Derik Badman's Journal

2020-06-20 12:44

Sometimes as I'm reading a book, I'm thinking things like "what is going on" "I don't understand how this all fits together" "Is there a point to this" "Am I supposed to be getting some hidden meaning" and then I get to the end and I just feel like it was a good book, without really even understanding exactly what the book was about or what the author intended. I feel that way about Borja Gonzalez's comic A Gift for a Ghost which I just finished a first read of. I say "first" because I know I'll have to read it again soon, because I feel like it will have new layers a second time through. The art is minimal and beautiful with great use of flat colors sometimes very toned down and sometimes extremely saturated. The characters have no faces, almost always drawn from a distance, yet they are expressive and readable. There are numerous panels that just slow down the narrative, an image of the sky or a plant or a poster on a wall, and I love that. It's not a story in a rush or one that is explaining too much.

Also just read Lizzy Stewart's Walking Distance which I am less sure about. It's kind of a personal essay with images about Stewart's self-image and her walking around London. The drawings shift a bit between simple comic-y images and watercolors that seem to be from life or at least based on observation. Yet, in how much she specifically talks about London, the images don't feel really specific and grounded in London. She talks about how she knows the streets and different ways to get around and sites of the city, yet I don't feel that ever really gets conveyed in the drawings. It all just seems a little too generic visually.

Having finished the tv series I watched one of the Star Trek TNG movies: Star Trek: Insurrection. The Star Trek movies always seem like movies written by tv writers who are a little too enthused by extra time and money and effects. The action scenes are always too long, the space battles too detailed, the explosions too big. The plots often feel like they walk away from what makes the episodes good: theme, characters, relationships, especially all those B and C plots. It's all the A plot. (Later I rewatched Star Trek: Nemesis which also suffered from the same problems.)

Started The Last of Us Part 2 this morning and am already predicting there will be no happy ending in this game. It's pretty brutal narratively, even for a zombie apocalypse game, partially, I think, because it starts in a good place, not pre-apocalypse (since its a sequel), but at a sort of mostly happy status quo, and then it punches you in the face and runs off cackling.

Been seeing the fox kits out in the yard a lot the past few days. There are still 4 of them. This morning two of them were playing with each other in the rain garden. Last night one of them was chomping on an apple Lianne threw out there for them.