Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The new 30 Days of Night comic: worthwhile or cashgrab?

Admittedly, with only one issue out, it's a bit early to tell. This is not a new story continuing the original, but a reboot of the story/world. Here's a post I wrote looking back at the original lightly. So what's with the new book, is it any different, and any good?

Well, I will start with differences. The new story is definitely written with new details and scenes, so it's not just new art on the old script. From my reading, I'm guessing the new version will be more filled out than the previous one. Steve Niles is clearly not the same writer he was at the start of the original, and that's fine, though I will say some of the timing in the new book has me confused.

Now, as to the art differences. WOW, that's a big change. The first was Ben Templesmith's impressionist horror in muted colors. The new book? Gotta say I'm not a fan of the art style. It's well done, but feels like a reality show.

Compare this to the original's art(I am solely looking at the first story here, not even the other two volumes done with Templesmith, nevermind the others):

Now, the new art doesn't make it bad, but it does turn me off a bit. And with the original books, I was turned off once Niles and Templesmith weren't working together. Some of the other artists did fine work, I'm sure, but the combination created something unique and not just another vampire story.

And now, 15 years later, I don't know if the new one is different or just another story. The art certainly doesn't make it stand apart, and I'm not yet convinced it isn't an attempt at a cash grab by Niles and IDW. I'd prefer they instead just work together and return to their roots with all new material personally, though I'll give the new book another shot at least.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Injustice Book Review: Grey Cat Blues by J D Cowan

Cower not, fierce readers! Today we have The second novel from J D Cowan. And well, like the best stuff coming out of pulprev, this doesn't fit one neat box. And while I enjoyed his Knights of the End,  this is a completely different feeling book. Let's take a look what will make the dregs of SFF howl in pain.

First, this story has some REALLY strong male-female character roles. The jobs of each are quite clear, and the book not only isn't afraid of traditional masculine and feminine roles, but embraces them fervently. It pulls from an old story type not seen much, the youth gang story, and the male female dynamics of those seems to come through here.

Which of course, leads to: It pulls heavily from a genre abandoned by crime fiction, even in the resurgences of pulp stylings. Why? Because the genre had romance and was driven toward a future the characters may only have had a glimpse of, fumbling around in the darkness of their fights and neighborhoods.

Third, the sff parts are more decoration than anything else, and the author has no problem leaving things stated matter of factly. No detail oriented laundry list of events or theories. The milsf crowd? Not for them, but if you want a bit of style and visceral fights that feel more like the blur in a Mickey Spillane novel, you might dig this.

Yeah. In fact, I'll put it like this:

Picture a punk going right from a Spillane novel. Take out the sex, keep the romance. Put him in a future that is both familiar and different, more a high tech street punk setting. No, No cyberpunk, this is strictly cats that fight for territory, and looking to carve out a place for themselves.

Yeah, this was a cool novel. Get some music on, and picture this cat in both fights and dancing with his girl. 9 of 10 fell deeds.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Comic book Review: Doctor Radar

This work arrive to us in translation from Titan Comics. We face no superheroes or supervillains here, but rather we have a sense of old pulp adventure set in the time just after World War I.

If you're following or are a part of the PulpRev crowd, this is a book worth looking into. Scientists killed in exotic ways, an amateur detective of renown as a fighter pilot, henchmen playing roles to complete their jobs, and more.

The art is a bit impressionistic, and the story makes wonderful leaps that manage to not jar the reader.  But this goes a long way in demonstrating that good work in comics can avoid capes and tights, and the imagination can be thrilled greatly with old style stories in any medium.

Here's some pics of the art. I am no photographer, and am just using my computer's camera.

The story is only two issues long, but leaves plenty of room to return at a later date with another adventure. Titan also advertises a collection out due in April. 

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Injustice Book Review: Vigil by Russell Newquist

Cower not, fierce reader! Today we start this year's book reviews with a work from our friend Russell Newquist. This work is part of the world of War Demons, but follows instead Peter instead of the lead from that work. Let's take a look at what might possibly offend the SJW crowd.

First, and most obvious, is the fact that this book is Catholic. While it has a fictional history of part of the Church, it is not nefarious, nor a cause of scandal to the Gospel.

Second, our hero is once again good. Not divided in purpose or will, his devotion to one thing rules all his other interactions. His associates are likewise devoted.

Thirdly, (SPOILER) we have a priest that has fallen into sin and has trouble with repentance. This in itself causes no scandal for the SJW crowd, but two additional facts do: that he still believes enough to refuse to celebrate mass while in the state of sin, and that our hero and his friends call him to repent and take up his vocation again.

Now, as to the action of the story, there's plenty for the length that it is. There's really only one fight in two places, but the story takes place over the course of one evening until morning. None of the characters are helpless, though all face challenges too big for just themselves. We even have a great use of a feature of Gothic cathedrals.

If you read War Demons and liked it, don't wait longer to get this story. If you haven't read War Demons, you can indeed step into the world via this book, and you won't be lost. 8 of 10 fell deeds.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Normal Service to Resume Shortly, and a few plans for 2018

It's been a LONG few weeks. The move has been accomplished, though most stuff is in storage right now. As I'm yet not up to a book review, we're going to take a look at some items of interest for 2017.

Firstly, I'm going to look at book reviews.

In 2016, I reviewed 60 books. I had that beaten by summer of 2017. Total for the year? 44 individual book/magazine reviews, plus another 75 in Quick Reviews, for a total of 119 reviews for 2017.  I also did not put up a review for Russell Newquist's Vigil, though I did get an Amazon review done. This will be corrected shortly.

Now, where was the official Sad Puppies reviews, recommendations, etc.? The website disappeared just as quickly as it went up. And we were told later that they wanted it to be as good as possible. Well, congratulations to the so called owners of SP. You killed a very successful brand inside of 2 years.

On the other hand, Mr. Jon del Arroz has created the Happy Frogs. Which, following the direction of its Board of Trustees, has generated lists for the Dragon Awards, the Nebula awards, and is now preparing for the first annual Ribbit Awards, which I predict will be the most fun award in speculative fiction.

On another note, in my packing, I found a few things that will make for future giveaways.  Once I get things sorted out like work and refinding the items, keep an eye for those and post in the comments if the item(s) sound cool to you. I'll cover domestic shipping, as media mail is cheap.

Lastly, I also got paused partway through the book I'm working on. I hope to resume work on that in a day or two, and get to my first draft being finished in about two weeks. I have first readers lined up, and then I'll need to expand and cut in a second draft. While starting book two, and maybe my book in the world of the fictional game, Social Justice.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Moving in winter tips

For my readers who might have to move in winter.

First: Don't. I am assuming a place with real winter. As in temperatures approaching zero or lower. As in snow and ice making your trips to the vehicle worse.

Second: If you do have to, take breaks. It's the same kind of health hazard that shoveling snow is, so do a bit, take a break.

Third: Have fun weeding your stuff. I've donated hundreds of books to various local places so I don't have to move them. This only dents my library.

Fourth: If you must move in wither and can afford it, hire people instead. If you can't recruit friends.

Fifth: Don't feel bad about just throwing some things away. Some just isn't worth donating, and won't sell quickly or easily. Jut eat the loss and keep going.

So, yes, my days have been filled with dropping stuff off, and packing. Oh, and trying to make all the arrangements I need for the moving itself. I get to spend some time today with friends, but already dropped off some books, and will have some packing and sorting to do later.

What fun.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Notice of Slowdown of Service

Due in part to the employment market and housing costs in Illinois, as well as some other factors, my focus has to shift away from writing and blogging for a time. I will be abandoning the state and not wave on the way out. It's dying, and has been losing jobs and people for years.

My future location will remain undisclosed for at least a time, though it will be far less hostile for my faith and politics.

I will try to keep posting a couple times a week, but have no guarantees. If all goes well, regular posting will resume shortly after the start of the new year.

Thank you for reading and following.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.