Sunday, September 28, 2008

Amy Reads the Week (of September 28th, 2008)

Will September never end, Gentle Reader? Between weather and school and illness (oh my!), I feel as if September has drained me of All Productive Activity. Woe to you, Most Constant of Readers, as this has Greatly Affected my Blogging.

Or, should we say, Lack of Blogging?

But what September has brought is the New Fall Lineup. I have already Waxed Poetic on Fringe, but let me express my delight on the Dark Horse Contender (but not Our Beloved Publishing House Dark Horse), The Mentalist. One episode in, and I am Greatly Impressed!

But o, Friends, the one that has pleased Above All Others is the season premiere of The Office. What else is there to say but that This Humble Author is pleased? Very, very pleased indeed.

And the Amazon.Com Fairy arrived this week, bringing two Delights beyond all imagination: Chelsea Cain's Sweetheart and the Cold War Kids's[1] Loyalty to Loyalty. The former is quite the powerhouse follow-up to Cain's dark and disturbing Heartsick, although neither quite has the charm of Confessions of a Teen Sleuth. The latter is Beyond Great. I cannot even begin to tell you, Gentle Reader, how much I adore the Cold War Kids. They have impressed me So Mightily that I think they deserve a place in Amy Reads's Top Five Artists and Bands, with such heavy-hitters as David Bowie, the Beatles, Nina Simone, and Portishead.

I apologize for my brevity which, in this instance, is certainly not the soul of wit. But I am still Rather Ill, and sitting upright at the desk, without real work put into preparing classes for this week, feels too decadent for This Ill (albeit still humble) Author. And as you Most Gentle of Readers know by now, Decadence is abhorrent to Those of Us languishing in High Victoriana. It must be savored only for those brief (!) forays into the fin de siecle.

[1] Mr. Reads and I discussed the grammatical correctness of this to determine whether it should be Cold War Kids' or Cold War Kids's. We both decided that as it is a collective unit--the band is The Cold War Kids--then it should be treated as a proper noun, like Wells's. Please feel free to contribute thoughts to this grammatical conundrum, Gentle Reader!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Babies, Babies, Babies"; or, Amy Reads as a Fan

Not as an academic, Gentle Reader, or as a Reviewer. Not tonight. Not now. Tonight, I am a bit morose. Not suffering under any Romantic pretense of ennui, no, nothing so intellectual. Just a general sense of The Grumpies. So tonight, rather than reading in preparation of class, or working on various Bits and Sundries of Those Things More Important Than Comics, I instead Read Comics.

And I Read Comics as A Fan.

As Constant Readers of Arrogant Self-Reliance are aware, there is nothing of which I am a Fan more than The Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman #24 is *fun*, and *serious*, and *witty*. This is the complexity of Wonder Woman, surrounded by the complexities of Her Past. Beginning at Home, with a mother who decrees that Tom and Diana give her "Babies, Babies, Babies," we move from demands that Tom Tresser is "Not Food," to the gorilla guards' demands to "hear more about this fresh fruit portion of the negotiations." That is to say, I laughed out loud, and there is nothing I love more than laughing at good dialogue.

(Especially while suffering under my current general malaise.)

But here is The Thing, Gentle Reader. We get two panels of Wonder Woman, hugging a woman in need. And at a moment when This Humble Author is feeling--dare I say it?--rather fragile and In All Honesty in need of a hug, I felt myself thinking, "Wonder Woman hugs well."

She does, Friends, with whole heart and emotion, with no expectation and no sense of pulling away. The focus in on her face, with its eyes closed, its expression consoling and gentle, and you remember this is a Woman who is a Sister, used to hugging. This is the Diana responding to the birthday party from several issues ago. This is the Diana lamenting over the lack of hugs in her new life, her new workplace.

This is Diana, longing for her Sister Amazons.

Wonder Woman #24 deserves a Smart Review. A Longer Review, at least, something more In Depth, examining its place within The Mythos, the Larger Arc, and Simone's Larger Run. But rather, this evening, I would like to say simply, I liked it, very much.

Very Much Indeed.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Amy Reads the Week (of September 14th, 2008)

Tired, Gentle Reader, very tired, after watching Hurricane Ike with a wary eye all Friday and Saturday. Mr. Reads and I alternated sleep Friday evening and Saturday morning so we could keep an ear out for the potential tornadoes that threatened to touch down in our neck of the woods. Saturday mid-morning, we kept an eye on the trees in the backyard during those 50-75 mph wind gusts, as they threatened to drop branches on top of our electrical line. But we were Quite Lucky in our neck of the woods, and as long-time former residents of Southern Louisiana (and This Humble Author a New Orleans Native), we are saddened and empathetic for the those suffering under the devastation that has hit the Texas Gulf Coast.

Now today, safe here but saddened for My Fellow Gulf Coast Citizens, I find myself tired here, on Sunday, and thus have declared it a true Day Of Rest. That is, I am reading and watching television for the rest of the day. Any planning for school will resume tomorrow morning.

But a brief (!) run-through of the recent Pop Culture in the Reads Household should suffice, no? Unfortunately, it is a Very Brief List Indeed, as I have been Quite Busy with school and preparing to go back on the job market.

1) Fringe - definitely possibility, Friends! I am Rather Impressed with the language, which borders on Whedonesque at times.

2) Wizard World Texas - some great names have appeared on the roll call, but where is Gail Simone, Greg Rucka, or Grant Morrison? Truly, Mr. Reads and I must move closer to San Diego and thus Comic Con.

3) Tamara Siler Jones - Mr. Reads picked up the first book in her Dubric Byerly series, Ghosts in the Snow, and after some convincing, passed it on to me. I cannot help but be charmed and impressed. I have started her second book and am enjoying it immensely.

4) Comics - bah, Gentle Reader. Bah. I am So Far Behind in the Comic Book World that I fear I can never unearth myself. The latest issue of Ms. Simone's Wonder Woman (for which the buzz is Outstanding!) sits, sad and alone, at My Local, unpurchased and unread. Secret Six has finally arrived, and that sits alone, too. Not to mention the Unread Options: Buffy, Secret Invasion, Final Crisis, the list goes on and on. Partly it is due to the impact of Gustav (the Reads Family descended for a week) and Ike (our entire town shut down in preparation of the storm). But mainly, it is due to work, work, work.

5) Project Runway - as it is still Ongoing, I cannot read anything coming out of Fashion Week. This, of course, makes me Very Grumpy.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Apologies, Gentle Reader. One hurricane became another, and we are expecting some Very Bad Weather here in the next day or so. Wish us on the Gulf Coast Well, and I will see you on the other side of this nastiness.