This is my hundredth blog! I don’t believe it either! Arithmomaniac readers may notice that there’s actually 101 entries on this blog, but I don’t count my reblog of Cain S. Latrani’s review of The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose. Contrariwise this one is full of my own substantive content! I made it to 100 installments of Matt The Catania in under two years by sometimes posting twice a week. See, I can be productive when there’s no immediate monetary gain! To celebrate this milestone, I’m writing about whatever I damn well please (as opposed to those previous ninety-nine posts)!
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is Marvel’s most delightful comic book. In other news, you can describe water in three states. This is a comic book that’s unashamed of making you learn stuff like how to count to thirty-one on each hand. Eventually it will teach me an entire college education’s worth of computer programming at a fraction of the cost! Where else can you get a Choose Your Own Adventure comic about defeating Swarm, the breakout villain of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark? (Note to self: publish your review of S-M: TOTD while it’s still timely!) Marvel really should’ve put the romance cover to the second #8 (now do you see the folly of constantly cancelling & restarting series?) as the cover for the fourth volume to better match its title, “I Kissed A Squirrel & I Liked It.” (Sadly it lacks Squirrel Girl’s story from Secret Wars: Secret Love.) It, along with Mark Waid’s Daredevil, are the only things that have ever made me care about the Mole Man. Who knew Tricephalous was such a romantic? HawkJock is the worst, bro!
Squirrel Girl Beats Up The Marvel Universe! thankfully skews closer to Fred Hembeck Destroys the Marvel Universe than Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe. Did you know I was the first customer to get it signed by Erica Henderson & Ryan North the World’s Tallest Torontonian at NYCC? I read it months ago but didn’t review it until now because I don’t like being on top of things.
Unlike X-Men: No More Humans (another graphic novel I enjoyed), you don’t necessarily need to be caught up on current continuity to understand it. (I read it before vol. 4, but it occurs afterwards.) It includes a handy flowchart of how to beat up the Marvel Universe yourself just like you’ve always wanted, though Shocker conspicuously doesn’t appear on panel despite being on the chart. Although we’re introduced to the High Evolutionary’s latest New Men complete with names & hobbies, the prime antagonist turns out to be Allene, Doreen Green’s overzealous clone. Allene is a worthy adversary because she makes a lot of salient points & shares Squirrel Girl’s unbeatability. This tale takes a goofy premise & turns it horrifying by following it through to its logical conclusion. Once again the day is saved through the powers of ingenuity & friendship! It also debuts another costume variant for the backlog of Marvel Legends Squirrel Girl toys Hasbro really needs to get a move on.
Darkwing Duck #6 was a great send up of comic conventions & comics in general. I get those jokes! It even has one legitimutantly heartwarming moment. More importantly, it features the long-awaited resurrection of Splatter Phoenix! I immediately wanted to rewatch her episodes, but they weren’t on the DVDs I own & my money wasn’t good enough for Disney to release the rest of the series on DVD for its 25th anniversary.
A Star Wars Story’s (are they going to tack this onto every non-episode installment?) Diego Luna has an adorkable Jabba obsession. I wanted to see that effervescent nerd onscreen instead of Mr. Glum Angst! Surely with all the distracting fan service cameos they could’ve thrown in a scene of Andor buying black market weapons for the Rebel Alliance from Jabba the Hutt himself. At the very least Andor could’ve sang “I Like Big Hutts” aboard Rogue One. (Also, how much better would it have been if the Ersos were Ursos & therefore bears?) The Interwuzzle has already made fan art of slave boy Cassian Andor! He seems a bit too into it, which is squicking the Hutt’s squee. Luna made the right call of preferring to French kiss Jabba over punching an Ewok in the face since nobody survives the latter.
Plenty of eyes stopped by for my Doctor Strange & Rogue One: A Star Wars Story reviews (I suppose nobody read my “Invasion!” review because it’s not a movie), but now I’m taking the opportunity to recommend some films that aren’t Hollywood blockbuster juggernauts.
The Best Offer is an intriguing character piece about art auctions, romance, & forgeries starring Casanova Frankenstein & President Snow.
Animalada is my favorite Argentine movie about zoophilia. It’s also my favorite Argentine movie by default, which may indicate that I need to see more Argentine films.
The Good, The Bad, The Weird may be tied with The Wild Bunch & Cannibal! The Musical for my favorite Western. It’s set in Manchuria, which is applicable for certain values of West. Is the Western a genre or a setting? (This is why it should just be officially renamed Horse Opera to avoid confusion. Then we can make it into a giant umbrella genre to ensconce every piece of fiction involving horses!) It’s got a splendid blend of crackerjack action & comedy.
Faults was another intriguing character study except this time it’s about cult deprogramming starring Leland Orser (husband of famed triceratops actress, Jeanne Tripplehorn) & Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who may be a Pokemonster since her initials are MEW. (Did you know I had Leland Orser in mind when I wrote Geöffnet Mittwocher in The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose years ago? Then I neglected to put him in this blog’s fancast because I’m terrible.) If you get the DVD it includes the even better short film, The Cub. You should watch that now regardless.
We’re currently at work on the seventh chapter of my difficult second novel. This is still happening. It’s just not at a point yet where I can really say much about it. (Of course when it is is finished, I’ll say I could tell you about the book but then I’d have to kill you because spoilers. I really have no business writing about my own own writing.) I know what the spine of the story is, but I’m still working out is connective tissue. I’m trying not to skip ahead because those moments are what the story escalates from.
One of my big stumbling blocks is that the protagonist is a geneticist, but I haven’t found much research of the daily minutia of genomics labs. Even though it’s fiction, I want some verisimilitude. If you’ve got a STEM career, please give me some tips in the comments.
It feels a bit awkward blogging about it because so much of it is still in flux. I don’t want to get anybody’s hopes up for something that ends up not making it to the final draft. That way leads to disappointment & negative reviews. For instance, when I tell people it’s going to be a Canadian horror story, I’ve been asked “Will there be a Wendigo in it?” To which I have to answer “Maybe?” I have considered including a Wendigo, but I’m not sure if that’s something that should be in this novel or if I should save it for some place else. Since the fluid notions of the Wendigo can mean something entirely different depending on who you talk to due to cross-cultural pollination, this is another can of worm expectations I’ve opened up. Just reading “Wendigo” has shifted your preconceived ideas of how the book should or will turn out, especially as I haven’t revealed much else about it for fear of being scooped by a much faster author. You’re already dreaming up your ideal Wendigo novel or dreading how I could write the worst Wendigo yarn ever. So there may or may not be a Wendigo in my next book, but it definitely won’t be the star monster. Irregardless, Wendigo remains a fun word.
Should I put a Darkwing Duck reference (not the one you’re thinking of) into a quasi-flirtatious scene in my difficult second novel? YES. OBVIOUSLY.