There is no insightful commentary or deep analysis or pungent wit this week (not that those are normal anyway, but this time I have a reason) because my Delightful Companion threw me a surprise birthday party (and man, was she sneaky about it). Since this celebrated my attaining the half-century mark, she decided to do it up with dignity and decorum, and the whole thing had a superhero theme!
All the guests came in costume; DC led the way as Force of Nature, inspired by the Layla character in Sky High.
Other guests included Celtic Power Girl, Spawn of Hellboy, Crowella, Social Justice Man, Mighty Pretzel Woman, and the super-team of Electro & Cute (get it?). My friends aren't terribly comics-savvy.
In addition to six huge bottles of Russian lager (and that'll lose a weekend PDQ) my thoughtful guests also gifted me with the following books:
The Physics of Superheroes by James Kakalios (Gotham Books)
A "scintillating survey of superpowers" that attempts to explain how (and if) super-feats could actually work. Here's a feature and interview from Newsarama.
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson (Broadway Books)
Bryson is the best and funniest non-fiction writer I know, and while this memoir of growing up in the fifties is only incidentally about comics, I am sure this book is hilarious and engaging. Here's a review from Powell's City of Books.
The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn Iggulden (Harper Collins)
This book is only tangentially related to superheroics, but it's got codes and ciphers, plans to build a treehouse, instructions for making a battery out of coins, the seven wonders of the world, a Navajo code-talkers dictionary, and "Extraordinary Stories" about arctic explorers and such. I'll bet Grant Morrison has a copy. Here's a little HC-sponsored piece on Neatorama.
But the wildest of all gifts was this:
That's right: it's a vegetable peeler designed like a monkey. A shiny orange monkey.
I have no idea what this means. But he reminds me of Cryll or Zook or someone like that, so we'll let it slide.