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J LHLS Archives: April 2006
Saturday, April 1, 2006
Interview with Michael Gluck
by Tom Good
Michael "Piano Squall" Gluck arranges music from anime and video games for the piano, and performs them while dressed as the character "Squall" from Final Fantasy VIII. I participated in a press interview with Michael at Sakuracon 2006 in Seattle.
How did you get started playing video game and anime music?
I began when I was about 9 years old. I started with a very popular video game called Final Fantasy IV, which was one of the original Super Nintendo Final Fantasies. I turned on the console and listened to the first song of the game, and I just . . . that was it. As simple as that sounds, that was a major transition point in my life.
I decided to try to play that song, for whatever reason, on a nearby piano, which was conveniently located next to my console. And I was listening to this piece. I didn't know how to play the piano, but there was a piano in the house and I started pushing notes with one finger, trying to see if I could find this melody.
I actually had some rudimentary ability to translate what I was hearing in the game to the piano, and that was extremely exciting to me. I wondered if I might be able to translate other pieces from video game to piano music, and that was the beginning of everything for me. [more]
Posted by Tom Good @ 07:23 PM PST [Link]
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Starship Operators, Vol. 02 - "Memories" (DVD)
Review by Tom Good
"Viewers are going to get bored if all they see is empty space," says the embedded reporter on the starship Amaterasu, trying to convince her producer of the need for a planetside visit. "... audience ratings on Shu are the highest of any of the planetary nations, right? Besides, reporting on the welcoming ceremony is so news." Soon the starship crew, who sold the rights to their story to a reality show (for more background, see my review of Vol. 1), heads for the planet's surface. But the change of scenery does not change the fact that the Amaterasu is at war, and their enemy "The Kingdom" promptly declares war on Shu. Now more than ratings will be at stake as the crew struggles with another a tricky situation. [more]
Posted by Tom Good @ 10:32 PM PST [Link]
Monday, March 27, 2006
The Innocents #1
Written and illustrated by Gipi
Published in 2005
Review by Leigh Anne Wilson
The Innocents #1 is the third release from the Ignatz series, a small imprint featuring an international group of comic artists.
Edited and produced by cartoonist Igort, the collection seeks to bridge the gap between American style funnybooks and high brow European graphic novels. I am fully in favor of this, as I love the thick paper stock the series is printed on, love the two-toned color scheme, love the sexy book jackets. I even love the saddle stitching right down the center. [more]
Posted by Leigh Anne Wilson @ 08:44 PM PST [Link]
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Deep, Dark and Dangerous
By Jaid Black
Trade Paperback Original published by Pocket Books, 2006
Review by R. A. Landow
I enjoyed the romanticism of the general setting; Snow, ice and winter frost seem to be representative of a certain purity and freshness. This provided a beautiful atmosphere for the beginnings of a love story.
There was also a good use of character contrast; the materialistic Madelyn as opposed to the nonconformist survivalist Drake. It worked well, sort of reminded me of a "Xena" and "Gabrielle" type of pairing. [more]
Posted by Allan Landow @ 01:30 PM PST [Link]
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