Catch-up

Oct. 24th, 2010 11:47 pm
bobquasit: (Sebastian Riding)
So much to catch up on, but I'm too tired - I'll probably miss some of it.

  • Sebastian and I finished the seventh book in the Great Brain series. There's one more, but it wasn't written by John D. Fitzgerald; I suspect it will be a letdown. But the seventh book was a perfect bittersweet ending to the series. Sebastian found it a bit embarrassing, but all in all he loved it and the whole series. I hope the library has the eighth book in stock somewhere!

  • Teri and I were doing some shopping today. One of the places we stopped at was the Wal-Mart in Attleboro. It's a "Super" Wal-Mart, with a complete grocery section. We weren't buying groceries, but I was curious so I looked through it a bit - and was stunned. I've been looking for Underwood Deviled Roast Beef spread in supermarkets for over twenty years now. I haven't seen it in New England for decades. I'd resorted to the internet, buying a case of the stuff (two dozen cans) once a year for about $60. But Wal-Mart had them for $1.72 each! I bought ten. Guess what I had for dinner?

  • We went to a "Books are Wings" party at the Library on Friday or Saturday. The audience seemed a bit young. But when we were looking through the books (each child gets a free one) I let out a gasp of amazement. They had a copy of Mr. Penny! But we'd already picked out another rare book, and weren't allowed to make a second pick. Still, it's amazing that they'd have such a wonderful book.

Catch-up

Oct. 24th, 2010 11:47 pm
bobquasit: (Sebastian Riding)
So much to catch up on, but I'm too tired - I'll probably miss some of it.

  • Sebastian and I finished the seventh book in the Great Brain series. There's one more, but it wasn't written by John D. Fitzgerald; I suspect it will be a letdown. But the seventh book was a perfect bittersweet ending to the series. Sebastian found it a bit embarrassing, but all in all he loved it and the whole series. I hope the library has the eighth book in stock somewhere!

  • Teri and I were doing some shopping today. One of the places we stopped at was the Wal-Mart in Attleboro. It's a "Super" Wal-Mart, with a complete grocery section. We weren't buying groceries, but I was curious so I looked through it a bit - and was stunned. I've been looking for Underwood Deviled Roast Beef spread in supermarkets for over twenty years now. I haven't seen it in New England for decades. I'd resorted to the internet, buying a case of the stuff (two dozen cans) once a year for about $60. But Wal-Mart had them for $1.72 each! I bought ten. Guess what I had for dinner?

  • We went to a "Books are Wings" party at the Library on Friday or Saturday. The audience seemed a bit young. But when we were looking through the books (each child gets a free one) I let out a gasp of amazement. They had a copy of Mr. Penny! But we'd already picked out another rare book, and weren't allowed to make a second pick. Still, it's amazing that they'd have such a wonderful book.

bobquasit: (Default)
Steamboy Ani-Manga: 1 (Steam Boy Ani-Manga) Steamboy Ani-Manga: 1 by Katsuhiro Otomo


My review


rating: 3 of 5 stars
I've been complaining that a lot of graphic novels are confusing. Usually, that's because they're badly written and poorly illustrated; that is, the drawing themselves are pretty eye candy, but they don't always make a lot of sense.



But what made Steamboy confusing was that it's backwards. It starts with page 181-something, and ends with page 1. The cover is on the back. And you read it back-to-front, right-to-left from panel to panel. The words themselves are read left-to-right, but even within conjoined word ballons phrases are read right-to-left.

That's freaky. It took a while to get used to. And there were times throughout the book that I found myself getting a little confused about which panel came first on a page.

I'll admit that the thought also crossed my mind that this back-to-front reading might mess up my mind somehow. :D

There's a weird system of sound effects ("FX") too, but I am not going to spend all my time flipping from the last (i.e. first) page and back to translate the weird symbols that represent sound effects. Life's too short for that sort of crap.

That said, it's not at all a bad book. The illustrations are nicely done with a sort of old-fashioned steampunk feel (which you'd expect in a book titled Steamboy, of course). The writing is rather sparse but reasonably well-done. Given the size of the book (over 180 extremely thick pages), I was surprised at how relatively little plot there was in it. This is the first installment of a series, but even so it seemed very...well, in 180+ pages I'd expect more to be accomplished.

Will I read the other books in the series? Maybe. They're available free in the library, after all. But I'm not particularly looking forward to it. All in all this was a clever-ish idea, and it has been decently executed, but so far my socks have definitely not been knocked off.

The upcoming movie may work better than the graphic novel(s), I suspect. Unless they filmed that backwards, too.

View all my reviews.
bobquasit: (Default)
Steamboy Ani-Manga: 1 (Steam Boy Ani-Manga) Steamboy Ani-Manga: 1 by Katsuhiro Otomo


My review


rating: 3 of 5 stars
I've been complaining that a lot of graphic novels are confusing. Usually, that's because they're badly written and poorly illustrated; that is, the drawing themselves are pretty eye candy, but they don't always make a lot of sense.



But what made Steamboy confusing was that it's backwards. It starts with page 181-something, and ends with page 1. The cover is on the back. And you read it back-to-front, right-to-left from panel to panel. The words themselves are read left-to-right, but even within conjoined word ballons phrases are read right-to-left.

That's freaky. It took a while to get used to. And there were times throughout the book that I found myself getting a little confused about which panel came first on a page.

I'll admit that the thought also crossed my mind that this back-to-front reading might mess up my mind somehow. :D

There's a weird system of sound effects ("FX") too, but I am not going to spend all my time flipping from the last (i.e. first) page and back to translate the weird symbols that represent sound effects. Life's too short for that sort of crap.

That said, it's not at all a bad book. The illustrations are nicely done with a sort of old-fashioned steampunk feel (which you'd expect in a book titled Steamboy, of course). The writing is rather sparse but reasonably well-done. Given the size of the book (over 180 extremely thick pages), I was surprised at how relatively little plot there was in it. This is the first installment of a series, but even so it seemed very...well, in 180+ pages I'd expect more to be accomplished.

Will I read the other books in the series? Maybe. They're available free in the library, after all. But I'm not particularly looking forward to it. All in all this was a clever-ish idea, and it has been decently executed, but so far my socks have definitely not been knocked off.

The upcoming movie may work better than the graphic novel(s), I suspect. Unless they filmed that backwards, too.

View all my reviews.
bobquasit: (Default)
Sebastian and I went to the library today to pick up some books. Doctor Dolittle's Zoo had come in. Unfortunately it turned out to be a "movie" edition (marketed for the 1967 Rex Harrison musical) with NONE of the charming illustrations that Lofting drew for the stories. We're both disappointed (but we started reading it tonight anyway).

While we were at the library we heard someone ask about the Bubble Magic show at the library that afternoon. We'd talked about going, but with that reminder Sebastian firmly decided that we had to go. So we picked up Teri from the animal shelter early, and drove straight to the library.

It was a pretty cool show! Lots of neat bubble tricks. Sebastian had a lot of fun. I have a feeling we'll be trying some tricks of our own soon.
bobquasit: (Default)
Sebastian and I went to the library today to pick up some books. Doctor Dolittle's Zoo had come in. Unfortunately it turned out to be a "movie" edition (marketed for the 1967 Rex Harrison musical) with NONE of the charming illustrations that Lofting drew for the stories. We're both disappointed (but we started reading it tonight anyway).

While we were at the library we heard someone ask about the Bubble Magic show at the library that afternoon. We'd talked about going, but with that reminder Sebastian firmly decided that we had to go. So we picked up Teri from the animal shelter early, and drove straight to the library.

It was a pretty cool show! Lots of neat bubble tricks. Sebastian had a lot of fun. I have a feeling we'll be trying some tricks of our own soon.

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