Friday, August 12, 2011

Our Week of Reading!

If you were to just glance at our contributor photos then it might startle you to know that most of us can actually read. But read we can and must! Although our comprehension of what we're reading varies.

Find out exactly what some of the Fruitless Pursuits team have been reading and recommending this week after the jump!

Personally, I've been enjoying these:

Dungeon Quest, Joe Daly.

A satisfyingly ribald black and white graphic novel about the bulb-headed Millennium Boy who grows aggressively dissatisfied with his mundane life and gathers a party of equally malformed miscreants to go on an adventure. Thus begins an epic quest full of over-the-top violence, profanity, nudity and everything as they battle thugs, Molelocs and creepy pirate skeletons to level up and loot sweet gear! It's easily one of the most laugh-out-loud hilarious books that I've read this year and I really need to order book two to find out how this all wraps up. My favourite quote, from their beefed up muscle man who has just been complimented on his "guns":
Guns?! Guns are for sissy boy amateurs... you will refer to my awesome biceps as... my 'hogs' or my 'hog-meat' or my 'mountains of strong hog-meat'! Each one is as strong if not stronger than an entire forest hog! I try to visualize an actual hog inside each of 'em... yeah... 
Highly recommended!

Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s, Fantagraphics Books.

I'm still slowly working my way through this fat, colour collection of pre-code horror comics from EC and the like. The art is absolutely stunning (as that cover will attest) and the stories swing rapidly from the genuinely creepy to the outright ridiculous. You can almost feel the editorial control looming over them as many of the stories feature an unintentionally hilarious last panel twist, as though it was strictly mandated. My favourite has a Vincent Price looking guy with a pencil moustache and a smoking jacket telling us his dream about a sinister organisation's plot to raise the dead and let zombies take over the world. At the end of his five page reminisce he adds in the final panel: "Oh by the way - I'm a zombie LOL!" No, dude! You don't even look like a zombie!" I call serious shenanigans.

It's a beautifully presented book and I look forward to working my way through the rest of it.

J Tagmire lets us know that he's been reading far more serious business:

iPhone for Programmers: An App-Driven Approach, Paul Deitel and Harvey Deitel.

The first thing I will say, is that this book has put me to sleep, and it very well may put you to sleep. But in the defense of the book, I usually program late at night when the kids have fallen asleep and I'm forcing myself to stay awake to fix some errors, or because I'm on a roll.

Onto the book. It's a really cool iPhone programming book that's perfect for people who like to learn by tweaking code. It gives you the entire coding for 14 apps, and walks you through the creation process. Other books will give you a little bit of code for a function, but this one  gives you the complete apps. You could technically pick one, drop in some original art and have an app ready to submit in one night. As long as you can stay awake.

Jessica McLeod is kind enough to share the following:

The Flier, Mickey Spillane (1964)

This is the first Spillane novel I've read and it was exactly as nutty as I hoped it would be. A sample:
Lois Hays was sheeted in black, the sheen of a soft fabric clinging to the delicious curves of her body. A wide belt nipped her in at the waist, giving the thrust of her breasts the look of aggressive jetpods on a Boeing 707.
The hero is Cat Fallon, who is a big muscly man who can fly planes and punch guys. He is up against Commies who want to something something Cuba? Anyway there's a lot of punching, and Fallon gets his nuts electrocuted(!), and there are two sexy ladies but one is good and one is bad, but even the one who's good is pretty bad.
The blast from Sharon Ortez's gun took the guy at the switch full in the face. His head came apart in pieces and before they could hit the floor she nailed the other one in the chest and he fell into Andro Marcel enough to ruin his aim and tumble him to the floor on one knee. I could see his expression as he looked up at her, an almost simpering grin of an idiot not knowing what to do yet knowing too what was coming. She started to make an imploring gesture when Sharon smiled back at him and almost casually pulled the trigger of the .38.

Edward J Grug III has kept busy with:

Magnus Robot Fighter 4000AD vol 1, Russ Manning

Back when people wanted to read comics about Tarzan, Russ Manning created his take of Tarzan, but set in the future. Rather than being raised by an ape, he is raised be a kindly, traitor-to-his-own-kind robot, 1A. 1A somehow strengthens Magnus to robot-smashing proportions because human kind is becoming too dependent on robots and also radiation keeps making the robots want to kill all humans. The book contains issues 1-7 of the original run, and they are fun, though pretty dumb and largely forgettable.

Ghostopolis, Doug TenNapel

TenNapel is an amazingly talented artist - creator of Earth Worm Jim, Neverhood, and a whole pile of graphic novels. In the past I have loved some of his early books (Creature Tech and Gear), but some of his later books, not so much (Earthboy Jacobus and especially Black Cherry). The latter, combined with some of the views he has spouted online have caused me to stop buying his books, however I was lent this one by a friend. The artwork is unsurprisingly excellent, the story... Is fine, I guess? I don't know if there will eventually be a sequel (it doesn't seem like that's the intention) but as a whole it seems kind of underdeveloped. It's fine. It's for kids, so I guess it's not really meant for me, though I don't really buy that excuse, as I read and enjoy a lot of comics aimed at kids.

More reading next week! (With perhaps some more contributors!?) Zounds!

1 comment:

  1. I may need to track down that Spillane book... guys named Mickey have either a flask or a switchblade in their pockets.