Friday, September 04, 2009

Elsewhere on the Internets...

What Are You Reading?



I haven't been linking to my contributions to Robot 6's What Are You Reading? feature. I don't know if anyone cares about it, but for the sake of completeness I think I'll start including it. Last weekend I talked a little about Wolverine: Prodigal Son and BPRD, Volume 1: Hollow Earth and Other Stories. These aren't real reviews; just general impressions based on partial readings of the books. Sort of the comics version of a 100-Page Check-In.

Gorillas Riding Dinosaurs



This week's Gorillas Riding Dinosaurs was about the second volume in Checker's reprints of the original Flash Gordon newspaper strip:
First, wow.

I said when I talked about Volume 1 of this series that Alex Raymond’s art was gorgeous and convincing. Compared to the material collected in Volume 2, it’s xkcd.

Some of that may have something to do with the manner in which it’s collected. The first couple of months of strips follow the formatting from the last part of Volume 1. Each week’s strip is split over two pages to allow each half to be printed at a huge size. Purists might not appreciate the separation, but no story is lost and – since each strip is divided across a single, double-page spread – the pacing doesn’t even really change. It’s the next best thing to something like Sunday Press’ oversized Little Nemo in Slumberland volumes, and when you figure in that Flash Gordon is almost a tenth of the Little Nemo price – it’s a change I can live with.

After the first two months, the format changes and we’re back to one page for one strip. The art’s not much smaller though and it’s obvious that there was some kind of format change to the strip itself in June 1935. What bothers me is that there’s no title on these strips in the collection. I’ve unsuccessfully tried to find a scan of a Flash Gordon strip from this period because I’m a little concerned that we’re missing the drop panels from these strips. I’ve got no way of knowing for sure, and the story still flows nicely from strip to strip without a lot of cumbersome catch-up exposition, but I guess there’s a little purist in me after all and he’s a bit nervous. Still… love the huge, detailed art. Raymond’s linework is a lot more sumptuous and delicate in this volume than the last and it’s a joy to be able to lose yourself in it.
The rest is here.

Plump Sister



I keep forgetting to plug Plump Sister, my Christmas Carol blog that I've only just found out is the singular version of a very different kind of website. That's... really unfortunate. You'll have to Google the plural to see what I'm talking about. I ain't linking to it.

Anyway, I'm still plugging along at it and would love for more people to join the discussion. Right now we're looking at the various depictions of Scrooge in film and literature. He's always mean and miserly, but should he be tall and powerful or stooped and pitiful? How is Scrooge's misery best portrayed?

We're also looking at the Christmas setting and its relationship to Scrooge. Should Christmas in A Christmas Carol be a bleak, gloomy time to match Scrooge's mood? Or should it be happy and joyful as a contrast to him? Hope you'll stop by and let me know.
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