Friday, October 22, 2021

Au-dessus l'odyssée

Some books I've read 48

Men in My Situation by Per Petterson
Not one of his best. A bit too maudlin, and written in a selfconsciously arty style, with long sentences going in all sorts of directions.

Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen
Another great novel from Franzen, even if there are some parts that drag. A lot of talk about Christianity that I feel no connection to. This is supposed to be book one in a triology. Bring it on.

The Arrest by Jonathan Lethem 
It drags a bit, this book. I never quite got into the story, and it takes its time. But if you first start to read Lethem novels...

L'Oisiveraie by David Prudhomme
Some cartoonists, it's just obvious that they like to draw. Christophe Blain is one. David Prudhomme is another. And this being a black and white book, you can really enjoy his pen and ink drawings.

One Train Later by Andy Summers
A well written autobiography from Summers, reaching The Police period around page 200. There's more about the band than in Sting's book, going through every record and also the concerts. I guess I should read Stewart Copeland's book as well, to really get the full picture.

Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four: Artisan Edition
I'm not paying over 100 pounds (or 200-300 on ebay) for the Artist's Edition books, but 20 pounds + shipping for the Artisan Editions is okay, even if they are half the size. I've never been a Kirby guy, I didn't read his comics as a kid, but I can enjoy his artwork here and Joe Sinnott's inking.

Steranko: Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Artisan Edition
A bit disappointing collection of Steranko's work, since the early parts are not his best. It's only the last 30 pages or so, that it really takes off, and then will truely shine in book 2. That was supposed to be published 7 years ago. But they're still waiting for Steranko to do the graphic design. Which is a shame. Come on, Jim! Those three Cap America issues he did were the bee's knees.

Currently reading:

A Drink with Shane McGowan by Victoria Mary Clarke and S.M.
A conversation between Shane and his girlfriend / partner,Victoria. Possibly a better way to get to know the gent than a traditional biography.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Jason t-shirt 

Friday, September 24, 2021

Some Hem reviews

Thursday, September 16, 2021


 My first time in the cinema after Covid, I saw Dune. The first hour was great, the costumes and the sets, the introduction of a new world, then... boredom? set in. I was never engaged in the story. There are almost no exciting sequences, no funny sequences (it's a Denis Villeneuve film, d'oh!), no emotional sequences, you sit there passively watching the screen. Characters die, but you don't know them, so it's hard to care. And the film only has two colours: Gray and brown. A lot of scenes in semi darkness. I find many movies to be underlit these days. The Lynch film, uneven as it was, had colours. And it had the amazing opening scene with the mutated Guild pilot. The intriguing concept of travelling by folding space, didn't even come up in this new version, if I remember correctly. The thopters were great, I must admit. But I feel no need to see this film again, or a need to see part two. I still got the novel. Oh, well...

Friday, September 10, 2021

Some books I've read 47

Hotel California by Barney Hoskyns
Interesting but depressing book about the Laurel Canyon, from 67 to 76. Read about the journey from singer/songwriters to corporate rock megastars and cokeheads! Find out that except for Jackson Browne and Graham Nash, they apparently were all assholes! Including Joni Mitchell! About as modest as Mussollini, according to David Crosby, who, he, ended up a drug addict sell-out, like a lot of them. Then listen to the old records! Good times!

The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood by Sam Wasson
Interesting but depressing part 2. Robert Towne wrote a good script, but then got lost. Drugs involved here as well. Jack Nicholson, after this, mostly turned into JACK NICHOLSON. And Roman Polanski, well...

53 Days by Georges Perec
His novel that unfortunately was never finished. I liked the book more in theory, before I read it. A half finished crime novel, and then notes about what could happen next, leaving it to the reader to find the right clues. But I was never quite taken by the plot in the first half, and the notes were repetitive. Still worth reading.

Barcelona Dreaming by Rupert Thomson
Three stories from Barcelona, where the main character in one story can be mentioned in another. The first story is maybe the weakest one, the second one intriguing once you get what is happening, and the third one is maybe the creepiest or weirdest thing Thomson has written. More stuff like this, please. 

Purity by Jonathan Franzen
Finally read this, while waiting for his new book. I liked it. Beautifully written, but that is to be expected. The first chapter is maybe the weakest, some parts drag a bit, and the main character, that the book is named from, is maybe the least interesting character. Which is possibly not a good thing.

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
I re-read this book. It holds up pretty well. He's good at going into the minds of the characters. The language can sometimes be a bit overblown, but usually it doesn't last too long. I'm considering re-reading Freedom as well.

Hawkeye: Rio Bravo by Fraction and Aja 
Since Mazzucchelli seems to have stopped making comics, I guess Aja will do. Is there also a bit of Chris Ware there? Anyway, a good superhero comic.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Some books I've read 46

The Body Library by Jeff Noon
Some good parts, but goes on too long. In a world where anything seems to be possible, it's a bit hard to care about what happens.

Gateway by Frederik Pohl
I read some science fiction in my teens, but then took a long break. With some exceptions. Sticking the toe back in the water with this one. It's... okay. 

Small Town Talk by Barney Hoskyns
The story of Dylan, The Band, Van Morrison in Woodstock, and how it changes from a town for artists and musicians into, after the festival, a tourist trap.

The Secret Story by Donna Tartt
So I re-read this book. I had forgotten pretty much all of it. Except one character is unaware that man has walked on the moon. Impressive as a first novel, the end is possibly the weakest part.

Star: The Life and Wild Times of Warren Beatty by Peter Biskind
So, apparently Beatty is a control freak, ruining movies just as much as making classics. Reds is still good, though. Also, he slept with some women.

Batman: Creature of the Night by Kurt Busiek and John Paul Leon
The story didn't do much for me, a bit too fancypants for my taste. The illustrations are great, though possibly a bit frozen for a comic.

Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child by Frank Miller and Rafael Grampà
Great drawings, but the story goes nowhere. Is there supposed to be a part 2?
And I'm re-reading all my Viggo / Gaston albums, by master cartoonist Franquin.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

New blog name

 Got tired of all the dog food robot comments. 
Not sure if it will help, but anyway.

Have a nice summer!

Friday, June 4, 2021

Early review

"Jason delivers an at times whimsical but overwhelmingly melancholic portrait, revealing reverence and sympathy for Hemingway without ignoring the author’s shortcomings. One of the best releases of 2021 so far." 

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Friday, April 9, 2021

Not my Spider-Man

The two most recent Spider-Man movies are the weakest films in the Marvel universe, at least the ones I've seen. The actors are okay, but the scripts are rubbish. In the last one, the world hangs in the balance. That's not Spider-Man! He should be occupied with small crooks in New York and occasionally Dr Octopus. And everything moves so fast! Will modern audiences fall asleep if a conversation lasts more than half a minute. And all the high tech stuff is annoying. In the Ditko and Romita days Peter Parker would have to repair his suit with needle and thread. The Raimi movies could be corny, but I'll take that any day rather than this crap.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Some books I've read 45

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
Springsteen is a storyteller, both in his songs and here, in this book. He's basically going record to record. But no mention of Human Touch and Lucky Town, for some reason... 
I should listen to his Broadway show as well.
Set The Boy Free by Johnny Marr 
Well written and occasionally very funny about his time in The Smiths and then solo career. I still don't feel any interest in reading Morrissey's book.

Life by Keith Richards 
I've been looking for a biography of Rolling Stones, then realised, why not read Keith's autobiography? You can sort of hear his voice when you read. And he gives Mick a couple of kicks in the ass, seemingly well reserved.

Leonard Cohen: Untold Stories: The Early Years by Michael Posner
An oral biography of  Lenny. Some contradicting memories by some of the contributors here. Lots and lots of women, of course. Marianne is one of them, and also, interestingly,  Kelley Lynch, Cohen's manager, who stole his money. I guess she will have more to say in volume 3. And I didn't know that Suzanne Elrod's real name apparently is Susan. She changed it to Suzanne, to become the person in his most famous song.

Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson
I enjoyed Neuromancer and The Difference Engine back in the days, but found this one a bit hard to get through.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Cartoonist by Adrian Tomine 
Quite a funny book from Tomine about the life of a cartoonist. No respect, to quote Rodney Dangerfield.  And Tomine is one of the few cartoonists that managed to change his drawing style. The more cartoony look is more appealing than the slightly wooden look of his earlier, more realistic style. 
Chronique de Jeunesse by Guy Delisle
An autobiographical book by Delisle of the three summers he worked in a paper factory in Quebec. I could relate to a lot of it from my nine months working in a furniture factory. There's also the relationship between him and his dad, which is always an interesting subject.