The Awakening

The Awakening is a slasher film on paper. Lonely student Francesca starts attending a prestigious boarding school only to fall into a coma after she discovers another girl killed late at night. It takes the book a third of its length to get to this point, and that setup section was the part I enjoyed most. There are some well-executed character bits, so I found it even more of a shame that little of it was necessary or had any […]

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The Science of Superheroes

This readable popular science book has an interesting hook: superhero stories are used to introduce discussions of various scientific questions. Batman brings up gadgets and jetpacks; Spider-Man means spiders and cloning; Green Lantern, black holes and color theory. There’s also a chapter in The Science of Superheroes on the EC science fiction comics — although it sounds as though it’s more accurate to describe them as science-less morality tales — and DC’s Strange Adventures and Mystery in Space. The latter […]

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Doing Time

Doing Time‘s author spent three years in jail due to violating Japan’s gun possession laws, and he’s captured the time in excruciating detail. It’s very different from what one sees of American prisons in the media, since the Japanese prisoners are very regimented and well-behaved. Unfortunately, Kazuichi Hanawa, the author, shares little of his interior perceptions or feelings. There’s no insight into what brought him there or what he learned or how the experience changed him as a person, and […]

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1000 Steps To World Domination

It doesn’t surprise me at all that this, as a minicomic, was pushed by James Sime and as a book, was published by Larry Young. All three have in common a sense of importance orthogonal to reality and as a result, all three are achieving their goals based on building their own legends. 1000 Steps To World Domination is a series of mostly four-panel, one-page cartoons. They all revolve around Osborne’s desire to rule the world, although some connections are […]

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Christmas in Connecticut

Christmas in Connecticut is my favorite holiday movie. Every time I see it, I love it more. From 1945, Barbara Stanwyck plays that generation’s Martha Stewart, a famous magazine writer who’s always describing her farmhouse, her delicious gourmet meals, and her loving husband and baby. Problem is, she has none of those things. She’s a working woman who can’t cook but buys herself a mink because she’s always wanted one. When a war hero writes her publisher saying all he […]

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Manga Retailer Out

A small-town friend of mine had noticed that his Suncoast store had cleared out all of their manga. (I mention the “small town” because that was one of his few outlets for browsing.) Now, ICV2 is reporting that they are “exiting the category” and returning all of the books due to their parent company’s bankruptcy. I stopped into my local branch yesterday, and when I asked, the clerk, without prompting, told me something similar, only she also said that the […]

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Fantastic Four: The Movie

I know the Fantastic Four movie wasn’t all that popular with comic fans, but I liked it. It was exactly what I expected, an enjoyable summer action movie with comic book characters. Some random thoughts: Reed Richards really was portrayed as the “world’s dumbest smart guy”, as Doom said. He didn’t seem to do much of anything in this film; everything was someone else’s invention or choice or accident. He was pretty to look at, but that got boring quickly. […]

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Sexual Harassment Reactions

Laura Gjovaag has a powerful emotional response to recent stories of sexual harassment. She comes to the conclusion that Superheroes are constrained by their own success. And it’s a dubious success at that. As long as superheroes dominate the market, the stories will continue to pander to the fanboys… the lowest common denominator of the fanboys. They will continue to be the kind of stories that embarrass the casual reader and drive people away. And they will continue to be […]

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