Woe's and Whoa's

After an incredibly busy couple of weeks and lots of Thanksgiving goodness, I've found myself with a lot on my mind but little time to get to blog about it.  I needed a way to highlight some of the recent events, both good and bad, and am introducing Woe's and Whoa's to encapsulate it all. Woe:  Still no TV.  Since my Mitsubishi WD-60737 DLP went on the fritz Friday, Nov. 5, I've been stuck in TV-limbo with ABC Warehouse, Harvey Electronics, and Mitsubishi all giving me the run-around.  The repair guy for Harvey Electronics showed up nearly an hour late for the 1-5 p.m. appointment, for which I had taken an unpaid half day off work to come home and wait.  He told me it was a bad main board and they would have to order it, but I should be up and running again within a week.  After nearly a week goes by, I had to call Harvey to find out what the status of this part is, and was told it should be in by Wednesday or Thursday.  Wednesday and Thursday came and went, and I found myself calling them again on Friday.  After some more back-and-forth, they found out the part is on back-order and won't be in until mid-December, more than a month after I first reported the problem to ABC Warehouse.  They couldn't seem to explain how they didn't know the part was back-ordered when they ordered it, and I found myself dealing with ABC Warehouse's Warranty Service center yet again and was given a line to Mitsubishi to call.  And call I did, but since nobody answered I left a message detailing the problem and asked for a call back.  Although I never received one, I was informed this past Wednesday from Harvey that the part has shipped.  Since this is the second time I've heard this line from them, I find myself a bit hesitant to get excited.

Mitsubishi gets a second Woe for building and selling a television set that I have now called for a warranty repair service on twice in less than a year.

My parents were kind enough to lend my wife and I a television until the repairs come through, which means I was able to break into the new Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood over this long Thanksgiving Day weekend.  I've been a fan of AC for a while, and Ubisoft gets a Woah! for putting out another great iteration in this franchise that picks up directly after Assassin's Creed II and is just as much fun.  With only a year in between releases, I was worried that Brotherhood was a rushed-to-market cash in off its successful predecessor and would act more like an expansion pack.  After clocking in at least a dozen hours so far, that is certainly not the case.  This is a full-fledged title in its own right that introduces some interesting new wrinkles to the franchise, like recruiting and training other assassins into the guild.

A second Woah! for some interesting cross-marketing and social media usage with the development of Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy, a Facebook app that links directly into Ubisoft's U-Play network, which offers gamers rewards and goodies for completing in-game challenges.  Legacy takes it to the next level by creating a button-clicker game that can be used to provide some additional training to gamers' Brotherhood assassin recruits and rewards for the console-based game, with both titles being synchronized to each other across the Internet and through Facebook.  It's an innovative, and largely successful, premise that will no doubt become standard among the gaming industry giants in short order.

The borrowed TV set also meant I was finally able to get caught up on AMC's The Walking Dead.  My dead Mitsubishi left me high and dry after the pilot premiered, but I got to marathon to the majority of the season yesterday.  Episodes 2, 3, and 4 of the series were great, with the finale of episode four getting a giant Woah! Penned by the comic's creator, Robert Kirkman, the final moments of this most recent episode saw lots of carnage as the zombies attacked the survivor's base camp and claimed two victims.  It was an intense and violent climax, and with only two episodes left for this first season, I cannot wait to see what happens next.

Woah! A new trade collection of PowersPowers, Vol. 13: Z hit store shelves not long ago, providing a welcome return to the world of Detective Christian Walker and his crime-ridden, seedy metropolis.  I'm writing up a review for it now, and it should be making its way onto Graphic Novel Reporter in the coming weeks.

Woe to Iain Banks and his new book Surface Detail.  I was new to Banks and had never read any of his Culture books before.  Unfortunately, I just could not get into this massive, labyrinthine book.  I tried to give it a fair shake, made it through about 200 pages, but found myself unable to go any further.  The longer it went on, the less interested I grew, despite some promising details along the way.  Maybe one day I'll give it another shot, but for now I will be moving on to other novels.

Thanksgiving invariably means Black Friday, which gets its own share of Woe's and Woah'sWoe to my budget, but Woah! to some great, geeky deals.  I was able to get the 80s-era V: The Complete Series and both miniseries for under $30, seasons 2 and 3 of Mad Men for $10 each, and Fable 3 for $30 during Amazon's promotions.  I also got a 50%-off coupon from Borders and picked up the first three volumes of The Boys by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson.  I had heard about this series a week or two ago, and being a fan of Ennis' depraved genius I am really looking forward to diving into this batch of graphic novels.

Although I haven't had a chance to check out the disc's themselves, I have to give one last Woah! to HBO's packaging for the Blu-ray release of Deadwood.  This is one beautiful looking set, and the collection of discs are housed in a book-style package with some stunning, glossy photo pages.  It's really eye-catching and classy.  Here's to hoping The Soprano's gets a much-deserved Blu-ray series release soon.

Michael Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.


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