An Eye (and Wallet) Opening New Hobby

I have purchased my first graphic novel, and it won’t be my last.

When I went to the Pop Candy party last month at Isotope in San Francisco, it was the first time I’d ever set foot in a comic book store. Pop Candy columnist Whitney Matheson is always recommending graphic novels and comic books, and I can certainly understand the allure now. Meeting Heroes artist Tim Sale was also an influential factor on my new hobby.

Here are some very helpful lists, courtesy of Whitney’s Comics Crash Course:

I am attending Comic-Con in San Diego this summer, primarily for the Lost panel and pop culture experience, but most of the booths and other panels will be foreign to me. I wanted to at least get a feel for the style of graphic novels out there before I go, so I chose one literally based on name recognition alone.  Pride of Baghdad is written by Brian K. Vaughan, who is a writer and producer on Lost. It is a compelling tale about a family of lions who experience freedom and danger after the zoo in Baghdad is bombed during the war.

Because Superman is my favorite superhero of all time, I borrowed Superman: Red Son from a friend with a sizable graphic novel collection (that I will be pilfering now and then). I have not read it yet, but it re-imagines Superman as a Soviet hero, which is a fascinating concept.

So do you have any comic or graphic novel suggestions for a beginner like me?

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My Netflix Queue Needs You


Lately I have been disappointed by movies both in theaters and on DVD. So I am seeking your assistance. Yes, I had a contest late last year, asking for suggestions (some of which are included below). But I got picky and lazy, and now I’m seeking new inspiration.

Here is an alphabetical list of the films (and one TV series) that are currently in my Netflix queue. Some are new releases, others are older movies I’ve always wanted to see.  If you’ve seen any of them and have an opinion one way or another, please let me know by leaving a comment. In addition, feel free to make other recommendations.

  1. The Assassination of Jesse James
  2. August Rush
  3. Becoming Jane
  4. Conversations with Other Women
  5. Dan in Real Life
  6. Death at a Funeral
  7. The Devil and Daniel Johnston
  8. Dirty Pretty Things
  9. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
  10. Dogfight
  11. The Dreamers
  12. Frida
  13. The Golden Compass
  14. The Good German
  15. Hedwig and the Angry Inch
  16. I Am Legend
  17. I’m Not There
  18. The Iron Giant
  19. King of California
  20. The Kingdom
  21. Lars and the Real Girl
  22. Lions for Lambs
  23. Live Free or Die Hard
  24. Lust, Caution
  25. The Magdalene Sisters
  26. Margot at the Wedding
  27. The Motorcycle Diaries
  28. Murder in the First
  29. Mysterious Skin
  30. No Reservations
  31. P.S. I Love You
  32. Palindromes
  33. Pan’s Labyrinth
  34. Paris, Je T’aime
  35. Paycheck
  36. Reservation Road
  37. The Savages
  38. Sweeney Todd
  39. Things We Lost in the Fire
  40. Tin Cup
  41. We Own the Night
  42. The Wire, Season 1
  43. Y Tu Mama Tambien
  44. 27 Dresses

Thank you in advance!

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Quid Pro Quo, Widmore: LOST, Ep 4.9 – “The Shape of Things to Come”

Initial thoughts, questions and crazy theories about tonight’s new episode are now posted on my other blog, Get LOST with JOpinionated.

For dedicated Lost fans, this was a very welcome return. It just keeps getting better. There really isn’t a better show on television right now; stellar on every level, from the cast to the scripts to the overall production.

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well, shit.

On occasion, I feel particularly uninspired…which is very disconcerting and depressing. Most of the time I can’t wait to get home from work and write about the pop culture world at large. But the well is empty. I have nothing for you.

Perhaps I’m wasting too much time and energy on Twitter. It could also be that I’ve been staying up too late every night, watching a variety of shows online.  Or perhaps it has been the lack of quality films released during the last few months, ostensibly removing one of my favorite activities/pastimes from the menu and quelling my overall enthusiasm for going to the movies.

I know I’ve hit a serious wall because I can’t even muster up a new Lost entry for my other blog, which I’ve been trying to do for days in anticipation of tomorrow night’s return.  I believe that I have blog block, an updated twist on traditional writer’s block.

There isn’t a real explanation or excuse. I just don’t want to bore you, so I’ll be back when something finally ignites and excites.

[update: My mom called to see if I was okay after reading this. I'm fine. I simply hit a rough creative patch and shared too much, as usual. But I appreciate those of you who expressed concern.]

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Welcome Back: Bones, Brothers & Sisters, Grey’s, House, Lost, Ugly Betty

For the most part, many shows are just returning this week with new episodes of post-Writers Strike television.  And boy am I happy to see them again.

Here is an update, and a few fun related links to pass the time until your favorite shows grace the airwaves [warning: read at your own risk; most of these sites contain spoilers].

The series debuted again last week, and airs Monday nights at 8pm on FOX. Baby-faced John Francis Daly (Freaks & Geeks) has been a great addition to the cast.

4/21: “Player Under Pressure”
4/28: “The Baby in the Bough”
Fan site: Searching Bones

Returned last night, airs Sunday nights on ABC at 10pm. I can’t wait to find out if Ken Olin’s character is Rebecca’s real dad, and how that will affect her relationship with Justin. One of the best ensemble casts on television, and Danny Glover has been icing on the cake.

4/27: “Double Negative”
Production blog: Bloggers and Sisters

Begins again this week on ABC, will air regularly on Thursday nights at 9pm.

4/24: “Where the Wild Things Are”
Writers blog: Grey Matter

Returns next week, airs Monday nights at 9pm on FOX. Let’s hope they bring back Cut-Throat Bitch for the remainder of the season.

4/28: “No More Mr. Nice Guy”
Fan site: House is Right

Fortunately for Lost fans, the hiatus has only been a few weeks long. The new batch of episodes for Season 4 begins this Thursday (now in the 10pm time slot on ABC), and here is the tentative schedule:

4/24: “The Shape of Things to Come”
5/1: “Something Nice Back Home”
5/8, episode 4.11
5/15, episode 4.12: Season Finale, Part 1
5/29, episodes 4.13 & 4.14: Season Finale, Parts 2 & 3
My blog: Get LOST with JOpinionated


Returns this week, airs every Thursday at 8pm on ABC.

4/24: “Twenty Four Candles”
5/1: “Burning Questions”
Fan site: Ugly Betty News

I don’t watch Gossip Girl, but I know that it starts up again tonight as well. What am I missing?

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