snickfic: text: Sign number 23 that you're obsessed with hockey: you think the proper way to spell the plural of leaf" is "leafs" (hockey)
Ryan Lambert asks, How many goals could Phil Kessel score with Penguins?. The short answer: a lot. Some prime quotes (not all of them necessarily related to goal scoring):

The Toronto media is obviously loath to get into the “fancy” stats (or as they are known, counting numbers with some division mixed in)


His best friend in the whole wide world ... Tyler Bozak. ... Now, again, this is Kessel's best friend and Kessel felt comfortable with him on the ice, so who was Randy Carlyle or any other coach to break them up as long as Kessel kept filling the net with goals (which, you'll remember from above, he certainly did).


Crosby increases his linemates' career goals-for per 60 by more than 68 percent. Malkin does so by nearly 47 percent.


If Crosby can drag Chris Kunitz onto the Canadian Olympic team, he might just win Kessel a Rocket Richard.


I am GIDDY, you guys. I think we're going to see something special, come fall.
snickfic: text: Sign number 23 that you're obsessed with hockey: you think the proper way to spell the plural of leaf" is "leafs" (hockey)
If we finish out the day with our core four, Olli, and Pouliot still on the roster, I will consider it a successful free agency day.

*aggressively bites nails*

so, Mad Max

Jun. 3rd, 2015 07:51 am
snickfic: (Buffy desert)
You guys, Mad Max: Fury Road was everything I have ever wanted in an action movie: tons of women in key roles, deliciously weird worldbuilding, spectacle, and a deep and meticulous commitment to its aesthetic. It was two and a half hours of sheer joy. My friend and I walked out of the theater grinning from ear to ear.

(There were no megafauna, but I guess I can forgive it that.)

The only trouble is now I'm mad that not only are all the other movies not this good, but they're not even trying. Women? Eh, sure, why not let one of the secondaries be a girl? Aesthetic? Feh, who needs aesthetics when you can have explosions.

Anyway, if emotional resonance and rocket launchers is your kind of storytelling, then this is for you.
snickfic: half-portrait of Natasha (art by Noto) (Natasha)
I've rather abruptly gone off Marvel, for the most part. It's been a combination of becoming disenchated with:
* the charms and (mostly) pitfalls of massive shared continuity, especially re: crossovers and events
* things I like getting canceled before their potential is realized and developed
* the hamfisted, po-faced earnestness of the things that DO get lots of issues. (If I never see a superhero attempt to talk about politics again, it will be TOO SOON.)
* the vulnerability of any given comic to editorial whims and artist availability

I talked about most of those things a little bit here, and it hasn't changed much, I guess.

So, the result is that right now this is what I'm reading with enthusiasm:
* Ms. Marvel (still my fav Marvel book)
* Gotham Academy (teen girls and basically zero dependence on outside continuity)
* Saga
* Copperhead
* The Wicked + The Divine (because Jamie McKelvie, basically)
* Ody-C
* Bitch Planet
* a bunch of new Image things I'm looking forward to soon

And these are books I'm reading until my Marvel subscription runs out:
* Black Widow (although I have to say I actually liked the interwoven story structure of #12 quite a lot, even though it was only a set-up issue)
* Storm (love the art, but the story doesn't seem to be going anywhere in particular)
* Loki: Agent of Asgard (I have no idea what's going on with Loki anymore, if I ever did, and the crossover mini that I didn't read just compounded the problem)
* Captain America and the Mighty Avengers (wow do I hate what Axis did to this book. I hate it SO MUCH. And somehow Luke Ross is bizarrely Greg Land-like with his faces? Is that just me? I feel like I still haven't escape Land-face.)

PINING

Jan. 3rd, 2015 11:27 am
snickfic: I lost my shoe (quote lost shoe)
The problem is that I love pining with a deep and unhealthy love, but I need the pining to make sense. These people need actual real reasons for not just speaking up. It's a major reason I love Fastening One Heart to Every Falling Thing SO much - because the worldbuilding is such that Geno's been told his whole life that he can't bond or have a real relationship, so of course he wouldn't think he could ever have Sid.

Choosing not to communicate to each other, OTOH, is NOT an actual real reason. There's a line between believably characterized reticence and plot-motivated self-sabotage, and most pining fic falls on the wrong side. WOE IS ME.
snickfic: close-up crop of Storm (drawn by Ibanez) (Storm)
I've been feeling just much more enthused about Image than Marvel lately. It isn't that Marvel isn't producing stuff that is at least in theory relevant to my interests; in March alone there's an all-female team book, 10 female superhero solo books, the Peggy Carter + Howard Stark team-up, and a Princess Leia solo. Compared to even a year ago, that's AMAZING.

The thing is, I've been reading Marvel for a year and a half and I'm already tired of falling in love with books only to have them canceled, tied up in crossover events half the time, or on the creative team merry-go-round. Then there are the ones that I can't fall in love with because they are so deeply mediocre; I don't know if that's better or worse. I am particularly sick of all the things I like getting canceled while all the things I find so mediocre go on for 30-40 issues. I covet that kind of length for the titles I love, so that writers can really dig in and take those characters places.

Meanwhile, over at Image, we get the same creative team for dozens of issues, crossovers are vanishingly rare, and when things get canceled, at least we can chalk it up creator decision and not that of some marketing department somewhere. Plus, from Image I can get my space western AND my pulpy women's prison AND my cosmic SF myth retelling AND my space opera. And no prior knowledge required!

Basically I'm starting to believe that standalone comics with the breadth and artistry and creative control we see at Image are the wave of the future, and in fact the future might already be here.

Ahem. With that, on to the March solicits.

Image
* New title Descender, Dustin Nguyen (!!) does a sad child robot story. Just lookit this cover:
cover )

* Southern Cross - the actual premise doesn't do a lot for me, but come on, grungy SF + weird fiction + female protagonist + Becky Cloonan? I'll definitely give it a try, at least.

* Otherwise my comments this month are primarily "Yay! More issues of that comic I like!" Such comics include Bitch Planet, Ody-C, and SAGA (YAY MORE ADVENTURES OF [SPOILER] AND [SPOILER] :DDDD)

Marvel
* New Hawkeye. Very much doubt lightning strikes twice, but apparently it is still a book with two Hawkeyes, so I'm pleased to see that, at least. The cover art is intriguing; I wonder if this is anything like what we should expect from the interiors:
cover )

* Silk, Spider-Gwen, and Spider-Woman. Someone will have to tell me which if any of the spider-lady books to read.

* Judging by the Thor solicit, the identity of the lady Thor is STILL a mystery in MARCH. Erg. How are we supposed to get any kind of character development when the book won't even tell us who she is?!

* Again, someone will need to tell me if this Operation: S.I.N. book with Peggy Carter and Howard Stark is good. Likewise, if G. Willow Wilson manages to rescue X-Men from the mess it is, someone let me know. Apparently March's issue is big on Psylocke, and that is a plan I support heartily.

* Black Widow summary continues not to enthuse, but I think I quite like the cover design:
FLAAAMES )

* More Ms. Marvel, yay. More Storm, yay. Those are my two favorite things out of Marvel right now, I think.
snickfic: close-up photo of Marc-Andre Fleury (flower close)
Pens 4, Tampa Bay 2. Wow, that was a game. We were SO TERRIBLE that first period, I really wasn't sure we were even going to get a goal. And then we got four, including a short-handed goal for Sutter and two first NHL goals, one for Rust and one for Dumoulin. Good job, kiddies.

But meanwhile in that first period Fleury was SO GOOD. Wow. As soon as a gif turns up of that one really spectacular head-to-post save, I will link. EDIT: Here it is. You finally get a really good look at about the 20 second mark.

I just looked up his numbers, and he's .926 for the season so far, which if he maintains will be his best season EVER - even better than 2007-2008, which all the naysayers call a fluke. There's evidence that suggests we're seeing more this season than statistical variance, however. Mike Darnay at Pensburgh calls it the Mike Bales effect, which includes a graph that shows both how much more consistent Fleury's play has been since Bales was hired as the goalie coach and how his play is on the whole trending upward.

I've seen discussion of the fact that Pittsburgh, cash-strapped as it was when Fleury arrived, never really found him a goalie coach in those early years, and how the guy who eventually filled the position before Bales was not so much a coach as a cheerleader. So what Fleury's getting with Bales may very well be the first NHL-level goaltender coaching he's ever had - and hey, it only took nine years in the organization to get it. It means he finally has someone helping him consciously develop his positional play, his puck playing skills, and similar technical skills to supplement the famous athleticism that even all the detracters agree he has.

(Just think if he could have gotten that kind of instruction five years ago. Ouch.)

So basically, Fleury's best years may very well be ahead of him. Certainly all signs point to him being in one of them right now. As someone deeply invested in the Fleury Redemption Story, I could not be happier.
snickfic: close-up photo of Marc-Andre Fleury (flower close)
Pens have signed Marc-Andre Fleury to a contract extension to the tune of four more years at $4.75 million per, which takes us through 2019.

The Internet has a lot of strong feelings about this. Fleury's had some bad playoff runs, but he's gotten a lot better under new goalie coach Mike Bales, but his save % last year was still average at best, but his save % the year the Pens won the Cup was actually lower, but the goalie options in 2015 free agency are slim, but but but.

My feelings are simpler. Flower's one of my very favorite people on the team and a Pens institution, and I'm really glad we get to have more of him. So, yay.

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