Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Take my breath away

This is perfect.

Because it's so very true.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Snippets

  • Shadowpact gets one more issue. The latest was so terrible that I was ready to drop halfway through, but I do want to see who's supposedly getting killed next issue.
  • Speaking of which, when did Phil Matt Sturges officially become the new writer? I thought he was just a fill-in, and I don't remember any big farewell from Willingham.
  • Bought my first issue of Spider-Girl since #8 of the first series this week. I'll be subbing soon, more than likely. I like the idea of increasing subscriptions to Spider-Girl to show Marvel that "One More Day" is idiotic, though it looks like Frenz's art has suffered a downturn over the years.
  • Immortal Iron Fist rocks. I had a nice "oh crap" moment toward the end of this issue.
  • Same goes for Booster Gold, which I love beyond all reason. It's a shame that Ted won't be sticking around, and it's a shame this un-death will read a lot like Ronnie Raymond's from a few years back, but it's not like even re-death is permanent in comics.
  • So, the new solicits are the first I remembered hearing about this Raven miniseries. I think it's a neat idea, particularly the stuff about the Medusa Mask. Pitting a teen superheroine who needs to control her emotions (already difficult for teenagers) against a device that controls emotions is a great move. Now if only someone will make the same "well, duh" connection and pit one or more Green Lanterns against the Scarecrow (or Phobia, or one of the other fear-inducing villains).
  • Kurt Busiek's leaving Superman? I almost cried. I hope the rumor that he's writing a Big Three weekly following Countdown is true; I don't know if I could handle a world without Busiek's Superman, having lived in one with it.
  • I've only bought one of Hasbro's Marvel Legends figures (Black Knight), but it sure seems like a major drop in quality from the Toy Biz line. Thank goodness we have the DC Universe line starting up...I've got all but one of the first wave (frigging elusive Penguin) and they're fantastic.
  • Although...anyone know why Metamorpho is called "Rex Mason, the Element Man" on the back of the package? Is some other company using the name "Metamorpho" in toys? Honestly, of all the names to have a legal dispute over, that seems pretty low on the list.
  • So, what are people guessing for Titans #1: death, rape, or surprise exit from the closet?
  • Could someone please give Paul Dini a Zatanna ongoing? I love Dini, and I loved "Zatanna: Everyday Magic," and I know Dini loves Zatanna, but I like my Batman comics to be about Batman.
  • I'm starting to be glad I stuck through all the bad Supergirl arcs, because this one actually introduces some really interesting aspects to the character. I still kind of wish Joe Kelly had done more with some of his themes, but this is good too.
  • Hey, look, Manhunter's in Birds of Prey. Gosh, I wish someone would give her an ongoing series.
  • What's the difference between the Alpha Lanterns and the Corpse?
  • Superman/Batman #47 looks good...I may actually end up buying my first issue of that series since Loeb left.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heath Ledger: 1979-2008

So, I saw it in the subject line on a message board I frequent, and my first thought was to hit up Snopes, to find out that it was just another of the biweekly "celebrity dies in car crash" hoax-scares.

Ten seconds and a Wikipedia headline later, and I find out that Heath Ledger died.

I've always liked Mr. Ledger's work. I dug "10 Things I Hate About You," I liked "A Knight's Tale" (though I've never cared for the soundtrack)--heck, I was a fan of "Roar" in its first run. I haven't yet seen "Brokeback Mountain," but I probably will soon, given recent events.

When the newest "Dark Knight" trailer hit, I said excitedly that any fears I'd had about Ledger as the Joker had been totally assuaged. While I'm still excited to see his performance, I wish it would be under less morbid circumstances. Finding out that he was working on a project with Terry Gilliam only adds to the tragedy of his untimely demise.

My condolences go out to Mr. Ledger's family and friends.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Late to the game

Ceci n'est pas une cakeSo, after hearing its wonders touted all over the Internets and Podcastings, I finally got my hands on Portal, and played through the main game over the last couple of days. Such a game, I figured, could never live up to the hype that has been generated around it. Spoilers ahead, if you haven't played, and I'm being so sincere when I say that if you haven't played it, you shouldn't read the spoilers.

I was wrong, oh so very wrong. The atmosphere is perfect, the characterization is brilliant, and the black comedy is hilarious. And then, there's "Still Alive."

And, of course, none of this mentions the portal gun, a brilliant device which realizes the utility and entertainment value of the classic cartoon portable hole. I spent a good portion of my childhood wishing that portable holes were real, and pondering the inconsistent mechanics of such devices, so Portal fulfills a long-standing desire of mine, and it's every bit as cool as I could have imagined.

There is one thing that I wish they'd have done something with (though there's always the chance for Portal 2): it's clear early on that there's no reason to trust GLaDOS, but I saw no reason to trust the wall graffiti either. First, much of it was clearly written by people who had lost their minds. Second, how could someone direct me to the exit unless they already knew where it was? If they already knew how to escape, why would they come back to leave directions? Why would I have the portal gun, when you'd almost certainly need it to escape? Why wouldn't GLaDOS do something about the escapees or their routes? No, the wall graffiti seemed like a ploy, either by people who didn't really know what they were doing and were leading me on a madman's journey in circles through the Aperture Science compound, or by GLaDOS herself, leading me into a byzantine trap. I hope future installments take advantage of this, specifically because of the creepy atmosphere in those parts of the game. And I really hope there are future installments, because this game was beyond fantastic.

Let there be cake!

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Divine Secrets of the Ia! Ia! Sisterhood

I've often found myself enjoying Lovecraftian works in various stories, from episodes of He-Man and Justice League to All-New Atom storylines and Hellboy, but I've never really read any actual Lovecraft pieces. I mean, I read "Call of Cthulhu" late one night a few years back, but I don't remember much of it (I read "The Yellow Wallpaper" right before, and it was pretty late. One stuck, one didn't). But, after describing "The Mist" (the recent Stephen King film) as "Lovecraftian," I decided I ought to read a bit of the man's oeuvre so I'm not just talking out of my ass.

So, I bought a Lovecraft anthology (with the majority of the key Cthulhu Mythos stories in it) and I read "Dagon" online the other night. I'm digging it so far, but it's awakened a hunger from the depths of my psyche, for more good horror and monster stories. For some reason, I have a specific hankering for good vampire stories. I've read a few, and I'd like to check out "30 Days of Night" at some point, but I realized that I have no idea where to find a decent vampire story. I've seen enough adaptations of Stoker to know that I don't really want to start there, and I've heard enough about Anne Rice's stuff to know that they're probably not up my alley.

So, I'm putting out the call to you, loyal readers: what are some good horror stories, specifically ones involving vampires? Prose, graphic novel, film--advise me.

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Monday, January 07, 2008

It's Reigning Men!

So, apparently I'm awesome. I'm pretty sure there are more awesome people out there, but far be it from me to argue with the Invincible One. Anyway, in honor of my head-swelling victory, and in order to explain what Steven found unexplained, I offer you a bonus panel that didn't make it into the final cut. Inspired by this bit from Adventures of Superman #503:

Superman's gonna sing the doom song

Here 'tis:

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

30-Second Recap Contest 2008!

Here's my entry in The ISB's Annual Awesomeversary contest. As always, click for larger images.











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