David Hellman and Tevis Thompson – Second Quest

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20th May 2015

This comic was a kickstarter project. I don’t recall why I missed out on it. When the book was released earlier this month, it was all over my twitter stream. Hence I ordered it right away.

“Second quest” is a very heart-warming story about being different, believing in yourself and questioning the “as-is”, all set in a fantasy world.

The drawings remind me a bit of Hope Larson, a very nice style.

I am glad I finally caught up.

Tim Seeley, Mike Norton – Revival Deluxe Collection Volume 2

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14th – 18th May 2015

Only one word on Revival Deluxe Two: “Wow”.

The story keeps on to amaze and haunt me. This is perfect suspense. I read the book in almost one sitting. It is a real page turner. I am very keen to see where it will finally go. I only hope, the authors keep to surprise the reader and not choose an obvious ending.

Deluxe Edition Two contains single issues #12-23 and one Lying cat!

Hardy Kettlitz – Die Hugo Awards 1953 – 1984

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8 – 10 Mai 2015

Hardy Kettlitz hat ein wunderbares Buch über die ersten Jahre der Hugo Awards von 1953 bis 1984 geschrieben.

Er beschreibt für jedes Jahr die Gewinner in den einzelnen Kategorien in einer kurzen Zusammenfassung. Weiterhin nennt er die anderen Nominierungen. Das schafft sehr einfach einen Überblick. Dies ist ein Buch zum Nachschauen und Schmökern.

Für mich habe ich neu entdeckt: “Flowers for Algernon” von Daneil Keyes aus dem Jahr 1960, sowie endlich mal Isaac Assimovs Foundation Triologie (Best All-Time Series, 1966) zu lesen.

Ich hoffe sehr, daß Hardy Kettlitz weitermacht und ebenfalls die Jahre 1985 bis heute aufbereitet.

Alan Moore, Gene Ha, Zandor Cannon – Top 10

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25th April – 5th May 2015

Alan Moore’s Top 10 was mentioned in one Incomparable Episode way back when. I became interested,. However, the book was long out of print and used it was just not affordable. In April, the book was finally re-issued. I had it pre-ordered for months.

Top 10 plays in a parallel universe where everyone has super powers. It tells the story of the 10th police district. They mainly investigate a serial killer among all the other usual daily crimes. It’s a good crime story with twists and a good resolution. It is also a typical Alan Moore story with some more drastic elements.
What I really liked is that the book is portraying the main characters in great depth. It is not about their super powers, but about their life and their feelings.

It’s a good read, I am very happy it is finally available.

Dennis DeSantis – Making Music

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12th April – 4th May 2015

Making Music is a creative guide. It is structured in three chapters on how to start, progress and finish a piece of music. Dennis raises 74 musical problems and suggests solutions. Each is short and concise. Rather than giving you full-fledged answers, the proposals are more inspirational, directing the reader towards finding a way forward. You can read each isolated, in no particular order. Some refer back to others.

The book is mainly written for electronic producers and not really for not classically educated readers. The approach the book has is “how does it sound?” instead of “what is the theory behind?”. This helps especially for ambient and minimal compositions which do not necessarily follow normal structures or standard scales.

There is a minor bit of musical theory only.
It is the ideal book to browse through once and then come back to whenever you need inspiration on how to solve a problem.

In addition to the content, the layout is beautiful. Highly recommended.

Billy Idol – Dancing with myself

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23rd April – 3rd May 2015

I have always been a fan of Billy Idol, although his main success was before my time. I was just seriously getting into music when his cyberpunk album came out. I loved it and wanted more, leaving me sad that he did not release anything for more than a decade after that. Also, I really like his early stuff. You can argue that it is maybe “commercial”, but who cares. It’s good music. But I did not really know much about him as a person.

His auto-biography closes that gap. Billy writes mainly about his early period from his time in Generation X up to the Whiplash Smile album. He is honest and open, not holding back on his drug addiction, endless parties and increasingly aggressive behavior, caused by substance abuse. But he is also very proud on what he accomplished; emphasizing that he always was a punk in his heart – and sticking to it.

Unfortunately he says only little about the cyberpunk album. It is still my favourite, and I would have liked to learn more. He claims the album was before its time and considers it pretty much a failure. Also, he says little about what he did afterwards and why he did not release another album for a decade. Of course, I fully understand that he wants to keep this private; it would just have been interesting.

Billy speaks in his own voice and has an interesting story to tell. It is a good book, well written and honest.

Denis Bajram, Valérie Mangin, Jean-Michel Ponzio – Death Experience: Band 1. Die Barke des Ra

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1 Mai 2015

Der Sohn von Katlyn Fork liegt seit zehn Jahren im Koma. Sie ist die superreiche Vorsitzende des Technologie Konzern Fork Industries und beschließt das Experiment Ra. Ihr Sohn soll für wenige Minuten getötet und dann re-animiert werden. Mit einem selbstgebauten Schiff, der Horus Ra, folgt sie ihm mit ausgewählter Mannschaft an den Rand des Jenseits und darüber hinaus.

Death Experience ist Band Eins einer vielversprechenden neuen Serie, irgendwo zwischen Mystery und Science Fiction. Er hat mich an Flatliners erinnert. Ich bin gespannt, wie es weitergeht.

Harald Lieske und Björn Hammel – TearTalesTrust

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24 April 2015

TearTalesTrust wurde in der letzen Phantastisch Ausgabe erwähnt. Der Comic sei nach langer Zeit fertig. Die Webseite ist leider down. Es gibt noch eine ältere Seite, die nicht mehr richtig funktioniert. Hm. Whatever, ich habe den Comic dann einfach mal gekauft.

Die Geschichte ist in schwarzweißer Tusche und sehr spärlich illustriert. Sie handelt von einem Volk, welches nur aus Kindern besteht. Diese wachsen auf und sobald sie volljährig sind gehen sie in eine große Höhle. Dort paaren sie sich und stürzen sich dann in einen Abgrund. Die Kinder werden geboren, wachsen auf und es entsteht ein ewiger Kreislauf. Dieser wird in dem Moment unterbrochen, in dem eines der Wesen beginnt, seine Geschichte aufzuzeichnen. Dann entsteht so etwas wie unsere Welt. Bis eines Tages ein Verkünder erscheint. Ab der Stelle wird klar – es geht wieder in den Abgrund.

Obwohl es eine seltsame Geschichte ist, fand ich sie jedoch gut erzählt. Die Spärlichkeit der Illustration paßt zu ihrer Botschaft.

Stan Sakai – Usagi Yojimbo Saga Volume 2

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25th March – 24th April 2015

I still think it is so great that Usagi Yojimbo is now published in volumes. This is really a great and easy way to explore the series.

Volume number two just came out. It is even a hunch better than the already great Volume one. I think the stories gain in depth. For example, this volume contains a short piece on sword making.

Volume two contains single issues #7- #30 of the Dark Horse series.

I can’t wait for Volume three, out in June.

Emily St. John Mandel – Station Eleven

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14th – 22nd April 2015

Station Eleven is a novel about the end of the world. The Georgia Flu breaks out and kills 99,9% of Earth’s population in a week.

The story is told from the point of view of different characters during and directly after the collapse, as well as twenty years later.

“Station Eleven” is a slow and very emotional story focusing on the characters. Compared to “The Road”, it is less haunting. Not too many bad things happen in the aftermath.

I really liked that this book is cleverly constructed around the main character Arthur Leander. He is an aged actor we see playing King Lear directly when the Flu breaks out. Some of the people there in the theater, who just watched him and one of the actresses re-appear twenty years later. In itself they have no connection with one another other than Arthur. Sometimes by working with him, knowing him as a friend or spouse or by just seeing him. Station Eleven is a comic drawn by one of Arthur’s wives. Through sheer luck a few copies of the comic survive the collapse.

I very much enjoyed these connections and how they all fit nicely together. It is somehow more about the main characters being thrown in a desperate world, and then finding that all has a purpose, instead of about the end of the world. In a very strange way, the book reminded me of the way Max Frisch’s Homo Faber is constructed.

Surprisingly for an end of the world novel, the book might have a good end? It is not fully clear, but the story closes with that there is hope.