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
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 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 byla_marquise_de_
), Trickster Makes This World
by Lewis Hyde (because 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.