Friday, September 25, 2009

Great Hera! Comics!

I have finally gotten my act together and written up a new Comic Spotlight! I apologize for the lag between spotlight posts, I haven't been able to find much time to read comics lately. Even my weekly books are piling up!

Ok, enough excuses. This week I'm sharing a new DC book with you. This particular book is another from the Aunt Collection. I present to you:

Wonder Woman #88 (1957)

I was pretty excited when going over these old comics again to see that I actually had a Wonder Woman issue below 100! That struck me as a fairly big deal considering she's been around since 1942.
This book is pretty beaten up, it almost fell apart when I was reading it and I didn't even notice the pink stain until I scanned the book. But it's still a pretty nice cover and it was a fun read.

The first story, which the cover is based off of, is about WW finding this mysterious box in her bedroom upon waking. There is a warning not to open it, yet she decides to anyway, assuming someone is playing a trick on her. Just as she's about to open the box, she hears gunshots and quickly heads outside to stop a car full of bank robbers. When she gets back inside she finds the box missing. She goes about her business and later finds the box again sitting in the middle of the sidewalk, but just as she's about to open it, she notices a baby falling from a window of a tall building! What are the odds?! After saving the happy baby and giving it back to it's bad mom, she finds the box missing again. When she next comes across the box she has to stop a madman with a grenade then box disappears again. Frustrated, she decides to take her invisible jet back to Paradise Island when she sees a parachute with that danged box! Stepping out onto the wing (of the jet plane!) she finally gets to open the box which unleashes the X-Bomb and a message from some Martians that she has sealed the fate of the earth! Acting quickly she lasso's the bomb and quickly works out where the Martians are hidden and directs the bomb at them, destroying the whole fleet and saving earth!

The second story was told from the perspective of WW's lasso. It was a tale of WW lending the lasso out to some folks in a carnival who needed some self confidence, they believed the new tricks they could do were because of the magic lasso, but really they just needed some courage to perform the tricks themselves. Awww.

The last story was about some nut job who put out an ad offering $1,000,000 to anyone that could provide Wonder Woman's secret identity. After spending an entire day fighting off the public trying to get her to tell them her secret, she goes to bed. When she wakes up she finds that someone figured out she was Lt. Diana Price and had plastered it everywhere. She then spends the day trying to convince everyone she ISN'T Diana Prince and continually fails. At one point she decides it's a good idea to made a Diana out of sea weed, dress it up in her clothes and parade it around and "save" it. There-by being in two places at once! No one is fooled. At the end of the day she gives up and goes to bed only to find that when she wakes up, it was all a dream! The nut job has also given up and taken back his bounty. Her secret identity is still safe! Whew!

There were also a bunch of funny tips for young ladies between the stories. One two-page spread talked about the uses of a broach. Fancy!
A couple of other's talked about superstitions around the worlds about how girls divine their future husbands and the like. They were pretty entertaining.

I think I might actually make up a separate blog topic to spotlight old ad's and funny items like this. They are too much fun to not share!

Now to actually remember to DO it!

Well, that's it! I hope you enjoyed the review, see you next time!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bizarre Foods...?

As you may have read here and here, I and a group of friends went out to Tu Y Yo in Powerderhouse Sq. in Somerville this week to sample some authentic Mexican foods. I'm not talking about burritos here, this was real Mexican.

I don't think I'll bother to go too deeply into what was eaten, since Elise and Erin both did a great job describing that already. So I'll keep the first couple of things short.

First up, is the tacos de chapulines. These were fried grasshoppers in tacos. I can't honestly say much about the actual grasshopper, it was fried in the taco with some amazing spices and was quite delicious. I could have easily eaten a whole order on my own. The texture was a bit odd, crunchy but there was one good moment when I could tell I was biting in to a bug. If I get the chance to taste grasshoppers on their own, I'll look forward to it. If they are half this good then I'll be pretty happy.

Next we sampled Crepa de Cuitlacoche en Salsa Poblana. This is a fungus that grows on corn. It's quite nice, and as you can imagine, tastes and feels a bit like cooked mushrooms...since that's what it was. It's very good and I look forward to eating it again.

For my main course, I decided on getting Frog's Legs or Ancas de Rana en Mole Verde. I had never had frog's legs so I wasn't quiet sure what to expect. People often say that they taste like chicken, but I couldn't agree less! They had the texture of slightly underdone chicken but tasted like fish. It was quite bizarre but I enjoyed it. There were a lot of small bones that also had an unusual texture, I definitely knew I was eating an animal that I was not used it. Overall it was very good and when I had finished my amphibian I used the rice and beans on the side to soak up all the delicious sauce.

For dessert, Elise and I split an order of Flan. There wasn't anything unusual about it, but we both enjoy flan, so why not? I also got Hot Chocolate (Oaxaca style). You can see the cup in the pic above. The chocolate was not your average cocoa. It was thin in consistency, but the taste was a bit bitter like good chocolate. It was very good, not too sweet although it was sweetened with sugar cane I believe.

So I highly recommend Tu Y Yo. The food was great and they have plenty of menu items for people that are less adventurous than we are.

Next up, we have talked about locating and trying the infamous durian. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Camping in NH

This past weekend we were finally able to get outside to do a bit of camping before the season is over. Our original outing, which was planned to be a 2 day, was cancelled due to rain and thunder storms all weekend. We had been able to get a few hikes in over the summer but this was the first camping trip.
We got up at about 4:45, so get ready to be up in Lincoln, NH at 8am. There is an area set aside for camping about 3 miles in from the Lincoln Woods Visitor's Center, it's first come first serve so we wanted to get there early to stake out a good spot.
I have been to this camp site two times previously. The first time was the day after our infamous hike up Mt. Flume on the Flume Slide Trail, one of the most difficult in the country we found out later. When we got down the mountain the next morning, the ranger at the station was kind enough to suggest the camp site, which is free, and has a privy! We found a nice spot and set up camp and just snoozed and relaxed the day away and recouped from the previous day's hike. Unfortunately just as we were setting up our camp fire it started to pour! Luckily, we had already eaten and I was extremely glad I had packed a book, because it rained all night. My two friends were not so lucky.
The next time we were there, it was just Sean and I. We had planned a few days in October to camp and do some day hiking. Unfortunately it didn't work out as planned. I ended up getting a blister really quickly. I refused to believe it, since we had barely started our hike AND the hike is only about an hour, so I ignored it. By the time I stopped to do something about it, it was too late. Sean didn't fare much better. Undaunted by my painful blister, we decided to go for a walk after setting up camp. When we got back we discovered that the squirrels had chewed their way into Sean's food, which was hung in the trees. We were both pretty miserable, not to mention it had been raining, so we were having a very difficult time getting a fire going. By the next morning, we had both given up and decided to head back.
This time though, there was no "unfortunately's" to be had. We got our spot, set up camp and chilled out. We got a crap ton of fire wood and got a nice fire going. We also were able to spend some time exploring the river that's close by and soaking up some sun, since it was damn chilly in the shade of the camp.
It was a chilly night, but we had flapjacks to look forward to in the morning. So after packing and cleaning up we went in to Lincoln to get some hot food and coffee to prepare us for the drive home.

Overall it was a really nice weekend, hopefully next year we'll be able to come back for more than one night.

For some pic's, go on over to Journey of Will and read Elise's account of the trip!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Guest Blog: Recipe Friday!

Sorry I haven't been posting lately, I've been finding it quite hard to find time to read as of late, so my comics are really getting backed up.

I'm planning on a new Collection Showcase this coming week though and it should be a pretty good one.

Until then, I can only direct you to Elise's blog, where I have helped out with a guest Recipe Friday!

Friday, September 4, 2009

New Baman Piderman!

Huzzah! Two new episodes of my favorite special heroes!

Make da Cards!

Escape da Cakes!


(wow, there sure where a lot of ! in this post.)

{wait, I meant, "wow! there sure where a lot of ! in this post!!"}

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Comic Review

Greetings! As my friend Gary suggested, I decided to post a review on some comics I've been reading or have recently read. These posts differ from my post about my personal collection, mostly because they are about modern comics and/or graphic novels.

Speaking of which, I almost posted this in the Graphic Novel Addict forums, but decided it might be a better blog. The topic today has been inspired by our recent reading of The Boys vol. 1 and some of the discussions that sprang up from it on the forums and the meeting.

The reviews today feature a theme, namely Garth Ennis. Ennis is the writer of The Boys, the two books I'm going to talk about and my favorite series of all time, Preacher.

The first book I want to talk about is The Chronicles of Wormwood, by Avatar Press and co-created by Jacen Burrows.

Wormwood tells the story of Danny Wormwood, a tv producer and the Anti-Christ. He is joined by Jimmy, a talking wise-ass rabbit that he made sentient on a whim and Jesus, yes THE Jesus. Unfortunately, when Jesus returned and started preaching peace, he was beaten to severe head trauma at a protest and barely survived. He's functional, but not performing much in the way of miracles now. So a mentally challenged Jesus and a talking rabbit are Danny's only friends in life.
He has no desire to bring about Armageddon and turn his back on his father at every opportunity, mostly because he enjoys life and doesn't want it to end.
I won't spoil the rest of the story, since it's by Garth Ennis, there's a bit more to everything than my summary lets on. It's pretty vulgar and as is Garth's style, over the top. It's a fun read and I wish they did more than the 6 issue series + one shot, but that's all we got.

Burrow's art is a bit amateurish, but he is a good story teller and has an apt eye for Garth's dark humor, much like Steve Dillon. You can visibly see his work improve over the series, which is nice.

This improvement is notably nice because after Wormwood, they got together again to produce Crossed, also for Avatar.

Crossed is in a similar vein (pun mostly intended...even if infection humor is kinda gross) as The Walking Dead, not to say that it's as high a quality as Walking Dead, but it's about the end of the world due to a plague and the infected, or Crossed, are out to destroy the uninfected. The infection starts very suddenly and, much like the Rage Virus from 28 Days Later, causes those infected with it to seek out and perform the most horrible and disgusting acts on the uninfected as they are able, before the victims turn into new infected. The infection manifests itself as a rash across the face in the shape of a cross, hence the name.
This book is consistently one of the most disturbing books I read, Ennis and Burrows take pleasure in showing you the horror caused by the Crossed. It really brings home the "end of the world" theme. How does society build itself back up after the majority of humanity have committed the most atrocious acts imaginable? At least Zombies don't take pleasure in the things they do, they are just animated instinct. The Crossed are devoid of all emotion but lust and the ability to take pleasure in the misery of others. They are not exactly smart, but there is malice.
The survivors are generally interesting characters and they find themselves having to make decisions for their survival that most characters in similar stories or movies don't generally find themselves in. They often have to sacrifice their humanity just to preserve that very humanity.

Overall, since I've already compared the series to The Walking Dead, I guess I should put my final thoughts like this. The Walking Dead is about as good as End of The World stories get. Crossed is not quite in it's league, but it's kind of in it's own league...a league of splatter horror. Where TWD focuses mainly on the characters, Crossed is more about the horror first. So if you enjoy horror, this is a book for you.

I find myself really enjoying Crossed month to month, but I have to say, I can only recommend it if you have a strong stomach.
EDIT: I forgot to mention, there is no collection for Crossed out yet. Just individual issues.