Really should have been called "When Humans with College Educations To Really Stupid Things", but I guess that wouldn't be sensatReview by Jason Lush
Really should have been called "When Humans with College Educations To Really Stupid Things", but I guess that wouldn't be sensational enough.
When Science Goes Wrong is informative and engaging, but I believe it may have been rushed to press to capitalize on some event. The book covers twelve events in recent history in which seemingly smart people committed decidedly careless or outright stupid deeds, always at the cost of others.
Each of the twelve stories are factual and informative, but every one of them is jam-packed with worthless fluff and personal anecdotes that distract from the point. My advice is read the first three and last three pages of each chapter and you'll get all the relevant information you need....more
The animal in this book is trying to earn a place in the zoo by showing two young children all the amazing things he can do. Silly, with sneaky lessonThe animal in this book is trying to earn a place in the zoo by showing two young children all the amazing things he can do. Silly, with sneaky lesson in colors here's a story that proves that what we want isn't always what's best for us. ...more
A book designed to twist your tongue into contortions, kids love the wackiness and also seem to enjoy seeing the grown ups mess up. Not for lightweighA book designed to twist your tongue into contortions, kids love the wackiness and also seem to enjoy seeing the grown ups mess up. Not for lightweight adult readers.
The good news is that this graphic novel offers exactly what I loved about the movie. HellBoy is a devil summoned by a mysterious Nazi who wants to unThe good news is that this graphic novel offers exactly what I loved about the movie. HellBoy is a devil summoned by a mysterious Nazi who wants to unleash cthulhu-like elder gods upon the world. He's got an anger problem, he's a smart ass, and he calls himself the World's Best Paranormal Investigator. The art is dark, yet HellBoy's attitude adds some levity to the atmosphere. The bad news is that there isn't much in this first volume that you don't know from watching the first movie. Having started with the movie that's to be expected, but it did make the short promo strips included at the back of the volume the most interesting bits. Because I really enjoyed those, I believe if this had been my first HellBoy experience I'd have been won over. (In other words, if I wasn't already a fan, I would be after reading Seed of Destruction.) Not only is HellBoy a paranormal tale, and intriguingly so, but it is also carried by an anti-hero of sorts (as the impression readers are given is that HellBoy isn't supposed to be the hero, he's supposed to end the world) and one of my favorite character types, the intelligent, more-human-than-humans monstrous creature(Abe). It's a combination that, when it works, will always get my interest and likely my dollar. ...more
I admit I picked this one up because I really liked the movie. I’d been warned that the movie was nothing like the actual comic, but all the elementsI admit I picked this one up because I really liked the movie. I’d been warned that the movie was nothing like the actual comic, but all the elements of the movie that I enjoyed most were present.
The art is dated and doesn’t add much, but the writing is amazing, especially in the middle story, a supernatural tale of war life and rural reality colliding most violently, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”. “Waiting for the Man” also features some very disturbing sections, but like the rest of this volume it’s full of loose ends and set ups for later plot lines.
A lot of the imagery in the movie did come straight from the comic, as did large portions of the plot. In fact, I have to wonder, other than the comic Constantine being blond and English rather than Keanu Reeves, what the complaint is. The same callous, ballsy Constantine finds himself dragged into paranormal threat after paranormal threat, often by a damsel in distress. While it’s made clear that he’s neutral and not on the side of heaven, hell or the ethereal, most of the plots in HellBlazer: Original Sins have Constantine coming up against the demonic side of things more than anything else.
It’s definitely a good read, filled with strong, emotional writing and gritty, interesting characters. But beware, this volume leaves off, literally, in the middle of a scene so you might want to buy volumes one and two together....more
**spoiler alert** Let's get right to the point with this one; I just didn't connect with this story. I found it slow, with more than half the book bei**spoiler alert** Let's get right to the point with this one; I just didn't connect with this story. I found it slow, with more than half the book being world set up and a series of convoluted flashbacks. I found none of the characters sympathetic, save for Jon (and possibly Night Owl), and in fact greatly disliked many of them. I had to wonder why the whole book was spawned off the death of The Comedian, who was a rather atrocious person, and centered on Rorschach whom I strongly suspect is related to Jesse Custer.
Furthermore, I found all the stories within stories (newspaper clippings, book excerpts, the overlapping comic-within-a-comic etc.) quite distracting and mood breaking. And I admit I had a real problem with the constant reminder of the world's prejudice and concern with Jon, spun from the fact that no other supernatural creatures existed at all and all the "masked adventurers" were merely human, when the entire climax of the story is dependent on psychics (who didn't exist up until that point in the story.)
I also found a lot of little gripes, like Veidt's superiority complex (specifically the idea that even though he was highly educated and raised quite privileged that by giving all his inheritance money away he somehow started his adult life on an even playing field as the rest of us), the original Silk Specter's confusion about her near rape (okay, I'll be honest, next to the Comedian I hated this character the most) and the second generation Silk Specter's complete forgiveness of her mother's constant manipulations and disapproval. While the tension of a nuclear war added to the over all world building and tension Veidt's political and environmental psychobabble felt clichéd and, in the end, the story was not at all about politics, human evil or environmentalism, but instead was about what it means to be God and what it costs to play God.
So, all the bad stuff aside, I can see why people have been draw to this story. The sheer unlikeability and humanity of the characters is a draw (and if you've read my essay on Superhero Psychology you'll know that I am draw to very flawed, very human heroes who fight to become something more). The world feel, which I would argue could have been sacrificed for more character building of the Watchmen, however I admit something would have been lost, is full and unique, stark and trying (but failing) to be beautiful. There are some striking images, but far less than in modern comics, and none as impacting as the smiley button with a drop of blood that graces the cover.
And finally I have to give the book props because it was revolutionary when it came out and it's highly likely that part of my failure to connect was because I've read a lot of comics likely influenced by Watchmen and am unfairly used to many of the storytelling tools used to make Watchmen stick out.
In the end, Watchmen is a piece of classic comic culture. It's a genre-specific equivalent to reading Shakespeare or To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Even if you don't enjoy it, it does help build a wider view of where the genre came from and how it's evolved....more
Not only is the paranormal world in the Kate Daniels series completely different from what one finds in other urban fantasies but it's obvious that AnNot only is the paranormal world in the Kate Daniels series completely different from what one finds in other urban fantasies but it's obvious that Andrews has something many authors don't, a sense of playfulness and joy that finds its way into her prose. In Magic Burns Kate Daniels, unrepentant merc and associate of the Order of Merciful Aid faces down something few other kick-ass urban fantasy heroines have--a parental situation. During an investigation Kate stumbles upon Red, a street kid to whom she owes a favor. Red calls in the boon and charges Kate with guarding Julie, a young girl with blossoming powers. Julie's mother disappeared and unable to resist Kate promises to find her. Instead Kate ends up getting sucked into a legendary battle between gods and monsters. As more clues to her own identity and past are revealed, many of the secrets held by the people around Kate are also laid bare. Some revelations threaten Kate, and her new family member Julie. Others will likely contribute to the ever expanding mythos of the world, where science and magic battle for supremacy and a magical flare, a shattering explosion of magical energy, is building. Andrews spins out an expansive, imaginative tale, where even the mysterious strength of Kate's blood and power can't save her from trouble. ...more