At first I didn't know what to make of the comic or its namesake, but as the story developed I came to really dig both. (view spoiler)[What's not to lAt first I didn't know what to make of the comic or its namesake, but as the story developed I came to really dig both. (view spoiler)[What's not to love about the surreal (yet not entirely implausible!) revelation of a psychedelicized Lovecraftian horror in the guise of Suessian anapestic tetrameter and gobbledygook? Why hasn't somebody else lampooned (if not implicated) Anton LaVey, Jim Jones, and David Blaine in the same conspiracy theory? Is this the first time anyone else has tied together California's biggest cash crop, Robin Hardy's 1973 masterpiece The Wicker Man, and the Black Rock Desert's annual Burning Man festival, in the singular event of Blazing Man, and, if so, why? Finally, and perhaps most importantly, why did I have to look up the two artists referenced in Howard Chaykin's back-cover blurb (Jack Davis and Wally Wood) to understand what it was about the artwork that seemed so familiar? And to think I call myself a comics fan. (hide spoiler)]...more
Two or three vignettes gave me chills, and a few of the stories are great examples of spooky folktales, but the annoying commentHalloween 2014 book #1
Two or three vignettes gave me chills, and a few of the stories are great examples of spooky folktales, but the annoying commentary on the part of the authors seriously detracted from my enjoyment.
And I hate to be pedantic [wife: no he doesn't] but I have to pass along a distinction I learned recently. While the title is Graveyard, the sites discussed herein, including the Union Cemetery, are "cemeteries"; now practically synonyms, the two words used to have more specific meanings, with "graveyards" referring to hallowed burial grounds within church boundaries and "cemeteries" referring to their secular, municipal counterparts. Just wanted to pass that along. ...more
After one of my favorite writers said that "the Ebola epidemic has apparently taken another large step toward fulfilling its potHalloween 2014 book #3
After one of my favorite writers said that "the Ebola epidemic has apparently taken another large step toward fulfilling its potential as the Black Death of the 21st century," I wanted to learn a bit more about the original Black Death and see if I can imagine experiencing something similar in this century. Others in Greer's comments section wanted to do likewise, and for us he recommended this book to which he is partial "because I read it in my misspent youth." And what would make better Halloween reading than a book about a disease which killed approximately 1 in 3 Europeans in less than five years?
The book did not disappoint. It was well-written and engaging, while also being thoroughly researched (as of the state of knowledge in 1969) and footnoted. While it bogged down a bit in its hyperfocus on the Black Death in England (no surprise, given the nationality of the author and the initial target audience), it regained speed and power in its description of a fictional English village and its imagined experience of living through the plague. (This fictional account of how things must have seemed was especially chilling in light of daily headlines about how cases of ebola continue to multiply exponentially, and how a handful have established themselves on this side of the Atlantic. Now, as with then, what started as an exotic rumor became far too swiftly anything but a rumor.)
The author concludes with thoughts about the role of the Black Death in catalyzing the change from the medieval to the modern world, and I could not help but wonder what, if any, changes the present potential pandemic will catalyze in our postmodern, globalized world.
And what an oddly colorful cover for such a bleak topic, no?...more