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...and I reading over the Wikipedia entry for the TV show and now really, really looking forward to watching this. Because it's definitely not going to be the same experience as reading the book - like, at all - and as far as I'm concerned, that's a good thing.

Don't get me wrong. I loved every minute of reading that book. It was fast-paced, epic, sprawling, and utterly horrific in all the right ways. But the producers of the show are smart to recognize that a straight adaptation of the novel definitely wouldn't make for a good TV; if nothing else, the ending of the novel is far, far too grimdark for network television. So I'm about to head into this TV show fully expecting that the plot will be changed significantly, that most of the novel's cast will be reduced down to amalgam characters, and that the gore (not to mention the body count, especially where cute kids and the heroic elderly are concerned) will be toned down significantly.

And yet still I'm reading the character list on the show's Wikipedia page and

Phil Bushey, a popular radio DJ



HA HA HA HA HA HA HA (*gross sobbing*)

Peter Shumway, Julia's husband

wait what


On the other hand, I am really, REALLY looking forward to watching Dean Norris as Big Jim because a) it's The Goddamn Dean Norris and he is absofuckinglutely incredible in Breaking Bad and b) Big Jim is in so many ways the evil mirror of Hank Schrader, so this has got to be one of the most inspired bits of casting I've ever seen. If Hank's character arc is all about a man wrapped up in blustery arrogance and self-delusion who slowly discovers humility and the strength to be honest with himself, then Big Jim's character arc is all about a man wrapped up in blustery arrogance and self-delusion who slowly discovers that he does, actually, have the strength to murder whoever the fuck is standing in his way. At least, that was his character arc in the novel, that is. I guess I'll just have to wait and find out whether Big Jim in the television show bears any resemblance to Big Jim in the novel.

On the other other hand, though, I've heard that Horace the Welsh Corgi isn't in the TV show. And if this turns out to be true, then goddammit, Steven Spielberg and Brian K. Vaughan!! Because Horace fucking rules.
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So this is officially the best version of Sherlock anything that I've ever seen, ever. Not hyberbole. It's that awesome. And that's not just because it has probably the best Watson of all time, either. I love this Sherlock, I love the complex relationship he has with his Watson, I love the mysteries, and I love everything about this show.

Damn, what can I say about this show that hasn't been said already? The casting is fucking amazing, the horror elements are incredibly disturbing and incredibly well-executed, the characters and their interactions are deliciously complex and complicated, and the atmosphere and cinematography oh my god. I don't care how many times I've seen it every episode, that shot of the swiftly-moving grey clouds on top of EVERY BUILDING that the characters ever step foot in never gets old. What I'm actually torn about, however, is whether this show is treating its viewers like they're smart... or like they're really, really stupid. Honestly, I think the answer is that it does both. On the one hand, it's a show that very deliberately broadcasts the fact that it wants its audience to feel like they're smarter than the average television viewer. Between the subtle acting, the dense visual symbolism, the refusal to neatly tie up subplots or character arcs in single episodes and let them simply percolate in the background until they show up again several episodes later, and the constant references to classical music and food porn (admit it, you've Googled some of those episode titles because you didn't know what they were, I know you have), it's a show that's meant to make you think as you watch it, and it's meant to make you feel clever and sophisticated if you really appreciate all of its layers, its nuances, its refusals to conform to the usual storytelling rules of serial television. BUT, on the other hand... It really is a show that you have to turn off part of your brain to enjoy. Half of this show wants you the viewer to know that it thinks you're smart and you should feel smart for watching it, but the other half of the show is also trying desperately not to reveal the fact that it also thinks that you, the viewer, are very stupid. Stupid enough to believe that Hannibal Lecter can teleport himself from Maryland to Minnesota faster than a speeding airplane (HOW????), stupid enough to believe that a teenage girl can sneak out of a mental hospital in Maryland and dig up a body in Minnesota and then be back in said mental hospital in Maryland in one night (again, HOW?????), and just in general stupid enough to believe that Hannibal Lecter can get away with his crimes for so long despite the fact that the show is set in contemporary times and that we constantly see the FBI applying modern forensic science to the murders. There's a LOT of suspension of disbelief required to really enjoy this show. And that's kind of disappointing considering that the show seems so invested in making you feel like you're a clever, smart, sophisticated television viewer when you watch it.

The Wind in the Keyhole
It's been a long, long time since I sat down with a Stephen King novel that was anywhere near as engrossing as this one. I know that Stephen King loves his high fantasy, but so rarely does he actually pull it off as beautifully as he does in this book. Plus there's actually a lot of interesting gender and sexuality things woven into the subplots of both of the meta-stories, and thankfully these themes are approached with a lot more maturity and sophistication than King usually exhibits, even despite the medieval setting. But really this is my favorite thing that King has written in a while just because it's everything that makes the best of King's writing great: great characters, creepy buildups, epic payoffs, and of course, interwoven stories that echo and mirror each other in very, very intriguing ways. I'd easily rank this one up there with Hearts in Atlantis as my favorite of King's novels, with the happy caveat that Keyhole is actually far better in the way that it handles sexism in its setting than Atlantis is.

Ava's Demon
I started reading this because friends were raving about it, and I love it. The artwork is gorgeous, the characters are intriguing, and the setting is pretty interesting so far, even if not terribly coherent. Yes, some of the writing is amateurish and some of the info-dumps are awkward. But I really do feel like the writing is showing signs of improving already. So this one is definitely a series that I'll be keeping up with.

Gunnerkrigg Court
Just to put things in perspective, this is a comic in which a non-sequitor gag about an octopus jumping off a cliff is presented as a visual metaphor for one of the two main characters finally becoming comfortable with embracing her homosexuality, and it's STILL by far and away the best comic that I'm reading right now, hands-down.

Steven Universe

Aku no Hana/The Flowers of Evil
I'm sticking with exactly four shows from the spring anime season: Attack on Titan, Hataraki Maou-sama, Precure, and Aku no Hana. Of the four, Aku no Hana is by far and away the best of the lot, even accounting for the difficulty of comparing apples to oranges. It's not just good. It's fucking great. I already wrote out my opinions about the animation style, the sexual politics, and the overall themes of the show on tumblr and I don't feel like repeating myself here, but I will say that the animation gets more and more gorgeous (and the actual message of the series harder and harder to ignore) with every episode.

Soul Eater
So we are now two chapters from the end and DAMN, this month's chapter is fucking finally doing what a big series-finale climatic battle chapter SHOULD be doing. Main character gets a badass powerup, supporting characters get their chance to shine with individual Crowning Moments of Awesome (even Gopher!!!), there's significantly less dumbass screaming about order and chaos than we've had to suffer through in previous chapters (man Ohkubo you actually used to be interesting in your treatment of those themes what happened?!), and wow some of those panels of Maka building up toward her finishing move are just fucking spectacular. My threshold requirements for What Would Make a Great Soul Eater Finale were basically "Maka should be awesome" and "it shouldn't drag on forever to the point where it gets boring," which are admittedly low expectations given how great Soul Eater was at its peak a few years ago, but hey so far the finale is delivering so I'm happy.

So obviously I'm not going to be recapping these chapters anymore - not for lack of interest, but lack of time, especially now that Attack on Titan has exploded all over the internet and I can barely keep up with that one fandom. I WOULD like to say that I really want to take time to recap the final chapter in August, but to be honest that's not terribly likely to happen considering that August 12th will be right smack in the middle of my last few vacation days of the year and I'm already making plans to spend that week visiting friends out-of-state. Plus I think that maybe like five people have actually been reading my recaps for the past few months, and although I appreciate the support, let's be honest, writing a recap post is a LOT of effort for little reward, and frankly I'm having more fun spending free time that I would previously have devoted to recapping Soul Eater to catching up my summer reading pile and to-watch list. So for those of you who enjoyed the recaps, thanks for sticking with me for all these years, and I'm sorry that I don't have time to see it through to the end!

But by far the most important thing here is that the Soul Eater ending is actually REALLY FUCKING AWESOME so far, so here's hoping for two more months of this level of FUCK YEAH from Ohkubo.
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Chris Sims writes 1500 words about the new My Little Pony cartoon.

This show, you guys. This show.

Yes yes yes I am working on SE recaps right now. But since it was asked in the comments on my previous post... Yes, THIS is what Soul Eater Not! was referencing this month:


And you guys keep saying that there's nothing dark or nightmare-fuely in Not! this month.
nenena: (Tsubasa - Please stop)
Oh hey look, another Kurogane/Fay cameo. Thank God. Now let's hope this becomes a pattern.

More drawn-out filler crap. )
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First! wants YOU to a) enter contests and b) submit writing and/or artwork for our upcoming newsletter. Or at the very least, please spread the word as far and as wide as you can. We're hoping to get a diverse group of contributors submitting content for the newsletter. Hopefully.

Second! Me blathering about comics. Anyway, here are a bunch of short comicly reviews, all from Virgin's Shakti line.

Ramayan, India Authentic, Project: Kalki, Devi, and Kshatriya. )
nenena: (stephen king + dinosaurs = <3)
Kalinara said:

Okay, is it just me or would a comic starring Johnny Smith, Carrie White, the kid from the Shining, and Drew Barrymore's character from Firestarter as a League of Extraordinary Gentleman by way of X-Men style superteam be awesome?

Yes, that would be awesome. Ridiculously awesome.

And once that idea was planted in my head, naturally, being the Kingphile that I am, my brain took it and ran with it. Not so much a team in the style of the X-Men or the Avengers, mind you, but something more in line with the Exiles. To me, the idea of an Exiles-like superteam makes perfect sense in the King multiverse. After all, that was kind of the point of the Dark Tower books: A small band of unlikely heroes on an epic quest across alternative universes, trying to preserve the balance between worlds and prevent the multiverse from tearing itself apart in a chaotic storm of catastrophic paradoxes. So I can very easily imagine a scenario where The Timebroker The Turtle plucks various King characters out of their own worlds (thereby possibly rescuing them from the horrible fates that King's characters often meet), and conscripts them to join a team of dimension-hopping superheroes, charged with repairing the damage to various realities that the Crimson King and his crew like to inflict.

So if I could make up a superteam like that, who would I put on it?

My picks. )
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The Hathor Legacy has just completed a fantastic series of posts about Stephen King's Dolores Claiborne.

Also, WTF, I had no idea that Kigankai was "based" in Nagano City. Hmm, shows what I know. And "just north of Tokyo" is more like a five-hour drive even going at 110 km/h the whole way (*cough*). And yes, I know that 400 police officers was overkill. But this is Nagano-ken, and our police officers have nothing to do. It's not unusual for five or six squad cars to show up even when there's a minor traffic accident, because really, they have NOTHING better to do. I wish I could feel angry about 400 police officers raiding an entirely female group centered around fluffy-sounding concepts like "healing medicine," but really, Kigankai is just about as benevolent as Scientology. Which is to say, NOT. And I hate to pass judgement before I've heard all of the facts, but Okuno's death sounds awfully similar to the death of Lisa McPherson. Ugh.

And now, for some good news. And this is some REALLY good news.
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Why doesn't she leave?

Scroll down to the comment by bbrugger (the third one). Read it.

This is the reason why I am so, so glad that I officially removed myself from the LD debate circuit before the November/December 2006 topic. I can't imagine how horrible it must have been to judge or participate in those debates, particularly for anyone who (god forbid) had ever actually experienced domestic abuse. Because I can imagine what all the negative cases must have sounded like. Or at least a good chunk of them. (*cough*)

It's also a little bit sad that Stephen King's Rose Madder is still one of the best fictional treatments of a woman leaving an abusive relationship that I've ever read. And I'm saying that it's "sad" not as a slam against King, because he's a fantastic writer, but because I would have expected that by now we'd have more fictional novels able to deal with the subject matter in a realistic fashion. I mean, this isn't exactly an experience alien to a good chunk of humanity. Then why is it still so taboo? (Outside of romance novels, that is, which tend to involve either a time-traveling viking in shining armor who rescues the heroine from her abusive pirate Arabian shiek boyfriend, or will glorify the rape and abuse as sexually liberating.) Anyway, I've read very few books that accurately portray what it's like to leave an abusive relationship - the psychological terror, the practical financial difficulties, the constant threat of retribution - in a realistic fashion. Rose Madder is definitely the most realistic among what I've read. And here I'm using "realistic" to describe a book that involves magical moving paintings and bull-demons and travel across alternate universes. Yeah.

Sorry for the depressing post. I actually have some more fun linkspam backed up in my harddrive. Maybe I can get around to posting that soon.


Jul. 26th, 2007 05:57 am
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So... There was a movie made out of the fucking scariest story that Stephen King ever wrote?! And it had Samuel L. Jackson in it?!?! And nobody told me?!?!?!

Wow, am I out of the loop.

Now I must see this film. The trailer looks good. But I'm nervous because, well, if I had to pick a Stephen King short story to adapt into a film, I definitely wouldn't have picked "1408," no matter how damn good (and how fucking scary) of a story it is. I just don't think that forty pages of a guy sitting alone in a hotel room and slowly loosing his mind would translate well to the big screen. But who knows, I may be wrong. And like I said, the trailer looks good. And the reviews have been good, too.

Did anybody manage to catch this movie? Was it any good? Thoughts?
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I have to admit, Virgin Comics has this marketing thing down pretty well. This month, every single title in their line wrapped up a major story arc and "ended" nicely. Next month, every single title in their line will either feature a special stand-alone to draw in new readers, or relaunch a new story arc with much fanfare. That's kind of fun. So here's what I'm looking forward to:

Rama and Ganesha and Devi, oh my! )

In other news, I'm now three issues into The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born, and my head is already spinning. I mean, the thing is partially written by Robin Furth, the awesome lady who wrote the Dark Tower Concordance guidebooks... Which is both good and bad. It's good because she is the ultimate fan, and she knows every little detail of the Stephen King Multiverse so intimately, that it makes the geek-wang of the rest of us mere mortals shrivel in comparison. This is bad because, well, I shouldn't have to be thinking about the inadequacies of my geek-wang while I'm trying to enjoy a rip-roaring adventure starring Roland Deschain. In short: This comic is difficult to follow. It doesn't feel like it was written for people new to the Stephen King Multiverse, or even for casual fans of the Stephen King Multiverse. This comic feels like it was written for hardcore Stephen King fans, and I need both volumes of the Concordance as well as an annotated copy of Wizard and Glass to follow along.

The thing about Stephen King's actual books was that they worked on multiple levels. A reader could enjoy Hearts in Atlantis or "The Little Sisters of Eluria" *without* understanding how those stories fit into the Dark Tower quest. King's books, even the clearly labeled Dark Tower books, stood on their own. Yes, they were a part of something larger, and yes, because of that, they were probably more enjoyable to well-versed Stephen King fans than not. But those books did not, however, actually exclude casual fans from enjoying them.

I'll admit, it's pretty cool seeing John Farson visualized in the comics. But other than that... Meh? This series is leaving me cold. Confused, befuddled, and cold.
nenena: (Default)
I was tagged by [ profile] meiousei!

What is yours?
Explain yourself
Culinary: Japanese Mr. Donut I only go once or twice a month, I swear. Still, the temptation is so strong... And this month they have Black Sesame Cream Pon de Ring. Oh god.
Literary: 80% of my manga collection. ...Do I have to?
Audiovisual: Nerima Daikon Brothers Sexist. Atrociously racist. And the best animated musical send-up of The Blues Brothers EVER. Plus it has Nabeshin in it.
Musical: early Britney Spears Major chords. Yeah they're musically "cheap" but whatever. Really simple, catchy melodies. And you can dance to it.
Celebrity: Gordon Ramsey Watching a brilliant man act like a complete asshole on national television will never stop being entertaining.

Now I tag:-

[ profile] aster_dw [ profile] atelierjoh [ profile] goldenflames [ profile] imorca and [ profile] steelehearts

to complete this same Quiz, Its HERE.

Also... I found this because a post about it was being mocked on's Weekend Web. As far as I'm concerned, THIS IS AWESOME. It's a theatrical production starring two adorable Shetland Sheepdogs. *I* would pay money to see this. Check out the photo galleries on the website, they are sooooooo cuuuuuuuute.

Hey people that own The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe on DVD: Does anyone have the 2-disc collector's edition? If so, what physical extras did it come with? I picked up the R2 Japanese edition the other day because it was on sale. It came with postcards and bookmarks. I've noticed that postcards and/or bookmarks are pretty standard extras for Disney's "collector's edition" DVDs. (I.E., my special edition of the PotC II DVD also came with postcards.) Since I haven't bought a Region 1 Disney DVD in forever, I'm curious if the postcards thing is universal to most Disney DVDs, or if it's just a Japan thing.

Also, what's up with not including theatrical trailers as DVD extra anymore? Seriously, it's really annoying. Okay, maybe this sounds weird, but I'm a bit of a trailer connoisseur. I looove to watch theatrical trailers, especially good ones. But lately I've noticed that it's becoming rarer and rarer for trailers to be included as DVD extras, particularly on Disney DVDs. (Fox is usually pretty good about this, though.) I mean, a year or two ago I would have just expected a theatrical trailer to be a standard extra for any DVD releease. So why are fewer and fewer DVDs including theatrical trailers? Maybe it's a silly thing to get worked up about, but it's starting to piss me off.

Finally, some random writing-related linkspammage:
Now THIS is a smart and useful post about "Mary Sues"
Stephen King Said it Best
Stephen King Said it Best, Part II
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[ profile] morchades is made of awesome because thanks to her I now have a whole bucketload of Virgin Comics shipping to me. (Unfortunately, was sold out of Ramayana #2, so I will have to hunt that down somewhere.)

ETA: I finally found Ramayana 3392 #2 at They had only one copy left in stock. Score!

The other thing that I used my credit card for yesterday... I bought a cheap used Japanese PS2. The white one. Because the Ah! My Goddess game drops today (and my copy should be on my doorstep by tomorrow morning), so yeah. In other gaming news... Remember Fate/Stay Night Realta Nua? Likely the most hyped game in Japan short of anything with the words Final Fantasy in the title? Yeah, it was supposed to have been released on January 31st. And that's after the initial release date (Christmas 2006) was pushed back a month. And here it is, February 22nd, and no copies of the game are anywhere in sight. I logged onto my account to see what was up. Realta Nua is still listed among my "not yet shipped" orders, even though the "estimated delivery date" is still listed as "February 2nd". Sure.

But Virgin Comics are coming to me, and that makes me happy. More Virgin Comics blabbing: End of Story, Asura Analouges, and Nicolas Cage. )

And now, ganked from [ profile] morchades: Below is the ALA's list of most frequently challenged books (1990-2000), with a strike through the ones that I have read.

Behind the cut. )
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Blah, hiking got canceled today because of pouring torrential rain. I spent the whole day vegging inside, doing some reading, writing, and internet surfing.

Anyway, via the forums, where you learn something new or find something useful every day: This is a collection of excellent rants about common themes and cliches in fantasy fiction. And most of said rants are not limited in applicability to speculative fiction, either. (Er, did I just write that sentence? Okay, try again: Most of her rants could apply to any type of fiction, not just fantasy and science-fiction. There. Much better.) Lately I've been on a glut of reading about writing, the likes of which I haven't really done since high school. Well, I'm knee-deep in my own science-fiction/fantasy writing project, so there's that, too. ;)

Meanwhile, I am feeling comic-deprived. Here's what I'm dying to read:

Ramayana 3392 A.D. Should I wait for the trade or snag the individual issues? The problem with both of those options is, hey, I'm living in Japan, and I am having a helluva hard time finding an online retailer that a) stocks Virgin Comics and b) will ship to Japan. If and when the trade does come out, I'm nervous that will not stock it. is usually pretty good about stocking American comic book trades from the Big Two, but little else.

Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Reborn. OMG OMG OMG OMG I have waited so long for this. This one, though, I will have to wait for the trade. I will make myself wait for the trade. Buying individual issues is generally not a feasable option for someone living overseas, unless the artwork is fantastic enough to justify owning multiple copies (see: Ramayana 3392 A.D., above). But I really am going to have a hard time waiting for this one. Hopefully something will show up on [ profile] scans_daily soon to whet my appetite.

Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil. It's JEFF SMITH and he is made of awesome. I heard that this will only be a four-issue mini-series, so hopefully the trade won't be too long in coming. Already there's some stuff showing up on [ profile] scans_daily and I am psyched. ^___^ (*fangirls Jeff Smith*)