Showing posts with label absurdist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label absurdist. Show all posts

Friday, May 18, 2018

Black Panther Doomwar by Jonathan Maberry

Rating: WARTY!

Drawn and colored by an assortment of evidently uninspired and certainly unimaginative artists, this was several volumes in one compendium and I wasn't impressed. I picked it up at the library because I'd loved the Black Panther movie and the wealth of strong female characters. When I saw that this book was about Shuri - the Black Panther's kid sister, who was now filling the role of the Panther after her brother had been injured, I thought it would be well-worth reading, but written and drawn by largely, if perhaps not exclusively male writers and artists, it turned out to be yet another disturbing and lackluster venture into boring objectification of female super heroes.

The villain is Doctor Doom. How utterly tedious! Can they not find a new villain? If not, then could they not at least find a villain from Black Panther's own history to resurrect? One of the biggest problems with comic books and a good reason why we see them tailing off is the total inability of their creators to bring something truly new to the table. They keep resurrecting - often literally - vanquished villains from ancient history, and it would be laughable were it not so tiresome.

Worse than this (and don't even get me started on the kitchen sink cameos from other 'heroes' of the Marvel stable), Shuri's form-fitting black costume makes her - a black woman - look like she's naked, and her unnatural postures in far too many frames seemed drawn by adolescent boys for no other purpose than to titillate rather than inform or impress.

It is truly and honestly tiresome to see this kind of unhip-dysplasic and scoliosis-ridden posing from female characters affecting stances that would be downright painful to strike were a real person to attempt them, with hips and asses thrust out unnaturally, and deliberately provocatively. When we see nothing remotely like those poses from the male super heroes, you know this is pure objectification. It's outright genderist and it's to be shunned and boycotted in my opinion. I dis-recommend this entire series.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Not Quite So Stories by David S Atkinson

Rating: WORTHY!

"Broderick always did that was well." Maybe "as well?" (p4)

I'm not quite sure why this author named his set of twenty-three short stories the way he did. They have no kind of relationship to the Rudyard Kipling stories which I reviewed favorably back in December 2014, but they were different and unusual, and made no attempt at being 'literary' (trust me, that's a compliment from someone like me who gets hives when in proximity to 'literary' stories!).

I'm not a fan of collections of short stories even though I have written one myself, and the author of these seems very fond of simply ending the stories without offering any sort of a dénouement. I'm definitely in favor of less is best, but some of these seemed abrupt even by my standards! However, overall, I recommend this one as a worthy read. I'm not about to review each and every one individually, but the list below consists of all of them with a one line smart-ass comment from me.

G- Men
In which the government manages to find a way to spoil the enjoyment even of skydiving. You know what officialdom is like and it’s not like fun.

Cents Of Wonder Rhymes With Orange
In which orange is the new track-star. It either has a mind of its own - or somebody juiced it up.

Domestic Ties
If they're going to dragoon private buildings into helping out the overcrowded penal system, wouldn’t bars be better than homes, Sherlock?

Home Improvement
In which a man's home leaves him in the lurch and goes off looking for a new partner. If I had a haus for the number of times I've seen this happen, well, I'd be home & drei.

A Brief Account Of The Great Toilet Paper War Of 2012
In which the domestic bliss of ablutions is obliterated in and all-out escalating war over toilet paper and toilet seats.

The Bricklayer’s Ambiguous Morality
In which Larry is a brick, Derek is dead on his feet, and no one understands the gravity of the situation.

Changes For The Château
The Castle of Hope doesn't really offer quite the economy you might have expected on the room. Unless you're American....

Form Over Substance ≈ Eggs Over Easy
When a clown won’t leave you a loan?

Last Known Sighting Of The HMS Thousand Thread Count Sheets
Lamar is rather disturbed to discover that his beautiful hardwood floor isn't all it’s washed up to be.

Monkey! Monkey! Monkey! Monkey! Monkey!
This is what happens when somebody monkeys with a car engine.

The Elusive Qualities Of Advanced Office Equipment
Rocking bureaucracy.

Happy Trails
Six-pack leads to six-shooter?

The Boys Of Volunteer Fire Two-Twenty-Two-Point-Five (And A Half)
This was the first really dumb story, and it annoyed rather than entertained me.

The Des Moines Kabuki Dinner Theatre
Jamón para arriba a la Castellan

Turndown Service
Grave expectations.

Dreams Of Dead Grandpa
I wonder if this title ought to have been assigned to the previous story? At any rate, I only skimmed this one because it was boring.

The Onion She Carried
Some people's lives aren’t as concentric as an onion - they have only one layer and it has only one side.

Context Driven
I think this would have been more driven had it been a time travel story!

60% Rayon And 40% Evil
Bear-Faced Liar?

An Endless Series Of Meaningless Miracles
The reach of a preacher.

The Unknowable Agenda Of Ursines
And maybe this should have been the title of a previous story, too, or would that be gambling too much?

The Headshaking Disappointment Of The Misguidedly Well- Intentioned
How to get a drug user drug out of an elevator?

Up, Up, And No Way
Overflown with weirdness.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Zombie Versus Fairy Featuring Albinos by James Marshall

Rating: WORTHY!

The world of zombies is real, but we know nothing of it because the zombies have an alliance with the supernatural people, such as fairies and centaurs, who clean up after the zombies and keep them hidden from the humans. In return, the zombies agree not to stage any rampages, and to keep their carnal pleasures down to a reasonable amount. This bites, but they now must focus their lack of attention only on people who genuinely want to embrace the zombie death-style. No problem there.

Buck Burger, however, is a depressed zombie. He hates the wife-style, especially when she catches him cleaning up. She’s disgusted by this and nags him to be all he can zombie. It’s a great life in the harmful. She wants to go to counselling with him just as all her friends are doing. Buck gets a prescription from his zombie doctor for his condition, and has it filled by the fairy pharmacist, whom he befriends. Though he’s winging it more than she is, he’s in awe of her élan vital, her perfection and cleanliness, and the fact that she can feel through her skin. Little does he know that the albinos, who control 90% of your average zombie’s brain and who, in favoring ordered chaos over zombie mayhem, have a far-reaching plan. Buck is going to be an integral part of it. He’s the kind of zombie who has no balls, but grew some (this pun is dedicated to Aimee, purger of puns by appointment to her major jesting Queen).

Despite the fact that I fell in love with the title, I wasn’t sure I would like this when I first began reading it. There is a previous volume to this, set in the same world, but not necessarily featuring all the same characters, and a similar sequel. I am interested in reading both of them now. I had not read the first volume, however (never having heard of it), and did not need to have done so in order to enjoy this, but this particular volume got its teeth into me and would not let go. The writing is really good – if you’re willing to ignore the fact that the author is yet another who employs staunch when he means stanch. Apart from that, his writing style in some ways reminds me of Jasper Fforde, so if you like the latter and also like zombies, especially humorous ones, then there’s a good chance you’ll like this.

The novel flagged a bit in the middle but came back strongly and kept my interest. Overall I rate it a worthy read.