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a frog the size of texas

January 26th, 2007

09:14 am - Question for a Friday

Inspired by something in a post on matociquala's journal, and also by boredom: what was the last book you threw across the room,* and why?

(I can't really recall mine, because I haven't really been able to get into a non-manga, non-audio book in ages. I'm currently reading Chain Mail: Addicted to You [English adaptation done by rachelmanija :D], and it's definitely not a throw-at-the-wall candidate.)

* Metaphorically speaking, naturally. The last book you gave up on or hated, or whatever. :D

03:42 pm - A couple of books

I went to the bookstore during lunch today and ended up getting Vampire Doll 1, which I believe greenapple2004 had recommended to me some time ago. I read part of it while eating lunch and ... pretty cracktastic. The basic idea is that Guilt-na-zan was a master vampire a century ago, who was sealed into a black cross by an exorcist. It's a hundred years later, and the exorcist's descendant has brought Guilt-na-zan back ... in the body of a life-size wax doll. Because he needed a maid and he likes girls. It gets better, or worse, depending on your attitude. This doll is made in the likeness of the exorcist's young, innocent sister. And Guilt-na-zan can change back into his original form for five minutes if he sucks blood from the younger sister. Which, at one point, the exorcist videotapes.

The exorcist also has a twin brother who is as dumb as the proverbial bag of hammers, and Guilt-na-zan has a subtextual friend/lackey/whatever who is not quite as dumb as the brother. So far it's been amusing in that "Oh you are not going to go ther-- ah. I see you went there." sort of way. :) And the Amazon page has ART NOT FINAL stamped across the image, which is, indeed, the final artwork. :)

The other book I found when searching for books on drawing in the library. It's Secret KNowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters by David Hockney. Hockney's argument is that the use of optical aids like lenses and the camera obscura were used a lot earlier then we think by artists, and that many of the Old Masters did so. Interesting. I've looked trhough the first few pages and have not yet been fully convinced by his arguments, although I'll point out that I think the Old Masters used whatever methods they had at hand, and if that included optics, then it included optics, and that art is in the eye of the artist and not in the tools they use.

But I decided I had to read it myself after seeing all the wank in the Amazon reviews. XD It breaks down into two camps - those who give it 4 or 5 stars and think it's interesting and thought-provoking, and those who give it one star, because OMG HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT THE OLD MASTERS' ACHIEVEMENTS WERE ALL DUE TO TRICKERY!!! (Showing that they didn't actually read the text too closely, because Hockney says that it still takes a very talented artist to do what they did.)

Regardless of your attitude towards it, it's worth reading for teh reproductions alone - the picture quality in this book is fantastic.

11:29 pm - Speedpaint

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