Thursday, October 1, 2015

What Are You Reading?


Doug: I think it's been a long time since we've checked in with each other concerning what lies atop (or a'bottom for that matter) the reading pile. I know I never feel like I read enough, although at the end of any day I guess I've read quite a bit either in the context of work, checking Twitter a few times throughout the day, or a daily newspaper early in the evening. But in terms of some seriously dedicated reading, I always feel deficient. So in the interest of prying into your personal lives and interests, here goes:

Doug: Presently I find myself in the middle of no less than four books, and that's a lot of plates to be spinning for me. Academically, I'm a few chapters into Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder and Hitler's Beneficiaries by Gotz Aly. Both are quite interesting and each book fills in my knowledge for the purpose of my teaching but also in regard to my "summer job" at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Each of these books is engaging, and neither appears to be a slog to get through. I just seem to never find a decent run of time to dedicate to really digging into them with the attention that I need to give in order to truly internalize the material.



Doug: On the lighter side of fiction, I've mentioned a few times that I began A Princess of Mars over the summer. It really never grabbed me, and although close to 3/4 of the way through I am not very eager to return. I think I'd rather re-read The Return of Tarzan, or perhaps return to The Complete Chronicles of Conan. Those short stories were nice, and as we remarked earlier Robert E. Howard seems to stay away from some of the formulaic storytelling tropes employed by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I especially enjoy reading one of those short tales and then finding the adaptation in my first four volumes of Essential Savage Sword of Conan. It's great to see the words of REH set to the comic medium.


Doug: Comics-wise, you know I've been enjoying the Marvel Pocketbook edition of The Astonishing Ant-Man: Origins; the last story I read was the 3-parter with the Hulk that originally ran in Iron Man #s 131-133. David Michelinie, Jerry Bingham, and Bob Layton paid homage to Avengers #s 93 and 140 in IM #133. I've also returned to Ed Brubaker's Captain America, finishing the Red Menace: The Ultimate Collection and now well into The Death of Captain America: The Complete Collection. Brubaker's writing is simply excellent, and the cadre of artists who illustrated these stories are top shelf.  I must declare that when I've sat down to read one of these trades I do not want to put it down. It is so entertaining. And there aren't a lot of comics that I read that are like that - page-turners. James Buchanan Barnes has really become a complex character for me, rather than the one-dimensional sidekick I'd previously believed him to be. We remarked about it earlier, but Brubaker has respectfully touched on elements of war that had been glossed over for decades. That Captain America never killed in WWII? Foolish, and Brubaker deals with that. Again, as we've said (we do have an abundance of conversations around here, don't we?) in the past, I will pass on the modern coloring for a brighter palette. But I don't let that kill my pleasure from soaking in the narrative. And I've come to employ a tactic encouraged by our friend Edo Bosnar -- in regard to the return of Bucky Barnes I just treat these as a sort of What If? or Elseworlds tale and leave it at that. I just want to find enjoyment without the continuity baggage, and Brubaker et. al accomplish that for me. I've also recently purchased the collections of Captain America: Reborn and The Winter Soldier (purchased in Lima, OH last Saturday). Once I'm done with this massive "Death of" trade, I'm hoping to get into my soon-to-arrive copy of The Monster of Frankenstein, Vol. I. I've only read the first issue and some other appearances of the Monster, so am looking forward to digging a bit deeper. And, another hardcover I need to get off the shelf is Legion of Super-Heroes Archives, Volume 13 -- gotta love some Bronze Age Superboy!

Doug: Your turn -- let's hear about your triumphs, shortfalls, and wish lists!





40 comments:

Colin Jones said...

I'm halfway through my e-book of "The Heart Goes Last" by Margaret Atwood - the title makes it sound like a romance novel but it's science-fiction (or "speculative fiction" as she prefers to call it) and the sinister meaning of the title is revealed a few chapters in. After that I might re-read my hardback edition of "The Martian" by Andy Weir which is now a movie - following on from yesterday's topic, films about Mars supposedly do very poorly (like John Carter) so this doesn't bode well for The Martian - but it's a terrific novel so hopefully the film will be successful. As for comics - I recently read 'Hulk' (just Hulk) Vol.3 in which a super-intelligent Hulk a.k.a. Doctor Green tries to rid the world of gamma-created monsters like Red Hulk. At the end he accepts that Doc Green's time is up and he must return to being the ordinary version of the green Hulk.

Redartz said...

Doug- despite your limited reading time, you have an admirably large reading list! I'm impressed...

Colin- glad to hear of your positive impression of "The Martian"; haven't read it but am considering catching the film this weekend- looks good from the trailers.

My current reading: recently finished George R.R. Martin's "Dance of Dragons", the fifth in his "Game of Thrones" series. Now among the millions impatiently waiting the next volume. Next up is Steven King's "The Stand", which I read 25 years ago. Yet that version was the original, my son gave my wife and I a copy of the expanded version, which soon shall provide many evening's reading.

In comics- reading Brian K. Vaughn's "Y the Last Man", truly great story. Also finishing the second Fantastic Four Omnibus, the third volume of "Best of Archie Comics" and fit in a few recent back issue pick ups: among them, an issue of "Sugar and Spike" and "Not Brand Ecch" issue 7.

Edo Bosnar said...

Doug, interesting that you've stated a preference for Burroughs' Tarzan over his John Carter books. For me, it's always been the opposite, although I should say that I haven't read any of his stuff since my early teens - after I got tired of his rampant re-use of plots for his later Tarzan stories. However, I definitely agree with you that Howard was a far better writer.
And geez, you're reminding me how far behind I am in my non-fiction reading. Actually, I'm so far behind on all of my reading; on the home front, we had our kitchen and bathroom extensively remodelled, so we had workers in the house from late August to just 2 weeks ago, and it really turned my world upside down and I couldn't concentrate on reading much.
Usually what I do in cases like that is read crime/thriller novels as they're the easiest to digest, so I just read Chandler's "Farewell, My Lovely" and Walter Mosley's "Fear of the Dark" (really enjoyed that latter one, by the way). Currently I'm reading through an English translation of a novel by one of the great 19th century Croatian writers ("The Goldsmith's Treasure" by August Senoa), which is something work related.
As for comics, I didn't get much done there, either. Among the last TPBs I finished are "Mighty Samson: Judgment" by Jim Shooter (published by Dark Horse), which was solid but nothing special (although the art by Pat Olliffe, was quite nice), and "Captain America: Forever Allies" which I highly recommend - especially if you've been getting into this Bucky stuff. It's a really wonderful story, but then again, you usually can't miss with Roger Stern. My reading list is topped by Goodwin & Simonson's Manhunter (which I'll actually be re-reading) and the Iron Fist and Power Man & Iron Fist Epic volumes, which just arrived in the mail in late July and late August respectively.

Ozone said...

"I just want to find enjoyment without the continuity baggage..." Amen Doug! I just don't care about continuity anymore. When it comes the Big Two, all I ask is that they tell a cracking story that remains true to the characters. I must delve further into the Brubaker Cap. I've read The Winter Soldier and came away impressed. A bit dark, but smart and intense.

I just finished reading selections from my John Buscema Visionaries hardcover, specifically Silver Surfer #4 and Avengers #75-76 and #277. I was directly inspired to read these by you guys and I can't thank you enough. I feel like I've educated myself on the essential issues of the Bronze Age. They were all damned entertaining, too. Silver Surfer #4 was particularly impressive and I'd agree with whomever here who said that it just might be the best Marvel comic ever.

I'm also reading James Webb's groundbreaking Vietnam War novel "Fields of Fire." Such harrowing stuff, stomach churning at points, but so brilliantly written. What a gifted writer Webb is.

-JJ

Humanbelly said...

Golly, what used to be my pleasure-reading time has recently been taken up by modified binge-watching of several television series that are so WONDERFULLY available from our local library system! Hmm-- perhaps that could be fodder for a whole 'nother post somewhere down the line? Definitely don't want to hijack a particularly interesting and informative thread as this one with musings on the Great American Wasteland (as it were).

I also develop a big stack of in-the-midst-ofs around the house. It's been awhile, though, since I've given myself over to a good-for-me book. I definitely read, for the most part, for pleasure and entertainment. HBWife is just the opposite-- she used to make apologies in her career circle for reading PG Wodehouse (possibly the most brilliant comedic writer to have ever walked Planet Earth) in case he wasn't perceived as having sufficient intellectual gravity or relevance. Ah, bless 'er heart. . .

Myself? Right now, I've gone back to start over with Jim Butcher's DRESDEN FILES series, and am just wrapping up the first one, STORM FRONT.

Just started a collection of Terry Pratchett's short fiction-- A BLINK OF THE SCREEN-- which I actually got HBWife for Christmas (she's a huge- but quiet- fan of Pratchett as well, which- given her love of Wodehouse- is almost an obvious given).

Also just started news commentator/author Dan Raviv's COMIC WARS: MARVEL'S BATTLE FOR SURVIVAL. I did a show with his wife this summer (lordy, she was a hoot!), and he gave me a copy as a token of appreciation. I'm early in it, but I can't believe how engaging and accessible he makes this saga of the corporate shenanigans that nearly took Marvel smack out of our culture-- I'm thinking that, once I've finished it, it would make an excellent topic for discussion right 'round here.

On a nostalgic whim, I've been pulling out my numerous old BC comic strip paperbacks as my right-before-dozing-off reading. A series of tangents (some mention of "zombie" comic strips, perhaps?) got me thinking about them. . . and there they were, still on the shelf in the comic book room, most of them right around 40 years old or more. That strip had such a unique appeal before Johnny Hart went 'round a very deeply fundamentalist bend late in his career.

And I'm about 2/3rds of the way through volume 9 of Fantagraphics Prince Valiant Collections. Good thing Christmas isn't too far off-- 'cause that's the most recent one I've got, and I'm still enrapt by it all!

HB






J.A. Morris said...

I'm reading a book published by a small press called 'You Can't Feed Butter To A Cat'. It's a transcript of many phone conversations the author had with his father, and it's very funny. It has universal appeal to anyone whose ever had a father. Here's more info:
http://www.1701press.com/shop#!/You-Cant-Feed-Butter-to-a-Cat/p/45929871/category=0

And of course I'm reading tons of Bronze Age reprint books, for blogfodder and just for the fun of it. Since Halloween is nearing, I'm reading the first two tpb volumes of Tomb Of Dracula and the Defenders book that features the Rutland, Vermont Halloween parade.

Dr. Oyola said...

On a whim I decided to re-read (for probably the 5th time, but the first time since 1999) Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber (the first five books, the Merlin Saga is not nearly as good), and there is a lot about the pulpy goodness to love and lots to make you shake you head - and I am considering an article about it in conversation with Conrad's Heart of Darkness (which means I need a re-read).

The fifth volume of Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples's Saga is ready for me - it is a very adult, but touching and well-written space opera by the same writer as the above-mentioned Y The Last Man (which I own all 10 volumes of)

I just read the first volume of a comic series called No Mercy - which ia about a busload of pre-freshman Princeton students on a service trip in Mexico whose bus goes over a cliff.

I have a whole shelf filled with book to be read, so I am not sure what I will grab off it next

As for Bronze Age comics, I recently read through the entire Louise Simonson run of Power Pack, and the whole run of Micronauts awaits me. Oh, as as you know, I am slowly making my way through Howard the Duck.

Garett said...

Hey Doug, do you still get a newspaper delivered to your house? I haven't bought a newspaper in quite a while, but I pick up the free art magazines in town.

On the comics front, I'm big into Joe Staton now. Femme Noir is a super noir tale that I'm halfway through-- the tpb came out in 2009. Staton's art looks great, the writing is cracking, and the characters colorful. Showcase #94-99: read the 3-part Doom Patrol, which was lively and made me want more, and now reading 3-part Power Girl. As mentioned, Staton's E-Man rocks, and I previously read his very good JSA and Huntress. I'm also now dabbling in his run on Green Lantern. Staton has such an enjoyable art style-- lively energy, distinctive character features, and super compositions.

For books, I just read Leonard Nimoy's I Am Spock. Enjoyable read where he talks not only about Star Trek and his ongoing relationship with Spock, but the various other plays and projects he's worked on. Nimoy's a creative and dedicated guy who had a big influence on Trek. Each chapter starts with a fun dialogue between Nimoy and Spock, indicating Spock's influence on Nimoy's life at that stage.

Doug said...

I had some time last night after doing some schoolwork (and after the Cubs had put away the Reds) so took out the Death of Captain America trade. It was a page turner to the end, and I really cannot wait to read the next installment. Brubaker's writing is gripping -- I can't say enough about it. Again, I went into this expecting to hate it (at least ideologically). While it hasn't been perfect, I'll reiterate that it has been so entertaining. Bang of my buck? Got it.

Doug

Doug said...

Garett --

Yes, we do take our local paper, which is published six days a week. I get very frustrated with it's sensationalistic nature. While I understand it's a dying industry, I have strong convictions that a community newspaper should be edifying in the midst of reporting. They should not create the news or exacerbate situations. Just report. My wife and I argue regularly about canceling the subscription. She finds it a civic duty to be informed of local happenings. While I don't disagree with that, I do wish we had another avenue to gain that information.

Doug

Doug said...

"Bang of my buck? Got it."

Type slower, Doug... Proofread, Doug...

Bang for my buck? Got it.

Doug

Edo Bosnar said...

Garett, I share your admiration for Staton's art, and I now have yet another book to be on the look-out for, i.e., Femme Noir. I'd never heard of it before, and it looks awesome. It's also nice to see someone else who appreciates his work on Green Lantern; I really liked that run (mostly written by Marv Wolfman).

Karen said...

Osvaldo, I pulled out Nine Princes in Amber last night from my bookshelf and began reading it again. Zelazny was my guy in my teens/early twenties and while I have re-read Lord of Light often, I haven't gone back to the Amber series in more than a decade (maybe 20 years?). Although I love Zelazny, I also felt the second Amber series was below his usual quality.

I recently read the latest Sandman Slim book by Richard Kadrey, Killing Pretty. Kadrey reminds me of Zelazny in some ways, although he's more hard-boiled. This series is hard to describe -like supernatural noir with a dark sense of humor.

Other recent reads: The Girl with All the Gifts, Crooked, The Eternal World. I've mostly been on a fiction jag. I have been trying to read My Dirty Life and Times, a biography of Warren Zevon, but I find it makes me sad, and I put it down for long periods of time.

Comics-wise, I read the Immortal Iron Fist volumes 1 and 2 in tpb. Volume 1 was excellent. It gave some depth to Danny Rand and back story to K'un Lun. The second volume just bored me.

Doug said...

JJ --

I love the Marvel Visionaries hardcovers. I'd recommend the Roy Thomas volume. As he's obviously a writer, the quality of artists whose work is featured throughout the book is quite impressive. Excellent survey of Silver and Bronze Age Marvel.

Doug

dbutler16 said...

I'm reading through The Complete Dorothy Sayers (she writes mysteries, most notably the ones starring Lord Peter Wimsey) as well as a bunch of Bronze Age Marvel (Captain America, Thor, Tomb of Dracula) thanks to my Marvel Unlimited account, plus my baseball box scorew.

Ozone said...

Thanks, Doug. Sounds great to me. I first read Thomas when I was a teen in '81 or '82. Conan. I loved those comics. Decades later I got interested in catching up on the classic Marvel runs. One of my first stops was the X-Men stories Roy did with Neal Adams. I was initially turned off, finding his dialogue way over the top. Funny though, over the years I've grown to love his style. The Kree-Skrull War really won me over.

Enjoyed reading everyone's selections. Talk about eclectic! -JJ

Redartz said...

Osvaldo- thanks for the heads-up on "Saga"; have heard good things about it but never yet pulled the trigger. Will have to check it out, as "Y" is so engrossing anyway.

HB- your comments on reading BC have prodded me to dig out some old Pogo books (like I haven't anything else to read; yeesh). Big Walt Kelly fan; guess I'll add a few more books to the already-overloaded nightstand...

Doug said...

It's a discussion like today that always makes me wonder why we have lurkers and not active participants. Hey lurkers -- we're glad you're here, but c'mon... Who doesn't have something to contribute to this conversation?

Doug

Anonymous said...

With recent birthday money I bought the 4 massive trades of BRPD: Plague of Frogs. For anyone not familiar with BPRD, the series stars Hellboy supporting characters, some of whom (Liz Sherman, Abe Sapien) were in the movies. It's mostly written by John Arcudi (with input by Mike Mignola) and drawn by Guy Davis. If you like Hellboy, you'll like BPRD. Davis's style is very scratchy but everything feels fully-developed, kind of like Joe Kubert mixed with Chris Samnee. It looks great, especially with Dave Stewart's coloring.

- Mike Loughlin

david_b said...

The most reading I've been doing lately has been for work, but during the evening hours I've enjoyed both 'Chasing Shadows' regarding the Chennault Affair (which helped Nixon win office in '68) and 'The First Family Detail' which basically recounts anecdotes from a former Secret Service gent about the different presidential families and oft-difficult times protecting them. Generally leaning somewhat right-wing, it's still an easy read and provides fairly entertaining insight on the foibles of my commanders-in-chief and First Families.

Anonymous said...

Like Doug, I tend to read multiple things at once. I'm just finishing Season Three of THESE ARE THE VOYAGES, the behind-the-scenes look at the original Star Trek series; I'm about halfway through Chrissie Hynde's autobiography RECKLESS; and I just started S.L. Huang's ZERO SUM GAME (about a woman who uses physics/mathematics to be kind of a superhuman mercenary).

For comics, I'm making my way through some old Batman/Detective stuff...I'm up to 1977 (the David V. Reed era).

Mike Wilson

pfgavigan said...

Hiya,

Well, lately I've been reading the Poldark Novels by Winston Graham, but in a somewhat different manner. I've gotten my hands on editions published in the UK and those published in the US because I'd read that there were minor variations between them and wanted to see if I could spot them.

Oh, boy. I calculate that the first four books for the American audience have had over ten percent of them removed prior to publication. Not huge chunks, but often the little touches that help establish the settings, tonality and characters.

Really changes the reading experience to have the unabridged edition.

As to why some of us lurk some days and comment on others, if I don't have anything worthwhile to add to the conversation I prefer to leave the field to those who are more knowledgeable than I.

And Humanbelly doesn't have to say anything about what I don't know anything about being more akin to a prairie than a field.

seeya,

pfgavigan

Humanbelly said...

Ohhhhh dear,dear,dear,dear-- PFG, your keyboard did that thing where it stealthily copies and inserts a bit of a phrase wherever your mouse-curser happened to be sitting. . . and doesn't let you know until it's too late. I am relieved knowing I'm not alone in enduring that burdensome nuisance. . . ! (Happily, your wit still shines through, eh?)

But to your point--- wow, y'know at the Baltimore Discworld Convention a couple of years ago one of the most honored guests happened to mention in passing that the editing of the "U.S. Edition" of a long-awaited novel was behind schedule, which led to a whole conversation with a stunned audience that, indeed, the American releases of these books were somewhat different than the original British ones, but only in what were assumed to be minor ways-- "americanized" words and spellings and such. Boy, big mistake letting something like that slip to a rabid fan-base, though. Or. . . crazy like a fox, since many folks went immediately from that panel to the dealer room in search of original british editions. . . But 10%-? Wow, CLEARLY the thinking is that americans simply don't have the capacity or perhaps the aptitude for denser, descriptive prose. Mind you, that may not be incorrect. . .

Doug, it does seem like there must be whole huge hovering host (OMG, best alliteration EVER! Call Stan!) of lurkers out there doesn't it? You guys get, like, a thousand visits a day a lot of the time, right? And even if many of those are the regular "crowd" checking in multiple times, that nowhere near covers the amount of traffic you get. I really do enjoy looking at the little Globe app over on the left, to see where other folks might be tuning in from at that very moment. One location that pops up a lot when I first sign in is a regular (but quiet?) lurker from Berlin, Germany. Who could it be, I wonder? A curious continental European? Possibly someone from one of our military bases? I have a niece over there. . . Perris, izzat you? But it does underscore for me how wonderfully cozy and, strangely, "local" the entire broad world can become with the easy exchange of ideas and shared interests that this kind of forum gives us. I love the fact that we've got edo in Eastern Europe, and Mike in sunny T&T, and an assortment of Colins, Seans, and. . . J.A., right?. . . spanning the British Isles, and Doug in the heart of the Midwest, and Karen parching in the southwestern desert, and everyone else EVERYWHERE else-- "spanning the globe", as Wide World of Sports used to say. I feel like. . . like Frank Capra had something to do with collecting us all together, y'know? There's on Old-Hollywood air about the place. . .

HB

Colin Bray said...

Fiction-wise I am reading 'The Believers' by Zoe Heller for my reading group, a good but not great novel about faith of different kinds - both religious and political.

Non-fiction-wise, I am reading 'The Mystic Way' by Evelyn Underhill - an Edwardian overview of mystical thought and philosophy. Really excellent.

Comics-wise, I have a backlog of about 2,500 unread comics. I tend to read a run from a Marvel title followed by a run from a DC title and back again. This particular moment I have the full run of Mark Waid JLA stories by my bed and have just started his first arc - 'Tower of Babel.' It's shaping up to be a great read.

At the current rate of reading I will catch up in five years if I don't buy a single comic in the meantime. And yes, I'm looking at long boxes as I type this.

Doug said...

HB --

I believe J.A. is close to your neck of the woods. Virginia, maybe?

William's in Florida, I think William Preston is up New England way, David B's in Milwaukee, Redartz is on the Ohio River, Groove and Rip are in Kentucky if I'm not mistaken. Yep - we are a global society of around 20 or so friends. But I wish we'd get more of our readers out of the commenting closet, so to speak!

Doug

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Canada ;)

Mike Wilson

Doug said...

No way we're leaving out any of our pals from the Great White North, Mike! You and Garett are like family around here!

Red-faced,

Doug

Humanbelly said...

And Dougie. . . isn't Dougie from Scotland? SOMEone's from Scotland, yeah?
And the venerable Dr.Oyola-- the Big Apple?

PFG. . . PFG. . . hmm. . .

Poppup?


(Bwah-hahahaha!)

(But to amend my much earlier comment, PFG-- I just read your prairie/field phrase again, and though complicated, the syntax completely clicked in my head this time, disproving my assumption that your keyboard had betrayed you. Your dexterity with the language is once again happily affirmed. . . and my apologies for doubting you-!)

Garett, that Doom Patrol 3-parter in SHOWCASE is a particular personal favorite. It's a true example of "The cover made me buy this book", and made me completely revise my opinion of Joe Staton, who- at that time- I foolishly assumed I didn't care for because his style was unfamiliar to me.

HB

HB

pfgavigan said...

Hiya,

To Humanbelly;

Despite your feeble apologies, mine honour has been slighted. Thine shall meet me upon the turquoise sands of Nic where our assembled nightmare hordes shall do battle for our pleasure. Rest assured in thy quivering exo-skeleton that your Legion of Villainy, Scoundrels and Theater Techies shall be swept from the collective memory of Creation. All shall be crushed under the might of my most fearsome homunculi, the Trolls of the Internet!!

seeya,

pfgavigan

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Trinidad & Tobago! :)

Anyways, wow, Doug for a guy who's so awfully busy you sure have a full reading list! My reading list is pathetically nowhere near as full or as deep. Right now I'm a little more than 1/2 way through Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, 1/4 way through X-Files Confidential by Ted Edwards, 1/2 way through The Mysterious World of Sherlock Holmes by Bruce Wexler (more of a magazine type book than a novel) and depending on my daily mood I'm cycling through the various chess books I've accumulated over the years. I'm more of a fan than a serious player, but it's one hobby which I chose over something like video games. It's cheap and keeps your mind sharp!

I've read up to the 3rd book of Game of Thrones, a Storm of Swords, and I have the last two books, but I deliberately haven't read them . I told myself I'd watch up to at least the 4th season of the TV series before I return to the books but somehow I've slacked off on that. I bought a bunch of other books during my recent vacation, but methinks I won't get to those until early next year! I'm in no hurry! Zzzzz...


- Mike 'reads books faster than watching TV shows somehow' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Garett said...

Hey Edo and HB, good to hear from Joe Staton fans. Has anyone here read Legion of Superheroes or Metal Men during Staton's run? How are they?

Redartz said...

Garrett- haven't read those, but certainly enjoyed his work on Plastic Man in Adventure..

R. Lloyd said...

I am currently reading book five in the Star Trek: A Time to....series. It's about the events that take place before Star Trek: Nemesis. It's a compelling series so far and I've been reading about one book per week. The quality of Star Trek novels varies greatly depending on the author. Some of them get the characters and others don't.

Edo Bosnar said...

Garett, I had some of the Legion issues drawn by Staton; it was before I was reading it every month, so I didn't have a lot of them. I recall that while solid, his specific style really didn't come to the fore (I checked at the GCD - his pencils were often inked by Jack Abel and Dave Hunt, and I guess they tended to overpower him). I did, however, have all of the issues of Metal Men he did, pencils and inks, and they were fantastic. In fact, in terms of art, that whole run of the revived Metal Men series was awesome: first Simonson, followed by Staton.
And I second Redartz: that run of Plastic Man stories in adventure was really good as well.

Rip Jagger said...

As usual I get to the party late. I've been reading some fun stuff this past month or so - tons of Marvel horror such as Brother Voodoo, Son of Satan, Golem, Werewolf by Night, and more such stuff. Also I've just finished the Moonstone novel Cry of Thunder with Kolchak and Sherlock Holmes. One of the best books I've read the past few weeks is Doctor Syn - A Smuggler Tale of Romney Marsh. This is of course the inspiration for Disney's Scarecrow shows and the novel is at once like and unlike the Disney yarns in some intriguing ways. Right now I'm onto the last Fu-Manchu novel titled Emperor Fu-Manchu fresh from Titan books. Good so far.

Rip Off

cerebus660 said...

And I'm even later than Rip :-)
Doug, ref. your comments about "lurkers" - Very often when I check this blog out there are already so many comments from people who arrive before me that I just feel superfluous. And TBH I often feel that other commenters have said exactly what I would have said but in a far more intelligent and well-researched way...

Having said all that I can't resist this topic, so...

I've just re-read Heller's Catch-22 for the first time in probably 30 ( gulp! ) years. Although it couldn't possibly still have the same seismic impact on me that it did in my teens ( THIS is what you can do with a novel? )it's still a fantastic book, full of wit, absurdity and rage. I'd recommend it to anyone. In fact, I gave it to my son to read and his one sentence review of the book was "pure, absolute madness" - couldn't have put it better myself...
And I've just started JG Ballard's The Drowned World, a book I've been meaning to read for many years. Typically Ballardian with its dream-like images of drowned cities and steaming jungles, and its ambivalent protagonist, this is a fascinating bridge between his earlier "straight" science fiction and his later, more literary, works.
As a total contrast, the next book I plan to read is Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby...

Comics - I've just read the first volume of Moebius and Jodorowsky's The Incal ( surreal insanity ) plus a few recently-acquired FFs by Stan and Jack ( no.s 63, 64 and 74 ). Great stuff!

Humanbelly said...

Gosh, a thread like this is the one drawback of our non-board format here. This is certainly a discussion that could be happily returned to again and again over an extended length of time.

But--- then we would lose the spontaneity and immediacy of response that having a near-daily new topic front and center cultivates. And as I think about it, that really is more of the fun of who and what we are. It's like we're a fairly regular cast of usual suspects providing perpetual "man on the street" interviews regarding the question of the day. Doug, you and Karen are Steve Allen, and the rest of us are Don Knotts, Tom Poston, Louis Nye, and those couple of other fellas, yep. (This was certainly before my time-- but I've a fondness for vintage television--)

HB

Garett said...

OK thanks Redartz and Edo! Good to know about Plastic Man and Metal Men.

Doug said...

With the "Recent Comments" feature on the sidebar, is any conversation truly dead? I say -- you're never late to any party! :)

Doug

Edo Bosnar said...

*Garett!* If you're still checking up on this thread, and you're interested in seeing what the Staton art on Metal Men looks like before making any purchasing decisions, I just remembered that our friend the Groovy Agent has slowly been posting all of the 1970s, revived Metal Men: here's the most recent post. Then you just go down to the "You might also like" section at the bottom to find more.

It's really too bad these never got reprinted; the Simonson issues can be found in "The Art of Walter Simonson" paperback, which is now out of print (although you can sometimes luck out and find a relatively cheap copy from online dealers like I did). I really wish, however, that DC would just collect that entire '70s run in a nice single volume.

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