Wednesday, July 25, 2007

San Diego will not miss me

But it will certainly miss my wallet :-X

I will not be attending this year's con le grande because bigger things are afoot. You are most likely to find better coverage at CBR, The Beat, Beaucoup Kevin or even Occasional Superheroine. If I did go I'm sure it'd be just like last year.

New Comics Day

Not many books catching my eye lately.

Green Lantern Corps
Mighty Avengers

Green Lantern Corps looks better than ususal considering the storyline has Sinestro returning to Korugar and facing reluctant successor Soranik Natu. Sinestro is probaly going to keep wiping the floor with GLs for a while... my theory is that this socalled "Final Crisis" that's been announced will give all current books free reign to do whatever the hell they want as a total reboot looms nigh.

I was really close to passing on Mighty Avengers, but Frank Cho makes me buy books. Storywise I can do without Bendis' little quippy thought bubbles, they have already worn thin and now seem like more of a detraction. The rest of the goings on are well enough, and it is fun watching Ares tear his way through a battalion of mock Iron Men.

Two books this week, fine by me. Just sent out all my e-bay bundles, it's quite liberating and I'm looking forward to selling more books. Financially it's a trade off, some barely cover postage while others come close to or even exceed cover price. But it is good to know the books are going to people who actually want them. As someone who is a bit overwrought by but genuinely loves comics, that counts for alot.

Monday, July 23, 2007

NO! MORE! COMICS!


As I go through Sophie's Choice Syndome over which books to keep and which books to scrap I've had to look through my collection to make sure some runs are even scrapable. Filling in a few gaps certainly makes the sale more appealing. So now I find myself in the ironic state of buying more comics just so I can sell more comics! At least it was an excuse to head on over to Meltdown and Golden Apple, even if the trip to GA was a waste of time. GA used to have a ton of back issues in their old location, now they have hardly any.


Some runs, like my current listing of JLA, I'm just not going to bother. Others I feel will be worth the effort. It's just that I've had them for so long I'm surprised I had any gaps to begin with. So far I've let go of two full longboxes and a smattering of bundles on e-bay that at least cover shipping. There are a couple eyebrow raisers, I never expected Batman Adventures to spark such a bidding war.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Post-boney

Well. That was fun.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Fullboney

The human tolerance for pain is a completely individualistic experience. There is no hard value placed on the pain experienced by a paper cut versus a bullet wound, merely a nebulous, subconscious awareness that varies from person to person. While the temporary annoyance of a paper cut is a widely known concept, that of a bullet wound is considerably less so. As such, the description of "It feels like I got shot" falls into a narrow category of recognition if taken outside of hyperbole.

Whilst preparing a delicious salsa this past week, it happened that I was breaking in a new knife. Even though I've prepared countless vegetables, and even though I was specifically aware of "this is a new knife, better be careful," so it goes that I went right through a tomato and into a finger with hearty force. With bleeding akin to the St. Francis Dam disaster, a small amount of panic set in and thoughts of the emergency room came to mind. But after whatever lizard-brain function that overwrites much of the male thought pattern with "I can fix this" took hold, I was able to get things under control, dress the wound, and finish salsa preparations one handed. No small accomplishment in itself.

What perplexed me in the following time was something that should have hurt tremendously barely registered at all. The only conclusion I could come to was that I was already in pain, a higher, focused pain leading to the odd circumstance that negates lesser pain. My wisdom teeth, a years long disaster, had recently kicked into high gear and occupied the majority of mental concentration. A clear signal that their removal could wait no longer, I was forced to overcome a lifetime's worth of dental anxiety and promptly made arrangements for surgery.

Ah, yes, surgery. There are several classifications for tooth removal (something I am all too familiar with, re: anxiety). While two of my choppers pose little threat, the other two were categorized as severely impacted and slated for "FBE," or "Full Bone Extraction." Affectionately known to roll off the tongue of dental hygienists as a "fullboney."

Getting the rote speech of what to expect is more of an annoyance to me at this stage, wherein this last appointment I experienced the following conversation:

Nurse: We're going to numb you up, totally numb, don't worry, it won't hurt.

Me: No, no, I'm pretty sure it's going to hurt.

Nurse: No, really, totally numb, you won't feel anything.

Me: I've done this before, you feel it and it hurts. It hurts alot.

Nurse: Well everyone is different, you may want to consider nitrous oxide or even anesthesia.

Anesthesia, by the way, is an additional $500. It's an odd choice, with risk, albeit slight. The struggle comes in weighing the desire to be conscious for something you abhor the very thought of but yet have wanted for so very long... or to be out of mind for the experience, to awaken in a cloudy haze knowing that parts of you were forcebly removed in your sleepytime absence. You can imagine the anticipation.

New Comics Day

ONE comic!!! (and some books)

World War Hulk
Flight Vol 4 (!)
The Comics Journal

Flight Vol 4, oh how I can't wait to dive into your comicy goodness. Helluva blog, too.

World War Hulk, man, you got me. As the sole "floppy" I purchased this week it signals my resolve to pear down on comics. And though I know it will be collected, one look at Shulkie throwing punches and it was a done deal. I even passed on Monster Society of Evil #4!




I'm not a regular reader of The Comics Journal, but the feature interview with Roger Langridge was too good to pass up. I adore his work, and "Fin Fang Four" was probably one of the single best comics ever. Throw in another spotlight on Gene Yang and this ish is one nice package!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Comics for Sale


Check out my ebay listings, if you're inclined.

Not yet posted: Full runs of JLA, Death of Superman, Strangers in Paradise, and Bone. Drop a line if any of those spark your interest.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

New Comics Day

ALL HAIL THE DUDE!

Nexus
Green Lantern

From the deepest fathoms of space, where comics are great, comes an all new Nexus! The best part is I wasn't even expecting this. I had heard inklings of a new Nexus series but I guess I wasn't paying close enough attention. All new goodness to be enjoyed!

Over in mainstream land, Green Lantern makes with the Sinestro. Ivan Reis is back on art and looking fantastic as usual. While pruning some old books, I cam across Reis' earliest work, on Dark Horse's Ghost if you can believe. It was of a decidedly "Image" quality ('twas the style at the time...). His work today is in another galaxy, one of the rare treats of the comic book industry is to watch true talent grow and develop over the years.

Hmm. Two books. I saw some other stuff but gave it a pass. I'd just dropped off two long boxes of comics and kept thinking of all that are still left at home taking up space. There will always be a place for great indies, but as far as mainstream goes I gotta take a hard look at my buying habits. A book like Green Lantern I can stick with because it's... Green Lantern. He's my guy. Other stuff may make for good reading but comics just aren't going to go away like they used to. For the big titles it's a trade world these days. I even saw the latest Elric collected edition, and I swear the last issue never came out!!! You think DC isn't going to collect Monster Society of Evil? You think Marvel isn't going to collect World War Hulk?

While I am baffled that neither Marvel or DC has any sort of plan for online books (not talking Zuda here), it's an inevitability. So I think for floppies I'll be leaning towards the more interesting stuff. Like when Kevin Nowlan shows up on an issue of Batman. Or in the case of Grant Morrison on Superman, when it's so damn good you can't not get it.

Gotta say that Batgirl Showcase looked mighty tempting. Actually there are a few more showcases I'd like to pick up when the time is right.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Autobots: Droll Out

So I had to see Transformers. It's like they dared me to. Hollywood has become very enamored with the idea that if you throw enough money at it, anything is possible on film. Transformers has all the oohs and aahs of CG masturbation, but it lacks one other minor detail. A good story.

The raping of childhood nostalgia aside, Transformers tries to be too many things in its goal to be everything. It's a hardcore war movie. It's a tech thriller. It's a touching, coming-of-age drama about a boy and his car. It's a wacky teen comedy about a boy and his car. It's a summer blockbuster with giant robots beating the living fuck out of each other for 40 minutes straight.

It's exhausting. And the individual parts aren't all bad. The future war stuff was great, until it shifted gears into the tech thriller. The funny parts are funny, then the car chase starts and shit blows up. In typical Michael Bay fashion no shot lasts more than three seconds, and that quickly leads to a headache. Then the cycle repeats, and two hours in I'm begging for this thing to be over because I can't take another pop culture dig that sets up a jet crashing into a building.

The Transformers themselves... -sigh-. I mean, I'm all for giant robots running amok and causing copious amounts of property damage. This is present in spades, and the action sequences are certifiably insane. But man, I just want Optimus Prime to look like Optimus Fucking Prime. Eh, at least he sounded like Optimus. Every other "cast" robot is unrecognizable, and all the publicity tripe about these designs needing to look like they function in real life is thrown out the window as soon as one of them transforms. The toys are more believable-- I mean, the toys work, yeah? The CG robots are cool, yeah, transforming is cool. But the personality was not there for me. Jazz, Ratchet, Bumblebee, Starscream, considering the source material was so broad I'm baffled at how they failed to bring any of it into a mega-million dollar blockbuster that hinges on the believability of sentient, talking robots.

Monday, July 09, 2007

DC but not really DC


I think if you check the Time Warner Shareholders Annual Report, DC's company philosophy is quoted as "If a new market explodes we're right on the cutting edge and ready to exploit it-- after we spend five years thinking about it and only then if Jim Lee thinks it's cool and Paul Levitz thinks it's okay."

Zuda: Main Site

Launch info at CBR.

More at The Beat.

Denied!

Tough luck, Paul. It's anyone's game now, but dark horse Amy is in it to win it. She totally kicked ass this last round.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Next Food Network Star


It ain't all comics and games at the Edco homestead, I love to cook and have been a long-time Food Network devotee. They are currently running "The Next Food Network Star" which is a self-explanatory reality show. Like most reality shows, the early weeks are full of chaff a and drek, and it's only in the later weeks where things start a-cookin'.

The best thing about the show is its genuine goal: to find that next host, that next personality-- and the needs are damn specific and must fit into a narrow list of constraints. As the show goes on, contestants rise above traditional reality show whoredome and are sincere as can be for the opportunities being presented. Spats and catfights are minimal, and time in front of the judges is downright humbling. Also unique to the genre are the judges, which consist of two producers and a random existing Food Network personality. It is not the identies that are unique, but the methods. The judging is straightforward and every show ends with observations and evaluations that are real, constructive, and usable criticisms. Coupled with praise when applicable, it's refreshing to see the show rise above the mean spirited destruction employed by so many other reality shows.

As the show nears its finale, here's my take on the finalists:

Amy Finley
Often burdened by self doubt, nerves, and jitters, Amy is still appealing to watch and has mucho culinary chops. Wether she can find her center and quell her fears of success is one of the nail-biting draws of the show as it enters the final phases. As for a potential show on Food Network I see something along the lines of Emeril as she definitely goes the gourmet route more than the casual chef. But can she really command the screen presence needed alongside other Food Network hosts?

Rory Schepisi
I love Rory, and would totally watch her show that was born out of this competition. Oddly Rory was second runner up on another little known reality show "Popularity Contest," and it was that series of events that lead her to move from New Jersy to Texas and open a restaurant. Which I suppose lead to an inclination to hit the Food Network version? Unlike the usual throng of reality show fame seekers, Rory comes across incredibly genuine and grateful for being on the show. Plus her food shows promise of being good when viewed outside the tight constraints of the show challenges. She has flustered on camera but she warms up quickly and at times seems a natural. And I can't help but mention she's rack-tastic. During one challenge, Amy even states on camera "It doesn't hurt that she's stacked."

Joshua Adam Garcia
"Jag" as he is known, is perhaps the most technically proficient chef, something that has got him far. The shows producers oft note of his troublesome temperament, but that does make for good TV. I like Jag alot and would probably enjoy his show, even if it was on the heavy gourmet side. Tho it's been stated that the network is looking for hosts who can teach everyday cooking, I'm sure that's something Jag can grow into if he really wanted, but I'd personally like to see him go all out. Food Network doesn't really have a show that's balls-to-the-wall top chef cooking, and I'm talking outside of the spectacle that is Iron Chef. Now that I think of it, Jag would be a fantastic addition to Iron Chef America!

Paul McCullough
Paul is my odds-on winner of the show. While easily flustered by the camera, his energy is always there. His food is appealing and he talks the talk, clearly knowing his methods and ingredients, if not a bit on the flamboyant side. But it's entertaining, and through the course of the show Paul improves by leaps and bounds, which I think is the gateway to finding that spark that lets one carry a show. I think his style and food is a more accessible, alternative offering to Michael Chiarello's Napa upper crust "Easy Entertaining" vehichle but with the same philosophy. For food skills he still competes with Jag and Amy, tho for pure camera appeal, Paul's only competition is Rory. Since Food Network has a throng of female hosts, another male is predictably favorable. And amongst Emeril, Chiarello, and Guy Fieri, Paul adds a needed diversity (and not just the obvious).

Friday, July 06, 2007

New Comics Delay

Oh, Comics. What am I going to do with you?

All Star Superman
Fantastic Four Power Pack
Y the Last Man

All Star Superman, damn. Just... damn. Morrison is throwing so much ca-razy shit I keep checking if any pages are stuck together to see if I missed something. This is the best kind of science fiction, the story is surrounded by details that are belligerently not explained at once but are instead filled in or expanded upon ever so slightly down the line. This seems to be the antithesis of decades worth of comic book writing, yet a staple of the best science fiction novelists. Morrison handles the plight of the Bizarro homeworld with such wonderful recklessness and then jumps us back home for straightforward sciency exposition. And this is a Superman book? When Morrison is on, he is motherfucking on.

Marvel has been keeping the limited series format for Power Pack, even though they've got 20+ issues to date. Power Pack is written well and does have that "all-ages" appeal, but for me it's still all about the art. Gurihiru rocks the house, and from an artistic standpoint is drawing circles around better-known artists on higher profile books. Mad props for isometric perspective alone-- do you know how hard that shit is to draw?


Alas there were only three books again for me this week, the start of what I think will be a trend. I'm terribly depressed by the amount of real estate comics take up in my apartment and am running a scythe through my collection. Do I really need to hang onto the entire run of JLA? Must I keep scads of Aquaman books from years past? So much of what I already collect needs to be kept for the art alone, the books I bought for soap-opera-like dedication are probably best handed over so someone else can enjoy them. So if you read this here blog and might be interested in gigantic runs of comics, you might want to get in touch. Quick-like. The complete-and-long-box-suckling Death of Superman saga will not make the cut.

Aside from clearing out space I've been kinda down on buying so many books, more than half of which I just return to the store after reading them. I should note the proliferation of collecting trades is adding to this. I'm downright offended when I see a trade solicited for a limited series that isn't even finished its floppybook run. If the big companies are bound to collect everything (get it? 'bound?' hehe) I'm just going to wait. The new Black Canary looked interesting, but I can wait. Oh the times they are a changin'.