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comment by KapteinB
KapteinB  ·  813 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Dear Hubski, what are you reading this summer?

I've been reading comics, mostly.

Beastars volume 2

It's rare that a manga manages to keep my attention, but I've kinda fallen in love with this one. I'm pretty sure the writer got inspired by Zootopia, but because of the different format, she has much more room to really explore and develop the concept. Volume 2 focuses on the high school drama club, and we learn more about its members, especially the charismatic lead actor Louis. But it's not really about highschool drama, it's more about the relationship between predators and prey in anthropomorphic society.

I'm planning to watch the anime at some point, it's also supposed to be very good too, but I want to read far enough first that the anime won't spoil anything.

Billionaire Island

Meant as a biting satire of our late stage capitalistic society, but while there are some good ideas here, the writing and art both feel kinda lazy. Also, I have a feeling I'd enjoy this more if I was better at recognising faces. I recognise a few; Kid Rock (president of the USA in the comic), C. K. Lewis, and Harvey Weinstein, but I think there are many more characters inspired by real-life villains, and I think the jokes would land better if I knew who. And the satire is very heavy-handed, so if you enjoy subtlety, stay away.

Bone volume 5

A small publisher has made a new Norwegian translation. It's a classic, which I've read before, but that was in English, and in black and white. The colours are nice, and the translation is pretty good. No extras, just the comics, which is fine with me, straight to the point. I wish the format was a bit bigger; this edition is somewhere between pocket book and trade paperback in size.

Chew volume 2

The world has been hit hard by a bird flu pandemic, resulting in a world-wide ban of chicken. The comic follows a psychic FDA agent solving food-related crimes, usually by eating parts of murder victims to get visions of what happened to them. For me, that's just the right amount of bonkers.

Volume 2 seems like a side-story in the bigger picture, but a minor character from volume 1 shows up in a bigger role, and is played up to be the big villain of volume 3, so who knows.

Y The Last Man volume 1

Every male on Earth suddenly dies, both human and animal, except the protagonist and his pet monkey. The comic follows his attempt to travel from the east coast of the USA to meet up with his girlfriend in the Australian Outback. Spoiler: He doesn't get very far. I think this comic does a better job of social commentary than Billionaire Island (though this too a bit heavy-handed at times), plus it's more exciting and fun. Volume 1 is 240 pages, but it felt like a breeze to read.

I'm also reading a book-book, which I'm hoping to finish this summer: The Dresden Files - Fool Moon

The second book about wizard/private investigator Harry Dresden. This time, he's up against a band of werewolves. Or maybe several? In any case, it turns out Chicago has a surprising amount of werewolves. This book has some pretty brutal fight scenes compared to the first in the series, but the same pulpy noir style, and I love it. Not exactly high-brow literature, I guess.

OftenBen  ·  813 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I love the Dresden Files!! Been an avid reader since high school, own all the books and several of the graphic novels.

It's definitely pulp, not highbrow anything but its tasty pulp at least, excellent beach reading.

Without spoiling anything, the series really picks up around books 3-4 and then takes off like a rocket quality wise. If you enjoy the first few at all you should love the rest of them.

Other than Harry who is standing out to you from the pack of supporting characters? Any favorite moments?

Devac  ·  812 days ago  ·  link  ·  

In what way would you say they 'pick up'? Also in high school, I remember enjoying the hell out of vol 1 and associated with the series FATE-based RPG, but didn't manage to finish vol 2. I vaguely remember going "we get it, protagonist is at his lowest, get on with it!" for too long for it to be enjoyable, but don't take it too seriously.

OftenBen  ·  811 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I would say the quality of the writing, especially character moments improves. There is also obvious progress with pacing as Butcher develops as an author.

That "get on with it" sensation you're talking about basically goes away by book 4.

The Dresden-verse grows rapidly with each book and short story.

KapteinB  ·  813 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Good to hear!

Bob the skull and Toot-Toot the faerie are the standout supporting characters for me so far.

For some reason, the potion-brewing scenes are my favourite moments, and the moments much later in each book when he drinks the potions. Probably an odd pick, but it's among the more concrete descriptions of how magic works in the universe, and very creative. Plus, Bob is involved.

Are the graphic novels good? As you can probably tell, I'm very into comics. Are they original stories, or comic versions of the books?

OftenBen  ·  813 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The graphic novels are mostly unique stories that get referenced either directly or obliquely in the novels, i enjoy them a lot. I think a few of them are re-tellings of parts of the books, and Storm Front might be a full length graphic novel somewhere. There's also short stories that have been published in some major anthologies that are plot relevant AND a companion mini-trilogy of short stories called "Working for Bigfoot" that are great world building and color on top of being hilarious.

Toot Toot and Bob are great fun and are some of my favorites and the Fandom favorites in general. In an interview when Jim was asked about the inspiration for Bob he says that he was directly a insult to a former writing teacher who said you can't have a character just be a talking head who delivers exposition. So Jim made a talking head that mostly delivers exposition and ribald remarks.

user-inactivated  ·  812 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I remember reading the first arc of Chew as it was coming out and really liking it, but then I stopped reading comics for a while and forgot about it. I'm gonna have to pick it back up.

KapteinB  ·  812 days ago  ·  link  ·  

If you enjoy Chew, you may also like Outer Darkness. The reason I'm reading Chew is that I loved Outer Darkness so much, I wanted to check out what else Layman had written.

It's kind of what Star Trek would be if everyone was an asshole, and there's some very cool world building. Like, how do you make a starship go faster than light? You trap a god and channel its reality-bending powers into the engine. What do you do when a crew member dies? You chase down their soul, capture it, and force it into a cloned body. Good stuff.

psychoticmilkman  ·  813 days ago  ·  link  ·  
KapteinB  ·  813 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I have a paperback one volume

This one? 1.330 pages or so. The ones I'm reading now look puny by comparison, but they are a bit more practical.

    Telltale video game

Ah yes, back when Telltale was pumping out games for any IP they could get their hands on, with varying degrees of success. According to Wikipedia they only finished 2 out of 5 planned episodes, and they got mediocre reviews.

    a spin off novel trilogy

Huh, that one I wasn't aware of. Novels, apparently. Guess I'll have to see how conclusive the ending feels now when I reread the comics, and if I feel the want to continue reading.

psychoticmilkman  ·  809 days ago  ·  link  ·  
KapteinB  ·  808 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Interesting. I just checked mine, and it says copyright 2004, but doesn't specify a date of printing. I do remember buying it because I didn't want to wait for the later collections to be translated to Norwegian, so mid-aughts sounds about right.

Someone's selling it on eBay as a "rare variant cover", but I can't find anything backing up that claim. Maybe they just use a new cover with every reprint.