Happy Bonfire Night, to all my U.K. and New Zealand friends.
It's funny how when you do a Google search now for Guy Fawkes, you also get links to V For Vendetta...
Which is my clumsy segue into telling you that I plan to have comics reviews here sometime tomorrow, in between football games. Ain't this time of year wonderful? Among the review-ed shall be Superf*kers #273, and the James Kolchalka/Jeffrey Brown team-up, Conversation. I'm also well into a rough draft of A Spirited Life, the Will Eisner bio. So far, very interesting.
Made out my DCBS order for January today, and was delighted to see that they not only solicited the latest printing of Bluesman, but the sequel as well...and I ordered them both. The Middle Man is also getting a trade collection, to coincide with the release of the second series. Middle Man, you will recall, and its apparent lack of availability (at least to them) was the straw that broke the camel's back in regards to me getting my comics via my local comics shop.
More later, I think- time for Teen Titans.
OK, I'm back, and I have the correct picture up top. Don't know what happened, just copied the wrong code, I guess. The latest Titans wasn't bad- now that we're into the third season, the writers are digging up all sorts of effluvia from the 60's Titans comics, and the latest beneficiares are Bob Haney & Nick Cardy's teenage caveman Gnaark and a character with whom I'm familar with by name only (and her small role as one of the offed in Crisis on Infinite Earths), Kole. Now that we've had the Doom Patrol, Bumblebee, and the Mad Mod, can Lilith or Mister Twister be far behind? Anyway, the most intriguing thing about this new season is how they're actually having an ongoing plot thread running in every episode in the personages of the Brotherhood of Evil, who have apparently recruited all the Titans' foes to aid them in their nefarious plan, which is still a little unclear. Gives some much-needed intrigue to the proceedings, for sure.
I bought the soundtrack CD for the Mike Leigh Gilbert & Sullivan film Topsy-Turvy yesterday at a used CD store for four bucks. I've written about that film, which I like a lot, many times before so I'll spare you...but I thought it would be neat to be able to listen to "The Criminal Cried As He Dropped Him Down" from The Mikado whenever I had the urge.
As you can tell from the dearth of updates this week, I've been hellaciously busy at my new job, of which I've finished week one, and I've had no time to post. It's another prepress artist/graphic design position, but with a bit wider and more diverse focus than my previous job. It also promises to be more demanding as well- it's a lot more hectic and intense for one thing; these people do a LOT of volume. Also, I'm going to have actual clients, and will be expected to interact with them even to the point of calling them up to discuss their projects, something which I haven't had to do in a long while and have never really been comfortable with, given my somewhat introverted personality. Still, gotta do what you gotta do and I've always been able to interact when necessary. I think once I get in the swing of things, I'll be fine. I've got three more weeks to train with the person I'm replacing; she's retiring the first of December, and then it will be sink or swim time for me. It will be a challenge, and I'm looking forward to it with anticipation and trepidation in equal measures- but perhaps a challenge is what I need in my life, which has become very complacent lately. I'm also getting the opportunity to work on Mac OSX for the first time, and on top of that I'm using two software programs, InDesign and OS 9 Pagemaker, which I've never used before for actual production work. It's great to be on a G5 with OSX and a high-definition monitor. I also get paid every week, instead of every two weeks, which I like. So far, so good.
Courtesy of Netflix, I've been viewing a lot of music-related DVDs lately. Among these have been Get It On: 70s Jukebox, a compilation of 1970's TV appearances by the likes of Alice Cooper circa 1971, singing a sloppy, rambling version of "I'm Eighteen"- obviously drunk and wearing a Wonder Woman tee shirt. All said, though, it's not a terrible version, Alice does some neat conductor-type hand gestures at the end, and works in some lyrics from "American Pie". It's always very cool to see the original Dunaway/Smith/Bruce/Buxton Group as well. T.Rex is also there, singing "Ride A White Swan" while competing with the terribly cheesy TV graphic effects; the Danny Kirwan-Bob Welch early 70's Fleetwood Mac is represented by "Dragonfly", a song with which I'm unfamiliar- but it's a nice one, probably on Then Play On. Roxy Music gets two showcases, with an Eno-era perf of "Do The Strand" and a perf of "If It Takes All Night" from a couple of years later. The Sweet, Status Quo, Rory Gallagher (a killer acoustic blues), Chuck Berry (Johnny B. Goode, from the 70's), and Muddy Waters are among the others represented. Also, Strawbs Live in Tokyo '75/Grave New World, some vintage video of one of my favorite 70's bands. The Tokyo show features my favorite era of the group performing several cuts from their then-recent Ghosts LP, which is, you guessed it, my favorite of their albums. They weren't exactly the most dynamic of performers, but I was fascinated just the same because I'd never seen them in concert in their heyday. The Grave New World segment is a video album of sorts, a collection of videos they apparently made- in 1971- of somgs from the album of the same name. Dated and a bit cheap-looking, but more imaginative than you'd think. There was also a neat short film of the Ghosts-era band taking a boat to a lighthouse and discussing the song "Grace Darling" from that album, which was apparently based on a true event involving lighthouses and sacrifice and so on. George Harrison: The Dark Horse Years 1976-1992 was a collection of interviews and videos from those years; I'd seen them all before but it's always great to see the Godley/Creme-filmed vid for "When We Was Fab", and there were some interview segments I hadn't seen before from the mid-70's. Neal & Jack & Me: Live 1982-84 was a collection of live performances from that incarnation of King Crimson, with Adrian Belew, Tony Levin, Bill Bruford, and of course Robert Fripp. I never warmed to that version as much as I did the earlier, more dissonant configurations, so it's kind of a mixed bag for me and Belew becomes a bit tiresome after a while with his hyperactive skipping around and animal noises on his guitar. But those are still some tight performances of some demanding material, and well worth checking out. Finally, this afternoon I watched Ian Hunter: Strings Attached, a concert DVD from 2002 or so which featured the former Mott the Hoople frontman with not only an anonymous backing band but a good-sized string section as well, hence the title. It was fine, but the strings didn't really add much except on the Mick Ronson tribute song "Michael Picasso" and Ian looks weird singing with only a mike and no guitar.
Oh well, I'm tired of typing. Comic reviews tomorrow, if at all humanly possible.