Reviews.The Sun, The Moon, and The Stars; From Hell.

These might not be to your taste, but they both kick ass.

The Sun, The Moon, and The Stars, by Stephen Brust: This is a good read, if you're any type of artist or if you find them interesting. Sculpture, theatre, painting, pen&ink, writing (not the same thing), martial arts (of various types), motorcycles, and a little bit of love: the metaphor of "art" can be stretched to cover everything that humans experience, try to understand, and try to communicate to other people. On the other hand, if you're in the mood for action, well, thbbt. The primary story (arbitrarily picked?) alternates with a Hungarian folk tale. The folk tale doesn't match up with the primary story as well as I'd like, but it makes for a) a good folk tale and b) an interesting contrast. Just when you're getting sick of the everyday whining of a bunch of normal people (and that statement, there, may explain more about "art" than many a treatise), the folk tale cuts in: suddenly, it's all about the larger-than-life, without being lifeless.

From Hell, Alan Moore. As you may have guessed, I've been making a raid on the local library stacks for Alan Moore. I won't blow this for you--even if you've seen the movie, this is an important point--so I'll leave you with a couple of writerly notes and my definite thumbs up. The art is creepy and inviting. I love black-and-white art. The writing is at least as good as The Watchmen, not as tricky-dick clever, but gooo--ood. (He writes well from a woman's point of view, in case you're wondering.) That's as a fan. As a writer, here's what impressed me most: the plot is obvious. The mystery of Who-is-Jack-the-Ripper is revealed from the beginning of the book. Yet my interest has been held--the mystery here is "how did this all get cleaned up?" I also loved the appendices, which revealed a) how much research went into this thing and b) how all of this is supposed to relate to us, the readers.

Englightenment has nothing to do with being nice, chilluns. We knew that when we first saw Darth Vader. The darkside of the force is very, very dark.

Oh, yeah. I fogot: I'm muchly impressed, now, with the scriptwriter for the movie version of From Hell. No, it isn't a faithful adaptation. Different medium. Now, the directors...