Posts

Valerian from Page to Screen

On a whim (and due to a complete implosion of plans for D&D today), I ended up catching Valerian, which timed nicely with the fact that I borrowed Valerian, Vol 1: The New Future Trilogy from my library to read.

Right off the bat I have to say the movie is utterly gorgeous.  Absolutely breathtaking, with moments of travel that I think if I watched in 3D or IMAX I'd end up trying to fall out of my chair.  Some of the aesthetics and feel look like the work of the Wachowskis.  Overall, a fun, consistent story, if a bit heavy on the romance.  Though I'm forced to ignore the implications of all the structural damage inflicted.

I started out a bit hesitant.  The trailers made me think the film was some hot new YA series, and I had stumbled across a few reviews saying the movie lacked in substance.  That our first interactions with Valerian and Laureline involves heavy flirtation and a clear statement of romantic intent on Valerian's part increased my wariness.  But you …

Silmarillion Blues

Image
We're about to kick off a pretty intense leg of this journey, diving into The Silmarillion.

Christopher Tolkien published The Silmarillion after the death of his father, a book created from the living body of work J. R. R. Tolkien created in his notebooks encompassing the mythology, legends and annals of Middle Earth history.
Ostensibly, The Silmarillion is made up of five texts, AinulindalĂ«, ValaquentaQuenta SilmarillionAkallabĂȘth, and Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age.  Some will be familiar through direct mention or vague reference from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.  Other pieces of lore will require extrapolation to connect to the world we've been reading through for two years.
I will primarily be reading from my library's copy of The Silmarillion, illustrated by Ted Nasmith.  I own a paperback copy of the text, and I will likely dig through it as library loans require I relinquish the borrowed copy now and again.  My paperback copy also has notes pe…

[Book Review] Curse Words, Volume 1

Image
Curse Words Vol 1: The Devil's Devil / Charles Soule & Ryan Browne

A dark wizard has come to our realm to destroy our world for his master... and decides to become a hero (or something) instead.  Clearly nothing can go wrong with this plan.  Clearly.

Yeah... things go wrong.  In a splashy, chaotic, rock music video sort of way.  All in the company of talking rat/koala/being that's a bit more charismatic and moral than Wizord.  Probably for the best.

Entertaining and unhinged.


Advanced Reader Copy copy courtesy of Image Comics; differences may exist between uncorrected galley text and the final edition.

Bilbo's Last Song

Image
Probably the most fitting way leave The Lord of the Rings behind is to visit Bilbo's Last Song.

A poem written as a gift to his secretary, Bilbo's Last Stand was published posthumously and serves as an epilogue to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.  Illustrated by Pauline Baynes, the poem makes a graceful transition to picture book, with paired scenes from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings as Bilbo pens his farewell to Middle Earth.

[Book Review] Meddling Kids

Image
Meddling Kids / Edgar Cantero

Scooby-Doo meets H.P. Lovecraft.  With an absolutely fantastic cover.

If you want to read someone singing praises of this story it's not hard to find (NPR: In 'Meddling Kids,' The Scooby Gang Grows Up — Hard, USA Today: 'Scooby-Doo' fans will dig Cantero's 'Meddling Kids').

My reactions are a bit muddled, and probably more in line with the Kirkus review.

Is the book fun?  Undoubtedly.  Familiar enough to evoke Scooby-Doo, but different enough to skirt violation of intellectual property.  Even better, Cantero has injected some actual diversity and complexity to the characters.  In true Scooby-Doo fashion, even as they encounter horrors from the gates beyond, the story holds fast as an adventure rather than a horror or thriller.

My copy was a pre-publication galley, so I'm not sure how much has changed in the final publication, but as I still lack access to the final piece, I have to go forward with the above caveat.  Can…

Lord of the Rings : The Return of the Read - Appendix F: II. On Translation

This is it folks.  The end of The Lord of the Rings.  A few pages of linguistics and then this book is closed, a brief visit to Bilbo's Last Song and then on to the Silmarillion.

Tolkien presents his work as a translation of what essentially is a found tale.  The journeys of Bilbo, Frodo, and assorted companions through events that ultimately began a new epoch in Middle Earth.  He wants us to treat this story as a translated work, with all the attendant changes that implies to the actual words spoken.

However, neither in our world nor in the world of Middle Earth is there truly one universal language.  There is a "Common Speech" but as a language it still has its derivations and differences across the different cultures and races.  So instead we get cultures that have expressed accents or different grammar rules.  The use of exceptional precise (or imprecise) English is a deliberate reflection of archaic forms of speech in cultures that view language as a core area of kn…

July and Mental Health

To be completely frank, July is an utter shit show for me.

This is not helped by my life-long coping method of suppression and keeping so busy I don't have time to think about the problem.  I'm not sure when July started being so difficult for me emotionally, but based on the snippets of writing floating around (some hopefully to never see the light of day again), almost every July since I was 11 or 12 I've struggled with very deep depression.

I guess I don't have to worry about it being Seasonal Affective Disorder, right?

(Never mind, according to the Mayo Clinic, SAD sometimes does involve summer depression.  So, who knows?  Not me, definitely not what I went to school for.)

One of these days I hope to have both the time and the income to allow me to see a therapist.  But I'll be honest, money is tight and thanks to working multiple jobs, my schedule ends up highly irregular.  And the fun thing about anxiety and depression is it makes the idea of finding a therap…