Monday, 25 July 2011

Geeky Shopping Weekend

-League of Extraordinary Gentleman #1
-League of Extraordinary Gentleman #2
-Batman Arkham Asylum (Grant Morrison comic book, not the videogame which I had and grew bored of)
-Second-hand DVDs of Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke
-Not second-hand DVD of Laputa Castle In The Sky (replacing, ahem, the "backup" copy I had before)
-15mm American Civil War Union Army (painted) from a Stourbridge clubmate who'd bought 4 boxes of this stuff off eBay sight unseen on a whim and was happy to sell a couple of boxes off for what he'd paid for them so that we can get some games of Black Powder in.

Suffice to say at no point during this weekend did I actually leave the house intending to buy any of this rammage.

The insanity continued on Sunday when, because it was a beautiful morning, I took the Porsche out for a run to Worcester (a 60 mile round trip) in order to visit WHSmiths to buy a book of six first class stamps. It's only money after all.

(At this point Coop talks about 20 year old comic books that he has only just discovered in the same fashion as a 13 year old talking about this new old band called Nirvana that he's just discovered or indeed in the same fashion as the 13 year old Coop talking about this cool new old music from somebody called Hendrix and some guys called The Who that he's just discovered).

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is rather marvellous and much like Watchmen (you know Watchmen, it's a 25 year old comic book that I discovered a couple of years ago and would like to tell you all about just in case you've never heard of it) in that there is so much going in the art that it requires multiple re-reading and examination. I also feel it's a waste of time talking about it because you all loved it years ago, but hey I loved it and lots of it is REALLY CLEVER and by that I mean makes me the reader feel REALLY CLEVER for spotting how REALLY CLEVER it all is. Sometimes I feel like the cocky 16 year old Coop all over again. I could see the Island of Dr Moreau homage coming a mile off, but didn't see the Rupert The Bear thing coming.

tdlr; LoEG is rather good isn't it? I'd never read it before.

Arkham Asylum however was just disappointing and a waste of a tenner. Impossible to follow the narrative and the artwork is so dense and overwrought that it's essentially a glossy book of meaningless pictures and part-pictures with minimal text. In this edition Morrison's original type-written script is included (perhaps in an attempt to explain WTF is going on) and is about four times as long as the comicy bits and full of important stuff that is completely AWOL in the finished product - such as explaining who the bloody hell characters as and WTF is going on. A pretentious twaddle let down.

tdlr; AA is rather bad isn't it? I'd never read it before.

So that leaves three slices of Studio Ghibli loveliness to be getting on with but Summer isn't the season for be sitting in with DVDs when you live on the canal. They'll probably emerge in the Autumn.

This Friday we are playing Black Powder with 28mm Boxer Rebellion toys. I almost feel morally obliged to bring along cigars and brandy for the gentlemen players of Stourbridge.


  1. Those Ghibli films are brilliant. Princess Mononoke is one of my favourite films ever, as is My Neighbour Totoro. I didn't enjoy Laputa much when I first saw it, but I may revisit it.

    I also wasn't that keen on the first League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series. I could see that it was good, but it just didn't do anything for me. The second one is one of my favourite graphic novels though, and not only because of the Martians.

  2. Laputa is probably my favourite film of recent years (by which I mean of the films I've discovered in the past decade or so), it seems to press the same buttons for me as Star Wars did and has similar comfort-viewing appeal. I am a sucker for pseudo-Victoria though which explains why I took to LoEG. The second LoEG is much darker than the first I feel. I suspect that the forthcoming John Carter film will not look anything like the Mars segment in LoEG and will be much the worse for it.

    Spirited Away is awesome, I have never seen Mononoke or Totoro. I have (and love) Porco Rosso and Howl's Moving Castle on DVD.

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  4. Princess Mononoke also has the best English dub, if you like that sort of thing. It was written by Neil Gaiman, rather than the hacks Pixar use for their dubs, and Ghibli re-animated the film to match Gaiman's dialogue, so it all comes together rather well. It's rather light on the stunt casting too, which also puts it above the Pixar dubs.

    Anyway, enjoy it come autumn time, as Mononoke is simply brilliant, whatever the language.