Update the blog, I must

May 24, 2005 at 1:53 AM (General)

I didn’t post in the last few days as I was occupied with watching movies, or with the assignment given by TCS, or with meetings with friends.  Anyway I thought I should post this because I am leaving to Mumbai on the 26th.

I will be in Mumbai for 17 days, attending the initial Induction programme of TCS, after which I will be informed about my final posting.  I am not sure what internet facilities that will be available during those 17 days, so I may not be able to update regularly during that time.

Anyway, on to the movies I watched recently:

  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (20 May): I got to see this in the theatre on the day it was released here (night show).  While I love the classic Star Wars films (Episodes IV, V, VI), I thought the new prequels weren’t as good.  I particularly did not care for the economics/political background in Episodes I and II, and though they both had some great action and adventure scenes, they weren’t as much fun for some reason.  Not so in Sith.  Obviously, this was the most important film in the prequel trilogy, and there was no doubt as to what would happen at the end, but it was a great experience to see how they tied up the story and linked the two trilogies together.  The movie shows us how Chancellor Palpatine poisons Anakin Skywalker’s mind, causing his transformation into Darth Vader.  We also see how the evil Galactic Empire is born out of the old Republic.  The movie is dramatic and action-packed, and is certainly the best of the prequel trilogy in my opinion.  I must also make special mention of John Williams’s superb music score for the movie, which seemed to really enhance certain scenes in terms of dramatic intensity.  Apart from the expected references to the classic trilogy, I was overjoyed to see musical references to the other films in the series here as well (for example, "Duel of the Fates" referenced in a battle between Yoda and Darth Sidious, "Leia’s Theme" playing as we see the infant Leia)!  Bottom line, I loved the movie.
  • Naina (22 May): Watched this in Prasad’s Multiplex (along with Rupak, Arun Gopal, Ramakrishna and Gaurav Sukhija — the historic meeting in Hyderabad that Rupak and me had planned finally came to pass!).  I think this is the first time Bollywood is beating Hollywood to a remake of an Asian horror movie (this one is adapted from the Pang Brothers’ The Eye, which I have not seen)!  It is the story of a 20-something old woman, Naina (Urmila Matondkar) who was blinded as a child.  She now undergoes a corneal transplant, after which her sight is gradually restored — the scary part is that she also starts seeing spirits, and has visions of people dying!  A doctor, Sameer (Anuj Sawhney) helps her investigate.  Technically, it’s a very well made film — the "look" and the visual effects are on par with a Hollywood production.  There’s also one very well handled explosion scene.  Still, I wouldn’t call the movie a great one, though it was quite good!  The movie did have a couple of gory parts, and some good scares.  I don’t know how much of the movie was lifted from The Eye.  This is director Shripal Morakhia’s first feature.
  • Night of the Living Dead (22 May): George A. Romero’s 1968 horror classic has a group of people barricaded inside a house, while flesh-hungry zombies try to get in.  While I didn’t feel it was very scary, it was certainly very creepy and tense.  The low-budget black and white look added to the atmosphere.  I downloaded this from the Internet Archive (apparently, the movie passed into the public domain because of no notice of copyright on it!), I got the file that’s about 600 MB in size.
  • Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) (19 May): John Carpenter’s original thriller about a street gang attacking a closed-down police precinct.  I loved Carpenter’s music score for it, and I liked the movie.
  • Eraserhead (18 May): I don’t know whether this was a good or a bad movie.  It’s an unclassifiable movie about Henry (Jack Nance) who is informed that his girlfriend is pregnant.  The child is born and turns out to be hideously mutated.  Jack tries to care for it though.  The movie contains bizarre imagery (which, with the combination of the sound and music used in the movie can make the viewer feel uneasy) and it’s certainly the weirdest movie I’ve ever seen.  The film itself is totally open to interpretation, as director David Lynch himself has left it up to the viewer to make sense of it.
  • The Machinist (17 May): A brilliant thriller from writer Scott Kosar and director Brad Anderson.  Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) works in an industrial plant.  He hasn’t slept in over a year, due to which he is frighteningly thin and pale, and gradually seems to be losing his mind.  After an accident at the workplace, he thinks there is a conspiracy against him, which may or may not be true.  Amazing, atmospheric movie, with an outstanding performance by Bale (who lost about a third of his body weight for this film!).

The first ten shorts in the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series also, recently I watched.  Very good, they were.

Heh… Yoda’s odd sentence construction reaches its peak in Revenge of the Sith, with his line "Not, if anything to say about it, I have!"

Came across this interesting article on Hungarian Notation yesterday.  And this article, which was linked from Wikipedia, is one of the most hilarious things I’ve ever read!  Both of those articles might not make sense to you if you are not into programming though.

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Happy Birthday to Me (May 15)

May 16, 2005 at 2:42 PM (General)

Yesterday (May 15) was my 23rd Birthday… thanks everyone who sent me mails, called up or posted scrapbook entries on orkut!  I also noticed that the counter on my site’s main page crossed 50,000 yesterday.  Now that’s only an indicative number (the counter would be incremented anytime the page is accessed, even by a search engine) but it feels good all the same.  Thanks to everyone who visits the site!

In the evening yesterday, we (myself and family) went to see Indian Idol stars Rahul Vaidya and Prajakta Shukre perform live.  The show was organised by Jain Social Group.  It was a great show overall.  We returned at around midnight, and after that I watched Blackadder: Back and Forth and later, True Romance for a second time.

Movies I’ve seen recently

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (10 May): Ever since Ganeshan gave me the book to read some years ago I’ve been wanting to see this.  A mysterious object (similar to one that arrived on earth thousands of years ago at the dawn of man) is discovered on the moon, sending signals to somewhere beyond Jupiter.  The crew of the ship Discovery undertake a voyage to investigate.  Fantastic photography and visual effects.  This is the second Stanley Kubrick movie I’m seeing (after The Shining some months ago), the next will be A Clockwork Orange, soon.
  • Cube Zero (11 May): Unlike Cube and Cube² which were entirely set inside a cube, this movie is set both inside and outside the structure.  Once again, a group of people are trapped in a cube, but now we get to see a couple of employees of the creators of the cube, one of whom wants to rescue a woman who has been trapped in it.  We find out a lot more about the cube, how it works, etc. but cleverly, not everything is answered.  Very good movie.
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (13 May): Yet another movie I’ve been waiting to see for a long time.  Thoroughly enjoyed it.  The opening, which has dolphins performing acrobatics with the song "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish" was awesome.  The basic story from the book — Earthman Arthur Dent and his friend Ford Prefect hitch a ride on a Vogon spaceship just as the Earth is destroyed, and then go on to have an adventure in our very large and interesting galaxy — has been retained, as are a lot of the good parts from the book, though there have been many changes made to make the story work better as a movie.  The movie is very fast paced and has very good effects.

I also watched Armageddon on TV on 13th.  This is the second time I’m seeing this movie.  I am well aware of the fact that there are people who hate this movie (and all Michael Bay movies in general), but I’m not one of them.  I loved this movie.

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Comics: Spider-Man India #1 and others

May 13, 2005 at 2:18 AM (General)

There was a small problem with our computer so I couldn’t update for the last couple of days.  Anyway it’s fixed now and things are back to normal.

Went to TCS Hyderabad today to collect a form regarding my medical check-up.  It has been about a year since I was there last (I did my TAPMI summer project there).

On the way back, I bought another set of comics.  These included Planetary #3 (story was OK, I didn’t think it had the intrigue that the previous two issues had, but the art was very nice as usual), Tomb of Dracula #3, an issue of Spectacular and Ultimate Spider-Man, and a Superman issue with the concluding part of the "Birthright" storyline by Leinil Francis Yu (art) and Mark Waid (writer).

And I also got Spider-Man India #1.

The book is finally on the stands in India, and it’s about time!  I’ve been waiting for this book for many months, and I was puzzled that they’d release it in the US first (where it’s already completed four issues, don’t know how well it sold though) and not in India.  Anyway, Issue #1 is on sale at Rs. 25 (hmmm… other titles of this size, like Spectacular Spider-Man for example, are Rs. 15… exploiting "just noticeable difference", eh?), and it includes a pull-out poster.  I haven’t pulled out the poster, and don’t plan to — I am going to preserve my copy as it is!

Spider-Man India is illustrated by Jeevan J. Kang and Gotham Studios Asia, and written by Kang and Gotham Comics founders Sharad Devarajan and Suresh Seetharaman.  They call this story a "transcreation" of the character to an Indian setting — therefore the character names have been Indianised, and other story changes have been made.  I’d already seen a preview from The Economic Times of the story and it seemed really good.  After reading #1 I can only say that it exceeded expectations.

Pavitr Prabhakar is a village boy who goes to the Heritage International School in Mumbai.  His Uncle Bhim and Aunt Maya have realised that Pavitr deserves the best education, so they somehow try to give him that.  Pavitr, though, hates the school because the other students (save Meera Jain) constantly ridicule his village-background.  One day though, he is "visited" by a mystical sage in a dark alley, and given powers to fight evil.  A parallel plot has the industrialist Nalin Oberoi obtaining a magical amulet, which transforms him into a Goblin-type demon.

The artwork in the book is terrific, on par with the other international Spider-Man titles.  Artist Jeevan Kang has done a great job in rendering the action scenes and some of the more "mystical" scenes.  I loved his use of tilted camera angles too.  The writing in the issue is also good — I had my doubts on how the Indianisations would work, but they pulled it off very nicely.  If this issue is anything to go by, further issues can only be great, and I’ll definitely buy them.

Sadly though, I think only four issues have been created so far.  And obviously, this is an origin story, with inspirations from several elements in the movies and other origin storylines (like in Brian Michael Bendis’s Ultimate Spider-Man).  I don’t know whether we will get to see original stories and new villains/characters specific to this series.  I certainly hope so (though that depends on how successful the book is), and I think the creators are definitely capable.  Personally I’m getting somewhat tired of seeing the "With great power comes great responsibility" refrain!

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Movies: CubeĀ²: Hypercube

May 8, 2005 at 11:02 PM (General)

I watched the original Cube on CD in December last year.  Yesterday evening, STAR Movies showed Cube²: Hypercube, which I watched later in the night after videotaping.

The first film, which was a low-budget science-fiction effort from director Vincenzo Natali, had a group of six people finding themselves in a cubical-shaped room of 14x14x14ft. in size, with no idea of how or why they got there.  Each room had six doors (one on each wall) that led to another similar cubical room.  Some rooms contained traps that meant gruesome death for anyone who entered them, others were safe.  Like rats in a maze, the people had to find the way out (if there was one) while avoiding the booby-trapped rooms.  The movie had some very intriguing ideas and was very well-made, due to which it was well-appreciated.  In addition to the basic idea of the cube, the movie also succeeded as it explored the characters well.

The sequel takes the whole idea further, in fact, one dimension further.  In this movie, a group of people (more characters than in the first film) find themselves in a cubical-shaped room, but later on realise that they are actually inside a tesseract (or hypercube), a four-dimensional construct.  They discover, to their horror, rooms with gravity working differently from adjacent rooms, rooms where time runs differently, even rooms where alternate realities exist.  In fact, in the tesseract, rooms can "fold in" on others, and the whole structure seems to be somehow unstable.  At least a few of the characters turn out to be associated with a weapons manufacturer called Izon (anagram of Zion, I don’t know why they called it that), which might have actually built this hypercube.

The characters in this movie are again taken from the archetypes established in the first Cube — there’s Simon Grady (Geraint Wyn Davies), the person who "loses it"; psychotherapist Kate (Kari Matchett); game designer Max (Matthew Ferguson); the blind Sasha (Grace Kung); the senile Mrs. Paley (Barbara Gordon); Jerry (Neil Crone), a more positive-minded person; and others.  Once again, the paranoia escalates as the group tries to find a way out, and perhaps an answer to why they’re in the structure.

Unfortunately, I didn’t think the ending did the film justice.  In the first film, there was the element of the characters gradually figuring out the way to exit the cube, whereas in Cube², since the structure is far more complex, that element wasn’t there.  So essentially the characters are just traversing the rooms randomly, hoping to find a way out.  Some explanations are offered at the end, but I didn’t find them entirely satisfactory.

Still, I appreciate the filmmakers because they tried to do something new with the concept instead of just extending the concept of the first movie.  I don’t know whether it was due to the acting or the writing, but I think I liked the characters in this movie better than those in the first one.

Cube² is directed by Andrzej Sekula, who previously photographed Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction.  He makes the whole film look like a big-budget production, giving the whole thing lots of style.  I thought the film was visually brilliant, with some good digital effects.  Unlike the first film, where the cube’s rooms were lit in different colours, here all the rooms have bright white lighting.  Gave a different atmosphere to the movie.  The opening credits sequence was also very nice, and the movie kept me interested through its running time thanks to its interesting ideas.  I also loved the music score by Norman Orenstein, it suited the science-fiction feel of the movie very well.  The movie has a screenplay by Sean Hood (also story), Ernie Barbarash and Lauren McLaughlin.  There was a third Cube film made in 2004, which was directed by Barbarash.  It’s called Cube Zero and I hope to see that sometime as well.

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Movies: Jason X

May 8, 2005 at 7:21 PM (General)

Last night on HBO at 9 PM, they showed Jason X, the tenth movie in the Friday the 13th series.

I’d read the script a few years ago, and got to watch the movie last night.  It was an entertaining movie, though nothing special.  The movie is an interesting attempt though, at making a Friday film in space.

The movie starts off in the future (I think 2008 or something) where after several attempts at executing the captured killer Jason Voorhees, it is finally decided to keep him in cryogenic suspension.  The Project Head of this is Rowan (Lexa Doig), who is not too happy when some authorities show up to take away Jason’s body, so that they can study him and discover the secret of his regenerative capability (or in other words, how he returns in each sequel despite being killed off in the previous movie).  Jason, of course, manages to get loose, but Rowan draws him into the cryo-chamber and activates it — but not before he stabs her and releases the freeze gas all over.  As a result, Rowan and Jason are frozen.

About 450 or so years later, a few people show up on the surface of Earth (which has become an uninhabitable wasteland) to salvage stuff, and they discover the two frozen bodies.  They take them aboard their ship and reanimate Rowan, and keep Jason under observation.  It’s not too soon before he thaws and starts walking around the ship, killing anyone in his way.

I actually found this movie quite entertaining.  It’s apparent that the filmmakers aren’t expecting the audience to take any of it seriously, and just have a good time with it.  The action starts very quickly, and there are some creative kill scenes (best had to be the frozen-head thing).  Some of the effects were good, others didn’t look so good.  A number of in-jokes are also to be found here.  Overall a fun movie, though there were no scares at all.

Written by Todd Farmer, directed by James Isaac.  Jason X was followed by Freddy vs. Jason, which I thought was better than this movie.

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Movies: Oldboy

May 8, 2005 at 6:29 PM (General)

I’ve been waiting to see the Korean movie Oldboy for a very long time and I finally got to do so.  I must say, it’s a very impressive movie and certainly not at all conventional.

The movie is about a man called Oh Daesu (Choi Min Sik) who is suddenly abducted without explanation, and imprisoned in a hotel room for fifteen years.  Each day, his room is cleaned, he is given food, and each night, Valium gas is used to make him sleep.  By the first year, he finds out that his wife has been murdered, and that he is the prime suspect.  He has no idea what happened to his daughter.  One day he finds out that the plate of food that comes into his room has three chopsticks instead of two — and he uses this extra chopstick to carve a hole in the wall.

One day, he is let loose by his mysterious abductor, and supplied with clothes, money, and a cellphone.  Oh Daesu meets a woman named Mido (Kang Hye-Jeong) in a restaurant, and with the help of an old friend, he tries to find his abductor.  Soon, it is revealed that Oh Daesu has only five days to find his abductor, and that all the torture he endured for fifteen years is only the beginning of what is planned for him.  At any rate, Oh Daesu intends to exact revenge upon his abductor — to paraphrase what he says in the movie, he intends to kill the person responsible, but no one will ever be able to find the body because he is going to chew it all down.

The movie is certainly very different — I expected it to be a sort of mystery-driven revenge story, but it’s more a drama than anything else.  All characters in the movie are very well developed and the film contains some amazing acting.  The last third of the movie (where the story is resolved) is quite tragic.

It should also be mentioned that the movie contains some violent scenes that could be considered disturbing, and some mature themes.  I also loved the music score in the movie, it suited it very well.  The movie is directed by Chanwook Park (who, according to what I read, is the director of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, another revenge-drama), and adapted from a Japanese manga.

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More Tribbles!

May 6, 2005 at 3:59 AM (General)

I got to watch the episode "More Tribbles, More Troubles" of the 1970s Star Trek Animated Series (produced by Filmation, who made the He-Man cartoons) today.  Though the animation quality was not very good, the writing was fantastic, which made for a brilliant half hour’s worth of entertainment.

It’s actually a sequel to "The Trouble with Tribbles" (1967), an episode of the original Star Trek series (one of the funniest Trek episodes ever!), in which we are introduced to the tribbles, which are small furry little creatures.  They’re really cute, and some of them end up on the Enterprise after being bought from a trader.  The problem is that they multiply rapidly, and soon the whole ship is overrun with the creatures.

In the animated episode, the Enterprise is transporting two ships containing a supply of foodgrain to Sherman’s planet, when they come across a Klingon ship.  The Klingons are firing on a small Federation shuttle, and Capt. Kirk tries to stop them.  The Klingons, however, possess a weapon that can disable the critical defense systems of a starship, which they use on the Enterprise.  But with a bit of quick maneuvering, Kirk manages to rescue the pilot of the shuttle from the Klingons (the weapon they use drains a lot of power, so they retreat in order to recharge it).

The pilot turns out to be Cyrano Jones, the trader that sold tribbles to the Enterprise crewmembers.  And he’s got more of them with him, only these he claims are safe, because they are genetically altered so as not to multiply fast.  With the tribbles and the Klingons, Kirk seems to have his hands full, leading to several very funny scenes in the episode.

The story is wonderfully developed too, and it has some terrific dialogue.  Consider this piece —

CAPT. KIRK (to Cyrano): You know the law about transporting animals proven harmful!
CYRANO: Captain!  These are safe tribbles!
DR. MCCOY: There’s no such thing as a safe tribble!
SPOCK: A "safe tribble" would be a contradiction of terms.  Tribbles are well known for their proclivities in multiplication.
CYRANO: And they breed fast, too.

The episode is written by David Gerrold, who also wrote the original series episode.  Wikipedia has articles on tribbles and on the original episode.

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Movies: True Romance

May 5, 2005 at 5:36 PM (General)

I watched True Romance last night.  This 1993 movie has an amazing cast — Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, James Gandolfini, Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken, Tom Sizemore, Chris Penn, Brad Pitt, Bronson Pinchot, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, and others!  It is written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Tony Scott.

The story goes like this — Clarence Worley (Slater) meets a girl called Alabama (Arquette) at a movie theatre during a Sonny Chiba triple feature, and finds out they have lots of common interests — kung fu movies, Elvis, comic books…  They fall in love but then Alabama confesses that she’s a callgirl (actually she’s been that for only four days), but that she truly loves Clarence.  The two get married, but Clarence decides that he has got to kill Alabama’s pimp Drexl (Oldman).  He does so, and leaves the place with a suitcase that he assumes is full of Alabama’s stuff.  As it turns out, it is actually full of cocaine, and pretty soon the couple are on the run from the mob and the cops, while attempting to sell off the drugs.

This is a romantic movie done Tarantino-style — it is absolutely crazy and has the expected strong violence and incessant profanity (IMDb trivia page says that there are 225 occurrences of the word f*ck and derivatives), but the characterisation is superb and I thought the romance between the two leads was very well developed.  Ultimately, it’s a very sweet movie, and has some outstanding performances.  And since this is a Tarantino script, there are a huge number of memorable scenes and dialogues &#151 "it’s better to have a gun and not need it, than to need a gun and not have it", the cocaine-in-the-face scene (one of the funniest bits I’ve ever seen!), the opening "I’d f*ck Elvis" speech, and several others.  At the end of it all I had a huge smile on my face, having thoroughly enjoyed the past two hours.

It’s difficult to go wrong with a movie where one of the main characters works in a comic book store, and where characters are shown watching movies like A Better Tomorrow II!  Even the not-so-popular action movie Freejack and the soap Santa Barbara make their appearances on TV screens within this movie.

As far as Tarantino films go, I still think that Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill are superior, though this movie is almost as good.  Apparently it was director Tony Scott who decided to film the movie linearly, the script by Tarantino was not in chronological order.

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Sin City and an Assignment?

May 4, 2005 at 10:11 PM (General)

Got an email from TCS Pitstop today.  We 86 people who are going for the training programme in Mumbai have been divided into groups, and each group has to make a presentation on Day 1.  I am in Group 10 and our topic is related to Coaching and Mentoring.  Emailing on this has started already.  Seems like a nice group of people and I’m looking forward to meeting all of them in Mumbai.

I also got to see Sin City a couple of nights back!  The movie was awesome.  Often, when a movie is made based on a book/comic/videogame, one starts comparing it with the source, and most often one finds several differences.  In most cases, you’ll hear "the book was better" and in VERY rare cases, the movie betters the source.

No such difference for Sin City the movie — it’s so closely adapted from the source books that I felt like I had re-read the books after watching the movie…  And this is exactly the effect that director Robert Rodriguez wanted to achieve, he calls it a "translation" of the books into film!  It’s brilliantly done — you might have already seen several book-to-film comparisons of the movie, like this one from Film Rotation, but the attention to detail in the movie is stunning!  For example, "Skinny little Nancy Callahan" at eleven years old looks JUST like she did in the books.

For the record, the movie is based on three of the Sin City stories by Frank Miller (four, if you count the three-page short story "The Customer is Always Right", which serves as the intro to the film) — The Hard Goodbye, which is about Marv (Mickey Rourke) trying to avenge the death of Goldie (Jaime King); The Big Fat Kill, in which Dwight (Clive Owen) must dispose of a bloody mess, failing which the delicate truce between the cops, the mob, and the hookers of Old Town might be in danger; and That Yellow Bastard, which has honest cop Hartigan (Bruce Willis) saving an eleven year old girl from child molestor/murderer, and finding that he has to save her again eight years later (the 19-year old Nancy Callahan is played by Jessica Alba).

I’ve written about these stories in detail earlier, and I thought they were all very good.  Since the movie adapts the stories so closely, I like the movie just as much as the books.  With a huge star cast, amazing visuals (the movie was shot with actors performing against a green screen, with all the backgrounds added in digitally during post-production) and nice music, this is certainly a must-see film.

Vivek Janardanan sent an email with an interesting link.  This is the webpage of the Time Traveler Convention, which, if all goes well, should see people from various timelines in MIT on May 7.

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Some pictures

May 4, 2005 at 2:04 AM (General)

Some months back, TAPMI‘s Arts and Aesthetics Forum conducted a Short Story Writing Competition, and I won first prize — a neat sum of Rs. 600.  I guess things got a bit too hectic towards the end, so they could not give me the money then.  So they couriered the money to me and I got it yesterday.  And today, I bought some comics.  I’ll write about those comics and other things later — in this post, you can see some photos related to my comics collection.  Varun took the pictures.

My comics collection.  Click the image to open a larger version in a new window (it’s about 560 KB in size).  Some things to note about this photo (we’ll go column-wise):

  • The first column (one Superman and three Batman issues) is entirely stuff by Jim Lee.  The Batman issues are from the famous "Hush" maxi-series (written by Jeph Loeb).
  • The first two parts from Tomb of Dracula, featuring Blade, and then a number of Batman issues.
  • Two Spectacular Spider-Man issues, featuring a Venom storyline and art by Humberto Ramos (I like his unique style).  A number of other Spider-Man issues follow those, including the first movie’s official comics adaptation.
  • Superman issues, including four issues from the "Birthright" series, written by Mark Waid, with art by Leinil Francis Yu (who also did those very nice covers).
  • A couple of Spider-Girl issues, House of Mystery, and some X-Men titles.  The clearly visible one is a cover that I like — it is a little different in that the pencils have directly been coloured.  A couple of Daredevil issues, one Elektra: The Hand (Elektra’s not even in this thing).
  • Some Tarzan issues, which I don’t normally buy.  But there’s one with a Dave Dorman cover, followed by one with a Tarzan vs. Predator story.
  • One issue of Astonishing X-Men written by Joss Whedon and illustrated by John Cassaday and Laura Martin.
  • The first two issues of Planetary by the above mentioned artists and writer Warren Ellis.  The Indian version covers don’t match the U.S. versions.
  • One Flash and some DC Comics Presents issues.
  • Frank Miller’s awesome Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Book 2 and 4, followed by one issue of JLA with cover and interiors entirely painted by Alex Ross (I bought this issue just today).

I changed the picture on my Blogger Profile page.  Now it is automatically resized for display on these pages, causing it to lose clarity.  Here is the actual picture (it shows me with those Dark Knight Returns books):

And finally, this is a picture of me reading the above-mentioned JLA issue, admiring Alex Ross’s art:

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