Friday, January 18, 2008

I finished a few comic collections over the last few days.

The first is the Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck by Don Rosa. Rosa took all the hints about Scrooge's background in the original Carl Banks comics and fleshed them out to tell the full story of Scrooge's life before he got involved in the lives of Donald, Huey, Louie and Dewey. It's a fun little read.

The second is V for Vendetta by Alan Moore, which was later made into a movie of the same name. I was underwhelmed by this collection. I like some of Moore's work, like the Watchmen and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comics, but V for Vendetta left me cold. The art is murky and un-remarkable and the story is difficult to follow and not very engaging or original. Highly over-rated.

The third was Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things by Ted Naifeh, which I picked up on a whim from the library. Courtney Crumrin is a middle school aged girl who moves to the suburbs into the house owned by her grand-uncle (or is it great-grand or great-great-grand uncle). Turns out he is involved in magic and she gets involved after finding some of his books. It's a cute comic and pretty fun. I'll probably read some of the follow on volumes.

Amazon Links:
The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck
V for Vendetta
Courtney Crumrin, Vol. 1: Courtney Crumrin & The Night Things

Monday, January 14, 2008

Yesterday I finished Halting State, the latest book by Charles Stross.

Halting State is set in the newly independent state of Scotland and involves the investigations into a theft that takes place in a massive multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG, or MMO for short). Stross has come up with an interesting near future world where MMOs and other online services have become very integrated into day to day life and have real world consequences. What starts off as a simple theft investigation ends up having international implications.

I liked this book. It is definitely stronger than some of his others. Stross is a little hit and miss - I enjoyed Singularity Sky but didn't care much for Glasshouse and The Family Trade. Sometimes his characters can be very unappealing and uninteresting to read about. In Halting State, he flirts a little with that line but in the end, the main characters are quite sympathetic.

Amazon Link: Halting State