Saturday, July 17, 2010
* Man, you guys, there is a LOT to like about Chris Cummins' list of the 30 Greatest Star Trek villains on Topless Robot. I mean, like any nerd list there are things I can quibble with here or there (the inclusion of Moriarty from one episode is ridiculous) and things I can really get behind (DS9 FTW!), but the reason I can really get behind Cummins' list is because on the whole it does a lot to show what really worked and didn't about each iteration of Trek purely on sci-fi terms. From the original series' reliance on bugfuck crazy imagery and twists culled from the short story chops of its many writers to the movie adventures of Kirk succeeding only on the merits of its epically melodramatic villains. From Next Generation's early fumbles at trying to replicate TOS' success eventually overturned by a handful of indescribable homerun arcs to DS9's reinvention of the wheel with layers of depth and shades of grey (well, for Star Trek) across its seven-season super story. And from Voyager's utter failure to either capitalize on the few underdeveloped merits it carried from its predecessors or create new compelling ideas of its own to Enterprise's surprising late-series resurgence once it shifted to continuity porn anchored by a nice xenophobia story thread. It's all well represented there and worth a look to anyone who vaguely likes Star Trek.
And you know, I really think the thing that makes any iteration of that franchise work is the chemistry between the cast and the range of character types they represent (something the new Abrams relaunch proved by a country mile), but without weird mean fake sci-fi, no one would've tuned into that show (whatever version) to begin with, you know?
* I'm pretty sure I'd gone over to the Comics Detective blog once or twice before the past two weeks, but after Ken Quattro started posting all the paperwork and transcripts from the legendary Will Eisner / Victor Fox / Wonderman / DC Comics lawsuit it became a 1,000% positive recommendation for permanent bookmarking. I simply can not stop reading this stuff.
* Everybody thank Tom Spurgeon for always being there to scratch my comics history itch as I'm too lazy to update/look at my Google Reader account! This week it's plenty of CC Beck, more Funnyman and an absolute not to be missed Harvey Pekar obit. Thanks, Tom!
* OK, everybody already saw this first one, but I have to say that nothing could have been more entertaining to me after all that Lebron waiting game bullshit than Dan Gilbert's letter to Cleveland. Oh wait, nothing except THIS. I really do hope they beat Miami for the championship next year.
* In other hilarious basketball news, this gallery of Jack Nicholson at Lakers games is pretty fantastic.
* Historians locate King Arthur's Round Table! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
* The book business is a weird and labyrinthine place whose odd corners I'm conversely intrigued by and repulsed by. This week, I read up on the industry's "Value Channel" sales of kids books. Mostly interesting, this one.
* Finally, I know I've been blogging a lot less lately, and seeing as San Diego is next week I won't be able to make a dramatic return to my already meager level of output until after then, but in the meantime it's never a bad idea to check out Sean T. Collins' excellent daily link-blogging as he's way better than me on my best days. See you soon!