This Week in Geek (1-7/09/08)

Buys

There are things I like the IDEA of a lot more than I like them in ACTUALITY, so it's with certain misgivings that I bought the first volume of Fantagraphics' Krazy & Ignatz (1925-1926), mostly because the book was designed by Chris Ware. See, I like the IDEA of vintage, somewhat surreal, comic strips, but I wasn't sure I'd actually like them. Started on it so I can safely say I do like Harriman's seminal work. Encourages me to get later volumes.

Oh and if I was behind before on watching my classic Who DVDs, I'm at a standstill now: The Invasion of Time and The Invisible Enemy came in this week (the latter of which includes the single K-9 and Company episode).

"Accomplishments"

Books: Finished Douglas Coupland's The Gum Thief, his latest novel inside a novel inside a novel. As usual, there were some sharp observations and beautiful images, and a fun postmodern twist. It doesn't quite dislodge Hey Nostradamus as my favorite, but it's certainly a contender for Top 5 Coupland books. The protagonist's novel, Glove Pond, reads like a continuation (or transplant) of Edward Albee's characters from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf which, while obviously done on purpose, does take some of the originality away from the book. Still, it's a fine book about success and defeat on one's own terms.

DVDs: Flipped Junebug, as per friend Carolynn's insistence. A beautifully observed film, full of nuance and unspoken context, I really loved it (Carolynn knows me well). In point of fact, I've BEEN Madeleine in this film - inspired by a loved one's values, a total fish out of urban waters, and worked in an art gallery to boot. I understand her world and point of view, and was amazed at how the film managed never to judge rural America, but I think because Madeleine doesn't. Outsider art, outsider families, they all fascinate her. And I'm not even talking about Amy Adams' crazy good portrayal of Ashley. The DVD has a number of deleted scenes and a couple of longish casting sessions with the stars, as well as a commentary track with the two main actresses. They're falling all over themselves and the film in it, but still manage to give some insight. Doesn't replace a director's commentary though, but perhaps it's better for the movie not to yield all its secrets. There's apparently a 2-disc version, but this isn't it.

RPGs: Well, Monday's short session was the "season finale" of our Warehouse 23 mini-series, which we might pick up again next summer. Basically, it was a take on the Philadelphia Experiment, culminating in one Agent fulfilling his destiny by plugging his alien genes into a flying saucer as the Grey fleet was trapped on the wrong side of a Bermudan rift. At the end, as is customary, I gave each of my players the show's soundtrack. I thought it might be interesting to list the tracks here:
1. Opening theme: Avenging Angel – Robert Rodriguez (off the Hot Fuzz soundtrack, "That was brilliant" coming in at just the right time.
2. Sixteen Tons – The Nighthawks (Agent Dice's theme, he was truly a Company Man)
3. Kool Thing – Sonic Youth (Agent Jet's theme, the rookie with the destiny to be truly badass)
4. Woke Up This Morning – Alabama 3 (Agent Orange's theme, a gun lover)
5. Monster – The Automatic (Agent Tesla's theme, an insomniac and monster hunter)
6. Spider – They Might Be Giants (Agent Spider's theme, he died in the first teaser)
7. Supermoves - Overseer (a classic Action theme)
8. Tonitruant – Amok (this metal band from Quebec has a surfy number I liked for chase scenes)
9. Diamonds – Klint (another classic bit, used for preparations)
10. Who Am I? – Peace Orchestra (an atmospheric number used for Jet's race memories)
11. First Killing – Frankie Chan (a good scene walk-away from the Fallen Angels soundtrack)
12. Le Chant des Druides – Manau ("The Druids' Song" from Briton rapper Manau, for the Stonehenge sequence)
13. Evil Hearted You – Pixies (a dirty Spanish number for the Peru sequence)
14. Way Down in the Hole – The Blind Boys of Alabama (the theme from The Wire, for spelunking in Lovecraftian caves)
15. Magic Bus – The Who (for the LSD trip sequences)
16. Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon (definitely a case of the song coming before the story idea)
17. Aliens (Christmas 1988) - Rheostatics (the series end credits, since it's about alien abduction, by my favorite band ever)


I've told my players I'm taking a month off to regroup and plan for the next RPG project, which seems to be a trimmed-down take on Star Trek, using GURPS Space. I'm having trouble with the soundtrack though, which I would like to be more spacerock than horns blaring. Got some research to do, I guess.

New Unauthorized Doctor Who CCG cards: 16 new cards from The Sound of Drums/The Last of the Timelords. That two-parter is going to yield at least 50 cards, wow. Includes the kiddie Master!

Someone Else's Post of the Week
Caleb has some interesting ideas over at Every Day Is Like Wednesday regarding the possibility of an all-the-villains-you-can-throw-at-the-screen Batman movie. He looks at the various storylines that HAVE included a ton of rogues, and discusses their potential. I'm really sick of Batman villain casting discussions, but this seemed a refreshing take on the subject.

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