Archive for comics

a journal of the plague, sword, and famine year [with avocados]

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2023 by xi'an

Read two books by Alix E. Harrow, A Spindle Splintered and A Mirror Mended, which are modern takes on Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. Rather hilarious for their tone and dry humour, if rather YAs… And Undercover, a novella by Tasmyn Muir. Rather well-build steampunk around a moving city and… zombies. Plus a new volume of Blake and Mortimer, a gift from my son, which is a come-back to more standard scenarios in the series, set in the 1950’s between Berlin and the USSR. Hence much enjoyable. Not at all like These Violent Delights, by Chloe Gong, which I could not complete reading. I bought this book last Fall in Brussels‘ English bookstore, in the horror section shelf!, attracted by the prospect of a gang war in 1926 Shanghai. But the story is terrible, the style appalling, and the characters laughable, the proclaimed connection with Romeo and Juliet making little sense…

Made heaps of guacamole from the 2kg of local avocados we brought back from Martinique. Still unclear about cooking with the accompanying fresh tamarind box. Ice cream, as the flavour on sale at the Fort-de-France airport?! If not tamarind, we had a great (or slow) time eating our way through Martinique, incl. the highly original Habitation Céron at the Northern tip of the island and its most unusual mix of flavours.

Watched The Pale Blue Eye, by Scott Cooper, which stemmed from the appealing concept of involving the then-West-Point-Cadet Edgar Allan Poe in a crime inquiry, but flopped rather miserably with unbearably slow dialogues, a ludicrous incursion of dark magic, and a terrible ending. And both Knives Out, Glass Onion (#2) being much better in my opinion. Craig’s acting is superb (with his Southern accent), the scenario twists most enjoyable, if far from realistic, and the satire of tech billionaires a balm. The earlier Knives Out is too cluedo-y, with the final twist revealed way too early, and too much sympathy for one character. (But having Jamie Lee Curtis acting as a redeeming feature!) I also finished All quiet on the Western Front, which somehow disappointed me, maybe because E.M. Remarque’s book is one of my favourites. And I could not entirely recover the friendship bond between the troopers that was central to the story, presumably due to lengthy gory scenes or the accumulation of woes in the final hours before Armistice. The last third of the film stalls, somehow bogged into the prospect of the coming disaster as the troopers are in the hellish landscape of the front lines. The heavily stressed opposition between the muck of the trenches and the refinery of the Compiègne wagons (despite the stale croissants!) was quite unecessary, as Remarque’s point was to stay away from the higher spheres (as opposed to his later books, like Drei Kameraden). [The Guardian of 13 Feb features a highly interesting interview of Lesley Paterson,  the Scott screenwriter of the film who not only spent 16 years making All Quiet &tc., but also financed it through triathlon winnings!]

the sandman

Posted in Books, Kids with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2022 by xi'an
“What is missing – regrettable for a story made of this material – is the strangeness and the anxiety that immediately distinguished The Sandman from all other comics.” , Le Monde
Although I never read any of The Sandman comic books, and could not finish Gaiman’s American Gods, I nonetheless watched (decidedly Netflixy!) Netflix’s rendering over the past week, which I found mostly pleasant if on the light (although dark) side. Except for a few gems like Morpheus’ stroll with Death in Richmond and Hammersmith. And the unbearably lengthy “24 hours” episode about an endless spiral into primal violence, induced by the psychopath John Dee and Morpheus’ ruby. The actors are mostly terrific, starting with Tom Sturridge playing Morpheus as a young Robert Smith! But also Vivienne Acheampong as Dream’s librarian or Stephen Fry as … Fiddler’s Green! As a aside, I found out that the (much lighter) Netflix’s series Lucifer is also inspired by the corresponding Sandman character.

compression artifacts

Posted in Books, Kids, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on January 22, 2021 by xi'an

probability comparisons

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, Statistics with tags , , , , on November 6, 2020 by xi'an

appel du 18 juin

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2020 by xi'an

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