The digital divide just got a little bit smaller.

I've been hesitant to jump on the digital comics bandwagon. Not that I'm morally opposed to it or anything, I've just always felt a little weird about paying for content I don't physically own, the same-as-cover pricing felt wrong for something so ephemeral, and I only own an iPhone, not a tablet. I've downloaded some freebies (legally, at that), and though the phone-sized pan-and-scan of panels is not my preferred reading method, I don't aggressively mind it (reminds me of those clipped black & white mass market paperback editions of World of Krypton or Untold Legend of the Batman, actually). But I didn't see any reason to buy anything digitally.

Well, Comixology, you finally managed to get me thanks to this little ploy:

Well played, people. Well played.

I have a lot of the classic Legion material in reprints, a lot of 70s through the 90s in floppies, and not a lot of interest in the current stuff (I'll get to it eventually, I'm sure, it just doesn't float my boat right now), so I thought I'd pass this by like so many other sales, but I saw that they had LSH #s 124 & 125 and Legionnaires #81, the 3 part Widening Rifts story that bridges Legion of the Damned and Legion Lost, which hasn't been reprinted, and is damn hard to find (and when you do, it's frequently expensive). Then they had Superboy #195, the first appearance of my favorite Legionnaire, Wildfire. And at 99 cents apiece, well, they had me.

And this, I think is a big victory for Comixology, and digital comics as a whole. Admittedly I'm not dead-set against digital comic bookery, but I wasn't a big fan, either. And by giving me a product I want (one I have yet to find affordably in physical format) at a price I was willing to pay, they convinced me to jump aboard despite any reservations I had, and even though I'm only reading them on a phone!

Am I a dedicated digital reader now? No. I'm not going to read all of my comics on a tiny phone screen, the usual price point is, I think, too high for something you won't actually own IRL, DRM annoys me, and I still prefer the look, feel, and size of the physical book overall. But I'm also not unlikely to avoid digital altogether, either, and that's probably a big deal in the long run.

But, seriously, $2.99 to $3.99 for a comic book is stupid enough for a printed copy. For a digital one, it's downright ludicrous.

Shazam-A-Day and the new new NEW Captain Marvel

The current state of Captain Marvel Shazam got you down? Well, it does me, too, so I did something about it: Shazam-A-Day, a (mostly) once-daily Tumblr devoted to the Big Red Cheese and his various friends, family, and hangers-on.

It's light, it's fun, it takes less than a minute of your valuable everyday internet time, it snaffles caps off any size jug, bottle, or jar, and it really, really works.

Shazam-A Day. Won't you?

Speaking of the Captain Marvel legacy, Marvel says that it's now going to give the name to the apparently-soon-to-be former Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers, in a title next year written by Kelley Sue DeConnick.

I am really excited about this. I've become a big fan of Carol in the past few years, reading appearances from her original series and more recent book, as well as various Avengers stints. She hasn't always been treated particularly well, but that seems to have changed from about the House of M event on (which, IIRC, was first place she took the Captain Marvel title), and she's even gotten some good exposure in the Ultimate Alliance games, the Avengers and Super Hero Squad cartoons, toys, and the like. She has more than earned the role, so the promotion from Ms. to Captain feels both well-earned and natural (especially considering her military background). And DeConnick is a terrific writer, so I'm looking forward to seeing what she does with the series. My only complaint is that we have to wait until 2013 to get this.

The Shambling Un-Alive: Why I Think I Don't Appreciate The Walking Dead

Try as I might, I just cannot get into The Walking Dead. Now, this isn't hate for hate's sake. It's not even really hate. It's not me trying to be ironic or hip or cool or anything, either, because if history has taught me anything, it's that I'm not cool and, to paraphrase Zaphod Beeblebrox, so unhip it's a wonder my bum doesn't fall off. The fact that I just paraphrased Zaphod Beeblebrox should prove my point pretty well on that score. But I digress.

Anyway, I do think The Walking Dead is a well-made show. Effects are great, performances are fine, and they do claustrophobic tension really well, so I can see why so many people are eating this up... um, so to speak. It's just not grabbing me, though. And I gave it plenty of chances... I watched the entire first season, and since my wife still watches, I do see bits and pieces of it when I get home on Sunday nights. But it's just Not For Me.

I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out why this is such televisual crack to so many people but not me. At first I thought it was because I wasn't much of a horror fan to begin with, and that I also didn't care much for the comic book. And then I figured it was just too bleak for me... I've never cared much for post-apocalyptic survival fiction in any form, after all. Hell, that's why I like superheroes so much... I want to see triumph over seemingly unbeatable odds. Brightest day eventually following blackest night and all that.

But a week or two back, it finally dawned on me: I don't like a single one of the characters. I'm fine with the actors, I think they play their parts well. And the writing itself is decent, if a bit heavy on the melodrama and shock-value-as-plot. But those characters, there's not a one of them I'm rooting for, and in fact, really wouldn't mind seeing them get eaten. Especially the son of Sheriff Love Actually Guy. Look kid, when someone tells you to go stay in the house, STAY IN THE DAMN HOUSE, alright? If the future of humanity rests in this group of people, well, I'm throwing in with Team Zombie. I suspect if the show were actually about the zombies trying to eat this group of people every week, I'd be a much bigger fan.

Eat 'em up, eat 'em up, munch munch munch.

Now Game of Thrones, on the other hand, that can't start up again soon enough. Bring on Peter Dinklage and his reminders that his family stays current on their financial obligations!

R.I.P. Davy Jones

Seeing yesterday that Davy Jones had died of a heart attack at the too-young age of 66, well, that one hurt. The Monkees was one of my first favorite shows as a little kid, thanks to reruns, and along with the contemporaneous Batman, Warner Brothers cartoons, and various Muppet projects, it was one of the major factors that shaped the sens of humor I have to this day. I still remember the effect that seeing Mickey Dolenz walk off set to visit the writers mid-scene had on my then 4 or 5 year old brain... I had seen Bugs and Daffy or Kermit and Fozzie break the fourth wall like that, but seeing actual people do it, well, I had never realized that was even possible.

And the music of the Monkees... say what you will about their origins and their input, but even their loudest detractors cannot deny that they were involved on varying levels with some of the greatest pop music ever recorded.

The group's 20th anniversary reunion tour stop in my hometown of Bangor, ME, in 1986 was my first real concert. And several years I got to see Davy perform solo when he toured with The Real Live Brady Bunch stage show (which performed Brady episodes verbatim... with lots of added innuendo, of course). And both times I was amazed that he still had the moves and charm that seemed so effortless as a younger man. It was still pretty effortless then, too, come to think of it. The man was a born performer, no question about it.

I associate the Monkees with lots of good times, often in the company of good people, and Davy was always a huge part of the enjoyment there. For that, I will always be grateful. Thanks, Davy.