“Come inside where it’s okay”

It’s the anticipation that gets me in the end. Anticipation’s the wrong word. Dread? Anxiousness? Staring at the clock. Checking my phone. The corner of my computer screen. Waiting. Ticking the minutes. Thoughts caught in my throat. Weighing my heart down.

I end my thirtieth year with French toast and mini-sausages because it’s whatever. In half an hour, I’ll embark on my thirty-first year on this earth. And it’s a humbling experience because there’s so much eating away at me.

The advice everyone poured out is taking place as we speak. Only not my decision. And it’s frustrating.

In the past, at midnight, my phone lit up at midnight with a text message from her. Wishing me a happy birthday. Or she’d wait until midnight on the phone with me. Or I’d ignore everyone else until she woke up in the morning. The birthday wishes always came from her. Not last year. Or the year before that. Or the year before that. I’m nonessential. Disposable.

Disappointment. That’s the word I’m looking for. The disappointment gets me in the end because I allow it to. Because I’ve defined my self-worth by an absentee lover. An absentee friend. A person I’ve placed so value in her opinion, but who never completely valued me.

So here’s to another year of self-loathing. Cheers.


Three short reviews & a book

A few years ago, I bought a book published by Angry Robot. That’s how I learned about the Angry Robot Army. Joining their “army” allowed readers to gain access to advance copies of their upcoming novels. This included both printed copies and e-books. From this offering, I only gained one novel (a disappointing novel, at that). After that, I stopped visiting the page. I could blame apathy or just my usual forgetfulness. Whatever the case, it wasn’t until last year that I paid the website another visit only to learn things had changed. They were no longer offering their eARCs through the page. They jumped ships and joined the NetGalley bandwagon (is it a bandwagon?). That meant another account that I would forget in the end. And I did. Right after I opened it, I never visited it again. That is until a few nights ago when an e-mail appeared on my phone. Honored, someone chose me to read The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon. I say someone because I haven’t a clue who decides which books go to which reviewers. I sent a copy to my Galaxy Tab 3‘s Android Kindle App and started it after I finished The Walking Dead novel.

I should add that The Word Exchange is not published by Angry Robot Books. You know, just to clear up any confusion as that was the subject opener. You can preorder at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Preorder for your Kindle or Nook now.


The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor by Robert Kirkman & Jay Bonansinga

Zombies is where it’s at. Thanks to a lot of things, they’re thrust into the foreground. And people are riding the waves until they crash. None more than Robert Kirkman whose comic book and TV series of the same name are excelling. Now with the fourth and final book of the Governor trilogy on shelves, I decided to pick up the first one. (Just a note, I dislike series books because of the wait, so I usually wait until it concludes.)

The Internet spoiled the ending of the first book, so I won’t add to it. Still, I knew what to expect before I got there. What I didn’t know were the events that lead to the rise of the most hated (yet, beloved) bastard in the zombie apocalypse.

Much like the comic series, the book didn’t attract me at first. This being the second time I tried to read it, by the way. Something about Robert Kirkman’s style distracts me from the story. Caveat, though, for those of you who never picked up an issue: This is not the same universe as the TV series. Do not expect to see the same mild temper—yes, mild tempered—Governor of TV fame. The events that happen are not for the weak of heart or those who don’t like chauvinistic plot devices. I may write more about that later.

Over all, the book is worth the read.

The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. An e-book edition is available for Kindle and Nook.

Night of the Living Deadpool by Cullen Bunn (writer) and Ramon Rosanas (artist)

Now Marvel is no stranger to zombies. So when I saw Night of the Living Deadpool, I grimaced . That’s what we needed, another Marvel Zombies story arc. Only, this isn’t that. Deadpool awakes from a food coma to find that he’s the last living superhero alive in the world. A world taken by a plague. A world ravaged by bloodthirsty, flesh-hungry zombies. Zombies that still have thought. The story is marvelous. It’s hilarious. It’s everything you expect from a Deadpool comic book plus zombies. And the art? Well, let’s just say it’s printed in fabulous black and white and red.

Zombie fiends and Dead(pool) Heads will love it. The four-part series will hit trade form later this year. You can pre-order now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore (writer) and Brian Bolland

As I mentioned in the previous post, I started working on Angela’s comic book education. Starting with three Batman stories, I’m introducing her to the great writers Frank Miller and Alan Moore. It’s Moore’s book that I managed to read for the second time. The first time I picked up The Killing Joke, I didn’t pick up at all. I downloaded a copy online and read it off the computer.

Having it in my library for the first time reminded me just how different the story art pops. How it aids in the story telling. The book sent chills down my back. And while I know better, I still like to think that I understand the ending in the sense of Internet rumors go. No spoilers, I promise.

The Killing Joke is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. A digital edition is also available for Kindle and Nook.

That’s all for now. Until next time, keep on huntin’.


New Comics, Ideas, King of the Nerds & the (Comic) Education of Angela (May Contain Spoilers)

I sit here before laptop as I watch the season finale of King of the Nerds. And I’m pouting. Neither Brian or Katie made it to the final-two showdown. The only two contestants that sparked my interest this season, and neither of them were nerdy enough. So here I sit, pouting. Tears streaming down my face. I care for neither Kayla or Jack (even though he defeated Zack). I can’t let this little slip up ruin my day. I won’t let it. Nope. Moving on.

My Purchases
My Purchases

Yesterday (being Wednesday) was new comic book day. Much to my disappointment, I found myself at work rather at the new comic book table. But I closed with Angela and I prefer closing with Angela than closing without Angela. Something occurred to me during our few hours alone together. (If you can consider a library filled with kids basking in Spring Break glory alone together.) She doesn’t get a lot of my references because they’re comic book related. Angela doesn’t read comic books. In the spirit of evil mastermind, I swiveled in my chair. “I’m going to make you a list,” I said. “A list of the essential comic story arcs you need to have read. It’s okay. I can lend you a lot of these.” I’m starting her off with Batman. I’m starting her off with Year One, The Killing Joke, and The Dark Knight Returns. However, my library lacks two of those titles. Lucky for Angela (and me), Barnes and Noble had both titles. I bought them without a second guess. I took a gander at Knightfall (also on my list), but opted I’m better off not spending the extra $30. (Trades are expensive, yo!) Maybe next week, after I find it for less online.

This is the picture
This is the picture

To make up for missing new comic book day, I ventured out with my family (Shaun in tow) to Myth Adventures. This wasn’t before stopping at some thrift store near by the house first. Now this place bought out the late local comic book store (I forget its name), which closed a while ago. So the comic books I expected to see here were from my youth. And I was right. It broke my heart to see the mishandling of these books. In all fairness, these are books from the 90s. Most of these haven’t risen past cover price in worth. Still, the manhandling of these issues appalled me. Several issues shoved in a single bag. Some lacked proper boarding. And their only copy of The Uncanny X-Men: Day of Future Past (see photo) brought a tear to my eye. The owner further smashed my hopes of owning this book by stating that it wasn’t for sale. “I don’t know how it got there to begin with,” he muttered as he snatched it from my grip. That motherfucker. That mook. That schlump. I did walk out with X-Men issue #80 and Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man issue #1. If worth anything, the nicks and dings diminish their value. Jay’s Discounter Emporium (not its real name, well, not the last word anyway) lost a costumer with me.

Skipping ahead, I took my niece to Myth Adventures to buy her first comic book. After much attempts to sway her vote toward The Powerpuff Girls, she chose a SpongeBob Square Pants comic. Me? I left with a killing. From IDW, I purchased The X-Files Conspiracy: The Crow, The Crow: Pestilence, and Monster & Madman. From Marvel Now, The Superior Spider-Man #29, Captain Marvel, Avengers Undercover and Secret Avengers. And the lone Antarctic Press book, Steampunk Red Riding Hood. Afterward, we went to Barnes & Noble where I bought The Killing Joke and Year One (the titles missing from my library).

My return to comic books is proving that I need another job. Or rather, a full-time job. Although, the past few days and idea has crawled into my head. Wouldn’t it be nice to open a business of my own? In fact, why not a business that amalgamated the things I treasure the most? An establishment that acts as a safe place for nerd, creative, and book fiend. It’s something that needs some looking into.

I finished Night of the Living Deadpool last night. But I surpassed seven hundred words already and I can feel your eyes growing heavy. Besides, I’m disappointed with the King of the Nerds finale. Not that I disliked the winner (no spoilers here, folks!), it’s neither Katie nor Brian (fuck, that’s a spoiler!). Until tomorrow.

I typed and edited this post with the Hemingway App.


Midtown Comics & More

I mentioned this—I’m sure I mentioned this, anyway. I mentioned in a previous post that I ordered the first three issues of Night of the Living Deadpool (Marvel) from Midtown Comics. For those of you who aren’t aware—because I wasn’t a few weeks ago—Midtown Comics is located in New York City. There’s also a stream of negative online reviews of the comic book establishment when it comes to shipping. I remained hesitant when I stared at my shopping cart before hitting checked out. A few days passed and fear seized my heart. Nightmares of bent shipping envelopes filled my sleep. I tossed. I turned. I woke up in a cold sweat. Shaun gave me a dad-get-a-grip-of-yourself look before turning over and falling back to sleep.

Just as I was getting into the car, the post officer drove up and blocked the drive way. That bastard! He pulled out an Amazon package—marked with Amazon Prime tape to boot. Fear seized me again. This sudden confrontation of having blacked-out-book-shopped gave me realization that I have a problem. Hold up, though. I never renewed my Amazon Prime subscription because I didn’t want to go broke. This is something else. But my name’s on it. So we’ll cross that bridge when we get there because—HOLD UP! WHAT’S THAT?! Another package. This one in cardboard envelope form. An unbent envelope, I must add. “I know what that is!” I shout, my voice thick with glee. The post officer—whose name I never learned even though he’s been our post officer guy for ages now—slammed the gas and sped off. Okay. That part’s a lie.


I took up the bundle of mail crap because I can’t deal with that now. I took the Amazon package and my Midtown Comics order and headed for work. In the car—I wasn’t driving—I learned of the contents in of the Amazon package. This year Jeanna chose The Nightmare Before Christmas as Shaun’s birthday party theme. This is because our kiddo has taken to the Tim Burton classic. Even though, mind you, Tim Burton didn’t direct the version everyone knows. She shipped the package to my house on accident and forgot to tell me. That’s a load off my chest.

I get to work and open my Midtown Comics package and my Night of the Living Deadpool issues are in perfect condition. Well, near mint condition. That’s Midtown Comics’ description, anyway. Now I’m curious about my Heavy Ink subscription and orders. It’ll be another few weeks until those get shipped my way. I opted for a monthly delivery because I didn’t want to over pay with shipping.

After I complete the four-issue read, I’ll write my review in full. And perhaps, I’ll attempt finishing The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor to review it as well. I know. I’m late on that bandwagon, but I never said I’ll stay current with my reads.

This post was typed and edited using HemingwayApp.


And Even More About Comic Books

I mentioned—ad nauseam, I’m sure—my return to reading/collecting comic books. This is after a fourteen-year hiatus. This is after meeting girls and learning how to talk to them. This is after sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Comic book reading is, after all, my first love. My first plunge into literary works. Literary works, yeah. I don’t care much for the smug academia that disregards Watchmen as a literary work because it’s a graphic novel.
Since I started, I managed collect thirteen titles. They include: Harley Quinn (DC/the New 52), Magento (Marvel Now), Wolverine and the X-Men (Marvel Now), Dexter Down Under (Marvel), Batman: The Joker’s Daughter (DC/the New 52), Evil Empire (Boom!), Moon Knight (Marvel Now), Revenge (Image), Veil (Dark Horse), Justice League 3000 (DC/the New 52), Auteur (Oni), Empire of the Dead (Marvel), and Night of the Living Deadpool (Marvel). Most of these are either new series, one-shots, stand-alone story arcs, or rebooted series. I find it easier to start off from scratch than it is to play catch-up with ongoing story lines. It’s also easier to weed out what isn’t going to work for me.
I took an interest to Harley Quinn, for obvious reasons. Because she’s the Clown Prince of Crime’s girlfriend. Though, she’s his ex now. And after the abysmal final season of Dexter turned me on to the comic heralded by his creator, Jeff Lindsay. The Joker’s Daughter, well, need I explain? George A. Romero’s Empire of the Dead takes place in the same realm of his movies (vampires added for garnish, I’m sure). I picked up Justice League 3000 for nostalgic reasons. It reminded me of the Marvel 2099 series. However, this book fell short of my expectations. Same goes for Auteur, though I’m still on the fence about what I expected from it. The artwork is reminiscent of the Adult Swim series, Super Jail. Moon Knight captured my attention. Magneto reintroduced me to my childhood. Although, I’m still having troubled accepting the bald super-villain-turned-antihero-turned-whatever-he-is-these-days.
However, this revisited venture is costing me money (who would have figured?). My last visit to Myth Adventures cost me $42; I purchased seven titles plus a storage box that cost me $8. The storage box, by the way, was a scam as I see no difference between the one I have and a regular white box. Well, outside of the aesthetic realm, anyway. I discovered Midtown Comics online. I ordered the first three issues of Night of the Living Deadpool from them (revising the first issue for the 1st printing). I learned after the fact that they have questionable shipping practices. I’ll cross my fingers in hopes that my comics come unbent. Along side them, I also found Heavy Ink (thank you online forums!). I subscribed to Harley Quinn and purchased the first four issues of Sex Criminals (Image) and Batman #28 (DC/the New 52). I hope their shipping practices are better. We’ll soon see.
I also have to learn how to bag and board my comics. I noticed some nicks on my Harley Quinn issues. I will have to replace them because my OCD won’t let it rest.

This post was written & edited using Hemingway App.


Return of the Nerd

Last Wednesday, Monica and I ventured out into the world of books and Chinese food. First stop is always Barnes and Noble, though this week we veered off course for breakfast tacos. Wiping out hands clean of any taco film, we hopped around the store searching for books we didn’t need but wanted anyway. I walked off with a mass market paperback edition of The Rise of the Governor. I spent a few months now seeking this book out so I wasn’t going to pass it up. We slithered out way toward Chinese food afterward. Followed by a visit to Myth Adventures.

Now I’ve been spending a considerable amount of money at Myth Adventures as of late. We can blame the DC New 52 comic series Harley Quinn for that. As you may know, Batman is my ultimate hero because he doesn’t rely on radioactive bugs or the sun for his abilities. So it’s only logical that one could conclude that the ultimate villain in my book is the Joker. And what’s hotter than a woman who falls in love with a homicidal maniac?

This year alone, I’ve purchased:

  • the first four issues of Harley Quinn (this includes issue #0)
  • the first two issues of George A. Romero’s Empire of the Dead
  • the first issue of Night of the Living Deadpool
  • the first issue of Image comics’ Revenge
  • Batman: The Joker’s Daughter
  • Dexter Down Under

There are a few more that have escaped my memory, I’m sure. I don’t see myself putting an end to this any time soon. I’ve reconnected with my childhood romance, the first medium that led me to where I am now in the world of reading and writing.

I can already hear my bank account groan. I’m going to need to find another source of income. I’m thinking of opening my editing skills (which, I can never seem to use for my own writings) to self-publishers. Because, later this year, Batman Eternal hits comic shelves/tables and Empire of the Dead has me hooked. I decided to sticking with any series just beginning. This includes reboots, story arcs, limited series, and the like.

I’m also thinking of writing a few treatments for a comic series of my own, though I would have to find an artist to bring the characters to life. But that’s something to keep in the back burner.