Wednesday, October 14, 2009

He Turned From That Path a Long Time Ago. He Has Chosen Exile.

No, no, no! I will not write a poem for you! I won't! I'm just not feeling it right now, ok? Look, you can't just force the poetic mood, ok? You know how these things work... you try to force a poem, and you get rubbish, all right? Pure drivel! Forced rhymes, dripping sentiment, weak humor, a mess, ok? A chocolate mess! So, no, I cannot - I will not - bend to your every whim... I am not a performing monkey! So back off!

Whoa, wait a second... dude, put the gun away, bro... dang, since when did you get so high strung? Sheesh, fine! Fine, I'll do it! Umm...

Though I predict this poem will be
A sub-par mediocrity
I yet proceed, and hope to see
A way to stop you shooting me
For I believe, same as before
A poem is not worth dying for
And so I wing and wing some more
And slowly edge towards the door
Ignore my sweat and my unease
Ignore the knocking of my knees
I'll be right back, forgot my keys
I must pass wind, I have to sneeze
Honestly, I don't enjoy
these strong-arm tactics you employ,
You threaten me, you mock, you toy,
You push things way beyond annoy
But you are right, I have no spine, 
My will is yours instead of mine
I force this poem, line by line
And bristle like a porcupine.

What? Blanks! You had blanks the whole time! You punk! Well, the jokes on you, then. That poem was the literary equivalent of firing blanks as well, so eat it! Well, how did you think this would end, Carl?

OK, now, where was I...?

Saw this awesome limited edition, signed and numbered print of the Table of Allomantic Metals over on Brandon Sanderson's website...

That's as big as the sample art is, sorry. I'd love to see it up close. Well, I could buy one of the prints when they come available - they're only $50! But there's only 100, and they are first-come-first-served. However, he also says there will eventually be cheaper posters made available for mass consumption, as well as high-res digital wallpaper versions, free of charge. Hmm... which one should I choose? lol Bah, I dare not take it... not even to keep it safe...

I know what you're thinking... "Uh, Dave, there are 16 metals on the chart... only a dozen were known of by the end of the series..." I noticed that as well! Here's what the post says...

It lists the symbols and Misting Names for all Allomantic metals known at the end of the events in the Mistborn Trilogy, as well as several discovered in the following centuries. The table also includes an explanation of the powers of each metal, including spoilers for the previously unknown metals.

So we have that to look forward to! When the wallpaper becomes available, I'll post it here. Or you could buy one of the prints and give it to me as a gift, to express your appreciation for my entertaining you every day! (I believe the correct response is: a harrumph, followed immediately by mumbling the phrase "fat chance!")

As you all likely know, when Fantasy stalwart Robert Jordan died in September of 2007, he left his Wheel of Time series unfinished. Brandon Sanderson was asked (much to his amazement) to take the notes and outlines that Jordan left and finish the series for the fans. He agreed and the next book (The Gathering Storm) is set to be released at the end of this month. Having never read any of the series before, I hadn't planned on reading the book when it released - obviously... what point would there be in reading book #12 of a series I'd never read any part of? I mean, what would a Ranger know of this matter?

The reason I bring it up is that Sanderson isn't the only author who has been called upon to finish/continue another author's famous series... An author by the name of Eoin Colfer, who some of you may know from the Artemis Fowl books, has been asked to continue Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. I saw the movie, and made a good dent into the first book - I remember enjoying the levity and humor of the style, but my apparent inability to embrace Sci-Fi trumped that enjoyment, and I abandoned the book. Still, many revere Adam's series, and I suppose that's good news for Adams fans everywhere. Farmers, furriers, stable boys... these are no soldiers.

So there's precedent now, for when GRRM kicks the bucket before finishing the Song of Ice and Fire series! I think A Dance with Dragons will release eventually, but beyond that, who knows? I suppose I should start working on the 6th book soon after Dance releases... yes, I've decided to give myself the job...

Bah, I suppose I need to get to my review of the Watterson bio... the fate of the world will now be decided. I'll give you another thousand if we leave right now...

Looking for Calvin & Hobbes, by Nevin Martell: A Review

It was with much joyful anticipation that I pre-ordered this book the moment I heard about it, back in late Spring of this year. Being a huge fan of Calvin & Hobbes (like just about everyone else in the world), I longed for a glimpse behind the scenes; a look at the man and the mind behind the strip. When the day arrived that I found the book outside, near the rubbish bin, where the UPS man had carelessly and lazily tossed it instead of bringing it to the front door, I snatched it like it was a plate of dry-rubbed ribs and tore it open like a paycheck in the mail. Ensconced in my lair, I dove in.

It wasn't long before I realized I was in for a rather sizable disappointment. Primarily, it was the dull, pedestrian, safe style of the prose. It was like reading something that had been dumbed down for mass consumption by school kids and adults on a school-kid level, intellectually. Like reading a textbook from grade school that has been so expunged of any spark of creativity that you're barely able to stay awake, much less learn anything. It's a kid's ride at the carnival when you were hoping for a pants-soaking roller-coaster... it's the Star Wars: Episode 1 of biography's, in other words...

Nevertheless, I persevered, keeping this thought front and center: "If I had put a year of my life into a book, I'd hope someone would have the decency to finish the book before passing judgment on it!" So I completed it.

This is the book: Martell, the author of two unsuccessful rockstar biographies, decides he wants to profile someone else instead, cuz rock stars are lame. He decides he loves Calvin & Hobbes, and thinks he should profile its creator, in spite of the fact that Watterson is a well-known recluse, shunning publicity of any kind, even turning away seasoned journalists, much less hacks like Martell. Undaunted, he moves forward, likely knowing that, even if he doesn't get Watterson's cooperation (he doesn't, of course) there'd still be legions of C&H fans out there who will snap up his book without thought (like yours truly) and, regardless of its quality, he will have a successful book.

So, he covers the requisite background (where Watterson was born and raised), covers his transition from creative rebel drawing cartoons for his highschool paper and yearbook, to his brief stint as a political cartoonist, to his eventual success, after trial and error, with the daily strip, into his explosion as a comic superstar. Almost all of the facts and quotes are pulled from previous interviews and speeches Watterson had given early on in his career, when he could still stomach the attention. He documents Watterson's quirks, and his rabid stance against doing merchandising of any kind, and his disdain for cartoonists that do such things (in other words, everyone else).

In lieu of Watterson, Martell interviews other cartoonists, and even other famous people in other industries, so they can all go on and on about how awesome the strip was, and how talented and frustratingly weird Watterson was. He talks to childhood friends, former agents, his syndicator, and, in his final big coup, scores a phone interview with Watterson's mom. He even travels to the little Ohio town that Watterson grew up in, and wanders around the place, as if it were Jerusalem, Mecca and Times Square all rolled into one. He also has a chapter where he describes (in detail) some of his favorite C&H strips! lol In that same chapter, he covers the basics of the strip premise, in case, you know, someone accidentally picks up his book without having any clue what Calvin and Hobbes was... and he put that chapter near the end of the book!

In other words, it's mostly filler, (including many quotes used more than once) and facts people can find elsewhere without much effort. Then again, I suppose that's what a biography is supposed to be... I could easily imagine, as I read it, a disgruntled and disappointed Watterson skimming it, thinking "Here's another yahoo capitalizing on my fame."

The best thing I can say about the book is that it was an easy, brief read.

Summary: 2/5 A poor excuse. The UPS man was right to put it where he did. Whoever wants it can have it. Leave a comment and I'll arrange to mail it to you. I don't want it on my shelf. I will not risk open war.


Maybe I was too hard on the guy. At least he's a published author, which is more than I can say. I figure, if you put out dreck, be prepared for people to call it dreck. There's a reason they call me the "hanging judge"... Go back to the abyss! Fall into nothingness that awaits you and your master!

I guess I'm done for now. Before I go, here's a funny (to me) absurd comic from No Fourth Wall to Break that I had in my archive... I have to sprinkle a little politics into the post...

Goimp! I'm outta here. Whatever luck you live by, let's hope it lasts the night. Until tomorrow, remember, the city has fallen silent... there is no warmth left in the sun.


Bob said...

Title is from The Fellowship of the Ring...

"Whatever luck you live by, let's hope it lasts the night" is from Two Towers...

and "the city has fallen silent... there is no warmth left in the sun" is from The Return of the King...

making the theme.. hell, i don't know, The Lord of the Rings maybe?? :)

havah said...

How bizarro! Second night in a row I was reading something similar to you before I got here. In this case, I ended up on Eric Van Lustbader's site, and discovered that he is writing more books in Ludlum's Bourne series. I wonder what they're like?

Cool poem. I can't write funny.

$50 for a poster giving info on a book? Hmm...Nope.

Eek! Quite an impression that biography made. I would offer to take it, but I've just been given three boxes of books by a family member. They're replacing the three boxes of junk I just threw out. :-/ My work is never done...

havah said...

Dave, hope you don't mind, but since you have so many fantasy readers here...

Has anyone read Cry Wolf (Alpha and Omega I)?

Krista said...

"I'll give you another thousand if we leave right now..."-- King Kong

"what would a Ranger know of this matter?"--King Of The Corner

Okay, so I think this next quote is from 300 but nothing came up when I googled it to make sure, so I could be way off "Farmers, furriers, stable boys... these are no soldiers."--300

If that one is wrong then I take this one "Bah, I dare not take it... not even to keep it safe..."-- Lord of The Rings Two
^ Can I do that? :)

Heh, that means Bob was wrong on the theme..(cue the insane laughter)..It's too bad I don't know what the theme is, though ;)

Funny opening I like it :)

Isn't that poster just cool! That Q&A site I gave you I think someone asked him about those other metals. He may of said what he was going to do with them, but it's been a while since I read it, though, so I'm not a 100% on what he said.

I know what you mean, I really want to read Sandersons installments in the Robert Jordan series but I've heard good and bad things about that series... It seems people either love it or hate it... So I don't want to go buying 12 books that are just okay. Too much money to waste if I didn't like them.

Thanks for the offer but I think I'll skip that title.

Have a great day, Dave!

Krista said...

Havah, I haven't read Cry Wolf yet, but it's on my shelf! I've heard many good things about it from discussion buddies and I do Love Patricia Briggs, so I don't think you could go wrong with reading it. I've read her Mercy Thompson series and really enjoyed it. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

Crystal said...

"Well, how did you think this would end, Carl?" - King Kong

"I dare not take it... not even to keep it safe..." The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

"Farmers, furriers, stable boys... these are no soldiers." - The Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers

Is the theme films directed by Peter Jackson?

Bob said...

Krista: "what would a Ranger know of this matter" is also from The Fellowship of the Ring ;)

but you're right otherwise.. the theme was too easy :D

Bob said...

I think Crystal is right!

Krista said...

That's okay Bob as long as you were wrong ;) I gotta catch up to you some how! :)

Man, that quote was in a lot of movies so how do we know which is the right one.... Dream West, Folly , etc...

logankstewart said...

Dang, and for the theme I was going to offer "Films Depicting the Rise and Fall of Indo-China."

I, too, think I must pass on that Watterson bio. Yuck.

I fully intend to read the entire Wheel of Time saga one day, especially now that Sanderson is completing it.

Abbie said...

aww dang it Chrystal, I think you are right too :) good work! lol, and since only those four are what made him famous, thats all we can pick from :) The lovely bones will come out soon though! I'm sure it will be amazing... and then the Hobbit!!! Yes!!!

the fate of the world will now be decided = Two towers
I will not risk open war = Two towers ("open war is upon you, whether you would risk it or not! = one of the best lines the whole movie :D )
Go back to the abyss! Fall into nothingness that awaits you and your master = Fellowship of the rings

I love that you did this theme dave, 'cause I know most of them without having to look them up, lol :) yay for LOTR!!!

Amusing post dave :) Sorry to hear that your book was a dissapointment... thats a bummer.

David Wagner said...

15 points for Bob! 10 points for Krista! 15 points for Abbie! And 25 points for Crystal, for getting 3 quotes and the theme! Dang, you guys rocked it today!

I thought if I loaded it up with LOTR quotes and snuck in a couple from King Kong and The Frighteners, it would throw people off... I guess I wasn't tricksy enough...

Krista said...

OMG, Dave, you are so lucky! Why? One of my favorite authors is coming your way!!! On November 2 @ Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego CA. Really he is going to be all over CA... Man, that's the bad thing about living in a tiny, and I mean tiny town. :( So, if I like sent you my book would you get it signed for me ;) Just Kidding... Or you could get a signed copy and Have a giveaway!!! LOL! Only kidding, I just thought it was pretty cool.

Ah, I'm so jealous....

All the best, Dave!

Krista said...

Oh, I forgot to say what author lol! Anyway, it's Ken Scholes author of Lamentation and Canticle... Great author! You might like him as he has a lot of awesome qoutes.

My favorite being "The truth, is a seed planted in a field of stones beneath a stone and guarded by snakes. To have it, be strong enough to move the stone, patient enough to dig the hole and fast enough to dodge the viper's fang." Lamentation

I can NOT wait till my copy of Canticle gets here!


David Wagner said...

Thanks for the heads-up. I'll go get a book autographed for you, no prob. Warning! I am flighty! Please remind me again once November begins, so I don't forget!

David Wagner said...

Dude, Brandon Sanderson is going to be there on Nov 15th to sign The Gathering Storm! What the heck! I'm there.

Anyone see any other authors they'd like a signed book from? That link has the author list....

Krista said...

"What would a Ranger know of this matter" The Fellowship of the Ring

I got this one wrong I think, so if I correct my answer I get points for it, right?

"Whatever luck you live by, let's hope it lasts the night." Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

"There's a reason they call me the "hanging judge"... "
The Frighteners

David Wagner said...

15 more points for Krista! Good work!