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Books and Comics

edited June 2014 in General
What are you reading?
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  • 117 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Ready Player One is a lot of fun.  If only for a steady steam of Family Ties references. Sha La La La!
  • Trying to find time to read the newest iteration of Guardians of the Galaxy but haven't had the time.

    Tonight I'm reading and reviewing a real page-turner article theoretically comparing statin drugs vs. the proverb that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" to see which is more efficacious at reducing cholesterol.
  • edited June 2014 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Like all my backlogs, I have quite a few books to read.

    My current "active" book is the penultimate book in the Wheel of Time series (the second book after Sanderson took over).  I must say, the plot has picked up a lot since he took over and has renewed my interest in finishing the series.

    In comics, I've scale down to just two series. In DC, I read Batman. It is mostly self contained, and I am at least familiar with the Batman universe (unlike all the other DC properties).

    On the marvel side, I am reading X-Factor. The series (volume 3) ended in 2013, but fortunately Peter David signed on to do a new series with a new team, which started up late last year. David has become one of my favorite writers in comics ... funny, smart, realistic personalities.

    I highly recommend checking out the trade paperbacks of volume 3 of X-Factor. It is a pretty well self-contained series. The basic premise is Jamie Madrox runs a detective agency, completely outside the normal "X-Men" sphere. It features other typically "B" list mutants that David's writing will make into some of your favorite (such as Wolfsbane, Siryn, Rictor, Longshot, Shatterstar, Guido, Darwin, and more).  It also wona GLAAD Media award for the incredibly well written romantic relationship between Rictor and Shatterstar, which should give an idea of the quality of writing.  The final issues of the series actually wrap up most of the characters stories nicely, which is why the "All New X-Factor" that started a few months ago features a mostly new team.

    The new series has X-Factor as a team that has been hired by a private, seemingly benevolent, company. The team is lead by Polaris, and features Gambit, Danger, Quicksilver, Cypher, and Warlock. David's writing is as on spot as ever.

    Post edited by BakaKuma at 2014-06-04 21:40:03
  • I haven't read any of the Sanderson WoT books yet.  I think I've got all the paperbacks lined up, and I'm ready to go--but just haven't taken the plunge.  I plan on marathoning the whole thing.  Going to be a tough battle, given the offspring.  

    Cool beans on the comics--I'm honestly kind of surprised that you're reading both of those.  I do try and stay up on "current events" in comics, but DC is pretty low on the scale.  I'd be very interested to hear your take on the New 52 with Batman.  I'm not sure if you ever got into Gaiman's Sandman, but I can never not recommend it to anyone.  I actually cried at the end of it.  In any case, he's writing Sandman: Overture, a 25th Anniversary prequel.  If you ever wanted to collect some Sandman while it's actually coming out, now is the time.  Only downer is it is Neil, so he's already about eight months behind and DC is pissed.  As always, Marvel is still my favorite universe, but I mostly collect Dark Horse.  A few years back, back when the Star Wars KotoR MMO was starting up and they did all the ten zillion tie-ins, I quit reading Star Wars.  I did pick up the The Star Wars comic based on the original draft of Star Wars, which was interesting, but easily forgettable.  My main comics are Buffy and Angel, which are both pretty decent.  Buffy has been fucking awesome of late--very nice surprise.  I also started collecting the Firefly series, but mostly because several of the Buffy staff starting working on it, with a very Joss feeling.  I also collect, and have been collecting, Ultimate Spider-man.  As you may be aware, the Ultimate universe has gone through a number of trials, and Ultimate Spider-man is currently Miles Morales, and leader of the Ultimate Avengers.  Still good characters and writing.  It's actually a very interesting setting, since they apparently feel like they can take a lot of crazy/shitty risks.  I mean, Iron Man is one of the fantastic four, now.  Black Widow is actually Jessica Drew, a female clone of Peter Parker.  It's very different.  Plus, by now, I have the dubious honor/distinction of having the whole fucking run.  That's right, all 202 issues in mint condition.  

    So my file pull is: Sandman: Overture, Ultimate Spider-man, Ultimate Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Faith, and Serenity: Leaves on the Wind.  That's five a month, which is fairly budgetary.  

    No new hardcovers of late.  Definitely can recommend the Drunken Botanist, which is probably my most recent acquisition.  Thinking of rereading my special edition American Gods.
  • I pretty much read comics via the Comixology App - which is great, because if I wait a month or two, I can usually get things at half price (...unless it's DC or Mavel...). And when I do pick up comics, it's usually when they are on sale (usually a buck per comic, which is sweet). So I don't really collect to many monthly, but I check in here or there via sales. Right now I'm reading through The Walking Dead which is absolutely fantastic - one of the most consistant comics I've everr read. Aside from that, most of the comics I read, oddly enough, are extensions of Movie or TV that I used to watch. The current Ghostbusters run is a blast - so good, in fact, that I kind of hope they never get around to finishing the new one. It's actually coming to an end in a few months with it's current 8 issue arc "Mass Hysteria" which is just fantastic. I'm also reading the current X-files fun which is a great extension of the series. It's labled as "Season 10" and is so much better than the last 4 seasons of the actual show. Beyond that, I don't really collect too much. They just released a mini series that is a sequel to Big Trouble in Little China and it's supposed to be fantastic, but I'll wait until it goes cheap to pick it up.

    I recently finished the Farscape series that ran a few years ago (well, one ongoing, an 8 issue Scropius mini-series, as well as 4 Dargo minii-series and 3 other mini series. Overall, it was pretty good. Though the one character they never got completely right, oddly enough, was John C. It was a intersting story, and one that the new movie is supposed to actually build off of, but hard to recommend unless you can get it cheap. Though, it did have some pretty awesome moments (especially between Scropius and Rygel).
  • So, Comixoligy has an an amazing sale on Batman comics (pretty much a buck an issue on everything). Now, I have the first "Court of Owls" collection. Is it worth picking up the rest? Let me know! I'm definitely considering it for the 2nd Owls arc as well as "Death of the Family."
  • The Batman guy to talk to is Corey.  Unfortunately, the rare Corey-puff has never been seen on this incarnation of the GS boards.  I miss his comics reviews.
  • Batman has been nothing short of amazing since the Nu52 debut. Scott Snyder is killing it in the main Batman title. Court of Owls was great, but also make sure to check out Death of the Family (some amazing Joker writing) and Zero Year: Secret City and Zero Year: Savage City. Both of the Zero Years were incredible.

    I also highly recommend Kyle Higgins' complete Nu52 run on Nightwing. Made me love Dick even more (and I didn't think that was possible!!!). Gail Simone is just finishing her run on Batgirl. She is one of my favorite writers, and I really enjoyed her run. And Peter Tomasi is doing good work in Batman and Robin. The latest arc involves Bruce trying to rescue the stolen body of his son Damien (the latest Robin), and it looks to segue into the return of Damien, which I have been waiting patiently for.
  • Here is a complete list of what I recommend from the Nu52:

    Batman
    Batman and Robin
    Batgirl (about to get a new writer, so we'll see if it stays as good)
    Nightwing/Grayson (Grayson just started up since Nightwing ended, and it has been very good so afraid)
    Green Lantern (only read the Geoff Johns stuff....Robert Vendetti's stuff has been TERRIBLE)
    Flash
    Aquaman (seriously....one of the best since the relaunch)
    Wonder Woman (one of the best if not THE best Nu52 reimaginings....a fantastic read)
    Trinity of Sin: Pandora and Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger (both of these series are ending, but a new title starring both together is starting soon)
    Earth 2
    World's Finest (not great, but a fun read)
    Red Lanterns (only read this title since Charles Seoule took over)
    Batwoman
    Justice League

    Those are all the titles I get (either monthly or in trades) and I enjoy them all.

  • SuperC - Comixilogy had a sale recently on Snyder's Batman and, I agree, Amazing!  I have every issue up to the issue before Zero Year started.  Death of the Family was amazing - his best story (of the ones I read).  I only have one complaint, though.  I've found each final moment, a bit underwhelming (in both Owls stories in particular, less so in Death of the Family).  It's weird, each story had me hooked, but he final moments were a bit disappointing tp me, but didn't lesson my enjoyment.

    Here's a quick run down of the comics I'm currently reading, though to say I collect anything monthly is a bit of a misnomer, since I only pick them up a month or two after they come out as most are half-price at that point on Comixology:

    • The Walking Dead (just amazing)
    • The X-Files (Season Ten)
    • Archer and Armstrong (my current favorite comic - it's sort of a cross between "The Tick" and "Leathal Weapon" - it's sort of a buddy cop story...though there are no cops).
    • Big Trouble in Little China (the official sequel to the move just started a few months ago and it's a ton of fun)
    • Ghostbusters (just a great comic that is, sadly, coming to an end in a few months - as I mentioned in a previous post, the current arc "Mass Hysteria" is perfect
    Side note to Archer and Armstrong - just about every comic from Valiant Comics has the first and/or Zero issue free.  It's actually a great universe.  I highly recommend reading "Rai" - a fun take on a future samurai in Japan.
  • edited December 2014 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    I've got a lot of time on the road to listen to books on "tape" these days, so I took the plunge last month and got an Audible.com membership, which allows for two book downloads per month. I've also decided to partake of library memberships in both Erie and the Free Library of Philadelphia and, through a phone app called OverDrive, can rent audiobooks for free.

    I just recently finished Lawrence Krauss's "A Universe From Nothing," which was an excellent book which laid out the science of the Big Bang Theory and how to take the concept of "nothing" and turn it into "something," vis-a-vis our universe. A lot of the jargon went over my head (he tends to be pretty detailed in his explanations of particle physics), but it was fascinating and highly recommended if you have an existing interest in cosmology/astronomy, as I do.

    I am currently finishing up the latest in Dan Brown's series of Robert Langdon books, "Inferno," which centers around the history of "The Divine Comedy" by Dante Alighieri. I've enjoyed the book so far, though as I mentioned to Mike recently, I still find the first in the series to be the best ("Angels and Demons"). I enjoy the Langdon books and this is a worthy addition to the series.

    I'm also in the middle of "What If" by Randall Monroe of xkcd comic fame, though I've not had the time to read it in the ebook format.

    Audio books to come include:

    "11-22-63" by Stephen King
    "Command and Control" by Eric Schlosser (he's the author of "Fast Food Nation," another fantastic book)
    "Bad Astronomy" by Philip Plait (purchased on the cheap from Audible)
    Post edited by MattyDoo at 2014-12-08 03:20:25
  • 11-22-63 is great. Absolutely great.
  • So I've heard. And as a history nerd with a lifelong fascination with Kennedy and the assassination conspiracy, I'm really excited to dive into it.
  • Finished "Inferno" and it was very good. Preachy, perhaps, at times, it still told a solid story with a great historical backdrop (Dante's "Divine Comedy") and the usual fun and sometimes surprising twists and turns. Not sure where I rank it among the four Robert Langdon books but it's definitely solid and worth a read if you dig that sort of thing.

    Going to start reading "11-22-63" after I complete a couple of other books I have on loan from the Free Library of Philadelphia.

    I'm also going to dive into that podcast "Serial," which all the cool kids are talking about. Have any of you listened to it?
  • Many recommended books on Audible come in 10-12 hour increments, which means I can generally blow through a book in about a week on most work weeks (give or take). Thus, I can usually get through a lot of books, and now with access to audio books through two free libraries, I have a reasonably inexhaustible supply.

    The first of these books I listened to this week. It was "The Martian" by Andy Weir. Very enjoyable book. Basic premise of a person inadvertently left on Mars during an exploratory mission, the book was both exciting and yet felt plausible for a science fiction story.

    Probably the best parts of the book came from the sarcasm and humor of the main character. Throughout the story, I felt like this was what it'd be like if one of the more sarcastic among our group were left on Mars by the rest of the group. From that lens, it was even more enjoyable.

    It's a quick read that I recommend highly.

    Next up: Ready Player One.
  • Also, still reading "New X-Men" from Marvel Unlimited. Moved from the Cassandra Nova arc to the Weapon XII arc. Enjoyable.
  • Even better, the audio book is read by Wil Wheaton!

    So far so good. Three chapters in and it oddly reads a lot like a crossover of the Knight Rider scripts and the Mysterious Men stories. If they start fighting LIFT trucks, I don't know what I'll do.

    Sha la la la!
  • ...any idea why my post rose to the top (about family ties from the 8th)?  Did someone up-vote me...or did the Forum become sentient and move it up because it was the will of Alex P. Keaton?  :)
  • Must be because you have a vote and are sorting on votes ... up after the original post, you can click "Dates Added" to sort by that ...
  • ah....you are correct.  Thank you, Sir!  Though...I stand by the forum becoming self aware and it being the cause of the sorting...and not user error. :)  My solution?  Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure. :)
  • Or...I upvoted it. :-h

    Sha la la la!
  • Finished "Ready Player One." Very fun book. It's not a terrific masterpiece of literature, but like certain movies, it's awesome in its own way, and enjoyable without having to win a Pulitzer Prize or Academy Award.

    The book is basically a video game geek's dream story, chock full of references to old games, songs, movies and other nostalgic 1980s trivia. I highly, highly recommend that the people who frequent this board (and even those who steadfastly refuse) read this book! It's a lot of fun!

    I had planned to move on to other sci-fi and nerd fare but I was able to rent an audio book called "One Summer" by Bill Bryson (author of the fantastic "A Short History of Nearly Everything") from the free library and I'm going to dive into that one at the suggestion of a co-worker. It's a historical review of American history in 1927, and apparently got some decent reviews. I'll keep you posted. If you dig history, especially American history, I think it'll be a good read.
  • I've heard several people I know now recommend Ready Player One ... I guess it is one I really should read and would probably enjoy.
  • Here is an updated list of what I'm collecting.  It looks like I collect 1000 things and should be broke....so, please keep this in mind:...when I say "Collect" I use the term loosely since I will quite literally go 6 months or more before picking up the next set of issues, mostly because this makes it really really cheap with sales. For example, I've never paid more than $1 for an issue of the Walking Dead.  I really, really love ComiXology.
    • The Walking Dead (just amazing)...though I have to actualy read them..that's the trick! So behind.
    • The X-Files (Season Ten) - This is really, really great.  It makes up for the crappiness of Season's 8 and 9.  It's so good, in fact, that I'm a little worried about the new Mini Series on TV because I know it will probably have to ignore the comic.
    • Archer and Armstrong (my current favorite comic - it's sort of a cross between "The Tick" and "Leathal Weapon" - it's sort of a buddy cop story...though there are no cops).
    • Quantum and Woody, another Valiant comic - a ton of fun and really well written
    • Rai (Another Valiant) - really cool sci-fi-asian-super hero story
    • Big Trouble in Little China - Jack is back!
    • Bill & Ted's Triumphant Return - lot's of fun and captures the moves
    • Daredevil - Still need to catch up with the current series, but wow do I love this comic.
    • Star Wars: all of the Marvel Star Wars comics are great.  So, so good. Star Wars is back.
  • I'll update my list too!

    DC is beginning a large event called "Convergence." The premise behind it is that Braniac has been traveling throughout the Multiverse and bottling cities, collecting them all under a dome on the sentient planet named Telos. The name "Convergence" refers to how all the different timelines and universes have been brought together. So, in this series, we'll be seeing KC Superman fighting Red Son Superman. Things like that.

    This event lasts 2 months, and all the regular books have been stopped for the duration. From this event, I am getting:

    Convergence (main series)
    Convergence: Justice League International (Blue and Gold, baby!)
    Convergence: Nightwing and Oracle
    Convergence: Batman and Robin
    Convergence: Batman and the Outsiders
    Convergence: Speed Force
    Convergence: Batgirl (all the Batgirls....Barbara, Cassandra and Stephanie....working together!)

    After Convergence, I will be getting 10 series:

    Batman
    Robin: Son of the Batman
    Grayson
    Green Lantern
    Green Lantern: Lost Army
    Sinestro
    Justice League
    Bizzarro
    Earth 2: Society
    Flash

    Plus, I will be getting the graphic novels of several other series (Starfire, Red Hood/Arsenal, Aquaman, Wonderwoman).

    C

  • It will be very interesting to see which characters, timelines and concepts survive the Convergence event. Hopefully the New 52 Lobo will be killed by old Lobo lol. I'd also like to see Blue and Gold, Superboy Prime, and a few other Pre-New 52 characters be folded into the current DCU.

    C
  • I like how DC said that wasn't actually Lobo, and then it turned out to be him anyways.  Right.

    I'm all kinds of worried about Marvel, but I wish they would stop fucking around with Battleworld and just tell some goddamn stories.  
  • Dumps - They actually said that the old Lobo wasn't the real Lobo, but an impostor. The New 52 Lobo has apparently been the real Lobo all along. So, they really DID say the correct thing. It was just a dumb idea to reinvent Lobo and make him thin and emo.
  • At the risk of opening a HUGE can of worms....Just wondering, Dumps: What is the source of your deep hatred for all things DC? I've never heard you once say anything positive about its comics, movies, or characters.

    I mean, I love DC stuff, but I don't HATE Marvel. I like a lot of Marvel characters and movies.

    Just wondering the source of your hate? Did you ever read any of the comics? Have you ever seen any of them movies?

    C
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