A fairly drab adaptation of an established classic. Frankenstein adaptations are legion, with most making the initial error of assuming the source matA fairly drab adaptation of an established classic. Frankenstein adaptations are legion, with most making the initial error of assuming the source material must be made more accessible to contemporary audiences. Unfortunately this is almost always executed through dumbing-down the text. So from the outset the adaptation assumes the reader to be less intelligent than they actually are. Adults also error in assuming younger readers also need things simplified and rendered dumber in order to be understood. Too much children's and young adult literature condescends like this and it does no one any favors.
The text of this adaptation reads like a summary of Frankenstein with most of the narrative very passive rather than present and active. The illustrations, while stylistically appealing (itself more a populist gimmick than a thematic or narrative decision), hardly ever drive the narrative action or offer thematic insight. Most of the panels, while shallowly moody, don't evoke anything or show anyone doing anything--visual storytelling at its most boring and subservient. The pictures look nice, but they do nothing--no heft, no propulsion, no mystery, and certainly no horror. It's all very nice, inoffensive and obnoxiously un-frightening.
But I appreciate the attempt, and I do think this adaptation at least values its source material more than some of the awful film adaptations of recent years. I don't care about narrative fidelity, and too often contemporary adaptations are hamstrung from the start by some slavish demand that adapters be faithful to the original--itself a misguided desire that values lifeless replication over vibrant imagination. I care about taking the source material seriously and doing something interesting with it. I sense Sierra and Ribas admire the source material, but their work here suggests that admiration rarely nurtures inspiration....more
May not have been the right time to read this book. I really enjoyed Cosmopolis, but Point Omega was mostly dull and boring. It's probably better thanMay not have been the right time to read this book. I really enjoyed Cosmopolis, but Point Omega was mostly dull and boring. It's probably better than I think, but I never found a reason to care....more
Richly layered and textured work. Very human, full of contradiction, beauty and ugliness. It goes without saying, but Bergman is very good. This shoulRichly layered and textured work. Very human, full of contradiction, beauty and ugliness. It goes without saying, but Bergman is very good. This should probably be read semi-regularly throughout one's marriage/lengthy partnership. Lots to think about. The arrogance, pretentiousness, and intelligence on display is rightly coupled with pettiness, self-deprecation, and stupidity. Bergman is by turns brilliant and annoying. And while it's easy to see the dire seriousness in his work, the gentler tenderness and sincerity is there and it means something. The cruelty is rendered all the more cruel by the humor he slips in. No one is off the hook, and no one is unfairly dismissed. Laudable attributes reside next to deep flaws, neither negating the other, but rather existing in tandem. Too often we want people and life to be less complicated, where one's failings negate one's successes--you're either a good person or a bad one, determined by this or that act, and that's it. This isn't really fair or honest. Good things remain good, even alongside terribleness. And cruelties remain cruel despite our kindnesses. We live with both. Bergman gets this, and expertly probes the challenge of that reality. And life goes on....more
Five stars might seem a touch much, and four too little. So I rounded up, because when Joe Hill is on point, he nails it better than most. These storiFive stars might seem a touch much, and four too little. So I rounded up, because when Joe Hill is on point, he nails it better than most. These stories run the range and their subtle expanse will seep into your bones and bloodstream, carefully slipping into the heretofore dormant, hidden passageways and liminal realms of your brain. The transformation is quiet, but significant. It's a quiet magic, both generous, earned, and devoid of cruelty; though characters do terrible things, the outcomes often laced with deep sorrow, the stories are never assaultive or unfair. He's not forcing his way in. He earns your trust and never overstays his welcome, with the spectral traces lingering long after the story is over. To only dwell on the melancholy or the darkness would be grossly unfair to the tenderness and beauty within these worlds. There's much to marvel at and take comfort in, some of it morbid, some (darkly) funny, and some genuinely hopeful. Basically, you're getting a bit of everything, written with confidence and patience. There isn't a sour story in the bunch, and the majority are brilliant. I love these ghosts; they keep me human. ...more
For just a really fun time, this was a satisfying entry. Though I don't mean that suggests this is some vacuous lite read. It's got some substance. MaFor just a really fun time, this was a satisfying entry. Though I don't mean that suggests this is some vacuous lite read. It's got some substance. Maybe it doesn't carry super far. But then again, maybe it does. Laughter is pretty important. As is just having a good time, hangin' out with friends and takin' care of cool mysteries. The substance might be in the simplicity. The characters are defined through light touches to both word and image. So it's easy to see this as lacking depth and dimension. I think it's there, but it isn't shoving it in your face. Instead it's doing what a decent story should do: integrate characterization into the unfolding narrative. We never stop to have character development moments, because we're too busy careening forward with the light-hearted adventures. Fun stuff. Kids should read it. Adults, too....more