Tuesday, May 15, 2001

The Mount - What Am I Reading?

No big unifying rants this month, folks. I've been too busy hurrying to get the Jeph Loeb interview ready along with my entry into the "Vile Vial" contest. It's just as well, because almost everything I have to say this time around ties into Issues Past.

Way back in Fanzing 31, I wrote down my complaints about the Birds of Prey book. I'm happy to report that most of my complaints have been addressed. The very month my article came out, we got what I asked for: an issue that was for the most part, Just Babs and Dinah hanging out. The next few issues after that dealt with a story (no spoilers) that was all about Dinah working alone with no Babs to help her.

Another of my complaints was that Nightwing and Nightwing storylines kept bleeding over into Birds of Prey to the point where you had to read both books to understand one. Granted, I don't think there's many of us who only get Nightwing OR Birds of Prey... but it is a sore point for new readers who are trying to catch up. But turnabout became fair play this month as Dinah Lance made an appearance in Nightwing, surprising Dick as he was getting out of the shower at Babs' place and working out with Barbara later in the same issue. Chuck, on behalf of Canary-lovers everywhere, thank you!

Speaking of Chuck Dixon, I'd like to ask you all to stop pestering him and me about the missing alternate script to Nightwing #47 that I mentioned in Fanzing #33.

It was a joke. The whole column was a joke in honor of April Fool's Day. So was our entire issue, in case you didn't notice. I even gave a subtle hint. If you go back and check my column in Fanzing 33, you'll find that if you take the first letter from each paragraph, it spells out "April Fools".

Perhaps more shocking than the fact that we had so many people fall for all of the various bits of misinformation in our last issue is the fact that many people said they would actually be interested in a special "sex-in-comics" issue of Fanzing. I have to admit to being a little surprised. Okay, so I've fantasized about Wonder Woman before; what heterosexual American male hasn't? That says, do we really need to devote an entire issue of what is a relatively family-friendly magazine towards the kind of thing that you have to pay 19.95 a month for on some special website?

I think not. And I think everyone on our staff agrees with me on that. Not that we're prudes in any way, but there are places for that kind of thing and that place ain't here, pepe.

Besides, it occurred to us that if we started asking for "romantic" fan-fics, we'd get flooded with hundreds of stories of Nightwing exploring just how much feeling Oracle still has below the waist. The thought of having to wade through more and more of those put Fiction Editor David Black into a frenzy, and we had to utilize escrima sticks and tasers to calm him down.

By the way, shame on all of you who just thought of an idea for a "romantic" story when you read the words "escrima stick".

Changing the subject, VERY quickly.... I've been asked "What comics do you get on a monthly basis?" by readers who wanted to know what I read, what I like the most and what I would recommend.

My favorite book changes from week to week, but right now it's a close contest between James Robinson's Starman and Mark Waid's JLA. Kevin Smith's Green Arrow is getting there, but since I've only seen two issues as of this writing, I'm giving it more time before I rank it.

I subscribe to most of the Batman core titles (Batman, Gotham Knights, Detective) and get a few of the other Bat-Titles (Nightwing and Birds of Prey obviously).

I always pick up Green Lantern. On a side note, I really like what Judd Winnick is doing with the title. He's managed to restore the human side of the book that has been missing for the last few years. The last issue he did (#137) was one of the best comics I'd read all month and it didn't have one fight scene!

On the supernatural side, I'm also getting the Spectre and I love the irony that Hal Jordan and Ollie Queen are both making their comebacks at the same time. How long until the inevitable Spectre/Green Arrow minseries? It's not quite core DC, but I'm also picking up Vertigo's "Lucifer", based upon the characters from Neil Gaiman's Sandman series. It's a bit of an odd read, but I think it's one of the best books being published in the adult field. Clearly some people agree with me, as Lucifer is up for an Eisner in nearly every category this year.

I don't get much from the "Other Company", but I have been reading Daredevil steadfastly... even when it's schedule wasn't steady or fast.

I also belatedly jumped on the "Ultimate Spider-Man" bandwagon... just to see what all the hype was about. Turns out the book really IS as good as everyone says. Spider-Man hasn't been done this well in years.

I also subscribe to all of the "Knights of the Dinner Table" books; an indie series about role-players and comic fans. There's the main book, which shows the gamers sitting around the table playing and talking. There's 'KODT Illustrated" where the stories of the role-player's games are drawn in a fantastic style where we get to see the dungeons and monsters instead of the guys sitting around a table. Finally, there's "Hackmasters of Everknight" which is a sort of illustrated parody of all those Dragonlance books and other D&D based literature. Greg Rucka recently wrote an issue of this last one, so all you Detective fans might want to check it out to see how versatile one of your favorite writers is.

I hope that gives you all something to read until next time, because I am done for this month, folks.

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