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Author Topic: Whats everyone reading?  (Read 411278 times)

Theblazeuk

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6135 on: 16 May, 2017, 12:20:07 pm »
Read all of Sarah Pinborough's Behind Her Eyes in one sitting last night (11pm to 2am). I can't say it's a perfect book but the narrative always hints at an underlying unpleasantness and a secret that will transform your understanding of just what is going on in this sick love triangle. And boy, does it deliver.

The weekend before that I read Sleeping Giants after all the buzz around it from last year. The story is told in the same way as World War Z, with 'found' text and transcribed interviews. Unlike World War Z it loses track of this conceit and starts narrating in real-time with diegetic noise (Is anyone going to write 'ARRGH' in their diary? Stop confusing your tenses!), and boasts far less interesting characters. Enjoyable enough but leans too heavily on its contrivances to pull it off. I may read the second book though if they commit to the giant robot and introduce some Kaiju...

Dark Jimbo

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6136 on: 16 May, 2017, 12:53:07 pm »
BPRD rounds out the Hell on Earth saga with Cometh the Hour. No less than four (possibly five) long-established characters take their final bow, and the status quo is changed irrevocably. A really fantastic ending all round, if bittersweet at having to say farewell to old favourites.

Can't say I'm sorry to see Hell on Earth over, though. It's certainly felt the worse for lacking Plague of Frog's sole artist and more focused approach - at times it's felt downright messy and meandering, with far too many two- and three-part stories for my taste, that did little to advance the overall story. Its highs have matched those of PoFs though, and some of the artists involved were every bit the match of Guy Davis. Can't wait to see where the third and final arc takes us; just hope it's a bit more focused from here going into the final straight.

Zarjazzer

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6137 on: 16 May, 2017, 09:19:11 pm »
Dwarves by Markus Heitz, it was originally written in German and does it ever stick with the tropes. Our hero Tungdil is caught up in dwarf politics and machinations and it;s the usual traipse around the fantasy world map to get your apocalypse stopping ticket.

Okay but some hard going some good ideas as well but it's so bloody long I nearly gave up.
The Justice department has a good re-education programme-it's called five to ten in the cubes.

Theblazeuk

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6138 on: 16 May, 2017, 10:12:47 pm »
That last BPRD arc...  :o God I love that series. I know what you mean about the meandering-nature of things as the world draws to an end. However I did feel like that in some way it helped convey humanity's slipping grasp on the precipice of destruction, as each desperate attempt to save everyone turned into just another stop-gap against forces beyond comprehension (if not entirely beyond fighting). There's a panel in the one to come where Johann delivers a perfect encapsulation of the 'never ending battle', something that would belong more in a superhero book than BPRD - but fits perfectly with the comic after all the arcane machinations, callous destruction and senseless death that the heroes have been unable to stop.

My only regret is Hellboy's exit stage left as I always hoped the two comics would eventually return to a central plot. Have you read Abe Sapien? I am cynical about another main character splitting off from the BPRD given what happened with Hellboy, but the stories tie in nicely with BPRD and provide a great slice of what 'normal' people are dealing with during the apocalypse, away from the super-high calibre weaponry and endless missions of the BPRD.

positronic

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6139 on: 18 May, 2017, 07:19:40 pm »
Went to the mailbox today and found copies of HONDO CITY JUSTICE and MEAN MACHINE: REAL MEAN that I'd ordered from Amazon last week.

I immediately sat down and read through the whole of MEAN MACHINE in a couple of hours. Good stories in there, particularly the three longer ones by John Wagner: "Travels With Muh Shrink", "Son of Mean", and "Angel Heart". The Wagner one-off stories "Merry Tale of the Christmas Angel" (with Alan Grant, an oldie but goodie with Steve Dillon artwork) and "You Are Mean Machine" were pretty good, too.

"You Are Mean Machine" is kind of a funny parody of those "which-way" interactive stories, in the guise of a test for the contestants of the prize-contest. I'd have liked it if they'd printed the winning limericks (which were required to begin with the line "A man with a dial on his head") of the 8 contest winners who (supposedly) each received a page of original pencil art from the story, too.

I didn't care all that much for the two Gordon Rennie one-off stories ("Born Mean" and "The Geek"), as they seemed to be nothing special (but then again, it's hard to compete with John Wagner writing a character that he created).

I put the book on the shelf next to FINK ANGEL: LEGACY, which I'd read about six months ago (another great collection, comprised of the classics "The Fink" and "Destiny's Angels" from early Progs in the first half of the book, with the second half collecting a couple of newer stories about Fink's son Ratfink). Hey, I just realized that "Son of Mean" and "The Ratfink" are cousins! If that doesn't call for a story, then I don't know what! If they can scrape together any more Angel Gang stories in a new TP collection, I'll definitely buy that too.

Tomorrow I'll probably start on Hondo City Justice, unless some other 2000 AD trade collection that I ordered arrives in the mail. I finally found a copy online of ABC WARRIORS: THE VOLGAN WAR Vol. 1 HC, so once I get that I'm primed to launch right into all four volumes of those.

Last Monday I read NEMESIS THE WARLOCK: DEVIANT EDITION HC, and I'm also waiting on all three TP volumes of The Complete Nemesis TPs (where I'll pick up with Book 4: The Gothic Empire), and the one Judge Death collection I was missing (THE LIFE AND DEATH OF...) so whatever gets here first I guess.

Dark Jimbo

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6140 on: 18 May, 2017, 07:53:02 pm »
Have you read Abe Sapien? I am cynical about another main character splitting off from the BPRD given what happened with Hellboy, but the stories tie in nicely with BPRD and provide a great slice of what 'normal' people are dealing with during the apocalypse, away from the super-high calibre weaponry and endless missions of the BPRD.

Yes, in the last few months I've finished Hellboy in Hell, Abe Sapien and Hell on Earth as they all came to an end. The Abe series really started to try my patience in the middle books (to think I accused BPRD of meandering...!), but I really loved the ending. Not a patch on either of the other two, though!

JamesC

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6141 on: 18 May, 2017, 08:24:02 pm »
Neuromancer by William Gibson.
I've never read any of his stuff but I really like the idea of cyberpunk.
I'm only one chapter in but I think I'm going to enjoy it.

von Boom

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6142 on: 18 May, 2017, 08:27:11 pm »
Neuromancer by William Gibson.
I've never read any of his stuff but I really like the idea of cyberpunk.
I'm only one chapter in but I think I'm going to enjoy it.

Brilliant book. I read when it first came out and several times since. It's a bit dated in places now with respect to computers, but you have to remember it was written on a typewriter.

CalHab

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6143 on: 18 May, 2017, 08:47:31 pm »
"The sky above the port was the colour of television, tuned to a dead channel." One of the greatest opening lines in literature. You know what you're getting just from that, and you know it will be brilliant.

positronic

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6144 on: 19 May, 2017, 08:07:56 pm »
Well, I didn't actually start on the Hondo City Justice TP today, after all. Instead, I got a couple of packages in the mail, one of which contained that Life and Death of... Judge Death TP I was waiting on, and the other contained Judge Dredd: The Carlos Ezquerra Collection TP, so I decided to start on that one, which collects a couple more Garth Ennis stories to begin with ("The Taking of Sector 123" and the longer "Helter Skelter" from Progs 1250-1261), then a couple of John Wagner shorter stories ("The Girlfriend" and "Phartz!"). "Sector 123" is more-or-less part of the direct aftermath of Judgment Day, so having read that, I fell right into it. A typical sort of situation in the wake of another Big Meg disaster that was well-handled here by Garth, I thought.

I thought both of the Ennis stories were pretty good. In fact, as far as plot/concept goes, I thought "Helter Skelter" was so much better than "Judgment Day" that it would have benefited from being expanded (to at least twice the length), so that we could have gotten more than just cameo appearances (or less, mere mentions) of the various dimensional visitors from other 2000 AD strips. The whole thing just seemed to beg for more space, to be drawn out somewhat for greater drama, as it barreled along a bit too quickly when I wanted to savor it a little longer. Hershey could have used more panel time in the story, and I would have liked to see Cass Anderson in there too (maybe prohibited by her status at the time in her own strip).

That probably would have had a downside in that Carlos couldn't have drawn the whole thing (and he didn't, either, with Henry Flint filling in for the penultimate chapter, although he did a good job -- his earlier work reminds me quite a bit of Mick McMahon). I quite liked the character of D-warp scientist Darian Kenzie, and her relationship to Dredd in the story was an unusual one. Telling the story from her perspective was a great choice on Ennis' part.

Of course it was great seeing all the old foes come back for revenge (one might question the basic logic of going dimension-hopping to get revenge again on someone you've already killed, but it's a comic, so I give it one "gimme" for free, to get the plot rolling), including Fink Angel, Rico, Don Uggie Apelino, Sov War-Marshal Kazan, Morg, Grampus the Klegg, Captain Skank, and of course Judge Cal.

Sure it's a total "comic-booky" idea (not unlike Crisis on Infinite Earths or something, and the cliche arch-villain team), but that's what I liked about it. It just seemed a little cramped at 72 pages and needed more breathing room, as Dredd polishes off his old foes a bit too quickly and neatly in the showdown -- it needed some more dramatic build-up.

From a story perspective, the character of Darian Kenzie and her feelings about Dredd was the strongest bit about it (especially her realization about him on the last page of the story), and she was well-developed enough, but I longed for even more depth and there was just so much you could pack into so many pages. There should have been more of an epic scope to the thing, but it was such a great basic idea, I thought.

The two shorter John Wagner stories were real old-school style stuff (which isn't bad), and seemed about perfect for their length. "Phartz!" was just a fun, goofy idea, and I always hope that there'll still be a place for those kind of stories, as long as then don't run on too long. And of course, what can you say about Carlos Ezquerra? He's the greatest (and the reason I wanted this now out-of-print collection in the first place, thank you ebay). It's great to see his color work.

I decided to save the rest of the book (all Cursed Earth Koburn stories written by Gordon Rennie) for tomorrow.

The Adventurer

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6145 on: 19 May, 2017, 08:39:05 pm »
Amazon randomly gave me a free Marvel digital graphic novel of my choice. So I got Xmen Epic Collection Second Genesis which collects a big chunk of Clarmont/Byrne's Xmen revival. Would you belive I've never actually read any of these before?

Also on the slab; Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Stardust Crusaders Book 3 and the  Johnny Nemo collection.

Notable Comics dropping the Week of 01-02-13


positronic

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6146 on: 19 May, 2017, 09:01:33 pm »
Amazon randomly gave me a free Marvel digital graphic novel of my choice. So I got Xmen Epic Collection Second Genesis which collects a big chunk of Clarmont/Byrne's Xmen revival. Would you belive I've never actually read any of these before?

Also on the slab; Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Stardust Crusaders Book 3 and the  Johnny Nemo collection.

Ah, those were the days. I haven't touched a Chris Claremont-written comic in the past 2 decades (or more, might be closer to 3 now), but back then, his writing was new and fresh.

At first I thought you were talking about that Ed Brubaker X-Men run, but then I realized that was Deadly Genesis (which I think was the story which introduced the 3rd Summers brother (aka Vulcan). That might have been the last time I actually enjoyed X-Men for a short run of more than say, 6 issues or so, The Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire and Deadly Genesis stories that eventually fed into Emperor Vulcan and the whole Abnett/Lanning War of Kings event. Which in a way, brought it right back to those early Claremont X-Men stories that first introduced the Shi'ar and the Imperial Guard.

I've got TWO Johnny Nemo collections, one of which is a couple of decades old, and a more recent one from a few years back (one is hardcover and the other softcover), but they're not exactly the same, even though most of the stories are.
« Last Edit: 19 May, 2017, 09:05:44 pm by positronic »

Supreme Pizza Of The DPRK

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6147 on: 20 May, 2017, 06:12:14 am »
Ordered Jerusalem from the library. I think I might be in over my head...I can't see me finishing before the return date to be honest.

Also got out Normal by Warren Ellis. A departure from his detective stories but so far very enjoyable.

sheridan

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6148 on: 20 May, 2017, 10:50:47 am »
Also on the slab; Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Stardust Crusaders Book 3 and the  Johnny Nemo collection.

I've got TWO Johnny Nemo collections, one of which is a couple of decades old, and a more recent one from a few years back (one is hardcover and the other softcover), but they're not exactly the same, even though most of the stories are.

I've got a hardback Johnny Nemo collection, didn't realise there was also a paperback one out there.

TordelBack

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #6149 on: 20 May, 2017, 02:29:55 pm »
Bone Sharps, Cowboys and Thunder Lizards, by Jim Ottaviani and Zander Cannon (of Top 10 and Smax fame) & Kevin Cannon (oddly the not-brothers are not mentioned by name on the cover, but rather by their company name, Big Time Attic - what's that about? Tax? Rights?).

Very nice fictionalised biocomic about Cope and Marsh, Charles Knight, PT Barnum ,  Buffalo Bill, and sundry other celebrities of Wild West Palaeontology. The Cannons' style veers around a bit in the considerable space between Herge, Lutes and Los Bros, but the storytelling and character design is top notch.  I'd say Ottaviani slightly favours the tragic Cope out of the idiotic rivals, and he's probably got a point, but Knight is obviously his real favourite in the whole mess, and he's definitely right about  that (although the epilogue rather bizarrely implies that he lived into the 2000s, which would make him 130+...)