Sight of the Living Dead

The other day, I spied a lone DVD combo pack of Angel Seasons 1 & 2 at Target
for $19.99, which suggests that if the retail geography is kind either still or again you should be able to pick up the first four seasons of the series for less than ten bucks apiece like I did last year; Season 5 will have to be purchased singly.

Promo images from 'Angel' with David Boreanaz and Charisma Carpenter and 'The Vampire Diaries' with Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley

Meanwhile, The Vampire Diaries kicked off its summer repeats this week with Season 2’s premiere, and if you haven’t hit your exsanguination saturation point on the genre with the Great Buffy Rewatch — or you want to play a fun game of compare/
contrast in terms of approach between Diaries and either its predecessor Buffy or its contemporary rivals Twilight and True Blood — I highly recommend grabbing DVDs of Season 1 while recording Season 2 of this sudsy, escapist treat; I’m sorry that I didn’t get to warn you before it aired, because you really want to watch the series in full from the start and Season 2 won’t be out on home video until the fall.

Related: My Buffy Summer Vampire Weekend We Got a
Live One Here
Red Letter The Vampire Slayer Diaries

Ball Night Long

classic Phillies 'P' modified with crescent moon inside against starry night background

I was up late enough last night to watch my Phillies beat the Cincinnati Reds, 5-4,
in the 19th inning of their 6-hour, 11-minute game. It was the longest MLB matchup of 2011 so far, no surprise, as well as the longest game for the Phils since 1993 and longest for the Reds since 1972.

Sadly, I’d not seen any of it prior to the final inning — although I heard some of it on the radio and the post-game coverage provided a pretty good recap.

End of an Origin

Tom Welling as Clark Kent dressed in black standing atop an mirror-like Superman emblem which reflects him up to his waist in the familiar blue suit, red boots, and cape

The series finale of Smallville repeats on CW stations tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT. I watched it last Friday with hope, skepticism, and ultimately the same disappointment familiar to me from throughout the show’s 10-year run.

My in-depth reflections on this controversial adaptation of the Superman saga have proven difficult to wrangle, and if they’re not published soon they’ll have to hang out on the burgeoning scrapheap of abandoned posts. I certainly hope to get a piece online by November, when Smallville: The Complete Series is released by Warner in a 62-disc collectible package with all 218 episodes and special features not available on the season-by-season boxed sets. I just wish the subject was worth the effort. [Update: Here you go.]

Related: El on Earth Box Set Full of Kryptonite Failure to Launch

Zero Cents

Free Comic-Book Day - 1st Saturday in May!

Free Comic-Book Day marks its first decade on May 7th. This, as the name
suggests, is a day on which comic books are given out for free at comic-book shops throughout North America and possibly beyond. It’s held each year on the first Saturday in May; the inaugural event was tied to the release of the first Spider-Man film, and many of the issues offered tie in to well-known media properties — ones that originated in comic books most definitely included, like the Green Lantern and Captain America / Thor issues available this year. Publishers are encouraged if not required to have officially-branded FCBD material be suitable for all ages.

The FCBD website, hosted by Diamond Comic Distributors, includes a link to a store locator, a list of frequently asked questions about the day, and a showcase of issues being released this year, from Archie and Disney material to Ape’s Kung-Fu Panda to Bongo’s Simpsons / Futurama collection to more adult fare from Dark Horse to the aforementioned DC and Marvel superhero spotlights.

I don’t think that Free Comic-Book Day on the whole brings in new readers, and thus potential customers, the way its supporters initially hoped. But many shops do host a nice community event, perhaps including a sale on non-FCBD items; at worst, dedicated fans get exposure to material they might not otherwise sample at no cost.


May 1st is celebrated in various places as May Day with events greeting the season
of spring. The date has nothing to do with the international distress call “mayday” but seemed as good a time as any to offer some links for disaster relief.

Operation USA -- give and it gets there

I don’t write much about real-world stuff here on the blog, with the exception of family anecdotes. For a while now, though, I’ve been feeling like I should address the tragedies wrought in recent months by natural disasters.

We’ve had a notable string of such events going for the past several years, in fact, perhaps due in part to climate change but according to many geologists and meteorologists largely due to the fluke of earthquakes affecting more populated areas than usual — even if the number of such earthquakes (and resultant tsunamis) isn’t significantly greater than normal on a global average.