Archive for November, 2010

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Oh Great, More Books to Read…

November 24, 2010

I have to thank Aidan at a A Dribble of Ink for hosting his Brandon Sanderson interview on the eve of the release of Towers of Midnight and for inadvertently pointing me to an author I need to be reading thanks to his penchant for asking his interviewees which creators they’d recommend readers check out.

Well, Sanderson mentioned Dan Wells in his answer, and while I’ve actually listened to Dan Well’s podcast series “Writing Excuses” (good fun), and have heard great things about the book,  I’ve yet to pick up his novel I Am Not A Serial Killer (funds, I need ’em!). I will definitely have to make it a point to do that because if Dan Wells’ real life wit finds its way into the book to any degree, I know it’ll be a good read. And I hear the unique narration of the stories protagonist is a selling point for the book so I look forward to seeing how Wells incorporates that voice as well.

Anyone have any experiences with Dan Well’s books to share? Any other authors whose work I should pick up while I’m dolling out yet more money for books (which is admittedly not nearly as painful as I make it sound)?

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A Reading Update…

November 16, 2010

This time of year is always really hectic, I’ve just finished my mid-terms in the last couple of weeks and have had my nose buried in books on Judaism as I work to complete the courses in my Jewish Studies minor (they are very good, however, so it’s definitely not as much of a chore as one might think).

I’ve got a couple of research papers left to write, and finals to study for, but beyond that it’s not as bad as it has been in past years and there’s even been moderate time to breathe and…relax a little (please don’t tell ’em!). When I can crack something other than study material I’ve been alternating between GGK’s Under Heaven (still on the final stretch) and Dragonlance books from Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.

On the audio front, I’m 39-chapters into Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings and, so far, the book is definitely exceeding my expectations, high as they were. I’ve enjoyed all that I’ve read from Sanderson, as I’ve noted here at the blog many times in the past, but this is definitely his best work to date and I’m happy to say I’m in for the long haul, and that I’m glad it’ll be a lengthy journey in this case. Everything is just starting to really hit the fan in the book at this point so I’m going to have an awful lot to enjoy as I sit in traffic listening for the next couple of weeks.

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The Classics are Back at Boom!

November 1, 2010

From time to time here at Follow that Raven, I’ll be covering comics that I feel are something special and where classic Disney comics and stories are concerned, I feel confident in saying that they are definitely worth your time, and that they certainly aren’t something just for the younger crowd to sit back and enjoy. A good Carl Barks tale, for example, will transport you back to the days of your childhood when all you wanted to do was explore and find out about the world, and when Barks, Gottfredson, Rosa, Jippes and the rest have you there, it’s awfully hard not to wear a big ‘ol smile. Who among us can’t appreciate that kind of creativity?

Well, at this year’s New York Comic Con Boom! Studios announced their ‘BOOM Kids! 2.0!’ initiative and a number of us wondered what that meant? Well, our first indication came earlier today in their latest press release:

In celebration of the 70th anniversary of Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories, ‘Classics are back at BOOM!’ Beginning in January, WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES #715 and MICKEY MOUSE #304 will feature some of the greatest Disney comic book stories ever told, including some that have not seen print in almost 50 years. The new initiative is the latest stage of ‘BOOM Kids! 2.0’ which was previously announced at the New York Comic Con.

So, yea, this is great news.

When Boom! Studios was awarded the Disney license a couple of years ago I was curious to see what they’d offer new and old fans alike. Disney has a massive vault of treasures at their disposal (enough to make Scrooge himself envious) and I was hoping they’d really tap into that reservoir, but to say that they stumbled out of the gate would be a huge understatement where I’m concerned. Their focus was  almost solely on new stories, and even that would have been fine for a time if the quality of those stories would have been up to muster, but they just couldn’t go toe to toe with the classic Carl Barks and Floyd Gottfredson material that Gemstone Publishing had been sustaining fans on for years to that point and the only place fans of the classic Disney stories could turn were their overpriced (there’s no way around it) hardcover collections.

I had resigned myself to simply picking up these collections (those featuring material we hadn’t already seen collected recently that is) online when they were discounted when Boom! announced that Duck Tales (based on the animated series in the 80’s) would once again become a feature in their Uncle Scrooge comic.  Like most kids in the late 80’s, I loved Disney’s Duck Tales so that certainly got my attention. Then, Boom! announced that the successful Darkwing Duck would return in his own mini series as well. Sales were impressive enough on that front that there’s an ongoing Darkwing Duck comic and they went a step further by announcing a Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers ongoing. All of these look very impressive and given the creative teams on board (creators that care about the properties) things really started looking up and I’m anxiously awaiting the collected editions of each of these.

So, in January it appears that fans will see a new focus on Disney classics (which hopefully they can balance effectively with newer material) and if all of this is indicative of the approach Boom! Studios is taking into the New Year then I’m grateful that they’re doing so and that I’ll gladly support them where I can.  I hope you’ll give these a go as well so that you can see just why these stories have been beloved the world over for so long.

Shipping as an oversized anniversary issue, WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES #715 features:

– “Life Savers,” a Carl Barks-written story from 1969 newly illustrated by Dutch master Daan Jippes in the Barks style and starring the Junior Woodchucks – published for the first time in the U.S.!

– Writer Ruud Straatman and American master artist Don Rosa’s Daisy Duck story “Forget Me Not” from 1989.

– “70th Heaven!” by Dutch master artist Daan Jippes in its American publishing debut.

– A previously untitled Li’l Bad Wolf/Donald Duck tale by Gill Turner in its first appearance since 1950!

Bursting at the seams with 40 pages, WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES #715 ships with A and B covers by beloved classic Disney comics artists William Van Horn and Daan Jippes respectively.

MICKEY MOUSE #304 features:

– Bill Walsh/ Floyd Gottfredson tale “The Pirate Ghost Ship!” marking its first reprint with every single panel complete since 1944.

– Legendary Mickey Mouse artist Floyd Gottfredson’s “Laundry Blues” from 1932 in its first re-printing ever!

– A Goofy tale by Italian master Romano Scarpa, “Don’t Worry About It,” printed for the first time in English!

Also weighing in at 40 pages, MICKEY MOUSE #304 features covers by modern Mickey master artist Casty and the legendary Floyd Gottfredson!

I love the fact that they’re offering so many unpublished classics, including the Carl Barks & Daan Jippes material and, I tell ya, January can’t come soon enough.