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review 2019-11-20 15:22
"Śmierć" Neil Gaiman
Śmierć - Neil Gaiman,Dave McKean

Po przeczytaniu świetnego cyklu o "Sandmanie" postanowiłem chwilę dłużej pozostać w tym klimacie. Wybór padł na starszą siostrę Morfeusza, Śmierć, która jest jedna z ciekawszych w tym uniwersum. Czy jest coś ciekawego, czego możemy się od niej dowiedzieć? Zaraz się przekonacie

 

Wizerunek naszej bohaterki należy do najbardziej oryginalnych kreacji w historii literatury. Gdy mówię Śmierć, albo i nawet ŚMIERĆ, to jaki obraz macie przed oczami? Oczywiście jest to ponury Kosiarz. Wysoki kościotrup w szacie z głębokim kapturem i nieodłączną kasą w ręku. A tu jest zupełnie inaczej. Gaiman przedstawia nam młodą dziewczynę o nieco zbyt bladej cerze, która lubi czarne topy i skórzane kurtki, dopasowane ciemne dżinsy, pieszczochy na nadgarstkach i glany. Do tego burza często nieuporządkowanych czarnych włosów, dyskretny tatuaż w kąciku oka i duży wisior na szyi w kształcie symbolu Ankh. Tak jest, nasza Śmierć jest Gotką :) A przynajmniej czerpie z tej subkultury wiele inspiracji.

 

Wiemy już jak wygląda najstarsza siostra spośród Nieskończonych ale jaka jest w zachowaniu? Otóż może i zabrzmi to dziwnie, lecz jest pełna życia. I o tym opowiada pierwsza część komiksu. Raz na 100 lat, Śmierć aby w pełni zrozumieć swoje dzieło spędza jeden dzień jako śmiertelna dziewczyna. Traf chce, że ten szalony dzień spędza razem z młodym człowiekiem, który od dłuższego czasu zdecydowany jest na samobójstwo. Czy dawka życia zaserwowana przez Śmierć wystarczy, aby porzucił swoje plany?

 

Druga część traktuje o lesbijskiej parze, którą poznaliśmy w Sandmanie. Odbędą one wraz z kilkoma znajomymi podróż przez krainę Śmierci, aby odkryć, jak bardzo same się zagubiły. Która z nich zgodzi się zapłacić ofiarę za tą naukę i czy będzie ona adekwatna? Aby się tego dowiedzieć musicie sami przeczytać ten komiks.

Jako bonus pomiędzy tymi dwoma dłuższymi historiami otrzymujemy krótką anegdotkę o tym jak Śmierć wraz z Constantinem uczą o zabezpieczaniu się podczas sexu, aby nie złapać AIDS. Oryginalne podejście i lekki humor sprawiają, że czyta się to bardzo przyjemnie.

 

Wizerunek Śmierci stworzony przez Gaimana jest jednym z bardziej zapadających w pamięć.  W parze z oryginalnym wyglądem idzie też radosne usposobienie i mądrość jaką przekazuje na kolejnych stronach komiksu. Stanowczo jest to moja ulubiona postać w tym uniwersum przebijajac nawet Morfeusza, chociaż uwielbiam ich relację jako rodzeństwo. Polecam zarówno fanom cyklu (nie ma mowy, aby tego nie przeczytać) jak i zupełnym świerzakom.

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review 2019-11-11 12:47
The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch ★★★★☆
The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch - Neil Gaiman,Dave McKean

Graphic novels are really not my thing. But this is the first one I've read that *felt* more like an illustrated novel than a comic book. Or at least, illustrated short story. It might be because this one has as much narrative structure as dialogue and very little action, so the artwork seemed more for building atmosphere and mimicking a sort of stop-motion movie drama, like extreme closeups, rather than depicting characters in action with voice bubbles over their heads. 

 

The artwork is strange but compelling. The story is strange but compelling. And the ending is... unsatisfactorily unresolved. 

 

Paperback, picked up on a whim at a Friends of the Library sale, because the author is Neil Gaiman. 

 

I read this for the 24 Festive Tasks 2019 for Door 2 Japanese Culture Day (Nov. 3): Read a graphic novel or a book set in a school or academic setting.

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text 2019-10-24 01:34
Halloween Bingo 2019 - Grave or Graveyard
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

Well I swapped the coffee for a glass of white wine, and the comfy sofa for a deckchair, and spent a lovely afternoon in the sunshine reading The Graveyard Book.

 

And got myself bingo #3 too.

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text 2019-10-23 15:56
Halloween Bingo 2019 - Grave or Graveyard
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

I've read this one for previous bingo games, and it's always a pleasure to revisit it. So my plan for this afternoon is big cup of coffee, my comfy sofa, and this book.

 

 

 

 

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review 2019-10-23 04:12
The View from the Cheap Seats
The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction - Neil Gaiman

The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction

 

Neil Gaiman, 2016

 

An inquisitive observer, thoughtful commentator, and assiduous craftsman, Neil Gaiman has long been celebrated for the sharp intellect and startling imagination that informs his bestselling fiction. Now, The View from the Cheap Seats brings together for the first time ever more than sixty pieces of his outstanding nonfiction. Analytical yet playful, erudite yet accessible, this cornucopia explores a broad range of interests and topics, including (but not limited to): authors past and present; music; storytelling; comics; bookshops; travel; fairy tales; America; inspiration; libraries; ghosts; and the title piece, at turns touching and self-deprecating, which recounts the author’s experiences at the 2010 Academy Awards in Hollywood.

 

This is a collection of essays, book introductions, and speeches that Neil Gaiman has written over the years. There is nothing published here that is new for this book - it has all been published elsewhere before (or in the case of the speeches, presented somewhere else before). However, I personally had only read a few of the pieces previously (Gaiman's famous "Make Good Art" speech is included), so most of these were new to me. 

 

I've seen some reviews that complain that this is self-indulgent or cashing in, and maybe it is. But I also think that very few people will have read all of these writings previously. It's the same as short story collections - I may have read one or two of the stories elsewhere, but as long as it's mostly new, I'm happy to re-read the few pieces I know (or skip over them, if I didn't like them the first time). 

 

This book is composed of mostly speeches, reviews of other books and authors (from either articles or book introductions) and essays about musicians. (There are a few essays about other things, but these make up the majority of the book). Because of this, I feel that this book would work well if you wanted to just pick and choose a few things to read and skip over the ones that didn't interest you, if that is your chosen method. However, while I do own this book and plan to go back to it as I read some of his recommended books, I chose to listen to the audiobook, because Gaiman reads it himself, and I loved hearing it in his voice (especially his speeches). 

 

I also enjoyed his writings about other books and authors, and my to-read list has grown after finishing this book. Some books I already had on my list, but his writings made me want to bump them up the list (Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, as well as some H.G. Wells, Poe, and Lovecraft stories that I haven't gotten around to yet). There were also some books that I didn't have on my to-read list already that I added - some that I had heard of before (Dianna Wynne Jones, Harlan Ellison, Jeff Smith's Bone) and some that are completely new to me (Gene Wolfe, Dave Sim). 

 

Neil Gaiman is my favorite author and has been for quite some time (since I first read American Gods around 2002) and I enjoyed getting a glimpse into the things that he enjoys. This book is not for everyone, but I think if you're a fan of Gaiman, it's worth a look (and a listen, if you can get your hands on the audiobook). 

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