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Nov 21, 2007

This week we've got part two of our new reading lists, where we continue reviewing our new reading material. Let us know what you're reading these days, and Happy Thanksgiving!

This week's selections:

When Gravity Fails
Philip K. Dick Collection
Skeleton Crew
University Of Nebraska Press
The Zombie Survival Guide
The Dangerous Book For Boys
Night Watch
Very Short Introductions
Guns, Germs, And Steel

Opening Music: "Fire In The Sky" by Dave London
Closing Music: "ET" by Peplab




Illusive Mind
over twelve years ago

I second, Jared Diamond\'s \'Guns, Germs & Steel\'.
There is something about the wholly accidental and arbitrary nature of existence and the accepted conventions we live by that has always fascinated me.

over twelve years ago

Thanks for the website.

Preacher was actually my fifth choice out of all of them. I\'m going to leave the line-up as is for now, but I don\'t see any reason why I won\'t be buying it immediately after I find out if I like comics as much as I think I will.

over twelve years ago

Hi Lando

Thanks for prompting me to think a little deeper.

Funny, I can’t really shake the thought of graphic novels and superheros as being one and the same, even though I know this is not really the case. Your show has helped me to rectify this view, but I think my general feeling is very much indicative of my complete ignorance when it comes to the subject.

I guess I\'ve never been particularly fond of the idea of the superhero, especially the more clean-cut variety like Superman. I don\'t know much about these things of course, but if I had to pick a superhero as my favourite (not that I have many in my mental database to choose from), I\'ve always liked the idea of Batman - a tortured, dark man who doesn\'t actually have any \'super powers\', just ingenuity and smarts and a lot of money.

With this in mind, I suspect Watchmen probably wouldn\'t be the best choice for me.

To dig a little deeper, I really enjoyed \'Just Another Saturday Night\' which came with my Sin City DVD. I do love me some seediness, grit, and violence. I had a look at the Hard Boiled Wikipedia entry, and judging by the cover art it looks very appealing (haha!). So I\'m thinking that something to do with Frank Miller might be a good place to start. I will investigate Hard boiled further.

When it comes to novels I seem to end up focussing on depressing science fiction (think PKD) and horror. Anything dark and subversive appeals to me. It doesn’t necessarily have to be science fiction related, but that seems to be the genre where I find stuff I like.

When it comes to movies I like science fiction, crime drama, war, action, and probably some others I’m forgetting or can’t think of an appropriate genre. Skimming over my DVD collection yields some random mainstream highlights such as Aliens, Appocalypse Now, Desperado, El Mariachi, Dr Strangelove, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Scarface, Platoon, Predator, Blade Runner, Taxi Driver, Boondock Saints, The Sting, The Untouchables, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Die Hard, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, the Dollars trilogy, lots of old zombie movies etc etc.

Hopefully all that information gives a crude insight into my tastes.

Regardless, as I said earlier I would probably like Hard Boiled or something from the Sin City collection. Akira fits with my interests too, and you guys have already talked about it in so many different shows that it’s probably safe to say it’s very good.

Thank you for your reply.

over twelve years ago

Frank Miller
\"Hard Boiled\" - every great action movie with a bit of PKD sprinkled through.
\"The Dark Knight Returns\" - an older Batman comes out of retirement to rectify a world that he see as having gotten out of control.
\"Sin City\" series - Gritty Dirty Crime stories.
\"300\" - Miller\'s take on the historical battle between 300 crazy spartan and an army in the thousands, lol.

\"Blade of the Immortal\" series - an young girl looking to avenge her father with the help of an immortal assassin in fuedal japan.

\"Sandman\" series - Stories about Dream, the king of the dream world, during his reign. Quite dark and bizarre at times but such a good read.

\"V for Vendetta\" - the movie scratched at the surface of what is the philosophical mediation this graphic novel is about art, control, freedom and terrorism.
\"League of Extraorindary\" Series - Horrible Movie, but Moore calls on every classic piece of horror and adventure fiction he can to make a very engaging tale about old england. His take on Mr. Hyde is the best I have ever read. Think \"Princess of Mars\" and \"20,000 Leagues under the Sea.\"

Koike and Kojima
\"Lone Wolf and Cub\" series - the sad end tale of the shogun\'s executioner who was betrayed. A very tragic story about how excellence breeds envy and jealousy as far I can tell. But Lone Wolf will be the greatest bad ass in your mind after reading because he\'s unstoppable, without powers or gadgets, just a man trained and focused. And his sword was classicly used to cut horses in half, dotanuki, lol.

Ennis and Dillon
\"Preacher\" series - Angels, vampires, assassins, cowboys, saints, and the word of God: all put together by the same guys that went on to make Punisher, which hopefully gives you a good frame of reference. Its bloody, funny, and as close to a modern western I guess you could make without getting steeped in over used archetypes. God has left heaven, and only Jesse Custer, who has the power to make anyone do anything, can find him and make him fix the world.

\"Mage\" - an old favorite about the reborn spirit of Arthur in the modern age and his battle with the evil in the world. He had a glowing baseball bat instead of a sword, its classic.

\"Akira\" series - A classic series. A benchmark of storytelling and art. Read up on it because nothing I say will really prepare you for how amazing this series is.
\"Domu\" - kind of like Otomo\'s groundwork for Akira. A much smalleer story, but brillian just the same. I would read Domu then Akira just to get the greater image of the writer/artist\'s thought process.

\"Transmetropolitan\" series- This is the distopian future on drugs. Spider Jeruselum is a journalist who hates the world, and frankly, it might just hate him too. Warren Ellis creates the most brilliant antihero since Odysseus spent years on an island bedding a demigod then was irritated when he found his home full of men who wanted to marry his wife and killed them. You\'ll laugh at the sheer insanity of it and take note of the heavy PKD influences. Like \"Snow Crash\" though, its really just an exaggeration of the world we already live in and the writer\'s complaints there in. Fantastic.

This is just a smattering of work that might jive with you based on your comments. It\'s heavily influence me and I support is full heartedly. These writers are right up there with any novelist for their ability and imagination. And please let me know if you read any of these and disagree with me. I always like to know what people think. As always, thanks for listening to the Nightmare.

over twelve years ago

Hi Lando

Thanks for taking the time to post some titles with descriptions attached. I appreciate it.

I\'ve added your entire post to a text file for future reference.

For now I\'m going to order the first volumes of Sin City, Hard Boiled, Akira, and Transmetropolitan. You made it very difficult just to choose four, but I don\'t want to go too overboard before I know if the graphic novel genre is going to grow on me. I\'ll check out others if it does. At some point in the future I\'ll send an email telling you guys what I think about them, although I can\'t promise a time frame. It might be a while depending on when I place an order, and when I get around to reading them.

Finally, and I hate to be annoying with all these questions, but is there an insider\'s go-to website for buying comics? I had a cursory look at Amazon, but I noticed that a few of these titles are only being offered as used. If possible I would like to buy new.

Thanks again.

over twelve years ago

Thanks for the show guys. I’m especially interested in checking out the ‘Very Short Introduction’ series, and I have actually had ‘The Zombie Survial Guide’ in my online shopping basket for a while now.

Anyway, here is a list of some of the books that I’ve read this year. Most are non-fiction, and they betray my own personal interests and biases I guess. You’ve probably read all the novels before bar one. I won’t bother writing a short blurb for each book – if you’re interested check out Amazon or whatever for some reviews:

The God Delusion
Why Darwin Matters
Crimes Against Logic
When Bad Things Happen to Other People
The Consolations of Philosophy
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
A Short History of the 20th Century
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Elegant Universe

Notes From Underground
Ice Station (This is kind of a dark horse. Think of every bad but good action movie you’ve ever seen and condense them into a novel. It was so enjoyable, action-packed, and fast-paced that I read it in one sitting on a weekend. This is chick-lit for men, and I say that in a good way.)

A final question: if you were to recommend one comic book (graphic novel?) to someone who has NEVER read one before, what would it be? Obviously comics have featured heavily on the show over the last year and half and you have both piqued my interest in the genre, but here in Australia there is no comic book community or culture (as far as I can tell anyway). Comic book stores would never survive here, unless of course they’re in a capital city catering to a tiny niche interest. Classic book stores don’t sell them either. I’ve never been exposed.

I was thinking about ordering Watchmen online, but I don’t know if I’d be able to properly appreciate it without any prior experience.

over twelve years ago

I\'m also going to check out the Blackwater book, as well as Skeleton Crew (I just finsihed reading some Stephen King and was pretty impressed).


over twelve years ago

Graphic Novels have as wide an expanse as the modern novel. Which mean, you may read one and simply not enjoy the genre while another may do it for you very nicely. \"Watchmen\" is great, but its kind of comic book super hero great in many ways. It was great for all of us who grew up on the comics and wanted to see something different. \"Akira\" is a great series that has depth and an incredible amount of detail, more science-fiction than superhero. \"HardBoiled\" by Geof Darrow and Frank Miller is like every over the top action movie you ever saw on PCP then fast forward. So its all about tastes and who you are interested in. Let us know what genre floats you and we\'ll toss out some more focused suggestions. Thanks for listening.

over twelve years ago

Here in Alcala de Henares there\'s not a large selection of English books. There\'s a wealth of Spanish literature... but sometimes I just need to escape. I\'m headed back to the land of the Dollar for a couple weeks & the Litterature Nouveau reading lists are now on my lists for purchase. Two AudioBooks I\'ve had to purchase and devour recently are \"World War Z - an Oral History of the Zombie Wars...\" This is done in an eyewitness CNN interview style and is fascinating to immerse yourself into. The other is \"I Am Legend\" by Richard Matheson. This book was written in 1957. I recognized a wealth of source material that has fueled the post-apocalyptic, vampire, zombie genre. Tasty.