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Octo7 (Dublin)

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League of Extraordinary Gentleman: Century 2009
League of Extraordinary Gentleman: Century 2009
by Alan Moore
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing but highly disturbing and cynical., 12 July 2012
The latest chapter in the LOEG is a rather bitter one. It seems Moore and O'Neil have used the contemporary time-frame as a vehicle to vent their anger and frustration at the near-barren landscape of fiction and popular culture of modern times. The narrative is a lot stronger than the previous two Century books, there is less time wasted on exposition and referencing off-page characters. The story is incredibly bleak, even more-so than the previous two books. I don't want to go into the details of the plot for fear of ruining the experience for people, but let's just say Harry Potter fans will find a lot to be disturbed and frightened about.
The characterization is good in this one. I finally feel like I know Orlando and understand what makes him/her tick, he/she's a lot less irritating this time round and strangely likeable despite the fact she does something atrocious in the opening pages. One problem I have with this book, it seems at times to be a scathing attack on the young people of today. Perhaps I am totally misunderstanding the intention but, it seems the main antagonist is symbolic of modern youth, and isn't portrayed in a flattering way at all. This book also gives the impression that Moore despises Harry Potter, which is a bit baffling to me, they're not exactly Shakespeare but I don't see anything inherently evil or amoral about the Harry Potter series, especially since it has undoubtedly encouraged a lot of children to read.

Kevin O'Neil's artwork is incredible as always!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 16, 2012 5:17 PM BST


League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Black Dossier, The (League of Extraordinary Gentmn)
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Black Dossier, The (League of Extraordinary Gentmn)
by Alan Moore
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £22.50

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book Lover's Dream, 14 Jun. 2012
The hardcover edition of this book is simply beautiful. First the presentation: black cover with embossed MI5 insignia with a wrap-around dust-jacket, fabric bookmark attached to the book. Some sections of the book are printed on different types of paper in order to give individual stories their own unique charm and sense of place. The final chapter is in 3D and the book contains a free pair of 3D glasses provided in the jacket.

Now the content; This one is not for everybody. Even those who read and enjoyed volumes one and two may be a bit put off by the shift in style of the narrative. If, like me, you really enjoyed the short story at the end of League Volume 1 and the Traveller's Almanac at the end of Volume 2; you will love this. It's dense, very text-heavy and extremely varied from chapter to chapter. It opens with a comic, then turns to text, then back to a comic, then more text etc. The artwork is stunningly detailed and varied, possibly Kevin O'Neil's best work to date and that's a big deal. The overall tone has changed quite drastically, even more noticebly than volume 2 did from volume 1. There is a lot of nudity this-time round, also the setting has changed to 1958 so the language and aesthetic have all shifted too. Also, if you didn't bother to read the New Traveller's Almanac at the end of Volume 2 you will probably be highly confused about Allan Quatermaine's appearance and the fact Miss Murray is as youthful and attractive as ever even though the story takes place 70 years after the events of Volume 1.

All in all I would recommend this book to open-minded fans of Alan Moore and fiction in general. Don't buy this expecting a graphic novel or a Victorian adventure-yarn for boys, this one is more cerebral and requires an enthusiastic reader who can handle a bit of meat with their veggies.


Megalex
Megalex
by Alejandro Jodorowsky
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.99

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Megalex, 30 May 2012
This review is from: Megalex (Hardcover)
The term 'wild imagination' is really an understatement when it comes to Jodorowsky; anyone who's seen his amazing films or read any of his comics will testify to this. So it comes as no surprise that Megalex is loaded with incredible, albeit sometimes baffling ideas that meld together to create a complex and satisfying whole. Those not used to his style may find the super-fast pace and really out-there ideas a bit alarming at first, but with the help of Beltran's beautiful art, it shouldn't take long for you to get accustomed to the wild energy, sexuality and extreme violence contained within the narrative. As usual for Jodorowsky, there is plenty of social commentary in this story, although none of it too heavy-handed or preachy; there's also plenty of spiritual and religious symbolism.

Fred Beltran's artwork is incredible. The book is divided into three chapters, the first two contain Beltran's signature digital artwork, which still looks organic and beautifully detailed, despite not being hand-drawn in the traditional sense. The final chapter is done in a more traditional pen and ink comic style, but it somehow remains consistent with chapter one and two and is too pretty to complain about. Beltran's talent and unique style as an artist is indisputable.

As usual, being a Humanoids book, this hardcover is beautifully bound and printed, and looks great on my shelf. I think Humanoids are probably the best comics publisher around when it comes to pure quality in their physical product, luckily the content nearly always lives up to the classy presentation.

I highly recommend this book to fans of Jodorowsky and comics in general, but not to younger readers as it does contain some extreme violence and plenty of nudity. Some of the violent scenes are genuinely disturbing, which I find rare in a Jodorowsky comic because he usually depicts violence in an almost celebratory comic-book style. If you like good art, dystopian sci-fi, and really unique characters; then buy this book. Fans of the Incal are in for a real treat, it's the closest thing he's done to that style in years, even more-so than the canonical 'The Metabarons or The Techno Priests' series .


Ufabulum
Ufabulum
Price: £5.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He's back!, 18 May 2012
This review is from: Ufabulum (Audio CD)
Hate to start this review on a negative note but this needs to be said: I didn't like Squarepusher's last two albums, not even a little bit. I found the last record unlistenable, vocoder Zap! style vocals saying a whole lot of nothing over some technically accomplished but soulless funk and pop, nothing challenging or dangerous or new about it at all. The record before that, Just a Souvenir, had three decent tracks, the rest just didn't do it for me, I hated the vocals and the faux pop-rock style of it all. I did however enjoy the Numbers Lucent EP.

The new album is a refreshing departure from recent explorations. It's far more electronic sounding, the most all-out electronic Squarepusher album since Selection Sixteen, which is arguably his most solid album to my ears after Music Is One Rotted Note. It's not super-challenging like Ultravisitor, nor is it OTT and grating like Go Plastic. It's also really upbeat! Especially the first half of the record, tunes are downright happy, and although I like when Squarepusher is moody and dark and experimental, he knows how to make really joyful and happy music too. But don't worry for there is a little darkness and experimentation on here too, Drax 2 being a good example of that, and arguably the best song on the record. There are other great standout tunes like the album's opener 4001, the acid madness of Scopem Hard 303, or the amazing soundtrack to some non-existent videogame in Stadium Ice. Dark Steering needs a mention too, a mish-mash of race-car engine sounds, the roland 303, and SP's crazy timing.

So Squarepusher fans, if you really dug his previous two records then you might not like this one so much. If you like his more electonic-sounding stuff, and especially if you're into the 303, you will like this album. I'd say personally that it's his best record since Ultravisitor,and although it doesn't have anything like the incredible Iambic 9 poetry, as an album it's more listenable from start to finish than Ultravisitor and perhaps any of his other albums.

For people who are new to Squarepusher, this is probably an ideal starting place as it's rather accessible but still gives a taster of Mr Jenkinson's more extreme and experimental side.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 20, 2012 1:30 AM BST


Wonky [Digipack]
Wonky [Digipack]
Price: £14.65

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A triumphant return for the brothers' Orbital, 4 April 2012
This review is from: Wonky [Digipack] (Audio CD)
Wonky is the incredible new LP from Orbital, their first in about eight years. An upbeat, acid-tinged wonder of an album; it sounds distinctly Orbital but at the same time branches out in new and interesting directions. I got my hands on the album three days ago and I have listened to it from start to finish 8 times already! I like every single track so it's difficult for me to pick favourites, obvious stand-outs and potential single-material include the title track, New France and Stringy Acid, but the album is of that rare quality where any track could probably be released as a single and received well. I've always admired Orbital and enjoyed most of their music but I've never been a massive fan, but this album has made me go back and dust off my old Orbital CD's, and now they feel fresher and newer than ever thanks to this brilliant record! I won't go into detail about the sound of the tracks or the apparent genre influences, that would ruin the fun. Buy now and enjoy!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 5, 2012 7:18 PM BST


Haunted Air
Haunted Air
by Ossian Brown
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £22.95

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully eerie., 2 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Haunted Air (Hardcover)
Haunted Air is a beautiful hard-cover collection of Halloween photographs from America's past. There's something very strange and even magical about this book. The introduction by David Lynch is short, sweet and beautifully written; then we get straight to the photographs. The pages are of high-quality paper and the print-job is perfect; the photographs jump out from centre of their plain-white surroundings, right into your mind. There is on average, one photo for every two pages, the left page is often blank while the right contains the image, it's so minimal and effective, and gives each image the attention it duly deserves. I'm not going to try to explain the images, they just need to be seen.
So fans of the macabre, weird, dark, fantastical, and wonderful should find something to enjoy here. If you have even a mild interest in the contents of this book, I know you will love it.

(Also, as a Coil fan, I thought it was nice to see this book is dedicated to Jhon Balance.)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 12, 2012 2:15 PM BST


Tension
Tension
Price: £19.24

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I think it's freaky and I like it a lot., 11 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Tension (Audio CD)
Die Antwoord return with a more focused second record this time round, with Ten$ion. The title is fitting, although this album still presents a somewhat tongue-in-cheek and over-the-top approach, there is a darker undercurrent to the album and there are moments of frankness and honesty in the lyrics; the 'tension' is most evident in how the duo deliver their vocals, both rappers are taking the David Byrne approach by raising their voices a decibel or too above their own range and comfort zone, Yolandi's high-pitch delivery is now even more shrill but no less thoughtful and lyrical than before. The production on this record seems of a much higher budget than their previous record, this is a good thing for the most part but there are moments that seem a little over-produced and sterile, I don't like the opening track too much; especially the dubstep breakdown which really just feels like pandering for a wider market; in saying that, I enjoyed every other track on this CD. Some people may not be happy with the short running-time of the album but as Shakespeare once said, "brevity is the soul of wit."

So I recommend this album to fans of the first record, but also to people who might be interested in a crazy blender mix of KLF, Aphex Twin, Eminem, and some cheesy euro-techno, mashed into one group with a unique South African twist. Die Antwoord are a creative force to be reckoned with and a breath of fresh air in this drab world of modern pop music.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 6, 2012 11:56 AM BST


Batman: Black Casebook
Batman: Black Casebook
by Edmond Hamilton
Edition: Paperback

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quirky collection of Batman's weirdest tales., 20 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Batman: Black Casebook (Paperback)
A reference collection for the god-awful Batman R.I.P., luckily the tales collected here are so wacky and varied that most fans will enjoy them. These are downright bizarre issues of Batman going back as far as the 1950's, many of which deal with issues like paranoia and self-doubt. To me, the 1950's is the worst possible era for Batman, spaceships everywhere and wacky b-movie alien baddies, Batmite, flying saucers, and general campy weirdness, but the tales here work for that very reason, they're so extreme in their strangenes that they're fascinating. So yeah, I recommend this book for Batman fans who are interested in taking a peak into the weird and sometimes creepy past of the masked crusader, none of these tales are to be taken too seriously but they are interesting for historical value and the novelty of their strangeness.


United Acid Emirates
United Acid Emirates

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Acid Lunacy, 20 Jan. 2012
This review is from: United Acid Emirates (Audio CD)
A stellar Ceephax recording for fans of Acid and chip tunes. This is Ceephax at his most focused and refined to date. I've always been a big fan of this guy but now it seems he's evolved past most of his peers in becoming a unique and unashamedly FUN force in the world of Acidhouse and 'IDM.' Fans of the Analord series will love some of these tunes, people in their late 20's/early 30's like me who grew up with 8-bit consoles will also find a lot to enjoy, and anyone with even a mild appreciation for the sound of the mighty TB303 will also find lots to love about this record. God speed to Ceephax and Planet Mu!


The Incal: The Epic Conspiracy - Volume 1
The Incal: The Epic Conspiracy - Volume 1
by Alejandro Jodorowsky
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic ruined by recolouring, 29 July 2011
Well, perhaps 'ruined' is too strong a word but Incal has definitely been tainted by the digital recolouring it received for this edition. Both this, and Incal: The Epic Journey encompass all of the original Incal comic by Moebius and Jodorowsky, unfortunately both are devoid of the original colouring and even the inking has been affected, which leaves the incredible line-work by Moebius all but buried. In my opinion it's one of the greatest comics ever conceived, up there with the likes of Watchmen; just don't buy these two editions, if you want the original artwork, then go for the Humanoids hardcover with the yellow cover, available on amazon.com, but not currently available here on .co.uk. I know there is a new hardcover edition being released here in the UK in October, but it's not being printed by Humanoids and I'm unsure as to whether it will collect these recoloured monstrosities or the original colouring; either way I doubt very much that this new edition will be printed to the excellent standard of the Humanoids hardcover.

*update*

The new hardcover edition available in the UK does indeed contain the original colouring and linework. Although I still prefer the Humanoids hardcover, the UK one is nicely printed and worth checking out if you can't find the Humanoids one.


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