I might have to revise my star ratings as I go. I'm still currently torn between thinking this a skilfully written and fun romp and a somewhat averageI might have to revise my star ratings as I go. I'm still currently torn between thinking this a skilfully written and fun romp and a somewhat averagely written and fun romp. I haven't worked out where the problem lies - the story is swift, maybe too swift. It's light of heart but for some reason I'm craving more depth from it. It's probably doing all you could ask from a manga primarily aimed at young girls, Usagi is coming to terms with being a magical girl, she feels emotions of fear, laziness and lust that she must contend with and overcome if she's going to beat those pesky dark forces and that's definitely an interesting angle. But it just keeps leaving me wanting more; more story, more depth, more Usagi time. Maybe I'm asking for too much?...more
I've been feeling somewhat lukewarm to the recent Sailor Moon Crystal series and have been wondering if it's the fault of the adapters or if it's justI've been feeling somewhat lukewarm to the recent Sailor Moon Crystal series and have been wondering if it's the fault of the adapters or if it's just the case that the original Sailor moon manga isn't as witty and subversive as the original Sailor Moon anime series was. It turns out that it's a bit of both. The manga is a swifter affair and lacks the depth and clever-clever postmodernity of the show, but that can hardly be seen as a fault; the ideas are all there in a basic form, the problem is simply one of style and if nothing else you obviously have to give Takeuchi credit for creating the concept and introducing the world to Usagi and her cohort.
I've given this 5 stars but truthfully I often hate individually reviewing and rating separate volumes of ongoing series because it's an arbitrary break in the story. if I subtract all of my other feelings about Sailor Moon or Sailor Moon Crystal - which I can't BECAUSE I AM HUMAN GODDAMMIT - I'd have to say that this is an awesome start to an awesome story. Would I be madly in love with this series after one volume though? Would it strike me as a shining example of manga greatness? PERHAPS NOT. It's bloody lots of fun though....more
Certainly less compelling than the rather-smart original, this is however an entertaining sequel that's not scared to both have fun with the premise aCertainly less compelling than the rather-smart original, this is however an entertaining sequel that's not scared to both have fun with the premise and to throw a few ideas around of its own. The major problem with the book lies in how good the central premise is but how, ultimately, not a great deal is done with it. The eternally bored Haruhi decides to shoot a motion picture and because, for some reason, she is prone to altering the world around her according to her whims, strange events occur that blend the worlds of her fantastical cinematic imagination and reality.
It's a smart idea that ended up working better on TV than it did on paper due to the anime's smart postmodern sensibility and parody of anime conventions, but even though we're left with something of a bare-bones novel here, it's unlikely to disappoint anyone into the characters or the author's style as it remains a breezy, entertaining and clever light read....more
Fairly entertaining but woefully generic comic that is more interested in throwing plot at you like a freight train than spending time with the characFairly entertaining but woefully generic comic that is more interested in throwing plot at you like a freight train than spending time with the characters and making things count. It's sort of typical of your fast-food blockbuster superhero comic these days in that it appears to tick all of the right boxes and it basically gets the job done, but one closes the cover wondering if one has read a comic book or been beaten round the head by a cricket bat.
So, thanks Azzarello for throwing a bunch of Gods, an origin plot twist and a few hectic fight scenes my way. It could have been laced with some quality dialogue and a little thoughtfulness, and narrative panache - there was a fair amount of scene hopping, badly placed interior monologue and poor/cliched character motivation. I really wouldn't recommend this volume to anyone although as part of the new 52 relaunch it seems to have a solid fanbase and to be seen as a decent jumping on point. ...more
I feel like this franchise has hit saturation point. The quality I still there but I'm not engaging with it in such a profound way, perhaps because itI feel like this franchise has hit saturation point. The quality I still there but I'm not engaging with it in such a profound way, perhaps because it's lacking Whedon's enthusiasm and humour . The trouble is, this final volume of Season 9 reads like every other season finale; there's the emotional beat, the ripping apart of friendships, the putting friendships back together, the potential end of the world and etc. The Season 8 finale did something really bombastic, really clever, really ridiculous, really Whedon ... whereas Chambliss has written something so damn solid you simply can't get lost in it. It works, but it doesn't quite inspire me - this is good Buffy, but it's not quite great Buffy....more
It's so much fun to read you'll likely temporarily neglect, while you're in the process of reading it, to engage yThis is a ridiculous amount of fun.
It's so much fun to read you'll likely temporarily neglect, while you're in the process of reading it, to engage your criticial faculties and notice that it's actually fucking terrible. I mean really terrible cliched writing and by numbers rogue gallery style plotting.
But comics should be fun right, so who cares?
It's ridiculously well drawn too. Jim Lee's pencils are out of this world fantastic. Oh, yeah also Catwoman has big boobs, Poison Ivy has big boobs, Talia al Ghul has big boobs, Huntress has big boobs. I can't remember if there were any other prominent female characters but I think they had big boobs too.
This is an absolutely terrific gamebook, a fiendishly conceptualised puzzle that's made even more fun to play by its beautifully grizzly - albeit utteThis is an absolutely terrific gamebook, a fiendishly conceptualised puzzle that's made even more fun to play by its beautifully grizzly - albeit utterly cliched - horror setting and nightmare plot ('plat' may be a push), wherein our hapless adventurer finds himself knocking on the door of a mansion for help after a car accident. The owner of the house, an early is, naturally, pretty evil and into devil worship and sacrifice, and it's your job to escape from this madness. You'll meet the usual assortment of ghosts (some friendly), zombies, vampires and helldogs along the way and you'll die a ridiculous amount of times along the way.
You won't finish this book without help, even if you're an unapologetic cheater, it's just too hard and too clever - But that's part of the fun. It's also, despite 100 dead ends, instadeaths and attempts to mislead your mapping, completely 100% fair, and when one does make it to the end - even with help - it feels like a completely satisfying experience.
Steve Jackson's somewhat basic writing is the book's biggest weakness. I don't think the FF team ever decided to experiment by pushing literary boundaries, but there's strength in the simplicity. It all adds to a work that's a complete pacage though, since the artwork is of a very high standard and brings the encounters to life nicely(and for a game aimed at young teenagers, pretty damn macabre).
I couldn't recommend this one highly enough if the thought of a gamebook doesn't bemuse you. It's probably not an entry level adventure due to the complicated nature of the maps and the obscurity of the correct route through, but it's definitely a Fighting Fantasy work that any fan of the genre should experience.
This early Indie from Brian Wood has a lovely concept. Each issue is a short story, or "moment" in a single year of Megan Mckeenan's life, sometimes (This early Indie from Brian Wood has a lovely concept. Each issue is a short story, or "moment" in a single year of Megan Mckeenan's life, sometimes (usually) she's the prominent character in the story, at others her appearance is the emotional punch, and put together each of the 12 issues chart her passage from impulsive 17 year old to stable, settling down 30 year old. As a graphic novel it's almost a work of genius, many of the - very short - stories capture a wonderful and unexpected emotional moment and it's hard to pick a favourite from such a strong set of stories; some of the best see Megan with an infatuation and flirtation with a boy who breaks into her flat and leaves photos of himself (and we wonder if this is creepy or charming), another deals firmly with Megan's identity issues as she constantly changes her personality and name while working in a cinema and imposes herself on unsuspecting people in an effort to either impress them or understand herself, a further story sees her struggling with an impossible housemate whose trust she then abuses and whom she very publicly criticises, followed by the subsequent embarrassment she faces when it turns out she actually really thought Megan was pretty cool.
The point of the book is not to present a coherent story but I still felt a twinge of disappointment that it didn't string together in a more satisfying manner. Most of the vignettes were perfect as they were, but how good would this have been if there were a masterplan? Also, towards the end Wood feels it necessary to start being heavy handed thematically in an attempt to convince the less discerning reader that there's a point, and it threatens to fall apart. It's a book about place, identity and also the way we communicate with people; in one of the final issues Megan has her identity stolen by a work colleague and put on display in an art show, and the colleague takes pains to explain these concepts about Megan (although, it could be anyone) and, whilst relevant, this scene summed up where the novel fails, telling the reader of ideas that were placed before us so subtly in the beginning. Other flashback stories relating to family, parents etc, while emotionally poignant seem less inspired.
Yet, minor criticisms aside this is still certainly a must-read graphic novel for anyone looking for something emotionally resonant but not too challenging....more
Queen of the Black Coast is an odd story in the Conan oeuvre. It's the one with the woman in it who isn't a naked objectified slave girl. It's a tantaQueen of the Black Coast is an odd story in the Conan oeuvre. It's the one with the woman in it who isn't a naked objectified slave girl. It's a tantalising suggestion that in another age maybe Conan could actually have feminist tones to it. Feminist tones that Conan adapters, to my knowledge have mostly failed to capture or elaborate upon.
Brian Wood is currently trying to feminise a bunch of comic franchises, from making Leia the central hero in his Star Wars comic to using an all female cast in X-Men (though I've not read this yet) and again, here he's applied a revisionist feminist touch to familiar material by not only adapting this particularly Conana story, but instead using it as a launchpoint for a series of Conan stories that are set with pirate Queen Belit onboard her ship The Tigress.
I couldn't resist buying a good 20 issues of this comic to see if Wood handles the gender politics as deftly as he's managing to in Star Wars and so far I'm enjoying a slightly demasculinised Conan whose over-reliance on brawn over brain comes across as something of a weakness. He's still a sexual beast and, if I have a major criticism at this stage, Belit is as hypersexual as she is supposedly strong, and that comes across as a little tiringly cliche. Perhaps Becky Cloonan's majestic artwork makes up for it though ... she's nothing if not a hypersexual artist and her unique and gutsy brand of sexuality could make anything worth reading.
This is certainly Conan and I'm doubly on board with it, as it's a strong attempt to rework Conan within a framework in which cliche-Conan has been a necessity to keep longtime fans onboard and reading. It's too early in this series to make any judgements, but this may turn out to be very good. ...more