Posts Tagged ‘review’
At a Glance: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Cast: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ellen Wong, Kieran Culkin
Director: Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead)
TWIW rates: 4/5
Scott Pilgrim is making some noise.
Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel recently released its sixth and final volume, concluding the story of young-adult slacker Scott Pilgrim’s battle for the heart of Ramona Flowers against her seven evil ex-boyfriends. Scott McCloud calls it “the funniest comic book on the planet right now.” There’s a Scott Pilgrim video game for PS3 and XBox, and “Scott Pilgrim vs. the Animation” on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. And this past weekend, the Scott Pilgrim movie hit the box office.
Today at TWIW I reviewed a sweet comic anthology of science fiction short stories, Exploded View from Cloudscape Comics.
I think you guys would particularly enjoy this anthology. It’s good.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is one of the best short story collections I’ve ever read. A little uncomfortable giving it 5 stars, since I haven’t read the reportedly even-more-amazing Interpreter of Maladies yet, so let’s call it 4.5. Anyway, this is a fantastic, bittersweet short story collection. It’s mostly about second generation Indian Americans, but these are welcoming stories, and I never felt like they were stories FOR Indian Americans. Lahiri does an amazing job with building her characters through subtle details and character interactions. The stories are paced so smoothly you don’t even notice that these are rather long short stories, averaging about 40 pages.
Highly, highly recommend.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
More like 3.5 stars. Man I wish Goodreads could do half stars.
A young autistic man finds that his neighbor’s dog has been murdered and decides to go detectiving. What results is a strange detective novel mixed with coming of age and coming of… mainstreaming, for lack of a better word, as our narrator tries to figure out what people’s facial expressions mean. It relies a bit too much on the novelty of the narrator’s perspective and voice (quirks like the chapters being prime numbers), because the story isn’t incredibly complex or deep, but it’s a fun read and a neat attempt to get into the head of a misunderstood population.
I’d probably have rated it higher before I started reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which (so far) does something similar but does it better, and does more other things as well.
Webcartoonists, more so than others in the comic industry, have to be jacks of all trades. At a major comic company, a project typically employs a sizable team–a writer, penciler/inker, colorist, letterer, project director, marketer, and more–and a staff member rarely has to fill more than two of these roles. Even the syndicated cartoonist has his editors, helping him polish his strip and weed out unfeasible jokes. Ostensibly, anyway. The webcartoonist, in comparison, has to wear a lot of hats. For this reason, it helps to be completely and utterly off his rocker. Even if a webcartoonist is not crazy, he may soon become crazy, simply because he has so many hats to wear.
Today we’re looking at mad hatter Tom Dell’Aringa and his comic Marooned.
It’s been a long time in coming, but here it is: the Rice Boy review. It’s a rather daunting task, reviewing a work like this, because Rice Boy is a different strain of webcomic. It tells a complete and self-contained story, to begin with; it’s evident that comic creator Evan Dahm put a lot of planning into the storyline, from beginning to end, even as a lot of other webcartoonists are content to dive in and see where their comic takes them. And Rice Boy’s story is epic: a full 439 pages.
So what’s the story about? A diminutive armless person named Rice Boy, who looks sort of like a Fisher-Price toy. A machine man, known as “The One Electronic” or “T-O-E,” informs Rice Boy that he is a possible “fulfiller” of an ancient prophecy. Despite his doubts, Rice Boy decides to set off and “give the prophecy a shot,” so to speak…
Let me start by saying that I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic fiction.
Unfortunately, so are a lot of other folks; the majority of post-ac fiction is pretty trashy, cliched by nature, and boring. Steal Tomorrow is a pleasant exception – mostly.
It’s definitely engaging, and avoids many of the pitfalls of post-ac web fiction. It’s not too prone to purple prose, and the (17 year old?) protagonist is not portrayed as much younger than her speech would indicate. Nobody is too old, since the premise is a disease that targets adults, leaving only children and teens.
Though the protagonist may not have seemed older than intended, other children definitely did. At one point in the story we encounter a group of teens who have taken over the library, and stand as guardians of knowledge. Here’s an excerpt:
After being informed that they weren’t to speak above a whisper, they were led to the stacks where other people were browsing, each led by a girl in stern librarian garb carrying a flashlight aloft through the dark rooms.
Really? Really? Donna Sirianni at WFG calls it “A modernized Lord of the Flies,” but I beg to differ. I’m not sure how many children on Golding’s little island were concerned with books, but even those concerned with civilization were a disorganized minority, easily overrun.
In fact, I’m a book lover, a voracious reader, and library enthusiast, and I’m pretty sure that keeping the library running as usual wouldn’t top my TO DO list. At best, folks might attempt to preserve knowledge, but I suspect that most would be too busy trying to survive, and few would trade anything of worth for books, much less to rent books.
The crew our protagonist joins up with, the Regents, are less idealistic. There are internal conflicts, gross chores to be done, and envy of those with special privileges. We observe their attempts to build a sustainable infrastructure in the face of a broken society full of violence and death. The adolescent characters dance nervously around relationships and turn bitter over small slights – in other words, people being people.
The blook uses a common blog format, but does it with class, and very appropriate illustrative photos.
Overall, a good read. It has its flaws, but worth following to see where it goes.