Read the comic Alice in Sunderland by artist Bryan Talbot. Kind of free-association non-fiction; taking the reader through the history of the town of Sunderland and its region, the lives of its residents Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell, the Sunderland Empire theatre, and anything else the author thinks of.
Very creatively drawn in a variety of styles, including black and white pastiches of various styles, impressive coloured comics (I particularly liked the crowds-eye views of the Battle of Hastings) and "partial photography" comicized photos. I particularly liked the pun-filled version of the "Once more unto the breach" speech from Henry V; and the retellings of Jabberwocky and the Lampton Worm story.
The weakness is that Talbot is obviously an artist not a writer, and some of the content about contemporary Sunderland reads a bit like a tourist guidebook desperately making the best of a lacklustre set of attractions. Even so, despite the fact he's an import from the distant town of Wigan, his fascination with the area comes through clearly.
Overall, worth looking out for. Might work best as a book to keep around and dip into, as it's full of fascinating little nuggets of information.
Saw "Where Three Dreams Cross: 150 Years of Photography from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh" at the Whitechapel Gallery. Very diverse show. Has everyday studio portraits, pics of famous people, historical sites, news events, and arty photos too.
Was impressed by the digital colour pics of rice farmers. Loved the pictures from rallies and riots with things like suited lawyers ducking away from water-cannon spray; protestors vaulting fires; farmers holding farm-tools aloft.
Well worth at look, though the £8.50 seems a bit steep.
What I'm Watching
Saw the BBC Shakespeare production of King Lear. (After two years on my Amazon Wishlist, someone finally got me the complete boxset! I am totally Shakespeared up!) Not bad, great double act from Gillian Barge as Goneril and Penelope Wilton as Regan. Michael Hordern was decent as Lear, but I didn't find him brilliant: I might have seen him in too many comedy roles to take him seriously.
News. New Orleans prostitutes classed as sex offenders (via). Amazon launches 70% royalty for Kindle-only authors. Cash for gold firms criticized. Jail for narco-balladeers? Another BNP member up on explosives charges.
Articles. H.G. Wells reviews Metropolis. "Downfall" director likes the parodies. Philip K. Dick's classic essay How to Build a Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later
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