New Comics Haul June 10, 2015

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More good stuff this week. I’m particularly stoked by Tank Girl, a comic I didn’t even know was coming out until this morning. Yay reading!

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New Comics Haul – May 27th

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I picked up these comics today at my local shop. There are some good ones in there. But that’s not the best part of this post. The real story of my visit is the nice (older-ish?) couple, fulfilling their son/daughter/grandson/granddaughter’s pull list, while talking over the phone and consulting a hand-written list. This was FANTASTIC.

Seriously, I love everything about this. I love that they care enough to come in to the shop and pick up the comics. I love that they had a list prepared and a cell phone at the ready. And I LOVE that the cell phone connection wasn’t strong so the older gentleman had to yell things like: “SOUTHERN BASTARDS? Yeah, they have SOUTHERN BASTARDS. Issue #6? No? Oh, issue #7.”

If only the person had requested Sex Criminals.

I’ll tell you what, though. They had a big stack of comics to buy. Whomever they were buying for, they certainly love them.

Of course I have a few theories in my mind about what was really happening.

Perhaps the person on the other end of the phone has some terminal illness, and these kind young people are fulfilling her list so she can escape, for just a little while at least, the pain of this world.

Or…

The person on the other end of the line is the kingpin of some underground crime syndicate and these are his lackeys, forced to fulfill his every whim. Even acquire some random-ass comics from a local shop. Maybe he is making these two run all kinds of errands for him. Maybe he won’t even read the comics.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that is the real story.

New Comic Books March 11, 2015

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Look man, this time thing has messed with my head. So I’m gonna cheat with a photo again. This is my haul of new comic books, purchased from my local comic book shop I’ve been shopping at since I was a kid: The Comic Swap.

So, what do we have here?

Not a bad haul, I think. Click on the link to read more about what each of them are all about.

Neil Gaiman’s The Books of Magic For Free

I was cruising through Vertigo Comics site the other day and came across their Vertigo #1s site, on which you can download .pdf versions of some of their comics for free. It really is a cool idea and a good way to find new reading material. On that site I found Neil Gaiman’s The Books of Magic for download (since it is Vertigo, the comic is for Mature Readers, whatever that means).

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I read on Gaiman’s site that there have been comparisons drawn between The Books of Magic and Harry Potter (The Books of Magic was released first). For example, The Books of Magic are about a kid who wears glasses, does magic, and has a pet owl. In reading the first twenty pages of the book, though, I think the similarities are mostly superficial.

Here is the wikipedia entry for The Books of Magic.

Anyhow, I figured all of you Gaiman fans would be interested in this. Enjoy!

Neil Gaiman’s Stardust

I went to my favorite place in the world over the weekend, the bookstore, and picked up a copy of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust. Rather than me try to explain what the novel is about, I’m just going to paste the description from wikipedia here:

“One fateful night, Tristran Thorn promises the most beautiful girl in the rural, English village of Wall, Victoria Forester, that he will retrieve a fallen star for her from beyond the wall that borders their village and separates it from the Faerie realm. Tristran bravely sets out to fetch the fallen star and therefore win the hand of his love, along the way encountering witches, faeries, and unimaginable creatures.”

Ok, me here again. Sounds pretty good, right? Basically, it’s a fairy tale for adults. Turns out there is a movie based on the novel, which is coming out in August, and features Claire Danes, Michelle Pheiffer, and Robert Dinero. I figured I would read the book before seeing the movie (which might make a nice dinner and movie date with my wife for our anniversary).

The version I picked up is the graphic novel version, which is the size (height) of a comic book and contains illustrations onstardust.jpg each page along with the text of the novel. When I was purchasing the book I went back and forth on whether to buy the graphic novel or the paperback novel which didn’t have any of the illustrations. My fear was that it would be harder to get into the graphic novel than it would be the novel. I didn’t want to miss out on the illustrations, though.

So far, I have had a little trouble getting into the book. I have enjoyed the story so far, but I’m having a hard time telling my brain “this is a novel”. My brain keeps thinking it is reading a comic book. I almost think I should’ve bought both the graphic novel and the paperback. If I wasn’t so cheap I might have done that.

Have any of you read Stardust yet? Which version did you read? Did you have the same problem I had. I’m curious to hear if I’m the only one who had a hard time thinking of the book as a novel.

Free Comic Book Day This Saturday (May 5)

All of you readers out there, don’t forget this Saturday (May 5th, 2007) is Free Comic Book Day, so get on down to your friendly neighborhood comic book shop and pick up some free comics.  Who knows, you might actually see something you like and become a hopeless addict like me.  Here is a list of some of the comics that they’ll be giving away for free.  Check out this really cool Peanuts comic strip book called Unseen Peanuts they’ll be giving away.

This is the 4th year they have done Free Comic Book Day, and each year they seem to be giving away more and more stuff.  I can’t wait!

Currently Reading – Fables

After finishing Good Omens, I dove right into my next reading obsession, Fables. For those who don’t know, Fables is a comic book published by Vertigo comics in which characters from our childhood fables, such as Snow White, the Big Bad Wolf, Pinocchio, and Red Riding Hood really existed in a land called the Homelands, only be be forced to escape to the Mundane lands (our reality) and live in a community in New York called Fabletown. Though this is a “comic book”, there are no superheros or anything like that and in fact, these stories are not intended for children. What the story does have, is elements of fantasy and adventure and interesting characters that are not always good or always evil. Fables has won seven Eisner awards.

I just finished reading the excellent collection of Fables comics titled Fables VOL. 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers, which collects issues 19-21 & 23-27 and deals with an invasion of Fabletown by an army of soldiers made of sentient wood created by (Gipetto of Pinocchio fame).  I read the whole thing in two nights, which is amazing for me and is an indicator of how well written the story really is.

If you would like to learn more about Fables, check out this excellent guide on the Fables story thus far which details all of the major characters in Fables and also provides descriptions of all of the trade paperbacks.

Brian K Vaughn on Writing

For those of you who don’t follow comic books, Brian K Vaughan is the creator of two very successful and critically acclaimed comic books, Y The Last Man and Ex Machina. Clearly, the guy knows a lot about writing. It is for that reason that I would like to point you to his MySpace entry on writing comics, though I think his advice is relevant to writing in general.

He starts out with some general advice: “WRITE MORE, DO OTHER STUFF LESS.” This seems like common sense, but it is good for those of us who “don’t have time to write” to read. I sometimes say I don’t have time to write while I watch countless hours of sports on T.V.

Here are some more quotes (language censored by me):

  • “Every writer has 10,000 pages of s— in them, and the only way your writing is going to be any good at all is to work hard and hit 10,001.”
  • “Oh, and “writer’s block” is just another word for video games. If you want to be a writer, get writing, you lazy bast—-“
  • “Anyway, when people ask me for suggestions about writing, they’re usually asking how to make it more fun. Well, writing might be fun for some people, but for most of us, it’s an unholy nightmare. Writing is hard, lonely, frustrating work. I hate it more than just about anything in the world. Unfortunately, the thing I LOVE more than just about anything is HAVING WRITTEN, so I have to power through the misery to get to that sensation. For me, writing is like starting with six hours’ worth of hangover to enjoy a few minutes of feeling drunk. It’s a bizarre, unnatural way of life, and not everyone’s cut out for it, but if you’re born with this wonderful, terrible addiction, you’ll recognize it soon enough.”

This part of the above quote perfectly articulates my view on writing: “I hate it more than just about anything in the world. Unfortunately, the thing I LOVE more than just about anything is HAVING WRITTEN, so I have to power through the misery to get to that sensation. ”

It is usually painful for me to write because it is difficult. However, once I have completed a project and put it out there for people to read, I get a great sense of accomplishment. Some people say they write because they have this great urge to write and just need to get things out. I’m not like this. I would be perfectly happy if I didn’t write. However, I am happier that I do write.

Anyhow, go check out his post. There is even a tidbit of advice he received from Neil Gaiman.