Wednesday, November 17, 2004

GRRM, comics, weekly awards

George R. R. Martin posted an excerpt from A Feast for Crows yesterday, in I guess, hopes of keeping his fans from e-mailing him and threatening him about the delays of the book. Many of his readers are discontent with the long wait since the last book, A Sword of Storms. Granted, the man has taken longer to publish the book than he initially planned, but so what. What I’ve read of his work leaves me with every confidence that the wait will be worth it. It’s not like there aren’t other good writers publishing today, just take a look at my sidebar.

One of the hottest topics in the SFFWorld forums lately was initiated by Mr. Martin’s posting of his political thoughts after the election. The thrust of the thread/argument initially was whether or not readers should allow an author’s political views to deter them from reading said author’s work. In the case of Mr. Martin, if you don’t agree with his views on the election, should you continue reading his work? While the topic has wandered a bit, it has been a fairly healthy debate with a few well-known authors posting their thoughts (R.A. Salvatore, Matt Stover and R. Scott Bakker).

Where do I stand on the subject? It is not always easy to separate the artist from the art he or she creates. Their political views, something essentially helping to shape who they are, by definition is going to flavor their writing in some respect. However, I think I can usually separate the two and read the story on its own merits, but knowing the background of the writer can sometimes creep up. If the story is strong enough, if the plot is crafted well enough, if the characters act plausibly, then ultimately, I can read and enjoy the story.

Tomorrow at the comic-shop, I’ll be picking up the following:

Conan #10
Ex Machina #6
JLA #108
Superman/Batman #14
Wonder Woman #210
Fantastic Four #520

Superman/Batman will have art by Carlos Pacheco, who did a fabulous job on Arrowsmith and some JSA stuff. Senor Pacheco is going to be the regular artist on the Green Lantern ongoing, once GL: Rebirth finishes up. Other than that, all pretty solid looking stuff.

This week’s writer of the week is the great pulp-writer, Robert E. Howard. Howard helped birth the sub-genre of Heroic Fantasy and Sword and Sorcery. REH created, arguably, one of the most recognizable and storied icons in ALL of AMERICAN Literature – Conan the Barbarian. Next week, Del Rey books is publishing The Bloody Crown of Conan, the second volume of Del Rey’s reissues of the Conan Wandering Star volumes and the third Robert E. Howard reprint in the past year-and-a-half. Earlier this year, The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane published, and I believe and hope, Del Rey plans on publishing most of REH’s stuff, I’m particularly looking forward to reading Bran Mok Man. The 10th issue of Dark Horse’s Conan series publishes this week. Kurt Busiek is scripting great stories and Cary Nord is creating some great looking art, all told is this is very faithful to the spirit of the REH originals.

My beer of the week is from America’s oldest brewery: Yuengling Lager. This is my favorite every-day beer, it is refreshing crisp and goes down great with a burger, a slice of pizza or while bowling.

Hopefully tonight's Smallville will not be paint by numbers.

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