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Watcha Readin'? Page (19)

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topic icon Author Topic: Watcha Readin'?  (Read 55203 times)

Drusilla lives!

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Re: Watcha Readin'?
« Reply #450 on: March 06, 2016, 11:59:06 PM »

Finished off Wood's "Cannon" after many months of picking it up, reading a few pages, and then setting it aside.   A truly sad, depressing end to one of my favorite comic book artists of all time.  :(

I spent most of the time trying to guess which artist was helping him out with the penciling and inking.  There's even one or two pages where I think Romita Sr. might have helped.  Weird.
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Morgus

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Re: Watcha Readin'?
« Reply #451 on: March 16, 2016, 08:49:09 AM »

Man, do I know what you mean...I had a shot years ago to buy the whole thing at a really HUGE price, and was pretty excited. A friend lent me his copy to read, to find out if I liked it first before sinking in the money...I'm glad I did...it was not the kind of collection you would read for pleasure, or maybe even more then once. So very sad. I kept thinking back to that comment he made about how at the end he wished he had lost his hands rather then go through what he had...I wished he could have gotten help. Retired happy. But none of it was to be...
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Drusilla lives!

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Re: Watcha Readin'?
« Reply #452 on: March 18, 2016, 12:43:09 AM »

To be honest, I don't know what was more disturbing... the work itself... or the letter Wood wrote to some publisher named Koch (which was reprinted with the collection). 

As far as being a "last work" goes, I suppose this, the first few issues of Witzend, his "Misfits" and his early "Sally Forth" stuff is better considered as that then what came later, in his darkest days... that stuff IS truly horrible and should respectfully be forgotten in my opinion.   

Wood's end is one reason why I like the idea of there being a Hero's Initiative organization nowadays.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2016, 12:56:46 AM by Drusilla lives! »
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Captain Audio

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Re: Watcha Readin'?
« Reply #453 on: March 30, 2016, 01:30:15 AM »

I'm re-reading "the Chinatown Death Cloud Peril" by Paul Malmont.
This is a really cool book for anyone interested in the old pulps. The main characters are the pulp fiction authors including the authors of the Shadow and Doc Savage and much of the story is told from the perspective of a very young Ron L Hubbard as the pulp fiction writers find themselves drawn into a deadly mystery beginning with the untimely death and even more untimely resurrection of H P Lovecraft.

There's a lot of interesting history of publishers of the pulps as well as the writers and cover artists.
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crashryan

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Re: Watcha Readin'?
« Reply #454 on: July 01, 2016, 04:45:54 AM »

I've seen the Thin Man movies several times but I'd never read Dashiell Hammett's original novel. So I did. I enjoyed it immensely. The first film is pretty faithful to the book. However I was struck by a couple of differences between the book and the movie versions of Nick Charles.

While Nick and Nora do their sleuthing among the idle rich, as in the movies, Nick himself is a retired man of the blue-collar streets. In fact, he talks with exactly the tired, impatient cadence of Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon. The book came out years before Bogart hit it big (1933), but it's Bogey who speaks the dialogue. Nick describes how he left California and the detective game behind once he married into Nora's money. Obviously his detective days were spent in the tough underworld of Sam Spade, and he's happy to be shut of it. But he isn't as comfortable in the upper class world as William Powell's Nick is.

Nora is much closer to Myrna Loy than Nick is to William Powell. She seems a little ditzy, but it's an act. Nora is impulsive, nosy, and strong-willed and she's able to talk Nick into doing things he'd rather not. At the same time she's devoted to him. In a couple of scenes she nearly turns into a mother figure.

These are the scenes which make it clear that Nick is a hard-core alcoholic. Nick wakes with a hangover, perks up with a drink, drinks through the day and goes to bed with a nightcap. He's more interested in wheedling Nora into fixing him a cocktail than he is in describing the results of his investigation. It's not bleak, dark alcoholism; but neither is it the jokey, sparkling alcoholism of the films.

In fact the novel has very little of the movies' lighthearted Nick-and-Nora repartee. There are moments of wit and a number of good lines, but the story is played pretty straight. Hammett derives most of his fun from the odd characters, both upper- and lower-caste, who provide clues and act as suspects.

The mystery is good. I don't think I'd have figured it out, but of course having seen the movie I already knew the ending. The pacing is fast and the dialogue is good. The novel is well worth reading if you haven't.
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crashryan

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Re: Watcha Readin'?
« Reply #455 on: July 16, 2016, 03:41:21 AM »

I had my second cataract surgery and couldn't read for a week. I turned to my old friend, the Librivox collection. Librivox.org is a library of public domain audiobooks recorded by volunteers. Its hundreds of titles range from classics to cyclopedias, from s-f pulps to 18th-century romances. The readings vary in quality, but most are quite listenable (though it is very strange to hear a Tom Corbett book dramatized by an all-English cast).

Since all Librivox books are solidly in the public domain, 99% of them are very old. Few were published after 1920. That means many novels are overwritten and tedious. It was a rare treat to discover the 1905 novel A Yellow Journalist by Miriam Michelson. It's the first-person story of an ambitious woman who works her way up from cub reporter to city editor at a sensationalist San Francisco newspaper. The book is written in a fast-moving, breezy style that seems much more modern than other novels of the period.

Michelson was herself a reporter, and her descriptions of behind-the-scene newspapering have an authentic ring. We watch spunky Rhoda Massey snoop, bluff, cajole, and fib her way to the Big Scoop. It's reminiscent of The Front Page without that play's cynicism. Which doesn't mean Rhoda is altogether ethical. Rhoda's personality is refreshingly three-dimensional. Her impulse to get an exclusive at any cost frequently bumps into her conscience and she doesn't always make the noblest choice.

It's funny how the story seems almost contemporary--then you realize the cabs are horse-drawn and electricity is still competing with gaslight. Michelson addresses some of the problems of the day like corrupt trusts and workplace sexism. She doesn't preach, though. Rhoda simply charges forward and shows 'em a thing or two. Miriam Michelson obviously loved San Francisco. She writes several evocative descriptions of The City. It's sad to think that a couple of years later her City was wiped out by the big earthquake.

This is a popular novel and it isn't perfect. All the seemingly unrelated characters and incidents turn out to be interconnected, which is dramatically satisfying but not very believable. Rhoda's romance with a rival columnist reads like an afterthought. I guess back then you needed a romance to sell copies. But even in romance Rhoda remains Rhoda. She loves reporting as much as (more than, really) she loves Ted and basically dumps him when things start popping. By the time Ted reappears for the closing clinch, Rhoda has wrapped everything up all by herself.

I recommend A Yellow Journalist for a fun change of pace. It's read by Lee Ann Howlett and can be found here:

https://librivox.org/a-yellow-journalist-by-miriam-michelson/
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narfstar

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Re: Watcha Readin'?
« Reply #456 on: July 17, 2016, 12:49:27 PM »

sounds cool
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profh0011

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Re: Watcha Readin'?
« Reply #457 on: October 06, 2016, 03:16:03 PM »

I've been re-reading some of my favorite comics from 20 years ago-- Steve Rude, Scott McCloud, currently Mike Allred. Every so often, somebody mentions "Lee & Kirby", and I usually tense up. But I have to realize... back then (the 90s), I didn't know the full truth, either. It was a long, slow time coming.

I don't know if anybody here's familiar with Mike Allred's work. It looks a lot like "Kirby & STONE". The thing is, what really sets his work apart, to a large degree, is the writing. The stuff he crams into his stories, the way they're structured, the dialogue... all of it, I think, could be described as "UNIQUE".

I have not read ONE single word criticising his dialogue. NOT ONE.

Believe me... it's STRANGER than Kirby's.

Which got me once again PISSED OFF thinking about all the brainwashed, BRAIN-DEAD "MMMS" types who continue to INSIST that "Kirby couldn't write", or "Kirby couldn't write dialogue", or "Kirby's dialogue was TERRIBLE!!!!"

Even people who F***ING ought to know better, like Steve Thompson (I kicked him off my FB list because he and one of his pals KEPT bad-mouthing Kirby's dialogue on his page, then INSISTED "this isn't the place to argue that" when I offered an opposing opinion).

This morning I ran across a mention of Erik Larsen on one of the letters pages of "THE ATOMICS". Oh geez. Like I need that.

I still remember when Larsen ATTACKED me on Christmas morning. CHRISTMAS MORNING!!!!! I haven't seen him since. I wonder why that is? No I don't.

"BLOCK".
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josemas

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Re: Watcha Readin'?
« Reply #458 on: February 04, 2017, 06:44:35 PM »

Books read this past month-

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo- by Amy Schumer   I must confess that the only thing I knew Schumer from was her film Trainwreck and just picked up this book on a whim at the local library.  It's made me curious enough to check out more of her work.

MacArthur's War- by Bevin ALexander  Gives the basics on MacArthur running afoul of President Truman during the Korean war.

Mexicana: Vintage Mexican Graphics- edited by Jim Heimann  Picture book features an interesting assortment of artistic images of popular culture (almost all seem to be from the twentieth century prior to 1960) from advertisements for various products, travel brochures, movie promotions, bull fights and more.

Elvis in Hollywood- by Steve Pond  Mostly a picture book on Elvis's first film.

End of Watch- by Stephen King   The conclusion of the Bill Hodges trilogy.   While the first one (the best of the three, IMHO) was pretty much a straight thriller, King has moved to more familiar territory with this one which features elements of telekinesis and mind control.

Happy Birthday to You!- by Dr. Seuss   I started working my way through Seuss's books last year in a, more or less, chronological order.  This one I found rather disappointing but then it did come on the tails of two of his most popular books (The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and The Cat in the Hat) so it had a hard act to follow

Chasing Darkness-  Robert Crais   Elvis Cole and Joe Pike.  Good stuff.

Pop Twenty Vol 1- Edited by Bob Birchard  An assortment of pieces on film, television and music of the 20th century. Mostly concentrates on the pre 1970 years.  Kept my interest.

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Captain Audio

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Re: Watcha Readin'?
« Reply #459 on: February 09, 2017, 07:55:19 PM »


 It was a rare treat to discover the 1905 novel A Yellow Journalist by Miriam Michelson. It's the first-person story of an ambitious woman who works her way up from cub reporter to city editor at a sensationalist San Francisco newspaper. The book is written in a fast-moving, breezy style that seems much more modern than other novels of the period.

Michelson was herself a reporter, and her descriptions of behind-the-scene newspapering have an authentic ring. We watch spunky Rhoda Massey snoop, bluff, cajole, and fib her way to the Big Scoop. It's reminiscent of The Front Page without that play's cynicism. Which doesn't mean Rhoda is altogether ethical. Rhoda's personality is refreshingly three-dimensional. Her impulse to get an exclusive at any cost frequently bumps into her conscience and she doesn't always make the noblest choice.



When you wrote of this it sparked the memory of a book I was given for Christmas years ago but set aside and forgot. I was lucky to find it very quickly the first place I looked.

The title is "I Cover the Waterfront" by Max Miller. First published in 1932 its tells of Miller's first six years as a reporter of the goings on in the notorious San Diego waterfront district of his day.

My sister who was a crime reporter for a major newspaper for many years gave me this book.
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bowers

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Re: Watcha Readin'?
« Reply #460 on: April 25, 2017, 06:51:02 PM »

 Had a very long weekend so I've been catching up on my Brit comics. A good friend found me another picture library comic, and I enjoyed it so much I had to read several issues I had downloaded but not yet read. Time well spent. Cheers, Bowers
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narfstar

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Re: Watcha Readin'?
« Reply #461 on: April 27, 2017, 01:52:27 AM »

I finished Chuck Dixon's second Hard Times book and immediately bought the third. I don't like time travel where the past/present/future can be changed. He does in a reasonable way. I have started Chris Nigro's Dargolla
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