It Girl-Review

So I am expanding my reading to graphic novels and comics. So as I already mentioned in one of London Book Fair posts I met this fabulous and interesting author Jessica Martin and here is my review of one her mini comics.

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Obviously as a book reviewer I tend to just read the dialogue then after I have read it that I should have looked at the art work in detail but I’m learning. However, with this mini comic I was more looking at the art work than the words. I think as a creator of a comic if you can capture the audience through the art work and not the words you have a smashing comic and that is what this one does.

A lot of what fascinated me about this comic was the idea of black and white. I understand that it is in the art deco style but for me as a student studying this era in my mind I expected it to be in colour as this was the glitz and glamorous Jazz Age. So I was a bit sceptical but in a way somehow the black and white brings out people’s emotions better through the attention to detail in the eyes.

In tems of the storyline it was really well done but at times it felt a little fragmented especially when it jumped from a certain point in the character’s life to another. It also felt at the end of reading it that I wanted more from the story but that might be because I’m so used to reading books where the storyline is long and developed.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this mini comic and so intrigued by the character Clara Bow that I want to research her which shows the comic has developed an interest in the character after reading it. Although I would have liked to have more pages to read the art work is fantastic almost Roy Lichtenstein like at times and definitely worth reading especially Jazz Age lovers like me.

I have two more comics to read created by Jessica Martin so look out for those reviews. And please feel free to comment below!

Morning Glory-Review

I don’t know how many times I have watched this film but everytime I love it more, it’s definitely in my classic collection.

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It has this great jump at the start of the film. You think the girl has got everything she needs but the man, so you think it’s gonna be about the man. But then Chip (the IVY league idiot) comes along – he turns her life upside down and takes her job! Then she gets this big break to work for IBS’s morning show and she shows the world what a hard working woman can do.

I also love this film because it has Diane Keaton in it and I have admired her as a woman and an actress for years; she just has this great comedic buzz about her and it just flows out of her so naturally.

The banter between her and Harrison Ford just brings the film together. Ford has that combination of arrogrance and ego that annoys you but that you just can’t stop laughing at. For instance, he says in a irritating show-off way, ‘I laid a cool wash cloth on Mother Teresa’s forehead during a cholera epedemic, I have had luch with Dick Cheney.’ Oh the arrogance so  hilarious!

It moves on nicely to the whole point of this film which is the news vs entertainment in the side of television and how in many ways entertainment has won. Or has is it that entertainment is merely a simpler version of the news, just more dramatised and slightly fictionalised? I think that news is still important to people but the problem is the understanding of politics and social issues are not discussed enough at the beginning of their lives, that is, at school.

The film also brings up the increasing worrying issue of people’s limited attention span and how every single story has to be a short sensational story to be able to catch the attention of people today. This is an issue I am constantly asking people and myself about. I think it is partly to do with making the time to do those things that take a while to do, but you come out with a greater understanding of a subject and I think that is what we need to remember when discussing this issue.

I think overall, Morning Glory is a great family comedy film that all will enjoy. For me it just brings a sense of joy and in some way a wanting to work and do all the great ideas I have in my head. It’s rare when a film has that perfect combination of comedy and thought but this definitely does.

As usual feel free to comment below!

London Book Fair 14 April 2016

So it was the last day of the London Book Fair I always feel sad when it is about to end its such a fabulous collaboration of people and events to explore new avenues of the publishing industry and bring the industry into the future by talking about the current issues that our world is discussing.

The first talk I went to was a talk on book prizes for new writers. It was interesting to see how many use it as a platform to start their careers as there is a lot of publicity attached to winning awards. Another issue that came up was that there are too many prizes nowadays. I think its a bad thing when there is too many prizes for example over 10 for the same category as the prestige of the award is lost and the recognition as well. Awards are important to keep those who try for the awards challenged to create something new and original. Although it should not be taken for granted as a money making business.

The next talk I went to was on genres in children’s publishing. This included two people from two different publishers and a agent. It was really informative talk to see the two perspectives with a particular interest on picture books. I was very curious in whether both sides prefer to have an illuustrator or not when going to an agent they welcome it but with a publisher they prefer to match the author with an illustrator. There was one other interesting point talked about was the issue of rhyming picture books and certain issues you have with translation and illustration.

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The last thing I went to see was a discussion on science fiction in comics which was the most fascinating thing I had seen all week. It brought up so many interesting issues for example a comic that Pat Mills had worked on had got banned and the effects that had on readers and why that had happened. They also talked about how the industry works and differences in the English and French markets which is mainly in how they publish in England its weekly and in France its done in volumes. They discussed what is there motivation behind there stories and how it mainly derives from politics and society not the new science of the day.

Overall, the London Book Fair 2016 has been a triumph of celebrating Shakespeare, to bringing new discussions on comic market and in general making the publishing industry more interconnected so we can give more books to the world to read.

London Book Fair 13 April 2016

Yesterday was more meet and greet than listening to talks. I spent my morning going to talks and then in the afternoon went round to all the publishers getting the catalogues for the year.


The first thing I went to see was Tracy Chevalier who we all know for her legendary book  Girl With a Pearl Earring. I think most people will confess that they only know it because of Colin Firth’s smouldering performance as Vermeer. However, she was not talking about her old or even most recent novel that came out this year. She was discussing her latest project which is a novelisation of a Shakespearen play to celebrate the Bard’s 400th anniversary, part of a series to be published by Hogarth. The play she has chosen is Othello which she is setting in the 1970s in her home town in a playground where everyone is 11. I have to confess Othello was not one I did at school so really can’t comment much. However, I have read many of her books over the years so I’m sure it will be a fascinating take on a old classic.

Also I hear Jo Nesbo has picked up Macbeth. Wow! That is going to be a treat for all us crime buffs.

The next talk I went to see was about YA fiction and characterisation with Leila Rasheed, Pete Kalu and Tariq Mehmood – probably the talk that made me think the most about my perspective on certain issues. It mainly looked at the issue of race and how you fit that into your characterisation or whether you just know by the name. The responses that came out of the discussion were that writers who were black weren’t sure how to write white characters and writers who were white weren’t sure how to write back characters especially without stereotypes. When I was thinking about this last night it was difficult but I formed the opinion that as I write when I am talking about characters in a book I don’t mention race. I think that unless it contributes to your plot or the understanding of your characters it is not necessary. Fascinating talk something that we should talk about more as writers.

I then spent the afternoon meeting publishers and interesting people. The one that stood out for me was an author I met who was representing Arty Miss called Jessica Martin. She was showing me her graphic novels which are mostly set around the Jazz age which is to do with my dissertation. So I was hooked she gave me a few of her novels so look out for my reviews of them very soon.

I then had a surprise when I got home I’m on YouTube if you look at London Book Fair 2016 Jeffery Archer I am the girl with brown hair and glasses behind him. Was very amusing to my family.

London Book Fair 12 April 2016

I have been going to London Book Fair for years now and every year I meet fantastic people and discover new publishers that are bringing new material that pushes the boundaries of publishing. It is the event I look forward to the most every year.


Unfortunately getting to Olympia is not the easiest thing ever and so I was late to see Meg Rosoff (pictured above) but was lucky enough to catch the last five minutes and got two books signed. She was a pleasure to meet, very animated and bubbly something that fans like me love in authors. I can’t wait to read her new book; it should be a journey to remember, like all of her books.


The talkative and animated Jeffery Archer was a pleasure to listen to – he was full of fantastic stories and responses to questions. He particularly emphasised the distinction between writers and storytellers: writers being those who know exactly what they are going to write next, while storytellers are left to their imaginations. He classifies himself as a storyteller. His interest in helping authors around the world shows his dedication to the authors who inspire us.


Next I was sitting in on a conversation with Julian Fellowes which was of great interest to me, as I have been a fan of his writing, and of course Downton Abbey, for many years. He is now moving into the futuristic age where he is publishing his new book in weekly installments through an app which I am sure will not disappoint. Truly a man you could listen for hours having a thorough debate on anything.

After that I did my womanly duties and went to see the Woman in Comics panel discussion. It was a real eye opener not only to the women in the comic industry but also to the market of comics outside the Marvel/DC industry as they call it. It was also interesting to hear a bit about the history of comics and the way they are moving forward in the way comics are written. It definitely inspired me to read more comics.


The next thing on my agenda was going to see Peter James at Author HQ; he is a man whose books have always kept me on my toes with excitement. His emphasis was mainly on how research is so important to a book, which I wholeheartedly agree with, as a student of history. He told some stories from his research for example experiencing what it is like to be in a coffin alive with the lid screwed on, so that he could develop the experience into stories themselves.

The most interesting talk of the day was the Tale of Two Markets which included the editor of Publishers Weekly Andrew Albanese, the editor of The Bookseller Philip Jones and Porter Anderson from Publishing Perspectives. They discussed the US and UK markets and the differences and similarities between the two. It sparked an interesting debate on the meaning of self publishing and its effects on publishing. I sparked a debate about the issues of books published in the USA not appearing till later or even never. Out of interest it is the same with UK books being published getting to the US. So hopefully through our debate we can change things.

I ended the day by going to a panel discussion on getting those to read who can’t read, haven’t learned or don’t take an interest. As a person who has read since a young age, you really can’t understand why people do not read. But after this talk I really understood why people don’t read and the ways to encourage people to read. Also that we need to do more to encourage people to read as they are missing out on the world in which we were lucky to grow up in.

Overall the first day of London Book Fair 2016 was a very successful day in terms of learning about new interests in the book world and meeting people with such interesting and knowledgeable people who you could listen to talking for hours.

Here is the website if your interested in what is going on or would like to go.

http://www.londonbookfair.co.uk/

Emily Cannings 2016

The Expanse Episode 1

Space war made boring by its characters!

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Don’t get me wrong I love a space drama TV show as much as the next nerd however this definitely is not up to scratch for Syfy especially after watching Killjoys.

The premise of the storyline is good and interesting. Its about the battle for air and water which is poignant in this day and age. As usual it is between Earth and Mars. Although this could have an interesting development in terms of the science of space and how maintain these resources. Will it prevail?

However, this pilot did not explain  anything especially about how the planets have developed in this universe. Not to mention if anything about the background of the characters. Although it interests me the love between the two of the main characters was way too cheesy and annoying.

SPOILER ALERT!

The ending to the episode they tried to bring out all the stops porbably to save it from embarrassment. You know the big explosion, which ship will survive. Then the most predictable ending in TV history girls is about to die and says I need to tell you something! DUN DUN DUNNN! I’m so bored I already know you’re either pregnant or working for Mars. Such a shame!

Overall this TV show has potential through its storyline. However, if its characters go the way they are going I am going to stop watching and I can usually sit through bad TV.