This Week in Geek (20-26/10/08)


My pal Bauble came down from Edmundston this weekend, which pretty much means I had to go and blow some dough at the local Comics Hunter with him. It's a ritual. My loot includes: DMZ volumes 4 and 5; volume 1 of Wood's other project, The Northerners; and the Nearly Complete Essential Hembeck Archives Omnibus, which is just as thick as its title. I've already started on it, and I'm guessing it'll be on my nightstand for a good long while.

I also noticed a pile of discounted RPG products while I was there, including a couple of really old GURPS books I didn't have (they're rare, believe me). So I picked 'em up. There's the Space Bestiary (could be useful since I'm ramping up to do a GURPS Space campaign), GURPS Wizards (the least useful to me, but a good guide to creating magic-users with various spell styles) and Tredroy (a fantasy city that takes its cue from the border of Europe and the Ottoman Empire, really interesting).

Oh and on the DVD front, two boxed sets came in. One is Trial of a Time Lord, which includes a full season (4 stories) of the 6th Doctor, and the BBC's first collection of Shakespeare's Tragedies, which I essentially got for Hamlet. I'd love to get all the plays, but the sets are real pricy. Maybe if I pace myself I won't feel so guilty about putting up the money.


Comics: Finished a couple of my recently purchased Kochalka books. I don't have much to say about Johnny Boo except that it's a fun children's tale, which I only really got because I'm a completist. American Elf vol.2 was a lot more enjoyable. The switch to color makes the 2005-2006 installment of the Sketchbook Diaries an even better value. There are a lot fewer cat-inspired strips this time, Kochalka's first son hijacking the bulk of the strips, but that's par for the course for a new parent. Still a lovely and funny reading experience.

DVDs: First, I did immediately put Hamlet into the player. I'm a little obsessed that way. The production is a bit of a geekstorm: Patrick Stewart as Claudius, Lalla Ward (the second Romana in Doctor Who) as Ophelia, incidental music by Dudley Simpson, and two (TWO!) Masters: Derek Jacobi as Hamlet himself, and Geoffrey Beevers (one of the burnt Masters) in a small role. The play is pretty much integral, though I can easily notice a lot of small cuts. Jacobi's Hamlet gave me new insights into a lot of the lines, an actor with incredibly strong knowledge of the material. Stewart is a little stiff as Claudius, I was disappointed by his performance. Ward is the weak link though, I don't buy her Ophelia at all. The other parts are all well filled-out, and I have to commend Eric Porter for the first "foolish" Polonius I've ever found truly effective. And yes, that includes Ian Holmes'.

The other DVD I flipped is Juno, a film I found a little over-written at times, especially in the quick witticisms of the heroine and her best friend. However, it was a lot stronger in the scenes where things were left unspoken. I think it's the kind of movie for which my affection will grow with each subsequent viewing. The DVD package includes a fun commentary with Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman, some interviews, a short making of, outtakes, deleted scenes and a music video starring cast and crew. Good stuff.

Books: I thought I'd already read Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle, but looking at it closely, I found I hadn't. Well, it would have been worth rereading regardless. Fully worthy of its reputation as a modern classic, it delves much more into science fiction than I would have thought, but shares Vonnegut's usual apocalyptic vision. I don't think anyone's ever thought of end of the world scenarios as diverse as Vonnegut (and I'm including the likes of Ballard). I've been converted to Bokononism.

New Unauthorized Doctor Who CCG cards: 14, finishing up Arc of Infinity.

Someone Else's Post of the Week
Over at the Fractal Hall Journal, Madeley is running a series of "Delineated" heroes, attempting to piece together the mystery of each character's popularity and strength of concept. Starting with Batman, he then went one to delineate Superman, Flash, Iron Man, Green Arrow, Thor, Daredevil and Ghost Rider, with more to come I'm sure.


De said...

Glad you liked Juno. You're right, it does get better with each subsequent viewing. I think I've seen it four times now thanks to Em, who absolutely adores it.

You may want to check out Hard Candy, which was Ellen Page's first "breakout" film.


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