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Emmeline Dobson "Emmeline Dobson" (London, UK)
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Max Value 85 Mbps Home Plug Double Unit Pack
Max Value 85 Mbps Home Plug Double Unit Pack

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Functional but with confusing instructions, 29 Oct. 2009
I used these to solve the problem of having poor wifi reception at my work desk because of distance from the router. The confusing CD-ROM and instruction sheet included initially caused a lot of faff and apprehension. (The sheet named a folder to open, which none of the four folders on the CD-ROM matched, for starters.) But after giving up on following the instructions and resorting to testing if they just worked (just in case) they turned out to simply function as hoped all along! The price seems high for a pair of bulky devices that feel poor in build quality, and the cables supplied will be too short unless your wall socket is right next to your work space, but they work surprisingly well.


Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels
Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels
by Scott McCloud
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.78

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another McCloud book to get excited about, and to get you inspired about your own comics!, 6 Nov. 2006
Scott McCloud scores again with another incredibly intelligent non-fiction comic! In Understanding Comics he wrote a groundbreaking literature analysis that unveiled the mysterious inner workings of comics - in can't-put-it-down attractive comic format! Making Comics is another important book for comics in general, its chapter topics are of immediate relevance, with lots of solid practicals.

There are stacks of "how to draw" books out there, but McCloud's applies his rare talent in the witty presentation of diligent research. Making Comics conveys years of reading, pattern-deducing and theorising, digging into fine art composition techniques, the psychology of involving the reader of comics, the life cycles of genres and loads more. I may risk giving the impression that this is an academic, highbrow or out-of-touch book. Again, it's very practical.

The reader can learn so much, yet it's impossible to liken it to a textbook because it's so fun! However, for those truly getting serious, at the end of each chapter is an invaluable new "Notes" section, which includes optional exercises to do. These are often group activities, benefiting circles of enthusiasts or art teachers and media courses.

McCloud uses the artwork in the format to demonstrate each point. Frequently he uses examples from other comics, but the artwork is predominantly his own which (despite his self-humbling comments) is skillful and clear. As the book explains how, words and pictures together act as more than the sum of their parts to get across deeper messages about emotions, sensations, craftsmanship and more. This book clearly charts the way towards barely explored territories among the endless possibilities of comics making. It also imparts the know-how for readers to confidently set out on their personal journey to get there! I think every reader is going to catch some inspiration from Making Comics, and be itching to start creating new comics by the end!

Manga fans should find this book invaluable, with a small ten-page section devoted specifically to comics from Japan. This contains eight specific manga features, and they're a far cry from big eyes and cute (this book is about substance, not surface remember!) The take on shojo (target audience is girls) and shonen (manga for boys) genres is a breath of fresh air, despite brevity. This sounds like very little, but the entire volume is as applicable to manga as to comics from any other culture. (Popular manga artwork in the examples crops up from introduction to ending.)

As my main complaint about this book, the strength of being practical leave me missing McCloud's intellectual flights in Understanding Comics somewhat. This reader was awed by Understanding Comics and the sense of enlightenment sparking from each page. This is a different kind of book. The earlier book is about history, purpose, the human mind, the future; this presents an approach to drawing faces, how attention to environments contributes to your work, pitfalls to avoid when placing text in a word balloon... However, it is an unbefitting grumble that its content is comparatively mundane. I reckon Making Comics is every bit as brilliant as Understanding Comics - instead of satisfying a hunger for knowledge, it will come into its own as a companion in MAKING COMICS.


Horses
Horses
by Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Edition: Hardcover

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely hardback that could make a horse-fan out of someone, 5 Dec. 2005
This review is from: Horses (Hardcover)
I bought this book as artist reference material after browsing it in a local bookshop. The size and page count do not disappoint, neither do the lovely photographs. Although I am not personally much of a horse-lover, this book conveys the speed, agility and sheer power of the different breeds very effectively. The photos of the horses with their owners, along with the readily-understandable text, gives me a sense of the place these animals play in the various societies they come from. The only reason I do not quite give this book all five stars is that all the photos are very much staged, and while this allows for excellent attention to control of the photographic conditions, there are no photos here of horses running around "in the wild". Having sid that, there are ample shots of action such as running or jumping, taken with a very fast shutter speed to allow depiction of the musclature during fast movement.


Street Food from Around the World
Street Food from Around the World
by James Mayson
Edition: Paperback

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exotic buffet for adventurous food-fans, 7 July 2004
Out of the seven recipes I've tried so far from this exciting book, six have turned out utterly delicious, surprised people I've cooked for and been rewarding in themselves to make. Getting the best out of the recipes here will involve effort to find ingredients such as Thai basil, galangal, candlenuts, but as a believer that a dish is to a great extent as good as the ingredients, it's the trip to Chinatown I'm willing to take.
Best for those able to devour the spicy excesses of Thai, Malay, Indonesia and Indian food, there are representative dishes here from Singapore, Morocco, Nepal, Egypt and Mexico for a total of 9 street food cultures. The writing is culturally enhanced with charming anecdotes from the author's travels, be transported! I can claim first-hand experience of three of the food-cultures chosen, and the dishes I have made have definitely tasted authentic.
The book also contains eight tempting colour photographs of the cuisine and a useful glossary of the most obscure ingredients, including eight varieties of chilli! Vegetarians will be delighted as there are alternatives for some recipes such as Thai red and green curries, as well as tofu dishes, breads and salads. Fish and seafood recipes also feature heavily. I strongly recommend this book as a gift to adventurous cooks, or as a dazzling repetoire of dishes to treat yourself or friends.


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