But here a few things that I have managed to enjoy with my rapidly diminishing spare time.
Punisher: The Tyger
It's a fact that I haven't really enjoyed the Garth Ennis run of Punisher for some time now. I loved the 12 issue Knights miniseries, and I got some good cheap laughs from the 37 issue follow on run, despite the fact that Dillon only drew a handful of the stories. I know that Ennis was keen to make it mature readers so he could play the character more realistically, but for the most part it just hasn't worked for me, especially with the often throwaway art team and the super-deconstructed-intended-for-trade-isn't-it-convenient-6-issues-to-a-story-format.
So it was with surprise that I enjoyed this one-shot after the lacklustre Christmas and valentine one-shots. It was a good solid tale, reminiscent of Heartland (the Hellblazer spin-off with Kit back in Ireland) which added another layer to the increasingly-less likely vietnam vet's back story. Recomended for oldskool Ennis fans (HB and Preacher) rather than his comedy fans (Pro, Hitman).
Easily the best written TV show of all time, I'm surprised I haven't waxed on about this on this blog more often. I first watched this show after hearing Straczynski describe it as his favourite TV show. If it was good enough for the creator of my then-favouriote TV show, it would good enough for me. And it was.
The layer of depth to the characters and story, not to mention its incredible level of detail in continuity make this an absolute joy to watch, even on the second run through (and given how much time I put into TV shows, a second run through is fucking rare). The subtext and subtleties in the dialogue will make this series go down in history as the text gets analysed over the next 50 years. Awesome show. Just watch it.
Story by Robert McKee
An excellent book detailing the do's and do-not's of writing for Hollywood. Primarily a book for screen-writing, but its lessons on creating characters and storys can be applied to any medium of story-telling (just ask Bendis, who swears by this book). Any encapsulating review would fail to do this justice, if you've ever entertained thoughts about being a writer, just hit amazon and invest £20.
I thought comic fans were weird, but after spending a few hours with rabid Transformer fans I've been introduced to a whole new world. I feel sorry for the girls who got dragged along by their boyfriends. All in all a good show, as I picked up some new toys, traded some old ones, hung out with David Kaye (Beast Wars Megatron) and generally networked. Have to make this about comics...Furman and Wildman were there too.
People still always ask me what I think of his recent work, so in a nutshell, here are some very quick reviews which I hope don't expand beyond all control as soon as I start thinking about them too much.
Fell - just brilliant, and #5 is partly inspired by 12 Angry Men, which you should ALL watch. Play.com or something.
Nextwave - yeah, okay. He is capable of so much more and at times it reeks of Warren Ellis parodying Warren Ellis, but its still good fun. Immomens artwork has changed though, and although it suits this title, I already miss his old style.
Wolfskin - A Conan book, with lots of blood. Ehhh. Wait for the tpb.
Black Gas - More Zombies. Great. Bored. Walking dead is ace. Marvel Zombies was fucking fun. This was lacking.
Ultimate Extinction - Like, 15 issues in and finally we have a good issue. This is the one I am liable to go on and on about, so feel free to skip to the next paragraph if I bore you. Fun, Ellis dialogue "Your thoughts and creativity are bullets, and I've got the gun" and the master stroke of Reed Richards birthing a baby universe to destroy Galactus's (Galacti??? As there were more than one?) advancing hive was genius, but stolen from Superman: Our Worlds At War. - which is now avilable in one Tpb and well worth it, Ed McGuiness and Weiringo on one story!!! Anyway, UE; Couldn't care less for the characters like the Silver men, the shitty clones and the new wank Captain Marvel. You know, this is probably the big pay cheque for Mr. Ellis, and if a series like this enables him to keep writing Fell and Apparat stuff then yay, way to go Joe Q.
Planetary - Just my favourite comic. Quite good.
Desolation Jones - I should have waited for tpb, good artist for the next series though, although I forget who now.
It works for me, B through to Z list DC characters farting around in shared universe. What can I say, I love superhero comics.
Shaping up quite nicely, I think it will be a lot better than House of M when all is said and done. Having said that, this IS an internet column so I feel obliged to point out that they already did this in the Incredibles movie. Although that didn't have cap or Iron Man in an ongoing story narrative which will have lasting consequences lasting well outside its 2 hours time frame. Unless that shitty looking Cars film is set in the same universe, which I doubt.
The Amazing spider-man issues are very important to the whole thing so far, so I recommend you check them out too.
No, I don't watch this. Yes, I hear that its very good. Fine, I'll start watching it over the next few weeks then.
This is like $10, you have no excuse.
And a big FUCK OFF goes to: Big Brother, the Da Vinci Code, X-Men 3, footballers doing the "robot" and the human interest stories which are supposed to be light-hearted and funny at the end of the news.
I might add pictures to this tomorrow, at the moment my computer is slower than Hitch's drawing hand.