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Ms. S. E. Smithers "Figgybiscuit" (Nottingham, UK)
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Sky Doll Space Ship (Marvel Premiere Editions)
Sky Doll Space Ship (Marvel Premiere Editions)
by Alessandro Barbucci
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and vile, 15 Nov 2012
I'm not a believer that comics are for kids, and many of the graphic novels in my collection have mature content tags. So, when my partner picked this up for me I was really looking forward to reading it because of the stunningly lovely art on the cover and in the book. However, I think if you're going to have extreme content in books, film, plays or whatever, there should be a reason...

So, the book is madeup of stories set in this universe, the first half focussing on the Sky Doll Noa, and the second half on the twin papesses Agape and Lodovica. It is all beautifully drawn with great title pages for the stories and a section in the middle which focuses on the creators, shows some of the character drape elopement sketches etc. so far so good.

The first set of stories are quite fun and capture some of the feeling af modern pop manga. The different stories are apparently flash backs to Noa's past and the various jobs she has done.

My main problem with this collection comes with the second half of this book which is more focused on the series' apparent rejectin of organised religion. It might be a theme which is represented better in other volumes of this series, but if I'm honest I feel it's lost here in all the sex and violence. Even the supposed papesses are shown as really nothing more than objects to be dressed up, objectified, fantasised over and in one case made to believe she has committed a crime she hasn't in order to make her easier to control.

The final straw for me though was the last one, [SPOILER ALERT!!!! I GO INTO PLOT IN THIS PARAGRAPH!] in which a young religious virgin is deliberately selected via reality tv show to be a "papess for a day". In reality once the cameras are gone we find out she's been chosen to be violently raped and abused for the amusement of the person she worships and her retinue. This isn't hinted at or suggested, it's shown, with comments from the spectators such as "well I'd never want to be her ass... One's okay but triple penetration?! Hahaha!" The story epilogue shows the traumatised victim a year on, as her younger sister, a child, is selected for the next round. [END OF SPOILER ALERT!!!]

Now, it might be possible to draw comparisons between recent church and TV presenter abuse scandles, and say this is a comment. The problem is that the stories do not make mature comment that this is wrong and horrible. The stories glorify in what's happening, and it just leaves a nasty taste in the mouth of the reader. If you want to read serious adult comics which tackle these issues they are out there, One Bad Rat springs to mind. But the interview with the creator of this story simply states that he wanted to write "a story that was hot with sex and religion" and chose a "funny and amusing artistic approach, so that the readers would not take the story too seriously." he includes "savage peadophillia" so that his story won't "end up on the cutting room floor". Funny peadophillia huh? Sorry, this isn't good enough in my opinion, reducing the story to the level of so called 'torture porn' films.

To sum up, you might enjoy this if you are a fan of the series, but don't start off with it, and be prepared.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 9, 2013 9:22 PM GMT


WeeRide Classic Front Mounted Children's Safest Bike Seat, Ages 1-4
WeeRide Classic Front Mounted Children's Safest Bike Seat, Ages 1-4
Price: £57.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We love it, and most importantly, so does our little one!, 9 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Easy to fit, reasonably priced, well made and very safe.

I would recommend this over other, rear mounted, bike seats as it is more stable having your little-one on the front where your weight naturally is on a bike, and it's more fun for them as they can see where you're going!

You get a bar which runs between your seat stem and headset and the actual seat attaches to the bar by means of a screw, which means it's easy to put on and take off. You can also buy a bar separately, which we did, so we have one on each bike and it's very easy to switch the seat between bikes.

The only quibble I have is that the bit of the harness which goes between the child's legs can't be lengthened so sometimes it's a bit of a pfaff buckling the harness, especially in winter when you have big coats to deal with! But this is a minor point and I would absolutely recommend this seat to cycling parents who want to take their little ones with them.


Strontium Dog: the Life and Death of Johnny Alpha
Strontium Dog: the Life and Death of Johnny Alpha
by John Wagner
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.37

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 9 Nov 2012
G. Meldrum gives a very comprehensive review so I'll keep this short.

I read a lot of comics when I was young and the death of Johnny Alpha in The Final Solution was a stand out moment. I stopped reading 2000 AD a long time ago and was really excited when I heard about this collection: there was always scope to bring Johnny back especially considering the manner of his death. However, in my opinion this was a very disappointing way to do it, Esquerra's art is far from it's best and In re-writing what happened Wagner deals terribly with Feral (why on earth would he have a knife???) and introduces an extremely poor new character who feels shoehorned in as a sexy female lead now Red isn't around. It's a real shame.

The actual story of what happens with Alpha is very perfunctory, I get the impression Wagner wanted to just get it out of the way so he could write the next story The Project, which takes up the second half of this book. Sadly The Project doesn't feel like anything new (barr one small point which I won't go into for spoiler reasons!) and, very importantly, isn't completed in this collection! The story just cuts off half way through which is very annoying.

I wouldn't recommend this collection as it's poor and incomplete, unless you are an avid fan who wants it to fill a gap in the story, as I was.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 9, 2013 9:05 PM GMT


Aero Sport ReflectaClip 3M Scotchlite Reflective Spoke Clips Conforms to BS and TUV Standards (18 Pieces) - Silver
Aero Sport ReflectaClip 3M Scotchlite Reflective Spoke Clips Conforms to BS and TUV Standards (18 Pieces) - Silver
Price: £7.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Be seen at night!, 9 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My partner and I commute to work and carry our small daughter to nursery on our bikes. With the increased volume of cyclist casualties this year I'm not content with just the normal set of lights, etc. I want to be lit up like a Christmas tree this winter! So I got these alongside other reflective stickers and some valve-cap lights. They are well made and you get enough to distribute them generously across both wheels. I felt they were a little overpriced at the time, but they've since come down in cost and after all, £8 isn't much to help stay alive and healthy. As another reviewer says they aren't a replacement for a good set of lights, but they're a good addition and I would definitely recommend them.


MOGLO REFLECTIVE CHEVRON stickers (48") * CHOICE OF 6 colours
MOGLO REFLECTIVE CHEVRON stickers (48") * CHOICE OF 6 colours
Offered by MOGLO REFLECTIVES
Price: £5.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light up at night!, 9 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Loads of stickers in the pack with strong, weather resistant adhesive. Very good quality and value for money, I have stuck these all over my and my partner's bikes. Highly recommended for anyone wanting to be seen in the dark!


Gazboat Presta to Schrader Valve with O Ring "Free UK Shipping"
Gazboat Presta to Schrader Valve with O Ring "Free UK Shipping"
Offered by Gazboat
Price: £2.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin, 9 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought these so I could attach some valve-cap lights with schrader fittings onto Presta valves. They work well, are well made, reasonably priced and arrived really fast. Recommended.


MOGLO Reflective Motorbike / Cycle Helmet *STICKER SET* 7 colours
MOGLO Reflective Motorbike / Cycle Helmet *STICKER SET* 7 colours
Offered by MOGLO REFLECTIVES
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Well made safety kit!, 9 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I commute to work and take my small daughter to nursery on my bike, but with the increased rate of accidents involving cyclists I don't feel happy with the normal lights and reflectors any more. When I'm cycling this winter I want to be lit up like a Christmas tree! So I bought a set of these to go on our helmets (I'm covering every available surface in lights or reflective kit!).

These stickers are really well made: they have a strong weather resistant adhesive and are shaped to fit cycle helmets. There are also plenty of stickers in the pack so I was able to distribute them amongst three helmets effectively. I would highly recommend them to anyone wanting to be a bit more visible riding at night, a good quality product, reasonably priced and delivered quickly.


Trolls
Trolls
by Brian Froud
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.60

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and Fantastical, fantasy for the discerning adult, 9 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Trolls (Hardcover)
I bought this as I'm a fan of Froud's art and was not disappointed! The book is told as an ongoing story but with 'factual' studies about Trolls, their lives and habits interspersed. The artwork is wonderful and I loved the stories which have the atmosphere of authentic folk legends and fairy tales.

If you're thinking of buying this book as a gift it's a wonderful idea and highly recommended, but remember this isn't Disney for little children. Some of the images and stories, although lovely, are also slightly disturbing (the story of the beautiful troll maid who falls in love with a mortal man is a good example) and so can be a bit scary for small children. That isn't a criticism though, just a pointer regarding suggested readers which I would say would be lovers of fantasy and folklore and fairy tales, and older children who will be inspired by this wonderful work.


HOTER Bike LED Flash Light Wheel Valve Cap Bicycle Lamp(Price/Piece)
HOTER Bike LED Flash Light Wheel Valve Cap Bicycle Lamp(Price/Piece)
Offered by IDEAL-TECH(10-25 days to receive)
Price: £1.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tron bike!, 9 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A couple of weeks back I got knocked off my bike while riding in a cycle lane, in daylight, in high vis. Buying a set of these for myself and my partner was part of helping get my confidence back up: when I get my bike back I don't just want lights, I want to be lit up like a Christmas tree!

I chosen these ones because I wasn't sure how easy it would be to fit them to Presta valves and also picked up a few valve converters. To be honest you can see they're at the cheaper end of the market when you look at the plastic moulding on the base, but that doesn't notice when they're on your bike. They fitted the Presta valves fine with no need for the converters (the light has a small inner thread for a Presta fitting and a larger outer ring which can be removed to fit a schrader valve) and light up when your wheels start rotating. The effect in the dark (we had a look on my partner's bike) is really rather fantastic!

Overall I'm really pleased with them and I'd recommend the seller as they arrived very quickly. One star lost for the cheap plastic moulding but that's quite a minor point.


The Greatcoat
The Greatcoat
by Helen Dunmore
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written, but overall disappointing, 25 July 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Greatcoat (Hardcover)
This is the first book I have read by Helen Dunmore, and I decided to buy it after a very favourable review in the magazine Fortean Times. I was off on holiday and fancied a romance with a spooky twist.

Overall, the book was well written, it was shorter than I expected and clipped along at a fair pace. The story was good and it was atmospheric. However, this is just personal taste, but the issue I had with it was the atmosphere. To me it felt very claustrophobic, but not in a spooky tense way, but rather I hated the feel of the house the main character occupied, the overriding feel was stuffy and oppressive. You could almost smell the old dust on the furniture. I also generally disliked the main character, finding her reactionary and unsympathetic.

Overall I'd say it's a good book, but probably not one I'll read again.


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