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J LHLS Archives: February 2005
Wednesday, February 9, 2005
Hanging Out with the Dream King: Interviews with Neil Gaiman and His Collaborators
By Joe McCabe
Review by Chad Denton
Few writers in comics, which is still despite the progress it's made very much an inclusive industry, have achieved as much a following as Neil Gaiman. Grant Morrison and Alan Moore are not only genre trendsetters, but celebrities in their own right, but they don't quite have the... groupies that Neil Gaiman tends to inspire. So it seems natural there would be an entire book about people talking about working and being friends with Neil. How much of an audience it will find remains to be seen.
Joseph McCabe's Hanging Out With The Dream King is a collection of twenty-nine interviews, three of which had been previously published, by Joseph McCabe with people who had collaborated with Gaiman to some way or another. The included interviewees are collaborators, artists, editors, and even letterers who worked with him on The Sandman and other projects, including Vertigo pioneering editor Karen Berger, horror artist Kelley Jones, humor-fantasy writer Terry Pratchett (who worked with Gaiman on the novel Good Omens), Alice Cooper, and popular musician (and close friend of Gaiman) Tori Amos. It's an eclectic mix, and it's quite impressive that McCabe was able to get an impressive interview out of even the letterer that worked on The Sandman, Todd Klein. [more]
Posted by Chad Denton @ 09:55 PM PST [Link]
Black Panther, No1
John Romita, Jr-Pencils
From Marvel Comics
Review by Richard Mellott
With a release date of February 1, 2005, the Black Panther saga reemerges from the basements of comic book headquarters. From the interview with Hudlin by Dave Richards, a contributing editor at the zine Comic Book Resources, we learn that the stunning Black Panther character has been at the back of Hudlin's mind ever since he witnessed the original debut during the Fantastic Four series. This character has fascinated him, as it is symbolic of a country in Africa that is "technologically advanced" and has " ...never been conquered." He will be writing another comic book for Marvel soon, taking over as the lead writer for the "Spider Man" series. The guy has chops! [more]
Posted by Richard Mellott @ 09:26 PM PST [Link]
Tuesday, February 8, 2005
Mermaid Saga, no. 4
by Rumiko Takahashi
Published by VIZ
Review by Tom Good
If you have read other Rumiko Takahashi manga like Ranma 1/2, Urusei Yatsura, or Inuyasha, the drawing style of Mermaid Saga will be familiar. In fact, one of the characters looks a little bit like Ranma. But the genre may surprise you. Mermaid Saga is a horror manga, reminiscent of traditional Japanese ghost stories.
The main characters, Yuta and Mana, are a couple who have become immortal by eating the flesh of a mermaid. You might think this would create a thriving market for mermaid jerky, but things are not that simple. Many other people who eat it are killed, disfigured, or driven mad by the effects. So Yuta and Mana investigate all sorts of spooky situations, and try to set things right.
In the first half of Mermaid Saga 4, the couple comes across an old, Western-style mansion where an elderly woman is haunted by a mysterious doll and a strange visitor who keeps returning from the dead. In the second half, they find a young boy whose mother has a dark secret. Each of these sections works as a stand-alone piece, so though this is volume 4, it is fairly easy to jump in at this point. Mermaid Saga reveals a darker side to Rumiko Takahashi. Sit by the fireplace and read it late at night to get the full effect.
Posted by Tom Good @ 09:33 PM PST [Link]
Monday, February 7, 2005
Boys Over Flowers, Vol. 9
by Yoko Kamio
Toei Animation 1996
US and Canada distribution by VIZ
Review by Kelly S. Taylor
Boys Over Flowers belongs to a genre of animation that does not exist in the U.S. -- the teen romance. We have books, magazines, and television series galore devoted to this topic but, thus far, no cartoons. The series is not a particularly difficult to identify specimen of the genre, either. As the title may lead you to expect, there are boys and flowers everywhere. Male characters out-numbered female character two to one in the four episodes on this DVD. And they are pretty -- the boys, that is. (The flowers aren't bad either.) Despite the fact they're supposed to be high-school boys, the male characters are very tall and square-shouldered. They have big, expressive, black-lashed eyes. Each is given a distinctive and beautifully drawn hairstyle. Their costumes are as carefully rendered as the females'. In fact, I think boys changed clothes more often than the girls did in the segments I watched.
Not only are these young men very concerned with good grooming, they are also in touch with their emotions in a way that seems absolutely alien to me as I sit writing this review on Super Bowl Sunday, our annual celebration of all that is testosterone-laden. At one point in the story, Tsukasa, the current love interest, tells Tsukushi, our heroine, that he's glad they are forced by circumstances to spend some time alone together because he feels they need to "open up to each other." She assumes he really means that he wants time to convince her to have sex with him. But no. He really, really means that he wants the two of them to talk about their feelings for each other and the problems each is having with his or her family. [more]
Posted by Kelly S Taylor @ 07:38 PM PST [Link]
Sunday, February 6, 2005
Star Trek: To Reign in Hell -- the Exile of Khan Noonian Singh
by Greg Cox
Published by Pocket Books
Reviewed by Kathryn Ramage
To Reign in Hell begins with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beaming down to Ceti Alpha V. As they explore the site of Khan's abandoned colony, they discover a series of caves beneath the desert surface. In these caves, they find not only Marla McGivers' tomb, but another, unoccupied tomb intended for Khan that contains McGivers' records of the first months of the colony, and Khan's written journal.
What follows is an extended flashback -- the bulk of the story -- told from Khan's and Marla's point of view, beginning when Kirk leaves them on the planet immediately after the series' episode "The Space Seed," and ending on the day when the hapless Chekov and Captain Terrell stumble upon the colony in The Wrath of Khan. Between these two points lies an engaging story. [more]
Posted by Kathryn L Ramage @ 09:40 PM PST [Link]
Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife: Pride and Prejudice Continues
By Linda Berdoll
Published by Landmark
476 Pages, $16.95
Reviewed by Lene Taylor
Dear Readers, this is a bad book. I hate to start off a review so bluntly, but we should have no secrets from each other, you and I. I've seen this book referred to many times as a sequel, which it is certainly not, if you accept the definition of "sequel" as "A literary, dramatic, or cinematic work whose narrative continues that of a preexisting work." The narrative of Mr. Darcy does many things, but it does not continue the narrative of the classic novel by Jane Austen. [more]
Posted by Lene Taylor @ 12:43 AM PST [Link]
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