Three guys talking about comic books, sports, movies, TV shows and the numerous other pastimes that make us Gentlemen of Leisure.

Friday, February 28, 2014

X-amining X-Factor #23

"You Say You Want Some Evolution?"
December 1987

In a Nutshell
X-Factor battles the Right 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciler: Walt Simonson
Inker: Bob Wiacek
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Petra Scotese
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
Having tracked their wards to the Right's secret base beneath the science museum in Arlington, X-Factor infiltrates the complex. However, Beast's brash actions quickly alert the Right to their presence. As they penetrate deeper into the complex, they get trapped in a room lined with ruby quartz, and seemingly knocked out by gas. However, Marvel Girl shielded her teammates from the effects of the gas, and when the Right try to collect them, they are able to escape, triggering a blackout in the process. Meanwhile, Apocalypse watches their battle from his ship as he pits his Horsemen against Death, who easily defeats his teammates, prompting Apocalypse to declare him their leader. Back in Arlington, the kids are freed when the power goes out, and they manage to overpower a guard and escape their cell.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

X-amining Incredible Hulk #340

"Vicious Circle"
February 1988

In a Nutshell 
Wolverine vs. the Hulk

Writer: Peter David
Art: Todd McFarlane
Lettering: Rick Parker 
Colors: Petra Scotese
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
The X-Men arrive in Dallas just as a restless Hulk leaps into the air. Forced to avoid their plane, Hulk accidentally crashes into a commercial jet, prompting the X-Men to help it land safely. Investigating the damaged plane, Wolverine recognizes Hulk's scent. Shortly thereafter, Hulk is confronted by the National Guard, triggering a fire which threatens a nearby apartment building. As the X-Men help evacuate the building, Wolverine runs afoul of Hulk. Though he accidentally cuts Hulk with his claws, Wolverine apologizes and tries to leave, more concerned with helping the X-Men then fighting, but an angry Hulk attacks Wolverine.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #224

"The Dark Before Dawn"
December 1987

In a Nutshell 
Storm reaches Forge as the X-Men set out in search of Storm.

Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Marc Silvestri
Guest Inker: Bob Wiacek
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In the Rockies, Storm and Naze reach the base of Forge's mountain aerie, and Naze sends Storm up the mountain to defeat Forge, saying Forge's enchantments would be geared to detect Naze. In San Fransisco, Val Cooper holds a press conference alongside Freedom Force at the hospital damaged in the fight between the X-Men and the Marauders, announcing Freedom Force's mandate to capture the X-Men. Nearby, Rogue is visited at a gym by a disguised Mystique, who warns her about Destiny's vision of the death of the X-Men should they go to Dallas, but Rogue insists on staying with her friends. As Dazzler performs at a local club, Longshot and Havok leave a movie and encounter a mugging gone bad. As Longshot rescues a woman taken captive by the thugs, Havok melts their car as the police, including Lt. Morrell, arrive on the scene.

The Walking Dead 4x11: Claimed

Hope in a world devoid of it. It’s a common theme in The Walking Dead. It’s also a common theme for viewers to discuss the lack of hope within this series. I’m sure this isn't the last time I will discuss this topic but it comes up now because this episode was all about hope.

Claimed followed two pieces of our fractured group. Glenn and Tara are with Sergeant Abraham and his crew. Meanwhile, Rick, Carl and Michonne were hopeful to have found an at least temporary safe haven in the house they came across two episodes ago. Unfortunately, that safety was short lived.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How I Met Your Mother 9x18: Rally


I don't know. Maybe it was the Olympics-induced break, or the fact that this episode addressed a plot point I'd assumed the show would ignore (Barney being ridiculously hung over the day of his wedding), or the novelty of seeing the entire cast together after so much time spent fractured this season, or just the casual lesbianism, but I enjoyed it. It wasn't the funniest episode, nor the most groundbreaking or revelatory, but I chuckled a few times and didn't actively dislike the characters throughout. A little cartoon-y and over-the-top at times (as many episode this season have been), but as far as Farhampton-centric episodes go, this wasn't bad.

Monday, February 24, 2014

X-aminations in March

March is "Fall of the Mutants" month! And the first appearance of Excalibur, though its regular series won't launch for a few more months.

But first, one quick change to February's schedule: I'm swapping Incredible Hulk #340 and New Mutants #59, so we'll be looking at the former this week and the latter next week instead of vice versa.

With both X-Men and X-Factor shipping two issues in September '87 to New Mutants' one, New Mutants #59 could go either this week or next, but it makes the most sense to cover the first parts of each series' respective "Fall of the Mutants" contributions in the same week (I'm not even sure why I didn't schedule it that way in the first place). 

On Sale September 1987
March 5th: Uncanny X-Men #225
March 6th: New Mutants #59
March 7th: X-Factor #24

On Sale October 1987
March 12th: Uncanny X-Men #226
March 13th: New Mutants #60
March 14th: X-Factor #25

On Sale November 1987
March 19th: Uncanny X-Men #227
March 20th: New Mutants #61
March 21st: X-Factor #26

On Sale October/November/December 1987
March 26th: Captain America #339 & Daredevil #252 ("Fall of the Mutants" tie-ins)
March 27th: Power Pack #35 & Fantastic Four #312 ("Fall of the Mutants" tie-ins)
March 28th: Excalibur Special Edition #1

Sunday, February 23, 2014

To Better Know a Hero: Jean Grey

JeanGreyFirst Appearance
X-Men #1, September 1963  

Nicknames and Aliases
Marvel Girl, Phoenix, Dark Phoenix, Red, Redd Dayspring  

Powers and Abilities
Jean is a mutant born with tremendous telepathic and telekinetic abilities, enabling her to read and control minds, project her thoughts, enter the Astral Plane, mentally lift and move objects, and fly by levitating herself, amongst others.

When augmented by the cosmic Phoenix force, her abilities increase exponentially, enabling her to telekinetically affect matter on a molecular level (changing her clothes with a thought, for example), travel through space, and transform matter into energy.  

Friends and Allies
Cyclops (Scott Summers, her husband), Marvel Girl (Rachel Summers, her daughter from an alternate future), Cable (Nathan Summers, her son born of her clone), Storm (Ororo Munroe, teammate and friend), Professor Xavier and the X-Men, John and Elaine Grey (her parents), Sara Grey (her sister), resurrection.

Click here to read the rest of the post.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Last Week in Pop Culture #20

Around the Web
One review from me up on Sound on Sight this week, covering the still-not-as-fun-as-it-should-be next chapter in IDW's X-Files Conspiracy crossover, this time featuring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The first trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy hit the internet this week, and if you haven't checked it out, do so. As I said on Twitter, I'm an easy mark when it comes to trailers, but this got me even more excited for the movie, especially for Chris Pratt's take on Starlord. This movie will be a tough sell, even to the millions who have embraced stuff like Iron Man and the Avengers, but the trailer seems to suggest the filmmakers are aware of this, and doing their best to make sure everyone knows what to expect from the movie. 

Also, in perhaps the most WTF news of late, NBC announced that it is rebooting Heroes as a 13-episode "event series" in 2015. Alan Sepinwall does a good job laying out just why this seems like such a bad idea here, though he overlooks one key component: in addition to all its other problems, Heroes under Tim Kring was pathologically incapable of showing any exciting action sequences, at one point literally confining a fight that was the climax of a season to a locked room and showing the audience a character watching the fight through a keyhole rather than the fight itself.

All of which is to say that while a Heroes reboot in and of itself may not be a terrible idea (in terms of doing something with the concept of "ordinary people with extraordinary abilities" while trying to get some juice from the brand name), putting Kring back in charge seems especially stupid. That said, I'll probably still watch it, just to see how awful it is (what the kids these days call "hate watching").

Friday, February 21, 2014

X-amining X-Factor #22

"If I Should Die..."
November 1987

In a Nutshell 
The Right captures the X-Factor kids. 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Guest Penciler: Sal Buscema
Inker: Bob Wiacek
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Petra Scotese
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
The Right attacks the X-Factor kids, and though they fight back, their attacks are uncoordinated and soon they're knocked out by the tranquilizer darts fired by the Right. As the Right searches the X-Factor complex for more mutants, they're attacked by Caliban, but he too is knocked out and, not being on their list, left for dead. Meanwhile, X-Factor makes their way back to the complex through the sewers, just as Boom-Boom arrives outside their headquarters. Breaking in, she spots the Right soldiers gathering up the unconscious kids and follows them. X-Factor returns and finds Caliban unconscious as Boom-Boom trails the Right to a nearby airfield. Creating a diversion, she sneaks aboard the plane with the other kids.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

X-amining New Mutants #58

"A Bird in the Hand"
December 1987

In a Nutshell
The New Mutants take Bird-Brain home to help his friends.

Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciler: Bret Blevins & Off the Wall Studios
Inker: Terry Austin 
Letterer: Ken Lopez
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As the rest of the New Mutants study for midterms, Doug and Rahne work with Bird-Brain to increase his vocabulary. As the moon comes out, Bird-Brain starts to freak out, talking, near as Doug can tell, about some kind of tests and "the end of it all" occurring with the full moon. Later, as Bird-Brain watches Sesame Street, he shows familiarity towards a tiger, intriguing the New Mutants as Bird-Brain was found on an ice flow in the North Atlantic. The next morning, they show him pictures from old National Geographics, and determine he likes pictures of Greenland but hates zoos. Later, despite being grounded, the New Mutants decide to sneak out for burgers, taking Bird-Brain with them once more. That night, as they watch a movie, Bird-Brain is upset when a lion tamer whips a lion.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #223

"Omens and Portents"
August 1987

In a Nutshell 
Storm confronts Forge. In a hallucination. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Guest Penciler: Kerry Gammill
Inker: Dan Green
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
In Washington, Crimson Commando, Stonewall and Super Sabre join Freedom Force, shortly before Destiny has a precognitive vision of the X-Men's deaths. In the Rockies, Naze suddenly falls ill, apparently poisoned by the Eye Killers' venom, and tells Storm to go on without him. In New York, a columnist interviews a group of blue collar workers about mutants. In San Fransisco, the X-Men are using Alcatraz as a headquarters as they search the city for any sign of the Marauders. Madelyne, on a cliff overlooking the ocean, mulls over recent events, including the end of her marriage and the disappearance of her son. Havok sees her from a distance and, fearing she's about to jump, calls out to her.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Walking Dead 4x10: Inmates

So, that was an episode that happened. That statement actually isn't an indictment of this episode but rather an expression of frustration from a reviewer after watching an episode that left very little to be discussed. (Aside from giving an ending that will have comic book readers talking.)

This episode just gave us an overview of what the rest of the group is doing. Daryl is with Beth. Unfortunately, Daryl is a bit down in the dumps and isn't his usual awesome Daryl self. That is a bummer. Maggie, Sasha and Bob are searching for Glenn. Meanwhile, Glenn has made an alliance out of necessity with mopey, guilt-ridden Tara. They're all wandering with no clear direction.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Last Week in Pop Culture #19

Around the Web
This week, I've got one review up for Sound on Sight, looking at All New X-Men #23, the third part of the "Trial of Jean Grey" crossover, as well as a feature on Cyclops and Jean Grey, part of February's "Best Comic Book Romances" theme. 

Once Upon a Time: The New Neverland


One of the benefits to moving the action back to Storybrooke, even though the whole Pan storyline hasn't completed, is that it gives us a chance to see the characters decompress while they think the threat is over, something that rarely happens.

It was genuinely kind of sad that nobody cared Regina came back, and I'm glad Snow wasn't a bitch about it and stuck up for her. 

I'm also glad Emma knew fairly early that something was wrong with Henry - obviously, with only two episodes left, they couldn't drag this out very long, but that works to the show's advantage.

I'm still confused about the Hipster Darlings...like, they were once younger than Wendy, right? So now they're older than her (since she's been in timeless Neverland), but they're not *that* much older. Why not? Whatever. That's probably the last we'll see of them. 

How awesome would it be if Henry had gotten stuck in Pan's body so that Jared Gilmore was done playing Henry? 

I've seen better animated figures than Medusa in video games. From 1995.

Friday, February 14, 2014

X-amining X-Factor #21

"For Every Action..."
October 1987

In a Nutshell 
Angel's will is read. 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Pencils: Walt Simonson
Inker: Bob Wiacek
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Petra Scotese
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Cameron Hodge returns to the X-Factor complex, and is quickly accosted by X-Factor. Though he feigns knowledge of any nefarious actions, X-Factor fires him, citing his failed ad campaign for the organization, which fanned the flames of anti-mutant prejudice. Later, Hank, still ill, plays a game of chess with the kids before getting ready for the reading of Warren's will. Unknownst to them, Hodge watches X-Factor from his secret lair within the complex, making ready a plan for later in the day. In the midst of a media circus, X-Factor and Hodge arrive uptown for the reading of the will, at which it's announced that Warren has left all his money to X-Factor, to be administered by Hodge.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

X-amining New Mutants #57

"Birds of a Feather"
November 1987

In a Nutshell
The New Mutants try to communicate with Bird Boy. 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Artist: Bret Blevins
Inker: Terry Austin 
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Plot
As Magneto shepherds the protesting New Mutants into the Danger Room, he's stunned to discover Bird Boy living inside. Freaked out by the disappearing environment, the New Mutants quickly attempt to calm down the creature. Rahne asks Doug to try and talk to him, but Doug insists he's not speaking a language. Magneto runs some tests and determines Bird Boy is neither mutant nor human, then sends the New Mutants back to their midterm studies. Later, the New Mutants gather to say goodbye to Amara as she leaves for the Massachusetts Academy, assuring her they'll still remain friends. In order to cheer themselves up, they decide to skip studying and sneak out to the mall for burgers and a movie. Rahne insists they bring along Bird Boy, and after disguising him with some old clothes, Illyana teleports the group to the mall. However, Bird Boy, egged on by Illyana, goes nuts over the food at the malt shoppe, causing a scene.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #222

"Heartbreak!"
October 1987

In a Nutshell
The X-Men vs. the Marauders, round two. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artists: Marc Silvestri & Dan Green
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
As Polaris threatens Dazzler and Rogue, Havok unknowingly blasts her from afar, knocking her unconscious. Rogue flies Polaris and Dazzler to the beach, as Psylocke and Havok arrive alongside Lt. Morrell. As Rogue flies off to find Madelyne, Havok is shocked to discover he blasted Polaris, only a moment before she wakes up and attacks him. Meanwhile, in the Rockies, Storm and Naze are attacked by a pair of demons. After they're defeated, Naze suggests Forge may have loosed the demons by opening the gateway between worlds, prompting Storm to swear to kill him. Back in San Fransisco, Psylocke is able to temporarily free Polaris from Malice's control, but when other Marauders attack, Malice reasserts control, trapping all but Havok, who grabs hold of Polaris as she flies off, in the sand. Meanwhile, on the Golden Gate bridge, Scalphunter targets Rogue, but is distracted by Longshot and attacked by Wolverine.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Walking Dead 4x09: After

My family and I don’t discuss our genitalia. I mean, maybe I had some questions when I really young but I don’t remember that long ago. There was never a formal declaration of this non-genitalia talk policy. We just all have had an unspoken understanding that none of us are interested in the others' private parts. The Grimes family must be very different than mine because Rick and Carl seem very concerned with whose dick is bigger.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Last Week in Pop Culture #18

Around the Web
Two reviews from me this week, one for Ms. Marvel #1 (which was mostly excellent) and Wolverine #1 (which was mostly not).

Super Bowl XLVIII
Boy, that game sure did suck, didn't it? 

New Girl: Prince


I'm not the world's biggest Prince fan (despite being Minnesotan, I basically have no strong opinions on him), but I love the idea of casting him as some kind of impish relationship guru with magic powers and butterfly familiars, and in general appreciate that, as much as this was still Prince, the show made a character out of him, rather than just dropping him into their big post-Super Bowl episode for the sake of having an attention-getting guest star.

Friday, February 7, 2014

X-amining X-Factor #20

"Children's Crusade"
September 1987

In a Nutshell
The X-Factor kids clean-up Central Park.

Writer: Louise Simonson
Guest Penciler: June Brigman
Inker: Randy Emberlin
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Petra Scotese
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
X-Factor returns home through the underground tunnels, Beast terribly ill from Pestilence's touch and Iceman frozen over. Their young charges help get Beast and Iceman settled in the infirmary as Rictor announces that Hodge has disappeared. Rusty decides he's going to sneak out and try to melt the ice Iceman left in Central Park, in order to prove to the world that mutants are capable of doing good, but Rictor tells him not to risk getting caught by the authorities for such a foolish gesture. Rusty calls Rictor a coward, and the two fight until Jean breaks them up. Later that night, a sleepless Rictor realizes Rusty was right, he was being cowardly, as Artie seeks out Rusty only to find him missing.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

X-amining New Mutants #56

"Scavenger Hunt!"
October 1987

In a Nutshell
The New Mutants compete with the Hellions for Bird-Boy. 

Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciler: June Brigman
Inker: Terry Austin 
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
At breakfast, the New Mutants discuss Lila's party from the night before, and Dani teasingly manifests an image of a guy Amara thinks is cute, which turns out to be the Hellion Empath. Running to her room, Amara reads a letter from her father, urging her to come home. She is reluctant to do so, though muses that she felt more at home at the aristocratic Massachusetts Academy than Xavier's school. At the Hellfire Club, the Hellions are watching the news, and see footage of Cannonball accidentally breaking the bird boy free the previous night. Suspecting the New Mutants have some interest in the creature, the Hellions vow to get to him first. As they leave, the White Queen pulls Empath aside, telling him it's time to spring her trap. At Xavier's School, the New Mutants see the same footage and decide to save Bird Boy. They teleport into the city and spot Bird Boy over the river. Attempting to communicate with the creature, they are interrupted by the Hellions, who scare him off.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

X-amining Uncanny X-Men #221

"Death by Drowning!"
September 1987

In a Nutshell 
The first appearance of Mr. Sinister and the return of the Marauders. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artists: Marc Silvestri & Dan Green
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
Mr. Sinister, leader of the Marauders, lambasts them for failing to kill Madelyne Pryor, who has recently awoken from her coma, then sends the team out to finish the job. Meanwhile, at the X-Mansion, Dazzler trains in the Danger Room, fighting a simulacrum of Rogue, much to the real Rogue's consternation. She urges Dazzler to bury the hatchet between them for the good of the team, but they're called to action by Psylocke. At the Grand Canyon, Storm and Naze begin their search for Forge, one which Naze says will be as much a spiritual journey as a physical one. In San Fransisco, the newly-arrived X-Men gather on a rooftop overlooking a hospital, as Wolverine explains that he received a call from Madelyne Pryor asking for the X-Men's help. As Psylocke scans the area, she detects the presence of the Marauders. Rogue races into the hospital, punching Sabretooth out of the building as Madelyne fights off Scalphunter.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How I Met Your Mother 9x17: Sunrise


Pro: Barney's story was not about him getting cold feet and running out on the wedding.

Con: I still didn't care all that much about the actual story of Barney passing on all that he knows to a pair of random losers.

Pro: The Lily/Marshall fight is over.

Con: It concluded in a ridiculously abrupt and simple manner, and even though Marshall sort of learned a lesson, it still feels like he "won" and Lily just caved. Her coming back and then the two of them continuing their discussion, allowing Lily to make some of the points Ghost Lily made, would have given Actual Lily more agency in the decision.

Pro: It was nice to see Marshall's dad one last time, especially since he called Marshall on his BS, and 2006 Lily's interactions with Ghost Lily were genuinely entertaining.

Con: I guess both the identity of whomever picked up Lily and the entire idea of her running out on Marshall was ultimately no big deal?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Saturday Night Live: Melissa McCarthy & Imagine Dragons


By now, the SNL writers clearly know what to expect from Melissa McCarthy, and wisely write to her strengths. The end result is an episode dominated by McCarthy (she appeared in every non-pre-filmed sketch, including the cold open, save for Weekend Update), one that eschews much in the way of clever structure or recurring characters (just one recurring sketch) and just lets McCarthy come in and play her distinctive style of wacky, over-the-top characters. It may not be the most original episode, but it's still one of the funnier in this mostly mediocre season.

Amidst all the McCarthy hijinks, the show bid farewell to Seth Meyers. While Seth has been an able and effective Weekend Update anchor, both in his own right and with various partners, that segment of the show should be fine: Cecily Strong has acquitted herself well in her brief tenure behind the desk, visibly growing more confidant with each outing, and there remains a decent stable of recurring Update guests that don't require Seth's presence from which the show can draw.

But I am curious to see how Seth's departure as head writer affects the show, simply because his voice has been a dominant one in the writer's room for so long now (almost ten years). He also leaves the show in a transitional period, as it continues to work out exactly what its strong, large, but relatively new cast is capable of and what its voice will be in the wake of so many long time (and dominant) cast members departing.

So far, this has been a mostly mediocre season, but with so many new faces on hand and old faces gone, being mediocre, rather than downright awful, is a success in its own right. It'll be interesting to see what impact, if any, Seth's absence as a writer and guiding voice will have in that development. Is he responsible for keeping the new cast out of the dumps, or will the ascendancy of other voices allow the cast to come into their own? Only time will tell.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Last Week in Pop Culture #17

Around the Web 
Just one piece for Sound on Sight from me this week, a review of Guardians of the Galaxy #11, the second first part of the "Trial of Jean Grey" crossover, which you can find here.

It was announced this week that Jeremy Irons has been cast as Alfred and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor in the still-untitled sequel to Man of Steel (the one that will feature Ben Affleck as Batman). I like the casting, particularly Eisenberg. His Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network was already pretty Luthor-esque, and his casting suggests they're setting up Luthor as a tech-savvy media mogul type, which is a sensible modern interpretation of the character that still fits his roots, one which Eisenberg should nail.

That said, this is still a movie that is going to feature Batman and Wonder Woman (along with Alfred and Luthor and lord knows who else) as well as a Superman who did nothing to help the thousands (if not millions) of innocent people who died in the last movie and expressed zero remorse over that fact, so it's tough to get too excited about this casting, because even if Eisenberg kills it, he's still probably going to be in a mess of a movie. 

Far more importantly than all that, this week my good friend, fellow blogger and frequent commenter Sarah announced on her blog that she's signed with a literary agent. Cue the fanfare! As any fellow aspiring novelists knows, landing an agent is A BIG DEAL, the key step in getting your book published and becoming rich and famous and never having to do anything but write ever again, and I couldn't be happier for her. Rest assured, once her first book (which I've read, and is pretty effing fantastic) is available for purchase, I'll be pimping the hell out of it here, so no one'll miss out on a chance to buy it.