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Ahaha, man, I feel ridiculous.

Okay, so. DC Comics Bombshells is an AU/AH title based off a line of collectors' statues, which is based in turn off of a series of retro-styled pinup prints. It features a number of DC heroines and villainesses in an alternate 40s setting. It's got some fun world-building and character design, shines a new light on its version of the female characters by having them predate or even uproot their male counterparts and features a number of f/f relationships. I've been meaning to check it out for ages and finally got around to ordering the first two trades a few weeks ago. Today, I finally got around to sitting down to read them.

Now, I was aware that one of the main romantic relationships in the title is a take on one that broke up two of my preferred ships in the main DC universe. Tbh, that's part of what kept me from giving in sooner. But I still loved the look of what was going on and I'm a fan of the writer, so I dragged myself over it. Besides, I figured, my understanding was that the ship in question doesn't pop up for a little while; probably I could get into the story enough to overlook it. Or, hey, maybe the fact that it's an AU would let me accept it without issue.

Yeah... no. No, the ship does not take its time in showing up-- it's there in the first dozen pages. And, no, the whole AU thing does not wash the bitter taste out of my mouth. For all that I was loving what I was seeing up until then-- for all that I can appreciate what I was seeing even then-- I had to put the book down.

I'm still gonna read it, don't get me wrong. And I still think I'm going to enjoy it. I just am having a stronger than expected negative response to this specific point and, you guys, is my face ever red for it...
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This is an established general fact, but the evidence currently on the table regards IDW Publishing's run of Transformers comics. What's so wrong with IDW's Transformers collections, asks absolutely no one? Well, I'll tell you.
A bit of context first: IDW has been putting out Transformers comics steadily since acquiring the license in 2004, starting off their run on the brand with a succession of miniseries and one-shot character-centric Spotlights set in a rebooted Gen One universe that took cues from Marvel's Ultimate universe, written and built primarily by Transformers veteran Simon Furman. These books sold, but weren't drawing the warm reception that the company hoped for. In 2008, they switched tracks. While still putting out miniseries and one-shots, they tugged the reigns from Furman's hands and passed them along to newcomer Shane McCarthy, who revamped IDW's main output with ongoing title All Hail Megatron. Telling a story somewhat more inspired by that of the original cartoon, it was intended as a jumping-on point for new fans, especially casual fans more familiar with the cartoon universe. It, uh. It didn't go over well. Reconfigured as a maxiseries, the title wrapped up in 2009 after sixteen issues. It was soon followed by yet another intended jumping-on point ongoing, this time titled simply The Transformers, helmed by another newcomer, Mike Costa. It... wasn't terribly well-received either, though it ran nearly twice as many issues as its predecessor. IDW took another chance on yet another jumping-on point and found the third time to be the charm. One-shot The Death of Optimus Prime set the stage for twin ongoings Robots in Disguise and More than Meets the Eye, penned by John Barber and James Roberts respectively, both still running today-- though Robots in Disguise has been through a renaming and both titles are set to be renamed and renumbered in October-- and both critical and fan darlings.
Of these two, it's More than Meets the Eye that holds my heart. I was introduced to the series through [community profile] scans_daily  and finally checked it out proper thanks to Humble Bundle offering, as I recall, all then-current volumes and issues available-- in digital, natch. I've been following pretty faithfully since then, also in digital. More and more, however, I've been craving the series in hard copy. For all digital's advantages, I like to have something to hold sometimes when I'm reading. Having a physical copy also grants me the option of lending the title out to people I've been trying to get to read it. And, at a glance, I'm in luck! IDW is pretty quick to collect their titles in trade, and in a small variety of options even. So, again no one asks, what's the problem? A combination of questionable choices on the publisher's behalf and my own picky aesthetic preferences.
More than Meets the Eye is available in nine-- soon to be ten-- volumes. Only, no, it actually isn't. Remember those Spotlight one-shots I mentioned earlier? Those pretty much came to a halt back in 2009, with only one being published in 2010 and then only because the story, originally intended as part of the ongoing The Transformers, was needed to placate irate fans of the title character (Prowl) after a questionable bit of characterization. The Spotlight line made a brief comeback in 2012, however, as a series of pack-in tie-ins to the Transformers Generations toyline as well as forming together a soft prequel to the then-upcoming Dark Cybertron event. Two of the six titles, Spotlight: Trailcutter and Spotlight: Hoist, take place between the pages of More than Meets the Eye. Despite this, the powers that be have not seen fit to release a More than Meets the Eye collection which includes them.
But, okay, so a couple of character-focus issues are missing. They have a bit of foreshadowing and some characterization context, in addition to featuring characters who don't usually get the-- if you'll excuse me-- spotlight, but ultimately don't affect the story in any major way. A person could go through the run never knowing either of them-- Hoist in particular-- exist and not have any trouble following what's going on (though they may wonder what Trailguy's beef is in More than Meets the Eye #6 and wonder when Rodimus started handing out medals modeled after his own face). Is that enough to say the series hasn't "really" been collected? Even I would agree that, no, it isn't-- but that isn't all that's missing. You know what else you won't find in any IDW volume with More than Meets the Eye written on the side? More than Meets the Eye issues #23 through #27, that's what. See, those issues are the title's tie-in to the aforementioned Dark Cybertron event, a crossover marking the first time the casts of More than Meets the Eye and Robots in Disguise would meet again since the titles launched. Because they form a whole story along with issues #23-#27 of Robots in Disguise and the event's beginning and ending one-shots Dark Cybertron #1 and Dark Cybertron: Finale, they are instead collected-- understandably, even I can admit-- in the Dark Cybertron trades.
What does that mean for a shelf of More than Meets the Eye trades? It means, if you want the series in order, you go from More than Meets the Eye Volumes 1 through 6 to Dark Cybertron Volumes 1 and 2 (or the full run Dark Cybertron hardcover) to More than Meets the Eye Volume 7 onward. To round the title off, you'd need the upcoming Titans Return event trade, which will be collecting issues #56 and #57, which form a two-part tie-in story to the Titans Return event. And you'd still be missing Spotlights: Trailcutter and Hoist, unless you also stick in the Dark Prelude trade, in which all the 2012 Spotlights are collected; they'd be out of order, though, since they take place between the fifth and sixth issues of More than Meets the Eye, which are both collected in Volume 2. Some, perhaps even many, would be unbothered by this disarray. I am not among those many. The very idea curls my lip.
Lo, but there is another way. Starting in 2010, IDW sought to collect its entire output in oversized (typically over three hundred-page) hardcover volumes in a roughly chronological/"suggested reading" order. Phase Two of the initiative, collecting The Death of Optimus Prime onward, began hitting shelves in 2014. The day is saved, right? Not exactly, for a few reasons.
First and foremost-- Phase Two Volume 4, due out this month, will see More than Meets the Eye collected in this format up to issue #16; the title is currently on issue #56. If I want the full run on the title in my mits, this isn't going to satisfy me anytime soon. The second reason casts a wary eye upon the first phase of the line, which is riddled with questionable placement of stories. There's been no tell of such a thing so far in Phase Two, but there hasn't been much to mess up yet either, since the collection is at a point where IDW's Transformers output wasn't terribly busy. Not that the post-Death years in general have been nearly as busy as IDW's first few, and the story has been told in a more linear fashion, but there are one-shots and miniseries still to be collected, as well as a third ongoing title. I can't help worrying. The final sticking point is easily the pettiest, relating to one of said miniseries to eventually be collected in this phase. It is Sins of the Wreckers, loose sequel to the only pre-Death story I especially care about, miniseries Last Stand of the Wreckers. Last Stand is also the only pre-Death IDW Transformers comic I own-- in fact, I own it physically, in both soft and hardcover, though I'm looking to sell of the former. It's been my intention to get the softcover trade and later the hardcover of Sins for some time, but I won't need to if it's properly collected in the Phase Two hardcovers (admittedly questionable, as the first phase hardcovers are missing Last Stand's bonus story content). Which would mean having everything post-Death in the Phase Two collections and then just Last Stand on its comparatively little lonesome. Or everything post-Death in the Phase Two collections, plus an extra trade of Sins. Which would be on the opposite end as the lone Last Stands, if I maintain the order, as is my wont.
I'm not going to deny that I have petty grievances-- but, honestly? Yeah. Comic collections are really freaking obnoxious.
dustbunny105: (Default)
 Uuugh, I wanna try to do NaNoWriMo this year but I dropped the ball on actually, y'know, deciding on what I want to write. Now, it's the second and I have nothing at all to show. I have ideas, but few of them are developed at all-- and, naturally, those are the ideas I'm most caught up on. I suppose I really should sit down with the massive original verse I've been casually developing for over a decade, but it's so tangled up in my mind that I don't know where to start (and, honestly, the prospect of putting it all into words at this point is sort of intimidating...). My top possibilities as of right now:

a) Lesbian vampire turf war story (I wrote a small portion last year, but so little I can probably discard that and start over)
b) Lesbian superhero story (I haven't figured out who the Big Bad is or what they're up to)
c) Supernatural lady detective story (almost certainly unable to carry fifty thousand words)
d) Fanfiction (this is honestly a throw-away, I have no ideas whatsoever right now for a longfic)
e) Yes, fine, something with my main original verse (would probably be disjointed fleshing out rather than a proper story)

I guess if I don't have anything started by the fifth, I'll just drop it. I was really hoping to do it this year, though, in that back-of-the-mind kind of way that only hits you when the cards are already down.
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There are a number of reasons I'm fond of Tumblr, but it sucks as a platform for discussion. And, okay, I knew that going in, but I didn't anticipate just how frustrating, say, looking for people talking about new episodes of stuff would be. On forums, there are threads, often designated threads. On journal comms, there are discussion posts where everyone gathers. On Tumblr, there are posts upon posts hidden behind cuts that might contain thoughtful insight or might contain two-sentence, nondescript flailing. Not that I have anything against the latter on principle, mind you, but it's not what I'd consider worth opening a new tab for. Just. Bleh. Whatever.

I clearly need to ease myself back into the journaling platforms.
dustbunny105: (Default)
I feel like I haven't posted in a long time, but maybe that's just a testament to how long I can go before craving the sound of my own voice (figuratively speak, obviously). As is my usual, I have nothing particular or interesting to say, so I'll just present some miscellany for consideration.

First of all, because I don't think I've mentioned it before, I am now down to three cats. Surrey went missing on the fourth or fifth of July (we can't quite agree when she was last seen). On the bright side, she's chipped, so in the event that she makes her way to a shelter, we'll get a call. In the meantime, I just hope she's safe and happy wherever she is.

That said and out of the way, I have decided that the bulk of this post will be dedicated to me whining about work. I hate it. And, I mean, usually when I say I hate something, I'm being overly dramatic. I'm certainly overreacting. But, no. I Hate. Working. At Walmart. I legitimately dreamed of burning my store down and salting the earth, and I was legitimately disappointed to wake up.

Like, okay, I've actually been getting pretty decent hours as of late and the trend looks to be continuing over the next couple weeks. Yay for that. Does this increase in time show in the state of my department at the end of the day? Not typically, no, because I'm not spending that time on the floor. Many days, I spend a third or even half of my shift working the front end. Why? Because we're down a good number of our cashiers lately and the cashiers we do have get shafted on hours. It's cheaper to pull register-trained people off the floor than it is to hire more cashiers and schedule them reasonably.

As if that wasn't enough, two people in apparel have been fired within the last week or so. That means the apparel schedule is going to show us as having two more people than we do for about the next three weeks. The reason for the firings I've heard third-hand is attendance issues, and if that's true, I am so pissed off that my teeth ache. One of the women fired was a new hire, only around for about two weeks; the other was a good worker who made a mistake with her schedule and ended up a no-call, no-show for one day. And someone decided they were both better off fired than just scolded? Just as we're getting into the back-to-school rush? For the love of criminy, this weekend is Tennessee's tax holiday! Most of the apparel departments are going to be strewn across the freaking floor, and we're down by two people? Our zone manager insisted that we're properly manned for the weekend, but I know for a fact that three of us remaining aren't there today, so I don't have high hopes for the next two days.

Speaking of the next two days-- through gritted teeth, rest assured-- if I don't kill anyone, I think I should get a parade. A full-on parade, with balloons and floats and candy and musical acts of my choice. I've been scheduled a four to midnight shift for both days, and I have no doubt that I'll be spending much of those shifts running a register. I hung around until midnight last night so I could pick up some things while they lasted-- and, man, was it ever crowded with people trying to avoid the crowds. I heard about half of the night shift paged up to open registers, and that was just for the people willing to be at Walmart at midnight for back-to-school shopping. And on top of the tax holiday, it's the beginning of the month, so people on food benefits will be coming out to get their grocery shopping done. Even just thinking of how crowded it's gonna be, and how hot and stuffy, and what a mess... Yeah, I want a parade. Thankfully, I'm off on Monday, so my intention is to clock out, come home and sleep until Tuesday.

So, uh. I ended up being a lot more negative than I originally intended when deciding to make a post. To finish off on a high notes, my collection of office supplies that I don't actually need has been padded out the wazoo \o/
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Especially when they follow late shifts, but that isn't my problem today. Korra thoughts are eating my brain and I still don't get to go home for hours. I almost don't watch it for fear of it sucking, hence why I wish I had been able to watch it on time. Ah,well. Back to lunch.

Edit: Finally got around to watching. Smh.
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For the second time in two days! Whoo! Now being able to sit in my own room and whine about my troubles at my own leisure, I present to you, Hal and Al's Harrowing Adventure! (or, HAHA!)

Cut because I'm long-winded )

That tale's been told, on to miscellaneous pet news:

I've talked before about my snake, Isis, and how very much she loves to escape her tank and hide out for however long it take us to find her again. I last posted about finding her hiding in a closet in mid-December. What I failed to update about two weeks later was that she escaped again. I bring this up now because we found her two days ago. Yes, really. She was a few houses down in my brother's friends' yard. Yes, really. She's home and doing well now-- under much stricter surveillance and in a much more heavily reinforced tank, as you can imagine-- although we weren't sure what to think when she was first found. She hasn't eaten the rat we got her, but it's always been her habit to let her food hang out for a day or two before eating it, so I'm not sure whether that's something to worry about.

I don't know what the deal is, but Gremlin has been really aggressive lately. I first noticed it in how she treats the stray tom that hangs around on our steps, and that didn't surprise me too much; she has a lot of feelings about new animals on her territory. However, I've also noticed that she's been taking swipes at Surrey and Scamp when they've done nothing to provoke her except walk past her. Not to say this behavior is entirely out of her norm, but she's been doing it far more often than usual. There have been no problems between her and us people, though, aside from her occasional weird cat moods. I'm not sure what to think of it.

To close: I GOT NEW HAMSTERS! I wasn't sure I wanted to get more hamsters after Theo, even though I knew I wanted some kind of small and probably furry animal, but I couldn't resist after seeing them at the pet shop. They're a couple of robo hamsters I've named Nut and Bolt. Tiny little guys, and hard to hold onto, but I look forward to hand-training them. I was planning to get a scorpion as well while I was there, but decided against it after talking with the salesman. Tatiana's old tank isn't as suitable as I'd thought it would be, especially for an emperor in a house with cats. Maybe next time, when I'm better prepared for it.

Finishing this post off on a fangirling note: Has anyone else seen the leaked first episode of Legend of Korra? OMG, CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS SHOW.


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