Link’n’Blogs – 5.25.18: Solo – What To Know


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I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as fun or thought provoking as I have.

Solo: A Star Wars Story opens today. Are you ready? Reading the story from USA TODAY will help you get there! Click on Chewie below…

 

chewbacca

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Filed under Chewbacca, Han Solo, Link'n'Blog, Star Wars

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: May 15 – 22, 2018


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

Comics I Read Last Week:

The best comic I read last week was Batman #47.

Capture

 

Writers: Tom King

Artist: Tony Daniel

After reading only 4 comics last week, I had a more typical number this week and the books were all very good. There were a number of compelling titles this week including New Challengers and No Justice, but the conclusion of the arc entitled “The Gift” in Batman was too perfect (and heartbreaking) to pass up.

Tony Daniel belongs on Batman. His refined style and expressive work is a terrific compliment to the caped crusader. That he is back on the book with a more developed and confident approach than he used when he was working with Grant Morrison a few years back in one of the craziest of Batman heydays serves to establish him as one of the best Batman artists of a generation. His work alone is reason to buy the book.

Tom King wraps up the penultimate chapter of the wedding of Batman and Catwoman by doing something that I would have thought was impossible: he made Batman’s origin even more gut wrenching. The addition to the story, for as long as it lasts before some other writer comes along to continuity wipe it, is so perfectly Batman and so deliciously tragic. King’s Batman has been spot on and, what I most like about what he is doing, is that each arc he has written offers a different flavor and different take on the character. With King writing, the reader never knows what to expect.

That is a very good thing and this is a very good and very consistent book.

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Filed under Batman, Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Weekly Comic Book Review

Link’n’Blogs – 5.18.18: Top Gun at 32?


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I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as thought provoking as I have.

Is it possible that Top Gun was released 32 years ago this week. My goodness. Is it possible that the long germinating sequel might hit the screen next year? Yes, according to Variety. Are you ready to take the highway to the danger zone one more time? Click the picture below for the story.

Untitled

And, in case you’ve forgotten…

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: May 9 – 14, 2018


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I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. I might say “proud” if I hadn’t, over a year ago, switched to reading digital as opposed to print comics. I feel a bit robbed of the tactile sensations of the hobby – of the turn of the page, the sneaking look to the panel a page over, the bagging and shorting and stacking and filing. Though I read my comics in a different medium than I used to, I still treat each Wednesday (comic book delivery day to specialty shops around the country) as different from the other days of the week. I subscribe and now, rather than go to the comic store to be handed the books pulled for my “Hold Slot,” I click a button on my iPad and watch them download.

Then I read them.

Rare is the week that I don’t read them all between Wednesdays and some weeks I have, well… let’s just say more comic books in my digital downloads than a grown man should. Comic book legend Will Eisner (creator of The Spirit) is one of the most influential men even to put pencil to drawing board in the pursuit of making comics. So influential was he that the industry awards (think the Oscars or the Emmys or the Grammys) are named The Eisner Awards. He called comic books “sequential art,” perhaps because he became embarrassed by his profession when he had to admit what he did for a living. This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

Comics I Read Last Week:

The best comic I read last week was No Justice #1.

 

Comics

Writers: Scott Snyder, Joshua Williamson, James Tynion IV

Artist: Francis Manapul

Spinning out of the events of DC Metal comes No Justice, a weekly mini series that itself will launch a new iteration of Justice League. This is a cosmic, spare-faring, high stakes story that promises to change the DC Universe forever. Those kinds of claims are made frequently in comics, but this book seems to want to deliver and writers Snyder, Williamson and Tynion IV may well be the men to do it.

This is a book that features the genesis of four different Justice League teams facing off against all-powerful, cosmic antagonists. The teams were assembled by none other than Superman villain Brainiac and each is designed for specific and unknown reasons.

Oh, and they contain supervillains as well.

Great stuff!

The art by Manapul is not put to his usual creative brilliance and he seems to be working to someone else’s strictures and script, but any Manapul is good Manapul and the book looks great.

This is the start of something big.

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Filed under Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, DC Comics, Justice League, Marvel Comics, Weekly Comic Book Review

M Is For…Mater and My | Mother’s Day 2018


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My mother, The Mater, is a terrific mother and I know that I am lucky to be able to say that. I know that not everyone’s experience of their mom is a wonderful as my own has been. I am grateful for the blessing of my mom. I am grateful that she is mother-in-law to my wife. I am grateful that she is grandmother to my children. I am grateful for all that she has done for me. If our family has a force around which we all orbit, it is surely my mother.

And she is a force.

M is for The Mater.

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But, today, is is also for My as in my sisters.

My sisters are both amazing moms and have been amazing aunts to our children. We are a family that sees, well, a lot of each other and, as I write that I suspect one of my sisters reading it (we will call her Wookie Woman) is saying, “we need to spend more time together!

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Wookie Woman is the sweetest person I know. That is no exaggeration. She is so loving, so wonderful and so sweet to her kids (they may not know it yet) and our kids (who definitely do know it) that it is hard to explain. She is a caring and loving mom.

2017-12-24 19.46.46

My other sister, Hotel California, and I had our first children three weeks apart from one another and we raised those first two almost together. I watched her parent from the start and I watch her today and I judge my parenting and whether I am doing it right based very much on hers.

My sisters are the best sisters I could hope for. And they are wonderful mothers.

Happy Mother’s Day to the three most important women in my life (who I am not married to or the father of!)!

 

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Filed under Family, Hotel California, Mother, Mothers, Mothers Day, Wookie Woman

Motherhood: All Love Begins And Ends There


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The title of this blog is a quote from Robert Browning. It is simple and it is true.

How do I know this? I know this because I live with The Cinnamon Girl.

We have three children and I can write today – with no fear of being contradicted – that each of our children has become the strong, young adult they have become because of her love for them.

For them, love begins and ends in her motherhood.

EasterI wonder what they would say about The Cinnamon Girl if you got them talking, it they could identify what really makes her so special in their lives. What might they say? I am not certain, but I do have some guesses.

HJ jr might remark about how his mother has never let him down and always, ever and forever, has his back. He might say she has been his confidante and champion. He might say she is always there for him. He might say that she has made him a stronger and better person.

He might say all of that.

Stretch, who this weekend (this very day) graduates college, might say that The Cinnamon Girl taught him not too take life too seriously. He might say she taught him the so critical gift of irreverence. He might say she showed him through humor just how much she loves him.

He might say all of that.

Sous Chef might say that The Cinnamon Girl is one of the best role models for growing up into a strong and confident woman she could have ever had. She might say that she loves it when they cook together, or talk about make up together, or talk about life together. She might say that The Cinnamon Girl helped her become the amazing young woman she is.

As for me, I would say I have learned more about parenting (and about life) from my beautiful wife and partner than I ever would have thought possible. I learned it even more as I watched her mother her mother in the last stages of my mother-in-law’s life these last few years. What love and what grace my wife showed. What love and what grace she has.

Caroline and Dora Confirmation

My wife is a wonderful mother. Our children are, truly, lucky to have her.

As am I.

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Too Many Crossroads, Not Enough Tears | Stretch At 21 And A College Graduate


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So, it has come to this: Stretch turns 21 years old today.

21.

We have been through this before as HJ jr got there a few months back. We have crossed this particular Rubicon.

But, not only does Stretch cross the 21 threshold today, tomorrow, he graduates Gonzaga University and prepares, in a few short weeks, to begin his Master’s studies at the University of Notre Dame.

I am not sure which milestone is more affecting but I can tell you, I am emotionally compromised thinking about the little boy who used to spend hours playing Backyard Football, the middle school kid who laughed and laughed at something outrageous The Cinnamon Girl said to him, the high school student who made incredibly close friends, led retreats and loved his siblings, the college student who did so well he got himself into his dream school for post graduate studies and the young man who will dedicate his life to educating others.

We could not be more proud of Stretch, of the young man he has been and the man he is becoming.

We love you.

Happy Birthday!

Happy graduation!

Happy next phase of your life!

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