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18 November 2004 @ 09:31 am
500,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Mosquitos Just Can't Be Wrong  
"Election" Follies
Here is a great article published in the Orlando Weekly News, which has some experience in reporting on election irregularities. A quote:

Votes collected by electronic machines (and by optical scan equipment that reads traditional paper ballots) are sent via modem to a central tabulating computer, which counts the votes on Windows software. Therefore, anyone who knows how to operate an Excel spreadsheet and who is given access to the central tabulation machine can, in theory, change election totals.

On a CNBC cable TV program, Black Box Voting exec Harris showed guest host Howard Dean how to alter vote totals within 90 seconds, by entering a two-digit code in a hidden program on Diebold's election software. Harris declared, "This is not a 'bug' or accidental oversight; it is there on purpose."

The West Wing
When did this show get good again? Seriously, this season has been a huge improvement over the last John Wells-penned disaster. This show is always at its best when focusing on the characters (as opposed to dryly dropping plot bombs on us), which last night's episode did rather well.

It's Thursday Again, Yo
I was fooled. I thought it would explore some of the issues of the recently concluded gang war in Gotham, but the script doesn't mention it at all, instead delivering a forgettable, by-the-numbers filler story featuring M. Freeze. Yawn. The art's decent, but nothing I'm going to remember. Running this story so soon after the War Games crossover was a very bad editorial choice. It loses a lot of the momentum (and a lot of potential reader-interest) to just run off into left field (and not in a good way -- I don't want to demean the very idea of running off into left field). I'll be giving this one to Josh (Jessica's nephew, whom I give lots of comics to).

ROBIN #132
This issue does, on the other hand, leads right out of War Games into a new status quo for the character, and it's generally well done. He says goodbye to Batman, moves to Bludhaven, busts up on some thugs, then meets his first worthy adversary, The Shrike. I'd like it more if the fight scene at the end didn't go on for eight pages. And the art...Daimon Scott (formerly the artist of Batgirl, where he was a much better fit) is a very talented guy, and I like his work a lot, but it doesn't fit here. Seriously, Robin looks like he's ten years old. He's supposed to be at least sixteen or seventeen at this point, right? Anyway, I'm interested to see where this is all going, as I've been following the character for a while and I like Bill Willingham's work, but I'm going to be cringing at the art every issue. They should bring Pete Woods back.

Part two of the kids' accidental trip to the future, where they find a terrifying dystopia ruled by their (villainously-misguided) future selves. Robin has become an even darker Batman. Superboy is now a self-delusional Superman. And so on. It's a good story, with lots of guest spots (Tara??) and interesting twists on Titans and DC lore. It's not a terribly original concept, but Geoff Johns pulls it off expertly and entertainingly. Along with this week's similarly-themed Superman/Batman issue, this issue of the Teen Titans is the kind of stories I like reading from DC. Punchy, imaginitive (and slightly-goofy) stories that defy expectations and aren't afraid to let the characters change. Oh, and the Mike McKone art is really pretty.

Writer Jeph Loeb, with this opening chapter of the Absolute Power story arc, takes a crack at the usually-leaden "alternate-universe" tale, with surprisingly exciting results. Superman and Batman are taken as children by time-traveling villains and raised to be rulers of the world. Living by the mantra, "Obey or die," the duo lord over a world placated by fear. Pockets of resistance (like the rebellious Green Arrow, in a chilling scene) are burned away. It's a little early to call this one, but it looks like this is going to be another example of what I like to see from DC. Carlos Pacheco's linework is the best I've ever seen from him, as well.

I also picked up a few others as well, but haven't got around to reading them: Birds of Prey #76, Catwoman #37, Lucifer #56, Ex Machina #6, Kinetic #8, Punisher #14.
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Current Music: Firewater - The Man on the Burning Tightrope
- - - lydia: dark melydialicious on November 18th, 2004 04:15 pm (UTC)
You know, I have never even seen a comic book in real life (as opposed to in a movie) let alone read one.
kinbotespkinbote on November 18th, 2004 04:28 pm (UTC)
Heh. Well, that's because we keep them hidden in specially-constructed underground dork silos. You have to be a card-carrying nerd to get in. It's a self-preservation measure most of us learned in junior-high, because being seen with a comic is the equivalent to both begging for ridicule and relenquishing any hope for a date for the next seven years.

It's just another narrative medium, though. Granted it's mostly used for children's fare, but there are also very good examples of sophisticated storytelling in the form (Anything by Alan Moore, Dan Clowes and Chris Ware). It's a bit of a subculture, and a shrinking one at that, but it's there and it has its adherents and defenders.