Hey again. The weather is beautiful this week, and I am healthy again, so no weird “how fast can I get it recorded?” show this week. I’m posting this a little early because I get to go back out to the store and see if I can swap out the cash register computer for one that actually works. If you are one of my regulars, odds are that you have been in while it was doing its update thing. Everyday, usually around 2ish, the computer does a virus scan update, but the scheduler is locked behind a password that no-one seems to be sure of. So we have to wait while it eats up all the system resources and grinds sales to a halt. This happened recently at a really bad time. There were a couple of guys standing near the register and having a loud conversation about how much they hate the government, and what they’d like to… um…. do about it. In sort of graphic terms. This poor woman came in and just wanted to buy some Wonder Woman stuff for a present, and the computer seizes up. She’s standing there, looking more and more uncomfortable, and I’m trying to just appear calm and competent with all the loud nonsense coming from right behind her. Pretty quickly I gave up on the computer, and did the transaction by hand with a calculator. I told her if she needed her receipt she could come back for it. She looked me in the eyes, and said with desperate sincerity, ” I don’t need a receipt. I just need to GO“. So it’s time to do the computer switcheroo.
Sandman Presents: Dead Boys Detectives Written by Ed Brubaker; Cover by Dave McKean; Art by Bryan Talbot and Steve Leialoha
Yes, I know. More Sandman stuff. It’s good though, I promise. This one came out in singles in 2001, and is just coming out collected this week. I really enjoyed this one with all it’s creepy darkness. There’s just something nice about ghost detectives that have play sword fights while dressed as Sherlock Holmes.
New Avengers Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Ok, so I kind of read the entire run of New Avengers this week. I was just going to pick one up, read it, review it, and get on with my day. Instead, I read volume after volume until I got to the end of Vol 7 and realized that now I am caught up with where I started reading the singles with Secret Invasion. So obviously I really liked it, but there’s a little too much ground to cover to easly sum up what I read. I will say that I really like the team dynamic that we see with Captain America, Iron Man and Luke Cage feeling like the core power structure. I also really liked the ongoing drama around Spider Woman. And I now have a total comic crush on Luke Cage. So. Yeah. I hit this one hard this week, and really liked it a lot.
Conan Vol 01 The Frost Giants Daughter & Other Stories Written by Kurt Busiek ; Art by Cary Nord & Thomas Yeates
Hmmm. So parts of this I really liked. And parts of it made me uncomfortable. It is a great story in the barbarian tradition. The art is gorgeous and easy to follow. Unfortunately, all the women are either throw away plot objects, coniving devil women, or harem girl slaves. Conan even tries to rape one of them. So, while I thought the book was beautiful, and the stories well told, I kept getting squicked by the sort of misogynistic use of women in the story. I will probably read the next volume just to see where the story goes, but right now, I don’t think I would recommend it to most of my female customers. Men: sure, ladies: not so much.
Black Cat Vol 01 Art and Story by Kentaro Yabuki
This one is not really a fair review, because it’s the first volume in a 20 book series (13 so far in US). I intend to continue this one, so we will talk about it again. I was pleasantly surprised with how serious the story was. Having just flipped through it before it looked sort of silly, but having now read the whole book, I find that it has some really human characters with complex histories and motivations. The bounty hunter plotline makes the part of me that loves Cowboy Bebop happy. I do think the anatomy of the male characters is a little strange, giving them grown-up looking bodies, but sort of tiny, kid proportioned heads. I got used to it after awhile though.