Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippets of 4-30-19

I… I don’t have words. I’m going to let the review speak for itself.

Avengers: Endgame

Posted under Reel Snippets

Ronin Reads – The Hobbit (comic)

Title: The Hobbit
Author: J. R. R. Tolkein
Illustrator: David Wenzel
Adapted By: Charles Dixon
Type: Comic Book
Genre: Fantasy

Big things come in small packages: this has been said all over and nowhere is it more true than with Bilbo Baggins, hobbit of the Shire. His all too quiet life is upended when the wizard Gandalf and thirteen dwarves come to his home and recruit him on a quest to retake their ancestor’s treasury from the dragon called Smaug. Along the way, they meet haughty elves, hungry trolls, hateful goblins, and a deformed creature with a golden ring that I’m sure is completely mundane and unimportant in the grand scheme of things. You all know the story, now enjoy it with artwork in this collected comic book adaptation.

When I was in Middle School, I set out to read all of the Lord of the Rings books, along with The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales (either for a report or because the movies had come out). This proved to be a very daunting task, as I found Tolkein’s prose to be very dense and hard to swallow. From time to time, I’ve wondered if that was really the case or if I was just too young to appreciate the subtle nuances in the text. After reading this very faithful adaptation nowadays, I realized that even in my youth, I was completely right: Tolkein’s prose is dense, longwinded, and completely mind-numbing.

This graphic adaptation takes the text straight from the book and uses it for both dialogue and text boxes, which unfortunately works to the comic’s detriment. You see, comics are a visual medium and should make good use of their pictures. This comic has so many words you have to read to understand what’s going on that there’s practically an essay on each page. We’re told that certain things are happening and that characters are feeling certain ways, but rarely do we actually get to see it.

Which is a shame, because the artwork is really beautiful. The painted style really gives it the feel of a timeless fantasy and the wide use of colors among the characters is pleasing to the eyes. It’s too bad that because of the way the comic is structured, each panel seems like a stand-alone portrait rather than telling a sequential story. It’s also, again, hindered because this comic has, in the words of Ben “Yatzhee” Croshaw of Zero Punctuation fame, “TOO MANY FUCKING WORDS.” All that text really crowds the pictures at times and really does detract from the visual experience.

I will say this, though: the comic does make me appreciate the movies more. Oh, not because the movies are a masterpiece, but reading this comic made me realize that there was a lot of stuff that I took as extra stuff for the movies which were actually part of the original story. Beorn, Gollum chasing Bilbo and leading him out of the cavern, the eagles rescuing the party, the elves imprisoning the dwarves, the list goes on. It really does feel like the story would have been so much cheaper if it had all been squeezed into one movie (though I think two would have been plenty). I have seen the Rankin-Bass version, so I know it can be done, but I feel like a lot of the mythology got lost in translation.

This is a difficult piece to review because this is an adaptation rather than an original work, so I can’t criticize stuff like the plot or things like that. If you really want to see that happen, though, Lewis Lovhaug did it better than I could. Personally, though, I felt that a few more liberties should have been taken in order to make full use of the visual medium. It would have made the experience come to life more than feeling like the entire book transcribed over a bunch of pretty pictures. That said, the pictures are gorgeous, so if you’ve really been yearning to read The Hobbit with beautiful visuals to accompany it, feel free to check it out.

Posted under Ronin Reads

A Warrior’s Wake

About a week ago, late on the night of April 8th, James Hellwig passed away. Hellwig was a (in)famous person in the world of wrestling under the moniker of the Ultimate Warrior, which he eventually legally changed his name to. Now I was not into wrestling, but I have seen clips of him in his persona that can only be described as bat shit insane. I have also seen clips of him as a motivation speaker, where he revealed his homophobic nature with such words of wisdom as, “Queering does not make the world work.” However, my true introduction to the halls of the mountains of madness known as the Warrior’s mind through the short-lived comic series that he wrote simply called “Warrior.” If you’re tempted to read this incomprehensible mess, don’t bother; the ever talented Linkara and Spoony have taken the liberty of looking at all four issues and verbally tearing them to pieces in the way that only internet critics can do. Consider these videos the official wake for the Ultimate Warrior.

Goodnight, sweet warrior. And thousands of jawa demons skronk thee to the Terrain of Testament. DESTRUCITY!!!!!

Posted under Announcements

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