Now that school's out for summer (not forever, though, contrary to what you may have heard from a certain song years and years ago), I have more time to obsess over things. Normally, with my full teaching load, my various part time writing gigs, my family, tutoring jobs, etc. I can only obsess over maybe one thing at a time. Hence, I went through my heavy Morrison phase, and my heavy Legion of Super-Heroes phase, and I just finished up a heavy Batman phase.
But now, with all this extra time that I really should be using to produce more writing, I can procrastinate by delving into some stuff that's been piling up around the house, calling to me, beckoning, like:
Elliot S! Maggin's Superman work: In the past week, I read both of his novels and most of his Superman and Action Comics issues. The results of that obsession will feed a future column for Comic Book Resources, so stay tuned.
The Wire: Here's my impression of everyone in the world: "The Wire is the best show ever, blah blah." Here's me: "Haven't seen it. Until now!" I finally got a chance to watch some dvds over the last week or so, and I'm halfway through season two. So don't spoil it for me. It is good. Although Dominic West's accent is more than a little sketchy. Or maybe I've watched him in A Midsummer Night's Dream too much--which, by the way, I do not recommend.
Garth Ennis's Ghost Rider: Jason Aaron's amazing Ghost Rider has me going back and reading the Ennis stuff. As much as I don't like Clayton Crain's work, I don't hate it here. It's not the kind of art I'm interested in, but he can create some pretty awesome effects with that magical computer of his. In "Trail of Tears," in particular, he can draw some seriously menacing spirits of vengeance.
The Umbrella Academy: I picked up the trade and read the series again last night. I still think it starts stronger than it ends, but it's a really great piece of work. I loved it more this time than when I read it in single issues and couldn't remember which number kid had which superhero nickname as an adult. It's worth owning just for Ba's artwork, definitely, but Gerard Way is a writer with a strong voice, and I love to see that. I have a crush on this book now.
Brian Wood: I've appreciated Brian Wood's work for years, and Demo was great. But between DMZ and Northlanders for Vertigo, and the upcoming New York Four for Minx (which I picked up at MoCCA in preview form, and read last night), I'm astounded by the quality of his recent work. And each of those three books has such a different flavor. He can do political satire, and powerful revenge drama, and believable teenage girl-speak, and he makes each of his works uniquely wonderful. Okay, DMZ may not be wonderful. But it's good. The other two: great.
Fresno State vs. Georgia in the College World Series: Did you see the first game? Fresno State, the supreme underdog, hacking away toward a victory that ultimately slips through their fingers? Good stuff. I'm hooked.