Life at home has been more or less consumed by the slow packing up of our entire lives (did I mention that we're at long last buying a house and for-real moving and everything? I'm not sure... but we are) - which is why content is a bit slow to come lately, and will be for the foreseeable future - but I have found the time to enjoy a couple of things:
Mr. O by Lewis Trondheim - After more or less hating A.L.I.E.E.E.N., I was a little gunshy about reading any more of Trondheim's work, but I've been wanting to give this a shot for awhile, and a school in our library consortium actually owned a copy, so everything fell into place nicely. The verdict - great fun. If you've never seen this before, it's the story of a little circle man's various attempts to cross a chasm. Tragedy always ensues... even on the rare occasion when he succeeds, he still inevitably fails. Painfully. Essentially, it's a French Roadrunner cartoon - funny, violent, and a little bit bleak. At just over 30 pages, it seems short at first glance, but each of those pages contains dozens of tiny panels, so you do end up getting a good read out of the deal. Lots of fun to be had here, and definitely the sort of thing I can see myself actually buying on the day when opportunity and finances combine to make it possible. As slight as it may seem at first, i think there's a lot of potential re-read value in this. All those Roadrunner cartoons still hold up after multiple viewings, after all.
Marvel Adventures Spider-Man Vol. 5: Monsters on the Prowl - More Saturday morning-style Spider-Man fare, blissfully free of all the fooferaw that passes for Spidey continuity these days. Mike Norton - my Earth-2 counterpart - returns on the art, and yet again it's really solid stuff. He's not the flashiest artist around, but he's got the clean lines and storytelling chops that I think make him exactly the sort of artist I look for on a superhero book, and he's only getting better with time. I'm looking forward to his work on All New Atom. The stories here are all by Peter David, and they're fun, but they drift dangerously close to the Annoyingly Cutesy & Clever sort of work of his that just drives me up the wall. But thankfully, he just peers into that particularly abyss rather than jump in headfirst, so it all works in the end, really bringing in a 60s Marvel vibe. Guest shots by the likes of the Werewolf-By-Night*, Dr. Strange, Man-Thing, Frankenstein's Monster, Hawkeye, and Marvel's other green-skinned, purple pants-wearing behemoth, Fin Fang Foom, only solidify this feeling. If you're looking for a Spider-Man book that's actually fun, and want more actual superheroics than you find in a typical issue of Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane (which is also great, but for very different reasons), this could very well be your book.
X-Men: First Class Special - I really only picked this up because I wanted to see Colleen Coover doing cute comic strips with the X-Men, but holy crap, this was fun. I won't go into too much detail, because everyone else already talked about this weeks ago, but I reiterate: holy crap, this was fun. All of it. The ducks, the bathroom key, and the Blob, sure, but also the ghost story, the beatnik poet, and Dragon Man - oh dear god, Dragon Man was fun - I loved it all. Was the mini this good, too? And will the ongoing be equally awesome? I'm going to have to investigate this further. It might not be something I buy monthly, but the collections will be mine. Oh yes, they'll be mine. Once again, Jeff Parker is my master now.
* As opposed to all those Werewolves-By-Day? Honestly, Marvel, this is one character name that always seemed pretty lame to me, even as a little kid. But I do get a big kick out of the fact that a guy who turns into a wolf is named Jack Russell.