Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Stuff I'm Obsessed with, Right Here, Right Now

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.


Marc Caputo said...

After The Wire, Battlestar Galactica and The Shield.

Satisfaction guaranteed.

Marc Caputo said...

Also, the current issue of Ghost Rider is where I'm really impressed. Boschi's art did little for me. Huat's style, although not the funky he brought to Doom Patrol works very well here. Long may this team ride.

Matt Jacobson said...

Weird thing I'm obsessed with right now - early to Mid-90's X-Men, during that period after Claremont left and all the artists left for Image. It's the era the actually drove me away from X-Men and superheroes in general for a while at the time, but my interest has been reignited by Mike Carey with X-Men: Legacy. The era is actually kind of interesting in a way, just to watch the writers tap dancing their way through every issue, desperately struggling to find a plot to stick with.

Those early Generation X issues are actually really good, though. i skipped that series when it came out and just grabbed a bunch of issues dirt cheap. They're actually very well done and Bachalo was at his peak.

Summer vacation is awesome.

Timothy Callahan said...

I stuck with Generation X through all the Bachalo issues, but I ditched the other X-Titles around that time just like you.

I dropped X-Men before it turned into Legacy, so I have no compulsion to revisit that stuff other than you just mentioning it now--and making me want to revisit it. Good thing I don't have to go back to my day job until September.

Chad Nevett said...

Things I'm obsessed with right now:

Leonard Cohen's music. Got his two "best of" collections a few months ago, but a couple of weeks ago, I wound up buying five or six of his albums. As my mom put it, "What is with you and bad singers?" (She says this because I love Neal Young and Bob Dylan.) Currently listening to The Future and love love love the title track.

Goldeneye. N64, bitches!

Haruki Murakami. I've already read all of his novels (aside from his second novel, which isn't available in English except for a Japanese edition that pops up online from time to time for insane prices), but I seem to be working my way through them again. Just finished rereading Sputnik Sweetheart after rereading South of the Border, West of the Sun (my favourite of his work) and Kafka on the Shore. Dunno what I'll read next--whatever looks good.

I just finished my Great Hellblazer Rereading by ploughing through Mike Carey and Denise Mina's runs this past week. Will probably hold off on getting Jamie Delano's stuff until I have some more money. Waiting for Andy Diggle's second trade to come out before rereading his first one. May reread all of Casanova next. Or, if the shop has The Programme #12 (which they usually don't, so I pick up that series in London), I'll reread that.

I'm also obsessed with breaking this story I've been trying to write for a while now. I'm close. Closer than I've been before, but still not there. Soon, my friend, soon.

Matthew E said...

Answering what you asked me in your previous post:

Yeah, I got my copies of the two Superman novels cheap too, but maybe some people *do* like reading novels online.

The Kingdom Come novelization is not bad. I've never read the comic, so I don't know how it compares. But the Superman characterization is similar in tone to the Maggin novels; they actually go together okay.

Marc Caputo said...

Chad: I have "I'm Your Man" and "The Future". The latter has an instrumental, "Tacoma Trailer", which is one of the loveliest and most delicate pieces of music I'll ever hear.

I got into them because Natural Born Killers used edits of "The Future" and "Waiting for the Miracle", both of which are on The Future"

iTunes has it - I recommend those three highly if you don't have the full versions.

I'm trying to put together a summer list - movies/TV/music/comics, but am waiting two more days until school's finally out.

Chad Nevett said...

Marc, I have:

Songs of Leonard Cohen
Songs from a Room
Songs of Love and Death
The Best of Leonard Cohen
I'm Your Man
The Future
Cohen Live
More Best of Leonard Cohen

seth hurley said...

Chad- pick up Cohen's "New Skin for the Old Ceremony".

it's Cohen in his 70's prime doling out these spare & devestating wry songs.

Chad Nevett said...

Seth, I plan on picking that up and his other albums. Thankfully, they're all quite cheap. Finally, a musician whose catalogue is "classic" and should be had by everyone that doesn't cost an insane amount of money. Take note, Rolling Stones, Beatles and David Bowie.

Marc Caputo said...

Chad: obviously, I'm not the most careful reader...

Bowie's catalog (at least in the States) is on its 3rd 'goround on CD, as is Costello's. You should be able to get the next ones for free if you can prove you bought any of the others.

Meanwhile, artists like Springsteen and Prince, who I'd pay top dollar for good remasters of, are saddled with the same masters from the mid-80s when CDs came on the scene.

The Stones CDs, I have to admit, are worth a little more, given the care and detail in the packaging.

Chad Nevett said...

I'm more of the opinion that since certain artists' work is so classic and WILL sell in large numbers that there's no excuse to charge so much.