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Ex libris de librum vermis

Stories happen only to those who are able to tell them...

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Who Killed Mister Moonlight
David J. Haskins
Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers
'Alexander Osterwalder', 'Yves Pigneur'
The Complete Stories of J. G. Ballard
J.G. Ballard, Martin Amis

Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin and Hobbes - Bill Watterson, G.B. Trudeau Pure joy!
Not only it is hilarious but sentimental (in a best possible way) and filled to the brim with good vibrations.
Uniquely cinematic insights in the imaginative world of hyperactive child and sudden transpositions to reality are Watterson's trademark and ultimately best thing in Calvin and Hobbes (apart from their facial expressions :)

The Alcoholic

The Alcoholic - Jonathan Ames, Dean Haspiel It is a well known story, yet authors made it a joy to read. Not because of a likeable protagonist (which is a really nice sobering up from glorified alcoholic writers, as the protagonist himself notice) but of how much ordinary he is. He does not have any particular reasons for becoming alcoholic and he does not seem in control of things happening to him (either good or bad). He is a proper example of a modern man - morally not bad, but not exactly showing initiative to be good either, brooding on certain things in the past and without any remembrance of being happy at all. Even facing a world changing situation like 9/11 does not seem to have an effect on him beneath the surface. He is closed in his own little world but he is aware of that fact too. He even knows the way out - be humble - yet will he take it?
Does any of us take that way anymore?

Drawings make us glimpse the beauty in everyday life from time to time, yet they are not cringing from bad either - following our storyteller truthfully. They are the other reason why this graphic novel works so well.

Hellblazer: The Devil You Know

Hellblazer: The Devil You Know - Jamie Delano, David Lloyd, Richard Piers Rayner, Mark Buckingham, Bryan Talbot This volume brings the end of the story started in Original Sins and that fact alone earns it 4 stars. The other two stories included are a bit unfortunate - Blood Saint has an interesting take on history of Christianity in England yet drawings are Swamp Thingish, which make it much less attractive and Horrorist has an amazing art, yet story leaves much to be desired. All in all, if you started Original Sins then this issue piggybacks to greatness on it.

Hellblazer, Vol. 1: Original Sins

Hellblazer, Vol. 1: Original Sins - Alfredo Alcala, Tom Mandrake, Jamie Delano, Rick Veitch, John Ridgway I liked the first edition of Original Sins. Compared to that one, this has been expanded with issues from Swamp Thing that give some explanation about the story, but it still does not end here not gives a satisfying resolution. Though the story is compelling, I was never a big fan of the Swamp Thing in the first place...

Hellblazer: Original Sins

Hellblazer: Original Sins - Jamie Delano, John Ridgway, Alfredo Alcala I came to meet Constantine through Dangerous Habits and later on through the movie with Keanu Reeves. I like it a lot (one a bit better than the other but both were captivating in representing anti-hero turned hero in the perspective of human race).
So I decided to try reading the origins. What I liked straight on was the unmistakable 80's feel. I guess that is a part of Hellblazer being the longest running series - from the beginnings it dealt with all the issues in the current society then sprinkled some magic (both black and white) on top.
It is a great comic book. Two pages panels are amazing, coloring is magnificent, the only thing not great is that the story gets hard to follow towards the end (not even finishing in this issue) and required a lot of researching, reading some Swamp Thing issues and continuing straight on to [b:Hellblazer: The Devil You Know|320814|Hellblazer The Devil You Know|Jamie Delano|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1309221042s/320814.jpg|311550].
Constantine character is unbelievable - we keep seeing him sacrificing everyone around him just for the opportunity to give a human race a chance of struggling on its own without interfering of either Heaven or Hell. It makes you sympathize for him but definitely not wanting to end being his friend.

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate - Naomi Klein I got this book through Goodreads giveaways (thank you Penguin, Goodreads and Naomi Klein :) - it was my very first try at giveaways and I got lucky.

Having read previous books by Ms. Klein I was so excited about this one. Both of the previous were eye opening, thought provoking and engaging and this one is nothing less. Even more, you can see the author's matureness as the book is meticulously organized (the facts and the extensive research need no special mentioning as they are something we grew to expect from Ms. Klein).

This book deals with tough questions. It is also in a way a continuation of [b:The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism|1237300|The Shock Doctrine The Rise of Disaster Capitalism|Naomi Klein|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1402242840s/1237300.jpg|2826418]. As shocking as The Shock Doctrine was and however important things discussed there, it still had an air of something out of our own control. Forces of certain governments, secret agencies and the liberal capitalism itself felt more like a natural catastrophes then something ordinary people can deal with and change (metaphor intended as This Changes Everything deals exactly with natural catastrophes and how we can respond to them).

And the answer to the question of global warming is where this book shines - it manages to explain how can we ourselves - everyday and ordinary people - change everything by acting locally and in our own neighbourhood. It brings back the basics of humanity - care about your neighbours and care about the nature - and shows that they can mean much more and be a powerful weapon, not only against inequalities but also for the continuous and improved existence.

The very introduction to this book should be a compulsory read for anybody wanting to make a meaningful life in modern society. In itself it explains the problem and the underlying cause and also suggests an answer. The rest of the book gives arguments and strengthens the belief that we are on the precipice with change being not only imminent but required too. During the course of my reading, the very newspapers articles being published came to prove certain facts in the book (e.g. article about Gates foundation: http://www.grain.org/article/entries/5064-how-does-the-gates-foundation-spend-its-money-to-feed-the-world and No Messiahs: The Green Billionaires Won't Save Us)

Only part of the book I found implicitly problematic deals with the Blockadia movement. Though it is obvious that it is a right kind of movement, the way Ms. Klein presented it gives impression that only people involved in it love their surroundings enough to actually do something. In reality it is painfully obvious that it is the combination of two facts: pollution coming to the developed west's own backyard and a glorious loophole found in treaties signed with indigenous nations long time ago. We were lucky that those two facts together provide significant stand for moving the fight where it really matters - to the owners of global corporations and governments of leading industrialized countries and upcoming successors. It is not true that things were different before and that people elsewhere (in less developed parts) love the land where they live any less. I am certain that Ms. Klein hasn't done that intentionally as her regards towards the movement and people fighting for their own rights everywhere are clear and have been that way forever, yet her huge enthusiasm about it made others seem insignificant. It is a presentation thing and I believe that it will be changed in future editions.

The ending of the book provides a long lasting inspiration for changing our own attitudes. It is a clear moral voice pointing out that to deal with climate changes today means to finish the process of liberation. We still have a legacy of continued discrimination, double standards and entrenched poverty and it is mirrored in the way we treat Earth. Hopefully, the solution to one problem will solve others too.

This Changes Everything is in the first place an honest book. It is also a guide to better life - individually and together as species with the planet we inhabit. Thank you Ms. Klein for showing us the way.

Stephen King's N.

N. - Alex Maleev, Marc Guggenheim, Stephen King In the beginning this adaptation started as mobisode series (one to one-and-a-half minute segments that could be downloaded easily on a mobile phone - entire series can be found on the internet) and it worked much better there. Once they decided to make it a comic adaptation too, Marc Guggenheim added some "new story beats" as he says in the afterword to the first part and he apologized in advance: "If there are elements herein that don't work for you or ring false, they're likely mine."
Well, those elements are the reason why this version is only ok, instead of being great.

The cover itself is amazing and a wonderful addition to the mobisode series. The beginning of the novel capture that aspect of the story that makes it so much stand out of the Just after sunset, and also from the recent King's work and makes it unforgettable. It is much more reminiscent of Ligotti and Barron - it just creeps on you and won't go away. Still it is definitely King (and in the background Lovecraft). Yet in this version whole fourth part is obviously forced and it has a completely different tone - it's more like the Running man adaptation with Schwarzenegger - simply not belonging here.

Hellblazer #238 "The smoke"

Hellblazer #238 "The smoke" - Andy Diggle, Danijel Žeželj, Lee Loughridge Trademark Zezelj made magnificent by the colors of Lee Loughridge. Lost rivers of London (true) and urban myths (false?) - a Constantine to remember!

Bezbojni Cukuru Tazaki i njegove godine hodočašća

Bezbojni Cukuru Tazaki i njegove godine hodočašća - Haruki Murakami, Nataša Tomić (As I read edition in Serbian, review is also in Serbian, English translation is below)

Klasičan Murakami (ukoliko je to moguće reći) - od početka do kraja preovladava ta realistično-magična atmosfera u kojoj se iza ove stvarnosti tek delimično naziru (najčešće u snovima) procepi koji su često zastrašujući i nezaustavljivi, koliko po protagonistu toliko i po nas koji bivamo uvučeni u njegov doživljaj i kroz njega proživljavamo sopstvene. To je ono što Murakami radi najbolje. S tim što u ovom romanu deluje malo kao autopilot - previše stvari ostaje nerazjašnjeno, a godine hodočašća kao da tek dolaze. Tek smo blago gurnuti u tom smeru a sam put ostaje nedovoljno definisan. Bilo kako bilo, uživanja u pripremama, kao i samospoznajnih otkrića ne nedostaje.

Pozitivno je i što je Nataša Tomić otkrila da je sila sa njom (doduše, svakako je pomoglo i eksplicitno Murakamijevo "Jesi li gledao Zvezdane ratove?" pre toga, mada je i tu očito da nije gledala Ratove zvezda) ali je zatim i preterala sa silom, pa smo pri kraju knjige dobili mladi par koji zajedno nekud putuje i srećno ćućori!!! ("Oslonjeni glavama jedno na drugo na klupi, nešto su srećni ćućorili.")
Više bi voleli da dobijemo sjajan prevod umesto što smo ga dobili među prvima na svetu.

Trademark Murakami (if that can be said) - from the beginning till the end we are in that particular magic realism where behind this reality there are gaps briefly seen(usually in dreams) ever widening and often horrifying to the main protagonist and through him to ourselves. It's what Murakami does best. Only in this novel he seems on autopilot - too much things have been left unresolved and it seems like the years of pilgrimage are yet starting. We are gently pushed in that direction but the road stays undefined. However, there are plentiful enjoyment and self-revelations in the preparations themselves.

About the translation in Serbian, Nataša Tomić did a good job, yet still has things that need improvement. We wouldn't mind getting a brilliant translation instead one of the first translations in the world.

Elric: The Balance Lost, Vol. 12 (Elric: The Balance Lost, #12)

Elric: The Balance Lost, Vol. 12 (Elric: The Balance Lost, #12) - Michael Moorcock, Chris Roberson, Francesco Biagini The end of the whole series played to it's predictability and though it was a good idea, it's realization came a bit flat and forced and the end itself kind of rushed.

There were really big possibilities with this story - both on the excitement and the scope of canvas (whole multiverse), yet apart from some great monsters, ships, arms, props and few magnificent covers, characters are more sketches (not particularly great, too) and there is not much involvement for the reader. I am aware that this is sometimes problem with Moorcock novels too, but here was the chance to rectify that. Too bad it was missed.

Elric: The Balance Lost, Vol. 11 (Elric: The Balance Lost, #11)

Elric: The Balance Lost, Vol. 11 (Elric: The Balance Lost, #11) - Michael Moorcock, Chris Roberson, Francesco Biagini Banal cause requires banal solution - Balance is both a metaphor and physical reality :)
However, here is (finally) something that was expected much sooner and in more details and glory - union of Eternal Champions with the incarnations that have not appeared in Moorcock's original work justly left out.

Elric: The Balance Lost, Vol. 10 (Elric: The Balance Lost, #10)

Elric: The Balance Lost, Vol. 10 (Elric: The Balance Lost, #10) - Michael Moorcock, Chris Roberson, Francesco Biagini Though the culprits behind the whole problem with the Balance are not much of a surprise, together with even more banal motif for their behavior, which strangely, makes more sense, their incarnation in this comic is magnificent.
Every frame is filled to the brim with presence of creatures of Law and Chaos (and even beyond) and they are a joy to see.

Elric: The Balance Lost, Vol. 9 (Elric: The Balance Lost, # 9)

Elric: The Balance Lost, Vol. 9 (Elric: The Balance Lost, # 9) - Michael Moorcock, Chris Roberson, Francesco Biagini I simply love all the metaphysical discussions and explanations of multiverse, moving through it and everyone that wants to rule the worlds (or defend them and the precious Balance). For that alone enjoyable but there is a special bonus for the Epiphone T640, The Black Falcon.

Elric: The Balance Lost, Vol. 8 (Elric: The Balance Lost, # 8)

Elric: The Balance Lost, Vol. 8 (Elric: The Balance Lost, # 8) - Michael Moorcock, Chris Roberson, Francesco Biagini Just another filler in the series - it can be skipped...

Elric: The Balance Lost, Vol. 7 (Elric: The Balance Lost, # 7)

Elric: The Balance Lost, Vol. 7 (Elric: The Balance Lost, # 7) - Michael Moorcock, Chris Roberson, Francesco Biagini Monsters galore! And like many times mentioned monsters are best part of this series.

Elric: The Balance Lost, Vol. 6 (Elric: The Balance Lost, # 6)

Elric: The Balance Lost, Vol. 6 (Elric: The Balance Lost, # 6) - Michael Moorcock, Chris Roberson, Francesco Biagini Just the quick appearance on the first page of Jerry Cornelius, Circle Squared Ranch and End of Time made me like this comic book.