Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Return Of She-Hulk!

She-Hulk fans can rejoice!  The She-Hulk is getting another solo title.  Charles Soule is the writer.  He's also a lawyer, so that should be a good fit for Shulkie.  Javier Pulido is the artist, and, judging from the preview I saw, he should be another good fit.  It would be nice sometime to see some female creators get a run on She-Hulk, but the current team seem like good choices.  I will be checking out the first issue anyway (scheduled for release in February)!  In fact, I had a subscription (for the first time since I was about thirteen years old) to FF, the Fantastic Four spinoff where She-Hulk had been appearing, and enjoyed that series quite a bit, so my grief over its demise (the last issue comes out this month) will be tempered with my joy over the new solo title.  It'll join Satellite Sam and The Superior Foes of Spider-Man (special thanks to the creators of that title for actually putting on average more than four panels on a page, unlike seemingly every other comic these days) on my monthly pile, and The Sandman Overture whenever it comes out (no, I normally don't restrict my comics reading to titles that being with "S"; that's just a coincidence).  I've also been reading Superior Spider-Man at the local library (yes, my local library is cool enough to stock comic books).  It seems to be a good time for comics.  I'm excited to check out the new titles for the Silver Surfer, the New Invaders (James Robinson on Golden Age characters!), and Dead Boy Detectives (see, I told you that I didn't just read titles that began with "S") titles as well.  With The Flash being one of my favorite characters, I'm excited that a new creative team will be on that title (I found the current team almost unreadable, which is how I feel about most of the New 52 DC--I used to really like DC, but now it's hard to find a title that I'm interested in).  Though it seems from this list that I'm a super hero nut, I used to read more alternative and independent comics, but most of those seem to just be online or in graphic novel format anymore (I read those as well, but let's talk comic books in this post).  However, I was happy to see that Strangehaven is finally returning (hmm . . . maybe I do really like to read titles that begin with "S"). I also did buy issue #21 of Palookaville (which isn't really a comic book anymore unless one really stretches the traditional definition).  I haven't read it yet (hey, if Seth can take forever to release it, then I can take forever to read it--it makes the wait for the next one that much less), but it looks as if the Clyde Fans story still has not ended.  If so, then I hope Seth finishes it before either he or I die.  In the meantime, I'm glad to see that comic books are still around; they can still be quite a bit of fun.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hooray For Webster's!

Several years ago, I went on a book tour with Crazy Carl Robinson, and we stopped off in State College, Pennsylvania USA to visit a pal. The pal offered to stock a cool local bookstore with copies of our books on consignment. The bookstore was Webster's, and, indeed, it was and is still cool.  I'd like to thank Webster's and my contact there, Molly, for carrying The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus all these years!  In fact, Webster's was the last store to carry the novel on consignment (a few years back, I started collecting the remaining books left on consignment after I lost a few copies when bookstores closed suddenly during the Great Recession).  Now, I suspect that I am the only one selling new copies of this now old novel (if you've been waiting for Amazon to restock, that's likely not going to happen since the publisher has sold out and the rights reverted to me a few years ago).  The good news is that I still offer the books at 2006 prices, so, with inflation on your side, that probably makes the cost cheaper than when the book was first released.  I only have a few copies left though (28, that's a few, right?).  Once they go, I'll probably put out an ebook edition.  For now though, the Emus remain in print.       

Monday, January 6, 2014

Yip!*: The Return Of Big Dipper!

I was browsing in one of the few remaining record stores recently and was delighted and also totally surprised to find a new record from Big Dipper.  Big Dipper was a band from the Boston area in the 1980s who played a weird style of power pop.  I really liked the band's music.  The last Big Dipper album came out in 1990, so I was quite flabbergasted to find a new record from them 23 years later.  And, literally, it was a record, and not a cd, which made the experience even more surreal (of course, the store I found the record in sells new 8-tracks--yes, new 8-tracks, as in someone released an album in 2013 on 8-track as a format--so perhaps I shouldn't have been that confused by new vinyl from Big Dipper).  At first, I thought the record might have been a past album which I had missed.  When I was in Boston in 2000, I kept finding odd Big Dipper records that I never knew existed, but ever since Merge put out an anthology in 2008, I was pretty sure I had all the released Dipper.  Plus, the record looked too new; however, it was in the used section.  In any case, I scratched my head and bought it.  When I got home, I played the record, loved it, and looked up some information on it.  Apparently, the band had reunited and started recording new material.  They're even on Twitter now.  The new album, Crashes On The Platinum Planet, is really good and basically picks up where they left off many years ago.  You can hear a bit of it on the video above for "Robert Pollard", who apparently also is a fan of the band.  The only bummer is that the cd/mp3 version has a different track listing, so I had to download a couple tracks to complete the new Big Dipper experience (vinyl completists can find those same two songs on a 7"); I don't quite understand why record labels do dumb stuff like that as I'm pretty sure all twelve songs could have fit on the vinyl album (presumably, the fetishizing of rare vinyl by collectors and the subsequent inflated prices for vinyl these days explains it). However, the joy of getting even more new Big Dipper music soon soothed any irritation. On a final note, Big Dipper is also the band that the Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus are supposed to sound like (at least according to The So), but don't look for a reunion from them.  Still, if Big Dipper can pop back up, then perhaps even less likely things can happen!

*Yips are good things.