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Random Thoughts! (December 20, 2011)

Random Thought! “Guitar solo!” It’s Random Thoughts time! Get excited!

Link Thought! GraphiContent for comics. butterbeatleblog for popculture. 411mania for wrestling reviews and the occasional CD review.

Random Thought! 21:30. 12/22/11.

Random Thought! I already disagree with the top ten comics of the year list I gave CBR… but I’ve yet to have a year where that list didn’t differ from my final best of the year list.

Random Thought! Between Journey into Mystery #632 and Deadpool MAX-Mas Special #1, Marvel has truly made this a lovely holiday season.

Random Thought! Now, Deadpool MAX ending undercuts that a little… Though, did anyone really expect 19 issues of that series? I’m surprised it lasted past the first six issues, so I’m not complaining about it ending when it could have ended much sooner.

Random Thought! I am officially excited for next month’s OMAC/Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE crossover. It’s the battle of the acronyms! (I wonder if Jeff Lemire will try to title his issue using the SHADE acronym…)

Random Thought! With Civil War kicking off a line of prose books from Marvel adapting their comics (something DC has been doing for years), I wonder what will be next. Will they stick to events? To stories post-Civil War? There are a variety of approaches to take. I just want a complete “Oral History of the Avengers” book by Brian Michael Bendis and it should come out on the same day as his final Avengers issue (whichever title that is) and cover everything right up until that issue.

Random Thought! If my fellow CBR reviewers want to get me a gift this year, might I request not selecting Captain America #5, #6 or Captain America & Bucky #625 in next week’s draft so I can review all three? I love it when ‘theme weeks’ can happen.

Random Thought! Last week, I compiled my top albums of 2011 list for 411mania. They wanted a top 25, but I only got 14 albums from 2011 this year (so far)! That list was just a list for compiling points and an overall list. For another writer, I’m doing a proper top ten with blurbs on every album. I understand the concept of ‘best of the year’ lists, but they always seem to miss out on an essential part of the year: stuff you discover from years prior. I didn’t just buy 14 albums this year, I bought a lot more and they definitely shaped how I viewed this year musically (possibly more than the new albums). So, here’s a list of my top ten albums from before 2011 of the year (including compilations released in 2011) in alphabetical order by artist: Brothers by the Black Keys, “Heroes” by David Bowie, Below the Belt by Danko Jones, Missiles by the Dears, Greatest Hits by Guns N’ Roses, Icon by Motörhead, Animals by Pink Floyd, Rated R by Queens of the Stone Age, Milk by Hawksley Workman, and The Essential “Weird Al” Yankovic by “Weird Al” Yankovic. When I do my ‘best of 2011′ posts for GraphiContent on comics, I’ll try and include a list like that for comics that I got this year from before 2011.

Random Thought! I love those Star Trek Fan Collective DVD sets. I got the Klingon one on Friday and it’s pretty good. It’s a little lacking in only choosing four Next Generation episodes. The set actually has room for three more episodes and I wish they’d included “The Emissary” and “Reunion” from Next Generation since both of those are very Klingon-heavy and explain why things happen in episodes included in the set. For the third episode (assuming you don’t just take out some of the weaker episodes), I’d probably go with “Sons of Mogh” to give a conclusion to the stuff involving Worf’s brother. As often happens when I get WWE DVD sets, I mostly just want to know how the fuck they decided on these things. I guess the fans voted…? If so, the fans are idiots.

Random Thought! What I love most about the first Jack Kirby’s Fourth World omnibus is how DC didn’t update any of the copy to reflect that this is a paperback edition released several years later. The back cover text mentions that this is a hardcover edition! Grant Morrison is still writing All-Star Superman! Mark Evanier’s Kirby: King of Comics will be published later this year! Lazy bastards…

Random Thought! That said, I enjoyed the first omnibus a lot. It really gets cooking by the end and I’m left counting the days until April when the second one is released in trade…

Random Thought! The Reaction to Something I Wrote of the Year: “Does anything ever please you? I hate you and I honestly hope you die soon.” He apparently liked last night’s episode of Raw a little more than I did.

Random Thought! I enjoyed Avengers: X-Tinction #1.

Random Thought! I’m trying to think of what 2011 seems like, as a year, to me when it comes to comics. DC’s relaunch was the biggest news of the year, and, yet, it feels mostly like business as usual. That’s what the year itself felt like too much: business as usual.

Random Thought! This year’s Blogathon is my favourite Blogathon.

Random Thought! I would absolutely love it if the best comic of 2011 came out next week.

Random Thought! I work tomorrow and, then, I’m off until the following Wednesday. That’s pretty awesome.

Random Thought! Next week’s Random Thoughts will be a ‘best of 2011′ post where I’ve selected my favourite Random Thoughts from throughout the year. I had no limit in mind. I simply went through every Random Thoughts post from 2011 and anything I felt like including I did. It will be in chronological order (with one exception).

***

Random Comments! Final one of these for the year, because I didn’t include a ‘best of’ for the comments in next week’s post. I don’t have that sort of time — or patience.

Michael P said: Picard actually doesn’t get to see Crusher naked until after Nemesis.

And yet she totally ear-fucked that Ferengi in “Chain of Command”…

schmakt said: Good lord… at first I was going to whine about you having used that first TTH quote in a previous column… then there was another… then another… How much is Gordon paying you?

Well, at first, it was one bucket of chicken, but I wasn’t cool with that. So, after some haggling, it was two buckets of chicken and a ride to the liquor store. (And, as I said last week: I assume I repeat myself all of the time. It’s hard to remember what I’ve randomly thought before…)

Stephane S said: A Tragically Hip song mentioning hockey? You’re such a Canuck…

That lyric is the most Canadian lyric in the history of music.

Bill Reed said: I forget, does the first Fourth World Omnibus feature any issues inked by Mike Royer? Because that’s when it starts getting really good. I do remember the first book is Olsen heavy. The third Omnibus is probably the best overall.

Nope. Just Vince Colletta on inks.

Kevin Hellions said: “And no one will read it.” I may not read it Chad, but I’ll spend money and buy it. Is that good enough? Speaking of spending money on things and then not enjoying them. You seem to have a good turn over rate of buying a comic, DVD, CD, etc and going through it if not that day, then within a week. So maybe for a future Random Thoughts (or hey, why not take some pictures for the sister blog, Robot 6?s Shelf Porn column) lets see the collection. Is there a “to be read” pile? Are things read or watched or listened to and then filed away properly?

Buying it is the same as reading it for my purposes. And participated in Shelf Porn back in 2010. The stacks have gotten bigger.

Erik said: I always assumed the same thing about Data. I could have sworn there was a line somewhere that explained that his quest to become more human was part of his programming, but I may have just made that up as a kid to explain how an emotionless robot could desire anything.

Well, technically, it is part of his programming — otherwise, he wouldn’t do it at all. The distinction I guess is the reason for the progam. If it’s a genuine attempt to make him strive for humanity or a recognition that that’s the only way racist humans would get off his fucking back is the question.

Addison said: Do you have a secret blog where u review TNG episodes? because I would be interested in ignoring more work-related activities for introspective analysis on Riker, Troy, Worf, Data etc. I’ve been easing my gf into StarTrek with Voyager over the past 5 and a half seasons on netflix and she’s really starting to dig it. example from this morning: “babe! what happens with Captain Proton?! did they make it off the holodeck and save the spider-queen?!” it improves my quality of life to hear her say these things out loud.

I have no secret blogs. I may throw up something on the Q set — maybe a Random Thoughts sort of review where it’s just going episode by episode and listing some random thoughts I had. We’ll see.

Daryll B said: Data and Riker had a weird buddy relationship. Riker was like the cool dude to Data’s geek in 80?s teen movies and always tried to make Data ‘cool’ in the most weird ways possible. I once likened then to Parker Lewis and his nerdy multi-purposed jacket/closet assistant

The episode where Data gets a girlfriend has one of their best moments where Riker is almost giddy over the prospect of Data getting laid.

Travis Pelkie said: But, um, do you have Neil Young’s album Arc? Ever since I heard of it, I’ve been interested, but never found it. Yes, I’ll look for it online….

No, I have Weld, the regular live album. I’ll get Arc at some point, but it doesn’t seem ‘essential.’

That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading. Later.

14 Comments

I give. What happens at 9:30 on Thursday?

The episode where Data gets a girlfriend contains one of my all-time favorite Picard lines: “Mr. Data, I would be happy to give you advice on the subject of understanding women. As soon as I have some, I’ll let you know.”

What? Nothing to say about Doc Bizarre, MD? Not even a comment on how Doc Bizarre is ridiculous in his belief of his duty as a Doctor and how he continuously upholds a certain level of professionalism? In retrospect that was probably one of the better elements of the book. It ends very abruptly.

Those “best albums of the year” lists are always problematic to me because despite listening to a lot of music (some hundreds new titles this year) I almost never listen to brand-new music. Up to today, I have so far heard one (1) album made in 2011: PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake, which is a good album. I could probably give nice lists for every year between 1955 and 2009 but 2011 will still take time…
(My favorite album of 2009 is Vagarosa by Céu and of 1955 Satch Plays Fats by Louis Armstrong, for anyone interested…)

There’s a trade of Bendis’s “Oral History of the Avengers” in yesterday’s Marvel solicits.

I’ve said it before but, Journey Into Mystery was the best thing I read last week.

I think I only bought 2 albums released this year. I’d rank them

1: The Black Keys – El Camino
2: Mastodon – The Hunter

The three albums released in 2011 that I still haven’t gotten are the latest Tori Amos, the latest Wilco, and the Lou Reed/Metallica one. Otherwise, I don’t know that I’ve gotten any albums this year. Arcade Fire the Suburbs came out in 2010, right?

I want a Weird Al album that just takes all the polka medleys from every album and mixes them into one long track. That’d be awesome.

I don’t think Chad got Doc Bizarre yet. (Purchased, not understood. But maybe understood…)

This time of year is a bit irritating to me with all the best of year end lists, because it seems like it’s too similar. Bah, maybe it’s just me. That said, I will read any and all posted on this site.

I would slightly disagree on the biggest news of the year, but probably just sematically. While the DC relaunch is obviously the biggest comics news, the day and date digital turn that most publishers are moving towards is probably the bigger impact on the medium. It will be interesting to see how different sites rank those 2 stories.

Overall, though, yeah, this year was one that kind of dulled me on comics in a way. The new DC doesn’t thrill me, Marvel doesn’t excite me much, and I haven’t seen anything mind blowing otherwise. Hopefully 2012 will reinvigorate my love of comics. I do go through ups and downs, so I’m hoping it’s coming to an upturn soon.

It was a year with a fantastic album from The Decemberists, and really, that’s all that matters.

And now I hide away for revealing myself to be a hipster at heart.

On the folk side Laura Marling’s new album continued her run of beautiful soulful work that should not be possible by someone so young.

Caro Emarald’s album, although poppy and somewhat overproduced in places, was a nice fun jazz album.

And my good friend Mikelangelo and his band the Tin Star released aa album of surf and western music. Seriously, look it up.

But I cannot even begin to talk about all the old stuff I finally found, was a fun year in music for me.

“And yet she totally ear-fucked that Ferengi in “Chain of Command”…”

That was a pivotal moment in Star Trek/early adolescence for me. I don’t know if it was because I was 12 or 13 when that happened, or because they’d changed Gates McFadden’s hair since the early seasons, but I’d always thought of Troi as the attractive one up to that point and never given Crusher a second thought. From there on out (especially when she has all those ghost orgasms in Sub Rosa), I was totally into Crusher.

And to join in on the music discussion, I think Starfucker’s Reptillians is the only album I got all year. It was really good. I’ll get the new Tom Waits at some point, too.

We had Arc at my college radio station. I borrowed it, took it to my dorm, put it on, and maybe made it ten minutes into the album. I love, love, love NeilYoung’s music, but that was one experiment that just didn’t work for me.

I bought P.J. Harvey’s Let England Shake and Radiohead’s King of Limbs. Nothing else from this year, and both those albums earned my admiration more than my affection. I’ll pick up the new Black Keys album soon. I have high hopes for that one.

Michael P — If I wanted to say what will happen, I would have said.

Mario — I wrote a few thoughts about Doc Bizarre on my blog last Thursday as part of my Sketch Reviews for the week.

Robert Eddleman — I missed that. But, looking at it, it’s just a collection of the material in Avengers and New Avengers. I want the entire history of the Avengers in that format, not just up to where Bendis got.

Very curious to see how Civil War will work as prose. Take away Steve McNiven’s art, and it’s a bunch of scenes of characters arguing while trying to justify the flimsy premise thrust upon them, sandwiched together by some big multi-hero melees. Will we see any internal monologues from the characters, and if so, will they reflect upon their one-dimensional behavior or just run with it?

Why have I always made Best lists that excluded anything not released that year? I’ve been a pawn to the capitalist machine (best of lists are basically there to drive you to product, yes?). So best album this year is The Definitive Debarge.

Also ‘I’m trying to think of what 2011 seems like, as a year, to me when it comes to comics. DC’s relaunch was the biggest news of the year, and, yet, it feels mostly like business as usual. That’s what the year itself felt like too much: business as usual.’ = utter truth.

@Mike — is Arc at all like Metal Machine Music? Cuz I’d totally dig that.

@Neil — I read at least part of the novelization of Infinite Crisis, and that didn’t turn out bad, so depending on your feelings for that, maybe the Civil War novel will “work” for you. Especially if they get Greg Cox to do it.

Actually, it’d be way funny if some dim bookstore employee shelved it with books about Robert E Lee and Abe Lincoln.

Travis,

If you like Metal Machine Music, you’d probably dig Arc. It’s all feedback noise.

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