Thursday, June 11, 2009

741.5973 B554d

I love my local library. Always have. When we lived on Merriman I considered the Main Library “our” branch, and I would take the kiddo to the library at least once a week to hang out and explore. Now that we're in the suburbs, I have fallen for our local branch, and the kiddo still loves going to pick out a chapter book or computer game or graphic novel regularly. We have always taken advantage of the great programs the library has to offer -- Thursday Movies @ Main and Main Event Talks, the Summer Reading Program, and on and on.

That's what makes it even more cool to know that if you live in Northeast Ohio, our awesome Akron-Summit County Public Library has purchased fifteen copies of Deus ex Comica: The Rebirth of a Comic Book Fan and made them available for borrowing, including two at the Main Library (one in Pop Culture and one in Special Collections) and two at my local Fairlawn-Bath Branch!

Cathy Morgan, the Adult Services Librarian at my local branch, feels strongly about supporting local authors and has been behind my book from the moment she found out about it. I stopped in to see her earlier this week, and she couldn't wait to take me out onto the floor of the branch to show me where my book is displayed! And she and I are both eager to have me do an author's visit at her branch this fall, so stay tuned for more info over the next few months as we finalize the details of the event. In the meantime, check out a copy of Deus ex Comica to support our local library, and if you like it, please consider buying a copy to support a local author.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Boldly Going Where I'd Never Gone Before

I am not a fan of any incarnation of the Star Trek franchise or particularly a big fan of J.J. Abrams. It's not that I have any strong dislike for either; I've just never been into them. So I was surprised as anyone when my wife gave me the choice of seeing X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Star Trek, or Terminator Salvation for a recent date night movie viewing, and I picked Star Trek.

I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. It was a lot like reading the Classic Transformers comics: I came to it armed with only the tangential familiarity of someone plugged into the larger pop culture vernacular but not necessarily the specific mythos of the franchise. I recognized throw-away lines like "Dammit, man! I'm a doctor…" and "I'm giving her all she's got…" and such. I have no idea if the Christopher Pike character is in any of the TV episodes or who the Romulans are or if Spock and Uhura are romantically linked in any previous incarnations, but I found all of it agreeable.

Casting was near-perfect. My only quibble with Chris Pine as James T. Kirk is his Christian Slater voice (I kept hearing JD from Heathers, and, hey... Winona connection!
), but he did fine with what he was given as far as acting. His character did spend a lot of time hanging off of ledges... off the edge of a canyon, off the edge of a table, off the edge of a giant drill suspended over a planet, off the edge of a Romulan catwalk, and on and on. Perhaps Abrams was trying to emphasize how "edgy" the character is.

I liked the role Leonard Nimoy played in the film, and I was thrilled William Shatner was nowhere to be found in the flick. That would have been disastrous. Shatner is a parody of his own career, and casting him in this movie would be the equivalent of working Adam West into a Christopher Nolan Batman flick: A bad idea.

Nearly everywhere Star Trek has been reviewed or commented on, high praise has been given to the plot device used to sidestep trampling on the long history of these specific characters, and I can't disagree with that. A nice conceit lifted from the alternate universe/timeline twists found in comic books, it felt familiar and went down easy. A lot like the movie itself.

Monday, June 8, 2009

To See a Man About a Horse

Akron’s getting a P.F. Chang’s, one of my favorite upscale chain restaurants. It’s actually going in up the street from us, so we’ve been able to keep tabs on its progress since construction began. And when we went out to breakfast Sunday morning at the new First Watch that went in next door to where Chang’s is going, we got an up-close peek at the China Bistro’s development. We know it’s getting closer to completion because at least one of the signature horses has arrived on-site.

But what was interesting was that we got to see a side of the horse we never noticed when dining at various Chang’s locations... the horse’s behind. Turns out it has a heart-shaped ass.