Sunday took Chris, Dan, and myself back to Baltimore for the second, more mellow day of the Baltimore Comic-Con. I got more chances to see things, and there was a lot more variety of cosplay. A good day, all round. Otherwise, the week was mostly filled with work and not fun/not Dork behavior.
Doctor Who: Ghost Light: One of the better Sylvester McCoy stories, this is OK. It’s a play on a lot of those old BBC costume dramas and adventure yarns, with dashes of ghost stories and Holmesian mystery. Again, I can’t really sing its praises, but for McCoy’s run, it’s not bad. Worth watching. The end is pretty crazy.
The Violent Men: Glenn Ford is a tough hombre. He plays it cool until he can’t play anymore. Then he devastates everyone who gets in his way. This isn’t any kind of groundbreaking or special Western, but it’s quite good, and worth watching.
The Dark Knight Returns: This animated adaptation of Frank Miller’s industry changing Batman comic is pretty good, but weighted down by source problems. First off, Miller seems to have a real problem with women, and all the women in this movie are kind of awful (with the possible exception of the new Robin). But it feels more consistent than the original. It’s a pretty good story with some cool plays on classic DC universe ideas. I’m just not in love with the whole thing. This one is very, very much not for kids.
House: Oh, Japan. Less boring than a lot of Japanese horror films (especially of the 60s and 70s), House is about as jumbled and random as they come. I found it hard to pay attention or care about what was happening, because little logic or reason can be applied to the plot or characters. There are some good moments, and enough crazy that fans of weird cinema should enjoy seeing it once. But this isn’t my cup of tea, that’s for sure.
On Saturday, Brad and I headed up to Bethesda for SPX (the Small Press Expo). This show has grown dramatically since I first attended five years ago. Even with increasing the size of the actual venue, it was still quite crowded by so many comic fans. And the diversity has increased, as well. I noticed it wasn’t all just 20 to 40 year old, bearded white guys in flannel, with their tattooed girlfriends in boots. There were more young people, more (a bit more) ethnic diversity, and more variety in the artists attending. I felt a lot better about what I saw on the tables. It just makes being poor that much rougher, as I couldn’t buy from half the people I wanted to. Still, managed to get a few cool prints and mini-comics. SPX is evolving, but feels like it’s keeping true to its more do-it-yourself vibe. (Brad has a cool story, which I'll let him tell in his Week in Dork).
Otherwise, I’ve started reading The Great and Secret Show from Clive Barker, which I’m really enjoying. And I’ve been trying really, really hard to get some meaty writing done. Sadly, most nights when I return home, I find myself staring at the wall, or zoning out with some music. Writing has been tough.