So I was greeted this morning at 6AM in the raw 12 degree cold with a flat tire. Goddamn was it cold. Frustrating as it was, I'm pretty thankful I got the flat pretty much in front of my house rather than on Route 287-a road any who travel it well tell you connects two of the planes of hell. The family get-together turned out pretty good, I've got plenty of great beer and food left over and everybody seemed to have a good time.
Bit of a correction from a couple of days ago. In my post about Karen Traviss, I mentioned her debut novel, City of Pearl. Seems I made a blunder, I thought the book published last year; however, if I had simply read the copyright page I would have seen it actually published in March of this year (2004). Which just goes to show how impressive the year has been for Karen Traviss, to have 3 novels publish in one year, not to mention the fact that one of those novels is the her debut novel AND great reviews. Let me just again double the kudos for Karen Traviss, as I finished Crossing the Line last night and was again most impressed with her work. It may be an understatement to say she is THE breakout Science Fiction writer of 2004.
2004 was a mediocre year for comics, the only two series that really stood out for me were Ex Machina and Peter David’s Fallen Angel. While David’s series began last year, I only really started picking it up this year. The series really defies genre pigeon-holing and quite often, each issue raises more questions than it answers. DC is really supporting David's work and hopefully this series has at least a couple more years left, I'd love to see see it hit #50.
Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris’s Ex Machina mixes superheroics, politics and real world relevance better than any comic on the stands today. The artwork Tony Harris is maybe the best in comics today, he captures little nuances of body language and facial expressions that really bring the characters to life. And of course Vaughan is laying out great scripts and stories.
Mark Waid and Mike Weiringo have been telling really good Fantastic Four stories, which unfortunately is ending soon.
Identity Crisis, aside from Rags Morales’ art was a let down, JLA went down (the Byrne/Claremont mess, the Austen mess) but looks to be back on an upswing thanks to the fact that Kurt Busiek is now writing it is on an upswing. The Azzarello/Lee Superman has been a let down and the Bat-Crossover, what I read of it was so-so.