Saturday, October 31, 2009

What I've Been Reading

I'll be heading to my comic shop tomorrow. So until here then, here's a list of some of the stuff (TPBs for the most part) I've read over the last while:

All New Savage She-Hulk Vol 1 -- Yeah, I was ticked about the whole canceling She-Hulk and having this series come out using the She-Hulk name but after reading the She-Hulk bits in Incredible Hulk I decided to give it a try. I actually think it's well done and the character is interesting.

Irredeemable Vol 1 -- Better than I was expecting, really good actually. They're doing a good job of the whole "most powerful hero becoming the most evil person on the planet", an idea I initially kinda didn't think was enough of a hook for me.

Umbrella Academy Dallas -- I actually liked this volume more than the first. Somewhat out there but well done.

Wonderful Wizard of Oz -- Beautiful art and more faithful to the book (than the movie). Worth checking out.

Locke & Key Vol 2 -- Took me a bit to get back into it (had to really remind myself of the characters and where they were left off at the end of Volume 1) but some really interesting stuff going on. Definitely looking forward to volume 3.

Peter & Max -- Great novel and a must read for Fables fans. Non-Fables readers can also enjoy it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

No Comic Reviews Yet

Reviews will be delayed again this week until at least the weekend. Sorry but work is kinda nuts right now.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for October 21st, 2009 -- SPOILERS

A little swamped at work at the moment so have to be quick.

Incredible Hulk #603 -- Not a big fan of two artists drawing one book/story, I often find it jarring. This wasn't too bad but still a little jarring. I don't really know much about Dakken and where he stands with Logan at the moment so some of the story was lost on me a bit. The punchline at the end was pretty funny though. The Lyra story was good in giving us some backstory and setting up the climax. All in all, just a good issue, not great.

Dark Reign List the Hulk (or whatever the title is) -- This one I have mixed feelings on. I was going along with it up until the whole Osborn exposing Banner to gamma radiation and thinking that somehow solves his problem. Yeah, I can see that solving his problem with Banner and maybe if Skaar kills the Hulk then maybe, but bringing back the Hulk shouldn't be something even Osborn does lightly. I guess I'll have to see where it goes. Though with the Hulk branching off into World War Hulks, who knows if that's it for this part of the story. We also get a reprint of an Amazing Spider-Man issue (where Green Goblin and Spidey stumble upon a cave that the Hulk is hiding in). It fits with the main story (as it's referenced) but I'm not really a huge fan of adding reprints to a book, it feels like it's being used as justification for the $3.99 price tag.

Elephantmen #22 -- Wasn't a huge fan of the artwork on this one. We spend a lot of time with a confusing conversation between Vanity and a guy I still don't really remember. And then a few other things happen. I normally love this book and I'm eager to see where everything goes but I just couldn't love this issue. It felt pretty jumbled to me.

Well, that's it for this week.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Another Webcomic of Note

A while back I was pointed towards Transmission X and Raising Hell in particular (a fun Zombie story). I got to meet Andy Belanger at Fan Expo Canada (and probably annoyed the hell out of him by re-visiting him from time to time) as well as some of the other Transmission X guys (all seemed like great guys and they hosted an entertaining Making Webcomics panel). But enough about that.

One of the books on Transmission X, The Abominable Charles Christopher, really stuck out to me as something interesting but I never really got around to reading it until recently. It's an incredible work that is beautifully drawn with an engaging story that has a wide emotional range, going from happy and funny in one setting to sad and serious in the next. I highly recommend checking it out. I've definitely added it to my must read webcomics.

Weekly Comic Reviews for October 7th, 2009 -- May Contain SPOILERS

Only one book this week, which may be one more than I pick up next week.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer #29 -- Perhaps I should hold off reviews on this book until this storyline is over as it seems to have lost me a while back. Though I didn't find this book as bad as some of its predecessors in this storyline, I still wasn't into it. The problems for me continue in terms of the writing and the art. I just don't find it's a well done comic. There are too many times I don't know who's talking (pulling too far back showing only cartoony characters that all look the same with their army gear on, it's annoying to figure out who's saying what). And things just seem to be fumbling along making the story seem stretched out as we wait for a climax. The whole army versus powerless slayers and werewolves is definitely something they couldn't have done in the TV show and perhaps that contributes to this not really feeling like a Buffy story in some ways. Yeah, I'm really not digging this book right now. I hope it comes together after this arc is over and we start looking at the climax of season 8. I think for season 9 I'll be going the TPB route (waiting for reviews before picking it up).

I also picked up a few other books on Amazon, Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow, Oz: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Locke and Key vol 2 (which I was disappointed to find had several pages glued together), and the Umbrella Academy: Dallas. I've only read Locke and Key and the Superman one so far so I have some reading to do this weekend.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Kinda nice

The DrunkDuck awards were handed out a while back. No nominations (which were determined by user voting) much less awards (decided by the judge panel I believe) of course but now that they've posted a list of everyone who got a vote in each category I was pleasantly surprised by three categories. Best sci-fi, best action scenes (this one was a big shocker), and friendliest DrunkDucker. I have to admit, it's a pretty good feeling even if it is just one vote in each.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

And as for that whole FTC thing

Concerning the FTC thing on bloggers who post reviews, first up I'm Canadian so there's that. Plus, I've only ever been offered three things to review for free (that I can recall) and only took up the offer once. The other two I declined the free version to pay for it, mostly for wanting to support the creators of those projects. And for the one time I did mention being given the book to review so there.

I'm actually surprised that I was offered anything for free but I guess even a blog that's got as few visitors as mine could be a potential place to build up steam for a book.

I'm a Consumer

I recently bought a gaming system and it's surprising me how it's started me along a path of examining my life. The thing is that I've been thinking about buying this system (not sure why but I'd rather not name the system, probably just because I don't think it's relevant) but I've always talked myself out of it. Every time I thought about it there were the voices of those around me who questioned my purchase. There was the "Oh, don't buy that system because this other system is sooo much better" and there was the "so you're falling into the must-buy-the-latest-tech crowd" (despite the fact that this system has been out for a while now) and the "you shouldn't spend this money on yourself but give it to someone who needs it". It all made me question my motives to the point where I wouldn't feel right spending the money, especially on myself. So what pushed me over the edge?

I looked at my life over the last few years. I've been working at this job for 6 years and it pays okay but what have I spent money on? A condo (okay, a big purchase but everyone needs somewhere to live), a decent TV (at least when I bought it 5 years ago and I've paid for cable ever since), and a low end computer (with a low end Wacom Tablet). I don't even own a car (the reasons for which include: I don't like to drive, the bus can get me to most places I need to go, and I never felt right spending the money on it if I didn't need it or even really want it). But that's about it. There was also the comic book thing, but as you can see from my blog I only get a couple issues a week and the odd TPB purchase. But other than that I've always talked about maybe one day buying a Tablet PC to draw on or travelling to a convention or buying a game system but holding off.

There were the charities of course. I give to various charities through work and when friends do the "Run for..." or some other event. Could I give more? Perhaps. Do I give enough? How much is enough? Do I have to give away everything I don't need or until there is a cure? Or is just giving enough to clear my conscience enough? Of course, if friends guilt me enough that amount will change. But all that is a few blog posts on their own.

So the thing was, I wasn't spending money for my own enjoyment (other than the comics and cable TV). I kept holding out, it was almost like I didn't think spending money on myself was worth it. Or maybe it was that I was going to become the "evil commercial consumer" that was part of some sort of evil system that relies on money. Either way I felt I had to put my foot down. Everyone always says life is too short, if buying a game system or going to a convention was going to make me happy and I had the budget for it then why not? Why wasn't I worth spending money on? And as for giving my money to the evil corporations or what not (I'm not talking about the overly exploitive ones, I stay away from those, I just have too many people telling me all corporate entities or even individuals in it for money and such are evil), well if they're providing me with some enjoyment and they aren't hurting/exploiting anyone (which I know can be debatable in many cases) than why shouldn't I pay them for it? It's like artists (singers, comic artists, etc) getting blasted for wanting money for their work and people revolting, why shouldn't they be paid for providing people with some level of enjoyment? If they're improving my life in some way, even if it's just giving me 5 minutes of pleasure while reading a comic or listening to a song (an event that could last forever in my brain) why not compensate them. But again, that's another blog post rant.

And as for it not being the right system, well I strongly felt that it was the right system for me. Sure, each system have their pros and cons, I think it all comes down to getting the system that's right for you. And I feel strongly that this is the system for me and I'm not going to be told I'm wrong because it's not the system for those around me.

So in conclusion, I bought the system. I've spent a few hours on it and am looking forward to more. And I'm trying my best not to feel bad about it. If that makes me part of the evil corporate/capitalist/commercial system or makes me a worse person than I guess I'll have to live with it. But fortunately, with life being short and all that, I won't have to live with it for long... Unless I get reincarnated into something horrible, I guess that would suck. Or if that doesn't fit your religion of choice you can feel free to believe someone or something will judge me and I'll have to deal with that when the time comes.

It's rather scary how much the purchase of a $200 game system makes me ponder isn't it? But now you can see why it took me years to make up my mind. :)

Monday, October 05, 2009


Started the week feeling pretty good about myself. Fortunately Monday morning came along and brought me down to Earth.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Weekly Comic Reviews for September 30th, 2009 -- SPOILERS

I know I'm late getting these posted, it's been a pretty hectic week.

Son of Hulk #15 -- Everything points to the Son of Hulk trying to get Galactus' attention for a final showdown but it seems to be taking a while to get there. There seems to be a lot going on that just doesn't feel important to the overall story. Maybe it will be later but for now, I'm just not feeling it. And it's weird, I feel in some ways it's well written, I just don't really care for these three legged people and what's going on with them. I've said in the past I would give the series a few issues to see where it goes, and it's getting close to those "few issues" being done and me dropping this title. I'll probably see it through to issue 17 (to see if the "climactic installment" is worth it).

Runaways #14 -- I've been rather critical of this book the last few issues. This issue seemed somewhat better in some ways but still felt off. It felt like I knew what they were trying to do with this issue but still came across rather messy and confusing. And as the supposed conclusion to the current arc I found it failed. It felt like it resolved none of the story and just started up new questions. Like who is this girl who looks like Gertrude and may have her own raptor but doesn't respond to Gert, an unknowing twin or something? And then there's the cliffhanger with Chase. It felt more like the start of a new story arc was thrown in so we didn't need to finish the previous storyline. I hear the book is being sidelined while they retool it, I'm not sure I'll be back after the retooling. I'll most likely drop it in the monthly format, wait to see what I hear, and maybe pick up the digests/TPBs.

I also picked up High Moon but I don't think I'll be posting another review, I've talked about that book enough and it's just a print version of what you can find on the website. I think they've improved the print version in comparison to Bayou's print version. I still don't think it matches the web version but I find it's an improvement over Bayou's version. But now I have a print version to put on my bookshelf. And it comes just in time for the newest chapter of High Moon to kick off on Zuda.