Random Thoughts! (November 18, 2009)

Random Thought! My internet (and TV -- same company) was down all day yesterday, so you get this post a day later with special bonus thoughts. It's random thoughts time! Get excited!

Random Thought! I've yet to try and get my girlfriend to read comics. She's read some, but always because she wanted to. Like, I got her the X-Files mini-series that Wildstorm put out a year ago as it was coming out -- because she's a fan of the show and I asked if she'd want it. She's read Fell since she asked for some comics to read and that seemed like what she would like. She's open to reading more, but doesn't have a strong enthusiasm for it -- and I don't want to press the matter. We've got plenty of other things in common, so why do I need to push comics on her? Besides, she already watches wrestling with me a lot of the time... can't anything just be mine?

Random Thought! My favourite sandwich: bologna and Cheez Whiz on white bread. I make double-decker versions to save bread. Put Cheez Whiz on one side of the first slice, lay the bologna on it, put CW on one side of another, lay it on top, put CW on the other side, blogna, CW on side of the last slice... rip off the top of the crusts. Tasty, tasty, tasty. I've eaten that sandwich (albeit not in the double-decker form) since I was a little kid. It was the only sandwich I'd eat then -- I also like PB&J and roast beef with (honey) mustard and onions now -- and my grade one teacher actually thought that eating that would make me stupid. She told my mom that. Seriously. My mom, being a smart lady, realised that that's bullshit and it's important that her son actually eat lunch. I continue to eat those sandwiches to this day and have a Master's...

Random Thought! Wrestling links: High Road/Low Road on Batista's heel turn (this was a hard one for me since I really like his heel turn -- I hope I did my negative part well... but, honestly, there aren't a lot of negatives with this one except for 'I don't like Batista,' which isn't a great argument for something this detailed). a roundtable preview of this past Sunday's TNA Turning Point PPV where I contributed my predictions for the event and went 2-6 (ouch!); and wrestler of the week, which I also contributed to. I love contributing to these roundtable group things. Usually, it's fairly easy and low effort -- takes ten to fifteen minutes at most. And they've always been my favourite pieces to read as you get a lot of perspectives in one place.

Random Thought! What's up with the Beast in SWORD #1? It's like he has no idea what running that sort of agency would entail as far as personal time...

Random Thought! More plugging time... years ago, I wrote a couple of comics for an anthology that's since been repackaged from its original graphic novel format into single issues available through a POD company. Tales from the Plex #3 features "Down by the River," which is about a guy and his pregnant girlfriend... I have vague memories of this one as being written for an artist who wanted something Poe-like... despite my having read no Poe at the time. Tales from the Plex issues fourteen and fifteen feature "Murder from Beyond the Stars," a 22-page story split up over the two issues. I'm somewhat fond of that story, illustrated by Brice Hall (who was graphics editor at my university paper while I was an A&E editor), it's about the murder of the president of Mars. I think I went a bit overboard with trying to cram a lot in through various storytelling techniques, but it's fun. And features a detective named Anthrax Palmer, which I think we can all agree is a pretty cool name. Here are the first four pages:

Random Thought! It may seem stubborn and stupid, but I'm not buying a Human Target book that's written by anyone other than Peter Milligan.

Random Thought! Dark Avengers #11: A lacklustre issue that doesn't really do anything. The stuff at the beginning with Victoria Hand is good, but the rest feels like treading water. No real insight offered or gained. And I hate Greg Horn's art. The past two issues have left me pretty cold.

Random Thought! Spider-Woman #3: This series is pretty good, but nothing amazing. I find Jessica's narration a little grating at times, a bit too self-conscious and self-pitying. Alex Maleev's art veers from amazing to ugly a bit too much as he finds the right mix of photoreference, computer effects, and his actual skill -- which he possesses quite a bit of.

Random Thought! I'll be reviewing The Authority: The Lost Year #3 for CBR, but... how did it only take one issue to make me groan and want to drop the book? I don't care if that twist at the end was Morrison's original plan, it's rather stupid. The first issue of the series had such potential with the Authority in the real world and, now, it's become very typical and mundane. Also, I would prefer to never see another comic inked by Trevor Scott who butchers Darick Robertson's art. Look for me saying all of that nicer at CBR sometime in the next few days.

Random Thought! So, Cerebus Archive is POD only now and glamourpuss looks like it's going that way... fuck. I won't miss Cerebus Archive too much since it was interesting but not 'must read,' but glamourpuss is absolutely brilliant and unique. Sure, the fashion stuff was hit or miss, but the focus on art? Brilliant.

Random Thought! Where was the Red Hood and Scarlet's HQ?

Random Thought! For future reference: telling me not to do something or dismissing something I do in a rude and dickish way? Best way to get me to do it more. Especially when it produces so many comments...

Random Thought! Collected here from my Twitter account is a little topic I wrote about on Saturday night. I've stuck it in one paragraph with no editing...

Tonight is "read a bunch of .pdfs of comics for reviewing and for pleasure" night. I'm really behind on the second part of that idea. I actually dislike reading comics in pdf form since they're made with seeing the full page in mind and you can't do that here and actually READ the words. Also, double-page spreads done horizontally? Not fun on a stationary screen. Not that I'm complaining. I love being able to check things out this way and love being sent pdfs... just not my ideal format. However, I do tell most publishers/creators to send me pdfs instead of physical copies for immediacy and clutter-saving reasons. Also, pdfs are a great way to get reviews. Not just because it doesn't involve paying for a comic but because it guarantees getting the book. Shops can't order everything and over the past year I've had to beg off reviewing a half dozen or so books because the shop didn't have them. pdfs also allow reviewers to keep up with books when OTHER reviewers call the first issue(s) so future reviews can be informed. I also try and buy any books I read in pdf and really enjoy (sometimes in singles sometimes in trade). I don't keep pdfs after using them. Also, pdfs lead to advance reviews that tell people ahead of Wednesday to buy a comic -- or not buy it... okay, so there's a downside... There is a wisdom, though, in not having reviewers keep up with everything since limiting them to doing what they already buys means a better shot at good reviews. Though, I doubt anyone's given that serious thought really. The 'keeping reviewers' informed is important if only because it means they'll be inclined to review something other than part 1 of a story. I mean, who wants reviews of JUST of part 1 and MAYBE the last part of a story? And I say that as a reviewer who's never been afraid to jump in mid-story for a review... for good or ill. Really, though, pdfs benefit the smaller, overlooked titles. The stuff you WANT reviewed (good or bad, honestly) just so people know of it. Otherwise, it's really left up to: what a reviewer is already buying, what s/he feels like spending money, or thinks will be on the rack. And, depending on the shop, don't bet on low-selling titles having a big rack presence. Hell, sometimes higher selling titles don't. And, depending on the shop, don't bet on low-selling titles having a big rack presence. Hell, sometimes higher selling titles don't. So, no reviews (aka free press) for those comics because of one shop not having a rack copy. Reordering will get ME a copy, but not a review. Also, honestly, pdfs have turned me on to a lot of books that I probably wouldn't have given a shot otherwise -- books that I then reviewed and made others aware of. Maybe not a lot of people picked them up, but some did and that's worth it, right?

Random Thought! Boston Legal was a fantastic show and I can prove it with two words: Denny Crane.

Random Thought! What I Learned from The Brave and the Bold #29: the '60s were better because people were friendly despite Vietnam and riots and other bad things, okay?

Random Thought! Man, I was really enjoying the hell out of V. by Thomas Pynchon until the final 150-200 pages where it seemed like he didn't know where he wanted to take things anymore.

Random Thought! I should go write a review or something...

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