Tuesday, January 29, 2013

MUSIC! Nick Pitera, Les Miserables Medley

Don't remember how I got to him the other day, but found this incredible medley from Les Miserables by Nick Pitera. For his day job he's an animator at Pixar, which is cool enough, but he's been online making awesome music before he landed that gig. His vocal range is incredible, which you'll see amply demonstrated in this video.

Still haven't seen the film (maybe next weekend), but I did see the play years ago when I was most likely too young--early teens--to really get it. I do remember liking the music, and being amazed by the performances, but that's really all. The Master of the House segment is probably my favorite.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Favorite shirt this week: Klimt Eastwood

Amusing mostly if you're familiar with the artist whose name and style are parodied here. This was found at Qwertee. Art by Frederick Jay.

No, I don't get a cut or anything, I'm just gonna post shirts here I would love to have but can't buy for budgetary reasons, so I share instead to tempt you into taking the financial hit support independent artists!

Edit to add: Found an alternate version here. Nice as well, but I like the less smiley version I posted.

Edit to add again: Got my friend Paul to buy it. HA! G0 read his blog and tell him to write more!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

COMICS! Rachel Rising by Terry Moore

Note: I originally posted this back in October of 2012, I am posting it again (unchanged) since I have revamped the blog a bit for the New Year.
I've been a fan since fairly early on in Terry Moore's first major comic series Strangers in Paradise. There Moore explored the lives of Francine and Katchoo, and their friend David, in a complicated love triangle set against a thriller-type story of political infiltration and shadowy organizations. But that's not this.

Neither is Echo, Moore's second series. In Echo, he took a turn to the SF side of life and followed photographer Julie Martin as she became entangled in a mystery surrounding a new kind of battle suit, one which bonds to her, despite the fact that the government wants it back.

So what is Rachel Rising? It's Terry Moore's third self published series, and this time he's raising the dead.

It's not spoiling anything to tell you that Rachel Beck, the titular character, is introduced in the series as a corpse rising from the ground. She doesn't realize she's dead, or really know what's happened to her (and neither do we), all she feels is an overwhelming need to get home.

As she begins to realize not everything is right in her world, home doesn't offer any answers. She can't remember what happened the nigh before when she went out with her best friend Jet. She goes out into town and is told she isn't Rachel by one of her neighbors. And her aunt, who works in the morgue, thinks she's dead and just a hallucination.

Add to the mix a mysterious woman who appears atop buildings looking down at Rachel with a devilish smile, a little girl who has gotten herself in a lot of trouble, and a growing body count, Rachel starts to realize her life is not the same. Starting with the fact that she shouldn't have one because she's not breathing.

During the story Rachel, her aunt Johnny and Jet are trying to figure out what happened to her as she begins seeing things no one else can. Other pieces of the puzzle are given to the reader, but they only deepen the mystery and ask more questions (and answer few). Things come to a head, or rather a crash, as the car they're in rams into a truck and another death occurs. But in Rachel's world, that's doesn't stop you from getting up.

After reading the first six issues I am completely hooked. I was hooked on the first, really. The opening story arc is complete with issue six, and a collection called Shadow of Death is already available.

I suppose the highest compliment I can give it is the fact that I pick up the monthly issues as they come out, as opposed to waiting for the trade collections. I haven't regularly collected a monthly comic for more than a decade, but I'm enjoying the heck out of this one and don't want to wait and don't mind the expense.

Terry Moore is a man who has managed to do what few artists can, not get stuck in one genre, or one series. He has produced two amazing series so far, and Rachel's Rising has now been added to that list.

Rachel Rising is © Terry Moore

Friday, January 11, 2013

2012: My Year in Media

For the past several years I've been keeping track of what I read. One of the new things I did last year was post publicly what I had consumed. This also included movies, TV, web series and podcasts. Originally, I had been keeping more detailed lists of those additions at the start of the New Year, but the insanity of listing every single episode of a show or podcast I enjoyed soon became apparent, and I stopped that, choosing to confine my detailed listing to what I read. In the end I settled for a simple listing of new films, the TV shows I watched regularly (or entirely if it was something older and available to watch via DVD, Netflix, etc), the web series I enjoyed and the podcasts I listen to. For 2013, I'm adding music to the mix, because we all have a soundtrack.

Last year I had set a goal to read a book a week, a goal I fell short of. That doesn't mean I didn't get a lot done, as I did. I was fairly active throughout the year, but I noticed my reading trended down for novels and up for comics (consisting of single issues, graphic novels, and collected editions). I definitely got fatigued a little short of the halfway point in 2012. I got as far as I did in part because the year before I discovered the joys of audiobooks, and had a job with a commute that afforded me time to listen.

Among my favorites in general were Joe Hill's Heart-Shaped Box, Terry Moore's Rachel Rising comic series, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Doctor Who (the new companion is awesome!), Life on Mars, the If You're Just Joining Us podcast, and, of course, the latest season of The Guild. I've highlighted a bunch of my other favorites from last year below.

So, here it is, the list of things enjoyed (or not) in 2012, more or less complete:

Novels & Novellas:

Farhenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (audio)
The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis (audio, re-read)
Psycho by Robert Bloch (audio)
The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis (audio, re-read)
The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi (print)
Foundation by Isaac Asimov (audio)
The Magician King by Lev Grossman (print/audio)
Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler (audio)
Savage Season by Joe R. Lansdale (audio)
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill (audio)
Baby Moll by John Farris [writing as Steve Brackeen] (print)
The Witches by Roald Dahl (audio)
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (audio, re-read)
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (audio)
Matilda by Roald Dahl (audio)
A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (audio)
Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book One) by Jim Butcher (audio)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (audio, re-read)
The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison (audio)
Here, There Be Dragons by James A. Owen (audio)
Abarat: Absolute Midnight by Clive Barker (audio)
John Carter of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (audio, re-read)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (audio)
Elric of Melniboné by Michael Moorcock (audio)
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (audio)
Sailor in the Seas of Fate by Michael Moorcock (audio)
The Little Sisters of Eluria by Stephen King (audio)
Everything's Eventual by Stephen King (audio)
Fair Coin by E. C. Myers (print)
Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist (audio)
Kid Vs. Squid by Greg van Eekhout (print)
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (audio)
Logan's Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson (audio, re-read)
Redshirts by John Scalzi (print)
Dead Harvest by Chris F Holmn (audio)
The Man with the Getaway Face by Richard Stark (audio)
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (audio)
Devil in the Dollhouse by Richard Kadrey (ebook)
Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny (audio)
Butch Fatale, Dyke Dick in Double-D Double Cross by Christa Faust (ebook)
Doctor Who: Devil in the Smoke by Justin Richards (ebook)
Legion by Brandon Sanderson (audio)
Abarat by Clive Barker (audio, re-read)

Short Stories:

From the collection Doug Bradley's Spine Chillers, Vol. 1, an audiobook:
  • The Signalman by Charles Dickens
  • August Heat by William Harvey
  • The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe (re-read)
  • The Outsider by H. P. Lovecraft
  • The Open Window by Saki
  • The Beast With Five Fingers by William Harvey

Comics & Graphic Novels:

Locke & Key Vol 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill [w] and Gabriel Rodriguez [a]
Locke & Key Vol 2: Head Games by Joe Hill [w] and Gabriel Rodriguez [a]
Locke & Key Vol 3: Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill [w] and Gabriel Rodriguez [a]
Locke & Key Vol 4: Keys to the Kingdom by Joe Hill [w] and Gabriel Rodriguez [a]
Locke & Key Vol 5: Clockworks by Joe Hill [w] and Gabriel Rodriguez [a]
Nemesis by Mark Millar [w] & Steve McNiven [a]
Rachel Rising Issue, 5-11 by Terry Moore [w/a]
Boneyard Issues 1-2 by Richard Moore [w/a]
The Walking Dead Vol. 15: We Find Ourselves by Robert Kirkman [w] and Charlie Adlard [a]
Gantz, Vol. 1 Hiroya Oku, [w/a]
Hellraiser: Pursuit of the Flesh by Clive Barker/Christopher Monfette [w], Various [a]
Hellraiser: Reqium by Clive Barker/Christopher Monfette [w], Various [a]
The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle by Jim Butcher [w], Ardian Syaf/Various [a]
Wolves by Becky Cloonan [w/a]
Goliath by Tom Gauld [w/a]
Athos in America by Jason 
ST:TNG/Doctor Who: Assimilation2 Issue 1 by Scott & David Tipton [w], J.K. Woodward [a]
Superior by Mark Millar [w], Leniel Yu [a]
The Moon Moth by Jack Vance [original writer], Humayoun Ibrahim [art/adaptation]
The Hidden by Richard Sala [w/a]
Batman: Earth One by Geoff Johns [w], Gary Frank [a]
RASL by Jeff Smith
Northlanders, Vol 1: Sven the Returned by Brian Wood [w], Davide Gianfelice [a]
Northlanders, Vol 2: The Cross + the Hammer by Brian Wood [w], Ryan Kelly [a]
Northlanders, Vol. 3: Blood in the Snow by Brian Wood [w], Various [a]
Northlanders, Vol. 4: The Plague Widow by Brian Wood [w], Leandro Fernandez [a]
Northlanders, Vol. 5: Metal by Brian Wood [w], Various [a]
Northlanders, Vol. 6: Thor's Daughter by Brian Wood [w], Various [a]
Beartato and the Various Things That Happened by Anthony Clark
Irredeemable Vol 1-10 by Mark Waid [w], Peter Krause [a] and Various [a]
Incorruptible Vol 1-7 by Mark Waid [w], Various [a]
Joker  by  Brian Azzarello [w], Lee Bermejo [a]
X'ed Out by Charles Burns


Theatrical Release:
  • John Carter
  • The Hunger Games
  • The Avengers
  • Prometheus
  • Moonrise Kingdom
  • The Amazing Spider-Man
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • Brave
  • The Bourne Legacy
  • Total Recall (2012)
  • Dr. No (yes, a re-release, but I never saw the whole thing, let alone in a theater, so I'm counting it!) 
  • Frankenstein (1931)
  • The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  • Let the Right One In (Swedish version)
  • Toy Story 2
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
  • Hugo
  • 21 Jump Street (Yeah, I know, it was stupid. Stupid funny!)
  • The Adventures of Tintin
  • Conan the Barbarian (2011) 
  • Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
  • The Odd Life of Timothy Green
  • Ted

TV Shows:

Ongoing current series:
  • Doctor Who
  • Community (Fourth Season: Yay!, Dan Harmon fired: Boo! Delayed to 2013: Boo, again!)
  • Castle
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Person of Interest
  • New Girl
  • Games of Thrones
  • Grimm
  • Tron: Uprising
  • Go On 
  • Elementary
  • Revolution

  • Life on Mars (UK version, which is awesome)
  • Kingdom (Stephen Fry series)

Web Series/Movies:

  • The Guild (Season 5)


Adventures in Sci Fi Publishing hosted by Shaun Farrell, Moses Siregar III and Brent Bowen
If You're Just Joining Us hosted by Jon Armstrong
Radio Free Burrito hosted by Wil Wheaton
The SF Signal Podcast hosted by Patrick Hester
The Functional Nerds hosted by Patrick Hester and John Anealio
Writing Excuses hosted by Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Howard Tayler, and Mary Robinette Kowal
Webcomics Weekly hosted by Scott Kurtz, Dave Kellett, Brad Guigar, and Kris Straub (I don't think they are doing any new ones at this point, but well worth the time for the backlist for the info and advice they have) (Updated: they got back together recently for a new one in December, with a hint they might do more, cool!)

The Nerdist hosted by Chris Hardwick
Martini Shot hosted by Rob Long
The Memory Palace hosted by Nate DiMeo
Mission Log: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast hosted by John Champion and Ken Ray