Let’s talk about Superman

Or, to be a bit more specific, let’s talk about Superman’s son, Jonathan Kent. Superman has been a dad in the mainline Superman comics for some time now, and the addition of fatherhood to his character has been the best development Superman has had in since John Byrne decided that Clark Kent was the real person and Superman was the secret identity. Jon himself has been through a couple of different iterations already; he started as a ten-year-old (don’t ask) and then got aged up to about seventeen (really don’t ask) and recently he’s taken over as Superman, as Kal-El has been called off into space to deal with … stuff.

(I actually don’t know the full story there.)

Anyway, you may have seen in the news lately that Jon’s bisexual? Don’t worry about it, it’s cool. Jon and the guy who is going to become his boyfriend are super fucking cute together, and I’m behind this development too. The reason I’m mentioning this, though, isn’t because of the gay angle; it’s because series writer Tom Taylor may be the best Superman writer currently working today. He gets the character in a way very few others have, and so far four issues in Superman: Son of Kal-El is rapidly becoming one of my favorite books on the shelves. If you’re into comic books at all, and you’re not reading this one (or Nightwing, Taylor’s other mainstream superhero book, which is also phenomenal) you’re really missing out. If you don’t read comics but you’re open to the idea, wait until there’s a trade out (shouldn’t be too much longer) and pick it up at a bookstore of your choice. I’m pretty sure the series is selling well, but however well it’s selling more people still need to know about it. Go check it out.

Anyway.

Don’t expect much more than a picture or something tomorrow; I have a family thing out of town that I have to do, and it’ll take all day– the good news is I’ve taken the day off, and the bad news is that I’ve had to take the day off, if you know what I mean and if you don’t don’t worry too much about it. We’re all fine over here. I figure what with the hunting down comic books and watching hours and hours of YouTube video, y’all will have plenty to do while I’m gone, right?

IT’S HERE IT’S HERE MY GOD IT’S HERE

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from a publicist at Orbit Books, who noted that I had read and favorably reviewed the first two books in Fonda Lee’s Green Bone Saga trilogy, and was asked if I’d like to receive an early promotional copy of the book.

An early promotional copy of the final book in a trilogy where both of the first two books were my favorite book released in the years they came out?

An early promotional copy of the single book I’m looking forward to most in 2021, if not the single literal thing I’m most looking forward to in 2021? Four months early??

I think the first line of my reply to her was “Oh, Jesus Christ, absolutely.”

Like, this makes every second of the last eight years of blogging, or however long it’s been, completely worth it.

And now it was here. It’s not in great shape– I was going to do a whole unboxing thing, but the book was supposed to be here yesterday, and from the condition of the packaging I think UPS had it strapped to the bottom of the truck, and it was halfway out of the package anyway, so I just took it out and gave it a little hug to make it feel better.

I will now go finish Empire of Gold, which I have maybe 50 more pages of, and then we’ll see how fast I can devour this book. If there’s not a review up by this weekend, it’s because something’s gone terribly wrong in my life.

I need tech help

Does anyone know what the best way to check referrers to a post is? I have one that’s been sort of blowing up over the last month, to the point where something has to be linking to it from somewhere, and I’d love to be able to see where from, but WordPress’ referral logs aren’t being helpful at all.

In other news … there is no other news. I finished The Hidden Palace last night, which is the sequel to The Golem and the Jinni, my favorite book of 2013, and while I enjoyed it I don’t have enough to say to review it. That’s all I’ve got at the moment.

Masamba!

You may already know this about me: I am a Zoo Person. If you put me in a new city on limited time and ask me what I want to do while I’m there, chances are I’m going to pick the zoo, if they have one, over any other available activities– and I am a big fan of Potawatomi Zoo, which is our local zoo and is genuinely one of the highlights of the area.

We have a white rhino. His name is Masamba. And I got to pet him today. This was my birthday present from my wife– they only let six people do this a week, and it’s scheduled in advance– and we got to spend about half an hour up close with him. I was expecting to have to provide some sort of food or something to get him to come over to us, but apparently he really likes interacting with people, and despite being way in the back of his enclosure when we came down he came lolloping over right away as soon as his keeper called out to him. Behaviorally, he may as well be a giant puppy; eventually he actually laid down against the fence and just hung out with us.

I was joking about bringing a saddle to ride him all week long, and my wife made it very clear that were I to engage in any shenanigans with the zookeepers or were I to ask any Dad Questions of them, divorce would swiftly follow– but y’all, this big boi would totally have let me ride him. Next time we go to the zoo, I’m coming prepared.

A Fourth of July factoid

Many of you probably know this, either because you’re history buffs like me or you’ve seen me mention it here before or you saw it somewhere else today, as this is going to be far from the only place to learn this today.

But!

One of my favorite stupid party tricks is that I can always tell you how old America is without having to do the math. My birthday is tomorrow, and I was born on July 5, 1976, meaning I was born the day after America’s bicentennial. I therefore can determine America’s age by just adding 200 to my own rather than dealing with any piddling subtraction like some sort of heathen.

But I have another trick! I can also, by adding 150 to my age, tell you how many years it has been since both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died. You see, the two men both died on the same day– and not only did they die on the same day, but it was July 4, 1826– in other words, on America’s 50th birthday.

Jefferson’s last words were “Is it the Fourth?”

Adams, who always thought America should celebrate its birthday on July 2 because he was a contrary old bastard like that (hot take: Adams was the Bernie Sanders of the 1700s,) didn’t give a damn about dying on the Fourth, but his last words were “Thomas Jefferson survives.” He was wrong. Jefferson had been dead for a few hours, but, y’know, 1826. I don’t know how long it took for the knowledge of Jefferson’s death to make it from Virginia to Massachusetts, but it was probably at least a week or so, and I imagine it took a minute to determine which man had actually passed away first.

And now you know something about what happened 195 years ago today.