Links for May 16th through December 24th

Saved links for May 16th through December 24th:

Last Chance Salon Podcast

The Last Chance Salon Podcast is live!

My friend Shiri (@SWSondheimer) and I had been talking about doing a podcast for a while now, and we finally decided to get off our duffs and get it recorded.

The first episode has been posted and we have more in the can. We will be posting new episodes every couple of weeks.

The podcast is us discussing books, movies, TV (all with a science fiction/fantasy bent) and the art and craft of writing (again with a genre flavor). We cover those subjects, and anything else we digress into along the way or feel like talking about. Side note, if you have any ideas, please feel free to send them our way.

As a warning the podcast is not terribly explicit, even though it is labeled as such. And, since we are both parents of young children (me of one, Shiri of two) and the podcast gives us the ability to talk like adults. So, you might catch us using adult language and/or discussing adult subjects. So, if the kids are around or you are of a sensitive nature take appropriate actions when listening (censor, grab for the volume knob, whatever works for you).


Direct feed: 


Twitter: @LastChancePod



My wife had this idea we should do something nice for the kid in her lunch each day. So, I have been writing a story for the kid. Each day I put in her lunch the next episode.  Sort of a page a day serial kids book.

And it is really fun. I usually take 5-10 min. after breakfast to hand-write the next episode. I write it using a fountain pen on a piece of normal paper, so I have to get it right the first time. I also have to write quickly and clearly, which is a challenge for me. And if I fail, the kid complains (yeah no lack of feedback on this project).

It is a nice start to the morning, clears out all the cobwebs and gets me off to a good start.

The story is a little bit crazy, so far it includes a thunderstorm in the bathroom and an incident where the title character both falls in and pulls the handle, heh. It is morphing, in my head, into a quest story with a dragon and a monkey (maybe even a dragon-monkey) and an adventure though a magical land.

I will collect them up at some point. See if I can find someone to draw them, maybe the kid herself.


And it leaves me humming ‘Weird’ Al’s Melanie all morning.

(Quick Review) Comics: Avengers 1-16, New Avengers 1-8


Avengers #3


Jonathan Hickman has taken over as writer of the two flagship Avengers titles. He is following Brian Michael Bendis’s epic almost 10 year run on the titles, basically taking the Avengers from a niche title followed by a bunch of greying die-hard fans to a must read for anyone interested in comics. And after the Avengers movie grossed something like the GDP of Belize. Needless to say, he has a tough act to follow and there are a bunch of eyes on him, from both fans and bean counters.
He has basically hit it out of the park. Now, some people might complain (or whine or bitch) about the type of stories that Hickman writes. He does huge, his run on Fantastic Four spanned two books for a couple of years and in the end was one continuous storyline, intricate stories woven together with great ideas, great characters, and since this is the Avengers, great action. He starts his stories with enough details where he can plant foreboding images and dialogue from the first issue and goes from there.
He also manages to do great one off issues (that tie in to the longer plot lines in interesting ways) and has a good sense of timing and humor (e.g. Spider-man fighting with Sunspot and Cannonball about left overs in the Avengers fridge). And he builds his own continuity, rather than having to know 50 years of comic history, he gives enough details on the pieces he uses and adds so many of his own that old comic lovers get treats and new comic lovers don’t get lost.

Verdict: Pick it up. Make sure you get both, they will merge in the end to one amazing story. And while you are at it, check out his runs on Fantastic Four and FF

Quick Review: Harvest 1-5 (Image 2012-2013)

Interesting premise pulled off pretty well: A surgeon gets caught up in high priced organ theft and transplant, after he himself is caught accidentally killing people while high. The doctor is a lot more, and less (at least in the sanity category), then he first appears.

Feels like this series was setting up for more, but got cut short and ended at issue 5. Which is the story of pretty much everything I like. Though I am used to this happening more often for TV than comics. I mean, WHERE IS THE SECOND SEASON OF STUDIO 60? Dammit.

The art is good, though it really is strange to see new (or at least new to me) artists who feel like they have Sean Phillips as an influence. In my mind Sean Phillips is a indie figure, but I forget he has had some major work (read big 2 comic book companies) and with the success of things like Criminal and Fatale, he is pretty well known.

Verdict: Pick up in the quarter bins or half-price trades. Would love to see more.

(edited 8/5/2013)