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Officially on the Valiant Journey

valianttpbsI suppose it was official when I bought runs of Bloodshot, X-O Manowar, and Ninjak a couple weeks ago…but I think some part of me at that point was still thinking “just these series and maybe a couple more.”

BUT, with a deal at the local comic shop and a Fill-a-Longbox Sale at another nearby shop, I’ve jumped fully in: I want to track down a full reading copy of the Valiant Universe from the 1990s. I’ll settle for reprints/collected volumes if needbe–In 20+ years I’ve managed to never pay more than $10 before tax on any single comic issue…and I’d prefer to keep to that. Especially since I want to READ all the stories.

I feel like I’ve already learned a great deal about Valiant just in the past few days–both in-continuity stuff (Rai #0 in particular) as well as the comics themselves (thanks to listening to old episodes of a podcast: Only the Valiant).

While it would be interesting to try to chronicle my Valiant reading issue by issue (like my recent review treatment of Bloodshot #0 last week), I think that’d be folly–and I’d almost certainly “burn out” on it. So instead, I’ll probably just post here and there with random thoughts about the Valiant reading, and the occasional “coverage” of what I’ve been reading.

To that end, on the current journey thus far, I’ve read:

Bloodshot #0
Bloodshot #1
Bloodshot #2
Rai #0 (in the Rai TPB)

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Booking Through Thursday: Periodically

btt buttonSo other than books … what periodicals do you read? Magazines? Newspapers? Newsletters? Journals?

Do you subscribe? Or do you buy them on the newsstand when they look interesting?

btt20120705aIt’s been quite awhile since I’ve had any real patience for a magazine. Used to be (back in the ’90s and early 2000s) I’d fairly regularly read Wizard (self-billed “The Guide to Comics”). But Wizard ceased print publication a couple years ago, and I’ve never gotten into any of the other comics-related publications. The closest to a replacement for me, for present, may be Bleeding Cool, which had a preview issue recently and begins official sequential publication later this year.

(There’s also “the Comic-Con issue” of something I’m blanking on at present…yet I’ve come to be quite disgusted at what the [San Diego] Comic Con has become and try to mostly avoid the hype).

btt20120705bNewspapers I also rarely read–I’ll flip through the paper at my parents’ when I visit, but overall that’s really my only exposure these days TO a newspaper. For the most part I tend to get my news from the radio, Facebook, and Twitter.

I can’t remember the last time I saw an actual newsletter.

And it’s been years since seeking a journal…half a decade, probably; not since grad school.

But we’re talking “periodicals,” and the list in the prompt neglects the most obvious response from me:

Comic books.

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Booking Through Thursday: Harder

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All other thing being equal, would you rather read a book that’s hard/challenging/rewarding or light/enjoyable/easy?

bookingthroughthursdayhardMaybe it’s splitting hairs, but I don’t know that it has to be one or the other.  A hard/challenging/rewarding book may still be something enjoyable and light, as far as something I’ve chosen to read and want to read as leisure.

Whatever the phrasing, though…it all depends on my mood at the time, and the specific book and context. There are times when I’d rather read something that could be deemed a hard/challenging read, and there are times I’d rather read something easy.

Comics OR written word, it all varies. Even a light read can be dense with dialogue or other wording which can slow things down and make it harder, while something harder may flow very nicely and be an easy, quick read (or it becomes a quick read when actually retaining the information fails and it’s just the eyes going over the words).

I don’t think I choose my books based on whether they’re hard or light reads. Hard OR easy, they are what they are. I think it’s more about how engaged I am with the material,and how I feel about the material. I might find, say, Comic Book Nation to be a light/enjoyable/easy read…I’m interested in comic books, and so a history of comics from the early 20th century to 2001 (something I’m familiar with but no expert on) will be light/enjoyable/easy, but to someone with zero familiarity or interest in comics, that might be a hard/challenging read that may or may not be rewarding in the end.

Just as–sitcom-joke or otherwise–I’m sure there are people who would find reading a dictionary, encyclopedia, or the equivalent of a science or math textbook to be light reading, while I would consider it hard and (barring coursework) probably highly unrewarding.

What I’m reading:

Right now, I’m reading back through The Walking Dead graphic novel/collections. And with payday tomorrow, I plan to purchase John Grisham‘s new book The Litigators, and dive right into that.

Booking Through Thursday: Replay

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Have you ever finished a book and loved it so much you went right back and started re-reading it again?

Nope.

I may finish a book and want more, or finish a book that’s part of a series, and go right into the next book.

But I have never immediately re-read a book that I’ve just finished.

I don’t even do that with single-issue COMICS. (Well, the exception would be whatever re-reading I do prior to writing a review).

Sorry…no huge insights or tangents this week. I’m already padding this entry as it is, as it ought to be a one-word answer.

Booking Through Thursday: Stormy Weather

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What’s your book with weather events? Hurricanes? Tornadoes? Blizzards? Real? Fiction? Doesn’t matter … weather comes up a lot in books, so there’s got to be a favorite somewhere, huh?

Taken from the parking lot of my apartment building a couple weeks ago.Other than a book whose title I can’t recall, and don’t remember the author, which had a brownish cover (I think)…I’m not thinking of any books that were specifically about the weather. (This was about the aftermath of some hurricane or flood or something and the devastation it caused an island city maybe near Texas?). Obviously wouldn’t call it a favorite, though it wasn’t a bad read.

Trying to think of stories that had the weather–if not a focus, then a significant part–I think of Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, which both opens and closes on rain–it’s significant enough that on the original (I believe) graphic novel, even the inside covers had the rain imagery.

Of course, there’s the Bible–and maybe most notably, the story of Noah. Or Jonah. Or Jesus calming the storm.

There’s the FILM The Lion King, and that scene with Rafiki and Simba where Simba sees his father–Rafiki comments on the weather. There’s also the film The Day After Tomorrow. Or Twister.

If we go back to the 1980s and back to comics, during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, you had the “red skies” thing going on, which I supposed would be a “weather” thing. I mean, if the sky turned red and stayed red, beyond sunset/sunrise (red sky in the morning / red sky at night), that’d be kinda worrisome.

There’s loads of symbolic stuff–often talk of a coming/rising storm. I often think of the end of The Terminator where Sarah’s told “There’s a storm coming.” And she replies “I know.” Loaded meanings there. (And I’ll count that as a book, because I read the novelization well ahead of ever seeing the film).

As always, I’m sure there’s plenty that I’m forgetting. But…I’ll wrap here, for now.

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Booking Through Thursday: History

 

btt buttonWhen is the last time you read a history book? Historical biography? You know, something that took place in the past but was REAL.

I’m not really a fan of “history books,” at least by that term. Books taking place in the past, about stuff that really happened…that’s a bit of a different thing.

Of course, there’s Dewey, and Marley, and Wesley–the “human/pet memoirs” of which I seem to often come back to. I have several books on my shelf about the history of comic books in the US; one specifically on the rise and fall of Marvel Comics in the 1990s.

The Bible, of course, is not something I can overlook as a valuable history book.

What tends to hold my interest much more is historical fiction–maybe it involves real-life people (and of course the situations and time periods). I recently read X-Men – Magneto: Testament. It’s a graphic novel that follows the young boy who would grow up to be Magneto, as he and his family were yanked from their lives and ultimately ended in a concentration camp.

I’m currently moving through Madmen via netflix; set in the 1960s, following ad execs; not really a lot of typical “action,” but a really well-written interpersonal drama.

Final thought: I seem to be ready to leave out another important book: The Norton Anthology of Modern War–excerpts and selections of soldiers’ accounts of their experiences in a number of wars. And The Pacific, which I’m currently partway into as an audiobook. (Following a group of soldiers throughout the war in the Pacific during WWII).

Booking Through Thursday [catch-up]: Anticipation

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What’s the last book you were really EXCITED to read?

And, were you excited about it in advance? Or did the excitement bloom while you were reading it?

Are there any books you’re excited about right NOW?

Probably The Perks of Being a Wallflower. At least, I was excited enough to finally purchase the thing, 9 years after having first read it. I’m pretty sure this was my third time through. (Oops…I seem to have left that out of a prior post…)

I had never heard of the book until a friend handed me a copy to borrow back in 2001. This time through, it was in advance as I knew I wanted to RE-read it.

Offhand, can’t say there are any books I’m particularly excited for right NOW. It’s been over 3 months since I purchased The Lost Hero, and while it’s a good book, it hasn’t engaged me as much as I’d hoped–I even took it on VACATION with me, and only read about 60/70 pages–I’m still only about 3/4 through, if that far. I’ve been easily and highly distracted with other stuff, though…and my sister suggested recently that one can’t read much AND have an active Netflix Streaming subscription–which WOULD tend to hold a lot of merit looking at my Netflixing this year.

I’m looking forward to whatever Grisham‘s next “main” novel is, and Brad Meltzer‘s. Probably even Stephen King‘s, though I have yet to get all that far into Under the Dome; I enjoyed Full Dark, No Stars as an audiobook.

Comics-wise, I’m looking forward to getting back into the Ultraverse comics. I’m currently gathering up what issues I own, and intend to track down those I don’t in order to attempt a personal reading project of starting with the June 1993-released issues and read the entire line in publication-order to simulate what the original experience would have been, following the entire line. (This journey is being chronicled in my Ultraverse Revisited blog). I’m also looking forward to the new TMNT comics from IDW, and DC ComicsRetroActive: 1990s – Superman issue.

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