Archive for Stuff about Scott

Wednesday on Monday

Well, first, I had some news to tell y’all back on Wednesday, and the LubbockOnline blogs went kerplooey just in time to make my post extra difficult to find. So if you ain’t heard my news yet, go read this.

Now that you’re up to speed on what’s been happening with me — yes, I’m safely moved in here, still working on unpacking my book boxes, sweating like a stuck pig every time I go outside, and starting my first day at the new job this morning. How do you tie a tie again? I can just use a square knot, right?

And now: Comics reviews.


Wednesday Comics #1

This is DC’s new weekly series, and it looks pretty cool. When you unfold the comic-sized magazine, it’s as large as a newspaper, and the stories they have here have some outstanding pedigrees. You’ve got stuff here like Metamorpho by Neil Gaiman and Michael Allred, Adam Strange by Paul Pope, Kamandi by Dave Gibbons and Ryan Sook, Supergirl by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, Hawkman by Kyle Baker, and Sgt. Rock by Adam Kubert and Joe Kubert. Let me repeat that last one for emphasis — the Kuberts on Sgt. Rock! That one little thing was what got me to commit to getting at least the first issue.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Too many stories to summarize here, but most of these are pretty good, and some of them are very, very good. But while this is a thumbs-up… I’m not planning on continuing to get the series. It’s an expensive weekly series where each story gets just one page per week — I can’t afford to shell out that kind of dough. I wish DC good luck with this, but I’m waiting for the eventual trade paperbacks for these.


Justice League: Cry for Justice #1

So here’s James Robinson’s big “Justice League” story. Hal Jordan makes a big pompous speech and “quits” the Justice League, along with Green Arrow, so they can go look for justice. Or something. Elsewhere, the Atoms — Ray Palmer and Ryan Choi — beat up Killer Moth and his gang in Albuquerque, Mikaal Tomas, former Starman and supporting cast member of Robinson’s classic ’90s “Starman” series, learns that his boyfriend has been murdered, and Congorilla, an old Silver Age character, a white hunter who could switch minds with a powerful gold-colored gorilla (Because shut up, that’s why), must deal with the murders of his ape tribe, his human body, and even the African hero called Freedom Beast.

Verdict: A little from Column A, a little from Column B. I do have some very serious quibbles about a lot of this. I mean, isn’t Killer Moth a giant insect monster these days? Would Ray Palmer torture someone the same way his ex-wife killed Sue Dibny? And pretty please, with sugar on top, could Hal Jordan kindly shaddap? I don’t hate this as much as some people did – I am looking forward to seeing Robinson writing Mikaal Tomas again, and the Congorilla sequence really is outstanding. The bonus material in the back is also pretty nice. But definitely a very mixed bag…


Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth #1

Marvel’s lunatic mercenary gets a second ongoing series here, starting out by getting launched out of a space station by the mad scientists of A.I.M. in an unshielded and very hot escape pod and crashing down in the Savage Land. He’s supposed to steal a package for A.I.M., but he doesn’t know what it is. He meets up with Ka-Zar, who directs him to a site where the local cavemen are building a giant statue that looks exactly like him. He meets up with Dr. Betty Swanson, a dishy A.I.M. agent, and his attempts to impress her end with both of them being captured by the cavemen. That’s when they discover what the package actually is — the head of Zombie Deadpool from the various “Marvel Zombies” series.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Not sure if Deadpool really needed two different series, but I’m down for anything that involves a crazy wisecracking assassin lugging a zombified alternate-version of his own head around as a sidekick.

Comments off

Moving Day

Time to let the cat out of the bag — I have finally gotten a job. I’ll be working on websites for the University of North Texas in Denton. I start work on Monday, and the rest of this week is being devoted to getting me moved from Lubbock to Denton.

I guess the obvious question here is: What happens to “Hero Sandwich”? I have good news and more good news: I will be allowed to continue the blog right here at the current LubbockOnline address — no need to adjust your bookmarks. And I will continue writing about comics from a Lubbock viewpoint. I really doubt that Denton or the Metroplex will have a comics scene as vibrant or enthusiastic as Lubbock’s, even with the larger population. And the fact remains, I really want to see the Lubbock Sketch Club, Star Comics, and all the other comics creators, vendors, and hobbyists in Lubbock succeed. Sure, there will still be a ton of comics reviews and national comics news, but the Lubbock comics scene is something I enjoy getting to write about. Can I still do Lubbock justice from North Texas? I think I can… and I’m absolutely overjoyed that the A-J felt that “Hero Sandwich” was something worth keeping around. Many thanks, and much love and affection, go out to all of ’em.

Blogging may be a bit patchy over the next few days into next week — I’m hoping to have a few days’ worth of posts written and scheduled in advance for the rest of the week. However, I don’t yet know when I’ll get Internet service at the new apartment. I might be able to get it turned on right away, and it might take ’til sometime next week. If posts dry up, it just means I’m waiting for the Secret Denton Internet Consortium to turn on my intarwebz.

Denton is an interesting town — I lived here when I was going to college. It’s a wonderfully scenic area, but it’s also painfully, spectacularly hot. They have one of the most beautiful town squares and county courthouses in Texas, if not the entire country, and they have the largest used bookstore I’ve ever seen in my life. They have two different comics shops. And they still sell Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper in grocery stores, which the Lubbock stores told me was no longer being sold anywhere. I’m certainly looking forward to living and working in Denton…

…but yes, I’m also going to miss Lubbock a lot. I’ll miss Rob Mora and everyone else at Star Comics, I’ll miss Will Terrell, Robert Garza, and everyone else at the Sketch Club, I’ll miss Kenny and Derek and everyone at Awesome Books, and the guys quietly peddling roleplaying games at Mad Hatter’s place.

I’ll miss Lubbock’s mild weather. I’ll miss the musical and artistic community. I’ll miss the amazing sunsets. I’ll even miss the occasional “moral panics,” just for the ability to stand in the back of the crowd and gawp at the chaos.

More than anything, I’ll miss my grandmother, my brother, and my niece (okay, she’s a dog, but I’m part dog myself, so it still feels like we’re related). It’s been impossibly wonderful to live in the same city with them for the past eight years, and I’m already wondering how on earth I can possibly survive without getting my grandmother’s groceries or bothering my brother. I expect y’all to take good care of them so I can come visit them every time we have a long weekend.

To sum up: I’m going away, but I’m also not going anywhere. I’ll miss y’all, but we’ll still be able to see each other right here.

This is not a good-bye. And I’ll see you guys tomorrow.  🙂

Comments off

The Sick Day Lit List

Phooey, I’m sick.

Either I got hit with a case of bad Mexican food, a short-term stomach bug, or the eldritch and cyclopean Elder God of Making Me Feel Bad.

So instead of writing up a real blog post for today, I’m just gonna rip off this list of favorite books and authors that I wrote for Facebook.

1. What author do you own the most books by?
Probably Ray Bradbury.

2. What book do you own the most copies of?
I generally avoid keeping multiple copies of books, but I do have two copies of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens — one because it’s an easily portable paperback, and one because it’s one of those nice annotated editions.

3. What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Magrat Garlick from Terry Pratchett’s “Discworld” series.

4. What book have you read more than any other?
“Dandelion Wine” by Ray Bradbury. Used to be, I’d read it every winter.

5. What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
Possibly one of the “Three Investigators” novels.

6. What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?
Nothing memorably bad springs to mind.

7. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
I got a lot of joy out of “Soon I Will Be Invincible” by Austin Grossman.

8. If you could tell everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
“Chuck Amuck” by Chuck Jones. It’s about Warner Brothers cartoons and storytelling and really weird cats and old Hollywood and it’s an extremely fun, enjoyable, and enlightening read. I especially recommend this for writers, for his advice on creating characters.

9. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?
For some reason, it took me forever to read “The Stand” by Stephen King, and I eventually found it very disappointing. The most difficult and most satisfying read was “Foucault’s Pendulum” by Umberto Eco.

10. Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
You mean French lit vs. Russian lit? Neither. I really find both of the national styles very boring.

11. Shakespeare, Milton or Chaucer?

12. Austen or Eliot?
(kicks dirt, looks embarrassed) I haven’t read either.

13. What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
I haven’t read much that’s not genre fiction. Makes it hard to impress the Sexy Librarians when I’ve read very little of the Classics.

14. What is your favorite novel?
Probably “Dandelion Wine” by Ray Bradbury. Just an intensely lyrical and sensual book.

15. Play?
I don’t read a lot of plays, but the very best I’ve ever seen produced was “Terra Nova” by Ted Tally, as produced by the drama department at ENMU in Portales back in the late 1980s. The play is about the Scott-Amundsen race to the South Pole — specifically about Scott’s team, which of course died on the way back. A wonderfully sad, head-trippy play.

16. Poem?
“Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll. I’ve had it memorized since sixth grade. (However, favorite poets are Carl Sandburg and Langston Hughes)

17. Essay?
Either “The Tombs” or “Xenogenesis” by Harlan Ellison. The first is about a night Ellison spent in jail in the Tombs in NYC, and the second is about the shockingly awful things that science fiction fans will do to the authors who write for them.

18. Short Story?
That’s a tough one, ’cause I love short stories. I’d say, in fairly random order: “Pickman’s Model” by H.P. Lovecraft, “Kaleidoscope” by Ray Bradbury, “There Shall Be No Darkness” by James Blish, “Homecoming” by Bradbury, “There Shall Come Soft Rains” by Bradbury, “The Repairer of Reputations” by Robert W. Chambers, “Oh Whistle, and I’ll Come for You, My Lad” by M.R. James, “Survivor Type” by Stephen King, “Mr. Skin” by Victor Milan, “SCENE: A Room” by Craig Anthony, “Through Thy Bounty” by Lucy A. Snyder, “A Study in Emerald” by Neil Gaiman, “The Night Wire” by H.F. Arnold, “The Screwfly Solution” by Alice Sheldon.

Oh, and the following, all from Go read them all. READ THEM ALL.

And more, I guarantee. I love the heck out of short stories.

19. Non Fiction?
“The Beast Within: A History of the Werewolf” by Adam Douglas. Just the best plain overview of the werewolf in myth, legend, history, psychology, film, and literature.

20. Graphic Novel?
“The New Frontier” by Darwyn Cooke and “The Golden Age” by James Robinson and Paul Smith.

21. Science Fiction?
“City” by Clifford D. Simak, with “The Demolished Man” by Alfred Bester coming in a close second.

22. Horror?
I’m going with “The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson, “Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Ray Bradbury, and “House of Leaves” by Mark Z. Danielewski.

23. Who is your favorite writer?
Ray Bradbury, no question.

24. Who is the most over-rated writer alive today?
Neal Stephenson. I enjoyed “Snow Crash,” but I’ve just thought his other books were not Teh Bomb.

25. What are you reading right now?
I’ve got a number of collections of short horror stories I’m alternating with.

26. What writers/books have been most important to you (not mentioned above)?
Alan Moore, Fritz Leiber, Warren Ellis’ incredible “Transmetropolitan” comic, Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, Clive Barker’s “Books of Blood,” and Christopher Moore.

Feel free to add your own selections in the comments or on your own blog.

Comments off

Science Fiction Book Club

Had a very interesting day yesterday. I went running a few vital errands around town — mailing job applications (Yeahhh, like anyone in Austin is actually going to hire a Lubbockite for anything?), returning a defective video card back to the manufacturer, and desperately searching for Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper. I was heading over for a quick visit to Awesome Books when, well, the car went kaput on me. Luckily, I was near my favorite garage, so I was able to limp the car over to them in time. Sometimes, it does seem like the universe is saying, “Hey, look, a jobless guy. Let’s make all his money go away!” Yeah, well, watch it, universe, or I’ll cut ya.

Anyway, the day was salvaged by my brother, who came and picked me up from the garage and took me around town for a few of his errands. We grabbed some sodas, had a right giggle at the “bargains” at Circuit City, and ended up standing in Barnes and Noble for at least half-an-hour jawboning about great science fiction, fantasy, and horror books with a guy we just ran into there. Now usually, this is a prescription for pain — someone you don’t know just starts talking to you in the bookstore about sci-fi, and it’s usually “Heh heh, I love this book ’cause it’s got a vampire lady, and she has big boobs, and there’s some heh heh heh.”

Didn’t happen this time — the guy had read almost everything, knew what the good stuff was, knew how to articulate what he liked about it. We talked about Terry Pratchett, Alice Sheldon, Neil Gaiman, Robert E. Howard, Harlan Ellison, Owl Goingback, Richard Matheson, Hammer Films, Charlaine Harris, Andrew Vachss, Joe R. Lansdale, George R.R. Martin, Christopher Moore, ’70s exploitation horror flicks, and many, many more. As most of y’all are doubtless very well aware, there is nothing that science fiction fans love more than getting to hang out with other science fiction fans — especially smart science fiction fans — and let your geek flag fly. My bro and I had so much fun, we’da put the guy on our Christmas card list if we’d thought to ask him what his name was.

Aaaaanyway, enough about my day. How was yours?

Comments off


Okay, it’s time to start experimenting with a few changes around here.

If you haven’t heard yet — and I wouldn’t expect you to, ’cause I’ve been keeping it under my hat — I got laid off from the A-J back in November. So how am I enjoying looking for a job during the worst economic downturn we’ve seen in about a quarter-century, if not longer? It sucks.

Now I’m probably doing better than a lot of people in similar situations, ’cause I had a decent sum saved in the bank. But things ain’t exactly rosy either. Now the last time I had a big drop in my financial situation (I took a $5,000 pay cut to take my last job), I got rid of cable TV and my landline, and ended up doing alright. Unfortunately, that means I don’t have much else I can cut from my budget — can’t stop paying rent, can’t stop paying for car insurance, can’t stop paying the electric bill.

But I can cut back on comics.

So we’re gonna see how I do with a strict comics budget of $20 a week.

That means:

1. I’ll be getting only 5-6 comics every week, unless Marvel and DC boost their prices to four bucks apiece. And that means fewer reviews here on the blog. There might be days where I won’t post at all, might be days when I just post a bit of silliness, might be days when I just rant about job-hunting. There might be days when I review old comics. ‘Cause old comics I already got stored in the comics cabinet are cheaper than comics I have to spend extra cash for.

2. No more crossovers. No more “Final Crisis,” no “Blackest Night,” no “Dark Reign.” Crossovers are fine for flush economic times, when people have the spare leisure cash to spend on superfluous cosmic fisticuffs that’ll be forgotten and ignored in three months. Right now, DC and Marvel are hoping their customers will choose another six months of pointless crossovers over, say, buying food or heating the house or paying for the kids’ insurance. Ain’t gonna happen, and I ain’t gonna reward Marvel and DC for thinking like idiots. Besides, crossover books are more expensive than regular books.

3. I may still have to quit buying comics. One big doctor’s bill, one big car repair, another few months of trying to live on the unemployment handouts, and I’ll have to move into my brother’s spare apartment anyway. If the choice is paying my cell phone bill and buying comics, or paying for health insurance and buying comics — comics get the heave-ho. If that happens, I don’t know if the blog will continue. I enjoy the blog, and I think I can come up with stuff to blather about even if I don’t have a regular supply of new comics, but we’ll have to see.

4. There don’t seem to be a lot of jobs being offered in Lubbock. I know everyone says the economy in Lubbock is unusually great, but I tend to take stuff I hear from local bankers and economic development folks with about a quarter-ton of salt. I flip through the want ads, and I don’t really see many jobs being offered. It might be the same everywhere, which means I’ll be cooling my heels in my brother’s apartment for a year. If the job situation is better in other cities, then I’ll be hoping I get a job somewhere else. I like Lubbock an awful lot, but the choice between being unemployed and broke in Lubbock and having a job in another city is a real, real easy one to make. If I leave, I’ll hope to keep the blog going anyway — it might be tough to write about Lubbock’s comics community from a few hundred miles away, but it’s a challenge I think would be fun to undertake.

So does that mean we’ll be seeing big changes here at this blog immediately? Hopefully not. Ideally, I’d like y’all to never notice any significant difference between the way I blogged last week and the way I’ll blog now. But if you see some unusual or interesting new changes, or really weird topic choices, just remember it’s all in the name of science…

Comments off

Medical Mayhem!


Hey! I’m back! Well, I’m kinda-sorta back.

Basically, the thing I thought was nothing serious yesterday? It was serious. Not “You have three months to live” serious, not “Wow, those monkey bites are chock-full o’ Ebola virus!” serious, not “We’re going to have to remove that arm” serious, but “We have to do minor surgery, and we need to do it today” serious.

But the surgical procedure was finished quickly, and I went home. I’m still going to do lighter posting over the next few days, because I’m just not comfortable sitting in front of the computer for long periods yet. Besides, I haven’t had time to pick up new comics yet. Curse you, Surprise Surgical Procedures, for making me miss New Comics Day!

Anyway, light posting for a bit. I’ll be resting and recovering, trying to catch up on my reading, maybe watch a movie. I won’t really be able to stay too far away from the blog, but I’m going to try.

Comments off

Roasting Alive


Hey, guess what?! My air conditioner’s gone kaput! Yay! Now I get to die of heatstroke inside my own apartment! Yay!

I may have to do a bit less blogging than normal if it doesn’t get fixed soon. I don’t think sweat is good for my keyboard.

Excuse me — gonna see if I can fit myself inside my refrigerator…

Comments off

So Very Sick


Wow, I’m thoroughly, disgustingly sick. Fever of 100 degrees, headaches, nasty cough, mucus flowing like a mighty river. I think it’s been about a decade since I had a cold like this, but man, it’s sure making up for lost time.

I could barely sleep last night for all the fever dreams. And they were all about comic books. You really should not read comics just before going to bed with a high fever, because you’ll keep dreaming your fever has turned you into the Human Torch.

I’ll try to log back in tonight for Friday Night Fights, but for now, I’m gonna see if I can catch up on my sleep a little.

Comments off

Little Scotty in Slumberland

Whatever a Rarebit Fiend is, I guess that’s me.

Didn’t have much time to think of anything to write today. Had to run some emergency chores for family, and I got home late, and tired, and mentally drained. Didn’t feel like scanning anything, or writing notes on comics, or much of anything else. I even went to sleep early.

And what dreams I had.

I had scored a ticket to that hot new Broadway musical — you know, the one that won all those Tony Awards — and it was about superheroes and comic books! How wonderful! I couldn’t for the life of me remember what the title was, but everyone knew it was the hottest ticket in decades, and I got to go!

In fact, this was some sort of odd promotion, because everyone I went to high school with got to go, too. Umm, wheee? High school was pretty awful for me — well, isn’t that the case for everyone? But hey, free tickets to Broadway’s most popular play ever — I can live with hanging around the people from high school for a few hours.

Actually, it was a very odd promotion, because everyone there was dressed up as superheroes. Everyone. People who I knew just hated comics were gleefully dressed up in spandex and long underwear and capes and masks. Well, almost everyone. I was the only person there wearing normal clothes. No one minded. Either everyone else was just so excited about seeing this superhero musical extravaganza, or they thought I was dressed up as Clark Kent.

Well, the play was about to start soon, everyone was starting to file into the theater, and my shoes came untied. Wow, were these shoes ever difficult to tie. I’d get the knot almost completed, and it would just completely slip away. Over and over and over, I just couldn’t get these shoes tied. Everyone was in the theater, the play was about to start, I was going to miss the show, I’d never find out the title of the play, or what it was about, or anything like that, and the shoes… just… wouldn’t… tie…

And then I woke up.

Stupid dreams.

Comments off

Family Matters


Things always get chaotic when family comes to town.

I’m afraid my blogging is going to slow down quite a bit over the next week or so. I’ve got family around for a visit, and I won’t have time for very much writing until after the 4th. I’ll try to get a few reviews together, but I won’t have time to do very much.

If you ain’t happy with that… Mmm-mmmm, sorry, can’t hear you, too busy eating this deeeelicious rhubarb pie my momma made for me…

Comments off