Comme d’habitude, je suis impressionné par le nombre de bd francophones disponible en traduction chez ma bibliothéque municipale, mais j’aurais préféré lire cet album en français. En tout cas, je connaissais le nom Josephine Baker, mais je ne connaissais pas vraiment le personnage. J’aurai appris beaucoup plus en lisant une vraie biographie, mais une bd, c’est quand-même sympa !
This was a Jason Snell recommendation on a recent episode of The Incomparable that I nearly skipped; I’m glad I didn’t, though, because this was a fascinating book. The premise—that humanity suddenly learns about and how to access parallel worlds to either “side” of Earth—is a fascinating one. In fact, this is the kind of great science fiction that starts with a wild concept and plays with it as long as it can.
J’aime bien l’uchronie, et cet exemple offre beaucoup d’idées intéressantes, mais j’avoue que je ne vois pas en quoi il mérite un grand prix du roman de l’Académie française. Si je connaissais mieux l’histoire européenne, peut-être que je serais plus impressionné. En tout cas, c’était assez intéressant même si je n’ai pas tout suivi.
I am only passingly familiar with Archie, but the concept behind the miniseries was compelling, and I love a reimagining of familiar characters to make a point. Even more compelling was the treatment of World War II in a way that emphasized how awful war is instead of cheerleading the U.S. entry into the conflict. Really enjoyed this.
Reading a second volume hasn’t changed my impression of this series: It’s an interesting premise, but there’s not really enough substance to it to be worth my attention. There’s more out there, but I don’t feel any completionist tendencies about it.
I love a movie that leans into being bizarre because it knows exactly what it is and commits to it. I love a movie that uses metaphor to make important points. I love a movie that is self-aware and even self-critical. This was as good as I expected it to be.
As promised, I’m reading this in honor of Bill Willingham’s badass public domain antics earlier this week. I think the concept of his series is fun, but I’m not sure if I think it’s as great as its reputation. The idea of fairy tale characters living in the real world is full of potential, but the story seems pretty superficial. Will probably keep reading, though.
It’s weird to rate this so highly given how much anxiety it gives me to read it. Reading it four years ago is what forced me to confront how much baggage I had from my own Mormon missionary experience, but I know the author has her own complicated feelings about the book, and that helps some. At any rate, the book is so well done that I can’t help but rate it highly.
I didn’t love this when I first read it after its publication, but it has grown on me since! It’s fanservice, franchise-oriented writing at its best, and even if some of its details strain plausibility (just how old is Smiley?), it’s fun to see behind the scenes of Leamas’s narrative in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and to weld that narrative to characters we know from the Karla trilogy.
I really enjoyed the original adaptation of the book (which I’m trying to read now), and the characters and many of the jokes were just as delightful in the second series. As a whole, though, the series felt like it didn’t have much of a plot—or, when it did, that it was moving furniture for a third series.
It’s been less than a month since I read the English translation of this, which I already gave full marks. Yet, the original French version was even better. Delisle captures this city and its conflicts in a comic book better than any news story ever could.
In a way, I’m not in a great position to evaluate this book, because I’ve read shamefully little about indigenous populations in the Americas. That learning experience here, though, was a good one. Treuer doesn’t sugarcoat the past, but he celebrates the indigenous present and is even hopeful about the future. I have a lot more to read and learn, but this was a solid start.
I don’t remember how I discovered this book, but when ordering some books from France early in the pandemic, I couldn’t pass up the chance to read a Lebanese scholar’s treatment of the Three Nephites in the original French. That said, while there were interesting bits in here, I just don’t know that I follow academic French well enough to really get this. I have a PDF of the English translation that may be worth briefly revisiting.
I bought this pamphlet over a decade ago, in the gift shop at the Mémorial de Caen. I’d heard that it had influenced the Occupy protests, and even though I wasn’t sure I liked the Occupy protests (in 2012, I was a right-leaning centrist who would eventually vote Romney), I figured I ought to better understand them. I wasn’t sure I liked this pamphlet either when I first read it, but it’s been a while and my political views have marched leftward, so it was time for a rereading.
I skipped The Honourable Schoolboy for this Le Carré adventure because I think it’s the weakest of the Karla trilogy, and because the BBC Radio 4 adaptation made me dread what kind of stereotypical Chinese accents an audiobook reader might adopt. I couldn’t possibly skip Smiley’s People, though; I think I might like it even more than Tinker Tailor, though you can’t appreciate this without having read that. It has the best of Le Carré—copious but not irrelevant detail, moral ambiguity without needless grittiness, and a sense of inevitability that still keeps you hooked on the story.
J’ai déjà lu cet album cette année, mais comme j’étais en mode « Guy Delisle », j’ai décidé de le relire. C’est bien différent que ses albums de l’étranger, mais c’est tout aussi émouvant. J’aime beaucoup.
I don’t even remember when this season ended, but it took a while to convince myself to get through it. The first season of this show was near-perfect, but it’s gotten dumber over time, and this season was particularly disappointing. It felt stuffed with fanservice and worldbuilding I didn’t care about, indecisive and self-contradictory, and like everything proceeded on the logic of plot. Makes me miss Andor.
I’ve read this a number of times already, but after reading Delisle’s “Jerusalem,” I had to revisit it. It’s the wild, literally incredible story of the two months he spent in Pyongang supervising a team of North Korean animators who were doing work for the French animation studio Delisle worked for. The art is excellent, the writing is good, the story is bonkers. One of my favorite comics.
I have been a fan of Delisle’s for quite some time, but I’m still blown away by how good this is. The book isn’t political or polemical, but a slice-of-life comic done by a cartoonist living in East Jerusalem for a year brings walls, checkpoints, rockets, and attacks on Gaza to life in a subtle, compelling way. I used to follow this news a lot more, and Delisle made me feel like there was a lot I missed even then.
A friend recommended this book to me, and I’m very glad I tried it. It’s a broad consideration of how the Binding of Isaac has been interpreted, imagined, and portrayed over the centuries—combined with the author’s personal struggles with the story. It was difficult sometimes as an audiobook (while I appreciated its breadth, it sometimes felt repetitious), but I got a lot out of it.
I wish I had read this before Gharib’s second comic memoir, because there’s a progression there (in terms of both the quality of art and adding detail to story) that makes it unfair to judge this one after reading it second. I think “It Won’t Always Be Like This” is better, but this comic is so good, too. Great story, distinctive art, great overall product.
I really enjoyed this show! It veers from realism but into the fun thriller, and while its dedication to drama is obvious, it’s not always a bad thing. I enjoy a show that rewards the viewer for knowing the difference between the FSB and the GRU, and I’m really looking forward to the second season.
Everything about this is good: The writing, the art, the mix of the external story and the personal elements that Yang puts in. I wasn’t sure about a basketball comic, but I knew I could trust Yang to pull it off, and I was right.
It took me six months to finally read this book, but it’s exactly what I hoped for, so it was worth the wait. Some of Merton’s essays are more compelling than others, but his fierce condemnation of war and advocacy for peace is moving. I’m sure I’ll be coming back to this.
Lots to love in this movie: The animation is gorgeous, the concept is interesting, the metaphors are well-meaning, and there are plenty of funny bits. There seemed to be too many subplots, though, and when any of them saw a shake-up, it didn’t always feel deserved. It also feels essentialist in the way that D&D does—yes, differences make sense in the fictional world, but since we’re meant to read them onto the real world, it doesn’t always sit right.
I believe this is the third time I’ve read this book, and I’ve also enjoyed its BBC television and radio adaptations a lot. The first time I read it, I didn’t get it, the second time I loved it, and this time I see why it’s such a classic. It was fun to read the original after watching and listening to the adaptations pretty regularly over the past several years. Le Carré does well with detail, and I’d forgotten the subplots and side comments that get left out—but that add so much to the characters, the plot, and the overall feel of the book.
I really want to like this book. I am sympathetic to pirate politics, and I’m impressed with its sudden surge to power in Sweden and elsewhere. I even think many of the ideas in here are compelling and will probably come back to it despite my relatively negative review. The thing, though, is that I struggled through it, so it took me so long to read it that I probably don’t even remember enough to give it a fair review—except that that is itself kind of damning.
I find memoir (and other non-fiction) comics to be hit or miss; I’ve even passed up Gharib’s earlier memoir a number of times because I just wasn’t sure. I don’t know what stood out to me about this one, but I went for it and I loved it. I love getting a taste of meaningful events in someone else’s life, and Gharib does such a great job telling her story. It even made me wish I’d taken more Arabic classes in college so I could follow some parts better.
I read these books ages ago, but I can hardly remember any of the details, so it’s been fun to revisit this world with flashes of familiarity but mostly just waiting episode to episode to figure things out. The set design is great, the acting is good, and the music is compelling. I don’t know exactly why I’m not giving it full marks (it feels a bit strained and overcomplicated sometimes, but I think that captures the source material from what I remember), but I’m looking forward to future seasons!
I finally read this book weeks after picking it up from a local library and knowing I’d enjoy it. Viloria’s life story (like so many others’ stories) casually destroys sex and gender binaries. Reading about the experiences of intersex people was an important part of my beginning to reject those binaries several years ago, and I think anyone clinging to those binaries ought to hear from voices like Viloria’s. That’s not to say that other queerings of that binary are any less valid than being intersex, of course!
I’m continuing my journey theough Le Carré, and I thought I’d give his last, posthumous book a listen while waiting for my hold on Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy to cone through. It’s so interesting to compare this last book of his to his earlier works: There are more women (though I still don’t think it passes the Bechdel Test), more cell phones, and more swears than his early stuff, but the sense of inevitable plodding toward a disappointing end (for the protagonists at least) is just as strong as ever.
This is a fascinating bit of history. Derry was an early convert to Mormonism who emigrated from England to Utah, became disgusted with polygamy and what he saw as an abusive system of tithing and church governance, and returned to the American Midwest, where he joined the RLDS church and became a leader and missionary in that denomination. Like The Giant Joshua, it’s odd to read something that is so clearly “a pioneer story” but isn’t uniformly positive.
I stumbled upon this series on TVTropes and was happy to see it’s available through Hoopla. I get why it gets the praise that it does, but it just didn’t land with me. The art is gorgeous and the premise (a noir detective in a 1950s America populated by anthropomorphic animals) is bold and compelling. I don’t know that noir is my genre, though—it feels more like tropes strung together than an actual plot, and it sometimes goes out of its way to be lurid.
I’d been meaning to watch this, and kiddo was happy to walk me through it (she’d seen it in theaters). The animation is beautiful and there are lots of fun in-jokes and shout-outs. At the end of the day, though, the plot was thin and the characters flat (though they could have done much worse by Peach). It’s probably the best one could do with the source material, but that doesn’t mean it’s great
I read through this with kiddo this morning, inspired by our recent discovery of Shiga’s new Adventuregame Comics. I was surprised by how little I loved it. Don’t get me wrong: it’s an amazing concept, an interesting story, and it deserves the praise it gets from folks like Gene Luen Yang,Scott McCloud, and others. However, revisiting it after his newer work in this subgenre, I think he does better with Adventuretime Comics!
I don’t remember how I first discovered Jason Shiga, but I do remember working my way through his interactive puzzle comic Meanwhile one summer, some of it while purportedly completing an internship. Meanwhile is one of the first comics I added to my collection and one of the few of my early acquisitions that I still have. Anyway, all of that is to say that when I saw this comic in the new children’s books area at a local library, I immediately grabbed it.
I checked this out from Libby after hearing about it on The Incomparable, where all the panelists had good things to say about it. The premise of the book is fun: an orc warrior in a D&D-type adventuring party retires to start a coffeeshop, coffee here being a gnomish delicacy that isn’t well known. I don’t drink coffee and I don’t really patronize coffeeshops, but this book kind of made me wish that I did!
The movie adaptation of this book is what really got me into Le Carré. It’s twisty and cynical and compelling—just a great book. Not perfect, of course: Its age shows uncomfortably in some places, including the way it entirely fails the Bechdel Test. I can’t help but give it a full rating, though.
This week, it felt like it was time to revisit George Smiley. Smiley has been something of a comfort read these past several years, but it’s been some time since I visited the actual books, instead preferring the BBC Radio 4 dramatizations. They are superb, but I decided to listen to the “full” audiobooks this time through. Not all are available theough my library, but the best ones are, and that works just fine for me.
I recently read a lot of Saga, it’s not too long ago that I gave Y: The Last Man a readthrough, and I’ve tried this series before, so I was expecting to like this. I did see enough in there to see why it’s so often hailed as a classic, but I found it too edgy for the sake of being edgy or editorial when opportunity allowed. Lind of disappointed, and not planning to read further.
I’ve skimmed the archives for this webcomic several times in the past, but I’ve never gotten this far in the story, and it was a delight to do so now. I was not sure this would live up to the first book, but it’s so, so good at using superhero tropes to explore philosophy and ethics. I really, really like this series.
I hadn’t realized this webcomic had been released in print volumes, and I honestly couldn’t remember how far I’d made it through the webcomic archives, so I leapt at the chance to read a collection. I think I might like this deconstructive “realistic” take on superheroes more than any other. The questions are interesting, the art is uneven but compelling, and the characters resonate with me. It’s a great read.
This was an uneven final season for a show I really enjoyed. I wish they’d made it tighter and better structured, and maybe it doesn’t deserve the score I’ve given it. I’ve enjoyed the whole of these three seasons (and so many small moments in this one) too much to rate it any less, though.
Look, this is the kind of book that I bought knowing already that I’d agree with its thesis, so maybe you shouldn’t read my review of it. Nonetheless, I think Caine does an excellent job of bringing together many of the arguments against Amazon. This company is bad news, and while it’s hard to escape it entirely, I think the world would be a better place if more of us did less to support it.
I have been looking for this kind of book for a long time, and some of my recent publications would have been stronger if this had come out in time for me to reference it beforehand. It’s not perfect: Some wording is awkward and the conceptual framework (while interesting) could be stronger. However, it’s invaluable for the history it offers and I expect to cite it regularly in the future.
I picked up a copy of this book at the 2023 World Conference of Community of Christ, after it being on my wishlist for some time. It does an excellent job of examining the subjectivity of Restoration scripture by tracing its evolution over time. I remarked to a friend earlier this week that it’s a shame it was written in the 90s (and originally, the 60s) rather than now, when there’s so much more available to do this kind of work.
This is new Astro City material for me, even though it’s been around for a while. There’s still a lot of what makes Astro City great in the long “Dark Ages” story, but not enough to make it shine. I think I like Astro City best when it takes a quick dive into an interesting story, plays with some tropes, and just hints at a broader world and continuity. This tries to explain too much and be too connected, and in doing so, I think it loses a lot of the magic.
This book took me a while to get into. I gave up on the print version a year or three ago, and even the audiobook wasn’t doing great at capturing my attention for a while—I had to rush to finish this before it was due back to Libby. I’m glad that I stuck it out, though, because I liked what I got. I never read the X-Wing novels from the old EU, but I wanted something like what I imagined they were.
This movie knows that it’s a pale imitation of How to Train Your Dragon, but the lampshading is half-hearted, the story and dialogue are weak, and the performances feel like cash grabs. On top of that, it seems to go out of its way to include some casual racism just to make sure it doesn’t hold together. What a disappointment.
This volume isn’t quite as good as the last (mostly because of the filler material that it concludes with), and it has some of the same problems with trying to do diversity but sometime undermining itself. However, I still think the best superhero stories are the ones that pick at and play with tropes, and I haven’t seen anyone do that better than this series.
I love Astro City. It is definitely not percect (the creative team is a bunch of white guys, and sometimes, that’s painfully obvious), but as far as I’m concerned, it’s the best wholesale reimagining of superhero tropes out there. I’ve read every single story in this volume before, and I read them now with a more critical eye than in the past, but I had a great time rereading them all.
A recent episode of The Incomparable covered this book, and even though the reviews were mixed, it seemed up my alley, so I gave it a try. It’s very obviously a book of ideas and is sometimes clumsy and didactic. That said, I wish I had taken more time to sit with those ideas; I rushed through the book to finish it before my loan was up, and I’m sure I missed bits.
This is a fun concept—a teenager named Clark Kent who’s tired of the jokes about being named after the fictional Superman suddenly develops Superman’s powers and has to figure out how to live with them. Busiek strikes me as the perfect person to write a story about how a world familiar with superhero tropes would deal with their becoming real, but as much as I love little bits of this story, I just don’t know that it will ever stand out as a favorite of mine.
I really wanted to like this more than I did! North and Henderson are one of my favorite creative teams in comics, and North’s dialogue and Henderson’s art come together in perfect ways throughout the story. At the end of the day, though, I don’t know if there was enough to that story or to the worldbuilding to really interest me. There are neat ideas in here, and the plot comes together in smart ways at times, but neither feels fleshed out enough to really stand out.
I’m a couple of days late on writing this post: I started listening to the audiobook within hours of Doctorow sending out Kickstarter rewards on Monday and had it finished within a day. I often introduce Doctorow to others by saying that his books sometimes read like op-eds—but that that’s a good thing. I found that to be true in this book. I don’t know that I liked it as much as Walkaway (though I never expected to like that one!
This book is one of the mainstays of the old Star Wars EU. I hadn’t read it in years, but after exploring some of the new canon and hearing the news about a likely remixing of it into a Dave Filoni movie, it seemed like a good time to revisit. The audiobook production was great, and even if I’m not planning to finish the trilogy, I enjoyed checking this title out again.
I have enjoyed going through this book. It’s the kind of book that invites personal action instead of just letting you read it, and that’s felt overwhelming at times (particularly as my life has gotten busier in recent weeks), but it’s a good invitation, and I know I’ll need to revisit this slowly and deliberately to get the most out of it.
I read (and listened to) a lot in the early months of this year and have hit a wall recently. This audiobook was a nice way to get back into reading; I’ve felt a hunger for Star Wars media recently, and this book came recommended on a podcast I’ve sampled. It’s fun to get more into the new canon: I thought this did a good job of setting up some of the Episode VII worldbuilding, and it reminded me of the fun I had reading through the old EU growing up.
I’m sure that I’ve read this before, and I expected to really enjoy a reread, so it was kind of a disappointment to, well, be so disappointed by it. The book is interesting for its interrogation of whether new technologies are less rich than old ones—an argument that has clear relevance today, as perhaps illustrated by Bradbury’s alleged reluctance to allow for an ebook version in the early 21st century. I’m not opposed to this kind of argument, but I think it’s easy for this kind of claim to get tied up in hand-wringing about civilizational decline and old/high culture being better than new/pop culture—and I feel like Bradbury ultimately has more to say about the latter than about the former.
After the weak middle volume in the trilogy, I wasn’t sure that I’d revisit the final one, but I’m glad I did. This book gets back to what made the first one so interesting: A mix of YA tropes, epistolary creativity, and moral complexity. It was self-indulgent at times, but it earned it by not shying away from the horror of the conflicts its teenage characters were the heroes of.
I wasn’t sure about this novella at first, which was a bummer because it’s beloved by the folks at The Incomparable. As I kept reading, though, I got sucked in and wound up loving it! It makes the most of its short length, easily working in the worldbuilding and even lampshading the tropes it uses to do so. The characters are fun, but what stands out the most is how deliberately and delightfully non-Western it is.
A few months ago, I began listening to the Radio Télévision Suisse show Babel again; I have an off and on relationship with the show and decided it was time for another on. I was impressed with an interview Siegwalt gave discussing this book and put it on my list. It turned out I could buy it from the Swiss publisher, which offered a flat 5€ shipping fee, even to have it sent here to Kentucky.
My spouse and I watched all four seasons of this show more or less as they came out. The past few months have seen some pretty big changes to our family schedule, and we haven’t has as much time to watch TV together, so we recently decided to rewatch The Good Place (since episodes are short). It’s a very rewatchable show; you can get a lot out of it once you know what’s yet to come.
This is a frank, vulnerable memoir that I learned a lot from; I’m glad for Kobabe’s willingness to share eir story. I also appreciated the art style. I’d been meaning to read this in print a while ago but had checked out too many books from the library and had to return it before I got to it. I’m glad it was available on Hoopla so I could read it on my phone instead of mindlessly scrolling through TVTropes.
This book has a lot going for it: Good worldbuilding, an interesting “disaster dominoes” plot, and a good audiobook performance. I love the first book in this series, so I ought to like this book too! I did enjoy listening to it, but I just don’t find the characters as interesting, and it feels more like it uses YA cookie cutter archetypes than the last book. Enjoyable, but not my favorite… and leaving me wondering about whether to finish out the trilogy.
Well, this is the last of the PDFs I got from the Humble Bundle, and I think that means I’m caught up on Saga in trade paperback format. I’m hooked, though, so I’ll have to find other ways to keep up with it!
Heck of a volume right here; I can see how it would be frustrating for the series to go on hiatus right after this, and I’m glad I’m reading the series post-hiatus. It’s interesting to see just how willing Vaughan is to change things up hard, and I wonder how this will affect the running themes of the book moving forward. As usual, it’s also fascinating to follow the beautiful, very weird art.
This volume is a perfect encapsulation of everything Saga: I think it hits on all the main characters, it’s weird in delightful ways, it tackles heavy subjects (but sometimes veers into edgy for edgy’s sake), and it left me excited to read more.
I don’t know what it is about particular volumes of this series that makes them rise above the rest, but this was one of them. Maybe it was adorable Ghüs becoming a badass when needed or a father-daughter reunion or something else. Whatever it was, this series continues to deliver.
I still love so much about this series and am looking forward to continuing it. Vaughan is blending together characters and plot threads in interesting and new ways, and I’m eager to see where he goes with it. This didn’t get as high as a review from me as the last volume, though. Maybe it’s because there was some more of the gore that’s my least favorite part of this, or maybe it’s because I don’t like media about couples going through rough patches, even if it’s well done.
Okay, no more caveats. I’m really into this series now. The themes (the difficult love of family and the creeping destruction of war) are more clear, and the art and weirdness continue to be excellent.
You know, I still feel like Saga leans into being a comic for adults by putting adult material in there just because it can. That said, I’ll admit that I have a certain amount of inherent prudishness that may be coloring my thinking there. More importantly, I enjoy the art, the story is getting better and more interesting, and I’m eager to keep reading.
I gave Saga a try a few years ago, but it didn’t quite work for me (or my prudishness), so as good of a reputation it had, I didn’t stick with it. I just got the first ten volumes through a Humble Bundle, though, and so it’s time to give it another try. I’m no longer bothered by swearing and sex like I was a decade (or whatever) ago, though I’ll admit that casual gore is not something that endears me to comics.
This is my third time reading this book—I couldn’t resist coming back to it for the “epistolary novel” square of my library’s “Books and Bites Bingo” challenge this year. The print book is amazing, the audiobook manages to adapt a book that shouldn’t be adaptable, and I enjoyed this read as much as the last two. The language and worldbuilding are subtle but effective, it’s morally complex without trying too hard to be, and the characters are a good mix between believable and, well, archetypal characters in a YA novel.
I picked this up after hearing about it in the show notes of an EFF podcast the author appeared on. This is not the book that I expected to read, I’m not sure I entirely got it, and it even feels a bit like a shaggy dog story at the end. I still enjoyed it, though, in a way I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s neat to read fiction from deliberately African perspectives, the shaggy dog-ness is probably the point, and the characters are compelling.
What a wild listen! I started this right after finishing Doctorow’s Little Brother because it’s recommended in the supplementary materials. It’s a bit odd to read in 2023: The idea of cryptocurrency has been tainted with recent news, it spectacularly fails the Bechdel test, and it seems to me to use more casual racial slurs than the chapters in the Pacific Theater might allow for in the name of realism. Yet, it’s intricately plotted, well written, just absurd enough to make it better, and technical without being overwhelming.
I love the premise and the characters of this show, but it felt like it was running out of steam by the third series (though I’ll admit I don’t know how much the mysterious disappearance of its creator had to do with this—I’d like to read the book on the subject). Burnside got less and less likeable as the show went on (though this might be the point!), and I got tired of how many plots boiled down to “Burnside doesn’t care and goes rogue.
J’ai déjà lu la traduction anglaise de cet album magnifique—Delisle est assez connu aux États-Unis pour paraître (en traduction) dans les bibliothèques près de chez moi. Pourtant, il y a toujours quelque chose de decevant quand je sais que j’aurais lu le lire en français. Quand une ami a visité Bruxelles récemment, je lui ai donc demandé de m’acheter l’album en français. Ayant passé quelques étés dans des usines, l’expérience de Delisle m’a beaucoup marqué.
I loved the first Black Panther and am kind of bummed to be disappointed by the sequel. Obviously, Chadwick Boseman’s tragic passing made this movie an uphill battle to begin with, and its wrestling with that loss within the movie is one of its strongest parts. There are also other individual parts of the movie that are really interesting on their own: international intrigue with strong Françafrique overtones! Riri Williams! turning a goofy 1940s comic book character concept into something compelling and decolonial!
There’s a lot to love about Top 10, which is why I read it for what is at least the third time (likely more). The story is well-crafted, the concept is interesting, it riffs on superhero tropes while breathing new life into them, and the art is full of so many easter eggs for the savvy reader (my favorite is probably the Astérix and Obélix cameo, but there are lots of other great ones).
I’m not sure I enjoyed the second series as much as the first, but over time, it grew on me. The finale nicely tied things together and helped me see how Burnside’s hubris was a running theme of the series (rather than a character derailment). Interested to see what happens in the final series!
Still a fun series, and I’m glad it’s short enough that I could go ahead and finish it out. It continued to get more interesting as it went along, but it also didn’t give any of its twists and turns enough time to feel deserved.
I liked Volune Two more than Volume One: The story breaks free of simple troping and the characters become a bit more interesting. That said, none of this is enough in my mind to really set the series apart. I wonder if this would be better as a long-ish YA novel than as an ongoing comics series.
I put off watching this movie for a while, despite a number of recommendations. I think it’s fitting that I finally watched it so soon after listening to the audiobook of Walkaway, a very weird Cory Doctorow novel about finding hope despite things going very badly. This movie is far, far weirder than Walkaway, and yet it also does a much, much better job of getting that same message across. I feel like it spoke to many of my current anxieties, but in a healing and helpful way.
The premise is fun, and I liked (most of) the art, but I felt like the story moved too fast to move beyond recycled tropes—or let the characters be more than flattish archetypes. It probably won’t stop me from reading the next volume, but I think it’s aimed at a younger audience than me.
To my own surprise, I’ve been getting into audiobooks recently, and having listened to Doctorow’s “Walkaway,” I decided to revisit his Little Brother series in audio form. Parts of the first book haven’t aged well (including some language that was bad enough to be edited out of the print version I have), and while I enjoy Doctorow’s opinions, they sometimes overwhelm the story here. That said, to quote TVTropes, some anvils are worth dropping, and the messages about privacy, surveillance, and civil liberties are as relevant as ever, I don’t know if I enjoyed the book as much as I did my first time through, but I still like it enough to give it four hearts.
I haven’t read this in over a decade, so I recently decided to listen to an audiobook version and see how I liked it this time through. The overall story is excellent! I found particularly compelling the question of scientific (and technological) responsibility, and the creature’s railing against his creator at Chamonix in the middle of the book struck me as almost Job-like. I wasn’t expecting the Chamonix scene to resonate with me as much as the tech allegory, but it will also stay with me, I think.
By the time this movie came out in 2005, I was already deep into superhero media, and I love using recycled tropes to tell an interesting story. This does an excellent job, and it was a favorite for my whole family when it came out. (In fact, I hadn’t remembered until rewatching it that one of my family’s shared verbal tics comes from a running gag involving Ron Wilson, Bus Driver).
Swisstory wasn’t awful, but it’s pretty clear it’s written for kids: Lots of playing up the bloody and gross, and not as detailed as I would have liked. I own a French-language accessible history of Switzerland with illustrations by the late Swiss cartoonist Mix & Remix, and I wish I’d reread that instead.
I only learned about The Sandbaggers last weekend, on an episode of The Incomparable, but I watched the entire first series this week—and loved it. It isn’t perfect: There’s too much 1970s casual misogyny for it to be self-critical in the same way that a modern show set in the 70s would be, and the brown face in one episode is also embarassing. Not setting those aside, I was still impressed with the way the show combined the bumbling hypocrisy of Yes, Minister; the self-serving internal politics of Slow Horses; and the cynical despair of Le Carré into a single, compelling show.
I bounced pretty hard off of Walkaway a year or so ago, but I recently decided to give it another try. I felt like I needed a boost of hopeful thinking, and I’d seen Doctorow post about the book as being hopeful. Did it ever deliver! Walkaway is hopeful on a nearly religious level, and it was exactly what I needed. The book is not naïvely optimistic but rather tenacious in its belief that we can still make this a better workd.
I’m a big fan of Delisle’s comics, but in the past, I’ve skipped his series on parenting. This morning, though, a friend visiting Brussels offered to bring me back a copy of Delisle’s « Chroniques de Jeunesse », so when I went to the library later in the day, I couldn’t help but pick up something else he’s done. His art is great, and his stories are funny and sweet. My only complaint is that I couldn’t read the original French edition (though I should be glad Kentucky libraries carry the English translations!
Reading an actual Apple terms of service document can only be so interesting, but at least creating a graphic novel version helps. The sheer audacity of the project is most of why I liked this comic, but it’s also quite fun to see Sikoryak’s homages to different comics, always with a Jobsian twist. It’s weird, and I don’t see myself rereading it, but I think it’s great.
Look, I’m not a cinema connoisseur, and I’m sure this doesn’t hold up in ways that I don’t know. Conversely, I appreciate Weird Al, but I’m not the kind of megafan that would pick up on every joke. All I know is that this movie is delightful for the way it just leans into the absurdity and doesn’t apologize for it. I loved it, and even the dumbest parts made it better.
What a weird, profound, and beautiful book. This is a very Mormon novel, and in all the best ways. It takes Mormonism seriously—even literally—but not uncritically. I’d wager that Peck has read Grant Hardy, and my favorite bit in an amazing book is a throwaway joke about farewell expressions in French in a way that only someone who knows and loves the Book of Mormon would do. More than all of that, it is a profound and optimistic (but never naïve) story about redemption knowing no bounds.
I’ve read this a couple times before, so I knew it wouldn’t be great, but it was on sale for a dollar at a used book store, and I have a soft spot for it (including its sequels), so I picked it up and gave it another go. I think this retelling makes big mistakes about Superman (believing that destructive fights and interstellar intrigue are what makes the character interesting) and about origin story retellings (gesturing to the reader and including shocking plot twists), but it also asks the important questions about power and responsibility that make Superman stories good.
I’ve been looking forward to this since the first season ended. Midway through watching the first season, I’d already begun reading the series, and I may have already finished the second book by the time I saw the trailer for the second series. This season did a great job at making use of the source material while changing and improving things as needed. It’s a fun book series, but I think it’s shaping up to be a better show.
What a beautiful book! Krug’s story of exploring both what it means to be German and her family’s connection to Nazism is moving, and her multimodal approach—combining text, photos, and drawings—really helps the story come alive. It was sometimes hard to follow all the names and threads, but that’s largely my own fault. I’d been meaning to read this for a while and was pleased to randomly find it on a library shelf.
I enjoyed this movie, so I kind of want to give it four hearts. The visuals were interesting, it tackled important themes, and I appreciated its board game love and its leaning in to pulp sci-fi weirdness and just not caring. The more I think about it, though, the more I remember its clunkiness, the way it often moved too quickly, and the lazy bits. I liked it, and I’m glad we watched it as a family, but I doubt it would hold up over time.
I’ve read this short novella at least four times already, but I received a physical copy for Christmas and couldn’t help but give it another read. Despite being existentially horrifying, it’s one of my favorite books of all time. The protagonist is a Mormon man who dies and wakes up to his surprise in hell. This hell is specifically promised to be finite, but it’s a vast kind of finite: It’s a Borges-inspired library that consists of every possible book (as if written by monkeys on typewriters), and once you find the book that tells your life story, you get out of hell.