As much as I enjoyed the first volume of Fletcher Hanks' work, I feel like they already used up most of the wild, out-there material by the time they...moreAs much as I enjoyed the first volume of Fletcher Hanks' work, I feel like they already used up most of the wild, out-there material by the time they decided to make a second. While there are still some extremely uncomfortable, Axe Cop-style insanities thrown at you (particularly in the second half of the collection), you'll see the same napkin-thin plot used again and again, the same phoned-in artwork, and after the first book I'd already gotten over the shock factor of it all. More interesting, I found, was the tragic biography of Hanks provided in the foreword; as I read along I couldn't help but wonder what kind of life this abusive comic jockey was leading as he scrawled out the adventures of "Space" Smith and Big "Red" McClane, and the epilogue just concluded the whole Fletcher Hanks experience perfectly.(less)
While the first two entries in the The Strain series weren't exactly good books, they were at least fun. Del Toro's got a knack for monster design, an...moreWhile the first two entries in the The Strain series weren't exactly good books, they were at least fun. Del Toro's got a knack for monster design, and the series served as an excellent vehicle for that. In spite of the hokey dialogue and action-flick writing quality, my 10-year-old self loved the grotesque ugly bastards.
By The Night Eternal, del Toro's all out of horror ammo. The vampires never manage to do more than occasionally kill off bit characters, and the Master's more concerned with gloaming around his evil lair than doing anything actually impressive. On top of that, the world has essentially ended and it's made everyone so dreary and annoying. The most interesting character went and kamikazed at the end of book 2, and the remaining cast is just generally pretty flat and colorless. There are still some fun spots here and there, but overall I can't say this is worth the read.(less)
Cosmicomics is a very peculiar find, a lively and touching compilation of mythology and folk tales written for the romantic atheist. Each story begins...moreCosmicomics is a very peculiar find, a lively and touching compilation of mythology and folk tales written for the romantic atheist. Each story begins with a (n occasionally debunked) scientific theory about the origins of the earth, the universe, the galaxy, life, or a variety of other cosmically significant historical moments, which the narrator (a charismatic, adventurous old "man" named Qfwfq) immediately grabs onto and runs with, telling tales of what it was like back in his younger days living in a proto-solar system disc of dust or being part of a family that had just decided it was time to crawl out of the soup and onto the sand. The stories are usually funny, occasionally sad, and as suitable for a younger reader as they are for an adult.
Apart from the narrator, there is no real continuity from tale to tale, but it's still a pleasure getting to meet the peculiar characters in each iteration of his family or to watch his romantic exploits nearly succeed time and time again. It's a short, sweet, surprisingly unique read that adds a much-appreciated human face to the often cold and sterile scientific world.(less)
The darkest heap of corrupted childhood cartoon memories I've ever come across, Pim and Francie is a tragedy on so many levels. Simply "reading" the s...moreThe darkest heap of corrupted childhood cartoon memories I've ever come across, Pim and Francie is a tragedy on so many levels. Simply "reading" the story gives you nothing but a sense of loss, but even worse, the artist's incredible talent and creativity shines through much of the time but falls back into scribbled-out, barely-penciled, partially-erased jibberish on almost every page. Not always, mind you; some pages he's able to put down what he wants to show in incredibly graphic, unsettling detail. Just most.(less)
A steaming slurry of gore, blood, guts, and blasphemy, stirred with a severed bull's cock by a pervert in a John Wayne costume. It's one of the grandd...moreA steaming slurry of gore, blood, guts, and blasphemy, stirred with a severed bull's cock by a pervert in a John Wayne costume. It's one of the granddaddies of modern exploitation comics, setting a trio of douchebag heroes (a jolly Irish vampire/cannibal, a heretic hardass with the voice of God, and the gun-totin' broad who loves him) in the heart of racist redneck Texas and having everyone get their brains blown out with flair and aplomb. Even so, the writing makes me laugh and I am curious how much more torture they can layer on Arseface, the boy with a sphincter for a mouth. (less)
A world where gargantuan warships soar via the magnificent force of the 8TH SPECTRUM OF PROPULSION!
A world where NUDE SWORDSMEN engage in the MOST INT...moreA world where gargantuan warships soar via the magnificent force of the 8TH SPECTRUM OF PROPULSION!
A world where NUDE SWORDSMEN engage in the MOST INTIMATE OF DANCES with countless armed combatants!
A world where ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE through the modern miracle of RADIUM TECHNOLOGY!
I came across this book by accident, finding it in a random plastic bag on my kitchen table and picking it up more for a good laugh than expecting anything substantial. About a page in, I discovered two immutable facts:
1) I was actually reading a book about the heroic adventures of John Carter, a southerner Civil War vet who somehow found his way to the savage, dying planet of Mars.
2) I would like to know more of this instantly-charming gentleman/poet/champion of the civilized world.
My low expectations were immediately corrected once I fell into the rhythm of the narrator's incredible and ridiculous antics. While the century-old story sounds like something you'd find in a junion high D&D session, the author gets your inner child all riled up and rarin' to go on impossible adventures, free of the tedium of politics or sexy-shenanigans. Beyond that though, you'll find the seeds of so many future science fiction greats here, from the sober Dune to the stupidly drunk Flash Gordon.
It's a short read that captures you up and flies by in an instant, an excellent classic popcorn piece for between headier fare. Find it, read it, love it, and look forward(?) to the upcoming movie.(less)
I finally think I understand why so many people have told me this is their favorite book in their favorite series of all time. While I don't think I a...moreI finally think I understand why so many people have told me this is their favorite book in their favorite series of all time. While I don't think I agree on that front, it is nonetheless a fantastic example of... whatever genre Stephen King slapped together here. He's matured tremendously as a writer since first introducing us to Roland's dying, bleeding, beautiful world; his characters are no longer transparently two-dimensional and the seams on his Frankenstein's monster of a setting have mended to the point where none of his glaring anachronistic elements clash unnaturally.
This is the kind of book that awakens the high school fantasy geek in people who have long since moved on to meatier fare. This is the kind of book that inspires people who have no place doing so to try their hand at 4,000-page 9-book series about alabaster dragons and blood magicks and unnatural love, probably with some kind of moon cat. And somehow this is also a remarkably well put-together read, filling in a chasm the first three books created and bringing the entire series forward tremendously for it. It's a brilliant read for everyone. If that means you'll have to read the first three books in the series as well, that's okay. I can wait.(less)
A rockier read than The Drawing of the Three, The Waste Lands gets bogged down in exposition and LOST-style weirdness on occasion, but still holds up...moreA rockier read than The Drawing of the Three, The Waste Lands gets bogged down in exposition and LOST-style weirdness on occasion, but still holds up strong as we follow Roland's band of cripples in their investigation of the necropolis of Lud. Respect for the author came and went, but enthusiasm to find out what was on the next page never flagged once I got into the thick of things. Once you've muscled through the first quarter and the flimsy characters, you're in for a treat.(less)
A man gets wrecked by a lobster and has the worst beach party ever with three of New York's craziest assholes.
Part 2 of the Dark Tower series is damn...moreA man gets wrecked by a lobster and has the worst beach party ever with three of New York's craziest assholes.
Part 2 of the Dark Tower series is damn good fantasy sci-fi, studded with gruesome, mind-bending moments and packed with tension and stress. Unfortunately, it's still written by Mr. King, so you'll find certain lines stand out as just brutally awful and awkward, knocking the book out of the running for a five-star rating. Definitely worth the read regardless if you like bizarre, manly fiction.(less)
Though not as quick to grab my attention from the start as Jeff Noon's first novel VURT, Pollen left me no less blown away and grinning halfway throug...moreThough not as quick to grab my attention from the start as Jeff Noon's first novel VURT, Pollen left me no less blown away and grinning halfway through to its happy / unspeakable climax and epilogue. The pace is more controlled, but the eventual fireworks are absolutely worth the wait.
Set in the same nymphomaniac mongrel-blasted world as VURT, but with only the barest of threads tying them together, Pollen is as finely tuned a heap of symbols and dreamworks as you'll find anywhere, especially in the sci-fi genre it stubbornly insists it belongs in. Purity of love, celebration of lust, and validation of life are blasted through with large swatches of Gaiman or Carroll-esque story worship and a tremendously unorthodox willingness toward the gross and gritty, all told via the stylish, lazy dazed writing of a competent British loony. The whole shebang leaves me looking forward to more of the author's work, confident that he's capable of growth even after a knockout like VURT.(less)