Friday, September 03, 2004

Hey, I'm updating twice in one week!.

Continuing with books read:
  • Never Ending Summer by Allison Cole. The story in this graphic novel isn't bad, per se, but it is something I don't have a whole lot of interest in (at least not unless it's told much better than it is here): an autobiographical story of a woman in her early 20's and her relationship problems. At least, I assume she & her friends are in their early 20's. If it weren't for the fact that they spend a lot of time in bars and there is no mention of fake I.D.s, I'd assume they were all in their late teens. The problem I have with this book is the artwork. I knew I was in trouble when I found the "cast of characters" page, and all 15 or so characters were blobby abstractions of people with very minor differences to distinguish between them. I suspect that Cole can't draw well enough to accurately portray her friends, so she goes for the abstract. To her and her friends, the tiny details that serve to distinguish the characters are probably sufficient for identification. But to the rest of the world, it's not enough. (Not that it matters, since the story is so entirely about Cole that there's no need to identify just who it is she's talking to.) (Checked out of the library.)
  • Doom Patrol: Crawling from the Wreckage by Grant Morrison & Richard Case. DC/Vertigo is finally starting to collect the rest of Morrison's run on Doom Patrol, and I couldn't be happier about that. So I re-read the first collection, since it's been years since I'd last read it. It's just as wonderfully strange as I remember. The opening story, about a fictional world that starts to invade reality, owes a lot to Jorge Luis Borges (specifically to his story "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius"), but it's so wonderfully strange that I don't care if it's derivative.
  • Transhuman Space: Deep Beyond by David Pulver. This is a source book for the Transhuman Space role-playing setting: near-future science fiction in which genetic engineering, nanotech, and developments in artificial intelligence have allowed people to start colonizing the solar system. This particular book is about people living in the asteroid belt & further out. Nicely done.
  • R.A. Salvatore's Demon Wars: Trial By Fire by Scott Ciencin & Ron Wagner. I've never read anything by Salvatore, so I don't know if this graphic novel does a good job of capturing the Demon Wars setting. (Library.)
  • Criminal Macabre: A Cal McDonald Mystery by Steve Niles & Ben Templesmith. I really disliked this, and I want to go into loving detail as to why, but I don't have the time right now, so that will have to come later. For now, just let me say that Niles really needs an editor. (Library.)
  • Club Zero-G by Douglas Rushkoff and Steph Dumois. This graphic novel was written by somebody who was highly influenced by Grant Morrison's comic book The Invisibles (although he seems to have missed at least one of the points of that series). Rebels in a totalitarian future use psychic powers to reach back to a guy in their past (i.e. now) in an effort to prevent their grim future from coming about. The guy does this by encouraging people to go to a rave club. Well, the club is actually a psychic construct found in people's dreams, but still. It's got a dumb, cliched ending and the whole thing suffers from an attitude that I've encountered elsewhere. There's a message of "We must fight the forces of conformity!", but at the same time there is the implication that the world would be great if only everybody were just like the author/viewpoint character. Whenever I've encountered this attitude, I get the impression that the person simply doesn't see the contradiction. (Library.)
  • WildC.A.T.s: Homecoming by Alan Moore, et al. A re-read to see if this comic is too insular to be understood by somebody who doesn't already know the characters. I don't think it is.
  • WildC.A.T.s: Gang War by Alan Moore, et al.
  • Spiral by Sakura Mizuki. This is a tangential story to The Ring. It's about the doctors inspecting the bodies of the people who have fallen victim to the cursed videotape.
  • Scars by Warren Ellis & Jacen Burrows. This is the scariest thing I've read by Ellis, and that's because it's done without any fantastic elements at all.
  • One Piece, vol. 4: The Black Cat Pirates by Eiichiro Oda. (Why is it that when I search for manga on Amazon, French & German translations come up before English ones?)
  • Love Hina, vol. 2 by Ken Akamatsu.

Still not caught up, but the library's closing. More next week.

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