I bought into the hype, the news coverage, the coverage of the spoiler in the other coverage and all that stuff. I went to a comic shop and bought the special, first-print, non-alternate cover of “Batman #50,” aka the “Batman and Catwoman’s Wedding Issue.” And I bought the one before it, #49.

So first thing, about buying the one before it, I was foolish. Despite my (I think) higher-than-the-average-person knowledge of Batman things, I am below average compared to active comic book fans. I think. And I’m out of practice, because I somehow, foolishly, stupidly thought that the events of “Batman #49” would immediately line up to the events of “Batman #50.” They don’t. Of course they don’t. This is modern comic book storytelling, where the events of “Batman #49” get followed up by “Catwoman #31,” then “Justice League: Batman’s Cowl #6” and on and on. This will relate in a moment. Continue reading ‘Batman’s Wedding’


Alternative title: People Ranking “Solo” as the Worst Star Wars Movie Are Insane.

The release of “Solo: a Star Wars Story” has been a weird one for “Star Wars” movies. It hasn’t set the world on fire, so many have been quick to blame everything and declare it the worst entry. I’ve heard some actual fan reaction from people directly, but even that has been hampered with statistics and box office returns. It should be noted that none of these people I’ve spoken to have any vested interest in those box office returns. It’s more just the way our world works now. Everything is seen in terms of how money justifies existence.

That almost makes sense in terms of “Star Wars,” as they have been so synonymous with box office success that when one doesn’t make a zillion dollars, it does, I suppose, qualify as “news.” The films have also reached a level of their own film genre, as one of my friends has pointed out. Each “Star Wars” movie can only be measured against previous “Star Wars” movies. All other comparisons are irrelevant. Still, I’m going to try. Continue reading ‘Solo: a Star Wars Thoughts’

I was having a very 2018 thought today: I was considering listening to the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s,” and the easiest way would be to download it from Amazon Music (available through with your Prime membership, check Amazon, the company that cares). The problem would be that when you listen to it on Amazon Music, there are half-second breaks between songs. So instead of having the opening song flow smoothly into “With a Little Help From My Friends,” it goes silent for a moment, then resumes.

Not the worst problem, of course, but it stopped me from going on because it was “not how they intended.” And I continued to think about the concept of this album, and how it was supposed to be like a concert, with songs transitioning into each other with barely a break at all.

And then it hit me: that’s not what concerts are like at all. Continue reading ‘Realization: The Beatles Messed Up “Sgt. Pepper’s” Concert Idea’

The world of supervillany was predominantly male. A ratio of twenty-seven male villains for every woman. And most times, the one in twenty seven amounted to less than a costume — a graduated sidekick looking to make a name for herself. They had the desire, but most lacked the ambition.

Valentina Vartan, on the other hand, had ambition. She was one of the most ambitious things on the planet, without qualification of gender, race or species. She had conquered cities, vanquished heroes more powerful than herself, and had come to be known as one of the greatest villains alive.

That qualifier — “one of” — gnawed at Valentina’s ego. Despite her many criminal accomplishments were many, the only way she could ever be known as *the* greatest — singular and alone — was to eliminate any and all competition. Greatness could only be achieved through victory over all. The only other name in the same tier as Valentina’s was Rance Raptor. He was seventy-six, a full three decades Valentina’s senior. In Valentina’s mind, she was obligated to do all that was necessary to give Rance Raptor and the entire patriarchy a permanent rest. Continue reading ‘V I L L A N Y (a short story)’

But first, a sports story: I was a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs. I owned lots of gear and went to many games. I was a paying customer — practically a citizen or constituent of Wrigley Field. In 2008, the Cubs were the best team in the National League, with their best chance at a World Series in decades.

They lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Dodgers. Not just lost: swept. And not just swept. Destroyed. It was embarrassing. It was so embarrassing that I began to ask, “What am I getting from this relationship?” Continue reading ‘Campaign Finance Reform: Nothing Changes Unless We Change It’

This week I am finally finishing something I’ve put off for years: I’m getting through “The Godfather Part III.” I’m watching at night. I’m on Day Three.

I’m sure people have expressed why this film falls short of its predecessors. So I’m doing that, too.

It’s odd how you can see the movie running out of steam. It starts out in an ok place, with Michael regretting his past sins (mostly for killing Fredo), and we learn he’s spent most of his adulthood seeking absolution. He has become a figure of charity and has now angled his way toward running the bank of the Vatican, in a “the ends justify the means” kind of way. Had this movie focused solely on Michael’s path, it might have succeeded. Continue reading ‘Um… “Godfather 3.”’

This November was National Novel Writing Month — and I suppose it’s that way every November. What makes this particular November unique is that I participated in NaNoWriMo. Me — the guy who labors to write confusing opening paragraphs!

For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is a kind of “honor code” participation where you agree to write a novel containing at least 50,000 words in the span of a single November.

It was a lot of fun, and I learned a few things, too. Continue reading ‘National Novel Writing Month Experienced, Enjoyed’