More On Comics

Okay, this is kind of a follow up on the last post, kind of a reply to the comments. I haven't really talked much of anything about comics in quite a long time, which is surprising because of how much I absolutely love comics. Maybe I haven't really talked about them because I don't want to sound stupid trying. But fuck it. If I sound stupid or like I don't have a clue about what I'm talking about, so be it.

I've been an avid reader and collector since I was about ten years old. I remember when I first started buying comics, it was at the Stewart's shop a couple blocks up from my house. I was immediately attracted to DC books. Marvel books looked pretty dumb to me. DC had all the famous characters like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. I was hooked from the first book I bought.

Here it is thirty-three years later and my fascination and adoration of the medium hasn't waned, it hasn't changed and it may be stronger than ever.

Yesterday I updated the list of books I'm reading (or planning on reading) and I just want to say a couple of words about them.

Action Comics, Superman, Superman: World Of New Krypton- I've been an on again/off again reader of the Superman books over the years. I started reading Superman again when Brian Azzarello & Jim Lee took over, if only to see what the hype was about. While I didn't really care for the story, I realized that I missed reading Superman, so I stuck with it. The book wasn't really all that great, but it wasn't bad either. I was enjoying it. Not too long ago, Geoff Johns stepped in and started writing some awesome stories. He had a vision for the Superman books and started his work on revamping them. I've got to tell you, I've never loved Superman before like I love him now. Geoff has left to do other things (including the upcoming Superman: Secret Origin), but he's left the books in very capable hands. James Robinson is another of my favorite writers and he's turning in some pretty cool stuff. Taking Superman out of the Superman books was pretty ballsy, but it's working. While I'm more interested in the Mon-El stuff than the Nightwing & Flamebird stuff, it's all keeping my attention. I dropped Supergirl a while back because it was awful. Just awful. But it looks like they've finally figured out the character and made her likable. I'm thinking of following that series in trades.

Batman, Batman And Robin, Batman: Streets Of Gotham, Detective Comics, Gotham City Sirens, Red Robin, All-Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder, Batgirl - I'm reading almost all of the Batman books, as you can tell (with plans to pick up the new Batgirl series.) Like with Superman, Batman and I have had an on again, off again relationship over the years. I've been following the main Batman books for a good long time now, without reading too many of the peripheral books. With the relaunch of the entire Batman line, I thought it was a good jumping on point for all the books. I've only read one of most, two of some, but I'm enjoying them so far. Batman And Robin is my favorite so far. Grant Morrison's work is either brilliant or shit with no middle ground. Final Crisis was pure, unadulterated shit. Batman And Robin is brilliant fun. The main Batman book has been okay so far. Judd Winick is a lot like Grant Morrison in the fact that he's either hit or miss. Green Arrow - hit. Titans - miss. I didn't mind Judd's last run on Batman, so I'm looking forward to seeing what he's got up his sleeve. Gotham City Sirens looks to be nothing but pure fun. Red Robin I'm still not sure about. I never read Robin and I'm not that attached to Tim Drake, but we'll see. I'm just one issue into the Batwoman stuff, so it's hard to say anything about it, but I really enjoyed the first issue. All Star Batman gets a lot of grief, but for some reason I'm really digging it. Maybe because it's so bad that it's good? I don't know.

Superman / Batman - This isn't really a Superman family book, nor a Batman family book. It's kind of out there on it's own. It's been a solid book, but it's not anything like it should be. This should be a flagship title for the DC Universe and it's more like an after thought.

Dark Avengers, Mighty Avengers, New Avengers - I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the Avengers. Hell, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for most team books. But this is Marvel's JLA, their premiere super group. What's not to love? Well..... I think Bendis is an incredibly overrated writer. People seem to think he's the second coming. I'm not one of them. I think he's a decent enough writer, but here's my problem with him. He'll take an idea for a simple, single issue (or even two-part) story and he'll stretch that bitch out to fill anywhere from six to twelve issues. That drives me crazy. He'll take one five minute fight scene and fill an entire issue with it. I read these books monthly, but I really should reconsider doing the trades. I think this would be less annoying in that format. Mighty Avengers he's given up writing and it's been pretty enjoyable, but I'm still on the fence with it. I'm not sure what exactly about it bothers me, but something does. I've tried reading the Avengers: Initiative book and I hated it. With a passion.

Flash: Rebirth - Two words. Geoff. Johns.

Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, Blackest Night & Crossovers - Again, it's Geoff Johns (among others.) I'll admit that I started picking this up from the beginning of the new run because of Johns, but I found the book boring. My least favorite Geoff Johns thing ever. For the first year or so. And then something happened. It's like he found his groove and everything changed. Green Lantern went from being one of my least favorite books to one of my absolute favorites. This summer Blackest Night promises to bring me the thrills I was hoping to find in Final Crisis. I've only read the first issue so far and I was blown away. Geoff Johns knows what I like and he delivers.

Teen Titans, Titans - These two books are sentimental favorites of mine and they've been absolute garbage. But I have a connection with the Titans and I can't not buy the books. New creative teams are coming and I hope that helps. I certainly can't hurt.

Justice League of America, Justice League: Cry For Justice - I haven't had a chance to start the Cry For Justice book yet, but I hope it's good. The regular Justice League book hasn't been good in a long time. This latest relaunch was more like a botch job than anything else. This book should be one of the crown jewels of DC's line and it's not. It's far from it. But like with the Titans books, I can't not follow it. James Robinson is the new regular writer shortly. I'm hoping editorial will let him write the stories he wants to tell.

Uncanny X-Men, Astonishing X-Men - For the first time in a very, very long time, Uncanny X-Men is a must read book. Matt Fraction is fucking great. He's making sense out of the X-Men. He keeps me coming back for more. He's brought Dazzler back! As for Astonishing, Warren Ellis is normally a writer I enjoy. This storyline he's been feeding us is awful. Just awful. I was about to drop the book when I saw Phil Jimenez is coming on board and now I can't. I hope the next arc improves vastly on this current one or the book is gone. I wonder how much it would take to lure Joss Whedon back?

Brave & The Bold - A book I love the idea of, hate the execution of.

JSA Vs Kobra, Justice Society of America - JSA was one of my favorite books, period. You know why. But there's a new creative team coming on and I'm scared.

Doctor Who, Doctor Who Classics - I'm a sucker for anything Doctor Who. I never read the stories being reprinted in the Classics book before, so I've been picking them up. I wish I could say that most of the stories were memorable, but they just aren't. As for the ongoing, it just started and I'm only one issue in. I wasn't all the fond of the first issue, but I'm willing to give it a chance.

Jonah Hex - This is one of the best books on the market right now. It's a book I look forward to every month and it's a book I'm always fearful is going to be canceled. One of the best things about the book is most issues tell an entire story in one part. No need to pad out a one or two issue story into six issues to fill a trade paperback. That's my biggest problem with the comics industry today, but this isn't the place to get into it. Anyway, if you aren't reading this book, go out and pick up a trade today.

Wonder Woman - Another botched relaunch that took DC a couple of years to fix. Gail Simone is a great writer and she's slowly, but surely, bringing this book back to the level it should be at. Gail's an incredible storyteller and she's got some good shit happening. I'm fascinated by the whole Manazon storyline.

Power Girl - This book I was looking forward to more than just about any other book out there now and I'm kind of underwhelmed by it. DC is kind of going a little light on the book and I'm not sure that's the tone they should be taking. What they need to do is go read...

Ms. Marvel - This book is what Power Girl over at DC should be. Brian Reed has been building and building this world around Ms. Marvel and giving her the tlc she needs and deserves. This may be my favorite Marvel book right now.

Warlord - Just plain fun. I was a big fan of the original series and couldn't pass up the new one with Mike Grell writing. I'm looking forward to the Showcase book that's coming out soon.

Secret Six - Gail Simone. Conflicted villains. Lots of fun.

Outsiders - I'm on the fence with this book. Just when I'm about to drop it, something changes and I stick with it a little longer. But probably for not too much longer.

Perhapanauts - One of the few independents I'm currently reading. It's fun.

REBELS - I'm still undecided on this title.

Solomon Grundy - Seven part mini series. I'm having a lot of fun reading this. I want to sit down and reread the whole run once it's finished in a single sitting.

Showcase Presents: (Most Volumes In The Series) - As I stated before, I'm a big DC fan from way back. This series has been a gift to me. It's a chance to read dozens of old books at a very affordable price. I've talked to people and some say they have a difficult time getting passed the black and white format. I'm not having that problem. Sure, some books don't work as well in black and white (Metal Men, I'm talking to you), but where else can you get 500 pages of Silver Age goodness for pennies? Everyday at lunch I read from one of these books. Currently I'm working my way through the third Aquaman volume. This is where that book hit it's stride. I do read some of the Marvel Essential volumes, but not to the extent that I do the DC version.

The rest of my list are books that either haven't started yet or books that have, but I haven't had a chance to read. They are Adventure Comics, Doom Patrol, Reborn, Spider-Woman, and Wednesday Comics.

What books are you enjoying right now?



I've let my sidebars go unattended for quite a while now. I just updated the Comics I Read thingie. A few books on the list haven't come out yet, but I've got them on order. That is all.

The Terrible Twos

Actually, it's more like the Terrible Tuesdays. Today was not my day. At all. And really until about an hour ago, I had no idea why. I got up this morning and was fine. Got ready for work, did my morning chores and hopped the bus for work. Work itself was fine. In fact, work was pretty good. Half the office didn't show up. I find it quite coincidental that this happened on probably the second nice day we've had all summer. Hmmmmm.... But I was in a raggy, pissy, awful mood. For no apparent reason. I kept to myself most of the day, though I did socialize when Jaymi, who is out on maternity leave, stopped by with baby Brady. That was probably the high point of my day. He's not newborn anymore, so I wasn't afraid to pick him up. And he was a good boy until I wanted someone to snap my picture. Of course. But for the most part I kept to myself. I can't remember a day when I was more productive than I was today. I got so much done. My desk is spotless right now. I can't remember the last time I walked in to an empty desk. But I think I found the cause of my cranky pants. When Ken got home, he asked how my day was, blah blah blah. I told him I was in the worst mood today and I don't know why. Being the sweetheart that he is, he let me know that I'm in a pissy mood everyday. Asshat. No, he let me know that all I did last night was toss and turn. All night long. I have no recollection of it, though. I thought I slept solidly through the night. But I guess not. Lack of good sleep with do that to you, I guess. And it's 8 o'clock now and I'm just about ready to collapse. I guess I did sleep for shit.

Tomorrow should be a good day (knock on wood). The racetrack at Saratoga opens up and half the office is going. I've decided not to because I can barely stand most of the people I work with sober. I can just imagine the new levels of inappropriateness that will be reached tomorrow without immediate supervision and all the alcohol they can consume. I sit in the immediate vicinity of a couple alcoholics. That's bad enough. Watching them in action is something I have no stomach for.


Just Another Manic Monday

Today started all fine and dandy. I wasn't too crabby when I got up. I got more sleep this weekend than I'm used to and that's a good thing. And work started off decent enough. But as the day wore on, it wore me down. Everyone needed me, it seemed. "This person is on vacation, so can you do this for me." "I need help with this." "Can you do this for me?" It was all the usual stuff, plus some bonus stuff thrown on for good measure. And just as I was feeling it, the afternoon mail delivery got BURIED me. He gave me what was equal to about three days worth of stuff. I had no intention of staying late tonight (part of my Kick Back On O.T. thing), but there was no way I wanted to walk in tomorrow with my desk looking the way it did. I didn't get everything done I had hoped, but I made enough progress that I'm not going to want to turn around when I get there tomorrow and go home (well, no more than any other day, that is.) But I have the thrill of late morning *and* early afternoon meetings to sit through. I better make sure I get plenty of sleep tonight because I'm going to need to try and stay awake through them both.

Vacation, where are you?

Now I'm off to watch the finale of Charm School and then bed. Whoopie!


Random Natter

I don't know how much sense what I write is going to make, but I'm gonna write something anyway. It feels like it's been forever since I last posted anything here, even though it really hasn't been that long.

Handy hint. If you don't want your phone going dead on you by late morning/early afternoon, you need to remember to charge it. Silly me.

It's no secret that one of my biggest struggles in life is maintaining a healthy weight. The last three years of my life I've done nothing but obsess over the food choices I make, about the exercise I'm doing or not doing, about the pound I'm up or down. Obsessing has helped keep me on track and not lose focus of where I am and where I want to be. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to be a little stricter with my diet. I wasn't gaining weight, but I wasn't losing weight either. I wanted to jump start the weight loss and drop maybe five more pounds in anticipation of my upcoming trip to Austin. I have a feeling there's going to be a lot of deliciousness around to try. I don't want to come home fifteen pounds heavier than I was when I left. So I've been pretty good. I managed to drop a couple of pounds and that was good. And then this week hit. To say that it wasn't a good week would be an understatement. There was nothing in particular that was horrible, but all these smaller things started adding up to one great big giant thing. Over the weekend, Ken and I had issues. We never have issues, so on the rare occasion that we do, it's really unsettling for me. I carried that with me for days. I had another sciatic nerve issue, totally out of the blue. No warning whatsoever. And that got me down. I've been busting out the overtime at work and have been working on very little sleep. Being tired, physically wounded and emotionally spent all added up to one thing. Eat as much shit as humanly possible. And I did. All week long. Monday was the worst day. I somehow managed to have three pieces of cake at work, another one at home, plus a dinner I wasn't hungry for. Tuesday I added muffins and ice cream to my diet. Wednesday continued my love affair with Otis Spunkmeyer's chocolate chocolate chip muffins. Thursday I engorged myself on pudding. You get the idea. So imagine my surprise this morning when I hopped on the scale before showering. I was 186.9 lbs. I have never in my adult life weighed 186.9 lbs. Ever. I'm sure I haven't seen that number since I was 12 or 13 years old. I'm guessing this was a fluke or something, because I'm still scratching my head over it. That number won't hold, either, especially after dinner tonight. I chowed down like the old fat boy I used to be.
Last night I was updating Quicken and paying bills. My car payment isn't due for another two weeks or so, but I realized that I had enough money in the bank to pay it off. I'm only a little over three payments away from owning my car outright. I wrote a check for the balance due and I'm just waiting for the bill to show up so I can kiss that payment goodbye. I can't tell you how good it feels knowing that this is now in the past.

I love Facebook. Absolutely love it. It's my favorite of all the social networking sites out there. Sure, Twitter can be fun, but I find that I can spend hours and hours at Facebook and not look at or comment on everything I want to. I think the thing I like most about it is I've had a chance to connect or reconnect with a lot of people that I wouldn't normally get a chance to. Every time I get a friend request, I get excited to see who found me. I've been in touch with people from high school that I never really knew in high school, but I'm getting to know now. I'm in touch with Ken's sister, who I might see once a year if I'm lucky. I'm back in touch with friends from ten miles away that I haven't seen in ten years. Old co-workers. You get the idea. I love that I have instant access to them all now, but don't have to go out of my way to find them.

I'm tired. I really should be in bed already. In the last two weeks, I've managed to work a couple hours shy of three weeks worth of time. This was the final bit of my big overtime push. I wanted to work my ass off in preparation for Austin. I don't want to have a single monetary concern about the trip or about home and I've made sure that should come true. Now I need to learn how to ween myself off of the long ass hours I've grown accustomed to.


Torchwood Tonight

The American debut of Torchwood: Children of Earth is tonight. If you're even the slightest of fans of the show, I tell you you must watch this. Five part mini-series. It's fucking amazing. While I wasn't happy with everything that happened, it blew my mind. Five parts. Five nights. You'll want more.

Otherwise, I'm just getting over dealing with some stupid personal shit and will hopefully get back to actually writing things down rather than suppressing them. Yay me.



I just wanted to apologize for not updating this page recently. It's been a rough week or so and it's going to be another rough couple of days, but I'm still here. Just minimal internet time, which pisses me off. By the middle of next week, life should be back to normal and I'll post about my mundane life again. Hurrah. My photoblog is still staying current, though, since that's super easy to update. Poke over there if you haven't before to check out my mundane pics!!


Acceptable In The 80s

This YouTube clip might not mean much to many people who read this blog, but I just found it on Dyl's Gecko Echo blog. It's a bunch of clips from Blake's 7, a British sci-fi show I discovered shortly after finding Doctor Who back in high school. It's been twenty years since I've seen an episode, though. Anyway, Calvin Harris' awesome "Acceptable In The Eighties" is the music for the video and it works brilliantly. Love it!


It's what I need. Two nights ago I had probably the worst night of sleep I've had in months and months and months. I was tired, but I couldn't fall asleep. When I did manage to fall asleep, I couldn't stay asleep. And there was no good reason for it. Usually it's because the cats are being a pain in my ass or Ken is hogging the blankets or something, but this time, nothing. I managed to make it through the day without feeling like I was the walking dead, which was a huge plus. Last night I hoped to sleep a little better, and I did, but it wasn't enough. Again, I kept waking up, but I kept falling right back to sleep. It caught up with me today, though. Hard. I didn't stay as late at work as I had hoped to. I lost the ability to concentrate and that's a sure fire sign to leave.

Ken picked me up from work and I agreed to go to the Y with him. He won an auction on our local PBS station for a three month gym membership there. Tonight he signed up and asked if I wanted to check out the place. I agreed, which is big for me considering how gym-phobic I am. I don't know exactly what it is about the gym that freaks me out. It could be because I don't really know anything about the gym. It could be the people there intimidate me. I don't know for sure. All I know is I'm freaked out by it. But I thought I would go, check it out and maybe it isn't all that bad. Well, I felt pretty uneasy there and decided I wasn't going to join. The place felt like a high school gym and that made me really uneasy. I know I'm a freak about things like this. Ken gets a few guest passes and I'm going to make him bully me into going with him one of these times. The only way to get through the anxiety is to just fucking do it already. Even though I've always been gym-phobic, I've kind of wanted to join one in the last year or so. Almost a year ago I hit my goal weight. I did it mostly by walking and diet, but walking only works on certain parts of your body. I need work on more of me than just my legs. For instance, I have these freakishly skinny arms. I always have. They're more prominent in short sleeve weather and I'm pretty self conscious about them. And I still have excess belly flab, but most of that is skin that never retracted. (Lovely, right?) I feel like an idiot for tonight and I'm just going to blame it on how beat I'm feeling right now, even though I know that has nothing to do with it.

Tonight is all about getting to bed at a relatively early hour. I don't have anything on tv (though I have a few shows dvr'd and I have the first episode of the new Torchwood downloaded and waiting for me) and I don't have very much left in my pile of comics to read. I don't have much of an excuse for not getting to bed early.



Just out of sheer curiousity, who is reading this blog from Saugerties? Is it someone I know?


July 3

Three for three. Not bad.

I'm all thrown off by what day it is. I took today off from work and that's what's messing me up. It's been Saturday for most of the day. I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that it's still only Friday. It also doesn't help that I've been walking around in a fog today. It's been a busy week and I had one plan and one plan only for today. Sleep. I was hoping to sleep in until at least 10 o'clock. Instead, I woke up around 5:30 this morning and couldn't fall back asleep. I got up, did some chores, played online and then climbed back into bed when Ken got up for work. I still couldn't fall asleep. So I got up and proceeded to get as many chores done around the house as I could. I even tackled cleaning the bathroom, the chore I hate the most. I can usually guilt Ken into cleaning the bathroom, but it's got to be so bad that even he's grossed out by it.

After chores were done, I grabbed my iPod, a stack of comics, some Sun Chips and headed out to the front porch. I managed to read two comics and eat the chips before I passed out. Finally! I estimate I got a solid hour's worth of sleep before Ken got home and woke me up. That was hours ago and I still don't think I've fully recovered from my nap. It's 10:30 now and I was hoping to be in bed by now. As long as Ollie doesn't decide I need to be up at 5:30 tomorrow morning, I hope I can play catch up with Morpheus. We'll see.


July 2

Second day of a new month and second post in a row. Who am I? I thought about challenging myself to do another post-a-day months, but I know how I've been lately and I know that I will fail. My days don't seem to have nearly enough time in them to do the things I really need to do. This is something that I want to do, which means it's a lower priority than the need to do things, which means it's not gonna happen. At least I'm honest.

I have managed to surround myself with some pretty amazing friends. I don't know how I did it being the big shut in I am, but I have to say my friends are the best. I went out to lunch with Sean today. We seem to be on a fairly regular, bi-weekly dining schedule as of late. I really need to make the effort to bump up the frequency, though. I love meeting him for lunch. I love talking to him about whatever. I love listening to him. He's smart, he's funny, and most importantly (to an ego-maniac like myself,) he really gets me. I leave our lunches with a lot to think about. He really makes me think, whether he knows it or not, think about myself, my actions, my fears, my desires. Everybody needs a Sean in their life.



I've been running on excitement, nervous energy and adrenaline for the past couple of days. Since my last post, actually. The last few days have been all about planning my trip to Austin this summer (forty-four days from now, not that I'm keeping track or anything.) The length of my stay has been settled upon, the plane tickets are booked and my calendar of events is being filled up as we speak. I've done nothing but think about this trip from the second my eyes open in the morning until the second I lose consciousness at night. Last night was particularly bad because I was exhausted, but laid awake with my mind racing for what seemed like days. I honestly can't remember the last time I was this excited for something.

But the adrenaline is finally giving way and I've been feeling myself coming back down to earth. This is not good. I need the rush to get me through one more day first. Then I can crash down to earth and sleep all day Friday. I'm trying to crank out a little extra overtime before the trip. Lube isn't going to by itself, after all.