Gwnewch y pethau bychain

Day: June 10, 2004

Back to Reading

Boy, it’s been a long time since I updated my reading. The main reason for this, unfortunately, is that I haven’t been reading much for the last couple of months, as I’ve been caught up in other pursuits. So a couple of weeks ago, I started carving out a bit more time for reading.

  • Bimbos of the Death Sun by Sharyn McCrumb
    This is a book that people in fandom either adore or despise, depending on how comfortable they are with being poked fun at. While McCrumb’s caricatures are, in most cases, over the top, and in a few cases unfair, this is still an amusing romp. And I still love the moment when touring Scottish folksinger Donnie McRory discovers the filkers, starts to play “Wild Rover” for them, and after hearing the first line they belt out, stops and exclaims with outrage, “What’s all that rubbish, then? Have ye been monkeying about with the words??”

    I read this book when it first came out back in 1986 or so, and still enjoy revisiting it from time to time. It has a sequel, Zombies Of The Gene Pool, but unfortunately there are further books about Jay Omega after that one that I am aware of.

  • The Legion Of Super-Heroes Archive Volume 1 (DC Comics)
    The Legion Of Super-Heroes Archive Volume 2 (DC Comics)
    The Legion Of Super-Heroes Archive Volume 3 (DC Comics)
    The Legion Of Super-Heroes Archive Volume 4 (DC Comics)

    When I was a kid, Legion of Super Heroes was one of my favourite comics. Of course, this was in the early 80s during the Levitz/Giffen period when I started reading the title, and it was only through the occasional reprints that I ever saw any of the early days of the group.

    Recently, while I was over at khaosworks apartment to bring him to Atlanta in preparation for his flight home for the summer, I asked him if I could borrow some of his Legion collections, and he loaned me the first six volumes of DC’s Archive editions. These contain all the Legion stories from their introduction in Superboy back in 1958 up through about 1968-69 or so, i believe. And I’ve slowly been working my through them.

    To be honest….as much as I love what the Legion became, and as much as I can see the flashes of that future here and there…a lot of these stories are terrible. Maybe I’d have felt differently if I was a kid in 1963 reading them for the first time, and maybe my adult taste for the sort of thing that Vertigo comics publishes have spoiled me from more innocent Mort Weisinger fare, but gosh…

    Most early Legion stories fall into one of four broad plots:

    1) Someone attempts to join the legion but is rejected, so they vow horrible revenge for being spurned.
    2) Someone attempts to join the Legion and his accepted, but is secretly working to destroy the group.
    3) A member of the Legion behaves in a totally out-of-character manner for some reason (often inadequately explained), leading to conflict within the group.
    4) A mysterious villain appears, possessing just the right sort of powers to counter and disable every single member of the group, even though each of them has a distinctly different power.

    Sometimes, just for fun, 2 or more of these 4 basic plots were combined together.

    To be fair, these were written over 40 years ago for an entirely different sensibility (and for a much younger prospective reader). Some of it is just typical Weisingerian melodramatic nonsense that grates on my nerves in large doses. And of course, these stories were backup features in Adventure comics and spread across several months originally, and suffer a bit for being read in large chunks anyway.

    And even though I pick them apart, and shake my head over them as I read them, they’re still a lot of fun, because I know that about 15 years from the time these were written, they will turn into the comics I read and loved when I was 10.

    Very enjoyable if you’re especially interested in the early history of the LSH, or just like reading Silver Age comics.

Great Moments In Unclear Writing

Waves of Mourners Honor Reagan in D.C.
By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer

Donna Hand of Ashburn, Va., waited five hours to see the casket and spent
about three minutes inside. “It was a very moving experience for me. It was
very solemn,” Hand said. “It made you feel patriotic.”

(Pointed out by Brooke McEldowney on rec.arts.comics.strips. The AP has apparently corrected the text in the story since it first went out.)

My mind is a strange place

On the way over to the data centre this morning to check on an ailing server, I heard the following on the radio traffic report:

“Backups on 75/85, where the HOV lane is blocked due to a medical emergency. a pregnant woman is in labour.”

And I thought to myself, “Gee, some people will do anything to get to use the HOV lane…”

Because, even after all these years, Jeff and I are STILL weirder together than either is apart

Autographedcat: And now, here’s Robert Plant, David Gilmour, Jack Bruce, and Neal Peart, who have formed a supergroup called “The Hideaways” to perform their cover of ABBA’s “Fernando”


JTW RCCC: You’d never make it to the end of the song…there’d be too many bass solos

JTW RCCC: You know Gilmour would play bass too, just to fit in 🙂

JTW RCCC: Eventually Plant would leave and see what Craft Services had on the spread

autographedcat: Well, I put together a singer, a lead guitarist, a bassist, and a drummer, so that’s a band 🙂

JTW RCCC: I’m telling you, Bruce would play too many bass solos 🙂

autographedcat: oh, definitely 🙂

autographedcat: and, with Gilmour producing, it would be on the album as:

Fernando, Part I (the intro)
Fernando, Part II (the first two verses)
Fernando, Part III (Jacks’ bass solo #1)
Fernando, Part IV (the next two verses)
Fernando, Part V (Jack’s bass solo #2)
Brand New Key
Chevy Van
Fernando, Part VI (Jack’s bass solo #3)
Fernando, Part VII (Dave’s guitar solo)
Fernando, Part VIII (the last verse)
Fernando, Part IX (drum solo and outro)


JTW RCCC: I’d give anything to see Robert Plant sing Brand New Key 🙂

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