Rumors may not have been rumors

So, without a show Saturday night, I found myself with two days off in a row, an oddity in my life as it stands now. So, of course, having convinced myself I was well enough for two grueling days of outdoor shooting and two days in the office, my body decided it was time for a complete collapse. My body can be a real jerk sometimes.

So I lost a fair portion of Saturday to fitful sleep, but awoke feeling somewhat better. Overall, the best way to describe weekend (besides urpy) is to state that as of Friday evening, I had 18 books checked out from the library. As of today, that number is 11, and I am better for it.

I finished 101 Sci-Fi Movies You Must See Before You Die. and (I suppose) unsurprisingly, I had seen most of them.  Like the documentary Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession, it serves mainly as a reminder of movies I haven’t seen yet that I really should, like the original Solaris or The Amphibian Man. There are some entries that are unapologetic, too, though they make good points about the much-reviled Signs and the personally-despised Starship Troopers. Though not I, Robot. I ain’t never gonna like I, Robot.

Also finished How to Survive a Horror Movie. It ran out of steam for me in the last quarter, but I feel that was largely me and certainly not the writing, which remains sharp and funny to the end. I think I had simply tired of the central joke and was ready for it to be over. That’s a danger for extended riffs.

The rest were from the world of graphic novels. Welcome to Tranquility, which is a great story set in a retirement community for super heroes and villains, written by Gail Simone, art by Neil Googe. I loved this book, and apparently it is coming back, but without Simone at the helm. Le sigh.

Next up was the first volume of Weapons of the Gods by Tony Wong. Chinese kung fu comics! I loved the Jademan translations during their brief American runs, and the genre is occasionally problematic. This is the culture that brought us novels like Heroes of the Marsh and The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, thousands of pages long with hundred of characters. This shows in the comics, and there are at least three major cliffhangers in play by the time the volume ends.

Next up, a volume of Larry Marder’s Tales of the Beanworld, A Gift Comes! – I had forgotten just how beguiling Beanworld was. The expansion of the world beyond the process that is Beanworld doesn’t feel forced, but rightfully makes you miss the simplicity of the early world. If that doesn’t make sense to you you should be reading Beanworld.

Then, finally, the first volume of Russ Manning’s Magnus, Robot Fighter 4000AD. Quite a title, and one of the favorites of my youth. An admitted attempt to re-invent Tarzan in a science-fiction setting, Magnus is trained from birth by an intelligent robot to be strong enough to smash robots with his bare hands. You see, in the year 4000, man has become too dependent on robots, and would be helpless in the face of rebellious metal men were it not for … wait for it… a robot fighter! Yeah, the stories are kinds simplistic, but these were definitely adventure comics for boys. And, I suppose, girls who liked men in shorts who could shatter steel with their bare hands.

Still in my possession: three works by Osamu Tesuka – the youthful mandate for more manga has some benefits for me, even if I gave DMC a try and found it not to my liking – more Batman and Jack Kirby. I heart my library.

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