Actually reviewing serious literature

I have a Ghost in the Shell post almost ready to go, but this book annoyed me so much that I have to get it out of my system first.

So I’ve long heard Cormac McCarthy described as one of America’s greatest living novelists, and Blood Meridian as his masterpiece. My recent rewatch of No Country For Old Men (adapted from one of his novels) finally made me curious enough to pick it up.

The results were very…..ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Continue reading

Posted in Assigned Reading, fragments of culture | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Future Fairyland – Page 1 (Chapter 1)

Page one of my comic, Future Fairyland, is now up at my art blog. More pages will go up there in the days to come, so please do follow me at Purple Dragon Studios.

Purple Dragon Studios


At long last, my comic is starting to materialize. If all goes according to plan, I should be able to post one page per day until the first chapter is complete, after which it’ll go on hiatus until the second chapter is ready.

View original post

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More Tolkien nerdery

I finished my reread of The Lord of the Rings some time ago, and capped it off with The Silmarillion. And I also eventually finished going through the Peter Jackson trilogy, of which I’m sad to say that my opinion hasn’t changed much: it is impressive and enjoyable on the level of sheer spectacle, and for raising the bar in how the fantasy genre is portrayed on screen. But as an adaptation it misses the spirit of Tolkien for the letter, and in general I find it much more difficult to care about this version of the characters.

Continue reading

Posted in Assigned Reading, fragments of culture, pop culture and its discontents | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sailing to Byzantium

Here’s a forgotten favourite if there ever was one. I first saw the Coen Bros’ No Country For Old Men back when it was new over a decade(!) ago, thought it was the best thing they ever did, and then somehow never saw it again until now. Time has only enhanced my opinion of it: it’s one of the most perfectly constructed movies to come out during my lifetime.

Continue reading

Posted in fragments of culture, pop culture and its discontents | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Top ten vidya games (part whatever)

Hey it’s this topic again. But it’s been a long time, and the past year or so has been enough of a gaming watershed for me to feel excused in revisiting the thing. Even so, there shouldn’t be many surprises, as most of these games have come up before on the blog.

Anyway, it’s gradually dawning on me that my taste in gaming solidified back in the PS2 era. What I’ve been seeing as something of a Renaissance in game design in recent years is arguably just a resurgence of games reflecting that era or earlier. So maybe I’m really just getting one last hurrah before I default to complaining about kids these days and their VR headsets.

Continue reading

Posted in Our Allies in Nippon, pop culture and its discontents | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Comic stuff

I’ve inked over a third of the pages of Future Fairyland chapter 1, so it won’t be too long now before I can offer tangible evidence that this project I’ve been talking about actually exists.

On that note, I’ve also hit upon what I think is a good compromise regarding my dilemma of how it should be published online: once a chapter is completed, it gets published at a rate of one page per day. Then once the entire chapter is up, the thing goes on hiatus until the next chapter is ready. So I get to have the chapters still function as serial units while doing the standard webcomic one page drip.

I’ve found that comic inking is a good way to take care of those restless hours that usually just get frittered away online. It’s a time-consuming activity that requires a degree of concentration, but it’s not as taxing as actually drawing the pages, and there’s always something there to work on.

Anyway, I also have another blog post up at Beneath The Tangles, this time on Battle Angel Alita, which I’ve been meaning to write about for some time. It’s a great manga. The movie adaptation that James Cameron has been threatening us with for decades is slated to finally hit theatres this year, and it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out.

Posted in Assigned Reading, pop culture and its discontents | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Spaghetti western

I’ve been on a western kick lately, which has led me to revisit two of Sergio Leone’s famous spaghetti westerns. Leone’s movies were, for my teenage self, some of the coolest things I’d ever seen, and in retrospect did double duty as an introduction to the western genre and to Italian genre films. But that was some time ago.

Continue reading

Posted in pop culture and its discontents | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 5 most influential artists

In lieu of the usual top ten list, I thought I’d do something a little more interesting: the top five most influential artists, the ones who have helped shape how I approach and think about creative endeavours.

Which isn’t the same thing as being a favourite! I may love Hayao Miyazaki to death, but I can’t discern any real aesthetic impact he’s had on me in the way I can feel some of these guys entering my thoughts as I think about a story or open a sketchbook.

I’m taking a broad definition of artist here, with no restriction as to the medium.

(Probably unnecessary to say , but I feel like I should preface this list by saying that it isn’t intended to be a critical overview of the artists mentioned. So I’m not going to go into whatever points of contention there may be about them – aesthetic, moral or otherwise.)

Continue reading

Posted in fragments of culture, pop culture and its discontents | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Future Fairyland – The Poster!

Work on my comic, Future Fairyland, continues apace, with a significant chunk of chapter 1 already drawn. In lieu of that, I’ve decided to draw a poster which I’ve included below the fold.

Continue reading

Posted in Assigned Reading, SF/Fantasy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

True romance

I’ve got a piece up at Beneath the Tangles giving a rundown on some of the 2017 JRPGs I played. Which makes this as good a place as ever to note that my attempt at playing Phantasy Star II crashed and burned some time ago: the dungeon design evolved from merely being sadistic to some sort of strange, chthonic architecture where even maps are almost useless. It broke me.

So the dubious slot of “derpy old-school JRPG I chip away at” has been taken up again by Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song.

Continue reading

Posted in Our Allies in Nippon, pop culture and its discontents | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment