Monday, December 31, 2007

Not Much With the Posting

Despite the impression folks might have gotten with my awe and wonder at 46" of Hi-Def video goodness, the new TV really isn't what's kept me from posting. I'm in the third round now of a battle royale with whatever funky virus is going around. This time, I've managed to cut off it's resources, stop it from recruiting bacterial allies, and I'm hoping that some Excedrin and a whole lot of orange juice will clobber it early. (Let's face it... working four 13 hour shifts, only to come home sick on your first day off really stinks.)

I hope everybody's having an agreeable holiday season. I look forward to getting back to it as soon as I've kicked this cold's butt.

Friday, December 21, 2007

House Trashing, Round Two!

I really do have some commentary on the current week's comics. But my comments are slightly delayed as I tear the inside of our beautiful home apart to make room for a Christmas gift to myself. (I'd take a picture, but honestly I'd be ashamed to.) It's being delivered tomorrow, so I've been clearing out the entertainment center before preparing to move it elsewhere in the house. (As my first piece of self-assembled furniture, as well as something that's withstood the ravages of the past 9 years pretty well, I'm loathe to part with it.)

But tomorrow's phrase of the day is "Merry Christmas".

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Moment of Holiday Zen...

Hearing hair-metal band Twisted Sister belt out "O Come All Ye Faithful" to the familiar tune of "We're Not Gonna Take It" has just made my holiday.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Odds & Ends

I don't think I posted anything here yet, but I've finished my first comic script. Thanks a lot to Jim Shelley for giving me a chance to try my hand. I definitely learned a lot about the process. I'm looking forward to getting something else going.

Also, if anybody who checks out my blog hasn't ever seen any of the Floating Hands Studio's comic book parodies, you haven't truly lived. Somewhere in the primordial past, someone sent me a link to the video "X-Men: Death Becomes Them" in which the X-Men are confronted by Magneto, but devolve into squabbling about how many times they've each died. (With a special non-surprise twist at the end!) Check them out! They've got a spot-on parody of House of M that's 130% more entertaining than the original!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

File Cabinet Update and New Comic Day 12/19/07

I got the replacement for my faulty filing cabinet today, so I've been busy emptying the last of my Drawerboxes, and going through my assorted short-boxes to clear them out as well. The verdict is that I'm down to a single short box of stuff that I haven't put into the file cabinets yet.

Sixteen Drawerboxes and five short boxes put comics into 11 of my 12 drawers. One of them is still completely empty.

I've still got plenty of space in most of the drawers I'm using as well, which makes me happy. These things are definitely a step up in price from any kind of box, and I'm honestly not sure where I'd fit another one without some serious reorganizing.

It's been more of a project getting them loaded up as well, because of my ignorance at the beginning of my comic purchasing days. Before I understood about the differences in size between Golden, Silver, and Current age comics, my first bags and boards were comically mis-sized golden age supplies. A lot of boxes are designed to accomodate comics of that size though, so it wasn't an issue. Until the cabinets came. So I had to re-bag/board possibly a couple hundred books. The drawers are 18" wide, which can accomodate two rows of current-age books . But those golden-age bags and boards were just too wide.

On the whole, I'm pretty satisfied. I've noticed a tendency on the part of the books to try to shift over within the drawer. I'm going to need to get something to try to keep the rows orderly. I'd been contemplating cardboard after talking to some friends, but I'm starting to wonder if I might be looking for something a little thicker.

I bought a hundred title dividers from Heroes & Dragons, only to find that I didn't buy enough. (And I'm not just talking about the detritus that builds up, random scattered issues of things that didn't turn out to be worth buying more of... I've got a few titles that I'll have to dig a little more for.

If I can get the shifting sorted out, I don't think I'll have a single complaint with these things. They're:
  • Sturdy
  • Cat-proof
  • Lockable

I'm not going to be hauling them to conventions anytime soon, but for home use I'm pretty content.

Now, on to this week's planned purchases:

  • CHECKMATE #21 $2.99
  • DETECTIVE COMICS #839 (GHUL) $2.99
  • SHADOWPACT #20 $2.99
  • SUPERMAN #671 $2.99

  • CABLE DEADPOOL #48 $2.99
  • IMMORTAL IRON FIST #11 $2.99
  • INCREDIBLE HULK #112 $2.99
  • NEW X-MEN #45 MC $2.99
  • SHE-HULK 2 #24 $2.99
  • THE ORDER #6 $2.99

Looking at the list, there are definitely some titles that I'm on the fence about. Batman & The Outsiders is pretty decent... but Chuck Dixon could write a Batman title in his sleep. I'm giving it one more issue before I make a decision. She-Hulk is also one that is probably on the outs. What I loved about the title during Slott's run was the sheer insanity of the courtroom drama combined with the self-referential super-hero stuff. I almost always felt like the title was making fun of comics, and it worked. I haven't seen that in Peter David's run.

The one thing that's absolutely mandatory is the Marvel Holiday Special. I've been picking these up for a few years now, and they've never failed to entertain... whether putting J. Jonah Jameson in the role of Ebeneezer Scrooge (Visited by Captain America, The Thing, and Spider-Man as the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future), or casting Ultron in the role of Santa Claus, I've always gotten a good chuckle.

This is the last new comic day before Christmas, so if I fail to post again until next week, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Blessed Yule, or whatever ceremony, rite or eldritch ritual you subscribe to!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

New Comic Delay, 12/12/07

Well, I've had a fairly busy week thus far. I didn't get to post what I intended to purchase this week because I was working through Wednesday morning. I still haven't been able to post about what I actually purchased, because I've been busy getting three new legal-size filing cabinets out of their very bulky boxes.

That's right... as much as I've enjoyed having the drawerboxes to hold my comic collection, I'm stepping up to actual drawers. Three legal sized filing cabinets ought to hold the vast majority of my comics... once I've got everything set up and my inventory transferred that is. I've confirmed that one (slightly) overfull drawerbox transitions to roughly half of a file cabinet drawer. The transition is going to require that I re-bag a few comics. Early in my comic purchasing I mistakenly bought a set of golden age bags and boards, using them for the comics I bought at the time. I can get two rows into an 18" wide drawer, but I'm going to need to get my books into current-age bags.

I'm going to have a busy few days. I'll post a few pics maybe, when I've got it done.


Breaking News on Broken Filing Cabinet!

One of the drawers in one of my cabinets doesn't open all the way. I'm going to have to touch base with Staples tomorrow to see about getting a replacement. I've still gotten all but three of my Drawerboxes into two of the cabinets, and I've probably got room to empty one of those.

Friday, December 7, 2007

World War Hulk: Aftersmash

World War Hulk is currently my favorite comic 'event' of all time. It spun out of 14 months of well-told Hulk story by Greg Pak, and it kept a laser-focus on what it was about.

So what did I think of the epilogue, World War Hulk: Aftersmash?

I thought it was a very fitting close to the Hulk stories I've been so in love with for more than a year now. It wraps up loose ends I didn't even know about. (Sue me, I haven't been reading Heroes for Hire.) It gives the Warbound a chance to leave World War Hulk behind as heroes... every member gets a chance to do something heroic except Brood. (But considering the Brood, is that really all that surprising?) It shows us Hercules and Amadeus Cho working together to try to hold Manhattan together... literally. We get Tom Foster, Goliath's nephew, learning that vengeance just leads to more vengeance.

There are a lot of great moments in the book, and everyone involved comes off as a hero. I'll miss Greg Pak when he leaves the Hulk, but he's given us an epic run with the character. World breaking stuff, really.

Words of wisdom...

If you're wearing a dress... don't go commando to that superhero smackdown. 'Nuff said?
These words of wisdom, brought to us by Justice League of America, Vol. 2 #15

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

CrossGen was right?

Since I started thinking about pitching a story idea to Jim Shelly of Flashback Universe, I started thinking a bit more about digital distribution of comic books. It makes sense, since that's one of the pillars at the project's foundation.

So when I stumbled onto a link to this article from Publisher's Weekly, I had to take a gander.

CrossGen began publishing comics at about the same time I started buying them. It was a less than ideal timing for me as a consumer, because I wasn't yet an educated consumer. I didn't know what was good, and I didn't even really know what I liked. So I wound up buying a lot of everything, and then became disheartened when a lot of it failed to really grab me. (I blame a lot of that on all the X-Men comics I bought in those dark times.)

But I did always remember the CrossGen books, even when I stopped buying them. They were on my mind very recently, though, as I read Negation, which was described to me as some of Tony Bedard's best work.

However, I'd abandoned the label before they started making their comics available digitally at no charge. To summarize the article, series that were made available digitally saw a sizeable upturn in sales for multiple weeks. It's a conclusion that makes sense... while there are a lot of comic book fans who are most interested in the story and the art, it's ingrained into a lot of us, I think, that we want to possess the physical book. As I take a look at 22 boxes full of comics, I find it hard to argue with that conclusion.

Sadly the article doesn't provide the details of CrossGen's digital comic initiative, so I don't know if the books were downloaded as files, what format was used, or what kind of restrictions were placed on the books, but the fact that five years ago someone had studied digital comics and found a positive correlation between digital comics and physical sales says a lot for the digital model.

Eventually the big two will have to address this new format. But something definitely seems off watching them both demonize what's basically working for them as free advertising.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

New Comic Day 12/05/07

Well, another week inevitably rolls around with another set of new comics to buy. Though honestly, this week's looking a bit thinner than usual. On the DC side, we've got:


Marvel's looking a little better though.


I've been a fan of the Avengers Initiative comic, so I'm looking forward to that title's annual. Matt Fraction's The Order has been refreshing, probably because almost all of the characters are completely new additions to the Marvel Universe.

Annihilation Conquest is holding up alright through the two minis I read (Wraith and Quasar) and the first issue's keeping me for the second. World War Hulk was a great read, so Aftersmash is a no-brainer for me.

Now if I can only keep myself away from the back-issues of Marvel Team-Up, I ought to be alright.