Sunday, 19 April 2015

Transmetropolitan



Transmetropolitan
Transmetropolitan
Warren Ellis
& Darrick Robertson

   A warning up front, this review is an overview of the entirety of Transmetropolitan and contains minor spoilers and plot points from throughout the series’ run. If you don’t want to have the series spoiled I’ll leave you here with my basic thoughts.
   Transmetropolitan is a fantastic piece of work. With hilarious characters and a wild, anarchic sense of humour but also a lot of genuine heart.
   It’s sleazy cyberpunk style is given substance by an intelligent politically fueled narrative that any comics fan should check out some time.
  
   Now, if you’re already familiar with the series or aren’t too concerned about spoilers, we can continue to the main review…

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Felix the Cat: The Great Comic Book Tails



Felix the Cat The Great Comic Book Tails
Felix the Cat
The Great Comic Book Tails
 Edited by Craig Yoe 
& Don Oriolo
 "Well over two-hundred pages showcase Felix's magic carpet trips to surreal lands, time's past, and into Toy Land, as well as his hilarious domestic adventures."

Monday, 6 April 2015

Sir Terry Pratchett 1948-2015 || Maskerade



Sir Terry Pratchett 1948-2015
Sir Terry Pratchett 1948-2015

   I, like many others, was devastated a few weeks ago by the sudden death of Terry Pratchett.
   I’ve been a fan of  Pratchett’s Discworld series for a couple of years now and have made my way through the first eighteen books in the series, adding many of the later books to my TBR shelf.
   With more than seventy books under his belt, he was certainly among the most prolific authors of the modern age. He has written stories across multiple genres, and age groups, and his Discworld series has gone on to become one of the world’s most loved fantasy series, even if it spends its time poking fun at that very genre.
   He was responsible for some of the funniest stories and memorable characters ever committed to the page. He was a great talent and will be sorely missed.

   I was deeply saddened to hear of his death, but decided to face it the way I think he would want his fans to….by having a laugh.
   And what better way to do so than with a Discworld book?

-----------------------------------------------------------

Maskerade
Maskerade
Terry Pratchett
 "THE SHOW MUST GO ON, AS MURDER, MUSIC AND MAYHEM RUN RIOT IN THE NIGHT...
The Opera House, Ankh-Morpork...a huge, rambling building, where innocent young sopranos are lured to their destiny by a strangely-familiar eveil mastermind in a hideously-deformed evening dress...
At least, he hopes so. But Granny Weatherwax, Discworld's most famous witch, is in the audience. And she doesn't hold with that sort of thing.
So there's going to be trouble (but nevertheless a good evenin's entertainment with murders you can really hum...)"

   Maskerade is the Discworld equivalent of Gaston Laroux’s Phantom of the Opera, a story which, due to the over saturation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, I really can’t stand, which made the parody of this book all the sweeter.

   The book sees the witches, Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg travel to Ankh-Morpork to claim royalties for a cookbook written by Nanny Ogg “The joye of snacks” which has become a major publishing success due to the recipes’….aphrodisiac qualities. While there they check in on Agnes Nitt, (a young woman from Lancre, recently moved to Ankh-Morpork in an attempt to start an acting career) to try and convince her to join the coven. While meeting her, they find themselves wrapped up in solving the mystery of the opera ghost, a masked figure who watches the play from a private box, and has begun to murder the cast members.

   This was the most enjoyable Discworld novel I’ve read in some time. The witches are ranked high among my favourite characters in the series and I always enjoy the interactions between them and, of course, their interactions with the flummoxed citizens they come into contact with.
   This book was no different, with Nanny Ogg taking a position on the catering crew for the opera and Granny Weatherwax frittering away her book profits on an elaborate ruse to get to the heart of the opera, there’s a lot of hilarious moments with these two.
   I must confess though, I missed Magrat, who added a sense of normality to the group, the straightman to the other two witches. Nonetheless, the book still worked well without her.

   The real star here though, is the opera itself, the ridiculous world where overweight fifty year olds play handsome young soldiers, where nobody knows the words to the songs or can follow the plot but nod along appreciatively because the songs are good.
   It perfectly captures the pomp and pretence of the world of opera and those who inhabit it, all the while, clearly carrying a real affection for the world. Forever laughing with the subject, never at it.

   And it’s exactly that which makes the Discworld series so enjoyable. Terry Pratchett may be the finest writer of dialogue there’s ever been and he might be able to write a gag for every line, but there’s a genuine love for every subject he tackles. A passion which leaks into the text, turning these stories into more than simple parody books.

   Terry Pratchett had a true skill for writing, and while he may be gone, we can be thankful for the slew of work he left for us to enjoy. Giving us something to laugh at.