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56. Shadow Show: Stores in Celebration of Ray Bradbury by Various - Let's just take a moment to enjoy Rachel Bloom's very first big hit. Man, we shared this one a lot back in the day (and if you aren't watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend you are a terrible person).

And now let's get to the stories in this thing - they aren't really that good. Mostly they seem like the writers - and they were fine writers - including Joe Hill, Neil Gaiman and Alice Hoffman - are throwing out their early works, the works that they did when they were teenagers and trying to imitate Ray Bradbury. They got all the Ray Bradbury elements including the small town, the monsters at the edge of the sea, the childhood innocence and the master manipulators. It reads more like Ray Bradbury fan fiction than actual story telling. The one that I remember is "The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury" which is Neil Gaiman being clever. Neil Gaiman has been writing clever stories for so long that I was actually surprised to see that Sandman still holds up. The other ones are just forgettable. Ray Bradbury turns himself into a robot. A mysterious teenager shows up in the woods and manipulates two girls. Some shit about a father and daughter on a cruise.

Ray Bradbury is one of those writers that binds many genre writers, many writers. But I think that one of the things about Ray Bradbury that makes sense is the fact that everyone starts out imitating Bradbury but they have to let him go.

57. The Golden Age Superman vol. 2 by Siegel and Shuster. - Volume 1 in this series were the superman stories that I kind of remember. Superman lifting the car. Superman stops America from going to the war in Europe. Superman takes revenge on Lois Lane for her rejection of poor Clark Kent. So now that the years have passed and Siegel and Shuster are still writing Superman, what's up for the caped crusader? A lot of chasing after cars and racing trains. The world hopping mystical era of Superman was a long way away. In these stories SUperman spent most of his time spying on corrupt businessmen who were often out to kill Lois.

Sadly, this book is way too long not to get boring. I was going to use an anecdote abotu Siegel working for Marvel in the 70s and not being able to write to the market at the time. I think it fits here but I guess there were other places it could have gone. After reading SPirit comics, it's really easy to see that Will Eisner was a genius and a writer of classics while these old Superman comics were just old comics that sucked.

58.The Extraordinary X-Men: Kingdoms Fall - Nightcrawler drops Apocalypse from a great height in order to technically meet the deal made with him to free Colossus from some kind of a Four Horseman deal. Also there are demons. Lots of demons. Someone else dies. There are people becoming those Immortals or Invulnerables or whatever the fuck they are called because Marvel wants to do a show - Inhumans? But of course, the cloud that makes the Inhumans? - into superpowered beings (Yay Ms. Marvel!) is killing Mutants. So a couple mutants got to get rescued.

I don't read X-Men anymore but it all seems so much the same. That's the problem with the illusion of change. Who cares about the stories if the reset button keeps getting hit.
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Tim Lieder

September 2017

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