Monday, November 22, 2010

The Indiana Jones Comic Book Revue #5

All books are rated on a 0 to 5 Fedoras system.

The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #6
(Marvel Comics Group)

Plot/Script by: David Michelinie (from an idea by Archie Goodwin)
Pencilled by: Howard Chaykin
Inked by: Terry Austin
Cover by: Howard Chaykin & Terry Austin

"I actually enjoy saving a person's life twice in one day for no gratitude whatsoever."

Dateline 1936

"Club Nightmare!" reintroduces Marion Ravenwood to the world of Indiana Jones as our hero joins her in New York for the opening of their new business venture, The Raven. With all the money Marion received from "that lost ark mess", and Indy as a silent partner, she decides to open a club in New York. Eventually, she runs afoul of local gangster, Emil Marko, who wanted to be a partner in the business in order to use it as a front for a gambling setup. Marion tells him to go suck an egg and Marko puts the squeeze on Marion, jeopardizing her life and opening night!

This is a pretty good story and stands as one of the best since the Byrne issues right off the top. Michelinie shows some classic pulp sensibilities, giving the affair a nice '30s New York feel and populates the story with characters that remind me of many of the cast of Casablanca. The wonderful art by Howard Chaykin (also the best in the series since Byrne's departure) only serves to enhance the period look and feel of the story and he does an excellent job with the action sequences. It's a shame that he's only here for a single issue fill-in. At least we get to enjoy Chaykin's work in the future when he lends his considerable talent to some excellent covers for the series.

This issue was a really solid installment in the series. It was nice to see a straight up Indy adventure that did not take place in a jungle (unless you want to argue a concrete one), had no supernatural elements and worked like gangbusters (no pun intended) without relying on Nazis, communists or the occult for an antagonist or a MacGuffin. It was also nice to see Marion return even though this story (and this whole series, for that matter) clearly takes place outside of Indy canon. She was consistent, in character and a really good foil for Indy. From what I can tell, Marion continues on in the series for a few issues so we'll see if that trend holds.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Now That I'm On GoodReads...

Tintin: A BiographyTintin: A Biography by Harry Thompson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not a portrait of the artist so much as an analysis of Hergé's work. Granted, Hergé was not a person who spent a lot of time doing interviews or talking about his life, so the source material Thompson used to inform his book is sparse. Add to that the fact that the author did not have access to Hergé's estate and you have a book that is big on enthusiasm but lacking in any real meat-and-potatoes biography. The analysis of each album in the series does give Thompson an iron-clad structure and he manages to offer up some valuable information for the art/cartoon/comic historian/enthusiast. Still, for as much as it says about the artist and his work it still feels lacking. An enjoyable read, overall, and a good primer for the TINTIN neophyte, but I'll probably keep looking for the Hergé bio that sates my appetite. Not a bad thing, necessarily.

View all my reviews



Saturday, November 06, 2010

Ghostbusters Completed

About a week ago I was overcome with ennui and decided to throw in my Ghostbusters video game into the PC and finish it once and for all. When I stopped playing it a while ago I had left off on one of the last levels, I was sure, as the story was kind of wrapping up in a climaxy kind of way. I don't remember what it was that stopped me from playing it through at the time, but I'm sure it got overly difficult and I got bored and busy or something. Anyway, it had been sitting on the shelf for some time and I decided to dust it off and get it out of the way.

Overall, it's probably some of the most fun I've had gaming. Really. The story, acting, graphics, all were top notch!! And, as far as I'm concerned, the game was written by Aykroyd/Ramis, stars the original cast (even Atherton and Potts) and continues the story as if it was the third in a trilogy bringing everything back to Shandor, Gozer, and explaining some of the stuff from GB1. And the new character you play doesn't intrude at all on the story. Even without saying a word he is seamlessly interwoven and actualy interacts with the other characters.

This, folks, is Ghostbusters 3. Make no mistake.

Anyway, now that I'm done the game I seem to still have a bit of a GB jones so I'm probably gonna grab some IDW Publishing GB comics and get an extended fix. I was buying and following all the GB comics but kind of dropped off there for a bit. A lot of one-shots seemed to be coming out that looked hastily conceived and quickly produced, so I sort of stopped buying, but I'll probably go back and re-examine. I just bought the Halloween special written by Peter David which wasn't bad. There's a time-travelling mini written by Scott Lobdell which I'm sure I should be checking out, so that's probably the next step.

Take care!


Friday, November 05, 2010

Check It Out

Watch the pilot episode of The Walking Dead courtesy of AMC. If you like drama, zombies or good storytelling, give it a shot. The books it's based on are great and I'm hoping Frank Darabont gets this right!



Thursday, November 04, 2010

Lap Time

This is getting to be a flattering and, ultimately frustrating, habit of one of our housemates. Whenever I sit down to work or play at my computer, Starbuck finds her way here, gives the weepy-eyed look and jumps up. Not only does my leg fall asleep, not only does hair get everywhere on me and my computer, but I can't really function while she's there. Maybe that's the point.

Oh well, Jen tells me it's adorable.



Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Another Halloween come and gone again for another year. I didn't really do anything myself, per se, on the day (does seeing PSYCHO in a snazzy big theatre count?) but I took the kids out and they trick-or-treated in their costumes with their friends. Costumes are beginning to get more interesting as the years go on because of their changing/evolving interests and because they've started assembling them themselves instead of having us do it exclusively. Kate (with a little help) cobbled together this Hogwarts student outfit and Emma went as Buffy the Vampire Slayer after an aborted attempt at trying to put together an Envy Adams cotume (an expensive error in judgement, too). Simon used an old costume we had which was the Brandon Routh Superman tights with the colouring and fit from Superman Returns.

Overall, it was a good time, a good haul, and the yard has never looked better. I wish I had some pics to show it off. The last few years we've been collecting up decorations at Halloween sales and things have been shaping up nicely. We can finally start celebrating one of our fave holidays in a way we haven't really done in the past.

Anyway, pics of the kids below. Kate is the Gryffindor girl on the far right.