Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Waiting for Wednesday, Volume 3, Issue 3

It's another wonderfully wintry week here at Exfanding HQ, with more of the ice and sleet and slush than the good old fashioned snow. Combine the fact that I have an hour-plus drive to work each morning with the fact that my car is very not good in the snow, and you get an interesting week.

But, hey. At least it's Wednesday, and at least there are comics to buy.

Aside from my weather woes (they're saying more snow here Thursday night into Friday, and then there's the possibility of Something coming by Monday morning), I'm having one of those weird overall weeks. I have quite a bit of work that needs to be done, which is actually good for me, because it keeps me focused. But it's a lot of work, nonetheless.

I'm also working on a few things--side projects, as Nathaniel likes to call them--that are a whole lot of fun, and pretty exciting. Who knows where they'll end up. At this point, I've pretty much trained myself to never get too excited over anything, especially things that have the potential to be very exciting.

I know. It doesn't make any sense. Welcome to my brain.

I've also managed to fit in quite a bit of reading time this week, which is nice. Usually, I cram as much as I possibly can into the weekend--sometimes reading a month's worth of comics in one sitting before moving on to that novel I've been meaning to read.

But this week I started--and finished--a pretty unexpected biography. As any (even casual) wrestling fans knows, Mick Foley is one of the all-time great characters in the game. And his latest book (he has several previous memoirs that sold incredibly well and that I might go track down) is a great read.

I've been an on and off fan of professional wrestling for most of my life, really getting into it at two different times--first, when I was very young and Hulk Hogan was the biggest thing ever. And second, when I was in high school, and Stone Cold Steve Austin was the biggest thing ever.

Just for the record, though, Shawn Michaels is my favorite wrestler. Always was, always will be.

But Mick Foley--or Mankind, or Cactus Jack, or Dude Love, as he's been known in the past--is a very close second. I even got to "meet" Mick back at the short-lived Wizard World Boston (which was my very first convention, by the way). I say "meet" because I just happened to walk by his table (there was a huge line of people waiting to get his autograph) at the exact moment that he looked up. Right at me, actually.
I was just wandering the convention, not really sure where to go or what to do next, and I certainly didn't expect to see Mick Foley--the Hardcore Legend of pro wrestling--staring right at me. So what do I do? I say, loudly and with a smile, "Hey! You're Mick Foley!" And, for some reason, I wave at him.

And Mick Foley smiles and gives me a patented Mick Foley Thumbs-Up. And says, "Yep."True story.

Right. How'd we get here again?

Oh, yes. Foley's latest book, Countdown to Lockdown, an autobiography detailing the last two-plus years in the career of one of wrestling's biggest names.

It was great. Foley's writing style is engaging and funny, and at times, beautiful.

He talks about in-ring stuff, "inside baseball" backstage stuff, family stuff, you name it. He's frank and open and he talks about things that most wrestlers wouldn't touch with a barbed wire baseball bat. But Foley dives right in and provides one of the most thoughtful theories on steroid use that I've ever read.

I played baseball for a long time, and unfortunately, I know many players who decided to go the steroid route, including some close friends. So that chapter alone was worth the price of admission for me.

If you're a wrestling fan--or, like me, if you watched at some point and know names like Foley and Undertaker and Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle--then I'd say this is some must-read material. I bet we have a few wrestling fans out there reading this, and if so, please leave a comment. I've been meaning to do a longer post on wrestling at some point here, but I'd like to know that there's someone out there with some interest in the subject.

Okay, okay. Back to the mission at hand--new comics. You have to admit, though, as far as Alex Tangents go, that one was pretty good.

First up this week, we have another book from Image Comics that's making some waves in the shops and online. Yet another sellout from the publisher, 27 is a new series about a musician and...uh. Well, that's actually all I know about the series. The reason? Issue one sold out instantly, and very few stores (read: none, in my area) even ordered a single copy.
Plenty of copies of number one popped up on eBay (for $15) on the day of release, and there's been a pretty steady stream of them on the auction site ever since. Last week, issue two shipped, and most stores picked up a few copies after the buzz for issue one had officially made it a "hot" book.

I made sure to reserve a copy of issue two from my shop, and now I have issue two of a series before finding a copy of issue one. But, hopefully, that will be rectified today, as Image releases a second printing of that elusive first issue.

For anyone interested, here's the solicitation information from the publisher:

Hendrix, Cobain, Joplin, Morrison. All died at age 27. In 27, and all-new miniseries from Image Comics and Shadowline, a gifted rock musician fights to make it to his 28th birthday.

This four-issue series is written by Charles Soule (Strongman), drawn by the brilliant Renzo Podesta (Hard Drive, Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom), and features gorgeous covers by W. Scott Forbes (FORGETLESS). It will be published in the larger Golden Age format.

In 27, the "27 Club" admits only the most brilliant musicians and artists--and kills them dead in their 27th year. Will Garland is a famous rock guitarist, secretly unable to play for months due to a neurological disorder afflicting his left hand. He's also 27. With mad scientists, long dead rock legends and cosmic entities in his way, can he make it to 28?

Sounds good, and I'm looking forward to seeing what all the hype is about.

Next up, we have a book near and dear to my heart. From Dark Horse, volume 10 of The Goon ships today. Entitled "Death's Greedy Comeuppance," this volume veers a bit off the "continuity" trail, focusing instead on two one-shot issues of The Goon proper, and a 3-issue mini-series featuring supporting cast favorite, Buzzard.
The two one-shots featured here include the 10th anniversary special issue and the amazing "silent issue," which has (you guessed it) no words.

Here's the official blurb from Dark Horse about the collection:

Celebrate ten years of The Goon with this collection of two hilarious Goon stories and the Buzzard miniseries!

This volume includes the landmark tenth-anniversary special and the riotous (and silent) One-Shot Wonder issue, plus a poignant adventure of the immortal Buzzard, wandering a desolate land after his confrontation with the Zombie Priest.

Filled with equal parts comedy and misfortune, this collection serves as both an epilogue to the Goon Year epic and the beginning of the next chapter in the story of Lonely Street's tragic protector!

I've already ordered my copy of this, and I can't wait to dig in to these newly collected stories.

And with that, I really must be going. But before I do...what are you Waiting for?

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