A Chronology project.
Kathy eye

Recently, I began a great and mighty Endeavor. You see, I wanted to start reading comic books again. Specifically, Marvel comics in the main 616 universe. (For the unaware, Marvel embraces the concept of "alternate realities" so endemic to comics to the extent of having one character [Reed Richards, of the Fantastic Four] actually create a numbering system for them. 616 is the principle reality in which the majority of Marvel titles are set.)

But actually figuring out what books I wanted to buy turned out to take quite a lot of research, and eventually, a really elaborate chart. Since I don't think my situation is all that unique, I wanted to post such chart upon the interwebs, that others who might find it Of Use would have the option.

Being a chart showing in what order marvel comics should be read, from 2009-present, and an overly-verbose explanation as to my reasoning in constructing it.Collapse )

Edit: Now contains Fantastic Four, Hulk, and Wolverine-related titles.

Edit 2: Now contains Spiderman, Daredevil, and other solo titles, and I am begining to incorporate the new post-AvX Marvel Now! titles.

Edit 3: Now largely complete for 2009-present, working on 2000-2009.

Vampire Diaries Season 3
Damon/Elena cute
So, I haven't been posting much about this season of the vampire diaries, largely because it hasn't been leaving me with a lot I want to say. I can see the way the plot arcs have to flow, but this show is really really good about taking unexpected routes, so almost all my reactions have incorporated too much, "well, I guess I'll have to wait and see if I understand what they're doing with this" for it to seem worth talking about it much.

However! After last nights brou-ha-ha, there are a couple of things I want to comment on, most specifically: my feelings about the general emotional landscape this season.

Cut for those on my flist who don't care about all my Vampire Diaries thoughtsCollapse )

It should not be this hard to buy comic books.
Kathy eye
Books I ordered arrived today; baby!Loki, yay! (Baby!Loki is awesome; I highly recommend the new Journey into Mystery series. Highly.) And, luckily, it turns out I guessed right about what books I wanted, so double yay!

It kind of annoys me that there was guesswork involved, though, I have to say.

I mean, I'm a nerd. I read a lot, and I like to re-read things. I enjoy comics, but since I like to have nice copies of things, and I don't like to buy things twice, I usually prefer to wait until the trade/graphic novel version of something comes out, rather than pick up the monthly comic books. I hang out almost exclusively with other nerds, many of whom do follow quite a few of the monthly releases.

If I think to myself, "I want to own a nice hardcover copy of baby!Loki's adventures, as begun in Thor #617 and continuing in Journey into Mystery #622 onwards", it should not take me an hour of research across multiple websites to decide which books contain those issues, and at the end of said research, I should not feel only mostly sure that I've ordered the right books.

Would it be so hard, Marvel and DC, to maintain some kind of list of what issues are in what trade edition, that one could reference? For that matter, given that a lot of your characters move freely through books, why is it that I cannot go to your site and say, "I want to read about Iron Man!" and obtain from you a list of the graphic novels he appears in in chronological order?

Because I have to say, given how much work it is for me, who follows comics, to figure out what I need to buy to get the stories I'm interested in, I have to expect that any casual or returning reader has a non-zero chance of giving up and wandering off.

(I suspect this would also be a good way to increase their sales to women by lots, since ladies are way more likely, I think, to be invested in character arcs. Put together a list of, say, all graphic novels in which Magneto figures heavily, arrange them in a sensible order so people can follow the story contained therein, and Magneto fangirls will buy them.

In conclusion: baby!Loki is awesome. Anyone who ever wanted to see a redemption story wherein Loki decided evil had gotten too predictable, so why not kill himself and be reborn as an adorable 8-year-old version of himself that wasn't burdened by all his issues: Marvel has what you want.

New Year's Resolution
Kathy eye
So, the holiday season kicked my ass. I have more bookmarks on pinboard than I care to think about that I need to format and tag. To say nothing of my habit of adding new levels of tagging complexity periodically and then not going back to make compliant earlier bookmarks. -_-

New Year's Resolution the first: get my bloody tags in order.

New Year's Resolution the second: get my drawing speed up to something useful. My beautiful tablet laptop et itself a few weeks back, and though I immediately replaced it with a much faster model, I am now having to relearn how to draw. Steve the graphics tablet is a lot more temperamental than Itachi the laptop was, alas.

But since I am nothing if not a procrastinator, yuletide recs list probably coming before either of those.

A Man of Wealth and Taste
Red riding hood
So, as previously threatened, this is another of my older mixes. This need to make this one kind of struck like a bolt of lightening when I first heard the song that has since become track no. 1.

This is, as should surprise no one who knows me and my tastes in characters very well, a Lucifer playlist. Not Supernatural Lucifer --though there are, of course, elements-- not any specific Lucifer. This is the archetype of the devil as a literary figure, and to my great satisfaction, I believe it is both narratively and theologically sound. Fundamentally, it's about pride, the destructiveness thereof, and how redemption can be had for the asking but not at any other price.

An unfortunate number of the songs on this playlist turn up on other lists I've made, but it can't be helped; I think I managed to be using them all very differently here. This is conceived as a dialogue between the Devil, God, and Man, and is one of my absolute favorites of all the mixes I've made.

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Tesla II: Lonely at the Top of the Lightening Rod
fairytale endings
So, I apologize in advance to anyone on my f-list who is entirely uninterested in my nerdish mix cds; I'm going to be uploading a few that I never got around to posting before this weekend. There may or may not be a post about what I think is the root cause of Alaric's issue with Damon flirting with Elena to break it up (hint: I don't think it's the vampirism or the murdering that's principally bothering him), but that depends on if my thoughts arrange themselves into some kind of coherency.

Meantime! This mix is kind of a do-over. I was never very happy with the mix I made for the "Historical Figures" challenge (for which I drew Nicolai Tesla). I tried too hard to shoehorn in songs about mad science, and too many of them didn't have nearly enough to do with Tesla. As a result, the mix always sounded disjointed and incoherent. Since it was bothering me, I went back, stripped out everything I thought wasn't working, and retooled the mix along new lines based on the little from version one that I thought was on the right track.

Conclusion: This is now an Edison/Tesla slash mix. I don't know whether to blame my brain or my mp3 collection, but I was clearly sabotaged by *something*. Fair warning: this is bittersweet at best. Their relationship didn't end well in real life, and the slash musical version is no different.

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Quarterly Mix CD Exchange: Fictional Places
Once again, the time is upon us for the Nerd Collective's Quarterly Mix Exchange. This time, our theme was "Fictional Places", and the prompt I drew was "The Court of Night-Blooming Flowers", from Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series, for imifumei.

It was an interesting exercise in how difficult it is to find music about sex that isn't tawdry, angsty, shippy, angry, or something to be ashamed of. There was a certain very specific tone, and even more specific sound that I wanted to achieve here, and to be honest, I'm not sure how close I came. Closer to the mark then I was with the Tesla mix, anyway. (Speaking of which, I have actually totally redone that, I was so dissatisfied with it; would people like me to repost version 2, now with added Edison/Tesla shippiness?)

Without further ado:

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Apocalypse Now
Kathy eye
In the persuit of imposing some kind of order on my online life, I'm posting some of the old mix cd lists I've made for purposes of sharing with friends and not actually ever linked anywhere that they could be found.  Should my unusual and possibly questionable musical tastes and how I relate said tastes to to random concepts be of no interest to you, my appologies.

This particular mix was made by me about half a year ago, and is my ode/love letter to seasons 4 & 5 of Supernatural,  a show that is occasionally wildly problematic, but which I couldn't help loving anyway.

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Quarterly Mix CD Exchange: Colors
So, for this edition of the Quarterly mix exchange, the topic was "color", and the specific color I was assigned was a peachy-pink poppy color which Brina, who chose it, called "Tequila Sunrise". I had a plan for this color; I was going to create an Alice in Wonderland themed playlist, and it was going to be charming.

I have literally *no idea* how this happened instead-- but this is the mix that wanted to be created, and I eventually caved.  It is about sunrise, and sunset, and the ocean.  And mermaids. 

1.  Wind in the Pipes, by Meg Davis
2. Ocean, by Dar Williams
3. Erased, by Vixy and Tony
4. Calypso, by Suzanne Vega
5. Ariel, by October Project
6. Diamond Crevasse, by Sheryl Nome
7. Arms of the Sea, by Heather Alexander
8. Captain Jack and the Mermaid, by Meg Davis
9. In the Sea, Soundtrack: The Last Unicorn
10. Calling the Moon, by Dar Williams
11. Voices of the Sea, by Heather Alexander
12. Scarlet, by Iwao Junko
13. Still Catch the Tide, by Seanan McGuire
14. Tell me What the Rain Knows, by Yoko Kanno
15. First Rising Tide, by Alexander Adams
16. Into the West, Soundtrack: Return of the King
17. Balance of Nature, by Alexander Adams

Vampire Diaries: As I Lay Dying reactions
Damon/Elena cute
Well, that was a really excellent episode. Thoughts I had, in no particular order:

Is it me, or did we get a story arc about Damon coming to terms with his humanity, now to be followed by a story arc about Stefan coming to terms with his vampire-ness?

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