Monday, July 14, 2008

Etc.

As you may have noticed, I'm taking an extended hiatus as real life curve balls have left me scant time to read, review and post. Hopefully I'll be back when the time is right. Cheers, David.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Short Book Reviews

The Essential Batman Encyclopedia by Robert Greenberger - A handy and good looking reference for Batman fanatics that delves pretty deep into the characters populating the Bat-books through the decades. While I've read DC comics off and on since the 60s, I'm just a casual Batman reader, but much of the content here was just over my head.

This volume is written from the contemporary DC continuity perspective, i.e. everything printed in DC comics in the Golden Age of the 40's actually happened on Earth-2; not on our Earth. I found that to be rather jarring as Earth-2 was a 1960s invention. So much of the content here is twisty revisionist. I'd prefer reading historical entries in historical context.

For example, the entry under "Supergirl" starts off talking about Kara Zor-el (Power Girl) of Earth-2 and states (mistakenly) she was introduced in All-Star Comics #57 (1951). That would be before Supergirl was introduced. As far as I know, Power Girl was introduced
in All Star Comics #58 in 1976, a couple of decades after Supergirl debuted. I looked at a few other example entries and found other similar contextual (and perhaps typographical) errors, and other entries are fine if you can get past the revisionist writing.

Maybe it's just me, but it's weird to read that the Earth-2 Catwoman debuted in 1940. There was no Earth-2 in 1940! If I can get beyond that weirdness I guess It's OK.

Short Book Reviews

Savage Sword of Conan Vol. 1 by Various - I haven't gotten much reading done with the cross country move happening, but I did take this first volume of black and white reprints from the old Conan magazine with me on the flight to Portland, OR. It was a good travel companion, though I enjoyed it more to start with than toward the end. I wouldn't exactly say if you've read one of these stories, you've read them all... but maybe if you've read a dozen or so. There's some great art here from Smith, Buscema and Acala. Good enuf for Good Fun!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Update

Whew! Moving 2,300 miles is costly and exhausting work! But I'm done with it. I didn't miss the last couple of weeks of comics and am ready to write my reviews... but I've misplaced that stack somewhere in 14 long boxes. As I like to have the books I'm reviewing in hand when I'm writing, and searching through 14 long boxes sounds quite dreadful... I'll be back to reviewing comics next time I hit the comic shop.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Comic Book Reviews This Week

Metal Men 8 of 8 - This beautiful and complex Science Fiction tale comes to an end in a satisfying conclusion. The Metal Men have never been better. Much thanks to artist/writer Duncan Rouleau. This week's lot of books had quite a few endearing moments, but this successful mini-series just makes me want to read it again. (And I very rarely re-read comics) Cheers, Best of the Week!

Tor 1 of 6 - Joe Kuberts got a new comic out! Wee-dogie! Blissed out cave man goodness. Joe Kuberts got a new comic out! I'm dizzy with happiness. Excellent!

The War that Time Forgot 1 of 12 - Woot! Yet another kick off to a new mini-series that seems to be a lot of fun so far. Neal Adams cover to boot. Tanks vs. Dinosaurs? What more do you want in a comic? Excellent!

Madman 8 - Seems to be something of a transitional issues between story lines. There's 2 stories in this issue. The first is less successful; something of a college-aged existential plot. The back up story is much more fun and very silly. Good Fun!

The All New Atom 23 - I wasn't quiet sure what to make of the first couple of issues of Remenders story, but it hits its stride in this issue where the plot lines come together in a very action packed issue. Excellent!

Supergirl 29 - I'm enjoying this storyline. It keeps getting better. The art in this issue mostly looks pretty rushed and sloppy. This book could use a new artist. It's OK.

Secret Invasion 2 of 8 - Lots of fighting in this issue. Apparently the current Hawkeye is wearing a horrible god-awful costume and calling himself Ronin. The big moment of this issue is Hawkeye's wife is back from the dead. Umm. Don't know who she is. Didn't know he was married. So that emotional impact didn't resonate for me. I'm just hoping the jolly Avengers era Beast is the real deal. They should get rid of the brooding cat-man Beast that is running around.
I still don't get how all these Skrulls have super-powers on top of shape-shifting. But maybe that will be explained at some point. It's OK.

Countdown to Mystery 7 of 8 - It seems like it's been a long time since the last issue. This one's pretty fun and I enjoyed the new artist on the Spectre segment. Good Fun!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Comic Book Reviews This Week

Action Comics 864 - A nice epilogue to the Legion/Superman crossover and as a prologue for the upcoming Legion of Three Worlds mini series. It also ties up a couple of loose ends from the apparently awful Countdown series. There's a fill in artist here that just awful. (Any artist that gives Batman the pointy under the cape shoulder pads rates as awful in my book.) Much more successful than the DC Universe 0 from this week at tidying up the DC storylines and teasing for what's to come. Cheers, Best of Week!

DC Universe 0 - Ummm. Totally not what I expected from this book. There's no story and no jumping on place for new readers, so in that sense this book's a great disaster. It's basically a series of ads for several mini-series from DC. Marvel did a much better job with something like this with the freebie intro to the Secret Invasion. I must admit however that most of the mini's advertised here look pretty good. The last few pages seem to imply that Barry Allen is making a return, which pleases me. It's taken way to long for that to happen, and I for one will be glad to have him back. But paying for ads? Really? That pretty much Stinks!

Legion of Super Heroes 41 - Another solid issue in the continuing storyline. Tho, already I'm getting pretty sick of the silly made up future language slang. It's overdone. C'mon Jim Shooter, you're old enough to use your grown up words. That minor complaint aside, it's still Good Fun!

JSA Classified 37 - OK maybe this should be my pick of the week. It's certainly got the best art/story/color/inking combo of this weeks lot. And is certainly one of my favorite little storylines of this year so far. I'm a fan of the Golden Age homage style story and this here's been a beautiful example featuring Wildcat. This 3 parter is a lovely example of super hero storytelling at it's very best. Beyond Highly Recommended.

Green Lantern 30 -
So I was pretty unimpressed with the previous issue of the Secret Origin, but this issue more than makes up for it. More great story from Johns and artist Reis seems to be getting better and better. Looks like this is going to be a great arc. Excellent!

Teen Titans Year One 4 - The fun continues in this nifty mini. I sure think it would be cool if these Teen Titans had their own regular series. Perhaps I'm stuck in the past but I'd sure like to see the whole Titans franchise get reset. Why is it this is the only DC property that's never been reset? Good Fun!

Thor Ages of Thunder One Shot - Looks pretty but is filled with stuffy staid narration. Eh, It's OK.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Short Book Reviews

Marvel Masterworks - The Incredible Hulk Vol. 4 - I picked this up on sale and I'm REALLY glad I did. I'd forgotten how much I loved the Marie and John Severin and Herb Trimpe's art work on the Hulk. When I think of the Hulk it's those artists that own him for me. (Much like John Buscema on the Avengers.) The stories here are a bit rudimentary but that still works the HULK SMASH gusto. I totally loved this volume. Sublime and Highly Recommended!

Short Book Reviews

The All New Atom Vol 1 by Byrne, Simone and various - OK I freely admit I'm a Johnny Come Lately to this title. I've only started picking it up because I'm a fan of Rick Remender, the current writer of the monthly. So I decided to go back and read this to see how the series got started. I found this to be a fairly enjoyable read, but was not blown away by it. I'm happy to stick with the Remender issues. It's just OK.

Short Book Reviews

Legion of Super-Heroes - Tomorrow's Heroes - Vol One by Various - I've much enjoyed the few episodes of the TV cartoon this collection is based upon. A nice introduction to a new and younger audience, this collection of the monthly comic is a solid companion piece for the TV show. As a Legion fan I'm sad that the cartoon has been canceled but perhaps this series will continue. Great for kids. Good Fun!

Short Book Reviews

Excavation by James Rollins - This here was the 2nd book published under the Rollins moniker. It's a fun pager-turning science fiction adventure thriller. While not one of my favorite Rollins, I still enjoyed it from start to finish. I'm looking forward to getting back to the Sigma Force series, which I like a lot more. Mostly Good Fun!

Short Book Reviews

The Plutonium Blonde by John Zakour and Lawrence Ganem - Continuing on with my reading of cross-genre hybrids, this hard-boiled SciFi mystery is most notable for it's humor. While some of the jokes are a bit juvenile, they come and go so swiftly there's enough jokes of a wide variety to please just about anyone. I laughed out loud at this book more than anything I've read since that last David Sedaris book I picked up. Packaged with a neat plot and great characters, this books a winner. Really great cover art by Michael Koelsch too. Highly Recommended!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Comic Book Reviews This Week

X-men First Class 11 - It's been a while since I've read this title, but I thumbed through at the store and couldn't put it down again. I was totally grabbed by the very charming art by Nick (sign me up for the Fan Club) Dragotta, whose style is quite his own but lies in the same neighborhood of Mike Allred and Cliff Chiang. Coupled with Jeff Walker's tight witty alternative universe story, this single issue just might be the best comic I've read this year. Highly Recommended and Cheers, Best of the Week!

Batman 675 - Continuing the long prelude to the Batman R.I.P., Grant Morrison's run here just seems to be getting better, deeper and more complex, even tho this issue seemed a bit sparse and brief; it's still an interesting story. The fill in artist's very angular and hard lines didn't really appeal to me, but I'm sure to be back next month. Good Fun!

Wolverine First Class 2
- Another slight but enjoyable caper from Van Lente for Kitty Pride and Wolverine which has a nice pay off chuckle at the end. I like this book, but I'm betting it's going to be collected in one of those little digest sized (Marvel Adventures style) paperback at a better price, so I'm not going to pick it up again. I'll just wait for a cheaper edition. Good Fun!

Hulk Vs Hercules -
w00t! A double shot of Van Lente this week as the scribe teams up with Pak for this awesome slug fest that's a necessity for Herc and Hulk readers. Nothing huge happens but this is a lot of fun for the fans. Excellent!

Justice League of America 20 - Bugger me! I'd thought I'd left this back at the store but it wormed it's way into my pile. Sneaky bastard! It's an awful issue. I totally hate Van Scivers art and do my best to avoid it. (Just look at Queen Bee's head on the cover... it's like 3 sizes too large for her body.) Stupid story to boot. Guess I should drop this title, I just keep complaining about it. Pee-U! Stinks like Limberger!

Thor 8 - A pretty solid issue here with a title that sure seems to be growing me for the most part. Good art again and improving storyline. Wraps up a 2 parter Odin dialog, and reintroduces Lady Sif and Jane Foster. I'd just love to see an issue of this where a lot happens swiftly. Pacing is still a bit of a chore, as can the sometime stilted dialog. There's a few good ideas floated in this title with a lot of fluff surrounding them.This book needs to cut the fluff and kick up the pace, but for now it's Good Fun!



Here's a small sample of Nick Dragotta's X-men art I liked so much.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Comic Book Reviews This Week

The Flash 239 - For a title I started buying on a whim a few months ago I keep finding more and more to enjoy here. I'm loving the story arc with the creepy villain. This weeks releases have a couple of my favorite titles with Fear Agent and The Brave and the Bold, but somehow The Flash comes out on top here and again gets my Cheers! Best of the Week!

The Brave and the Bold 12 - A solid conclusion to this really enjoyable 12 parter. Definitely will have to keep it in mind for the year end best of list. The story seems to want a epiloge but maybe that's coming somewhere down the pipeline. Recommended!

Fear Agent 20 - I love me some Fear Agent and this Hatchet Job storyline is outstandingly dramatic and angsty, with more surprising twists and turns. This storyline's getting pretty dark and heavy, I hope Heath Hudson gets a bit more adventure and a few laughs at some point. Recommended!

Superman 675 - Really great Ross cover on this one, and it's a pretty good story inside to boot. I really enjoyed the villain Paragon who's a great character with some really funny lines. I'd sure like to see more of him. Still don't get who the child is that is living with Lois and Clark but he's apparently another Kryptonian. Good Fun!

The Incredible Hercules 116 - Bah! Crossovers! Since Hercules took over this title it's been one of my favorites. So far it's been speeding along with great art and slambang storytelling. We've got a new artist here (who's actually quite good) but the story seems to be taking a detour for the Skrull crossover event and momentum is seems a bit off track from the previous issues. Still it's Good Fun!

Hey... good stack of comics this week. I actually liked all of them!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Comic Book Reviews from Last Week

Green Arrow and Black Canary 7 - Holy Smoke! I'm a full week late getting these posted. I've been busy house hunting and otherwise occupied. This issue provided me with several laugh out loud moment, more great art from Chiang, a swell guest appearance from Hal Jordan and nice developments in the continuing storyline. Easily wins my Cheers! Best of the Week!

The Amazing Spider-Man 556 - Coming in a close 2nd, I quiet enjoyed this second chapter of a Bachalo illustrated Spidey story. I'm not sure I'll follow this title when the artist changes, but for now I'm on board and digging it. Excellent!

Wonder Woman 19 - I thought I'd drop this when the Dodson's left the art chores, but it seems I'm enjoying the new artist and the Gail Simone story so far. Nice ending to a 2 part story and I'll be back next month for more. Good Fun!

Fantastic Four 556 - Horrible colors doom the art here. It's so muddy, it's impossible to tell what's going on action-wise. Miller and Hitch have done some great work in the past. But whatever it is they're aiming for here just isn't working. This one's a mess best to be avoided. Didn't an editor proof this? Stinks!

Justice Society of America 14 - Guess the most striking thing about this issue is the weird thigh garters Hawkman is wearing on the cover. Guess he's got droopy hose. Then there's the unflatteringly strange pointy cape on shoulders that Sandman and Dr. Mid-nite sport. Johns is writing some great stories these days, but this one's not one of them. There's too much and not enough going on. This storyline is going on way too long with too little momentum. The previous title JSA was much better than this one.
Again Disappointing!

Titans 1 - What a horrible issue for a first one. The majority of the pages are one panel and for $3.50 it feels like a gyp. I really hate Churchill's art and am glad there's a different artist starting next issue. Tho, I must confess Beast Boy looks pretty cute with the long sideburns. Not much of a story here, but I am enjoying Winicks Green Arrow and Black Canary so I'll give this one a chance to improve. I've never been much of a fan of the whole Nightwing concept (it might be the sucky costume) and hope Dick Grayson gets an evolution here of some kind. Like why can't he be Red Robin? Also, some nobody Titans have survived the aftermath of the Titans East Special that was part one of this story. That's too bad; I'd have liked them to stay dead. Very Disappointing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Short Book Reviews

Donovan's Brain by Curt Siodmak - It's easy to see why this novel from 1942 has it's cult status and is still a fairly entertaining read. Siodmak was a screenwriter (as well as a novelist) most notably for The Wolfman and I Walked with a Zombie. Equal parts SciFi and Horror, Donovan's Brain certainly has nice plotting, tho I didn't quite buy the ending which seemed a wee bit out of tune with the rest of the story. If you're a fan of classic monster movies, you'll enjoy this novel. Stephen King is on record as a fan of this one. I thought it was fairly Good Fun!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Comic Book Reviews This Week

Action Comics 863 - This landmark story arc comes to a great conclusion! And we get a nice teaser for Final Crisis Legion of Three Worlds, which I assume is a mini-series and is coming in August. It will be from Geoff Johns and George Perez. That's pretty neat. I don't recall Perez ever doing a Legion series, but he seem perfect for this project. Guess I'm not so mad that he left Brave and the Bold now. Cheers! Best of the Week!

Metal Men 7 - I still think this is like reading a Charles Stross SciFi novel. It's complex, heartfelt, intensely creative and beautiful to look at. Plus it's got a couple of chuckles. Perfection and Recommended!

Secret Invasion 1 - While the dialog was mostly off-character, the plotting here was suprisingly enjoyable. I really liked seeing the standard issue Marvel heroes getting off the crashed Skrull ship, but I have a feeling that this series will ultimately disappoint me. The Marvel Universe direly needs to be reset and seeing these classic heroes again, including the Avengers-era Beast (woo-hoo!) just reinforces that opinion. I sure am rooting for Skrull ship castaways. Death to the New Avengers! It's OK.

Supergirl 28 - Ah, finally. I'm glad I stuck to this title as this issues is the best yet from this recent creative team. Looks like we're going to get a decent story arc out of them. Improving and pretty Good!

Amazing Spider-man 555 - I have not read this title for a really long time, but picked it up cuz I like Bachalo's artwork. Pretty good story so far and I, for one, am glad at least Spider-man's part of the Marvel Universe has been reset to the roots. Just wish they'd do the same for the Avengers and the X-men. Good!

Young Avengers Presents Wiccan and Speed - I have not been reading this mini, but picked it up cuz I like these young gay heroes a bunch and quite enjoyed the searching for the Scarlet Witch plotline. Excellent!

Wolverine First Class 1 - This came out last week but went back to pick it up cuz the writer is part of the Hercules team, and that's been very good. This is a nice throw back to the classic new X-men era and a pretty decent story. Not sure if I'll follow this title, but... I just might. Wolverine and Kitty Pride are a pretty good duo. Very Good!

The All New Atom 22 - More SciFi adventure from Remender! I'm liking this so far and look forward to the next issue. Very Good!

Green Lantern 29 - Ummm. This one's kind of a retread of stuff old Green Lantern fans already know. I'm not happy artist McKone is gone and that Reis is back. I'm not a Reis fan and would much rather see just about ANY other artist on here. The storyline will prolly improve... but this ones Disappointing.

Project Superpowers 2 - This one's OK. It's kind of weird that The Flame is featured on the cover and is barely in the issue which has more Samson either him or the Devil. Plotting is a bit slow, but it's OK... I think. Might drop this next issue if it doesn't improve.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Short Book Reviews

Thraxas by Martin Scott - I really enjoyed Alex Bledsoe's The Sword-Edged Blonde and I've been searching for other novels in that Hard-boiled fantasy sub-genre. This World Fantasy award winner from 2000 certainly fits the bill and is a real entertaining gem. Look past the ugly covers on the various editions of this book; it sure is sweet inside. While I didn't find it as funny as the blubs suggested, it's a good adventure with great characters. This one is out of print and used copy are a bit pricey at the usual online outlets. The Baen edition is a twofer and includes the second novel, Thraxas and the Warrior Monks. Highly Recommended.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Short Book Reviews

Second Contact by Mike Resnick - I'm apparently on a SciFi/Fantasy mystery kick. I found this potboiler SciFi mystery-thriller hanging out on my bookcase and dived right in. It's got a good set-up (starship Captain kills two crewmen), likable protagonists and an unexpected conclusion but the journey between the set up and the ending gets a bit long winded about 3/4 of the way. It's not really an outer space adventure as the cover implies; it's quite Earthbound and set in the near future. This one, maybe more than any of the other Resnicks I've read, would make a pretty nifty movie. Good Fun!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Short Book Reviews

Illegal Alien by Robert J. Sawyer - I love a good SciFi mystery. Sawyer does another bang up job here with a neat surprise ending in this courtroom novel from 1997. Looks like Sawyer's next novel Wake won't be published until spring 09, but it will be serialized in Analog magazine this fall. Luckily there's still a few of his books I have yet to read. Reading one good SciFi mystery just makes me want to read another. (Which reminds me that I'm anxiously awaiting Warren Hammond's Ex-COP.) This one is certainly Good Fun!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Comic Book Review This Week

All Star Superman 10 - More sublime perfection from Grant Morrison, Frank Quietly and team. The only bad thing about this title is that it's ending in a couple of issues. In a class by itself, this will be read for many years to come. With the end in sight I'm wondering what is next for Morrison and Quietly? Cheers! Best of the Week!

Legion of Super Heroes 40 - Honestly I nearly enjoyed this one as much as Superman, but I'm a Legion nut. Still think it's nearly the best Legion since the early 70s. Excellent!

World of Warcraft 5 - OK, I've come to the realization that althought I sometimes enjoy the art here, more often than not I find it confuses the action of the story. The art should enhance the story. It just doesn't here. This one's plots OK. I just wish I could tell what I'm looking at. Disappointing.

JSA Classified 36 - This here's part 2 0f 3 of a Wildcat story that surprised me last month. This one's got Wildcat teamed up with Catwoman and I enjoyed this one a lot too. Really neat artwork, and I hope to see more from Ramon Perez. Excellent!

Next Issue Project #1 (Fantastic Comics #24) - This one wasn't release this week, but I picked it up because my comic book store was sold out of the new Green Lantern. It's an odd size book, which I assume to be golden age and it's a big 64 pages. I really enjoyed most of it, but it's most notable for the Mike and Laura Allred Stardust story. Nine stories altogether and a couple were dogs (the last story makes no sense and is mostly in German). Good Fun!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Short Book Reviews

Stalking the Unicorn by Mike Resnick - Since I enjoyed The Dragon Done It so much I decided to plunge full into Resnick's classic John Justin Mallory novel from 1987. It's a very enjoyable fantasy detective adventure brimming with Renick's trademark snappy dialog and genial attitude. This novel's been out of print for a while, but Pyr is bringing it back with this great new cover pictured here (not sure who the artist is) in August. I am looking forward to reading it's sequel Stalking the Vampire which is also due in August from Pyr. Recommended!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Short Book Reviews

The Dragon Done It - Edited by Mike Resnick and Eric Flint - While I've come to be a big Mike Resnick fan over the last few years, I've never picked up any of the anthologies that he's edited before this one. I'm not huge fan of multi-author collections, as I tend to pick a few selections to read and pass on the majority. However, I read and enjoyed all but 2 of these stories collected here, and will eagerly pick up more of his editorial collections. My favorite stories in this collection were from Resnick himself, William Hope Hodgson, Laura Resnick, Ron Goulart, Randall Garrett, Esther M. Friesner, Graham Edwards, Neil Gaiman, David Kirtley and Dave Freer with Eric Flint. I had a couple quibbles with the collection. There's no introductions to each of the stories, and I would have liked to read something about the authors, as many were unknown to me. Also, given the fantasy detective theme it would have been nice to see stories by Glen Cook, Martin Scott and Alex Bledsoe. Quite enjoyable and Recommended!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Comic Book Reviews This Week

Flash 238 - I've had a fever for most of the week and it took me a while to get thru this weeks releases. It was another solidly entertaining week, but for my fevered and drug addled mind this one was the pick of the litter. The best yet for Payer and Williams II. Nifty little superhero story, solid art and great eye popping colors. This ones everything a superhero book ought to be. Cheers! Best of the Week!

Warbound 4 0f 5 - Continues with characters from World War Hulk. I was scratching my head at the end of this one. Hiroim is killed then revives for no explained reason. Maybe this will be explained next issue? Still enjoying Kirks art as always tho. Mostly good fun, and a wee bit Disappointing.

Justice League of America 19 - An moderately entertaining wrap up of the previous issue's storyline. This book is pretty decent. But it certainly could be better. I'm ready for a new artist here. Like that one who did a couple of back up stories, or the artist that's doing Wildcat in JSA Classified. Nearly Good Fun!

Brave and the Bold 11 - Hunh. No George Perez, but new artist Ordway is a pretty good fit to finish off the story arc. Seems kind of dumb that DC wouldn't let Perez do 2 more issues here. Not my favorite issue of the series but it's still one of the best out there. Excellent!

Thor 7 - Seems to be the opening of a new arc now that Thor has wished Asgard back into existence. Nice looking fill-in (?) art by Djurdjevic and a plot that's moving forward towards, ummm, something. Maybe I'm finally warming up to this title, but I liked it this month. Good Fun!

The Incredible Hercules 115 - Marvel's best title just keeps perking along. You're a Marvel fan and you're not reading this? Shame on you. Excellent!

Fear Agent 19 - My hard-on for Heath Hudson continues, ahem, unabated. I'm dizzy, pass me the oxygen tank. Thanks for printing my letter, Rick! Sublime!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Comic Book Reviews This Week

Green Arrow and Black Canary 6 - Another good solid week for comics, but no real stand outs for me. I think I liked this one best but I'm partial to the artist and liked the twist at the end. Maybe the best issue so far. So, gets my Cheers! Best of the Week!

JLA Classified 54 - This is the final issue of this title and it's nice it's gone out on a high note, perhaps the best story arc since the one that kicked off the series. Good Fun!

Justice League The New Frontier - A swell companion piece to the sublime cartoon movie also released this week. Sweet content as well as nifty and timely marketing. Had to search pretty hard for this one. Excellent!

Teen Titans Year One 3 - Bah this series is halfway over! I'd love to see this creative team make it an on-going title instead of a mini. Love this book! Excellent!

Countdown to Mystery 6 - A really good issue. My heart goes out to Steve Gerbers family and friends. I miss him already. I hope DC does this title justice with a smash bang ending. Excellent!

Wonder Woman 18 - I was going to drop this title since the Dodsons have left for Marvel, but I'm glad I picked it up. I think I'll like this storyline better than the previous one. A nice surprise. Excellent!

Fantastic Four 555 - A fairly enjoyable chapter 2, tho I find the drab colors to be distracting. This could go either way, but for now it's Good fun!

Madman 7 - Ummm. It's a no dialog issue that comes off more like an experiment than a success. I found it to be a bit hard to follow. Why not use a few thought balloons? Disappointing.

Avengers Fairy Tales 1 - Somewhat charming with some lovely visuals this nearly sated my craving for the real Avengers in a take off on Peter Pan. Good fun!

Supergirl 27 -
I read a few awful reviews on this issue before I read it, but I rather liked it. It's much better than the last handful of issues, but I wouldn't protest if they put a new writer on here. Good Fun!

The Last Defenders 1 - I like parts and hated other parts, so I doubt if I'll pick this up again. But maybe I'll change my mind in 4 weeks. It's almost OK.

Superman 674 - I have not read this title in a long time, so I'm not sure what's going on here. Clark and Lois have a child now? Where'd he come from? Hate that the Fortress looks like the cheap styrafoam sets from those awful 70s movies. And it looks like Mon-el is back in the Phantom Zone with his lead problem. Didn't they cure that like, umm... 45 years ago? What's up with that? Confused.

Short Book Reviews

Scavenger by David Morrell - This is the sequel to the Bram Stoker Award-winning thriller Creepers. Like its predecessor Scavenger is a straight up page-turning non-supernatural thriller in which our heroes are manipulated by a insane game playing evil genius. It's quite outlandish in concept but the execution is a highly readable adventure. Not quite as good as Creepers, it's still nearly Good Fun!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Short Book Reviews

Trumps of Doom by Roger Zelazny - Wow. It's been 30 years since I read the first 5 Amber books, and I remember enjoying them a lot. That's all I remember about them which is to say, Nothing. Picking up this 6th book after so long proved to be something of a mistake. I just wasn't really drawn into it. Maybe some day I'll go back and reread the series from the beginning. Until then, this one's Disappointing.

Short Book Reviews

Fiends by John Farris - I've read several John Farris books and enjoyed them quite a bit. This thick book had me swiftly turning the pages with an inventive, original and creepy supernatural threat (Eve's "unwashed" children want your skin!) battling down homespun heroes but it never quite elevates above it's monster movie trappings. I easily recommend some of Farris' other books but I wouldn't start here. It's good for what it is, and better than other horror novels, but for me It's just OK.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Comic Book Reviews This Week

Green Lantern 28 - OK, I'm running a bit late on getting this weeks comics posted. I got to Comic Quest a couple of days late and 3 of my titles were sold out, so some disappointment there. As for this weeks Green Lantern, I'm enjoying the fallout from the Sinestro Corps War more than I did that storyline. Geoff Johns is building nicely from the ashes of the War. I love this title once again. Cheers, Best of the Week!

The All New Atom 21 - Rick Remender's first issue here is a good jumping on place for readers of the new Atom. I've been looking forward to Remender's take on a DC hero and he doesn't disappoint. I'm on board for as long as Remenders runs lasts. Good Fun!

Cable 1 - I'm a huge fan of writer Swierczynski's novel The Blonde and have been looking forward to reading this on-going title. Perhaps I was expecting too much but I was much disappointed. There's just not enough going on here for $3. If you read the first panel and the last panel you pretty much have the whole story. I usually like Olivetti's art but it looks cartoons pasted on Photoshoped photo backgrounds here. Maybe I'll read this as a collection... if I find it used. Disappointing.

Secret Invasion Saga - This here's a good idea. A free the-story-so-far in advance of Marvel's next event series. Much of it for me was a repeat but it's certainly good marketing. I'm not sure I'm very much into reading the Secret Invasion series as it's drawn by L. Yu. But maybe I'll be swayed into picking up the series. It's OK.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Short Book Reviews

Subterranean by James Rollins - I enjoyed Rollins most recent novel The Judas Strain so much I've decided to go back and read his older novels. This one is his first as Rollins from 1999 (not including the books written under his James Clemens alias). It's pretty much a update of Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth concept, but it works well as a page-turning pulpy SciFi action adventure thriller. I'm quiet tempted to pick up another Rollins straight away, so I guess it's a salty pretzel of a novel. It's hard to read just one. Good Fun!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Etc.

Seems like just last week I was lamenting KILLER ROBOTS, and the lack of ray guns and a jet pack. Guess now I can check off RAY GUNS off that list. I wonder if I can order an Active Denial System on Amazon? But then maybe I'll just wait for the pocket sized version.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Short Book Reviews

The Price by Alexandra Sokoloff - Blue-blooded, old-moneyed, movie-star handsome, crusading district attorney running-for-governor Will Sullivan is faced with a dying daughter, a creepy hospital, a wife with secrets and hallucinatory supernatural mystery man. I greatly enjoyed the Sokoloff's first novel The Harrowing and was looking forward to this one quite a bit and I liked this one too. It's perhaps a old-fashioned style of horror thriller which I rather prefer. I'd think Graham Masterton fans would enjoy this one. Good Fun!

Short Book Reviews

B.P.R.D. Vol 7 Garden of Souls by Mignola, Arcudi and Davis - I greatly enjoyed the previous volume of B.P.R.D., The Universal Machine, which was a solid read collected in one volume. This on the other hand is a bit of a disappointment. I have not been a faithful reader of this title and my lack of knowledge or my poor memory hindered this story. Quite a bit is referenced from previous plot lines and this story is not as tight as the Universal Machine. Still it has its highlights as Abe Sapien gets the spotlight and contains some cool steampunky villains and creatures. Hellboy does not make an appearance. It's just OK.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Comic Book Review This Week

Action Comics 862 - Brilliantly continuing the Superman/Legion of Super-Heroes team-up Frank and Johns provide more great entertainment. This version of the Legion seems more like the real deal than the one that's in the current reboot of their own titled monthly (which I'm also enjoying greatly). I'm wondering what's next for this Legion. I certainly hope it's not the last we'll see of them. For me it was a big week in comics and there was a lot to admire, so the competition was very strong. Nonetheless this one grabs, Cheers! Best of the Week.

JSA Classified 35 - This first of a three part story featuring Wildcat was an unexpected and lovely gem. A solid start to the story by B. Clay Moore; sublime art by Ramon Perez exceptionally colored by Dave McCaig. I totally loved this one and it reminded me of the sublime Batgirl: Year One mini-series. Excellent!

Legion of Super-Heroes 39 - Another great issue from the new creative team. It's certainly a good time for Legion fans like myself. Excellent!

The Engineer 2 of 3 - Another title I'm really loving. It reminds me of the "Leave it to Chance" series from a few years ago that I still miss. I certainly hope Archaia Studios gives the Engineer another series. Excellent!

RASL 1 - Yay! Jeff Smith's got a new on-going title that's not Bone. Pretty exciting news for Jeff Smith's fans. Is it good? You bet. Just wish it was in color. And the next issue isn't due for another 3 months. You'd think with all that time between issues they could spare a bit of time for a colorist. Excellent!

Project Superpowers 1 - While I was disappointed with the issue 0 of this title, I like this one pretty well. I think I'll stick around and will be picking up the next issue. Good Fun!

Batman 674 - As a guy that's not much of a Batman fan for the last couple of decades, I'm really liking this Grant Morrison and Tony Daniel storyline. Bat-mite rocks! And so does this title. Excellent!

Thor 6 - It's still really pretty to look at and 6 months into this title Thor is still rebuilding Asgard. When's he going to fight some villian? Glacial beauty and pacing. It's OK.

Justice Society of America 13 - Really great Alex Ross cover. Inside there's finally some acknowledgment of how crazily large the Society has grown. Plot moves a bit, but is still seeming rather unwieldy. Still on the fence with the storyline. It's OK.

X-men Legacy 208 - Ummm. Not sure what to think about this one. Guess my first impression was it's better than the Messiah Complex event. I'm just not sure what it's all about. Like why tack on Legacy to the title? Is this going to be an monthly recap of past X-men plotlines? What's the point of that? I'm guessing it's going to ultimately lead up to another big X-men event or just fizzle into silly dream-logic nonsense. So, I guess It's OK.

Kick-Ass 1 - I'm pretty indifferent to this issue. It didn't really grab me and I doubt if I'll pick it up again. Maybe I'll change my mind. It's almost OK.

JLA Classified 53 - I'm stilling enjoying the Stern and Byrne run more than the regular Justice League title. I'd love to see these fellas produce some more League storylines. Excellent!

Warbound 3 of 5 - I guess I missed picking this one up last week, and I'm glad I grabbed it yesterday. Pak and Kirk are an awesome team and I'm enjoying this mini quite a bit. I like Pak's Hercules a whole lot more, but he's doing a great job here as well. Excellent!

Nexus 100 -

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Short Book Reviews

The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson - (unrevised edition) Much has been written about this fantasy classic from 1954. Notably from Michael Moorcock at the Guardian and the SFSite has posted an interesting review as well. I found this novel to be a brutally operatic folktale of faerie set in the Dane invaded England, which made it a great companion piece for reading along side Bernard Cornwell's on-going Saxon Chronicles. At times the archaic prose was a wee bit awkward but it usually enhances an authentic vibe to the bloody tale. If you are a fan of Norse myth, Vikings or Steven Erickson's Malazan novels, you will want to read this timeless classic. Highly Recommended!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Etc.

In case you are running short of things to worry about, you may now add KILLER ROBOTS to your list. And here I am still waiting for my ray gun and jet pack.

Short Book Reviews

Fantastic Four Visionaries - John Byrne, Vol. 1 - By 1981 when John Bryne started this five year run on FF, I was in high school and had mostly stopped reading comic books, so this collection was all new to me. I had a real good time reading it. It's not nearly as monumental as the original run of Lee and Kirby of course, but it is solidly entertaining. I'm looking forward to reading more of these collections. Good Fun!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Short Book Reviews

A Fate Worse Than Dragons by John Moore - This novel was billed as a fairy tale parody. It's not a parody, it's a uninspired situation comedy. It's mostly good natured, yet I found it to be subtlety offensive when it relied on tired gay stereotypes from 100 years ago. If this novel had made jokes out of another minority stereotype (for example African-Americans, Jews or Asians) it would have never seen print. I think it would be fun to read a parody of Erikson's Malazan Books of the Fallen or Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice or even Robert Jordan or Terry Goodkind. There's plenty of current fantasy that could be a ripe field for humorous material. Unfortunately this writer totally misses the boat. Pretty lame and it Stinks!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Short Book Reviews

Children of the Night by John Blackburn - This science fiction/horror novel was published in 1966 and later broadly adapted in film with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing as The Devil's Undead (aka Nothing But the Night) in 1972. Charmingly British and somewhat dated, I found this to be quite a page-turning read even though I was let down a wee bit in the third act. Billed as a horror novel, it's more of a science fiction thriller involving Middle-Age cults, mind control and mutants and a forerunner of The Hills Have Eyes. Dated but nearly Good Fun!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Short Book Reviews

The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison - This here thrifty nugget of charm and adventure is nearly 50 years old, and is still a totally entertaining story about an intergalactic con-man turned space cop. Older science fiction can all to easily read as a dated artifact with a all too short expiration date. That's just not the case here. What you get here is a fun, inventive, pulpy space romp. I've never read Harrison before, and I'm glad I did. I'll definitely be reading more of his work. Much thanks to Carl V. for the suggestion. Highly Recommended!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Comic Book Reviews This Fortnight

Incredible Hercules 114 - Writer Pak and his art team continue to entertain and intrigue. Pak really knows how to tell a great story and I really need to search out what other work he's done aside from the World War Hulk stuff. While I haven't been too keen on much from Marvel lately. I sure do dig this one. Cheers, Best of the Fortnight!

Brave and the Bold 10 - Damn I love this book which is every bit as good as the Hercules. I read the other day that Perez has been taken off this title for another project which is a real shame. For my money, it's his best work in years. Hopefully he'll return to Brave and Bold in short order. Excellent!

Justice League of America 18 - While I've been disappointed with the last couple of issues of this title, it seems to have regained its footing and I enjoyed this one. Good Fun!

Perhapanauts Annual 1 - I've noticed this title in the past but never picked it up. The Mike Allred cover got me to buy it and I'm very glad it did. I quite enjoyed the story and the artwork, and I intend to pick up the collected Dark Horse volumes. I'll be checking out the new on-going as well. Excellent!

World of Warcraft 4 - It's a pretty solid issue but my interest seems to be wanning a bit on this title. It's nearly tempting me to restart my WoW account, but I'm resisting. Must... fight.... WoW.... addiction.... It's OK.

Atomic Robo 5 - Ummm. I think I've decided I like this title even tho I've only read a couple of issues. I sort of wish I hadn't bought single issues. Think this would be read better as a collection. Totally didn't get the back up story this time. Takes like 2 mins to read the whole thing. It's OK.

JLA Classified 52 - I'm stilling digging this multi-part Bryne and Stern creation more than the regular Justice League of America current arc. Double shot of Justice League a month works fine for me tho. Excellent!

Green Arrow and Black Canary 5 - Ah! Finally some back story for the Green Arrow's son that I didn't know. A good chapter in the story arc with a decent fill in artist. I am still enjoying this title quite a bit. Good Fun!

Wonder Woman 17 - The Finale of the Circle story arc was decent. Think it started stronger than it finished. Guess the Dodson's are leaving the title and I suppose I will as well. It's OK.

Fantastic Four 554 - I've enjoyed Miller/Hitch/Neary's work in the past and while I haven't read the FF in years I wanted to check this out. After reading this and hearing about what's going on with Spiderman, it's seems to me that Marvel is Ultimate-izing their regular line. This seemed more like a Ultimate title. It's pretty good. The colors got the usual Marvel drab palette, but I'll stick around to see what happens next. Good Fun!

Fantastic Four: The Lost Adventure - I didn't realize I'd spent $5 on this til I got home and I rather regret my purchase. Not really enuf new here to justify the expense. Most of the story has been printed before. Stinks!

Ultimates 3.3 and Hulk 2 - Hahahahaha. Thumbed thru them at the store. Wouldn't even waste my money. What Major Crapola.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Short Book Reviews

The JSA All Stars by Various - Collecting Golden Age solo stories of B-listers Johnny Thunder, the Hour-Man, Wildcat, the Atom, Doctor Mid-Nite, Mr. Terrific and Red Tornado, this volume is a swell companion to the All Star Comics Archive Editions. All these stories were new to me and some were surprisingly enjoyable while others had me laughing or cringing, sometimes at the same time. The Atoms' butt cheek baring leather thong/girdle is disturbingly seared into memory. Altogether light fun and an interesting glimpse into comic book history. Recommended.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Short Book Reviews

The Automatic Detective by A. Lee Martinez - This SciFi mystery staring robot Mack Megaton is a witty, clever, fast moving and stylish romp. I quite enjoyed Martinezs' Gil's All Fright Diner, but this novel is a great improvement on his previous books. Tweaking stereotypes into interesting characters, some great action and funny one-liners had me loving this book. I can easily see this one becoming a classic in years to come, and surely earns a spot on my years best list. Great Robert McGinnis homage cover by Glen Orbik as well. Did I mention I loved this book? Highly Recommended!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Short Book Reviews

Showcase Presents Batgirl Vol. 1 by Various - While I've enjoyed the Barbara Gordon version of Batgirl over the years I wasn't sure about reading this silver age collection. I figured it would mostly be pretty sucky and better left to nostalgic memory. I didn't expect to find such an throughly entertaining read. Highlighted by Gil Kane and Curt Swan's artwork these groovy age stories include Batgirl finding a pot of pot, Batgirl giving Batman a hot pink Batmobile for his birthday; Barbara Gordon running for Congress; riffs on "Midnight Cowboy" and "The Godfather" and plenty of guest stars and mysteries. Highly Recommended!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Short Book Reviews

The Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes - Flashy and sometimes witty prose illuminate this dream-logic imbued Victorian fantasy adventure. With tones of Susanna Clarke, David Lynch and Tim Burton distilled with London history, I mostly enjoyed this intoxicating mystery but at times was left in the dust of the nonsensical dream-logic plot turns, particularly towards the end. Nonetheless I found it to be compulsively readable and Good Fun!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Comic Book Reviews This Week

Damn! Iced-in. No new comic books today... maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Short Book Reviews

Dinosaur Beach by Keith Laumer - Continuing onward in my reading of classic SciFi, I picked up this Laumer novel on a whim at the used book store. It's apparently considered Laumer's best in some circles. Convolutedly time tripy, I found it to be heavily techno-babbled and repeatedly required too much suspension of disbelief for me to enjoy. I'm not a huge fan of time travel, so I'm probably biased. While I didn't enjoy this one I'll still give Laumer another shot. Cool cover, tho. Disappointing!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Short Book Reviews

The Book of Skulls by Robert Silverberg - A SF Masterworks selection as well as included in Stephen Jones and Kim Newman's Horror: Another 100 Best Books this novel from 1971 has aged very well. Part a product of it's counter culture times and part timeless youthful exploration of life, it has more in common with Kerouac's On the Road than with other science fiction or horror. Having stumbled upon an ancient text, four college roommates (a jock, a Jew, a fag and a Wasp) take off on a road trip to the American southwest in search of eternal life with the knowledge that two must die. It's a invigorating and chilling read and one I'll remember for a long time. Highly Recommended!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Short Book Reviews

Duma Key by Stephen King - King channels John Farris in his latest and somewhat Southern Gothic novel. I think Farris does Southern Gothic better, but King's created a couple of his best and most memorable characters in Wireman and Freemantle, and it's this pair that carry the novel. I had some minor quibbles. It's often exposition heavy, particularly toward the last 100 pages. Horror novels resolutions should be more about atmosphere and action, and heavy exposition endings should be left for dapper dandy detectives resolving drawing room mysteries. Nonetheless, it's altogether a solid, inventive and entertaining read that sees King successfully exploring new territory. Good Fun!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Comic Book Review This Week

Teen Titans Year One 2 - The eye-popping cartoony artwork by Kerschl and crew continue to please as the story progresses nicely. Shaping up to be a great addition to the original Teen Titans cannon and should please folks who've never read the original Titans before. Cheers! Best of the Week!

The All New Atom 20 - Fill in team Simone and Norton give us a solid single issues story that's got me thinking I gotta pick up the back issues of this title. I've only read a couple of these, but it's quite entertaining. Love the Ladronn covers and am cranked up for the Rick Remender storyline. Good Fun!

Metal Men 6 of 8 - I'm still loving this book. It's going to be one of very few comics I'll actually go back and re-read. Wish I knew what DC has planned next for the Metal Men. This title will prolly be on my year end best list for 2008. Excellent!

Uncanny X-men 495 - I'd had in mind to keep reading this title leading up to the big 500th issue, but this one isn't really sparking much interest. Skimpy story for a 22-page book and the art mostly looked like that airbrushed and shellacked stuff you saw on vans in the 70s (and not in a cool way). Think I'll drop this title. Stinks!

Clandestine 1 of 5 - I'm a big fan of Davis and Farmer, but I've never read these characters before. While the book looked great, there's just too much back history that I don't know for me to be engaged. It's OK I guess if you're a Clandestine fan.

Justice Society of America 12 - The story is improving, and it's Johns so I'll stick around to see what happens. But I'm getting the feeling he's introducing a butt-load of new characters so a mess of them can be killed off fighting Gog. Way too many characters in this title. It's OK.

Supergirl 26 - Another title showing slight improvement over the past couple of issues. It's got a neat ending and I'll stick around to see what happens next. It's OK.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Short Book Reviews

Why Not You and I? by Karl Edward Wagner - Cult favorite Wagner is best remembered for his sword-wielding Kane, but he also authored three long out of print horror collections. While I think I enjoyed the first, In a Lonely Place, a bit more than this one, it's still a solidly entertaining and written in nice clear prose. With stories widely ranging from supernatural detective pulp homage, to Emma Peel Avengers fanatics going over the top, to a devil in a psychiatric unit, this is one short story collection I enjoyed from start to finish. Night Shade Books reprinted his Kane novels and short stories in handsome volumes a few years ago, but I'd sure love to Wagner's horror shorts collected in new editions, especially rare and expensive Exorcisms and Ecstasies. Good Fun!