Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Signal by Paul Duffield

When I went to collect the post this afternoon there was a little something waiting for me in my letterbox. It was Paul Duffield's beautiful self-published graphic novel (or novella I suppose because it is quite short - and wordless) Signal. Paul Duffield came to my attention as the illustrator of the Freakangels webcomic written by Warren Ellis and I happened upon a post on the Whitechapel discussion board which had a few images from Signal. Long story short they blew me away and I had to have it, luckily the price was right (although I'd kill the the limited edition hand bound hard cover but €400 is a little out of my reach!) and with a few clicks it was ordered and I added a note expressing my desire to have Paul sign it for me if possible. The best thing about self-published small projects like this is that you can get them signed at no additional charge, it just makes it so much more special, at least to a book and graphic novel lover like me. I've only had a quick flick through but it is incredible, the illustrations are stunning and the detailing is phenomenal. I can't wait to "read" it properly and assess the complete story Paul has created. Here are a few photos for you to have a look, if you like what you see I advise that you find out a little more about it here at Paul's website.

I apologise for the stupid glare in the pictures, it's a new camera and I haven't quite worked out all the little details!

Front cover of Signal

Signed in silver ink!
So much going on in the first two pages!
The wallpaper is phenomenal in this picture.
A close-up of the broken tiles, I love the detail here!
Back cover

Help get The Price made - 23 hours to go!

I mentioned a week or so ago a kickstarter project that I have been keeping an eye on. Well it has 23 hours to go and is only $6549 off the $150 000 goal!!! Christopher Salmon is so close to being able to actualise his goal and so impressed by the support of his pledgers that he is offering a one of a kind "1 sheet" movie poster for anyone who increases their pledge! So if you've already donated some money towards this wonderful project then dig around the back of the couch for some spare change and do yourself and Christopher a favour! And if you haven't pledged yet (and have a spare $10 or more) then head over here and help make this film happen!

I have my fingers and all of my toes crossed for Christopher, I can hardly imagine how nervous and excited he must be right now, I bet this'll be one night that he won't get a wink of sleep!

The 1 sheet poster C.Salmon is offering!

Summer Loving

I'm officially on holiday and am certainly trying to make the most of the lack of uni pressures and engagements. Apart from the obvious sleep-ins and catching up on books, movies and TV shows I've been hoarding all semester, I've spent a lot of time browsing the internet, searching for new blogs and websites to fill in these lazy summer days. Here are three of the literary related finds I've made so far.

1. Letters of Note - I came across this website on my weekly visit to passive aggressive notes in one of their sidebars. Basically it is a collection of letters by noteworthy people (who'd have thunk it?!), a copy of the original letter and then a transcript of the letter, which is especially handy when the note is handwritten in a crazy script with the ink half missing due to age. From Earnest Hemingway's opinion on Ezra Pound's racist (and crazy) broadcasts to Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi's advice to an aspiring 14 year old comic artist it makes fascinating reading. It's a look inside some of the world's most popular and impressive characters.When you read some of these letters and recognise the jealousy or anger or passion hidden within their words aspects of their persona click into place and you gain such a wonderfully new understanding of the person, It's really quite fantastic. I think my favourite (although perhaps that isn't the right word to use) is the letter asking about the value of a signed John Lennon album, I don't want to say any more because I don't want to take anything away from the letter, but it gave me chills.

2. Out of Print blog - For anyone who hasn't visited this site it is the home to some very wonderful t-shirts that are perfect for anyone hooked on phonics. I've long been a fan of the out of print clothing company and eagerly awaited their move into female sizes and styles.Although I haven't yet bought myself a shirt (how do I choose just one!) I return to the site regularly to gaze adoringly at the merchandise (my oh my that beautiful jumper for Pride and Prejudice - I can put aside my hatred for that author and novel for something so lovely!). While I've known of the site for awhile I only recently discovered their blog, and what a blog it is! Aside from updates regarding the store it is packed with literary related treasures, from music related literary news (an interview with The Books is the latest entry) to advising readers how to 'adopt a word,' to informing readers on the myriad of craft projects making the rounds on the interwebs that revolve around books. Not only it is centred on what I love (books, books and more books!) but it is giving me some excellent ideas for what to do with my busy hands this holiday period!

3. What Claudia Wore - A blog dedicated to Claudia Kishi from Baby Sitter's Club!! That book series pretty much sums up my childhood, I devoured those books and adored the characters, so this blog is a welcomed blast from the past! One part style blog - highlighting the fashionista subplots through the series or matching our favourite babysitter's (usually Claudia's) fashion with current trends, and one part gentle mockery - so many posts pointing out the sillyness of the covers or story lines, and a whole lot of happy reminiscing by blogger Kim and her many readers. Most importantly Kim made a connection I don't think I ever would have (considering how long it has been since I've read a BSC book), she attributes her overuse of parenthesis to the series, as they too seemed to love chucking bits of text between the brackets, as do I. Finally it makes sense!! Perhaps it is a generation thing and there are dozens more of us parenthesis-a-holics out there, all of whom were created by this delighted book series! I couldn't mention What Claudia Wore without mentioning Entropificus and her What Is You Childhood Trauma series of illustrations. The talented Phi has taken it upon herself to recreate outfits worn by Claudia on her blog. I implore you to take a look and see her wonderful recreations of the outfits we spent our childhood's imagining!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?


This set of photographs bring a slight tear to my eye and a massive smile to my face. After seeing his grandmother seemed a little down in the dumps photographer Sacha Goldberger hatched a plan to brighten his grandmother's day.

The result was a series of photographs with Frederika posed in outrageous costumes in a variety of locations posing in a series of comical and outrageous poses. Not only did the project bring a smile to Frederika's face but the photographs are simply phenomenal. The muted colouring is reminiscent of vintage comics as are the sets, and the lingering smoke in several photos is incredibly evocative.

I absolutely love this project on both an artistic level and a personal level. I'm sure any clouds of loneliness or depression that Frederika suffered through before have now disappeared at these clear signs of a grandson's love and devotion and the world wide support she has received from new fans.  For the full set of photographs and the complete story of why Sacha decided to begin this project and Frederika's phenomenal  WW2 story (I won't do it an injustice by trying to summarise it here- I implore you to give it a look over though, very inspiring) click here and here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Let's get 'The Price' made!

Just a quick blog entry to show my support for Christopher Salmon's Kickstarter project and to inform as many people as I can about it in the hope that it succeeds in its goal.

Mr Salmon's project is a wonderful animated film rendition of Neil Gaimain's short story 'The Price'. Because of Gaiman's renown in the comic world the film is to be animated in the appearance of a graphic novel come to life, and from what has been completed so far I think it looks absolutely phenomenal. Neil Gaiman has already signed up to narrate the project and has shown his support for the endeavour as have several other key artists and musicians.

With only 12 days to go and not quite at the half way mark Mr Salmon needs everyone to get behind him and show their support. As with most Kickstarter projects there are a series of gifts available with your donation, so even if you don't care about supporting an outstanding project put in some cash to get yourself a signed copy of the DVD or even a place at the premiere alongside Mr Salmon and Gaiman!

But enough from me. Watch the video below to get an idea of the project from the artist himself and if you think this is something you'd like to get behind go here to make your donation. Or if you haven't any money to spare re-blog, facebook or tweet this to all your friends and get them involved!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


"  I haven't any right to criticize books, and I don't do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can't conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read 'Pride and Prejudice,' I want to dig her up and hit her over the skull with her own shin-bone."

Mark Twain on Jane Austen. I couldn't agree more. Read more author on author putdowns here

Top 10 Villains

Now that uni has finished for the year I have time to do all the things I've been meaning to do all semester, and near the top of that list is take part in a few of the literary memes floating around the interwebs. So for my first ever meme attempt I'm going to list my top 10 villains for The Broke and the Bookish's Top 10 Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

 I love villains. They're the best part of the book or film, they're so deliciously evil and their deeds are so dastardly and they stimulate your imagination so much more than the protagonists usually do.
I tried really hard not to just list Roald Dahl's villains because they are simply wonderful and some of the best characters to grace the page, and thank god this didn't include film or I'd have simply listed Disney's fantastic villains!

So my list, picked as wildly as I possibly could from my favourite books, are as follows, in no particular order...

10. Voldemort 
Harry Potter by JK Rowling
9. Shere Khan 
The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling
8. The Man Jack  
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  7. Alec D'Urberville 
Tess of the Durbervilles by Thomas Hardy
 6. Robert Neville
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

5. Alex 
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
4. Eli 
Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
3. The Smiler 
Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis
2. Aunts Spiker and Sponge 
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
1. The Queen of Heart 
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

God I love villains!! All of these wonderful characters made my list either because they are simply the most rotten, terrible, despicable yet fantastic characters (i.e. Alex, Eli or Shere Khan) or because of the impact they have within a favourite series or book (i.e. Voldemort, The Smiler).

NOTE: After reading everyone else's lists I can't believe some of the people I forgot to add!!
Delores Umbridge from HP, God I hated her, every other character I thought had some redeemable quality, even Voldemort (I felt so sad for him as a child) but she was the embodiment of every disgusting trait evident in society.
Randall Flagg aka The Dark Man from Stephen King's The Stand. If I'm on the subject of King I have to add Pennywise the clown (IT) and Annie Wilkes (misery). I couldn't even finish IT, I think it is the only time I've literally thrown a book across the room because I was too afraid to even have it near me!
Plus so many more I know and hate (or love to hate) and a few that I'm looking forward to familiarising myself with in the near future.
On another note Carol from Carol's Notes is having a fantastic giveaway that I'd give my right arm or first born for!! Enter here to win not one, not two, but EIGHT (gah!!!) signed books.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

2, 4, 6, 8

I hate odd numbers, I'm one of those people that will adjust the volume of the tv to be on an even number, even out the shortcuts on my desktop into even rows and so forth. One of my special little quirks I guess you could say!

I was sitting on 89 posts when I opened Blogger and I couldn't leave it like that so here is a rather useless post with two new clips from the upcoming Harry Potter movie. Only one more week until the magic hits the screen, I simply cannot wait! Enjoy these sneak peaks guys, I think it looks like it'll be a ripper of a film, what a way to end the series!

This week's reading list

I've achieved freedom!!

University is over for another year, perhaps forever if I don't go for honours and I no longer have a set reading list to get through. This means that I can finally start reading for pleasure again, not that I didn't love my uni texts but I have about 30 books in my bookcase that I haven't been able to crack open yet!

So I'm planning to stick my nose in my books and comics for the next 6 weeks until I head to Japan and catch up on all the fantastic books I have lying around. This is partly because I've been itching to read them and partly because immersing myself in them will be a good way to distract myself from spending any money before my holiday!

So this week I am going to be reading the following...

~The Five fists of Science, a graphic novel by Matt Fraction
I love myself a good graphic novel and when I heard about The Five Fists of Science through the grapevine I knew I had to find it and read it. Put simply, in this novel Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla attempt to end war forever. I love seeing history rewritten and the portrayal of alterative personifications of histrorical figures so this story should be alot of fun. From my quick flick through the artwork looks fantastic, very rich in colour and very much how I want my graphic novel to appear visually, so I'm sure to get a few ideas reading this one!

~Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
I'd been holding off reading this until I found a beautiful old edition to add to my collection but it appears than A.K is one of those books people don't like to part with so I've given up and am going to read it now and keep one eye open for that perfect copy. I love Russian literature, I find it very rich and dramatic and am always glued to the pages- although I may falter over the identical surnames on occasion!

~Porno by Irvine Welsh
I am a huge, huge, HUGE fan of Welsh's work. I've read it all, just about, and when I found a copy of Porno signed by the legend himself during my trip down to Sydney I squealed with excitement and dashed off to the cash register immediately! Unfortunately that was three months ago and I'm only now getting the chance to crack the cover of the sequel to Trainspotting. Better late than never right? 

I'll probably not get through all three this week but I'll be taking a fair whack at accomplishing it so you never know. I'll post reviews as soon as I'm done. God it feels good to read and write about a book without the threat of failing!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


So much for finishing the semester with a bang. This final exam is proving to be a headache and a half and I am not counting on adding a HD to my marks for my efforts tomorrow. Ah well, we can't have it all right?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Procrastination, Amazon style

Instead of studying for my exam I've been updating my Amazon wishlist and I thought I'd share the gems i'm desperate to get my hands on. I'm going through a graphic novel kick at the moment and as far as I can tell there is no end in sight. These are just a few of the ones I really, really want (christmas hint-nudge nudge) especially Ah Pook is Here by William S Burroughs. I'm contemplating taking the plunge and preordering it, even though it is months until it'll be released, i'm just so excited!!!

As a Hunter S Thompson fan I'm a huge Ralph Steadman fan by association, his art is incredible- mind-blowing, and his writing is something I enjoy greatly also. I've been eyeing off the Gonzo art book for about a year now but I've been waiting for it to appear courtesy of family/friends via my birthday or christmas but no luck yet. As for his other books, they're almost impossible to find in Brisbane so I'm gagging to hit the 'add to bag' button, especially the first edition Sigmund Freud hardcovers available.

**I'd also like to point out my killer tardis browser art- probably the best thing about going online is getting to see that everyday, i'm not going to lie.


I've never hid the fact that I am 100% a Harry Potter supporter, especially in the HP vs Twilight debate (why there even is a debate I don't know, HP shits all over the poorly written, glittery Twilight) so it makes me very happy to see other, more prolific people taking the piss. In this instance it is Daniel Radcliffe's cameo in The Simpsons as  teen vampire Edmond in Tweenlight. Not only is it hilarious, but it manages to tell the painful Twilight tale in a little over 6 minutes rather than the 10 hours the real movie took (what? It was only 90 minutes? Surely you jest).  Also an extra 100 points for The Room reference, "You're tearing me a-part!" there is a reason The Simpsons have always been my favourite cartoon.

As great as this cameo is I don't think anything could ever top Daniel's cameo in The Extras. Watch the clip for a sure-fire giggle fest!

The Social Network

I'm going to see the Social Network with a friend next Tuesday, a night out to celebrate the end of uni (the weekend will be spent with my mum and cleaning the house) and I'm looking forward to it since I've heard pretty good reviews about the film. More than that though I'm interested in the debate that is sparked regarding the whole social media identity since this movie has been released. Below are two links to two very interesting essays, the first by author Zadie Smith and the second is a reaction piece to Smith's by Alexis Madrigal. I personally find Smith's prose a little flowery and the content overly cynical but it is interesting none the less, Madrigal is much more up my alley, stylisitcally and through content, but decide for yourselves!

Zadie Smith - Generation Why? 

Alexis Madrigal - Literary Writers and Social Media: A Response to Zadie Smith

I probably don't need to mention it but read Smith's essay first!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fifi the Fabulous

Something wonderful landed in my letterbox the other day. 
I recently ordered a pin from Fifi Lapin and it arrived, all wonderful and boxed and tied with a bow.

For anyone unlucky enough to not be familiar with Fifi Lapin she is only the most fabulous and fashionable bunny in the world (declared by Vogue no less). Whether in a stylish adaptation of a drummer boy's uniform or a pastel dress with multicoloured crown Fifi the "haress" rocks every outfit she wears.

As well as being able to appropriate Fifi's image on pins and prints she updates her blog regularly with images of her wearing the latest trends sweeping the fashion world.

Get your hands on one of the limited edition pins or prints here and keep up to date with her fashion forward blog here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Science is golden!

 As a kid I loved Dr Karl's science books, debunking common myths and misconceptions and doing it in language children can understand. Here is the book trailer for his new book Curious and Curiouser, I'm looking forward to giving it a look!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Charlie Magazine

Issue two of Charlie Magazine came out one month ago and I'm delighted to say that I'm actually one of their writers! Charlie was created by some recent graduates struggling to find work in journalism without much experience, and what is the best way to get experience? Create your own magazine apparently!! It's a fashion magazine first and foremost but it is also a magazine about creativity, about life and all the things that happen along the way. I'm so happy to have been a part of the creation of their second issue, which is, in my opinion fabulous  and extraordinary for a new magazine created by such young people. It's all web based (and free!), you can either flip through the flip magazine or check it out via PDF- either way check it out, it's fantastic reading (I promise I'm not biased) and gorgeously illustrated . So help a fledgling magazine and its fledgling writers get a little notoriety, read it then blog/tweet/facebook/tumblr it for all your friends to find out about!!

Check out the magazine HERE!

Picture via Lauren Carney blog from Charlie Magazine issue 2


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