Saturday, May 28, 2022

The Jolly Genre Jubilee Tag

I spotted this on both The Caffeinated Fangirl and I'm Charles Baker Harris (And I Can Read).  Neither of them tagged me specifically, but they both said anyone who wanted to snurch the tag could, so I am snurching it while the snurching is good!

There are rules, and those rules are as follows:
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you, and leave a link back to their blog.
  • Leave a link back to the creator of the tag (Behold: the original post
  • Answer the questions honestly, and include at least one (1) gif of a pelican >> it’s in the rules, folks. you have to do it. 
  • Tag 3+ friends to do the tag on their own blogs! >> and make sure to give them cookies, because that’s always fun.

What is your favorite genre of fiction to write? 

I love to write westerns.  I adore writing westerns.  I could probably write westerns for the rest of my life and not be tired of it.  But I've also written a vast amount of fiction set during WWII, and I have a post-Civil War novel and a 1940s hardboiled detective story of sorts but stewing around inside me, so... I guess "historical fiction" is the true answer here.

What genre would you NEVER get caught writing? . . . EVER. 

Erotica.  Like, ew.  If I won't read it, how would I ever write it?

What fictional genre feels most like home to you? 

Westerns.  When I first started writing my first YA western back in 2014, I felt immediately at home.  Like I belonged.  As if I had awakened after a long sleep.  You get the idea.

If you could transform your real life into any genre of your choosing, which would it be? 

A western?  I mean, seriously, what else would I answer here?

Okay, how about a cozy cottagecore sort of western with lots of singing and dancing, pies cooling on the windowsill, and people rescuing other people from occasional bits of trouble.  I want to live in a 1950s western musical.  Which isn't a book genre, but it should be.

What genre does your real life most resemble at the moment? 

I guess a slice-of-life Christian fiction story focused on a family having mild adventures.  Think the Mitford books by Jan Karon, but not in North Carolina much lately.

What’s a genre you’re interested in writing, even though you’ve never written it before? 

Well, as I said above, I have this idea for a sort of hardboiled detective novel set in 1940s California that I have been tossing around for a few years.  That would be very different for me.

What genre is your most recent plot bunny, and where did it come from? 

Hmm.  Trying to think what my most recent plot bunny is.  Not sure I've had any for a while, as I've been very focused on my WIP, My Rock and My Refuge.  I've started letting my next book, Steadfast, live in one corner of my brain, though, and give off some atmosphere and random sparks, so maybe that counts?  It is... a western.

How many genres have you written thus far in your writing journey?

Let's see... historical fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, slice-of-life, quirky romance, humor, and lots of nonfiction.  That's what, seven?  Unless you divide the historical fiction into WWII and western, then it's eight.

Well, that was fun! Jolly, indeed.  And now, it is time for me to tag some folks.  Hmm.  All right, I tag:

Won't you have some cookies?  Here, I'll pass them around while Alan Ladd pours out the tea.

Here are the questions, just for your ease of copying:

What is your favorite genre of fiction to write? 
What genre would you NEVER get caught writing? . . . EVER. 
What fictional genre feels most like home to you? 
If you could transform your real life into any genre of your choosing, which would it be? 
What genre does your real life most resemble at the moment? 
What’s a genre you’re interested in writing, even though you’ve never written it before? 
What genre is your most recent plot bunny, and where did it come from? 
How many genres have you written thus far in your writing journey?


Thursday, May 26, 2022

My Ten Favorite John Wayne Movies

Today marks 115 years since John Wayne was born.  To celebrate the birthday of my favorite actor, I've put together a list of my ten favorite films of his across all genres.  A few years ago, I did a list of my favorite John Wayne westerns, but he made plenty of movies in other genres, so today I'm celebrating them all.  Yes, quite a few of them are still westerns, but... that's because I love westerns!

As usual, all titles are linked to my reviews, where applicable.

Four brothers (including John Wayne and Dean Martin) reunite at their mother's funeral and work together to find out how their parents lost their ranch. I've probably seen this more often than all the other movies on this list put together.

2.  Operation Pacific (1951)

Commander Duke Gifford (John Wayne) leads a submarine crew on a bunch of adventures (most of them based on actual WWII events) and tries to win back his ex-wife (Patricia Neal).  I never, ever get tired of this movie.

3.  Rio Bravo (1959)

A sheriff (John Wayne), his recovering alcoholic deputy (Dean Martin), a crippled old man (Walter Brennan), and a young gunfighter (Ricky Nelson) hold off a host of bad guys bent on springing a murderer from jail. About as perfect as a western gets.

Penelope Worth (Gail Russell) might not be quite an angel, but then again, Quirt Evans (John Wayne) isn't quite a bad man either. Her family takes him in when he's wounded, and he does everything in his power to make sure they don't regret that decision even though he's up against some pretty desperate characters.  If you don't think John Wayne's name and "romantic" belong in the same sentence, you need to see this movie.

5. The Quiet Man (1952)

An Irish American (John Wayne) moves into his ancestral Irish home and falls in love with a spirited young woman (Maureen O'Hara), but a misunderstanding with her brother (Victor McLaglen) threatens to ruin their marriage.  Filmed on location in Ireland and such a sweet, sassy story.

6.  North to Alaska (1960)

Gold-mining partners (John Wayne and Stewart Granger) vie for the attention of a former dance hall girl (Capucine) and fight off claim jumpers led by her slick-talking ex-boyfriend (Ernie Kovacs). Much more comedic than the other movies on this list. This is the first John Wayne movie I can remember seeing.

7.  Hondo (1953)

Hondo Laine (John Wayne) encounters a woman (Geraldine Page) and her young son living alone on their remote ranch right as an Indian uprising is about to start. It's got a very sweet and unexpected love story, and also lots of action.

8.  The Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)

Sgt. Stryker (John Wayne) takes a group of Marines from boot camp to the battle of Iwo Jima. This is one of John Wayne's sadder, more multi-faceted characters.

9.  The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

A greenhorn lawyer (James Stewart) stands up a vicious outlaw (Lee Marvin), and what everyone believes happened during that shoot-out launches his stellar political career. Also, he marries John Wayne's girl, which is really most unfair. This has one of my favorite plot twists ever. And both Wayne and Stewart turn in strong performances.

10.  The Searchers (1956)

Bitter, angry Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) spends years and years searching for his niece (Natalie Wood), who was kidnapped by Indians as a child. Probably John Wayne's finest performance. Even if you don't like westerns, you should see this once because it's a masterpiece.

Happy birthday, dear Duke!

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Movie Music: Danny Elfman's "Mission: Impossible" (1996)

Way back when this movie came out, my brother and I pooled our money and bought the soundtrack together because we loved the movie so much. We listened to it All The Time. We especially thought it was awesome as background music when we were playing with our Star Trek action figures -- we memorized which tracks were which so we could cue up exactly what we needed for whatever was going on in our tiny fictional universe.

So, today I'm going to share my favorite tracks from the soundtrack. And I'm of course going to begin with the iconic theme song. It's an instant smile-inducer for me :-)

My mom had this book from the 1960s that had the sheet music for the theme song from the original TV show, and I figured out a jazzed-up version of it to match this one and memorized it. Did I mention that I really love this soundtrack (and movie) a lot? Thanks to this, Dick Tracy, and Men in Black, Danny Elfman was possibly my favorite composer in the '90s.

I think my favorite track of all is "Zoom B" because it's basically an adrenaline rush set to music.

But I also love "Betrayal." It's very minor, and feels shadowy, mysterious, kind of chilling.

Okay, that's it for today, my friends. As Jack Harmon says, hasta lasagna!

(This review originally appeared here at J and J Productions on August 15, 2015.)

Monday, May 16, 2022

Four Noir Films from Ladd and Lake

It's National Classic Movie Day today! Not only that, but Classic Film & TV Cafe is hosting the Four Favorite Noirs Blogathon today to celebrate -- read this post of theirs for links to all the participants.

For this event, I will be sharing some thoughts about the four noir films that Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake starred together in.  I have fully reviewed all four of these previously, so I will link to those individual reviews as we go, too.

This Gun for Hire (1942) was Alan Ladd's big break.  In it, he plays a baby-faced killer, Raven, a type that became very popular after this movie.  Ladd brought such a powerful mixture of innocent charm and remorseless violence to the role that it became obvious to the filmmakers that they had a new star on their hands.

Hitman Raven is double-crossed by his employer (Laird Cregar) at the beginning of the movie, and he spends the rest of the story gathering evidence so he can get revenge.  It just so happens that the heroine, Ellen (Veronica Lake), is gathering evidence of a very different sort about the same man to help the authorities catch him for selling military secrets to America's enemies.

Veronica Lake's star was on the rise when she made This Gun for Hire, as she'd just made a big splash with Sullivan's Travels the year before.  She has a sweet charm, not the sultry sort we find in noir so often, which makes her kind of refreshing.  Her character Ellen is not a femme fatale, but a good girl trying to do the right thing in a tough situation.

Ellen and Raven technically don't fall in love.  They do eventually form a tentative friendship, but it's short-lived.  Still, they get some wonderful scenes together, and Ladd and Lake had very good chemistry.  So, the studio rushed to put together another film for them to star opposite each other in.

The Glass Key (1942) capitalizes on the antagonistic chemistry that sizzled between Ladd and Lake.  It's based on a hardboiled detective novel by Dashiell Hammett (read my review of the book here) that had been made into a movie once before, in 1935, starring George Raft.

The story revolves around Paul Madvig, a criminal organizer (Brian Donlevy) who decides to enter politics.  He falls in love with wealthy socialite Janet Henry (Veronica Lake), but she scorns him while secretly admiring his right-hand man Ed Beaumont (Alan Ladd).  When Janet's brother is murdered, both men fall under suspicion for the killing, and only one of them has the brains and guts to figure out the truth.

Alan Ladd carries his first real starring role pretty well, though I sometimes get the sense that he was feeling a lot of pressure to act extra tough and extra cool in this.  

Ed Beaumont's nemesis is a thug named Jeff played by William Bendix. While shooting one altercation early in filming, Bendix failed to fully pull a punch and knocked Ladd cold.  That may sound like a weird basis for starting a friendship, but the two of them became fast friends and were close for years and years after.

Veronica Lake plays aloof and skeptical for most of the film, which is very different from her earnest and kind character in This Gun for Hire.  She pulls off the role just fine, letting us see her interest in Ladd's character even while she pretends to disdain him.

Lake and Ladd's characters do get to exchange some combatively romantic dialog, but their love story isn't exactly central to the movie's plot.  That would change in their next outing together.

The Blue Dahlia (1946) does give Ladd and Lake a romantic pair to play.  But, even here, their romance is a by-product of the plot, it doesn't fuel it.  

Three military buddies freshly mustered out of the military return stateside to resume their normal lives.  Buzz (William Bendix) and George (Hugh Beaumont) were part of the bomber crew led by Johnny Morrison (Alan Ladd).  Though George and Johnny bear no physical effects from their time in service, Buzz had a head injury that has left him moody and unpredictable.

George and Buzz set off to find an apartment together, but Johnny has a wife and a home to go to.  The only trouble is, his wife (Doris Dowling) is a party animal who's cheating on him with a nightclub owner (Howard da Silva).  When the wife ends up dead, Johnny is suspected of murdering her and has to race to clear his name.  He inadvertently meets up with the nightclub owner's estranged wife Joyce (Veronica Lake), and the two share some sympathetic moments before they learn how their lives have already been tangled up thanks to their unfaithful spouses.

Ladd is in top form in The Blue Dahlia.  He spits out angry one-liners while letting you see the ache behind the anger at the same time.  His character is a man displaced, a misfit who changed so much during the war he doesn't know where he belongs anymore.  Ladd gives him a desperate edge that keeps the audience guessing as to whether or not he did kill his wife, right up to the end.  But he also projects this innate kindness and decency that makes you really hope he didn't do it.

Veronica Lake plays one of only two thoroughly upright, good characters in the whole movie.  She's a good girl in a bad marriage, but she hasn't let it harden or roughen her, which clues the audience in as to just how strong she is inside.

Lake and Ladd's characters don't get to do much more than yearn for each other and trade snappy dialog for the bulk of the film, but the audience has no trouble believing they will see a lot more of each other after the story ends.

In fact, the two of them are so good together that it's a shame they only made one more movie together after this one.

Saigon (1947) is the only one of these four movies not readily available on DVD right now.  I hope that will change!  You can sometimes catch it on TV, at least.

This is another tale of three military friends after the war, one of whom is not physically well.  Major Briggs (Alan Ladd) and Sergeant Rocco (Wally Cassell) are keeping a terrible secret from their buddy, Captain Perry (Douglas Dick):  he has a brain condition that could kill him any day.

The three of them use their flying skills to make money flying cargo planes around Southeast Asia for basically anyone who needs something flown somewhere.  They take a job flying a rich guy and his secretary Susan (Veronica Lake) to Saigon but, thanks to a last-minute gunfight, only the secretary catches the plane.  Perry promptly falls in love with Susan, and Briggs does too. Briggs won't admit he's in love to anyone, including himself, but Perry turns into a lovesick puppy.  Susan learns about the brain injury and is kind to Perry, and she is definitely not attracted to Briggs because he is mean and crabby, and never says nice things to her.  Definitely not attracted.  As you can see from the production photos here.

A whole plot involving smuggling ensues, just to keep things interesting.  Saigon is generally classified as film noir, but it's the least noir of these four, in my opinion.  But it's still a really fun ride.

Although their characters spend most of the film distrusting each other, snapping at each other, and generally being as unpleasant to each other as they can, you can always feel the crackle of attraction between Ladd and Lake's characters.  The best part of this movie is watching their scenes together, two total pros who know exactly how to bring out the best in each other.

Although the characters they're playing aren't my favorite pair of the four pairs they play, I think Lake and Ladd are the most fun to watch in this one.  They're clearly very comfortable with each other, after making three movies together before this, and that lets them both relax and turn in awesome, confident performances.

Plus, they get a Really Good Kiss in Saigon :-)  That doesn't hurt at all.

I hope you've enjoyed this little collection of my thoughts on these four films.  Happy National Classic Movie Day!  I don't know how you plan to celebrate, but I'll be watching Alan Ladd play The Great Gatsby (1949) with a friend this evening...

Friday, May 13, 2022

"The Thin Man" (1934)

This is one of the few movies that my husband willingly rewatches.  Actually, he'll rewatch the whole Thin Man series with me every few years, which puts it in a very special class indeed.  Most movies, he'll watch them once and that's all he wants.  Some, he'll watch again with me with a little grumbling.  But a very rare few, he will actually say, "Let's watch such-and-such again," and this series is one of those.

The Thin Man (1934) is like an ice cream soda.  It's a fizzy and sweet treat, but with a little tangy bite to it too.  The dialog is filled with witty zingers, there are funny reaction shots and the occasional sight gag, and it is altogether a bright and cheerful movie, even though it's also a murder mystery.

The mystery here revolves around a cranky scientist named Clyde Wynant (Edward Ellis) disappears after wishing his daughter Dorothy (Maureen O'Sullivan) well on her engagement and promising to be back from his mysterious trip in time for her wedding after the holidays.

Wynant vacillates between cranky, abrupt, and downright nasty with other people, but he's very sweet to Dorothy, so he can't be all bad, right?

Cut to a hotel bar, where Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell and Myrna Loy), a wealthy married couple, are knocking back an alarming amount of alcohol.  Don't worry -- Prohibition was repealed in 1933, so all this gin they're swilling is perfectly legal ;-)  

Nick and Nora live in California but are spending Christmas and New Year's in New York.  Nick used to live in NYC and be a private detective, but when he married Nora, he moved to her home in California.  Nora is an heiress who owns lots of things like railroads and factories -- but that's not important, we just need to know that she was born rich, but Nick only became rich when he married her.

Dorothy Wynant finds them there and begs Nick to look for her father.  He once did some sleuthing for her father, back when he was a detective, and she is convinced he can find her dad.  Wynant was supposed to be home for her wedding after New Year's, but it's Christmas Eve and he's not back yet, and she is frantic.

Nick reluctantly agrees to look for her father, of course.

Oh, and I can't forget to mention the Charles's dog Asta!  He is a cute little stinker who sometimes helps solve cases, but mostly gets into mischief.

And then there's Wynant's ex-wife Mimi (Minna Gombell), Dorothy's mother.  She is quite a piece of work, always scheming about how to get more money out of Wynant to spend on her new husband.

Mimi's new husband Chris (Cesar Romero) is also a piece of work.  They quite deserve each other.

Nick and Nora spend the holiday season hosting and attending a variety of parties where the alcohol continues to flow freely.  Honestly, it's just astonishing how much liquor gets swilled in this movie.

This next photo is here because I absolutely adore this dress of Nora's.  She has loads of cute ensembles, but this one is my favorite.  It's bias cut and just hangs off her like she was born wearing it.  I adore it.  I want it.

Anyway, Nick spends a lot of time trying to figure out where Wynant has gone, and why.  And whether or not he's committed a murder while he's been gone.  Everyone from Wynant's daughter Dorothy to his ex-wife Mimi to his lawyer try to be helpful, with varying rates of success.  But it's actually Nick and Nora's dog Asta who breaks the case wide open!  Then Nick invites all the people involved in Wynant's life to a dinner party, where he reveals the truth at last.

The whole thing winds up with Nick and Nora on a train, heading back to California for some peace and quiet after the holidays.

Is this movie family friendly?  I vote YES.  No cussing, no racy scenes, no bloody violence.  There are murders, and there's a LOT of drinking, but I consider this a clean movie.  Definitely cleaner than the book by Dashiell Hammett, which I also enjoy, but which is not kid-appropriate.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

The Fandom Favorites Tag

Eva at The Caffeinated Fangirl has created a new tag AND tagged me with it!  Which is perfect timing, because I was just hunting through my post drafts to see if I had any unfinished tags to share, and I didn't... but now that doesn't matter, because I have this one to fill out and share :-)

The rules for this are simple:
  • Compile a list of up to ten of your favorite fandoms. Books, movies, TV shows—you name it! 
  • Tell us about your favorite character in each of those fandoms, along with an explanation of why that character is your favorite. (Your reasoning can be however long or short you’d like it to be.) 
  • Tag however many (or few) friends you’d like to participate. 
  • Feel free to use the tag graphic I created (but you don’t have to). 
  • That’s it. Short and sweet!
This is just the perfect sort of open-ended tag, isn't it?

Okay, so... let's dive into my favorite fandoms, shall we?  I've narrowed down my picks to eleven, though that was really hard because I am in and love a LOT of fandoms.  But these are all things where I interact with other fans based on our mutual fan-ness, as opposed to being shows/movies/series/authors that I simply am a big fan of.  It's the only way I could think of to whittle my list down.  (I know the tag says to do ten, but I could not leave any of these off the list and still be happy with myself.  Sorry, not sorry.)

I decided to talk about them in alphabetical order by fandom because putting them in order of how much I love them would be kind of emotionally hard, and I don't have the energy today.  Now you know.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) and Angel (1999-2004)
favorite character: Angel (David Boreanaz)

I love Angel because he has chosen to focus the rest of his existence on helping others.  Yes, he feels he needs to atone for several lifetimes of hurting, maiming, and terrorizing as a soulless vampire, but that's not really what drives him.  He has a genuine love for helping the hopeless.  And, since the two things I absolutely require in a character to like them, much less love them, are helpfulness and kindness, well, it's not surprising I love Angel.  (Doesn't hurt that David Boreanaz is the handsomest man I have ever seen, of course.)

Combat! (1962-67)
favorite character: Sergeant Saunders (Vic Morrow)

In fact, Sergeant Saunders is my absolute favorite character of all time.  In any storytelling medium.  Ever.  He's tops.  Why?  Because of his unswerving commitment to doing what's right instead of what's easy, his dedication to preserving life and humanity, and his willingness to put himself in the line of fire to protect others.  I wrote this whole post a couple years ago on why he's my favorite, so if you want to know more, check that out ;-)

Jane Austen
favorite character: Anne Elliot from Persuasion

Of all the characters in this post, Anne Elliot is the one I identify the most with.  She's steady, calm, quiet, reserved, helpful, kind, stubborn in her own soft way, and tends to be shy and retiring around those she doesn't know or those she isn't fond of.  I love that she gets a second chance at happiness, but on her own terms.

Leverage (2008-2012)
favorite character: Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane)

Eliot, Eliot, Eliot.  He sings, he cooks, he rides horses, he quotes cowboy movies, he punches people really hard, and he will leap into absolutely any dangerous situation in order to protect or rescue a child.  In fact, it's probably his protective attitude toward kids that draws me to him the most.  Also, he has really good hair.

Fun Fact: Christian Kane also played a regular character on Angel for a few seasons, and he and David Boreanaz are good buddies in real life.

L. M. Montgomery
favorite character: Anne Shirley

I mean, my middle child's middle name is Anne, so that might give you some idea how much I love this girl.  Anne Shirley grows up an orphan in a world where orphans are valued a little more than stray animals.  Maybe.  She is verbally, emotionally, and physically abused by family after family who only take her in so they can have free labor to work in their houses and care for their kids.  And yet, Anne does not lose her capacity to love, to wonder, to enjoy the world around her, to learn, to grow.  She should be stunted emotionally forever, but her inner resilience never wavers.  And, when she finally finds her own family to love and be loved by, she blooms and transforms in the most beautifully ways -- and so do they.

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
favorite character: Boromir

Honorable, valiant, trustworthy, loyal, kind, courageous, helpful, protective... I can go on a long time coming up with adjectives to describe Boromir.  He's got so much responsibility, carrying around the weight of rescuing his people.  And yet, he's always looking out for smaller and weaker people -- in the book in particular, he's always making sure the hobbits are taken care of, watched out for, considered.  Is he proud?  Yes.  Is he human?  Yes.  Does he make mistakes?  Yes.  But he doesn't hesitate to admit his mistakes, repent of them, ask for forgiveness, and make what atonement he can.  My goodness, I love him.  I wrote a post on my book blog about him a few years ago if you want to know more about why I love him so much.

Lost (2004-2010)
favorite character: James "Sawyer" Ford

I think I started to love Sawyer because Sawyer did not love himself.  In fact, Sawyer spent a big chunk of Lost insisting that he was unlovable, and trying to prove it to everyone around him.  Which only made me grab him harder and hold him closer.  His transformation from a sweet, traumatized Southern boy who became his own worst nightmare, then gradually discovered he could become a better man after all -- that's absolutely my favorite thing about Lost.

Sherlock Holmes canon by A. Conan Doyle
favorite character: Sherlock Holmes

Whenever the "book boyfriend" question comes up, I always say mine is Sherlock Holmes.  He's just so darned awesome at everything!  He solves crimes, he catches bad guys, he plays the violin, he infuriates everyone around him, he has the weirdest habits and hobbies, and he just... fascinates me endlessly.  I do like several portrayals of him by actors, especially Jeremy Brett (who is practically perfect in the role) and Benedict Cumberbatch, but it's the Sherlock Holmes in my head that is my favorite, the one I see and hear when I read the Canon.

Star Trek: The Original Series (1966-69)
favorite character: Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner)

Captain Kirk is so many of the things I wanted to be when I was a teen: confident, bold, strong, good-tempered, charming, and did I mention confident?  Oh, how I longed for his level of confidence.  I still love him now, though not so much because of all the things he is that I'm not, but because I see behind his confidence now, to the guy inside who bears so much responsibility and cares so much for the people he leads.  The episodes where he lets his inner worries and fears show a little often become my favorites.

This is the only character on here that I have kind of, sort of met.  He's the only one I've been able to personally say "thank you" to someone involving his creation, which is very, very special to me.  You can read that story here.

Star Wars
favorite character: Han Solo (Harrison Ford and Alden Ehrenreich)

I've been a Han Solo fan longer than I've been a Harrison Ford fan, if that makes any sense.  He's another guy who swaggers around insisting he's a scoundrel, but you know he's actually a super nice guy inside.  I love his character arc in the original trilogy, from opportunistic loner to loyal leader.  Doesn't hurt that he gets loads and loads of quotable lines, too.  I wrote a blog post about why I love Han Solo not long ago, where I expounded on his delightfulness more.

favorite character: Wolverine

Yes, I love Hugh Jackman in the role for the movies. But I loved Wolverine for quite a few years before they even started talking about making the first X-Men movie.  He made guest appearances in several issues of the Spider-Man Magazine, and I could not get enough of this cigar-chomping, ornery, mean, bossy, lonely sweetheart of a superhero.  I do love him in the movies a LOT, but I also love to read the Essential Wolverine comic book compilations (I have the first 5 and need the last 2 yet).  He's endlessly wonderful.  Because, underneath that extremely unlikable exterior is the kindest and most helpful superhero I have ever found.  I even wrote a sonnet about him once.

Things we have learned from this list:  Hamlette has a type, and that type is protective warriors.  Also, every single person on this list is resilient.  They go through sometimes unimaginable and awful things and come through stronger than ever.  I'm not sure I ever noticed that second thing before, regarding favorite characters of mine.  Interesting!

So, now I get to tag some friends.  Hmm.  How about Movies Meet Their Match and Phyllis Loves Classic Movies -- and if anyone else wants to do this too, go right ahead!