Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ripples Through Time - 030

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Wow. I'm done with my first month. I didn't intend to do one every single day, but I managed it somehow anyway. In future, I may take short breaks depending on how busy I am, and to keep myself from burnout.

More Fun #101 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #101 (January 1945) - Orhpans of the Sea!

When the aquarium is closed, Old Pete takes over the care of the larger fish near his seaside home, causing problems for a couple of crooks.

This isn't one of the best stories. In fact, it's pretty low on my list of Golden Age tales. Touching and cute that Old Pete would still want to feed the fish, and it's not a poorly constructed story. It just doesn't have any highly distinguishing features.

Have you noticed the dearth of war stories? By the time this story was written in late 1944, the War had changed course. Most of Aquaman's WWII tales came during the darkest days of the War, when people needed reassurance. Once the days weren't so dark, Aquaman switched back to standard battles against average thugs. At least, that's my theory. It's hard to read the minds of writers and editors from 60 years ago.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman gets Octy from the Aquarium to deflate the pufferfish. Later, he flings the flatfish at the thugs. At the end of the story, he gets other finny friends to train the fish from the aquarium on how to survive in the wild.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is never captured or knocked out in this story.

Quotefile: Thug, "You slugged him just right! There's not a mark on him!" Bingley, "Yeah, all we gotta do is dump him into the ocean, and he'll drown! Aquaman'll think it was an accident!" Aquaman, "Sure of that, rats?"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 7:37 PM Seattle time - Permalink

01101100 01101001 01101110 01101011 01110011

Gail and Kurt have gone insane.

Check this out. Particularly the Wonder Woman pitch. I would buy it, and I'm not a Wonder Woman fan.

Mike Sterlings Easter Eggs.

Aaron Williams points us to A Whole Bunch of Cats.

A pie-cosahedron.

The Wilhelm Scream.

More on Sasquatch.

More on Jerry Bails: DEWline, Silver Age Comics, The GCD.

The Bad Astronomer on the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) rejecting a gift of 50,000 DVDs of "An Inconvenient Truth" for its members.

Bad soldiers reported on Boing Boing, but Boing Boing also reports that they are being investigated for their cruelty.

Let's make this really clear: If trained election officials cannot get a voting machine to work properly, then the machine is broken. Doesn't matter if it's "human error", the frickin' machines DON'T WORK. If trained officials have problems, the general public won't be able to use the things either.

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-by Tegan at 5:51 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Weather Update

I guess y'all are dying to know what happened after yesterday's reports, right?

As predicted, the snow turned to rain sometime in the night. Up in our area it wasn't enough to get the schools open, however, as there was still too much ice on the roads. So hubby-Eric has another morning off. However, his evening job called, and they will be open tonight. As we expect more rain and higher temps, this shouldn't be a problem.

Eric and I just got back from a walk down to the library. The streets were pretty clear, although in front of our house there is still a lot of ice. The sidewalks were barely passable. I ended up walking in the road in some places rather than risk falling and breaking something. Still, all told it wasn't a bad walk.

I'll be calling my comic shop when they open to find out if the new books are in. If so, Eric thinks he can run down to the shop with me before he goes to work. If he can't, I think I can manage the drive. My van can handle this weather as long as I keep a good following distance.

And we broke the all-time record for rain in a month in Seattle with 15.63 inches at last count.


-by Tegan at 11:16 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Book Review

Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science by Jeff Meldrum.

I've read a number of books about Bigfoot, some I enjoyed, some were nonsense... but this is the first one that challenged me as a reader. I have no background in anatomy, and I had trouble following the details of Meldrum's arguments at times. But it was fascinating. The evidence for an unknown primate living in North America is actually overwhelming. Not enough to satisfy the people who refuse to look at the evidence at all, but certainly enough to make anyone with an open mind say, "Hmmm, there's definitely something going on here." Meldrum does an excellent job of laying out the evidence in a logical way, and explaining why some of it is evidence and not just random data or hoaxes (or if it's a hoax, why it's an incredibly good hoax). I learned more about the anatomy of feet than I ever intended to learn.

There is no way that a person who is being intellectually honest could read this book and completely dismiss the possibility that sasquatch could exist. This book doesn't prove the existence of bigfoot, but it definitely demolishes the arguments used by close-minded skeptics. If you aren't willing to at least look at the evidence, then you shouldn't bother with this book. This book is all about the clues that exist and are found anew every year, that there is an unknown primate wandering around North America. If you do have an open mind, and want a tough but fascinating read on sasquatch, this is the book for you.

This book is a companion volume to a documentary by the same title, which I have not seen, but would certainly like to see. If it's even half as good as this book, it must be quite a show.
"Jeff Meldrum's book Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science brings a much needed level of scientific analysis to the Sasquatch - or Bigfoot - debate."
- Dr. Jane Goodall

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-by Tegan at 9:50 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Ripples Through Time - 029

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

More Fun #100 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #100 (November 1944) - The Captain of Cactus Gulch!

Aquaman runs across a ship whaling in restricted waters, and learns that the captain is totally clueless.

This story refers to Aquaman's ability to communicate with sea life as "that mysterious magic known only to Aquaman and the dwellers of the sea he rules." The idea that it was telepathy didn't come along for quite awhile, as I recall... though I'll be sure to point out the first instance of that word.

Cactus Gulch must be a really small town, as they report when local boy Peter Reeks gets promoted to second mate... Horace is reading "Two Years Before The Mast", which is (in my opinion) one of the most boring books ever written... Horace is too old to ship out as a beginner, so Peter suggests he buy a ship and go out to sea as captain. It's all part of Peter's plan to get away with illegal whaling... Peter justifies attacking Aquaman to Horace by saying that Aquaman is a dictator of the seas who is lying about the waters being restricted for whaling. Horace buys it... A swordfish comes to help Aquaman, but can't use his "sword" on the wire the thugs tied Aquaman with... Horace isn't convinced that Peter is using him until Aquaman helps him overhear Peter calling him a "blustering idiot" and talking about killing him.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman is playing tag with whales in the opening sequence. He gets a starfish to loosen the wires binding him when he's captured, then uses flying fish to board the ship. He has his whale friends bring the patrol ship faster.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is hit by the ship's boom while dodging thugs.

Quotefile: Horace: "Barometer's falling... she's clearing up, me hearties!" and "Ho there, ye lubbers! Luff her rudder hard a-port to sta'board!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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

Wednesday Morning Weather Report

Since I know you are all just fascinated by our weather woes in Seattle...

A light dusting of snow last night during the freeze has made for some pretty landscapes. It wasn't enough to impact the roads, but it made the trees look good. Now that we're on day three of snow, most of the timid drivers are well off the roads and what's left are people who are confident enough to drive the right way, along with a handful of idiots who think that 4-wheel-drive gives them traction somehow. The freeways aren't too bad, but there's ice everywhere and back streets (like ours) are not for the weak of stomach.

All my predictions so far have been wrong. Oh well. That doesn't stop me from making more. Tonight we're supposed to get some more snow. I'm thinking it'll be light snow up here in our area. While I hope hubby-Eric's evening job is canceled tonight, I'm not counting on it. Then again, after the nightmare commute of Monday night, they might just be more willing to be kind. If it snows enough, the schools might be canceled again, but I really doubt it. Three snow days is too many for most districts to swallow, so they'll wait until tomorrow morning to announce any cancels.

I won't be going out driving today or tonight unless there's an emergency. While I know how to handle the snow and ice, I really don't like it. I doubt I'll go out walking either, as I hate ice even more when I'm walking.

And... by tomorrow morning we should have our usual rain back. The temperatures should be up above freezing, and the rain will melt what's left so we'll just have the usual dreary grey. Commuters will celebrate, schoolkids and poets will cry.

I'll update this post as the weather changes today. Let's see if tonight's snow actually happens. I won't be surprised if we get rain before the night gets too deep.

Update: Garbage pick-up in our area was canceled, as expected. The traffic on our road has been really light, as all three schools up the street (two private, one public) are canceled. The snow is sublimating, but it's overcast and looks like it's about to rain or snow at any second. I really wish I had that outdoor thermometer right now.

Update II: Eric's evening job called. Nope, he doesn't have to go in. With the schools canceled, I really doubt many of the kids would have shown up anyway. Now to keep an eye on the outside and another eye on the school closure listings and see what happens for tomorrow.

Update III: Wow, the comic store was open! But... she didn't get any of the comics boxes, just toys and relists. Urg. But then, in our area if there is any bad weather within 2000 miles we don't get our comics at any of the little shops. Diamond seems to put us on low priority. And no, I didn't go out to the comic shop to check, I called... not expecting anyone to answer. I was shocked that she was there.

Update IV: The latest weather reports are saying that rain will be happening before first light, and what snow we get will be really light. Good. The latest NWS report says we aren't going to get the storm until 2am, so I'm thinking we'll be ok. The snow scare of late November is almost OV-AH! (and yes, I'm grinning as I type this).

Update V: Last update of the night. It's almost 10 pm, and snowing hard outside. I'll have to wait until morning to find out the rest of the story.


-by Tegan at 9:33 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I Was Wrong

Both Northshore and Lake Washington school districts are already closed for tomorrow. We're expecting record low temperatures tonight, and the possibility of more snow (eh, probably rain) tomorrow night. So I get to have hubby-Eric home another day! And I'm willing to bet a LEGO set that I'm not getting new comics tomorrow. Nor am I likely to attend my weekly swim tomorrow night. More time on the exercise bike... *sigh*.

I don't have cabin fever yet, but I'm sure it'll arrive if I stay stuck in the house long enough. I'm not willing to try driving on the ice without a really good reason. Unfortunately, I'm running out of one of my prescriptions, so going out before the week is up will have to happen. I just hope to wait long enough to expect someone to be at the pharmacy when I get there.

The National Weather Service has two advisories up for our area. The first is a Special Weather Statement about tonight:


It goes on to report where the records will be broken, then gives a bit of advice:
Yeah, kids in the Pacific Northwest are trained in dressing in layers from the moment we can dress ourselves, so that's not a problem. I'm in layers right now. Anyhow, that's tonight. Cold and clear. And icy where there was wet a few hours ago. It'll start to thaw tomorrow at some point, I'm sure, but there is a Winter Storm Watch on for tomorrow night:



"Highly Uncertain". We don't know if it's going to rain or snow tomorrow night. Thursday could dawn as a normal Seattle rainy day... or we might be completely snowed in and have no school yet again. I'm betting on the rain, personally, because I don't expect that hubby-Eric will get another day off (or me, for that matter). Whether it is snow or rain, it will break the all-time record for precipitation in a single month in Seattle of 15.33 inches set in 1933. We're only a tenth of an inch from the record right now, from last I heard.

Well, I'm tired of the same old boring pictures of the yard covered in snow, so how about a picture of Torvald and a mushroom in the snow?

Torvald and Snow

Update: Yup, we're on the way to breaking the record for Seattle rainfall in a month (emphasis mine):
Seattle needs less than one-tenth of an inch of precipitation by Thursday to break a 73-year-old record for the wettest month in history, according to the National Weather Service. As of midnight, 15.26 inches had been measured at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, said meteorologist Johnny Burg. That means we need just 0.08 inches to exceed the 15.33 inches measured in December 1933 at the Federal Building in Seattle, where records span the 1890s to 1960s. The service began measuring rainfall at the airport in 1945.
For another amusing look at Seattle weather, check out this primer explaining that, yes, it's possible to get thunderstorms and snow at the same time (both phenomena are rare in this area).

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-by Tegan at 5:51 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Ripples Through Time - 028

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

More Fun #99 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #99 (September 1944) - The Smoking Volcano!

Aquaman and his fishy friend Goo-Goo Eyes discover a crooks hideout disguised as an active volcanic island.

We get two new named finny friends in this story: Goo-Goo Eyes, who is an unidentified species of deep sea fish, and Saw-Nose the Swordfish. Cool!... Aquaman figures out that the volcano is fake when he finds the cooled lava is street paving tar... Aquaman is stunned by the fake volcano, and very impressed... Aquaman uses the volcano's smoke maker to send the S.O.S. signal. I wonder how many cops are paying attention to the smoke of a presumed volcano? ... The turtles attacking the Duke's gang look really mean.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman is showing the upper reaches of the ocean to Goo-Goo Eyes when the story starts. Goo-Goo helps Aquaman find a channel into the volcano. When Aquaman is captured, Goo-Goo goes for help and brings back Saw-Nose the Swordfish and his mate who free Aquaman. He sends the Swordfish and Goo-Goo to get more help, and they bring back iron-beaked turtles, who battle and defeat Duke's mob with Aquaman's help.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is spotted in the cave thanks to his "gleaming costume and golden hair", and netted in a steel net by Duke Flarer.

Quotefile: Aquaman, directing his army: "Clinch their hands! Their clothes! Hand on to them, turtles!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 2:42 PM Seattle time - Permalink

More Snow

Seattle is stopped. We had a decent little snowfall, along with a hard freeze overnight. Seattle does not use salt on roads, ever, so the roads are mostly still frozen. Add in the tons of hills in this town, and you have a driver's worst nightmare.

Last night was the worst, as the snow started to fall about 4pm, right before the commute got heavy. The result was that some folks who usually have a 30 minute commute ended up stuck for five hours... or all night. My poor hubby-Eric got out of his evening job a couple of hours early... but still got home at about the same time he usually does. It took him over two hours to go the four miles (as the crow flies) from his job. Many of the spectators at the Monday Night Seahawks game didn't get home for many many hours... the news channels found multiple people this morning who still hadn't got home from the game.

Bothell SnowBothell SnowBothell Snow

Here are some pictures from my front porch. The sky is absolutely clear. Not a cloud in sight from here. The sun is shining, but there's no heat. It's not going to get above freezing today, and tomorrow doesn't look much better. I don't think I'm going to get my comic books on time this week (ack, and Aquaman is coming out!). Eric's newspaper hasn't been delivered yet, and I'm curious to see if the mail comes through. We may not have our weekly garbage pick-up tomorrow. Pretty much every school district in the area is closed. We're supposed to find out before noon if Eric's evening job is open tonight, but even if it is Eric isn't sure he wants to risk the drive after last night's commute (UPDATE: Nope, no work tonight for hubby-Eric. YAY!). The Department of Transportation is urging people to stay home.

I wonder what will happen tomorrow?

Update (12:30pm): Yay, it's melting! The streets up here are wet. The temp is still very cold (note to self: get an outside thermometer one of these days) but the sun is just enough to get some melting going and the very light traffic on our road is helping it along. I think the mail will come through ok, but hubby-Eric's newspaper never arrived. My bet is that schools will be open tomorrow in our district, even if it freezes overnight, with maybe a delay (two hour) and limited bus routes. That would mean Eric has to report to school on time... yuck. I'm not counting on getting my comics, though.


-by Tegan at 9:15 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Monday, November 27, 2006

Snowy Linkages

Chesire Crossing has updated, and issue two is now online.

Newsarama has a link to catch you up on the weekend news.

MetaFilter discusses women in comics.

Dave Cockrum passes away.

Dave Cockrum's Doctor Who

More on Jerry Bails: Bags and Boards, Monitor Duty.

Peace sign causes arguments. More at MetaFilter.

If it keeps snowing in Seattle, the city will be like a graveyard tomorrow. Nobody in their right mind goes out driving in the snow in Seattle. Too many hills, too much ice, and too many people who don't know how to drive in snow.

Bothell Snow
Bothell Snow Too

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-by Tegan at 7:00 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Really Rapid Reviews

These are mini-capsules: about one sentence per book with whether or not I recommend the book.

22 November 2006

52 Week Twenty-Nine: "Name Calling": Nice appearance by the JSA, and interesting more stuff from Steel. Recommended.

Action Comics #845: "Last Son Part Two": Um. Ok. Mildly recommended.

Wonder Woman #3: "Who Is Wonder Woman? Part Three": It's a bad sign when I'm more excited about a Wicked poster showing up on the splash page than I am about the issue in general. Very mildly recommended.

JSA Classified #19: "Skin Trade Part One: Spare Parts": I want to like this, but I just didn't. Neutral.

Usagi Yojimbo #98: "The Return of the Black Soul": Jei is the scariest villain in Usagi's world... and it is back. Recommended.

Conan #34: "The Sons of Bel": I'm losing interest in this book again. Too bad, I wish Busiek were back on it. Mildly recommended.

Noble Causes #25: Ok, that was the way to wrap up that particular part of the tale. Excellent! Recommended.

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-by Tegan at 4:53 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Ripples Through Time - 027

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Want to read these stories yourself? Write to DC: Dan Didio, Executive Editor, DC Comics, 1700 Broadway, New York NY 10019 and ask for a reprint of Aquaman's Golden Age tales.

More Fun #98 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #98 (July 1944)

Phineas Blodgett believes he has invented a way to extract gold from sea-water, but his financers have other plans in mind.

No one believes in Blodgett's invention, not even Aquaman, but it does work in a fashion in the end... Baldy is completely confused as to why his boss is helping the daft little inventor, which goes to show how slow on the uptake he is... Aquaman thinks he's capturing criminals stealing gold from the factory, but the movement was the other way... Blodgett creatively names his company "Blodgett Gold-From-Sea-Water Enterprises Inc.", which allows Aquaman to figure out what the factory is for right away... Baldy is happy to see Aquaman working for him and his boss in recovering gold bars from the ocean floor... To escape the steel vault, Aquaman releases acid onto the floor so it falls away. It makes one wonder just what the vault was for.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman gets no assistance from finny folks in this story, although he does apologize for bothering them at one point.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is locked in a steel vault when he goes in to rescue Blodgett.

Quotefile: Blodgett: "But, Aquaman... y-you're letting out some of the most dangerous acids! If we should fall..." Aquaman: "Just don't fall, that's all!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 11:52 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Sunday, November 26, 2006


It's snowing. I mean it's really snowing. Heavily. However, it's not freezing yet, so maybe it'll all be gone by morning. I'm glad I don't have to go anywhere tomorrow.

Snow Outside

Update (11-27): Didn't freeze last night. In fact, a small storm came through and rained enough to clear up the roads up here. There's still snow on lawns and roofs, but the roads are practically dry. Hubby-Eric got called in to work, and traffic on the road in front of our house is steady. However... I see dark clouds overhead and flurries of snow happening now, at 8am. I can't help but wonder if the snow is over yet? Two inches on the road shuts down Seattle. I don't think we've seen the last of this, though I hope we have.


-by Tegan at 7:27 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Ripples Through Time - 026

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

More Fun #97 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #97 (May 1944) - Penguin Island!

Archibald just wants to live in peace away from his greedy relatives, so he exiles himself to an island of penguins... but his relatives follow him.

After five war-related tales, we finally get a break with PENGUINS! Yay! ... Aquaman sees Archibald arrive at the island, and chooses to leave him alone because that's clearly what the man wants... With a niece like Alicia, I'd want to exile myself as well, but at least she's honest... I have to wonder how Aquaman is wrestling with a sea lizard near an island inhabited by penguins. Wouldn't the lizard find the waters too cold to exist in? Probably best not to think about it too hard... I love the bit where Archibald's army of penguins join the fight... My biggest complaint about this story is the blatant bit of sexism at the end when Alicia surrenders to the sea-mouse. Ug.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman's friend, a sea lizard, helps him fight the bad guys. Archibald calls in an army of penguins as well. A penguin shows Aquaman a gun when Aquaman is trapped in a cave, and Aquaman uses the gunpowder to escape. Aquaman calls in octopuses and sharks to subdue the crew, then a sea-mouse to subdue Alicia. Archibald rides a shark back to Penguin Island with Aquaman. A penguin thought Archibald's emeralds were eggs and therefore had been protecting them.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Alicia throws make-up powder in Aquaman's face, making him sneeze, and giving the thugs a chance to knock him out with the butt of a gun.

Quotefile: Alicia: "EEEEE! Take it away! I give up!" Archibald: "Huh...? What's she scared of?" Aquaman: "A sea-mouse, uncle Archibald! You know how women are!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 4:15 PM Seattle time - Permalink

A Little Linkage

Johnny B's NFL Picks. He was 3-0 on Thanksgiving Day games.

Fine Art Ads In Photoshop... check out Boing Boing for the link.

Snow makes me do strange things. You can find the exact latitude and longitude of your house using Google Earth (it also tells you your elevation! We're at 185 feet above sea level here). Plug those numbers into the URL you get at NOAA when you click on the map near your home, and you get a weather report for your own house. Snow makes me do strange things.

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-by Tegan at 11:48 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Ripples Through Time - 025

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

More Fun #96 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #96 (March 1944) - Champion in War!

Lun Ming, an Olympic swimmer, fights the Japanese invaders in China by smuggling messages from his home island to the mainland.

I have a soft spot for this story, despite the stereotypes in it. It was the first Golden Age Aquaman tale I ever read, on a really low quality photocopy made from a microfilm of the book. In addition, my husband loves the Olympics and this is an early mention of the Olympics that shows that people didn't understand the Games much.

Aquaman first meets Lun Ming when both of them are on missions. Aquaman says he would help, but is on a mission of his own. He comes back later during a storm and saves Lun Ming. Even later, Aquaman is visiting the island and learns that Lun Ming was captured.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman gets no assistance from sea life in this tale.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is never caught or knocked out, but he does break into jail.

Quotefile: Lun Ming: "Can't a man go for a swim in the moonlight here without being threatened?"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 5:33 PM Seattle time - Permalink


Want to help a soldier? Donate to Operation Comix Relief, an organization that sends comic books to soldiers on deployment. They need money for postage.

Look-In. Wow.

The Comics Reporter Holiday Shopping Guide.

Comics for Kids (and adults).

More on Jerry Bails: The Comics Reporter, The Comic Treadmill, Newsarama, Fred Hembeck (Nov 24, 2006) and my own small tribute.

Leonardo knows his stuff.

Vivi the Urban Legend. How the story of a missing show dog has become something more.

Um. A sneak peek from the live-action remake of "Year Without A Santa Claus":

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-by Tegan at 12:40 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Friday, November 24, 2006

Ripples Through Time - 024

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

More Fun #95 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #95 (January 1944) - Guerrillas of Fen-Shu!

Aquaman assists a group of Chinese guerrillas working to drive the invading Japanese out of their land.

This is one of those fairly rare Aquaman stories that is so offensive in its stereotypes that I find it difficult to read. Oh, the Chinese are strong and smart and brave, but they speak broken English. The Japanese are horrible caricatures of people, with extreme features and broken English that attempts to be pointedly polite and formal. It's a good primer on what kind of propaganda was being spread at the time, but it's difficult to read from a modern viewpoint without cringing. A lot. I'll note that the stereotypes of the Nazis and Japanese throughout these early stories are all offensive, but this one goes a bit beyond the usual, in my opinion.

If you can't tell what's happening on that splash page: Aquaman is dumping out a ship full of weapons and planes and such which the guerrillas are rushing to collect. In the lower left corner, a Chinese guerrilla is pulling a Superman by lifting a tank and dumping the Japanese soldiers out of it... Aquaman's domain is the waters of the entire globe, which is why he swims up the Yangtze in this story (and the Mississippi a few stories ago)... When the Japanese catch Aquaman they refer to him as a famous American... Aquaman marches all night with the guerrillas, for hours, without water. Another sign that he didn't have any one-hour weakness... Aquaman sort of explains the concept of breaking step when marching over a bridge so you don't cause it to collapse. Good physics lesson here... Aquaman goes undercover twice in this tale, once as a guerilla when he joins their troop, and once as a regular Chinese loading ammo onto a ship... When captured in Chinese disguise, he begs the Japanese not to throw him in the water because he'll drown. Naturally, the Japanese throw him in the water... The artist didn't know the difference between a rudder and a propeller. Aquaman talks about damaging the rudder while the art shows him damaging a propeller.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman has a group of river fish pull on ropes to cause a vibration in a bridge that brings it down. Later, a group of river fish pull pieces of wood dressed as guerrillas so the Japanese will waste their ammunition.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is caught in a steel net as he swims up the Yangtze. Later he is caught while in disguise as a Chinese worker by Japanese soldiers with guns.

Quotefile: Guerrilla soldier: "This is Aquaman! I recognize by pictures! Hello, Aquaman!"... Guerrilla soldier, bopping enemy on head: "We bow respectfully to new order in Asia!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 2:58 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Jerry Bails - June 26,1933 - November 23, 2006

From the GCD Mailing List:
This is the saddest notice I have ever had to pass along to my friends in comic book fandom.

I just received a call from Jerry's wife Jean of the news that Jerry Bails, The Father of Comic Book Fandom, died in his sleep today of an apparent heart attack. He was 73.

Jerry had been suffering a serious heart condition for the past several years. In recent months the physical discomfort he had experienced had kept him mostly homebound, but his mind remained as sharp as ever, thanks to the contact he was able to continue with friends and family through the internet.

At this time, details of any services or funerals are not yet known. According to Jean, Jerry's wishes were for something simple and the family are in the process of working on that.

Jerry was a lot of things to a lot of people. For me, he was a mentor, a teacher, a guide--whose wisdom and kindness helped make the world an even better place for many. But most important, I am and will always be deeply proud that I consider Jerry to be my friend. I am a little less not to have his wisdom gracing my ears any longer and I am much MORE knowing that I did have time on this earth in having that same wisdom touch my heart.

My deepest love goes out to Jean, Kirk, and all other family members and loved ones of Jerry.

-Ray Bottorff Jr
When I joined the GCD many years ago, looking mostly for more information about Aquaman, he was not just helpful, he was encouraging and wonderful. He sent me information about the people who worked on Aquaman and even sent me an original piece of Nick Cardy artwork, a page from Detective #293, which is framed and on my wall. Every time I look at it, which is every day, I think of Jerry and Nick. I was fortunate enough to meet Nick, but I never got to meet Jerry and I wish I had. Without Jerry, much of what I've done in hunting down the history of comics would not have happened. Without Jerry, my Aquaman website would be less interesting and less useful.

Jerry has been called the father of comic book fandom. Mark Evanier writes that he started Alter Ego and was one of the first people to put fans in contact with each other. He started checklists and compiled reports of the early creators in comics, many of whom would have been forgotten without his work. He reportedly wrote some of the earliest letters to editors. Comics were his passion and he delighted in sharing that passion with anyone interested.

Jerry was active on the GCD mailing list, and some of the most touching tributes I've seen have been posted there. My own initial reaction of shock and dismay was posted last night when I read the news. I had been thinking of him Thanksgiving morning. I wanted to e-mail him and ask a few questions. I decided to wait until after the holiday. It's too late now.

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-by Tegan at 8:07 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Ripples Through Time - 023

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

More Fun #94 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #94 (November 1943) - Battle of Italy!

Aquaman helps an American general in the Mediterranean to steal a Nazi ship to get to London.

Aquaman is enjoying the peaceful Mediterranean when he witnesses a battle between allied forces and Nazis... Aquaman can't turn the torpedo around, but he uses his body weight to make it go under the ship... General Lundigan has an important mission, and must get to London. As soon as he sees Aquaman, he enlists his help... The radio reports of the British and American attack are hilarious, with reports that il Duce was so confident in his troops that he was hastily going on vacation... Aquaman goes undercover again, and apparently speaks perfect Italian as nobody confuses him for the Americans they are waiting for... The Italian civilians are gathering to present flowers to the invading British and Americans... The Nazi captain thinks Aquaman is "a mere nobody" out of water, and Aquaman is happy to let him believe that as it helps him escape... Lundigan and Aquaman learn that they actually set off the rumors of an American attack by stealing a Nazi ship. Lundigan explains to Aquaman that he was sure there wasn't a real attack because Lundigan himself is planning the attack.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman gets no assistance from sea life in this tale.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is shot by Nazis when he attacks them for shooting at Italian civilians. He only gets a flesh wound, but is somehow knocked out by it.

"The Yanks are coming! The cry rings out, sweeps through the tortured but still hopeful peoples of occupied Europe, and then dies down... for the Yanks have not come... yet! But some day, perhaps even as you read this, they will arrive..."
Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 8:36 PM Seattle time - Permalink

I Thought Turkeys Could Fly

Happy Thanksgiving to my US readers. I'll be posting my Ripples post later this evening if I don't fall asleep from the turkey meal.

Johnny B's Thanksgiving NFL picks.

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #78.

Turkey Urban Legends and tales.

Hand-Drawn Turkeys. The final question on a Psych class test is to "Draw a turkey".

If you are peeved at a scummy driver, you can report them at PlateWire.

Lea Hernandez updates, and asks who your favorite teacher was.

Occasional Superheroine. Start at the bottom and read on up to the most recent. You'll know quickly enough if you want to keep reading. Start with this post. I read through the entire blog in one sitting. I do not regret it.

Snopes reports on a true tax refund for Americans...

And for everyone who remembers WKRP:

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-by Tegan at 10:35 AM Seattle time - Permalink

What Am I Thankful For?

  • I'm thankful for my husband, Eric, and the years we've had together.
  • I'm thankful for my family, both the one I was born into and the one I married into. Yeah, we've had our problems, every family does, but I'm still thankful for the lot of them.
  • I'm thankful for all my friends. Far more than a shy introvert with depression ever expected to have. Thank you for reading this, and thanks for being a friend.
  • I'm thankful for the internet, which has allowed me to have friends despite my disabilities.
  • I'm thankful for mysteries and wonder, and I hope we never quite figure out everything there is to figure out, because that would take the magic out of the world.
  • I'm thankful for people who understand obsession, and allow me to indulge in my harmless obsession for Aquaman without thinking I'm a loon.
  • I'm thankful for free speech, and the rights I have as an American. I hope we all continue to have those rights.
  • I'm thankful for retailers who wait until after Thanksgiving to start putting up Christmas stuff, instead of starting Christmas decorations before Hallowe'en. Along the same lines, I'm thankful for people who wait until the end of December (or even January) before starting to post "year in review" articles.
  • I'm thankful for all the folks who helped me to complete my Aquaman collection, and I'm thankful that I can share a bit of that with other folks in the form of my daily posts. I'm thankful to know that some people are reading and enjoying those posts as well. Thanks to all of you.


-by Tegan at 9:40 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Ripples Through Time - 022

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

More Fun #93 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #93 (September 1943) - Convoy to Murmansk!

Aquaman goes to help a convoy, and discovers that a Russian ship, the Neva, is crewed entirely by women.

I grew up in the 70's and 80's, and to me the Russians were always the bad guys. They were the ones who hated us and wanted to kill us. It's very strange to read a story in which they are our allies. As usual with the allies, they are portrayed as noble and strong, while the Nazis are weak cowards.

Very interesting opening text box, talking about a woman's place in war (the hospitals, a sniper's perch, a pilot, and even on a ship's deck)... Aquaman is stunned to learn that the Russian ship is crewed by women, and even more stunned once he learns it's a munitions ship, and they are fighting to save the ship despite the danger of it blowing up... Once they save the ship, the captain refuses to try to rejoin the convoy, explaining that they would slow it down and put more lives in danger. Aquaman then decides to provide his own escort... The Nazis have thick accents, the Russians speak perfect English... The women save the sailors from the ship Aquaman's whale sinks... They also "save" the Nazi spies, who claim their ship was destroyed by Nazis. The spies release the other prisoners, but the readers are left hanging for awhile while Aquaman has his adventure with a Nazi submarine... When Aquaman leaves the Nazi sub, he puts a silhouette of a ship on their periscope so they will chase something that doesn't exist... The women of the Neva have no problem dealing with their escaped prisoners, which again surprises Aquaman... When Aquaman goes to say good-bye to the captain of the Neva, he finds her at a dance. He stammers a bit and asks for the next dance.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman calls on a group of whales to act as escort to the ship. One of the whales sinks a Nazi ship to protect the Neva. Later, a whale uses his water spout as a weapon to knock a bomber out of the sky.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is injured when a mine goes off near where he's swimming, while he's unconscious a Nazi sub picks him up.

Quotefile: Nazi Captain: "Whales! Der whole vorld is against our fuehrer, even whales! Va are der only vuns dot love him!" Thought balloon from a crew member: "Who says ve love him?"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 5:47 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Review Copy Review

Action Figure: From the Journals of Richard Marzelak: "Late" by Richard Marcej. Published by Baboon Books, order through the website.

This is a surprisingly fun book. Richard Marcej worked at Hasbro during the Transformers explosion, and this is a semi-autobiographical look on those days, in the form of the fictional Richard Marzelak. The book starts with a framing sequence that doesn't seem to have much to do with the rest of the tale. It then jumps into Richard's normal work day, with just a touch of fantasy (done in red) to move the story along.

I found the story fascinating, and when I finished I felt a pang that this book didn't get enough orders for Diamond to distribute it. The fact is, it's good. It's a unique story drawing on life experiences from a critical time in the toy industry. I don't know about most of my readers, but the early 80's, when Richard was at Hasbro, hold a lot of memories of toys for me. Thus, the look inside a fictional Hasbro is strangely thrilling.

My biggest complaint about the book would be the framing sequence, which made the title into a pun but otherwise didn't seem to have any function in the story. If I hadn't read the notes on the inside front cover, the framing sequence would have put me off the story a bit. Fortunately, it's only 4 pages out of 32 pages of comic story, so I can't really complain much. Once into the tale of Richard, the story pulled me in. Everyone recognizes the lousy job situation, but this one has the fun fantasies, and the novelty of being about what some of us would consider a dream job.

I liked this enough that I would read a second issue, and maybe even a third even if the second one wasn't as good. If you want a different sort of book looking into a bit of popular culture from a completely different point of view, get this book. For me, I'm calling it Recommended. Read a preview, then order it.


-by Tegan at 8:05 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Seattle Rain

After this afternoon's storm, this is now the wettest month on record in Western Washington history.

12.94 inches at Sea-Tac Airport. Beats the old record set in 1953. There's another record at a different location (in Seattle) set in 1933 of 15.33 inches. We have a chance to beat that one, too.


-by Tegan at 7:09 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Ripples Through Time - 021

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

More Fun #92 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #92 (July 1943) - Saga of the Seven Sisters!

This story follows the "life" of the Yankee Clipper Seven Sisters, launched in 1878, until her end at the hands of the Nazis.

This story plays with the format a little, following the ship's adventures meeting Aquaman, after a short history of her life until the WWII era. We get three short stories. First Aquaman defeats pirates on the ship when it is owned by a millionaire. Then, after the war starts, the ship becomes a freighter and Aquaman defeats a group of opportunistic sailors who intend to sell the cargo to the Nazis. Lastly, Aquaman helps the ship defeat Nazis on the ship's final voyage. Three stories in eight pages. Wow.

Aquaman has no fire weakness in this story, as he uses the boiler to build up a fire and send smoke signals... Aquaman traps sailors in mercury to prevent them from taking the ship... For her final mission, the Seven Sisters is meant to explode in a channel, blocking the Nazi fleet. The mission is interrupted by the Nazis, who intend to aim her at a British warship instead... The Nazis get onto the Seven Sisters by air - yes, they parachute onto the ship. At night. With the ship running silent and showing no lights. It's a wonder that Aquaman only finds one drowned Nazi who missed the ship... Aquaman again addresses the readers directly at the end of the story, to explain that the ship that the Seven Sister blew up was a Nazi warship, and not the intended British Battleship, because of a compass problem caused by Aquaman's escape.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman gets no help from finny friends in this story, but the ship itself seems to be communicating with him.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is locked in the boiler room when he runs in there by mistake. Later, Aquaman is hit on the head from behind by a Nazi soldier, and chained up.

Quotefile: Sailor, after Aquaman throws mercury on him: "Ouch! That water hit me like a load of bricks!"... Aquaman is interrupted in his escape attempt by a Nazi soldier: "Just when I was getting along so well!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 2:31 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Random Thoughts

Of the series listed here that I've read, I enjoyed them all, so maybe I ought to hunt down and read the rest.

Bully's Ten of a Kind: Surprise Visitors.

Augie on the Commodore 64. Yup, my family had one. Everyone did. It changed home computing forever.

Dave has thoughts on the new US Dollar coins.

William Gibson on readers.

Virginia Hey hates the first three images of her that show up in a Google search. Anyone know how to Googlebomb images so she can get some better pics at the top?

Lea Hernandez is having school district problems.

I have to admit, I like Hiro too. And that's the second casting rumor from Heroes I've heard that I like. I need to catch up on this show.

UCLA Taser-Cop has violent history. Eek.

How about something to wipe away all the bad thoughts? Here's a nice bowl of pugs:

Bowl of Pugs

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-by Tegan at 1:09 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ripples Through Time - 020

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

More Fun #91 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #91 (May 1943) - Marauders of the Mississippi!

Aquaman and Ark take a swim up the Mississippi and catch some men in the act of breaking a levee.

Ark is referred to as a seal in this story... Ark has subtitles in his speech balloons... Aquaman comments on a levee while swimming upstream, "Lucky there's no danger of its breaking!"... The boss, Ebenezer Rugg, wants to flood the area so he can buy cheap land. However, he tells his thugs that the flood will allow them to loot. This leads to the thugs flooding the wrong bits of land, Rugg's own farm, once Aquaman stops them twice at the location Rugg would have preferred... Rugg is actually pretty smart for a bad guy. He lures Aquaman into a flooded house by pretending he's drowned, then burns the house, making sure all the exits are blocked.

Finny Friends Report: A catfish warns Aquaman and Ark about the first break in the levee. Ark plugs the hole in the levee with his body while Aquaman gets clay to repair it. During the flood, Ark leads cows to safety. Ark also participates in the battle against the thugs.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is clocked on the back of the head with a gun and left in a burning house.

Quotefile: Ark, upon seeing a catfish talking to Aquaman: "ARK! (Suffering Catfish!)"... Cheering bystander: "Aquaman not only saved my life--- he saved my chickens, too!"... Ark, while fighting: "A---ARK! (When I flap this flipper---crooks take a flop!)"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 6:02 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Congrats To My Sister

Lisa's Ring


-by Tegan at 12:28 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Review Copy Review

Tony Loco by Mark Teague and Derek McCaw. Published by Illusive Arts.

I know what to expect from Illusive now, I thought before reading this book. Dorothy is a fascinating and well crafted tale with a unique art style. When I heard about Tony Loco, my first thought was simply, huh? It sounded so utterly unlike what I expected that I pretty much dismissed it as the infamous sophmore effort. I ordered a copy, more out of loyalty to the gang at Illusive than with any expectation of actually enjoying the book.

Despite having ordered the book, I gratefully accepted a review copy when offered, so I could give an opinion before the book actually hit the shelves. And ... let's just say it's taken me a long time to digest the book enough to feel up to writing about it.

This isn't an easy book to categorize. It promises to be adventure, but has horrific overtones. It also has mythic roots that show up in the artwork brilliantly. It's a very strange mix. To be completely honest, I really don't know what I think of it. I know I want to read the next issue, even if I'm not certain what I'm getting.

What I suspect, though? I suspect I'll be getting a fascinating and well crafted tale with a unique art style. After all, that's what Illusive is good at.

Bonus Rapid Review: Says the hubby-Eric, "Interesting premise, it's definitely set-up. I want to see what happens when Tony really gets going!"

UPDATE: There's a Preview of Tony Loco up on YouTube. Check it out for some samples of the artwork and the style.

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-by Tegan at 8:58 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Really Rapid Reviews

These are mini-capsules: about one sentence per book with whether or not I recommend the book.

15 November 2006

Aquaman #45
52 Week Twenty-Eight: "Beyond the Black Stump": Just what is Lobo actually up to? And is anyone else confused at Red Tornado's status because of this book and Justice League? Mildly recommended.

Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #45: "Watery Grave": Oh, I'm so pathetic. I can't look at that cover speech balloon without thinking "NO, To the PAIN!" Ahem. I enjoyed this issue. Recommended.

Birds of Prey #100: I like the few scenes we got of female supers in the DCU responding to Oracle. I just wish Mera had been one of them! Both stories were good, but I hope Black Canary stays in the book in some form. Recommended.

Checkmate #8: "Pawn 502 Part 1": Oh, now that is intriguing. And I have to wonder who Mr Terrific wants as his bishop. Mildly recommended.

Green Lantern Corps #6: "The Price of Duty": Soranik Natu is the only character in this book so far that I care at all about, and while her bits were good, there weren't enough of them! Mildly recommended.

Shadowpact #7: "The Laws of Battle": I'm liking this book more with each issue. It's not a top book for me, but I'm enjoying it. Mildly recommended.

Astro City The Dark Age Book Two #1: "Eyes of a Killer, one of four": Back to the two brothers. I find myself drawn into their tale again, and when the book ended I just wanted more. Recommended.

Squadron Supreme #7: "Turnabout": I'm losing interest in this book so rapidly that I don't think I'll be getting it much more. Neutral.

What If... Spider-Man The Other: That's a twist on that tale I didn't expect, but in the end it wasn't really as intense as I was hoping for. Mildly recommended.

Phantom #13: "Tiger's Blood part 2": If I understood this, a man who thinks the Phantom is responsible for his love's death hatches an elaborate plan to kill the Phantom using, basically, a fear gas. Hrm. Not bad, but not the best. Mildly recommended.

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-by Tegan at 8:25 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Ripples Through Time - 019

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

More Fun #90 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #90 (April 1943) - Somewhere in the Pacific!

Aquaman helps a US Marine scout patrol battling the Japanese on a small Pacific Island.

This is the first story in which Aquaman is explicitly referred to as American, although it has been inferred before. At the end of the story, as he's being awarded the Navy Cross, the officer tells Aquaman that he's getting the award "for valor and distinguished service in the cause of your country." Also, at the end of this story, Aquaman addresses his readers and asks them to buy war bonds and stamps.

Aquaman doesn't get involved in the war effort much in these first stories. This was only the third time he gets involved directly. The War is a big part of the background of his stories, but direct involvement has been fairly rare so far.

Besides commander Bob Crane, the only named characters in this story are "Tex" and "Yank". I don't think the writer was trying very hard... The porpoises are poorly drawn, I don't think the artist had any reference for them... When they spot Aquaman, one of the Marines says, "Another legendary tale come true!" I wonder what other tales have come true for these guys... Aquaman dresses up as a sea monster to scare away the Japanese, and it works... Aquaman apparently abandons the Marines as the fight starts, but he's gone to deal with the mini subs.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is never captured or knocked out in this story, but he's nearly accidentally shot by the US Marines.

Finny Friends Report: A porpoise leads Aquaman to a safe cave on the island. Another porpoise helps him out of the water to where the scout patrol is holed up. A group of electric eels powers the patrol's radio for Aquaman. Aquaman leads "an armada of giant squid" against the Japanese baby subs.

Quotefile: Aquaman, after nearly being shot by the Marines: "That was a mighty warm reception, boys!"... The Japanese threaten torture: "must we use unpleasant inducements?"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 3:36 PM Seattle time - Permalink


Johnny B's NFL Picks.

Galactus is Coming.

Dr Sordid profiles Aquaman.

This happened just down the hill from us.

Making Light has a round up of information about the UCLA student who was Tasered repeatedly by police after he'd been cuffed and subdued.

Boing Boing asks if RIAA lawsuit damages are unconstitutional.

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-by Tegan at 8:55 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Ripples Through Time - 018

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

More Fun #89 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #89 (March 1943) - The Streamlined Buccaneers!

Black Jack has gone truly modern, with tommy guns instead of cutlasses and a new-fangled ship with all the latest piratical innovations.

At the beginning of the story, Black Jack and his pirates abandon the old Jolly Roger to go to their new ship, the Jolly Roger II. JRII has a gasoline engine, smoke bombs, and can fly... A new named sea friend is introduced, Slippery the Eel... Ark the Sea Lion, Slippery the Eel - you could make your own set of beanie babies or pokemon out of Aquaman's finny friends... Black Jack tries to drown Aquaman by using a chemical that removes oxygen from water, but Aquaman tricks him into turning on a current, which according to Aquaman produces oxygen from the water by electrolysis... At the end of the story, the Navy finds the original Jolly Roger and uses it to transport Black Jack and his crew to prison.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman plays tag with a bunch of fish early in the story. Ark the Sea Lion reports the sinking of the first victim. Ark gets a group of manatees to help get the survivors to an island. Ark gets a group of "fierce giant turtles" to assist Aquaman in keeping Black Jack's ship from flying. Aquaman and Slippery the Eel get a group of whales and more eels to attack Black Jack's hideout. The whales use their water spouts to get the eels and Aquaman up into the place, and the eels tie up Black Jack's crew of thugs.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is captured by a "mechanically thrown lasso" which snags him while he's diving into the water from the flying ship.

Best Quotes: Black Jack: "Aqua-GLUB!"... unnamed pirate on drowning Aquaman: "This is gonna be fun!"

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 3:54 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Friday, November 17, 2006

Ripples Through Time - 017

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

More Fun #88 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #88 (February 1943) - The Man Who Chased The Rainbow!

John Wilson has been diving around the world for mysterious purposes for longer than Aquaman has been living underwater, so Aquaman goes to find out why.

There are so many flaws with this story that it's hard to decide where to start. I will say, however, that if you manage a massive amount of suspension of disbelief, it's not a bad little tale. It's just when you start to think about it...

Let's start with Blackbeard the pirate. While he's a huge part of this tale, he is only mentioned on the last page, and his real name is Edward, not John as the story says. He's the driving force behind Wilson's lifelong search: a hunt through the seven seas to find directions to a buried treasure. First: Blackbeard just didn't travel that far, so the whole "lenses buried around the world" thing is ridiculous. Second: Wilson wants to return the treasure to the descendents of Blackbeard's victims... how's he going to find them? Most of Blackbeard's victims were merchant companies. It'll take Wilson longer to return the treasure than it did to find it in the first place.

For another flaw, look at the lenses themselves. Each one is hidden in a different sea, and each is marked by a nearby yellow pyramid. Ok. Drift, silt and mud, currents, sea life, and years would have made it literally impossible to find any of the pyramids or the nearby lenses. No wonder it took Wilson decades to find the first three. But the last four are insanely easy to find. Then... once he's got all of them... he has to look at Mars through them to read the words?!?

Ok, I like the cameo by the Seal Island seals. And I thought Rocky was a decent standard villain. I like how Aquaman outsmarted him. And the hunt for the lenses itself was fun. It was also interesting to see Aquaman burning two ships, one of them underwater. But the flaws in this one. Ay-yi-yi!

Finny Friends Report: A tiny seahorse "gossips" with Aquaman and lets him know that John Wilson is diving nearby. The seals from Seal Island (see More Fun #85) tip over Rocky's boat and keep him and his thugs away from their guns.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is never captured or knocked out in this story.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 4:19 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Morning Links

-by Tegan at 9:20 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ripples Through Time - 016

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

More Fun #87 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #87 (January 1943) - Ark of the Ancients

A trio of scoundrels hijacks a very special ship containing examples of most land animals, but the ship belongs to Aquaman.

This is a massively cool story for one big reason. This is the first appearance of any civilization that lives under the sea. And what civilization, you ask? Atlantis, complete with a dome. That's right, the undersea domed city of Atlantis first appears in this Golden Age tale, complete with a retelling of the sinking!

The Atlanteans in this tale are survivors of the disaster rescued by Milo, an Atlantean who warned of the impending doom but was ignored and made fun of (hmmm, sounds familiar somehow). Milo created a giant bell jar outside of town and when the disaster hit he got as many as he could save ("only a few") into it. The colony thrived, and centuries later Aquaman finds it. He's able to communicate with the people because he "learned several languages during my travels," but tells them "You do speak peculiarly". Heh.

What these Atlanteans want most is to see what sort of creatures live in the world above. So Aquaman takes three Atlanteans, a boat, and gathers up a huge zoo of animal life so they can see the animals for themselves. In the middle of a war. There is a page of Aquaman easily capturing animals while the hapless Atlanteans look on. When the task is finished, Aquaman leaves the ship to do a patrol, leaving the Atlanteans to sail home by themselves. Which is when the hijackers come in.

The three hijackers are adrift in a row boat because they mutinied against their captain. They are quite delighted to find the ark, and even more happy to discover it's only guarded by three peaceful Atlanteans, whom they promptly throw overboard. The hijackers have apt but silly names. Runt is short. Pegleg has a pegleg. And Vulture looks a bit like that bird.

This story doesn't exactly contradict Aquaman's origin. His father could still have discovered the ruins of the city, since the bell jar Atlantis was not on the exact same location as the original Atlantis. But that inspires the question of why, if Aquaman's father could use the knowledge of the Atlanteans to give Aquaman the power to live undersea, couldn't Milo have given his people the same abilities, allowing them to become a race of people at one with the sea?

Captured/Knocked Out report: Pegleg uses his crutch to knock Aquaman out.

Finny Friends Report: When Aquaman is tightly bound and tossed into the water, a shark attacks him. He bites it by the tail to keep it from eating him. When he escapes, he gets a sawfish to cut his bonds. Then he uses a whale to stop the ship and pull it to Atlantis.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 3:42 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Random Thoughts

Bully continues to watch the Avengers. And more.

Ritual Purity can kill you, if this new evidence the Dead Sea Scrolls pointed to is correct.

Bank of America has a victim of fraud arrested, and now is losing customers because of it. We dumped Bank of America a long time ago.

UCLA Campus Cops shot a student with a taser when he couldn't produce his ID card. He was asked to leave the library, and was complying, when the cops attacked him.

Another pug for the in-laws.

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-by Tegan at 11:00 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ripples Through Time - 015

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

More Fun #86 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #86 (December 1942) - Race Around The World

A movie producer gets Aquaman to swim around the world in seven days, and Black Jack offers a half million dollar reward to the pirate who kills Aquaman.

On the splash page, Aquaman is walking down a street in Hollywood and is at least a full head taller than anyone else, showing off his heroic proportions... Someone named "Hedy Hepburn" asks for Aquaman's autograph... A swimming champ asks Aquaman for swimming pointers... The movie studio is named Pariversal Pix and the President's name is Mr Smith... Aquaman agrees to the challenge because the profits will go to the Navy Relief Fund... Aquaman's exact route is publicized, leading Black Jack to declare the reward... Lots of inset maps so the readers could follow along Aquaman's journey. Readers got a tiny bit of geography from this one... The Japanese are horrible stereotypes, as is common in Golden Age tales. However, they are also the only group that even comes close to killing Aquaman... The pirates at the Cape of Good Hope drop depth charges on Aquaman, and he off-handedly explains how they work to his readers... Aquaman makes a baseball reference, "No hit, one error!" the pirates miss him and he sinks them instead... The Japanese capture Aquaman, hoping to use him to sink American ships... Aquaman is stuck in a muddy channel when six Japanese bombers attack him. A single American fighter arrives and shoots down two of the bombers, rescuing Aquaman, then helps him out of the mud... Aquaman makes it in less than six days, breaking all records... When asked what he's going to do next, Aquaman says he's going home to take a bath.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman gets no help from sea life in this story.

Captured/Knocked Out report: The Japanese pirates drug the water in the Indian Ocean that Aquaman is due to swim through to capture him, but the drug wears off fast and he escapes.

Special Note: This story's script is later re-used in the Silver Age, one of two instances of re-used scripts I'm certain of in Aquaman's history. When I reach that story, I'll be sure to link back to this one.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 4:05 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Morning Linkage

Bully watches the Avengers.

Lots of people, including The Beat, have linked to this NY Times article about Dark Horse Comics.

Kate-Venom wants to hug you and eat your brains.

Elayne points out an evil, evil flash game. I spent quite a bit of time on this one, but I got through them all. Bwah-ha-ha-ha!!!

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-by Tegan at 8:00 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ripples Through Time - 014

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

More Fun #85 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #85 (November 1942) - The Unhappy Hunting Grounds

A group of poachers attack Seal Island, but are soon in trouble when Aquaman is warned and comes to stop them.

To kill Aquaman, the leader of the poachers, Morrell, leaves him on a tropical island. Yes, they had to go south to get to one. Aquaman drinks all the coconut milk and attempts to find shade under a palm tree. He's briefly saved by a tropical rainstorm. But then, after all that, the caption says that he tries to escape for "hours". Clearly there's no one hour limit, and equally clearly it's the sun and heat that are causing him problems, not the lack of water. But I wonder if this story isn't one of the inspirations for the infamous one hour limit?

The poachers are using "electric guns" that deliver a fatal shock to the seals in order to preserve the furs... Ark the Sea Lion makes a very brief one panel appearance in this story... The electric guns don't work on the polar bear... The poachers are terrified of the walruses, but still apparently have time to get dressed before jumping into the icy water to escape... Aquaman leaves a gloating note for the poachers threatening to introduce them to his whale friends... Aquaman digs his way to freedom after finding an oyster inland and figuring out that there's a water passage under the island... Aquaman radios for help for the poachers after he sinks their ship. On the strength of Aquaman's radio testimony, the poachers are thrown in jail.

Finny Friends Report: A seal seeks out Aquaman to warn of the poachers. A polar bear attacks Aquaman, and he throws it at the poachers to scare them off the island. Aquaman gets a group of walruses to board the poachers boat while they sleep and scare the poachers into the water. He's attacked by a swordfish, but tames it and has it ram a hole in the poachers ship.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman rescues a poacher who apparently fell overboard, and is captured in a net. He's then placed on a tropical island to die from exposure.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 6:14 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Aquaman for February 2007

Solicits for DC Comics due to ship in February 2007 have been posted on various websites: Comic Book Resources, Newsarama, Comics Continuum, Pop Culture Shock, IGN, ComicList and The Official DC Site. Here's the Aquaman stuff I spotted:


Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #49 will be the last issue by Kurt Busiek, before the book is taken over by Tad Williams, who plans to continue Kurt's plotlines in his own style. This is the second part of a two issue story about the return of The Fisherman.


The Aquaman and Ocean Master MiniMates have been resolicited and are now due out April 25, 2007.

Reposted from The Aquaman Website.

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-by Tegan at 4:26 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Monday, November 13, 2006

Ripples Through Time - 013

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

Want to read these stories yourself? Write to DC: Dan Didio, Executive Editor, DC Comics, 1700 Broadway, New York NY 10019 and ask for a reprint of Aquaman's Golden Age tales.

More Fun #84 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #84 (October 1942) Raid on Atlantis

Three greedy men capture Aquaman to use in an exhibition, and use gas to control him.

Ah! This story features the first appearance of Ark the Sea Lion, a friend of Aquaman who shows up in multiple stories. Ark is the first sea creature that is actually named by Aquaman, but definitely not the last.

Back in World's Finest #6, Peers and Rogan had this same plan, but never carried it out... The readers are informed in the opening text box that they must root for Aquaman in the story... I'm not good with telling Golden Age writers apart, but this story seems very different than previous ones, and my guess is that it has a new writer... Coburn somehow knows where Aquaman's Sea Fortress is... After Jerrod and Skol kill Coburn, they lose the secret of the drug that pacifies Aquaman, which eventually allows him to escape... Two children attending the exhibition note that Aquaman doesn't look happy to be in the tank as part of the show... When Aquaman breaks free from the gas, the same two children notice that Aquaman looks happy again... Aquaman is shown outswimming a human, a dolphin, a shark, and a sea lion (presumably Ark), all in the same tank. How'd they get the shark to race and not eat?

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman chats with Ark the Sea Lion and Ark responds with repeated "Ark!" calls. It's unclear if Aquaman understands him at this point. Aquaman battles a hammerhead shark, batwing ray, octopus, and barracuda. A giant sea turtle saves a thug, apparently at Aquaman's request. And finally, Ark bowls over the bad guys, knocking away their gun.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is captured when he swims close to the bathysphere, and held by a net. He isn't knocked out. Doctor Coburn uses a gas to make Aquaman willing to sign contracts and be willing to perform in the exhibit.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 7:52 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Really Rapid Reviews

These are mini-capsules: one sentence per book (unless I feel like writing a bit more) with whether or not I recommend the book.

8 November 2006

52 Week Twenty-Seven: "The Past Best Hope": When Skeets explained what he was made of, I felt my jaw drop. Oh. My. Recommended.

Superman #657: "Camelot Falls": Wow, Arion is a jerk in this one. Mildly recommended.

Green Lantern #14: "Wanted: Hal Jordan Ch 1": Hmm, better than the last few stories, but confusing. Mildly recommended.

Batman #658: "Absent Fathers": I swing from believing the kid is doing this intentionally to thinking he's a victim of his upbringing to back again. Recommended.

Wonder Woman #2: "Wonder Woman? Part Two": Secret agent Diana never really appealed to me, but this story is quite bizarre. Mildly recommended.

JLA Classified #29: "Secret History, Sacred Trust part four": Aquaman has some good moments in this one playing the complete jerk. Mildly recommended.

Wisdom #1: "The Day the Fairies Came Out": I don't know who Pete Wisdom is, didn't follow a part of the story, but enjoyed it nonetheless. Mildly recommended.

DMZ #13: "Public Works 1/5": Promising start to another tale in the wilds of New York. Recommended.

Nodwick #35: Ah, the story is coming to its final climax. I can't wait to see more. Recommended.

Action Philosophers: "It's All Greek To You!": Good stuff as usual. Recommended.

And here's an extra review for your reading pleasure:

American Born Chinese by Gene Yang: After the recent fluffle about this book winning an award that some prose-snob (who doesn't even know the meaning of the word "genre") didn't think it deserved, I decided I ought to check it out. And so I did. It's not bad. Three apparently unrelated stories pull together to give a view of the experiences of a minority in America. I wasn't completely satisfied with the ending, and I certainly get the moral of the tale. I wouldn't call it the best ever tale, but it's worth reading. Recommended.

And for the moment I'm caught up... wow. I don't think it'll last long, as I've got a ton of books coming on Wednesday.

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-by Tegan at 8:04 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Ripples Through Time - 012

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

More Fun #83 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #83 (September 1942) - Thomas Jefferson's Treasure

Black Jack finds a chest of rare coins on the ocean floor, but needs financing to bring them up, so he enlists a hapless coin dealer.

The art has improved in this one from the previous story, probably because it isn't a story with a bunch of guys all dressed in the same prison uniform, so distinguishing the characters is possible through the use of clothing. Noppy does bear a strong resemblance to Yascom from the previous story.

Ah, the treasure of Thomas Jefferson! Ok, this one is fascinating, so try to follow me. According to Drew Carson, the coin dealer in this story, Thomas Jefferson sent almost the entire minting of 1804 silver dollars to Napoleon to pay for the Louisiana Purchase, and Napoleon melted them down to make French money, thus making the coin incredibly rare. Black Jack finds a chest full of the 1804 silver dollars, which he says was aboard a French ship which sank. This triggers the whole story. BUT that's not the truth about the 1804 silver dollars. That may have been what collectors believed in 1942, but the reality is much odder... as the 1804 silver dollar wasn't actually minted until 1834. I won't go into detail, but the full story can be found on and Wikipedia. A similar story to Drew Carson's can be found on, only in this case the coins were to pay soldiers. I find the mis-history in this tale almost as fun as the story itself.

Drew Carson has a lot of friends who care deeply for him, enough to try to help him even while he's blinded by greed... Vera, Drew's fiancee, gets a message to Aquaman because her friend Jo is the main squeeze of a Naval Officer who knows how to contact Aquaman... Vera doesn't believe the whole "throwing a bottle into the ocean" thing until she sees a lobster grab the bottle... Vera refers to it as "Sea-Mail", echoing the V-mail that readers would be familiar with... Aquaman goes in disguise as a normal sailor, but isn't able to join Carson's crew... Drew's butler, Jorrocks, attempts to get Aquaman aboard anyway because he's concerned about Black Jack and Noppy... The treasure is either in very shallow waters or very clear waters, because they can see it from the ship through a glass-bottomed box... Black Jack shatters a chain holding a diving bell with an axe... Black Jack and Noppy argue about how they are going to split the treasure, enough so that Noppy pulls a knife on Black Jack... Once again, Aquaman declines any reward, but Drew invites him to the wedding anyway.

Finny Friends Report: A green lobster brings Vera's message to Aquaman. Aquaman asks a fish to get "someone who can handle these knots" when he's trapped in the treasure chest at the bottom of the ocean.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman and Jorrocks are knocked into the water by a load of coal, the water revives Aquaman but Jorrocks has to be saved. Noppy hits Aquaman on the back of the head with the treasure chest, then traps him inside it and sinks it.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 5:37 PM Seattle time - Permalink


Johnny B's NFL Picks.

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #76. It keeps going... and going... and going...

Ten of a Kind in honor of James Bond.

Hmmm, do I want to go to the Grand Opening of Fantagraphics Bookstore. Hmmm. Not too far away, but a pain to drive to. I'll have to ponder this one.

Aaron Williams has good links.

Wooden planes.

The Internet's Funniest Images.

I'm in ur base... Having played Command and Conquer, and gotten pwned like this, I totally understand the meme.

Emerald City Comicon is shaping up to be a really good one this year. Yes, unless some disaster strikes my life, I will be there.

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-by Tegan at 11:27 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Ripples Through Time - 011

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

A lot of people have asked me how I got all these stories. The short answer is that I spent the last 10 years collecting them. Most of the earliest stories I have on microfiche. Others I have in paper. I've also been asked how to get these stories. That I cannot answer, but I have a suggestion. Pull together your best writing skills and write a paper letter to
Dan Didio, Executive Editor
DC Comics
1700 Broadway
New York NY 10019
and ask very nicely for a reprint of Golden Age Aquaman stories, starting with his first appearance. If you aren't feeling as devoted to the idea, you can write an email, but a paper letter is more likely to get attention. You can also grab a copy of a recent DC book and write to the first few names after Dan Didio in the masthead. The more the merrier.

More Fun #82 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #82 (August 1942) - King of the Convict Island

When the prisoners on Convict Island see the allied fleet defeated in the distance, they overthrow their guards and declare Yascom the giant to be their king.

The artwork changes in this story, and I can't say it's an improvement. Oh, it's not bad, but the previous artist had the ability to draw faces that looked different from one another. The faces in this story fit certain types. Adams is a dead ringer for Leef, except Leef has a moustache and a pith helmet. Yascom looks the same as most of the other prisoners, except for his silly crown.

Aquaman takes Adams to his headquarters. But it's made absolutely clear in the opening that this is in the Pacific. That argues that Aquaman's home, and the city of Atlantis, are in the Pacific ocean. This would work with the third story, in which Aquaman brings Keoki of Pearl Island to his home as well.

Yascom is a blacksmith, and a moment is spared from the story to show him making his crown... Aquaman comes to the island after an off-page adventure: "Having saved survivors of a sunken warship, he turns his attention to the drama on shore!"... The warship might have been from the battle the prisoners see at the beginning of this story... Aquaman and Adams first undermine Yascom's authority with tricks, then start a full-on rebellion... Yascom is very surprised that Aquaman survives being hit on the back of the head by Yascom's hammer, but he's smart enough to figure out that dry heat will kill Aquaman... This is the second time that heat/dryness are used as weapons against Aquaman, but there is no indication of any time limit... Adams tells Aquaman that his crime was stealing "some funds" and that he had repented and was willingly serving out his sentence. Why would a white collar criminal be sentenced to hard labor on an island in the Pacific?

Finny Friends Report: A lobster grabs Yascom's crown when Aquaman sends him out on a line. A swordfish cuts the rock Aquaman is tied to away from the cliff, so Aquaman ends up in the water. A lobster cuts Aquaman free from the rock.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is knocked out from behind by a blacksmith's hammer. Ouch.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 4:48 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Honor Those Who Served

-by Tegan at 8:55 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Friday, November 10, 2006

Ripples Through Time - 010

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

More Fun #81 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #81 (July 1942) - Champ of the Waves

After another man claims to have saved a woman that Aquaman just rescued, Aquaman starts to give swimming lessons.

The opening text box is yet another telling of his origin, complete with explanation of Aquaman's headquarters:
Greatest wonder of the Deep -- Aquaman!

His scientist-father trained and taught him from childhood to live and rule in the ocean, great source of life and strength -- Today, he is ruler of the waves and of the depths beneath them where he can live indefinitely, outswimming the fleetest of fishes and outfighting the fiercest monsters of the water -- human or animal! His headquarters is a temple of the drowned city of Atlantis from which he fares forth to keep the seven seas free of oppression and danger!
Aquaman cheats to help George Riggs win the Semi-Finals and thus make it to the big race. Apparently Riggs wins the final by himself... Humber is in league with a bunch of gamblers and must win the final, which makes it very strange that he suggests the Riggs should enter the marathon after he finds out Riggs can swim after all... All this trouble was to impress Riggs' girl Dotty... Roder tries to kill Aquaman by holding him underwater, as he reasons that Aquaman will drown since he doesn't have a mask. Apparently the tale of who Aquaman is hasn't reached this area yet... the fish that notifies Aquaman of drownings manages to look nervous when it reports the second one. Too much excitement for the little fish?

Finny Friends Report: A fish reports to Aquaman when it sees a woman drowning, and leads Aquaman to the victim. Later, apparently the same fish leads Aquaman to the drowning Riggs. A swordfish helps Aquaman open the trunk that Riggs was stuffed into.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman isn't captured or knocked out in this story!

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 9:18 PM Seattle time - Permalink

The Dead Sea Scrolls

Hubby-Eric and I just got back from a long day down at the Seattle Center where we visited the Science Center and saw Discovering The Dead Sea Scrolls. The exhibit required tickets bought in advance, so we got our tickets several weeks ago when they were first announced. We decided on today because the school districts have today off (Veterans Day is tomorrow) and it isn't a Saturday.

We started out with a nice "healthy" meal at McDonald's, as I had a couple of free breakfasts left over from the Monopoly game (I mailed away for entries). We got down to the center at before 10am, before the Science Center even opened, and waited in line until the place opened. Our tickets were for the Egypt IMAX movie at 11:30 and DDS at 1:00. So we did a walk-through of all the current exhibits.

Building 1 is currently dominated by dinosaurs. We then moved into Building 2, which has a group of standard exhibits. But there's a new area that was built when the new IMAX theater was built, and we checked it out. It's currently housing the insect village (*shudder*) and the Tropical Butterfly House. We did the Butterfly house, which has a pretty high temperature and managed to drain me of a bit of energy. It was wonderfully beautiful, and I want to go back sometime (maybe with Torvald), but this morning it was surprisingly tiring. Building 3 has the exercise and nutrition exhibits now, and a bunch of other standards I remember from when I was a little kid running around the place. As we were getting close to 11, we headed across the Water Works to the old Eames IMAX theater.

The movie we saw was Mysteries of Egypt. It was about the discovery of King Tut's Tomb, and the impact it had on our knowledge of Egyptian history. It was an ok movie, but didn't have anything to do with the Dead Sea Scrolls. I'm not sure why we ended up buying tickets to it with the DDS exhibit, but I enjoyed it.

After the movie we did another walk through the other exhibits in the other direction, hitting some spots we'd missed on the first time through (I tend to rush when I do the Science Center, old habits). At 1pm we went into the exhibit. Security was tight. There were guards at every exit and stationed within the building at various spots. Every bag was checked, and when they spotted the flashlight in the bottom of my bag they warned me not to pull it out in the exhibit. As we went in, we were given nifty little audio devices on lanyards that were programmed with exhibit information. At intervals along the walls were large numbers, and if you punched the number into the audio-thing you got a short lecture about what you were looking at. I worked out that I listened to 23 little lectures along the way.

The start of the exhibit was a short video that gave a very good sense of the basic history of the scrolls. It was nice to get the visual sense of the location of the scrolls discovery for later in the exhibit.

The build-up to the actual Dead Sea Scrolls took a good long time, but was extremely informative. The history of the scrolls discovery, then how they were recognized for what they were, came first. Then the science of preserving and dating the scrolls. Then the history of the area with the current theories about who the people who wrote the scrolls were. Then there was a gallery of three reproductions of other scrolls to prep folks for the real thing.

There were artifacts in the earlier galleries that were not as sensitive to light. Among the coolest things were a collection of coins found in the ruins of Qumran (where the scrolls were found) and a bunch of jigsaw puzzles dumped into a bin to give people an idea of how difficult it was to reconstruct some of the scrolls. It was crowded but wasn't too bad. I'm a person who really can't handle crowds most of the time.

After going through the first seven galleries we finally climbed the ramp and went into the room with the Dead Sea Scrolls. We went to each of the ten displays, waiting at each one because the lights weren't on all the time. The scrolls are that delicate. The lights came up for a few seconds then would go down for a half minute. After a few minutes in the gallery, I started to feel a stitch in my side. I persisted, but the pain got worse as we visited each scroll. I couldn't lift my arms or take a deep breath without agonizing pain. I barely made it through the exhibit, I hurt so much as we finished.

We visited the last gallery then I staggered into the gift shop. There was a cool breeze in there, and it revived me, slowly. After we bought the catalog of scrolls and left, I started to feel even better. Once we were out of the gift shop I was able to take a deep breath without pain. It wasn't until later that I realized that it was probably the environment in the room with the scrolls that had the massively negative effect on me. When you combine the hot and humid butterfly room in only a few hours with the extremely dry air in the scrolls room... well, it made me pretty sick. Luckily the effect was very temporary.

After we got out of the exhibit it was nearly 3pm, and we hadn't eaten lunch, so we headed out to the Center House and got a late lunch. Then we went across the way to the arcade and hubby-Eric played the Doctor Who pinball game. He got a free round out of it, too. I was still a bit less than 100%, so we left after that. I did a check on the pedometer map when we got home, and I figure we walked over a mile and half (since we parked at the far end of the Center).

All in all, a fun day and a fascinating experience. I'm glad we got the book, as it has the information on all ten scrolls with the translations (that I wasn't able to read in the gallery itself).


-by Tegan at 5:12 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Really Rapid Reviews

These are mini-capsules: one sentence per book (unless I feel like writing a bit more) with whether or not I recommend the book.

25 October 2006

52 Week Twenty-Five: "Liminal Times": Best. Cover. Ever. Insides weren't as good. Mildly recommended.

JSA Classified #18: "The Venom Connection Part 2": Not too shabby. Recommended.

Action Comics #844: "Last Son Part One": Promising enough start, though I'm not sure just what happened at the end there, or how this is an opportunity for Luthor. Mildly recommended.

Secret Six #5: "Life As We Know It": I'm liking this book less and less with each issue. It's just too depraved. Not recommended.

Trials of Shazam #3: "Cover Me!": The art bothers me in some mild way that I can't describe. Otherwise, it's an ok book. Mildly recommended.

Ion #7: "Home Again": Eh. Neutral.

Justice #8: Ah, Mera and Aquaman. Who the heck is "Yuko" though? Recommended.

Thieves & Kings Presents: "The Walking Mage": Quinton has a very interesting way of looking at the world, and of teaching lessons. I would NOT want to be on his bad side. Recommended.

Cindy and Her Obasan: "Elvis and the Lost Halo": Sounded promising, so we got it. It was fun. Recommended.

Castle Waiting Vol II #2: A lovely trip into Jain's past, with a cliffhanger and wonderful sketches. Highly Recommended.

1 November 2006

52 Week Twenty-Six: "Halfway House": I'm liking Osiris, he seems to work well as a foil to both Isis and Black Adam. Mildly recommended.

Justice League of America #3: "The Brave & The Bold": Still hasn't hooked me, but at least the story seems to be starting to pull together. Mildly recommended.

Detective Comics #825: "The Return of Dr. Phosphorus!": I liked this book better with Dini writing it. Mildly recommended.

Justice League Unlimited #27: "Climb the Mountain": Fantastic Black Lightning story. Highly recommended.

Fallen Angel #10: "A Sad Song for Terry May": A nice short tale, more or less standalone, though it refers to previous events. Recommended.

Local #7: "Hazardous Youth": Megan had hit the point where she was not likable... now we meet her cousin Nicky and his Arizona life. Recommended.

Mouse Guard #5: "Midnight's Dawn": Intriguing. This is going to be a good title to read all at once. Recommended.

Aquaman review will go up later this evening. At the moment I'm off to see the Dead Sea Scrolls!

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-by Tegan at 7:02 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thursday Links

Heidi writes an open letter to Diamond after they fail to deliver comics to her local shop for the third time in four weeks. And then she got a response. Sort of.

Mimi responds to my Seven Sons review, with some kind words and a bit of dismay. Hey, I always give free stuff a chance. And if I hadn't, I wouldn't have read this one, and I would still be bothered by it. So it's a good thing.

Dennis the Menace mashed up with Fight Club, with more here.

Canada changes stance on Lost Girls.

Alan Moore on the Simpsons.

Why do people blog?

MetaFilter finds a complaint about Walmart that actually puts me on Walmart's side.

Puppy Crop Circle.

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-by Tegan at 7:32 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Ripples Through Time - 009

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

One of the hardest parts about doing this feature is keeping myself from reading ahead. I find that after I've read a tale, I want to read the next one right away. I have to hold myself back.

More Fun #80 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #80 (June 1942) - The Scourge of the Seven Seas

Black Jack escapes from his seaside prison and takes over a pleasure yacht.

Black Jack's daring escape from prison takes about two and a half pages of action. He first throws a guard into the electric fence so the other guards must shut off the power to free him. With the power down, Black Jack climbs the fence and dives into the nearby ocean. Once there, he stuffs his prison outfit with seaweed so the guards (and Aquaman who comes along just in time for this part of the escape) are distracted by recovering "Black Jack's body" from the ocean floor. And then he swims away.

Aquaman is still not well-known. A prison guard asks who he is, and another guard gives a nice recounting of Aquaman's origin... Black Jack is called a "natural leader of men" and shown talking the crew of the yacht into joining him as pirates... When Aquaman finds Van Mille adrift in his lifeboat, starving and dying of thirst, Aquaman gets the man fresh water from undersea springs and offers him shellfish to eat... Black Jack takes the ransom for the people on the yacht, but plans to kill them anyway so they can't testify against him... Black Jack offers to spare Phyllis if she'll marry him, but she says she'd prefer the clean water after knowing him... Aquaman's leadership skills out-trump Black Jack's, as the crew come over the Aquaman's side after Aquaman saves the ship... Black Jack is marooned on an island instead of being taken by Aquaman back to prison.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman fights a shark. He also gets a message of the activities of Black Jack from a fish (the fish reports men fighting aboard a yacht with one thrown into the water).

Captured/Knocked Out report: Black Jack knocks out Aquaman with the butt of a pistol, and throws him in the metal-lined hold.

A note about measurements at sea... A "fathom" is used to measure depth, and is 6 feet (1.83 meters). A "league" is used to measure distance, and is 3.0 statute miles (4.8 kilometers). The caption boxes on these early stories often refer to Aquaman as being the man from "twenty thousand leagues under the sea" which is complete nonsense. The title of the book, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, is referring to a journey of that distance, not to the depths which the Nautilus could go. If Aquaman was from twenty thousand leagues under the sea, he'd be from 60,000 miles under the sea... and the diameter of the Earth is only about 8,000 miles. It's odd what little things annoy, and this is one that always manages to bother me for some reason.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 4:31 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Unrelated to Anything Else

Today's morning weigh-in shows that I've lost 45 pounds since I started my efforts on June 10th. This is a few more pounds lost than when I visited the doctor a few weeks back and was told I'd lost 46 pounds since my last visit in May.


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

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Journalista has a bit of a comment about on-line comics...
The notion that the Internet might be the saving grace for serialized comics is actually fairly well-entrenched, at this point. In fact, they’ve already demonstrated the potential to not only assist in marketing but actually exceed and replace the profit once earned by comic books. Creators like Carla Speed McNeil and the Foglios turned to the Web because most comics shops are too focused upon servicing the desires of thirty-year-old Wolverine fans to be of much use to anyone else.
A person who is saavy with the net and can build a decent website can promote their comic with considerably less cost and frustration than dealing with the monopoly of Diamond Distributors or the razor-thin margins of comic shop owners struggling to survive in a tough market. Presenting a collection of an already popular comic for sale will make more money in the end than attempting to put out single issues and being crushed by the realities of the market. That's all presuming you have a product that is good enough to find a readership.

On that note, I just want to point out that Galaxion has just started a new story over on GirlAMatic. Pages will update every Tuesday. Put it on your weekly checklist.

Crime and the Comic Book Shop.

Lost Girls banned in Canada. Well, at least Customs won't let it in.

Shrek the Halls. Hmmm. Could be fun.

Strange Maps.

Awwww... Cute!

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-by Tegan at 8:54 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Ripples Through Time - 8 Nov 2006

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

My Aquaman collection is organized by date, and my not-at-all complete Justice League collection is organized the same way. Someday, in the far distant future when I've collected every single Aquaman appearance, I plan on rereading the entire collection in chronological order.

World's Finest #6 Aquaman Splash Page
World's Finest Comics #6 (Summer 1942) - The Zoo of the Deep

Aquaman meets an undersea hunter, and eventually learns the extent of his illegal activities.

The undersea hunter, Peers Pike, is running an aquarium on a boat. It appears to be a completely legit operation. But we learn that Peers has a shady past when his old partner Lorry Rogan shows up and insists on a piece of the action. Rogan is on the run from the police, having escaped jail. In a nice piece of exposition, Peers reveals that Rogan was part of Black Jack's kidnapping operation (see More Fun #77) and was caught and jailed because of that. Peers attempts to kill Rogan, and Aquaman rescues him.

In a very cool moment, Aquaman reveals that he knows who Rogan is because of his "Radio Television". Television wasn't widespread at that point, and most broadcasts had been halted for the duration of the War. I wonder if the "Radio" was tacked on in case people weren't sure what "Television" meant?

This is the first Aquaman story to have an official title, in quotes, on the splash page... Aquaman is getting more recognition, the Coast Guard official who talks with Aquaman says "we've been directed to cooperate with you at all times, Aquaman!"... Aquaman again refuses a reward, asking instead that it be donated to war relief... Either Aquaman is really good at playing dead, or Peers' henchmen are really bad at telling if someone is alive... Peers and Rogan plot to capture Aquaman and put him in the show. I seem to recall this eventually happens in another tale... At the end of the story, Aquaman takes the ship out to sea and sinks it, freeing all the captured fish on board.

Finny Friends Report: A fish referred to as "a close friend of Aquaman" is chased by the hunter, and Aquaman saves him. Aquaman fights and kills a sting-ray. An Octopus grabs a thug when Aquaman punches the thug into its tank. Aquaman releases an electric eel who "frightened and enraged" attacks the bad guys. There is no indication that Aquaman actually directs any of the sea life in this story, but they do help him out.

Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is never knocked out or captured in this story, although he pretends to be unconscious for awhile.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 2:27 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Review Copy Reviews

Larry sent me two comic books to read and enjoy. The first one I read was Rock Bottom, which I enjoyed. The second one I didn't want to read, for reasons which I'll try to make clear in my review.

Seven Sons by Alexander Grecian and Riley Rossmo: I read the Bishop/Wiese version of this story as a child. That version was written and drawn in 1938, and lacked some cultural sensitivity. I didn't know that as a kid, and as an adult I had fond memories of the book until my boss ordered some copies of it, thinking she was getting an updated version. After looking through it, she eventually decided that she couldn't shelve it despite its history. The stereotypes were too much for her, and she wanted to run a welcoming store.

I disagreed, since I felt that the whole point of the story was that the boys looked identical, but I accepted reality. I should've taken the opportunity to buy myself a copy of the book, but felt oddly bitter about it and disturbed that I couldn't see the levels of racism that other employees could see. I was afraid that my sensitivity was being clouded by pleasant memories of reading the book as a child.

Flash forward a few years to last week, when I opened the unexpected package from Larry and found this book in it. Before I even opened it my mind was writing incredibly negative reviews. I was dead certain I would hate the book. I mean, mixing my pleasant memories with the recent bitterness, and adding a retelling of the tale... not at all promising.

If I hadn't felt obligated to Lar's kindness in sending this to me to at least attempt to read it, I would not have tried. I freely admit that this is my own failing, and baggage that I don't think most people will take into this book. But I do want to make this absolutely clear: I was not inclined to give this book a chance. I started out disliking it and didn't expect that to change at all.

Seven Sons
I can't say I was won over immediately, but I think I was caught when the old man asks the vandalist girl if she wants to hear the true story, and offers her tea. Everyone loves a good tale, and one that claims to be true is often better. This sets the tale in a specific time and place, and it didn't take me long to really begin to enjoy it, even while some part of my backbrain was yelling "no, no, you don't want to like this! Stop it!"

Ok. So I enjoyed it. I liked it a lot. It was far from perfect, but it so exceeded my expectations that I was practically blown away by it. The art is a tad too sketchy for my tastes, but manages to be detailed nonetheless. And the twists of the story (which I'm not going to spill here) added so much to the tale that it felt like a completely different story in some ways, while owing a lot to the older versions.

But the absolute BEST thing about this version is the notes in the back. Rivaling the story itself for my attention, the notes explain why Grecian and Rossmo decided to set the story where they did despite the perils involved, and the history of the tale, particularly in print. The notes ended up resolving a lot of the doubts I had about enjoying the tale as a child, and put the whole matter to rest in my mind.

So, my verdict? It was satisfying and surprisingly good. HIGHLY recommended. Especially if you enjoyed the tale in another version as a child.

Note: For some insight into how divided people are about the Bishop/Wiese version of the story, check out the comments on its page.

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-by Tegan at 10:30 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Ripples Through Time - 7 Nov 2006

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

In the future, if I don't want to vote for any of the offered choices, I think I'll write in "Arthur Curry". Of course, in some places up here in Washington state, you needed to be Aquaman just to get to the flooded polls today.

More Fun #79 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #79 (May 1942)

After an iceberg attacks and sinks an American destroyer, Aquaman dives in to solve the mystery.

The Berg-Battleship was created by a Nazi scientist named Krutz whose mind is described as warped. It's made of shatteproof glass on the inside with an ammonia freezing system on the outside. The floors are fairly thin with no armor, only ice underneath. The ship has a submarine escort and some sort of airfield with a bomber. Krutz's lab has a heat-ray he's invented in it, which Aquaman uses to sink the ship.

Great exchange between the Nazi captain and Aquaman. The captain slaps Aquaman for being insolent: "You dare bandy words with me, you Yankee pig? This is your payment!" Aquaman responds by punching him back: "And this is your change!" He continues the theme into the next panel: "Now that this has come to trading wallops, we'll operate on the barter system -- giving you good measure!" The guard just runs for help.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman gets no help from sea life in this story.

In this story Aquaman is knocked out with a blow to the back of the head with a rifle butt... Lieutenant Adams, a survivor from the sunken destroyer, does not recognize Aquaman... The opening text panel reiterates Aquaman's origin, "His power is great and just -- trained by his scientist-father to plumb the depths or cross the vast stormy stretches, he knows and guards the seven seas..." The Nazi captain goes down with his ship rather than be captured by Aquaman, who attempts to save him... Krutz the warped scientist is the only survivor, and his brain is apparently addled by the narrow escape. He ends up a prisoner working on a perpetual motion machine.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 5:13 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Election Day Links

It's election day in the United States. If you haven't already, please vote. Hubby-Eric and I voted absentee a week ago.

Ten of a Kind election day special. Update: Bully adds two more.

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #75.

Free Online Pregnancy Test. It'll tell you if you are pregnant, then the gender of the child, then the father of the child, and you can even print out a birth certificate for your kid. Via The Museum of Hoaxes.

YouTube link: Why Chris Eccleston Quit Playing The Doctor.

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-by Tegan at 10:39 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Monday, November 06, 2006

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. Detective Chimp holding the Helmet of Fate is just a striking cover no matter how you think of the story idea. Monkeys always sell. And the Usagi Yojimbo cover is gorgeous. A double triumph of covers this month.

Moving on, let's hit the Splash Page (8-9). I'm vaguely interested in the Star Trek book, but we'll probably wait for reviews and/or a collection before checking it out. I'm very interested in the new DC Heroclix... I hope there's an Aquaman, but I'm not hoping too much. And Usagi hitting issue 100 is great. I'm looking forward to the issue.

Skipping over the first four companies... nothing in the Featured Items attracts my attention except the already mentioned Star Trek. Well, that and the color Bone book, but since I haven't got any of the color Bone I'm not going to get this one.

AiT/Planet Lar (213) has some reissues. Couscous Express and the three volume Couriers, which weren't really my style, are mayhem books with lots of action. More to my liking is Demo, which is a well-priced collection of the entire series. Worth checking out if you missed it originally.

Antarctic Press (217-220) does the most natural team-up in the world: Pirates vs Ninjas. That's really all there is to say.

Blue Dream Studios (235-236) has a collection of Dreamland Chronicles, which you can also read on-line. Not only is it a good read for adults, it's a great idea for a comic to give to kids.

Boom! Studios (236-240) fell off my list awhile ago, but I see the Hero Squared: Ongoing is up to issue five. I may have to hunt down back issues and check it out.

Flipping... flipping... AH! Graphitti designs is finally doing an Aquaman T-Shirt (382), and this is based on Aquaman in Justice. Yes, I'll be getting it. Definitely.

Back to the front of the book...

Dark Horse is celebrating Usagi Yojimbo's 100th issue, and I'm looking forward to seeing it.

DC Comics has resolicited Aquaman #48, which is a bummer, but makes up for it with the Aquaman Showcase volume. I just wish DC would reprint Golden Age Aquaman stories, too.

The Helmet of Fate mini looks slightly interesting, but I think I'll pass. JLA Classified has gone nuts with three issues out this month. If DC keeps pulling this multiple issues trick, we may have to drop the book. Same deal with JSA Classified. I'm satisfied with a monthly, can we stop with the bi-weeklies?

Image Comics has Noble Causes and True Story, Swear to God. So I'll be getting those.

Nothing to say about Marvel. Don't know if we're getting anything from them, and I don't much care.

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.


-by Tegan at 9:39 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Ripples Through Time

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

If you are reading this on my Aquaman website, it's also available on Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog, my regular weblog. If you are reading this on Bloggity, it's also available on my Aquaman website.

More Fun #78 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #78 (April 1942)

Aquaman finds a message in a bottle warning sailors away from the Sargasso Sea, so naturally he goes there to find out what is happening.

I love how Golden Age stories jump right into the action. In the modern age, this same story would take at least six issues to tell, as Aquaman would get the warning, angst about it a bit, then finally decide to visit the Sargasso Sea after conferring with his allies. Then an issue would be devoted to the ship with the "frozen" men on it. Then an issue devoted to Aquaman finding a cure. An issue to set up the villain, with some dramatic reveal as a cliffhanger. An issue for Aquaman to get an ally. Then a final issue, or possibly two, with the climatic battle of the freed slaves. But in the Golden Age, ten pages was enough for the entire tale.

This is Aquaman's sixth story, and his legend is still growing. The bad guys on the frozen ship say, "There he is! I never believed those Aquaman yarns before!" "Seeing's believing!"

Finny Friends Report: No finny friends help Aquaman at all in this tale.

If you haven't heard of it before, the Sargasso Sea is a place in the mid-Atlantic where the ocean currents seem to stop and lots of seaweed grows. In this tale, Master Sargasso has set up a pirate's nest in the middle of the seaweed... Master Sargasso is described in the text as a giant, but doesn't look any bigger than his "servants", and in fact appears a bit frail. He also wears a very silly crown... When Master Sargasso gets annoyed that his thugs failed to capture Aquaman, he has the thug who admitted failure disposed of in the same way Aquaman "died". Of course, Aquaman rescues the guy who spills everything about Sargasso's set-up. Villains should learn to treat their thugs right... Aquaman is offered command of the fleet of newly freed merchant ships at the end of the story, but declines and swims off, as usual.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 11:30 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Really Rapid Reviews

These are mini-capsules: one sentence per book (unless I feel like writing a bit more) with whether or not I recommend the book.

18 October 2006

52 Week Twenty-Four: "Just Imagine": Ambush Bug? Mildly Recommended.

Birds of Prey #99: "Headhunt Part Four: Class Dismissed": The Batgirl is annoying, but worse is that the Birds are breakin' up. Neutral.

Checkmate #7: "Rogue Squad, Part Two": Amanda Waller is quite the witch, isn't she? Mildly Recommended.

Conan #33: "Dogs of the Hills": There is definitely something lacking in this book since Busiek left it. I'm slowly (very slowly) losing interest in it. Mildly Recommended.

Noble Causes #24: My only nit with this book is that I really dislike the way Race is drawn. Except for that, it's Recommended.

Shadowpact #6: "The Wild Hunt": It's a fun one, with a balanced level of explanation and action. Recommended.

Catching up again.

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-by Tegan at 9:22 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Review Copy Reviews

Larry was kind enough to send a couple of new books, so I'm going to be kind enough to review them. One today, and the other as soon as I finish it.

Rock Bottom
Rock Bottom by Joe Casey and Charlie Adlard: I admit that I love going into a new book with no idea what it's about, just a recommendation and a hope. This one I had heard a very tiny bit about, "a man turning to stone," and I was thinking of Concrete. I couldn't have been more wrong. It has its own deep pathos and strength and owes nothing to Chadwick's story.

I couldn't stand the main character when the book started, and I didn't really get to like him much by the end, but I felt for him. And that's the strength of this book. You feel for the character even though he's a jerk. I have to applaud Casey and Adlard for getting me to care so much about their story despite that serious handicap.

This one is definitely Recommended.

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-by Tegan at 9:18 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Ripples Through Time

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

I started this feature in November 2006 - Sixty-five years after the cover date of the comic that carried the first Aquaman story in November 1941.

More Fun #77 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #77 (March 1942)

After rescuing a man thrown overboard a gambling ship, Aquaman goes undercover to learn the secret of the ship.

Another Black Jack story, and Black Jack's first disguise. He has another ship and dresses up as the Rajah of Joon. Aquaman's suspicion is aroused when he learns of the Rajah, as he tells the man he rescued, "I've traveled much, but never heard of the country of Joon!" He enlists the man, who is never named, to help him with a disguise, and Aquaman goes aboard the gambling ship as a rich fool.

This time Aquaman is knocked out with what appears to be a bottle. Instead of throwing him overboard, "No! Water is his life!" Black Jack tosses him in the furnace hold. This is the first hint that Aquaman is weaker out of the water and dry. Then again, any person tossed in a room with flames shooting out of a furnace as depicted would have trouble. Then again, water revived his strength enough to smash out of Dawn's prison.

Finny Friends Report: Aquaman gets a sawfish to free the drowning man from the weights Black Jack's thugs put on him.

Black Jack kidnapped Senator Burton's daughter, Dawn, because the Senator is the chair of the Waterways Committee, and he wants shipping privileges for his smuggling operations... When Aquaman asks if there is water, Dawn throws the water on Aquaman despite there being a fire right next to her as well. Either she's heard of Aquaman or it was clear somehow that's what he wanted... When undercover Aquaman flashes money, the goons let him win so they can get him to the office and rob him... The money Aquaman gives them is jewels from the ocean floor... Aquaman and Black Jack instantly recognize each other, even though Black Jack is still in costume... Aquaman looks distinguished in a tux... Black Jack kills one of his goons to get the last lifeboat, and plans to shoot Dawn as well before Aquaman stops him.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 1:53 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Sunday Morning Links

Johnny B's NFL Picks.

Chocolate Sushi!

Potter Puppet Pals are on YouTube now.

Variant Cover Survey Results: part one and part two.

This cartoon sums up Windows Vista for me. I'd rather have a more stable version of XP then yet another pointless upgrade that will force me to buy new hardware just to run it.

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-by Tegan at 8:54 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Ripples Through Time

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

I'm going to test drive this feature name for awhile. It's based on two of David Oakes' suggestions. If you absolutely hate it, please let me know.

More Fun #76 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #76 (February 1942)

Aquaman spots a sinking ship and suspects foul play, his hunch is confirmed by the captain of the salvage ship.

It's amazing how much story is crammed into eight pages. This one is considerably better on this reading than it was on my first read through. For one thing, we get a bit of Aquaman the Detective in it, then we get a weird menace in the form of the evil diver, and Aquaman gets to show off both his strength and his finny friends' assistance.

The evil diver outfit worn by Captain Skover was a great Golden Age design. It would've been nice to have more than one page of it. If the Golden Age Aquaman had a trophy room, that outfit would belong in it.

The one really false note in the story is the airtight cabin that the cabin boy and jewels are in. I found it slightly odd that any merchant ship would have such a specialized room, even if they were carrying jewels. Then again, this is Golden Age, so I'll let that bit go.

Captain Skover doesn't recognize Aquaman, nor does his crew... Let's see, Aquaman's had a sledgehammer dropped on him, he's been gassed, and now he's thrown in a decompression chamber that is then emptied of air. He pretty much rips through the wall of the chamber to get out... Aquaman's finny friends are able to get the wreck out of the mud, but they can't raise it to the surface. Aquaman uses the anchors of the ships surrounding the area to do that job... Only one panel of Aquaman's finny friends in this one... Aquaman refuses a reward, telling the Navy man to divide it amoung the honest men who tried to raise the wreck.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 12:06 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Friday, November 03, 2006


I'll try not to neglect my links while I'm doing daily Aquaman reviews...

Enter Dave's Contest.

Speaking of contests, if you miss a game of Jeopardy, you can find out what happened at the J! Archive. I think my hubby-Eric will love this site, if he doesn't already visit it regularly.

Wil Wheaton write on SuicideGirls and tells us Five Books Every Geek Should Read. I've read 3 out of 5.

Aaron Williams got on TV handing out candy to Trick-or-Treaters... but as part of a story that wasn't so innocent.

Hmmm. I like the idea of a change of route for the Spirit of Washington Dinner Train. If it does move, we'll have to go on it again.

Sadistic Phishers send out pink slips and keyloggers. Ouch.

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-by Tegan at 6:38 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Sea King A Clever Title

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.

I'm still mulling them over title suggestions for this feature, and H's suggestion for a temporary title was too good to not use.

More Fun #75 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #75 (January 1942)

After saving a diver from a giant clam and octopus, Aquaman learns that Black Jack is alive and has taken over Pearl Island.

First appearance of the "Aquacave", although it is referred to as Aquaman's Sea-Fortress, and described as a temple of the ancient lost city that Aquaman keeps free from water and filled with his possessions. This is probably the same place we saw Aquaman's father living during the first story.

Again with the great artwork! The dialogue is snappy, but not quite as snappy as the last story because there aren't a bunch of pirates to be constantly beaten by Aquaman. I love the splash page.

Most of the natives of Pearl Island are dressed only in loincloths, but one of them wears robes and gets all the expository lines. I suspect he's meant to be the priest. The only woman we see is Loana, and she's mostly tied up or in peril from Black Jack, though she does take the initiative and runs from him at one point.

In the last story, Aquaman didn't call for help from his finny friends at all. In this story, he ends up fighting two sea creatures, and killing them both. So much for "friend of all ocean life".

Keoki is the diver that Aquaman saves... The location of Pearl Island is a complete mystery, since they act like South Pacific Islanders, but are apparently in the Atlantic near to Aquaman's Sea-Fortress... Keoki becomes the chief at the end of the tale, and banishes Black Jack instead of executing him... The islanders offer to make Aquaman the chief, but he suggests Keoki instead saying "the whole sea needs me."

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 11:49 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Insert Clever Title Here

I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story. This will no doubt evolve as I continue reading for the year and a half required to get through all the Aquaman tales.

I've gotten a lot of suggestions for the name of this feature, and I'm mulling them over now. Feel free to add more if you think of any. Suggestions so far: "Curried Tales", "Aqua-blogging", "Aquaman through the Ages", "Writing the Waves", "Past Ripples", "Talking to Fish", "Waves of Time, Time of Waves", "EYWTKAA,BWATA", "Fish Stories", "Sea Tales", "Water Log", "Charting the Course", "Deep Sea Thoughts", "Deep Thoughts", "Fish Tales", "Water Lines", and "Strait Talk".

More Fun #74 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #74 (December 1941)

Aquaman stops pirates from attacking a yacht, then fights the pirates and sinks their ship, but the captain of the pirates survives.

The first appearance of Black Jack the Modern Pirate! Yay! Black Jack captures Aquaman (using gas this time, not a sledgehammer to the head like the Nazis in the last story) and asks him to join the crew. Black Jack explains that by wearing old-fashioned pirate gear, the ships he attacks know exactly what they are in for as soon as he appears.

Lots of really amusing banter during the fight scenes in this one. The language is just lovely! "Into the cradle of the deep you go, Lubber! Sleep well!", "Bust his binnacle for him!", "I don't like your faces - think I'll scramble them a little -", "If I knew the swab that did this, I'd keel-haul him from here to Singapore!", "Here, let me part those whiskers in the middle!", "I'll gouge out your headlights!" While the art was excellent, and the story ok, the dialogue really made this one shine.

Black Jack's ship is the Nemesis... The splash page is signed "by Paul" (Paul Norris)... Black Jack's crew wear green shirts with black horizontal stripes... Depending on which view we get of it, the Nemesis looks like everything from a motorboat to a destroyer, but it has metal sides and torpedo tubes, so I'm leaning towards a destroyer-type vessel... Aquaman is more clueful in this story about the ways of the the surface. He knows what a torpedo is, when in the first story he didn't recognize a grenade.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 12:50 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Morning Links

Another year, another Aquaman writer. I suppose I need to go read some Tad Williams books. *sigh* Any recommendations?

Hey, here's a quiz well worth taking. Find out what your accent is. Mine is "The West". No surprise.

Comic Book Resources on Paul Cornell's Wisdom.

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-by Tegan at 9:24 AM Seattle time - Permalink

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Post-Hallowe'en Linkdump

Something Positive has a bit of story about a particular kind of haunted house: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8 and part 9. If you can, be sure to read the editorial that goes with Part 9.

The Winchester Mansion, a brief but very complete history.

Marvel Zombie HeroClix. I'm tempted.

Cosmically Creepy Chords.

The Girl Genius Omnibus is available now.

Bob Barker Retiring After 50 Years on TV. I remember watching the show when I was practically pre-school and loving watching the guy.

Dogs in Costume.

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-by Tegan at 5:19 PM Seattle time - Permalink

Insert Clever Title Here

Starting today, I'm going to read every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story. These aren't going to be reviews, just impressions with maybe a short summary.

I was utterly unable to come up with a good name for this feature, so if you have any suggestions, post them in the comments. Be nice. Now, to start:

More Fun #73 Aquaman Splash Page
More Fun #73 (November 1941)

Aquaman rescues some refugees, introduces himself, then attacks and defeats the Nazis who sank the refugee ship.

Man, I wish I had this story in the original colors. The differences in Aquaman's costume alone would be worth the sight. ... Aquaman is tied up by the Nazis and apparently cannot escape, but shortly later he is able to burst the same bonds. Hmmm. ... Who was Aquaman's mother? Aquaman claims that his father is famous, but says very little about his mother except that she died. If I were to revisit the Golden Age Aquaman, I'd love to explore his heritage. ... Aquaman sinks a u-boat with one punch. He is, however, knocked out when the Nazis drop a sledgehammer on his head. ... Aquaman claims no country as his heritage, and makes that clear. I wonder where his well-known father was from? ... I love the artwork. It's very dynamic and as simple as it needs to be.

Have you read this story? What do you think?

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-by Tegan at 3:08 PM Seattle time - Permalink