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Friday, February 18, 2005
100 Things I Like About Comics

It's no surprise to most folks reading this site that I like the comical-type books. A recent meme-thing that popped up over the last few weeks among the comics blogs is to list 100 things that one likes about comics. I've been slowly compiling a list ever since reading Fred Hembeck and ADD's lists, and it's finally time to unveil it.

Keep in mind, these are in no real order expect the order in which I thought of them. If you notice patterns (like long lists of artists names), that's just because I started spitballing on certain themes as they occurred to me. Enjoy!

1. James Robinson's Starman
2. Giffen/DeMatties/Maguire Justice League comics
3. Paul Smith on Uncanny X-Men
4. Ed Brubaker (esp. Scene of the Crime, The Fall and Sleeper)
5. John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake on The Spectre
6. The annual JLA/JSA team-up from the 60s, 70s and 80s
7. Daredevil by Bendis/Maleev
8. Garth Ennis' Hitman
9. Grant Morrison
10. Roger Stern on Amazing Spider-man
11. Kevin Nowlan
12. Evan Dorkin
13. David Mazzuccelli
14. Walt Simonson
15. Steve Dillon
16. Darwyn Cooke
17. Mike McKone
18. Eduardo Risso
19. Mike Allred
20. Paul Grist
21. Shawn Martinborough
22. Sam Kieth
23. Philip Bond
24. Eric Shanower's Age of Bronze
25. Jason Lutes' Berlin
26. C.C. Beck
27. Top Ten
28. Strangehaven
29. Cerebus: High Society and Church & State
30. Planetary
31. Mr. Majestic by Casey/Holguin/McGuiness
32. Tom Spurgeon's Comics Reporter
33. Mark Evanier's site and columns
34. Chris Allen's Column at Comic Book Galaxy & Movie Poop Shoot
35. Alan Moore's Whatever Happened to The Man of Tomorrow
36. Peter David's Hulk
37. Marvel's Essentials
38. Howard the Duck (only by Steve Gerber, though)
39. DC's Archives
40. Will Eisner's The Spirit
41. Jack Cole's Plastic Man
42. Fables
43. Superman by John Byrne
44. $0.25/$0.50 bins
45. DC's Vertigo imprint
46. The Comics Journal
47. Kieth Giffen's Vext
48. Stray Bullets
49. Sandman Mystery Theatre
50. The Justice Society of America (esp. pre-Crisis)
51. Nightcrawler
52. Hawkeye
53. John Constantine, Hellblazer
54. The Tick
55. Opening up my monthly box o' comics
56. Oni Press
57. Barry Ween
58. Queen & Country
59. Blue Monday
60. Steven Grant's Permanent Damage
61. 70s Marvel Comics
62. Jack Kirby's Fourth World
63. Warren Ellis' Stormwatch and The Authority
64. Bryan Hitch
65. Tom Raney
66. Frank Quitely
67. Comics are perfect reading for the john
68. Kyle Baker
69. John Arcudi's Major Bummer
70. AK's late, lamented Title Bout column at Movie Poop Shoot
71. Harevy Pekar's American Splendor
72. Tomer Hanuka
72. Laura Martin
73. Bob Lappan
74. John Workman
75. The Age of Apocalypse (not what came out of it, but the original story)
76. Serial storytelling (though I prefer long form stories with a beginning, middle and end)
77. The post-Crisis Lex Luthor, especially President Luthor
78. Kurt Busiek and George Perez on The Avengers
79. Priest's Black Panther
80. Daredevil: Born Again
81. Brian Hibbs' Savage Critic
82. Garth Ennis' Preacher
83. Peter David on Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man
84. Kieth Giffen's Ambush Bug
85. John Ostrander's Suicide Squad
86. Roger Stern's Avengers
87. Earth-2
88. Superman From the 30s to the 70s
89. Alias by Bendis/Gaydos
90. The Ultimates
91. Art Adams' X-Men Annuals
92. Promethea
93. Joe Casey's Cable (issues 50-72 or so)
94. DC's military comics
95. 100 Bullets
96. Lucifer
97. New Mutants circa issues 19-40
98. Whedon and Cassaday on Astonishing X-Men
99. Loeb and McGuiness on Superman/Batman
100. Chris Claremont and JR, jr on Uncanny X-Men (when I started reading comics)

Phew! Even though I've spent a week so slowly working on this list, I bet I could still come up with a more if I put my mind to it. Hope you enjoyed it.

The Former Owners

Sometimes I wonder about the people who owned my house before me. From almost day one, we've received their mail - bills, the occasional check, social security statements, a delivery of some pharmaceuticals, their kids' Nickelodeon magazine - and, with the exception of the rare easily identifiable piece of junk mail, we've had to "Return to Sender" it all. Most of the time it's addressed to either the man or woman (I hesitate to guess that they were husband and wife as they had different last names), but, occasionally, it's addressed to what appears to be some kind of electricity or electric power company, which I find rather odd since we live in a completely residential sub-division.

I don't worry about it over much, though I confess it hurts some days when they get more mail than we do (actually, that's not uncommon, even eight months after we moved in). I suppose I was a little concerned the day the pharmaceuticals showed up - this was in November, some 4-5 months after they moved out, but Airborne Express came back out and picked them up, so I couldn't be accused of trafficking in anything legal or illegal.

I do wonder why someone would move and not have their mail forwarded. It's occurred to me that maybe they're trying not be found, but if that's the case, they certainly were in no hurry to leave the house last June - they tried to stay for the weekend after we closed (we closed on a Friday) , and we had to get rough with them to get them to move out. They left us several nice, polite notes around the house, telling us about quirks or whatever. No forwarding address, though, but I'm not sure whether or not folks usually do when they sell their house.

Last night, then, I was pretty surprised when someone knocked on the door at a little before 9 pm. The missus and I, watching a Law and Order rerun, looked at each other suspiciously.

"Did you order delivery?" she asked me, for the only time anyone ever knocks on our door is if we've ordered in (even the neighbors never bothered to introduce themselves to us).

"No," I replied.

"Are you going to see who's there?"

"Maybe they'll go away."

"Maybe someone hit your car." (I always park mine out on the street, preferring to fill my half of the garage with boxes of junk)

". . ."

Then, the knock came again, a little stronger this time.

"Okay, fine." I said, getting up.

I scooped up the dog, who was at the door barking, unlocked the door, and opened it up. In hindsight, I suppose I'm lucky I had my hands full of dog, because the man at the door couldn't force me to accept the papers he pushed towards me as he said the name of the man who owned my house before me.

"Nope, sorry. Not him. He doesn't live hear anymore," I said, subtly pushing the still-barking dog in his direction.

"Oh really? And who are you?"

"I'm not him, but I own this house now."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm sure. But I have some of his mail that you can give him if you see him."

"No, I can't do that. Thank you for your time. Sorry to bother you."

Near as I can figure, Mr. Used-to-Own-My-House was about to get served with court papers of some kind. The wife thinks it has something to do with the electricity business he was apparently running out of our house. I think he was in witness protection, and skipped out.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005
A Public Service Announcement

We're taking a break from our regularly scheduled Not Blogging here at Otto's Coffee Shop to bring you the following very important announcement:

Today (yes, today) heralds the DVD release of one of the masterpieces of cinema, heretofore only available in an out of print VHS fullscreen transfer - Young Einstein, starring Yahoo Serious. As far as I can tell, even though this is not a Criterion Edition (which I would expect to be released within the next year), it is available in anamorphic widescreen. Here's hoping there's also a commentary track from Mr. Serious which will add untold layers to this already complex film.

Young Einstein should be available at finer DVD retailers nationwide today, so what are you waiting for?

We now return to our regularly scheduled Not Blogging.

Thank You.

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