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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

J LHLS Archives: August 2004

Friday, August 20, 2004

Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief
by Bill Mason with Lee Gruenfeld
Villard Books
365 pages

Review by Tom Good

"To Catch A Thief" made jewel thieves cool. "The Pink Panther" made them funny. Bill Mason makes them real. So how does a real life "cat burglar" operate?

"I examined the lock with a practiced eye, suavely whipped out my butter calfskin wallet and carefully selected a pick from a row of variously sized tools. Once I'd done that, it was simply a matter of inserting the gleaming pick into the lock and jiggling it a few times as I looked away and let my sensitive fingers do their thing. Three or four seconds later I was rewarded with a loud and satisfying click as the lock succumbed to my extraordinary expertise.

"Just kidding. In real life, picking a lock is a bitch. Even when it works, which isn't all that often, it takes a long time to get each of the pins lined up just so, one at a time without disturbing the ones you've already worked.

"[. . .] there are faster and surer ways to defeat the lock." [more]

Posted by Tom Good @ 11:59 AM PST [Link]

WANTED-Death Row Edition #1
Mark Millar and J.G. Jones and Paul Mounts
Presented by:MillarWorld
Produced by:Top Cow Productions, Inc.
Visit the fine folks at Image Comics

Reveiw by Kathy LaFollett

Let’s get one thing straight, Top Cow RULES. I’m at the point now where I don’t look at covers or names or titles first, I look for that familiar udder-in-space logo, and I know it’s a home run. I KNOW I will love that publication.

And so we are greeted by a cover of simple hardcore comic art, and we turn the page to find our outline of things to come; and I quote:

“WANTED: Wesley Gibson leads the life of a quiet desperation. His dead-end job numbs him, his girlfriend cheats on him, and his hypochondrium convinces him he has every disease from cancer to the common cold. His world is the depth of dismay.”

Let’s stop here and visit the writing and art that express this depth of despair within the first 10 pages. In-your-face-no-bullshit-big-dog-top-cow-rollercoaster-make-you-nauseous comic production that screams in your face, “Bring it!”

Top Cow RULES.

“But there is another world; one buried just inches below what Wesley thinks is his life. What happens when the scales fall from your eyes and the real clockwork of the world is laid bare? What happens when you’re Wesley Gibson, one minute the most downtrodden wretch the world has ever seen and the next…you’re Wanted?”

Read that passage again. The remaining pages of Issue 1 of Wanted takes those words and lays them out in such a visual presentation that you will NOT put this comic down until you’ve finished it. And when you have finished it, you’ll reread the whole issue because you don’t have Issue 2 to satisfy the gapping comic lust left behind in Issue 1.

Top Cow RULES. “Wanted” is now on my mandatory reading list and I vow I will own the whole series intact. “Wanted” steps up to bat and hits a home run without breaking a bloody sweat.

Posted by Kathy LaFollett @ 11:12 AM PST [Link]

Bikini Automatic #4
By Ken Wright. However, a very nice lady who looked a lot like Bikini Automatic, now that I'm thinking about it (hmmmm), gave me a review copy of #4 and we here at J LHLS World Headquarters are very very much obliged. I'm hooked; they ought to do a subscription thingy.

A review (if you will) by Ginger Mayerson

Okay, I don't have a TV, but sometimes I end up in the vicinity of one and last night it was at Toyota of Glendale whose service shop is open 7AM to Midnight. Not to worry, it was just an oil change, but being able to get an oil change late at night is more fun than during the day, honest. Anyway, they had a TV in the waiting area and, lo and behold, the Olympics are on: Olympic Women's Beach Volleyball. USA vs the Czech Republic, which, though landlocked, put up a helluva fight. I also thought those willowy Czech volleyball sirens wore their bikinis better than our girls; our girls were on the brawny side, if you ask me. And although Greece has plenty of coastline, this match was, yes, on sand but in a sports arena, causing me to wonder if it's not at the beach, why must they wear bikinis? Why? Why not tops and shorts or sweats or leotards or something more comfortable-looking? Answers are welcome in the comments below.

Why do I mention all this? Well, it reminded me that I have a copy of Bikini Automatic #4 to review! Yay! Bikini Automatic is adorable and if you can get a copy of this comic, do so! You will smile and your friends will marvel at your complete and utter good taste and all around cool in the indy comic realm. [more]

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:26 AM PST [Link]

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Silly Daddy
Publisher: Reed Press

Review by William Wentworth-Sheilds

Joe Chiappetta's Silly Daddy collection is a funny, manically inventive, often very, very harrowing series of autobiographical vignettes. He focuses a great deal on his daughter, Maria; the animating force that connects many of the stories is his desire to be a good, worthy father, and to live his life in an ethical, moral way, in order to create a better world for her.

His imagination is boundless; while the drawings are sometimes crude, the sense of invention present is razor sharp, as is the emotional anguish and depth of feeling. Chiappetta unsparingly depicts how his temper caused him to strike Maria, and the overwhelming shame he felt as a result. The dissolution of his first marriage, his anguish at feeling his daughter growing closer to her mother, and pulling away from him, and his conversion to Christianity are all portrayed with unsparing emotion. [more]

Posted by William Wentworth Sheilds @ 01:12 PM PST [Link]

Monday, August 16, 2004

  

Review by William Wentworth-Sheilds

In noir, the line separating the sublime from ridiculous is whisper-thin. Kiss and Tell doesn't straddle it well. The art is lush, distinctive, and stylish; the writing, pacing, and characterizations are less competently handled. [more]

Posted by William Wentworth Sheilds @ 09:02 PM PST [Link]

Just a quick heads up to let y'all know TEX! comic has a domain all to itself now: www.bushcomic.com. I believe Kathy LaFollett is going to review this for us when she gets it, hurricanes allowing.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:15 PM PST [Link]

In an interview with LHLS, Gareb Shamus, the founder and chairman of Wizard Entertainment spoke of the comic book industry's need to continuously "re-invent" itself, in order to grow, attract new talent, and bring new readers into the fold.

The comic book industry may be small compared to other media concerns, and people like Joss Whedon and Kevin Smith, guests at WizardWorld Chicago, are "not doing it for the money, that's for sure, especially with the kind of dollars they can get outside this industry." But with that comes a certain credibility. "So they can come into this world and do comic books, because you know they love it, you know they want to do it." [more]

Posted by William Wentworth Sheilds @ 06:05 PM PST [Link]

Sunday, August 15, 2004

We very seldom get first-person reports on acts of God, but we have one today from our reviewer down Tampa way, Kathy LaFollett. We are all very glad she and her family are okay. Ed

Charley Stood Me Up…thank God.
By Kathy LaFollett

Living in a coastal location in Florida has one rule. You will dance with the Devil sometime between June and November of any given year. August 13, 2004 the Devil's name was Charley. And he stood me up…thank God. [more]

Posted by Editor @ 06:33 PM PST [Link]

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