September 15, 2008

The spare just isn't coming...

And yet I read and listen and's what...

Superman: Camelot Falls - Dangit...turns out this is the first of two collections bringing this storyline together, and the library doesn't seem to have the second volume in the catalog anywhere even though it's been out for three quarters of the year.

Which is frustrating because the story sets up really well and is one I'd like to see followed through. It's imperfect as an entire issue is devoted to a new villain (Projekt 17 - yeah, I spelled it right) who is just brushed away in one panel by someone who turns out to bring in the real storyline, and the artwork in the first issue show Lois to look entirely different (almost Asian) from anything we've seen before.

But the plot works. It introduces four or five original characters who are at least moderately interesting and sets Superman up against a threat that seems fairly credible, something that's far from an easy task with the Big Blue Boyscout.

Looks like I'll be checking things out at the local bookstore to see how things wrap up.

The Best of the Johnny Cash TV Show - you can catch a nice clip on YouTube of one of the tracks...the most interesting part of the video is the interview of Eric Clapton by Johnny and the trio playing's what (I understand) was the coolest part of the show, Johnny bringing on the musicians he wanted to play with and ignoring who was popular and might get ratings...

and, sadly, that's what's lacking on the album with only one interesting pairing - of Johnny with Joni Mitchell doing "Girl from the North Country" - but even that's a bust as Mitchell's voice never gels with Cash's.

Too frequently on the album, the versions of the songs are straight and true and so well played that they sound like they could be from the original albums. This is a live show with musicians so professional and unexperimental - likely because of the compiler's choice of selections for the disc - as to be uninteresting.

Do yourself a favor, however, and check out Dylan's duet with Cash on "Girl from the North Country" from the same show and sadly not on the album. The video isn't synched quite right, but the audio is wonderful.

Deadwood soundtrack - The series was outstanding and deserved a far better ending than the one it got, but thie soundtrack is another in a long line of soundtracks that were much better within the context than it is without the context. Most of the songs are pleasant enough but don't merit their inclusion on a stand-alone album.

One track - only fifty seconds long - "Snake Baked a Hoecake" is pretty neat, and the excerpts of dialogue are nice to hear again, but the entire cd rolls in at forty-five minutes and collects music and dialogue only from the first of the three seasons.

Watch hte series on DVD but lest this soundtrack pass you by unless there's a specific first-season song that piques your interest.

Preacher...Gone to Texas...Until the End of the World...Proud Americans - I'd heard good things about this series for a long time. For some reason it's been tied to 100 Bullets in my mind...dunno why.

Luckily my graphic novel collection doesn't overlap with perfectly with TL's, so she loaned me the first three volumes of the series (leaving me only six more to go).

Lemme warn anybody who hasn't read this before and just get this out of the way. The series is violent, vulgar, and - at times - just sick and cruel.

But it's a well-written version of all those things.

The tale is one of Jesse Custer, the titular pracher who has fallen on hard moral times and is changed by his melding with the demon/angel-spawned-creature that very quicly gives Jesse The Word, the ability to command anyone who hears and understands him.

Jesse survives his first couple fo adventures almost by luck, is reunited with his lost love, meets a good-hearted vampire, and sets out on a quest to find God and ask him why he has abandoned the world all while Jesses is hunted by Holy Grail conspiracists and the Saint of Killers, an Angel of Death character.

Pretty straight forward, eh?

And it's not an easy journey, it being beset with defrocked angels, the lord Himself, and a lot of other interesting folks.

We come into the story smack in the middle, each character having a huge past storyline to which we are given access in drips and drabs, well meted out by Garth Ennis.

It's a fun read and one that I'll try to follow along to the end.

The Wire - season 1 - Well, we've wrapped up the first season of The Wire, and we'll move on to beginning the second when the library sees fit to move us up the reserves list.

The first season wrapped up unsatisfyingly for most of the characters as most of the "bad guys" get sent away but not for nearly as long as the "good guys" would like to see as the higher ups in the department push things to wrap up more quickly than the main investigators would prefer.

This series reminds me very much of Wiseguy in the use of season-long story arcs, but I can solidly say that - as much as I enjoyed Wiseguy, this is a better show, partially because of the freedom accorded those involved through HBO. THe other thing that reminds me of Wiseguy is constant moral quandry that the characters find themselves embroiled in throughout the show. The cops are shown to be highly flawed characters - drinking and driving, some faking injuries to get off the job, often taking the more politically expedient option rather than what the show suggests would be the tougher options, struggling with dividing personal and professional lives, taking a little cut of that siezed drug money - while the characters involved in the drug trade are shown to be doing illegal acts while trying to just get through their lives, make a little money, help out their families, and often doing what they're doing just because they've never known any other way.

I don't know where the storyline will go from here, but I'm certainly going to - as the cheesiest voice over ever suggest - tap in to The Wire.


Katydid said...

I'm still bitter as to the lack of resolution on Deadwood...

PHSChemGuy said...

You're going to have to let that one go, Katydid...

and the new icon is interesting...until I opened it up and saw the title, I was thinking it was some sort of elephant man version of ya...nice...