Sunday, July 01, 2007

Off-topic: Sunday's hodgepodge.

For some reason, the Youngest (he's two) has been wandering around carrying James Frey's A Million Little Pieces, flipping through it and holding it as if he was seriously feeling the words within. For those who might not remember, this was the Oprah's Book Club selection about a recovering junkie, that was later discredited as not a memoir, but completely made up. It just strikes me as funny, since the Youngest has probably had more experience with withdrawal than Frey ever will.

As I type this out, he's fidgeting with a Playstation controller. I've been playing Motor Mayhem again, which probably isn't the greatest game ever, but I quite enjoy it. Vehicle-based shooter, it's deep enough to still be some fun years after I got it (and it wasn't a new game even then) but simple enough that I can play a game or two and then turn it off. A longer, more-involved game just isn't in the cards for me right now.

In other news, everywhere I go seems to have the big Harry Potter countdown display for the last book. I can't be the only one that's thought of this, but if J.K. Rowlings had the stones for it, end Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows with Harry waking up from the coma he's been in for seventeen or so years, since the car accident that killed his parents and gave him his distinctive scar...

Whoo boy, can you imagine? The fans would storm Scholastic with rakes and torches, put a fatwa on Rowlings' head, and the next three or whatever movies would be dead in the water. Rowlings would have singlehandedly brought an entire generation the magic of reading, then just as quickly taught them not to trust anything or have any faith in the safety of their corporate-owned heroes. Who knows, Rowlings might be able to open up a whole new literary movement, of adventure and wonder and honest surprises. Nah, this would probably just cram the internet full of fan-fiction until it cracked in half.

Since it's summertime, traditionally I have a little more time for reading, and often buy more one-shot comics, or books that don't require you to read every month and buy the crossover and so on. Over the last couple days, I picked up the new issues of Justice League Unlimited (#34), The Simpsons (#131), and Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four (#25). All are solid little done-in-one issues, the kind of comic I can find in my basement six months or a year from now and reread without having to gather up five other issues for the whole story, and without feeling like a jackass for buying.

The Simpsons one is probably the best, with stories from Chuck Dixon and Ty Templeton--and I would not have expected to see a funny story from Dixon, since he's better known for books like Robin or the Punisher. The stories are short pieces about the Simpsons' comics in other countries: Japan's version is "a three thousand page weekly manga with over a hundred million readers." Nina Matsumoto delivers the manga-style Simpsons, and it works really well. I'd write more about this one, but the Youngest took it out of my hands and won't give it back.

I probably liked MA: Fantastic Four #25 better, though. Fred van Lente (with a contribution by Crystal Skillman that I won't elaborate on, for fear of ruining the joke) and Cory Hamscher bring us "What If...?" Guest-starring the Watcher, Reed builds a "Probability Engine" to try to predict super-villain attacks. Johnny dicks with it, to try to perfect his fantasy baseball team. Alternate dimension mayhem occurs. A fun issue, and Mr. Devious is a pretty good name for an alt-Mr. Fantastic.

Lastly was Justice League Unlimited #34, "Phantoms" although the cover title "Oh My Zod!" is better. James Perty and Gordon Purcell open with Superman getting a stout beating in the Phantom Zone, and keeps the show running from there. Blue Beetle and Booster Gold guest star, which is a good reason to buy it right there, but I also thought the cover might've been Walt Simonson, and I've liked Purcell's work since his run on DC's Star Trek years and years ago.

Earlier in the week, I bought Hellboy: Darkness Calls #3, and then I saw more than a couple bloggers comment that while it's a good enough issue, it's kind of pointless to buy or even read Hellboy issue to issue anymore, since it reads better in a trade. I liked the issue, but they may have a point, and I'll definitely end up reading this issue again once I have all six. But, if you're looking for a lazy afternoon comic, one you that isn't part three of six (or twelve, or more) you could do worse than one of the above.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Man, that Harry Potter thing would be genius. Sure, it would piss me off to no end, but I'd have to admit it'd be one of the ballsiest moves ever.

I can imagine it now - Harry, in his final confrontation with Voldemort, sacrifices himself to destroy the Dark Wizard and save the world...and when he breathes his last, he wakes up in a British hospital, attended to by Nurse Granger. In the bed next to him is a ginger-haired fellow who lapsed into a coma after falling out of a tree; outside, he sees a gray-bearded man from the psych ward wandering around in the halls.

Hell, you could probably write an entire eighth book about Harry adjusting to his "real life" and going insane.

-M