Tuesday, May 21, 2013

"dah-dun-dah-dun-dahhhh dun-dah -- you know I'm not dead! ..."

Well, at times I feel dead inside, anyway, but rest assured,this blog is still alive ... or at least, so I intend it to be. Anyway, here's the deal: I'm finishing up my final semester of grad school. (I've "earned" a Master of Fine Arts ... advice: do what my sister did, and go to law school.) For the past year or so, I've been (thanks to grad school being "a horrible life choice" -- thanks, The Simpsons) in a rut. This blog has suffered. But my intention is to soon have something resembling a normal life, and in theory, that will entail blogging on a more regular, steady basis.

I'm writing this from my phone, as my laptop is not working. So, minding said predicament, here's some hastily-written "assorted thoughts" as to what I've recently been reading:

Showcase Presents The Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 2 -- No shortage of Silver Age cheesiness, but as the stories become more and more melodramatic, with each successive issue, you can actually see Paul Levitz' psyche being formed. In the meantime, I'm learning how to distinguish Colossal Boy (when regular-sized) from Star Boy (when we can't see his giveaway chest emblem) sans any coloring. Also, hate to say it, but at least at this point in time (early `60's, Edmond Hamilton (who?) was > greater than Jerry Siegel.

UPDATE: In the first half of this volume, I found Hamilton's batting average to be higher than Siegel's ... but after reading the "Computo the Conqueror!"-"Weirdo Legionnaire!" slam-bang two-parter from Adventure Comics #340-341 (January-February 1966), it's apparent that in `66, he still had formidable chops.

 Lieutenant Blueberry Vol. 1: The Iron Horse-- If you're curious about this lauded "Moebius" European guy, and like reading adventure comics (specifically, ones in the western genre, and with echoes of Barks' and Rosa's Klondike flashbacks, and especially the American frontier-set chapters of Rosa's "Life and Times"), and get nothing out of artsy-fartsy stuff, DON'T read Azarach and DO read every Blueberry comic "album". (That's what people into comics used to call high-grade editions of comics, printed as actual books ... before people not into comics -- or more aptly people who think that if they're going to be into comics, they should have something more pretentious to call them than "comics" -- started caling them "graphic novels", and the works, spanning several decades, of countless talented creative people were and remain unacceptably snubbed on a massive scale.)

Uncle Scrooge in Color -- NOT the eqivalent of Mickey Mouse in Color, and in retrosoect, a forerunner to how tacky Hamilton would get in catering to "collectors" during the Gladstone II era ... but still, it's nice to have high-quality reprintings of Barks' two Western picture books, and even if the included Geoffrey Blum articles are reworkings of several of his Carl Barks Library pieces, they're still authoritative and inspiring, doing Barks' justice as only Blum could.

-- Ryan