Okay ramblers, let's get ramblin'.

If it hasn’t aired yet in your particular corner of the world, you really should check out “Tintin and I” on the PBS documentary series P.O.V. It’s a really excellent film about the life of Tintin creator Georges Remi, a.k.a. Herge, and how his experiences shaped the adventures of Belgium’s favorite boy reporter and his various hangers-on. The story is told largely through audio tapes from an interview Herge did with a writer in 1971 – a brief meeting for a magazine article turned into a soul-searching 4-day discussion and a book that the film takes its name from – and is interspersed with interviews, newsclips, and some interesting looks at the artwork itself. A lot of attention is paid to Tintin in Tibet, which was really interesting to me personally, as it’s one of the few Tintin albums I actually own, so I really want to re-read it now knowing what was going on behind the scenes. And then I think I need to seek out the rest of the series, because I’m super-interested now and realize how little of it I’ve actually read (most of my exposure to these stories comes from the Nelvana-produced animated series that aired on HBO and Nickelodeon 10 years or so ago).

Seek this film out and watch it. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the adventures of Tintin, it’s first-class documentary filmmaking, and compelling viewing throughout; so good I actually dug out a tape to save a copy, which is a rare occasion for me these days indeed, with this being the age of DVR and all.

Apparently, Juliana Hatfield’s side-project band, Some Girls (in which she plays alongside Heidi Gluck and fellow ex-Blake Baby Freda Love) have a new album out, “Crushing Love.” Why don’t I already own this? I must be slipping in my old age. Sorry, Juliana! I’ll correct this situation as soon as I can scrape together some CD cash.

I’m nothing if not a fiercely loyal fan. But in the interest of full disclosure, you know how everyone has that one, officially certified and agreed upon Fantasy Get Out of Marriage Free Card? Juliana Hatfield is mine. Though I’d make her eat some cheeseburgers first… the woman has been too skinny these past few years! Last time we saw her in concert, she looked like she’d pull a Sister Bertrille and blow away in a strong breeze.

Erin’s Fantasy Get Out of Marriage Free Card, by the way, is Jake Gyllenhaal. Though based on the way she talks lately, it may now be Peter Sarsgaard. Someone with excess “a’s” in their name, anyway.

This young couple (around 19 to 20ish) was sitting at the computers in the library for a few hours tonight, and they kept leaning in close to each other. Like, disturbingly close to each other. To the point where I couldn't tell if they were whispering or licking each other's ears. My work-study student had a better vantage point than I, and told me that yes, there may in fact have been some ear licking going on.

While I'm glad to see that foreplay has not died out among the young'uns, I'd really rather not have to see the floor show in public, kids. At least take it up to the stacks like everybody else does so the staff people (and the dozens of visiting scientists currently here for a conference) don't have to watch!

Comics! Woo! I’ve read some good stuff lately. Here are some brief thoughts:

Locas: The Maggie & Hopey Stories – Erin got me this for Father’s Day. My wife rules. So yeah, I’ve liked the bits of L&R stuff I’ve read through the years, but I always preferred Jaime Hernandez’s stories to those of Gilbert or Mario. And now I have all of Jaime’s Maggie & Hope stories from Volume 1 in one hefty tome, so I’m a happy boy. I’m still in the early, sci-fi influenced stuff right now, so the characters haven’t fully blossomed yet, but it’s still brilliant. Definitely fun to see genius in the making.

Carl Barks’ [sic] Greatest DuckTales Stories Volume 1 – Apostrophe misuse aside (It should be “Barks’s.” Grrrr…), this is a great collection, and long overdue (where was this back when DuckTales was still airing?!?). You could get away with calling this Barks’s Greatest Hits and be pretty accurate. If you want to learn more about this Carl Barks fellow your really geeky friends talk about, start here. Or if you ever watched DuckTales and want to reminisce, get this and see how much better the original stories were (to be fair, though, I liked DuckTales – a lot of Barks fans dump on it, but if not for the show, I’d have never discovered Barks’s work in the first place).

Detective Comics #821 – Written by Paul Dini, one of the creators of Batman: The Animated Series! So, you know, good and stuff. Batman solves a crime through some basic detective work, and then busts some heads, and it’s all relatively angst-free. That shouldn’t be revolutionary storytelling for a Batman book, but after the last few years, it really is, as well as being a welcome breath of fresh-air. And next month features the Riddler! Me am happy. Paul Dini, I am once again drinking the Kool-Aid. Thanks for bringing the real Batman back from the TeeVee and putting him into the funny books again.

Uncanny X-Men #475 – You know what? I didn’t hate it. In fact, I kind of liked it. Ed Brubaker includes enough details about what happened on X-books I didn’t read that I was able to catch up on events, but I didn’t feel buried by a Claremontian heap of excess exposition. The mix of top-level and lesser mutant characters is a unique and interesting one (He made Warpath seem cool, fer cryin’ out loud. Warpath!). And any plan that starts “First, you need to steal a spaceship.” automatically arouses my curiosity. I’m at least sticking around for part 2.

Action Philosophers Giant-Sized Thing – The one philosophy class I took in college was taught by this really soft-spoken, dull, elderly Scandinavian guy who kept yammering on about Plato’s idea of Philosopher Kings. Had he included Plato’s beginnings as a wrestler, the oddly fascist nature of said Philosopher King idea, or even had him talk in third-person Incredible Hulk dialogue, I might have actually stayed awake. This book is to philosophy what The Sandwalk Adventures is to biology – it’s Fun Comics, and if you’re not careful, you might just learn something before it’s done. Hey, hey, hey. I hope the creators are at Wizard World Chicago, because I must own a “Plato Smash!” t-shirt.

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