'Tis the season to receive... Many thanks to improv buddies Annik and Sly for a beautiful illustrated Complete Shakespeare. My third, I know, but without a doubt the most gorgeous of the lot. Hamlet tally now at... 14 versions and copies, I think.
'Tis the season to buy a lot of crap... Well, in trying to buy gifts for others, I wind up with an armload of stuff for myself. It's why I don't go shopping, I invariably come home with the wrong things. Here's my Christmas load:
Comics: The first Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters trade; Fleisher's Wonder Woman Encyclopedia (now I have access to lots of little bondage panels from the Golden Age); Showcase Presents JLA vol.3 (just trying to keep the collection intact); ACME Novelty Library #16 and #18 (the ones I was missing, somehow found in a regular bookstore when I can't count on comic book stores to get them for me); Chester Brown's The Little Man, a collection of his short strips (ditto); and the first two volumes of the Jack Kirby Fourth World Omnibus (personally, I LIKE the newsprint under hardcover format, because I hate how old comics reproduce on glossy paper).
Books: Harold Bloom's Jesus and Yahweh - The Names Divine (my favorite literary critic takes on the various covenants); Umberto Eco on Literature (interesting essays on a number of authors and topics that interest me); Alberto Manguel's The Library at Night (loved him History of Reading, and this looks like more of the same); and three Michael Chabon books, The Yiddish Policemen's Union, The Final Solution, and Gentlemen of the Road (after Kavalier & Clay, how could I not?).
DVDs: So based on the entertainment I derived from The Night Stalker/Srangler, I got me the entire Kolchak series of 20 episodes. And after seeing a friend's copy, I also added Me and You and Everyone We Know to my collection.
Last week, my friend Carolynn had given me the two Evenings with Kevin Smith DVDs, a series of Q&A sessions in large concert halls around the world. They don't take much concentration to watch, so I went through a disc per meal, pretty much (or about 8 hours). If you like Kevin Smith's stuff, you'll like this, especially the stories about other celebrities. Though I'm not nearly the potty mouth he is, I find we have very similar storytelling styles, so it's cool and the gang. Of course, I can't stand that segment of fandom who thinks walking up stoned to the mike and asking Silent Bob for a doobie, but people suck, it's a given.
Exams and holidays usually take a bite out of the gaming schedule, but I was happy to run a Planescape marathon yesterday. Well, marathon... from 9h30 to 2h30 or so. Still, two distinct adventures advancing a quest the players have taken an interest in (it wasn't really my plan that they do so). In the first part, they delivered a love letter from a devil to a demon in exchange for a key to Pandemonium, and in the second part, used it and nearly lost their minds in that place. Special guest appearance by Loki! Light on the fighting and heavy on the role-playing opportunities, just the way I like it. (Material all adapted either from Well of Worlds or Planes of Chaos, just to get credit where credit is due.)
And then there's cards for the Unauthorized Who CCG, of course, but only five, but also the artwork for the purely fictional box:
New Feature: Someone Else's Post of the WeekWhere's the Council of Nicea when you need them? Scipio over at the Absorbascon wins this honor with a comparison between the modern Bible and the DC Universe, and shows that 4th century theologians were apparently more together than DC editorial has ever been. I have a feeling Scip is going to win this dubious "award" a lot in the coming year.