Marvel’s Pride and Prejudice by Nancy Butler and Hugo Petrus

Marvel's Pride and Prejudice by Nancy Butler and Hugo PetrusSince I’m teaching Jane Austen’s mega-classic Pride and Prejudice this coming school year I decided to pick up the Marvel version (a collection of the five editions above) to see if it would work for the kids. The illustrations above are stunning aren’t they? Too bad that the work inside looks nothing like it. Hugo Petrus’ illustrations are so hideous that it’s embarrassing. Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham, known for their handsomeness, look like a couple of wet noodles, as does Jane, the famed beauty (he just made her blonde). Elizabeth is made to grimace her way through the story, making so many nasty faces she ends up seeming like a total b-, and something of a bad guy. There is no way she would be so impertinent as to openly scowl at people or allow Mr. Darcy to pick her up when they are still unmarried.

Hugo Petrus thinks this is a good drawing.

Hugo Petrus thinks this is a good drawing.

Nancy Butler does a competent job with the script, but the adaptation feels really rushed in the end. I think she needed one or two more issues to really being to do the novel justice. She is responsible for all of Marvel’s Jane Austen adaptations, so I’m a little concerned. In the end though it’s the illustrations that can’t be moved past, they are an act of violence. Yes, they are that bad, it’s a slap in the face to everyone who loves Austen.

Pride and Herp Derp

Pride and Herp Derp

Honestly, what the hell Hugo? Okay, I’m done, please go read this review now, it’s way funnier than mine (I can’t be funny when I’m this irritated) and it’s where I got the scans. Seriously, go read it.

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells

H. G. Wells is one of those rare authors that you encounter where the more you read by him the more you want to read. I read The Time Machine for the first time a few weeks ago and I was not disappointed … in the writing quality. The racism kind of bummed me out.

The premise of the novel is an unnamed main character, the Time Traveler, relates his tale to a group of riveted gents, one of which tells us the story through recollection. The Time Traveler has, indeed, traveled forward in time to a period after mankind split into two species: the peaceful Eloi and the carnivorous Morlocks. He describes the Morlocks more like cannibals, but the fact of the matter is that the Eloi are like cattle, and the Morlocks don’t consume one another. While sentient, the Eloi do not feel empathy, and almost let Weena drown before the Time Traveler saves her. Weena dies anyway because of the Time Traveler’s actions (or inaction), don’t worry though, he doesn’t blame himself. She is small, innocent, and childlike, and the Time Traveler loves her in this oddly distant, distinctly 1800s way (the novel was published in 1895). Finally the Time Traveler leaves to travel into the future and describes the “sunset” of life on Earth in some of the most disturbing (and intentionally hellish) language I have ever read – it’s stunning actually. He then goes back to his own time, relates his tale, and leaves, never to return again.

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The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks

The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks

I had been meaning to read The Zombie Survival Guide (2003) by Max Brooks before I read World War Z (WWZ), but it just so happens that offers to let me borrow them came in the opposite order. Incidentally, I try to borrow as much of my leisure reading as I can because I spend so much on books for the classroom and lesson planning that my book budget is pretty taxed (nearly $200 in the last two weeks, though admittedly that’s not average). I will say straight away that if you can only read one WWZ is the superior book, but if it’s not enough for you, the survival guide is a good companion.

I was told that the survival guide would fill some of my perceived holes in the WWZ world building, but I can’t say that it does. The questions I had before are still unanswered, even after reading the first section: “The Undead: Myths and Realities.”

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Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Published in 1962 Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury is the story of two teenage (13 year old) boys who discover an evil carnival and attempt to save their town from it. The edition above is the one that I read, and the very 80s-looking cover did not help the case. The creepy bowl-haired child riding a neon purple carousel horse could not fit into any story I wanted to read*. However, it was Bradbury so I had to pick it up.

The story follows Jim Nightshade (on the cover) and Will Halloway (he yells “Jim!” a lot) through their adventure with the carnival, which is 90% freaks and 10% evil dudes. Evil dude #1, Mr. Cooger, is barely in the story, but ends up masquerading as an evil baby doll person thing (the influence of this novel on Stephen King is evident). Evil dude #2, Mr. Dark, is the real baddie though, tattooing victims on his arm before giving them “what they want” as long as “what they want” is a ride on the Magic Carousel of Evil Badness. Predictably, the carousel gives them the monkey paw version of what ever they want, though we never see anyone ride it aside from Cooger. For the most part what people want is to be younger (adults) or older (Jim!). This is a happy coincidence since the only thing the reader is assured of is that the carousel can make people younger or older depending on if it runs backward or forward. We are just left to wonder how the other “freaks” were transformed.

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