Saturday, January 20, 2007

DC Reviews for 1.17.2007 are up

Hey all, I've done my Comic Fodder duty and reviews are up for DC Comics released last week.

Please come on by and check it out. Click on some ads, and then take a look at some of my other DC commentary.

And, also, I'd love some comments. It's always nice to get a discussion going.

I could certainly use the support, and, if nothing else, it keeps me from posting lots of comic stuff you're not going to read at LoM.

That is all.

Happy Birthday, Reed!

It's Reed's birthday. So everyone post a happy birthday wish to Reed-o.

Go. Do it now.

The League has been associated with Reed longer than most Leaguers. He was in band with Jason back in middle school, shortly after we moved to Austin. At the time, he was known as "Weed Saw".

Ahhhh... after all these years, that's still gold.

Anyway, Reed and Jason probably don't remember this, but the first time I met Reed, I came home and Jason and Reed were in my room for reasons that I still am not clear on. I think they were going through my comics. At any rate, my privacy had been well invaded.

So it's been two decades I've known the man. He's now an engineer, a drummer, a husband and father. Quite a growth curve for Reed-o. He no longer dwells upon Trek the way he once did. Instead, he's replaced that geekdom with a tremendous mental database of all things Rock 'n Roll. Seriously. It's frightening.

Sure, the days are long since past of hitting comic shops together and going over the happenings in Batman comics, but we still see quite a bit of one another, and Reed is still the same good guy he was when he first invaded my room.

Happy B-Day, Reed. Go eat some cake.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Football PodCast

hey all,

Friend of the League, Sigmund, has begun a fulltime career as a sports journalist. He's focusing on a Football themed podCast called "The Audible", I believe.

You can sign up for Sigmund's podcasts at the Applestore, here.

2 things

Comic reader appears in TV show The League enjoys

The League doesn't watch too many one-hour dramas on TV. But we do hunker down once a week to watch NBC's Friday Night Lights.

If you haven't watched the show, it's based upon the award winning book from circa 1990, and produced by Peter Berg who handled the feature film version from a few years ago. The show is framed by a small-to-medium sized Texas town that lives and breathes for the local high school team.

One of the characters is former quarterback Jason Street, played by actor Scott Porter. Street was injured in the first episode and is now confined to a wheel chair.

Apparently, Porter is a big geek and reads quite a few titles. Read more here.

John Kelso is a moron.

In his column for today he argues that Austin was perfectly safe during the recent ice storm, and that the newscasters had brewed up a conspiracy to keep us off the roads and watching their news stations rather than going to work.

Kelso has lived in this town long enough to know better. People in Austin can't handle the ice. They tend to do things like cause 60 car pile-ups on I-35 (which occured in Dec. 1998), drive off of roads into ditches and each other. And, apparently, the number of emergency calls for the elderly escalates tremendously as some fairly frail people slip and fall on icy patches.

Kelso has made a career out of being a grump, and it's occassionally difficult to tell if he's being serious or not as he stays in character. I think, in this case, he's throwing in with the folks who would like Austinites to cowboy up and just keep on with business as usual when the ice hits. And, yes, some of the reports were flat out dumb. But apparently he missed the part of Amy Hadley's news8 story that he makes fun of that remarked that the trucker he mentions was, in fact, stuck. (It's not the trucks which are the problem here, it's our inability to sand and salt our roads). I guess Kelso missed the footage of trucks jack-knifed all over I-35 on his voyages.

Look, we suck at this ice thing. We're very bad at it. So quit whining and watch some movies or get ahead on your columns, Kelso.

I totally guessed it, and more

I knew from his first appearance the true identity of "Supernova" in DC's 52. Sure, I had a few moments of doubt, and I wasn't sure what details would get us there, but I guessed right.

I apologize to anyone who has now read 52 who I might have intentionally thrown a curve ball as late as last week. If I was right, I wanted to do my "AH HAAAAA!" here. so here it is:


If anyone has cracked the code in Didio's column (I assume it's every 52nd letter, but I am not sure I am ready to go to the photocopier and highlighters yet), let me know in an e-mail.

Now I must review my Animal Man collections.

Also, I found it amusing that the Bottle City of Kandor they showed in this issue (that shouldn't give anything away, Leaguers... it's just in a few panels) was based on the Kandor prop DC Direct put out a few years ago, and which The League proudly displays each day at home.



Smallville suckered me in this week with a new episode which shows the earliest formation of the Justice League according to Smallville.

The episode was entitled "Justice" and featured Green Arrow, Flash/Impulse, Aquaman, Cyborg and Clark Kent.

I'm not sure if the episode was great, but it was certainly much better than the lowly levels Smallville had reached when I gave up on the show two or more seasons ago.

Now, the original members of the League did not include Green Arrow or Cyborg. In fact, Cyborg has never been in the JLA. Not to mention their "Flash" is Bart Allen, who has never been in the JLA.

But whatever. it was kind of neat from a novelty standpoint.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

American Idol viewing comes to an end

I guess Rosie O'Donnell beat me to the punch on this one, but, once again, despite telling Jamie "I will not watch this season of American Idol", I have seen three hours of the show already.

It may be the producer's knowledge that America loves to watch people fail, no matter who they are and as long as they quickly disappear from the screen (see: America's Funniest Home Videos). Or, it may be because of the saturation of American Idol into the zeitgeist, that American Idol is now attracting more applicants than ever of all stripes... And, perhaps after six seasons, no matter how grueling the humiliation the judges dish out, contestants are smart enough to just keep their mouths shut.

This season, American Idol's audition episodes seem to be showing nothing but mildly deranged, somewhat mentally challenged and functionally autistic contestants. Apparently it's not enough to just bring in the kids who think they can sing but have delusions of grandeur (which is how Idol reps classify their contestants). It seems that Crazy Mary from a few seasons ago really lit a fire under the producers to let through and broadcast the judges haranguing folks who the producers SHOULD have the common courtesy to excuse from the auditions. Instead, it's sort of the TV equivalent of laughing at the special ed kids in high school. Nice.

Of course, because the show lasts somewhere in the neighborhood of 87 weeks each season, the audience sort of forgets the folks who maybe should never have been paraded in front of the camera. But it's unlikely those folks forget, if they're ever even aware of how they were presented.

If someone put on a show where they pitched itself as: we promise to make fun of the mildly deranged, the somewhat mentally challenged and the functionally autistic, I would not tune in.

That's why I don't watch "Carlos Mencia" and "The Blue Collar Comedy Tour".

Anyway, I'm done. No more Idol.

@#$% them.

The real tragedy of all of this is that longtime readers will know I love it when bad things happen to good people. Somehow this TV show is taking away my love of the schadenfreude. And that's just not fair.

I DVR "Friday Night Lights" on Wednesday nights, so I have but one live-TV option:

It's "Armed and Famous" for me on my Wednesday nights. Go Officer Estrada!

Shut up. That show is awesome. While you were watching your fiftieth contestant butcher a Celine Dion song (as if Celine Dion songs should be encouraged, anyway) and Simon's 1000th eyeroll, I saw LaToya Jackson assist in the delivery of a baby.

That, Leaguers, is TV magic.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Sons of Katie Elder

Texas is a woman, she used to say. A big, wild, beautiful woman.

You raise a kid to where he's got some size, and there's Texas whispering in his ear and smiling, saying, "Come and have some fun."

It's hard enough to raise children, she'd say.

But when you've got to fight Texas, a mother hasn't a chance.

Obama courting the Superman fan vote?

Barack Obama visits Metropolis, Illinois

Obama is wisely doing more than any prior candidate in US History to draw the vote of myself and my fellow Superman fans. Now, if Hilary will just put on a Wonder Woman outfit... Or maybe not.

Obama's locked up the Superman franchise. It's not too late for Republicans to grab Batman or Green Lantern. You hear me Frist? McCain?

Found at The Beat.

PS: The League is planning a spiritual journey to Metropolis, Illinois for the Summer 2008 Superman Festival in honor of The Man of Steel's 70th Birthday. Be there of be square.

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.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


We're on hiatus. I literally cannot think of anything to write about. So when I can think of something, I shall return.

In the meantime, why don't you try leaving a comment when you come on by, just to say "howdy." We'd certainly appreciate it.

We'll be back soon.

Please say who you are if you're commenting "anonymously". Unless you really want to keep it a secret. And I can appreciate the shame of visiting LoM, so it's not required.

2 dogs + 3/4 dog = chaos

Oh, Cassidy.

We adore Cassidy. Jason's dog is little and cute and her tail is a perfect 2/3rds of a circle. She clearly leads a happy life at Jason's house as she appears continually gleeful. Really, gleeful, confused and asleep are her three working states.

I stayed up until almost 4:00. This was post-visitation with some folks, when I found myself watching a show about the Spartans of ancient Greece. It was like a well produced short history class, or maybe a sub-section of what you'd get in Greek History in undergrad. Odd timing as I had been discussing my lack of knowledge of Greek history just a few hours prior.

Last night we sort of celebrated the birthday of League-pal Juan Diaz (he is 3?). Juan, Matt Mangum, Nicole, Lauren and Steven were all in attendance. A lovely evening, and we wrapped up mercifully early. I do not think anyone saw Jamie drifting off on her end of the couch.

I was still all pumped up when folks left and so did some internet'ing (Jim D should check his e-mail box, and you can see my recently posted DC Comic reviews for week January 10th at Comic Fodder). And then the Spartans thing on PBS.

So now I have been awake again since 7:45 thanks to the howling call of Cassidy, who is not on my schedule and had to eat and pee.

The feeding schedule is odd with three dogs as one is constantly trying to keep my two dogs out of Cassidy's food, as Cassidy is prone to share and is also a slow eater. And, since Cassidy's arrival, my dogs will not actually do their morning duties until after they've eaten. So you can kick them outside first thing, but they will only stand by the back door, staring at you.

Add in the rain and cold we've got, and it's been doggy chaos about three or four times a day as dogs go in and out in short bursts.

But the dogs seem to like this "pack" thing of having three dogs. It's just not much of a pack with 2 and 3/4's dogs.