I know that I don’t keep it a huge secret or anything that I’m, at heart, a Marvel fan (really an X-Men fan), but how did I let a huge teaser promotional image like this one pass me by???
Sorry Gordon and sorry all of you! DC’s Convergence is starting in April 2015 and appears to be the logical consequence of the reinvention of their multiverse — the crossing over of the multiple universes that make up the multiverse. It sure didn’t take DC very long to get to this point, but I’m certainly up for it!
Before anyone gets to the point of making any backhanded Marvel and DC copying each other accusations, let’s talk about the superpowered elephant in the room. If you’ve been paying attention, Marvel’s updated Secret Wars, starting off in May 2015, has a VERY similar premise — alternate universes within the very expansive Marvel multiverse come together and cross over with each other. Which company had the idea first? We’ll never know and, in my opinion, it doesn’t really matter. If you’re a fan of alternate realities like I am, you’re going to (hopefully) have a great time next spring/summer. And if you hate this conceit, you’re going to save a TON of money in not buying all this.
Well, obviously things over here at The Weekly Haul have been pretty quiet for the past few weeks. I should really just stop calling attention to my inability to keep up with reading my comics — is it a function that I’m buying too many books? Or that I’m just not that excited in the titles that I’m reading? I’m going to take a look at that very thing in the rundown. But first…
Here’s something I got excited about the other day — another one of the fantastic (typed stuffed with sarcasm) Marvel-sponsored children’s prose stories based on their characters. This time it’s not Namor in his panties, but rather good old Tony Stark AKA Iron Man! He’s turning out to be one The Boy’s favorites (though he picked up a Mr. Sinister action figure this past week at the comic shop)
Anyway, past the jump, I’ll break down the past three weeks’ 51 (!!! so close to having DC sue me!) comics into my version of The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. For the sake of your sanity and my fingers, I’ll talk about only the highlights and lowlights. And holy god, there were some real lowlights…
I also want to give a quick plug for a project over at Kickstarter. Ray Sumser, a really excellent NY-based artist, is working on his newest adventure, an all-original all-ages comic called LYK and Bear. Ray’s a real talent (and a nice guy), so go make his dreams come true, support his comic, and get some great rewards out of the deal.
At the homefront, The Boy is still having a good time terrorizing his little sister, collecting Squinkies, and getting ready for his upcoming dance recital. That’s right, he’s still lacing up slipping on his tap shoes and fa-lapping across the studio each Saturday morning.
And The Bull? She’s also pretty damn cute, if I do say so myself…
Okay, enough child pimping. Let’s get to these books. Again, I’m going to do things a little bit differently this time. I thought it would be interesting to see if my lifelong hobby is still providing a good ratio of excitement per dollar.
Things at the house this past week have been pretty chaotic. This year marked the first big Seder (the Passover meal) at our house and my overachieving wife wanted to prepare everything herself. The Boy wanted to make the Seder plate though:
Yup, the contents of the plate are all courtesy of Toys R Us by way of his play kitchen foods. Anyway, we had 12 adults and 4 children at the Seder and the night went without a single argument or food fight, a great achievement if you ask me. And the food was excellent!
Besides Passover, this past Monday was my wife and her mother’s birthday, which means planning some kind of night out. This has become more difficult to do as our schedules have gotten busier. Oh, and since the addition of those two other humans living in our house. Thankfully, Dawn is in agreement with me that adults shouldn’t need birthday presents (especially those who have the means to get their own things) so I don’t have to worry about the gift hunt like I used to, but getting the kids to behave in a restaurant on the first night of Passover? I’d almost rather panic while searching Zales.com…
Basically? Tiring week.
And for the non-Jews out there, Happy Almost Easter!
This past week marked my return to work after a week vacation, which of course, leads to something that looks like this:
Yeah. A stack of labs to go through so large that it took me all freaking week. Blech.
Meanwhile, besides working this week, comics came out. That’s about it — getting back into the swing of things after time off has always been a difficult task for me. Though almost as a reward, X-Men First Class, the best superhero movie made (go ahead, bring the debate), has been on TV almost non-stop this week.
Let’s start off this post with an adorable picture of The Boy. Yes! Relish in his cuteness! Soak in that Spider-Man pajama suit! Be distracted that I am behind two weeks!!!
So, the first picture is obvious evidence that I’ve so far successfully brainwashed Jacob into becoming my comic protegee. The Boy has really taken to his new role and is slowly amassing his own (and stealing my) superhero toys. It’s even started to infuse into his reading habits. Every night before bedtime, we read two stories — the routine since he was an infant. Now that he’s picking out the stories himself, it’s been a pretty consistent 50% superheroics rate. We’ve been into this one, an anthology book with about 10 or so different stories:
Which includes such great visuals for young minds, such as this one:
Looks like a great story, huh? Classic Avengers (including, as Jacob calls him, the Huk) beating up on the obnoxious Namor, which in about 2 pages leads to the dramatic reveal of the frozen Captain America. My kid? Focusing on this panel:
To which my genius kid asks, “Daddy, where is that guy’s pants?” I mean, if a 3 year old is questioning the validity of Namor’s fashion decisions, who am I to argue?
Oh, and so as not to show my obvious Marvel bias, he’s also learning about Batman and his rogue gallery, such as The Cat Lady (Catwoman), Two-Man (Two Face), and Crocodile (Killer Croc). He’s getting there — give him another week.
Since it seems I’m blabbing a bit here, so I might as well go off on an even crazier tangent. I need to vent on something that drives me absolutely crazy. There’s no good place for me to do this but here, so if you don’t want to read the ramblings of a rabid lunatic, you can just skip ahead to the jump.
Plastic. Clothing. Tags.
Yes, those pieces of thin plastic that hold tags onto your clothing. I don’t know if they have a better name — I really don’t care if they do. All I know is that they are ALL OVER MY FREAKING HOUSE. The floors, the couch, the table, floating weightless through the air — they are EVERYWHERE!!! I haven’t bought new clothes in about a year, so I am EXTREMELY confident that they are not from me. Dawn, the primary buyer of new clothes, and the kids, the primary wearer of said clothes, are my obvious archenemies. Without fail, I’ll come across at least one piece a day. I don’t think that there are even that many new clothes around to support this many tags! There must be some, I don’t know, plastic clothing tag gremlin or something roaming the house in the dead of night, giggling and grinning while he (or she, hate to be gremlin-ist) plants them like crappy Afikomen at Passover (though both matzah and plastic have a similar flavor).
MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!!! If Santa was really that cool, maybe even I’d get a tree?
We’re still recovering from holiday-time toy overload. Holy Good God, the house is bursting with new toys (admittedly, not just for the kids — I got the Loki Break Out Lego set, amongst other comic related joys). I always get a little frustrated, though, because with all the new stuff, all those old toys that we spend so much money on tend to get forgotten. Thankfully though, The Boy is still very much into his ponies.
On the work front, things have been very busy this past week. Six months of straight service with no vacation time may have been a bad decision in retrospect. I had to add two photos to my desk to cheer me up on those down days…
DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK! I’ve been here for years! Well, actually much less than a year total, but let’s not split hairs…
Look who’s still here! Yes, by no demand whatsoever, The Weekly Haul is determined to survive! So, since I know that you’re all on the edge of your seats and don’t have time for cute pictures of my kids:
It’s been a very busy few weeks at home and at work, so my regular updates had to take a back seat for the past two comic book store trips. I’m not going to backtrack and talk about those weeks (boo hoo, I know) for the sake of time, but never fear! There’s this week’s floppy-covered wonders of joy to talk about!
All the activity at home has really stemmed from the continuing rearrangement of the house and who calls which room theirs. Jacob is finally in his brand new room upstairs (the old office) and, even though I hate the trips up and down the stairs to put him to bed, he’s really enjoying all the space.
The office (formerly The Boy’s bedroom) has now, under the gracious advisement of my beautiful and wonderful wife, has been transformed into a great place to showcase my overwhelming addiction that I need professional help for comic collection. Gone is the poop-colored brown that covered the lower half of the walls (what an accidentally dumb choice that was), replaced with a soothing grey (yes, spelled as in Jean — even my spelling has been influenced by comics). In all honesty, this too was an accident, although a fortunate one this time. The original plan was to paint the entire room, destroying all traces of a little boy who once slept there (cue: wife’s tears) — a light grey above the chair rail and a dark grey below. I started with the dark grey after spackling the nail holes in the upper part of the walls and found myself stumbling into a really nice, soothing color combination. Dark grey and blue-green it is!
Oh, a little tour, you say? I’m really exposing my comic-ness, here. Sure…
Again, I’m trying to keep the walls on the more open and airy side at the request of my wife. If I was left to my own devices, I tend to fill up most floor and wall space with stuff — open spaces are unnerving to me. But that’s why I live in New York, right?
I love this piece of furniture; it really ended up being a great way to have books out on display, plus a place to have out some fun stuff on top, which currently include some superhero Lego sets, Marvel/DC Matryoshka dolls, my Homestar Runner PVC figures, a bunch of X-Men metal figures/Kubriks, and my Jewish comic star Heroclix:
I’ve got a place for sci-fi and comic-related novels and such, plus the ever present and necessary medical bookshelves:
Of course, I’ve also got a place for all my single issues, which were last seen (in my last post) sitting in the middle of the living room. Now, most of the boxes are in the office closet, camouflaged behind my brand-new in house Michael Craft Store.
Yes, I know it’s almost 2 weeks after that date up there in the title. Call me terribly ashamed. Who knew fellowship would be busy?
As if starting fellowship wouldn’t be enough on my proverbial plate (I’ve now survived a month of service and my first week/weekend on call!), Dawn and I, in our infinite wisdom, decided that it would be a great time to go full force into our planned three-way room swap (not our planned three-way, though that would be interesting material for this blog, huh?).
Our lovely house (typed with a dash of sarcasm) has four bedrooms, two upstairs and two downstairs. We moved into this house the month before Jacob was born, because, again, we like to be frantically stressed. The two downstairs bedrooms easily became our master bedroom and his nursery/bedroom. The larger upstairs room was originally destined to be the office, but once my delusions that we needed an office dissipated, it became the 50% Crochet Castle and 50% Comic Book Room of Doom. The final room? Well, the “guest room” never became much of a room for guests. Sure, there was a nicely made bed in there, but it was buried with unopened boxes, old clothes, books, and a ton of odds and ends.
Now that there’s a second kid (I know because she rarely stops crying and screaming), the big plan is to make the two rooms upstairs into their bedrooms and bring the office into Jacob’s current room. Of course, this also means I’ve got to paint three rooms and recarpet two of them (read: the Home Depot guys have to recarpet two of them).
After a week of working after working, the two rooms upstairs are empty(ish) and Emma’s room is painted.
The trade off is that our living/dining room looks like an episode of Hoarders.
In order to move quickly onto last week’s books, I’m going to try to keep my blabbering short in what was ultimately a light week.
Sooooo, obviously it’s been a bit busy the past 2 weeks and, like usual, I’ve again fallen behind in the wonderful world of comics. I hang my head in shame, as I know that all of yousome of you a miniscule number of you can’t get through a week without reading this shameful website.
Anyway, on the work front, last week was the end of the academic year for the residency program and, therefore, a very nice, structured, calm graduation for the residents, fellows, and myself and my co-chief residents. Oh, and also, a PARTY!
When I first started my residency, I thought that I would like to stay on and do a chief year. When I was approached about it during my second year, I was totally into the idea. When I first started my chief year, it was overwhelming,To be a bit mushy, I’ve been extraordinarily lucky and fortunate to have spent the last year with some amazing people. I’m happy that I get to stay at my “work home” for the next three years (at least) for fellowship, but I’m sad that my co-chiefs will be departing to other places to complete their training. It will be strange to be in a office without them, for sure.
Then, this past Saturday, Dawn had her dance studio’s recital. Thankfully, being 38 weeks pregnant at the time, she didn’t have to dance herself — not sure if there’s a real market out there for pregnant dancers — but Jacob and I went out to watch and support the kids. I don’t know if he will end up in a formal dance class, and I won’t fight if he wants to, but he REALLY likes to dance, be the center of attention, and flirt with girls, so it seems like a good fit for his needs.
And then the most recent reason for the lateness?
Yep, child numero dos (AKA Emma Rachel) has arrived! She was born on Sunday, June 24th at 8:58AM, about 12 days early (anxious to find out about the conclusion of AVX, though I told her that it will likely end in 2054). I’m not sure if my wife will be pleased with my publicizing the intricate details of the affair (nor will you want to read it if I wrote it … nor would I really want to write it in the first place), but Dawn’s labor went WAY fast this time.
Basically, she woke me up at 7AM with the very calmly phrased, yet no less frightening, “Can you please wake up? I think I’m going to need your help.” My first reaction as a loving, caring husband of 3 and a half years and a boyfriend for a decade more? “Can I shower first?” Aren’t I just the best?
Following my obviously life-alteringly important shower, we sped to the hospital, cutting my normal 30 minute commute to a hot 15 minutes (no thank you stop signs and red lights), just in time to leave The Boy with the unit receptionist and watch my daughter be born without the joy of an epidural. It was fast and crazed, but thankfully, everyone is doing great.
So far, Jacob is very sweet with her; he gives her hugs and kisses and wants to “teach her about his toys”.
Oh, and we got a fish too. Jacob named him Schkookie. Or Skookie. Depends on the moment. Not sure where he pulled that name from. This house is getting more and more crowded by the second…