Saturday, February 19, 2005

Posting has been light, I know, and nobody hates it worse than me. I've got several things upon which to opine, and I plan to do so over the next few days, but last week was very busy at the ULPJ, and frankly, after typing auto dealer ads, real estate ad listings, auction ads and the like, I'm to busy to write at work and too sick of banging on the keyboard to do it when I get home! So that's my excuse, love it or leave it.

My reading stack has gotten slightly smaller, but I received the first volumes of Worst and IWGP from Digital Manga Publishing, and haven't finished everything from Top Shelf yet, either. I did read IWGP last night, and I liked it OK- many of my standard manga objections still apply but I was quite impressed with the renditions of the female form by Sena Aritou. I'll have more later. As far as Western comics go, and I'm not talking about Dell/Gold key, I got everything listed back on Monday with the exception of the new issues of Jack Staff (dammit) and Amazing Joy Buzzards- apparently my shop didn't get its full shipment. My books may have come in during the week, but I didn't particularly care to drive across town to find out. And no, I didn't buy two copies of Promethea 32 to take apart and make the poster. Actually, I kinda enjoyed reading it in bound format; kinda added to the disorientation of the whole experience.

Interesting to see where Johanna Draper Carlson has picked up on the observation I made in my review of Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life about the age gap in comics these days; while I realize that my statement sounded more definitive than I intended, and I realize that there are many comics being published with older characters, it's just that most of them aren't as high-profile and talked-about as Scott Pilgrim or most manga. I hope that an interesting discussion breaks out. And believe me, by bringing it up in the first place, it's not that I want to become the poster child for old-fogey comics fans- but I just couldn't help but note. Y'know?

I know, I said a week or so that I would do another Johnny B Heart Netflix, and there are a few movies I've seen in the last couple of months that I haven't written about, but I just haven't been able to buckle down and get them typed up. I'll get to them eventually. I haven't seen anything new recently since I cancelled Netflix and can't afford to go to the cinema; but heaven (or hell) help me, I've been considering going to see Constantine. Wait, wait, let me explain- as a longtime fan of the character, it galls me to see him being represented to the great unwashed out there in the form of Keanu Reeves. Nothing against Keanu, who's not a bad actor per se, despite his Lugosi-like inability or unwillingness to lose that Valley-Boy surfer-dude inflection in his voice and mannerisms. He's best when asked to play roles that he can inhabit without stretching credibility, like QB Johnny Utah in Point Break, the abusive redneck husband in The Gift, and of course Neo in the Matrix flicks. But ask him to play a character outside his comfort zone, like Jonathan Harker in Bram Stoker's Dracula, and he is inept and ludicrous. He damn near kills that film as he struggles to sound British- "That bah-stahd." I suppose we should be thankful that if they had to cast the guy as Ol' Conjob, at least by making him an American they spared us that. Anyway, I've been reading the mostly poor reviews, and while they're hardly ringing endorsements (and often boneheaded, when they insist on making Matrix comparisons) the events and situations they describe sound kinda imaginative, which is borne out by the trailers I've seen, so I'm kinda thinking about sucking it up and seeing if I can't tolerate Ted "Theodore" Logan in a trenchcoat for the visuals. Maybe if I think of him as another character, like Clive Barker's Harry D'Amour. Plus, I have two free passes to the movie theatre, so I won't be out anything of value, except my time. One major deterrent to me is the spoiler Rich Johnston posted in last weekend's Lying in the Gutters, which describe an event in the film which effectively spits on one of the comic's best scenes.

I got some belated birthday money the other day, so I placed another order. I got the latest Wilco CD, A Ghost Is Born, the Pentangle's Solomon's Seal, one of my absolute favorite albums only recently available on CD and that as an import; plus, I ordered May Pang's book about her time with John Lennon before and during his "Lost Weekend", a chapter in his life which continues to fascinate me.

Music the last couple of days, including this morning: The Raspberries' Greatest Hits, Todd Rundgren-Liars (great song-"Soul Brother"); Wilco-Yankee Hotel Foxtrot; Bonnie Raitt-Fundamental and Takin' My Time; The Essential Dave Brubeck; The Best of KC and the Sunshine Band; Wendy Waldman-The Main Refrain; Babe Ruth-First Base; George Harrison-Living in the Material World, Dark Horse, and Thirty-Three and 1/3; Hamilton Camp (who has a supporting role in Desperate Housewives!)-Here's To You; Traffic-When the Eagle Flies; Roger McGuinn; and Aerosmith-Rocks.

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