Birthday Gift – Dad’s 80th


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CaptureMy father had many gifts.

He was a great storyteller.

He was an often irreverent humorist. 

He was a fixer – if it was broken, he would find a way (not always the most safe way, mind you) to repair it.

He was an organizer. He brought people together.

He was a leader.

He was a mentor.

He was a husband and father and grandfather.

As it turns out, not only did Dad have many gifts, Dad was a gift.

And, though he has been gone many years now, he is still giving…

Happy Birthday, Dad. Thank God for the gift of you.

 

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: December 1 – 7, 2021

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COMICS I READ LAST WEEK

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The Best Comic I Read Last Week Was

Nightwing Annual #1

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Tom Taylor… goodness, sir. 

We already knew you could write Dick Grayson, now we discover you are equally adept at writing Jason Todd. 

Mr. Taylor’s moment continues in Nightwing Annual #1. Bringing together the first two Robins in a story that spans years, Taylor shows himself (once again) to be a master of both quiet character moments and bombastic action. Not only that, he illustrates that his intimate knowledge of the histories of the comics he writes is, perhaps, his greatest strength. He mines the massive back histories of these characters to tell a story that is exciting and affecting. Taylor is quickly establishing himself as a master of all things Bat-Family and all  characters within it. Though I want him on Nightwing (my favorite character) for a long, long run, it is only a matter of time before he’s offered the flagship, one thinks. Let’s enjoy him while we have him!

In this annual, his words are paired with a very good penciling team of Cian Toomey and Daniel HDR whose styles match the tone Taylor has set for both this issue and for the entirety of his Nightwing run. They more than ably take Nightwing and the Red Hood through their paces here and their flashback work to Robin and… Robin! is wonderful, too.

Annuals are too often exercises in silliness and, frankly, can be a waste of money. In a week where I had more than triple the typical number of issues on my electronic “pull list” – some of which were simply not terrific – this book stood out.

Taylor written comics tend to do that.


I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. 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,” which is the best, quick description of what comics are.

This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: November 23 – 30, 2021

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COMICS I READ LAST WEEK

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The Best Comic I Read Last Week Was

DC vs Vampires #2

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Series like DC vs Vampires do not always light my fire. I often avoid them altogether as I am one of those “does it have bearing on continuity” guys. I picked up the first two issues of this one for one simple reason: James Tynion IV. 

I have been such a fan of what Tynion has done on Batman, that I followed him to Something is Killing the Children (what a great book!). Horror is not a comic book genre which I usually frequent; it takes a lot to get me to pick up a book like that. Tynion was what it took. Loving that book, loving his writing and loving DC characters (Hal Jordan!) got me into DC vs Vampires. It is hard for me to tell where co-writer Matthew Rosenberg ends and Tynion begins, but I came for Tynion.

It turns out, I should have come for Otto Schmidt. This is not to say that the writing is not what I wanted – on the contrary, it is brilliant and creepy and subverting of expectations in the best ways. It shows an encyclopedic knowledge of the murky corners of the DC Universe and handles the characters incredibly well. It twists and turns and works. But it the pencils, inks and colors of Schmidt that have me staring agape at my iPad.

This one is likely going to be career defining for Schmidt and it should be. His work here is outstanding and engaging. It is gory when it needs to be, exciting when it has to be and heartbreaking when it is called to be. His action is sweeping and his character moments are sweet.

The marriage of word and picture is perfect here. I am loving DC vs Vampires, the perfect Christmas book!


I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. 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,” which is the best, quick description of what comics are.

This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

 

 

 

 

 

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Link’n’Blog – 11.25.21 | WKRP Turkey Drop

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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.

I’VE SHARED THIS BEFORE, BUT IT IS ALWAYS WORTH A VIEWING AT THIS TIME OF YEAR.

If you’ve never seen it, take a look. If you have, it’s worth another…

Happy Post-Thanksgiving!

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Thanksgiving 2021, by the Numbers


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I have noted all of this before, but, as we continue moving through this pandemic world, this list remains life…

The Cinnamon Girl and I have more than we could ever enumerate.

We have 3 wonderful children.

We have 1 roof over our heads.

We have 5 lovely pets.

We have multiple cars to drive, food to eat, pillows under our heads.

We have 1 extended family we love.

We have too many friends to count.

We have a God who loves us.

We have more than we deserve.

We are grateful.

We are blessed.

We are loved.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!

And this remains all I need to know and all I must hold in my heart:

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: November 16 – 22, 2021

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COMICS I READ LAST WEEK

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The Best Comic I Read Last Week Was

Fantastic Four Anniversary Tribute #1

 


These Marvel tributes have been amazingly well done. The modern interpretations of the classic pages are very well done with each of the too many to name artists putting their own spin on the Jack Kirby pages. 

What is special about this issue is how incredibly solid the story is, the writing is, the plotting is and the pacing is. This is a tribute to comic book that truly launched the Marvel Age. Without this book and without Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the world is a very, very different place. Truly. The. World. Would. Be. Different.

Seemingly effortlessly, Kirby and Lee introduce a dynamic, a family, four leading characters and build a world that feels at once comfortable and at the same time revolutionary. As they would with other characters and titles, The King and The Man shift this history of comic books. What is different here is that the mold is shattered as they do it. No costumes. A dysfunctional family. No real heroics. It is a brilliant issue that I was surprised that I knew almost panel-by-panel. Each one is classic. 

The issue is a classic. It must be one of the top ten issues in the history of comic books.

It deserves the tribute.


I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. 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,” which is the best, quick description of what comics are.

This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading

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Filed under Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, Weekly Comic Book Review

The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: November 9 – 15, 2021

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COMICS I READ LAST WEEK

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The Best Comic I Read Last Week Was

Robin and Batman #1

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Anyone who has read a few of my weekly Best Sequential Art blogs know that I am absolutely in the bag for Dick Grayson. I love Robin. I love Nightwing. I love the Dick Grayson Batman. I love Agent 37. Perhaps DC Comics is starting to realize what a gold mine the character is. He has been around for 80 years and it seems the company is finally ready to embrace him.

It is about time!

Robin and Batman #1 is a wonderful first chapter in what seems destined to be a classic. Jeff Lemire is a staggering talent. His singular voice is heard throughout the issue, especially in the voice of Dick Grayson. His portrayal is updated for the times, but harkens back to the Batman and Robin dynamic with which many readers of my (long-toothed) generation are familiar. I found myself emotionally involved in the caped crusaders’ conflict and utterly drawn in by their dynamic.

Any book featuring art by Dustin Nguyen (there are not enough of them) is worth buying. As primarily a digital reader, I often run to a comic shop to purchase print copies of beautiful books. I bought two of this issue. The manner in which Nguyen captures the youth and optimism and crushing disappointment and malaise of Dick Grayson, young boy, is simply terrific.

I was going to be a fan of this book no matter what. That is is all but perfect makes the experience all the sweeter.


I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. 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,” which is the best, quick description of what comics are.

This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading

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Filed under Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, Weekly Comic Book Review

Happy Birthday to My Daughter – She Keeps Me Running


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I hope that most parents can say of their children what I am writing about my daughter, Sous Chef, on this, her 23rd birthday: she inspires me.

A quick detour from the main point: three years ago, Sous Chef challenged me to run a half marathon. I like a challenge and agreed to take part. She provided a training blue print, talked to me about her preparations and pushed me to race. She was positive, she was funny, she was inspiring as I pushed my then almost 50 year old legs and body to get into the kind of shape it takes to do something as stupid as running a Half.

Throughout the weeks leading up to the race, she would tell me “you have this, Dad” and “you can do it” and, when I would say my old body was falling apart, “you’re not old.” She flew into town from college for that Half and we raced and it was an incredibly special weekend, a moment in time I will forever treasure. She made this happen because she somehow knew how special this would be.

Inspiring.

Last year, in the midst of COVID when everything was cancelled, when she had graduated college and had begun her “real life” and was in the midst of all that these challenges presented her, her spirit inspired us to put together a family half marathon which she, my niece and my brother-in-law ran. She made this happen with her force of will. COVID was not going to get her down. 

Inspiring. 

This year, she started her campaign early. As soon as Denver announced that races like this could return, she got us on it right away, got us registered, got her truckers hat (well, I got it for her) and got us in gear. And another morning of memories was made.

Inspiring.

That is what she is to me and to our family. Inspiring. She keeps us running… I would not have it any other way.

Happy Birthday to my favorite daughter. I love you, kid.

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The Best Sequential Art I Read Last Week: November 2 – 8, 2021

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COMICS I READ LAST WEEK

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The Best Comic I Read Last Week Was

The Human Target #1

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This was an amazing week of comics! There were so many good reads this week from Superman ’78 to Dark Knights of Steel. But The Human Target was far-and-away the best of a solid bunch.

Tom King might be the perfect writer for the character. In a page, the first page of the issue, King shows a comfort and love for the character that is engaging and compelling. I have been a fan of Christopher Chance for as long as I can remember – likely since first being introduced to him in the pages of a Bob Haney penned, Jim Aparo drawn Brave and the Bold in my youth. King captures the suave, self effacing Chance on every page. He makes me fall in love with the character all over again (and the promise of this story intersecting with the Justice League International era of comics is doubly enticing!). King remains one of the best writers in comics.

But the star of the book may well be Greg Smallwood. This guy DOES IT ALL. in total control of the visual feel of the book from soup to nuts, Smallwood’s work here is, likely, career defining. One need only look at the twitter responses of his fellow creators to realize how blown away they are by his work. As a simple reader, I found myself starting at the beauty and deceptive simplicity of the page, mesmerized by Smallwood’s approach. Sign Smallwood up FOREVER, DC Comics!

Here’s how I know I LOVE this book (outside of all the caps in this review): I am already sad it’s a limited series.

I cannot wait for issue two.


I am a comic book collector and happy to be one. 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,” which is the best, quick description of what comics are.

This is my weekly reaction to the comics I read.

 

 

 

 

 

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Comic Book Pick of the Week, Comic Book Review, Comic Books, Weekly Comic Book Review

Link’n’Blog – 11.5.21 | Hawkeye!

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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.

I have been waiting a long time for THIS ONE. As a reader of the brilliant comics by David Aja, Matt Fraction and others that partially inspired the series and as a major fan of The Avengers that Marvel Studios has put on the big screen (I miss them!), Hawkeye is a natural for me!

The setting, the timing of the release, the joy the trailer exudes, it’s all good stuff!

I cannot wait!

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