11 October 2008

Comicsin' It Up Volume 6

Well, the pile of comics I accumulated from several local libraries has finally run out. Here are the last mini-reviews for now.

More albums by our own Petri Hiltunen. Riutta is a science fiction story about man's first encounter with aliens. It's a surprisingly happy and non-violent story for Hiltunen. Well, for the most part. Vala Auringolle is another historical story about the Sioux people, this one set in the 1860's. Unlike Aavetanssi, which focused on historical events, this one features entirely fictional characters and aims at describing Sioux life and culture, both the good and the bad. Because it's not forced around a series of historical events, it's actually the stronger story of the two, and really worth reading for anyone interested in Native American culture. Well, anyone Finnish anyway...

However, Hiltunen is arguably best known for his pulp fantasy stories. Kuninkaan lapset was the first Praedor story to be published in album form, and is, I think, the best of all the Praedor stories I've read. Mustan rannikon kuningatar is an adaptation of Robert E. Howard's Conan story Queen of the Black Coast. It's a faithful adaptation and very entertaining, except maybe it could have been a tad longer. Hiltunen, of course, is known to be a great Howard fan.

The Last Temptation, written by Neil Gaiman, is a comic book adaption of the Alice Cooper album of the same name, for which Gaiman and Cooper created the story together. Aside from that incredibly cool background, it's a very entertaining horror comic, even if the story itself isn't perhaps the most original ever.

Signal to Noise by Gaiman and Dave McKean, on the other hand, is very hard to describe. It's a very experimental work, in many ways, even though at its heart there is a fairly simple and touching story about a dying film director making his last film in his mind. McKean, of course, is one of the most original and experimental illustrators in the business and always manages to create a very surreal mood. I don't know quite what to think of this work. But that's really the whole point.

Memories is a collection of short stories by Enki Bilal from the 70's and early 80's. These are mostly science fiction and horror stories, often humorous, sometimes just plain weird or surreal. Not half bad.

The Complete Alan Moore Future Shocks is a collection of short science fiction stories written by (you guessed it) Alan Moore for the 2000AD magazine back in the early 80's. The stories are humorous and mostly quite clever. In fact they often reminded me a lot of Douglas Adams.

And that pretty much wraps it up for now. Sooner or later I'll probably wander into a library again, but hopefully won't be getting piles of books this size again very soon!

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