I've been feeling rather down about my life and the world lately, but rather than whine about it here is a list of things I've enjoyed lately:Books/Comics
-Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson
by Lyndsay Faye. This is a marvelous pastiche. Lyndsay Faye (of the Baker Street Babes podcast, although I think that came after she published this book) has Watson's voice down perfectly. She keeps the element of humor present in the original stories, but also takes Holmes to a darker emotional place than Sir Arthur generally allowed. That's a wise choice given the horror of the subject matter. The OC's are interesting and well-drawn. I don't know much about Jack the Ripper, but the book appears meticulously researched. The plot was exciting enough that I skipped intentions I had to leave the house in order to stay home and read.
-Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight
by Kelly Sue Deconnick. I don't read a lot of comics, but I've been dabbling a tiny bit in Marvel lately after enjoying the Avengers movieverse fandom. I picked this one up after hearing good reviews and because Kelly Sue seems really cool. Despite knowing absolutely nothing about Carol Danvers before starting, Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight
made me happy in so many ways. I was able to follow the plot despite my newbie ignorance. There's time travel, one of my favorite tropes. Not only is this a female superhero comic with a costume that covers her full body, drawn in a way that generally eschews gratuitous sexy posing (though she is clearly very attractive), but it also resoundingly passes the Bechdel test. In fact, the large majority of the secondary characters are women. Here are women competing over flight records and super powers instead of men, women working together to fight aliens or to fight cancer, women stepping up to embrace their power and potential, women mourning, women rejoicing, women who were put on Earth "to punch holes in the sky." There's this one full page panel with Captain Marvel flying to the edge of space, looking powerful, and the line "...and we will be the stars we were always meant to be" that I honestly stared at for several minutes because the combination of the art and the sentiment was just so satisfying. I loved Dexter Soy's art in the first four issues. Emma Rios's art in issues 5 & 6 wasn't quite so up my alley, but still good.TV
-I've been catching up on Elementary
and very much enjoying it. All I have left is the season finale. Joan Watson is a magnificent individual. Also, we need more Ms. Hudson.
-I finally got around to watching To the Ends of the Earth
on Netflix. I recommend it for all members of the CumberCollective, plus people interested in period naval drama. It's more of a drama that happens to be set on a boat than a high-seas adventure, though there is certainly an element of danger. Also, I was amused by how many actors in the show I recognized but couldn't place without a trip to IMDB. The radical thinker who wants to shoot an albatross? It's Dr. Grant from Jurassic Park
! The captain of the other ship they meet at sea? Tywin Lannister
! The girl Cumberbatch's character gets a crush on? It's that woman who spent most of Love Acually nearly naked
with Martin Freeman! And most impressively, the captain of the main ship? It's FUCKING MORIARTY
(from the RDJ film). Fanfic
. This is an utterly delightful Avengers-fic told in the form of a long magazine article after they decided to go public with some identity information. It's hilarious but also has plenty of emotional heft. It fits beautifully into canon. The outsider POV and article format are utilized to perfection. There are great insights into all the characters, with especially interesting Bruce, and lovely team dynamics. There's also a splendid twist, which apparently took most readers by surprise, though I saw coming a long way out (but I really enjoyed having my theory proved right). Highly recommended for anyone who ever reads Avengers-fic. Gen.
. Sherlock/John. It's finished now, but when I was following this fic as a WIP the updates were one of the highlights of my week, even when I knew it would put my heart through the wringer. This is a fusion of Sherlock
and The Phantom of the Opera
, though I suspect you could read and enjoy it without knowing or caring much about Phantom. Do you like stories with intense emotions? Characters having believable conflicts where neither is entirely in the wrong? Mrs. Hudson, Molly, and Irene being amazing? Secret identities? Danger and excitement? Period settings? Beautifully done imagery? This fic has all of these and more. It's a 16-chapter epic that will sweep you off your feet and carry you away like some Angel of
Fanfic. Heed the warning in the header, though. D:
What about you, friends? What in the worlds of fic, film, or print has been making you happy lately?