Tuesday, December 30, 2003

5 comics I read this year

This is not a "top" 5 in even the most tenuous and subjective manner. I have no idea what 5 comics even I liked best this year, I've probably forgot most of them and I haven't even read half the comics I bought. But since I started this end of the year silliness I might as well finish it. So here are 5 comics I read this year and liked:

1. Paradise Kiss. I've written about this before, and I still love it. Of course, it's taken—what, a whole year?—to get the last volume out (it should be out in April, I think). But worth the wait. I hope it's followed up by more of Ai Yazawa's work.

2. One Piece. Completely silly but lots of fun. Evan wanted to read this ever since we first started seeing the merchandise for it a couple years ago, and he got his wish! I hope retailers that carry it have enough of a clue to push the fact that it's a pirate comic.

3. Courtney Crumrim. I'm not totally caught up on these, but I've really enjoyed the collections so far. And look, it keeps this from being a "5 manga I liked" list, ha ha.

4. Blade of the Immortal. Okay, it kind of goes on and on, but I still haven't gotten sick of it.

5. Kodocha. Okay, I haven't read it the way a normal reader does. But I enjoyed working on this book more than I enjoy reading most comics. I can't wait until the distant day in the future when I have forgotten what happened and what I did on the book and can just read it like a new reader. And, now that I'm finished I hope to track down fansubs of the anime (I didn't want to watch them until I was done—I didn't want to be accidentally influenced by anyone else's rewriting of the series).

There's a lot of other books I read, or have in my giant stack, and I'd have to give special mentio to: I.N.V.U., Pet Shop of Horrors, X-Day, Kindaichi Files and Shadow Star. And I'm sure there's more I've liked and just can't think of. Oh well. Tune in tomorrow to see if I can actually come up with one last list!

Monday, December 29, 2003

top 5 bands in winamp rotation

I was going to list a couple bands we've been listening to and then I thought, hey, I can be all dopey and do another top 5 for the end of the year! So here you go, totally subjective and of-the-moment, and not in any particular order:

1. Electric 6. One of our absolute favorite bands of 2003, which we still are listening to regularly. I will always regret that we couldn't see them at the Bowery Ballroom (with Junior Senior opening!) because of our stupid schedule + life. I don't think there's a song I dislike on the album, and "Synthesizer" is for some reason my current fave.

2. Basement Jaxx, "Cish Cash". I can't buy that this is one of the best albums of the year (then again, what do I know? I hardly hear anything these days) but the single "Cish Cash" (feat. Siouxsie Sioux) is a must-have.

3. Fantastic Plastic Machine. This is the year I really got into FPM, whose works are too varied and numerous to get into. Funny, we were actually put off by the video for "Beautiful Days" and so I didn't check them out for a while. But now in heavy rotation.

4. Tricky. Tricky, Tricky, it's always Tricky. I don't think I'm capable of burning a CD without putting Tricky on it (keep in mind, these are CDs for an MP3 player, so there are 100-150 songs on each, I'm not completely insane)

5. Chemical Brothers. I've just been reminded by their singles collection that you can't go wrong with these guys. And the video for "Hey Boy Hey Girl" remains one of my all-time favorites.

Funny, I thought I'd never think of 5...and now I can't stop thinking. Special mentions for 2003 will have to go to Groove Armada (does "Superstylin'" ever get old?), OutKast, Loudbomb, and to all the guys and gals over at get your bootleg on for all the amazing/silly/fun/impressive work that they do. And I could name 100s more now that I'm thinking about it...but it's time to stop.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

top 5 links I never posted

Okay, as part of my year-end cleanup, I'm trying to get rid of tons of bookmarks I don't need, and a pretty big handful of them are things I wanted to link to or write about here. Oops. Here's the top 5 (not actually in order though). If I uncover any other good ones I'll go ahead and post them later.

1. The iduck. Only 16MB, but pretty cute (if overpriced!) I can only hope more cool USB storage devices come out as the world gets rid of its floppy drives. (Evan's new computer is our first with no floppy drive! Crazy!)

2. The Thunderbirds. Long trailer for the upcoming live-action version of the Thunderbirds. I think we'll be seeing this one, but not because we think it's going to actually be good...

3. Deleter USA. The manga supply company has a US division now, selling pens, paper and tone screen (never thought I'd see that stuff for sale again anywhere!) for making comics (and no, they don't have to be manga style). Of special interest to me are their software packages (one for doing screen tones, one for coloring) as they're the only apps I've ever seen specifically for comic creators. (If the tone screens in ComicWorks can be imported into PhotoShop, it'd be worth the price for that alone!) They also have their own tablet, which I'm interested in finding out more about. Hopefully I'll have time to look into their stuff more next year.

4. Time magazine covers. Time has made every single cover of their magazine available online (and you can buy prints if there's one you love). A little hard to search if you aren't sure what you're looking for (have there really only been 5 Christmas covers in 80 years?) but it's all there for the browsing. (Oh, and the cover I found? Mystery writer Craig Rice, whose collaborations with Stuart Palmer we just finished reading.)

5. Elsa Schiaperelli. Celebrated in an exhibit that's unfortunately about to close at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (and if it's travelling anywhere else, I can't find anything out about it). The website is really informative and well-done, though. I'm seeing the exhibition next week (yes, cutting it close, I know!) and am really looking forward to it.

Alright, that's it for today!

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