Sunday, October 14, 2012

Batman: Earth One by Geoff Johns

Quite a few people seem to hate reboots. Had it not been for Frank Miller's Year One, I might not have even fallen into the comic book world. At least, not respect the Dark Knight as much as I do. So when there's a reboot on a popular character's history, I'm all ears. While Geoff Johns's re-imagining of the mythos doesn't compare to Miller's, or Kane's for that matter, we shouldn't discredit it automatically. Instead, we should embrace it. This isn't the ruining of a character, this is introducing him to another generation of comic book goers.

What stays the same? Batman is still born into the darkness by the murders of his parents. He is still motivated to save the streets of Gotham in the end. And Alfred is still his guardian, friend, and snarky conscience.

The difference is, we have Alfred, not as a butler, but, as an old war acquaintance of Thomas Wayne. Speaking of which, Thomas Wayne is running for mayor of Gotham when he and his wife were killed. Of course, it is believed that the Mayor is responsible for this murder. Who is the mayor, you ask? Oswald Cobblepot. James Gordon is introduced as a broken man. Not crooked, just defeated by the ways of Gotham – his wife was killed in an auto accident which he believes was fixed. Harvey Bullock is a former Hollywood detective celebrity who acts as Gordon's conscience, motivating the defeated man to stand his ground against the scum.

Christopher Nolan started something with his Dark Knight trilogy – that much is clear. The realism  of this brave new Gotham fills the page in Gary Frank's art. And the life Geoff Johns breathes into familiar characters proves that this new take should stick around. And shame on those of you who say that this is a bastardized version of a beloved icon. Most of you aren't old enough to fully appreciate Bob Kane's work to begin with. The fact that Batman has evolved so much in his time in the comic book universe is proof of that. This isn't our Batman. It wasn't meant to be our Batman.

You can pick up Batman: Earth One at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Until next time, keep on huntin'.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Batman: The Black Mirror by Scott Synder

It'd be a lie if I said there was some skepticism on my part about Dick Grayson picking up the cowl. And whatever I did feel at first was exterminated. There is no doubt, Dick Grayson makes one hell of a Dark Knight, despite the differences in performance – even The Joker seems a little down in the dumps about it.

What Scott Synder does with this story arc is absolutely jaw-dropping. The reality vision of The Dark Knight Saga brought to life by Chris Nolan is entwined with our favorite comic book aspects. Dick Grayson learns that Gotham isn't the city of his childhood. It isn't even the city he knew a few months ago. And as Jim Gordon suggests, there's something dark about the city, something evil running through its veins that just make the people living within it bad. Enter James Gordon, son of the commissioner, whose shady past still haunts him. Whenever James is around, bad things happen to good people. And while Barbara Gordon isn't convinced that her step-brother has turned a new leaf, both Dick and Jim are giving the guy the benefit of the doubt. Besides, there's no time to focus on just one person when there is a slew of new villains walking the streets. And not to mention everyone's favorite clown breaks free from Arkham. But can this new Batman connect the pieces before all those he loves pays the price?

As I said, Scott Synder creates a new world for Batman. A world where the criminals match Dick Grayson's version. As for the artists, creating a depraved world isn't easy. But both Jock and Francesco Francavilla did awesome jobs.

You can pick up Batman: The Black Mirror at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Until next time, keep on huntin'.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fifty Shades of Red Riding Hood by R. R. Hood

I'm sure the fact is exhausted – I really loathed Fifty Shades of Grey. It's terrible writing that managed to slip by publishers and fool good readers into thinking this is what erotica really is – shitty fan-fiction romance of an even shittier story. That said, I'm also incredibly tired of Fifty Shades parodies and spin-offs. That was until I stumbled across Fifty Shades of Red Riding Hood.

I took the liberty of highlighting several lines and passages I loved, which I've posted on Chapin City Blues.

Little Red Riding Hood isn't so little anymore, but she's still being stalked by a wolf while romancing the woodcutter. But there's something about the way this wolf treats her. Something about the way he carries himself. Whatever it is, her inner goddess craves it. Only one question, is Red Riding Hood willing to go along with what Mr. Wolf has in mind?

It's incredible how the author mimics the terrible writing style of E.L. James and never betrays it. Inner goddess, jeez, or something, constant references to her virginity, flood the pages of this short story parody. The only problem I had with the book was the after note about abusive relationships, as if condemning the sexual relationship found in Fifty Shades of Grey.

Fifty Shades of Red Riding Hood is available for $0.99 on Amazon

Monday, October 8, 2012

Wolf at the Backdoor by Marilyn More

I know what you're thinking, how could this not be a good story? Just look at the title - Wolf at the Back Door: An erotic tale of Anal Excitement. Notice the lack of capitalization in erotic tale. No. No, gentle reader. That's not important. What's important is the writer's ability to tell it. Yes. And let's just see some of those Shakespearean lines, shall we (to be linked shortly). As usual, to appease the advertisers, I've taken the liberty to censor the image.

As to not give too much away, let me summarize the story. A woman learns her husband is having an affair, so she answers a personal ad. There isn't too much character development - her sex life pretty much goes from bang bang bang to leave me the fuck alone, woman! There isn't any build up to the sex either, unless you consider pornographic cliches as build up (but that's pretty much like saying hugs and kisses are considered foreplay - I'm sorry to break the news, Ann Romney).

I will give Marilyn More some credit though; it takes brass balls to pull off what she did. I mean, giving us zingers like "'Oh my GOD, yes, fuck my ass baby!'" shows some initiative, and confesses that she has her own porn stash.

Wolf at the Back Door is only $0.99 on Amazon. Until next time, keep on huntin'.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

First Cool Day of the Season Book Finds

Considering that I went to bed at four-in-the-morning the night before, I was quite chipper when I awoke to the sound Ruby Gloom. "It's a nice day," Jyg exclaimed. "We're taking Shaun out. Are you awake?" Even though my mind was rested, this still didn't make sense. So I managed a 'hu' and she filled me on how autumn finally arrived. That explained why my a/c wasn't working.

We headed out to IHOP, but so did the rest of the city. We settled for DQ instead. Hey, if we couldn't have pancakes, the least we could do was get Blizzards. Shaun fell asleep before we got to the park, so we detoured to the Dollar Tree. That's where I found Point Omega by Don DeLillo and Michael Caine's The Elephant to Hollywood. Both were just a dollar each. However, we did walk out the store with $57 dollars worth of Halloween decorations.

Until next time, keep on huntin'.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tied Up & Twisted by Alison Tyler

Dear Alison Tyler

Several times I have riddled this blog with declarations of love, and the fear of being redundant is settling in. Your latest piece published under Harlequin Spice banner(?) has set my infatuation with you in stone.

As you stated in your blog, you poured a lot of your own fantasies into this work. That alone was all the motivation I needed to click purchase on Amazon.

There's no need to rehash the book – you wrote it; it's not as if I'm writing a review in the form of a letter to you. Oh wait. Never mind.

The book is swelling (is that a good word?) with emotion (you'll have to read it to see what sort of emotion I'm talking about here). Hadley is someone to fall in love with immediately. A former domme turned sub who still carries a few traits of her old life seeks out an older gentlemen (used loosely), while her former sub still pines after her. Everything is wrapped neatly, but I don't expect anything less from you.

Your writing is captivating. I have to set aside some time, otherwise there'll be trouble. I get lost in your words that I find it easy to ignore "bottom" which irked me in another erotic piece. Yet, I loved Frost's use of it. How can you make such an innocent, elementary word sound so enticing? Your writing always reminds me of the words of famous film critic, Roger Ebert – "No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough." Rest assured, Ms. Tyler (can I call you Ms. Tyler?), your writing always leaves me wanting more.



P.S. You (other reader, not Alison Tyler) can purchase Tied up & Twisted for your Kindle or Nook. Until next time, keep on huntin'.