Saturday, February 27, 2016

Is He Still Reading Comics or Is the Four-Color Fiend Still Around?

The answer to both those questions is a yes, which should come as a surprise to no one except a comic shop owner or two.  I'm currently back into collecting, or to be honest reading comics again, as I generally don't buy them to collect or sell.  I just don't toss the comics or pass them along immediately after I'm done with them. There are only a few titles that I ever actually get around to re-reading.



The Big Two (Marvel & DC for those non-fans out there) are usually the ones that drive me from collecting by sucking me into yet another one of their company-wide "events" or cross-overs.  For the past decade or so some 'new thing' will get me interested enough to purchase and a year or so later, realizing I've been suckered again, I get disgusted enough with the industry to drop everything from all publishers.  Probably an over-reaction, but if you know me you'll know that's not uncommon.

For DC it was the "New 52" that got me back after "Blackest Night" ended and I was disappointed with what came next.  Like so many others I ran down to my shop and put in an order for all fifty-two Number Ones prior to publication, to ensure I got them all.  In over half the cases a single issue was enough, but with some I hung on for six months or a year.  I think it was the Court of Owls storyline over in the Batman titles that pushed me out that time around from the last few books I was still collecting.  Everything else had either already been cancelled or I had given up on beforehand.
The only DC books I've picked up since have been a couple of issues of Hellblazer (the John Constantine series if you recall that short-lived TV show) and the limited SECTION EIGHT series, featuring secondary characters that had appeared in the HITMAN title years ago.

Marvel got me back with SECRET INVASION, after I had found myself dropping all the titles I was reading from them over a few years.  A lot of that was the company having the writers of their books drop everything to shoehorn their title characters into some cross-over event or other, half of which you couldn't understand if you were only reading regular titles and not the event-specific books.  Granted DC does/did much the same, but I was buying more Marvel at the time.  I stuck with Marvel through S.I. and whatever it was that followed immediately. Then they started something which I think was called the "Heroic Age" or something and it certainly didn't seem like that to me.

Call me stupid, but the recent SECRET WARS/Battle World titles from Marvel had me back in the shop at least for a while.  A few like THORS were actually pretty good and of course, if you put "Marvel Zombies" in the title I can't resist so that was a couple of books right off the bat.  After all that, and I actually gave up on the main S.W. (not the Lucas/Disney stuff if you have lost track) title I've only been getting a few of the new Marvel books. 

Both companies now seem on the verge of doing everything all over again, especially DC with something called REBIRTH, which they been promoting but I haven't quite figured out what it is all about.  I've heard that it isn't another reboot, but that it is supposed to being the print comics more in line with what we are seeing with the cinematic versions of their characters. It might be interesting but I don't know if that is enough to get me back into buying their books on a regular basis.

Marvel is now promoting something called CIVIL WAR II. Coincidentally enough there seems to be a film coming out this year with a similar title. Do we really need to see this all over again? Will somebody besides (SPOILER WARNING) Cap get offed this time (END SPOILER).

Next time out I'll mention some of the comics I am currently reading, most of which don't come from the Big Two, which shouldn't surprise anyone at this point.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Blue ManThe Blue Man by Kin Platt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I first read this book in Jr. high and was completely blown away. I guess this was the first book, other than say the Tom Swift, Jr. and Hardy Boys novels, aimed at 'teens' that I read and could identify with. Possibly because the lead character was also named Steve.

Very happy living with his parents in New York City, Steve is not thrilled when his parents decide to send him off to spend the summer with his aunt & uncle. They run a small hotel in a rural area, and he finds himself pretty bored. When a rather odd looking guest registers and Steve accidentally discovers he is blue, things take a very, dangerous turn. Believing that his uncle has been killed, Steve steals his car and takes off in pursuit. However, how can a sixteen year old kid track down someone who may very well be an alien.

This book hooked me like few others. I must have read the book close to a dozen times over the next few years and still find it just as entertaining now that I'm more than forty years older than I was when I first discovered it.


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