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Laura "Tegan" Gjovaag

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Book Reviews

I've been hitting the library a bit recently. Here's a couple of books I enjoyed.

Peeps by Scott Westerfeld: This is a cool take on the mythos of vampires, and it's educational as well. Yes, educational. I was referred to this book by Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing, and I think it pretty much lived up to his hype. It's a quick read, but dense with information on what the disease is and how it's being fought along with more information that most people ever want to know about parasites. I found it a little frustrating at times because the action was moving nicely, but I didn't feel like I was getting anything new. But the slow moments were few and far in between, and the attitude of the narrator made up for a lot of minor faults in my opinion. All in all, a pretty good book, especially if you like vampire stories. 3 1/2 starfish

Mimi and Toutou's Big Adventure: The Bizarre Battle of Lake Tanganyika by Giles Foden: Geoffrey Spicer-Simson was a career loser whose sometimes spectacular failures led to him being the oldest lieutenant commander in the Royal Navy at the start of WWI, stuck at a desk job in the heart of the Admiralty. But a shortage of officers gave him command of a possibly foolhardy mission into the heart of Africa to one of the largest lakes to sink a German ship with two oversized motorboats which had to be dragged from Cape Town to the lake. While this would make a pretty good tale just starting from those facts, when you add in the fact that Spicer had tons of tattoos and a liking for wearing skirts (not kilts, skirts) it becomes hilarious. This one got an unprecedented 20 out of 10 as a rating in Fortean Times, and while I wouldn't give it quite that much, it is a great book, and made all the moreso because it happens to be completely true. If you want a fun romp into the heart of Africa written in an intelligent and sensitive manner, definitely check this one out. 4 starfish

-by Tegan at 7:18 PM Seattle time - Permalink  


Friday, October 14, 2005

More Thoughts

It's new page day for The Mad Bun on GirlAMatic, so go check it out.

Newsarama tackles Infinite Crisis. Spoiler warning: This article gives away part of the plot.

Jeff Parker recounts a comic shop moment.

An argument for Intelligent Design... or maybe FSM. Via FilkerTom.

Vote in the great toilet paper debate. Via Aaron Williams.

Click the colour, not the word. I did ok. Messed up on my first time because I couldn't figure out the interface. Via Aaron Williams.

Another opinion of the Washington NFL team's nickname. I agree completely with this editorial.

-by Tegan at 9:23 AM Seattle time - Permalink  


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Random Bits

Takuhai has changed its name to the more boring "Manga Magazine", possibly because nobody in the US could pronounce the name.

The Beat has the only funny entry in a Fark contest.

The Beat also talks about the importance of ownership in comics.

I would write more, but my head hurts and I haven't eaten a regular meal that's stayed in my stomach in several days, so I can't be bothered to think anymore.

-by Tegan at 6:22 PM Seattle time - Permalink  


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Rapid Reviews - 5 October 2005 - Part I

Reviews are going to be slow in coming over the next week or so because I'm in a foul mood and have discovered I have nearly no interest in actually writing reviews at all. I'll do what I can, but since I'm not getting paid for this I'm not going to force myself to write. It's a hobby, it's supposed to be fun.

JSA #78: "Lost & Found" Part one of three: There is so much happening in this one that I can barely follow it. I don't think Keith Champagne believes in decompression in storytelling. However, what I can follow is way cool. War in the fifth dimension, crossover battles at the Rock of Eternity, Fate missing in action, and ... well, I gotta leave some surprises. It's confusing, yes. It could use a lot of help from the Wiki (particularly the whole Nabu thing, which I've never worked out). But it was still awesome. 3 starfish

Superman/Shazam: First Thunder #2: "Odd Couples": Still feels like an intro issue, although in this case we are meeting the villains of the piece. The story seems a little thin, but it isn't too bad. About your superhero average. Wiki. 2 1/2 starfish

Detective Comics #812: "City of Crime Part 10: Pearls and Fine China": For a minute there it got interesting, but then it turned out to be a dream. Or something like that. I'm not entirely sure. And I still can't figure out what Robin is up to. Very odd issue of a very strange story. Wiki. 2 starfish

Wonder Woman #221: "Pride of the Amazons": I'd say this one is a bit crucial to understanding what's happening in the whole Identity Crisis thing. Or at least following Wonder Woman's role in it. Not a bad story if it were simply by itself and contained to this book. But there are references within that need a passing knowledge of the tie-in book to really understand, and that's annoying. Wiki. 2 starfish

-by Tegan at 2:40 PM Seattle time - Permalink  


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Cranky Random Thoughts

First up: Geoff Johns breaks my heart. Here I was, happy that Aquaman had avoided the stupidity of crossover fever this time 'round, when Johns has to say: "Aquaman is in Crisis and his world will be affected. I can say, Dan knows Aquaman needs attention and hes targeted for it." ARGH!!!

By the way, read the whole article. There's a LOT of answers there for folks who want to know more about the massive DC reboot about to hit.

Update: Here's Part Two of the Geoff Johns interview.

The Daily Burn declares that Manga Doesn't Suck. Well, yeah, it does. Just as much as anything else sucks. But there is some good stuff out there.

Now you, too, can see the Smurfs get bombed thanks to Mark Evanier's readers.

The Beat links to an article that supposedly has dolphins singing the Batman theme, but it doesn't sound anything like the Batman theme to me.

Rampage directs us to disturbing discussion about Tokyopop's Original English Language Manga, and how many children the creators have to sign away to get in on the act.

Disturbing Aquaman-related image of the day.

A Prius owner gloats in verse.

The BBC Reports on what was lost in the Aardman fire.

UFO Sightings Google Mapped. Ooooh-kay. I found some of the sighting to be of great interest, however, especially the one last month that happened in the same place I grew up.

-by Tegan at 11:54 AM Seattle time - Permalink  


Monday, October 10, 2005

Flipping Through Previews...

AAAAAUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!!Yes, it's that time again... time for "Things in Previews That Look Interesting But I Can't Afford To Get (with a list of things I am getting just for contrast)". I'm going to start with the bulk of the book, and then come back and cover the "big four" at the end. Please remember, I'm listing what looks interesting. My actual purchase list is going to be much smaller. The numbers after each title are usually the page number in Previews Magazine, so you can follow along at home.

Let's start with the covers. We've got Mickey skating on the front cover, and a very nice sculpture of Sub-Mariner on the back. Probably the most tame covers I've seen in a long time. Ok, Subby isn't wearing much, but at least he looks classic.

Moving on, let's hit the Splash Page (8-9). Not much of note here, except maybe the Fallen Angel bit. I'm not sure whether we'll be getting the new book... we'll have to see. This is going to be a bad month for us. Lots of stuff we want will have to be cut.

Skipping past the "Premier Comics", we'll stop at Wizard (190-196). Not much of interest there, so on to the "Featured Items" of the Comics & Graphic Novels (198-201). I'd be remiss to not mention the Demo trade, and hey, there's that Fallen Angel popping up again. I've been reading Juror 13 over at Takuhai, so I'm mildly interested in it... enough to mention it.

And into the regular listings we go.

The first item of real interest for us is Airship Entertainment (209) and the new Girl Genius collections. Of course we're getting it! I have the first three in hardcovers.

Airwave Comics (209) is putting out another version of The Wizard of Oz with art and character designs by Richard Maurizio. I haven't been able to find a website for the publisher, or any more detail than is in the solicit.

AiT/Planet Lar (209-210) has the new collection of Demo, which I recommend to people who would like to try something different. If you've had enough of superheroes, but still want some superpowers, give it a shot.

An annoying company is Alias (210-214), who apparently are giving us an expensive prequel to Lullaby. At $6 and with no evidence that there is any Oz content, I think we'll pass on this one. Another book I'm interested in from Alias is Robert Silverberg's The Seventh Shrine, but I'm afraid the price is out of my range, even for the softcover, so I'll have to pass on this one too. How annoying.

Ambition Studios (218) has a book called Kid Beowulf that I would certainly give a shot if I had the cash. The Previews on the website look good, if a little silly. But worth a look.

Next up is Antarctic Press (221-226) who publishes the delightful Oz: The Manga which only has two more issues to go. Oz fans should be checking this one out.

Hubby-Eric and I ordered the first issue of Paradox from Arcana Studio (227), so we'll get the second.

Archaia Studios Press (227) is republishing The Lone And Level Sands in color as a hardcover. I enjoyed the trade, but I can't justify buying this again, despite how much I'd like to see it in color.

Committed Comics (250) is back! As much as I'd like to support them, I didn't love Neo Dawn so I'm afraid I'll probably pass on this one. But I'll keep an eye out for more books from them.

The cover to Dork Tower #33 is nearly enough to get me to take the leap and start buying the book from Dork Storm Press (270). But I'm not inclined to add another book. Even more than the cover to DT, however, is the cover to The Collected Dork Tower Volume 8. I had to show that one to hubby-Eric. What I will get from Dork Storm is Nowick #31.

I absolutely loved the first three issues of Action Philosophers, so I'll be getting the fourth issue from Evil Twin Comics (274).

Heroic Publishing (281) has an item of note in that the cover is yet another comic cover homage to Norman Rockwell's Freedom From Want.

ibooks (284) has the next collection of Amelia Rules, this one collecting the Superheroes story.

And suddenly we get to IDW Publishing (285-291) and the return of Fallen Angel. I'm still not sure we'll be getting it, but we've got a little time to decide. I will be getting Angel: Old Friends #2 because I'm addicted.

There's no question that we'll be getting Dorothy #5 from Illusive Productions (292). After all, we like it.

Ludovico Technique (295) has a neat twist on the super concept: A Witness Protection Program for SUPER VILLAINS. Living In Infamy #1 is definitely something I'd like to check out. We'll have to see if it makes the list.

Moonstone Books (296) is showing off Buckaroo Banzai in a preview book. Tempting indeed.

Continuing from the first issue, we'll be getting Local #2 from Oni Press (310). Nothing else jumps out at me.

Moving along... Rosen Publishing Group (314-315) has a new series of books that make me want 'em, featuring "Mysteries" like Atlantis, The Bermuda Triangle, Bigfoot, Ghosts, The Loch Ness Monster, and UFOs. I'd like to get the lot, but I'm afraid I can't afford $60 worth of books, even if they do look like fun.

Speakeasy Comics (317-328) has a lot of books. I think we might drop Beowulf, and we've already dropped The Grimoire, so I think there's nothing in there we're likely to jump in on.

And that concludes the regular comic book section... whew... and off into the back of the book I go. There's an Usagi Yojimbo sourcebook in the Games section on page 493. Looks intriguing, but I'll pass on it. There's a full-page ad for the Hikaru No Go DVD on page 501. I really want to get this, but it's pretty expensive. I wish I could convince somebody to send me a review copy. In any case, the ad says that the anime series is 75 episodes and the Manga has 23 volumes. It's an excellent Manga series, and I'm glad to know how long it'll go now. The most recent solicit of the Manga was volume 5. Only 18 more to go!

And that gets us through the comics and extras and sends us back to the front of the book to tackle the big four, and thus the bulk of our comic book order...

Dark Horse (17-53) is producing a 25 cent Penny Arcade book. I might have to get it. I will be getting both Conan books. I'm addicted. Curse you Kurt! You've got me into another character!!! Ahem. That appears to be it for our Dark Horse purchases this month, as there is no Usagi Yojimbo.

Image Comics (131-177) has a look into the world of Wonderland with The Looking Glass Wars: Hatter M that hubby-Eric might be wanting. We'll have to see. Age of Bronze #22 is certainly making the list, as is Noble Causes #17.

Marvel Comics (180). As usual, I turned down the Marvel Previews because having another book just for Marvel is stupid. As for what we'll get... let's see... we dropped Amazing Spider-Man because of a stupid crossover. Dropped Supreme Power because they split it into mini-series. No Powers this month. All that's left are the What If books, and I'll consider them, but it would be so much easier if Marvel just didn't produce anything I was interested in.

And now I'm down to just one publisher... DC Comics.

Batman (59-64): Nothing I'll be getting for myself.

Superman (65-70): Nothing I'll be getting for myself, but I'll note Superman: True Brit is coming out as a softcover.

DC Universe (71-89): Aquaman #37 makes the list. Other books that will probably make the list are Birds of Prey #89, Green Lantern #7, Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #4, Green Arrow #57, Justice #3, JLA #123, JLA: Classified #15, JSA: Classified #6, JSA #80, Legion of Super-Heroes #13, and Solo #8.

I guess I'll probably get Infinite Crisis #3 as well, since we started it. We might get Outsiders #31, but we might drop it with this issue. I'll probably get Teen Titans #31 for the Tula zombie appearance. I swear, Tula has made more appearances after her death than before. I thought the whole point of JLA: Classified was to keep all the extra stories in one title, but apparently DC doesn't think that two JLA titles are enough, as they started the a new mini with JLA: Classified: Cold Steel #1. I don't know yet if we'll get it, but probably since Aquaman may be in it. And I'm not sure about Showcase Presents: Justice League of America Vol 1, either, although I wouldn't mind getting it. I like having "DC Essentials", and hope they do some Golden Age ones soon.

Johnny DC/DC Library/CMX (90-100): Justice League Unlimited #16 is it. Nothing else.

Wildstorm (101-111): Nothing I'll be getting for myself.

Vertigo (112-122): Nothing I'll be getting for myself.

DC Direct (123-130): Nothing I'll be getting for myself.

And there it is... all of Previews. I'm finally all the way through. Huzzah. So that's it for this month's "Things in Previews That Look Interesting But I Can't Afford To Get (with a list of things I am getting just for contrast)". Comments? Questions? Did I miss any really cool books that you know about and would like to point out? Do you disagree with something I wrote, and want to correct me? There's the comments, right below. Post something. And, yes, I accept review copies. I'm willing to give almost anything a try.

Note: I've posted a mostly Oz-focused version of this at The Wonderful Blog of Oz.

Previous Flipping Through Previews:

-by Tegan at 2:53 PM Seattle time - Permalink  


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Random Thoughts

Coming soon: Flipping Through Previews and last week's comics reviews (yes, including Aquaman). I'm running as normal, a week or so behind. For tonight, here's some thoughts from all over the 'net that don't really deserve a lot of attention but caught my eye.

Spoof Article about the RIAA lawsuits.

First 9 minutes of Serenity. Since I still haven't seen Firefly, I haven't bothered with this.

How not to interview someone who is too self-important to be honest with you.

An American in Chains.

Pandemic Preparedness, what you can do to possibly survive.

-by Tegan at 8:30 PM Seattle time - Permalink  


Ending in an Hour on eBay...

More Fun #73.

I don't expect that I will ever have a copy of this book, but it's nice to see that some are out there. This one is slabbed and graded 3.0 from CGC, and no bids on it yet. With a starting bid of $1,800, that's just not a big surprise, even for a book this rare.

-by Tegan at 11:07 AM Seattle time - Permalink  


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