dhampyresa: (MY BIRTHDAY HAS SQUID)
My dream last night consisted entirely of me finding out the last book of a series I've been following was out, acquiring said book from my comicshop and then reading said comic book for the rest of the dream (90+%). It was a damn good comic book, I have to say, and I enjoyed it greatly. It did have some issues though, and I'm glad to say the actual series is still going in real life (the dream!last book's number actually came out several years/books ago).

It's not even the first time I've had a dream consisting almost entirely of me reading a comicbook. They're good comics, every time, so I can't complain, really.
dhampyresa: (Sarcasm shall be the way)
1. Swimming )

2. I've been trying to memorise the lyrics to Georges Brassens' Supplique pour être enterré à la plage de Sète. So far I've managed the first five stanzas (lyrics at the link).

Vid )

3. With help from [personal profile] sineala , why I dislike Bendis:

Typical Bendis dialogue )

dhampyresa: (Default)
My wrist really hurts lately and idk why. I'm hoping it's only temporary and not linked to the back pain. Anyway, going to go easy on posting, I suppose.

And so, I'm cancelling the giant post of all the books I read in 2016 and didn't talk about. Have part of it instead.


What did you finish reading

Cixi de Troy, by Christophe Arleston (scenario) et Olivier Vatine (art): This is a spin-off from Lanfeust de Troy, telling the story of Cixi between volumes 5 and 6 of that series. Same writer as the main series, different artist. A lot happens in quite a short time! I like Cixi a lot and tbh I'd been wanting to know more about that period of time where she was exclusive mistress to omnipotent tyrant by day and DRAGON RIDING VIGILANTE fighting said tyrant by night, which this comics trilogy is at least partly about, so yay! Also, pirates. Also also it makes it canon that Cixi is bi. Way back when I reviewed Mike Carey's Lucifer, I mentionned "it feature[d] the longest roadtrip I have read for someone to get an abortion that they cannot get through other means" -- this book is the basis of comparaison for that. In both cases the fact that outside magical forces prevent these women from seeking an abortion is treated as a violation, fyi. Anyway. I quite enjoyed the friendship between Cixi and her maid, and Cixi and her dragon.


What are you currently reading

A satirical newspaper that comes out on Wednesdays. I'm reading Le Canard Enchainé, Journal satirique paraissant le mercredi, because it's Wednesday and if I'm going to buy a fucking newspaper, I'll be damned if it's a newspaper that isn't independant.


Stuff finished in 2016

Mostly comics )


Stuff finished in 2017
Also mostly comics )


What are you reading next

In French: a book on Parisian folklore, a book of first-hand accounts of the Paris Commune (with an eye both to the general history and to writing a Rogue One AU) and a book on Brittany. Also, comics.

In English: fuck if I know, mate.

dhampyresa: (Default)
Marie des dragons intégrale by  Ange (scenario) and Thierry Démarez (art): The titular dragons look more like the aliens from the Alien franchise, but this was still pretty enjoyable, even if I didn't like the ending that much. I did enjoy the slow creeping sense of something being wrong until we get the raving madmen endlessly reciting the names of kings of France and we're told by characters that those weren't kings of France. Surprise! This is an alternate universe (ish). I with the colouring wasn't so muddy.


Les aigles de Rome 4,
by Enrico Marini (art and scenario): Well, I feel towards this one pretty much exactly like I did towards book 1, 2 & 3. To wit, that I really enjoy the art, but not the story. At least this volume had more violence and less sex so felt more balanced? I'll still probably read book 5 when it hits the library, though, because I am very weak to the combination of "enemies who like each other ", Romans getting their asses kicked and pretty art.


More stuff I read this year and haven't talked about yet )


I have also finished my re-read of Les Quatre de Baker Street. Currently there are no coherent thoughts.


Comics!

Dec. 5th, 2016 09:59 pm
dhampyresa: (Quit killing people)
This evening I patronised my local comic book store. It's been ages since I went and I want to buy ALL OF THE THINGS. I have (so far) restricted myself to one comic for me and one as a gift for someone else. (I'm going to go back and buy more stuff for me -- as long as I'm also buying people gifts, it's not being selfish.)

I did however get my headcold germs aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall over the shop. Sorry to anyone who catches it.

Okay, usually I don't buy books in translation when I can avoid it, but HOLY SHIT the intégrales of Locke & Key are ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS. Seriously. This is literally the first time I've wanted to own books not because of the content but because the physical objects themselves are so beautiful.

dhampyresa: (Default)
READING

What did you finish reading

2015

Sandman Overture by Neil Gaiman (scenario) and J. H. Williams III (art): Well, that is certainly a published comic book. I wanted to like this a lot more than I ended up actually liking it.

I didn't care for meeting the Endless' parents -- yeah, that's a thing now apparently. /does standard comics thing of "only canon that matters is canon I like"

The plot was pretty eh, overall, I have to say. Tbh, I always considered what happened immediately before Sandman to be best left unexplained, because any explanation was (a) not needed and (b) unlikely to live up. As it turns out, I was bright on both counts. I did like the call forward with "Hope", though.

The art is very pretty. Unfortunately, sometimes it's very pretty at the expanse of legibility.

So all in all, it's okay and made disappointing by the fact that I expected better.


Stuff I read and didn't talk about )


What are you reading now

Have made no progress on:
Contes et récits de l'histoire de Carthage by Jean Defrasne
Paris fais nous peur: 100 lieux du crime, de l'étrange et de l'irrationnel, by Claudine Hourcadette et Marc Lemonier
Warhorses by Yusef Komunyakaa
La Controverse de Valladolid by Jean-Claude Carrière

I can never remember/make up my mind: do I talk about US comics as they come out in floppies here or not?


What are you reading next

To-read list )




WATCHING

Star Wars Rebels: S03E05:
THE LAST BATTLE OF THE CLONE WARS! Clone Trooper Captain Rex vs Super Tactical Droid Kalani, winner takes all.

SO I SHIP REX/KALANI NOW SORRY NOT SORRY the "old enemies who find common ground and respect each other" dynamic just hit me where I live, okay?

I am having ALL OF THE CLONE FEELINGS, seriously. Cody*! "Clone Order 66"! "A good soldier follows orders", Rex, noooooooooooooo!

I am so glad Rex didn't die. SO GLAD.

It may have been my monitor, or the lighting or whatever -- and I fully expect to be Jossed by the next episode -- but Sabine's hair looked blue and white to me in this ep and I'm going to headcanon it was because she dyed it that way to honour Rex (and if it's back to pink-ish newt ep, I may have to write fic about the fallout of Agamar, re: Rex).

* I cannot believe when the preview came out I thought "Oh hey they got Cody's voice actor back just for this scene, that's sweet". Self, Cody and Rex have THE SAME VOICE ACTOR.


Lucifer: S02E03, S02E04 and S02E05: I can't quite remember what happened when, so you get three for the price of one. I continue to enjoy this ridiculous show greatly. Character interactions are gold and I love how many of the characters are women (Dr Linda, Maze, Chloe, Ella, Mum, Trixie). Dr Linda was a phone sex operator, omg and then there was a bar fight. Lucifer and Dan geeking out over action movies were cute. I grow impatient about getting to see CHLOE AND MAZE ROOMATES HIJINKS. I'm kind of sad Uriel is gone already, for some reason I tend to like Uriel best in ~classic angelology~ and his power here was pretty cool. I do like that we got canon confirmation that angels can be female (Azrael/the angel of death is "she"). Faced with the lack of non-binary/ungendered angels, I'll take 'angels can be male or female, it's whatever'. Also, Tom Ellis does Righteous Fury really well.


Legends of Tomorrow: S2E02: Are we done with the Nazis yet? Like. Seriously. I know Timetravel To WW2 is a well-used trope, but are we done yet? One episode is pretty the price I agree to pay when I get into a timetravel show, twice is trying my patience. At least Sara leading the crew is now oofficial.


Class: S01E01 and S01E02: Well, that was unexpectedly violent. I thought this would be a kid's show! (I did not follow the promos at all.) And yet I was really charmed by all the characters, from super-smart Tanya to Ms Quill the freedom-fighter-turned-reluctant-teacher/bodyguard to April whose bravery comes from kindness.


Luke Cage: S1E07: No progress.


Nirvana in Fire: E06: Have made no progress.


Miraculous Ladybug: S01E02: This show gives REALLY GOOD PARIS, I have to say. To the point that, despite the fact that I was watching the English dib (my search for the Korean dub remains fruitless), I ended up thinking "Genre la meuf va au Troca pour trouver un pigeon. Genre!" ("Like the girl goes to the Trocadéro to find a pigeon. As if!") in French, which usually never happens -- I certainly didn't think in French while watching Legends of Tomorrow, even though it was nominally set in Paris this week. So ML gives great Paris, including aaaaaaaaaaaall the subtle social clues. Yikes. I think I went to school with some of those people. Adrien's social clues are unambiguous, but Marinette's are more confused. Then again, I'm only two episodes in.







DID YOU KNOW X-23 WAS GOING TO BE IN A MOVIE



dhampyresa: (Gwen Stacy)
Scarlet Witch 7 came out recently.

I don't know if I want to read it.

On the one hand: WANDA MAXIMOFF ♥!

On the other hand: issue #6 used French national tragedies in a really crass way that really soured me on it.

On the third, tentacular, hand: It doesn't matter whether I read this comic or not. Really, it doesn't! Because I, being French, do not count as a costumer for Marvel in the first place! Seriously, folks. I cannot boycott shit even when I want to, because I am not a costumer. It's really that simple. I cannot vote with my dollars, because Marvel would not have been getting my dollars anyway (or my euros).

On the fourth, robot, hand: I feel like nobody gives a single fuck how offensive Scarlet Witch #6 was. I haven't seen anyone else say anything about it. And that's fine, not everyone has to be offended by the same things! I just feel a little alone. (I suppose Marvel doesn't have to care if they lose my business.)

On the fifth hand: I don't know. I guess this makes me not a real fan.



Often when I pass the place where I've hung original artwork of Gwen Stacy on one wall facing original artwork of Wanda Maximoff on the other, I think about how cool a team-up between those two would be.



I think I need some sort of three strikes system, like "If you feel the need to vent about X more than three times, time to consider if getting rid of X in your life wouldn't be a good idea". (Not that this is always feasible, but. You know.)



MY DRAWINGS ARE TOO BIG! Seriously. I have a pastel work that's too big for my art folder. That's never happened before; usually I feel a little self-conscious about how much bigger than my works the folder is. I need a new folder.

I also need to figure out if my scanner drivers survived the recent system reboot and how to scan gigantic artwork.



I had semi-impromptu lunch with one the fandom folks today and it was lovely ♥!

We spent the entire time talking in French. I don't think I've ever spent this long speaking about fandom in French before.



In 1862, Gustave Flaubert published a novel, Salammbô, in which Hannibal Barca is a character. I haven't read it.

This is mostly because the novel is entirely straight-faced about and in part responsible for how popular the image of Carthaginians sacrificing children is -- and I am always very wary of taking the words of the victors about the habits of the people they commited genocide upon. (Flaubert, by necessity, drew only on Roman sources.)

Also, it takes place right after the First Punic War, while Hannibal is still a child -- by all accounts his role in the novel is minimal -- and I'm really more about the Second than First Punic War.

That said, I did enjoy what I saw of it in the tome 2 of the Koblenz comic (Marcher dans Carthage une nuit sans lune) -- the comic had some very pointed commentary about how purity != virginity, too, which I appreciated -- especially the veil of Tanith, that was some awesome stuff. Anyway, I have the Lone Sloane/IN SPACE adaptation of the Faluber novel by Druillet somewhere, I think, maybe I should read that.

Anyway, not only did the novel give its name to one pf my favourite Indochine song, Salombo (Hanoi 2006 orchestral version), but I recently discovered it's also given its name to a pastry.

So naturally I had to try it. It's okay. It's a lot like an eclair.



I finally signed up for fandomgiftbox.
dhampyresa: (Sarcasm shall be the way)
(I am still sick, it sucks, woe is me, etc.)

Currently my approach to dealing with stuff is basically "If it ain't on a deadline, I ain't doing it", but reading wednesday is a deadline of sorts, so here I am, hello.


READING

Finished reading

Instead of digging back up something I finished (much) earlier, I'm going to talk about something I finished reading today!

Stuff finished earlier )

Scarlet Witch 1-5, by James Robinson (writing) and Vanesa Del Rey (1), Marco Rudy (2), Steve Dillon (3), Marguerite Sauvage (4) and Javier Pulido (5) (art -- the artist changes every issue): So at this point it should be no secret I love Wanda Maximoff a hell of a lot. I am so fucking glad Wanda got her own solo! One where she gets to unapologetically be the good guy, even. (These five issues to be collected in a TPB that comes out in June, fyi.)

I love this book, both that it exists and (most of) what it chooses to be.

First off, let me talk about the art. As mentionned above, the artist changes every issue, so sadly David Aja's gorgeous covers are not representative of the inside. I fucking love Wanda's design as depicted on these covers though. (Guess what I'm drawing this evening?) Anyway, the quality of the art varies from artist to artist and even from page to page on occasion.

Objectively, the best art is probably Marco Rudy on issue 2. It reminded me more than a bit of early 2010 Batwoman (art by J. H. Williams III) with the realism and intricate page layout. Excellent use of the layout and very dynamic fight scenes without sacrificing clarity. I also love the way Wanda's face is drawn.

2 pictures under the cut )

The setting of issue 2 is the Greek island of Santorini. I've included part of the landscape/layout in the second picture so you can sort of see how the two blend together. Excellent work. I've been to Santorini, the comic is faithful to what I remember.

Overall, this is also my favourite art of the series so far. This being said, my absolute favourite page so far is this one (from issue 4).

Large-ish picture under cut )

I have been waiting SO LONG for Wanda to get a proper, badass, full-page-and-fancy-font introduction and it makes me so happy that she does!

So, overall: I like or love the art on all issues except issue 5. I just can't stand Pulido's art; it was the reason I quit She-Hulk way back when.

Story-wise, I am enjoying this book, although I do wish individual issues were not quite so stand alone, so far issues 1 and (especially) 5 don't seem to bring anything to the myth arc.

I enjoy a lot of the rethoric about magic in this -- and I love it so much that Wanda getting medicated for her mental illnesses is treated neither as a bad thing nor a hindrance to her magic, more like the opposite -- but none of it quite matches up with previous or even adjacent canon concerning magic in the Marvel comics verse or Wanda's magic in specific. But still, "No cure is without a curse", in the context of "no magic is without a cost" is something that needs to be said, if only on a meta level.

I have zero problem with Wanda getting a nemesis -- and in fact I am delighted that she gets to start building her own gallery of rogues --, but I could really have done without his introduction(s) being killing a Greek woman and killing a Nigerian man.

Somewhat pettily, I am also disappointed with him being the Emerald Warlock, both because it's such an obvious riff on Wanda's alter-ego of Scarlet Witch and because every time I see him I get a moment of "is it Doctor DOOM :D?" and it never is. I like Doctor Doom, okay. I will forever want someone to do something about the fact that he and Wanda almost got married! And his mother was a witch, so it's not like him showing up in a book focusing on witchcraft and witches would be odd.

What is kind of odd is putting Wanda at the center of such a book as an archetypal witch. Here's the thing about Wanda Maximoff: her hexes were originally just the manifestation of her mutant power of probability manipulation. Granted she is apparently no longer a mutant (thanks, MCU/I give it five years before she's back as Magneto's daughter), but as far as I know Pietro is still a speedster so there's no reason to believe her powers are suddenly more witch-y than they were before.

To be fair, Wanda's powers have always operated more or less on "as the plot demands", but I would have liked for something to be made of the fact that Wanda is an outsider to witches. Her powers are not their powers. She was not raised a witch. She's one of them, but also not.

In this vein, the reveal that "Scarlet Witch" is not something she chose for herself but a title tht has apparently been passed down the female line of her family is kind of sad to me. I liked that Wanda became a "proper" witch only after she had had the name -- that by naming herself, she had shaped her destiny.

Speaking of femaleness, the book draws lines between "male" and "female" magic. So far those lines seem restricted to which deity said magic is drawn from (Cernunnos vs Cerridwen, for ex), but still, it's uncomfortably gender essentialist.

My wishlist for future issues: Illyana Rasputin makes an appearance, so does Victor von Doom (New and Improved handsome edition or body armour edition edition, I don't care) and Theresa Cassidy as the Morrigan does too. I may be the only person who remembers that Theresa became the Morrigan in the latest run of X-Factor but she did and if we are bringing in Irish folklore, I want her in this book.

TL;DR: I ENJOY THIS. She's going Paris next issue, so that'll be... interesting.


Still reading

Contes et récits de l'histoire de Carthage by Jean Defrasne
Le Déchronologue by Stéphane Beauverger

I need to add a list of the comics I am currently following to this, if only so I don't forget what I'm reading from week to week.


Reading next

Do I look like I know? Thought not.

Old list I need to update )


WATCHING

This is as far along in these shows that I have watched. I would love to talk about any of these. No spoilers for currently airing shows, please, but I don't care about shows that are complete.

jessica jones (s1e2 00:00)
supergirl (s1e3 00:00)
agent carter (s2e3)
lucifer (s1e11 00:00)
legends of tomorrow (s1e10 00:00)
clone wars (s3e06 00:00)
underground (s1e5 00:00)
shannara (s1e6 00:00)
daredevil (s2e1 00:00)
ds9 (???)
orphan black (???)

Legends of Tomorrow: WENTWORTH MILLER IS AMAZING

Clone Wars: I ship Ahoska/Riyo, so sue me.

Underground: HOW ABOUT THAT CATO EH


And now, sleep.

dhampyresa: (Quit killing people)
These comics were originally published in French, then translated and published in English at a later date.

What did you finish reading?

Chronicles of Legion 1-3, by Fabien Nury (scenario), Mathieu Lauffray, Mario Alberti, Zhang Xiaoyu and Tirso Cons (all four on art): ALL VLAD ALL THE TIME BODY HORROR VAMPIRES )

The Infinite Loop 1 + 2, by Pierrick Colinet (writing) and Elsa Charretier (art): Timetravelling lesbians )


What are you reading now?

Lots of stuff! I really want to talk about the conclusion for Secret Wars and Le Déchronologue (OMG IT IS SO AMAZING SERIOUSLY Y'ALL SO GOOD), but that's wait until I'm done with this 2015 recap. List broken down so I can do something else with my day(s).

Up next for the recaps are:
  • Books read in French
    • Chats d'oeuvre
    • D'un monde à l'autre (La Quête d'Ewilan, tome 1)
    • Le Jardin des silences
  • Comics read in English
    • Lucifer v1 (Vertigo comic)
    • Prince of Cats
    • Sandman Overture
    • Spider-Gwen v1
    • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl v1
  • Books read in English
    • Fragile Things
    • Magnus Chase and the Sword of Asgard
    • The Red Pyramid
  • Books about Ancient Dead People
    • Darkness Over Cannae
    • Le papyrus de César
    • Tumulte à Rome
Discounted from this list are a bunch of single issue comics and/or ongoings. I need to figure out a way to handle reviews for ongoing (US) comics.


What are you reading next?

Not sure. At some point I should add the boo, recs I got from fandomstocking to the to-read list. I need to work on reducing my to-read list, seriously.
dhampyresa: (Default)
What did you finish reading?

SO MUCH STUFF! I basically haven't done one of these properly in months. I'm going to go through it all by themes (comics read in French, books read in French, French comics read in English, comics read in English, books read in English and books about Ancient Dead People).

13 Devil Street, by Benoît Vieillard: This is a comic set in London at the time of Jack the Ripper (1888 to be precise). It's not a traditional comic. Every single double page is a double page spread showing a cross-section of the titular house. They're all snapshots of moments in time. It's an interesting way of telling the story and I enjoyed several of the running jokes that were in it so the pages wouldn't be too unbalanced. However, there are flashbacks that are told in the traditional way, which was a little confusing, at first. My favourite character was Tatoo the Indian housekeeper. I also enjoyed seeing the way all the occupants of the house moved their quarters around itas they financial/social/general situation changed. I didn't enjoy the plot all that much. It was mostly horror-y and some of it I did like, but I felt the resolution left a lot to be desired and parts of it were unpleasantly gendered.


Freaks Squeele 7: A move & Z movie, by Florent Meaudoux: I wasn't even aware there had been a new Freaks Squeele out, much less that it was the last one until I was given this one for Christmas. As much as I enjoy the series, it was time for it to go. The more thinks went on, the less the pacing was good, the less the covers had anything to do with the inside and the more certain issues grated on me. It's good that it ended now, before I was completely soured on it. (Most notably: the complete bypassing/ignoring/refusing of anything even remotely LGBT. This is ESPECIALLY WEIRD considering some of the plot points.)

I'm still completely baffled by some of the worldbuilding -- what the fuck was Funérailles even doing in that flashback -- and there are bunch of loose ends, but overall it was a pretty good ending. I do hope the Funérailles spin-off/prequel is going to provide some insight on the whole "Trinity of Death" thing, though, because that came pretty much out of nowhere. In fact, when I opened this volume I had the feeling I'd missed one, but no, I had not. All the ships I had for this series were essentially crackships, but I am still glad that Valkyrie/Sablon and Mélodie/Lynette weren't sunk. I'm kind of sad sablon/Ange (new ship from this volume, even) got sunk, but I think that's a by-product of sinking Ange/Claidmhor (or however you spell that guy's name, idk, I don't have the book with me).

Someone remind me I need to re-read the whole series and make a post about it at some point.


L'arabe du futur 2, by Riad Sattouf: Look, I've said it before and I'll probably say it again, but this is no Persepolis. There's no insight and very little attempts to show the greater context of things. I also am not a fan of the art style. I think it's bullshit that Sattouf is nominated for the Angoulême Grand Prix and Satrapi is not. MARJANE SATRAPI FOR ANGOULEME PRESIDENT >:[


What are you reading now?

Lots of stuff! I really want to talk about the conclusion for Secret Wars and Le Déchronologue, but that's wait until I'm done with this 2015 recap (hopefully won't take me six weeks). List broken down so I can do something else with my day(s).

Up next for the recaps are:
  • Books read in French
    • Chats d'oeuvre
    • D'un monde à l'autre (La Quête d'Ewilan, tome 1)
    • Le Jardin des silences
  • French comics read in English
    • Chronicles of Legion 1-3
    • The Infinite Loop 1
  • Comics read in English
    • Lucifer v1 (Vertigo comic)
    • Prince of Cats
    • Sandman Overture
    • Spider-Gwen v1
    • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl v1
  • Books read in English
    • Fragile Things
    • Magnus Chase and the Sword of Asgard
    • The Red Pyramid
  • Books about Ancient Dead People
    • Darkness Over Cannae
    • Le papyrus de César
    • Tumulte à Rome
Discounted from this list are a bunch of single issue comics and/or ongoings. I need to figure out a way to handle reviews for ongoing (US) comics.


What are you reading next?

Not sure. At some point I should add the boo, recs I got from fandomstocking to the to-read list. I need to work on reducing my to-read list, seriously.
dhampyresa: (Bad Wolf)
I'm going to go and try posting every day in January. You've been warned.

[personal profile] ladymercury_10 : Illyana Rasputin

Illyana Rasputin got a raw deal. I know this is X-Men comics and everyone got a raw deal, but she got a rawer deal than most.

For one thing, part of her childhood was hell -- in the sense of SHE GOT KIDNAPPED BY A DEMON LORD WHO WANTED TO USE HER SOUL AS A BATTERY TO FREE HIMSELF FROM LIMBO/SUMMON ELDER GODS. Fun times.

Some text + 2 pictures under the cut )

Look. If ever there was someone in X-Men who embodied "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions", it's Illyana Rasputin. That's fascinating and I want more of it.

(My talking meme post is here, in case anyone wants me to talk about anything.)
dhampyresa: (Reading kitten!)
Things I finished reading and need to tell you all about (and one I do!)

Chronicles of Legion 1-3, Darkness Over Cannae, Dr Fate 1-4, D'un monde à l'autre (La Quête d'Ewilan, tome 1), Fragile Things, L'arabe du futur 1, Le Jardin des silences, Loki:Agent of Asgard #1-17, Magnus Chase and the Sword of Asgard, Prince of Cats, Saints 1, Sandman Overture 1-6, Secret Wars 1-7 (still ongoing), Spider-Gwen v1 1-5, Spider-Gwen v2 001, The Infinite Loop 1, The Red Pyramid, The Spire 1-4, Toil and Trouble 1-3, Tumulte à Rome

Les Aigles de Rome, Tomes 2 & 3, by Enrico Marini (art and scenario): (Note: This series was translated in English under the title "Eagles of Rome".) You may remember that I had mixed feelings about book one, way back when. Now, because I'm an idiot and have really really not been keeping this reading meme thing up to date, I read books 2 and 3 way back in August. (So I'm kind of fuzzy on details.)

It wasn't on purpose, but. You know I occasionally travel to The Land of No Internet? The Land of No Internet has a library, which is basically open between 2pm and 4pm on Tuesdays, because the librarian handles like, two dozens similarly sized libraries in two dozens similarly sized tiny villages of the French countryside as some sort of TRAVELLING LIBRARIAN which is probably the coolest job description ever. Anyway, someone got me all first three books from the library, because "you like comics, right :D? You like Romans, right :D? This is comics with Romans in :D :D :D!" so obviously I had to read them.

Well, I have pretty much the same mixed feelings about books 2 & 3 than I did about book 1, so at least I'm consistent.

Our protagonists are pretty much grown men now -- which is kind of a shame, because I was really liking seeing how the art was showing their age in both their faces and their body shapes while keeping them consistent. It's actually super hard to draw people who look a specific age (instead of adult and mini-adult for children), because people's proportions evolve as they age and it was really well done here. Marcus at 17 and Marcus at -- how old is he now? -- 27 or so, are not built the same, but they're still clearly the same person.

(Also, his kid is adorable and the whole complicated mess around that kid is probably my favourite thing the story is doing right now.)

So the art remains great. Likewise the story remains very meh.

Arminius is doing some shady shit with the Germans and I kind of get the feeling the author is trying to keep it mysterious whether he's being a double agent for the Romans or not, but like, HE'S BLOODY ARMINIUS OKAY I KNOW HOW THIS STORY ENDS

Also, I feel like the sexism and homophobia have gone up , which is just bloody brilliant let me tell you :/ (Some of this may be displayed in anachronistic ways, I can't quite recall.)

(Okay, but when one of the very very few women in these books basically goes "I fuck Romans because I like the uniforms" I kind of cackled like a witch, because FAIR ENOUGH.)

Yeaaaaaaaaah, there are still some scenes that are more like Roman-themed porn than anything else. At least there are no random threesomes this time around that I can remember? A bunch of orgies, though.

I'm not sure I'd reccomend this series, and definitely not without caveats, but I've read this far and I really enjoy the art and like I said above I KNOW HOW THIS STORY ENDS and it's gonna be great to have Marcus and Arminius end up on different sides -- and basically it's got Romans in it and friends-about-to-turn-enemies and I am a creature of simple taste.


Things I am currently reading, inasmuch as I'm reading anything

Books on hiatus: The Art of War, The Kick-Ass Writer, La véritable histoire de Carthage et de Hannibal, Les Fleurs du Mal, Métronome, Rome's Revolution and The Grass-King's Concubine.

Still reading:

Ghosts of Cannae: Hannibal and the Darkest Hour of the Roman Republic, by Robert L. O’Connell
Trickster Makes This World, by Lewis Hyde
Romanitas, by Sophia McDougall
La quête d'Ewilan, Tome 2 : Les frontières de glace, by Pierre Bottero
Le lecteur de cadavre, by Antonio Garrido

I AM READING FUCK ALL THIS WEEK NOT EVEN COMICS


Things I plan to read next

Idunno, mate. At this rate, it'll end up being Pars vite et reviens tard, for [community profile] paris_novel_walks , because it's not like I've been reading much lately.

Old list )

dhampyresa: (Sarcasm shall be the way)
The preview for the new Lucifer comic is out (starting page 15) and it is most definitely a sequel and not a reboot, so I am ridiculously excited for it! (Look, Lucifer has a bar called Ex Lux and in this context it works on at least three different levels, to which I can only say: Lucifer, you giant dork.) I don't know if the series is going to be any good, but I know it'll be gorgeous, because Lee Garbett is on art.

I'm familiar with Lee Garbett's art from his most recent work: as the artist for the majority of the recently concluded Loki:Agent of Asgard, which reminded me that I need to post about my thoughts about it.

Dear flist, I am requesting this comic book for yuletide and I am requesting SO HARD, because it is everything I wanted this book to be and more.

Agent of Asgard is a comic book series set in the main Marvel comic universe, 616. The entire run is penned by Al Ewing and, as said above, the majority of it is drawn by Lee Garbett. It's the culmination of a story arc 10 years in the making and it's one of my very favourite stories about Tricksters ever.

A bit of background: I've been following Marvel's Loki in real-time-as-the-issues-come-out since Journey into Mystery 630 or so. That's about nearly five years of checking on this character (almost) every month, be that through Journey into Mystery, then Young Avengers v2, then Loki: Agent of Asgard. Before that, I was following Loki since Ragnarok as the trades came out in french and I found then at the library. I am not kidding when I say this story arc was 10 years in the making -- I know, I read pretty much all of it. It should go without saying that I was invested in this storyline (even excluding my Thing for tricksters).

Young Avengers v2 was a major let-down, on every single possible front. Agent of Asgard was not.

It is so good.

I've been having a conversation about tricksters with [livejournal.com profile] lunik_the_bard for years now. I love tricksters so much. For one thing, I love smart characters and there's no such thing as a stupid trickster. (I like entertaining assholes, too, and tricksters often fall under this.) For another thing, the essence of Trickster, to me, is about taking what you have and making something new out of it.

It's about creation. Creation-through-deception, often, but not always. It's about stories, the ones we tell ourselves and the ones we tell others. It's about transformation (it's no coincidence that tricksters are often shape-shifters). Renewal. Rebirth. Change.

That's something I've needed all my life, this idea that you can change who you are. That you could be, if not more, then different. To take the third option and make a way where there wasn't one before. That you can be smart and that there's no shame in that. That you don't have to be what others think you'll become. That you're not stuck in the prison of other people's expectation. That people can be wrong about you, but that doesn't make you wrong.

What you become is more important than what you were born to be.

It shouldn't be a surprise, then, that I was also very invested in both the Trickster and redemption parts of this book. I've always loved Loki (any Loki, Marvel or myth) best when he uses wits, not magic, to solve a problem. It's part of what made the Loki in Journey into Mystery (kid!Loki) so interesting, that he didn't have magic and so had to rely entirely on wits and the kindness of strangers. It brought him closer to myth!Loki than Marvel Loki had been up to that point.

Marvel!Loki isn't really a trickster. He's a villain, often the designated villain. Well.

He was.

Starting with Siege v1, Loki decided he was tired of being the villain, because that made him predictable. He engineered his own death and rebirth to escape the cycle of his fate. He was reborn as an amnesiac street kid in Paris (and I am still laughing the highway in Montmartre of all the fucking places -- clearly this is an universe where Pompidou's Plan autoroutier pour Paris came to fruition). Long story short: the new Loki regains his memories and sets about redeeming himself in the eys of Asgard, which goes about as well as you'd expect, which is not very. The ending of Journey into Mystery is him suffering a major setback of the "now possessed by the ghost of his older self" kind, something that came as a complete antithesis to what had gone on before and soured me on Kieron Gillen's writing possibly for ever. In Young Avengers v2, this new Loki turns into a member of a boyband and regains his magic. Turns out he's haunted by what he's done -- even though he's not Loki the murderer as Loki the murder weapon.

Agent of Asgard is what happens after.

It's about this Loki who is once again back at step 1 of redemption having to fight everyone's expectations of him, the weight of destiny (and this is Norse myth we're talking about, destiny is a heavy thing) and his own self, both figuratively and literally, to get to be himself. Not a villain. Not a hero -- of course not, he is Loki, after all -- but someone new.

Loki does become this new self. It's not easy. It hurts a lot, there is so much anger to set aside and there are setbacks and unknowns, but he manages. Of all the characters on the Norse side of Marvel, if there ever was one who was defined by his narrative role, it was Loki. There isn't a single Loki I can think off, be it myth or Marvel -- hell, even from the one from Dogma! -- that couldn't be defined as being "a tragedy in waiting". He's The Villain. The Monster At The End Of This Mythology.

He's Loki, and he breaks free. He does it mostly alone, but not only. He has a friend, Verity Willis, to help him, not because she's the girl no one can lie to to his God of Lies, but because she's his friend. It's as simple and as powerful as that.

There were so many, many ways this could have gone wrong or the tale been told badly, which, for a story so concerned with stories themselves, there is almost no greater sin, but it wasn't.

The comic manages to do so with incredible gusto. It delivers an awesome tale of redemption and friendship and the role of stories in our lives and it does so while being consistently entertaining and a delight to read, with incredible art to boot.

I cannot tell you how incredibly cathartic reading this was.
Would I lie to you?
dhampyresa: (Reading kitten!)
TOO LONG AGO, that's when. I will do dead Romans + French comics this time around (as well as miscellaneous) and dead Carthaginians + dead Ottomans/Wallachians next time. Seems reasonable enough.

What did you finish reading

A bunch of stuff, and I hope I'm not missing any. I mentionned that I'd been reading about stuff that would have made my Night on Fic Mountain fic very very obvious, so I'll start with those.

Le Troisième Testament - Julius (first three volumes), by Xavier Dorison, Alex Alice, Robin Recht, François Lapierre and Thimothée Montaigne (in various combinations of art/scenario): I was very very disappointed with this. The story was really bad (yes, of course the one Roman is better at everything that the Jewish/early Christian people. Of fucking course. *eyeroll*). That would have been bearable if I'd gotten the thing I was reading it for which is amazing colouring, which I did not get >:(. Look, I checked out those books on the basis that even if Alex Alice is not the best line-artist, he's at least very good and his colouring is AMAZEBALLS in exactly three colour schemes (ice blue + fire orange/red + balianced green) and average everywhere else. Siegfried played entirely to those colouring strengths (ice and fire are Themes in Norse myths, yo) so I thought thsi would be good! But nooooooooooo. All the colouring is muddy and terrible and bleh. (Alex Alice apparently did the scenario and NONE OF THE ART, and I am now sitting here going wtf.) I'm not sure what the fuck the story is even about. It's set during the reign of Emperor Augustus and there's this dud who is, like, Jesus' younger brother? Idk. They go on a roadtrip all the way to Mt Everest and also I think Angkor Vat? Probably not Angkor Vat, because it's waaaaay too early for that, but seriously. I've no idea what's happening here. Will not finish reading the series unless very bored, would not reccomend. (Counting this as "author famous for something other than writing" on the Random Reading Bingo card.)


Les Aigles de Rome, Tome 1, by Enrico Marini (art and scenario): It's a shame the story is terrible because the art is good. The story is really bad, though. There are two (male) main characters, who are reffered to as "lovebirds" in text, but despite that the narrative alternates wildly between NO HOMO and IT'S NOT GAY IF IT'S IN A THREEWAY and just so you know how not gay those threesomes are, there are two happening on screen. Yes, there are two threesomes in a 56 pages comic book. I thought I was going to read about Roman history, not read Roman-themed porn (it gets pretty graphic). I have nothing against Roman-themed porn, btw, but it is handled so fucking badly, seriously. And everything is handled with that level of utter unsubtly. It's okay, Marini, I swear I really didn't need that final flashback predicting Arminius inflicting a great defeat to the Romans to figure out which Arminius he was. I got it when you told us his name was Arminius and had Augustus name him so, on page, like, 5. Please stop treating your readers like idiots, thanks. I may or may not keep reading this. The art is really pretty and I particularly like the way he treats light. On the other hand, there might be too much sexism and homophobia for me. IDK. (Counting this as "book by author whose first language isn't English French (Challenge mode: self-translated book)" on the Serious card because Marini is Italian and translated the book into French, as afr as I can tell.)


Alix Senator 3 . La Conjuration des rapaces, by Valérie Mangin (scenario) and Thierry Démarez (art): SO ALIX SENATOR, HEH? It's about this Gaul, called Alix, who is a Senator at the time of Augustus. That's the story in-universe. out-universe, Alix Senator is a sequel to the (still ongoing) classic comic series Alix. I'll confess upfront that I haven't read a whole lot of Alix, mostly because they use a weirdass italic font that makes all the words run together and I can't read it. Alix Senator uses readable font! Which is a good thing, because the story is FUCKING AMAZING.
Art and story are both top-notch (one picture under the cut) )

HOLY SHIT THEY MADE ALIX/ENAK PRETTY MUCH CANON HOLY SHIT

(Counting this as "Graphic novel" on the Serious card.)


Yoko Tsuno 27: Le Secret de Khâny, by Roger Leloup (art and scenario): I technically read this before Alix Senator, but I thought I'd group all three comics set in the time of Augustus together, for the sake of convenience.

That said, there's a link between Alix Senator and Yoko Tsuno, which is that APPARENTLY IT WAS "QUEER CLASSIC CHILDREN COMICS CHARACTERS WEEK" AND NO ONE TOLD ME????? Because yeah, Yoko/Khany is about as canon as Alix/Enak above, in that Khany's titular secret is that she's raising a child. Unlike Vineans (Khany's alien race) the child doesn't have blue skin, but a skin tone that matches Yoko's. This is, were told, because "[Khany] wanted her to look like [Yoko]".

I pretty much stared at the page in mute shock for a full minute when I read that. Look, there's always been Yoko/Khany subtext and Yoko/female characters subtext in general (you can't convince me that the following exchange from L'Or du Rhin is platonic: Yoko: "When you return to Russia, please send me a small bottle of your perfume." / Olga: "Why, do you wish to wear it?" / Yoko: "No, I'll just smell it from time to time and think of it as the perfume of a friend." / Olga: "I will send you a big bottle.". You just can't, okay.). Like I said, there's always been Yoko/female characters subtext, in particular because about 80+% of the cast is made of female characters, but there's never been something so blatant as Khany raising a child who she wnated to look like Yoko.

I confess I foisted the book off onto someone (who still hasn't given it back, hence the lack of photographic evidence) as soon as I could just so I could be sure I wasn't making shit up. Because I wasn't sure. That sort of thing just doesn't happen. I don't get to see this part of myself in things I grew up with. I didn't grow up with Alix (see above re: unreadable font), bt I did grow up with Yoko Tsuno. I wanted to be her when I grew up! (Still do!)

So right now I exist in a state of being both utterly giddy with joy and not knowing if this is the real life or just fantasy. (I am not too proud to say that having read both Yoko Tsuno and Alix Senator on following days, I then spend a while in a complete daze and on the verge of tears.)

It feels so fucking unreal.

(Counting this as "book with a protagonist of colour" on the Serious card, as Yoko is of Japanese and Chinese descent.)


Other stuff I have read and finished that I can remember and will talk about next time because it's getting late here and I have now just been punched in the feelings again: Thor and the Warriors Four, La croisade des Carpathes (hence this post on the Ottoman Empire and Wallachia in the 15th century) and Beyond Cannae. I feel like I read more, but I can't remember :(.


This makes 0/25 on the Mix'n'Match Card, 21/25 on the Random Card and 8/25 on the Serious Card for [personal profile] hamsterwoman 's reading bingo.

Details )



What are you reading now

Made marginal progress on The Art of War, The Kick-Ass Writer, La véritable histoire de Carthage et de Hannibal, Les Fleurs du Mal, Métronome, Ghosts of Cannae and Rome's Revolution.

Have gotten into the hype/hype avoidance cycle with The Grass-King's Concubine because it is amazing and I am an idiot. Shall endeavour to talk more about it soon.

Le Jardin des silences, by Mélanie Fazi: A book of short stories in French.

Beyond Cannae, by Jenny Dolfen et al: Have read most of this, am waiting until I'm done to talk about it and each bit separately.

Tumulte à Rome, by Odile Weurlesse: It's a YA book set during the Second Punic War, in which there is SECRET TWINS and mistaken identity shenanigans. What's not to like?

(With any luck, I'll be done with both this and Beyond Cannae and we can have an orgy of Carthaginians next time.)


What are you reading next

I think I'm going to read the next book by Sen (L'Homme Noyé) and the rest of the fanzines I bought at JapanExpo this year.

The old list )

Additions to the list: Le Graal de l'Inframonde (the sequel to La croisade des Carpathes mentionned above, which I enjoyed greatly), Judith Tarr's novel Lord of the two Lands (on a rec by[livejournal.com profile] la_marquise_de_ ), Trickster Makes This World by Lewis Hyde (because [livejournal.com profile] lunik_the_bard recently reminded me I'd told her I'd read it) and probably some other stuff I forgot. If you've recced me something and don't see it on this list, please rec it again?


ALSO! I will be doing Read a Book in One Sitting Day this saturday. Don't know what with yet, only that it'll be a novel.

dhampyresa: (Default)
It's the first day of the Tour de France and like every year for a couple of years now, I start vaguely yearning to write that "Cass Cain infiltrates the Tour de France to investigate a Red Lantern" fic. The Red Lantern part of that summary is due o the last person in the Tour de France's rankings being called "la lanterne rouge" (ie, "the red lantern"). The Cass Cain part needs, slightly more explaination.

I once mentionned that it is my headcanon that Cass Cain is half-Basque on her father's side and someone suggested Euskatel Euskadi, the all-Basque cycling team (now sadly defunct), should hire her.

Despite what you might think, that eadcanon has a basis in reality.

Spoilers for the Cass Cain run of Batgirl )
dhampyresa: (Gwen Stacy)
Hi! Welcome to Meta Monday, in which I go tl;dr about stuff.

[livejournal.com profile] ladymercury_10 : Wanda Maximoff and House of M

House of M is the first comic I read with Wanda Maximoff in it. It showed me how kind she was and I've loved her ever since.

Let me explain.

9 images below the cut )


So those are my thoughts on House of M, [livejournal.com profile] ladymercury_10!

Next time, I'll be looking at more comics, in the form of Young Avengers.
dhampyresa: (Default)
What did you finish reading

L'aigle et le safran, by Sen: (You can buy it online or read it online. I'm reading the paper version, but the online version should normally be the same.) I LOVED THIS! It's been ages since I read something in French that gripped me this much. My only regret is that I wish the political aspect of the plot had gotten a little more spotlight, because a couple of things seemed to come (almost) out of nowhere. I would also say that I regret the "on opposite sides of the war" thing didn't last as long as it did, but I have Official Authorisation From The Artist TM to bug the author at JapanExpo to convince her to write something with more of that dynamic.

Also, the little bonus comic at the end was lovely.


I have also read and/or skimmed through about 15 volumes of La Geste des Chevaliers-Dragons and I am still conflicted over how I feel about the series. On the one hand, I'm not a big fan of the premise (only female virgins can kill dragons), but on the other, some of the stories told within that framework are excellent. I like volume 6 (Par-delà les montagnes) parts of which reminds me of the Valladolid debate, and several others whose names I can't remember right now (except two, but they deserve their own paragraphs).

Cut for extended discussion of volumes 11 and 12 (Toutes les mille et une lunes & Ellys) )

So far the only one I own is volume 11, Toutes les mille et une lunes, but I think I'm going to buy volume 12, Ellys, maybe. I just wish the cover looked like the inside art, because the inside art is gorgeous. The cover... is not.


Currently reading

Still stalled on The Art of War, The Kick-Ass Writer, La véritable histoire de Carthage et de Hannibal, Les Fleurs du Mal, Métronome and Ghosts of Cannae.

Made some progress on Rome's Revolution!

Mostly i'm excited because I've started reading The Grass-King's Concubine! I'm on page 10, though so there's not much I can say, except that I'm liking it so far and want to find out more about the Other Place the protagonist saw.


What are you reading next? (aka the to-read list)

As I said last time, now that I've finished L'aigle et le safran, I'm going to start reading Métronome again. On the other hand, I really want to finish Rome's Revolution as soon as possible.

To-read list )

Additions to the list (*looks at ever growing list to read* *looks at diminshing time to read* *sobs*): The next two Masqué books (I forgot to add those earlier) and the Romanitas trilogy, by Sophia Mc Dougall, on a rec from [personal profile] dolorosa_12 .

dhampyresa: (Default)
I am still pants at getting to bed at reasonable hours, sorry. And I don't think try to hold three historical Ancient Rome settings in my head is helping any.


What did you finish reading

Les quatre de Baker Street, Tome 6: L'Homme du Yard, by Jean-Blaise Dijan (story) and David Etien (art): As always, THIS IS DELIGHTFUL AND I AM DELIGHTED.

In this book, we've skipped forward roughly a year. The art style actually shows the kids' figures lengthening and they look believably older. I'm very impressed. Children are very hard to draw, especially to draw as growing.

Anyway, the kids (who are what's left of the Baker Street Irregulars: Billy Fletcher, Black Tom de Kilburn, Charlie and her cat Watson*, the titular four) are helping Holmes, back in London after Reichenbach since last volume, track down the men who've taken over Moriarty's crime empire.

This is set during the period where in the Doyle stories Holmes is presumed dead, then. The comic diverges from ACD canon (kind of) in a major-ish way that is spoiler-y but I thought was well handled, starting from last volume. To clarify: it starts diverging last voluem and is well handled from the start. Charlie refusing to take any of Holmes' shit is forever hilarious and amazing. Tom calling Holmes out on his shit was a welcome surprise. (That leaves Billy, but I'm not holding my breath. Billy literally wants to be Sherlock Holmes when he grows up.) (I actually enjoy every time people call Holmes on his shit.)

Anyway, the titular Man from the Yard decides to set the entire London police force after the kids in the hope that'll lead him to Holmes. The kids therefore have to go where the London police won't go: in an Irish rookery. It's a good thing Tom's Irish and so can get them in, because Charlie and Billy are English and that might not have gone so well. /understatement

Then things happen! But I won't spoil it. JUST READ THE SERIES, OKAY?

(My thoughts during this book can be summed up as follows, in chronological order, "oh no Watson (doctor)!", "oh no Watson (cat)!", "oh no Kitty!" and then endless rounds of keysmash because WOW. WOW.)

This is still the best Sherlock Holmes adaptation, BAR NONE. (I confess that I'm sad the Watsons didn't adopt the kids, though.)


*Doctor Watson's face when he learns Charlie's named the cat Watson is HILARIOUS.

Counting this as "book without magical creatures" for the Random card of the reading bingo.


I flipped another comic through while I was at the comic shop. This was Les mille et autres Nuits (1. Jaisalmer), by Stephen Desberg (story) and Henri Reculé (art). Scheherazade, Ali Baba and the magician who owns the genie's lamp (plus those two other dudes) team up for a heist of magical proportions! I should be loving this, but I'm feeling mostly meh. Will probably flip through the next ones if I remember. (Calling it now: Khadjirah and the woman who kills the griffin in the backstory are one an dthe same. Also, something better be going on with Scheherazade.)

This makes 0/25 on the Mix'n'Match Card (unchanged from last time), 20/25 on the Random Card (+1 from last time) and 5/25 on the Serious Card (unchanged from last time) for [personal profile] hamsterwoman 's reading bingo.

Details! )



What are you currently reading

Still stalled on The Art of War, The Kick-Ass Writer, La véritable histoire de Carthage et de Hannibal, Les Fleurs du Mal and Métronome.

Made very negligeable progress on Rome's Revolution, Ghosts of Cannae or L'aigle et le safran.

I basically failed at reading this week. I also don't think reading two non-fiction books about two different periods of the Roman Republic is a great idea. I'll finish Rome's Revolution before turning back to Ghosts of Cannae, because I'm further along in Rome's Revolution (20% vs 2%).

This frees up one of my reading slots! I have three reading slots: the book that's on my phone for reading during the day (this was Ghosts of Cannae), the paper book and ebook I read in the evnings (respectively L'aigle et le safran and Rome's Revolution).

I'm going to be reading The Grass-King's Concubine on my phone as soon as I put it there, then!


What are you reading next? (aka the to-read list)

The Grass-King's Concubine! I'll move it to evening book when I'm done with Rome's Revolution. (And Ghosts of Cannae will then return as book-on-phone.)

As for paper books, Métronome will replace L'aigle et le safran. It's a loan, after all, and I can't very well keep it forever. Then, I'll probably return to reading Darshan, by Jade Baudoin, unless I can't be fucked.

To-read list )

Addition to the list: Chroniques du Pays des Mères by Elisabeth Vonarburg, on a reccomendation from [livejournal.com profile] _profiterole_ .

dhampyresa: (Default)
Most of you probably know by now that I have a lot of feelings about Dead Romans and the dead Carthaginians who love them. The rest of you probably already have your eyes glaeing over by now, which fair enough. I have several RL friends who have a dedicated "you and your Ancient Dead People" face* for me. Doesn't mean I love them any less. (The friends or the Anceint Dead People.)

For the last couple of days I've been having trouble writing fic because I apparently feel like I should be working on my original fiction instead and having trouble writing original fiction because the novel is almost over aaaaaaaaaaah (*runs arpund with head on fire*), so of course I have been procrastinating like crazy.

Over the course of procrastinating, I came across The Dead Romans Society which is a delightful webcomic (unfortunately hosted on Tumblr, which is not the best site for hosting webcomics) about Dante going on another otherworldly roadtrip, this time with a bunch of dead Romans to show him towards Vergil.

There isn't a lot of it, but what there is of it is absolutely delightful. It manages to pack an amazing of (accurate, as far as I can tell) characterisation, humour and emotional gutpunches in a very small space. Also, the art is great and the character design is amazing.

Dead Romans Society title page


Do you know how hard it is to give people recognisable designs when they're all wearing the same thing, espceially when that thing is A FUCKING TOGA? Very.

So yeah, if you are at all interested in Dead Romans, you should totally read it.

As a closing thought, here's Catullus being a total Sappho fanboy. (Can you blame him? It's Sappho.)

Catullus and Sappho




PSA TOTALLY UNRELATED TO ROMANS AS FAR AS I KNOW: THIS SATURDAY IS FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! IT DOES NOT HAPPEN ONLY IN ENGLISH-SPEAKING COUNTRIES! You too could soon be reading free comics! Free stuff is amazing! Comics are amazing! Free comics are therefore double plus amazing! Exclamation points are also amazing!


*It is not always the same face, even on the same friend. I may talk a lot about Ancient Dead People. Ask me about that time I texted my brother about cycling in togas!
dhampyresa: (Reading kitten!)
What did you finish reading

A whole bunch of comic books in French! here they are, because I feel like talking about them:

Magnéto: Le Testament, by Greg Pak (scenario) and Carmine di Giandomenico (art): I don't know if this is areedition or just my comic store who unearthed a stock of them (because lol, Panini, lol), but either way it is super timely, given the subject matter and the fact that I spend all Friday watching the D-Day celebration with my grandma and listening to her talk to her time in the French Résistance/life in France during the war. My grandma's a badass, but I'm not here to talk about her.

Despite the fact that this comic is named after Magneto, there is zero reference to the Marvel Universe and no mention of mutants at all. In fact, there are exactly three points where you might say it's Max Eisenhardt (this comic falls on the Eisenhardt side of the Erik Lehnsherr/Max Eisenhardt as Magneto's real name debate) uses metal-controlling powers, but a) it's never stated outright that it's what's happening, b) because if it is Max certainly doesn't realise it and c) it's all explainable in other ways. The first incident is Max being super good at picking up his father's watch piece (his father is a watchmaker, which, to me at least, brings to mind Einstein's probably apocryphal quote on Hiroshima that "if [he] had known, [he] would have become a watchmaker"), which is explained by Max just being super good at picking up small watch pieces because of not having shaking hands. the second incident is Max throwing a javelin very far, but maybe he's just good at throwing javelins, and the third incident is when his whole family gets shot by Einsatzgruppen and Max survives, which could be luck, as much as waking up in a mass grave containing your whole family can be counted as being lucky.

All this to say, it's a very powerful comic about the life of Max Eisenhardt, German Jew born to a WW1 veteran father, in the 1930s and 1940s. Having said that, ou might think you know how bad this is going to get. Wrong. It gets worse. The Eisenhardt family flees Germany following Krystallnacht, to Poland. More precisely, to warsaw. When they finally manage to escape the Warsaw ghetto, the whole gets shot, yet Max manages to survive, only to be shipped off to Auschiwtz, where he's assigned to burning bodies, after having lied bout his age to stay alive. Silver lining, if you can call it that: in the Gypsy inernment camp right next door, Max finds Magda again, the girl he was in love with back in Germany before the war. I won't spoli anymore of it, but it is an excellent book and you should all read it. I know that, even though I'd read it already, re-reading it still felt like a punch in the gut.


Mauvais genre, by Chloé Cruchaudet (scenario and art): I was drawn to this by interplay between the cover and the pun in the title, which rightly lead me to believe it was going to deal with gender themes. (The pun, if anyone's curious is that "mauvais genre" in French usually means something like "bad boy"/"bad girl", but can be literally translated as "wrong gender" too.) It's about a WW1 soldier who consires with his wife to dress up as a woman and avoid going back to the frontlines, then to avoid the death penalty for desertion. This takes place for a period of over ten years, then the death penalty is waived and he goes back to living like a man, except... Except he has regrets about going back to being a man and at the same time he's becoming more and more violent and his wife and him are fighting more and more and also he's getting hallucinations (from alcohol withdrawal? I think) and then she shoots him and her trial for his murder frames the story. I liked the early parts, about gender between both World Wars, but not so much the ending. Still a good story.


Oracle, T1: la Pythie, by Olivier Peru (scenario) et Stefano Martino (art): I felt like I knew where this was going when I read the back cover and I was (sadly) right. I am getting sick of rape as a motive for women's revenge and as a way to rob women of their power (literally, in this case, because she needs to be "pure"/a virgin for her fortunetelling to work). I did not expect Apollo to be the one to do the deed and the narrative does acknowledge that it is super fucked up, but I still ragequit the book.


Funérailles, T2: Pain In Black, by Florent Maudoux (writing and art): This series is supposed to be a prequel to Freaks Squeele, by the same author, except that Freaks Squeele is set in modern day + superheroes, but this is second world fantasy. It's a good second world and the whole issue of (almost) every pregnancy being of murderous twins and the social consequences of it are (so far) fairly well done, but I have no idea how it fits in the world of Freaks Squeele, or why they get deliveries by the devil. The plot in this volume felt very interstitial, like it was building up to something other than the fight against the mountain dudes, not helped by the timeskip in the middle. (I'm getting a bit tired of the brushing aside of LGBT themes in this author's work, but that's a rant for another time, as is the one about maybe dialing it back on some of the kinks, seriously. And I haven't read Rouge yet, so.) Also, I have no idea how Séraphon is back, because he was quite clearly supposed to be dead last volume and now he's back and wants to be king, like wtf? I don't mind that he's back, because I like Séraphon (he's a doctor!), but I thought his return was poorly handled. Given that it was all-but-stated last time that he was her husband's twin, you'd think Luciane would think it was him she was seeing, not Séraphon, especially given that she saw Séraphon, what, two times, ten years apart for a total of ten minutes? So I'm not buying that. Still liked it a lot.

Les Quatre de Baker Street, T5: La Succession Moriarty, by Jean-Blaise Djian & Olivier Legrand (scenario) and David Etien (art): STILL THE BEST SHERLOCK HOLMES ADAPTATION BAR NONE. This issue deals with Holmes coming back after the Reichenbach Falls, which the kids take with varying degrees of joy/anger. Give them a break, they spent all last volume mourning him. It is super super great, like always, but I really don't want to spoil it because it is super great. (Charlie is still the best.) I really should do a promo post for this series at some point.


On the English side of things, just:

"We Have Always Fought": Essays on Fiction, Craft and Fandom, by Kameron Hurley: It was great! There were a few essays I hadn't already read, so that was cool and even the ones I had already read were a nice re-read. Hurley makes a lot of really good points.


What are you reading now


The Gospel of Loki, by Joanne Harris: Still working my way thorugh it and grinding my teeth at some things. It's becoming more and more apparent that harris and me don't agree on the characterisation of some of the Norse gods. her Loki and Odin are usually spot-on, but even here we have our differences (see my tangent on the bloodbrother bond from two weeks ago.)


What are you reading next

Almso definitely the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I'm going to need audiobooks in the near future, so let me see if I can find these ones.

In the mean time and because I have a sudden craving: does anyone have any good biography of Tomoe Gozen they would reccomend? Failing that, any good biographies?

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