Monday, August 25, 2008

Runaways: Dead End Kids

The latest installment in Marvel's Runaways series, in which a group of kids discovers their parents are actually supervillains and leaves for brighter pastures. This volume marks the takeover of the series by Joss Whedon (Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) from its creator, Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man). In Whedon's hands, the series ran into chronic deadline troubles and it's since been passed off to another writer. This volume of Whedon's is pretty good, though. It lacks some of the offbeat charm Vaughan instilled in it, and sometimes feels a bit trendy. But Whedon does do some interesting things with the plot. It's a refreshing series for those who've had it with the typical superheroes.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Henry Cho: Whats that Clickin' Noise?

Comedy albums are one of the things that propelled the art of standup to prominence today. When routines started to be televised in the '80s, those albums largely went by the wayside. Fortunately, they seem to be making somewhat of a comeback these days.
Henry Cho is a standup of Korean descent who was born and raised in Tennessee. That perspective makes for some pretty fun stories. It's short, but will likely be enjoyable for those into standup.

Jack of Fables: The Bad Prince

The latest in the running saga of the character Jack (of beanstalk, giant killing, frost, candlesticks, etc., etc.), by Bill Willingham. It's one of the smartest-written graphic novels series out there today. This one might need some knowledge of the story thus far. Fortunately, it's not too far in.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Here's an anthology of stories representing the rapidly growing steampunk subgenre of science fiction. The stories are diverse and a mixed bag in terms of quality. Notables include a kabbalistic tale by popular author Michael Chabon, and some other big names (Ted Chiang, Paul Di Filippo). There's also a pretty good opening essay on just what steampunk means. It traces the roots to stories the author calls "Edisonades," in which the protagonist is typically an inventor who works to right some wrong or whatnot. Steampunk takes things farther by typically including a dystopic setting and including a world generally beyond the remedies proffered by a lone inventor, no matter how plucky.

The Hedge Knight II, Sworn Sword

This graphic novel is written by George R.R. Martin, author of the popular Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series. It follows Dunk, a wandering knight, through his travels and adventures. It's a good series that doesn't portray its knights as invincible or annoyingly chivalrous. Mostly they're like Dunk, mercenaries just trying to get by in the world.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Galaxy in Flames

This is the third in that Warhammer series I've been prattling on about these past few weeks. It's still a good series. The author of this installment, Ben Counter, doesn't seem as interested in the philosophical underpinnings of the whole story arc as the other writers involved, though.
What still impresses me is the way this group of four or five SF writers came together to plot out a multi-volume story, then divvied up the work. It comes off remarkably seamlessly.