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Rusty’s Reading List 2015

February 28, 2015
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Distrustthatparticularflavor

This William Gibson book isn;t fiction. It is a collection of articles, essays, speeches etc. that Gibson has done over the years. That makes it pretty eclectic. Are you interested in hearing what Gibson thinks about Steely Dan? It is in here.

An odd book and one I am not surprised that I found remaindered, but it was worth the time it took to read it.

2015 in Books

Distrust The Particular Flavor – William Gibson
Shouting Your Name Down The Well – David McFadden
Thousand Times Broken, Three Books – Henri Michaux
Stained Pages – Sean O’Gorman

2015 in Comic Collections

X-Men: Ghosts (Claremont / Romita Jr. / Leonardi / Brigman / Windsor-Smith / Adams)
Power Pack Classic Vol. 2
X-Men: From the Ashes (Claremont / Smith / Wiacek / Simonson / Romita Jr.)
Transmetropolitan Vol. 3 – Year of the Bastard
Transmetropolitan Vol. 2 – Lust For Life
Transmetropolitan Vol. 1 – Back on the Street
Gotham Central Vol. 1 – In The Line Of Duty
The Walking Dead Vol. 5 – The Best Defense
The Walking Dead Vol. 4 – The Heart’s Desire
The Walking Dead Vol. 3 – Safety Behind Bars
The Walking Dead Vol. 2 – Miles Behind Us
The Walking Dead Vol. 1 – Days Gone Bye
Fables Vol. 4 – March of the Wooden Soldiers
Fables Vol. 3 – Storybook Love
Fables Vol. 2 – Animal Farm
Fables Vol. 1 – Legends in Exile
Hulk Visionaries – Peter David Vol. 2
Hulk Visionaries – Peter David Vol. 1
Justice League International Vol. 3 – Giffen / DeMatteis / Maguire


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Rusty’s Reading List 2015

February 25, 2015
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X-Men Ghosts

This is the new X-Men trade I picked up. This collects books I actually bought when they were new, but no longer have. It includes a classic issue with Wolverine teaming up with Katie Power, drawn by Barry Windsor-Smith. This is also early issues of Rachel and Longshot joining the team (under the artistic duties of Arthur Adams).

2015 in Books

Shouting Your Name Down The Well – David McFadden
Thousand Times Broken, Three Books – Henri Michaux
Stained Pages – Sean O’Gorman

2015 in Comic Collections

X-Men: Ghosts (Claremont / Romita Jr. / Leonardi / Brigman / Windsor-Smith / Adams)
Power Pack Classic Vol. 2
X-Men: From the Ashes (Claremont / Smith / Wiacek / Simonson / Romita Jr.)
Transmetropolitan Vol. 3 – Year of the Bastard
Transmetropolitan Vol. 2 – Lust For Life
Transmetropolitan Vol. 1 – Back on the Street
Gotham Central Vol. 1 – In The Line Of Duty
The Walking Dead Vol. 5 – The Best Defense
The Walking Dead Vol. 4 – The Heart’s Desire
The Walking Dead Vol. 3 – Safety Behind Bars
The Walking Dead Vol. 2 – Miles Behind Us
The Walking Dead Vol. 1 – Days Gone Bye
Fables Vol. 4 – March of the Wooden Soldiers
Fables Vol. 3 – Storybook Love
Fables Vol. 2 – Animal Farm
Fables Vol. 1 – Legends in Exile
Hulk Visionaries – Peter David Vol. 2
Hulk Visionaries – Peter David Vol. 1
Justice League International Vol. 3 – Giffen / DeMatteis / Maguire


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Rusty’s Reading List 2015

February 24, 2015
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PowerPack2

I picked up this volume of Power Pack earlier because of the X-Men cross-overs but it is pretty much just delightful. These aren’t ‘teen’ superheroes… these are children… as young as kindergarten.

‘Classic’ may be an oversell, but it is an enjoyable read.

2015 in Books

Shouting Your Name Down The Well – David McFadden
Thousand Times Broken, Three Books – Henri Michaux
Stained Pages – Sean O’Gorman

2015 in Comic Collections

Power Pack Classic Vol. 2
X-Men: From the Ashes (Claremont / Smith / Wiacek / Simonson / Romita Jr.)
Transmetropolitan Vol. 3 – Year of the Bastard
Transmetropolitan Vol. 2 – Lust For Life
Transmetropolitan Vol. 1 – Back on the Street
Gotham Central Vol. 1 – In The Line Of Duty
The Walking Dead Vol. 5 – The Best Defense
The Walking Dead Vol. 4 – The Heart’s Desire
The Walking Dead Vol. 3 – Safety Behind Bars
The Walking Dead Vol. 2 – Miles Behind Us
The Walking Dead Vol. 1 – Days Gone Bye
Fables Vol. 4 – March of the Wooden Soldiers
Fables Vol. 3 – Storybook Love
Fables Vol. 2 – Animal Farm
Fables Vol. 1 – Legends in Exile
Hulk Visionaries – Peter David Vol. 2
Hulk Visionaries – Peter David Vol. 1
Justice League International Vol. 3 – Giffen / DeMatteis / Maguire


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Rusty’s Reading List 2015

February 22, 2015
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X-Men From the Ashes

And X-Men collection I ordered a while back came in, so as is my custom, I read the preceding books as well.

This is part of the long Chris Claremont run… the Paul Smith section of it.

This book includes the start of the Madeline Pryor arc as well as the attempted wedding of Wolverine and Mariko. The Unhappy Angst-Men indeed…

2015 in Books

Shouting Your Name Down The Well – David McFadden
Thousand Times Broken, Three Books – Henri Michaux
Stained Pages – Sean O’Gorman

2015 in Comic Collections

X-Men: From the Ashes (Claremont / Smith / Wiacek / Simonson / Romita Jr.)
Transmetropolitan Vol. 3 – Year of the Bastard
Transmetropolitan Vol. 2 – Lust For Life
Transmetropolitan Vol. 1 – Back on the Street
Gotham Central Vol. 1 – In The Line Of Duty
The Walking Dead Vol. 5 – The Best Defense
The Walking Dead Vol. 4 – The Heart’s Desire
The Walking Dead Vol. 3 – Safety Behind Bars
The Walking Dead Vol. 2 – Miles Behind Us
The Walking Dead Vol. 1 – Days Gone Bye
Fables Vol. 4 – March of the Wooden Soldiers
Fables Vol. 3 – Storybook Love
Fables Vol. 2 – Animal Farm
Fables Vol. 1 – Legends in Exile
Hulk Visionaries – Peter David Vol. 2
Hulk Visionaries – Peter David Vol. 1
Justice League International Vol. 3 – Giffen / DeMatteis / Maguire


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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Lazarus #15

February 22, 2015
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Lazarus_15

More comics that last week, but three of them have reached the end of the line (two for me and another for everybody).

Starting at the weakest…

SHE-HULK #12 (Soule / Pulido / Vicente) Marvel

This is the last issue of She-Hulk and I have enjoyed the series over all but this issue was very unsatisfying. The big reveal was a super lame villain with a magic trench-coat? Jen is controlled and then she isn’t?

This comic ended on a very down note.

MULTIVERSITY: MASTERMEN #1 (Morrison / Lee / Williams / Sinclair) DC

I guess some people were really excited about a Jim Lee issue of Multiversity. I am not a huge Lee fan.

More importantly, the way this comic kicked off really set a sour note. Look! Hitler taking a dump! It is undignified but it is funny because it is Hitler! Let’s drag this out as long as possible!

Uh, no. Plus it didn’t feel like I was going a whole story in this one shot.

Multiversity has been great but this issue was disappointing.

CAPTAIN AMERICA & THE MIGHTY AVENGERS # 5 (Ewing / Coello / Rosenberg) Marvel

Does this feel like the reveal happened too suddenly? DO you think their timetable was accelerated so they would match up with Secret Wars?

Me too.

FABLES #149 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha / Zullo / Loughridge) Vertigo

First off, what is with that cover? The figure work is terrible. It looks like something from a high school art class… and they didn’t get an A. Please, stick with Mark Buckingham if this is the art you are going to get for the cover.

As for the story… it was fine, I guess. It seem alike Willingham is tacking on an excuse for Snow and Red to fight. Red comes across pretty bad, though. “Now you have told me the story, I guess I will have to kill my sister!”

Uh, what? How about no.

BLACK WIDOW #15 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

I wasn’t a big fan of ‘Winter Soldier to the rescue’ but I guess it fits his new gig as the Watcher (or whatever he is…). Overall this is a just a good comic but I DO feel like the story is dragging out a bit too long.

SILVER SURFER #9 (Dan Slott / Michael Allred / Laura Allred) Marvel

Ah, human emotions are such fragile things. Dawn rejects Surfer when she finds out he participated in mass (mass, mass, mass) murders but then panics when she thinks he is in trouble. Very believable. Good writing.

And Galactus.

MOON KNIGHT #12 (Brian Wood / Greg Smallwood / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

This is the last issue I am getting but I expect that there will be Moon Knight trades in my future.

Khonshu is back where he belongs but this story gives a whole greater depth to that character.

Is Moon Knight backed by a ‘good guy’? Maybe?

Maybe not.

LAZARUS #15 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

Like Moon Knight, this is my last issue of Lazarus but I expect I will buy trades at some point. This issue is stellar. Normally I don’t like like fight scenes in comics too much, but this one is incredibly well done, and just enough politics on the side to make it work.

Looks like war.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Astro City #20

February 19, 2015
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Astro_City_Vol_3_20

This would have been a small week anyway, but with my decision to cut back, I didn’t get Secret Six or Darth Vader. Down to four books (though next week is still nearly a full-sized week).

I am working out a system for one collections to buy. I am collecting older collections, trying to build my ‘library’, but that is coming out of a different pot of money. It is slower (unless I go on a poker tear… :) )

It looks like the first book I am going to buy when I fully with over is Afterlife With Archie Volume 1. Assuming there isn’t a Lumberjanes collection yet.

For my ‘other’ collection, I have X-Men: Ghosts on order.

This week…

SPIDER-WOMAN #4 (Hopeless / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

I should have dropped this book sooner. I thought this was still Spider-Vese, but it isn’t really. It is a little side note wrap-up and stage setting for the very different stuff to follow.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #14 (Dan Slott / Giuseppe Camuncoli / Olivier Coipel / Justin Ponsor) Marvel

So Spider-Verse ends in a big fight where suddenly the bad guys don’t seem nearly as tough for some reason. O’kay.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #36 (Bendis / Asrar / Gracia) Marvel

Another wrap-up as the X-Men in the Ultimate Universe story finishes up, with a number of hints at the Secret Wars story to come.

Is Secret Wars going to be all Beast’s fault?

ASTRO CITY #20 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

This is the only book this week that I am not dropping immediately. There is another issue in the story.

And what a story it is! Showing how heroes age… the new super-powered ones, that is. This is the best thing along these lines I have seen since they did that aging Blue Beetle story.

Who am I kidding. This is better.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #21

February 8, 2015
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Hawkeye 21

If you read my last post you know that things are changing around here… well not quite yet. No books were dropped before I picked up this week’s comics. Eventually all will be dropped, but in the meantime I will mark the ones that are the last issues I am picking up as a monthly.

These are not evaluations of the book per se, but rather where they are in their arc.

Ironically, it was a pretty good week… though I am a little preoccupied so my actual reviews are even lighter than usual.

Starting at the weakest.

AVENGERS #41 (Hickman / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

I don’t love Hickman’s storytelling in this issue (or most of his issues) but I do like the coming together of the universes. We now know this will be Secret Wars.

(My Final issue: #44)

ANT-MAN #2 (Spencer / Rosanas / Boyd) Marvel

This was a fun little comic, and the addition of Grizzly has that Spider-Foes vibe to it.

(My Final issue: this one)

SWAMP THING #39 (Soule / Saiz / Chung) DC

DC Comics is an absolute train wreck. Apparently the New 52 sales are dropping like a stone so they are scrambling to ‘shock the world’ again with Convergence. That means they are cancelling one of the very few decent books they still have.

(My Final issue: #40)

MIRACLEMAN #15 (Moore / Totleben) Marvel

Here is a good example of a book I will likely pick up in trade. The individual issues are $5 and what will the collection be?

(My final issue: #16)

MS. MARVEL #11 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

Weird cover. Good comic. This wraps up a story so I will be dropping it here. I look forward to reading more in trade.

(My final issue: this one)

STAR WARS #2 (Aaron / Cassaday / Martin) Marvel

The relaunch of Star Wars from Marvel has been great. I still wish it was post-Jedi, but it is hard to complain when the comics feel this good. It messes with continuity but… oh well.

(My Final Issue: #3)

C.O.W.L. #8 (Kyle Higgins / Alex Siegel / Rod Reis) Image

Do many people buy C.O.W.L.? If not, they should. And I bet it will read even better collected. I guess I will find out…

(My Final Issue: #11)

SAGA #25 (Fiona Staples / Brian K. Vaughan) Image

This is the first issue of a new arc. Rather than buy a bunch of issue when I know I will likely buy the collection at some point anyway, I will drop it here.

Saga is a great comic.

(My Final Issue: this one)

WYTCHES #4 (Snyder / Jock / Hollingsworth / Robins) Image

Wytches is a tough read… just because it is so unrelentingly dark. Maybe so, but it is also incredibly well done.

(My Final Issue: #6)

HAWKEYE #21 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

This is the penultimate issue of Fraction’s run.

As I read this, all I could think is that this should be a movie. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really match up with the Marvel Movie World’s ‘Big Picture’ style… but it still should be a movie.

Oh, and I also want some purple Chucks. Ruthanne tried to buy some for me once but the website she ordered them from turned out to be a scam.


The End of an Era

February 8, 2015
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Avengers_Vol_1_234

I started buying comics at the age of 16.

I had read comics earlier than that, but generally just Archie comics or the like… or once in a while a three-pack of random comics from the grocery store, but they were read and then disposed of… and that was it. I never thought anything of it.

When I was 16 I went away to sea cadet camp (yeah, yeah) at Quadra near Comox, B.C. and the kid in the next bunk brought a few comics with him. He let me read them and I was INSTANTLY hooked. These were a far cry from the random junk comics I had read when I was younger.

The comic that really got me was what I thought was The Avengers.

It wasn’t actually the Avengers at all. It was an issue of What If? #9.

WhatIf9

This book eventually launched the Agents of Atlas, but it was the MISTAKE that turned me into a comic fan.

During that summer we had a couple of days on a sailing craft called the Oriole in Esquimalt and while on leave I discovered Island Fantasy in Market Square. I bought three comics: Avengers #234, #235 and Annual #11

Avengers_Vol_1_235

Avengers_Annual_Vol_1_11

I bought these because I thought they were the same team as the comic I had read. Instead they opened up a world to me.

From that moment on, I was a ‘comic guy’.

That was 30 years ago. 30 years where I have bought comics every week. I have been through Secret Wars and Crisis. Dark Knight and Watchmen. The Death of Superman… and Captain America… and Spider-Man… and… and…

Now the time of the comic book… the ‘floppy’ for me, is ending.

To give all fairness… I was thinking about doing this anyway. Each comic is $4-5 yet I can pick up a collection at substantial savings. Too many of the comics I buy turn out to be… well, bad. Current super-hero comics (with some very happy exceptions) have really lost their way. It seems that they are more worried about flash than substance… shock than story… icons than characters.

So, I am quitting buying comics.

Kind of.

I am going to keep building my ‘comics library’ – collections of great comics. That will expand to include more modern comics. This will replace my regular comic habit.

I am not going to claim this was COMPLETELY voluntary. Something I can’t really talk about forced me to assess my spending habits and I realized that if I had to be more selective, I would rather buy stuff I KNEW I was going to enjoy rather than continue to spin the wheel on the monthly comics rack.

This will happen over time because I have this ‘thing’ about having half a story. For each comic I will buy them to wrap up a current arc and then stop it.

As for this blog, it will keep going. You will soon get to hear more about the collections I am buying rather than the monthly comics. I will also be VERY interested in hearing about which comics other people are enjoying because that will help me decide which collections to buy.

So, it isn’t the end of comics for me, but it is the end of an era.

And yes, it makes me kind of sad. Thirty years.


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Rusty’s Reading List 2015

February 3, 2015
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McFadden

This book… sigh.

It is a book of Tankas and Haiku but an incredibly talented poet but that does not even come close to what it means to me.

I saw David McFadden do a reading at VERSeFest last year. Before that I had heard his name but I am not always as conversant in ‘page’ poetry as I would like.

But then I heard his story.

McFadden has Alzheimer’s. It seems that the reason he is writing such short forms of poetry right now is connected to his attention span. (I don’t want to speak for him, but that is my understanding.)

Some years ago, I started worrying about my memory. Little things, like temporarily forgetting my phone number… an then having a panic attack about it (which makes things worse).

This is something that ALREADY was a source of stress for me.

Then my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He got really bad before the end.

I have been tested. It seems that my poor memory and anxiety over it are just that (which is a nasty circle, since anxiety works against memory), but this continues to be a spot of worry for me.

Then there is David McFadden. He is a poet. He has Alzheimer’s. He continues to be a poet.

I wait eagerly his next book. And his next one. And so on… and dread the day I hear he can no longer write them.

2015 in Books

Shouting Your Name Down The Well – David McFadden
Thousand Times Broken, Three Books – Henri Michaux
Stained Pages – Sean O’Gorman

2015 in Comic Collections

Transmetropolitan Vol. 3 – Year of the Bastard
Transmetropolitan Vol. 2 – Lust For Life
Transmetropolitan Vol. 1 – Back on the Street
Gotham Central Vol. 1 – In The Line Of Duty
The Walking Dead Vol. 5 – The Best Defense
The Walking Dead Vol. 4 – The Heart’s Desire
The Walking Dead Vol. 3 – Safety Behind Bars
The Walking Dead Vol. 2 – Miles Behind Us
The Walking Dead Vol. 1 – Days Gone Bye
Fables Vol. 4 – March of the Wooden Soldiers
Fables Vol. 3 – Storybook Love
Fables Vol. 2 – Animal Farm
Fables Vol. 1 – Legends in Exile
Hulk Visionaries – Peter David Vol. 2
Hulk Visionaries – Peter David Vol. 1
Justice League International Vol. 3 – Giffen / DeMatteis / Maguire


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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: The Unwritten: Apocalypse #12

February 1, 2015
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UnwrittenApocalypse12

Quite a range of books this week… some were very good, some were less so…

Starting at the weakest…

BODIES #7 (Si Spencer / Dean Omston / Tula Lotay / Meghan Hetrick / Phil Winslade / Lee Loughridge) Vertigo

Do you see all those names in the credits? This is what you get when you make a comic by committee.

SPIDER-MAN AND THE X-MEN #2 (Kalan / Failla / Herring) Marvel

This is old-school style super heroics/ I LIKE old-school style super heroics.

Too bad this one is written so badly. What was up with that dialogue? I have a feeling I won’t be getting this comic for long.

I have a feeling that nobody will.

SPIDER-MAN 2099 #8 (David / Sliney / Fabela) Marvel

The Steam Punk Sinister Six were pretty cool and they are getting a spider version of Red Ronin.

But it is still Spider-Verse, which has dragged out WAY too long.

INHUMAN #11 (Soule / Stegman / Isanove) Marvel

Angsty Medusa as she ‘uninverts’. As crappy as THAT is, the Reader / Iso scenes were solid and that last page return was great!

REVIVAL #27 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Reviver fish! This book just keeper crawling along its creepy way but there was a couple things that were problems this issue. One, what the hell happened to open the book? Who got shot? Two, at the end, aren’t we past the time where people find a dead body and are surprised when it turns out to be a reviver?

UNCANNY AVENGERS #1 (Rick Remender / Daniel Acuna) Marvel

The great Acuna art really kicks this up a notch but we have a sold story (if a slightly iffy premise) that really gets things going. I don’t forgive Remender for pushing us into that Alignment-switching nonsense but this book is pretty good.

Wait a minute… did that say that Havoc kidnapped Wasp? Uh, why are the Avengers not trying to save HER?

UNCANNY X-MEN #30 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

Welcome to the problem with time travel.

It is kind of funny that THIS time slipped person shows up in THIS book, rather than the one with all the young time travellers.

BITCH PLANET #2 (DeConnick / De Landro / Peter / Cowles) Image

This book continues to impress.

How do you make a women’s prison exploitation flick and have it be feminist?

Well, honestly, so far you don’t… really. But DeConnick is including some great back matter so you have no reason to doubt her intention.

SEX CRIMINALS #10 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

The exploration into issues of depression and therapy have really changed this book… for the better. You still have the sex jokes and the wacky nature of the premise of the book, but there is something more laying just under (or sometimes ON) the surface.

Great stuff.

THE UNWRITTEN: APOCALYPSE #12 (Carey / Gross / Chuckry) Vertigo

This wraps up this volume of the Unwritten and MAYBE the Unwritten altogether. I am unsure.

This sure FEELS like an ending but they gave just enough extra to open it up if they want to.

They thing that bothered by in the extended ending was Lizzie. So, she ended up with Wilson? But then where is she at the very end?

Overall though, this book is really, really good. The way they defeated Rausch and Pullman made just too much sense, which is what makes me think they should stop in here. Any other threat would seem a little contrived.


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