Friday, September 29, 2006

Back Issue #18

The latest issue of this TwoMorrows mag arrived in my mailbox earlier this week, but I didn't get a chance to even page through it until last night.

I've probably mentioned this before, but I've been on TwoMorrows' comp list for some time (although perhaps I'm going off it -- the subscription label for this issue usually says ISSUES LEFT: LOTS!, but this time, it said ISSUES LEFT: 0 -- I gotta get an email off to John Morrow asking about that soon!), and so I've been able to read every issue of this mag since the beginning.

This time around, it's an all-green issue, featuring an interview with Neal Adams on Green Lantern (which I haven't read yet), Peter David on the Incredible Hulk (read it, didn't find all that much new info in it, but a good read nonetheless), some Rough Stuff featuring Dave Gibbons Green Lantern art, an interview with Mike Grell on Green Arrow (haven't read it), and features on the Green Hornet, Guy Gardner, the Martian Manhunter, and the Green Team (only read the latter). That'st he cover-featured stuff, and there's more besides, such as Gerry Conway and John Romita, Sr. on "The Green Goblin's Last Stand."

Sadly, there's no installment of "The Greatest Stories Never Told" or "Comics on DVD" -- but I suppose I can forgive their missing this issue.

I'm sure I've said before that I feel this mag is a worthy successor to the original run of Comic Book Artist at Twomorrows, and this issue (at least so far in my reading of it) scores a solid B for me. I would've liked to see a longer interview with PAD, for example. If I had to buy this issue off the stands with my own hard-earned money, I might've considered passing, as none of the remaining features really strike me as "gotta read it" items, to be honest. But still, it's a good mag to support, and if I am, indeed, going off the comp list at TwoMorrows, I will have to just knuckle down and hand out my $6.95 per issue (as well as what it'll cost me to have to start paying for Alter Ego and The Jack Kirby Collector -- not sure if I'll start buying Write Now! or Draw!, to be honest -- and I'd probably be more apt to buy Draw! because there's stuff in there I can use in my job).


Charlton Spotlight...

The current issue of this mag (which took a long time to come out -- about a year, if I'm not mistaken) arrived in my mailbox today... and I'm in there a couple of times!

First of all, there's the lead article, the Joe Gill interview, which was my pleasure to transcribe (it's been my only print transcription job for over a year). And then, later on in the mag, there's a plug and a few links for the Comics They Never Made installments of Drive-In Movie Classics (which, of course, you've already seen by following the links as I've provided them, right?). And then there's my letter about the last issue... and finally, he printed the cover of the first "issue" of Drive-In Movie Classics!

Oh, yes, and I'm listed amongst the contributors on the table of contents.

This is a great magazine, and I only wish it came out way more often! If you have any interest in Charlton Comics at all, you should get this mag! You can order it from the website.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

And It's Thursday Night!

So, what have I got to talk about this evening?

Smallville Season Premiere

So... Smallville started the new season tonight, and thank goodness there'll be another new show to watch while House is pre-empted for the World Series!

Overall, I'd have to say that I enjoyed this episode... however, I think that this season opener (like many season openers) could've used some more time to present the story... a two-hour season opener (or even a two-parter) would've been welcome.

However, despite the extreme compression of events, as I said, I enjoyed it. What, specifically, did I enjoy?

Well, the scene where Clark realized he couldn't fight Zod/Luthor on equal terms, and Zod/Luthor told him to kneel down before him (just like in Superman II), I knew Clark had a way to defeat him... in this case, the crystal thing that Jor-El had given his assistant who ended up in the Phantom Zone. That was fun.

That was the biggest thing I liked... unfortunately, right now, there's a few minor quibbles that are coming to mind more (oh, wait, the bit where Brainiac is referred to, however obliquely, by name, that was cool, too)...

Like... how likely was it that Brainiac would cause the plane Lois and Martha were on to crash land so close to the Fortress? Yeah, I know it's implied that Jor-El somehow caused it to land closer, but still...

How did everyone decide to gather around the Kent Farm? Yes, I know Martha had to go there to get the dagger after she and Lois were 'ported from the Fortress, and I figure Lionel still had that connection to Jor-El to guide him there... but Lana? Why did she head over there when she escaped from the Luthor Mansion?

Given how much trouble Chloe was having when Lionel (and later, his bodyguard) saved her, how did she get from LexCorp to the Daily Planet safely? Sure, she had a big-ass gun, but given the level of rioting in Metropolis...

Jimmy Olsen makes his first appearance in Smallville (is there any major cast member from the Superman comics left to appear, aside from maybe Cat Grant?), and he's the same age as Clark and Chloe??? I can appreciate giving Chloe a love interest, but either Jimmy's younger than Clark and Chloe (unlikely, given he's working at the Planet), or he doesn't progress very far (or perhaps he ends up in suspended animation or something -- or this isn't the James Bartholomew Olsen who ends up being the cub reporter and Superman's pal).

Anyway... for some speculation on what's going to happen... I know that Green Arrow will be making an appearance soon, and that in December or January or so, Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg will be making a re-appearance as a kind of Justice League (I know why they can't add Bruce Wayne to the mix... and I'm guessing with the Wonder Woman movie in development, that also lets her out).

Perhaps they'll be gathering to help fight off the Phantom Zone spectre things that escaped with Clark?

Anyway... I guess I don't have much else to talk about tonight! Maybe more tomorrow!


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tuesday Night Blogging...

My Newest Website!

So, I decided to create a new webpage devoted to my "Comics They Never Made" covers, most of which I first posted on the DC History list, and all of which have been posted about once a month to my "Cover Stories" column at WF Comics. There's only a placeholder page on the site now, but hopefully in the next two weeks or so, I'll have more content up there -- such as actual covers with their accompanying text!

So, why am I doing this, even though webmaster Justin at WF Comics archives each and every Cover Stories column? Well, primarily because I felt it would be appropriate to have a separate website just for these for any fans who don't want to slog through all those archives to find the Comics They Never Made Covers... well, okay, honestly it's mostly because the covers were featured in a reduced size on WF Comics, and I wanted 'em shown in all their glory.

Be advised in advance... wherever it's appropriate, I will likely have lots of links with each of the covers, in a desperate attempt to generate some kind of income from it!

House Rocks!

Saw this week's House episode "live" (as opposed to watching a recording on the DVR) -- House is the only show we do that with all the time (although that's usually the case with the Biggest Loser).

Over at the Polite Dissent website, they review each episode, and point out what medical errors they make... so you can go there if you want to check that out.

Me? I love the show mostly for the characters. This week, I especially enjoyed the part where House is quoting lines from Casablanca (I laughed out loud -- fortunately, I'd shown Jessi Casablanca a few months back, so she recognized the lines were familiar, although I did have to tell her where they were from).

Anyway... that's about all for tonight!


Monday, September 25, 2006

It's Monday Night...

...and time for a quick blog entry!

Sheesh, I haven't been doing too good a job of talking about TV shows, movies, comics, or music lately, have I? Aside from brief comments here or there, that is.

Tonight was the premiere of Heroes on NBC... and I haven't seen it yet. It's recorded (along with this week's Vanished), but chances are we won't see it until Wednesday. Tuesday night, of course, is House, which has priority, after all! Jessi will likely watch Vanished Tuesday while waiting for me to get home from work (along with Studio 60's second episode), so I'll likely watch Vanished before going to work and on my lunch break Tuesday.

This evening, however, we did watch the season premiere of Cold Case -- and it's a good thing that's in new episodes, because we seem to have seen every previous episode! It was a pretty good one, although very violent and pretty intense (I'm surprised there wasn't an advisory at the beginning of the episode). The cold case of the episode revolved around these two high school boys who shot up the food court at a local mall several years ago, and the discovery that there was a third person involved.

No effort was made to state specifically why these two boys were so violent (although comments were made about this online violent video game they used to play, and one of the boys' fathers was a "hunter" who kept automatic weapons). Jessi figured out who the third person involved was before I did.

Oh, and last night we caught the season premiere of Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Fortunately it was a Bobby Goren episode (which I prefer to the other ones -- heck, right now I can't remember the lead character's name from that one!). This episode broke from the usual format quite a bit -- but I still figured out whodunnit before Goren did, which is quite an accomplishment for me!

On the comics front... well, I still haven't picked up any new comics for quite some time... although I hope to stop by the shop on Friday or Saturday!

Last "new" movie I saw was Looney Tunes: Back in Action, which I may have talked about before!

In work-related stuff... well, on Saturday, I think I mentioned Jessi and I went to a couple of local gyms, including one that has been advertising in the newspaper, and I created a logo for them that they liked so much they're going to keep using it (and already are on their -- honestly -- pathetic website). On Saturday, the owner told us that logo was the only thing he liked about his ad, which got me to thinking... and today, I put together a spec ad that I think offers more selling points to his gym than his current one (honestly, nothing he'd mentioned during his sales pitch was in his ads -- except the pre-membership special -- and there's way too much good stuff about that gym that should be promoted!). We'll see what happens, if anything, with that.

Remember I mentioned covering the ad services desk while we were between ad services assistant? The new one started about a week ago, but this was her first Monday -- and instead of getting Saturday, Sunday and Monday's newspapers marked and torn for billing and tearsheet mailings... she only got Saturday's done. And she had to stay late to accomplish that. I helped out, and spent a half hour marking and tearing the Monday paper.

Yes, for this job that I wasn't hired for, and that I was helping out in addition to doing my own job, too, I'm way, way faster than the person who is doing it full-time. I know she's only done it for a week... and I know that I learn new things quickly, and am way more productive than a lot of other people, so I'm trying to give her a break (not that it matters if I do or not), and not try to judge too harshly.

After all, I've always said that my greatest strength is that I have high expectations for myself, and that my greatest weakness is that I expect the same high standards from everyone else I work with. I've been trying to work on that, though... mostly successfully, but when I'm being ridiculously productive, and there are others who are hardly getting anything done... well, it isn't easy, I'll tell you!

(thank goodness nobody I work with even knows about this blog!)


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Quick Weekend Wrap-Up!

New Cover Stories installment at World Famous Comics this week -- my first "1-10," focusing on Action Comics!

Robby Reed returns with new Dial B For Blog entries after too long a spell without!

My youngest brother, Karl, was in town from New York for his high school reunion this weekend, and Jessi and I went up to Tacoma for a big family day get-together with him... it ended up sort of being a "Fakes-giving Day" dinner, since he won't be out here for either Thanksgiving or Christmas, more likely than not. It was good to see him, even if his life is being turned upside-down by his divorce, but I won't go into any more details about that!

Saw the new Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon... and I liked it. Too bad DC and Warners couldn't figure out a way to use the Superboy name (you'd think they'd figure out some kind of licensing situation), so they couldn't call the teenaged, costumed Clark Kent Superman instead... but I can get over that. I did like the Transformer Brainiac 5... a very interesting take on Brainy!

All in all, a lot of fun to watch, and I'm looking forward to future episodes (no pun intended).

Haven't seen this weekend's new Fantastic Four episode yet... I'm not sure if the DVR recorded it or not.

Started watching this week's "premiere" episode of Star Trek in the new updated format... and while I love the higher quality images (all the way around, not just the new digital SFX) and the higher quality recordings of the music... you know in the opening credits, when the Enterprise zips past at warp speed? Instead of the glorious "whhhhhhhhsssssssshhhhhhhhhhh!" I'm used to, it was a simple "Sht!" -- almost like they had Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer, come and record that for them! (of course, if you've never seen the Dog Whisperer, you have no idea what I'm talking about). Didn't exactly ruin it for me, since when watching following episodes, I'll just fast-forward through the opening credits... but come on!

That's all for now!