Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Loose Thoughts - "A DANCE WITH DRAGONS"

 FINALLY! Thank heavens...

So just recently I bought the latest book from George R.R. Martin's (is it a requirement to have "R.R." in your name if you want to become a very famous fantasy author?) Song of Ice and Fire series - "A Dance with Dragons". I'm not much of a "fantasy" fan, but I'm a huge fan of this series. I waited so long to get this book, because even though an original, English version would do just fine, I was waiting for a translated edition (I have all the other books in Polish and dammit, you don't change horses midstream in the war against the bats!). I'm only something like 300 pages deep into the book, but I figured I might as well do a post based on my first impressions. I'll keep it SPOILER FREE (even though the book came out a couple months ago, I have some friends who might check this post out and didn't read "A Dance with Dragons" yet). So in no particular order, here are some loose thoughts on "A Dance with Dragons".

  • I think this was the second best prologue chapter in the series so far (the best one being the "Game of Thrones" one).
  • I already like this book more than I did "A Feast for Crows" (my least favorite book in the series). I like this selection of POV characters more than I did the "Feast" one. And it seems a much less depressing entry in the saga, though I'm fully aware that everything might change in typical Martin fashion.
  • Really glad to have Tyrion back. He's one of my favorite characters and even though he isn't doing anything spectacular yet (admittedly, he set the bar pretty damn high the last we saw him), it's a joy to read his chapters. I'm one of the people who started reading the books after the HBO show premiered (even though I've heard good things about the series before) so I wonder if I would like Tyrion as much if it wasn't for Peter Dinklage's spectacular, Emmy Award-winning performance. I probably would, but man, Dinklage is great.
  • Man, those Boltons are sick bastards. They're kinda getting more and more scary as the series proceeds.
  • A nice "flashback" appearance by Ned Stark finally sets some things straight (if the said flashback is to be believed, that is).
  • As usual, things aren't easy for Jon Snow. But it's nice to see how the character changes and there were some really kick-ass moments that made me happy for the guy.
  • Boy, poor Daenerys has a lot of decisions to make... Yes, that's sorta all I have to say about her chapters so far. I like Daenerys, though!
  • Looking forward to the Jaime and Cersei chapters, though I'm not sure if I'll get them in this part (yes, over here the last 3 books were split into 2 parts).
  • One of the things I wondered about, while reading this and previous 2 books, is how the tv series will show all the physical changes that a lot of characters go through. I'm really looking forward to seeing that and hope the show survives long enough to get to it. Hell, I can't wait for season two. Thankfully, I have Boardwalk Empire to watch in the meantime. 
  • I've never been too crazy about the Bran chapters (or Bran himself, for that matter, but at least he's no Sansa), but they're pretty cool in this book.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011


    Using the amazing computer technology of the 21st century we're be able to rewrite history and take a look at what could have been, in this fantastic new feature called WOLVERINE AUDITIONS!

    Today: It's (The Pogues') Shane MacGowan Wolverine!

    Fitting right into that '80s "I can drink and smoke all I want because my healing factor takes care of my health (and my teeth)" Wolverine mojo.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2011


    So I had a really, really long post written for today. It was about a bunch of different stuff, with many images, loads of formatting etc. But Blogger makes it look like crap and after writing all that, I can't be bothered to dabble in HTML and make it look acceptable. So instead what you're getting is this post about exactly how cool Scarface and Ventriloquist are! Enjoy!

      My first Scarface comic (Batman #475 by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle)

      Let's just get this out of the way: ventriloquists freak me right the fuck out. Even sans the dummy. Speak to me in a weird voice while your mouth is shut and there's just no telling what I'll do. 
      This may actually be part of the reason why I consider Scarface/Ventriloquist (it's always the same problem with a good creepy ventriloquists and their, often supernatural, dummies! You're not sure which one to focus on) one of my favorite Batman villains. It certainly helps a lot that he isn't as played out or overused as some of his top tier enemies.

      Scarface's second appearance was one of my first Batman comics, but I don't think I was immediately a fan. It probably weirded me out a bit. I mean, it was a dummy with speech impediment in a mobster suit that had all the thugs listening to it's orders, and it kept constantly berating the timid (and seemingly unwilling) ventriloquist that was holding it. I like! Makes for a good villain, if you ask me.
      Sure, he might not be a threat to Batman but let's be honest here: 90% of Batman villains are no threat to him. He's/They're (aw jeez...) a creepy guy/duo (*sigh*) and a threat in the Gotham crime scene. Scarface is a sadistic maniac. Every time you see him dealing with other gangsters he's always threatening them or killing them and just being an all around 100% crazy creep.

      I think the fact that the dummy may have some sort of free will was already hinted at in those early appearances and it made it all the cooler for me. The contrast between Wesker's (the original Ventriloquist) and Scarface's characters was also crucial. For some reason, I don't think the later Scarface stories measured up to his earliest appearances (I liked the Showcase 94 issues that presented his origin, too). I might be wrong and in need of a schooling here, though (leave your comments!).
      Norm Breyfogle & Alan Grant (along with Aparo and Grant, natch) are the authors of my favorite run of Batman comics and they made a lot of great stories together. If you haven't read those comics, I highly recommend them. Some of my favorite arcs from those years are "The Idiot Root", "Last Arkham" and all the Scarface appearances.

      GARGECUE! Scarface, Ventriloquist, Breyfogle and Grant return in "Batman Retroactive 1990s" (click to enlarge).

      Also, if I'm not mistaken, Mike Sterling of Progressive Ruin (CLICK) (AKA the Godfather of Soul; previously known as Silvermane) once admitted to having a ventriloquist dummy. While it's definitely something to keep in mind, don't let it stop you from reading his blog daily.

      Wednesday, November 16, 2011


      We all feel that way sometimes. 
      Actual, more wordy content coming shortly. I've been somewhat occupied since my return and need a moment to cook up some blog material for this place.

      Original panel taken from "Avengers: Emperor Doom" (1987). Art by Bob Hall and Keith Williams (inking).

      Friday, November 11, 2011

      And We're Back

      Actually, I came back Wednesday night, but spend the day after unpacking and getting used to the sad, sad after-holiday reality. The trip to Gran Canaria was fantastic and you can see some really good photos of the island on my girlfriend's blog (CLICK, CLICK). As you can see she's way better at taking nice pictures than I am, so I'll just present a crappy photo (that I took with my phone) of Yours Truly on the dunes, and ask you to check all the pretty ones on her site. 

      Ladies. Where the beach at?

      While I have a few major "real life" kind of situations to take care of in the next few weeks, I also had some good things waiting for me when I came back home. Comics! Lots of them! And bags and boards! Because I absolutely have to bag and board all my shit and had many, many comics stashed around, waiting for that special treatment. I don't know about you (do YOU bag and board all your comics? Those mint "Cable" #1s are gonna be worth a lot of money in just a few years, you know!), but I actually enjoy bagging and boarding my comics. It's pretty relaxing. I have no idea what it says about me.

      So yeah. I'm back, it was nice, I'm gonna be busy with some stuff soon, but I'll also think of something to post about here, as usual.