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Booking Through Thursday: Serial

bookingthroughthursdaybuttonSeries? Or Stand-alone books?


When it comes to non-graphic books…I don’t think it really matters to me if the book is standalone or part of a series. At least, I don’t choose a book because it’s one or the other.

Most of the Stephen King, Brad Meltzer, and John Grisham books I’ve read have been standalone (even if they’re set in the same world/continuity, they aren’t necessarily part of a series). I look forward to their new books based on it being a new book by an author whose work I enjoy…not because it’s the next book in a series.

At the same time, in the last couple years, I’ve read the Twilight series, the Percy Jackson series, and I just finished listening to the latest two books in Weis/Hickman’s Lost Chronicles (Dragonlance) series. A few years back, I spent six weeks reading the entire original Left Behind series. A couple books on my to-be-read list for this year are the first books in new series—but they’re there due to the author, and not for kicking off new series.

When it comes to comics, though, I’m a bit more choosey.

I prefer series. If something is an “ongoing” series and has proven itself to last, I’m more likely to give it a shot. (a $2.99 or under price point certainly helps). Superman, Batman, X-Men, Green Lantern…there’s a history, there’s a reasonable expectation of the series continuing indefinitely, and so I’m more likely to be comfortable checking things out long-term.

For the most part, I tend to avoid “mini” or “limited” series as these will inevitably be collected into collected volumes/graphic novels, which I may pick up if my interest’s there by the time that edition is published.

Given the serial nature of comics, while there are the occasional great self-contained stories…overall, if it’s just a one-off short story (under 12 issues) I’m generally not going to check it out without much prior critical acclaim—I’ll feel cheated, as it’s a comic, I enjoy it, and I want more. V for Vendetta and Watchmen are a couple of notable exceptions on my own shelf.

Of course, as always…I’m sure there are plenty of exceptions to all this, holes to be poked in my thoughts that make sense before 9am. But hey…that’s the point of discussion. These are my stand-alone thoughts, for the moment…and they’re open to the changes/molding/evolution of a series of posts…

Booking Through Thursday: Real Life

imageThe age-old “How am I going to use this in real life?” question. How would you answer it?

“How am I gonna use THIS?” That’s a pretty deep question, and certainly varies depending on the subject matter. Obviously, the context here would be “books” or “reading.” But then, it also varies on the sort of books or reading material.

untoldlegendofthebatmanThis is a comic reviews blog, so I’ll start with that—comics. There’s a Batman comic from the 1980s…The Untold Legend of the Batman (actually, 3 issues, or there’s a MMPB edition in black and white out there that I’d love to re-acquire as my copy disappeared probably 15 years ago). The first and 3rd issues have both had a profound effect on me.

In the first issue, we see a college-age Bruce attending a class on the Law. In it, a professor sets out a situation and asks what the resolution should be. Bruce disagrees with the answer and asks “But sir…is that justice?” To which the professor responds “No, Mr. Wayne—that is the Law!” And in that story, that was the moment that Bruce realized he could not simply become a police officer, but had to become something NOT bound by red tape—something that could enforce justice, even if not technically the law. And from that, I gained my own distinction between and recognition of the fact that there IS a significant difference between Justice and the Law (and there’s a whole lotta biblical stuff on that, but that’s for another discussion some other time).

In the third issue…well, there’s just a whole tone thing. Memories, how they affect someone, and how sometimes it just takes the right sort of friend or the right sort of encouragement to affect someone….and that, too, sticks with me.    (continued)

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Booking Through Thursday: Heavy

imageWhat’s the largest, thickest, heaviest book you ever read? Was it because you had to? For pleasure? For school?

05montecristoOffhand, I’m trying to think of any large/thick/heavy books I’ve read that would particularly trump any others. Probably The Count of Monte Cristo, read in high school.  Though that’s got enough years between happening and now that I don’t even recall if what I read was the unabridged version or if we read some sort of abridged version.

I imagine the Bible (NIV) might count—that’s certainly THE most significant book I’ve ever read. After years and years of it being any part of my life, several years back 04harrypotterI decided to take part in a 90-day bible-reading challenge with a local radio station…one of few such challenges I’ve ever completed.

Stephen King’s It may be a top candidate for length, read for pleasure sometime during high school. The fifth Harry Potter book—The Order of the Phoenix—also comes to mind as particularly thick.

03lesmisBack in 2004, I bought a copy of Les Miserables after developing a fascination with the Broadway musical after seeing a high school production with one of my best friends at her alma mater. Not sure I made it 50 pages in before being distracted by other stuff, and have yet to go back and finish it.

01capomnibusComic-wise, I think the first Ed Brubaker Captain America Omnibus is easily the largest, thickest, heaviest comic/graphic novel/whatever that I own. Though the Bone One-Volume Edition rivals it…but sadly, I’ve yet to get all the way through Bone.

Springboarding away from the topic at hand a bit, though….if we’d take “heavy” to mean substance and impact on a person for having read the work….I’d have to list the first 6 Left Behind novels, a number of Magic: The Gathering novels (primarily The Brothers’ War), several Dragonlance novels 02bone(primarily Dragons of Winter Night and Dragons of Summer Flame), as well as The Death of Superman, Batman: A Death in the Family, and DC’s Kingdom Come.

Of course…there’s loads I’m sure I’m not thinking of at the moment. But when you read enough….eventually one loses the ability to recall each and every thing read off the top of the head.

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