Thursday, 10 March 2011

Love of Lovecraft

In order to fully understand one of the new gods in my novella mythology I had to read a little HP Lovecraft. Admittedly I didn't enjoy "The case of Charles Dexter Ward" which I found dry and dull. The overwhelming brilliance of the other stuff I read in "The Thing on the Doorstep and other stories" collection made me love his work. Here's a rundown of stories I read in that collection.

1. The Temple: This short story was great because it explored nautical madness and was very implicit about the horror that lay within.

2. Beyond the wall of sleep: The appeal of this short story for me came from its mixture of human repulsiveness and cosmic horror.

3. The Tomb: I liked this story because it dealt with how obsession can make one monstrous.

4. The White Ship: This was a very good story due to its interesting mix of gorgeous fantasy and a sense of tragic loss at the end.

5. The Quest of Iranon: This was probably my favourite story of the anthology. It combined fantasy, a naval journey but a sense of doom and foreboding.

6. The Music of Erich Zann: I enjoyed this one, it was quite disturbing. It reminded me of a description of the manga Adolf where a Jew who played a violin next to a Nazi officer was shot by the Nazi (called Adolf). Subsequently Adolf was haunted by the violin music in regular nightmares of guilt. OK Erich Zann was dealing with a sense of demonic in music rather than nightmares in music.

7. Under the Pyramids: Beautifully grotesque and macabre in the night time parts but interestingly historical in the daytime parts.

8. Pickman's model: Oddly I didn't mind the genealogical parts despite usually being bored by that kind of thing. The grotesqueness of the art and the hellishness was a good reflection of Pickman's trafficking with demonic forces.

9. At the Mountains of Madness: I skimmed or skipped the parts concerning geological detail because I have no interest in geology. Overall I loved this story though. It was especially interesting in my opinion due to the excellent explanation of the different abomination races/ sets of gods.

Now for our regular guest speaker/ proclaimer of approvals: Norman Osborn!

Thank you Geordie Green Lantern. Today I approve of: Eldritch Abominations.

DC top 3 reads of 2010

In the chronological order I read them:
1. Rage of the Red lanterns: it was good to experience the pre-Blackest Night war from the eyes of the corps who were neither green or yellow. This was my first taste of the other corps, the second important entry for me into the Geoff Johns rebooting of the Green Lantern mythos, the first being Green Lantern Rebirth.

2. Agent Orange: Pretty much the same as above but this time from a corps with only one member, Larfleeze the avatar of greed.

3. Blackest Night: tales of the corps volume 1: Same as the two descriptions above but with a difference. This great volume focuses on the origin stories of several corps leaders.

Over to you Norman Osborn!

My thanks Geordie Green Lantern. Today I approve of Geoff Johns.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Marvel top 3 reads of 2010

In no particular order:
1. Old Man Logan: The last time I was this impressed with a story centering on Wolverine was Kubert and Millar's "Origin". Even some of the better comics aside from these can be essentially Logan facing a torrent of enemies which he will proceed to take down until he is the only one left. This isn't a bad thing, it's true to his character. Old Man Logan goes beyond all that and focuses on a what if whereby Wolverine was the only surviving superhero living in a world of supervillains locked in a power struggle to become the supreme ruler of the world. It is what Marvel would call a "what if story" and DC would call an "Elseworlds tale". This adds additional appeal for me.
2. Planet Hulk and World War Hulk: Usually what I expect from the Hulk is very pulpy stuff, the kind of thing the layman thinks of when someone mentions comics. Typically of the Hulk I would expect him to smash property and public spaces up, war with the military complex and now and again fight with cosmic entities like The Silver Surfer and Thor. Greg Pak changed my perceptions a little and introduced me to a side of the Hulk I had never seen previously. This Hulk was smart, noble, courageous, loyal and just. He was a betrayed hero who through new shared battle experiences and the bond of captivity made new allies to fight alongside.

3. Spiderman: New Ways to Die: Before this it had been years since I had found a solo Spiderman title or story which I was able to really get into and enjoy. It reminded me of the united Spiderman and Venom, as seen in the Spiderman game for the Playstation, except this time it was a conflict of Spiderman and Anti-Venom against Venom. The twist being the former host of venom being the new host of anti-venom.

Now, over to Norman Osborn.

Thank you Geordie Green Lantern. Today I approve of: Warrior Hulk and the new and improved more psychotic Venom.

Thursday, 3 March 2011


This completed comic series is good in so many different ways: religious themes, plot, characterization, collected human emotions, comedy, the wild west, the deep south and so much more.

It is both cosmic and small town at the same time. We get large scale cosmic conflict between potent entities but we also get squabbles on the local level in rural communities and inter-family disputes and rivalries.

The broad, literary inclusion of many elements which makes this series so great is enriched by a strong history, which although is partly fictional (in that the characters don't exist in real life), it encompasses a broad scale of time which adds further depth to the already strong narrative.

The billions of years of cosmic activity, the millions of years of Earth forming and growing, the thousands of years of humans surviving, the millenia of religious struggle and development, the centuries of social change, upheaval and evolution, the lifetime struggle of a family, the childhood and growing up of a man, the months and weeks searching for the highest being, the hours of desperate frenzied climax, the tender moments with his love.

All these intertwine a great yet finely detailed tapestry of a brilliantly written, detailed, artistic yet gritty and necessarily violent masterpiece.

Norman Osborn, it's your turn to speak, let there be voice brotha!

Thank you Geordie Green Lantern. Today I approve of the Saint of Killers.

Scott Pilgrim


I love this comic series even though I have only had the pleasure to read it once. I can't remember much in terms of describing beyond the basic plot and some of the main characters. I don't usually like things with a love story as core to the plot but it really worked with Scott Pilgrim. The idea of Scott having to fight Ramona's seven evil exes seemed unique to me although now that I think about it it does have a certain Ranma half air about it.

The fact that one of Ramona's exes was female intrigued and appealed to me, not in that way though! It added a certain feminist aesthetic and ideal to what is already a brilliant comic. Overall I love it because of what I have said above but also because it is funny, good looking (particularly the manga esque art), smart, contains various pop culture references including geeky aspects, it has adorable characters and a great juxtaposition of more unreal/fantasy elements with things we all feel in reality and realism with the way the characters live their daily lives.

Possibly the most awesome image from Scott Pilgrim, but there's a lot of awesomeness in this series.

Now over to Norman Osborn for his say.

Thank you Geordie Green Lantern. Today I approve of 1ups and the power of love!