📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Ultimate Spider-Man: Vol. 17, Clone Saga, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley
I almost gave this four hearts because I kind of like how it turned out, and it did touch on some good Spider-Man themes. However, I then remembered all the comic book nonsense that happens here—and the way that so many of these issues demonstrate how terrible it would be to live in the (Ultimate) Marvel universe.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Ultimate Spider-Man: Vol. 16, Deadpool, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley
As has been the case for the past few volumes, this has some genuinely interesting stuff in it (the X-Men crossover was more engaging than I’d like to admit), but for the most part, this feels like advancing a broader Marvel landscape than doing actual Spider-Man stuff.
Good joke here—and one I may share with the students in my games and learning class next semester. link to “Fantasy Morality - Existential Comics”
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Louisville francophones connect and explore with French-language podcast'
How have I missed this??? A French-language podcast here in Kentucky sounds right up my alley. Bonus, the latest episode is an homage to Karl Tremblay. link to “Louisville francophones connect and explore with French-language podcast”
I picked up this comic about a post-pandemic-apocalypse from the library on a whim. I have mixed feelings about this genre—especially since it’s hard to believe that it was begun before COVID-19. The story is somewhat interesting but choppy, and the characters are compelling but flat. The translation is rouuuugh, and I wonder how much better it might be in the original German. What saves this for me, though, is how clearly Swiss it is.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Ultimate Spider-Man: Vol. 15, Silver Sable, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley
There’s some interesting stuff here, including Bendis’s riffs on power and responsibility and how that relates to secret identities. However, there’s too much welding to the broader Ultimate universe, including introducing characters I just don’t care about. I also still feel like Peter’s attitude toward MJ is more low-level misogyny than anything justified.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Ultimate Spider-Man: Vol. 14, Warriors, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley
Definitely not my favorite of the series. Lots of crossover nonsense with characters I don’t really care about. Way too much casual misogyny (Peter toward MJ and creators toward the women they put in impractical fanservice costumes). Starting to question my commitment to this series binge.
So excited to watch this! link to “Gary Oldman returns as Jackson Lamb in ‘Slow Horses’ Season 3 : NPR”
🔗 linkblog: mes pensées sur 'Le Québec pleure la mort du chanteur des Cowboys Fringants Karl Tremblay - rts.ch - Musiques'
J’écoute Les Cowboys Fringants depuis 2011, et Tremblay va me manquer beaucoup. lien pour “Le Québec pleure la mort du chanteur des Cowboys Fringants Karl Tremblay - rts.ch - Musiques”
This volume was excellent. Much more of the Sandbaggers vibes and less saving the world spy fiction. I ordered the third volume today!
I’ve been wanting to read this since binging all three series of The Sandbaggers, since I’ve seen it repeatedly referred to as a spiritual sequel. They weren’t kidding—the first story arc feels like a remix of the show! The third story arc was the least interesting to me (and probably the reason this didn’t get full marks). The first two deal with the cynicism of espionage and the brokenness of spies in the way I expected the series would, whereas the third arc felt more like a traditional spy story with maybe some furniture moving for future arcs.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Ultimate Spider-Man: Vol. 13, Hobgoblin, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley
Peter and MJ’s relationship is one of my favorite things to follow this series, and that makes this volume a real disappointment. It seems like so much of the story is built around forcing drama and idiot balls into these two characters for the sake of adding twists and turns to the plot. Plus, it really comes through in this volume how often MJ is treated as an extension of Peter instead of a character with her own depth and agency.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Ultimate Spider-Man: Vol 12, Superstars, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley
This is mostly crossover nonsense, but it’s actually kind of good? The Doctor Strange issues feel overly dramatic at points, but Peter’s nightmare is classic Spider-Man responsibility angst, so I’ll give it a pass.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Ultimate Spider-Man: Vol. 11, Carnage, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley
Gwen Stacy gets done dirty in the Ultimate continuity, and I have even less interest in Carnage than I do Venom. What saves this volume for me, though, is the throughline of the classic Spider-Man theme of power and responsibility.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Ultimate Spider-Man: Vol. 10, Hollywood, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley
This is a shameless attempt to profit off of whatever Spider-Man movie was coming out at the time, but it’s still a pretty fun story. It continues to strain credulity that this kid could keep up superhero hijinks without Aunt May finding out, but it’s enough of the mythos that I can deal with it (mostly).
This story is interesting, but it suffers from too much of superhero continuity bloat. I also miss Mark Bagley’s illustration—this artist’s faces all look alike, whereas Bagley’s characters are distinct and familiar to me. It’s just meh.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Ultimate Spider-Man: Vol. 8, Cats & Kings, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley
The first few issues of this are just about peak Spider-Man, and I came very close to giving this full marks. By the end, though, there was too much treating female characters as fanservice—and I have never liked temptation to infidelity as a plot device. So, some ups, some downs.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Ultimate Spider-Man: Vol. 7, Irresponsible, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley
I finally got access to my spouse’s hoopla password so that I can continue my binge of this series without waiting for my loans to refresh in December. There was a lot that I don’t like about this volume: 2000s language that doesn’t age well, oversexualization of costumes and characters, and crossover nonsense. I like the characters, though, and the issue with Aunt May in therapy was good enough on its own to bump my rating up a heart.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for The Book of Herbal Teas: A Guide to Gathering, Brewing, and Drinking, by Sara Perry
I like herbal tea, but there’s only so much interest I can show in a cookbook on the topic. The only reason I read this was because reading a cookbook is one of the squares on my local library’s 2023 reading challenge. It could be interesting to grow my own herbs and make my own blends, but I just don’t see myself doing it.
Oh no! link to “Wallace & Gromit Creator Aardman is Almost Out of Clay”
🔗 linkblog: mes pensées sur 'Karl Tremblay, le chanteur des Cowboys Fringants, est décédé à l'âge de 47 ans - rts.ch - Musiques'
Quelle tristesse ! Je ne savais même pas qu’il combattait le cancer. Les Cowboys Fringants, c’est un de mes groupes préférés, et je suis donc bouleversé par cette nouvelle. lien pour “Karl Tremblay, le chanteur des Cowboys Fringants, est décédé à l’âge de 47 ans - rts.ch - Musiques”
Back in July, I shared that I’d figured out how to use the Habitica API to create a Siri Shortcut for updating Habitica from my Apple Watch. A few weeks ago, Hypothesis user cormacauty left a comment on that post asking for more information about how I’d done that. This post is a (belated) response to that, in the form of sharing the Siri Shortcuts that I wrote. Part of the reason that it took so long for me to get to this is because I needed to duplicate and edit the Shortcuts to strip out my API key—I’m happy to share my work but don’t want other people to be able to make changes to my account for me.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Ultimate Spider-Man: Vol. 6, Venom, by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley
I keep going back and forth on whether I’m going to rag on these comics for having silly comicbook logic, and now’s the time I’m really going to do it. Maybe it’s because I’ve never really cared about Venom, but this reinvention of the character feels especially silly. There’s a great conversation between Peter and Nick Fury that feels like it really gets at teasing apart superhero stories in fascinating ways, but as a whole, this was just not my favorite story in the run.
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Daybreak, a game about fighting climate change, is blindly optimistic - Polygon'
This is an interesting review of a game that I hadn’t heard of but am now intrigued by. I wouldn’t mind playing an overly optimistic game right now, but I also appreciate the central critique of the game in the review. I think there’s value in recognizing the tensions that prevent us from defeating these obstacles as (relatively) easily as we can in a game. link to “Daybreak, a game about fighting climate change, is blindly optimistic - Polygon”