Glossing over reasons for any extended period of time in which nothing was posted, let me reassure my vocal, massive public that I still love comics and good TV and that Saturday mornings with coffee are a good time to blog.
Let's get right to it shall we?
I'll start with Buffy, as one might expect of a devoted, lifelong fan (my college application listed my email address as VSlayer8 at aol.) Season 8 wrapped up this week after about a century of increasingly bad storylines. I know I've given Whedon a lot of flak in recent years (Dollhouse, Doc Horrible, nepotism) as any true fan has a right to, and I'd love to stop. But Joss obviously wants more negativity, or else he would not have written "Last Gleaming."
He killed Giles. Rupert Giles. I was kinda pissed during the whole Angel-is-Twilight reveal (Ben is Glory?) but this is just plain, nonsensical murder. I actually didn't feel much rage, to be honest. There was a moment of shock, surprisingly brief, and then something clicked in my head. Immediately I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that the entire 39 issues of this comic were not canon. Had never been canon. Will never be canon. Buffy ended with that hopeful smile at the edge of a Sunnydale crater. This comic experiment is just crazy fanfic that brain-addled creators of the original authorized. And yes, I'll probably buy Season 9, because it's much like Victoria Beckham not buying a purse in a fancy purse shop, but there is zero belief that what they show Buffy to be up to in life is actually where she is. (Still in Italy, definitely.) Whedon has wounded me, but hope remains for The Avengers, as well as whenever Cabin in the Woods sees daylight.
In general, my main complaint with the comic writing world is the obsession with 6-issue story arcs. I love a good story, a nice epic this-will-change-everything-but-not-enough-to-stop-you-from-buying crossover, guest stars, resurrections, etc. But when it takes six months to unfold and in the end makes you sorely lament the 25 bucks you shelled out (Shadowland) it's a big old failure. Half the time I can't remember what occurred in the last issue when I start reading the next. Not a good sign for the writing.
We need comics that can do one-offs. Old school X-Men had big storylines all the time, but plenty of individual issues where Storm was doing something awesome, or they used Longshot's powers to return stolen treasure to people on Christmas, or Jubilee went rollerskating with a temporarily mobile Professor X.
You know who's good at that? Bryan Q. Miller. Batgirl is by far one of the best comics out there. Even issues that are part of a 4-issue arc feel like standalones. Fun, funny, exciting, fresh but still with continuity goodness, he's made me realize why I used to kinda like Stephanie Brown (other than that Tim Drake liked her.) Even more important, he made me realize why Batman made her Robin for awhile; he saw potential. And dear God is she living up to hers now. Buy it.
The other exception to the pain and frustration of a long, muddling story arc is Avengers: Children's Crusade. The Young Avengers are awesome, Jim Cheung is awesome, Scarlet Witch is awesome. These things were known. But somehow, despite having one chapter every 2 months or so, I know exactly what happened in the last installment, and it is consistently enjoyable and monumental. I mean, they found the Scarlet Witch! She's talking on page to the greatest gay Jew geek superhero ever created! (See blog post title.) She took years of negative retconning but she's back on her feet, and hopefully not going anywhere. Now Iron Lad's back too! Sure, some of the others don't get a lot of lines, like Cassie, but she was in a main Avengers book for awhile, and what with her stature (hyukhyuk) she gets a lot of solid face time in any Avengers Assemblage splash pages. Buy it, read it, reread it, squeal when the next part comes out.
Bendis' driving of the Avengers helm, post mini reboot, has been pretty good as well. Seems it would be better to read them all in trades, but at least they don't often disappoint. Also, bringing the Infinity Gauntlet back, outing the Illuminati, and giving Jessica Jones a lot of pages are welcome developments. The Oral History is maybe not so much. I am a voracious reader (yes, of prose. New weekly comics only last about an hour, max) but for some reason, after all the pretty pictures and superheroes and dialogue bubbles, turning the page to find a lot of long Bendis rambling is oppressive. I rarely read the whole thing, telling myself I'll come back to it. Never do. If you have any willpower when it comes to spending money, wait for Trades. Also, teach me how to have that.
Notable mentions: Red Robin (cause, Duh, it's Tim Drake.) X-Factor (Peter David is fantastic.) Anything DnA write (excited for the Annihilators, but I miss all the Guardian characters who are not represented--what are they up to now? Jack Flag, Mantis, Gamora, Bug, etc.?) Brightest Day has a nice vintage feel to it (who knew I liked Dove and Deadman so much?) X-Men Legacy (best Xbook out there. Can't wait for Fraction to leave Uncanny. And Age of X is looking pretty incredible.)
As for TV, well, there ain't nothing on that's better than Fringe. (I can say that because new Doctor Who season hasn't begun.) Anna Torv deserves an emmy for her Bolivia(Fauxlivia?) acting extravaganza. I even love Joshua Jackson suddenly. Also, naming their first Friday episode "Firefly" is like being handsome and talking to me about naval history. (Read: I am in love with you.)
I have not, as of yet, seen the first new episode. It was on last night, and I fully intended to support the immediate DVR-playback numbers, but there was a thing with whiskey and a best friend, and it just didn't happen. Can't wait to see the ratings though.
The big thing to look forward to, Fringe aside, would be new Doctor Who. The Doctor and Amy (and Rory) in America! River Song stands revealed! (Is she a Timelord?) The Silence Will Fall! (Sounds like Davros!) Cybermen! (Parentheses!)
All-in-all, it's not a bad time to be a sci/fi/fantasy/superhero geek. And in terms of literature, while I wait with a finely honed google alert for the final books in Alvin Maker and Ender/Bean series, Orson Scott Card has begun a new series that looks fairly wonderful. Once the next paycheck clears, I plan on finding The Lost Gate at my nearest almost-bankrupt huge bookstore. Until then, read the first two chapters for free here.
Also, if you haven't read C.S. Lewis' Space trilogy, find a wormhole to your nearest Used Book store and buy it.