Thursday, January 01, 2009

Ephemera 2009 (1)

... Two out of two writers named Mark Waid and John Rogers agree: Young Sherlock Holmes is worth a second look.

... "When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon." - The Last Good Kiss.

James Crumley was precisely as good as everyone says he was. I'm working through the back catalogue now.

... Also digging everything by Tobias Buckell.

... The 2008 Doctor Who Christmas Special was a helluva thing.

... Hey Far Cry 2: I'm an hour of my life into the game before I actually start playing, and then my character starts collapsing intermittently from malaria? Usually in the middle of firefights when I've managed to find something resembling fun? SCREW. YOU. I would like you to meet my friend Gears of War 2. He is not clever. His world is not a sandbox of delights. But he has given me an automatic rifle with a frikkin' chainsaw on it, and allows me to use it to my heart's content. And so I love him.

... And while we're talking gaming, spawning ahead of the Survivors and then jamming forklifts in the elevator door or at the end of the warehouse -- that is punk shit. Seriously.

... And while we're talking Survivors, that first season ending is precisely why I prefer closed season storytelling. Call out SPOILERS in the comments if you wish to discuss.

... I don't know why I didn't pimp it hard enough first time out, but Kevin Church and his 18 year old artist (Jesus Murphy) Michael Dake are doing great work in their serialized graphic novel Waimea. I love, love, love that clean art style. Which is my hint for them to make some sample images for bloggers to post. Ahem.

Welcome to the New Year. As my Grandfather used to toast: "May the best you've ever seen be the worst you ever see."

In the Comments: the book/comic/movie/TV show/song/band you kept annoying your friends with during 2008.


Vince said...

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies. A pitch-perfect recreation of early '60s action fare that's also hysterical. And you're so right about Crumley.

Anonymous said...

In honor of our beloved Chris Downey:

Mark Waid said...

The mashup of Dark Knight and Toy Story 2:

Joe said...

My 2008 Shared Media Collection:
Top Gear (great humor)

Spooks: Code 9 (great over-arching story across six eps)

MIddleman (if you're a comic book geek and haven't seen this -- go now and find it)

The Long Tail (yes, I know I'm late to the party)

Taking On The System (a spiritual sequel to Long Tale with a lot of interesting contexts in the modern politics)

Leverage (yes, it's yours, but I think I've shared the pilot elventy billion times)

Mirror's Edge (great game except for the fights)

The Babylon 5 Script Book Collection (a great way to learn more about writing)

Arcanis: The World of Shattered Empires (a very interesting RPG setting with about 75 adventures that back it up)

Spycraft 2.0 (what d20 should have been)

Ok, you asked for one, but I share a lot. Perhaps too much :-)

Corby Kennard said...

Th1rte3n by Richard K. Morgan
Repo: The Genetic Opera (I'm in the serious minority on this one. That's fine by me.)
Yo! Gabba ! Gabba! (I am a stay-at-home dad with a one year old daughter. When we aren't playing or napping, we are watching this show)
Fallout 3 (60 hours in, still great)
Rue Morgue magazine
And a couple of new bands - Ghoultown and Blood Ceremony (which sounds like Black Sabbath humped Jethro Tull)

Rob Pugh said...

Young Sherlock Holmes is indeed awesome. Especially when you wait till the end of the credits.

I'm trying to get the Mrs as addicted to Robot Chicken and Leverage [I do enjoy your show] as I am.

Anonymous said...

"HOLMES! I think i've finally solved the problem!"

Also: Take a look at Without a Clue featuring Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley. Good for a couple of laughs.

"MORIARTY! Why didn't you tell me that this case involved that Homicidal maniac?"
"Because i knew you'd react this way."

In terms of Media that i recommend:
I finally got my hands on "Anathem" by Neal Stephenson. Which is perhaps the hardest book i've ever wanted to read. It hurts my head, but in a good way.

Also bought The Bourne Ultimatum and the Dark Knight after i didn't get them as presents.
Also: recovered the loaned out copy of the Sam Worthington "Macbeth" Had to re-watch it.

Unknown said...

I was let down by the Dr Who Christmas Special this year. I thought it was a pretty cool setup, but it let me down in the end.

TV On the Radio's Dear Science is what I probably most annoyed people with. Just dig the hell out of that album.

Benjamin Button is the movie I know I annoyed people with the most this year since it was my first time to see my name up on the big screen. One of my friend's even got a screen cap from the credits for me.

Brian Wood's back catalogue has been a lot of my comics reading this year. Just got all the trades of The Couriers.

As for TV: The end of The Wire, Entourage, and some new little show on TNT called Leverage.

Anonymous said...

To add to your recommendation of James Crumley, throw in a little Donald Westlake while you're at it. Westlake passed away two days ago and was one of the most unique voices to ever write crime and mystery fiction. Man, will he ever be missed.

I've also enjoyed everything that I've read by Charlie Huston and Ken Bruen.

Paul said...

I just looked up the forklift exploit - sinister. That's the problem with having an open physics engine, but I'm not saying this is a bad thing.

Dremiel said...

What I forced on others in 2008?

I lost a lot of Monday productivity to reading Shadow Unit, the best TV show that never was. There's plenty of time to catch up on Season 1 before Season 2 starts in March.

Alejandro Escovedo's "comeback" album Real Animal is in pretty heavy rotation around here.

And the GLEE that is Leveage, of course!

Jaeliyah said...

the new New Kids on the Block CD

For the first, I succeeded in converting a couple of co-workers. For the second, I crashed headfirst into a brick wall of apathy. For the third, I was mocked mercilessly and not unreasonably.

Wait, was the Potter Puppet Pals "Mysterious Ticking Noise" in '08 or '07?

Jon said...

Not quite as requested, but I thought you might appreciate another criticism of Far Cry 2. I thought it was funny:

You are sadly right about L4D. I hope to Gabe that Valve patches that out with the DLC.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Young Sherlock Holmes is a fun flick.

I forced my coworker to read Runaways and Blue Beetle. Then he got promoted.

How do you tell your boss "gimme back my goddamn comic books"?

I also annoyed everyone to death with my obsession over The Middleman. Which I recently downloaded onto my iPod... HEY! I know what I'm doing later today at work!

Cunningham said...


(Why this is not a SciFi mini-series is beyond me. FROM EARTH TO THE MOON but in an alt. history earth where Britain "rescued" the German V2 scientists instead of the USA)

The SPIDER doubles.
The SHADOW doubles.

THE BAT WHISPERS (1930 film that inspired Bob Kane if we are to believe the myths. But not as visually interesting as the 1927 silent version THE BAT, designed by W. C. Menzies. Both directed by Roland West. See YouTube "Roland West")

THE SPIDER books from Tor designed by Steranko.

Darwyn Cooke's RETROACTIVE book.

The BCI ECLIPSE GRINDHOUSE compilation DVDs. (Pick them up while you can. BCI just went under).


Cory Doctorow's CONTENT.

ILLUSTRATION magazine. Costly ($15/issue) but worth it.


Dweeze said...

I'm annoying everyone I know with my Twitter addiction.

Tobias Buckell said...

*blushes* thanks for the nod and link!

Ardaniel Collier said...

Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener's Atomic Robo from Red 5 Studios. Joe Kelly and JM Ken Niimura's I Kill Giants from Image. Matt Fraction, Gabriel Ba, and Fabio Moon's Casanova from Image.

Caseyko74, my husband worked on Benjamin Button too. I'll watch for your credit when we go (we saw a workprint in November). And yes, I've been pimping it. Eric Roth obviously had some serious shit go down in his life between Forrest Gump and that script, and it shows.

As far as other movies, everyone I know saw Iron Man anyhow, but that didn't stop it from keeping me sane during a particularly batshit production schedule earlier this year on a broadcast show.

Of course, on TV, Leverage, and Batman: Brave and the Bold, but those are a given. (Friend of mine works on BatB, too.) My husband just picked up the Blu-Ray When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions set, too, which reminded me that it was an unexpected pleasure to watch. Ditto Survivorman-- give me Les Stroud and his Zen pacing over Bear "I Put Myself In Dumb Situations" Grylls any day.

As for books, all of Mr. Buckell's stuff, which is the only stuff I've had actual time to read in print this year. Another friend of mine's converted an entire college campus to the worship of Pepper.

Michael Strauss said...

The Beautiful and Damned, F. Scott Fitzgerald. "I simply cannot bother to resist the things I desire."

Patsy Walker: Hellcat, because everyone else will say Umbrella Academy.


The Middleman and now Leverage

Peeping Tom's cover of Marvin Gaye's "Desperate Situation"

The Pipettes and She & Him.

Mike Cane said...

Survivors #6 is sitting on the HD since last week. Haven't seen it yet, so I'll skip the Comments for now.

Anyone interested in the Steampunk aesthetic MUST see that Doctor Who 2008 Xmas Special. I forgot to mention that bit in my (now-dead, hallejulah!) blog.

James Crumley. When will you get to Derek Raymond?

Anonymous said...

"City of Heroes/Villains," John... come back to us ... come back to us ... one of us ... one of us...


Unknown said...

what I annoyed everyone with this year is the same thing I annoyed them with all these last years: Top Gear. Nothing beats Top Gear.

Incidentally enough, they (or at least their producer Andy Wilman) seem to get how to use epic amounts of piracy to their own advantage (hint: it allowed them to sell the show as a franchise).

Anonymous said...

Gears of War 2 was great, but seriously, I think I played through it in like half an hour. At least I got good resale value.

Elize Morgan said...

Band of choice for '08 was by far Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers.

Best live band ever.

m said...

Aside from Leverage...which I really did bug people about for months before the premiere...

NIN - Ghosts
36 tracks of non-commercial instrumentals released under a Creative Commons license and that debuted at 11 on Billboard. What's not to rave

I made everybody watch Cup of Brown Joy -

Russell Davies' book on the making of Doctor Who Season Four, The Writer's Tale, should be required reading for TV wannabes...and few TV are's.

Unknown said...


Geoff Thorne said...

YSH is top shelf and under sung.

Happy New Year Monkeys!

Anonymous said...

No "Gears of War" for me because I'm a Sony Boy but I've been loving the hell out of "Resistance: Fall of Man".
There is nothing finer than blowing up a fuel drum next to a Crimera and watching the sucker burn.

Also burning through Season Three of "Doctor Who". (Finally! Thank you mac friendly Netflix streaming.) And the twelve year old inside me couldn't stop giggling like a Japanese Schoolgirl. Except for "Blink" which spooked me like a Japanese Schoolgirl facing a tentacled monster. Moffet, I too am unworthy!

Anonymous said...

I love "Young Sherlock Holmes". Been ages since I've seen it though. Good choice in flicks.

Anonymous said...

Long time lurker, first time poster. I've been annoying the hell out of my wife trying to get her to read Geoff John's run on GL. It's been kicking so much ass as of recent, and the entire saga (coupled with GLC) so far has been reminding me a bit of Babylon 5. Unfortunately, she's resisted reading any "spandex" comic. Her loss. I'm on the edge of my seat to see where it goes next.

Jon Gallagher said...

Books, Books, Books

I have the infinite joy of a bookseller (Patrick @ Mysterious Galaxy) who greets me with an armful of books when I come in. And then he is guaranteed of making his lease payments.

What I have been pushing on people all year (courtesy of Patrick):

All of Tobias Buckell
All of John Scalzi, put I reach a high pitch insistence that people read "Old Man's War" (Take that Ender Wiggins!). But now I am also getting hysterical that people read "Agent to the Stars". E.T meets The Player. Nuff said

And finally, the best books ever written about the Navy and Marines, The Lost Fleet series by Jack Campbell. Start with "Dauntless". I have shoved "Dauntless" onto every sailor and Marine I know in San Diego. Every one of them then bought the rest of the series the next day.

You *will* hate me in the morning if you start reading any of these books on a weeknight.

Wool in Sunshine said...

Book(s): The Lies of Locke Lamorra by Scott Lynch and the followup, which I think you tipped me off to.

Music: Los Campesinos!

TV: Supernatural, as always.

Movie: The Fall, directed by Tarsem. The most amazing film I've seen in years, and the only film to come out in '08 that I saw three times in the theatre.

Tara O'Shea said...

TV: The Middleman (which I may have handed out like party favours to everyone I know in "Doctor Who" fandom back in October/November)

song: "Miss New York" by the Brendan Hines

Film: I forced at least 3 people to watch "Go" with me. It's one of my all-time fave Christm,as movies, after "Die Hard", "Lethal Weapon" and "The Lion in Winter".

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Anonymous said...

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