Monday, 9 October 2017

Writer's Ask Meme

1: What are you currently working on? At this current moment, I'm working on a couple of things. Fan-fiction, mostly, because my brain will not sit still but there's a few other things. Some short, some long, some quickly planned out, some the world-building will never be done. So, yeah. There's a list.

2: Summarize your current project. The one with an actual deadline can be summarized as Shakespeare characters with an LGBTQAI+ turn. I really need to do more for that, actually... Oh, there's also a fan-fiction that is Good Omens crossed over with Lucifer.

3: Summarize your current project poorly. See above. For the second one... Dysfunctional family attempts to be functional.

4: Describe your favorite character or characters. My favourite character to write at the moment would be an egotistical jerk ass who has a lot of one-liners and quips and tries so very hard to avoid the reality of his issues.

5: Post a line from your current project without any context. "The great rebel had a son, who rebelled. What a surprise!"

6: How do you get through writers block? I tend to go off and start something else or just go watch something o see if it will inspire anymore writing. Block can be a hard thing to work through, and I do have a lot of long periods of time where I just can't seem to get anything out. It's .. hard.

7: Would you want to live in the world of your current work? Not really? I enjoy having hot running water and electricity and more rights.

8: Briefly discuss your outlining process, if you outline. I ... don't think I have EVER done this. I probably should do it, but I do not.

9: What is the aesthetic of your current project. Elizabethan era fashions.

10: What song sums up your current work the best? Um... I don't actually know. Though I have listened to the Tennant and Tate Sigh No More a lot lately...

Friday, 6 October 2017

Pumpkins Scream in the Dead of Night [Halloween-Themed Question Meme]

Bat: If you could transform into any kind of animal, what animal would you be? Okay, so there's actually a few answers to this. My first choice will always be dragon - flight, flames, super thick hide impervious to most damage, what's not to love - but I guess I'd also like to be a wolf or a bat. I've always liked wolves, and bats are just kinda awesome. So... yeah.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Review: Stranger Than Fanfiction

Stranger Than Fanfiction Stranger Than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stranger Than Fanfiction was a surprisingly fast read for me. I had never read one of Chris Colfer's books before - though I am very tempted to check out the Land of Stories series - and the summary for this one interested me. Colfer is a good writer, and it was easy to become invested in the story - simple as the basic plot is - within a few pages.

Cash Carter is one of the stars of a very popular TV show. When a group of fans invite him to go on a cross-country trip with him, he accepts. That is the basic plot but believe me when I say the way Colfer takes it makes it feel like you've got on a trip yourself. The characters are all very human, with hopes and dreams and foibles that make them stand out in the crowd. My personal favourite is actually Cash, if only because he pushes himself to such extremes that it's hard to look away.

And that twist... While it was something that I had sort of guessed, it was still a kick in the gut.

I can't really say much in this review because the more I say, the more it would spoil the story. Just go and read this. A great contemporary piece. Well worth the getting.

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Monday, 18 September 2017

Review: Anne & Gilbert

Anne & Gilbert Anne & Gilbert by Jeff Hochhauser
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Anne of Green Gables is one of those champions of childhood, and yet ironically some of the more interesting parts of her life happen after her childhood is past. Anne & Gilbert is a musical that runs each summer in Prince Edward Island, and is set during the second and third novels of the Anne series, with act 1 being the second, and act 2 being the third. Having heard the music - or some of it - I became intrigued as to how the story would play out, and sought out the book.

It's... alright.

The problem with librettos is always that you feel you're missing something without the visual of the actual play. It's a problem I have frequently, and yeah, it was an issue here. However, I'll do my best to try to share my thoughts. Most of which are pretty positive? I'd say the biggest letdown is that it expects you to know the story already, which isn't much of a letdown considering that you are unlikely to be interested in seeing the play without knowing at least the first of the books. It does feel a little light on dialogue and heavy on songs but then again, it is a musical.

Overall, it was a quick little read, and I am glad that I read it. It's just kind of made me wish I could actually see the show somehow, which isn't likely to happen. I wish this edition of the book had included pictures from the original show run, but sadly not to be.

Still, it was fun.

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Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Review: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys

The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys by Gerard Way
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dangers Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys has been one of my favourite and most listened to albums since it was released. I was enthralled by the world that the band had created and the story that went along with it. I wanted to know more about it, I wanted to know why The Girl was so important and why they were willing to sacrifice everything to keep her safe. Then I found out that there was a comic planned, with Becky Cloonan as the artist and I went while.

So why did it take me so long to actually read it? I ... couldn't find it. Oh yeah, it's on Amazon but I wanted to find it in a store. I was willing to buy this at full retail price; that's how much I wanted to read it and support the world. ANYWAY, that's all by-the-by, what do I actually think of the story?

It made me want to cry. In the best way possible, if that makes any sort of sense. It's been ... well, years since the events of the original album, the Girl cannot even remember the faces of the original Killjoys anymore but she still misses them. There's new Killjoys in their place, people who aren't as reluctant to kill, and who think that Doctor Death-Defying and DJ Cherri Cola are just old men, lost in old thoughts and not aware of the real life going on around then. BLI is still in charge, still as cold and menacing as ever but the head SCARECROW, Korse, is not as unflappable as he once was. And the Girl is still important, but she's got to work out just why that is. Why did people protect her, and what can she do to honour them, their sacrifice, and how can she help the future of the world?

It's a sci-fi dystopia, with cold and clean sterility playing off of the bright colours of the wastes. Notably, Way makes sure that we see two sides to the story: not all who work for BLI are evil and not all Killjoys are heroes. This is something the Girl has to learn as well. To curb the instinct to just want to go on a roaring rampage of revenge and know that sometimes, it's better to forgive. It's not as black and white as BLI would like it to be, and Way does not shy from that.

It's a coming of age story. The Girl learns who she is and stops hiding, and moves forward towards her future. I know I'm being really vague but it's hard to explain until you read it and I will not spoil it at all if I can help it. It's just a really good read. The art work is fantastic and the story flows well.

If there was one down-note: it was that we never see the original killjoys. But they're done, dusted out in the wastes and ... yeah, of course we're not going to see them. It doesn't take at all from the story, which is one that I cannot recommend enough. Please, go and check out this comic.

It's so shiny.

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Sunday, 27 August 2017

Marvel Legends: Loki vs Loki

The Marvel Legends line is known for bringing out really good figures, particularly for those that tie into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The last release for Loki was in 2012 to tie into The Avengers. Of course, that figure was exclusive to Walmart which meant that he was next to impossible to get in the UK.

I got lucky and found him at a convention, loose. Last weekend. He had his helm and cape so I was happy to pay the (decent compared to eBay) price to get him. And I am delighted to have him, there's something about his expression that really fits the pissed off nature of Loki in that movie. However I also had pre-ordered Ragnarok Loki and he arrived on Thursday. So I thought I'd do a little comparison to show the differences 5 years can make in a toy line.

(In this case, it's for the better.)

"What is this...?"
"I'm you. From the future."

From first glance, you can already see the big difference between the two. Ragnarok!Loki (on the left, and hereafter R!Loki) is taller, and has an ab joint. Aesthetically, there's the difference costumes as well, with Avengers!Loki (hereafter A!Loki) being almost duller in colour in comparison. Of course, that's because of all the Jack Kirby hints the look of <i>Thor: Ragnarok</i> seems to be taking.

We can also see that sculpt wise, they've improved so much over the past five years. R!Loki's sculpt is very life-like, an almost perfect portrait of Tom Hiddleston whereas in comparison... well, Avengers!Loki doesn't. There's still a likeness there, but it's not as strong as the newer figure.

This is known as the back to back badasses pose
Even with helms off, R!Loki is a good inch taller than A!Loki. Actual height measurements for both (minus helms) have A!Loki at about 5.6 inches, and R!Loki at 6.6 so it is exactly an inch of difference. I will say, likely due to age, that A!Loki has a slight tendency to tilt forward when standing straight and if you move his arms, you need to move the legs to compensate. In comparison, it's quite easy to pose R!Loki while standing straight, no tilt at all

As you can see, back in 2012, Marvel Legends were still using the single joint at the elbow. While this still shows up in a lot of figures - my adored Ms Marvel uses it, but then again her arms switch out - many are now using the double jointed elbow like R!Loki. R!Loki also has wrist articulation, and a bicep swivel, all of which allow for more posing capabilities. As well as more play capabilities, thinking on it, though I'm not sure if I'd give a Marvel Legend to a very young child. There are some with more limited articulation at a lower price point that would work well. Same height as A!Loki, roughly.

Well, shake it up baby, now (Shake it up, baby)
Twist and shout (Twist and shout)
C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, baby, now, (Come on, baby)
Come on and work it on out (Work it on out) 
As we can see, both A!Loki and R!Loki have waist turns and frankly, A!Loki's is better. R!Loki has part of his outfit as this flexible rubber bit which can get in the way of the waist turn and A!Loki just has better movement there in general. However, this is where that ab crunch comes in handy, as R!Loki is able to hunch forward and back. His movement in this area is really good, if a bit funny at times. It should also be noted here that R!Loki's head and move backwards and forwards as well as side to side but that his hair can make this a bit stiff.

"A king does not kneel to anyone."
"No, but occasionally people take issue with our double-crossing and clap us in chains. Surprise."

Leg articulation is about the same for both except for those double jointed knees that R!Loki has. Also the ankle pivots. Oh, and there's a thigh swivel too... A!Loki's cape, as we can see here, is made out of a much more flexible material, and so it gives a rather nice almost drape as he kneels. R!Loki, on the other had... Well, his is not flexible. The cape is removable, and has little rubber pegs that pop into holes on his shoulders. They also pop out very easily. It can be irritating. A lot.

While A!Loki came with helm and spectre, R!Loki just had his helm. I... am a bit let down by this - it would have been nice for him to have the twin daggers he's seen using in the trailer. However, overall, I have to say I'm really impressed with this new version of Loki, and it's really amazing to place him beside A!Loki and see how much the line has evolved over the past five years.

"I am still the King!"
"Of course you are."
"...I hate future me." 
That being said? I am still very glad to have A!Loki, and I'm sure I'll think of some fun photos for these two. My mind is already on the plotting...

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Review: Spider-Man / Deadpool Vol. 2: Side Pieces

Spider-Man / Deadpool Vol. 2: Side Pieces Spider-Man / Deadpool Vol. 2: Side Pieces by Scott Auckerman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So here's the thing. I've never actually read many of the infamous Spider-Man and Deadpool team ups. Oh, I've seen scans thanks to Tumblr, but since I am kind of terrible at getting hold of single issues of comics, these team ups remain things that I know only briefly. This trade is pretty awesome in that regard, though, as it lets me read these two playing off each other and let's me see why people love it so much.

Yeah, Spider-Man and Deadpool playing off each other is kind of fantastic and I really wish I had read more before hand since with the upcoming Marvel: Legacy thing, I don't think these positive interactions are going to last much longer.

As for the trade itself? It's high quality. Great art styles through and the humour is always on point. I like the one that was clearly released before the Deadpool movie came out, and how it pokes fun at the industry. Also the implication that the heroes get small royalties from their movies in universe. I wonder if there's been Spider-Man ones in the Marvel Comics Universe or would the constant negative press from the Bugle have affected that...?

I'm hoping to find the first trade soon, and giggle my way through that. This trade is definitely one that anyone can pick up and enjoy though, so I recommend it.

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