Monday, March 30, 2009

5, 4, 3, 2, 1...


I'm outta here! Living Between Wednesdays has moved to a bigger, better, badder home! I hope you'll join us over there for lots of comic book love for years to come! Click on this link to go to

Thanks to everyone who has enjoyed this blog over the years. I hope you'll like the new one even more!

Friday, March 27, 2009

This Week's Haul: The Last Haul...for now!

Hiya everyone!

I think this is it. This is going to be my last post on this site. But that doesn't mean I'm quitting! I am finally launching the all new, all awesomer Living Between Wednesdays site in just a few days. I'm pretty excited about it.

Actually, I guess there will be one more post: the one where I announce that the new site is up. Well, anyway.

Here are some of the comics I read this week!

The Muppet Show #1

I am actually astonished at how well this was executed. It's really, really great. The way the characters are only drawn from the waist up, the jokes, the structure of the comic mirroring the Muppet Show episodes. It's just fantastic. Roger Langridge writes and draws it and he captures the feel of the original show perfectly. I am pretty excited about Boom Studios new Boom Kids line, but the Muppet Show was definitely what I was most looking forward to. I am a huge Jim Henson fan, and I have been watching a lot of the Sesame Street: Old School DVDs lately, so I was definitely in the mood for this. By the way, a Sesame Street comic would be awesome.

Wonder Woman #30

I know I have praised Gail Simone's run on Wonder Woman plenty, but I just want to say it again: her Wonder Woman voice is amazing. I find it really jarring when a character just doesn't sound right (ie - James Robinson's Superman) and Wonder Woman is a character that has been, more often than not, written as a very flat character. Simone manages to give her a lot of depth and personality without losing the regal quality of the character. Like, I want Wonder Woman to have some warmth and humanity, but I don't want to see her being like "yo, what's up Etta?"

Also in this comic, Wonder Woman is really, really angry so we get to see how powerful she can be when she wants to be. And I like that.

Daredevil #117

Daredevil is one of those comics that makes me feel sorry for people who don't read comics because they do not get to read DAREDEVIL. There are a lot of comics on the stands that I enjoy, and there are a lot of great story lines, but the world of Daredevil, however depressing, is one of my favourites to lose myself in for 10 minutes or so each month. I think because it's more of a character study than any other comic, which makes it sound boring but it's really not because there is also a lot of kicking and punching. Plus, Brubaker is the master of the cliffhanger ending.

Captain America #48

I love nothing more than when Daredevil and Captain America drop on the same week. Double shot of Brubaker, PLUS I get my two Marvel boyfriends, Matt Murdock and Winter Soldier, in one week. And this week there is the added bonus of NAMOR in Captain America! I would love a week where Namor appears in every Marvel title, because he really makes every comic that much more entertaining. In this issue we get a nice example of how Namor, though pretty ridiculous-looking, is really one of the most terrifying characters when he's angry.

And also, Winter Soldier was hot.

Superman #686

Meh. I love this cross-over Superman storyline. I love Renato Guedes' art. I do not love James Robinson's writing on this title. Usually I like his writing, but I am not feeling his Superman. I do love seeing Mon-El back in action, though. But seriously, Superman, the dude is trapped in the Phantom Zone forever because you, let's face it, did not even try to find a cure for his lead allergy and as soon as he gets out (on his own) you are demanding favours of him? I'm surprised he didn't tell him to take a flying leap (note: not an effective insult for Superman).

Showcase Presents: Ambush Bug

Hello, what's this? Something totally rad?!

I basically own everything that is in here, but I still bought it because I just want to support the fact that they even published this. Well done, DC. Ambush Bug may seem like an odd choice for a Showcase, but it's actually perfect because there has never been an Ambush Bug collection of any kind before, and it's a little challenging finding all of the issues he appears in. You won't be sorry you bought this.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Cylon cookies!

There are many copies!

To celebrate (or mourn) the last episode of Battlestar Galactica tonight, I made Cylon cookies. And you can too!

First you just have to fashion a custom cookie cutter out of a heavy duty foil lasagna pan like so:

Then you make your favourite sugar cookie dough. Like all things in life, I turn to a fictional character for advice here. Betty Crocker has never steered me wrong.

Alright, now roll out that dough and get ready to cut some cylon heads!

Now, remember, when designing your cutter, and when placing the cookies on the pan, these cookies are going to lose their shape quite a bit when they bake and spread out all over the place. Leave a lot of room.

Time to toast those toasters! Bake for about 10 minutes until they start to get a little golden. Be careful taking them off the sheet after because they are delicate. We had a couple of casualties.

When the cookies are nice and cool, you can decorate them! I split a batch of vanilla frosting in half and coloured one half red and one half silver. Matt drew a Cylon head that we could use as a guide:

Mmmmm...delicious Cylons!

Enjoy the last episode everyone!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Is Atlanta Thrashers Goalie Kari Lehtonen a Big Nerd?

I love it when my worlds collide.

Here we have Atlanta Thrashers goaltender/Finn/nerd sporting his latest mask. It has the Dark Knight Joker on it.

Not convinced? Of course not. You don't have to be a nerd to like The Dark Knight. So let's go to Exhibit B: the Kill Bill mask from the previous season:

And sure, you don't have to be a nerd to like Kill Bill either, but the two things together are starting to paint a pretty nerdy picture.

Now let's go to Exhibit C, or as I like to call it, the clincher:

Yes, that is a Final Fantasy themed goalie mask.

Still not convinced? How about this Optimus Prime (movie version) mask he had made but never wore in a game?

And, just for fun but not really relevant to my argument, here's a picture of Lehtonen with Lil' Jon (who has also been featured on a Lehtonen mask). Actually, I think this picture is relevant to my argument because Lehts looks really nerdy:

Is he a geek, or is he just lazy about his pop culture references? You decide. I choose to award him the first Living Between Wednesdays Award for Public Geekery by an Outsider.

Keep letting that geek flag fly, Lehts!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

My Spoiler-Free Mini-Review of Watchmen

Do we need a review of Watchmen to be spoiler-free, actually?

I just got back from an advance screening, and I just wanted to share some quick thoughts.

I thought the movie was a really good, loyal adaptation of the book. For those of us who have read the book, and love the book, it was fun to see it come to life. The acting was great, I dare say that Nite Owl and Rorschach were perfect. The last time I read the book, I had a thought that there is no way that they could make Walter Kovacs (without the mask) as he looks in the book work on screen. I was wrong. He looked perfect.

The fact that it is based on one specific comic book that most fans have read numerous times makes it a weird movie-going experience. As I said, the movie was very loyal. There are no surprises if you've read it, right down to almost every line of dialogue. And, because it's based on a comic, almost every shot is also familiar. So it felt as if I had watched the movie before.

My only real problem with the movie is that it was too gory and that the major sex scene was just too...porny? It was over the top for sure. As for the gore, I think a lot of the most violent scenes would have been better without it. Off screen would have been classier and less distracting (and more like the book).

Oh...and the soundtrack is BATSHIT INSANE. But it kind of charmed me.

But overall the movie looked great, had great acting and had some neat ideas about how to tell this crazy story on screen. I don't know how people who haven't read the book will feel about it. I would imagine that to them it would seem sort of weird and rushed and lacking in a lot of areas. And it would certainly be depressing. But for those of us who have read it, it's just a nice treat to see the story come to life. That's all I expect out of these things. I think the challenge of making a Watchmen movie was met and adequately conquered. And some of the scenes were downright awesome to see on screen!

I mean, I said before I saw the movie that the problem with putting Watchmen on the big screen is that there is really nothing fun about the story. It's pretty joyless. But it is still entertaining, and I think the director made it as fun as it could possibly be without ruining it.

The movie is about three hours long, so good luck to everyone who is going to the midnight screening tomorrow night!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The comic-iest Oscars ever!

I'm using the fact that Hugh "Wolverine" Jackman hosted the Oscars as an excuse to write about them in this comic book blog.

Mr Jackman was delightful, I thought, and I especially loved his opening number with the big "I'm Wolverine!" finisher. He was very funny and charming, but I still don't think he's the sexiest anything, let alone man alive. I'm looking forward to a big musical number in Wolverine.

I loved the set, and having the orchestra out of the pit. And I really liked that Danny Boyle made a point of mentioning how great the set was, and thanking the people responsible. Classy! I don't know how "toned down" the whole works looked, especially with that giant crystal curtain, but who wants to see a low-budget Oscars?

Bill Maher really came off as a douche, eh? Awkward, awkward jokes and very predictable "MY documentary wasn't nominated!" remarks. And then he almost opened the envelope before reading the nominees because he was too busy thinking about how much smarter he is than everyone else. From now on, only delightful, charming people at the Oscars please.

Speaking of looking like a douche: Peter Gabriel. I mean, whatever, I know that cutting the songs off at one minute or whatever seems disrespectful, but when I was watching the performance of the medley of nominated songs, the slots for each one seemed long enough. And poor John Legend (who maybe had laryngitis or maybe was trying to sound more like Peter Gabriel?) had to step in at the last minute and sing those ridiculous lyrics while Gabriel sat a few rows away. What if that song had won? Awk-ward.

Also a douche: Zac Efron for leaving presenting partner Alicia Keyes in his dust when he strode out onto the stage.

And...that kid from Twilight for rocking that ridiculous vampire stare the whole time. Lift your head, son. Stand up straight.

I think the best dress was Marisa Tomei's.

And I think the worst dress was, sadly, the one that Queen Latifah was wearing during her song. Was the dress a tribute to something? It kinda looked like a crazy prom dress that I would have designed when I was seven, and only had one crayon left. Too bad because her red carpet dress was lovely.

I liked that little Pineapple Express bit with Janusz Kaminski, especially when they were watching Milk.

When the first acting award was given out using that five presenters format, I was worried that the show was going to be ten hours long. Cut to Robert Downey Jr in the audience, and I could tell he was thinking the same thing. But y'know what? I really liked it. I thought it was really nice for those past winners to be sharing such kind, and seemingly unscripted at times, words with the nominees. Plus it was exciting to see five amazing actors on the stage at a time ( lead actress was given out without much reaction from the audience, but when they brought out the five male actors to give out that award, there was a standing ovation. Women: booooooooo! Men: yaaaaaaaaaay!). I think that they should have used the same format for best director. And, as Matt and I were joking, for best movie. They could just have five things, like "Please welcome The Godfather, Citizen Kane, Ben-Hur, Lawrence of Arabia and the Titanic!"

I have always found it amusing that there is such a huge difference in speeches from when actors win, or when anyone else wins. Actors are always overwhelmed and crying and hyperventilating talking about fainting, but when a sound editor or someone wins they are just like "Thanks. This means a lot." They worked just as hard or harder on the exact same movie, and have also just won the highest honour that they can receive in their industry, but they manage to hold it together.

I was really surprised that Mickey Rourke didn't win, but happy that Sean Penn won. I really liked Milk a lot, and was hoping that it might win best picture. Oh well. Slumdog Millionaire was pretty good too.

And, of course, Heath Ledger's win was both sad and exciting. Exciting because it's the highest honour a comic-based movie has ever won at the Oscars. I still think Christopher Nolan deserved a nomination, but oh well. He'll just have to make the next Batman movie even better.

And finally, yay for the guy from Man on Wire for doing a coin trick at the podium, and then balancing the Oscar on his chin. We need more of that at the Oscars for sure.

Friday, February 20, 2009

This Week's Haul: These Birds Have Flown

Just a quick one this week. Focusing on getting new site up. Talking like Rorschach.

Hey, here's something neat! My old post on Batman: Year Two has been translated into Spanish for a Peruvian comics blog! Check it out. Thanks to blog author Giancarlo Roman for doing that! I have no idea what it says! I am especially happy about it because that has always been one of my favourite posts.

Robin #183/ Birds of Prey #127

This was the last issue of Robin, one of several DC titles to come to an end this month. It's bittersweet to be losing all these titles because, while I enjoy them and have been reading them for a long time, it's been awhile since an issue has done anything for me. Which is probably why they are being canceled. Of Nightwing, Robin and Birds of Prey, Robin was the strongest title, I think, at least at the time of cancellation. Tim Drake is a great character, and can almost carry his own title. Almost. I actually would have liked to see a Robins title (um, maybe not called that) featuring Dick, Tim and Jason, especially now that Batman is out of the picture for awhile. Why battle for the cowl when you could have three perfectly capable guys (well, two) holding down the fort?

Anyway, as I was saying, this was the last issue of Robin. And, unlike the final issues of Nightwing and Birds of Prey, this was actually a pretty good ending. As far as I'm concerned, Will Pfeifer set the bar pretty high for ending a Gotham-based comic with Catwoman #82. That was a great comic. Robin wasn't that good, but it tied up some things, opened up new possibilities, and kept the soul-searching and personal reflection on a career in crimefighting to a reasonable level. There was a running interior monologue throughout the issue, but it wasn't way over the top like, say, last week's issue of Nightwing.

Birds of Prey, on the other hand, went out with a whimper. Man, I like Tony Bedard, but this really felt like the comic had been punched in the gut and was trying desperately to crawl out of the room unnoticed. A completely unmemorable ending to a fairly significant, and at one time beloved, comic series.

Next week: the final issue of Blue Beetle (sob!). Of all the titles getting canned this month, I am the most disappointed about this one. The rest come as a bit of a relief because I can really reduce my pull list. I actually expect to make a lot of cuts over the next few months, but hopefully I'll be able to replace some of them with exciting new series. Like Jeff Parker's highly entertaining Mysterius, which was also out this week (#2), and Jersey Gods, the first issue of which hit stores a couple of weeks ago. It will definitely satisfy your New Gods cravings.

Holy crap guys! The Watchmen movie is, like, soon!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Comic Art Auction Announcement


A group of comics professionals, including Darwyn, Cameron Stewart, and Adam Hughes, are trying to help out a friend with some hefty medical bills and are selling some artwork and other special items on ebay. Anything raised above what's needed will be donated to the HERO Initiative charity.

You can check out the goods here, but here's a taste:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

This Week's Haul: I Bumped my Brain!

Well, these reviews were pretty much ready to post on Friday morning, but then I got in a car accident on the way to work. Nothing too bad, but I got a slight concussion according to the doctor. Anyway, I forgot to post these yesterday, so here they are today.

Batman #686

Neil Gaiman + Andy Kubert = $$$$

I think this was really awesome. I like to make fun of Gaiman fans because they are annoying, but this really was great. The dude can write a comic (as long as it doesn't set Marvel characters in 1602). Plus, Kubert's art looked great.

Aaaand...a Catwoman-centric story? That will always win me over. Especially one where she ties Batman up for any reason.

When I was reading Alfred's story in this issue I was wondering how many casual Batman fans who are picking up this comic will be confused and take Alfred's word as bond re: The Joker. But I think the comic was pretty clear that nothing happening in it should be taken as canon.

Calling the story "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader" is a bit risky, as it compares it to one of the greatest comics ever written, but y'know...confidence in your product, I guess. It was a really entertaining read and I am looking forward to the next issue. Worth the extra dollar!

Plus I liked that line "I don't think Death is a person, Batman." Cute, Gaiman. Cute.

Amazing Spider-Man #586

For some reason I always save Spider-Man for the end of my comic reading each week. This week I put it near the beginning. It was the only Marvel title I picked up this week, so I kinda felt sorry for it.

I know that I have mentioned this before, particularly in my Best of 2008 post, but I am just so frigging impressed by how great Spider-Man has been since the relaunch at the beginning of last year. And the fact that it is coming out three times a month makes it that much more impressive. I think that Marvel has actually found the perfect formula for creating comic books: have a rotating team who are all in on the same story-line, but are all telling their own short stories within the larger arc. Brilliant! The way they have it set up, it avoids several problems that plague almost every title on the stands today:

1. There are no "fill-in" issues because there is no one single creative team.
2. The comics come out on time.
3. Because it's a continually rotating team, the larger story is very fluid, and doesn't change drastically when a new creative team comes on board. For most comics, when a new team takes over a book they pretty much start over with the character and story, taking the elements that they liked from the last team's efforts, and dropping the rest. Many things never get resolved, or are just forgotten.

This issue, which follows-up last week's big reveal of who the mysterious new villain, Menace, really is, is a perfect example of what Spider-Man is doing right. Menace has been showing up in Spider-Man comics since the relaunch. There were many issues that the character wasn't there, but Menace was never forgotten about. Typically, the identity of a villain like Menace would be revealed within a 6-issue story arc in most comic series. The Spider-Man format allows for this long-lasting story to exist while lots of other stories are happening. And the Menace storyline is only one of many larger storylines existing in the Spider-Man world. It's great stuff, and it really creates a more complex and vibrant universe for Spider-Man. There's a lot going on, but the writers have a great handle on it all. I never expected the title to be this well-managed when they first announced that it would be coming out so frequently. Well done, Marvel!

Booster Gold #17

How are the sales on this title? Good, I hope because I really love it and don't want it to go away. When Geoff Johns left the title I didn't think I would still be into it, but I still look forward to it ever month.

Nightwing #153

This was the final issue of Nightwing, and it was terrible.

Batman Confidential #26

This, on the other hand, was fantastic. Really, really great. It's the antidote to all this crazy, arthouse Batman that we have been getting lately. It's a straightforward story where a bizarre theme-based villain is terrorizing Gotham and Batman teams up with Jim Gordon to figure it out. Awesome right? Well add to that some AMAZING art by, wait for it, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and inked by Kevin Nowlan! Sometimes you just need a shot of Batman, straight up with no chaser. This is that comic.

Mini-Marvels: Secret Invasion

New Mini Marvels digest!!! Everyone should buy three of these.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Scott Pilgrim Contest Winner!

I have randomly drawn a winner from all who entered the Scott Pilgrim contest. The winner is Andrew Townsend, and I swear it was random and had nothing to do with the fact that The Stolen Minks are on his ultimate Scott Pilgrim playlist.

Here is his list:

Young Leaves--Attack in Black
Super Soaked--Be Your Own Pet
Little Garcon, Little Fille--Born Ruffians
Hot Tips--The D'urbervilles
Burn 2 Ash-- Chad VanGaalen
Sugar Laced Soul--The Diableros
She Don't Use Jelly--The Flaming Lips
I Know a Place--Jay Reatard
Lay Your Head Down--Keren Ann
Secrets Aren't So Bad--Magneta Land
I'm Easy--The Meligrove Band
Shake It Off--Ninja High School
Bring It--The Stolen Minks
I Want To Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother's Heart--The White Stripes

Congrats Andrew! Send me an email with your contact info so I can get that Scott Pilgrim special to you (rachellegoguen at gmail dot com). Thanks for entering everyone! I enjoyed reading your lists!

In other news...

I am working hard on getting the new and improved Living Between Wednesdays up and running. I can't post too much here because I am out of room. The plan is to have the new site up by the end of the month. I hope you will all follow me over there. Daily posts are the plan for the new site! For reals this time!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Scott Pilgrim Contest!

The fifth installment of the beloved Scott Pilgrim series is released today. I haven't read it yet because I don't get advance copies like some bloggers, but I do have a pretty nifty prize to give out! 

I have a fairly rare, not-available-in-stores Oni Press collection of miscellaneous Scott Pilgrim stories (see photo). These stories showed up in Free Comic Book Day comics and such and have now been collected in one handy comic book! And it's in FULL COLOUR! 

To get your hands on one of these babies, post your ultimate Scott Pilgrim soundtrack playlist in the comment thread. I'll draw a winner randomly from everyone who enters!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Final Crisis #7

Final Crisis wrapped up this week, of course. I really loved how it ended. I definitely have to go back and read it from the beginning again to get everything out of it, but overall, this was a fantastic event with really high quality writing and artwork. I don't want to give too much away for those who haven't read it yet, but I want to say a couple of general things.

What I really love about Grant Morrison is his optimism. Final Crisis had a happy ending. Morrison had to pretty much literally take us to Hell and back to give us that happy ending, but in the end what we got was an incredibly beautiful ode to heroes and heroism. Morrison loves superheroes, and it shows on every page. He likes to torture them, but it's always so we can see them overcome and triumph in a way that always makes me want to cry because why can't Superman be real?! WHY?!

Things got as bad as they could possibly get, and not everyone made it out alive, but nothing happened that I would consider pessimistic. And there certainly wasn't anything snarky. This was not a series written by a disgruntled old scribe who was sick of superheroes and just wanted to make them all suffer for their own sick pleasure. We've seen enough of that in plenty of comics. This was a story of hope. And it was delightful.

Plus, y'know, there was a lot of cool-looking stuff.

Friday, January 23, 2009

This Week's Haul: Namor!

Hey everyone!

I got a whole lot of comics this week. Really, too many comics. But my computer is fixed and Photoshop is reinstalled, so I am able to share my thoughts with you once again. Here we go with a small selection of what I read this week.

Uncanny X-Men Annual #2

Namor fans rejoice!

I have been buying Uncanny X-Men every month for the better part of a year now. I have really enjoyed Matt Fraction's writing on the title, and have tried to overlook the artwork in the Greg Land issues.

This issue tells the sexy history between Emma Frost and Namor. And it's frigging beautiful! Both Daniel Acuna and Mitch Breitweiser provide stunning artwork, but you don't have to take my word for it!

Oh Namor. I missed you so.

Superman/Batman Annual #3

Blowing? Tandem? It must be Superman/Batman!

Len Wein steps in to write this year's S/B Annual (typically the only issue of S/B ever worth reading). It's a re-telling of the Composite Superman/Batman story and it is really entertaining. It kind of emphasizes my point that Superman/Batman should be a series of one-shots by a different creative team every month. Even if it was just re-telling of Silver Age stories, it would still be a much better comic than it is right now.

Getting back to this issue: great art, great banter, a couple of unfortunate and somewhat confusing colouring errors, but those are easy to overlook.

Especially when Superman is looking so cute leaning on a wall!


And Batman asks a tough question:

Um, that you mention it...

Dr Doom and the Masters of Evil #1

Hey! A new all-ages comic by Paul Tobin! Sign me up!

I love stories from the villains' point of view, especially funny ones where they are paling around. This book has plenty of that.

Mysterio asking to borrow a car so he can get his computer fixed really cracks me up.

This is going to be yet another really great Marvel all-ages title, as far as I can tell. But, like many all-ages books, it will mostly be enjoyed by aged comic nerds.

Ghost Rider #31

Yet another totally awesome issue of Ghost Rider by Jason Aaron. Much like Captain America, Daredevil, or Jonah Hex, it's so good every month that I really don't have anything interesting to say about it.

Except...HOT Ghost Rider on Ghost Rider Action!!!!

Green Lantern #37

The Red Lanterns have really been grossing me out, I'm not going to lie, so I wasn't too excited about this issue. But it was actually pretty awesome. For one thing, Ivan Reis really threw down some great art. And the Hal Jordan-Sinestro rivalry was entertaining as usual.

Mysterius: The Unfathomable #1

Jeff Parker has a new series! And it's for...Wildstorm?!

Well, I don't usually have much reason to buy Wildstorm comics, but this is a good one. A really good one, as far as I can tell.

A mystic and a plucky young journalist-turned-assistant. That's a solid combination. Parker is one of my favourite writers, so it wasn't a tough decision to pick this up. And the art, by Tom Fowler, is really beautiful.

New original series are exciting!