If you’re into comics even the least little bit, chances are good the name Scott McCloud has crossed your radar. He’s better known for his comics about comics rather than the franchises he’s worked on, and for good reason – Understanding Comics is something I’d consider required reading for anyone working in a creative field.
Of particular interest to me is the concept of the “gutter” – the liminal space in comics (and arguably, in writing and games as well, and films and TV to a lesser extent) where the reader supplies the details of events between panels/sentences/scenes.
This focus on reader participation in Understanding Comics began to highlight the ways in which I exploit similar stylistic choices in my chosen mediums of short and novel-length fiction, and games. For example, from “Haven of the Waveless Sea”, where Fandral Staghelm relives the death of his son:
“Again.”The meaty rip, the buzzing song, the sound of hope dying.
Aka Angel-Demon Baby Daddies and The Bad Stuff.
I left talking about Deblanc and Fiore till the very end for a few reasons – to give more people time to catch up (have you watched Preacher yet? HAVE YOU?) and because I love them so obviously, I saved the best for last. In the comics, Deblanc and Fiore are barely there cardboard standouts that exist to provide some more jokers for Jesse to beat up in his search for God. They come to Earth to look for Genesis, but give up fairly early on in favour of the pleasures of doing cocaine and masturbating. Oh, Garth Ennis, you wacky scamp.
Beware the spoilers for all of Season 1 below, as well as a trigger warning for discussions on suicide & racism.
Last week, I started writing a post about theology in AMC’s Preacher, but as you can imagine, it got a little wordy, so I decided to split it into three parts to cover the six topics I’d loosely defined in the first post. (Part one of this series, if you missed it.) Today’s post is gonna cover two more: Grace and mercy, and Calvinism, Unfortunately.
Trigger warning in the discussion below for suicide, and pedophilia. As before, spoilers for the entire season behind the jump.
It’s been 2 weeks since the season finale of Preacher aired, so it’s high time to talk about Preacher and its theology. If you haven’t seen the first season of Preacher, on AMC, stop before you click the cut, go find it, watch it and then come back. I’ll wait. Go on.
Spoilers for all episodes, including the season finale, behind the jump:
I promise this post is not actually about Game of Thrones. But I can’t lie, and tell you the season 6 promo trailer wasn’t the final straw for this post. In the season 6 promo, we’re treated to the usual array of quick cut scenes, including one of two unidentifiable women kissing. One of them looks a lot like Sansa (some on Westeros dot org speculating one of the women is Asha/Yara); of course shortly after this realization, I remembered all the awful brothel scenes from earlier seasons, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume it’s something from there. Vomiting forever if both those speculations are correct at the same time. The main thrust is, for a brief moment, I was excited. Sansa! Alive! Maybe her happily ever after with Margery isn’t outside of the realm of possibility. But look at tv this year. It’s a trick.
(The rest of the post contains spoilers for all 3 seasons of the 100, and season 1 of the Shannara Chronicles)
I don’t write very many book reviews, for someone who reads so much. My kindle is littered with dozens of samples, and even more samples-that-became-purchases in the last year alone. In the past twelve months, I estimate I read about 20 new books, and probably re-read a dozen more. And yet my last book reviewed was (it’s embarrassing how long it took me to search this out): World of Shell and Bone, in 2013.
I’ve read some really great books in the past year, like Uprooted by Naomi Novik, of Temeraire fame. Seraphina and its sequel by Rachel Hartman. Some really clever fairy tale retellings by T.K. Kingfisher. I’ve read some books I wasn’t enthralled by, despite expecting to love it, like Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. And I’ve read some truly mediocre stuff, like Virgina Boecker’s The Witch Hunter. I didn’t review any of them beyond perhaps a star rating, primarily because I was prompted to by Mother Amazon at the end of reading.
When I reviewed WOSAB in 2013, I did it because I was possessed with the need to dissect the failings of a post-apocalyptic/dystopian YA novel – probably borne out of a desire to avoid making any of those same mistakes in my own writing. Or to warn people that a pretty cover can hide a multitude of sins. I want to make explicit that is not the case here. The Fifth Season was a good read, with solid characters and world-building. Given my lukewarm reactions to both the Inheritance trilogy and the Dreamblood duology, I was far more invested in this book.
No explicit spoilers past the cut, but some minor ones.
Valar morghulis, errybody. It’s hard for me to decide what I appreciate more: “all men must die” serving as a tagline, or the new iconic crow image that’s going to be hundreds of tattoos in no time:
Spoilers for seasons 1-3 and books 1-3 below the cut!
I have been mad at Game of Thrones before. I was mad when they made Daenerys’ wedding night into a graphic rape scene. I was mad at some of the asshole-clenchingly awful sexposition scenes. I was mad about the attempted rape on Sansa during the riot (and the dream-recap the next night). I was livid about the scene where Joffrey abuses two prostitutes.
Last night, I was mad enough to actually stand up and yell a lot. There was huffing. I scared Gary.