Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Waiting for Wednesday, Volume 2, Issue 17

Yeah. So, um. Hi.

It's--uh--it's kinda late on Tuesday night, and I'm just now sitting down to write this (the most-beloved and longest-running comic book preview column on the entire Internet*), so please forgive me if there's a certain...lack, let's say...of coherence to this week's edition.

And it's not like I forgot this week that I needed to write one of these bad boys up--believe me, that's happened before, and a lot closer to our normal, 11:00 am posting time, I might add. On the contrary, I knew I needed to get a Waiting for in the can (as we professional blogger-types** like to say), and I wanted to have it all written and with photos and snark and everything.

It just didn't happen that way, is all.

I've had a busy week--busy, good, though, as opposed to the many, many busy, bad weeks that I had from, oh, September to February--but it's been busy nonetheless.

I'm starting to settle in at my new job (I'm now in Week Two), and so far, I haven't messed anything up to the point that it was rendered unpublishable. That said, there's still a lot of week left. But so far, so good. I even got entered into a team eating contest.

Let me clarify that.

I'll be a part of a four-person team tasked with having to complete four courses--one each--quicker than the teams against whom we'll be competing. The four courses will consist of the following: buffalo wings, chili, flan, and a bottle of beer. Unfortunately, due to my newly acquired low man on the totem pole status, I did not end up with the beer leg of the contest.

I'll be the chili man, starting second, right after the buffalo wings woman.

Which would be fine, except for the fact that I've been on a pretty strict diet for the past several months and't like chili. I'm sure nothing bad will happen, though. And I hear they videotape these things and then post them up on YouTube. Like I said, nothing bad will happen.

Speaking of diets, though, as I write this, I am in Month Eight of my new diet, which is basically the same diet I prescribed to while playing baseball in college. It was tough getting started again, but now I'm in that zone where breaking the diet feels like a crime against nature.

In addition to eating healthy, I'm running and weightlifting in the morning, and then I have another lifting session when I get home from work on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. I don't lift on Wednesdays, but I do run, and I take the weekends off completely.

The weight loss has been slow and steady, and right on the track I envisioned.

The only thing that's different from when I was in baseball shape are the...multitude...of small, nagging aches, and large, annoying pains. I had a pretty hilarious (read: sad) string of injuries while in high school and college, things like decade-old sprained ankles and surgically-repaired shoulders really start to bark after a while.

As I write this, I'm just getting back from the gym, and sitting down is a small, but welcome, blessing.

All in all, though, I don't plan to waver from this diet (except when I have to down that bowl of chili for, um, departmental spirits, of course). But the real question now is, why did I bring this up in the first place? We're supposed to be talking comics, right? Yep. Sorry about that.

But like I said, I'm tired, and I wanted to share with you why that is. To do all my running and lifting, I'm up at around 5:30 in the morning every weekday, and I leave for the office around 7:00. I get home, usually, around 6:30, and I workout until about a quarter after seven.

Then I shower, eat, and apparently, start writing a Waiting for Wednesday.

And all of this is just a long-winded way of saying, uh, don't get mad at me if this post makes no sense. Right. So, with that, let's get to the comics. Um...after I go check out what comics are coming out this week, of course.

Huh. Well, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of new books that I'm really digging on, so let's quickly go through the highlights, then get on to some other important comics news.
There's a deluge of Iron Man titles coming from Marvel, since the movie is primed for its release date. Included in that is Matt Fraction's latest, The Invincible Iron Man, issue 25, which promises to be a perfect jumping-on point for new readers.

I'm currently reading this series in trade--I picked up the huge Volume One omnibus thingy a couple of weeks ago, and I'm enjoying the heck out of it. This week also sees the release of the big Volume Two hardcover, so you can catch up on the whole series, if you'd like.

Fraction's writing and Salvador Larocca's art were seemingly made to be complemented by each other, and the overall package is one worth checking out. Fraction has become a major player in comics, and I'm telling you, in a couple of years, he'll be at the helm of the next big event.

Anyway, here's the solicitation information for today's issue 25 from Marvel:

Double-sized issue! Co-released alongside this summer’s surefire blockbuster hit IRON MAN 2, this issue is the perfect jumping-on point for fans of the films and readers new and old alike! New year. New decade. New trade dress. New threats. New loves. New armor. New Tony Stark. New storyline: RESILIENT. Get onboard the Eisner-award winning INVINCIBLE IRON MAN here!

Even though I won't be finished with the previous issues, I will be picking number 25 up, because I'm very interested in seeing where the character goes as Siege comes to an end.

Next up is the excellent Brian Bendis-penned New Avengers, which sees issue 64 ship today as a Siege tie-in. If you haven't been reading this book, I'd say wait for the current story arc to make its way to the trade, and start from there.

I know some people are down on Siege, but I'm really enjoying the event, and the fallout being felt in the major books has been entertaining and downright fun. Bendis has shaped the Marvel Universe in a very similar way to how Geoff Johns has worked out the DC Universe, and we are not seeing the payoff, big time.

Here's the solicitation information from Marvel:

SIEGE BLOCKBUSTER TIE-IN!! The staggering conclusion to the SIEGE arc delves into the Hood's secret relationship with Norman Osborn and how it will affect the stunning outcome. Plus the fate of the one they call Mockingbird! What you don’t see in SIEGE, you will see here!!

Siege as a mainstream event has been great, but especially in Bendis' regular titles, the little personal dramas of the huge event play out in interesting ways. New Avengers is a great complement to the main Siege story, and you really will take new stuff away from the book. So do yourself a favor and catch up on the book--it's well worth your time and money.

And that's about all I have the stamina for at this point. But before I go, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that this Saturday is Free Comic Book Day, the ultimate weekend event for comic nerds. Most stores do something special for the event--maybe a little (or big) sale, sometimes there are signings, but pretty much everyone participates in the giving away free books thing.

Just remember, the free comics are not free to retailers--they have to pay for the shipping, so they might actually lose money on the day, if they can't do something like bring in a creator or throw a party. So be nice to your retailer, and don't get all nutty if he or she limits the number of books you can choose from.

It's still a tough economy out there, so we all need to be happy with whatever our retailers see fit to hand out.

That said, go out, travel to a couple of different stores if you can, and enjoy the day. If there's someone new hanging out at you local shop, go up to him or her, introduce yourself, give them a hand if they ask for a recommendation. Free Comic Book Day is a day for the fans, sure, but it's also the perfect opportunity to get newbies into the hobby.

So go forth and spread geeky joy.

But, um, not in a disgusting way.

-- -- -- --

*Yeah, this column is not that. At all.

**Yeah, I'm not that, either.

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