Friday, August 15, 2008

Hellboy: Seed of Destruction

Title: Hellboy, Vol.1 Seeds of Destruction
Author: Mike Mignola & John Byrne
Pages: 128
Publisher: Dark Horse

With Hellboy 2: The Golden Army released and considering my fascination with the story and characters, the universe has decided to grant me the pleasure of reading the first volumes of the comic book series. Carl V. from "Stainless Steel Droppings" has been generous enough to send me these with no strings attached. To understand why I am so behind on my comic book readings I would have to explain that in Eastern Europe the comic book market is in its developing stages and the best you can get are Spiderman, Spawn and the Avengers, which I have spotted after their initial issues and would be senseless to collect.

There are certain aspects of the series, which set it apart from the other superhero comic books and for me the biggest is the art. Mike Mignola is an entity of different proportions. At first the rough, edgy, murky designs for his characters left me a bit skeptical since Michael Turner has been most influential for me. My major passion lay with human bodies driven to perfection, clean lines, visible details and bright colors. What Mike Mignola does is on the polar side. Illustrations resemble dark visions through a murky looking glass. Characters usually come as rough outlines of people with no constant shapes or details. It all depends on the angle and on the shading, of which Mignola seems fond. Tones are usually dark and the constant shadowing creates a macabre atmosphere. In one word the desired effect is gritty and that what it is. From another aspect I love how the style is in sync with the spirit of the world and characters. Hellboy and his crew are the weirdoes of superhero mythos. They aren’t perfect. They have their flaws. Some are even from a different species. To top it off they have to fight the paranormal world and not often is everything neat and clean.

”Seed of Destruction” revolves around a polar expedition, which brought the death to Professor Trevor Bruttenholm aka Hellboy’s father by a humanoid frog creature. The team from B.P.R.D (Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense) pays a visit to the birth house of the Cavendish boys, who have been participants in the expedition. The house, which slowly sinks into the surrounding waters of the lake around it, has been rumored to suffer from a curse, since all the men in the family have died trying to reach the top of the world never to return.

Mystery shrouds the family history and Lady Emma Cavendish seems a bit too secretive, but soon violence replaces the Q&A of the team. Liz Sherman becomes the catalyst and infinite energy supply for a mad sorcerer, who plans to awaken “The Seven”, bound gods in an other dimension to bring destruction to Earth. Abe Sapien has an encounter with a long lost ancestor from the Cavendish family, while exploring the lower sunken levels of the house. All the while Hellboy has encountered another amphibian like monster, who turned out to be one of the expedition participants. The danger of an apocalypse is quite near and in between, interesting tidbits about Hellboy’s origins and mission on Earth are revealed. If anyone has watched the first movie, then they will recognize the plot line, on which it was based.

The issue features a retrospect into the last stages of WW2 prior to Hitler’s downfall and the summoning of Hellboy. Bonus pages come in the form of the first sketches developing Hellboy as a character and the first arcs he has appeared ever. The preword by Mike Mignola is also something interesting to behold as the points raised in defending comic book art style and its popularization, becoming a popular style with its techniques used in other fields as well. Not to mention that this volume won two awards in 1995 for “Best Writer/Artist” for Mike Mignola and “Best Graphic Album: Reprint”.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

News and Links brought to you by the opposite of speed of Light

Yes, it has been a great lack of updates these days and I can only blame my weak psyche, which gets so easily fried by the hardships from a seven hour day job six days a week. My brain simply can't cope with the responsibilities of it and finishing a novel at the same and trying to read and review or do any kind of another activity. I need a serious update.

A long while ago I was asked by Stephen Hunt, author of "The Court of the Air" and "The Kingdom beyond the Waves", to announce the creation of his own social web for science fiction and fantasy fans, who would like to hang together on the web. Those websites are like Myspace and FaceBook, but with the marvelous fantasy twist I need. So behold the might and new HIVEMIND. It's pretty much useless mentioning it now, since the whole site has taken on the much needed life of its own. Hah! But still, if you are interested and plan to stay find me there. I go under DayDream with the same picture. Predictable, yes?

Aiden Moher over at "A Dribble of Ink" posted a really interesting "Movie Based on Novels" meme and for intance I had no idea that some of the movies were indeed based on novels or vice versa. Such poor culture. To continue the movie topic he talks about an eventual movie adaptation of Wheel of Time.

At "Blood of the Muse" you can participate at a "The Court of the Air" hard cover giveaway. And the treat is that, if you blog and spread the word around the web, you get to have a second entry, doubling your chance to snatch away the title. I also would recommend to spend some time around his blog and read the intriguing comic book review "Locke & Key".

Notable reviews by Kimberly at "Darque Reviews" are 1) "Jinx" by Jennifer Estep, 2) "Legacy" by Jeanne C. Stein, 3) "Ghostgirl" by Tanya Hurley. Yes, the paranormal and urban fantasy diva continues to overheat her blog with posts and it's complete madness to try and follow. I can only hope to ever reach a fraction of her reading speed.

SQT at the "Fantasy & Sci-fi Lovin' Book Reviews" or FSLBR, because it's just so much easier to type down, is hosting a special anthology giveaway, which ends at August 19th, so and win either "Enchantment Place" story collection or "The Dimension Next Door" anthology. Go get them!

Liviu at "Fantasy Book Critic" reviews "Shadow of the Antlered Bird", which I find most intriguing. Who knew such a shorty could manufacture a very good stody. Length isn't all it would seem.

Graeme at "Graeme's Fantasy Book Reviews" has the nerve to announce a whole week of book giveaways promising fantasy, urban fantasy and possibly sci-fi. How can you pass this up?

Oh and I fear that my eyes will allow no more digging for the day. They feel like the victims of a bio weapon for pain!! Be happy and read as many books as possible.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Reviewers

So, after a great deal of consideration I decided to get rid of the lengthy link lists on the side and provide seperate pages for the reviewers and to avoid assembling the whole thing from scratch I copy pasted John's wonderful Book Reviewer Linkup Meme. It was about time I posted this one as well. :)


7 Foot Shelves
The Accidental Bard
A Boy Goes on a Journey
A Dribble Of Ink
A Hoyden’s Look at Literature
Adventures in Reading
The Agony Column
Andromeda Spaceways
The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.
Ask Daphne
Australia Specfic in Focus
Author 2 Author
Barbara Martin
Bees (and Books) on the Knob
Bibliophile Stalker
The Billion Light-Year Bookshelf
Bitten by Books
The Black Library Blog
Blog, Jvstin Style
Blood of the Muse
The Book Bind
The Book Smugglers
The Book Swede
Breeni Books
Cheaper Ironies [pro columnist]
Cheryl’s Musings
Critical Mass
The Crotchety Old Fan
Damien G. Walter
Danger Gal
Dark Wolf Fantasy Reviews
Darque Reviews
Dave Brendon’s Fantasy and Sci-Fi Weblog
Dear Author
The Deckled Edge
Dragons, Heroes and Wizards
The Discriminating Fangirl
Dusk Before the Dawn
Enter the Octopus
Eve’s Alexandria
Fantastic Reviews
Fantastic Reviews Blog
Fantasy Book Critic
Fantasy Cafe
Fantasy Debut
Fantasy Book Reviews and News
Fantasy and Sci-fi Lovin’ Blog
Feminist SF – The Blog!
The Fix
The Foghorn Review
Frances Writes
From a Sci-Fi Standpoint
Fruitless Recursion
The Galaxy Express
The Gamer Rat
Genre Reviews
Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review
Grasping for the Wind
The Green Man Review
Highlander’s Book Reviews
The Hub Magazine
Hyperpat’s Hyper Day
Ink and Keys
Jumpdrives and Cantrips
Lair of the Undead Rat
League of Reluctant Adults
The Lensman’s Children
Literary Escapism
Michele Lee’s Book Love
The Mistress of Ancient Revelry
MIT Science Fiction Society
Monster Librarian
More Words, Deeper Hole
Mostly Harmless Books
My Favourite Books
Neth Space
The New Book Review
OF Blog of the Fallen
The Old Bat’s Belfry
Outside of a Dog
Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist
Piaw’s Blog
Post-Weird Thoughts
Publisher’s Weekly
Reading the Leaves
Realms of Speculative Fiction
Reviewer X
The Road Not Taken
Rob’s Blog o’ Stuff
Robots and Vamps
Sandstorm Reviews
Sci Fi Wire
Sci-Fi Fan Letter
Sci-Fi Songs [Musical Reviews]
The Sequential Rat
Severian’s Fantastic Worlds
SF Diplomat
SF Gospel
SF Revu
SF Signal
SF Site
SFF World’s Book Reviews
Silver Reviews
The Specusphere
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
Speculative Fiction
Speculative Fiction Junkie
Speculative Horizons
Spiral Galaxy Reviews
Spontaneous Derivation
Sporadic Book Reviews
Stella Matutina
The Sudden Curve
The Sword Review
Tangent Online
Tehani Wessely [also a publisher]
True Science Fiction
Urban Fantasy Land
Vast and Cool and Unsympathetic
Variety SF
Walker of Worlds
Wands and Worlds
The Wertzone
With Intent to Commit Horror
WJ Fantasy Reviews
The World in a Satin Bag
Young Adult Science Fiction

Foreign Language (other than English)

Cititor SF [Romanian, but with English Translation] [French]

Foundation of Krantas [Chinese (traditional)]

The SF Commonwealth Office in Taiwan [Chinese (traditional) with some English essays]

Yenchin’s Lair [Chinese (traditional)]

Interstellar [Danish] [Danish]

Scifisiden [Danish]

Aguarras [Brazilian, Portuguese]

Fernando Trevisan [Brazilian, Portuguese]

Human 2.0 [Brazilian, Portuguese]

Life and Times of a Talkative Bookworm [Brazilian, Porteguese]

Ponto De Convergencia [Brazilian, Portuguese]

pós-estranho [Brazilian, Portuguese]

Skavis [Brazilian, Portuguese]

Fantasy Seiten [German, Deustche]

Fantasy Buch [German, Deustche]

Literaturschock [German, Deustche]

Welt der fantasy [German, Deustche]

Bibliotheka Phantastika [German, Deustche]

SF Basar [German, Deustche]

Phantastick News [German, Deustche]

X-zine [German, Deustche]

Buchwum [German, Deustche]

Phantastick Couch [German, Deustche]

Wetterspitze [German, Deustche]

Fantasy News [German, Deustche]

Fantasy Faszination [German, Deustche]

Fantasy Guide [German, Deustche]

Zwergen Reich [German, Deustche]

Fiction Fantasy [German, Deustche]

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