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Old 03-17-2021, 11:24 AM   #1561
FrederikWolferson
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Im trying to read the whole of Horus Heresy. Some of it can be a bit of a chore.
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Old 03-17-2021, 01:50 PM   #1562
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I’m a big Ennis fan myself and I just finished the Jennifer Blood series. The first six issues were all Ennis’ work but the rest of the series were by other writers. Overall it was just OK. Very ridiculous at times and formulaic at other times but overall the character was pretty unlikable. It’s often described as a “female Punisher” series but I have to disagree with that. I’d rate it a 6/10
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Old 04-26-2021, 11:48 AM   #1563
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Finished Black Company Shadow Games and started Old Man's War to break up the Horus Heresy marathon a bit.
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Old 04-26-2021, 07:48 PM   #1564
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Finished reading Red Star Over China written by journalist Edgar Snow written in 1937, very impressive, as a Chinese though this is my first read of it.

It's the first book that introduces the early stage of red army and its party. It broke the blockade of the reporting and make people outside know what really is. The book do have errors of details by still irreplaceable.

Sadly there are still one-sided or even biased reports nowadays and there is still a lot of misunderstandings. And I do admit reading a whole book patiently is not fit many people's life styles anymore.
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Old 04-28-2021, 08:34 AM   #1565
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Just finished reading these in TPB. I've read the single issues several times but I must admit that on the whole the story plays a lot better without ads and chapter breaks.

I remember reading it as it came out monthly, and to be honest it was a bit hard to get into that way. The way the story reveals itself in layers with the reader only being given the full picture right before the end makes it a lot of fun to read all at once, but in bits and pieces with a full month in between each chapter it was a very divisive piece of work at the time it was first published.

That was during the time when each of the three Superman books was given its own writer and independent storyline that would ostensibly last for a full year - Azzarello on "Superman", Greg Rucka on "Adventures of Superman", and Chuck Austen on "Action Comics" - as a way to refocus the Superman books and get things back on track after what had previously been a very rough period for the character across the board. Most of the Superman books published between 2002-2004 were "uneven" and inconsistent, to be perfectly kind, and some of them were downright awful. So the "new era" that was set to cover 2004-2005 was designed to simplify things and give people a new jumping-on point.

Unfortunately, that didn't really work out as well as it was hoped, especially since Austin's run on Action was so dreadful, he was kicked off of his own story before it finished. Rucka's run on AoS was much more well-received, being a rather straightforward Superman story, very well-written even if not altogether groundbreaking. And then "For Tomorrow" was somewhere in the middle, for most people. Everyone agreed that the art was fantastic, but not everyone liked the slow-burn, in media res storytelling and were hungry for something more conventional and straightforward. Again, the Superman books were coming off of a REALLY bad slump, and for the most part people were desperate for something more "back-to-basics" than what this story ended up being.

I do very firmly believe that the timing of the project had an unfair effect on the overall perception of the work at the time it was being published. In a vacuum, reading it as its own stand-alone piece of work, all in one sitting, I feel that it's quite brilliant. In 2004-5, though, it was a bit of a hard nut for many people to crack. One thing I remember vividly was everyone getting very hung up on the continuity of it all, where it "fit" within the other DC and Superman comics that were in print at the same time, and they were letting those concerns affect their ability to take the story on its own terms. Now, to be clear, this story IS in-continuity - much of the unresolved plot threads were directly planting seeds for "The OMAC Project" which came out shortly thereafter - but nobody reading it had any way of knowing that at the time, and since AoS and Action made no reference to the events of this story at all, some people were quick to dismiss it simply because there wasn't more obvious connective tissue to the other Superman books. I'm on-record as being a huge fan of continuity, but at the same time it can very often hurt the ability to enjoy a story on its own merits if you spend too much time thinking about where it fits with other, unrelated stories. And I do believe that's what initially happened with this one. Between the "Where does it fit?" questions, and the fact that the story often jumps seamlessly between flashbacks and present-day scenes without much transition, along with the fact that most of it isn't fully explained until the very end of the story, reception to this one was VERY mixed during its initial run.

That said, when taken on its own and read in a single sitting, I feel that all of those issues evaporate, and what you're left with is simply a really great Superman story, one that deals powerfully with themes such as Hope and Faith, Superman's constant internal struggle between doing "Too Much" and "Not Enough", and how far he's ultimately willing to go to "save the world".

It didn't much hook me as a monthly read, but since then it's easily become one of my all-time favorite Superman stories, and it's one that I feel still often gets unfairly overlooked. It's great.

Huge Recommendation.
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Old 04-28-2021, 10:18 AM   #1566
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It's hard to believe those Jim Lee Batman and Superman runs were so long ago now. Lee coming onto those books got me excited about those characters for the first time in years back then.

That was like a lifetime ago now.
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Old 05-03-2021, 12:57 PM   #1567
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My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Omnibus - Vol. 1 showed up in the mail today.
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Old 05-03-2021, 05:35 PM   #1568
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Morals and Dogma. I picked up a first edition copy to go with other apocrypha of it's kind. I've been meaning to read it for years....
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Old 05-04-2021, 11:49 AM   #1569
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Volumes 2 and 3 of the MLP Omnibuses showed up today. Still waiting on 4, 5 and 6.
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Old 05-04-2021, 11:54 AM   #1570
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What is the appeal of MLP?

I like all kinds of weird ****, but I feel like it's a fair question to ask. I mean, there is absolutely nothing wrong it, but it does subvert expectations how so many grown men are into MLP. That's why I ask.
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Old 05-04-2021, 12:25 PM   #1571
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I really don't have the energy to even attempt to explain it properly. I can also only speak to the "Friendship Is Magic" iteration because I thought all the earlier versions were vapid junk. And I feel like it's one of those "To those who Get It, no explanation is necessary, but to those who don't Get It no explanation will do" kind of things.

In any case, it's funny, it's smart, it's well-written, it's whimsical, and the complete opposite of cynical. It puts over good values without being all preachy about it. There's a purity and innocence to it that simply doesn't exist in most shows anymore, even ones ostensibly aimed at kids. And despite being "aimed at kids", the show and comics are absolutely packed with inside jokes and pop culture references that only adults would get. Little kids wouldn't get the jokes referencing "The Big Lebowski", "The Shining" or "A Clockwork Orange", for example, but such gags always land directly as intended with the audience they're aiming for. The comics actually get away with a lot more since they're not limited by time and budget restrictions, and the readership skews a bit older than the audience for the cartoon.

I think if it weren't legitimately Good, then it wouldn't have the audience that it does. I've told the story often, but my wife and I initially only sat down to watch and make fun of it, expecting it to be stupid, but it simply didn't turn out that way. I won't "out" anybody, but I have a good buddy on this forum who initially steadfastly refused to watch it at all, then was like "Well, maybe my kids will like it...", and now he and his wife and kids all watch it together and have conversations around the dinner table about which Pony best-represents each of them. And we laugh about how ridiculous it is that things played out this way, but it is what it is.

I guess that it wouldn't be for everyone, since nothing is. But I'd generally say that anyone who actively hated on it probably has a strong adverse reaction to joy and whimsy.

I got into the comics way late, but they might actually be "better" than the show. I was quite surprised to find out how popular the comic was; IDW put out a couple hundred issues over the last few years across various series, and it outsells TMNT by a fairly wide margin most of the time. Pretty wild. I wouldn't have guessed, but turns out that's how it is.

Just for fun, and in case anyone is generally interested, here's a list of various pop culture references and inside jokes from the comics. Pretty sharp and clever stuff.
https://mlp.fandom.com/wiki/List_of_allusions/Comics
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Old 05-04-2021, 12:41 PM   #1572
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo656 View Post
I really don't have the energy to even attempt to explain it properly. I can also only speak to the "Friendship Is Magic" iteration because I thought all the earlier versions were vapid junk. And I feel like it's one of those "To those who Get It, no explanation is necessary, but to those who don't Get It no explanation will do" kind of things.

In any case, it's funny, it's smart, it's well-written, it's whimsical, and the complete opposite of cynical. It puts over good values without being all preachy about it. There's a purity and innocence to it that simply doesn't exist in most shows anymore, even ones ostensibly aimed at kids. And despite being "aimed at kids", the show and comics are absolutely packed with inside jokes and pop culture references that only adults would get. Little kids wouldn't get the jokes referencing "The Big Lebowski", "The Shining" or "A Clockwork Orange", for example, but such gags always land directly as intended with the audience they're aiming for. The comics actually get away with a lot more since they're not limited by time and budget restrictions, and the readership skews a bit older than the audience for the cartoon.

I think if it weren't legitimately Good, then it wouldn't have the audience that it does. I've told the story often, but my wife and I initially only sat down to watch and make fun of it, expecting it to be stupid, but it simply didn't turn out that way. I won't "out" anybody, but I have a good buddy on this forum who initially steadfastly refused to watch it at all, then was like "Well, maybe my kids will like it...", and now he and his wife and kids all watch it together and have conversations around the dinner table about which Pony best-represents each of them. And we laugh about how ridiculous it is that things played out this way, but it is what it is.

I guess that it wouldn't be for everyone, since nothing is. But I'd generally say that anyone who actively hated on it probably has a strong adverse reaction to joy and whimsy.

I got into the comics way late, but they might actually be "better" than the show. I was quite surprised to find out how popular the comic was; IDW put out a couple hundred issues over the last few years across various series, and it outsells TMNT by a fairly wide margin most of the time. Pretty wild. I wouldn't have guessed, but turns out that's how it is.

Just for fun, and in case anyone is generally interested, here's a list of various pop culture references and inside jokes from the comics. Pretty sharp and clever stuff.
https://mlp.fandom.com/wiki/List_of_allusions/Comics
Sounds like you read it for the upbeat escapism. Sort of like watching the Smurfs or "The Littles" - sure they had some kind of nemesis, but the even the conflicts were a universe formatted for comfort food.
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Old 05-04-2021, 12:57 PM   #1573
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I generally don't even do "escapism". If it wasn't legitimately funny and smart it probably wouldn't have left any impact.

I can't even remember what episode we first watched, some two-parter from an early Season. And it kept shifting tone back and forth from being super-goofy and whimsical to this rather serious plotline, and I said out loud towards the end "It would be the funniest sh*t ever if Right Now they just started doing some full-blown Lord of the Rings sh*t"... and then lo and behold, that's exactly what they did.

It's just a strange thing in that it both completely leans into and at the same time somehow subverts all expectations of what it is.

It definitely doesn't hurt that the show has an amazing voice cast. All the characters have tons of personality and that goes a long way, too.

Like I said, if they didn't try hard to actually make an objectively good show, and it didn't turn out to be that, I doubt it would have made any impact. I guess there's a lesson in there about how anything can be "cool" if the people behind it give a sh*t. As I understand it, the creator of this version never much liked any of the earlier iterations of MLP on account of they were all vapid nonsense that no one but very young children would like, and deliberately wanted to make something "All-Ages" in the truest sense of the term; something parents could watch with their kids without wanting to shoot themselves in the head. On that, they succeeded.

Major points also must be given for the fact that when an audience they'd never intended to like the show started to like it, they leaned into it instead of shunning them. Kind of the opposite of how Viacom handled the TMNT brand so far. When older people started liking it, they started putting in more jokes and references just for Those Fans, holding conventions and putting out merchandise just for Those Fans. None of the "We don't want you here" stuff that other brands pull. I have to respect that, as well.

It's a very fan-inclusive franchise and they do smart business. Not sure how the next "Generation" of the franchise is gonna go, but the "Friendship Is Magic" era is like a master class on how to grow and manage a franchised brand.
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Old 05-05-2021, 01:52 AM   #1574
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Twist of Faith. The DS9 continuation.
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Old 05-19-2021, 07:12 PM   #1575
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The books I ordered from Power-Con came yesterday: The Toys of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, and the Character Guide and World Compendium Supplement Vol. 1


The Supplement is simply an add-on to the original Character Guide, with some updates and additional information the original book didn't have. Cool stuff.

But the BIG item is the Toy Guide. At 750 pages, it covers EVERY He-Man, She-Ra and MOTU toy line in existence (pre-Origins, so from 1982 through 2018 when production on the book started), and the level of detail is absolutely insane. Figure and packaging photos, background information, variant and re-release comparisons, Trivia Facts, release timelines, interviews with the creative staff and more. Every single figure, playset, beast mount, vehicle, and accessory pack ever released for the original MOTU, She-Ra, New Adventures of He-Man, 2002 Commemorative Sets, 200X reboot, MOTU Classics, Club Grayskull, and Super 7 Filmation figure lines is covered in detail. It's truly amazing.

That said, it doesn't cover EVERY single thing, such as kids' roleplay toys and other licensed items, as the thing would have more pages than the Bible if they literally covered every toy ever released. But even "just" focusing on everything released in the various action figure lines is a massive undertaking, and you have to figure that's what most people would be most interested in, anyway.

An easy recommendation for collectors and casual fans alike. It's available on its own through various retailers, but I pre-ordered the two books together through Power-Con (for about $100 altogether) to ensure that the people who worked on these books (as well as the previous several Dark Horse MOTU hardcovers) would be paid for their hard work and dedication in putting all of these things together. The staff who've worked on these hardcovers have lost money on each of them, pretty much doing them out-of-pocket as a labor of love for the fans, and the results have been incredible so I was more than happy to go with the "premium" option to ensure they get a little something for all their efforts this time.
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Old 06-07-2021, 09:07 AM   #1576
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Finished "Inside the Soviet army". Very interesting read. Even if Suvorov was probably hyping up the threat,being an MI asset and all that.
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Old 06-25-2021, 10:16 PM   #1577
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re-reading the final 8 issues of Justice League Dark. I got them in book form just re-read Issue 20. Good story and I love the art by Kyle Hotz the way he draws Constantine is cool.
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Old 07-20-2021, 10:05 PM   #1578
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Decided to pick up some wrestling autobiographies I'd missed.

Most recently, I read A Lion's Tale: Around the World in Spandex by Chris Jericho. I'd already got his second and third books a long time ago but somehow missed this one, his first. So I was very much looking forward to reading it, and it didn't disappoint.

Nothing much I didn't already know, and I think his second book might be the best one he's done, but this was very good. It's about 400 pages and I went through it in a night, same as his other books. They're all pretty consistent in that once you get into them they're hard to put down.

The only real criticism I have is that at one point when he's talking about his Japan tours, the timeline of events is a little confusing unless you're paying very close attention. Like he's talking generally about stuff going on in 1995 or '96, including his second run in Japan, then awkwardly jumps back to his first run in Japan from several years earlier before jumping ahead again to the stuff from '95/'96. So it gets a little bit jumbled up, and that could've very easily been smoothed out with a single line like "During my first run in Japan, back in 1994..." or something like that. As is, it comes off like both runs in Japan happened in the same year rather than years apart. Not a huge deal but it's clumsy.

Also, he has a bad habit of including quotes from some of his more memorable promos that aired on TV... but he misquotes himself. Despite anyone with the internet being able to very easily pull up a clip of the promos in question to make sure they were accurate. Given that in Mick Foley's books, he quotes several very lengthy promo clips word-for-word with a meticulous dedication to accuracy, it's just jarring to see someone like Jericho quote themselves but get the words completely wrong. Faulty memory, sure, but it jumps out when you're like me and can vividly recall those moments in question. You can't help but be like, "That's not how it went..." even if you get the gist.

Overall, a really good book. I like the conceit of having it end just as he was about to step through the curtain for his WWF debut, even though I'm sure some people who didn't know any better would be annoyed because they probably wanted to read more about his WWF/WWE run than anything. BUT, this book is entirely dedicated to his journey TO the WWF, and his second book picks up exactly where this one ends, so it all evens out.

Very High Recommendation, even though I think his second book was "better" on the whole given that it's funnier and has more stories that the internet hasn't run into the ground to the point where everybody knows them already. His second and third books had a lot of stuff where I was like "Huh... I never knew that", but this one has very few surprises, although hearing it all from his perspective is still entertaining.
-------------

Wrestling With the Devil by Lex Luger came in the mail today, so I'll be looking at that one next. It's only a little over 200 pages so it should be a comparatively brisk read. Kind of surprised it's so short but I've heard that it's good. I've met and spoken to Lex several times so I'm very much looking forward to this one.
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Old 10-20-2021, 08:46 AM   #1579
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I've started reading the Star Wars Kenobi novel. I bought it a few years ago and just hadn't gotten around to actually reading it until now.
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