Sunday, November 16, 2014

What It Is – week ending 16 November [2014]

With apologies to Dave the Thune.

Every day.  1000 words.  That’s the goal.

Finished part one of the novel this week.  52,600 words down for that first draft.  I’d planned on letting things percolate for the weekend before returning to it – ten years later in terms of the narrative – but found myself workring and reworking the first scene of the second part that I had to get it down.  Did that yesterday.  So, I’m ready to press on and see where it takes me. 

Also wrote up a couple of posts for the site this week.  But more about that below. 

And, at this point, I’ve got 34 consecutive days of writing under my belt – the longest stretch, by far, this year (or any other, for that matter).  One needs to take a break, recharge the batteries, especially with a day job and a family that needs attention, as well.  But, even though I’ve made plans to take a day off here and there during this streak, it hasn’t happened.  Feeling pretty good about that. 

Finished up Difficult Men this week.  If you’re a fan of the seminal television shows of this “third golden age” like the Sopranos, Deadwood, and the Wire, and you enjoy peeking behind the curtain, you should pick up this book and read it.  It’s fascinating.  Check it out.

Also been working on the to-read comic pile next to the bed this week.  Here are few quick hits:

Suicide Squad 21-22 by John Ostrander, Luke McDonnell, and Karl Kesel.  I love this book.  These two issues wrap up a subplot about a senator’s attempted blackmail of the squad, in order to get their assistance in getting him elected.  As with any Squad story, it ends the way you’d expect, but the details aren’t quite what you might have seen coming.  Great stuff.

Dr. Fate (1987) by J.M. DeMatteis, Keith Giffen, and Dave Hunt.  This is a series that eluded me when I started collecting, despite the house ads that enticed me.  Glad I finally got to read it.  Revealing how the “new” Dr. Fate came into being post-Crisis, it was a fun, if forgettable, tale that included one of my favorite enigmatic JLI characters.  

Firestorm 62-64 + Annual 5 by John Ostrander, Joe Brozowski, et al.  Crossing over with the Suicide Squad, this storyline has Dr. Stein suffering from seizures as an inoperable tumor threatens his life, leading to Firestorm’s declaration he will transmute the fissionable material of all the world’s nuclear warheads if the United States and Russian governments cannot reach an arms agreement.  When the Squad is brought in to deal with Firestorm (followed closely by the newly-formed Justice League), things go from bad to worse and Colonel Rick Flag must battle on the opposite side of Batman for the first time (which will lead to an interesting confrontation in the Squad’s own book).  In the end, the audience is given a “new” Firestorm, the full of extent of which is, at the time, as yet unknown.

Doctor Mid-Nite (1999) by Matt Wagner & John K. Snyder, III.  The introduction of a new Doctor Mid-Nite (unknowingly, I seem to have collected a selection of series with a common theme), this book is almost terribly overwritten with too much talking and exposition and not enough “action.”  The art from Snyder is lovely, and the overall storyline, with a few exceptions, is fairly good.  But this didn’t need to be three oversized issues.  If it had been cut down a bit, I think this could have been something approaching “really good.” 

The Phantom (1987) by Peter David, Joe Orland, and Dennis Janke.  This story incorporates the 21st Phantom, in the present, and the 13th Phantom, nearly 150 years in the past, in an overarching narrative thread with the Phantom in combat with the Chessman family.  This was a pretty good story – engaging, with smartly staged parallels, and a satisfying conclusion – but the real star here was Joe Orlando’s artwork, which was a rarity at this stage in his career.  Fun stuff, and beautiful to look at.

Star Reach Classics by Frank Brunner, Len Wein, Howard Chaykin, P. Craig Russell, Dave Sim, et al.  A collection of the best from the not quite underground/not quite mainstream anthology series, Star Reach.  It’s a showcase for some legendary creators, and the art is wonderful in every issue.  But, with the apparent exceptions of Russell and Lee Marrs, it seems to have been an excuse for the artists to draw boobs and get them published.  Not bad, but not great either. 

I also read the new Ms. Marvel collection by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona.  Starring the first Muslim hero in mainstream, western comics, this was a fun read and and important book. Check out my full review here. 

Still enjoying the Flash on the CW.  Loved the introduction of Captain Cold, and the hint at Heat Wave’s forthcoming appearance.  This continues to be a fun series, offsetting the dour and grim tone that so many superhero TV series and comics seem insistent on utilizing.  It also helps that the Flash is my favorite superhero.  Bleeding Cool had an interesting theory on its site about the connection between Barry Allen and Dr. Wells, which I expanded upon here. 

That’s it for this week.  Looking forward to starting Turing’s Cathedral next week, as well as continuing to plow through my comic to-read pile.  Once I whittle that down, I plan on reading the entirety of Matt Wagner’s Grendel.  I’ve read a bunch of it, but not all.  Really looking forward to that.
And, as always, check out my friends – Brad & Matt and Don McMillan for their own weekly recaps on things comic-y and geeky, and we'll see what's what in seven.  


No comments: