Realizing we’ve completed 25% of 2014 is mildly concerning. I try to distract myself from this truth by reflecting on all the cool music, film, and books I consumed this month.
Hellboy (2004) As part of my research for the 20th Anniversary art show being held in May, I decided to revisit this. I hadn’t yet read any of the comics when I first saw this and upon the second viewing I found it was almost like seeing it for the first time. I’m certainly biased towards practical effects, but when you consider that The Polar Express came out the same year, it’s easy to see the difference in shelf life.
Saving Mr. Banks (2013) My sister and I watched this the other weekend and it was thoroughly enjoyable. I still don’t know any of the actual history behind the story (aside from what’s presented during its run time) so I’m really just appreciating it as a film. If anything, it got me interested in finding a solid documentary on P. L. Travers. (any suggestions?)
He’s Just Not That Into You (2009) When I visit my friends and they put on a movie, I’m rarely one to put up a fight.
Something Borrowed (2011) Who am I kidding? I love romantic comedies. Saturday mornings are really meant for two things: cartoons or rom-coms. I REGRET NOTHING!
The Powerpuff Girls: Dance Pantsed (2014) Speaking of cartoons, my students reminded to watch this special and I finally got time to enjoy it. It’s super fun and of course Kevin Dart’s art direction is killer. If you haven’t seen it already, do yourself a favour and find it.
Greatest Hits by Spice Girls (2007) If you can get all the way through Spice Up Your Life without swaying AT ALL then check for a pulse as you may very well be dead.
Days Are Gone by Haim (2013) Based on my love for female vocals and an upbeat tempo, my friend made this suggestion. It’s been on heavy rotation since I bought it and it was just the right amount of optimism to get me through those wretchedly horrible days of snow earlier this month.
Battling Boy by Paul Pope (2013) (Complete) This was on practically every “Best of 2013” list I could find and now I know why! Pope’s style is so thoroughly amazing that it equally inspires me AND makes me question why I get out of bed in the morning. I can’t recommend this enough and am super excited for the next instalment.
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman (2013) (Complete) During school I find my reading time is rather limited (outside of comics) but this was one I managed to sneak in during the middle of the term. My two best friends and I swap Gaiman stories with each other and this was one I was gifted at Christmas. It was a quick read and small in scope, but no less fantastic than his other works.
Hellboy Library Edition (volumes 1–4) by Mike Mignola and Others (2008, 2008, 2009, and 2011) (Complete) More gallery show research! I’d already read through volumes 1 & 2 but it had been a little while so a refresher was needed (and thoroughly welcome). Reading through volumes 3 & 4 were great as they continued to balance the main stories with the one-offs. I really can’t wait to pick up the last two library editions.
Have you read through all (or most) of Hellboy? I’m working on a series of images and would like to cap it off with a “final” scene but don’t want to research too much and end up spoiling a lot of the narrative (I’ve only read as far as Strange Places).
If you wouldn’t mind helping me out, please let me know. It’s a simple request but I’ll explain more once we get messages/emails rolling.
Continuing what started last month, here’s a quick recap of some of the books, film, and music I’ve absorbed this month!
The Lego Movie (2014) I only saw one film this month and that’s because my little sister finally caved to my pleading to accompany me. You’ve already heard how great it is and I couldn’t agree more. After learning it was the same writing team who created another of my favourites, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, I wasn’t surprised by how immediately I connected with the humour.
Lume Lume by The Lemon Bucket Orchestra (2012) Another BFF recommendation, this is my first foray into Balkan, Gypsy, Klezmer music (heck, the only reason I can categorize this album with those genres is due to Wikipedia). Listening to this makes me feel like it’s summer on a patio. Plus they’re out of Toronto so here’s to Canadian music!
Chrono Trigger Symphony Volumes 1, 2, & 3 by The Blake Robinson Synthetic Orchestra (2013, 2013, & 2014) I bought each volume as it was released and now that the third disc is out I highly recommend picking it up (cheaper as a bundle and every bit as great as the original soundtrack). I really love this game.
Cyborg 009 Volume 3 by Shotaro Ishinomori (Complete) I’ve been slowly reading through the series (volumes 1 & 2 were completed before I started these posts) but I’ve been really enjoying it! It’s both of its time and completely current all at once. I mean the villains in this volume are either jet pack baby thieves or nazis disguised as penguins so you should probably get into it.
Dune by Frank Herbert (Complete) Now that I’ve completed the book I’m confident to say it delivers from start to finish. I so vividly imagined a different ending that I still feel weird thinking about it. With that said it stuck with me and now I’m even more excited to see the documentary, Jodorowsky’s Dune!
I occasionally get asked what inspires me and heck if I can answer that. As an alternative I’m going to start sharing some of the stuff I’m watching/hearing/reading on a monthly basis. Hopefully this can better illustrate what goes into my head blender before spewing out the fruit smoothies that are my images.
If you have any suggestions for me based on what you see here, let me know! And if you want to chat further about something, also feel free to write. Okay let’s do this.
Brick (2005) This was recommended to me by one of my besties and I couldn’t have been happier for it! The blend of film noir and high school drama was super great. I feel it rewards multiple viewings so that’s cool.
Big Trouble in Little China (1986) I missed this in my youth and never really knew what it was all about. I kinda just thought it was Kurt Russell being a better martial artist than everyone else with guns thrown into the mix. Little did I know there are demons and magic and Samantha from Sex in the City. I was blind but now I see.
Uzu by Yamantaka //Sonic Titan (2013) I love their first album to death and was super stoked that this was recently released! I’m still getting acquainted with it but it’s already one I can put on and know I’ll be relaxed/in a good mood by the end of it.
Night Time My Time by Sky Ferreira (2013) I’ll be the first to admit that I have a clear bias for female vocals and synthesizers. No joke. Fortunately this was in Pitchfork’s top 50 albums of 2013 so I know people much cooler than me also think it’s great.
Dune by Frank Herbert (page 195/501) This may be a generally agreed upon opinion, but I really love this book so far. There’s a chapter focused on a dinner party and I thought it was going to be hella dull but it was inteeeeeeeeeeeense. So so good.
Scott Pilgrim Gets it Together by Brian Lee O’Malley (Complete) I’m rereading this as the colour editions are released as I never had to wait for each volume to come out (I picked up the black & white collection after seeing the movie). I still love the humour and pacing plus the introduction of colour feels completely natural.