My buddy Caleb tweeted me this, and I'm posting because its pretty funny... and as a slightly massive fan, its also undeniably true.
Oh, and for those that noticed I haven't posted all month, its because I was on vacation - pictures coming soon. Why? Because you didn't ask.
Its been another light week of comics reading, I decided to dive back into Westeros with a second read of George R.R. Martin's "A Dance With Dragons," and see how I felt about the book after reading it again. So for those of you who were expecting a formal opinion on the book way back last year when it was released, you'll probably get it after this re-read, now that my expectations, are… realistic.
Anyways, I did manage to read two comic stories this week, both of which are now relatively recent in the scheme of things. Both of them are from the House of Ideas, and they hit two pillars of the Marvel Universe: Spider-Man and the X-Men. When they were released, they were also marketed as events, but kept a fairly tight focus on the stories at hand (well, maybe not as much in the case of the Spidey one).
I'm talking about Amazing Spider-Man: Spider-Island and X-Men: Schism.
First I'll cover the big doings in Spidey's world.
Spider-Island was a huge story in the fact that it involved Spidey's entire cast of characters, including the Avengers and Fantastic Four, all the supporting characters like Carlie Cooper and Mary Jane, plus Peter's crew at Horizon Labs. It also happened to involve the entirety of Manhattan, because they all get spider-powers. I won't delve too deeply into the story how's and why's other than to say that the device of giving EVERYONE on Manhattan spider-powers was a lot of fun in that you get to see some very unlikely people get powers (I'm sure you can guess one right off the bat - yes, he yells at Peter a lot and wears a handlebar mustache - that was easy).
At the core of the story though the reader gets to once again understand why Peter Parker as Spider-Man is special, and how the idea of everyone having great power, but exercising no responsibility is not a good idea. On a side note, it was grin-inducing to watch everyone see Peter with spider-powers, and it was normal - because everyone had them! The writer Dan Slott has a lot of fun with concepts such as these in the story, and really hits it out of the park in terms of crafting a light-hearted, entertaining story for Spider-fans.
You can tell Slott is having a blast writing the book, and its great to see him take some classic concepts and twirl them around to make a fresh story. If you're reading Spidey its a great time to be on the book, and in fact even though there were a lot of tie-ins to this event, I only read the core book and felt like I got a complete story (although now that I realized Shang-Chi had a mini-series that included Iron Fist and the Immortal Weapons, it may force me to go back and find that particular tie-in). The main story is told completely in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man, and I for one am happy Marvel didn't try to get me to buy a separate limited series to get the thing… hopefully we can see more "events" like this.
Schism was a story that seemed to have been coming for a while. It revolves around Scott Summers and Logan, and the differing ideological destination they're reached in their own mind in the span of the last few months. Jason Aaron spins a physiological drama with the backdrop of action, as in the pages we see the sentinel program being dusted off due to the actions of a new and (markedly) different Hellfire Club. The book was interesting art-wise due to the fact that five different artists spanned the 5 issue miniseries, including heavy hitters Alan Davis and Frank Cho. I was pleased to see that Daniel Acuna regained his form on the issue he drew after a shaky performance on Jason Aaron's earlier "Wolverine" run.
This book had a pretty tight focus, the events were constrained mainly to the locations of Utopia and San Francisco, which I think was a smart move since in the end the story centered on Wolverine and Cyclop's battle of wills, which only late in the book turns physical. Aaron crafts some interesting characters here that wouldn't feel out of place in Grant Morrison's New X-Men run (he also cherry-picks a little used character from that run who plays a prominent role here), but I was a little surprised that this ideological falling out between didn't somehow include Professor X and Magneto. Actually, I honestly don't even know where Charles Xavier is these days (he is still alive, right?) but I thought his decades of differing opinion with someone like Magneto would at least factor in somewhat here. On the other hand, the X books have done a pretty fair job of running with the idea that this is Cyclops' show now, for good or ill, and that the torch really has been passed. Perhaps including the Professor would only muddy the waters.
Anyways, I enjoyed the book, it was a little disconcerting to have a different artist every single issue, but the caliber of artist were top notch and so it was easy to forgive. This book really sets the stage for whats to come in the X universe, and although I have yet to read anything post-Schism, I'm excited to do so. I will say that going into this book I was expecting a little bit more from Aaron to get me emotionally involved in the plights of who was right and wrong, but in the end I felt strangely neutral on the subject. These are desperate characters going to extreme measures in a pretty messed up world, and nobody's actions really felt like it was necessarily the correct one.
Oh, and one last thing, and this is a minor nitpick but it annoyed me. At one point Wolverine gets thrown into the ocean and somehow swims to Utopia ahead of a massive sentinel that is approaching the island. In Jason's first arc of his Wolverine: Weapon X series, he lays out that one of Wolverine's biggest weaknesses is water. He can indeed drown, and if he is dropped into water, he can't float due to his metal skeleton. But here he somehow is able to get from a point in the ocean between the shores of San Fran and Utopia to the X-Men's island. I don't like the contradiction, especially since the same writer wrote both stories.
Oh well (that may actually be the harshest thing I've said about Jason Aaron yet… see, I'm objective!)
Even with some minor complaints, Schism is worth a read. Spider-Island is as well, especially if you like fun, classic-feeling Spidey tales.
*NOTE: All the art compiled in this post was directed to me by the good Caleb Monroe, and can be found here, with much more than I included.
Oh the wonders of Amazon Prime.
For those of you that may have missed it, one might say I've been pretty excited about tomorrow's release of George R.R. Martin's "A Dance With Dragons," the fifth book in his acclaimed series.
You might in fact say, this book represents my personal most anticipated book... well ever (and you'd be right).
Daenerys by Phil Noto
Several times in fact during the last few months, I've checked around at some LA bookstores to see if any were having a midnight launch tonight (for someone that works nights, thats a perfect opportunity to get a nice head start on a book, especially in this case). However, I was woefully saddened to come up short in that quest (some bookstore might be having one, but it escaped my purview if so).
Well, to make a short story less long than it has to be, I got Amazon Prime early this month on a whim (can't beat the 2 day shipping for someone that orders as much crap on there as I do), and I just hoped against hope that it would at least show up the day it came out before I went to work (in fact, I'm leaving wed. for an out of town wedding, so I definitely wanted the book in my hands before I left).
Rickon Stark and Shaggydog by Gianluca Maconi
Well, I got home from an appointment today right before 2pm. As I was walking to my door, I saw the post-lady going through the mail. She had a box in her hands that could of been book-sized, but not wanting to be rude and blurt out "is that mine!" I unlocked my door, stowed my bag inside (hoping she would notice what apartment I was going into) and walked towards the mailbox to check out what other mail was there. Before I got within 10 feet of her, she looked up, smiled (maybe that was my imagination, its what I remember, maybe it was just me smiling on the inside, but anyways...), and asked "are you Aaron?"
Yes. Its real.
No words can describe hefting that box and knowing the best thing in fiction I'll consume for probably the next five years was inside. Thank you Amazon Prime shipping. You surprised me a day early, and nothing can ever repay my gratitude. So don't be jealous, just order Prime next time.
Enough writing. Back to reading. A day early.
Ahh, what to say? I always intend to keep these blog posts short, and then I end up blathering on and on. Call it a character flaw, maybe I don't know how to stop, or perhaps I am unable to efficiently collect my thoughts, and present them in a concise manner. Maybe, if I kept my writing short and focused, I could actually do more posting. I've noticed my frequency of posting has dropped off of late, chalk that up to the subconscious realization that it will take too long to post about something that maybe at the end of the day isn't that important, which is why I've forced myself to not post about each individual episode (and thank goodness I didn't, that would get old fast). Oh, and what am I talking about here?
Well, the season finale of Game of Thrones did air last night.
And wouldn't that be considered a huge event, especially after the shocker we received in episode 9? Well, one might think, but I for one felt it was a mixed bag. There were some good scenes and the fallout from the event I won't mention for spoiler purposes certainly laid the groundwork for exciting times ahead, but for the most part this episode felt like mostly setup. Doesn't mean it wasn't good, I've taken the stance the entire season that every episode has been at least "good" but this was another example of the TV team not being able to fully utilize the richness of the source material due to time and budget constraints.
I don't want to turn this into a "this is why the books are better" thread, but to give just one example from last night's finale - There were several scenes that just involved talking, but they were infinitely better in the book, and this is why. All the characters in those scenes in the book are indeed "characters." They feel real, they feel like they have a history. That is one of Martin's strengths, he writes them in a way that even with a bit character in the background, with a sentence or two, he can give them a back-story that your mind can help fill in the gaps on, and thus the proceedings feel incredibly rich.
In fact, last night after watching the show, three friends and I who have all read the books sat around until about 1am talking about, among other things, our favorite characters from the series. The funny thing is, most of them, if they were in the show at all, would either be severely cut down or cut out entirely, because in most cases our favorites are those characters that aren't main characters with POV chapters, like Bryndon Tully the Blackfish, or Ser Author Dayne, the Sword of the Morning (who Ned had to battle and kill after the Trident). Their stories are being told by other characters, which makes them cooler because other people are speaking their stories in a way that makes them mythical, and even legendary.
There are only so many characters that can be shown in a TV show in a meaningful sense however. For instance, in Robb's war council, in the books we may understand family history and motivation for all the Lords commanding under Robb, in the show, its just a collection of actors in armor, and all the storytelling focus is on the Starks. Thats ok, especially for someone who is just watching the show. For someone like me, I see it as a adaptation flaw that is sometimes difficult to overcome when judging what I'm watching.
Perhaps its too faithful to the source materiel in the end. In a show like The Walking Dead, I ended up appreciating the deviations from the comic that the showrunners took the show to. I think culminated in a more entertaining product for me, because I truly felt like I was watching an adaptation. Here, there are added scenes, but they almost always feel hollow somehow, because in most cases the book was able to tell that part of the story or fill in that information in a superior way, and I'm left feeling I watched something that was... lesser somehow.
From a production standpoint however, even with the budget and time constraints inherent to television, I feel like this is about as good as we can get. The cast is overall very solid and plot-wise, there are exciting times ahead for these characters (even if the exciting moments may be tempered by budgetary constraints in the end).
So what did I think of Game of Thrones Season 1? In short, it was good. But I can't call it great. That word still belongs solely to the books.
Crap. I did turn it into a "this is why the books are better" post. Plus, I ended up blathering again...
Wow, its been a while (relatively) since I've posted. Well, here's the first post in June.
Some of you may have noticed I've been conspicuously quiet concerning a film that came out last weekend that I had a little prediction on in a previous post.
Well, I saw it last weekend, but didn't feel like writing about it until I had seen it again. The flick to which I'm referring is of course X-Men: First Class, and upon its first viewing, I walked away with decidedly mixed feelings.
Without going into plot-specific spoilers (for those of you that haven't seen it), I was torn about certain things. For one, upon first viewing, I thought the period aspect of the piece worked… and didn't work at the same time. There seemed to be a thin venire of 60's camp that seemed to lay over the top of a very strong dramatic core that carried the film. As I understand it, there were quite a few actors from various big and small screen properties of the 1960's that made their way into the movie (and I was aware of this by 3 people sitting directly behind me, who insisted on laughing loudly whenever one of these generation-specific easter eggs appeared).
Sorry guys, it was lost on me, wrong generation.
There was even a slight Scooby-Doo aspect in regards to the younger members of the team, and as Vaughn mentioned in numerous interviews, he was trying to add a Bond vibe to the proceedings, which I think he achieved (and which thankfully fell short of being Austin Powers level of campiness). So in that regard, I'd say that worked without being too distracting, as the period nature of the piece in my opinion warranted the vibe of secret agents, shadowy agencies, and big over the top world-ending plotting by the villains.
However, the previously mentioned things did throw me for a loop the first time I watched it. In fact, in many ways, the first viewing was a victim of overblown expectations. Whenever I watch anything pertaining to a film beforehand that pushes my buttons, whether it be a trailer, filmmaker interview, ect., and I know the director or actors attached warrant a high level of expectation in and of themselves, I tend to almost always be disappointed when I first watch a film.
In anything, one's imagination is often the most powerful force in play. When I imagine how amazing a film will be (especially if it concerns characters/stories I'm familiar with), many times the actual product just can't compete. Disappointment follows, but if you allow yourself to watch the piece again, often-times your expectation have now flown the coop, and you can just take in the film on its own merits.
And thats what I found here. I appreciated the period nature of the film and the aesthetic used much more the second time around (it also helped that I saw it in a silent theater at noon in the middle of the week, so no loudies to take me out of the experience).
Those were the things I had to come around to, the things that I loved from the get-go on this film was the two main characters, and their story told. Eric and Charles (Prof. X and Magneto, respectively), were a fantastic case of two characters with infinitely different backgrounds, upbringings, and life experiences that somehow came together to form a bond as friends and pillars of their cause. I loved that Charles feels Eric's pain, you can see it in his eyes, red-rimmed and drowned in sadness, which were a mirror of Eric's as he stared into the void of what Eric went through ie. Nazi concentration camps, and a life fueled by revenge. I loved that when Eric refuses to go along with the government in finding more mutants with their help, Charles backs him up. It may not be exactly what Charles would of done if he was acting alone, but in this case, he went to bat for his friend. It makes their eventual break in philosophy that much more heartbreaking.
Speaking of the future Magneto, the scenes of his life from a young boy (which start in a eerie reflection of what was the most gripping scene from X-Men 1 - the death march into the concentration camp, Eric's separation from his parents, and subsequent manifestation of his powers), and continue into a globe trotting mission of revenge to track down those responsible for his pain, are easily some of the best of the film.
On the first viewing, I was actually of the opinion that having the addition of the other team members (Banshee, Havok, Beast, Darwin, ect) actually brought the film down a little bit, as attention is shifted from the heart of the film, which was the story of Charles and Eric. On second viewing I admit I was a little wrong, as they are for the most part woven in rather well, but in the finale I couldn't help but be taken out of it when they cut away from Magneto facing down Shaw. I kept screaming in my head, "alright already, back to the good stuff"! That's not to say I didn't like the ancillary characters, I did, especially Beast, Banshee, and Mystique. Their stories carried an emotional weight (well, maybe not Banshee's - he was played for laughs), but by the end, when certain characters go their separate ways, it hurts a little.
It has to be said, there are a few few cringe worthy lines ("Mutant… and proud" and a few "I'm the villain look at me" lines from Kevin Bacon, who actually was surprisingly good overall, that stood out), but the script was generally pretty solid, with Magneto getting some powerful scene stealing lines - seriously, did we know that Michael Fassbender was this good?
This was a good movie, and another notch in Matthew Vaughn's belt after Kick-Ass. Did I think it was the best X-flick yet? Arguably, but I will say Sunday night after watching First Class I re-watched X2, and but damn if that still isn't a great movie years later. Its probably still my favorite superhero movie, but this comes close. I did love how if anything, Vaughn ignores X-Men 3 and Wolverine, and include bits from both of Singer's movies, which make them all feel connected and important to this installment. Smart, considering the steam the X-Franchise had going after Singer made his two movies, steam that had been rapidly let out until this one came along.
I'm hoping the grosses on this are strong enough to warrant several sequels, because I would love to continue the journey of these two character's evolutions as they grow in age and experience. James McAvoy stated that he hopes that eventually they can make this into a trilogy that ends where the first X-Men started. Hopefully they can, I would love to see Vaughn direct Fassbender's Magneto and McAvoy's Prof. X once (or twice) again, and who knows who they can bring along to fill out the merry mutants cast?
Personally, I'm hoping for some Sam Guthrie (Cannonball) action.
Now, back to that prediction - will this turn out to the best Marvel movie of the summer? Well, right now, it has the edge over Thor (which I really liked, but felt came in below this), and only after Joe Johnson's Captain America we'll know for sure, but I do know this - Cap better be really good to beat this out.
On a non-X note, for those of you who may have missed it, last week's episode of Game of Thrones "The Pointy End" (written by series author George RR Martin) was easily the best yet, had some great action scenes, and some awesome one-liners as well ("tell Tywin Lannister that winter is coming for him").
Oh, and the Greatjon. Can't forget the Greatjon.
I'm definitely getting more comfortable with the show now that the stakes have been raised and we're nearing the conclusion, and for those of you not on board yet… well, I hope a DVD box set of this season is in your future.
Wow, before I start, I really should probably rename my site to "Game of Brew" or "A Song of Stew and Brew" or something, because it seems like all I've been doing lately is blogging about the Song of Ice and Fire books and the TV show. Well, now that I've finished the books again, that will probably slow down, and I'll also restrain myself from writing after every episode I see, as that would get old as well.
It should be said that now that the reading hole formerly filled by ASOIAF is now emptied anew, I'm filling it again once more with comics... and I'm going straight to the core of the hard with the most Marvel of Marvel comics, namely Avengers and Amazing Spider Man as the books I've been catching up on lately.
Without going into extreme detail, it should be said that ever since Dan Slott took over on ASM as the solo writer, the book has been on an EXTREMELY high level. It's interesting, because during Brand New Day, I thought Slott's offerings were the weakest of the writing team's on a pretty consistent basis. However, I think when he took over, his enthusiasm for getting to do exactly what he wanted with one of his on-record favorite characters, plus the fact that this became his only writing project at Marvel (the book is coming out 2x a month, and often is oversized), culminated in the book being rock solid every month. I just read the last 6 or 7 issues (which included the latter part of BIG TIME going into the fallout from Johnny Storm's death and Spidey joing the FF), which brings up another reason that I think Slott is awesome for this book - whenever the FF are in one of his books, it instantly becomes stronger, and is infused with a quirky energy that otherwise isn't there. I have no idea why Slott hasn't been offered to write FF proper before, but I can only hope once Hickman's run is over (which hopefully isn't too soon, because I'm loving FF right now), Slott will get his chance, because when he writes those characters, they are fun, full of personality, and are interpretations that I seem to remember from my childhood (Hickman's take is a little more mature in contrast, although with the cast of characters he has going, its often still a lot of fun as well). But lets hope Marvel puts Slott (maybe with Marcos Martin - one can dream) on the book soon.
I just started reading the first few issues of the second arc of Bendis' Avengers proper title, and its a little too soon to tell how it will pan out, but there's definitely enough there to keep me reading (Infinity Gems and the Inhumans will do that). I thought the first arc of the book was simply ok, and it helps that one of my favorite artists of all time is on it (I think JRJR is the quintisential modern-yet-retaining-classic feel of Marvel artist that the company has today [although the previously mentioned Marcos Martin is getting up there]). For those of you who listened to my podcast when it was dominating the internet courtesy of Rosa/Humphries/Monroe will remember I mentioned that I had dropped the book when the Red Hulk showed up, but I promptly collected back issues of said title once I realized the Inhumans were appearing (Attilan represent!). I'll overlook Rulk for that. I'm also interested in this arc because it seems to be the spiritual sequel of sorts to Bendis and Brian Reed's "The Illuminati" mini from a few years back (the infinity gems were the major plot point, great mini). So, hopefully this story lives up. At the very least, I have pretty Romita art to look at.
Now that I rambled about comics (which actually was not my intent, promise) I wanted to present a special offering from a very special person. Those of you faithful Meltcast listeners may remember him calling in, and also may remember us trying to address his essay length emails he sent in (which always sparked interesting discussion) - but let me present a sample from a email I received recently from the one and only ARMLESS NOT HARMLESS! He had just finished reading A Game of Thrones, and I thought had a very well-worded description of his love for the book, so here it is!
(*the following has been edited for spoilers)
Aaron, I just finished A Game of Thrones not too long ago. Holy wow. That was a hell of a ride. I can see why you liked it. It has those hooks that just sink into your guts and then it pulls on them. I liked it all until ****** died... The whole book was affecting me for days on end--especially when I got the time to read several chapters a day--but that really did it. I had even gotten somewhat attached to ****** and *****, which I wouldn't've done if just about anyone else was writing them, and yet when the one ***** and the other loses the *****, it couldn't hurt as bad because I was already in shock over the fact that ***** had already *****. The tale is just one raw action after another, some good, some bad, but you always get the concentrated, undiluted essence of those actions. In Kill Bill--which, I loved -- the Bride tells the daughter of the assassin that she kills that if she's still raw about it when she's older, then come find her. It's that kind of raw. You get completely immersed in these characters, and all their points of view--I really love it, by the way, that Martin simply titles each chapter by the name of the character whose perspective it's from--and it's their struggles that are completely gripping, that human search for meaning, maybe in Viktor Frankl's sense, in a pure, pure form. The book succeeds as a work of fiction, a drama, a fantasy--I absolutely love his take on magic, by the way, and the gods and religion.
Most fantasy writers will make the magic something with a definite form, definite rules, and the best of these writers devise very, very interesting forms. For example, I love Robert Jordan's in his Wheel of Time series and like Christopher Stasheff's in Her Majesty's Wizard quite a bit, but not so much Gordon R. Dickson's in his Dragon Knight series. I can't love or hate Tolkien's at all because I don't even see what it is, apart from the power of the ring to grant invisibility--I know nothing about Gandalf's magic, the Flame that he keeps, or the Wizards in general. Martin's is so based in dramatic action itself that it's actually quite believable, in my opinion, at least within the confines of the story. It's vague but strong, if that makes sense, or, if not strong, because that implies that it's more subject to oneself than it is, then maybe present. It's not the usual genre fare, which one sometimes tolerates as part of the genre even in the best cases, and which is often overly indulgent, from an artistic point of view, just because the writer can bank on a high level of tolerance from his or her readers for genre tropes or artistic indulgence. It's quite possible that there is no magic in Martin's world at all, if you catch my meaning, because the magic doesn't stand out separate from the development of the characters or the action of the plot.
I say that I can see why you like it, because I know how you--very justifiably--love Scalped and The Walking Dead, and it resembles those two books. Rich, well-developed characters, character-driven plot, a plot that actually goes somewhere, a plot that both pleases the reader and drives the nail of desire ever deeper into him or her. Each installment gives you something and makes you want more...
-Armless Not Harmless
Ok, wanted to get the Scalped love in, but we'll cut it off there and now that this post is huge, see ya next time!
(Poll: do you like "Game of Brew" or "A Song of Stew and Brew" better? You're input will... make no difference, because I'm not changing the name, but go ahead anyways!)
P.S. On a not-so-completely different note, saw THOR, and you know what... Marvel's got another winner! I'm still debating whether its better than IRON MAN 1, and that's all you need to know if you're wondering what you thought I think of its quality... It was great! Maybe I'll go into more detail later... maybe not. We'll see if the mood takes me, but bottome line - worth a watch.
The combined length of Books 1-4 of A Song Of Ice and Fire.
Yes, as of May 7th, 2011, I have completed my re-read of the series in anticipation of the 5th book "A Dance With Dragons" release July 12. Those who remember me blogging about this previously will remember that I began reading the day of that blog, which was March 14th.
I hate doing math, but by my calculations I finished all 4 books in 55 days (no I did not calculate minutes or seconds, I'm not that hardcore), and since the combined length was 3504 pages, I read an average of 63.7 pages per day... wow. Considering how much Martin packs into each page, and how much other crap I have going on in my life, I consider that a feat for myself (yes I'm sure some of you could read 5x that number, for me though, 64 pages each day is a lot).
Allow me to say, this is probably the 5th time roughly I've read these books (maybe 3rd or 4th for the 4th book, the first 3 books I read as a chunk, thankfully I didn't start the journey with Martin in '96 with the first book, I think I may of died already from the anguish of waiting if that was the case), but its amazing that even after so many reads, I'm still reading things with fresh eyes, and picking up things that I either missed or skimmed over before, and to see the amount of detail and care he's put into this world he's built... simply magnificent.
It is my belief (and hope) that by the time the series is complete, we'll have gone just about everywhere in the 7 kingdoms, and hopefully explored much of the east as well. 4 books down, and its evident he's well on his way to making that a reality.
Art by *Heguy via Deviant Art
One quick note, for those who have read the books, I actually enjoyed Brienne's journey in "A Feast For Crows" much more than I did in previous reads, when I thought it suffered from being a little bloated (no Brienne, I'm not talking about your hind end, just your story). But this time, I really enjoyed the adventure and exploration of some of the out of the way places you wouldn't get to see otherwise in Westeros as seen through the Beauty's eyes. Some people argue that the 4th book gets a little meandering for its own good, with little plot development, but I'm more of a character first type of guy, so I can appreciate not as much happening as long as the character work is first rate (which is probably why Scalped is my favorite story being told in the comics medium... Dash, you're still looking for your Mom's killer? Really? kidding). I would argue that actually a lot DOES happen, but I suppose compared to the first 3 books, people have a bit of a point.
Wow, this was supposed to have been a short post, bottom line, I'm primed and ready for July 12. Those of you that haven't done so yet, read these books! Maybe it'll take you longer than 55 days, but with the show running strong, and the 5th book on the near horizon, its a great time to be a ASOIAF fan, so jump on that bandwagon!
Ok comics, you've piled up on my floor long enough, its time to catch up. Whew.
So last Wednesday was a good comic day for 2 reasons, and two reasons only in the heart and mind of yours truly.
(Before I go on, I trust that there were a lot of good books that came out last Wed., I just happened to NOT READ any of them due to a little something you may have heard about me talk about here.)
Anyways, to cut to the quick, the first reason was simply that a new issue of SCALPED came out, AKA TBCBWC (The Best Comic Being Written Currently). That is always a cause for celebration, and indeed Scalped is one of the few books that lately I have put aside ASOIAF for temporarily whenever it comes out. Issue #48 was masterfully done as usual (my favorite line was Dash to Shunka, "Anytime you want, Sweetheart." - great panel progression for that scene as well.)
The next bit was foreshadowed by me when I put this out for the world to read earlier here. Now I'm just glad its where I always wanted it.
The 2nd reason last Wed. was so wonderful was that the only letter I have every written to a comic showed up in, you guessed it, that issue. To some, this may not seem like a big deal, to me, I feel that I have been immortalized in what I think will go down as my favorite comic of all time.
All comics writers out there (including Jason Aaron), please prove me wrong and just try to 1-up this masterwork of a series (it'll be a superhuman task).
And if you don't, I got my place in the letters column of the best.
Happy belated Easter. What a weekend.
These last few days had everything you could want in a weekend in which all you are trying to accomplish is lay low, recharge the batteries, whatever you want to say.
It was quite the bizarro mirror image of last weekend, in which I went on a flurry of a trip to Tucson, saw less friends than I would of liked, but got to see the family and watch a few Braves games with dear ol' dad, which quite simply cannot be surpassed.
I also threw my arm out playing baseball and may of had a little bit of heat exhaustion going on as well (how is it already that hot in Tucson?), which ensured that I had to make a desperate attempt to recover by some point in the week (which happened to be Thursday by the time I was 100%).
However in contrast, this weekend was a relaxed affair, beginning with a lovely friday night dinner at El Chavo, which is some of Los Feliz's finest Mexican fare. Tiki Ti's afterwards was not as devestating as I feared, so Sat. I spent the day pretty active, and acquired a new (old) couch.
Fouton, your reign is over.
Sat. night was a quiet affair hanging with a few of my closest friends, just playing some chess, listening to music, having a home cooked meal...
And watching Willow.
Wow I love Willow. It really has been too long to forget phrases like "kill the beast, find the baby," and "you're pigs, you're all pigs." General Kale, what would we do without you?
Please never let me go as long as I did again without watching this gem. Its just too good.
Maybe it was inspiration from Willow (thats my guess), but after the movie two of us hammered out the idea for a horror short that was laid out beat by painstaking beat. I wasn't expecting to stay that late, but by the time I checked the time and realized it was 4am, I realized what we had accomplished, and how early in the morning it took us to get there.
I can't wait to write it, in fact, I should be working on it right now, so I'll cut this short and mention that the second episode of the best show on TV, entitled "The Kingsroad" was rock solid yet again. I also had a lovely time sipping on hot spiced wine from the north, accompanied by a honeyed Dornish vintage of excellent quality. Next time I'll sample the Arbor Gold, I promise Greg.
No, this crew does not mess around.
A few quick things I'll mention that intrude into the realm of nitpicky, so be forwarned. Number one, why does everything look so fake in HD on a 1080p TV? My TV is 720p and I don't own a lot of Blu-Rays, so I'm not accustomed to this, but watching it at my friend's place last night, it actually did bother me. If this is what real high-def looks like, then I will gladly stick to standard dvds that actually look like they were shot on film. I know this is probably not a popular opinion, but I was actually taken out of the experience by the level of clarity. Everything is just too clean, too sharp, too clear (things you wouldn't consider a problem, but taken together, form a result that can only be described as "fake looking").
Sorry, thats just how it looks.
Next, as far a adaptations go, this one is basically as good as any SOIAF fan could hope for considering the constraints of TV. However, right now the events are skewing fairly close to the plotlines of the books, which isn't a problem in the least, especially for those watching the show for the first time, but for me its a bit different. As mentioned previously, I'm re-reading the series to be fresh when the 5th book hits and so the events are very immediate in my mind. This makes me compare how I read a part in the books with what was onscreen, and although it wasn't a huge issue, unfortunately there was a little bit of a "wow that line had a lot more power in my mind as I read it" effect. That is not something the people making the show can or should address, as the fault lies entirely with me in this case, but what I am hoping for as now the tone and feel of the show has been established, but get a little more flash with whats happening, and we can really see how the medium of television can give fans of the book a different experience than what we know from reading.
I'm not saying blow up the story, but utilize the format to show the plot and characters in ways only the visual medium of Television can.
Last night, Direwolves.
Oh cruel world.
Aaron Brewer is an aspiring filmmaker, musician and writer living in Los Angeles. There are many irons in the fire, and hopefully one day he'll be able to complete all the ideas he has floating around in his brain stew.