Archive for July 31, 2007

Quote of the day

July 31, 2007

In general I can’t shake a sense that how we relate to music is an elephant in the critics’ lounge. I don’t think I’m alone in taking ideas I might use to validate my emotional reaction– innovation, craftsmanship, artistic intent– and turning them into a stand-in for the reaction itself…

–Tom Ewing, “Are the Smiths Funny?”, Pitchfork

Dark But Shining no longer shining

July 30, 2007

It hasn’t been a going concern in quite some time so it’s not like this comes as a surprise, but contributor Sam Costello writes that the pioneering group horrorblog site Dark But Shining is shutting down for good. Bummer. DBS had some of the best genre writers around–Costello, Rick Geerling, Kevin Melrose–and its dark sci-fi and fantasy seasoning made it unique. Farewell, DBS.

There shouldn’t be this radio silence, but what are the options?

July 28, 2007

If you’re wondering what I’ve been up to for the past few days, look no further than Wizard’s extensive San Diego Comic-Con coverage. I was working until 2am yesterday and I’m not even there! Needless to say, there’s plenty of news you’ll be interested in if you’re the sort of person who reads this blog, from George A. Romero to Neil Gaiman.

Meanwhile, the usual Thursday Morning Quarterback reviews are up, so if you’re interested in what I thought of this week’s Immortal Iron Fist, Batman, Mighty Avengers, All Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder, Angry Youth Comix, Battlestar Galactica, Hellboy: Darkness Calls, Invincible, Love and Rockets, Speak of the Devil, and The Walking Dead, you know what to do.

Where due

July 24, 2007

This week’s Horror Roundtable: name your favorite horror-movie opening-credit sequence. My choice was a popular one.

Word of the day

July 23, 2007

Potterdammerung. God bless Eve Tushnet.

UPDATED: Eve says it wasn’t her word. Well, God bless her anyway.

(UPDATED) SPOILERY thoughts on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

July 22, 2007

Here are my thoughts. SPOILERS, obviously. I’m turning this white for readers of the blog itself, but RSS readers beware! Highlight to read…


1) I can’t say that I “called” the “Harry is a horcrux” thing, because I heard that idea from someone else right after #6 came out, but that was definitely my pet theory from the moment I heard it, so yeah, not too surprising.

2) I felt this way about the introduction of the horcrux concept in #6: Didn’t the sudden, quest-defining emphasis on the Hallows in general, wandlore, and Dumbledore’s family come in a little late in the game? It’s a little like if the Ring didn’t enter into the picture until The Return of the King. This goes double for all the business about taking control of the Elder Wand around which the climax revolved–I had to reread the final spell vs. spell section three times just to figure out what was going on.

3) It was interesting how the books’ usual emphasis on adult characters not believing Harry was shifted to Harry’s friends not believing Harry. It wasn’t hit quite as hard as usual, but still.

4) The book really got bogged down in the section where Harry, Hermione, and Ron got bogged down.

5) Fred, Tonks, Lupin, Dobby, Scrimgeour, Mad-Eye, Hedwig? Kind of redshirt-y. Snape and Voldemort are big deals, of course, but also kind of expected (and in Voldemort’s case, guaranteed).

6) There was a TON of interesting stuff that never got wrapped up. Did Dolores Umbridge and Rita Skeever ever get their comeuppance? Did the Wizarding community wake up to its frequently cruel treatment of other races and creatures, as the house-elf, dragon, and goblin subplots seemed to be leading to? What became of the giants, spiders, centaurs, goblins, house-elves, dementors and other creatures that got involved in the war? What happened to the Slytherin students whose retreat from Hogwart’s Voldemort viewed as evidence that they were on his side? What was the emotional effect the battle had on our main characters?

7) Instead of any of that, we get this superfluous, series-finale-style “19 years later” epilogue, which reveals the fascinating facts that Harry & Ginny and Ron & Hermione got married and named their kids after characters they loved. Well blow me down.


8) She’s definitely not writing with the movies in mind, considering how frequently the lead characters go through major scenes while transfigured or disfigured.

9) Clearly she’s also not a believer in “show, don’t tell.” For example, the ENTIRE Albus/Aberforth/Ariana/whatsisface-the-dark-wizard storyline was TOLD to Harry, rather than unfolding in a way that involved Harry as an active participant. Strange.

So, enjoyable, but disappointing.

The state of the beast

July 21, 2007

It’s funny because it’s true.

Study: Multiple Stab Wounds May Be Harmful To Monkeys

Friday T-shirt blogging

July 20, 2007

1999. This is one of the very, very few “generic old-looking T-shirt bought at a thrift shop bearing an image with which I have no actual emotional or humorous connection” T-shirts I’ve ever owned, but I sure did love it.

Quote of the day

July 20, 2007

I detect that there is some movement and it’s movement in the right direction. I’ll be seeing Peter when we tour [New Zealand] next month. I hope it will happen.

Ian McKellen on the prospects of a Peter Jackson-directed Hobbit movie (or movies). Via Kristin Thompson, who has more, including further walkback from New Line honcho Bob “over my dead body” Shaye.

I Can Has Comix?

July 20, 2007

The newest installment of my regular interview column is up at Wizard, this time featuring Batman Year 100 and Heavy Liquid writer-artist Paul Pope. Endlessly fascinating guy.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not

July 18, 2007

Sigourney Weaver and Aliens for Direct TV.

I believe my exact words upon seeing this for the first time just now were “Oh, no no no no no.”

Quote of the day

July 18, 2007

If someone expressed an interest in some niche product that I enjoy I would, I dunno, try to convey some of my enthusiasm about the subject. Try to share some wisdom. Try to build further enthusiasm. Make recommendations. Anything other than act bitter and petulant.

Matthew Yglesias on the literary establishment’s antagonistic reaction to the success of Harry Potter. It does indeed seem like a missed opportunity. Yglesias also calls out Harold Bloom for starting on a more productive path vis a vis HP, then immediately walking right back.

I just saw The Prestige

July 17, 2007

I guess this might be SPOILERY in the sense that while it doesn’t actually give away anything, if you read it, it might affect how you view the movie, so if you haven’t seen it, you probably shouldn’t read it. But here’s my take:

Um, duh?

Jamming good with Weird and Gilly and the Comics from Mars

July 16, 2007

Over at the day job, there’s a preview of Paul Pope’s upcoming limited-edition comic THB: Comics from Mars. Ooh, pretty!


July 15, 2007

Scientists have discovered a potentially new subspecies of chimpanzee deep in the Congo, one that may hunt big cats like leopards and lions. They haven’t seen the chimps in action of this sort, but they’ve seen them with a leopard corpse (which jibes with the locals’ descriptions of their behavior) and have noted that they actually sleep in nests on the ground as well as in the trees, which would indicate that other big predators steer clear of them for some reason. (Via Andrew Sullivan.)

Quote of the day

July 15, 2007

[Bruce Mendenhall] had a loud voice, but generally kept to himself, aside from an unsuccessful campaign against a preacher for the mayor’s seat about a decade ago.

“Suspected Serial Killer Once Ran for Mayor; Illinois Town Stunned by Possible Slayings by Local Trucker,” AP


July 14, 2007

If you are interested in what I thought about the latest issues of New Avengers, Green Lantern, Green Arrow: Year One, B.P.R.D.: Garden of Souls, Civil War Chronicles, Martha Washington Dies, Stormwatch: P.H.D., and Weston Cage & Nicolas Cage’s Voodoo Child, then this week’s Thursday Morning Quarterback at Wizard is the place to be.

Friday T-shirt blogging

July 13, 2007

Drumnadrochit, Scotland, July 2001. This was me on a travel assignment to Loch Ness. The T-shirt was a nine inch nails “now i’m nothing 1991” tour T-shirt a friend of mine from high school had stolen from his brother, whom it didn’t fit anymore, than gave to me when it didn’t fit HIM anymore either. I think I wore the poor thing to death, unfortunately.