PLUG and REVIEW (ish) – 2 KILL Comic

IMG_3089In my other blogging persona, you might recall me bragging about my friend Tom Ellis HERE and HERE.

Well, the little sod has gone and done it again! Damn him and his inspirational/creative self!

Tom has created a comic book series.

And written the first issue.

And published it.

And is selling it.

EPISODE 01 IS A TALE OF INTRIGUE.
AN ASSASSIN IS SENT OUT TO KILL SOMEONE.
WE SEE THE INSTRUCTIONS BEING GIVEN.
THEN THE INTERACTIONS BETWEEN THE PAIR. 
WHO IS THE TARGET? WHO THE ASSASSIN?

tom comic

Initially I had intended writing a full review for Issue One but to do so would quite spoil this twisty-turny tale.

What I will say is that this is a terse thriller. The language used is deliberately ambiguous and captures the attention and imagination of the reader. The dialogue reads right, the character sound like they’re actually talking to each other (one of my normal bug bears in comics) which is a huge thumbs up.

All artwork has been created by Katie Thompson – another friend and con-family member of mine. Though I’ve seen bits and pieces of her work before, nothing on this scale and nothing so deliberately minimalist and stylistic in tone. I love the use of light and dark and that the only colour used in red. The emotions of the characters are emphasized throughout – bravo Katie!

I’m hugely impressed by my two mates – this is a terrific project! However, this is not perfect – not just yet.

In places, I could have used more exposition via text rather than via the artwork. During the dinner date for example, I almost resented having panels devoted to each detail of the nights progression – I thought that the pace suffered slightly here as a result. (However, later, after the date – the use of the art to propel the story forwards, as opposed to the writing is spot on. I’m an inconstant woman, clearly).

I look forward to seeing the direction that Tom and his intrepid team of awesome take for the next!

Watch the trailer here

Visit the 2KILL page on facebook

Danny Snelson

Danny Snelson

2 KILL PLAYLIST

You can download the soundtrack – compiled by Aaron Richards HERE because what is the point of a comic without a kickass soundtrack?

Or play the soundtrack on the embedded player below.

tl: dr

A brand new comic series from enthusiastic first timers;  that brings together a story, artwork and music.

Issue 1 out now!

Book choices for August – September

giphyaa

LBCPuffins – 19th August 2015 – The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

LBC 3 Reads – 22nd August 2015 – I know why the caged bird sings – Maya Angelou

LBCOutlaws – 2nd September – 2015 – The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel

LBCMedusa – 09th September 2015 – A tree grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith

LBCWhiteswan – 13th September 2015 – Ghostwritten – David Mitchell

LBCDystopia -23rd September -The Sleeper Awakes: H G Wells

For more details on where and where check out the calendar page here

FREE EBOOK – LBC Dystopia

LBC Dystopia

Date: 23rd September 2015

 

Venue: Crowd of Favours

Our next pick is available for free as an ebook. Click on the links below for…

HG Wells – Free Ebooks

THE SLEEPER AWAKES

BLURB

A troubled insomniac in 1890s England falls suddenly into a sleep-like trance, from which he does not awake for over two hundred years.

During his centuries of slumber, however, investments are made that make him the richest and most powerful man on Earth.

But when he comes out of his trance he is horrified to discover that the money accumulated in his name is being used to maintain a hierarchal society in which most are poor, and more than a third of all people are enslaved.

Oppressed and uneducated, the masses cling desperately to one dream – that the sleeper will awake, and lead them all to freedom.

 

Review- LBCOutlaws – Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk

LBC Outlaws

Date:  Wednesday 1st of April 2015
Time:  6:00pm
Address: Harper Street, LS2 7EA

Discussing:

FIGHT CLUB

CHUCK PALAHNIUK

BLURB

Every weekend, in basements and parking lots across the country, young men with good white-collar jobs and absent fathers take off their shoes and shirts and fight each other barehanded for as long as they have to. Then they go back to those jobs with blackened eyes and loosened teeth and the sense that they can handle anything.

Fight Club is the invention of Tyler Durden, projectionist, waiter and dark, anarchic genius. And it’s only the beginning of his plans for revenge on a world where cancer support groups have the corner on human warmth.

* * * * * SPOILERS* * * * *

FIGHT CLUBSo if the first rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club does this mean I shouldn’t write-up the book club evening???

FIGHT CLUB GIF 01

The evening started with the usual jokes – let’s go home early seeing as we can’t talk about it. Most people had seen the book and watched the film with only one person never previously giving in to any hype.

We talked about masculinity and how the club started as a way of getting back at absent fathers mostly by beating the…stuffing…out of each other. Although at points the characters were described as whiney teenagers blaming everyone but themselves for their behaviour.

Everyone seemed to have a different idea of when they first realised that Tyler and the narrator were the same person. We were quite surprised that you never learn the name of the narrator. Some people realised they were the same person as Tyler was never in the same room as Marla.

FIGHT CLUB GIF 02

This book broughT up lots of questions such as who taught Tyler/Narrator how to be a projectionist, how to make soap from human fat and so on especially as the guy had an office job. Where did he get the chance to learn these skills? Also why was Marla storing her mother’s fat? (to use as Botox apparently)

One reviewer questioned the incoherence of the book and the strange sense of time and wondered if it was deliberate. They questioned whether it was simple bad writing or the author trying to show the effects of a fevered mind. One reader said all the characters needed a good slap.

We went off on an imdb tangent – a common occurrence in this book group as we looked up all the other films Meatloaf had been in before discussing rumour of Fight Club 2; the graphic novel.

FIGHT CLUB GIF 03

Moving onto anti-consumerism with the Narrator blowing up his flat and old life, Somehow this got us on to the Cottingley fairies, not just a tangent but an entirely different discussion group altogether!

It was also seen as an antidote to the mass of women’s romances at the time

That moved us onto the success of the book and how it’s now more famous as an idea and possibly not as good as we’d remembered. We talked about how the author is always thought to be Tyler and the real life Fight Clubs that appeared.

We accepted that Marla was important as  a plot point and to move the story on but there’s not enough on her cancer and there could’ve been more done with her. That got us onto whether men could write female characters.

FIGHT CLUB GIF 04

I have ‘space bunnies’ written in my notebook but no idea why….

Lastly we talked about the movie again as Hollywood changed the ending opting not to blow up the building but placing him in a mental institute.

Another common theme in Outlaws as so many books have been made into films with a happy or in this case happier ending

 

SCORE

7/10

FILM TRAILER

For further details, please email me at leedsbookclub@gmail.com or tweet me @LeedsBookClub or @LBCOutlaws

The Pub can be contacted on @CrowdofFavours 

And feel free to let us know your thoughts using #LBCOutlaws

LBC Puffins – Over Sea, Under Stone – Susan Cooper

LBC PUFFINS

Date: 20th May 2015

DISCUSSING:

OVER SEA, UNDER STONE

SUSAN COOPER

BLURB

Like many adventures, this one began with a holiday in Logres (land of the West and King Arthur), the discovery of an ancient map and a search for a buried grail.

But then it turned into something much more important and frightening.

This is the first of the five books which form The Dark is Rising sequence.

 

over sea overWe started this book club going off tangent straight away with a debate on the purity of chocolate and modern day book covers versus old ones.

Getting back on point we discussed how this book was originally written for a competition and it wasn’t until a few years later that the author went back and continued the series which resulted in the series being named after the second book rather than the first.

Our books seem to have recurring themes of children whose parents have died. It made a nice change in this book to have the parents alive, if mostly absent.

We had to guess the ages of the children as they weren’t given. Based on studying two years of Latin we guessed eldest child Simon to be about 12 or 13. Most of us ignored the Latin bits!

We thought the descriptions were really good and gave a good sense of menace.

SPOILER alert: We discussed how long it too people to guess that Merry was Merlin which had various results,

Some found Simon and Jane annoying but others like Jane for being sensible and not being a wimp. It made a nice change that she got to do things rather than sit around sewing. We applauded her for her bravery and even when not wanting to go on the boat it was due to gut instinct and not liking the eventual bad guys.

Quote: ‘How long does it take to realise it’s a ****ing cave’ said in relation to the children trying to follow the clues. Why did they not just walk around the headland? But then we joked about how you wouldn’t have a book.

It was hard to work out who the villains were. They were obvious in knowing who they were but there were vague hints of the main villain being perhaps a devil but there were pagan overtones. The bad guys were reassuringly bad and we liked that they seemed to enjoy what they did.

We talked about Mrs Polk. We enjoyed her turning out to be bad and joked about how it was her putting on the head gear that solidified that she was not one of the good guys. But we laughed at the fact that she still made sure they had a packed lunch before arranging for Barney to be kidnapped!

We chatted about how in a lot of books of the mid-1900’s the middle class are good kids, working class kids with accents turn out bad. They must also be rude and have bad manners. Bill was a local kid with an accent so was clearly a criminal.

A few readers were inspired to find out what happens next.

Who’s the new Arthur? It’s not made clear. We didn’t think it was myth-y enough but the language was simple and easy to follow but definitely of its time.

Score:

7 / 10

 

To find other members of the club, search on twitter for #LBCPuffins
 
Let me know your thoughts by either tweeting me at @LeedsBookClub or Helen @LBCPuffins, commenting below or emailing me at leedsbookclub@gmail.com

LBC Puffins choices for August and September

edited puffin

19th August

The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride #1)

by James Patterson

13152

16th September

A Stitch In Time

by Penelope Lively

5170kkD1pjL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

From the Vaults – The High Lord Review

A mate of mine dropped me an email last week letting me know that I had sent her reviews of the Black Magicians’s Trilogy way back in 2009.

These reviews actually predate the book club (I think) and will be posted under the email receipt date in a few weeks.

Despite every impulse within me, I won’t be editing these reviews at all, except for basic tidy up to follow the usual LBC review format.  I’ve even left in the infuriating oxford commas that I now avoid like the plague!!

THE HIGH LORD

TRUDI CANAVAN

BLURB (Amazon)

“You want to know the truth.”

Sonea has learned much since she was but a penniless urchin possessing an awesome untapped ability. She has earned the grudging respect of her fellow novices and a place in theMagicians’ Guild. But there is much she wishes she had never learned—what she witnessed, for example, in the underground chamber of the mysterious High Lord Akkarin . . . and the knowledge that the Guild is being observed closely by an ancient fearsome enemy.

Still, she dares not ignore the terrifying truths the High Lord would share with her, even though she fears it may be base trickery, a scheme to use her astonishing powers to accomplish his dark aims. For Sonea knows her future is in his hands—and that only in the shadows will she achieve true greatness . . . if she survives.

Emailed to my friend on 6th January 2009.

tbm 03

Wow O wow O wow…did this ever not end up in the place that I thought it was going to!!!The book that makes the trilogy – the best of all; the biggest of all and the finale.

At times, this was an entirely frustrating read. For one thing, just as the whole school thing skips forward a year and gets interesting; it’s mixed with the wanderings of a not-entirely aimless wizard intent on digging up the past, specifically Akkarin’s.
I mean the insights into why the High Lord is such a sod are really really interesting, and your mind keeps trying to figure out ways to piece the final pieces together. But they always come at the most pivotal moments within the main plot – and when you do get back to the primary story there is an entirely plausible reason why you are not right back at the action – grrrr frustrating!!And its a big book, even for me. I knew that I couldn’t read it in one go, and with work and everything…

Well I have to read it again. I did a lot of speed reading and missed vital details along the way (though we never do find out about the third gem…never gets answered…love it).This book does so much – and like I said, its a biggie, but a goodie – for me I found that it divided into thirds.

The first – Sonea IS learning more about the magicks and the High Lord.
The second – working in the dark.
the third…well, it is a fantasy novel – its the big reveal/fight/resolution.And romance.

But not in a ‘oh-god-a-woman-writing-sci-fi/fantasy’ way. It’s understated and all the more poignant, romantic and satisfying for being so (though I have a slight ick factor with the whole ‘he was her teacher’ thing). And the ending…unforgettable.

Mind you, I’m not sure I’ll ever forgive her (Trudi Canavan). I’m reading the first book of her next series, and if it ends in a way that upsets me again three days later…I’m moving onto more Disney style books :)

From the Vault

The Black Magician Trilogy

  1. The Magician’s Guild
  2. The Novice
  3. The High Lord

LBC 3 Reads – Date Change – PLEASE NOTE

#LBC3Reads
Date:  *22nd of August 2015*
Time:  11am – 1pm
Address: Unit 2
Munro House,
Duke St,
Leeds LS9 8AG

 

Our Choice

I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS

MAYA ANGELOU

lbc 3 01BLURB (from Amazon)

Maya Angelou’s seven volumes of autobiography are a testament to the talents and resilience of this extraordinary writer. Loving the world, she also knows its cruelty. As a Black woman she has known discrimination and extreme poverty, but also hope, joy, achievement and celebration. In this first volume of her six books of autobiography, Maya Angelou beautifully evokes her childhood with her grandmother in the American south of the 1930s. She learns the power of the white folks at the other end of town and suffers the terrible trauma of rape by her mother’s lover.

‘I write about being a Black American woman, however, I am always talking about what it’s like to be a human being. This is how we are, what makes us laugh, and this is how we fall and how we somehow, amazingly, stand up again’ Maya Angelou

ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from Amazon)

Dr Maya Angelou was one of the world’s most important writers and activists. Born 4 April 1928, she lived and chronicled an extraordinary life: rising from poverty, violence and racism, she became a renowned author, poet, playwright, civil rights’ activist – working with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King – and memoirist. She wrote and performed a poem, ‘On the Pulse of Morning’, for President Clinton on his inauguration; she was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama and was honoured by more than seventy universities throughout the world.

She first thrilled the world with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969). This was followed by six volumes of autobiography, the seventh and final volume, Mom & Me & Mom, published in 2013. She wrote three collections of essays; many volumes of poetry, including His Day is Done, a tribute to Nelson Mandela; and two cookbooks. She had a lifetime appointment as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University of North Carolina. Dr Angelou died on 28 May 2014.

Date:  *14th of November 2015*
Time:  11am – 1pm
Address: Unit 2
Munro House,
Duke St,
Leeds LS9 8AG

 

Our Choice

THE TIN DRUM

GUNTER GRASS

lbc 3 02

BLURB (from Amazon)

On his third birthday Oskar decides to stop growing. Haunted by the deaths of his parents and wielding his tin drum Oskar recounts the events of his extraordinary life; from the long nightmare of the Nazi era to his anarchic adventures is post-war Germany

ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from Amazon)

Günter Grass, born in Danzig in 1927, is Germany’s most celebrated contemporary writer. He is a creative artist of remarkable versatility: novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, graphic artist. Grass was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999.

Breon Mitchell’s translations include works by Franz Kafka, Heinrich Boll, and many others. He is the recipient of several awards for literary translation, he is Professor of Germanic Literature at Indiana University, and Director of the Lilly Library.

 

From the Vaults – The Novice Review

A mate of mine dropped me an email last week letting me know that I had sent her reviews of the Black Magicians’s Trilogy way back in 2009.

These reviews actually predate the book club (I think) and will be posted under the email receipt date in a few weeks.

Despite every impulse within me, I won’t be editing these reviews at all, except for basic tidy up to follow the usual LBC review format.  I’ve even left in the infuriating oxford commas that I now avoid like the plague!!

THE NOVICE

TRUDI CANAVAN

BLURB (Amazon)

“Even if a magician’s powers surface of their own accord, he will soon be dead if he does not gain the knowledge of how to control them.”

Alone among all the novices in the Magicians’ Guild, only Sonea comes from lowly beginnings. Yet she has won powerful allies—including Lord Dannyl, newly promoted to Guild Ambassador. But Dannyl must now depart for the Elyne court, leaving Sonea at the mercy of the lies and malicious rumors her enemies are busy spreading . . . until the High Lord Akkarin steps in. The price of Akkarin’s support is dear, however, because Sonea, in turn, must protect his mysteries—and a secret that could lead a young novice mage deep into the darkness.

Meanwhile, Dannyl’s first order to resume High Lord Akkarin’s long-abandoned research into ancient magical knowledge is setting him on an extraordinary journey fraught with unanticipated peril—as he moves ever-closer to a future both wondrous . . . and terrible.

Emailed to my friend on 6th January 2009.

TMG 02

So, this was the book that I never intended to read.
The dreaded sequel…well not exactly dreaded – I did actually want to know what happened to everyone, and I had been a bit curious about the bigger picture, but in a ‘wait-for-the-tv-movie’ kind of way.The first thing that struck me was that the writing seemed so much more fluid than in the first book (I was later to learn that The Magician’s Guild had been the authors debut novel – honestly, all the pieces started to fall into place).

As the characters had grown, so too had the capacity of the plot to explore more mature elements and though while reading the book everything felt very natural and un-hurried; it was only afterwards that i realised how impressed i had been by how many different themes were intricately woven into the story.

However, I still felt like I was a bit beyond the whole bullying storyline that dominated the main plot. Again I was immersed in the larger scale story before I realised it, and I loved it! As a result, it seemed churlish to whine that too much time was spent on developing the characters!

So much was I enjoying the story that I didn’t bother to report back to the mate that had recommended the books in the first place and moved straight onto the third and final in the series appropriately excited for the finale!

From the Vault

The Black Magician Trilogy

  1. The Magician’s Guild
  2. The Novice
  3. The High Lord

Books ‘un’ picked

As always we have a list of books that were not selected, so if you’re looking for some suggestions, have a look here!

Book fall

These are un-selected book from a few different book clubs that got mixed up in my bag!

HOTEL HONOLULU – Paul Theroux x2

EXCELLENT WOMAN – Barbara Pym

SMALL GODS – Terry Pratchett

BLACK DIAMONDS – Katherine Bailey

ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE – Anthony Doerr

IF ON A WINTERS NIGHT A TRAVELER – Italo Calvino

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN – Paula Hawkins

EVERYTHING I EVER TOLD YOU – Celeste Ng

JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR NORREL – Susanna Clarke

THE LIE – Helen Dunmore

THE CHILDREN’S ACT – Ian McEwan

WATER MUSIC – TC Boyle

THE TALE OF BLANCH AND MARIE – Per Olav Enquist x2

MIDDLESEX – Jeffrey Eugenides

ETTA AND OTTO AND RUSSEL AND JAMES – Emma Hopper

THE BLIND ASSASSIN – Margaret Atwood

DARK PLACES – Gillian Flynn

THE FORREST OF HANDS AND TEETH – Carrie Ryan

THE ENGLISH PATIENT – Michael Ondaatje

READY PLAYER ONE – Ernest Cline

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS – M.R Carey x2

FED – Mira Grant

THE BEES – Laline Paull

ORLEANS – Sherri L Smith

WOOL – Hugh Howey

PACIFIC EYES – Kim Stanley Robinson

UNDER HEAVEN – Guy Gavriel Kay

DISGRACE – J.M. Coetzee

 

 

 

 

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