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Michael Oeming & Neil Vokes - Parliament of Justice
A short one from the artist of Powers but this time it's his words paired with some other cats art.
The story is a fairly basic Batman & Robin riff.  The two characters are called Parliament and Gypsum and exist in a Gotham-esque gothic city of ultra rich and ultra poor.  The former not so much looking down upon the latter as utterly despising them.  At it's heart there is a nice little parody and the story itself goes somewhere fairly interesting but it's all a little short.
The art wasn't to my tastes.  It's not awful but I'd have rather seen Oeming's own doodles in place of Vokes.
Not as good as I was hoping and annoyingly brief but enjoyable none the less.

Daniel O’Mahony – Doctor Who Novellas: The Cabinet of Light
This one of this lovely run of novellas features an un-identified Doctor possibly travelling alone or possibly with a young woman called Emily Blandish who is amnesiac in the book.
In post war London a spiv / fixer called Lechasseur is asked to search for a man called The Doctor.  His search for this enigma leads him to various odd and unusual characters including the aforementioned Emily.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable ride.  Very much rocking the Raymond Chandler vibe and finding a good level of pulp dynamism and Doctor Who silliness.

Bryan Lee O’Malley – Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life
Now this turned out to be a wonderful little surprise.  I liked the movie. It wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever seen but it had a charm to it that was fairly infectious.  The book though is something else altogether.  It’s beautifully drawn and has a charm that shines out of every page.  You want to know the characters, especially Ramona, and even after just this first book of the 6 you feel you, kind of, do.
The comic book / video game logic / behaviour tht pervades their lives makes perfect sense (worryingly) and you never really question it.
Anyway, Scott’s dating Knives but then meets Ramona because she keeps taking short cuts through his dreams whilst delivering Amazon parcels.  There’s a small problem though, before he can date Ramona he first has to fight and defeat her evil ex’s.  The first is dispatched and he wins some money Sonic style but unfortunately not enough for his journey home.

Bryan Lee O’Malley – Scott Pilgrim vs the World
So, in this volume we get some background detail on Scott and Kim Pine, Knives develops a hatred for Ramona and they get it on in a shopping mall.  Meanwhile Scott’s ex shows up with her band which just happens to feature the 3rd of Ramona’s evil ex’s.
It’s a lot more personal this book as we see Scott and Ramona getting to know each other and her finding her way into Scott’s circle.
Oh, and the second evil ex skateboards himself into oblivion.

Bryan Lee O’Malley – Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness
Scott takes on the third evil ex Todd the Vegan who also happens to be the bassist in Clash at Demonhead the band fronted by Scott’s ex Envy who Ramona takes on.
Lot’s of back story in this book and an appearance by Gideon.
This is where I went from liking this book to downright loving it.

Bryan Lee O’Malley – Scott Pilgrim Gets it Together
Sex Bob-omb record an album, Scott get’s a job, Scott is chased by a scary samurai, Scott is attacked by next evil ex and it’s not a boyfriend, Ramona fights evil ex, Scott tells Lisa that he loves Ramona, scary samurai fights Ramona, evil ex fights scary samurai man, evil ex fights Scott, Scott earns the ‘Power of Love’ (and a cool flaming sword), Scott defeats evil ex, Scott apologises to scary samurai man and admits that he barely touched his daughter – Knives, scary samurai man forgives Scott,  Scott gets a handful of Ramona’s boob.

Bryan Lee O’Malley – Scott Pilgrim vs the Universe
The majority of this one sees Scott facing off against various machinery sent his way by the next two (twin) evil ex’s.  Knives meanwhile, tells Ramona that Scott cheated on them both.
Kim is kidnapped and Scott comes to her rescue but in the meantime Ramona has come to the conclusion that she can’t escape and needs to leave.
The book ends with Kim also leaving, Scott moving into his own place and a phone call from Gideon.

Bryan Lee O’Malley – Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour
Scott has spent the months following Ramona’s disappearance by lying around playing video games and being very antisocial.  Wallace convinces him to go on a wilderness sabbatical to Kim’s parent’s place where he finally comes to terms with the bad shit he’s committed in past relationships and heads back to confront Gideon and find Ramona.
There’s a prolonged finale fought in Gideon’s new club and in Ramona’s head before the pair finally win out.
The book ends with a nice little coda that reconciles the new relationships between Scott and the main supporting cast – Kim, Stephen, Knives and Neil – before Scott and Ramona step through a door into subspace.
I didn’t really know what to expect when I started this series.  I’d heard lots of good things and I’d seen the film but you really never know.  In the end it turned out to be ridiculous amounts of feelgood entertainment and I’m massively glad I took the plunge.

Joanne Owen - Puppet Master
I bought this book in Hay-on-Wye (small Welsh town with many, many bookshops) back in January when we went there on a birthday book-buying jaunt. What originally caught my eye was the solidity of the thing. This copy is a chunkily made hardback that had real presence on the shelf. The cover illustration is utterly abysmal but the art on the inside is beautiful, a real treat for the eyes.
The story concerns a young girl in Prague who is kidnapped by a nefarious Puppeteer who is attempting to acquire the magic powers inherent in the girl as the ancestor of the countries founder. Yeah, I know that's a terrible synopsis but that is essentially what's going on. Throughout the narrative Owen weaves several myths and legends that help situate the novel. It's gothic leanings are clearly on display and allow the novel a period feel without dating it.
It was on the whole a groovy little read with some engaging moments but the end seemed bitty and a little shoddy. Overall, fun but flawed (with hideous cover art).



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