Author Archive

So Twisted He’s Crooked

A crooked Little Vein book jacket

It’s hard not to see Spider Jerusalem when reading about the private detective Mike McGill in Warren Ellis’ debut novel, Crooked Little Vein. The book reads much like the Transmetropolitan comic, the graphics are simply replaced by explicit imagery of human depravity limited to words. The circumstances of the novel’s coming into this world are also suspiciously reminiscent of McGill’s alter ego’s state of affairs with a never-tiring editor hounding him for a book.

Aside from all the commonalities with the comic that made Ellis’ reputation, Crooked Little Vein certainly stands up on its own as a decadent and hyperbolic catalogue of perversities visited upon the (human) body and mind beginning with some fairly innocent lizard loving and continuing on into sexual needs requiring suffering of innocents. All this is tied together by McGill’s mission to retrieve the American Constitution. The one bound in hide of extraterrestrials with untold power within its pages.

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Make Room for Cap’n Shakespeare: Review of “Stardust”

Yvaine on unicorn

“Stardust” seems to have crept up on me. Although I’ve certainly heard of it and have been waiting for it, I didn’t actually expect it anytime soon. A novel by Neil Gaiman made into a movie, filmed somewhere in gorgeous Scotland, with Michelle Pfiffer already cast to play the witch, my hopes were rising.

The plot is fairly simple, and, amazingly, very similar to the one in the novel. A boy in an English village is in love with the pretties girl around and to prove his devotion he promises to bring her a fallen star from beyond the Wall, which has never been crossed, except by his father. There lies a magical world filled with witches, pirates, enchantments as well as some answers as to the boy’s questionable heritage.

I expected the worst; I too dared not hope for anything but a lamer and tamer version of the novel bereft of anything but sweet romance. I gave the movie a chance though, as should you. In fact, go ahead, it really is safe to get your hopes up. Continue reading

Graphic Novels That Will Suck You In

Comic books haven’t been simply comic for some time. In fact, if they were ever innocently funny, that was very quickly taken over by sex and violence and, of course, masked men who took tights much too seriously. So, comic book fans allot much bookshelf, or under-the-bed, or behind-the-couch space to the hundreds of issues that comprise story lines of their favorite superheroes and supervillains, or maybe horrible and gory murders, or whatever. Then, someone decided to bind a few issues of comics into one book, call it a graphic novel and deliver it to you via Amazon.com or whatever huge bookstore happened to be near you. And this is how comic books bridged that gap between your average caped fanatic and your basic bookstore browser too haughty or overwhelmed to enter a comic book store. From there several graphic novel canons were derived which sucked the average book reader into the world of beautiful illustrations and succinct dialogue.

So, if you were ever curious about the comic book world, like I was, the following five graphic novels can very easily become your gateway drug. At least that’s what they did for me, especially because they are (mostly) finite and I am not left forever wondering just what will happen next.

Transmetropolitan 1. Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis as drawn by Darick Robertson (a collection of 11 books): I am almost ashamed to say it, but I really haven’t picked up anything by this master until about a week ago. And I am completely hooked. The main character, Spider Jerusalem, is the perfect anti-hero in a post cyberpunk dystopic world. He is jaded, cynical, aging and quick to apocalyptic anger. He is not exactly a protector and he is not entirely a marauder; he is a journalist actively digging for the truth and trying to fulfill an infernal book contract. We meet him atop a mountain, naked, covered only by a mane of hair, holding a gun and surrounded by filth while screaming obscenities at a phone receiver and clutching his last 5 dollar bill. It is gory and hilarious. It also makes me ashamed as the horrible truths of the book are not that far off from what is truly happening in the world. Or could happen. Every page brings with it a new atrocity.

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Siren Music Festival at Coney Island

The day was long and hot, which we could ascertain from the sunburned and exhausted Indie kids lying around in heaps all over Coney Island. Pmel and I got to the Siren Music Festival at about 5pm, just missing We Are The Scientists, but in time for M.I.A.

Two stages were constructed with the Cyclone rollercoaster, and the rest of the amusement park, smack in between. The bands alternated between the two stages, so theoretically, no one had to miss a thing. In reality, thousands of people showed up, and although we were there with 20 minutes to spare before M.I.A. came on stage we were so far away that all we got were occasional glimpses of tiny characters jumping around on stage while nothing but bass and occasional whimper could reach us from the speakers.

MIA Crowd

That’s M.I.A. somewhere off in the distance

Although it was quite difficult to hear her, a discerning listener could make out some of the catchy tunes from her 2005 album, Arular and some new songs from her forthcoming album Kala. Unfortunately, she did not play “Galang,” which was the song
that earned her recognition in the U.S. Her performance was similar to being at home listening to her CD. Although we expected a more vibrant performance, hard to blame her for the weak show considering the circumstances. I would prefer and recommend to see her at a smaller venue. Continue reading

Lets Infiltrate the World of Fancy Food! Restaurant Week Reviews Part 1: Dinner at the Fire Bird

Restaurant Week offers those of us who can barely afford rent to finally try food we could otherwise not even afford to look at in places with grandeur we only encountered on the teasing screens of televisions. The staff of Meandering Entertainer will do what it can to gorge on scrumptious splendor and report the results. The chance to pay a mere $35 for dinner or $24.07 (a nice rounded number) for lunch in a swanky restaurant will last until the 27th of July.

 

The heavy gilded gates marked the Fire Bird as a place apart from the rest of the Restaurants on West 46th street, also known as restaurant street, as it is home to many eateries favored by the theater crowd.

 

Visitors step down into a dimly lit reception room where hosts and hostesses in eveningwear either escort the party to their table or to the gleaming bar where a piano player helps pass the time as one waits for the rest of the party to gather. The walls are painted in dark shades, but also almost entirely covered in prints of classic European paintings easily recognized by Russian clientele as well as shelves filled with beautiful dishes, vases, and various knick-knacks.

 

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Comic Book Geeks Beleaguer Jhonen Vasquez: A Q&A

In guise of an introduction I would like to apologize for taunting googlers with the terms “Jhonen Vasquez” and “interview” for so long in the Coming Soon section. I just felt sick with impotent rage because I could provide no actual photos, and I took plenty. Maybe next year, when I, once again, gain free entry by masquerading as someone who deserves one, I will take photos and NOT format my hard drive without backing anything up. UPDATE: d42 who rocks DID back up said photos, so enjoy!

d42 and superheroesA collection of middle-aged, pudgy men with no pants on never before aroused admiration in so many. Surely, the comic-book-loving, video-game-playing LARPers of NYC came for the scantily dressed girls as well? And yet, the playboy model present, and expecting attention from sex-starved nerds, was almost as lonely at her booth as Gary Coleman was at his, and she wasn’t charging $20 for an autograph.

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And there shall be shrieking violence: A review of the Summer Slaughter Tour

Twenty minutes into the show a couple of cops pushed their way through the crowd. A few minutes later a huge bouncer strolled out of the mosh pit with a stiffly moving metalhead clamped tightly by the neck under his arm. The Summer Slaughter Tour was going as expected.

B.B. King’s has taken to hosting metal shows on Sunday nights and July 8th was no exception. I’ve heard of some of the bands that were playing, but I’ve never actually heard any of their stuff before tonight. Ion Dissonance, and The Faceless are going to make a great addition to my music collection. Cattle Decapitation put on an amazing show, but I can only handle so much screeching and roaring before my ears refuse to process the input as musical. Cephalic Carnage and Necrophagist remained unsampled because in the end it does suck that B.B. King’s schedules these mighty fine metal shows for Sunday nights when Monday mornings loom large in the mind of a commuter.

The tour’s reputation must have preceded it, because there were more bouncers in the pit than there were metalheads. And they kept the lights on. Despite the best efforts to keep order, chaos still ensued until the somewhat flabby arm of the bouncer enforced order. The largest of them simply used his bulk to force an exit on whoever happened to be trapped in front of him, completely unable to get around the mighty gut.

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