Saturday, February 17, 2007

"Comic Book Reviews"

In the way of New comics I've picked up this week, I got four, and ALL DC titles: Batman 662, Detective 828, JLA Classified 33 & Supergirl 14. Of these, the Supergirl was the only title I actually got because I collect it, but since pickin's were slim, I took a chance on some other good reads.

Glad I did, as Detective 828 is definately my personal "Pick of The Week" (pictured above). The story's self-contained, the art's great (Don Kramer & Wayne Faucher), the story is excellant (Paul Dini) and with a striking cover by Simone Bianchi. It involves a tale of an old childhood friend of Bruce Wayne's, who falls off of Wayne's yault and is attacked by sharks. However, as "The Batman", Wayne isn't convinced that's how this person died, and he with the help of the (supposingly reformed) "Riddler" discover what really happened. With a combination of good story and art like this, it could turn me in a regular reader of this title again.

Batman 662 was also pretty decent, with the usual standard passing artwork by Tom Mandrake (who has come a LONG way since his days on "Firestorm"), and a John Ostrander script, along with (what seems to be the fad presently) a mono-chromatic cover, by Gregory Lauren. Dealing with the villian "Grotesk" as well as the death of another character (which ALSO seems to be "the norm" these days in Bat's titles), it was well-worth the read.

JLA Classified 33 is the continuing saga of "The Red King", "Dr. Destiny" & "The Royal Flash Gang", and The King's deception to the JLA (especially "Wonder Woman") and is the typical good hero-slug-fest featuring all of our favorite DC heroes. "Plastic Man" makes his usual little funny remarks, "Batman" is always the oppresive figure, etc. The good usual artwork by Dan Jurgens & Trevor Scott (on finishes), and a readable script by Dan Slott. Kevin Nowlan inks Jurgens' pencils for the cover art which is nice and "stand-out-ish" on the stands.

Supergirl 14 continues her love life with the character "Powerboy", she has a fight with "Batgirl", and...not much else. Oh, Joe Kelly did an "alright" story and Jon Churchill always does nice artwork, but this storyline seems a little much at times. We are introduced to a new version of "Streaky" (Supergirl's cat). A funny line from the story. Powerboy asks, "Streaky? Cute. 'Cause of the alledged 'mean streak'?" To which Supergirl replies, "No...Because she doesn't get the concept of the litter box." (LOL! I KNOW the feeling!!)

No new issue of 52 this time since I'd already picked that one up. According to DC, after the "52" series is finished there will be 4 different books released at the same time as it's final issue which is tied into the whole series (seems like DC likes to release such 4 book lots at one time since they're doing the same thing to introduce a new version of "Dr. Fate").

In the way of older books I got in a copy of Young Love (DC) 69 from Sept., 1968. It's the only DC comic with the designation of "Giant" on the cover outside of the 80 Page series from that time, as well as the only DC Giant romance comic from the 1960's. This leaves me with only one more silver-age DC Giant to acquire to complete my collection; the 1962 "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer ANNUAL" (so's...if'n anyone has a reasonably-priced copy of that they wanna sell me, please let me know!)

OTHER "older" comics I've picked up are copies of: Demon Gun #2 (Crusade Publications, 1996). This is a really decent alternative press sorta title with an excellant script by Gary Cohn and good art by Barry Orkin. It deals with a preacher in Texas (which sounds maybe a little familiar) in the mid-1880's. There were three issues pubbed of this and well-looking-into-the-back-issue-binds-for.

And I'm sure that "Johnny Bacardi" will be happy to hear that I found a copy of Thriller #1 (DC, 1983) and only need a #12 to complete me another set in my present collection. (No need for a review as "Johnny" did it much better and you can find that blog site here.)

The New Adventures of Superboy #50, which is an all-"Legion" ish, is another I acquired, with some Giffen art and cover (always a good read from the 1980's).

Firestorm #85 (DC, 1989) is another, with the work of Ostrander, Grindberg and De La Rosa, and is where the character becomes a "fire elemental" for a while in that series.

And finally, Ghost #12 (Dark Horse, 1996) which has a 4 page preview of the "Ghost/Hellboy" mini-series; and it always seemed a good title to read.

I'm outta here.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Moving Right Along..."

What's new...

In my personal life, not a heck of a lot, save work. I'm in the midst of an 8 day straight "week" before I get a full day off, which won't be for another 3 days still. Leaves little time for anything else.

In comics...Finally picked up the missing issues from my DC run of 52 and caught up on that storyline to #40. It's been a struggle for me to read every issue of this since it's pubbed weekly and I don't get by some place that sells them every week. In fact, a friend picked up these odd issues when he went by a comic shop for me. Looks like I was wrong about the "deaths" of both "The Question" AND "Animal Man". A-Man's still kickin', altho' The ? may have finally seen his last days.

And I got Robin #158, which finished up the 2-parter with "Klarion the Witch Boy". Can't say I'm really thrilled about the way this character is depicted in recent stories. Would like him to be more like he was originally in the 1970's The Demon series.

The other new book I got was Action 845, which is the second Donner issue. Looks like DC's trying to tie Superman into both aspects of the Smallville series as well as the "Superman Returns" flick. Best thing about 845 was an appearance by "Bizarro", and a cameo of "General Zod", the mean MF from Krypton bend on conquering, well...about EVERYTHING, but mostly getting revenge on Zor-El's #1 son.

I can't help liking anything that deals with "The Phantom Zone" criminals. My love affair with all that began way back in 1961 when my mom and I went to do clothes at the local laundry mat and she'd give me a dime or quarter and tell me to entertain myself for an hour or two in the local downtown area. Naturally I went to the drug store and bought a comic. One time it was Adventure Comics #283, which was the PZ's first app..

To me this was the perfect comic. Had The Phantom Zone, General Zod, "bizarros", "Congo Bill" back-up, and in the loc page, the first mention on the oncoming "Tales of the Bizarro World" series in that title. I'm proud to say that I still have a copy of that issue in my collection today.

Speaking of DC books...I've finally located one of the two Giants by DC from the 1960's I need to complete a full set, which is Young Love #69((9/68). A friend has agreed to sell me his lower-conditioned duplicate. (Now if I could just find me a reasonably-priced 1962 Rudolph Annual, that set would be done.)

Happy Valentine's Day, Everyone!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

"Chilly Thursday"

Anna Nicole Smith dead at age 39 in Hollywood, Florida. Sad. She was always someone who wanted to be another "Marylin Monroe"; looks like her death followed suit. Current speculation is that her death may have had something to do with the diet pills she was taking.

Well, I just got back from visiting my father-in-law, where I spent yet another 3-4 hours cutting up and hauling in wood for him. My wife called me at work yesterday almost in hysterics, saying he was nearly dead, that she'd have to go and stay with him, that he was in just terrible shape,(etc.,etc.). Got there and he was in no worse shape than before. In fact, he even came outside with me for a few moments. So' "planned" visit to the comic shop as I wanted to do on this rare day off (in fact, I have 8 days in a row now that I'll have to work before that rolls around again), and no day of rest.

I did manage to stop by Waldenbooks and pick up a few titles: Robin #158(which concludes, it would seem, the "Klarion the Witch Boy" storyline), Action Comics #845 ("It Am BE-Zarro!!"), and 52 #39(missed yet another issue), in which nothing much happened much save that it looks like our fave DC robot team may be on a comeback.

Also, they had all of their 2007 calendars on special for a buck each so I got "The Simpsons" one.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

"Boring Tuesday"

To quote a friend, "NASA is looking for a few good men...and some crazy bitches!"
This whole astronaut thingy in the news is something else, ehh? Isn't it nice to know that, I'm sure, she passed a psycho-test for NASA before being on a space shuttle? (Geez.)'s a gloomy and cold day here in South-Central, KY., today, with predictions of...rain? Snow? Once again the weathermen are blindfolding themselves and throwing darts at some board with various weather conditions listed on it. Currently it's around 30 degrees with that dropping sharply as night approaches.

"Things' are sorta boring here today for me on a day off. Went outside and filled up the myriad number of bird feeders I have, and later spotted (at one time), 2 cardinals, 2 squirrels, a robin, a woodpecker, a flicker and two or two other birds all having a feed.

Worked on a little new artwork, did a load of laundry, watched a little t.v.; in other words, pretty much just have wasted the day. At times like this I just as well be at work trying to catch up with "things" as just siting on my hindend. Besides, when I'm here like this I want to munch too much on junk, and Lord knows I could stand to drop a few pounds.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

"And Into Feb."

Football, today? ("yawwwwwnnnnn.....") I couldn't even tell you who's playing in the "Super Bowl", that's how disinterested I am in it. All I know is that it'll pre-empty other programs I'd rather watch. This country is way too obsessed with sports. We heard all of these complaints about over-spending in the government, and I wonder how many millions, even billions are spent on sports in the U.S.? Looks like a good place to grab up some taxes to support a National Heath Care Plan for those in the "middle class" that are just struggling to make ends meet. But of course you NEVER hear a politician mention anything about any of America's favorites pasttimes, hmmmmm?

But...enuff o' dat.

Got snow here today; probably an inch and it's melting slowly due to cold temp's. At least we got it on a day, for a change, that I didn't have to drive to work in it. Last week, on Friday, we had snow in the morning and I couldn't get my car out of the driveway. Had to catch a ride to work with a co-worker, then call my wife for a ride home (of course by then, the roads were clear. In fact, could I have waited maybe another hour and a half before going in I'd probably been able to get MY car "unstuck"!)

Re-rented "Superman Returns" last night and gave it another watch. I felt that maybe my comments hadn't been fair about this flick since on my previous viewing of it I was distracted too much.

Overall, the flick's okay, but maybe I just expected so much more from this movie after there not being one on Superman for so many years. Let's see...Supes' supposed to have been gone 5 years, but now he looks younger than we saw him in the last flick ('course... different actor), but since he doesn't age like humans, I could handle that. Lois should have been played by a bit more mature woman. Even "Jimmy" and "Perry" looked like they should have with 5 years more of aging.

And..."Lex Luthor"...a character that has NEVER been portrayed correctly in the Superman flicks needs to act more like this villian is done in the animated series. Still too much humor with this guy, and for once could they just lose the unneeded woman side-kick/girl friend (or ANY such companion) for this guy?

At least they kept "Pa kent" dead (as he should be in this stage of the movies). The special effects were okay, but a little less tribute to Christopher Reeve now. Brandon Routh is still a bit too lean for the part. Needs to beef up before he ever plays The Man of Steel again. And..."something" needs to be done about Superman's costume. Looks too "plastic and rubbery".

I DID like the way they've shown Superman's strength levels. Grabbing an airplane, lifting an island; now THAT's the Superman I like! Good showing of some of his other powers as well, but a little too little maybe of his heat vision. Overall I give this a "B" Rating. Could have just been so much more.

And there's a new piece of artwork over on "My Unpublished Work" link. No; not a "Mike Stripe" strip this time. I've got more "MS" one-pagers that I haven't shown here, but truthfully I've grown tired of working on these presently so I've grabbed an older piece of my work (3-4 years back) that I was half-way satisfied with and posted it instead.

Finally... I checked with a couple of fellow bloggers and they assured me that the change over to a Google Account (that Blogger seemed to insist I do) would be quick & painless, so I did so. Have to sign into two different accounts now, and really didn't see any need for a change to something that was working well. But...we do what we must.