Monday, December 31, 2007

Top 12 "Best" Comic Events of 2007

Green Lantern Corps #16
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
After focusing on the books and events that I considered the “worst” of 2007, it is now time to concentrate on “best”. It took quite a bit of soul searching to narrow the field, but I am ready to acknowledge the things that made me smile, even while sometimes gritting my teeth to get through the process.

12. Fallen Angel from IDW: Peter David hit it out of the park with this fantastically written series focusing on the town of Bete Noire and the characters that make it so incredible. After a short run at DC, David found his stride with a more independent company. It really felt like he could be free to realize his vision, and I appreciate that.

11. 52 ends on a strong note: While Countdown still hasn’t found its vision over thirty issues in, 52 had a cohesive message from week one. Focusing on minor characters and making them astounding was no small feat, but I feel like DC succeeded very well here. With a stable of writer that read like a “who’s who” of comics, this weekly series had heart to spare.

10. Black Canary and Green Arrow Wedding: I know you are surprised to see this here, after my posts about not wanting to see the two together. I am a bit surprised myself. I still am not convinced that marrying Dinah and Ollie was the best decision ever, but it spawned a gorgeously drawn book that I am really enjoying, despite the dissent of others. Cliff Chiang is incredible, and I am having fun watching Dinah kick some butt. Time will tell how the marriage plays out, but I will always have my memories of the big event, taking enjoyment in the fact that it gave me something to take away the pain of “Amazons Attack”.

9. DC Showcase editions: While the cover to the Batgirl created a great deal of uproar, I chose to focus on the Showcase editions as a whole. I loved the fact that I got a Wonder Woman, Justice League of America, Teen Titans, and Batgirl collection for $19.99 each. I was glad that DC came out with a counterpart to Marvel’s black and white reprint bibles. It was about time!

8. Booster Gold series: Like a breath of fresh air, the Booster Gold series swooped in and captured my imagination. Dealing with “woulda, coulda, shoulda” from Booster’s perspective has been an eye opener. I especially enjoyed Booster Gold #5, which showed why Barbara Gordon’s fate could not be changed. This is the kind of fresh series I have been craving. The fact that Booster Gold stars in it amazes and thrills me. It is certainly the best thing to spin out from 52.

7. Dwayne McDuffie on Fantastic Four and JLA: I have never been so happy to see a writer take over a book then I was when McDuffie took over Fantastic Four at the end of Civil War. Talk about a book needing a shot in the arm! After horrendous storylines that made me want to rip the book in two, I appreciated McDuffie’s sure hand. McDuffie as the new writer on Justice League of America also pleases me to no end. This comic book veteran isn’t flashy, which is refreshing. He is just what these two team books needed. A sure vision and a reality check are what McDuffie brings and I am happy about that.

6. World War Hulk/Planet Hulk: Greg Pak accomplished the near-impossible. He took my mind off Civil War and told a great tale while he was at it. The godliness and redemption of Bruce Banner in his Hulk incarnation was spot-on. In my mind, Pak understands the Hulk character like no one has since Peter David’s glorious run. I loved Planet Hulk, and think it is one of the most underrated stories that was told this year. If you didn’t see it and want to cleanse your Marvel palate, I would highly recommend picking it up.

5. Gail Simone writes Wonder Woman: Two issues in and I’m feeling better about the title already. Simone brings an air of confidence and stability to the book that has been missing since the relaunch. Wonder Woman isn’t a diva, but she isn’t scared of her own shadow either. Time will tell how Simone puts her stamp on the book, but I feel secure with the Amazing Amazon in her hands. I still miss her work on Birds of Prey though.

4. A Fond Farewell to Strangers in Paradise: Terry Moore did something astounding. He ended his long running series Strangers in Paradise on his own terms in his own timeframe. After creating a fantastic body of work centered on Francine, Katchoo, and David, Moore decided it was time for the characters to have some peace and quiet. The good news is that I will always have the books to read and reminisce. The even better news is that Moore is still in the industry, doing what he does best. I will miss the book, but feel that Moore ended things on a very poignant and real level.

3. The Boys gets a new home at Dynamite Entertainment: After getting the boot by Wildstorm for justifiably lewd and obnoxious content, one of my favorite new series has a new home and creative freedom. Garth Ennis and Darrick Robertson are able to continue their vision with full support, and that is wonderful. It is a win-win for Wildstorm and Dynamite Entertainment, as well as the readers. We all get what we want, and for me that means I get to continue to read The Boys glorious demented adventures.

2. Captain America by Ed Brubaker: Brubaker has balls of brass. He killed Captain America and made it work. He was gleeful about it. Then he kept the momentum going by going right into the chase for the killer. Bucky, Black Widow, Agent 13, Falcon, and Tony Stark are being written as they were meant to be. They are dangerous, powerful, and they aren’t going to stop until justice is done. While I will always consider Steve Rogers to be Captain America, I am really enjoying the ride that Brubaker is taking us on.

1. Green Lantern/Sinestro Corps War: I was extremely skeptical about the GL/Sinestro War. I didn’t like the fact that Kyle was going to go evil, and that the Corps was going to be decimated. At the beginning, I thought this was a huge mistake. Boy was I wrong. Geoff Johns, Dave Gibbons, and an incredible team of artists turned a scary idea into the most successful event of the year. Forget Civil War. Let Countdown take a back burner. Even World War Hulk seemed tame in comparison. This war was the event of the year. Well executed and filled with humanity, pathos, and plenty of action, watching the GL Corps being torn down and built back up was like watching a beautiful painting become even better. This crossover event has made me an even bigger GL fan, and that is saying a lot.

That is my list for 2007. Did I miss an event you felt was noteworthy? Did you agree with some of these, or all of them? I raise a glass to toast the end of 2007 in all its glory. Salute! Now, bring on 2008!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Top 12 "Worst" Comic Events of 2007

Amazing Spider-Man #544
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
After a great deal of contemplation, and even a bit of cringing, I am here to present my list of the “Worst of 2007” in comic book events. I didn’t take this lightly, and had quite the time preparing this list. Hopefully you will find something you agree with, or maybe have a bit of conjecture to share. Whatever the reaction, here it goes!

12. Spider-Man 3 Movie: I just had to go there. I couldn’t help it. Spider-Man 3 was gorgeous to look at to be sure, but for most of the movie I kept thinking that too much was going on. This film would have fared better for me if it would have focused either on Harry and Peter with some Venom thrown in, or would have spotlighted the Sandman character. I also felt that the use of Gwen Stacy was awkward to say the least. There were many great things in this movie that just didn’t mesh because it was too busy.

11. Nightwing Series: Poor Dick Grayson. He had a rough year. First Bruce Jones made him fight Jason Todd for Nightwing supremacy. Then Marv Wolfman came on to try and fix things with a “flashback” tale. Now Dick is enmeshed in the Ra’s Al Ghul storyline. I am hoping that after a very lackluster year that this book can get back on its feet. It is a text book example of too many cooks spoiling the dinner.

10. Countdown Weekly Series: While I have enjoyed several of the Countdown tie-ins, this weekly installment has yet to catch its breath. There is a great deal going on, and it has a very uneven feel. Some cohesiveness would go a long way. I keep hoping, being the eternal optimist that I am, that it all pulls together in the end. It is an expensive bet to make, and I am pretty worried at this point in time.

9. Wonder Woman Shipping Delays and Tie-in Issues: This book just couldn’t get a break. After delayed shipping that made me want to drink, the book dovetailed immediately into the Amazons Attack saga. There wasn’t a chance to just chill with our girl and get reacquainted. That really sucked. Hopefully new writer Gail Simone and the powers-that-be at DC can change that soon.

8. Ultimates 3 #1: Joe Madureira returned to comics and I realized that I had never missed him. In fact, let me be so harsh as to say that the ungrateful guy should have just stuck to video games and left us poor readers alone. To add insult to injury, the tale being told by writer Jeph Loeb was so preposterous that it made me go back and lovingly read every issue done by Mark Millar. This is not a good sign of things to come.

7. Mary Jane Sexy Statue debacle: On all counts, the “sexy” Mary Jane statue was a disaster. Bent over and sassy, super model Mary Jane confounded and enraged the female population of comic book readers while driving an even bigger wedge in the already widening gap between male and female fans. Last year I spoke of the great divide in readership. Well guess what? It has gotten much worse and I don’t see anyone seeing eye-to-eye in the near future.

6. Amazons Attack mini-series: Okay, get off my ass for not liking this already, would ya? I don’t think it is going to ruin the Amazons forever or any crap like that. I just didn’t like the story. It was contrived, irritating, and senseless. When I saw that it had all just been a set up for Granny Goodness to be bad, it made me angry. This was a Coundown tie-in that didn’t work for me.

5. Death of Bart Allen: I know that the Flash characters of the DCU are vulnerable. There is no such thing as a “safe place” for speedsters, other then Jay Garrick. That still didn’t make Bart Allen’s death any easier to swallow. After having to be put into the Flash outfit, which took him away from the Titans team he flowed so well with, DC’s decision to kill him off didn’t sit well with me. There was a great deal of potential there for storytelling that is now gone. Yes, Wally is back and that is good, but I am greedy. I want Bart to be there with him, helping him raise his kids.

4. Manhunter Title M.I.A.: I really miss the Manhunter series from DC. It has left a hole for me. Having the character appear in Birds of Prey was a consolation prize at best. When are we going to get Kate Spencer back, dammit!!??!!

3. Marshall Rogers and Mike Wieringo- Rest in Peace: Two great talents left us this year, and much too soon. Batman legend Rogers was in his 50’s and Tellos genius Wieringo only a year older then me. It breaks my heart to even think about it. All I can say is that the good lord has two fantastic guys in heaven drawing his tales.

2. Failed Wildstorm Relaunch of The Authority and Wildcats: What the hell was this about? Did Grant Morrison not turn in any scripts? Did Jim Lee drop the ball? What a disaster this was. Two issues of The Authority and one issue of Wildcats were all we got before it was all shuffled under the carpet. Talk about disrespectful to fans. This was damn near the worst.

1. “One More Day” Spider-Man storyline: Peter and Mary Jane’s courtship and marriage were retconned out of existence and I am pissed about it. Lucky fans- we get to trade a lot of memories for the return of Harry Osborn. Whooptie-freaking-doo! Joe Quesada may be sitting there being gleeful, but this old reader hates it. My last issue of Spider-man was this one. Marvel doesn’t care about my demographic, or if they do, they think I will follow blindly. Think again.

That is it for the list of "worst" comic events. Tomorrow I will be back with my list of the 12 "best". See you there!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Must Have Book for GL Fans: Green Lantern/ Sinestro Corps SecretFiles & Origins #1

Yesterday at the comic book store, I had a pretty hefty tab, so I was really considering not picking up the Green Lantern/Sinestro Corps Secret Files book.

Then I picked it up and looked through it. I couldn't believe my eyes.

The book was chock full of information on many of the members of the GL corps, as well as documenting the Sinestro corps. Beyond that, there were items on the Guardians and all the information about Green Lanterns I could have asked. This is, quite simply, a handbook for readers of the GL titles.

At $4.99, this book carries a sizable price tag, but it is also one of those rare occasions where the price is justified. Filled with gorgeous art and fantastic bits of trivia, this is the book to have.

Have any of the rest of you picked this up?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Random Thoughts and Musings

It is snowing like crazy outside tonight. As I drove home, it got slicker and slicker. I don't envy any folks who are out in this any later then they have to be. The weatherman is predicting five inches of snow tonight, so that should be fun.

The good news is that I am off work for some vacation until January 2. This will give me some quality time with the hubby and allow me to do some of the many things I have allowed to pile up here at my house. I am also rallying for control of the remote on several of those days. Wish me luck!

Tomorrow will be filled with several errands, some bill paying, and a stop to pick up comics. Then hopefully we can stay at home and watch it snow. I also need to compile my lists for my yearly feature of "best" and "worst". Another goal is to catch up my Comicspace and make it more cohesive. Good luck, right?

Tonight really feels like one of those times it is fantastic to be inside and just snuggle and relax. I am very blessed to be able to do so.

What are your plans for New Years Eve? At this point we are sitting at home watching the television and vegging. I am going to pick up some Miller's Chill beer and drink a few while watching the ball drop.

Have a great night! I am off to spend some time with Jim.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New Comics for December 28

Batman #672
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
After a wonderful Christmas, I had a decent day back at work today. I wore the new festive jacket my mom gave me and worked to get caught up. I am really spoiled this week as tomorrow is my Friday. I won't go back to work until January 2. I can't wait!!

I am working on my "best" and "worst" lists and hope to have them presented here this weekend. It has been such a crazy year that it is hard to remember it all. I plan to comb my previous entries and surf the 'net a bit to bring it all back!

This week's comics are killer. It is a DC heavy week once again. Hopefully I won't cry when I see the bill!

Here is the list:

52 Aftermath the Four Horsemen #5 (of 6)
Action Comics #860
Authority Prime #3 (of 6)
Batman #672- pictured!
Blue Beetle #22
Brave and the Bold #9
Countdown Arena #4
Countdown to Adventure #5 (of 8)
Countdown #18
Crime Bible The Five Lessons of Blood #3 (of 5)
Death of the New Gods #4 (of 8)
Flash #235
Green Lantern #26
JSA Classified #33
Legion of Super Heroes #37- to check out Jim Shooter's work
Teen Titans #54
Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #4 (of 8)
Witchblade #112
Avengers Initiative #8
Black Panther #33
Captain America #33
Daredevil #103
New Warriors #7
Punisher #53
Ultimate Spider-Man #117
X-Men #206
Dan Dare #2 (of 7)
Devi #16

That is it... except the list is so large that it seems like a misnomer to say that. Thank God for Christmas money!

Have a wonderful rest of the week! Check back for my lists- hopefully it will be both informative and entertaining.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas from Comics Fairplay

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Jim and I have just arrived back home from a long weekend at my parent's house. We had a marvelous, relaxing time with family. I would rate it a "10" out of 10.

On the way back, we drove through Portland, Oregon and it was a mess. It was snowing and it really confounded several of the drivers, as that is not their natural driving conditions. We tried to drive very carefully through the city, and since the bad weather lasted until Hood River, it was quite treacherous. By the time we got back home, we were very happy. It is snowing here, but that is a more normal condition for us.

Pictured is the original sketch my husband gave me for Christmas. Done by Chris Ivy, the portrayal of Wonder Woman leaves me breathless. I love the shading and softness Ivy brings to this golden age great. I couldn't have asked for a better present!

I am off to go get unpacked and do my laundry, but I really wanted to wish you a wonderful day! Take care and enjoy your time with loved ones.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Video That is Always in Style: Christmas In Hollis - Run DMC

Well, it is time we are off to see family. My friend Kerry is going to watch stuff here as we head out to for Christmas festivities. We will be back on Christmas Day with bells on!

In the meantime, enjoy this killer Christmas video from Run DMC. "Christmas in Hollis" is a classic in the best of senses!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Is This Gratuitous?: Expose' of Catwoman #74 Actual cover

When I bought Catwoman #74, something seemed funny to me. I hadn't remembered seeing such a bodacious cover- it had seemed to me that it was more "arty" and serious.

Then I figured out why I had that suspicion.

I went to DC Comics online site and prepared to show the cover here. To my surprise, the original cover had Catwoman's front completely zipped up. The pose was also a bit different, and her expression was more sinister then sexy.

That kinda pisses me off.

Does anyone know why DC had such a radical cover change on this issue? Has there been any news about it? Or was this just simply the case of the good old switcheroo?

In my mind, changing this cover so radically from solicitation to publication makes me smell a rat. It isn't so much the boob centered finish of this that bothers me; it is the fact that a really cool noir style cover is now a titillating one.

Now it is your turn. Weigh in on this one and tell me what you think it all means. Also tell me this: Is this gratuitous?

Quick note: The cover here is the actual one. For solicit cover, hit the link of go to my Flickr page.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Awesomely Cheesy Christmas Video: Please Come Home for Christmas- Bon Jovi

Tonight on the way home from working out, I was listening to the radio and they were playing multiple Christmas tunes, when this Bon Jovi oldie popped up. I was immediately transported back in time, remembering the video, which featured Super Model Cindy Crawford.

What always stood out to me in this were Cindy's "sultry" posing and the incredibly chemistry free makeout session. Never have two more beautiful people been so not into each other! I guess they look good, and that is the whole idea.

Enjoy the really good looking video and the surprisingly soulful stylings of Bon Jovi! Oh, and early Merry Christmas while I'm at it!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Random Thoughts and Musings

Do you ever have a day that starts out kinda sucky but improves as it goes on? I had one of those today. It started out driving in really bad weather- wet snow and ice, but ended at the gym doing weight lifting, knowing I was coming home to my warm house. I also had the knowledge that my Christmas stuff is done, which helps put things in perspective. I am expecting a hectic day tomorrow, and as the Christmas countdown gets closer, it will be crazy. The folks at the grocery store are gearing up for it. The clerk I spoke to tonight said that they have to pretty much double up on shifts up until Christmas to handle the customers. I don't envy them, and my thoughts are with them. I am really lucky to have both Christmas Eve and Christmas off.

Tonight I had a great time weight lifting and hit some personal goals. My training partner and I started lifting intensely in February, and are winding down our latest routine. We decided to do multiple sets starting at lower reps and working up to a max. On my way home tonight I realized that I am actually lifting more weight then I did in high school. That is nuts.

As a Junior in high school I was on the track team and threw discus and shot-put. My friend Diana and I used to go bench press. She could do 140 lbs. and I could do 120 lbs. We felt pretty good about it. Amazingly, tonight I benched 140 lbs! I could only do it four times, and it was hard, but I did it. I am in better shape now then when I was in high school. To me that is unreal. I am very proud that I have stuck it out and made this vow to be fit. I still have quite a bit of weight to lose, but that will start again in January. I burned out in October and had to take a break.

In other news, this Saturday Jim and I made the decision, based on his guidance, to put our mini-busts and statues away. We were cleaning our living room and my Donna Troy bust fell and broke. Jim's Kyle Rayner mini statue also bit it. After I got extremely upset, I finally realized that putting our stuff away for awhile is for the best. I am way less stressed just having a few action figures out. Maybe again in the future we will display our statues again, but they are so fragile that our nerves need a break.

I wasn't too comic book related tonight, but I will be back tomorrow (hopefully) with an opinion or two about the Previews for March 2008. Have a great night!

Monday, December 17, 2007

New Comics for December 19

Immortal Iron Fist #11
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
Holy Crap. Christmas Eve is a week from today. This month has flown by! I am thanking God that I finally got my Christmas cards done and my shopping finished. Just to make myself feel better, I got everything wrapped yesterday as well. That has taken my stress level from an eleven to about an eight. Hopefully all of you are doing well with your holiday endeavors!

Jim and I had a wonderful day yesterday. His sister's fiance' Craig came through town and we had a nice lunch and great conversation. It is always great to hang with Craig. We are hoping to see him Thursday night on his way back through.

This week's comics are scaring me as much as last week's books, but that might have something to do with how much lower my stress level is today. Let's get to it!

Rex Mundi #9
Birds of Prey #113
Catwoman #74
Checkmate #21
Countdown Arena #3 (of 4)
Countdown- the Search for Ray Palmer: Superwoman Batwoman #1
Countdown #19
Detective Comics #839
Justice League of America #16
Shadowpact #20
Madame Mirage #4
Exiles #100
Immortal Iron Fist #11 - see pictured!
Incredible Hulk #112
Mighty Avengers #6
New X-Men #45
Ultimate X-Men #89
Wolverine Origins #20
Red Sonja #28
Savage Tales #5

That is it for tonight. I ran late working out and helping a friend shop so I am keeping it short and sweet. Have a fantastic evening! I hope to be back here tomorrow with a new post, although with my track record the last few weeks, I am not holding my breath.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Review: 1st Issue Special #4- LADY COP!

1st Issue Special #4
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley

Liza Warner is your every day, average gal until she witnesses the heinous murder of her roommates. Driven by natural police-like attributes and a desire to good, she enrolls in Police Academy and becomes….wait for it… Lady Cop.

Dressed in sensible shoes, and a 1970’s style police woman knee length skirt and top, Liza takes on criminals in her NYPD beat. No desk job for this lady- Liza fights crime without a net. I loved every minute of it, other then her boyfriend, who took her to the beach and tried to get her to give up her career. It’s the 1970’s, Buster!

After reading Lady Cop in First Issue Special #4, I felt empowered. Liza didn’t let the bad guys intimidate her and she could take care of herself. She helped a father see eye-to-eye with his “new school” daughter. She kicked some bad guy ass. To top it off, she wasn’t dressed in an overtly sexy manner, but she was fit and attractive.

I want to be Lady Cop when I grow up. You have got to check this book out! I just want to know one thing, though. Why weren’t there more adventures from this sassy, bold woman? I would have read it!

Special Note: I first saw Lady Cop at Seven Hells!, so a belated thanks to Devon for the heads up.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

(Non) Metal Video of the Week: Tone Loc - Funky Cold Medina

Remember Yo! MTV Raps? Dre and Ed Lover? Fess up to doing the dumb dance? Remember those fade hair cuts?

Then you must be feeling a bit nostalgic for Tone Loc. He of the fun party rap and killer attitude. Self effacing and cool, Tone is the man! Much like Young MC and DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, "Funky Cold Medina" is a tune that hearkens back to simpler times. Remember when rap was fun?

Those were the days. Now it's time to dance!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

This Week's Comics- First Impressions

This week had some very interesting new comic books, so I thought I would do a one to two sentence take of a pile and try and come back this weekend and be more indepth. Here we go!

Wonder Woman #15- My favorite part is the "back story" of the Amazons that is developing. So far, so good.

Green Arrow Black Canary #3- Yay! I got the variant cover! Crap, somebody looks unwell.

Green Lantern #25- Now this is what I am talking about, People. Loved it.

Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Ion #1- The torch is passed, literally. Marz does his swan song and we get a sense of direction for Kyle.

Green Lantern Corps #19- This is a book to watch. Guy and Kyle are meshing well and I am looking forward to the future.

Black Adam #5 (of 6)- One of the most compelling books I am reading. I am mesmerized.

Wonder Girl #4 (of 6)- I spent most of my time trying to figure out how this mini-series fits into the big picture. Loving Torres' scripting.

Countdown Arena #2 (of 4)- This issue was better then the first one, but that isn't saying much. I am hoping for a big payoff.

X-Factor #26- Damn. I hate crossovers, but adore Layla. Torn.

Booster Gold #5- I really appreciated this book. Fans of Barbara Gordon need to pick this up.

Nightwing #139- Some of the best dialogue between Tim and Dick that I have seen in a long time. I am really enjoying the Ra's Al Ghul storyline.

Fables #68- This book is a winner. Quality story telling and great art.

Ultimate Iron Man II #1 (of 4)- My guilty pleasure. I had a good time reading this.

That is it so far. I haven't gotten any further in my reading, and am hoping to get a second read in tomorrow or Saturday. This week's comics are restoring my faith in humanity for some weird reason.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Grinch Says: "Forget Christmas and Have a Cocktail"

Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
It has happened. I have hit Christmas overload. I worked an 11 hour day and had to do Christmas errands. People in general were assholes and the roads are icy. It was not a pleasant experience, to say the least.

That being said, I am taking tonight off blogging and going to sit and relax. I have to make dinner and do laundry first, but then it is all about checking out some comic books and reading the rest of the book "Big Boned" by Meg Cabot.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

THE Show to Attend: Emerald City Comicon 2008

Ever wanted to go to Seattle to vacation? Interested in going to a comic book show while you are there? Ready for some gorgeous spring weather? Just want to get out of town?

Then the 2008 Emerald City Comicon is for you.

I want to put a bug in your ear while it is still early enough to make plans. May 10 and 11, 2008 are the dates. Please put them on your calendar. ECCC is a fantastic show that is big enough to draw wonderful guests but small enough to have that intimate feel. Go check out their website for details.

I can't stress enough what a great show this is. Get your plane tickets, bus tickets, car rental, or pack mule reserved now. It will be worth it! If nothing else, check out this gorgeous piece of art by Tim Sale.

Did I mention that Seattle has incredibly excellent beer and fun places to go eat?

Monday, December 10, 2007

New Comics for December 12

Booster Gold #5
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
Confession time: I haven't done my Christmas cards yet. It is December 10, so I am in trouble. Guess what has to be the priority this week?

Hopefully the flooding has subsided enough to have shipping back on schedule. That being the case, new stuff should be here Wednesday, not that I am holding my breath! Heh.

Here is the list:

Black Adam The Dark Age #5 (of 6)
Booster Gold #5 - pictured
Countdown Arena #2 (of 4)
Countdown #20
Gen 13 #15
Green Arrow Black Canary #3
Green Lantern #25
Green Lantern Corps #19
Nightwing #139
Stormwatch Armageddon #1
Suicide Squad Raise the Flag #4 (of 8)
Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Ion #1
Wonder Girl #4 (of 6)
Wonder Woman #15
Angelus Pilot Season #1
Fantastic Four #552
New Avengers #37
New Warriors #6
Punisher War Journal #14
Ultimate Iron Man II #1 (of 4)
Wolverine #60
X-Factor #26
X-Men Die by the Sword #5 (of 5)
Devi #15

Yet another huge week. I give up until after Christmas. The January Previews I filled out was pretty sparse, so hopefully that will help. Have a wonderful night!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Random Thoughts and Musings

Lots o' figures
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
I am tired. Bone tired. I am sitting here a bit lost, after realizing that I hadn't posted since Thursday. Things have been hectic, and the holiday season hasn't exactly put things into a "slowdown".

Our company inventory was on Friday, and I worked 16 1/2 hours. I could hardly get my butt out of bed yesterday! By the time Jim and I got to our errands it was 3 p.m. and all we got done was a trip to the comic shop to pick up my Christmas present (see blog entry) and a couple of action figures.

Then I had to hurry home and prepare for my company Christmas party. It was last night, and I ended up sharing a room there. I just got home about 45 minutes ago and am officially in a panic. I haven't started Christmas cards and Jim and I have laundry, house cleaning, and grocery shopping to do. When do I get to factor in "down time"? Evidently it is not in the cards.

The one thing I did do is take a picture of my credenza of action figures, mini-busts, and statues. Jim lets me keep all my stuff there as a kind of show and tell. God, I am a big geek. My friends can't get over it when they come to our house and it is decorated in comic book theme. What can I say? It is how we like it.

At any rate, I haven't read my comics other then a quick glance, so I have nothing of note to say on that. I haven't even tapped into back issues. It is a casualty of the holiday season, and that is okay. Hopefully I can get caught up someday!

Have a wonderful Sunday and I will see you back here tomorrow for the list of the week's books!


Well, I did it. I had ordered the statue. To that end, yesterday afternoon I went and picked it up and brought it home. To say it is extremely cool is an understatement. This is the most killer collectible I have.

Power Girl and Huntress from the "All Star Comics" era of the late 1970's define super hero for me. These were days when Earth Two was still the home of the Justice Society of America, before the original "Crisis". Other then Wonder Woman, these two ladies were who I wanted to emulate. Hot headed, strong Power Girl, cousin of Superman, knew how to stand up for herself and could kick some serious butt. Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle's daughter Helena followed in their footsteps with brains and beauty. She practiced law and was versed in martial arts, while acting like a lady.

These were the female characters that I still look to when I define my youth. I loved reading their stories. To this day, I still mourn the loss of Helena Wayne to history. Though a "Earth One" Huntress is on the scene in Birds of Prey, she hasn't replaced this character for me. I can at least feel vindicated that Power Girl is in the JSA and is in fact their current chairperson.

I took a picture of the statue where Jim and I placed it. It came in three pieces, and we very carefully put them together. Each is lovingly crafted and a tribute to the character. It is my Christmas present, and I couldn't ask for better.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Kick Ass Metal Video of the Week: Pantera- "Walk"

For the uninitiated, let me warn you now. Pantera is hardcore, uncensored metal at it's finest. It is the music I listen to when I need to get pumped up, and it works every time.

The band from Texas left it's mark on the music world with killer songs and outstanding musicianship. "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott is well remembered for his amazing guitar riffs. Unfortunately, he was gunned down on stage with his new band Damageplan a few years ago, so his music is all we have left. Rest in Peace, Dimebag.

Left to carry on, Darrell's brother Vinnie is in a band called Hellyeah, whose hit song "Alcoholin' Ass" was heard all over the rock format radio this year. Singer Phil Anselmo continues to battle his health, and I last saw him singing with Alice in Chains at a Heart tribute concert.

To get pumped up now, press play!

Comics Are Here!

By the grace of God, comics came in today. For whatever reason, we got ours before the west side of the state, which NEVER happens. It has got to be because of the I-5 closure. Traffic must have been re-routed.

That is the good news! In busy news, I am gearing up for our company's inventory tomorrow. This means a potential 12-18 hour day, depending on how things go. That being said, you may not see anything new or exciting going on here. If it wears me out like it normally does, I will be coming home, showering, and sitting on the couch in a daze!!

On that note, I am off to go get some dinner and get all my stuff ready. Take care!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Flooding Causes Comic Book Delays!

road closed
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
In hindsight, I really should have known better then to go to my local comic book shop today, but in my excitement to get books I didn't consider the fact that Washington State and Oregon have declared a state of emergency due to flooding and high winds.


My comic books were not there today. They might be there tomorrow, but it is unlikely. More of a possibility is that the comics will be here on Friday or Monday.

This time I can't blame Diamond or UPS. This time it is an act of God. You know what? I can live with it.

After my initial hysteria subsided, I have become very calm and put my energy into praying and hoping for those folks on the coast without power, who may have been flooded. They have a hell of a lot bigger problem then their comics being late!

My comics are delayed and I am okay with it. Hopefully I-5 will open up tomorrow and traffic can resume normal flow. Then the UPS truck will deliver the books and by that time, hopefully the states in question will be back to a more normal state!

Have a wonderful night! I will be back tomorrow with an update.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Blast From The Past: the Supersons!

When I first started collecting comics back in 1973 to 1974, I was really into the "100 page spectaculars" which were my entry into reading. One of the first books I picked up was an issue of Worlds Finest that featured the "supersons". The whole concept there was that Batman and Superman would watch "missions" of possible future sons and ponder what might be. Groovy, huh?

Indeed it was groovy as the supersons were certified hotties with the 1970's style hair complete with sideburns. Did I also mention that the boys were a bit horny? As an eight year old, much of that escaped me, but today when I read the back issues, it makes me laugh. God, those were innocent times. Beside that TMI tidbit, what really fascinated me was being able to see the legacy continue and watching the sons grow and learn as they went through missions together.

One thing I loved pondering was who their mom(s) could be. I always secretly hoped that Selina Kyle was Batman Junior's mom while wishing that Lois was Superman Junior's mother. I would also consider that Wonder Woman could be the mother of either as both boys had black hair. The fantasy aspect of it all really increased my curiosity.

What made me bring this whole thing up is that there is a new collection coming out this week called "Batman/Superman: Saga of the Supersons".I have most of the back issues somewhere in my basement, but the opportunity to pick them up in one collection fills me with joy. Further increasing my wonderment is the fact that Dick Dillin, who is one of my favorite artists of all time, pencilled many of the adventures. How the heck he did this and kept up on Justice League of America monthly is one of the things that makes me appreciate him that much more.

Here are the specs on it:

"Written by Bob Haney; Art by Dick Dillin, Murphy Anderson, Vince Colletta and others; Cover by Nick Cardy

For the first time, the complete saga of the Super Sons is collected in one volume! Features stories from the pages of WORLD'S FINEST COMICS #215-216, 221-222, 224, 228, 230, 231, 233, 238, 242, 263 and ELSEWORLDS 80-PAGE GIANT #1!

DC Universe 256pg. Color Softcover $19.99 US"

If you are a fan of the old school World's Finest comics and have an appreciation for the work of the gentlemen listed above, this is a "must have". I would also like to point out that the boys are quite cute, so it is an equal opportunity for the ladies to have some beefcake. Since Christmas is coming up, why not pick this up as a present for the Superman and Batman fans in your family?

Monday, December 03, 2007

New Comics for December 5

The Sword #3
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
Today was absolutely crazy, weather wise. It rained all day and got up to 51 degrees, hence melting much of the snow that accumulated for a week. It was also quite windy, which was kind of a weather bonus... not. Needless to say, I am very happy to be home safe. Since I am not all the way over my head cold, I took tonight off working out.

My list this week could be very scary for two main reasons. The first is that the Huntress-Power Girl statue is coming in this week. The second is that the Wonder Woman "Who Is Wonder Woman" action figures are coming in. What is scary is that it has been so damn long since they were in Previews that I can't remember if I officially ordered them or not. Jim and I don't think I did- in fact I am about 90% sure I didn't, but I have this nagging feeling in the back of my head about this. I am so embarassed.

Here is the rest of the list:

Countdown Arena #1 (of 4)
Countdown #21
Justice League of America #15
Justice Society of America #11
Robin #169
Supergirl #24
Dynamo 5 #9
Invincible #47
PVP #37
Sword #3 - cover pictured!
Ms. Marvel #22
Twelve #0
Ultimate X-Men #88
Uncanny X-Men #493
X-Men Die By the Sword #4 (of 5)
World War Hulk Aftersmash

Short but sweet post tonight. I am going to go lay on the couch and pray that this crap goes away before my inventory on Friday and Christmas party on Saturday. Wish me luck!

Have a wonderful evening!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Finding Wonder Woman's "Voice" in Her Comic Book

Wonder Woman
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
As I have been reading through Wonder Woman back issues and pondering the state of her book today, what has most struck me is how finding Wonder Woman's "voice" can be the toughest thing a writer can tackle. It isn't just about how Diana would tackle fighting crime or how she would react to a betrayal- it is also considering where her heart might be and how she would feel if a romantic situation would arise. Would she be flirtatious or would she be upset? How would Diana feel if a friend told her secret feelings or confided in her?

There is much to consider in finding and translating the "bone marrow" of a character and having it find a unique "voice" that can be found throughout continuity. God knows that in this latest run of Wonder Woman, she has been all over the board, which has made it impossible to lay a foundation for the tone of the book. Hopefully writer Gail Simone will stay on the book long enough to make this happen in a meaningful and memorable way that stays true to the character.

Tough order, huh?

What is unusual for me is that I find my feelings for Wonder Woman as a character to be almost sacred. When I see other readers have "pissing contests" to see who the biggest fan is, I want to run the other direction. In my mind it doesn't matter who has read her the longest or who owns the most collectibles. That is besides the point. What matters to me is my perception of the character. I know who I think Wonder Woman is, and it doesn't matter to me if anyone else agrees with me or not.

That being said, when I read the monthly title, I usually find at least one thing a writer has imbued the character with that I relate to. That helps me to establish a focal point that will further my enjoyment of Diana and her supporting characters. When I can find nothing to help me establish that rapport, it is a bit disconcerting to say the least.

My perceptions of Wonder Woman are as follows. I think that Diana is an overachiever who always pushes herself harder and farther then anyone else possibly could. She holds herself up to standards of perfection and tries to live up to them, which has hurt her in the past. Her physical strength and ablities are second to none, and she is a strategist on the battlefield. Wonder Woman doesn't pick a fight but she will not shy away from one. She is firm in her convictions and will not back down unless other lives are in danger. I think that is why it was not a tough choice for her to kill Maxwell Lord. In her mind it was for the greater good, and though she took no joy in it, she did it and was firm in her decision.

Romantically, Wonder Woman has been portrayed so many ways, yet has retained a quality of untouchable purity. Though she may or may not have been a virgin, and certainly was not by the end of the first series when she married Steve Trevor, she maintained a priority of fighting the evils of the world, and keeping her love life a private, almost sacred thing. When I see her in the current series, I am dissappointed by how poorly her personality has shown in respect to a potential relationship with Nemesis.

I want Diana to have a relationship. I just don't want her to be silly about it. I appreciated Phil Jimenez' take on Wonder Woman with regards to Trevor Barnes. At first she was a bit nervous, but when faced with the reality of her existence, she felt comfortable enough to let her guard down and be a bit flirty while maintaining her dignity. The scene in Wonder Woman #7 where she drops a wounded Nemesis for a swarmy comment just didn't work at all for me.

My bottom line on romance, is that I don't mind if she gets down to it behind closed doors, but that I want her to have a relationship that progresses at a realistic pace and I don't want her to be goofy about it. She is royalty, after all? That is one thing that has been lost in the shuffle.

As a princess of Themyscira, Diana isn't neccesarily prissy, but she has a great understanding of protocol. Having her act ditzy isn't within her character at all. Giving Diana a bit of a glamour is alright, as long as she maintains her priority, which is battling evil.

The "voice" I see in Wonder Woman is many faceted. She is dignified, yet calm. She won't back down from her beliefs but she will hear you out first. She is loyal to her friends and decisive with her enemies. When she meets a man she likes, she is womanly, but not goofy. She always remembers her "mission" but knows how to interact with folks from all social stations. That is what a princess does, after all.

What about you? What is the "voice" you see in Wonder Woman?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Random Thoughts and Musings

December 1. Yes, it is already December 1. That means that in 24 day the most obsessed about holiday of the year will be here. In preparation for this, I notice that the general public has thrown all goodwill out the window. It is nice to see that "survival of the fittest" is once again being proven. Unfortunately our natural selection of today is that the most agressive gets to be first in line to get the latest fad or craze. Darwin would probably shake his head in either amusement or horror, or quite possibly a mixture of the two.

I looked at my comic books the last couple of days and what struck me most is that I am having the reaction Marvel quite possibly was hoping for to the "One More Day" story line. It is obvious that Mary Jane and Peter will be no more by the end of this and of course, I am completely pissed, which probably makes Marvel very happy, especially since in my anger I have been spending my money on the book. I do think that I need to put an end to that, so I am going to quit buying Amazing Spider-Man. Problem solved!

Top Cow's First Born was a book I thoroughly enjoyed. I know, I know. I don't really care though. It had pathos, drama, and was predictable as hell, but I am a huge fan of The Darkness and Magdelena, so it worked well for me.

After a few "so so" issues, I was struck by how much emotion I felt reading American Virgin #21. I am sad to see that book ending at the completion of this storyline. Having a modern take on the age old concept of "should I or shouldn't I" has been fascinating to say the least.

On the home front, like a broken record, I am sick again. This time it is the head cold from hell. I give up. My immune system is shot from burning the candle at both ends and there is no end in sight anytime soon so I just have to resign myself to catching anything that anyone else I come in contact has. Even though I work out and try and take care of myself, stress can overrule everything else. This is a hard truth that I am living proof of. At any rate, I will be over it sooner than later and then something else will come along, so I am not even going to bitch about it.

On that note, I am going to go relax, drink some orange juice, and read the newest issue of Oxygen. I hope that all of you are having a safe and happy holiday season so far. Take care, and I will be back tomorrow!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Rest In Peace: Evel Knievel

Legendary Daredevil Evel Knievel has passed away, according to reports by the Associated Press. After a long battle with several health problems, including pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable condition that ravaged his lungs, Knievel lost his battle. He was just 69 years old.

Looking at the Sports Illustrated cover from so many years ago, it strikes me that Knievel really was the predecessor to do many folks who participate in extreme sports. He enthralled us all with his lack of fear and his showmanship. He even had his own comic book in 1974, cementing his legend.

While I wouldn't live my life the way Knievel did, I do have to say he did it all on his own terms. What sticks in my mind is when he tried to jump Snake River and had so many of us glued to our television sets. Back in the day, without the benefit of instantaneous internet gratification, Evel was the man that made life interesting. He kept that glamour and glitz up until virtually the end, as I found when I read an article in Maxim magazine that was especially poignant.

I would like to propose a toast to Evel Knievel, who is as you read this, trying to jump several clouds in heaven.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

News to Cherish: James Robinson's Starman Series to "Omnibus"

I just read over at Newsarama that DC will be publishing a series of six omnibus volumes of the acclaimed and standard-setting series Starman. Notably written by James Robinson and pencilled by Tony Harris (through issue #45), this is a book worthy of a bit spendier collection.

Here is the press release:

"STARMAN, the acclaimed DC Universe series created by writer James Robinson and artist Tony Harris, will be collected for the first time in hardcover, on high-quality paper, in THE STARMAN OMNIBUS, a series of six volumes beginning in May.

This series will feature new covers by Harris, and will measure 6.75” x 10.25”. Collecting the entire STARMAN series, plus the STARMAN ANNUALS, SECRET FILES, 80-PAGE GIANT, THE SHADE miniseries and much more, these volumes include stories illustrated by Harris, Peter Snejbjerg, Chris Sprouse, J.H. Williams III, Phil Jimenez, Gene Ha, Guy Davis, Teddy Kristiansen, Lee Weeks and many others, as well as several stories co-written by David Goyer.

Scheduled to reach stores in May, THE STARMAN OMNIBUS VOL. 1 HC is a 448 page title collecting STARMAN #0 and 1-16, with a cover price of $49.99 U.S."

Fantastic news. I can't say enough things about how much I loved this book and how much I know it will never be duplicated. It makes me happy to know that others will be able to find as much joy as I have.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Well Deserved: J.K. Rowling Named Entertainment Weekly's "Entertainer of the Year"

J.K. Rowling
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
One of the best magazines I read is Entertainment Weekly. I appreciate the fact that this particular publication keeps the focus on entertainment news rather then on gossip and tedious tidbits. As a longtime subscriber, I was pleasantly surprised to see "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling on this week's cover as "Entertainer of the Year". God knows she deserves it.

If you haven't heard of Harry Potter, you probably have secluded yourself from every form of multimedia available. When the seventh and final installment of the Potter series came out this summer, the media was on high alert as were the millions of fans eager to read the book. As an avid fan, I was not disappointed with the end result. Rowling has created a world of magic and intrigue, and her books merit several re-reads. Flat out, she is a wonderfully talented author who has captured the public's imagination.

To see the author of a series of books named "Entertainer of the Year" was a breath of fresh air for me. God knows Rowling deserves it for her impact on so many fans. Her books are the mainstay of all ages and have translated very successfully into the big screen. I firmly believe Rowling is deserving of the rewards she has gained for her work and love the fact that on top of everything else she is a "rags to riches" story. Who doesn't love that?

If you get a chance, pick up a copy of EW and check it out. As the magazine points out, Rowling has made a book the hot new accessory and it is about damn time.

Monday, November 26, 2007

New Comics for November 29

Dan Dare #1
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
Since comics are not going to be here until Thursday, I feel like I am being extra efficient with my list. I know that it is irrational, but it humors me, so I am going with that feeling. Today was a long one, so I am a bit rummy to boot.

This week's comic list is like the others before it in that it is long and I am convinced of my insanity.

Here is the lowdown:

All Star Batman & Robin #8
American Virgin #21
Authority Prime #2 (of 6)
Batman #671
Batman & the Outsiders #2
Blue Beetle #21
Countdown to Adventure #4 (of 8)
Countdown #22
Crime Bible The Five Lessons of Blood #2 (of 5)
Deathblow #8
Green Lantern Corps #18
JSA Classified #32
Teen Titans #53
Trials of Shazam #10 (of 12)
Uncle Sam & the Freedom Fighters #3 (of 8)
First Born #3 (of 3)
Black Panther #32
Daredevil #102
Ultimate Spider-Man #116
X-Men #205
Dan Dare #1 (of 7) - cover pictured!

That is it for the week, and I am relieved it isn't worse. I hope you all have a good one, and I will see you tomorrow!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Random Thoughts and Reviews

Powers #27
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
I am sitting here in a funk because my four day weekend is almost over. I didn't get done nearly what I needed and it went way too quickly. To top it off, Christmas shopping Hell has started.

That being said, I have decided not to try and do long form reviews this week. I am mad at myself, but have decided that it isn't feasible until I get my head in a different space then it is. Due to circumstances both beyond and within my control, I am finding that I can't focus enough for the long periods of time that are a requirement to do them correctly. Yes, I admit it, though I am not proud of it.

I did read and enjoy Powers #27 this week (cover pictured). After being a bit disillusioned with the book and the slowness of both publishing and the story being told, Powers seems to be back in the form that made me love it. Also, for the best damn letters column today, this book must not be missed.

Checkmate #20 was a pleasure. The concluding chapter of "The Fall of the Wall" was just the kick in the butt I was hoping for. Amanda Waller has become a favorite of mine for her tricky and evil ways, while Sasha Bordeaux is a revelation. I also love Mr. Terrific, and he is fast becoming one of my favorite male heroes. It might not be "Queen and Country", but Greg Rucka brings it here in the spy version of the DCU.

Birds of Prey #112 was a bit uneven for me. Lady Blackhawk is mourning the passing of Big Barda in her own original style. I appreciate that Zinda is a unique lady, but I was a bit off-put by the wordiness of the story. I am getting very impatient for the next regular creative team to be on this book, and if I have read my Previews correctly that should commence with the next issue.

I got distracted this week from reading all my comics as "Confessor" by Terry Goodkind came out and I have been reading it the past few days. I am almost finished tonight and I can hardly wait. Richard and Kahlen are great characters and knowing that this is the final chapter is both exciting and bittersweet.

The other book I read is the autobiography of Slash, the former lead guitarist of Guns'N'Roses. Talk about your excesses! Between this read and "The Heroin Diaries" by Nikki Sixx, I am very happy I never did drugs. Talk about a horror and a nightmare. These guys are lucky to be alive and making music today.

Last but not least, I was astonished at page six of Thunderbolts: Breaking Points. Holy Crap! The fact that this hasn't already gotten the spotlight for spoofing the Mary Jane statue is beyond me. I was shellshocked and then amused. How this goes over depends completely on reader interpretation, so I am interested to see if it goes anywhere.

I hope you all had a nice weekend and that life is going well! I will be back tomorrow with my weekly shipping list. Take care!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Is This Gratuitous? Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighter #3

First off, I hope you all had a wonderful day yesterday, holiday or not, and that your Friday was filled with joy and peace. Here at Casa Fairplay we had a lovely, relaxing day in which we held control of the remote. Nice, huh?

Today brings another candidate for "gratuitous" consideration. Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters #3 from DC Comics features a depiction of Dollman that caught my eye. In what I am pretty sure is supposed to be irony, Dollman is holding a doll in one hand and a gun in the other. The doll in question looks like a cross between a blow up doll and a puppet, so I am trying to figure out what that means. The fact that a male is holding a woman puppet is what gives it the edge that takes it right to the line.

As a note, Dave Johnson is a cover artist whose work I usually appreciate. His 100 Bullets covers are amazing and have given the series a flavor that I appreciate. I would go so far as to say that the Johnson/Azarello/Risso trifecta is the best since Ennis/Dillon/Fabry on Preacher. That being said, it takes a great deal for me to call Johnson out, but this cover did it.

While extremely artistic and clever, the portrayal of the doll makes this a murky one. Help me out here and tell me what you think.

Is this gratuitous?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving from Comics Fairplay! We are planning a day at home and will soon commence with cooking, but felt it was important to give a quick list of things we are thankful for!!

Comic book Thank you's and Blessings for:

Gail Simone on Wonder Woman.
Geoff Johns and Gary Frank on Action Comics.
Jessica Jones being created by Bendis.
100 Bullets .
Y The Last Man.
Dwaine McDuffie writing Justice League of America.
Power Girl gettting great characterization in JSA.
Garth Ennis on Punisher Max.
Ultimate Spider-Man (much better then the core books).
More Wonder Woman products like Showcase and another volume of DC Archives.

My Life Thank You's and Blessings for:

My family who has never wavered in loving me.
The hubby who has been here for 11 years and counting.
My friend Kerry who has helped me so much.
Continued Good Health.
Continued employment.
Amazing friends, with many of you included!

I know that there is much I am missing, but I at least wanted to take the time to say "Thank you" to you as well. If you celebrate Turkey Day, have a wonderful one! If you are having a "regular" day, I wish you well!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Kick Ass Metal Video of the Week: Blow My Fuse by Kix

When I think of seriously underrated metal bands of the 1980's, Kix is one of the first bands that always comes to mind. Fueled by Steve Whitman's ferocious vocals and a sonic, incendiary sound, these guys should have been huge. Instead they faded into obscurity as many other bands did at the advent of grunge. It makes me sad to this day to think that I never saw Kix play live. Does anyone know if they are still performing? I would love to see them!

Check out "Blow My Fuse" and tell me what you think!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Love/Hate Relationship: The Wonder Girl Mini Bust

When I looked at the DC solicitations for February 2008 on Comic Book Resources, I stopped and just stared. Right in front of me was a solicitation for a Wonder Girl mini bust designed by Terry Dodson. No, it wasn't Donna or classic Wonder Woman as Wonder Girl. It was Cassie. Hmmmm..

For whatever reason, Cassie getting a mini bust took me by surprise. I guess I didn't realize how popular she had gotten and how much exposure has surrounded her as a character. It really shouldn't be a surprise as Cassie was a player in Infinite Crisis and in the Wonder Woman and Teen Titan titles. I just didn't expect it.

I appreciate Cassie and am glad to see how she has evolved in the DCU. I just don't know if I would spend the money to purchase this product. I just picked up the Black Canary mini bust based on designs by Adam Hughes and it is alright, but I had intended it to be my last "statuette" purchase for a long time.

Is it because Cassie has been focused to the teen and "tween" markets that I am reticent? I think so. As a middle aged buyer of product I would probably spend money on a mini bust of Dizzy from 100 Bullets before I would buy this. Maybe it is the frame of mind I am in.

I am a fan of Terry Dodson's work. I was fortunate to meet Terry and his wife Rachel at a Seattle Comicard Show a few years back and they were very nice. What concerns me is how the cute sketch Terry did has evolved into a "surprised look" from a big smile. I think that must be the bottom line here. My favorite part is the fact that her body seems to be in proportion and the Titans tower base.

Here are the official specs:

"Designed by Terry Dodson Sculpted by Jack Mathews The popular WOMEN OF THE DC UNIVERSE line of cold-cast porcelain busts continues with Terry Dodson's Wonder Girl! Seen here standing atop Titans Tower, this fearless teen wonder has Ares' lasso twined at her side. Collect all of the Women of the DCU: Series 2 busts in 2008! Wonder Girl joins Wonder Woman, Starfire, Cheetah, Batwoman and more! This WONDER GIRL BUST measures approximately 5.5" tall x 2.5" wide x 2.5" deep and is packaged in a 4-color box. Advance-solicited; on sale July 2, 2008 o Bust o $55 US "

At $55, I think the price is a bit steep. That definitely makes this a "no" for me.

Let me ask you: would you buy this? What do you think?

Monday, November 19, 2007

New Comics for Thanksgiving Week!

Countdown To Mystery #3
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
I was going to put November 21 in the title as the shipping day, but because of Thanksgiving here in the United States, I decided I better not. I will have Jim call our retailer tomorrow to find out for sure if the books will be in Wednesday or Friday. In the meantime, and in keeping with my blog's tradition, I am posting my list today.

It is another DC heavy week as I have fallen under the spell of several of the Countdown crossovers after swearing not to. Countdown to Mystery is a great read that has me very interested in seeing where it goes. I also have been enjoying the "Challengers" one shots so I have been picking those up as well. I am partially mad at myself and partially resigned that these are books I will follow because they are limited. We shall see.

Here is my list!

Action Comics #859
Army@Love #9
Birds of Prey #112
Brave and the Bold #8
Catwoman #73
Checkmate #20
Countdown: Search for Ray Palmer- Gotham by Gaslight #1
Countdown #23
Countdown to Mystery #3 (of 8)
Detective Comics #838
Ex Machina #32
Flash #234
Shadowpact #19
Invincible #46
Captain America #32
Incredible Hulk #111
New X-Men #44
Penance Relentless #3 (of 5)
Powers #27
She-Hulk 2 #23
Thunderbolts Breaking Points
Wolverine Origins #19
X-Men Emperor Vulcan #3 (of 5)
The Boys #12
Lone Ranger #10
Red Sonja #27
Snakewoman Vol. 2 Tales of the Snake Charmer #5

It is a pretty long list so hopefully I will find lots of good stuff there. I am especially excited for The Boys as usual, and to see the "Wall" be sneaky over in Checkmate.

I work tomorrow and Wednesday and then I have a four day weekend. Jim and I are staying home and putting a roast in the crock pot with some veggies so that should be pretty relaxing. I am also hoping to do some reviews and Jim has promised me control of the remote to boot. It should be fun!

Have a great night!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Now Coming Your Way... An Obvious Homage!

Justice Society of America #13 is being solicited for February 2008 and when I saw the Alex Ross cover, I immediately knew where it's inspiration came from.

Normally I am bit leery of a cover homage, but this one bats it out of the park for me as it brings back fond memories. Thanks to Newsarama for the preview image.

First Came This...

The cover of Justice League of America #209 has always stood out in my mind for several reasons. Firstly the characters on the sidebars are all looking in with killer facial expressions in full display. Secondly, the action on the inside portion of the cover is very compelling. The stark image of per Degaton in his glory surrounded by head shots of the characters involved in the annual JSA/JLA, and in the instance, All Stars, is very memorable.

Imagine my pleasant surprise when I saw the cover in the next post.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Show I Can't Miss: Iron Chef America

Iron Chef Mario Batali
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
A couple of years ago my friend Brant told me he had found a television show that was a "must-see". It was called Iron Chef America and it was based on a Japanese show called Iron Chef. The premise is that an "Iron Chef", who was considered a cast member and a top chef in their own right, would face off against a competitor to do battle in the kitchen. Given one secret ingredient and an hour to cook five dishes, the chefs would go through a frenzy of fast paced food preparation and cooking to try and outdo the other.

What makes the show even more interesting is that three judges are selected to try the dishes and vote based on taste, plating, and originality. The chef scoring the highest points is the winner of the battle.

I am absolutely addicted to Iron Chef America. I love to see such talented artists create masterful dishes in a limited amount of time. At times it inspires my own cooking and at other times it awes me to see how easy the chefs make it look. Armed with two assistant chefs, the competitors must prepare five dishes that are original but tasty. It never ceases to amaze me when I see how much pure talent and creativity go into each show.

One thing that separates Iron Chef from the average reality television show is that there is talent involved. Unlike the dating shows or "dare" shows, Iron Chef America requires a competitor to have absolute skill at creating food that a person can feast on and enjoy. Watching these chefs is like watching a dance of sorts.

My favorite iron chefs are Mario Batali and Masahuro Morimoto. Batali has a great sense of humor and cooks with flair. I am always impressed with how clever and unique his dishes are. He is absolutely incredible. Morimoto came from Japan where he was a competitor on the original Iron Chef. He has an air of grace and sense of determination that separates him from the rest. One of my life goals is to someday, somehow eat a meal prepared by one of these gentlemen. Pretty lofty, I know.

My other goal is to someday be able to go watch the show be taped. I am a bit reticent at times to go through with this as I don't want to lose the "magic" I feel when I see the program on television, but I also feel like I miss part of the joy of the show by not being able to smell the aromas that must permeate Kitchen Stadium.

If you enjoy reality television and love to eat, go find Iron Chef America and give it a look. It is on the Food Network Sunday nights at 9 p.m. and Thursdays at 9 p.m. It is also shown at various times throughout the week. For great entertainment that promises good eats, this is the show to see.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Is This Gratuitous? She Hulk 2 #23

She Hulk 2 #23
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
In this week's candidate for "gratuitous" glory, I went outside the box a bit. Normally I have stayed away from Mike Deodato pencilled art because of his sexy portrayal of women making art a bit naughtier then the average bear. Like my buddy Frank Cho, Deodato has a stylized method that makes his female characters have incredibly long legs, tiny waists, and perky, large breasts. I liken his women to barbies, so I have tried to stay away from him in this feature as it may seem like an easy target.

Then I saw the cover for She-Hulk Volume #2 Number #23. What made me wonder about this was the dichotomy of the portrayal of She-Hulk. On one hand, she has a fierce facial expression that gives the impression that she would like nothing better then to kick your ass. On the other hand, she is soaking wet on her hands and knees.


I have got to tell you- I am really torn about this cover. I love how strong Jennifer's arms look. The muscle definitio is killer. Also, she looks pissed to be sure. My confusion is in if it is sexy anger or pure rage. Also, I am wondering why she is crawling and wet? The title being made of water droplets does score points with me in originality.

I am confused here. Part of me loves this cover and the other part of me is a bit taken aback.

I need your help here. Is this gratuitous?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Humble Thanks and a Few Thoughts

I just got done reading the comments on my blog and I am a bit overwhelmed. I feel tears of happiness ready to flow as I re-read them. I am the luckiest person on earth to have made such good friends and to have such a positive vibe from them. Thank you so much for that. It means the world to me.

I don't have much to say tonight. My heart is full and I am a bit speechless. In lieu of anything heavy, I have posted one of my favorite songs from The Cult. Then I have the thrill of paying our bills and doing laundry. After that I am desperately hoping to not be too tired to read my stack of comics this week.

Before I forget, when I got to the comic shop today I had a surprise waiting for me. Evidently I had ordered the "Women of the DCU" Black Canary mini bust that had been designed by Adam Hughes. For the most part I really liked it. Best part: the fishnet look and feel like real fishnet stockings. Worst part: Black Canary had huge boobs in a bustier that is much lower cut then normal. As a look, what saves it is that the focus isn't the bustier so much as it is Canary doing her trademark cry. Overall I was pretty happy with it though my bank book was not. Did any of you see it today? Did any of you purchase it? I am curious what you thought.

On that note, I am off to try and get my long list of chores done so I can read my books. Have a wonderful evening and thank you again from the bottom of my heart for the kind words. I will be back tomorrow night with all my replies. I just plumb ran out of time tonight. Bad Heidi.

Killer Video of the Week: The Cult - Sweet Soul Sister

As a palate cleanser, I wanted to share one of my favorite songs from The Cult. I have never considered them to be metal to the core as I think there is a touch of funk and edge that makes them very unique. Sweet Soul Sister has that nasty groove on the downbeat that makes me want to get up and rock out while having a brewski. I can't help it- the song is kick ass.

Enjoy and let me know what you think of The Cult!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

1000 Posts Later: What if I Started a Blog and No One Came?

1000 posts. Really.

I can't believe it either, but I am happy about it.

Some people get to the magic number much sooner then I did. It isn't a feat of quantity for me. What means something to me is that I have consistently blogged for over three years. I admit to missing days here and there and sometimes posting videos or short posts at times but never once do I think I compromised myself just to post. Sometimes there was nothing to say of interest. Other times my life away from my computer took precedence. That is okay in my mind as this blog was never started as a money maker or an attempt at internet domination.

Comics Fairplay came about because I wanted to talk about comics and pop culture without any constraints or pressures. There was also a need in me to have my own home on the 'net. I wanted somewhere I could bring my principles and interests, giving friends and strangers a safe haven to disagree and/or support each other in learning or enjoying a subject. This may seem egotistical, but it really wasn't. It was more about being able to express opinions whenever I felt like it, even if no one came to see them. God knows the DC boards scared me badly so that wasn't an option.

Interestingly, there were not near the number of female bloggers as there are now. The women I looked to back then were Laura at Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog and Elayne at Pen-Elayne on the Web. I was fascinated at the way these ladies were able to mix comics and culture with their lives and wanted to find my own way in that grand tradition. A bit later I discovered Heidi MacDonald, whose reporter style caught my attention, first at The Pulse and now at The Beat. These women are very important links on my blog and I continue to visit them daily, enjoying their wisdom and outlooks.

What is ironic is that feminism in comics was not neccesarily the focal point of discussion at any given time, but that female fans had a voice that was unique and visionary (and still do in my humble opinion). Feminists attitudes didn't just happen in the last six months, as is the general consensus. What has happened as that through sites like When Fangirls Attack, Occasional Superheroine, and Sequentially Speaking, the voices have gotten louder as the number of bloggers has increased. There are many more sites now, but these three sites mentioned each have a completely different take on the industry and have garnered a following through their originality and professions. I especially enjoy visiting Lisa and Valerie for their even handed and intelligent take on feminism and the comic book world.

Don't get me wrong though. I am not touting myself as a feminist visionary here. I think that others have done a great deal more then I have in that respect. What I like to try and do is look at things from my perspective and try and appreciate what the opposition thinks even if I don't like it. There have been times that I have been so truly pissed at what I have seen at other sites that it takes everything in me not to jump in the fray. What stops me is that I don't want to lose sight of myself just to prove a point. That is why my "gratuitous" posts are not so much a damning attack as they are a chance for dialogue between men and women from all the angles. Hopefully I can continue that focus and continue to grow in that respect.

Reviews have got to be in my future. I think Augie De Blieck Jr. at CBR's Pipeline makes a great deal of sense when he talks about blogs in general not reviewing like has been done in the past. The pure reviews of yesteryear have certainly got lost along the way here. God knows I pretty much only do "quick takes" anymore and that makes me a bit sad. I have got to get past the "fast food mentality" that permeates my brain and work on my chops. For a long time I reviewed for 4 Color Review and I loved it. Now feels like the time to get back down to business. Cross your fingers for me!

Never in a million years did I think anyone would come to my blog. I just thought it would be this small corner of the universe that gathered cobwebs. Going to the Emerald City Comicon the last two years and having a booth has changed my perspective. It hasn't made me feel any cooler to be sure- I will always be a bit of a dork. What I have loved is meeting new people. Without my blog, I would have never met Laura and her nice hubby and sister, Pamela and Kirk , Dr, Scott and his sweet wife, Swinebread, Shon and Joe, and Brian. I also have made friends with many of my fellow bloggers- John, Eaglewing, Mark, Lisa, Nick, Vaklam, Elayne, Lea, Devon, RAB, Redhead Fangirl, Shelly, Britt, Melchior, and Loren. I know I am missing someone... crap!! Please forgive me any omissions as I am not as young as I used to be. Heh.

Rather then sit and talk about myself anymore, let me just say "thank you" and tell you how much I appreciate everyone that has ever come here. My blog is not a "top site" or a big hit getter, but I have fun and I have met and talked to the nicest folks I could have ever hoped to meet. For that I am eternally grateful.

On that note, cheers! Here is to 1000 more posts of good times and good friends!

Monday, November 12, 2007

New Comics for November 14

New Avengers #36
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
I am sitting here feeling proud after doing an hour of cardio and another hour of weights at the gym. After a stressful day at work there is no better tension reliever and I am pretty sure it is good for me. :-) My other motivation was that tomorrow is my pesticide exam and it allowed me to study the book while I was on the elliptical. I am reading the book for the third time and rather then reading it in depth, I am focusing on the key words and the points that came up in the test questions. I am hoping to get a fourth read through tomorrow before the test.

On that note, I haven't read many books from last week, so tomorrow night will be my chance to catch up. Wednesday is bringing many books again as usual. It is a DC heavy week for me, and next week doesn't look any better. What is really exciting though is that Gail Simone's Wonder Woman run starts and Green Arrow Black Canary #2 comes out. The cherry on the ice cream is that 100 Bullets #86 also hits the stands. This makes me extra giddy!!

Here is the list for the week!

100 Bullets #86
All Star Superman #9
Black Adam the Dark Age #4 (of 6)
Booster Gold #4
Fables #67
Gen 13 #14
Green Arrow Black Canary #2
Nightwing #138
Salvation Run #1 (of 7)
Suicide Squad Raise the Flag #3 (of 8)
Teen Titans East Special #1
Welcome to Tranquility #12
Wonder Girl #3 (of 6)
Wonder Woman #14
Sword #2
Avengers Initiative #7
House of M Avengers #1 (of 5)
New Avengers #36 (pictured)
Punisher #52
Punisher War Journal #13
Spider-Man Red Sonja #4 (of 5)
Wolverine #59
World War Hulk #5 (of 5)
X-Factor #25
X-Men Die by the Sword #3 (of 5)

Crap. It is a Marvel heavy week as well. I better save my pennies as next week is just as scary.

On that note, my hubby tells me that tomorrow when I post it will be my 1,000th entry. It blows my mind to think that I have yammered that much. Join me tomorrow as I prepare to ponder something and look forward to 1,000 more!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Thoughts on New Comics and Random Musings

Y the Last Man #59
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
At the grocery store tonight it was pure hell. Evidently Thanksgiving is in a week and a half and people are starting to panic. I couldn't believe the sheer amount of food in carts and the tension level felt. I figured we would have at least until this coming weekend before the panic set in. I was wrong.

In reading this week, Y the Last Man #59 went in a direction I was not expecting. Yorick's reaction to last issue's tragic event was one of strength and a sense of reckoning. I was not prepared for that as I figured violence would beget more violence. What this means for the end of the journey is definitely a mystery. I will miss Yorick and his cast very much when it is all done with next issue.

The Search for Ray Palmer: Red Rain was very well done. The cast of Donna, Jason, Kyle, and Bob is a success as far as I am concerned. In this issue, the gang pays a visit to a world where Batman is a vampire. Kelley Jones' eerie art really set the tone and the script by Peter Johnson clinched it for me. Having artists Eric Battle and Angel Unzueta also on board didn't distract me, which was a pleasant surprise. I have really come to appreciate the journey these characters on and think it is the highpoint of the whole "Countdown" saga.

"Secret Invasion" kicked off in The New Avengers: Illuminati #5. I can't say I was surprised by how it all went down, as the characters who were revealed as skrulls has supposedly died or disapeared prior to being shown. I really can't decide what to think about this and if I even want to follow it. I will have to read it again to be sure which direction to be follow. It didn't instantly earn my love, so that is something to consider.

Does anyone else thing that Astonishing X-Men is the storyline that never ends? Cripes, I can't even remember how the team got in this soup. Does anyone know when issue #24 is supposed to come out?

Other then my review of Fallen Angel #21, I haven't read the rest of my stack. I am busy studying for my pesiticide dealer-manager test. Wish me luck as I am going to take it Tuesday. I have to renew every four years, and it is that time again. Luckily most of the book is common sense so I am hoping to do well.

Nothing more tonight. I have to read my pesticide book and try and remember as much as possible. Since I have to work tomorrow while several of you lucky people have the day off, it is crucial to be ready now for the test on Tuesday. I am jealous of those of you that have the day off. My postman friend is planning to go see a movie and relax. Jealous, I tell you! LOL!

Have a wonderful evening!