Profile for F. Marshall > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by F. Marshall
Top Reviewer Ranking: 541,989
Helpful Votes: 58

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
F. Marshall (Mid- Wales)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3
pixel
Hedgehog (Animal)
Hedgehog (Animal)
by Hugh Warwick
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.07

5.0 out of 5 stars (quite unexpectedly) often laugh out loud funny. Hugh Warwick has a wide-ranging and constantly curious ..., 5 July 2014
This review is from: Hedgehog (Animal) (Paperback)
I was not sure what to expect (and am not a big fan of animal books) but found this book absorbing, highly entertaining, and, (quite unexpectedly) often laugh out loud funny.

Hugh Warwick has a wide-ranging and constantly curious mind that makes him the perfect chronicler of this unusual and much loved animal, and he keeps it all moving along very well, moving between zoological authority and self deprecation, high art and low art, meticulous research and anecdote. So he starts with a learned discussion of the evolution of the spines and the taxonomic complexity of the order Eulipotyphla and ends with an extremely funny description of the International Hedgehog Olympic Games in Denver. And there is much poetry, ancient myth, song, art, stuffed toys, tattoos, Sonics, Tiggywinkles and even porn in between.

This celebration of all things hedgehog makes the serious point- that wild populations are plumetting - all the more painful to hear, and I found his gentle and ultimately hopeful approach to this crisis far more moving than a maudlin lament.

The book this is very well illustrated and the quality of the printing and photographs is higy. My only real complaint is the pocket book size- chosen by Reaktion for its whole series on animals - is just too small for the illustrations and text and makes the book seem less thorough than it is...still, an unexpected delight.


Stigmata
Stigmata
by Claudio Piersanti Lorenzo Mattotti
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 14.22

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 21 July 2013
This review is from: Stigmata (Hardcover)
Outstanding in every way. Mature, demanding- the point where comics truly becomes literature. Mattotti's art is a revelation- I know him mostly through his somewhat lurid pastels but this violent sweeping swirling expressionistic pencil work was astonishing. The story is beautifully written (and well translated). I respect the decision to leave unresolved the reasons for the stigmata and his own implied holiness. This is a comic I would happily recommend to someone who liked challenging art.


Pioneer 0.5L (Full Tin of Soup) 12 Hour Food Flask 929066
Pioneer 0.5L (Full Tin of Soup) 12 Hour Food Flask 929066
Offered by kitchen essentials
Price: 11.99

2.0 out of 5 stars INSULATION NOT GOOD ENOUGH, 26 May 2013
I do not understand the rave reviews this product gets- maybe there are different versions or these are some kind of planted PR. The fact is that my flask I bought a few months ago loses heat quite fast because the insulation around the screw top is very poor- so, whilst the body stays cool the top loses heat- it gets quite hot in fact. I am making do by putting a bit of cloth in between the top and the screw down cup and this will have to do, but it really is not good enough and far less that the claims.


Sandcastle
Sandcastle
by Pierre Oscar Levy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Comics as a mature dramatic medium, 8 May 2012
This review is from: Sandcastle (Hardcover)
This book is excellent in every respect. On the one hand it has the sensibility of great film or writing for theatre - in particular it is not dogged by any literalness or need to explain what is happening or why: it can just explore the feelings of the moment and the way that characters work together. The bizarreness of a small number of characters trapped in this way made it made me think of plays by Samuel Beckett. It is not surprising to find that author Levy is a film writer.

And on the other hand it has the unique capacity to engage and involve you possessed by great comics- and this one is indeed beautifully drawn and written. I strongly recommend it.


Metronome
Metronome
by Tanaka
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 8.66

2.0 out of 5 stars Experimental style can't cover up stiff art, 3 Mar 2012
This review is from: Metronome (Hardcover)
It's meant to be clever, but doing a wordless story or using panels to set a regular tempo of time are hardly new ideas- in fact they are as old as the comic art form. But the real problem (apart from the lame story and the endless repetitions of the same image often reversed on photoshop) is that the characters are very poorly drawn. Sure Tanaka can do a certain cold style of technical drawing (a piano, or a bottle of champagne) but she can't draw an expressive face to save her life. I think she had to chose an 'experimental' style to cover up poor art and, sorry to say, it doesn't work.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 23, 2013 3:41 PM GMT


Pinocchio
Pinocchio
by Winshluss
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A VISUAL DELIGHT, 18 Sep 2011
This review is from: Pinocchio (Hardcover)
Winshluss has absorbed and can draw perfectly in classic cartooning style (with some of the best colouring I have seen in comics) - but this then becomes the vehicle for his clever, dark and sometimes very funny distortions of the familiar stories. He takes the sanitised Disney stories, subeverts then and returns them to their violent sexually charged roots in folk mythology. This book is a vindication of everything that is exciting and entertaining in the comics medium. The book binding is also, like many new comics, a piece of art in its own right. Strongly recommended (though don't let the kids near it)


Dance by the Light of the Moon
Dance by the Light of the Moon
by Judith Vanistendael
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.47

4.0 out of 5 stars Moving, Poignant and Beautifully Drawn, 25 May 2011
Why is this wonderful book so little known when it excels in so many areas? The story (based on the real life romance between the author and a Togolese asylum seeker) is highly original and moving.African people are virtually absent from European comics and here they are treated with respect and intelligence. But this is not some 'worthy' political treatise - Vanistendael deals with complex issues of racism, cultural clashes, and torture with intelligence and humour as part of human story.

And, above all, she draws like a dream- wonderful flowing brushstrokes, reminiscent of Craig Thompson (Blankets) but even lusher. This book would be a visual delight even without translation. The only weakness (which lost it my full 5 stars) is that the storyline abruptly halts at the wedding and restarts with a chance meeting years after their relationship has ended. It is bizarre that a book about a love affair does not fully explain what happened, and what went wrong. It says, as an aside, that he was plagued by nightmares of his torture and this broke up the marriage, but I am left feeling that something far more complex and interesting occurred in the real life story that Vanistendael would sooner skip over. Fair enough to be discrete, but it seriously weakens the narrative power of the book.

Nonetheless- a superb graphic novel and one to buy and recommend.


Bottomless Belly Button, The
Bottomless Belly Button, The
by Shaw
Edition: Paperback
Price: 18.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding and challenging graphic novel, 26 Mar 2011
This is a challenging book and a major contribution to the comics artform. I loved it.

It is superficially simple and the drawing may appear rough- even crude (actually it is actually highly accomplished). The storyline - a family coming together for a last time in the house they grew up in to mark their parents' separation - does not create much narrative drive and is really a framework for Shaw to explore characters and themes.

But the remarkable quality of this book is Shaw's very subtle and mature understanding of the comics medium and its potential and this may not be apparent to readers who are versed in conventional narrative. For example, in addition to the text he constantly pulls away from the narrative to draw people's subjective state and experience of their own bodies - one insecure character is shown throughout as a bemused frog except in one panel where he actually accepts that he could be attractive to a lover. It's a bizarre and risky experiment and it works supremely well. Shaw also creates complex visual themes that cut across the narrative (for example keys, doors, sand and water), and is constantly experimenting with time through the pacing and location of panels (a quality unique to comics) and space through the different ways he visualises the landscape and house. He also plays delightful games with the graphics, weaving conventional cartoon forms with aerial views, technical drawings, graphs, personal letters, and floor plans

It is also very well scripted with an excellent ear for character and real speech patterns. Dash Shaw has far more writing talent than many other comics creators and does not have to depend on his own experience for his storylines.

I found it totally absorbing, though I would not recommend it to someone as a first graphic novel to read.


CANT GET NO SC (MR)
CANT GET NO SC (MR)
by Rick Veitch
Edition: Paperback
Price: 14.88

2.0 out of 5 stars An interesting concept destroyed by a pretentious script, 23 Sep 2010
This review is from: CANT GET NO SC (MR) (Paperback)
Without doubt the most pretentious graphic novel script I have ever read. It might have worked well without words, but Veitch chose to include a constant whittering voiceover that is often so bad that it is laugh-out-loud appalling. The characterisation is weak and storyline is poor too- trying hard for 'surreal' moments and emotional impact but consistently missing the mark. Veitch really should have got beyond this in high-school. The art is adequate and the initial concept very appealing, but it fails in too many areas.


"Radio Times" Guide to Films 2010
"Radio Times" Guide to Films 2010
by "Radio Times" Film Unit
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best film guide, 22 Sep 2010
Taste is very personal, but all I can say, as a life long movie buff,is that this is the only guide I agree with and the only one that reliably directs me to great films. Halliwell can be too stuffy and seriously underestimate experimental films. Time Out Guide will run down classics and overrate pretentious art films. This guides gets it absolutely spot on again and again- with an excellent perspective on the history of film that includes good reviews of silent and other earlier films.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3