Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Butterfly Effect With Jon Ronson


The Butterfly Effect with Jon Ronson Radio/TV Program

The Butterfly Effect With Jon Ronson is a seven-episode podcast given away for free on Audible.  It's about the effects of massive amounts of free pornography around 2008 on PornHub, although there have been other outlets like peer-to-peer files haring programs and downloading options like Megaupload and Rapidshare.  To make a story out of it, the author, Jon Ronson puts the blame on free pornography squarely on the shoulders of PornHub and its "creator," a Belgian man who simply invested in the company, tracing the effects of free porn on the pornography industry, Ashley-Madison, and on the viewers.

I never went on Ashley-Madison, but it did tickle me to find out that only a tiny percentage of its members were women, and only a tiny percentage of that tiny percentage of those women were real women, the rest being bots.  Of course, we all know that Ashley-Madison was hacked, leading to the publication of millions of members in a database searchable by zip code and name, but to add further to the humiliation - in most cases undeserved - of these men in saying that they were paying $25 a month to talk to bots, is just hilarious to me.

There is a lot of darkness to this series, of course.  It follows the stories of a couple of people who attempted or committed suicide.  Among pro athletes, there's always the thought, "if only I'd come along 10 years later and made as much as the athletes are making today."  In the porn industry, all that money was made 15 or 20 years ago, in many instances before the producers, directors, and stars were born.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Days Without End


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Days Without End is a fantastic book.  I read it on Audible, which I'd highly recommend.  It's an Irish novel, and very few of us are able to subvocalize an Irish accent with the genuineness of Aiden Kelly, who gives a wonderfully authentic reading.  His accent is fully Irish but not too modern, as the book takes place in the 1850s through 1870s.  The main character is Thomas McNulty, an Irish boy who escapes the famine in Ireland in a boat to Canada.  He then becomes an Indian fighter, a crossdresser, a prisoner in Andersonville, and so much more.

It is a unique achievement to make such an epic novel fit into 70,000 words or under eight hours unabridged on Audible.  I'm reminded of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Voltaire, and Cormac McCarthy.  Days Without End is not a comedy, though; it's a very serious book.  The best praise I can give author Sebastian Barry is that I will read every book he's written, as soon as I can.  I've already purchased two more of his novels.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Hospital: A "Mountain Man" Story


The Hospital: The FREE Short Story: The First Mountain Man Story Audiobook

The Hospital: A Mountain Man Story is free on Audible, so I thought I'd give it a listen.  There are four "Mountain Man" books, all of which take place during a zombie apocalypse.  I know, I know, but I read on.  I'm not a huge fan of zombie stories; I only got through the first episode of The Walking Dead before giving up, and I've never read the comics, but somehow I liked this one, and I'd like to explain why.

The first of two big reasons to read "Mountain Man" beyond the free short story is R.C. Bray.  With credits including The Martian and Craig Alanson's "Expeditionary Forces" novels, Bray is quickly becoming a sci-fi audiobook powerhouse, and this is an excellent performance by him.  He's funny, dramatic, and terrifying.  The second reason is that the first three "Mountain Man" books (each barely 300 pages long) are being sold for one credit on Audible, so you get three books for the price of one.  I'm definitely down with that, and while the series isn't the first thing I'll read next - I might not get to it until September - I'll probably spend a credit on it.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian


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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a short novel for adults and young adults by Sherman Alexie.  Albert Spirit, Jr. is the narrator, a 14-year-old boy starting high school on the Spokane Reservation.  After a tumultuous first week that sees him suspended from school for attacking a teacher, that teacher encourages him to leave the "Res."  Instead of getting good grades and going to college, Albert registers for a school outside the reservation the next day.

Albert describes the abject poverty and insipid alcoholism of the Indians on the Res (many prefer the term "Indian" over "Native American" because the latter implies colonization and Americanization).  This contrasts with the spirit, warmth, and intelligence of the main character and his friends and family both on and off the Res.  The book is depressing and funny.

Monday, July 24, 2017

The X-Files: Cold Cases


The X-Files: Cold Cases Performance

The X-Files: Cold Cases is a full-cast, six-episode mini series on Audible.  Each episode is 45 minutes long, and they star David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, and all the stars of the TV series, The X-Files.  The series starts off with former Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully living as Mr. and Mrs. Blake in Virginia, under the auspices of the FBI Witness Protection Program, but don't worry.  It isn't long before they're back in the FBI, working on the X-Files.

Throughout the TV series, The X-Files, or at least the first nine seasons (I haven't seen the most recent outing, but I will), there has been a mix of "Monster of the Week" and "Mythology" episodes, with most people preferring the latter.  I've always maintained that it's the mix of the two that makes the series great, and I enjoyed the one "Monster of the Week" episode in this Audible series.  I won't spoil this series by giving out any further details, but I have to say that it exceeded my expectations by a great deal.  Five stars, and all that.

The Oedipus Plays: An Audible Original



The Oedipus Plays: An Audible Original was in my wish list for a few months, but I couldn't bring myself to pay $7 for a bunch of plays I've already read a couple of times.  When it was the Audible Daily Deal a week or two ago, I bought it, and I'm really glad I did.  The three Theban plays, Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone, were written by Sophocles some two and a half miliennia ago, and they remain one of the earliest examples of high drama in the world.  The "Oedipus" story has been around for even longer than that; Oedipus is the baby who is prophesized to one day kill his father, the king, and marry his mother, the queen, so he is abandoned in a forest, where he is raised by a woodsman and his wife.  He grows up, of course, to kill his birth father and marry his birth mother.

Sophocles makes the story so much more than that, of course.  The story was so well known at the time that he begins the Oedipus story with Oedipus as the king of Thebes, only referring to his origin story.  Oedipus at Colonus describes Oedipus' late life and how he dies a blind beggar.  It was written much after Oedipus the King and even after Antigone, which is the story of Oedipus' daughter, who breaks a royal decree not to bury her brother by giving him full funeral rites.

The acting in this Audible Originals production is simply superb, far above R.C. Bray's "Skippy the Magnificent," and Frank Muller's "Eddie Dean," two of my favorite audiobook performances.  This is high art and high drama, produced and acted by real professionals.  I cannot recommend it too highly.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Green Lanterns #26



Green Lanterns, Issue #26 begins 10 billion years ago, when Volthoom and Rami forge the First Ring.  Rami, of course, is a Guardian of the Universe, and Volthoom is the First Lantern, from Earth-15, which was destroyed by unknown forces.  The interplay between them is excellent, an extremely emotional Volthoom and Rami, who is supposed to have forsworn emotions, yet he is the most emotional of the Guardians.  You see Volthoom losing control and eventually...

There's a Snickers ad that I thought was part of the story; it was very annoying.  Also, the usually excellent lettering is a little too small, in particular, Rami's narration, which takes the form of script on lined paper.  I could still read it, but I had to struggle to do so.  At 44, I don't have the eyes I did at 14.  The story of Rami and Volthoom is nice, and I'm excited to see what happens between them and Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz in the following issues.  Issue #27 came out a few days ago, and I already have it.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Clue #2



Clue, Issue #2 begins with a focus on Professor Orchid.  He is a gay Pakistani man who the deceased A. Body apparently had information about.  Detectives Amarillo and Ochre then find out that Mr. Body had information - perhaps intended for blackmail - about all the guests, but why did Mrs. Peacock die?  Things really heat up when two suspects escape the mansion, and Detective Ochre is attacked.

If you're a fan of the movie Clue with Tim Curry, you might want to check this one out.  It's actually better in a number of ways, as there are multiple attacks, and it's a sincere mystery, as opposed to a formulaic comedy.  I particularly like the use of color by Nelson Daniel, the artist.  Paul Allor remains my favorite IDW writer, and the letters by Neil Uyetake are consistent and legible, with emphasized words both italicized and bolded.

Fear the Sky


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Fear the Sky is the story of an alien invasion, taking the form of four satellites and seven androids.  The satellites are stealth-enhanced and difficult to find, and the seven androids are controlled by the digitized minds of seven aliens, one for each of the seven nuclear powers on Earth: America, Britain, Russia, France, Israel, India, and Pakistan.  The seven androids all have the mission to infiltrate the armies of those countries, attend officer training, and get as close as they can to the nuclear arsenals of those countries to prevent them from attacking the forthcoming space armada.

The cabal of scientists and military personnel begins with two scientists who have to keep the secret of alien incursion because if they don't, the aliens will deploy a biological agent that will kill all humans.  One of many plot holes is that the two scientists don't know this.  While I can see how them keeping the secret from the American government makes for good sci-fi, I still don't "get" why the two characters would keep the invasion secret in the first place.

To make matters worse, Fear the Sky is some 700 pages long or over 20 hours on Audible.  Like many self-published novels, there are too many errors in the original text, and while the audiobook version is slightly better - no less a luminary than R.C. Bray does the reading - there are still problems with the sentence structure at times.  It's a good book for fans of military and technical sci-fi, but while I finished it, I won't be reading the two sequels.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Green Lanterns #25

Green Lanterns, Issue #25 is a 30+page anniversary issue.  The title debuted one year earlier, and has been published twice a month since then.  Like the last few issues, there's a flashback to 10 billion years ago, when the first seven Green Lanterns got their rings, the story of Tyran'r of Tamaran.  Somehow, he's still alive and guarding the Vault of Shadows, where Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz have traveled with Volthoom, who inhabits the body of Rami, the Rogue Guardian.  Finally, Volthoom reveals himself.

And there's more.  This is a particularly convoluted issue, one that even an ardent follower of Green Lantern and Green Lanterns would have trouble making heads or tails of.  There are actually two tales of the first seven Green Lanterns.  I mean, these are okay enough stories, but the two of them kind of break the flow of the issue, especially an issue with such an important reveal as this one (Volthoom escaping in body with his Power Ring from the Vault of Shadows).

I'm getting closer to getting caught up with this series, as Issue #27 came out yesterday.  I'm all caught up with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Clue, and I don't have that much left with Copperhead and Old Man Logan.

Rogue One #4



Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Issue #4 promises Darth Vader, and it delivers.  It continues the arc from Issue #3 which involves the meeting between Jyn Erso and Galen Erso, which the latter doesn't survive.  Then we get the Darth Vader goodness.  Seriously, the Star Wars producers need to get James Earl Jones to make every sound the way that woman who did Siri did, so we can have him say anything.  Over 20 years ago, when I lived in Japan, I loved the BBC Star Wars dramatizations for radio, but they weren't the same without Jones.

Despite this issue's unfortunate beginnings - I hated the "Erso reunion" scenes in the movie - this is a pretty good issue.  We get to see Darth Vader, Mon Mothma, Yavin 4, and all the other fun stuff.  This issue also captures the unique humor of Star Wars, which is the difference between good Star Wars and great Star Wars.  While I didn't like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the movie, very much (I liked Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace better, much to the chagrin of my nephew), it has elements of greatness.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Green Lanterns #24



Green Lanterns, Issue #24 concludes the training arc with Simon Baz/Kyle Rayner and Jessica Cruz/Guy Gardner.  All Baz has to do to pass is punch Rayner in the face.  Jessica Cruz has put her training in jeopardy by punching Gardner in the face, beginning a fight.  Then it goes to the Volthoom arc from 10 billion years ago, on Mars, where Z'Kran Z'Rann, the White Martian, overcomes great fear to become one of the first seven Green Lanterns.  Z'Rann's old ring, one of the original seven, is now on Jessica Cruz's finger, leading Volthoom to request Cruz and Baz to help him go to the edge of the universe in the following arc.

Cruz's character has been progressing nicely.  Just six months ago, she still couldn't make constructs with her ring, merely shooting out beams with it and stuff.  Now she's able to handle her own in a fight with Guy Gardner.  Gardner isn't a very likeable person, so it's no surprise that he ends up on the losing end of their fight.  Baz, when the current run began, was getting some unique powers from the ring, like Emerald Sight and being able to pull his brother out of a coma.  It looked like he was going to become one of the most powerful Green Lanterns, yet his character has evolved as well.  He no longer carries a pistol, but under Rayner, he's become aware of his own limitations.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Rogue One #3


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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Issue #3 begins on the Death Star, where Imperial operatives are watching the destruction of the holy city.  Jyn Erso is in Saw Gerrera's camp, along with the other anti-heroes, and they barely make it out alive.  Back on the Death Star, soon-to-be Grand Moff Tarkin and Director Krennic are having their pissing match which we know ends with Tarkin being in control over the Death Star.  Then the remaining rebels go to talk with Jyn Erso's father for some reason, and somehow they all don't get killed.

The "find Galen Erso" arc is a lot of what soured me on the movie.  It's well done, the whole, "he has the face of a friend," and, "his weapon was in the sniper configuration," but the scene seemed like a contrived way of putting father and daughter together in an improbable meeting that no Rebel officer would give the go-ahead to.  Fortunately, it lasts even shorter in the comics than it does in the movie, so there's that.

In my blog post about Issue #2, I mention that science fiction is better suited to television than it is to movies.  On Facebook, I further stated that science fiction is best suited to books, magazines, and comics.  Then television.  Then movies.  Of course, I like books, magazines, and comics more than I like TV, and I like TV more than I like movies, so I hope this doesn't belie a sense of certainty in this assessment.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Green Lanterns #23


Green Lanterns (2016-) #23

Green Lanterns, Issue #23 begins with Jessica Cruz stripped of her Lantern emblem and undergoing basic training with Guy Gardner, while Simon Baz is undergoing advanced training with Kyle Rayner and Volthoom in the body of Rami is tasked with the rebuilding of the Green Lantern Corps rings.  Then it goes into a story from 10 billion years ago that I didn't quite follow, something about the Old Gods.

I don't see where this title is going right now.  "Training" arcs can work pretty well, in genres as diverse as Rocky and Hunter X Hunter or Naruto.  I just haven't gotten into the Volthoom arc yet, but it seems likely that the creators know where they're going with it.  I do like the Rayner/Baz and Gardner/Cruz scenes so far.  We'll just have to see where the title goes from here.

The Gospel According to Jesus Christ


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The Gospel According to Jesus Christ is the book that got author Jose Saramago banished from his native Portugal.  It's the story of Jesus Christ - a story of Jesus Christ because there can no longer be just one story of Him.  Portraying Jesus as a complex and flawed man, The Gospel According to Jesus Christ describes the entire life of Jesus Christ, focusing on His young adulthood, from the age of 14 until He meets Mary of Magdalene, although it also describes His conception, birth, and first few days on Earth.

Needless to say, the Roman Catholic Church hated this work.  I see it as akin to Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha, a religious work written by someone not of that religion, as paradoxical as that may sound.  Saramago himself is not religious and of course not a Christian.  He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1994, and this work played heavily in the judges' decision to give him that prize.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Rogue One #2


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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Issue #2 introduces several new characters, including the blind priest and Saw Gerrera.  The main character, with the utterly forgettable name of Jyn Erso, has gone to the holy city of Jedha, where the Empire is mining for Kyber Crystals, which are used in the making of both Jedi lightsabers and the Death Star.  From what I've read, the Sith lightsbers are red because they cannot sense Kyber Crystals after turning to the Dark Side of the Force, but somehow, they happened upon a bunch.

Perhaps it's a cultural icon of the Sith to use red lightsabers, and given that the Empire found a whole bunch of Kyber Crystals pretty easily, it's not out of the realm of possibility that they could use other-colored lightsabers if they'd chosen to do so.  I didn't like the movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; it lacks the flow and energy of even the prequel trilogy, which many people didn't like, and it lacks the characters of the other seven movies.  Sure, it's a statement that the characters all die, but I didn't find one of them that I could relate to.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Green Lanterns #22


Green Lanterns (2016-) #22 by [Humphries, Sam]

Green Lanterns, Issue #22 starts the "Lost in Space" arc.  Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz, in the middle of fighting Magneto, are called to Planet Mogo.  Mogo is a sentient planet that is a member of the Green Lantern Corps and now the Green Lantern Corps' homeworld.  Needless to say, Jessica Cruz freaks out.  She calls a halt to their redeployment, and she is met by Kyle Rayner, who calms her down and helps her get to Mogo, safe and sound.  Oh, and in case you've forgotten about Volthoom, he's still in the body of Rami, the rogue Guardian, and he's reunited with the last two remaining Guardians.

I loved this issue.  For the past 22 issues, I've simply been enjoying Baz and Cruz, but now they're being brought back into the main Green Lantern storyline, which has taken place in the series Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps.  I haven't kept up with that series, so it was nice to see some more galactic trouble included in the Green Lanterns series.  I'll be reading Issue #23 forthwith.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Green Lanterns #21

Green Lanterns, Issue #21 is the first Green Lantern comic I've read in a while. I figured I'd start reading an issue a week or two of my favorite comics until I caught up. The current list includes Green Lanterns, Copperhead, Rogue One, Kill or Be Killed, and Old Man Logan. I'm just as busy as before, but I've found time to read a few comics a week.

There are a couple of reasons why I picked Green Lanterns despite it coming out every two weeks. The characters and situations are as complex as those in a good novel. Volthoom isn't in this issue, but I can't wait for him to come back. Also, Issue #22 promises to tie in with the Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps arc. I'm a fan. 

100 Years of Solitude


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100 Years of Solitude is like a grand symphony because the reader can enjoy it on many levels.  When my mother read it a few years ago with her book club, she was given 100 pages of notes on the novel and expected to know all the relationships and how each character relates to every other character.  I know that some people love doing this to novels, but in the end, she didn't really find it enjoyable the way I did.  

Before writing novels, Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote for newspapers.  There, he learned how to write short pieces that people could get information and enjoyment out of.  The texture of his novels, in that vein, is very complex.  You can pick almost any two pages at random and enjoy them as a mini-story within the novel.  When I read Love in the Time of Cholera, I was struck by how funny it was.  100 Years of Solitude is funny and fun as well, but in a different way.  Needless to say, I loved it.  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Punisher #13


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The Punisher, Issue #13 sees Frank Castle on the streets of New York again.  In Issue #1 through Issue #12, he was hot on the tracks of the producers and traffickers of a super-soldier serum called EMC.  A lot of people died in that one, so he took a vacation to heal his wounds.  When he comes back, one of his guns is missing, a real Dirty Harry model.  He has to track it down, and in doing so, he has to punish some people, including the high-school student who broke into his lair.  The kid gets off with a warning, of course.

What I love about Becky Cloonan's The Punisher is what goes unsaid.  Every frame tells a story, and the characters - even the minor ones - are exceptionally well realized.  The kid who stole Frank's gun, for instance, is on a math scholarship to a private school, and he needs money to buy a "Stitch," a Nintendo-Switch-like gaming system he shows off to his friends.  When Frank tells the kid to do his homework and get a part-time job, you expect that he does.  You kind of root for the kid to do well and show up years later as a lawyer or something.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Trouble on Paradise


Trouble on Paradise Audiobook

Trouble on Paradise is Book 3.5 in Craig Alanson's "Expeditionary Forces" series.  It takes place on the Ruhar-held world of Paradise, where tens of thousands of humans have been abandoned by their former allies, the Kristang.  Colonel Joe and the super-powerful, super-intelligent A.I, Skippy don't make an appearance, and the novel features minor characters from the first three books, along with a new character, the Burgermeister's nephew, Nerk.

I've been addicted to this series, reading all three 18-hour audiobooks in the space of a month.  When this less-than-six-hour book came out, I was excited despite its lack of length.  When I started reading it and found out that Colonel Joe and Skippy don't appear, I was initially nonplussed, but I grew to love this novella because of one character, Nerk.  Alanson has a great way with humor, and RC Bray narrates the series admirably.  I can't wait for Book 4 to come out.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Clue #1


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Clue, Issue #1 is the latest IDW title coming straight to you from the world of retro entertainment, in this case, a board game.  In the years before video games, we actually had to (**shudder**) spend time with other people, and one of the ways we did this was playing board games like Monopoly, Parcheesi, and Clue.  The premise of the game was that one of the characters is the murderer, and the players would go through rooms, looking for clues.  I forget the details of the game beyond that, but it was made into a movie starring Tim Curry.  That movie was successful enough to launch a franchise.  

I bought this title because of Paul Allor, the author.  His title, Tet, blew me away.  I've always wanted to read more of his work, but most of what he's done is media tie-in fiction that I haven't been as interested in.  I bought one of his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trades but didn't read it, as I was a little too old for the cartoon when it came out, and I hadn't started reading comics yet (I started four years ago, at the age of 40).  I like the issue, and I'll continue to buy more.  

The Sorrows of Young Werther



The Sorrows of Young Werther was Goethe's bestselling novel when he was alive, and I'm trying to understand why.  Written over the course of a month when Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was 24, The Sorrows of Young Werther is a seemingly typical Romantic novel, but it was written and published in 1774, well before such works were common.  It glorifies suicide, and even well over a century later, people were emulating the final suicide in the book.

I read the audiobook, which played the same annoying piano theme every 15 minutes.  To say the least, I didn't love it.  I do like the literary movement of Germany during this time - Goethe, Schiller, Lenz, Klinger - it's called Sturm und Drang, and of course, The Sorrows of Young Werther is the best example of that movement.  Perhaps there is too much foreshadowing, or perhaps I was betrayed the ending and several themes by the introduction and the general reputation of the novel.

I am underplaying how gripping this novel is.  You know he's going to kill himself in the end, but how and why?  This is a great novel, and I did find myself reading it at five o'clock in the morning, rushing to finish it.  I'm sure that my next book will be of the space-opera-featuring-a-talking-beer-can variety, but I'm enjoying my journeys into classic literature.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Rogue One #1


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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Issue #1 came out three weeks ago, but I'm just getting caught up on the title.  I'm not a fan of the movie Rogue One, but I thought I'd give the comic adaptation a shot.  Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, to me, borders on fan-fiction.  It's clever in the way it stitches the holes in A New Hope, but it fails to be a great movie on its own, the way even The Phantom Menace does (I know, I'm hearing boos and hisses from my audience).  None of the characters of Rogue One, minus the cameos, live up to even Poe Dameron or Finn, and I wasn't a huge fan of The Force Awakens.

The cover by Phil Noto drew me in, and although I'm not familiar with the creators of the comic - minus VC's Clayton Cowles, who does the lettering - this is a good adaptation.  It has the pacing and timing that the movie lacks, although I don't know if I'd have as hard a time reading the entire story as I did sitting through the entire movie.  I do know that I'm going to keep reading this title.

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Shadow of the Wind


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The Shadow of the Wind is a Spanish novel by Carlos Ruiz Zafon which takes place in Barcelona in 1950. The protagonist, Daniel Sempre, begins as a 10-year-old boy who goes with his father to a cemetery for books, where he must pick a book to protect.  Most of the novel takes place when he is in his mid-teens, drawn into a game of intrigue that involves mystery, arson, and even murder.  With a cast of dozens of engaging characters, it weaves them together in unexpected ways.

Zafon was famous for young adult fiction, and this was his first "adult" novel.  It's "adult" in its depiction of torture, sex, and death, but it's also a character-driven coming-of-age novel.  Daniel makes the typical mistakes of youth but soon, faced with incredible situations, does incredible things.  The two antagonists, Francisco Javier Fumero and the mysterious man who burns books, are the real highlight of the novel, as is Daniel's friend and mentor, Fermin Romero de Torres.

Saga #44


Saga #44

Saga, Issue #44 sees Marko and Alana in the Badlands outside Abortion Town, looking for a doctor that will remove the dead fetus from Alana's womb.  The cadre of their allies is growing thinner and thinner, as even Petrichor is in the sights of bandits as the issue ends.  Quite frankly, I can't handle losing another character, as so many of them died in the seventh arc, notably in Issue #42.  There is also a confusing dream sequence involving Alana, who has gained magical powers somehow.

Petrichor shines in this issue, even though the intersex Wreathean only appears in a few pages.  She's lonely, and she's hoping for a partner, which seems unlikely, given her situation.  It's about time for some new characters, and perhaps one of them will end up in an intersex love scene with her.  Like always, the comedy of this title shines through.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Titan #5


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Titan, Issue #5 is the conclusion of a wonderful space opera, pitting the humans versus the Titans, a genetically engineered race of humans that are twice as tall, twice as productive, and incapable of living on the high gravity of Earth because of their great size.  Touching on themes of love, betrayal, rebellion, unionism, and war, Titan takes place at the end of the 22nd century, mostly on Saturn's moon of Titan.  The scenery is magnificent for a trichromatic comic, the scope galactic, the characters unforgettable.

I wasn't expecting Issue #5 to come out this week, but my local comic book store clerk knew I was a big fan of the title and pointed it out to me.  It's a double issue - 64 pages instead of 32 - with a few pages of excess prose to complete the story near the end, but it's easy to read.  One of the things I love about this title is the language; it has its own slang, and personal titles are written without vowels, like "MNGR Joao" instead of "Manager Joao."  The detail of the writing is superb.