Thursday, September 30, 2004

Queen & Country Novel

I was sitting here reading the new Wizard when I noticed on Page 18 that Greg Rucka has a Queen & Country novel coming out October 5. Called A Gentlemen's Game: A Queen & Country Novel, it takes place between issues 28 and 29 in continuity.

From what I gather, it is not a must-buy for readers, but more of an added bonus for folks who are looking to get an extra dose of their Q&C. As a huge fan of the series, I am thrilled about this. I am also relieved that I just found it on for $16.80.

If you have never read Queen & Country, I highly recommend it. It is an engrossing read for adults who are looking for more of a thriller/spy feel in their comic book reading material.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Conan Review at 4CR

I have a new review of Conan up at 4 Color Review. Talk about a great series- Conan is brilliant.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Back from Idaho!

After a good part of the week spent in Idaho, I am back home in Washington with my hubby. Talk about a long week. I am just now going to sit down and peruse my comics. Jim had to pick them up by his lonesome on Wednesday, poor fella.

Cool thing that came in this week: my Wonder Girl (Cassie) action figure. I have been pretty selective about the DC direct figures, staying with a theme of female heroes. It is nice to be able to add Cassie to my wall. If DC really wants to make me happy, they will come out with a single Donna Troy figure next. I had to buy the Wonder Woman/Wonder Girl two-pack to get one last time, and it would be much nicer to have a onesie.

Jim and I went to the Central Washington State Fair today. We intended to see Weird Al Yankovic, but there was a long line and no reserve seating unless you spent another $15 for tickets. Because we were both pretty tired, we said screw it. The fair itself has a $10 admission for adults and $5 for parking on top of it. By the time we spent a few hours wandering around, it was a $40 proposition. The good news is that next Friday Joan Jett is performing, and Jim and I decided to buy reserved seats so we are ensured a place to see her. We are trying to reason that it ends up being not much different then dinner and a movie for us as a couple, cost wise.

I am off to read comics and catch up on what my favorite characters are up to. Hopefully I will have a full report tomorrow. Take care all! Happy Saturday Night!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Catching Up

Man, this weekend went fast. Between doing laundry and house cleaning, I was never able to get on the internet like I wanted to. Tomorrow I am going to Jerome, Idaho for four days to our branch down there to work on some inventory issues, so I am not going to be a very reliable poster to boot!

My husband did do a cool thing though. Last night, he and four of our best friends gave me the Wonder Woman statue based on Adam Hughes art for a late birthday present. Man it is beautiful! I was surprised and thrilled to get such a cool gift. I am going to put it up with my other statue based on Brian Bolland's work. I don't buy every WW related item, but I am fortunate to have a few select pieces that are precious to me.

Comic wise, I read my stack and was really impressed by Adventures of Superman #632. What an amazing issue. I also read Identity Crisis #4, and am getting very curious to get to the end of things. Batman figures into this somehow in a big way, just how, I am not sure. Otherwise, I am hoping to read my stack again and get a better idea of where these issues are going. I have a ritual of reading everything once quickly and going back and reading it more carefully a second time, so that is the plan for this evening.

I was going to get a "meeting the pro's" post up as well as part 2 of Jim and my internet dating, but it isn't going to happen unfortunately. I have to go pack and finish folding the last load of clothes. Have a great week all!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Cool Stuff, Quirky Stuff

I have made some cool acquisitions lately that I feel the need to spread the word about. The coolest thing I have gotten in several years is a Green Ipod Mini. It is the most badass thing since sliced bread. I put the music I want on it and roll. It is especially great for working out. I can get on the tread mill or exercise bike and not worry about it going anywhere. My old CD player was a pain in the ass that kept coming unattached to the purse-like strap that held it up. Also, I was limited in what I could listen to. With the Ipod Mini, I pick what I want to listen to and have great mixes. As far as MP3 players go, it is the shiznit.

Motley Crue: Music To CrashYour Car To Volume 1 is my other must-have. I know, I know, don't start with me about butt rock and such! I was in high school and college in the mid and late eighties, and to this day I am a major metal fan. I have seen the Crue in concert several times, and take their image in stride. Volume 1 of their two boxes contains all the old school Crue that made me want to be a metal head in the first place. It was spendy, coming in around $50, but worth every penny. The set has 4 CD's and includes the Leathur Original Mix of their first album. It also has remixes and rarities that make the set a steal for Crue fans.

Confessions of An Heiress: A Tongue-In-Chic Peek Behind the Pose by Paris Hilton is the feel good book of the month. I bought it on for $15.40 and it a hilarious, self-deprecating POV book from the chick you love to hate. Paris lets the readers know that she is in on the joke, and doesn't really give a rats ass what we think. She is rich and attractive and knows exactly how to promote herself to maximum effect. As a fellow woman, I have to admire the fact that she understands life and the little games we all play to get ahead, even if I don't always agree with her methods. Full of glossy color photos, and reeking of trendiness, I found myself liking Paris more as I read each page. To think, Nicole was always the reason I thought The Simple Life was such a hoot. Paris was in on the joke too.

I also picked up Guys Gone Wild on DVD in an effort to support the equal-nude time for men. As someone who has seen Girls Gone Wild on DVD and been partially horrified and partially amused, I have to give this company credit for having the, ahem, balls to give women their equal time. I haven't watched it yet, as I figured it would be way funner to do so on a Saturday night with my chick friends after a few martinis. I will report back to you after the gala viewing.

My last major purchase was Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination. I have read it three times, and am absolutely entranced by it. Written by Author Helen Fielding of Bridget Jones Diary fame, Olivia Joules is a an incredible look at a woman who lives by her instinct in a world that is all too real. Olivia is accused of letting her imagination get away from her more times then she would like to admit, so when she finds that she isn't as far off base as she originally was led to believe, there comes a freedom and a joy that the reader experiences along with her. This is the best book I have read in a long time, and I know that I will find myself perusing it several more times before it finds a permanent place on my book shelf.

Though my major love is comic books ( and my hubby), I like to read books and listen to music to break things up, and find that waiting and saving my money for special acquisitions is half the fun. I hope to pick up Volume 2 of the Motley Crue set, and maybe a few new DVD's down the road. It is all about being picky and making fun choices.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

When Fanboys go Wrong

Since I am fresh off of a comicon experience, I thought I would note a few fanboy behaviors that I find hinder my ability to enjoy the conventions I attend. Basically, this is a convention "Don't" list.

1. Having a creator sign more then 20 comics at one setting is tacky and reprehensible to the other fans behind you in line. I know you are a fan and want to have quality face time with your favorite pro, and if having several comics to sign helps you not be so nervous that is great, but more then 20 is completely uncalled for. A good rule of thumb is that more then five minutes is too much, unless the pro in question is sketching for you. I will never forget the guy in front of me with two short boxes- his 8 months pregnant wife was forced to stand in every line so he could get all his comics signed. Every time I see him at cons I want to kick his ass. Everything in moderation, Man!

2. Digging through one long box while your bag is piled on another one at a retailer booth is big sin #2. Get a back pack or shoulder bag at Target so you don't need a short box or paper bag. When I want to look at a booth and I can't get to the boxes, I will leave. I may even tell you to move your ass if you being rude enough.

3. Body Odor. I know this is going to get me into trouble, but please don't perpetuate the myth that comic fans all live in their parent's basement and don't get dates by being one of the unwashed masses that file through. I have actually been made to gag by some of the people surrounding me, simply because they didn't think enough of others or themselves to wash up before coming to a public event. Be hygienic, which includes brushing your teeth, and you may find you have a better time as well.

4. Pushing and shoving. I am a 5'5" female who has been shoved out of the way by fanboys to get to a retailer booth. For God's sake, all you have to do is say "Excuse me" or "Could I get to that box please", and I would move so fast it would make your head spin. Pushing me out of the way just pisses me off and makes me want to go get my hubby, who, trust me, you don't want to see angry.

5. Quit bragging for five minutes! I like to talk about meeting creators with other fans as we are waiting in line. It is fun to compare notes and usually leads to talk about their titles and what we enjoy about them. But... Please refrain from bragging to me that you are such a unique person that the pro in question just had to spend time with you, cuz I won't buy it. I am thrilled you know someone, and think it is cool, but the minute it turns to bragging, I start to wonder if you are overcompensating for something (if you know what I mean).

6. Rubbing up against me. It only happened once, but I knew exactly why you did it, you pervert! You don't want me to go get my hot-tempered Irish husband!

7. Not really a fanboy complaint, but: Creators that show up late, even though I know they had a hotel in town the night before. Learn to handle your alcohol, and get to bed for a few hours if you know there are fans that are coming to see you. It is common courtesy.

Anyone else had any Comicon drama they would like to add? I have had great con experiences for the most part, but there is always that one bad egg who has to ruin for the rest of us!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Turner at next Seatle Con

Comic fans around the Seattle, Washington vicinity are in for a special treat as Michael Turner is headlining the next Seattle Comicard Show. Scheduled for November 14, 2004 at the Seattle Center Northwest Rooms, Turner will be joined by Aspen Colorist/Production Guru Peter Steigerwald and Jason Gorder of Darkness reknown.

Get your money and autograph goodies ready, Kids. It should be a great show! Several retailers I spoke to are attending, and are planning to bring the goods for your purchasing consideration.

It is getting exciting to live in Washington State with the Emerald City Con and the Seattle Comicard Show coming with great talent and getting retailers interested again.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Forgive the Mess...

I am trying to figure out how to do links and make them look pretty, so please excuse the sidebar at this time!

Thank you for your patience!

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Seattle Comicard Convention Today

Jim and I made the trek from Eastern Washington to Seattle for the Seattle Comicard Show. We came over Saturday afternoon and got a hotel room over by Huskies Stadium. It was a nice change as we were able to get in some down time which included dinner with good friends in Chinatown.

We got over to Seattle Center around 9:30 a.m. and were shocked to be 4th and 5th in line. Normally there are more people there, and as we normally just drive over and back for the day, we don't get in right away. Jim and I were so happy to be there, and were looking forward to seeing what comic treasures we could find, that we really didn't dwell on it.

Some quick highlights: We talked to Bill Schelly, who we had not previously met. I bought several back issues of Alter Ego and got his Comic Fandom book, which I am dying to read. I hope to give you more exact details as the week progresses. What a nice, gracious man.

We were also able to acquire original art from Rick Hoberg, who was as kind as could be. My hubby bought his first cover ever, and I bought a page from Green Arrow #75. Talk about being giddy- you couldn't have pulled us off the ceiling if you tried!

Jim and I were able to go talk and buy great stuff from our favorite retailer John and his partner Randy. This guy is the real thing. He loves comics but also understands the value of a deal. That is solid gold in this day and age.

Quick footnotes: When I have the time to master making links, I am going to add them for the Emerald City Comicon and the Seattle Comicard Show. I can't help but think there are a lot of comic fans out there missing these events, so I would like to get the word out as best as I can.

The Show was short on big names as Steve McNiven was supposed to be there but was supposedly prohibited by Marvel. That didn't stop us from having a wonderful time, and we didn't need a big name today. Rick Hoberg and Bill Schelly made up for it by being professional and friendly. Jim also got a sketch from an up and comer by the name of Greg Scott Bailey.

Overall, the show was less well-attended then hoped, but the retailers we spoke with were relatively happy with their sales. People who were there were buying and making deals. We spent our fair share of cash and went our merry way back to the East side of the mountains as we both have work tomorrow.

It was nice to spend the night and relax a little, which made the trip a mini-vacation of sorts, as well as a fun adventure for Jim and myself.

Friday, September 10, 2004

My Top 5 Favorite Titles (Then & Now)

Every week I buy entirely too many comic books, my version of a crack addiction if you will. When I get home that night and put the books in an order I want to read them in, a real pattern emerges. My absolute must-read books always go on top, down to the last one, which I could read at any time. It is interesting to see which ones win now versus the ones that I had to read immediately when I was 10 years old.

A sample of my top 5 must read in 1976, at the age of ten:

Wonder Woman
Justice League of America
World's Finest
All Star Comics

Those were the tastes I had then, and I can still go back and read these issues with a great amount of pleasure. I can sometimes remember where I was and the atmosphere in which I read them, which makes it even cooler. To this day, I still read Wonder Woman as voraciously as ever, and the JSA will always hold a significant place in my heart, as you can see below.

My current favorites:

Astro City
100 Bullets
Strangers In Paradise
Marvel Knights 4
Honorable Mention: Identity Crisis

I read titles from other companies then just DC now, and my taste is much more sophisticated, but it knocks me out that not a lot has changed in my innate sense of what I want from a read.

As the weeks progress, I hope to bring a more intimate picture of what brings me back time and again to these titles. Each of the current favorites are those books that I can hardly wait to get home from the store to read, and have to discipline myself not to open while driving.

Anyone else feeling a tad nostalgic?

Quick Shots at 4CR

I have new quick shot reviews over at 4 Color Review.

God, what a great week for comics this week!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Why Am I Blogging?

With the recent slew of blogs retiring, (Happy retirement John!) I have been considering my place in this "world". Why do I want to have a blog, and what do I want the end result to be?

I know what I DON'T want:

-No politics. My politics to me are like a religion, and I am not looking for endless threads of debate on the subject.
-No personal attacks on comic professionals. They need to make a living like I do.
_No obsessing about my job. It is stressful, but fulfilling and I have been at it for 15 years. It is so much a part of me that it is hard to separate myself from it.

I do want this:

-A focus on the positive. I want to share books, movies, and experiences with a sense of humor and good vibes. This world is shitty enough at times without perpetuating things during my personal time. Reality is always in my face, so I want to be able to focus on the things I enjoy.

-Reviews of comics and books. Also the occasional movie or pop culture musings.

-How much I value my hubby and the occasional love story update. The way we met and fell in love is pretty cool, and I want to share bits of it.

-A safe place for others to come where they can read what they choose and feel like I am not a professional sales person shoving my opinions down their throat.

As I get a more definitive picture of where I am going, I will share it. I just really wanted to give you a feel as to what my intentions are.

Happy Blogging!

Love Story Part 1: John Byrne and a chat room discovery!

Many of you are probably not aware that I met my husband on the internet. We have been together for over seven years, and married for four of those. I would call us an example of the right way to go about an internet romance, and how having common interests only serves to enhance the relationship we have.

What makes our internet meeting unique and sometimes gives us a good laugh is where we met online. I had gotten a computer for Christmas in 1996 and brought it home to give the internet a try. I knew exactly where I wanted to go, and that was the DC chat rooms. Back around that time, DC advertised discussions with creators in their comic books, so I even had a schedule.

Given this interest, I proceeded directly to the John Byrne Wonder Woman chat at DC online on AOL. Within a short period of time, another person in the room private messaged me that they liked my take on the current story line. We proceeded to talk for awhile and he was the picture of a gentleman. At the end of the chat, he e-mailed me that it had been a pleasure, and I e-mailed back thanking him.

Amazingly enough, this person is now my husband. Jim and I were talking about it the other day, and we think that not only was Byrne in a strange way responsible for our meeting, but it is now impossible to hate the guy for any of his other character traits for precisely that reason.

A side note is that I am pretty sure that James Schee was in the very same chat room with us when lightning struck, so he will always hold a special place in our hearts as well You're a gentleman and a good influence, Mr. Schee!

There are other stories to tell, but for today it is enough to just thank John Byrne for holding a chat that would bring about such a momentous event in our lives! Oh Sweet Irony!

Sunday, September 05, 2004

My "Heavenly Seven" comic book artists

I was talking with my hubby today and we were going through who are favorite comic artists are, when he looked at me with a grin and said "you have seven favorites Dear. It is like your heavenly seven". Since this is so true, and it made me blush a bit, I thought I would share my "Heavenly Seven" with you.

Dick Dillin- Justice League back in the day. Long since past away, God bless him. He was the first comics artist I absolutely loved.
Joe Staton- "father" of the Silver Age Huntress. I met him at a con, and Jim says I gushed like a school girl. He did the most incredible Huntress sketch for me, and made me adore him even more.
George Perez- the detail master, I especially love his stuff on Wonder Woman.
Phil Jimenez- a total sweetheart who can draw detail like his mentor Perez.
Steve Dillon- chain smoking, whiskey swilling hunk who drew Preacher. I would buy his stuff if he illustrated the phone book.
Greg Land- the man can really draw women, and his men are as hunky as it gets. I pretty much buy anything he does.
Gary Frank- I first fell in love with his work on Incredible Hulk, the bachelor party issue, and continue to enjoy his stuff on the Supreme Power series over at Max.

There's my list. I am not ignoring the works of legends like Kirby and Heck to be obtuse. This is all about personal preference.

New Review of Periphery on 4CR

I got a great comic book to review called Periphery. I just posted my review on 4 Color Review. Give her a look!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Movie Viewing etiquette

This afternoon I went and saw Vanity Fair starring Reese Witherspoon. I went alone as my husband didn't want to go with me to aforementioned film for fear it would be a chick flick. It kinda was, but that's not the point. I liked it for the most part, and was suitably impressed by Reese's work. Otherwise, the popcorn was stale, and my drink was lukewarm as usual. Typical viewing in our mid-sized town off the beaten path with one choice for movie theatres.

At any rate, I had a really piss-poor movie experience in general. Just about every movie "don't" that could be committed was. It went down like this.

1. Lady down the road from me keeps getting cell phone calls. Turn off your damn ringer Bitch! If you can't get away for two hours to see a movie, don't bother coming. I turn my phone to silent every time I walk through those doors- it's all about courtesy.

2. Three ladies behind me talk English literature parallels throughout movie. I finally have to turn around and shush them. They shut up for a bit, but start back up before it's said and done. If you're going to be a critic, do it professionally, or at least go get some coffee afterwards. Don't ruin for the rest of us by not being able to shut your yapper.

3. Parents with obnoxious child. The kid is not the least bit interested in this movie, and we all know it. Do the parents take said child out? No, of course not. They glare at the rest of us when we glare at them, and are in general completely insensitive not only to us, but the poor kid, who could give a rat's ass about the movie.

4. Old dude with a flashlight. I had gotten to the film about 25 minutes early, so I got to enjoy watching an older gentleman and his wife walk into the theater. It wasn't dark yet, but they had their flashlight full blast. Not only did I get it flashed in my eyes, but the chicks in front of me got it too. To top it off, the guy keeps turning it on during the movie to check his watch! Give me a break.

5. People arrive late and step on my feet. This is an effin matinee people! It is on a Thursday at 3 p.m. Why do you need to get there five minutes into the movie? Not only were these idiots loud, but they were disrespectful and didn't excuse themselves before they proceeded to climb over me for seats. The worst thing about it is that there was both a left and right aisle, and they didn't need to step over me in the first place.

6. Couple in the back attempting sexual intercourse. I know about being hot for your date, as my husband and I like to sit close together when we go to films. We were especially bad when we first dated, but we never tried to do it during a matinee filled with middle aged women and older couples. Get a freakin room!

I could go on and on, but going through this again just makes me more angry. It is irritating that I was so excited to have the day off and go see a movie only to have it ruined by a bunch of insensitive jerks. Did I like the movie? It was okay, but I would have liked it more if people would have made an effort to be courteous and quiet.

Anybody got any movie horror stories to tell? Today was a bad one for sure, but I am certain I am not the only one who has wanted to commit homicide instead of enjoying the show they paid to see.