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review 2015-08-23 18:32
ChiGraphic tackles time travel...
Infinitum: Time Travel Noir - GMB Chomichuk

So, I've been told this is the hundredth of ChiZine's books, and their first graphic novel under their ChiGraphic imprint.   I got it despite not being a fan of time travel stories because 1. Chizine, and 2. 

 

 

That adorable illustration was left in the cover of the book.   Thank you, author/artist!  I know you weren't there, but thank you for donating the time and spending the energy on adding a little oomph to these books!

 

So why only three and a half stars?  I'm gonna be honest: I like my time travel simpler than this.   There were times when the characters - mostly the main character - was going on about the paradoxes upon paradoxes, and I just couldn't.   Look, it's not that I can't tackle hard literature, it's just that I'm not usually invested in time travel paradoxes, so I, and I know this is a flaw in me as a reader, just kinda get ADHD about it all.  I want to be elsewhere!  

 

That being said, there were some twists on the usual time travel tale, even though the changing the past, policing the past - and future - and aliens involved might seem familiar.   It was how they were all put together that made it more interesting than usual.   And then the art...

 

A lot of it was put together in an unusual way, framed like a scrapbook with odds and ends at some points, but always in a way that drew the eye.   It was a work of art, no doubt.   It was all stark black and whites, giving it a noir feeling at times, and thus muddling the past-present-future, and giving this another edge. 

 

And while it may not have been for me, I would have only knocked down one star.   And I really hate saying this because I love ChiZine, but the printing was... off.

 

 

I want to give them the benefit of the doubt.   Printing white text on a black background, especially this much, is probably just a new experience for them.   However, one star off: it wasn't that I couldn't read any part of this, I could.   But I had to put in enough effort that it irked me at points.   (And, no, I really don't want a new copy because I adore the illustration in this one, so I'm happy with this specific one.   If it goes on sale as a digital copy, however, I may invest in another copy of this for ease of reading.)

 

The truth is that the more I got into this, the more I got into the story.  I felt for the main character, for his confusion, and I could feel his rising frustration.   The ending was bittersweet, and I felt that, too.   The story idea was good, and solid to boot, in my opinion, and if you like time travel more than I do, then you'll probably like this more than I did.   (Which is saying something.  I would have rated it quite highly for the art and storyline, and also character, despite not liking time travel.  Although I think the art and characters are what really stole my heart, if I must be honest.)

 

I also see that the author has another graphic novel coming out with ChiGraphic.   While I wouldn't get it without being able to flip through and see what the printing looks like, and if there's as much white text on a black background, I would buy it if it was cleaner.   (And there was some black text on white background here, and this was all very clean.   It wasn't even all white text on black background, just a couple pages here and there, but it was enough that I don't want to mislead people and say it wasn't anything.   Like I said, it bothered me, and enough that despite this being my favorite press, I'm whining about it this much.   So, yeah, I'd try to find this in store and flip through.   In my copy, it was mostly at the front that there were printing issues, by the way.   And only the text.   The images were perfectly clear.)

 

PS - I want to apologize.  I know it's silly, but I still want to apologize for whining that much about the print.  It's why I added a picture.  You can see how it fades in and out a little, or black ink leaked to where it shouldn't, muddying the words. 

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text 2015-07-15 22:56
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 128 pages.
Infinitum: Time Travel Noir - GMB Chomichuk

 

Author illustration on the front flap of my book. 

 

 

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review 2015-03-14 17:10
Seeking Sequences: The Tick Omnibus collection
The Tick Omnibus Vol. 1: Sunday Through Wednesday - Ben Edlund
The Tick Omnibus Vol. 2: Thursday Ad Infinitum - Ben Edlund
The Tick: OMNIBUS (The Tick: OMNIBUS, Volume 3) - Ben Edlund,Ben Edlund
The Tick Omnibus Vol. 4: The Tick's Gian... The Tick Omnibus Vol. 4: The Tick's Giant Circus of the Mighty - Ben Edlund
The Tick Omnibus 5 - Ben Edlund The Tick Omnibus 5 - Ben Edlund

I have a confession to make; I still don’t really like superheroes. Growing up, in spite of being a great fan of Calvin and Hobbes, the Far Side, Raymond Briggs, various comic adaptations of literature, and other comic works, I always felt that there was something ridiculous about the caped crusaders. Because of this, I tended, rather snobbishly, to stay away from the genre on principle, and to be honest have not entirely been able shed this feeling. For a long time, I did not even consider myself a comics fan, in spite of my aforementioned loves. Perhaps, under the influence of Bill Watterson, whose views are expressed here, I never game them a chance, despite how many friends loved the X-men cartoons. I still find myself unable to take the genre seriously, whether they’re playing it straight (as in much of the DC/Marvel universes), or attempting to subvert it along the lines of the Watchmen, and I often find myself losing interest before the end of the origin story.

 

On the other hand, I have often found parodies of the concepts to be quite engaging, from the movie Mystery Men to Dr. Horrible and Freakazoid, and Ben Edlund’s series, the Tick was one of my favorites. I enjoyed the absurdist, mundane life take in both the cartoon and live action form, and after flipping through a friends original Tick comics back in highschool, I recently picked them up at a book sale to read for the first time in their entirety.

 

The original tales of the Tick, his tussles with sanity, gravity, humorless superhumans, road trips, and even the occasional supervillain like Chairface Chippendale hold up pretty well, though- he had a bit more of a cartoonish unpredictable menace to him, not unlike classic “Loony Toons.” The Tick of the comic is a bit grittier, a bit more morally grey than the big blue boyscout of the television shows; he is interested mainly in the accoutrement of superheroes; the drama, the gadgets, the penchant to dole out righteous violence with, rather than any betterment of humanity (but then, isn’t that really what it’s all about anyway?). Many of the scenes hear appeared in the cartoon show later, though it is also interesting what was left out, particularly the Tick’s origins in a mental ward, though his mysterious backstory is never expanded upon.

 

The first volume follows the Tick’s escape from a mental ward, his start as a superhero in the City, his battle against the million zillion ninja, and his meeting of his sidekick/conscious, the moth-suited accountant Arthur. The second expands the Tick’s roster of villains with Chairface Chippendale, and the third follows the Tick’s and Arthur’s trip to New York, where they meet Barry, the “other” Tick. The fourth is merely a roster of all the characters, major and minor, while the fifth includes the Tick’s cameo comics with another of Edlund’s characters who also appeared in the first volume, Paul the Samurai. These held less appeal to me, if only because I had no nostalgic connection to the character.


It was interesting how sharp the Tick’s criticism of the superhero comics of the ‘80s and ‘90s were, now that I know a little bit more about them. From the bizarre nature of the heroes and villains alike, to the deadpan nature of the humor, the deconstruction of the genre is great comedy. As a kid, there was no way I would know who Electra, or even Daredevil, were, let alone the rise of the gritty antiheroes, yet the humor of these takedowns still came through for me; the Tick mocks both the over the top exuberance of early superheroes and the dour “seriousness” of the “Dark Age.” Personally, I’d take Tick’s goodnatured lampooning of the ridiculous nature of superheroes in the “real world” over the overwrought grimness of, say, Rorschach, anyday.

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text 2014-08-21 22:00
The Eternal Resonance

In my book, Ad Infinitum, reincarnation is a means to an end, a tool used by generations of humanity to pass along knowledge through the commonality of our sentience, which binds all of the higher orders of life. We are all of us made from the same cosmic and multi-universal material and we all resonate with our own unique signature, a bioelectric wavelength as unique as our DNA that literally pulses with life. It is the Eternal Resonance.

 

#AdInfinitum by #WilliamFripp

 

Those wavelengths, once accessed, transcend spirituality and connect us through as pure a natural process as could possibly exist. So, the passing on of those signatures through time by the reincarnation of what we, for lack of a better term, call souls, is a natural thing that happens regardless of our intention or beliefs.

 

It isn't spirituality; it's life.

 

 

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review 2014-07-15 13:26
Ad Infinitum - William Fripp

So enjoyed this read! I would get annoyed if I was interrupted while reading....

The first paragraph doesn't just pull the reader in, it sucks her in like a turbo-hoover!  I was not once bored with a scene or rushed to get to the next one. Very enjoyable! I'm waiting for the next one in line so I can continue the story!! The genre is supernatural... different from sci-fi or fantasy, but closely related.

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