argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
Con Report. )

Photos. )
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
Thoughts/reviews of the books I took with me to Maine and Ohio. They are listed alphabetically by title and divided into two categories: graphic novels and regular fiction/non-fiction.

The graphic novels: DMZ volume 3, Ex Machina volume 2, and Sleeper (all). )

The novels: A Canticle for Leibowitz, Diaspora, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, and Stealing Fire. )
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
My mom and I are leaving this Thursday for a one-week visit with my maternal grandparents and aunt in Maine; I'm planning on driving.

Yesterday, I drove to the main library to check out some books for the trip. I ended up having to weed some out as I didn't think I'd finish more than four novels, even with the one free renewal option. Here are my selections:

-A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. I don't remember where I heard about this book (part of me thinks it was through Thief or Deus Ex), but it's been on my recommendation list for a while. My understanding is that it's post-apocalyptic science-fiction novel with religious aspects.

-Diaspora by Greg Egan. Greg Egan is a hard science-fiction writer, 'hard' being a subgenre of sci-fi that, in general, strives to be more accurate to modern scientific knowledge. I've never read him before, but have been recommended a number of his novels and picked this up as my first.

-Stealing Fire by Jo Graham. This recommendation comes from the BPAL forums, specifically the thread discussing LGBTQ characters in fiction. Stealing Fire is set after Alexander the Great's death and I have rather high expectations for this book as I love Mary Renault's Alexander series.

-Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph by T. E. Lawrence. This is Lawrence's personal account of Arab Revolt during the first World War. I've been fascinated with T. E. Lawrence, perhaps better known as 'Lawrence of Arabia', even since I saw the film A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia. [That's Lawrence from A Dangerous Man in my icon.] The 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia starring Peter O'Toole was on TV a few weeks ago and revived my interest. I've already read some of Lawrence's writing and his narration is vivid and intriguing.

I only checked out four trades: DMZ volume 3 (Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli, published by Vertigo), Ex Machina volume 2 (Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris, and Tom Feister, published by Wildstorm), and both seasons of Sleeper (Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, also Wildstorm). The library has a number of other comics on my rec list, but I wanted to focus on Wildstorm titles and finishing series I had already started.

Sandman, 100 Bullets, and Unknown Solider, all from Vertigo, are also on my to-finish list. Technically, so are Fables and Runaways, but I have no interest in doing so. My top comics-to-finish are actually Transmetropolitan, Stormwatch, and Global Frequency, but the library doesn't own any of those. (For some reason, it's hard to find anything by Warren Ellis locally.)

Unrelated, last Friday's Batman: The Brave and the Bold was AMAZING. I love BatB's Joker and can't believe this will be the show's last season; I'm highly biased since Batman is my favourite main DC universe character, but I like BatB much more than Young Justice.
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
Welcome to the last Midnighter post! This entry covers the final two story arcs, "Anthem" (#10-15) and "Assassin8" (#16-20), both written by Keith Giffen. Instead of scans with running commentary, I'll be presenting plot summaries with overall thoughts for these issues.

The creative team on the "Anthem" issues is composed of Chris Sprouse (#10), Chriscross (#11), Rafael Sandoval (#12), and Jon Buran (#13-15) on pencils; Karl Story (#10, 12), Troy Hubbs with Criscross (#11), and Rick Burchett (#13-15) on inks; Randy Mayor (#10-11), Mayor with Darlene Royer (#12, 14), just Royer (#13), and Pete Pantazis (#15) on colors; Travis Lanham (#10, 14), Pat Brosseau (#11), and Steve Wands (#12-13, 15) on letters; Chris Sprouse and Karl Story with Randy Mayor (#10-12, 14-15) and Sprouse with Brian Stelfreeze (#13) on cover art; and Scott Dunbier Scott Peterson on editing with Kristy Quinn as assistant editor. I actually have the trade for this story arc, which I bought when I just getting into The Authority and its related series. (For those not familiar with American comic book lingo, a trade is a collection of individual issues published with more durable binding.)

The "Assassin8" story arc is a different matter as I only have the first two issues; the eBay seller I bought my comics from didn't have #18-20. In any case, the creative team on the first two issues is Lee Garbett on pencils, Rick Burchett on inks, Randy Mayor with Darlene Royer (#16) and WildstormFX (#17) on colors, and Steve Wands on letters, with Scott Peterson as editor, Kristy Quinn as assistant editor, and covers by Garbett, Trevor Scott, and Mayor.

Midnighter #10-17. )




I'm ending this post on some holiday cheer with The Authority vs Lobo #1, "Jingle Hell!" The creative team on this issue features "Da Giff" on plot, "Da Biz" on art, "Da Grant" on dialog, "Da Ballsy" on letters, "Da Baron" on colors, and "Da Ben & Da Joan" on editing "with seasonal thanks to our spiritual and weapons advisors [sic]." As you might surmise from the credits, the mood of this issue is very irreverent, over the top, and tongue-in-cheek. I'm not very familiar with Lobo, an alien mercenary created by Giffen who, at least in Superman: The Animated Series, killed everyone on his planet for his school science project (he gave himself an 'A').

My thoughts on this issue were 'meh' as the writing and art are both too far out there for my tastes, but behold! I did scan part of one page because I'm a sucker for parental Apollo and it's a nice way to end this pre-Christmas entry.

Happy holidays!

The Authority vs Lobo #1. )
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
In last week's Midnighter recap edition, I said I'd cover issues #7, #9, and #10-17 next. However, I decided to move #10-17 back a week so could I have a chance to re-read all the issues before final thoughts. I still doubt I'll be posting any scans from those issues, though, so the first issue of The Authority vs Lobo, titled "Jingle Hell!", will also be featured for the holidays. As it so happens, all of these issues are written by Keith Giffen.

I'll be out of Midnighter issues after next week, but I'd like to continue the weekly comics posts next year, most likely with The Authority, Stormwatch, and the occasional old Batman issue or Vertigo/DC title.

Today's issues are both one-shots by two different creative teams. Moreover, they both guest-star Apollo! I'll say right now that even though the concept of #7 is neat, I much prefer #9, which is my second favourite Midnighter issue.

Midnighter #7, "Fait Accompli" (a French expression meaning "established fact"), is written by Brian K. Vaughan, author of Ex Machina, Runaways, and Y: The Last Man. The rest of the team is composed of Darick Robertson on pencils, Karl Story on inks, Randy Mayor and Jonny Rench on colors, Phil Balsman on letters, Kristy Quinn as assistant editor, Scott Dunbier as editor, and Chris Sprouse and Karl Story on the cover art. This is the only Midnighter mid-series one-shot that made it into a trade (Ennis' feudal Japan AU was also put in a trade).

Midnighter #7. )



Midnighter #9, "The Hercules Virus," features Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti (writers), Brian Stelfreeze (art), Randy Mayor (colors), Phil Balsman (letters), Kristy Quinn (assistant editor), Scott Dunbier (editor), and Chris Sprouse and Karl Story on cover art.

Midnighter #9. )
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
This week's Midnighter post covers the first story arc, "Killing Machine," written by Garth Ennis. The main plot involves a Holocaust survivor kidnapping Midnighter and sending him back in time to assassinate Hitler. I'm pretty neutral about these issues as a whole, but there a few nice moments. As such, despite covering 100+ pages, I'm only posting nine scans. I also won't be doing a page-by-page summary or talking too much about the main plot at all.

The creative team on this arc is Garth Ennis (writer), Chris Sprouse (pencils), Karl Story (inks), Randy Mayor (colors), Phil Balsman (letters), Kristy Quinn (assistant editor), and Scott Dunbier (editor) with covers by Sprouse and Story. Variant covers were done by Michael Golden (#1), Arthur Adams and WS FX/Randy Mayor (#2), Jason Pearson (#3), and Glenn Fabry (#4). #3 had both Sprouse and Joe Phillips on pencils, Jasen Rodriguez, Scott Williams, and Saleem Crawford on inks alongside Story, colors by Wildstorm FX, and letters by DC. #4 featured Peter Snejbjerg on pencils instead of Sprouse. Finally, Ray Snyder did inks with Story for #5.

Midnighter #1-5. )
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
Last time, I presented a summary and scans of my favourite Midnighter issue. This week's issue is on the opposite end of the spectrum. I wouldn't exactly call it terrible, but it's full of WTFness and unintentional hilarity. It's also one of the few Midnighter issues to feature Apollo (yay!), but neither Midnighter or Apollo are very in-character, even by alternate universe standards.

What kind of alternate universe, you ask?

Feudal Japan.

The story title of this issue is "Flowers for the Sun," which isn't an entirely accurate description as will be seen below. On the creative team we have Garth Ennis (writer), Glenn Fabry (art), Randy Mayor (colors), Jonny Rench (colors), Phil Balsman (letters), Kristy Quinn (assistant editor), and Scott Dunbier (editor) with Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, and Brian Stelfreeze on the cover. This is actually the last issue that Ennis wrote for Midnighter, but I'll cover the others (#1-5) in a separate post. Finally, there's more blood and gore in this story than in #8, but none of the five or so shots of decapitated heads (the vast majority courtesy of AU!Japanese!Midnighter) made it into my selected scans.

Midnighter #6 recap and scans. )
argurotoxos: Midnighter holding balloons, waiting for his husband (Default)
Ever since someone on the old Scans Daily posted a picture of Midnighter being hugged by a little girl for finding her cat, I've wanted to read the story. Sadly, it wasn't collected in any of the trades and I couldn't find it my local comic shop.

Last week, I found someone on Ebay who was selling 16 of the 20-issue series. The four missing issues didn't bother me - I had one in a trade and the other three were part of a story arc I wasn't remotely interested in - so I bid.

Having read all of the issues except for the last three, I can now say that the Midnighter-finding-the-cat issue (#8) is definitely my favourite. Love the writing, love the art, and gets bonus points for showing a more human side of Midnighter and featuring antagonists that never once stoop to using homophobic slurs. Moreover, you don't have to be familiar with the Authority or Midnighter to enjoy it and it's a self-contained issue.

I liked it so much that I decided to scan in my favourite pages and recap it below. "Ordinary People" is the title of this story and the creative team is composed of Christos Gage (writer), John Paul Leon (art), Randy Mayor (colors), Phil Balsman (letters), Kristy Quinn (assistant editor), and Scott Dunbier (editor) with Chris Sprouse and Karl Story on the cover.

Midnighter #8 recap with select scans. )

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