Category: nostalgia


I mentioned figuring out what I was planning to do here for Halloween earlier, so I figured I should talk about it a bit.

So, back in the nineties and early aughts R. L. Stine’s Fear Street novels were the slightly more mature option to the Goosebumps books if you were a kid and wanted to read horror novels. For the most part they were pretty good, kind of formula after awhile but not unforgivably so, and genuinely fun to read to boot. So of course, as a kid, when I had the chance to read the origins of Fear Street I jumped at the chance. I never actually finished the Fear Street Saga trilogy back then, I wimped out.

That’s a lie. I got so scared that I quit reading the trilogy and split the books apart so that they couldn’t scare me any more. I gave one to a friend that I haven’t talked to in forever. Another I donated to the library of a school I wouldn’t attend until much later. As to what happened to the last book, I don’t remember in the least. It could be on a shelf at my parents’ house waiting to be opened and to allow terror to spill forth once more.

Alright, got a little purple prose-y there, but point made. Right? This trilogy scared my child self to pieces in ways that no other book I’d read at the time had been able to. So badly that I apparently decided that a fantasy novel approach to a mass market printed book was the most logical thing possible.

And the nature of fear fascinates me, especially my own. So what to do about a series like that? Read it as an adult of course. I want to see what freaked me out so badly and if it still does. So, for Halloween, I’m reading the Fear Street Saga trilogy!

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Yeah, I’m back on this again and ignoring that review that I’ll be posting probably either later tonight or sometime tomorrow.  Here’s the thing, I’ve been a fan of Barbara Gordon since back in the nineties with Batman the Animated Series when I had no clue that the comics were any different.   Back then, I had no idea that The Killing Joke had happened or that there was a second Batgirl.  This was the character that I wanted to grow up to be.  She was like Velma but with more attitude and she got to work with Batman.

Fast forward to sometime during high school and I’ve heard of The Killing Joke but not read it.  I’ve heard that there was a second Batgirl and that she was rather poorly delt with for a chunk of her run in the cape.  But I hadn’t really started reading comics yet.  The Sandman, sure but that was because the school library had it in trade paperbacks and I had free time while being a library aide.  It was around this time that I started to get more interested in comics as a whole, so I’d started reading up on DC’s super heroes to see who I wanted to focus on.

Fast forward again to around February.  Holy cow there’s going to be a Batwoman monthly comic!  Issue #0 is coming out and The Question is going to be in Birds of Prey!  I was practically dancing in my seat with this one.  Plus I was trying to keep up with the Odyssy of Wonder Woman arc of Wonder Woman because I wanted to see how they changed the character.  And follow it through to Flashpoint and my various rants on that, it’s really one of the things that sticks out at me as a forced money grab even now.  But I’ve finally got that Batwoman ongoing as part of my draw list, and Birds of Prey is still pretty cool even without Lady Blackhawk or Huntress.

It’s kind of itchy though, reading Batgirl and seeing Barbara go from tough leadery Oracle to a Batgirl so full of self doubt that I almost expect that the villain is going to wind up doing himself in rather than her winning.This is where I get to the meat of my ramble, don’t worry the rest was just back story.  Now, not all of the sources agree, but apparently Babs was Oracle sometime during those three years post-Flashpoint.  Why isn’t she still?  I’m basing this mostly on the character I was reading back in Birds of Prey but it’s hard to see her giving up the autonomy of being a hero on her own to step back under the Batmantle.  Out of the chair she’s still the same character, or at least she should be.  Post-Flashpoint Batgirl seems to assume a Barbara who never quit being Batgirl prior to The Killing Joke, one who would go back to that after having been Oracle.

This is a character who questioned her reasons for crime fighting right up through the eighties when she quit and was then shot in the spine for being related to Batman’s supporting cast.  Except it isn’t anymore, maybe.  What was DCnU Barbara Gordon like before the Joker shot her?  Was she Silver Age Batgirl with her Batpurse and day job as a librarian?  Was she BtAS Batgirl the plucky not quite side kick?  Heck, was she Stephanie Brown with red hair and no history as Spoiler?  I’m growing tired of DCnU Batgirl’s near constant self questioning.  I understand that she’s not at a hundred percent yet and I understand that Gail Simone is laying the basis for the rest of the comic, but the more I read the less I like Babs and the more I want to just quietly go back to finding Oracle’s appearances in trade paperbacks.

This is one of those situations where I want to see what other people have to say about this.  I’m going to keep reading for at least the next arc to see how DCnU Babs develops, but I’m thinking that this may not be something that stays on my draw list much longer. What do you think internets?  Does the current incarnation make more sense to you that it does me?  Where do you think Simone is going to go with Batgirl from here?

Hello all, long time no review.  Classes have been doing their level best to eat my life, but who doesn’t feel that way.  Fall Break is coming up and I could use a nap.  Something, something, comic books on Wednesday, something, tired joke, something, Necronomicon, also that the Deadworld giveaway ends at midnight tonight.  Winners should be announced sometime tomorrow, Thursday at the latest.

Angela Sage Larsen’s Fifties Chix: Travel to Tomorrow appealed to me for two reasons when I first heard of it: history and time travel.  I wasn’t really sure if it would pull either off well given the amount of research needed for one and issues that tend to pop up in the other, but I was beyond pleasantly surprised.  The characters don’t magically know modern slang and continue talking like something from I Love Lucy throughout the book.  They aren’t just dumped into the future to fend for themselves.  Their families and classmates are still there, just different.  The book shows the characters trying to deal with life fifty-five years in the future and figure out how they got there in the first place.  It shows problems that they have and frames of reference that they’re missing.  Maxine gets an excellent moment with her family, specifically her cousin, because she was raised during the civil rights movement.  Stuff like that serves to illustrate the social differences of the times without dropping too many anvils.  Ann and Mary each get thrown for a loop at their families’ lack of religion in the future.

My only big issue with Travel to Tomorrow is that it’s obviously the first in a series and ends with a massive hook for the rest of the books.  I get that the hook is supposed to keep me interested in the series until the next one comes out but it also takes me out of the story with one big jolt; kind of like if half way through the book Maxine had started using modern slang or Bev just stopped being into sports for no reason.  My only other problem was with some of the handwriting used for the journal sections, and that was only because I’m terrible at reading cursive.

I enjoyed Travel to Tomorrow immensely.  It was definitely written to a younger audience but managed to mostly avert writing down to them.  It made my inner history nerd practically dance.  That said, it loses points for the obvious hook.  I dislike it when something big is confirmed and then I have to wait for the next book.  So, what’s the verdict?  I’m giving Travel to Tomorrow a four out of five.  I’m also making note of some of the phrases in the last chapter/glossary to use in messing with my friends.

Nostalgia Books

Ever gone back and read a book or series just for the nostalgia factor?  Or fondly remember a bunch of books from when you were a kid?

I’ve been thinking about some of my old books from back in the nineties, and I keep hitting on the Encyclopedia Brown mystery books.  I have part of the set, and still occasionally read some of the stories.  What about you guys?  Any nostalgia books?