Tuesday, October 14, 2008


And in the realm of "every character is someone's favorite" I spent several hours talking King Arthur with a guy who said Tristan was his favorite knight.

But we bonded over hating that asshole Lancelot.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Why didn't any of you tell me to read this one earlier?

I have the perfect bathtub in my apartment here.  The one in Oklahoma was too small, and boxed into the wall so that you were extra-cramped.  But this one?  Perfect length to stretch out in, with open space for my head on one side.  It's not too big, not like a swimming pool, but it is just right to sit and read in.  And that's pretty much waht I've been doing since I got this apartment so far from the places with English-language comics are sold with the not entirely reliable internet service.

I've been making my way through the trade paperbacks that I bought while I was in the US and never got around to reading.  There's some stuff that was recommended by various people over the years (often the comic book store clerk), some of what I like to call "Fan research" (traded collections I bought because they were affecting the current storyline in books I was reading), books that have a writer/artist/character I am guaranteed to love, curiosity buys ("Hmm, everyone talks about how awesome this writer was, and here he is on a character I've never gotten into but am kind of interested in..."), and impulse buys based on genre.  Now, these have piled up for various reasons voer the years.  Sometimes I am not in te mood to read that genre anymore when I get home.  Sometimes I bought it knowing I wouldn't read it right away, but wanted to someday.  Sometimes I have every intentiopn of reading it, but it comes out the same week as Green Lantern or something that completely takes over my mindset for several months.

So today I come across The Tomb (Christina Weir, Nunzio Defillippis, Christopher Mitten).  Now, I bought this book over a year ago when I was looking for horror stories and I set it on a pile without thinking twice about it.  Ad now I feel very bad about that, because this is a story that I have wanted to read for years.  I was a big Indiana Jones fan as a kid.  Not in the "ooh, isn't he handsome and heroic" fan way that little girls are assumed to be (though oddly I've yet to meet a girl who was a fan of that sort of thing because she wanted to be the girlfriend in the story) but in a "that looks like the coolest way to live Mom can I be an archaeologist when I grow up, huh Mom huh Mom?!" way.

Utlimately, though, it was the adventure aspect and not the old things aspect that attracted me to the story, and Mom was spared the tuition payments as I shunned a lifetime of digging up ancient sites and meticulously cataloguing shards of terra cotta pottery.  To be honest, I've shunned a real life of adventure as well (I ended up going for a regimented, structured job that didn't require much actual thought, because thinking is hard) but I still fucking love adventure stories.

And I still fucking love adventure stories that involve dealing with the remnants of ancient civilizations.  It's why I'm such a reader of crackpot literature.

Anyway, as a kid I wanted an adventurer archaeologist who was a girl.  I really badly did, and honestly Lara Croft just didn't cut it for me.  Yeah, the <I>Tomb Raider</i> movie was fun at points, and so is the game but there's a cold two-dimensional aspect to the character that I think comes from ramping up her sex appeal to the detriment of warmth and humanity.  She never really won my interest.  Although I do like the character design (yes, even with the giant boobs--omeone women are built topheavy), there's something in her face that is just off.  Something artificial, though as she's a video game character and Harrison Ford was an actual living human being, I might be being a bit unfair here.  Still, Lara Croft just seems too robotic for me as a character.

This Jessica Parrish character, though?  She's got the warmth and humanity.  Not warmth as in Sue Richards maternal warmth, this is a college professor with the professional woman toughness vibe.  She's actually described as outwardly cold by the narrator (who also repeatedly describes her as strong, which would make me wince except the character's actions back up the narrator's impressions), but there's heart behind that coldness.  She's not a femmebot, she's a person.  The character rings true as a person.  Something no Croft story I've seen or read has managed.

So we have a short adventure/horror story set in the modern day about people who stole from old tombs and really shouldn't have, narrated by a crackpot tabloid journalist and starring a heroic female character.

So what I want to know is--are there more stories about this one?