Spotted this while randomly googling imaginary libraries that I wish were mine (what? perfectly valid search thread) by Tom Gauld (who tweets as @TomGauld).
Then spent a very happy half hour checking out his comics – many have a literary theme! He does happen to have a book out – Baking with Kafka – so it seems only polite to include a link to that also – HERE!
Last one I swear but relevant to Sunday’s book club 🙂
Leeds Book Club has been participating in the Arts and Minds Network‘s Sharing Stories Project for the last few years.
In previous years, we read and discussed books – you can find the list below – however, in 2015, we decided to broaden our scope.
Tom of the Arts and Mind Network and I will be meeting up every few months to discuss books, music, TV, films, comics and anything else we can think of, with an eye towards increasing awareness about mental health.
If you are already subscribed to the Leeds Book Club podcast, then #CulturallyMinded episodes should start appearing automatically soon! 😉
The LBC podcast can also be found on iTunes here if you fancy subscribing!
02 – CULTURALLY MINDED – Episode Two – with Tom
Tom (@ArtsMindsLeeds) and I meet up to discuss comics – the Movement, Look Straight Ahead, 2 Kill and Psychiatric Tales; books – The Girl on the Train; Tom’s Recommendation – In and Out of the Kitchen and exciting events coming up soon!
TIP 02 – Miles Jupp – In and Out of the Kitchen
Mobile Link to the episode.
If you’d like to get involved – either recording (with us or as a roving reporter with audioboom) or with a suggested book, tv, film, comic or place to visit – please drop us a line!Follow @artsmindsleeds Follow @leedsbookclub
DAVE GIBBONS (ARTIST)
JOHN HIGGINS (COLOURIST)
“Stood in firelight, sweltering. Bloodstain on chest like map of violent new continent. Felt cleansed. Felt dark planet turn under my feet and knew what cats know that makes them scream like babies in night.
Looked at sky through smoke heavy with human fat and God was not there. The cold, suffocating dark goes on forever and we are alone. Live our lives, lacking anything better to do. Devise reason later. Born from oblivion; bear children, hell-bound as ourselves, go into oblivion. There is nothing else.
Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. No meaning save what we choose to impose. This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It’s us. Only us. Streets stank of fire. The void breathed hard on my heart, turning its illusions to ice, shattering them. Was reborn then, free to scrawl own design on this morally blank world.
Find fellow members on twitter by searching for #LBCGiraffe
A few months ago, I reviewed Return to Labyrinth – a 4 part manga/comic continuation of the epically awesome 1986 Jim Henson film – Labyrinth.
You can probably imagine how excited I became when the very same publisher (Tokyopop) announced that they were bringing out a three part sequel to The Dark Crystal, another Jim Henson film, and again, one of my childhood favourites!
The 1982 film was, without question, darker than its predecessor – set in the ruined world of Thra. The protagonist – Jen – believes that he is the last of his kind, the final remaining Gelfling.
Taken in upon his parents death by the enigmatic Mystics, Jen only finds out his destiny on the event of his Master’s death. He is told of the Gelfling prophecy, and that he is the one who must ‘heal’ the dark crystal, restoring it to a whole state and thereby restoring balance throughout the world. The Dark Crystal had been cracked a thousand years previously.
His journey, and the fate of his world, is beautifully captured in the film, and I would really recommend it, especially if you have young un’s. It can be a bit scary in places, but so is the world, and every child should have the right to see the world through Henson’s eyes.
(Incidentally, and for my fellow geeks, I’m delighted to hear that a sequel is being planned (announced anyway in May 2010). Ok, it’s in 3D…for the moment…but who knows, by the time it’s actually made, that fad might have worn itself out!)
The comics are not by any means a sequel to the film. Instead, the bold decision was made to set the story in the past. Hundreds of years before Jen’s story, set before the extermination of the Gelflings, but after the Great Conjunction (when the crystal was cracked).
Legends of the Dark Crystal, Vol’s 1 and 2 – the 3rd planned in the series was cancelled – examines a different Thra from that of the film. In this story, Thra is slowly breaking down but is not yet broken.
Lahr, a herder, is a simple Gelfling, with simple needs. He lives with his family in a small village – not home, just the latest in a long line of attempts to retain a normal existance in a place becoming violent and dangerous.
After his family are captured, or possibly killed, by the ruthless Garthim, Lahr is forced to undertake a voyage to warn other Gelflings. En route, he joins forces with Neffi – a winged female who has been similarly dispossessed by the same band of Garthim.
After sucessfully defending the Namopo Valley village, Lahr and Neffi realise that the Garthim are capturing Gelflings *alive* for the even more evil Skesksis. They decided that they must steal into the Dark Castle, and rescue as many as they can.
Vol 2: Trial by fire – follows on from the moment vol 1 ends, with our inspirational duo heading for the castle (hee hee, every time I think of the Dark Castle I keep flashing to that little worm from Labyrinth. “If she’d ‘ave kept on goin’ down that way she’d ‘ave gone straight to that castle.“).
I don’t want to give too much away, but the second volume, in my opinion, is a far more pace-y, dramatic and dark book. Both the Mystics and Skeksis feature far more. And, although the ending is obvious to those who are familiar with the film…ok, overly familiar with the film, it manages to be unexpected at the same time.
I’ve articulated that poorly, but I’m sure you know what I mean!
Again, I will be lending these around to any of my mates that express an interest. However, unlike the Return to Labyrinth series – which I will even lend to people who’ve never heard of the film! – I have reservations with this one.
The artwork can’t be faulted, the story line makes familiar territory new again, altogether, it is a polished and well presented product. And therein lies the rub.
While Return to Labyrinth, in places, felt a little rushed, with some characters rather sloppily put together, and pretty much all of Volume 1 being just a tad fan-girl-ish; you could tell that the creaters *really, really* loved the original film.
Here, it feels a bit more like a technical challenge. As though it was so much more tricky to put together than somewhere along the line, the books lose their sense of fun.
It’s a pity that the third volume will not now be released. It felt as though the series had found its feet, and was finally entering territory as dark as the film that inspired it. The final panals of volume 2 create a sense of forboding, and I for one, would have loved to see more snippits from that particular time line.
Long story short – if you’re already a fan of comics, manga and, obviously, the film, go check it out from your local library. Have a read, then head straight to the comments and let me know what you think!
If you are merely interested in dipping your toe into the whole comics scene, I’d go for the Labyrinth books instead!