Saturday, December 17, 2005

Goodbye and Good Night, John Spencer -- Very sorry to hear of John Spencer's death. He was a fantastic actor and in many ways the heart of The West Wing. Even as directionless as the show has become the past couple of years, he always managed to fill his scenes with gravity, wit and intelligence, and his political resurrection in last season's finale literally brought a tear to my eye, a tribute to his power as an actor and the goodwill I and many other viewers felt toward him in his role as Leo McGarry.


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Popping In To Say Hi -- Holidays, family and two jobs have me pressed for blogging time -- I don't even have time to read many comics blogs at the moment, never mind maintain my own. I know, I well and truly suck. I hope things will improve somewhat after the first of the year, when some changes should be evident hereabouts.

I did find the time to vote in the Comics Bloggers Poll that Chris Tamarri thunk up. If you have a comics blog or contribute to one, be sure to make your voice heard.

I finished reading the Will Eisner hagiography A Spirited Life this week, and my feelings echo those of Steven Grant. It's a fine, compelling collection of interesting, funny and/or enlightening anecdotes, but it lacks a cohesive narrative voice and solid point of view to really make it an enduring biography of one of the artform's most important figures. Of course, I felt the same way about the Silver Age book Grant reviews in the same column, and he seems to like that quite a bit more than I did.

But that is often the problem, with books on comics -- plenty of anecdotes, lists and factoids, but rarely a confident, bold point of view that carries you through the work and makes you feel like you've done more than just watsed some time on a breezy read. For an example of the right way to do it, I highly recommend Bob Levin's Outlaws, Rebels, Freethinkers and Pirates, which was probably the best book about comics in 2005.

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