“We are Sex Bob-Omb and we are here to make you think about death and get sad and stuff.”

It was a slow day at work, but at least it was a half slow day, so there was that. I did manage to get several hundred books pulped before the end of the day, so I guess it wasn’t all wasted.

Actually, what happened was, earlier this week, I noticed by chance that one of our older titles, inherited from another publisher, was being sold in both its first and second editions. This isn’t standard practice; when a new edition publishes, the previous edition automatically goes out of print. So, by bringing it to the attention of production and getting the remaining stock of the first edition pulped, I was essentially just facilitating a process that should have happened a few years ago as a matter of course. Still, it feels kind of strange to be sort of directly responsible for destroying all those books.

But it was just a half day at work. The rest of the afternoon, I spent seeing Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Which, you know, is just ridiculously silly and infectious fun. I think the things that have sort of been turning me off from the comics — I’ve been halfway through the first book for many, many months now — are the characteristics of the title character we’re supposed to not like. I’m not really much of an old-school gamer or indie music/comics geek, but the movie was great fun. I’m having a tough time thinking of a recent movie that’s handled its special effects so expertly. (You could almost call the movie the anti-G.I. Joe in that respect.)

I figured I should see it now, before it’s gone from theaters altogether. There were only two shows on one screen at my local multiplex. The movie has been kind of a bomb (and not a Sex Bob-Omb) at the box office, and lots of people have been wringing their hands about why it’s a huge financial failure. It’s a shame, because the movie is a lot of fun, but it’s also not entirely surprising that it hasn’t caught on with a wider, more mainstream audience. I mean, the fact that a big-budget Hollywood movie was even made from a quirky indie relationship comic about twenty-something musicians in Toronto is kind of remarkable. And maybe it’s just that geeks have been getting spoiled by the mainstreaming of ComicCon and superhero movies and the like, but it’s not exactly like an indifferent mass audience and disappointing box office are unfamiliar territory. Yeah, the big box-office winners are increasingly drawn from the geek crowd, but it’s the Star Treks and the Iron Mans, not the Serenitys and the Scott Pilgrims.

That said, I had a blast. Probably not quite as much as the half dozen other people I saw it with, some of whom were reciting dialogue and singing along with songs, but I’d definitely recommend it. Hopefully it will play as well on the small screen as it did in theaters, because I think that’s the only place most people are likely to see it.

And that, really, was my Friday. Last night, I finished reading the last book in the Joe Pitt Casebooks — not bad, and a fitting enough ending — and today moved on to Paul Auster’s Invisible, after buying a copy on impulse at Penn Station. Auster used to be a real favorite of mine, but his recent novels have been a case of ever-diminishing returns. But the reviews on the jacket copy were quite positive, and so far it’s not bad, so we shall see.

Tuesday various

  • I’ll bet Chelsea Clinton didn’t have wedding invites this adorably geeky. [via]
  • Oh my god! The triceratops may never have existed! That’s so–oh, wait, it might have been the younger form of another dinosaur that looks almost identical except for some cranial features? And, if it is the case that they’re one and the same, palaeontologists will just rename them both triceratops? Wow, what seemed like a stunning revelation is curiously a non-story by paragraph’s end.
  • Syfy Announces Development Slate of 7 New Scripted Projects. Only eighteen of them are Battlestar Galactica or Stargate spinoffs. [via] [Related: Cracked on the Syfy Channel.]
  • I think what I find most interesting and amusing about this whole recent Neil Gaiman/Todd McFarlane thing is that the judge’s decision is ultimately an argument over comics continuity.
  • And finally, as someone who, as part of his day job, spends a great deal of time hunting down potential authors and reviewers at universities, can I just say how right xkcd is?

Thursday various