Sunday, October 21, 2018

Classical LPs I've Listened to Recently, October 21, 2018









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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

A Flyer Drawn for The Wonder Bar


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Monday, October 15, 2018

The Cyclone Steam Generator


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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Recently Read: Naruto Book 5: The Challengers


The centerpiece of Naruto Book Five: The Challengers is a 110-page exam sequence; our ninja-in-training heroes Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke take the Ch√Ľnin Exams, in order to become full-fledged shinobi. This could be the most suspenseful exam sequence in comics, where the rules may be designed to be subverted, the room is monitored by a wall of over-lookers, alliances are made, and psychological pressure is intrinsic to the test.

A second, Hunger Games-like test taking place in the Forest of Death is set up and continues into Book Six
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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Pyrometers for Every Purpose


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Monday, October 8, 2018

When Everyone Smoked: the Cast of Hitchcock's The Paradine Case


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Sunday, October 7, 2018

Frick Refrigeration: Indispensable in Industry


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Friday, October 5, 2018

Recently Read: The Digest Enthusiast, Book Eight


Larque Press continues its winning streak with Book Eight of The Digest Enthusiast. This issue features an in-depth interview with the prolific and award-winning author Michael Bracken; an appraisal of the short-lived sci-fi digest, Gamma; a sad but beautiful tribute to the late illustrator Joe Wehrle, Jr.; an overview of Western Magazine; fiction, cartoons, news and much more. If you like digest magazines, you'll love this digest magazine about digest magazines!
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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Recently Read: Naruto, Vol. 4: Hero's Bridge


Naruto Vol. 4 continues what turns out to be a 221-page battle sequence (on Hero's Bridge), certainly the longest sustained battle sequence I've read in any comics published in any country; truly an amazing feat by cartoonist Masashi Kishimoto.

Kishimoto then does what a great master of his medium would do next: tones the story down, way down, with humor, quiet scenes, the slow introduction of some new protagonists and the preparation of our three young protagonists for exams determining the next journeyman ninja - the Chunin. To be continued...
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Short Facts About Long-Lived Cable


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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Recently Read: Fighting American, by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby


This Titan edition of the complete Simon and Kirby (minus one lost page) is entertaining, but bogs down in the end with its repetitive plots - especially the entries not written or drawn by Jack Kirby. It doesn't help that the two protagonists, Fighting American and Speedboy, and their alter egos, are stock, uninteresting characters. It's in the crazy villains that Kirby puts his energy and interests, and the series almost immediately becomes farcical.

It's a mid-'50s product steeped in cold war ideology. Commies are the main threat FA fights and, according to Kirby, they're best described by their uncouth behavior: they pick at their teeth and ears, smell, and dress shabbily. The best short in the book may be "Stranger From Paradise", about a boy behind the Iron Curtain who writes to Speedboy for help. Room is also made for an intergalactic sci-fi story and parodies of The Jungle Book and Hollywood. The origin story's tone is far more serious than the rest of the series and uses the same "weakling turned strong through government technology" idea used earlier in Captain America and later in OMAC.

The art restoration and coloring is by Harry Mendryk; many of the dark colors printed too dark, drowning out art detail. Otherwise, the book is printed on non-glossy stock and is perfectly readable. The collection also contains three stories planned for Harvey Comics' mid-'60s FA relaunch, but were never printed until now.
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