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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-07-20 17:40
V For Vendetta, Moore & Lloyd
V for Vendetta - David Lloyd,Alan Moore

I remember teen-me liking this a lot more than middle-age me does. I couldn't appreciate the art style at all this time round and - in agreement with David Lloyd's Introduction - thought the early chapters were not so good - if you can call nearly the whole first half "the early chapters." It got interesting when Evey got "imprisoned." The psychology of Evey and V's relationship then became fascinating and was really what pulled me through the remainder. I couldn't care less about anybody else.

 

The politics seem naive - it's all very well to say you have to destroy the despotic and fascist rulers and their power structures in order to create something better but examine history to see what happens after you succeed in that: take the Paris Commune as an example. There's no guarantee that the replacement will be any different or any better. Prevention is better than cure in these matters.

 

I also didn't seem to notice back then how V seems able to magically do anything he wants without ever receiving any explanation as to how, beyond his access to Fate -which in turn is never explained or justified.

 

Disappointing.

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review 2018-07-12 17:34
Asterix and the Picts, Ferri & Conrad
Asterix and the Picts - Jean-Yves Ferri,Didier Conrad

This is the first Asterix album not featuring the work of Goscinny or Underzo and I therefore approached it with trepidation; would it be any good? Would the new artist capture the style and likenesses well? Would the new writer be sympathetic to the history of 34 preceding volumes?

 

Short answer; yes to both.

 

Ferri conforms more closely to the Uderzo formula, with our heroes travelling abroad for an adventure that pokes gentle fun at national stereotypes and cultural touchstones, whilst thwarting a Roman plot and bringing back some of the traditional aspects of our characters, like their very short tempers, which fell by the way somewhat when Uderzo was writing. On the other hand, Uderzo's more outlandish, fantastical ideas are not entirely abandoned, either, with a (predictable) character showing up and turning out to be a tremendous addition to the story.

 

A really good first effort by the new team - I'm now looking forward happily to more from them.

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review 2018-07-01 19:45
Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, Mercer & Colville
Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins - Matthew V. Mercer,Matthew Colville

Imagine, if you will, "...a bunch of...nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons & Dragons." Live. On the internet. Every Thursday night. They call the show Critical Role and their group of disparate and sometimes desperate adventurers, Vox Machina because they like bad puns. But those adventures took place in private for over a year before they were persuaded to go public by Queen of the Nerds, Felica Day herself. Implausibly, their ridiculously niche netcast becomes so popular that they can fill actual theatres for episodes with a paying public audience, sell mountains of merchandise and drown in unsolicited fan art contributions, the best of which end up in a printed book. But that's not all - a synopsis of the early, unbroadcast adventures of the crazy Machine Voice adventuring party (did they really mean Vox Ex Machina?) isn't enough for the rabid fans. A six issue e-comic series is produced and eventually gets two print omnibus editions - one is a limited edition hardback in a slip-case, bound in faux leather, with some bonus material at the back. It cost a fortune but it seems to have sold out. And this is it.

Vox Machina: Origins has artwork that captures the characters well and some neat graphic techniques that evoke tabletop fantasy roleplaying really well and the story itself tackles how this group of more or less crazy future savers of the world met whilst trying to get paid for figuring out how a swamp ended up cursed. Unfortunately, it's too short. Whilst the actual adventure of the cursed swamp is brought to a satisfactory conclusion, two of the legendary group don't appear in the story at all. They must have joined later. Hopefully there will be more Origins to come in the future.

Look, seriously, this is all true:
https://geekandsundry.com/shows/criti...
I've listened to the entire first campaign. All several hundred hours of it. Some of it more than once. Keyleth is the best. The cows were awesome. "We're basically gods," was the most hilariously, serendipitously ironic statement I've ever heard. Zara was fabulous. So was Gilmore. The black-powder salesman was stupendous. I am super-nerdy. Get over it.

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review 2018-06-30 02:04
Asterix and the Falling Sky, Uderzo
Asterix and the Falling Sky - Albert Uderzo

Often Caesar hatches a nefarious plan to conquer the one small village of Indomitable Gauls that still holds out against the Roman invaders. More rarely our heroes get caught up in an external conflict for some reason - and that's what happens the day Chief Vitalstatistix' only fear comes to pass - and it's a conflict of a scale and type not even Getafix could anticipate!

 

This is pure, distilled Uderzo, whimsical, fantastical and of course, down right silly, perfectly fitting for his last Asterix album. So long, Uderzo - you, along with your great friend, Goscinny, have entertained (and even educated) me as long as I've been reading independently and will no doubt bring me much fun in the future, too, even though there will be no new stories from you. The existing ones still delight every time. I hope your successors can retain the spirit of the little village on the coast of Armorica back in 50 B.C. as they bring us new adventures of Asterix and Obelix. I'll find out soon enough.

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text 2018-06-29 22:10
Reading progress update: I've read 16 out of 48 pages.
Asterix and the Falling Sky - Albert Uderzo

Super-bonkers from the outset!

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