Mostly fighting, but well-drawn fighting with a nice little pirate theme.

Lastly: My wantlist has been updated a little, I'm still looking for 15 stories, mostly from the Golden Age. If you can help, please contact me.

Next up: I don't know. What would you prefer? I could stick with the Golden Age, or jump to another Silver Age story. I could even do something more recent, if someone wants me to. I think I'm inclined to continue with the More Fun Comics, just move on to the next issue. Use the comments to cast your vote.


by Tegan at 2:24 PM Seattle time - Permalink  


This image is from my training walk yesterday afternoon. I found it to be terribly shocking. So I took a picture to share with you.

This warning is apparently is telling us about a dangerous supervillain on the loose. Be careful, everyone! The evil zapper is after you!

And for anyone without a sense of humor, yes, I know it's a serious warning... but why did they put a face on it?

by Tegan at 8:06 AM Seattle time - Permalink