healing america (by beating people up)


I have to confess that I’m unreasonably enthusiastic about a comic book called Nextwave. I picked it up because it’s written by Warren Ellis, currently my favorite comic book writer. However, his books are usually fairly serious (with the humor, if there is any, provided by his characters’ trademark insults and snarky comments about each other), but this book is an out-and-out comedy. The plot is basically irrelevant, the giant monsters, military-industrial conspiracies, stolen prototype airships and crazy, corrupt robot policemen are there for our amusement (and sometimes that of the characters as well).

The third issue is out now, and for the first couple of pages I thought it was going to be a little bit of a letdown. But then Ellie Bloodstone (super-powered monster-hunter, in pursuit of the aforementioned crazy, corrupt robot policeman – she’s the only member of the Nextwave team who doesn’t have the ability to fly) exits their stolen prototype airship in a little yellow sportscar. In midair.

The car bounces once on the pavement, with Ellie yelling, “Death Race 2000! I am President Frankenstein!” (which, in any other context but this book, would be a strange thing to say) and then she careens down the street, scattering pedestrians and smashing cars, yelling, “Drive on the proper side of the road, colonial scum! That’s it, yanks – make way for Miss Bloodstone! Miss Bloodstone is in control!

And she is, needless to say, one of the heroes (and, as helpful footnotes remind us periodically, she’s English).

When I read Nextwave on the subway, I tend to laugh immoderately, as I do when reading the “disgusting English candy drill” section of “Gravity’s Rainbow” and as my father did in college, when he read that somebody had been “consigned to a watery bier.”

It’s a little like “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” if those books were really silly. And only time will tell if it ends up being as good, of course.

Printable Chapters

In a new innovation (and another slight expansion of my PHP skills), there is now an option to open entire chapters in one file (as opposed to in a series of parts). I figure this might be useful for people who are printing them out so they can read them more easily.

I have not done this for the earliest chapters (partly laziness, and a couple of them are a bit too hypertext-y for this to really work well), but beginning with A Visit to Perry (where the plot really starts to get going), they can now be viewed either way.

So, here are the links for the chapters so far (in single-file form):

A Visit to Perry

A Visit to Perry (slightly longer version for people who have read the entire novel U-town, and you’re on the honor system here)

Return to U-town

On the Medical Team

And the next chapter will be Quartet, which will feature another day with the medical team, and a longer appearance by Pete.

the dent

I just found out that The Dent (which I linked to when I linked to other sites) is going to end after 10 years of serving the Tori Amos community. That’s too bad, but I completely understand why, given the enormous amount of work Mike Why has always put into the site.

Ten years seemed like a looong time, until I looked at my movie site and realized that it has been up for almost seven years. Still, I obviously don’t update it much anymore, so the situations are not really comparable.

The main reason I leave the site up is for the Robert Altman and Orson Welles reviews (and Ghost Dog), which I think are pretty good.

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