Category Archives: Book

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this a long time ago. I believe I was a teenager. Maybe even younger. For some reason I keep envisioning Mrs. Ridgeway, the old lady who lived next door to us when I was a boy. I think, perhaps, I read it when I was younger.

I do recall a graphic novel in fifth grade that we read of this. I believe my mother was mortified that there was such a thing. Even I recall pausing that we had a “comic” to read; I knew we were better than that.

Anyhow, I love this book. Twain was a master and this was him at his best. I recall enjoying Huck’s adventures along the Mississippi. A free spirit. Something I have never been.
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In a couple of days I will be sailing on a paddle boat down the Mississippi River much as ol’ Huck did. Time for a re-read. And yeah, much I did not remember. I have a distinct image in my head from when I read this when I was younger. I suspect I had a different image in my head than this read provided.

Huckleberry Finn is a tortured soul who attempts to do right. Tom Sawyer is a boy who messes things up. I think before this read I had the images backwards.

Huck is cared for by the widow. She attempts to make Huck live a straight life. Sensing his father is near, Huck signs his $6,000 over to Judge Thatcher.


Indeed, Huck’s dad does show up drunk, obnoxious, and determined to get his hands on his boy’s money. He takes Huck away from the widow and basically locks him in a cabin in the woods. Huck, being resourceful breaks out and sets it up as though Hick was either murdered or kidnapped. The hunt is on.

On the same night, Jim, the widow’s save runs away. He and Huck hook up on the Mississippi and the adventures begin. One can tell Huck and Jim care for each other. Yes, the language is crass. But the emotions are real.

I didn’t quite get how Huck left Jim to live with Buck and his family for so long. It seems to me he just kind of left Jim. Likewise, I didn’t understand why they took on the Duke and the King as they did. I think they should have broken free of them much earlier. Also, why did they continue south into slave territory? I thought the plan was to turn at Cairo, MO. That was not explained for me to understand.

And then Tom shows up, 1.100 miles from home. Most improbably, methinks, for that age. Tom really bolloxes things up with his overly complicate plans. Huck had the clean, easy plan to break Jim free.

Yes, it all works out in the end (save for the widow). The ending was a bit lazy, I thought.

Fun read and gets me motivated for my cruise.

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$100 Story

Several years ago I worked on getting Fritz to read. I employed comic books to do so. I wasn’t a comic book reader growing up. Sure, I had some and enjoyed what I read, but I didn’t get them regularly. I didn’t follow along. I knew Batman and Superman.

Fritz is into superheroes. Me, not so much. But I have tried. I just don’t know what’s going on in the stories and these multi-universes confuse the hell out of me. I’ve tried any number of times, but always come up empty.

One of the things I thought I would do this year is read a lot of comics. That has not materialized as I had thought. Even so though, Fritz and I were in Crossroads last week. He picked up a couple things. Then we went to lunch. Over lunch we discussed some comics. He mentioned that DC was just starting a new crisis (Dark Crisis) and he had the first two issues. He shared a checklist of the all the issues and tie-ins for this story and that it would run until December.

I looked over the checklist. Twenty-seven issues. Six months. I read a couple of synopses. Yeah, this could be just the thing to get me as this builds. Fritz and I talked it over and I said I was in for the whole shebang.

In my mind, it’s a $100 story ($108, I guess). We returned to the comic book store, picked up a couple of the tie-ins that have already been released, and got added to the pull list for everything else.

Today we returned for a few more issues that were released today.

Yeah, I am about eight issues in and am totally bewildered. DC (Marvel does the same kind of thing) does not make it easy for entry into their reading. Think of Batman. He has a sidekick sometimes. Who is that? Everyone I know would say Robin. And you would be correct . . . a third of the time. There is also Jason and someone else. Robin is also Nightwing. And he’s gay.

This same stuff goes on for Wonder Woman, the Flash, Aquaman, etc. There are so many characters, most of who I have never heard of before that I am lost with who is in the panel.

On top of that, the story hasn’t really developed yet. The Justice League is dead. A character from 35 years ago is going to play big into this story. Y’know, Batman, Superman, et al. will not remain dead. This is just one huge soap opera with all the PC checkmarks being clicked off.

In the end, I am spending $100 to read this story, issue but issue. If I wait six months, I could read it as part of my DC subscription.

What I have learned (re-affirmed, really) is that reading comics issue by issue is not my style. I need to read the entire story straight through. I forget details, characters, issue to issue, and then I have to re-read the previous issues.

It’s nice to be reading this with my son, but I am in over my head. I need to finally come to the understanding that as much as I want to be a comic book reader, this isn’t the thing for me. It is very much like gaming. I am attracted to it, but I am not made up for the ecosystem.

Oh, and that DC subscription has been on my cancel schedule for months now. I started Fables, a non-superhero comic that if I get into it may convince me to re-up next year. But I also kind of want to be subscription free. We shall see what becomes of the baby with this.

The Flash (2016-) #784

The Flash (2016-) #784The Flash (2016-) #784 by Jeremy Adams
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, I haven’t read #783 yet as the LCBS has been out of them. Awaiting the reprint. With that, perhaps I don’t quite have the background to understand this one as well although I suspect it has more to do with most of this being new to me.

Anyhow, much like Young Justice, it appears these guys have found themselves on a different planet where the storyline is different from they envision. As a reader, I can relate.

Barry is missing and Kid Flash and another Flash are searching for him.

Issue began with Jesse Quick and Max Mercury trying to locate Barry as well. They found him. He’s a truck driver. Yup, not the right Barry.

Back on another planet it seems as two children have some sort of watch in which as they turn the dial folks are sent to different planets. Needless to say, I am confused.

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Dark Crisis: Young Justice (2022-) #2

Dark Crisis: Young Justice (2022-) #2Dark Crisis: Young Justice (2022-) #2 by Meghan Fitzmartin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Argghhh!

I can barely remember the main characters here let alone the newly introduced ones and the upcoming ones that have control of Wonder Girl. This is so confusing for someone trying to jump in.

But I get the idea: whatever planet the Young Justice team is on is not their planet. They (nor () understand how they arrived there.

Don’t need the PC/woke-ism stuff. Adds nothing to the story for me.

The Young Justice feel as though they need to band together to step up in the absence of the Justice League even if there were doubts from their mentors previous to this story. I think that’s what one is supposed to get from this.

DC needs to consider how it serves new readers and bring them into the ecosystem. This is confusing.

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Fables #3

Legends in Exile Chp3: Blood TellsLegends in Exile Chp3: Blood Tells by Bill Willingham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So, the wolf continues his investigation into what happened to Rose Red. He has a couple guys recreate the scene in an identical apartment. They determine five pints of blood was scattered. That tells the wolf Rose Red is dead for no one can lose that amount of blood and live.

Snow White is summoned to King Cole, the #1 in the fable government (apparently, Snow is #2). Snow gives the rundown of suspects, including herself. King Cole shares the politics of the situation. The investigation needs to be wrapped up before Remembrance Day. It’s not just a holiday, it’s a day when most of the operating budget for the government is donated. Snow understands.

Bluebeard sneaks into the jail and wields a knife on Jack. He says it’s to convince Jack to tell what actually happened. The wolf showed up. He transformed into the wolf. After some negotiation, he got Bluebeard in jail himself.

The wolf shared with Snow what he thinks Red Rose’s status is.

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Fables #2

Legends in Exile Chp2: The (Un)Usual SuspectsLegends in Exile Chp2: The (Un)Usual Suspects by Bill Willingham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m liking this story.

Prince Charming is a douche. He tool money, a spare key, and left a note for Molly Greenbaum, the waitress, to do his laundry.

We see the pig from the straw house is camped out on the wolf’s couch. Apparently, he left the farm upstate for a night in the city. Fun interplay between he and the wolf.

The wolf and Snow White discuss the case of Rose Red. They interview Jack. Unlikely Jack is the culprit. We learn Jack and Rose broke up a year ago briefly. We then learn that Bluebeard dated Rose during that time. Apparently, Bluebeard and Rose are still together and engaged. We saw Bluebeard practicing fencing. He has offered $1.000,000 for the capture of who is responsible for Rose’s demise.

We also get a better understanding of this world. Fabletown has come about because of some event. Sounds like a battle was had and the fables lost to the Mundanes. Now the Fables have to work. Most fables lost their wealth during this, but Bluebeard held onto his and may have even captured some wealth of other fables. While it appears he lives in a small apartment, his entire castle is magically there . . . a costly thing to have.

Fun story thus far.

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Dark Crisis: Worlds Without A Justice League (2022) #1: Superman

Dark Crisis: Worlds Without A Justice League (2022) #1: SupermanDark Crisis: Worlds Without A Justice League (2022) #1: Superman by Tom King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Think I understood the Superman/Superboy part of this book. Takes us throw the years and the maturation of Superboy. Got it. He and Superman both hear and are bothered by the kids’ screaming in their dreams. Superboy goes off to deal with it on his Superbike. Parsecs per hour. I thought parsecs were a Star Wars thing. Anyhow, understood and enjoyed Chris Burnham’s art. Like this style.

I also liked the overview page that explained that Pariah has locked each “dead” superhero onto a planet of his own. The inner hopes of the superheroes fuels Pariah’s darkness.

Didn’t understand Aquaman part of this and the restaurant at all.

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Dark Crisis (2022-) #2

Dark Crisis (2022-) #2Dark Crisis (2022-) #2 by Joshua Williamson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is why I don’t read superhero comics. I just don’t know the characters or the references and it is difficult to follow the jumps.

Deathstroke takes on Nightwing. It appears Deathstroke is working for Pariah. He has orders to sow chaos, not to kill. Superman the younger jumps in to save Nightwing. The Academy is destroyed.

Looks like the Green Lanterns are poised for the next episode in this tale.

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Fables #1

Legends in Exile Chp1: Old Tales RevisitedLegends in Exile Chp1: Old Tales Revisited by Bill Willingham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Needing a break from Superheroes, I learned that Fables is a DC product. I decided to check out this series. I have seen it around over the years. Based off classic fables/fairy tales, I think this may be something I could understand and enjoy.

The premise seems to be that something has happened to cause these characters to leave their universe and set up camp in what appears to be normal America. Snow White heads the business office and the wolf is in charge of security. Jack reports that Rose Red, Snow White’s sister, is missing. After Snow dismisses Beauty & the Beast complaining of marital troubles, she and the wolf meet Jack at Rose Red’s apartment.

Meanwhile, Prince Charming is back in town. He beds the waitress with some explicit language. This is not a fairy tale for children. 🙂

The apartment is covered in blood with a message on the wall: No more happily ever after.

To be continued. We’re off to a good start.

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Dark Crisis: Young Justice (2022-) #1

Dark Crisis: Young Justice (2022-) #1Dark Crisis: Young Justice (2022-) #1 by Meghan Fitzmartin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

More new characters. Every panel seems to bring new. As a newbie, what’s the difference between the Young Justice League and the folks who formed the new Justice League? They all seem to be the children/younger relations of the well-established and now dead heroes.

But I get it. The young Wonder Woman wished these folks dead and is now wondering if she is the cause of what has happened.

Dialogue that includes, “You don’t get to boob=hypnotize my friend, Mighty Endowed!” isn’t going to impress me. Just saying . . .

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