Saturday, September 30, 2006

Barf Poop!

Riding my bike here today I had an imaginary conversation, because I often do when I’m on my bike, because I’m afraid to wear headphones and I don’t even have any anymore anyway. I said, “No, my girlfriend couldn’t make it today. She’s taking our* cat to the vet.”

“Oh? How come?”

“Liver disease.”


And then, to alleviate the bummerhood of liver disease, I say this:

“She’s been staying in the bathroom since she started feeling sick. It’s gotten pretty gross in there. She peed in there today, in the corner, like under or next to the water dish. That’s my fault, because she’s still well enough to use the box, but when I leave wet food on the floor I shut the door so the other cats can’t get to it, but then she can’t get to the box. So, aside from cat puke and messy cat food there’s also cat pee. It’s so disgusting we** renamed it Grosstown, California. We put up a sign***. It has its own zip code, even.”

“What is it?”

“The zip code?”


First attempt:

“0 – 0 – 0 – 0 – Poop.”

Second attempt:

“9 – 4 – 6 – 0 – Poop.”

Third attempt:

“9 – 4 – 6 – Barf – Poop.”

And then I wrote this song:

9 – 4 – 6 – Barf – Poop
You know what to do
9 – 4 – 6 – Barf – Poop
It’s the zip code of my bathroom!
9 – 4 – 6 – Barf – Poop
There’s cat pee there too
9 – 4 – 6 – Barf – Poop
Bein’ there gets me blue
Ohhhh, I don’t wanna take a shower there
Cause I get cat crumbs on my feet in there
There’s also a lot of cat hair in there
I useta-useta like to read in there
(Bring the beat back!)
9 – 4 – 6 – Barf – Poop
You know what to do. . . .

*My cat? Lola is six and mostly mean to everyone else, but she and Amy have gotten along great since the move.

**I did this alone.

***Not true.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Hey! The State is back!

I spent many, many half-hours in high school watching the State on MTV. They put up a new skit to promote their first season being available on iTunes.

Go watch it!

It's (late) Wednesday . . . that means graphic novel news!

ITEM! Little Brown goes graphic!

Rich Johnson, formerly in charge of DC's book trade business (DC being the home of Superman and Batman, and a division of Time-Warner) has been hired by Hachette Book Group USA to start up a graphic novel imprint at Little/Brown. According to Publisher's Weekly, Little/Brown, "has been looking for a creative way to be part of this exciting category," and Johnson "has been hired as a consultant to look into acquiring titles in a number of categories under the graphic umbrella including licensed manga, original manga, original American comics and graphic novels, webcomics, licensed adaptations and children's graphic novels."

I think that covers absolutely everything except for nurse mystery novels. So, hey - more comics! From Little/Brown!

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ITEM! Cartoon Network helps sell BLEACH

BLEACH, the anime series, debuted on the Cartoon Network on September 9th, and according to the BookScan numbers for the week ending September 17th - the first volume of BLEACH, the graphic novel, originally released in the US in June 2004 is suddenly at #7 on the list of graphic novels sold in bookstores. Vol. 2 rocketed to #20, continuing what some folks call "the Cartoon Network effect," first seen with NARUTO. There are now seven volumes of BLEACH in the BookScan top 50, with fourteen volumes total in the series.

All eleven volumes of NARUTO continue to live in the BookScan top 20, and only 8 of the top 50 titles were non-manga.

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ITEM! Marvel Super-Heroes Head to the Web

Marvel Comics announced this week that Cryptic Sudios, creators of the Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (that's MMORG to nerds) CITY OF HEROES will develop MARVEL UNIVERSE ONLINE.

Sez Marvel: "The mechanics of the new Marvel MMORG will differ substantially from those of City of Heroes where players basically build their own superheroes. The Marvel game will center around the heroes of the Marvel universe and will feature custom art and character designs created especially for the game."

I do not know what all of this means. Will there be multiple Spideys running around for players to play? Customizable Hulks? Hard to say, but when asked if the new character renditions will lead to new licensing streams, Marvel responded, "It's not out of the realm of possibility that this will influence other areas of our business."

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Empire Strikes BAck

OBI-WAN: That boy is our last hope.

YODA: No. There is another.

See, what this tells me is - in Episode III, Mrs. Vader should have given birth to Luke, Luke should have been passed on to Ben, and Ben should have been ushered off to the desert - therefore, Mrs. Vader's final fate (and Leia's birth) would remain a mystery to the unfortunate viewers who may someday watch Star Wars sequentially, from the Phantom Menace through to Return of the Jedi.

"And that is why your sister remains safely anonymous."

Monday, September 18, 2006

I have driven way lots.

create your own personalized map of the USA
or check out ourCalifornia travel guide

I did this two years ago (it's right here), and this is an update of all of the states I've visited, not counting those flown through. I'm doing way better these days!

You can your own map by visiting their site.

I caught one.

I went fishing once with James and his uncle, standing in the stream of some little river, leading into a lake with a name I don't know that I ever knew. James and his uncle picked out a prime spot to fish, where they stood on the bank and cast and recast. I stood twenty, thirty feet away, happily casting, recasting, not catching anything. I didn't WANT to catch anything. The fish we were fishing for - blue gill? - were white with stripey flecks of orange and blue. They were slimey, wet, scaley . . . they breathed and undulated, flopped in the air where they didn't belong.

There was ONE I caught, that fell off my hook, that I flipped and flicked and tried not to touch as I released it back into the water - we were catching and releasing, I was glad but didn't know why - and I wanted to flick it back with my foot, but it was so small, no longer than my own hand, thin like a quarter, I was afraid my shoe would destroy it. I managed to get back in the water and swam away, despite a nasty hole in its face from my hook. I hadn't wanted to catch a thing, but was glad I did. I'd caught one, so I could say that much. I didn't have to answer "nothing" regarding how I did, what I caught. I CAUGHT one. I caught ONE.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

It's Wednesday, that means Graphic Novel News!

The "It's Only 5:30 For Me" Edition

ITEM! Manga round-up - and NARUTO is where it's at! Volume 11 was released this month and in its first full week on the shelves it has sold more copies in a seven day period than any other graphic novel this year. In fact, if we look at the Bookscan numbers for the week ending August 27th, we can see how NARUTO continues to dominate:

1. Naruto vol. 11 (Viz Media)
2. The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptaion (Hill and Wang)
3. Fruits Basket vol. 14 (Tokyopop)
4. Death Note vol. 7 (Viz Media)
5. Naruto vol. 10 (Viz Media)
6. Naruto vol. 1 (Viz Media)
7. Black Cat vol. 4 (Viz Media)
8. HALO (Marvel Comics)
9. Fullmetal Alchemist vol. 9 (Viz Media)
10. Naruto vol. 2 (Viz Media)

So, only two non-manga titles - and one is a video game tie-in and the other is an historical singularity. Also, Viz takes up 3 of the top 10 slots - but it's worth pointing out that DEATH NOTE, BLACK CAT, and FRUITS BASKET don't have a heavy animated presence in the US at all - FRUITS BASKET is available on DVD, while the other two can't be found on US airwaves at all. What they DO have in common is that DEATH NOTE and BLACK CAT were both serialized in the US magazine SHONEN JUMP before being published in trades. So, there's still something to be said for serialization before being collected and sold in the bookstores - just not in the traditional comic book store format the US is used to. HALO, the only Marvel Comics entry anywhere near the top 10, wasn't serialized at all before its release.

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ITEM! Along with the redesign of its website, TokyoPop is selling some of its newer and lower selling titles exclusively through its website - angering a few vocal retailers. TokyoPop defends it has an attempt to give special attention to titles that are, quite simply, getting lost on the ever-expanding manga shelves. Retailers (the independent bookstore types, not the chains) are calling it a betrayal of some of TokyoPop's most ardent supporters - some even saying they'll be hesitant to order new TokyoPop series, for fear that TP will simply yank them from the shelves at a later date.

TP has defended their position, saying that they've always been open to experimenting and finding new ways to reach their audience. Some retailers, talking to Publisher's Weekly, said that they never like it when publisher sell directly to their audience, and that the retailers will "remember it at order time." It strikes THIS reporter as a case of TokyoPop preferring to take the merchandising of certain books into its own hands - and the retailers feel a little stung.

Meanwhile, the new TokyoPop site itself looks pretty sharp. I checked out the blogs today and the first thing I saw was a fan gushing about VAMPIRE HUNTER D, a non TP title. Maybe not good for TP's sales, but they're definitely building a community of manga lovers.

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