Jan. 23rd, 2008

heron61: (Hate-Bush)
"Super Tuesday" is coming up in 13 days and is almost certainly when both the Republican and Democratic candidates will be decided. I have no recommendations for the Democratic primary other than a recommendation not to bother voting in it if you live in a state with open primaries. Now that John Edwards is essentially (and from my PoV unfortunately) out of the race, I think Clinton is a better choice than Obama, but from most PoVs, they are essentially identical – moderate centrists who are notably too pro-business for my tastes, but who would both make acceptable presidents.

What I have strong recommendations for is the Republican primaries – these come down to anyone but John McCain, or for best effect, vote for Mitt Romney. This is wholly because I don't think Mitt Romney has a hope in hell of being elected, but it's clearly he has the best chance of beating John McCain. In vivid contrast, John McCain is for some unknown reason a media favorite and does frighteningly well in polls. He's the only Republican who has polled at having any hope of beating either Obama or Clinton and he worries me, because I fear he might win.

For the few of you reading this who have not long ago concluded (like I did) that every Federal level Republican candidate and elected official is a worthless panderer to fundys, bigotry, and well-organized greed, it's worth considering what John McCain as president would mean – not only is he pretty much the only candidate in either party who fully endorses Shrub's policies in Iraq, he is also generally a military hardliner of the sort who would almost certainly go along with Shrub's attempted to attack Iran, which would be considerably more disastrous than even this current and horrible war. He's strongly anti-choice, anti-environment, pro-Christian government (among other things, he supports teaching "intelligent design" in public schools), and is the sort of fiscal conservative who would continue Shrub's disastrous economic policies. The fact that he's one of the few Republican candidates who both admits to believing in evolution is anti-torture merely means he's not a moronic monster, but he's still a hardline Republican and an utterly terrifying choice for president.

In short, if you want to actually make changes in the nation, vote for Mitt Romney and consider volunteering to campaign for Romney (the most credible opponent to McCain). If Oregon didn't have pointlessly late primaries, I might well sign up for a Romney campaign phone bank.
heron61: (Default)
Because I found a new copy of selling on ebay for shockingly little money, I picked up to new graphic novel – Mystic Arcana from Marvel. I read it yesterday and quite enjoyed it.

I like supernatural comics, and for the last 20 years DC has been the undisputed champion of supernatural comics – starting with Alan Moore's amazing run of Swamp Thing and continuing on to the various Vertigo comics lines, it done some pretty amazing supernatural comics. However, they have also often been exceptionally grim. Even in their non-Vertigo comics, the supernatural in DC is a deeply unpleasant place to be. If you are a member magician in DC, the three essentials seem to be a good life insurance policy for your imminent and horrible demise, carrying around lots of morphine for the same purpose, and owning a nice black suit for all the funerals you'll be going to. Regular DC supers like Hal Jordan, Oliver Queen, and even Jason Todd end up dying and coming back to life – DC magicians die and stay dead, and they die a lot – Zatanna and John Constantine are pretty much the only regular survivors.

Recently DC started a new supernatural team comic – Shadowpact. However, it proved to be dreadful, showing that the allegedly talented Bill Willingham is not merely a serious misogynist; he can also be an amazing talentless hack.

So, feeling annoyed by that comic and by the general grimness of the DC supernatural world, I was interested by what Marvel might be up to. Back in the 1970s and early 1980s, they did some interesting stuff with Doctor Strange, but since then supernatural comics in Marvel have mostly consisted of force beam battles and other stuff that makes the supernatural in Marvel almost indistinguishable from any other form of super powers. Also, Marvel demons tend to be things with horns tails and pitchforks, rather than the fascinating creepiness found in DC. However, its also always been considerably less grim.

I recently watched the Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme movie. It was quite fun and also impressive in how much it resembled Exalted set in the modern day, I could actually name a few of the Charms being used. Then, I heard about Mystic Arcana. The fact that it was all done under the creative direction of David Sexton, who normally designs and draws Tarot Cards.

The first half of the book consists of 4 comics, each about a different Marvel supernatural character – Magik, The Black Knight, The Scarlet Witch, and Sister Grimm, who symbolize Air, Earth, Water, and Fire, with an overarching frame story of a magician learning about them and trying to collect four mystic artifacts that are also elementally attuned. The 2nd half consists of two parts – The Marvel Tarot – a very nice art book of Tarot images and collages relating to the Marvel supernatural world that is both carefully done and fascinating, and a useful and fun Marvel handbook: The Book of Marvel Magic, which describes most of the minor Marvel supernatural characters and a few of the major ones.

Overall, it's a nice book, and from my PoV one of the nicest things about is the fact that the ending of the frame story indicates we may be getting a new Marvel supernatural comics, and I'd definitely like that if it's as good as the stories in this book.

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