January 5th, 2006

Christmas, Advent

Advent 2005: A Merry Christmas

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Like many artists, Thomas Handforth designed his own Christmas cards. This is one of four of his Christmas cards that are now part of the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. You may recall (but probably don't) that I featured another of his cards last year -- a year ago yesterday, as a matter of fact -- as part of my Advent art project.

Tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion to my Advent Christmas card project!

Books 2006: Day of Vengeance and Villains United

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Both Day of Vengeance and Villains United were created as preludes to an ongoing DC Comics limited series called Infinite Crisis. As preludes, they get the job done: they effectively set the stage for the events currently unfolding in Infinite Crisis, and do so in a reasonably entertaining fashion. As stories in their own right, they're not as successful. Villains United has some nice character development, but it doesn't have much of a plot — it's pretty much just a lot of scenes of supervillains fighting one another, which has a certain visceral appeal but wears thin over the course of 144 pages. Day of Vengeance has a decent plot, but it doesn't have much of an ending. On the other hand, it does have a talking chimp who solves crimes, which covers a multitude of sins.

I didn't dislike these books, but neither would I say they're particularly good. If you're a long-time comics reader with at least a passing familiarity with the DC Universe, you'll probably get a certain geeky satisfaction out of them. Otherwise, give them a pass.

Oh, and in case you were wondering: yes, it's that Judd Winick, from the cast of The Real World: San Francisco.