Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What I'm loving right now: comic and movie edition

I started my "What I'm loving right now" series in September with a post about my orchestra, Brunel Sinfonia. Well, it's been a long month since then, and I've spent most of it sick (the doctor I spoke to most recently told me I was very "unlucky". Great, huh?). So not much viola playing.

But in continuation of my previous goal of celebrating the things I love, I want to share two recent finds with you.

My DH is a bit of a comic nerd. I actually really appreciate this about him. I can tell him all about the ins and outs of the children's writing world, and he explains to me the same about the comic world. In some ways they're very similar, but in other ways (audience, financial concerns, market set-up), they're quite different.

Occasionally the two worlds overlap, and Phil is always on the look out for comics I'll love. Thanks to him, I've had the pleasure of reading RE-GIFTERS by Mike Carey, POLLY AND THE PIRATES by Ted Naifeh and I KILL GIANTS by Joe Kelly, all well-written comics with young adult main characters.

When Phil read the first issue of THE UNWRITTEN by Mike Carey and Peter Gross, he told me we needed to read it together. We just finished the 6th issue this past weekend, and I am absolutely riveted by the story. Book lovers NEED to be reading this comic. It combines a Harry Potter-esque story with literary history (Kipling, Twain, and Wilde all make appearances). Here's a blurb of a review from Wired:

"The Unwritten is a fascinating piece of speculative literary geography wrapped in an unassuming comic book from DC Comics’ mature Vertigo line.

"With casual yet deeply informed writing from Mike Carey and accessible art from Peter Gross, The Unwritten sucks you in as a witty satire of heroic boy wizards like Harry Potter, then blows your mind in the strange netherworld between truth and fiction. The ongoing saga maps the intriguing territory where fandom, literature, conspiracy theory, metafiction and magic mash together, making it one of the brainiest and most interesting comics of the year.

"On its surface, The Unwritten chronicles the bizarro misadventures of Tommy Taylor, whose father wrote a series of insanely popular books about a boy-genius wizard named … Tom Taylor. The setup gives Carey and Gross the perfect springboard for diving into an ancient conspiracy that spans from literature to the internet, using the history of text as torsion. And as Taylor investigates, he stumbles from a low-level celebrity to an accidental savior, at war with a cabal with no name."

And yes, it's that good.

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of watching the movie The Jane Austen Book Club. It was recommended by Thea on the fantastic The Book Smugglers' blog. While I'm not a romance reader at all, I like chick flicks. A lot, actually. But nothing makes me more angry than an inaccurate or misogynistic portrayal of women. So I don't watch many chick flicks. Thea promised The Jane Austen Book Club to be "Heartstring-tugging, refreshingly romantic in a way that isn’t condescending, and realistic." And I trust Thea (and her counterpart, Ana). Plus, the doctor (and my parents) told me to take it easy (so lots of movies!).

I'm happy to say, The Jane Austen Book Club lived up to all my hopes. I laughed out loud, I got a little teary-eyed, and I want to tell all my fellow chick flick friends about this lovely movie. Besides, how can you go wrong when you combine a Jane Austen lover with an Ursula le Guin lover? Thanks, Thea!


  1. OK Anne, you got interested in the comic books, but you lost me with the movie thing. But again, maybe I should try something different...

  2. Well, hey, 1 out of 2 isn't bad!
    The movie isn't the best thing I've ever seen, and I wouldn't call it thought-provoking, but I did find it a lot of fun, and perhaps one step up from pure fluff.
    Let me know if you give either a try!

  3. Anne, I am so, so glad that you loved THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB. It's everything that a chick flick SHOULD be. Touching without being sappy, featuring female characters that actually *feel* like real people (none of this baby-crazed marriage-monster nonsense), with real strengths and failings.

    Plus, how freaking cute was Grigg??? Scifi meets Austen FTW! :)

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Thea!
    Exactly. It felt like real life--with real problems, real people--except with a happy ending!

    Oh yes, definitely, LOVE Grigg! And how weird is it when Hollywood gets my Austen-le Guin demographic???


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