Beauty – Kerascoët (Illustrations), Hubert
A different kind of fairy tale. Poor Coddie spends her time scaling fish and stinks of fish and is teased for being ugly. So when she rescues a faerie, she asks for beauty and beauty she gets. Not that her looks are changed, instead the way she is perceived has been altered. And Coddie becomes Beauty, the kind that is magnetic and attractive and enchanting, the kind that men would die for. Her beauty is a kind of destructive force. And it doesn’t help that she is self-centered and naive (she has spent most of her life working in a kitchen in a small village), and thus easily led astray by Mab, the faerie. I wish that we could have learnt more about Mab and why she behaves the way she does – there are hints here and there but I think it could have added more depth if we had more background on Mab. In terms of illustrations, I love the use of colour.
Nijigahara Holograph – Inio Asano
Creepy children. I am not good with movies and books and things to do with creepy children – and this was even before I had children. This manga is set in a small town in Japan and flits between childhood and young adulthood. All kinds of weird things happen, which the children attribute to a creature living in a dark tunnel. It is really quite confusing a story, the reader is expected to fill in a lot of blanks on their own. But it reminds me of the potential for violence in all of us, and especially in young children. It is also beautifully drawn. I like the use of black, white and grey.
Shenzhen: A travelogue from China – Guy Delisle
I had to give up on this one. I didn’t really like how Delisle strung random Chinese characters together and pretended it was actual Chinese spoken. I kept wondering, if he was indeed in China and knew people who understood Chinese couldn’t he have gotten someone to write up some actual Chinese dialogue that made sense (or even better, had an inside joke for those who could read Chinese?). Or did he just assume that his book about China would not be read by Chinese people? As I said on Instagram, this is as insulting as if he had written ‘ching chong ling long’.
I’m lumping these two together as there are similarities, besides the fact that both are by Remender. Both are SF-ish. Black Science has device that lets a group travel across dimensions. However, someone has sabotaged it and they can’t control where they are going. Oh and the guy who invents it has two kids and they get pulled into the different dimensions too.
Low (pictured above) is set underwater, deep underwater as the sun’s expansion has made the earth uninhabitable. But guess what, people are running out of air down there. Main character is this woman who searches for life-supporting planets using robotic probes.Her children have been taken from her, her husband dead. She’s struggling to keep going. While I like that there is a strong female lead, why must she always be scantily clad (and at some points, naked)?
I am curious to see how both series continue but the library only has the first volumes of both at the moment, so will have to wait and see how that pans out!
Nextwave, Agents of H.A.T.E., Vol. 1: This is What They Want (Nextwave, Agents of H.A.T.E. #1) – Warren Ellis, Stuart Immonen
And now for something completely random, just because it was available on Scribd for free (i.e it doesn’t cost a credit).
Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:
The Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort, or HATE put Nextwave together to fight Bizarre Weapons of Mass Destruction. When Nextwave discovers that HATE and Beyond are terrorist cells themselves, and that the BWMDs were intended to kill them, they are less than pleased.
Now I don’t typically read Marvel comics (unless it’s stuff like Ms Marvel or Captain Marvel), so some of these characters were a bit lost on me. Apparently they are lesser known characters of the Marvel comics universe like Photon, Boom Boom, Machine Man. But this volume was a ball of fun. It was the kind of comic that you can imagine its creators had so much fun writing. I mean, just read these panels:
So. Much. Fun.
Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?