Happy Birthday Update

Another year, another random blog post, right?  Well, in the spirit of the summer relaunch of latenightstirfry and the debut of new content from WelcometoSanKeros, I figured it was time to give a general life update so that anyone who’s curious can see the state of things.

On the home front, Andy and I celebrated our 18th anniversary and were allowed to serve two new feline overlords, Bailey and Keely.  I commissioned some gorgeous art at C2E2 this year, which I’ll do a separate post about.  It’s been a cocooning sort of year, really, as we’ve really dialed back our activity outside the house.  Some of our dear friends came to their senses and fled their S.A.D. and our presence by the space of a whole continent.  I’ve been slowly stripping down my comic pull list to just the characters and stories I’m genuinely passionate about.  I keep trying to organize my comics to determine what I’m ready to let go of, but I never complete the process.  I’ve been undergoing a small spiritual awakening too, which is welcome since its been too long.  We’ll see where that takes me.

As for writing, obviously there are things afoot.  My short story “Nothing Important Happened Today” got published in the Truth Beyond Paradox anthology.  This site is undergoing a major redesign this spring and early summer.  Later this summer I’ll be launching my major writing project in truth , but the web portal is already up at WelcometoSanKeros.com.  I have a few other smaller projects queued as well, and those will post here on latenightstirfry.  Some of those projects may end up referencing the World-a-Week Challenges I did a few years back and are still available here on the site.I also am going to be going pretty heavily into research mode, as a lot of the pieces are still missing certain crucial elements.

I’m hoping to go to HeroesCon this year, but also paint the garage.  I’d like to pay off credit cards, but redesign the front gardens. I plan on finally mastering the art of weeding without being scared off by arachnids.  I desperately need a new phone, and am hopeful for the opportunity to visit family and friends.  Which is to say, life goes on as it ever does.

I’m writing this as Owein sits purring on my chest, thinner than he’s ever been.  There’s not much that it seems we can do about it.  I’m deliberately not writing much more about that because I don’t think my heart can take it.  I need to hit the gym and lose some pounds, myself.  I wish we could share them somehow.

So that’s the sort of state of things.  If you feel like giving me an awesome birthday present, snag a copy of Truth Beyond Paradox (Only $3.99 digital!) and give my story a glorious review on Goodreads!  Word of mouth is everything.

And be Excellent to each other–and to yourselves.

 

 

Wednesday Weigh-In Week 2

Favorite Meal: Another boring week–I had leftovers for the first half of the week, and take out Qdoba last night.  Going to make something fun this weekend though, since I have it off–just haven’t decided what that might be as yet.

Song of the Week: Shooting Star, by Owl City.  Total cheese pop, but totally hits me where I live this week.  Actually, this whole album is amazingly upbeat compared to some of his earlier work–and while his voice doesn’t always hit that sweet spot we want in our bubble gum pop, the earnestness that made a lot of America fall in love with him after “Fireflies” is still there in spades.

Best Media of the Week: Lots of musical media this week.  Most recently, we have the grinning Golden in Hip Dog Digs It.  I giggled for a half hour watching it.  New to some of you, though, may be this next one (especially if you don’t follow me on tumblr)  Behold the dancing Robin GIF: Don’t Judge.  There’s My Name is Kay’s new video for Strangers, too.  Lots of good stuff this week, but hands down my favorite? The Irish President ripping a Tea Party supporter for…well, just about everything he stood for.  Take a listen here.

Comic of the Week: This was a week of a lot of endings in comic land.  Most story arcs in DC’s oeuvre ended this month, due to their flashback month in September.  Green Lantern: New Guardians finished it’s first year story arc this week with issue 12, and there were pay offs galore.  I enjoy this book, but something felt almost forced about this issue…as if it needed another issue or two to tell all that happened, but because of 0 Month in September they weren’t given the space.  I do dig, in a big way, what they’re setting Kyle up for heading into the Green Lantern crossover event that is the next story arc after September’s flashback.

Surprisingly, The Unwritten also wrapped up its current story arc this month and it was epic and awesome in the way that book and only that book can be.  Honestly, there isn’t another comic out there, in my estimation, with Unwritten’s combination of Gross’ art and  the manifold layers of depth in Carey’s written word.  It’s the book I save close to last so I can savor it, because I know I’ll have to read it a few times before I really feel like I understand everything happening.  The ending of this issue had me shouting “YES!” to an empty room.  The best endings are just new beginnings.

Without question Flash #12 had some of the best art of the week, and the story was the tightest its been in months.  In short, THIS is the Flash book we were promised, and I’m thrilled that we’re headed to a place where we’re done with the moping and we’re getting into the frenetic life of what is arguably one of my favorite comic characters (albeit with other people behind the mask) of all time. Manapul and Buccellato managed to make the watercolors–especially on Glider–so effortlessly beautiful without sacrificing the incredible chaotic energy of life on super speed.  Old Friends became enemies, old enemies became friends, and suddenly Central City felt so real again.

The winner of the week, though, was Amazing Spider-Man #692.

 It’s an interesting issue.  I really don’t like Andy Maguire (aka Alpha), and I get the feeling that was sort of the point.  Peter Parker was special in a lot of ways even before that damned arachnid got involved.  Andy isn’t.  He’s worked so hard to become invisible, to not matter, that when he finally does you don’t necessarily wish him well of it.  I think Spidey is amazing about it though, as is the supporting cast.  Reed and Ben make great comedic and serious foils, especially dealing with Pete’s history and the common Spidey theme of hubris.  I agree with CBR’s review that said Slott easily was channeling Stan Lee when he wrote the issue.  It’s a great totally Spidey story, even if I don’t care for his new sidekick.

What amazed me the most, however, were the two backup stories.  The first was written and penciled by Dean Haspiel.  The story was fine enough, though nothing to necessarily write home about–until the last few panels had me in tears.  I love Spider-Man for this very reason, for the simple nobility and the purity of what he stands for.  Totally reminded me of the issue with Pete and Franklin after Johnny’s death.  I love that Haspiel found a tossed away moment in recent continuity and crafted something so totally fitting to honor Spidey’s 50th with it.  The man who found the costume was desperate to make “her” happy, so much so that he tried again and again to give her anything she could possibly want–but ultimately all she wanted was his love.  Heartbreaking.

The second back up was written by Joshua Fialkov, with Nino Plati on art.  I don’t typically love Fialkov’s work, but I loved Plati’s manga-inspired art enough to give it a whirl.  His muted colors softened what could’ve been a jarring switch in style, and engendered a feeling of nostalgia that ran throughout the tale.  Honestly, it could’ve been set almost anytime in Spider-Man’s continuity and it would’ve held up well.  As for the story itself, I hope Dan Slott doesn’t take this the wrong way, but that was as solid a Spider-Man story as Slott’s done in his run.  I was definitely that kid growing up.  I definitely spent the majority of my ‘tweens’ living in my head, to make dealing with the bullying of the other kids easier.  I just kept it to myself rather than tell anyone who could hear.  But Fialkov made me laugh, made me tear up, and maybe even made me want to fistbump my cat at its awesomeness.

There were no humans present, ok?

Owein is chill like that.