Saturday, April 15, 2006

Ah... New Doctor Who...

It's so nice to cuddle with hubby and watch an episode of Doctor Who that neither of us have ever seen before. Considering that Doctor Who brought us together, having new Who is just ... well, Fantastic!

-by Tegan at 10:33 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Small Storm

So the thunderstorm moved through, made loud noises, dropped a bit of rain, then went away. No big deal. What is a big deal is that I'm still on-line, which means that Eric and my plans for viewing tonight are still going to happen.

In related news, I've been going through all the Doctor Who trailers I've downloaded recently, and the BEST one has a scene with Rose and Sarah Jane Smith comparing experiences. Absolutely cool, and it ends on a really high note as well. I loved it! Sarah Jane will be showing up in the third episode of Doctor Who, which started airing today in Great Britain.

Back to the wonderous world of on-line... I've got something I need to hunt down...

-by Tegan at 4:49 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

It Just Figures...

...that as soon as I shut down my entire network for a reset, and get everything back up and running again... that's when the thunderstorm moves into town.

-by Tegan at 3:58 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Friday, April 14, 2006

Review Copy Reviews

Boom! Studios once again sends me a bunch of books, and once again it takes me entirely too long to review them. The bunch of books this time was fantastic, particularly Planetary Brigade.

Zombie Tales: The Dead #1: Yet another Zombie book! I keep mentioning that I don't like zombie stories, they keep sending these, and I keep really enjoying them! I don't have much to say about this one, except that it was an enjoyable anthology. People who actually like reading about zombies will enjoy it even more, I suspect. There were a couple of bombs, but most of the stories were very good. I liked the first one, yet another possible origin of the zombies, the best. 2 1/2 starfish

Zombie Tales: Death Valley #2: I'm glad they sent me the first part of this one, as the second part wouldn't stand well on its own. Again, it's a good book... if you like zombies. The whole thing hangs together well, and the ending is surprisingly nice. Worth a read if you get the chance, but be sure to grab the first part too. 2 1/2 starfish

War of the Worlds: Second Wave #1: Nasty nasty nasty. I'm surprised at how much I liked this one. I really wanted to read more. The cliffhanger left me wanting. But this was mostly just a set-up issue... although it's got definite painful moments. If nothing else, it makes you wonder how you would react in a disaster. 2 1/2 starfish

Jeremiah Harm #2: When I read the first page, I was sure it was happening on an alien planet. I was rather surprised that it's supposed to be Earth. No human, not even a junkie, looks like that. The artwork on this book is not to my tastes at all. However, the storyline isn't too bad if you like bounty hunter kind of stories. All-in-all, not my kind of book. But it works for what it is. 2 1/2 starfish

Planetary Brigade #1: "The Power and the Portal": Ah, straight up superhero fun! This is more to my liking! And this is fun. This is practically a Silver Age tale (and I mean that in the most positive way possible, being a big fan of the era). It's got light-hearted banter, exciting heroes, and a serious problem that they've got to solve. Run out and get a copy of this today, if you are a super-hero fan at all. 3 1/2 starfish

Planetary Brigade #2: "Hole in the World": The second part of a two-part story. Again, excellent book. You learn a lot about the team just through their interactions with each other. The art is perfect all through (and there are a number of artists who worked on this one). The writing is snappy. And I think I really like Mr Brilliant. I want to shop at his comic store. Fun all around. 3 1/2 starfish

-by Tegan at 3:46 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Giant Killer Lollipop

When I was very little, I watched a good bit of educational TV. I'm actually fairly certain that huge doses of Sesame Street, with dashes of Schoolhouse Rock thrown in, helped me considerably in school.

As an adult, looking into the nostalgia craze, I was a little afraid of watching Schoolhouse Rock again, because I was absolutely sure that it was the source of one of my recurring childhood nightmares. See, when I was very little, I had horrible dreams about a little girl being chased by... um... well... a lollipop.

Stop laughing! The girl was terrified, and the lollipop was sinister, to say the least. The dreams were awful, and for years afterwards I was afraid I'd see the imagery again and have nightmares again. But to my surprise, when I finally did see all of Schoolhouse Rock, the sinister lollipop was nowhere to be seen.

I figured that it must have been some other educational insert - they were really common on Saturday Morning Cartoons (I remember a particularly good nutritional series that never once convinced me not to eat sweets). I sighed and breathed easy, since the odds of me seeing the evil killer lollipop seemed remarkably slim.

When the Best of the Electric Company DVD became available, hubby-Eric enthusiastically bought the set. I wasn't so enthused. Basically, all I remembered about the show was "HEY YOU GUYS!" Not much else sprang to mind when I thought about it. Heh. Boy was I wrong.

Not only did I remember a few of the sketches on the first disc (all of which aired before I was born), I also found that the rhythm of the show was very familiar. Clearly I saw the show far more than I'd realized.

Then we started the second disc. As we were watching Episode 109 tonight, a very familiar and terrifying sight appeared. I saw that poor little girl, hiding ineffectively behind a tree, and I KNEW I was about to see it again... THE EVIL LOLLIPOP!!!!

Evil Killer Lollipop From Electric Company

It was the Electric Company all along. The Electric Company gave me nightmares for years and years! And there it was! Confirmation, on our TV screen, that I hadn't made up the evil lurking lollipop all those years ago. And... come to think of it... we've never seen that little girl since that horrible cartoon short. I was right all along. The evil giant killer lollipop ate her.

I just know I'm gonna have nightmares tonight.

-by Tegan at 9:57 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Mini Linkdump

Twins switched at birth a nice little story from Snopes.

Why not try baking a cake with Cadbury eggs instead of regular eggs?

I seem to recall this plotline showed up on Numb3rs, significantly modified.

-by Tegan at 7:56 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Washington State Quarter Voting Restored

After the mess with bots, the voting has been restarted in the chase for the Washington State Quarter. The extra time did convince me to vote for Design #3 instead of #2. Unlike the last version of voting, the results are not visible. In addition, it seems to be excluding people by computer, though I'm not entirely sure about that.

Below are the good designs, #2 (leaping salmon, mountain) and #3 (whale).

Designs #2 and #3

I will not be disappointed if either of these two designs make it, but I will be very disappointed if the ugly and boring Design #1 is chosen.

-by Tegan at 6:23 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Random Thoughts

Blog (read the comments).

Supernatural Law is up for some awards. Congrats! Batton Lash is fun to hang out with.

Publishers Weekly looks at the Superboy decision. I hardly understand the legal wrangling, I'm just watching to see what happens.

Silver Age comics is covering The Bizarros.

Kaja Foglio snaps. The fan pressures with webcomics are slightly different than with regular comics, but she manages to be polite even when she thinks she's being rude.

Chapter Two of the Big Meow is available to the general public now. Go look, and support the new paradigm of publishing. Or don't, as the case may be. I've read the first two chapters now, and I may have to look into reading this series.

Colleen Doran lets us know about a killer bunny rabbit

Happy Birthday Beverly Cleary!

Kathleen David reviews new Who.

Dave improves a board game.

A tour of Seattle.

Hubby-Eric tells about Meeting Stephen Schwartz.

-by Tegan at 10:55 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Assault, Women, and Comic Books

Back in December, it came out that a female comic book creator was assaulted by a prominent man in the comic book business. People doubted, people insulted. The woman was not ready to come forward with her story, but Ronee at Buzzscope broke the story anyway.

Well, the woman in question is ready now, and has given a full account of the event, leaving out only the name of the man who assaulted her.

The story and the discussion it prompted also was the force behind creating a new fund for the Friends of Lulu that supports women who have been assaulted.

I suspect that we'll be hearing a lot more about this, both the fund and the incident, in the next few weeks.

-by Tegan at 8:17 AM Seattle time - Permalink  

Monday, April 10, 2006

State Quarter Voting Hijacked...

As I suspected, the on-line voting for the Washington State Quarter was hijacked by idiots with bots, as reported by KOMO News:
An online poll asking Washingtonians to pick their favorite design for the state's quarter was suspended Monday, after the balloting was hijacked by robotic computer programs that pushed the tally past 1 million votes over the weekend.

Technicians were busy reworking the online poll's computer code with hopes of restoring the voting by Tuesday, said Mark Gerth, a spokesman for the state Arts Commission.

State officials overseeing the balloting originally decided not to limit the number of votes coming from individual computers so that family members sharing a single machine could each cast a vote, Gerth said.

But that philosophy was being abandoned after the weekend's voting, which showed some computers casting repeated votes for a quarter design faster than humanly possible.
I say allow a reasonable number of votes from the same IP, say five maximum, if you want to allow family members to vote. Otherwise, the only reasonable way is to ask for details or something each time someone casts a vote. Or use the "only human readable" graphics. Just as long as the ugly jumble design doesn't win, I'm happy.

-by Tegan at 7:28 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Rapid Reviews

I know these are way long overdue. I haven't even done my usual Previews Review for last month's previews mag. I'm trying to catch up. The con reports helped bust open the reviewer's block a little, so maybe I'll write a few more before the flood dries up again...

Rapid Reviews - 8 February 2006

Justice #4: I need more Aquaman in my Justice League stories. The story is building... and the art is just gorgeous. But I need more Aquaman. 2 1/2 starfish

Green Arrow #59: "Until The End of the World Part Two": The finale... it's over. As with all the DC books, there's a crazy cliffhanger that will no doubt be explained over the next few months in flashbacks. And Ollie... well, he's pretty much dead at the end. I wasn't going to keep buying this book, but I do want to see what happens next. 2 1/2 starfish

JLA #125: "Mind Field": Huh. Ollie's fate in his own book, versus what's happening to him here... the guy doesn't catch a break, does he? Surprisingly, the Key seems really happen with his fate in this book. That's not the normal response, you'd think. Anyway... loved the last page. I really wish Aquaman had had an "infinite earths" page like everyone else got. But seeing the Hall of Justice was fun. 2 1/2 starfish

JSA #82: "Ghost In The House": I LOVE Ma Hunkel's role in this story. "Secret Code" indeed. I actually like the Gentleman Ghost in this one, although I've had issues with his appearances in the past. It read like a Silver Age tale ought to have read. I liked it. And heck, any story that features Ma in a bigger role is great by me. I wish Ma and Vulko could have met. I think they would have gotten along. Anyway, this one made me happy, even while the questions and topics were a bit sad. 3 1/2 starfish

Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere #6: "Chapter Six": This is one freaky story. I particularly like the way Richard is made into the third in this one. I also have to admit I kind of like the way Croup and Vandemar honored their promise to De Carabas without really honoring it. I'm still very curious to see how this story ends, and looking forward to reading the actual book once the adaptation is finished. 3 starfish

Action Philosophers #4: "World Domination Handbook": Featuring Karl Marx, Niccolo Machiavelli, and Isaac Luria (Kabbalah). Again, this book takes concepts that aren't exactly simple to understand, and puts them in a format that's not only easy to read, it makes the nonsense make sense. I don't know if it's possible to praise this book enough for its educational value. As stories, your mileage may vary, but I really like it. 4 starfish

Star Wars: Empire #39: "The Wrong Side of the War part 4": I'm still liking this story. It fleshes out Luke's past with the appearance of Tank, and puts the choices people have to make into stark contrast. It's hard to see how anyone can justify being part of the Empire, but Tank gives some idea of how he manages. All-in-all, a surprisingly good story. I kind of wish I'd picked this series up from the beginning. 3 starfish

Superman #226: "This Is Your Life" part 1: A very very strange way to go out for this book. And if I understand it right, then this one jumps right on to Superman #650? I might have enjoyed this more if it wasn't a crossover with another book. 2 starfish

Rapid Reviews - 15 February 2006

Noble Causes #17: A very provocative cover, and no less a provocative interior. Just when you thought it couldn't get any more soap opera-y. I really do love this book. It pushes all the boundaries of super-hero comics in a way the big guns can't. 3 starfish

Conan #25: "The Hand of the Mighty": I loved this issue. Another great tale of Conan being a thief, with a massive mystery as to what is going to happen to Nestor if he fails to catch Conan. I want very badly to see the next part. 3 1/2 starfish

Birds of Prey #91: "Donor": Not the result I was expecting in this one. I liked everything, from the situation to the complications to the ending. The fact that in the end they all listened to what the kid wanted was important and good. And Huntress continues to develop as a character as well, almost to the point where I'm not irritated to have her in the book. Almost. A solid issue. 3 starfish

JSA: Classified #9: "The Spear and the Dragon" Part Two: I like Wildcat and the Golden Age Flash... I found it very interesting how Flash freed Wildcat from the influence of the Spear of Destiny. It seems odd sometimes to think that Wildcat was super-powered. But it was a good story. Interesting that it had the "infinite" ending, as well. 2 1/2 starfish

Alice in Wonderland #1: Seems like a pretty straightforward adaptation of the Alice story. I may have to compare it to the original to make certain, but it looks good to me. Definitely looking forward to the second issue. 3 starfish

True Story, Swear to God #16: "Vertigo": Have I mentioned lately that I love this book? Well, I love it. I love it, and it's definitely the best thing I've read in a long time. I love Tom Beland's drawing of Kurt Busiek. You can recognize the creators just from his drawings of them. As an aside: I need to start gathering images of Kurt as done by various artists. He also just showed up in Superman. Back to this book... HIGHLY Recommended. Go get a copy now. 4 1/2 starfish

-by Tegan at 7:20 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Oogaboo Rendezvous

I'm currently trapped at an Oogaboo Rendezvous! This is an event that happens a few times a year up here in the Pacific Northwest. The Oogaboos are the residents of the Northwest corner of Oz in the Oz books by L Frank Baum, and they are also a group of Eric's closest and oldest friends. Today's meeting has nearly twenty people, two dogs, and a troll, all talking and eating and enjoying themselves. Ok, the dogs aren't getting fed, but they are getting enough attention.

Ok, go look at the Israeli Rap video featuring a singing pug that's got a Wizard of Oz theme.

Update: After the Rendezvous, a bunch of Oogaboos went down to the 5th Avenue Theatre for a Spotlight Night about the upcoming production of Pippin. Why is this of interest to Oz fans? Because Pippin was the work of Stephen Schwartz... who also is the musical genius behind Wicked the Musical. We got to see a number of songs from his various musicals performed (including "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas) and two songs from Wicked ("The Wizard and I" and "For Good"), as well as getting a neat biography of his career.

After the show, hubby-Eric and I (at my urging) hung around at the stage door until Mr. Schwartz emerged, so Eric could get his autograph in his copy of the Wicked Grimmerie which he'd brought along, just in case. Yup, we hung around the stage door! And as a bonus, I kind of want to see Pippin now...

-by Tegan at 3:44 PM Seattle time - Permalink  

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