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Showing posts from August, 2017

One of the many brilliant ways Amazon gets you to spend a dollar.

Have you noticed that Amazon has resorted to some fairly brilliant psychological chicanery lately? Nothing new, as Amazon has set the gold standard for efficient online business, but fascinating all the same.

The digital retailer is taking tips from brick and mortar regarding impulse buys. The tunnel of products you are standing next to while waiting for the register is designed to have a micro price point and macro audience. When you are buying milk and come home with both milk and "Cherry-Vanilla-Hot Garbage" flavored Bubblicious Gum for $1.29. The grocery store is relying on the fact that you can't be bothered to return it (too much effort or time), you are too late to return it (past the time allowed), or you have already opened it.
See one example of this in action on the Amazon website by clicking into the Kindle Store section.
In the main listings for each Kindle category, they have decided to emphasize the dollar figure of each ebook, and use smaller less promin…

Early Preview: The Girl who handcuffed Houdini looks AWESOME!

EARLY PREVIEW-
Minky Woodcock: The Girl who handcuffed Houdini (Cynthia Von Buhler)

It is too early to preorder, but just the right time to get excited. Looks like Titan comics/Hard Case Crimes is releasing a new series on November 8th 2017 (11/08/17)
Other Titan Comics/ Hard Case Crime Releases

Initial blurb states
"Unappreciated at her father's detective agency, the fabulous rabbit-loving Minky Woodcock straps on her gumshoes in order to uncover a magical mystery involving the world-famous escape artist, Harry Houdini!" This Prohibition era detective series seems to have a number of dark underpinnings. We do not have a lot to go on for plot, but analysis of the pages available shows a number of interesting points we can
speculate on.

It will be interesting to see if I am on to anything here

Speculation 1)
The opening page contains the following panel showing Minky typing correspondence. The recipient is listed as "Mrs. Christie". I have to wonder if this is …

Excerpt: The Well - I feel more than a little sad after reading this

I can only image how the rest of this book is. I have only read an excerpt, but I am assuming raw and powerful, like someone punched you in the gut while you are eating your favorite food. You are enjoying it and then BAM you feel a bit sick. You let yourself settle back into a comfortable spot, eat some more wonderful delicious food and WHACK, another punch.
To read the same excerpt I did "The Well", head on over to Literary Hub. ( http://lithub.com/the-well/ ) Akhil tells a story of Pavan, a boy who is always in love. His pop culture references of female sexuality have him over the top imagining the future. His mother is concerned that the first woman who allows him to be with her will be the woman he spends his life with.  
One particular line stood out beautifully and I can share it without concern of spoiling the story.  "The only possible explanation was that there was something in her that was weak and baffled, just like there was in me." Books like this are…

Ink in Water: Graphic Novel exploring how body image can fuck up reality

Preorders available for this book - Release Date 10/01/17
Facts: I am a fat bearded man. I have been fat for a long time. I carry myself with pride and have come to an understanding with myself that I am good how I am. I can be more healthy and strive towards that, but socially, I am aware of myself and not bothered... For the most part.
While the bearded part didn't come until much later, I was always the "Husky" kid (I hate that term). I remember the first time I stressed about my size. Seventh grade was particularly hard for all the kids my age, new classes in a new school had all kids pushing boundaries and testing the power structures. One particular young lady made a few comments about my t-shirt being pushed out by my belly which embarrassed me greatly. I spent the next year holding my body certain directions so that my belly never touched the front of my shirt visibly, or holding the hem of my shirt. I wasn't fat, just a little early teen chubby. The idea stuck…

The movie The Dinner killed my desire to read the book

I feel like a complainer. No one forced me to watch it, but I did and I am annoyed. I sometimes elect to watch the movie instead of or before reading a book. Because my reading pile is immense and I will never be able to read every book written (my dream come true!). This situation is a bit different because I physically had the book on my shelf always being pushed to the side.
Excited for the film and frustrated I could never seem to make time for the book, I rented 'The Dinner' through Redbox. I was severely disappointed. 
According to my wife, who read the novel and watched the film, they are so loosely connected it borders on silly. What an overproduced nightmare. Normally, even when a film is bad or an adaptation is off key, there is still an undercurrent statement of 'the book is better'. I was left me instead with the question 'do I even care anymore?' the plot is ruined, and I am not sure I care about the details of how the book was better..
I expected fin…

Dry leaves and fall mornings: That amazing old book smell has some geeky science!

I appreciate and embrace the accessibility and convenience of ebooks. There are, however, parts of the analog reading experience that cannot be duplicated in the digital world. The texture of paper, the raised lines of thick ink, and probably the most recognized: The smell of old books. The musty thick scent is distinct, sometimes being the difference between used editions I might purchase in a store. It is all reminiscent and nostalgic. When  I was a kid, sitting in the public library, stacks of books piled high. Reading in my school, or in my 3rd grade classroom 'reading nest' (Thanks Mr. Applegate!).

I fully embrace that I am a whore for smelling and touching books. New or old, I have a great love. I jam my snout into a book, hold it close and just breathe. 
That sounds creepy. This is nothing like the book "Perfume, The Story of a Murderer" (Suskind). Let's try this again.
So, earlier this week something showed up in my news feed that jumped out at me. a scie…

Grand Passion: A shitstorm of sex and bullets

Robinson/Feister's "Grand Passion" is a bit messy, sexy, confused, overbearing, insert ambiguous term here. I liked it/loved it, and while I cannot tell which is most accurate, it definitely landed on the positive end of the spectrum.
Grand Passion (James Robinson, Tom Feister)120 pagesDynamite EntertainmentISBN-13: 978-1524103910
Successful bank robbers, Mabel and Steve are moving from disguise to disguise, bank to bank, state to state. They follow precise plans and processes, back up plans on backup plans all the way to the handgrenades on the car trunk. They seem invincible.
James "Mac" McNamara is a cop. After his wife's death, Mac transfers to the police force of small town nowheresville. He is not well accepted in the good ol boy network.
After a bank heist gunfight leaves a bullet from Mac's gun inside the head of Steve, Mabel makes a promise to exact revenge. The trouble is that during the gunfight that killed Mabel's partner, Mac fell instantly…

Lady Mechanika: Bilingual steam punktress

Slated for September 26, 17 release, get your preorders in!Lady Mechanika, part human and part machine, is haunted. As a detective in early 20th century England, she has done things she regrets and caused people she cares for to die. The Lady, running from her past and pain, heads across the ocean.Lady Mechanika: La Dama de la Muerte (Benitez)88 pagesBenitez ProductionsISBN-10: 0996603069ISBN-13: 978-0996603065
In Mexico, she arrives and is welcomed by the citizens of a small town. Lady arrives November 1869, on the Day of the Dead and celebrates life and loss with them. Her red eyes are explained away and beautifully melded with face makeup in the classic sugar skull.Santa Muerta, the Devil's mistress, Lady of the Underworld. She has a penchant for forcing people's hand. While Mechanika may have a need to heal, Santa Muerta prefers people sweat it out a bit.During the celebration, a messenger arrives and the villagers prepare for midnight when the demon rider Jinetes will come…

Paris, City of Fools - The Change 03: Short but really sweet

Count your damned blessings people. The third installment of The Change includes the boilerplate legal note in the book details. 'This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.'Paris, City of Fools - The Change 03 (Guy Adams)SolarisISBN-10: 1781085854ISBN-13: 978-1781085851
Hopefully Paris is not filled with giant murderous marionettes, living entities made of paint, or other horrors. If it it is infested, let us hope the resemblance is minimally accurate. Anything you can dream up post change can manifest, how and why is any one's guess.Book three of The Change is a fine standalone book as well as world continuation. In this version of Earth, anyone looking to the sky on the date of change fell over instantly as lifeless meat sacks. Those who witnessed via recorded media are lunatics. Everyone else is just surviving day by day.One might think themselves c…

New York, Queen of Coney Island - The Change 02: A Rikers Island field-trip!

Who would expect to be begging a Queen in a bouncy castle for safe passage through post apocalyptic cannibal territory in order to reach a prison likely full of corpses? Not Grace, but here she was standing with God, doing exactly that in Novella #2 in Guy Adams' YA horror/action/scifi/wtf series The Change.New York, Queen of Coney Island - The Change 02 (Guy Adams)127 pagesSolarisISBN-10: 1781085838ISBN-13: 978-1781085837
The Change: New York, has the same ultimate premise as the first. Everyone sees something in the sky and their lives end instantly. Those who missed the event but see it on film, they go wonky in the brain. Folks like Grace, kept in a cage by her hyper religious uncle, missed it all until his corpse was bloated on the floor and scooted close enough to grab the keys.On exiting her uncle's remote cabin, Grace finds the world forever modified. Fire fights in the streets when mythical creatures are not stalking humans for a blood and sinew dinner. She is heading …

London, Orbital - The Change 01: Handcrafted apocalypse awesomeness

Neverwhere makes a baby with Rick and Morty, what is born is the wholly original series 'The Change', written by Guy Adams.London, Orbital - The Change 01 (Guy Adams)122 pagesSolarisISBN-10: 1781085811ISBN-13: 978-1781085813
The Change impacted the London suburbs as bizarrely as it did the rest of the planet, with close to any imaginable horrors coming to life. It's more than just London, the entire world is in a state of 'screwed beyond comprehension'. Anyone who witnessed it, staring into the sky while the fabric of our world shredded, died on the spot. They dropped to the ground like their strings were cut and existence was over. Those who witnessed it second hand, via recording or playback, went crazy; It just broke them and they fell apart in whatever manner their minds required in order to remain 'living'.Everyone else just plugs along. The blind, the sleeping, the hermits and Luddite technophobes. If they failed to witness the end, they live through t…

Taproot: So damn genuine, it just hurts

Preorder is avail, release on September 27 2017.I loved (loooooooooooved) this graphic novel. I hated (despised?) the sub title. Let's get that out of the way so I can be super excited. See section "UGH!" later in the review for a medium sized rant.Taproot (Keezy Young)128 pagesLion ForgeISBN-10: 1941302467ISBN-13: 978-1941302460
Hamal makes plants grow as a caretaker in a flower nursery. He nurtures the plants and sometimes sings to them. They grow despite the conditions. People trust him to help.Hamal also cares for the dead. He can see ghosts, speak to ghosts, and befriends them. They do not frighten him, he has spoken to them most of his life, even before he knew what they were.When Hamal meets Taye "Blue" Alvarado, his world axis flips. Blue is dead, nailed by a truck. While his corporeal life ended, Blue found himself suck and he never left the earth. Meeting Hamal struck down his loneliness.Out of concern for him, Blue is perpetually attempting to talk Ha…