A fine enough Friday

Given that I spent the very beginning of this week lying sick in bed, I’m quite happy that the rest of it passed by so uneventfully.

Tonight, I finished reading the second volume of Walter Simonson’s run on Thor. It’s maybe less heady and flashy than some of the bigger comics of the day, less groundbreaking than, say, your Alan Moores. But it’s really well plotted, full of lots of great and weird ideas, and good fun.

Meanwhile, I’m also slowly reading William Faulkner’s Sanctuary, which I’m also quite enjoying, although Faulkner definitely requires an investment of concentration. There’s a wonderful moment in this interview with him in which he’s asked, “Some people say they can’t understand your writing, even after they read it two or three times. What approach would you suggest for them?” Faulkner’s response? “Read it four times.”

I’m still only about a third of the way through the book, therefore — meaning I’ve so far only read 9 of 1 books for the year — but I quite liked this short exchange:

“….I be dog if he ain’t skeered of his own shadow.”

“I’d be scared of it too,” Benbow said. “If his shadow was mine.”


It’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, so I was off from work. I still had to wake up a little early to go with my father to get his car inspected, but I was able to go back to sleep when we came back home.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. I watched a bunch of episodes from the last season of 30 Rock, then the first episode in the new third season of Sherlock. (I think I’d maybe have a half-letter-grade kinder to the episode that this review, but it’s pretty much spot on.)

Then this evening I read the first volume of Walter Simonson’s run on The Mighty Thor from the early ’80s. It’s a lot of fun, with many weird and unexpected ideas and a great dash of humor. It’s little surprise that a lot of the recent Thor movies are drawn so heavily from Simonson’s work on the title. (Though I wonder if we’ll ever see Beta Ray Bill on the big screen.)

And that, somehow, was a full day. I also put some bird seed and suet in the feeder, went to a local burger joint for lunch, and read some submissions for Kaleidotrope. And I haven’t once looked at my work e-mail since Friday. It wasn’t an exciting weekend, but sometimes that’s for the best.


Today did not go exactly as planned. I didn’t even do my morning pages until two o’clock in the afternoon.

I hurt my back late yesterday, pulled something as I was leaning over the couch to plug in a surge protector. Because I lead just that kind of rugged and/or glamorous lifestyle. I took it easy the rest of the night, but the rest of that night involved taking a dog out at both three and six am, and around that second time I decided to e-mail in sick. My back was starting to feel better, but I really didn’t want to rush into it and make things worse. (It’s amazing what leaning over the wrong way can do when you already have a herniated disc and are in arguably the worst shape of your adult life.)

So I again did the whole laying about the house watching TV thing. Which, admittedly, isn’t the way towards getting into better shape, but it does seem like it’s helped my back. I also read some comics — Jack Kirby’s “Fourth World” stuff, fitting since today’s the anniversary of the day he died. (I didn’t know that, but Tumblr keeps me well informed.) I also discovered an interesting show called The Booth at the End on Hulu, which beat watching many hours of Star Trek Voyager while endlessly checking my work e-mail. (It definitely beats ABC’s new “the Nazis had evil clocks or something” Zero Hour. That was awful.)

I’m definitely going back to the office tomorrow. I need a break from television. I’d actually like to get back to reading and maybe even writing again. What was supposed to be a couple days off has turned into five. And while I enjoy them, I am not very productive on days off.

Comic sans

We had a brown bag lunch today at work, about the business side of comics, with an executive (and friend of one of our editors) from DC Entertainment. It wasn’t bad, and there was a free lunch and some free comics.

Which means I’m finally getting to read some of Before Watchmen, a project I’ve been really dubious about and hesitant to support with my money. DC’s been taking a lot of flack lately for the way it does or does not treat its creative talent, and I think here it may actually be justified. Watchmen, quite honestly, isn’t a story that called out to prequelized. (And I say that as someone not wholly opposed to adaptations, as someone who actually quite enjoyed the movie version.) And what I read over my free sandwich of J. Michael Straczynski’s Dr. Manhattan doesn’t lead me to re-think my earlier position.

But then again, I’m not lock-step with popular comics opinion. I was pretty much starting to hate The Walking Dead after just twelve issues.

Most of this didn’t come up during the talk, although our speaker clearly was coming at comics from a business perspective. (He doesn’t read them himself, eagerly referred to them as IP, or intellectual property, but seemed like a decent guy.) Most of it was, like I said, about the business — and whether or not comics is a serious business. (Short answer: Yes. Follow-up question: we’re still asking this?)

It was a nice way to break up the workday, if nothing else. And even if Straczynski’s take on Alan Moore looks painfully inessential…well, some of the other issues I picked up might be good. Although I think some of the series may have already been cancelled…


We had a team meeting this morning and talked about fun stuff like textbook design and pedagogy.

Then this evening, I read several more issues of The Walking Dead and realized, as I did after the 12th issue several months ago, that maybe this comic just isn’t for me.

You know, it was just that kind of day.