Book Review: Who Censored Roger Rabbit?

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Imagine my surprise to find that the classic film of my childhood, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, was actually based on a book. Naturally my interest was piqued, so it was only right and proper that this book made it onto the list of 30 books that I wanted to read before reaching the age of 30, and this book now brings me to the half way point of that  list, having now read 15 out of 30 books on the list.

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The novel is set in the present day in a world where humans and toons co-exist, although to say they co-exist is pushing it, as the book shows a great deal of racial tension between toon’s and humans. The cartoons of the novel are primarily comic strip characters, as opposed to animated cartoon stars, with famous strip characters making cameos, such as Dick Tracy, Snoopy, Dagwood, Beetle Bailey, and Hägar the Horrible. The comic strips in question are produced by taking photo’s of the various cartoon characters. In this version, toon’s speak in word balloons which appear above their heads as they talk. Although some characters suppress this and speak vocally.

The story looks to solve the murder of one Roco Degreassy and also the murder of the eponymous Roger Rabbit himself, both cases being looked into by the hard nosed (slightly stereotypical) private eye Eddie Valiant, who is being aided by none other than Roger Rabbit.

Its a typical noirish detective story involving double murder, sex, pornography, blackmail, theft, booze and oddly a teakettle, but the Maltese Falcon it aint. The writing is quite good, Gary Woolfe actually manages to build a world in few words, the length of book isn’t off putting, but it is pretty silly in places, but sometimes you need that sort of thing, I should warn you though that if you are expecting a straight up novel of the film you will be disappointed the book bares very little resemblance to the film and is certainly its own beast. It was a nice distraction for a few hours and if you’re that way inclined and in need of something to do, you should give it a go.

30 Before Thirty (Comics & Graphic Novels)

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I’m going to be thirty in just over 2 years and at this moment in time I’m OK with that (how I feel about it in 10 minuets is up for debate) but one of the things that I realised is that there are a fair few things I still want to accomplish whilst the career and social goals are somewhat out of my control things like films I want to see, albums I want to listen to and books I want to read are very much in my control, especially as I have 25 months to accomplish it. Here is a list of the Comics and Graphic Novels that I would like to have read by the time I’m thirty.

Grant Morrison’s 18 Days

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Camelot 3000

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Miracle Man: A Dream Of Flying

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All Star Superman 

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Preacher: Gone To Texas

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The Crow

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Sandman Preludes and Nocturnes

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Alan Moore’s: Saga of The Swamp Thing

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Marvel 1602

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Saga: Volume 1

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 The Order: Die Mensch Machine

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The Complete Scarlet Traces 

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Button Man

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Ronin 

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Superman: Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow 

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The Infinity Gauntlet 

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Amazing Spider-man: Kravens Last Hunt

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Promethea Book 1 

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Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus 

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Multiversity 

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Son Of Superman 

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Hellblazer: Original Sins 

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The Authority: Relentless 

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Hellboy: Seed Of Destruction 

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Doctor Who: Emperor Of The Daleks

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Death: The High Cost Of Living  

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JSA The Liberty Files 

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Alice In Sunderland 

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Daredevil Yellow

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The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch

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How many of these do you think I’ll get done before July 21st 2019?

30 Before I’m Thirty (Films)

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I’m going to be thirty in just over 2 years and at this moment in time I’m OK with that (how I feel about it in 10 minuets is up for debate) but one of the things that I realised is that there are a fair few things I still want to accomplish whilst the career and social goals are somewhat out of my control things like films I want to see, albums I want to listen to and books I want to read are very much in my control, especially as I have 25 months to accomplish it. Here is a list of the films that I would like to have read by the time I’m thirty.

How Green Was My Valley 

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Gentleman’s Agreement

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From Here to Eternity

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Gone With The Wind

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Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

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West Side Story

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Lawrence of Arabia

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Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf

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Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

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Funny Girl

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Fiddler On The Roof

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All The Presidents Men

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Milk

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Kramer Vs Kramer

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Terms of Endearment 

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The Cider House Rules

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An Education

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The Wolf Of Wall Street

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Guardians of the Galaxy 2

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Moonrise Kingdom

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Saving Private Ryan

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Going In Style 

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Wall Street

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King Ralph

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Planes Trains and Automobiles

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O Brother, Where Art Thou?

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The Monuments Men

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Good Will Hunting

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Good Morning Vietnam 

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This Is Spinal Tap

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How many of these do you think I’ll get done before July 21st 2019?

Book Review: Harry Potter And The Cursed Child

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Until about a week ago I had never read any of JK Rowlings  Harry Potter books, I’d seen the films, but I had never bothered with the books. I don’t really know what spurned me on to pick up the entire series but I did, and in less than a week I had managed to read all seven novels which I thoroughly enjoyed, there is such a depth that you don’t get with the films and it really expands the whole mythos of the Boy Who Lived. So after I put down my copy of the Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, I almost immediately picked up my new copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (pausing only to refresh my drink).

Straight up I have to say it isn’t a novel its a script. Many other reviewers (especially on amazon) seem to not understand that its a script for a play not, a novel. Being a script does mean a few things however, firstly, that you lack the depth of a novel, not that the script is lacking in depth of character, but just that you could tell that were it a novel it would be a lot longer, which brings me to the second point, that I managed to get through the thing in about three hours, again this is down to it being a script, not a novel.

So the story starts nineteen years after the battle of Hogwarts and the death of He Who Must Not Be Named, and focuses on the unlikely duo of Harry Potters second son Albus and his best friend, Draco Malfoy’s son, Scorpius. Both kids are misfits who are both haunted by the legacies of their fathers, and both are content to just sit back and coast through school with their heads down. For Albus Hogwarts is not the magical place that feels like home that it was for his father, its a cold and unforgiving environment where his actions will always be judged on his fathers.

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Its really a story about children trying to gain the love of their fathers and that pretty much is what sets this whole story into motion, is that Albus and Scorpius are trying to pay for the sins of their fathers. Its an interesting story about why the past should really be laid to rest, and shows that those that don’t learn from history are doomed to relive it over and over again.

The writing is a little hard to gauge, mainly because its a screenplay, but there are parts where it feels like its bad fan fiction rather than official canon, especially as it seems that everybody in Harry Potter world is married to the person they were dating in high school, (a horrific thought if applied to the real world), but other parts do feel as though J.K Rowling had a hand in them, for instance the main positions of power (Minister of Magic and Hogwarts Head) being filled by female characters.

Whilst it isn’t a patch on the original novels it is an enjoyable enough read and a nice revisitation  to the world of Hogwarts and the Ministry Of Magic, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for a film adaptation any time soon, but if you do have a hour of three to kill why not give it ago, if only to see how some of your favourite characters age.

The Lazy Ramblings Of A Lazy Guy (On Being In Love)

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I was recently introduced to the Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow by Jerome K Jerome. The book consists of 14 essays on 14 topics

  1. ON BEING IDLE.
  2. ON BEING IN LOVE.
  3. ON BEING IN THE BLUES.
  4. ON BEING HARD UP.
  5. ON VANITY AND VANITIES.
  6. ON GETTING ON IN THE WORLD.
  7. ON THE WEATHER.
  8. ON CATS AND DOGS.
  9. ON BEING SHY.
  10. ON BABIES.
  11. ON EATING AND DRINKING.
  12. ON FURNISHED APARTMENTS.
  13. ON DRESS AND DEPORTMENT.
  14. ON MEMORY.

Jerome K Jerome is pretty much me down to a tee. He’s lazy and just writes whatever comes to mind. He doesn’t care who he offends, and I often felt that he may have been somewhat high when he picked up the pen. But Mr Jerome has inspired me, so I am going to be writing a series of posts on the topics that Mr Jerome turned his hand at. (I know I’m ripping the guy off, but quite frankly I don’t care)

On Being In Love 

Have you ever seen someone and known that they would be a terrible distraction to your life. That was how I would describe it, that feeling of knowing that this person is going to really change your life. That knowledge that this is going to be massively inconvenient.

That’s how it all begins then you slip into it, the early days are all wine and dinner and flowers and dancing, but then comes the big pants and netflix, the cups of tea, the farting and the lack of make up, if you can get through that, that is true love. The enduring real world version of the thing.

Foreigner wanted to know what love is, well its two people who have decided to just give up and settle with each other because they find the other person somewhat less detestable than the rest of humanity, that my friends is love.

This is the second in series of posts ripping off the work of Mr Jerome K Jerome and his seminal piece The Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Man.

 

The Lazy Ramblings of A Lazy Guy (On Being Idle)

 

The Man Down My Local (1).pngI was recently introduced to the Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Fellow by Jerome K Jerome. The book consists of 14 essays on 14 topics

  1. ON BEING IDLE.
  2. ON BEING IN LOVE.
  3. ON BEING IN THE BLUES.
  4. ON BEING HARD UP.
  5. ON VANITY AND VANITIES.
  6. ON GETTING ON IN THE WORLD.
  7. ON THE WEATHER.
  8. ON CATS AND DOGS.
  9. ON BEING SHY.
  10. ON BABIES.
  11. ON EATING AND DRINKING.
  12. ON FURNISHED APARTMENTS.
  13. ON DRESS AND DEPORTMENT.
  14. ON MEMORY.

Jerome K Jerome is pretty much me down to a tee. He’s lazy and just writes whatever comes to mind. He doesn’t care who he offends, and I often felt that he may have been somewhat high when he picked up the pen. But Mr Jerome has inspired me, so I am going to be writing a series of posts on the topics that Mr Jerome turned his hand at. (I know I’m ripping the guy off, but quite frankly I don’t care)

On Being Idle

Laziness is both a blessing and a curse, there is nothing more satisfying than spending a day lazing about on the sofa, especially when you know that there are plenty of more important things that you could be doing, and therein lies the curse. Having to put aside that bliss, can prove difficult and indeed a real hardship and can even lead to outright resentment. Or at least this is how I feel. I’ve now reached the point where I actually hate to have to do things. When people interrupt my doing nothing I really do get a little bit angry about the whole thing.

Since the advent of the internet the whole staying in thing really has taken off, with the world of online streaming services and takeaway foods that you don’t even have to speak to people to get, the world of insular laziness has actually become more and more of a easy thing to achieve.

Laziness and indeed idleness itself is a state of mind, its where you sacrifice any sort of social life just to achieve the pleasure that comes from doing nothing. It’s hard to get into the head space required to want to do nothing but watch Game of Thrones in your pants while eating cereal straight from the box.

There are some people who couldn’t be lazy if their lives depended on it. They just lack that lack of drive. They have too much motivation, too much determination to just get things done. The world would stop without those people, without them we wouldn’t have anything. But thanks to those people the rest of us, those lazy fellows can enjoy the things those great enablers have given us. Thanks to them we can vegetate until we fuse to with our sofas, until bed sores set in and until we have to wash ourselves with rags on sticks.

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The world takes a dim view of laziness, but to those who say this is say to you…meh I’ll tell you later.

 

This is the first in series of posts ripping off the work of Mr Jerome K Jerome and his seminal piece The Idle Thoughts Of An Idle Man. 

Who Would Win In A Fight? A Dragon Or A Giant Squid?

The dragon circled about lazily above the sapphire blue ocean beating its wings in a slow but steady motion keeping it aloft above the waters of the Pacific. Dragons know no concept of boredom, knowing only hunger and rage, but this particular dragon was at best restless and desirous of some carnage to whet his appetite.

The squid was not in its natural environment, the squid was too high up, too close to the surface, but hunting had been slim, and a shoal of silver finned fish had taunted her from the oceanic depths, enticing her with their scent, but had scattered and separated leaving her with no prey, growing hunger and unfathomable annoyance.

The dragon glanced down at the crisp, clear water and at first noticed nothing, then casting a second glance became aware of a great black shape beneath the ocean waves. Just a black shadow maybe thirty feet long and moving fast. Sensing a chance for some sport the dragon moved closer, changing his course and flapping his wings furiously the dragon came about and hovered momentarily above the serene waves of the sea peering in to the murky depths of those vast waters. The shape had stopped moving, both black blur and dragon were stationary, with the dragon floating mere feet from the surface.

The squid was aware it was being watched, it could feel the heat of the sun above, even underwater the suns presence could be felt this close to the surface, but what was even more noticeable was its absence. She could feel the shadow above watching, waiting, judging and in that moment she knew, knew that it was time to strike or time to run. She lashed out with two tentacles, wildly thrashing about above the surface for something to latch on to. At first the tentacles found no purchase on the dragons scaled hide, but the barbed sucker rings of her tentacles finally caught home and with heave of herculean might she pulled the dragon under, into the ocean, into her domain.

The Dragon had been taken unaware, it thrashed and clawed at the giant squid, but to no avail, no matter what the dragon did the creature was pulling it down to a watery death, its talons were making every effort and were tearing chunks of squid flesh from the beast, but its tentacles were still latched firm between its scales.

The dragon knew that it was now or never, it exhaled its last breath. Above water the flame from such a deep breath would have melted stone, but here in Posiedons realm it had a different effect. The squid could feel the water heating around her, could feel every molecule of her being heating beyond reckoning to the point where her whole body felt as though it would wash away with the tide, she had to let go, had to get away, but she was still attached to the great winged monstrosity, the dragon sensing this flapped its wings and rose severing the squids tentacles at the root. Breaking through the surface of ocean the dragon flew upwards, spread its wings and roared, with wings spread wide enough to eclipse the sun the dragon looked down to where the squid was writhing in its own agony, and left without glancing backwards.

 

NB: This post is the result of a conversation I actually had with Jessica Powell, Find her madness over at babiafi.co.uk