Pull List for January 16, 2019

Pull List for January 16, 2019

Every Wednesday, all-new comic books hit the shelves with original stories to be engrossed in, and new art to be fascinated by. This is my weekly write-up where I share what comic books I read last week, and my pull list of comics for this week.

What I read last week

Bully Wars #5 3/5 stars

Thoroughly enjoyed the end of this arc. As usual, the art and colors were beautiful. Skottie Young did a great job of wrapping up the arc, offering a feel-good ending with a valuable lesson. Interestingly enough, it almost felt like a series ending rather than an arc ending.

Captain Marvel 5/5 stars

What a fantastic first issue! Kelly Thompson didn’t disappoint. As a person who’s read very little Captain Marvel, I felt this first issue did a good job of introducing the character and her supporting cast. In just this first issue—beautifully drawn by Carmen Carnero and colored by Tamra Bonvillain—it’s firmly established that Carol Danvers is a badass and that she needs nobody’s help to kick some serious butt. I can’t wait to read the next issue.

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man 5/5 stars

I’ll be honest, even though I was beyond excited to read a Spidey title from Tom Taylor, before actually reading this I was confused as to why there was a need for another comic about Spider-Man separate from Amazing. The answer is made very clear, and I’m looking forward to reading future issues. This title seems to be focusing specifically on more ground-level issues and expanding more on where Peter lives, his roommates, and the smaller details of his life which due to Amazing’s focus, doesn’t make sense over there. It’s great to see Juann Cabal and Tom Taylor working together again, after their fantastic work together on All-New Wolverine. Definitely adding this to my pull list.

Martian Manhunter #2 4/5 stars

I didn’t know I’d enjoy this series as much as I am. Picking up right after the events of the first issue, this one dives a little deeper into who J’onn J’onzz is and what Martian life is like. Kudos to Riley Rossmo, who’s gorgeous art style for this series flows seamlessly back and forth from Earth scenes to Mars.

Oblivion Song #11 4/5 stars

I’m a bit confused as to what happened at the end of this issue because the art wasn’t obvious to me. However, there’s still much to like in here. Robert Kirkman strikes again with fantastic dialogue, especially that of Ed’s. I’m enjoying the explanation of his motives and find them to be ones I can empathize with. De Felici’s art (as I said previously) is a bit confusing at the end, but he does an amazing job creating some never-before-seen creatures that left me in awe of his imagination. Annalisa Leoni’s colors truly bring all these creatures to life in this issue, just as she’s done in this whole series so far. Superb work.

Favorite of the week: Captain Marvel #1

Picking up this week

  • The Amazing Spider-Man #13 - I’m not enjoying this arc as much as I’ve enjoyed previous ones, but I’ll keep picking it up for now. Nick Spencer has done way more good than bad with his run so far, so I’m not about to drop this for something petty like the fact that I don’t really like J. Jonah Jameson.

Pop Culture Detective’s Video Essay on ‘The Last Jedi’

There are many people (mostly men) on the internet that didn’t like The Last Jedi. I think this video does a beautiful job of explaining why. The Last Jedi is constantly challenging masculinity, what it means to be a man, and what it means to be a hero.

And yes, just like any other film, there are always things that could be better. But the overall message of the movie is a positive one. It’s one of inclusivity; it’s one of equality. I hope J. J. Abrams’ “course correction” with Episode IX follows that path.

 

Grammarly

No matter the task, this writing assistant helps your text be concise, articulate, and correct

4.5/5 stars
Grammarly for macOS© Timothy B. Smith

Kelly and I got Hulu in November when they had their 99¢/month promotion. 99¢ is a killer price, but that price tier comes with ads (of course). As I binge-watched Brooklyn Nine-Nine—and was rudely interrupted with an ad—I came across an app I’d heard of many times: Grammarly.

Hot damn Hulu! One of your ads converted me!

So here I am, writing this into Grammarly as it wonderfully checks every word. I’m excited. I’ve considered hiring an editor many times for Brightly Colored but it, unfortunately, doesn’t align with how fast I tend to publish articles.

If you’re getting wordy, Grammarly is quick to suggest a more concise way to get your idea across

Grammarly helps me just… write. I have a bad habit of editing myself as I write, which frequently blocks me from expressing what I feel. Grammarly does a lot of the editing work for me, so I don’t have to. My only job is to write in the moment, then edit all those thoughts later.

Grammarly checks to see if you’re using the same word too often and suggests a suitable synonym

Grammarly also helps me if I’m using a word too much. I know this to be an issue of mine; reusing the same adjectives over and over. Before, if I noticed I was using the same word, I’d look the word up in a thesaurus to find a suitable synonym. However, that only works some of the time since I only do it when I notice. Computers are much more reliable for this type of task.

The app’s UI for suggesting alternate words is excellent. It’ll show you the word you used, a suggestion for another term that may be better, and then an example of how more descriptive words can add meaning and flavor to a sentence.

Grammarly’s statistics are another fantastic feature. It’ll give you statistics you’ve come to take for granted like word and character count, but it also shows you the average length of words used, sentence length, and even a readability score. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t give you any suggestions on how you could improve that score, which I think would be great.

Grammarly offers helpful insights like sentence length, word count, and a readability score

Getting content in and out is easy too. You can either write in Grammarly or write in your app of choice, then import or paste your text into the app. Once your content is checked, you can have Grammarly export a .txt file, print your document or copy everything to your clipboard.

As I said before, I wrote this article in Grammarly, but I usually write in iA Writer. Once I’ve got a solid draft, I copy the text and paste it into Grammarly.

Instead of using the same old words, Grammarly can suggest more detailed terms

So far the app hasn’t made a big deal about any of my formatting. I write in Markdown with some HTML interspersed in there too. Thankfully, Grammarly plays nice with that and instead focuses on the actual content.

It’s important to note that this app can’t replace an actual human. I’m almost embarrassed to write that because it should be obvious. But Grammarly does about 90 percent of what I’m looking for, and that’s significant. It does so much more than check grammar and spelling; it helps me punctuate sentences accurately, helps me be more concise, and even use more descriptive words.

In the small amount of time I’ve been using Grammarly, I already feel my writing has improved. I definitely recommend it.


Kindly edited by Kelly Smith. Photography by Timothy B. Smith.

Jimmy Butler at It Again

Romana Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski reporting for ESPN:

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Jimmy Butler has aggressively challenged coach Brett Brown on his role in the offense, complicating an already tenuous chemistry among the team’s Big Three hierarchy, league sources told ESPN.

Butler has been vocal in his contesting of Brown and his system, including a recent film session in Portland that some witnesses considered “disrespectful” and beyond normal player-coach discourse.

I hate to say it, but Jimmy Butler may be the next Dwight Howard: a talented player whose very presence causes the implosion of otherwise good teams. Yes, Butler has a lot more skill than Dwight ever had, but it’s a very similar attitude. A “my way or the highway” type of personality that doesn’t work well with others.

In the NBA, that’s all good and fine when you’re winning or when you’ve established a winning reputation, but Jimmy has neither. Right now, he’s nothing more than a child with just a smidge better than average talent who starts drama everywhere he goes.

Somehow I still like him, even with all the problems he caused in Minnesota. Jimmy strikes me as one of those guys that would be a lot more fun to be around if their definition of masculinity were adjusted. I hope someone who truly cares about him can help with that.

4 Things I Miss About Mac

Four years later, and Dave Rupert is still on Windows. I honestly feel he doesn’t stay out of obligation—he prefers it. His example reminds me that attaching one’s identity to a company is foolish. After all, these are only tools used to get the job done, and the best tool for the task could change at any moment.

smith@ttimsmith.com
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