What is the road about
Godzilla: Rage Across Time by Ulises FariñasThis is said to be the last Godzilla comic by IDW. Details on why remain a mystery to me at the moment. After the ongoing run that went from Kingdom of Monsters to History’s Greatest Monster and finally the wonderful Rulers of Earth, IDW’s Godzilla has been relegated to 5 issue miniseries treatments. Some good (Cataclysm), some middle of the road (In Hell), and some bad (Oblivion). Rage Across Time is another mini, taking Godzilla through history in five shorts that are connected only by the thinnest of narrative threads as a modern scientist detects the clues on how kaiju shapes Earth’s history. The mini gathers some of IDW’s regular Godzilla talents like Matt Frank, Jeff Zornow, and Chris Mowry, while also introducing some new names, most notably Project Nemesis author Jeremy Robinson.
Part 1 is set in Feudal Japan. Drawn by Matt Frank with extra flair in a style akin to traditional Japanese art, this is not only the best looking piece in the book, it’s one of the coolest collections of Godzilla art I’ve seen. So dang cool. The writing by Jeremy Robinson is solid, too, telling the story of two rival Japanese warriors who awaken Godzilla when the country is under attack by Mongolian invaders.
Part 2 is set in Ancient Greece, complete with Greek Gods like Zeus hanging out atop Mount Olympus. This sounds kinda silly but it surprised me by how much fun it is, and how much they were able to mine from the basic idea. In the story, Godzilla rises from the depths as a new devil to challenge the old gods. It’s a fine mix of fantasy with the Godzilla brand and works surprisingly well.
Part 3 is England during the Black Plague. Knights seeking to cure the plague meet the ‘dragons’ Megaguirus and Mothra. No Godzilla this time. It’s a decent chapter, but more than any of the others it is hurt by being too short. Allowed time to tell more of a story with deeper character work, this could’ve been really interesting and clever. It’s just too short to do the concept justice.
Part 4 is about Hannibal the Conqueror using the angry Godzilla in his fight against Rome. This one didn’t work for me. The storytelling is kind of hard to follow and the art makes it feel like Disney’s adaptation of 300.
Part 5 takes us all the way back to the Cretaceous Period. Jeff Zornow provides some badass art as the kaiju do battle with dinosaurs underfoot. The chapter is decidedly more sci-fi than you’d expect, but I shall not spoil how and why here. It’s a fun final chapter.
Like all of IDW’s Godzilla miniseries, Rage Across Time has its share of ups and downs, making for an enjoyable but uneven book. It’s sad that this appears to be IDW’s last hurrah with Godzilla. It’s been fun.
Compassion vs. Cruelty: Why You Should Read “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy
This afternoon, sometime before dinner, you will turn on the evening news. A suited-man seated behind a desk welcomes you. Then, without warning, he launches into a blitzkrieg of stories:. A little unnerved, you linger by the TV, catching your breath, hoping that when the fine-suited man returns, he returns with lighter news. You shake your head and hold your stomach and wonder, while listening to your children play in other room, if the world is purging itself of compassion like its been purging itself of fossil fuels for all these years. The Road is a parable that narrates the harrowing journey of a father and son as they move cautiously through a post-apocalyptic America.
Cormac McCarthy has an unmistakable prose style. What do you see as the most distinctive features of that style? How is the writing in The Road in some ways more like poetry than narrative prose? Why do you think McCarthy has chosen not to give his characters names? How do the generic labels of "the man" and "the boy" affect the way in which readers relate to them?
Want more deets? Maybe you stumbled upon The Road because you're into the post-apocalyptic scene — you have a soft spot for Mad Max and Terminator movies, or found yourself enjoying Children of Men , 28 Days Later , and The Book of Eli. Or maybe you've read some of Cormac McCarthy's novels before. Either way, you're in for a treat with The Road. Not only did The Road — a book about and a father and son traversing a post-apocalyptic landscape — win Cormac McCarthy the Pulitzer Prize for literature, but The Times named it the best book of the decade.
by Cormac McCarthy
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Some unnamed catastrophe has scourged the world to a burnt-out cinder, inhabited by the last remnants of mankind and a very few surviving dogs and fungi. The sky is perpetually shrouded by dust and toxic particulates; the seasons are merely varied intensities of cold and dampness. Bands of cannibals roam the roads and inhabit what few dwellings remain intact in the woods. Through this nightmarish residue of America a haggard father and his young son attempt to flee the oncoming Appalachian winter and head towards the southern coast along carefully chosen back roads. Mummified corpses are their only benign companions, sitting in doorways and automobiles, variously impaled or displayed on pikes and tables and in cake bells, or they rise in frozen poses of horror and agony out of congealed asphalt. The boy and his father hope to avoid the marauders, reach a milder climate, and perhaps locate some remnants of civilization still worthy of that name.
The novel begins with the man and boy in the woods, the boy asleep, as the two of them are making their journey along the road. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world, date and place unnamed, though the reader can assume it's somewhere in what was the United States because the man tells the boy that they're walking the "state roads. Stylistically, the writing is very fragmented and sparse from the beginning, which reflects the barren and bleak landscape through which the man and boy are traveling. McCarthy also chooses to use no quotation marks in dialogue and for some contractions, he leaves out the apostrophes. Because this is a post-apocalyptic story, the exemption of these punctuation elements might serve as a way for McCarthy to indicate that in this new world, remnants of the old world — like electricity, running water, and humanity — no longer exist, or they exist in very limited amounts. While the boy sleeps, the man reflects upon one of his dreams of a creature with dead eyes. The man's dreams play a large role throughout the novel; the man tells both himself and the boy that good dreams are to be feared because they indicate a form of acceptance, and that death would inevitably be near.