Relaxing weekend

That was a relaxing weekend. I spent most of Friday reading: Bev Vincent’s The Road to the Dark Tower, Volume 1 of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 1 of The Sandman, and the beginning of Stephen King’s Everything’s Eventual. (Yeah, I’ve been on a bit of a Dark Tower-related kick lately.) Saturday we hit the Glebe Markets, watched about a dozen TiFauxed episodes of Scrubs, and dined on excellent Vietnamese food at Saigon Saigon. Then on Sunday it was over Willoughby for dinner with the in-laws. Only four more days til I’m on Christmas break!

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  1. What did you make of ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?’ I loved Alan Moore’s interpretation of Captain Nemo. (Which makes the way they screwed him up in the film, turning him into a glorified taxi driver, all the more galling. But then, the only thing they got right in the film was the design of the Nautilus, which looked nothing like the version in the comic but was a thing of beauty nevertheless.)

    The second volume of ‘League…’ is pretty good: there’s supposed to be a third volume coming, set well after the first two stories, but there doesn’t seem to any firm news as to when.

    If you like Alan Moore’s work, I can heartily recommend the two volumes of ‘Top 10,’ set in a city where all the “science heroes” went to live after the end of World War II: basically, think of it as ‘Hill Street Blues’ where everybody on both sides of the law has superpowers. Very, very funny in places, but with plenty of lovely emotional moments along the way.

    Sorry, Comic Book Guy rant over…

  2. I didn’t see the film (and my exposure to comic books is pretty much limited to “Fray”), so I came to this one pretty fresh. And I LOVED it. I think it helps that I’m a big fan of that particular period of English literature so I just found it really witty and funny. I loved that they never really addressed Mina’s condition and I can’t wait to see how that pays off in the second volume. (“Scandalous business, that affair with the foreign chap…” HA!) The only characters I’m not too familiar with are Nemo and Quatermaine. I have to say I really enjoyed all aspects of the design (the artwork, the way the panels flowed, the fonts, everything). I *was* a little shocked at some of the violence, specifically the bit where the slum guy throws Mina down and then takes his pants off… mostly I think because I’ve never seen a naked ass in a comic book before. (And unbeknownst to me, the sexual violence was going to get a LOT worse with “The Sandman.”) So overall, I have to say that I was really, really delighted with “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” and I’ll definitely be getting the next one. I’m also bummed now at knowing what a good opportunity was wasted with the poor film version…

    Oh, and while I’m here I might as well discuss “Sandman” too. That was… different. Not nearly as funny. Thank goodness I read the introduction, though, which helped me understand some of the more random bits. (Like, as a Non Comic Book Girl, I had no idea who the DC Comics Sandman guy was, nor any idea who the Justice League guys shown were, nor why traditional superhero guys were in this weird Goth fairytale. I did, however, recognize Arkham Asylum and the Scarecrow from Spiderman.) Some of the violent bits were really unsettling, like the bit set in the cafe where the bad guy is torturing the patrons. My favourite parts were the bits not set on Earth, like Cain & Abel and Hell and the Sandman’s castle. Overall I didn’t like this one nearly as much as “League,” but I’m willing to give Volume 2 a shot to see if the tone evens out. It still feels a little too goth for my tastes, but we’ll see…

  3. If you thought LoEG Volume 1 was violent, just wait until you see the fate that befalls a character in the second volume.

    The first volume of ‘Sandman’ is nowhere near the best of the series. Gaiman is a really versatile writer, and over the course of the series he indulged himself quite a bit, so you may feel that the only time his tone is consistent is when he’s dealing with Morpheus himself. And yes, it can be worryingly gothy at times. For all that, the series is definitely worth sticking with if you have any sort of liking for fantasy and mythology: at various stages we see Hell change hands, find out about the secret life of cats, drop in on a convention of serial killers, and meet the likes of Shakespeare, Marco Polo and Norton the First, Emperor of the United States.

    When I first read the ‘Sandman’ series I didn’t know the DC universe or the character’s history, but there was more than enough to persuade me to buy all ten trade paperback collections of the main series, plus the odd spin-off. I’d read the occasional trade paperback up to then (the modern classics – ‘Watchmen’ and ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ – plus one or two others) but it was a combination of Gaiman’s ‘Sandman’ and Grant Morrison’s run on ‘New X-Men’ that sparked my interest in comic books.

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