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CSBG Archive

What I bought – 30 September 2009

“I stick my neck out for nobody!”

You know, I only bought 6 single issues this week (I did get a bunch of graphic novel/trade paperbacks, so there’s that), and while I liked them all, I’m kind of not in the mood to review them. Brent Anderson’s art was off somehow in the Astro City Special, and I wonder how much was due to the new colorist, Wendy Broome (it wasn’t bad art, just off somehow). Rapture was good, but it’s the fourth issue in a six-issue mini-series, so it’s kind of difficult to really review it. The cover is very literal, though, in case you’re wondering. I’d like to address the use of John Garrett in Secret Warriors: Why is John Garrett in Secret Warriors? I have the sinking feeling it’s because Hickman thought it would be “cool” to use a character from a book he liked in his youth, no matter how little sense it makes. I know Garrett is part of “regular” Marvel continuity these days, but his story (as told in Elektra: Assassin) was so perfectly, well, over, that using him in this book just seems like a nod to fans of the old book and Hickman saying, “Wasn’t Elektra: Assassin pretty fucking awesome?” Well, sure it was, but is there going to be a reason to use Garrett as opposed to making up a new ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. agent? Stuff like this bothers me. The first issue of The Unknown: The Devil Made Flesh was pretty flingin’-flangin’ awesome, as Waid completely twists our expectations about where the story of Catherine Allingham and James Doyle was going. Waid is good at brilliant twists, and he pulls a couple of nice ones, even though the second one we could see coming and won’t stick anyway, based on the solicitations for the fourth issue. And Oosterveer’s art is excellent. Unknown Soldier ended the latest arc well, and the book continues to improve. Interestingly enough, Ponticelli’s art looked “off,” too, and again, I don’t know why. Finally, X-Factor continues to shamble toward issue #50, with David leading us to a conclusion we had come to quite some time ago. This issue also featured really horrible art – de Landro has been decent on the book, but this issue looked terrible. The figures looked stiff and out of proportion and sketchy, while the characters’ facial expressions didn’t seem to match what they were saying or experiencing at that moment. Blech.

So, that’s what I thought. Instead of reviews under the boilerplate, I’m going to open my three volumes of Schott’s Miscellany (Schott’s Original Miscellany, Schott’s Food & Drink Miscellany, and Schott’s Sporting, Gaming, & Idling Miscellany), select passages at randon, then transpose those. Feel free to ignore them; you know that every so often I get a little weird (like when I used poetry to express my thoughts about the comics I bought; wasn’t that fun?), and I’m sure by next week I’ll be back in a mood to do straight reviews. Let’s dive in!

Astra: An Astro City Special #1 (of 2) (“Graduation Day”) by Kurt Busiek (writer), Brent E. Anderson (artist), J. G. Roshell (letterer), Jimmy Betancourt (letterer), and Wendy Broome (colorist). $3.99, 24 pgs, FC, DC/Wildstorm.

Reflex 6 sounds like a girl band that Prince sponsored back in the day, doesn't it?

Final Meal Requests: Since the death penalty was reinstated in the mid-1970s, Texas has had the dubious honor of executing more people than any other American state. The lethal injection Texas employs consists of sodium thiopental, pancuronium bromide, and potassium chloride (at a cost of $86.08). Below are the final meal requests from some of those executed in Texas.

JEFFREY DOUGHTIE (executed on 8.16.2001): 8 soft fried eggs (wants yellow runny), big bowl of grits, 5 biscuits with bowl of butter, five pieces of fried hard and crisp bacon, two sausage patties, pitcher of chocolate milk, 2 pints vanilla Blue Bell ice cream, and 2 bananas.

GERALD MITCHELL (executed on 10.22.2001): 1 bag of assorted Jolly Ranchers.

SPENCER GOODMAN (executed on 1.18.2000): Double cheeseburger, french fries topped with onions and cheese, baked potato topped with sour cream, cheese and butter, 2 fried pork chops, 3 beef enchiladas, and chocolate cake.

Story continues below

WILLIAM LITTLE (executed on 6.1.1999): 15 slices of cheese, 3 fried eggs, 3 buttered toasts, 2 hamburger patties with cheese, 2 sliced tomatoes, 1 sliced onions, french fries with salad dressing, 2 lb. of crispy fried bacon, 1 quart chocolate milk, and 1 pint of fresh strawberries.

JOHNNY GARRETT (executed on 2.11.1992): Ice cream. [John Garrett??????]

RONALD O’BRYAN (executed on 3.31.1984): T-bone steak (med. to well done), french fries and “catsup,” whole kernel corn, sweet peas, lettuce and tomato salad with egg and french dressing, iced tea, sweetener, Saltines, Boston cream pie, rolls.

(The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is at pains to note that ‘the final meal requested may not reflect the actual final meal served.’)

Rapture #4 (of 6) by Taki Soma (writer/layouter), Michael Avon Oeming (writer/artist), Val Staples (colorist), and Thomas Mauer (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, Dark Horse.

Oh, can love survive when one of the lovers has become eeeeevillllllllll?????

Stanley Cup Winners, 1893-1926 (pre-NHL, that is):

1893: Montreal AAA
1894: Montreal AAA
1895: Montreal Victorias
1896: Winnipeg Victorias/Montreal Victorias
1897: Montreal Victorias
1898: Montreal Victorias
1899: Montreal Victorias/Montreal Shamrocks
1900: Montreal Shamrocks
1901: Winnipeg Victorias
1902: Winnipeg Victorias/Montreal AAA
1903: Montreal AAA/Ottawa Silver Stars
1904: Ottawa Silver Stars
1905: Ottawa Silver Stars
1906: Ottawa Silver Stars/Montreal Wanderers
1907: Kenora Thistles/Montreal Wanderers
1908: Montreal Wanderers
1909: Ottawa Senators
1910: Ottawa Senators/Montreal Wanderers
1911: Ottawa Senators
1912: Quebec Bulldogs
1913: Quebec Bulldogs
1914: Toronto Blueshirts
1915: Vancouver Millionaires
1916: Montreal Canadiens
1917: Seattle Metropolitans (an American team? for shame, Canada!)
1918: Toronto Arenas
1919: no decision
1920: Ottawa Senators
1921: Ottawa Senators
1922: Toronto St. Pats
1923: Ottawa Senators
1924: Montreal Canadiens
1925: Victoria Cougars
1926: Montreal Maroons

No, I don’t know why some teams shared the Cup back in the day. Anyone?

Secret Warriors #8 by Jonathan Hickman (writer), Alessandro Vitti (artist), Sunny Gho (colorist), and Dave Lanphear (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, Marvel.

Actually, this was a pretty cool issue.

List of contradictanyms (words which have opposing meanings based on the context in which they are used):

You must BOLT the door … or he will BOLT for the door.
FLOG a horse … in order to FLOG the horse-meat.
GARNISH that dish … or I will GARNISH your earnings.
Secure it with a BUCKLE … or it will BUCKLE under the weight.
Please SCREEN us from …the film they are about to SCREEN.
Though CRITICAL in his comments … he was CRITICAL to our success.
You can see the stars are OUT … once the lights are OUT.
It is everyday CUSTOM … to have suits CUSTOM-made.
It was an OVERSIGHT … to give him OVERSIGHT of the project.
I will FIX the gate … in order to FIX the race.
Bind him FAST to prevent … a FAST getaway.
He was only a QUALIFIED success … although he is fully QUALIFIED.

The Unknown: The Devil Made Flesh #1 (of 4) by Mark Waid (writer), Minck Oosterveer (artist), Andres Lozano (colorist), and Marshall Dillon (letterer). $3.99, 22 pgs, FC, Boom! Studios.

When we learn the lesson that all comics teach: NEVER TRUST THE WOMEN!!!!!!

According to the latest figures [the book was published in 2005, so they may have changed] from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) [which actually exists!], Norway is the ideal country to move to if you’re idle. There the “average hours worked” per-year per-person in work is 1,337 – compared to 1,792 in the United States and 2,390 in Korea:

Norway: 1,337
Netherlands: 1,354
France: 1,421
Germany: 1,446
Denmark: 1,475
Italy: 1,591
Ireland: 1,613
United Kingdom: 1,673
Canada: 1,718
United States: 1,792
Japan: 1,801
Australia: 1,814
Mexico: 1,857
Greece: 1,938
Korea: 2,390

The conclusion: Europeans are lazy. I knew it! Except for the Greeks. What the hell?

Unknown Soldier #12 (“Easy Kill: Conclusion”) by Joshua Dysart (writer), Alberto Ponticelli (artist), Oscar Celestini (colorist), and Clem Robins (letterer). $2.99, 23 pgs, FC, DC/Vertigo.

Dang, Moses is hardcore!

Some Shakespearean insults:

You are not worth another word, else I’d call you Knave.

Why art thou then exasperate, thou idle, immaterial skein of sleave-silk, thou green sarsenet flap for a sore eye, thou tassel of a prodigal’s purse, thou? Ah, how the world is pestered with such waterflies, diminutives of nature.

Thou whoreson zed, thou unnecessary letter.

This woman’s an easy glove, my Lord, she goes off and on at pleasure.

False of Heart, light of Ear, bloody handed, Hog in sloth, Fox in stealth, Wolf in greediness, Dog in madness, Lion in prey.

You shew’d your teethes like Apes, and fawn’d like hounds and bow’d like Bondmen.

Like the toad, ugly and venemous.

I would thou didst itch from head to foot and I had the scratching of thee; I would make the the loathsomest scab in Greece.

You fat and greasy citizens.

Like a villaine with a smiling cheek, a goodly apple rotten at the heart.

Story continues below

You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate as reek o’ th’ rotten fens, whose loves I prize as the dead, carcasses of unburied men that do corrupt my air.

X-Factor #49 by Peter David (writer), Valentine De Landro (penciler), Pat Davidson (inker), Jeromy Cox (colorist), and Cory Petit (letterer). $2.99, 22 pgs, FC, Marvel.

Come on - didn't we all see that coming?


The Swedish dish Surströmming is a somewhat acquired taste. Small, freshly caught herrings (strömming) are placed in wooden vats and a solution of brine is added. After 48 hours or so the heads and intestines are removed and the fish are again packed into barrels with brine. The barrels are left for 8-12 weeks in the summer heat, “cooking” them at a temperature of 40-60° F. During this time the fish decompose producing a tremendous quality of vile pungent gas. The resulting “delicacy” smells very, very bad indeed, but is regarded by a significant minority as a true gastronomic treat. Sweden’s medieval royal legislation, which governs the manufacture of Surströmming, allows for its sale on the third Thursday in August, when the fish is traditionall eaten with beer, aquavit, or vodka.

Now that sounds tasty!

I promise I’ll be better next week. I guess I gots the fifth-week blues. I don’t know how Chad Nevett was getting 13 books this week. I was looking at the outlay at the comics shoppe and I couldn’t believe he’d be getting 13 books, unless he was in the mood to gouge his eyes out. But maybe he’ll tell us what he got!

Anyway, feel free to discuss the miscellany or the awesome books you bought this week. Just because I skipped the JLA 80-Page Giant doesn’t mean it sucked! Or maybe it does. Beats me!

Let’s bring it on home with some totally random lyrics:

“I’m a beast on the microphone, a night stalker
A killing machine, a savage street talker
Jason with an axe, but I put it on wax
To eradicate the suckers who thought I had relaxed
The prince of hip hop, straight from Queens
Kicking it mean, keeping it clean
And you’ve never seen anybody rock the party
All you funky beat-aholics, this beat’s Bacardi
I go to the show, and terrorize emcees, don’t you know
Moving my hand like I’m playing the piano”

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s almost time for me to have some Surströmming for dinner (it’s sold in cans, after all). I can’t wait!


This is why, in my opinion you’re the best guy posting on this blog.

I skipped the whole thing after the first paragraph but what a great, cooky idea.

I read the Shakespeare insults after all.

That guy could write well even when he’s calling someone a whore.

One of my favorite quotes from Shakespeare was something to the effect of “A man isn’t a man until he kisses the lips that do not speak.”

The reason there may seem to be two winners in any given Stanley Cup year is that for the longest time, the Cup was awarded to the winner of a challenge. Thus, regardless of how long it had been since the last awarding of the cup, any team could challenge the winners for the right to possess the cup.
So the two winners listed actually each won the cup individually, on separate occasions.

Incidentally, the reason that there was no decision in the 1919 Cup is that the series had to be canceled due to the Spanish Influenza outbreak.

Tom Fitzpatrick

October 1, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Winnipeg hasn’t WON a Stanley Cup since 1902?!?

Dammitalltohell!!! We NEED a real hockey team!!!! ;-)

Great. Now I’m wondering exactly how often Texan death row inmates get the last meal they asked for. Where would you even go to find that out? And 15 slices of cheese? What the hell?

“You speak an infinite deal of nothing.”-Merchant of Venice

I can’t wait for the What I Bought that’s entirely in Latin.

“Only” 6 issues this week? That’s a decent month for me!

There’s an insult I’ll have to use: “Thou unnecessary letter.”

Pointless self-indulgence, thy name is Burgas. Did anyone actually read past the preamble of this patently ludicrous post?

Dude: Thanks? I guess.

acespot: Good to know, sir. Thanks for the knowledge!

Thok: Man, that’s mean. But appropriate!

Bill: Don’t give me any ideas!

fit2print: Dude (or dudette, I suppose), it’s a blog. It’s pretty much the definition of pointless self-indulgence. Thanks for pointing out the obvious. Come on – who doesn’t need a little pointless knowledge? How will you impress the chicks at your next party? “Hey, babe, I can name all the Stanley Cup winners before 1926.” She’ll be putty in your hands!!!!

The only thing more pointlessly self-indulgent than blogging is calling out bloggers for being pointlessly self-indulgent in the comments. And calling out commenters, I think.

I like how your opening is like the Buy Pile without all the unnecessary line breaks. Your other personal distinctions in the unabridged reviews are interesting also.

Texas has also executed more innocent prisoners than any other state.

Tom Fitzpatrick

October 1, 2009 at 7:59 pm

“Texas has also executed more innocent prisoners than any other state.”

A pretty good reason NOT to visit Texas, eh? ;-)

>>No, I don’t know why some teams shared the Cup back in the day. Anyone?

Because Canadians are so absurdly polite, I’m sure. Acespot is nuts.

You’re a strange man, Burgas.

Tom Fitzpatrick

October 2, 2009 at 6:33 am

“Because Canadians are so absurdly polite, I’m sure.”

It’s a national character flaw. I dunno why, though.
If it’s of any consolation, Winnipeg is earning the nickname “Mini-Detroit” due to the crimes and murder rates.
Guess SOME of us isn’t all that polite. :-(

We need more reviews like this column.

BTW, I really enjoyed JLA 80-page Giant, with two exceptions: One panel the art was very odd to look at, the placement of an arm not quite right; the other a battle scene that I’m still not sure how it was resolved – though I shoudl give it a second read. Building on Snapper and Cheetah was fun, and if ti does lead to a future storyline, great!

What’s the scene from Family Guy? “Texas – the Fuck You state.”

Again, great column.



>>If it’s of any consolation, Winnipeg is earning the nickname “Mini-Detroit” due to the crimes and murder rates.
Guess SOME of us isn’t all that polite. :-(

Even so, I guess it’s possible to commit murder politely.

“By your leave, I’m going to kill you. So sorry about that.”


Hey, Greg! I bought 3 Story: the Tales of the Giant Man because of you! Well, not you, but the awesomeness of Matt Kindt’s stories. But close enough! Feel happy!

Very cool, Dan. I hope you enjoy it.

Greg: I was worried no one would revel in the glory that is LL. Good call!

When I first saw this piece, I gave Greg credit for trying something new but lost interest soon after the first paragraph. I actually read the piece all the way through for the first time just now and it’s actually pretty good. Pretty interesting stuff. I wouldn’t like this format every week but an occasional distraction like this would be welcome from time to time.

Greg, did you get some of this stuff from Schott’s Original Miscellany? I was looking through my copy this weekend and noticed that a lot of it is in there.

BDaly: Indeed I did! Should I point out that I wrote it above? Skip my purple prose at your own risk!!!!!

Those death row types are really letting themselves go. Can’t be good for their health.

Also, yay for Europe: 4 weeks’ paid vacation as a statutory minimum!

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