Tarmon Gaidon came too fast – Jordan is dead

Robert Jordan - Photo by Jeanne Collins We knew it was coming, last year he disclosed that he had amyloidosis. Sure, he has that little rebuke to those of us who’d probably say, “But he said 4 years!” in the middle of that letter but I’ll go ahead and think it anyway. Apparently, amyloidosis is a really rare disease. It’s awfully unlucky that he should’ve gotten it. Rest in peace, J.O.R.

The Wheel of Time is probably my favourite long fantasy series, even though it seemed to be winding down a bit near the end. The climactic battles at the end weren’t so much fun as they were before and there seemed to be a lot of whining and a lot of annoying bits where the Aes Sedai just act like little kids. On the whole though, I’m happy I started reading it (my uncle let me borrow a whole bunch of the books in the series and I filled in the rest by borrowing from Nerus) and I wish he’d kept up the pace that he had in the beginning. Those first few books were fascinating and filled with story, lots of it while the later ones seemed to focus on minutiae. It didn’t seem like they were going to end. Now it looks like they won’t.

Or more likely, the publishers will hire someone to ghostwrite the last section of the book. Though personally I would love it if everything were left open-ended, this isn’t the way I wanted it to go. If RJ had said, “I’m not going to write an ending book. Enough for me.” and left it at that it would be fine. After all there are just too many plot threads to close up. No ending could possibly be satisfactory, there’s just too much to do. Atleast one thing is for certain, we won’t see a Rand Matrim Aybara going to school in a separate One Age Later epilogue added to the rest of the book, unless the ghostwriter is some kind of a misanthropist who secretly dislikes Robert Jordan but admires the Perrin Aybara character. In any case, most of the significant plot details will live on after him because he spoke about them with his family.

Wheel of Time is all the Robert Jordan I’ll ever read, probably. I’m not a big fan of the Conan series so I shan’t be reading all of them that he wrote, and he wrote lots. There’s something to the Wheel of Time, it seems so internally consistent and has some nice references to other things outside. The best part is wondering about the pasts of each of the characters though RJ seems to put a lot of trouble into describing those things in such a way as to leave few doubts. In fact, one slashdot member commented on how he goes into so much detail describing the trees in the forest that you can’t have a clear picture of the forest in the end. Ah well, it’s his book, not mine.

Imagine if the whole series were 6 books, that would’ve been so awesome. I wonder why it was so long. I tried reading the whole series again because by the time I got to 11 I’d forgotten what had happened before and I was surprised at how much I was skipping, there are whole chapters which are just boring. The most horrible thing about the later books is how they ignored the Big Two and instead focussing on fringe characters. I don’t know. I’m confused. I guess I have mixed feelings about the series.

For Marc: Remember what you said Vijayalayan said? Well, uh…

Cartoon Propaganda – The Truth Behind Those Lovable Characters

Slap a Jap??!Yes, Bugs Bunny is racist, and not just the quiet racist type, he’s violently racist and likes blowing up “slant eyes“. Maybe we should let the dead past bury its dead, and allow our childhood favourites to exist in their own happy innocent bubble, or maybe not. I liked Bugs, goddammit, he was a bunny and that makes all the difference. You can’t make Bugs Bunny a racist and not kill off the cartoon childhood of any person. Hey, we know that you were at war and stuff. We know you had to make them out to be stupid and you had to use stereotypes to promote support but why the hell did you have to drag this guy into it. He was supposed to be a practical joker, not some replacement G.I. Joe. And then there’s the retarded SNAFU cartoons with evil spy women with microphones on their breasts. And surely during this time of war you would want to unite your population, yes? No. Because, hey! The blacks are all lazy and big-lipped. They like wearing bones through their noses and they beat on drums and throw spears at the nice white people. They also beg for money to buy war bonds with. The Japanese have an equally bad time, but I can’t say it as well as the guy who wrote the article can. Heck, they get beaten up by Popeye and compared to dogs. But then, here in India, we’re no strangers to that are we? Treating people like dogs, not getting beaten by Popeye.

A quote from the Head Injury Theater article Nazi Nipples is GO:

It sucks to be black in old cartoons. It sucks to be Japanese because you’ll be short, need glasses, and a lot of orthodontic work. Germany has bad leaders. Wait a second. Why is it that in these cartoons they depict the Japanese as being evil down to the last man, while when it comes to Germany they only depict the country’s leaders as being goofy morons? Is it because you couldn’t demonize people of Germanic descent because that would include a large chunk of America’s population?

Ha ha, nice question at the end.

Post-apocalyptic art

I have a fascination for it, and stuff that’s similar to it. Ruins of cities, civilisations which leave little trace, all these are intriguing and I love artists who paint those scenarios. Sometimes I look at that art and I can build a whole story for myself out of just that one picture, because there can be so much meaning in just that 1200×800 piece. It’s like a book, only richer and more different at the same time. The story isn’t set in stone, it can be what I like. I can extrapolate beyond the boundaries of the painting and put anything there that catches my fancy or that fits my latest story.

Sadly it’s all in the head. I wish I could paint like them or write nice accompanying stories, but all I can do is imagine. Ah well, that’s fun enough for me. :) Ah, nearly forgot what set me off: Vitaly S Alexius’ art. I found that while wandering through the internet and some of the stuff there is mind-blowingly lovely.

In any case, while I’m on this topic I might as well mention one of my favourite comics (the theme itself is enough :) ),
Gone with the Blastwave. Love that comic. And while I’m on comics about post-apocalyptic worlds I might as well mention: Post Nuke Comic.

PS: Anyone know who drew this piece?

Ladies on the step

Craziest comic I’ve seen!

Venus Leopard Women Firing Comet Intensified Blasts from Head-Guns while riding Space Lizards This is the pinnacle of the Golden Age of Comics, and is characteristic of the work of Fletcher Hanks. The way he thinks up origins for his super-villains is hilarious, and the nutjobs that result are like something out of a surrealist comedy movie about incredibly bad luck. For example, take the origin of Professor Zomax. Brilliant! Simply brilliant! Makes even Venusian Leopard Women shooting from Head-Guns while riding Space Lizards look tame. Sir, I take off my hat to thee. Your skill with the legendary weapon Copy-Paste will be remembered forever, passing from history to legend but never to myth.

For more Comics of the Absurd (forgive me, Eugène), go to Mister Kitty’s Comics. Oh jesus, the craziness.

Update: For a book on Fletcher Hanks that includes some of his more obscure stories and a commentary, look at I shall destroy all the civilised planets.