Wow! I was skeptical about the prospect of seeing these comics with more modern coloring, but I should have had more faith in Dave's choices and the tWow! I was skeptical about the prospect of seeing these comics with more modern coloring, but I should have had more faith in Dave's choices and the talents of Laura Martin. She did an amazing job of making the books look like I remember them, blending current technology with the classic aesthetic so that it doesn't jar old-time fans while still looking in the now. The bonus pages in this big edition are also a great gift to Dave Stevens fans. Bravo!...more
This was interesting in some ways, as it caused me to think about certain techniques that go into designing an image and how it fits in a frame, the pThis was interesting in some ways, as it caused me to think about certain techniques that go into designing an image and how it fits in a frame, the process of development, etc. As a comic book writer, that has some practical applications. I wish the text was better laid out and also better integrated with the images, that what was being said related more directly to what was being seen. I wanted more brass tacks, essentially....more
There are many things that Stieg Larsson does well in this book. One is handling a massive plot, with all kinds of tangents and tributaries, and neverThere are many things that Stieg Larsson does well in this book. One is handling a massive plot, with all kinds of tangents and tributaries, and never becoming overly encumbered by any of it. I never once felt like he was doing something because it was required to advance the story or taking me too far away from the central conflict. This is rather surprising when you consider how didactic his writing style can be. There is a scene in the book where Lisbeth Salander, his altogether unique semi-private investigator, prepares to send an e-mail, and he details the make of her computer, the programs she uses, and just about every other technical element that goes into this action. It makes sense for Lisbeth Salander, though, the way it made sense for the scientific specificity Ian McEwan used in ENDURING LOVE, but oh what a difference it makes when you like the character.
The central mystery is fairly intriguing, with enough twists and turns and red herrings to warrant one's interest, but the character of Salander is the real attraction of the book. She is one of the stranger protagonists you'll find, She's cold, asocial, and morally ambiguous. Her whole persona is "stay the fuck away from me," and yet you somehow adore her at the end and even feel *sorry* for her. To be honest, I didn't expect her to survive the novel, for some reason the plot description I read once upon a time made me think she was going to be the murder victim, but I'm glad now to know that she's in the other books (not sure if she's the titular girl in all of them).
There is a movie version on the way, Cinema 21 has it booked for the coming months. It'll be interesting to see how they contain the plot...and how they contain the main character. That's going to be a tall order....more
This took some readjusting as far as expectations, as some of the advance material I read suggested there was some kind of narrative, when in reality,This took some readjusting as far as expectations, as some of the advance material I read suggested there was some kind of narrative, when in reality, it's an art book. A carefully constructed art book with fits and starts and half-finished, half-remembered nightmares Max Fleischer had after reading too many fairy tales. Loses a little steam in the end, but still, I dare you to look through it and have its creepiness keep repeating on you....more
So, after Stephen King talked about always having an audio book in progress even as he is reading other books, I decided to give it a try. I do not ha So, after Stephen King talked about always having an audio book in progress even as he is reading other books, I decided to give it a try. I do not have the ability to listen to such material while I work, but I loaded Philip Roth's GOODBYE COLUMBUS collection onto my iPod and listened to it while I went to and fro, here and there.
I am a fan of Roth, and have read a handful of material from the various periods of his career. His earliest material, which this represents, has a youthful vitality that would give way to more scholarly prose as time went on. His young man's style has a classical elegance coupled with a conversational ear, something that really shines through in this collection, particularly when you hear it read by the likes of Harlan Ellison and Elliott Gould. The only story I had read before was "The Conversion of the Jews," a hilarious tale set in Hebrew school, featuring smartass youngsters challenging their religious upbringing, all hinging on the question, "If God is all-powerful and can create the world, why can't he make a woman pregnant without having sex with her?" If only all teen rebellion was so smart.
Each of the six stories depicts some aspect of Jewish life, usually conflicting with modern life, featuring protagonists who are forced to question their Jewishness and the nature of assimilation. Roth moves up and down age and social position: children, college students, old business men, young lawyers. The sexual frankness Roth is known for is here, but it's all part of a greater honesty. He depicts both sides of his conflicts with a convincing vigor. Perhaps the best example of the tightrope he walks is the story read by Ellison, "Defender of the Faith." Set during WWII, it involves an NCO named Marx who, amongst his trainees, has a weaselly young Jew named Grossbart. Grossbart immediately starts trying to appeal to Marx's Jewishness to get special favors, and even goes so far as to accuse him of Anti-Semitism. With each new scheme, Grossbart forces Marx to question whether maybe he *should* help this man, his request is reasonable, and maybe Jews should stick together. At the same time, Roth is challenging the reader to question his own perceptions. Every time Grossbart gets his way, it's revealed he's pulled some con. Yet, do we react differently to even that news because he's Jewish?
One thing I noticed is that unlike a lot of short stories, all of these are petty heavy in plot. They aren't simply a collection of scenes hinging on some great epiphany. They all end with satisfactory, thoughtful endings, but they aren't forced, it doesn't feel like Roth is pushing to make you go, "Ah-ha!" I recommend this alongside his first novel PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT and his early, hilarious novella THE BREAST if you want to sample the author's early work. ...more
This promising debut is a warmly rendered teenage memoir related via dreamlike images. In Dyer's world, the onset of adolescence and the confusing chaThis promising debut is a warmly rendered teenage memoir related via dreamlike images. In Dyer's world, the onset of adolescence and the confusing changes it brings manifests in equally unexplainable occurrences. I wish I felt a tad more story threaded through here, but I'll definitely be picking up whatever the author does next....more