A nifty little book with invaluable advice but it's not exactly essential. The entirety of the book's contents are available here when it originally aA nifty little book with invaluable advice but it's not exactly essential. The entirety of the book's contents are available here when it originally appeared as an article in the New York Times:
The whole concept behind Batman Black & White began in the mid-1990s when DC asked several artists and writers to collaborate on stand alone storiThe whole concept behind Batman Black & White began in the mid-1990s when DC asked several artists and writers to collaborate on stand alone stories featuring the Caped Crusader - using only black and white of course. Since it sold better than expected, a second and third series would soon follow. Lying dormant since 2007, DC resurrected the series for a fourth volume with the trade paperback hitting comic shop shelves this past January.
Before writing this review, I went back and read my thoughts on the first two volumes. I found myself agreeing more or less with what I had said about the preceding books - several bright spots amongst a few passable duds. That being said, I felt Howard Mackie and Chris Samnee’s “Head Games” stood out. “A Place in Between” from Rafael Albuquerque as well as “Silent Knight, Holy Knight” from Michael Uslan and Dave Bullock were also memorable.
My biggest issue is that while some artists did wonderful work with the black and white concept, many chose to seemingly strip the color from what could have been your average Batman visuals, similar to watching a movie on a black and white TV. This isn't meant to be a slight against the talented men and women involved, I just would have preferred a more imaginative approach to some of the stories.
If you’re a fan of the series, the editors at DC will give you what you've come to expect from this unique project. The fourth volume of Batman Black and White continues to explore the Dark Knight’s rich history while serving up a few stories that will stick with you beyond their often short six page length.
In 1951, Henrietta Lacks passed away due to complications arising from cervical cancer. Following her death, cancerous cells were harvested from her bIn 1951, Henrietta Lacks passed away due to complications arising from cervical cancer. Following her death, cancerous cells were harvested from her body and used in ongoing experiments regarding the growth of cells outside the human body. Previous to Henrietta, scientists could only make it a few days before the cells would ultimately die, forcing them to start all over. Henrietta’s cells were different, they grew at an astounding rate and researchers were able to keep them alive. Since the discovery, they've been used in countless experiments and led to numerous scientific breakthroughs - most notably the polio vaccine.
Today, Henrietta’s cells usually go for a few hundred dollars a vial but her descendants live in poverty. While many of her children believe they should be compensated for the sale of HeLa cells, court cases involving similar claims have always found in favor of research companies rather than individuals - the argument being that once a procedure is performed and tissue is removed from a body, it is no longer of use to the individual and the hospital can do with it as it pleases, be it incineration or study. On one hand, it makes sense given that it was highly doubtful Henrietta’s husband could have opened a cellular research facility, however, the problem lies within the fact that researchers did not tell Henrietta’s family about the importance of HeLa cells and lied to her children when additional bloodwork was requested for further study.
The story of the Lacks family is a heartbreaking one. Henrietta had a terrible upbringing and following her death, things became that much worse for her children. While the book mainly concentrates on the HeLa cells, there’s a shocking piece on her daughter Elsie, who had been diagnosed with “idiocy” and institutionalized at Crownsville Hospital Centre (a.k.a. The Hospital for the Negro Insane) following her mother’s death. The conditions at the time of Elsie’s arrival were deplorable. They had a total of eight attendants (four in the day, four in the evening) for five hundred and sixty patients. One ward in particular had seventy eight patients with only twenty eight beds. There were also only three toilets to share amongst them all. You can imagine how much this upset the family when they found out decades later.
While The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks can be deeply upsetting, it is without a doubt an important book. Author Rebecca Skloot spent years interviewing the Lacks family (which at times was certainly no easy task) and researching Henrietta’s life and death, all information that had been buried over time. The story flows well and her afterword provides greater insight into the legal ramifications of future soft tissue research. Henrietta’s youngest daughter Deborah always wanted the world to know about the person behind the HeLa cells, the real human being who provided the ammunition for several medical discoveries. Thanks to Rebecca’s tireless work, Henrietta Lacks' incredible true story is out there for the world to see.
When a married couple is found brutally murdered in their own home, the two scum bags thought responsible are found dead in their own apartment of anWhen a married couple is found brutally murdered in their own home, the two scum bags thought responsible are found dead in their own apartment of an apparent murder suicide. While the NYPD feels confident in closing the case, the niece of the deceased does not. She mentions this in passing to TJ who in turn brings it to Scudder’s attention and it isn't long before the three are sitting down in a diner trading theories. While there’s a definite lack of proof, Scudder feels her concerns are valid enough to warrant turning over a few rocks.
As the investigation intensifies, Scudder comes to believe a third man was involved. Can Scudder and TJ track down this mystery man and stop him from killing again?
The preceding novel Everybody Dies was a landmark instalment in Block’s tremendous Scudder series. Both the character development and the brutality of the action will stick with me for years. I'm not sure if I was suffering from some sort of Scudder hangover but Hope to Die, while an intricately plotted and intriguing mystery, didn't feel as memorable.
I’ve come to love Matt's career criminal best friend Mick Ballou almost as much as Scudder himself and while he was central to Everybody Dies, he was seemingly relegated to a background character in Hope to Die. I can hardly blame Block for that as I wouldn't want Mick shoehorned into a story if Block felt he wasn't needed as much, but I sure as hell missed him.
I also didn't care too much for the chapters written from the perspective of the killer. While I noted above that I loved the growth of Scudder’s supporting cast in Everybody Dies, the switching of narratives rarely sit well with me. That being said, it certainly helped to establish that the man Scudder was hunting was mentally unhinged. Unfortunately, it would often take me out of the story.
I only have TWO Scudder novels remaining (as well as a short story collection) and I’m pretty bummed about it. One is a sequel (All The Flowers Are Dying) and one is a flashback story (A Drop of the Hard Stuff) and while I'm looking forward to reading them, I’m not looking forward to running out of new Scudder material. Say it ain't so!
Ever wonder how the McMahon family became sports entertainment tycoons? It’s all here in Tim Hornbaker’s Capitol Revolution: The Rise of the McMahon WEver wonder how the McMahon family became sports entertainment tycoons? It’s all here in Tim Hornbaker’s Capitol Revolution: The Rise of the McMahon Wrestling Empire.
I received a free copy from ECW Press in exchange for an honest review.
Hornbaker goes back, waaaay back, to the beginning of the 20th century to discuss the roots of pro wrestling in the Northeastern United States. From there, he travels through time, spotlighting battles with the government and rival promoters, internal politics among the performers, all the way to the bustling 1980s where Vince McMahon Jr. would establish a death grip on the business, a death grip that still holds today.
At this point, I think half of all the knowledge I’ve learned in my life is made up of obscure pro wrestling history and trivia. That being said, Hornbaker’s look at the dominance of the McMahon family’s WWWF (World Wide Wrestling Federation) did manage to fill in a lot of gaps. However, I found the writing to be a little dry and some of the subject matter to be a little dull. This is no slight against Hornback as I’m going into this knowing a lot about the business and I tend to sway more toward the modern era of the 70s through to today rather than the early days.
Seeing as we’re probably never going to get a proper Vince McMahon Jr. biography – as long as he’s alive anyway – Capitol Revolution should satisfy those looking for an in depth telling of the McMahon family history and the events that led to their meteoric rise.
A group of four friends travel from New York City to Cape Breton Island to oversee the sale of a home in beautiful Starling Cove. Blue, the man who inA group of four friends travel from New York City to Cape Breton Island to oversee the sale of a home in beautiful Starling Cove. Blue, the man who inherited the property following his grandmother’s death, needs the cash to pay off some shady mobsters who had funded his expanding restaurant in Brooklyn. Originally from Cape Breton but having left at a young age, Blue barely recalls his home town outside of a few fleeting memories. All that changes when he visits his grandmother’s home and visions begin flooding into his brain, threatening to unravel his sanity.
I received an advanced copy from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review
It was an interesting experience to read a story set near my home town. Local businesses such as Needs (local convenience store) and Frenchy’s (a used clothing outlet) make cameos within the first dozen pages and while the town of Starling Cove doesn’t exist, it’s surrounded by real locations such as Kelly’s Mountain and Baddeck. While there are a few questionable geographic discrepancies, Levy states in the acknowledgements that things may have shifted in the course of his writing. It’s difficult to argue a strict adherence to geography given the creation of a fictional town – it’s honestly something I only noticed given that I’m from there and I doubt it takes much away from the story.
For a debut novel, Levy certainly shows talent with regard to pacing. The story progressed smoothly which had me turning the pages, reading it in large chunks. As far as criticism goes, I would note that he relied a little too heavily on adjectives in that the story felt overwritten at times. That being said, I haven’t read a lot of fantasy so it’s possible he’s exploring a style I’m not entirely familiar with.
It was great to see someone use Cape Breton Island as a destination for the weird and wonderful. I feel that it certainly has untapped potential as a setting for any genre. Maybe Levy’s The Glittering World will help establish it as Canada’s alternative to Stephen King’s Maine. Here’s hoping!...more