Sunday, April 30, 2017

What Draws Us to Media?

It's funny how time flies, isn't it? I can't believe I'm actually nearing the end of my freshman year of college. I'm sitting here listening to the Rick and Morty theme just because. I don't watch the show myself, but the theme grew on me very quickly. 
Anyway, the music is making me think about what the term epic means in terms of TV shows, novels, music, and so on. Is merely what we associate with the music the thing that's epic, or would the music alone still be seen as epic without the media form we associate it with? For example, when I hear the theme I'm listening to now, I think of epic intergalactic adventures. Struggles against the forces of darkness and evil. A sort of apocalyptic feeling is in there, too. 
I say this as someone who has not seen one episode of Rick and Morty. Is the show epic in the way I've described above? In other words, does the song encompass the overall theme of the show? Could the show work with another theme, or does the song enforce the atmosphere of the show? 

Honestly, I don't know. 

And this can be applied to novels as well, I think. When I look at a book cover, I believe it is the cover artist's job to show off something about the novel, whether it be the atmosphere or plot or just a main theme. 
Watership Down, for example, has a very peaceful-looking cover, but it does not show the epic nature of the story within. Instead, it takes one aspect (the atmosphere) and shows it off, rather than showing something of the story ahead of time. I feel that that may be the main difference between books and shows/films. Books can't encompass the main message in one image. At least, not with the books I've read. Rather, it draws you to the atmosphere so you are either compelled to open it or decide it's not something appealing, at least in terms of aesthetic appeal. 

I think I'm going to chew on this for a while... 

This has me thinking. Maybe I'll look into the art of cover art and see what really goes into it. 

And to think, I started musing over this all because of an Adult Swim cartoon.... 

Friday, April 7, 2017


Waiting hurts. Waiting is hard. I know this because my patience has really been tested for the past four months and there's still two and a half more to go before I can finally say that I have what I want.
Okay, I know I'm being cryptic. I'll explain.
So as you may be aware, Gravity Falls is one of my favorite shows and I read the real-life version of the show's Journal 3 back in, I think, November. There was one major thing this journal was missing that the journal on the show had, and it's the one thing I want to see so badly: invisible ink. I preordered the special edition (which has the invisible ink, a monocle, and a leather cover) back in December and I'm 99.9% sure I'm guaranteed a copy. They sold out in late October, early November, so they expanded the number of books just as I placed an order through Barnes and Noble. I heard Amazon oversold the books, so I'm really relieved I didn't order from them. But now the creator of the show is releasing photos and videos of some of the pages of the journal and it looks awesome. I don't think I've ever been this antsy waiting for something. Then again, I haven't really ever had to preorder a book, so this type of waiting is new to me....
I know: I'm a totally spoiled book geek. But I just can't help it. It cost me $150 and I'm pretty sure I need to go out and buy my own black light for it before it gets here, adding to the price, yet I seriously doubt I'm going to regret spending all this money on something that may seem so trivial. It's still a book, so I really don't mind the price. I just mind the wait.
The series 4 premiere of Sherlock in January kept me distracted from this for a while, but now that the release date is as close as it is and series 4 of Sherlock is over, I have nothing to keep me busy until it comes! That's what's really frustrating me.
I've heard it said that patience is a virtue. And I'm pretty lucky that I even got an order in for one shortly after the number of books was increased. That's why I'm fairly certain I'll get one at all. 

Found this on Tumblr and promptly died laughing. 
Just two and a half more months.... please don't make it feel like too much longer.....

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Taking Risks in Writing

So I know I haven't posted in a while. College is kicking my butt. Anyway, I'm rereading The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz (#2 on Project: Sherlock rankings) and I'm remembering why it was so high on the list and one of my favorite books. The funny thing is, it was all set to win until a last-minute change occurred. The book is that great. Let me explain why.
I'm a little afraid to talk about the main message it sends (it's very sensitive and I don't want to upset anyone) so I won't focus on that. You'll see what I mean if you read the book.
The one major thing that's sticking out to me on this reread is how dark the story is. I remember when I first read it and the convoluted mystery confused me a bit, but this second reading is really showing me where all the little pieces of the puzzle fit together. And that's fascinating to me!
And the subject matter is something I have not seen any author of any book touch upon. I believe that it's sensitive enough so that no one dared to. Yet Horowitz did, and did so masterfully. Why is this the case? How are some authors able to take such huge risks in writing yet others cannot? Sometimes the risk doesn't pay off.
I remember after I read Divergent (which I hated with a passion) and the final book came out, and people were furious because the author had taken a certain risk - a risk that's practically unheard of, unless done correctly. My guess (I haven't read the book myself) is that she did not.
I read another book under Project: Sherlock that took the biggest risk I've seen any of the pastiches take.... but it failed, because the author was using a character that wasn't his and he damaged that character.
So what? What does that mean?
My point is, it's okay to take certain risks in writing, but for the risk to pay off you have to know what you're doing. You also need to think of your audience when writing, at least put them in the back of your mind. I know it's her book, but the author of the final book of the Divergent trilogy was not thinking about how her audience would react to what she did. I mean, people were so upset that they swore off her books and sent her death threats....
I'm sure Horowitz knew what he was doing when he wrote The House of Silk. I think what he did in the preface of the book was a way of protecting himself, because the narrator lampshades how the events in the book were of an extremely sensitive nature. I think Horowitz was saying to his audience, "This mystery will shock you and perhaps upset you, but I'm writing this book the way I feel it needs to be told. So get ready."
The ultimate thing here is that taking risks in writing is something that a lot of authors do. Whether they do it right or not depends on the book they are writing and how they approach the subject. But I believe that Horowitz rose to the occasion and did it right.

This guy did it right and his book is a masterpiece as a result. I recommend The House of Silk to anyone looking for a great mystery.