Showing posts from December, 2007

Blue Pills

Last night I was happy to have read Blue Pills, a new graphic novel by european cartoonist Frederik Peeters, as it's probably the last book I'll get a chance to read before 2007 wraps up. Blue Pills, was a very strong book to wrap up the year for me and I'd easily put it in the top five graphic novels I've read this year (the other four graphic novels in my top five for 2007 in no particular order are Alice in Sunderland, Black Dossier, Exit Wounds, Alias The Cat, Town of Evening Calm, and MW - wait that's more than five - oh well I guess there was more great graphic novels this past year than I thought and I'm sure that I'm forgetting some, probably in the next few days I'll have an entry for my picks for 2007).

Blue Pills, is subtitled "A Positive Love Story", and being as two of the characters within Blue Pills are HIV positive, the subtitle has a duel meaning. Blue Pills is actually a graphic novel memoir as it is a true story by writer / a…

One More Dog!

No Spoilers following:

The fourth and concluding chapter of the last Spider-Man storyline by JMS and Joe Quesadsa came out yesterday and it's even worse than I thought it would be. I was looking forward to the three times a month shipping Amazing Spider-Man that will follow this arc even fearing what I thought would be the final outcome of One More Day (the actual title of this mess, which others have suggested should have been called One More Delay because this was originally supposed to be over in September). Well, now I'm concerned how good Amazing Spider-Man can be post One More Day because even though the upcoming creative teams look to be really good, they're left with a very messy, backwards turn of events.

Ugh, One More Day, is a huge punctuation mark for what is wrong with most superhero comics, and that is that no progression should take place in the character's lives. I realize that because these characters will be around for many years they can't age too …

Stan Lee is 85 today!

Stan Lee is 85 years old today, so raise a glass of your favorite beverage in celebration! Stan Lee, is of course, the co-creator of just about every Marvel character. I got to meet him briefly at a signing at Comic Oasis (one of the other good comic stores here in Vegas), this past May and I was amazed at how energetic he was. Because there was a lot of people at the signng (of course), all I got to say to Stan Lee was thanks for all the years of entertainment and as he signed my Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus (which collects all the Spider-Man stories he did with artist Steve Ditko), he said to me "I hope you enjoy it!" Marvel Comics would definitely not be the same (possibly wouldn't exist) if it weren't for Stan Lee's writing (mostly his dialogue strengths) and the way he made readers feel like they were part of the club. Thanks again Stan Lee and Happy Birthday!

Happy Winter Solstice!

I don't know what the exact date is for this year's winter solstice, but it is winter so I'm going to say that any day in the winter season is winter solstice. I'd also like to wish joy and peace to everyone for whatever reason they celebrate this time of year.

Wow, it's been over two weeks since I've posted on my blog! I've been incredibly busy getting ready for the season (I'm sure just about everyone shares that feeling) and prepping the store for my leaving for nine days. As many of you who read my blog know, Kate and I are up in Washington DC for our 10th anniversary. Anyway, I've missed posting here and I just wanted to chime in today and give a special thanks to everyone who has read my blog these past six months.

I've missed posting here (I've been posting at least two or three times since late June) as I find that blogging is a great way to process things I've experienced and share them with others. Besides finishing up the shopp…

The Ice Wanderer

The Ice Wanderer by Jiro Taniguchi is a new English collection of a great manga graphic novel with five short stories inspired and done in homage to novelist Jack London (The Call of the Wild, White Fang). The stories contained within The Ice Wanderer deal with man co-existing with sometimes brutal environments and man against other animals on this planet.

Tangiguci's line work, as is clear from the page to the left from The Ice Wanderer, is crisp with a capital "C" and anyone who enjoys Adrian Tomie's art (Optic Nerve) will also enjoy the work of Jiro Taniguchi. Whereas Tomine in his art mostly just concentrates on people and uses shadows and lighting to convey moods and atmosphere, Taniguchi is actually a more rounded artist, in that his backgrounds, be they of cityscapes or nature, have their own character and speak volumes unto themselves. I'd also recommend The Walking Man, another excellent manga graphic novel by Taniguchi that has been translated into Eng…

Moon Knight Annual?

Last week Moon Knight Annual was released. Basically Moon Knight is Marvel's version of Batman. Moon Knight was created in 1975 by Doug Moench and artist Don Perlin, but it wasn't until Moench was joined by artist Bill Sienkiewicz, that the character would go beyond just being another Batman type character. Sienkiewicz started his comic book art career with a style that was heavily influenced by Neal Adams, who had a realistic style, but it wasn't until Sienkiewicz started drawing on influences like artist Ralph Steadman, that he took his art to an exciting new level that really changed how a lot of people looked at comic books (especially super hero comics).

A couple of years ago, Marvel started up a new Moon Knight series, but it quickly lost steam as it became one of those late titles and didn't live up to it's early promise. Well last week's Moon Knight Annual is a return to the kind of edgy Moon Knight stories I remembered Moench and Sienkiewicz doing. The …

Zombie's Calling!

One of the best comics (graphic novel, really) that I read this past Sunday was Zombie's Calling by Faith Erin Hick's and published by Slave Labor Graphics. Just when you thought everything had already been done on the zombie front along comes Zombie's Calling! Zombie's Calling actually came out November 14th and being as that was a huge release week (with a little book called Black Dossier arriving in addition to thousands of other titles), I only got a chance to quickly flip through the book. Before I knew it, I'd sold out of it before I got a chance to read it and it wasn't until about a week later when I read Rachelle Goguen's rave review of the book in her excellent blog Living Between Wednesdays (this blog was recommended to me by my friend Nicole, who attends Shippingsburg University in PA), that Zombie's Calling made it back on my radar.
As Rachelle mentioned on her blog, Zombie's Calling will definitely play well with people who enjoy Brya…

Where's Santa!?

This past Saturday, December 1st, Vegas had another Santa Run, which is a benefit for Opportunity Village. They were also trying to break a world record for number of people gathered dressed as Santa so along with your registration fee you got a Santa suit. Well I saw people with runner / walker tags that numbered over 11,000 and before the run they announced that they had gotten about 8,000 people registered (and people could also register after the run / walk). At 8,000 I believe the record was already shattered (held by Liverpool, England, but they were also doing another run this year). I haven't seen any official numbers yet, but as you can see there was a sea of red down on Fremont Street this past Saturday.
Everyone looked to be having a fun time, but the beginning of the run / walk could have been orgainized better as it was really hard to get out of the pack if you weren't at the very front. I was kind of surprised to find out that this run wasn't timed like all …