104 in 2014: August

So, I was busy finishing Emma Approved and didn’t get much reading done this month. I’m pleased the people behind Emma Approved are branching out from Austen. Their new series, Frankenstein MD, could be great, provided they are willing to go to dark places.

78-79: Hawkeye : My Life as a Weapon and Hawkeye: Little Hits

This is great series. Hawkeye is a superhero in the Marvel Universe, but his power is that he’s the greatest archer alive. He’s on a team with the God of Storms, a billionaire techo-knight, a time-lost super soldier and several things even odder. When he’s not doing all of that, what is her doing? Basically he’s living in his apartment block, arguing with local hoods, and trying to maintain his emotional connections with the other Hawkeyes (his protege and brother). My favorite issue was told from the perspective of his dog, and contains dialogue which is smudged out unless the word happens to be a command that Pizza Dog understands. It uses ideograms and very simple graphics to tell its story, and uses an sparse color palette. It is the perfect antidote for interminable comic “events” like Infinity, which use splash to disguise their hollowness.  Truly an excellent comic book.

80-81 Cinderella’s Magical Wheelchair and The Princess and the Ruby by Jewel Kats.

Jewel Kats is a disability advocate who has published two books which I’m pleased we have added to our collection. Her Cinderella has mobility issues, and The Princess and the Ruby is about accepting autism. There are some problems in that they have traditional stepmother antagonists, but in terms of broader representation of disabled children, they are excellent.

82: The Collected Radio Dramas by Raymond Chandler

I’m no sure that the magic of Chandler’s writing transfers across to these radio dramas. They are good, of course, and the plots are intact, but the process of reducing them down to radio episode length seems to have removed some of the description, which in turn removes some of the characterization. Still worth a listen.

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83: Manners, Customs and Dress in the Middle Ages by Paul Lacroix. Available from Librivox and Internet Archive.

Interesting, if dated in some areas. Of interest to medievalists.

84 – 85: Teen Titans : On The Clock and Teen Titans : Death of the Family.

Not terrible, but there are heap of excellent graphic novels you could be reading instead.

86 What’s wrong with the world by G.K. Chesterton.

Chesterton is still loved by people because he’s good at pithy quips, but this book hits a tedious patch when he begins to dissect his reasons for being an antifeminist. For a while I listened in, to see if he had anything amusing to say. Some of his quips were still interesting, but I didn’t find it amusing enough to have to wade through what is now really tired gender-essentialist material about the primacy of the domestic sphere. Hard to recommend. Available from Librivox in audio and Internet Archive as an ebook.