Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Gift-giving Wednesday

I recently had two substantial gift-receiving events:
  • Father's Day
  • My 33rd birthday
It was, of course, my first father's day, so it was a pretty significant day for me. Anyway, my wife gave me several gifts for these occasions:
  1. The Simpsons' Seasons 2 through 6 on DVD
  2. The Complete First Season of Veronica Mars
  3. The collected graphic novel of The Watchmen
  4. Delores O'Riordan's new album
If you couldn't guess from previous writings, I'm a bit of a nerd.

Of course, immediately after receiving approximately 70 hours worth of DVDs, my DVD player broke, and I had to go get another one. Viewing is going slowly, but I definitely being reminded of just how great the early seasons of The Simpsons were. I recently saw the first appearance of teh great Lionel Hutz!

The first season of Veronica Mars really was terrific stuff. It sounds like such a lame premise: high school girl solves mysteries, but it is a dark story, a high school film noir told in 22 hour-long parts. Here is a speech delivered by the eponymous 16-year-old hero in the first episode. "I started the day thinking I had only one person I could count on, but in the end, everyone you care about lets you down." Damn.

Being an old-school comic book nerd and a tremendous fan of Neil Gaiman's work in The Sandman, I have long known about The Watchmen, which is considered to be among the four-or-so titles that really transcended "comic books" and earned the title "graphic novel", along with Maus, The Sandman, and The Dark Knight Returns. I'm reading it slowly, trying to digest it a little at a time. I'm now about halfway through it, and I can definitely see where the praise from this title is coming.

For the uninitiated, The Watchmen deconstructs the costumed hero myth/legend by imagining costumed heros outside of a pre-adolescent-male setting. In other words, it imagines what costumed heros would REALLY be like if they actually existed, and it isn't pretty. Most are distinctly disturbed, unable to maintain any normal human interaction. They are jealous and awe-struck when confronted with someone more powerful. The people fear and loathe the ones who aren't under the control of the government, and many fear the ones that are working for the government. The ones that work for the government are involved in atrocities to preserve 3rd world dictatorships. It's ugly. It's great stuff.

Delores O'Riordan's album is very much what one might expect from the former singer of The Cranberries. She did not make the mistake of veering too far away from what her fans like, giving us a good collection of power pop with her distinct singing voice. To quote Tom Petty, however, "I don't hear a single." It's good, but it lacks that really transcendent song that The Cranberries were pretty good at making: Dreams, Linger, Zombie, etc.

If you don't visit often, please notice that Poseur published something late yesterday about the team's expectations and this team's place in LSU history. Scroll down and read it if you haven't seen it yet.

3 comments:

Red Andrews said...

Pittman:

Greetings from Waco! We find your blog pleasing to the eye.

Our link is up (you are an "Oso Amigo" rather than a "BearBacker," which is reserved for Baylor types).

Let this historic Alliance commence!

Red

Poseur said...

to continue the uberdork theme, I'd add Cerebus to the list of truly transcendent graphic novels. Particularly "Church & State" "State & Church" and "Jaka's story" and the truly brilliant "Last Day". Dave Sim went sort of nuts near the end of the run, but at its best, Cerebus might be the greatest comic ever.

And while not a "superhero" book, everything by Harvey Pekar is great.

Richard Pittman said...

Welcome aboard Red. I'll introduce the new Blog Alliance to the faithful readers (mostly members of my family) in a day or so.

As for Cerebus, I just haven't read it. I know I should, but I haven't. At least not yet. I wonder if the public library carries it.