Books I read in 2015

2015 was the year I realised that I now read non-fiction more than fiction. I also tried to buy a graphic novel a month this year and resolved to finish my backlog.

Though I was not successful at finishing my backlog I did get some really good books into my collection which I shall finish in 2016. Unlike those long lists out there, I am just getting back to reading. Here are the chosen ones.

Being Mortal:
I loved his style of introducing his topic and keeping you interested through every chapter.

Do androids dream of electric sheep: One of the smoothest sci-fi stories which is bound to make you fall in love with the genre.

Nick and Norah’s infinite playlist: I do not know why i like the story, but I finally read the novel behind one of my all time favourite movies. Next up is Me, Earl and the Dying Girl.

Haroun and the Sea of Stories: Surprisingly my first Rushdie was a book written primarily for the child in you. Next up is Luka and the Fire of Life.

Modern Romance: A subject I would not have chosen to read upon but was a delight and reading it made me enjoy ‘Master of None’ even more.

What I talk about when I talk about running: Easily the best book i’ve read this year and the one I shall recommend and gift to people to read. You need not want to run to read this book.

The Hard Thing about Hard Things: Recommended by a lot of people, this book did not live up to its hype and Ben came across to me as a mighty lucky chap who is looking at things in hindsight but there were good things to be learnt from it.

The New Ghost: A short story about the afterlife with some great art.

By this Shall You Know Him: A short story about creation with some mind boggling art

In Real Life: A story set in the contemporary world of MMORPGs and questions ethics on the internet.

Killing and Dying: This anthology of short stories of people like you and me made it to bestseller lists this year.

Gaysi Zine #3 #4: A shoutout on the Kokkachi fb page showed me this wonderful zine and I ended up funding the #4. However I liked #3 better 😛

Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland: This tribute revival of the Winsor McCay comic strip was beautiful though I had bought this book thinking its the entire collection.

Prophet: Remission Volume 1: I bought this book because I am a fan of Brandon Graham. The story so far has been cryptic.

The Wrong Place: What a pretty watercolour graphic novel. Brecht Evans’ debut has a good story to go with the art but it ends up lacking something.

Chicken with Plums (reread): Because I was feeling like Nasser Ali Khan.

Antares Episode 5: I just love this series, the alien world’s Leo illustrates are fascinating.

I hope to read more in 2016. Feel free to recommend me books to read.

Four Year Mile

It was 4 years ago, blogs had just captured the attention of newspapers and the offline world. I had joined Engineering. I had started writing about 2 years ago when i decided to test if i had inherited it from my genes. What started off with autobiographical writings and dark poems eventually culminated in this blog Aninosaintlife, which after second opinions resulted in the wp.com version you now see before you. Eventually i broached out to this, largely kept hidden until recently, where i blogged as Insomniac. ‘An Inosaint Life’ gave way to ‘An Innocent Life’ and in somewhere in 3rd year of engineering ‘Life is not all Ha-ha hee-hee’ was replaced by the newer namesake’s name. ‘Mad Hunter Skozaken‘.

The Blog and the online world taught me a lot i should say. In addition to finding some awesome people online, it made me develop my writing style. This has changed from an ‘everyday blog’ to a more My Article Blog.The Old Gang of bloggers is almost all gone. I myself disappeared for long stretches in the past two years when offline life kept me pretty preoccupied. When i did eventually come back, the blogosphere was changed. I really didnt feel the need to ‘publicize’ my blog. I still maintain contact with some of the ‘Old Gang’ but thats pretty much it. Nowadays i just follow some of my friends blogs (who arent very regular when it comes to updating).

In these 4 years, I have started and blogged at more than 7 blogs writing around 350+ posts in all. The Mind Clutter Blogger blog, A Quiz Blog survived Ignitte.in and is now on WP.com, a Posterous and finally, in July Absolutely Filmy! came into being. I also re-wrote my ‘About‘ Page and created a ‘Downloads‘ page. Thats been my journey so far.
I really feel Blogging/Writing is my Chicken Soup for the Soul. I dont care if people dont read what i write. I know this gives me a way to archive my thoughts. Some day when i am old and worn, counting that the interweb survives, i would look back to the decades of history i intend to chronicle here. I write happy thoughts here. There s a lot left unsaid ; why should i reveal my emotions to all and sundry? Humans are fickle minded creatures. But thats another blog post in itself.

For People who visit/read, Thank You.
For Friends who support, Thank You.

An Introduction to Comic Books and Manga: Part 1

My introduction to comic books like most people were the Archie’s, Asterix and Obelix and Tintin. My eventual enrollment in the local Central Library was where i was introduced to DC and other american comics. Being in India, Comic books are not easy to come by and definitely not light on your wallet. In 2007-08, i decided to have a look into the world of comics again. I had started off reading Manga in 2007 with Naruto and Bleach and wanted to get back to DC comics. The Final Crisis was the main event that started in the DC universe about the time i started reading comics. It gave me a place to start reading. Although confusing in itself, the DC universe was what i prefered over Marvel. Why? thats because there are some aspects of Marvel i simply dislike. I decided to give Marvel a chance this year. There are storylines there i would read but story arcs are really tough to follow compared to DC. Take for example the various Avengers titles available. After the recent reboot, Avengers Prime looks promising. Hopefully it stays that way.

Now am not saying that DC is easy to follow. What i did after Final Crisis was follow the story into the War of Light. I was hooked easily onto the 7 light spectrum power struggle and then came the Blackest Night which although reminded me of something called Marvel Zombies was still well written. The Brightest Day is the currently ongoing event but apart from the Green Lantern storylines am just reading the tie-ins for fun. I really believe that Green Lantern is a Comic book to follow due to the War of Light. I am also keen on the Return of Bruce Wayne(6 issues). I would also recommend Batman Beyond(6 issues) and Marvel Universe vs The Punisher(4 issues). Former dealing with Batman of the Future and the latter with a ‘I am Legend’ storyline with The Punisher instead of Will Smith.

Resticting yourselves to the two biggies is not a smart thing to do. There are many great titles out there in the smaller companies. Listed below are some worth reading in my opinion(My favourites). I dont know if its wise to start of with them but you can try these and then find your comfort zone. Please note that i have read them. There maybe many more good series out there. If you know about one than do suggest them to me.

DC:

  • Grant Morrison’s psychedelic run of Doom Patrol (45 issues) which has one of my favourite woman superheroes of all time- Crazy Jane.
  • The War of Light arc consisting of Green Lantern(ongoing) and Green Lantern Corps(ongoing) and certain select Final Crisis, Blackest Day and Brightest tie-ins.
  • Green Lantern: Rebirth Lord Havok and the Extremists from the Countdown to Crisis arc(also a decent storyline).
  • The Return of Bruce Wayne and Batman Beyond are ongoing series that have already been mentioned above.
  • Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta and Watchmen are acclaimed titles which i havent finished reading yet. And also Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.

Marvel:

  • Testament:- The origin story of Magneto which utilizes events from the Holocaust of WW2.
  • Wolverine:Origin:- The graphic novel which first dealt with the story and not the rubbish which the movie was about.
  • Bulls Eye: Greatest Hits:- Reminded me about Joker from The Dark Knight and his origin stories.
  • Daredevil: The Man without Fear :- pairs Frank Miller with John Romita Jr.
  • Weapon X: Days of the Future Now:- A must read X-men title.
  • X-men: Blind Science:- A Brilliantly written One Shot.
  • Hulk: Planet Hulk story arc was decent.
  • Marvel Universe vs The Punisher and Avengers Prime are ongoing series that have already been mentioned above. The Ultimate Universe is recommended for people who want to begin reading now. I have heard the marvel movies will depend on the Ultimate Universe anymore.

Others:

  • Scott Pilgrim (6 volumes) for the graphic novel manga lovers.
  • Icon’s Mark Millar and John Romita Jr’s Kick-Ass.
  • Icon’s Mark Millar and Steve Mc’Niven’s Nemesis(ongoing).
  • Avatar’s Chistos Gage’s Absolution.
  • DDP’s Hack/Slash for its unusualness(have read only one book). Cassie Hack makes Lisbeth Salander look cute in comparison
  • Wildstorm’s Push prequel to the Movie helps you put things in context.
  • Also the Inception prequel The Cobol Job is a must read.
  • Dynamite Entertainment’s Sherlock Holmes.
  • IDW’s Singularity 7 and the ongoing True Blood(alongside the HBO series now in season 3)
  • Frank Miller’s 300 and Sin City.

Will keep adding to this list.
(Article to be continued in part 2)

Singularity 7 Hack/Slash

My “Top Characters in Print Ever” List

Mario’s recent list of  “Top 25 Favourite Screen Characters Ever” got me thinking and well i decided to make a list of my very own. But i soon found out that since my list would be one of characters in Print, it would be a lot harder. I tried my best to include all of my favourite series by including atleast my favorite creations in them. And when i meant print i meant anything that s been published and it includes all that i have read voraciously. It does include chiefly among others; novels, comic books and comic strips. Probably everyone will have such a list. So if you intend to do so Please make a list but do link me up to it or atleast include a link in the comments.

Okay before we see the actual list i would like to explain that the list is currently still under construction. I would definitely expand upon it. Plus the list currently contains 13 Characters. You can suggest more characters that i could have possibly missed out or perhaps i can have a look at them.

And Finally The List In Alphabetical Order[ since i didnt want to go through the agony of ranking them]:

  • Artemis Fowl [cant forget his Butler] From the Artemis Fowl series Type: Human. Occupation: Evil Teen Mastermind.
  • Bartimaeus From the Bartimaeus trilogy Type: Djinn[4th Level] Occupation: Magician’s Servant.
  • Batman [Bruce Wayne] From DC Type: Human. Occupation: Crime Fighting Vigilante/Superhero.
  • Calvin From Calvin and Hobbes Type: Human Occupation: Being a Gyaan-Spouting Kid.
  • Crazy Jane [Jane Morris/ Kay Challis] From Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol[DC] Type: Human with 64 super powered personalities[multiple personality disorder] Occupation: Superhero.
  • Elva From the Inheritance Trilogy Type: Human affected by a spell gone wrong leading to abnormal growth. Occupation: Royal advisor and Can tell The Future.
  • Hercule Poirot From the Agatha Christie books Type: Human Occupation: Detective of Belgian origin working in England.
  • Hit Girl From Kick-Ass : Book One [8 issues] Type: Human Occupation: Student
  • Ichigo Kurosaki From Bleach Manga Type: Human Occupation: Soul reaper/Saving the World.
  • Kakashi Hatake From Naruto Manga Type: Human Occupation: Top Jonin Ninja of the Leaf village.
  • Kirin From the Gameworld Trilogy Type: Half-Ravian and Half-Rakshas Occupation: Saving the World??
  • Phantom From Lee falk’s Phantom Comic books Type: Human Occupation: Crime Fighter from Bengalla.
  • Shine Sarkar From Keep of the Grass Type: Human Occupation: IIM-B/IIT-D graduate
  • Wallace Wells From Scott Pilgrim Type: Human Occupation: Unknown. He’s Scott’s gay room mate.
  • Zaphod Beeblebrox From the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Type: Betelgeusian Occupation: Ex-Galactic President; confidence trickster; etc

To be continued…

the secret knots

the secret knots

This is one of the most well written comics…a graphic novel actually. Hats off to Juan Santapau. Right now the series Unspeakable is going on. Do read. i love it.

p.s. i have been using the Press this feature of WordPress and like it 🙂 i remember i never used this and while trying out Tumblr for Ignitte i had come across something similar there.

why so serious?

watched Dark Knight today at Adlabs.. i wasnt going to miss this movie eventhough most of the people had ended up going for it on monday when i was on my way back from Hassan. well back to the Movie. It was downright awesome. the first half can itself be packaged as a movie in itself. Heath Ledger’s Potrayal of The Joker was new and brilliant. i would love to know the Origin of this Joker. Christian Bale fits the role of the playboy billionaire Bruce Wayne to a T. well the sad part is that Heath Ledger is no more 😦 i wonder who will they get to replace him in a sequel. The Joker is the Quintessential Batman Villain. i will miss this rendition.

My opinion is that the Movie broke box office records due to The Joker and the hype was all justified. Go watch it!!