Saturday, January 25, 2014

Blacksad in French and Having Kevin Grevioux's Babies

I mentioned the mind meld over on SFSignal where several talented folks and I picked our favorite graphic novels to take to a deserted island. (I just did a quick scan of mine, btw, and discovered at least once that I wrote "dessert" island, which wouldn't be very lonely probably, but would be HELL on my waistline.) Sarah Arnold recommended "Blacksad" and I remembered how much I adored the art in the issue I had glimpsed years before. The story was as gritty and dark as anything written by Dashiell Hammett, and I didn't need to be able to read Italian to tell that. The art, complete with a hyper-realistic world filled with talking animals, and dusky, muted colors that enhance the emotional impact of every panel, flat blew me away.

I have been, in my copious free time (that's extreme sarcasm for anyone who doesn't know me personally), learning French, with a combination of Rosetta Stone and reading French fiction, with the aid of Google Translate to help me through the difficult parts. I got a book of French dialogue for Christmas that was greatly appreciated. I pretty much suck at holding a conversation, but I'm getting pretty good at reading comprehension in French. Add illustrations or a contextual story I'm really familiar with, and I'm golden. The difficulty has been mainly finding fiction in French that I actually want to read.

So, I bought "Blacksad" the Kindle edition, to save a little money, and splurged on a difficult-to-find used copy of vol 1 in French. The Kindle edition arrived immediately, but wouldn't run on my Kindle Fire, which I have to say was very disappointing. The main reason I bought a Kindle Fire was to read comics. Fortunately, I have an IPAD for work, and the graphic novel reading app works fine there.

They just delivered my French vol 1 of Blacksad!! It is just as gorgeous as I remembered. The Kindle version is great, but there's nothing like holding the book and seeing the art full size. It's as moving and solid as a kick to the gut.

Don't get me wrong. Kindles are nice, and have performed a bit of a miracle for me. I haven't bought episodic comics in years because I would read them in like 5 minutes flat, and they cost almost as much as a novel. I just couldn't justify the expense. I grew up poor as dirt. That still affects my buying patterns significantly, regardless of my current income bracket. Now, I'm reading "Anathema" (which is a dark horror comic I'm loving, even if it is a bit preachy) and waiting eagerly for the next issue. I've also started snagging issues of Dr Who comics and whatever else grabs my eye on Comixology. At $1.99, I'm far less hesitant to splurge, and I can take a big chunk of my comics collection with me on planes and such now.

On the subject of brilliant graphic novels, not the price of them, I went and saw the movie "I, Frankenstein" last night. Wow. Just visually extraordinary. And unlike a fair number of visually stunning movies I've seen lately, this one had emotional impact and great acting, and just wow. It was a bit short on sophisticated plot, but hey, demon prince wants to take over the world, order of holy do-gooders want to stop him, and hapless anti-hero is caught in the middle - it works for me. Add stunning visuals of winged battles between light and fire, and I'm all over that. And Kevin Grevioux wrote it.

It took 2 words off camera for me to recognize Kevin Grevioux's voice, and I knew I was in for a ride. I LOVED Underworld, the first one at least. It leapt a few sharks by the end of the franchise, but had a great starting point. I'd never heard of the "I, Frankenstein" graphic novel, but as I was sitting there, thinking wow a lot at the end of the movie, I remarked to my husband, "This movie looks like it would make one hell of a graphic novel. It looks like it was MEANT to be a graphic novel." At which point, the credits helpfully popped up "Based on the graphic novel by Kevin Grevioux" and I said, "Well, there ya go."

Kevin Grevioux. What is with this guy? Did he win the genetics lottery or something? He's huge, powerful, has a voice like a dragon in a well, AND he's insane levels of intelligent and creative, so he apparently hogged all the good genes for an entire small town. Genetics like that need to be spread throughout the human population. Someone should have his babies. Lots of them.

Not that I'm volunteering or anything. Much. But someone should.


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