Sunday, April 30, 2006

Final Con Notes

Some final thoughts.

Everyone was really laid back at the con. I mean...everyone, from the staff to the guest artists and writers, were really cool. They got up and walked around a lot, talked to people, bought stuff from other folks, chatted people up. I think this was the one benefit of a larger space, people couldn't just sit at their table and chat with two or three other people...they actually had to get up and move around. It seemed really relaxed like that.

Kathryn Williams borrowed a camera from her roommate, a camera which is the EXACT same brand as mine, but feels somewhat heavier for reasons I have yet to understand.

Sean Richter, the artist for Suicide Yakuza, gave me his sketch of the main character. It ROCKS. He also showed me the preliminary sketch work and blocking for the first five pages, which will be used as art samples in the pitch packages we'll be sending out once the stuff is ready. Its nice stuff, even in rough, and really captures, I think, what I wrote in the script.

I'm going to geek out for a moment on three things:
-Scott Simone reads my blog, thinks its funny, and recommended it to Gail! Doing the little happy dance!
-I gave. The PBZ short. To Diana Schutz. Senior editor at Dark Horse Comics. Dear...god. Not in a million years did I ever think I'd be handing something to a senior anyone in the comics business this early on. I'm not sure anything will come of it, I mean...its pretty damn short. But still. Glee.
-The publisher and owner of Mr. Comics likes my stuff. He likes the ideas I was talking to him about, and he wants to see more. Well, so does Ty. But still!

I felt really comfortable with people this weekend, which is the total opposite of last year where I pretty much JUST came for Warren and Bendis, and a little Willingham on the side. But this year I actually socialized. And networked. I've got a bunch of business cards here from artists and folks like Diana and Tina Seemann from Max the Mutt. Not that this nessecarily means success, I've certainly racked up a LOT of cards for restaraunts that never hired me in the past. But still. Its something I'm VERY happy about.

Now I need to buckle down and get into exams. This weekend was my last true vacation before exams and summer work. And dear GOD did I ever have a good time.

Oh, and I started plotting out the third issue of SY according to the method that Ty taught us in class. He was right. It really DOES all fall into place. Of course, I need to rewrite the middle of issue 2, but I'd been expecting to do that for a while since I've never really been happy with it. But that rewrite should make the second issue really interesting, and keep interest through into issue 3.

Now to go study. And maybe read some comics. I'm thinking either Violet Miranda: Girl Pirate (drawn by the talented Willow Dawson), or the free issues of Eclipse & Vega that Saul Colt gave me. E&V isn't serious comics. It is, as I told Saul, basically "super-smut"...which he agreed with for the most part. But its funny in exactly how smutty it is. Its like watching an old B-movie. You're not watching it for love of the artistry of it (though Saul's got an interesting cartoony style going for him, leaving aside the more...obvious...aspects of it), you're watching it to see just how over the top and shocking to your sensibilities it is. I can definitly see the parody in it of those long ago Liefeld-Claremont-early Jim Lee years where, but at the same time...I've become a bit more used to slightly more reasonably proportioned female characters.

And now I go study instead of writing more.


Sunday Con Report

Sunday Convention Report. Final day. Doors close. People go home.

Got in a little later than I'd expected, but with about 15 minutes to spare. The tone for the day was set when, in walking in, I ran into Scott Simone (Gail Simone's husband), who told me that he liked my blog. Scott Simone thinks Chasing the Muse is funny. Man oh man (and he told Gail so later on...damn).

On that high I sailed into a writing panel with Daniel Way, Gail, Greg, and Brian Azarello, though not before I'd scored some new batteries from Jamie Coville (apparently the Schusters and karoke photos had killed the juice in mine). It wasn't...EXACTLY...a writing panel. while it started off relativly orderly, with each writer talking about how they got into comics, or what they like about writing them, it eventually devolved for a while into talking about Batman and Superman, which Brian put a stop to by basically pointing out how silly it had become. There WERE some actual writing questions, and a discussion about character motivations of villains, but by that time things were pretty much about to wrap up. Transcript forthcoming, there are some funny things said which I can't talk about on the Engine (due to the superheroic nature of them).

I was going to head to Ty Templeton's layout workshop at that point, and had mistakenly informed Ty that he was supposed to be in the room that Diana was setting up in for doing a workshop on "The Editor as a Creative Partner". After a quick talk with Ty, however, I realized that this is more or less what we'd covered in the first class six weeks ago, so I went to Diana's panel instead.

Diana's panel was supposed to be her and Shelley Vaughn, but Shelley was sick (like several other people, including Colleen), and so it was pretty much just Diana. Diana who, I hadn't realized, was Canadian. And who had lived in Vancouver (over in Kitsilano)...and who actually knows where my home town is. One of Diana's major points was that writers who want to get editors looking at their stuff should start doing mini-comics. Doesn't matter if the art's good. Doesn't matter if its stick figures. It gives the editor something to hold, and something to read, and something to stick in their pocket to give a look over. They're looking at the writing, not the art, but it gives them something to see that's not a 20-40 page script.

During that time I realized I had the Phone Book Zombie two page short with me (I thought I'd left it at home), so I signed up for Diana's portfolio review at 3pm (her panel let out at 2), and stood around for the next hour chatting with Heidi, Trish, Shawn Richter, and a few others. Heidi had gone to post her article and check my Saturday report (with special checking to make sure I didn't make her look bad). So I took it as a good sign that she didn't shoot me dagger-eyes when she sat back down with Trisha.

Diana was a bit surprised when I walked up, handed her the PBZ pages. "You didn't have to wait in line for that!" she exclaimed. Then she realized I'd put my name down. "I didn't want to be rude or abrupt," I said, basically playing into the Canadian stereotype that Heidi had noticed...apparently everyone she'd run into from Canada (or most everyone) had so far been very friendly and helpful. Diana told me she couldn't read the stuff there, which is cool...but she had me put my email on it and she slipped it away.

I ran into Tina Seemann from Max the Mutt, where I'd taken Ty's writing course for the past 6 weeks. Max is offering the only degree program in comic books in Canada, and if you're in the Toronto area, its really worth checking out. I'll be sending her a quote to use on her site, as they're apparently looking for new endorsements and testemonials with recent updates.

After that I just generally circulated around. I was unfortunatly unable to pick up Becky's East Coast Rising, as she was all sold out of them and was just circulating with Vassilius Lolios. I did, however, stop by and chatted with Willow Dawson, and picked up the first two issues of Violet Miranda: Girl Pirate, and we chatted about the scholastic similarities between the lack of information on things like Spartacus and actual pirates. Willow's someone who I met at last year's con, and who remembered me. I was unable to buy anything from her last year, as I'd brought no money. But I fixed that this time. If anyone gets a chance, I highly recommend picking up an issue of Violet Miranda. I also grabbed the first issue of Lackluster World from Eric Adams, who had been acosted by a born again Christian the other day who had...well we're not quite sure. Either taken offense at his comics and decided to try to convert him, or really just wanted to tell about some personal vision she'd had from God. Either way, he managed to get her to leave,

That was almost the end of my last $30. Picked up a copy of Chip's Monster Cops, which he signed (I'm trying to figure out whether it says "kiss canvas" or "kiss camera"...I think the first makes a bit more sense). Chatted with Ray a bit more, and moved over to J. Bone's table and picked up a copy of the very interesting kids adventure book The Collected Alison Dare: Little Miss Adventures, which is published through you should all be able to find it.

I talked to a lot of people. Most of them really weren't happy with the con turnout. Eric and Willow hadn't done the best business, and I'm unsure about Chip and friends. Most people I talked to, though, really felt that the convention centre was too big and that maybe there were too many guests, or too many vendors, or people were too spread out, because it was pretty dead today...more so than it was last year. Or at least it seemed that way. Its kind of hard to tell exactly, as I'm given to understand that turnout was BETTER this year, though I could be wrong on that one.

Chatted up Shawn Richter and Nicola Scott. Seems that Nicola was MEGA-popular this weekend, and was just getting wave after wave of people coming to her asking for sketches. And this girl is GOOD, ladies and gentlemen. She's only been doing this for 4 years, and she is UNBELIEVABLE. I'd almost think she'd traded her soul to the Aussie devil in exchange for her amazing talents. Becuase 4 years ain't a long time. I shake my head and am humbled.

Sean gave me a sketch he'd done of the main character for Suicide Yakuza, and showed me the basic sketch work he'd done for the five page pitch stuff. Looks very good. Very classy. I have high hopes for this given the quality of the man's SKETCHES. Still haven't had a chance to read A Trip to Rundberg, his zombie book that I picked up yesterday.

I had a short chat with Jill Thompson and Brian Azarello before they ran off to catch their plane out of town. It was a pleasure to meet both of them, they're interesting people and I hope to run into them again some time.

Filtered over at that point to the Shaving of Peter Dixon. Peter, who acts as co-coordinator for the con, was shaved due to charity spending by the talented Gail Simone, who returned to her humble beginnings as a hairdresser to remove most of Peter's golden locks. Ramon Perez lended a hand, as did a few contributing members of the audience. Peter came out looking half decent, to be honest. I actually have about a minute of silent video of Peter's hair being taken out. I should consider putting it on YouTube.

After that I FINALLY found Darwyn Cooke without too much of a line, and got his signature on my two volumes of DC: The New Frontier. Wasn't quite as personable as it had been when I got signatures from other folks, but then again it was pretty rushed.

Finally ended things by taking a seat in the Lounge with Heidi, Patricia, Ray, Chip, and others. Daniel Way stopped by and gave Chip a signed poster for Heavier Than God, his story about the REAL rock'n'roll Heaven. He showed me some of the artwork for it, and it looks like it should be a neat story. I heard John Siuntres' interview with Daniel over on Word Balloon, so I knew some of what he was talking about.

Finally it was time to leave when the con closed at 6pm. I said goodbye to everyone. Shook hands with folks and headed out to catch the bus and the subway home. Vowed to keep in touch with Ty and a few other folks.

Overall it was a GREAT convention, for me at least. As I've mentioned a few times earlier, a lot of the folks working the con from booths and tables weren't 100% satisfied with the turnout and the sheer numbers, but I enjoyed things. Networked a little, and met a LOT of people. I had a really good time there, and I think I made some friends, or at least contacts and acquaintences, not just in Toronto but all over.

Photos will be posted on Flickr later tonight.

Saturday ComiCon Report

Saturday Con Report. Things are a bit blurry from the earlier parts of the day...I just got back from the Saturday night party and subsequent karoake night.

After getting 6 hours of sleep, I got up and going this morning and legged it down to the con with an even fuller pack than yesterday. Had all my stuff for Greg Rucka and Gail Simone to sign, and it weighed me down. Met up with some folks on the bus, and we traded imitations of Stan Lee, and then talked about the concept of Guido & Guido: Furniture Movers ("We will move your furniture! If you do not hire us, we will move your head up your ass!").

I arrived at around half past 11, about an hour and a half after the con had started. It was still pretty slow, which was good for me since it meant, surprise, no lines. Chatted a bit with Gail Simone, but I headed on as there were other people to see her.

I was just starting to say hi to Svetlana and her sister, Alexandra, who had arrived nearly at noon, when Heidi came over and told me that Patricia wanted to see me. Which...errr...well lets just say that I was thrown for a bit of a loop there. My odd feelings weren't helped my Patricia holding up her fingers in a cross sign. But it was OK, turns out she just wanted a better photograph of her than the one I took on Friday ( also turns out that her and Heidi went surfing over the photos I put on Flickr). After that I moved on

Stopped by and said hello to a few folks I'd met yesterday. Got in the line to see Greg Rucka, and we chatted a bit and he gave me short little personal messages in all the books I handed him...which thrilled me to no end. Dan Didio was sitting beside him, semi-incognito as he deliberatly wore his conbadge facing inwards. We chatted a bit about the best form for trying to break in to DC (send Dan a cover letter and a copy of your latest book). Greg's little personal notes really made my day, I gotta say. I was really glad that I talked to him yesterday and got my face, and my hat, known.

Chatted with Saul Colt from SSS a bit. Turns out that Saul had also wanted to bring his car in (his dirty, beat up old junker) and sell his comics out of the back of it, but Andy B., writer of Dead End 56 beat him to it. Though we joked that, given that Saul writes "Eclipse & Vega", selling his "super-smut" (he approved that word) out of the back of an old junker like some sort of back alley bootleg porn dealer would actually be somewhat appropriate.

Went over to Ray, Chip, Ramon Perez, Andy, and Cameron's lounge and took some pictures of it while I chatted with Ray about the state of things and what he thought of the convention. He thought, and actually a LOT of folks I talked to thought, that it was on the small side. Part of this, I think, is due to the size of the convention centre itself, which is just fucking HUGE. I also snapped some shots of Andy B's "booth babes", a pair of gals dressed in long skirts and tops with rollerskates, going around and hawking Dead End 56 for him.

After that I meandered over to try and get Darwyn Cooke's autograph on my two volumes of "DC: The New Frontier", but he was doing sketches for folks in line, so I eventually gave up and wound up talking to Diana Schutz, who seemed very happy with the photo I took of her and Heidi on Friday.

Went to some panels after that. Got in on the "Women in Comis: The New Mainstream" panel, notes of which will be forthcoming once I decipher my strange shorthand (which involves no vowels and where some appreviations can only be deciphered by their relation to other words around them). That featured Svetlana, Jill Thompson, Becky Cloonan, Jessica Abel, Linda Medley (Castle Waiting, Raina Taiglmeyer (The Babysitter's Club), Nicola Scott (an Australian artist coming to her first con who's working on Star Wars and will be doing an arc with Greg on Queen & Country), and hosted by mini-comics writer, and Women in Comics organizer, Diana Tamblyn. That panel went VERY well. I've got two FULL pages of notes on it, so its a bit much to all put down here. I'll be blogging the notes over on my blog, Chasing the Muse, in the next couple days.

Went back to the floor after that to socialize. Chatted with some guys over at Mr. Comics, and snapped some photos. They're a good crowd over there, and for anyone that isn't reading Planet of the Apes right now I HIGHLY recommend it...that and pretty much anything else thats coming out of Mr. Comics.

Caught the tail end of a manga panel, which I didn't take notes on, so all I can remember about the roster of writers on it was J. Torres, Svetlana, and Jim Zubkuvitch (who's name I've probably mangled...sorry, Jim!). I haven't seen Jim in nearly a year, so we chatted a bit afterwards, and I moved on to more panels.

After that I filtered over to ANOTHER panel with Jill and Becky in it, this one being "Going Vertigo", with Jill, Becky, Patricia, and Brian Azarello. I only have a page of notes for that one, with amusing quotes scrawled in the margins ("Being a girl in comics is like being a guy in comics...only with a period."-Becky Cloonan). While the previous panel focused on trying to get an idea of what the "mainstream" was and where it was going, this one more focused just on what the writers LIKED about Vertigo, and what Vertigo did for them. I made a comment, which Brian agreed with, that comics seem to be slowly returning to where they were pre-CCA with an upswing in things like horror comics, crime comics, romance comics, that kind of thing ("Vertigo is like cable TV...a lot of everything else is public access."-Brian Azarello).

Stuck around in that room for the final panel of the day, this one focusing on Sexy Chicks, the anthology of stories by women writers and artists that Diana edited. Yet another thing that I have two pages of notes from, though they're only vaugley more legible. The panel was Jill, Gail, Diana, and Amanda Connor. All four talked about their contributions to the book, where it came from, the controversy surrounding it at times, and the overall plans for it and where they thought it was going. From listening to them talk about it, I think that I will definitly be grabbing a copy of Sexy Chicks once I get a chance.

After that the TRUE fun began. The last panel let out at 6, and the con closed at 7, so I wandered around, met up with Jamie Coville, and chatted with Svetlana, her sister Alexandra, Chip, and Kathryn Williams, who explained to me about the concept of shoujo-ai manga (lesbian romance). Kathryn is VERY knowledgeable about her genre, and we talked about the difference between writing romance vs. writing porn (which is a problem she's running into with a lot of shows). I'm always amazed when I go to conventions about the sort of stuff that folks are knowledgeable about, and apparently Kathryn's an expert in her field and gives all sorts of lectures. Was a very interesting conversation.
Also chatted with Raina Taiglmeyer a bit about the differences between climate and transit in San Fransisco and Toronto. Raina, who's a 'Frisco native, told some amusing stories about living in a strange wonderland of mists and shadows, and I talked about, being a West Coast native myself (suburbs of Vancouver, Coquitlam represent!), the weird weather where I come from. We also talked about the transit system in Toronto, and how while the subway map might seem sparse, it covers most of the city and connects to everything else via streetcars and busses. I hope that Raina didn't get overly lost when she went to dinner at the Red Room.

Then the true amusement began. I left the Con and intended to wait around for the Schusters, but ended up helping a starving Heidi go and find food, which was a fun adventure in and of itself. Me and her (mostly her), walking along King Street singing the Mission: Impossible theme tune and trying to find a streetcar after grabbing food at Subway and Quizno's. I gotta say, that was a damn good time. Heidi is a PHENOMENALLY cool person, and any of you who haven't had the chance to meet her should do so at your earliest possible convenience.

We got back to the con JUST in time to grab a few standing spots at the back of the room for the Schusters. Heidi and Jamie Coville are the reporters, and I need to sleep soon to rest for Sunday's leg of the con, so I will leave the discussion of the Schusters in their capable hands. Suffice to say, they were very long. Dave Sim sung "My Way". Ed the Sock was dressed as the Golden Age Flash, and my feet hurt at the end. But I think I got decently clear pictures of most everything there.

After THAT I tagged along with Chip, Ray Fawkes, and Heidi and we went to the after-con party at Crocodile Rock. Its kind of a haze of good times and a lot of interesting talk and stories. Shot some pool with Svetlana and Alexandra (and a friend of theirs who I don't know the name of). Then there was karoake.

I got back from karoake about an hour ago. There was much singing, much dancing (for HOURS), and I got kissed by Chip Zdarsky before I left after a rousing rendition of the Back Street Boys "I Like it That Way" (or whatever its called).

Saturday ROCKED. Great day. I'll have photos loaded to Flickr tomorrow. Now I go sleep. Tired and dehydrated. tired...

Friday, April 28, 2006

Friday Con Report from Paradise Comics Toronto ComicCon 2006

First day is done and gone. I have run into no less than...6-10 Engineers already (Svetlana, Chip, Shawn, Eric, Heidi, Patricia, one guy who's name I'm blanking on, possibly a few others who I didn't realize were Engineers).

Svetlanda Chmakova and Shawn Richter are so far the only ones wearing Engine hoodies. I have an Engine card in the hat band of my topper.

Colleen is, I'm told, too ill to come, which really sucks and my hopes for a speedy recovery go out to her.

Chip has grown a beard and longer hair, and he and his friends (including Ramon Perez and Ray Fawkes) brought in some couches, a recliner, and a car. Heidi used this to get Diana Schutz of Dark Horse to head over, and they all seemed to be having a good chat.

It was, as Ty Templeton was telling me last night during class when everyone was talking about the con, pretty slow and pretty dead today. Which was nice. There was a LOT of time to mingle around and talk with folks. Even some of the big names (I just typoed that as "pig names", don't ask me why) like Greg Rucka and Jill Thompson had very short lines, if any lines at all, and were good for chatting with. Brian Azzarello, Jill, and Frank Cho all had small to mid lines at one point or another, but they breezed through those pretty quickly.

Greg has given me my quote of the day: "Writing is a sickness" (in regards to how he can go cold turkey and not write anything for a day or two, then he's about ready to commit bloody murder). Greg's wife thought she'd met me in San Diego. Apparently I look like other people now, an odd experience I shared with Jessica Abel, who looks EXACTLY like a girl I went to high school with.

Hung out a bit with Svetlana, who is VERY cool. She managed to score some copies of Dramacon, so I picked on up. Svetlana and Becky Cloonan are in like...half the pictures I took. They were EVERYWHERE (Svetlana's sister confided in me that Svet had taken her badge off and was trying to be "incognito"...which is a feat worthy of Odysseus when you're the only one in the building wearing a bright white hoodie).

Speaking of Becky, she's very cool, and did a little illustration in my Demo trade. She's got a new manga out (it might be an old manga...) about pirates which I'll probably grab a copy of tomorrow.

Shawn Richter has a zombie comic. Good ol' zombies. His table is close to Chip's "Couches o' Love", but just far enough away that all he can do is stare longingly at that little lounge (to be honest, its like Chip cut out the executive lounge from an airport, grooved it up, and smacked it down in the middle of Exhibition place), wondering just how much fun it must be over there, and no doubt making up stories to himself of how those couches must have lumpy cushions and dangerously sharp springs.

JMS showed up. He wasn't on the fliers or the posters. As far as I know he's just kind of appeared the past two years. It figures that not two days ago I brought all my Rising Stars trades home.

Stan Lee was not able to do his video conference, so apparently they've just stuck a prerecorded interview on "Continuous Loop", which has me thinking of that scene from Good Morning, Vietnam where Robin Williams splices apart a prerecorded Nixon interview to make the VP look very...candid...about his attributes.

Con ended at 8, and everyone headed back to the hotel for food, and I went to grab a bus back to my residence. I'm eating cashew orange chicken as I type this.

Tomorrow I hope to find people who wish to go eat dinner, as the show ends at 7pm.

Still no sign of the Enforcers yet. I have begun to wonder if they have acquired the ability to become invisible. I find this thought to be frightening beyond all words.

I have taken many pictures, just as I promised Maddie. If she would give me an adress, I will shrink and send them to her.

This has been your Friday Con Report.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I feel kinda dirty

I threw out books a few days ago.

Well, ok. Comic books. Most from the mid-90s. About superheroes. Mostly generic Marvel and DC superhero schlock, so really its not like I was throwing away anything INTERESTING.

I did, however, find my VERY FIRST comic book. X-Men #278, dated July 1991. I started reading comics when I was 7 years old. This July I will have been reading them for 15 years.


I also found my complete collection of the first 40 issues of Generation-X, which I used to be a HUGE fan of, as well as the four issue mini-series that led up to it. I mean...holy shit. I remember when I used to LIKE those comics (actually, some of them are still pretty amusing). Also found my quadruple boarded, double bagged copies of X-Men: Alpha, X-Men: Omega, and X-Men-Prime. The first two had chromium foil covers (I mean the covers were literally made of embossed, superdurable tinfoil), and the second had some weird painted on transparent plastic cover. I forgot I owned those.

Now I go back home tonight. And I'll be putting together a box of novels to pawn off to the local used book store in Oakville. I will not be selling textbooks. I actually still USE those (its true, I use all my Classical Civ textbooks from year to year for essay reference and exam prep).

Comic Con is coming up on Friday. I have a weekly pass on the TTC to save on transportation costs. I'll have about $50-60 after entrance fees to spend at the con. Probably grab a bootleg DVD and a few comics that the indie vendors are selling. I'm hoping to grab a copy of Svetlana Chmakova's OEL manga Dramacon, and Willow Dawson's slated to be there, so I guess I'll probably hang around and chat with her.

And somehow I've found myself promising Maddie Green from over on The Engine that I'll take pictures for her.

I am now one of the official Engine photographers for the con, it would seem. Still have not found a bar for us all to go drink at, yet. This is my failing, and my secret sin.

Well...not so secret anymore.

Going out to find food now. Slept through lunch. Then finish putting together this studyguide for my Roman Slavery class.


Friday, April 21, 2006


I came home at around midnight tonight, having arrived from Toronto, and was promptly informed by my father that I had to be out of the house by 9am so the realtor could show it to people.

Now I must get up two hours earlier than expected.


At least he gave me money. I actually need money. Might go to Starbucks, as has been suggested. I also have a prediliction, and I know how bad they are, for McDonalds' hashbrowns and sausage McMuffins. Do not know why. I will indulge that as well. Because.

Tomorrow I work. Not sure how long. I start at 11. Work till...whenever the chef tells me to go. Might be a split shift, in which case I'll probably work till 3 and be back at 5 or 6. Might just be a straight shift of 11 to 5 or 11 to 7 or whatever. Its a Friday, so if it covers dinner it'll probably end up as 11 to 5 or 11 to 8 (maybe 9). Probably put in between 4 and 10 hours tomorrow, depending.

I'm gonna go watch TV. Not quite sleepy yet.

Wasp sting has still not yielded superpowers. Marvel continues to lie.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Ok, I got the insect bite down...where are my goddamned superpowers?

I just got stung by a wasp. I'm feeling OK, I'm not allergic (that I know of), and it really doesn't hurt as much as I remember.

I'm phobic of wasps. I think I might have just had that cured, becuase this didn't hurt much more than a bad injection needle. A quick sting, flesh is a little tender in the sting area, and feels a little tight. Area is a little swollen, but not much.

I remember when I was a kid and this hurt like a bitch.

But my big thing is that...I don't feel any diffferent. I don't feel like I can suddenly fly, or shoot laser beams from my fingers, mouth, or ass, and I certainly don't feel like I have the proportional strength of a wasp.

I am dissapointed.

Marvel comics continues to lie to me.

Now I'm gonna go back to writing about Yakuza thugs beating up teenage manga cultists.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Micah (inevitable spoilers present)

I just read Laurell K. Hamilton's new Anita Blake novel, Micah today. By "read today" I mean, "read in two hours". Its not a dense book. In fact, its really like a stripped down version/return to some of her earlier works. Its got all the basic stuff that you need in an Anita Blake novel: guns, magic, zombies, sex and sexual tension, Anita quibbling about sex. It also brings up Anita's fear of flying and gets into Micah's history.

Its a FAST novel. I have to say that I haven't enjoyed some of the latest AB novels quite as much due to their density and the amount of sex in them...but density has been a factor. The novels up till Obsidian Butterfly were relativly short, and pretty concise. Things happened fast, but there was time for introspection and there was a lot of character development over the course of the books. The last few novels have gotten a bit bogged down in sex in such a way that there's been less characterization. I still like them, Hamilton's development of the magical aspects in the books are really nice, and she does write some interesting stuff in regards to vampire and lycanthropic politics.

Micah really moves back to some of the earlier novels. Its a little faster than I'd like. If the earlier novels were 3-4 issue plots, Micah is a single 22 page issue done between arcs to clear the air a bit. Like I said, its a little too fast, but it IS concise. Things move in a nice, linear line, like the gratuitous plot elements have been stripped away to leave bare the bones of the plot. It really feels like its leading up to something, like its really just a piece that needed to go in between Cerulean Sins and Danse Macabre to explain the development in Anita's powers and to develop her relationship with Micah. It also reveals a few interesting things about where Anita's body is going (not pregnant...but she does have her quirks, to which I will quote Mr. Burns: "You mean I'm invincible?" "No! God no! Your condition is very fra-" "Inveeeeeencible...").

Micah is notable among the books in that its the first time that Anita goes to a city and DOESN'T get involved in supernatural politics. She's there for less than a day, so its not THAT surprising. But still...I dunno. Lack of vampire or shifter politics made it feel a bit like a process story.

Still. There's magic, guns, and sex. There is only one sex scene, and its not too, too long, and pretty easy to skip over (I'm not real big into sex in novels...sometimes its OK, but its not really something I linger over). Really paired down, and there were a few plot threads I really would have liked it to elaborate on (though I get the impression that we haven't seen the last of Agent Franklin).

I'm gonna give it two and a half to three out of five stars. It wasn't as spectacular as many of Hamilton's earlier, pre-Obsidian Butterfly novels, and it just felt like it was missing something. On the other hand, it was a nice, fast read, and it was pretty enjoyable and engrossing enough while I was reading it. I just came away with the feeling that there should have been MORE. I'm hoping that Danse Macabre will be a bit longer and more detailed. Should be interesting to see.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Identity Arserape

So spake Warren Ellis at the Paradise Comics Toronto ComiCon last year.

So I sat around in Chapters on Saturday after the staff meeting at Abbey Grill and perused through a copy. For about half an hour.

Its...OK. Story is decent, but what it really amounts to is a redux of Watchmen. I mean, the writing's good, but I think that its hampered by the fact that its trying to put a dark twist on some very not-so-dark characters.


Ok, let me just clear things up for those of you who haven't read it:

Identity Crisis involves Sue Dibny's death, and the effect of this on the rest of the JLA. There's a lot of querying and villain hunting, as the heroes try to figure out who could have gotten into the Dibny house in Opal City without setting off any alarms or suchlike.

Green Arrow, Zatanna, Hawk Man, the Atom, Black Canary, Elongated Man, the Flash, and Green Lantern go off after Dr. Light, as it turns out that the good old dumbass raped Sue many years ago, and said Leaguers retalited by basically having Zatanna mystically lobotomize Dr. Light, turning him into a moronic supervillain. It also turns out that this isn't the only time these Leaguers have done this. Batman was also involved in the original fight after Sue was raped, but drew the line at mindwiping Light (who'd gone just completly off the deep end at that point and wanted to rape and murder all the family and loved ones of the JLA members).

Now, let me be clear: the Batman mindwipe was one time only, and for apparently 10 minutes in time. The JLA has NOT, contrary to some really weird rumors, been secretly controlling Batman for years, keeping him stupid. The JLA is not to blame for why Robin used to wear hot pants/short-shorts. That was just Bruce having issues.


It turns out in the end that Light didn't kill Sue. The Atom's ex-wife, Jean Lorring, did by stealing the Atom's costume and hopping down the phone lines into Sue's head, with the intention of just screwing with her brain a bit (they'd been arguing about something...I think the Atom might have been sleeping with her). She killed Sue, though, and then went back with a flamethrower to torch the body.

Why did she do all this? Because Jean Lorring is a Grade-A psychopath who thought that staging Sue's murder would bring happiness to the League's families and get the Atom back into her bed. DID work (everyone immediatly spent more time with their loved ones to protect them)...but it got a bit out of hand, what with the murder and all.

Oh, and Tim Drake's father gets killed by Captain Boomerang, who he shoots just before taking a razor boomerang to the chest. Boomerang, it turns out, also has a son. I'm trying to figure out who he bred with, but said son is a natural at throwing boomerangs...and has superspeed. Kind of scary, really.

Anyway...yeah. Series ends with Jean Lorring being locked up in Arkham, and Ray Palmer giving up being a superhero. Also, Plastic Man gets drunk and has delusions, being totally unable to cope with his wife's death, and starts having conversations with empty air. Down that path madness lies.

That was Identity Arserape. Really, redux of Watchmen. SOmeone the heroes know is killing them because killing heroes will make a better world. Some of the heroes have horrible pasts.

Oh, and I forgot one thing: And Superman, despite not really DOING anything, spends lots of screen time in Kansas. Why, I really don't know.

Oh, and I think it was suggested that Katana and Black Vulcan are sleeping together.

That is all for now.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Roll Wisdom to Disbelief 9am

I failed my Wisdom check this morning and thus failed to Disbelief in 9am.

First staff meeting at work went fine. Doughnuts.

I have three days until my final papers for two courses are due, and a final in-class test.

I haven't even begun writing either paper, or studying for the test. I am so fucked, lol.

Tomorrow I'll finish compiling research for both papers. Start writing on Monday afternoon. Hopefully finish MOnday night, maybe Tuesday afternoon. Finish Tuesday night. I have Monday lunch before class to finish nitpicking my English paper. I can do it (actually, most of the research for my Roman Slavery paper is already done, I've got all the books I need, I just need to spend 2-3 hours going through them, scanning them, and tagging them with Post-Its...English I've read both books, just need a thesis...paper will flow from there).

...and I need a new ink cartridge. Shit.

AH well. Work work work. When Thursday comes, and Ty's class (fourth class, I'm sad to see it half over but dear sweet God I have learned SO much its not funny), I will know that school is over, and exams are on their way. I just have to survive to THursday.

I wish we didn't have Consillium on the Boston chats on Monday night. Blah.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Deep Ones Sighted in Nepal

Go here and read.

And note the baby's vaugley batratchian appearence.

This is what I think that children in Innsmouth, Massechutas must look like. All of them.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Goddamned Daylight Savings TIme

I'm an hour behind on everything today. Got up at 2 in the afternoon. Needed to get up two hours earlier, which I would have if my clocks had changed over to alert me that it was 5am and not 4am. Dammit.

I hate daylight savings time. But I refuse to move to a place that disregards it, becuase they're just silly.