Saturday, January 28, 2012

Rants & Raves

  • I didn’t realize I’d be doing one of these again so soon, but I had some unused topics from last time and then this first one popped up right after posting my last Rant & Raves and so here I am again, because I just had to talk about it somewhere.


  • Rant – understanding the definitions of words. My editing isn’t great, and my spelling is worse, but I like to think that in general I know the words I’m using and what they mean. I used the word penultimate in a review of Fate of the Jedi: Allies last year and had another reviewer talk about how they wouldn’t have used THAT word to describe the novel (thereby showing they had no idea what the definition of that word actually is, since it describes the book Allies precisely). Now I’m on the other side of the fence in Newsarama’s recent article about 10 Memorable (or not) Comic Book Logos. I’m not going to complain about the fact that they actually mostly talked negative (6) or ones they just thought didn’t work (2), my problem with the entire article is that it doesn’t have a single Logo in it. Not one. Those are all Titles. A Logo is a corporate emblem – you know, like the “DC” that prompted this entire article in the first place. Not the change in typeface for Spider-man. Those are Title changes – and Newsarama is welcome to talk about those, but they’re not Logos. It’s a shame because there are many comic Logos (from Marvel, Image, Eclipse, Eternity, NOW to many, many more) some of which are memorable, some of which have changed over time, and would have made for a great article. Unfortunately, this was not it – and it all stems from now understanding the definition of the word.


  • Rant – way back when I ranted about Barnes & Noble pulling DC books from their shelves when some of the titles went exclusive to Amazon Kindle Fire. I neglected to return to that particular rant when Amazon turned around and pulled the same thing when Marvel went exclusive with some books on the Nook Tablet. I’ve still got no skin in this game so to speak (I still think a laptop where I can pull out the screen to use as a tablet is the wave of the future, so we’ll talk when those start popping up after Windows 8) – but I have to go back to a story from a couple of weeks ago when Barnes & Noble executives started talking about selling off the Nook product. Sure, they went back on all that talk as soon as their stock started plummeting, but what’s amazing to me is that they were even thinking about this in the first place (and you know they’re still thinking about it). They were thinking to sell it because it’s profitable – well, hell, when your company is struggling that’s the time to sell of one of the profitable segments. Because the Nook playing in the crowded field of Tablets is bound to be huge without that built in link to the Barnes & Noble bookstore – the same thing that’s allowed the Kindle to do so well in a sea of failed tablets.


  • Rave – I love that some of my favorite Anime shows are getting some love recently, from this article on i09 about Robotech, to military scifi featuring Gundam on Tor. While Robotech wasn’t my first exposure to anime (that would be G-Force followed by Star Blazers), it was the first time I really got to see the whole series, exposing me to serial storytelling and a very complex scifi story through animation. As I’ve gotten older I actually enjoy the “New Generation” or Genesis Climber Mospeada more than my original favorite (Macross), but the entire series is well worth a look for any genre fan. Gundam is like the Battlestar Galactica (new series) of anime, and I’ve never understood why it hasn’t been a big hit on TV here in the US. It’s like the scifi equivalent of A Game of Thrones, with lots of viewpoints, no strict right or wrong, a large cast, a long war, political games, and lots of places for new fans to pick up and start watching. Definitely worth giving a try.


  • Rave – speaking of TV shows, I was happy to see SyFy announce a new series called Rewind. Sure it sounds like another show from a few years ago (not to mention Timecop), but it’s a good premise that’s never been made into an exceptional show. And I like it when TV channels actually start producing content that makes sense to their demographic. My wife and I love their Saturday night lame creature features (or destroy the world movies), which does have some tangential links to the SF&F basis of the network’s existence – but the Wrestling and Ghost Hunting… don’t fit for me. There are other networks for those things. I’ll try and remember to give Rewind a try when the time comes.

1 comment:

SQT said...

I gotta be honest, I think B&N will go out of business eventually. It's like the record industry-- brick and mortar storefronts are going away (like Borders). I don't think they're going to be able to compete with Amazon long-term. I have a Nook Color and I like it, but after playing with a Kindle Fire I've come to the conclusion that Amazon has the better product. B&N still doesn't carry as many digital titles either. I just don't see how they can keep enough market share to stay afloat.

I'll have to check out "Rewind." I hope it's good...