Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Back and comics

We're back.

About two of every three years Austin shuts down for a day or three as old man winter moves into town. The roads ice over, ice accumulates all along the rooftops and in patches on lawns.

The weather folks on basic cable were warning us all about such an occurence as early as last week, and the rain began on Saturday. That didn't stop us from having some folks over to amuse Cassidy. It was Juan D's birthday, and so I made a cake and hung a "Happy Birthday" banner, which I should probably take down at some point. But it's so festive. Matt, Juan, Nicole, Steven and Lauren stopped by. The dogs were pleased.

Sunday we headed out to see "Pan's Labyrinth" with Steven and Lauren at Alamo South. Excellent movie. Not quite what I expected, but somehow still met or exceeded expectations.

And here be spoilers

But I was taken out of the movie in the final moments by a certain parallel to Henson's "Labyrinth". "Give me the child. Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City to take back the child that you have stolen, for my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom is as great. You have no power over me." It's nowhere close to a 1:1, but my brain began filling in all sorts of slots. That said, Henson's Labyrinth is a cute family movie with some themes about growing up. This film (note how I didn't say movie) explores far deeper corners of the human heart and certainly comes up with better answers.

End Spoilers

When we left the movie the winter weather had begun in earnest, right down to the four of us realizing "it is very cold!" and quickly parting ways, now capped to the brim with some great nightmare fuel.


So for two days we've been as snowed-in as Austin gets. The roads are exceedingly dangerous, right up to the point that Jason returned from Mexico last night and is not allowed to come get his dog until the roads thaw out. It doesn't matter. We're happy to have Cassidy here. We're really enjoying her as a little addition to the usual chaos. Plus, she gets some serious points with her little shovel nosed underbite that gives her a constantly quizzical look and makes you forgive her for EVERYTHING.

There's a layer of ice on everything. I've taken a few pictures, and am sort of hoping for the ice to really take hold before the thaw late tomorrow as I'd like some pictures of the yard completely white.

So I've been applying to jobs, reading and writing. Not here, obviously. Over at Comic Fodder. And as I suspected, I'm already hitting bumps along the way as I grow on my learning curve. I posted again within the past 36 hours (this ice bound stuff has me forgetting what day it is), and will post DC solicitation opinions by tomorrow morning.

Comic Blogging

Lessons I already knew but which have been reinforced:
a) people are actually finding this thing. This is not The League and its usual band of folks who skip over the comic reviews (yes you do).
b) cite, cite, cite. No more cutesy throw aways and asides without hyperlinks or listing stories by name or issue numbers. These are comic geeks, and we leave no source unturned. Those walls of comics and graphic novels have to come off the shelf every time.
c) if you are quoted elsewhere (as I was today at The Beat), that doesn't mean that readers of the popular blog are going to actually click that hyperlink and jump over to see what you actually said. However, they will comment.
d) and you can also be curious all day long about what Heidi thought, but she's a working blogger, and little busy for Comic Fodder comment conversations.
e) Picking fights in every column may not be the smartest way to go. After all, I'm not shy about my mad DC love. Writing is easier when you go for the throat every time (or when you blow sunshine every time, I suppose). I need to learn the definition of balance. But I also think that if DC is asking for $3 a comic, they have to meet my expectations as well.

It's a cruel, cruel circle, Leaguers.

That said, I'm enjoying the comic blogging. You guys are phenomenal, and you make this blog worthwhile, but this is just one of those things I'm ready for (I hope). And so it may occassionally get in the way of a detailed account of my trip to the grocery or whatever you come here to read. For that, I apologize.

I confess to having one of those moments this weekend where I realized I have no idea who my readership is, how many folks hit the site daily (I've abandoned SiteMeter as all it told me was how many hits came from folks looking for images of "supergirl + naked". It was a lot.), or who really cares at this point. Yes, I know Mom and Dad care. Thanks, guys!

So, anyway, unintentionally, The League is in a bit of a state of flux. Bear with us.

In the meantime: I've been reading my Enemy Ace Archive Edition, and I am loving it. I love the the airplane-museum-geek level of detail in the descriptions and Von Hammer's running monologue and the clear way Kubert executes the aerial scenes, which could have been very confusing. Honestly, I don't know how he does it, and I'll be looking at that for a long time.

Also, Superman Greatest Stories Ever Told Vol. 2 was good, but reprinted a LOT of stuff I'd previously read elsewhere. Caught up on a few piles of titles I'd let stack up, watched some more "Flash" DVD's and the supplement disc to "Pandora's Box" (there's not enough Louise Brooks stuff out there on DVD).

I need to crack open the books I was given for Christmas. "The March" keeps falling off the coffee table as if to attract attention.

Ah, this rambling is why I hadn't posted.

Hope you are doing well. If in Texas: Stay warm. Stay safe. Stay home.

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