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J LHLS Archives: November 2004
Saturday, November 27, 2004
by Andy Runton
Publisher: Top Shelf Comics
Review by Kathryn Ramage
This is adorable -- one of the sweetest children's stories I've seen in a long time.
Owly is a graphic novel about a lonely little owl who finds a friend. The first panels capture both Owly's loneliness and kindness beautifully, without one word: birds at a feeder fly away in alarm as someone approaches, but it's only Owly, come to replenish the birdseed for them. Owly finds two fireflies trapped in a glass jar; he releases them, only to have them also fly away in fear. Then it starts to rain. Five pages in, the full-page image of this little owl standing alone in the middle of the woods in a rainstorm is just heartbreakingly poignant. When Owly hears someone shouting for help, he finds and rescues a worm drowning a mud puddle, and takes it home. [more]
Posted by Kathryn L Ramage @ 12:59 PM PST [Link]
Monday, November 22, 2004
Resident Evil: Genesis
By Keith R Decandido
Publisher: Pocket Books
Review by William Wentworth-Sheilds
Resident Evil: Genesis is the novelization of the first Resident Evil movie. When the movie first came out, it was (rightly) dismissed as a dim, thin, loud, bad action movie with zombies. No doubt the pitch went something like: “Imagine Aliens, with none of the tension, grace, charisma, and humor ... but with zombies!” RE: Genesis actually adds a little depth to the movie, especially in the first half. But it isn't enough. Not nearly enough.
The Resident Evil franchise (called Biohazard in Japan) is a very typically Japanese effort at cultural and technological blending. It was paired with the first (successful) home videogame console (pay no mind to the CDi's and SegaCD's gathering dust, and bankruptcy notices, in the corner) to use optical media as the medium for its games, giving game developers for home consoles their first real opportunity to create games with the kind of graphic detail, and length as those made for desktop personal computers. PC game developers had access to hard drives and CD-ROMS, allowing for lush, polished games like Myst, and Seventh Guest. They may or may not have been particularly good games, but there was no denying they looked darn nice, and sold millions upon millions of copies. [more]
Posted by William Wentworth Sheilds @ 01:41 AM PST [Link]
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Worst (No. 1)
by Hiroshi Takahashi
Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing
Review by Tom Good
Suzuran Boys' High School is the worst school in the city, and is famous for being full of thugs and troublemakers. Into this mix comes Hana Tsukishima, an unsophisticated country boy who has never seen a cell phone except on TV. He finds himself living in a boarding house with some tough classmates, and trying to get his bearings at Suzuran, a school which features an annual Freshman fighting contest. And far from being a secret, underground event, this competition is actually announced over the school's official PA system. [more]
Posted by Tom Good @ 08:49 PM PST [Link]
by Yumiko Kawahara
Reviewed by Kathryn Ramage
The 'dolls' in this graphic collection of thematically related short stories are living dolls; according to the dialog in the stories, they are some kind of plant that grows to look exactly like a lovely, golden-haired Victorian-style little girl doll. They live on milk and sugar cookies -- and mustn't ever be fed anything else! -- and will only consent to be purchased by someone they have taken a liking to. But who knows what thoughts go on behind those little rosebud smiles and placidly gazing eyes? The dolls are all sold from one shop in an unnamed city by an androgynous shopkeeper with an oddly low-key sales pitch (but a very effective one, considering the number of initially reluctant customers who are persuaded to buy one of these incredibly expensive, high-maintenance toys). [more]
Posted by Kathryn L Ramage @ 04:16 PM PST [Link]
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