New comics Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!
Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2010-04-09 07:11:44
Will write words and stuff when I get back home from work.
Back; only a ten hour day today. So we could use some feedback about the current "PonFarr knocking up/getting engaged to a hobbit" mini-arc. I always hate continuity on The Adventures of Dave the Direman because it always gets interrupted by comics I want to do triggered by the videogame news cycle. I say this, because Monday's strip will do just that.
I'm struggling to balance my hours. I have such little time to spare now, and I need to make sure my family doesn't forget my face, play games/read books/watch movies/etc., and update this website. I can only generally do one of those three on any given night now. I want to set up a page entitled "Stuff I Like" and slap up quick descriptors of why I recommend the Stuff I Like, along with convenient Amazon links.
It might be awhile until I get around to it, so until then, if any of the stuff I discuss here interests you, please manually click through one of our Amazon banners (there's a handy search box on the bottom of the home page) to support our site. I'm devoting my efforts to my day job, in part, to secure the capital we need to get Direman Press rolling in earnest, and every bit helps. (btw THANKS ARANTHOS!)
My pull list this week:
Batman and Robin #11 - Rank B
DC emblazoned this marketing gimmick on the cover: "THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE BEGINS HERE!" Whatever. Grant Morrison never fails to tell an interesting story, and as long as he has an editor to reign in his drug addled delirium, I'll always check out whatever he's working on. I've been enjoying this book, but this particular one bothered me a bit. Morrison extends the Batman mythos into the Wayne family heritage as a sort of totemic presence through the generations. There's a fine line between "new high concept" ideas and just trying to be BIGGER AND BOLDER for the sake of wow factor. I feel that this concept detracts from Bruce Wayne, as becoming Batman is naught but fate under this new paradigm. It diminishes that pivotal moment of his parents' murders. But if you can swallow that notion, this issue (like 99.9% of everything Morrison writes) was interesting.
Red Robin #11 - Rank B
This continues to be one of my guilty pleasures. There's nothing about it that's "good" from a high art, literary perspective. It's just simple, fun adventure/action. If any of you watch the show Chuck, it captures some of the same feel. Both are kind of clumsy, and quite silly, but at the end of the day, they're successful as charming and light, but solid, entertainment.
Superman: Secret Origin #5 - Rank C
Geoff Johns is the current architect restructuring the DC Universe, and he's been writing all of these retconned origins for mainstay characters. This issue (of the series chronicling Superman's early days in Metropolis) is full of fun little moments, but I didn't notice anything that really justified this retelling. When you do something like this, you need to offer some deep new insights, like when Frank Miller revamped Batman. All I see is the same old Superman told in competent, but unnecessary, fashion.
S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 - Rank A
S.H.I.E.L.D. is basically a souped up version of the Department of Homeland Security in the Marvel Universe. So when Jonathan Hickman (currently my favorite guy for "high concept" ideas) launched this title, I just put it on my pull list based on his participation alone. But when I started reading it, I ran into the same gripe I had about Batman and Robin. S.H.I.E.L.D. is now this secret society that has existed since the dawn of human civilization. Really Hickman? Like high tech black ops and flying aircraft carriers weren't cool enough? But then he delivered. Here's a very minor spoiler so skip the rest of the paragraph if you care, but he hooked me when Galileo created a doohickey to stop GALACTUS THE FUCKING WORLD EATER. It makes sense that that giant helmet would've tried to snack on the juicy morsel that is Earth before. And Galileo as the Reed Richards of his time? Brilliant. It was just a set-up first issue, but I can't wait for the next.
Wolverine Weapon X #12 - Rank B
This storyline loses points for "liberally borrowing" the plot from The Terminator, but Jason Aaron still delivers solid action and characterization.
Invincible Returns #1 - Rank C
I love this series. Imagine Spider-Man without the guilt-driven whining and with Superman's powers. This issue largely disappointed me however, because it's a series summation intended to bring new readers up to speed. I find this objectionable in this age of trade paperbacks when people can easily catch up on their own. At the same time, a few minor but pivotal events occur, so long time collectors are compelled to pick it up. Bleh.
Sweet Tooth #8 - Rank A
This is, hands down, my favorite comic book currently being published. This was the weakest issue thus far, so it "only" gets a Rank A. In lieu of the charming and gut wrenching characterization of issues past, it goes for a 'dun dun DUNN' plot moment. Regardless, I exhort all of you to just go buy all the issues or preorder the trades immediately.
Demo (vol. 2) #3 - Rank S
I talked about Brian Wood and Demo before; it's a series of thematically related individual stories involving...weird (super powered?) people. This one was one of the best in the series, which is saying something. And the artwork, both visuals and storytelling, were STELLAR this issue.
Now Playing - 70 hr work weeks
Xbox Live/PSN Gamertag - Vawce
Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2010-04-08 07:28:17
Diplomacy V - Fall 1905
Austria got SHANKED. It finally happened; the Austro-Italian union is over! Up to this turn, both of them had found great success in working together, to the point of making themselves extremely vulnerable to one another. As the stakes kept growing higher, it was only a question of time until the Great Betrayal. Austria refused to pull the trigger, and now his trustworthiness has resulted in a greatly diminished House of Hapsburg.
England is reduced to one. Perhaps she can find a way to remain alive as a pirate, because the entirety of her island is about to fall under French dominion.
France is about to accomplish perhaps the most difficult conquest in Diplomacy: seizing the British Isles. France's turnaround is nothing short of stunning. He went from being double assaulted on the break, to not merely surviving, but expanding into the second mightiest power on the board. Continued good fortune combined with skill grants the potential to actually win this game, even after such a dismal beginning.
Germany finally initiated an offensive! After five years of pointless fidgeting, he took action to repulse the invading Russians and reclaim Berlin. Victory is an unlikely prospect, but Germany does remain a major power. This too is a significant shift, as the Kaiser's empire was on the brink of being dismantled.
Italy decided that his ally could not be trusted to grow any more powerful. I've been criticizing his lack of expansion for several turns, but he just managed to parlay that strength of patience into a major gain. Italy is now the dominant military force. However, he isn't so powerful that he can act unilaterally. I'm eager to see what the new political landscape will be in the aftermath of this massive flashpoint. My one remaining criticism of Italy is the assistance he gave France. Now France too, is powerful, at the expense of England. A more vigorous England would have served his current needs much better. Nonetheless, Italy is firmly in the driver's seat, and is one diplomatic coup away from ultimate victory.
Russia's salvation came in the form of that Italian treachery. Austria had been holding a gun to Russia's head, but Italy just blackjacked Austria in the face. In a reversal of fortunes, Austria now requires Russian assistance to survive the coming onslaught. The Russian position has been whittled away to the original supply centers, so that aid might be minimal.