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Graphic Ink: The DC Comics Art of Frank Quitely HC
Graphic Ink: The DC Comics Art of Frank Quitely HC
by Frank Quitely
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 20.39

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost, but not Quite., 1 July 2014
In his one-page afterword to this handsome volume, Frank Quitely says that this book may initially seem like a mixed bag. To this I would agree. This afterword, humble and self-effacing, is the only new textual material included in the book. The new cover is a previously-unpublished Batman and Robin variant cover. It is a shame that as the book seems to have been endorsed by Quitely that there are not any "bonus new tracks" or at least new covers for the cased book or dustjacket. Quitely also states in his afterword that the contents are roughly chronological and you wonder why they were not printed in strict chronological order so that you can better see the artistic arc of development he also refers to. This is an indispensable collection for any Quitely DC Comics fan but with a few tweaks it could have been so much better. It collects, as far as I can tell, all the short pieces Quitely has had published as only back-ups or in disparate anthology comics and books, but it also reprints a number of full-length comics too. For the record these are The Invisibles Vol 3, issue 1; Batman: The Scottish Connection; The Kingdom one-shot: Offspring; and the first three issues of Batman and Robin. I can just about understand the inclusion of the first three as although they are not impossible to come by as back issues then neither are they readily-available. But I do not see why Quitely's most recent high-profile DC work (on Batman and Robin) should be here as I am sure any Quitely fan deserving of the name will already have it in at least one format. Another gripe is that even though the reprints of covers is pretty comprehensive, there are, off the top of my head, at least two notable omissions: the erotically-charged Bite Club covers (which could be due to legal wrangling with the title's creators, Chaykin and Tischman), and the Green Lantern / Sinestro variant for GL 60. A full covers checklist would have been appreciated. But in general the book is good value and I would think that even the most die-hard Quitely fan /scourer of Previews will not have everything included here, and even if they do it will not be on such nice paper and in such a generously-sized and attractive format. So for the cost of a few of those comics whose variant-covers are reprinted inside this book you can have just about the complete collected Frank Quitely DC shorter works.


Once Upon a Time in Anatolia [DVD]
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia [DVD]
Dvd ~ Muhammet Uzuner
Price: 15.24

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slooow burn, 25 July 2012
At the risk of making a sweeping statement I am guessing that if you are thinking of buying or hiring this title then you are of an age that remembers VHS player/recorders. When I started watching this film I have never before yearned so much for a VHS copy and one of those VHS players of old. specifically a JVC model we owned which had a double-speed play facility, which would enable you to watch foreign language English-subtitled films in half the time. The opening of the film is interminably slow, glacially slow; I mean it when I say I could feel my life slipping away as I watched it. I grant you it is beautifully shot and I am sure it must have looked quite spectacular on the big screen in the cinema. There is a stunning scene - you will know it when you see it - when tea by candlelight is served after dinner, but I was always feeling I should be weighing up the cost to benefit ratio. Good as the scene is - in some respects I would liken it to the moment at the end of Paths of Glory in the bierkeller - I kept on wondering if that was all I was going to take away from watching a 157 minute film and if that was worth it. And then day breaks. Things pick up speed quite considerably and there is an exchange between the prosecutor and doctor towards the end just before the autopsy which is stupendous and as good as anything I have ever seen written and performed in over thirty-five years of film going. It sheds light on what has been discussed earlier and what will follow it and also says something profound about man/womankind, and goes some way in justifying all the mundane and banal banter heard earlier in the film, and makes you want to go back and revisit certain scenes. Incidentally, in the director interview extra there is only one important point raised and that is that the mind-numbingly slow opening hour to hour and a half is a deliberate strategy by the director/scriptwriter to weed out those viewers who do not have the sensibilities to see this type of film to the end. In summary, an ultimately rewarding cinematic experience, but be prepared for the long haul.


R.I.P.: Best of 1985-2004
R.I.P.: Best of 1985-2004
by Thomas Ott
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 14.74

5.0 out of 5 stars You pays your money and you takes your choice - it is black and white, 10 May 2011
Like the previous reviewer, I was tempted to give this book merely a mediocre rating based on the fact that for die-hard Ott fans (has anyone coined the term "Tottheads"?) there is not much in this volume that has not already been seen in print in the three, admittedly out-of-print, hardcover British-annual format books: Tales of Error, Greetings from Hellville, and Dead End. But if you take it for what it claims to be - a greatest hits compendium for the uninitiated - then it is a must. I now have The Millionairs (sic) in three formats: the printing in some Comix Expo collection, the Dead End collection, and now this volume. Having said that I have "read" (as the previous reviewer said, Ott's stories are for the most part wordless so "read" is a bit of a misnomer) that particular story more than three times; it is his masterpiece, and worthy of a place in any comic fan's collection, and therefore justifies the cost of admission alone (and the five-star rating), if that is the only way you are going to see it. As for Ott completists, it is a bit of a disappointment. To quote the fine print at the end of this book, there are eight previously-uncollected stories (they were not printed in the three afore-mentioned hardcover volumes), and these amount to approximately forty pages of work which range from one-pagers to a "thirteen-pager" (the collection of wrestling posters the previous reviewer refers to which is neither a proper story nor a set of posters but somewhere in between). To be honest, if you already have the three hardcover volumes and you live anywhere near a comic shop which stocks this title in an unshrinkwrapped state then I would suggest you go around and "read" the new material there rather than fork out the better part of twenty quid for stuff you for the most part already have (because I first read The Millionairs in the Comix Expo anthology I thought I could save myself a tenner by reading the only other story with The Miilionairs that makes up the volume Dead End, which was Washing Day, when I was in London's Gosh Comics basement book area one afternoon). The other bit of info for you Ott completists is that there is one story, Honeymoon. in the Tales of Error volume which is not reprinted in RIP, otherwise this title has all three volumes' work, barring the covers, endpapers and a couple of one-page spot illos. So in summary, if you already own Dead End, Hellville and Error then you should probably think twice before shelling out for this. It will look nicer on your bookshelf next to the similar B-paperback-format Cinema Panopticum and The Number 73304-23-4153-6-96-8 (although, obviously, all three are in hardcovers) but is that really worth it for the small number of "special features"? You already have most of the stories in a larger, more luxurious format. Get, if like me, you are an anal, dyed-in-the-wool fan. If you do not have the three hardcover titles and do not want to pay gouger's prices on eBay for those three rare volumes then buy, buy, buy - you will not regret it.


10" BUTCHER SHOP CLEAVER BY DOLOMITEN INOX
10" BUTCHER SHOP CLEAVER BY DOLOMITEN INOX
Offered by The Knife Company UK
Price: 39.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Razor-sharp service, razor-sharp product., 31 Dec 2010
I ordered this item to replace a heavy butcher's cleaver which broke on Christmas Eve eve (23rd December) - the handle came off. I made the order on Amazon at around 2.30pm on the first "working" day after Christmas (I put that in inverted commas because the custom with many companies is to shut down between Christmas and New Year) not expecting to see any sign of the cleaver until the New Year. So I was pleasantly surprised to be notified that evening with the message that the cleaver had been dispatched by standard delivery that very day - expected arrival in the new year. I was even more surprised to receive the product - carefully and safely packed in stiff cardboard - the following day; roughly twenty-four hours from order to arrival and between Christmas and New Year to boot! Hats off to the company and Royal Mail! As for the product: it was just what I was looking for. Namely something with a bit of weight to it that could hack through pigs' bones for soups and stocks. The handle is securely attached to the blade, unlike the flimsily-attached previous cleavers I had, and the blade is sharp enough to handle more delicate tasks as the need arises. I cannot recommend the product and the level of service displayed by the company more highly. I am sure the cleaver will last me a lifetime (though I am at the age where I am closer to death than birth, but that is by the by; I am sure you know what I mean).


Blackest Night Green Lantern HC
Blackest Night Green Lantern HC
by Geoff Johns
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review by non-regular GL fan, 14 July 2010
A few pages of original artwork for this title appeared on eBay a couple of months back and I was genuinely taken aback at how good they were (the last four pages of the first "chapter") and having missed this title during its regular run I was eagerly awaiting the publication of this hardcover which would allow me to get the whole story without paying gougers' prices for the early back issues. I have only a rudimentary knowledge of GL based more on his O'Neil/Adams run than from the Geoff Johns version, so I had to fill in a lot of the blanks. If you are coming to this edition cold with no knowledge of the "space opera" that GL has evolved into then you might, like me, find this heavy going; like picking up an edition of X-Men for the first time after five years and thinking you know what is going on. This confusion is compounded by the "gaps" even between chapters, or issues reprinted in this edition, which is probably due to the whole storyline being continued in a host of other titles when it first came out. Then the edition finishes on a "cliffhanger" which refers you to the Blackest Night collected hardcover. So if you want to fully appreciate/understand this book you will have to get at least the Blackest Night collection, and probably ideally the GL Corps edition as well as know something about Hal Jordan's past death and resurrection. It seems to me (and you will have to excuse me if this is blatantly obvious to dyed-in-the-wool Lantern fans) that this Black Lantern storyline is another manifestation of this fad for zombies which I think Marvel Zombies kicked off some years back. I have to say that in spite of the deficiencies in the scripting (if you can call them that, or if you can call them deficiencies in my back knowledge of the proceedings), the artwork is a joy to look at, recalling Adams, Bolland, Van Schiver and even Francis Bacon: it is a true tour de force and Mahnke is on top of his game (as I suppose you have to be depicting aliens and their otherworldly landscapes) and has come a long way from the stiff, primitive artist I remember from his work on Dark Horse's Homicide. The colourists have also done a particularly excellent job in this storyline and their accurate participation was critical. So a recommendation of sorts. You will not be able to enjoy fully this book without getting a number of the other titles this was tied in with but if you are not sure if you want to got out and blow a wad on associated titles try this first (although it looks like this is by far the best drawn of the titles). It wasn't enough for me to want to go out and start buying the regular title on a monthly basis but then that could just be that I am too old and jaded for these crossover multi-part stoylines.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 14, 2010 8:48 PM BST


Dualit Hand Mixer Chrome 88400
Dualit Hand Mixer Chrome 88400
Offered by Click n Order
Price: 70.55

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sir Mix-a-little's review of hand mixer, 25 Feb 2010
Having had this mixer for about a fortnight I think I am qualified to give a rough approximation of how good it is. It certainly has a number of useful and in a couple of cases unique features that makes it stand out from the run-of-the-mill. It is nice and compact, has five speeds, 300kw power, and it is the only mixer I have seen which boasts a balloon whisk, as well as the traditional two whisk beaters and dough kneaders, and a retractable cord which is retracted and, um, extracted by winding the base (on which you can rest the beater while temporarily out of use) and pulling the plug, respectively. The appliance is very nice to look at, that cannot be underestimated if you are using it day in and day out. All the other spec you can glean from its description on the page advertising it. The reason why I have not given it a perfect score is the length of the lead which is only about a metre in length which may be adequate for most people but because of special requirements I would have preferred it to be what seems a more standard length of 1.7 metres; I suppose that this is the trade-off for the retractable property of the lead - the base could not accommodate a longer lead. If this is not a problem for you then this is a near-ideal mixer. (One of the last mixers we had was disposed of because the lead had become frayed and snapped from over-coiling around the main body after each use.)


Funeral of the Heart
Funeral of the Heart
by Leah Hayes
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.55

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not all comics are black and white., 2 May 2008
This review is from: Funeral of the Heart (Paperback)
I have a very soft spot for the work of Thomas Ott, the graphic artist par excellence of the scratchboard, whose masterwork, Dead End, deserves to be read by anyone interested in comics. I was enticed into buying this book, Funeral of the Heart, solely from the publisher's short blurb in Previews and by the fact that Leah Hayes is another exponent of the scratchboard. To surmise that you will like her work because you might like Thomas Ott's is like saying that you will like Neal Adams's work if you like Gary Panter's (or, perhaps more appropriately, vice versa) just because they both work in the medium of comics. So when I opened the book for the first time I was taken aback and originally wanted to put the book straight onto eBay, unread, and chalk it up to experience. If there can be polar opposites in the field of comics using scratchboard then Leah Hayes and Thomas Ott occupies those positions. Ott's work is almost wordless and he takes away from the board what would normally be left bare if you used a normal pen or brush; Hayes' work is wordy, laboriously so with whole pages painstakingly handlettered, where for the most part what is taken away being what a normal pen or brush would put down. There is no denying the amount of work put in to the drawings and there are some pages of the book which really stand out (such as the gnarled hand of the dead grandmother, or the page with the duck being embraced). However, it is the melancholic sadness of the stories which are most affecting. All five stories take place in a non-specific time and geographical location which makes them easily identifiable with and understandable. They are almost like haunting children's stories which refuse to conclude with a happy ending (and are all the better for that). They, for want of a better term, take time to grow on you and in this respect they are diametrically opposed to the viseceral head-on power of Ott's work. I never did put the book onto eBay in the end. Consider that a reserved recommendation. Not better than Ott, not necessarily worse; just different and worth your time if you can partially read the book in Waterstones or, I don't know, pick it up cheaply on eBay.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 1, 2013 10:20 PM BST


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