Tags Posts tagged with "Literature"

Literature

Who is Floyd Lawton, and why should you care?

Perhaps one of the greatest villains/Anti-heroes in DC comics. A character with evil motives, sure.. but a lot of love in his heart. Sure, that love is reserved for one special someone. But compared to the villains that are evil for the sake of being evil, analysing Floyd Lawton, AKA Deadshot’s motivations always makes for an interesting experience.

Created by Bob Kane, David Vern Reed and Lew Schwartz. Deadshot debuted over 65 years ago in Batman #59, Deadshot became the greatest and deadliest marksman in the DC Universe, his skills were highly sought after for many different teams such as the Secret Six, Underground Society and more. But his most famous participation is as a member of the Suicide Squad.

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Deadshot as he appeared in Batman #59 after Batman readjusted Deadshot’s targeting system.

The origins of Deadshot, as told in the 4 part, 1988 miniseries “Deadshot” (written by John Ostrander with art by Luke McDonnel and Kim Yale) are as follows:

Floyd Lawton didn’t have the kindest of upbringings, just like most villains. He was born to a wicked and overbearing Mother, Genevieve Pitt Lawton and his Father George Lawton who made money in real estate. Floyd also had a brother Edward Lawton. Edward was considered the golden child of the two, he was healthy, fit and strong, whilst Floyd was treated as sickly and somewhat neglected. Regardless of that, Floyd grew up idolising his big brother.

When Genevieve found George Lawton to be unfaithful, she showed her darkest colours when she manipulated her boys into murdering their Father. Edward locked his brother Floyd in a boathouse whilst he sought to kill their Father off, but didn’t manage to get the kill shot and only managed to paralyse George. Whilst reloading and preparing for the final shot, Floyd broke out of the boathouse and grabbed his hunting rifle and climbed a tree, aiming to disarm his brother, but a branch snapped on the tree he was situating and the bullet strayed and hit Eddie Lawton right between the eyes. Floyd Lawton ended up saving the father he hated and killing the brother he loved.

In Deadshot’s first ever comic debut in Batman #59 (June, 1950) he somewhat paralleled Bruce Wayne. He was rich and something of a playboy. His original costume attire was a far cry from the iconic red and white costume we’ve grown to love. He sported a full on tuxedo with a top hat and a domino eye mask.
Deadshot masqueraded as a hero/vigilante in Gotham in the absence of Batman and Robin, seemingly doing good deeds for Gotham city.

When Batman discovers Deadshot’s true identity as Floyd Lawton, he exposes him not as a vigilante but as a criminal that has been working with gangs whilst Batman and Robin were on vacation. He even had his own Deadshot flood light given to him by Jim Gordon! Batman discovers that Deadshot is trying to set himself as the new overlord of crime in Gotham!

Before Batman and Deadshot have their confrontation, Batman readjusted the sites on Deadshot’s guns causing him to miss Batman and doubt himself as the worlds greatest marksman.

Did anybody else notice that shot of Will Smith in the first Suicide Squad trailer, sporting a fedora? I did. Whether or not that was a deliberate homage/easter egg I don’t know, but I sure hope so!

Will Smith as Floyd Lawton talking with his daughter, Zoe Lawton.
Will Smith as Floyd Lawton talking with his daughter, Zoe Lawton.

After serving jail time, he went out in the world and hired out services as an assassin. Craving a magnificent death he decides to join the Suicide Squad. He feels no reason to continue living, and, while he does not want to commit suicide, he simply does not care if he dies. During a hiatus from the Squad, his son was murdered by a pedophile, upon whom Deadshot later took revenge.

In Deadshot: Bulletproof (Deadshot #1-#5 & Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #214) When Deadshot discovers he has a daughter, Zoe, who lives with her mother in Star City. Upon learning this he loses his death wish/borderline suicidal persona, he discovers his daughter is living in a neighbourhood plagued by violence. Floyd decides to clean up the area by any means necessary, which saw him fighting heroes and villains alike.

In the New 52 incarnation of Deadshot, Lawton plays the role of field team leader in the Suicide Squad, often getting into conflict with either his handler Amanda Waller or his team-mates. Despite all of that he remains the best leader for the ‘Squad. He ends up falling into some bizarre romance with Harley Quinn and even sacrifices his life by shooting himself in the chest to save Harley from Regulus, leader of Basilisk.

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Harley Quinn mourning Deadshot at his funeral.

DC/WB opted for Will Smith for a big-name draw to the movie, and honestly, it was a damn fine choice. And honestly, who plays a Father better than Will Smith. If I could pick a surrogate Father it may have to be him. I have very high hopes for this portrayal of an all-time classic character from DC Comics. If they go the New 52 route and add the twisted romance love triangle Harley Quinn, Joker and Deadshot I’m all for it. If you haven’t seen the 2015 movie ‘Focus’ starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie I recommend it. I can almost say with absolutely certainty that there will be a bunch of character interaction between Deadshot/Quinn so it’s reassuring to know these two can act well together, and when they do they steal the show.

Things to be on the look out for in Suicide Squad:

  • A strong personality and major superiority complex.
  • Strange romantic chemistry with Harley Quinn.
  • Love and unwavering loyalty to his daughter, Zoe Lawton.
  • Lots and lots of shooting and expert marksman skills, obviously.
  • Excellent strategist with the ability to make extreme decisions under large pressure
  • From what we’ve seen of Batman in the trailers we may get to see him interact with the man that possibly had him incarcerated.

 

Veganism brought into the realm of heavy metal in this unique, but useful, and highly readable cookbook


One thing vegans certainly don’t lack (apart from protein) is a choice of cookbooks.

That gap in the market has been filled many times over with a vast array of takes on the vegan diet, so much so, that the average vegan now has their own personal library of recipes. In other words, to stand out from the plant-based crowd these days, you need to have something a little different.

Corpse paint, altars and goblets are certainly one way of standing out from the crowd. Traditionally, veganism and heavy metal have got along about as well as Liverpool and Manchester United football fans. The Vegan Black Metal Chef has changed all that.

To get a taste of what to expect, check out the Vegan Black Metal Chef’s videos on Youtube. This is where his cookery demonstrations started life, and the QR codes with each of the recipes in The Seitanic Spellbook will take you to entertaining videos that bring the recipes to life.

The book originally started out as a Kickstarter campaign (people pre-pay for the project to get it off the ground – many new bands use this method to release albums now). It didn’t take the Vegan Black Metal Chef long to reach his target and realise his dream of seeing his work in print.
And what a beautiful work it is. It’s a colourful hardback tome filled with food porn shots, gothic-style headlines and bold, easy to read print.

The author’s unique take on cookery makes for entertaining reading too. For example, take the three bean chilli recipe, which is introduced thus: “The fall of mankind will have one saviour. In the desolation of the end, a burning phoenix will smell of a spicy mixture of chipotle, chilli and cayenne pepper.”
Obviously, this book was forged in the USA, so some spellings and ingredient names are slightly different to the UK, but I haven’t found this to be an issue really – especially in the Google age!

There are recipes here that even the most culinary-challenged folk can have a go at. How to make seitan itself, how to roast garlic and a basic biscuit recipe are all cases in point. Most recipes also come with optional ingredients. This is an approach I like very much. Cooking should be enjoyable, not an exact science, so you adjust recipes to suit your taste buds. Surely that makes sense?

Some of the more seasoned (experienced – not salted) cooks will be disappointed by the lack of complex recipes – I see that as an advantage rather than a disadvantage as food is a universal delight and one that should be available to all. A more important factor in budget constraints and availability of ingredients.
The book scores quite highly in both these areas. There are dishes with few ingredients and dishes with many ingredients, and meals to suit a range of budgets. Here’s where having optional ingredients proves to be a further help.

The asides and philosophies of the Vegan Black Metal Chef are worth buying this book for alone. From “the mystery of fire and water” to “why veganism is the best single action”, there’s plenty to read here besides the obvious recipes. It’s all written in a humorous, black metal style too – and one non-metalheads will be able to enjoy too.

There are also useful aside such as why you should use a deep fat fryer and how to choose a good avocado.
The book is available from the Vegan Black Metal Chef website – http://veganblackmetalchef.com – I personally think the shipping cost is well worth paying to get hold of a copy. But if you want to save cash, it’s available as a Kindle version through Amazon in the UK too.

The latest novel by Pauleanna Reid is a hit for young women finding themselves


We all love a page-turning-can’t-put-down type of book and this read is just that.

Everything I Couldn’t Tell My Mother written by African-American author Pauleanna Reid focuses on the trials and tribulations of young women growing up and discovering themselves in various lights while finding a voice through difficult situations.

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The attention surrounds main character Aayliah Panarese, and displays her life as the daughter of successful yet overprotective parents. She is expected to follow every rule and expectation given to her which includes everything from academic structures to predetermined career paths.  Frustrated and unhappy with her life, she writes letters to her mother explaining all of her concerns hoping that one day her dreams of wanting to be a writer and living her life her way can be expressed. While Aayliah attempts to define her own destiny, she becomes rebellious and falls into circumstances of peer-pressure, self-loathing, sexual discovery, and broken friendships.

Everything I Couldn’t Tell My Mother has already received praise making Amazon’s Best Seller list and has been considered a Top Summer Read from actress and producer Queen Latifah. It’s a perfect book for daughters and mothers to absorb and discuss the topics that are being brought to a head.

Author Pauleanna Reid is a nationally published journalist who’s mission is to:

“help young women forge their own paths and proceed without permission.”

Her drive and strength comes from being a survivor of teen bullying, abuse and mental illness. Reid’s writings and posts include advice and information on topics such as business & finance, health, female empowerment, fashion & music, lifestyle, and etc. She has been featured on ‘The Queen Latifah Show’, and ‘MTV Canada’ as well in publications such as Essence Magazine and VIBE Vixen. 

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To learn more about Pauleanna Reid and how you can get yourself a copy of her book Everything I Couldn’t Tell My Mother, which is available worldwide visit www.Pauleannareid.com

Celebrating the life and works of William Shakespeare 400 years after his death.


The 23rd April 2016 marked the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. Widely accepted as the greatest playwright of all time, Shakespeare’s life is one to be celebrated. His works are still studied and enjoyed worldwide; his plays re-enacted and interpreted according to changing times. The enduring popularity of his works is testament to his greatness. Shakespeare was a pioneer of literature as we know it and the transcending themes that run through his plays are as relevant today as they were hundreds of years ago.

Born in Stratford-upon-Avon in April 1564, William Shakespeare was the son of a glove-maker and the third of eight children. His early life was typical for a boy of that era; he is believed to have attended a local grammar school before marrying Anne Hathaway at the age of 18. Not much is historically documented about Shakepeare’s next ten years, other than the births of his three children Susanna, Hamnet and Judith. There is speculation that he was a school teacher for a time until being mentioned on London’s theatre scene in 1592.

The Comedy of Errors is one of Shakespeare’s earliest works and may have been his very first play. Relying more on slapstick humour than verbal nuance, critics see it as a less refined example of his work, probably written while still honing his craft. Along with The Tempest, The Comedy of Errors is one of just two of Shakespeare’s plays to observe Aristotle’s law of classical unities. Drama in the sixteenth century was predominantly still seen as low-brow entertainment. As playwrights endeavoured to appeal to a more influential audience, remaining true to classical unities was a way of elevating a play’s status. However, Shakespeare soon recognised the restrictive nature of Aristotelian rules and as he gained in confidence and stature, moved towards more creative structural devices.

The Renaissance period was a time of huge change for entertainment and leisure pursuits. With theatre increasingly attracting the upper classes, writing and acting began to be appreciated on a higher level; classical prejudices against representation were dispersing in all but the most puritanical quarters. Indeed, Elizabeth I regularly attended Shakepeare’s plays, as did James after his ascension to the throne. Changing attitudes towards representation and issues of identity can be seen in The Comedy of Errors where two sets of twins are separated in infancy. The ambiguity and confusion which ensues when the twins are repeatedly subject to mistaken identity are farcically depicted. The development of identity is further developed in Shakespeare’s later plays, where self analysis and the exploration of the wider human condition provide vast scope for continued reinterpretation.

Many Shakespearean protagonists demonstrate traits that people still display today; fatal flaws and internal struggles as they wrestle with greed, guilt or unrequited love. Shakespeare’s power of characterisation is certainly amongst his many strengths. In his annotated edition of Shakespeare’s plays, Dr. Samuel Johnson says in the preface that Shakespeare’s characters are the ‘progeny of common humanity such as will always remain I this world and whom our eyes will continue to meet’¹. His characters are very much universal, belonging to humanity in general rather than any particular period of time.

Also noteworthy, especially for the time, was Shakespeare’s realistic drawing of characters; as in real life, nobody is portrayed as definitively good or evil. Macbeth presents an interesting example, as the title character is introduced to us as a good, noble soldier who has fought hard for his King and country. His downward spiral is progressive; no sooner has he been made Thane of Cawdor than he meets the three witches whose proclamations compound his hunger for power. Circumstances feed into his ambition, and bravery becomes impulse, leading him to murder and treachery.

The supernatural is a repeated theme in Shakespeare’s work and this, too, is important historically. In an age where the church was still seen as overseer of virtue, the supernatural was synonymous with evil; powerful and corrupting. Macbeth’s meeting with the witches and his belief in their words at once mark him as damned. This meeting also presents us with an example of how Shakespeare’s plays have influenced not only literature but language itself. There are many Shakespearean quotations which have transcended into well-used sayings or phrases, including ‘“Double, double, toil and trouble;/ Fire burn, and cauldron bubble!”’ which is now accepted as a generic witches’ spell. Even ‘Knock, knock! Who’s there?’ began as a line in Macbeth. 

400 years after his death, it is both remarkable and deserving that William Shakespeare continues to be celebrated. His comedies, tragedies and histories alternatively offer dramatisation of people and politics, explore life cycles and rituals and comment on love, revenge, good and evil. The Bard of Stratford has achieved more than any other playwright and his far-reaching influence will undoubtedly be felt for many more years.

Delving into the trend for female protagonists in psychological thrillers


There seems to be an undeniable trend in recent literature towards exploring female characters in chilling, twisting tales. As a genre, the psychological thriller seeks to explore the workings of the mind when enduring emotional instability; the limits which we will go to in order to protect ourselves or others. As the generally more emotionally attuned gender, perhaps it was only a matter of time before women claimed the psychological thriller as our own.

Although women in suspense drama is nothing new (a due nod to Agatha Christie and Daphne du Maurier), well-drawn, flawed and strong female protagonists have been slower to realise. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn provides the accepted bench-mark for the appeal and huge success of this new breed of psychological thriller. Novelist Julia Crouch sought to explain it as a sub-genre of crime fiction which she labelled ‘Domestic Noir’; it explores the female experience in terms of the challenges of the domestic environment.

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In Gone Girl, Amy Dunne presents an interesting character. The suddenly disappeared all-American girl next door is automatically presumed to be the character we should root for. Husband, and narrator, Nick’s failure to provide the picture-perfect grieving relative sets him up as someone to be wary of; his sincerity and slight introspection cast him as aloof. Perhaps most striking about Gone Girl, and maybe why it remains so popular five years after publication, is its brilliant use of unreliable narration. We are told the story through Nick’s eyes and his shortcomings are relayed only too clearly to the reader which results in suspicion of him and glorification of his “Amazing Amy”.

Unreliable narration is also used to terrific effect in Paula Hawkins’ Girl on the Train. Narration is passed across three perspectives; Rachel, an alcoholic bitter and still reeling from recent events; Anna, the new wife of Rachel’s ex-husband; Megan, a lady who Rachel watches from the commuter train. All three characters accounts are skewed to her own perceptions and as their differing accounts weave into a tangled web of intrigue, the reader is kept guessing.

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Disclaimer by Renee Knight similarly plunges us straight into a puzzle. Protagonist Catherine opens the book by her bedside but as she reads on, she recognises herself in the story; one she has spent twenty years trying to forget. It is a dark and twisty tale which we explore alongside Catherine as she is forced to reveal details to her loved ones. The dark, wincing realism within this clever concept will have you desperate to read on but scared to find out what happened all those years ago.

This ‘Domestic Noir’ branch of the psychological thriller looks set to continue its popularity. Already, Gone Girl  has been adapted for the big screen and the film of Girl on the Train  is currently in production. The trend is attracting more female writers who excel at exploring differences between appearance and reality; the dark secrets and compelling struggles within seemingly everyday life.

It’s a Wednesday, and your local comic book store is prepared.


Barring holidays, each Wednesday marks the release of new comic books. Curious readers will gather en masse to nosey at the new offerings, and then pick up their favourite titles (they may even try something new). To be ready for this onslaught of geek buying, stores work to a rigid schedule – one that you may not already be aware of.

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A massive operation begins, as a raft of deliveries arrive to store, from a number of different publishers and distributors. Inside the sent boxes is an avalanche of comics, never in alphabetical order, as well as a bundle of new graphic novels. These need checking, and entering onto the stock system. Only once this task is completed can they be sorted, alphabetically this time, stickered and made ready for the shop floor.

It still isn’t their time to shine, however. Stores can’t sell new titles until the Wednesday morning, but they can make space. Last Wednesday’s comic books are taken down, and absorbed into the main run of titles. Some locations will do this whilst the store is still open to customers, others will wait until the doors are closed and everybody else is gone. Regardless, space on the new release shelves has been made. We’re ago! The new releases can be displayed in all their glory. Anticipated high sellers are given prime locations, and maybe some advertising/signage. We’re ready; so it’s a shame the store is closed, and the books will sit there overnight, unread.

(Well… maybe read once, if the sneaky, eager store worker gets their way)

Wednesdays

Before the doors open, it’s the turn of the graphic novel new releases. Books will be unboxed. The area will be updated. It will look perfect (for a matter of minutes).

Doors open, and customers arrive.

All day long, the new release sections are visited, and stock picked up/put back down. It can start to look messy pretty quickly, so store workers will battle to rearrange items and make them look nice again. This will happen many times across Wednesday, and even into Thursday. It’s a pretty thankless task. Despite this, they’ll still be happy to talk to you by the way, about any of the books you pick up. Just remember, they can’t have read all 9-zillion comics released that week. They’re not an expert of everything! (Don’t be fooled by anybody pretending to be)

Thursdays

In the UK, this is typically the day new magazines and part-works are released. Unlike comics and graphic novels, however, they don’t always arrive a day ahead. They are put out and shelved as soon as they have been delivered, and entered onto the stock system. If it’s Thursday and they’re missing – it’s probably not the store’s fault!

(Yes, that’s why your Doctor Who Complete History issue zz – due out today – won’t be on our shelves until tomorrow. Sorry about that. No, really. We all want to read it too)

Fridays

Always a sad day, as old comic books (i.e. anything older than 8-10 weeks) are pulled off the main run, to face a life in the sales bin. In some stores, this means they are put inside discounted ‘grab bags’ – which contain four unknown and unrelated comics. Other places will add the pulled books to their back issues sections, but in the age of the graphic novel this is becoming less and less common, as shops want more of their space dedicated to selling and reselling Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns and the urk.

The Weekend

The shop is busy!

The shop is a mess.

This is the last big burst of buying on this week’s new releases; but the books will ‘hang in there’. Over the next 8 weeks each will sell at a steady rate. Some may even sell out, and warrant further printings! But, that is the nature of a comic book shop and its weekly schedule is one of constant renewal. Which brings us nicely-

-Full circle, as the week begins again!

So enjoy today. Visit your nearest comic book store, and see what they have to offer. Just remember to appreciate the hard work that went into bringing it all together.

Ever since a young age I have been absolutely in love with books. If you are anything like me, a bona fide bookworm, you are going to find these “problems” pretty accurate.

  1. Mba Admission Essays Services College When people ask you what is your favourite book.

Why people can’t understand that when you’ve read over 10 books a month, it is literally impossible to pick one out as your favourite. Please stop asking this question, or at least rephrase it like “What is your favourite genre or author?”

  1. Dissertation Round School Year When an author stops writing in mid-series.

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You find the perfect series that keeps you turning the pages and leaves you breathless and then the author thoughtfully decides to take a break from writing at the most exciting and thrilling place. “A Song of Ice and Fire” is a perfect example. And who knows how much longer we will have to wait. It is mentally exhausting.

  1. Master Thesis Buy You can’t pass by a bookstore without entering.
  2. The Help By Kathryn Stockett Essay You also can’t exit one without purchasing a book.
  3. Ending up spending the money that was supposed to last you for the week. tumblr_inline_nb3x4gsfsa1s4672p1
  1. Your to-read list is endless and you never have enough time to read everything you wanted to.

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  1. You are never satisfied with a film adaptation. Somehow they never cast the perfect actors for your favourite character, or they miss out super important information that ruins the story.

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  1. Who Can Write A Essay For Me “Just one more chapter.”

You say that to yourself every night and end up getting almost no sleep and therefore oversleeping, of course.

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  1. Term Paper Counseling Services No purse is big enough to fit all the books you carry around all the time. And even if you manage to find place for them it still looks awkward and you will most likely suffer from back problems.
  2. Running out of space for your books; because at some point you fill up all of the shelf in your room and you start piling up the books on your beside table.
  3. Best College Application Essays Service Peterson#39s When a fictional character dies, it generally ruins your mood for the whole week and everyone around you thinks you are completely mental.

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After Scott Pilgrim, one of the greatest independent comic book series of all time, how does Bryan Lee O'Malley's next book compare?

J.K Rowling had a big problem after Harry Potter, the world was waiting for her to release another amazing book and she gave them a Casual Vacancy, which wasn’t a bad book but it simply couldn’t measure up to the incandescent brilliance of the Harry Potter books.

With Seconds, Bryan Lee O’Malley was in serious danger of falling into the same trap. Scott Pilgrim represented a cultural movement, as for a lot of people around my age it became a style guide for their teenage years. Scott Pilgrim was beloved and so anything else by O’Malley was endanger of being compared to it. However, in Seconds, O’Malley has cleverly created a piece about moving on, Scott Pilgrim might have been for my generation’s teenage years but Seconds is for the next stage of our lives. Adulthood.

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Normans - great range of musical instruments for sale.

The piece follows Katie, the owner of a small and awesome restaurant, as she finds a bag of mushrooms which allow you to grant yourself a ‘second chance’ by undoing mistakes. The general theme of the piece is second chances and change as each second chance puts Katie in a slightly different reality where everything has changed subtly. The writing is really elegant as it communicates a lot of magical rules in a staggeringly short amount of time, leaving a lot of space for hilarious lines of dialog and interactions. Much like Scott Pilgrim, O’Malley creates a vast background cast filled with colourful characters that will easily draw you in. If the writing has a weakness it might be the final pay off as it struggles to feel satisfying, on reflection I’m not sure how else it could have been approached but still it left me wanting more.

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The artwork and layout is ground breaking as each page grabs your attention and pulls you into the emotional heart of the panel. My favourite panel is the one above which introduces the kitchens of the restaurant but there are a lot of other breath-taking visual moments. There are a few panels that feel a little too busy for the simplistic style of the O’Malley’s art but it never took me out of the piece. The art combined with the effective writing Seconds makes for a very compelling piece that I recommend to anyone with an interest in comic books, especially if you were a fan of the Scott Pilgrim series.

You can pick Seconds up on Amazon for around £12 which is a little cheaper than average for a graphic novel of this size.



A brilliant comic book about beards, evil and how it can be good to break the mould, by Stephen Collins

I get asked a lot ‘where is a good place to start with comic books?’ and it is always a question I have a problem answering. In truth, it’s about as hard to answer as ‘where is a good place to start with films?’ as comic books are just as vast and varied medium. A lot of the time I don’t want to suggest super hero titles as they only represent one facet of the genre, which often leads me to a bit of a loose end, or at least it used to. The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil is a perfect graphic novel to try if your thinking of getting into the medium.

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The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil is centred around the island of Homework Help Writing Here, a place where cookie cutter people go about their lives conforming to some strange ideal of suburban perfection. The main character, Dave, starts to become disenfranchised with the island and as he becomes more distant he begins to grow a beard, an evil beard. The narrative is strong, as it presents us with a small world filled with meaning that Collins explores throughout the novel throughly. There is almost nothing bad to say about the writing, but if it has a weakness it might be in its pacing as it is slow to start.

thumbnailgeneratorThe art is beautiful, Stephan Collins pulls double duty as both an artist and writer for the graphic novel but it’s easy to see that he is an artist first and foremost. The art is mono-coloured which seems to enhance the themes of conformity and anarchy which run through out the piece. Collins work with the appearance of the beard may be the greatest artistic aspect of piece as it is visually stunning and begins to gain a life of it’s own. The art leaves little to be desired and is a masterclass in visual story telling.

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There is a lot that can be said about The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil but in truth the only way to fully understand it is to read it and as I mentioned earlier it’s a fantastic book for beginners. You can pick up the graphic novel for between £11 (on Amazon) and around £20 which is average for a volume of this size. I highly recommend picking this book up if your interested at all in reading comic books and graphic novels, also it’s the only graphic novels I know of not being turned into a film so when it does get turned into a film you can be all hipster and say you read it first.

Odd Thomas is the first installment of a seven-book series following the adventures of short-order cook Odd Thomas and his unique abilities to see ghosts and predict future tragedies. The book was published in 2003 and was written by the highly prolific suspense writer Dean Koontz.

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At the beginning of the book we are introduced to the 20 year-old protagonist who lives in the small town of Pico Mundo, located in the Mojave Desert, and works as a short-order cook at the local diner. Odd uses his gift to capture a wanted murderer and it is revealed that only a select few people are aware of his supernatural powers, including his girlfriend Stormy Llewellyn and Police Chief Wyatt Porter, who gives assistance along the way and acts as an adoptive father to Odd, who we find has very troubled relationships with both of his parents.

Along side his ability to see ghosts, Odd Thomas also sees dark shadowy figures which he refers to as ‘bodachs’. These creatures are invisible to most people and signify that a disastrous event is soon to take place. When a large number of these creatures follow a suspicious-looking gentleman into Odd’s diner, it quickly becomes a race against time to find out who this man is and unearth his plans for mass murder before it’s too late.

Odd Thomas has one of the most peculiar mixes of tone that I have ever come across. There are genuine scares and grotesque scenes within the story, but there is also the softer sub-plot of Odd’s relationship with his girlfriend – which at times is too “sweet” to the point of becoming sickly and cringe-worthy. The book is also packed full of genuine laughs. Some of Odd’s inner thoughts and conversational quips are hilarious, while the ghost of Elvis Presley shows up from time to time and offers plenty of comic relief.

The book was well received by critics and spawned six sequels, with the final instalment published at the start of 2015. A novella called Odd Interlude was released in 2012 and three more graphic novels complete the series. A film adaptation of the same name was released in 2013 to mostly negative reviews, but I would highly recommend reading the first book of the series.