Friday, May 25, 2007


Check him out. Give him mad props for 2 years of entertaining bloggery.

He put me up to it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Belated 52 Wrap-up

It occurred to me as I overshot my one-year blogoversery that I negelected to post anything about the end of 52. Timely as ever, some final thoughts on the series that I've followed this past year.

Overall, I feel satisfied with the project. The execution got a little uneven at times, but as a whole, I appreciated the proceedings. It's rare to see as many creative talents working together in such an integrated fashion, especially given the diverse sensibilities of the writers involved. It spoke to a renewed commitment on DC's part to pull the disparate ends of their fictional universe together without the homogeneous grim and gritty "real-life" state that they've been stuck in for the last 20 odd years.

There were problems, chiefly the handling of World War III. That development seemed to sneak up on DC in that they suddenly felt the need to dump a last-minute, perfunctory miniseries on fans. I honestly don't think I would have bought the thing if all four issues weren't suddenly on the shelves that week. For me, at least, it didn't add anything to the issue of 52 it was expanding upon and to be honest, I felt a bit burned.

Some of the storylines held less appeal for me than others (I'm looking at you Steel), but the quick, round-robin style assured that something else would be coming along soon. Overall, given the complexity of moving parts, the thing read more like a novel.

I thought the conclusion, though telegraphed and spoiled for quite some time now, was particularly thrilling. The multiverse is back, with a nice unified reason for the variations between the 52 worlds. What this means is anyone's guess, but I'm comforted by the belief that somewhere, somewhen, Vic and Ted are still alive. The downside of that might be that the gloomy, Wagnerian Kingdom Come Earth is out there as well, probably sulking in its bedroom and playing goth music. (I wonder if Waid feels vindicated or ripped off for all the abuse he took over hypertime)

As I write this, I've read two issues of Countdown, 52's weekly-format successor. Not quite knocking my socks off, but I'll give it a few more weeks to change my mind. The stakes don't seem as great or urgent as the ones for 52 (finding out about the missing year). They're banking on the tension of the central question (countdown to what?), but that's a year away and I'm event-ed out right now, just as I was last year. Sometimes I ask "why comics?"... why couldn't it have been something less compulsive, like heroin?

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Doctor is Out... for now

I wanted to send my thoughts and best wishes to polite Scott for a speedy recovery.

In a comicsblogoverse full niche and obscure pov's, his site is the most unique, ingenious and helpful... using his medical knowledge to review how such subjects are handled in comics and television. I always look forward to his reviews of House... I know they make stuff up in those shows, playing fast and loose with actual medical practice, but to see it deconstructed as Scott does is an entertainment unto itself.

Get well soon, Scott.

Monday, May 07, 2007

250 Mile Update

Haven't been around much lately. I recently started a new job, and have had to reorient myself to a completely different schedule.

In the hubbub, I managed to miss my own one year blog anniversary. Such an occasion on its own would normally cause me to be reflective, but then my birthday came as well. All three of these events have kind of brought on a wee bought of existential crisis. What exactly am I doing here?

I mean, every blog has its thing... Sims has his karate bear-fighting, polite Scott has his medical expertise, Dave has his bad, 80's comics... What's my thing?

For my birthday, my wonderful girlfriend indulged my inner child and treated me to an iMax showing of Spiderman 3 (which I enjoyed greatly, even though it showed Raimi's weakness for the darker, character dramatics and that including Gwen and her father was too much of a red herring for the longtime fans... I kept wondering how they were going to kill the both of them). She also gave me some cash and cut me loose, instructing me to go to as many comic shops as I possibly could. What a gal.

I decided to make the pilgrimage to Ventura and see the man himself, Sterling Mike. He runs a great shop up there. A nice broad range of everything, even dollar boxes. Meeting Mike was an honor and I can now place his dulcet tones to his writing. I hope I didn't creep him out... I've been warned I can seem a bit stalker-y at times.

From there I cut a swath down until I ended up at Meltdown (open til 10 every night). I then headed home to share my haul (my major prize of the day was getting Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes #246... the very comic I remember holding as a child and thinking that I really wanted to learn how to read).

Throughout the day, I kept asking myself the question, and slowly I found my answer. I have a deep, personal relationship with this medium, and hopefully it comes through here. Not in the kind of freaky fanboy way, but in a genuine love of the stories and characters I've gotten to know my entire life, and the enduring sense of hope and possibility that the medium contains. I may have flirted with giving up on comics in the 90's, but I know deep down now that I'll never leave.

So, my mission remains... from the beginning I wanted to document my rediscovery of comics, and I will continue to do so.