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Sage Freehaven said on January 10th, 2008 at 12:31 pm

After reading that quote from Obama you linked to, I want to vote for him too. I’m going to have to read up more on his positions on issues; do you have any recommendations for web sites where someone who doesn’t normally give a damn about politics outside of the standard moral outrage at politicians being complete asses can go to get caught up/educated on candidates’ platforms?

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Er, if you want to read up on candidates’ platforms, generally their own websites are the best places to start.

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Regarding the first question, “Soon I Will Be Invincible,” by Austin Grossman, is worth a read. The novel takes place in a comic book world and plays it fairly straight. Narration is split between the longtime supervillain “Doctor Impossible” and the newbie hero “Fatale.” It’s curious to read a superhero novel that isn’t a parody, a straight transliteration of comics to prose, or a sexed-up “deconstruction” of the genre. Instead, it’s played straight, with a little intelligence behind it. Grossman makes with the Big Booms and world-conquering, but also plays to the strengths of the prose format by telling the story entirely through his characters’ heads. What we see is tailored by their perceptions, and we understand them through their emotions and thoughts far more than we do in traditional comics.

It’s not a deathless masterwork of the age. But it’s a fun book that translates superheroes and villains to prose well. I ripped through it in a day or two, and don’t regret having done so.

At the very least, Grossman appreciates why anyone would want to be a supervillain. Donning the helmet and cape, shaking fists at the sky, screaming “I AM INVINCIBLE!” is pretty damn rad. Especially if you have a robot army behind you. (When I do it, sans army, standing in my driveway, it’s kinda sad.)

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After Kavalier and Clay, you might want to consider Tom de Haven’s “It’s Superman!” The book’s not a novel-version of a preexisting comic trade; it’s an original story of Superman Begins, in the 1930s, as Clark Kent travels from Smallville to New York City.

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Sage Freehaven said on January 10th, 2008 at 1:09 pm

“Er, if you want to read up on candidates’ platforms, generally their own websites are the best places to start.”

I was thinking of something a little more impartial than that, but I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to start there.

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Seconding Soon I Will Be Invincible. I really don’t see how you could not like it.

You can read an excerpt here.

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thank you for endorsing obama. two questions for you:

what are your thoughts on ps238 by aaron williams?

do you support any baseball teams/watch any baseball?

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mygif

Thirding for Soon I Will Be Invincible. Great read.

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Talespinner said on January 10th, 2008 at 11:18 pm

Soon I Will Be Invincible is a really fun book, but I’m surprised no one has rec’d the Wildcard novels, edited by George R.R. Martin. There are about a dozen books in the series and more are coming out soon. :)

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Shit, I totally forgot about the Wild Cards novels. I own most of them. Well, there you go.

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I got Soon I Will Be Invincible for Christmas, and I liked it okay, but it didn’t stand out ahead of other superhero stuff I’ve read, like Nobody Gets the Girl (Maxey) or Other People’s Heroes (Petit) or John Ridley’s two books. They’re all okay. (And not quite as good as What They Did To Princess Paragon (Rodi) or Kavalier and Clay.)

The real good ones, to me, are:

the Wild Cards books, as mentioned
Flyboy Action Figure Comes With Gasmask, by Toronto native Jim Munroe
the Temps books by Gaiman and Stewart
Superman: Miracle Monday by Maggin
Superhero: The Secret Origin of a Genre (nonfiction) (Coogan)

From everything I’ve heard, I’ll be including the de Haven book on this list once I’ve read it, and, based on his track record, probably the same for From The Notebooks of Doctor Brain (Faust).

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I have to disagree about Obama. For some reason, that guy reeks of puppet-ness to me. I keep seeing him as someone conservatives are quietly backing because they know, in the long run, he’ll be easier to control. But that’s just my gut instinct. Emotional feelings aside, it bothers me that he’s contradicted himself in the past, that he changes his personal history according to the audience–granted, a lot of politicians do that, but mainly it bugs me that he broke the promise he made to Illinois that he wouldn’t run for president until he had served two terms as senator.

I don’t see Hillary as pandering to the right, as you implied. I see her as a strong person, with strong opinions, with the ability to fight for what she wants. She also has more political experience than Obama. Obama might have bigger ideas, but he doesn’t have experience in the system. I’m not naive enough to see this as an advantage, since I know one’s more likely to get what they want working with and manipulating the system then fighting against it. Plus, political inexperience means he’s more likely to be manipulated himself.

I also think this country needs someone more moderate, more in line with the middle. We have been too divided as of late. I don’t think the problem will be solved by swinging the pendulum far left.

Though I really don’t like anyone’s health care plan as of right now.

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