Episode 33

So I actually recorded this podcast a couple of weeks ago, but I have been a lazy bum about actually doing the work to put it up online.  In the meantime a lot has happened in the world.  For example, the scene that makes me bawl my eyes out in Batwoman Elegy has been almost repeated in real life.  West Point Cadet Katherine Miller has resigned from the military after concluding that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell conflicted with the West Point Honor Code:  “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.”  Cadet Miller was 9th in her class, and it is a crying shame that our military would lose such a fine soldier.

In Batwoman, our heroine is outed to her BTO after receiving her big fancy West Point ring.  She reports in, and the Colonel tell her that she had been reported for violation of the Uniform Code of Military Conduct.  Because her father is someone important, he tells her all she had to do is say that it’s a lie and it will all go away. She tells him how it is her dream to serve.  And then she recites the oath and removes her shiny new ring.  Because a cadet does not lie.  I cry and cry and the injustice of it all, and at the terrible truth.  We have asked our men and women to exchange their integrity for the uniform.

This books tells that story with such powerful, naked simplicity that it breaks my heart over and over again, every time I read it or recommend it.  But aside from the fundamental importance of the story, we also get some of the most beautiful art and awesome action I have read in awhile.  This book should be on everyone’s shelf.  It is most definitely on mine.  And as an early birthday present to me, the #0 issue of the new Batwoman series has been announced with a November date.  Wild horses, etc…

Next we have Scott Pilgrim Vol 01.  Since recording this, the movie has come out and has been receiving pretty darned good reviews.  Craig, Matt and I were able to go to an early showing on the Tuesday before it’s official release.  I have to admit, I was worried about the movie, especially about the singing, dancing fight with Evil Ex #1.  After seeing the movie, all I can say is that it was awesome, and “We are Sex Bob-bomb!” is my new battle cry.  The specific scene that I was worried about was particularly cool, and I left the theater with the feeling that this film represents a sort of new zeitgeist.  I think that at 32, I might be just a little too old for this series, but I still find myself enjoying it a lot.  It assumes a sort of base level of nerdity, but these days that is probably a safe assumption most of the time.  I should have all of these books back in stock at my store on Wednesday (fingers crossed, Diamond), and I highly recommend this series to 20 something hipsters, and nerds of all ages.

And while we’re at it, if you run out of Scott like I have, then you should pick up my friend Lar’s book.  North World is definitely a nerdy relationship drama in the same vein of Scott, only with D&D style jokes instead of video game jokes.  And like how Scott is based in Toronto, North World is based just down the road here in Coeur D’alene.  I can almost taste the Bowl of Soul at Java on Sherman right now….Lars Brown is a super nice guy, and he has 3 books in the North World universe out right now, with more on the way.

The last book for this episode is A God Somewhere.  This one sort of flew under the radar, coming out as an original graphic novel to little fanfare.  I picked it up out of curiousity, having not really heard anything about it.  In spite of the cover’s stark beauty, there isn’t much info given.  What I found inside was a powerful story about how power changes people.  Not just the person with the new-found power, but all they people they share their lives with as well.  This was a dark, thought provoking book, and while parts of it were really heavy, I am glad that I read it.

Also in this podcast, we hear from Matt and Jenn from Otakucon 2010.  This was my first experiment with simple location recording, so hopefully the words won’t get lost in the cacophony of the vendor hall.  Very big thanks to Matt, Steph, Jenn, Luke, and all of the Otaku-com committee members and volunteers.  I had a wonderful time and I look forward to next year.

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