Sunday, September 29

DC Comics – September 2013, New 52 Month 23

Reviews, commentary, general reactions, and random notes on the DC Comics that were released during July that I received near the beginning of August. Caution: Spoilers ahead! [ Link to previous month ]

I am 'way, 'way, 'way behind this month, so this write-up may not be much more than a fleshing out of my notes, without much expansion along the way....

In the news over the past month or so: 1) The September solicits went up mid-August per usual [link]. 2) The Justice League 3000 fiasco [link], wherein DC fired or drove off another high profile creator, Kevin Maguire, replacing him with Howard Porter, and lost this sale to me. 3) Batman was cast for Man of Steel 2 – Ben Affleck [link]. Outcry ensued [link]. I actually can live with this. He's a capable enough actor. My main problem with him would be The Voice. He really should study Kevin Conroy's portrayal (the voice of Batman in the animated series) – not Christian Bale's. 4) The Justice League of America is emigrating to Canada [link]. 5) Rumors flew but ultimately no real clarification on whether Bryan Cranston will play Lex Luthor in Man of Steel 2 [link]. I like Breaking Bad, but I'm not sure I see him as Lex Luthor. 6) DC drove off another set of Batwoman creators – J.H.Williams III and Haden Blackman – allegedly over whether to marry Kate Kane and Maggie Sawyer [link]. It may or may not have been because of the homosexual nature of the relationship; they tapped Marc Andreyko, who is homosexual himself, as the new writer [link] (possibly keeping me on the title since I loved his Manhunter), and proclaimed their stance as that the Bat-family's personal lives have to be sucky, and heroes can't be married [link], both of which I think are stupid as mandates. They also announced their intent to pull Batwoman closer into the rest of the Bat'verse. 7) Finally, another blogger put the sad state of affairs regarding DC Editorials' bad relationship with creators and the general chaos that has plagued the company since even before the New 52 into a timeline that makes for terribly depressing reading [link]. Something is definitely rotten in Denmark.

Let's discuss some comics:

Thursday, September 26

Caliphate (2008)

By Tom Kratman

I'll put up a warning for those who perhaps would prefer to read no further. This post will probably be accounted, as has been the book, as “Islamophobic.” So be it. As, I believe, may be inferred from my long-ago post commemorating the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 [link], I have some pretty strong views regarding how pathetically weak has been our reaction as a civilization to what became obvious that day is a ongoing war between two largely incompatible cultures. It is a conflict that we have little hope of surviving without recognizing the reality of the situation. After the initial shock of that day wore off, and our subsequent national rallying petered out into partisan bickering, our chances have diminished, and continue to do so at an alarming rate. I wish it were not so.

Sunday, September 1

Nobilissima: A Novel of Imperial Rome (2012)

By Carrie Bedford

This has been my (mainly) bedtime reading for the past several weeks. A little about my reading pattern: Typically, I have several things going at once, besides some kind of professional reading and spending too much time browsing the Internet for current news, commentary, and random whim-driven “research” – some main “real” book that I lug around during the evening and end up reading in bed before turning out the light (currently I have just started what will probably take me through the next several months, Shelby Foote's monumental three-volume history of The Civil War: A Narrative); something in the nature of a graphic novel that I will dip into every couple of days (currently the second volume of Fantagraphics' wonderfully restored representation of Hal Foster's Prince Valiant Sunday comic strips, two years per volume, the second comprising 1939-1940, reproduced from the artist-author's own colored proofs); an issue or two of the box of comics I received near the beginning of the month from my mail-order comics source, therefore the comics that actually hit the stores during the previous month (e.g., currently I'm working my way through the comics that went on sale on Wednesday, 24 July; i.e., I'm always well behind comics fandom at large in my reading – and blogging), usually when I first head for bed; and, once I turn out the light, something on one of my iPhone e-reader apps. It's also handy to have during odd times of the day when I have a few unexpected moments to read. That's what Nobilissima was, read via the Kindle app. I think it appeared as one of the daily bargains offered via the BookBub mailing list, to which I subscribe. I don't remember if it was free, or a couple of bucks – the BookBub bargains are never more than that. Whatever, the short description provided in that email intrigued me enough to download it.