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

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Random Thoughts

Golden Age of Comics Podcast featuring Aquaman. Check out the whole list of Golden Age podcasts.

Ethan Van Sciver tells a horror story.

Test your reaction time.

The tale of the Batusi.

It was on porpoise.

The Mystery House Blogger did an interview.

FilkerTom has some Flash fun.

A Loo with a View. Heh heh.

Boing Boing links:

And lastly, a fascinating Slashdot story about how a mutated gene saved many Europeans from The Black Death, and may save more people from AIDS.

-by Tegan at 8:40 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Friday, October 28, 2005

Rapid Reviews - 26 October 2005 - Part I

Ha! I'm actually doing reviews for books that came out THIS WEEK! Ha!

The Flash #227: "The Last Days": Nice little adventure. I liked the future Flash twins at the beginning, but I'm glad that was all we had to see of them. Nice cliffhanger, too, although folks laughing menacingly aren't that frightening. Wiki. 2 1/2 starfish

Wonder Woman #222: "Blood Debt": Diana turns herself in. The contrast with Cheetah could have been good, but didn't work too well for me. It just was too drawn out and too wordy. The Cheetah bits distracted from the more interesting story of Diana wanting to make up for her murder. And I guess my favorite bit was definitely the Etta side of the story. About superhero average. Wiki. 2 1/2 starfish

JLA: Classified #13: "New Maps of Hell" Part Four: I'm not entirely sure what's happening here. Some demon thing. I wish I liked this better. But I don't like it much. Wiki. 2 starfish

JSA: Classified #4: "Power Trip Part IV of IV": No real resolution to this one, as part of it has to be resolved in Infinite Crisis. At least we sort of have a bit of an idea who Power Girl is. Um. Maybe. If it's true. Wiki. 2 1/2 starfish

Solo #7: "Michael Allred": There were some decent stories in this one, even if Aqualad was severely mistreated. The Hourman tale was probably the best. Not my favorite of the Solo books, but a good one. Wiki. 3 starfish

Wizard of Oz (Puffin Graphic Novel): This has got to be one of the most faithful, if not the most faithful, adaptations of the original book by L Frank Baum I've ever seen. Admittedly, I'm a newbie as far as Oz fandom goes, but this is a magnificent work. Michael Cavallaro should be proud of this one. The character choices he makes are a bit different than most, and I do have a small issue with his Tin Man, but it's very very small and is more than made up for by the other excellent touches, including having the real ending to the book instead of cutting it off at the Emerald City. There's also some nice supplementary material at the end of the book. This one is definitely a winner. 4 starfish

-by Tegan at 9:52 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Rapid Reviews - 19 October 2005

Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #2: "Assignments": Mogo calls for help, and warring species are sent on a mission together. After reading this I can only barely recall what happened in the book, it's that forgettable. Not the best superhero book out there. Wiki. 2 starfish

Birds of Prey #87: "Perfect Pitch Part One": Ok, the sudden elevation of the Calculator into the villains version of Oracle is an excellent development in the DCU, in my opinion. And it's only natural that the two should eventually have a battle. I like the way this one is shaping up so far, as a game of chess instead of the typical super-hero silliness. I want to see more. Wiki. 3 starfish

Batman #646: "Franchise part 1: Supply Side Economics": I can't figure it out. Who is the Black Mask, and who is the Red Hood? Are we supposed to know that by now? Who blew up the building? Turf war between two bad guys... only one of them is... who? If a book leaves you with more questions than answers, is it a good book or a bad book? And to top it all off, this one ties into Villains United as well. Whatever. Wiki. 2 starfish

Superman #222: "Safe Harbor": An OMAC goes after Lois, and we learn how the OMAC virus was spread. There's also some bits with Superman in there. Not too bad for a crossover, but still not much above average. Wiki. 2 starfish

Captain Atom - Armageddon #1: "A Scream Across The Sky": I don't know anything about Captain Atom, nor anything about the Wildstorm Universe. I only took a look at this because of Will Pfeifer, whose run on Aquaman was one of the best. I can't say I loved this book, though. I'm just not sure what happened. It's a promising start, but until I get some more context, I'll just say it's average. 2 1/2 starfish

Justice #2: What a coincidence. The same week we see "Arthur Curry" strapped to a table in Smallville, we see Aquaman strapped to a table in Justice. Another case of synchronicity. There were some good bits in this one. Nothing overwhelmingly fantastic, but it was good. I'd rather see Aquaman kicking butt and taking names, but I'll settle for the small appearance he got... this time. 2 1/2 starfish

Seven Soldiers: Klarion #4: "Burn, Witchboy, Burn": I'm not even going to pretend. This was mildly readable, not good, and sadly very much a Morrison book. You like Morrison, go get it. Otherwise, avoid. Wiki. 1 1/2 starfish

Astro City: The Dark Age #4: "Execution Day": The Silver Agent is executed amid a massive knock-down drag-out fight in Astro City, that is affected by some sort of time travel. This was a surprisingly powerful finish the first arc of The Dark Age, and maybe, just maybe, it lived up to the hype. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the story. Wiki. 3 starfish

Battle Hymn #4: "Over There": I liked the front cover to this issue, as it features the aquatic character, Quinn Rey. His confusion in the story is a nice touch, as well. He just hasn't got a clue what he's doing there or what the others are doing to him. This is going to go down as a good mini-series. It's a shame it took so long to come out. 3 starfish

Grimm Fairy Tales #1: "Red Riding Hood": A high school girl faces a difficult choice, and a strange book with a familiar fairy tale appears. Thanks to the book, the decision is made easier. I loved the framing sequence, and the story itself wasn't a bad adaptation. In short, this is a good one. Worth a look, I think. 3 starfish

Midnight Kiss #1: "Fallen part 1 of 6": I got this book because the later solicits promise that part of the adventure will be in Oz or related to Oz. I can understand from the action in the first issue how that will happen. Other than the fairy tale twist, it's a violent book with moderate artwork, a little too graphic at points. I'll get it for the Oz references, but I can't yet tell if I'll enjoy it. 2 starfish

Conan #21: "The Tower of the Elephant part two: The Prince of Thieves": I'm loving this book. The battle at the top of the tower is particularly well done. This is one of the more horrific and fascinating Conan tales, and so far... so good. Recommended. Wiki. 3 1/2 starfish

Goon 25 Cent: What can I say about this? It's slightly funny. It has a horror edge that doesn't appeal to me. It's not bad, it's just not my kind of book. 2 starfish

Opposite Forces Vol 2 #2: Eric and I got this book the first time it came out, in black and white, and it's still funny and well-done in color. What more can I say? I like it. It's good. Go check it out. 3 starfish

Wow, only another week to go to catch up. How's that?

-by Tegan at 6:58 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Rapid Reviews - 12 October 2005

Slowly slowly slowly catching up. Here's reviews from two weeks ago.

Action Comics #832: "Old Ghosts": A Day of Vengeance tie-in with a great Jim Aparo tribute on a splash page. I'm not sure what the deal was with Lois' father. Is he supposed to be dead or something? It wasn't a bad tale, but there was nothing special about it. Wiki. 2 1/2 starfish

Green Arrow #55: "Heading Into The Light part two: Cold Reflections": Dr Light has never chilled me much, but Killer Frost is a bit frightening, and Mirror Master has always freaked me out. So, while the whole "Dr Light is after my family" thing doesn't do much for me, I enjoyed the scenes of Mirror Master battling. Still, this one hits just about average for a superhero book. Wiki. 2 1/2 starfish

JLA #120: "Requiem For A Legacy": Um... Aquaman leading the services? While I figure that, yeah, he's got a more spiritual side thanks to the Lady of the Lake, this just doesn't really strike me as quite right. The whole speech hits a false note in me. I'd like for Arthur to be a peacemaker, but he hasn't yet made peace with Atlantis, so it doesn't work for me. The second half of the book, when Arthur confronts Batman, rings more true. Overall, this is ok, but not great. Wiki. 2 1/2 starfish

Villains United #6: "At The End of All Things": You know, I'm not even going to pretend I understand the ending completely, but I know who Pariah is, and I know that this is leading into a multiverse something, so I have a decent idea of the impact this one has. But it's the end, the last two pages, that really did it for me. The whole thing, the whole stupid crossover/event, clicks into place in those last two pages. Nothing else matters. Now we just have to see what the writers of the DC Universe do with it. Because there are a great many ways to still screw this one up. Wiki. Wiki. 3 starfish

Infinite Crisis #1: This was a horrible mishmash of a bunch of different plotlines colliding. I had a hard time getting through the book until I stopped and just read it a couple of pages at a time and slotted each section into it's own part of the crossover before continuing. Nice appearance of The Fisherman. I thought he was as forgotten as Cal Durham. But mostly it was just too much garbage coming together too fast to make any real sense. I hope future issues are better. Wiki. 2 starfish

Star Wars: Empire #36: "The Wrong Side of the War Part 1 (of 5)": This issue introduces us to an imperial soldier who has a few doubts about his duty, but does his job anyway. It's a decent start, we'll have to see how it plays out. Wiki. 2 1/2 starfish

Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Volume 4: Four fun tales from the Star Wars universe. I have to admit I like these "animated" style far more than I liked the three recent movies. This one had a hilarious droids tale at the beginning, and three other solid stories to back it up. All-in-all, a winner. I wish I could give these away for Hallowe'en. 3 1/2 starfish

Amelia Rules #15: "When The Hero Takes A Fall": Amelia learns a secret about a friend, has a sleepover, and gets into a heap of trouble. This is one really good book. I can't say this was the best ever issue, but it accurately captures the insanity of youth. Definitely worth a look or three. Wiki. 3 1/2 starfish

Thieves & Kings #47: To my surprise, I found the text portion of this issue much more intriguing than the comic portion, as Leahaana gets a glimpse of just how awful life is under the Prince, and decides to do something about it. While I never counted her out of the picture, I didn't suspect she would take this sort of action, so the issue is a bit of a surprise to me. That's a good thing. I only wish this book came out a little more often, as it's usually very hard to recall what happened last. 3 starfish

Nodwick #30: An old friend named Rowen shows up on a dragon, and the team get crackin' on another adventure with Nodwick in the usual place. I really enjoy this book. It's probably the best fantasy book, traditional fantasy, that I read. Yeah, it's humor as well, but it takes itself just seriously enough to not be pure farce. Definitely worth getting. Wiki. 3 starfish

Oz: The Manga #4: Another great issue of this adaptation, as the foursome meet the Wizard in his various forms and learn what they have to do to get their wishes. This is still an excellent adaptation. Wiki. 3 1/2 starfish

-by Tegan at 2:36 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Massive Linkdump

"People keep giving me rings..." BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!!! I want the full quote on a t-shirt.

Jeff Parker is being cryptic.

Comic Treadmill on Aquaman.

An Appreciation of Thriller. Also a nice theme park ad. Eeek.

Rosyln Washington doesn't want ghost hunters in their cemetary at night. Too bad.

Ah, those out-moded turns of phrases. Does the current generation even know what a record is, much less what a broken one sounds like?

Dorothy Volume 1 is out.

Good links from Aaron Williams.

Postmodernbarney notes that George Takei has come out. Sulu was one of my first ever crushes.

Animaniacs on DVD? We can hope!

How to knit DNA. Maybe I can talk my mom into knitting me a nice strand. If you want something a little more ... disgusting... how about a knitted digestive tract?

Forbes tells businesses how to harrass bloggers. Folks, it ain't libel if it's the truth.

A Short Guide to Iraq, written for US Troops... in 1942.

Hip Hop Yoda.

The new OpenOffice is really slow, until I noticed a tip in this slashdot thread... once I turned off Java, it started running superfast.

Hallowe'en Legends from Snopes.

War Profiteers. They make me sick.

-by Tegan at 10:07 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Rapid Reviews - 5 October 2005 - Part IV

At this rate, I might have this week's comics reviewed by Thanksgiving...

Justice League Unlimited #14: "Everybody Limbo": Deadman joins up with the Justice League for a Hallowe'en tale in which the heroes have to work together to save... limbo. Of particular interest is the appearance of Zauriel along with Etrigan. I wonder how many kids read this comic? From the letter page, I'd guess a few. I hope they are soaking it all in. This is, in some ways, the DC universe at it's best. Wiki. 3 starfish

Powers #13: Seems like there was a small error in the text, as the police officer tells Walker that the witness is "blonde", but she's certainly not. Maybe an art problem. Eh, it was ok anyway. Typical of this book. Nothing really special, but certainly enough to keep me reading. Wiki. 2 1/2 starfish

Conan & The Demons of Khitai #1: Conan goes to the Orient and faces off against a Kappa. Hey, samurai action and Conan... what more do you want? Wiki. 3 starfish

Genie #3: "First Wish part three: Be Careful What He Wishes For...": Xanda gets used to her new role as a fourteen year old mighty quick, confirming that she's just an all around great character. The artwork could be better, but the story carries it along. We get a lot of history in this one, and it's fast becoming one of my favorite reads each month. 3 starfish

True Story, Swear To God #15: "Imagine": After the tense events in the last issue (which, yes, made me cry) this issue is lighthearted and funny again. Not that the last issue didn't have fun moments, just that it was much more serious overall. The first two pages of this one, in which Tom's language problems make for a hilarious moment, got me to laugh aloud. Sheesh, crying, laughing... this is probably the best comic book series I've read in ages. In this issue, Tom puts together his first mini-comic and is amazed when it sells. Ha! What does he think now that he's got two collections out, I wonder? In any case GET THIS BOOK. Wiki. 4 1/2 starfish

-by Tegan at 11:02 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Random Linkdump

Aquaman doesn't know CPR according to Smallville. Shame on them for getting it so wrong!

Near Mint Heroes directs us to a bunch of cool videos, including ads for MEGOs (Aquaman: The famous undersea crime fighter!).

James Meeley went to the Comicard show that I completely forgot about. Ah well, I still plan on going to the Emerald City Comicon.

Johnny B updates his sketch blog.

Rumors were swirling that LEGO had gotten a new license, a Batman license... well, it's been confirmed.

Ian Brill does a fantastic book review. Makes me want to check it out.

Hubby-Eric and I went to a reading and signing by Wicked author Gregory Maguire Monday night. I suggested he come down to the Winkie convention some year. Maybe I'll even make it that year.

Mark Evanier reports on Elmo's arrest.

Eric Burns on the recent PvP storyline.

Mr Angry And Miss Calm. Just go look.

Kevin Melrose tells us his own Top 10 scariest characters on TV. I've seen two of them. Hrm. Also from Kevin's blog is true horror by Chris Kirby.

Savage Chickens are having a Hallowe'en contest. Go, enjoy, be creative. Whatever.

Stuart Hughes gets a response from Garry Trudeau.

Boing Boing Links:

-by Tegan at 10:05 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rapid Review - Takuhai, er, Manga Online

Takuhai Online, for October 2005. Here's July, August and September.

I'm not going to review chapters that are continuations of ones I reviewed already and disliked. Retired from reviewing because I didn't like 'em: I Luv Halloween, MBQ, Princess Ai, Van Von Hunter, and War on Flesh. I have already reviewed the currently showing chapter of Mail Order Ninja as well, so I'll skip that this month. Even taking six away, there's still plenty of features to review. I'm going to separate new features from continuing features.

Previously Reviewed Titles:
  • A Midnight Opera, V1Ch3: A long fight scene through a hospital and streets, with a lot of morbid humor. Still only mildly interested.
  • Bizenghast, V1Ch4: A break in the action, with the two main characters talking the entire time. The artwork is still very beautiful, and the story is turning a little unpredictable.
  • Dramacon, V1Ch4: I WANT THIS BOOK! This month showed us a very realistic critique from an established writer to a new writer. And it also gave us a bit more of the artist's attitude. I want this book.
  • Juror 13, V1Ch4: Oh, the main character just took a turn for the worse, in my opinion, back to cluelessness. But the set-up is done well, you almost understand why even as you berate him for being foolish.
  • Off*Beat, V1Ch3: This one continued to be just confusing. I'm sure there's a good story there, but it's almost too hard to read the preview thanks to the resolution, and I feel like I missed something really important in the first chapter.
  • Psy-Comm, V1Ch4: Some sort of infiltration mission... only I can't figure out who the bad guys are supposed to be. Very odd.
  • Shutterbox, V3Ch3: Still confusing, still odd. I'm not sure I'll keep reading this one.
  • Sokora Refugees, V1Ch4: I think I'll stop reading this one, as well. Still can't figure out what's happening after four chapters, it's probably not worth my time.
  • Sorcerers & Secretaries, V1Ch4: Really liking this one. It's not quite on my buy list, but it's almost there.
New Titles:
  • Ark Angels, V1Ch1: A clumsy mix of humor and elegance. The storyline is goofy enough to be intriguing, but the book just isn't good enough to lure me in.
  • @Large, V3Ch1: Hip hop wannabes using annoying language with minimal artwork and apparently no plot except "everybody yell and point guns at everybody else". No thanks.
  • Mark of the Succubus, V1Ch1: Decent art, but much of the text is impossible to read, so I couldn't get into it.
  • Re:Play, V1Ch1: Intriguing. Again, either my eyes are going or they need to scan these at a higher resolution because I could barely read some of the text. But the story is good, so I'll keep with it a bit.
  • Roadsong, V1Ch1: This appears to be two stories mixed into one. I'm curious enough to keep reading until I find out how the two combine, but I'm not sure it'll hold my interest.
  • Steady Beat, V1Ch1: A bit of soccer Manga with a strange twist. I'm going to keep reading this one to see just what is up with it.
  • The Abandoned, V1Ch1: Zombie people doing zombie things. Not enough there to grab me.
  • The Dreaming, V1Ch1: Ok, this one had me hooked from almost the first page. Why can't they tell people that they are twins? Why is their aunt leaving? And what happened to Amber that shocked her so much?
In conclusion, there's some good Manga there, and stuff that other folks will love that I don't, I'm sure. The biggest problem for me is that a lot of the text is hard to read because of the screen resolution. Some of the stories suffer more than others from the problem. More next month.

-by Tegan at 11:24 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Rest in Peace, Rosa

Rosa Parks, a true hero whose quiet and courageous act sparked a revolution, has died at age 92.

Perhaps the best obituary I've seen comes from Wonkette: "Activists these days tend to make statements by voluntarily putting themselves in positions that lack dignity -- here's the woman who made history by keeping hers."

-by Tegan at 8:29 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Monday, October 24, 2005

Random Thoughts

Happy Blogiversary to Johnny B, my BlogBrother.

Mike Sterling on Smallville, Aquaman... and other stuff.

One-Fifth of Human Genes have been patented, which suddenly makes the current Aquaman tale a little less silly.

Ratings for the Aquaman episode of Smallville were good, which doesn't really surprise me. The 'net reaction seems to have been mixed, with a lot of people mentioning the poor acting and cheesy dialogue, while still enjoying the show.

Kaja Foglio tells us the origins of Prince Aaronev, and who he doesn't really resemble.

The Dorothy folks have some events planned.

Garrett directs us to a hilarious parody of a popular filksong. Knowledge of Alice's adventures involving Wonderland is a big plus.


All You Base are belong to us.

It's a myth! No it isn't! Oh yes it is! The only conclusion I can draw from the repeated attempts to duplicate Archimedes' death ray is that it's possible but really impractical.

A happy ending, thanks in part to the media.

I turned off the Seahawks game in the fourth quarter after getting frustrated by the terrible level of play. If I want to see High School level football, I'll go to a High School game. Amusingly enough, it got worse and ended in a ridiculous field goal. While part of me regrets turning it off, much of me is just glad the Seahawks eventually won.

State elections are coming up, and there are a bunch of initiatives on the ballot getting a LOT of media exposure in the form of incessant ads and counter-ads. The two biggest and loudest are 330 and 336, both of which want to "reform" the health care industry, and both of which are poorly written and designed to enhance one group of professionals over another. I'm likely to vote no on both of them. Two others, 900 and 901 aren't getting much attention. 900 aims to make the state conduct more audits and 901 bans smoking in a lot more places. I haven't decided on either of these. The big one is 912, which would repeal the gas tax, and in my opinion only a complete moron would vote yes on it. Considering how much profit oil companies are making, begrudging a few pennies per gallon going to the state to fix roads is pathetic. If you want to lower oil prices, don't vote an oil man into office as President. Unfortunately, there are a lot of complete morons in Washington state, so 912 might pass.

-by Tegan at 1:16 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Rapid Reviews - 5 October 2005 - Part III

Outsiders #29: "Unorginal Sins part 1: All Together Now": This issue is set up as a bunch of "team meetings" in which we see the new Outsiders form, Sabbac and the Society, and the Fearsome Five... and of course it also ties in with Infinite Crisis. I'm undecided on this issue. It sometimes seems like every DC book is a set-up issue anymore, and there's never any payoff. Wiki. 2 1/2 starfish

DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy #4: "Dark Fate Foretold": I'm just so glad this series is done I hardly care what happened in the book. It's all just lead-in to the big crossover anyway, and I'm pretty much burnt out on the crossover already. Although, with the artists on this book, it's hard to not enjoy the look of the book, at least. So I get the impression that Donna is something far more important in the DC Multiverse than just a Wonder Woman Wannabe. I don't know... it seems like we could've gotten to this point a lot faster and without so much... stuff. 2 starfish

Rann/Thanagar War #6: "Seven Hells": Yay! It's over! Wiki. 1 1/2 starfish

Donald Duck Halloween Ashcan 2005: "Hobblin' Goblins'": This is a Trick or Treat book that you buy in packs of 25 to give out to the kiddies when they visit your house. In this one is a great little nine page tale featuring Huey, Dewey, and Louie trying to get out of going to a Hallowe'en party but being thwarted at every turn. There's also a one page tale featuring Daisy and Donald. This is great for a giveaway, in addition to the great stories, there is information on the origin of the tales and how to get similar stories. This is a book I'll be happy to give out. 3 1/2 starfish

Spider-Man Halloween Ashcan 2005: The name of this one is a misnomer, as this has a very short sample of a Spider-Man book, another very short sample of a Fantastic Four adventure, and a longer tale about Franklin Richards (who bears more than a passing resemblance to Calvin, with Herbie playing the part of Hobbes). While it's not horrible, it's a little on the weak side. At least Marvel made the effort of putting out a Hallowe'en book, so they get points just for that. 2 1/2 starfish

-by Tegan at 11:15 AM Seattle time - Permalink