Saturday, December 27, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Some books I've read 19

In The Wake
It's Fine by Me
Ashes in My Mouth, Sand in My Shoes
I Curse the River of Time by Per Petterson
This is a Norwegian writer I hadn't read back in Norway. I discovered one of his books in French, and then started buying his other books as well. He namedrops Raymond Carver in In The Wake, and his books sort of fall into the dirty realism genre, except that his stories take place in Norway and not in the Midwest. His books have the same simple language as Carver. Curse the River is probably my favourite.

Here Comes Everybody: The Story of The Pogues by James Fearnley
The rise and fall of The Pogues seen from the inside. It's a bit sad to read. Those three first albums are still classics. And then MacGowan was pretty much ruined by alcohol and drugs. And the book fortunately doesn't try to romantisize that.

Darker Than The Deapest Sea: The Search for Nick Drake by Trevor Dann
So, did Drake committ suicide or was the drugoverdose an accident? The book of course can't give a definite answer. But Drake clearly suffered from clinical depression at the end. Interestingly, his sister says she prefers the thought that it was a suicide rather than an accident. What's left is the music, as timeless and magical as ever.

Here by Richard McGuire
A brilliant concept, an impressive book, but spread over 300 pages it, for me, also lacks the punch of the original comic.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Happening

I think I'll quote Opus on this one.
 
M Night Shyamalan's film The Happening has brought the word "bad" to new levels of badness. Bad acting. Bad effects. Bad everything. This bad film just oozed rottenness from every bad scene. Simply bad beyond all infinite dimensions of possible badness.
Well, maybe not that bad, but lord, it wasn't good.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Five books, 2015

Five books I look forward to in 2015:
1. Get in Trouble by Kelly Link
2. Hurricane Isle and Other Adventures by Roy Crane
3. Spawn of Mars and Other Stories by Wally Wood
4. Purity by Jonathan Franzen
5. Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving

Monday, December 15, 2014

Lethal Weapon

Die Hard holds up really well as a film, Lethal Weapon... not so much. And not only because of Mel Gibson's mullet. There's a limit to how much suspension of disbelief you can take. Shouldn't cops behave like... oh, I dunno, cops? And how stupid does Shane Black think the viewer is? We see Gibson putting a gun in his mouth. And also holding a photo of his dead girlfriend to make it more clear. I believe he also says -I miss you, babe, or something, for the people in the back row. Then we see him behave suicidally at work. Three times? Sure, why not. And then have the psychiatrist explain to the captain of the police station that Gibson is suicidal, just in case we missed the clues.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Films of 2014

I saw four films in a cinema this year. In order of preference:
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
2. X-men: Days of Future Past
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
4. Gone Girl
I didn't really love any of them. The three first films on the list I found uneven, and Gone Girl I thought was not very interesting at all. I'll be getting Grand Budapest Hotel on dvd. I found it disappointing, but it may be one of those films that gets better on repeated viewings. Why didn't I go see Boyhood? I dunno. I'll be getting it on dvd, same with Only Lovers Left Alive and possibly Nebraska. Which film do I look forward to in 2015? Mad Max: Fury Road. Now that's what I call a trailer.

Monday, December 8, 2014

F'murr

Taking a break from Hermann and started rereading my old Ullkorn albums by F'murr, published back in the early 80s. The French title is Le GĂ©nie des Alpages. Absurd humour at its best.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Story titles in new book

1. If You Steal
2. Karma Chameleon
3. Waiting for Bardot
4. Lorena Velazquez
5. New Face
6. Moondance
7. Night of the Vampire Hunter
8. Polly Wants a Cracker
9. The Thrill is Gone
10. Ask Not
11. Nothing

Nostradamus / Kennedy page

(That's David Ferrie, played by Joe Pesci in JFK, in the first panel.)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Red Kelly

Moving on to Red Kelly, Greg and Hermann's Western series. This series is called Commanche in French, and the main character is called Red Dust, not Red Kelly. Hermann's drawings are more cinematic than Giraud's Blueberry, the series itself closer to Leone than to Ford or Hawks. And also, Hermann's characters MOVED on the page. The high point of the series is probably Les Loups du Wyoming and Le Ciel est Rouge sur Laramie, the story of Kelly hunting down the Dobbs brothers.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Rereading Bernard Prince

...Hermann and Greg's updating of classic adventure strips like Terry and the Pirates.
They have basically the same main characters: The hero, the boy and the clown. Compared to Caniff's strip, though, Bernard Prince has no interesting female characters. There is no Burma or Dragon Lady. What it does have is mother nature as a villain. Volcanos, tornadoes, deserts, jungles: Hermann excels at drawing these things. And it's just interesting to see how his drawing style changes from the first couple of stories to the last album, Le Port des Fous.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Nick Drake

19 June 1948 – 25 November 1974

Life is but a memory
Happened long ago
Theatre full of sadness
For a long forgotten show
Seems so easy
Just to let it go on by
‘til  you stop and wonder
Why you never wondered why

http://www.nickdrake.com/main_lyrics_page.html

Rain