Random Thoughts! (January 5, 2010)

Random Thought! A new year, same old me. It's random thoughts time! Get excited!

Random Thought! I have got many links for you... 411 Wrestling Top 5: Moments of the Monday Night Wars. The Christmas edition of the High Road/Low Road on the Hart Dynasty (not really a Christmas edition aside from being posted on Christmas). Wrestler of the Week on a very slow week. Tim and I did a Splash Page on wrestling and comics: part one on Tim's blog and part two on my blog. High Road/Low Road on Raw vs iMPACT!. Wrestling 4Rs, which includes my write-up of the four-hour episode of TNA iMPACT! that aired on New Year's Eve. Wrestler of the week. Lesser Known Joe Casey Comics: Krash Bastards. And, finally, two CBR reviews wherein I chose two collections that came out this year that I liked quite a lot (a fun idea of Augie's to do on the off week): Punisher MAX vol. 5 and All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder vol. 1.

Random Thought! I brought back my collection of Sin City books from my parents' house and, man, do they look nice on a shelf. I got the Chip Kidd-designed versions where the spines form a picture of Nancy when lined up. My plea to publishers: when rereleasing books in a uniform design, have the spines form a picture... spine pictures are awesome.

Random Thought! You'd think that two weeks would lead to more thoughts... (Jan. 4)

Random Thought! I don't make resolutions. But, I have decided to work harder at being a more critical, challenging reviewer. I made various strides to improve myself in that regard this year, including discussing colouring more (after Val Staples called me out -- and rightly so). So, if you think my critical writing is lacking in some way (and not simply that my views differ from yours) -- discussion of art, of writing, of character/plot... anything I don't do that you'd like to see me do, let me know, and I'll take it under advisement. (Bearing in mind that I would like to review a wider variety of books, but that often involves buying said books and money is an issue. Though, if you look at my record, I think you'll find that I review books from a pretty wide number of publishers.)

Random Thought! Apparently, a Japanese-American should never be Captain America. Oh, the things you learn on message boards. Also, Japanese wrestlers should never be voted 'wrestler of the week' either... see, comics and wrestling have a lot of comic... or, least, the ugly segments of online fandom do.

Random Thought! I found the top 100 books of 2009 that were determined by CBR staff a little questionable in places, but it was a solid list overall. I'm amazed at some of the books that made the top tens of others, but I'm sure others are amazed at some of the books that made my top ten. Some of the comments I read online were amusing in that 'Why are so many indy books I've never heard of on this list? No one cares about them!' way that, again, reminds me of the comments I see all of the time over at 411mania... but, the topic of wrestling fans and comics fans being, well, the exact same in many respects was handled by Tim and I in our Splash Page discussion.

Random Thought! Though, I do wonder how people come up with top ten lists. My process is pretty simple: I do through my blog for the past year where, at some point, I'd mentioned pretty much every comic I've read at some point (maybe not ever issue, but a single issue at least) and make a big list. And then I begin making two lists: the possible top ten books and the obviously not top ten books. At some point, I usually count how many titles are on the longlist and cull it down to 30, so certain books don't even get a ranked spot on my short list. Then, it's a matter of ordering them. Some books are easier than others and I often change the order after I've said to myself, "Okay, I'm done." I think the key to this method is simply having a record of all of the comics I read over the past year. I know Augie has told me that he doesn't do best of the year lists because he can never remember what he read. I wonder how many people who make lists actually examine the whole year...

Random Thought! Neil Young's Archives, Vol. 1 1963-1972 is some good stuff. Even if it means that the copies I bought of Live at Fillmore East and Live at Massey Hall a couple of years back are now extra copies.

Random Thought! Anyone get the year-end 'double' issue of Rolling Stone? I know, I shouldn't expect much, but it wasn't double in size and spent most of its time talking about the best of the decade. The best albums of year shared a page with the best songs of the year. One page! With a notice at the end to read the rest online. I know the publishing world is much tougher now, but notices like that make me want to not read another issue period (particularly since the online content was minor and not of high quality).

Random Thought! When I was at my parents' house over the holidays, I noticed that my dad has a complete set of the plastic DC Corps rings. Apparently, my mom annoys him by calling them secret decoder rings. Apologies to all that wanted a picture of me wearing them, but... that's just stupid.

Random Thought! Wow, just examined the latest results of Newsarama's year-end favourite artist of 2009 poll and, somehow, Ivan Reis is beating JH Williams III... and people wonder why I get so negative on comics fans sometimes... Edit: Reis won.

Random Thought! Sorry for all of the negativity. I'll deliver some positive comments on the comics I bought last week (which were really from the week before): I liked the art in Who Will Wield the Shield?; I really, really, really loved the art in Detective Comics; I always like seeing Thor kick a little ass and the use of the Destroyer is good; the murder plot in Criminal: The Sinners took a more interesting twist than the end of the previous issue hinted at; I'm curious to see how Absolution will end after the latest issue's conclusion; and... actually, I found Spider-Woman #4 rather mediocre. Couldn't get copies of New Avengers or Secret Warriors as a result of damaged books and the shop knowing I wouldn't be in until the following week, so they made sure customers in before me got copies (a practice I support).

Random Thought! I had a good time over the holidays. All family-related gatherings (my family and my girlfriend's family) were better than expected. Spent some time at home, which was nice. Ate a lot of lasagna -- which is, apparently, the Christmas food of choice these days. Something like nine pieces in six days. Though, lots were leftovers as it was really just lasagna at three different places.

Random Thought! I don't know what comic I'm looking forward to the most in 2010. Possibly something unannounced... or something unexpected. That tends to be the way these things go, right? But, that Dr. Strange book by Brandan McCarthy and the next Darwyn Cooke Parker book both seem like good bets.

Random Thought! Thanks for reading during 2009. The response to my writing here on the blog has been great. I look forward to stirring up various little shitstorms in 2010, usually without meaning to do so.

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