Behold the Thrilling Universe:


(NOTE - 1:09 AM: Sorry about the lateness here... Blogger thought it would be totally rad to not let me post for a solid half-hour after I finished writing... not the first time this has happened either)

(NOTE 2 - 1:33 AM: BWHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!!!! Aw, Blogger, I'm not going to bed till late tonight anyhow, so we'll just see how long each of us can last, ok old chum?)

(NOTE 3 - 2:07 AM: Mmm, that was some tasty chicken. The only thing tastier is Blogger's whip-crack speed at delivering my posts piping hot to the doorsteps of all of my Internet friends. I should change the title of this post to 'Blogger is a Delicious Internet Paradise' because that would be a far more honest and heartfelt heading than what I already have!)

(NOTE 4 - 2:42 AM: 'What I Think Is the Best Part of the Internet' by Jog, Grade 4 - The best part of the whole Internet is Blogger becasue it is so much fun and I can post all of my cool thoughts. Sometimes I want to go and play but I read blogs and I don't play because all of the blogs are so good to read. I am happy that Blogger lets all the people write their awesome thoughts. I hope the people in the other countries have a Blogger too because then we could all learn about the other people and we would be so happy. Blogger could build a rainbow across the world and we'd all walk across the rainbow like crossing the street except with our minds and we'd be able to see the other people's houses in other countries because we all talk through Blogger. In conclusion, Blogger is the best member of my family. GRADE: A+!!!)

(NOTE 5 - 3:27 AM: Well! That was a productive evening of posting and research, but I really must be off the bed! I've been so close to Blogger tonight. If only Blogger was a real live friend that I could talk to and share my shameful thoughts with... wha?! Blogger! You... you're alive! What's that? You have to leave already? To give presents to all of the good children of the city?! Well... I guess I can't stop you. Huh? I get a present too??? WOW! A new calculator! This will help me so much in my day of neverending horror tomorrow! Thank you Blogger for being such a pal. Wha... you can fly! Oh! Farewell Blogger!!! I'll see you in the morning!!!)

(NOTE 6 - 8:39 AM: Such a curious dream. I dreamt that my friends and I were all cats and we tried to talk but all we could say was 'meow' because that's all kitties can say and THIS FUCKING THING BETTER WORK AW SHIT YOU MOTHER no. It's a free service. Calm.)

(NOTE 7 - 11:59 AM: Ok. My huge day is half over. Of course nobody knows about my day yet because the original post never went up. Maybe it'll go up now. That would be a lunchtime treat superior to a dozen ham bagels. No? Ah well. None of the other blogger-based pages are updated either. Ha ha, Chris Butcher covered most of the stuff I'm doing in this post. That's cool. Why did I put up a link? Nobody can read this anyway. Let's try again, just for shits and giggles. Nope.)

(NOTE 8 - 1:09 PM: Rock... Paper... Scissors... SHOOT. Damn. Rock... Paper... Scissors... SHOOT! ARGH! I should just print out hard copies of my post and mail it to everyone.)

(NOTE 9 - 4:32 PM: Boy, what a day... wha?! They're here! All the comics blogs are updated! And Blogger! You're back! I... I thought you were... gone. I'm sorry I said those crazy things! Oh... c'mere you crazy ass!)

Ho ho ho tomorrow is going to do its damnedest to destroy my soul [Update: It wasn't as bad as I'd thought]. It’s gonna be non-stop from 8:00AM - 5:30PM, just one thing after another [that part was true]. Thank goodness Diamond decided to move their shipment to Thursday just for me. Right neighborly of them. So:

In the Shadow of No Towers: The new collection of Art Spiegelman material, inspired by and patterned after the massive newspaper comics broadsheets of yore, and containing his panicked (later seething) thoughts as a witness to the September 11, 2001 attacks. Spiegelman also did the book design himself; I already have a copy and from a distance it looks like quite a thick volume. Actually, it’s each page that’s extremely thick, and the comic pages are presented as double-page spreads for maximum visual impact. It’s beautifully thought-out (the book is set up in a way that all but eliminates any spine interference with viewing the spreads), and a grand total of 10 double-page spreads long. There’s also a bonus section of seven classic newspaper strips, presented in singe or double page spread format (in particular Winsor McCay and the great Lionel Feininger all but demand to be seen at this size). With introductions to the comic proper and the bonus stuff, and a special presentation of the front page of the New York World of 9/11/1901. I’ll have a proper review up tomorrow, but it’s good to emphasize the look of the thing because the presentation is so well-done and (let’s be honest here) it’s $19.95 for 20 pages of Spiegelman comics and about as much bonus material. But mixing current politics with early 20th century newspaper comics? It’s like the book was built to appeal to me. More info tomorrow, as I read it again and sort out my thoughts.

Challengers of the Unknown #4 (of 6): But if you want a less expensive, more bullet-riddled exploration of the currant socio-political climate, you could do worse than this series. Howard Chaykin’s art has been particularly playful here, and the storyline has become a wildly exaggerated parable for learning to read around the edges of media spin. It’s the very essence of 'unsubtle' and the heroes are almost totally (intentionally?) interchangeable, but it’s an engaging little shooting and bleeding tale none the less.

Fallen Angel #15: The deadline for entering Johanna’s contest is today (Wednesday, 9/8) so get them writings in! And check out the latest issue the very next day!

Smax: A hardcover collection of the Alan Moore and Zander Cannon “Top Ten” spin-off miniseries, following Jeff’s adventures in his homeworld of fantasy cliches. A good sight better than just about anyone expected it to be (and I think most people expected it to be at least good with Moore writing), it deftly mixes genre satire and bloody violence, with a particularly fun villain and even a nice dose of background on Jeff’s origins. It’s nice that this is getting the deluxe treatment. Now if only Moore and Gene Ha’s “Top Ten” prequel graphic novel “The 49ers” would emerge from the darkness beyond human perception…

The Punisher #11: Yep. I’m expecting this is where Frank offs a bunch of villains (the ones that don’t off each other) but there’ll still be one or two big ones left over for #12, since we really must adhere to our six-issue format. Also: many a cuss will escape hardened lips.

Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return: Ah, here it is! Buried in the ‘Related Merchandise’ section of the list! I’m unsure as to what convinced Diamond that this 187-page all-comics hardcover sequel to the critically-acclaimed original deserved to be listed along with the Barbie Princess of the Navajo Doll or the Vampire Character Sheet Pad but here it is. Well, ok, to be exact both US hardcovers are derived from a quartet of French albums (the US “Persepolis” collecting Vol. 1-2 and “Persepolis 2” collecting Vol. 3-4), but still. It’s even from Pantheon, the same publisher that put out “In the Shadow of No Towers” which got listed in the comics section. Weird. Anybody know the thinking behind such positioning on the list? Haven’t read the book itself yet, I’ve been so busy, but I’ll get to it soon enough. Just as soon as I’m done with Barbie’s imperial address to the Navajo people.

The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish (new edition): Hey! Here’s another cool book buried in with the t-shirts and posters. I’ve noticed this in bookstores recently: it’s a re-issue of Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s first children’s book (“The Wolves in the Walls“ being the latest release). There’s a new cover by McKean too. I’ve found that Gaiman and McKean bring out the best in each other, and I recall this book being an amusing little ditty, suitable for all ages. The Gaiman/McKean team’s greatest triumph, “Mr. Punch”, will have to wait until they’re older.