When i was in school, a senior portrait was pretty formal and nondescript. Davezilla posted a link to Planet Dan's Senior Photo Collection, in which the photos reflect the hopefully as-yet-incomplete identities of high school seniors. It's scary AND delicious! Planet Dan's entire blog is well worth a view.
Expect to see this image, which i saw via Oliver Willis' Blog, as an example of just how ugly this campaign year has become. It would seem some disgusted Kerryite has ripped up this little girls Bush sign! This event by itself might sadden but not surprise me. But as you read further on Oliver's post, you'll visit Rising Hegemon, where he raises some interesting questions about the Republican dad who has complained to the press about assaults by Democrats in three consecutive elections! Also some compelling guesses about the the identity of the smirking, union shirt-wearing bully with the torn sign in the picture. If he's right, way to give your daughter acting lessons!
i'm rushing this out before i look at what anyone else has to say, and become unduly influenced. To start with, i'm not deeply disappointed, and i don't have this fannish thing where i pick a perfect nostalgia point for a series (it's never the origin), then whine when nothing else ever strikes that chord. My experience of Silver and Bronze Marvel belongs to me, and bad or mediocre interpretations aren't tragic. Marvel won't offend me if they tell the same story over, if there is a creative reason.
The book doesn't look bad. It's adequate. Brandon Peterson's layouts are graceful, but impart little information or enhancement beyond the story. A worse problem is that the same thing can be said of the writing. J. Michael Straczynski and Sara Barnes may have spent a great deal of time developing the plot of this origin revamp - if so, we'll see it in the next few issues. Number one seems rather flat and redundant, lacking any sense of humor or mystery. There is no sense of place or character, based in the Marvel Universe or some hybrid of Marvel and popular culture notions of medicine, or mysticism, or Tibet, or, well, anything. We do know that, redundantly, Stephen Strange is all about the benjamins because the sign in his office identifies his practice as "A Medical Corporation". It's one of the few details in the book and it's dumb. i'll refrain from piling on JMS, as so many have in the blogosphere. Yeah, his contributions to comics haven't dazzled, but the problem i see this time is one of editorial vision.
It's not a flawless comparison, but consider the 'Ultimate' series, and the "Ultimate Fantastic Four" in particular. Bendis and Millar looked at the FF origin story with particular attention to the details, then rethought the story in science fictional terms for a new readership. It referenced Marvel history, and science and cultural touchstones of today. The creators imagined an audience, and wrote for them, or possibly for themselves. When you begin in this way, the first issue can be fun, even if you know where it's going. "Strange" may ultimately bring twists to the origin story, but to what point? Sure, i'd love to see the Dr. Strange character revived, but if there's no joy in telling the tale, why bother?
"Strange" in any form is a different type of comic than a pure SF book like Fantastic Four. Ditko had honed his mysterious mystic character for a while before it reached Marvel, and Lee emphasised contemporary references and accessibility, resulting in both a unique and typical Marvel creation. If you look at the next few decades, the comic reinvents itself over and over, as cosmic superhero, slugfest, gothic, alternate history, science fiction - the potential for using nearly any genre is there, and often used, with varying success. Why this uninspired, plodding retread? So a new audience will consider the character? i'll just say i'm skeptical. The few kids reading comics won't sit through this. If they like cerebral comics, there's a world of Moore, and Ellis, and Morrison, and Gaiman out there, if not they will never pick this up.
Perhaps the rest of the series will prove me wrong - i hope so. But i doubt it, because a fantasy that works is done from the inside out, with attention to details to pull us in. The ways to approach Dr. Strange are nearly infinite; i'm not sure an origin was appropriate for this creative team. i will be watching hopefully.
The little Lego mock-up of me is just to set the mood. Neil Gaiman's Blog mentions this Lego Site by David J. Oakes. The subject was what Mr. Oakes calls "The Vertigo Trinity". Though the trinity is a must, i recommend starting at the beginning and looking at them all, they're so neat. No Dr. Strange yet...
Yes, the scorecard is retired, no more additions, which is sad, because the outrages are nearly daily. But here is a handy, dated and hyperlinked rundown making the case for what is certainly one of the most disastrous administrations ever. Keep and forward and give to your undecided or convincible friends - after whatever October event Rove has cooked up transpires.
While catching up with Wrongrobot's Comics Stash!, i was alerted to The Picture of Everything. i've looked at cool stuff on Howard Hallis' Art Gallery before, but never took the time to look this over. i'm soooo glad i finally did. i think i need to look at this every day for a while...it's like the picture you always wanted to draw as a kid, but perhaps lacked the focus or chops to complete. Check it out, brothers and sisters! Thanks again to Robot for the heads up.
i felt like the last person in North America who hadn't seen the Falls, until my husband dragged me, our friend and the trailer there last Thursday. It was pretty cool, except the food was pretty lame. Fortunately the trailer, which we camped in near Fort Erie, was packed with snacks. Our campground also had...BUNNIES!!! Jim pretended they were making him hungry, and the night we ate at the Happy Wanderer, he was bereft over not having hassenfeffer on the menu.
i'm a bit ashamed to say we didn't visit any of the tacky attractions on Clifton Hill. The whole point of the trip was that we were too broke and exhausted for WorldCon, so we kept talking ourselves out of Spiderman rides, Frankenstein mansions, and rock 'n roll wax museums. We did have fun anyway! A lot of our water viewing was near the Niagara Fallsview Casino.
The lobby has a fountain that is a tribute to Tesla with spinning wheels, interior illumination, and wires ascending the dome.
Several times each evening, they dim the lobby lights, and crank up the fountain until the tanks overflow, and lightning shoots up the dome...
The First Hand Canadian Crafts and Design shop had a nice selection of Roger Wood clocks on display. And the casino buffet wasn't bad. The best meal we had was at the Venice Lighthouse, just a smidge south of our camp on Niagara Parkway. A crappy Chinese buffet we visited had really outstanding Japanese ice cream. i wanted Italian, Vietnamese or sushi, but was vetoed.
The food aside, i really enjoyed the quaintness of the town, which was jam-packed with tourists from all over the world. It was so nice i forgot about Boston, except to wonder who won the 2007 WorldCon bid, Japan, who i presupported, or Columbus, who bought our memberships. It is Japan. i'm sorry for Ohio, who would have run a fine Con, practically in our back yard, and excited for Japan. If we win the lottery, we will go!