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Everyday Drabbles #362: The Bookshop

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When I was a child, there was a little bookshop around the corner from my apartment. It had a bright blue door, and strange faces carved into the lintel. It looked so out of place next to the other storefronts on that street.
Whenever I walked by, I imagined it was a doorway to another world. I was always disappointed when I stepped through and found myself in a claustrophobic little room jammed floor to ceiling with yellowing old books.
But the owner would pull one down, hand it to me, and send me to a new world after all.

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Hugh Likes Comics: Slaughterhouse-Five

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Slaughterhouse-Five or, The Children’s Crusade: A Graphic Novel Adaptation
Story by Kurt Vonnegut
Written by Ryan North
illustrated by Albert Monteys
Published by Archaia

The Skinny – Listen: Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.

Slaughterhouse-Five is both a ground-breaking anti-war noval and a deeply personal account of the firebombing of Dresden. It’s also a seminal work of New Wave Science Fiction. With this distinguished pedigree, adapting the work into a graphic novel would seem an insurmountable task. But Ryan North and Albert Monteys have done an outstanding job capturing the soul of the original book.
Even in text boxes and word balloons, Vonnegut’s signature prose comes through very well, and North does an excellent job trimming the work down to fit the requirements of the new medium. Monteys’s art is likewise on point. His use of a cartoonish style fits the attitude of the story well, and it gets under your skin, flowing from one scene to the next as easily as Billy Pilgrim slipping through time. Then, as with the original book, you will turn a page and be gut-punched by the beauty and horror of everything.
Slaughterhouse-Five is a moving, beautiful, sad, hilarious, enraging true adaptation of a peerless novel. It is among the best works I’ve read this year, and it belongs on the shelves of Vonnegut fans and newcomers alike. You can pick it up in hardbound graphic novel format from your Local Comics Shop, or digitally through Comixology.

Everyday Drabbles #361: The Chosen One

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From an early age, he trained to serve The Chosen One. The prophecy was quite specific. The prince would do great things, and he would need a valet that would support him no matter what the task.
Every village in the kingdom sent their sons to academy to compete for the honor. And somehow he was selected.
Since then, he spent every waking moment with the prince, in lessons and training. The prince wasn’t what he expected, though. He was burnish, lazy, and honestly a bit dim.
But he would be with him to the end. Because he’d been chosen.

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Everyday Drabbles #360: Self-Portrait

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“I hear you’re working on a self-portrait.”
The sculpture looked momentarily embarrassed, then composed himself. “Yes, would you like to see it?”
We walked to the studio and he uncovered the piece. It was carved from a single piece of stone, and was a body with two torsos, like a figure on a playing card. The top bust was posing with hands joined above its head, while the bottom figure held a chisel to its chest. Both faces were a strikingly accurate likeness.
“I call it ‘Vision and Vanity.”
“I see you’ve given yourself rock-hard abs there.”
He shrugged. “Naturally.”

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Podcast: NP57 – Scooby Doo Plan

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Welcome to Nostalgia pilots! This week, Hugh, Jason, Jurd and Spence consider Gundam The 08th MS Team Episode 6: Battle of the Burning Sands.

In this episode: Giant problems need giant wrenches, Michel is a distracted mess of a man, and Karen and Sanders are the real heroes. Plus, how do you catch a spaceship with a goddamn net?

Promo: Chrononaut Cinema Reviews

Everyday Drabbles #359: Rememberance

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She climbed the steps in the dark. Once, it had been a grand temple. All that remained were a few crumbling steps and a platform open to the stars.
As the sky lightened, she set down a golden bowl, filled it with water, and chanted. She felt exposed and afraid.
The first rays of sunlight hit the bowl, filling it with an unearthly glow. The reflection that stared back wasn’t her own, but it smiled warmly at her. She was filled with a sense of peace.
The invaders had torn down the temple, but the old gods hadn’t been forgotten.

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Everyday Drabbles #358: The Hydrophobic Effect

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She stood on the beach and stuck one delicate foot out towards the approaching tide.
She braced for the icy shock of the cold water rushing over her toes.
It never came. She moved closer, her heels sinking into the wet sand, and tried again.
She heard the rush of the water all around her, and yet, she was dry. The water parted for her.
She stood, fascinated, as the sea flowed around her.
She took another step forward, and the water retreated, bending away from her like a bowstring. She kept walking, and the sea never closed over her.

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Everyday Drabbles #357: Graceful Exit

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The Elves were leaving. They marched to their graceful ships, slowly and gracefully, the last remnants of a fallen age. They would soon sail west, never to return.
As they marched, they spoke among themselves about how gloomy the land had become, now that their time was over. They mourned the passing of Light and Beauty, and wept for the Old Days that Would Never Come Again.
The Dwarves tossed rocks after them to hurry them along. They remembered how the Elves had forced their ancestors underground, long ago. They were eager to reclaim their homeland once and for all.

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Everyday Drabbles #356: Landing

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The escape pod crashed on a strange planet. He was in one piece, but all of the pod’s systems were offline. He couldn’t pull up telemetry, navigation, or external sensors.
Even the craft’s single porthole come to rest face down, so he couldn’t even look out and see where the environment. He didn’t know where he was, how long he’d been in suspension, or if the area he’d landed in was even habitable. All he had to go by was the pull of gravity and the faint howl of the wind.
He took a breath, and popped open the hatch.

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Hugh Likes Podcasts: Cerebro

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Cerebro
Hosted by Connor Goldsmith
https://www.connorgoldsmith.com/cerebro

The Skinny: What we talk about when we talk about X-Men characters.

If there are two topics I am continually drawn to in my podcast listening, they are Writing and Queer-friendly X-Men content. And while the later is a bit more niche than the former, Cerebro, a new podcast from Literary Agent and X-Men fan Connor Goldsmith is the rare center point in that particular Venn diagram.
Each episode, Connor sits down with a fellow fan and discusses a specific X-Men character from the comics, doing a deep dive on their history, continuity, and retcons. So far he’s covered Psylocke, Nightcrawler, and Emma Frost.
This could be just your run-of-the-mill fancast, but Connor’s impeccable choice of guests elevates the discourse by including writers, editors, and culture critics. The first episode’s guest is Tini Howard, who is currently writing Excalibur. Thus, not only is the podcast a celebration of a character and their publication history, but an examination of the guest’s interpretation of that character and their own work. It was eye-opening to hear a creator’s thoughts on a character she is currently writing in so open and informal a setting.
Cerebro is available from all the usual podcast sources, on Twitter, or from Connor’s Website. I heartily recommend it.

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