2. Blog Birthday!

Yesterday was our blog’s 2. birthday. Yay!

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212 posts, first few in Polish, the rest in English, most of which were reviews of books, movies, TV series, graphic novels, and games… A bit of musings and a good deal of tributes to the gone masters of the genres, sadly. Add to it hundreds of comments and over 4 000 visitors  – honestly, unexpectedly big numbers both, as the blog was started without any real ambitions of attracting wider audience. But here we are, and we’re grateful! 🙂 Thank you all very much for visiting, sharing, and, in essence – co-creating Re-enchantment of the World!

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My Summer Reads A.D. 2016

My vacation is coming, so instead of a full review a short list of recommendations.

I don’t really know why, but my summer readings tend to be rather heavy – SF, military fantasy, everything that is long and massive and emotionally wringing. Everything that I don’t have much time to read during the year. This year I plan to read quite a few heavy, massive doorstops, and a couple of classic SF novels. Starting with grimdark favorite The Darkness That Comes Before, going through SF/fantasy mix with fairies, Little, Big, and on to classic SF: Flowers for Algernon and A Canticle for Leibowitz, below’s my list of summer readings.

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Spidey! (1962 – present)

Spidey

© John Romita Jr.

He’s a mature man now, Spider-Man – after all, he’s over half a century old already. But he keeps his youthful appearance and spirit as well as Wolverine or even better – clearly he must be a Chosen One. And he is. One of the all-time fan favorites, appealing to readers of all ages and genders, Marvel’s mascot and ultimate scapegoat – Spider-Man has never had an easy life. He started out as a nerdy, bullied teenager, for God’s sake! And that’s everything but easy. He didn’t have a chance to become someone’s sidekick, learning from the best of the best, but  set out to begin his superheroic life as an angsty, pimply, awkward boy who suddenly was given (or cursed with) mysterious superpowers. He had to learn everything by himself, and paid a steep price for that knowledge. After all, the only people in Marvel universe who died and stayed dead are Parker’s uncle and his girlfriend. Even he himself died at one point, rather gruesomely at that. Clearly someone in the Marvel team has it in for him. And yet, he endures it all, and has the guts to make wisecracks about it. Arguably, he’s also the funniest Marvel character which, coupled with his unwavering, absolutely uncompromising morals, makes him a lot more convincing and likeable than Cap (yes, even after Civil War :P).

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Tove Jansson (1914 – 2001)

Tove-Jansson

© Aftonbladet

Yes, another Scandinavian writer of children literature – but what can you do? I was enchanted by the Moomins a long, long time ago, and the enchantment still holds, even when I read them now aloud, to kids. We’re talking about books here, mind you – not that dreadful Japanese-European animated series, nor the gloomy Polish puppet animated show (although I still remember the Groke from this show – with a memory of lingering terrified fascination).

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Actually, Tove Jansson wanted to be a painter; she studied art in Sweden, Finland and France, and she painted intermittently throughout her life, both commissioned and private works. The images of the Moomins’ world were also created by her – apparently the prototype for Moomin was Jansson’s caricature of Immanuel Kant. She drew “the ugliest creature imaginable” on the toilet wall and named it Kant after she lost a discussion about the philosopher with her brother. Fortunately, the final image of the Moomin is much more friendly and blobby, with a big, round nose, a big, round belly, short, fat arms and legs, and a thin, slightly incongruous tail. Tove Jansson’s illustrations form the world of Moomins as much as the text – and they are in perfect harmony with each other.

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Alan Rickman (1946-2016)

alan_rickman© Michael Birt

Alan Rickman passed away today. The unforgettable Sheriff of Nottingham, charismatic Severus Snape from Harry Potter series, Hans Gruber from Die Hard, Metatron from Dogma, even Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy… We’ll miss him.

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