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Monday, June 18, 2007

The Monday Briefing -- Father's Day has come and gone, and as I mentioned in a conversation last night with Chris Allen, while I don't think I am as invested in the idea of a perfect Father's Day as my wife is in a correspondingly perfect Mother's Day, it's still nice to be the family belle of the ball for one day. A joke comes to mind, but it's kind of gross and I haven't had breakfast yet.

Roger Green mentions it's Roger Ebert's 65th birthday today. After a few years of very serious health issues, I'd guess he's glad, indeed, to be here to see this day. I'm not much of a celebrity-watcher, but I have to admit I've worried at times about Roger Ebert recently as much as I do my wife or kids when they are sick. He's managed to pull through some extremely serious health problems, and I am profoundly grateful for that. Roger Green mentions Ebert's great gifts as a film critic, and I'll second all that. If you have any interest at all in criticism in general or film criticism in particular, you should really take a look at Ebert's two "Great Movies" essay collections. They are fantastic reading that will send you off on an exploration of some of the best and most compelling movies ever made, even as they allow you to get to know Ebert and his sensibilities in a manner that is direct, engaging and most importantly fun.

Roger Green also points out that it's Paul McCartney's 65th birthday, but, you know, his big landmark birthday was obviously last year. Roger runs down a good list of McCartney post-Fab Four songs worth listening to, but I'll spare you the top ten and say that all of Band on the Run holds up really well, and at least half of Tug of War is really good, too.

Not much to say about comics at the moment -- scroll down through the past few days for plenty on that subject -- but I will say the comic that surprised me the most last week was World War Hulk #1. After browsing it for free at The Favoured Store, I broke down and bought it. It's a good, old-fashioned Marvel Comic in the best sense of the word, and even manages to make Iron Man not seem like a villain. Except to the Hulk, which is kind of the impetus to the whole kerfuffle. Good, fun superhero storytelling, the kind of which you don't much see in either Marvel or DC's main universes anymore.

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